You have not known what you are.
You have slumbered upon yourself all your life.
Your eyes have been as much as closed most of the time.
What you have done is already in mockeries.

The mockeries are not you.
Underneath them
And within them,
I see you lurk...


-Walt Whitman


27.2.11

DLSU Lady Spikers reclaim UAAP title


La Salle capped a dominating season with a 25-18, 25-17, 28-26 victory over University of Santo Tomas Saturday to win the UAAP Women’s Volleyball championship at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan. It was payback time for the Lady Spikers as they lost to this same team in the finals a year ago.

Despite the Tigresses holding fort to a 24-19 lead in the 3rd set, the Lady Spikers showed poise down the stretch to hammer out this come-from-behind win. Captain Cha Cruz, who was named the Finals MVP, collected 14 hits, including four blocks, while Michelle Gumabao and season MVP Jacq Alarca combined for 25 markers.

Though they are officially 16-1 in season 73, the Lady Spikers are technically undefeated as their lone setback was a forfeiture due to an eligibility infraction.
“Hindi namin inisip na may talo kami. Inisip namin na 17-0 kami, talagang pinaghirapan ng mga bata ang championship na ito,” said a jubilant coach Ramil de Jesus, who has guided La Salle to all of its 6 UAAP championships including a 3-peat from 2003 to 2005.

Maika Ortiz had nine hits while Maru Banaticla added eight markers for Tigresses.

An outside hit by Abigail MaraƱo allowed UST to move closer in extending the game to a 4th set. But the Lady Spikers did not wilt under pressure as they mounted a rally to regain the upperhand 25-24. The Tigresses were able to tie the count twice, the last was at 26-26, after Ortiz scored a running spike. However, Gumabao scored a kill, while Cruz scored a hit which UST setter Rhea Dimaculangan failed to dig in which sealed the win, and the championship for La Salle.

Aside from the MVP plum, Alarca was also adjudged Best Spiker and Best Server. The other awardees from La Salle are Mika Esperanza (Rookie of the Year) and Michelle Gumabao (Best Blocker).





22.2.11

million steps


He was walking away, confused legs in ambivalent motion and aiming towards the horizon that led directly opposite the love his heart harbored for many years. He was moving away from her in small steps, heart taking giant leaps backward with every beat, ever wondering what could've been, what was lost. He raised the white flag in his fight against change, finally opening his eyes from a perfectly conjured illusion, so real and so true. He was breaking away from a dream that had become his world while battling the rush of pain hoping to stay awake.

He looked at the golden skies ahead, bathed by the last light of the day. He watched as the high winds shape and mold the clouds that eventually grew dark, disintegrating against the black space of night as the sun hid behind the hills and around to the other side of the world. He imagined the remains of his emotions ebbing away from him and back. He imagined his love retreating like how the somber light of the sunset crept back from the dusk. It was almost unfathomable how it once effortlessly covered the stretched boundaries of the heavens and that within a blink of an eye be reduced into a simple sad reminder that everything ends, that everything fades; leaving in its tracks an expanse of empty nothingness, so wide that not even a conscious happy thought could wade.

He walked on and stared at the sharp silhouettes of power lines blunting in the daylight's demise. For a moment, it was completely dark. He stopped in his tracks and closed his eyes from everything. He fully sensed the cold wind rushing against his face, whispering turbulent sounds in his ears, egging him to go back. But he wouldn't. He waited for something to disturb the monotonous hum of unknown possibilities he was in.

Where to go?

When he opened his eyes, bokeh lights hovered ahead, slowly shrinking, sharpening as his pupils adjust to the dark environment. Stars revealed themselves from above, like sprinkles of hope he could not taste--destinies etched criss-crossing in the face of the universe, bridges of chance for hearts to love, and to be broken, and to heal and to love again. But he couldn't see it that way for he still had to take a million steps away from a love that was great and was true and ten steps more from the loneliness he would carry in his journey through and around that wide expanse of nothingness to the other side where abstract dreams and solid reality collide under a shining new sun...



20.2.11

another 'little miss sunshine'


Elissa Down's The Black Balloon (2009) is a heart-warming and tender portrayal of a family struggling to deal with autism. The story centers on Thomas and his relationship with his autistic brother, Charlie. Thomas embarks in an emotional journey when he meets, Jacky, while dealing with the pent up frustrations toward his brother and the crisis his family is going through.

If you're a fan of Little Miss Sunshine (2006) and the very recent The Kids Are All Right (2010), you'll have no problem liking this one. I think it's a little more melancholic than the two, but the core essence is pretty much the same. The witty blend of comedy and drama will take you in an emotional roller coaster, and leaves you with that familiar fuzzy warm feeling in the end.

Can't Unsee: The large eyes and hairstyle of Jacky, Thomas' girlfriend in the film, remind me of Amanda Seyfried. Hehe! Anyway, The Black Balloon received a 90% rating from Rotten Tomatoes.



18.2.11

hell week's finest


As promised the Hollywood Week Group Round had lived to its expectations- Full of drama and unexpected cuts. And just like that, the journey ends for some of my early favorites which includes Paris Tassin, Emily Ann Reed, Adrienne Beasley, Janelle Arthur, Rob Bolin, and Chelsea Oaks.

Some stars fall down, but some just keep on shining brightly.

THIA MEGIA, 15. I luuuurrve her. Period.

LAUREN ALAINA, 15. Her powerful voice and how she plays with it is just truly engaging. She sounds like Kelly Clarkson or perhaps Adele. Definitely a front-runner.

As grueling as the Hell Week can be, it's also my favorite part of the competition for it showcases stunning solo performances and puts a spotlight on promising talents that weren't featured on the previous episodes.

ASHTON JONES, 24. The song choice is pretty generic but her voice stood on it's on. Very powerful.

KENDRA CHANTELLE, 22. There is a jazzy tone in her voice that is just lovely to listen to.

SOPHIA SHORAI, 28. Her voice and hair remind me of Haley from Paramore! :P

JACOB LUSK, 23. He has great vocal range and technique. My only concern is his facial expressions. They're very distracting.

Another cool thing about the solo performances is that the contestants are given the opportunity to play their instruments, and clearly those who have this kind of talent have the edge among the lot. It's really amazing to see them within their elements, rendering their artistry to be significantly exponentiated.

JULIE ZORILLA, 20. A beautiful girl that plays the piano. I've seen her before--The perfect girl in my dreams. :)

CALEB HAWLEY, 25. Another guy with a guitar and messy hair. It's the first time I really saw him perform and I say he's a natural artist. I'm putting a tab on this one.

COLTON DIXON, 19. Hmm. Let's see... He plays the keys, with popular-sounding voice (in the tune of David Cook's What About Now?), young, and not bad to look at. Stardom is written all over this guy.

BRETT LOEWENSTERN, 16. He just keep on proving that he belongs in this competition. I love the tone of his singing voice.

ROBBIE ROSEN, 16. This guy is bursting with soul and seeing him perform within his element, well, it's just stellar. I love his rendition of my all-time favorite song Gravity by Sara Bareilles.

CASEY ABRAMS, 19. I think anyone who can make playing the baho de arco cool is an automatic standout. I love this guy!

JOHN WAYNE SCHULZ, 23. His unassuming behavior and country voice makes him very likable. He gave a passive performance that was calming and very easy to listen to. Kind of reminds me that good music comes from a place of truth--no need for runs or complicated shifts in notes. Two thumbs up for his song choice, the classic Landslide by Fleetwood Mac.

Next week the remaining contestants will proceed on a special round. They will take on the songs by The Beatles. Eventually, cuts will be made and the Top 24 will finally be revealed...




16.2.11

tree hill superheroes


Behold! The Kick Ass-inspired superheroes of Tree Hill have come to protect innocent people from bullies and evil stuck-up bitches!

Alias: B-DAZZLE
Real Identity: Brooke Davis-Baker, Fashion Designer and Housewife
Supersowers: Well known for her home-made liquid smoke...and she owns a French-speaking fighting car.

Alias: SHUTTERBUG
Real Identity: Quinn Scott, Photographer
Superpowers: She blinds villains with the flash of her camera and collects their photos as trophies. Don't mess with her.

Alias: BABY MAMA (She hates it. Prefers MasterMind)
Real Identity: Haley James-Scott, Housewife, Musician, and Record Label Manager.
Superpowers: Super smart and knows everything- a power that she acquired from an asteroid that fell from the sky (well, that's just according to B-Dazzle). She uses her unborn child as a shield.

This is what happens when you're watching too much Kick Ass and you're bored out of your skull. Very fun episode this week :P





14.2.11

dante once wrote...


"Remember tonight, for it is the beginning of always. A promise. Like a reward for persisting through life so long alone. A belief in each other and the possibility of love. A decision to ignore, simply rise above the pain of the past. A covenant, which at once binds two souls and yet severs prior ties. A celebration of the chance taken and the challenge that lies ahead. For two will always be stronger than one, like a team braced against the tempest civil world. And love will always be the guiding force in our lives. For tonight is mere formality; only an announcement to the world of feelings long held. Promises made long ago in the sacred spaces of our hearts..."






10.2.11

hollywood week: sudden death


It's the Hell Week once again on Idol, and so far my favorites proved their talents could really take the pressure as they performed brilliantly through this week's sudden death round...well, except for some, sadly :(

SARAH SELLERS, 28. The performance was not featured but her audition with Adele's song is still stuck in my ears.

STEVE BEGHUN, 27. The singing accountant's rendition of Michael Buble's Haven't Met You Yet was just plain weak. It's a happy song and his voice didn't get that through.

NICK FINK, 19. I heard promising potential in his voice with that smooth Michael Buble tone in his audition, but his song choice in this crucial round failed to showcase it. After the verdict, he practically begged the judges a second chance- a sight quite uncomfortable to see.

Almost half of the 300+ got cut from this round but, there is a couple of aspirants that really stepped up from their performances on their initial auditions.

ROBBIE ROSEN, 16. I can't believe I overlooked this one.

HOLLIE CAVANAGH, 17. I remember her first audition. She was so nervous and was all over the place. But this time, her voice just soared with confidence. I have my eyes and ears on this one.

Hollywood Week continues next week with the dreaded Group Round!



9.2.11

voices worthy of a golden ticket, week 4


It's the last stop of the season- San Francisco, CA. Among the pool of talents, these five really stood out.

MATTHEW NUSS, 25. A musical director. It would be a shame if he didn't know how to sing.

STEFANO LANGONE, 21. Remember Danny Gokey when he first auditioned with Marvin Gay's I Heard It Through The Grapevine? Well, this guy's version is way better. With powerful and fluid vocals, I think he will do well in this competition. And he plays the piano! I'll be waiting for his Hollywood Week performance.

JULIE ZORRILLA, 20. I'm not so crazy about her song choice but I really like the texture of her voice and the way she controls it. She's gorgeous, no?

EMILY ANN REED, 26. She has by far the most original and unique-sounding voice this season- old school and jazzy. Slightly eccentric and has this singer-songwriter thing going on with the guitar an all. But it's just too bad. No folk artist survives the popular standards of American Idol.

JAMES DURBIN, 21. He's the one with Tourette's and Asperger's Syndrome. I've seen the comedy-drama film Adam (2009) and it's about this guy with Asperger's, a high-functioning autism and it looks really really tough to deal with. And to see someone overcome that, have a family of his own, (plus a Tourette to boot) is just inspiring. I really do hope he comes through even though his voice is reminiscent of Adam Lambert. Not a big fan of him.

Hollywood Week tomorrow. I know exactly where my bets would go. :)




threads












The heart writes words unabashed,

Colors washed away by time in flight.

But on tip toe they stand, they sneak

Through fractured walls of thought,

And into a wide expanse of calm

Creating ripples I dared, once fought.



She walked through threads of memory

And broke them with ease.

I followed suit putting it all together--

Find the ends and tie without cease.

My feet finally caught on tangled strings

Stumbled hard on knobby knees

I watched as she walked on,

Eyes locked where time actually freeze.





8.2.11

jamie's best man speech


Brooke is finally married to Julian and while I was watching the episode, my fingers were crossed that out of nowhere, Lucas and Peyton would show up. But they didn't. It was a very emotional installment and the moment Jamie gave his best man speech threw me back to days when One Tree Hill could easily tug on my heartstrings. Haley got it right. It was the most honest and memorable best man speech I've ever heard...

J.K. Rowling once wrote: "The consequences of our actions are so complicated, so diverse that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed".

J.K. Rowling was right. But what most of you don't know is Julian was able to do it. He knew a long time ago that he would find Brooke. When Julian was my age, which was a very, very, very,very long time ago,he went to a county fair, and he met a girl...not Brooke. But they went on a bunch of rides together, including the Octopus--irrelevant to the story. But that night, Julian felt a crush for the first time, a real crush. Relax, Aunt Brooke. He was my age. So at the end of the night, they decided to break this bumper-car token in half. Julian has kept his half all these years, not because he missed the girl, but because he knew somewhere out there was the other half, his perfect match.And he was right. Today Julian married my Aunt Brooke. She's probably the coolest girl I know and the girl Julian's been waiting for since he broke this bumper-car token in half a long time ago at a county fair. And today Julian gave me this token. He said he didn't need it anymore because he found his other half. Congratulations, Julian. I think it was worth the wait...




the addiction continues...


Just when I thought I am running out of television series to satiate my viewing pleasures, that is when I discovered a faster and more convenient way of downloading from file-hosting sites. The days of using torrent files and purchasing of low-quality pirated DVDs to fulfill the urge are long gone. The emergence of HDTV and Blurays and the fact that they can be ripped and upped made the addiction even worse. There is no stopping now.

Currently, I'm having weekly doses of One Tree Hill, Grey's Anatomy, House, and Chuck (I've given up on Glee. The story is just spinning out of control and writers are stuffing it with celebrity guests which in my opinion is really sucking the potential out of the material. And Smallville too. Is it on its 100th season already? Well, I've lost my appetite for it since Lana Lang got erased from the script). You may think that's too much television... but not for me. My shortening attention span compelled me to start the following series:

DEXTER
If you're feeling squeamish in the sight of blood or mutilated bodies, this show is not for you. The series centers on Dexter, a forensic expert on blood spatter analysis (which I think is a very cool job by the way) for the Miami Metro Police Department, living a double life as a law enforcer during the day and a vigilante who kills at night. The dynamic of the story is how he struggles to balance these two sides of his life. I was really surprised that I could easily relate to Dexter's character (Nope. I am not a killer. I'm a pacifist I assure you). I mean, each of us has a dark side right? And we're doing everything we can, struggling to hide it in plain sight. I'm done with the first two seasons. Three to go :P

THE BIG BANG THEORY
I love geeky comedy and so the reason why I like it is a no brainer! This series is about this four scientists--Leonard, Sheldon, Howard and Rajesh, whose geekiness is contrasted to the social skills and common sense of Penny, a beautiful aspiring actress. I'm still on the first season though.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
Urgh! Need I say more? This is the most emotionally captivating series since One Tree Hill. It's like OTH except the sport is football, it's more dramatic, and everybody speaks with a southern accent. One more thing that did it for me was the music. I can't get enough of the post-rock musical score! I am now on it's 2nd season and they just won the State Championship! :P Clear eyes. Full Hearts. Can't Lose! Go Panthers!

THE WALKING DEAD
Yep. It's a zombie series. I didn't expect to like this but it turned out to be really amusing and simply way better than all zombie movies I've seen put together, except for Zombieland (2009) maybe. That falls into a completely different genre). It is well-acted and its production value for a TV series is quite astounding and great make-up too. They're now on hiatus and will resume airing probably this month.

MODERN FAMILY
It's on the news. It's on blogs. And it won an Emmy and a SAG awards for Best Comedy Series. It's a comedic mockumentary about this three unconventional families. I'm now half-way through the first season and I enjoyed every second of it. I think it's the best comedy series since Friends. I got teary-eyed laughing on an episode where everybody got hung up with Dylan's song for Haley, In The Moonlight, which is needless to say my current LSS! :P

Baby, baby. I just wanna do you, do you.
Baby, you can do me, do me

Hahaha! I'm gonna shut up now. :P



7.2.11

hollow peace


Truth comes from a place of silence. I don't get it because I thrive in chaos. When the loud sounds and the echoes they made finally dissipate, it's like dusts are settling from everywhere. A black night cracks, light seeping through them and revealing the real once concealed. It is in that gap that you can really see, and hear the resounding growls and endless murmurs within. The haunting thoughts sharpen, blades ready to slice through exposed weakened flesh. I'd have to deal with them. But I don't want to. I am too afraid.

And so I would fill my head again with anything to scramble the images, to complicate things, to hide what's really should have been on the surface. It's like throwing paint over a graffitied wall. The walls thicken as a result of the routine leaving splotches everywhere. On the ground. On me. On the people that face the same wall. They don't have the slightest clue of what's really on their faces. And in an act of pathetic display of cowardice, I would shout as loud as I can on the inside, the noise breaking through me and into the unknown leaving in its tracks a buzzing sound of hollow peace-that fragile moment where a strong wind troubles the fine grains of dust back into the air blocking every ugly figment of conscious thought. It is when the eyes lose focus turning everything into bokeh lights, well-disguised and beautiful. A conflicted moment when time stops and days pass in just a few beats of a troubled heart as years grow shorter including life itself and the promise of relief from such misguided deed.




6.2.11

the backbeats breakeven


They may be only third best on the latest season of The Sing-Off but they were definitely my favorite. Well known for their emotionally riveting renditions of melancholic songs, The Backbeats set the bar with this a capella take on The Script's hit, Breakeven. Well, they're the primary reason why I would suddenly, out of nowhere blurt the line "I'm falling to pieces" in falsetto whenever my consciousness blur towards nowhere.



The strength of the team, besides their tight vocal harmonies, lies in the voice of its lead, Joanna Jones. It's really amusing to encounter such amazing talent. She can belt it all out but still has great control over the lower notes. I really do hope she'd be a given a break.





3.2.11

voices worthy of a golden ticket, week 3


Idol features the Austin auditions this week and there were really promising voices that stood out from the lot:

JOHN WAYNE SHULZ, 23. His voice is as natural as him being a cowboy. Still lacks a little power but has really great potential.


NICK FINK, 19. I like the soothing and suave voice; sounds really classy. He has this Michael Buble-thing going on.


JANELLE ARTHUR, 20. Her voice is a little generic, but you've got to be impressed by her falsetto runs.


CASEY ABRAMS, 20. I have a theory: If you see a guy with an overgrown beard and an unkept hair, there's a 70% probability that he has an amazing voice. Take Damien Rice for example, and Ray Lamontagne, and William Fitzsimmons, and Wakey! Wakey!'s Mike Grubbs.



I am quite disappointed with the Los Angeles auditions in general. I mean, it should be a pool of talent, right? I guess not this season. But's there's still flickering voices that had shone through...


TIM HALPERIN, 23. This hardcore J-Lo fan can sing! Smooth and well-controlled. I like the tone and his falsetto is commendable.


JUSTIN CARTER, 27. He sang just a couple of lines but enough to showcase the quality of his RnB pipes.


KAREN RODRIGUEZ, 21. Her personality oozes out through her voice, I can tell. She reminds me of the singer from the old Freestyle band. What's her name again?

In general, I am a little tentative about the talents this year, but I am sure they'll develop through the course of the season. One city to go and then Hollywood Callbacks which starts next week!




2.2.11

i took the exit through the gift shop


Exit Through The Gift Shop (2010) is a documentary directed by the well-known and very elusive graffiti artist, Banksy. Hilarious and informative, the film gives a firsthand look into the underground world of the movement known as street art and aims to validate it as a legitimate artform. It garnered a 98% rating in Rotten Tomatoes' Tomatometer.

The film centers on Thierry Guetta, a French immigrant who has an obsession of carrying a handheld camera wherever he goes. A series of events led him to some world-renowned street artists such as Invader and Shephard Fairey and many others who thrive in danger of expressing their passion for their craft. But Thierry finds a new obsession when he met Banksy.

Banksy is a British political activist and painter, infamous for his satirical street art and subversive epigrams that combines with dark humor and crafted using distinctive stenciling technique. His true identity is still unknown till today. His face is blurred and voice altered throughout the movie.

What I love about Banksy's film besides the amazing craftwork from some of the world's finest street artists, is how it manages to conjure humor and yet brings up intellectual questions regarding the true nature of art; What could be considered art and what is not? In a way, the film takes the audience to that fine blurred line and let them decide for themselves...

Exit Through The Gift Shop is nominated in this year's Oscar for Best Documentary Feature together with its rival Waste Land (2010) which also deals with art. I hope Banksy wins because that would be really interesting. I mean, would he personally receive the award if he wins?

I got all the photos from Banky's site. I encourage you to visit to see more of his works.