Ruminations on literature, film, life, and what-have-you.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Viva Villa!

I just had a great villa in Baguio last week 25-28 October. The villa is part of the structure of Jesuits-in-formation. This is to facilitate the deepening of friendship among formands along with their formators. Most of us view it as a priceless opportunity to rest after such a grueling semester.

The villa was a blast thanks to the indefatiguable villa master Tonton Coloma, who ensured that we get to do what we want—watch movies, go trekking, play mahjong, and especially all get a relaxing wholistic massage from Camp Allen's resident blind masseurs.

It was great to see Jesuit priests having a whole lot of fun, enjoying the crisp Baguio air.

Thank God for villa. Thank God for community.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Corpse Bride

This evening, Ernald and I decided to watch the movie The Corpse Bride. I was initially hesitant to watch the film: First, I didn't really revel in the thought of seeing corpses, skeletons, and other selpulchrally sentimental images and second, at that moment I wanted to see a light movie—one with lines I could take with me as I go beddy-bye.

I was pleasantly surprised. The film was quite enchanting (as with any Tim Burton film) from the very beginning. The character design were familiar carictures of people we know: the social climing Van Dorts pitted to marry haughty, noble yet penniless Everglots. Some of the specific characters actually reminded me of specific people: Nell Van Dort reminded me of one junior while Maudeline Everglot reminded me of a Filipino teacher—but that's another story.

One scene I particularly liked was the confrontation scene. Prior to the scene, the protagonist, Victor Van Dort, blurted out to the corpse bride that he wouldn't even think marrying someone like her. The decomposing damsel, offended, went to the music room alone where she played melancholic tunes on a piano. Victor followed her, played a number of notes, the corpse responded with melodies of her own and soon a heated exchange of hyms ensued. The music subsided, no words were exchanged, yet the scene was replete with emotion.

Overall, the film was a pleasant experience and I did take home some memorable lines from the film. I quote from Victor's wedding vows:

With this hand I will lift your sorrows.
Your cup will never be empty, for I will be your wine.
With this candle, I will light your way into darkness.
With this ring, I ask you to be mine.

It somehow reminds me of the vows I professed. Okay, that's pushing it a bit too far. But Victor's vows are truly very touching and the words are beddy-bye words that will leave you warm and fuzzy all over. :)

Monday, October 10, 2005

Earl Grey Tea & Biscuits

As I was winding up a long day of preparing for my exams, I decided to have some tea at the nearby Starbucks Blue Wave outlet. The gloomy afternoon was perfect for a bright cup of Earl Grey tea and some biscuits.

Earl Grey tea is a variety of black tea infused with bergamot. It was named after a certain Charles Grey, the second Earl Grey who reputedly received as a gift, this blend of tea from a Chinese nobleman. This type tea became so popular that Twinings tea merchants were commisioned to duplicate the blend into what we know as Earl Grey now.

I prefer to take my Earl Grey with some milk, to complement the high note of bergamot with the creaminess of the milk--the milk gives the tea some body without compromising the citrusy character of the tea. It's sure to perk up your mood while it soothes you.

Lately, being exam week I found myself drinking cup after cup of Earl Grey tea made by different tea companies— Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Co., Twinings, and Tazo (of Starbucks). They're all quite lovely, however, Twinings stands out as the best among the three.

Twinings' Earl Grey leaves a distinct, almost addictive aftertaste, perhaps because of the quality of bergamot used. Long after sipping your tea, the bergamot settles on your palate making you crave another sip. The flavor is strong but not overpowering.

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Co., comes a close second. This is a milder version of Earl Grey. The tea itself is very delicate, and I suppose that's the reason why the bergamot is but a wisp of a flavor.

Tazo ranks third. Their version begins with a very strong flavor, but disappointingly loses impact after each sip. It is nevertheless a good brew when accompanied with a rich pastry.

Hmmm. Writing this blog took a lot of time. I suppose I could go for another cup.