Tuesday, January 31, 2006

random ramblings (don't bother reading)

and the work force is on a roll.

there's a shoot everyday for Da Haus as the countdown closes in on Da Big Nyt. whew. i only joined four or five days ago (thus, i'm relatively less "ngarag" than the others who've been working since three weeks ago), but mehn, the shoots. they happen everywhere, everyday. and the assignments for the new job (i shifted departments two days ago, from production to creative) are now coming in. deadlines, again, for the life of me.

just some quick notes to myself before bedtime:
* have to take less of those cab trips. they're draining what's left of your savings from the last job. the first paycheck, they say, will be coming in less than a month from now. loooong time. so you really have to scrimp if ya know what's good for ya.
* politics, politics. not exactly your cup o' tea. if you're not as "bakla" as the rest then maybe it's better to stay out of the line of fire. you can't be what you are not.
* the real work hasn't even started yet and you'll still be dealing with lots of new people (and some of the technicians inside the 28-camera workroom, they say, are notorious for bad behavior), so better practice being an emotionless automaton this early on. the best way to deal with hotheads and beeyatches in this line o' work is to employ calm, sensible logic. nothing's personal. kudos to dennis (my production manager/writer for the latest short film) for having been an inspiring example for that.
(sorry, it's back to the first person...blog license. hehe)
* the last time i'd been inside a mall was two days ago, and i suddenly realized how i had somehow missed it. just...loitering around the mall. watching movies whenever i want to. of course i wouldn't exchange my current life for the life i had when i wasn't busy (no better way to feel useless than to not have something to work on), but i'm looking forward to having those little leisures again one of these days.
* i have two rented vcds at home (schindler's list and one hour photo) which are almost a week overdue. somehow i couldn't find the time to watch them. couldn't even find the time to return them (and i can't stand the thought of returning them without having watched them at all. hay). i dread the day when i will have to return them and discover that i will have to shell out a small fortune for the overdue rates. syet. must find time to watch at least one of them tomorrow evening.
* awmygawd. just remembered. i'll have to formulate interview questions for tomorrow's shoot. dang. i have to bring my laptop to work tomorrow. or...hmm...maybe just make the questions before i go to bed tonight.
* we went to shoot in paranaque again today. and today i just learned that cavite and laguna are both in the south of the metro. all along i'd been assuming that they were on opposite poles.
* i had a great lunch today. really fun. the pork steak was sweet, the potatoes were yummy, the company was charming. haha. goal!
* i was dismayed by something today, but i realized that, hell, no use to carry it on my shoulders. i should've known better. high expectations almost always leave me feeling disappointed. and while it's nearly impossible to not create expectations in anything and any case, it's always wiser to just set aside the disappointments, get back to work, and strive to prove that i did have a reason to nurture those high expectations, after all. that i have basis, and the basis is concrete.
* so i'm a bad talent manager to myself. nabatukan ko na ang sarili ko. tapos nagkape na lang ako. tsaka nagyosi.
* politics, politics. don't let 'em get to ya. Da Haus might very well be the entire world as far as your time and daily activities are concerned, but don't make it the center of your life. don't give it that power. and yes, the powers-that-be in that little space in your universe aren't gods. they may be omnipotent to a certain extent, but they're not omniscient. take comfort in that.
* i wish i could lose weight. five pounds would be ideal.
* i wish i'd find the time (and yesss, the money) to buy personal necessities that i've run out of (cheek tint, hair conditioner, moisturizer...okei, luho na lang to. haha). the time will come, vain self. and we will coincide it with the mall trip you've been craving for.
* i haven't seen a movie in a looong time. in, like, a month, i think. syet. and to think that i claim to be a movie buff. blech. tv sellout na talaga ko.
* ho-hum. need to sleep. another long day awaits tomorrow. another exciting one, i pray.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

the art of counting backwards (...)

these days i'm...
...orienting myself with "house-arrest" tv
...finishing up work as segment producer, starting up work as story editor
...shooting on the field nearly everyday
...dealing with new people nearly everyday
...in sneakers and jeans most of the time
...into D&G Light Blue (harhar, gooobye Lewis and Pearl!)
...enjoying our family meals more than usual
...worried. scared. anticipating. excited.
...in happy company nearly every shoot
...occasionally aglow for the flimsiest, most pathetic, silliest reasons
...losing touch with friends-outside-the-house
...making friends inside the house
...trying not to fall into the old ways. or trying to, for kilig's sake
...wishing, hoping, praying, that the next 45 days will see me being happily productive where work is concerned.

yesterday i...
...shot a hunk-in-the-pool scene. (haha. wish i could say i enjoyed it)
...wore red to work. (apparently it was the color of the day)
...had lunch in a resto with nearly half-a-dozen hearts decorating its walls. hay. happy valentine's.
...went to the famously posh forbes park for the first very first time. haha, bourgeois me!
...got my first job assignment as story editor.
...learned a li'l bit more about a "mysterious" co-worker (without having to solicit the info..and straight from the horse's mouth at that. goal!)

two days ago i...
...shot behind-the-scenes of a morning show
...shared cadbury's chocettes with co-workers for breakfast
...nearly made a blunder (though not my fault, if that makes any friggin sense)
...met someone's dad
...realized that taking a backseat trip from metro south to north at rush hour can drain the life outta me
...got into another love vs. money dillema
...decided to choose money (ha! sellout beeyatch!)
...realized that love can wait, at least until after the 45th day

three days ago i...
...did my first behind-the-scenes and interview shoot for the new job
...was alone in a crowded place with the frog princess
...was alone in an enclosed space with the frog princess (at midnight, take note)
...started the day a li'l bit later than usual
...ended the day somewhat rattled

four days ago i...
...began Day 1 on house-arrest
...met the frog princess again
...realized (with glee!) that life's a lot happier if things are less intense

lookin forward to more adventures. more smiles. more money. and more of that unwavering, indefatigable focus.

my survival kit for the next 45 days:
1. same quality of work in (much) less the time
2. absorb. learn. master, if possible.
3. don't let the little hurdles at work get to you. you're blest as is and be friggin happy about it.
4. love the work, even if you're working for the money. then it's gonna be a win-win thing.
5. save up more than you would spend.
6. don't fall in love with co-workers.
7. stop recycling, bitch.
8. focus. focus. focus!

so help me dear god.

Friday, January 27, 2006

and it's back to the old habit (almost...but not quite)

these days i've been closely convening with someone who, once upon a (mad) moment, used to be very, very special. several months ago i would've been in heaven. but i realize that, while i may have "recycled" crushes more often than i would have wanted to, this one is definitely arriving at its expiry date.

i think.

but the old habit that was the old feeling, it doesn't go away all that easily. there are traces of it in the way i look at him, the way i say his name, the very fact that i mentally bookmark every moment in his company that the frog-gatized me of eight months ago would have swooned over. and yes, the compulsion. to want to take care of this person. to feed him chocolates when he hasn't had breakfast yet, to try to move heaven and earth just to fetch the things that he needs.

old habits die hard.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

fold it up and you only have until today

after today, it's gonna be a different phase again.

so i give myself only until today. mope, hanker, gush, brood. deceive myself, float, stalk, mourn the death-by-squishing of endless what-ifs.

after all, i tried, didn't i. so enough na.

the silence says a lot more than all the derogatory "yucks" in the world.

today i finish all the pending tasks. fold up everything from the last project. sleep this off or watch a good movie, eat something sweet or mag-"emote" sa isang sulok, cry it out if needed. haha. overdramatic. but i only have until today to get this outta my system. not healthy, to go through another beginning with baggage from the immediate past.

should i take that nap before i go out? catch the last days of narnia, or king kong? chocolate with peanuts, almonds, or some other nut? maybe i don't really need a crying session with myself. been through worse before, really. this is a pinch, compared to everything else from the past combined.

so have a nice life. good luck to all your endeavors. will send you your personal copy sometime soon. i hope everything about the day job rocks for the best.

man, didn't i just say these things to someone else, not too long ago?

pointless. senseless. endless.

now this road looks damn familiar, doesn't it. i've been here before. more than a dozen friggin times.

pattern freak. it's sick. sickening.

i go through withdrawal every time a project ends. i've been through so many endings before, you'd think i'd have gotten used to it. but i never do. i cling to the memories like a newt to the wall. i miss everything. and everyone. happy now, crying later.

why, in heaven's name, do i never learn?

even guinea pigs learn, right? shouldn't i, somehow, know friggin better?


okay. i get the message.

now i can finally shrug this off and forget it. nothing worse than having to live with the uncertainty of what-ifs, if i hadn't tried.

my friends had been right, after all. now let's move on and have a happy life.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

snapshots from gay heaven (?)

my baby is now a (short) movie.

audio postproduction finished today. our short film is done. it didn't fulfill my highest expectations, a few more additions and trims here and there maybe, but there's always a chance for additional post-final cut touches. for the moment, though, i think it's in presentable form. i hope. i pray.

behind the scenes snapshots from our 3-day shoot:
lou as waterina, "ang baklang nagwo-water-water sa tuwina"

paulo as geegee, "ang dating chickboy: mapa-chick,mapa-boy"

pop icon bella flores (in a cameo role) with lou

lou and stage actress ermie concepcion (as comfort woman nana rosas) rehearse their boxing scene

lou reading his lines

ang manunulat, si j. dennis todo-show

cinematographer mccoy measuring the boys in briefs

paulo in debonair pose. geegee who?

paulo, ermie, makeup artist bong, bella flores, actor bor, dennis, lou

still photographer sheryll, bella and producer jp (uy, bagay!)

oy! ano yan ha?!

bella with paulo rehearsing the sampayan scene

the "fag" and the "hag" (guess who's which)

the macho trio. producer jp, writer/line producer dennis, prod accountant jojo

a rare goofy moment

naked boys on the set: a badingerzi's version of heaven!

wig retouch!

"hoy lalake! halika rito! palanggana, kaserola, at iba pa!"

we went on for more than forty eight hours straight

cinematographer mccoy...astig ilaw mo dude!

prod designer clint...feeling nasa heaven?

art director kriszia fastening P20 bills on actor jr's g-string


whew. the pictures just came in today. alam kong di nila to mababasa pero once again, i'll cast my message to the wind. to our cast, staff, crew in this little undertaking, sobrang salamat for having been co-creators. the process was grueling, but i hope the experience has made us all wiser, if not (financially) richer.

sa susunod, we will all know better. and the next film should be even better as well. :-)

Saturday, January 21, 2006


the turbulence began three days ago, i think. maybe even way before. all i know for sure is that i am at its very heart right now. i've never been so...dazed and confused. and yes, infatuated.

my frailties. if i could have a chance to be a different person, then maybe i would have taken that option.

Labor of Love
Today I'm supposed to start again on audio postproduction for the short film. A few repeated viewings have somehow bothered me. There's something wrong and I'm too drained to struggle with tweaking and overhauling. Especially when I'm not looking forward to the friggin struggling that might arise from fighting for the vision. Shit. It shouldn't be this way, dangit. I'm in the right position to argue but I don't have the energy anymore. Everyone has been a darling in this production except for one character and I absolutely don't like him right now. I don't need to hear a discourse on music or his own interpretation of the script. We've talked about it long before and he should understand it by now. And I don't appreciate him not respecting what has been agreed upon and being resistant to our recommendations. He's draining to work with. His role is not as significant in this little labor of love as jp and dennis but at this stage his role is vital. and I'm dreading having to face him and his arguments.

On a lighter moment maybe I would have relentlessly gone through anything to arrive at true goodness. anything for this baby. i'd face anyone. i'm just tired right now. and other things are bothering me as well.

i should get back on that mode. for the betterment of things.

My Personal Notes on Stalking 101
note: Look up this entry for reference.

1. asking around, and asking for your common friends' opinion about the current apple-of-your-eye, can be a bit emotionally hazardous, and i've just proven that last night. or maybe it was only last night that their discouraging words hit home.

apart from supplying info, the common friends that he and i share have also contributed their two cents' worth on the matter, and the conclusion is more or less unanimous: this will take me nowhere.

haha. gee, thanks. ok lang, sanay na naman ako dyan. ano pa nga bang bago. so far the record hasn't been broken. maybe because i've been too consistent with regards to my taste in guys.

don't give me that "bading sya" bull, i know that already. i've taken it out of the equation. it's the fact that we're not close, i don't know him very well, and that he's in a relationship with another girl. those things were already givens long before i suddenly got smitten (strange, i didn't see that coming. i'd been detached until postproduction came. even i don't understand myself). but i allowed myself, still. masokista ba ko o tanga lang talaga?

i'm tired, really. i thought i've learned my lesson but maybe i don't really want to learn the lesson at all. maybe people like that will always be the flame to a silly moth like me.

one common friend's advice last night: if you really want to, then give him an idea. but should something come out of it, don't invest emotionally.

pwede ba yon? isn't this all about emotions, in the first place?

i don't get it. i don't WANT to get it. it's probably wiser to just gush in silence.

2. my "research" on the www has been progressive, somehow. we're friends on friendster, at least. haha. that's the farthest that i could go. it amazes me that despite his hectic schedule he could still log in everyday. the photos keep changing and it's become a source of amusement for me, getting to know bits and pieces of him through the pictures he posts. he's photoshop literate. he knows his physical shortcomings and airbrushes/blurs them out. he prefers to use the "semi-brooding" expression over the conventional photo-op smile. ironically, he's not afraid to look unflattering in front of the camera.

and i can go on and on but that's revealing too much of how nuts i am about this person. haha.

friendster. hilarious.

3. as of now i know i could never have the guts to start a conversation with this person, never mind go in-depth with him about his life. i did see him in action last night, though, and it was one of those happy memories to take with you to slumber at the end of the day...if it weren't for the common friends bursting my bubble. well, that's what friends are for. to ground you whenever you're floating perilously high up in the clouds.

last night, seeing him--out of character, in street clothes, ready to go home--was more memorable for me than seeing him in action, up there on a literal pedestal, living out a role. i don't even want to try to understand why. maybe because of the fact that he seemingly just materialized out of nowhere at the time that i'd seen him on his way home, and it was a pleasant (but rattling) surprise. i don't even want to deconstruct my happiness--or sadness, for that matter--at this point.

with regards to getting info straight from the horse's mouth, i'm too cowardly for that. bayaan ko na lang. i'll get my info elsewhere. i couldn't even talk to him. i'm too scared to be found out. haha.

For Love and Money (and the other dawdangies attached to it)
i just gave up a chance to do something that i really love in favor of pbb. i had a hard time choosing between two blessings, but eventually, preservation of good faith won out. times like these, i just think of the bright side: pay for tv work's better, will be working with former co-workers, and the glamor of being part of a high-profile project might look good on the resume...provided that i deliver. compared to the other available positions in the show the work i'm assigned to is the closest i could get to the thing i love doing best (shooting on the field, piecing it together in the editing room), but i can't help thinking of what life would have been in the next four months if i had chosen the other option: the adventure waiting out there on those sunny locations, the jungles and the beaches, the foreign professionals to meet, the lessons to be learned on the field, the sheer joy of filming. they said chances were great that they'd take me in, but the uncertainty of things, slight or not, was a factor to be considered. and yes, the preservation of good faith, where the other party is concerned.

if my luck would be good, maybe the shoot for that other project would be moved to a later date. like, say, last week of march. haha. but that would probably be improbable. heavy heart, but life's all about choices.

so i'll be on house arrest for the next two months. hopefully, smiling althroughout. little time to socialize outside of work. hello again to tight deadlines, corporate policies/politics, days and nights in the ice cream parlor, extra joss and yosi breaks. at least i'd be around mr. ym-snubber again. haha. it's a minor consideration, but it's amusing to note. three months ago i would have taken it as an answered prayer.

Pebbles in the Turbulence
and then there's more. i have pending work for the last project still. somehow the past few days have been too hectic for me to insert this into the agenda. hay. no excuse. i've broken deadline promises to the tribe leader. i should find time to do this soon.

another world to join starts on monday. goodbye, days of freedom. goodbye, random trips to theater plays. goodbye, friends-outside-of-the-network. goodbye, current-apple-of-my-eye. maybe the manghuhula who braved a prediction of my vibes last night was right. in a month or less, i'd be over him. somehow it's not a very happy thought for me.

ganun lang? like lightning bolting in and out of the sky? it breaks my heart, dude. that feelings could be as fleeting and negligible as that. but that's just for the present. a month or less from now, maybe i wouldn't even care anymore.

Friday, January 20, 2006


just as i was finishing up the previous post, someone ym-s me.

oh, if it ain't the Ghost of Christmas Past. catchin up on old times, aren't we? did you sense somehow that one of your "fans" is getting over you?

another window pops in, saying that the person isn't in my ym list, and if i would like to add him. on instinct, i almost clicked on the "yes" button, but i realized just in time that i had deliberately deleted this person from my list long ago.

i left the "yes" button alone and said hello. we talked shop--film and tv, work and common friends, the usual jibber-jabbers of two acquaintances moving in the same circles. and throughout this ym chat i arrived at an achievement--a mini-milestone even, in the context of my history regarding this person. for the first time, ever, my pulse rate was normal.

despite the bothersome thoughts circling in my head these days, the new pseudo-romantic anomaly that i had allowed myself to nurture, despite everything that's ever worried and depressed and scared me these past few weeks, that mini-milestone is something to congratulate myself for.

nyters, he typed in, after a somewhat lengthy ym-versation.

nyters, i typed back. but byers is what i really wanted to say.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

stalking 101

(nut)case: you're in the mood for some ice-breakin,' bubblegum-schoolgirl rush and take an interest in someone you don't know very well.

instinctive goal: you want to get to know him better...without him knowing, of course.

1. ask around...but casually. it's a friendster world--most likely, you and he are connected by common acquaintances, from the first up to the umpth degree. easiest way to gather information is to ask someone whom you both already know--the person who introduced you to him. if you don't want that common friend to suspect that you have a thing for the guy, the info "fishing" has to be as casual as possible--find the right opportunity so as to make your questions seem natural and within-the-context-of-the-conversation (that's what "segues" are for, but this should come with the right just-curious/idly asking tone of voice and facial expression). but if you're willing to take that common friend into your confidence then the info-fishing need not be that hard...just make sure that the person you'll take in as "confidante" is someone you can trust. risky, but it's the easier way to info-fish.

2. search him out on the www. do the google. visit all links. if google doesn't yield enough results, try yahoo, msn, and other search engines. look for his name on friendster, downelink, and other online "friendship" networks available on the net. at best, you'll be amazed by what you'll discover.

3. fish for information from the person himself. for torpedo geeks, this is a bit daunting, but if you're in talking terms with the person this style can have a two-birds-in-one-stone hit: 1) more or less, the info you get will be accurate, coming from the subject himself (unless it's, er, too personal to be divulged to just anyone, in which case he could choose to lie or not yield info at all); and 2) by chatting him up you're taking an active step towards the next "level", i.e. attempting to bond with the person. just take care not to come across as too...well, obvious, both in questioning and in your outward behavior (being in front of the apple-of-your-eye and all). at worst he might 1) think you're chismosa, mausisa, and/or presko; and/or 2)suspect that your interest in him and his biography is, well, rather unusual. if he doesn't react negatively to it, then outcome#2 might not be so bad at all. but, like so many things in this cold sad world, it's a risk to bare yourself.

so far, in this new but not-so-new stage i'm finding myself in, i've only tried Procedures# 1 and 2. and the results yield...

age: 27
status: in a relationship/s (one on a live-in basis, the other unspecified)
gender: it's complicated (haaaaay...eto na naman ako)
interests: acting, the internet, non-linear editing, taking photos, getting himself in photos, mtv-ish films, eating, chika, the limelight
about him: likes to wear house slippers to work, wears dentures, likes to eat and relieve himself after eating (sabi nila...hehe), alleged mama's boy, ex-choreographer, best buds with the male lead of one of those 90s loveteams, big brown and paunchy, unassumingly attractive in a loud, offbeat, incomprehensible way

sigh. i'm a scary little girl. really.

i should be thinking of heavier things but here i am, languishing in another state-of-madness, for the umpteen-hundredth time, since who-knows-when.

i'm worried about the film, actually. worried and bothered.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

and so it's done (well...almost)

happenings of yesterday.

8am. i woke up in the morning in someone else's couch, for the Nth time since we'd begun editing. i had spent the night at our editor's house, having finished the last editing session at 3 am. i had sworn to myself that it was going to be my last time to wake up there. i was tired. i wanted to finish the film.

8:30am. i took a walk to the nearby shopping center for breakfast. in fairness to the area, it was the best place for a walk in the morning. i was surrounded by trees and the silence was calming. but i was somekinda turbulent inside. bothered by so many things. i was worried about that day. i was worried that the music scoring wouldn't deliver the requirements of the film. i was despising myself for countless things. worse comes to worst, alam kong self-preservation pa rin ang mangingibabaw. it's natural, but i'm hating myself for it. all in all, i just wanted the film to come out truly good. no less.

9:30am. the musical director said he'd be coming over to the editor's house at 8. it was almost 10 and neither editor nor musical director was in sight. people have to sleep, too, bluey. not everyone is as "adik" as you. i was worried about the deadline that afternoon--we had to submit a DVD copy to the CCP at 5PM that afternoon and the film still wasn't passable for me. the sound was bad in some parts and there were parts that badly needed the RIGHT music. much work still, and the key persons for the work were still asleep. i didn't want to wait anymore. i wanted to go home and change into fresh clothes. so i went home, even if it wasn't the smartest thing to do.

11:30am. i came back, freshly changed and bathed but still worrying and bothered. the postprod finishing lasted til 7 pm, after much nitpicking, debating, agonizing, and tensions over the deadline looming ahead. finally, we left the editor's house at 7pm--deadline was extended, after all. the film's writer, dennis, was ecstatic, but i was only relieved. it had been a laborious birthing, and i felt bad that i'd come to hate some things about myself while going through the process.

at least the work was good enough for me. it wasn't in perfect shape (not yet, but it will be), but i was somewhat happy. i've given birth to my second short. the first one was a blessing in my life; i pray that this one will be, too.

9pm. we arrived at CCP, immediately submitted the DVD copy, and went straight to the technical dress rehearsal for the play from which our short film was adapted. it was going to have its rerun on January 20, and the two lead actors, Lou and Paulo, had graciously lent their time and talent by starring in our short film as well. the shoot had been three gruelling days compressed into one long, long day; i knew that it had been an exhausting experience for them. after the rehearsals we had dinner together while watching the film on my laptop. the resto was open-air and it was noisy; despite that (and the fact that the audio of the film was still half-baked), they loved the film. it was pleasant news. after those three shooting days, the best thank-you gifts that i could give our actors was a good film. i'm glad they felt that it was good enough.

lou was so cool. i grew up watching him on TV as Mr. Truman, the stingy old bachelor character from that old sitcom, "UFO". i was blown away by his performance in our film. a closeup on his face alone--beautiful, emotive, rich in character--already tells half the story. but the most awe-inspiring thing about lou is that despite his experience and his brilliance, he was so down-to-earth in person, refined even. it was truly an honor to have worked with him. that sounds like a used-up line from a press release--hehe--but there's no more fitting way to describe it.

paulo, the actor who played the "louder" gay of the two gay characters in the film, was something else. energy on a high, on- and offscreen--he seemed to be in-character all the time, cackling and cracking jokes all over the place. surprising thing is that this guy, who had played the squealing gay GG so convincingly, is actually, well, straight. or so he says. haha! nonetheless, it's a fresh change to see a straight guy acting gay, and not the other way around. heehaw. i'm sure, bluey.

11pm. jp, dennis, and i went to the qc watering hole Eskinita for a few drinks. coming from the open-air eatery outside CCP, this place felt a bit too flashy for me. i was in a t-shirt and sneakers; everywhere i looked everyone looked like they had just stepped out of a fashion spread. fresh and made up, dressed to be seen at 11pm. haha. i've been holed up in work for too long, this has become an alien world to me.

but i was too adrift to feel out of place. too lost in the memory of the evening. the day had been long and my emotions had swung like a pendulum between opposite extremes, but i was smiling. life's like this. you just have to make your own happiness, wherever it is, whatever it is. sigh. i'm such a sucker for romantic illusions.

romantic illusions? did i say that? now wonder where'd that come from.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

two days to go (part two)

it's two days to go before the submission deadline of the short film we're finishing. we're in the middle of postproduction, a lonely phase, paling in comparison to the adrenaline-pumpin rushin-and-dashin goings-on in the three-day shoot that happened almost a week ago. thank god, we've gotten this far at this point, and with a work-in-progress that doesn't make me cringe whenever we do the repeated view-and-review. it seemed like six months ago when we first decided that we were going to make this short film on december 24.

two days ago dennis, jp, and i were together to receive the sad news. of the three of us, i was the one who was most visibly downed. i shouldn't have been, i didn't write that script, the concept didn't come from me, but i had thought that my intuition could be trusted, that the vacuum left inside where fears and doubts usually resided meant that most probably, our dream project would be given the nod.

hay. i guess not all dreams will come true, after all. not immediately, at least.

and so, with that other dream project out of the way--leave that for later, we'll raise the money first--we're giving all-out, dedicating all-out for this current project we're crafting. i've learned a lot in the process, from preproduction to the shoot to the current phase that is piecing everything together. not only about making films (on the standard shoestring-indie budget), but about my co-workers as well. it was a test of character, a getting-to-know-you of a sort on a professional/teamworking level. and yes, i've learned a lot about me as well.

the project is special for me in the sense that the material is absolutely different from me---straight, semi-prudish, twentyish girl making a film about ageing flamboyant gays. that's the challenge, in a way, and while there's a part of me that feels like an outsider to that colorful badingerzi world there's a bigger part of me that feels a deep empathy for the gay characters (yeah, why not--being around gay friends, being immersed in the gay-dominated media network world, having been in love with gay guys. haha) my empathy attaches me to the material, because theme-wise, the film is more or less universal. we all at some point ask ourselves if the life we're leading has any substance at all. existential chorva and stuff. so i can only pray that that comes out in the pinis pradak. i can only pray and reexamine the work, if beneath the flamboyance and color, the flash and the dips into the surreal, the meat of the material is shining through.

so i'm outta here. i'm glad that these days i've set aside the mushy-girl persona in favor of the genderless mind, but i still have my slips every once in a while. like yesterday. i'd been pushed against the wall lots of times in the harshest moments of the shoot, but i didn't break, least of all cry. but one word quoted from one person in a casual conversation over breakfast was enough to do the trick. the word hit home instantly and tears spewed out of my eyes--dinaig ko pa si judy ann sa bilis ng mga luha. haha! i hate it. lapsing into the weeping female stereotype.

the tribe leader emailed me about work today. oo nga pala. i have work pending for him still. he said it was f---king cold out there. he said he misses us all. we miss you too, is what i wanted to say. but i guess there's no sense in letting him know that anymore. not this late, not at all, ever. and, well, on second thought, di ko na sya nami-miss. hehe.

on the same day that that OTHER person had unwittingly made me cry i started to realize that there IS an interesting specimen lurking among our cast members. hahaha! funny how defense mechanisms work, eh. the "specimen" is not conventionally attractive but this schoolgirl's crush is real; it's a defense mechanism, nonetheless. or maybe, when you turn your head away from that Exupery Rose long enough to be able to look around, you'll realize that it's not the only Rose in the world after all. marami pala sila. yung iba, mas bongga pa ang kulay.

rose! dang, what an effeminate symbol. haha.

ok i said i'm outta here.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

two days to go

i have a 10 am prospective thingie this morning and i'm still up.

low eq.

couldn't help my thoughts from spillin out.

if i knew (and practiced) time management better then maybe life would be a lot less complicated.


technically, it's two days til shooting day. anxiety surges each time i'm reminded that time is ticking and there's still that shotlist to finish. dang! the oculars, the script readings, the casting tasks and other little here-and-there errands have kept me from sitting down again to finish that really important director's task. i hate short timeframes. it's so tv. but it's a reality that we have to live with.

lord, please help us. please help me. nothing that i want more than to pull this off, lord. i'd give up a few good little perks in my daily life, like extended sleep, good hair days, the internet, being in love.

today, i sit on that shotlist. but i have to attend to that 10am thingie first. have to be quickly home and get to work right away. this should come first.

try to manage time a little better, bluey. and be quick about it.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Cheers to Every January 1 of Our Lives!

Wow! 2006!

Time. Our sneaky little friend/foe.

The year that passed wasn't so bad. Scratch that. It was actually good. Not exceptional, but good. And so, to justify that statement, here's a quick recount of what happened to this boring little pseudo-existence for the last 12 months:

JANUARY. Project-monitoring work for Cinemalaya carried-over from 2004. Did my first speaking-role as a bit player in the Jeffrey Jeturian movie, "Bikini Open". Hahaha! I got the part because I'd worked as script continuity for Direk Jeffrey before (in the Cebu project). No, didn't wear a bikini (I can't imagine me wearing one). My role: casting agent to Diana Zubiri's ad model-wannabe role. Hahahay!

FEBRUARY. First music video racket for the year: Johann Escanan's song "After All". Not exactly proud of this one. And I've had my share of horror stories about the record company's budget concerns (let's just say that I owe someone a pretty big sum right now, and I will always carry that guilt with me until I gather enough money to pay her up, NO THANKS to the recording company who held out on the 10% balance of the production budget they were supposed to give me), but I enjoyed the day-long shoot a lot.
my cheesiest project of the year...aside from Qpids!

My work as writer/segment producer for the then-reality show Qpids officially began this month. Little did I know that this show would ultimately be my biggest adventure (loventure? heehaw!) for 2005.

MARCH. Qpids work, preproduction phase. The meetings were coming in more often, but I somehow managed to squeeze in...

...the last shooting day of "Nasaan Ka Man" (the Claudine-Diether-Jericho movie) as script continuity/2nd AD. Thanks to the several hectic months that would come later, I totally missed seeing "Nasaan Ka Man" in theaters. Haven't even seen it on video! Haha. Regardless of how it came out, though (have heard bad reviews from friends), this film will always be special. In a lot of ways, it validated my existence as a worker in the film industry.
my most adventurous movie project of the year.

...a cinema commercial shoot for the Boracay Funship as production manager/assistant director. with director/cinematographer eli, production designer joy, and art director sheryll, this project took me to that much-heard-about island Boracay for the very first time. after packup, Sheryll and I decided to stay for another day to enjoy an early-summer vacation in the famous resort paradise. my most vivid memories: swimming alone in the sea at high noon; the furious swaying of the coconut trees against the wind at nightfall; the horizon at sunset.
Took this sunset scene with my Nokia 3200, God bless the one who stole it.

Taping for the first two weeks of Qpids in Subic came soon. 48 hours with little sleep in between, you can say that the loventure was definitely beginning.
A fun afternoon at Nabasan Beach in Subic with the Qpidskada. One of the last rare leisurely moments before everyone became officially ngarag. Haha!
the boys of summer: contributing writer ewong, writer marcus, director jon, headwriter ted. yes, they all sucked in their tummies for this shoot. hahahaha

APRIL. Qpids work went hectic. For the entire month my life revolved around deadlines, meetings, 24-hour shoots, sleepless nights in postproduction, yosi, and extra joss. I was a zombie, like nearly everybody else in the staff. Spent my 25th birthday at home, writing all day to meet a deadline. Times like these, I found myself turning to the usual vices of the non-normal girl: yosi, coffee, extra joss, and insane, irrational (albeit unrequited) lurve. Haha!

MAY. Qpids pilot aired on May 15 (did it? it's been moved so many times I forgot the actual date). Hectic days and nights as a semi-vampire kept on. We were airing daily and I spent most of my waking hours at the polar regions of ABSCBN, doing postproduction. Still coping via the usual vices. Sick-o, hehe.

JUNE. Qpids was moved from primetime to pre-early evening News, which kinda rattled some people in the team, but the work load had somehow lightened as compared to the previous two months. I was getting endeared by the teen stars of our show--I'd completely attuned my mindset to the culture of "kilig" that the show was somehow proliferating. Awww!

Despite the fact that the show was monopolizing my life, I managed to shoot another music video: folk singer Gary Granada's "Kung Ika'y Wala". Haggard. I couldn't focus entirely on it during preproduction but I gave my all during the two-day shoot. Wasn't there during postprod so I really couldn't say that the finished product came out as I had wanted it to be, but I actually liked this more than the Johann video.

my weirdest project of the year!

JULY. Turning point for Qpids. Two adventurous shoots in two "exotic" locations: Hongkong and Bohol.

Headwriter Ted and I went on the one-day taping of the Hongkong loventure race among loveteams CarVane, MhyZel, and PauGi. It was my first time in Hongkong. I love traveling to new places so it was one of the best perks that the show had ever given me. A lot of running all over the streets of Kowloon under the burning sun (try running backwards while filming two teeners on a race! whew!), got a whiff of culture and local color every which way we went. Definitely one of the most adventurous days of 2005, that day we had in HK.
A random shot of a street in Hongkong Island, HK. We were hikers, nearly all the way.
Victoria's Peak in Hongkong Island, the last pitstop for the three racing loveteams. Soon after packup, the sightseeing was about to begin!

It was also in July when award-winning screenwriter Adolf, whom I met through St@r Cinem@, came into our Qpids lives as a third writer (before, there was only Marcus and me). The workload had significantly lightened, and by the time that we did the taping for the Bohol Loventure Race, Adolf had curiously became a significant part of my most vivid memories during our two-day stay in Bohol, newcomer that he was. Hahaha! He's so cool!

It was when the Bohol episode aired that Qpids started airing weekly. A lot less work for us writers. But it put several staffers out of work, too. Happy-sad turning point. But our Qpids lives had to go on.

AUGUST. Now that Qpids was airing weekly, I had some time in my hands for another racket: an audiovisual presentation (AVP) for an NGO. Still had to juggle it with the Day Job but it came out okay, somehow. Whew. The pay was fine but the creative journey where that project was concerned hadn't been absolute for me. Wasn't there the whole time during postprod. The hazards of juggling jobs!

After the Bohol loventure episode the show made a drastic re-format from reality to fiction drama, a la SCQ Reload. That was good news for me, being more of a fiction-writer than a reality-show writer.

Later that month Adolf had to beg off from a couple of the writing assignments due to prior commitments for other projects, and Marcus and I were pretty much left to co-write most of the drama episodes. It was much easier writing fiction and I loved the process--I suddenly discovered that I could actually hack kilig-fiction writing. Awww. Haha! For someone who hates watching cheesy romantic chick-flicks, that came as a surprise to me.

Just when I was getting comfy with the new working setup a new change came: Marcus had to leave the show to write for the then-emerging PBB. Since Adolf was also busy, I was left to write on my own. I didn't mind, but in a way I did. It wouldn't have been difficult, but in a way it was. Not the writing per se, but other dawdangies attached to it.

And the vices went on. Haha. Man, was I stupid.

SEPTEMBER. The loventure was coming to a close. Final four loveteams turned out to be JarLa, JilWyn, PawEl, and MhyZel. We were all amazed when PawEl ran off with the Qpids Grand Loveteam title--of the four, they were the only ones who hadn't evolved into a real-life couple!

The Final Four at the Qpids Finals, grabbed from the Qpids blog by CF

And so, on September, my ultimate adventure for the year wrapped up. Amidst hugs and heartfelt utterings of "byers" and "see you soon"s, I realized that it was going to take me some time to move on--the experience was too extensive/intensive; eight months was eight months. Old habits die hard, so the old non-normal girl's vices stayed. Movin' on was somekinda hard to do, ha! Hehe. Dito lang ako nahirapan talagang mag-detach, sa lahat ng projects ko.

OCTOBER. The early part of October I spent partying, resting, partying some more. Made up for those months that I was too busy with work. I was usually up all night and asleep all day. Fractured my heart for the Nth time over some bombshell news that was dropped on me but I eventually bounced back. Times like those, friends+videoke proved to be an effective pain-relieving combination somehow.

A remarkable blessing came when the personal projects of writer-friends Dennis, Monj, and I got into the semi-finals of the Cinemalaya. I was inspired! Eventually Monj (sayang ang project nya, sobrang interesting pa naman) had to back out but Dennis and I stayed. We had every intention of nurturing this baby to life. Hopefully, with God's help.

Well, after a number of crying sessions I'd had because of that, er, heart-fracturing bombshell, the Lord is good, indeed. He whips up a coupla rainbows for you after every storm (pardon the cliche). Not long after the good news of Cinemalaya, I got a call from one of Adolf's acquaintances about a Fil-Am New Y@rk University graduate's first feature-length movie that was going to be shot here. They needed a script continuity supervisor and Adolf had referred them to me. The job offer was an answered prayer (and a speedy one, at that..thanks talaga Lord!). Time to move on, God said. And I was ready.

NOVEMBER. Whether it was by divine intervention, fate, or plain coincidence I wouldn't know, but a Halloween party at the house of friends Ted, Rose, and Michiko led me to meet the person who would help me and Dennis produce our personal project: JP. Soon JP, Dennis, I, and JP's friend Tita Emily were knee-deep in on preprod discussions. Dennis and I were really grateful. You don't meet instant benefactors everyday. God has got to have something to do with it. Apart from the business side, of course, is the fact that I gained a friend, as well. JP is one of the most colorful characters I've met in 2005!

Shoots for the feature film began second week of November. It was to be my last (income-generating) project for the year. And a turning point in my film-worker's career, as well--the first movie project that I had handled as script continuity from Day 1 til last (in two of my previous projects I came in at the latter half of the production phase; in the first one I came in as trainee under an official script cont). An adventure on its own, from Sta. Mesa's railways in Altura to the busy streets of Quiapo to the suburbs of Quezon City and Antipolo.

DECEMBER. The shoots for the feature-film project went on til second week of December. 25 working days, all went smoothly--it was amazing. Work-wise, I learned a lot about my job, and from the director as well. On the personal side, I gained friends. I love this troupe! Everyone was so nice, and I won't tire of saying that. Had somekinduva schoolgirl crush on the Leader of the Tribe, too (hehe) but the work had always been top priority.

In between shoots I was also working on the personal project. Oculars, meetings, calendars. We would have been gearing up for a February grind date had it not been for an unexpected project that came up: a short film, also intended for submission to Cinemalaya on January 16. And so, on the last week of December, we put the first personal project on hold to accommodate another personal project of greater urgency: GeeGee and Waterina, an award-winning stage play that is soon to become a film. God-willing.

I'm anxious, because the timetable for preproduction is so short. I'm anxious, because I'm directing it, and this isn't just going to be another music video/AVP racket--it's going to be my baby. And so, there's no other option but a good film. A beautiful film, if possible.

Christmas and New Year's Eve breezed by in a flurry of parties, get-togethers, shopping horrors, and last-minute backlog work. The last week of December I dedicated to preparing for the short film shoot on January 7--now just a week away. Lord, help us!

Whew. What a long year. I hope I didn't bore you. Haha. Nearly every TV station does a "Yearender Review" on the nation's happenings every end-of-the-year, and I guess most bloggers would do the same on their own lives, as well. I'm no different. But I had to do this, because I'm proud of my 2005. It's not necessarily better than the past years I've had, but it's unique. A year of adventures.

One year from now I hope I'd look back to my 2006 with as much pride and enthusiasm, if not more. I really pray for more happy adventures ahead.