Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Story of Us

Memorable quote from "The Story of Us"

 "There are some hurts that you never completely gotten over. And you think that time will diminish their presence and to a degree it does, but it still hurts because well, hurt hurts"


Had a chance to watch this film two nights ago and I'm quite pleased with its plot. It is a 1999 film and just like most of the movies in the 90s, The Story of Us tackles relationship, separation and dealing with couple's differences. 

I am not really into this kind of film, I hate being lectured with separation and divorce issues, we have so much on it in the surroundings, and I disliked couples who don't honor their marriage vows, and that is something I never look forward to in a film. I loathed couples who are infidel, who betray each other through extra marital affairs, that's why I extremely detested films that tell the story of a mistress!

But The Story of Us is quite different and for unknown reasons, I kept rewinding each scene. It was really beautiful, though some reviews did not actually exhibit the same fascination.

The Story of Us tells the crumbing marriage of once very in-love couple and officemates, Ben (Bruce Willis) and Katie (Michelle Pfeiffer). They have been married for 15 years but after having two kids and a comfortable life, they grew apart and could no longer stand with each other. A slight provocation would result to shouting matches, there were no talks  without engaging into a heated argument, they seemed could not agree with everything. 

Until they agreed into a trial separation. During this time, the couple pondered hard on the fate of their marriage, remembering the good times they shared and the things that made them fall in love with each other in the first place.

While watching the film and reassessing the couple's relationship, I made to think quickly that the reason why they drifted apart is their inability to handle the pressure and tension of married life. If only they would open their minds, value each partner's worth and listen while the other is talking, then a slight argument would never result to a yelling episode.

In the end, Ben and Katie realized how much they loved each other and why they could not live another day without being together.

I've never been into a relationship nor a date but I am completely aware that loving someone entails sacrifices and suffering, after all, that's what unconditional love is all about, the moment you decide to love someone it's also the time that you start taking your cross. 

Many years ago, I bought a book entitled "Loving Each Other" authored by adult counselling expert, Dr. Leo Buscaglia, which offers one of the best meanings of a loving relationship:

“A loving relationship is one in which both parties feel so loved, so accepted and so safe that they can share their innermost feelings, dreams, failures and successes without reservation. It is a give-and-take, two-way reciprocal interaction rooted in mutual respect and trust cloaked with dignity, where tears and smiles are of equal importance and one that continually nurtures and supports growth,

….It is like an ideal home which you can totally be yourself, be accepted, understood, supported, valued and respected as a human being. It is a nurturing environment where effort is made to provide enough caring and security so that one can share hopes and fears without anxiety and discomfort and where one is encouraged to learn and grow.”

The Story of Us is a provoking film about relationship which every couple (married or engaged) must watch and understand. It's a very simple story but carries tremendous lessons about married life or simply dealing with each other in a relationship.

The lessons I'd learned from this film: 
  • Learn to bend
  • Maintain communication
  • Be open-minded
  • Recognize that argument is imminent but do not allow it to grow into a destructive monster.
  • Recognize your partner's value
  • Listen when she or he talks, do not interrupt.
  • Do not let pride dominates the relationship
  • When time gets rough, stop for a while and think hundred of reasons why you stick with her or him through all these years.
  • Settle the differences before night time comes.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Wedding Like no Other

Carmina Villaroel and Zoren Legaspi on their wedding day at Fernbook Gardens. I loved the atmosphere of the event because I am always fascinated with a garden wedding reception and Cherry Blossoms motif! What Zoren did was a tough act to follow and I am wondering if there are still men left in this world who have the same devotion, level of commitment/fidelity and declaration of unconditional love toward their partners. 

Last night, I was one of hundreds of girls in the Philippines who was extremely enthralled with the display of unconditional love of local actor, Zoren Legaspi, to his long-time partner, Carmina Villaroel. As I watched the episode of their civil wedding on TV and how Zoren planned the ceremony without Carmina suspecting it, I could not help but think how many men left in the world who have the same devotion and level of commitment as Zoren. 

It was so fascinating and moving. Women in general loved surprises and longed to meet someone who could sweep off their feet all the way to the altar, and being surprised with a wedding ceremony right away is so touching and heart-warming!

I cried a little bit, especially the scene where Zoren led Carmina to the artificial Cherry Blossom tree to make his marriage proposal, it was so amazing because I loved Cherry Blossoms too and if ever I could still get married in the future I want to have a Springtime Wedding Theme with Cherry Blossoms motif!

So it was really a poignant scene watching Carmina stood under the Cherry Blossom tree accepting her partner's proposal...

Men's degree of sweetness and love is just so rare today, you're a lucky girl if you find one. Of course, but I believe men are born with a unique attitude of sweetness and each has his own way  distinctive way of expressing it, but the question is, where are they, can we still find them?

Zoren must be the concrete symbol of the description of a four-leaf clover "Hard to find but lucky to have"


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Less Visibility

I want to minimize my "visibility" in the internet so I decided to deactivate my Facebook account and deleted my Google+ account. I am now concentrating in Twitter for the sake of attracting more traffic to my sites.

I've several public blogs, searching me online is a lot easier than finding me walking in the street so having a Facebook account is a way too much, I am afraid my privacy is in danger.  After eight years of joining several social networking sites, from Friendster to MySpace, to Facebook and Google+, I had enough. I became disillusioned with "socializing" online.

I joined Facebook in 2007 when everyone was still emotionally attached to Friendster, by that time Facebook was still a quiet place, now it looked like a messy gang street. I detested its new platform and features, I fretted other people's vulgarity and blatant showdown of vanity. So despising. There was no more excitement, no more mystery to hold on, everything is very public.

I want to retain some degree of mystery and discretion for myself, I don't want to share every detail of my day-to-day life, it's simply brassy. I want to protect what is left for my privacy.

But I have a twitter account to maintain my connection with the public for my blog links. Twitter is more ideal because I can follow the people/organization I admired, read their updates and interact with them. With twitter I am not tempted to read details of my friends' posts and became intrigued hehe!

I felt my life now is more quiet, peaceful and normal and I love it!
 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Movie Marathon Part II


BREAKING DAWN, Part II

Finally, I was able to watch the finale of the Twilight saga --- Breaking Dawn part II, last November 17, Saturday at the cinema. In fairness, the last part of Breaking Dawn is quite interesting, lots of action and vampire things, there was a fair balance of excitement, action, surprises and humor, and for the first time I saw the other side of Kristen Stewart's acting talent (finally she showed some degree of facial expression!), she was a revelation in this last Twilight installment. Surprisingly (hehe) I was not bored with the film unlike the other three series (New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn part I) where I almost fell asleep in the theater.

Michael Sheen who played Aro, the head of the Volturi pack, brought life to the story, as always he lived to high expectations of credible acting skill when it comes to playing Vampire, the same impression I had on him in the movie "Underworld". He knew how to interpret a creepy, ancient character that would really jolt the viewers. His team contributed to the lively finale of the story.

Breaking Dawn Part II's execution was impressive. The fight scene in the snow was entertaining, it felt like I was watching the championship of two teams in the NBA hehehe. I read the book years before but I was not disappointed with the outcome in the films because motion picture is always different from the book, it's a different medium so it should not be compared.  

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE

Last Night, November 18, while fixing my room, I found this really old file of DVDs in my drawer, and saw the copy of "Message in a Bottle". I haven't seen this film before, so after dinner, I wasted no time and gone through with it. 


The story is based in the book by Nicholas Spark (author of the Notebook, Letters from Juliet) and if not for its subtitles, I would never understand the whole thing since the scenes were not too exciting, very slow pacing and there were lots of narration, it only picked up when Kevin Costner's character, Garret Blake discovered the bottle (with the two letters) in Theresa's drawer (played by Robin Wright).

Message in a Bottle retells the story of a man who was grieving for the death of his wife, whom he could not let go, he refused to move on, he was forever stuck in that emotion, and he simply would not let her memories go. Until someone came, but then due to his refusal to move on, he just let the opportunity slipped away. He realized it in the end but it was too late, time and circumstances intervened and inscribed another fate for them. 

But it was a good film though. It helped that Paul Newman was there (he played Costner's protective and thoughtful father), he infused humor and interest in the film, his dialogue was terrific. Overall, the film punched a heart-warming message, it was self-pondering. Nicholas Spark was known with his poetic and whimsical lines and its richness provided magic to the whole story.  

It was not a formula movie because Garret Blake died in the end, just as he realized he wanted to start a new life with the woman who made him fall in love again, so there was no happy ending, but I love the conclusion because it was not a tailored concept, it was more of a conviction of a tragic love story that should not be dreaded, but something to look back with warm memories.

Robin Wright's character, Theresa, said this in the end:

"If some lives form a perfect circle, others take shape in ways we cannot predict or always understand. Loss has been a part of my journey, but it has also shown me what is precious, so has a love for which I can only be grateful".

After watching the film, I realized that the clinging of the man to his wife's memories was not all about love, but about guilt. In real life, there are people like him, who, after losing someone they thought they could not get over with the loss, they simply refused to move on and accept the reality due to "what ifs", because of some form of guilt, because they are continue savoring the idea that the one they had lost was the perfect one for them. Such a foolish thought. Things happen for a reason.

Unfussy Life


Contentment cannot be found elsewhere, it comes from deep within and so with happiness and serenity. No person or place or tangible things could ever guarantee a complete happiness, not even that high-paying job everyone is dreaming.

Life in the city is intensely provoking, a torment, a cruel game, anguish is everywhere, you should be either tough or mad to play it well, things could make or break you depends on how you define your fate, everyone is in a race, they could be either an ally or an enemy, you don’t know who they are, a vulture or a lamb, everybody is wearing a mask. In order to conquer adversity, you must be a rambunctious and a disruptive fellow.

After spending many years living in the city, I felt I had pushed my life into madness and I felt so exhausted. I am tired racing with times. So I want to go back to the basic, to the magic of innocence, back to the days when life was still unfussy.

For once, I longed to catch the glimpse of the beautiful sky at night without the flickering light of the modern technology, just the shadow of the moon casting a silver thread over the placid river. No snarling of electronic gadgets, just a soft whisper from the wind rushing to touch the leaves of the trees.

I want to relax in a secluded beach or take a leisure walk in the countryside, pause for a while and look at the lovely flowers. I want to stand in the middle of a hilltop and look around, feel the stillness of the mother earth and listen to the chirping of the birds. Sit in the powdery beach and wait for the romantic sunshine to spread its magic. I longed to watch the gentle splashing of the waves to the seashore and feel the cool breeze coming from the ocean, just like before, when life was still young.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Quitting the Battlefield



My sacrifices did not pay off. My effort went into drain. But I have no regrets, it taught me so many things in life, made me a better person and encouraged me more to believe in dreams. 

Sometimes we must allow ourselves to wander around and take risks, give up our comfort zone and undergo the dreadful pain and rejection so that we will know what are the things worth saving. 

Life is a trial and error, we will lose some, gain some. Towards the end of the day, lessons will help us ponder on things that really matter in the end.

Life is too short to be wasted on things that cannot be realized. It seemed I am begging for something that cannot be given to me and I felt tired doing it, finally.

So I decided to quit and leave the battlefield, I am already wounded and to go on fighting is a deliberate suicide, I know I cannot win the war, even if I will crash all the obstacles, if the circumstances won’t cooperate, then the victory is like a far-flung planet, unreachable. So I drop my armor, loosen my grip and turn my back.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Movie Marathon Part I

I missed my days in the graduate school, yeah! No more case analysis, reports to make, so my weekend is quite comfortable and relax. So now, I have enough time to work on other things I neglected since taking masteral --  watching movies on DVD, writing articles and book contents, studying French language and other stuff and last week, I did a movie marathon on historical films!

I love this genre because at last I could watch the stories I only read in historical books. I am always fascinated with history on wars, ancient myths, medieval knights and kings and the ancient world in general. It seems there's something in there that I would want to learn more to find answers to my questions about life's mystery, about so many things, it's like traveling to another time.

One of my favorites is the Trojan War. It tells the saga of the Greek gods, its myths and tragedies. Trojan War spurred interest across generations due to some interesting characters in the story which survived in many classic Greek dramas down the centuries.

As we all know and read in the book, the war ignited when Helen, Queen of Sparta, began a passionate love affair with Paris, Prince of Troy, her abduction by Paris infuriated her husband, King Melenaus of Sparta. The latter sought the help of other Kings, including his tyrant brother, Agamemnon and started the siege of Troy which did not close until ten years later. The Trojan War myth provided literature with an immortal line "The face that could launch a thousand ships".

In this movie version, some distortions of the Greek Tragedy of Homer were seen. In Homer's poem, King Melenaus was not killed but in the movie he was killed by Hector the older brother of Paris and the noblest son of King Priam. In the poem, Paris will be killed but in the movie he managed to escape. But anyway, movies are always made different from the book and other sources.  

Yeah!It's a bit exciting, historical genre is so engrossing and of course quite long, but I love it. The story of Alexander the Great is another interesting one but I disliked the way it was made (the version I watched) so I made a lot of "forwarding" while watching hehehe!

I also watched "This Means War" as a good break from historical and serious films. The film stars Resse Witherspoon, it was very hilarious, I kept on laughing until the movie ended. It was a feel-good movie and I love the characters of Tuck and FDR!




Sunday, November 11, 2012

Olay Age Protect Cream

Got some bug of listening to celeb testimonies lately about the goodness of Olay creams, though I know product endorsement is some sort of a rubbish as celebs only did it for money, but a little try won't do harm anyway so I give it a go.

I've been using Beauche for several years now but it did not do some tricks to my fine lines around my eyes and the horrifying "crows feet" started to show up!

I wanted to try a retinol-based cream but I could not find a perfect variant, so I settled for Olay Age Protect.

It says on its label that this is an anti-ageing cream that lightens dark spots, visibly reduce wrinkles and improve skin tone, well the same promises that several facial creams had made down the ages.

Anyway, let me see if it holds to its promises. I will wait for five weeks to see the results. So far, I did not experience stingy feelings or irritation or itchiness. The texture of the cream is very smooth with a slight scent and after application I felt the tightening of my skin.


Thanking God

So many reasons to thank God today...

My fever and flu had finally subsided, I'd submitted my final requirements in the graduate school for last semester and had taken all the academic subjects for my masteral course. I've no large debt.

So I won't start regretting the day why something did not come out so well with my other plans and longings or why God (still) did not grant my long-standing prayer. I'm tired asking myself why "that" thing could not be realized. It is simply exhausting mentally. I would not entertain self-defeating thoughts because it attracts bad energy. 

I want to be grateful with life. I want to thank God for allowing me to wake up peacefully every morning to experience another day of excitement and wonders and see the beautiful sunshine and feel its warmth, I want to continue hoping that someday I can find what I am looking for.

Life is a mixture of sadness and happiness that is a fact, a mystery and an opportunity, if there's no sadness then it's impossible to appreciate happiness. I want to work on things that can make me happy. I want to focus on things that highlight my potentials and value. I don't want to be treated like a doormat anymore. I don't want to be used and exploited.

I'm longing to spend some quiet time in a beautiful garden to take a deep breath, to smell the soothing scents of blooms, to rest for a while, to think that life is always generous in so many ways and that I have no reason to fret every minute of the day.

There are plenty of beautiful things on the other side of the road, all I have to do is move with that direction and uncover the magic of life that God created.

I don't know but maybe, well, sometimes we need enough space to think clearly and recognize the fact that not everything we want in life can be granted because it will never bring good to us, that's why maybe God sometimes refused to grant that request because it was not what He wanted for us, it was not the kind of life that He has planned for us. But God is good, He always prepares something better, something fulfilling, better than what we always hoped for.