my ceiling

It’s 2:28 am. I took a flight from Estonia to Frankfurt to Hongkong and finally home. It started snowing before I entered the airport. Beautiful.

I was excited to leave the cold but was also dreading reality. Which is stupid because I fly off to Singapore the day after tomorrow and then Dubai after. But my body felt it. And i think my soul was confused about what I wanted. So I got sick on my flight to Frankfurt. I had a migraine (which is so rare) and had the urge to throw up. So as soon as I landed in Frankfurt I looked for a Diet Coke. A bit pricey too at 3.50 euros but I needed it. So I chugged it in one go while looking for my next gate. I saw a sign for the lounge though and decided to pop in and look at the food. At this point a fever was starting. I went to the lounge’s toilet and splashed water on my face. An older woman told me I wasn’t looking too well and I decided to have a long, hot shower. I felt better after. I even got another Diet Coke. I found a heating pad that I got from Tokyo while rummaging for a charger. So I put that on my back and I was starting to relax. When they called out my flight number though, I felt it again. I had a 12 hour flight ahead of me and my head was pounding. I threw up 6 times before boarding. I was scared they would see how pale I was and might refuse me from getting on the plane (I think I was subconsciously hoping it would happen). But I did eventually get in and prepared my seat/bed. The flight attendant was checking on me from time to time (shout-out to the kind staff of Lufthansa)…this is the first time I slept through a whole flight. I usually watch movies on board but not today. I slept for 12 hours and woke up in hongkong. Super disorienting considering how different the HK airport feels now. It’s bustling with people but has a ghost-town vibe through the halls. I must have fit right in. I was gray in the glimpses of myself that I saw in mirrors. My legs were barely taking me to my last gate which was so far I had to take a bus. I busied myself with new books. I would lie if I said the books didn’t make me happy. They did. But when the flight attendant said they had to dim the cabin lights for take off to Manila and the pages of my book suddenly went black, I felt it again. The dread. The dread of leaving a part of me behind and not meeting her ever again. I was blessed with an amazing seat mate. A visitor from Switzerland in his 60s. We talked about his wife and my love for Zurich, our shared preference of the Shangrila hotel in Makati over the one in the fort. He distracted me from thinking about home. But as soon as we passed through immigration and I heard the choir sing Christmas songs in tagalog and English in NAIA I knew it was time to wake up. I said goodbye to him after he collected his bag, I was still waiting for mine… I realize now while writing this that I didn’t even get his name. What a pity. The drive home was uneventful. An hour on edsa for a trip that should’ve been 15 mins long. I listened to music I enjoyed while walking around Tallin’s old town and I pretended the aircon in my car was the cold wind in the Christmas market. I don’t know where this entry is going. Or why I started it. I’m just trying to make sense of my thoughts and the happiness of finally feeling heat on my cheeks or the sadness of missing my toes going numb from the cold. I am neither here nor there right now. I had thoughts of wanting to preserve every sight I saw the other day when I looked up at towers and buildings that looked like castles. But I know myself. I can’t even remember a person’s name 10 minutes after being introduced. And maybe that’s what’s making me sad. That I loved a new place again and won’t fully remember. And that in time, stories of this part of my life will change and will have different versions as I get older. We’ll see…

merry, ferry rides

Currently on a ferry from Estonia to Finland with my legs stretched out in front of me as I stare forward into a gray sky and an even grayer sea. I am very much aware that I promised movie reviews…I’ll get to them in Manila 😂 anyway, I’m just super physically tired right now but I refuse to close my eyes because I’d like to remember all of this, so I’ll stay awake by writing. It’s funny, I got a message just now from a friend asking if I’m alone. I am in fact alone, and flew here alone 3 days ago for 28 hours and am aboard a ferry alone while listening to babies cry around me. I have been alone for a while now. She told me that I’m brave. I probably am. But not because I can fly alone or figure out ferries alone. It’s easy to do all that with smartphones now. There’s literally an app for everything now. But I must say, even without the apps, I’ve never gotten lost yet. Not counting the times I purposely walk around cities, “getting lost” to discover places. But I always, always know my way back home. I’m thankful for that. I wonder now what makes a person brave. Because if I could be honest with you, dear reader, I feel anything but brave most of the time. I literally just teared up when the ferry left the dock. I was nervous when I went from Manila to Shanghai to Frankfurt and then Tallin, thinking I wouldn’t see my bags again. So what does she see in me? Is it being comfortable not talking for days on end, thus only hearing your own thoughts? Or is it finishing a full plate alone even if you’re filled to the brim or ultimately deciding to leave leftovers and live with the guilt of that for a few hours considering you’re from a third world country? Is it looking into strangers’ eyes knowing that they process their thoughts in different languages while they assess you? I don’t honestly know. I need sleep. And a scarf. I do know that I need to find a pharmacy and get vitamin C soon. And I will do just that, bravely. 😂

abominable

Produced by DreamWorks, watched tonight at 9:00 pm in Vertis North with my mom, 2 aunts and an uncle.

For the next few reviews I’ll do, I’ll add the cinemas where I watched the films because I honestly feel that the audiences in different areas react differently and that sways a persons opinion of a movie. Like if I watch Mamma Mia in Powerplant Mall where people are singing along to ABBA hits (true story) and a horror film in TriNoMa where people reaaally scream (based on experience), it’ll give me the maximum effect that I think the movie wants to give.

So yes, I watched Abominable in Vertis North which is apt, because the cinemas in Vertis North are notoriously cold. (Bring a thick jacket or a blanket when you go.) but it matched the movie perfectly because this animated film is about a Yeti. And for a 90s kid like me, this is a treat because I’m not too sure if millennials are familiar with the Yeti (also known as the Abominable Snowman) or the Loch Ness Monster or the Chupacabra. These mythical legends were always the main characters in books like “Goosebumps and tv shows like “Are You Afraid Of The Dark” so I grew up, fearing these creatures.

Tonight though, I was put at ease because director/writer Jill Culton assured me that logically, if an abominable snowman does decide to grace us with its presence, the Philippines might not be the first place it will go to. Since Mt. Everest is where our dear Yeti resides, he ended up in China which is close to Nepal, the Himalayas and ultimately, Everest. Now before you continue reading, I might unconsciously spoil some parts so if you plan to watch it, maybe return to this blog entry later on so we can compare notes.

First off, after watching dark and gritty movies these last few months, an animated film was the perfect choice for me tonight because I needed a breather. The movie starts off in China. And we follow the PoV of a teenage girl who busies herself with several jobs in a day, not knowing that an abominable snowman who was held captive has escaped and is hiding in her sanctuary-the rooftop of their apartment building. So they cross paths and the goodness in her heart pushes her to take him home.

Ok so I didn’t really spoil too much so far. Now let me enumerate my favorite parts…

1.) the movie called out this generation for being too busy to see what is in front of them. They even funnily put a billboard of Mt. Everest in front of Yi’s apartment and she would never have seen it if not for her new Yeti friend. There were also parts where the movie showed how some teens now are too preoccupied with their gadgets and social media accounts but this was addressed well when the three lead characters aged between 12-16 years old travel across beautiful but different terrains to bring the Yeti back home. And they did it well. These parts almost make you believe in magical powers again. I hope the parents who take their kids to see this appreciate those parts and take full advantage of them in teaching a few valuable life lessons.

2.) the soundtrack is amazing. Or maybe I’m just the worlds biggest Coldplay fan. (I am) from the start, they established that the teenage girl, Yi, is deeply attached to her late father’s violin. And she plays it well. The fact that the lead character is into music instantly makes the audience listen more carefully to the songs used throughout a film. And they had the perfect scene to play “Fix You” because the words of the song, fit Yi’s pain seamlessly. “Dreams” by Phil Beaudreau will make you feel the courage that they needed to make the journey…The violin piece Yi would always play almost felt nostalgic towards the end because you heard it throughout the film (maybe too many times). And the Yeti’s hum that summons his magic is comforting, like warm milk when it’s cold and you’re upset.

3.) there were many funny scenes. Watch out for the “whooping snake” and one guard’s quip when the snake goes “whoop whoop whoop” and he answers with “there it is” a quick and cute nod to Tag Teams “Whoomp”

4.) the villain isn’t who you expect it is. Most animated films tell us clearly from the beginning who to be afraid of. Like fire-breathing dragons, evil stepmoms, leprechauns, distorted monsters etc. But this film gives a little twist in terms of who the villain is and I found that really helpful for the kids who will watch this. It’s a clear warning to be extra careful when dealing with people. Not to be cynical but this is a reality they will learn later on anyway. (Ok yes that came off as cynical.)

And that’s pretty much it. I don’t want to spoil the whole thing, but those I mentioned above are my favorite parts of the movie Abominable. To give you an idea: I grew up in a household where my mom collected hundreds of animated films for me to enjoy…she kept classics from Disney to Pixar to DreamWorks even Hanna-Barbera movies! We had cartoons from the 60’s and movies that had mixed animation like the original “Pete’s Dragon” and “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” ( i do love cartoons!) And that cartoon filled background is why I give this movie a 3.5/5. A very close 4, but I’ll stick to 3.5! I would definitely recommend you to take your kids to see this and for you to enjoy it on your own too. I left the cinema smiling and looking for the movie’s OST on Spotify! 👌🏻

movie magic

I thought today would be my last shooting day for Miracle In No. 7 but I have to shoot another scene this week, and I’ll do it happily because today, I LOOOOOVED the scenes we took! So emotional, raw and honest!and I wish I could say more about it but I don’t want to get fired before we wrap up so you’ll have to wait till Christmas Day, folks!

Now, since I finished early…(the location we were in didn’t have an area to shoot the last scene I was going to do.) I decided to watch a movie tonight with my family. And so I’ll write a review for each movie that I loved in the last few weeks! I hope you guys enjoy! And I wish I could share with all of you the electricity that an actor feels after doing a scene. It’s amazing. Euphoric. Check out the next few entries for my honest reviews of the movies Abominable, (which I watched tonight) Hustlers, Ad Astra, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Hello Love, Goodbye, Midsommar, Yesterday, Parasite and Joker!

PS: some of the reviews might have spoilers, if you haven’t seen these pictures yet, it would be best for you to return to the entries after watching them. I’ll post one review a day for the next few days, enjoy! ❤️

indigestion

this is really what’s bothering me. Indigestion. When we are asked by a stranger what’s bothering us, and we can’t dish out our thoughts and feelings just yet, society and time has taught us that we should go for what can be seen by the stranger’s eye. We go for whatever is making our skin crawl at the moment because more likely than not, when something is happening inside, something will bug you physically too. Mine is indigestion. I blame it on wolfing down a bowl of couscous topped with Delimondo’s spicy corned beef (crispy like I love it) with a small bowl of kimchi and another small bowl of crab fat. (aligue on everything, yes please!) Now I want to go to a hospital to have my stomach pumped, quite certain that the acid from the kimchi isn’t making friends with the crab fat in my tummy. And so this. Indigestion.

Funnliy, in many occasions, my body always has a way of telling me something is going horribly wrong. I was once on set for an afternoon tv drama I did roughly 7 years ago and had to finish nearly 100 scenes (totally unheard of and probably illegal now, also completely inhumane) and as I prepared for more crying scenes, my stomach (my telltale sign) just started bloating and there was so much air in it I was sure I was gonna float away from them all, like the house from “Up.” But that was really just my body and mind’s way of telling me, “Giiiiirl this is wrong. Speak up.” Instead of speaking up, I sucked my stomach in and cried as much as I was instructed to so all of us could go home as fast as we could. And my body has done this a few more times through the years. When I witness injustice or feel uncomfortable, a part of my biological make up just seems to start malfunctioning.

My tummy, my nerves, my eyes.

And tonight as I stare at the ceiling, fresh from a few days by the ocean, with no horrible situation to blame except my wrong judgment of eating kimchi and aligue together, I am somehow thankful that if asked by a stranger right now, I won’t cover up my feelings and thoughts with “indigestion” because this is really my only concern right now. Whatever I have been wondering about, praying for and planning to do could easily dissolve or materialise and I have accepted that frailty of my future fully and so I can focus on this endless ramble about indigestion, hoping that if you out there, reading this, gets asked tonight or tomorrow or this week or in the near future if something is wrong, you can answer with something so mundane and physical without needing to cover anything up.

Because to be honest, it’s hard to conceal something deep and painful but at the same time reach out and blurt out “indigestion” while holding your tears back.

life is life

As you might have noticed, I haven’t been ok the past few weeks. Or maybe you haven’t, that’s fine too…better actually. But that’s it, I haven’t. And it started just when May ended and June rolled in. I went through hell and back. No it’s not because of some recent announcements that I’m actually genuinely happy about, so don’t start assuming there…But because of a personal trial that made me question how I viewed myself and the world. I was wrapped in such a dark bubble that I even hated the idea of interacting with people. And tonight I decided to put an end to that. Because I hate the idea of wasting my days, wallowing. So first off, I made an effort to seek help. I introduced myself to a person named Nathan. I came across Nathan in one of Belle Daza’s Instagram stories and she was very kind to send me his number. On his page I saw that he offered help to “access your infinite awareness.” Now, I didn’t even know what that meant…but I knew for sure I needed help from someone, anyone!!!…to get me out of this hole I dug myself into. And as much as I’d like to say he healed me or gave me magic words or opened a consciousness I wasn’t aware of before. He just sat across me and listened. And after I told him all the injustices that I felt and now saw, he replied with the best three words I’ve heard, strung together: LIFE IS LIFE. And I started tearing up. I am angry that I allowed myself to feel bad for 3 months when in fact that is the simple and most basic truth: LIFE IS LIFE. And however we decide to go about our own little worlds daily, the world won’t stop for us. So we get to make choices constantly. Choices that can lead to opening up a world of happiness for ourselves and the people around us. And starting tonight, I declare that I will always choose to be happy. ALWAYS. Because life is only and will always just be, life.

my windows

I used to love my eyes. Despite it not being perfect. One seemingly more “lazy” when I’m sick or overworked. I loved them. Brown in the middle and green just around the edge. Not my mother’s nearly black or my father’s light blue eyes. Just my own weird shade of something. And I loved them for what they saw. Maybe because I always chose to direct my head towards beauty. Fields. Mountains. Beautiful cities. And my favourite- oceans from above and below the surface. I took delight in soaking everything in. I always tried to see the best. In sunrises and sunsets, in crowded places, even in situations but ultimately in people. Always the last to figure out if I was being fooled because of always seeing the best in everybody. And I loved that about myself. Over time, my eyes started forming lines in its corners. From laughing too much because my heart was always too full. And from smiling till my eyes become slits because I was always so overwhelmed by my love for the world. Always so grateful to witness beauty in different forms. I get to use my eyes for work too. Im always told that my eyes already act even before the rest of my body does. And I thank them for that. For always telling you what I thought and felt in the little and big screens. But recently I started hating my eyes. Always so sad. So heavy. No amount of make up could lift up the bags under them from realising how the world can be unfair and cruel. It’s bright brown and green, just dull now. From seeing the sun and trees, they now mostly choose to look down at whatever pair of sneakers are trying to keep my soul warm. I have truly lost my faith in colors. In peripherals. In music. I used to love to see what a song could do for my heart and fingertips. But now, I only tolerate words. Crisp, fast, words. I hate that my eyes now would rather stay closed all day if I weren’t at work. And that they’re sore from me rubbing them dry constantly. I hate that it always forms tears that I don’t allow to drop so it just sits at the base of my throat, choking me. I want to know…what is there now to see?