Thursday, August 31, 2017

"Why you're so upset, you don't even know her"

Twenty years.  It has been a long time.  Are we going to Hyde Park and Kensington Palace?  Maybe in the next few days?

Perhaps it was the radiance on her wedding day which captured people's imagination.  She looked so beautiful.  My childhood from the age seven was about a glimpse of her from newspapers and "not even " glossy magazines.  

Magazines in the Philippines in the 80's were mostly newsprint that one buys in the sidewalk.  But we had a monthly supply of Good Housekeping from America (God Bless my godmother!), which sometimes feature a few photo shoots of Princess Diana and her family. Newsweek and Time magazines also provided news on the Royal Family, so we read and were updated. The pictures they painted was such a fairy tale.  

Then as early as like 1987 (or was it '88?), rumours were surfacing about cracks in the marriage. I even played a puzzle game (based on an American game show) with my classmates sophomore year in high school just to assuage myself that yes, fairy tales do come true.  

Of course I was a fool, relationships and marriages are hard work.  People who thought they were in-love in the beginning then discovered they have nothing in common, separate.  What chances do arranged marriages have for bliss and longevity? (Although I had a discussion in Singapore with a colleague about her happiness and contentment on her arranged marriage. Really?). 

So, Princess Diana's union with the Prince of Wales fell apart. I concluded he was a fool for enticing a 20-year old into a world of heartache. After that I just wanted Princess Diana to find her joy.  If it was another union or working on her charities, so be it.  She auctioned her dresses for a cause, that was very kind of her, to give of herself to others.  

When she died in an accident, I was bawling, perhaps the only celebrity who made me so sad.  I cried for her youth and her potential to find comfort and serenity.  But she was ever so brave for taking the cause of Land Mines.  I didn't even knew about land mines before she pushed that issue into the forefront. 

Despite her soft voice and ideal family, I find Kate Middleton features a bit too sharp. She doesn't have the delicate charms of Princess Diana. She has a degree from Uni, masters in history of art.  She should be relatable. Plus her mom's company Party Pieces is so convenient for my daughter's birthday parties as well.  But I couldn't dissect any resonance.

While Princess Diana was the manor born, did not even study for a degree and yet she was the one who could project charisma.  Maybe it was the clothes she wore but I reckon it's the age of social media and the internet.  There are a lot of celebrities in these modern times. Reality television like TOWIE, Love Island et al has catapulted a lot of unknowns into front pages of Hello! magazine.

But then they are the Royals  (ceremonial, ribbon-cutting purposes) -- magazines, newspapers and websites would find them newsworthy, whether it's having their photographs taken in their tour of Commonwealth nations or the choice of school for their children. Although I haven't seen any outpouring of grief in the scale of the Diana funeral in the 20 years since her death.  Not even Michael Jackson nor the Queen Mother.  

So why did I get so upset when she died when I didn't even know her? Because, my dear Prince William, she had the allure of an angel? Or my life was so boring compared to her headline-grabbing session at the gym? I don't know, she just did and she still does after two decades. Despite the mean things trolls say about her.  Well, trolls, sorry, you don't have as much impact with your dead-end lifestyle.


Friday, August 11, 2017

my love from the star ph

It has been such a joy viewing My Love from the Star, the Philippine remake/adaptation. It was such a heartwarming love story.  I've not really been a connoisseur of Korean drama/comedy series during the past 15 years.  Although I was such a regular viewer from 2000 to 2002, prior to Youtube and before K-dramas popularity exploded in the Philippines.  I still don't follow them now and the actors I used to watch are now older and would probably be playing support roles.

But since I have to play background shows/vlogs when I do chores like ironing, folding or packing for work.  I chanced upon the first episode of My Love from the Star from GMA network.  The last time I embraced a drama series was Judy Ann's Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala and I only watch Judy Ann Santos and no one else's.  I read the headlines of the young stars of Philippine show business but I don't watch any of their programs. I wonder how they sound.   

But since English Only Please, I don't mind Jennylyn Mercado and her films and Sarah Geronimo (although I only saw her movies with Gerald Anderson, that's it). 

The concept of My Love from the Star (or You from Another Star or You Who Came from the Stars, Korean-English translations be damned) is about an alien (Matteo Domingo) stuck on Earth for 300 years (400 years in the original version) and about to leave Earth in three months when he crossed paths with a high-strung, self-absorbed actress (Steffi Chavez) as neighbor. Aliens or immortality are a  kind of creepy concept.  But it's something different, much like Superman and Lois Lane. 

The alien in the GMA version is Gil Cuerva, 21, no prior acting experience and  (owner of such beautiful, luminous skin) paired with someone (Mercado) with a few Best Actress trophies displayed in her gorgeous house.  And ta da .... they had chemistry.  They were believable as a couple.  I've read tweets and yes, age is just a number, the nine-year age gap is not apparent through the magic of make-up?   For a newcomer, Gil Cuerva's  acting is actually viable.  He could project and his presence registered well with his emotions.  I didn't expect a Piolo Pascual or a Jericho Rosales level of camera nuances. But the young man could actually pursue acting.  

I've seen a few actors (hyped by machinery) project with a lot less muster.  They try to cry, to deliver punch lines but it's still a vacuous enterprise. (Steffi Chavez  said it well in her critique of an usurper, "umiiyak na iyan ha, pero wala akong ma-feel"). Jennylyn played it big in the first few episodes and then settled down and delivered the goods.  I don't know with other actresses her age but she has amazing skills and she could soar further in her career without an FHM magazine title attached to her image.  I love her outfits in the series.  Kudos to the stylist. And the set designers, you know only the rich could afford those neighbouring condominium units. 

Joyce Bernal is good with kilig.  Kilig rules Philippine mainstream showbiz since the black and white era (so annoying). I know it was a throwback (more than a decade later from its release when I saw it) but Joyce Bernal made Judy Ann-Onemig pairing work.  Or Regine-Robin.

 The cinematography in the series was quite passable, the Korean version had all the technology of course. But the remake's  special effects weren't too deflating.  Something might have just been amiss with Gabby Eigenmann hanging from a building or Jennylyn flying in the air. But I'll let that go.


With the writing, there were only a few bits and pieces from Matteo's past lives.  I have to re-view an episode on how he acquired vast track of real estate gems.  How does the lead male character maintain his assets when one dies every ten years? It didn't explain who would inherit his properties by the time he leaves Earth.  Maybe the writers just ran out of time. And the ending did not explain anything (except for the kilig!).  I read the Korean drama recaps and I realise that logic is hard to explain in the world of make-believe.  But whatever loopholes, this is still a feel-good story, very light and soft, makes you forget about the mess in the world. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

for the really fun part!

My daughter's two birthday(5th) parties have been exhausting but it was illuminating.  The first one was with her school friends. These are the kids that will form the early part of her childhood.  The ones she will really remember. Although we will miss Ollie (Oliwier), his family are going back to Poland for good and he's our neighbor as well. 

The second party were with her parents' friends -- Godfather Paul, mum's colleagues and friends for more than a decade, family -- tito Babie, for the first time in London. 

For the first party, she loves running with all her friends. She sees them every day at school ( except weekends, obviously) and having them at our abode (with the mums and one dad) was like sharing our innermost secrets.  It was hard to handle a bunch of five-year olds. Some kids were not in the mood to play musical chairs.  Who wouldn't want to play musical chairs?  It was the fun portion of all past parties.  

This is the party I wouldn't give up.  Maybe I'll hold it a day before her birthday next year, a leeway before every Saturday party.  Or collate both parties into one?  The Saturday party, two days later, was dampened by the early rain.  Nobody moved outside, scared to get wet and my other rooms were too small.  Well, anaesthetists (the hubby's consultants), parties are hard to navigate specially if one has young kids. 

Who do we talk with in every gathering we attend? Maybe one or two people?  We got into Tyrone's fancy digs the next day at the Golf Club. The highlight was waiting for our turn to go get our food. There was free wine but the others have to buy their drinks. I didn't know a soul. I ran after the daughter most of the time. She just turned five. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

more thoughtful with a name

July is always hectic as it's my daughter's birthday. Our June (that's our birthday month) was kind of mild compared to our dearest "two birthday parties" month. 

I got really nice presents (examples above) on my birthday. At 43, it never gets too old to receive presents.  There's a small cake and sweet alone time for me.  I learned lessons not to order too much pancakes at Coffee Affair, my daughter could never finish a plate. 

And I'm trying to find  the logic behind greeting someone on social media outlets or direct messaging service with only  "happy birthday, " without mentioning a name.  I find it tearful when someone writes only "happy birthday" rather than "happy birthday, mia." It's always more thoughtful with a name. No matter how many emojis follow the words, the receiver knows it means she's not that important or you're a tiny bleep in his radar. Some people click "like," only with no comment. Even worse? You bet.  It would have been better not to greet at all or click anything. 

To each his own.  They might say, at least they greeted you, others may surmise.   But shouldn't they know your name? What's the point of those empty words? This year, I went out of my way to buy a card & chocolates (and leave it on her desk) for a colleague.  I greeted her as well on her way to work. There was no acknowledgment whatsoever.  Even if it's only a pound, that card cost money. So with that, I totally skipped greeting her on Facebook.  Or messenger. Or text. Even if I've known her for more than a decade, I got the message. No more wasting of my time.  

On my daughter's birthday and on Saturday the 15th, the guests, even those that didn't make it to the shindig had been so generous, way too generous.  And these are people that I barely knew.   My daughter's classmates parents for example. It means there are gems in unexpected places.  Even if my little one didn't get anything, the presence at the party is more than enough.  She was really happy. 



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

birthday month done

We went to Brighton on the first of June, that's the hubby's birthday. I can't do photo shoots set with the sea, stones and the ships as background.  I look so bloated, too much carbs in a regular Filipino diet.  The water at the beach was cold, Britain is typically cold nine months of the year.  It's something for the little one to enjoy.  Maybe we'll go back August, try the water and see.

My birthday was blah as per my usual preference.  Unless it's a weekend where I'm not limited to a six-hour window, I couldn't do much with the six hours of free time when the young daughter is in school.  I move like a tortoise which doesn't translate to increased productivity. But when it comes to presents, I've got another pair of trainers and Honey (not literally) reminded me about my crochet projects in mind by suggesting she wanted to give me a book to read and which made me think why not a beginner's guide to crochet as I'm still in the middle of On Beauty by Zadie Smith. 

But there's still magic being part of Gen X.  We didn't grow up with gadgets or even a PC.  The portable typewriter was the bomb.  I could have typed and typed and wrote articles.   Then I realise, well the generation of Rizal and Graciano Lopez Jaena did not even have pens. But they still turned out to be magnificent writers and have schools and streets named after them. 

Now, the social media people have a written and video platform and use it to spread negativity?  They should use the technology for good like volunteer for an uplifting cause or just be a nice person per se. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

adjective for me

I know there had been blatant terroristic attacks and a towering inferno in this dynamic city of London of late.  But being called weird by Bong infiltrates the consciousness.  Am I that bad? I do give and generate a lot of side eyes. I tend to hibernate a lot and distance myself from a lot of antagonistic vibes. I blank people out. I don't overshare on social media.  

There are words I particularly don't like.  A few Tagalog words I couldn't stand.
When I think of the Tagalog word "abot," my sense of space is near.  "Paki-abot, mo nga sa kanya."  In English, it becomes, "could you hand it to him/her?"  But when you're from a neighbouring unit, it's not near anymore.  You have to walk for the "abot" to occur.  What if I'm not there? Then you have to make "bilin."

In addition, the "I'll hand it to you, " sentence reminds me of "I'll hand in my essay."   There is also "I'll hand in my notice/resignation." It might have been a matter of preposition.  But essays with their corresponding sources and references really breaks me into parts.  That any words relating to its submission never fail to fill me with dread.  

Yes, Sir, I complicate things.  Not only is Life is Complicated a Hollywood movie title.  But we need to give our cerebrum a workout.  It is in thinking that we sharpen our minds.  Debates are the fulcrum of society. Name-calling or trolling a person speaks more about the troll than the one being trolled.  In this age of showing off in social media, it seems de rigeur to make people feel bad about themselves.  We. could all be nice.  But we'd rather not?  GGSS?

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

end of May blahs

Thanks for my friend Joy for the photo.  She paid for my ticket to Kensington Palace -- the museum part.  The palace is still an official royal residence where the young royals live (in luxury?) in comfort. I thrive in touring museums and galleries.  Or watch a lot of historical documentaries.

 Vlogs meanwhile are a new innovation.  Recorded, produced and edited by a singular content creator, they're quite eye-openers.  Those who vlog are mostly the younger generation.  Those in their teens and early twenties are old enough to be my kids, younger millenials born in the '90's.  The most subscribed vlogger in the Phippines is a teenager.  Maybe he strikes a chord with his fellow youngins, dance moves and all. 

The one I regularly watch, Say, was born when I was about to turn 17, the year Lea Salonga won a Tony as Kim in Miss Saigon.  Despite starting making videos at 19 and other vloggers usurping her number of subscribers, she still has a long way to go as a social media person.  She's tall and articulate.  Others are very "maka-masa," or project a holier-than-though image, hers is matter-of-fact.   Although age is not a barrier to earning money from all media (very Kris Aquino), young people are more likely to follow and subscribe to non-traditional platforms.  I don't say that because I don't have an instagram or I don't get snapchat.  But maybe because we don't have a telly in the bedroom.  I reckon, one television in our abode is enough.       I look at my phone and go from there.  Mobile phones can do anything these days