June 13, 2020

First COVID-19 Case Recorded In Kiangan, Ifugao

The town of Kiangan in Ifugao has recorded its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on Saturday (June 13). The patient is an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who came from Saudi Arabia. He arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on June 4. He checked in at the Diamond Hotel in Manila on June 9. He went through swab testing and the result was negative.

Because he tested negative for the initial swab testing, he was allowed to travel back home. He was fetched by the Kiangan police on June 10 at Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya. Upon arriving in Kiangan, he was brought and admitted at the municipal quarantine facility. Rapid and swab tests were administered on the same day.

The rapid test result was non-reactive but the patient complained of an irritated throat which prompted the town's health officials to conduct further testing. The results arrived on June 13 and these were positive.

Photo credit: Shubert Ciencia

The patient has been transferred to the Region II Trauma and Medical Center in Bayombong for close monitoring. In light of this development, Kiangan Mayor Raldis Bulayungan is urging the town's residents to observe extra precautions in defense against the threat of the COVID-19.

June 10, 2020

First COVID-19 Positive Case Recorded In Lagawe, Ifugao

The first COVID-19 positive case has been recorded in the town of Lagawe in Ifugao. According to initial reports, the patient is a male overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who came from Dubai in the Middle East. He arrived in Lagawe on June 7, 2020.

He was placed at the Municipal Community Quarantine Facility. A rapid test was done and he was found out to be reactive. He was swabbed and the town received the results of the test on Wednesday (June 10).

The patient is stable and being closely monitored by the town's health services. Contract tracing is also being conducted at the moment.

Because of the development, the town is calling on residents to stay at home and avoid physical interaction with people. The town has released an advisory today.

May 23, 2020

Viral Video: Pasay City Councilor Arnel Moti Arceo Berating Health Workers And Frontliners

A video of a man berating health workers and frontliners for using a city session hall for rapid testing purposes has gone viral online. As of this writing, the video has been shared more than six thousand times and counting. The 5-minute video shows a man berating health workers and frontliners at the Pasay City Hall. The uploader of the video identified the man as Pasay City councilor Arnel Moti Arceo.

According to the post, the video was taken in May 19, 2020. The video was filmed by councilor Arceo himself. It's unclear how the video transferred from Moti into the hands of the uploader. She simply stated that the video was sent to her by a friend.

According to the uploader, med-techs of Pasay City were conducting rapid testing at the session hall when Arceo arrived. Angered by what's happening at the session hall, Arceo started berating the workers. He angrily paced the hallway outside the session hall, all the while hurling insults at the workers. He shouted at them for wearing masks and PPEs. Obviously affected by the councilor's insults, some of the workers started taking off their PPEs.

Who is in the wrong here? Are frontliners not allowed to use city session halls as rapid testing venues? It became clear that the frontliners were following directives. In short, they were just doing their jobs. There was a memo from the head of the HR department that "there will be a rapid testing for the skeleton workforce" at said venue and date. The memo was signed by Maverick S. Sevilla.

Furthermore, according to the uploader, the aggrieved med-techs decided to file a legal complaint but they were allegedly discouraged by the City Health Department. So now, they are afraid to push through with the complaint because doing so might cost them their jobs.

May 22, 2020

Tenet Movie Trailer Explained: What Is Christopher Nolan Up To?

At its core, Tenet is an action-suspense-thriller movie about secret agents trying to prevent World War III. And because this is a Christopher Nolan movie, it involves a lot of mind-boggling twists. As shown in the brand new trailer, Tenet is going to feature time-travel twists. At this point, time-travel in cinema is already kind of overdone. A cliche almost. We've seen a bunch of time-travel movies and they are always the same. But it's Nolan we are talking about here. If anyone can make time travel cool again, it's him. The guy has never made a bad film.

Why is the movie called Tenet? Nolan has never really explained why he chose this as the title for his new film. Tenet is defined as "a principle or belief, especially one of the main principles of a religion or philosophy." Get what you can from that definition. Maybe we are overthinking in trying to understand why the movie has this particular title.

From the trailer, we see several scenes of time running back. There are bullets detaching themselves from a target and going back into the gun. There are mirrors unbreaking themselves. There are crashed cars uncrashing themselves. Time is being bent back to the past and forward into the future.

Tenet is a film about international espionage and the bending of time. However, the trailer is reluctant in using the term time-travel. It prefers the term inversion. Inversion is defined as the action of inverting something or the state of being inverted.

A dialogue from the trailer:

"He can communicate with the future."
"Time travel?"
"No, inversion."

So what I get from this is that the secret agent gets a picture of the future through inversion. This is a complete reversal of what we usually see in time-travel movies wherein a character travels to the future to learn about the future. In Tenet, the character travels back in time to communicate with the future. This is a very interesting twist indeed.

Another quote from the trailer:
"All I have for you is a word...tenet. It will open the right doors. Some of the wrong ones too. Use it carefully."

This is of course expected to create tension and conflict in the plot. The tenet has to go into the hands of bad people who use it for the wrong reasons. Maybe use it to start World War III. So here's what I understand from what I've seen from the trailer. The good guys want to use the tenet to stop World War III. The bad guys want to use it to make sure that World War III happens.

There are also scenes in the trailer showing people suspended in time. That is they've stopped moving and seemingly put to sleep. However, those with the tenet can still move around. This scenes would remind viewers of scenes from another Nolan film, Inception.

Tenet stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Michael Caine, Kenneth Branagh, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Martin Donovan, Aaron Taylor Johnson, Sean Avery, and Denzel Smith.

May 15, 2020

Who Is Riguel Jameson Alleje And Why Is He Trending On Twitter?

I opened my Twitter account this morning. As I usually do, I check what's trending in the Philippines. Riguel Jameson Alleje is among the top trending topics. I've never heard of this name. Who is he? Why is he trending? So I did a little bit of digging.

Well, to cut the story short, apparently, Riquel Jameson Alleje is a character in a series of online stories written by a Filipino author who goes by the pen name of Jonaxx. Apparently, today (May 16) is his birthday. This is why hundreds of readers of the stories are greeting the character Happy Birthday on Twitter.

Collectively called Jonaxx's Stories Lovers or JSL as fans of the stories call the series, the stories were published online on Wattpadd and other online platforms.

In a a Facebook page for the stories, Riguel Jameson Alleje is described as:

•"Valedictorian (Alegria National High School)
• Magna Cum Laude, BS in Accountancy (Alegria Community College)
• Topnotcher (Bar Exam)
• Lawyer
• Business man
• Handsome, Loyal, Brilliant, Gentleman, Responsible, Futuristic, Faithful, Successful, and Perfect. Who wouldn't love a man like Riguel? He's everything, everyone wants. 💛


He’s an achiever, a family centered man, a man full of respect and principles, a gentleman, and a man who’s willing to wait for eight years for Lilienne. Who wouldn’t be love him and declare as their husband? JSL.

Happy Birthday Atty. Riguel Jameson Alleje! Our Batis King, The man with principles."

May 10, 2020

Watch: The Trailer For Motel Acacia, A Filipino Horror Movie Starring JC Santos And Agot Isidro

Fans of the indie horror genre will have something to look forward to in the upcoming release of Motel Acacia, a horror/suspense film by the Philippines-based Malaysian director and producer Bradley Liew. Written by Liew with Bianca Balbuena as co-writer, the movie takes inspiration from a popular Filipino myth of demons living in acacia trees. The project is a five-country collaboration between the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Slovenia, and Taiwan.

Motel Acacia stars an ensemble of international actors including JC Santos, Agot Isidro, Jan Bijvoet, Nicholas Saputra, Vithaya Pansringarm, Bront Palarae, Talia Zucker, Will Jaymes, Perry Dizon, and Brian Sy. You can watch the trailer for the movie here.

Motel Acacia has already been shown last year in several international film festivals. These include the Tokyo International Film Festival, the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival, and the Jogja-Netpac Asian Film Festival.

Exclusive behind the scenes features from the film can be found here.

In a review for Variety, Peter Debruge wrote, "Though it delivers on the suspense level, “Motel Acacia” really ought to have spent a bit more time figuring out what it was trying to say about America — that dimension remains a bit too abstract, ultimately failing to explain why a Filipino demon is doing the country’s dirty work. Still, the execution is slick enough to make it a hit in Asian markets, while the crazy tree monster packs enough cult potential to merit a waiver of inadmissibility at the U.S. border."

Allan Hunter has this to say in his review for Screen Daily: "The film is ambitious enough on paper as it tackles colonialism, racism, climate change and much more. It still can’t help succumbing to very familiar genre conventions, though, as characters run for their lives along gloomy corridors and do battle with rubbery looking beasties clinging to their limbs. Flashbacks provide a little history of the tree demon and there is mention of a sinister “Town Council” who seem to have some responsibility for what happens at the motel. Characterisation is sketchy and we never know enough about any individual to really care whether they live or die. The editing creates a jumpy rhythm in which it often feels as if some key information is missing."

December 13, 2019

Journalist Cesar Apolinario Has Passed Away; Cause Of Death Is Cancer

Cesar Apolinario, a long-time broadcast journalist and film director, has passed away on Friday morning (December 13). He was 46 years old. According to friends and acquaintances who were close to the veteran journalist, Apolinario has been in critical condition since Wednesday (December 11) of this week.

Apolinario was diagnosed with lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes) in August of this year.

Apolinario was a long-time news reporter and broadcast journalist on GMA News. Aside from his journalism work, Apolinario also dabbled in film directing. His films include Banal, Puntod, Estasyon, and Dance of the Steel Bars.

His work in television include stints on 24 Oras, Saksi, Reporter's Notebook, and iJuander.

Journalist Cesar Apolinario has died. Cause of death is cancer.
Friends and colleagues of the late journalist expressed their condolences on social media. "Rest in peace, mentor and colleague Cesar Apolinario. No more pain, just love and lasting happiness in the arms of God," tweeted fellow reporter Steve Dailisan.