Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Metro Manila Film Fest Winners

Here are the winners/awardees of the on-going Metro Manila Film Festival ( MMFF ):

Best Picture – “Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story;”
2nd Best Picture – “Enteng Ng Ina Mo;”
3rd Best Picture – “Shake Rattle & Roll 13;”
Best Actress – Maricel Soriano (“Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow”);
Best Actor – Dingdong Dantes (“Segunda Mano”);
Best Director – Gary de La Cruz  (“Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story”);
Gatpuno Villegas Cultural Award – “Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story;”
Best Screenplay – Roy Iglesias and Ray Ventura (“Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story”);
Best Story – Chris Martinez and Marlon Rivera (“Rain, Rain, Go Away,” Shake, Rattle, and Roll 13);
Best Supporting Actress – Eugene Domingo (“My Househusband”);
Best Supporting Actor – John Regala (“Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story”);
Best Child Performer – Bugoy CariƱo (“Shake Rattle and Roll 13”);
Gender Sensitivity Award – “My Househusband;”
Best Cinematography – Carlo Mendoza (“Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story”);
Best Original Theme Song – “La Paloma” by Ely Buendia (“Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story”); Best Musical Score – Jerry Lazaten (“Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story”);
Best Sound Recording – Mike Idioma (“Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story”);
Best Editing – Jason Canapay and Ryan Orduna (“Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story”);
Best Production Design – Fritz Siloria, Mona Soriano, and Ronaldo Cadapan (“Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story”);
Best Visual Effects – “Ang Panday 2” (Riot Inc.);
Best Make-Up – Florencia Penero, Niccolo Medina, Jayvee Flores (Enteng Ng Ina Mo);
Best Float – “Ang Panday 2”;

New Wave Section

Best Full-Length Film – “Pintakasi”; Best Actress – Iza Calzado (“HIV”);
Best Actor – JM de Guzman (“Pintakasi”);
Gender Sensitivity Award (Full-Length Category) – “HIV” by Neil Tan;
Gender Sensitivity Award (Student Category) – “Speechless” (Miriam College);
Best Student Film – “Payaso” (De La Salle Lipa) and “Mate” (Colegio de San Juan de Letran);
Special Jury Prize – “Biyahe Ni Barbie” by Kookai Labayen (Dela Salle College of St. Benilde);

Special Awards

Lifetime Achievement Award – Eddie Garcia; Posthumous Award – Lito Calzado;
SMDC Most Glamorous Stars – Iza Calzado and Ryan Agoncillo;
Male Face of the Night – Richard Gomez;
Female Face of the Night – Iza Calzado;
Male Celebrity Sexiest Appeal of the Night – Jeorge Estregan, Jr.;
Female Celebrity Sexiest Appeal of the Night – Judy Ann Santos;
Male Kutis Ganda Award – Ryan Agoncillo;
Female Kutis Ganda Award – Ai-Ai de las Alas

Congratulations to all the winners. I hope there will really be a revival on the Filipino Film Industry and that that industry players will come up with more relevant stories and world-class productions. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


As the year 2011 is about to close, it is time to take stock of what has transpired during the entire year. I wouldn't say it is the best year for me. Neither could I say it is the best year for the Philippines and the world.

Personally, the year was a so-so. Okay lang ... and shrugged.  I had many plans but only a few materialized.
On the national level, well, the economy stumbled as per information from projections that economic growth this year would be less than half of last year. P-Noy can always blame others except himself! There were also the historic calamities, i.e. floods that almost inundated Bulacan and Pampanga and killed thousands in Cagayan De oro and Iligan cities, typhoons that destroyed crops in many provinces.

Worldwide, there is the economic fall-out from the debt load of some European countries that stunted economic growth. But the Arab Spring provided a glimmer of hope that people around the world can now decide their futture in a democratic way.

And yet I must concede that not everything was gloomy this year. There is room for gratitude! And allow me to count my blessings ...

1. I am grateful because of my health and economic well-being. I have the nerve to say this even though I piled up tons of debt.
2. My online income has tripled though it is still way below expectation.
3. I still have my loving mother and siblings who are all in good health.
4. I was able to read more books and went on to finish a month's course on film-making.
5. I had more time to enjoy drinking and singing in karaoke bars and at home.
6. I bought some new clothes courtesy of credit card reward points.
7. I met new friends at the Theosophical Society and in other places.
8. I think I have grown wiser. Ha ha ha. This is one is harder to prove.

Of course the list is not complete without mentioning that I learned more from the many failures I had this year. So I say thank you dear life. Thank you universe. Thank you spiritual masters. Thank you all who are always there to help and guide and accompany me in my journey. Thank you fellow bloggers for the visits. I look forward with great hope that next year would be better!

 Image above is from


Monday, December 12, 2011

Chief Justice Corona Is Impeached by The House of Representatives

Today, the lower house of congress has secured a majority to sign an impeachment complaint against Justice Renato Corona. I think this is a sad day for Philippine society.

Here are my reasons why I call it sad:
1. This is the ultimate case of disunity among Filipinos. Imagine two co-equal branches of the government fighting each other?
2. Speaker Belmonte admitted that the impeachment of Corona was ordered by Malacanang. Oh my God, so the house of representative is not a co-equal branch, it is just really a rubber stamp of the present President. Dear Congressmen, are you so afraid of the president that whatever he wants, you follow willingly?
3. Most of those who signed were former supporters of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and are now members of Liberal Party, the party of the president. Talk of political butterflies or in local parlance, mga balimbing!
4. From hereon politics will take center stage. We will again  witness a political telenovela which has nothing to do with improving the lives of the Filipinos but would only cause more division.
5. All three branches of the government will now be focusing on the impeachment and no longer on governance.

I cry for my beloved country, for the poor Juan De La Cruz, and I long for a change in Government!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Philippine Society : Same Yesterday, Same Today

Last Sunday, I was reading an article regarding the respected writer F. Sionil Jose. In the article, he asked why the Occupy Wall Street Movement is not happening here in the Philippines when it should because of the deteriorating social conditions.

The Occupy Wall Street Movement started from you-know-what country and it spread to many other nations. It is a protest movement against Big Business which are the prime cause of the world wide economic difficulties being experience by the poor and the oppressed. 
Next day my blogger friend Reese at
posted an activity at Mendiola which is very similar to that mentioned above. Hmmm at last some Filipinos realized the need to import something from the land of flowing poisons and origin of weapons of mass destruction. And they want to do it at historic Mendiola where once upon a time innocent farmers were butchered in broad daylight during the regime of the mother of this present KING of Malacanang.

Because Mendiola and Recto Avenue are just a stone's throw away from where my cave is, I decided immediately to attend. So I was there yesterday.

The demands of the rallyists are not new. They are older, much much older than the rallyists themselves. Issues such as right to education, higher wages, poverty alleviation were the hot topics during my student days (ehem that was way way back). Now, several presidents have come and gone. And the youth of today are still at it!  

So I joined the young one's in shouting SAWANG-SAWA NA KAMI!!!

Personally, I can choose to live comfortably having a college degree and have worked for several years. But what about the millions of urban and rural poor? There is so much talk of love of country.

My former comrades are no longer here in this land of gold and silver and pearls and squatters. Some are now residents of the country they ranted against when we were marching in the streets before. A few opted to stay but I would be too polite to say they were eaten by the system. Ask them why and they would tell you in your face they need food for their 2 or 3 children. Okay...

I did not stay very long at the rally site due to my aching feet. So I left Recto Avenue with this question : What is the end of all these shouting  and fist-clenching? Will the KING listen to his avowed BOSS?

The answer seems to be depressing but my stomach is already revolting.

Youth activists come to face to face with policemen who prevented them from reaching Mendiola (December 6, 2011)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Search For Happiness

"I'm inward, outward, forward, backward happy all the time..." goes the lyrics of a popular song.

But is it possible to be happy all the time? Some people say yes. Happiness is just a choice which means you can choose to be happy regardless of the situation. "Don't worry, be happy!" is their mantra.

Yet it is a fact that there are millions of human beings who are still searching for that elusive feeling of being happy. Happiness...Where are you? So they spend a lot of time looking for it.

Is it present in money? If so, then all the rich fellows should be the happiest people! But the reality shows otherwise.

 Is is present in power? If so, then all the powerful individuals should be happy! Apparently not.

Can it be found in marriage? Oh, the answer can be found in the increasing number of divorce and separation cases.

Unhappiness is an integral part of life. In fact, life on earth is always a duality. Loneliness and happiness go together. Without experiencing loneliness, we can not appreciate happiness. So it is normal to feel lonely as long as it is not prolonged.

Many times the search for happiness is the obstacle to attaining the feeling of being happy. If happiness can not be found within, it can not be found anywhere else. So why search for it? Happiness is found along the road of our earthly journey, not just at the end of it.

It is an illusion to say that one can attain happiness if one gets one wants. For if this is true then nobody can be happy for as long as desire resides in his or her heart.

As for me, I want to be happy here and now. Not in another place. Not tomorrow for it may not come. 

(image courtesy of