Finished Reading: Janus Silang Books 1 and 2

ReadinginBetween_ Janus Silang Books 1 and 2

This is going to be a first for me: I’m reviewing TAGALOG work.

I typically don’t do that because, despite being a Filipino living in the Philippines, I’m not all that fluent in Tagalog (or any of the many dialects of our country). I have trouble immersing myself in non-English work, and am always afraid that I won’t do the review justice.

But then I read Janus Silang Books 1 and 2. And while I can’t really say I’ll be able to offer comprehensive review of this local YA series, I can make up for it in fangirling. Because holy crap, these books are amazing AND THE SERIES ISN’T DONE YET. I’m also looking forward to some proper English translations for the benefit of my non-Filipino friends.

ReadinginBetween_ Janus Silang Books 1 and 2

PS: In light of this deviation from my usual readings, I won’t be following my usual review format and will instead go a little more freestyle than usual.

But there might still be spoilers, so if you’re still interested – I’ll see you after the jump 😀

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Just Finished: “Savor” by Kate Evangelista

ReadinginBetween_Savor

*gasp* Are you seeing this right? Am I actually writing a book review? After all this time?

Well yes. Because I’m crazy nuts about this book. But first, a bit of background:

Ever since I joined #StrangeLit I felt like I had to read more Filipino genre writers (outside of the Komikon stuff—I’ll get into that some other time, after I get through what passes for my Komikon haul). It’s not very hard for me to find Pinoy authors now, by the way; the very act of joining the workshop introduced me to a bunch of great writers.

One such great writer is #StrangeLit mentor Kate Evangelista. We were required to read one of her works prior to the class, and I became an instant fan.

Which is why I bought a copy of her book “Savor” as soon as I saw it in National bookstore. Took a while to get to it thanks to my mountain of books backlog; but when I finally read it…let’s just say I lack sleep and am now WAY behind on my writing revisions.

ReadinginBetween_Savor

Totally worth it, though. Read on to my review!

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Just Watched: Avengers – Age of Ultron

I interrupt my regular poetic programming to squee over the latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It may include logic flow issues, typos, and swearing in a positive light. Reader discretion is advised.

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” came out in the Philippines last week, and it was a thing of freaking beauty.

ReadinginBetween_AgeofUltron
Photo from HDWallpapers.In

Sure, reactions were somewhat mixed—in my (thankfully spoiler-free) Facebook timeline, I saw people thanking Joss Whedon for the movie while others noted that the film would have been much better if a good 90 minutes had been removed from it. You guys know who you are. Before I got to watch it with the significant other that Saturday, this worried me.

Of course, it didn’t worry me enough to NOT want to see it on IMAX.

Because come on, people; it’s THE AVENGERS. We’ve been seeing them for more than half a decade, and they’re almost like family to us by now.

And I have to say: I’m happy to report that it was NOT as disappointing as I thought it would be, given the initial apparently underwhelming response. In fact, I’ll be counting myself among the folks who thank Whedon for this. It was beautiful. It was glorious. It made me happy to be alive and totally capable of dropping about 400 Pinoy bucks to watch a movie focused on a semi-ragtag team of superhumans (plus one regular-ish human) fighting a self-aware robot.

Maybe it’s because I’m not a hardcore Marvel comics fan. Maybe it’s because I regard the MCU as an entity of its own. Maybe it’s because I’m just a big fan of solid storycraft.

Or maybe it’s because I feel like this movie is about legacies, and I totally dig that.

Spoilers ahead!

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Recently Watched: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Musical (Tour Edition)

This was supposed to have been the “project” that I finished last week, except life happened (which led me to drink considerable amounts of alcohol every day after my shift at work – but we can talk about my descent into stress-triggered alcoholism some other time – and caused my immune system to crash). Yes, I’m making excuses for my bad creative/blogging habits. I’m trying not to feel too guilty about it, otherwise I might abandon this blog completely. But this is here now, and I’m planning to post another project by the end of the week. Probably not a writing thing, though.

I basically shat bricks when I found out that a touring production of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” was coming to the Philippines, because this is my favorite animated fairy tale EVER. Why wouldn’t it be? Belle is basically my avatar.

Immense love for books? CHECK.

Kooky, near-genius father? CHECK.

Mild discomfort over being generally considered attractive but weird at the same time? YOU BETCHA.

I will read out excerpts from this book I'm reading. Whether you want to hear it or not.
I will read out excerpts from this book I’m reading.
Whether you want to hear it or not.

Having wanted to see the stage version since I was a child, and having missed the local production back in 2005, I was determined to see this musical. So I snagged tickets for TWO different showings: one near the beginning of its run, and one midway through it.

This review is focused on the first time I saw it, on what seems to be their very first matinee performance.

The TL;DR version is this: Parts of it felt disjointed (probably because it’s different from the original production – you can check out excerpts on YouTube – and the cast was still trying to get its bearings), but it was still tons of fun.

Want more of the specifics? See them after the jump.

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Just Watched: Rurouni Kenshin – Kyoto Inferno

This is going to be one of my shorter reviews, mainly because it will be limited to what did and did not work for me – I will not be comparing this film to the anime/manga I knew and loved on account of not having watched/read the “original” sources in years. Why bother comparing it to something that I can’t properly compare it to?

If you want to see a comparison between Kenshin then and now, though, you can check out this article co-written by Ronin Bautista and Mikael Angelo Francisco. WARNING: It’s spoilery!

(Image taken from lintas.me)

If you’re okay with me doing a review of the film itself, then YAY THANK YOU! Just click the number “2” at the bottom of this page.