Sunday, July 04, 2004

Happy but very, very exhausted. Me and my brother went out past 10 pm after getting a go signal from Harold. We were to fetch them at the Traders Hotel that time after the FAP Awards ceremony. Harold was happy about the given opportunity to hobnob with the glitterati of local showbiz, but he wasn't beaming since he didn't know who's who among the stars. What he was raving about was the speech given by the old actor given the Lifetime Achievement Award (he didn't catch the name) that rally the directors, producers, actors, and actresses to bring back the old glory of local cinema when we were the ones teaching all of Asia on how to do it. Before proceeding to Eastwood to check out the clubs, we went to Aristrocrat Restaurant in Malate to meet with an old friend of Harold's from Hawaii. She's origin ally from Batangas and she's here on a 7 month respite to visit her mother. From there we went to Eastwood City to check out the famous Manila nightlife. Of course in this perspective, the nightlife visitors to Mahila are expecting are inside the clubs with throbbing music and gyrating bodies. Since I didn't go for that kind of thing (I'm more of the talks-in-quiet-cafés sort of person) suggesting that we go to Eastwood City was a mistake. Clubs in this area are frequented kids whose age ranges from high school seniors to sophomore college students. The rest of the folks frequenting the area were contented to sit inside restos and outdoor cafés bonding among themselves. Now, I'd also like to point out the annoying habit of Filipinos staring long after the object of their stares have stared back. Be as it may that our guests came from a formal ceremony, Harold's girlfriend May was still decked out in a black number and shawl (Harold brought an extra shirt with him so he was able to do a quick change), some of the folks sitting outside the places we passed by stared rudely and longer than normal as if was their first time to see someone wearing a formal dress. I coould excuse them if they stared out of curiosity and continued on with their business but this wasn't the case here. They stared and mockingly smiled even if we stared back at them. I've half the mind to walk over to them and start asking what their problem is but I thought better than to sink down to their level. We brought them home feeling a bit disappointed after going one round the area. On the way home we discussed the possible places we could go to when they come back, like Greenbelt 3 where people our age mostly hang out.

Earlier today, right after the morning service at The Fort, we fetched Harold at Ate Emmie's place to be able to start reshooting Kris' part in the group's AVP. The AVP's actually 92% finished, it just needs a little tweaking here and there. Besides, being a Fil-Am group that hopes to highlight the Filipino's creativity they thought it would be nice to show a familiar Manila landmark as a backdrop in contrast to the others' backdrop showing downtown San Francisco and the SF Bay. We were already set to start filming when two security guards stopped us from doing so and told us taking videos around Luneta Park is illegal and a permit should be secured before doing so. I don't know about taking photos but we're thinking "What the- Is this some kind of parody for the 9/11 thing?" like an Abu Sayaff member would commandeer a Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific plane and crash it on top of the Rizal Monument? We were directed to the office of the head honcho at the other side of the park and what they told us was that they had bad experiences in the past when people would take videos of the Rizal Monument and use it to put down the country or something. Something like Michael Moore taking shots of the White House and using it in Farenheit 9/11 or something. Before we left the place we drove by the monument two times taking guerilla shots of park. I suggested we try the Remedios Circle and the Bay Walk along Roxas Boulevard but there still wasn't enough outstanding features for it to be recognizable as Manila. Harold said that he wants a shot of the cityscape of Manila with its requisite tall buildings. That's when Kris had the brilliant idea to shoot inside Fort Bonifacio where a nice view of the cityscape of Ortigas Center could be seen in the distance. We went there and got to set up the shoot near the Filipino-American World War II Cemetery. The whole thing took many takes because Kris kept fumbling his lines. Then we looked for a Jeepney terminal where we could shoot the whole thing again as an alternative to the cityscape shots. We finished shooting around 3:40 p.m. and we brought Harold to the bus station in Pasay. He was going to join May (who went ahead of him earlier that morning) and her dad in Olongapo and from there they would be catching a flight back to San Francisco tomorrow night at 10:30 p.m. I'm going right to sleep right after this. Never mind dinner.

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