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Easter Sunday marks a New Day, a New Hope


A friend of mine asked, “How are you?”

I replied, “I am just doing okay. Working. Surviving and not losing hope…”

Over the years since I have seen the effects of writing success stories, I have never let go of such form. It is my belief that through the words I create, I weave, it will move people to act and push for change.

Positive benefits?

There are a lot. If you have watched the film, ‘Pay it Forward’, perhaps you would agree that there is hope for people to create change.

I have supported a lot of causes and I also have left some when I see it that it’s heading to its downfall or it didn’t stay faithful to its vision. Sometimes, positivity gets corrupted, but only when one or we allow it to happen.

To be positive is not that easy when one is going through hardships and all. In fact, it is easier for the person to say, “It’s easy for you to say; you are not in my situation.”

However, it is easy to say such words when one opts to distance from any drama a person would have. At times, when I have my own ‘controlled drama’–I just disappear, I just distance myself from people and lick my own wounds instead. They also have their ‘controlled dramas’ to deal with.

Just like the saying goes, “Happiness is a choice.”

Now, on an Easter Sunday, what do you choose? Do you choose to celebrate because it marks a day of new hope, and a new beginning?

Here is a video that might inspire one to soar high.

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Give Me a Break on Another ‘Mistress’ Movie


I know it’s the trend now. I don’t have anything against flicks depicting the other side of the ‘other woman’. I understood their struggles even if I was hurt in the past because of ‘another woman’.

My dad broke off with my mom because of another woman; my mom’s good friend, I must say. Now that’s a ‘Maalala Mo Kaya’ material.

I am mature enough to understand the lives of mistresses. I don’t condemn nor condone any mistress, but as much as possible I would try my best to understand where they’re all coming from. This is why I am writing about this.

In 2011, Anne Curtis wowed her audience both male and female species, or maybe even the third genders, for her powerful portrayal of a mistress in ‘No Other Woman’. Including me, I was also one of those who said–she did well in that flick where she pitted acting skills with Cristine Reyes. And another movie followed, which catapulted Anne and another young actress Andi Eigenmann as one of today’s sexiest dramatic stars [perhaps] through ‘A Secret Affair’. In the two films, Derek Ramsay was the leading man.

Both tackled the issue of ‘being a mistress’. Now, there’s another one titled ‘The Bride and the Lover’. What’s funny is that, Carmi Martin is in these films–she was with Curtis in ‘No Other Woman’ and now with Lovi Poe, Paulo Avelino, and Jennylyn Mercado. I must say, Martin was the only one who exuded class and sophistication.

When will we ever get a new kind of theme? They just changed the title, but the flow of the movie is still the same. Give me a break on this another ‘Mistress’ movie. Can screenwriters do any better? I must say the one film I enjoyed most was 1994 film titled ‘Intersection’, and directed by Mark Rydell and starred Richard Gere, Sharon Stone, and Lolita Davidovich. It was a remake of the French film ‘Les choses de la vie’ (1970) by Claude Sautet. Set in Vancouver, British Columbia and centered around an architect played by Gere, who had his classic Mercedes 280SL roadster hurtled into a collision at an intersection. Then he flashes through key moments in his life, including his marriage to a beautiful heiress (Stone) and his affair with a another woman (Davidovich).

These are the types of interplay of characters I am looking for.

Basing on the locally-made flicks, they celebrate mistress’s journey as the ‘victim’ and somehow it placed them on pedestals. Oh yes, there were redeeming factors, but not as compared to the one with ‘Intersection’.

A local film directed by Maryo J. Delos Reyes, that was also produced by Star Cinema back in August 2007 titled ‘A Love Story’ was no. 1 in 3 weeks beating the Hollywood movie ‘Bourne Ultimatum’ starring Matt Damon. It was also listed as one of the top 20 List of highest-grossing films in the Philippines back then, with a story on a successful but emotionally scarred businessman Ian Montes (Aga Muhlach), who is torn between two women–a physician named Joanna (Maricel Soriano), and a flight attendant Karyn (Angelica Panganiban) a flight attendant. It had a fresher [at least for me, in Philippine setting] take. It didn’t directly celebrate ‘being a mistress’ but it highlighted the agonizing struggles of being one; and made its audience identify with her.

I don’t wonder why it earned awards and recognitions like:

  • At the 38th Box-Office Entertainment Awards (Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation), it hailed Muhlach as Film Actor of the Year and Soriano as Film Actress of the Year, respectively.
  • At the 24th PMPC Star Awards for Movies, Vanessa Valdez won for her piece as a Movie Original Screenplay of the Year.
  • And at the Film Academy of the Philippines Luna Awards, it went home with the Best Picture, Best Director for Marjo J. Delos Reyes, Best Supporting Actress for Angelica Panganiban, and Best Supporting Actor for Dante Rivero.

In, ‘The Bride and the Lover’, I was laughing out loud [not because I found it funny] when I heard Poe saying something, she’ll strangle someone with her ‘Hermes scarf’. It was too ‘forcing-through’. It was both revolting and insuting to my ‘sense and sensibility’. It didn’t sound classy, but cheap. She was just a bit glamorous compared to the boxer’s mom. The lines like ‘Kung feeling nyo nasa putik kayong dalawa, bakit di kayo magbanlaw?’ It sounded all the more frustrating.

The scenes and the lines were indirectly a ripped-off from the two previous local flicks that featured Curtis. The insertion of ‘Google’ didn’t make the film relevant, but rather tacky. I don’t know why it sounded that way. Maybe because of the way how Mercado delivered it? And the word ‘Boricat’, it reminded me of our dog, a poodle with the same name.

It is my hope that the filmmakers would consider a material prior to filming it. I know the bankability of the stars is one of the factors to be considered, but no-recycling of a material that has a worn-out theme. Filipinos deserve better movies.

Here’s Another Summer Workshop


Helen Keller once said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

Life on earth is all about making it; fulfilling one’s dreams. If you are someone who envision yourself to performing in front of a huge audience and not just in front of a mirror or to your loved ones in family gatherings–this is an-opportunity-of-a-lifetime to make a huge step in pursuing that dream via 9 Works Theatrical’s Stage Camp.

Some of the summer campers belting it out in a song 'Seasons of Love'. Photograph courtesy of 9Works Theatrical.

Some of the summer campers belting it out in a song ‘Seasons of Love’. Photograph courtesy of 9Works Theatrical.

Beginning on April 8 to May 26, 9 Works Theatrical, the hitmakers of ‘RENT’, ‘Songs For a New World’, ‘The Wedding Singer’, ‘Sweet Charity’, ‘You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown’, and the recently successful show ‘They’re Playing Our Song’ (which starred Nikki Gil and Lorenz Martinez); will have its fourth year of conducting singing, dancing and acting classes for kids, preteens, teens, and adults.

Through Stage Camp, many have realized their own dreams of performing and have gone on to do professional shows within the local theater circuit. Sisters Rachel and Becca Coates who are graduates of Teen Camp have gone on to do Resorts World Manila’s ‘The Sound of Music’. Joseph Perez, a graduate of Kiddie & Pre-Teen Camp, appeared in Tanghalang Pilipino’s celebrated productions of ‘Noli Me Tangere’ and ‘Walang Sugat’. Meanwhile, Sarah Facuri who is proud alumna of Adult Camp has gone on to appear in shows like Resorts World Manila’s ‘The Sound of Music’ and ‘The King and I’. These are just a few names that the workshop proved as an effective venue to reaching a ‘dream role’ in life.

Stage Camp Official Poster courtesy of 9Works Theatrical.

Stage Camp Official Poster courtesy of 9Works Theatrical.

Campers will go through improv activities, acting exercises, and rehearsals for a culminating showcase at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium at the end of the six-week workshop period. Workshops are at The Loft @ Manansala Tower, Rockwell Center, Makati.

Kiddie & Pre-Teen Camp (ages 5–11) will be held from Mondays to Fridays at 1pm – 3pm and spearheaded by Onyl Torres (Repertory Philippines’ A Christmas Carol and PETA’s Himala) and Peachy Atilano (9 Works Theatrical’s The Wedding Singer and They’re Playing Our Song).

Teen Camp (ages 12–17) is also on Mondays to Fridays from 4–6pm and Gemini Quintos (Broadway credits include A Christmas Carol, Annie and The Wizard of Oz) and Bym Buhain (9 Works Theatrical’s The Wedding Singer, Repertory Philippines’ Peter Pan, and Blue Repertory’s Spring Awakening) will take on the facilitation.

While the Adult Camp (18 and above) is on Mondays to Fridays as well, 7–9pm and 9 Works Theatrical’s Artistic Director and theater veteran Robbie Guevara (Asian and UK tour of Miss Saigon, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown; RENT, Sweet Charity, The Wedding Singer, and They’re Playing Our Song) and Carlos Canlas (Repertory Philippines’ Man of La Mancha and Atlantis Productions’ In the Heights) will be the mentors for the said group.

For inquiries, contact (632) 5867105 or +639175545560 or email info@9workstheatrical.com. You may also visit 9workstheatrical.com or its facebook page.