2012 and what the Math monkeys have to say . . .

So I haven’t been around much this year, I know. Hence, blogging is among one of the activities that I vow to get back into for the coming year (which, incidentally, is about 4 hours away).

Anyway, the ever reliable WordPress stats helper have provided the following numbers for all of us to be reminded of how I did this year. Check out the summary below.

I know it’s not much, but I’m still glad that Angled Vista has managed to stay afloat the entire year. And I have all of you to thank for still visiting my page even in its semi-coma state.

For you, I would do my best to revive my writing and this site.

Cheers to a happier–and more word-filled–2013! Keep reading and writing, everyone. 😀

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,200 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 9 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Wear, express, you

Wear your thoughts, express your feelings, scream individuality.

These are the first words you’d see from the Facebook fan page of my friend’s new online business, Shirts Shop.

I was busy rummaging through my closet for, ironically enough, a shirt when Fiona texted me and said she already had the FB fan page up for her new online business. Of course, I went and checked it out.

Technically, it looked the way most new fan pages are. There were welcome messages for everyone and photos to get your attention snapping at a moment’s notice.

I asked her how much would a shirt cost and how soon would I get it if I were to order one. And she just gave me the best answer possible: for free! 😀

Hey, I don’t mean to get your hopes up. The shirts are for pay. No worries, though, they’re really affordable. You can get the white shirts for only at Php350 while the colored ones are priced Php370.

But she’d be giving me one for free, like a treat, mainly because we’re friends and she’d like to give away one shirt just to check out how people would react about it. So, as she’s very much insistent, I agreed and told her I’d just post a blog about it. To help her let others know about the Shirts Shop, yeah.

And just yesterday, my “order” arrived! It was just a couple of days’ worth of waiting.

No hassle!

Everything was so convenient that I did not have to do anything but stay at home, text her my address, and wait. I even don’t think it would make a difference whether I paid for it or not because even the modes of payment were so convenient: GCash, remittances through LBC or Western Union, and deposits to a BPI or a UCPB account.

You might wanna try giving bulk orders as well. Although, of course you’d have to wait for about a week for all the shirts to be done and sent to you. But just the same, the Shirts Shop can very easily be your next-door solution to having that uber comfy shirt you just need.

The shop also offers more choices for a shirt design. You can even draft out your own design and have them make the shirts for you. Periodically, there are also design contests and themes in their FB page. They’re all very current so you would really have fun choosing what you want on your shirt front.

Me, I preferred to get one of those she’s already offering (more because of the fact that I don’t really know how to design my own).

Here’s what I got:

Design’s really good 🙂

I know, it’s a bit big for me.

The shirt’s material is also cool and comfortable, so I could wear it almost anywhere.

So the Shirts Shop is just like any other online shop that sells made-to-order and customized shirts, right? Erm, I don’t think so. It is indeed an online shop that sells shirts. But it also is that shop you can run to every time you’d need a shirt for any event or purpose . . . pronto.

Like the Shirts Shop Facebook page now. And start stocking up on all those shirts you have ever wanted!

I Paid More Attention to This

Well, who wouldn’t?

Every awards night in Hollywood is not just about who are nominated and who should win. It’s also about which designer to wear, what kind of pose to do in the red carpet, and definitely how to avoid numerous members of the fashion police especially when you know something is sort of wrong in your ensemble.

And if we’re totally honest about it, maybe we pay more attention to what is worn by whom than who actually are the best bidders at the 69th Annual Golden Globes.

Real fashion enthusiasts even collect the many looks of varied biz people and grade them depending on style, color, accessories, shoes, and the overall look.

While a totally non-enthusiast myself, I still found myself gushing over and grunting against different looks when I was browsing through the photos of them people in LA.

The best ones for me? Here:

Emma Stone

You know I’ve always loved Emma’s bubbly smile complete with deep, happy eyes. Although of course, what do we expect from someone who literally has so many of the beautiful things life has to offer (yeah, including Andrew Garfield)? And this Lanvin gown on her pretty much complements her content gait.

Evan Rachel Wood

I love the cropped hair, I love the Gucci Premiere gown, I love the feathers at the hem. And basically, I love Evan’s confidence complete with edginess.

Adam Levine and James Valentine

Let’s get this straight first, James is not a fan posing beside Adam’s wax figure. Haha! At first glance, that’s what I thought. Adam’s expression was so set he could actually be a wax figure and you won’t notice the difference. Seriously though, these two rocked their suits.

Kate Winslet

If there is one woman who would tell me it’s perfectly fine to be curvy and I would agree without a shred of doubt, it’s Kate. Seriously, you’d find it so hard not to be envious of her curves. Jenny Packham’s black-and-white creation also set off more of this envy.

Jessica Alba

Somebody tell me she hadn’t just given birth! Come on, seriously? How do you get a body like this again after giving birth? Well, it’s Jessica Alba, what else can we say. A radiant smile and a Gucci gown seemed like just an accessory to her already beautiful self.

Charlize Theron

I must admit that the first time I had ever heard of Charlize was in the trailer of her upcoming “Snow White and the Huntsman”, where she played the ever-glam Evil Queen. And ever since, I started noticing her playful but uber pretty way of dressing. This Dior gown could have eclipsed her altogether had it not been for the unusual cut and the oh-so-deep plunge.

Angelina Jolie

It’s not just the Atelier Versace, or the bright red lips, or the sky-high slit, or the cream (or is that white?) peep-toes. It’s e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g! You cannot stare at Angelina Jolie looking like this and wonder just when she would ever fail to be beautiful.

They may not all be perfect, though, as in the cases of:

Freida Pinto

Freida, whose blue Prada gown sort of just overshadowed her usually alluring looks. I think she could have done better if this is more form-fitting. No problem, though, with her accessories–her smile just complements everything else.

Mila Kunis

Mila, who usually looks beautiful and vibrant (like in her Oscars 2011 gown) but is somehow lackluster in this black Dior number. I like the gown, no doubt about that, but I think it’s her sleek almost-flat do or the bored expression minus the smoky eyes that have diminished the entire look.

Sofia Vergara

Everybody scream at me now: What on earth are you saying?! And I promise I’ll take no offense. I don’t know what it is about this entire Sofia look that didn’t work quite well. Maybe it’s the cut of the gown, or the all-too detailed bottom part, or the fact that everybody else raved about the $5M jewelries. But something about Sofia walking down the red carpet looking like this seems to be off. Like she’s just passing by the way most celebrity onlookers just do.

Well, as everything in Hollywood works, there are those who will meet what is expected of them and those who will not even attempt to do so. Then, there is everybody else who just comes around looking their happiest.

The 69th Annual Golden Globes has just been concluded and in the next awards or the next year, these dresses would be forgotten quite a bit. But of course, for those who have stood out, they may have already had another time-of-their-life moment.

Pixie Dusts and Neverland: The Peter Pan Musical Experience

I was not at all a die-hard Peter Pan fan when I was a kid. I preferred Alice and the Philippines’ Princess Sarah. But thanks to Disney and a lot of other adaptations, I became quite acquainted with Peter and Wendy’s foray into the wide world of Neverland.

But still, that was not enough reason for me to actually agree to go with my friends and catch the second to the last week showing of Repertory Philippines and Stages Productions’ Peter Pan – A Musical Adventure last October 22.

Up to now, and especially after the riotous MRT ride that I went through that Saturday night, I couldn’t fathom why I chose Peter Pan for my first ever (you read that right) theater experience.

What I do know was that after the show, I was more than glad to have seen it.

Peter Pan was a story about a boy who did not want to ever grow up. He had come across London Town where the Darling siblings lived. With his enthusiastic tales about Neverland, he managed to convince Wendy, John, and Michael to come and fly with him to the magical world. Even more, Peter got to make them fly through a sprinkling of pixie dust!

In Neverland, Peter Pan’s brothers–the so-called Lost Boys–were eagerly on their toes avoiding the pirates led by the cunning Captain Hook. They were made happier when they saw Wendy flying toward them.

In the course of the whole story, it was made clear that Peter brought Wendy to Neverland so they could play house with him as the father to his and Wendy’s children: the Lost Boys and John and Michael. Unfortunately, things were made more complicated by the ever hateful Hook and his gang of pirates. It also did not help that Tiger Lily’s tribe was always on the loose. Worse, Peter did not seem that well-versed with the definition of responsibility.

The play was a spectacular series of songs and storytelling that eventually ended with a surprise and yet ultimately sad twist.

At the finale, viewers could not help but feel sorry for the boy who never grew up and who lost all the good chances that the world could offer him–including forming a loving family.

The Cast

Sam Concepcion as Peter Pan

I was superbly in awe of Sam Concepcion in his portrayal of Peter Pan. He was bubbly and grouchy when needed to be. Peter’s arrogance was shown as well as his softness. The clarity of his singing also gave the best impressions of Peter’s thoughts and emotions. The best parts of his portrayal? The flying, of course. There was that magical feeling of seeing Peter fly across the stage that for some good moments, you could wish he wouldn’t go down.

Cara Barredo as Wendy

Undoubtedly, the best compliment that could be given to Cara was the superb power of her performance. The singing was theater material alright, with perfect diction and clarity and shrillness that could actually break a mirror. Her speaking lines were delivered with as much clarity and the amazing British accent that made her altogether a delightful character to watch.

Michael Williams as Captain Hook

Have you ever hated and laughed at a pirate so much you couldn’t really pinpoint which emotion was more powerful? Well, Michael’s Captain Hook could certainly do that to you. His portrayal was flawless–cunning when mad and fondly amusing when not. I loved his voice and the way he dealt with such young adversaries. He was an actor that could blend in and stand out at the same time.

Joy Virata as the Narrator/Old Wendy

The woman who so successfully surprised me that I wanted her to have this part. She was probably one of the best narrators I got to watch. Her voice was not that booming with such intense emotions that you could hardly understand what she was saying. She was clear in most instances, as if everything was simply matter-of-factly. In the end, where she revealed who she really was, I was quite astonished and amused to see how she so easily blended with the whole picture–as if she was not just someone reading off a story book but the character herself.

The Lost Boys, John, and Michael

They were all so cool and cute. I especially liked the song and dance number of the Lost Boys whilst waiting for Peter and speculating about his journey. John and Michael also did their part as the ever-loving brothers of Wendy. I liked how they were so taken by Neverland that their childish innocence and awe seemed to me as if the best positive feedback ever to be given to the place.

The Pirates

Theirs was a group of completely hilarious villains that had the huge bodies of the bad guys but the soft hearts (or cowardice? Hmmm) so uncharacteristic of such characters. Smee was amazing with his antics as well.

Kakki Teodoro as Tiger Lily

For someone with as few scenes as Kakki, she really got to make the most of her portrayals. She was feisty as she had to be while being just as vulnerable as any female tribe leader could only be.

What I Liked

1. The Production. Props to everybody who were at the backstage as much as to the select black-clad few who were actually on stage. It was a great production of settings, props, and costumes. Since it was my first time to watch a play, I was a bit disoriented with parts wherein the crocodile was being pushed around so visibly by two people. But after a while, I just got used to it.

The finer points had to be given to the seemingly seamless transitions of scenes. It was altogether fast but not at all chaotic. The perspectives of such settings as the Lost Boys’ underground home and Hook’s ship were also commendable.

2. The Musical Score/Arrangement. Fantastic vocals, amazing lyrics, and the best of musical scenes were probably the best attribute of Peter Pan. The scenes were carried out with such majesty that came not only from the casts’ musical prowess but also from the backstage sound crew. In fact, the songs were so good I would really love to buy its OST, should one ever comes out.

3. The Plot. Since I didn’t really grow up with Peter Pan, I really appreciated how the plot of the play stuck with the basics of the tale. It was not really difficult to understand the story because you needed not to have background knowledge. I also loved the ending, which had both compromise and finality. It was sad, but the morale was there.

4. Special Parts. I’d also like to give it to the writers who had thought of including two superbly great scenes: Tinkerbell’s coming back to life; and the final scene where the cast bid the audience goodbye. For me, these two parts where really smart not just because they worked well though obviously not within the plot but also as they encouraged audience participation with so much enthusiasm.

What I Didn’t Like

Actually, in retrospect, I only could cite two things I didn’t like about my whole experience.

One, we didn’t get to start the play. Which really sucked, because we missed the first flying part. Yeah, we got in late thanks to me slowly battling out with the rudeness of the MRT people.

And the other thing I didn’t really like: the absence of Tinkerbell’s physical form. I understood from several articles that I got to read after watching the play that Tink wasn’t really supposed to be a live creature. She was, in some versions of the play abroad, just a spot of laser light hovering around and whispering. But c’mon. Did the prod team really had to do that here? I was really disappointed. Thankfully, she was portrayed with such good sound effects and a black-clad crew carrying her around that missing out on her became impossible.

On the whole, my very first theater experience was not so bad. It was cool and eclectic and definitely worthy of all the hassle and stress. So much had come out of this that I would not really forget.

In the end, it did not really matter that we missed the first scenes or that Peter Pan stayed as a boy while everybody grew up and moved on. What was important was that we got to watch a journey of a boy who had taught us so much about the importance of responsibility, bravery, and friendship.

Until your next flight, Pan!

* Photos from Write, Breathe, Live; Bum-Spot; and all over Google Images

A Mass of Blonde

The 74th Season of the UAAP Cheerdance Competition had just ended–in a sea of blonde, might I add.

Eight of the country’s top colleges and universities gathered their best movers to compete for a title, a cash prize, and an entire year’s worth of bragging rights.

There’s the National University Pep Squad, the University of Sto. Tomas Salinggawi, the Ateneo de Manila Blue Bubble Battalion, the De La Salle Animo Squad, the University of the East Pep Squad, the Far Eastern University Cheering Squad, the Adamson Pep Squad, and the University of the Philippines Pep Squad.

This year’s season had garnered a very large audience somewhat caused by last season’s intrigues and a definite crackle of electrified tension. And the continuous cheering campaigns of all the participating schools whether in their respective campuses or all over social networking sites simply added to the competitive air.

I guess there’s also as much determination from a couple of the teams because winning this season would add to the festivities in their respective schools. De La Salle is celebrating its 100th year and the University of Sto. Tomas is commemorating its 400th.

Hence, the expected scene of balloons and banners and astoundingly loud cheers was what greeted the whole of this year’s Cheerdance Competition. The court side reporters introduced their own schools to the energetic responses of their crowds. And then the competition began.

Now, I’m not good at speaking about dances because technically, I was simply after seeing a good show from the contestants. And boy was it a great spectacle. Every team gave their best tosses and erected their close-to-perfect pyramids. They had nothing but something for their college mates to be proud of.

I particularly loved three teams: NU, DLSU, and of course our very own UP. The National U’s play with the red cloths very much like the known bullfighting festival was interesting–it was sort of a diversion from the usual love-your-own themes that the other schools centered on. DLSU also offered a refreshing take with their green and white ensemble, like nature and purity fused together to create something lovely for the viewers’ eyes.

UP came up with something relatively new: the UP Pep Swag. It was a fresh take on the competition, fierce and yet glamorous. A crowd of black-clad audience even added flare to the blonde-haired dancers.

Unfortunately for Ateneo, missed stunts and nervous tosses made the whole performance shaky. UST seemed like it was just collating all of their older stunts, not revealing much of new, leveled-up feats.

Before the end of the competition though, a surprise addition was announced in the form of the Group Stunt event. Five out of the eight schools competed with three emerging as the “inaugural” winners: NU, FEU, and UP.

UP's winning Group Stunt team (photo from fullcourtfresh.com)

Then, the moment of truth everybody waited for.

In the end, only three prevailed–in two colors: green and blonde.

The Far Eastern University went home as the 2nd runner-up and the De La Salle Animo Squad bagged the 1st runner-up title (after a very long win drought). This was when the tension built up so fast that just one word seemed like a bomb for everyone’s ears: “still”

Because with this word came the realization that the UP Pep Squad yet again claimed the title “Champion”.

UP Pep Squad, Champion (photo from fullcourtfresh.com)

Pride and joy and all other emotions filled the Araneta Coliseum as a mass of blonde converged and ran to the center of all the chaos.

It was at this point that I was so sure everybody else felt the same way I was feeling. There was me feeling so proud to the point of bragging. And there was me with eyes nearing tears. No, I didn’t know anyone in there personally. But one thing you’ve got to know about us–we are one big happy family in UP.

And this one big family, you made proud again, UP Pep. Thank you.