Movie throwback [3rd of 3 Series]: Before Midnight

before midnightThe first movie, Before Sunrise, was filmed and released in 1995 with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy still in their mid-20s. Before Sunrise ended without closure – we couldn’t tell if they would see each other again after one spontaneous, romantic evening together. The audience had to wait 9 years to see what happened after, and 9 years into the story they finally meet again. And once more, Before Sunset (2004) ends without closure, but we do have a hint on what may have happened after. Another 9 years after, we find out what have happened to them. Before Midnight, released in 2013, shows us the continuation of the love story between Jesse and Celine.

Perhaps this is a compelling story about what happens ‘after’ the happily ever after. After meeting again in Before Sunset, Jesse and Celine stayed together, have beautiful twin daughters, and lived in Paris. Jesse continued writing his “fictional” novels, while Celine continued with her development work. This movie is set in yet another country. While the first and second were in Vienna, Austria and Paris, France, this third one was set in Greece, while they were on summer vacation on the invite of another acclaimed writer, Patrick.

The movie stayed on realism, quite opposite to the first movie. Jesse and Celine have been together nine years and have been dealing with the day to day life. Jesse has concerns about his son who had to stay with the mother back in the U.S. Celine is considering a big career move, and can’t seem to get the support she needs from Jesse. Things are no longer rooted in the fantasy and romanticism of their initial encounter. They have to deal with what was right in front of them.

Like the two movies before, this movie used conversation as its main form of showing the story unfold. This time, there were new characters that participated in the conversation with interesting insights, at least for a part of the movie. The second half returned the focus to just Jesse and Celine, sometimes teasing, bantering, but eventually all their issues surface and tensions broke loose. When Celine walked out wanting to end the conversation, we fear the ending of their relationship as well. Jesse comes after her eventually, decided that he wanted to keep the conversation and the relationship going. We could never tell from the ending of the movie if everything did calm down, if they were able to recover. I couldn’t say with certainty if they stayed together or decided to separate after the ending of the movie. Once again, the movie ends without closure. I wonder if it will take another 9 years to see what happens to them afterwards.

Friday Madness – The Jump

Each moment we take a risk, we jump into the abyss. It’s like bungy jumping everytime, especially with risks that deal with the heart. I think that’s what they call “falling in love”, the opening of one’s self to that possibility.

Actually, the bungy jump is so much safer. There is always the bungy cord to keep you from falling to your death, and the biggest risk is if it snaps. It’s scarier when you take a risk with love. There is a much bigger chance that something will fail, that it would extremely hurt, or much worse, that it will finally be the death of what’s remaining of your hopes and dreams. There are no bungy cords or safety nets. You jump just hoping that someone will catch you at the bottom. But oftentimes, no one will.

It’s not bitterness nor skepticism. It’s just a simple acknowledgment of a truth, and the truth is, we can never be sure. Love is always a gamble, and the stakes are much too high. You bet your heart and soul, and after that you will never ever be the same again. “Love may consign you to the highest of the heavens or the depths of of hell, but it will definitely take you somewhere…”

Why do we invest (emotionally)?

This is an exact repost from an old blog, originally posted in May 10, 2008. Today’s #ThrowbackThursday . Enjoy reading.


Invest (v)
– To spend or devote for future advantage or benefit
– To devote morally or psychologically, as to a purpose; commit
– To endow with authority or power.
– To endow with an enveloping or pervasive quality


As with financial investments, there is always a risk to spending or putting something of value into anything. We typically invest in something, decide to devote time and energy on something hoping that it would turn out good and productive in the end.

Why then do we choose to invest emotionally? Perhaps it’s like other types of investments. When we see the possibility of something good coming out of something, we choose to take the gamble and put a little of our self into it. We put a stake on something when we start to build an affinity to it.

Why do we invest in romantic relationships? We enter romantic relationships to find out the possibility of being together until the far future. You don’t go into it expecting it to fail or end, although we should admit that it is still always a possibility.

So, the investment is a little of ourselves, our emotions, and our commitment. The payback we are wishing for is a wonderful future. But let’s admit it, we don’t always get what we are wishing for. More than anything else, emotional investments are most uncertain.

The real question is, why do we even attempt to invest emotionally, even on things that has relatively no future? Why do we keep on loving people and hoping that these people who would perhaps not disappoint? Why do we give someone else that power over our happiness?

In the end, life turns out to be one big gamble, especially on the matter of love and romantic relationships. You will never have the chance to win unless you bet on something. Oftentimes you don’t win, cause it’s a million-to-one chance. But if you do win, it would really change your life. It’s just up to you, are you brave enough to bet with your heart?

Friday Madness – A letter to my future husband part-2

Perhaps it’s a good time to post part-2 of my “letter to my future husband” series. This was written way back in December 3, 2011, almost 2 years ago. And Christmas will be coming soon too. Still, I don’t know where he is yet, or where to find him. And yet, I just stay steadfast in hoping that he’s just out there somewhere. I’ll meet him someday soon.


To my future husband,

I’m taking a bus ride home. Yes, I’ve been riding the public transport lately because my car have yet to be fixed, but don’t worry about me, I’m ok taking the bus alone, as long as I take it at a good time.

December has just started. Each day brings us nearer that longed-after day of the year. And yes, save for one Christmas four years ago, all Christmases in my history were happy days. And I can’t help imagine how wonderful to get to that Christmas that will finally bring you to me.

It would be such a wonderful day, that first Christmas that I would be spending with you. I replay it again and again in my head, that Christmas waltz being sung by She and Him. I dance across that small living room with you, my love. Just dancing cheek to cheek with you, my right hand in your warm left hand, and your right hand firm at the base of my spine. You ask me to forgive you for not being a great dancer, and I answer that you’re doing just fine. A smile. A mild laugh. A giggle. I love simple moments like these.

But you won’t be around this Christmas. I do not know who you are yet. You haven’t found me yet. Or have you found me already but not realize it? I would never know. But don’t worry about me, it will still be a happy, merry Christmas. The entire family will be here, and good friends are near. I’ll be able to prepare my favorite Christmas goodies, decorate the house, and wrap the Christmas presents. We’re finishing our museum this December too. So many blessings.

Each Christmas brings both joy and longing as I wait for that someday I’ll be spending Christmas with you. God’s gift, I hope to see you soonest, ok?

A Waterfall of Emotions

It’s been more than 48 hours since I have finished watching it, and yet I’m still so stuck on that un-describable emotion that was the heart of that movie.

The title is “Sana Dati”, one of the many new-generation Filipino films that are bringing back life to the local cinema scene. It’s good to have these movies depart from the traditional commercial forms of movies. It’s great to have found time to watch a movie, and such serendipitous fate to have watched when this particular movie was available.

Sana Dati

To be honest, I’m not a big fan of the lead actors/actress in the movie prior to watching it. Nonetheless, they were well chosen and they did wonderfully, possibly because of the opportunity presented by the movie to them, the chance to act with the deepest emotions, rid of the need to over-act. I was only able to appreciate them fully (Lovi Poe and Paulo Avelino) in this film, and was introduced to the charming Benjamin Alves.

A waterfall of emotions it was, especially for me. I do not intend to do a movie review, but rather expound on the emotions that it has left me with. (Spoiler alert. Proceed with caution.)

The movie is about passionate love and non-love, a wedding, so much memories of the past, and very real life decisions. There is a strange but slightly predictable twist to it, and there is a slow unfolding of the past and all the issues surrounding the main characters. The story revolved mostly around one character, Andrea, who was already preparing on the day of her wedding. The secret “focus” of the movie was actually around a pair of blue flats (but the reason I shall not disclose here; you would have to watch the movie to fully appreciate the placement of that element).

Although I am not in agreement with Andrea’s decisions, I completely feel her and understand her. Maybe some people will not understand how one can fall in love so hard and so quickly, and get extremely heartbroken when that ends. Perhaps some people would not comprehend how one can settle to be with someone they’re not completely in love with, but who loves them enough nonetheless. These elements in the movie happen in real life too, in different forms and situations. And to have an ending with a “conclusion” and yet with so much unpredictability makes it even more real, far from the traditional commercial romantic flicks that always drop a happy ending in.

The movie made me cry. It stirred up emotions that have been dormant for some time, and I’m still reeling in it.

A different kind of throwback thursday – A letter to my future husband

Because the past may be about the future that isn’t in the present yet…


September 7, 2011

Dear love of my life,

I am having breakfast and coffee by my own right now, and I just thought of writing you a letter. How very much I wish you were here with me because I know any morning started with you will just be a wonderful day no matter what. I know you can’t be here now. Not yet.

It would’ve been nice to tell you that I had a nice drive to work today, or maybe even how wonderful the ride was with you driving. I would’ve wanted to tell you about my plans for the day. Imagine all the funny, absurd, geeky, serious, and all other things we could talk about. Imagine how we couldn’t run out of things to talk about. I sweep off all the strawberry syrup and whipped cream I could with my waffle slices, and you don’t mind. We finish our waffles and coffee, and you tell me I could beat Starbucks belgian waffles and coffee anytime. I promise you I’ll cook for you tomorrow, and any other day you would crave for them. We know it’s time to part for the meantime, you walk me to my office and kiss me goodbye. I tell you how much I look forward to see you at the end of the day.

It would’ve been wonderful to spend the morning with you, but I understand why you can’t be here now. You probably are somewhere driving to work alone and just having brewed coffee from the office pantry. You don’t know me yet. You still haven’t found me. I don’t know who you are yet. You could be anywhere.

But don’t mind me yet. I am happily having breakfast by my own at a corner starbucks near the office. Happy, because I know how blessed I already am, even on my own. Happy thinking of a wonderful morning in the future spent with you.

I’m done with my waffles already, but will probably walk back to the office with a half-full cup of latte. I look forward to seeing you when the time comes. 🙂

To my future husband (letter no. 3)

Hi, it’s valentines, and yes, I am thinking of you. I still have the same questions in my head, like, why are you not here yet? Where in the world are you, and how the hell will I find you? How will I know if I’ve already found you? Same questions for the longest time, still unanswered. But I do not grow worrisome about these, and I keep steadfast while I wait. I continue to wait for the right time, the right place, the right person, and the right reasons. Nothing else I can do now, right?

But guess what? I heard our song playing earlier, on my way home. “I just haven’t met you yet”, the one sung by Michael Buble, you know that, right? Maybe you were also listening to it to, somewhere out there in the vast world. Or maybe not. Just the same, I believe the song. And I believe that eventually I’ll find you. I know that each step I take is a step that will bring me a little bit closer to you. I know that you’re trying to find me too, so I hope you don’t get tired of looking for me. I am here. I exist.

Until then, I’ll just keep busy with the things I do, enjoy the things I have, and wishfully wait for you. And maybe write a few more letters to you while I wait.

Sending you my love across time and space.

Tonight’s Dress / Happy 25th / My life, profound

Let me start with an anecdote. There is this story about two dresses…

Dress one, a wonderful floral dress I bought last February. I got it the same time I bought a cocktail dress for my uncle’s wedding. I had no urgent use for it but it was so beautiful and it fit me so well that I just had to buy it. However, there was no other formal event to go to during the first half of 2012, so the dress just waited in the closet for its time.

Dress two was bought in Singapore, during my trip there last March. I wouldn’t let a Singapore trip pass without going to Bugis, and there I was able to buy this simple teal dress, among other clothes. I’ve always wanted to wear the dress, but every time I attempted to, it always seemed too formal for the instance. I even brought it with me to Australia during my trip, hoping that there would be some kind of a dressy affair to go to, but still it never got used. Sensing no urgent need for it, I left it together with a few stuff to save on baggage weight for my flight back. It was sent back via box shipment.

I attended a formal event tonight and I needed a good dress to wear. I was keen on wearing the floral dress. With much excitement  I tried it on a few days ago, but it would not fit! Though I hate to admit it, I gained weight these past few months and couldn’t fit into the dress it anymore. I could just wear my other dresses, although most of them have already been worn to previous events. Then, I remembered the teal dress. I tried looking for it but couldn’t find it anywhere in my closet. I eventually remembered that it was still en route in a box, which we haven’t received yet after more than one and a half months. Oh well, I had to find something else to wear, maybe re-use one of the dresses I’ve worn before.

Wonderful news when the box arrived just yesterday! The dress was there, I tried it on, and it still fit well! Pretty interesting for a dress bought from Singapore to come to Manila, travel all the way to Sydney, and come back to Manila just in time to be worn for the very first time.


The event I attended was the 25th wedding anniversary of my uncle and aunt who lives in Sydney. My uncle is actually my dad’s first cousin, and their entire family was so wonderful and gracious when we visited them in Sydney, how I wish I met them a long time ago! They are also so caring for my brother who was living on his own in Sydney. They welcomed him and treated him like family.

Happy 25th wedding anniversary and re-wedding to Tito Bong and Tita Isa! It’s so beautiful to see a family like yours. Health and happiness to you, and your children Jomar and Steph.


Things are coming together for me in odd ways. The universe works its unexplainable magic. When it wants to give you lessons, it sometimes does in whispers. Sometimes the universe talks to you in Latin, or hieroglyphics. It’s a bit difficult for me to find a way to communicate it properly so that it can be understood. What’s there about this dress, the wedding, and the universe?

I’m guessing that the two dresses are two views of myself. One is a really wonderful view, which does not fit me anymore, and the other, a view that couldn’t find its place before, that it had to travel around first before coming back and finding its right place and time.

Indeed the right place and time. I write in metaphors again, like my post about reflections or my post about train rides. I was somewhere I belonged from 2008 to earlier this year, but I was not meant to simply remain a certain way, or in a certain place, or with the same people. I had almost half a year of trying to find myself, and trying to find where I am meant to be. I am not yet there, but I feel that I’m getting closer and closer. I’ve already realized where I want to be. I’m hoping to soon find who I would want to be with. Everything will fall into place eventually. Now I simply let myself be carried away by the waves of this mighty river that is my life.

I am not quite there yet

Every time I go on Facebook, I find around 50% of my friends’ posts are about their babies/kids and/or husbands/wives, and a lot of these coming from my own generation. I can barely relate to most of this now. I’m not quite there yet. There is no boyfriend or husband-to-be, and no babies-in-the-making for the next few. I am honestly enjoying my awesome single life, and a family life is very far from my mind right now.

Am I out of place? I do hope not. I know of a lot of other friends still in the same stage as I, but possibly we’re just being out-posted by those with lovely babies and hubbies/wives. What interesting things can single, child-less people like me contribute to the social media circle? Perhaps a narrative of travels and adventures, but I don’t think its manageable to do that every day. Maybe I can post about food, movies, books, yoga, an what-nots. But for some reason, I know it will all be trumped by the cuteness of all those babies and sweetness of all those lovely partners.

It’s all good. It’s lovely to see all those, and I’m not complaining. I don’t feel envy, I just feel different. I’m still far from being in a similar situation, and I really don’t know how it feels to be starting one’s own family. I still feel so normal and comfortable with who I am and what I have right now, and yet I seem to be approaching and going after very different things compared to most people from my own generation. I hope I don’t seem weird or immature. But this is my reality, and my reality is different. I’ll live with what I have.

The end to an illusion

It started fifteen years ago. Yes, it’s been going on for more than half of my quarter life. I’ve been living half of my life believing in an illusion.

The story is about a boy. My first love, to be exact. No, he wasn’t my first boyfriend. In fact, he was never my boyfriend. He had always been an almost, but never ever the real thing.

For one and a half decade, I’ve always regarded him with a certain fondness. A simple call or message from him makes my heart skip. His smile melts me. Perhaps I’m not alone, I’m only one of the countless girls enamored by his charms. He can easily woo any girl he desires. It is indeed flattering to be one of his favorites, the one he seems to come back to every now and then for the past 15 years. But somehow, nothing real ever transpired.

It’s always been a wonder to me why we could never be. It is easier to move on from something that happened and ended, than from something that never really happened. Maybe we keep coming back to try to figure out things and try to find answers.

I think I have finally found the answer. It took one last meetup with him to discover the truth that has been evading me for the longest time. It’s clear to me now that he and I will never ever be able to work it out, for reasons I choose not to disclose.

I’ve been living in an illusion for the last 15 years, but at least the illusion is a warm and happy one. I will still want to retain even just the memory of whatever was between him and me. But now I’ve reached a maturity that has already taught me that there is no point in waiting for “us” to happen. It’s a desperate and impossible case.

I’m moving forward with one less gigantic baggage off me. I’ve finally found closure.