The year 2018 is off to a good start. The first week has been quiet, with me spending time with my family, watching movies, and reading books. Because it was peaceful, it was pretty much uneventful. I was home most of the time and didn’t make plans during the weekend. Here’s how the first seven days of the year went in short snippets.
The last week of the year means preparing for the onslaught of Christmas parties, dinners, and of course, the annual Metro Manila Film Festival. Ever since its excellent lineup last year, I promised to watch this year’s entries even if it regressed to its previous formula. Still, there were gems. I watched Siargao last week and fell in love with the visuals. I also watched the much-lauded Ang Larawan and enjoyed All of You. This week was all about watching movies, both good and bad, local and foreign. It was a good week.
This week was all about discovering new places, seeing familiar faces, and witnessing intense traffic as people rushed through their Christmas parties and holiday shopping. I’m one of those people who put off their shopping at the last minute as I bought everything last night. Based on the number of people hoarding stuff from Uniqlo in SM Southmall and MAC in Rustan’s, it looks like a lot of people are going to have a fashionable Noche Buena tonight.
So I finally finished F.H. Batacan’s Smaller and Smaller Circles, and I will be writing a proper review soon. I’m happy with how it turned out, though a part of me feels like the second part is rushed. I’ll think about the book some more before I write my review. I’m starting to read Paula McLain’s Circling the Sun and Ha Van Thut and Tran Hong Duc’s A Brief Chronology of Vietnamese History. The second book is really engrossing.
The September issue of my Monocle subscription came in the mail while I was in Hanoi, thus pressuring me to finish the July/August issue. I finished the March issue of Scout magazine, which had an excellent article on spoken word by Alfonso Manalastas. And what a coincidence, I watched an amazing spoken word performance by Words Anonymous at the Starbucks Teavana launch I attended yesterday.
I’m almost through Smaller and Smaller Circles and I’m liking the direction it has taken. I don’t want to say much because it would spoil the experience for those who have not read it yet, but I’m looking forward to how Fathers Gus Saenz and Jerome Lucero would finish the case. I’m also excited for the film! TBA, who’s producing it, released this awesome teaser contesting the belief that there are no serial killers in the Philippines. It was released through a QR code printed on a flyer passed around in the AsiaPOP Comicon.
I’m happy to report that I have started reading the July-August issue of Monocle. I finished reading the 2016 Quality of Life survey of the top 25 cities in the world, and Japan takes the top spot again. This year, the magazine added nightlife in its ever-increasing metrics, and Tokyo has this concept of STP or straight to airport. It’s pretty clear what it means.
The August issue of Rogue came in the mail yesterday. It has a bald and tattooed Yassi Pressman on the cover, with features on the greatest art forger of all time and the counter-culture magazine Ermita, interviews with four of the country’s most sought-after portraitists, and profiles on the colorful characters of the art world’s peripheries. I’ve always loved Rogue‘s Art Issues and this one looks promising.
I’m more than halfway through Smaller and Smaller Circles! I plan on reading it after I finish writing this entry.
There is a lot to be proud of this week: Palawan was featured on Marooned with Ed Stafford, AirAsia Philippines is opening its doors to transgender applicants across all positions, and Miss Philippines Trixia Maraña won the Miss Asia pageant. I also wrote an interesting bit about the Duterte administration finally having a tabloid and the possibility of Whang-od being declared a National Artist. And I’m excited for the second season of Scream Queens!
To Kylie Minogue’s performance of “Get Outta My Way” for her Kiss Me Once tour. Finally, a non-showtune song, right? The song is from her 2011 Aphrodite album, and was one included in the Aphrodite: Les Folies tour, which had a stopover in Manila. I watched it!
This week I watched Sigrid Andrea Bernardo’s Ang Huling Cha-Cha ni Anita, a coming-of-age film following Anita, a young girl who experiences a sexual awakening when Pilar comes home to their town in Bulacan. It has very serious themes but Bernardo delivers them in an innocent and humorous way, making Cha-Cha a refreshing watch. What I appreciated the most in the film is that Anita’s sexuality was never questioned in the conservative town. Teri Malvar as Anita is wonderful, and Angel Aquino as Anita’s love interest Pilar is beautiful. Aquino’s slender grace and quiet elegance is fascinating to watch.
Of my Hanoi trip. Yesterday, after having lunch at Wolfgang’s Steakhouse in Resorts World Manila, I impulsively bought a Macbook Air. I have been thinking about it for quite some time, but I didn’t have any concrete plans of getting one because I’m quite happy with my Asus laptop. But yes, I am madly typing away on this Air, and I love it. I’m just worried that I won’t have money for Hanoi because I don’t have a salary from my day job anymore and my trip will be before my paycheck from WIM, lol. Panicking.
TWG’s Sakura! Sakura! tea, which I bought yesterday before lunch. It’s a lush green tea with cherry blossoms, and is meant to evoke Kyoto’s celebrated season. I was friendly to the girl who assisted me and I think she gave me more than the 50g I asked for. I’m on my third cup today.
That time would go by quicker. It’s going to be my last week at my day job.
That I’ve made the right choices.
Chuvaness’s collaboration with National Book Store. My good friend Cecile launched a line of travel and stationery products earlier this week, and it was hard not to hoard. I walked away with a tote bag for overnights and weekend trips, a multi-pouch for my chargers, and tons of kawaii stickers.
I also loved the food at Wolfgang’s. Their USDA prime rib and USDA porterhouse steaks are delicious, and had a healthy pink glow inside. I got to see the restaurant’s aging room and was shocked at the number of meats they had in there. Easily more than a million pesos worth of steaks. I also loved the key lime pie. The calamansi taste was divine!
To lose weight. I am blessed in every other department.
To lose weight, lol.
Happy because of this week’s blessings. There are so many!
Dee Dee Wanted Her Daughter To Be Sick, Gypsy Wanted Her Mom To Be Murdered. A comprehensive read on the Dee Dee and Gypsy case, where Dee Dee put up an elaborate scheme saying Gypsy is terminally ill. It turned out Gypsy is completely healthy, so she and her boyfriend killed her mom. It’s a Serial case waiting to happen. Hello, Sarah Koenig?
So You Want My Job: Stay-at-Home Dad. This question: “Do male lions feel emasculated that they hang around all day while a lioness goes out and hunts? Doubt it.”
Why has Duterte visited 14 military camps in less than a month?. An in-depth and intriguing read.
The Harsh Reality of Being Broke. Flashbacks of me nervously standing at Beyond the Box as I purchased the Air.
You Should Be Afraid of the Cat That Just Attacked Seven Pit Bulls. The cat’s name is Baby.
I’m happy to report that I’ve made significant progress in Smaller and Smaller Circles. One of my managers in my day job accidentally spoiled it for me before, but the novel has enough red herrings to confuse me as I read. There are also enough clues for me to figure out who’s behind the murders, but I’m enjoying how the story unfolds. I’m excited for the adaptation to come.
I’ve also started reading the July-August issue of Monocle, and I’m picking up ideas for future articles. It’s just halfway through the month but I already got an email saying the September issue is already on its way. I really need to catch up before I drown myself in the issues.
This week is all about Pokemon Go. Victoria Court is giving away overnight stays if you catch a Pokemon in any of their branches, Smart and TNT are giving their subscribers free access to the app for a month, a giant Poke Ball was spotted in Manila, and a fan made a gameplay of Harry Potter Go. Sadly, the website that claims that it’s happening seems to be bogus. My favorite story for the week is the Rocko’s Modern Life movie being developed. I grew up watching the series and got a faint idea that some of the jokes were for adults.
Smaller and Smaller Circles, still, but I plan on finishing it this month. I also got a new book after I attended Smart’s iPad event in Prohibition on Friday. It’s called Sales Mind, a guide on sales by Helen Kensett. It’s going to prepare me for when I start handling business development in WheninManila.com.
I also started reading the July issue of Rogue with Joey Mead on the cover, and the accompanying story is beautiful. She opened up on her wife Angie’s transition and it was very elegant, unlike a clumsy article I read before. I still haven’t started on my copy of Monocle and The Escapist, but they’re August issues so I’m not delayed.