WEEKEND LOOKBACK MOVIE REVIEW: EKSTRA (THE BIT PLAYER)

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- ★★★★★

Filipino Indie films are nonchalantly popping out of the silver screens with or without our notice, but some of it are rather ignored and not praised unless the rights has been bought and distributed by Star Cinema and/or Viva Films.

There are a few Pinoy indie films that I’ve watched and still discovering for some more, especially with dramatic themed films, which really are hard to find due to the demand of sexually themed movies, which to be fair some have really good stories and most of it are, how can I say, lack of financial support and technical movie making skills? Most of it is shown in local cinemas that are honestly filthy and it’s one of the sources of quick pleasure and AIDS as well.

Anyhow, I’ve watched a trailer in ABS-CBN about Vilma Santos going back on the silver screen, only going indie, and it somehow got my attention because, Vilma Santos IS Vilma Santos, watching her movies could never go wrong.

But seeing her as an indie artist is quite bizarre and exciting at the same time, that is why, when it came out I did definitely watched it, and it did not fail me.

 

OVERVIEW

Ekstra is a movie of a mother and a dreamer as well, working in the film industry as an extra or bit player (Ekstra in Filipino Language) trying very hard for her to get a role that the camera will see. She needs to endure the exhausting and unstable job of being part of a film or T.V. series: from waking up early in the morning, trying her best just to get even a background role, doing her own make up and as well as mastering some lines when she did land one of the extra roles with definite lines to say in front of the camera, until it all gets bad in the end.

 

WHY I LOVED EKSTRA

This film is not about happy endings, and that’s first and foremost a sadistic reason why I loved this film. It deals with a reality that when shit happens, shit really happens, and makes you question your own luck as well.

It dwelt the emotions of fun, tiring, unsure and regret as being part of the process in creating a movie or TV show as per this movie.

I definitely loved the humor on this film based on chances out from reality, like in the scene where a main character in the film is absent due to some attitude issues and Santos’ character was chosen to portray as that main character but of course the production needed to take her face away so what they did was to put a sack on her head to cover her up, and the editing will take care of the rest of it.

That part was really hilarious.

And although I never worked in the film industry, I feel that the movie really portrays on what is actually happening behind the scenes in Philippine film industry. The scourging heat that the extras experience, the prima-donna stars acting like royalties, the uncertain job which surely they won’t be part on the next episode, the low pay, the willingness of these people to do whatever it takes just to have a script to say and hopeful to become one of the stars.

The ending, as I’ve said, is not happy. It’s really bitter-sweet. I loved the way it really pulled my heart-strings. The ending is so simple yet so sad because it deals with an ill-fated circumstance that you will regret especially when seeing it yourself over and over again, and what’s more heartbreaking about the ending was that Santos’ character already announced to her family that she’s landed a ‘big’ role only to find out that it’s not the case.

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Vilma Santos again never failed me with this. I remember the final shot where the camera focuses on her face as she regrets while watching the episode she’s in that’s on their TV, and she was just so effective portraying that sad emotion that transported beyond the silver screen and to me.

Ekstra is a film about misfortunes in life whether it’s by lack of talent or worse, by chance and dwelling on emotions of loss, despair and hopelessness for a dream that’s been built brick by brick on marshland, and dreaming a big break while chasing the lime light that’s pointed in a different direction.

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ONLINE PLAGIARISM: UNETHICALLY GRABBING OUR BLOG’S PHOTOS AND PUTTING THEIR OWN WATERMARK ON IT

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I PRY! The photo above was used by one blog and put their watermark on it!!!!!!!

I hope some blogs are well mannered enough to source our blog in using our blog’s photos albeit they don’t have watermarks on it since I believe putting watermarks are ugly as hell. But I believe in being courteous. I think that blogging is about expression, and expression is about acquiring necessary sources to create a meaningful and narrative experience to readers. But with this comes the responsibility of being gracious to elements used especially when it’s NOT theirs. Is it because their website/blog is old and ours is new or theirs are famous and ours is not yet, that they think they have the right to grab all of the novice blogs’ photos without our permission? Without even sourcing us? I believe a “source:  ” is enough; actually, blogs can use our photos without sourcing us, I won’t pry THIS MUCH, BUT putting their OWN watermark (with logo and all) on my photo is a mark of a plethoric self-indulgence and moral decay. Their rebuttal will always be ‘because it is public’, but this act of online plagiarism only goes to show how unethical the people/person working in that certain website/blog is and how people should feel in disdain for someone like this. This blogging community should not be a community of squalor, sordid and uncivilized individuals, instead I aim to call upon those who do blogging to BE ETHICAL.

I should be investigating in this website/blog if they still used some of my photos and I will surely call upon their attention for strike two.

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A NEW YORK STYLE RESTAURANT | BRIQUE RESTAURANT [PHOTOS]

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- ★★★

Ever since the dawn of Sex and the City, comes the realization of the New York socialites rummaging to famous spots especially to restaurants that are a week long booked. They, one time, rendezvous in these high class places only to find out, in just one blink of an eye, the middle class people follows through. And that’s when these restaurants or café’s can say they’ve made it to the map of New York City.

I love it when there are new spots in the Queen City; it gives me a glimpse of SATC New York: it’s hip, it’s fun, it’s exciting and it’s a delish. And everyone’s there to snuck in and taste the goodness and, without the company’s effort in advertising; everyone’s talking about it.

In this case, there’s a new find in Salinas Dr., Lahug, Cebu named Brique. The restaurant is located just beside Chika-an, and it’s along Pizza Republic.

THE PLACE

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It is a sophisticated restaurant, high end and very, very New York.

Astonishingly, our photos share the resemblance of a graphic Big Apple studio flat so good to the eyes, my picture in front of the very cool wall made it look like somewhere in the USA (great for Instagram *wink).

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The façade of the restaurant is highly modern, and the interior (besides the brick wall) is modern contemporary, an architectural porn for my eyes.

The place is a two storey building capable of a lot of people, yet still, you have to make reservations since they’re always fully booked especially on weekends if you don’t want to wait in queue (Contact Number below).

THE FOOD

My partner and I found Brique in Foursquare and upon checking the food pictures; it gives promising offers that I would surely love to try.

They’re famous for their Drunken Angus that costs P370.00 which surely has a good taste and very soft meat.

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Also, Fish Fillet with Porcini is one of the talks in Foursquare costing about P270.00 that gives you fish de la crème.

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They’re also famous for their Truffled Shoestring Potatoes that costs P250.00 and I have to say, good for four people, so bring your barkada along and have the taste of a Pik-Nik-like deep fried potatoes topped with bacon and fried basil.

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For the drinks, I ordered the Easy Morning Juice that’s oh-so-healthy, and for my partner is the ABC Twist, which perfectly is an Avocado taste and they’re both for P120.00

CONCLUSION + TIP (NOT BUFFET)

I have to say the sophistication of the place is the one to beat. The high class feel of it is really good. But then, unlike other American-style restaurants like Simply J’s and most especially in Café Georg; I have to say, I’m quite disappointed with their famous offers.

The Drunken Angus seems to be so-so, and the Fish Fillet with Porcini is not that good.

Although for a fact, it’s an American-styled restaurant, they have to stay true with the flavours of the West, and I understood that. Only, I can’t get the supreme taste of their offers. It leaves a disgust feel on my gut right after all the food were taken (bidli). I think the offers are not bad; it’s just that we don’t get it.

And we have plans to order the S’more’s but unfortunately, due to the high cost of every offer, ranging from P170.00 to as much as P1,000+: we have to cut our orders right there since our rule is simple:

If the price of two to three food plus the drinks is above P800.00, it’s already expensive. And to be honest, we reached a thousand plus.

Technically, it’s fine… really, really fine to spend that much, if the famous offers are oh-so-good and the serving is justifiable to what you are paying.

Also, we noticed on the other table, a group of six or seven people had their dinner and they came in ten minutes after us, and we finished at almost the same time. And I noticed how small the serving was and I felt dissatisfaction in their faces. So, this place is not for many people who want to have a buffet style. This is much like a la carte.

But if you ask me if the place is still worth another visit… well, yeah it is! They still have lots of food, drinks and pastries to choose from.

SCHEDULE

Mon-Sun: 10:00AM-11:00PM

 

CONTACT (RESERVATION)

Telephone – (032) 414-1720

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RATING – 3 Stars

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THE MAZE RUNNER MOVIE REVIEW

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★★★ 1/2

“The Maze Runner is a film boasting energetic sequences with thrilling musicality that enthralls movie goers to the edge of the seats.”

The dystopian, post-apocalyptic movies are so in, there’s a real battle on which the best movie-tie-in are the best. After the success of The Hunger Games series which will culminate in 2015: movies like Divergent and The Maze Runner became one of the successes. And with this kind of genre, there’s also a real battle between originality.

The Maze Runner has the same tone as with other dystopian themed films: dark and dangerous, having a world ruled by tyrants or people with sinister plans for mankind.

But what differs The Maze Runner from other? Of course the source material itself.

The Maze Runner film, although quite different from the book; is a heart pounding, dangerous and enthralling movie. With exciting sequences that surely takes you to the edge of your seats. The film is directed carefully in creating agitating scenes which are totally exciting.

I love how the danger lingers within the Glade and how unsure the tone of the story has become and it’s really dreading in a good way.

The adventure really gets your nerves from start to end, and speaking of the movie’s ending, it will give you… another question mark. But that’s fine, it’s better than the book.

The Maze Runner has this specific dilemma that will be unveiled through the dénouement but not that very much information that still leaves a lot of questions which leads me to the part where after it left me the question: Did I like it or not?

There’s a war in me saying that it was good, but it wasn’t good at all due to the fact that the ending is somehow vague and although the sequences were exciting but the story itself seems nonsensical. I mean, why are they the cure? And why does the cure have to be put on trial? It doesn’t make any sense at all.

But I think that’s also the beauty of movie series, it leaves you hanging.

Still, as of the moment, I’m thinking if I liked the movie or not, and I don’t know whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing for the film.

Anyhow, it’s still worth the watch since I’m looking forward for the sequel.

The Maze Runner is a film boasting energetic sequences with thrilling musicality that enthralls movie goers to the edge of the seats.

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A ROYAL CAFÉ | COFFEE PRINCE CAFÉ [PHOTOS]

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-    ★★★★★

I can’t believe there have been totally new and good café’s popping up in the entire Southside nowadays! And the number isn’t stopping anytime sooner. And with this, comes the battle on which who will win with the award of the Best Instagrammed café (and this is inevitable).

And one café that catches my partner and I’s attention is the café we saw in Foursquare and it’s called Coffee Prince.

Located at Osmena Blvd. just across Cebu Doctor’s Hospital and just strictly beside Suarez (makers of rings and all), Coffee Prince is an old house turned café that’s definitely bursting with colors on the façade and have welcoming feel on the inside.

 

THE INTERIOR

The place is huge, I mean, I love how spacious the inside was. It has a high ceiling which is really good for claustrophobics. And it is unlike other café’s which are so tiny that you’ll be afraid to even move because you’ll crash everything around you.

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I love the feeling that we can freely move around: sit or lie, without the fear of damaging stuffs.

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THE OFFERS

With no halls barred, their offers are the best. They have different food and drinks that are so good for your taste buds. They have been famous for this Luther Burger that incorporates flavor overload.

Luther Burger has burger (of course) with bacon and some leafy vegetables on the side dish, but what makes it a superstar is the Original Glazed Krispy Kreme with it. I got so excited when I read some comments on Foursquare about how they included KK with it since I am a fan of the Original Glazed and I always eat it with the main course I have because I just love how the balance of sweet and salty are mixed on my dish. It’s really heavenly, and you should try it out yourself!

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Also try their Bulgogi Panini that gives you a hint of the Middle East, it taste so good too!

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For their drinks, I recommend the Java Chip Frap (I did it without caffeine) and it taste sooooo good you want some more.

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For their tea, try their Green Tea Latte that doesn’t just give you good taste, but also gives you the health benefit for your body.

 

THE SERVICE

To be honest, Coffee Prince and Café Tiala has the best service, but you’ll feel that the crew in Coffee Prince has much professional experience when it comes to customer service. They know how to cater you with your needs as well as the right responses for questions or appraisals.

For recreation, they sell colorful locks and a pallet which you can write your promises or messages and lock it on a huge heart shaped fence located inside and outside the shop, similar to the locks in Paris, which is very unique for a coffee house too.

Overall, Coffee Prince has the highest standards when it comes to fancy coffee houses in Cebu and the one to beat. A definite no brainer five star.

 

SCHEDULE

9:00AM – 1:00AM

CONTACT

FACEBOOK

 

MORE PHOTOS!

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TEA O’CLOCK: BUBBLE TEA HOUSE REVIEW [PHOTOS]

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-     ★★

I can’t imagine how many tea houses are opening every quarter this year. The range has completely been overwhelming and I’ve seen this small industry grow. And creating a review for this post won’t be the last since there are lots of tea and coffee houses that are slowly making a name for themselves.

One of the new tea houses in the Queen City is Tea O’clock: Bubble Tea House housed in Vailoces Compound, Damascus Road, Talamban: it is the corner across BBQ Boss.

It is a tiny shop, (seemingly a former house) that is designed with childish, playground-ish or Alice in Wonderland-ish theme. When you see the place outside, it will really captivate you to come and visit.

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Inside is very small but cozy and playful. I love the hanging tea cup decorations on top of the ceiling, and also on the walls plus the warm lighting that really feels like home.

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The problem is that my partner and I were too big and we tend to bump the tables and chairs harshly (thank God no casualties). Anyhow, the walls are also refreshing to see with its huge mural of a grass field with two old people drinking tea on one side.

I love the playfulness of this place.

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And with their offers that range from P80.00 and above, you will get the chance to taste the same offers as with other tea houses, only it’s not that good compared to others.

Yep, I ordered Red Apple with Nata De Coco as sinkers and it taste like C2 Green Tea with Apple, and the Nata was in a small amount. Also with the Matcha green tea that tastes a bit off for us.

I also tried their Pasta Mac and Cheese and it taste ordinary, but anyhow, it’s tolerable.

What pissed my partner off while were in that place was that when he tried to order their Milktea of the Month which was the Cheesecake + Grahams, it was not available… I mean, c’mon, it’s the offer of the month and it’s got no stock? And my partner tried to order other offers and most of it is unavailable as of September.

Plus, the service wasn’t that good. I bet they haven’t had training with customer service because unlike in Café Tiala: it is evident, from entering the café to going out, they were warm and welcoming and really helpful too.

Those were the downside of this café and I would love to see them improve if ever they read my post because I believe this café has great potential.

But still I would describe this place as a place good for Instagram photos. Taking pictures inside is just a pure pleasure.

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Check out Tea O’Clock.

 

SCHEDULE:

Mon-Sat: 11:00-12:00MN

Sun: 11:00-9:00PM

 

CONTACT

Facebook

 

RATINGS: 2 stars

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JUMP IN FUNTASTIC ISLAND| EXPERIENCE [PHOTOS] [VIDEO]

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Cebu: with its rich culture and one of the most booming in the Philippines economically, you could never go wrong North, South, East or West. But this time, I’m going up North… farther North to visit a somehow new travel destination and it’s in a very small island in Medellin, Cebu and it’s called Funtastic Island.

Like the usual travel tips, once you go south, you go to South Bus Terminal, and once you go north, you go to North Bust Terminal (there ain’t west and east here in the Queen City). Anyhow, find a bus that’s bound to Medellin and tell the person in charge that you’ll be stopping by wherever you want to stop: in our case, we rented an entire V-Hire because we were 11 and we have reserved a room in a resort that’s located in Medellin proper since there are no resorts or room for rent in the island.

Although for a fact it’s really not named Funtastic Island; Gibitngil Island is a twenty minute ride away from Medellin port via a banka or small boat.

 

TIP #1: you have to go there with your friends, specifically 10 to 15 to fill in the entire boat and to spend less as well for about P1, 200.00 (usually P1, 400.00 but we managed).

 

TIP #2: DON’T GO THERE ON A RAINY SEASON. Although it’s bound to be fun while experiencing the tumultuous ride; but it’s extremely dangerous. The banka is just too small and looks fragile for the incoming waves that are vast and strong. We went there on a rainy day, and to tell you it was terrifying, although we managed due that my friends are super funny, you can’t even remember that what we’re dealing is buhis buhay (life threatening).

 

Upon drawing near to the island; we have to reach the other end of it but there was this magnificent view I didn’t imagine Cebu would have that greeted us: these were the stone cliffs of the island. It was so Palawan-like. The humungous stone walls that has been holding the waters for ages was designed beautifully with its natural formations. It was jaw-dropping because it was unlike any other in Cebu.

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Anyhow, when we reached to the island, the people and the scenic view greeted us. It was colorful and alive, and many people were there even when the weather wasn’t really nice. The waters were so indulging because of its blue inviting color which happens to be really clean unlike any other beaches in Lapu-Lapu.

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TIP #3: Go to the island with all of your necessary stuffs: from camera to snorkels to food and drinks to your own booze and ice buckets with ice of course because you can’t buy anything from the island, except for the cottage rent.

 

Upon docking in the nice sand of the island, we went straight to the entrance (of course selfies and group pix are not included). The entrance fee is P10.00 and the cottages range from P150.00 to P500.00 depending on the size of the cottage.

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But the fun won’t happen when you just take a dip in the cold waters, the fun starts when you decide to jump in their 30ft diving spot.

Trust me, it’s really, really scary.

Although you’ll end up in the clear and deep waters of the island, but the fact that it’s 30ft still remains to be 30ft HIGH.

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We’ve had couple of stops and starts in going to and fro to the platform. There were unnecessary dramas and crazy pauses deciding to jump or not. It was totally funny seeing friends there with you and cheering for them to just take a dip, plus the readied cameras that eventually gets low-bat because of the time consumed by all the drama.

Well, when you dive, you just have to.

The enthralling fall gives you the hype that could make you scream, “WHOOOOOOOAAAA!!!!” and that’s what happened…. to my partner, not to me. I know I’m a chicken, I have fear of falling. Well, I don’t regret not jumping either, (LOL) but I also wished I could have. The fact that the waves are so strong was a plus factor too since there’s no one who can assist you whenever you’re there, not even a rope that you could hold on to upon going back to the shore.

Anyhow, Funtastic Island will not be fun without friends, so I suggest going there with them.

 

OUR VIDEO

MORE PHOTOS! (Cheers to Louie for some photos taken!)

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