Saturday, May 20, 2017

Невеста (The Bride)

In the 1800’s a Russian scientist gave a talk on how photography could capture the soul of a dead individual. Although such claim was met with ridicule by the academic community, it sparked a strange practice of taking a picture of a deceased loved one and keeping the negative safe in order to preserve their spirit. When a professional photographer engaged in such practice is caught unawares by the sudden death of his young bride, he kidnaps a small-town virgin and buries the two together, in hopes of transferring her soul to her body. Many decades later, Olga’s (Мария Арнаут) great grandson Ivan (Вячеслав Чепурченко) takes his wife Nastya (Виктория Агалакова) home to meet the family. Little do the newlyweds know that they will soon be entangled in a century-old practice that will spell doom not just for their marriage, but also for their very existence.

Friday, May 19, 2017


Jane Ciego (Iza Calzado) always knew that she wanted to be a star. Treading the typical child actress path, she ends up burned-out and drowning in dreams she’s not even sure are hers. Producing an indie horror flick in hopes of earning respect from her peers, she figures in an accident while shooting a crucial scene, falling 20 feet and landing head first on a wooden headboard. She wakes up on a wheelchair in an unfamiliar house accompanied by her bum husband Carlo (TJ Trinidad) and placed under the care of a deranged nurse named Lilibeth (Adrienne Vergara). She soon finds herself caught in a vicious time loop, starting the day with the sight of the smoke alarm on her ceiling followed by her husband preparing breakfast before asking her to sign a cheque to fund his “restaurant equipment”. It doesn’t take long before she begins responding to the name Abigail and seeing her husband replaced by her co-star Joshua (Ian Veneracion), who insists that she must be hallucinating. It dawns on her that she is not just stuck at Abigail’s haunted house, but rather she’s also forced to live the life of the character she is portraying onscreen, over and over again.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Dear Other Self

Rebecca (Jodi Sta. Maria) is a source of inspiration for aspiring travelers, what with her famous travel blog and 10k followers on Instagram. She traces her success story back to her decision to resign from her 9-5 job and fly to Thailand to fulfill her dream of travelling solo. There she meets Henry (Xian Lim), a Filipino-Canadian backpacker who becomes her companion as she braves her new world. An alternate reality unfolds where she does not quit her job and becomes successful career wise, even developing a romantic relationship with her co-worker Chris (Joseph Marco). However, she is constantly hounded by her family’s dire financial situation as well as the what-if scenario of leaving every responsibility behind to follow her dreams. The two Rebeccas experience their respective ups and downs, lending two distinct perspectives on living the same life, but through a different lens.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

[PORT MORESBY] Budget and Itinerary

FRIDAY: 12 May 2017
Qantas (Brisbane - Port Moresby) - 795.00
Airbnb (2 Nights) - 345.00
Digicell (Sim Card + Top-up) - 50.00
Taxi (Airport - Airvos) - 30.00
Yellow Captain (Carbonara w/Coke & Chicken Popcorn) - 45.60
City Pharmacy (Water x4) - 6.00

Saturday, May 13, 2017

[PORT MORESBY] A Papua Kinda Staycation

The thought of visiting Papua New Guinea was highly hypothetical at first. I knew I needed a way to get back to Manila from Australia, and a cheap Cebu Pacific flight via Sydney seemed to be the perfect idea and the cheapest alternative. Nevertheless, I toyed with the idea for a while despite the lack of prospects. The Wikitravel page already warned me that the flight tickets alone would already be expensive on their own, and that I wouldn’t be seeing a lot if I opt to just stay in Port Moresby.

Friday, May 12, 2017

[QUEENSLAND] Budget and Itinerary

TUESDAY: 9 May 2017
Virgin Australia (Auckland - Brisbane) - 195.50
Airbnb (3 Nights) - 120.00
Conxion (Airport - West End - Airport) - 36.72

Thursday, May 11, 2017

[BRISBANE] Breezy in Brissy

Queensland was intentionally left out of the itinerary when I made my debut down under last year. It’s just that, all the cheap Air Asia X flights land in Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney back then. This made Brisbane or Gold Coast a bit too inaccessible for me because I’m such a cheapo. But that is no longer a problem now. With Air Asia X now serving the state via Gold Coast, coming back is an issue of when rather than if. And now the dilemma, which city should I choose given the limited time frame?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

[AUCKLAND] Budget and Itinerary

FRIDAY: 6 May 2017
Air Asia X (Kuala Lumpur - Gold Coast - Auckland) - 305.00

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

[AUCKLAND] The Devonport Detour

Patrick opened the door. I woke up startled and wondered what the fuck my Airbnb landlord was doing in my room. Coming to my senses after five seconds or so, that question was quickly converted to what the fuck was I doing in that room. I grabbed my phone involuntarily and checked the time. It was 10:10 AM. I should be on an Intercity bus that left Sky City two hours ago. And then I immediately had to pass on the blame because that’s what I do. “What time do you leave?” asked Patrick.

Monday, May 8, 2017

[AUCKLAND] CBD + One Tree Hill

Waking up at 3 PM, this is probably my most appropriate anecdote for the woke-up-like-this crowd. After rushing to brush my teeth, wash my face, and fix my hair, I then went out wearing the same clothes I slept in. It was a jogging pants/waffle shirt combo, which I guess was the reason why I got some weird stares that translated to “But why is he in his pyjamas?” But then again, this is Auckland. To the mixed crowd that I encountered on Queen Street, I was probably just the hobo with the good hair.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

[AUCKLAND] The Interrogation

There are no direct flights to New Zealand if you are coming from Manila. PAL flies to Auckland, but they have a technical stop in Cairns and the fare is expensive AF. The cheapest way from Southeast Asia is via Kuala Lumpur with Air Asia X, with an hour and fifteen minutes of transit in Gold Coast. A New Zealand visa is free for Philippine passport holders and you can apply, submit your documents, and receive the visa copy online. But you still have to go to the embassy to show your passport, which kinda sucks.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Sense8: Episode 16

16. Polyphony
Will makes a quick exit from the bloody outcome of his Rijks Museum meetup as Sun fights off the guards and Lito stages a hysterical distraction through Riley. Wolfgang breaks the news of his encounter with another Sense8 from a different cluster, prompting a subtle tinge of jealousy from Kala who starts sending him mixed signals. Capheus and she are caught in a riot in Nairobi and Mumbai, respectively. He becomes some sort of a local celebrity thanks to his grassroots advocacy and is interviewed on national TV. Whispers is back, having one of his men tail Neets as she comes back home from work. Lito revisits the house of the Mexican Sense8 from Jonas’ cluster, retrieving a VHS tape showing lethal experiments made on members of their cluster. Jonas is wheeled into a room for his final operation. He manages to visit Will for his last goodbye, apologizing for failing them. As Will and Nomi panic on what to do to help him, they realize it’s too late, standing there helplessly and watching one of the doctors slice his forehead.

Sense8: Episode 15

15. Obligate Mutualisms
Will’s cluster celebrates their victory, mocking Whispers and going full-on with their investigation. With Whispers officially off their case, they now have to deal with his boss at BPO. Their momentary euphoria is cut short as Sun is escorted to what is supposed to be her execution. As all eight feel the jolt of the tasers, they are rescued by an unexpected ally. They use the opportunity to successfully break her out of prison, and she goes into hiding in Seoul. Lito’s movie deals start to fall apart and they begin to feel the pressure. Wolfgang and Felix are constantly bribed with luxurious gifts by their new friend, who proposes an international money laundering business partnership. He is seduced by his assistant, a gorgeous Sense8 from another cluster. Jonas reappears and they discover that he is the last of his. Will meets up with Whisper’s boss, who explains that there are factions within BPO that want a more peaceful future. Just as he is offering him an olive branch, Whisper’s assassin ambushes them and kills him on the spot.

Sense8: Episode 14

14. Who Am I?
Will gets a glimpse of the initial stages of the Sense8 experiment involving Whispers and Angelica. The two try to outwit each other into giving away their location, but are caught in a deadlock. Riley asks for Kala’s help to stabilize his condition, but his health continues to decline. Nomi and Neets delve deeper into their research on Homo Sensorium all while trying to hack Whispers, but to no avail. They visit the mother of Sarah, the “ghost” of the girl Will often saw as a kid, and discover her connection to the Sense8 program. Lito attends his movie premiere with Hernando and Daniela and gets grilled by the press, just as Capheus is interviewed regarding his matatu’s glorification of violence and white supremacy in Nairobi. Wolfgang, joined by Sun, visits the zoo and reminisces about his mother. All of them rush to Will’s side just in time for him to ambush Whispers, who is caught unawares visiting one of the company bigwigs in London. His location is a dead giveaway and is left with no choice but panic as Will promises that they will come for him.

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