Friday, December 25, 2009

My La Vie Boheme Moment

What's your La Vie Boheme moment?

My La Vie Boheme moment happened back in 2007 after I quit my job and literally lived a "bohemian life" for six months. It was the peak of my quarter-life crisis and was inclined to take life as lightly as I could. Boy, did I dig a deep hole in my parent's pocket! I enroled in French and Spanish classes (yes, at the same time!) and took up a film directing class.

Being a cinephile, I became a permanent fixture at the movie theatre and was always in a tizzy at the film festivals. Movies became part of my daily diet, and I dissected them with friends over dinner at night. I was the King of Spontaneity;I gleefully embarked where the wind would take me -- concerts, performance art events, poetry readings, heck, I even attended spirituality seminars. I was a bum who was always on the look out for a good place to eat or a nice party to crash and went on oomp-pah-pah drinkathons with people I just met. On my quiet days, I devoured books and visited museums.

I guess, it was my reaction against a redundant workload and a punishing office schedule. I searched for my niche by exploring all available options. Or maybe I was just young and stupid, and had nothing to lose. But of course, to every great party, "then the morning comes". Fact was I.Had.No.Money and there was the urge to finally give up the title of being my parents' oldest living headache. I cleaned up my act: I looked for a job and am now in a state of happy equilibrium between myself and the universe.

Looking back, "those six months of joblessness" was the most fun, enriching phase of my life. Will I do it again? Not in a heartbeat. Nevertheless it was a great experience to have, at one point in my life, lived totally bohemian.

Want to experience "La Vie Boheme"? Watch the Manila staging of "Rent" brought to you by Our Awesome Planet on February 6, 2010 (Sat), 8 pm at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza. Reserve your tickets by emailing or call Minnie Fong at 0917 8676332.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Owl City, Paramore, Boys Like Girls In Manila in 2010!

The first quarter of 2010 looks very exciting for music enthusiasts everywhere. The Killers, Ne-Yo, Owl City, Boys Like Girls and The Beach Boys are set to perform in Manila! Mark your calendars when these acts hit the town:

Ne-Yo at the MoA Concert Ground
Date: January 9, 2010; 8 pm
Ticket Price: 7500 (VVIP)
5500 (VIP)
4000 (Platinum)
2500 (Gold)
1500 (Silver)
500 (Bronze)

Boys Like Girls with Hed Kandi at the MoA SMX Convention
Date:  January 27, 8 pm
Ticket Price: P3696 (VIP Standing)
P1696 (Gold Standing)

The Beach Boys at the Araneta
Date: January 27, 8 pm
Ticket Price: P4020 (Patron VIP)
3700 (Patron B)
2960 (Lower Box)
1900 (Upper Box A)
850 (Upper Box B)
530 (General Admission)

The Killers at the MoA Concert Ground
Date: January 31, 2010; 8 pm
Ticket Price: 5550 (VIP Standing)
3950 (Gold Standing)
1550 (Silver Standing)
550 (Bronze Standing)

Paramore at the MoA Concert Ground
Date: March 9, 2010
Ticket Price: 3950 (Gold)
1550 (Silver)
550 (Bronze)

Owl City at the MoA SMX Convention
Date: March 14, 2010
Ticket Price: TBD

The New Me

21 pounds lighter

Exhibit A. Bulging midsection, massive thighs and legs reminiscent of Eddie Murphy in “The Nutty Professor”.
Exhibit A1. Double, err, triple chin. Puto- like cheeks. Circumferential expansion of the neck (or more appropriately, disappearance of the neck).
Exhibit A2. Saddlebags and beer handles galore.

Verdict: By a unanimous vote, the Court of Gluttony found Silverscreensurfer guilty of being fat and upon the recommendation of this court, he is sentenced to a minimum of 150 push ups a day for the next six months, and is ordered to stay at least 200 yards from all major fast-food chains.

That’s it. My Chicken Burger days are over. I snapped from my cheesecake coma and found that I have ballooned into 158 lbs. So I guess it would be bollocks to hide behind excuses: I got fat, period. Let’s all laugh about it, har-har-har!

It all feels weird since I’ve never had a weight issue before. Well not until people who are dear to me have started labeling me “Mojacko”. When I was growing up, I’ve been called a lot of things but fat wasn’t one of them. It was always “ting-ting” (reed-thin) or “pihikan” (picky eater). There was a time when I’ve been guilty of habitually chucking my meals in the bin just because I didn’t have the appetite. (Oh, what I would give to relive those lovely anorexic years!)

Flashforward to summer of 2009, food occupies either positions one or two in my top three thoughts for the day. All my shirts look one size smaller and my cheeks—the horror!—looks like the local bakery has stuffed me with too much pan de agua.

What’s more, it seems like everywhere I looked, forces of nature were conspiring to compel me to do something about my weight. Sometime in July, I turned on the TV and chanced upon an episode on obesity in a lifestyle program. It featured an overweight guy who got a botched liposuction and has hanging remnants of excess skin around the waist. Enter the surgeon’s voiceover: “Life is happier for thinner, taller, more attractive people.” Revolted, I switched programs to Oprah where the camera was focused on a sorry- looking teenage girl. Oprah, off- cam: “Coming up, the story of a 136 lb. teenager who got bullied because of her weight!”

Too much.

This has got to stop. No more procrastinating. I’ve got to adhere to a healthier lifestyle before I become a candidate for abdominal lipectomy: Enough of the “Mojacko” jeers. I need to transform!

Part of my "getting thin" agenda are the following: sign up for a gym, get a nutritionist and participate in more physical activities. Tall order, isn’t it? I gave myself four months and I told myself, if my plan backfires, heck, I can always go back to Chicken burger with the very appetizing grease at the bottom of the wrapper.

With the square-jawed determination of a Marine, I began my journey towards losing weight. For dramatic purposes, I called it “Project: Transformation”.

1. Turning Into a Gym Rat. I signed up for a one-year membership at a fitness center near my area at the prodding of my gym rat of an officemate. I was a skeptic at first but thought it would be a nice start. The first few weeks were an ordeal; I went home with my body sore from all the cardio and weight-lifting I did. But after a few weeks, going to the gym became a habit. The treadmill became my bestfriend. When I started noticing my body fat turning into muscles, I realized that the pain was all worth it.

2. Diet! Diet! Diet! This is the hardest part. For a person like me who consumes two cups of rice per meal, sticking to a healthy diet is next to impossible. You know what I did? I posted my most unflattering picture on the fridge for inspiration. I also met with a nutritionist and asked for professional advice. She gave me a diet schedule and consistently monitored my progress. Soon enough, the junk food, chocolates and soda in my fridge were replaced with fruits, oatmeal crackers and sports jelly beans. I must admit though, occasionally, I rewarded myself with a slice of cheesecake for a job well done.

3. Getting Hooked on Running. In my quest for fitness, I was bitten by the running bug. There are about a gazillion fun races organized by small and big organizations and I signed up for a few of them. I did the Ayala Eco-Dash in September, the Octoberun Festival, The Timex Run in November and more recently, the Philstar Celebrity Run. The fun in running is the fact that it’s a lone sport – you set your own goals and your own pace. It also doesn’t entail much special equipment and the cost is not prohibitive. It also was a good excuse to buy new running shoes.

And so it can be told. After four months of slaving it off at the gym and dieting like hell, "Project: Transformation" finally paid off. I am now 21 pounds lighter and mighty proud of it. I can now slip into my old size 32 jeans without holding my tummy in. Heck, I can now even hit the beach with the confidence of a Baywatch cast (Lol). And the compliments I’ve been getting from people have been overwhelming.

Of course, the transformation doesn’t end here. The real challenge is to maintain my ideal weight and to have the gumption to say “No” to beer baths, cheesecake binge and sinful sisig nights. Am I up for the challenge? Hell, yeah!?!

How about you? Still waiting for that life-changing transformation to happen? Start with a healthy body that has loads of energy, good immunity and perfectly glowing skin. Experience the change with GlutaMAX. 

GlutaMAX, See The Results!

Friday, December 18, 2009

2010 Golden Globe Nominations Revealed

"Avatar", "Up In The Air" and "Nine" lead the 2010 Golden Globe nominations.

Hurrays: Mo'Nique, Julianne Moore and (500) Days of Summer got the love that they deserve.

Boos: No love for District 9's Sharlto Copley and the Inglorious Basterds' femme fatales Melanie Laurent and Diane Krueger.
The awards will air Sunday, January 17, 2010 on NBC. Here is the complete list of nominees:

Best Motion Picture -- Drama
The Hurt Locker
Inglorious Basterds
Up in the Air

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture -- Drama
Emily Blunt, The Young Victoria
Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Helen Mirren, The Last Station
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Gabourey Sadibe, Precious
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture -- Drama
Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
George Clooney, Up in the Air
Colin Firth, A Single Man
Morgan Freeman, Invictus
Tobey Maguire, Brothers

Best Motion Picture -- Musical or Comedy
(500) Days of Summer
The Hangover
It's Complicated
Julie & Julia

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture -- Musical or Comedy
Sandra Bullock, The Proposal
Marion Cotillard, Nine
Meryl Streep, It's Complicated
Meryl Streep, Julie and Julia
Julia Roberts, Duplicity

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture -- Musical or Comedy
Matt Damon, The Informant
Daniel Day Lewis, Nine
Robert Downey Jr., Sherlock Holmes
Joseph Gordon Levitt, (500) Days of Summer
Michael Stuhlbarg, A Serious Man

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Mo-Nique, Precious
Julianne Moore, A Single Man
Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
Penelope Cruz, Nine

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Matt Damon, Invictus
Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones
Christopher Plummer, The Last Station
Christopher Waltz, Inglorious Basterds
Woody Harrelson, The Messenger

Best Animated Feature Film
The Fantastic Mr. Fox
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
The Princess and the Frog

Best Foreign Language Film
Broken Embraces
A Prophet
The White Ribbon
The Maid

Best Director -- Motion Picture
Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
James Cameron, Avatar
Clint Eastwood, Invictus
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
Quentin Tarantino, Inglorious Basterds

Best Screenplay -- Motion Picture
Up in the Air
It's Complicated
District 9
The Hurt Locker
Inglorious Basterds

Best Original Score -- Motion Picture
Michael Giacchino, Up
Marvin Hamlisch, The Informant
James Horner, Avatar
Abel Krozeniowski, A Single Man
Karen O. and Carter Burwell, Where the Wild Things Are

Best Original Song -- Motion Picture
"I Will See You," Avatar
"The Weary Kind," The Crazy Heart
"Winter," Brothers
"Cinema Italiano," Nine
"I Want to Come Home," Everybody's Fine

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

National Board of Review Picks "Up In The Air" 2010 Best Picture

The Oscar season officially begins with the announcement of the 2010 National Board of Review honorees. The NBR traditionally beats everyone to the draw as it announces its winners in early December. Not a major ripple in the pond though, as NBR isn’t really a reliable barometer of the Oscars.

This year's winners include George Clooney, Morgan Freeman and NBR favorite Clint Eastwood.
NBR snubs: “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire”, “Nine”, “An Education”, “Avatar” and “Lovely Bones”

NBR Biggest WTF: “Star Trek”? Seriously?!

Here is the complete list of NBR winners:

BEST FILM: "Up in the Air"

(Alphabetical order)
"An Education"
"(500) Days of Summer"
"The Hurt Locker"
"Inglourious Basterds"
"The Messenger"
"A Serious Man"
"Star Trek"

"Where the Wild Things Are"

BEST DIRECTOR: Clint Eastwood, "Invictus"
BEST ACTOR (tie): George Clooney, "Up in the Air"; Morgan Freeman, "Invictus"

BEST ACTRESS: Carey Mulligan, "An Education"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Woody Harrelson, "The Messenger"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Anna Kendrick, "Up in the Air"




BEST ENSEMBLE CAST: "It's Complicated"



SPOTLIGHT AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTORIAL DEBUT: Duncan Jones, "Moon"; Oren Moverman, "The Messenger"; Marc Webb, "(500) Days of Summer"

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Joel and Ethan Coen, "A Serious Man"

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, "Up in the Air"



"Burma VJ: Reporting From a Closed Country"
"The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers"

(Alphabetical order)
"The Maid"
"Song of Sparrows"
"Three Monkeys"
"The White Ribbon"

(Alphabetical order)
"Burma VJ: Reporting From a Closed Country"
"Food, Inc."
"Good Hair"
"The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers"

(Alphabetical order)
"District 9"
"Goodbye Solo"
"In the Loop"
"Me and Orson Welles"
"Two Lovers"

Friday, December 4, 2009

What am I Thankful for This 2009?

Remember two years ago when Marion Cotillard won an Oscar for Best Actress and she tearfully exclaimed, “Thank you, life! Thank you, love!” Well, I want to have the same beaming declaration as this year draws to an end. There’s a lot to be thankful for in 2009 that I want to run around like an idiot savant and announce with glee: “2009 rocked my life!”

Here’s a list of things that I’m thankful for this year:

1. Moments that made the Filipinos proud: the double whammy of Manny Pacquiao over Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto, Director Brillante Mendoza’s triumph at Cannes, educator Efren PeƱaflorida’s win as the 2009 CNN Hero of the Year, Charice, Arnel Pineda among others. I glowed with pride when these outstanding Filipinos took the spotlight and showed the world what we are capable of. Thank you, Pinoy superheroes!

2. Outpouring of Love and Support in the aftermath of Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng. The worst truly brings out the best in us. This has never been more apparent in the days that followed supertyphoons Ondoy and Pepeng. The term “bayanihan” was revived as we witnessed the young and the old, the rich and the poor extend their hands to the victims. For my part, I volunteered and helped in my own little way in the relief operations at Sagip Kapamilya and the Ateneo. Thank you, fellow volunteers!

3. Philippine Stage is alive! I had the great fortune of watching brilliant stage productions this year: Repertory’s “Portrait of An Artist as Filipino” last February and “Sweeney Todd” (still running this month), and Atlantis Productions’ “Spring Awakening” last October. I’m just heartened to know that our luminous stage talents still continue to give us our most unforgettable and moving theatre experiences. Who says the theatre is dead? Thank you, theatre artists!

4. Film Festivals of 2009: A cinephile’s heaven! I grew heady with the treasure trove of excellent movies I saw at this year’s Pelicula Spanish Filmfest in Greenbelt, Cine Europa and the Korean Filmfest in Shang Cineplex, and Cinemanila in Taguig. Not to mention the eclectic selections at Mogwai and U-View Fully Booked. Many film lovers, myself included, had a whale of a good time obsessing about cinema in these events. Thank you, festival organizers!

5. Great Films of 2009. Still on the subject of cinema, my oh my, there were many releases this year that were just mind-blowingly good! There's "District 9", "Wanted: Border", "500 Days of Summer", "Anti-Christ" and "The Hurt Locker". And then there are the awards contenders that we haven't seen yet: "Up In the Air", "Precious", "Invictus" etc. 2009's film output is probably the most exciting we've seen in years. Thank you, actors and filmmakers!

6. My Personal Circle of Support. I wouldn't have survived the year without the love and guidance of my family and friends. They were there during my choicest moments this year. Thank you, family and friends!

7. The Mistakes I Made in 2009. On a more personal note, I would admit that I made some pretty bad decisions this year (on my finances, career and life in general) that I could've done differently. No regrets, though. I'm not resentful for the wrong choices that I made because I know it's part of my learning experience and growth. My mistakes actually made me gain insight of how much I'm growing. Thank you, my mistakes!

How about you? What's in your thank-you list? Make one now for a chance to win a Moleskine Colour a Month Daily Planner 2010! Check out details at Here's the link:
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