Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Jess is a snatcher.  He specializes in cell phones.  Being poor, he has resigned himself to the reality that he will be suspected of stealing even if he wouldn't actually do it.  So to save everyone the trouble, he learned to embrace the stereotype.

Grace is a call center agent, and a modern woman with a secret.  And she would do anything to retrieve that secret from her stolen cell phone even if it meant scouring the streets of Quiapo for the snatcher with the help of the police.

In an interesting and very realistic turn, Posas (Shackles) tackles the twists and turns of police procedures, and the lives of the people embroiled in it:  victim, perpretrator, and the enforcers themselves.  In the end, as Jess' handcuffs were removed, he finally and palpably felt the shackles latched on to him.

Beautifully shot and subtly acted, it was a joy to watch.  Having heard nothing about the film prior to viewing, I had no expectations whatsoever, and I was happily rewarded for my gamble.  The scene with Susan Africa is easily a favorite.

Posas and four other films are in competition under the Director's Showcase of Cinemalaya.  Ten more films are also competing in the New Breed category for budding directors.

I'm looking forward to seeing a good number of these, and no storm signal will deter me from going to the CCP to buy tickets.  For a couple of years now, I have organized marathon screenings of select movies for me and my friends.  The raging weekend storm almost prevented me from being able to procure tickets.  Experience has told me to buy them on the first weekend because most movies will sell out by the next week of screenings. 

So brave the rains, I did, thankful for the few minutes' respite from rain while travelling on foot.  It felt good having reserved those tickets for our weekend marathon.  It meant one less detail to worry about.

I'm going to watch a quite few movies

photo credit

Friday, July 13, 2012

Getting Over It

Dinner had just ended and we moved back to her living room for some after-dinner conversation. Superior urged us to seat and make ourselves -- myself and a friend -- comfortable. Someone asked for coffee, so I stood up, opened the cupboards, took down some mugs and prepared the coffee.

All too comfortable. And why shouldn't I be, when this house used to be our old apartment when I was a kid. From the door, I see the closed-off patio with a waist-high gate. Outside of which is the common area shared by three other houses, one on the right, and two others on the left. On the high wall near the compound gate, the over-reaching branches of the caimito tree provides a ruckus of rustling leaves, marking this idyllic night ripe for conversation.

What my former boss from the Great Place is doing on the house I spent my childhood in, I have no idea, but the conversation we were having then was friendly, amiable. There was none of the stress and veiled mixture of hostility and disappointment that we shared during our last encounter. I woke up and I realized that I'm finally over that unfortunate event. I'm pretty sure the dream was prompted with my talk that night with officemates.


Coffee and Cream, self-professed siblings of different parentage, invited me to coffee and just hang out. Cream had resigned some months prior, and filing for undertime from work was well worth it to catch up. From the stories I heard before Cream resigned, and the stories I heard that night, it was clear there was bad blood between worker and boss. It wasn't always the case, though, as the falling out seemed to have stemmed from Cream's decision to leave. Suddenly, the outstanding assistant became a lackey who did nothing and botched up the simplest of reports.

Accountabilities were turned over and signed off, but the clearance remains unsigned. And months after resigning, there's still no sign of the final pay getting released.

I can only imagine the amount of resentment building up, being finally rid of a thankless job, only to find out that your former boss wont release you. And mainly because the ones left still cannot make heads or tails of the job that was left behind.

A couple of days ago, while strolling around Megamall, Cream saw the bald head belonging to the former boss.  They know they saw each other, but neither gave any reaction, and just went about their own way.  Cream went inside a store and was promptly attacked by a case of the shivers.  There was a bit of laughter while this story was being told, but something was being withheld, something palpable and brooding just underneath the surface.

Clearly, Cream isn't over the ordeal with the former boss.  And from the actions and stories I see and hear, it would be long before anyone forgives and forgets.


The night progressed and it started to rain and we took that as a sign to adjourn for the night.  Coffee was able to extract a promise from Cream to continue the story and meet us again the next day for lunch.  And with the promise given, we stood up and made the trek to where the buses will take us to our destinations. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Addictions: Cinemalaya

It's once again time to head over to CCP for the ten days of Cinemalaya. Film enthusiasts, social butterflies, and yes, students with imposed reaction papers, and bandwagoneers will flood the various viewing rooms to partake of this year's finalists.

Twenty five films have been announced as part of the three main competitions in the festival.  But as in other years, my main focus is with the New Breed Full-Length competition:

Emmanuel Palo’s “Santa Nina
Gino Santos and Jeff Stelton’s “The Animals
Vincent Sandoval’s “Aparisyon
Mes de Guzman’s “Diablo
Lemuel Lorca and Jerry Gracio’s “Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino
Alfred Aloysius Adlawan’s “Ang Katiwala
Marietta Jamora’s “Ang Nawawala
Paul Sta. Ana’s “Oros
Julius Sotomayor Cena’s “Mga Dayo
Loy Arcenas’ “Requieme

Earlier in the year, the Cinemalaya board was embroiled in its own scandal what with one competition film being disqualified for not adhering to the casting demands of the Board.  Others have called for the boycott of the Cinemalaya for its apparent disregard for its own mantra of being the haven for truly independent cinema.  But though I share the sentiment of keeping Cinemalaya truly malaya, I don't adhere to the idea of punishing the other competitors just to get the message across.

Last year, Cinemalaya increased its clout by tapping Greenbelt Cinemas to feature the films in competition; the first time their movies were shown outside of the CCP grounds.  This year, the competition reaches more ground with the help of Ayala Cinemas.  Aside from CCP, the movies will be shown in Greenbelt and Trinoma.

I am planning to watch as much as I can, maybe sneak as much weeknight viewing after work, as well as organize a weekend marathon among friends.

See you in Greenbelt and CCP!  :-)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Gourmand Travels: What's Inside the Box?

Inside this box are a dozen reasons NOT to go on a diet.

J.Co. has finally opened in Greenbelt.


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