Monthly Archives: February 2013

My Filipino Movie Making Experience – Something I’d Like To Call FUN!

My Filipino Movie Making Experience and The Many Things I Learned From This

As we reach the midway point of this week, it is very satisfying to be finished with all the assessments and only have the Quarterly Tests to worry about. It was especially fulfilling to close the book to two of the more memorable assessments that I had in this year, my English Research Paper and our Filipino Movie.

Although Filipino isn’t considered part of the Big 3 Subjects (English, Math and Science), it has always been one of my favorite subjects and my forte ever since high school started. This year was no different and my Filipino Class experience this year was the most memorable one so far. From the start of the year when we tackled Noli Me Tangere, a must read classical, to the very last assessment, our Filipino Movie.

Poster of our movie, "Anong Gagawin Mo"

Poster of our movie, “Anong Gagawin Mo”

Making this Filipino Movie was such a surreal experience and was truly one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had in Junior Year. In the process of creating this movie, I learned so many different things and at the same time, I also got to know some of my classmates better. I am really thankful that the Filipino Department decided to give this project to us instead of having the mundane and routinely Quarterly Test that happens every year. They probably understood the fact that making a Filipino Movie would teach us so much more and would be a whole different learning experience compared to a test where we sit down for one hour and answer lackluster questions. If we had our Quarterly Tests, we would have probably taken the test then forget about everything we reviewed and what we just took, but with this Filipino Movie, we will most probably forever remember the experience of making this movie and everything we learned from it.

When I first heard about this project of ours from our Filipino Teacher, I was really excited and filled with exuberance especially since just recently I’ve become an avid fan of movies, and at the same time, I’ve always loved projects, especially major projects, where we need to apply several different skills and really put time and effort into it.

In creating a movie, one must first start with the formulation of a story and the writing of the script and sequence treatment. To be honest with you, this seems like an easy task, but it was actually very difficult and challenging to write an original story that would also fit all the guidelines that were given to us for this project. At the start, I really had no idea what my story was going to be, but as I dug deeper and looked around me, I came up with the basis of my story. I chose to base my story on a recent and unconventional experience of my friend.

Once I had the basis of my story, I had to add something that would make the story deeper and even more unique. As the days passed, different twists and ideas quickly came pouring into my head that I was able to put together my story and script. Looking back though, I think that I overdid it and my story turned out to be too complicated for a short film which ended up biting us in the back later on not only in creating the movie but also in the Film Festival, where we weren’t able to achieve our goal of first place, but then again, nobody’s perfect and life is about making mistakes and learning from them

The creation and filming of the movie was a whole different experience, where I was truly able to bond with classmates who I never really talked to throughout the school year. This is what I love about group works, where the you chose your group mates randomly. You’re forced to work with them and most of the time, you end up with at least one group mate who you never really talked to, but since you’re group mates, you are able to get to know each other better.

I’ll be frank with you, filming the movie was no cakewalk. We literally had to pour our blood, sweat, and tears during the four or five days we filmed. We offered two of our saturdays, one of our school holidays and several other breaks and hours in filming and editing this movie and trying to make it the best possible movie not for the grade but for what a Junior Year it has been and how we want to end the year with a bang. Because of this, we were sort of perfectionists and had to re-take different scenes several times, but seeing what we were able to accomplish in such a short period of time was truly awe-inspiring.

The only dismal and melancholic part was that we actually had to cut our film short because it was way above the time limit and our teacher told us that we would be disqualified if we didn’t. This was really painful because of the fact that we really worked hard in filming the parts and I really place a lot of thought in writing the story and making the script. To add insult to injury, during awarding ceremonies we didn’t place in the best movie category probably because the flow of our movie was not so smooth because first of all, we had to shorten it and cut some parts, and second, because of the already rigid time limit, we had no choice but make our ending an open ended one. Nonetheless, I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t matter if the judges didn’t choose our work, because deep down, I honestly know that if we were given a chance to show our full movie, it would have been the best, hands down.

Best Actor Award - I didn't win it, my GROUP did!

Best Actor Award – I didn’t win it, my GROUP did!

As a consolation, I was awarded best actor but it didn’t really feel so fulfilling, I actually felt quite dejected and apathetic especially after I found out our movie didn’t place in the top 3. I would have honestly preferred that our movie placed than me receiving an individual award. Nonetheless, I’m still grateful for this award and I’d really like to offer my award to all my group mates who made this Filipino Project a crazy, fun-filled, surreal and memorable experience like no other.

Group picture during one of many tiring but at the same time fun-filled filming days.

Group picture during one of many tiring but at the same time fun-filled filming days.

No matter what the results were, this movie making project will always be part of my favorite memories in my stay in Xavier. It ranks right up there with all the other memorable projects and experiences I’ve had. All the saturdays spent filming, all the sabaw moments, all the laugh trips in filming, all the lunches together with my group mates, all the retakes and bloopers, all the days staying after dismissal to work on this movie made this project something more than the grade, something bigger than school, something I’d like to call FUN!

To sum up everything I’ve learned from this experience and to sort of sum up this last academic week of Junior year, I’d like to quote a statement that I said during my English Oral Defense speech, “School is not just about the grades and the numbers; it’s a whole lot more than that! School is about learning. Learning not just facts, terms, names, equations, formulas, but learning VALUES and SKILLS that you can use in the future.” Projects like these really do give us students a chance to bring out our creativity and talents in ways that we could never fulfill inside a classroom.

To add to that statement, school is most importantly about the people we are able to meet and the FRIENDS we are able to make. This is something that I truly realized in making this project, the importance of working with others, getting to know people and building FRIENDSHIPS that lasts forever. I truly couldn’t have asked for a better way (assessment) to end my Filipino Junior Year experience.

-DOitChoco

PS. In writing this post, I’ve pondered upon what I would answer to our movie teaser, “Kapag lahat na lang ay nawawala sa iyo…..Anong Gagawin Mo?” or in English, “When you’re losing everything already……what will you do?” As I end this blog post, I think I’ve finally found the answer to that question, but then again, maybe I haven’t, but that’s why I live LIFE…….the DOitChoco way! 🙂

Another Day, Another Experience – AFC Gala Dinner

Everyday is another adventure and another chance to experience something new.

It has been a routine of my dad to take me and my siblings to all his endeavors and adventures so we may be exposed to all the wonders of life and experience all sorts of sophisticated events.

It was just last monday when my father invited me and my siblings to accompany him to this dinner gathering in Makati Shangrila called, “Manila Food and Wine Festival, AFC Gala Dinmer.” He was able to secure 5 tickets to this prestigious event because of the fact he was a donor and supporter of the scholarship fund that the host created for aspiring chefs all over the country.

When he first mentioned it, I was actually a bit skeptical but when he told me that I’d regret it if I didn’t go, it occurred to me that I have nothing to lose and I might as well go to this Gala dinner and take part in gourmet food by master chefs.

During the past year, I’ve actually learned how to enjoy the different delicacies and cuisines. I’ve learned how to taste and take part in food that I’ve never tried before. I quickly turned into a food enthusiast and having a ravenous appetite, I was really enticed when my dad talked

As I skimmed the menu, I was actually quite surprised and astonished. I was left dumb founded with the very deep and detailed descriptions of each and every dish.

The Menu for the Night

The Menu for the Night

Dish Number 1: Mushroom and liver ravioli in duck consomme topped with spiced shredded duck and caramelized leeks. 

Mushroom and liver ravioli in duck consomme topped with spiced shredded duck and caramelized leeks

Mushroom and liver ravioli in duck consomme topped with spiced shredded duck and caramelized leeks

Dish Number 2: Pan-seared Coral Trout with minced squid concasse, dressed with squid ink sabayon and garlic mashed Ube

Pan-seared Coral Trout with minced squid concasse, dressed with squid ink sabayon and garlic mashed Ube

Pan-seared Coral Trout with minced squid concasse, dressed with squid ink sabayon and garlic mashed Ube

Dish Number 3: Beef cheek (MELTS IN YOUR MOUTH) braised in peppery red wine sauce served with Queso De Bola cookies

Beef cheek braised in peppery red wine sauce served with Queso De Bola cookies

Beef cheek braised in peppery red wine sauce served with Queso De Bola cookies

Dish 4 and 5 (aka Dessert/SUGAR RUSH/DIABETES ATTACK) – Warm young coconut custard with strips of young coconut served in a Martini glass lined with sweet pastry crumbs and Corner Store Morning Bread infused with custard and baked til golden, topped with Pili Nut Praline

Warm young coconut custard with strips of young coconut served in a Martini glass lined with sweet pastry crumbs and Corner Store Morning Bread infused with custard and baked til golden, topped with Pili Nut Praline

Warm young coconut custard with strips of young coconut served in a Martini glass lined with sweet pastry crumbs and Corner Store Morning Bread infused with custard and baked til golden, topped with Pili Nut Praline

Without a doubt it was a really classy Five course dinner. What I learned though from the chefs who talked during the dinner was that the presentation and how the dish looks is just as important as how it tastes.

To be honest, they were able to achieve this for the presentation of the dishes were no doubt very artistic and ravishing.

Because of the fact it was a food and WINE Festival, I had to try out and taste the wine they were offering. There’s always a first and I did not particularly enjoy the taste of red wine, but at least now I know how it tastes like.

First time to taste Red Wine....

First time to taste Red Wine….

It wasn’t a life changing experience or anything of that sorts, but it was still a new adventure and experience nonetheless. I’m thankful that my dad is very involved with all these cosmopolitan events and that he is very outgoing and gregarious.

Family Picture (With everyone all dressed up)

Family Picture (With everyone all dressed up)

-DOitChoco

Science Fair – Chemistry of Social Beings At Its Best

Fountain International Science Fair – February 23, 2013

I was never really a fan or advocate of fairs, let alone Science Fairs but recently, I’ve become more a more outgoing and gregarious person for I’ve realized how much fun fairs can be.

When my mom mentioned to me how there was an ongoing Science fair last Saturday, I was really fascinated and curious as to what this fair had to offer. It’s not everyday that you see grade school and high school students presenting their respective science and math projects in middle of a mall in front of the public.

I was really excited to go and see the different projects of young minds more or less the same age as me. I also saw it as an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. I immediately called up several friends of mine if they were available or if they wanted to accompany me. A lot of them had previous obligations already but luckily, I had one friend who was willing to accompany me and be my partner in crime for the day.

It was also just last saturday when we had our Chinese Quarterly Oral Test, so I was really hyper and in a good mood already when I headed to V-mall where the Science fair was taking place. I had nothing to lose anyway and everything to gain especially since I had nothing planned for that afternoon and I would’ve ended up just bumming around if I didn’t go. Aside from that, I was really going to V-mall to finally buy an otter box for my phone.

As I caught sight of the Science fair, I was a bit skeptical that I would be able to see any breathtaking projects or get to meet any new friends but I knew I wouldn’t know unless I tried. I just said to myself, I won’t lose anything if I go but if I don’t go, I might have just passed on an amazing opportunity to learn and make new friends.

To my surprise, I actually had one amazing and breath taking experience. Some of the booths that really astonished me and left me a bit in awe were the solar powered robots and the mind reading using binary codes. These two were really innovative and it was really inspiring how students younger than me were able to come up with these projects.

What really made last saturday a surreal experience was the fact that I really interacted with the students and simply had fun trying out their inventions, inquiring about their projects and flat out just conversing and having a good time. I even made new friends and that feeling of gaining new friends will never get old.

The joy and extraordinary feeling one gets when interacting, socializing and getting to know new people is just indescribable. Quoting from my CLE teacher, we are social beings and we need each one in order to make the most out of our lives. Going to this science fair and getting to meet new people was an experience like no other and was definitely time well spent.

-DOitChoco

Highlights of the Week – Things to Be Thankful For…..

thankful2

There are so many different things that go on in our lives that we aren’t able to fully grasp and appreciate everything that happens to us. Most of us are very busy and pre-occupied with either our school work, extra-curricular activities, work and other obligations that we tend to disregard all these little things in life.

When I started this blog, I mentioned how I want to turn all those ephemeral and fleeting moments into lasting memories by writing about each and everyone of them but I’ve come to realize that it is very hard to detail and talk about each and every moment that flies by during each and everyday. This is because of all the other commitments and activities I have added to my everyday school work. This really got me thinking as to how I can still crystalize all the awe-inspiring moments that happen each and everyday despite those busy days where I just don’t have time to write a blogpost.

Just this week, my older sister mentioned this very innovative organization in her school, HKUST that delivers something called, the One Minute News, every week. This One Minute News segment caters to the very busy and occupied students of HKUST who don’t have time to catch up with recent happenings and news headlines. This One Minute News summarizes and highlights all the important headlines and happenings that the very busy students may have missed all in one minute.

This idea led me to start this segment of mine called, Highlights of the Week – Little Things to be Thankful for to help me recall and remember all the highlights both big and small that I may have forgotten and under appreciated because of the nature of life and how fast everything occurs. In my journey to becoming a happier person and living life to the fullest, I find looking back and being thankful for everything that happens to you, may it be something life changing or even heart wrenching or just an ordinary incident, very essential in growing as a person and keeping a positive outlook in life for like they say, YOLO, you only live once!

So during this past week, Feb 18 – Feb 23, these are the memorable moments that I am thankful for

1. Finalization and Submission of our Filipino Short Movie titled, “Anong Gagawin Mo?” (or in english, “What Would You Do?”) – This is one of the projects that I really poured a lot of effort into and it feels really fulfilling and gratifying to see the finish product. Hard work never gets old, especially when it pays off in the end. I am really happy that our movie was chosen by our Filipino teacher to be the one to represent our class in our film festival especially after all the saturdays and holidays me and my group mates spent preparing, creating and filming this production. Working on this project is definitely one of the more memorable moments of my Junior Year!

2. Accidentally dropping my phone to the ground (which led to the screen getting shattered) – Thankfully though, I was able to get it repaired, and it looks good as new. The feeling of anxiety that I got when I saw what happened to my phone which is one of my more valuable possessions and is something I use each and every day, was really nerve racking. I truly learned my lesson and this time, I’m gonna make sure that my phone is protected and ready just in case another accident, where I end up dropping my phone occurs (off to buy my otter box!).

3. Farewell speech of Father Go – Our School Director, Father Johnny Go’s Farewell Speech during our last general assembly for the year was one of the most heart warming and inspirational speeches I’ve ever heard from Father. Father Go never fails to move people whenever he speaks, his homilies, speeches and talks will be missed! I was truly fortunate that I was awarded a Chinese Writing Award during this last general assembly for I was able to shake Father Go’s hand one last time.

4. Last Mentoring Period for my Junior Year – How time flies by; it seemed just like yesterday when Junior Year just started and I was joining a whole new class with a completely different set of classmates in 3A. Looking back, despite all of the challenges, quandaries, setbacks and all, it was one no doubt one helluva of a crazy year indeed and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

5. Fountain International School Science Fair – Attending this science fair was one crazy experience. Witnessing innovative and creative minds of talented individuals ranging from all ages was a truly breathtaking experience. Add to the fact that I was able to meet new people and gain new friends was the icing on the cake. To top it all off, I also got to meet my “former” and “favorite” turkish math teacher.

Looking back at these highlights, I can say that I am truly blessed to be living such a fortunate life filled with so many awe-inspiring moments and adventures. I am truly thankful for everything that happened to me during the past week and hopefully, the coming weeks will be just as awesome or even better.

count-your-blessings1

-DOitChoco

PS. I will try my best to make separate blog posts and expound on some if not all of these highlights for there were a thousand different things I learned from every second of these moments.

Life’s Too Short…..(To Worry About What Matters Most)

There are so many different things that happen in life that it truly is impossible to have everything go your way. No matter who you are, you will face quagmires, turmoils, debacles and turbulences in your life long journey, but does it matter? You may not get the result or happy ending you want, but these times will past bye.

In our everyday lives, we will meet different types of people. People who are supercilious, complacent, garrulous, indolent, lavish, benevolent, cantankerous or even downright nefarious, but will it really matter in the long run? Thinking about it, maybe it will, maybe it won’t. Life is very perplexing and paradoxical in nature. Anything can’t happen, and more often than not, we don’t have any control of what can occur. Maybe this matters, then again, maybe it doesn’t.

I’ve truly been busy the past few days, and it was only now that I got to write these last two posts and reflect upon what really matters. As I finish writing this second post, I think I now have an answer to my previous post on “what does matter?” We truly won’t know what does matter most right now, but I realized that life’s too short to stress upon what matters and what doesn’t. Somethings may mean the world to you right now, but tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or next year, will it be the same? See, you can’t answer that, can you?  A lot of the things we value right now are more often than not fleeting and ephemeral things that only give temporary happiness. What I’m trying to say is that what matters most is something that should matter most not just today but everyday for the rest of your life. That’s what matters MOST! And you know what, I’ve realized that you’ll only truly be able to see and know this during the end of your life.

-DOitChoco

What Does Matter?

It was another one of our Chinese classes where the class was really rowdy and hyper for the school year is about to end and there are only a few more Chinese classes. One of my classmates even said, “Learning Chinese really doesn’t matter for me, I’m just studying to pass and not go to summer classes.” Those lines really struck and led me and my friend, who just like me came from Chinese Advanced class to talk about those days and about how fast the school year has gone by and how fast our stay in Xavier School has been. We reminisced upon our previous Chinese classes and how our Grade 7 Chinese Class was one of the worse times in our lives for we had a really strict teacher, but fast forward 3 years later and what happened and the grades we got during that year don’t even matter anymore.

This really got me thinking as to what really does matter in life. Does it matter if we turn out to be failures in life? Does it matter if we turn out to be the next Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs or Bill Gates? Does it matter if we are rich or poor? We may have different lifespans here on earth, but won’t we all end up dead anyway? so what does matter?

-DOitChoco

 

Image

Source for image: http://juansthots.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/what-matters-most.jpg?w=480

Phantasmagorical Moments that Make Life Worth Living – Feb 12, 2013

*This was written during Feb 13, 2013, but I only got the time to post it now so the use of “yesterday” and “last night” may be a bit confusing.

Feb 12, 2013 was one of the most surreal days in my life for it was a day filled with emotions and feelings that I will never be able to fully explain. What happened yesterday night (feb 12, 2013) is something that I will never ever forget for it was, in more ways than one, one of the most heart-throbbing moment in my life. Without further ado, it was the night I finally got my act together and PROMposed to the one friend who truly made the past year, a year like no other.

As you’ve probably read in my post titled, “The One Promblem where Imperfect is Perfect,” prom and finding the right date has been bothering for the past few weeks and even months. It was only last night (Feb 12, 2013) that all my confusion, anxiety and stressing over Prom was finally alleviated.

There’s always a first time and what happened on that day was a day full of firsts. It’s quite dumbfounding how when I was preparing to ask and the entire day prior to me asking, I felt so nervous and I just wanted the day to end; But looking back, I actually want to be able to do it all over again for I want to experience that mystifying fervor and zeal once more. Life truly is full of surprises and unpredictable twists and turns. I will never truly understand how in one moment we can feel this way, but in a few moments after, feel the exact opposite. We truly live in a bipolar world, where the scale can quickly be tipped into a different side. I’m not complaining or anything, for the unpredictability of life is what allows us to believe that, miracles do happen.

Quite honestly, 2 months ago, I never really thought of asking the person I just asked. It was only when I experienced that time of the year where you look back at everything that has happened that I truly realized that she was the only person I should ask for my life, more specifically my Junior Year, just wouldn’t be the same. She was the first girl friend who I really talked to and got to know better, so I guess it was just right for me to ask the one person who made my Junior year one of the craziest, highest and most memorable year in my life.

It was only when I left her house and sat in my car that what just happened started to sink in. It was one of the most fulfilling moments of my life for the butterfly build up in my stomach prior to asking was just out of this world. I am just really thankful to God that everything worked out. I was also really fortunate that her sister and her parents were very hospitable and amiable people. They showed no indifference whatsoever and were actually really vibrant and fervent about my plan of surprising this friend of mine.

In thinking up of my Promposal plan, I just wanted to do it in a simple but at the same time meaningful way. It may not have been the perfect Promposal, but I’m just happy that I was able to show my appreciation to this person who honestly, all jokes aside, changed me in more ways than one.

IMG_0937

After asking, I just felt really good and it seemed as though I regained my zeal, fervor and vibrance. I felt so full of energy that I couldn’t really fall asleep even if I was really dead tired from all the preparations and thinking about that day I would ask. It was finally done, and now I could focus on making the most out of what is left of my Junior year.

I can truly say that moments like these are what makes life worth living. Although, it may have been some of the longest hours in my life, it’s quite ironic how what seemed like forever yesterday, quickly passed by and became an ephemeral moment that I will forever look back at for it was a moment full of firsts and a moment that truly filled me with feelings and emotions I will never be able to describe. Feb 12, 2013 was simply a phantasmagorical day!

-DOitChoco