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:: Hello, 2005!!! ::
In 4 hours, we bid 2004 farewell and welcome 2005. Hello to the smell of gunpowder, the sound of firecrackers, trumpets, and other noise-makers, the sight of bright lights against a dark sky, and the feel of... well... whatever it is you touch this new year. Of course, a special mention goes to the taste of the feast awaiting us at the dinner table.

Tonight, we shall feast, and for that I am thankful.

I am thankful because I have food on my plate, clothes on my back, a roof over my head, and everything else that I need in life. I am thankful because I am surrounded by people who love me and care about me. I am thankful because I have everything I need and more.

And this entry is getting really sappy.

To anybody still reading this now, I have this to say to you: pry your fingers away from your computer, get off your butt, and head out so we can party all night!!!


:: Lovin' New Year ::
** originally posted last year **

I love smoke. I love having the sweet smell of smoke stuck on my clothes and my hair. I love having to clean my nose and ears three times just to get rid of all the soot they've accumulated. I love getting into gunpowder induced sneezing fits every few minutes.

I love noise. I love not being able to carry on conversations in a normal voice. I love not being able to listen to music in peace. I love going deaf for a few days at the start of the year.

Of course, new year isn't that great either. I hate the food. I don't particularly enjoy stuffing myself silly with plate after plate of food. I'd rather not drink the sparkly stuff my family pops open at the table.

And the drudgery goes on well after midnight. It's no fun meeting up with friends and ingesting more food and alcohol. It's a bore to see people you rarely see anymore and discuss what's happened since you'd last seen each other. It's a pain to see the sky get lighter and know that you're still out.

We shouldn't be celebrating the new year. No... we should be mourning.

:: Madness ::

'nuff said.

:: Bon Appetit ::
For some reason, my appetite has, in recent weeks, gone down. While most of my friends will testify that I am bottomless pit, those I've been hanging around with lately might argue otherwise. In the past few days, however, that trend seems to have changed.

I'm not sure why I've been eating more. I could attribute it to the fact that I've been getting more exercise. It might simply be that I've been eating much better food. Of course, it could be a combination of both. The point is, my appetite is back up, and I'm happy.

Now I'm wondering what's on the menu for New Year's Eve.

:: Protest ::
** stolen from _fiction_ **
Note: If you agree and choose to participate in the boycott, email your name to: petitionmmff@gmail.com
Alexis Tioseco

It has long been said that Philippine Cinema is on its death-bed. This statement is incorrect. The Philippine film industry, not Cinema as a whole, is; and rightly so. Hundreds of millions of pesos are wasted by the Film Industry investing in works that can not hold a candle to smaller, independent productions, both long (Lav Diaz's towering achievements: the 5-hour "Batang West Side" and the 11-hour "Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino," which has screened in New York and Toronto, and will also be travelling to Rotterdam and Goteborg) and short (Sherad Anthony Sanchez's 11-minute "Apple," a powerful, moving elegy on the loss of youth and innocence through child-prostitution, premiering in Rotterdam this January alongside "Ebolusyon" and works by Khavn Dela Cruz and Rox Lee) that are invested with passion and made with purpose.

Earlier this year I wrote I an article about the Metro Manila Film Festival for Indiefilipino.com (http://film.indiefilipino.com/item.php?id=118), lamenting not just the lack of desire to show quality films, but also the ridiculous selection process of the "festival". Said article can be read at the end of this email.

This year's festival is an even bigger mockery than the last, with 4 of the 8 participating films being produced or co-produced by Regal Films head Mother Lily and 3 films being directed by Joel Lamangan.

How is that for pushing for a progressive diverse cinema?

The Philippine Film Industry is on its death-bed...the Metro Manila Film Festival is holding the last nail to seal its coffin. The audience holds the hammer.

If you want to see the best of what Philippine Cinema has to offer, if you want stand up for the choice of better movies, better values, and a better cinema, do not watch any of the films in the Metro Manila Film Festival. I certainly won't.

The Breakfast Show on Studio 23 will be airing a special episode dedicated to Philippine Independent Cinema in 2004, 6:30-8:00am this Friday December 31.

If you would like to see and hear from the filmmakers behind some of the best and most interesting works in Philippine Cinema in 2004, tune-in. Featured guests are Khavn Dela Cruz ("Ang Pamilyang Kumakain ng Lupa"), John Torres ("Salat" and "Tawid Gutom"), Pam Miras ("Blood Bank"), Lav Diaz ("Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino"), Rox Lee ("Romeo Must Rock"), "Bunso" by Ditsi Carolino (film discussed, filmmaker not present), Mes De Guzman ("Diliman") and Raya Martin ("The Island at the End of the World").

:: Happy Holidays! ::
Christmas snuck up on me this year, but otherwise, this year has been great! Thanks go out to all the people who have been helped make this year what it has been. Thank you all! Now if you want names, here they are... I'd like to wish the following the best during the holidays: abbie, abie, aidz, aileen, aimee, aisa, aissa, aiza, alessa, alexie, alexis, alex, allan, al, al h., amy, andrej, angel, angel p., annabel, anj, anna b., anna c., anna m., anna r., anne rose, anton e., anton g., ant, anya, apol, arbie, arjay, armi, arnold, arvie, athena, ava, bacchus, barnett, balsy, becca, bellie, beng, benson, bey, bj, bogey, bong, bon, brain, bran, brian c., brian t., bundi, butz, caloy, carlos c., carlos m., carl, carmie, carmela, carmen, carol, cathy, cats, catz, cat, cay, cb, cecile, cesca, charles, charo, checko, cheng, chewey, che, che g., chicoy, chimmy, chinggay, chin, chippy, chrissy, chris c., chris m., chris s., chuck, chuh, chum, ciara, cia, cj, clarie, cookie, cristina, cris i., cris m., cry, custer, cyd, daianne, da, dad, darwin, david, denise, denni, des, diana, didi, dimple, donnah, duday, earl, edgar, edsel, edzel, eggy, egg, ej a., ej f., ekai, eks, elaine d., elaine t., ele, elisa, eliza, emil, em, erick, erika, evans, falx, felix, ferdie, ferdinand, ferds, foz, francesca, fran, frances, franch, frannie, franny, francis, francis b., franco h., franco s., frankie, gabbie, gab, gege, gene paul, gen, gerard, gervin, ghianne, gian, ginny, gladys, gopz, guia, gutsy, gutzee, hannah a., hannah s., hanson, hans, happy, heintz, helen, helga, honey, ian, ida a., ida g., iggy, ikey, ira, iris, isa, itoy, ivanna, ivan, jackie, jack, jacky, jacques, jacqui, james, jamila, jam, janet, jan, jason, javi, jeli, jella, jemma, jen, jen b., jen m., jerome, jill, jim, jin, jip, jj, jj r., jm, joao, joaq, joem, joel f., joel p., joey s., joey t., joe, john, joms, jonas, jon, jorge, jose, joy, jp d., jp e., jp v., jr a., jr m., jr s., julette, justa, jv f., jv g., kai, kan, karen, karla, karl l., karl p., katt, katz, kayce, kaye c., kaye q., kendrick, kenny, kikay, kitchie, kix, klassy, knox, kring, krissy, kristel, kris, kv, lanie, laurie, laur, layla, lei, leon, lesan, lev, lianne, lian, lisa, liza, lj, lloyd, lorenzo, lors, louie, lou grant, luigi, maan, mae, mammers, manel, maite, maki, mambo, manel, manny, marco a., marco s., marc, marga, maria, maricris, marie, marjo, mark l., mark ol., mark or., mark p., mark v., mark y., marla, maro, martin, matet, maui, maxine, maya, maylyn, may, me-ann, mei, melon, mel, mias, mia f., mia s., michelle, mico, miggy c., miggy d., miggy s., migs, miguel, mike m., mike n., mike p., mikki, miko d., miko m., milo, minelli, mischa, mom, monica, mon, myla, naomi, nasche, naz, neil, nicky, nicola, nicole, nico, nic, nikka, nikko, nik, nina, niƱa, noel e., noel g., noel s., ogs, oliver, paco, pam, pancho, paolo m., paolo s., pao s., pao p., patrick b., patrick g., patrick j., patrick v., pat, paulino, paul c., paul r., paul s., peewee, perps, peter, pete, philip, pia c., pia f., pia v., pilar, ping, pippo, polyap, pj, ponch, pong, pope, popop, rafa, ramon, randy, ranza, raschella, reggie, reg, rey, rhem, rhenz, rhine, ria, rica, ricca, risa, rita, ritesh, rizza, rj, rogin, robbie, robi, ronald, roni, rox, ryan, sabeth, salvo, sam, sandra, sargee, sev, shasha, sherie, sherrie, shirley, sly, stacey, star, stef, steve, tabs, tammy, teddy, teejay, terin, terry, tess, thea, therese b., therese e., third, timito, tina, tinette, tine, tin, tish, tonchi, tricia, trici, tsirol, tuks, twink, victor ra., victor ro., vincent, vince g., vince t., wacky, wilmer, winchie, winch, winston, yammie, yard, yosh, ystevie, x

:: Tonight ::
Just got home.
Drank quite a bit.
Ate a whole lot.
Took loads of pictures.
Want a better camera.
Desire new toys.
Am tired.
Must sleep.

:: Recap ::
Only a week has passed since my exhibit, but it feels like so much longer.

Because it coincided with one of the worst storms to hit the country this year, the first run of Storytelling Through Pictures & Songs was an intimate affair. The show was well received, but a number of people who missed the Temple show wanted another one. Two weeks later, we had our 2nd run. This run, set this time in V Bar, went well. On behalf of Carl, Pippo, and the other people behind the show, I'd like to thank everybody who attended.

Friday & Saturday
With the first two installments of May Day Eve over, it was time for the marathon to begin. With 4 shows in 2 days, I had no idea how we were all going to keep our energy levels up. Somehow, though, we managed to survive. More importantly, we put up 4 good shows.

Of course, no production is complete without a party. After the last show, cast and crew trooped over to R&J Bulalohan in Mandaluyong to eat, drink, and otherwise be merry. We didn't wait until sunrise to start heading home, but we still ate up most of the night partying.

Our currently unnamed company had its first board meeting. I'll post more details on this soon.

Watched 2046 and was left speechless. I'm thinking about putting up a review, but I don't feel like it right now. Besides, I'm not particularly excited about dissecting this movie. I just know I enjoyed it, and that's more than enough for me.

What was supposed to be a block reunion & Christmas party turned into a digdipper gimmick. Because nobody had thought of bringing any alcohol, we had to make do with what we had - but it wasn't so bad. Numerous servings of stuffed mushrooms, callos, chicken, and mango panna cotta meant we were all sober, but stuffed silly.

Those who know the place should be able to figure out why I was a bit reluctant to go to Lei's birthday bash in Government. I'm glad I went though. Catching up with old friends (as well as taking advantage of an open bar) meant I had a pretty good night. On top of this, I managed to do some Christmas shopping, chipping in to get a kimono inspired outfit for Sam.

Of course, the night would not be complete without a trip to a 7-Eleven or MiniStop. The girl who "loves convenience stores and such," her sister Sarah, her friend Piotr, Ria, and I eventually fled Government, heading over to another part of town. We found nothing else of interest though, and ended up in MiniStop. There we ate and drank ourselves to sobriety until some ungodly hour in the morning.

Rest still eludes me. This morning saw me snapping away in PowerPlant in Rockwell, and while I've spent most of the afternoon in bed, tonight will see me at another party. I wonder how much longer I can keep this up.

:: Sad ::
Christmas snuck up on me this year. It's just around the corner... heck, closer than that, but still, it doesn't seem that close. What I'm trying to say, basically, is that it doesn't feel like Christmas yet.

Sad, isn't it?

:: Ebolusyon ::

Quoting a friend:
Hailed by Variety Magazine and programmers from the Toronto, Rotterdam, and Asian Cinevisions Film Festivals; Lav Diaz's 10 year in the making, 10+-hour opus, Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino, will have its Philippine Premiere this Friday [today] December 17, 10am, at the UP Film Center.

I've seen the version that screened in Toronto I think the film is brilliant. Boasting a strong, engrossing story, it is a towering achievement, and one of the most awe-inspiring works I've seen in years. This version, with a much better sound mix and a few additional shoots, should be much more polished.

Anyone watching?

I wish I were...

:: One Down ::
Four more to go.

The exhibit went well... now I can focus my energy on the 4 shows I have coming up. I should be sleeping now, but obviously, I'm not. This is not good.

I think I should just close my eyes.

Sleep... must sleep...

:: Alive Again ::
After several days of not having my blog, and consequently, not having access to my e-mail and blog among other things, I'm back. The thing is, I'm not really in the mood to write. I guess my mind and my body are still on energy-saving mode. It's a good thing though - I'll need all the energy I can get to get through the next few days.

Tomorrow, I have my photo exhibit. On Friday & Saturday, I have my play - 4 shows in 2 days. On Sunday, I have an all-day meeting. On Monday... well, I rest. I hope.

Anyway, since I've got nothing better to put here right now, I'll just re-post the schedules of my events.

Storytelling Through Pictures & Songs
16 December 2004 (Thursday) 9:00 PM
V Bar, Glorietta 2, Makati

May Day Eve
17 December 2004 (Friday) 3:00 PM
18 December 2004 (Saturday) 3:00 PM & 7:30 PM
Telengtan Hall 5/F APEC Communications Building (ACB)
University of Asia & the Pacific, Pearl Drive, Ortigas, Pasig

The shameless plugging refuses to end...

It's my blog! I can say whatever I want... right?

:: Exhibit ::
Storytelling Through Pictures & Songs
an unconventional photography exhibit

Photography by Carl Peterson, Pippo Bengzon, and myself

Live chill-out / lounge and vocal house music by PEACEBLISS

V BAR, Glorietta 2
December 16, 2004 9:00 PM
Free admission

:: May Day Eve ::

:: Randomness ::
The "Santa" TVC for a certain fast-food outlet cracked me up. It's actually an old joke... I don't know why I didn't see that coming. Watch out for it.

Lumalabas ulit ang kababawan ko.

:: Good, Bad, & Ugly ::
Our exhibit pushed through despite the rain, and things went well. While it wasn't the cleanest show, it seems nobody really noticed. The people who actually braved the weather and came to see the show enjoyed it (or at least pretended to). Looks like we'll probably be doing another show some time soon... and this time we might actually receive compensation for our work.

More than half the world cancelled. Events all over the place were cancelled. Sponsors cancelled... meaning no free printing from Canon. People who said they would come to the show cancelled. Equipment came late. Work was cancelled (but this is a good thing, right?).

Of course, we can't really blame anybody. Despite what we could see right outside Temple, we knew the weather really was bad.

My old 7110 came to life and died again in the span of only 12 hours. She came back, but didn't stay very long. Well, I'm heading back to have her repaired again today, weather permitting.

The first 2 shows of May Day Eve have been cancelled. Unless new play dates are added, the only shows left are the ones on the 7th, 14th, 17th, & 18th.

As I was driving home last night, I couldn't ignore the darkness. I could have switched off my headlights (and my radio) and I would have found myself enveloped in total darkness. I'm exaggerating, of course, but it really was darker than usual. Why? The power was out. I could have opted to head over to a friend's place, or stayed in Makati, or do anything but head home - but instead I drove home to a house with no electricity.