So It’s You (the non-food version of TributeThursdayPilipinas)

No food post today, but a quick note on a movie opening next month in the Philippines, not even a terribly awesome or groundbreaking movie, or any of that love team genre, because I think few can top that Sarah-John Lloyd one where he’s her boss or the Regine-Robin Padilla one that’s a ripoff from Notting Hill. I mean, this movie is obviously about friend-zoned rebound guy, and it’s not like friend-zoned rebound guy is such a new thing. I mean, hello Hua Ze Lei. But So It’s You caught my eye because Tom Rodriguez is a really good actor. Really. No, I’m not saying that because he looks like that, but watch this trailer and try not to offer him your bosom of comfort

(yes, bosom of comfort talaga, right)

I mean, I saw all one episode of My Husband’s Lover and I have to admit, I believed he was gay. I believed he was hopelessly in love with Dennis Trillo and could be so in real life too. I believed that he was in real life a suave, well dressed, metrosexual, splendid gay man and I wanted to be his friend. Even when people said, “No, he’s not really gay,” I was like, sure sure. I was convinced. And now, I’ve seen this trailer and I’m like, you guys were right. So, yeah, really good actor. Yes. Bigyan ng jacket. Yung suot ko.

Who wore it better? Tom Rodriguez and RJ Torres-lookalike Dennis Trillo

Who wore it better? Tom Rodriguez and RJ Torres-lookalike Dennis Trillo

I don’t know about you guys but I want a Tom Rodriguez please. Now.

In my defense, I would like to say that crushes are healthy when you live in a country far from the love of your life and you only see said crush on YouTube. Yes, we must think about our health after we hit a certain age.

Okay, to assure you that I was paying attention to the story of the film and not just Tom Rodriguez’s pretty eyes, of course Carla Abellana’s character wants her old boyfriend back, because she almost married him, for crying out loud. But dear friends, a guy leaving you at the altar is not worth winning back. If you do take him back because he’s all sad puppy eyes declaring, “I made a mistake!” remember this: he’s going to make lots of mistakes in the future and he’ll always believe you’ll forgive him because you forgave him for leaving you on your (first) wedding day.

But no, go make up with ex-boyfriend and leave Tom brokenhearted in that lonely, well-lit park. I’ll go cheer him up. It would be my pleasure.

I think I like Tom better with his shirt on...

I think I like Tom better with his shirt on…

I have to watch the first Thor very soon

I didn’t see Thor when it first came out, I think I was too busy. I could’ve tried to watch it after but I wasn’t very interested in seeing Chris Hemsworth’s naked torso, also I just wasn’t very interested in watching the movie in general. When The Avengers came out, ah, maybe I did need to have seen Thor, but hey, I can put two and two together. I also absolutely loathed Loki. Loathe is the word. Absolutely. Then, Tom Hiddleston is all of a sudden in everyone’s face as himself and I am absolutely smitten. And wouldn’t you know it, even seeing him as Loki has my panties in a bunch. I have to go see the first Thor movie soon, so I can go watch the second one while I can still behold Tom Hiddleston in all his glorious i-maxed purpose.

Francois Arnaud on Interview

Francois Arnaud

Well well well, Monsieur Arnaud…

I haven’t yet caught up with season 3 of The Borgias because it’s showing at 11:30 pm on Saturdays here in the Philippines – and I have to wake up at 6 on Sunday morning because of ballet class – but what the hey, let’s link to this interview with Francois Arnaud in Interview magazine for kicks. My favorite highlights:

On this third season being the last:

I’m kind of happy about how it ended for my character; I feel like Cesare’s journey was complete by that point. It would have been great to play him until his death, but I feel like we got to see his evolution from little boy to… mass murderer. It’s the end of an era and it’s fine, I’m moving on. It’s okay. …

On working with Sean Harris, who plays Micheletto:

He keeps to himself a lot. He’s a very serious actor; he takes his work very seriously. I think we bonded maybe a bit more than he did with other actors because we had such a special, unique relationship on the show. I learned a lot from him about commitment to a role, to a character. I know that sometimes you have to reason with yourself and say, “This is just TV” or “This is just a movie,” but I think also as an actor it’s your job to find it so very important, and Sean taught me that. He doesn’t have to say it; it’s just the way he is and the way he works. It’s important; I feel like we’re doing something important. You keep that with you afterwards.

On speaking English on The Borgias:

No, at first Neil didn’t want English accents on The Borgias for many reasons: maybe because he’s Irish and fundamentally hates all English people and also because inThe Borgias, English is a code. [laughs] I think that’s why he started casting a lot of foreigners in Season Three. We had a lot of Swedish and Norwegian actors who tried to speak a neutral English. He didn’t want it to sound like The Tudors—like it took place in England. It had to have this Italian feel to it. For my character it was a bit different because the rest of the family were English actors. Jeremy, Joanne [Whalley], Holly, David Oakes, who played Juan. I just tried to get it as  close to them as possible while still feeling comfortable. I think my accent got better by Season Three.

At the end of the interview, they discuss how he feels like a different person when he speaks English and another when he speaks French, and the interviewer asks him in what language is it easier to say I love you. He laughs and replies it’s definitely easier in English. Hee hee, I love you too.

Read the full interview here.




Once upon a time, I fell in love with a beautiful man, who played the cello, sent me e.e. cummings poetry handwritten on sheets of paper, gave me rides to the bus stop, and shared his dreams with me. We became friends because he was heartbroken over this girl he used to take for granted; you know the story, he was ignoring her and she was in love with him, and he only realized he loved her when she fell in love with somebody else. Instead of comforting him, I laughed at him and told him it served him right. I called him “Panget,” because he was full of himself. He called me “Mas Panget,” just to get back at me.

It was like one of those Anne Hathaway-Jim Sturgess movies where the protagonists were best friends but you wanted them to end up with each other (incidentally, I had just seen the one Anne Hathaway-Jim Sturgess movie and I died waiting for them to finally admit to being in love, it took so fricking long). I was definitely in love with him, and I think it was obvious to everyone who knew us. But I was wise to him; he was sleeping with random girls and I didn’t want to be another drop in the bucket. Also, he didn’t believe in marriage or bringing children into this depressing world, he said. It is so ironic how he ended up married and doting on his talented son, and I’m, well, still not.

But he was definitely my best friend. He watched all my shows, I watched his, and we planned to do a performance of Bach’s Cello Suite #1, with us both onstage. We sat together in class and in other people’s recitals. We would have lunch together in the old Music canteen and when he got water from the cooler, he’d also get a glass for me. We talked about our respective art forms and why it was art for us, our respective bids for world domination, our plans for the future.

He told me his secrets and fears and the last conversation we had before we lost touch was he got this girl pregnant and he didn’t know what to do. With my heart breaking, I think I told him some crap like, You have to do what’s right. Or something. Later, I heard he got married and trained under this awesome cello prodigy and vastly improved his intonation, and therefore his cello playing. I was bummed that I didn’t personally see the blossoming into greatness and when I watched his graduation recital, I was so proud of how much he achieved, but all we talked about after was, this is my wife and son and how I was so happy for him.

Fast forward maybe 10 years. He finds me on Facebook and chats me up, how it looks like I’m doing really well (his exact words). I was ashamed to talk to him about my life, because he did what he said he was going to do – basically make a music profession in a foreign country – and I wasn’t a ballerina, and not really pursuing my own dreams. But he was like, editor in chief sounds just like my thing and he was sure I was pretty good at it. He said more things that only he can say, reminding me how and why I fell in love with him several years ago, and he sent me a video of his son playing Saint Saens’ The Swan.

Half a year later, I find out that he died. From a heart attack. I was devastated. I remember suddenly bursting into tears for several days. I mean, who dies of a heart attack a few weeks shy of your 40th birthday?

It made me face my own mortality, and how I cannot keep putting off my dreams for whatever reason. I then had the most fulfilling 2012, in terms of dancing, creating dance, nurturing dance and writing about dance. I could have done it without him, but he did give me that kick in the butt that I needed these past few years.

Today is his birthday. A long time ago, I wrote him a birthday poem, teasing him how when his hair’s all gray, his wife would be the age he was now. He chided me how that’s not going to happen. How I wish he wasn’t right about that.

(Yes, I’m aware what happens in the Anne Hathaway-Jim Sturgess movie.)

A long time ago, I was sad that he didn’t love me back, or rather that he didn’t love me back the way I wanted him to. Today, I am grateful for how he loved me – it was just the right amount of love that I needed. And it helped me recognize true love when I see it, which I’m also grateful to have seen twice in my lifetime.

Thank you, Miguel. Happy birthday.

My Weekly Kilig is on vacation

Francois Arnaud as Cardinal Cesare Borgia in bed with a married woman in The Borgias

For the past few weeks, I’ve had my weekly kilig every Saturday night via The Borgias on BeTV. I’ve actually discovered The Borgias a while back, but via YouTube, happy to discover that season one was airing on cable, yay. Besides the fact that I’m a big history nerd, take a look at my latest crush, Cesare Borgia, played by Francois Arnaud, who’s only 26 years old, oh dear.

If you’re not familiar with the Borgias, Rodrigo Borgia was also Pope Alexander VI, and had a papal bull declaring the legitimacy of his children Giovanni (Juan in the series, who’s the eldest in real life, but creator Neil Jordan switched it around to heighten the sibling rivalry), Cesare, Lucrezia and Gioffre. The ill-repute of the Borgias is more well known (Machiavelli’s The Prince is Cesare Borgia), with Cesare killing people or having them killed left and right, and Lucrezia using her feminine wiles to manipulate men of power, etc. Then there’s also rumors that Cesare and Lucrezia had an incestuous relationship and they attended orgies with their father, even while he was pope. Interestingly (to me, at least), Neil Jordan reveals a different side of the Borgias that actually makes them sympathetic characters – why Pope Alexander VI did what he did, that the other cardinals were not saintlier than he was, that Cesare and Lucrezia were not actually doing it, but had a strong sibling bond that was misconstrued. Critics were disappointed that the series wasn’t as evil as they thought it would be, but then it was because Neil Jordan was all caught up in making his main characters likable.

Okay, enough of that, back to Cesare. I swear, the first few weeks I was watching the show, I couldn’t look at his face without giggling like an adolescent. If you’ve known me for a while, you’ll get why I dig this guy so much, and it’s not just his beautiful cheekbones. Or how he wore his leather pants well. Or how mean he looks while he’s digging his sword into some guy. Okay, maybe it is.

He also has these killer lines that would sound cheesy if said by a lesser man. Like when his married baroness asks him why he asked her to meet him at his house alone, he says, “Because we must stop pretending.” That got me already, though her ladyship had to force the issue before she would sleep with him, asking him if he could love her or was it just desires of the flesh, and he had to say that it was both, otherwise he wouldn’t have asked her to take this risk. Smooth no? Later, after he kills her husband and her guilt makes her decide to join the nunnery, he calls after her, “You will never be free of me.” They don’t make men this sure of themselves anymore, do they?

What Francois Arnaud really looks like.

The guy who plays Cesare is French Canadian actor Francois Arnaud, who made a few other movies before this, most notably Les Grandes Chaleurs. He does not look like Cesare Borgia – apparently he was wearing a wig for The Borgias, and I read somewhere that they color him up in make up so that he looks “darker, more Spanish.” Since finding out that he was just wearing a wig, it cracks me up that they gave Cesare a perm for the second season. Anyway, I was on the fence whether I crushed on Francois Arnaud as well or not (because he grins like a dork sometimes), until I saw this video of Les Grandes Chaleurs on YouTube. The movie is basically about a 50-something woman who discovers that her recently deceased husband was cheating on her all this time, and is more than tempted to start a relationship with this junkie several years younger than her kids (Arnaud), who is besotted with her (I think) because she had saved his life a few years back – it seems that she works consulting suicidal kids.

I’m not quite 50, but for a 38 year old woman who has been attracted/attractive to 19 year olds, this short video with Francois Arnaud making goo goo eyes at Marie Therese Fortin kind of struck a nerve. I don’t know what happens in the end, but I sorta feel that it’s one of those “take the risk, suck the marrow out life” movies. So, I’m not so queasy about it, and won’t mind if you laugh at how I am relating to this film, and particularly want a Francois Arnaud of my own.

Anyway, this blog entry is brought to you by my realization that last night’s season finale of the Borgias means I may not have my dose of weekly kilig next Saturday. It’s also a quick bookmark to this YouTube video, to tide me over. Haha.