Sunday, March 31, 2013

DATONG: 02 - One Whole Day for a 600 Year Old Screen


I had to find a destination that is not so far from Beijing. I wanted to go to Xi’an but the travel time is a joke, as well as the domestic flight costs. So, no, Xi’an would have to wait. I settled for Datong. I have not been to Shanxi, and the province is just Beijing’s neighbor, so I thought why not give it a shot? Googling Shanxi, the names of Datong, and Taiyuan came up. I chose Datong because of the Hanging Monastery and the Yungang Grottoes.

DATONG: 01 - Jinjiang Inn Datong


Apparently, there are four Jinjiang Inns in Datong, and the one that I hurriedly booked on Agoda because it was on sale turned out to be the one farthest from civilization. This is the only complaint I have for this hotel. Location. What I saved from the promo just got spent on the taxi rides to and from everywhere. The service and the room itself, on the other hand, were cheap for the price.

Game of Thrones (HBO): Season 3/Episode 1


3.1 Valar Dohaeris
Samwell makes it back to camp and is reprimanded for not sending the crows as he was tasked to do to warn everyone about the danger about to come. Jon Snow finally meets the king beyond the wall and convinces him that he is willing to join their cause. Davos survives the wildfire attack and is rescued, but eventually ends up in the dungeons after defying Melisande. Tyrion pays his father a visit and asks him to name him heir to Casterly Rock. He is refused and insulted heavily in return. Petyr tells Sansa tha he might be able to take her with him on a ship once he sails north for a special trip. Margaery and Joffrey ride in a caravan through Flea Bottom where he was once attacked by the townsfolk. She, on the other hand, braves the crowd and makes her way to an orphanage where she gives support to the poor, winning their hearts. Robb Stark arrives at Harrenhal where he finds everyone dead. Daenerys arrives at Astapor to buy an army of the Unsullied, slave soldiers who undergo intense training to serve their owners’ cause. When a warlock disguised as a little girl tries to harm her, a cloaked knight comes to the rescue, introducing himself as Ser Barristan Selmy, her father’s Kingsguard.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

It Takes a Man and a Woman

♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Two years after calling it quits, Laida Magtalas (Sarah Geronimo) and Miggy Montenegro (John Lloyd Cruz) return to Flippage, the publishing company where they used to work as assistant and boss in A Very Special Love, following his demotion and her return from a stint in Toronto and New York. Roles are reversed as she now plays the role of consultant, and he, the de facto editor-in-chief. It does not take long until their professional and personal lives mix, which proves to be detrimental for the dynamics in the workplace. As much as she does not want to admit it, she is still not over him. He, on the other hand, seems to have moved on through a relationship with an ex from high school called Isabelle (Isabelle Daza). The million dollar question: Are they ever getting back together? The answer: This is a Star Cinema movie.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

LAGUNA: Budget and Itinerary (2)


SUNDAY: March 24, 2012
Bus Lucena (Buendia - San Pablo Medical) - 127.00
Breakfast (Jollibee) - 69.00
Tricycle 150/4 (San Pablo Medical - Bunot Lake) - 37.50
Jeep Nagcarlan (Highway - Lake Calibato) - 12.00
Jeep San Pablo (Lake Calibato - Lake Pandin) - 8.00
Lake Pandin (Lunch) - 180.00
Lake Pandin (Raft Tour) - 180.00
Jeep San Pablo (Lake Pandin - Town Proper) - 12.00
Cafe Lago (Meryenda) - 250.00
Tricycle 50/4 (Sampaloc Lake - Highway) - 12.50
Bus Buendia (San Pablo - Buendia) - 127.00
Total - PhP1,015.00

SAN PABLO: Five Out of Seven Lakes


Lakes. What immediately comes to mind is that peaceful lake in Nantou called Sun and Moon. I am not a big fan of this type of body of water because I obviously prefer bitc—beaches although, for me, the idea of visiting one on a day tour is not that hard to sell because lakes have their own charm that are also a bit hard to ignore. And then I found out that we would be going to a place called Seven Lakes. As the name bluntly suggests, there are seven of them, unless whoever was responsible for naming them really hated Math. Fine by me. As long as it would not involve any uphill climb, I am all go. It did include some hiking, but I guess it was okay because I am still here, alive and kicking. And typing. We visited five out of seven lakes. If visit all seven they give you a free iPad. That was a joke. Sorry, I will put joke tags next time.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Silver Linings Playbook

♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Pat (Bradley Cooper) is released from a mental institution under the condition that he would continue taking his medication, attend therapy, and respect the restraining order his wife filed against him. His parents, Patrizio (Robert de Niro) and Dolores (Jacki Weaver), suggest that he move on and forget about his wife who has left him for good, but he insists on getting into shape and reading all the books in her English class curriculum in hopes that they could eventually get back together. Enter Tiffany Maxwell (Jennifer Lawrence), the young widow of a police officer, who turns to her sex addiction to cope with her husband’s recent death. They do not immediately click on their first meeting, although a potential is seen after they get along discussing the different medications they are taking. He believes that through being constantly positive, one would be able to see the silver lining in anything, hence the forced positivist outlook. She, on the other hand, veers towards the negative. They find common ground when she promises to deliver his letters to his wife, in exchange for him being her dance partner in an annual event that she has always wanted to participate in.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Stoker

♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Richard Stoker (Dermot Mulroney) dies in a car accident during daughter India’s (Mia Wasikowska) 18th birthday, leaving her to care for her emotionally unstable mother Evelyn (Nicole Kidman). All these events further coincide with the arrival of Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode), her father’s brother whom they are meeting for the very first time. Enigmatic as he is, both mother and daughter quickly get infatuated with him, despite the suspicions that they have regarding his motives, which they are quick to brush aside. What does Uncle Charlie really want? Is he a vengeful ghost? A psycho uncle who badly needs a hug? A figment of imagination? Her real father? No, I am not telling. You have to see this one for yourself and I could only promise that you would not be left disappointed.

They're Playing Our Song (9 Works Theatrical)

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Award winning composer Vernon Gersch (Lorenz Martinez) agrees to collaborate with quirky lyricist Sonia Walsk (Nikki Gil). Rapport is not achieved at once given how their personalities seem to be exact opposites. He is uptight, workaholic, and always on time. On the contrary, she is always late, jovial, and recycles theater costumes to serve as her daily wardrobe. They go on a series of friendly dates in hopes of getting to know each other but always end up bickering or quarreling because of their differences. And Leon, her constant ex. But once she begins to write her lyrics on which he would base his melody, the resulting music itself becomes the glue that binds them together. Still, the question remains. Will their healthy professional relationship suffice to assure harmonious existence in the personal life that they would like to share?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

D' Wonder Twins of Boac (PETA)

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Viola (Cris Villonco) and Bastian (Chrome Cosio) are the Wonder Twins of Boac, a triple threat duo set to capture the hearts of many as they leave their humble town in Marinduque to embark on a movie career in the big city. These aspirations, however, are stalled as the ship they are on sinks, separating the two. Later, Bastian becomes a stuntman, while Viola puts on her best Elvis look as cross-dressing Cesar to pursue her dream of making it big in the business. Together, they get entangled in the complicated world of showbiz as they are used as pawns by two bickering film studio heads trying to merge their companies to evade bankruptcy. They are once again reunited, in not so ideal circumstances, but are they both fit to survive the demands of a dying industry that is on the constant lookout for something new? This is one hilarious take on Shakespeare's Twelfth Night that you simply should not miss, as it gives you a fun-filled trip down memory lane, back to the 60's after Philippine Cinema has reached its peak.
 

Lincoln

♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

1865. Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis) focuses his efforts in getting his landmark 13th Amendment, which is meant to abolish slavery in the United States, passed through congress months before the American Civil War reaches its end, so as to totally safeguard the anti-slavery provision in the American constitution. With the gridlock he encounters in congress, he relies on several men, both in power and working within the sidelines, to persuade at least 20 members of the opposition to support his cause. Meanwhile, his wife Mary Todd Lincoln (Sally Field) continues to juggle her duties as wife, mother, and first lady of the White House, all while harboring some considerable amount of grief stemming from the death of one of their children, and the impending danger of their other son’s decision to draft himself into the army.

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