Friday, September 30, 2016

Barcelona: A Love Untold


Ely (Daniel Padilla) moves to Barcelona to become an architect, a promise he made to his ex-flame Celine that he wants to fulfill. Mia (Kathryn Bernardo) is in Spain not out of financial necessity, but rather to prove to everyone that she is still worth something, especially to her demanding father. When they cross paths on the metro, her striking resemblance to his ex immediately catches his attention. As their chance encounters begin to multiply, she gets annoyed thinking that he’s stalking her, until a certain incident proves otherwise. Now with a debt of gratitude to pay, her dependence on him starts to grow, first out of practicality, and eventually to that of infatuation. But she will realize soon enough that it’s hard to compete with ghosts from the past, especially those that just won’t die.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Ang Babaeng Humayo

1997. With radio reports on the deaths of Princess Diana and Mother Teresa as her soundtrack, Horacia Somorostro (Charo Santos) tills the land, then continues with her daily routine consisting of teaching other inmates proper Tagalog grammar and telling them stories that she herself writes during her free time. It’s been 30 years since she was incarcerated for a crime she didn’t commit, but today marks the end of her three-decade sentence. Her guilt-ridden friend Petra (Shamaine Buencamino) confesses that it was really her who did it, before taking her own life. Losing consciousness upon hearing the news, Horacia wakes up a free woman and asks everyone to keep her newfound liberty a secret. She reconnects with her daughter and vows to find her eldest son who has been missing since she went to jail. And then she plots her revenge, through the course of which she crosses paths with a perpetually drunk transvestite named Hollanda (John Lloyd Cruz), a lost soul who will change her life for the better.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Sausage Party

Every morning, the perishable goods at Shopwell’s welcome the new day with a hymn to the heavens in eager anticipation of being purchased and taken to what they refer to as the “Great Beyond”. Looking at human beings as gods that have come to save them, they live each day banking on this Messianic belief that will lead to their eventual salvation. Frank (Seth Rogen) the sausage and hotdog bun Brenda Bunson (Kristen Wiig) await the fourth of July with enthusiasm so they can consummate their relationship, knowing that all of them will be flying off the shelves during that holiday. Their illusions are shattered when Honey Mustard (Danny McBride) is returned to his shelf after being brought home, telling everyone that the whole concept of the Great Beyond is one big scam, an irreversible disaster waiting to happen. When the couple is left behind in an unexpected twist of events, they are joined by Kareem Abdul Lavash (David Krumholz), Sammy Bagel Jr. (Edward Norton), and Teresa del Taco (Salma Hayek), as they embark on an aisle per aisle journey in search for the truth. The question is, are they ready to accept the fact that everything they have believed in since time immemorial has been one fat lie all along?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

[NEW DELHI] Budget and Itinerary

WEDNESDAY: 14 September 2016
eVisa (India) - 3,300.00
Air Asia X (Kuala Lumpur - New Delhi) - 6,682.00
Airbnb (3 Nights) - 3,330.00
Costa (Belgian Choco Chip) - 300.00
Taxi (Airport - Chandi Wali Gali) - 740.00 INR14,352.00

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

[UTTAR PRADESH] Budget and Itinerary

MONDAY: 19 September 2016
12035 Jaipur Agra Fort Shatabdi (Jaipur - Agra Fort) - 800.00
Airbnb (2 Nights) - 1,430.00
Auto Rickshaw (Agra FortRailway Station - RK Puram) - 300.00
KFC (Rice Box Meal w/Fries + Krushers) - 389.00
KFC (6 pcs Singles Strips) - 235.00

Monday, September 19, 2016

[AGRA] The Taj Mahal

You already know the story of the Taj Mahal, but fine. For those who have been living under the proverbial rock, let’s have a refresher. Long story short: one of Shah Jahan’s wives died. Yup, Mumtaz was one of the many but she was THE favorite. What happens when hubby is filthy rich and you are the favorite wifey? You get a mausoleum when you die. White. Marble. Huge. Overlooking the river. Wifey supposedly died after giving birth to the couple’s 14th child. Jesus, did I just type “14th child”? Wow. Quota?

Sunday, September 18, 2016

[RAJASTHAN] Budget and Itinerary

SATURDAY: 17 September 2016
12015 Ajmer Shatabdi Express (New Delhi - Jaipur) - 1,160.00
Airbnb (2 Nights) - 2,270.00
Auto Rickshaw (Jaipur Railway Station - Chandpole) - 200.00
Auto Rickshaw (Chandpole - KFC) - 100.00
KFC (Chicken Bowl w/Pepsi + Choco Krushers) - 228.00
KFC (6 pcs Singles Strips + Choco Krushers) - 363.00
Auto Rickshaw (KFC - City Palace) - 50.00
Admission (City Palace) - 500.00
The Baradari (Cupcake + Vanilla Shake) - 220.00
Admission (Jantar Mantar) - 200.00
Auto Rickshaw (Jantar Mantar - Chandpole) - 50.00

Saturday, September 17, 2016

[JAIPUR] The Hill Forts of Rajasthan

I think it was Nahargarh Fort that was stalking me from afar, peeking through my Airbnb window. There are more than three forts here in Rajasthan, so I’ve heard, each commanding a good view of the city thanks to their location high up the hills. Eons ago, UNESCO declared the forts, as a group, as part of its world heritage sites. If you are based in the Pink City, a day tour of the forts is doable and should not take that long to reach, even via public transportation.

[JAIPUR] Ancient Astronomy Is Cool

To be totally honest, I was only interested in seeing Agra, because Taj Mahal, right? Gee, typical tourist feels... But going to India is no simple feat. From Kuala Lumpur, it takes almost 6 hours by plane to reach Delhi. Agra has its own airport but does not receive any international flights. You fly either to Delhi or Jaipur if you want to end up within the Golden Triangle. And so New Delhi was included in my itinerary by default, it being my entry point to India. Jaipur, on the other hand? How did it end up on the list?

Friday, September 16, 2016

[DELHI] The Gender-Swapped Taj Mahal Story

As far as tourism in India is concerned, they have this thing they call the Golden Triangle which refers to Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. If it is your first time in the country, following this itinerary is not a bad idea. There is a wealth of resources online in the form of travel anecdotes, budget lists, and the like that will make your journey easier to manage. While I encourage people to be more adventurous, India is a special case, although there are those who have braved the less popular paths and lived to tell the tale.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

[DELHI] Uber and the Red, Red Fort

Once upon a time there was an alien who took an Uber in Delhi, got stuck in traffic for almost two hours, and was only charged INR250 (~PHP190), because Uber is supah cheap in India. Moral of the story? Don’t Uber in New Delhi, unless you love watching chaos unfold from your car window. The best way to get around is by Metro, where you also get to practice your wrestling skills. If you do it every day in the next four years, you’d have honed your techniques well enough to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

[VISA] India (Single Entry)

The first time I attempted to apply for an Indian visa online, I gave up. I was in Kathmandu and the airline didn’t let me board the plane because according to them, we were not visa-on-arrival anymore, that the rules were changed a week prior to my departure. Yeah, Cuba was not the first to pull off that trick on me. I then tried to save the trip by doing the eVisa thingy online, but after several attempts at the really lengthy questionnaire, I was always denied at the payment page. That’s when I decided, fuck India.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

[MALACCA] Budget and Itinerary

TUESDAY: 13 September 2016
Pacific Express (Singapore - Melaka) - 55.00
AirBNB (1 Night) - 65.00
McDonalds (Double Cheeseburger Meal) - 8.95
17 (Melaka Central - Dutch Square) - 2.00
KFC (Cheesy Wedges + Pepsi) - 8.80

Monday, September 12, 2016

[MALACCA] Don't Mess with Melaka

I always thought that Melaka was Portuguese. Well, it was, but not always. It was also Dutch. British. And now, Malaysian. Perhaps such fate is inevitable when you are a city lying on the strategic crossroads of the Strait of Malacca. Everyone just wants a piece of you. I guess this is why I was wondering why it didn’t appear like Macau in photos. I mean, they were both Portuguese harbors once, right? Melaka’s main attraction right now, in fact, is the Stadthuys left by the Dutch. The Portuguese got shortchanged yet again.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Bad Moms

Amy Mitchell (Mila Kunis) juggles work, motherhood, and being a wife to her man-child of a husband on a daily basis. But no matter what she does, nothing seems to be enough. Eventually, she reaches a point in which she can no longer cope with all her obligations, leading to her decision to declare herself as a bad mom and take a break. She throws her husband out of the house. She stops making breakfast, lunch, and homework for her children so they can learn to fend for themselves. She also starts sleeping with the father of her daughter’s classmate, a hot Latino widower named Jessie (Jay Hernandez). When perfect mom and PTA president Gwendolyn James (Christina Applegate) finds out all about this, she declares Amy as a threat to the values that their school espouses, and then goes on to sabotage her daughter’s life. Not to be bullied, Amy finds an ally in fellow outcast moms, Kiki (Kristen Bell) and Carla (Kathryn Hahn), who rally behind her to support her bid for PTA presidency against her arch-nemesis and her army of skanks.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Don't Breathe


A trio of Detroit delinquents makes ends meet by breaking into houses and robbing them, although they limit themselves to taking only items instead of cash to avoid heavy penalty if ever they get caught. Alex (Dylan Minnette) uses his father’s position in his security company to acquire the necessary intel they require, while Money (Daniel Zovatto) is mainly in charge of selling the items for whatever amount they can get. Rocky (Jane Levy) does not intend to do this forever, but she is just waiting for a good break so she can take her daughter to California with her to start a new life. Their next target might just turn that dream into a reality for her. Blinded in combat, Norman Nordstrom (Stephen Lang) is a war veteran who won a six-digit settlement a couple of years back for the hit and run accident that killed his daughter. The three believe that this one will be a piece of cake given their next target’s condition, until they finally get into his house and realize that this guy must have more screws loose in his head than all three of them could ever dream to have.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Camp Sawi

Bridgette (Bela Padilla) finds it hard to move on after her boyfriend of 10 years suddenly dumps her because she is not Chinese. Unable to deal with the frustration, she spends endless nights sulking and crying herself to sleep, until one night she accidentally stumbles upon the website of a certain Camp Sawi. Their tagline is “Move In to Move On” and the photos promise a good R&R experience to achieve just that. After a rickety plane ride, she finally arrives at the island and is immediately befriended by the other heartbroken women seeking refuge there. Jessica (Yassi Pressman) follows her three-month boyfriend to the bathroom after a game, and witnesses his “extra-curricular” activities with another basketball player. Gwen (Arci Muñoz) is dumped by her band’s co-vocalist through an original break-up song. Joanne’s (Kim Molina) fiancé dies in a freak accident minutes after proposing to her. And Clarisse (Andi Eigenmann) is the kept secret of a middle aged doctor. The program is headed by Camp Master Louie (Sam Milby), whose one ultimate rule for all of them is NOT to fall in love with him. What happens when they do?

Thursday, September 8, 2016

부산행 (Train to Busan)

Asking questions but not getting any answers, a truck driver maneuvers his vehicle into a quarantine checkpoint, and then runs a deer over on his way out. Left for dead, the animal springs back to life a minute later as if nothing happened, except that its eyeballs are now all white. Novice fund manager 석우 (공유) juggles his time between making it big and trying to win his daughter’s affection by showering her with material things, but she is not impressed. All she wants is to go back home to her mother in Busan, so much that she is willing to take the southbound KTX from Seoul all on her own. Realizing that he is just pushing his child further away, he decides to accompany her so she can be reunited with his estranged wife. As the doors of the train close, a visibly injured girl dashes in last minute and drops on the floor convulsing, before lying motionless on the ground. Panicking, a train attendant shouts for help, too distracted to see the now reanimated zombie lunge for her jugular.

Friday, September 2, 2016

[NEW YORK] Budget and Itinerary

WEDNESDAY: 31 August 2016
JetBlue (Cleveland - Boston - New York JFK) - 128.60
AirBNB (2 Nights) - 74.00
B15 (JFK Airport Terminal 5 - New Lots/Ashford) - 2.75
3 (New Lots - Crown Heights/Utica) - 3.00
China Pavilion (Roast Pork Fried Rice + Water) - 5.00
MTA Card (Prepaid) - 10.00
McDonalds (Double Cheeseburger w/Fries & Coke) - 5.00

Thursday, September 1, 2016

[MANHATTAN] The Staten Island Sail-By

The Staten Island Ferry is... Hold your breath... FREE!!! Those going to Liberty and Ellis Island aren’t. Tickets start at USD 18 depending on the package you require. You can buy one that gives you access to the pedestal, the crown, the Immigration Museum. Take your pick. Being the cheapo that I am, I decided to just do a sail-by. I mean, I will still see the statue from the Staten Island Ferry, right? That’s correct, but don’t expect a close-up. You get what you pay for, or what you DIDN’T pay for, cheapskate.

[MANHATTAN] Manhattan State of Mind

I haven’t been to the East Coast, and I’ve heard both great things as well as bad rep for New York. Some people say that if you make it there, you can make it anywhere. Some people say that New Yorkers are a stuck-up bunch. The best way to do it is to go there and see for yourself. Findings, then? Well, it’s been all good, and New York just jumped on top of my all-time favorite cities list, toppling Los Angeles. But there is no rivalry here. I love both cities. I just think that they differ in many ways. Good ways.
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