I spent a big portion of the week watching film entries for Cinemalaya 2017. Although, as of this writing, I have failed to watch two full-length films and the two sets of short films. That being said, watching films in that kind of setting, I can’t help but share my thoughts about each film that I was able to watch.

Before I share my short reviews, a disclaimer: Most of what I’ll be saying would be a matter of preference. If ever you get that chance to watch the films in future screenings, please do so. Feel free to comment and discuss these films below.

BACONAUA

One word: Madilim.Baconaua

Throughout the film, it seemed like the entire story happened during the early morning or at night even though some dialogue would indicate otherwise. I was personally confused all throughout, not knowing where they were taking the story or what the entire thing was really about.

The revelation at the end of film only confused me even more. Although the ending was clear, I couldn’t figure out how the story got to that point. I couldn’t remember any hints or indications.

Baconaua isn’t a movie that I would recommend.

BAGAHE

BagaheBagahe deserves applause for its purpose of raising awareness and educating its audience. Angeli Bayani also gave a wonderful performance in my opinion and should be really considered for Best Actress.

However, that being said, Bagahe was very dragging. It was a slow, slow…slow movie. There were a lot of things shown that I thought weren’t necessary and could have made the film move faster.

To conclude, watch for the message but sleep for the beginning.

 

 

 

ANG GURO KONG ‘DI MARUNONG MAGBASA

Ang Gusto Kong ‘Di Marunong Magbasa is another case of a film with good intentions and with a good message. It raises awareness to the need for better education in our secluded areas and towns as well as the violence that these areas might be experiencing.

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But that is all the good things that I could say about the film. The script, if not the entire film, felt like an MMK episode. The film was written like it was for TV. Not to sound to harsh, but there were moments that I felt like cringing because of the dialogues and what was happening on screen.

The sound mixing was also sub-par.

REQUITED

RequitedRequited was the film that I looked forward to watching. Even before the festival started, it was number one in my list. It’s safe to say that I had high expectations for it. Sadly, I was disappointed.

The concept of a person wanting to bike from Manila to Mt. Pinatubo before his physical condition wouldn’t allow him appealed to me. I expected to find a film of discovery and enlightenment. I found neither. After the credits rolled, all I could think of was: What was the point?

 

 

 

KIKO BOKSINGERO

Kiko BoksingerKiko Boksingero, much like its Baguio setting, was like a breath of fresh air. It was a relief for me. Up to that point, I had already watched four films and was found disappointed.

Kiko Boksingero was enjoyable movie all throughout. The visuals were also pretty good. To quote what my friend tweeted, “Parang ang sarap tuloy mag Baguio”. The story was simple but yet had some depth to it.

A must-watch for this years’ entries. I hope they extend it or they get to screen it somewhere else.

 

 

 

 

RESPETO

RespetoPoster30x20-official-as-of-July-19-2017To echo what I, and other movie-watchers, have said already, Respeto para sa Respeto. Based on the seven films that I was able to watch, this is, in my opinion, the best of them all.

It was sad and awesome at the same time. The music and sounds were excellent. The cinematography was great as well. I left the theater with a smile on his face, and huge hangover of the film.

As the credits rolled, the audience actually gave it applause. There’s nothing more I can say about it. You have to watch it for yourself. Given the great reception in Cinemalaya, and the popular cast of Abra and Loonie, Respeto will probably have a widespread theater run.

 

 

 

ANG PAMILYANG HINDI LUMULUHA

Ang PamilyangAng Pamilyang Hindi Lumuluha served as a breaker for me, although it was the last film I watched. It sets itself apart from the other entries because it was a comedy. It was light as opposed to the very heavy content of Bagahe, or the dark setting of Baconaua. The premise was also unique and different in my eyes.

The film gives a few laughs. It seemed like every scene had a ton of jokes or hirits. With that volume of joke attempts, it is bound to get laughs (Reminds me of myself).

However, Ang Pamilyang Hindi Lumuluha felt a lot like a one of those old Filipino comedies. Watch it if you want to have break from all the heaviness, but you’re not missing much if you don’t.

P.S. Shoutout to Moi Bien, who was a big part in getting all the laughs.

 

 

 

With the Cinemalaya closing on August 13 (Sunday), I don’t think I would still be able to watch more films, even though I wish to watch all the competition entries (Short Films included).

Again, these are just one man’s reviews. Feel free to share your thoughts, and maybe I’ll post reviews again for some entries of the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino this August 16-22.

*I apologize if there any errors or typos. Didn’t have time to review and proofread.

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A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine introduced me to a short documentary entitled “Billions in Change”.

Here is the video:

The documentary features 5-Hour Energy founder and multi-billionaire, Manoj Bhargava, and his movement called Billions in Change, hence the film title. Through out the film he talks about making a long and lasting impact in the world.

Bhargava, who is said to have a net worth of $4 billion, shared his principle when it comes to his philanthropy. He said that it has to have meaning. One question that he asks is, “How can I make a sizable difference in alleviating human suffering?”

This documentary definitely made me think. It made me think of why I wanted to work, and why I wanted to earn money and accumulate wealth. Was it so that I could buy nice and expensive things for myself? To live comfortably? Or maybe to have that feeling of security?

The very next day after watching the documentary, I read a chapter of John Piper’s book entitled Don’t Waste Your Life. In the book John Piper writes:

“Labor to love people and honor God. Think of new ways that your work can bless people. Stop thinking mainly of profitability, and think mainly of how helpful your product or service can become.”

John Piper and Billions in Change have really encouraged me to have an intentional mindset of making it a goal to help others. You don’t have to invent these big, technological-advanced machines like Bhargava’s team or donate big amounts of money (but if you can, why not?). All we have to do is to do our part, whether big or small, to help others.

I’ll end with a short verse found in the book of 2 Corinthians. It says:

“You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.” 

We are blessed to bless others. So that in our blessing of others, God will be glorified.

 

 

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I think most of my friends know that I’m not the fittest guy. Although I’ve been running semi-regularly since the start of the year.

But this time, I’m really going to try be more regular when it comes to fitness. I just needed 5-years of mental preparation.

Ito na talaga! Sana… 

To begin my quest for fitness. I tried the Insanity Fit Test last Wednesday (June 29, 2016). The Fit Tests lasts for about 34 minutes including warm-up, resting periods, and cool down. It contains 8 exercises that you have to do for a minute each. Participants are encouraged to write down how many reps they were able to accomplish to track improvement.

So here is how I did:

Switch Kicks: 100 (I don’t even know if I counted correctly. It’s kind off hard to count while exhausting yourself. Haha.)
Power Jacks: 37
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Power Jumps: 15 (This is where I started to get really tired.)
Globe Jumps: 5 Rotations
Suicide Jumps: 10
Push-Up Jacks: 12
Plank Obliques: 36

A lot of low numbers. But I’m planning to try this again in a month or so. Hopefully, by that time I’ll see some improvements.

But for now, do you guys have any tips on which programs/schedule I should take up? Comment them below!

 

 

many-times-did-jesus-fall-carrying-cross_f50b52727618a9cf

When I tell you about Jesus…
I’m not trying to “convert” you to another religion.

When I tell you about Jesus…
I’m not telling you to abide to a moral standard.

When I tell you about Jesus…
I’m not saying that I’m perfect. Because I, myself, am weak and flawed.

When I tell you about Jesus…
I want to tell you about the most precious thing in my life and I hope that you will receive it too.

When I tell you about Jesus…
I want you to know Him. Not just about Him.

When I tell you about Jesus…
I want to let you know about how He saved me.

When I tell you about Jesus…
I want you to experience this joy that I, myself, have experienced. Because in Him, is the fullness of joy. A joy like no other.

When I tell you about Jesus…
I am pleading with you to have a relationship with Him.

When I tell you about Jesus…
I want you to know about Love. A love that is unrelenting, unwavering, and never ending .

When I tell you about Jesus…
I want you to know that He loves you.

 

 

 

Yesterday was Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to watch it live because I had to go to DLSU for some pre-graduation stuff.

But when I got home, I was able to watch the “mini-movie” that the NBA put together, and there was one moment that struck me. It was a conversation between Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich and Tony Parker.

Here’s the video. The conversation can be heard around the 4:24 mark:

 

If you’re feeling lazy to watch it, I’ll tell you what they said. Gregg Popovich told Parker something like, “Great leadership. You didn’t get 30, but you’ve got great leadership.”

Parker replied, “I have to trust my teammates.”

Here are a couple of thoughts that I had when I heard their conversation:

 

  1. Leadership does not mean you have to be the hero

Like what Popovich said, Tony Parker didn’t score huge numbers but instead he made the right plays, and set an example to his teammates.

Sometimes, when we are given the responsibility to lead, we think that we have to do everything, that we have to be the best at everything.

But just like in this example, great leadership can be just setting an example to the people under you. Show them the right way to do things. If you don’t get the attention, it’s okay. You don’t have to be the hero.

 

  1. Trust your “teammates”

I like how Tony Parker responded. He chose to trust his teammates. As leaders, we also have to trust the people around us (but of course trust wisely). Trust in their abilities, and potential. Build up their confidence.

 

  1. Pass the ball

It wasn’t in their conversation, but this is what Tony Parker and the Spurs do. What I mean by passing the ball is to give your teammate roles. Don’t do everything! By designating roles and tasks, not only will efficiency increase, but also your “team” will gain more confidence and experience, and will have the chance to learn.

Those are my quick thoughts about the conversation, and leadership. Are there any thoughts that you would like to share? Any points that you would like to discuss? Please comment below. I would like to hear your thoughts as well!

P.S. Let’s go San Antonio Spurs!

A few months ago, a certain foreign celebrity tweeted, “Be young! Be foolish!” The tweet got more than 2000 retweets and favorites.

The fact that people seem to agree with the tweet bothered me.

“We are young, therefore we should spend our youth by doing foolish and stupid things.” Is this the message or the mindset that we want to give to the youth? I suggest that our answer should be a big NO.

Instead, I would like to encourage my fellow youth to pursue wisdom. Let’s not waste our years being foolish, and doing things that we will regret later on in life.

In Proverbs 1: 20-21 it says,

 

Wisdom cries aloud in the street,
in the markets she raises her voice;
at the head of the noisy streets she cries out;”

 

Imagine this: wisdom is shouting at us, telling us to listen to it—to follow it.

But why follow it? Why pursue it? Proverbs 24:13-14 tells us:

 

“My son, eat honey, for it is good,
and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.
Know that wisdom is such to your soul;
if you find it, there will be a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.”

 

However, it’s hard to be wise. Trust me, I know. Where do we get the wisdom? How do we get it? Like all things, we need God’s grace. We cannot depend on our own ability. That’s why the Bible says in James 1:5,

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”

And in Proverbs 2 it says, “For the Lord gives wisdom; …”

Depend on the Lord. Ask for it! Put your faith in Him, and He will give it to you.

But let me encourage you with one more verse,

 

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” – 1 Timothy 4:12

 

Don’t waste your youth. Don’t spend it by being foolish. Instead, make the most of it by making wise choices and working on your relationship with God.

Waiting – something that seems simple enough, but can be hard to do. I’m not just talking about waiting for that “someone” (though it can be applicable). I’m also talking about anything that is worth waiting for – an opportunity, a promise, a miracle, or anything in between.

Waiting can be hard, especially (but not limited to) to the youth. I’m not an expert on waiting myself, but here are two things that I think makes waiting harder for most people.

1. Impatience

This one is obvious. We’re living in a world that is used to getting things quickly and instantly.  I always hear from older (or to be safe, more advanced) people how they used to go to libraries and find the book they need to do their assignments and research. But for our generation, all of that information is just a click away. The funny thing is, we even get irritated when we have to wait a little longer when our Internet connection is slow.

We want everything now.  If we want coffee, there’s instant coffee. If we want noodles, there’s instant noodles.

Same goes with that opportunity or that relationship. We’re so used to getting things in an instant, that we’re not used to waiting. We want to feel satisfied in an instant.

Yes, impatience is an obvious reason why waiting can be hard. But the next, at least in my mind, is not that obvious.

2. Fear

What does fear have to do with it? Well, we want to feel that we’re in control. We want everything to be in our hand. We want to call the shots. Uncertainty or the unknown can make us afraid.

For example (here’s a popular one): for the men, when we know that we need to wait for that woman. Thoughts enter our minds like: “What if someone else comes into the picture and I miss my chance?” or “What if I wait and nothing happens?”

Waiting can be a risk.

So what do we do? How can waiting become easier? The answer is trust.

But trust who?

It says in Jeremiah 29:11:

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

And in Romans 8:28:

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

So who do we trust? We can trust in God for he is faithful.

We can be patient, because we know that if it’s from God, it will be worth the wait. We don’t need to fear because God is in control.