A word is worth a thousand pictures-Jude B

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Serendipitous PLAN MAN

Han Ji Min as Su Jongin PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

Beloved, I’m crazy for you.

Written by

Jude Bautista

In a small nightclub So Jung (Han Ji Min) switches to a ukulele to sing her latest song: “Your day begins with an alarm… Alarms are always on time… Get up to the wake alarm… Wash to the shower alarm…  When the alarm rings 12:15 pm… You go inside a store… At the store she is always there… You want to tell her how you feel… So you set an alarm and a plan… To make the perfect confession for the only girl exactly like you… Like him…  like her… lonely you

Jung Jae Young as Mr. Han in PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

To Mr. Han’s (Jung Jae-Young) horror So Jung sees him in the audience. She points him out of the crowd: “Its plan man! He’s the plan man!” So Jung starts a cheer: Plan Man! Plan Man! (the audience turns to him and starts to cheer too: Plan! Man! Plan Man!) Mr. Han is embarrassed and screams: “That’s personal!” He storms out the exit.

Han Ji Min as Su Jongin PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

PLAN MAN is a funny, endearing rom com from Korea currently showing in RED by HBO. Actor Jung Jae-Young plays Han Jeong Seuk a librarian with an obsessive-compulsive disorder. In his case he plans out his day almost to the millisecond, from the moment he wakes he irons out his bed sheets. In his mind it’s the people who don’t plan, who don’t obsessively clean up after themselves who are ‘crazy’.

Jung Jae Young as Mr. Han in PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

The problem comes when he falls for 7-11 cashier Ji Won (Cha Ye-Ryuun). Not only is she pretty but is definitely another OCD. He notices her ‘appealing’ habits of arranging the display, disinfecting her hands and endlessly cleaning glass surfaces.  Big surprise he is inept with the opposite sex. Enter So Jung (Han Ji Min) who volunteers to help him date the lovely Ji Won. So Jung needs Mr. Han because she’s obsessed with joining an American Idol-type contest for bands.According to the rules So Jung could not enlist herself as a soloist and she needs him, who just happens to know how to play the keyboards.

Jung Jae Young as Mr. Han in PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

Cha Ye-Ryuun as Ji Wonin PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

Jung Jae Young

Jung Jae Young is a veteran actor of Korean cinema and has played a wide variety of unusual heroes. According to his Wikipedia page / credits include: “a war-weary North Korean officer who befriends his counterparts from the South in WELCOME TO DONGMAKGOL, a shy rural farmer who travels to Uzbekistan in the hopes of finding a wife in WEDDING CAMPAIGN, a Joseon merchant who gets drawn into plans for developing a rocket against the Ming Dynasty in THE DIVINE WEAPON” to name a few.

Jung Jae Young as Mr. Han in PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

Evidence of his talent are countless Best Supporting and Best Actor Awards.  His most recent Best Actor awards are from 68th Locarno International Film Festival, 35th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards, 9th Asia Pacific Screen Awards, 53rd Gijon International Film Festival for the movie RIGHT NOW WRONG THEN in 2016.

Needless to say he was very convincing as someone with an OCD here in PLAN MAN but also tragically funny. While having made more than a dozen movies he’s a relative newcomer to TV. For 2018 he is in the show STRANGE FAMILY and has recently completed the film ON THE BEACH AT NIGHT ALONE.

Han Ji Min as Su Jong with Jung Jae Young as Mr. Han in PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

Hollywood Parallels

I noticed a number of Korean movies that seem to borrow some concepts from Hollywood. MISS GRANNY that has a Sarah Geronimo hit remake is a combination of FREAKY FRIDAY with elements of PRETTY WOMAN (especially with the Roy Orbison soundtrack). PLAN MAN seems to be similar with AS GOOD AS IT GETS because of characters dealing with OCD. Apart from that however, this is a more original or different take altogether.

Jung Jae Young as Mr. Han in PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

PLAN MAN is definitely funnier at the same time points to traumatic past events that may explain the disorders or mental state that people find themselves in. While it is a comedy, it also deals with the lack of ethics in the TV broadcast industry and how it may destroy lives permanently.

Koreans also have Turo turo (Filipino term for sidewalk eatery).

In AS GOOD AS IT GETS, no less than Jack Nicholson plays the cranky OCD guy pestering the lovely Helen Hunt. PLAN MAN has Han Ji Min who plays the endearing musician songwriter So Jung. Mr. Han sees her as messy, quirky. She’s a cat lover who frequents a turo turo (Filipino term for sidewalk eatery) that specializes in intestines and tripe. Mr Han asks, “How can you eat it when dung passed through them?” She replies, “That’s why they’re so good!”

Han Ji Min as Su Jongin PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

KEYS TO THE HEART

Han Ji Min is one of those Korean superstars the whole world seems to fall for these days. She also stars in KEYS TO THE HEART, a drama that was just released April of this year in cinemas. Owing to her acting abilities, she’s more somber almost unrecognizable there as an heiress who loses her joie de vie after a serious car accident.

KEYS TO THE HEART’s storyline is about an over the hill MMA fighter who has difficulty accepting his special needs brother. This touching drama is also currently showing in RED by HBO.

Han Ji Min as Su Jong with Jung Jae Young as Mr. Han in PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

Han Ji Min

Han Ji min’s accent is endearing or cute when she speaks English (at least in role of So Jung). For example she pronounces plan man as Puh-lan man! Puh-lan Man! It becomes an unmistakable 3-syllable cheer. I couldn’t help but wonder if it’s just her or a Korean thing.  Then I saw the translations for the title from Korean, which were spelled Pel-raen Man. This isn’t unique to the Koreans, the Chinese also add a syllable or two when translating some English words. This makes it easier to read and pronounce phonetically from their language.

Han Ji Min as Su Jong, behind her is the Triangle Gim Bap display.Watch PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

She also writes a song about the Triangle Gim Bap, a rice cake / sushi like product. It’s on the 7- 11 shelves she works in. Like the fried chicken, fried siomai in Mini Stop or siopao and Hot dogs in Philippine version of 7-11.

Ji Min also has an uncanny resemblance to Leica Carpo who is known as a marathoner. Leica was a former publisher of Sunday Inquirer Magazine, the weekend mag ofPhilippine Daily Inquirer. These days Leica runs her own public relations firm in the U.S.

Han Ji Min as Su Jong with Jung Jae Young as Mr. Han in PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

Philippine Connection

In real life Han Ji Min has a heart of gold. Her educational background as a Social Welfare graduate from Seoul Women’s University has given her an insight in using her fame to help those in need. Back in 2009 she visited a rural village in Bukidnon, Philippines. It was for a TV show focused on charity work called World Special Love from the Korean tVN network.

Han Ji Min visited a remote village in Bukidnon, Philippines to help out with the education and welfare of kids in 2009.

A youtube video, shows her having fun from the plane trip via Philippine Airlines. The unmistakable red, yellow and blue tail of PAL could also be seen when she lands. Han ji Min was so moved by her experience with the kids that she wrote a book about it: WE’RE ALREADY FRIENDS: HAN JI-MIN’S PHILIPPINES DONATION BOOK.

Proceeds from the book were then donated to educational programs of kids in the Philippines, other developing countries and even North Korea. In 2012, she was also  designated as goodwill ambassador of the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP. Ji Min returns to the TV screen in 2018 for the romance FAMILIAR WIFE.

Han Ji Min visited a remote village in Bukidnon, Philippines to help out with the education and welfare of kids in 2009.

Different locations from the movie around Seoul form a heart (supposedly).

Walking in Seoul

Apart from the language and food, the city of Seoul figures prominently. The small side streets and alleyways seem to create an impression of a pedestrian friendly metro. All the locations revolve around just a few blocks from each other. The characters walk from one scene to the next. His workplace, the library to the corner store, his therapist, the nightclub So Jung plays. They even have their own version of the large pedestrian crossing in Tokyo although definitely not as chaotic.

Seoul has its own busy pedestrian lane crossing although less chaotic than Tokyo’s.

In this movie Mr Han may be the title character but its Han Ji Min (as So Jung) who will melt your heart. Beyond her adorable smile it’s her fun, quirky personality and kindness that makesaudiences love her.

Han Ji Min as Su Jongin PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

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Cha Ye-Ryuun as Ji Wonin PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

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Jung Jae Young as Mr. Han in PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

Han Ji Min as Su Jong with Jung Jae Young as Mr. Han in PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

Han Ji Min as Su Jongin PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

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Cha Ye-Ryuun as Ji Wonin PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

Jung Jae Young as Mr. Han in PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

Han Ji Min as Su Jongin PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

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Cha Ye-Ryuun as Ji Wonin PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

From left: Cha Ye-Ryuun (Ji Won) and Han Ji Min (Su Jong)in PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

Jung Jae Young as Mr. Han in PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

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Cha Ye-Ryuun as Ji Wonin PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

Jung Jae Young as Mr. Han in PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

Cha Ye-Ryuun as Ji Wonin PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

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Han Ji Min as Su Jongin PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

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Han Ji Min as Su Jongin PLAN MAN showing on RED by HBO.

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Underage Love in POLICEMAN AND ME

Tao Tsuchiya (Kako); Catch POLICEMAN AND ME on RED by HBO.

Delicate, mahal ko.

Written by

Jude Bautista

There’s something about her delicate face, her vulnerability that draws him in. He couldn’t quite explain it. So when he found out she was catching the last train home, he quickly volunteered to walk her there. They had less than a few minutes to catch it so they had to run. The night air rushed through their faces, neither of them knew when they ran as fast or could explain why they were smiling, giggling.

As they turned a corner they see the last tram going off the station, just missing it. Both were disappointed. Kota Sagano (Kazuya Kamenashi) surprised himself when he looked down, he was still holding her hand.Their plans change and he instead asks to call a cab for Kako Motoya (Tao Tsuchiya).

Tao Tsuchiya (Kako) and Kazuya Kamenashi (Kota); Catch POLICEMAN AND ME on RED by HBO.

Kota: Do you have a boyfriend? Kako: If I did I wouldn’t have joined the mixer. Kota: I see. You don’t have one. That’s good.  Kako: What about you? Kota: I’m currently single. Next time can the two of us meet up? Kako: What? Kota: No…That is if you don’t hate that. Kako: Not at all. [Both of them laugh]Kota: How do I put it, sometimes I say thank you too much or being too polite without being honest. What I really want is to get to know you better, that’s how I feel. How long have you been living here?

Tao Tsuchiya (Kako) and Kazuya Kamenashi (Kota); Catch POLICEMAN AND ME on RED by HBO.

Kako: Well, all my 16 years. Kota: I see…(His face suddenly changes) What?? 16 years? Aren’t you 22 years old? (Sensing his growing anger and frustration she immediately bows) Kako: I’m sorry. Actually today I was just called to fill in for someone. I had to say my age was 22 years old. The tone of his voice changes too. Kota: (Looks disappointed) You have to go home now. Kako: Can’t we at least exchange emails? Kota: Huh? You still have the nerve to say that? Stop this nonsense…little brat. Kako: (Screams) I’m sorry! (She then immediately runs away)

The English title of this Japanese movie is POLICEMAN AND ME the original is P to JK  (PとJK P to JK) acronyms for Police and Joshi Kōsei, Japanese for “high school girl”. P to JK is actually a wildly successful manga (comic book) created by Maki Miyoshi. It’s a title that was started in 2013 that is still currently on going. Each volume seems to outsell the previous one. By 2016 the series has sold 2.1 million copies. POLICEMAN AND ME is currently airing on RED by HBO.

from left: Daigo Nishihata (Jiro), Mahiro Takasugi (Okami), Tao Tsuchiya (Kako) and Tina Tamashiro (Mikado); Catch POLICEMAN AND ME on RED by HBO.

The story isn’t your typical manga romance, which deals with teen marriage. Kota Sagano, a 26-year-old cop, genuinely falls for Kako Motoya a 16-year-old highschooler, he mistakes as 22. He didn’t want to sully her reputation by just dating her, especially at that age. He also didn’t want to let go and not see her at all. So he decided to propose marriage to her and ask her hand in marriage from her parents. 16 is the minimum marrying age for women in Japan but requires parental consent.

from left: Rie Tomosaka (mom), Tao Tsuchiya (Kako), Jun Murakami (Dad); Catch POLICEMAN AND ME on RED by HBO.

Their plan was to keep it under wraps from most people until she graduated. Her father was understandably against it but felt powerless to prevent them from the marriage. Kako reached a compromise with her father to not get her pregnant until after graduation. There weren’t any vulgar sex scenes, quite the opposite. Both of them seemed to be quite awkward in that regard.

Tao Tsuchiya (Kako) and Kazuya Kamenashi (Kota); Catch POLICEMAN AND ME on RED by HBO.

Lead Stars

Tao Tsuchiya is adorable as Kako, with equal parts of innocence, naiveté, stubbornness and determination. Not knowing how to be physically affectionate with her husband she’d approach him, close her eyes and pucker her lips waiting for him to kiss her.

Kazuya Kamenashi as Kota is the bigger star of the two as an established success in both music and film. Most fans agree he played the character close to the manga version.

Tao Tsuchiya (Kako) and Kazuya Kamenashi (Kota); Catch POLICEMAN AND ME on RED by HBO.

Aging, Shrinking Population

From an outsider, accepting the under age factor may be too much to ask. Especially if you think that even the manga or comic book is classified in the ‘shojo’ genre, which is targeted for young girls.

This is one story that may highlight cultural differences. In the U.S. or even here in the Philippines getting married at 16 or even 18 is sometimes perceived as a problem. Teen pregnancy is something that has to be addressed as an issue and concern. While not necessarily ‘normal’ in Japan, there seems to be some factors why or how the government can view teen marriage as a positive.

Mahiro Takasugi (Okami); Catch POLICEMAN AND ME on RED by HBO.

With an aging population, there’s an increasing need for higher birthrates. Social scientists, even political experts have all agreed that the aging population will also lead to it shrinking. By 2050 Japan’s current 127million will only be 107 million. ‘The demographic shift is threatening the existence of rural communities, contributing to a ballooning public debt and starving the economy of labor.’[From Japan’s Shrinking Population by Isabel Reynolds –Bloomberg.com]

Tina Tamashiro (Mikado); Catch POLICEMAN AND ME on RED by HBO.

Basically there are not enough young people to work in farms, or supply the labor force in other sectors that keep the whole country running. This is only one of the problems they face.Which isn’t to say that either the manga or the film was necessarily government produced. But rather, getting married younger and having a higher probability of having children (or more children) is a message that may be made acceptable because of this problem.

Tao Tsuchiya (Kako) and Mahiro Takasugi (Okami);Catch POLICEMAN AND ME on RED by HBO.

Hiroki’s Wide Shot

Ryūichi Hiroki as director was able to balance a certain amount of realism and the fantasy or romance of the relationship that attracted so many readers. His style was very unobtrusive but in my mind quite effective. I loved his use of long shots even during dialogue. The shot size of the people talking, take up only 1/4th or a quarter of the screen.

Tao Tsuchiya (Kako) and Kazuya Kamenashi (Kota); Catch POLICEMAN AND ME on RED by HBO.

From a wide shot or long shot Hiroki sometimes would dolly in almost imperceptibly during a dialogue scene. The longer or wider shot removes the need to cut from one face to the next making it more efficient, editing wise. We get to appreciate the performance and delivery even more in my opinion. Then when the lines necessitate, he moves into a close up. Because he uses the close up less it then becomes more effective in a way. As a viewer you don’t necessarily notice his techniques, doesn’t call attention to itself, but you can ‘feel’ it.

Tao Tsuchiya (Kako) and Kazuya Kamenashi (Kota); Catch POLICEMAN AND ME on RED by HBO.

Ota City

An added benefit to the wide shot, as a viewer I tend to look at the environs and their surroundings. Ota City in this case is part of the Tokyo Metropolitan area but is more of the suburbs. It’s a city that has a small town feel. While having a commercial district it has a lot of tree lined streets. It doesn’t have the tower or skyscrapers dominating the Tokyo skyline. The electric cable car or tram figures in the story early. Which is actually a common mode of transport throughout Japan.

Ota City incidentally is home to CANON and ANA Airlines among other large corporations.

Ota City; Catch POLICEMAN AND ME on RED by HBO.

Hiroki allows us to see all this, where the characters literal place is on the screen ergo the location. I don’t know if Ota is the same location in the manga or was specified. But even Ota Shingako High School figured prominently. This is where Kako, goes to school and a lot of the scenes take place. The school boasts of an expansive campus and probably the biggest brass band I’ve ever seen.

Ota Shingaku High school Brass Band; Catch POLICEMAN AND ME on RED by HBO.

Whether it’s the movie POLICEMAN AND ME or from the enduring success of the P to JK manga, the bottom line is, to cherish love at any age.

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Daigo Nishihata (Jiro); Catch POLICEMAN AND ME on RED by HBO.

Tao Tsuchiya (Kako); Catch POLICEMAN AND ME on RED by HBO.

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Ota City; Catch POLICEMAN AND ME on RED by HBO.

Tao Tsuchiya (Kako); Catch POLICEMAN AND ME on RED by HBO.

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Ota City; Catch POLICEMAN AND ME on RED by HBO.

Tao Tsuchiya (Kako); Catch POLICEMAN AND ME on RED by HBO.

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Tao Tsuchiya (Kako); Catch POLICEMAN AND ME on RED by HBO.

Tao Tsuchiya (Kako); Catch POLICEMAN AND ME on RED by HBO.

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Tao Tsuchiya (Kako) and Kazuya Kamenashi (Kota); Catch POLICEMAN AND ME on RED by HBO.

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Father’s Day Milestones 2018

Nativity of Christ by Francesco Mancini behind the main altar of Santa Maria Maggiore (Basilica of St Mary the Major), Rome, May 2, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written by

Jude Bautista

This year’s Father’s Day Celebration, June 17, 2018, coincided with several milestones for the Bautista clan. My father Jose C. Bautista can be proud of completing a lifelong dream: seeing the Pope during the Neo Cathechumenal Way’s 50th Year Celebration last May 5th,in Rome, Italy.

Pope Francis waves to the Philippine contingent, an arms length away from his passing vehicle. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista- click on photo for full story

During the same trip he was able to complete a brutal schedule from May 1-12. We visited about 3 churches / landmarks daily and averaged 3-4 kilometers of walking per day.

from left: Junee Ibaviosa, Joe and Linda Bautista, in front of St John Lateran, Rome. May 2, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

This is no small feat for an 86 year old my mom Linda on the other hand is 79. Consider Meghan Markle’s dad in his late 60s couldn’t make it to the Royal Wedding due to health reasons. So we’re all really proud of Joe and Linda grateful our prayers were answered for safety and health through out the trip.

We are all ever grateful to my brothers Timothy, Donald and George who sent financial support that made this trip possible.

JY and Linnell Bautista with son Theo. From fb

First Great Grandchild

By the end of the same month of our trip (May 29, Theo Daniel De Villa Bautista was born to JY and Linnell Bautista, Joe’s first great grandchild. This also makes my brother Timothy and his wife Joy Bautista proud grandparents. Jay and Linnell got married last March 2, 2017. Linnell gave birth naturally at Mount Sinai West Hospital in New York to a strong bouncing baby boy 7lbs and 3oz strong. Mom Linnell was walking about just days after delivery.

Theo Daniel De Villa Bautista born May 29, 2018. 7lbs and 3oz – from fb

First time and proud grandfather Tim treated his father Joe to a Father’s Day celebration, June 17, 2018 at a Japanese Restaurant. Long time family friend Ramon Castañeda, who was there with us, is also a New Yorker.

seated from left: Erlinda Bautista, Joe Bautista, eldest son Tim Bautista, standing: Joy Bautista and Ramon Castañeda. Pasig, June 17, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Tanduay Limited Edition

Since I was on a tight budget, I had to think hard of what I wanted to give my dad. I happened to see Tanduay’s Superior Blended Rum Limited Edition, which was issued 2017 in celebration of the Year of the Rooster. I was also relieved to know it was only P280. That’s tremendous value, so I thought of buying that. But didn’t buy it on the spot thinking I just lived nearby.

Tanduay Superior Blended Rum Limited Edition is a great gift idea with its smooth taste and elegant packaging. Photo by Jude Bautista

3 days before Father’s Day I went back to buy it and found out every single bottle had been sold out! I was in panic mode going through several liquor outlets and supermarkets but eventually found last 3 bottles in another supermarket. So if you do seethe Tanduay Limited Edition on a shelf, do yourself a favor and buy one.  Special occasion or not, its a perfect gift or treat for yourself. If you can’t find Limited Edition just go for the Tanduay Superior 12 Years, which is also tremendous value.

Noel Bautista with wife Rachel Hazel. From fb.

Noel

He may not know this but my third brother Noel is actually one of my idols as a father. (As I have yet to be blessed with a child of my own) In the late 80s, throughout the 90s I remember being a little bit taken aback at how devoted he was as hands on father. He was able to change diapers of eldest son Nigel, feed him, put him to sleep and generally care for him. Even with his later kids Nicole and Brent.

The Holy Family in the main altar, Parish of San Giuseppe in Trevizo, Northern Italy, May 7, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Noel may not have been the wealthiest or the most financially successful among my brothers but definitely he was the most caring. That affection and care he gave them wasn’t something they could remember because they were babies or toddlers. I’ve never personally seen any other dad care for his children the way that he did.

Nigel Bautista, the last time we saw each other was at least 5 years ago. Hotel Fiore, Fiuggi, Italy, May 10, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Nigel

Fast forward to our trip in Italy this May. Noel’s eldest son: Nigel Paolo Emmanuel Bautista, Nigel for short is now working for Arcadia Group, the conglomerate that runs giant clothing brands TOPSHOP, TOPMAN, BURTON, OUTFIT, DOROTHY PERKINS and many more. Nigel works in their main office in London as a Software Specialist evaluating the company’s apps for phones and devices.

from left: Erlinda Bautista, Nigel Bautista, Joe C. Bautista and Beth Javier.Hotel Fiore, Fiuggi, Italy, May 10, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

While we were in our last few days in Italy, Nigel decided to join us. He had a brief weekend trip to Paris then flew in to Rome. We had not seen each other for 5 years or so. I was thinking of how proud Noel must be of Nigel having grown and achieved so much at a young age.

Brent

Just a few days ago June 25, Noel’s youngest son Elijah Brent surprised us with a visit here in Manila coming all the way from Wellington, New Zealand. He is currently working as a staff of NZ’s Member of Parliament Priyanca Radhakrishnan. Brent shares with us that he is able to relate to Prianka as an Asian who spent some growing years abroad but has studied University in NZ and now lives there too. Some of Prianka’s advocacies include ‘immigrant rights and women’s right women survivors of domestic violence, and migrant workers who have been exploited’. From Labour Profile.

Joe with grandson Brent; Paco, Manila, June 25, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Brent is also working as tutor at Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Victoria University and is also taking up a Master’s Degree in International Relations at Victoria University of Wellington. He hopes to work in the diplomatic field in the future. Brent shares his father’s and grandfather’s good looks too. He is in town on a holiday to Coron, Palawan.

from left: Joe, grandson Brent and Erlinda. Brent visited from Wellington, NZ. Paco, Manila, June 25, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

To this day Noel remains to be the biggest fan of his kids. Even when they are grown up and have their own lives he still posts their pics and praises them on facebook. He lovingly refers to his daughter Nicole as Ganda (Beautiful in Filipino) and Brent as Bunso (Youngest child).

seated from left: Proud dad Noel, Rachel, Brent, standing: Nicole. From fb

From Noel’s fb  birthday greeting to Brent:

‘NOTE TO MY 30-YEAR OLD SELF. Hate to break it to you Noel, but you’re gonna drink too much, eat too much, and be a lazy bastard the rest of your life. Any potential you showed your 20s, so far you will waste. To make it worse, at this point you won’t do much about it. Your saving grace? You’ll have great kids, not the least of which is this guy Elijah Brent, who’ll be true to the promise, outdo himself in school, work and in life. SO FAR, SO GOOD. Thanks for making your old man look good, anak. Happy 23rd birthday, we love you to bits!

The Pieta by Michaelangelo was even more moving in person, inside St. Peter’s Basilica, May 3, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

St Joseph

My dad’s patron saint as his namesake is St. Joseph who is self sacrificing, humble father happy to let his son, Jesus and wife Mary take center stage. That’s whySt. Joseph is the epitome of fatherhood. No wonder Joe shares the same attributes; he always lets my mom, his children, grandchildren get a lot of attention. But throughout our lives he’s been there supporting us consistently, quietly.

St Joseph with the child Jesus in the Parish of San Giuseppe in Trevizo, Northern Italy, May 7, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Fr Paolo Benetton, the brilliant mind and organizer behind our successful trip, brought us to his hometown of Trevizo, Norhern Italy. He showed us the Church a corner away from the house he grew up in, incidentally Parocchia Di San Giuseppe – Parish of St Joseph. He introduced us to his dad who waved at us and smiled warmly but preferred not to address the Filipino crowd.

Fr Paolo translates for mom Rafaella who charms the Pinoy visitors. Parish of San Giuseppe in Trevizo, Northern Italy, May 7, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Fr. Paolo’s mom on the other hand gamely engaged the visitors speaking in Italian while his son translated, “I can never forget getting a call from his first communion teacher ‘your son is so naughty I don’t think I can teach him anymore.” Getting howls of laughter from us– as Paolo became a priest. When we were leaving their home I wasn’t surprised to see the mailbox: Rafaella is the name of his mother, Giuseppe the name of his father (the Italian version of Joseph).

from left: Fr. Paolo, dad Giuseppe and mom Rafaella in their lush and green yard. Trevizo, Northern Italy, May 7, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Elegant Label

Going back to my gift there’s a nugget of wisdom at the back of the elegant label of the Tanduay Limited Edition,

“…Chinese New Year is considered to be the most important festival for the Filipino Chinese Community in the Philippines and is celebrated in hope of attracting prosperity, closer family ties and peace.”

Although it is way past Chinese New Year, we managed to have some measure of prosperity, closer family ties and peace from our Father’s Day Milestones.

Tanduay Superior Blended Rum Limited Edition is a great gift idea with its smooth taste and elegant packaging. Photo by Jude Bautista

Joe Bautista; this was outside the catacombs of San Sebastian, fringes of Rome, May 4, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: Allen, Irene and Angela King at the Colosseum (Circo Massimo), Rome, May 3, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

150,000 people from 135 countries attended the celebration. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Noel recently visited brother George in Auckland NZ, coming from Wellington. From fb

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Theo Daniel De Villa Bautista born May 29, 2018. 7lbs and 3oz – from fb

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Angels aloft St John Lateran; May 2, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Clockwise from left: Grant; Mahal; J.j. Claus, Ganda; and Bunso. Missed you Panganay Nigel. — with Grant Randell, J.j. Claus Alamani, Nicole Bautista and Elijah Brent Bautista at Copthorne Hotel Wellington, Oriental Bay. From fb post

A waterfall on our way to Northern Italy, May 6, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: Dr. Glo Chua, Beth Javier and Leng Leng Ibaviosa. Viale Manlio Germozzi, Rome, May 2, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

This ancient façade is beside St John Lateran in Rome.May 2, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Fr Richard Garrido; Asst Chaplain of Cardinal Santos Medical Center was honored to say his first official mass in Rome during the trip. Photo by Jude Bautista

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The St. Peter / Paco Neo Group; this was outside the catacombs of San Sebastian, fringes of Rome, May 4, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Brent has tattoos, on his left wrist is Filipinas in the ancient script Baybayin. June 25, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Linda with grandson Brent; Paco, Manila, June 25, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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From left: Erlinda Bautista, Joe Bautista, Allen and Irene King. Santa Croce Gerusalemme (Hoy Cross in Jerusalem), May 2, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

The Italian countryside in Northern Italy, May 6, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Erlinda Bautista, Nigel Bautista, Joe C. Bautista and Beth Javier.Hotel Fiore, Fiuggi, Italy, May 10, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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‘The altarpiece in mosaic was made in 1722, reproducing a design by the painter from the Marches, Carlo Maratta, which dates to 1696-1698. It represents the Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist, in the River Jordan’- St. Peter’s Basilica, May 3, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Roly Cua, Erlinda Bautista and Joe Bautista, behind them The Pieta inside St. Peter’s Basilica, May 3, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Even if it was drizzling there were thousands still visiting St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, May 3, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: Jude Bautista, Erlinda Bautista, Nigel Bautista, Joe C. Bautista and Beth Javier.Hotel Fiore, Fiuggi, Italy, May 10, 2018. Photo by Roly Cua

The Italian countryside in Northern Italy, May 6, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Noel Bautista with wife Rachel Hazel. From fb.

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Tanduay Superior Blended Rum Limited Edition is a great gift idea with its smooth taste and elegant packaging. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Where Gladiators and Christians gave their lives for entertainment: The Colosseum in Rome,May 3, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Revealing the PHANTOM THREAD

Vicky Krieps (Alma); Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong.

Deep Kiss, you are my Alma.

Written by

Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista

Reynolds (Daniel Day Lewis): Why do I feel as if I’ve been looking for you for a very long time? Alma (Vicky Krieps): And now you’ve found me.

CUT TO an interview Alma (Vicky Krieps): I never really liked myself. I thought my shoulders were too wide, my neck was skinny like a bird and I had no breasts. I thought my hips were larger than needed, my arms strong. But in his work I become perfect and I feel just right. Maybe that’s how all women feel in his clothes.

Daniel Day Lewis (Reynolds) and Vicky Krieps (Alma). Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official website: http://www.focusfeatures.com/phantom-thread

PHANTOM THREAD was able to fool me more than once. As I started watching I had the distinct impression, it was a biopic of some sort, a docudrama on a real life legendary designer from the 1950s whose clients include royalty and Hollywood stars. After some cursory research, it was astonishing that it was all a work of fiction from the fertile mind of writer director Paul Thomas Anderson. It truly is from Anderson’s seed of genius that the film has sprung forth and inspired others. The recent awards season bears this out.

Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/PhantomThread/posts/

PHANTOM THREAD won an Oscar for Best Costume Design (Mark Bridges) andNominated in 6 Oscar categories: Best Actor (Daniel Day Lewis), Best Supporting Actress (Lesley Manville), Best Original Score (Johnny Greenwood), Best Direction (Paul Thomas Anderson) and Best Picture.

Both the Golden Globes and BAFTA also nominated Lewis for Best Actor. If it weren’t for Gary Oldman’s masterful performance in THE DARKEST HOUR, Lewis may have earned a fourth Oscar for this film.

Daniel Day Lewis (Reynolds); Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official website: http://www.focusfeatures.com/phantom-thread

BAFTA also awarded Mark Bridges Best Costume. Critic’s Associations and technical guilds in the United States and U.K. have either nominated or given awards to PHANTOM THREAD. The Boston Society of Film Critics for example has given it the Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Score.

Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/PhantomThread/posts/

Paul Thomas Anderson – PTA

Not only is Paul Thomas Anderson (PTA for short) credited as Writer, Director, he’s also Director of Photography / Cinematographer and Producer. On the youtube video of test shots he talks about the classic lenses from the era that he wanted to use to recreate that 50s look. Among them are classic lenses 85mm Jena 2.8, 55mm Nikon 2.8 before finally settling on the 50mm Jena 2.8 from Zeiss.

Writer Director Producer Paul Thomas Anderson; Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/PhantomThread/posts/

He was also very particular about the film stock they used and tested quite a few along with different lenses to get the exact look and feel they wanted. I wondered if it was possible to shoot it digitally and recreate the look he desired in post, as a more cost effective solution. But he may have wanted ‘the look’ in camera as they say. And it is difficult to question success.

Daniel Day Lewis (Reynolds) and Vicky Krieps (Alma). Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official website: http://www.focusfeatures.com/phantom-thread

He did however admit his reliance on his cameramen and gaffers because of his lack of technical knowledge. Hence, Colin Anderson was nominated for the Camera Operator of the Year Award from the Society of Camera Operators.

PTA was already critically acclaimed for BOOGIE NIGHTS (1997), PUNCH DRUNK LOVE- with Adam Sandler (2002) and INHERENT VICE (2014). But it was his work THERE WILL BE BLOOD (2007) that gave him the most Oscar nominations and a Best Actor win for Daniel.

Daniel Day Lewis (Reynolds) and Director Paul Thomas Anderson. Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official website: http://www.focusfeatures.com/phantom-thread

Maya Rudolph & Other Inspirations

Anderson has a long time relationship with SNL legend Maya Rudolph, going 17 years with four kids. One of the tender moments when Paul had flu and Maya was nursing him back to health. She gave him a facial expression that made him realize that she ‘had not looked at him with such tenderness and love in a long time’.

Vicky Krieps (Alma); Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/PhantomThread/posts/

Another flash of inspiration is from friend and musical director Jonny Greenwood who complained of how long he took to get dressed: ‘You’re like Beau Brummel!’ Brummel was a fashion icon in the 19th century, ‘(who) claimed that he took five hours a day to dress and recommended that boots be polished with champagne. This preoccupation with dress, coupled with a nonchalant display of wit, was referred to as dandyism.’ [From https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Beau_Brummell] Cristobal Balenciaga and his ‘monastic life’ was also an inspiration for the main character.

Prior to PTA’s relationship with Rudolph, his previous long-term lover was Fiona Apple. He continues to direct music videos for Fiona and RADIOHEAD, of which Johnny Greenwood is a member.

2nd from left Johnny Greenwood of RADIOHEAD composed the haunting soundtrack for PHANTOM THREAD.

Reynolds

Anderson was able to create a character that was very much believable and at the same time delve into that personal fantasy or make believe, that makes a person a central figure of a story. So he seemed like a real person, in this magnificently crafted film. The central character is himself a brilliant mind with a host of quirks that no writer or director could imagine. For example he’s rail thin but has a voracious appetite. And has extremely specific preferences or requirements to how his food is prepared.

Daniel Day Lewis (Reynolds); Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong.

Daniel Day Lewis was able to shape the role in more ways than just his performance. PTA credits him as co writer. The first name Reynolds is from the youth of Day-Lewis. Reynolds Stone is a renowned wood engraver in the U.K. who influenced him. “Reynolds Stone was quite an important figure in the life of my family. He was probably the greatest living wood engraver in this country, in his lifetime. We spent some Christmases in his house in Dorset as a child. The Stone family were figures in our lives.” The last name Woodcock arose from Daniel’s joke to Anderson who broke down laughing. That assured the fact it was going to be used. From: youtube vid: Cast Q & A.

Title uses font designed by renowned English wood engraver Reynolds Stone. Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong.

Research and Casting

Day Lewis again tirelessly researched his role. He consulted with the curator of fashion and textiles at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and apprenticed under Marc Happel, head of the costume department at the New York City Ballet.

House of Woodcock staff were either dressmakers or costume designers in real life. Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong.

The Victoria and Albert Museum’s Historic Clothing Archive also yielded some fortunate encounters. When Anderson and Costume Designer Mark Bridges were there they bumped into retired dressmakers Joan Brown and Sue Clark. They were given the roles of Biddy and Nana respectively. The seamstresses roles were also given to ‘Amber Brabant and Geneva Corlett are professional film costumers. Georgia Kemball is a textile designer’. From: [official imdb page]

Daniel Day Lewis (Reynolds) and Vicky Krieps (Alma).Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong.Photo from Official facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/PhantomThread/posts/

Alma

PHANTOM THREAD is the film that people will look back on as the breakthrough role for Vicky Krieps (Alma). This is when the world was introduced to the talent and magnetism of a young actress from Luxembourg. She has the perfect cover of innocence and weakness when she is anything but. Underneath that childlike smile hides a mentally strong and willful woman who changes Reynolds life.

Vicky Krieps (Alma); Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong.

Before meeting Alma, Reynolds would easily charm young ladies; sweep them off their feet. But it was only a question of when he’d tire of and eventually replace them. She’s a combination of tenderness and strength that Reynolds never encountered before.

Krieps’ natural Luxembourg accent was perfect for the role, “She was always an immigrant. Let her accent do the work. You just need to get the sense she was from somewhere different, preferably Eastern Europe,” said Anderson.

Vicky Krieps (Alma); Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/PhantomThread/posts/

She has been cast in THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB with Sylvia Hoeks the latest sequel from THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO franchise. Vicky is also currently shooting LYREBIRD a drama with Guy Pearce.

Lesley Manville

Lesley Manville on the other hand has been around the block: MALEFICENT (2014) ANOTHER YEAR (2010). Nominated as Best Supporting actress at the Oscars and BAFTA. But also won the trophy from AARP, London Critic’s Circle Film Awards and International Cinephile Society Awards: PHANTOM THREAD (2017 Best Supporting Actress) and ANOTHER YEAR (2011 Best Actress).

Lesley Manville (Cyril); Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/PhantomThread/posts/

She won the 2014 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress for her performance as Helene Alving in Richard Eyre’s revival of GHOSTS. She was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her services to Drama.

Vicky Krieps (Alma); Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official website: http://www.focusfeatures.com/phantom-thread

Manville has recently been cast in DALI LAND, NORMAL PEOPLE and the much-anticipated sequel MALEFICENT 2 with Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Michelle Pfeiffer and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

In an interview with People TV, Lesley had a great insight about this film, “Even if I hadn’t been cast its up there in one of my favorite films of all time. Its really wonderful the way it puts the microscope in what we want to sort out; how to be yourself, how to love, how to be a full and proper person, for some of us in the creative industry, how to marry that with creativity.” Gary Oldman, this year’s Best Actor winner, is incidentally Manville’s ex-husband and had her only child with him: Alfie Oldman. She now has 2 grandchildren Matilda and Ozzy.

Lesley Manville (Cyril); Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official website: http://www.focusfeatures.com/phantom-thread

Cyril

Lesley plays Reynolds’ ever-present sibling Cyril. She is the agent / manager / second in command in the House of Woodcock. He affectionately calls her ‘My Old So and So’. Usually she knows what he needs and wants before he asks for it. In front of clients, she’d never question him. But in private she would never take sh** from him. It’s true as stated in other reviews, while Reynolds is the creative genius it’s these two women who truly rules his life.

Lesley Manville clip

Film influences

As brilliant as Anderson is, he was very modest in acknowledging his influences in terms of movies, “Stolen, that would be the word for it. We watched PASSIONATE FRIENDS (1949) six times; we keep coming back to it over and over again. I don’t know why no one’s talking about it. The other one is I KNOW WHERE I’M GOING (1945) a great Powell – Pressburger movie. A lot of the Powell Pressburger movies including the RED SHOES. BRIEF ENCOUNTER, I watched again as a refresher. REBECCA, VERTIGO and SUSPICION with John Fontaine.“

Center: Vinyl cover of official soundtrack album by Johnny Greenwood of RADIOHEAD. Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official facebook page:
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Because of the era, the film has been compared to Alfred Hitchcock who directed VERTIGO. The story / romance also parallels with PASSIONATE FRIENDS, I KNOW WHERE I’M GOING even with the setting (U.K.). Writing and directing duo Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger used color and music effectively to tell their stories. THE RED SHOES also from Powell Pressburger was a required viewing for DLSU Communication Arts majors (a long while ago) under Dr. Mike Rapatan.

On PHANTOM THREAD’s last shooting day April 26, 2017, was the same date that director Jonathan Demme (SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, PHILADELPHIA) passed away. Anderson considers Demme a friend and mentor and has dedicated the film to him.

What is the Phantom Thread?

This was one of the moments in the film that convinced me that Reynolds was a real person, made him more human. He creates secret pockets in the linings of his jacket, or clothes in general that contain mementos, that are important to him. He keeps a lock of his mother’s hair in one because she taught him to sew and make dresses – his craft. Sometimes it’s a label with the name of a loved one. Only he knows its there. That’s how he literally keeps the people who matter close to his heart.

Alma: Reynolds has made my dreams come true. And I have given him what he desires most in return.

Dr. Robert Hardy (Brian Gleeson): And what’s that?

Alma: Every piece of me.

Daniel Day Lewis (Reynolds) and Vicky Krieps (Alma). Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official website: http://www.focusfeatures.com/phantom-thread

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Mark Bridges won an Oscar and BAFTA award for Best Costume. Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official facebook page:
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Vicky Krieps (Alma); Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official website: http://www.focusfeatures.com/phantom-thread

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Daniel Day Lewis (Reynolds); Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official website: http://www.focusfeatures.com/phantom-thread

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Vicky Krieps (Alma); Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official website: http://www.focusfeatures.com/phantom-thread

Mark Bridges won an Oscar and BAFTA award for Best Costume. Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/PhantomThread/posts/

Daniel Day Lewis (Reynolds) and Vicky Krieps (Alma). Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official website: http://www.focusfeatures.com/phantom-thread

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Vicky Krieps (Alma); Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official website: http://www.focusfeatures.com/phantom-thread

Daniel Day Lewis (Reynolds); Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong.

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seated center from left: Costume designer Mark Bridges, Director Paul Thomas Anderson and Vicky Krieps (Alma). Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/PhantomThread/posts/

Vicky Krieps (Alma); Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/PhantomThread/posts/

Daniel Day Lewis (Reynolds) and Vicky Krieps (Alma).Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong.Photo from Official facebook page:
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Vicky Krieps (Alma); Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official website: http://www.focusfeatures.com/phantom-thread

Vicky Krieps (Alma); Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official website: http://www.focusfeatures.com/phantom-thread

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Daniel Day Lewis (Reynolds); Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official website: http://www.focusfeatures.com/phantom-thread

Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/PhantomThread/posts/

Lesley Manville (Cyril); Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official website: http://www.focusfeatures.com/phantom-thread

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Vicky Krieps (Alma); Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/PhantomThread/posts/

from left: Lesley Manville (Cyril), Daniel Day Lewis (Reynolds) andVicky Krieps (Alma).Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official website: http://www.focusfeatures.com/phantom-thread

Daniel Day Lewis (Reynolds) and Vicky Krieps (Alma). Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong.

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House of Woodcock staff were either dressmakers or costume designers in real life. Photo from Official facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/PhantomThread/posts/

Daniel Day Lewis (Reynolds) and Vicky Krieps (Alma). Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong.

Daniel Day Lewis (Reynolds); Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/PhantomThread/posts/

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Lesley Manville (Cyril); Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/PhantomThread/posts/

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Daniel Day Lewis (Reynolds) and Vicky Krieps (Alma). Watch out for future screenings of PHANTOM THREAD in Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong. Photo from Official website: http://www.focusfeatures.com/phantom-thread

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Pope Francis Inspires at 50th Neo Catechumenate

Pope Francis waves to the Philippine contingent, an arms length away from his passing vehicle. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written and photographed

By Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista

“Mission is giving what we have received. Mission is fulfilling God’s mandate, which we have listened to and on which I would like to reflect with you: ‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations’ (Mt 28: 19). Go. The mission demands that we leave. But in life, there is a strong temptation to remain, not to take risks, to be content with having the situation under control. It is easier to stay at home, surrounded by those who love us, but it is not Jesus’ way.”

There was unity and camaraderie in one faith between people coming from 135 countries. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo from official Vatican Youtube video of event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX_hSTbC0So

Pope Francis gave this inspiring exhortation on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Neo Catechumenal Way, May 5, 2018, University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, a large grassy field at the suburbs of Rome, Italy.

Pope Francis waves to thousands of pilgrims from his passing vehicle. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

150,000 people attended the event from 135 countries. Every nation from Sri Lanka, South Africa, to Fiji, Guam, to Croatia and the Philippines, many others were represented. The Philippine contingent numbered at least 400.

Paco / St. Peter Parish group carries the Philippine flag. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

The Holy Father continues, “He sends us out: “Go”. He does not use half measures. He does not authorize reduced transfers or reimbursed trips, but he says to His disciples, to all his disciples one word only: “Go!”. Go: a powerful call that resonates in every corner of Christian life; a clear invitation always to be outbound, pilgrims in the world in the search for the brother who still does not know the joy of God’s love.”

For the full transcript of Pope Francis’ message click on this link.

There was unity and camaraderie in one faith between people coming from 135 countries. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary happened at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Neo Catechumenate defined

The Neocatechumenal Way, also known as the Neocatechumenate, NCW or, colloquially, The Way, is a charism within the Catholic Church dedicated to Christian formation. It was formed in Madrid in 1964 by Kiko Argüello and Carmen Hernández.

Taking its inspiration from the catechumenate of the early Catholic Church by which converts from paganism were prepared for baptism, it provides post-baptismal formation to adults who are already members of the Church or to those far from the Church who have been attracted by the testimony of Christian life of love and unity in the communities (cf. Jn 13:35; 17:21), as proposed in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). From the official wiki site: Neo Catechumenal Way.

There was unity and camaraderie in one faith between people coming from 135 countries. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo from official Vatican Youtube video of event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX_hSTbC0So

The growth and popularity of the movement is owed to the intention of bringing Christ ‘to the people’ or helping them see the Lord in their lives. The Pope’s message above is a reflection of the teaching and missionary aspect of the movement. From the very beginning, the Way attracts a broad range of people from all walks of life. As it does not discriminate, often spreading the word to those who are marginalized by society.

Pope Francis shakes the hand of Kiko Arguello. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo from official Vatican Youtube video of event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX_hSTbC0So

Beginnings

Dr. Rolly Cua, is a Filipino Neo Catechist who has been in The Way for 39 years. In an interview he relates the roots of the movement from its founders: Kiko Arguello, Carmen Hernandez and later on Fr. Mario Pezzi, “Kiko and Carmen are Spanish, they started in Madrid and Fr. Mario is Italian. He is a Combonian priest who has been given to the Neo to help out in this team. Kiko is a painter and is an artist who is rich they have means. Yet there was something lacking in his life. So he started to read Charles De Foucauld, St Therese of Lesieux. He turned away from his money, he got his guitar, his bible and he lived in the shantytowns in Palomeras, Altas in Madrid. (1963)”

Neo initiators in the early days from left: Kiko Arguello, Carmen Hernandez and Fr. Mario Pezzi.

The 1960s was a time of change in the Catholic Church and the Vatican II in 1964 sought to make, the mass more relevant to the people and the times. Prior to this the mass was held in Latin. Kiko Arguello in a sense was already doing the practical application of what the church had already wanted in theory.

A painting by Kiko Arguello was used a giant backdrop. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

He added, “They started to look for something that’s more alive, more relevant to the people. And what they did theoretically, Kiko was already doing in practice. He was in the shantytowns and he was living with people who were sinners. The prostitute of the town, everyone knows she’s a prostitute; the drug addicts were there, the robbers. He just lived with them.”

Fr. Paolo Benetton conceptualized a highly successful pilgrimage tour and guided a group of 90 from various parishes in the Philippines. Valle Caffarella, Rome Italy, May 2, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Living with the Poor

From Kiko Arguello’s own words, “When a person lives among the poor either they lose faith and becomes a guerilla warrior ‘Che Guevara’ style, or they go quietly in front of Christ and is sanctified. I am grateful to the Lord for the mercy he has had on me. There I saw Christ crucified and so when I returned from Africa I met Carmen’s sister, and I thought it was necessary to go to the social ‘catacombs’ and preach the gospel to these people, help them, give them a word of consolation. And so we formed a group that was dedicated to homosexuals, prostitutes and other undesirables.”

Initiator Carmen Hernandez who passed away in 2016 was honored during the event. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo from official Vatican Youtube video of event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX_hSTbC0So

“Carmen’s sister was part of an association, called ‘Villa Teresiata’, which was dedicated to recovering prostitutes. They went to prostitutes’ homes and offered them to those that wanted a job. This was very good work. In the end I realized that in that group they did everything more as a ‘hobby’. I told Carmen’s sister: ‘I am going to live with the poor’. Charles de Foucauld gave me the formula; to live in silence, as Jesus of Nazareth, at the foot of Jesus Christ in the midst of all those people. I met a Social Worker that showed me an area of Palomeras Altas with a wooden shack, a refuge for dogs. I was told, ‘Go there and don’t worry’.

Black and white photo of shantytown in Rome circa 1960s where Kiko Arguello first preached The Way. Valle Caffarella, Rome Italy, May 2, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

There everything sort of began. I wanted to live in the shack as Charles de Foucald; in contemplation as one in front of the Eucharist, at the foot of the only real presence of Christ. I wanted to be at the foot of Christ crucified, in the midst of the poorest and most miserable people.”

Source: History of the Neo Catechumenal Way.

Kiko Arguello; The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo from official Vatican Youtube video of event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX_hSTbC0So

Who is God For You?

Dr Cua continued, “Carmen on the other hand is the brain she finished chemistry and she was organizing people to do missionary work in Bulgaria, India. Then she heard about Kiko. So she attended and she saw Kiko with all these outcasts. She was so shocked that they were celebrating. They would break a word from the bible and he would ask what does this word tell you? What does this mean for you? Or who is God for you?”

Carmen began to change how she thought of what a Christian community is, “Being the criminals, they would say he is nobody for me. They’re very, very honest. In front of their sins they cannot keep a façade. When Carmen saw this she was shocked because she was thinking a Christian community should be holy people, priests and people who have studied. But she saw in the community of Kiko something tangible, something real. And the scum of the earth who touched her heart also. I’m already tearful.”

Dr. Rolly Cua shows black and white photo of shantytown in Rome circa 1960s where Kiko Arguello first preached The Way. Valle Caffarella, Rome Italy, May 2, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Madrid to Rome and the World

From Spain both Kiko and Carmen brought the Neo Catechumenal Way to the slums of Rome. Today the former slum area has been converted to a lush green park called Valle Della Caffarella. They were rejected from that area but Kiko was persistent because he received a vision from the Virgin Mary in Madrid. This vision is translated into a painting by Kiko, which has become an iconic presence during the Neo’s Eucharistic celebrations.

Kiko Arguello’s painting of the Holy Mother is seen in every celebration of the Neo. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo from official Vatican Youtube video of event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX_hSTbC0So

What used to be a shantytown is now a lush green park called Valle Della Caffarella in Rome, May 2, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Humility, Simplicity and Praise

Kiko believed that growth depended on having a consistent, group of people to walk the way. Dr Cua goes on, “People have to form small communities who will live in humility, simplicity and praise. That’s how Neo Catechumenate stages are done. Humility first, simplicity and praise. With that rejection they went to San Francesca Cabrini, then Canadian martyrs and the Nativity. Those were the 3 first communities in Rome. Its equal to Mary the Queen, Lourdes and St Francis in Manila. This is what happened in the very start.”

Our group was 90 people strong from the Parishes of Mary The Queen, Binondo, Paco, Cavite City, Rosario, Indang. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

50th Year Milestone

And in 1968 the Roman Catholic Church officially recognized the Neo Catechumenal Way and this was the year that marks the 50th anniversary today in 2018.

There was unity and camaraderie in one faith between people coming from 135 countries. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo from official Vatican Youtube video of event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX_hSTbC0So

The decades have seen tremendous growth from that time, “These were the seeds. Now we have everything in bloom. Now we have all the 5 continents, anywhere you go you can ask about the Neo Cathechumenate. Of course there are difficulties. Our celebrations are a little long, there’s sharing of the people because the people are participative. This is the basic story, when they went to Rome they met Fr. Mario to join this team.”

from left: Pope John Pail II with Neo Catechumenate Initiators Kiko Arguello, Fr. Mario Pezzi and seated Carmen Hernandez

Carmen Hernandez passed away at age 85 (July 19, 2016) she was replaced by Maria Ascensión Romero on February 2017. Romero was an itinerant missionary for years in Saint Petersburg, From: Neo’s Kiko Arguello Announces Replacement for Carmen Hernandez.

from left: Ascensión Romero, Kiko Arguello and Fr. Mario Pezzi. Photo from: https://www.romereports.com/en/2018/02/13/woman-completes-team-that-coordinates-neocatechumenal-way/

Parish Based

For people interested to experience The Way, it is important to know that it is parish based. Go to the Parish near your home or you are actively participating in (wherever this may be). Find out when the Neo Catechists are ‘announcing’ to start a community or program.

People from different countries and languages danced together. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Rolly explains “No attendance being checked, no money being asked, you start the Cathechesis 15 nights, ending with a short retreat one and a half days. After that you can start, if you want to walk if you realize what God is asking you in your life, it can help. Of course the Neo Cathechumenate is not the only way. There are many other groups also which are formative. The Fuocolare are formative. The others are more service oriented but there are groups which are formative. Somebody looking for their faith should look for a formative group that fits them.”

Pope Francis; The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo from official Vatican Youtube video of event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX_hSTbC0So

Pope Francis: “Go!”

From Kiko’s question ‘Who is God for you?’ lies the strength of the Neo as well. People’s real life sharing can be the most powerful message and reflection that becomes relevant to everyone who hears it. No wonder The Way has spread around the world easily. Pope Francis recognizes this in his message during the anniversary,

Pope Francis; The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo from official Vatican Youtube video of event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX_hSTbC0So

“Here lies the strength of proclamation, so that the world may believe. What counts is not convincing arguments, but the life that attracts; not the ability to impose oneself, but the courage to serve. And you have in your ‘DNA’ this vocation to proclaim, living as a family, following the example of the Holy Family: in humility, simplicity, and praise. You bring this family atmosphere into so many desolate and unconcerned places. Let yourselves be recognized as the friends of Jesus. Call everyone your friends and be friends to all.

‘Go and make disciples of all peoples’. And when Jesus says everyone, He seems to want to emphasize that in His heart there is room for every people. Nobody is excluded.”

Pope Francis; The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo from official Vatican Youtube video of event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX_hSTbC0So

Epilogue: The Neo meeting with the Pope and our pilgrimage in general was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I would like to thank the people who made it possible. Thelma Gecolea for your encouragement and support, My brother George and his wife Hazel who sent us a stroller that was used and appreciated by my father, eldest brother Timmy and wife Joy, (both my brothers) who provided financial support to me and my parents.

I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to everyone in our travel group, all of whom assisted my parents and me during the trip. I thank everyone for their patience when we walked slowly (in the aisles) or occupied the public C.R. too long and so many other unintended inconveniences.

Apart from everyone’s patience and assistance I’d also like to thank especially Dr. Rolly Cua, Allen King, Ghita, Brother Froilan. Thank you for making this trip easier for our family. Most of all thank you to Fr. Paolo Benetton for making the trip cost efficient and yet so spiritually impactful with so many destinations along with your insights. Hopefully you don’t have too many nightmares of Pinoys demanding C.R. in every stop. Salamat po! Grazie Mille!—Jude Bautista

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Ascensión Romero; The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo from official Vatican Youtube video of event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX_hSTbC0So

Philippine flag; The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Fr Paolo with the Cavite group from the Philippines. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Pope Francis waves to the Philippine contingent, an arms length away from his passing vehicle. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

There was unity and camaraderie in one faith between people coming from 135 countries. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo from official Vatican Youtube video of event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX_hSTbC0So

Members of the Italian Neo Catechumenate (in Rome) welcomed Filipino Neo members with open arms and cake! Viale Manlio Germozzi, Rome, May 2, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Fr Mario Pezzi; The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo from official Vatican Youtube video of event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX_hSTbC0So

Initiator Carmen Hernandez who passed away in 2016 was honored during the event. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo from official Vatican Youtube video of event.

People from different countries and languages danced together. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo from official Vatican Youtube video of event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX_hSTbC0So

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Pope Francis; The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo from official Vatican Youtube video of event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX_hSTbC0So

There was unity and camaraderie in one faith between people coming from 135 countries. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo from official Vatican Youtube video of event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX_hSTbC0So

Philippine flag; The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Fr. Paolo Benetton conceptualized a highly successful pilgrimage tour and guided a group of 90 from various parishes in the Philippines. Valle Caffarella, Rome Italy, May 2, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

There was unity and camaraderie in one faith between people coming from 135 countries. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo from official Vatican Youtube video of event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX_hSTbC0So

What used to be a shantytown is now a lush green park called Valle Della Caffarella in Rome, May 2, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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There was unity and camaraderie in one faith between people coming from 135 countries. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo from official Vatican Youtube video of event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX_hSTbC0So

Pope Francis waves to the Philippine contingent, an arms length away from his passing vehicle. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

There was unity and camaraderie in one faith between people coming from 135 countries. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo from official Vatican Youtube video of event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX_hSTbC0So

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There was unity and camaraderie in one faith between people coming from 135 countries. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo from official Vatican Youtube video of event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX_hSTbC0So

Pope Francis shakes the hand of Fr Mario Pezzi. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo from official Vatican Youtube video of event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX_hSTbC0So

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Pope Francis; The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo from official Vatican Youtube video of event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX_hSTbC0So

There was unity and camaraderie in one faith between people coming from 135 countries. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo from official Vatican Youtube video of event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX_hSTbC0So

150,000 people from 135 countries attended the celebration. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Fr. Richard and Fr. Paolo with the St. Peter group from the Philippines. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

There was unity and camaraderie in one faith between people coming from 135 countries. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo from official Vatican Youtube video of event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX_hSTbC0So

Guitarists from different countries sing the same songs. In this case it was in Spanish. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Sri Lankan flag; The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

There was unity and camaraderie in one faith between people coming from 135 countries. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo from official Vatican Youtube video of event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX_hSTbC0So

Neo co founder Kiko Arguello is not only a painter but also a musician, composer and arranger who expanded his compositions for the guitar to whole orchestras. The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo from official Vatican Youtube video of event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX_hSTbC0So

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Pope Francis; The 50th Neo Catechumenal Anniversary was held at the University of Rome Tor Vergata Grounds, Rome Italy, May 5, 2018. Photo from official Vatican Youtube video of event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX_hSTbC0So

Rock N Rawr for Levi!

TANYA MARKOVA lead vocalist Norma Love; Rock N Rawr a fundraising for Levi Abundo was held at DULO MNL a bar in Poblacion Makati last March 23, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written and photographed

By Jude Bautista

Last March 23, 2018 – ROCK N RAWR was held at DULO MNL, a bar in Poblacion Makati. It was a fund raising effort for Levi Abundo who was born prematurely (only 6 months in utero).

Because of Levi’s fragile state he was required to stay in the N.I.C.U. (neonatal intensive care unit). The medical bill from the NICU station alone comes to a total of 4.2 million pesos. Added to this there are other procedures he needs.

Since Levi was not able to develop fully through a shortened pregnancy (6 months), this also required surgeries to help him survive. For more details on Levi’s story click here.

The fruits of your generosity allowed Levi to go home and graduate from N.I.C.U! Help him raise money he still needs for hospital bills. Photo from Landa’s facebook.

Bands such as TANYA MARKOVA, MOJO FLY, HINLALATO extended their support for Levi.

FULL LIST of performers:

Spoken Word Poetry from:

Kooky Tuason, Marty Tengco, Jing Reyna Jorge, The Makatas

Music Performance by:

Tanya Markova, Mojofly, Hinlalato, Lunch Poems,

Undecided, The Morning Episodes

and DJ Mike Lavarez

UNDECIDED; Rock N Rawr a fundraising for Levi Abundo was held at DULO MNL a bar in Poblacion Makati last March 23, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Getting the Bands Together

After Levi’s parents’ Luis and Landa Abundo decided to have a fund raising involving bands, there was one friend they had in mind. Clang Santos, vocalist of HINLALATO was a close family friend since their high school days. He’s a batch mate and old friend of Landa’s brother Michael. There was no hesitation on Clang’s part in in volunteering his own band. But then he thought of recruiting TANYA MARKOVA.

Luis and Landa Abundo with friends who helped raise funds for Levi. Rock N Rawr a fundraising for Levi Abundo was held at DULO MNL a bar in Poblacion Makati last March 23, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

A chance meeting at CLUB DREDD in Eastwood City Mall back in 2010 would prove to be providential, “TANYA MARKOVA, I just suggested the band because they’re a fun act. We used to play 2010 in CLUB DREDD in Eastwood Mall, the second iteration of CLUB DREDD. We met there, really funny guys. They launched a single and all that. We’ve been in communication ever since. I’m really glad they were able to join this project.“

TANYA MARKOVA from left: Rez Curtis (Guitars), Iwa Motors (Vocals) and Isabel Ole (Lead Guitars). Rock N Rawr a fundraising for Levi Abundo was held at DULO MNL a bar in Poblacion Makati last March 23, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Clang’s relationship with Landa’s family runs deep, “Michael Bautista (Landa’s brother), we call him Bong. We’ve been friends since 1987, grade school. We became closer when we got into high school. We became close with the whole Bautista family. When their dad, Tito Mike called of Ate Landa. He told me, ‘your sister Ate Landa has a little bit of trouble maybe you can help out’. We immediately said yes. We want to be part of the project and they consulted me with what they could possibly do. Maybe we can do this and do that. I helped a little bit but its all them. I’m really really happy to be part of this project. I hope this is the first of many.’

Yabang Pinoy volunteer Fort Faronilo hugs vocalist Clang Santos of HINLALATO. Rock N Rawr a fundraising for Levi Abundo was held at DULO MNL a bar in Poblacion Makati last March 23, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Young Parents

A number of the band members they recruited were also young parents. Clang said they could easily relate to the struggles that Luis and Landa are going through.

“Lugi of MOJOFLY is a good friend. I knew that Lugi is not only a female vocalist but she’s also a new mom. I’m pretty sure she could relate. I messaged Lugi and she immediately said yes. She wanted to be part of the project.”

Luis and Landa Abundo with friends who helped raise funds for Levi. Rock N Rawr a fundraising for Levi Abundo was held at DULO MNL a bar in Poblacion Makati last March 23, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

HINLALATO

HINLALATO- is the Filipino word for middle finger. The irreverence, rebellion even the humorous nature of the gesture represents what the band stands for. Clang goes on, “We got a gig in Quezon City. We were thinking of a name but wanted it to be very Pinoy Rock. We wanted it to be very representative of what we play and who we are.

from left: HINLALATO bassist Bass Godwin Salazar, Guitarist Luden Salazar and vocalist Clang Santos; Rock N Rawr a fundraising for Levi Abundo was held at DULO MNL a bar in Poblacion Makati last March 23, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Our bassist (Godwin Samar) had this idea why not HINLALATO? What does that mean? It’s the middle finger. Its in your face, straight forward. It could mean a lot of things. It could make fun of other people, in jest. That’s what it meant for us, about being Pinoy and being kick ass, in your face.”

HINLALATO Guitarist Jon Salazar; Rock N Rawr a fundraising for Levi Abundo was held at DULO MNL a bar in Poblacion Makati last March 23, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

HINLALATO band Members include: Luden Salazar (Guitar), Jon Salazar(Guitar), Aldwin Alberto (Drums), Godwin Samar (Bass) and Clang Santos (Vocals). These guys have been together for a decade and they gel like it too.

What keeps them together is their love for the same kind of music. Clang enumerates, “All of us are heavily influenced by 70s and 80s hard rock and Pinoy bands. All of us love RAZORBACK, WOLFGANG, JUAN DELACRUZ, MARIA KAFRA, THE DAWN.”

HINLALATO; Rock N Rawr a fundraising for Levi Abundo was held at DULO MNL a bar in Poblacion Makati last March 23, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Classic Rock

Their music is a journey into the very best of classic rock. It’s varied coming from the 60’s all the way to the 90s. They kicked off with Led Zeppelin’s IMMIGRANT SONG, that became the soundtrack of THOR RAGNAROK.

It was followed by WALANG TIGIL ANG ALON, “an original we wrote back in 2011 about unconditional love. Our 3rd song glam rock inspired AMELIE. We played 2 classic rock songs one from Lenny Kravitz’ ARE YOU GONNA GO MY WAY? followed by Black Crowe’s HARD TO HANDLE, then Beatles COME TOGETHER, more Aerosmith’s version. Last song was our first single FILI about Pinoy pride, love of country.”

HINLALATO drummer Aldwin Alberto; Rock N Rawr a fundraising for Levi Abundo was held at DULO MNL a bar in Poblacion Makati last March 23, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

EP for Levi

FILI hit the rock notes but wasn’t a hard sell in the lyrics, the kind of music that can inspire. That night the band dedicated sales of their EP for Levi, “Our EP is out – HINLALATO X, you can find all our songs on spotify, itunes, deezer, google play and Apple music. You’ll find all our 3 songs there. you can stream them for free. You can also find the music video for our single FILI on YouTube. You can also find us on facebook, instagram and twitter: HINLALATO MUSIC. We post all our schedules there our photos and all that. We’re going to have a bar tour in Cebu, Davao and Baguio.”

THE MORNING EPISODES’ Miguel Escueta. Rock N Rawr a fundraising for Levi Abundo was held at DULO MNL a bar in Poblacion Makati last March 23, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

THE MORNING EPISODES

Miguel Escueta of THE MORNING EPISODES was there to represent the band and play an acoustic version of the collaborations with international artists: UNTIL THE SUNRISE (with Sullen H) and FALLS INTO THIS (with Curtis Smith).

LUNCH POEMS; Rock N Rawr a fundraising for Levi Abundo was held at DULO MNL a bar in Poblacion Makati last March 23, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

TANYA MARKOVA

This quirky, theatric band has been capturing the hearts of music fans for quite a while now. I first photographed them (also in Eastwood Mall) during a larger more grand album launch in 2012_? Not a lot of people know they’re multi-awarded too:

NU Rock Awards – Best New Artist (2010), Best Music Video – DISNEY (2010), Best Live Act (2010), Myx Music Awards – Favorite New Artist (2011), DWRX Monster Radio RX 93.1 – OPM Band of the Year (2010), New Artist of the Year (2010).

TANYA MARKOVA; Rock N Rawr a fundraising for Levi Abundo was held at DULO MNL a bar in Poblacion Makati last March 23, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

The band is composed of members with interesting pseudonyms: Iwa Motors (Vocals), Isabel Ole (Lead Guitars), Skrovak Iskopanjo (Bass), Norma Love (Vocals), Mow Mow (Tambourine), Robot Jaworski (Keyboards), Levy Poe (Drums), Rez Curtis (Guitars).

TANYA MARKOVA closed the show for Little Levi that night in DULO MNL. They performed their hits PICTURE PICTURE, LINDA BLAIR, HIGH END, JACUZZI, KUNWARI and DISNEY.

TANYA MARKOVA from left: Mow Mow (Tambourine) and Isabel Ole (Lead Guitars). Rock N Rawr a fundraising for Levi Abundo was held at DULO MNL a bar in Poblacion Makati last March 23, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

They also let Mow mow loose giving him the chance to sing Bruno Mars’ VERSACE ON THE FLOOR. According to him it was a favorite of his grandma. While not vocally perfect he was nevertheless able to win over the crowd.

As a testament to Levi’s courage in fighting for his place in the world, he has already gotten better. But a lot still remains to be done for his full healing. Mom Landa however was able to share an inspiring update last August 5, 2018 from this facebook post:

Hi, everyone! I got my dose of Vitamin D early this morning. I didn’t really enjoy it at first but I eventually got cozy in Mommy’s arms while Daddy entertained me.

How about you? What are you up to this Sunday? Hope you’re all enjoying quality time with family and loved ones!

The fruits of your generosity allowed Levi to go home and graduate from N.I.C.U! Help him raise money he still needs for hospital bills. Photo from Landa’s facebook.

In case you’re wondering what the line near the edge of my diaper is… That’s one of my surgery scars peeking. It’s quite long for my tiny tummy! Battle scars remind us how strong we are to have gone through trials. They’re beautiful that way, don’t you think?

Happy Sunday to one and all! Remember, God is great!!!

Please click our Highlights up top or visit https://www.facebook.com/LeviLittleLionheart/ to find out the different ways you can still share to my NICU Bill and medical needs. May God bless you always! 🙏🏻

Luis and Landa Abundo with friends who helped raise funds for Levi. Rock N Rawr a fundraising for Levi Abundo was held at DULO MNL a bar in Poblacion Makati last March 23, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

#LeviLittleLionheart #26weeker #prematurebaby #preemie #preemieawareness #preemiestrong #preemiesupport #preemiepower #preemiehope #ourlittlepreemie #NICUgrad #NICUgraduate #lifeafterNICUlife #NICUawareness #preemiemom #preemiedad #preemieparents #littlewarrior #littlemiracle #fundraising #donation #pleasehelp #helpneeded #keepthefaith #vitaminD #sunbathing101 #babysurgery #strong #scars #battlescars

UNDECIDED; Rock N Rawr a fundraising for Levi Abundo was held at DULO MNL a bar in Poblacion Makati last March 23, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

LUNCH POEMS; Rock N Rawr a fundraising for Levi Abundo was held at DULO MNL a bar in Poblacion Makati last March 23, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Levi Little Lionheart

Fb

https://www.facebook.com/LeviLittleLionheart/

gofundme

http://www.gofundme.com/levilittlelionheart

youcaring

https://www.youcaring.com/leviabundo-1091515

HINLALATO Guitarist Luden Salazar; Rock N Rawr a fundraising for Levi Abundo was held at DULO MNL a bar in Poblacion Makati last March 23, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

HINLALATO; Rock N Rawr a fundraising for Levi Abundo was held at DULO MNL a bar in Poblacion Makati last March 23, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

TANYA MARKOVA and HINLALATO; Rock N Rawr a fundraising for Levi Abundo was held at DULO MNL a bar in Poblacion Makati last March 23, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Levi Little Lionheart

Fb

https://www.facebook.com/LeviLittleLionheart/

gofundme

http://www.gofundme.com/levilittlelionheart

youcaring

https://www.youcaring.com/leviabundo-1091515

HINLALATO vocalist Clang Santos & Guitarist Jon Salazar; Rock N Rawr a fundraising for Levi Abundo was held at DULO MNL a bar in Poblacion Makati last March 23, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Levi Little Lionheart

Fb

https://www.facebook.com/LeviLittleLionheart/

gofundme

http://www.gofundme.com/levilittlelionheart

youcaring

https://www.youcaring.com/leviabundo-1091515

from left: TANYA MARKOVA Skrovak Iskopanjo (Bass), Iwa Motors (Vocals) and Rez Curtis (Guitars). Rock N Rawr a fundraising for Levi Abundo was held at DULO MNL a bar in Poblacion Makati last March 23, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Luis and Landa Abundo with friends who helped raise funds for Levi. Rock N Rawr a fundraising for Levi Abundo was held at DULO MNL a bar in Poblacion Makati last March 23, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: TANYA MARKOVA Robot Jaworski (Keyboards), and Skrovak Iskopanjo (Bass). Rock N Rawr a fundraising for Levi Abundo was held at DULO MNL a bar in Poblacion Makati last March 23, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Levi Little Lionheart

Fb

https://www.facebook.com/LeviLittleLionheart/

gofundme

http://www.gofundme.com/levilittlelionheart

youcaring

https://www.youcaring.com/leviabundo-1091515

from left: TANYA MARKOVA Skrovak Iskopanjo (Bass), Iwa Motors (Vocals) and Rez Curtis (Guitars). Rock N Rawr a fundraising for Levi Abundo was held at DULO MNL a bar in Poblacion Makati last March 23, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Spoken Word Poetry from:

Kooky Tuason, Marty Tengco, Jing Reyna Jorge, The Makatas

Music Performance by:

Tanya Markova, Mojofly, Hinlalato, Lunch Poems,

Undecided, The Morning Episodes

and DJ Mike Lavarez

LUNCH POEMS; Rock N Rawr a fundraising for Levi Abundo was held at DULO MNL a bar in Poblacion Makati last March 23, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

LUNCH POEMS; Rock N Rawr a fundraising for Levi Abundo was held at DULO MNL a bar in Poblacion Makati last March 23, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista

Warmth Brings Blossoms

Warmth Brings Blossoms

By Jude Bautista

The long dark winter has

frozen my heart

The endless grey has

blinded my eyes

The ceaseless wind has

dulled my mind

Where is hope when I

need it most?

Photo from:
Winter is Coming – Game of Thrones (Season 1)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gy_4WOQidjI

A sliver of sun breaks through

the clouds

She slowly makes herself felt

through the bleakness

Photo from:
Winter is Coming – Game of Thrones (Season 1)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gy_4WOQidjI

When you see her there’s an

undeniable joy

Photo from:
Guizhou China: this is the most beautiful cherry blossom landscape in the world
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVaoUPZgYBk

Warmth brings the blossoms

early

Colors bursts forth, she is here

I am alive again

Photo from:
Guizhou China: this is the most beautiful cherry blossom landscape in the world
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVaoUPZgYBk

Photo from:
Guizhou China: this is the most beautiful cherry blossom landscape in the world
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVaoUPZgYBk