Saturday, 24 October 2009

Skittlez Crew - Remix 09

Enjoy. :)

Due to technical rules of 20% of finals score coming from the eliminations round (a very silly way of making a dance competition, in all honesty), Skittlez missed out on the overall top 3 rankings, BUT did place in the top three for the Remix 09 Finals itself.

Moral of the story:
Organizers need to be, um, better organized.
Eliminations, in case they suddenly turn out to be ridiculously important, must be taken very seriously.



Wednesday, 21 October 2009


I was admitted to the hospital last weekend. :(

After spending 3 days and 2 nights (wow, like a hotel stay, really) at the Manila Adventist Hospital (used to be called the Manila Sanitarium, which I prefer) from last Saturday to two days ago (Monday), I've had quite a life-changing experience. Mostly due to the fact that this was my first time to be admitted in a hospital.

Last Wednesday, I experienced some severe pain on the upper-middle area of my abdomen. I dismissed it as a light acid reflux (heartburn), and hoped it would go away. It didn't, and by 1930 hours, I was at the university clinic receiving some Maalox suspension liquid (it's basically liquid magnesium and liquid calcium; tastes horrible) for the pain. Pain went away a little.

Thursday, I was fine.

On Friday, I had severe pain again, and I went to the university clinic to get some treatment. Pain was almost unbearable (9/10 on my pain tolerance scale) and it seemed like every time I would take medication, it would aggravate the pain even more. What helped was a very hot water bottle on my abdomen.

Saturday morning, about 0330 hours, I rushed myself to the Manila Sanitarium. Pain was at 10/10, and I could barely stand straight. I knew something was terribly wrong. I'm not one who would easily succumb to physical pain (university therapists, nurses, and teammates know this) but this time it was really bad. I received a direct-IV injection of Nexium, and was prescribed 40mg Nexium tablets.

Saturday afternoon, about 1630 hours, after taking the Nexium tablet, the pain came back. This time, it felt like I was shot in the abdomen. I was with Skittlez, and thank goodness Jake and Gayle could rush me to the Sanitarium. I was finally admitted.

After a blood test, a urine test, an ultrasound, hooked up to an intravenous line, various poking and probing, I was diagnosed with severe hyperacidity due to stress. Wow. Apparently, I need to chill out more often.

Will post pictures of the hospital stay after I get them.
All fine now. :)


Thursday, 8 October 2009

Citizen Kane

My answers on the first paper on the film Citizen Kane. I also posted this in our USAPOPC Yahoo! Groups website (the top three papers were all posted). :)
A paper on the major subject American Pop Culture and Cinema, with regards to the theme and innovations of the film Citizen Kane, ranked as the "best movie of all time" by the AFI.



Before Citizen Kane, I would have thought that movies such as Casablanca or The Godfather would be #1 on the AFI list of the best movies of all time. However, many innovations in Citizen Kane were considered revolutionary and ground-breaking.
Citizen Kane showed a typical well-meaning citizen "turning evil" in pursuit of power. It showed Charles Foster Kane's story through flashbacks of several people, perhaps indicating that a memory of one man's life must be told from several points of view, to completely (or at least, attempt to) understand why a person would strive to acquire so much more power than he really needs. It is said that 'power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely', and this quote was on my mind throughout the latter part of the movie. No other movie that I have seen captures that saying as well as Citizen Kane, as the movie literally traced back Kane's life from death to childhood to death.
In terms of innovations, I noticed a stark difference between Citizen Kane and all the other classic movies I have seen: Citizen Kane utilized a lot of low and extreme low angles. The viewer is therefore appearing to look 'bottom-up', and the characters look far more imposing. Scenes of 'frame-within-a-frame' are also rampant, especially obvious in scenes such as the adoption, the first interview with Susan Alexander, and in the firing of Jedediah Leland. Artistic shots such as these are fast disappearing in a world filled with computer-generated movies. Also, I noticed that throughout the movie, most objects in any given frame are all in sharp focus; modern movies usually blur objects to highlight in-focus subjects. Citizen Kane relies much in lighting to achieve this instead.
For me, the most telling aspect of Citizen Kane's position as the greatest movie of all time is the symbolism behind the movie's most famous quote ("rosebud"). It was interesting that the movie showed a man who could literally have everything, but instead never forgot his humble beginnings, i.e. childhood ("Rosebud" was Charles Foster Kane's childhood sled, which I was surprised to see he kept!), and yet, unlike movies with 'from rags to riches' theme, Kane did not have a happy ending, losing all - friends, wife, friends, property - to his insatiable megalomania.

© J.Cruz, Bachelor of Arts, International Studies (American)
De La Salle University - Manila


This paper is available to anyone for reference, as long as its primary source (me, this blog, or USAPOPC Y!G) is cited. Say 'no' to plagiarism. :)


Sunday, 4 October 2009

Ondoy - The Morning After

The morning after Typhoon Ondoy stuck my area in San Andres Bukid, Metro Manila.


Super Typhoon Goes North

Title says it all. :D
We're all relieved.

Thanks to for updating the Filipino citizens with satellite maps.


Friday, 2 October 2009

Super Typhoon Is Here

In the words of Philippine officials:
"Say prayers, prepare and brace for the worst."

Peping (international name - Typhoon Parma) is here.


Typhoon Ondoy

For the past five days, my city, Metro Manila, has been undergoing intensive recovery and relief operations. Last Saturday, this capital of the Philippines was struck by a categorically mild Signal #1 typhoon named Ondoy.

Ondoy turned out to be the worst typhoon in over 40 years in this country. Almost 300 are confirmed dead as of today, and thousands are left homeless. Over 2 million people have been severely affected by this typhoon, due mostly to the deep floods that it caused.

Most of the fatalities caused by Ondoy were due to floodwaters. In some 'fortunate' places like my area near Taft Avenue, the waters were only chest-high; in badly-struck areas such as Cainta and Marikina (Google them), the waters reached four, sometimes five meters. Insane, and very sad.

Schools at all levels have been suspended since last Monday, and today, with reports of another typhoon - reportedly a super typhoon of Signal #5 strength - coming in later tonight or tomorrow morning, the Philippines has been hit pretty hard. We can only pray that all these would end soon, and that Typhoon Peping would just veer off and spend itself over open ocean.

Will update whenever I can. Keep praying.