Saturday, December 31, 2016

Saving Sally

Marty (Enzo Marcos) and Sally (Rhian Ramos) first meet in high school when she steps up and gets back at the bully making his life miserable. They have become inseparable since then. As best friends. But he wants to be more than that, despite her remaining oblivious to the fact. Just when he finally musters the strength to admit his feelings before graduation, she surprises him with her own announcement. She has a boyfriend. Nick (TJ Trinidad) is buff, a decade older, and has a cool job. Marty sees him as a nuisance, literally a giant dickhead blocking the way to his best friend’s heart. On the contrary, she sees him as her ticket out of the miserable life she has to deal with back home. As Marty becomes the couple’s secret messenger, he begins to visualize a story for his comic book gig based on the real-life heartaches he is experiencing, a tale of unrequited love amidst monsters terrorizing the world.

Friday, December 30, 2016


Elmer (Joem Bascon) mines gold for a living. His girlfriend Linda (Mercedes Cabral) is pregnant, but hasn’t told him yet because she does not know how he’ll react. Both are contemplating marriage, but neither one wants to take the initiative to propose. Kapitana (Irma Adlawan) has been heading her small island village for the last two decades. She is also in charge of playing the role of intermediary between the townsfolk and the central bank, buying the gold and selling it on their behalf. The local livelihood is brought to a standstill when armed men arrive and arrest the miners, claiming to be working as part of the government’s environmental protection group. Kapitana then enlists the help of the mayor and DENR, but the armed men won’t yield, citing the governor as their backer. What follows is a political tug-of-war between the oppressor and the oppressed, culminating in a bloodbath that the town has never witnessed before, all because of gold.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ang Babae sa Septic Tank 2: Forever is Not Enough

Coming up with a script for their new film called The Itinerary, director Rainier (Kean Cipriano) and line producer Jocelyn (Cai Cortez) attempt to woo demanding actress Eugene Domingo (Eugene Domingo) to headline their new feature. She invites them to an all-exclusive spa where they discuss various aspects of the movie from the choice of leading men all the way down to the selection of a theme song. Director and actress do not see eye to eye and square off from time to time, causing some friction in the negotiation which Jocelyn and production assistant Lennon (Khalil Ramos) try their best to mediate. On one hand, Eugene wants her comeback to be a financial success, and thus pitches ideas based on mainstream formula. On the other hand, Rainier feels that he will lose the essence of the story, based on his very own crumbling marriage, if he succumbs to her demands.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Legend of the Blue Sea: Episode 13

푸른 바다의 전설: 제13
Joon-jae’s mom and Shi-ah’s sister-in-law have a heart-to-heart talk over soju, the former about her ex-husband and the latter about her investment issues with his stepmother. His father is tricked into affixing his stamp on a doctored last will and testament. Later that day, he falls down the stairs and slips into a coma. Shim Cheong is on cloud nine after he invites her to sleep next to him. He and Park Moo disagree over his reluctance to do more scams because of her. Shi-ah then takes his mother to his house, not knowing that the two are related. They are welcomed by Shim Cheong, who saved the woman earlier from a pickpocket. Shi-ah discovers the connection soon enough, seeing a mother-and-son photo in his room. They hurry up and leave before he arrives. Another hypnosis session shows him how Dam-ryeong was sent to exile, but convinced the royal guard to turn around just in time for him to save Se-hwa from their enemy’s spear. Seeing her dead lover, she thrusts the spear into her body.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Vince & Kath & James

Vince (Joshua Garcia) and James (Ronnie Alonte) are not just cousins. They are the best of friends, and this despite the similarities that they simply do not share. One is athletic and is the archetype of the varsity jock every girl on campus swoons over. What the other lacks in sportsmanship, he makes up for in words, authoring a blog called Da Vinci Quotes where he pours out his love frustrations behind the comforts of anonymity. But they do have something in common, which is their crush on Kath (Julia Barretto), the pretty Miss Engineering titleholder who is as dashing in a gown and a tiara on her head as she is valuable with a wrench and screwdriver at hand. One cousin gives way to the other and acts as a bridge instrumental in setting up the couple for a budding romance, but how long can he keep up the charade when his very own feelings start to betray him and act as his very own saboteur? Will his next blog entry be entitled Follow Your Heart or Bros Before Hoes?

Monday, December 26, 2016

Die Beautiful

After bringing home one first-runner up sash too many, Trisha (Paolo Ballesteros) finally wins a coveted title, that of Miss Gay Philippines. As the queens pose for a final group picture, he feels nauseated and ends up collapsing under the weight of his crown. Rushed to the nearest hospital, he no longer wakes up. What follows is an argument on who should bring home the body. His father (Joel Torre) and sister Beth (Gladys Reyes) both want to bring his corpse back home and bury him as a man, but his best friend Barbs (Christian Bables) won’t budge, arguing that he and his adopted daughter have been his only family ever since they disowned him when he came out of the closet. A glamorous life deserves a fabulous death, and Trisha’s only wish is to be transformed into a different celebrity for every night of his wake. He died beautiful, will he still be on the day of his interment?

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Sunday Beauty Queen

Being one of the few foreign destinations that can be reached from Manila by plane in under two hours, Hong Kong somehow serves as the baptism of fire for budding travelers from the Philippines daring to go international. But not every Filipino who flies there does so with the intention of sightseeing or shopping. There are almost 200,000 documented domestic helpers in HK, usually in a live-in arrangement with their employers. Most of them are expected to work day and night, six days a week. But on Sundays, they are free. If ever you’ve experienced the ex-British colony on a weekend and wondered what the influx of Filipinas in the streets is all about, then this film will answer that question for you. Here is their reality. As is. No filter.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Sense8: Episode 13

13. Happy F*cking New Year
Will and Riley are in hiding somewhere in Iceland, but his reliance on heroin to shut off his connection with Whispers is not enough. He can still track them and he also extends his threat by visiting his father back in Chicago. Nomi and Neets suffer the same fate, but count on close friends to hide their tracks. Capheus’ matatu explodes, but he gets a brand new one from his benefactor to repay him for saving his life. Sun is still in prison, not getting enough support because her brother keeps on interfering with her legal representation. Kala and Rajan head over to Positano for their honeymoon, but her constant visions of Wolfgang come between them. Wolfgang is wooed by different factions to be their new leader as the consequence of his uncle’s murder leaves a great void that needs to be filled. His stalwart refusal results in more danger not just for him, but also for a recently recovering Felix. Lito and Hernando experience the backlash of their scandal going viral and must deal with the consequences to their respective careers.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Legend of the Blue Sea: Episode 12

푸른 바다의 전설: 제12
FLASHBACK: A royal decree places Dam-ryeong under house arrest, putting Se-hwa’s life in danger. In modern day Seoul, Shim Cheong is also left vulnerable after Joon-jae’s arrest. She boards the Murderer’s taxi and is drugged. He convinces the police to trail the taxi, leading them to an abandoned hospital where the Murderer attempts to prove that she’s a mermaid. She threatens him with a curse, causing him to flee right before Joon-jae locates her. He bargains with the police, telling them he will cooperate in catching the Murderer, since they can’t charge them with anything concrete anyway. He keeps on stalking her thoughts, but it becomes burdensome as she thinks non-stop about his real intentions. Chi-Yeon asks about his real lineage after hearing his stepfather modify his will for everything to go to Joon-jae. Joon-jae’s mother heads to the hospital to pick up some meds. She runs into her ex-husband but he doesn't recognize her due to his failing eyesight. Chi-yeon gets drunk and warns Joon-jae that he can’t protect his father anymore.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Legend of the Blue Sea: Episode 11

푸른 바다의 전설: 제11
Contrary to Shim Cheong’s belief, Joon-jae pursues her even after discovering the truth. The Murderer dreams about Dam-ryeong about to behead him with his sword. Shim Cheong runs away and spends the night at a jjimjjilbang after seeing it done so many times in Korean dramas. When bullies steal her bag to get her money and turn her phone on, Joon-jae is able to track her, only to find his stepbrother there with her, who was the one who brought her there the night before. Joon-jae stays with her there but irks the other guests with him being overprotective of her and her aversion to water. Ge goes out with her on a date and asks her to wait as he picks up a gift. He gets caught by the police, as the Murderer sets his sights on Shim Cheong. Digging deeper into the Murderer’s records, it’s revealed that he moved in at the same time with a woman who married twice and got widowed twice, with both husbands going blind before they died. That woman is Joon-jae’s stepmother, and it looks like she’s at it again with his father now going blind.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Forced to abandon his daughter because of the crucial role he is going to play in the development of what would be referred to as the Death Star, weapons expert Galen Erso (Mad Mikkelsen) is abducted by the Empire after Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) shoots his wife to death. More than a decade later, his daughter Jyn (Felicity Jones) is in prison for various petty crimes. A deal is brokered when the Rebel Alliance offers her a mission in exchange for her freedom. The agenda is to team up with intelligence officer Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) in tracking her father in hopes of stopping the “planet killer” he devised in being used against them. After narrowly escaping the obliteration of Jedha in a test run of the armament’s might, she gains some important intel on how to destroy the thing, but it would require the full cooperation of the rebellion. However, not all of them are ready to wager their resources on a rebel nobody with no hard evidence in hand. Is this the end of the resistance?

Friday, December 16, 2016

Mano Po 7: Chinoy

Wilson (Richard Yap) and Debbie (Jean Garcia) Wong celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary with a lavish party. In complete attendance are their relatives, as well as their two lovely daughters Catherine (Jana Agoncillo) and Caroline (Janella Salvador). High, Wilson Jr. (Enchong Dee) arrives scandal-ready, blabbering incoherently before collapsing on the cake. A few days later, his mother sends him to rehab, much to the chagrin of his father who thinks he is a failure. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Under the surface is a brimming stew of family issues ready to boil over anytime. After all, you don’t reach your silver wedding anniversary without dealing with the requisite challenges that characterize a marriage. Overlapping with unresolved matters of the past, the Wong family will have to work together to weather this storm out, but not everyone is in a cooperative mood.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Legend of the Blue Sea: Episode 10

푸른 바다의 전설: 제10
Joon-jae asks Shim Cheong about her dream where he saves her, but she lies about not remembering it. She brings the little girl she befriended home because she cut school not wanting to go, given how the other kids bully her. She later finds out that the kid can hear her inner voice, and makes her promise not to tell anyone. Joon-jae teaches Shim Cheong how to drink alcohol and she gets drunk, blabbering incoherently before admitting that she is “not human”. Her hangover recuperation capability proves to be really fast, snapping out of her drunken stupor every time she’s about to admit that she’s a mermaid. The gang heads to Shi-ah’s home to carry out their scam. Shi-ah almost catches them when she comes back until Tae-Oh steps in lying to her saying that he loves her just to divert her attention. They get out of there before she comes back. Shim Cheong catches up, thinking but not telling him that he is a con-artist, not knowing that he can also somehow hear her inner voice. She admits to him that she’s a mermaid before she runs away.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Legend of the Blue Sea: Episode 9

푸른 바다의 전설: 제9
Joon-jae asks Shim Cheong not to leave, before he collapses due to his wounds. Unconscious, he meets Dam-ryeong in his dream, who warns him that history will repeat itself and that he must protect her. The gang identifies their assailant as Ma Dae-young (성동일), the escaped murderer. Because of this, he becomes overprotective of her, even criticizing her friendship with the neighborhood hobo. Joon-jae, his stepbrother, and his father all cross paths at the hospital. Emotions run high and heated words are exchanged between father and son. As he relives all the pain of their separation, he rejects every move he makes towards reconciliation. Shim Cheong becomes his crying shoulder and confidante. They kiss. The next morning, he cooks for her. Shi-ah drops by with more intel on the site of Kim Dam-ryeong’s family home. In the past timeline, he buries a clue for Joon-jae, his future self, to find. Shi-ah finds it at the excavation site and shows it to him, putting his doubts to rest.

Sunday, December 11, 2016


When shapeshifting demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson) steals the heart of island goddess Te Fiti, it unleashes one too many monsters lured by its power to create and nurture life. The mishap leads to his downfall and exile on a far-flung island without his fishhook, which gives him his supernatural abilities. A thousand years will pass before the ocean chooses a young girl to oppose the will of the big blue abyss to head back to Te Fiti and return her heart. Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) is next in line to inherit her father’s mandate as village chief. Life on Motunui has been peaceful and nature has been generous to the island folk, until they are faced with fishless seas and rotten coconuts. Desperate for solutions, the young chieftain decides to take their local mythology seriously. And so she ventures into the great beyond in search of the demigod, and she does find him. But a millennium without practice has made him less powerful than he used to be, and the odds of beating the lava monster Ta Ka who guards Te Fiti are no longer in their favor.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Super Parental Guardians

Running into her BFF after a long time, Sarah (Matet de Leon) entrusts the safety of her two young sons Melvin (Awra Briguela) and Ernie (Onyok Pineda) to Arci (Vice Ganda). Working for an influential politician, he seems to be the better option for child custody as opposed to her brother Paco (Coco Martin), a gang leader in the dangerous slum area where they reside. When she inevitable ends up dead with a knife on her torso and a placard on her body saying “Balut Addict”, Arci steps in and attempts to fulfill his promise, but Paco does not yield. He eventually does when he realizes that he can't really provide for his two nephews. Together, the three relocate to Arci’s house and form a rather non-conventional family, until danger knocks on their door again with some grim memories of the recent past.

Friday, December 9, 2016

[VISA] China (24-hr Transit)

I’ve transited in Beijing thrice this year so far, with the first two going smoothly with Air China. Both times they just gave me all the boarding passes upon check-in and my luggage went straight to my final destination. With Hainan Airlines, I took the risk. They began plying the Beijing – Las Vegas route a few days ago, and for just USD287 for a Las Vegas – Beijing – HK flight (via Hong Kong Airlines), it’s the cheapest trans-Pacific flight I could find for the holiday season. And so I booked it on Priceline at once.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Legend of the Blue Sea: Episode 8

푸른 바다의 전설: 제8
Figuring out that Shim Cheong must be naked in the pool, Joon-jae doesn’t look and he doesn’t find out that she’s a mermaid. Shi-ah shows him the Joseon era vase with the mermaid drawing on it. He consults a doctor regarding short term memory loss and they use hypnosis for him to seek what he’s trying to find. Shim Cheong wonders how long her heart can last before it falters. She asks him directly if he has any plans to love her in the future, but he responds that it is not that easy. Nevertheless, it gets both of them thinking about the weird phenomenon that is love. Shi-ah asks about Joon-jae’s mom after being counseled that the way to win his heart is by befriending his mother, not knowing that it’s the same woman she is mistreating at home. The murderer tricks Joon-jae into meeting him. He recognizes him from his past life. A fight ensues, but he comes prepared. Shim Cheong’s merman friend finally succumbs to heartache. She meets the human he fell in love with and they get to have a heart to heart talk.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Legend of the Blue Sea: Episode 7

푸른 바다의 전설: 제7
FLASHBACK: Dam-ryeong finds Se-hwa bound in a stockroom. He takes her away and tells her about a dream he had in which they were born again and found a way back into each other’s arms. At present, Shim Cheong tells Joon-jae about a good guy she met, him not knowing that it’s actually him she’s referring to. He dreams about Dam-ryeong’s friend just as his dad’s right hand man figures in a car accident orchestrated by the murderer, who almost gets caught by the police. A flashback reveals how Joon-jae started as a con-man, with his mentor tricking him at first when he pretended to be a private investigator helping him find his mother. Shim Cheong meets a merman living as a lifeguard who gives her valuable advice: the tears they shed become pearls and can be used to get money. He also warns her that she has a time limit and that her heart will soon harden if the person she loves doesn’t love her back. As the gang heads out for another day of scamming, she takes a dip in the pool, not knowing that Joon-jae has come back for his phone.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

[NEVADA] Budget and Itinerary

TUESDAY: 6 December 2016
Volaris (Mexico City - Las Vegas) - 125.98
Airbnb (1 Night) - 17.00
RTC Bus (2-hr Pass) - 3.00
Max's (Daing na Bangus + Large Rice) - 18.92
RTC Bus (24-hr Pass) - 5.00

[CLARK] What Happens in Vegas

I haven’t been to Vegas, but the prospect of going there has always been brought up whenever I am in Los Angeles. I guess I’ve been delaying it for quite a while because I know that I would love to indulge on my slot machine addiction, which you cannot really do if you are not loaded at the moment. It didn’t matter, because the time has come when I found some really cheap airfare on Kayak via Hainan Airlines’ newly launched Beijing – Las Vegas route. USD 287 one-way for Las Vegas – Beijing – Hong Kong! Beat that.

Monday, December 5, 2016

[MEXICO CITY] Budget and Itinerary (3)

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Spanish Course) - 7,910.00
Airbnb (x7 Weeks) - 6,190.00
Food Allowance (x7 Weeks) - 8,400.00
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (CELA) - 970.00

[PUEBLA] Budget and Itinerary

SATURDAY: 3 December 2016
Estrella Roja (Mexico City - Cholula) - 126.00
Airbnb (1 Night) - 240.00
Toilet (Zona Arqueológica) - 5.00
Water (Zona Arqueológica) - 10.00
Chicken Town (Chicken Tender w/Fries + Water) - 69.00
Uber (Cholula - Puebla) - 95.96

Saturday, December 3, 2016

[CHOLULA] The World's Biggest Pyramid

15 KM west of Puebla, Cholula is one of Mexico’s Pueblos Mágicos. A small university town with a young population, tourists mostly just skip it in favor of its bigger neighbor, which happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Even then, a lot of people who have several days to spare in Puebla make it a point to go to Cholula on a daytrip. The reason? Well, it houses the world’s largest pyramid. Okay, I see some raised eyebrows there. The disclaimer is that it is the biggest in terms of volume, whatever that means.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Underworld: Blood Wars

Hunted by both werewolves and vampires because of her hybrid blood that can give extraordinary abilities to both groups, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) is on the run with David (Theo James) until the eastern coven grants them amnesty and refuge. In exchange, power-hungry elder Semira (Lara Pulver) asks her to train the young death dealers of the clan so that they can match the growing threat of an invasion led by Marius (Tobias Menzies), the most powerful Lycan leader they have come across yet. When true intentions are revealed and alliances are shifted, Selene finds herself in a precarious position of protecting her daughter whose whereabouts she’s not even aware of. With the help of David’s father Thomas (Charles Dance), the two head north to seek help and answers from the northern coven, not knowing that they are leading the enemies right at their very doorstep.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Legend of the Blue Sea: Episode 6

푸른 바다의 전설: 제6
FLASHBACK: Se-hwa is saved last minute by one of Dam-ryeong’s friends, hiding her in a cave before falling off a cliff to his death being pursued by their enemies. In modern day Seoul, Joon-jae finds Shim Cheong’s flyers and phone scattered at the Namsan complex entrance, figuring out that something must have happened to her. She was brought to the hospital by his stepbrother, but can’t be identified due to lack of ID’s. Searching around, he finally finds her unconscious and cold with a body temperature of 29C. She goes into cardiac arrest as he watches, but wakes up minutes later after he holds her hand. His sidekicks in crime, mentor Park Moo (이희준) and hacker Tae-oh (신원호) arrive with a fake ID for her so they can get her out. The stepbrothers meet at the hospital, prompting a confrontation. The gang targets one of the hospital’s greedy officers, making him admit the truth to a woman seeking justice for her daughter who died of maltreatment. Joon-jae takes Shim Cheong to a ski resort so she can experience snow.

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