Man Of Mars (August 8, 2003 – December 31, 2007)

July 1, 2005

July 2005

Filed under: events,films,music,personal,photography,theatre — drei @ 12:00 am

Manila in Black and White
Thu, 21 Jul 2005 15:11:00 GMT

salsa dancing in malate

salsa dancing in malate

Salsa dancing in Malate. My best friend is currently interested in salsa, and wants me join her in a dancing class. I said I’ll just accompany her and take pictures. The pictures taken are not from any dance class but in bars in Manila with really talented salsa dancers.


nityalila at inno bar

nityalila at inno bar

Nityalila at Inno Bar. If you love Cynthia Alexander, listen to Nityalila. World music meets Indian meets alternative. Very talented performers with great material and cool covers. And the band has a real Indian guy to play the mandolin. Talk about unique and authentic music. Check their site here.


just another day in paradise

Another day in paradise. After the baptism of my third godchild, friends Che, Paco, and I had some coffee one lazy Sunday afternoon. This beggar caught our attention from the next table, and I decided to take her pic, not exactly knowing if that was rude or not. When I was about to give her money, she was gone.

I really want to make decent blog entries, but life has been really busy, so it’s quite difficult to satisfy the blogger in me. But don’t worry folks, I’m doing perfectly great! Very great. 😉

July Updates
Sun, 31 Jul 2005 07:12:00 GMT

In life, they say, one can’t have everything at one time.


It’s quite distressing that now, when I have the access to do a lot of things, I don’t have the time to blog about them. It seems that I have almost everything within reach, except for the time to blog.

One reason I think that I don’t feel compelled to blog anymore, is the fact that almost everyone blogs these days. There’s the Friendster blog that keeps on informing you every time each of your 500 friends updates his blog. We hear blog services advertised on radio and national TV. And more blogs containing disorganized and lazy diary-like entries are sprouting. If you tell someone you maintain a blog, the reply “who doesn’t?” would be very likely. The feeling of having a secret – somewhat elite – community no longer exists. I know this is a selfish reaction, because blogging is one great revolution, and none should be deprived of this useful Internet tool. And there are still a lot of interesting new bloggers.

On another positive note, if everyone has a blog, it would be easier to check the whereabouts of friends, without having to spend on phone calls or make lengthy emails. Blogging is a free for all service, but is also becoming a read for all service. But if the time would come when the number of blogs almost equals the number of email accounts in cyberspace, blogging may not be as creative and as fun as it was when it started.

Er… I hope I’m not the only one who has this sentiment.


But then, the everyone-is-a-blogger reason could actually be just an alibi, since the primary reason of me not being able to blog is the lack of time. Just some updates, to explain why I have scarce blog entries:

Work, although still more relaxed than my previous job in Baguio, is starting to become demanding. I worked overtime for the past two weeknights, mostly because of the Value Added Tax Law implementation. My current project as a consultant and programmer is for the Information Systems of the Finance division of Meralco, and our team is very much affected by the changes related to the VAT. Although the implementation is on Temporary Restraining Order, eventually this system is gonna push through, so the next few weeks will be rather busy for all of us.Every other Saturdays before the UPCAT, I also do lectures for a private review center. Being a teacher was one profession I once considered because of the interaction with younger minds, and lecturing for UP aspirants so far is a very good experience. Another good thing as a lecturer is that I’m being paid by the hour. And on occasional Sundays, I also do private tutorials. This is one thing I used to do in college so there’s pretty much no hard time adjusting. Aside from the extra income, having sidelines on weekends can be fun since it can be a good and valid excuse of leaving a party or a gimmick early. You can always say goodnight before the vodka gets into your head!


Despite the work on weekdays and the extra workload on random weekends, I still very much enjoy the pop culture of Metro Manila. During the long SONA weekend for example where I had a lecture Saturday morning, I was able to watch two films in the recently concluded Cinemalaya, watch two plays in an intimate theatre in Kamuning, watch two more plays in CCP, watch three old movies on DVD, and play badminton on a midnight. Talk about a fruitful yet jam-packed weekend!

Early this month, I was also able to watch the musical version of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. It was good, but I was expecting more especially that Beauty and the Beast is my favorite two dimensional animated film. The production and stage design could have done a lot more, but the show was still worth it because the acting and the voices were excellent (I especially liked the singing voice of Maurice). It’s just funny to think that I paid for it more than I did in Saigon.

Just last night, I also got to watch this year’s Live AIDS show by the UP Samaskom. This is the annual stand-up comedy, comical skits, and variety show all in one, featuring UP Samaskom members and alumni. Before spoof artists and comedians Kikiam Defensor, Tuesday Vargas, and Ate Glow were seen on TV, they were already performing in Live AIDS when they were still undergrads in Diliman, and believe me, they are so much funnier on stage than on TV. This year, I had so much fun watching Tuesday do a monologue as a Taong Grasa, and two other stand-up comedians, doing monologues of a virgin old lady and the other, a probinsyana in Manila. And of course, with the current Gloria Scandal, Ate Glow’s antics wouldn’t be missed, who also introduced the new character Baby Glow, also known as her daughter Luli! Like my previous encounters with the show, last night had tons of really great laughs; at some point I was even grasping for breath because I couldn’t stop laughing. And I’m not exaggerating.(If you want two hours of great laughs, you have to watch this show! I’ve been watching this for three straight years already, and will definitely watch it every year as long as I’m in Manila. The show usually has reruns in the Music Museum.)


July was also a month of mainstream movies. I know I write about movies a lot, so I’ll try to keep this part short.I was disappointed with War of the Worlds because of the lack of story development. I was disappointed with Fantastic Four because of the minimal action scenes and lack of character development. The sad romantic movie If Only, though needed a better actress and a better theme song, made me cry.I was very much disappointed with Pinoy Blonde, because I was expecting an entirely different movie. It’s a comedy that’s not funny. The name-dropping didn’t convince me of the main characters’ passion for films (Film buffs don’t just talk about Terminator and The Matrix!). And they marketed the film as a mainstream experimental film, when it was just a presentation of editing and special effects potentials in Philippine filmmaking. Over all, I felt sorry for Unitel. Tsk, so much for their previous laurels.Lastly, The Island surprised me because I enjoyed it a whole lot. I was raving about the movie right after I saw the advance screening in Galleria, and if ever I had the time then, I would’ve written a separate movie review for it. All I can say is, Michael Bay went back to the basics: a story not as profound as a Phillip Dick adaptation yet far from being stupid, minimal use of over the top explosions and slapstick humor, and actors who are neither rookies nor of superstar stature. Though Michael Bay’s rather unexciting treatment for action sequence is still present, it didn’t stop some viewers hold on to their seats. (I notice he’s more into linear chasing and shooting. Remember the boring truck scene on the moon in Armageddon? Or the boring flying and shooting planes which “killed” Ben Affleck in Pearl Harbor?). What Michael Bay did get rid of though, was his speech montage, where someone makes a very long speech while different scenes of tension or aftermath are shown. This was very effective in the opening sequence of The Rock and made a dramatic effect on Armageddon, but the style bored me in Pearl Harbor (In Armageddon, it made us remember that the world also has other people, and not just a pathetic father-daughter-boyfriend threesome so concerned about their private lives even when the Earth is about to blow up). In The Island, we still see the similar treatment, but for many short scenes, which I think was just perfect. (John Woo already got rid of his flying doves; he should also try doing away with his myriad slooowww motion scenes. Then maybe he can make a credible comeback too.) It’s just sad that the movie is not raking in box office dollars. Michael Bay must have been prejudged.Hmm… and I thought I wouldn’t make a long comment on movies.


It is also a good time to turn your attention to music these days, especially in the local scene. I think that now is a time similar to my early high school years, where great OPM artists, mostly new bands, were playing really good music. Some of those were Eraserheads, Rivermaya, After Image, Alamid, Yano, and Introvoys (haha!). This time, we have bands like Stonefree, Hale, Cueshe, Orange and Lemons, Bamboo, Session Road, and Pedicab to redeem the music industry. I wish the days of trying hard young pop stars are over. I mean how many singing Bautistas can actually exist?Current favorites include Bakit Part 2 by Mayonnaise and Kuwarto by Sugarfree.


Another reason to be busy is that in the coming weeks, two of my dorm kabarkadas will be in Manila. My former editor Egai just got back from Korea, and good friend Ryan will arrive from Japan next week. These guys will leave the country again soon, so I’m pretty sure there will be at least one night of barkada reunion and endless booze.Yebah!


Today’s the last day of July. I hope I make more than two entries in August. *sigh*

Happy new month everyone! 😉



Create a free website or blog at