Saturday, March 31, 2012

[MATALOM] The White Sands and Turquoise Waters of Canigao

The only objective I had for booking a flight to Tacloban was the zip line which I saw on Pinoy Adventurista’s itinerary for Southern/Leyte. I only saw Canigao Island on that list in passing and never really paid attention to it until I was already in Tacloban itself. That was when I realized that I would be spending two full days there and so I must do something else aside from that zip line ride. That was when I opted to do the island trip and I was not disappointed at all because it is indeed one of Leyte’s most beautiful weekend getaways!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

日本語 - Week 18 (Contemporary Japanese Vol. 1)

The book I am using is Contemporary Japanese Vol. 1 by Eriko Sato from the Tuttle Language Library. Volume 1 of the book has 61 lessons. Target end date is May 12, 2012.

Instead of doing the Kanji and the vocabulary, I have decided to focus on the exercises, at least for the video. I’ll leave the Kanji to you, hahaha.

MONDAY: Lesson Forty Three – この道をまっすぐ行って下さい
How to form ordinal numbers in Japanese? Add ~ to the number. What makes it complicated are the counters that you have to add after the number. Some numbers transform in terms of orthography when followed by different counters. Third car, for example would be 三台めの車. Sorry, I forgot to mention that you also add that possessive particle to qualify the noun! Notice the use of the counter for cars. If we were talking about streets, as in third street then it would be written as 三本めの道.

TUESDAY: Lesson Forty Four かのじょは目がきれいです
Today we talk about 多い and 少ない which mean many and scarce, respectively. The book says that you could not use them before nouns, meaning they could not be used as qualifying adjectives. You could only attach them before the verb, after stating the noun. Example? There are many Japanese would be 日本人は多いです and not 多い日本人です which is considered ungrammatical. If you want it that way, use たくさん instead. It is the same case with少ない.

WEDNESDAY: Lesson Forty Four かのじょは目がきれいです
The difference between and ? The first one marks the subject. The second one marks the topic. Ifyou want to say that the mountains in Japan are beautiful, how do we say this in Japanese? There are many ways but let us give an example using the two mentioned particles. If you say 日本は山がきれいです this would roughly translate to As for Japan, the mountains are beautiful. We are talking about Japan, but in particular about its mountains. If you reverse it and you say山は日本がきれいです in my opinion it does not make much sense because we are talking about mountains and then suddenly you say that Japan is beautiful. Or maybe if we toss in a ~ there it would make sense in that you would be talking about Japan’s mountains. I am still confused but I am beginning to understand it more clearly.

THURSDAY: Lesson Forty Five – おみやげは何がいいですか
We have already learned to use ~ to list nouns in succession. There exists another particle which means almost the same thing but deals more with an inexhaustible list that means something like etcetera or so on and so forth. This particle is ~. If you say 中国や韓国や日本に行きました it means I went to China, Korea, Japan, etc. It means there are more and you got lazy to enumerate all of them. If you replace the ~ with ~ the sentence’s meaning would change to mean that you went to those three countries only.

FRIDAY: Lesson Forty Five – おみやげは何がいいですか
The particle ~ is attached as a suffix to mean or, so if you want to say That person is Chinese or Japanese, you would write it as: あの人あ中国人か日本人です. As you can see, it is no longer attached to the last option in the sentence.
For next week I would be covering lessons forty six to forty eight. We can do this guys! The goal is to pass the N5 examination of the JLPT in December 2012! =)

中文 - Week 18 (New Practical Chinese Reader 1)

The book I am using is New Practical Chinese Reader 1 by the Beijing Language and Culture University Press. Volume 1 of the book has 14 lessons. Target end date is June 3, 2012.

MONDAY: Lesson Nine – 他今年二十岁
Chinese Character! We have fifteen this week so let’s start. Let us start with 今年 which is composed of two separate characters. The first one means present day. If you are also learning Japanese these two should be familiar. The second one means year. The first one is used in other construction involving days, such as the term in Mandarin for “today”. Our third character means he/she and is written as and this confuses me because we already know some high-frequency characters that mean the same thing.

TUESDAY: Lesson Nine – 他今年二十岁
We have three for today. The first one is means fruit, and for some strange reason I see it as a fruit when I look at it even if it looks more like an alien squid thing. I remember this character best as the second character in the word for “class”. Let’s take the next two characters in tandem, together they mean morning and is written as 上午. Treated separately, the first one means above and is also the first character in the word Shanghai. The second one means noon and is also used with the antonym of the first character to mean “afternoon”.

WEDNESDAY: Lesson Nine – 他今年二十岁
Our first character for today means to come or go out and is written as . I remember this best as the first character in “taxi” but is more popularly known in the text in tandem with another character, the combined meaning for both means “to be born”. is the second character in the word for “longevity noodles”. Yum. The last character is which is supposed to mean dead body or a corpse. Morbid. The sad thing is, I could not remember for what words it was used in the text!

THURSDAY: Lesson Nine – 他今年二十岁
I love our first character for today because it is easy to write and it is very useful when talking about completed actions. It is the particle . The next character means insect/worm and looks like . This is used in combination with many characters. As for its usage as a solo character, I really have no clue. The last character is the one for ear which sounds almost similar as it is in English, and looks like an actual ear because it looks like . Pardon the font. In the book it does look like an ear.

FRIDAY: Lesson Nine – 他今年二十岁
The first character is and in the illustration it looks like an old man with an arm stretched asking for alms. The second one is a favorite because it means rice, although it does not look like it because it looks like . Our last character for the week is the one used for head and written like .

For next week I will be covering lesson ten. We are making progress! The goal is to pass the lowest level of the HSK in September 2012! =)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

My Kontrabida Girl


TV villainess Isabel Reyes (Rhian Ramos) is so convincing in her soap operas that people pelt her with whatever it is they could find just to express their disdain when they run into her off-cam. She even has to hide under a pseudonym just to meet men because they (and their moms) are intimidated by her very bad reputation. Crossing the street after getting rejected in a blind date, she almost gets hit by a speeding vehicle, but is saved by a good samaritan. This random act of kindness changes her worldview for the better, which by consequence detrimentally affects her acting prowess as an antagonist. Taking a cue from the legendary Bella Flores, she goes on a vacation to find the one person who has hurt her the most in her life, so that she could bring back the angst on which her livelihood heavily relies. That person is Chris Bernal (Aljur Abrenica), her rather slow and naive childhood friend who is trying to save the family business from being foreclosed.

Corazon: Ang Unang Aswang

1946. Daniel (Derek Ramsay) and Corazon (Erich Gonzales) have been married for five years but remain childless. After a two week devotion to San Gerardo as suggested by a quack doctor, she finally conceives but gives birth to a dead baby later on. She refuses to bury the infant, becomes mentally unstable, and eats the child. After that she disappears and begins to prey on the children of the village and is thus, branded as “demonyo - halimaw - aswang”.

This should not have been tagged as a horror film because it simply is not one. The few horror scenes in the second half are scary alright, but only because they are framed as such. Owing to the linear structure of the plot, there is no veil of mystery that could have effectively disguised this as supernatural, at least from the perspective of the audience. The townsfolk in the movie at least have the benefit of superstitious beliefs to help them believe their own horror stories. It is not the same case for us, though. Unfortunately, we get to know the truth in advance, which prevents us from getting scared because of the very knowledge that everything is just a plain misunderstanding.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

日本語 - Week 17 (Contemporary Japanese Vol. 1)

The book I am using is Contemporary Japanese Vol. 1 by Eriko Sato from the Tuttle Language Library. Volume 1 of the book has 61 lessons. Target end date is April 14, 2012.

Instead of doing the Kanji and the vocabulary, I have decided to focus on the exercises, at least for the video. I’ll leave the Kanji to you, hahaha.

MONDAY: Lesson Forty One – テープをかして下さい
For the Japanese equivalent of the verb to bring you have to use the verb for to hold もつ and then attach a verb of motion depending where the bringer is headed to. If the person bringing something is headed towards you, then that would be もって来る. If the person is taking something away from you that would be もって行く. As for entering and leaving an office or some personal space, you could use the expression しつれいします to say excuse me or to advise that you are entering or leaving.

TUESDAY: Lesson Forty One テープをかして下さい
Use the –te form with 下さい for a request. This is very useful and I think this is one of the most common uses for the –te form. If you want to ask someone to eat, you could use that verb in –te form and add this ending, which would give you 食べて下さい. To suggest something, you could also use the ending ましょうか which is one way of inviting someone to do something. In this case, Shall we eat would be 食べましょうか.

WEDNESDAY: Lesson Forty Two もう少しきれいに書いて下さい
The book says that the expression いいです could be used to say no, in some contexts. In effect it seems to mean, No, it’s alright. A possible scenario would be when you would like the cashier to keep the change. Just tell her this when you decline. Adverbs and adjectives! First, the adjectives 早い and 速い are pronounced the same way but the first one means early and the second one means fast. Take note of that, although I don’t think it would really matter in conversation, unless it’s through chat!

THURSDAY: Lesson Forty Two – もう少しきれいに書いて下さい
Continuation of adverbs and adjectives! We already talked about adjective ending in –i or –na. Adverbs also have their endings! They mostly end in –ku, and an adjective ending in –i could become an adverb if you get rid of the –i and replace it with a –ku ending. Examples? 早い becomes 早く. What if we have a –na adjective? Change it to –ni. しずかな becomes しずかに. Easy!

FRIDAY: Lesson Forty Three – この道をまっすぐ行って下さい
How do you turn a proper noun into an adjective? In Japanese, you attach the suffix ~という to the proper noun and it is immediately followed by the noun it is modifying. How does that happen? For example, a Japanese person called Mr Yamada would be 山田さんという日本人. A breed of dog called Akita would be AKITAという. I am also wondering why we could not just use instead. I guess proper names are special that way.
For next week I would be covering lessons forty three to forty five. We can do this guys! The goal is to pass the N5 examination of the JLPT in December 2012! =)

中文 - Week 17 (New Practical Chinese Reader 1)

The book I am using is New Practical Chinese Reader 1 by the Beijing Language and Culture University Press. Volume 1 of the book has 14 lessons. Target end date is June 9, 2012.

MONDAY: Lesson Nine – 他今年二十岁
This lesson introduces another greeting that you could use aside from the already popular one that we always use. We could say 你怎么样 which literally translates to You how? According to the book, it has roughly the same meaning.

TUESDAY: Lesson Nine – 他今年二十岁
There is this phrase that one uses to express mild surprise or doubt or modesty. It is phrased as a question but is more of an expression one uses to denote such reactions already mentioned. 是吗 is just the copula for the linking verb along with the question particle. In English: Really?

WEDNESDAY: Lesson Nine – 他今年二十岁
To ask for someone’s age, you could ask 你今年多大? The book says though that this used only with people that are of the same age as you are. For kids, people usually ask 你今年几岁? For older people there is yet another expression which is not tackled in this chapter.

THURSDAY: Lesson Nine – 他今年二十岁
Now that we are talking about age, we better learn how to say Happy Birthday too! The typical greeting is 祝你生日快乐. Apparently, is often used as some sort of term to express good greetings for certain occasions.

FRIDAY: Lesson Nine – 他今年二十岁
As you might already know, the Chinese calendar is sort of related to animals, with each year corresponding to one of the twelve. Because of this it is normal for people to ask in which animal year one is born. They even have a separate verb for it which is . Just add the character of the animal of the year you were born in and that’s about it. I was born in the year of the dog would be 属狗.

For next week I will still be covering lesson nine. We are making progress! The goal is to pass the lowest level of the HSK in September 2012! =)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Leading Ladies (Repertory Philippines)


Leo Clark (James Stacey) and Jack Gable (Topper Fabregas) are two Shakespearean actors who just could not seem to get their big break. Penniless and without any fresh ideas, they hop on a train to nowhere trying to figure out what to do next, which they are able to do when Leo reads about an old woman named Florence (Juno Henares) looking for her sister’s two children, Max and Steve, who moved to England as kids, and whom she plans to include in her inheritance worth around three million dollars. The idea is to pretend to be the two long lost nephews until they find out that the two are actually nieces whose real names are Maxine and Stephanie. Out of desperation, they still go ahead with the plan, in drag, obviously. Will their disguise be enough to fool theater-loving cousin Meg (Cris Villonco) and fiancé Duncan (Jamie Wilson), who is also after the family money?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (9 Works Theatrical)


Charlie Brown (Robbie Guevarra) tends to over analyze things and seems to be in some sort of a life crisis which is a bit unusual for a five year old kid. The good thing is that this quirk of his applies mainly to simple dilemmas a kid would usually have. He has a beagle named Snoopy (Lorenz Martinez) who talks, has frequent mood swings, and mounts impromptu concerts over something as simple as his bowl of dog food. Sally (Sweet Plantado) is the smart aleck of a sister who has a knack for challenging her teacher over the low grades that she gets. Her friend Lucy (Carla Guevara-Laforteza) dreams of becoming a queen someday, and has her eyes on Schroeder (Tonipet Gaba), the aspiring musician who uses any information related to Beethoven as a punch line. Completing the group is Linus (Franco Laurel), the thumb sucking genius who also happens to be Lucy’s younger brother, and is in a special relationship with his blanket.

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