Category Archives: Personality

Troye Sivan for SM Youth! #TroyeForSMYouth #WeAreSMYouth #SMYTH

All clothes by SM Youth Smyth. Photos courtesy of SM YOUTH

I was lurking around my Liked pages on Facebook and I stumbled upon what seems to be another “fake news” because there’s no way that Troye Sivan was actually in Manila! I mean, there was no publicity, not even a tiny bit of announcement from Troye himself but when pictures started to surface on the net – I was literally beside myself! It’s true!!! Troye was actually in Manila that day – I still have no idea how long he actually stayed here but it’s safe to say that it wasn’t that long!

See that first tweet from the the screen-grab of his twitter page – this article from CNN might be IT. Apparently,  Daddy Bean did a campaign shoot with SM Youth’s newest clothing line called SMYTH. Nicely done there SM!

I’m actually ready to go shopping in SM!!! Also, pretty please SM! Bring Troye back in Manila for a concert!!!!!

All clothes by SM Youth Smyth. Photos courtesy of SM YOUTH

SMYTH will be at the SM Youth section of all branches of The SM Store starting July 24. Follow SM Youth on Instagram and Facebook for more updates.

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When Queen Bey says #ImWithHer

“There was a time when a woman’s opinion did not matter. If you were black, white, Mexican, Asian, Muslim, educated, poor or rich; if you were a woman, it did not matter,” Beyoncé said. “Less than 100 years ago, women did not have the right to vote. Look how far we’ve come from having no voice to being on the brink of making history again by electing the first woman president.”

Hillary is joined by power couple Beyonce and Jay-Z to rally the crowd in Cleveland to turn out to vote for the only sane candidate this year - and no, it ain't Donald!

Hillary is joined by power couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z to rally the crowd in Cleveland to mobilize voters and vote for the only sane candidate this year – and no, it ain’t Donald!

“We have to vote. The world looks to us as a progressive country that leads change. Eight years ago, I was so inspired that my nephew, a young black child, could grow up knowing his dreams could be realized by witnessing a black president in office,” Beyoncé addressed the crowd at the rally, which aimed at mobilizing voters in the key swing state. “And now, we have the opportunity to create more change. I want my daughter to grow up seeing a woman lead our country and know that her possibilities are limitless.

“We have to think about the future of our daughters, of our sons, and vote for someone who cares for them as much as we do,” Beyoncé added. “And that is why, ‘I’m with her.'”

 

 

Flashback Friday: Hillary Clinton’s Speech at the United Nations 4th World Conference on Women #ImWithHer

hill-yesThen First Lady of the United States Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered what would be considered as one of the most influential speeches in the women’s rights movement  at the United Nation’s 4th World Conference on Women Plenary Session on September 5, 1995 in Beijing, China
Clinton took a similar position on LGBT rights in a 2011 speech to the United Nations on International Human Rights Day, declaring “[G]ay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.”]
The speech was listed as number 35 in American Rhetoric’s Top 100 Speeches of the 20th Century
***
“Thank you very much, Gertrude Mongella, for your dedicated work that has brought us to this point, distinguished delegates, and guests:
I would like to thank the Secretary General for inviting me to be part of this important United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women. This is truly a celebration, a celebration of the contributions women make in every aspect of life: in the home, on the job, in the community, as mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, learners, workers, citizens, and leaders.
It is also a coming together, much the way women come together every day in every country. We come together in fields and factories, in village markets and supermarkets, in living rooms and board rooms. Whether it is while playing with our children in the park, or washing clothes in a river, or taking a break at the office water cooler, we come together and talk about our aspirations and concern. And time and again, our talk turns to our children and our families. However different we may appear, there is far more that unites us than divides us. We share a common future, and we are here to find common ground so that we may help bring new dignity and respect to women and girls all over the world, and in so doing bring new strength and stability to families as well.
By gathering in Beijing, we are focusing world attention on issues that matter most in our lives — the lives of women and their families: access to education, health care, jobs and credit, the chance to enjoy basic legal and human rights and to participate fully in the political life of our countries.
There are some who question the reason for this conference. Let them listen to the voices of women in their homes, neighborhoods, and workplaces. There are some who wonder whether the lives of women and girls matter to economic and political progress around the globe. Let them look at the women gathered here and at Huairou — the homemakers and nurses, the teachers and lawyers, the policymakers and women who run their own businesses. It is conferences like this that compel governments and peoples everywhere to listen, look, and face the world’s most pressing problems. Wasn’t it after all — after the women’s conference in Nairobi ten years ago that the world focused for the first time on the crisis of domestic violence?
Earlier today, I participated in a World Health Organization forum. In that forum, we talked about ways that government officials, NGOs, and individual citizens are working to address the health problems of women and girls. Tomorrow, I will attend a gathering of the United Nations Development Fund for Women. There, the discussion will focus on local — and highly successful — programs that give hard-working women access to credit so they can improve their own lives and the lives of their families.
What we are learning around the world is that if women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish. If women are free from violence, their families will flourish. If women have a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their families will flourish. And when families flourish, communities and nations do as well. That is why every woman, every man, every child, every family, and every nation on this planet does have a stake in the discussion that takes place here.
Over the past 25 years, I have worked persistently on issues relating to women, children, and families. Over the past two and a half years, I’ve had the opportunity to learn more about the challenges facing women in my own country and around the world.
I have met new mothers in Indonesia, who come together regularly in their village to discuss nutrition, family planning, and baby care. I have met working parents in Denmark who talk about the comfort they feel in knowing that their children can be cared for in safe, and nurturing after-school centers. I have met women in South Africa who helped lead the struggle to end apartheid and are now helping to build a new democracy. I have met with the leading women of my own hemisphere who are working every day to promote literacy and better health care for children in their countries. I have met women in India and Bangladesh who are taking out small loans to buy milk cows, or rickshaws, or thread in order to create a livelihood for themselves and their families. I have met the doctors and nurses in Belarus and Ukraine who are trying to keep children alive in the aftermath of Chernobyl.
The great challenge of this conference is to give voice to women everywhere whose experiences go unnoticed, whose words go unheard. Women comprise more than half the world’s population, 70% of the world’s poor, and two-thirds of those who are not taught to read and write. We are the primary caretakers for most of the world’s children and elderly. Yet much of the work we do is not valued — not by economists, not by historians, not by popular culture, not by government leaders.
At this very moment, as we sit here, women around the world are giving birth, raising children, cooking meals, washing clothes, cleaning houses, planting crops, working on assembly lines, running companies, and running countries. Women also are dying from diseases that should have been prevented or treated. They are watching their children succumb to malnutrition caused by poverty and economic deprivation. They are being denied the right to go to school by their own fathers and brothers. They are being forced into prostitution, and they are being barred from the bank lending offices and banned from the ballot box.
Those of us who have the opportunity to be here have the responsibility to speak for those who could not. As an American, I want to speak for those women in my own country, women who are raising children on the minimum wage, women who can’t afford health care or child care, women whose lives are threatened by violence, including violence in their own homes.
I want to speak up for mothers who are fighting for good schools, safe neighborhoods, clean air, and clean airwaves; for older women, some of them widows, who find that, after raising their families, their skills and life experiences are not valued in the marketplace; for women who are working all night as nurses, hotel clerks, or fast food chefs so that they can be at home during the day with their children; and for women everywhere who simply don’t have time to do everything they are called upon to do each and every day.
Speaking to you today, I speak for them, just as each of us speaks for women around the world who are denied the chance to go to school, or see a doctor, or own property, or have a say about the direction of their lives, simply because they are women. The truth is that most women around the world work both inside and outside the home, usually by necessity.
We need to understand there is no one formula for how women should lead our lives. That is why we must respect the choices that each woman makes for herself and her family. Every woman deserves the chance to realize her own God-given potential. But we must recognize that women will never gain full dignity until their human rights are respected and protected.
Our goals for this conference, to strengthen families and societies by empowering women to take greater control over their own destinies, cannot be fully achieved unless all governments — here and around the world — accept their responsibility to protect and promote internationally recognized human rights. The — The international community has long acknowledged and recently reaffirmed at Vienna that both women and men are entitled to a range of protections and personal freedoms, from the right of personal security to the right to determine freely the number and spacing of the children they bear. No one — No one should be forced to remain silent for fear of religious or political persecution, arrest, abuse, or torture.
Tragically, women are most often the ones whose human rights are violated. Even now, in the late 20th century, the rape of women continues to be used as an instrument of armed conflict. Women and children make up a large majority of the world’s refugees. And when women are excluded from the political process, they become even more vulnerable to abuse. I believe that now, on the eve of a new millennium, it is time to break the silence. It is time for us to say here in Beijing, and for the world to hear, that it is no longer acceptable to discuss women’s rights as separate from human rights.
These abuses have continued because, for too long, the history of women has been a history of silence. Even today, there are those who are trying to silence our words. But the voices of this conference and of the women at Huairou must be heard loudly and clearly:
It is a violation of human rights when babies are denied food, or drowned, or suffocated, or their spines broken, simply because they are born girls.
It is a violation of human rights when women and girls are sold into the slavery of prostitution for human greed — and the kinds of reasons that are used to justify this practice should no longer be tolerated.
It is a violation of human rights when women are doused with gasoline, set on fire, and burned to death because their marriage dowries are deemed too small.
It is a violation of human rights when individual women are raped in their own communities and when thousands of women are subjected to rape as a tactic or prize of war.
It is a violation of human rights when a leading cause of death worldwide among women ages 14 to 44 is the violence they are subjected to in their own homes by their own relatives.
It is a violation of human rights when young girls are brutalized by the painful and degrading practice of genital mutilation.
It is a violation of human rights when women are denied the right to plan their own families, and that includes being forced to have abortions or being sterilized against their will.
If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights once and for all. Let us not forget that among those rights are the right to speak freely — and the right to be heard.
Women must enjoy the rights to participate fully in the social and political lives of their countries, if we want freedom and democracy to thrive and endure. It is indefensible that many women in nongovernmental organizations who wished to participate in this conference have not been able to attend — or have been prohibited from fully taking part.
Let me be clear. Freedom means the right of people to assemble, organize, and debate openly. It means respecting the views of those who may disagree with the views of their governments. It means not taking citizens away from their loved ones and jailing them, mistreating them, or denying them their freedom or dignity because of the peaceful expression of their ideas and opinions.
In my country, we recently celebrated the 75th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage. It took 150 years after the signing of our Declaration of Independence for women to win the right to vote. It took 72 years of organized struggle, before that happened, on the part of many courageous women and men. It was one of America’s most divisive philosophical wars. But it was a bloodless war. Suffrage was achieved without a shot being fired.
But we have also been reminded, in V-J Day observances last weekend, of the good that comes when men and women join together to combat the forces of tyranny and to build a better world. We have seen peace prevail in most places for a half century. We have avoided another world war. But we have not solved older, deeply-rooted problems that continue to diminish the potential of half the world’s population.
Now it is the time to act on behalf of women everywhere. If we take bold steps to better the lives of women, we will be taking bold steps to better the lives of children and families too. Families rely on mothers and wives for emotional support and care. Families rely on women for labor in the home. And increasingly, everywhere, families rely on women for income needed to raise healthy children and care for other relatives.
As long as discrimination and inequities remain so commonplace everywhere in the world, as long as girls and women are valued less, fed less, fed last, overworked, underpaid, not schooled, subjected to violence in and outside their homes — the potential of the human family to create a peaceful, prosperous world will not be realized.
Let — Let this conference be our — and the world’s — call to action. Let us heed that call so we can create a world in which every woman is treated with respect and dignity, every boy and girl is loved and cared for equally, and every family has the hope of a strong and stable future. That is the work before you. That is the work before all of us who have a vision of the world we want to see — for our children and our grandchildren.
The time is now. We must move beyond rhetoric. We must move beyond recognition of problems to working together, to have the comment efforts to build that common ground we hope to see.
God’s blessing on you, your work, and all who will benefit from it.
Godspeed and thank you very much.”

Why James Franco Is Voting For Hillary And Why You Should Too! #ImWithHer

Watch here why ‘King Cobra’ star James Franco is voting for Hillary Clinton to be the next president of the United States!

Hillary Makes History

Former First Lady, New York Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton was announced last night as the 2016 Democratic nomination, becoming the first woman to be nominated for president by a major U.S. political party.

Hillary Clinton

#ImWithHer and you should be too.

Review: There Be Dragons (2011)

via wikipedia

via wikipedia

One thing that I didn’t like about this film is that there are so many things happening in it. It was uninteresting at most parts and failed to deliver the theme at its maximum potential. The film focuses on forgiveness that inspects some aspect of life, its meaning and its purpose.

 Robert is a journalist writing a book and is trying to reconcile with his dying father whom he interviewed for his project and discovered that he had been a close friend of Josemaria Escriva, the founder of the Opus Dei movement. The story went deep as Robert learned about the dark past of his father, reluctantly sharing the stories to his son. The story takes place during the Spanish Civil War that seemed to topple what good potentials the film promised at the beginning. The production was good but it was lackluster in execution. It didn’t quite lived up to its promise of grandeur and even the extras having parts in the film were quite terrible!

 It was interesting to note that Charlie Cox who played Josemaria Escriva was quite impressive that you actually believe him and feel everything that he’s saying from his eyes. He was quite mesmerizing on the screen if I’m being honest.

 The rest of the cast were just miscast-ed or perhaps shown in such a way that are not as believable as Cox. The film would have been great if (in my opinion) Wes Bentley’s character, Manolo was played by another actor like Gael Garcia Bernal. I just don’t see enough conviction from him and even Dougray Scott who played Robert was a total disappointment.

I’m not really sure what pushes me to watch this film. It was quite interesting in its trailer but was a total disaster in its entirety. The film was okay for like the first few minutes but it went downhill up to the last part of it. Perhaps, I wasn’t feeling nice when I watched it.
Rating: 5 / 10
Director: Roland Joffe
Starring: Charlie Cox, Wes Bentley, Dougray Scott, Unax Ugalde, Olga Kurklenko, Rodrigo Santoro, Geraldine Chaplin, Golshiften Farahani
This film review was first posted at Pinoy Exchange. Read all my film reviews at Pinoy Exchange Official PEx Movie Reviews.

Review: Imelda (2003)

ImeldaSurely, one of the most fascinating people in the Philippines has got to be the former first lady herself, Imelda Marcos. I was able to catch this through the invitation of a fellow film reviewer way back in 2004. The film Imelda was directed by Ramona S. Diaz who followed Imelda Marcos for a month and was able to interview from children, Imee and Bongbong (Ferdinand Marcos. Jr.)

The documentary was quite interesting. For one, it feels like invading the former first lady’s innermost thoughts. It’s funny at some point because for some reason, her responses kinda seemed scripted – but for the most parts – it’s rather surprising to see her being so blunt in answering a lot of controversial questions especially about the “human rights violations” that transpired during the Marcos regime. It was also interesting to note that her view in dressing up was to actually provide positivity to “her” people. Can I just also say how the archives used in the film brought something back – like how prestigious the Philippines was during her time as the first lady. I mean, seriously – no offense meant about being shallow and all about the prestige or similar thought but at that time, Imelda was representing the Philippines in such a light that we almost feel like a superpower nation but alas, history would speak for itself.

Year: 2003
Genre: Documentary
Rating: 8/10
Director: Ramona S. Diaz
Starring: Imelda Marcos, Imee Marcos, Ferdinand Maros, Jr.

via Pinoy Exchange 2014 Movie Challenge
30 Days Movie Challenge – Day 12: Your favorite Documentary

My 2014 Oscar Final Predictions – My Winners And Spoilers!!

Oscar Trophy - Specials

With the awards season for the films of 2013 culminating on Sunday as the 86th Academy Awards present the Oscar to their respective winners, I’m also coming up (as per usual) with my final predictions for this year’s Oscars.

Best Picture

As much as I’m hoping that Gravity will win this category, I’m still leaning  towards a 12 Years A Slave win not only because it’s winning every precursor award giving bodies prior to the big night but because it’s a total Oscar bait like what I’ve always mentioned. Don’t get me wrong though, I love the film and I feel that it was a well made one but if I were to give it to THE best film of 2013 – Gravity should win this one hands down.

SPOILER: GRAVITY

Best Director

Alfonso Cuaron created a masterpiece with Gravity. Rarely that a director create something that is as powerful as this one. Steve McQueen can win the Best Picture but Cuaron has got this in the bag already.

SPOILER: STEVE MCQUEEN (NOT MUCH THOUGH)

BEST ACTORFrom my review, McConaughey’s rendition in Dallas Buyers Club as the homophobic Texan who became the unlikely hero of the gay community was flawless – it’s like the male Sophieluminescent, one of a kind and truly singular. He’s untouchable here as much as I’d love for Leo to finally get an Oscar.

SPOILER: LEONARDO DICAPRIO

BEST ACTRESSAfter winning a statuette for her supporting role in Aviator, Cate is ready to finally claim what’s rightfully her to begin with (hhmm,  paging Gwyneth.) Her performance in Blue Jasmine was said to be the best of her career and I have to believe that for she won almost all the major award giving bodies for her work in the film. Yay!

SPOILER: SANDRA BULLOCK FOR GRAVITY.

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE: Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club 

Leto’s best work to date as Rayon is a groundbreaking performance that only deserves accolades like this one. In this film, Jared Leto proved that he’s special!

spoiler: Barkhad Abdi for Captain Phillips

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE: Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave

I’ve only high praises for Jennifer Lawrence but I find Lupita’s performance more memorable and for that alone, I’m giving her this one. Plus, I don’t think the Academy’s ready to give her an Oscar with her winning just last year.

SPOILER: Jennifer Lawrence for American Hustle.

Best Original Screenplay – Her

Best Adapted Screenplay – 12 Years A Slave

Best Animated Feature – Frozen

Best Foreign Language Film – The Great Beauty (Italy)

Best Documentary – 20 Feet from Stardom

Best Film Editing – Gravity

Best Original Score – Gravity

Best Original Song – Let It Go

Best Cinematography – Gravity

Best Visual Effects – Gravity

Best Sound Editing – Gravity

Best Sound Mixing – Gravity

Best Production Design – The Great Gatsby

Best Makeup and Hairstyling -American Hustle

Best Costume Design – The Great Gatsby by Catherine Martin

Best Documentary – Short Subject – Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall

Best Live Action Short Film – Avant que de tout perdre (Just Before Losing Everything) – Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras

Best Animated Short Film – Get a Horse!

*I submitted this prediction to the 4th Pinoyexchange Oscar Pool (my fourth year of joining! during the first year, I placed 8th, unplaced on the second year and came in at 10th place last year)

for 50 bonus points, after predicting the winners for all 24 categories, the participant has the option to pick ONE PEx Oscar Prediction (listed below) which s/he will think will happen.

PEx Oscar Predictions:

  1. Leonardo DiCaprio will finally win his first Oscar
  2. “Let it Go” will not win Best Original Song
  3. There will be a tie in at least one category
  4. The Best Film Editing winner will not win Best Picture
  5. The Best Director winner will come from the Best Picture winner

Review: The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013)

Oscar Trophy - Specials

Based on Jordan Belfort’s memoir, The Wolf Of Wall Street adequately narrates Belfort’s (Leonardo DiCaprio) conquest in New York making it big in Wall Street at any cost. Adapted by Terence Winter who created  HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and have written in the award winning The Sopranos, Director Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio partnered once again as they introduced as to Belfort’s world encompassing his rich and lavish lifestyle that includes drugs, sex and anything that money can buy.

When I “personally” pointed out that Jennifer Lawrence was seemingly the heir apparent to Meryl Streep, I immediately thought of his male counterpart and I easily thought of Leo. He’s perfection for the role and his subtle charm and overflowing charisma easily translates into the screen. Truly Leonardo DiCaprio is one of a kind. Some critics said that he’s sometimes too rehearsed or too exaggerated but I beg to disagree, dear Sir and Ma’am. I thought he’s acting style is singular because he knows how to commit into a character. Jonah Hill (who played Donnie, Belfort’s neighbor) was such a delight as he explode here with his comedic timing like no other actor could do. A one of a kind performance as well that nagged him several acclaims since its run. Margot Robbie whom I thought looked ravishing was equally amazing as Naomi Belfort – she’s just so fun to watch!

I’ve to say though, that what truly stands out in this film aside from the three actors that I mentioned above was the perfect use of scoring and cinematography. Both enamored me into feeling that this truly was the 90’s.  The 90’s was my growing up years and it felt fluid and too reminiscent all throughout the film. That is what I call good direction.

This is yet another Scorsese’s masterpiece depicting a charming Leo as a hero who scammed millions of dollars from unsuspecting investors – which is basically what the film’s all about. Their partnership was truly a force in the industry. Leo knows what Marty wanted him to do in this film and both delivered exceptionally well. Leo’s truly a gem in film.

Leonardo, you are simply magnificent. (mimicking Marion Cottilard during her Oscar presentation to Kate Winslet. LOL)

Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Job Favreau, Jean Dujardin, Joanna Lumley, Cristin Milioti, Christine Ebersole, Shea Whigham, Katarina Cas, P.J. Byrne, Kenneth Choi, Brian Sacca, Henry Zebrowski, Ethan Suplee, Barry Rothbart, Jake Hoffman, Mackenzie Meehan, Spike Jonze, Bo Dietl

Rating: 9.5/10

*The Wolf Of Wall Street received five Academy Award nominations, including the Best Picture category.

Review: The Dictator (2012)

via wikipedia

via wikipedia

I went to see the film half-expecting a mix of Sacha Baron Cohen’s eponymous characters Borat and Bruno but I thought it was tamer and more solid. The Dictator tells the story of Admiral General Aladeen ruling the North African country of “Wadiya” with an iron fist. He was invited to travel to New York to address the United Nations that led to his kidnapping plotted by his right hand (Ben Kingsley.) Replaced by a dim-witted impostor, the deposed leader device a plan to reclaim his power through the help of Zoe (Anna Faris), a very liberal militant whose appearance in the film balanced out the gross hilarity of Baron Cohen’s character.

The film isn’t as vulgar as Bruno but it has some cringe-worthy scenes that may offend the sensibility of some people but ninety percent of it was hella funny. The direct hit towards the American culture and politics made it even funnier that it almost feel like an intelligent film, only it is not. It was slapstick but relevant, fearless but not jaw dropping at all. With a very touchy topic such as democracy, you might think that Sacha and director Larry Charles went a bit too far as to make fun of a lot of relevant issues that recently transpired but they were able to transition everything into something that is too hilarious to even get a serious thought from its audience.

The Dictator may have pushed the limit as it conquered the reality that is happening now but it gave a solid comedy that we’d all be laughing about from wherever we’ll be watching it. Like democracy, we have a choice to watch it or not. To laugh at it or laugh with it – at the end of the day, laughter’s still there and The Dictator may not be that great of a film but it’s definitely one that is to watch out for – NOW!
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris, Jason Mantzoukas, Ben Kingsley
Director: Larry Charles
Distributed by United International Pictures and Solar Entertainment Corporation