Sunday, October 30, 2011

Movie Review: In Time

This year, I would say that IN TIME would the best futuristic sci-fi movie for me.

In the distant future, all the people in the world are born and genetically engineered with a self-timer and life expiration once they reach 25 years old. It's a  future where the most valued currency is no longer money but time. And just like money, the rich can stay 25 years old for as long as they can afford while the poor will have to struggle and earn minutes and seconds one day at a time just to survive. It is where daily wages are a matter of life and death.

IN TIME is another barrier-breaking sci-fi movie starring Justin Timberlake as Will Salas and Amanda Seyfried as Sylvia Weiss. Will lives in a modern type “ghetto” where poor people are segregated from their rich counterparts. But in a stroke of luck, Will stumbles upon a rich guy with a death wish, Mr. Matt Bomer, whom he saved from people who wanted to rob all of Bomer's time that's worth centuries. After surviving the night in an abandoned building, Bomer took his life leaving Will all his time. 

Will, enraged by the system where the rich can get more time while the poor works to death just to live another day or two, left the ghetto and crossed into the time zone of the rich where he discovered a much deeper and darker side of the system.

A standing obviation goes to Andrew Niccol who wrote and directed this movie. He's the same guy who did GATTACA, another out-of-this world sci-fi movie. For me, this is what sci-fi movies should be all about, an out-of-the box concept. Kudos also to Justin Timberlake who made an outstanding performance in this movie. Sad to say, Amanda Seyfried did not really stand out. 

Truly, Timberlake is one versatile performer. A few weeks back, he also did excellent acting in the film Friends with Benefits. A successful singing career, a prolific comedian of Saturday Night Live and now a versatile actor? I would not be surprised that there are more stuff this guy could do and show us next. He’s simply amazing.

For the film’s setting, the futuristic “feel” is not much obvious. High-tech flying cars or anything like that are not in this movie. The cars and building structures were a bit outdated in sense, so defining when in the future was not quite not obvious. It’s more of a gothic type of film in a minimalists setting. Weapons like guns were not so “future-like” as well. The special effects were a bit short-changed too.

Nonetheless, the story itself made a lot of impact in this movie. I was most especially fascinated with the part where the rich character introduced to Will Salas his mother-in law, his wife and  his daughter who all looked 25 years old. That was so freaky and funny. As many vain people today are coming up with the latest procedures just to halt aging, I cannot help but imagine that sooner or later scenarios like that might be possible.

This is one movie that is worth watching despite some flawed parts. Overall, I would place this film among the ranks of RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES among this years’ good films.

IN TIME, rated PG 13, is now showing in cinemas nationwide. It is released by 20th Century Fox and distributed by Warner Bros.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Movie Review: Puss in Boots

Finally, Shrek’s swashbuckling sidekick got his big break by having his own spinoff animated movie, Puss in Boots. Puss first appeared in Shrek 2 where most of the characters’ fairytale and nursery rhyme stories were jumbled up in one hilarious blockbuster hit. In the movie Puss in Boots, other than what children’s books share, a lot of things will be revealed on how the “outlaw” cat ended up wearing the cowhide leather boots.

Just like the movie Shrek, this spinoff franchise story is also a mix of fairytale characters like Humpty Dumpty, voiced by Zach Galifianakis, whose character depicts a semi-sinister personality much like the one Zach played in the movie Hangover. Kitty Softpaws, voiced by Selma Hayek is a perfect match to portray Puss’ action sidekick who eventually emerged into his love interest. Jack and Jill, voiced by Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris respectively, are the villains, revealing the “true nature” of the familiar nursery rhymes’ clumsy duo.

Coming up with a spinoff movie was a good call because the movie Shrek was not getting any better and the final installment in 3D was not as spectacular as expected. So, movie followers wanted a fresh scenario as do Dreamworks which needed a fresh exciting comeback.

The Puss movie is actually a prequel to Shrek. Somehow, it gave the character of the swashbuckling cat a context and origin. Of course, nobody would be fitting for the role but the charismatic voice of Antonio Banderas himself.

The story revolves in the early lives of Puss and Humpty Dumpty back in the orphanage where they met. Being best buddies right from the start, the two dreamt of magic mythical beans that will grow up to the sky where a magical goose lays golden eggs. As the two friends grew up together finding the mythical beans to no avail, they resort to different types of mischief often initiated by Humpty who is noted for his creative planning and inventions. Frustration came when the two were branded as outlaws and decided to go their separate ways.

A few years later, Puss bumped into another cat that rivals his cunningness and fighting skills -- Kitty Softpaws who happened to be in the company of his old friend Humpty Dumpty. The succeeding stories then revolve in their adventures as the three go on a quest to find the magic beans and the goose with the golden eggs.

A bit of drama takes place as some of the characters eventually unfold hidden secrets that made the story more exciting.

This CGI animated film is shot in 3D and one of the best 3D animations I’ve seen so far. I believe this film was made so that viewers can appreciate 3D even more. One of the most memorable antics was in the scene where Puss brought out his teary-cutie look to distract his opponent. The whole film was action packed but comedy was never absent. Al l the characters in the movie played their parts so well that I’m hoping to see another installment of Puss in the near future.

*Puss in Boots is released and distributed by United International Pictures through Solar Entertainment Corp.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sponge Cola’s Fourth Album Release: Araw, Oras, Tagpuan (Win a Signed Copy!)

In general, the life span of a typical rock band, or any band for that matter, is around ten years (plus or minus.) In order to survive for the long haul, a band or an artist must continually learn to re-invent themselves that will recurrently give their fans a fresh perspective. One living example of this is Madonna. At the age of 50 plus, she has never ceased to recreate her own image which allows her loyal fans to crave for her even more.

The Philippines, known for its long line of world-renowned artists and musicians and noted to be the home of minstrels in Asia, can proudly boast of successful musicians that remain popular decades after they started  their musical careers with many of them able to rest in their laurels of fame and fortune.  For instance, Apo Hiking Society, even after deciding to go their separate ways, perhaps because of old age and physical limitations, have proven the test of time with 40 years behind them. Perhaps the secret ingredients are sheer talent and passion.

A very familiar pop/rock iconic band is also making its lasting impression among its young and not so young followers. Yael Yuzon, Erwin Armovit, Gosh Dilay, and Tedmark Cruz, collectively known as Sponge Cola, have been entertaining youth pop-rock fans with their contemporary music for almost ten years now. The band started their music career way back in 2002, as the usual struggling but highly spirited beginners with their own unique rendition of Madonna’s Crazy for You. Soon after it was heard over the radio stations, a lot of people started to follow their gigs as they played in different music bars in the metro.

After their first album Palabas was released in 2004, the quartet became a phenomenal hit. Three more albums later plus a series of concerts here and around the country, Sponge Cola has indeed become a household name among young music aficionados. They are truly one of the few bands who kept coming out with one hit after another. Cited with numerous awards such as best song, best group and best music video, not to mention gold and platinum awards, Sponge Cola’s sensational musical charisma that led to their fame shows no sign of slowing down.

Their fourth album entitled Araw, Oras, Tagpuan (Day, Time, Place) is yet another phenomenal hit in the making. According to Yael, the songs string the ideas of the band’s member because all of them had a share in writing the album’s contents. This is a 12-track CD that includes hit singles like Tambay, Regal, and the newest cut Kay Tagal Kitang Hinintay. One particular song, Walang Wakas, even became the theme song of ABS-CBN’s TV series Wansapanatym.

Sponge Cola, with their newest CD release, will surely hit and reign in the airwaves once again with their true-to-life inspired songs and capture the emotions of many young listeners. All the members are equally talented not just in playing musical instruments but they also share the gift of being creative song writers as well. Perhaps these ingredients, coupled with their highly enthusiastic characters, play a vital factor for a lasting musical career that will eventually set the path for them to become musical legends in the future.

Sponge Cola’s newest album is already out in all major music stores nationwide under Universal Records

Nov. 7 edit: Want to have the signed copy of Araw, Oras, Tagpuan shown above? Join this blog’s giveaway! Here’s how:

1. Like the Trails Unlimited page on Facebook.

2. Attach the link of this blog post ( on your status message then write, “I’d like to win a signed copy of Sponge Cola’s Araw, Oras, Tagpuan courtesy of Trails Unlimited (tagged)!”

3. Make sure that your status message is set to be viewed by “Public” and not just “Friends”. Your post must appear in Trails Unlimited’s Facebook wall to qualify. Only Philippine residents can join.

4. Deadline for posting of status messages will be at 12mn on November 20 (Sunday). Entries of Facebook users who did not like the Trails Unlimited page will be disqualified from the draw. One winner of the signed album will be drawn via and announced the next day, November 21. CD will be sent through courier after the winner gives me his/her mailing address.

Nov. 21 edit: Winner of this giveaway has already been announced here. Congratulations! :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Event Coverage: San Marino and Sarap at Home’s 4th Season

Sarap at Home, the daily short-time sitcom that brings televiewers tidbits of delectable recipes is now on its fourth season. Renamed Sarap at Home with Friends, this show is presented by San Marino, the makers of San Marino Corned Tuna, noted to be the number one corned tuna in the Philippines, the fiery San Marino Chili Corned Tuna and the full packed meal San Marino Tuna Paella. Coinciding with this fourth season kick-off is also the official introduction of San Marino newest product innovation – the San Marino Tuna Embutido. This first-ever embutido in a can is ready-to-eat and requires no frying.

San Marino, a famous brand carried by CDO Food Services, is known for its quality, easy-to-eat canned tuna products with no preservatives. The carefully selected recipes are designed for consumers to enjoy San Marino more, whether you’re entertaining unexpected guests or simply wanting to take a break from eating livestock meat with all the unhealthy parts that come along with them, San Marino foods are perfect for your menu.

These are also best for people living with a tight budget or people who are always on the go with no time to do fancy cooking. The easy-to-open can of San Marino Tuna Paella, for example, is best for quick snacks and a good alternative for the daily baon of kids for school because it is easy-to-open as well as filling and delicious.

For this season, Sam Oh, Sarap at Home’s resident host will team up with three other characters played by the very pretty Jackie Rice, the Brazilian hunk model celebrity Fabio Ide, and the ever-comical Ramon Bautista. Short clip episodes will highlight a long list of simple, easy-to-prepare, and delicious recipes using various San Marino tuna variants. What make these new episodes different from those of the past seasons are the additional characters and a zestful story behind them. A twist something to look forward to.

Another feature of the show will be the segment where CDO Food Services will feature helpful tips for those who wish to start their own food business. Sarap at Home will also share stories of real people who became successful entrepreneurs. Moreover, televiewers will learn a lot from experts’ business trade secrets concocted by CDO Food services.

The new season of Sarap at Home kicked-off last October 18, 2011 at the Discovery Suites Pasig City. The event was graced by people from the quad media, friends from San Marino and, of course, the members of the Sarap at Home gang. That evening was filled with funny games and surprises as everybody got to enjoy tasting various San Marino delicacies.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

LG Electronics: Revolutionizing 3D and Entertainment in General

Over the years, man never seizes to crave and pursue the ultimate entertainment satisfaction. At the turn of the 20th century, many industrialists at the time say that mankind has already reached the pinnacle of industrial achievement. But right after the birth of the digital age, man suddenly realized that we have not even scratched the surface of what we can accomplish with the technologies at hand.

A brief walk through history

borrowed from
The first live local television broadcast that was well written in history was the speech of Adolf Hitler in Berlin, Germany announcing to the whole world about the Arian race supremacy that later brought on the start of the second World War. The whole world was astonished not just by the content of Hitler’s speech but many were halted to amazement how man can do a live broadcast thousands of miles away that can  be viewed on black and white monochrome vacuum-tubes television run by the brightest minds in that era. Who would have known that seventy years later, that technology will become as accessible as clicking a few buttons on a hand-held mobile phone by a ten year old boy skyping with a friend from another country. Man is truly fantastic!

An evolution in visual entertainment

The chronological evolution of so-called “entertainment” technology teaches us how it has been constantly improving over the years. Before, the pre-historic man was contented to just sit around a fire while a few of his buddies dance around them in the form of ritual after a good hunting day or harvest. Hundreds of years later, the medieval civilization invented the “arena” where the general public and royalties get to watch  live entertainment at the expense of slave gladiators through jousting and beating each other to death. Then, after the great plague and series of crusades that wiped out almost one fourth of the world’s population including the gladiators themselves, entertainment evolved into Shakesperian theater plays which is a good and economical form of entertainment because at the end of every show, performers stayed alive for another run. 

borrowed from
Hundreds of years later, man stumbled into a great breakthrough – Radio and Motion picture. In the beginning, these medium were two opposing factions because, as the radio airwaves programs were capturing a significant market at that time, motion picture was struggling to conquer a significant market share with the concept of silent movies. And finally, in 1926 AT&T fused the two together by inventing motion picture with sound. This was so revolutionary and gave birth to a lot of movie production outfits, including Warner Bros. who first adapted it.

The next generation TV

As cinematography became complex through the course of history, so did the demands of the viewing market. The constant pursuit of man to satisfy his cravings for the ultimate entertainment pleasure still prevails and it grew from a simple motion picture with sound, which is better known as two dimensional, to three dimensional or 3D that allows the audience not just to view, but to experience, the movie as real as possible. So as the viewing quality improves, so did the sounds that add to the “experience” effect such as HDMI, Dolby and THX digital surround system. Today, our present technology has broke away the 3D viewing pleasure from the four corners of movie houses and big silver screens to the comfort of one’s home.

LG Smart TV

LG Electronics, the second largest manufacturer of televisions, is now also the world’s leader in 3D flat screen technology. With a number of other popular brands that offers 3D TV experience in the market today, the LG smart TV is actually the next generation TV that allows viewers to enjoy the usual TV contents and, at the same time, receive a rich variety of entertainment from the web to unlimited applications and services.

Flicker Free TV

The quality of 3D TV works in with the number of frames per second. The more number of frames per second, the less flicker it produces. One can actually measure it by a simple experiment. Try recording a video clip of the front screen of any TV. After a few minutes of shooting, do a play back of the recorded clip in slow motion. As you observe, you will notice horizontal lines appearing on the TV screens which are the shot frames. Use the digital counter of the cam corder and count the horizontal lines to measure the frames per second. The lesser number of frames per second will show in the TV screen as flicker.

LG smart TV carries the title of being the first certified flicker-free TV. The frames per second ranges from 230 to 246 for many conventional 3D TVs. The LG 3D Smart TV has 265 frames per second offering seamless quality viewing.

2D to 3D conversion

The LG smart 3D TV allows viewers to watch any video content and view it in real time 3D. However, different video contents will not give the same quality 3D results. Sports or fast moving 2D contents may not always give a seamless 3D view, same goes also for first generation cartoons. But CGI animation, CGI movies and live concerts work very well.

Brighter and greater 3D viewing comfort

In order for one to enjoy 3D movies in the big screen, it is always best to be seated in  front of the middle of the screen. By this, you can get a better illusion of depth perception. Seated far right or left will decrease the quality of depth images. But with LG LED screens, LG Smart 3D TV will consistently produce high quality, clear, and bright 3D picture (up to two times brighter than the conventional 3D TV’s ) no matter what viewing position you’re at, whether lying down, leaning back or seated either on the left or right side of the screen, the stereoscopic quality of LG TV truly sets the new standard in three dimensional excellence.

Comfortable 3D glasses

The 3D glasses make a lot of difference in the quality of the whole 3D experience. Conventional 3D glasses, which has a set of batteries and circuit board imbedded, adds density to the eyewear making it uncomfortable, especially when wearing it for a long period of time. LG 3D glasses are like normal shaded glasses which are lightweight because they don’t have any batteries and circuit boards that also emit harmful electromagnetic waves that may sometimes cause dizziness and nausea. These glasses can also be used in 3D digital cinema screens except IMAX.

3D goes beyond TV

20 years or so, the normal pace for new inventions and innovations would take three to five years. For instance, the analog cellular phone maintained its popularity in the market for quite a while and it took almost ten years that an innovation of it, the GSM technology, took into shape. Soon after, as the connectivity phenomena conquered the whole world, new innovations kept popping up soon after its predecessors hit the market.

As 3D technology is just starting to savor its popularity in the context of home entertainment, little did most people know that the next best thing will be 3D mobile phones. LG electronics is surely stepping into new dimensions by letting people experience the world’s first 3D Smartphone with tri-dual technology – the LG Optimus 3D. Tri-dual technology means, dual-core, dual-channel and dual memory. There are a lot of amazing things to say with this tri-dual technology of LG Optimus.

For example, there are several amazing functions such as the phone’s recording, viewing and sharing functions of its 2D video contents and conversion to 3D. In addition, you don’t have to wear 3D glasses to enjoy it! It has two 5MP lens camera that allows you to capture 3D either in still or moving images in real time. Though this type of features are simply aesthetics to some, for the 3D fans, it’s another technological marvel that’s only a prelude to future breakthroughs. And if the pacing of technological patterns still continue, other mind-boggling innovations are surely brewing at the very moment this review will be published. Again, man’s constant desire for entertainment satisfaction will always prevail.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sun Life Financial and Piolo Pascual Team Up Again for SunPIOLOGY 2012

SunPIOLOgy, the collaborative project of Sun Life Financial Philippines and its celebrity advocate Piolo Pascual, is now on its third year. This project is part of the company’s corporate social responsibility as an extension of their efforts to help alleviate poverty in poor communities by assisting Pascual’s HEBREO Foundation.

This year's collaboration will feature two special fundraising events that will focus on the education of poor children who are scholars of the HEBREO foundation. The first event is a photo and art exhibit themed as “Panoramic Portals”. This will feature Pascual’s latest photo collection side by side with artworks done by an artistically-talented HEBREO scholar.

The photo and art exhibit will be on display at the lobby of the newly erected Sun Life Centre at the Bonifacio Global City from December 11, 2011 until January 12, 2012, the birth date of the man behind the camera. For interested buyers of the photos and artworks, online bidding will happen simultaneously with the exhibit period. The organizers hope to generate not just substantial funds but also support from photo enthusiasts and art collectors who might be eying promising artists along with their masterpieces.

The second event is a fun run tagged as the Sunset Run. However, this year’s fun run is not the usual running race. Along with the categories of 3k, 5k and 10k distances, SunPIOLOgy will feature another challenge called vertical run. This special category will not only happen along the pavements of BGC because participants will get an extra test of physical stamina by racing along the fire exit staircase from the ground floor up to the top floor of the Sun Life Center and down. Pascual, who is a competitive runner himself, begged-off from this challenge but promised to run in the 10k distance instead.

The Sunset Run is a project of Sun Life Financial with St. Luke’s Medical Center and Sun Life Foundation as co-presentors. The official timer is TIMEX while the official hydration is Powerade. The fun run is also made possible by minor sponsors like, Natures Valley, TCL Television, Centrum, G.A.R.B. Clothing Collection, Newton Running Shoes, Clear, Jewelmer and Sky Travel. Media partners are ABS-CBN, CCPMG, Business Mirror, 94.7 Jam Radio, DMC Graphics, Loadstar Outcomm and the Philippine Star.

The partnership of Piolo and Sun Life have grown even stronger through the years. To date, SunPIOLOgy has raised more than a million pesos which was allocated to the education program of HEBREO Foundation scholars. According to Sun Life Philippines Chief Marketing Officer Mylene Lopa, the end goal of these events is not just to promote art and active healthy lifestyle but, most importantly, to encourage the general public to support the cause of helping underprivileged children by providing them good quality education.

As the month of December approaches, so does the season of giving. Thus, SunPIOLOgy extends its invitation to all Filipinos to live a life of generosity by participating in the upcoming SunPIOLOgy events.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Event Coverage: Francis Magalona Foundation Inc. Media Launch

For many Filipinos, Francis Magalona has been a household name associated with his innovative Rap-Music that was popularized by his all time hit single – Mga Kababayan . To the younger generation, the hip and catchy beat of Francis M’s rap artistry can only be described as trendy, catchy music many young people would try to imitate. In addition, the messages in his music always imbibed a deep sense of nationalism in every word of his songs’ lyrics.

In 2009, the untimely passing of the master rapper was not just a lasting loss for Pia and their eight children as a dedicated husband and father. Society also lost an advocate who, even in his dying days, has exemplified his faith in the greatness of being Filipino and wished it to be his legacy that should be carried out after he’s gone.

Last October 4, 2011, together with the Magalona family and friends from the media, a tribute was held to remember Francis M’s birthday as well as to celebrate his legacy –the Francis Magalona Foundation Inc. This organization aims to incarnate not just Magalona’s music and artistic brilliance but, most importantly, his passion in helping others find meaning in their lives: a people with a true sense of Filipino pride, personal integrity, and a commitment to positive change. 

The FMF is driven by a series of guidelines or principles, familiar positive “F” word attributes. For FMF, a Filipino means: first, fit, free, firm, fearless, fighter, etc. -- all contributing to transformed holistic values of being Filipino. These virtues are translated to programs that will be implemented in the grass roots for FMF identified beneficiaries.

In partnership with OneCore Success Center, an HR support outfit run by well-known personal coach Ms. Pia Nazareno-Acevedo, FMF and its partners are driven to help individuals develop the knowledge, skills, and attitude to successfully address the challenges from the five Aspects of Life: the Self, Family, Academics/Career, Social/Friends and Sense of Purpose. 

Just recently, we got to witness alarming stories of suicide cases among young people in their teens brought about by their heavy emotional burdens. Such cases prompted groups like FMF to help and address societal problems of “self-worth” among the Filipino youth. That is why the foundation wishes to implement these programs to public high school students in marginalized areas in our country.

In a speech delivered by one of Francis M’s daughter, Maxene, she said that her dad was the number one fan of the Filipino people. “He believed that we could make an impact in both the Philippines and the world if only we would believe in ourselves. His music spoke of socio-cultural issues: apathy, lack of discipline, defeatist outlook, disregard for the rules, being disrespectful and inconsiderate to others, etc.” These are what FMF seeks to address.

*Thank you Orange Magazine TV for the use of the photos

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Enchanted Kingdom Celebrates 16 Magical Years

After 16 magical years, Enchanted Kingdom is geared toward celebrating a wide range of festivities this month of October.

Eldar, Enchanted Kingdom’s iconic wizard, invites all of EK’s guests to its anniversary celebration with the series of exciting events starting with the Grand Finals of the Sky Wizardry Fireworks Competition this October 22. Be amazed as EK showcases a spectacle of fireworks by local and foreign pyrotechnics experts as they vie for the title Fireworks Grand Champion.

On October 15, a festival of pageantry from young talents will be displayed as they compete for EK’s Search for Little Prince and Princess. Be astonished how these adorable youths would capture everyone’s affection as every participant bids for the Grand Coronation Night on October 23 in Eldar’s Tent at 5:00pm.

For the guests who love to be entertained with culture and the arts, Ballet Philippines, the country’s premier ballet ensemble will feature a unique contemporary dance routine that depicts a tale of Mother Nature entitled Encantada. This enchanting dance choreography was premiered last October 2 and was viewed by guests from the quad media community. And for those who want to unwind and relax with cool music, some of the country’s most sought after jazz bands are scheduled the whole month to soothe everyone’s listening pleasure every weekend at the Bandstand at 3:00pm and 7:30pm and at the Amazon Grille at 5:30pm.

As Enchanted Kingdom is gearing towards the celebration of Halloween, the wizard Eldar also extends his invites to all kids from 6 to 12 years old to participate in the best fairytale costume parade at 2:00pm at the Jungle Back area of the Park. Tweens will also have a chance to do a little bit of cosplaying their favorite Hollywood celebrity icons and show them off at 5:00pm.

Of course, the celebration doesn’t end this October. All of this and more are brewing until the rest of the year, ready to give every guest a blast of celebration. Such is the unwavering commitment of Enchanted Kingdom to be the happiest place in the land. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Event Coverage: Electrolux’s Clothes and Hugs Wash-a-thon Year 3

Last September 30, 2011, the Electrolux Clothes and Hugs Wash-a-thon blogging contest culminated at the open grounds of IMAX Cinema at the SM Mall of Asia. The My Shirt Story was participated by 36 bloggers who each contributed a short story behind a special shirt we own. As part of the contest rules, the blogger must be willing to donate the special shirt to victims of recent typhoons as identified by Electrolux.

The contest invitation was extended to me some weeks ago and I was encouraged to submit my story. I immediately expressed my interest to join because I have a memorable experience a few years back and which I thought was blog worthy. It’s about a t-shirt I wore during my early years as a staff member of World Vision Philippines.

Part of the criteria for judging includes a high percentage on the “comments” portion of the blog which my post lacked. To begin with, I did not consider promoting the story to my network of friends since I consider it more as a personal expression and not with the purposive intention to impress other people. So rallying and campaigning for others to like my story did not become part of my objective because I felt it will demean its essence and stain the humility of why it was written. In short, with all my story’s limitations, I was resigned to the thought that my entry will not win.

However, I consider the event a complete success despite the rain showers that poured for a little while because it never became an obstacle for the program. Thanks to the extra enthusiastic emcees who did a very great job hosting and keeping the evening energetic and lively with their funny antics and silly hilarious games which was participated by the bloggers themselves and at their expense.

Finally, the awarding of the winners was announced. There were 10 finalists that were chosen and each received an Electrolux flat iron as consolation prizes. My entry was tagged in 6th place and the first place was bagged by a guy whose entry was about a T-shirt that he wore when he confessed his affection to his girlfriend many years ago. Having tagged the shirt to have brought him good tidings, he became accustomed to wearing it in many of the events he attend. On many occasion, he even won raffles in these events which he attributed to his shirt as a good luck charm. A few years later, he made his marriage proposal to his girl friend wearing the same shirt and the two were scheduled to get married the day after the Wash-a-thon night!

The Electrolux Wash-a-thon event concluded by a ceremonial turnover of all the t-shirts to the representatives of KBP and DZRH which are the conduit organizations that will subsequently extend the shirts to the victims of the recent calamities brought by typhoons Pedring and Quiel which displaced thousands of families into evacuation areas in some parts of Metro Manila and Central Luzon. 

Along with the clothes donation is, of course, my orange World Vision shirt. It was almost a week since the event and I believe those shirts (including mine) donated would have landed in evacuation areas by now. I can’t help not to imagine the person who will get my shirt. I wish it will fit him/her well. World Vision defines orange as the color of hope, the color of the dawn that signifies a fresh new day, a fresh new start and a fresh new hope for those who have none. I pray that my shirt’s recipient feels that, and more.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fitness First’s Fitness Xplosion

Last October 1, Fitness First launched three of the newest and most innovative exercise programs today which was joined by more than 1000 health and fitness enthusiasts all over the metro. This special fitness event is actually an exercise marathon that featured seven exercise classes and was held at the halls of SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia.

All of the more than 1000 participants spent a whole day of heart-pumping and body-sweating exercises led by well-renowned fitness experts in the country today. The proceeds of this event will go to Gawad Kalinga, a non-profit organization that aims to build and developed poor communities in our country.

Being a runner myself, I was fortunate to be invited to try two of these newest aerobic exercises: the Drums Alive and the Zumba classes. Actually, it was my first time ever to try an aerobics class, so all of these things are kind of a whole new experience for me. Though I’m into physical fitness, I never ventured out trying to do aerobics in the past because I used to perceive it to be a “lesser-intensity” exercise fit only for females to endure. But since I was invited, I took the liberty of trying it out.

The first one is called Drums Alive. It is quite different from the usual exercises I’ve seen before. This program incorporates drum sticks, exercise balls and lively music. The experience is quite unique for me because it involves a lot of physical movements as you drum the exercise ball in the beat of a fast paced rhythm. At the same time, one gets to learn how to play drumming in a band. The Drums Alive program is composed of different sets of exercises where a participant gets to hit other exercise balls in different directions, 360 degrees. At first, I didn’t feel any pressure or tension but, after a while, I was able to feel the “core” heating up as I was perspiring. Now, that is the “workout” I was waiting for!

The second one is the Zumba class that features different Latin dances like Rumba, Samba and a bit of contemporary hip-hop. The high energy dance routines of these programs enable the body to burn fat and tone the body much faster in a more fun way. As for me, dancing is something I was not born to do but through the repetitive dance moves and steps, I was able to get it right in the next cycle or at least part of it. For a guy, dancing the samba, exactly how half naked girls do it at Mardi Grass – Carnaval in Brazil, at first it was a bit embarrassing. But then, as I observed other guys who were doing it much worse than me, who cares?! :)

I consider the two consecutive exercises I went through as a full body workout. I decided to skip the third exercise program Sh’bam because I didn’t bring any change of clothes so I couldn't afford to sweat too much. Nonetheless, I had a wonderful time with just two exercises. These three fitness programs are now available in all Fitness First branches. Everyone is encourage to try it and bring your physical fitness to a whole new level.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Movie Review: What’s Your Number?

Why is it that for women in general, the number of dates becomes an issue when their age comes to the “marrying- zone”? Is it because having less seems to impress others as being “more pure” in the eyes of the marrying guys? On the contrary, for guys in general, the number of dates becomes like the number of trophies they brag about with other guys and many are even too damn proud of having more.

What’s Your Number is the newest comedy flick presented by 20th Century Fox. It stars Anna Faris whose comic talents are quite distinctively different and are now starting to capture a wide range of comedy audiences. Her fame was first recognized in the Scary Movie series, having the character perfectly depicting the typical, dumb blond girl and later eventually landed on other movies such as Lost in Translation and a TV guesting in Friends.

This film is about Ally Darling, who’s undergoing a life transition. After being fired from her job and being caught up in the fiasco of her younger sister’s upcoming wedding, she suddenly hits rock-bottom. Ally starts to realize how depressing her life of sex and lousy romances over the years is. With 19 guys and no serious relationship to brag about, everything begins to sink in. Being pressured by her high statistics, she vowed not to sleep with another man until she is sure that he is the “right one” for the long haul.

Chris Evans, the Boy Scout hero of recent blockbuster film Captain America, plays the character of Colin Shea, Ally’s gigolo neighbor, who likewise has the reputation of enjoying having “short-term” relationships. His romantic life with the opposite sex only lasts as his libido does as it wears down the next day after a whole night under the sheets. He uses Ally’s apartment as a refuge to escape from the girls he sleeps with and returns the favor by helping Ally track down the past dates she had in her pursuit of the “right one”. 

Adapted for the screen by Gabrielle Allan and Jennifer Crittenden and directed by Mark Mylod, this film is actually based from the 2006 novel by Karyn Bosnak entitled, 20 Times a Lady. The film is a sex comedy and rated R. There were skin exposures which were not bad since Anna Faris has a pretty darn body to boot, rated #57 by Maxims in their 100 hottest female celebs.

The funniest and most memorable part in the movie for me is the bed scene between Ally and the Geeky Puppeteer.  Being Ally’s first sex-date, her experience was more like “discovering” and not knowing what to enjoy and which made the scene hilariously awkward.  What makes this scene even funnier is her puppeteer date. While doing his weird pathetic humping actions, he suddenly pulled out his puppet (in-character) and made it a third party audience. That made me spill my guts out laughing because I used to be a puppeteer myself many years ago.  (For the record, I didn’t bring my puppet to any of my dates!)   

I’m quite surprised that according to some reviews, this film did not receive a lot of attention from the public viewers in the US and that it didn’t even get a spot in TV ads. Nonetheless, I’m sure this movie would still find a niche all over the world in many viewers who like to watch comedy films.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...