There’s a reason why it’s called “a loss”


Last night, I saw a collection of 4 plays at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac) entitled Sisa Sisa (Jack doesn’t know what it means, I will ask another Malaysian friend soon). I loved ALL 4 plays, and marvelled at the brilliance of everyone in the cast. Three Doors (about a new widow sharing the loss of her three sons and facing a life alone; a monologue by Faridah Merican interrupted by almost genius commentary and prompts from Douglas Wong as dead husband and all 3 missing sons, and Ho Lee Ching as imaginary daughter-in-law wannabe, nursing home attendant, and dreadlocked homeless man) was just perfect, the rapport between the three actors was so spot on, and I felt this blow to the heart when Faridah as Mama said her last line, “I will be alone, and I will do just fine.” Another blow when Hanif from Blind Spot shared the moment he realised he had to sacrifice being with his son so that he won’t turn into the thing he feared the most about himself (and another blow while he demanded from Daniel why the latter knew there was such a blind spot in the KLCC parking lots). Not a blow this time, but a chuckle when I realised who the two actors were portraying in The Joy of Solitude (didn’t read the synopsis before coming in is why).

And then there’s Reservations, about a couple dealing with Alzheimer’s. I wouldn’t say it was the best one (I think Three Doors‘ material was much wittier and better realised), but it was the one that touched me the most. I guess because my grandmother died last year, and I’m still making sense of my grandfather’s grief, but also because I was thinking how I jumped over that hurdle of dealing with old age and all its deteriorations and went straight to loss. I loved how May (the wife, played by Amelia Tan) was so patient with her husband Edgar (played by Joe Hasham). I forgot that they were actors and believed that this is their everyday: breakfast of eggs, bacon and toast cooked in a suspicious pan, egg sandwich lor for lunch, and a choice of chicken, lamb or pork for dinner. Patience is not my strong point, but I believe in the power of love, and could see that when she took Edgar’s jacket from him to put away in the next room, although tinged with a hint of despair, you knew that she would go back to the kitchen and patiently defrost the chicken for him.

And it’s not as if she’s just submitting to this life without complaint; her real anxieties are revealed when she calls up the Malacca Grill to make dinner reservations and bewails that it’s been “closed for 20 years oredi.” But she sees how affected he is, remembers the man he used to be, and because she is still the woman who fell in love with that man and because she does still remember all that he has probably forgotten, she stays.

And that’s why it’s called a loss. It meant something to you. Edgar was weeping at the end of the play because he knows that whatever it is he can’t remember was valuable to him. Mama lost her husband but is grieving more over the loss of her sons and her own sense of self. Hanif sacrificed true love and his true self to save face for his conservative family, and then sacrificed his family to save them from himself, because having rejected his true self, it is only the possible monstrous version of it that he sees. If you don’t really care about something when you lose it, it’s not a loss. It is not grieved over, it is quickly replaced by other more important, more profoundly moving people, experiences.

As someone who has experienced such a loss, Sisa Sisa is gold. But I want another play to help me not be so afraid of losing again, and not be so afraid of caring so much about something I could lose. Maybe I should just be more patient.

One Day More

So my first three days in Malaysia were spent in a hotel, and tomorrow I move to a transitory house, where I’ll stay while I find my own place to live. When I stay at a hotel, I’m usually preparing to speak at a conference, or my hosts have a jam-packed itinerary for me, or my family and I are giddily making dinner plans. Since I’ve finished reporting for duty yesterday, and I’m basically on my own, and I’m still too lazy to pick up any work that I left when I left Manila, I’ve been watching movies on TV. People who follow me on Twitter probably noticed this. I definitely noticed this. It was so bad, I forced myself to swim for an hour today.

(Using a hotel swimming pool on your own is not really very much fun, either, by the way.)

So anyway, while repacking my luggage, Les Miserables was on. I never went to see Les Miserables when it came out because I can’t stand to watch movies where everyone was so miserable. I had to write a book review in high school and I was like, “Why the hell am I reading this?” Halfway through Les Miz the movie, I was like, “Why the hell am I watching this?” Or rather, why the hell did I leave the TV on this channel while I’m repacking my luggage?

I was also laughing every time Russel Crowe came out to sing. Why does he sound like somebody’s gripping his balls so tightly?

Anyway, I finally got to “One Day More,” and was suddenly so glad that I didn’t change the channel. It’s always so grand and majestic and my favourite song of all the songs from Les Miz that became popular. When it was over I immediately wanted a rewind. Here is the version that I first saw, the version that will always be in my heart, and though I never wanted to admit it before (because I’m so anti-trend and during that time -and for all time- it was trendy to have Filipino pride), good job, Lea Salonga:

The version that the movie cast sang at the Oscars super pales in comparison, but I’m posting it here anyway, because helloooo Aaron Tveit as Enjolras. Hee hee.

Okay, will sleep now. Oh, wait, Don’t Mess with the Zohan is on…


So that’s why Legolas hates dwarves

He's quite tall for a dwarf.

He’s quite tall for a dwarf.

Dear Peter Jackson,

Just because pogi si Kili doesn’t mean you can change a classic story to give him a love scene. Though kinilig naman ako sa sabi ni Aidan Turner ng “She is far away from me, walking in starlight…” Ah basta. Though, heck, would you have given him more screen time without this little crush on Tauriel? I did love the parts where he bravely tries to open the Elfen gate and battles the orcs in the process, and any shot of Aidan Turner making moony eyes is just a joy to behold. Ah basta, basta.

(I just had this thought: did Kili get a love interest because Being Human ended, which I attribute largely to the sacrifice of Mitchell – which happened only because Aidan Turner was cast in the Hobbit? Yes, I’m over thinking this, haha.)

Also, all that makeup (and CG?) and Legolas still looks older than he did in LOTR. Or does he have that Benjamin Button disease? Maybe Tolkien should have put that in The Hobbit, had he actually put Legolas in The Hobbit. So funny that.

I haven’t finished reading The Hobbit yet, so I’m glad you didn’t spoil the book for me by putting in scenes that aren’t there to begin with. Good job!

I have to say, though, I did enjoy this movie. That entire scene with Bilbo and Smaug is as priceless as the room it was set in. And, unlike your first Tolkien series, I’m quite sure I’ll enjoy watching this series over and over again. So, really, good job! Now, stop being a dork and make the third one perfect.



How deep?

Olivia: Why did you sleep with me?

Jake: Because you’re amazing. Because I watch you day in and day out, and you never cease to amaze… Because I didn’t know you were the president’s girl. I didn’t know how deep you were in with the president, I didn’t know how deep you are… How deep are you, Olivia?

Olivia: I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Being kilig about this scene makes me feel guilty, as if _I_ had cheated on Fitz. What the hell, Shonda. *slow clap*

But dear Star World, why are you replaying last week’s episode? Gah.

Still freaks me out


This is how I watch The Walking Dead: I hold the remote the entire time, while I have a throw pillow in my lap. When a zombie suddenly makes an appearance or somebody gets bitten or even when somebody is walking by himself in the woods or in the dark, I hide behind the throw pillow and change the channel. Usually, when a zombie appears, I jump and change the channel. Then change it back and miss whatever scary thing I didn’t want to see. A stressful hour of my life every week, at least for the first couple of seasons.

The third season wasn’t so scary because they were dealing with human drama now, the tension with the governor, etc etc. There weren’t that many zombies comparably speaking. Also, since there was just a marathon of it the last few days, I wasn’t scared at all. Since I knew what was going to happen most of the time, I didn’t change the channel anymore, and even got to actually “see” parts I missed before.

Watching the premiere of Season 4, I was quite proud of myself because, hey, I’m really not scared anymore. It’s mostly them getting used to a new life, raising horses and pigs, Michonne going on comics runs for Carl, everyone trying to build a new life for themselves. Then, I realized I had the throw pillow covering my face again, and was gripping the remote, and oh my lord, who the heck was that scary lady talking to? Holy crap, zombies falling through the roof! Yikes, that pig is going to reanimate!!!

Not scared anymore, my ass.