felix felicis

felix felicis: July 2013

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

on balloons

I discovered El GloboRojo (The Red Balloon) while browsing my Facebook feed this morning. It was actually a response to a friend’s post on Paperman, another short film which won the 2012 Academy for Best Animated Short. Because I still had room to explore the net before finally diving into work, I watched the short. I did not regret spending half an hour enjoying Pascal’s funny adventures with a sentient red balloon. Hahaha! The adults find it quite unusual that a red balloon constantly follows this cute little boy wherever he goes. Bully kids, on the other, are hell-bent on destroying Pascal’s red balloon. In general, the short film was entertaining and touching at the same time. I can’t help but feel bad for Pascal when he saw the red balloon slowly ran out of helium. I told a friend that the big, shiny red balloon’s like our childhood dreams— constantly looking at it to get that needed motivation to move forward and make our futures better and brighter. And then once in our lives, the red balloon gets punctured, runs out of gas and dies away. We start to lose hope and get sad. But just like the film’s last scene, more balloons come our way—they’re in different sizes and colors—ready to create bigger and better dreams that will make us believe again. CHAR. Hahaha!

Here’s the film. Enjoy! J

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Monday, July 8, 2013

On gender movements

Saturday was awesome. Our Theory Class in the afternoon had an interesting discussion on women studies, LGBT issues and other matters related to gender. Ok, so I was close to dozing off at the first twenty minutes of the class. I guess because I hadn’t had enough sleep. Anyhoo, the class discussion took a better turn when one of our classmates gave us the basics on Sexual Orientation and Gender Issues. SOGI, he calls it. He said it’s a seminar usually given to college students by LGBT orgs, we’re getting them inside the classroom. Hehehe.

The more interesting part was when we we’re asking ourselves why the rights-based movements, i.e. feminism and LGBT, do not gain much ground on Asian societies. Some of my classmates said that it might be because of incorrect comments coming from the media. Some said that it’s too focused on the white middle-class struggle that it forgets that there are other members of the society that has to be included too. When asked for my opinion on this, I premised my insight on GMA News Blogger Leloy Claudio’s article, In defense of the parlor gay. In the article, the writer had often observed that a lot of “burgis” gays are distancing themselves from the “parlorista” gays— the former consider themselves “the modern incarnations of the homosexual” while the latter “reflects a version of homosexuality that Philippine society finds hard to accept: he/she is loud and threatening to straight men,” hence, a clear barrier to further promoting and mainstreaming gay rights. He furthers the discussion by quoting a friend’s argument: “The parlor bakla is not global; he/she is lower class and performs a backward homosexuality; he/she is a bothersome reminder of the fact that queerness in the Philippines is different from the desired queerness of the West.”

I told Prof that such an observation in the Philippine gay community cannot be more different if applied across Asia or discussed parallel to women’s rights movements. We rally for equality and acceptance in a larger scale but along those lines we also create internal cleavages or discriminatory classes that divide the cause that we’re trying to move across. We tend to forget the fact that in certain societies, differences exist. Ignoring them will essentialize the cause—we might end up oversimplifying things while fighting only for causes that we can relate to or we think will improve the image that we’re trying to forget. But recognition and positive action on these pluralities might just broaden the perspectives we have. Nuances are needed to better define the causes we’re trying to advocate and the rights we’re fighting for. The women’s rights movement, if only focused on the Anglo-American or French perspectives, will really not reach a global audience. The experiences of American and European women are way too different from those in Southeast Asia, India, China or even in Africa. A closer look then on their culture might just be of help.

The class ended with all of us gushing over GMA’s primetime show, My Husband’s Lover. The show tackles the issues that affect gays having a hard time coming out. We all felt that it was something fresh and really bold. After class, I went to UP Film Center to catch the remastered version of Lino Brocka’s opus, Maynila: Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag. Insights on the film are on the next entry.

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Skipping a class for Madz

Yep, I skipped Friday class to watch Madz 50th year Anniversary Concert. Sorry, it just has to be done.

My brother introduced me to choral group singing and then, we finally fell in love with Madz. A friend allowed us to pirate his precious CDs just so we can have something to listen to. Hahaha! I was dying to watch them live—well, I was able to last December when they sang portions during the annual Handel’s Messiah Concert. Pero mejo bitin, so justified ang pag-absent sa class last Friday.

The first half of the concert was filled with songs that I’m not much familiar with. There’s one sung in Spanish, another in French and the other one was Maguindanaon yata. No worries, I haven’t understood a word but I enjoyed the performance nonetheless.

The second half was more fun because (1) I was more familiar with the songs, and (2) they were more upbeat. I could have easily said their rendition of Michael Jackson’s Earth Song was my favorite but their Da Coconut Nut, originally composed by Ryan Cayabyab, was total performance. Second favorite was Ihip ng Hangin sung by the female members of the group. Their voices were just so angelic and soothing. Equally amusing was their last song: Italian Salad composed by Richard Genee. I don’t know the guy, but according the program I got, he was a Prussian-born Austrian composer, librettist and playwright. Italian Salad is like a parody of “the usual Italian opera of the Romantic era.” It comes from “the long tradition of opera buffas and pokes fun at the different types of singers that grace the opera stage.” Sounds funny? Wait until you see them sing and do it. The bass guy was the best. Hahaha!

Madz 50th Anniversary as the University’s premier choral group coincides with the UP College of Music’s golden year celebration too. The Madz concert served as their opening act for a semester-long series of concerts.

Here’s their song list:

  1. Doxologia
  2. Anima Christi
  3. Ang Pag-Ibig
  4. Ang Puso Ko’y Nagpupuri (Magnificat)
  5. La Bomba
  6. La Guerre
  7. Cantate Domino
  8. De Profundis Magnificat
  9. An Apocalyptic Alleluia
  10. Leron, Leron Sinta
  11. Kaisa-Isa Niyan
  12. Earth Song
  13. Africa
  14. Contigo En La Distancia
  15. Ihip ng Hangin
  16. Change the World
  17. Da Coconut Nut
  18. Italian Salad
  19. Circle of Life (Encore)

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