That’s the only way to live.

“Our ground game isn’t working. We’re gonna put the ball in the air. If we’re gonna run into walls, I want us running into them full speed.”

-Leo McGarry, The West Wing


Leave a comment

Filed under Thoughts

Caught like a fool without a line

Earworm of the week: “Open” by Rhye

Rainy day, bedweather music. Really sexy, check out the video (NSFW).

Leave a comment

Filed under Earworms

Cinemalaya Shorts!

Had the privilege of being in the selection committee for the 2012 Cinemalaya Shorts Program where we watched a staggering 113 films, compared to last year’s 78 entries.

That was a solid week of watching short films from new filmmakers and old, and it was exciting to see what filmmakers today are talking about, are feeling. These shorts on the whole weren’t spoiled by selection committees, compromised by monitoring groups, limited by budget. These were pure voices, and I was happy to watch. I bet that of all the other films in Cinemalaya this year, these films were the most free.

A few of my favorites:

I’m betting Sigrid Bernardo’s Ang Paghihintay sa Bulong will win the Audience Award. It’s the only true comedy in the field, and it’s assured, competent, and fucking hilarious. I’m talking laugh out loud, can’t-believe-they-just-did-that-hilarious. And she just did this short on a whim, in one day, with a bunch of friends.

Sheron Dayoc’s As He Sleeps was voted in unanimously by the committee. Meditative, slow, Sheron’s a filmmaker after my own heart. And then there’s Sue Prado.

My personal favorite is Mario Celada’s Pasahero, which charmed my shorts off. It was so low-key that I was prepared to battle it out during deliberations if the others weren’t keen on it, but thankfully they were. Pasahero for me is a perfect short, it’s the right story that can only be told in this length. Cause a lot of shorts are just short full-lengths, if you know what I mean. Pasahero is observant and funny at times, and packs an emotional punch in the end that illuminates the whole film before it. Nicely done.

I think though that Jarrell Sarencio’s Victor will win Best Short Film. This guy is good. Part-documentary, part-fiction, about Victor, a guy who nails himself on the cross every Holy Week. In the first few minutes, I was ready to chalk it off as festival bait– poverty, non-actors, etc– but as it went on it became clear I was watching a thrilling new voice. The film is pretty electric, make sure you see it.

Emmanuel Escalona’s Balintuna is… cool. That’s the perfect word to describe it. This guy knows his shit. This could very well be an action flick, which I guess it is. I campaigned hard for this film to get in, and am glad more people will see it. I don’t think a short film of this kind has been seen before in the festival. My only gripe is, I hate the title. I think around 80 entries had these one-word titles that nobody understood.

A few shout-outs to the films that I liked didn’t make it:

Hatid by Toma Cayabyab. Ryan Cayabyab brings his son to school and they talk. Simple and honest, and engrossing.
Ang Huling Araw ng Pagsisilbi by Bienvenido Ferrer. A great piece of storytelling, it takes two left turns almost on top of each other.
Unawa by Pamela Reyes. A sound, clear vision. And very, very patient.
Emo by Ivan Andrew Payawal. Funny as hell. I voted for it but I guess it not really being a story worked against it.
Robobuy and Maria Ana Pugita by Avid Liongoren. Terrific animation, cute story, and I think we need to encourage more animation work in these festivals.
Hubert Tibi’s film about peanut vendors on EDSA. Can’t remember the title right now Mani. Witty and clever, so good that it almost made it, it was #11 on the final list.

See you all in Cinemalaya!

Leave a comment

Filed under Filmmaking, Films

Hold on

…I feel like you’re a little too far away.

Earworm of the week: “Pioneers” by The Lighthouse and the Whaler

Just a great, happy rainy morning song.

Leave a comment

Filed under Earworms


Though I didn’t know him well, I knew that he was beloved. When he passed last week I found myself regularly going on his Facebook page and seeing his friends post pictures, words, videos. We should all be lucky to have even half of the love he got in his lifetime.

He lived simply and fully. Rest in peace, brother.

*photo grabbed from Facebook.

Leave a comment

Filed under Thoughts


If a rogue planet was indeed hurtling towards the Earth, Melancholia is the perfect name for it. That’s just one of the wonderful details that Lars Von Trier put in his fine, fine 2011 film of the same name. I saw it a few weeks ago and haven’t gotten over it, still watching it over and over and astounded by Kirsten and Charlotte and how Jack Bauer fit nicely in VonTrierLand.

Meanwhile on this Earth, other planetary changes are afoot. After five years of peddling it, I’m putting my second film Akyat-Baba, Paikot-ikot on the shelf… for now. We first worked on it in 2007, even before my debut film Baby Angelo, and it had brought me to many places– but it seems like now’s not the time to tell this story. It’s time to think of a different story now, and the feeling of finally obsessing over something else is a release. I have two in the burner– both about people falling in love at the end of the world– or something like it. Hopefully we all get to see it soon.

I’m also moving into the first home I bought with my own money. T and I, with Hammer my 8-year old lab will be happily squeezing into 75sqm in a few months. That is, until that fucking developer quits dragging their feet and takes down the wall they promised to do two years ago (Listen up DMCI). In the meantime, in between screenplays and storyboards my mind is now also preoccupied with shelving and couches that transform into closets.

And finally, there’s some Super plans that I can’t really talk about for now. Here’s to an earth-shattering 2012.

Leave a comment

Filed under Thoughts

Ira Glass

A quote from Ira Glass:

Poster by Sawyer Hollenshead.

Leave a comment

Filed under Thoughts