August 25, 2015

Films worth your watch

"What do you usually do on weekends?" our school head asked me yesterday. Aside from doing chores at home, traveling to malls for groceries or window shopping, we also spent our time watching movies and interesting series in the comforts of our own room. What's else there to do? We seldom go to parks because it's too hot outside, it's better to stay at home.

Before finally dozing to sleep almost every night, we would watch a film from horror, thriller, or romantic-comedy, or drama genre. It happens that we sometimes run out of films to watch, so we switched to continuing TV series we missed. Sometimes, my husband is too sleepy to finish what we started watching, so I ended up looking out for the film's ending on my own. I actually found pretty decent films that are worth your time and I'd like to share those here.

Dial A Prayer. This movie came out early this year. It is surprisingly nice, actually and does not only cater to Christians, but to the general audience. The story deals about facing the consequences of one's actions and second chances. This movie reminds me that when you're genuinely helping other people, that goodness will come back to you in ways you may never know. It takes faith to change. This may be slow-paced, but it's worth watching.
"So, where are we headed?"

Someday, This Pain Will Be Useful To You. Released in 2011, I think it's not too late for me to have found this gem. Firstly, the title suggests that it's a sad movie, but I liked it that it has a hopeful ending. The story is about a teenager who does not know how to socialize with people his age. He prefers to be alone and to not pursue college, which concerns his family. As I followed the main character through the film, I can say that I empathize with him when he finally accepted and knew what he really is. Slow-paced story but the soundtrack is great!
"Do you know how to dance?"

Before We Go. There has been a lot of stories about two strangers already. Richard Linklater's Before trilogy is one of my faves. This movie is actually likeable. The main characters are not flashy and their back stories can be believable. Upon seeing the movie, I got the feeling that I was part of their few hours of adventure. If you enjoy watching two people exchanging dialogues, you won't have a problem seeing this one, not to mention the interesting quotes from the characters. Chris Evans did great in acting and directing in this film.
"Well, what if you're wrong?"
I'll just share this three films for now with the song by Taken by Trees in the background. :)

August 14, 2015

Some music on the road

As a member of an astronomical society back in college, I loved the stargazing nights and meteor shower observations we had to attend to. I learned how to set up a telescope the fastest that I could, but I guess I've forgotten that skill by now. 

One of those stargazing nights, a friend told me that when she finally gets a car in the future, she would love to have road trips with me. She said I would choose the music to play while she drives to somewhere. She liked the songs that I like, the music artists that I follow. She was glad when I suggested that she listens to Baz Luhrmann's Everybody's Free To Wear SunscreenFew years forward, we haven't had road trips together and almost lost connection, thanks to social media, we're able to communicate once in a while.
Since I came here in KSA, I've been liking road trips - however short or long they are. They are escapes from routines at home. As I can see, music is essential in every road trip. It sets the mood, especially during long drives when you need to stay awake even when you are just in the passenger seat, simply to give your driver some company. My husband drives and I feel guilty when I fell asleep at times during travels. I find it fun to update our playlist for road trips - looking for old and new music to sing, shout, or hum along to. We made this one favorite folder of music from Filipino bands with female vocalists - and all these songs can be found in Youtube! I think these songs are one of my precious finds in the internet. I'm sharing the songs below, in no particular order.

Belinda Bye Bye by Barbie's Cradle. Barbie Almalbis, the frontwoman, has such a quirky voice and a sweet face that boys can't get over with. The band had many hit songs until Barbie decided to go on solo. This upbeat song is my fave.

Call Center by Cambio. Half of the disbanded Eraserheads joined a new band back in 2002, Cambio. Kris Dancel takes the lead in this song, which represents the graduates' choice to work in a call center while waiting/ preparing for a better career.

Pagbalik by Fuseboxx. I didn't know about this band and was glad to watch them in Youtube. This song has some heavy feels in it.

Hiling by Paramita. Ria Bautista was the drummer and the vocalist of this band. What I like about the songs that they released was their poetic lyrics that do not sound too cheesy. It was also a plus to see a female drummer in a band, which is pretty rare.

Torpe by Hungry Young Poets. This is another song with Barbie Almalbis in it. I remember the time when a friend and I sang out loud to this song while in a taxicab. The driver was cool with it anyway and wished he had a longer ride jamming with us. Ha ha!

Rainsong by Imago. I think only a few knew about this song. And I think these few understood what this song meant. The lyrics is incomprehensible when you hear it for the first time, but when you found out about it, you'd be amazed and would try as much to sing along to it.

'Wag Ka Nang Mambitch by Keltscross. My husband heard about this band before. They are a girl band with post-punk styles. Their lyrics may sound harsh especially to the audience back in the 90s, but funny and creative to those who appreciates their music. I wished I knew this song sooner back in college.

Sulat by Moonstar88. This song was a hit when I was in high school. Aside from being a time of adjustments and stress, I think high school was also a time to like love songs like this, even when you're too young for love.

High by Save Me Hollywood. When I heard this band from a local radio, I thought they were a foreign band, they even sounded like Paramore. Anyway, it was nice to hear they were actually from the Philippines. "How do we get so high?"

August 10, 2015

Hey hey!

"I don’t know who we’ll become
in the days ahead, she said.
I only know the quiet voice in my heart 
that says 
we’ll become it together..."
                                - Brian Andreas

This day always reminds me how I should be grateful for your life. It has been both fun and challenging growing with you through the years, and I would not want my recent six years to be different from what we exactly had.

Happy birthday, Michael! I hope that in each and every day, you would remember and know how I appreciate and love you. I pray that you get better in your profession and that you choose to be kinder. And please keep in mind, that I am with you, despite the times that I am mad and moody. Please bear with me. :)

I hope that the coming years will bring you more blessings and happiness. I pray that your plans and dreams (aside from ours) materialize soon. Happy birthday and I love you! :)
Four years ago :)
© Wally

July 15, 2015

Love Never Fails

It has only been weeks since the Supreme Court of the United States ruled the right to marry to everyone in their country, regardless of gender. Many people celebrated this remarkable event by flooding the streets with rainbow flags, and even the social media overflowed with rainbows too, with people across the world showing their support to the LGBTQI community.

It was heartening when I saw some gay friends changed their profile photos into rainbow themes, especially those who I knew were out for a long time and were in relationships. It's like seeing that they are hopeful that marriage equality could happen in the Philippines. I bet, it would be a long fight. On the other hand, I could also spot people using the rainbow themes not knowing the reasons why, or not understanding what 'Celebrate Pride' meant. So much for going with the flow.

I understood that the marriage equality ruling allowed same-sex couples to enjoy the benefits that heterosexual couples were granted upon marriage. This legalization does not force the religious communities that do have a strong belief that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. These events had me thought about my personal stand about marriage, about same-sex relationships, about sexuality, with the teachings I have learned from the church and the society.

Yes, I have friends who are openly gay and who are in a relationship with their same sex. I don't tell them that homosexuality is a sin, and I try as much not to judge people according to their gender, or according to anything at all for that matter. Judging others entirely, based on some criteria is another sin. We are not living in a time when homosexuality was considered a disorder. We are in a society where we accepted that people's gender is not only categorized as male or female. There were a lot of categories in fact. You can check this out.

I read some articles tackling some questions and answers about this same-sex marriage that helped me understand some confusions that I had. I will list down the links below. The legal definition of marriage was modified upon the ruling in the U.S. and took effect in all its states. Same-sex marriages have been happening in different parts of the world even before the June 26th event, and these have been termed as civil unions, life partnership to name a few. You can look out for the timeline of same-sex marriage to be familiar with the history. So why was it a big deal then when U.S. approved this marriage equality? There a lot of issues in fact, but one was that this event gave hope and encouragement to gay communities in other countries to also fight more for their right to marry. After all, many countries look up to the U.S. just like the Philippines, which largely based the legal setup on the U.S. system.

But how does this event affect someone who lives not in the U.S.? I, for one, rethink about what marriage means to me. Some say we marry for love. Some say we marry for stability. Some marry for the benefits that they will be granted. Yes, it is a union - a sacred and exclusive union between my husband and I; blessed with God so we can grow in faith and love as we build a family. That's what I believe marriage is - so that people can procreate and contribute to the betterment of family life and society. I believe that we all wanted to keep our society safe, secure, and developing. That could be our common ground. I hope that this milestone will bring progress and not chaos to the majority. I hope that this will bring improvement to the family life, and not just to individuals.

Amidst the hashtags (#LoveWins), I hope that love really wins among us. Beyond the fighting back, hatred, shaming and deeming this same-sex marriage act sinful, we can still choose to love. After all, we are sinners but we are capable of kindness, acceptance, forgiveness, and love. These are the things that the church have taught me through the years - to be kind and to love in the face of indifference. Because,

Interesting articles to read on (Retrieved on July 15, 2015):
My Answers to Questions About Gay Marriage by Leila Miller
~ 3 Ways Catholics Can Respond to the Same-sex Marriage Ruling by Christopher J. Hale
~ Love Did Not Win, But It Will by Strahlen Smith
~ The Celebration of the Christian Mystery

June 18, 2015

Read, cook, eat

I love eating. I like trying out new and familiar dishes with my husband. Sometimes, I would prepare food for meals back in PH. Most of the time, I was the one assigned to prepare the ingredients for certain dishes - preparations such as chopping, mincing and washing the vegetables and meat to be used. My mom or brother do the cooking most of the time.

I haven't thought that cooking dishes on a daily basis would be such a challenge. Thinking of meals to prepare is a lot harder since I have a limited knowledge on food preparation. Oh, I remember a requisite course about food nutrition I took in the university and I had the same role in our group works, which is measuring the ingredients needed. I never led our group in following cooking and/or baking steps. Thus, preparing meals can be a tough task of a housewife. Who else thinks that being a housewife is underrated?

Anyway, I have tried cooking some dishes for two weeks that I've been here. I would look at what's available in the fridge and what I can prepare with it. Sometimes, we go to the grocery to buy what we need for something that I'd like to try to prepare and eat. The internet (oh, yes) is such a big help in food preparation. Thanks to all the recipes that are budget-friendly and easy to understand. Haha. I can just search keywords and voila - I can scan and choose the recipe that fits.

I'm sharing the photos of some foods that I prepared. Most often than not, the dishes turned out good.

Fish fillet
Chicken with lemon sauce (looks can be deceiving) This turned out sour.
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