YOLO

April 30, 2017 at 11:58 PM | Posted in Health, Musings | Leave a comment

You only live once. Life is short. Seize the day.

I have heard of these lines many times before but they take on a different meaning for me these days. Just this week, I found out that my uncle has been recently diagnosed with lung cancer. I was completely surprised by this because I never thought it would happen to him even though he’s a heavy smoker. I mean, I’m not really sure how many cigarettes he smokes in a day but I know that he smokes several times a day.

I’m not really close to my uncle given that he went to Bahrain to work when I was just a child. I was already in college when he came back in the country for a short visit. Since then, he’s been coming home every two years. When he’s in the country for a visit, he would often hang around and go out with my male cousin. But since my cousin got married and got busy with his family, I became my uncle’s companion most of the time. He came to visit me when I was in Dubai for a few weeks in 2015. We had fun touring Dubai together. Since that trip, I somehow reconnected with him. He’s unlike my other uncles. He’s open-minded and he can level with anyone he speaks with.

And now that he’s sick, I feel very sad. He was diagnosed about two months ago but no one told me and my sister. My aunt – who first found out – assumed that we knew. I keep in touch with my uncle through email when he’s in Bahrain. I emailed him just last month but I never got a reply. Little did know that he was already sick.

I could just imagine what he must have felt like when he found out about his cancer. My aunts told me that he’s been crying ever since he found out and he’s depressed. He’s scheduled for an operation next week and I don’t know what will happen to him after that. I only know that he’s going to come home for good soon.

This sad news just makes me realize how important one’s health is, and how important it is to live a healthy lifestyle. Thank God I don’t smoke. I never tried smoking in my whole life and I have no plans in doing it. But in the past few months, my health also took a considerable turn. I’m always stressed out and exhausted because of work. I’m sleep-deprived and could not eat properly. My blood pressure is way up most of the time and I’m in and out of the clinic because of it. My uncle’s situation is definitely a wake up call. As the saying goes, “You only live once,” which means I have to take care of myself and start putting myself first above all.

I really hope my uncle will fight it off and get better eventually. He’s still young and I hope he lives longer.

‘Suits’ Season 6.5 Review: Characters in Retro

March 5, 2017 at 12:03 PM | Posted in TV | Leave a comment
Tags:

SPOILER WARNING: This TV review contains major spoilers of the back half of Suits season 6. Read at your own risk!

The back half of Suits season 6 just ended its run last week. Considering that the first 10 episodes of the season was a major disappointment for me (read my previous review here), I wasn’t expecting much from episodes 11 to 16. And true enough, Suits 6.5 was really underwhelming for me.

While episodes 11 and 12 came out strong, the rest of the episodes fell flat. First of all, most of its main characters seemed to have gone back to their old ways. Harvey went back to being the selfish a**hole that he was in season 1. Rachel went back to being Mike’s supportive girlfriend instead of being the promising lawyer that we saw in the “P.S.L.” episode. Mike still felt self-entitled and didn’t seem to learn from his mistakes. And while Donna had her own storyline, she remained as Harvey’s loyal secretary. Louis seemed to be the only one who showed growth in the back half of this season.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

I would have thought Harvey has grown as a character after “The Painting” episode when he dealt with his issues with his mother. I really enjoyed that episode because the viewers got to see more of Harvey’s vulnerable side after what felt like for so long when he had to deal with his panic attacks in season 5. But it seemed like he’s back to being the selfish, arrogant lawyer we saw in season 1 and 2. He still thinks that every problem can be solved by intimidation and blackmail. He thinks that every person has a dirty little secret waiting to be uncovered. He still operates in shady terms – and he has dragged Mike and Rachel into it.

harvey_suits-s6x14

Photo credit: cybervillager.net

The show’s writers seemed to like explaining this away by introducing another shady character who would strong-arm Harvey into making shady deals. I mean, really? We’ve seen this before in previous seasons. It’s getting tiring already. I’m really disappointed with Harvey this season. Watching him stubbornly trying to get Mike into the Bar despite Mike telling him he’s not coming back to the firm was so frustrating. I wanted to scream at him and smack him in the head! At this point, I don’t think he is fit to be the managing partner of the firm.

The Fraud Doth Protest

mike-and-oliver_suits-s6x14

Photo credit: recapguide.com

At the start of season 6.5, I was beginning to like Mike again and started rooting for him when he kept turning down Harvey’s offer to come back to the firm. I actually prefer him to stay working at the legal clinic and be a good mentor for Oliver. They have a good dynamic going on between them. But then, despite his protests and claims that he’s never coming back to the firm, and that he wanted to do good and help people, he eventually partnered with Harvey and lied and deceived people along the way. All because he wanted to be a lawyer again. For me, that just came off as pretentious and selfish. It seems like Harvey is not a good influence for him.

More Than Just Harvey’s Legal Secretary

When I first learned that Donna would be having her own storyline in the back half of season 6, I got excited. I was really looking forward to it. As I mentioned before in my previous posts about Suits, Donna remained as an underdeveloped character. I wanted to know more about her background and see her grow as a character. But the show’s writers unfortunately gave her a ridiculous storyline this season. It was so silly that it’s cringe-worthy.  I could only shake my head in disappointment.

I imagined the writers would at least give her a storyline that’s very close to her interests and passion, or at least something to do with her family. Donna’s passion is obviously in performing arts. She was a promising pianist when she was a teenager and wanted to become a stage actor. The writers could have worked around this story. But what did they do instead? They made her as a digital assistant! They probably thought that it’s cute and funny to have a digital assistant called “The Donna,” but to me, it was just ridiculous! Like I said in my previous Twitter post, Suits and artificial intelligence don’t mix.

donna-and-benjamin_suits-s6x14

Photo credit: recapguide.com

The sad fact of this was that Donna had to share screen time with a minor character – Benjamin, the IT guy. The digital assistant concept wasn’t even hers, it was Benjamin’s. And let’s not ignore the fact that Benjamin recording Donna for two years without her knowledge was an outright violation of privacy. How creepy and stalker-ish was that?!

donna_i-want-something-more_suits-s6x16

Photo credit: twitter.com/Suits_USA

The only good that came out of her storyline was the fact that Donna finally realizes that she could be more than just Harvey’s legal secretary. And I love it that we finally had a glimpse of her vulnerable side as well, although it’s not enough. We mostly see her as the strong, dependable support of the other characters – from Harvey, Rachel, to Louis and Mike. And it’s refreshing to see that she has vulnerabilities as well. To echo what Donna said in the season finale, “I want something more” for her. I want to see her pursue her own dreams away from the firm even if she has to leave Harvey. I think it would be good for her if she leaves him and be successful on her own. And I really hope the writers don’t mess up with her storyline again when season 7 rolls in.

A Disaster Waiting to Happen

I think it’s safe to say that everybody saw it coming that Louis would eventually break up with Tara. Louis and Tara’s love story felt forced right from the start. I didn’t see or feel any chemistry between them. They didn’t even look in love at all. So it’s not surprising that they fought and eventually broke up. To recap, it was Tara’s decision to break up with Louis after a huge fight. Louis got dumped via voicemail, and it’s rather sad to see him get heartbroken again.

louis-and-tara_suits-s6x16

Photo credit: mic.com

I really admired at how Louis has grown in the back half of this season. He managed to control his temper when dealing with Donna’s case. With Rachel and Katrina’s help, he put the firm first instead of his personal life unlike what he did before. I can’t say the same with Harvey who practically abandoned the firm to deal with Mike – again.

In the Shadows

Rachel seemed to have backtracked in the back half of this season. Instead of seeing her more as a promising lawyer, we mostly got to see her playing the part of the supportive girlfriend again. Although in the beginning of season 6.5, we saw her struggle with decision to either stay at the firm or leave and work for her father, her story quickly retreated into the shadows to focus on Mike. When will Rachel ever get her own story as well that doesn’t involve Mike?

rachel-and-gretchen_suits-s6x11

Photo credit: spoilersguide.com

I feel bad for Meghan Markle that she had to work with this limited material given to her. I’m sure she could do more as an actress aside from just acting as Mike’s girlfriend. I’d like to see Rachel kick ass in the court more without Mike. She shines without Mike in the picture.

And on that note, I really hope the Suits spin-off about Jessica Pearson pushes through and would include Rachel and Donna in it. The women of Suits deserve a better storyline.

Side Notes

  • Jessica came back briefly to save the day. The “Character and Fitness” episode was saved from being a total mess when Jessica appeared. I liked her better as the firm’s managing partner.
  • It’s incredulous that Mike will remain working for the legal clinic but will have an office at PSL. That’s a stretch already.
  • Mike and Rachel’s wedding hasn’t happened yet. How long will the writers have to drag this?
  • Harvey’s dream in the “She’s Gone” episode was pretty telling. You don’t dream about kissing and being in bed with your secretary and still consider your relationship platonic. A note to Aaron Korsh: stop dragging Darvey and get them together already!
  • So good to see Katrina Bennett back again.

A World of Pure Imagination

February 20, 2017 at 10:30 AM | Posted in Art, Lifestyle | Leave a comment
Tags:
paintings-from-galerie-stephanie

Paintings from Galerie Stephanie

Art Fair Philippines just ended its annual run this week, and I’m glad that I was able to go this year. I missed the Art Fair last year and it’s a good thing that my friend Jess alerted me of the fair this year or otherwise I would’ve likely missed it again. Jess and I decided to check out the Art Fair this weekend.

weena-art-fair-2017

As expected, there were long lines again at the entrance to the fair. The venue was the same every year; it’s at The Link beside The Landmark mall in Makati. The art galleries were located at three different floors and Jess and I made our way through the enthusiastic crowd.

"The Oneiric Time Piece" by Marc Aran Reyes

“The Oneiric Time Piece” by Marc Aran Reyes

I was a bit annoyed that some of the galleries at the fair were just advertising displays from major sponsors of the event. To me they were like in-your-face ad campaigns and kind of ruined the artsy atmosphere at the fair.

jess-weena-at-art-fair-phils-2017

But compensating for that were a massive set of galleries teeming with works of art from Filipino contemporary artists and a few from foreign artists. There were just so much beauty and creativity at the fair that Jess and I were simply awed by the amazing pieces. From classic canvas paintings, surreal sculptures to pop art and quirky art installations, there was something for every one at the fair.

"Rise to Heaven, Fall the Sky, or Hover in Between" by Geraldine Javier

“Rise to Heaven, Fall the Sky, or Hover in Between” by Geraldine Javier

weena-at-art-fair-phils-2017

As always, I’m attracted to paintings so I lingered on those pieces that I found particularly interesting. I was intent on admiring some of the pieces that there were times that Jess and I would wander apart from each other and we would be lost in the crowd. But we managed to find each other after a while.

"Humani Machina" by Daniel dela Cruz

“Humani Machina” by Daniel dela Cruz

"Blood Angel" by Suzann Victor

“Blood Angel” by Suzann Victor

It’s a great feeling to go to the Art Fair with someone who shares the same enthusiasm in art as I do. It was my second time to the fair but it was Jess’ first and we both enjoyed our time there.

"Balance of Humanity" by Anton del Castillo

“Balance of Humanity” by Anton del Castillo

Zen

January 28, 2017 at 9:26 PM | Posted in Health, Lifestyle, Musings | Leave a comment

In this day and age, people have become accustomed to multitasking. This especially holds true in the corporate world where there is a misconception that it is better to multitask to be more efficient at work. I myself have become a victim of this unhealthy practice. I was a workaholic before and I got used to multitasking because in a fast-paced corporate world, that’s what was expected from everyone.

But over time, I came to experience the side effects of overworking and multitasking. I suffered from creative burnout and my brain wasn’t as sharp anymore as it used to be. My energy levels dropped and I felt mentally exhausted most of the time. I even tried taking vitamins to keep my energy levels up. But it wasn’t as effective as I had hoped.

It’s been years since I had a long relaxing vacation. I’ve been missing out on so many things. And last year, my life was so toxic that I had to cleanse my mind from all the negativity and bad vibes. One day I gave myself a break. I went to the park and allowed myself to relax and enjoy my surroundings. But I know I need more than that.

zen-philosophy-quote

Photo credit: beliefnet.com

Lately, I’m thinking of starting to live a balanced lifestyle. I plan to give more time for myself and enjoy life. I always believe in living in the moment and taking time to appreciate the simple things in life and be one with nature. But certain obligations and limitations prevented me from doing just that.

This year, I am hoping that I will have time for that, and that it will be the start of a long-term balanced lifestyle.

Most Memorable & Surprising TV Moments of 2016

December 30, 2016 at 10:52 AM | Posted in TV | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , ,

It’s that time of the year again when most entertainment news sites round up the best and worst shows on TV this year. As a self-confessed TV addict myself, I watch a lot of shows every year. And while I don’t watch some of the most popular and well-loved shows out there (yes, I have my own unique taste), I have compiled a list of TV series I regularly watch that made an impact on my viewing experience this year. Some made it on the list for the shocking, did-not-see-that-coming twists in the story while a few were notable for their delightful surprise.

Warning: Spoilers ahead. If you haven’t seen the latest episodes of any of these shows and don’t want to be spoiled, I suggest you look away now.

  1. Mr. Robot

While I have read a few fan theories about the second season of Mr. Robot, I was still surprised to find out that Elliot Alderson was in prison all along and not living with his mother. This was the first big reveal in season 2. I always suspected that he was in a mental institution because of his rigid daily routine but surprisingly, that was not the case. After watching the “h4ndshake” episode, it now made a lot of sense.

elliot-in-prison

Photo credit: seriouslyawesome.tv

The second big reveal came at the end of season 2 where viewers found out that Tyrell was alive after all and not a figment of Elliot’s imagination. It was a pretty intense season 2 finale as Elliot came to learn that his alter ego Mr. Robot and Tyrell were in cahoots with the Dark Army and planning something big. I cannot wait for season 3 to find out what happens next.

  1. Penny Dreadful

I have a bone to pick when it comes to Penny Dreadful. For me, this show pulled the most shocking reveal this year. This was one of my favorite shows to date and I had high expectations of its third season. Unfortunately, the show abruptly ended its run when it revealed after the season 3 finale that the show was over – as in, it will never come back for a fourth season. It has been cancelled. My initial reaction to this revelation was utter confusion. Surely, they could not end the show like that. There was no prior announcement of the show’s cancellation. There was no warning at all. The story arc of the third season felt like there was going to be another season. And yet, they pulled the plug. And all because the show creator John Logan wanted it that way.

ethan-and-vanessa_penny-dreadful-s3e9

Photo credit: yahoo.com/tv

There was a lot of backlash after Penny Dreadful got cancelled. Many fans were outraged and felt betrayed as I was. In fact, I wrote an article about the series finale on this site where I expressed my utter disappointment with the show. To this day, I cannot bear to rewatch old episodes of the show because I still could not shake my disbelief of its cancellation. We were blindsided big time.

  1. 12 Monkeys

The second season of 12 Monkeys also pulled some surprising twists. For the most part of season 2, viewers were curious to know the real identity of The Witness. The Witness has always been a mysterious figure that wears a mask and a dark robe. Cole, Cassie and Ramse want to kill him because he, along with the Army of the 12 Monkeys, is hell-bent in destroying time.

In the season 2 finale, it was finally revealed that The Witness was the unborn child of Cole and Cassie. Apparently, he was conceived when Cole and Cassie were stuck in 1959. After this cliffhanger, I’m really curious to see what Cole and Cassie will do about this revelation. Will they attempt to travel back in time again to prevent his conception?

12monkeys_memory-of-tomorrow-ep

Photo credit: syfy.com

I’m also hoping that Madeleine Stowe will return as a guest character for the third season. It’s a delight to see her play another character in the show contrary to the role she played in the original movie. I also wish to see Brad Pitt make an appearance in the show in the future.

  1. Orphan Black

One of the things I liked about season 4 of Orphan Black was the fact that it finally showed the back story of the last days of Beth Childs. It was gut-wrenching to see her struggles with work and her personal life, especially her deteriorating relationship with Paul. But one of the most memorable scenes for me was in “The Scandal of Altruism” episode when Evie Cho told Cosima that Delphine was dead. Tatiana Maslany, who plays the different clones in the show, was so fantastic as Cosima in this scene. You can just see and feel the pain and devastation on her face when she found out about Delphine. She displayed such raw emotions. And I’m just glad that Tatiana finally won an Emmy award this year for her performance in the show.

cosima_orphanblack-s4

Photo credit: themarysue.com

Of course, Tatiana’s performance as Krystal was also one the best this season. Her scenes with Donnie at the fertility clinic and at Sarah and Felix’s hideout in the comic book store were really hilarious. The season had the perfect balance of drama and comedy which not many shows could effectively deliver.

  1. Stranger Things

This was the breakout show of 2016. Stranger Things came out of nowhere and it became so big and popular by word of mouth. It was because of the major buzz it made and through the recommendation of a friend of mine that I decided to check out this show. And it instantly became my favorite.

Photo credit: screencapped.net

Photo credit: screencapped.net

There were so many memorable scenes in season 1. But perhaps one of the many that stood out for me was when Eleven disguised herself in a pink dress and a blond wig and went along with Mike, Dustin and Lucas to their school to help them locate Will. Another memorable moment for me was when Joyce Byers hung that now-famous Christmas lights on the wall of her living room and scrawled it with big letters of the alphabet in an attempt to communicate with her missing son Will. The scene where Nancy and Jonathan set up a trap for the monster was pretty intense, too.

  1. Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

The last four words spoken in the final scene was the most surprising moment in the Gilmore Girls revival. Those words sort of summed up what became of Rory Gilmore’s life after college. Her poor choices when it comes to her relationship with her ex-boyfriend and current boyfriend as well as her career were surprising for me, not to mention disappointing.

Photo credit: fansided.com

Photo credit: fansided.com

But I think most fans including myself were also surprised at how Emily Gilmore turned out in this revival. It was indeed a delightful surprise to see the softer and vulnerable side of Emily. She became more likeable in this revival.

  1. The X-Files

The mytharc episodes in The X-Files revival were a big disappointment for me. It’s a shame really since I’ve always wanted to see the return of Mulder and Scully for a long time and I was expecting so much in the revival. But show creator Chris Carter has lost his spark when it comes to writing gripping mytharc story lines.

For me, the only memorable episode in the revival that I truly loved was “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster,” which was written by Darin Morgan. This was a stand-alone, monster-of-the-week episode that was littered with Easter eggs for the hardcore X-philes. The dialogues were just witty and humorous. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson were great in this episode as well with their usual banter and comedic timing, which was reminiscent of the old funny episodes of the show.

Photo credit: theworkprint.com

Photo credit: theworkprint.com

If ever there would be season 11, I hope the mytharc episodes would improve. It’s also time to introduce new villains in the show. While fans love to hate the Cigarette Smoking Man, I think it’s time for him to be killed off for good.

  1. Suits

Most of season 6 of Suits was forgettable. The show’s writers stretched the prison story arc for too long that I got bored quickly. It was also a waste of time watching guest characters got more screen time instead of the six main characters, especially Donna (read my season 6 review here).

What saved the season for me was the midseason finale where it was more about Jessica and her back story, and of course that Donna and Harvey scene at the end. It was a major surprise to see Jessica leave the firm. But fans of the show came to learn after the midseason finale that Jessica was intentionally written off because Gina Torres who played the character wanted to leave the show. Jessica’s farewell scene was a truly touching moment.

SUITS -- "P.S.L." Episode 610 -- Pictured: (l-r) -- (Photo by: Shane Mahood/USA Network)

SUITS — “P.S.L.” Episode 610 — Pictured: (l-r) — (Photo by: Shane Mahood/USA Network)

The scene at the end between Harvey and Donna was also memorable for me. After seeing Harvey as a tough, uber confident and emotionally unavailable guy in previous seasons, it’s so good to see that he’s finally breaking down his walls. He’s finally willing to be open and show his vulnerability. And he showed that when he told Donna that he doesn’t want to be alone at that time when he realized that Jessica is gone and left the firm in his hands.

When Donna reached for his hand and he held her hand and they stood wordlessly by the window, it was a pivotal moment for Harvey and in their relationship. It’s a sign that their relationship might finally progress towards a romantic one. And it’s about time that they do.

« Previous PageNext Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.