Saving Sally: A Plot to the Sweet Escape

Geeks are most likely to relate to this bittersweet romantic tale, as it involves a love story between a robot inventor and a comic book artist, and has an animated scenery. Non geeks can also be as tuned due to entertaining chills and the emotional roller coaster of laughter, tears and sense of adventure that the film brings them to. Although the animation parts may seem unnecessary (in my opinion, it is since the movie can have a similar story line without animation involved), they still deserve a high recognition for the beautiful art and as a product of the film maker’s concept of creating a scenery based on Marty’s view on the world (e.g. humans other than Sally, himself and his parents, as monsters). The plot has twists that turns this typical geeky love story into an outstanding modern romantic comic tale, yet at the same time, is realistic since it takes Marty and Sally a while to confess their developed feelings for one another. It is not a cliched and oversimplified movie about two best friends falling for each other quickly or a common girl falling for a popular jock who ends up loving her back.

It is more seen as a teen flick as the main characters are still in their teens and the story is set in their high school years. It never fails to tackle every aspect of a teen’s life including friendships, romantic relationships, relationships with parents, surviving school, peer and societal pressure, being overprotected, planning for the future, growing up, discovering one’s identity and exploring new things. It portrays all of these aspects just as how they are seen in real life and provides lessons to teenage audiences who are at the same time entertained by the story. Adults are given a chance to look back on their teenage years and can release their inner teens while viewing the film, and parents can also pick lessons provided by the film which they can teach to their children. However, the film may be too complex for children under 13. Still, it will not stop them from being entertained and admiring the beauty of animation, and they will eventually find themselves watching, understanding and appreciating the movie better as they grow.

The acting is so natural that it does not look like it comes from a script. Rhian Ramos plays her role way easily being a teenager when the movie was taped, while Enzo Ramos seems to portray himself as a real nerd, who has difficulties expressing his feelings for a girl he likes. TJ Trinidad, the actor who plays Nick, plays his role well as a 28 year old, who is in fact not as matured as 17 year old Sally previously thought. The parents are also good in being the parents of their high school aged children.

Last but not the least, the life of a comic book artist is realistically portrayed. Nothing comes easy in being a comic book author as pleasing the publishers is a requirement to succeed, despite the tremendous day and night efforts the author has poured to fully craft his or her work well enough to be appreciated by the publisher. I also love the idea of Sally creating a secret project, which in fact is a house that contains gadgets and machines she cannot live without and that is her known refuge after she escapes from her parents’ tyranny. That alone is already an original concept of plotting an escape from an overprotective home, surpassing the cliche teen feels produced by most mass produced teen flicks.

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Country Philippines

Release Date December 25, 2016

Directed By Avid Liongoren

Starring Rhian Ramos, Enzo Marcos, TJ Trinidad

Genre Animation, Fantasy, Romance

Length 110 min long

Plot

Marty, a comic book artist, has long time feelings for his robot inventor best friend named Sally. Challenges come his way in confessing his true feelings for her that does not just include his shyness and lack of guts, but also the fact that Sally’s parents are overprotective and Sally has a boyfriend.

Overall Rating 5/5 stars (10/10)

Sources

Saving Sally IMDb

Saving Sally Wikipedia

Further Reading

“8 Things You Might Not Know About “Saving Sally””, 8list.ph

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Die Beautiful, Live Beautiful: “To die will be an awfully great adventure.”

This famous Peter Pan quote describes the film in a way it portrays the late Trisha Echeverria like a legend. The movie starts with his sudden death after she wins the pageant, followed by a series of biographical flashbacks highlighting his promise to be dressed in different female celebrities at his death and to be known for what he wants to be remembered as to continue the legend he carries. The adventurous part of the film also lies in entertainment and emotional roller coaster of laughter and tears that brings the audience to travel along with Trisha’s adventures. There is never a time a scene ever becomes drugging throughout the movie.

The story line is simple yet created with a well organized and comprehensible series of flashbacks. They are easily understood even though they are not arranged chronologically. The film never fails to highlight themes of love, friendship, acceptance, alienation, sense of belonging and following your own path and gives further hope to us audiences that we can always follow the path we want to follow and be successful in what we do despite the struggles, and that there will be people who will support us in our endeavors, love and accept us for who we are even though there are others who will bring us down. It also encourages the LGBT community members to stand up for themselves no matter how certain people can bring them down and discriminate them for being “different.” While the film can be a source of inspiration for them to voice themselves, it can be equally an eye opener to us that LGBTs are also humans who have a lot to contribute to themselves, to their loved ones and to the society. It provides us a message that they do not deserve to be treated badly just because they are labeled “different”.

Last but not the least, the acting is all natural as though the film is brought into reality. Paolo Ballesteros, the actor who plays Trisha, and Christian Bables, the actor who plays Barbs, respectively deserve their awards as Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.

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Country Philippines

Release Date December 25, 2016

Directed By Jun Robles Lana

Starring Paolo Ballesteros, Christian Bables, Joel Torre, Gladys Reyes, Luis Alandy, Albie Casiño, IC Mendoza

Genre Comedy, Drama

Length 2 hours long

Plot

The story is about a biography of a glamorous veteran gay beauty queen who dies immediately after winning the pageant.

Overall Rating 5/5 stars (10/10)

Sources

Die Beautiful IMDb

Die Beautiful Wikipedia

Further Reading

“Die Beautiful”

Seklusyon: The Clash Between Good and Evil

Erik Matti does a great job in playing around different beliefs into what’s good and what’s evil. What makes it better is that he incorporates it as a horror movie. It may not be as creepy as expected by the horror aficionados but the complete seclusion in a completely quiet area and being haunted for one’s past sins in presence of devil already intensify the fear, thus making it into a worth fearing horror masterpiece. The deep and complex story line, the twists, the detective and the psychological thriller parts of the film and the acting (kudos to Rhed Bustamante for playing her character naturally as Anghela, the child sent by the devil) make the film worth the appreciation.

Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. – Matthew 7:15.

So where does the evil lie? This is the question the audience ask himself or herself while watching the film, thus the philosophical implication. It starts with the belief that Anghela, a known miracle child healer in town, was sent by God and ends in a realization that she is indeed a false prophet sent by the devil as shown through the anagram of her name “Ngalhea” (“Rejoice! The Devil is here!”). Despite that, there are some people who still believe her as a saint. There are others that never did such as Miguel, who already has doubts on how she tempts him and his co-deacons to disobey the rules given by God in a secluded area, and the priest, who begins to investigate Anghela and the origins of her healing power as soon as she is refuged to spend time with the deacons.

The political implications are equally present in the hierarchy of the church, the ones on top governing the rest of the church and the church governing the entire town. The religious side of the film lies more in the moral lessons for Catholic audiences to obey the first two commandments, which are to believe in God alone and not in other Gods, and to not call God in vain. The film also strengthens their faith and relationship with God as well as motivates them to resist the temptation of the devil which is sometimes in the form of an angel sent by God (thus, to beware of the false prophets). Along with entertainment and acting, these three major implications make the movie worth tuning to despite the minimal gore. Not forgetting to mention that the village setting is a realistic portrayal to the World War II’s.

Due to less gore and scenes that will make a person jump out of scare, “Seklusyon” is made for both feeble minded and thick skinned audiences when it comes to watching horror. It best suits audiences who are into films with deep and complex story lines.

Seklusyon Poster

Title (translated) Seclusion

Country Philippines

Release Date December 25, 2016

Directed By Erik Matti

Starring Ronnie Alonte, Dominic Roque, Rhed Bustamante, Phoebe Walker, Neil Ryan Sese, Lou Veloso

Genre Horror

Length 90 min long

Plot

The story is set during World War II. A group of deacons are sent in a secluded area of the church for a week to accomplish their final training before they become priests and are then given a set of rules to strictly follow as they are known to be sent by God. However, the haunted presence of devil each deacon experiences seems to intensify, as soon as the child healer Anghela is brought to the secluded area for refuge.

Overall Rating 5/5 stars (10/10)

Sources

Seklusyon IMDb

Top Food Picks

I am not meant to write much about food posts while doing my very best to cut on some. However, I cannot help having it cross my mind knowing I was born a foodie and neither can I help looking back at the food that marked my entire life on the following list.

1) Bingsu (Kiwa Korean Restaurant, Solaire Manila, Philippines)

Mango and Chocolate Bingsu

My love for desserts pushed me to order for Bingsu no matter how large the servings were for me and my family. I personally prefer them than the ones served in Ice Box, Molito Alabang, as the Kiwa Bingsu’s finely crushed ice and drizzled milk gives the smooth texture to the dessert. Additionally, the vanilla ice cream on top provides more creaminess once it is mixed with the rest of the contents.

Further link: Kiwa Korean Restaurant Official Website

2) Rose flavored Macarons (Laduree, Paris, France)

Image result for rose flavored macarons laduree
Petale de rose macaron (ie. Rose petal macaron)

Not generally a big fan of macarons except for the rose flavored one in Laduree, Paris, France. What makes Laduree macarons special is the fact that the taste stays in the consumer’s mouth for long even though the macaron is already chewed and swallowed. It is even more heavenly experiencing that with the rose flavored macaron. Looking forward to purchase more of it when I go back to Paris. No outside Laduree macaron and no Laduree macaron from other branches can ever beat that.

Further Link: Laduree Official Website

3) Chocolate Ravioli with Dark Chocolate filling (France)

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Chocolate Ravioli

The picture looks exactly like the ravioli I ate in a French restaurant as a teen. However, I cannot remember the name of the restaurant. Curiosity brought me to order Chocolate Ravioli for dessert and it tasted so heavenly that it was hard for me to forget it. This inspired me to create a similar dessert at home. I just need a ravioli maker.

4) Tokyo Banana Original (Tokyo, Japan)

Tokyo Banana Original

Who can get enough of a banana shaped chiffon cake with banana creme filling? I am one of those who would say that I cannot. It is not only delicious but the fact that no country can ever produce the same type of snack also makes it more unique and originally Japanese. I am way planning to buy more of them once I head to Japan.

Further Link: Tokyo Banana Official Website

5) Banana Mochi White Chocolate Daifuku (Tokyo, Japan)

Banana Mochi White Chocolate Daifuku (Banana Mochi with White Chocolate Filling)

The strong banana flavor is what made this snack as one of my top personal picks. Like Tokyo Banana, it is worth a purchase.

6) Strawberry Flavor Kitkat (Japan)

It took Sakura Green Tea flavor’s place while doing some free-tasting of Japanese flavored Kitkats that came along my way. The strong Strawberry flavor brought me to my addiction to these chocolate wafer bars and I’m way looking forward to taste more Kitkat varieties when I go to Japan. Not just this one.

Further Link: Nestle Kitkat Japan

7) Caffe Ti-Amo Four Cheese Gelato (Greenbelt Makati, Philippines)

Four cheese gelato

Cheese is my second ice cream flavor next to cookies n cream and curiosity brought me to taste a rare four cheese gelato found in Caffe Ti-amo in Greenbelt. It turned out to be so heavenly.

Further Link: Caffe Ti-Amo Facebook page

8) Banana Crumble McFlurry (McDonald’s Philippines)

Banana Crumble McFlurry

Unfortunately, it is only featured at the promotion of the blockbuster hit in 2015 called Minions but I can somehow say it’s one of the most unforgettable snacks I ever tasted. The banana flavor is so strong that it highly contributes to the great taste of the McFlurry.

9) Red Velvet Frozen Yogurt (BLK 513, S-Maison Conrad Hotel, Pasay, Philippines)

Red velvet drizzled frozen yogurt

Seeing the social media hype of my friends tasting this particular activated charcoal yogurt brought me to do the same. I was lucky to have a chance to taste it during Christmas break and it turned out to be better than the frozen yogurts I ever tasted in my life. It is not only delicious but healthy as well since it is gluten free and is filled with fruits and healthy crunches such as vegan brownies. I might also try the one with matcha syrup. After all it is the most picked flavor.

Further Link: BLK 513 Facebook page

10) Nestle Temptation’s French Salted Caramel Ice Cream (Philippines)

Salted Caramel is one of my favorite ice cream flavors and tasting this particular brand made me love salted caramel ice cream even more. It is indeed delicious while at the same time, is smooth on the tongue. It became my favorite local ice cream surpassing Magnolia, which used to be my favorite before the Nestle Temptations discovery.

Further Link: Nestle Temptations Facebook page

11) Nova Jalapeño Spice Flavor Chips

Been rooting for this particular flavored chips for long. It has become my favorite ever since it invaded my mouth and there are times I would swear that I no longer feel like eating other flavored Nova chips and other branded chips. On the other hand, finding Nova Jalapeño Chips remains a needle in the haystack. I only felt lucky finding a pack in the nearest mall.

Further Link: Jack ‘n Jill Snacks

12) Almond Filled croissant (France)

Image result for almond filling croissant

However, I just cannot consider a random almond filled croissant as a food that marks my entire life. Only that almond filled croissant in that particular French local bakery is considered as my lifetime unforgettable snack and the bakery is where I tasted and loved the named delicacy for the first time.

These are so far the food that marked my whole life. However these may just happen to be all desserts and snack.

Way looking forward to writing another set of food pick lists. Enjoy the read! 🙂

Star Wars The Force Awakens: Definitely more than expected in a Disney franchise

Country USA

Release Date 18 December 2015 (USA)

Directed by J.J. Abrams

Starring Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega

Genre Science-Fiction

Length 136 minutes long

Plot

30 years after the defeat of Darth Vader and the Empire, Rey, a scavenger from the planet Jakku, finds a BB-8 droid that knows the whereabouts of the long lost Luke Skywalker. Rey, as well as a rogue stormtrooper and two smugglers, are thrown into the middle of a battle between the Resistance and the daunting legions of the First Order (“Star Wars The Force Awakens”, IMDb).

It is surprisingly good even though it may not be as spectacular as the original George Lucas trilogy. The recent version managed to stay loyal to the concept of the original trilogy, with portrayals of characters similar to what is expected among the audience and the story line, although set 30 years later, is easily understood as the continuation of the last film in the previous saga (Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi). It is not as cheesy in contrast with what I, as an audience, initially thought. The action fight scenes are realistic and the fast paced plot progression made the movie more entertaining than dragging.

I heavily admit that I am attracted to Adam Driver’s, the actor who plays Kylo Ren, hot and gorgeous looks. However, my favorite characters will always be Chewbacca and the two droids (R2D2 and C3PO).

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Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars (9/10)

Sources

Star Wars The Force Awakens, IMDb

Star Wars The Force Awakens, Wikipedia

A Day in Care, Inc: a small bond that makes a huge difference

The real adventure began as we – my life coaching and social skills friends and I – bought school supplies and self care materials for donations. We equally bought a packed food for 30 persons, and repacked the donation goods while divided in two groups. Then we headed to Care Inc., a caring center for male youth in Las Piñas City, Philippines. It is indeed endearing to be the sunshine of these young people lives and it is touching to see that the youth appreciated our gifts. Not forgetting to mention that we enjoyed the short bond over Jenga games and socializing.

This particular outreach activity is also where we applied our skills in money management and decision making that we learned in class. Kudos to the coaches for such a life-learning and charitable experience and I am way looking forward to more activities such as these.

With current friends (Life Coaching and Social Skills co-mentees) and newly-found friends (Care Inc children and teens)

For more photos of the event, kindly check Candent Learning Haus’s Outreach Activity 2016 at Care Center, Las Piñas album and Instagram

Further reading

#CLHPamilyaParaSaBata2016: Care, Love, Help and MORE FUN

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