Sunday, January 21, 2007

the first stretch of 2007

It’s the first stretch of the year 2007. A literal stretch. A few days after classes resumed, I literally stretched my lazy bones and muscles to keep up with my daily student routine. After weeks of getting used to sleeping late, watching movies on HBO and cartoons on Cartoon Network and Disney nonstop, stuffing my tummy with anything my eyes deliciously feasted on, playing with my dog Captain and cat Mijay who loves to chomp my toes, and surfing the net during the wee hours in the morning, I wasn’t ready to go back to school. Not yet. Really, I think I acted like a bum during the first week of classes. I missed vacation so much that I swore after the last day of this semester, (that would be graduation day, granting of course…) I’m taking a mandatory rest period for me to enjoy myself. I’m thinking beach, food, cool air…

And before I drift off to dreamland, here are random things I’ve taken note of since I got back during the holidays:

a box of old notes and letters
I have a box of old notes and letters stashed in one of the upper cabinets in my bedroom in Leyte. I don’t know what got into me but it never occurred to me to throw them away because even if they are mere pieces of paper, they are precious. During the holidays, I had the luxury of browsing through those notes and letters that already smelled like antique pieces of furniture. I savored each note and letter with nostalgia and bliss. A lot of them revealed what was going on in my growing up years – the little tampuhans of my friends, my infatuation moments, and mostly, just about what went on around the classroom during discussions. I think I missed passing notes around. They rarely happen now in college when cell phones are allowed in the classroom. There’s a big difference between a note and a text message. Notes exude a personal touch; you can either hate or admire the handwriting of the sender, not to mention that the message is written in full text, which makes the message clearer and almost always undisputable. Text messages are impersonal, sent in the same font and color and written in abbreviations that will take more minutes to decipher if you’re not used to it. The message loses its momentum. Notes are passed by human hands. (hopefully, not the teacher’s as the note will surely be confiscated) It adds excitement as each curious hand tries to pry open the note. The sender glares at the intruder of the privacy hopefully to scare his guts off. The intruder, your classmate, winks jokingly in surrender and proceeds with the human networking of the message. Text messages are sent via the communication company’s network, which sometimes goes haywire and the message ends up with the wrong person. You might end up in an altercation who first texted who. Well, I’m a traditionalist so I find notes and letters more appealing. So if you do have time, drop me a note for me to keep in my stash.

Metro Manila Film Festival
Yesterday, I was able to watch a portion of the live telecast of the Golden Globe Awards. Hollywood stars donned their best gowns and tuxedos for that great opportunity to be thrust into the limelight. They looked beautiful, elegant, and dignified. Dignified, not because they are wearing multi-million dollar clothes but dignified, because the event itself exudes an aura of dignity and credibility. I can’t help but compare the Golden Globe to our controversial Metro Manila Film Festival. I haven’t watched any of those films vying for awards at the MMFF so I’m in no position to say which film should have won the Best Picture. But if the rebuttal of our dear MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando, who happens to be one of the judges, includes the revelation that forty percent (40%) of the criteria rests on movie earnings, well excuse me, I beg to disagree. Point Sir, earnings are indeed a determining factor of a really good movie but it’s not always the case, especially in the Philippine setting. The problem with our current film industry today is that producers are so contentedly wrapped up in their comfort zones, relying on tried-and-tested formulas for blockbuster hits. As long as they earn, they don’t care at all even if the movie is a copy of some Hollywood movie. I’m talking of quality films here. Films that move people to think. Films that educate. Films that expose social realities. Apparently, what we have right now are more of entertainment. Put in a hunk of an actor, a super hero, or a scantily-clad sexy star and you’re good to go. You’re going to rake in big bucks, baby! But what do the people get? An hour or two’s worth of entertainment? And then what next? Sadly, that’s the politics of it all. Sheesh. Even in movies, politics exists. Well, as political science students always assert, everything is political.

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