Showing posts from March, 2008


I was rummaging through a stack of bargain books in National Bookstore the other day when suddenly I remembered how I spent my first paycheck. I was still working then as an assistant for a local film festival and had a measly salary. But I was okay with it because during that time I only had three obsessions in life: movies, books and sex. Since I was working in a film festival I got my steady fill of art films but books were a bit expensive and sex was still a dream. (I was a late bloomer.) Every time I had money I would go to National Bookstore and inspect every title on the bargain rack. If I was being daring I would look for books that I was particularly interested in. I remember being obsessed with the Beatniks at that time. I couldn’t exactly understand their writing, much less what they were writing about but I was still in the closet and William Burroughs’ bravado was an inspiration. Through the years, I had acquired a few of Burroughs books, including the seminal Naked Lunch…


Umaga palang daw umalis na sa kanila si Fely (hindi niya totoong pangalan). Nagpaalam. Pupunta daw sa bahay ng auntie niya sa Novaliches. Mga ilang buwan nang namamasukan sa kanila si Fely. Inaalagaan ang dalawang cute niyang pamangkin at ang kanyang lola. 98 years old na si lola. Nagse-second childhood na, sabi niya. Kaya mahirap pakisamahan. Maya’t maya may utos. Maya’t maya sigaw ng sigaw. Papakuha ng tubig o papakuha ng panyo kahit na nasa harapan na ang kailangan niya. Parang ganito rin yung sa lola ni Lany. Nuong pumatak na sa otsenta ang edad ni lola unti-unti na siyang bumabalik sa pagkabata. Naaalala na niya ang mga pangyayaring hindi niya maalala nuong being-singko palang siya. Napaka-poetic nga daw kasi gabi-gabi parang mga multong pumapanhik sa kanilang bahay ang mga dating kasintahan at kaibigan ni lola para makipag-usap sa kanya. Sabi ni Lani, nahirapan din daw sila nuon sa pagaalaga sa kanyang lola.

Kaya naman hindi nagulat ang kaibigan ko nang sabihin ng kabarkada ni…

Anthony Minghella 1954 -2008

When I was in college, I had a huge crush on Ralph Fiennes. Huge, as in I would go out of my way to watch every movie he was in. And this was in the late 90s when art films were hard to come by. Either you go to Video 48 or search every ACA Video store to find what you are looking for.

But I loved Ralph Fiennes best in Anthony Minghella’s The English Patient. l simply loved the movie. I think I’ve seen it more than five times and for several years it was my Christmas vacation movie. I so loved it that in the end I also became a fan of Anthony Minghella.

I think first and foremost Minghella was a writer, which was quite evident in his films. His screenplays were nuanced and his characters were always complex whether they are in the grips of love (Almasy, The English Patient) or aspiring to be someone else (Ripley, The Talented Mr. Ripley). Minghella was never the type who would simplify things. Volumes are said in a single glance or a twitch of an eye. When Almasy first met Katherine, …

There's a thin line between being a writer and a waiter

Nuong isang araw may nag-suggest na kaibigan ko na mag-call center na lang ako. Nasa gitna ako nun ng pagsusulat, wala pang tulog at medyo bagot sa buhay. Call center. Wow, di siguro ako magsu-survive duon ng isang linggo. Bulol ako. Pero ang higit na masalimuot duon, di na ako sanay sa loob ng opisina. Mamamatay ako.

In my entire career as a writer, I've handled various writing assignments, from making ad copy to writing reviews and profiles to even writing press releases (which I loathe). I am quite proud that even though I am in mainstream TV, I am able to be creative and have utilized my, ehem, talents. Believe it or not, whether I am covering a fashion show or a book launching I am always in my take-me-seriously-I'm-a-serious-writer-filmmaker mode. That's why I am inside the editing bay every night because I want to make sure whatever comes out of it has, in some way, been thought through. I think if I work in a call center right now that would be the end of me.



Please check out Binibining Pilipinas Janina San Miguel on Youtube. Kalokah ang putah!