TaDi Snap Shots

Thursday, December 30, 2010

When will we be ready for Rosario? -- Rosario Movie Review

Potato On-the-Go:

I really had no plans of posting any film reviews this 2010 Metro Manila Film Festival as I know I'll be busy with many holiday gatherings but after what the jurors did to the recently concluded awards night (the jurors snubbed in the recognition Albert Martinez for Direction, Jennylyn Mercado for Performance by a Lead Actress, Manuel V. Pangilinan for Story, Elmer Gatchalian for Screenplay and Albert Chang for Musical Score), I guess I have to post my point of view, because they don't have the monopoly of telling the public which is the good film or not.

I've always been thirsty for movies that narrate our country's history or the backdrop of our cultural heritage.  I've only seen a few and for me, they now belong to our country's treasures that defines us a people.  Some of them are Oro Plata Mata, Mumbaki, Sakay, Jose Rizal, Rizal sa Dapitan and Supremo, among others.  So when I heard that Cinemabuhay and Studio 5 are creating Rosario, I just know they are doing something right.  I wished then that the story and screenplay will be as moving as the pages of our history books (because Rosario is a story of a private woman).

Rosario, produced by CineMabuhay and Studio 5, is based on an original story by successful businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan and directed by critically acclaimed actor (and now a director) Albert Martinez.  Here's the official theatrical trailer:

The film tells the story of Rosario (Jennylyn Mercado), a young and liberated woman from a wealthy family in Isabela in the 1920s who just arrived from New York.  She was spending her vacation in their hacienda when she committed her first mistake -- meeting and falling in love with Vicente (Yul Servo), her father's right hand who manages their plantation, an older man coming from a poor family.

Jennylyn Mercado as Rosario
Yul Servo as Vicente

And since such relationship is a taboo in that era, Rosario and Vicente managed to steal time and express their love with each other, amidst the risk and danger that it may bring.

So When Rosario's father (Philip Salvador) finds out about his daughter's scandalous affair, they move out of the hacienda, sends Rosario to a convent and punishes Vicente.  But Rosario follows no one but her heart so she escapes the humbling life in the convent and marries Vicente.  They move to Manila where they have a simple yet comfortable family life.

But Rosario commits the second mistake of her life when she is lured to committing adultery while her husband Vicente becomes ill with tuberculosis.  Vicente sues Rosario and her lover Alfredo (Dennis Trillo) which was a controversial and celebrated adultery case in the 1920s.  They were both sent to exile in Hong Kong.

Isabel Oli as Carmen
Dennis Trillo as Alfredo

When they returned to Manila, Rosario's new family faces another challenges which will bring her again to an unlikely situation.  But Rosario, this time, redeems herself.

Sid Lucero as Carding

First of all, I would like to commend its director, Albert Martinez for creating a modern masterpiece.  The job is very challenging not only because Rosario's saga is non-conforming to the norms of our past and present society but bringing back to life a story made almost a century ago will demand a lot of time, huge investment, creativity and discriminating intelligence.  And I believe the director was able to do that.

I already saw Jennylyn's potential in the film  Blue Moon and I believe this movie, Rosario, gave her the seal of a legitimate actress.  She has no hysterical scenes nor slapstick moments, but her subtle and subdued acting was able to convey the right emotion of her character -- a liberated woman who somehow conforms to the rule of her family and the society.  One of her highlights is the scene when she found out that her daughter (Empress Schuck) became a famous pianist and then she witnessed how her dear child performed.  There's no dialogue, but the emotion is conveyed through her eyes, face and tears.

I also praise Dennis Trillo, Isabel Oli (as Rosario's cousin Carmen), Eula Valdes (as Rosario's mom), Yul Servo and Sid Lucero (as Carding) with their commendable performances.  Their scenes may be brief but it surely left lasting marks.  I personally like the climax scene where Sid (as Carding) is slowly building up his anger towards Ricky Davao (as a landlord of Rosario's apartment).  Again there's no dialogue from Sid, but the rage, the emotion is so powerful.  Isabel Oli's transformation from a conservative provincial lass to a modern Binondo working girl was also well acted.  And Dennis Trillo, as always, is exemplary in bad boy roles, and his role as Alfredo is no exception. 

Rosario's Cinematography is destined to be classic and its Production Design manipulated time and brought the viewers to the period when the characters actually lived.  I have so many favorite scenes but I guess the one that left every viewer in awe is the scene where Rosario and Vicente made love under the light of a lamp.  It's just so tastefully done, it's very elegant and meaningful.  I even heard old women at my back saying, "It's like an Italian film."

Its music, which I heard was performed by a live orchestra and recorded in Hollywood, is so moving that it can whisper its message, its sorrow and simple joys, to our heart and soul.

Rosario's musical scoring with live orchestra at East West Studios in Hollywood.. In photo are executive producer Bong Sta. Maria (far left), director Albert Martinez (center), and musical director Albert Chang (guy in red shirt).

The story is expected to be unconventional, maybe even deviant to some, but so as the screenplay.  It is reality told in a poetic way.  And its ending will depend on how each one of us wants to conclude Rosario's story, either we condemn her or forgive her.  As for the story, lessons are not always told in a fairy tale way.  Most often, lessons from great stories are told the way lives are actually lived.  Because humans are not perfect.  We learn the lessons of our mistakes, and that is when wisdom is cultivated.

As for points for improvement, I just wished for more consistency in terms of accent of the characters in the 1920s and the use of fade out in editing for transition points. The port scene is magnanimous but the use of graphics when the ship left Manila, and when Rosario and her family were in Hong Kong, was quite unpolished.  I know this is based on a true story but perhaps a parting letter from Rosario addressed and read to the people she hurt in her life will somehow help the non discriminating audience understand the character's ordeals.  But of course, that would be a debate between reality and creative execution.  Well, I would like to believe that the target audience were able to get what Rosario and her son (played by Dolphy) were trying to tell us.

Nevertheless, I still consider Rosario as one of the best Filipino films produced in recent years.   And yes, Rosario is ambitious... because it's not mediocre.  And for me, it is a lot better than the traditional slapstick comedy flicks screened and recognized in the recent Metro Manila Film Festival. And from a rating scale of 1 to 10 claps, I'm giving Rosario a strong and proud 8 1/2.

Rosario, the woman, together with her love affair with a man who is not from her circle, was forbidden by the society during her time.  And pursuing her love caused her very dearly.  Now, Rosario, the movie, with its non-conforming plot and interpretation, is experiencing the same fate from our present day society.  But we, the viewers, have the power to let not history repeat itself.

Our forefathers were not ready for Rosario during her time.  But what about us in our own time?  When will we be ready for Rosario?  Will Rosario suffer the same fate the second time around?  I hope not.  She has learned her lessons and I hope we will as well.

Photos courtesy of Rosario's official page.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Taste of Singapore's Cultural Mixes


Explore Singapore - Day 6 and 7

Okay, I know this post, the last of my Explore Singapore series, is long overdue, but please bear with me, and let me conclude it the right way.  =)

Anyway, this post will narrate my last exploits (Days 6 and 7) in the Lion City: Orchard Road, Lucky Plaza, Sri Mariamman temple, Chinatown and Laupasat.

My cousin Rose and I met at the MRT station in Clementi and headed for the first location in our itinerary - Orchard Road. Well, I heard this is just like our very own Ayala Center or Makati Central Business District but I guess it's still worth seeing.  I'm a fan of cosmopolitan cityscapes anyway! =)

Jandy I initially planned to go to Lucky Plaza  (the mall in Orchard Road where Filipinos go to during their day-off) on a Sunday but we ran out of time.  But I will not let my week pass without seeing it so my cousin Rosey again became my tour guide here.  And of course, you have to forgive me, I can't not have my photo taken at the facade of this mall! =D (feeling OFW!)  And when we went inside, although it's not Sunday, the mall is still very Filipino - the people, the food, the stores, the remittance centers etc.  I guess this is a haven for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) who miss home. 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Mga Hirit na Makulit

Some few weeks back, I started posting on my Facebook wall metaphoric lines or statements that reflect how I feel towards a certain situation.

And surprisingly, I got rave comments on how funny they were!  Hence, I decided to compile and share the initial lines I already posted (and will post soon depending on the mood) as a Christmas gift to you, my loyal readers! =D  I guess, we can use this to express our disappointment or disgust in a much lighter way, so that our points are heard sans the ill feelings of the people concerned!  =)  So here it is, my initial 10:

But wait, these lines should be read aloud and with feelings! =D

1. Para kang magazine, ang dami mong issue.

2. Para kang scientific name, hindi kita ma-spelling!

3. Mag-digicam ka kaya, para di ka puro negative.

4. Hindi tayo calculator, kaya wag tayo mag-bilangan!

5. Huwag mo ko hintayin maging MRT, at malapit na kong mapuno!

6. Wala ka namang sasakyan pero anghilig mo magpa-andar.

7. Para kang tax... hindi kita maintindihan!

8. Para kang loan, interes mo lang iniisip mo!

9. Dapat para kang pregnancy test, laging positive!

10. Wala ka pang anak pero magulang ka na.

Bonus: Hindi ako kulangot, kaya wag mo ko bilugin!

I hope this list helps!  =)  Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

RENT The Musical... Our Generation, Our Music, Our Story -- Catch it in Power Plant Cinema from December 8 to 12

Potato On-the-Go:

♪♫ In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee. ♪♫ In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. ♪♫ In five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes, how do you measure, a year in the life?  ♪♫ 

After the press screening of RENT The Musical at the Power Plant Cinema last night, I realized that the music of RENT never fails to inspire every person who witnesses this masterpiece.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Seasons of Love is back! See "RENT The Musical" in Power Plant Cinema this December!

Web Announcement:

♫♪ Five hundred twenty-five thousand Six hundred minutes, Five hundred twenty-five thousand Moments so dear. ♫♪ Five hundred twenty-five thousand Six hundred minutes.  ♫♪ How do you measure, measure a year?  ♫♪

When I first heard the song Seasons of Love more than a decade ago, there was no doubt that I instantly got hooked with the music of RENT. In fact the said music influenced me to actually liking the musical and lead me to getting its movie in DVD and soundtrack in CD a few years back!  Now, do I need to convince you more?  Hehe.

And, I have a good news for all the rest of RENT fans out there!  Power Plant Cinema, in celebration of its 10th Anniversary is bringing back the award-winning Broadway Musical RENT to Manila.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Turning (road) crisis into (photo) opportunity

Scene Stealer:

On my way back to Makati (and I in half sleep), around 500 meters after we passed the Guiguinto exit of NLEX (North Luzon Expressway), our van suddenly got a flat tire!  Everybody was upset but I guess since I'm not in a hurry, I kept quiet and didn't let myself be dragged by the road crisis.  I looked around and I thought of taking  advantage of the situation by putting my camera in action!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Christmas and the City!

Scene Stealer:

Christmas and the City!  Here's the Belen display for 2010.

Last year, my colleagues and I felt bad when we saw trees were being cut in the Ayala Triangle.  For us, we believed that the place is the only significant thing that kept the balance between modernization and environment in the city and district we love most, Makati City and its Central Business District.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Boys' Toys -- ooops, and Girls' too!


Explore Singapore - Day 6, Part 1

We've always been used to museums that house archaeological artifacts, dioramas and other historical finds, that help keep and enrich a specific cultural heritage.  So when I first heard about the MINT (Moment of Imagination and Nostalgia with Toys) Museum of Toys in Singapore, I immediately got curious and excited!  Well, that's because I am both passionately serious about history and playfully child like on toy collection! =)

And in the Day 6 of my Explore Singapore mission, my cousin Rose (we actually used to call her Osang when she was a kid hehe), was my guide for the day since Jandy has to go to work that time.  We then explored the rest of the spots that were left in my target list, one of which, of course, is the MINT Museum of Toys.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Lion, The Treat and The Photos -- The Chronicles of Singapura


Explore Singapore - Day 5, Part 3

Everytime I visit a country or a province in the Philippines, I always see to it that I have a shot and a photo with the place's landmark or where its known for as backdrop.  So my Explore Singapore wouldn't be complete without a photo with the Merlion!

Right after touring Asia in 3 hours (via the Asian Civilizations Museum), we crossed the bridge, took snapshots of the vicinity and the interesting people walking the place. 

"Stop the wedding!"  Is the girl trying to stop the wedding?  =)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Around Asia in 3 Hours!


Explore Singapore - Day 5, Part 2

Multi-armed Quan-Am, 18th Century or later, North Vietnam.  Mahayana Buddhism was brought to Vietnam from China during the early 1st millennium CE, and by the 2nd century CE, Hanoi had become an important center for Buddhism.

I think I have previous posts declaring my passion for history, specifically on ancient civilizations.  I cannot pin point the actual reason but perhaps it may have started with my fascination on stories that dissect the essence of every race or the backdrop of temples, castles and other architectural wonders sans modern technology; or perhaps it's because of the influence by the popular media I grew up with and eventually embraced (e.g. Indiana Jones, The Adventures of Tintin, The National Geographic etc.); or perhaps it's brought up by my thirst for our people's authentic identity through my quest for pre-colonial literature, artifacts and historical data.  And with that, the Asian Civilizations Museum can't be in the list in my Explore Singapore mission.  And here it is, my Around Asia tour in 3 Hours! =)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Mark of Jurong Bird Park


Explore Singapore - Day 5, Part 1

It's my Day 5 in Singapore and still my sched is pretty packed with exciting activities and places to check out!

First in the in the itinerary is the third in Singapore's wildlife triad, the Jurong Bird Park!  And since it's my friend Jandy's birthday that day, his entrance fee in the facility is totally free!  =)  We arrived at the park at around 11 am and we were lucky to catch on the time the Birds n Buddies show!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Singapore by Night


Explore Singapore - Day 4, Part 2

Singapore by Night may first ring the thought of bars, beers and party animals but this post talks about another kind of commune and creatures of the night.  =)  This is about Singapore's famous attraction Night Safari and its animals that wander in the dark and gather under the moonlight.  Well, it's quite similar sans the loud music, alcoholic drinks and people who gets helplessly drunk at night. =)

When I heard there was a plan of having a trip to Singapore, the first thing I thought of not missing is the Night Safari.  Well, the primary considerations for the trip then were the opening of Sentosa and Universal Studios, but for me, Night Safari shouldn't be out of the list.

After that tiring but fulfilling walk at the Singapore Zoo (and after having that big meal in KFC!), we headed to the Night Safari.  And what welcomed us is the fascinating Thumbuakar Performance featuring fire-eating, acrobatic and roaring stunts!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Wild Side of Singapore


Explore Singapore - Day 4

We've always known Singapore for its tall buildings, cosmopolitan cityscape and urban lifestyle. 'But have you seen the city's wild side?  Wait, wait, don't get me wrong.  This time, am not being figurative.  And being literal is a good thing this time around hehe.  When I said wild side, I didn't mean about the dirty secrets of the city I fell in love with.  The wild side I'm talking about is Singapore's wildlife triad, the 3 Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) parks - the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and Jurong Bird Park. And this post focuses on my trip to the Singapore Zoo!  =)

The other tiger of Singapore, the white tigers in Singapore Zoo =)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

More of Singapore


Explore Singapore - Day 3

The Tiger of Asia =).  This is what I got in Saint James Power Station - Singapore's Tiger Beer. =)

Day 3 - We were scheduled for a City tour from 9 am to 12 noon but since we will be checking out at 1 PM, Neil, Henry and I decided to cancel the tour and cherish our last hours at the hotel hehe. 

So right after breakfast, I went back to bed and had a luxurious sleep, Neil took a swim, and Henry, I think, strolled the malls.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Hunt for Good Dinner


Explore Singapore - Day 2, Part 2

We arrived at Pan Pacific Hotel from Universal Studios at around 7 PM.  So right after freshening up, we started thinking what a good dinner will be.  Well, of course, we didn't join the Night Safari so we need to compensate the evening with something equal or better.  And, the verdict, we decided to go to Chinatown to hunt for a good dinner (instead of Bugis)!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fan and Fun in Universal Studios


Explore Singapore - Day 2, Part 1

Hong Kong and Singapore have been rivals in economy, in regional operations location, and in tourism.  So when Hong Kong got Disneyland a few years ago, I just thought HK got the upper hand. =) 'But Singapore did not take this sitting down and fought back big time with the opening of Universal Studios early this year!  =)  And as always, it's us, customers who benefit from this healthy competition. =)

Alas, Universal Studios! =)
The world is in my hands!
So after touring HK Disneyland in 2008, it's SG Universal Studios this time around!
Day 2 - Our call time is at 9:15 am so my room mate and I made it a point that we take the breakfast at the hotel at 6:30 am and then gear up for the tour afterwards.  So, we were definitely on time, and as we walk towards the bus assigned to us, Bus 3, we were already surprised without even arriving at Universal Studios yet as we will be riding a double deck bus!  Haha, we can be surprised and made happy that easily. =)

Anyway, it was about 20 to 30 minute ride.  Our guide gave our tickets so as the 15 SGD meal stub and 5 SGD retail stub.  And when we arrive at the place, the first thing we did is take photos with the Universal Studios globe ad the backdrop!

Click!  Click!  Click!  We were just so excited to take our photos in every fascinating corner that we saw.  My companions and I take the counter clockwise route so we first hit the Hollywood street!  And being a big fan of popcorn movies, one of the biggest surprises in the tour for me is the Lights Camera Action studio!  There was a short spiel by film great Steven Spielberg but the the biggest highlight is a showcase of a disaster movie shot in a studio!

Neil and Henry are lucky to have me as their photographer!  They got a good shot in the studio and I didn't! Grrr... Hehehe
We then moved to the Sci-Fi City but the Battlestar Galactica is not yet open so we end up trying the kiddie ride The Accelerator.  And all I can say is, I'm not young enough to do this kind of ride anymore.  =)

After walking a few meters, we then saw the gates of Ancient Egypt, the theme park for the movie "The Mummy"!  And as usual, it's photo taking once more!  =)   We deposited our bags at the locker room and lined of the Revenge of the Mummy Ride.  We lined up for about 30 minutes and then experienced the ride of our life!  =)  We bumped to a wall, turn around, and then ride in cyclones in dark.  I cannot help but think if we are already spirits inside the ride! =D  And then in our most awkward facial expressions, the studio camera betrayed us once more. And still, we bought the photo! =)

After the ride, we were all hungry then so we ran towards the Lost World and had lunch in Discovery Food Court which is in Jurassic Park setting, just like in the movie!  I was amazed with the replica of the T-Rex skeleton and of course, had my photo taken there. =)  I ordered a 3-piece wing chicken meal and big big coke!

That's the T-Rex in the movie!  Wait, what movie, Jurassic Park or Night at the Museum?  Hmmm... =)

Forgive me for the shot, I'm so hungry at this time and I just made a quick click and ate this meal at once! Yum! =D
After lunch, we then lined up at the Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure.  And goodness, it's the longest line in any theme park I've visited.  I think we waited for 1 1/2 to 2 hours so we spent a lot of time in the line.  Anyway, we just realized that we will get wet in the ride, and unfortunately, we were not able to bring our ponchos.  So we what we did was borrow the ponchos from our colleagues who were just soaked in water! =D  Then the ride went on, with the dinosaur robotics at the side of the water, and some splash every now and then.  That's until we entered a tunnel and experienced another surprise we cannot forget! =)

This is not the rapids!  These are just kids enjoying the water in Jurassic Park.
We were running out of time, as we need to go back at the assembly area at 6 PM, so right after the ride, we proceeded to Far Far Away instead of the canopy ride.  When we entered Shrek's castle, we all thought that it's just an ordinary film showing, but after the long preambles, we were lead to a bigger theater, the Shrek 4D Adventure.  We then immediately took the best seats.  Honestly, I'm not a Shrek movie fan, but this 4D show gave me one of the best, if not the best, cinema experiences of my life!  Let me have a little spoiler because I can't help but share that cinematic experience.  As we watch the film, we also experienced a thrilling horse ride, being sprinkled by a sneeze (yuck haha) and being touched by spiders!  After that awesome cinematic experience, we bought souvenirs at the Fairy Godmother's Potion Shop.  And as I was amazed with a drink in a magic potion container, I immediately bought one, not realizing that I bought a guava shake!  And goodness, the drink I got very sour but I can't help but finish the drink since it's about 12 or 14 SGD I think!

We arrived in Far Far Away! =)

foydi versus puss in boots!  And I got the magic potion (at the side of my waist) I bought from the Fairy Godmother's potion shop!
Well, anyway, that's not the end of the tour yet as we made sure that we'll be able to catch the Waterworld show.  We first sat at the middle row not realizing that those who will sit there will get wet, not because of accidental splash but intentional bombs and beams of water!  We were hit as we took our seats!  So we decided to move to the last rows or we'll end up very wet again. =)  Anyway, the show is another spectacular experience as we witness reenactments of the actual movie, death defying stunts and awesome explosions.

My favorite shot in Universal Studios

This scene is more than hundred meters away but I got a good shot!  Thanks to my Olympus camera! =)

After that, we just took photos in Madagascar and then rushed to the Universal Studio Store to make the last purchase of souvenirs!

Woody Wood Pecker insists on having a picture with me! =)
And that's how the fan (that's me!) and fun meet in Universal Studios in Singapore. 

More of Day 2 in my next posts! =)

Top Stories


Related Posts with Thumbnails