Friday, March 27, 2009

The Bubble (movie)

I was with my Israeli friend Rotem the first time I watched this one. She bought a pirated DVD in Israel and we played it in Bangkok. It did not have any subtitles so she had to translate it to English for me. Unfortunately, some of the lines are in Arabic so both of us did not understand some parts of the movie. This is why this is my first to watch the movie while understanding it entirely. Thank you SBS!

"Bubble" is a love story that happened at the wrong time, at the wrong place with the wrong pair. It is set in Palestine and Israel where a group of young people are trying to make a change. I hate to spoil the fun but it really does not present anything positive. It is an extremely sad story and there is only one thing positive about it and it is the love that the characters have for one another.

The plot is really really good and it is intertwined with another movie/play I like--"Bent". That other piece is used skillfully in the movie. The actors are also superb, especially Yousef 'Joe' Sweid as Ashraf . He is just extremely believable.

Many of the concepts in the movie is hard to comprehend for people who do not know the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For anyone who wants to watch it, they have to do some research on the tension there.

This movie is memorable because it does not make anything simple. Every relationship that the characters have is complicated. It will not sugar coat. It will not make life appear easy. It is just real.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Boyet Fajardo Scandal

I know that there has been tons of blog entries on this matter but I want to have my own say. Besides, I have a different "viewership" from those other blogs.

These are the events so far (please click the blue text to take you to other websites/blogs):

13 March 2009- Boyet Fajardo went to Duty Free shop in Manila to buy some chocolates. He did not sign his credit card so he was asked by the cashier to show another ID card with a signature and picture on it. He was able to produce some identification but all of them do not have signatures.

Boyet Fajardo claimed that he is a popular person and the people at the shop are worthless. He cussed at them and asked them to either kneel in front of him or let him slap them on their faces. The cashier chose to kneel in front of him as Boyet still cussed at him.

14 March 2009- a blog site was opened revealing the details of that infamous Friday the 13th scandal. Since then, thousands of bloggers and blog-followers have expressed their disgust on what happened and called for a boycott of Fajardo's products.

19 March 2009- another blog published the video of the incident which was caught on CCTV. Since then, other blog writers have picked up the story and spread the word. Boyet Fajardo's website was down for a few days and I think it is because somebody hacked it.

24 March 2009- Fajardo's spokesperson said that his client is apologising for what happened. It was only a creative outburst More people got angrier because of this statement.

The Duty Free Employees' Union's president told the media that they are going to lodge a complaint against the 28-year old designer at the Commission of Human Rights.

That night, Fajardo appeared on the news in tears and apologised to the cashier whose name he could not say right. And so the story goes on...


So what can we learn from this story? Simple--leave your S&M fantasies in the bedroom.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Studying Hard

Again, I do not know what to write about. Steven and I have been spending most of our time in our unit.

I have been studying really hard. I have been working on my papers in advance so that they won't be a problem when I get a job.

It seems I cannot be a check out chick here. Big supermarkets prefer teenagers because they are cheap and they do not complain much.

I wish I could say something brilliant right now.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Grape-picking in Barossa Valley

It is a tradition in my partner's family to pick grapes every year. At the end of summer, they all go to Barossa Valley together with some mates.

Steven and I have been talking about this for several months and finally, this weekend, we were able to do it. Armed with long pants, a hat, a bucket and a pair of snips, we marched towards rows and rows of red grapevines.

The weather conditions have been favourable so several rows had very heavy yield of fruits. They were sweet and dark. The leaves were thick and the branches gnarly. Unfortunately, the snips were extremely sharp.

I cut my finger after losing my concentration for just a fraction of a second. I had to keep it quiet to protect my pride. I promised Steven that I wouldn't cut myself but he came to my rescue. He dressed my superficial wounds for me.

It rained and the sun shone on our backs. The wind picked up the dry clay while the dogs (and a kitten that behaves like a dog) tried to distract us. It is hard work but somehow the repetition and muscle ache relaxed my mind.

I read somewhere that when you work in a chocolate factory, you will hate the product eventually. But I still love grapes.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I should be spending more time reading articles and journals for my university studies. Instead, I have been reading "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" at home, on the bus, at the bus stop, and in the library.

I know that it is very far from being the greatest literature in the world. The language used is not ground-breaking. The plot is not immaculate. Plus there are too many characters to keep track of. Sometimes, I do not know what Hermione, Harry and Ron are talking about.

But it is just entertaining. I could not put the book down.

This book is a lot darker than the previous ones and it is also a lot more exciting. There are tons of chase scenes and dramatic scenes. And there will be a lot of deaths...I am sad to read that one of my favorite characters passed away.

Many of the questions in the previous books have already been answered and these revelations make many of the minor characters extremely interesting. It will be a great challenge for Alan Rickman to portray a different side of Snape and a more sensitive rendition of Albus Dumbledore from Michael Gambon. Creating some moments for Dobby and Kreacher will be extremely hard for animators as well as they are key characters in this book.

Harry Potter has grown up but I do not expect that Daniel Radcliffe would give a spectacular performance. I am sure he will just be a cardboard like Keanu Reeves---they look the part but cannot act the part.

This will be seen on the big screen in 2011 but it will be divided into two movies. With many subplots, I am sure the movie won't be boring. Harry Potter will indeed be a big cash cow for Warner Brothers. And I won't be surprised if Rowling writes "The House-Elves" in the future.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Philippines ends ban on gays in military

(click here for the original article)

(Manila) The Philippines has become the second country in a week to officially end the ban on gays serving in the military.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines said that the decision shows the military has a zero tolerance for discrimination among its ranks. But it also warned that despite allowing gays to serve openly, overt homosexual behavior will still not be tolerated.

“Once inside the organization, they have to live by a code of ethics and they have to observe decorum if they want to remain as members of the Armed Forces,” military spokesperson Ernesto Torres told The Manila Times.

To mark the change the military this week began a recruiting drive in the LGBT community.
On Monday, Argentina announced that it had abandoned the gay ban, part of a sweeping military reform act that included the way members of the armed forces are put on trial.

The issue of gays serving opening in the military has roiled the US armed services.

On Monday, legislation to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was filed in the House of Representatives.

While previous attempts to repeal the law were bogged down when Republicans controlled Congress, there is renewed hope the measure will pass the Democratically-controlled Congress.

President Barack Obama has said that he supports repeal of the ban.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Port Vincent in Yorke Peninsula

It was a long weekend so Steven and I planned a few things to do. One of which is a trip to Port Vincent with our friends, Rowie and William.

Steven and I woke up very early to pick up Rowie and William. As expected, the trip started with a lot of blabbering and gossips. We had not been together for quite a while so we updated each other on things that are happening in our lives.

Afterwards, we saw Steven's family in a caravan park. I am still grasping the concept behind this activity: people drive their caravans to a caravan park to be with other people and caravans.

But then the place is magnificent. Port Vincent in Yorke Peninsula is huge. One can see a huge expanse of sand and shallow water. One can literally see that the earth is not flat.

I was told that a person needs only a rake and a bucket to catch some crabs. So Steven and I are planning to go back next year and live on seafood for one week. I am already very excited.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Back to Uni

It was my first day in the University of South Australia. Yes, my dear, I am back in school.

I am currently taking Master of Education with a specialisation in TESOL. I am also taking electives on adult education. Hopefully, this will make me very competitive in the TESOL industry.

I was very surprised when I noticed that all of my classmates are international students and no two students are from the same country. Many of them are also experienced teachers like me. And all of them were dressed nicely so I think I have to leave my muscle shirts at home.

After the class, I went to the library immediately and not really to study but to borrow the last Harry Potter novel. I cannot believe I have access now to English literature again.

I am based in the Magill Campus of UniSA and it is really beautiful. It has a lot of trees and grass to sprawl on. It also has a creek but it is bone dry right now.

The system here is quite different from what I am used to. Hopefully, I will find the time to explain it here.