Monday, October 31, 2016

Nosotros los Nobles

The Noble kids have always lived a life of luxury. Javier (Luis Gerardo Méndez) is the stereotypical Mirrey who technically works for his father’s company but relegates his obligations to his staff while he flies on a whim with his friends on their private jet to party in Miami. Bárbara (Karla Souza) is the princess whose main preoccupation in life is to maintain her presence in the social circles of the rich and the fabulous. Carlos (Juan Pablo Gil) is the hippie who spends more time maintaining sexual relations with his teachers instead of his grades. When Germán Noble (Gonzalo Vega) finds out about his children’s lack of direction in life, he dismisses his perpetual argument that it must be due to trauma brought about by their mother’s sudden death. Suffering from a heart attack and worried that he might pass away leaving them as such, he decides to teach them a lesson. Faking bankruptcy and staging an embargo of all their wealth and properties, he takes them to his father’s decrepit house in the outskirts of Mexico City “to hide”, and asks them to do what they have never done before in their lives: Get a job.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

No se aceptan devoluciones

Valentin Bravo (Eugenio Derbez) is afraid of many things, with commitment being his greatest fear. Living the ideal bachelor life at a beach in Acapulco, his raison d’être involves hooking up with as many women as he could, may they be local or foreign. But his enviable life is about to come to an end when Julie (Jessica Lindsey) drops by for a visit one day with a child in tow, introducing her to him as his daughter. Asking for USD10 for cab fare, she asks him to carry the baby for a while as she heads down to pay the taxi driver. She doesn't come back. Totally clueless about fatherhood, he enters the United States illegally to return the kid to her mother, but has no luck finding her in Los Angeles. What he finds, instead, is a job as a stuntman. Realizing that he can no longer go back to Mexico without being hassled at the border with an American child under his care, he decides to start anew and becomes a doting father to Maggie (Loreto Peralta), who becomes the center of his life for the next six years. But his happiness is going to be short-lived. One day, he receives a phone call from Julie. She wants her daughter back.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Doctor Strange

Ace neurosurgeon Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is at the top of his game: a life of luxury, a burgeoning career, and the cocky attitude to match. When a car accident damages his hands beyond repair, the loss of effective control of his motor skills means he must bid his source of livelihood goodbye. In effect, his life. Exhausting all his financial means to find a scientific cure, his efforts are all in vain. Desperation leads him to turn to the mystic arts for answers, his quest bringing him to a place called Kamar-Taj, in the heart of Kathmandu where he comes face to face with the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton). Refused at first for his arrogance and brash attitude, he is eventually accepted as part of the group with the help of Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), one of the students who will become his guide in this new world. As the threat of apocalyptic doom looms closer no thanks to rogue student Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen), Doctor Strange starts questioning his purpose of coming to Nepal, whether just to save his hands, or if he is destined for something much greater.

Friday, October 28, 2016


Billionaire scientist Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster) runs for his life. Chased by two unknown attackers, he ends up on top of a church tower and jumps to his death, intent on protecting something that he doesn’t want to fall into the wrong hands. Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) wakes up in a hospital room in Florence with a bleeding wound on his head and no clue of what happened in the last 48 hours. Dr. Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones) fills him in about how he ended up there, but is cut short when an assassin barges into the room and almost kills them both. The two manage to escape and stay safe at her apartment, until more assailants arrive and try to take him out. As they run for their lives, he begins to remember, bit by bit, some vague images from the last two days which include a cloaked woman, the phrase “cerca e trova”, and hellish visuals of Dante’s Inferno. Searching for clues all over Italy, he finally recalls the threat of an impending biochemical apocalypse. He is not sure what his involvement in it really is, but he knows he must work fast in a race against time to save half the population of the human race.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

How to Get Away with Murder (ABC): Episode 36

36. Is Somebody Really Dead?
Laurel confronts Annalise about Frank right as Bonnie comes in. She plays Franks confession, which she secretly recorded. As Bonnie and Annalise bicker, Laurel receives a call from Meggy, informing her that two police officers are in front of Wes’ door. Asher walks out of Michaela after she refuses to acknowledge that they are more than friends, but kiss and make up later on, possibly the beginning of a new relationship. Annalise’s license is reinstated but with a truckload of conditions. She briefs everyone regarding Wes’ current dilemma. He wants to go to the police to come clean, but Annalise hides him in her house. Connor threatens Wes. He breaks up with Meggy, not wanting to drag her into his current predicament. He runs to Laurel and destroys the recording in front of her, insisting on his plan to go to the police. They sleep together. Mahoney’s other son is arrested for his father’s murder, Frank planting the evidence. Three weeks later, a distressed Michaela rushes to Asher’s dorm to check on him and sees him partying there.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

La vida inmoral de la pareja ideal

It’s love at first sight for Lucio (Sebastián Aguirre Boëda) and Martina (Ximena Romo) when they meet in high school. It doesn’t take long for them to become an item, threading the unstable path of adolescence together while pushing the envelope with regard to their sexuality. 25 years later, their paths cross again in San Miguel de Allende, which bore witness to the climactic peak and abrupt crash of their juvenile romance. The awkwardness of their meeting, however, suggests underlying issues in need of closure. Martina (Cecilia Suarez) is now teaching ballet at a local dance school, and lies to him about being married and having a daughter. Lucio (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) divides his time between Mexico and Madrid, and lies to her about being married and how his pregnant Spanish wife is coming over for a visit. As they agree to meet later that evening for a ballet presentation she’s in charge of, their fictional lives begin, coerced actor-wannabe friends and family in tow, culminating in a riotous dinner that will unleash a lot of pent-up emotions from an unresolved past.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Desde allá

Middle-aged prosthetic dentist Armando (Alfredo Castro) has a curious little habit. Stalking young men in the streets of Caracas, he flashes them with some cash as an invitation to come to his apartment, where his MO is always the same: ask the boy to turn around, take his shirt off, and pull his pants down halfway as he pleasures himself on his couch. With no physical contact whatsoever, he then gives the money and calls it a day. His new prospect is Élder (Luis Silva), a juvenile delinquent who refuses to play by his rules and even robs him twice. But Armando is not to be deterred. Challenged, he follows him around some more. When the kid is beaten black and blue, he takes him home and nurses him back to health. But just when the teenager feels obliged to reciprocate and finally gives it a shot, the old man backs away, further confusing the lad. As he is shunned by both family and friends in homophobic Venezuela, he starts to feel more attached to his benefactor, but the feeling doesn’t seem mutual anymore.

Monday, October 24, 2016

[MIGUEL HIDALGO] Castillo de Chapultepec

I forgot to say that you have to get your ticket in the mini castle right upfront before the locker area. It was only there where they checked the ticket, although I don’t know if that is always the case given how it’s free admission today. Back on topic, a part of the castle houses the Museum of National History. I went upstairs first, and was immediately impressed by the wall to wall murals that I saw. The painting on the ceiling depicts the suicide jump of one of the Niños Héroes, with the Mexican flag still wrapped around him.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

[MIGUEL HIDALGO] Bosque de Chapultepec

Sometimes you don’t have to get out of town to find something interesting, especially when you’re broke AF and you’re not in the mood for a movie marathon. It’s a good thing that Mexico City has a lot to offer, thanks to its sheer size and abundance of culture. And so I turned to Wikitravel and was presented with a variety of options. I ended up with Chapultepec. I’ve exited that very Metro station many times to go somewhere since I moved here in May, but never really explored the park despite knowing that it’s there.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

How to Get Away with Murder (ABC): Episode 35

35. It's About Frank
Bonnie takes one last look at her father and leaves, running into Frank on the way back. She thanks him, but also berates him for his actions. He admits to shooting Mahoney. He recalls how Sam visited him in jail eleven years prior, convincing Annalise to help him get a parole. She tries to convince him to come home. He tries to convince her to run away with him. They end up sleeping together. The next day, he’s gone. Annalise attends her AA meeting and finds the university president there. She remembers Sam and all her difficulties getting pregnant. She starts drinking again. Michaela steals Simon’s (Behzad Dabu) laptop and asks Oliver to find the outline he’s hiding. They find something more interesting: a Photoshop file of Annalise’s “killer” poster. Annalise thinks of it as good news, since it means no one significant is blackmailing them. Three weeks later, Oliver calls Michaela to tell her about Laurel being pregnant and in critical condition, as the breaking news on TV reports an unidentified male dead in a house fire.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

No Manches Frida

After serving his one-year jail sentence, Zequi Alcántara (Omar Chaparro) is pardoned and declared a free man. Fresh out of prison, he is taken by his pole dancer girlfriend to Instituto Frida Kahlo, where the money bag he got incarcerated for is now buried under a newly constructed building. Left with no choice, he is forced to apply for a maintenance position left by a recently deceased staff member just to get into the school grounds and dig through to get his bounty. In an unexpected turn of events, he is mistaken for an applicant for a teaching position and is hired on the spot, after everyone backs out when they witness one of the teachers jump out of the window. With an attractive monthly salary on offer, he willingly accepts, and then preys on naive co-faculty Lucy (Martha Higareda) so he can steal her credentials and make his new stint legit. What he doesn’t know is that there is hell waiting for him at the lecture hall of class 4B, where everyone who substitutes ends up being terrorized by that level's uncontrollable students.

Monday, October 17, 2016

[YUCATAN] Budget and Itinerary

THURSDAY: 13 August 2016
ADO (Cancun - Valladolid) - 194.00
Airbnb Valladolid (2 Nights) - 380.00
Burger King (Bacon Cheeseburger w/Fries & Pepsi) - 55.00
Treintona, Soltera y Fantastica (Cinemex) - 40.00
Cinemex (Hotdog + Water + Slushee) - 107.00

Sunday, October 16, 2016

[SANTA ELENA] The Ruins of Uxmal

Travel fatigue hit me hard in Valladolid, meaning Ek Balam got dropped off my list just like that, which was too bad because it was so close. There was also a cenote five minutes away from my Airbnb place where you can actually swim, but I just decided to chill, lest I ruin my entire Yucatán itinerary. Valladolid is okay, but too much of a small town feel for a city boy like me. Maybe that’s the reason why I immediately liked Mérida right after I arrived. It looks like a small town, but the party atmosphere was a good bonus.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

[TINUM] The Tianguis of Chichén Itzá

Yucatán is the place to be if you are a big fan of Mayan ruins. Just Google “Yucatan”, “Maya”, “Map”, and you will see how the place is full of pyramids everywhere you look. Of course, the most famous one is Chichén Itzá, but there are dozens more that are less popular yet evoke the same mysterious feel, and less tourists to boot! If you plan to go pyramid hopping, there is this itinerary called the Ruta Maya, but I don’t recommend it unless you have a lot of time to spare. You’ll be fine with just a pyramid or two.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Treintona, Soltera y Fantástica

30-something Inés (Bárbara Mori) attends her niece’s wedding reception and is heckled by her mother ad nauseam, mocking her for not being married despite her long-term relationship with her man-child boyfriend Marco (Andrés Almeida), who can’t even pay for toll. With alcohol as her refuge, she makes a snap decision to end the relationship, and regrets it the next day. But her best friend Sensei (Juan Pablo Medina) thinks it might be the best time to take a break and focus on her plan to relocate to the beach and write her book. Ex-flame Óscar (Jordi Mollà), now divorced, then enters the picture. They rekindle their bygone romance, but he wants no strings attached. As she tries to make sense of the various aspects of her life, depression sets in, making her balancing act more complicated than usual. When one of the pillars she’s leaning on collapses, so does her world. What’s a girl to do?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

How to Get Away with Murder (ABC): Episode 34

34. Don't Tell Annalise
Annalise parties with Eve. Asher takes on the new legal clinic case, having a hard time with Annalise arriving with a hangover. The hearing is interrupted when news of her license suspension is brought to light due to a video of her slapping a client. Bonnie takes over. Annalise admits to Eve that she hired a hitman that Frank ended up killing. He purchases a canister of gas. Laurel overhears Bonnie telling Annalise that her pedophile father just died in a hospital at Coalport, Frank’s current location. Annalise is fired and turns to vodka to cope, taking it out on Nate. He hooks up with the ADA who hates Annalise. She pleads alcoholism in an attempt to get her license back. Alone again, she tries to woo Eve, but she reveals that she’s already with someone and they’re moving to San Francisco. Connor is back hooking up with random guys and parading it in front of Oliver. Four weeks later, the second burn victim is in serious condition and is rushed to the emergency room. Lab results also reveal that she’s pregnant. It’s no other than Laurel.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

[QUINTANA ROO] Budget and Itinerary

MONDAY: 10 October 2016
Interjet (New York - Cancun) - 2,900.00
AirBNB (3 Nights) - 1,005.00
ADO (Airport - Downtown) - 66.00
Taxi (Downtown - Calle Playa Larga) - 60.00
La Parrilla (Carne Asada + Pepsi + Cake) - 285.00

[CANCUN] Travel Brochure Ready Shots

It was raining when I went to Cancún, so imagine my bitch face while I was there. By Cancún, I mean the hotel zone. Okay, fine, let’s clear things up a bit, shall we? Cancún is a resort city in Quintana Roo. It used to be THE ultimate beach getaway in all of Mexico, except that along with the white sand and turquoise waters of the Caribbean, its enviable location also lies at the hurricane belt. There was a time in its history when it was ravaged by a hurricane so badly, tourist traffic redirected to Los Cabos at the Pacific Coast for a while.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

[TULUM] Mayans of the Caribbean

Tulum stands out from other Mayan ruins thanks to its strategic location facing the Caribbean. Here, you can enjoy both beach and ancient archaeological wonders at the same time. There should be several other sites benefiting from the same coastal setting, but Tulum is the prohibitive favorite as a day trip option for many who are based in Cancún. The trip was long at two hours and a half, but ADO buses are really comfortable so I can’t really complain. Once you get off at the station, there are several food options across the street.

Monday, October 10, 2016

[NEW YORK] Budget and Itinerary (2)

MONDAY: 3 October 2016
Air China (New York - Manila - New York) - 626.11
Airbnb (7 Nights) - 221.00
Water (JFK Terminal 5) - 2.71
MTA Card (Reload) - 40.00
Cats (Broadway) - 69.00
McDonalds (Cheeseburger x2 + Fries + Coke L) - 8.48

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