> Truly the Love of siaM

Since the guy who promised me a copy of The Love of Siam has not responded yet, I decided to patiently watch it over YouTube. Thanks to you Mr. YouTube, I get to watch videos that are hard to find or those that I have missed on television. Thanks to you whoever you are.

Through the ages of mankind, the topic of LOVE is always been a favorite preference of any piece or work of art! It’s because LOVE is one of the foundation why we keep breathing and living in this world full of surprises. No matter what medium it is conveyed, the theme of love always moved people. It’s powerful and it’s domineering.

Brilliantly conceived, The Love of Siam is a very different film in many respects. Most notably different is the length. At two and a half hours, it’s almost twice as long as most films in cinemas these days. I just don’t know why I missed this on cinemas. I don’t even know where it was shown. Hmmm…

There’s nothing wrong with a long film, as long as it’s something worth looking at, and The Love of Siam is most certainly that. The length means that most of the characters in this contemporary Bangkok drama are well developed, which is something else that sets this film apart from others.

Equal parts family drama and teen romance, the aspect that has people talking is a gay love story, albeit a squeaky clean one, full of the wild-eyed innocence of teenage puppy love. It just happens these pups are boys.

And, with a Catholic family at its centre, The Love of Siam is probably the first Thai Christmas movie, and was actually filmed nearly a year ago, to capture the actual lights and sounds of the festive season around Siam Square. Agnes and I both agreed that maybe the reason why they chose Catholic as the center of the Religion was because Buddhism [as Thailand is known for] won’t allow such be shown.

The tender friendship of the two boys, Tong and Mew, is established in a lengthy prologue. Tragedy strikes the family of Tong, when his older sister [Tang] disappears while on a northern trek. The lost drives a wedge between Tong’s mother and father, as the father turns to alcohol to drown his grief. Tong and his family then move away, leaving Tong’s friend, the musically gifted Mew, all alone.

Sparks fly when the boys are reunited in their university years, while hanging around in Siam Square. Mew [Witwisit Hirunwongkul] is the singer and songwriter for an up-and-coming pop band, and Tong [Mario Maurer] is dating a pretty girl named Donut, whom he’s not really interested in.

Their reconnection takes on even more meaning when Mew’s band is assigned a manager, June. June is a dead ringer for the long-lost sister Tang. Maybe she can draw Tong’s dad out of his drunken stupor? This bit of soap opera contrivance is handled so straightforwardly and beautifully, with subtle comic touches, that it seems natural.

Mew, meanwhile is struggling to write new songs, until he digs into his heart and comes up with a hit that is inspired by feelings for Tong that have been nurtured since boyhood.

Everyone it seems is rooting for these two boys to smooch and snuggle – the press preview audience was enthusiastically supportive. But Tong’s mum is devastated, wondering what she did to deserve the fate of a missing daughter, an alcoholic husband and now, a gay son.

The girls have less prominent roles than the film posters might lead audiences to believe. But a neighbour girl, Ling, is more central than the haughty Donut. Ling has a crush on Mew, helps Tong sort out his confused feelings.

The Love of Siam comes to a heartfelt and poignant conclusion on Christmas Eve, when Mew’s band is playing a concert in the Siam Centre courtyard. The gift, though, is one of heartache and tears.

It is simply a gay teen romance of two teenage boys but the film’s story revolves around the value of friendship, loving and being loved, family’s quest for unity of a loss member, separation and loneliness, identity crisis amidst affection, obedience of a son and protection of a mother, camaraderie and understanding of friends, musical talent and how gifted the young of today, infatuations and unrequited admirations as part of teen life, the many diversities of emotions, and of course, the right to choose the kind of sexual preference you want to live.

I love the way they handled and tackled the issue. I can say that most of US will be able to relate. The hardships, the dilemma, cruelty, sacrifice, fear, and hatred we had to face just to be able to survive in this society. The fact that we had to endure all those sufferings while everybody can just grow normally without the same hassles. It’s a very encouraging movie. A mind opener that is.

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> kuYa roberT’s mag-eXercise taYo

I received this from Kuya Robert [one of our IT person]. Although I really don’t know if there’s something behind it or if there’s a different message aside from the “supposed intention”, I appreciated it.

Many people hold tension in their necks and shoulders, leading to stiffness, bad posture and tension headaches. If you want another way to do it, repeating these five yoga Neck Exercises eases tension, increases flexibility and tones the muscles. Do them slowly and keep your spine straight. Your neck relaxed and your shoulders facing forward. First drop your head back, then drop it right forward. Now keeping your head erect, turn it all the way to the right, back to center, then all the way to the left. Next drop your head forward and roll it around as wide a circle as possible. Repeat in the opposite direction. Now, raise your right shoulder, then drop it down. Repeat with the left. Lastly, raise both shoulders at once, then drop them down again.

  • Bend your head forward, chin on chest, then back to original position.
  • Bend to the right, then back to the original position.
  • Bend backward, then back to the original position.
  • Bend to the left, then back to the original position.
  • Bend forward, chin on chest, move from right to the left, then move from left to right.

Way to go Kuya Robert!

> firsT of maY

Am I getting old? Currently, there are 4 gray strands of hair on my head.  And I still clearly remember how it was only 3 not so long ago.

  • I read reviews of current music artists in the newspapers.  I don’t recognize most of them.
  • The songs in my playlist are stuck to River Maya, Better Days, Shania Twain, Beddingfield, Mariah, Michael Jackson…
  • Kids I talk to tell me Britney Spears is OLD.
  • My friends’ youngest brothers and sisters are either in college or already working.  My brother will be Tatay 7 months from now.
  • Friends who are of the same age as I am are already complaining more frequent body or muscle pains.
  • Former schoolmates, when I meet them, talk mostly about how we were when we were young.
  • I don’t know what’s on MTV anymore.
  • And it may not be long when people will start getting annoyed with me for claiming I’m still 20.
  • Shoulder paddings, Mighty Kid and lace collars looks funny already.

I don’t actually fear getting old.  It’s just somewhat amusing that I was physically aging, but I don’t really feel THAT old.  Memories of college, highschool, and kindergarten years are still fresh in my mind and I don’t see my current self as being too far from who I was during those times.  And then, time will come when I’m already taking care of family and kids but still thinking that I’m still fresh and teen.

Time flies fast and we can’t help but age and soon, die.  It’s the “debt that all men pay”.  But who says we have to get OLD?  To slow down and think that the end is near and we have to hurry up to get all the things we want done?  It’s a life that we have to live and for one time only.  For myself, I choose to live it and savor every moment.  I welcome the reminders, but I will not be hindered by it.

Hmmm, how about you?  What are those things that remind you that you’re “getting old”?

> im craZy for yOu!

Earlier this afternoon, H took me to the park infront of the hotel where her Aunt stays. We were having a good time fooling and talking about almost everything when we noticed two crackheads making out on a park bench. I can’t understand why two adults would think it’s appropriate to make out in front of a bunch of kids at the park, or why you would want to make out with someone who has no teeth. Crackheads are something else.

Today is just one of those days. I woke up with a headache and this heavy feeling in my chest. I’m so tired and I really want nothing more than to stay home, go to bed and cry myself to sleep. And then sleep for hours and wake up feeling human. I hate being in this mood. UGH! I need sleep, or a good laugh, or a hug. I have a lot of problems and simple things like these would really mean the world.

One consolation? Rhon, Agnes and I talked about the movie I just saw this morning. The Love of Siam. The Love I have for Tong [pun intended].

> wHen Life throwS a curVe baLL

I made “palahaw” last Saturday. I was hurt, saddened, devastated and all. The brother I was sending to college got her GF pregnant. Didn’t know it’s gonna hurt that much. It’s been quite a while I cried.

I felt the whole world crushing on my shoulders. I have been into a lot of problems for the past months. One after another, one after another. I have my own struggles. I wish I have a choice. I wish I could say “taym pers” but no, I’m not just playing “saksak puso” this time. This is true life. I’m dealing about life.

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” – Jimmy Dean

Just when we thought that everything is going as planned, life throws us a curveball that leaves both of us badly shaken. After getting over my initial shock, I know that it was up to me to decide how we’re going to deal with this challenge. We can take it negatively and consider it a problem or look at it positively as an opportunity. We choose the latter.

Life is unpredictable and maybe curve balls are thrown our way to keep us on our toes all the time. To train ourselves to be flexible, to teach us to let go when things don’t go your way, and more importantly to teach us not to avoid the curve balls but to grab a mitt and try to catch it instead.

Earlier, the GF was thrown out of their place and will be joining my brother tomorrow. He was so worried and kept on texting my sister for help. He wasn’t texting me. Maybe because he knows how i’m feeling and how deeply affected I am. I don’t want to initiate and just give him the rope to save him but I know sooner I will. I wanna give him the lesson of a curve ball. I can’t just provide him the mitt.

Life. *Sigh.

> the Love of siaM

This is my target movie for the week. Thank you Rhon for informing me about this. I think I’ll be enjoying this.

> resTrooM musiNg

I commented on a photo done by Ash Castro [a very good photographer and artist I really admire] and as I wait for his response, I felt the need to go to the restroom. For the most part, trips to the bathroom are uneventful. That is, people go in and take care of their personal business and leave, hopefully washing their hands on the way out. Today was a bang up day for restroom weirdness at the office. I observed two uncommon behaviors while taking care of my own business.

I know I should have fully minded my own business but I think this will also help us gain another thought on our day to day lives. Tell me if you feel it offensive though.

As a general rule, there are certain rules of etiquette when you’re standing at a urinal. One of those rules is that you aren’t supposed to pay attention to the gentlemen standing at the other urinals. Under no circumstances are you to speak to them. Acceptable behaviors would include reading [if there’s a newspaper tacked to the wall], spelling your name as if the bowl were full of snow, gazing down at the distorted reflection of your face in the urinal valve, or possibly even whistling. I’ve seen some pretty disturbing feats performed in the restroom before, but today’s incident takes the cake.

Peripheral vision is one of those things that comes naturally to many. Though partially obscured by the urinal dividers, my eyes were privy to a display that I had never seen at set of office urinals before. Without turning to look I probably would have dismissed what I had seen out the corner of my left eye, except I heard something that confirmed what I thought I had seen. I heard a rhythmic sound emanating from the next urinal stall over. It was continuous in nature and almost vicious at times, and it continued for the duration of my standing there.

The man — standing at the urinal — was brushing his teeth with his right hand, no doubt while holding onto his member with the other.

Now I’ve seen people come into the restroom and brush their teeth after lunch. I don’t do it despite what my dentist no doubt recommended at some point, but I see no problem with it. I do have difficulty believing that there are people in the world who lack sufficient time or inclination to dedicate separate periods of time to each activity, especially at the office.

Now, go back to work Al. You still have many things to accomplish.