Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Macho si Machete

"Estatwang kahoy pa lamang siya'y binigyan na niya ng kaganapan ang aking pagkababae."

So said Rita Avila in Machete: Estatwang Buhay. Or at least that was the tagline in the movie's poster. I have no idea how a statue could do that, or more appropriately, how a woman could do that to a statue. Indeed, it would have looked like necrophilia. But we all know the story -- the statue comes to life at midnight and maybe that's when he made Rita's womanhood complete. He's not just a estatwang kahoy after all.

During one of my solitary rambles, my feet brought me to MOWELFUND Film Institute and there I visited the Museum of Philippine Cinema. Rather, I went to visit the library; the museum's existence hitherto unheard-of but it was in the same building so I checked it out. There I found the real Machete, the same statue they used in the movie. I daresay it looked better than the pre-Rizal Cesar Montano who played the a-bit-disappointing animated version.

I never was a fan of the movie, nor of its remake (the one with Rosanna Roces and Gardo Versoza) but the sight of the damaged prop was dejecting -- all fingers on its left hand were mutilated. I'm not sure if the mutilation was part of the movie's plot, probably some ruffian did it on purpose for whatever gratification he would derive. Pity it's not well-taken care of, to think it is from one of the landmark films of its time. OK, I exaggerate by saying "landmark" but at least it's one of the movies we remember, unlike Christina Moran:Ang Babaeng Palaban, Huwag Mong Buhayin ang Bangkay, Super Inday and the Golden Bibe, and other films you don't remember for their storylines but for their outrageous titles. And it is our version of the Pygmalion-Galatea tale too.

Other stuff of interest were old movie posters and magazines (proofs of the theory that the 80s is the era that style forgot), invitations to the Manila International Film Festival, and Marcos's treatise on films' contribution to his New Society. Another remarkable item on display was the white robe that Nora Aunor donned in Himala. Now that I think about it, this last item deserves more than just being mentioned. It should have been my main subject, it coming from a milestone in the history of Pinoy cinema. But what can I do? Machete and the little loincloth that covered his you-know-what interested me more. *grin*

Interesting trivia: Both Machetes, Cesar Montano and Gardo Versoza would play national heroes later in their career. They both starred in Marilou Diaz-Abaya's Jose Rizal, Montano as the title character, while Versoza was Andres Bonifacio. That's what I call career growth...

Monday, January 23, 2006


So our man Pacman emerged victorous after all. The much-hyped grudge rematch with Erik "El Terible" Morales had made me apprehensive for some time. El Terible was hibernating in the South American mountains, not giving a hint on how terible he would be inside the ring, while Pacquiao was preparing in LA for all the world to see, assuring every Pinoy that he would beat his opponent (which made me go, "Siguruhin mo lang a."). Then there's TV Patrol giving the blow-by-blow account of Manny's preparations day after day after day, and Team Pacquiao was all too cooperative, filling us in on the new techniques and "secret" weapon that Pacman would be using. But then again, the Mexican media must have covered (or uncovered) their idol in much the same way too. Except, maybe, that Morales didn't have an album released, hehehe.

The day of The Battle came. I was up in front of the television as early as 10am, but of course, there were three undercard fights that lasted til 1pm (My energy waned as the time drew nearer, and my siblings refused to have lunch before the fight. Happily, we lunched at three...). Then came the singing of the National Anthems. Jennifer Bautista sang Lupang Hinirang quite fine, except for the last line where she went grossly off-key. It was a bad premonition, I thought. But that's not the end of it. The Mexicans had Grammy winner
Jon Secada for their anthem! Men, why didn't we send in Martin Nievera? (I later learned that the girl is connected with the people of Games and Amusement Board and with Sen. Bong Revilla Jr. too. Oh, well...).

Naturally, every Filipino wanted Pacman to win, but my sister was rabid in expressing this desire: "Pabagsakin mo na!" she cheered a few seconds into the first round. Of course, she was asking for the moon; Morales has never been knocked out in his entire career. Besides, the audience, especially those who shelled off 300-500 bucks to watch the commercial-free coverage in theaters wouldn't be too happy. Pacquiao's punches however, proved it wasn't wishful thinking as Morales almost went down as early as the second round. At the end of the sixth round, I knew it was possible. The end came at the tenth round, when Morales went down barely seconds after getting up from the first knock down. It was such a sweet revenge.

Para sa 'yo ang suntok na 'to...

Now that Pacman has won, we'll never hear excuses of his having bad gloves/socks/promoter. I heard Morales was complaining of aching legs while into the fight. Hindi kasi siya nag-Alaxan e.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Tawag ka ni Aling Suming!

Ito ang pamagat ng reunion ng mga CMC alumni na gaganapin sa darating na Sabado. Nagulat nga ako nang marinig ko ang radio ad kanina. Alumni Homecoming? Tumatanda na talaga ako.

E, sino ba si Aling Suming? Siya ang records officer (di ko maalala ang opisyal na titulo niya) ng Kolehiyo ng Pangmadlang Komunikasyon. Ewan kung kelan siya nagsimula sa trabahong iyon pero natitiyak kong may katagalan na. Ibang level kasi ang paggalang at pagmamahal na ipinapakita ng mga MassComm pipol sa kanya.

Sa tanang buhay ko sa Kolehiyo, minsan lang ako nagkaroon ng close encounters with Aling Suming. Ikalawang buwan ko pa lang noon sa Unibersidad, natatakot pero nananabik sa maraming bagay. Hindi ko alam kung sadyang ang kumbinasyon ng takot at pananabik ay katangahan pero sa kaso ko, ganon ang nangyari. Opening noon ng UAAP Season 6_. Siyempre required. Mag-isa akong nagtungo sa Araneta Coliseum dahil iniwan ako ng mga walanghiya kong kaibigan (hehe, peace!). Nang akmang dudukutin ko na ang aking wallet, hindi ko ito matagpuan. Andon lahat: ang ID (awa ng Diyos e yung cartolinang green na temporary pa lang), Form 5, ATM card, Laking National Card, Suki Card, pera, at yung ticket sa event. At ang pinakamasaklap, andon din yung picture ng high school crush ko (hikbi!). Buti na lang, may bente pa ako sa bulsa, nakauwi pa rin ako nang maluwalhati.
Pagdating sa dormitoryo, lost na lost ako. Mawala ba naman ang lahat ng katibayan ng aking pagkatao? Que horror! Matapos ang mahaba-habang iyakan, nagpasya akong ayusin ang lahat (wala akong choice). May anghel na nagbulong sa akin, lumapit daw ako sa admin ng kolehiyo para gawin yon.
--Ma'am, nawala po ang Form 5 at ID ko. Ano pong gagawin ko?
--Doon ka kay Aling Suming.
Taray, di man lang tumingin sakin. Parusa ba yon sa katangahan?
--Good morning po. Ma'am, saan po ako makakakuha ng copy ng Form 5?
--Bakit, anong nangyari? Tanong ng matanda na kalaunan ay napag-alaman kong si Aling Suming pala.
Siyempre, inilahad ko ang blow-by-blow account. Nalaman niya na first year ako (at promdi pa) at binigyan niya ako ng payo: Naku, sadyang marami ang masasamang-loob dito sa Maynila. Sa hirap kasi ng buhay... Kaya sa susunod, mag-iingat ka. Ano nga yung student number mo?
--2001-5**3* po.
--Ipa-photocopy mo to tapos ibalik mo dito pagkatapos ha? Hindi ka gagraduate pag di mo binalik. Diyan ka na lang sa library para malapit, aniya sabay abot sakin ng Dean's Copy ng Form 5.
Pagbalik ko, sinabi niya kung ano-ano ang mga dapat kong gawin para makakuha ng bagong ID at muli akong pinayuhang mag-ingat sa magulong mundo ng Maynila. May pahabol pa, mag-aral daw ako nang mabuti.
Pagkatapos non, hindi ko na siya masyadong napagkikita. Mabait kasi akong estudyante kaya hindi ako naipapadala sa admin office (harhar!). So far, nasunod ko naman ang mga payo niya, maliban sa huli.
Ngayong tumatawag siya, pagkakataon ko naman ang makinig. Sana magkita kami ulit. Hindi ko kasi naikuwento noon yung tungkol sa picture ng high school crush ko.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Anong meron ang taong happy?

"E di happiness!" I shouted at the idiot box as the ad played. Before, I never really cared about commercials; I considered them as interruptions and I would switch channels as soon as they begin. Recently, however, I've been watching all the advertisements in all the TV programs I watch, believing they are somehow part of the programs that would not exist anyway without the sponsors.

I was amazed at how downright idiotic some (or most) are, aside from the obvious exaggerations they employ to catch attention and eventually increase sales. Talk about advertising ethics.

So what's my point? I dunno. I guess I was just annoyed at how my sister reacted to my answer to that ad's question. The choices are a)energy b)pagod. And she said, "Haha, mali!" and went on laughing long after the ad (and the program in which the ad was shown) was over. But really, someone can have all the energy in the world and still be unhappy... Never mind that the ad was for a multivitamin or something...

Friday, January 06, 2006

Panimulang Pagtalakay sa Pagbabagong-Buhay

Bagong Taon na. Pihadong tiba-tiba na naman ang mga nilalang na may access sa hinaharap. Hindi ko pa rin maunawaan kung bakit marami ang nahuhumaling na silipin ang kanilang kapalaran gayong wala namang katiyakan kung may nakikita nga ang mga manghuhula sa mga bola at baraha.
Ewan. Basta ako, kuntento na sa dahan-dahang pagtuklas sa kinabukasan. Bahala na ang mga tala sa kalangitan kung aayon sila sa akin. Hindi ko na rin tatangkaing magpa-feng shui para dapuan ng suwerte. Sabi nga ng guest speaker sa graduation namin nung high school -- opo, nakikinig ako sa mga speech -- "Luck is hard work. The harder a (wo)man works, the luckier (s)he gets."
_______ Bagong Taon sa inyong lahat. Kayo na ang bahalang magpuno ng adjective sa patlang. Tutal, nasa inyong mga kamay naman ang kahihinatnan ng inyong bagong taon.


Bagong Taon pala ay Taon ng Aso
Anong kapalaran kaya'ng dala nito?
Katulad ng mga panahong nagdaan
Ang nakatakda'y hindi mahuhulaan.
Kaya ako ngayon ay maghihinuha
Gamit ang common sense at hindi baraha.
"Kung anong itinanim ay siyang aanihin,"
Iya'y kasabihang madaling unawain.
Sa aking palagay ang ating aasahan,
Ay pagpapatuloy ng ating nakaraan
Hindi magwawakas ang malas na lubos
Maliban na lamang kung tayo'y kikilos.