His Name is Daniel: A Memoir of that First Crush

Note: This is written for the Non-Fiction Project for A.Y. 2013-2014 1st Semester.

You are always gonna be my love
Even if I fall in love with someone once again
I’ll remember to love
You taught me how
You are always gonna be the one
It’s still a sad song
Until I can sing a new song

                        Utada Hikaru, First Love

I never had a crush or yearning for any male I have known for, including fictional characters, & excluding family and relatives, some time. That is, all but one. Who is he? Yes, laugh at me if you want to, because the story I have to tell is something I never realize much & has haunted me for the longest time: my crush is a wizard! Okay, he isn’t a wizard in real life, but he’s known for portraying one in the big screen, right? (Please note that, I’m not talking about witchcraft since we’re in a Catholic institution, it’s just all about my journey in learning about the fact I have crush feelings for my crush.) Oh yeah, he’s almost four years older than me too!

It’s all started with post-9/11 2001. My family was going around Makati (City), when we passed by underneath a tunnel at Glorietta, there it had a poster of a film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher, errr…, Sorcerer’s Stone. Of all things I saw in the poster, there’s this scrawny little boy with eye glasses, bushy eyebrows, and flat short hair.

At first, my first thought was ‘Nay, he (the boy) isn’t gonna stay long to survive all that!’ Of course, as a kid during the time where wizards were the next big thing, before shiny vampires & shape shifting were folks of Stephanie Meyer and fallen angels, my ‘innocent’ mind wasn’t into him then. As it turned in the years to come, he proved me wrong

Almost a year passed by, Chamber of Secrets came out as a film. I was busying looking at the Entertainment section of Manila Bulletin, when he showed up! He looked a lot like the kid from the poster. At first, I didn’t care who on Earth he was then. Again, I just dismissed him as a mere person. Those Brits were strange! I thought. But when Christmas set in, my brother & I got our first copies of K-Zone magazine (back when it was new in the Philippines, imported from Australia 11 years ago; 2, to be exact), I found a seemingly angry teen in one issue, and the same little kid from the Sorcerer’s Stone poster and a dorky guy in the other issue. Then I found out that some guy shared the same birth month as I do. Some guy, eh?

What I didn’t know was that, for the next several years, I would eventually fall for this guy hard… Staring at newspapers, magazines, and the Internet, that’s all what I did with him, staring at him. As they always said, curiosity kills the cat! And it did that on me in the year 2007!!!

I wanna be with you now
Let’s shorten the distance with the two of us
We can still make it on time
We can start over
We can’t be as one
I wanna be with you
Someday even this distance
We’ll be able to embrace
We can start sooner
After all I wanna be with you

                              – Utada Hikaru, Distance

 

It was only in first year high school when I found out that I have a crush on him. I was having a hard time in freshman year in an all-girls Catholic school. Being a product of co-ed schooling, it was culture shock all the way, though not noticeable at first. I had to attend to subjects taught in Filipino without any help of translation. At that time, we had a recycling project, putting aside plastic bottles and newspapers for recycling. I wasn’t in a good mood then, and during free time while, I believe, no teacher around, I hid inside a cardboard ‘fortress’ my classmates unintentionally made. There, I found random sections of newspapers, and cut some pictures out, like movie posters, movie info for Bahay Kubo: A Pinoy Mano Po, and a picture of Smurfette.

Among of my treasures was a movie poster of some Aussie indie film called December Boys. At first, I thought, lame film, boring! Then I spied into a certain someone I have been unknowingly crushing on from 2002: him, him, my (no longer) secret crush!!! I scribbled some words: ‘Secret crush ko (hahaha)!’

Flash forward a year later; I transferred to another school where I graduated after 3 years. My brother graduated from elementary school, and it was a perfect opportunity to leave my horrible first year high school traumas behind. Then, something strange happened during our high school camp: during a quiz-bee game (the high school section is divided into 6 teams: my team was Deuteronomy), when we have to guess who are among the wealthiest people alive by Forbes Magazine, they wrote his name, and guess what, I got somewhat offended. So glad that we lost the question!

Then I found out from an Aussie tween magazine that he’s also a person with disability like me: he got a mild case of Dyspraxia (a neural disorder that affects one’s motor skills), & I got Asperger Syndrome (mild case of Autism). And before that, I learned we have our fair share of hard times, though not the same events though.

When the next year came, two crazy events happened to me, and one happened during my class’ practice for Filipino play based on Florante at Laura. I was reading a local teens’ magazine when one classmate caught me off guard. Then he asked me something. I then told something about my crush & everyone made a fuss out of it! Then it happened again in my Asian History class! We were tackling Iran. Iran, Persia in the old days, was where prophet Daniel was based at the time when he was unjustly thrown into the lion’s den yet was saved by God’s intervention.  With a slip of the tongue, I mentioned about having a crush named after him! Then the one who started the mess soon said his (my crush’s) name! Everyone made a fuss about it.

Then during English time, we have some haiku & poems exercises, and I was paired with a friend of mine. We passed our haikus and poems, and when we returned our papers; his comment on my poems has my crush’s name on it! I suffered more. I was the laughing stock of the batch then. And just when I thought this strange crush on You-Know-Who will bring me more misery; it gave me a new outlet to express this strange crush on him. And it is in the form of a poem during Poetry class.

This time, during second year college, we were given an opportunity to write stone poems.  The stone I found reminded me of a heart. It took me back to the time I realized about my crush on him who nearly ruined my high school reputation. I still long for him even though I know he’ll not be mine. I wrote my stone poem ‘Angel of Mystery’, for love brings to me a strange force I can’t comprehend.

And it goes like this:
I look at him with stares of a child.

He was an angel.

An Angel I would never encounter before:

     His photo bleached in black & white like a silent film.

His gazes seemed to be appeared as if he’s gravitating                            

      towards me as if like destiny.  

A stranger that I strangely yearn for in my life.

But do I really yearn him, for what reason?

He is Mystery, a swift breeze in the wind that carried

    me away in my mind. His presence haunts me fatally.                       

Yet still, I might have seen him before, maybe in the past.

 

I feel the Aphrodite in me, casting my eyes on him

   that Adonis of a man in him.

My yearnings are locked inside by the key & lock of

   my heart that I’ll never know. That Angel of mine.                               

Love is like cloaked in shadows; covered in a fog of intrigue.

Wrapped in gift wrappers of crushed velvet dreams.

You who enchanted me, please remember this.

Remember that I’ll never be yours forevermore;

But I shall still remember you, my Angel,                                                      

You’re the one who sent me on a whirlwind.

 

A whirlwind that sends me in ecstasy, the whirlwind

  that is called Love.

Oh, Daniel. Why doesn’t your presence leave me alone? Your silvery gray-blue eyes haunted me. That caused that strange thing of mine for brown-haired, blue-eyed Brits like you, why, Danny boy? You are my male muse, my dear man. Strangely attracted to you. Daniel, your eyes, your presence and your name alone haunt me for more than a decade. Daniel, you’ll never leave me in mind. In the end, you taught me one thing I’ll never forget: love (even a mere crush on an undeniably hot actor like you) goes beyond culture, race, age, time and lifestyle. Thank you, Danny, for being a part of my love life.

Okay, here he is, my dreaded nightmare:

005

(Courtesy of Harry Potter Wikia)

English Lyrics of Utada Hikaru’s songs are from Anime Lyrics: http://www.animelyrics.com/jpop/utada/.

http://www.animelyrics.com/jpop/utada/distance.htm

http://www.animelyrics.com/jpop/utada/utadafl.htm

My Stone Poem Angel of Mystery was written during the 1st Sem of A.Y. 2012-2013.

Where to find this guy:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/114985072985242855328

http://www.danradcliffe.co.uk/

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Film Critique on: Four Sisters & a Wedding

This was written for the Art Appreciation Project of the 1st half of the 1st semester 2013-2014 last Aug. 7, 2013.

Normally, it usually takes a certain period of time to court/date someone you want to marry before those vows down along the aisle. Then everyone lives happily ever after, right? But in reality, as exemplified in the case of Four Sisters and a Wedding, it’s not an easy road to take, especially if you have a wedding that’ll take place in 2 weeks & you just informed your relatives all too soon; worse if they plot to sabotage the wedding out of concern, but in the wrong way.

While the story itself is original story-wise, its origins go back to a screenplay written by Filipino director & screenwriter Jose Javier Reyes, which might not have been translated to the screen for unknown reasons. The film tells of the Salazar siblings: recently-laid off Madrid-based teacher Teddie (Toni Gonzaga), New York-based communications manager Bobbie (Bea Alonzo), film producer Alex (Angel Locsin), high school teacher Gabbie (Shaina Magdayao) & only boy CJ (Enchong Dee) who have drifted apart for some time. Then things went mad when CJ revealed he’ll tie the knot with his girlfriend of 4 months, wellness spa heiress Princess Bayag (Angeline Quinto) in 2 weeks. Stunned by the news, the sisters take arms & plot to stop the wedding a la My Best Friend’s Wedding for their brother’s sake. But as they try to sabotage the plans, they have some major problems (particularly the 3 eldest sisters): Teddie is ashamed to tell her family about losing her job due to the Euro Crisis, Bobbie can’t seem to get along with her fiancée Tristan’s (Sam Milby) daughter from his late wife: Trixie (Samantha Faytaren) & Alex’s boyfriend Chad (Bernardo Palanca) is cheating on her (before her, he used to date Bobbie) with another girl. Soon, tons of obstacles, mishaps & a tragedy pile up and the girls have to face the facts, if they can live a happy ending.

The Salazars are portrayed realistically, in the sense that they presented as a family who needs to help each other to clear up the troubles they have gotten to & stick with each other. The opening showed the girls making a Christmas gift for Jesus out of Rebisco biscuit sandwiches when they were younger, which was later show again when they renewed their relationship with each other near the end of the film. The portrayal of the Bayag family as a very wealthy family is exaggerated throughout the film: their house looked like an expansive lot in the US, their house helpers are dressed up as if like they’re stuck in Edwardian England, they wore bright colors & flashy clothing; also, their personalities are also parodied for the upper class Filipino family (though Princess, personality-wise, wasn’t absurd as her parents).

To be honest, the cast were appropriately cast & effectively. It’s no secret for that Angel, Bea & Shaina are actually best friends in real life, so that somehow help in their roles. Bea & Samantha are also well-casted for Bobbie & Trixie’s rocky relationship from enemies with a common tie (in this case, Tristan) to the best of friends. Coney Reyes is excellent in portraying Grace Salazar to the right fit, with a face of concern that shows how much she’s worried about the children’s relationship going sour, & a mother’s love for all of her children. Angeline should been given good merits for portraying Princess as a well-off heiress without going too stereotypical, as evident in her scene with Enchong about their familial worries & their film chemistry is wonderful. Toni’s chemistry with Janus del Prado/Frodo is also as dynamic, especially with the scene where Teddie begged Frodo to loan her money to go home, with the condition that he pose for her ‘boyfriend’, a masquerade that’ll turn slowly into a relationship in the film’s progress.

The setting is proven effective in its part. The Salazar residence provides much of the major scenes in the film (from the opening to the charades incident & the sisters’ confessions to the sisters’ happy renewal of their familial love for each other). The spa also provides uncertainty over Frodo being ‘attacked’ by a masseur, with dark lighting for the massage area & bright lights for the reception area. The wedding theme is a clear parody of Disney’s The Little Mermaid: proof is found in the sisters’ gowns, CJ’s outfit looks like Prince Eric’s while the top bodice part of Princess’ gown looks like Ariel’s seashell bra top. The film’s cinematography is done with colors, with the scenes having a glossy finish. The lighting is also used well, for the film. The camera angles are effectively useful, with close-ups done for many major important scenes like Teddie, Bobbie & Alex’s confessions, most of CJ & Princess’ talk at the pool area of her house & most of Bobbie’s conversations with Tristan & Trixie. The music score is shown as effective, not cheesy or not too funny; just enough to give you a sense of a telenovela & a romantic comedy film (which the film really is) mashed into one sitting. No special effects were used, just the makeup needs for the exaggeration on the part of Carmi Martin/Jeanette’s look, due to the comedy essence in the film.

In the film, symbols were rarely used a lot. But the obvious ones were the Rebisco biscuit sandwich (which stands for the siblings’ very close relationship with each other prior to the main plot) &, surprisingly, the wedding (which became the full closure for all the characters’ problems).

The film, overall, is a very effective movie, in the sense, that it addresses to the importance of familial bonds, accepting change as a part of life & renewing ties broken. The story is well-written & well-executed by both cast & crew members involved in the film. If one wants a good dose of a local rendition of a wedding-themed dramedy film (without any excessive drama or comedy elements that would have overwhelm the story) a la My Best Friend’s Wedding, Four Sisters and a Wedding will definitely take you on a well-balanced adventure.

Information on the film: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Sisters_and_a_Wedding