Sunday time travel… sort of


It’s interesting to note that in this day and age of glitzy, ginormous shopping malls, some commercial centers stand and operate as if the last 30 years didn’t happen. Marketplace Shopping Mall in Kalentong is one such place.

I’ve no idea how old Marketplace is, but judging from its facade it looks like it’s been up since my mother was a coed at nearby Jose Rizal University (formerly Jose Rizal College). It looks, well, dated. Either it’s really old or it cares little about upkeep. Regardless, me and the girls found ourselves there one lazy Sunday afternoon to attend a kiddie party.

Though my nine-year-old daughter had some funny observations about the place, I found Marketplace oddly charming. The stalls that sell cheap RTW and assorted wares from China, the dingy corners, the drowsy atmosphere… it’s a breath of fresh air, so to speak, even if the air there smells faintly of roaches. For some reason the place reminded me of a bygone era when things were far simpler. If it weren’t for the videoke machine blaring old pop hits in one corner and the smartphones in the hands of the salespeople there, the illusion that I’ve stepped back in the early 80s would’ve been complete.

Later, at the kiddie party, surrounded by cheerful kids, I realized I am missing my childhood. Sigh.


Weekend bullets #2


The last Komikon of the year took place on Saturday and Sunday, and as much as I would have liked to be there on those two days just to gawk and chat and stroll, I was only available on Saturday afternoon. Except for the hellish traffic I went through coming to the venue, it was still a fun experience, as evidenced by the bagful of comics I came home with. So I was a couple of thousand pesos poorer, so what?

Other highlights of the weekend:

  • Spent an afternoon in Megamall all by myself, with lunch at Yoshinoya and a visit to Filbar’s to claim my comics for the week (Domino #8);
  • Started watching the new DC series Titans (I like that it’s violent and gritty, and has Minka Kelly playing Dove);
  • Finished reading The New Avengers 2 TPB;
  • Went to a kiddie party in faraway Kalentong with the girls;
  • Rearranged by graphic novel and comics collection because of the new additions.

And now I face another Monday thinking weekend should be a four-day thing.

Dear Stan


Well, shucks. That was one helluva morning jolt you gave me, man. Stronger than with cheap 3-in-1 coffee. You’re gone, and suddenly my day looked dreary. Le sigh.

But you’re not gonna be gone ‘gone,’ are you? Your legacy will live on long after we’re all dust. If not in movies, cartoons and comic books, surely on the covers of notebooks, on T- shirts, in toy lines. Heck, here in the Philippines, your legacy is even splashed on the sides of public utility jeepneys. You’re everywhere, man.

Still, the world seems a colder place without you.

And I can’t imagine seeing future Marvel movies without your crazy cameos.

Like billions of others, I owe you a big THANK YOU. Lots of social media tributes out there, but I’ll borrow Seth Rogen’s: “Thank you Stan Lee for making people who feel different realize they are special.”

Thank you, man. Thank you very much.


Weekend bullets #1


Guns N’ Roses circa 2018 at the Philippine Arena is not the highlight of my weekend; rather, it’s Queen circa 1985 in London. Yes, I finally saw Bohemian Rhapsody, and the fact that I’ve been listening to nothing but Queen today is testament to how much I enjoyed the movie, flaws and all.

Other highlights of the weekend:

  • Went to Megamall with the girls to inquire about visa requirements for our Planned Big Trip in 2019;
  • Popped our DC Super Heroes Cafe cherry (food is good but pricey AF);
  • Picked up two weeks’ worth of comics from Filbar’s Megamall;
  • Finished reading Daredevil: Guardian Devil TPB;
  • Finished reading Ford County, my first Grisham (I know. Sue me);
  • Watched the last two episodes of The Haunting of Hill House.

All in all, a fine weekend of rock ‘n’ roll, family bonding, and escapism. Can’t have it any better.

Netflix and chill

So one fine weekend morning I woke up, fixed myself coffee, fired up my laptop, and noticed that the three shows competing for my attention were all from Netflix, the best proof that God loves couch potatoes. Heroes, haunted houses, and a has-been human-horse. I thought, What the hell.

BoJack Horseman


I can’t believe I was clueless on this show until five seasons later. With an alcoholic humanoid horse as lead character, this animated satire should have popped in my radar as early as the first online buzz, but it didn’t, God knows why. But better late than never, as they say. I saw the pilot episode the other day, and judging from it, the 59-episode catch-up will be a sweet drunken journey rich with LOLs.



I’m a big fan of the Marvel-Netflix love team and was kind of sad — although not at all surprised — that Iron Fist and Luke Cage got the ax after their latest seasons. But the sadness went out the window the moment Season 3 of Daredevil got released. Not only because he’s one of my favorites comic book characters, but also because the trailers for the third season are undeniably dope (one word: Bullseye!). So in the course of three days I marathoned the season and am now down to the last three eps. Glad to say, the season is living up to its hype.

The Haunting of Hill House


I admit, I got on board because of the buzz this series has generated on social media. Seems like everyone with a Facebook account and a Netflix subscription is raving about this. Curiosity piqued, I watched the first three episodes just to test the water, and found, to my delight, if not surprise, that this is more than just jump scares. There’s a good family drama mixed in with the horror, something that reminds me of why I like The Sixth Sense more than, say, The Conjuring. And it works pretty well! I like how the show constantly builds terror instead of slapping me around with it like in those Saw and Hostel movies. Episode 6 seems to be the best example of that. The same episode also boasts of an insane set of single-take shots that was just awesome. In short, the show is one helluva horror masterpiece, and I’m glad to have paid attention to the hype this time.