Manang and me.

Second blog entry in a row. And there’s a third one coming up. I’m on a writing mood and I’m taking advantage of it. :hihihi:

I’ve just finished watching Dear Uge: Manang and Me featuring Alden Richards, Odette Khan and Lloyd Samartino. This episode basically proves two things: (1) that Alden Richards is quite capable at being effective in comedy, and I’m going to be fair here and say that his being part of Eat… Bulaga! and Kalyeserye played a huge role for that; and (2) Alden Richards has chemistry with EVERYONE he is paired with, and that includes Odette Khan. (And Eugene Domingo, too, even if they only had one short scene together.) I just love seeing him and Ms. Odette together onscreen. I’m not sure if they’re close in real life, but they truly made the relationship between the Brian and Manang characters very believable. That last part where ‘Manang’ made a surprise appearance for ‘Brian’ and they were hugging as if they truly missed each other? That was just lovely. :drool:

I wish for Alden and Ms. Odette to have a another project together, preferably something longer like a movie or drama.

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Mini-review: Alden in Magpakailanman.

I’ve been starting at my laptop’s screen for the past 45 minutes or so, but I can’t seem to know how to start writing this entry. I’m still reeling from watching the second of Magpakailanman‘s 5th Anniversary Specials entitled Kuwentong Marawi, Sa Mata Ng Isang Sundalo, featuring Alden Richards as Pfc. Jomille Pavia.

One word: BITIN. I want more. :grin:

First of all, for a TV show, the production values are top-notch. :thumbup: The screenplay, cinematography and production design are fit for the big screen. The battle scenes are well-executed; you won’t see as much blood and gore due to the limits of it being aired on Free TV, but the ‘feel’ is there.

As for the story itself, the writer was able to truly present the situation in Marawi in the eyes of a soldier who witnessed all the ugly realities of war: brothers killing each other, women of all ages being sexually violated, even children who sacrificed their lives at an early age because they were brainwashed to do so. The episode was also able to show how war truly affects not just those who are on site, but also the families of the soldiers deployed for battle. It’s something that all of us who are tucked safely in our respective homes do not fully relate to because we are shielded from it. To paraphrase what the character played by Phytos Ramirez said, “isinasakripisyo ang buhay ng isa para makabuhay ng lima” (they sacrifice one life so that five more will live).

Of course, I can’t leave this entry without talking about the acting. :thumbup: I kinda expected this because it’s Alden, but my golly… he still surprises me with the depths that his talent can reach. He started the episode with some light moments, at times even unleashing his expertise at bringing in the kilig. :hihihi: Sorry, I know it’s not about the love story and it’s a big issue to some people in the fandom, but can you blame me? Alden just has that innate chemistry with any on-screen partner and Reese Tuazon is no exception.

Then came the heavier parts, and while I already expected him to do well, Alden was still able to bring his skills to a whole new level. Alden is famous for acting with just his eyes, and he was able to fully utilize that here particularly on those parts where Pfc. Pavia was slowly realizing how unbelievably devastating war is. I always have scenes where the acting makes a mark on me and on this episode, I have two: (1) When Pfc. Pavia saw for the first time the number of innocent civilians who were killed in battle; and (2) when he realized that the kid whom they chanced upon when they arrived in Marawi was a child sniper from the Maute Group. In those scenes, I felt how Pfc. Pavia was terrified, not for his own safety, but because he can’t believe that war could be THAT cruel. In his interview with Ms. Mel Tiangco, Pfc. Pavia was asked what he was praying for while on the battle field. His answer was, he’s always praying that God would forgive him for killing those people because he knows that one of the Ten Commandments is ‘thou shall not kill’. I was surprised at that. One, because the usual human instinct is to pray for his own safety but Pfc. Pavia isn’t like that, which is surprising for someone who used to have a happy-go-lucky lifestyle as shown in the story. Two, because Alden was able to accurately portray that trait of Pfc. Pavia in those scenes that I mentioned above.

The supporting cast also gave credible performances. Special mention goes to Marc Justine Alvarez who played the child sniper. I was seriously terrified when it was revealed that he was with the Maute Group. The kid gave a very effective performance. :thumbup:

All in all, it was an excellent episode and a fitting tribute to the heroism of our brave soldiers. Kudos to director Mark Sicat Dela Cruz and the people behind this Magkailanman episode for a job super-well done. :clap:

===

This is a part where I will drop my remarks which are bordering on shallowness. :hihihi: Hey, I’m a fangirl. I’m allowed to be shallow at times, right?

1. There’s only one part that I nitpicked on the episode and it’s this: That scene where one of the Marawi survivors said that it’s her birthday and going home will be a great birthday gift for her. As I have learned from my Muslim friend who’s also an avid Alden fan, Muslims do not celebrate birthdays and particularly those from the Maranao Tribe are very strict about it . :razz: It’s a very minor detail, but I’m a chronic nitpicker, so…

2. I’m not Kapampangan so I really don’t know if they did the Kapampangan dialog and accent right (except for Roi Vinzon who is from Pampanga), but every time Reese Tuazon delivers her lines I could hear my Kapampangan boss talking in my head. So I guess she did well?

3. It’s such a delight to see Alden not sporting his usual gelled hairstyle for once. :hihihi: He looks so hot whenever he removes his helmet. Hey, RJ, it’s been three years. Time to change the hair, maybe?

4. Alden in military garb = :drool: It’s been rumored – and he has expressed desire to accept the role ;) – that he might be playing Big Boss in the local adaptation of Descendants Of The Sun. If this Magpakailanman episode is a look-test for his future participation in the Pinoy version of DOTS, then he certainly passed with flying colors. :thumbup:

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It might look like a slow year for Alden, but I think 2017 is a great year for him as an actor. Let’s see, he had:

1. Franco, a person with autism, for Eat Bulaga’s Lenten presentation, Kapatid – he won a Best Single Performance By An Actor award for this one;
2. Dr. Dalvie Casilang, a doctor to the barrios, for Wish Ko Lang;
3. Jessie in Daig Kayo Ng Lola Ko, where he showed his flair in comedy;
4. Boni Ilagan, in the critically-acclaimed documentary Alaala;
5. Pfc. Jomille Pavia for Magpakailanman.

Not bad, right? I mean, we had some (some? :grin: ) issues with Destined To Be Yours but Alden had quite a number of acting highlights in that drama, too.

If things will turn out the way it’s planned to be, I am so looking forward to what’s in store for Alden Richards in 2018. :smile:

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Alaala.

This is not a review. I am not qualified to give a review because I was late in tuning in last night and didn’t see the documentary in full.

This is not a political commentary. I try hardest never to deal with anything about politics on this blog because I don’t think I’m intelligent enough to present arguments of the political kind. Also, my day job requires me to be neutral at all times. To save my ass from looking stupid, I stay away from that topic.

I am writing this blog because I want to express my thoughts on the performances of the actors.

Ms Gina Alajar is already a given. I mean, her acting skills are LEGENDARY.

True confession: there was I time when I became a Rocco Nacino fangirl, and that was because I religiously watched his GMA-NPA docu-drama Bayan Ko. For some reason, Rocco is the perfect actor to play political figures.

Bianca Umali. She’s so pretty, she’s so young, and she’s an excellent actress. I love that short footage where Boni Ilagan was telling Bianca about his sister Lina whom she’ll be portraying, and Bianca was listening intently and absorbing every word.

And of course, Alden Richards, whom I’ve always known and admired for his acting skills ever since I saw One True Love. (Yep, contrary to what le bashers are saying, I did not become a fan because he’s cute and I have HD on him. :rolleyes: ) He turned in a performance that’s on a whole new level as an actor. After that, there’s no way that he could go back to being pabebe anymore. He’s too good for that. #myopinion

The documentary, as a whole, was excellently crafted and there were many highlights. But there were two scenes that really made a mark on me: (1) That scene where Boni’s mother visited him at prison, and he was not allowed to get near her so he just unbuckled his pants down and showed her the bruises on his thighs; and (2) the next scene, he saw his sister Lina from a distance, and Lina just threw her fist up in the air to send him her message. In those two scenes, the actors did not utter any lines but were able to send a whole lot of messages across. That’s a Master Class in acting right there.

But more importantly, I commend these actors for having the guts to take on a project with a highly divisive theme. Most especially Alden, who did not let his ‘mainstream’ image hinder his choice to do this documentary and used it instead to educate and inform. This isn’t about politics. It’s about history. And I couldn’t be prouder of this guy and everyone else who are part of this documentary.

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The cause of my sleepless night.

Mini-Review: Man To Man

  • First of all, I’d like to thank my good ol’ friend Charity for recommending this drama.  She was raving about our sentimental favorite Park Hae Jin’s performance and let me browse through Episode 1 during an impromptu O-nite with some of my Voltes friends.  I super-liked what I saw and promptly asked for the files but didn’t start on it until a week later, for maximum focus.  :tounge:
  • I can’t remember the last time I did a sleepless-night marathon for a Korean drama.  I did remember almost doing it with Goblin, but work and migraines got in the way that I finished it in several installments.  With Man to Man, I finished it in two installments for two consecutive days, with the second installment finishing at almost 5:00am.  I just couldn’t stop watching it.
  • One reason why it took until early morning for me to finish this drama: there were several instances where I had to pause for a minute or two because the scene affected me so much (in local parlance, hindi ko kinaya).  It’s either I had to stop to swoon at Hae Jin, or because I was laughing too much that I can’t concentrate on the next scene so I had to press ‘pause’.
  • This drama is classified as “action-thriller-melodrama” by Wikipedia, but I don’t know exactly where the ‘melodrama’ part is. :shrug: I do know that the one thing that impressed me with the story is that you won’t know who exactly was the villain until around Episode 14 or so.  You thought you already knew, but you don’t. It has many surprises along the way until the very end.
  • Dare I say it? Despite the many similarities with Descendants Of The Sun (the writer of Man To Man is the second writer of DoTS, after all) I liked this more than DoTS.  I’m talking story- and storytelling-wise.
  • The only thing in favor of DoTS per my tally is the leading lady.  Sorry to any Kim Min Jung fans here, if any, but I really don’t get her.  She’s actually annoying in this drama.
  • Then again, ALL the female characters in Man To Man super-pale in comparison to all the men.  They only acted as decorations or plot machines here for me.  Otherwise, you can take them all out and I’m perfectly fine with it.
  • May I just rave about the men some more?  :drool:  It’s not even because they’re hot men (most of them are old hahaha), although Park Hae Jin is incredibly cute and hot here in a very Song Joong Ki way.  It’s the way the male characters interacted with each other.
  • The sense of humor and sharp wit of the creators of this drama are the type that I like.  The random genre switches didn’t look nor feel off at all.  They make viewing more interesting. Of course, there are loopholes and goofs along the way but that’s normal for even the most critically-acclaimed films and TV dramas.
  • As mentioned above, Park Hae Jin is the main reason why I watched this drama.  He is the Voltes team’s sentimental favorite, having met him twice in two of our trips to South Korea.  I started liking him in Family Outing, then I started loving him after we met him the first time at a random office supplies shop in Seoul. It was an ambush meeting and he was on his private time, but he was gracious and kind to us.  My love for him was cemented after he showcased amazing acting chops at My Love From The Star.  Thus, it didn’t come as a surprise that he gave a performance with so much depth and versatility as Agent K.  The only part that surprised me is his physique.  He used to be reed-thin and frail-looking. Now, he’s lean and smokin’ hot. :drool:
  • Random comment coming up:  I read on Wikipedia that GMA-7 already got the rights to air this drama. It seems the network execs like Park Hae Jin? They’ve already aired some of his dramas, ie., My Daughter Seo Young and My Love From The Star.  Once Man To Man starts airing here, I most probably will be taking out my photos with Hae Jin again. :hihihi:
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My Korean Jagiya.

I’ve been out of touch with anything Korean these days. To be quite honest, I never expected that the one who would push me back towards it is this guy.

A bit of back story: since I’m more in touch with local entertainment these days – Kapuso Network, to be exact – I’ve been hearing a lot about this breakthrough Phil-Kor production called My Korean Jagiya, starring Heart Evangelista-Escudero. The network has been hinting that Heart’s leading man is a Korean idol, and people have been guessing who this idol will be. The two most popular guesses are Lee Joon (I don’t know why?) and Alexander Eusebio (because UKISS, and he’s been here many times before both with the group and as a solo artist). Yesterday, the network has made a formal announcement and yep, it’s him! Alexander Lee (Eusebio)!

https://www.facebook.com///web.facebook.com/GMANetwork/photos/a.202988436394228.60783.182187128474359/2018515114841542/?type=3&theater

Those who have been reading this blog before the Alden era would know that I have been extensively following Xander since the UKISS days. I have a long history with this guy. It is but natural that I will be following his new journey as an actor in a Philippine-made drama. I’m already excited about My Korean Jagiya, and knowing that Xander is the male lead made me anticipate it even more. :thumbup: Congrats, Xander, and welcome back to the Philippines! And advanced Happy Birthday, too!

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