Archive for the 'Opinion' Category

A Double Life.

Scene from The Double Life of Vernonique (1991) [photo from Tumblr]

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I have a feeling that I’ve thought about the possibility of a “double life” before, but until I saw this film, my ideas were never clear.

There is one scene in particular which I loved, and it may have been the most important. It’s when Weronika sees Veronique from a distance and is mystified by their obvious symmetry (see screencap above).

During this scene, Weronika stares at the other woman with a stab of wonder at what seems to be impossible. Yet, owing to a mixture of odd feelings she had shared to her father many scenes earlier (“I feel that I am not alone in the world.”), she knows that she is not making insane speculations.

As Weronika follows Veronique’s movements with her eyes, I plead with her to move her limbs and follow the woman physically. Would you, if if you were to see someone who seemed to be an exact replica of you, be so curious enough to follow that person–just to observe, close up, how that other person differs from you? I keep thinking it’s what I would do. Examine the coordinates of our moles, check for birthmarks and scars, pitch of voice, shape of eyes… But then again, it might be terrifying, seeing a thinking entity who may have just stepped out of your mirror impersonating your gait and mannerisms. So, I reconsider and posit that perhaps Weronika’s reaction was sensible (although she hardly seemed to be daunted by her walking, smiling, other). She left it a mystery half-solved, to be thrust in a drawer, never to be opened again. Perhaps nothing is to be gained by acquainting with one’s “double,” (if there were such a thing) and the two worlds are best left alone. It is a sad thought, I think. It would be exciting–at least for the film–if they had really met. What would happen then, especially if we consider the idea that they are not supposed to meet? Would the world be in chaos because of a chance encounter?

From this I gather that Kieslowski is a smart fellow to play with our minds and make us see things we never saw before. I didn’t appreciate the movie that much right after I saw it, but now I feel its magic, although belated, circulating in my system.

The Double Life of Vernonique may not appeal to everyone, or immediately, such as in my case, but it is art in a great form. [That being said, I do not think Amelie (2001), which people on IMDb keep comparing it to, is lesser of an art just because it appeals to a wider audience. In fact, I find it atrocious to even think of comparing these films and concluding that because one is about love–a force that hooks a vast majority of viewers–it pales beside the deeper, “darker” film. I loved both films and think that this feat is pointless.]

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loving ME.

I’m PROUD of who I am. Proud of my roots, my culture, my choices. Being a Filipina and growing up with the ideals that I have. Honoring the opportunity to influence young students and instill some knowledge in their media-centric brains (by which, I mean that they focus too much on various media to the point that it shapes who they are)… For the first time in a long while, I can truly say that I LOVE myself.

Tonight Shamcey Supsup boosted my pride as a Filipino because she had a smart answer in the Q&A portion of Ms. Universe. She couldn’t please everyone with her answer (some people over-analyzed it) but she said it so well–she was articulate and sincere. She had conviction. She didn’t masquerade herself with an answer that everyone expects at contests like these; she stayed true to herself, something I admire even more than her artistic and academic skills. In an interview after the show, she said that maybe now, after her victory, people will treat her differently because she achieved something big, but her personality won’t change. She will still stay the same person she’s always been. I don’t know why this struck me so much, but I respect her for saying that. I believe in it; I won’t change for anything either, because I am ME, and I SHOULD be happy with who I am.

That the Ms. Universe show made me realize all this just goes to show that beauty contests per se are not wrong in that they promote a certain image of beauty. You actually learn a lot by watching it, like the politics of it and the different countries in the world (which can even get you thinking why there are some well-known countries that are not part of the event). It makes you analyze/examine/reflect on your lack of/presence of nationalism. It makes you THINK, in short. And for me, tonight, it made me whole as a person. As a woman. Because Shamcey, if not all the contestants, reminded me that I AM A WOMAN, an intelligent human being capable of doing some good in the world with what I know and with what others don’t know. I AM A WOMAN and I have beliefs, principles, and perspectives of different things that may affect how things run. I am a WOMAN and I am powerful.

I am happy with who I am–happy and wise enough to know that if I truly love myself, what others think of me should not matter. I am who I am and I don’t need to please other people. Likewise, it doesn’t matter if others surpass me in skill, intelligence, kindness, etc. as long as I respect and love myself and just do the best I can in the world.

I am so proud of myself, because I finally learned to love myself. It’s something we should all learn to do and shout out loud: I LOVE MYSELF!!!

The soundtracks of my year.

These are the songs that define my 2010. They may not have all been released this year; heck, I think only one song here was released this year. But they were songs that helped me get through sad situations; songs that soundtracked pain and pleasure; and songs that were just plain fun to listen to that I constantly had them playing on my iPod or my laptop. 2010 was a great year for music—at least for the ones I had stocked in my music library (so I don’t mean the music industry flourished this year with great artists and songs. Because it didn’t. In my opinion.) Unfortunately, in August my iPod became dysfunctional. However it didn’t hamper my listening to music. Let’s keep rockin’!

  1. Angel – Aerosmith = Yeah, I played this a lot when I was still addicted to Tumblr.
  2. Wake Up – Alanis Morissette = This year I realized what a beautiful song this really is.
  3. Down in a Hole – Alice in Chains = I was Down in a Hole most of the year, so this was apt.
  4. You Lost Me – Christina Aguilera = I refused to download a free mp3 of this song because I collect Christina’s CDs and I was bound to buy a copy of Bionic anyway, so to be able to listen to this over and over again, I relied on YouTube.
  5. No One – Cold = Played when I was feeling, mostly,… defiant.
  6. When the Water Falls – Collective Soul = For them bleak and dreary days.
  7. Love – Def Leppard
  8. Save Tonight – Eagle Eye Cherry = What I listened to after one of the best nights I’d had in the year.
  9. Criminal – Fiona Apple = Fiona Apple had been missing from my player for about 13 years.
  10. Silver Springs – Fleetwood Mac
  11. Let Go – Frou Frou = ‘Cause there’s beauty in the breakdown.
  12. Only Happy When It Rains – Garbage
  13. What About Love – Heart = “Don’t you want someone to care about you?” Indeed I do.
  14. The Middle – Jimmy Eat World = When I was feeling so down in April, this song helped me stand up again.
  15. Bach/Break – Jonathan Rhys Meyers = In June I watched August Rush for the first time, and fell in love with it. This just had to be part of the list.
  16. Terrified – Katharine Mcphee = Because this played in the newsroom on repeat for months. And it helped us finish our work. Yes!
  17. Somewhere Only We Know – Keane = Star Movies.
  18. Mr. Brightside – The Killers = I just couldn’t seem to stop listening to this song for a part of the year.
  19. Empty – Metric = Accompanied me during the many times I faced a blinking cursor against a stark, white background.
  20. One Moment More – Mindy Smith = Because during high school when I was watching an episode of Smallville, in which Lana leaves for Paris, or so, this played in the background, and I’d always thought it was a pretty song. And finally, this year, I looked for the soundtrack, and found it. Alas.
  21. Torn – Natalie Imbruglia = What I sang in front of classmates during an outing. Videoke. Which I don’t normally do.
  22. Bloodbuzz Ohio – The National
  23. Every Day is Exactly the Same – Nine Inch Nails = There were many times when the days of this year seemed routine. Monotonous.
  24. On A Plain – Nirvana = Because I watched Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged performance again for the first time in years and this is one of my favorites in the set.
  25. Hella Good – No Doubt
  26. Wonderwall – Oasis
  27. Moth’s Wings – Passion Pit = Great song. Enough said.
  28. Rome – Phoenix = Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome Rome
  29. Comfortably Numb – Pink Floyd = Because I was, for most of the year.
  30. Don’t Get Me Wrong – The Pretenders = Which I listened to when the lyrics applied. 😀
  31. Love of My Life – Queen
  32. Imitation of Life – R.E.M. = Because in 2010, it seemed this was all my life really was.
  33. Be Be Your Love – Rachael Yamagata
  34. Worn Me Down – Rachael Yamagata = Because a friend kept playing this during press works.
  35. Blue Veins – The Raconteurs = Fun.
  36. Aquarius – Regina Spektor = Because rain drops kept falling on my head and they didn’t seem to want to stop falling. On my head.
  37. Fallen – Sarah McLachlan = My life. This whole year. I’m not kidding.
  38. Goodbye – Save Ferris
  39. Strong Enough – Sheryl Crow
  40. Pretty Noose – Soundgarden
  41. Maybe Tomorrow – Stereophonics = Because I kept hoping I’d be more productive the next day, as present day didn’t turn out well.
  42. What Ever Happened – The Strokes
  43. Mary Jane’s Last Dance – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers = Oh, hell yeah.
  44. And the Cradle Will Rock… – Van Halen = Because we played this in the car after years of not having done so. Unless my memory has become faulty.
  45. Johanna – Sweeney Todd Soundtrack = Because I finally watched Sweeney Todd this year!
  46. The Kill – 30 Seconds to Mars = Just because.
  47. What’s Up – 4 Non Blondes = Ditto.

The Night My Tears Came Tumbling Down.

But somebody’s got to do it, right?,
I ask them.
It can be done.
Because if you can do it,
I can too.
Isn’t that how it works?,
I ask them.

Please tell me I can do this,
I say.
Help me believe in myself.
Didn’t you have this trouble, once?
Help me, please.
Because my feet are bursting with blisters,
I’ve traveled so far, you see.
But my head is complaining,
I think I’ve been going in circles.
Now my eyes fog up and I can’t see anymore
I can’t see where I am headed.

Tuned out.

I [still] can’t believe NU 107 is closing shop. (Check out a POC article here.) Tonight is their last night.

I haven’t been much of a radio listener since (honestly?) my final year of high school, when I didn’t have an iPod, our Internet was slow, and the radio was still good to listen to. But I do love the radio, and NU 107 is one of my favorite radio stations. Their DJs have some of the best voices on air, and of course, the music they play–rock, alternative, and others–are the best to listen to.

According to my sources, the reason for this heartbreaking news was a decision made by the owners to discard the rock scene image and shift to dishing out more commercial tunes. Which sucks, because there’s already a surplus of outlets for stupid Beavers and off-key pop sensations such as this girl here who sings Rhiannon all wrong with Stevie Nicks at the 2010 Grammy Awards.

*sigh*

It’s really sad that NU has to end.

El político y la persona del espectáculo

WTF?! According to this, Shalani Soledad, Valenzuela City Councilor and former girlfriend of President Noynoy Aquino, will be Willie Revillame’s co-host on his show, Willing Willie, beginning tomorrow, November 8.

I have nothing against Ms. Soledad; in fact, I quite like her. I do have something against politicians and showbusiness freaks who think the two jobs can be done together. If you’re an actor/actress/TV host who ran for a government position in the last election and won, I believe deciding to venture into politics means choosing to give up movies and TV shows–at least for the period of your appointment. The same goes for politicians who want to dabble in showbusiness. Focus on your government position first, please. You don’t need to be on television; you need to be in your office, planning programs and figuring out solutions to the country’s many problems. We don’t even want to see you on television, unless it’s the news and you’ve done something really beneficial to the country, like fighting human trafficking and providing more jobs. Seriously, politicians slash showbiz losers and showbiz losers slash politicians, choose one job only–one you really really love and will probably die doing. Because if you end up choosing politics because that’s what you’re passionate about, your passion will show on your track record, and you’ll probably be one successful and respected politician. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll make this country a much better place.

A backseat.

Last week I found out a UPLB student killed herself in her apartment. Hardly a year ago, another female student took her life by drinking formalin. The suicide rate in the university is increasing, and people have begun wondering who’ll be next.

I didn’t personally know the student, but every time I hear about her it makes me feel sad and I ponder about whatever new thing I learned.

She allegedly did it because she failed a subject when it was already her last semester in the university. To make matters worse, when she told her friends about it they shrugged it off, thinking she was joking.

I don’t know if all that was true, but that’s the story that I got.

Since the news of her death, a number of people have been criticizing her act. I hear people saying, left and right, things like “She only failed one subject and yet that was enough for her to commit suicide?” and “Why throw away life, when it’s so beautiful?” Everyone wants to be a critic!

Maybe for the girl (for I can’t even type her name and thinking about her name gives me the chills) it wasn’t beautiful. Maybe for her failing that one subject was too much of a flaw in her grand plan of graduating. Maybe for her, the news was too devastating.

I’m not here to defend what she did. I am a Catholic and I stand by Catholic teachings–most of them, anyway. And I do believe life is beautiful and life is what we make it. But I would like to say, cut the girl some slack. We UP students criticize nearly everything, and most of the time, that’s good, but when death like this is involved, I think we should give it a rest and let her family and friends grieve in peace. Criticizing needs to take a backseat for a while.

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People lose their way a lot of times, and sometimes when they do, they’re so overwhelmed that they end up doing bad things. I think the best thing to do is to pray for her soul and for others, too, who are lost and need guidance.

—————

“Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”

-The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald


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