Spectre: the unraveling of a specter.

Spectre begins with a dire foreboding, the Day of the Dead in Mexico City, a culture seemingly grotesque. for the living enlivens the dead, in a peculiarly festive way.  Strange though it may be, it is a fitting opening, a foreshadowing of what is to come, for the world’s most famous secret service spy, his secret known to everyone, except perhaps, everyone who has lived with the MI6 for the past half century, has grappled as to why Bond was Bond,  a man alone unto himself.

The SPECTRE is a fictitious acronym which stands for Special Executive for Counter-Intelligence, Terrorism Revenge and Extortion, for the demise of the MI6 or the British Secret Service. For all intents and purposes, fault was assigned to the distinguished characters: M, Q, Moneypenny, and 007

And while the eradication of the secret service seems inevitable, a specter arises. A phantom. A ghost from Bond’s archrivals arises, too. A juxtaposition of two impending deaths: the secret service and Bond’s own.

Thus the cardiac high-action, sniping, bombing, and inverted helicopter flying, or falling. in  Mexico City, where the dead comes to life.

But all at once, the movie transports to holy Rome, the city that encapsulates the glory of the past. Bond follows another lead, and discovers that there’s more than meets the eye. But of course, that is always what Bond story lines are about. But the motion is set. Bond gets an eye view of who his nemesis are, even if it was a little obscured, or darkened.

There was a reference to Tokyo, an allusion that most likely implies how Bond’s every move is seen. Thus it was imperative that Bond himself was injected with a GPS. And in all the succeeding scenes, a specter follows.

At the icy Alpine Austria, Bond finds the daughter of an enemy, the enemy who was set to make Bond’s life miserable. The daughter is  a therapeutic doctor. and she brought Bond to her father’s honeymoon nook, the very same place that archived Bond’s story, from being an orphan, to a skill filled days cruising the mountains with his adoptive father,  to the disgust of his step brother.

In sharp contrast to the snowy mountains, Bond and the lady doctor were ushered into the center of an arid  desert, where a meteorite once landed to earth. And here Bond meets his step brother, the very same one who was reported to have died with his father in a snow avalanche. And all the past two decades, his step brother was scheming on executing his revenge on the orphan boy who found favor in the eyes of his father.

The step brother was the brainchild of SPECTRE, designed not just to have a domination of the world, but more importantly, to ensure the wicked end meant only for the boy with the blue eyes. James Bond.

So the story unraveled.  And 007’s story is now complete.

Daniel Craig essayed the James Bond role magnificently.  Gosh, he is so fit and agile. The curtain calls for a final vow for this actor, and the jalopy is definitive enough.

But gosh again, I have enjoyed Bond movies all my life, but Daniel Craig’s Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and Spectre gave the most profound and in-depth picture of the spy. He was a man, after all.

Licensed to kill? No, not at all. That was the spy bound by duty to pull the trigger. And that’s another point. Bond threw his pistol.  Definitive enough. He is licensed to kill no more.

Doctors Dancing

Nope, this is not a Broadway nor West End production. No professional dancer here, just a group of student doctors from St. Luke’s College of Medicine, taking a tough break from their transes  (med readings), and find out if they could break a leg.

A modern interpretation of “Alamat ng Pinya,” or the Legend of the Pineapple.

President Barack came to town.

It was a grand and heartwarming welcome for President Barack Obama in Manila, red carpet, twenty-one gun salute, and a real hot sun. It was Filipino hospitality at its best: the native food, the pangkat kawayan, the Kuh Ledesma/Leo Valcez voices, and the courteousness and kindness that is innately Filipino.

I listened, of course, to what the two presidents have to say about the visit and the affairs of the region and the rest of the world. Criticisms abound, but we have to give it to these two great men (both my age), that they are doing their damnest best for peace and the betterment of all the peoples of the world. I do not doubt their sincerity and honesty, for they would have blundered in front of the cameras, but I did hear spontaneous responses, not calibrated, and sometimes, I would like to reprimand the critics for creating a whole bunch of senseless stumbling blocks the slows the success of these leaders.

Hope springs eternal.

I enjoyed The Lone Ranger!

I had the chance to view The Lone Ranger, a Walt Disney adaptation of that classic Hi Ho, Silver Away….dananandananandananannannan, starring Johnny Depp as Tonto, and of course, like many of the characters this actor has portrayed in many of his blockbuster movies, this Tonto elicited much chuckle ] from the audience, too, making the seemingly grim, almost tragic legend of the Lone Ranger a comedy pic. It’s a PG 13, actually, and the movie includes a morbid cannibalism scene, which, of course, was graphically censored but totally implied, and yet, all seen, actually, though the eyes of a child. Hay, need I say more? The only thing I want to tell is that I am recommending this relatively unbelievable, totally magical film for all ages. You’d learn more about how the West was started, and a few things about spiritual journey, and that in the end, life does come full circle. Quite enjoyable. Bring a cloak, but not a dagger.

Iron Man Three

Photo: Malou B. Escalona, that sweet and generous and sexy lady my cousin Bong had the luck of marrying (such a marvelous blessing, huh), treated us to a grand opening day screening of Iron Man 3. So there we were, Audrey and Julia, Jean and Tish, Malou and I, with our cheesy pop corns, French Fries with dips, hotdogs and serenity teas (and C2), all eyes agape, lest we miss something in the transformation of Tony Starks from a self-indulgent billionaire/playboy/philanthropist to an Iron Man with a real heart. The prototype Mack 42 was destroyed in the end, as Tony was left with no option but to ask Jarvis to detonate it, because his nemesis (can't quite remember the name, but it was the true Mandarin) took him, Tony, to the next high level action. That's all you gonna get from this spoiler. Go watch it. THANKS Malou, it was a great fun night! I love sitting beside Audrey, she perceived the plot and varied characters quick and easy. :) Like I always say, when you want your children to learn many things, just take them to the movie theaters and give them some pop corn. :)

Malou, that sweet and generous and sexy lady my cousin Bong had the luck of marrying (such a marvelous blessing, huh), treated us to a grand opening day screening of Iron Man 3. So there we were, Audrey and Julia, Jean and Tish,Malou and I, with our cheesy pop corns, French Fries with dips, hotdogs and serenity teas (and C2), all eyes agape, lest we miss something in the transformation of Tony Starks from a self-indulgent billionaire/playboy/philanthropist to an Iron Man with a real heart. The prototype Mack 42 was destroyed in the end, as Tony was left with no option but to ask Jarvis to detonate it, because his nemesis (can’t quite remember the name, but it was the true Mandarin) took him, Tony, to the next high level action. That’s all you gonna get from this spoiler. Go watch it. THANKS Malou, it was a great fun night! I love sitting beside Audrey, she perceived the plot and varied characters quick and easy. 🙂 Like I always say, when you want your children to learn many things, just take them to the movie theaters and give them some pop corn. 🙂

Hot Holy Wednesday

It’s a hot Holy Wednesday. Swept the yard and watered the plants. Triduum of Easter begins tomorrow, so might as well clean my front porch, too. The “kalakal” has accumulated: brown paper bags and boxes, newspaper and plastic water bottles, a few tin cans, sigh, I sometimes wonder why we never got rid of all these, when we had been trying our best to be eco-friendly! When that is done, I’d open the Good Book and read the Gospel according to Luke, then continue with the Acts of the Apostles, written by Luke also. If you want a detailed narrative of our Lord’s life story, I recommend Luke because he wrote the Good News telenovela style. 🙂

Hmmm, but if it is so hot to read, I’d put Ten Commandments and Ben Hur on viewing, ha ha, love Charlton Heston, really.

Wish to see you guys at the Vigil and the Visita iglesia (can’t believe that Good Friday has become a tourist attraction, and not only in places like Pampanga where devotees flagellate and nail themselves on the cross, but look here now, at Padre Pio Shrine and some other pilgrimage churches, they have real wooden crosses for visitors to bear).

Would you believe that the young boys and girls I meet during this Holy Week exercise are the bright and the good ones. Which makes me conclude that the shallow ones are probably on the beach of Boracay, or the like, frolicking. Just saying.

Musings on Palm Sunday

The Longest Gospel on Palm Sunday.  email this discussion to a friend?

myLot reputation of 92/100. eileenleyva (3130)   ranked 1 out of 67 in catholic 2 days ago
Today is Palm Sunday, or Domingo de Ramos, and we troop to Church carrying, waving our fascinating, ribbon-adorned branches.Years ago, a young barrio lass made the most intricate weave of coconut palms for me and my sister. We were proudest waving our most enviable palms, and sigh, really wish I still could have the best branches to wave to our Lord.My daughter bought bamboo art branches for today, and am excited to wave my cutest, littlest branches. I will boast my palms, ha ha.

Not to forget the most important part, today commences the week-long passion we have to observe for the impending suffering of our Lord. The Gospel narrates the sacrifice our Lord gave for us. Let us try to heal ourselves, meditate, join recollection and retreats, confess our sins, and carry our cross. Let’s go and live the Gospel.

Summer Rain on a Palm Sunday  email this discussion to a friend?

myLot reputation of 92/100. eileenleyva (3130)   ranked 1 out of 67 in catholic 22 hours ago
Every time, Palm Sunday is a joyous occasion, not only are the children wide-eyed, delighted over the colorful ribbons and intricate weave of coconut palms, but the adults as well, mindful of what is the best looking palms they could get at a reasonable price.The side pavements, and to some extent, the roads, too, leading to the church grounds, are adorned with happy palms vendors, the kind ones offer smiles, too, that Palm Sunday is always festive, belying the sadness that Catholics would have to go through the week ahead.My daughters and I were grateful for the little summer rain that refreshed the air. After Mass, some old schoolmates called my girls and they had a half an hour chat, updating on what’s up with whom and so on… The girls have come a long way from their formal school years, and they realized that on a Palm Sunday morning, after we were surprised by the summer rain.happy
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One Fine Saturday.

Got trapped in a two and a half hour traffic along EDSA and Buendia, on my way to SMX Convention Center, for DESIGN PHILIPPINES. It was a Saturday, events were happening simultaneously, and if I was excited about our cultural heritage exhibit, President Noy was pressing Solaire Casino Grand Opening button at the MOA area (Phil Star frontpage) with ultra rich business tycoons (and of course I wondered how unfeeling was the sight of the president’s photo, when just right below was the face of UP stude Kristel with a scene of her wake in the background), and there was a concert of an 80’s singer, and delightful fireworks.

So, my feet were numb, by the time I got to MOA parking queue, and I thought it couldn’t be worse anymore, but sigh, after I received my parking ticket and I was already on my way up the inner spiral, the SUV in front of me stopped! I blew my horn, of course, and wondered why i was the only one yanking, when all of us were hanging, ascending. An alert security guard ran up, and in a few seconds, he was coming down, and I opened my window and shouted What happened? and he responded with Balik na lang po! WHAT? REVERSE ON A SPIRAL? On an inner lane spiral? Nuts! I was going nuts, but of course, instead of doing so, I had to tackle first the matter at hand: Dim lights, narrow lane, descending backwards. Side mirrors, my guide, my only vision! Halfway now, and almost down, another security appeared and signaled me to climb up! What pixie play is this, I thought, but was just relieved I wouldn’t have to go through the long queue outside again,

My back was a running faucet by the time I got to the registration booth, some 500 meters, I calculated, from the Level 4 parking slot I got. I sipped extra expensive coffee from Deco Elle, and then walked through the booths that showcased our arts and handicrafts, our exciting furniture, and am sure there must be a story behind, for the designs seem to be evolving, and, I was surprised with the crowd of aliens: bald, belly popped Caucasians and chinky-eyed, noisy Asians, ha ha, these traders/buyers adore our products. MANILA FAME is a PRIDE, and am glad I came.

MANILA FAME presents DESIGN PHILIPPINES

If I am staying late nights these days, it’s because MANILA FAME is up in a couple of days. My daughter’s project for this show is DESIGN PHILIPPINES, a showcase of Philippine architecture. Here’s the link: http://arkitektura.ph/pos…

I have to pass three main cities to get to MOA, and grab a bite at any food outlet at Blue Wave. The bay area air is refreshing, and the nocturnal souls are interesting to watch, while waiting for my daughter.

Hope you’d drop by the SMX Convention Center, it’s really a treat. If only I know you guys personally, I still have tickets, sigh.

Posting this because I am proud, not just because of my daughter, but of the rich heritage the Philippines has.thumbup

Grand Slam!

Woooaw, this December is one to remember.   We had a grand slam, all in the family!

#1 The PMHS or Pre-medical Honors Society copped the coveted College of Science Carolfest competition. And, of course, that is Tish’s handiwork. She taught all the eight voices for the songs.  The voices were distinct. The blend was solid. The judges heard it!

#2 The CIEM or Circle of Industrial Engineering Majors took all the rest of the Engineering orgs by surprise.  When in the past couple of years the artistry and creativity in dance had been dismissed down the side light because of the more popular hip-hop synchronization, under Tami’s direction and choreography, the INDAKAN had just upgraded to a new level.

Music and dance. That’s Tish and Tami, from the Leyva family!

Ang yabang ko noh?  Pagbigyan ninyo na lang po. Paminsanminsan lang ito! 🙂

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