This category contains 3 posts

Learning from Hanyu and Martinez

Skating will always remain a dream for me because I never learned to skate even if my Cebuana friend, Daisy had many times convinced me to do so. Those graceful movements and those daring acts like the popular basic jumps—(Waltz Jump, Salchow, Toe Loop, Loop, Flip, Lutz, and Axel) while doing a particular programme on ice would make me glued on our TV set when I was young.

Japan's Hanyu is the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic champion, Philippines' Martinez placed 19th and the first skater from Southeast Asia to qualify for the said prestigious skating competition.

Japan’s Hanyu is the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic champion, Philippines’ Martinez placed 19th and the first skater from Southeast Asia to qualify for the said prestigious skating competition.

When I slid and fell in the middle of a highway in Suihua, China, and there was a car careering towards me and my co-teacher, a Chinese local—I have realized, maybe, if I knew how to skate, I wouldn’t have to slip just that.

Another thing that I can relate easily to figure skating is the 1992 film titled ‘The Cutting Edge’ with D.B. Sweeney and Moira Kelly as the lead stars and skater-sweethearts.

There was one line I still can vividly remember and let me share this here:

Doug (Sweeney): What difference does it make?
Kate (Kelly): The difference is… I’m in the mood to kick a little ass.

But so much with that…

The Philippines have been cheering the first-ever Filipino who made it to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, and that is no other than—the 17-year-old Michael Christian Martinez. He placed fifth in the 2013 World Junior Championships and won two senior international medals. Also, he is the first skater from Southeast Asia to qualify for the Olympics.

Who wouldn’t be proud of him?

Despite the non-support of government, he managed to make a name and put our country alongside the giants in figure skating. Watching him performed last night was breathtaking. Though he may not have brought any medal; the pride he got from competing with other skaters from other parts of the globe is more than enough to celebrate.

Give it another four years, and he is well-equipped to compete and be fierce enough to unleash what he can do on ice.

Another male figure skater that took my breath away was 19-year-old Japanese star Yuzuru Hanyu has become the youngest skater for 66 years to take gold in the men’s figure skating. His moves were spectacular. So fluid that you could almost feel and see that he’s simply floating and breezing through the competition in the short programme on Thursday, February 13 and was the first skater to surpass the 100-point mark.

He may have failed after he made the rotation for the quad in the opening seconds. He slipped on his landing and badly lost his footing. His other fall was during his triple flip, he crouched on the ice, his head bowed.

However, the judges awarded him 178.64 points and also had a combined score of 280.09, which was enough to earn him the gold medal.

To Martinez and to Hanyu, they both rock! There are two things I have learned and that people can learn from both skaters—THEY BOTH KNOW NOT TO GIVE UP their dreams and THEY BOTH KNOW HOW TO GIVE THEIR BEST SHOTS amid all the pressures.

‘Frozen’ with Fear

(A Review on Walt Disney Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures’ 2013 American computer-animated musical fantasy film)
In every story, the most common subject and successful element in pushing the characters forward is LOVE; and that is what Elsa, the cursed queen that has the voice of Idina Menzel was frozen all her years of growing up—enveloped with fear.

Queen Elsa couldn’t control her powers and turned the Kingdom of Arendelle into a winter ghost town as opposed to a wonderland. This happened when Elsa couldn’t manage her elemental abilities to create and control ice, frost and snow altogether when all the dignitaries in the world have come to witness the summer crowing of the Elsa as the new queen. The rift between the two sisters Elsa and Anna (Kristen Bell’s voice) ensued when the Queen didn’t allow the marriage of her younger sibling to Hans (Santino Fontana). Because of the Queen’s fury—she shocked everyone in her kingdom by turning it into a cursed winter place.

The film is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Snow Queen’, but writers Jennifer Lee (screenplay), Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, and Shane Morris (story) have successfully made the story closer and identifiable to its modern-day audience. It has effectively referenced several landmarks in Norway like the Akershus Fortress in Oslo, the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim and Bryggen in Bergen. Other typical cultural Norwegian things were also included in the film, such as a Stave church, a Troll, Viking ships, reindeer and the equipment used to control these, clothing, and lutefisk.

The directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee did a marvelous tandem in this particular inspiring tale of two sisters and a story of true love.

Like in scriptures, it mentioned that the opposite of love is fear. Thus, Elsa is living in fear; as she has chosen to shut out her younger sister and became distant in the process. Though the film underwent several story treatments for several years prior to seeing the light to be filmed in 2011, the screenplay written by Jennifer Lee, and with both Chris Buck and Lee serving as directors—came out to be the best Disney animated musical since the studio’s renaissance era as the critics have given their approval, too.

One of the many reasons why this film worked after it went into several revisions in the past years—is the casting of Menzel, a Broadway veteran and Bell as together they proved their singing powers to be totally endearing and engaging. Two of the most popular songs in the movie are—‘For the First Time in Forever’ (a duet of Menzel and Bell) and ‘Let it Go’ (a solo by Menzel). The addition of Jonathan Groff as Kristoff, Alan Tudyk as the Duke of Weselton, Santino Fontana as Prince Hans, and Josh Gad as Olaf have provided more impact and appeal to the latest version of Andersen’s problematic story on ‘The Snow Queen’.

Given that it earned $134,253,666 at the North American box office and $55,900,000 overseas for a worldwide total of $190,153,666 when it ran during the Thanksgiving weekend; it was also second place to ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ and beaten ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ at the box-office records; there is no wonder that it would have a stage musical production in the near future. And perhaps, this can be re-titled as the ‘The Snow Queen and the Sunny Princess’?

Related Article

Ulysses King’s Barocco Moderno at Philippine Fashion Week Holiday 2013

PASAY CITY, Philippines – Come Sunday, May 26 at the Function Rooms two and three of SMX Convention Center, Ulysses King brings his seventh menswear collection named as Barocco Moderno is formal in nature and fit for autumn and winter. His collection along with other featured fashion designers like Anthony Nocom, Arnold Galang, Zxander Tan–to name a few are the showcase of that day.

The Baroque architecture is its inspiration. It has a blend of modern feel. The dynamic rhythm of columns and pilasters, central massing, and the protrusion and condensed central details add style to the actual construction of the garments. There is an incipient playfulness with the rules of classic design, but it still maintains the minimalist aesthetics.

The classic architecture is translated into garment designs for formal and party chic, tailored dress shirt, coat and trousers for men with slight deconstruction on some hemlines.

King picked dobby type of weaving on textiles based on baroque inspired elements. There are some button-down shirt with extended cutting on shoulder-like caftan and clean or pipe-lined plackets; and also ‘texture on texture’ combination on most white shirts.

Models are Charles Christian Siy and Ethan Smith. Photographs by MJ Suayan.

Models are Charles Christian Siy and Ethan Smith. Photographs by MJ Suayan.

The designs were still tapered fit on pants matched with relaxed tops in black or white. Classic tuxedos with unusual three buttons were playfully modified by blending textured materials on plain wool, which definitely made stupendous ensemble. And a sporty-look on one pants with ribbed hem was also noticed as an aftermath of his previous athletics-inspired collection.

Models are Jeffrey Flores and Jason Curañes. Photographs by MJ Suayan.

Models are Jeffrey Flores and Jason Curañes. Photographs by MJ Suayan.

Furthermore, luxurious fabrics used to make the tailored pieces into life. Its fine texture of Egyptian cotton and wool blend were stunning and meticulously transformed into garment patterns. Some piece of the collection comes out in white and or black while others in base of black or white with textured shades of gray in a silently manifesting baroque silhouette.

When asked how does it feel to return on Philippine Fashion Week stage, he was quick to say, “I still feel excited, but now–it’s more managed and confident.”

The collections’ overall highlight is to exemplify and overcome the challenge of bridging the old classic baroque era of artistic style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting and architecture into a modern minimalist aesthetics.