One of the most timeless romances is that of Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet in the William Shakespeare tragedy Romeo and Juliet. The sad tale of the star-crossed lovers is so universal that it has been referenced and adapted countless of times. One of the most enduring adaptations is the musical West Side Story, which is currently in Manila for an international tour.
I love film festivals because it allows me and other Filipinos to see how amazing the local film industry is. But the thing is, they’re not widely accessible. Some film festivals only screen in one place. And for someone who lives in the south, supporting a film festival and watching all the entries is something to be planned and strategized in advance.
Thankfully, the Pista ng Pelikulang Pinoy was launched. It’s a film festival hosted by the progressive Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), where almost 800 theaters across the Philippines will be playing 12 selected films from August 16 to 22. For its inaugural run, the council selected an intriguing lineup that has something for everyone.
The denim jacket was invented in the 1880s by Levi Strauss, the same guy who invented blue jeans. Like jeans, the denim jacket was made to be durable in order to survive harsh conditions, perfect for cowboys, railroad engineers, and miners. Similar to jeans, the denim became one of the most classic pieces in menswear, worn by stylish men (and women) like James Dean, John Lennon, Veruschka, and Bruce Springsteen.
I used to be a geek. I was (and still am) a fan of Pokemon and Harry Potter, collecting all the books, movies, cards, and games. In 2003, I became an X-Men fan when I joined a trivia contest hosted by Globe via text. I remember saving my allowance to buy comics every month and spending my spare time on the Uncanny X-Men website to learn as much as I can about the characters.
I don’t know why my interest fizzled. I can still identify spells, Pokemons, and mutants, but I guess life got in the way and I focused my attention elsewhere. But like the Phoenix that resides deep inside Jean Grey, my inner geek was recently unleashed when I found my old stash of comics. Like a kid in a candy store, I squealed when I saw my dusty copy of The Dark Phoenix Saga, my comics featuring Nightcrawler, Emma Frost, and Mystique, and the old comics I bought from God knows where.
Luckily, I found my comics right around TOYCON so it was the perfect time to reenter my fandom and maybe even grow my collection.
When Starbucks releases a new line of drinks, it usually complements each other. Last June, it was the Banana Split Mocha Frappuccino and the Irish Cream Coffee Pudding Frappuccino. During the summer, it was the Pop’zel Coffee Frappuccino and the Roasted Marshmallow S’mores Frappuccino. There’s always a theme going on, so I was mildly surprised when their new beverages were complete opposites.
Just recently, Starbucks launched its line of two new beverages: the Açai Mixed Berry Yogurt Frappuccino and the Granola Dark Mocha Frappuccino. Both are equally good but it’s hard to compare since they’re so different.
2017 is a great time to be a fan of theater. This year alone, both Repertory Philippines and the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) celebrated its 50th anniversary, and many productions are being staged. Apart from the booming local theater scene, more and more touring companies are visiting Manila. Just this February, Wicked came to give us a “thrillifying” performance. Now, West Side Story will charm us as it is set to open this August!
What I love about Japan is how it treats many occasions as a ceremony. Just take a look at how they enjoy tea and you’ll see how they treat things with respect and give it the attention it deserves. This regard to mindfulness and deference is practiced similarly across the world by Stella Artois in Belgium. To fully enjoy the bouquet of flavor and aroma of its beer, Stella Artois recommends a nine step ritual in pouring.
There’s plenty to love in Maria LM Fres-Felix’s new crime anthology Crimetime, a compelling series of mysteries that will keep you guessing, set in Quezon City and starring Inspector SJ Tuason. The blurbs are an indication of its potential: there are words from Charlson Ong, Butch Dalisay, Sarge Lacuesta, and National Artist F. Sionil Jose. I sit down with the author to discuss her favorite crime story, the secret behind a good mystery, and what scares her.