For the Cinema One Originals Virgin: Esprit de Corps

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This is my first time to watch a Cinema One Originals entry (the festival is on its 10th year)

The movie is directed by Kanakan Balintagos (also known as Aureus Solito of ‘Maximo Oliveros’ fame) and stars Sandino Martin and JC Santos.

I hope it’s a good one.

Toy Story 3

Why I’m Not Totally Happy About Toy Story 4

Late last week, it was officially announced that Disney and Pixar will be making a fourth installment to the Toy Story series.

Anyone who knows me know that I am obsessed with the franchise, especially with its cowboy protagonist Sheriff Woody.

I didn’t react immediately when a friend tagged me on Facebook about the news. Mainly because I was not sure how I felt about it.

I watched Toy Story 3 in IMAX at SM Mall of Asia wearing a Sheriff Woody shirt, a cowboy hat, with a Sheriff Woody figurine at hand.

I was prepared for it to end.

And the end (apparently not) was perfect. I let go of Andy, Sheriff Woody and the gang after I left the cinema.

Toy Story left me in tears. It was realistic. I watched the first Toy Story movie when I was still a child. I grew with Andy. And somehow I think the movies contributed to my love for toys (and the reason why I still have most of them at home).

Sure, there were short films after. Mind you, I was not completely happy about that as well. But I let it go thinking that they were not really full stories, just snippets of what happened to them after Andy left for college.

I am scared, to be honest. I have this strong feeling that Disney and Pixar will just ruin the whole thing. And the last Pixar films are not helping me think otherwise. I never watched Cars (and Cars 2), Brave lacked heart, and so did Monsters University. Their teaser for their upcoming film “Inside Out” is not tht appealing as well, just using their hay day films as to get the viewers attention.

Something’s missing in their previous films. And I’m afraid that will continue to Toy Story 4.

Oh well, I guess I have to wait until June 16, 2017 to see if Pixar actually ruined my childhood.

Starbucks Sorcery

This Christmas season, Starbucks Philippines decided to whip up some magic and actually sell this:

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Chocolate chip cookie stuffed with Oreo!

Will probably try this one of these days, just out of curiosity (and my love of sweets).

Apple CEO Tim Cook Comes Out as Gay

Apple CEO Tim Cook finally acknowledges that he is gay in a personal essay he wrote for Bloomberg’s Businessweek.

Here’s the full text of Cook’s essay from Businessweek. I’ve highlighted parts of the article that struck me the most.

“Throughout my professional life, I’ve tried to maintain a basic level of privacy. I come from humble roots, and I don’t seek to draw attention to myself. Apple is already one of the most closely watched companies in the world, and I like keeping the focus on our products and the incredible things our customers achieve with them.

At the same time, I believe deeply in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, who said: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ ” I often challenge myself with that question, and I’ve come to realize that my desire for personal privacy has been holding me back from doing something more important. That’s what has led me to today.

For years, I’ve been open with many people about my sexual orientation. Plenty of colleagues at Apple know I’m gay, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference in the way they treat me. Of course, I’ve had the good fortune to work at a company that loves creativity and innovation and knows it can only flourish when you embrace people’s differences. Not everyone is so lucky.

While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.

Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day. It’s made me more empathetic, which has led to a richer life. It’s been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry. It’s also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you’re the CEO of Apple.

The world has changed so much since I was a kid. America is moving toward marriage equality, and the public figures who have bravely come out have helped change perceptions and made our culture more tolerant. Still, there are laws on the books in a majority of states that allow employers to fire people based solely on their sexual orientation. There are many places where landlords can evict tenants for being gay, or where we can be barred from visiting sick partners and sharing in their legacies. Countless people, particularly kids, face fear and abuse every day because of their sexual orientation.

I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others. So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.

I’ll admit that this wasn’t an easy choice. Privacy remains important to me, and I’d like to hold on to a small amount of it. I’ve made Apple my life’s work, and I will continue to spend virtually all of my waking time focused on being the best CEO I can be. That’s what our employees deserve—and our customers, developers, shareholders, and supplier partners deserve it, too. Part of social progress is understanding that a person is not defined only by one’s sexuality, race, or gender. I’m an engineer, an uncle, a nature lover, a fitness nut, a son of the South, a sports fanatic, and many other things. I hope that people will respect my desire to focus on the things I’m best suited for and the work that brings me joy.

The company I am so fortunate to lead has long advocated for human rights and equality for all. We’ve taken a strong stand in support of a workplace equality bill before Congress, just as we stood for marriage equality in our home state of California. And we spoke up in Arizona when that state’s legislature passed a discriminatory bill targeting the gay community. We’ll continue to fight for our values, and I believe that any CEO of this incredible company, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, would do the same. And I will personally continue to advocate for equality for all people until my toes point up.

When I arrive in my office each morning, I’m greeted by framed photos of Dr. King and Robert F. Kennedy. I don’t pretend that writing this puts me in their league. All it does is allow me to look at those pictures and know that I’m doing my part, however small, to help others. We pave the sunlit path toward justice together, brick by brick. This is my brick.

For this year’s Pride Month last June, Apple actively participated in the celebration of the LGBT community by joining the San Francisco Pride Parade.

What can you say about Cook’s coming out?

Featured photo from gmanetwork.com

“My Husband’s Lover” Nominated at International Emmy Awards!

GMA Network’s groundbreaking drama “My Husband’s Lover” earned a nod from the Academy and is nominated in the Best Telenovela Category at the 42nd International Emmy Awards. (See full list of nominees on their website)

“My Husband’s Lover,” which aired June to October 2013 and starred Tom Rodriguez, Dennis Trillo and Carla Abellana, told the story of a woman (Abellana) finding out this her husband (Rodriguez) is gay and has a male lover (Trillo).

The series generated buzz for bringing the spotlight to homosexual relationships and issues, which was unusual for the local TV landscape. It also had its fair share of criticisms including those from the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)

Other series competing for the category are:

  • 30 Lives: Maxim Bouchard (30 Vies)
    Canada
  • Belmonte
    Portugal
  • Precious Pearl
    Brazil

Awarding will be held on November 24, 2014 at New York City’s Hilton Hotel.

BONUS: My Husband’s Lover is included in the list of “12 Kabugan Teleserye Confrontation Scenes” by Tit for Tat and got a whopping 4.75 slap rating! Go check it out!

Featured photo from gmanetwork.com

[BOOK REVIEW] “Rainbow Boys” series by Alex Sanchez

I chanced upon these books when I was doing my usual browsing at Fully Booked Greenbelt. Years before, I would barely go to the young adult (YA) section because my usual fix were Sidney Sheldon and Jodi Picoult. But ever since I read The Fault in Our Stars earlier this year, visiting the YA shelves became part of the routine.

I was even surprised to see gay-themed books in bookstores here in the Philippines; even more so when I saw them in the YA section, along with novels about heterosexual high school romance, teenage vampires, and school gossip.

Campbell_Q Road2“Rainbow Boys” is the first in the eventual series of books by Alex Sanchez. It tells the story of three senior high school boys facing issues with their identity.

Having read (and written) a lot of online stories, the plot is the basic identity crisis, dealing with bullies and the perpetual search for love, acceptance and understanding. It also bravely tackles HIV and how it affects the person who has it, who might have it and the people around them.

Sanchez brings up issues about gay youth in a way that his target audience would easily digest and understand. It is such an easy read and effectively inserts fun, sarcasm and puppy love in the middle of family issues, school bullying and internal battles.

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First Official Trailer of Disney • Pixar’s “Inside Out”

Disney•Pixar has finally released the first trailer of their upcoming film “Inside Out.” The trailer takes advantage of previous Pixar films to convey the five emotions that will take the spotlight in the film.

After seeing “Brave” and “Monsters University,” I actually felt sad. It was as if Pixar was slowly losing its magical touch. Of course, “Brave” and “Monsters U” were still great films, but somehow, it was not as par as Pixar’s previous feature films like the “Toy Story” trilogy, “Up,” “Finding Nemo” and “Monsters Inc.” (I still haven’t finished watching “Wall-E”)

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