RomanceClass Books Marathon

I’ve been reading these past few weeks hoping to re-instill the magic of reading books and inspire me to write again. Months ago, I discovered that an officemate is actually a writer from romanceclassbook and told me that they have upcoming writing workshop and I could win a slot. The condition is to read five book from romanceclass and write a review about it. And I thought why not? It was a good opportunity. I’ll be reading new books with added motivation that I would be able to learn more about writing. Two birds in one stone right?

I have heard of romanceclass before but I usually dismiss it. I am not into romance, may it be books and movies. I love “love stories” in the backdrop of action scenes, comedy, horror, drama or anything. But I am not into love-centric genre. So at first I thought taking this romanceclassbook marathon would be a challenge. But low and behold, and I found myself digging to these books. Mainly because they are mostly not as love-centric as I thought. They touch other themes of life like quarterlife crisis and adulting anxieties. And I love that there is “in touch with reality” experiences in these books.

Without further ado, here are the books I got for the romanceclassbook marathon.

1. Don’t Tell My Mother by Brigette Bautista.

Remember when I told you earlier that I have an officemate who is a published writer from romanceclassbooks? This is her book. I got in touched with her because I really liked her short story in the anthology book from our company’s literary club. And then I learned that she has a published book released in the wild so I immediately told her that I’ll buy a copy.

Don’t Tell My Mother is about 19-year old Sam who found herself attracted with the widowed neighbor “Clara” which push her to question her deep Christian upbringing by her religious mother. First of all, this story reminded me of three things. One was the character “Sumire” from Haruki Murakami’s “Sputnik Sweetheart” who was also drawn to a women 17 years older than her. Second was the indie film “Ang Huling Cha-cha ni Anita” who’s also about a girl falling in love with an older new woman in town. Last would be “Blue is the Warmest Color” . The film is something like that too although not too big in age differences but it’s also about a teenage girl falling in love with an older woman. It left me wondering if lesbians really has a thing for older woman. If you have the answer feel free to comment.

I haven’t seen both films I mentioned above and just learned the premises through trailers and articles. I admit I am not into lesbian literature. I am more of a fan of yaoi and bromance. I don’t know why but I know it started with me watching the anime’ “Gravity”. But still, I enjoyed this book with Brigette’s amazing way of describing things and feelings just like what she did in the literature anthology. I could feel the tension and how it is suffocating to live to the place she grew up with it. I actually have a lesbian friend with a religious mother. Not to go deeper into that but I somehow saw this premise in reality. But with my friend’s case, the mother still doesn’t know. Or maybe she already knows but just waiting for a confessions. Either way, I should not tell her mother. The title applies to me. What a coincidence.

There was this feature in the end of every romanceclass book where it has a lists of question that encourages Book Club Discussion. For this book, it has eight questions but I’ll just choose one.

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6. Right at the end. Sam’s mother threatens to send her to a conditioning camp to inhibit her homosexuality. Do you think homosexuality can be cured? Discuss this scene in context of nature vs. nurture.

Can it really be cured? I think not. Because I don’t see homosexuality as an illness in the first place. I find it hard to answer between nature and nurture though. I believe it can be both. I mean both sexes can be attracted to whoever in a matter of time. It is in the matter of their choices, limitation,preferences and happenings in their life. The point is I really don’t see homosexuality as an illness and it does not need a cure.

Final Verdict: Genre is not my cup of tea but I love the narrative and delivery. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

2. Playing Autumn by “Mina V. Esguerra”

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Haley Reese met her ultimate childhood celebrity crush Oliver Cabrera which inspired her to be a musician herself. The better news, they are heading to the same destination as they are both picked as mentors in the same music festival. The best news, he sits next to her in the flight and actually initiated the conversation.

Good points.The ending is satisfying and super simot-sarap kilig to the bones. It was done just right without reaching the zone of “too good to be true” fangirl story. This has also touched the common adulting dilemna which is DOUBT. The moment of confusion of the path you should take, whether to choose passion or practicality. Feeling lost in the future. Among other things.

Well the story turned to being steamy. (Hot Hot Hot!) I was a little bit irked on how fast and how far their connection went in just whole weekend. But well, if you met your ultimate celebrity crush and he somehow returned the attraction, who won’t be vulnerable enough to give in?  If I’ll be listening to logic I won’t advise everyone with how Haley handled it. But if you are in her situation, I’m pretty sure the voices of logic will shut right up. LOL! I’m a bit conflicted about this. I am against it but I understand. Haha!

Anyway I just love how Haley snapped the fantasy out her system after the steamy weekend with hot Oliver Cabrera. I mean she enjoyed it but she knows the reality of the celebrities. So she did not linger with the fantasies. That what made me super like her.

I don’t know if this is a moral lesson.  I agree with the book that in life, we can connect with a person super fast like we have known them for life. The important thing is we should somehow  listen to our right reasoning. And also, don’t be afraid to go out of a relationship specially if you’re just staying because of security alone. This pertains to Haley and Logan’s relationship.

I totally shipped Oliver and Haley. I believed that even their future together is quite shaky, their connection could be very well established in the future if they work for it.

Final verdict: Love the ending. 4 out of 5 stars.

3. Welcome to Envy Park by Mina Esguerra

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Another Mina Esguerra novel. She really have a fancy dealing about quarter-life crisis and adults having uncertainty about their futures.  The protagonist here also ignited an instant connection with a crush. But at least this one has more logical reasoning and the intimacy stretched out for weeks.

Moira Vasquez just had an apartment in N.V Park, the fruit of her 5 years  in Singapore. But now she is unemployed and has no boyfriend. She considered her stay in the country as temporary while she figures out what would she do next and that might include leaving again for another country. Entering the picture is Ethan from the 9th floor who’s a successful IT consultant who somehow made the decision-making quite complicated

I haven’t gone to work abroad myself  but I have lingering thoughts about it. I like Moira’s 4 quadrant hobby because I think I do it myself.  Her thoughts about the people she encountered in Envy Park and how she assess their life is damn relate-able.  Ethan got adult issues of his own too. He considered himself as “Leaf on the Wind” , just going with the flow, getting anything what is on the plate. I liked that in the end, these two characters stood up on what they really want. in that way they grow. I like how the book speaks about quarter-life crisis and somehow it made me feel as a reader to not feel alone in my own journey through it.

I think the best thing about this book is Moira’s friendship with Roxie. I love their interactions and their inside jokes. They have different ways in dealing with life but they compliment each other. This makes the book more enjoyable to read.

Final verdict: Love the ending too. 4 out of 5 stars.

4.  What About Today by Dawn Lanuza

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I picked this book because I love Dawn Lanuza’s “Boyfriend Backtrack” which I will review last because its my most favorite in this book marathon.  It is not at par with the wonders I experienced with “Boyfriend’s Backtrack” but it does not mean this book was a let down. This book has different charm, more on innocent kind of love. It makes you remember that magical feeling of meeting an interesting stranger in your teenage years and the awkward feeling when you found yourself developing a crush.

Gemma went to Funtastic World alone to celebrate her seventeenth birthday by conquering her fear of extreme rides. About to give up when an intrigued bored employee, about the same age as her,  approached and offered to be with her to get through the rides. His name is Aiden, and he seems nice.

This is a very light read. With only seven chapters, the premise happened only within hours inside the amusement park. “Cute, funny and cute again” That’s how I will describe their small adventures inside the park as they slowly opened up with each other. There’s nothing much to say about since the premise is simple and  the dynamics of the story is in the dialogue of the two characters rather than the plot of the story. It makes you miss the feeling where in you don’t have any idea about  relationships. And you still believe that love is purely magic.

Final verdict: If you want to  remember an innocent love or crush, read this book. 3.5 out of 5.

 

5. Boyfriend Backtrack by Dawn Lanuza

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I immensely enjoyed this book. This is the thickest of the five but reading this is just a breeze. I definitely see myself grabbing more of Dawn Lanuza’s book. Her writing style is lit!

Regina’s boyfriend of three years Kevin finally proposed in a posh restaurant. But a weird thing happened to her. The faces of her exes flashed through her eyes in that supposed to be magical moment.  She confessed this with her friends and was convinced that maybe, she needs to confront unresolved relationship issues with her past before tying the knot.

And wow Regina’s lovelife is colorful. She had a wide range of exes from an Emo highschool ex, to womanizer and doctor . All of which she had no proper break-up with. Her encounter with each one of them after the fateful proposal were both exciting and hilarious. To begin with, I could really feel that Regina is not much  into this wedding. And people around her, her sister and friends seems to know this very well even though she denies it. I felt Regina’s looming anxiety and Dawn has captured this with her writing very well.

I just became frustrated because the plot is somewhat similar to a novel that I’ve been working on. It’s not exactly the same but it also deals with the exes. And Dawn has written this very good. Feeling lost right now. But this won’t stop me from continuing what I started.

And because I love the book, I’ll be answering of all the guide questions.

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  1. Is there a certain song that reminds you of one specific person? Why do you think this song reminds you of him/her?

Well in the book, that would be “There She Goes” by “The La” . I’m listening to it right now and I just can’t help imagining how this song was used in that particular  scene. Ahh feels so giddy again.

But okay the question is about me. What songs that reminds me of one specific person? Well, I have an answer for that. That would be ” Here There and Everywhere” by The Beatles. I don’t know this song until someone sang this to me over the phone. I don’t know whenever I hear this song, it creeps me that I somehow remember how I feel back then.  Like a time machine. That maybe on that time I was truly adored and loved. Maybe. I’m not sure. And I don’t care if its real anymore. But somehow, this song makes me feel that way. And that’s why I don’t want to hear thing song again.

2. Do you think it’s wise to revisit your past to create a better future for yourself ?

Yes! Like Regina, you need to re-visit and conquered the past. Because if you can’t deal and accept, I believe any suppressed feeling will just carry on in the future. And it will destroy your inner peace.

3. I won’t type the question anymore because its too long. But my answer is simple  NO.

4. Do you think the person you were ten years ago would be happy with who you become now?

Oh no, this question. I don’t think she’ll be happy. Maybe she’ll be shocked with the things I was able to do or what I have become. But she’ll be definitely sad because this is not the life she imagined ten years from now. Sorry self.

But I’ll do my best. At least I am a better person and I don’t get in much trouble through the years. And I still have many opportunities to expand my horizon. And just like Regina, I’ll be courageous to start all over again if I have to.

5. If you would be given a chance to take a step back from your life, where would you want to do it? Why?

I think I would want to go back in Highschool. I would take care more of myself. I would be more sociable. I would take in-charge of my life. I would have concentrated to develop skills. I would have been braver. That’s all.

Wew! That’s it! Finally! My final verdict to this books is a “must-grab”. It will entertain you but will leave you thinking about your life in general, not just relationship.

Dawn Lanuza and your books, wait for me because I’ll be reading more of your works.

Final Verdict: What a joyful emotional ride. 4.5 out of 5 stars!!!

And yes, that concludes my book-marathon. I am proud of myself that I finally manage to read books amidst my social media addiction.  I am definitely inspired to write again. Time to pass to this reviews. Will I get a slot? I hope so. But no matter what, I won’t stop reading romanceclassbook! #SupportLocal, that’s my advocacy.

By the way, romanceclass is a  community of Filipino romance writers. For more information, you can visit romanceclassbooks.com.

It’s not Too Late For Everything!

Gurezu ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: BuyBust (2018)

Capsule Movie Review: Buybust (2018)
Directed by: Erik Matti

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WHAT I LIKE:

1.Simple lang ang story. Nagkaroon ng tip ang kapulisan na nagtatago ang big time druglord na si Biggie Chen sa Barangay Gracia ni Maria. Naatasan ang squad na kinabibilingan ni Manigan (Anne Curtis) para sa BUYBUST operation na ito. Ngunit natagpuan nila ang sarili sa isang set-up at ang tanong ay kung makakalabas sila ng buhay sa mala puzzle, masikip at komplikadong lugar ng Barangay na pati mamayan ay galit sa kapulisan.

2. Shakey Camera work sa simula. Tila ba hinahanda na ang mga mata at puso mo sa gulo ng mangyayari.

3. Abangan niyo iyong 3-minute one-cut action scene. Ang UNIQUE at ASTIG ng mga FIGHTING SCENES dito!!! Never ko pang nakita sa kahit anong Filipino action movies or even Hollywood. Literal na makapagpigil-hininga ang habulan, taguan at labanan. At some point napapasigaw rin kaming mga nanonood. No holds barred din pagdating sa brutal scenes. (Hindi ko malilimutan si Cactus girl.) Realistic din iyong tipong tumatama tlaga ang mga palo at suntok. Wala ring masyadong maraming satsat (except on one scene) Bloodshed kung bloodshed.

4. Newfound respect for Anne Curtis as actress dahil naging legit na action star siya dito. Pero ang pinakapaborito ko si Brandon Vera na Mixed Martial Artist din pala sa totong buhay. Noong una akala ko hindi siya marunong mag-Tagalog at so-so lang siguro ang acting. Pero solid naman pala. Hindi lang sa action scenes kung hindi sa pag-arte. SA kaniya ko nakuha ang puso ng pelikula more than Anne. More action movies to this man please!

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5. And let’s not forget the music scoring na lalong nagpadagdag ng tensyon sa mga eksena. Ginamit rin ang Lupang Hinirang” dito with subtlety and respect. Ang naisip ko sa tagpong iyon, parang pinahihiwatig na ang gulo hindi lang sa barangay Gracia ni Maria kung hindi sa buong Plipinas. Iyon ang nadama ko. For this let’s commend the man behind the musical scores. Malek Lopez and Erwin Romulo!

6. Ito talaga ang pinaka-nakaka elibs sa lahat. The stage design of Barangay Gracia ni Maria. Ito kasi talaga ang nagpahirap sa squad ni Anne Curtis at pati na rin sa mga kontrabidia. Slum, squatter’s area na para bang maze sa sobrang gulo ng daan , kanal at mga lusutan. Magka-crash ang Waze sa lugar na ‘to. Naisip ko nga kung totoo itong lugar na ito, pwede na siyang maging tourist spot. Excting kung paano ka makakalabas. Pinanood ko tuloy iyong” the making” clips and most of it is a set design. Ang galing sobra! Napaka-realistic. First time ko napa-search kung sino ang Set designers/ Production designers ng pelikula and they are “Michael N. Español and Roma Regala”. (I hope I got the names right)

Clips showing what is the inspiration of the film and the making of production design.

7. Hindi na ako nagulat sa twist. But definitely satisfied sa ending.

8. Ang galing ni Arjo Atayde! Short appearance but it’s a bomb. HIndi ko siya kilala before. And syempre Nonie Buencamino forever. Mapa-kontrabida or bida, effective talaga siya. (See Smaller and Smaller Circles, Dagitab, Heneral Luna). Other actors and actresses may it be in the squad or the drug cartel did their acting very well. Wala akong masabi.

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9. Erik Matti’s is the best director at this time. To the point inaabangan ko na mga pelikula niya since OTJ.

10. The film is clearly insinuating about the current anti-drug war in our country. It is entertaining but super relevant. Mapapaisip ka na lang kung tama pa ba ang nangyayari sa bansa.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE

1. May mga action scenes si Anne na pwede naman siya sugurin ng sabay-sabay ng mga nakapaligid sa kaniya pero isa-isa pa rin silang sumusugod.

2. Hindi pwede sa mahihiluhin. May mga action scenes na hindi malinaw at nadaan lang sa shakey camera work. Sa umpisa lang naman.

3. May isang eksena rito na napasobra ata ng satsat. “Ano ba barilin mo na kasi!!!” moment. Ganun.

4. At some point hindi ko na maintindihan iyong ibang ordinary citizens dito. HIndi ko masyadong naintindihan kung ano iyong hugot nila kung bakit sobrang mithiin sa pagsugod sa squad. Parang wala rin naman silang strong bond sa drug cartel. Maiintindihan ko iyong mga nagtatago sa bahay-bahay para di na madamay. May part pa na sila na nag-aaway at sila na lang talaga magulo haha. In short, may ordinary citizens na panggulo lang. Gusto lang ata ng away.

FINAL VERDICT: 9.5 out of 10 stars. Superb and super relevant pero para sa mahihiluhin, uminom ka muna ng Bonamine.

Support Local Films!

Gurezu


Disclaimer: Not photos are mine. CTTO.

Let’s connect!

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The Emotional True Story Behind the Itchyworm’s Latest MV “Di Na Muli”

Long before Itchyworms became mainstream popular, I have already adored this band because of the usual funny attack to emotional songs.  Their song entitled “Happy Birthday” is one of my all-time favorites. The melody is happy and festive but the lyrics narrates a story about a birthday celebration of a man whom no one remembers. Whey they had big break in OPM scene, I was really happy because this band deserves it.

And now, I just saw their latest music video for their song “Di Na Muli”  and I could not contain the overwhelming emotions it gives me. Moreover, it comes with a true to life story that is both romantic and melancholic.

Di Na Muli was written in 2016 by long-time friends Jazz Nicolas and Wally Acolola. They entered the song into the 5th Philippine Popular (PhilPop) Music Festival, performed by The Itchyworms, where it won the grand prize. Now, in 2018, the song has been given new life in the official soundtrack of the hit film Sid & Aya (Not A Love Story) (Viva Films, starring Dingdong Dantes and Anne Curtis, directed by Irene Villamor). ‘

The music video, however, tells another story that is different from the movie. I will directly quote the narration of music video “co-director Juno Oebanda” on how he came up with the idea of this music video. This is also shared in the comment section in youtube.

“WHO IS THE LADY IN THE VIDEO”

By co-director Juno Oebanda

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Rosky Balahadia Hilado, widow of the late Teodoro “Teddy” Hilado to whom the video is dedicated to. When I first heard DI NA MULI after The Itchyworms bagged grand prize at PhilPop 2016 it moved me to tears like no other. Having known the band for quite some time I called them and expressed the desire to do a music video – I felt the song written by Jazz Nicolas and Wally Acolola was so powerful it needed a proper one. But how? What treatment?

The light bulb came close to Teddy Hilado’s first death anniversary in 2016 and so the story goes …. Teddy in his younger years was the first technical and lighting director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Bayanihan Dance Group , this is where he met the young Rosky at that time one of the principal dancers of the Bayanihan. At the CCP is where their love story started – Teddy designing the lights over dances that Rosky did on stage.

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I presented the story line to the Worms and they liked it and proceeded to talk to the CCP if we could film in and around the theater. We were given a venue grant easily since Teddy is one of CCP’s pioneers. By this time, I had to look for a partner to do this with, not being a film director I called up Direk Paolo Abella an expert in film to help me execute this project. Support in the form equipment came from the LIVE entertainment industry as well. So the music video story goes… Rosky comes back to the CCP stage after more than 20 years and reminisces how and where her love story with Teddy started. This is where Rosky takes over and owns the song, how she walked, how she smiled, how she cried and how she gracefully danced were all real emotions. The young Rosky was played by Kare Adea who was equally wonderful.

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In this photo, I was giving Tita Rosky blocking instructions when she whispered to me smiling but with tears in her eyes, “I haven’t been on this stage for more than 20 years.” I said, “TIta this last sequence is where you will dance with Tito Teddy, dance with the light Tita, dance with Tito Teddy”. What happened next was magical, her poise – her grace was that of a woman dancing with her love again, there was no acting here. The beautiful, emotional lighting execution was by Shakira Villa Symes who for a time was mentored by Teddy Hilado himself, I could not think of any other current Lighting Director more worthy of doing this but Shari. The video ends with Rosky with a solo top light. Go figure.

Di Na Muli – is a gem of a song that comes around not too often. It’s a song that becomes yours, you own it. Any other story would have made a wonderful narrative, this one just has a setting that all of us can relate to, who does not love the beauty that is the CCP anyway.”

Watch the music video itself and be mesmerized by the stunning performance of Itchyworms and Mrs. Rosky Hilardo.  I also copied the lyrics below.

 

Verse:

Nung araw kay tamis ng ating buhay

Puno ng saya at ng kulay

Di mauulit muli

 

Ang oras kapag hinayaang lumipas

Madarama mo hanggang bukas

Di mababawi muli

 

Chorus:

Ang dami daming bagay na hindi naman kailangan

Kung pwede lang bawasan natin ang mga tampuhan

Hindi mo lang alam hindi mo pa nararanasan

Kahapon sana natin di mo na pinahirapan

Patawad muli

Di na muli

 

Verse:

Ang oras kapag hinayaang lumipas

Madarama mo hanggang bukas

Di mababawi muli

 

(Instrumental)

 

Bridge:

At natapos ang himas ng sandal

Di kukubli aking tinig

Nang lumipas na’t di man lang nasabi

Salamat hanggang sa muli

 

Chorus:

Ang dami daming bagay na hindi naman kailangan

Kung pwede lang bawasan natin ang mga tampuhan

Hindi mo lang alam hindi mo pa nararanasan

Kahapon sana natin di mo na pinahirapan

Patawad muli

Di na muli

 

Binawi buhay mo ng walang sabi

Binubulong ko sa sarili

Mahal kita hanggang sa huli

Mahal ko hanggang sa huli

 

I shared this music video with a close friend and of course, noted him to read the story behind it in youtube. Here is his reaction.

 

My friend is now in ugly crying mode. Mission Accomplished!

Thank you Itchyworms! You are a gem in OPM scene. Please don’t disband ever!

And to Direk Juno for being the mastermind of this touching music video.

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Have you watched the video? What did you feel about it? I would love to hear your thoughts!

 

Other links to listen this song and credits.

Youtube link for Di Na Muli official music video: https://youtu.be/rgHHJkzn5TU

For updates about The Itchyworms, you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Listen to the music of The Itchyworms on Spotify, Deezer and iTunes.

Check out their music videos: Official Youtube channel
Video Credits

Di Na Muli
Words and Music by Jazz Nicolas and Wally Acolola

Starring
Rosky Balahadia Hilado
Carissa Adea
and The Itchyworms

Executive Producers: Juno Oebanda and The Itchyworms
Directors: Paolo Abella and Juno Oebanda
Director of Photography: Arvin Viola
Lighting Director: Shakira Villa-Symes
Drone Pilot: Paolo Jaminola
Editor: PJ Corpuz
Colorist: Marilen Magsaysay

Special Thanks to:
Audio Video Solutions Corporation
Soundcheck Inc.
Forerunner Technologies Inc.
JB Music
Forscink Inc.
Digital Fusion Productions
Aero 360 International
Creative Control Group

The administration and staff of the Cultural Center of the Philippines

Our Staycation Experience in Wind Residences Tagaytay

You know the popular woes of adult friendships; you rarely see each other. And if you all do discuss it, your schedules are all conflict with each other. For months, my college tropa has been planning to travel again. It’s been years since our last getaway. And we’ve been going on cycles, suggesting, turning down, screwing up the whole plan. It was truly difficult to reach the concensus. But amazingly (finally!) , we all agreed  on May 5, 2018  (except for one with totally reasonable reason) Since we could not travel far because of other commitments, we just chose to have staycation just few hours away from Manila.  So I browsed Airbnb and found these amazing condo unit with panoramic view of Taal.

Hare’s the link: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/5301771

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With the free wi-fi and parking, we’re solved!  It accepts a maximum of 6 persons. Of course there are other units in Wind Residences with this great view. But this is the one I have found in Airbnb and we settled because of the freebies and reasonable price.

So this is the glimpse of the Taal just right at the window. It is absolutely panoramic!

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Doing some night long exposure shots. I tried my best.

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The condo unit itself truly delivers. It has appliances for light cooking. There was TV with HDMI cable for gaming, chandeliers and bed. The host was quick to respond to all our inquiries.   The only thing I could complain is it only has two towels and two blankets. They mentioned it beforehand but it is easy to slip in our minds. Anyway if you plan to book this yourself, just don’t forget to bring  extra towels and blankets if you are more than two people. But generally, this condo unit ROCKS!  I totally recommend it for those who are planning to have a chill and relaxing weekend.

As for the evidence on how the condo unit looks and how much we enjoyed our stay, please refer to the following section.

MY CRAZY COLLEGE FRIENDS  and THE FUN THINGS WE DID 

Being with them is ALWAYS guaranteed fun-filled and full of laughter ride. I mean just look at this. They are all meme-worthy.

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(NSFW guys. Just for fun only)

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GROCERY TIME

Upon arrival, we checked it and head-off  to the nearest supermarket just walking distance from the condo unit. Apart from necessities, we bought bottles of Soju, Renato (leftmost side guy) had a sudden penchant for Soju eversince I treated them in Oppa Chicken for my last birthday. It amazes me that he really became into it.

 

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And some portrait photoshoot on the side

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Photoshoot with Taal Volcano. Of course I didn’t let this moment slip without capturing the majestic view. I imagine how it feels like to wake up in the morning with this kind of sightings. But  then again, I realized that if you are used to something, even how beautiful it is, you would  get tired eventually. People are just like that.

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Boardgaming Night

This is becoming the banner activity of our friendship everytime we meet. It’s fun and you put down your phones because you got to really interact with each other. We played two games that night. First was the dead of winter wherein you as players are going to do your best to survive a zombie apocalypse together. It’s not a simple game. But I want to commend our game master Aldrich (below) for patiently explaining everything for almost one hour!

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He’s been our ever reliable game master. No one could replace him and no one would be willing. (Gahd ang hirap kaya mag-aral ng game. Daming pag-aaralang instruction. I can’t for a life of me!)

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The second game was Avalon. It is our most favorite so far. It’s a game of Bad guys a.k.a “Minions of Mordred” and Good guys a.k.a “Loyal Servant of Arthur”. In this game you should have an ability to deceive or investigate the behavior of your co-players. It is truly a fun game and its not hard to learn.

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It’s been a long time plan to document and edit a reality-game show type coverage of us playing this game. But it’s not easy to edit. And I’m still struggling. But for now, here’s the glimpse of us playing as the bad guys caught in camera standing on a tripod.

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Foodtrip.

Just one ride away from Wind Residences is a restaurant called “Green ATS”. You can choose in a “kubo” where there is a great skyscraper view of Tagaytay City. You just have to pay 1500 but that is totally consumable to food. And whenever we go to Tagaytay, our table won’t be complete without Bulalo. The food is great but nothing compared with the Bulalo in Mahogany also here in Tagaytay.

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Birthday Surprise!

Even I was surprised with this birthday surprise. I was not part of the plan. We were playing “Just dance” when Renato suddenly said that he forgot something and he had to go back to the car. He disappeared for almost half an hour. When he went back, he already has the cake. Even I was stunned. I really didn’t know.  I guess they know I’m not a good actress and it would be hard for me to keep the plan hhahaha. I won’t blame them. I’m a girl with unrestrained secrets haha!

 

Nice surprise!

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Finally soju time. Renato has been waiting for this

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Just Dance!

Apparently, Drich and Leonard has this amazing gaming console  called Switch. It looks like this.

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When you connect to a T.V with HDMI, you can instantly play any games offline or online. I am really not much into gaming that’s why I don’t things like this. But if I have to choose a game, that has to be a dancing game! I love to dance. It’s a hobby that I love that doesn’t love me back. In a very rare occasion, all of us get up and join the game. So here it is, sharing with you our shameful dancing in the tune of 24K Magic by Bruno Mars.

 

And the best dancer goes to… The birthday boy, Leonard!

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But allow me to display this meme-able gif again.

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BREAKFAST

Allow me to introduce you the party mother of our group, Chard. He cooked, cleaned and washed the dishes all by himself. He woke up early  just to prepare the breakfast. When we got-up, everything was on the table already; hard-boiled eggs, tuna, pancit-canton, sausage and juice. See? It’s truly a blessing to have a friend like Chard.

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Swimming at  the Wind Residences Clubhouse

This is exclusive in the accommodation. It only costs P150.00 each in the accounting center.

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Because we were afraid of the sun, we opted to swim in the indoor pool.

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DRONE PHOTOSHOOT

Renato has small drone that he was afraid to fly unto the  hole of Taal Volcano. So we just tried around the Wind Residences clubhouse.

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LUNCH in MAHOGANY

Exactly 12 PM we checked-out of the condo unit. We had our lunch at the place called Mahogany. There is a string of carinderia style restaurants here. Among of all these is the one featured in Kris TV because of its heaven-sent Bulalo. And not only Bulalo, but also “Crispy Tawilis”. I’ll be writing a separate blog about this soon. Just writing this triggers drooling for me and I’m writing this here in the office with Tagaytay like temperature. OMG! Help!

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That’s it!

Now that I’m finished documenting our mini escapade, I realized that I have new names for my friends; Renato is the “Soju Boy”, Aldrich is “The Game Master” , Leonard as “the Dancer” and Richard as “the Party Mother”. I was thinking what is my role in this group. But since I documented everything,  I guess I’ll be and always be, yours truly, ‘The Blogger Friend”. Haha!

Credits:

Special thanks to Renato for the additional photos and GIF.

How to Dress Sweet? (Dessert Museum Adventure)

Dessert Museum is all over the social media already. So we gave a twist on our visit by dressing SWEET. Featuring the members of Philippine Gothic and Lolita Community in their sweet coord.

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To those who are not familiar with LOLITA Fashion.

*Lolita is not a cosplay or costume since it does not portray any characters whatsoever. It is a fashion subculture from Japan.

*Sweet Lolita is one of the common Lolita styles. According to lolitafashion.wikia.com ,common motifs for sweet lolita includes, but are not limited to, desserts, berries, children books, and fantasy elements. Animals and flowers are also quite common. Colors are usually baby pinks, blues, white and pastels.

As for me, I am wearing a light blue jumpskirt with a hint of cake house print.

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My outfit is quite simple compared with my co-members.

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About Dessert Museum, it is located inside Conrad hotel at the back of MOA SMX convention. Each room has a design or theme base on the desserts it represents like ice cream, donuts, gummy bears, marshmallows and etc. They also give samples of each dessert in each room. We booked the venue as a group so we only paid P600.00 each. In metrodeal.com as of this writing, it is now only P599.00! This is the link.

I think my ONLY COMPLAIN would be that they don’t remind everyone to bring water before going inside. Or better yet, they should also provide free water also along with the sweets. But well, we survived without water for two hours. And it helped because we don’t have to look for a comfort room within that period because there was no CR inside too.

So I hereby present the photo explosion. Full album is in my fb page Gurezu blog.

Donut Room

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Marshmallow Room

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Gummy Bears Room

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 The Ice Cream Room

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My most favorite would be the cotton candy room because it looks fluffy and pink is my thing nowadays.

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And more!

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The journey ended in a shop where you can avail souvenirs and of course, more sweets to take home.

 

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That’s all for my Dessert Museum escapade! I won’t apologize for the explosion of photos here.

How about you? What is your favorite dessert or sweets? And what do you think about the lolita fashion?

 

Photo by: Gurezu and Tomi Xu

Food of The Day: Bari Kara Ramen, Newest Flavor From Ramen Kuroda

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Food of the Day: “BARI KARA RAMEN” , the newest flavor of Ramen Kuroda,
Price: P230.00

“A very spicy taste of extraordinary pork based soup with perfect combination of spices that touches the soul of a Real Ramen taste!” – Ramen Kuroda

I’ve been a fan of Ramen Kuroda. It’s been my number one Ramen Resto until “Mendokoro Ramenba” entered the picture. That’s why when I heard about their new spicy ramen offering last February, I’ve been wanting to taste it. I only got the opportunity last March 23 at their Eastwood Branch. And it did not disappoint. Rich and thick in taste indeed. Of course, the pork meat is soft just like before. (Banayad sa dila as I use to describe it). The spicyness is tolerable and won’t hurt even the non-spicy fans foodies. But comparing to my favorite Aka Ramen, I would still choose Aka. It’s the ramen that made me fall in love with Ramen Kuroda and still think its more delicious than Bari-Kara.

Final Verdict: 4.5/5 stars. Spicy Ramen Lovers should check this out!

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And sharing with the photos of my friends who immediately agreed when I suggest Ramen Kuroda for our dinner for tonight.

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And some food photography. I didn’t take much photos this time because I was so famish I am starting to have dizzy spells.

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Some Photography Notes:

Camera: Fuji-XA3

Lens: 35mm 1.4 Fujinon Lens

Post Process: Lightroom using “BeArt-Presets”

Capsule Film Review: Smaller and Smaller Circles (2017)

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Smaller and Smaller Circles (2017) This film is based on the book dubbed as first crime/mystery book of the Phillippines. (Maybe the first of its kind in the Philippine cinema too. I can’t remember a Filipino murder mystery film. If you know one please educate me.) Our detectives here are actually priests who are trained with forensics so they are called to help solve a series of gruesome murders of young boys. Bodies were found with no genitals, no faces and no hearts anymore. Since our crime solvers are priests, they are not only faced with the problem of chasing the killer but also, the questions of faith and forgiveness, idagdag pa ang mga corrupt na mga pulis at alagad ng simbahan. In short, mabigat at malaman ang pelikulang ito.

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Another thing to commend. This film has beautiful sountrack. Haunting, creepy and wonderfully chorals interweave in the movie scenes. Ilang beses tumaas balahibo ko! And lastly, Nonie Buencamino (Father Saenz) is such an underrated actor. Whatever character he plays, he plays it with sort of magic. Sid Lucero (Father Lucero) as support added dynamics to their team. Not another beautiful face I must say. Napakagaling!

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I don’t agree much with sequels but this time,I would strongly suggest it. I demand more cases for Father Saez and Father Lucero to solve. Not only because of their brilliant minds but they have heart of gold with a lot of inner conflict themselves. Philippine Cinema had enough of love teams already. We should perhaps give way to crime-solving team this time.

Rating: ★★★★✩

This movie is not on PH theaters anymore but from time to time, it has screenings at Cinema76. This movie  house features Filipino Indie Films for only P150.00. I totally recommend you to like their fb page so you can be updated with the schedules.

Here’s the trailer of the movie. Let’s celebrate Filipino films. Maraming magagandang Pelikulang Pinoy. Kailangan lang ng ating suporta. 😉

NOTE: Photos not mine. Grabbed from Google.

Special shoutout to bequietkate  . I originally posted this review on my facebook page “Gurezu Blog”    where I usually post my capsule reviews. Just today, I read her blog about her review on the book which prompted me to re-post this here as well. Hi Kate! I super love your review and it was nice to see someone who love this book (and movie) as well!

Day 12 of 30 Day Blogging Challenge.Done!