MMFF: The Good and the Risks Part 1

MMFF is one of the festivals I normally keep track every year. Held every December (this year it will be from December 25 to January 7, it’s supposed to showcase the best Philippine movies of the year. Lately, though, the quality seemed to go down the drain.

Thankfully this year, with an eclectic mix of entries, more people will troop to the cinemas, cast their unofficial votes on who should take home the award, and these films will lead the pack of better-quality Philippine films in the future.

This year, there are 8 official entries. Let’s begin with 2:


Genre: Drama

Main Cast: Sid Lucero, Jennylyn Mercado, Isabel Oli, Philip Salvador, Yul Servo, Eula Valdez

Director: Albert Martinez

Produced by: Cinemabuhay and Studio5

Synopsis: Spanning several decades beginning in the 1920s, the movie follows the story of Rosario, a woman who grew up in New York and whose liberal ways and beliefs defy the conservative nature of Filipinas.

The Good

  • The trailer looks breathtaking.
  • Jennylyn Mercado is such a revelation (fearless forecast: she’ll take home the Best Actress Award).
  • There’s great attention to detail, thanks to Albert Martinez’s meticulousness.
  • Filipinos haven’t been treated to excellent period dramas lately.

The Risks

  • It may end up like Ploning: beautifully done, not watched by many.
  • It’s perhaps the most expensive film in years; they may not be able to recover their production costs within a short amount of time.


Genre: Suspense/Horror

Main Cast: Kris Aquino, Diether Ocampo, Alessandra de Rossi, Gina Pareno, Ina Feleo

Director: Dondon Santos

Produced by: Star Cinema


Stella (Kris Aquino) is said to be “visited” or haunted by her dead ex-husband. Or is it really him? In order to build a secure family life for her child, she decided to get married again to Anton (Diether Ocampo). However, her hope was never granted as she started experiencing chilling scenarios affecting her and her loved ones.

The Good

  • Star Cinema has produced a number of well-accepted contemporary horror films like Feng Shui and Sukob. Hopefully, this one will follow the same trend.
  • Kris Aquino is the ultimate screaming queen (someone you need in horror/suspense films).
  • The trailer doesn’t show much, so I’m crossing my fingers there will be more surprises in the actual movie.
  • It may be interesting to see Diether Ocampo doing a horror film. He’s more recognized as a dramatic actor.

The Risks

  • Kris Aquino tends to maintain the same expression in scenes where she’s not screaming.
  • Dondon Santos is more identified with soap operas and shorts like Noy, not horror movies. This is one huge leap for him.

Battling the Hives

I certainly wish I could talk about something else besides illnesses, like what shows make me giddy right now, my plans for Christmas, what I think about life after death, or where the tourism department had gone wrong with their campaigns–but I just can’t. You see, I’m battling hives.

Just this morning, Bernard and I talked about my health dilemmas. It seems like when I get sick, I really do, and it normally lasts for weeks. In the middle of November, I had to deal with urinary tract infection, which was starting to affect my kidneys. Then I had quite a serious cold, which gave me slight fever, cough, running nose, watery eyes, and a virus that later caught up with the rest of the household.

Then this. I certainly don’t know the ultimate reason behind having hives besides the fact that there could be a gazillion triggers. I cannot point out one thing. However, just to make sure I eliminated

  • eggs
  • chicken
  • my new set of skin care product
  • sofa
  • bed

I am currently taking one of my favorite anti-histamines since they don’t leave me drowsy for the rest of the day. I increased my dose of vitamin C from 500 mg to 2,000 mg, drank a lot of water, and avoided scratching the itchy parts. Since this is my second this year, I somehow know what to do, which is to stop it from spreading farther. Thus, most of the rashes are just in my arms and legs.

I hopefully am on the way to recovery. I can’t wait. In the meantime, I’m thankful that all these happened before Christmas and New Year’s. I certainly don’t want to celebrate the holidays feeling all blue and exhausted.

Thank You, Freelancing

Fleire posted a well-meaning note in Facebook today. It’s all about saying thank you to freelancing. I’ve been doing the job for three years–the longest I have so far–and I must admit it was never really a smooth ride.

Along the way, I lost clients; gained doubts and few enemies; spent plenty of time for nothing; got scammed; was ignored, rejected, thrown on the side, and barraged with hurtful criticisms; and wronged people. There were also times when I thought I was itching to leave everything behind–but never did (thankfully).

It could be because as a whole the job–as well as the journey–has been truly rewarding.

I’m thankful for the experience, the trust and loyalty, the good pay, and the good life. I’m thankful I’m allowed to do something I find challenging and fulfilling at the same time.

PS: Yuwanda of Inkwell Editorial wrote a beautiful freelance thanksgiving prayer.

Photo source

Quirky Planner for 2011

I’m fond of planners. In fact, if I could just find all of them, I could fill an entire level of a bookcase. But I really don’t want to settle for anything ordinary. The quirkier they are the better. That’s why when I found out Witty Will Save the World’s planners, I know I’ve found what I’ve been looking for.

For 2011, I’m getting their Relaks, Puso Lang Yan, Malayo sa Bituka planner (yes, that’s the exact title). It’s intended for everyone, especially for the brokenhearted, hopeless romantic, man and woman haters, people who consider their relationships unstable, and guys and gals who are fond of sappy movies.

I don’t want to talk much about it, though. I’ll just let the pictures do the talking. But before that, if you wish to get the planner, visit their Facebook Fan Page. It will cost you 350 pesos, and that’s already free shipping. For more comprehensive information on how to buy, visit this page.

the front cover of the planner

so-called love history

the "disclaimer"

Have you really moved on?

If you cannot say your angry thoughts coherently, then just fill in the blanks.

Every month is preceded by a "Guess the Movie" page.

Love songs and trivia (such as when's the birthday of Donna Cruz?) appear in several pages.

Show them where it really hurts.

love coupons

Photos from

And Now I’m in WordPress

It’s so sad that I begin my first day in WordPress in a series of bad news. First, I’ve been sick for a week now: urinary tract infection. The doctor said I could be resistant to antiobiotics, which means it can go on for a much longer time.

Aside from that, I’m nursing a very bad cold with low-grade fever, mild cough, itchy runny nose, watery eyes, and slight difficulty in breathing. However, I cannot take any medications. Else, I’ll fall asleep, and there’s probably no one who can wake Bernard up in time for his work.

I should not be blogging in WordPress either. However, my account in had gone hay-wire, and I have no idea how to fix it–and I’m tired right now to even figure things out. So here I am.

Despite these issues, I am still thankful, for I’m quite back in blogging. It’s been quite a while since my last decent post. My blood count is normal, and my immune system is still in fighting form. Compared to last week, my test results are so much better, and I no longer feel a lot of lower back pains.

Christmas is fast approaching, and I can’t wait to decorate our home and have my own mini garden before December will be over. I am also thinking of a good nook where I can just read books, daydream, sleep, or be completely alone with my thoughts and perhaps some of my worries.

Positive thinking does remove the stress away, and I intend to keep myself in this perspective.