On Zombies, Putting DADs under the limelight and Lots of Other Important Stuff

With all the explosive events happening on the news lately, it’s quite hard to see the beauty of life anymore.

Sometimes, I find myself contemplating on the rampant killings (bombings included) in and out of the country, on the safety of my loved ones, their future and their emotional and psychological health and conditions because those things scare the heck out of me.

So how does anyone still see the beauty of living in a world as chaotic and seemingly as loveless as ours?

What bothers me now isn’t just our President’s campaign against drugs, which now also includes a battle against terrorism, but also the fact that the HiddleSwift hoopla has now ended. Taylor is indeed living up to her name, having swift, fleeting relationships with men I’ve lost count of. Kidding aside, no one can blame her, because it is her life after all and only she knows what she wants and who can make her happy. Relationships are cases of trial and error, for some. It just wouldn’t be right to settle with someone just to be safe because that wouldn’t be fair to both people involved. Anyway, apart from this slight segue to hollywood news, which isn’t really the whole point of this entry, I have also been affected enormously by the 2 movies I’ve seen over the weekend, the first one being, the well sensationalized, but not disappointing, “Train to Busan”.

So, how do all of these relate to one another? I’m guessing, I’m in the manic phase of my Bipolar disorder again, having these “flight of ideas”, jumping from one thought to another. 😛 On a serious note, all this thinking after watching the said movie, and another heartbreaking one in a span of 2 days made me realize that first, there is always hope, despite all the negativity in the world and second, dads are important in our lives too. 😛

I’m not doing a review of the movie because it came out weeks ago, or months even, and I probably might be the last one to have seen it, but I’m not saying that there won’t be any spoilers in this entry, so don’t tell me I didn’t warn you. ALSO, I’d like to say that the film had such an enormous impact on meh heart and brain, so huge and deep that I ended up writing this post. But why’d you even take my word for it? Even a Pixar movie can get me bawling like a baby. 😛 Well, maybe because, for one, and I know a lot would agree with me when I say that there is so much to learn from the film, underneath all the sudden awkward and stiff break-dancing (as what my sister loves to call it) and chaos in the train, and it had a good plot, cinematography and special effects, effective acting and musical score, stunts and a heart. đŸ˜„

To break it down for you, I’ve listed some of the important stuff I realized while watching the film. First of all, for sure, we all learned that most of the time, we bring this upon ourselves, and the “this” I’m talking about can be anything from drug-addiction to failing in an exam, or sometimes, even losing a loved one. Mankind has so much potential, talent, power and intelligence, but when used inappropriately, can lead to greed and eventually to all the other bad stuff I don’t need to tell you anymore. Somehow, we know that we made those things happen. We may not be the root of all evil, but we allowed ourselves to be instruments of evil, out of hunger for more fame, money or power. Later on in the movie, it was revealed through one of the main lead’s employees that the outbreak was caused by their company’s plant, which made him cry silently in the lavatory.

Another thing I liked about the movie is that we were reminded to look after one other, because like what they say, we are our brother’s keeper. In line with this, the priest kept on repeating himself on his Homily yesterday that “when we think about Jesus, we think about our neighbor/s“, which brings us back to the 2 main rules of God–which is to love God and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. It’s pretty simple, and I know that even though we’re from different nationalities, cultures and religions, we were all taught the same thing, to love one another. It was so hard for me to see the characters on the movie die because I get attached so easily, especially to the husband of the pregnant lady. I admired his character so much for his selflessness and concern for others. In everything he did on the movie, it’s like he always had the welfare of others in mind before his own. I could even say the same for the homeless guy, who saved the lead characters’ lives twice. So It wasn’t a surprise to see the lead guy’s change of heart in the middle of the film and of his prior plan to just look after themselves. Of course, I’d have to give credit to the little girl as well. We saw how she was brought up well by her mother for she always was concerned with the other passengers’ welfare. Amazing group of kind-hearted people. Isn’t it comforting that even at a time like that, you can see God in each of the people on that train? When some people say that they don’t feel God’s presence, this is a perfect example of how we can.

Sad to say, despite having a group of people who are willing to help, there’d still be people who will trample on others for their own sake, which brings me to my third realization, look out for people like them. I’m very lucky not to have met someone or at least not that I know of, who is as painfully-irritating as Yon-Suk who was apparently the COO of a train company. It isn’t such as surprise to see someone like him do what he did because desperate times call for desperate measures, but it is quite bothersome to think what people would do will there be such a similar catastrophe in the future.

Lastly, and should I say the thing that left the deepest dent in my heart was the fact that dads, even though they’re almost always on the sidelines and not always recognized, are important too. No, it wasn’t a joke when I said that earlier. I liked the scene when big-husband-of-preggy-lady called Sang-hwa, one baseball team member and the main lead, Seok-Woo came to rescue the ladies and the homeless guy in a lavatory and ended up waiting in the lavatory across theirs while waiting for the train to go into a tunnel. Sang-hwa had a small talk with Seok-woo on how dads often work hard for their kids and that he knows that when Soo-an grows older, she would understand and appreciate why he worked so hard. It was a brief exchange between them, but it somehow gave tribute to the fathers who aren’t always recognized for their part in raising their children. This is mostly obvious in families with stay-at-home, hands-on moms and working dads.

In the end, when Seok-woo got bitten by none other than the irritating COO whom I felt sorry for when he said he was just trying to get home to his mother, he had to bid a quick and not to mention, a very emotional goodbye to his daughter, Soo-an. I cried the hardest when I saw Soo-an holding on tightly to her dad’s shirt. It reminded me of that time in Tokyo when we lined up at this sushi restaurant. We broke into 2 groups because some (aka my mother and aunt) didn’t like to eat raw food. My father originally went with my mama and aunt and eventually went with us. We originally told the waiter we were 4, but when my father joined us, we had to tell him we want to add 1 to our group but he said it wasn’t possible to seat 5 in a table so 1 would have to sit alone on a counter seat. My brother agreed with the waiter and said he’ll be the one to sit on the counter seat, but my father probably thought he was intruding, so he said he’ll just stick with my mama and aunt. We were asking him to stay so I grabbed a hold of his sleeve as tight as I could with a desperately begging face like a kid, because I could see how he was being too selfless again. It was the worst case of non-intentional guilt trip that I almost couldn’t bear at that time and makes me break into tears when I remember it.

I also loved the part just before Seok-woo turned into a full-on zombie at the back of the train, the scene when he first held Soo-an as a baby flashed before his eyes and he suddenly stopped crying and just smiled. There was a soft piano music playing in the background and it gets me every time, even as I watch it now. I don’t know why, but as I watched that scene, I remembered this article my friend sent me to read. It just said that we should spend more time with our parents, because they’re not getting any younger. They used to be so strong when they were younger (cue the scene from the movie below when Seok-woo holds Soo-an in his arms), but as time passes by, they become older and weaker and before we know it, their time on earth will eventually come to an end.

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I couldn’t find the article itself, but just the same, this article’s title alone says it all,

“Love your Parents. We are so busy growing up, we often forget they are also growing old.” – Amy Anderson

Read it, preferably while listening to the sad OST of the film below :P, you won’t regret it.

The day after I saw TTB, I also watched the dubbed version of “About Time” on tv, which I’m glad I did because it has been years since I first saw it and I almost forgot the most special parts of the movie with the lead guy’s dad on them. Again, it was another movie intended to break the viewers’ hearts and of course, to put dads under the limelight.

I myself have given little tributes to my own father on social media and even on this blog and on the other one countless times, and I remember a time being called a papa’s girl when I was young. They’d tell me stories of how I would go with my father when he would get his owner jeep fixed. Growing up, I would also eventually develop an inclination for the arts, influenced by my papa who is an artist. He taught us bits on how to paint, how to take photos, how to play the keyboard and a few songs that I know how to play until today, taught us how to play the guitar and one that I’m most proud of, how to use Photoshop back in high school, which I’m glad I’m still able to use today. He is so gifted passionate and I know wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for him being supportive of my passions. Did I say he enrolled me in a photography workshop in an institute he loves?

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So going back, I feel like I know the answer to that question even before I came up with it. With all the realizations (including doing cardio exercises for when real zombies with effing kangaroofic and puma-ish abilities arise) I have now after watching the said films , I learned that we, the inhabitants of this world we’re gradually destroying are also the hope we have been praying for, for a better world. God has given us each a part of him when he created us, so that only means, we are all naturally good. And in the darkest times, when some fear that God has forsaken us, let us be the ones to shed some light on them and remind them that God IS ALWAYS WITH US.

A week ago, my papa and mama collided into another car in front of them when a reckless jeepney driver crashed on to them from behind. There were 8 vehicles involved in total and our car was one that got severely damaged. It was a good thing that there wasn’t a passenger at the back and that they were able to come home safely that day with just minor gashes and hurting backs. I couldn’t thank God enough for saving them and not to mention for the help and support of my relatives, friends and B. I have always believed that God is always around. We just have to keep the faith that despite the most difficult times, He remains with us, holding our hands, or carrying us through it all. 🙂

So indeed, the beauty of living in a world like ours comes not from living a luxurious, safe and comfortable life, but one that is at times, difficult, but undeniably colorful and meaningful and most importantly, should be centered on God and in love.

P.S. Apart from my sister, my Papa also encouraged me to watch the film, being a movie-buff himself. He commended the cinematography and the plot, the director and even the stunt men. I’m guessing it’s his first time to see a Korean film, but he wasn’t disappointed either.

So Kudos too to Yeon-Sang-ho (director), Park Joo-suk (writer), Lee Hyung-deok (cinematography), Lee Dong-ha (producer), Jang Young-gyu (music) and to the whole cast for making this film successful not only on the big screen but more importantly, in penetrating through the hearts of people from all over the world!

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Mama

My mother celebrated her 52nd birthday yesterday, but unlike in the past years when I’d normally put up a mushy post on Facebook, this year, I chose not to.

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She shares a Facebook account with my father and even though they are on it, they’re not too comfortable with the whole social media hoopla and want to maintain as private as possible. They’ve warned us countless times to be careful not to tag them on some photos or posts as they don’t want to be overwhelmed by responses from friends and colleagues. Either that or they don’t want to come off as braggy.

Of course, I mostly just ignored them because hello, freedom of expression! I also think that it is another way for them to get the rare recognition they deserve not only for their hard work in their respective careers, but also for their love and commitment to us and to their loved ones.

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For the past years, I’ve made it a point to post something witty or hilarious on special occasions to celebrate their colorful lives without being too mushy. As expected, these posts had the most number of likes and comments on my page, evident of the love and support that friends and family have for them both.

It makes me happy seeing them happy with the responses they get every year. I can’t say that reading these responses myself doesn’t touch me, because it does. This is another reason why I continue to do this, until this year.

If I remember it right, I did not do something special for my papa’s birthday as well. We just had a simple celebration after attending mass, much like what we did for mama’s birthday.

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This year, I just woke her up to greet her at 12:05 am when she dozed off while waiting for my sister to come home. Hours later, I just tried to make her laugh and make her feel good on her special day. I cooked breakfast (and dinner) for everyone, while my sister did the dishes because she and my papa were busy painting and cleaning up. We went to church, had a sumptuous lunch and went back home.

It was the least festive birthday, but it wasn’t bad at all. My sister and I amused her enormously while she’s finishing painting the walls, jokingly sending rude responses to all her friends, family and colleagues that greeted her. Her reactions were as usual, hilarious!

And yes, you read it right. She was painting the walls on her birthday. She also meticulously cleaned up after, while I was just sitting around. I have to say, I couldn’t admire her more for how tireless she is. She has been awarded numerous times for her dedication and hard work in the same company she’s been working for for the last 20-30+ years.

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Truly, she’s a woman who has achieved so much, yet has remained humble, kind and generous. I could never even become half of who she is now, but I try to do good by her as much as I can for whatever we do, it would almost always boil down to how we were raised by our parents, right?

To add to that, I feel blessed to have her as a mother, for not spoiling us and for teaching us the value of respect, generosity and helping around the house and at a young age and for being half responsible for raising really good kids (yes, I’m only talking about my siblings here :P).

I don’t expect my mother to ever see this post, but on the off chance that she does, I hope it leaves a smile on her face as it did when I wrote this. 🙂

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P.S. All photos were taken by papa except for the last 2 🙂

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Growing Up with Harry Potter

I never wrote a full entry solely dedicated to Harry Potter, to think that I always made a big fuss about him and Daniel Radcliffe being of the same age as my batch mates and I when the first movie came out. PHEW!

I did mention the biggest franchise of this generation from time to time, in 7 entries to be exact, but none of those truly gave tribute to what once was a big part of my childhood. So without further ado, I give you my long overdue tribute to J.K. Rowling’s biggest masterpiece yet.

SHOWBIZ Potter/Radcliffe...Handout photo of young actor Daniel R
SHOWBIZ Potter/Radcliffe…Handout photo of young actor Daniel Radcliffe. Daniel who starred in the BBC adaptation of David Copperfield, is named as the star of the first Harry Potter film after a worldwide hunt, director Chris Columbus said Monday 21 August 2000. Columbus and producer David Heyman discovered their Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger from the thousands of children who cast their names into the hat to play the roles. Young actor Daniel Radcliffe will be the film s Harry (centre), with newcomers Rupert Grint (right) and Emma Watson taking on the roles of Ron and Hermione. See PA story SHOWBIZ Potter. PA photo: Handout…A

2000-2001: Back in 5th grade, I remember my seatmate reading a book in between classes and she was excited because apparently, a movie adaptation was in the works at the time. That was all I could remember then.

Fast forward to a few months after that, I was in 6th grade, I remember getting in on the hype that was about to change our lives forever. A little bit dramatic, don’t you think? Well, I beg to disagree!

Before the movie came out, I found myself lining up to our library’s photocopy machine lady with a Time magazine in one hand and you guessed it right. It had a blown up image of a then 11-year old Daniel Radcliffe on the cover and it was all mine. So what was I getting in line there for? Well, I really didn’t want to cut out and rip the magazine apart, because it was way too special for me at the time, so I had the article and his photos photocopied instead. (I would have had the copy to this day if it weren’t for Ondoy in 2009).

Word spread like wildfire and before I knew it, kids from both my class and from the other sections were flocking to our classroom asking to borrow my magazine. Let’s just say that later that afternoon, I went home and I wasn’t too thrilled about what Daniel looked like after.

When the movie came out, obviously we had to see what the fuss was about. I remember my father being as thrilled as I was seeing the movie for the first time. We had to buy a VCD copy a few months after because we were all in love with it, especially me.

I remember getting really obsessed with the franchise and the actors. I even memorized all of Hermione’s lines from the first movie. I collected photos from the internet. I read and watched all of their interviews. I was hooked! I was a kid on sugar rush and Harry Potter was my candy bar.

To be honest, I was a bigger fan of the movie franchise than of the books. I only got to read books 4, 6 and 7 and that was because I couldn’t wait for the movies to come out and I was really curious about the new characters and scenes I saw in the teasers. Since then, I was always on the lookout for news on the actors and when the succeeding movies would be released. I would get giddy just getting a glimpse of BTS photos. I would be emotional when a character dies and more so when an actor does. I remember getting really sad when Richard Harris died because I get too attached easily and I wasn’t ready for a new guy to take over his role, but then again, Michael Gambon was pretty spectacular himself too.

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CRUSHES. When the first movie came out, obviously, I only had eyes for Daniel, but then Tom Felton really looked cute too up until the second movie, so I had a little crush on him too. If you remember, Oliver Wood, team captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team? Yes, I had eyes for him too. Then when we started growing older (sorry I really had to include myself in all of this), Rupert Grint started to look really good too. I’m not sure exactly when I started getting obsessed attracted to him, but one thing’s for sure, I still think he’s pretty cute up to this day! The whole Daniel hoopla died in me when his voice started cracking; so if I remember it right, it was right about after the 2nd movie! haha!

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THE LOVE FACTOR. Okay, I know that this franchise revolved mainly on witchcraft and wizardry but for me, it was pretty much a RoMione love story peppered with magical elements (kinda how Titanic was really just about Jack-Rose). haha!

Kidding aside, I’m sure a lot would agree that teenage life wouldn’t be the same without a little bit of romance on the side, even for non-muggles. At first, I was rooting for the whole Draco-Hermione thing, but eventually and for the longest time, I was and still am a Ron-Hermione fan. I couldn’t wait for their love-hate relationship to finally be out in the open, after years of Ms. Rowling building it up. So you can just imagine how extremely elated I was to see them holding hands and hugging on the second part of the Deathly Hallows, even at the verge of death (remember the scene just before Neville cut off the basilisk’s head?).

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Ok, now I’m thinking I should write a separate tribute for Ron ❀ Hermione. Will do! Soon!

Any favorites?

  • Character: Hermione!
  • Professor: Dumbledore of course and the “good” Mad-Eye Moody!
  • Villain: Professor Snape because he turned  out to be a hero in the end đŸ˜„
  • Magical Creatures: bogarts! dementors, flesh eating slugs, and hippogriffs!
  • Magical Items: Marauder’s Map! a wand, a broom and Hermione’s expandable bag (undetectable extension charm), time-turner and the moving paintings!!!
  • Spells I’m familiar with: Accio! Obliviate, Reparo, Rictusempra
  • Spells I could really use in real life: Accio, Lumos & Nox, Stupefy, Alohomora, Episkey, Geminio, Expelliarmus, Immobulus, Muffliato, Pack, Tergeo! haha!
  • Book: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (book 7)
  • Movie: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (1st), the Deathly Hallows (last) and a tie between Prisoner of Azkaban (3rd) and Goblet of Fire (4th)
  • Movie Scenes: Love this moment when Ron came back after being crazy-jealous of Harry on the second part of the last film, The time-turner scene where they had to re-do something from the past, I love the sorting hat scene from the first movie, the yule ball dance, and this one: 
    and this: 
  • Favorite musical score from the films: Battle of Hogwarts/Courtyard Apocalypse 

 

What I hate the most:

  • Hatest Villain: Professor Umbridge
  • Hatest movie scenes: In the 6th movie, when Harry had to force Dumbledore drink the potion of despair. It was too hard to watch and the cave was pretty creepy too. I also hated the moment when Harry entered the Triwizard maze. All of sudden there was silence even though a whole audience and the band was just on the other side of this huge hedge. And then there were the Bathilda Bagshot scene and that Death Eaters’ meeting at the Malfoy Manor with Burbage’s body hanging in the air. Creepy, creepy, creepy!
  • Hatest Harry and Ron look: 4th film!

 

This could go on for a while. I bet I could write a second part or I could make this a trilogy! I have too much to say on how Harry Potter has been a big part of my childhood and my life. I was introduced to this whole new world where every child’s dream and fantasy came to life. I’ve always thought that witchcraft was pure evil, but I never thought we could see a whole new side to it. I had a deeper appreciation for books, for magic, powerful imaginations, for lasting friendships, and also for creativity and passion. Harry Potter taught me so many things beyond spells and incantations. It taught and inspired me to never give up and to fight for what’s good and what’s right.

I know the franchise ended 5 years ago, same time I graduated from college (yes, I had to bring that up again! edi batch na namin yung special!), but the magic never ends. I’ll be sure to pass this on to my children and grand children and I know they’ll enjoy it as much as we did and still do, even though technology would be way advanced by that time. I’ll forever be grateful not only to J.K. Rowling for making a mark in history and in our childhood, but also to Harry for teaching us to be brave, to Hermione for teaching us to be wise and to Ron for teaching us to be loyal.

**DISCLAIMER: All photos used in this post are all linked to their respective owners/sources!

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