Friday, July 27, 2012

The Healing

♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Seth (Vilma Santos) takes her sick father (Dante Arevalo) to a faith healer after a stroke leaves him paralyzed and bound to a wheelchair. The day after the healing, the old man is fully recovered and starts dating a cosplayer who is probably just as old as his grandson. His speedy recovery becomes the talk of the town, resulting in several neighbors prompting Seth to bring them to the faith healer so their various illnesses could also be cured. Even her ex-husband’s daughter Cookie (Kim Chiu) is persistent in asking for help, as modern medicine has failed to rid her of a serious renal complication. All their wishes are granted and in the end, they are all cured, but start to display traces of violence in varying degrees shortly after. They also start talking about a common nightmare, all of which involves a black crow, which also starts haunting Seth in real life.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mga Mumunting Lihim

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Leaving her husband and two boys behind, Mariel (Judy Ann Santos) succumbs to cancer. She leaves a sealed box to her best friend Carla (Iza Calzado), who receives the package after the wake and finds out that it contains all of her friend’s diaries. Bewildered as to why she was chosen to receive the said journals, she reads them one by one, discovering all the detailed observations, anxieties, and truths about her departed friend. Every flip of the page brings about new open secrets that friends would rather keep mum about, such as Sandra’s (Agot Isidro) decision to marry an old man who could support her materialistic drive, or Olive’s (Janice de Belen) good-looking but dumb husband how many years her junior whom she supposedly married out of desperation. Confrontations arise as more pages are scanned, provoking the three to re-evaluate their friendship in the midst of the no-holds-barred observations courtesy of their dead friend.

Friday, July 20, 2012

God of Carnage (Atlantis Productions)

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Two eleven year old boys have a fight with one ending up with a broken lip and two incisors gone for life after being hit with a stick on the face by the other. In an effort to reach an amicable agreement for the incident, the parents agree to meet up at the aggrieved party’s house. Veronica (Lea Salonga) is the victim’s obsessive compulsive mother, a writer with a penchant for African political affairs. The father is Michael (Adrian Pang), a self-made household items dealer with a sick mother who would not stop telephoning him. The "aggressor’s" mother is Annette (Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo), who is involved in wealth management, while the father Alan (Art Acuña), is a pharmaceuticals company lawyer inseparable from his mobile phone. What starts out as an evening of seemingly adult discussion digresses into multiple arguments touching various sensitive topics, with both couples ending up acting more and more like children with the help of some booze.
 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

PALAWAN: Budget and Itinerary


SUNDAY: July 15, 2012
Taxi (Buendia - NAIA 3) - 117.00
Terminal Fee (NAIA 3) - 200.00
Airphil Express (Manila - Busuanga - Manila) - 1,026.00
Van (Busuanga - Coron) - 150.00
Apartelle de Gabrielle (3 Nights/Double Aircon) - 3,000.00
Tricycle (Apartelle de Gabrielle - Town Center) - 8.00
Dinner (Zip Line Floating Restaurant) - 270.00
Tour C Reservation (Coron Galeri) - 950.00
Tricycle (Town Center - Apartelle de Gabrielle) - 8.00
PhP5,729.00

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

CORON: 05 - Kayangan Lake + Twin Peaks + CYC


The highlight of the second part of the tour is the Kayangan Lake. After meeting the fish of Calachuchi Island, which they also refer to as Coral Garden(s), the boat then takes you to a fishing village five minutes away where you would commence your hike to get to the lake. The Kayangan Lake area is probably the most photogenic in Coron. If you search for pictures of Coron in the Internet and see that popular cove that always comes up, then you would know what I am talking about.

CORON: 04 - Hidden Lagoon + Calachuchi + Bulungan


Our lesson for today is the first three locations of Coron Galeri’s B-1 Tour package. Or was that B-2? Damn, I already forgot! HAHAHA. Anyway, I grouped the destinations by location, meaning the three referred to above are the first three to be seen, although not particularly the first ones visited in the case of Bulungan. In other news, today was awesome because my Pentax dilemma has finally been solved. The camera is not a joke. It takes good pictures and videos underwater. If you want proof, just see the video below! I usually do not splurge on gadgets but I am now convinced that this is a good investment.

Monday, July 16, 2012

CORON: 03 - Maquinit Hot Springs


Maquinit Hot Springs was not really part of the itinerary post-Malcapuya. What led me to the decision to go there despite the already tiring boat trip was the offer of another solo tourist who said that it was part of his hotel’s package deal somewhat. What? The 300-peso back and forth tricycle fare to get there. Convincing the only other Pinoy in the group to also join us, we managed to bring down the cost to a hundred pesos each.

CORON: 02 - Malcapuya Island


I usually prefer DIY travel over booking packages bundled with accommodations and flights, or even just tour packages themselves. For Coron, however, I just chose to let the experts take care of my itinerary. My travel itineraries are perfect for lazy bodies who like waking up at lunch time, walking around for a few hours, and going back to the hotel or guest house to sleep again. No, not for Coron. This paradise is just too beautiful and I really have to experience it. Arriving late in the afternoon at the town center, I had early dinner at the floating restaurant of Zip Line Coron, a new attraction that I no longer tried because it looks like a joke. No offense meant though. It is just that I have already experienced Lake Sebu and Dahilayan, and they have set the bar so high that each zip line ride that followed all seemed like a juvenile joke. Anyway, a quick side trip to Coron Galeri before I called it a day sufficed to set the itinerary for the next day.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

CORON: 01 - Apartelle de Gabrielle


I sent an e-mail to several accommodations in Coron because once again, I am bringing my work with me which means I really need some good Internet connection. There appeared to be a few options. Apparently, blackouts are frequent in Coron, and good Internet is not guaranteed because of bad signal. The representatives from Apartelle de Gabrielle were the ones who always replied to my queries, and they say they have a generator. I ended up with them. The Internet connection is a bit intermittent but as long as I could work, that is fine by me. This is probably the only complaint I could ever think of about this apartelle, and it is not even entirely their fault.

Monday, July 9, 2012

OCCIDENTAL MINDORO: Budget and Itinerary


SATURDAY: July 7, 2012
Taxi (Makati - NAIA 3) - 117.00
Terminal Fee (NAIA 3) - 200.00
Airphil Express (Manila - San Jose - Manila) - 1,570.00
Triycle (Airport - Filoil) - 50.00
Bus (San Jose - Sablayan) - 115.00
Tricycle (Emily Hotel and Restaurant) - 8.00
Lunch (Emily Hotel and Restaurant) - 90.00
Emily Hotel and Restaurant (Double Fan Shared Bath/1 Night) - 200.00
Tricycle (Plaza) - 20.00
Tricycle (Parola Park) - 10.00
Tricycle (Emily Hotel and Restaurant) - 8.00
Dinner (Emily Hotel and Restaurant) - 90.00
PhP1,478.00

Sunday, July 8, 2012

SAN JOSE: 01 - Sea Coast Hotel


The choice was between this and Sikatuna, which was asking for more than a thousand pesos for half a day of stay because they do not have short-time rates, which is perfectly understandable since they are not a motel, LOL. I asked the tricycle driver to bring me to Sea Coast, which was the other recommendation of another hotel when I asked for accommodations with Internet connection. True enough, the Wi-Fi at Sea Coast was very fast and accessible. Bonus? The location is less than a ten-minute tricycle ride to the airport. The place is also a restaurant which meant no longer having to go out to find food for that evening. Cool.

SABLAYAN: 02 - Pandan Island and Gumo-Golden Bridge


What to see in Mindoro? Being my usual self, I really did not think about this in advance. All I knew was that there were promo fares and I had to book a flight. I usually panic about my trip around half a day before the flight date, and so when I found out that Mindoro is like THE diving place because of Apo Reef, well, I panicked. The feeling of panic was soon replaced by surrender. As I am forever a lone traveler, the 7,500 peso-boat ride to get there seemed rather steep. As they would like to say: “The more the merrier,” and CHEAPER. And so I settled for Pandan Island, but first, Gumo-Golden Bridge.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

SABLAYAN: 01 - Emily Hotel and Restaurant


This place is located right at the pier where you get the boats to Pandan Island. It is also near the market place and Gumo-Golden Bridge, all of which are less than five minutes away walking distance. This hotel is not really a hotel but more of a rather large house with an eatery and a sari-sari store in front, the house of the owners at the back, and the accommodations on the right wing. I think all of the rooms do not have toiler and bath, and everyone has to use the shared ones, of which there are two each for each gender.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Rock of Ages (Atlantis Productions)

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Rock of Ages is your typical-reach-for-your-dreams kind of story featuring two young individuals trying to develop a love affair amidst all the drama unfolding all around them. Drew (Nyoy Volante) is an aspiring rock star working as a busboy at The Bourbon Room, a bar at the Sunset Strip threatened to be shut down by the efforts of a father-and-son developer tandem from Germany using their money to influence the mayor to get rid of the city’s lifestyle heavily influenced by rock & roll, sex, and drugs. Sherrie (Vina Morales) leaves her parents to try out her luck as an actress, gets hired at the same club, and becomes infatuated with Drew. In an effort to stay afloat, club owner Mr. Dupree, aided by his loyal assistant Lonny (Jett Pangan), enlists the help of Arsenal frontman Stacee Jaxx (Mig Ayesa) by persuading him to hold his band’s last performance at The Bourbon Room before they disband. His arrival, along with Drew's friend-zoning of Sherrie, disrupts the budding romance between the two. Eventually, he becomes a member of a failed boy band while she ends up as a stripper. Singing through popular rock tunes from the 80’s, Rock of Ages brings you back to an era when big hair and rock & roll were the norm.

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