Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Haha... I must admit I'm bitten by the Flickr bug. And with Flickr's EXPLORE 500, it gets more addictive, where in the flickr group chooses the best 500 Photos of the day from a million download. Photography is really taking over my life. In between the busy shoots for TV and writing scripts... I always try to find time to snap a photo or two.Life is great, you can really see the wonders of the good God with the beauty that surrounds you.

Share your world. Grab a camera. Point and shoot. Celebrate life.


1. A Boy named Eric..., 2. The Red Door, 3. Water falls on burning rocks..., 4. The Boy from Nepal, 5. Ruins in the Morning, 6. Waiting at the Pier, 7. Sailor 2.0, 8. Chair in the Balcony,

9. Woman on the Boat, 10. Hien, 11. The Boat People, 12. The Boy from Chengdu, 13. The Boy from Shanghai, 14. The Boy from Shenzhen, 15. The Musician, a year after..., 16. Rainbow River,

17. Jetro: The Photographer, 18. The Boys from Nam Tok, 19. The Little Boy from Siem Reap, 20. Morning Shower 2.0, 21. Memories of a forgotten past, 22. Lackadaisical Moment in the Afternoon Sun, 23. The Boy from Kanchanaburi, 24. Al Fresco,

25. Cidade De Deus 1.2, 26. High Street, 27. Lady in the Forest, 28. Gone for the Weekend, 29. Cold Winter, 30. the meeting place

Monday, July 30, 2007


This just came in. Three of my photographs have been included in Dazed and Confused Digital Magazine Photograhy Directory. It's now viewable in the THIS IS WANTED PROJECT section, a collaborative gallery composing of Photographs and illustrations that will appear in Barcelona, Stockholm and Milan this summer.

Dazed and Confused is one of my fave art house magazine, you may want to check out this month's issue. They have a feature on Brit Young Actor JAMIE BELL (known for his superb performance in the weeper indie Billy Elliot),
REBIRTH LEBANON (a feature on the best of Lebanese Photographers),
CHROMEO (a feature on the latest music video from these Canadian Elektrofunk Duo),
SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH (Hedi Slimane's Berlin Art Exibition) and a Behind-the-scenes of this year's SUNDANCE FESTIVAL. You can check all these at

Monday, July 23, 2007


"Anything bigger than a money clip or a wallet is to be left to your girlfriend/wife … and just so we are clear you should not be able to throw your 'wallet' over a shoulder … if you have a man purse, the wall is waiting." - Andy Roddick, Tennis Superstar

Well, check this out Andy. Superstar quarterback for the NFL Tom Brady doesn't think so and he ends up with supermodel Gisselle. He did create a lot of noise after the papazz got a hold of him with his cute camo man bag while he and partner Giselle were spotted in downtown NYC. Tom may not be as big as an asset to New England Patriots as David Beckham is to Los Angeles Galaxy, but Tom just recently got the nod as the poster boy for the UBERSEXUAL. (Ubersexual - from Webster dictionary, a male who is similar to a metrosexual but displays the traditional manly qualities such as confidence, strength, and class - leaving no doubt as to his sexual orientation. David was the quintisential metrosexual boy of the 90's).

And so, where does this lead me... I have been getting a lot of eyebrow raises, questions of interests, and sometimes, of ridicule whenever I'm out carrying my carryall bag. It's a really cool manbag that I got in Cubic Store in Hongkong - the color metallic burgundy. Some people would usually ask - "So Pao where's the trip?" or "Mamalengke ka ba?" or "What's with the lola bag?" to which I just roll my eyes and smile.

I recently got my carryall manbag more than a month ago during my trip after realizing that my backpack wasn't doing it for me. Laptop, phones, wallet, some books, portable audio player, it just doesn't work with the backpack anymore. First, it's difficult to access your stuff with the backpack because it's in your back, second, try riding the metro during rush hour, and you'd be lucky enough to fit yourself let alone with your backpack. Third, If you're like me, I sometimes forget to close the lock, fortunately, some friends would actually tell me that my backpack is open. I'm lucky that it's always that way, but what about when you're in a crowded place with people that you don't know, a friend lost his Ipod because he forgot to cloze the zip of his backpack. Ouch!!!

What's good with carryalls or shoulder manbags is that you're always concious that you're carrying your bag, plus the fact that you have plenty of places or compartments to put your gadgets. It does take a lot of guts to carry one outside because Pinoy men are still kinda iffy with carrying something that looks like it came from your mom's closet.

But what surprises me though is that I've been seeing or I know a number of straight guys who actually have and prefer carrying manbags when they're out. Check out the Ortigas crowd for example, you'd see them guy yuppies comfortable with their manbags.Or even young art students are daring enough to bring them in class. Gola man bags from the Gola sportswear brand are actually every where. It was born out of neccesity they would say. "It's difficult to move without a bag these days because you tend to bring a lot of your stuff with you, your camera, your ipod, your PSP, your toys, so it doesn't really bother because it's very useful" they would say.

Manbags are actually not a new thing. It's been at the forefront of european fashion since the 60's. Mailbags, Messenger bags were a staple for the men who's always on hippie outings. During the 70's it was also used by a lot of men especially because the pants and the jeans then were so tight it's difficult to put wallets without the unevitable bulging. In Hong Kong, when I was there, the men were actually more daring. It's almost dificult to see where a women's bag ends and a man's bag begins. I mean the colors, the cuts, it's the very same big bags that your lola would usually bring to a sunday church. And hey, these men, or even teenage boys at that, are very secure with their preference if I may say so. They're just really comportable with bringing a carryall bag with them. I heard, even in Shibuya and Tokyo, manbags are common to the guys as they are to the girls. There's a cool Tokyo report on the Manbag trend in PINGMAG.

In America where homophobia is still prevalent, they still look down on the somewhat radical idea of men carrying bags. This has never been more realisitcally captured than in the Friends episode where Joey fell in love with a bag that he brought - his MURSE (coined term for a Man Purse). Not only did they mock Joey with his man bag but they also concluded that America is just not ready for men walking down the streets with purse or shoulder bags. Good to have my neck on the other side of the woods then.

Bottom line is, fashion is evolving. If your comfortable with it, no matter how negative or violent the reactions can be, you should wear your own clothes and should never wear it for someone else. In the end it takes a real man to dictate his own fashion... now bring them male stockings!!!


Here's my TOP 5 MAN BAGS to check out (DAMN, Pao's having bag fettish):
Images from






Sunday, July 22, 2007


DETAILS has always been my favorite lifestyle magazine in the whole wide world for their interesting articles and their unabashedly unapologetic "in-your-face" feature stories. Uncompromising and intelligent writing makes this my monthly staple read.

They just don't run out of cool things to feature, and the fashion articles are really well researched and their definitely a good bible for people like me who can't tell the difference between Paul Smith and Paul and Sharks'. They have always been a great alternative magazine to read. I remember them running a great story on the soon to-be Democratic's poster boy Harold Ford Jr. when all the other magazines were going gagah with possibilities of Senator Hillary Clinton.

When every magazine joined the bandwagon on the mainstream media's focus on Iraq and the middle east conflict, out they came with a great article about the struggles and the colonization issues in Congo. Or when everyone was busy talking about the possibilities of economic recession in America, out they came with a full article on the social and proffesional complexities of taking a shit at one's workplace.

An alternative, that I have been vouching this magazine for ... so I was a little surprised seeing Daniel Radcliffe on the cover of their July Issue. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of the franchise and I would definitely read an article about him anytime but I just didn't expect Daniel appearing in Details anytime soon.

But dig this, the article's actually funny and interesting as it turned out, and it kinda does put Daniel on a whole different light, somewhere I don't think the Harry Potter fans would be comfortable talking about. So again DETAILS gives you something different... an alternative point of view for the fans of this now turned manboy.


It’s not often you have the privilege of watching a teenager lose his virginity twice in one week, but sometimes magic happens. Even Daniel Radcliffe can’t stay a boy forever, and to announce his wish to be known as more than Harry Potter, he recently decided to share his wand with two older blondes. The first performance was witnessed nightly this spring on a London stage, where Radcliffe played Alan Strang, the disturbed teenager in the acclaimed revival of Peter Shaffer’s play Equus. The second can be enjoyed this September in the film December Boys, in which Radcliffe stars as a lovesick Australian orphan with a strict Catholic haircut.

Then there is that relentless compulsion to show off his body. One startled British tabloid saw his nude scene in Equus and headlined an article hairy botter. “First, it’s a crap pun because botter isn’t even a word,” Radcliffe says. “But equally it’s that thing of being shocked that I should have hair—you know, anywhere else other than on my head. It’s not so much that they don’t want me to grow up. It’s that they’re annoyed that I’m growing up adjusted. They’d much rather I was growing up and going wild and crashing cars.”
We’ve been chatting away for half an hour—Radcliffe swigging his drink and jiggling his legs, me trying to decipher the lettering on his T-shirt—when it suddenly seems timely to ask about the problem of getting a hard-on (maybe this was prompted by the design on his shirt, a plastic-toy-soldier illustration of the Battle of Little Big Horn). In Equus he made out with the stable girl, played by Joanna Christie, a looker seven years his senior. You’ve got to ask . . .

“It’s the least arousing process,” Radcliffe says. “Jo’s beautiful, but after you’ve gone through it a hundred times with an audience there . . . To be honest, when you get naked in front of 900 people, quite the opposite happens. Not to become too graphic, but yeah.”
For readers who failed to catch the show, I bring significant news: Our hero’s member is “average”; that is, no one gasped with envy when he unzipped, but no one asked for a refund, either.

And does he like performing nude before an audience close enough to smell him? “I’d be lying if I said I was completely fine,” he says. “I was nervous and I was a little bit worried. But not meaning to drop a name, I talked to Gary Oldman about it, because we get on very well and I know he’s been naked onstage. And so I said to him, ‘What’s it like?’ and he said, ‘On the first night you’ll be terrified and on the second night you’ll be terrified and after that you won’t care.’ And that’s absolutely true. When you’ve done it twice, it doesn’t matter anymore.”

He looks back to his first effort, at the age of 10, and says he didn’t really know what he was doing.

“Quite sweet, a little boy,” he remembers, referring to those far-off days when no one asked him about sex scenes and when his manhood was as imaginary as wizards and goblets of fire.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


I've been procastinating to write this entry for the longest time.

I was suppose to blog my last trip but it was really difficult with the moving and all. I remember that I was religiously detailing every move last year in blogspot but I wasn't able to do it this time around. The trip (Hehe, that was two months ago) was again very productive and It's amazing that the people that I was traveling with finally experienced the feeling of "nirvana" that I was bragging about. It's a very grounding experience, it leaves you with a feeling of being insignificant compared to the vastness of what's happening around you, the different cultures that you get to experience, but it also gives you the feeling of accomplishment and the feeling of being able to champion yourself with every extreme situations that you get to face.

It's really spiritual. You get to know more about yourself and your country while getting lost in transition. New accomplishments for me on this year's journey - I really got to enjoy the company that I was with, last year I was traveling alone and it was a way for me to break away from my comfort zone. I learned that I can survive with what's essential. I enjoy more the spartan way of living... and how the most mundane of event can be the grandest experience ever - such as watching the beautiful sunrise on the beach, I mean sunrise is an everyday experience, but it is only now did I really appreciate how a great event it is for me personally. How I'm blessed by God, that he allowed me to live another day. The trip allowed me to enjoy life's simple pleasures that I always take for granted before.

What else? Hmmm. It was my first time to ride an elephant. It was just so scary because the one that we rode was pregnant and was irritable. We joined this trek in Chiang Mai and there were like 10 of us, 5 Pinoys and 5 Europeans. One of the higlights was the elephant ride. Damn, I never thought that Elephants loved banans so much. We had to buy dozens and had to feed the elephants during the entire ride.

I was able to meet a number of friends that I haven't seen for the longest time. Camille, a good friend that I worked with in Juice TV treated us to a cool nightout in Singapore. We ended up in this cool bar where we saw South African (hmmm... male strippers) dancers. It was a ladies night so there wasn't anything much to do. It turned out a swell evening nevertheless.

I met up with Anne, my super close friend who had to leave Manila and work in Saigon producing commercials. Anne was already a big producer here in Manila, producing the biggest local commercials, but she left everything here to start a career there. I think she was sobrang burnt out here na in Manila. She's enjoying her stay there and she brought us to this cool Market to sample the very best of Vietnamese cuisine. The market was their version of Quiapo or Avenida I think. It was food trip and we, Robert, Jethro and I enjoyed it really well, the other guy that we were traveling with Carlo had to attend to his church service so he missed what we thought was the highlight of our Vietnam trip (I really had to give it to him, he's traveling but he tries not to miss his religious obligations).

My fave country was China. It was a pity because we were only given a two weeks visa in China so we had to cut our trip short. But still, it was an amazing experience. My second time in Beijing and Shanghai but there's always an amazing discovery whenever I'm there. We got to meet my friend Edward who also left his design job in Manila to try it out there. He's doing very well in Shanghai, and I heard that a number of Pinoy designers are actually a big thing in China now. We saw Kenneth Cobonpue's store, and a number of Bench Body outlets on the big malls there. It's good to see that Pinoys are making a mark in such a big market. Pity that we arrived on a weekday in Shanghai so there wasn't much nighlife to checkout.

I'm enjoying photography so much. I took a lot of pictures of the trip and Photography's really my new found passion. You can check some of them at my flickr page -

We're producing something that hopefully materializes by the next quarter. We shot a number of footages during the trip and hopefully we'll be able to edit it as a travel show with a twist. It was actually Robert's project and I'll be helping in my own little way.

Well, that's about it with my last journey. It was such an enriching experience and given the time and the budget, I'll definitely do it again. It's a misconception though that traveling should be expensive. Hey, we were able to do it in less than what one will spend for a week's vacation in Boracay or Palawan.

It's not a trip for everyone though. It's difficult and it's a process that one should experience with an open mind ... but the rewards and the learnings are just indescribable.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


One good thing about the digital age and mp3’s is that you get to have fun preparing your playlist to help you during long traveling hours. And thanks to the great minds of Steve Jobs et al Ipod has been the great reprieve of all the commuters who just can’t leave home without their entire Album collections.

I mean who would have though 15 years ago that one can bring 1000 of their favorite songs to everywhere they go minus the heavy baggage. It’s pure genius if I may say so. And just like the saying “you are what you eat”, I’d even extend that to “you are what you listen”.

I remember one time, DJ MoTwister was tinkering with my Ipod during a shoot and was surprised with the tracks in my collection. “What? No Beyonce’s?” “You must be an artistic dude.” He gamely concluded. It’s this labeling that I didn’t really liked, I just felt that the rationalizing was a bit off. But I took the comments with a grain of salt, didn’t bother to explain myself.

No Beyonce’s because I just didn’t have time to upload her songs really. But if I had the time, a track or two would end up there I’m pretty sure. Not a lot of pop songs in my Ipod simply because I get to hear a lot of them in the radio anyway so no use for me to rip them off and clutter my playlist, there my reason.

I’m really quite eclectic when it comes to my list – from let’s say artists Opera Diva Maria Calas to Marylyn Manson, or from Gene Kelly’s Singing in the Rain to Aegis Basang-basa Sa Ulan. I like the tracks simply because their great to listen to and not because of the genre that they belong to.

I love listening from Jobim’s Bossa Nova to Hotdog’s Bossa Manila, I dig British Alternative Rock and French Hip Hop. I love world music a lot because I get to sample and experience their culture by doing so. It’s almost like traveling aurally.

The coming backpack journey is definitely a great excuse to spend time preparing the songs that I’ll be listening to. The film buff in me is so excited to come up with the tracks for my bohemian diary. I mean a lot of great Road Movies owe a lot of their success to their classic soundtracks – From “The Ballad of Lucy Jordan” in THELMA AND LOUISE, to “I Will Survive” in PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT, to the cult movie classic EASY DRIVER theme song and 60’s battlecry “Born to be Wild”, these tracks have cemented their claim as the best soundtracks of our lives.

I’m a sucker for Road Movies so it’ll be orgasmic to prepare a soundtrack for this journey. I’ll name it – BOHEMIAN EARCANDY. And it’ll include in no particular order:


1) “Here comes the sun, here comes the sun, and I say it's all right…”

Great when on the beach and while basking under the glorious heat. Summer lovin here we go...

I mean really, who would have thought that latin diva Cesaria Evora, who was a hit during the 50’s would be goddess to clubbers from Ibiza to Sao Paolo. Thanks to Superstar DJ Stephanie Pompougnac, the diva legend lives on.


I don’t care if they tag it as a stoner song, I really think that it’s one of the best songs that represents the carefree era that has long been gone. This 1972 track has been covered gazillion times by countless artists
but the haunting rendition of Seals and Croft is definitely still the one to beat … every body now “Summer Breeze, makes me feel fine… blowing through the jasmine in my mind…”

4) “And I'm high enough from all the waiting to ride a wave on your inhaling…”
BREATHE IN by Imogene Heap of Frou Frou from the Album DETAILS

Aside from Moony, Imogene Heap is up there as one of my favorite female musicians. This enigmatic vocal lead of the group Frou-frou became mainstream idol thanks to TV’s Grey’s Anatomy. I’d even include “HIDE AND SEEK” here on the list but I’m limiting one song per artist.

5) “Last night I had a dream about you… In this dream I'm dancing right beside you”

I’m so in love with this song, I’m so in love with the artist, I’m so in love with the music video… heck I’m so in love with the commercial of Sony even, all just because they’re using this as a soundtrack. It’s playful, bubblegum, and it just basically brings the kid in you.

6) SPIRIT by CHICANE featuring JEWEL from the album EASY TO ASSEMBLE

This is one of the few tracks that makes me teary-eyed every time I hear it. There’s just so much history between me and this song that it will always be a staple song for me everywhere I go. It’s up there in my very own compilation if ever I do get to assemble a soundtrack for my life. It’s sad and hopeful at the same time. And Jewel is just amazing, I was so looking forward to this album. It’s probably one of the most highly anticipated electronic album that didn’t get to be released. I remember that there were samples from Warner floating before on some stores but for some reason they pulled it out and decided not to release it anymore. Strange.


This is an example of a great track that helped a movie a great deal. I’m a fan of director Wong Kar Wai, and probably, a lot of his fans will agree that one of the most haunting images in his long line of films is when he beautifully captured the magnificent Iguazu Falls of Argentina while Adolfo Agustin’s CUCURUCUCU PALOMA plays on the background. That alone, and if I had the budget, I’ll get a ticket to Buenos Aires and fly there tomorrow just to marvel at the great river.

8) “Ecstasy's the birthright of our gang.. free your heart of guilt and shame
come and claim what's yours - the whole shebang”

Another great song from a movie soundtrack, this is glam rock homage at its best. I always listen to this just before the start of a long day. It’s one of those great mantras that tells you to seize the day and claim the great opportunity that’s presented to you. If yah work for it… then have fun with the taking.

9) “Can you hear me calling? And I … I wanna be with you everywhere”
EVERYWHERE by LNM PROJEKT featuring Bonnie Bailey from the album HED KANDI: WINTER 2004

This is a bit old and I’m pretty sure has been in everyone’s list two years ago, but it’s one of those that’s quintessentially a “journey” song. It’s like a Christmas song that gets to be played every time the season sets in, this time for summer. And I mean, Bonnie Bailey, who would have thought, the great artist really breaks down barriers. I can see the Chi-chi Makati crowd dancing to her other track “Firefly”, then you open your boobtube you see the Sexbomb dancers strutting to “Ever After”. “Everywhere’s” right down the middle I would say so.

10) “Revolutions in my head…”

I love the Special K mix of this track. I remember asking JP, their bassist about the title of the remix, and I remember he just gave me a naughty grin. Kidding aside, this has gotta be one of the coolest local Chillax. The original mix is great too. Dirty Southerns unite – this is the national anthem for people living in Paranaque, Alabang, Las Pinas, Santa Rosa… it’s great to listen to if your heading down south and it’s rush hour.

There you go… 10 sweet ear-candies that I’m happy to share with you.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


Packing is a serious thing. I’m so used to cramming things when I’m traveling that I usually put packing in my least priority, only to find out that I’ve forgotten something important when I’m already at a certain place. This year I’m actually taking packing seriously. So serious that I think it’s a bit O.A. already. I’ve started packing three months ago.

No joke. I started buying stuff, just before Christmas. The hair wax that I’m bringing for example, not that I’ve used for it now, I just bought it in a whim thinking that my hair would grow to an unmanageable length when I’m traveling. It's difficult to get a haircut if you cant understand the language of your stylist, in Bangkok for example I ended up with dreadlocks.

I bought two flip-flops, just in case I loose the other - during my last travel, while on a boat trip to another island, one of my flips fell off in the sea. Stupid me I had to walk the sandy beaches of Nha Thrang with my sneakers. I bought a cool tiny flashlight which I think will be very useful. I was in this small village in northern Laos last time and they usually turn the electricity off at 12midnight. I was in a bar that night and I had to take a pee, tipsy, I had to find my way in the dark, ended up in the ladies loo, was so embarrassed. Moral of the story, don’t drink in dodgy bars with no generator.

I bought a couple of drab t-shirts, don’t really have enough money to spend this time for my travel so I had to contend myself with sizes bigger. Those shirts that are usually the last to go off-the-rack. Good thing that they're buy-one-take-one. I had to cut them with scissors just below the waist and the neckline to funky them up a bit... I saw this DIY tips in V-Man mag so I knew that I’m on the right side of fashion. Accidentally cut my finger though, so there were blodstains all over. All this trouble to salvage the drab shirts. But then again, style before comfort I keep telling myself, as if it really matters to where I’m going.

My friend Nathan told me to bring a toy or a small doll that will serve as my alter-ego, a mascot or some sort. Strange that I’ve read this on a travel journal, and apparently a lot of backpackers usually do this more like as a good luck charm or something. He told me to bring a teddy, but I find it too queer really. And I mean it’s too predictable. He suggested to bring the voodoo looking dolls that I got the last time but I felt that it’s too creepy. The last thing I'd want to do is to scare off my fellow travelers.

So for the last week I was actually on a search of a toy that I’ll bring around. I want something light and something interesting. It’ll be fun to shoot this toy during the entire leg of the travel think of it as a jetsetting toy ala the garden gnome in the movie Amelie.

I was picking-up the toys of my niece one day when I saw this weird looking rubber ducky. That gave me the idea, a rubber ducky that travels, how uncanny I told myself. It's so iconic. No kid's growing up years will be complete without the rubber ducky. Thanks to Ernie and Bert, heck rubber duckies have been great alternatives for childless homosexual couples. My niece’s rubber duck is a bit big and I want something small that I can keep in my pocket… so I went to the mall to look for a toy duck.

And by stroke of luck I found this cool violet rubber ducky. It’s so unbelievably campy. Just the right size to keep inside my pocket. I've never had a duck when I was growing up and I believe that it was responsible for the lack of my cognitive growth. I’m gonna have great fun with my new mascot I told myself… it’ll be a great conversation piece with the travellers that we'll meet… a small violet duck inside my pants… grins*.

So… three months of packing brought me a hair wax, two flip-flops, a couple of drab-turned-fab shirts, a flash light, and a violet duck… boy am I so prepared.

I guess cramming is really the way for me to go… oh well.

Friday, February 23, 2007


A day before the Oscar's, and I'm busy downloading some Oscar-worthy movies. We'll be watching them tonight at a friend's place to add up our two cent's worth to the million dollar industry. I used to plan Oscar parties for fellow film buff friends and film school mates when I was still living in London. We even used to put Oscar pot money out for grabs for the individual who predicts the most number of winners. We used to prepare finger foods and cheap wine from Tesco just to get that chi-chi feeling. It was always a blast because the party usually ends up in the morning because the Oscar’s were telecast in an ungodly hour because of the time difference.

We took the voting and the bet seriously. It was, for us, a sport. We’re film geeks and this was our version of Olympics. And just how geeks were we, we really take time to analyze the picture’s scientific probability to win the coveted award. We all knew that the Oscar’s doesn’t really represent the best films of the year – it was really all about who comes up with the most successful film campaign, who has the most clout. It was really all about the politics of celluloid and we love it to the very last minute or until the envelope reveals the best film with the best handler.

If you really take time and study every bit of detail, take time and research the politics behind it, or analyze the precursor awards that comes before the big night, chances are, you’ll be able to predict who’ll end up with the golden statuette. I thrive on this yearly chance to outsmart and outwit all my other fellow film friends. I end up loosing though, because even though the science behind it dictates who the winner will be, the idealist in me always votes for the most deserving nominee among the lot. Back in my mind, I'm always hoping for an upset. I was for example hoping for a Cate Blanchette victory over Gwynethe Paltrow even though the odds of her winning was slimmer than queen Elizabeth’s waist.

But it was the Oscars after all, more than an awards show, it’s Hollywood’s excuse to come up with a glitzy party. We the geek film buffs follow and enjoy every bit of it… Fast-forward to 2007 - that was like nine years… almost a decade ago. When I came back home to Manila, I learned, much to my dismay, that Oscar’s not really a big thing here. There are no Oscar Nominated Film Marathons on theatre’s, heck we’re actually lucky if majority of the nominated movies were locally released… there are no Oscar pot money’s and I’m missing the second rate Oscar parties with friends...

I actually find this odd because last year I was actually in Thailand during the Oscar season and I was surprised that there’s a big Oscar buzz there. The big movie houses in Bangkok are actually showing all the Oscar best picture nominees a week before the awards night to get the much needed buzz. I would think that Manila will be more busy with all things Oscar’s. But low and behold, you open your TV and you see the buzz on the latest Koreanovelas and what have yous…

I’m actually on an Oscar movie rush, and the absence of the movies here locally is actually what gets the film buffs on the other side of the fence… you can’t blame them if they end up downloading torrents to get the fix that they’re craving for, illegal ways to satisfy the addiction so to speak.

A day before the big night and I’m all ready for my pick. I finished downloading the movies that matter and I’m ready for an Oscar night with friends – I might not be the gracious host this time but the great thing is that there are still fellow geeks just like me who go gaga with the magic of dear old uncle Oscar.

For sure, my bets will not get the elusive Oscar but what’s important is I’ll get the chance to root for them, and enjoy the magic that they bring. Do yourself a favor, download these movies, and have great fun watching!!!


WHO WILL WIN: Little Miss Sunshine
WHO SHOULD WIN: Letters from Iwo Jima


WHO WILL WIN: Helen Mirren for THE QUEEN
WHO SHOULD WIN: Penelope Cruz for VOLVER

WHO WILL WIN: Martin Scorsese for THE DEPARTED

WHO WILL WIN: Jeniffer Hudson for DREAMGIRLS
WHO SHOULD WIN: Adriana Barraza for BABEL


WHO WILL WIN: The Departed
WHO SHOULD WIN: Children of Heaven

WHO WIL WIN: Little Miss Sunshine
WHO SHOULD WIN: Pan’s Labyrinth

PAN’S LABYRINTH for me is the most surreal, the best movie experience, the most engaging picture that I’ve seen this year. It's one of those movies that keeps you thinking long after you've finished the movie. It's one of the most disturbing movies that I've seen in years. This is great cinema. The production design, the cinematography, the wonderful story, the great acting and the enigmatic direction of Mexican auteur Guillermo Del Toro are all top notch. I truly admire the daring and the audacity by which it painted magically but painfully the horrors of fascism - the images will haunt you for the rest of your lives. It's one of those cinematic experience you should and could not miss. Go watch it!!!

Monday, February 12, 2007


"How is it possible to feel nostalgia for a world I never knew?
What do we leave behind when we cross each frontier? Each moment seems split in two; melancholy for what was left behind and the excitement of entering a new land. "
- Che Guevara

I was watching Motorcycle Diaries with my friend Carlo the other day, this great movie by Mexican director Walter Sales. The movie chronicles the travels and adventures of South American key figure Che Guevara before joing the Cuban revolutionary group. We were kinda prepping up ourselves because we will be embarking on our own journey in the next few weeks. Nope, I'm not joining the red army in the near future but just like Che I'll be living the nomadic and spartan life of a backpack traveler for the next three months. This dream of travelling turrned advocacy have occupied me for the last few months- hence the absence of entries in my blog.

The last three months saw me cramming all my work and assignments so that I don't leave any projects undone. I already asked permission from my regular clients if I can be excused for the next ten weeks. This will be different from my last year's sabaticcal because I'll be with friends this time. We're all in it for the journey and for the life realizations that it will impart to each and everyone of us.

10,000 kms on land, 10 weeks, 9 border crossings seems like a long journey - five souls lost in transition hoping that each will find what each is looking for in the end. My other friends are actually asking me why the long travel again - what am I looking for this time? I travel because I long to discover. I don't know what I'm looking for but all I know is that by the end of the journey I'll be able to fill the void or something. It's always a good learning curve for me.

I travel because I still can. I have the time, I have the strength. That's what's important. Time is running out I feel. I'm not getting any younger. And the adventure and the thrill of setting foot on another land is what keeps me going. Trekking on the highest of altitudes, walking the hottest of deserts, living the most spartan of life, interacting with people whose only similarity to you is that you both celebrate the very meaning of life... I don't think I'll be able to do this if I'm in my midage.

I don't see myself joining the busload full of tourists. I travel for the thrill of it.

I am in a rush and this can only be fixed by a bohemian trip where I am allowed to charter my own course and to follow my own road. It maybe the path less taken but I'm sure it'll all be worth it.

For the next few months, I'll be posting a series of entries about the great trip which I am about to embark... the diary of a true bohemian.

I'll be with other travellers this time and just like Che said - "This won't be a tale of heroic feats. It's about lives running parallel for a while, with common aspirations and similar dreams".

Join us in spirit.