Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance: Vengeance is Sweet and Ironic and This Movie is Awesome

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is the first of the three masterpieces of the Vengeance Trilogy by the grand master movie director Park Chan-Wook.

I really look forward to the day that Park Chan-Wook will visit the Florence Korea Film Fest. I’ve so many questions to ask about the trilogy. Anyway, moving on…

Our hero here is the deaf-mute Ryu played by actor Shin Ha-Kyun. It follows his resolute search of means of getting money to get his sister a kidney transplant after he was laid off from work.

Since their blood-types don’t match, he had to find a suitable donor. He contacts an illegal organ dealer and he was asked to pay 10 million Korean won, plus one of his kidneys. He agreed to the deal, but after waking up from the operation, he realized that he was cheated by the dealer who ran away with his money and one of his kidneys.

He sought his girlfriend’s help. Indeed, what are girlfriends for? Yeong-mi, an activist and member of a secret terrorist group, conspired with Ryu to kidnap the daughter, Yu-Sun, of a well-to-do businessman, Park Dong-jin (Song Kang-ho), so they can get ransom money.

Now that’s an idea for you especially in times like this. But you know, Fate always plays dirty tricks.

When they finally kidnapped the girl, he brought her to his house and told his sister that he was simply baby-sitting the girl. But soon, his sister found out and was unwilling to be involved in the scheme. She decided to commit suicide.

Ryu was devasted. They went to some far away place in the countryside to bury his sister by the riverbed. He brought the little girl with him. While he was solemnly burying the body, Yu-Sun accidentally slips into the river and drowned.

Now Dong-Jin did some investigation on his own and wanted to get revenge, and finally tracked down Ryu’s apartment. When he came to his apartment, he saw Ryu’s girlfriend and tortured her to extract information from her. Finally she gave in and apologized for the death of his daughter and warned Dong-Jin that he’ll be in big trouble if she gets hurt because she’s a member of a terrorist group. Dong-Jin thought it was a bluff and killed Yeong-Mi.

Ryu returns and finds his girlfriend dead. Now he wants to get even. He was determined to kill Dong-jin.

For many reasons that I’m not eager to write down again because I’m sick of writing this right now, they finally come face to face, right there in the countryside, in the river where Yu-sun drowned and the burial site of Ryu’s sister.

This is one of my favourite scenes (I’m particularly fond of the scene where Ryu massacred mercilessly in a blood bath the thieves who stole his kidney and money. He ate their kidneys. Such sweet revenge. Love it!). Dong-jin realized that Ryu is a good man but he thought killing him would appease his anger. So he killed him mercilessly.

He chopped Ryu’s body and was about to bury his limbs when a group of men suddenly came and killed Dong-jin.

It’s all a series of “cause-and-effect” but manifested from the point of view of Fate. Like I said, once a man took into his hands revenge, it is the beginning of his end. Park Chan-Wook is a genius. The real hero of the story is Fate herself. Everyone is a criminal for having taken the task of avenging loved ones in their own hands, and at the same time, everyone is a hero and a victim because they’re hurt. They want justice and they want revenge.

But they say, Vengeance is not yours, it is God’s business. It’s never easy to say that especially when you lost a loved one and when you’re destitute. The movie maybe violent at times and it may have somehow glorified revenge, but the move speaks truthfully of human realities and emotions. It shows the necessity of revenge to appease our wrath and its futility because in the end, everyone falls into the trap of Fate.

Sad, tragic, bloody, beautiful, awesome.

Pain: Love is Sick and Beautiful

What happens when a guy with congenital analgesia meet a haemophiliac girl? Love sparks and it ends really bad and very painful.

Here’s one of the many tear-jerkers in the festival. Yes, it’s a comedy-romance-tragic-love story, and although it is in Korean style, it is not the usual sugar-coated-reeking-of-cheesiness-with-innocent-immaculate-cute-girls-and-doe-eyed-guys-who-are-occasionally-half-naked-to-drive-girls-all-crazy-that-they-unconsciously-grab-movie-tickets-and-scream-inside-the-theatres-for-no-reason-at-all movie. Or perhaps it is. Anyway.

Nam-Soon (Kwong Sang-Woo) is a money collector for loan sharks. Their method of collecting payments is he gets brutally hurt by his colleague to shock debtors. Eventually, the latter pays. Although he gets badly bruised, he never feels anything at all. He has congenital analgesia. What’s congenital analgesia? Google it freak! How did he get the illness? Like, hell do I care?

 I don’t know what’s with scriptwriters that Destiny is always conveyed as an evil b*tch who always pairs up two star-crossed lovers, or two exactly opposite persons, or anything unlikely to happen in real life.

The thing is, this analgesic humanoid Nam-Soon happens to meet haemophiliac Dong-Hyun (Jung Ryeo-Won) who also owes money to the agency he worked for. So there goes Destiny playing another dirty trick by pairing up two people- both at the edge of existence, sick for some reason, loveless, poor without any real job, and orphans. Really now. They’re both sick and they really had to be orphans! No wonder the movie is a real tear-jerker.

But despite my rants, the storyline is nice and the way their love developed in time. You might say it’s cute. Well, considering the fact that the characters and their lives are the type which most girls dream of.

What do I mean? You know how girls have this Messiah-complex and they have this tender longing for tough quiet guys. Surely Nam-Soon would make many girls with Messiah-complex fall in love with him- he’s an orphan, sick, tough guy, and needs to learn things about love and affection. And as for Dong-Hyun, well, many of them would identify themselves with this clumsy, cutesy, tough and at the same time very affectionate and warm girl.

I got lost again in my line of thought. But anyway, here’s the trailer to tell some parts of the movie.

But really, the movie is nice and the story is captivating, especially the love between them. These are the words of him who is not always fond of love stories, and yes, my love life’s been quite a disaster (wala daw ako puso, not true!). Hehehe….

200 Pounds Beauty: A Big Fat Treat for the Most Beautiful People in the World- US FAT PEOPLE

This is the first film I saw in the 10th Florence Korea Film Fest. I felt so much affection for the movie, maybe because, just like Han-na, the lead role, we’re both fat and we’re both trying to lose weight to be able to please our loved ones.

But this is comedy, and not a tragedy. I just wonder why is it that people get good laughs watching fat people. Bastards! But I did love the movie and had good laughs.

Han-na (Kim Ah-jung) is a big fat monolithic of a girl who works as a phone-sex operator and a vocalist for a tone-deaf pop music artist. She’s in love with the pop music artist’s manager Sang-jun (Ju Jin-mo). The latter is very kind and thoughtful to her as a friend, but Han-na wants to be more than his friend. After a series of humiliating incidents, she decided to undergo plastic surgery, not for the sake of beauty but for the sake of love and to boost her self-confidence.

Indeed, people would do everything just to be part of someone else’s obsession and dream. I know, because I do it too. Pathetic as it may seem, but a person in love would do anything just to get a certain degree of the beloved’s attention and consideration.

I always dream of that moment, like when Han-na returns and nobody, not even her best friend, was able to recognize her. People appreciate her more and they are always considerate towards the beautiful Han-na. But this time, she pretended to be somebody else, as Jenny, a Korean-American from California.

But as time went by and things went out of hand until everybody found out her real identity. Will her relationship with Sang-jun have a happy ending? You find out. I’m not gonna spoil this here.

The movie is really funny, especially Han-na’s personality. Any fat person would be able to identify himself/herself with the character’s dilemma and experiences.

The movie makes you realize that although beauty may seem to be everything, and that plastic surgery may solve all your shitty problems in life, inner beauty should not be exclusively relevant, and that you must save enough money to get surgery.

Or else… go to the gym for chrissakes!

The 10th Florence Korea Film Festival

It started as a special interest. It developed into one of my passions. And now, I come to the festival as if it were Holy Week. It’s like a religion.

The Florence Korea Film Festival is now celebrating 10 years of excellence in cinematography, conquering not only Florence but also the world with K-pop music, cute pop/techno music artists, and also with their best masterpieces of the silver screen.

In the past editions of the festival, they have feature screenwriters and famous movie directors. This year they have a very special guest. Il Divo of Korea and one of the contemporary Legends of Asian Cinema, and one of the Korean actors I highly esteem, or maybe the only one, Song Kang-Ho.

Unfortunately, this year there aren’t many movies that appealed to me. And for some cosmological reason, certain events and activities (and I loathe it) will be in conflict with my festival schedule. I’ll be missing some of the good parts of the festival.

 But anyway, I’ll be featuring the movies I watched and the ones that I really liked.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

On Sex and *hore-mones

The following is rated PG. No sexual content though. Just pure irony, and offensive sarcasm. Epals are unwelcomed.

Dear Tripster Guru,

There’s this girl that I know. She wants me to sleep with her. She’s offering herself to me para magtiwala pa daw lalo ako sa kanya. I’ve rejected her many times but she keeps coming back to me. This time I really turned her down, and I really said no. I really don’t want to. I don’t want to fall into temptation. I’m almost 18, pati rin siya.

Did I make the right decision?

Prince Pihikan

Everdearest Prince Pihikan,

Bakit ba walang magbigay sa akin ng mga indecent proposal tulad niyan?! I’m green with envy right now. Puede mo bang ipakilala siya sa akin? Harharharhar!

Nagtataka lang ako kung paano ka naging related sa ganyang klaseng babae. It’s quite rare that a girl would offer her vagina like a free cupcake to anyone. Kakaiba rin yan talaga, and since she’s almost 18 her whore-mones are in its all time high in her body, like a female dog in heat. What a b*tch!

Bilib din ako sayo Prince Pihikan. Usually when a guy gets an offer like that, wala nang paligoy-ligoy pa. The douchebag-masculinity is trending and any homo sapiens with a penis who do not conform to this chauvinistic attitude is considered a sissy, homosexual, or a pussified male. Men are devolving, and are becoming even dumber than dogs. In fact, dogs have become men’s equals.

Call me a pussified male or gay, but I really commend what you did. Usually sasabihin nila, “Magpakalalaki ka! Grab the opportunity!”. Totoo naman, magiging tunay na lalaki ka na, pero ang tunay na sukatan ng isang tunay na lalaki ay kapag kaya niyang tumayo sa prinsipyo, sa kanyang pananampalataya, at hindi niya hahayaan ang minamahal na ma-compromise ang reputation.

I know a girl. She’s very cute and sexy. She’s the party-animal type. Madaming lalaki ang bumubuntot sa kanya pero hindi siya basta-basta bumibigay.

Ikaw na rin ang nagsabi na ni-reject mo na siya ng ilang beses. But why does she keep on coming back? Maybe because you’re still opening some doors for her. Pinapaasa mo siya. Alam ko na ang mga lalaking tulad natin, hindi natin kasalanan na hinahabol tayo ng babae, pero do your best to cut off any communication to tell her that you don’t like what she’s doing and that she should rub herself with some inanimate object and that you’re not a boy-toy.

Don’t be fooled. Kung hanap mo ay honest and sincere relationship, you won’t get it from her. Besides you’re young. Go travel, meet people, stay healthy and beautiful, workout, study harder, keep yourself pure.

Yes, keep yourself pure. At dito naman papasok ang religious predisposition ko. It would sound so untrue and pure hypocrisy these words which I’m about to say, but nevertheless, this is right and true.

Keep yourself virgin until your wedding day, whether you’re a guy or a girl. God will honour this and He is blessed when He sees His children united in purity and faith and free from worldly passions.

Virginity is scorned nowadays. But with all these salads of STD’s, broken families, broken relationships, and broken hearts, bakit ba pinupuri natin ang mga TG (t*t*ng gala) at PG (p*king gala)?

If you’re a virgin, people laugh at your inexperience. But that’s actually the best gift you can give to your loved one. Intimacy is not a commodity given to the whole population. This is what would make you stand out and be different from the low-life sluts and animalistic human beings. Sounds judgemental? Not really. Just saying the pure truth.

So my dear Prince Pihikan. What’s the rush? Don’t be tempted to sleep with that slut. Ignore her. Surely God will give you someone better than her. Don’t be desperate. Hindi ka naman panget. Hehehehe…

Sarcastically honest and true,

Tripster Guru

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Virgin Charlie Challenge Week #3 Recap- Turning Your Back to Your Friends’ Barrio-Fiesta-like Birthday Parties or How to Divert Attention from the Orgasmic Experience of Devouring Food and Sweets

Weight: 80 kg na!!!! Yipeee!!!

If there is something that will keep you from reaching your goal in losing weight and shaping your body, that can only be your one of your barkada or family.

Hindi lang yung barkada mo, nandyan pa si inaanak mo, si kumpare, si kumare, tito, tita, mama, papa, ate, kuya, ang aso mo- lahat sila maghahanda ng limpak limpak at bonggacious na birthday parties, at kung anu-ano pang kainan!

Filipino style pa yan. Yun tipong hindi lang ang celebrant ang naghanda ng pagkain, pati ang buong baranggay may dala.

Para sa atin kasi, we love camaraderie in terms of sharing meals. It’s a sign of unity. We are able to set aside differences and conflicts. Nagkakaisa tayo na kapag masarap ang handa, masarap talaga ang handa!

Ang hirap naman tanggihan. I can still remember when I was still a slob, throw a look of contempt against my snobbish friends who can’t even munch those greasy chunks of beef at hindi man lang kumain ng mga carbs. Masisira daw yung eating habits nila at yung workout nila.

“Pwah!” I would usually say to these bunch of muscle squad. I mean, there’s more to life than pumping iron and augmenting the mass of muscles. Mga kill joy.

Pero ngayon, kahit hindi ako part ng muscle squad, na-realize ko nga din na mahirap talaga. Isipin mo na lang kung ilang oras na pinapatay mo ang katawan mo tapos mabawi lang ang lahat ng na-burn na fats at calories sa isang kainan ng pansit palabok.

Isa pa, I keep on reminding myself the amount of money and time I spend sa gym. Hindi na biro ang usapang bayarin at salapi para sa akin. Buti na lang, endorphins can keep me smiling! Hehehe...

But then it’s a question of habit and discipline. Lately I don’t have that strange look on my face upon seeing food. I just smile and take small portions.

Except... for sweets... in particular... CHOCOLATES.

Minsan may isang Chinese guy ang nagregalo sa co-worker ko ng isang box of chocolates. The moment she opened it, I quickly shoved down my throat half of the chocolates in the box. I can’t help it. Chocoates are my weakness.

I try my best to remind myself that my body is the temple of God. I must not abuse it and I must keep it clean and healthy and pure. At the same time, masarap din naman ang feeling na makita mo ang sarili mo na healthy, strong and mas good-looking pa than before, di ba? And I also do this para maging pleasing naman tingnan ako sa magiging syota ko (if you noticed na nasa future tense, you guessed right, single pa rin!). It could be my ego pero I just want to please my loved one. Di ba?

Sige, gotta end this post here. Birthday pa ng gym-mate ko. Kainan na naman!!!!

The Protégée

For quite some time all members of the court felt a certain degree of aversion towards the Countess of Hubrisego. Here competence and skills are not questioned when it comes to working at court. It’s here attitude and character.

Every nobleman and noblewoman lower than the dukes and duchesses has suffered patiently under her arrogance and presumptuous attitude. At certain times, she would yell at them.

When a dame or a baron is being reprimanded, and most of the time, by the Archduchess, she is always there, behind the Archduchess’ glorious ferocity to add more wood to the fire, contributing to the shredding into pieces of the one who is reprimanded.

It was reported sometime by a certain duke that the Countess of Hubrisego usually has audience with the Archduchess and sometimes with the Imperial Vicereine, when she was still the Vassal Queen, and during these audiences, she would sometimes tell them how incompetent and inefficient a specific count or baron is, obviously, elevating herself in eyes of those who are in power.

She was everybody’s friend and yet behind their backs, she’s been delivering negative reports to her two favourite superiors.

It is not unknown to many how she treats the dukes and duchess so kindly. She can be a total bitch with others but never with those who wear the white robes with the title of duke. The Duchess of Kalos realized later on how she was treated with gracious favours and the Marchioness of Ponzim, princess-elector, confided with me once that she was surprised how presumptuous the countess can be.

Obviously, as everyone else were constantly reprimanded and bullied by the Archduchess and sometimes by the Imperial Vicereine, she was basking under the gracious favours and sympathy of the Archduchess and the Imperial Vicereine, also because she was more than eager to sell her soul to them and to the establishment of His Imperial Highness.

So we have established how perfidious she can be. But her victims were not brave enough to confront her. You see, confrontation is not something pleasurable. In the culture of an onion-skinned people, confrontation would result to chaos and chaos would even result to bad reputation and unforgettable negative memories. Thus, for the sake of not hurting the arrogant countess, everyone just kept silent.

To get even, every now and then, they would talk about her behind her back, calling her names and recounting how she behaved.

Compared to others, I have very few conflicts with her, since we were really flirting with each other for laughs most of the time. I told them that perhaps it’s high time that we tell her everything about this and that it’s time to check our conscience. But we went on.

One day, for some particular reason, the Countess of Hubrisego had a fight with the Baroness of L’Oreal. I have no reliable reports on what really happened but one thing was sure- all hell broke out.

The Baroness of L’Oreal was a maiden would simply back down from something like this and she was ready for a fight, like Joan of Arc. She didn’t actually lead others to fight the oppression of the countess and her company, but she did start a war. I assume, during the war of words between the two, Joan of Arc slipped some delicate facts. These hurt the sensitive feelings of the egotistical countess.

As expected, the Countess sent a courier to the Archduchess telling her, in tears and agony, of the treachery of her peers.

The Archduchess, in her ferocious manner, summoned four specific people- the Countess of Chansons, the Earl of Aulozalia, the former knight now Baronet of Cauda, and the Viscountess of Philandera. All were put under interrogation.

Presumably, one of them squeaked and it was found out that the Baronet of Cauda confessed all the names involved in the treachery.

One thing popped in my mind. This was actually a matter between our faction and the Countess of Hubrisego. The Archduchess shouldn’t have been involved here. Why did she have to intervene on this personal matter?

A meeting was set up for everyone to talk about this. I was not present during the meeting for I was away to carry out a more important errand. I got all the details from the Countess of Chansons.

According to her, the Archduchess was present in the trial, and as everyone confessed their sins and presented their case against the Countess of Hubrisego, the Archduchess actually defended her. The Countess of Chansons stood as the lead prosecutor. She wasn’t aiming to nail down the offensive lady, but she was explaining what was wrong with her and how they want to settle the matter and be reconciled.

After so much discussion, the matter was supposed to be settled.

In the end, the arrogant Countess of Hubrisego turned out to be the victim and the others as treacherous fools. Others tried to clean their hands of the matter by staying silent and kept kissing the asses of the powerful. Others are virtually exempted by the perilous attacks of the Archduchess such as the Baroness of L’Oreal, who happens to be a relative, and the Margrave of San Paulo, since he is betrothed to the Princess of the Lugo of Romania, a relative of the Imperial Vicereine.

The only one who was never confronted in this issue was the Marquis of Warzyko, husband of the Duchess of Kalos. He was always straightforward with the Countess of Hubrisego.

Despite the bravery and the honesty of those who were implicated, the Archduchess put them to shame by emanating pamphlets denouncing the treachery against the Countess of Hubrisego.

It was made official to the eyes of those who are in court that the arrogant countess is undeniably the imperial protégée and favourite of the Archduchess and the Imperial Vicereine.

The King of Hearts knew about what happened but since it shouldn’t concern him and his role in court, he chose to be professional, though he wished that his loyal subjects would be brave enough next time to confront the other faction and fight back. The Marchioness of Ponzim, with sincere tears and sad eyes, encouraged the Countess of Chansons to be brave and courageous because she can imagine what could the Archduchess, the Imperial Vicereine, together with the Imperial Grand Duchess do to somebody who won’t kneel and bow to their rule.

They say that dark times show the real character of people. I had the opportunity to see them all. There were those who were eager to embrace honesty, assume the responsibility and face the consequences of their actions such as the Countess of Chansons and the Earl of Aulozalia. There are those who will not cease to wage war against the deceptiveness of those in power such as the Baroness of L’Oreal. There were those who were real cowards such as the Baronet of Cauda, who has become a reliable pup of the Archduchess. And an even more treacherous coward like me.

Yes, a foreign count and envoy must please the people and the powerful. I’m not a double-agent, but I try my best to stick to both sides to protect my interest. Workplaces like this one can complicate life. They tell you to be honest and cooperative but you experience the total opposite. Truth falls on deaf ears and blind eyes, but lies and perfidy become the official rule in the empire. Oppressors become victims, and the abused become dogs in a cage.

Amidst all these, and considering my interests, I know now to whom I should be a real friend.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Virgin Charlie Challenge Week #2 Recap- The Personal Trainer: Master of Agony

Weight: 82 kg parin!

After a week in the gym nabigyan na rin ako sa wakas ng personal trainer. I was supposed to meet him at 9 AM. As usual, I am 15 minutes late so I was given another trainer.

Tawagin na lang natin siyang Thomas.

I told him about my situation and that I need to know what workout routine suits me best. So he gave me a form and answered all the questions there.

Here are some of the questions:

Q: Why did you decide to become a member of this gym?

A: Virgin din kasi ako. Wala lang. (Would it help if I had to explain that I’m a vain psycho?)

Q: What other physical activity/exercises/trainings have you done in the past?

A: N-O-N-E.

I put check marks in every box in the form. I can’t even remember what those are for.

I gave the thing to Thomas and he led me to another room. While walking he was looking at me. Awkward. It was really annoying.

Tripster: “What? Do I have a booger?”

Thomas: “Nothing. Why?”

Tripster: “Why what?”

Thomas: “Do I intimidate you?”

Tripster: “(Murahin kaya kita? Wag na lang, takot ko lang sa laki ng katawan mo) No, just annoyed with that stupid stare of yours.”

Moving on, he told me to do stuff using certain equipment and machines. Sa isip ko, nang goo-goodtime ba tong taong ito?

After some agonizing abdominal crunches bigla bang pinulikat ang tiyan ko. OO! MAY GANON! Pinulikat ang tiyan ko. I can’t even believe it! He looked at me in disbelief. And then, he laughed. HE FREAKIN’ LAUGHED!

I thought of grabbing a dumbbell and hit his head with it.

So we went on working out chest, shoulders, arms, biceps, triceps, guts and balls… everything. All through out the routine he was trying to have a conversation with me about politics and the Philippines. I tried giving honest and concise answers between heaves and grunts. But deep inside I felt it was pure cold-blooded torture no matter what friendly conversation he tried with me.

After he massacred every part and limb of this corpulent carcass of mine, he said: “Aren’t you proud that you’ve done a hundred? So, when’s gonna be our next training?”

He smiled with satisfaction, as if he were the master of agony who is slowly forming his pupil of misery. He’s not really evil or something. He could probably be agreeable. Or maybe he’s just high with endorphins.

I looked at him with the face of treachery with a smile: “Can I have the workout plan? I will not see you tomorrow or ever again, thank you.”

Besides, a personal trainer won’t make you skinny.

I felt vindicated after saying those words. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The King's Favourite

My job? Sometimes it’s like being in a royal court. You live a life of frivolous happiness, raw emotions, and surreal existence. And just like in the European courts in the past, there are secret plots and sensational intrigues and romances.

If this was a royal court, perhaps I’m simply a foreign and anomalous count and imperial envoy from another empire. But this is not about me. This is about a king’s favourite.

Our story begins when some vassal king in the expanding Florentine Burg Empire Fell in the love with the Viscountess of Philandera. Or at least that’s how we, observant busybodies, saw it.

Madame du Barry, favourite of King Louis XV of France

Let’s name this vassal king, The King of Hearts. He’s not particularly handsome and he’s definitely note hideous. But he’s a very affable man and of good character. He’s a hard-worker, a fair ruler, and intelligent man. It’s been over a year since he was crowned as the new vassal king of the Osmen Restaurant Kingdom, since his predecessor was nominated as Imperial Vicereine.

All the dukes and duchesses, the counts and countesses, and other members of the court barely know anything about the king, but everyone agrees that he’s a good man. But a few months since his ascension to the throne, it was reported that he severed his ties from his fiancée, a princess from Meadowland.

At the time, it seemed to be one of the many consequences of promotion because work tends to become even more demanding and the transitional status can be burdensome. Everybody felt sorry for both.

But that wasn’t the case at all.

One time, I had an audience with the second-in-command, the ferocious Archduchess, and she reported nonchalantly that the King of Hearts was out to teach one of his friends, the Viscountess of Philandera, how to ride a horse. Innocently, she commented that the king was truly a nice and considerate man. I concurred.

However, to the eyes of the knights and dames of the court, it was the beginning of a new chapter in the book of love of the king’s life. We ought to rejoice for the king, but we were dismayed.

The Viscountess was already betrothed to some prince from a faraway country. Her acquaintanceship with the king is becoming more than friendly. As the days went by, it became too evident even for the credulous Archduchess and a foreign count like me to think that theirs was more than pure friendship. Even the Albanian Duke and the Italian Landgravine consider their relationship as something way beyond friendship.

It was the first time that the whole Osmen Kingdom recognized the fact that the Viscountess was elevated as the king’s favourite.

In a recount of those outside the kingdom, the former fiancée once said that the Viscountess of Philandera is the reason why the king left her. And now, it seems that there’s more probability that it was true. The princess (ex-fiancée) is now living peacefully and beautifully in a nearby kingdom.

Though it should be none of our business, we were quite scandalized, not so much with the king’s behaviour but more with the viscountess’ actions. She even had the guts to proclaim the eternity of her live to her Betrothed Prince.

Things have changed however. The Betrothed Prince has come to Italy to live with the Viscountess of Philandera and marry her soon. The King of Hearts has become the butt of jokes and made himself lower than the jesters of the court.

How could he possibly fool himself by telling everyone that it was friendship, when he was apparently clinging to her like a lover? It’s the classic boy-and-girl-best-friendship-kuno.

As for the Viscountess of Philandera, it is quite sad to see this side of her. She’s very amiable, sociable and fun to be with. And perhaps way too much sociable and fun to be with when it comes to men. She’s no different from Magdalene and the Samaritan woman whom Jesus met, except that Magdalene and the Samaritan woman repented of their sins.

As for the Betrothed Prince? I wonder what would he do if he knew about the two of them? It’s really good that he’s here.

In the evenings, the King of Hearts sings sad songs. The Viscountess of Philandera cherishes lovely moments with her official lover and basks in the attentions of the King as his favourite (more like a courtesan). And the Betrothed Prince? He’s probably living ingenuously in a bubble waiting to be pricked by a small hint of doubt and reality.

Until then, the court lives on and the empire continues to expand.

A bit of Noynoying….

Sa kasalukuyan nasa Noynoying Corner ako ng gym where I can take a short break, surf the internet and have a cup of espresso.

Hindi naman pala nakakasama ang pakonti-konting noynoying… hahahaha!

Wala na! Nakaka intimidate ang mga muscle squad. Bad terp! Kala mo kanila lang yung lugar. Hirap naman makipag away, malalaki pa sakin. Wahaha!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Virgin Charlie Challenge Week #1- Sights, Sounds, and... the Smell

Weight: 82 kg

I’m not the sporty type of person who loves all kinds of physical activities. But ever since I became a gym member, things are slowly changing, for the better.

I must say that I’m having some good time at the gym. Never thought that I’d say this in my entire life. I’m supposed to rant again with my problems with money and stuff. Strange enough, I’m not quite bothered by it, at least emotionally. Is it because of the so-called endorphins produced by exercises? Maybe.

The experience is always satisfying, especially after you burned lots of fats and calories using state-of-the-art machines which I fondly call fat destroyers. There are nice instructors left and right whom I fondly call fat annihilators. It’s good to produce buckets and buckets of sweat along with other people who are determined the kill the slob creature in them. You suddenly feel you belong to this community inside the temple of the hedonistic pursuit of beauty and wellness.

However, I’m still ignorant of specific workout routines, the use of other monstrous machines, and many others. There are not enough trainers for all the members of this gym. So I have to wait until next week for them to assign me a personal trainer.

In the meantime, I’ll just do the basic stuff, join other activities and many others.

The scenes are quite enticing, if you are situated in places with panoramic views of aesthetic human physical wonders.

But the experience is not always pleasant. There’s this… smell. Human odour is utterly horrendous. I’ve been trying all my life to eliminate them. But in a place like this, you simply can’t complain and it’s inevitable. The good thing about this gym is that it has an efficient system of ventilation. However, the smell is still there. That gym odour. They said that compared to other fitness centres, this one really smells better.

So here’s an advice to all beginners- bring towels, water, and AN AIR FRESHENER.

You won’t get bored while running on a treadmill because they’ve got touch-screens where you can watch the news, music videos, other TV programs, computer games, or listen to music. They always play rock music and I love it.

Time to hit the showers. Now here’s a sight to comment on. My she-friend remarked that flowers were scattered all over the place in their locker room. Some are fragrant and some are repugnant. Repugnant because she claimed that there are ladies who, after working out and sweating, wouldn’t wash themselves or take a shower, but would go straight to their lockers and change clothes, and leave the place, bringing with them the remnants of whatever happened in the gym.

On my part you’ll see everything’s dangling- shining, bushy, flaccid. Flaccid of course, because there’s nothing to kindle the masculine desires if one is amidst his own species. It would be such a surprise to catch somebody in an Angry-Birds mode. It would result to most males freaking out and some males grabbing it. But this is just an imaginary scenario to explain what is it like inside. Everything dangling. It’s quite embarrassing because I’m of the opinion that anything private must always be kept private- whether your apparatus is horse-like or mushroom-like, it must be kept private. But what can I do? This is what people do in this planet. So here I am… dangling and partly hidden. Conservative eh. Hahahaha!

The Blessed Virgin Charlie

(Please play the video to have a background music while reading. It will add so much effect to my delusional state of mind)

The signs were obvious. They kept on appearing in the past. The Abercrombie Sign. A friend from the US gave me a shirt. So as my dear friend The ESP Girl. Everything happens for a purpose. So I said to myself, “I’m going to the gym!”. For a moment I felt empowered. I felt that everything is possible. To lose 20 kg was the goal and with the signs all around me, it seems that God is positioning the whole cosmos in place to give way for my transformation.

On the third day, I was the same old slob. Munch. Munch. Munch.

A year passed by with the same old unhealthy routines. My doctor keeps on preaching about the judgement on people like me. To her, I was abusing my body abominably by excessively loving myself and indulging myself with greasy fattening mouth-watering fodder for slobs. In fact, my blood chemistry shows that I was hitting all-time high levels of triglyceride, sugar, cholesterol, uric acid, and many other mysterious scientific words that I never bothered to remember.

I thought, “Since when depriving yourself means loving yourself?”. But a part of me says that I need to get fit and healthy. I looked up to heaven and asked God for help.

It was one of those typical days when I’m under pressure, stressed, and I was compulsively shoving down my throat chips and sweets, washing them down with all kinds of soda. I’m always like this. Correction: I’ve always been like this. Until one day, two superior beings approached me. And when I say superior, I was referring to my ever dearest bosses. The supervisor, who is more like a vicereine in authority, and the assistant director of our restaurant, who is like the archduchess in this burger kingdom, “asked” me to accompany them to a certain gym.

I looked up to heaven and said to God, “I said I need help. I was expecting angels coming to my aid! Why them? Why?!”. Without much hesitation, I went with them.

As I was driving down the road, I saw the ultimate sign that will change my lifestyle. And I breathed out the word, “Yes.”

It’s more than an affirmation. It’s more than an expression of having accomplished something. It is my answer to heaven’s calling, to take care of this temple.

Looking up, it is as if I was a visionary looking at a divine apparition.

Yes. I will be virgin- pure and immaculate, deprived of any remnant of a scallywag lifestyle and nature. I will be healthy, pure, and glorious. And in the future people will look upon me, and see through my eyes the agony I have trampled upon and the beauty it has brought out of me. I’ll stand tall, like a Grecian god.  And then they’ll love me, worship me, and salivate as they see me. Bwahaha!

Ehem… Sorry. Every now and then I fall in a temporary delusional state. Anyway…

All the pain that I will endure and the glory of it that I will achieve. Like the Virgin Mary (who’s no virgin at all).

I will be the Blessed Virgin Charlie.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Mimosa for the women...

To all the girls and women I loved, hated, made fun of.... I propose a toast in honour of them who complete the boys and men in this planet.

I may be a chauvinist pig in your eyes but I just want you all to know... you really rock my world.

Happy Women's Day! A Mimosa for all the women!

I know it's late but what the heck! Better late than never....

Here's a song for all the gals out there...