10 TV Shows That Rocked My World in 2016

I have a confession to make.

This year wasn’t the best year for movies (at least for me). Kakaunti ang mga pelikulang napanood ko sa sine at kahit sa bahay. Life got in the way.

Pero, kahit wala akong time to sit through a two-hour movie, I still made time to watch some TV shows.

2015 was a great year for TV. I agree that we are in the Golden Age of Television right now. There’s better writing, well-developed characters, beautiful stories. Kaya this year, and, hopefully, just this year, all I’ll write about as the year ends are the Top 10 TV Shows That Rocked My World in 2016.

Here they are:

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Free Civil Service Exam Review

My Two Cents On...

This is just my way of giving back. I was blessed to rank first on the April 2013 Civil Service Exam and since then, I’ve been trying to help more people pass.

Hearing how some people work for years, even decades, in government offices and agencies, but don’t get promoted dahil hindi sila nakapasa sa exam na ito just broke my heart. I want to help as many people as I could. At dahil hindi lang mahal kung hindi limited din na mag-maintain ng physical review center, I chose to use the Internet to broaden my reach. May mga individuals rin kasi who reached out to me asking for help and some of them come from as far as Mindanao. Buti na lang at mas madali na ang access to information sa panahon na ito.

That’s why I decided to create a Facebook page for people who want to participate…

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15 Movies To Watch In 2015

From all the trailers, promos, and teasers that were released last year, imposible na hindi ka ma-excite sa mga pelikulang ipapalabas ngayon taon. Out of all that information, ito ang listahan ko ng mga movies that sparked my attention. Note that not all of the big movies are included in this list. There are two possible reasons for that.

  1. I don’t know enough about that movie.
  2. I’m just not that interested.

These are the movies I really want to see as soon as they’re out. This is just a list. Hindi ito ranked, ok? Here we go!

1. Into The Woods. My highschool bestfriend saw this abroad and she warned me that she didn’t enjoy it too much, but I’m not that worried. I loved the original musical kaya as long as they do a fairly decent job with the music, I’m bound to love this.

2. Avengers: Age of Ultron. The first Avengers is one of the most well-written, well-crafted movies of our generation. Kaya naman hindi kataka-taka na isa rin ito sa mga pelikulang inaabangan ko. Oh, and just look at this trailer:

3.  Furious 7. This franchise is one of my guilty pleasures. Yes, I know the plot’s shallow. Yep, the action sequences are getting more and more ridiculous. It’s like they’re upping the ante sa bawat pelikulang lumalabas. Remember Vin Diesel flying to save Michelle in the last one? I’m also eager to see how they spin Paul Walker’s loss sa kwento.

4. Pitch Perfect 2. Pitch Perfect was one of the movies that really got to me. My sisters and I were so much into it that we hosted viewing parties left and right. I’m pretty sure this is one of the movies that we’ll see together. I can’t wait!

5. The Hateful Eight. The Big Q assembled some of his favorite actors in this film. The script for this movie was leaked online and because of that, this was almost not turned into a movie.Buti nalang Quentin Tarantino changed his mind.

6. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. Isa sa mga candidates para sa pahabaan ng title award ang pelikulang ito. Hindi ko pa sigurado kung ano ang nararamdaman ko about this franchise pero I’m hoping that they do well with the ending. Mockingjay Part 1 was a good set up so I’m praying that it pays off. At sana ay magawa nilang ayusin ang mga hindi magagandang choices ni Suzanne Collins sa last book ng trilogy.

7. Kingsman: The Secret Service. This movie made it to the list even though the more famous and fan-loved British spy movie didn’t. I never was a Bond fan pero I saw the trailer for Kingsman and I resolved to see this in the theater. They have Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth) as a gentleman spy!

8. Chappie. When I heard that Neill Blomkap and his wife, Terri Tatchell, wrote this movie, I knew I wanted to see it. District 9 blew my mind when it came out kaya I want to see how much of the human condition they will reveal using a robot.

9. Jurassic World. Dinosaurs terrify me kaya the only Jurassic Park movie I had enough courage to see was Jurassic Park. I didn’t see the others and from what I hear, that’s actually a good thing. Chris Pratt is quickly turning into Hollywood’s most bankable leading men and he headlines this movie. With dinosaurs as co-stars, it’s going to be challenging for him to keep up. I want to see this movie pero di ko siguro kakayanin in 3D. I’ll be screaming like a 3-year old.

10. Macbeth. There’s barely any information about this movie. Wala paring trailer na available online pero it stars Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard  as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. They have great actors. I’m hoping the screenplay and direction are just as good.

11. Inside Out. I saw the trailer for this movie went we saw Big Hero 6 in the theater. The concept for this film is really creative kaya I’m sure it’s going to be very interesting. When I looked at the longer trailer released in Youtube, I got even more excited.

12. Mission: Impossible 5. There’s one reason why I want to see this movie and it’s not Tom Cruise. MI: 4 was just so good kaya I want to see what else they can do with this franchise.

13. Tomorrowland. I’m hoping that this is another hit for writer/director, Brad Bird. He’s the man responsible for Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (which I just mentioned), Ratatouille, The Incredibles, and The Iron Giant – all of which I loved. Sana ay hindi tayo ma-Interstellar nitong pelikulang ito.

14. Ant-Man. Paul Rudd as a Marvel superhero? Er… I’m not so sure about that. Pero I’m willing to give it a shot. He’s one of the underrated actors of this generation. The guy deserves a break and this may just be it.

15. Jupiter Ascending. Ilang beses na na-push back ang release date ng pelikulang ito so it better be good. It stars Channing Tatum with his broad shoulders, abs, and pointy elf ears. It has a very fantasy-YA plot pero with adults playing the lead characters, there may be a problem with how we process the story. I guess we’ll see how it turns out.

I know, I know. Walang Spectre o Star Wars: The Force Awakens sa listahan na ito pero you can include those in your own list. Ano ba ang sa iyo? Comment below and I’ll do what I can to see it and write a review about it when it comes out.

Keep watching movies!

10 Most Disappointing Movies of 2014

At dahil last week pa ako kinukulit ng little brothers ko tungkol sa mga pinakaayaw kong pelikula ng taon, ito na ang hinihingi ninyo, Stanley at Brian.

I’m not calling it the 10 Worst Movies of 2014 dahil hindi yun ang tamang salita para sa mga pelikulang ito. Mas akmang tawagin silang disappointing dahil yun talaga ang naramdaman ko when I saw them. Kaya, heto na. Without further ado, here are the biggest letdowns of 2014.

10. Beauty In A Bottle. How they managed to mess up the writing of this film is beyond me. Sayang at nakuha pa naman nila ang ilan sa mga pinakatalentadong aktres ng bansa. Angelica Panganiban was this movie’s only redeeming element for me.

9. Endless Love. This movie is just another romance-drama na makakalimutan mo as soon as the credits roll. Di mo ba matandaan kung ano ang pelikulang ito? See?!

8. Need for Speed. Cars. Racing. Action. It doesn’t make sense na muntik na akong nakatulog while watching this. Sayang si Aaron Paul.

7. 3 Days To Kill. They had Amber Heard and Kevin Costner pero kahit sila ay parang di convinced sa premise ng pelikula. This was a Taken knockoff gone wrong.

6. Walk of Shame. Another proof of how James Marsden’s agent is not good at picking roles for him. Elizabeth Banks is one of the wittiest, funniest, most talented women in Hollywood pero the movie was too ridiculous to save.

5. Hercules. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would have been a great Hercules… ten years ago. At kailangan ba talagang baguhin pa ang kwento ni Hercules? Madrama na at maaksyon yun as it is. Di na kailangang guluhin pa.

4. Pompeii. Kit “Jon Snow” Harrington brought his signature stare into this film. At kahit gaano kahirap nilang pinilit na mahalin ko ang mfa tauhan dito, I did not care one bit when they died.

3. Transcendence. I waited for his film to come out dahil the story was very interesting. Kaya di ko alam kung paano nila nagawang ganoon ka-boring at kabagal ang usad ng kwento. Mag-iRobot nalang kayo.

2. The Legend of Hercules. Yup. There were 2 movies about Hercules that came out last year and both of them sucked. This was exponentially worse than the other because, kahit paano, the other one looked good. This was a film school requirement at most.

1. Maleficent. My most anticipated movie of 2014 is, once again, at the top of my list. This time, siya ang pinakamalaking disappointment ng taon para sa akin. This movie did everything wrong. Sa laki ng ginastos at sa husay ng mga artista rito, walang excuse ang Disney for messing this up. Pero they did. Big time.

Ikaw? May mga pelikula ka bang napanood last year na nakapagpainit ng iyong ulo, nakapagpasikip ng iyong dibdib, o nakapagpalagas ng iyong buhok? Share mo naman yan. Recognition is the first step towards healing. Gagaan ang pakiramdam mo. Promise.

14 Greatest Movies of 2014

Some people host parties, others plan family reunions. This is my yearly tradition. In this post, I will list the movies I saw this year that made a huge positive impact on me. At dahil 2014 na, 14 movies ang kasama sa listahan na ito.
Just a quick note, this list is limited to the movies I saw within the year. And with this year being a really busy one for me, I wasn’t able to go and see as many movies as I usually do. Kaya kung may mga pelikulang nagustuhan mo na wala rito, maaaring hindi ko talaga napanood o sadyang magkaiba ang taste natin. Here we go!
14. LEGO Movie. “Everything is awesome! Everything’s good when you’re part of a team!”
13. A Long Way Down. This movie wasn’t perfect, pero it is a necessary and timely take on the theme of depression and suicide.
12. Guardians of the Galaxy. Marvel fans, don’t kill me for not ranking this higher pero hindi talaga ako kasing mind blown ninyo. I had a good time pero it wasn’t as strong if you look at it as a standalone movie.
11. Starting Over Again. The first Filipino movie that made it to this list is a film filled with great performances and well-written dialogues.
10. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Yup. Sequels can be better than their predecessors. This is a great proof of that. It’s a novel thing to learn more about humanity through ape characters.
9. Big Hero 6. Nakakatawa. Nakakaiyak. Nakakatuwa.
8. X-Men: Days of Future Past. This is a movie that’s bound to be hell to write pero they pulled it off. And in doing so, we have our favorite X-Men back and alive. Kung di ka parin convinced, ito lang ang masasabi ko. Quicksilver.
7. The Theory of Everything. Eddie Redmayne gave a truly Oscar-worthy performance as Stephen Hawking pero noteworthy rin ang portrayal ni Felicia Day as his wife. It was a movie thsat showed the intricacies and realities of intimate human relationshipsand how they are more important than the theory the universe.
6. How To Train Your Dragon 2. This movie managed to expand the universe without losing our affection and affinity for the original characters. I can’t wait for the next one.
5. Gone Girl. For the excellent craftsmanship ng screenplay, composition, at storytelling, imposible na hindi masama sa listahan ang pelikulang ito.
4. English Only, Please. Walang eksenang misplaced. Walang joke na hindi ako natawa. Wala akong nakitang gusto kong baguhin sa napakahusay na pelikulang ito.
3. Snowpiercer. This movie blew my mind. You have to see it.
2. About Time. This movie is this high on my list because it changed my life. Literal. It’s something that everyone has to see. This movie will make you think on your life and how you live it. Maghalaga ang mensahe, maganda ang pagkakalahad.
1. Whiplash. May nakakagulat pa ba rito? This movie is perfection. Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons gave us what I see as the best performance of their lives. It was a well crafted, well acted, and truly well done movie.
Do you agree with my list? Ikaw? Ano ang mga pinaka-piling pelikula ng taong ito para sa iyo? Ilagay mo naman sa comment section below para malaman ko rin.

P.S. This post is for Stanley. Eto na, little bro. I love you.

4 Reasons Why You Have To See Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo

Each year, around the holiday season, I start feeling sad, frustrated, and, at times, utterly mad because the Metro Manila Film Festival pushes the play dates of Hollywood films that I’ve been waiting for the entire year. (In 2012, it was Les Miserables. This year, it’s Into The Woods.) All of this happens to give way to locally made and produced films that are supposed to showcase Filipino culture and film making skills. Kaya lang, this past decade, palala na ng palala ang kalidad ng mga pelikulang kalahok sa dating kapita-pitagang kompetisyon na ito. I thought this year won’t be any different. Pero when I heard about Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo, the hopeful and hopelessly optimistic kid in me squealed with glee. So, in spite of myself, I decided to give this movie a shot.

I’m glad I did.

This film is a long overdue retelling of the trials, triumphs, and tragic demise of Andres Bonifacio. Here are four reasons why you should go and see this movie.

1. It will present a different, much darker, but no less truer face of the history you learned in school.

I don’t want to spoil anything in this post, but if you’ve seen the movie and you want my full break down, you can click here. All I’m going to say is that not everyone may know this story and this story needs to be heard. Isa sa mga kahinaan ng mga Pilipino ang paglimot sa nakaraan. If we learn what not to do from past mistakes and what to do from past successes, our limited of knowledge of our history sets us up for failure. Hopefully, this movie will motivate more people to dig deeper into our nations past para sa ikabubuti natin bilang isang bayan.

2. It’s a beautiful film. 

The shots were well thought out. The scenes were directed well and framed carefully. I said this in my full length review and I’ll say it again. You can hit pause on any scene in this movie and I’m sure that image will be framed well enough to hang on your wall.

3. Watching it will let the right people know that Filipinos want, appreciate, and support good films.

Do you really want another batch of generic comedies that bank on big name celebrities and haphazardly write in CGI-ridden scenes? If you, like me, are tired of that, then you HAVE to support films that are different. Simple lang naman ang concept ng industriya ng pelikula e. Simple economics lang. Kung kikita ang pelikulang ito, it will show that there is increased demand for better local films. Hopefully, this will encourage the people in the top floors of to create and fund movies that aim to be more. Think of this as your vote for better Filipino movies. The more people who vote by watching, the better chance we have at seeing even better movies in the years to come. Kaya, vote na!

4. You owe it to the Supremo, Gat Andres Bonifacio, to see the first ever full-length feature film devoted solely to him.

Andres Bonifacio is, by far, my favorite Philippine hero. I wept when my sister and I saw a few of Ballet Philippines’ Rock Supremo numbers. He deserves so much more than shared space on our 10-peso coin. Why?

(These are not spoilers for anyone who bothered to listen to their AP teachers)

He is the person responsible for the Katipunan. Sa panahon na walang naniniwalang posible ang kalayaan, nanindigan siya para sa isang panaginip (ni hindi nga viable na tawaging pangarap yun). Andres Bonifacio is not perfect. This film isn’t either. Pero one thing they share is hope. That’s a message na kailangang kailangan sa mundo.

So, please watch this movie and feel free to share this post to anyone.

Mabuhay ang kalayaan- kalayaan hindi lamang sa mananakop kundi pati na rin sa kamangmangan!


Kaleidoscope World: Movie Review

I’ve seen A LOT of movies. Masyado nang marami na hindi na siya impressive kundi scary. I stopped counting them dahil nahihiya ako sa dami ng oras na ginugol ko sa panonood ng mga pelikula. It’s ridiculous kung anong percentage ng expected lifespan ko ang nagamit ko dito. I’ve seen really REALLY good movies. I’ve also, very unfortunately, seen really bad ones. Pero this movie is in a totally different classification. Ito ang pelikulang kailanman ay hindi ko na malilimutan.

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Starting Over Again: Movie Review

Wala akong kainte-interes na panoorin ang pelikulang ito. Hindi dahil local siya, hindi dahil sa hindi ko type ang mga pangunahing tauhan, ngunit dahil alam kong maiinis ako sa premise nito. Pero inaya ako ng ilan sa mga pinakamahahalagang tao sa buhay ko kaya ayun. Bye bye 210 pesos. I came into the theater kicking and screaming. Well, not literally, but I thought of sneaking home a hundred times. Yun nga lang, my word is my bond. Kaya eto. May kakayanan na ako to form opinions about the movie. If you still don’t know anything about this top-grosser at official Valentine movie ng 2014, heto ang trailer.

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About Time: Movie Review

Minsan lang sa buhay dumating ang mga pelikulang makakapagpabago sa pananaw mo sa mundo. Itong pelikulang ay itatala ko bilang isa sa mga bumago sa akin.

Kamusta yung trailer? What do you think? Di ba parang isang conventional, run-of-the-mill rom-com lang ito? When I first saw it, natawa ako ng malakas kasi para siyang anak ng dalawang naunang pelikula ni Rachel McAdams, The Vow (kung saan nakalimutan niya ang kaniyang love interest in the form of my Channing Tatum) at The Time Traveler’s Wife (kung saan… well, the title speaks for itself). I wanted to see it sa sinehan, pero I missed it dahil:

  1. It had limited screenings
  2. It didn’t get an extension

Sadyang ganoon lang talaga ang buhay dito sa Pinas pag palapit na ang MMFF. Pero kahit pa, ayos lang. I think I saw this movie sa saktong oras kung kailan kailangan ko ng motivation. At hindi tungkol sa love life dahil hindi yun ang punto ng pelikulang ito.

Ang Buod

Tim Lake (played by Domhnall Gleeson na pamilyar bilang Bill Weasley sa Harry Potter movies) turned 21 and shortly after, his father, James (the great Bill Nighy) tells him a family secret-the men in their family can travel back in time. This changes everything for the “painfully normal” Tim. His first quest was to get a girlfriend and he tries his skills out with Charlotte (Margot Robbie). Pero it doesn’t work out.

Tim moves to the city and meets Mary (Rachel McAdams). When they hit it off even with Tim’s awkwardness and Mary’s self-confessed insecurity, Tim realizes that he’s hit gold. However, when he chooses to go back in time to help a friend out, he erases his first encounter with Mary. Thus, the whole “I don’t know you” scenario ensues.

The following scenes let us in on how Tim tries to manipulate the past to make sure that Mary ends up with him.


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13 Greatest Movies of 2013

I’m giving myself a huge pat on the back for summing up 2012 with the post, 12 Greatest Movies of 2012. Why? Because unlike my peers in the movie review cyberworld, I don’t have to choose just 10! Yep! And you know what? I’m gonna jump up to a Top 14 list next year! Yey!

Making a list is really tough. You should see my notebook. Pero hamuna! Ang importante, natapos din!

Disclaimer: This list is in no particular order. Ilan sa kanila ang hindi ko pa nasusulatan at maaaring hindi ko na magawan ng review. Pasensya naman. Limitado rin ito sa mga pelikulang nakita ko ngayong taong ito. Maaaring may ilang nagustuhan mo pero wala sa listahan dahil I didn’t have the privilege of seeing it… yet. Kung mayroon kang suggestion, please comment below. I would love to look for it para mapanood ko rin. 🙂 Salamat!

  • Ang Turkey Man Ay Pabo Rin. I don’t think kailangan pa ng pagpapaliwanag dito. Di pa ako sumusuko sa pag-asang darating ang araw na magkakaroon ito ng wider release alang-alang sa mga naka-miss nito sa sinehan at sa mga mambabasa kong hindi inabot ng limited screening nito. This movie was successful in being both funny and fun without losing sight of the message it wanted to get across. It was very refreshing.
  • Four Sisters And A Wedding. Mabuhay ang industriya ng family comedy sa Pilipinas! Saktong sakto ang balanse ng pelikulang ito. Maaaring hindi kasing bold (as in matapang) o gritty as Ang Turkey Man, pero na-impress talaga ako sa pagkakagawa nito for the mainstream audience.
  • Now You See Me. This is one of the bigger surprises para sa akin sa taon na ito. I loved the movie and I loved discussing it with the people I saw it with. Bawal ang mabagal ang synapses sa pelikulang ito.
  • Warm Bodies. Isa pang dark horse dahil I was never a big vampire/zombie/werewolf gal. Di rin nakatulong sa rep ng movie na ito yung pagtawag sa kaniya na Zombie-Twilight dahil may espesyal akong pagkamuhi doon sa series na yun. Kung handa kang basahin o makipagdebate sa akin, here’s the link. Pero kudos to Nicholas Hoult, the cast, and the writers! Hindi siya overly cheesy at ikinatuwa ko ang resolution kahit happy ang ending.
  • Stuck In Love. I thought this was going to be just another Rom-Com. Pero nagustuhan ko talaga ito. Maaaring mabagalan ka sa pacing kung sanay ka sa mainstream flicks, pero sulit naman ang paghihintay dito. Logan Lerman was the cherry on top. I really like that kid. Galing galing! Buti nalang din at napanood ko to para may pambanlaw naman ako sa Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. Ayayay!
  • Syrup. Kung gusto mo ng bago, mahusay, at mentally-stimulating na pelikula, ito yun. Yun nga lang. Hindi mo siya pwedeng isabay sa paggawa ng paper or paglalaro ng Candy Crush dahil maiiwan ka kung kukurap ka man lang.
  • Les Miserables. O. Before you go and tell me that this was a 2012 film, I have to explain that this was shown here in the Philippines on the first week of 2013. That’s the reason why I couldn’t put it in my 2012 list. Kaya ngayon na lang. Yeah. I know most purists make fun of this film. People didn’t like the extreme close ups and nitpick about the singing. Pero wala akong pakels! Wala na yatang pelikulang mas iniyakan ko kaysa dito.
  • Standing Up. I was bullied as a kid kaya may special kurot ang pelikulang ito sa akin. I also liked how it was told in the kids’ perspective. Napa-sigh lang ako pagkatapos. Kung gusto mo ng proper drama, watch this film.
  • The Spectacular Now. I promise to write a review about this movie really soon. Maraming kailangang pagpapaliwanag kung bakit ko to nagustuhan. Dun ko nalang ilalagay.
  • A Place At The Table. This is a documentary about the food situation in America. Eye-opening siya for me dahil may binebentang image ng plenty ang mga developed countries sa aming mga developing pa lang. This movie made me thankful for what I have. It made me love my country more. I thanked God for how everything grew here in the Philippines. Nagpasalamat ako na alam ko ang pakwan at melon at nakakakain ako ng totoong pagkain na mabuti para sa katawan.
  • Not Today. This movie opened my eyes about the discrimination in India. Haunting siya at hanggang ngayon ay apektado parin ako pag naiisip ko.
  • Frozen. Good job, Disney! Salamat sa pagsisimula na irepair ang damaged psyche ng mga kababaihan dahil sa konsepto ng Disney princesses na kinalakhan namin.
  • Much Ado About Nothing. Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg, Sean Maher, Amy Acker. With me being a big Joss Whedon fan, I admit na my liking for this movie is biased dahil I saw familiar faces from his other works. Avengers, Dollhouse, Firefly, Buffy! I was one happy fangirl. Oh, and I loved how they showed Shakespeare’s play in a modern setting without veering too far off. They made me laugh at the right lines dahil na-build up ng maigi. I think much of the humor in it will be lost kung napanood ko lang sa normal na amateur theater.

So, agree ka ba sa listahan ko? Kung hindi, edi hindi. Opinion ko to, blog ko to, ako ang masusunod. *evil laugh*

I really wish this year will be a better year for movies. Hindi kasing ganda ng 2012 ang 2013 e. Pero mukha namang maganda ang forecast for this year. Nawa’y di lang sana ako masalanta ng maling pang-unawa sa storm surge.