Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Updates About Pera-perahang Lata

For all those involved in the production of Pera-perahang Lata, please accept my apologies for the delay of the premiere of the film. The major problem encountered was with the sound and music production. Most of you know how things happened and I am hopeful of your understanding. So far, the music is almost done and approvals and correspondences would be done online (transferring low res versions) as I am currently in Seoul Korea for the Asian Film Professionals Training Program. I am staying here until Dec. 23, 2008. Once I get back, I shall move on to the online editing (primarily the conforming of the offline edit and laying in the mixed track of the sound and the colorgrading). After which, the master copies shall be finally released through Optima.

I will be submitting the mini DV (offline version) to the NCCA in a month or two from now. To follow, I will also submit an online copy next year once it is available. If I were in the Philippines, the premiere would be within the said time frame as well. However, given how things have gone, we are now looking forward for a premiere on January 2009. Yes, I know it is such a long wait for a 29-minute short film (inclusive of credits). However, even though I would want to try having a premiere within the actual Christmas season (considering the film being about the Filipino Christmas season), I don't think it's possible as that means keeping up with the surely tight schedule of Optima by December - considering the many projects that may be coming in by that time especially with the Metro Manila Film Festival entries post-production. Moreover, the earliest I will be able to get back to Manila is Christmas Eve already. And most will be on vacation within the Christmas season. So I don't think it would be wise to still hope for a Christmas premiere, thus it will be a post-Christmas premiere. :)

I am uploading the new trailer of the film soon. It's already done. I just have to find time to upload it from my external hard drive. I'll try to upload new photos during the post-production as well once I get some free time. The "Kaibigan" music video and the BTS will also be available in around 2 months. I am working on them already, slowly but surely... whenever I have free time here in Korea. So far, it's been such a busy stay. But just like how the Pinoys say it "Kung gusto may paraan..." =p

Let's look forward to a great premiere ahead!!!

And oh, our lead actor Von Arroyo is once again part of the Pinoy Dream Academy of ABS-CBN. You can also check him out there. He's a very different person there compared to Pera-perahan's Nilo. :D Check out Arnold's new films too with Adolf Alix (also starring Ms. Anita Linda) and another one... hmmhhh... Arnold, update me about more details... I forgot the title... :s And to our other actors/actresses, hope you can update me about things too! Would love to hear from you :D 

Monday, July 28, 2008

Pera-perahang Lata Trailer 2.mp4

Latest trailer of Pera-perahang Lata (Penny from the Tin Can)
a film grant from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts
HD, 29 mins.

Friday, July 18, 2008

If I weren't a filmmaker, I would do good as a detective or an akyat bahay member

This is just a fun day. We had a serious meeting which finished late at KOFIC, then we went home and missed dinner. So we had to eat out and each of us had to give 10000 won which is equivalent to around 10 USD since we had a dinner that's worth 30000 won. We had a great time - me, parul of india and ha of vietnam. we were like in beer even without its actual presence... as we enjoyed the night. then we started hanging out at the family mart almost fronting the foot of the mountain where are house is around 5 mins. walk, or i should say, trek from there. I also had a fun time with my SLR and i've been shooting photos in various places.

While climbing our way home, I and Parul started singing jack and jill and we were doin some crazy stuff, then i had a sight of the moon, oh yes, no wonder, it's a full moon, we're kinda lunatic... wehehe!


At home, I had to upload the photos. I should transfer them from iPhoto and my laptop's HD to my external HD. Thing is, since Parul just came in last Friday, she wasn't able to find the adapter for her laptop for Korean outlets. So I lent her one of my 2 adapters. But I need both now since I'm charging both my laptop and I needed my external HD's separate power. So I knocked on her room...

No one's answering and I can't be too noisy because our landlady is quite tight on that especially if it's around midnight already. We always needed to minimize noise, yeah yeah, so "college-y..." Apparently, Parul was at the restroom then. Now the big problem came. She never thought she kept her room locked from inside and she left her keys inside the room. And we don't want to wake up the prying landlady who's really so tight and quite annoying at times. It actually happened to me before that I got my room locked and my key was inside the room. That was a mid morning. So the landlady opened it for me and I knew where she places the spare keys. So I got them (so quietly as i could). Imagine it was placed around 3 steps away from the opened (yes opened) door of the sleeping landlady from inside her room. Good thing we got the keys without waking her up. Now it's time to go to my room to figure out which key is Parul's. We opted to stay at my room just to make sure the noise won't wake her up (she wakes up with even the minimal noises!!

The next problem: There were like around 50-80 keys together... Now I should figure out which one is ours. So I thought the keys were arranged in some way since the landlady should be able to manage them well. I thought it could be arranged according to the floors. There were a number of names but some were not updated and they were all in Korean letters. I can read them but I can't find my name or Parul's. So by process of elimination, I took my keys and visually checked which one matches mine. After around 5 minutes, I had a good guess. And since only I and Parul are the boarders at the 3rd floor and there were two keys (one looks like mine, the other one could be hers. So I tested it to my door. Darn it worked!!! It was my spare key. Now we're guessing the other one could be Parul's spare key. We walked our way like the typical sneaking kiddos or teenagers from movies, tiptoeing and all that and with my shawl wrapped around the keys to minimize the sound (Parul's door is right next to the landlady and the landlady's door was completely opened and she easily gets disturbed),. Then I tested it, after a careful try, well, guess what, I found the right key. The door opened! Yes, it was a success from around 50-80 keys and without waking up ajuma (that's how we call the landlady here) and I was called a genius wehehe! That was less than 10 mins.!!!Woohoo!!! So I got some chocolates as a prize. It's like a detective game and I felt really great. Awesome!!! :D

The excitement.

But wait, it's not the very end yet... Coz ajuma couldn't know that I did that for the specific reason that I could possibly be blamed for any future missing whatever for the fact that I know where the spare keys are... And another tough part would be returning the key... Whew! Thank goodness it was another success!!!

I think I could play the likes of Amazing Race well, and even be a good detective or an opener of locked doors then! Not just with the choosing of the right key but also playing safe on things like maximizing the shawl to minimize the sound and other stuff concerning the unlocking of the door... Wehehe!!! Perhaps, I should also thank the full moon for it... for the guts, the energy, the lunacy, and the trippy mood, hahaha!

Monday, July 14, 2008

How Koreans Treat Tourists (basing it from my experience)

Basing it from my experience, Koreans treat tourists/foreigners well. I experienced asking people around for assistance whether on directions or other things and they seem very hospitable . When I go to shops, it's quite fun because they seem to provide much hospitality, and well, if I may call it special privilege to people like me. You can really feel that they do extra effort to provide you with what you need whether or not they understand english. Oh, I noticed most people here still don't know how to speak english. Most who know are the younger ones and they are not that fluent still. i also experienced getting compliments almost every time. They easily appreciate many things. And like here in the Philippines, people at the restaurants and stores always greet the customers warmly with a good day (in Korean).

I went to the mall last weekend on my own and since the subways here are quite confusing for first-timers (coz I needed to ride the train and transfer to another lane number and there are like around 6 transfer trains I think), a Korean woman offered to help me since she was going to the same area as me. I was going to Dongdaemun Stadium, a former place for the World Cup and it's a very famous area for shopping. Imagine she really exerted much effort in finding the cinema amidst the many stores and she accompanied me until the elevator while she has a meeting some hundred meters away I think. That's very nice of her really. Dongdaemun is such a shopping zone: like one whole Megamall for shopping clothes, another one whole Megamall for shopping shoes, a department store and shopping center (Cerestar and Freya) that's more than 10-storey high, a 24-hour cinema (Freya theaters) with 10 available theaters catering to Korean, sometimes Japanese, and Hollywood films. Aside from those, there are countless vendors along the sidewalks (think Quiapo but cleaner). And it doesn't really go chaotic and traffic due to them so if ever BF would be here, I think he wouldn't really have to remove the vendors then.

It's fun here you can also bargain even at the department store. And at most times, there are freebies when you buy things. Well well well, Pinoys love freebies! I received freebies like socks, vitamins, samplers of beauty products, small swarovsky stuff, among others.

It was so fun that I went to a store reminiscent of tiangge inside malls (the series of small stores - think greenhills) and I saw these wonderful accessories that I had my eyes bigger than usual and my mouth as round as my eyes in awe... I had around 20k won then and I knew that I just had to choose one among them which I could afford. So as usual I started choosing through the process of elimination. I also asked if I could use card to buy, but unfortunately (though most stores around already accept cards), they only accept cash. And actually, it became a blessing in disguise!! I told them I only have 20k won which I showed to the lady vendor. I had 3 handmade peruvian necklaces on my hand and I plan to choose one among them as they were priced: 8k, 15k, and 15k. Then the lady got my 20k and the 3 necklaces and placed them in a plastic. Then, she gave them to me... OMG!!! I saved 18k won!!! What a real winner... weeeeee!!! Ang saya!!! I'm so grateful to them!

My Ha-sook and Other Korean Stuff

Ha-sook is a Korean-style guest house. I'm staying in a ha-sook that's 1 room for 1 person. It's kinda high tech here. Though I have a key to open the door of my room (which I still prefer more for reasons I dunno - OMG am I getting old that I'm not in favor of its new technology??!), I open the gate of the ha-sook by pressing something... it's hard to describe but I think there's something about some magnetic stuff that makes it work. Then, the major door after the gate has no keys. You need to know the code and do some pulling and pressing to open the glass door. I prefer this coz at least I don't have to bring too much keys then, it's very accessible. Perhaps, I'm just getting paranoid that if my room has the same kind of lock, some people may figure out the code and barge into my room then. hmmhhh...

The lights here are kinda high tech too. Along the stairs, the lights open through the sensors. So if something starts moving or passing by, the light goes on. I think it's programmed to be lit for a certain number of seconds. And if nothing moves anymore, it closes automatically. Overall, it's a good technology as it saves power efficiently. The only disadvantage is, if you stay put and you don't move within the stairs (say, you're talking to somebody or your getting hot water from the dispenser which is also outside near the stairs), the lights automatically closes. And you need to go near the sensor and move your hands perhaps just to get in lit again. Now that's not so nice... hehe!

I live at the 3rd floor. There's another door at the 3rd floor entrance. You use a key with it. After which, that's the time I get to my very door... I have a bed, dresser, TV, clock cabinet, desk, hat and coat hanger (I'm not sure how it's called), and extra sheets. I have a nice view from my window.

Korean don't have their shoes/sandals/slippers within the house. So I don't wear anything for my feet. Sometimes I wear socks inside. There's an available plastic slippers at the bathroom - which is shared by each tenants within the same floor. I share the bathroom with the landlady and her family. Until here, I think I'm still followed by my slight attacks of favorable antisocial/isolation modes as the rest of the boarders areon the other floors other than me. I'm considerably isolated from the rest then... sheeesssh!!! And since we have free breakfast and dinner, the dining area is within my floor, actually, when I open my door, it's already the dining area. The bathroom is on my left. So most things are quite accessible. I don't need to go up and down like the others. Wehehe!

From my room, I have a nice view of the mountain and the cityscape. I'm like at the middle of a mountain... Yes, I climb/trek everyday going home. I'm losing weight because of it. But I'm not complaining coz I'm eating so much chocolates now without any guilt and I love it... :D

It's either raining or it's very sunny here in Seoul right now. It's so much like the Philippines except the humidity here is lower. And I haven't experienced any typhoon here yet. The heaviest rain would just be like a serious drizzle in the Philippines.

Most of the structures here like the ha-sooks and apartments look the same. They seem to use the same kind of red bricks.

I think, like the Japanese, Koreans show their being nationalistic through their products. I have never seen a Sony Ericsson here. I've never seen a Toyota, a Ford, a Panasonic, and other foreign brands. Most electronics would be LG or Samsung. Cars are either Hyundai or Kia. Wow... they really patronize their own...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Korean Film Council: 1st 2 Weeks

As a part of the Asian Filmmakers Training Program of the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), I can really say that the  Korean film industry is definitely thriving. Why? Because to begin with, their government loves their film industry. They support their industry so much as if it's an integral part of Korean lives. They have much budget for films They have the right government and non-government arms working together. They provide valuable projects to filmmakers. They also target the global market. In fact, they're even spending money for the three of us, Parul of India, Ha of Vietnam, and me just for cultural exchange, learning Korean cinema and how it works, and providing a film training for us. I wonder when will come the time that the Philippine government will start supporting arts the same way... Hay... Imagine they provided us roundtrip airfare inclusive of the travel taxes, accommodation (one room per person), free internet, provision for mobile phone, breakfast and dinner everyday, monthly allowance, medical insurance, alien registration stuff, tuition fee of almost 4 million won which is around 4,000 USD, among others. So lahat yun times 3 coz we're 3 here. And we're also attending PIFAN and PIFF at Pusan this year courtesy of them. I've always been wanting to attend those two festivals, now it's finally becoming a reality. Thanks to this program.

I have a couple of books, readings, magazines, and some Cannes stuff with me, I've been reading them everytime I'm free. Nakakainspire magbasa, and yet nakakafrustrate din kasi sa Pinas  salat talaga sa ganito.

Halos araw-araw may libreng snacks sa afternoon, sometimes ice cream, fruits, breads, etc. for the people at the office. Marami ring stocks ng coffee and other drinks and snacks na you can use anytime. Marami ring freebies na kung anu-ano galing sa sponsors and other sources.

Nakakatuwa na nakakalungkot. Nakakatuwa coz it's a privilege to be here and experience all these at nakakalungkot coz sa Pilipinas, highly unlikely na mangyari ito unless a big change happens by any twist of fate.

I really don't believe that the Philippines is a poor country. I have met lots of people from the government who knows the nooks and cranny of politics and government. Some project managers, some office workers doing clerical works, and some are cabinet members. They say the same thing... we are NOT poor. We just don't get to feel what are supposed to be for us because of graft and corruption. And our government just puts in budget to military. The rest are given remnants of what's left with the budget (mainly shared by the military and the bank accounts of corrupt officials. Tsk tsk tsk.

If only the government learns to value education and the arts the way it values the military, and take care of the Filipinos in many aspects, we can provide a long-term change for the better. We hone the sciences, maths, and technology, but we should also hone the arts, culture, sociology, humanities, and the like. There should be balance. We shouldn't become robots nor we shouldn't become merely artsy fartsy. If only the government keeps the balance, slowly but surely, the Filipino values and priorities will soon make the Pinas a better place.

If only the producers would unite and everyone makes quality films, just like if you are offered all healthy food and you have no choice for your usual high-cholesterol diet, then Filipinos will start to watch and appreciate quality films - just like eating the healthy food instead of hte bad diet. It takes a big wave to impact a pretty good change. By that time, the masses would start loving even art films, and the level of art appreciation can affect the lives of the people and make living in the country much better in terms of values and cultural development.

Yeah. Too dramatic. Nuff said.

My classmates at Korea University

I'm yet to upload the photos from my cell and my SLR. Mean time, im typing this blog entry.

My classmates are: Japanese, American, Belgian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Mongolian, and another European guy but he transferred to the afternoon class coz he wants the same sked as his Korean girlfriend.

So far, we're enjoying the company. Most are always bringing in gadgets inside the class. Talk about technology. And most of them have electronic dictionaries already. Hmmhhh... Mukhang di na yata uso ang book type of dictionary. Talagang dependent na talaga tayo sa mga electronics and more convenient and faster ways to get what we need...

Learning Han-geul

Han-geul is better known to us as the Korean language. It's funny I'm like kindergarten - i read so slow!!! I find it harder than learning French way back in college. Somehow I have thought: Am I learning slower this time due to like aging or it's just that hard?? I learned French quite easily. But this time, it takes much effort and time for me to get the hang of Korean. Perhaps it's because the alphabet is different. The manner of writing is different. So I'm better with understanding and speaking "barok-style" than getting the correct spelling when I write.

Most of my classmates are Japanese, around half of the class... Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Japan is near Korea. There's so much pressure coz these Japanese are really good at Korean already. How come they're in level 1? At one point I felt I was really dumb that I get things so slow when they happen to learn so darn fast. Apparently, some of them actually took initial classes already. But again, why are they enrolled on the same level as me who couldn't even write my name in Korean during the placement test? Well, anyway, there's an advantage to it then. They help me cope up coz they're already into it. Hehe!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

I lost 2 kilos in 5 days!

Okay, i have been here in Seoul for almost a week and from my original 45 kilos (I usually play around 43.5 to 45 kilos in the Philippines), now I'm 43 kilos! I eat mostly vegetables here and I trek everyday coz my house is like 5 minutes going uphill, while within the school and the city I walk like around 1 hour at least everyday (from house to various places to going home).

I don't feel weak though, but I think this is the fastest weight loss I ever had... shux, I look fine still, but I just hope this is not bad for my health.

My colleague Ha from Vietnam also lost around 5 lbs. already. She has been for almost 2 weeks as she got here ahead of me. I wonder how Parul from India would do once she gets here on July 12.

Anyway, for those who wanna lose weight, I guess vegetables and brisk walking would be ideal. Well to be specific, eating Korean food and either doing treadmill for some kilometers or just walk and walk and walk for at least an hour everyday (whether you go strolling at the mall or pass by the streets)... Imagine losing 2 kilos in a week!!! shux... I need to take my vitamins!!!

7-4-08 Tourists' Area at Downtown Seoul

We passed by this tourists' area while walking our way to the Immigration for my Alien Registration Card... Everything is expensive, so the most I can do was take photos from my cell... huhuhu! I bought nothing here... I hope I can buy the swords and other weapons before I leave... I need money!!!

Buying my Korean Mobile at SK Telecom

Long lines... parang sa Pilipinas pag nakapila sa Smart... so I took some shots...

Pero maraming CSRs so medyo mabilis compared dito... hmmhhh...

Korean Bus Moments

Korea University

Korea University, the most expensive school in Korea... wow! Ang saya! At ang ganda!!!

These are the initial photos from my cell. I'll upload new photos here every now and then :)

Korean Trip: NAIA to Incheon to Seoul

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Manila to Incheon to Seoul

My twin Mon (not really by blood but by circumstances...) and me at the lobby of NAIA. Yes, again... this time we had the same flight schedule, though he went to Gate 7 (Cathay Pacific going to New York), I'm at Gate 6 (going to Seoul). The NAIA people thought we were going together in the same flight but got surprised when we showed our boarding passes... nyehehe! Anyway, kitakits next year Mon!!! Galingan mo rin! Hehe!

After the NAIA:

I wasn't able to shoot anything at Incheon International Airport because I have tons of things being carried... Man, I was carrying almost 30 lbs. of hand carry when I weigh 95 lbs. how was that... hmmmhhh...

I have some video shots and photos from my digital SLR at the airplane, none at the airport though arrgh!!!

After the Korean Film Council pips picked me up at the airport, I was able to use my cellphone to shoot some Korean highways... from Incheon to Seoul -- it's one hour away...

Going out of the Incheon parking (my SLR was left at the back of the car, so the available camera is only my mobile...)

Korean roads...
They have really wide highways!!! there may be many vehicles, but the highways are directly proportional to them... so the traffic is very much bearable... actually, they just stop for a couple of seconds or a minute or so for the pedestrians to cross within the areas with traffic lights. And the best part of it all, the city is not polluted!
It's summer slash rainy season here. And even at 10pm, it's like 6pm in the Philippines, the sun can still be seen hehehe! this pic was shot at past 7. pardon the overexposure, my cellphone was acting up.

My first meal in Korea:

Before finally seeing my ha-sook (my place of stay), we ate in a restaurant near my school which is also kinda near my ha-sook... they serve a lot of food... since i already had the famous bibimbap of Korean Air at the plane, we had the bulgogi this time... and lots of other food. actually even at our house, so many food are always laid on the table. most of them are vegies so no problem with me then ;-) i just notice that with the kind of food i eat i(even though i eat a lot - getting many people surprised why i eat a lot when im so skinny - even in Manila... Oh yes i look so PG haha!), and I walk like at least 1 hour everyday with some trekking moments since I live at the foot of the mountain - actually a little up at the foot of the mountain which is around half a kilometer away from a highway in Seoul, I think I will get back to the Philippines much skinnier, yikes...

Using the net at the Korean Film Council. I wish we have something like what the KOFIC has here... they love their film industry... especially their government... and so goes with the rest of them... hay...

I'll save the more serious words to my Yehey articles and my film blog.

O di ba, I'm wearing my Philippine clothes, it's almost the same temperature in the Philippines and in Korea now. But let me wait until November... Snow! Ski!!! Weeeee!!!

Next time I'll post some pix of Korea University and other places.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

My Trip to Seoul

Finally!!! I found the adapter I need to get my gadgets functioning!!! Now I'm using my laptop here in my room for the first time. It's been such a busy week since my first step at Incheon and now at Seoul. I was 1 day absent to my class coz they started June 30 and I arrived June 30 6pm. Wehehe! I wish I can upload some pix here so my family and friends can check out what's happening to me here. Well, obviously, Im not fond of blogging about my personal life... but looks like i have to open a lil bit just this time to keep people updated. I'll see once I get enough time then. I'm still finishing 2 productions from the Philippines while I'm here in Korea for the Asian Filmmakers Training Program.

6 mos. of Seoul wouldn't be bad I guess.. but of course I miss the Pinas and all my loved ones and friends there. even the food and the work.

i'll be using this multiply blog and my film blog for my korean experiences.

incheon international airport is like an hour away from seoul. it's actually a good idea to have the airport far from residencial and commercial areas. and oh, the view from the airplane while landing is so much beautiful... seeing all those small islands and seeing incheon...

after many issues with my Smart phone as they were saying I have to rent a phone in Korea because GSM is not compatible, well thank goodness for Sony Ericsson P1i, my roaming is alive and kicking! and i got a free korean mobile phone too, so i have two phones here, sosyal! in the philippines im better off having just one, hehehe!

Seoul is quite similar to Pinas, it's like our Makati, there are so many vehicles in the streets, a little traffic, but bearable, coz the traffic is mainly caused by the traffic lights only. the highways are really wide, at least 4 lanes per direction. and above all, what i love best is that no matter how many vehicles there are in the streets, the city is not polluted. i havent had the experience of having to walk and cover my nose due to pollution - which i always do when im in Manila.

It's summer here. i wear my clothes like i wear them in Manila. It's almost the same temperature that i really didnt have to adjust... well not yet... come winter on december, im sure it would be freezing cold, i wish i could learn how to ski by then. hehehe!

i live at the foot of the mountain, i climb a bit like trekking for a few minutes just to get to my house. it's cool, i have free breakfast and dinner, i have free internet... and i have my own room weeee!!!

i have a class at korea university, it's soooooo beautiful... i wish UP can become like it in terms of facilities. it's so high tech, it looks so good and the architectural design of this school is so amazing, and it's such a big campus! and they have more than one campus within seoul.

good thing i have free food and accommodation. and i have some allowance... because cost of living here is quite high. imagine my books cost me almost 50,000 won. a typical lunch would cost me at least 2,000 won inside school and 4,500 won outside. and i think 1 dollar equals around 1,200 won... sheeeeshhh!!!

for the korean language program, there are many japanese in my class. they're good with the language already, im so kindergarten compared to them. well, i always get the compliment that i speak english the best though hehe! so far, i have a belgian seatmate named hanna and a japanese who talks in filipino so damn well i thought she was filipina, but she's actually japanese. her name is yumi. she said she has lots of filipina friends in japan. and really, she's so damn good in speaking filipino. im so impressed hehe! hopefully once im all settled here i can post some pix :D

Till next time when I have time... hopefully i can upload ssome pix then... anyone who has an idea on a software to be used to easily convert hi res photos to low res that is functioning when using a mac?? it's hard converting a hi res photo to low res for internet purposes. i want my other portfolio pix kept at low res when i have it up in the net :) hope i get some help... thanks!