Wednesday, August 29, 2007

10 Largest Malls in the World

of the 10... 3 of them are in the Philippines (Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, SM North)

wow...considering we're so much smaller than Canada and China, where the others are located.


check out the photo slide at

Monday, August 27, 2007

rainy, rainy holiday [blurb]

it's a Monday... it's a holiday...and it's raining :P i feel so this cat here. :P

i want to do so many things...start some changes and so many things i don't know where to start... for myself... at work... in church...

but today... i'll just rest.

just like this cat here. :P

Monday, August 20, 2007

Amazing Grace...the story behind the song

so many people talaga are being touched by our amazing grace series :)

last night we sang the song Amazing Grace (for both afternoon and evening services), one of the most hymns of all time. Jose sang it beautifully...many people were crying. (i actually had to choke back my tears singing onstage...) it was composed in the 18th century, and hearing again the Chris Tomlin version i remembered the movie "Amazing Grace" about William Wilberforce. i haven't seen it yet, it wasn't shown here in the philippines i think. Wilberforce's story is truly yet another example of God's amazing ways, and his grace.

the song's composer, John Newton, was a slave trader who transported thousands of human cargo for many years. he got saved and underwent a dramatical religious conversion when his ship went through a storm. repenting all the misery he had caused, Newton became and evangelical pastor, devoting his life to the church and wrote many songs...among them Amazing Grace. Because of his preachings he influenced many people, and one of them was William Wilberforce...who was the driving force behind abolishing the slave trade. he preached until the last year of his life, even though he was blind by that time. (my summary was taken from the movie website)

with 972 arrangements, the song has appeared in over 1000 albums... it was sung in freedom marches and soldiers' hymnals, and after 200 years, we're still singing it today... amazing :)

Amazing Grace
original text by John Newton

Amazing Grace (How sweet the sound)
That sav'd a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,

And grace my fears reliev'd;

How precious did that grace appear,

The hour I first believ'd!

Thro' many dangers, toils and snare,

I have already come;

'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.

His word my hope secures;

He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,

And mortal life shall cease;

I shall profess, within the vail,

A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,

The sun forbear to shine;

But God, who call'd me here below,

Will be for ever mine.

i posted a video of the trailer but you can also view it on the website
jose's picture c/o elain ojeda's album here

Sunday, August 19, 2007

thoughts on moonrise....and thank you!

ok, i have to leave in a few min for church but i just need to post this quick. wil post a more comprehensive blog maybe tomorrow or tuesday.

last night's Awards Night was a great experience for me...not because there were hundreds of people, not because it was a red-carpet event (which it wasn't), and not because there were celebrities there (i see more celebs at church! haha).

thank you Manny for going to the screening even tho you were weak and really sick that day...and even picking me up at home because i was stranded because of the rain! (and thanks for the Mongkok treat to celebrate!) thank you Gayette for watching the film even tho you had work, and staying with me during the awards night and being my "official photographer"! haha. dami kong photo requests noh? i owe you! thank you pastor paolo and ate jenn, pastor carlos and belle, and all you guys who texted me about watching it! i feel the love. (haha. is that how you say it?) and of course my mom and sisters, mike and mic... mwah. love you guys. oh, and terrence, kenneth and hans...kahit na-late kayo and didn't reach my screening, i really appreciate parin the effort noh, thank you!!! *HUGZ* you guys are the best, hahaha :) thanks zel and yuklid for going with me sa first screening, to the whole team (rizz, ej, mund!) for the support.

it was my first time to ever attend an awards night where i was actually a part of the "nominees". i felt like a winner already! ganun pala feeling. even if you don't win (which i didn't, but thanks to all who texted!), you're really just glad to be there :) galing. and if you've noticed, i've stopped promoting na my film to everyone and just really urging all to watch the film fest...ANY film. it's really an one volunteer said, it's impossible to go in and watch and not learn anything. if you didn't, then you're not human. (wow.)

fyi, the top films that were nominated (and awarded) for ALL award categories were Lawa ng Bae (winner of the Grand Charlie..congrats jameel! jamel? argh..sowee can't remember) Syokoy, Sa Ngalan ng Mina and Caubian: Island under siege, so if you can't catch my film in the time slots, do try to watch any of these. short films lang naman sila, 20min or so (syokoy is an hour long)

the winners were truly deserving, the films were excellent! it must've been really hard to judge. :P

i wanted to quote jameel(jamel, jamil) on his speech when he got his award, but i can't remember the exact words. but anyway, what he said really struck me...after saying all the usual stuff about doing our part in helping the environment, making a difference in our own way etc etc...he talked about visiting schools, promoting the festival...even being rejected in some when he tried to sell tickets (wow..), but in the end he'd make a survey...he'd ask who's watched Harry Potter, or Transformers, or any of the latest films...and almost all would raise their hands. but when asked if they've seen a documentary about the philippines and our environment or culture, at any time, only a few did. and it saddened him we're all willing to spend so much for box-office hits, but not much to educate ourselves about our country. tsk. (i'm guilty of this too...sometimes i even watch a movie twice or thrice... :( )

i didn't want to sound preachy, and i'm not pointing fingers either. like i said, i'm guilty of that too. but this recent filmfest was an eye-opener for me. watching "Syokoy" the first time made me furious at what was happening in Guimaras...and i wasn't aware of it! and the most amazing thing about all of this is that film festivals like these hardly have the budget! like our church, they thrive on volunteerism, and donations and sponsors. each year, indie fests barely survive the financial burn of organizing a film festival and yet they're still at it... even those making the films have little or no budget at all, risk so much just to make it, and it's not fiction...these things are real and happening to our country.

anyway i'll stop here, haha. for just a hundred bucks, and a little of your time, you can learn so much more than you thought you could watching the news or reading the paper. and i'm not talking about boring talkies here...cinematography, art direction and musical scoring are excellent. we are artists after all :) 2 more days... catch the Moonrise Film Festival, if you can...Be moved, be educated. go! :)

last words. support our indie artists...! whether in music, film, art... :) ok, ba-bye, late na ko...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

countdown to moonrise...

rubbing elbows on the lot...:P

last week i was invited to a "Directors' Dinner" meet for all Moonrise finalists. it was a chance for me to meet the people behind the film festival, it was their way of saying thank you for making the moonrise event possible, and also an opportunity to meet the other directors, discuss preparations and awards and maybe some questions or concerns we might have.

i rsvp-ed that i'd most definitely be there, and when the day finally came...lo! the storm (chedeng?) had hit. i was seriously thinking of not going...i mean, it was all the way over at Mordor (new manila, quezon city to be exact), i'll only be commuting from makati...who knows what horrendous traffic or flood i could face? by 5pm i was set on not going. i told myself that i dont know anyone anyway, it'll be awkward meeting strangers, and competing ones at that! the weather was bad, etc etc.

my friend ej, on a whim, suggested that maybe i can ask our friend cha who happened to live there, if i could maybe hitch a ride. even though i knew she usually OT-ed in the office (fat chance getting there in time for the dinner), i did, and yahoo! she was leaving office early! ok Lord, if you want me to go, i'll go.

i'm so glad i did :P

although not everyone was able to make it, it was a pretty good fun bunch i got to meet (and all that extra food!).

CEAE's founder Jukka (pronounced "yuka") Holopainen, was this easy-going, globe-trotting driven young filmmaker with a strong voice...straight away, as he talked about their vision for Moonrise, i could sense the enthusiasm and fervor he had for this cause which they have continuously fought for for the last 7 years. (actually, the way he talked reminded me a lot about Kawayan de Guia when i interviewed him for Aramiden...!)

the director of "Sa Ngalan ng Mina", Girlie Brilliantes, i thought was a soft-spoken woman, quiet and shy...not! as we talked about our films i found myself in awe at her daring attempt in exposing the mining programme in the ravaged areas of mindanao. she told me how, in one area, she was given just an hour to shoot (hidden) with only 30 minutes to do her interview, while on another trip, the road was so bad their truck overturned, throwing off all their equipment and crew but she managed to save her camera and tapes...and even just staying in the camps where we hear horror stories of ambush by the MILF or such... these accounts made my tiring bus trips to baguio quite pale in comparison!

Golda Mae of "Kalimed" entered the student category, and she was this smiling friendly Kalinga girl who acquired a scholarship to study in the University of Makati, and their film, sponsored by the university, relays that story. Seymour, of "Bodong (Peace Pact) and his wife happened to be alumni of UP Eng'g...small world! and Froilan Grate is a dedicated leader and ceae volunteer from Greenminds.Net, a website portal dedicated to everything about and for the philippine's mega-biodiversity.

there was nothing in the air that felt like competition at all... we were all artists with a cause...hearts bleeding for a culture, a people, a hometown... all having stories to tell. jukka was right... when it comes to films or documentaries about the environment, we have to localize it... how can students from our country have sympathy for illegal logging when they watch documentaries that show caucasian people with chainsaws, halfway across the world? or saving the egrets when we don't even have egrets? just like they said in their site,
"One of the biggest frustrations of environmental education is its slow pace and limited reach to instigate change. Often, crude imagery and intense visuals are necessary to shock audiences into more immediate forms of action."

we have all sorts of documentaries from around the world, recently the eye-opener "An Inconvenient Truth", "March of the Penguins", HBO's "Carandiru"...and hundreds of others on National Geographic or Discovery Channel...

but we think it's about time that we focus our eyes on our own backyard. Watch the Moonrise Film Festival, August 15-21, featuring more award-winning films (best of 2005 and 2006 moonrise). see the places, the riveting footage...hear the people, our language.

this is OUR country...let us tell OUR story.

baguio, 2004

Friday, August 03, 2007

2007 Moonrise Film Festival schedule of screenings

just promoting the festival :) Venue is Robinsons Galleria, tickets are i think 100p for each film block.

my short, Aramiden (in red) will be shown 3 times before the awards night. all competing films will be shown on Saturday and Sunday.

see you all at Moonrise!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

what's YOUR sand in your shoe?

this is so true. thank you for this Lance... :) i think i needed to hear it today...

"It isn’t the mountains that wear you out. It’s the grain of sand in your shoe."

--- Author unknown

- - - - - - - -
ok, you can look at the quote above two can encourage you, or it can dishearten you.

reading it again now, it seemed as if i was sad, and daunted by things i'm about to face that could wear me out.

but i'm not sad... actually, there are so many things i should be thankful for right now. many things are happening all at once, and i guess what struck me more about this is that the quote made me think...

i should be mindful of the little things that i'm choosing to ignore, or overlook, that could very well be the very thing that would hinder me from doing great things... the sand in my shoe -- a forgotten phone call... an unspoken word... swallowing a bitter pill of truth... a person i should forgive...

- - - -

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 139: 23-24