Sunday, October 13, 2019

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Atlantis Theatrical)

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Ex-convict Benjamin Barker comes back to London as Sweeney Todd (Jett Pangan) to look for his wife and daughter as well as exact revenge on Judge Turpin (Andrew Fernando), who framed him up for a crime he didn’t commit in an effort to steal his wife. Pie maker Mrs. Lovett (Lea Salonga) welcomes him back to the area and helps in setting up his barbershop, which quickly becomes popular because of his superb skills. Unbeknownst to many, Todd and Lovett have formed a criminal partnership wherein he slits the throats of his customers, many of them men who did him wrong in the past, before dropping them down a trapdoor leading to her bake shop where their bodies are minced and used as the key ingredient in her mouth-watering meat pies. With the help of sailor Anthony Hope (Gerald Santos) who finds Barker’s daughter Joanna (Mikkie Bradshaw-Volante), Todd will not stop until he gets his revenge and his family back.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Himala Isang Musikal (9 Works Theatrical)

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

The rural town of Cupang has seen better days. With drought, poverty, and sickness plaguing the villages, everyone is looking for a miracle. They find that miracle in Elsa (Aicelle Santos). Heading back home one afternoon, the barrio lass is blinded by a white light and claims to have witnessed an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who she claims tells her to become an instrument of healing. Soon, Elsa becomes a faith healer and is now the talk of the town, with tourists and sick people all over the country coming to her shrine to see her in hopes of being cured. Her mother Saling (Bituin Escalante) is reluctant, but the women of the town are persuasive. With the help of her best friend turned disciple Chayong (Neomi Gonzales), she becomes the town’s messiah, but not everyone is happy with such turn of events.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

[NEW YORK] Budget and Itinerary (5)


SATURDAY: 28 September 2019
ANA (Manila - New York - Manila) - 831.14
Blue Moon Hotel (2 Nights/4 Bed Dorm) - 148.77
NJ Transit (Newark - NY Penn) - 13.00
MTA Card (1 Week Pass) - 34.00
Sea Wall/A Life (Broadway) - 101.50
Convenience Store (Water) - 2.17
USD1,130.58

[MANHATTAN] Broadway Barrage Season 4


This year marks the fourth season of Broadway Barrage, probably the only thing I look forward to every year now. The selection this year is almost equally divided between straight plays and musicals with neither genre ending up being disappointing. Over all, it has been an awesome year and a lot of shows made a very good impression that it’s just so damn hard to choose a favorite. Or maybe I don’t have to choose a favorite! Hopefully, this lineup can be duplicated for the 5th season coming next year.


Saturday, October 5, 2019

[NEW JERSEY] Budget and Itinerary


FRIDAY: 4 October 2019
Megabus (New York - Princeton New York) - 15.50
Wawa (Mineral Water) - 1.79
Princeton Pi & Hoagie (Pasta) - 10.95
USD28.24

[PRINCETON] Princeton Campus Tour


Last stop, Princeton! I booked a Megabus ticket for $1 from NY to NJ and a $12.50 ticket going back. Yes, you can get $1 bus tickets on Megabus if you book early and if you select a not so popular departure time. The surprise of the day was how we all ended up on a Suburban bus, which had WiFi but no power outlets like Megabus does. But hey, for a $1 interstate bus ride am I really allowed to complain? Heading to New Jersey takes an hour and a half. Double that to 3 hours if going back to Manhattan on a late Friday afternoon.

Friday, October 4, 2019

The Sound Inside (Broadway)

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Bella (Mary-Louise Parker) is a tenured Creative Writing professor at Yale diagnosed with the same kind of cancer that killed her mother years back. Christopher (Will Hochman) is an overly enthusiastic student who comes over during office hours without appointments to discuss a novel that he is writing. The two get to know each other through discussions of Dostoevsky and some liquor, debating on grounds of literary criticism for her and on hatred of social media for him. As his novel progresses, so do their interaction and acquaintance. Still, there lingers the question as to what his motivations are for forging a close relationship with his mentor. The answer might just lie on the piece of literature he is writing or, as she would like to say, on the sound inside, whatever that means.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Beetlejuice (Broadway)

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Teenager Lydia Deetz (Sophia Anne Caruso) just can’t get over the death of her mother. She grieves and obsesses about death as much as she could. Her father Charles (Adam Dannheisser) hires life coach and his lover Delia (Leslie Kritzer) to help the girl move on. They also transfer to a new house for a change of environment, not knowing that it is the house of deceased couple Barbara (Kerry Buttler) and Adam Maitland (Rob McClure) who were just prepping up for family life when they met their sudden demise. Not willing to move on to the other side, the couple haunt the house, but are deemed not scary enough for the part. When Lydia sees the duo, she finds an opportunity to move back to their old home by conniving with the ghosts to scare her father and future stepmom, but it doesn’t work. Enter Beetlejuice (Alex Brightman), a demon who wants to be visible and will try everything to make it happen by finding an alive and kicking human being to say his name thrice. In the end, will it be Lydia?

Moulin Rouge (Broadway)

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

American songwriter Christian (Aaron Tveit) moves to Paris to join the Bohemian revolution and hone his art, but instead finds an unlikely family in playwright Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (Sahr Ngaujah) and narcoleptic Argentinean Santiago (Ricky Rojas). The trio of artists head to the Moulin Rouge to propose a new play, making the cabaret’s star Satine (Karen Olivo) believe that Christian is the Duke of Monroth (Tam Mutu) who she needs to seduce for financial backing of the now almost bankrupt theater. Sparks fly and the two fall in love despite clear warning from the Duke that he owns everything there is to the club, including her. With his investment, they come up with a play about two doomed lovers who can’t be together, mirroring their real-life setup. With the harsh reality of life quickly catching up with them, can they really afford to uphold the values of Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Love?

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Betrayal (Broadway)

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Emma (Zawe Ashton) and Jerry (Charlie Cox) are a married couple, but not to each other. Despite the fact, they carry on having an affair for seven years and believe that their respective spouses have absolutely no idea regarding their infidelity. Robert (Tom Hiddleston), Emma’s husband and Jerry’s best friend, actually knows for quite some time now, but is aloof because he himself has been having an affair of his own. When Jerry finds out that Robert knows, the two meet up and a discussion between friends begins, putting into detail what used to be mere suspicions and doubts. As the three continue to live a normal life despite their cheating tendencies, they discover what really makes their relationship with one another tick, but will friendship suffice to justify cheating and betrayal?

Dear Evan Hansen (Broadway)

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Aside from medication, Evan Hansen (Michael Lee Brown) is advised to write letters addressed to himself to ease his bouts of anxiety. When he does, he accidentally leaves one on the school printer which is eventually found by a high Connor Murphy (Alex Boniello). What should have been the start of an odd friendship takes an unexpected turn when their unlikely conversation becomes a misunderstanding and Connor commits suicide with Evan’s letter found in his possessions. Mistaking it for a suicide note addressed to his only friend, the Murphy’s hang on to the letter believing it to be their son’s last memory. Seeing how he can be instrumental in helping with the family’s grief, Evan crafts one lie followed by another and then another until he gets entangled in an intricate web of deceit that spirals out of control, affecting all of them in ways both beneficial and detrimental.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

[CONNECTICUT] Budget and Itinerary


TUESDAY: 1 October 2019
Greyhound (Providence - New Haven) - 26.50
Subway (Spicy Italian + Lays + Coke + Cookie) - 12.24
BBQ Chicken (Tonkatsu w/Rice _ Coke) - 14.88
Bolt Bus (New Haven - New York) - 10.00
USD63.62

[NEW HAVEN] Yale Campus Tour


After Brown came Yale. Both Providence and New Haven are accessible via the I-95 and some buses coming from NYC will usually stop in New Haven first before heading to Providence. New Haven is a two-hour bus trip from Manhattan, with both Bolt Bus and Greyhound stopping at Union Station. If you prefer trains, it’s also where Amtrak and Acela stop, but train tickets are much more expensive than bus fares, so this really depends whether you value comfort over money. Travel time is the same, more or less.

Monday, September 30, 2019

[RHODE ISLAND] Budget and Itinerary


MONDAY: 30 September 2019
Peter Pan (New York - Providence) - 27.50
AirBNB (1 Night) - 86.87
CVS (Cetirizine x5) - 6.73
Ruby Thai (Fried Rice + Coke) - 10.25
USD131.35

[PROVIDENCE] Brown Campus Tour


Coming back to the Philippines and starting anew meant losing my travel perks. I only get five VL credits a year now in my current job. I told myself that I can lose all those travel perks, but defo NOT New York. I need my annual Broadway fix to maintain my sanity. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t squeeze in a city or two nearby for that one week in the Big Apple. For this year, I’ve decided that an Ivy League campus tour is in order. And so I planned accordingly and booked the bus tickets. Brown – Yale – Princeton, then!

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Broadway)

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Now in his late 30’s, Harry Potter (James Snyder) juggles being a father and working for the Ministry of Magic. Hermione Granger (Jenny Jules) is the Minister of Magic and is married to Ron Weasley (Matt Mueller), having a son together as well as a daughter named Rose (Nadia Brown). Albus Severus Potter (Nicholas Podany) is the middle child and hardest to deal with among the three. Things get even more complicated when the Sorting Hat places him in Slytherin instead of Gyffindor. Raising eyebrows with the house classification and forever living under the shadow of his famous dad, he finds friendship in Scorpius Malfoy (Bubba Weiler), the geeky son of Draco (Jonno Roberts), who is an outcast himself and persistently hounded by rumors that he is the Dark Lord’s own spawn. As the duo navigate through potions, spells, and Hogwarts cliques, they soon court danger to prove that they can be great wizards, and perhaps change the wizarding world in the process.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Sea Wall/A Life (Broadway)

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Alex (Tom Sturridge) is a photographer who recounts his vacation with the family in southern France where a sea wall forms a part of the scenery and where they find joy and loss in the sea. However, what starts off as fun ends in a tragedy. Abe (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a musical producer and is about to become a father. He soon realizes that his keen attention to detail will not help him that much on his way to fatherhood. He is also shocked by the news of his father’s worsening condition, and must now deal with conflicting emotions of saying goodbye to a life all while welcoming a new one. Two men. Two monologues. Two tales of love and loss. Two stories of death and life. This is Sea Wall/A Life.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

G!

♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Four friends form the dream team of their school’s soccer group. Growing up as best friends, team captain Sam (McCoy de Leon) and heartthrob Dom (Jameson Blake) are putting their youth to good use by living the life ahead of them to the fullest. Little do they know that everything is about to change for one of them. Scoring a goal in one of their fames, Sam’s vision turns hazy and he collapses out of the blue. Taken to the emergency room of the nearest hospital, he is eventually diagnosed with Stage 3 Gallbladder Cancer. Hit with the realization that he is living on borrowed time and might not live to see another day, he comes up with a bucket list that the four of them then pursue. Their new YOLO initiative comes to a halt when they suddenly find a dead body at the back of their pick-up truck.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Lola Igna

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Lola Igna (Angie Ferro) is the oldest living grandmother in the Philippines. At 118 years old, she is in the running for an award from the Amazing People of the World which will see her awarded with a truckload of cash as well as prestige. Her newfound fame proves to be a tourism draw for her humble little town, her small hut becoming an instant tourist attraction. People all over the country come in droves for a visit and to take a selfie with her. One of them is Tim (Yves Flores), a millennial vlogger who turns out to be her estranged granddaughter Ana’s (Meryll Soriano) son. Tired of living and openly yearning for death, Lola Igna finds a new reason to live with the arrival of her great grandson, but fate has such a wicked sense of humor that is bound to take both of them by surprise.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Open

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Romina (Arci Muñoz) and Ethan (JC Santos) have been in a relationship for 14 years. Happy with their current live in set up, he is not really thinking about marriage, while she obviously wants it. Going to an engagement party after a family reunion, she is pleasantly surprised and then utterly disappointed thinking it would be theirs. As it turns out, it is his best friend’s engagement and he is just the best man. A lovers’ quarrel ensues in the car. The next day he sees his best friend’s fiancée in front of a condo french kissing another woman. Confronting the soon-to-be groom, he finds out that the two are in an open relationship. They are indeed getting married but free to see and sleep with other people they don’t know. With their relationship going stale, Ethan floats the idea to Rome. She hesitantly agrees, thinking it’s the only way to save them from breaking up. His first prospect: Erica (Ina Raymundo), his sexy boss who has been sending him mixed signals at work.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Panti Sisters

♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Filthy rich patriarch of the Panti clan Don Emilio (John Arcilla) is dying of testicular cancer. Announcing the bad news to his estranged sons, he invites all three of them to dinner for one final wish in line with their inheritance. Whoever will be the first to give him a biological grandchild will inherit the entirety of his wealth amounting to 300 million pesos. Eldest son Gabriel (Paolo Ballesteros) has left the family home long ago after being disowned for being gay and now works as a drag queen performer at a bar. Illegitimate son Samuel (Christian Bables) considers himself as the Queen of Tondo and goes to the reunion with his opportunistic mother Vilma (Rosanna Roces) in tow. Youngest son Daniel (Martin del Rosario) maintains his K-Pop appearance and is living in with his boyfriend Zernan (Joross Gamboa) who promises him marriage. All their plans are derailed as they scramble to find a girl to impregnate in exchange for their inheritance.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Pagbalik

♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

A single mother in her 50’s, Rica (Suzette Ranillo) comes back to the Philippines after getting Trump’d. Working as a caregiver in the United States, she has been deported and is given no other choice but to come back to the motherland. Given the financial hardships involved in staying in the country without a well-paying job, she is already considering the possibility of becoming an OFW again, applying for a similar job in the UK this time around. Her mother Choleng (Gloria Sevilla) is getting harder and harder to deal with as she gets older, while her son (Vince Ranillo) has devoted most of his adult life taking care of his grandmother instead of living his own. As the days go by, the trio soon realize that coming back is not all about hugs and smiles, but also entails a lot of effort in adjusting to a new reality brought about by a long time of absence.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

I'm Ellenya L.

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Millennial Ellenya Lakampati (Maris Rascal), aka Ellenya L, has always dreamed of becoming a social media celebrity like her idol Sue Ramirez. The only problem is that she doesn’t really have any online presence to speak of. Her father (Gio Alvarez) is ever supportive, creating fake accounts to like her daughter’s posts, while her grandmother (Nova Villa) is rather apprehensive and believes her granddaughter should focus more on a real career instead of job hopping every other month or so. When she meets Kyle (Pat Sugui), a popular content creator and manager, she grabs the opportunity to pose as a legit influencer even when she’s really not. Counting on the help of her best friend Peng (Iñigo Pascual), Ellenya L will stop at nothing to reach social media super stardom. The question is, how far will she go to achieve her dream and, in the end, will it all be worth the challenge?

Monday, September 16, 2019

Watch Me Kill

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Luciana (Jean Garcia) is a gunman for hire and quite skilled in what she does, being the go-to hitman of choice from criminals all the way to ordinary citizens in pursuit of revenge that they themselves cannot exact. Everything goes well for her and she gets paid more than enough while maintaining a modest lifestyle in an old house in the woods far from prying eyes. And then she meets Franco (Jay Manalo), a crime boss interested in a rare diamond that an eccentric military retiree scooped out from a river. The task proves to be a walk in the park for Luciana, leaving half a dozen collateral damage in her wake. What she didn’t expect, though, is for a young girl she names Aurora (Junyka Santarin) to be involved in the fray. Once the conscience she thought she already lost a long time ago kicks in, she begins to rethink her decisions in life.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Cuddle Weather

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

After a successful transaction, long-time prostitute Adela (Sue Ramirez) ends her birthday in yet another motel room. Barging in uninvited, she tries to lure Ram (RK Bagatsing) in for another round, not knowing that he himself is a call boy new in the flesh trade. After discovering that they belong to the same sector of society roaming the streets of Poblacion at night, he decides to follow her around and ask for tips on how to up his market value. Not in need of a burden, she ends up with him anyway when he is recommended by one of her pimp friends as her paid cuddle buddy. Soon, she lets him move in and pay rent in the condition that their relationship will remain platonic and that he will not take advantage of her. As his newly-found career starts to skyrocket with one successful referral after another, she on the contrary mulls over the possibility of retiring after almost a decade in the business.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

LSS

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Two strangers meet on a P2P bus ride. Zack (Khalil Ramos) and Sarah (Gabbi Garcia) find themselves spending their time lost in traffic engaged in smalltalk and eventually segue to their common interest in musical genres and acts. As they reach their destination, the two walk towards opposite directions seemingly never to meet again as they immediately go back to their own realities. He has spent the last five years in the friendzone, not mustering the courage to court his bisexual bestfriend. She is an aspiring musician, setting aside her dreams and working odd jobs to send her younger brother to school. As they wade through the difficulties of their own lives, their paths will inadvertently cross again as dictated by their choice in music.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Circa

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Renowned film producer Doña Atang (Anita Linda) fast approaches her 100th birthday. The movie matriarch’s daughters: sister Rosa (Laurice Guillen); blacksheep Susan (Elizabeth Oropesa); and balikbayan Maria (Gina Alajar) all come home to the childhood mansion where they grew up to celebrate their mother’s milestone. Her grandson Michael (Enchong Dee) is a budding filmmaker himself and would like to surprise his lola by contacting many of the industry greats that she has worked with both onscreen and offscreen through the decades. The task proves to be a difficult one given how much the landscape of cinema has changed since she was last active in the business. With the help of nanny Meding (Jaclyn Jose), he goes through their family’s collection of film negatives rusting down in the basement, uncovering some memories both good and bad as well as some mysterious truths that he might never fully understand.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Just a Stranger

♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

A married woman goes to church to confess. The neophyte priest hears the confession of Mae (Anne Curtis), who gives him a blow-by-blow recap of how she began an illicit affair with the 19-year-old son of the Philippine consul in Portugal. What started out as an excursion with her friends in Lisbon ended in infidelity, followed-up by more instances of maintaining an extra-marital affair with Jericho (Marco Gumabao) the moment they found themselves back in the Philippines. Her husband Phil (Edu Manzano) is aloof but curtails all her financial benefits anyway, not wanting to fund her betrayal. Jericho, on the other hand, welcomes the return of his girlfriend but still insists on seeing the older and more mature Mae. As they begin to genuinely fall for one another, they soon realize that their setup will never be accepted by the society they belong to, and soon they must come to a decision.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Hello, Love, Goodbye

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Joy (Kathryn Bernardo) is a domestic helper in Hong Kong. With her contract ending in a couple of months, she is always searching for side jobs to save more money for her pending application to Canada. Since her visa only allows her to work for just one family and only in that line of job, she is always on the lookout for immigration police cracking down on illegal sidelines. All this she does in the hopes of bringing her family to Canada to start anew. Just when she is about to call it quits with her employer, she meets Ethan (Alden Richards), a Filipino soon-to-be resident in Hong Kong who works as a bartender. He likes her, but he pisses her off. Soon, his persistence pays off despite knowing that she is hell-bent on leaving. In the end, will all his efforts be enough to make her stay and choose him?

Monday, August 12, 2019

John Denver Trending

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

A stolen iPad ruins a young boy’s life. Bullied by his classmates during dance practice, John Denver (Jansen Magpusao) quits the group presentation to rush back home, only to be accused of stealing his classmate‘s iPad. The kid snaps and beats up his bully, not knowing that their altercation is being recorded on video. As the aggressor plays victim and uploads the file on Facebook, the small and quiet town in Antique becomes the center of attention in a social media scandal that erupts and catches the attention of the entire nation. With trial by publicity replacing due process, John Denver is subjected to more bullying and public scorn. As the situation spirals out of control with the involvement of media both online and traditional, his mother Marites (Meryll Soriano) will do everything she can to clear her child’s name, but will her efforts be enough when society has already placed their verdict?

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Iska

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Iska (Ruby Ruiz) is a loving grandmother who does her best to take care of her family, especially her grandson Dongdong (Pryle Gura), the special child abandoned by her only daughter. Her husband whom she calls Asungot (Soliman Cruz) is a good for nothing womanizer who drives a jeep for a living but doesn’t contribute anything to either household chores or expenditures. He also has no sympathy towards his grandson and his special needs. Iska makes ends meet by doing double jobs as one of UP Diliman’s photocopy ladies as well as cleaning a professor’s house once a week. Leaving her grandson for a neighbor to babysit one day, she goes home to an empty house and startling news that Dongdong has been taken by the celebrity host of a TV show called Defender of the Masses, after it has been reported that the boy is being chained and abused at home.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Children of the River

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Four childhood friends rely on role play and taking on family responsibilities to kill time in their little town. Pepsy (Junyka Santarin) tends to be tomboyish and bossy. Agol (Ricky Oriarte) is always hungry. Robin (Dave Francis) is insecure and wants to be popular with the girls. Elias (Noel Comia Jr) is the responsible son whose sexuality is awakened by the arrival of a young lad on vacation named Ted (Juancho Trivino). Their mothers count on superstition and faith healers who tend to baptize people with new names to cure their illnesses. At roughly the same time every day, they eagerly wait for a phone call from their respective fathers, whose whereabouts are never revealed. Together they navigate puberty and all the complications that come along as they transition into adolescence.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Pandanggo Sa Hukay

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Elena (Iza Calzado) is a graduate of Midwifery and works at a local clinic in Ternate where she has been aiding women in giving birth for the last four years. Being a single mother, she decides to pursue other opportunities such as applying for an opening for a nursing aide in Saudi Arabia. She informs her boss and takes a leave of absence for the interview. Even then, she continues her regular job at the lying-in clinic and even helps her group practice their dance number for the company Christmas party, which is her own take on the folk dance Pandanggo Sa Ilaw. Preparing for the assessment the following day, she forgets her PRC ID on the clinic’s printer and returns to retrieve it, only to be abducted by the notorious Etibak Gang which has been terrorizing the local community for a long time now. What follows is a long night of dancing with fate as she fights for her survival.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

F#*@bois

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Ace (Royce Cabrera) and Miko (Kokoy de Santos) are aspiring actors who want to break into the local showbiz scene. As they wait for their big break, they go around the pageant circuit to earn exposure and cash, as well as engage in some illicit activities to supplement their lifestyle. Their latest target is a local competition, the winner of which will be sent abroad to represent the country. Lurking in the VIP area during finals night is a closeted Mayor (Ricky Davao) whose attendance is kept secret. As the two prepare for the final parts of the show, Ace is visited by her Sugar Mommy (Yayo Aguila) who surprises him with a passport and a trip to Phuket. After a torrid make-out session, he prepares to step onstage, but constantly receives blackmail messages from one of his patrons which include a video scandal that just might end his career.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Edward

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

A young boy named Edward (Louise Abuel) is left at the hospital by his half-brother to take care of their ill father, whose respiratory illness cannot be diagnosed because of the lack of equipment at the local government hospital where he is confined. Not a place for a young boy to spend his time, Edward amuses himself by befriending another boy his age, the two making bets on the lives of emergency room patients to earn some extra cash. They also do small favors for the station nurses for some coins. Edward’s daily boredom is interrupted by the arrival of Agnes (Ella Cruz), a young girl who is hospitalized after an accident and for whom he develops an emotional attachment. Finally getting a reason to like the limbo he is in, his half-brother arrives just in time for his father’s diagnosis, which could mean that their time at the hospital will soon be over.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Malamaya (The Color of Ash)

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Nora (Sunshine Cruz) is a gifted painter. At 45 she is single and devoted to her art, although she does mess around with ceramics sculptor Jim (Raymond Bagatsing) from time to time. Being cold to him despite wanting a possible relationship, she is okay when he calls it quits. Later on she meets millennial photographer Migs (Enzo Pineda) at an art gallery. After some flirting here and there they start sleeping with each other. Being a graduate of art school, her high standards usually do not sit well with Migs‘ more exploratory type of photography. Their age gap and personalities also begin to clash. She is independent and brutally frank. He is a bit clingy and in need of constant approbation. When she gets an opportunity to go to Canada at the bidding of her niece, she must decide on what she really wants to do with her life.

Monday, August 5, 2019

ANi (The Harvest)

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

The year is 2050 and life is different in the country. Giant company Paros now monopolizes most of the basic services on offer, encroaching on small-time businesses and taking away people’s sources of livelihood. Mithi (Zyren dela Cruz) is left to take care of his ill Mother (Anna Luna) after his Father (Miguel Valdes) is taken away from them by the call of duty. A gifted toy designer, his mother leaves him designs of her work before she succumbs to her illness. Now an orphan, Mithi is sent back to the province to be with his Grandfather (Ricky Davao). Life in the province is simpler than it is in now futuristic Manila, but even there the reach of Paros is pretty much prevalent. Banking on the myth of magical grains narrated to him by his father, Mithi goes on a quest to find them for his ailing grandfather, but finds a malfunctioning warbot instead.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Belle Douleur

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

A child psychologist by profession, Elizabeth (Mylene Dizon) mourns the death of her mother, while her aunt bemoans her niece ending up an old maid. With the help of friends she declutters the house while they post an ad online for the sale of her antiques. The advertisement catches the attention of Josh (Kit Thompson), a young antique reseller who also happens to be an orphan. With the support and encouragement of her friends, she pursues the young man despite their obvious age gap. Enjoying the honeymoon stage of the relationship, they finally reach the part where their differences serve as a hindrance for the relationship to blossom even more. Will they end up reconciling their differences for the sake of their relationship or will one have to sacrifice for both of them to benefit?

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