Growing up is…

Growing up is finally choosing the path I wanted to take.

Growing up is finally realizing and defining what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

Growing up is running, literally and figuratively, after something I really really wanted.

Growing up is doing those things I do before and realize that I really do not want to do them anymore because it’s not taking me to my chosen path.

Growing up is doing something new and realizing it’s not what I wanted to do in life because it’s not taking me to my chosen path.

Growing up is saying “no”.

 

Sheen is happy

Photo by Jesse Rey Baban.


This post had been transferred by the author to another blog named “Nimotsu Counter.” To accesss it, kindly click here.

 

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RuroKen: The Ultimate Fangirling Escapade (Philippine Leg)

DISCLAIMER: Please play the acoustic version of The Beginning by One Ok Rock while enjoying this blog entry.  Yes, the acoustic version for more dramatic effect. And yes, put it on loop. You’ll never regret this, I promise. 🙂
Keishi Otomo. Takeru Sato. Emi Takei. Aoki Munetaka. Rurouni Kenshin. Philippines

The RK Team during their visit to the Philippines.

“Just give me a reason to keep my heart beating.”

I believe that the 90s was the golden age of anime in the Philippines. I was in elementary then, and I was introduced to early anime intoxication and addiction.

Rurouni Kenshin, the anime, was first aired by Studio 23, on June 1998 and was English-dubbed. The following year, ABS-CBN aired it on September 1999 and was Filipino-dubbed. This information was thanks to my dear friend and fellow fangirl OF THE ANIME ONLY, Sheig.

I was readily hooked then in Studio 23 since the timeslot was at seven in the evening. I was on my fourth grade then while my brother was on his first grade. My father used to get mad then when I and my brother would not do our homework just because of watching anime. And he would really remove the TV antenna, just to make us do our homework. So, seven in the evening was the perfect time to be a fangirl.

And that was the reason that kept my heart beating.

Rurouni Kenshin Movie 1 Poster

My Rurouni Kenshin Movie 1 Poster.

“Blinded I can’t see the end. So where do I begin?”

It was on July 26, Saturday when I first heard of the news that the RuroKen cast and director would come to the Philippines. And I was in Singapore then.

So when I came back to the Philippines, I asked myself, “So where do I begin?”

I am an event writer. So I first asked my event contacts if they know who were the possible organizers of the event. All I got were trunkline numbers. And I thought they were of very little use.

And then on August 1, one of the leading malls in the Philippines released a Facebook promo for event passes for the Red Carpet Procession of Rurouni Kenshin.

I was never lucky when it came to promos, raffle and the kind of stuff but this was just really where I could begin.

On August 2, Saturday, I told my mother in Bataan (a province north of Metro Manila), that I would not be able to come home to get my poster of the first RK Live Action movie so I asked her to send it via courier service. After two hours, (yes that’s how much my Mom loved me) she texted me that she was able to send it and it would arrive on Monday.

I was a film graduate, and a fangirl. So when a good friend gave me a poster of the first RK movie, I was elated. And I was determined to have it signed, even just by the director, Otomo-sensei. I really loved the way he faithfully translated the anime into the live action movie and this was definitely one of the best film adaptations I had ever seen. (To read about how I felt about the first movie, click here.)

On the morning of August 3, they released the question for the third batch of winners. And finally, I won.

On the night before the Red Carpet Procession, though swamped by work, I was able to find out that one of my colleagues from film school was part of the video coverage team hired by Warner Philippines. And she became my ever reliable source for this escapade.

I was not able to sleep much that night because I need to finish and submit a script. But nothing could stop me from fangirling. I even asked a good friend, who was now in Japan, for the proper way to ask “Can you sign my poster, please?”

“It finally begins.”

Rurouni Kenshin Philippine visit

Yes, with Kamiki at the background. It was already 5:30pm but still I could not see any of them on the stage.

“Kono mama ja mada owara seru koto wa deki nai desho? Nando kuta bari sou demo kuchi hate you to mo, owari wa nai sa.”
“このままじゃまだ終わらせる事は出来ないでしょ. 何度くたばりそうでも朽ち果てようとも. 終わりはないさ.”
“We can’t end it yet, right? No matter how many times we’re close to dying or rotting away, there will be no end.”
 
It was August 6.  I was there at 12nn at one of the biggest malls in Mandaluyong City. And when I got there, I was disappointed about the set-up.  In the area where the promo winners where supposed to be, there were high barricades and another line of stanchions in front of that.  Define security.
Rurouni Kenshin. Philippines. Japanese Press. Disappointing event set-up.

Define layers of security for the supposedly “privileged” promo winners.

This Japanese reporter was about to interview the fangirls beside me at the barricades. One of the girls’ arm was resting on the barricade and seen here at the lower right hand corner of the photo.

And according to this set-up, after the barricades were the press. Then the stanchions. Then the red carpet. Then the stage. Define layers of security for the supposedly “privileged” promo winners.

Meanwhile, outside the stage area, here was the scenario, as this video showed:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10203374986989346

The video was from another friend, Pat Lugartos.

And good grief. Outside the stage area, the security was minimal, compared to the security given to our area, so fans positioned at the red carpet area were able to get their precious autographs. The mall management told me, when I got my passes, that even promo winners would not be given autograph-signing opportunities. And then this. My heart broke. Where is luck when I needed it most? Am I really this unlucky when it came to these things? Gah.

When the team finally got near the stage, we, the promo winners, tried our best to stretch out our hands so that any of the RK team would get down from the stage and sign them. But to no avail. How could you notice the arms stretching behind the lenses and the microphones of the press people that were in front of us? Good grief. I really thanked the mall management for this very awesome privilege they had given their promo winners.

Rurouni Kenshin. Philippine visit. SM Megamall.

So when the show finally started, the scenario was this. Great. The promo winners were really “privileged”.

I tried raising my poster to catch their attention, hoping they might come down and sign it. But the poster was too big for a little Filipina like me. It was cinema size so it was really huge. I really believed that Otomo-sensei saw it because I saw his smile changed when he glanced at our direction. And Munetaka-san too.

The program ended and my poster bore no trace of an autograph. And apparently, the event passes we got were just for the Red Carpet Procession and not for the premiere. And that was another privilege for the promo winners. Great.

“We can’t end it yet right, no matter how many times we’re close to dying?”

I told myself that I would not settle for just this. I asked my colleague if she had the power to have my poster signed. She told me there would be no guarantee. But I took the risk. I gave her my poster and I started crossing my fingers that night as I and my friend enjoyed our bottles of Tanduay Ice because of too much frustration that day.

We were tipped that the RK team was going to a restaurant in a big mall in one of the business districts of Metro Manila. AND WE WERE STUPID ENOUGH TO NOT GO THERE THAT NIGHT.

“As the world falls apart around us, all we can do is hold on.”

After almost a whole day of spending time with the RK team, work came running after me the day after. I needed to finish revising my script in the morning of August 7 and I had a meeting in the afternoon. My meeting ended at 4:30pm and I rushed to another big mall in Makati just to see the RK team again.

I paid an awesome amount for the passes just to have the same experience like the Red Carpet Procession. There were no privileges given to those who have passes. We had the same experience as those who did not purchase the passes.

And since I thought this was my last chance, I did a first on this day. I, literally, ran after them, still hoping to have an autograph. Just when the on-stage program was about to end, I ran towards the barricades on the path where they will exit. But they did not give away any autograph that day. Maybe they were told by the management not to, after what happened the day before.

And so after the event, we sat there waiting for my colleague, hoping that my poster was signed. She invited us to a hotel where they were dumping their video files. And there, she told me something that made my “world fall apart”. My colleague said that she had to rush to a meeting this afternoon during the mall event so she entrusted my poster to her friend from Warner. But just before we came to the hotel, the poster was discovered missing and was said to might have been accidentally included in the signed posters given away by Warner on the program that afternoon. Did luck really hated me?

But maybe God had other plans. That night we received a tip again about their hotel and the time of their flight to Japan the following day. “All we can do is hold on.”

 “This time demo yuzure nai mono.”
“This timeでも 譲れないもの.”
“This time, however, I’ve found something that I’ll never give up.”

They sure were Japanese. For us Filipinos, we would normally arrive at the airport around three hours before our flight. But they were getting ready to go to the airport when we arrive at the hotel lobby around five hours before their flight.

When the cab made a turn to drop my friend Ami and I in front of the hotel lobby, I already saw two vans waiting outside. I became worried.

But right in the nick of time, when we came down from the cab, Otomo-sensei just told Munetaka-san that he would go the van already. I readily asked him for a photo and he granted our wish! And the “Arigatou sensei” that I told him after the photo opportunity was probably the most heartfelt “Arigatou” I ever said in my whole life.

Keishi Otomo-sensei. Rurouni Kenshin. Philippine visit.

With Keishi Otomo-sensei. 😀

And then we also asked Munetaka-san for a photo. He told us “Salamat” when we told him “Arigatou”. He was really “ASHTEEG!”

Munetaka Aoki. Rurouni Kenshin. Philippine visit.

With Munetaka Aoki-san. “ASHTEEG!”

And then we sat there waiting for Takeru. I saw again, for the third time, this cute Japanese guy who apparently was from Warner Bros. Japan, according to my ever reliable source.

Rurouni Kenshin. Philippine visit.

The guy who caught my attention. Photo by May Natorilla.

I saw him first on the event last Wednesday, then on Thursday and when we went to the hotel to see my colleague.

He really got my attention and because I was looking at him, I did not notice that Takeru already passed by, who went straight to the van.  I apologized to my friend, who was a Takeru fan.  I said I was distracted.  Anyhow, Otomo-sensei was really my number one reason for going through all of these and my friend got her photo with Munetaka-san anyway so we left the hotel grinning.

“Look how far we’ve made it. I’ll risk everything if it’s for you.”

And that was the perfect ending to a rollercoaster fangirling escapade.

God really was the best writer and plot-twister in the universe.

And now, that was what I call luck. Maybe God won’t just give it away that easily. And maybe He just gives it to people who worked hard for it. Thank you Lord for this. And to Otomo-sensei and Munetaka-san, “度もう ありがとう ございました”, for accommodating us.

And to my ever reliable source, thank you very much for everything. 🙂

Rurouni Kenshin. Philippine tour.

We are wiser fans now. 🙂

P.S. I wrote “Philippine Leg” because my friend and I were planning another fangirling escapade in Japan.  HOHOHO. But we still need to earn more money for that. 🙂  And to the person who got my poster, please, I am begging you.  What can I trade you for that? Or can I buy it? You could message me here if ever you got to read this.


Romaji, Kanji and English lyrics from http://jpoptime.com/

Video from Pat Lugartos
Other photo from May Natorilla


This post had been transferred by the author to another blog named “Nimotsu Counter.” To access it, kindly click here.

Isang Taon mula sa iyong “Pag-uwi”

Hunyo 8, 2013 nang kayo ay umuwi.  (Mababasa ang aking artikulo ukol dito sa A Certain Definition of “Uuwi na ako”)

Isang taon na rin po ang nakalilipas.  Kumusta po kayo diyan? Alam ko pong masaya naman kayo kapiling Niya.

Miss ko na po ang pagsakay sa tricycle ninyo. Lalo na po ang palagi ninyong pagpiprisintang sunduin at ihatid ako, saan man ako galing o papunta.  Mula noong bata po ako, noong elementary pa ako, hanggang ngayon na nagtatrabaho na po ako, wala po kayong mintis sa pagpapasakay sa akin sa inyong tricycle para lamang makatiyak na ligtas akong aalis o darating sa aking paroroonan, lalo na sa mga madaling-araw na mga biyahe.  Nami-miss ko po iyon kasi wala pong ibang taong gumagawa noon, kayo lang.

Isa lang po ang masasabi ko, sigurado na po ang aking pag-uwi ngayong araw para dalawin kayo.

 

A Little Chat Between Happiness and Sadness

The Emotion Express.

The Emotion Express.

It was half past midnight and the Emotion Express was crossing a vast valley under the velvet sky.

Everybody was supposed to be snoozing, but it seemed that Sleep was exercising his favoritism. Pride was snoring so loud, his arms were even extending to his seat mate, Anger, who was struggling so hard not to push him over from his chair. On the seat in front of Pride and Anger, there was Envy, who was admiring Pride’s sound sleep, wishing she could doze off too. Amazement, who was seated next to Envy, was also awake, and was so surprised on how loud Pride’s snoring could be.

Next to Envy were Happiness and Sadness, who were also wide awake. Happiness was reading a book, with a soft smile on his face. Sadness, on the other hand, was twitching her pencil on her hand, as she was staring blankly on her small notebook.

Suddenly, the pencil jumped from Sadness’ hand. Happiness got it for her. “Can’t find sleep too?”, asked Happiness.

“Who can find him with that?”, Sadness answered as she pointed to Pride on the other side of the train. Happiness gave out a soft laugh.

“Where are you headed?”, Happiness asked again.

“Well, my former owner just died so I’m heading for the Emotion Recycling and Segregating Department,” answered Sadness, after a deep sigh.


This post had been transferred by the author to another blog named “Nimotsu Counter.” To know what happened to the conversation between Happiness and Sadness, kindly click here.

 

The Hidden Summit

The Hidden Summit. Bundok.

No one had ever made a clear testimonial on what was on the Hidden Summit.  It had been concealed for the longest time now that even the sacred books had no account on what was resting on top of the mystified mountain.

Of course, there were a lot of rumors.  The clouds covering the mountain had perfectly honed the creative minds of the townsmen.

One of my favorite stories were the ones involving the chain-smoking Tikbalangs.  Some said that the Tikbalangs residing on top of the mountain were fond of smoking, with whole trees as their tobacco. People even said that the trees on the summit were enchanted so that whenever a giant uprooted one, another tree would sprout instantaneously, making the forest an unlimited supply of nicotine-free cigarettes.  Thus, the smoke was maintained over the years.

Some said that there was also a master Duwende who never stopped cooking.  Day and night, he cooked and cooked, perfecting every known dish in the world, thus, expelling fumes enough to cover the whole summit.

But the most enchanting tale of all, for me, was the Bakunawa, a Filipino sea serpent.  Some said that there was a huge lake on top of the mountain, where the enormous Bakunawa resides.  It’s breath was said to be so hot that it boiled the lake water, making it release steam that covered the whole summit.

The funny thing was, nobody among those who tried to uncover the truth came back.  So no one really knew where the rumors came from either.


This post had been transferred by the author to another blog named “Nimotsu Counter.” Will the truth about the Hidden Summit be revealed? To continue reading on the rest of the story, kindly click here.

IM PURITY IS NOW READY

Article 1: The Hatchlings of Anita Purity


Article 2: Im Purity’s Escape


Im Purity managed to escape from the forest she used to call home. But the weight of her emotions dragged her to the ground.


Sunrise in Pampanga

Sunrise in Pampanga.

 

Im Purity opened her eyes. It took her a while before realizing that she was in an unfamiliar place. She was in a swamp.

Then it took her another minute to remember that… she crashed.

Luckily, the water lilies made the perfect absorber for the impact of her unenunciated fall.


This post had been transferred by the author to another blog named “Nimotsu Counter.” To know what happened to Im, kindly click here.

Im Purity’s Escape

Article 1: The Hatchlings of Anita Purity

Crashing

Im Purity flapped and flapped her wings. She waved her soft wings so hard that it could snap anytime. But she did not care. All she wanted was to fly away, as far as she could, from the place that caused her all these tears, in this place that she used to call home.

But Im Purity was still young. And since this was her first flight, her slender body could not yet sustain long flights. And bad memories started flooding her mind.  She was now haunted by the reaction of the elders when they first saw her.  Their degrading look could just cut through one’s heart.  


This post had been transferred by the author to another blog named “Nimotsu Counter.” To continue reading about Im Purity’s struggles, kindly click here.

The Hatchlings of Anita Purity

One fine morning, Anita Purity, a white regal dove, felt a delicate snap underneath the warmth of her feathers. Crack, crack, crack. Her eggs were already hatching. Crack, crack, crack and a head full of beige-colored feathers emerged from the white shell. Crack, crack, crack and Anita Purity saw her first child: a beautiful girl, with feathers as fine as Anita’s.

Crack, crack, crack. There was another egg in the nest. Crack, crack, crack. The excitement in Anita’s eyes were not over yet. Crack, crack, crack. The topmost part of the shell fell off. Crack, crack, crack and another head came forth.

But something in this second chick turned Anita’s excitement to worry.

Dark, rugged, uneven feathers lined the head of the second girl. And as it revealed itself to the world, the dark-colored feathers gave a big “Hello!”


Time flew as fast as the greatest flyer of the Purity flock.

The Purities, as their name suggested, were obssessive-compulsive with regards to their family members. They were so strict that names of offsprings were decided via votes, so as to ensure that first names conformed to the definition of the flock name.

Anita’s fair-feathered squab was named Serene. Serene Purity.

On the other hand, because of her dark feathers, the second hatchling was named Im. Im Purity.

Summit of Mt. Damas

Photo by Karina de Capia.


This post had been transferred by the author to another blog named “Nimotsu Counter.” To read more about the destiny of the ugly duckling named “Im Purity,” kindly click here.

NO-COFFEE CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

Lemon grass tea from Pangasinan

Lemon grass tea from Pangasinan

No coffee for a month? Yeah, I did it!

It all started when me and my brother were in the supermarket last January 16. I was stuck in the coffee area because I was having a hard time choosing among the heap. Not one of them could keep me awake anymore. Then my brother came up with a brilliant idea: no caffeine for a month to detoxify my system, making it decaffeinated. Then I exclaimed, “Challenge accepted!”

And so for the past month, I had been trying coffee alternatives like milk, chocolate drink, ginger tea, lemon grass tea and other organic drinks.

And to tell you the truth, I enjoyed them. It was nice having different tastes every other morning. And they were all so refreshing too.

But the real challenge was not in the mornings. Organic drinks’ capability to waken me up were put to test during those race-to-deadline nights. Fortunately, I was able to meet each of my submissions, though I had to take more cups of drink than when I was having coffee. The good thing was, because they were organic, I have nothing to worry about palpitations. Plus, more breaks in between gave my brain more steadiness.

I finished the challenge last February 14. And now, I would have a declaration: Organic drinks were fun to be with, so I decided to enjoy the rest of my mornings with my coffee alternatives and drink coffee only when I really need to.

Cheers!

 

ONE STEP AT A TIME: The 2013 Unclaimed Baggage Center Catalogue

one step at a time copy
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Welcome once again to my UNCLAIMED BAGGAGE CENTER, where uncollected luggage are being sold.
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This year I decided to take the ladder to freelance film life. Let’s take a look at this year’s list of items for sale to see how my climb had been. Enjoy!

(The 2012 Catalogue is available here)

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BAGGAGE NAME: Ekstra
BAGGAGE DESCRIPTION: Cinemalaya Directors’ Showcase Entry
DATE OF DEPOSIT:  01252013
STATUS: sold to me

With Ms. Vilma Santos on the set of EKSTRA

With Ms. Vilma Santos on the set of EKSTRA

For me, this film was all about catching up.

After spending more than a year in regular TV work, the few film projects in the last quarter of 2012 were like turning the car key and trying to ignite the engine that went dormant for quite a long time. In this project with Direk Jeffrey Jeturian, finally, I was able to jumpstart the sleeping engine of passion inside of me.

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BAGGAGE NAME: Sana Dati
BAGGAGE DESCRIPTION: Cinemalaya Director’s Showcase Entry
DATE OF DEPOSIT: 03302013
STATUS: sold to me

Actors and Actresses on the set of Sana Dati

Actors and Actresses on the set of Sana Dati

We were shooting this film in the same time frame as Ekstra so I was only able to supervise continuity for half of the shooting days. The movie was hailed Best Film in the Cinemalaya Directors’ Showcase category.
I could say that the experience was another step in the ladder. It was all about getting used to the life again, after more than a year.


This post had been transferred by the author to another blog named “Nimotsu Counter.” To see the rest of the catalogue, kindly click here.