Sunday, September 9, 2007

Km. 51

The first time I went here, I didn’t know that it was called Km. 51. I was doing a location hunt for a music video two years ago that requires a very big tree on the side of the road where we can simulate a car hitting a tree at high speed. So naturally, I had to look for a location where people rarely exist. He! He! He!

On my way to Upper Tanay, I saw a winding highway with hills at the background covered with tall grasses. It was a perfect picture. I had to ask the driver of the van to pull over so I can take in this perfect view. Honestly, I didn’t know that this could exist somewhere near Metro Manila. If I remember it right, I had to go to Bataan before to find a location like this. But at that moment, it felt like being transported back to Batanes.

We never pushed through with the shooting at Tanay. The approved location was somewhere near the boundary of Bulacan, Quezon City and Caloocan City.

When I went back to Unitel last year, I had a project that requires a photo of Km. 51. I asked my staff to go there and they already seemed to know where it is. The photos were tight shots so I couldn’t see much of the grandeur of my director’s “favorite location” that they call Km. 51. It was only during the location check when I realized that this was the same location I fell in love with when I did the location hunt I mentioned above.

Km. 51 is indeed the 51st kilometer in this Tanay Highway. Military camps were set-up in different places here as Tanay used to be a communist-infested area. Also, Km. 51 is very near Camp Capinpin where the former President Joseph Estrada is being held. The area is being manned by a retired military officer, Col. Ronnie Navarro. He claims it’s his but the signage all over the property says “Military Property, No Trespassing.” He even built a small house by the road, and created a garden, all by himself.

We shot Project “Big” there. The requirement was to shoot a talent taking a hike, with mountains as her background. Not knowing that this area was popular among bikers as well, we spent most of the time trying to traffic the bikers and covering our ears from the deafening sounds of their motorbikes.

Picture muna bago mag-pack up!

The second time I shot on this location was for a BBC-commissioned project for the children’s TV show called “Tronji.” For this one, we used Col. Ronnie’s lot to shoot a couple doing housework while their goat’s leash got loose and ruined their vegetation. We shot the entire day, yet, never really feeling hot and tired despite being under the sun that long. And during pack-up, the sunset had cast different range of colors in the sky. It was a beautiful place to be at during that time.

The third, and hopefully, not the last, shoot I did there was for Ronnie Velasco’s first directorial job, a station-produced mother’s day TV commercial for Johnson’s & Johnson’s. Here, we set up Col. Ronnie’s backyard as the talents’ front yard. The background, of course, was the green mountains in the distance. The foreground was designed with plant ornaments and a bamboo fence. It was definitely a view one would wish for to have in their front lawn.

Background during the shoot of
Project "Runner"

The bamboo fence overlooking the hills of Tanay

Hmmm... Plastic lang 'yan!

Ooops! Nakalimutan 'yung century stand!

According to Col. Ronnie, we can always have the house if we want to run away from the city. It’s the only way we can experience pure serenity. The place was beyond the reach of any mobile services’ signal, no one can definitely bother us there. Maybe someday, I might be able to ask him for that favor… When the perfect time comes.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Patay na s'ya...

Oo, patay na talaga sya!!!! Waaahhhh.... Huhuhuhu!

Akala ko pa naman, maisasalba ko sya...

Akala ko pa naman, dahil 3 buwan ko na syang itinatago sa magagandang kulay ng Caronia, makakabuti yun para sa kanya...

Pero hindi... hindi... hindi... huhuhu!

Lalo syang nanghina...

... at ngayon, tuluyan na syang namantay!!!


Tama ka nga, Bang... akala ko lang na hindi sya mamatay... pero isang araw, bigla na lang syang... TING! ganung-ganon nga ang pagkakasabi mo.


Ni hindi ko na sya kayang tingnan ngayon!!!


POTAH kang KINABALU ka!!!! Grrrr...

Pinatay mo ang kuko ko! Grrrr....

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Guilty... as charged!

Yesterday, while I was helping my son dress up for school, I noticed how old and worn out his shoes were. Why would it not be? We bought it almost a year ago from a sale in Itti at SM Sta. Mesa for only 99 pesos. It was such a good deal cause the shoes were made of leather, manufactured by a known leather-shoes maker, and it only costs 99 pesos. So, even if the shoes were one size larger than my son's feet, we bought it.

Today, his shoes definitely looked like they've seen better days. My mom kept on telling me to buy a new pair of shoes for Francis, but I told her that they still seem to be in good condition. Besides, I had worn shoes in worse condition when I was studying so I'm pretty sure my son's shoes will last 'til the weekend. My son and I will just go on a shopping spree this Saturday when I'm off from work.

Being a brave little kid, Francis wanted to go to school on his own. Of course, he would still be fetched by the school service, but after that, he's on his own. There wasn't anything to worry about, really. The school bus goes directly to the grounds of the Basic Education Department and Francis' classroom was just on the ground floor. His school service driver and helper assists them until they reach their classroom.

All the while, I thought everything was okay. Until I got a text message from my mom...

"Sira na shoes ni Ancis. Tanggal ilalim."

I immediately called up home. According to my mom, Francis' class were given a short break and they were allowed to play for a while at their mini-playground. Francis even mentioned that his shoe's sole was left behind as he was running around. And so, he simply sat down in one corner and watched everybody else play. When it was time to line up and go back to the classroom, he was sliding his shoes so the sole wouldn't fall off. To make things even worse, when his school service arrived, my mom saw Mang Nomer (the driver) carrying Francis. He said he didn't want to walk 'cause his shoes were already dilapidated.
SIGH... Kawawa naman.

Alright, I admit, I'm guilty of not taking care of my son properly. My enthusiam over his newly-discovered independence clouded my parental instincts.

I never should have allowed him to go to school on his own. What if something happens to him? No matter how small the incident would be, he's still too young to know and trust anyone he can run to.

I never should have let the day pass without buying him a new pair of shoes. My experiences when I was younger should have been a gauge on how I should make my son's life better, not how much he should also suffer?

All throughout the day I kept on thinking how humiliated my son had been at school. I could not imagine. I don't even want to imagine. The mere thought of him being humiliated breaks my heart.

I'm such a bad mother...

When I got home from work and asked him about it, his story starts from his shoes getting ruined but skips through the part with what he did when he realized it. He goes directly to the story when my mom accompanied him to the mall to buy a new pair of black shoes. A "Tom & Jerry" black shoes.

A friend told me, my son simply didn't want to disappoint me that's why he skipped the part when he got humiliated. I say, he's too humiliated to even tell me the story.

Either way, it's all my fault.

And honestly, I have no idea how I can make this up to my son.

Ako na lang, Mommy...

Today is my son's second day at school.

I really have no plans of accompanying him to his school bus and to school as I am swamped with work today. I warned my mom last night, though, to be ready to go with my son just in case he goes into his "malambing" tantrums.

So, first thing today I asked if he still wants Mommy to go with him to school. He thought for a while and then boldly blurted out, "Ako na lang, Mommy... Kaya ko na 'yun.

Proud as I am to hear him venture into independence, it breaks my heart to realize that he, obviously, doesn't need me anymore.

My son has now grown up. :-( So much for enrolling him in a big school...

SIGH... Let go, Barok, let go...

Monday, April 23, 2007

A Text Message from Pete

Received: 23-04-2007, 09:56:44

"Uy kapatid, I checked my bag at nasa akin pala ang mga certificates. Kaloka. Cencia na po."

That was a text message from Pete Carillo, this year's newbie for our Holy Week / Asian adventure.

SIGH... Well, this is good news! There's no reason for us to go back to Mt. Kota Kinabalu to get ourselves a new set of climbing certificates! Yahoo!!! And the actual climb itself won't be forgotten after all... We have the proof to display it! Hehehe!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Wow, Bali!

The moment I stepped inside the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, Indonesia, I fell in love with Bali... I haven't even passed the immigration, yet, I know I will definitely make plans of coming back here in the future.

Inside the airport, there are so many works of Hinduism art displayed. The architecture even, though modern, has touches of what I would later refer to as Javanese art. If only we were not pressed with time, we would have probably took photos of every corner of the airport! Ganda!

So, despite the many bags that I carried, I tried to take as much photos as I could get. They're only a few though. But they're all enough to give us a peek on what's instore for us in Bali.


Well, Bali isn't really that perfect. If only the taxi transport service was accommodating enough, then we wouldn't have that much of a problem. Only Nova, Ellen, Francis and I arrived early in Bali. The rest of the Holy Week Travellers took the original flight schedules that we had (which was later on delayed). The four of us changed to an earlier flight.

Anyway, the taxi transport service didn't want all four of us to ride 1 taxi cab. They said the car wasn't big enough to accommodate all of us, with all our luggages. DUH?! Francis is a 5-year-old kid, so, technically, there were only 3 adults in our group. 3 small adults!

We surveyed what these taxi cabs look like and frankly speaking, they look better than the taxi cabs we have here in Manila. It was definitely a car that could fit all of us... comfortably. And despite the many ways we tried to charm, harrass, and whatever else we can think of, they simply won't allow us to rent 1 taxi cab!

Knowing the cunning creatures that we really are, we finally got a taxi cab with Nova and Ellen hiding from one of the establishments near the parking lot. Of course, the people from the transport service has remembered that we're all four, but they finally believed us when I told them that they all left already in another cab! Hayyyy....

Thinking that this was a policy, we tried to forget about it, although, the incident has already made all of us irritated and tired. When the rest of the Holy Week Travellers arrived late that night at our inn, they told us that all 7 pax just took 2 taxi cabs to get to Kuta! And from that same taxi transport service in the airport! DUH?!?!?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

A Memorable and Pathetic Journey

Today marks my first out-of-the-country trip. And it is a memorable, and at the same time, a pathetic journey.

This isn't really my first time to travel abroad. But the first one, in Singapore, to be specific, was with a "boyfriend" and the entire trip was his treat for me. I used to dream to be able to start exploring other countries by the age of 25, and the "boyfriend" paved the way to make that dream come true. In reality, I have made my first international travel. But deep within me, it didn't feel like an achievement at all. Relying on somebody else to make my dreams come true wasn't anything like actual dreams realized.

And so this is how my Malaysian trip has become a memorable one. It is my first out-of-the-country trip fished out from my own pocket. Who would have thought that for someone who have reached rock bottom in life, would still have dreams coming true in the future? Yes, I still consider this as a dream coming true, because I made this happen. Of course, it didn't happen when I was 25, and it wasn't really my first trip... But with all the events that unfold after that Singapore trip, who would want to have it as their first out-of-the-country memory?

Is it really that pathetic that I am being so emotional with my out-of-the-country experiences? I guess I'm really making a big deal out of it. And believe it or not, it's wearing me out.

Good thing I have good friends with me...

March 29, 2007: Strike a pose in front
of the very first Malaysian signage we
could see. Hehehe! This is proof, we are
now at the Kota Kinabalu International
Airport, Sabah, Malaysia.

Plus, I'll also be having my pillar of strength in a few days time....