Monday, January 18, 2010

The end of an era

It only took a heartbreak to force me to blog again.

A lot has changed since my last posting. Resigned from Capital IQ, changed job for the nth time, nearly lost that job, Ondoy ravaged Metro Manila, bought my new baby Nikon D60, danced ala Michael Jackson for our Christmas party presentation, trekked Mt. Pinatubo with my beloved b3tches and welcomed the year with a sprained ankle. But none of those events merited any entry in my blog, and I thought, this will just be one of those blog projects that I eagerly started but turned into epic failures.

I promised myself I will not turn this blog into a cheesy diary, a repository of relationship woes, a drama anthology of sorts. But what happened over the last weekend was so painful that it deserves a blog of its own. And just like a pockmarked teenager rejected by a prospective prom date, I had no choice but to scribble the heartache away.

But no, I won't divulge the juicy stuff. There's no juicy stuff to talk about anyway. To go about the details behind the story would require me to turn back the hands of the clock many times over. And even that wouldn't make any sense to anybody because the years that I've spent with him are filled with blissful moments that would make one think, "this is going to last forever."

Alas, it didn't. So what gives?

Things are still ablur until now. All I remember was that we had a major fight Saturday morning. Saturday afternoon, he had already finished packing his stuff and left. I asked if we can talk things over, and he said yes, sure. And then on that quiet Sunday evening, he returned to our apartment (used to be "ours"). We just sat there facing each other, grasping for something to say.

And I can only remember, albeit vaguely, some of the words that we managed to utter:

"We don't know where this relationship is heading..."

"we're just holding on to what we've got because it's convenient..."

"We need to take some time off..."

"Things are never going to be the same again..."

"I need to be with someone who knows me..."

"I can lose a lover, but I can't lose my best friend..."


That last line finally set off a river of tears.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

In My Life

I'm been a fan of Olivia Lamasan since she penned the Laurice Guillen Pinoy masterpiece, Ipagpatawad Mo (starring Vilma Santos and Christopher de Leon). As a director, Lamasan did not disappoint either. She steered Sharon Cuneta towards a Grand Slam-winning performance via Madrasta. Sana Maulit Muli (Aga Muhlach, Lea Salonga) and Milan (Piolo Pascual, Claudine Barretto) are both surprisingly good.

In her latest offering, In My Life, Lamasan is reunited with Vilma Santos. The Batangas governor plays a school teacher who decides to migrate to New York to live with his son (Luis Manzano)... and his lover (John Lloyd Cruz). I'll keen on watching this film, not because of its gay theme, but because the trailer I've posted above shows a lot of promise. This might be a groundbreaking performance for Cruz, and Manzano seems poised to prove that acting chops he inherited from his parents.

I'm just not sure about Vilma doing comedy. I've seen her do comedy in the past, and I must say it's not her cup of tea. Corny talaga. Note to Ate Vi: you may be one of the greatest actors in Philippine cinema, but you are no Meryl Streep.

However, Mrs. Ralph Recto is funny when she's not trying to...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Modesty aside...

Allow me to be self-indulgent for a while. After all, commendation from your boss doesn't come very often, especially when you're not exactly an employee-of-the-year material. Some of the words here might sound Greek to you; in the outsourcing world, we have our own dictionary, and it's not easy memorizing these jargons, I tell you. But I digress. Here's the email I got from my boss, Carla.


From: Carlota Baluyot Palileo
Sent: Thursday, August 13, 2009 4:42 AM
To: Christia Marise Tetangco; Christianne Marie Afrondoza Develos; Gemma Corazon Gacho; Honey Grace Paclean Ramos; Iris Sabordo; Jennifer Jill Pica Tan; Jonathan Macario; Kristine Lorraine Ruiz; Kristine Yamzon Cacas; Leonard William Cruz; Maria Junella Gazmen; Maria Leonarda Irinco; Martha Joy Rosario; Nadia Theresa Zerrudo Dua; Roseller Kenneth Beltran
Subject: And just when you though that was it...another one takes a flying leap.

This just in.

Batch 3 members, one of your own has become a star.

I’ve just finished Kenneth’s scorecard and forwarded it to the higher ups. He is now officially an editor. His last practice edit task was published for real by our own Jill and got an error count of 1.55 for both MD&A and Q&A. And in publisher Jill’s own words: “For the Q&A, he only had 2 immaterials. I see that he's reviewing the Style Guide. He's really good at editing the Q&A portion of the call.”

This means that since Kenneth can voicewrite as well (he had good scores as a trainee and will practice voicewriting again tomorrow), is one of our best scopists and can now also edit – he is now just one step away from being a Quad Core.


Well, that does it. After this whole barrage of good work, you leave me no choice but to deliver the consequences.

First Team Pizza tomorrow night. Bring your sodas.



Cool beans, eh? I got a commendation, and three slices of pizza. Burp.

What's a quad-core you're asking? Well, let's just say, In our office, when you're a quad-core, you're on the top of the food chain. Nuff said.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

To the defense of the Half-Blood Prince

"A total bore. I was yawning until the credits rolled."

"Dumbledore's death scene didn't move me."

"A lot of details in the book were left out in the film."

"Where's Dumbledore's funeral scene?"

"Where's the bathroom? I gotta pee."

Such were the comments I heard as I leave the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince screening. Like Deatheaters ready to pounce on our dear Harry, these fantards were dismayed at how director David Yates interpreted the sixth installment. And fortunately, I'm not one of them.

These amateur critics like to contradict themselves. They dismissed this film as boring, yet they would like every detail in the book to be included. What they don't realize is that it would further prolong the film twice its 2.5-hour running time. And what do you call a film that's running for over five hours?


I'm a hardcore fan, but I'm not a fantard. That's exactly the reason why I'm satisfied with how Yates and writer Steve Kloves helmed the film. The filmmakers provided enough emotional build-up leading to the last installment, the Deathly Hallows. The Half-Blood Prince may be devoid of action, but with enough depth and soul that is the essence of Harry Potter. The film wants us to go beyond the Quidditch tournaments and the fight scenes; it wants us to feel every pathos of our protagonist as he prepares for the big battle against He-WHo-Must-Not-Be-Named. The hormonal crew of Harry, Hermione and Ron have all grown up, and we, the fans, must follow suit.

I was also impressed at how Daniel Radcliffe and the gang have evolved through the years. Radcliffe showed an impressive acting range, probably a product of his theater, uhm, "exposure". Emma Watson delivered a nuanced performance, while Rupert Grint is as funny as hell.

But nothing is funnier than this conversation I overheard during the screening:

Coño GIRL: I sooo hate this film. I think it's so panget. It's a bit bitin, kase they left out a lot of stuff in the book. Ew.

Coño BOY: Wait, 'di ba you were not able to finish the book?

Coño GIRL: Uhm, yeah. It's not my fault I'm super busy.

Like, duh?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

On peaceful departure

I had quite a week. My hubby and I started it with a battle against flu. Fearing it was the dreaded AH1N1, the two of us rushed to the nearest hospital for a check-up. While at Makati Med, the TV in the waiting area was airing news report about the rising number of Swine Flu cases in the metro. Fortunately, what we had was just a regular flu triggered by our always-inflamed tonsils (see, even our tonsils are interconnected. Scary.) Nevertheless, we chose to stay home. We can't be too careful.

As we recuperate, the week continued with the sad news of Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson's untimely demise. The original Charlie's Angel succumbed to cancer, while the King of Pop had a cardiac arrest.

Ironically, over the weekend, we've decided to watch Okuribito (Departures), a movie about about death . We hadn't plan to cap the weekend to "celebrate" death after our swine flu scare and the news about Fawcett and Jackson's death. It was the only film available in my archive (read: hard drive) that we haven't watched yet. It's been sitting inside my computer for more than a month now; I hadn't had much time to watch this film since I leeched it via Torrent (calling Edu Manzano). The fact is, I had second thoughts of watching this film, with it's dark and morbid theme.

I decided to grab this Japanese film merely out of curiosity. When it was named Best Foreign Language film at the Oscars, beating the frontrunner Waltz with Bashir, it piqued my interest. But I wasn't that eager to watch it, until only last weekend.

And midway through the film, I got stumped. I should've watched this film sooner, I told myself. It's simply one of the most beautiful films I've seen this year.

The film tells a story about a cellist named Kobayashi Daigo (Motoki Masahiro) who was forced to find a job in the countryside after his Tokyo-based orchestra disbanded. For a generous pay, Daigo accepts a job as a nokanshi or "encoffiner," much to the chagrin of his wife Mika and other people around him. As he masters the job as a nokanshi, he also learns the art of acceptance and forgiveness.

Now I understand why the Academy loved this film. Its quiet and eloquent story-telling can melt even the hardest of hearts, much especially during these times of global uncertainty. Just like the Oscar 2009's biggest winner, Slumdog Millionaire, this is a movie that celebrates love and life. Motoki Masahiro, with his nuanced and heartfelt performance, leads an impeccable acting ensemble. Also commendable is Yôjirô Takita's clean and fuzz-free direction. Joe Hisaishi's lush soundtrack provided the emotional chutzpah, especially during the heart-wrenching final scene.

I rarely cry during movies. But this one left a huge lump in my already-swollen throat long after the closing credits have completely rolled-out.

Official trailer:

(oh, and did I mention that Masahiro Motoki is as cute as a Japanese button?)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Returning to the blogosphere…

Making a comeback to the blog-o-sphere is a daunting task, dreadful even. First, there’s always this lingering question, “What am I going to write about?” Then, after figuring out the answer to that question, I started to doubt myself, wondering if I still have “it”.

You see, after the untimely demise of my Friendster blog a good two or three years ago, I promised myself that I shall never go blogging again. Yes, my first blog mysteriously vanished into the thin air, and those folks at Friendster (God bless them) can’t provide any clue why it happened. I guess there must be a Bermuda triangle hidden somewhere in the cyberspace and therein lies my poor blog. And to add insult to serious injury, I still don’t know the meaning of the word “back-up” then.

And now here I am, making a career comeback. I guess you can call me the Britney Spears of the blogging world, minus two sons and a kick-ass bod. And to go back to that previous question, as to what I should be writing about, well… uhmm.. I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t. My earlier blogs (yes, this is my nth attempt) were originally intended to be my online literary folios, but now, I guess I might be too old to write about poetry and stuff. A lot of things have changed since then. When I created my Friendster blog in 2006, I was a college professor. I still got soul then. Now, I’m just a robot, thriving in a corporate world where you are not allowed to think for yourself. In short, my work sucked the life out of me. I guess, creating this blog is my way to reclaim it.

I felt that I’ve already lost my creative mojo, and I wonder when I’ll be able to get it back. A couple of days ago, a good friend of mine, Ate Mabel, texted me. She said she was cleaning her room when she stumbled upon a decade-old college newspaper, and she marveled at the articles under my byline and wondered why I've stopped writing. In my reply, I told her that it would take time before I’ll be able to get my groove back.

Nevertheless, I’m just ecstatic that I’m finally starting to see my blog taking shape. I mean, it’s not perfect and all. My current blog entries are littered with clichés and grammatical errors; they’re nothing compared to articles I’ve written in the past. If I tell you that I used to collect journalism awards way back in college and contribute articles for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, I’m pretty sure you’ll say I’m just full of crap. But just like a proud momma to her baby, I’m very satisfied with my present blog. It’s perfectly imperfect in its own right. It may not match the depth and relevance of the blog of my former co-editor (and pretty darn good writer) Ysrael, or the insight of my sorely-missed friend Mahalia's, or the cool factor of my colleague Teng’s, or the humor of my fave blogger MisterHeuge's, or the wit of my fave director Jun Lana's, but just by rejoining the more than 100 million bloggers in the planet gives me a immense sense of pride. Yes, I’m getting there.

In a workshop, the multi-awarded screenwriter Ricky Lee once told me, “Write what you know. That all it takes”. And that’s exactly what I’m doing. Therefore, I don’t need to pretend that I know everything about politics or computers or Math. You may find me ranting about the results of American idol, or reviewing a current flick or a Milan Kundera book, or complaining about work, or commenting on some random YouTube video, or drooling on my newest Brazilian boytoy Bernardo Velasco. The topics may be as shallow and diverse as a kaning-baboy, but I guess that’s what I am.

So I guess I just have to keep on blogging and rally against inertia before I pass that darn Bermuda triangle again.

Oh, and please remind me to BACK-UP.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

"So... what do you do EXACTLY?"

A couple of years ago, I left the academe to be a Telephone Banker. After a few months, I got promoted to Operations Subject Matter Specialist.Then I transferred to another company and became a Virtual Workspace Team Leader and a Presentation and Graphics Support Workforce Coordinator. Now, here at McGraw-Hill, I currently work as a Financial Voice Writer and Editor. (And yes, I'm currently blogging here in the office, so don't expect me to bag that Employee of the Year award anytime soon.)

Since I entered the outsourcing industry, I've always dreaded this question: so, Ken, what do you do for a living? Because answering that question means I have to go through all the trouble of reciting my career dossier in verbatim. And the worst part is, I don't have any idea what exactly I do for a living.

I wish I could just answer, "I'm a call center agent." But the fact is, I'm not a call center agent. It's a lot more complicated than that. Thanks to the outsourcing industry, more and more jobs are created with fancy titles; jobs I've never heard of when I was still in college.

So remember the million-dollar question our elders used to ask us when we were still little kids? "So, what do you want to be when you grow up?" Mechanically, I used to answer "When I grow up, I wanna be a lawyer." Well, I don't know what happened, but what I'm doing now is far from "lawyer-ing."

(Maybe I should've just answered "when I grow up, I wanna be famous, I wanna be a star, I wanna be in movies. When I grow up, I wanna see the world, drive nice cars, I wanna have groupies...")

So I'd like to rephrase a famous song from a famous Doris Day movie:

When I was just a little boy, I asked my mother what will I be? Will I pretty? Will I be rich? Here's what she said to me:

Que sera, sera...