Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Here Comes May! ‘M(a)y Dilemma’

Do you know that in any given year, no other month starts on the same day of the week as May?

Cool! Isn’t it?

People closest to my heart were born on the fifth month of the year in the Gregorian calendar. The month, named after the Greek goddess Maia, begins with the zodiac sign of Taurus and ends in the sign Gemini.

I really don’t know… but, it’s a fact that I’m too comfortable connecting with people born on the same month as I am. As most people would claim, “birds of the same feather…

...make a good feather duster!

So to all of those who are MAY ‘celebrities’...

2Raffy Soriano – Take good care of PubCom. Please.

4Tonton Mina – Good luck in your UP Law endeavors!

Ben Evangelista – Be strong in your UP Law endeavors! You can do it kid!

Les Santiago – Intrigue, romance, and betrayal? Just like “The Other Boleyn Girl.” So, who’s Anne and who’s Mary? I missed you so much.

5Loraine Pastoriza – Go for gold! (Mining gold). Wanna join the coffee sessions with Enj?

7Jason Monlinong – When can I have my free lab examinations at St. Luke’s? Keep on going Chase!

11Claudette Abayon – How is my very zealous cyber friend? How’s Zamboanga?

Mom – Love you Mom! Sorry for being such a brat, a ‘grown up brat,’ to be more precise.

12Rawnna Crisostomo – When do you plan to cover my third primetime news story? Miss you! Here are white roses for you!

14Mitch Domingsil – Is jogging effective, Mitch? I’ll greet ourselves on RX on our birthday! Watch out for it! I mean, tune in.

19Alex Dan Tacderas – Kuya Alex! You will definitely be the handle of the feather duster! So where’s my cake? Is it in the line-item-budget? Ha!

20Mendy Gopiteo – I’m very nostalgic of the good old days. The dorm, the grounds, the canteen, Ate Janice & Kuya Albert (I was able to get in touch with him thru friendster), the lab, Ma’am Depositario, our allowance, Vega, Junjun and everyone else! Waaaaaaah! I miss YRAP. (By the way, your boyfriend’s checking my friendster account). =O

Jay Arre Toque – Receiving a doctorate diploma before the age of 30 is something I never imagined myself fulfilling. I’m so proud of you Kuya! Thank you for leading me to Christ.

26Jaypee Bautista – So when do you plan to have the ‘JP’s Pre-Birthday Bash?’ I bet my ASS you’re having it already as of this moment of time. And I’m not invited. Shame.

As for me… turning the age of two dozens this year is another venture I’m not sure if I’m ready to embark on. Alongside with the excitement, I’m frantic about adding another year in my age. If the Japanese students and workers have their so-called ‘May sickness’ if they start to be tired of their new schoolwork or jobs, I, too, have my own version of it.

I call it ‘M(a)y Dilemma.’

Monday, April 28, 2008

America’s Biggest ‘Popularity Contest’

“Did you mean to die like that?
Was that a mistake or
Did you know your messy death
Would be a record breaker?”

So as the lyrics of the song would say, “Jesus Christ, who are you? What have you sacrificed?”

After 38 million votes, Carly’s elimination last Thursday (Wednesday in the States) was a heart breaker for a lot of people (well… especially me). Twas, indeed, Simon’s ‘kiss of death.’ Singing “Superstar” from the 1971 rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar,” Carly received great reviews from the judges. It was a showcase of her vocal versatility, nonetheless, an emancipation of how she loves the stage. True to a fact, she’s one of the vocally endowed contestants. If only it was not a ‘popularity contest,’ she could have won. Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.

With all the bitterness, let me arrange the ‘other’ five contestants, starting from the best performer, to the most errr..., let me just say to my least preferred…

Syesha’s Fantabulous Performance
Syesha is a natural performer. Her theatrical performance of “One Rock & Roll Too Many” from the 1984 West End rock musical “Starlight Express” was superb! Sizzling. Sexy. Hot. It was fantastic and fabulous, therefore, a fantabulous act. Yet, despite being one the best performers in the Andrew Lloyd Webber night (together with Carly), she still struggled at the bottom two.

Why is she still there? She’s just lucky enough, again, not to be eliminated that week. Five times of being a part of the bottom three/two proves only that she has no fan-base. And since it is a ‘popularity contest,’ please don’t expect her to win AI. I’m giving her one more week…

THE David Archuleta
The Goliath of Season Seven survived last week’s eliminations confidently unscathed. Rendering a pop version of “Think of Me” from the longest running Broadway show in history, “The Phantom of the Opera.” It was really surprising to see David turn an operatic piece —originally sang by Christine Daaé (the Phantom’s protégée)— into a conventional acoustic ballad. The version was well arranged; hence, it completely fitted his personality of being a future pop icon. Brilliant as it was!

Why is he still there? Why shouldn’t he? My goodness, he’s the next American Idol! Errr… isn’t it that obvious yet?

Phantomized Cook
It was a good try for David Cook to cover “The Music of the Night” from the most lucrative enterprise of all time, “The Phantom of the Opera.” This guy can sing. He really can. The good thing about him is that he can turn any piece he wanted to sing into his own forte. “Daughtry, statue?/read: iz-dat-hue/”

The not so good thing about his performance is that he lost the touch of the ‘Phantom’ in his rendition of the song. The Phantom, a daunting opera ghost utterly obsess with Christine, is supposed to be an eerie and petrifying singer. That was something lacking in his performance. He was not able to embody the character of a “malicious, volatile, dangerous and somewhat bitter,” musical genius. In short, it was not sufficiently impressive, as compared to last week’s “Always Be My Baby.” (Too bad I’m a Le Fantôme de l'Opéra buff).

Why is he still there? Because he got talent, I mean, lots of it. And he also got fans, lots of them, thou not that much as the ‘other’ David.

Brooke ft. One Republic
Brooke White should have sung, “Stop and Stare,” worst, “Apologize.” “Stop and Stare” for asking Ricky Minor to do it all over again; “Apologize” for making Paula Abdul look so scary in television.

Messy as it is, it was the first time that kind of drama happened on AI’s history. Is she vying for an Emmy’s Best Performance of a Female Actor in a Drama-Musical-Reality Series? Maybe not…

All of the judges weren’t that happy after hearing Brooke sang the 1997 Oscars’ Best Original Song from a Motion Picture, “You Must Love Me.” At least she realized now that it’s ‘kinda bad’ to interrupt a judge when s/he’s still giving his/her comments. Oh well, there’s always an excuse in committing mistakes…

Why is she still there? Ben (my bff who was willing to commit suicide if ever Brooke was eliminated last Thursday), is right. She had gathered already quite a number of supporters since she crossed the threshold of the top 24. But still, it’s not that much as the cronies of the boy named ‘David.’

Mesmerized Jason
Meow! There goes Jason’s “Memory” from the West End’s award-winning musical “Cats,” who turned out to be the ‘underdog’ during the performance night. Arf!

After bargaining his entire AI career, it was his worst song choice, to date. Well, the performance was actually just a so-so, meaning, it was not that really bad. Nonetheless, it could have been a perfect goodbye song for Jason Castro during the elimination night as he sings, “Tonight will be a memory too… and a new day will begin.”

Why is he still there? Charisma. Nothing else. Oh! I forget to mention that he can play the ukelele. That’s it!

Carly left the competition with pride and honor. An epitome of how grateful we should be of the talents given to us.

And just as Judas Iscariot had said:

“[Carly], tell me what you think
About your friends at the top
Who d'you think besides yourself
Was the pick of the crop?”

(Carly’s pix grabbed from ReyPJ’s multiply)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mole in My Sole

I was born with a mole in my sole. (Wow! It rhymes!) My feet had taken me to several places around the country. Beaches, mountains, waterfalls, springs, estuaries, mangrove forests, name it!

The northernmost part of the country I've been to is Baguio City, the easternmost, so far, is Tagum City, the southernmost is General Santos City, and the westernmost, of course, is Puerto Princesa City, my birthplace.

I remember a week ago when a student asked me what are the places in the country I've been to, well, here's the answer to his question.

I'm a certified C+ traveler!

I love traveling around the country. My next destination: Zambales. I hope to be there before my birthday. Ha!

You, how much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!

(Thanks to Em for the link. Lakbayan created by Eugene Villar.)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Seven Wonders of AI

Let me arrange the remaining seven contestants based on their performances last April 16 (15 in the US) after Mommy Mariah coached them that week.

1. David Cook deserves the top spot after singing the 1996 Mariah Carey’s hit “Always Be My Baby.” He rocked the world by giving the diva’s song a spice of alternative music. Applauses and a standing ovation for David after melting the hearts of several women.

2. The David Archuleta, as expected, surpassed this week even without making any effort. As predicted, a power ballad will be his song choice; and so he did sing “The Prince of Egypt’s” main theme “When You Believe.” I wonder which part is he singing, Houston’s? or Carey’s? Ha!

3. Syesha Mercado performed “Vanishing,” a song “that not many people know,” quoting Paula. Regardless of that fact, she was able to please all of the judges, including me. Vocally, she’s someone the other contestants should watch out for.

4. Jason Castro’s “I Don’t Wanna Cry” was sufficiently innovative to satisfy Paula and unexpectedly, Simon. Audibly, it was good enough to be classified as a so-so performance.

5. Carly Smithson, who was very happy knowing that she’s safe during the eviction night, performed “Ken Lee,” I mean, “Without You.” I was even waiting for the “tulibu dibu douchoo” line, but nah! You got it right, girl!

6. Kristy Lee Cook who was very, very pretty during that night countrysized the 1996 doo wop hit “Forever.” However, KLC was not fortunate enough this time to get away from being eliminated, after surviving the bottom 3, three times.

7. ‘Attitude’ is something Brooke White has that is a big turn off for some people. Receiving bad comments from the judges and not taking them justly will never do her any good. In the end, it’s not Simon who would be voted off out of the competition. Well, anyway, her rendition of “Hero” was indeed weak. That’s it.

Next week is Broadway week. I can’t wait to hear them sing Andrew Lloyd Webber oeuvre. Recalling some favorite “Phantom” songs, here are the pieces from the Broadway musicale, I believe, they should stage: “The Phantom of the Opera” rock version for Cook, “Music of the Night” for Archuleta (what else can he sing?), “Masquerade” luau version for Jason (haha), the classic “All I Ask of You” will definitely fit Syesha, “Wishing You Were Somewhere Here Again” for Brook, and “The Point of No Return” will be perfect for Carly.

Oh! I’m so excited for next week’s performance night!

Friday, April 18, 2008

AI Recap

I wont enumerate anymore my excuses for not blogging about AI for the past three weeks. Nevertheless, let me recap my top picks during the past three-week’s performance nights before appraising the latest recital of the top seven.

Tough Ten Tough Picks

1. Michael Johns deserves the top spot of week ten. Indeed, it was his shining moment after knocking out two of the Queen’s most famous and popular songs “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions.” Freddie Mercury would be proud of you boy!

2. Despite committing mistake with her first key, Brooke White still managed to catch up with her rendition of Sting’s opus “Every Breath You Take.” Brooke staged the 1984 Grammy Awards Song of the Year by The Police with pride and glamour; whereas, the judges thought it was just a so-so performance.

3. Syesha Mercado is a performer who will undeniably give you goose bumps. Belting “If I Were Your Woman,” originally by a Grammy Award-winning R&B and soul singer named Stephanie Mills, Syesha awed all of the three judges.

Performance-wise, the following deserves to be at the bottom three for: (1) picking the wrong song; (2) messing everything because of the wrong song; (3) it was a bad choice of song; and so on…

8. David Archuleta – "You're the Voice"
9. Ramiele Malubay – "Alone"
10. Jason Castro – "Fragile"

Good thing the three of them still thrived ‘coz Chikezie Eze bade farewell that week. Poor Eze.

Idol Says Malu-bye to Ramiele

It was quite not a shock to see this headline on Yahoo News. Although she was a personal favorite, her talents was not that enough to please the Americans. In the first place, she’s not a country singer, and she’ll never be one.

Consequently, Brooke’sJolene” version was not that convincing enough for majority of the judges to favor her performance, nor Jason’s rendition of “Travelin’ Thru.” By the way, I’ve been promoted already as the home-based fourth judge, in case you don’t know yet.

So as to enumerate, the top spots belong to the following contenders for belting their hearts out:

3. Michael Johns“It’s All Wrong, But It’s All Right
2. Carly Smithson – “Here You Come Again
1. Syesha Mercado – “I Will Always Love You

Down to Eight

Inspirational songs week gave the competition a soothing and tranquil ambience. And topping the eight finalists are the following:

1. Jason Castro’s ukelele version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” This one is a notch better than the Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s adaptation of the 1939 Academy Award for Best Original Song for the movie “The Wizard of Oz.”

2. David Archuleta’s piano version of “Angels.” Singing the Robbie Williams 1997 power ballad, this kid proved once again how talented he is. Bad thing is, he had been too comfortable with the same genre of music.

3. Brooke White’s version of “You’ve Got a Friend.” It was way too pleasant and perfect to close the evening, quoting Simon and Paula, respectively.

On the contrary, thou, it doesn’t mean that their performances were totally disastrous, here are the not-so-amusing contestants for the night:

6. Kristy Lee Cook – “Anyway
7. David Cook – “Innocent
8. Carly Smithson – “The Show Must Go On

After the 30+ million votes, Carly was so shocked that she’s still in the competition.

It was MJ who unexpectedly went home that night.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Other Boleyn Girl

Checking out the up coming movies lined up in the cinemas of Trinoma, the poster of the movie ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ caught my attention and two of my friends I’m with.

The Other Boleyn Girl is a movie based on the novel by Philippa Gregory. Intrigue, romance, and betrayal – are the key words that would best describe the plot of the story. The country Boleyn sisters, Anne (Portman) and Mary (Johansson), are both in the task of captivating the heart of the king of England, Henry (Bana). Despite the dramatic consequences the two sisters had experienced, they were still able to find strength and loyalty in each other, as a manifestation of the bond that connects both of them.

Auspiciously, the mom of my student was giving away advance screening tickets to the said movie when we were at her child’s retreat in Cavite. To my excitement, I asked for four tickets.

Now, I have four tickets to the advance screening of the movie scheduled on April 7 (Monday) at Power Plant, Cinema 3.

Inauspiciously, two hours from now, I’ll be taking a bus on my way to Albay for an entire week of vacation. I will be a week ‘ex communicado.’ I don’t know if my phone’s network has a signal there and I don’t know also if there is a hotspot around the town.

Shoot! I wont be here for the advance screening.

What a loser.

Enjoy the movie guys!

Stealing Bases

Bypassing a last-minute invitation to attend a summer camp in Aklan, I opted to be present at the retreat of the 6th grade graduates of our school in Dasmarinas, Cavite (grrr! until now, am still having a hard time pressing the /en-ye/ key in my laptop’s keyboard).

The place is owned by the parents of the class’ valedictorian and the reTREAT turned out to be her graduation-birthday-treat for everyone.

Wow. It was the first time again I was able to play stealing bases or ‘agawan base’ (‘maro’ for my playmates back then in Palawan, or ‘moro-moro’ for those in Albay).

Having the valiant and gallant ego inside me, I tried to rescue three kids captured from the hands of our opponents. Unluckily, a guard caught me after dropping into the grass. And then slam! I almost kissed the cow dung.

Second round, eying on an opponent runner near our base, I charged and scared him to run thru the woody part of the field. Since the ground was full of fallen leaves, the opponent slipped and subsided onto the ground. But wait! There’s more! I also slipped and dropped on my knees. Shoot! I was not able to catch him. To top it all, it was my knee that was able to catch some bruise.

In the last round of the game, I tried to rescue again three kids detained in the opponent’s base. But this time, a lookout charged from their base and started to run after me. Since the ground is a little bit sloped, he was able to catch me from behind. I almost felt that I would be slamming on the ground again, my face first, if only I was not able to regain my balance.

All in all, I fell thrice. Dropped dead. But still, managed to run again.

Even though my team lose the game, it was one of the best days of a return-to-my-childhood-nostalgia. I almost felt I was a sixth grade again.

I reached home at 9pm, just in time for American Idol.

The next morning, I woke up with an SMS in my phone saying:

I bet you miss us na! I bet that you’re gonna freakin dream about us :D you don’t regret going to the retreat!
You’re just afraid to let us know how much you’ll miss us :D

And so I replied:

I do regret attending the retreat!
This morning, I cant get up my bed cause my entire body aches.
But one thing I assure you, I will miss you all.

I just don’t want to add to the emotional torture you are suffering from right now…