Monday, September 11, 2023

Love-hate Relationship

"Love-hate relationship," started kuya Alfer. That was his relationship with his mom. He told us in the most honest, uninhibited eulogy I have ever witnessed.

Love-hate relationship -- that is me and my parents. But mostly love... I hope. So when I heard kuya Alfer relate his story, I started to cry, although I tried so hard not to. That was the first time I ever cried in a funeral, and I couldn't even get out of the packed canopy tent to hide my face because of the sudden rainfall on a sunny afternoon. In our own language, when it rains while the sun is out, we say there's a "Pista sa Langit" (Feast in Heaven). And there really was a celebration in Heaven that day because it also happened to be Mama Mary's birthday.

After a short while, I could hear a few sniffles here and there. What a relief! I was not alone then.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Thoughts on Rings of Power Season One

Rings of Power Gil-galad, Galadriel, and Elrond
Gil-galad, Galadriel, and Elrond

[ Spoilers ahead ]

Some thoughts a week after The Rings of Power Season 1 finale:

  • Before anything else, a big thank you to one of my dearest friends, my LOTR buddy! If not for your constant nudging, I wouldn't have watched the show on its premiere release (I initially planned to watch it after all episodes were up).
  • While the overall production was pretty solid, the pacing and writing could use some improvement. There were a lot of memorable dialogues this season, and some I'd rather just erase from memory. I really hope they work on this next season.
  • Still about the writing --- I am aware it didn't closely follow the lore, and I still have to read The Silmarillion (done ordering a copy of the book), but from what I've gathered and what others have also noted, the backstories clarified each character's intentions and gave the plot more depth. Will find out soon enough. Whatever the case may be, I'm sure I will like the book as it is, and the show as it is, just as I was fine with the changes made to the Lord of the Rings. I'm just happy I get to see more of Tolkien's world.
  • Character development I am most looking forward to for the whole series: Elrond and Isildur. Young Isildur seems idealistic and sweet, but also ambitious and stubborn. I already feel sad for him. ROP Elrond, on the other hand, is considerably different from LOTR Elrond. Is it purely a difference in direction? Did the personalities of the actors somehow contribute to their depiction? Will ROP Elrond eventually become like LOTR Elrond?
  • Yes, I adore Elrond! (Now that I think about it, Robert Aramayo has played two favorite characters now: young Ned Stark from Game of Thrones, and now young Elrond.)
  • I have watched the show twice as of posting. Will be watching again as soon as I have free time and probably more times before season 2 drops. Patience, patience...
  • I've missed you Middle Earth! <3
Rings of Power Elrond

Favorite Scenes

  • Elrond meeting Disa for the first time
  • Arondir and company fighting for the old tree
  • The Singing: Disa's plea to the rocks and Poppy's This Wandering Day
  • Adar bidding farewell to the sun
  • Isildur and Galadriel waiting for the sunrise
  • Isildur and Elendil catching up after the battle
  • Conversation of Galadriel and Theo (Galadriel's turning point)
  • Elrond and Durin mining for mithril
  • The Stranger VS the Mystics
  • Galadriel and Halbrand's confrontation

Favorite Music Themes

  • Main Title
  • Khazad-dûm
  • Númenor

Favorite Lines

"My father single-handedly sailed to Valinor, and convinced the Valar to join the war and vanquish Morgoth. So great were his deeds that the Valar lifted him beyond the bounds of this world to forever carry the Evening Star across the sky. For many years, at days end, I would look up at it wondering what might he think if he were watching me. Would he be proud of what I've accomplished with his legacy? Or disappointed by the countless ways I'd failed to live up to it? But then, one night, it struck me that I would be only too happy to hear any judgment, so long as it granted me the opportunity to have but one more conversation with my father. Do not waste what time you have left with yours." - Elrond's speech on his father

”Hope is never mere, Elrond, even when it is meager” - Gil-galad

“Where there is love it is never truly dark. How could it not grow... in a home like yours?” - Elrond

"Because a burden shared may either be halved or doubled, depending on the heart that receives it." - Elrond

"Despise not the labor which humbles the heart. Humility has saved entire kingdoms the proud have all but led to ruin." - Galadriel

"What cannot be known hollows the mind. Fill it not with guesswork." - Galadriel

“What kind of father would I be if I teach our children the will of a king should be counted as dross to be cast to the wind?” - Durin IV

"We do not say goodbye. We say Namárië. It means more than simply farewell. It means 'go towards goodness.'" - Elrond

"I admire all who can see into the mystery of things, who can divine from the plainness of what is, the beauty of what could be." - Celebrimbor

"There is a fateful hour in the destinies of men. An hour of judgment, in which each of us, every one, must decide who we shall be." - Miriel

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Zombie Dream

Zombie Detective
Zombie Detective

Zombie Detective's first episode reminded me of a dream I had a year ago. In the drama, the zombie woke up retaining human consciousness, although unable to speak. And his first few days were spent contemplating his current state and what brought him there. His thoughts, or because he HAD thoughts, were what brought me back to the early hours of September 2, 2020, when I almost turned into a zombie...

I found myself in a room full of people who were hiding from zombies. There were two classroom doors (the ones with glass) and a big hall outside. I was guarding one of the doors when outsiders --- two kids, two men, and a woman --- rushed into the hall. There were zombies, too, but they were not yet attacking the people clamoring to be let in.

The people with me agreed to open the doors simultaneously. Then when we opened the doors, there was suddenly a struggle, and out of nowhere, my hand was bitten by a female zombie. We didn't have a choice; the classroom people had to let me go.

When I got out, I saw another room full of people inside the single-storey building. One by one, the zombies went out of the building until only two of us were left. I was determined to make the last zombie leave. As a distraction, I banged and locked one of the exit doors of the building (again, there were two). And startled by the sound, she got out of the door nearest her. I got out after her and locked the door behind me. The people inside were now safe.

I looked back at the building. I supposed no one would be watching or go looking for me as I had no family there. I decided to await my transformation quietly under a tree just a short distance away...

In the movie #Alive, a bitten man was fighting his transformation. He knew it was inevitable, yet his mental state was borne out of fear of becoming a zombie. Mine was of sadness. It was one of those dreams that made me cry when I woke up. I cried thinking about how it was going to be a lonely, slow death. I guess it also represented the events of this pandemic, and a realization that eventually we all die alone.

Keep safe.

P.S. I forgot about Warm Bodies. I liked that, too.