big deal

*Integrated pool: Black, white, Christian, Muslim, straight, LGBTQIA, Marvel, DC, Katy, Gaga, Cavs, Warriors, Baron, Kiko, etc…

Hairspray
Cast: John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron
Director: Adam Shankman

I walked in the theater without any idea what Hairspray was about.

I just know it’s jampacked with Hollywood A-listers.

Years after, it stands as my favorite musical movie of all time.

Years after, I also didn’t expect how much it would resonate to everything that’s going on presently.

A lot may have changed, but I think we’re as divisive and divided as we are before.

In the age of advancements and improvements in the context of diversity and inclusion, new challenges seem to take form.

One remarkable track from this film/musical is Without Love. I refuse to believe that we are not capable of giving love and taking love and living life. It honestly can’t get any simpler than that.

In the words of yet another track, We’ve Come So Far (But We’ve Got So Far To Go). Here’s to waking up to warmer mornings and sincere smiles and colorful days and peaceful nights because we stopped rejecting and hating and started accepting and loving.

Then a movie like this will only be a colorful reminder of a very distant memory.

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part deux

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Not everyone is slated for sequels. And you know it, not all sequels are awesome.

I quote myself tonight, while reminding myself at the same time that second chances are tricky.

Tricky when you ask for it. Tricky when you’re being asked for it. Tricky when it’s being handed to you.

In yet another paradox brought to us by Life, we are always expected to do things right. Nail them the first time. Yet, we are told that to err is human. We are consoled by the fact that if we miss, we sin, we do wrong, we apologize and learn and do it right the next time.

The next fucking time. Bawi bawi din pag may time, so goes every jeje line yes?

This crazy game of life and chances can’t always be won, but in the end, I guess what’s important is that we do what we do without any regrets.

Kung ibibigay mo, hihingin mo, ipagkakait mo, o kukunin mo ang bawat pagkakataon, sana ibibigay, hihingin, ipagkakait, o kukunin mo nang walang pagsisi, o duda, o alinlangan. At may paninindigan.

lights, please

Try to leave the light on.

Only recently, I talked about bowing down.

The past week has been crazy awful. And painful. And sorrowful. And wrong on so many levels.

This time, out of misery and despair, we crave for light.

We look up.

We wish we can drown ourselves in rays of hope we all desperately need. And lack.

In this pitch black darkness, we’re eager to see just a tiny glimmer, and when we do, our hearts melt and we feel happy.

After the events of tragedy and death across the globe this past week, some of us might find it hard to smile again for a while.

Maybe if we try, just a little, we can be that tiny ray of hope to someone. Maybe we can share what little love we have and make our lives worth living again.

While we all try to adjust our eyes to the darkness, and try our hardest to make the black at least a tiny bit grey, we look up.

We look up and pray for light.

Sleep tight, aching world.

What is one thing that happened in your life that, without it happening, you would never be where you are today?

Some things, no matter how unexpected and disappointing on the onset, set the course in motion. You don’t see it that way at first, but you eventually look back and think, “I would have been stuck if that didn’t happen.”

As for me, it happened when I got fired from the job I really liked. I was learning a lot, earning OK, taking control, loving the people around me, having a ball, pretty much having the time of my life. Then it happened.

I won’t go into specifics. I mean, come on. It’s not really cool to recall how it happened. But it sure made things happen. It opened me to opportunities I never thought existed. It pushed me to take more responsibility and caution. Later on, it became a shiny piece on my résumé, too.

I’ll be bragging a bit here, but with the quality of work I try to do every single day, I’d say kung hindi yun nangyari, I will not have experienced how to be fired. I say that because I’m terrible at my tendency to become complacent. I need some sort of shock every now and then. The disappointment and humiliation gave me the courage and maturity to move along and get to where I’m at now.

Ask me anything What, Where, When, Why, Who, and I’ll pick one to answer on Wednesdays!  Check out ask.fm/chokology and ask away!

chubby baker

That could be me, that could be me,
and that could be a lot of fun!

This is not technically a single “track” for #TuesdayTracks, but thanks to the magnificently talented James Corden, he excellently weaved several memorable Broadway hits into an unforgettable opening number.

You don’t need to have theatre education to enjoy this clip.

scream queen

Norma Bates. Lorraine Warren. You can do no wrong, woman.

The Conjuring 2
Cast: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Frances O’Connor
Director: James Wan

I miss you, Vera Farmiga.

And I’m really sorry I missed out on this season of Bates Motel.

I’m sure it was another excellent season. And I have no doubt you were spectacular, yet again.

I watched The Conjuring 2 last week and I’m amazed and I can’t help but declare my love. You executed it in a way that adds some depth in a character, which may be a challenge for a real, existing being (vs a fictional one). Simply put, you owned it.

Also, your screen presence is a refreshing alternative to seeing that demonic nun creature whose name I refuse to say in fear I might conjure it.

I love you, Vera Farmiga.

luh niña

If we start now, we will achieve La Niña.

— Bellatrix Tan, Miss Zamboanga
Miss Philippines Earth 2016 pageant

I think it goes without saying that this quote from the now infamous beauty queen from Zamboanga owned the day.

I doubt (and also hope I’m right in thinking) that she doesn’t know what La Niña. I think she got too overconfident. Her thought process was expected but the execution, well, we know what happened there.

This one’s yet another example of why we shouldn’t rush things. Think things over. It doesn’t really hurt to take time. And be very careful at that.

Caution is equally important. I mean, Pilipinas nga 400 na taon halos nasakop ng mga Kastila. Hindi naman sila nagmadali pero pagkalaya nila, nasakop din naman ng Amerikano.

Ayun makahugot lang na may Independence Day relevance. Sayang eh.

Just go with it, please?

shots fire

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Noob! Ugh!

I can only wish I have an eye for cinematography.

A few times, when I look at something, a part of it strikes me like it can be framed as a movie still. I am obsessed with drone shots, be it a wide-shot view of green fields, blue seas, or grey cities.

As a kid, I remember holding the door knob on both sides, like it’s a camera I’m operating, as I swivel the door sideways, closing one eye as if trying to peek through a camera hole. Later  on, I dreamed of operating a camera crane, until I developed a fear of heights.

I’m amazed at how a simple scene can be directed different ways, depending on the lighting, the camera angles, the additional smoke and effects as needed. Up until now, I can only wish.

When I don’t wish I can write for TV, I wish I can be a simple cameraman, or an award-winning cinematographer.

Maybe, eventually, I will be. I don’t know.

Tonight, I continue dreaming. By that, I mean sleep.

bow. wow.

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When was the last time you bowed down?

We look up when we dream.

We look straight ahead when we move forward, trying to get to that dream.

We look back when we want to see how far we’ve gone. Or, sometimes painfully and regretfully, when we think of things we should or shouldn’t have done in the past.

But when was the last time we looked down?

In our everyday struggle for ambition, or to live day by day, or forget the past, when was the last time we humbled ourselves and bowed down?

Bowing down is as important as looking a hundred different directions.

We bow down to check if our feet are still on the ground, or to ground them if ego and pride seem to float them wrongfully.

We bow down when we’re tired. We bow down because there’s nothing wrong with accepting defeat or exhaustion. And we bow further down the more tired we grew. Because it was a good fight. And it’s worth every inch of effort and strength.

We bow down when we pray. Or fervently hope that something comes our way.

When we bow down, the best thing to do is stop, else we’ll get bump and hit. In this crazy world, a moment to stop doesn’t really hurt.

When was the last time the asphalt somehow cleared your mind? Or the green grass relieved your stress? Or a tiny puddle of water on the street showed your reflection?