Archive for July, 2007

The last two weekends were spent in Hogwarts and the rest of the wizarding and muggle worlds with Harry and co., and in Paris with Remy and his rat pack. I think I’m still having withdrawal symptoms, finding it difficult to pull myself out of it and back to the “real” world.

Two Sundays ago, I entered Hogwarts for Harry’s fifth year. Watching Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at the I-MAX theater was a treat. However, the 3D portion of the movie left me wanting for more. I wish they also made other parts of the movie in 3D as well, such as the one where Harry and some members of the Order flew from London to number 12 Grimmauld Place. That was a breathtaking scene and would have been more so in 3D. Oh well, we can’t have everything. The movie was good, but if you have read the book and are such a Potter fan, you might feel quite as disappointed as I was. I was expecting a lot of details that were never shown. This was also the movie that deviated the most from the book, especially with the Harry-Cho angle. What I also wanted to see was the Fountain of Magical Brethren coming alive but, alas, it wasn’t shown. All in all though, it’s not bad, and still very enjoyable once you stop thinking of details you wish were there.

Last Saturday was for Ratatouille. Oh man, I never knew rats could be so adorable. 😀 Then there’s the added attraction of Paris and food (albeit cartoon renditions). Is there still any doubt that I enjoyed this film? Pixar delivered once more. Two lines from the film keep floating in my head. One was when Remy said, “There’s something about humans. They don’t just survive. They discover and create.” Then there’s the one from Gusteau, “If you focus on what you left behind, you will never be able to see what lies ahead.” These are not new insights, but are good reminders for us humans. I also love the funny moments. These are not slapstick-y, laugh out loud funny scenes, but more on the witty side. Still not gonna make me want rats in my kitchen, though…unless they’re blue and look a lot like Remy, and can cook like he does. 😀

This past weekend, I also said goodbye to Harry Potter and his saga. I didn’t want to close the book after the last word…so now I’m reading it again, haha! Seriously, I’ve read every Harry Potter book two consecutive times upon first getting it. It’s like tasting a particular food and liking it so much you just have to head right back to the platter for another serving. I first got my hands on Harry Potter seven years ago. I saw this book with an attractive cover on the desk of my then officemate/college friend. He said it was required reading for his Children’s Lit class under Carla Pacis (he was taking his MA in Creative Writing). He said it was a good read and lent it to me. I wasn’t able to put it down once I started reading it, and the rest is history. I was glad when the movies came out (I have read the first 3 books by the time the first movie was shown), but nothing compared to the books.

SPOILER ALERT. The Deathly Hallows draws the story to a satisfying close, and I like how all the characters have evolved and matured. All the other mysteries and questions in the previous books were unveiled and answered, except for one, I think. What’s the story about the veil in the archway at the Deparment of Mysteries? This is the one where Sirius fell when he died. Where did his body go? Who were the voices behind the veil and where was it coming from? I actually had high hopes that Sirius was alive, that he was just trapped behind that veil. Except for that one unanswered question, I liked how J.K. Rowling came up with a tightly written story. I especially liked her characterization of Snape. Who would have thought that Snape would make me cry? Snape is probably one of the best written characters in recent years. There are so many layers to him, and you never know what to expect. J.K. Rowling was excellent in keeping us guessing yet making us want to believe deep in our hearts that Snape is still on the side of good. I’m also already looking forward to the film version where I hope they’ll include the duel between Mrs. Weasley and Bellatrix. “Not my daughter, you bitch!“, hehe! I liked the idea of the epilogue, but all those names can be quite confusing…and corny. But then again, it is only right that they name their children after those important people. And what about Harry calling Snape “probably the bravest man I ever knew“, eh? I’m also curious about what happened to Luna and who’s the new headmaster of Hogwarts? The Prisoner of Azkaban is still my favorite among the 7 books, but this last one comes in a close second.

I know this is most likely the end, but I’m still hoping that it’s not. I wish J.K. Rowling would write some more stories about this magical world, maybe about the original Order of the Phoenix, or continue where the epilogue left off, though I’m more intrigued with the first one. I’m still not ready to completely let go of the wizarding world.


Yet another reason for a relapse. 😀  Krispy Kreme has 4 new Hershey’s chocolate variants – Special Dark, Reese’s & Kreme, Chocolate w/Almonds, and Cookies and Kreme.  We were on our way home from the Mall of Asia last Sunday evening when we saw the billboard (in-between Buendia and Guadalupe, coming from the south) advertising the new variants.  We immediately detoured to Greenhills!  Hehe…

I only bought the first three variants, and I must say I like them all, though the Chocolate w/Almonds was a bit too sweet.  Of course, Special Dark was still the best – probably a tad biased opinion since dark chocolate is my favorite kind.  As Minmin said, this is chocolate heaven.  Chocolates on top of doughnuts – a sinful heaven, if there’s ever such a thing.

That has been my mantra since this morning, when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was finally released by the bookstores. For the first time, I didn’t make a reservation for the book, and I didn’t buy a copy today. I found myself reluctant to shell out almost P1500. That’s what a girl gets for not working full time for almost a year. I still have bills to pay and other stuff to buy.

Back to the topic. When I passed through Powerbooks, I saw lots of copies of the book and quite a number of people were reading the last few pages, obviously to find the answer to the question of the year: ‘Does Harry live?’ I resolutely resisted the temptation to do the same. I walked straight ahead, not even stopping to look at other books because I might give in once I stay longer inside the bookstore. Oh, I had a lapse earlier in the day when I went to Digg. I thought to myself that if I see a true spoiler story on Digg’s first page, I would probably read it. Fortunately, there was none.

Now, it’s very likely that I would accidentally learn about the ending (like what happened with book 5), but I would still be excited as to how it came about. THAT is what I really wouldn’t want to know yet. When it comes to books and tv shows, I sometimes have this tendency to want to know right away how it ends. I’m more interested in what and how it leads to a particular ending.

That being said, I’m still very uncomfortable (and guilty) about spoilers. From the point of view of a writer, how would you feel working so hard only for readers to already know the ending before you can tell the story? From the point of view of a reader, it’s being inconsiderate. There are those who still relish the suspense of reading. For those who really can’t resist posting spoilers, please put a warning first and don’t put the ending or the juicy part in the headline and/or in the first sentence. Make it a little bit more difficult for the cheaters. I know I’m talking to a wall here, but hey, not all walls are impenetrable.

With the pervasiveness of media, I guess the only way to avoid spoilers is to be a hermit while all the hoopla is going on. Or try very hard to resist the temptation. Learn selective sight and hearing. It can be a very character-building exercise. 😉

I could hold on for a hundred years
When all else is gone
I would still be here
In a memory of things yet unseen
I’d remember all that we’ve never been
And I cannot wait to see
What life has in store for me

In another lifetime
It would be forever
In another world
Where you and I
Could be together
In another set of chances
I’d take the ones I’d missed
And make you mine
If only for a time
My life would matter
In another life

And I’d stay as strong and I’d stay as true
And you’d have forever now to think it through
Coz I believe what wasn’t meant to be
Wasn’t meant for now and
Someday you’ll see
In a place and time we never know
I’d be standing there waiting for you
[Repeat Chorus]

You would be mine
But until that time is now
I’d be holding on somehow
[Repeat Chorus]

But until that time
I’ll be holding onto forever
Until another life

Sung by Gary Valenciano

Written by Jude Thaddeus Gitamondoc

…for the times when we paint rainbows on a canvass of air, when we strum love songs on strings of sea water, when we etch dreams on sand, when we see a mirage as the true image; yet still believe that the day will come when our hands will touch the roughness of the canvass, when our fingers will strum real melodies, when old dreams are realities that pave the way for new ones, when we live in the real setting and a mirage is simply nature’s art and nothing more.

A froggy evening

You know how they say that you’re really living in the new millennium when you use your cell phone in your driveway  to call people inside the house to help you with the groceries?  That scenario finally happened to me this evening, only it wasn’t with the groceries that I needed help.  Instead, I almost stepped on a HUGE frog as I was about to open the gate.  It was blocking my way.  Now, I love animals, BUT NOT reptiles and amphibians.  So you could just imagine how far backwards I jumped!

I looked for a neighbor who might be out on the street to shoo away the frog for me.  Alas, there was none.  So I finally took out my cell phone and dialed our landline.  I couldn’t connect, so I dialed my dad’s phone.  It started to ring, but the connection was cut off.  Grr… I tried calling out to my dad but he couldn’t hear me.  Finally, either our maid spotted me from the window or she was about to let the dog out for his evening ‘ritual’, but eventually, she opened the door and saw me standing outside the gate.  She was able to make the huge frog go away and I was finally able to go inside the house.  Whew!

It’s the one thing I hate about the rainy season – it also means frog season!  There are already enough metaphorical frogs around, I don’t need real ones too, thank you.

Kwento lang

In most parts of the world, the weather makes up most of small talk.  Here in the Philippines, it’s politics.  Put together at least two strangers, usually in a public utility vehicle, stick them in traffic, and talk will invariably turn to politics.  I witnessed another classic case yesterday morning.

The FX driver struck a conversation with the two front seat passengers.  They began with which part of the city they lived in, quickly progressed to common acquaintances, then…(drum roll) local politics.  The driver mentioned the barangay elections in October.  Hmm, that was news flash for me as I wasn’t even aware that this was also barangay election year.

When asked where he votes, the male passenger said that he doesn’t vote because he no longer believes in elections.  He said, “Ang mga politiko, parang diaper yan.  Pinapalitan lang pero pareho lang ang silbi.”  The driver just chuckled.  Talk halted after a while.

When we reached Ayala Avenue, approaching the corner of Paseo de Roxas, we saw a lot of press people (including foreign press) gathered in front of a building.  There were also plenty of policemen.  They were all looking towards the westbound side of Ayala and seemed to be waiting for something or someone.  The driver and the front seat passengers resumed their conversation.

The election boycotter remarked, “Ano yan, inaabangan nila si Gloria para patalsikin?  O pinapatalsik nila si Binay?”  To which the driver replied, “Oo nga, tapos na kasi eleksyon, nanalo na, ngayon pabababain naman nila sa pwesto.  Si Binay pinapatalsik na naman ng Ombudsman.”  Then chuckles and snickers all around.

The vicious cycle of Philippine politics continues…

P.S.  As it turned out, the press people were there for the launch of the electric-powered jeepneys.  Why do we always equate a big gathering of the press on the streets with political upheaval?  Hmm…