DARKNESS FELL ON SID AND AYA

“Bakit pa binigay kung mawawala din lang” – Kitchie Nadal

Did you ever have something you loved so much but lost it along the way? Then you wonder why it causes so much pain after it has been gone. Soon after, regret creeps in thinking, If only I knew, I wouldn’t want to have it. Why did this had to happen? It is even more hurtful when this thing that you lost is love. This is the central plot of the song Darkness Fell which is on the soundtrack of the recent film by Viva entitled Sid and Aya – a romantic movie, nothing unusual, nothing special but it was worth watching. The song had a tragic ending; the film had an open ended ending but both had characters wanting something but it kept eluding them.

SID AND AYA
Grabe, Sobrang lungkot mo naman kung kailangan mong magbayad ng kausap. – Aya

The film had nice cinematography, good narration and commendable acting. In my opinion, Viva produces more quality films than Star Cinema. They veer away from the formulaic look and themes making it a little bit different from the rest.

This is the only time that I’ve seen a tagalog movie in a theatre after a very long time. Most Filipino movies are a give away once you’ve seen the trailer; you can predict the ending, you know what’s going to happen, there’s no surprise ending, but I must say, Sid and Aya is worth knowing HOW the story goes.

SID AND AYA
“Hoy, pangalan lang tinatanong ko, hindi ‘what is life?’” – Aya

This movie made me an Anne Curtis fan. She was so beautiful that you would want to have an Anne Curtis in your life. Kudos to the well acted scenes, the simple story of Sid and Aya was made memorable.

The scene that struck me the most during the course of the film is when Sid and Aya sits inside the car and listens to Wolfgang’s “Darkness Fell”. The scene was reminiscent of Before Sunrise, where Jesse and Celine stopped by a record store and listened to some rhythm and blues. These scenes are best examples of how music can amplify the mood of the whole film. In Sid and Aya, Sid played Darkness Fell in his car while he drives Aya home; it was so simple but it rocked. The Juans rendition was mellow and it fitted perfectly to the sequence since the lyrics were somehow mirroring what was taking place between Sid and Aya.

Darkness Fell is a lyrical genius. It tells a story of a King who saw the girl of her dreams in a very melodic and bewitching scenario.Notice how the enchanting lyrics of Darkness Fell reflected the characters of Sid and Aya:

And so she woke up from a dream
That was beautiful and starry and oh so wild
It was all still clear in her eyes
And though her mind was foggy and blank
she wondered why her life couldn’t be as lovely
it was time…

Aya had dream of someday lifting her parents to a better life situation. She was incessantly working day and night for her living to be able to have enough money and go to Japan to be able to support her mother. She is so fixed on reaching her goal that having a relationship was probably the last thing on her mind. She was playful and happy go lucky during the first parts of the film but it was later revealed that she was set to be with her mom in Japan all along.

sid and aya
“Mahirap maging mahirap. Period.” – Aya

There was this king he had no castle or throne, oh no
But his horse was great and white
He rode alone and liked it that way
But when he met her, he swore
He would never leave her side…

Sid on the other hand was king nothing. He was a hot shot but he was empty inside. He is on the brink of discovering that material things could not satisfy a man’s life. The only thing that he had was riding on his bloated ego. Meeting Aya however, softened him and she was the only reason for his smile. Indeed, who wouldn’t be under the spell of a cigar smoking Anne Curtis. Sid’s life was shaken. He had thoughts of feeding his infatuation of being with this woman. And he did. In fact he even paid Aya so that she would accompany him while his girlfriend is away.

Sid and aya
Sino ka bang gago ka? Tanong ko ‘yun sa sarili ko. Gabi-gabing hindi ako makatulog. Sanay na ako. Causes of insomnia: Regret. Self-blame. Overthinking. Anger. Depression. Loneliness. And her. Yes. Her. Si Aya. Gago rin siya. – Sid

They rode across the land
Two lovers hand in hand
And no danger could come near
And when something made her cry
She’d look at him teary eyed
And he would make her feel better
Oh so much better
So much better than before

Both of them overstayed their welcome and decided to continue meeting each other. Though Aya seemed to be accompanying Sid only because he was giving her money for giving him attention, it was later revealed that Aya already has the money to go to Japan and thus implying that she was developing feelings for Sid. They were enjoying each others company and made a world of their own. They were out of reality and it was satisfying. Sid even got to the point where he sees Aya crying in the café she is working because of her family problems, and he came to her rescue by inviting her over for some smoke. A good cigar session is probably what a lot of people need for comfort.

sid and aya
“Wala kaya ko ‘to. Siyempre pagod lang kaya ang bilis umiyak.” – Aya

And now this forest was their home
It was a night time and the right time for love in the dark
She placed her hand upon his chest
And then all the rest just flowed
Makin’ love down under an ancient far away night

When Aya was invited over Sid’s condo here’s when things get a little naughty. They’re alone, they’re vulnerable, they’re drinking and they made this place their home. It was definitely the right time to explore each other intimately. All the repressed libido flowed like opening a dam filled with water. The morning after was even sweeter as Aya whispered “I love you” at the sleeping Sid beside her.

sid and aya
“I love you.” – Aya

Oh tell me a story of magic
And spiralling ships and stars in the night
Just whisper in my ears
Make it soft but make it clear
I want to hear every breath you’d say

Sid and Aya loved to hear each other’s stories. That’s probably what made them feel something for each other – their conversations. Sid even shared a story about this black swan. That in life, sometimes all you can think about are white swans and then you see a black swan and your perspective changes. And little did Sid knew that all it took was a Black Swan in the form of Aya to make him see things.

sid and aya
“My black swan turned out to be this girl na binago ang lahat. Marami akong hindi sinabi sa kanya. I wish she was still with me, so I could tell her I love her. Gago lang talaga ako. Sinaktan ko siya.” – Sid

It was so grand
Just holdin’ someone’s hand
And now safety came naturally, oh yeah
It was so clear
that she would never ever have to fear

Nevertheless, Sid was insensitive enough to be break Aya’s heart. He intended to propose to his then girlfriend who’s now back in Manila. Sid and Aya had their chance of being with each other while his beau was away. At the evening of their love making, Aya decided to leave for Japan with Sid’s ring that is intended to be given to his fiancé. But Sid’s fate was meant to be with Aya when he had a business trip in Japan and accidentally they bumped into each other. Now you see a more mature Aya who’s now supporting her mother and still working relentlessly. More over, it seemed that they have rekindled their fire and now that they’ve grown, it was clearer that Sid would want to have a life with Aya beside him. It was assuring that Sid and Aya had finally made up their minds, or so they thought they did.

SID AND AYA
“The truth is, I wanted her that night. Pero ayokong maging gago sa kanya. Ayoko sana.” – Sid

But she woke up from the land
Tears falling in her hands
As she looked up asking why
She laid back in her bed
Thoughts raising in her head
“Why can’t my life be beautiful?”, she said
As she closed her eyes again
Just prayin’ he’d return
But only darkness fell upon her

In contrast, the song ends in tragedy as the King never returned from a possible lethal encounter, but the film end on a lighter note which is more realistic. It was the best possible outcome for Sid and Aya. They simply let destiny takes its course. They didn’t force the issue, and let the quote “kung kayo, kayo talaga” happen. They needed to grow more and focus on the things at hand which would eventually lead to their self improvement. Darkness Fell had regrets on losing their love but Sid and Aya lost theirs but are hopeful for the future. The film had different takes on how we can control the course of our lives. It’s either we sulk in regret or simply just go with the flow like what Sid and Aya did. Sabi nga sa kasabihan “kung may gusto kung isang bagay huwag mong hawakan ng mahigpit para di ka mapagod”.

IS INFIDELITY SOCIALLY ACCEPTED?

infidelity
I hate the way you talk to me, and the way you cut your hair. I hate the way you drive my car. I hate it when you stare. I hate your big dumb combat boots, and the way you read my mind. I hate you so much it makes me sick; it even makes me rhyme. I hate it, I hate the way you’re always right. I hate it when you lie. I hate it when you make me laugh, even worse when you make me cry. I hate it when you’re not around, and the fact that you didn’t call. But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you. Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all – Kat Stratford  (10 Things I Hate About You)
Read more: IS INFIDELITY SOCIALLY ACCEPTED?

Girls, if given the chance to be in a relationship, which would you prefer, to be with the bad guy or the good guy? Ironically, most women find the darker personality as an attractive one. They can’t help it! It stirs them! They find it appealing no matter how hard they try not to. Though this ain’t the case most of the time, the University of Durham found out that women are drawn to the bad boys because of their stubbornness, confidence, and their impulsiveness. Or maybe, in my opinion, they feel that they’d be the one who’d be able to change that person for the better, who knows?

Just recently, British radio station BBC Radio 1 uploaded on their YouTube channel a rendition of 50 Cent’s classic sappy love song 21 Questions. It was sung by English rapper J Hus and at first it was more of a J who to me? I had no idea who this rapper was, but I was curious on his interpretation of this bouncy rap song. It was performed live and at the first sound of the guitar, in my head it was, “ooooohhhh boy this is gonna be good!” Up ‘til the last note I was bobbing my head and feeling the groove all alone in my room. I became an instant J Hus fan. He had this deep sounding Jamaican patois in his voice and it made the song up to par with the original. It had its own flavor, a more distinct sound, and a badder more playboy version. J Hus’ version was more of taking his girl for granted and being playful rather than being faithful, unlike its predecessor. The lyrics is a stand out being for being mischievous, naughty, and outright shocking. Melodically its eargasmic, but personally, the lyrics is cool but it’s a damn turn off.

infidelity
I don’t like you but I love you. Seems that I’m always thinking of you. Oh, oh, oh, You treat me badly, I love you madly – She and Him

50 cent released the track 21 questions with Dr. Dre as producer. Apparently, Dre didn’t want to include this track on the album since it wasn’t “gangsta” enough. To which 50 Cent replied quote: “I’m two people. I’ve always had to be two people since I was a kid, to get by. To me that’s not diversity, it’s necessity.” The original was soft and sentimental, compared to the latest cover version, but I’d agree with 50 cent – it’s necessary to keep a heart even if you’re being hard. So if there’s a toss up between the two, 50 gets my vote.

It’s actually alarming how people glamorize womanizing. In music, media, games, it’s everywhere. Both sexes are affected by this. The women, would say, “its alright. That’s how it is. Boys let them be boys”. Then the boys would say “she’ll take me no matter what.” It’s an “everybody else is doing it, so why cant we” kind of scenario. Its gonna be fun for awhile but things simply don’t last forever. It will spell trouble! More trouble than you’d ever imagine. Its not prestigious, its ridiculous! There are numerous scandals of cheating, from Hollywood to Pilipinas-wood (You know what I mean, let’s not go there) All because of the fact that it is socially accepted for men to be a player. I can’t speak on behalf of those who has done this act, of course they have their reasons but my take – the media has a big responsibility as to why this is going rampant. I believe this has been the scenario since the ancient times, but what the hell, can’t we evolve? Infidelity has been putting the wooden stake at the heart of many for ages and thus causing severe emotional depression. Not only for woman but also in men.

infidelity
Psychology Today: More than 90% of Americans believe infidelity is unacceptable, yet 30-40% of people engage in it. Infidelity is associated with adverse outcomes such as depression, domestic violence, divorce, even homicide.

It’s nice that Filipinos have their ways of coping up with heartache with their smart hugot lines. One of my favourite goes: Bakit pa binigay kung babawiin lang din –Kitchie Nadal. Its hard to lose someone especially if its because of cheating, but at least there’s some way of dealing with it in humor.

To each his own. We can’t simply approach someone and tell them “hey break up with your ladies man”. All we can do is asses ourselves and our relationship if we are burning the right energy or losing it. Is the fight even worth it? At the end of the day, remember that suffering is a choice and that no matter what’s going on, there is a way out. But if staying with your smooth operator gives you satisfaction, then so be it. For the men, please don’t push being too much of a bad boy. A little mischief will do and don’t push your girl too much. Know the limitations. No one is perfect but at least aspire to do things differently and rightfully. For the media stop, playing with our minds, and put out something useful out there.

Lastly, just a thought to ponder, have you asked your self the intention as to why you are in you current relationship now? Love is not a game but a serious, one highest forms of human expression, how do we use it in its full capacity?

So do whatever floats your boat.

j hus
I don’t want one wife, I want three of them – 21 Question

DEATH LOOMS – AN RWC ORIGINAL AUDIOBOOK

Read more: DEATH LOOMS – AN RWC ORIGINAL AUDIOBOOK
My name is Sam Fields. I am a self employed photographer and a novelist from the big apple. Though I may have been in this profession for quite some time, it has been a struggle for me to make ends meet. With the current flow of this generation heading to a cyber-kind of lifestyle, it seems that I am having a hard time coping up with it. And along with the emergence of various social media platforms spread all over the internet, I couldn’t find the best avenue to further promote my works. This is not surprising since being in my middle age, I feel like time has began speeding up and I was slowly being left behind. In order for me to address my situation, I pushed myself to join a group of novelists that I met online. At first I was awfully reluctant to be part of something I thought wouldn’t help me in learning and discovering new things related in my career. But it didn’t take long for me to get the hang of it.

The group called themselves “The Authors Live Tours”. They have this nice concept of going out of the country once in awhile and go for a vacation to find inspiration for their writing materials. In my 5 months of joining these travelling fellows, I already had 4 trips with them. I had fun, I enjoyed but most of the time I was disinterested and out casted. These youngsters from New York were a bunch of backstabbing hipsters who thought that they were aces but they all looked like a bunch of amateurs to me. They are fond of using profane words and they have a knack of making obscene jokes. They were good people nevertheless, but there behavior is simply not my cup of tea – or maybe it was more of an age gap. I continued travelling with the group since I don’t have the courage to travel alone. Besides, who knows I might end up being friends with someone eventually. For now, I just ride along and I am good with it.
On my fifth trip with the group, I had the same expectations but little did I know that something big was in store for all of us. I packed a big varsity bag with my rash guards and beach shorts and we were heading out for a 3 day camp in Sonnet Island, Philippines. It is said that the island got its name from a man who went to seek the beauty of the island so that he can make the best sonnet poetry for her woman as a present. Indeed, he made the most beautiful poem for the girl but the cruel tides never made him back alive. Thus, the island is infamous for having the nickname of “the island worth dying for”. Surely, the stories were indeed promising so I knew that I would experience something special.
Our trip going to the Philippines was pretty much uneventful. I was with a few members of the group going to Manila, while most of them where already there three days prior. Same old things happened when all of us got together, they were endlessly gossiping, they were furiously ranting about their silly jobs, they looked stressed and tired, and they were practically being funny most of the time, but their humor is not my kind of comedy.
From Manila, we rode a three hour boat ride going to Sonnet Island. Our boat was called a “bunka” and it was actually small to accommodate twenty five people all at once. We were at sea about 7 in the morning and everyone was sleepy that we just didn’t care. The boat ride seem like it was forever and there were many times that I fell asleep then wake up, then fall asleep again then wake up, then I just stare at the endless sea as the sun glistens the azure waters.
We arrived in the island exhausted from the long boat ride. However, the white powdery sand, the lush vegetation and the aqua-green waters were too scenic, that my adrenaline told me to pick up my camera and immediately take photos. Island rangers approached us and brief us about the island, but this place was so surreal that I fell under its spell and wandered off by my own.
My feet sank into the warm glittering sand as I took shot after shot of this earthly paradise. I forgot about the others and continued on my picture taking spree. My legs were somewhat in frenzy as I carried myself automatically inside the island taking me deeper and deeper into its beauty.
The amber reflection of the sun slowly faded away as I entered the enchanted century old mangrove forest. One would imagine the woodlands of Washington Irving’s Sleepy Hollow upon entering this area. It wasn’t gloomy and sullen, likewise, it cradled life as I encountered colorful sea birds on its branches. The moistened ground was teeming with geckos and who knows what. I had to be careful on where I should step because it seemed that this area was overflowing with various life forms.
While walking in this dreamy environment, I remembered a short documentary that I saw online. It was about physiologists studying the effects of bare foot walking. Apparently, they found out that walking with our bare foot to the ground can greatly affect our body’s inflammation response. The experts were baffled as their studies conclude that grounding can alleviate illnesses like arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and even cancer. So I took off my boots and started to walk with my soles touching the earth.
I walked and walked towards the end of the trail and to my surprise it had another wonder in the end. There was a lagoon that shone like bronze from afar. Though it wasn’t like the lagoon from Alex Garland’s The Beach, I was equally in awe by its serene and placid ambiance. The clouds went to grey as I started reliving the myth that surround the island. I couldn’t help but think that this island was too good to be true that it probably behold something to those who visit here. The story of Himiko of Yamatai island in Japan suddenly popped into my mind. The stories were closely related of love went lost. The only difference – Himiko got bitter when her fiancé died that she cursed Yamatai into an island of no return. I suddenly felt a strong jerk when I realized I was daydreaming. So I went back thinking that the group would be worried that I wandered off alone.
As I approached my fellows from the distance everyone was huddled up. Everything seem normal from a distance up until I was already seeing their troubled faces clearly. There’s something wrong.  But then I was so engrossed with what I saw that I never really minded what was going on. When I was nearing them, someone held me by the arm and said, “We need to get back to Manila right away”. I thought it was a joke. “Are you serious?” I said amusingly. “There’s a storm brewing and the predicted landfall would be tomorrow evening. We could be trapped here for weeks if the storm catches us.” my fellow said.  “Oh fucking great!” I whispered to myself. Just when I was about to enjoy myself this happens. I heard the group leader speaking in a commanding voice, “we’re heading back home as soon as we have lunch and some short tour in the island.”
I lighted a cigar after eating native Filipino dishes like “adobo” and “pansit”. My mood plummeted as I watched over those frolicking and savoring the island’s beauty with the remaining time. I thought to myself, I might as well come back here rather than rush myself and spoil what this island has to offer. I killed time lighting one cigar after another until it was time for us to head back home.
I sat at the tail end of the boat while everyone dozed off. It was a fairly smooth ride that my eyes went heavy and I began to feel snoozy. But just when I was about to be sent to dreamland, the sails suddenly went haywire due to the strong gust of wind. I thought it would pass by, but then it was just the beginning. My heart slowly beating fast as I try to keep my composure. The wind clattering to our boat had bad intentions that I suddenly began to question if we are in trouble. Everyone started to wake up. I could sense our alarming situation could snap in a moment as the waters are foreboding. The boatmen hurriedly folded the sails as our boat jolted back and forth from the relentless waves. I could see no land in sight – Only the gigantic triangular shapes of water surging towards us. My anxiety started to rise after realizing that we have travelled only 30 minutes from a 3 hour boat ride. I said to myself, “Here we go”.
I began controlling my fear while remembering the quotes from my favorite books. I kept repeating in my mind a line from See the Sea by Anne Lugo which says, “A smooth sea never made a great sailor”. It managed my emotions and stopped me from panicking. During which everyone was hysterically putting their baggage inside a resealable plastic bag. I tried acting normal, but the water was getting inside the boat so I decided to put my luggage in plastic bags too.
I tried consoling myself by continuously diverting my attention to my thoughts. I remembered the line from Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto which said:
“Fear. Deep rotting fear. They were infected by it. Did you see it? Fear is a sickness. It will crawl into the soul of anyone who engages it. It has tinted your peace already. I did not raise you to see you live with fear. Strike it from your heart. Do not bring it into our village.”
I knew that if I acknowledge the fear that I was feeling, it would mean more danger than it already were. When everyone was feeling the fear enveloping us, our initial reaction is to save our belongings. At this point, we all hurried to protect our laptops, our phones, our thousand dollar watches and we cared less about our own lives. When the fear has finally settled, something else was on the background. As our boat rocked intensely in all directions, there I could sense the presence of a much greater force. A force so terrifying and so powerful that it could be the end of us all – death! All of us got drenched in the wild splashing of sea waters. Passengers started praying. Soon after, I uttered my own prayers: “My Lord, if this will be my final moments then let this be my noble end”. I have come to recognize the reality of my mortality. I thought, “Holy shit! Why did I spend many days procrastinating?! What have I done in my life?! Do I deserve to die with only a few things I’ve made in this world? Will I perish now not even knowing the sense of my purpose?!” After these few questions, I knew what the saying “life is short” really meant. I remembered the teaching of a Hindu guru I saw one time, he said: “When you look into a clock, it is not the time that passes by, but your life”. Slowly, I accepted the possibilities of our situation just as death hovers into the vastness of the angry sea. I smiled remembering my friends and family. I tried talking to them in my thoughts as the tail of the boat was slowly sinking and leveling into the sea. Everyone was nauseous due to the almost tumbling boat.
I felt a creepy kind of comfort anticipating our seemingly inevitable situation. It was like a surrender but I told myself to continue hanging on. Wild thoughts lingered in my mind. Thoughts like, I should’ve let it all out have I known this would happen, I should’ve done this and that. But instead of sulking with what I could’ve done, I reminded myself of all the heydays that I had. I was grinning as I went back to my past. I could see myself as the unique and talented person that I am. It was indeed a nice ride. One heck of a journey. I no longer cared as the waters splashed inside our boat. Then it dawned into me, that life is worth fighting for. Life is a battle that we all have to win. I recalled the quote from Rocky 4 in which Stallone said:
 “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place… and I don´t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently, if you let it. You, me or nobody, is gonna hit as hard as life. But ain’t about how hard you hit… It’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward… how much you can take, and keep moving forward. That´s how winning is done.”
It was so ironic that somehow I understood what life is as death was stalking us intently. I realized the value of what I’ve been taking for granted for so long. I had to make the most of my life for I have been ludicrously living like an immortal. Like I have forever. I don’t. We all don’t. Our time is running out and our lives lead to numerous paths. Every decision, every action could resonate to infinity. I recollected the teachings of Don Juan in Carlos Castaneda’s book – “Choose the path with heart.”
Amidst the predicament that we are in, I stood up and told myself “I will fight for my life. I will not surrender. They will have a hard time taking me”. As our boat sluggishly presses on, I knew that life was death itself, looming where ever we go.
waves