Friday, February 27, 2009

10 Pounds

Errr..I vowed the next time I post here, it'll be a new story.

Unfortunately,I haven't had time to make a new prose. Ideas came up though. But I just didn't manage to sit and write everything down, and spend 3-4 hours writing. Or maybe I'm just plain tamad. Haha.


Instead,I decided to write something about how I decided to finally lose weight. It's been a touchy topic for me, I admit. Since for about 4 years now (since I graduated actually), it's been a downhill ride from a normal body figure to my chubby bordering on obese exterior at present.

In GMA 7, stress was high and contiguous I reverted to eating as my soothing tool, my massage therapy, my stress-reliever. And when people started telling me, "Uy tumataba ka na...", I didn't believe them.

Why? Because I thought I was chubby my whole life! At home, my brothers call me "baboy" or tabaching (but now I realize, they did that just to piss me off, kahit na I wasn't really fat that time). In college, some of my block mates teased me for being chubby. So I thought my colleagues in GMA were just echoing my brothers and college friends' teasing.

Come the job at Solar Entertainment, Antipolo. As I commuted to uphill Sumulong day after day, as if the ride had an effect on my body mass, my appetite grew and my weight came up-- gradually. Again, when office mates teased me, I didn't pay attention at all! I thought being chubby and being teased was normally me.

What made me even think or consider that I was actually getting fatter and fatter was when I had a severe back ache I couldn't even get up from bed. My office mate told me it must be my body's way of telling me it can't handle my heaviness any longer.

To add, my mom told me how my Auntie Bebe suffered because of her obesity. She was suffering from diabetes, heart ailment, high blood, and weak legs just before she died. And she didn't want me to experience that.

I remember my boyfriend often told me, "baby, diet not because of me, or because your friends are teasing you. Do it for you."

And he's right. When you decide to diet for other people, more often than not it doesn't work. You end up going back to zero. I know, because I've been there.

But when you decide you're going to do it for yourself, because you love yourself. Then that does the trick. From that conviction alone, there's no going back to eating non-stop and saying no to exercise.

For me, it came more visually, though.

My boyfriend and I were at the mall when I saw this cute girl window-shopping in a V-neck lined white and green dress. She wasn't slim, in fact, she has shapely voluptuous body, but she looked so sexy, so free and so happy in her fresh sun dress. I like dresses, I would love to wear a dress but never dared not because I didn't have the guts, but I didn't have the confidence. If I wear one, I know I want to be comfy and as happy as the window-shopping girl.

I told myself, "My gosh, I want to look good and feel good in that dress too..."

And that was then that I decided for myself-- Alina, it's time to D-I-E-T or to D-I-E.

Now, I don't claim to be an expert.

I started dieting last Christmas Vacation, December 29. And it's been down to 10 pounds since then. More disciplined and determined people could've beaten that. But still and all, I'm very proud.

It's a day until March, the brink of summer. God knows I may never wear a bikini. But I look forward to a smaller weight and a better, healthier body in the coming months.

(after and before.haha,parang print ad lang for lesofat or xenical. lol. yung 2nd pic was taken at solar Antipolo Xmas Party)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

A film review by Maria Alina Co

Watching this film is one of those rare times I succumb to watching a movie I don’t know anything about. With the prices of tickets these days, I research the film’s synopsis beforehand so I’d be assuaged I’ll be spending good money for it. But since I won free passes at the recent Cinexpo, I thought what the hell, a movie for free, why not?

Besides, it’s not as if Vicky (let’s call it Vicky to save up on words) is lacking on film credit bankability. For one, it’s written and directed by Woody Allen. And seeing the movie’s poster in Megamall, I thought if Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men), Penelope Cruz and Scarlett Johansson’s not enough to spur a film buff’s curiosity, then I don’t know what else.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona is not a whole name of a person. Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) are best friends who decide to stay in Barcelona for the summer. At the start of the film, the narrator disclosed that both girls are complete opposites of each other. Serious, practical, finishing her masters on “Catalan identity” and engaged to be married to no-nonsense Doug, Vicky is bordering on being uptight and traditional. Cristina is your typical hopelessly lost girl. She is impulsive and spontaneous and currently recovering from a bad break-up and the embarrassment of writing, directing and starring in a 12-minute love story short film she hates.
But when they meet artistic and charming Antonio, rumored to have had a violent relationship with his ex-wife, the fun and seduction begins. And both girls find themselves in a most unlikely love triangle.

What follows are a series of twists and turns, guaranteed to tickle and to tease. With Juan Antonio, their lives change completely, whether for good or for bad.

The comedy takes a notch higher, when Juan Antonio receives a call from Maria Elena, his ex-wife, asking for help as she tried to commit suicide. Cristina, despite her hesitation, is forced to live with Juan Antonio and Maria Elena under the same roof. Penelope Cruz is a surprising revelation. Her role as a crazy, bordering on demented artist is both convincing and entertaining. In fact, even for a supporting role, her presence in the film is more powerful and memorable that Scarlett’s or Rebecca’s. Which is perhaps why she won the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, among other awards.

Vicky is a refreshing, memorable film worth to watch, simply because it’s a complete deviation from the usual rom-com flicks in Hollywood. In my opinion, these formula romantic comedies are getting tiresome and predictable.

For once, a love story revolves around the quirks and ironies of the characters in it, without the usual reactions and card-board portrayals Hollywood flicks give.

Besides, the sizzling scene between Penelope Cruz and Scarlett Johansson is worth the time.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I thought it proper to write a Valentine's entry. Since I'm hurrying to sleep cause I have a long day tomorrow, I'll make this short and sweet.


No flowers.
No chocolates.
No violins, or sunsets.

Just your hands massaging my tummy and backbone-- soothing the unbearable aches away. I whimpered, crying "Hindi ko 'to kaya...". You just kissed my tears, and whispered "I'm just here, by". I remembered the way my mom would painstakingly rub my body with a hot towel just to keep the fever chills away.

You kept at it for hours and lied by my side until I finally fell asleep.

I was blinded by so much pain that night, but there was that short moment, a fraction of a minute -- I saw myself with you for the rest of my life.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

LILA'S WORST FEAR: a flash fiction


When friends begin to talk of fears, Lila immediately squirms. It’s either “I’m afraid of the dark”, or claustrophobia, or fear of riding ferriswheels or roller-coasters.

When it’s Lila’s turn, her face becomes white. She ponders telling them about that day in the grocery, but decides to tell them her number two fear instead—clowns, but this is altogether another story.

Right now, she drinks cold water with the hope of washing away the jitters.


The first thing she remembers is the grocery cart. Her right foot on the cart, pushing her way forward. It was like a scooter, plus the groceries. She pushed and pedaled, pushed and pedaled, and heard nothing but the soft scrape of wheels, echoing inside rows and rows of foodstuff.

Lila woke up that day and as early as twelve years, she had already developed a ritual. With her pajamas on, she posed in front of a full length mirror, breathed in, tucked her stomach in and her chest out. She touched her breasts softly, imagined them getting bigger by the second. Imagined wearing prettier dresses with her soft curves, just like her Ate Linda, whom she thought the whole world of. She just has to be patient, her Ate Linda said, soon you’re going to be pretty, very pretty, maybe prettier than me. Lila smiled, her dimples showing.

But frowned when her mother barged in her room and nagged her to take a bath and dress up. “Lila, honey, stop fiddling with your chest. We’re going to the grocery.” Lila was irritated that moment and then excited the next. After all, she can wear her favorite red frock, laced with white ruffles. It fit her perfectly, plus the round cut highlighted her breasts. She cheered up, thinking of the possibility of her mom buying Lila her first bra.

She pushed and pedaled, pushed and pedaled. As usual, Lila had her own cart, a small one. Her mom’s was filled with the usual stuff- meat, vegetables, toiletries and whatnot. But Lila’s was the cart with the real goods—junk food, sweets, cereals.

The wheels scraping echoed again and again in her mind. It echoed inside the dingy warehouse grocery. It bounced through the large boxes near the ceiling, then hit the cold, gray floor. Lila remembers now, it was a week day and the grocery was almost empty, except for one old couple, a few retirees and a few moms here and there. She was a strange little, bright light inside the sad warehouse. She was flushed with too much exercise from playing with her cart.

“Lila, dear, I’m almost finished here. We forgot your favorite. Go get yourself your Fruit Loops. Just the small one ha. Since you’re the only one eating that,” Lila’s mother said, while comparing prizes of two detergent bars.

Lila pushed and pedaled and passed rows and rows of groceries. She knew which row the cereal was. But just for fun, she took a joy ride. She sped her way into the canned goods and noodles section, circled to the bread and eggs row, zoomed past the Frozen Delights, and finally took the right turn and stopped in the Cereals and Milk section.

Lila grabbed her usual- Fruit Loops and threw the box in her cart. Lila stared closely at the other brands and flavors. Perhaps, she ought to try something new, she thought. Honey Stars, Chocolate Crispies—her eyes stopped to look at the strawberry puffs. Lila swallowed, suddenly very hungry. LIla looked to her left and right. She thought she saw a flash of red at the fronting row, but shrugged the thought away and began to tear at the cereal’s silver bag. She tasted one puff, then grabbed more and chewed hungrily.

Lila jumped suddenly as a hand came from nowhere and pulled her blouse. Strawberry puffs strewed the floor. A tall, thin man with reddish eyes and a red shirt stared at her angrily—“Bata, anong ginagawa mo? Isusumbong kita! Makukulong ka! Putangina kang bata ka!” Lila immediately began to weep—“huwag po, please, huwag niyo kong sumbong.” Her tears streamed down her cheeks, down to her lips, gleaming with the strawberry puff’s crumbs.

Suddenly, the man grabbed Lila’s breasts and squeezed whatever life or juice he can get from it. Lila froze, the man froze and closed his eyes. Touched his penis with his right hand, getting harder by the second. Lila’s world was suddenly silent. She was unaware of her cries, just heard the soft whirring of the store’s air-conditioning. She stared at the man with the reddish eyes, opening and closing them, biting his lips and looking happy in a way she couldn’t understand. Lila closed her eyes just then, hoping it was just a stupid dream. But it wasn’t darkness she saw, like most nightmares you came from, but a glaring red light, red eyes, red shirt, red dress, red puffs.

When he was finished, he leaned closely and whispered—“Huwag kang magsusumbong, papatayin kita, pati magulang mo.”

Two weeks after, Lila’s mother brought her a plastic bag from a department store. Inside was a white, small baby bra.

“O, honey, why aren’t you happy,” Lila’s mother said, puzzled at her daughter’s glum expression.

That night Lila tucked the bra inside the deepest outskirts of her cabinet.

She breathed in, breathed out and touched the seemingly flat breasts on her shirt. Realizing she couldn’t breathe well, Lila undressed her shirt, undressed a long piece of white cloth on her chest, until she could breathe easy. It’s too tight, she thought. Then rolled the cloth back on her chest again.

That night, she dreamt of grocery carts wheeling around on their own inside a dark, empty warehouse. She hugged her chest tight for comfort.


Sunday, February 1, 2009



One of my most favorite films is Stanley Kubrick’s THE SHINING. Sam lent it to me when we were in 4th year college.

By far, it’s the best horror film I’ve seen.

The film is about a family – Jack (Jack Nicholson), his wife and son Danny, who stays at an isolated hotel to become winter caretakers. Gradually, the story reveals Danny has psychic powers and sees ghosts, who were former guests in the hotel. Jack, a close-minded asshole, insists on staying for the money. Eventually, vulnerable Jack loses his mind.

There are two unforgettable shots/scenes. The first one was when Danny was playing around the hotel, riding his three-wheeled bike, with the basket in front and all. Consisted of mostly long shots, with the bike on the foreground and the hotel hallway at the back. Momentarily, shot shifts to perspective of the boy. The long take goes on and on and on. The hallway stretched wide ahead. Until a little girl, with blood on her face appears at the end of the hallway. The wheels screeched into a halt.

The second one’s when Jack was mad as hell and trying to break in her wife’s room to kill her. The shot was very very high angle/worm’s eye view, shooting Jack as he knocks furiously on the door. It was a risky, but very effective shot. You could feel Jack’s insanity pulsing from the skewed angle.

The hotel is cold, dreary and very scary.

One thing I love about it is its subtlety—it starts out quiet, taking its time. Making the viewer a screaming, squirming guest in the hotel—whether you like it or not!

1408 (2007)

When I watched 1408’s trailer last year, I was blown away. It was, after all, another Stephen King adaptation. Plus the story was very interesting.

It’s about the cynical Mike Enslin who writes books evaluating supernatural phenomena in hotels, graveyards and other haunted places, usually debunking the mystery. He came across an urban legend about room 1408 in Dauphin Hotel, a room rumored to be evil and have killed more than 50 guests. He checks himself in and sets out to unlock and mock the mystery behind it. But deep into the night, Mike discovers he can never check out alive.

The movie turned out more than I expected. Set in a single hotel room, the story succeeded in throwing one scare after another, making viewers jump in their seats. Who knew digital clocks, chairs, tables and windows can give you the ultimate chills?

One of my favorite scenes was when Mike looked at the window and saw a version of himself in a parallel window.

BIRTH-DATE @ Discovery Suites (2009)

Sadly, I have no horror story to tell. Hehehe.

We didn’t go to a hotel in busy Ortigas to make money or to debunk mysteries.

We did it to celebrate Sam’s birthday.

With a complimentary massage and a buffet breakfast, the 4800 bucks was a winner. Not to mention a beautiful room, a bath tub, the amenities (yeah, I got all the lotions, soaps, bath salts, slippers, the works!). The staff was very accommodating and friendly. There were also complimentary fruits and water. I thought may bayad nga, but a staff assured me they were free!

The location was perfect, near megamall and podium so it was hassle-free when we ate out (of course we weren’t going to eat inside,,,mahal eh!)

Word of warning, though, for those planning to check in a hotel soon and are first timers like we were, besides paying the full amount before you check in, you will also be required to pay a ”guarantee” worth half of what you’re paying. But they’ll give it back once you check out. My advice, just have extra money or a credit card handy.

Sam and I had such a grand time. Definitely, we’ll be back.

But for the meantime, I’m praying a hotel GC will appear from the heavens and land on my feet. Or maybe I’ll win a raffle in one of our shoots or events. Hehehe!