2014 in review

 

2014 was all about losses and wins. A number of things from a dear friend in Christopher Fajardo to a house I lived in for almost half my life, to pets and comedians and brilliant actors and actresses, to my ever failing ability to keep a proper time management to do the things I love.

 

This year was surely a year for valuable relationships. I made sure I had that in tact first.

 

Next year, I do hope to spend much more time at the movies and write about it more.

And yes, I think we do have a winner for the 500 film challenge. And don’t worry, it ain’t me. :)

 

This is me, featuring this year's favorite photo app.
This is me, featuring this year’s favorite photo app.

 

In case you’re interested, here’s the stats of my blog this year. Thank you!

 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,400 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 23 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

A World of Wander

First times will always be the best.

image

I’ve been out of my couch lately and I’ve set aside a couple of films to catch up on other aspects of my life. Though I will forever be indebted to film, and will still find myself wanting for more time, recently I’ve caught up on the latest trends on television and music.

I attended my very first real concert. Finally. And the experience is far more overwhelming. At the cost of 3,099php, I found myself wandering along with fellow wanderers KC, an officemate; Nico, my long lost brother from another mother whom I knew since we were ten; his former officemate Jan who apparently looks ten years younger than her real age (this ain’t a sponsored comment). We all basked in the sunlight, clad in our shortest shorts and the coolest (breathing in and out) outfits along with other diverse fellows who came there to enjoy the hippie soulful spirit.
I never got to see the first three acts but I heard they were good. I may bore you with other feelings and thoughts I had during the festival ’cause I can tell you now that I remember every bit. So, I’ve compiled ten things about this year’s Wanderland Music Festival.

image

10. Tis the spirit of Summer
Shortest of all shorts, see through blouses, flipflops, smoltering heat, and sandos and breathy outfits clad in both women AND men. Booths like Jamba Juice that catered refreshing drinks to complete the essence of summer. The weather was perfect in a way. Many didn’t seem to mind how hot it was (let me remind you that the festivities began at 12 noon). Some who did made every effort to hide from the sun (ahem me and my friend did). But this kind of weather gave everyone the excuse of wearing anything you want but a coat.

image

9. There’s nothing as majestic as clowns and a carousel ride.
You can’t find a music festival that has clowns and a carousel ride and booths around the corner like what was offered in Wanderland. And yes, there were clowns in stilts too. Although it was a bit sad when the Ferris wheel we expected downsized to a three feet Ferris wheel stuck on a wall of some booze drinking booth.

8. The water is Golden.
The Filipino expression is “ang tubig nila ay ginto”. Get it? If you still don’t get it, the cost of a bottled water the size of a Coke Sakto [read: the smallest bottle of Coke you can buy at six pesos] is at 50 pesos. Quenched my thirst for only a couple of minutes and although I wanted to get more, I kind of wanted to save it for later when I got even more thirsty. And when I said earlier that the weather was immensely hot, you’d expect a back up of thirst quenching water around. Not a hundred peso fruit shake or ice cream or booze to be worth more drinking. Stock water or “baong tubig” not allowed. It was amazing how some people stayed hydrated. I understand if it was to prevent people throwing bottles at bands they hated (which didn’t seem to exist) or so they can help out their sponsors (the bottle company was never heard of), but it definitely wasn’t green. There were loads of empty bottled water scattered everywhere. What a waste of money, right?

7. The Booze
Although I never got to play on the Margarita pong, the fact that there was excited my, ahem, drinking fantasies. I didn’t want to play because it costs a bit and I didn’t want to risk losing. The drinks available for purchase was the regular San Miguel light beer which was like water to me (thus me mentioning “I’ll save my thirst for later”) at 50 pesos which later was at a buy one take one sale. Not bad.

image

6. The Fashion
My friends and I went as simple as we could. She was quipped with the latest hipster vibe with her DMs on and a cool salmon colored blouse that complimented her fair skin while I wore a pink knitted blouse and boots from Forever21. Her friend wore the shortest of shorts and a sando with a tank top underneath.
The usual hippie setting trend of this year was still yesteryear’s (literally) hippest trend: the flower band. Also, men in Sandos, men in curly wigs, models and actors and music enthusiasts were in their best garb. Even the musicians! I love the violinist from Woody Pitney’s band who wore a simple white with rose prints tube dress and boots. Very country! Plus there were garbs from Timex and River Island available for purchase.

5. The booths!!!
You have McDonald’s on one side, a beer and water station, Jamba Juice for healthy refreshments, some other fancy booths like River Island whose booth was probably the most photographed. And since they sponsored the event, tickets were given away for a 500peso discount on a single purchase at any River Island branch. Oh and by the way, they’ve got their own stocks ready for view and purchase at the festival. There was also the Timex booth, Globe (whose walking charging stations served great purpose for my phone), among others.

image

image

4. Art Candies and the Crowd
Several displays that were all over the center isle were made of Candy. You read it damn right. And no I didn’t grab a piece.
Come afternoon some guest artists began painting walls and walls or art which was free for everyone to ponder upon and take pictures upon. Cool.

image

image

image

3. The weather was perfect
It was soo hot that most of us had a feeling that the Water Cycle would begin to take effect. But alas, the weather played along just right! Although yes many would complain about Manila weather as just scorching enough to make everyone who went go tan, we were advised enough to bring our own mats to sit upon the grass (I brought my blankie, which fit six people and is three times bigger than me) and bring sunscreen and an umbrella to avoid the sun’s harmful rays. It drizzled a bit when Londoner Lucy Rose sang but everyone just went along her gray and pink colored songs and even loved her more when she asked “is it raining? I’m used to the rain. I’m from London. You guys are great.”

2. F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

image

image

image

image

image

I’m sorry Queen if I let you go to The Killers concert alone. This was fun especially with the company of friends you can sing along the songs with, drink beer with, who’ll save you a spot to sit on, and who’ll actually take a video of you dancing to Architecture in Helsinki’s Escapee.

I also stumbled upon Queen’s officemates Lalai and Jen. This event is the ONLY time I will be using a mono pod. It was fun though, especially when I set it on a ten-second timer (because I was afraid two seconds was too fast) and we all panicked this way.

image

I also met up with my co- Shoutboxers, a group of people devoted to this local radio station called Jam 88.3. The Philippines’ finest alternative rock radio station.
They were just chillin when I came up to them.

image

And lastly, the real reason I came for and was willing to spend three thousand bucks for.

1. The Bands
Chocolate Grass, Brisom and Techy Romantics and The Ransom Collective are just a few of many uprising indie artists striving to make a name for themselves in the local music industry although they’ve already got a number of fans here. I got to watch The Ransom Collective and I loved that they mixed folk and pop and excellent lyrical compositions.

Woody Pitney’s country inspired songs jived with the afternoon weather. And yes, Woody Pitney is hot.

image

Franco’s rasta sound will always, always remind me of trips to Baler. Okay, that means a trip to the beach to surf and smoke man. Since it was prohibited to smoke in the crowd (although I got to snuck for one by the side of the restroom), he just had to say “parang ang sarap mag smoke no?”

image

And then came Lucy Rose.
‘Shiver’ would have to be the most LSSd song from her line-up that stuck me the most. Lines like “Now I shiver like I used to/ And I’m leaving just for you/ And I shiver like I used to, just for you..” Her cold, smooth voice mixed with a gifted knack at playing the guitar and piano, no wonder the crowd has been excited to see her play. Plus, she gives Taylor Swift a run for her money just by coping Lucy’s look which by the way was ethereal but very simple.

(More to come about other bands and the continuation of this article. Good night for now)

image

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,500 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 42 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

 

Dear Underthefiretree visitors,

When I started this blog, everyone was looking forward to posting about their day, about their crushes, and about food, wine, music, and films. I tried posting about those topics, except for my day which would never be accurate whenever I try to post something here. I think I posted something about an intoxicating event so the wine thing’s been covered. I’ve posted something about a lost love, for my mother and for that person I thought would be — something (which thankfully didn’t so I’m really thankful for that. Otherwise I wouldn’t be so happy right now). I’ve also posted something about food, I think, and of course my love for films.

2013 was a quite a year to look forward to as we’ve had several contenders for the annual 500 Film Challenge. From Targod to TheQueen, we even had an offer to raise the stakes by letting the winning contender bag a price for this year. So far the offer was to let the winner win a bridge camera. Another says a free movie poster from a film director. What do you think?

We’re still gonna push through for this year’s challenge. I’ll be posting soon for updates on our Year 2 challengers.

I’d like to thank you, fellow blogger and reader from another country (or from within) for visiting this site. I hope to share more stories about film, myself, my cat and dogs, people in restaurants, and anything under the fire tree.

I’d like to apologize for not being able to post more here. If you’re eager enough to know how many posts I’ve made in 2013 and the year before, you may click on the link above. I think I’ve managed to post the same amount of posts for 2012 and 2013. It’s purely a coincidence and I find it a bit amazing too. But I will try my bestest to keep up with my posts. I’ve been given a tip to use IMDb as well to post my everyday viewings in there. Since I keep loosing my sources for my 500 list (my phone, my journal, my laptop crashing..). But thank you for reading. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I think I’ve said a lot. I’ll go back to eating chicken for lunch. Happy new year folks, and a pleasant day to you. :)

As I Stand Here

One of the things I like to do on weekends is to take photographs of strangers. And photographs of things in general. I like to jog on weekends too so I take photographs of co-joggers and myself in sweat.

A photograph of myself in sweat is not something I’d like to share to you in particular. It’s not as interesting as the next photographs you would see in this post.

Just like Zooey Deschanel’s character in Yes Man, I too love to take photographs during my jogging trips. While I was warming up, I took a snap shot of this place in Quezon City that I haven’t been able to dwell into. I’ve been here so many times that I haven’t been able to notice this. Like most of us, I guess I’ve been too busy to take in what we see, even in just a little few seconds. And so, I took in a little less than five seconds. A lone tree that was perhaps pushed by the change of weather yet it chose not to die —- instead, it chose to grow it’s leaves even more and adapted to the change of times.

How many of you out there (yes you, whoever you are reading) who’s gotten this dream of dying? Well perhaps a ratio of about 7 out of 10 have dreamed of finding themselves dying (in whatever instance or situation that occurs into) or perhaps 7 out of 10 have NOT dreamed of finding themselves dying (sorry, my bad of insinuating this thought..). Well, I’ve found myself dying in a number of dreams, but the most similar thought is finding myself floating into some realm of surrealism. Much like floating into a painting that looks real (much like the first photograph). A painting that contains several mountains and a few splashing rivers of several different colors. After that dream, I always find myself wondering if that might be true. Yes. After waking up to that dream I always find myself wondering before praying or even while brushing (or not brushing??) my teeth just to start the day. What if that’s how the after life looks like? What if we wake up to a little bright light and find ourselves momentarily drifting off, off to see the ones we love and hate getting stuck on earth, not even caring to wave us off goodbye or laughing at us for just drifting off to some estrange world? And after seeing all this beauty of the earth, we’re drifted off into a world filled with anger and hate, rage and fear, of loathing and jealousy? Fire into fire into fire?

Well I guess you’d either laugh at me now or say ‘whoa’?! I know, it’s too hard to digest. But that’s how I feel whenever I’m looking at something this beautiful. I stand there and wonder how we never get to just stand there and look. And listen to the birds chirping. And feel the dampness of the sunny wind whirling all over us. I guess I just got too busy.

We’ve all gotten too busy.

So the question is, have we really been to busy to even care? Have we been too old enough to tell ourselves that we know the answers to everything.. or have we just been old enough to tell ourselves that we don’t know and that we don’t care? Oh come on, that’s not how we’ve been taught in school, right? Haven’t we all been taught to keep asking?