6/23/17

VIDEOFXFIRST

Taken at CDC Parade Grounds, Clark City (5/14/17)

Doon tayo magkita sa hangganan ng kahapon at bukas,

Sa sandaling mas maigting ang ligaya sa kalungkutan,

Sa saglit na oras kung saan maaring limutin ang kinabukasan.

 

Doon tayo magkita sa hangganan ng kahapon at bukas,

Kung saan ang araw ay marahang yumayakap sa gabi,

Kung saan maaninag ang tuwa mula sa iyong labi.

 

Doon tayo magkita sa hangganan ng kahapon at bukas,

Sa maliit na espasyong binuo lamang sa panaginip,

Sa panandaliang pag-asang makikita ka pang muli.

June

Note: I wrote this poem while listening to Kina Grannis’ California on loop. I didn’t know why, but I started crying as soon as I heard the first few words. This song made me write about the things I kept in the farthest places in my mind. I feel sad and vulnerable but like always, I know this will pass.

***

Summer kissed by regrets,

The wind catches my breath.

Daylight’s almost leaving,

Gentle waves kept crashing —

Trying to wash the pain.

 

Things I Probably Shouldn’t Say

You overheard someone calling you a bitch in the hallway today,
Maybe it’s because of the color painted on your lips.
It was dark, crimson red–the color of blood.
“Bitch,” she said.

Three AM, your phone was ringing,
“I want to die,” a friend whispered.
You painted your lips with a dark, crimson red–the color of blood.
Maybe they won’t notice how much it quivers.

“Bitch.”
You saw it in a stranger’s eyes while looking at you,
Maybe it’s because you closed your eyes in the whole jeepney ride–
Pretending not to hear any sound.

You saw the marks on her wrists yesterday,
Eyes filled with tears, you offered her a hug.
“Bitch.”
Closing your eyes, you acted like nothing’s wrong.

Someone asked you if your heart is functioning correctly,
If you have a capability to feel anything–
Maybe it’s because of your straight face, the one you always wear.
“Bitch.”

She offered you a smile today, claiming she’s fine,
“The last person who said that is now lying on the ground, out of breath,” you wanted to say.
Maybe it’s because you no longer possess your heart but why aren’t you feeling anything?
“Bitch.”

You saw yourself in the mirror today.
Maybe it’s because of all of the needless crying,
“Bitch”
Sometimes you wish you could be one.

Anatomy of Faces and Hues

 

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From our exhibit last February 28 about mental health awareness (Photo taken by me)

 

When people ask me if I am doing fine,

I close my eyes and pick a color farthest from the nightmares in my mind.

“I’m fine,” I say, as I watch myself paint another face.

Another masterpiece, another lie–today I’ve survived.

 

When people ask me if I am doing fine,

I examine the ugly scars in my body and imagine an unblemished canvas.

“I’m alright,” I whisper, choosing a red, blissful face.

Another masterpiece, another lie–today I’ve survived.

 

When people ask me if I am doing fine,

My mind immediately cries–while my hands automatically pick the brush.

“I will be okay,” I promise, as my demon wakes.

Another masterpiece, another lie–today I’ve survived.

 

Of Happiness, Warm Hearts, and a Whole Bunch of Infinities

When we were young, fairy tales taught us how there’s only one person we are destined to live with for the rest of our lives and I admit, I firmly believed this idea. My seven-year-old self probably found it magical and romantic like most of the kids during that age. Fortunately, David Levithan and Rachel Cohn saved me from this rather incredible lie that the universe made up. On their novel entitled, “Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List,”  the two authors perfectly countered this idea.

“It’s a total lie to say there’s only one person you’re going to be with for the rest of your life. If you’re lucky – and if you try really hard – there will always be more than one. ”

That line stuck with me ever since I read it and it’s probably because it’s true. As I grew older, I appreciated the comfort I often find with my friends rather than the idea of a romantic partner. In my opinion, it’s because friendships are one of the strongest ties there ever is. Also, it’s the truest form of fairy tales.

With that said, I would like to dedicate this post to the seven people who made every moment of this year spectacular.


First of all, to this guy who fights every single person who mistreats us, thank you for always watching our backs. I know that I often tell you not to make people hate you just for our sake but I know it’s no use. You’re the kind of person who fights hard for your loved ones and even though it’s not necessary for you to fight our own battle, I appreciate the gesture.

I know that this year was particularly hard for you and I know how you’re staying strong amidst all of your problems and I love you for doing so. Whenever I see you fooling around and trying your best to make us laugh even though you’re having a bad day, I kind of wish I can be as strong as you.

This Christmas, I hope that you will continue to smile sweetly, love with every beat of your heart and fight your battles bravely. And in case you need reinforcements, don’t forget to call us because we also got your back. Okay? I love you!

jann

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To one of the most sensible and kind person in our group, thank you for always encouraging us to do the right thing. I often think badly of myself because let’s face it, I’ve done a lot of stupid things in my life but because of you, I’m starting to learn how to think of the other person first before doing something impulsive. And as Lily Collins said in the film Stuck In Love, “You make me feel less cynical.” 

Thank you for being an excellent listener and an honest friend. More than anything, I wish you happiness and warmth this Christmas. I know that you’re a strong person even though you’re quiet most of the time so I’m sure that no matter what happen, you’re going to overcome it. Love you, Grace!

jemi

(P.S. I’m not sure if I’m the one who took this photo. Lol)

For the girl whose made of sugar and joy, thank you for making me smile and for always offering a helping hand. Last year, I wrote about how you should learn how to say no to people who’ll just hurt you and this year, you’ve done just that. I was honestly surprised with how you handled things with a certain someone that by the way, I would gladly trip if I ever see him walking alone. You bravely talked about the things you wanted and did not take any bullshit from him. I’m proud of you, girl.

I’m glad that you now see your heart as something people should not mess with. You deserve all the love that you can get and you should not hesitate to leave someone if they ever take you or your feelings for granted. Remember, you are (so, so much) worth it.

I wish you a Christmas filled with love and laughter. I love you!

trish

To the girl made of the strongest armor, thank you for always making me remember my worth and for talking me out of most of my ridiculous plans. There were lots of things that changed for you this year and I know that some part of you is still feeling guilty for what happened, I already said this to you before and I’m repeating it again: don’t. 

You did the right thing and it doesn’t matter how many people don’t understand it or how painful it is. In the end, what is right is what matters. You deserve to be happy too, Tricia. Don’t take that away from yourself.

This Christmas, I wish you peace and lots of happiness. Continue to face life while taking zero bullshits. Love you!!

belle

To the girl filled with beautiful words and lovely smiles, thank you for constantly worrying about us. I always find your concern so overwhelming and I often tell myself not to do or say stuff that will further worry you since I can feel how much you want us to feel better.

So for that, I am really grateful. You have a lot in your hands right now but believe me, everything’s going to be alright. You are more than capable of overcoming your problems so keep on staying strong, okay? We are always here for you, remember that.

I wish for more wonderful music for you (because you love it more than anything else) and all the laughter in the universe. I hope to see more of your smiles next year because you look the brightest whenever you do it. Love you, Belle!

teya

For the person who always looks at the lighter side of things, thank you for making everything easier not only for me but for all of us. You and Jann have been the constant stress reliever in the group and I can’t imagine us without the both of you.

Thank you for bearing with my annoying rambles and ridiculous stories. You might think it’s not much but it isn’t. You put color in our lives and while I am not much of a painter, you made us and the moments we spent together a masterpiece.

I wish that you continue to live boldly and bravely and that you finally (finally!!!) find someone who will love you as much as we do (and more). Love you, girl!

cang

(I also don’t know if I took this photo haha)

To the person who never fails to amaze me with her bravery, thank you. This year was also a tough year for you but I am so glad that you’ve overcome it. It might not look like it, but you are one of the most courageous people I’ve ever met and I am so lucky to be friends with you.

Continue to fight for what you believe in and you can expect to see us in the back, always supporting you. Do not hesitate to lean on us whenever there’s too much going on. We will offer you warm hugs and laughter as much as you want.

I wish you a beautiful Christmas with the people you love the most. I love you, Cang!


Thank you guys for everything. I know that the hours we spend together get shorter and lesser because of our thesis but I am still grateful for those moments no matter how long or short it is. You made my college life wonderful and I will surely miss you once we graduate and do our own things. Also, I hope that all of our dreams for our future will come true!

The future may be scary but it’s alright since I’ve got the best people by my side. I love you, guys! We make one heck of a beautiful fairy tale, I’m sure of it. Haha. ♥ ♥ ♥

 

From Headlines to Loglines: A behind the Scenes Story

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A film reel for your thoughts – Photographed by Jean Pagtalunan at Starbucks, Trinoma (12/10/16)

Brown skin tone that have captured dozens of sunrise and sunsets, tired but spirited eyes that have seen the depth of hundreds of stories, and a long, dark hair that has been growing with him since he started in the industry–these are the things that Direk Zig Dulay is made of.

Bearing 16 nominations and four prestigious awards, Indie film director Zig Madamba Dulay keeps his career rolling as he paves his way to the filmmaking scene. Currently working on his Cinemalaya 2017 entry entitled, “Baggage” Direk Zig continues to tease the audience with his inexplicable talent in weaving stories found in the society. But before anything else, let us take a replay on how this successful screenwriter and director started.

The Crossing (Paglipay)

Being a writer in nature, the name Zig Dulay, have been present in school publications since he started high school. Born in a secluded province such as Isabela, the young aspiring writer, Zig Dulay, was not familiar with the courses available for college and decided to choose the one course that he thought would suit him, Journalism.

“Iyon (journalism) pinaka familiar sa akin, na pinakamalapit doon sa passion ko…Kasi wala kang kaidea-idea e, na, kapag nanonood ako dati ng Star Cinema, gusto ko makapagsulat ng pelikula, kapag manonood ka ng MMK, gusto mo magsulat sa T.V. Wala ka pang idea kung ano dapat kukunin mo,” he stated.

With that in mind, Direk Zig entered the University of the Philippines in Baguio with the course, Communication Arts major in Journalism and minor in Broadcasting. Throughout his college life, he published different articles which almost always never fails to be seen in Sun Star, a popular community newspaper in Baguio.

In spite of the many lessons he garnered from studying Journalism, Direk Zig eventually realized what his heart truly wants and thus started Director Zig Dulay’s courageous crossing from Journalism to Creative Writing.

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Research, Look and Listen – Photographed by Jean Pagtalunan at Starbucks, Trinoma (12/10/16)

Giving Voice to the Missing

From the mountains of the Summer Capital to the speeding cars in the city, Direk Zig traveled miles to fulfill his passion for writing. Once he realized his interest in the said field, he enrolled in UP Diliman under Araling Pilipino major in Creative Writing and Film.

During his stay in the university, Direk Zig, fortunately, became a protégé of the veteran screenwriter, Armando “Bing” Lao which is famous for the so-called “Found Story,” a technique in scriptwriting, wherein real events and issues happening in the country are taken as an inspiration to build a story that will showcase the hard truths found in one’s surroundings.

Due to this, Direk Zig was able to apply his researching skills in the film industry. In fact, he admitted that even though his research was not used for creating news stories, he is still grateful that he studied Journalism for it helped him in finding interesting stories and characters for his scripts.

“Sobrang laki ng tulong, kasi sa journ tinuruan tayo kung pano kumuha ng datos, pano kumuha ng mga facts, kung pano mag-research…And then, nagagamit mo ‘yun sa pag-research mo ng masinsinan. ‘Dun sa pag create mo ng kwento…”

On the other hand, Direk Zig admitted that unlike the other screenwriters and filmmakers in the Philippines, he still haven’t found his own style yet. He humbly acknowledged that this takes time and that he is only just beginning his journey in the industry, and while he is mostly known for creating socially relevant films, he does not think of this as his definition in the industry.

When asked about the thing he most values in filmmaking, he answered that more than anything, a film should be honest and factual.

“…dapat truthful siya, dapat tama yung mga logic niya (characters) doon sa buhay, dapat naniniwala ka na ‘yun yung gagawin ng character, dapat naniniwala ka na ‘yun yung pupuntahan ng kwento. Yung “truth” sa pelikula yung binibigyan ko ng importansya…”

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Real Passion, Real Stories – Photographed by Jean Pagtalunan at Starbucks, Trinoma (12/10/16)

Furthermore, Direk Zig also gives importance to the message that the film wants to relay to its audience. According to him, this is what makes the film stronger and meaningful.

Striving for the “Ekstra” Mile

And indeed, the things the director values most in films are the reasons for his majestic success. After joining several prestigious film festivals like Cinemalaya, Metro Manila Film Festival, Sinag Maynila, and others, he was able to bag different awards such as, “Best Screenplay” for Ekstra which he co-wrote with Direk Jadaone and Direk Jeffrey Jeturian and “Best Short Film Award” in 2013 for his film, “Missing” in the highly respected Gawad Urian Awards. Direk Zig also became the country’s delegate in film festivals in other countries like in the 2015 Ajyal Youth Film Festival in Qatar, wherein his film “Bambanti” won the Best Film award.

Despite his ongoing success, the director stayed modest and true to his craft. In fact, when asked about the kind of story he wants to write in the future, he answered that he wants to write films about a person’s existence and the meaning of life. But, he honestly stated that he thinks he is not yet ready for those kind of stories for he is still young and inexperienced.

Moreover, having experience in both mainstream and independent cinema, Direk Zig hopes for the feud between the two mentioned types of films to end. He also mentioned that filmmakers should stop battling about what kind of cinema is the best but they all should work together in order to create quality films for their audience. In turn, he wishes for the audience to be also picky with the films that they intend to watch.

“Sana mas aware sila…siguro mas matalino yung pagpanuod ng mga tao. Ma-realize na ang film ay hindi lamang for entertainment but dapat nakakapag-ambag sa kanilang kamalayan bilang mga pilipino.”

Meanwhile, when asked about the thing still missing in his life, he answered, laughing:

“Lovelife nalang talaga ang kulang.”

 


Written by Jean Pagtalunan and Thea Panganiban

Tomato Cannon: Braving Uncharted Recipes

Walking around the various streets of Malolos in search of new restaurants to explore and share with your family and friends might be a little too exhausting and time-consuming especially because of the increasing number of restaurants and cafes surrounding the area. Plus, there is always a tendency to find restaurants covered in fancy décor but offers bland and soulless food or places with only half-hearted attempts in following food trends causing huge dismay to their customers.

Luckily, we found a place that suits most of the categories needed for a good restaurant. Using a name which brought confusion in our 4th-grade selves and maybe up until now (Is it a vegetable or a fruit?!)–Tomato Cannon is a cozy café situated across Centro Escolar University Malolos Campus and South Supermarket which caters to all the hungry and picky tummies out there.

Exploration #1: “I came, I saw, I conquered” – Preparing for the trip

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Wall of all things good. Taken by Jean Pagtalunan (10-23-16)

Tomato Cannon started as a fun project way back in the month of May between Vince Nuguid (owner), his family and friends. But after only two months in their soft opening, they received different types of positive feedbacks from the people and from then on, Vince decided to make plans for the café’s future expansion.

In spite of the relatively small space, they were able to maximize it using six medium-sized tables which can accommodate roughly 36 people. Once inside, you will be welcomed by cheerful waiters; immediately eliciting a smile out of your tired and hungry soul. If it is not enough to lighten up your mood, there are several feel good quotes scattered around the café. As a whole, the place succeeded in giving off a relaxing mood with the help of warm, yellow-orange lights paired with the tasteful music turned in just the right volume.

Exploration #2: “No stop signs, no speed limit. Nobody’s gonna slow me down” – Reaching Highway to Heaven

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Thirst Quenchers. Taken by Thea Panganiban (10-23-16)

As its name promised, Tomato Cannon’s menu consists of different dishes using tomato as a staple ingredient. They offer basic tomato dishes from pasta to pizza and even bravely mixing tomato with other fruits for their signature drinks.

Aside from the unusual dishes that will give you more than enough reason to visit the café like Longganisa Mac and Cheese, Salted Egg Walnut pasta, Cheesy Volcano Ribs, Spicy Strawberry shake and the famous Ultimate Cannon Pizza, Tomato Cannon’s gem also lies within the reasonable prices of their food.

After deciding amongst ourselves, we ended up trying the store’s bestsellers in order to determine if they are really as good as what we heard. (Spoiler Alert: All of it is good!)

We ordered the Garlic Tomato Basil pasta (85php), Creamy Three Cheese pasta (125php) and paired it with the intriguing Tomato Lemonade (59php) and Brazilian Milkshake (59php). Finally, we ordered their Cheesy Bacon pizza (295php) which is said to be handmade and prepared using fresh ingredients.

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Delish. Taken by Thea Panganiban (10-23-16)

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Taken by Thea Panganiban (10-23-16)

First off, the Garlic Tomato Basil pasta. I normally don’t like tomato pasta since I prefer my pasta to be sweet and salty rather than sour but surprisingly, I love this dish. Unlike the typical tomato pasta that I’ve eaten before, this pasta’s flavors are well-balanced and the cook somehow perfected the art of picking tomatoes since it is not too sour nor too sweet which is the best and preferably the only way to eat it. On the other hand, the Creamy Three Cheese pasta is all the things that one can ask for in a pasta dish. It’s both cheesy and creamy at the same time and even though it has too many flavors and might appear to be a little too salty to some, we both extremely enjoyed it.

Second in the list are Tomato Lemonade and Brazilian Milkshake. We both admire the defiant combination of tomato and lemon in order to create a perfect shake to beat the constant heat in the Philippines. The surprising thing about this lemonade is that it tastes like bittersweet green mangoes which is totally unexpected but nevertheless, good. Meanwhile, the Brazilian Milkshake which is obviously a mix of milk and lemonade has a kind of addicting taste to it. My partner swore that when we eat at Tomato Cannon again, it will definitely be in her order.

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Round Shaped Heaven. Taken by Jean Pagtalunan (10-23-16)

Finally, we savored the delicious thin-crust pizza with cheese and bacon toppings. I did not especially find anything new to it since I’ve never been a real fan of the said combination however, I must say that I adore their pizza crust. It’s not as thin as what the popular pizza parlors in our country offers which is good since super thin crust pizzas are kind of a little too much in my opinion. We were also in awe of the minimal amount of oil there is in the pizza which somehow makes it less sinful.

All in all, we tremendously enjoyed the food that we ordered and we’re both happy that we don’t need to travel far in order to eat quality pizza and pasta.

Exploration #3: “Not all those who wander are lost” – Marking the Territory

In our opinion, the only problematic thing about Tomato Cannon is its lack of parking space. Since it is located along the highway, there is a very little option in parking one’s car. Although according to Vince Nuguid, owner of the café, there is a huge possibility that they will transfer the store someplace else but since that will be a long process, we just have to bear with it for now.

With that said, we highly recommend Tomato Cannon to people who are tired of the same old dishes found in fast food chains or fancy restaurants. It is for the people whose philosophy when it comes to food is, every bite should be an experience. And what a great experience this has been! From the homey interior, the friendly staff, and owner, to the mouth-watering foods they serve–Tomato Cannon have aced them all.

So, what are you waiting for? Drop by at the café and mark your own territories as you spoon your way to every single piece of good food they offer!

Ratings: 8.5 stars