Entertainment, TV Series/Movies

Keeping Track of Netflix Series

It’s a hot Sunday afternoon. I should be studying now, (CPALE in a few months!) but here I am, working on a not-so-important blog post about a bunch of series I’ve watched on Netflix.

There are still a lot of really good series out there that I haven’t watched yet, so I might write an update from time to time. Also, if ever your favorites didn’t make it to the high tier section then please be reminded that all of what’s written here are my personal thoughts and opinions.

Recommendations are open in the comments section, though. Change my mind, if you want to.

Here’s a little legend to help you:

These are all in random order.

High Tiers

Sense8 – sci-fi/drama. Strong character personalities, culture diversity, and addresses social issues. Will definitely rewatch!

Black Mirror – sci-fi/anthology. Disturbing but really, really good.

Stranger Things – sci-fi. Family-friendly. Not much of a deep story plot but entertaining.

The End of the F***ing World – romcom(?). Dark comedy. Uses a lot of swear words lol but really funny. Main actors are perfect for the role. Also, perfect soundtrack!

The Umbrella Academy – sci-fi. Based on a comic book. Kids with superpowers stuff and all. Also family-friendly. Very, very good soundtrack.

Mindhunter – psychological/thriller. Characters are based on real-life murderers (e.g., Ed Kemper, Ted Bundy). A fresher look on docu series.

You – romance/thriller. Based on a book with the same title. Has a very convincing main character who’s really hard not to like. Lol.

Bates Motel – psychological/suspense/drama. Story is really interesting, and will leave you with questions after each episode. The suspense/thriller component is really convincing, too!

Mid Tiers

Dark – sci-fi/thriller. A foreign film, so it’s on a foreign language on Netflix. Interesting plot, but is a bit slow on the first five episodes. You also have to give really good attention to details.

The 100 – sci-fi/drama. One of my favorites, to be honest. Has one or two shit seasons but if you stick with it, it gets better. Good character development, too.

The Haunting of Hill House – thriller/drama. None much of the scary stuff but the storytelling is really good. Superb cinematography. Script is well-written.

How I Met Your Mother – sitcom. First sitcom I’ve ever finished, actually. Originality and story, check. Has more of the emotional component than other sitcoms. A lot of people didn’t liked the ending, and I’m still undecided about it too. Lol.

Friends – another sitcom. Quite overrated, but it’s good. Really relatable characters!

Sex Education – comedy/teen drama. Do not actually contain sexual scenes, like the title suggests. Addresses some relevant social issues too.

13 Reasons Why – psychological/drama. The show is getting backlash from some viewers because of its graphic scenes and suicide romanticization, but I think it sends a strong message to its viewers.

Low Tiers

Santa Clarita Diet – suspense/comedy. Contains some gore. CGI/cosmetic art is impressive. Poor plot, and script-writing for a show that tries to be funny.

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – thriller/teen drama. It’s entertaining for teenagers. Lol.

Maniac – psychological/sci-fi. Concept is really interesting, but it was executed poorly. Poor storytelling, too. Quite disappointed with this one.


Not included in my list are those I didn’t finish maybe because I got bored or it just did not seem interesting for me at all, like Riverdale (stopped watching after Season 1) and Orange is the New Black.

I’m also planning to watch other shows like Breaking Bad, Lucifer, and Gilmore Girls.

If you can recommend other shows for me, leave it in the comments section!

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Books, Entertainment

Call Me By Your Name

“Is it better to speak, or to die?

Call Me By Your Name was the first novel written by André Aciman. It is set in mid-eighties Italy, and is about Elio—17, extremely well-read, sensitive, and the son of a prominent professor—who soon finds himself troublingly attracted to Oliver, a visiting resident scholar who was recruited by his father. The two soon creates an intimate bond, calling each other by the other’s name.

I felt almost every kind of emotion while reading the book, if I am to be honest here. In other words, so much feels. I came to the book through its movie with the same title, which was released in 2017. Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer did an excellent job in portraying the characters of Elio and Oliver. The masochist in me jumped out, not being completely satisfied with the pain I’ve felt at the end of the movie, and so decided to read its book.

If you consider adding Call Me By Your Name to your to-be-read or to-be-watched list, then this is the push that you’ve been waiting for. Go on and give it a try.

Now, let’s talk about the many ways it will destroy you. The book consisted of four parts. The movie only showed the first two parts, a bit of the third part, and almost none of the fourth part. Let’s talk about the book instead.


Part One: If Not Later, When?

This part introduces us to the world of Elio and Oliver. Actually, there’s none much of Oliver yet. Elio just goes on and on here talking about Oliver: the movie star Oliver, the Oliver he’s deeply attracted to.

The thing I really liked about Aciman’s writing here is the way he made it look how normal it is for a person to want another person so much. Elio did not just like Oliver—he yearns for him. He was not just attracted. He was drawn to him in ways he could not yet explain, but was completely aware of.

“How I loved the way he repeated what I myself had just repeated. It made me think of a caress, or of a gesture, which happens to be totally accidental the first time but becomes intentional the second time and more so yet the third.”

Part Two: Monet’s Berm

One thing that drew them closer to each other was their shared interest for literature. I had a personal favorite scenario in the book that, fortunately, had also made it to the movie. It was when Elio took Oliver to his spot—the berm—and Oliver told Elio how he liked the way he say things.

The same spot—Monet’s Berm, as Elio would call it—was also the place where things between them had probably started.

Monet’s Berm perfectly describes that feeling we all get after finally having the courage to let someone know what we’ve always wanted to let them know—that feeling between bliss and regret, whether to seize the moment of mutuality or for some reasons, to take everything back at once.

“It never occurred to me that I had brought him here not just to show him my little world, but to ask my little world to let him in, so that the place where I came to be alone on summer afternoons would get to know him, judge him, see if he fitted in, take him in, so that I might come back here and remember.”

Part Three: The San Clemente Syndrome

Elio and Oliver celebrated their love in Rome, just before they separated. It was such a beautiful metaphor for the two.

The San Clemente Syndrome is all about how people’s lives are made up of complex layers that we never really get rid of. Instead, we live with them, layer after layer, making each one of us as unique as possible. Elio and Oliver had this part of their lives as a significant layer which they promised to live with and never forget. They learned how to grow around it, even after they separated, and just had to dig deeper once they’ve met years after because it never left them in the first place.

They became a part of each other since then.

“He came. He left. Nothing else had changed. I had not changed. The world hadn’t changed. Yet nothing would be the same. All that remains is dreammaking and strange remembrance.”

Part Four: Ghost Spot

This chapter is my favorite. Unfortunately, it wasn’t included in the movie. Maybe I just like hurting myself way too much, I don’t really know.

I never loved someone so much the way Elio and Oliver loved each other. Their story encompasses a lifetime, the one you couldn’t just forget that easily.

Ghost Spot.

I need not have a love like Elio and Oliver’s to know how painful it is to be in a place where you’d once wished that time never ended. I knew how painful it is to look at a place and be reminded of someone as if they never really left that place.

Every place seems to be a ghost spot without that person in it. I may not have experienced it yet, but I know how painful it is—to have their marks everywhere, to hate yourself for not being able to bring everything back to the way they used to be before they came.

And I know how painful it is to have a love that never ceases, and to want someone so badly you think you’d die if they did, for someone you cannot have.

“You’re thousands of miles away but no sooner do I look at this window than I’ll think of a bathing suit, a shirt thrown on on the fly, arms resting on the banister, and you’re suddenly there, lighting up your first cigarette of the day—twenty years ago today. For as long as the house stands, this will be your ghost spot—and mine too, I wanted to say.”

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Personal

An Open Letter to All the People I’ve Met in College

Spending five years in college is not a joke.

I’ve had my fair share of ups-and-downs, just like any other college student. I cried over failed quizzes and tests, mumbled my prayers to every saint during surprise recitations, let myself loosen up a little bit at times, and had some pretty embarrassing moments, too.

I didn’t came from a prestigious university. Though I dreamed of entering one when I was in high school, the memories I’ve made within the brick walls of our humble university cannot be traded for anything else. With that being said, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude for the people I’ve met during this truly unforgettable phase of my life.

To BSA 1-3, A.Y. 2014-2015

We weren’t named the Best Section for nothing. Of course, that title is objective, and was based on certain categories, but I’m also seriously certain that we hold that award.

Within that section, we had our own established group of friends—our constants, the people we sit in together with at lunch—but together, we were louder, and happier, than usual. We aren’t the perfect section. Some had misunderstandings with each other, some felt isolated, and sure enough we weren’t the brightest of all students, but we still managed to work as a team despite these flaws. Sharing laughs and weird jokes with you, guys, were effortless. I am happy, and will forever be grateful to have been a part of this team.

If it weren’t for this section, I wouldn’t have also met my two college bestfriends. One whom I’ve been with since day one, through sleepless nights and hell weeks; the other, despite choosing a different path, had decided to stay from the very start up until now. I’ll forever be grateful.

To BSA 5-1, A.Y. 2018-2019

The bond we’ve created wasn’t the strongest one, but it’s actually nice to be surrounded by people whose hearts are full of hope and determination for themselves, and for their peers. Although we’ve only been together for two years, everyone made sure that no single person was excluded off the list. The last year we’ve shared was the most crucial part, and I’m beyond grateful to have been shared every single day with you, guys.

All of our sacrifices will never go in vain. Cheers to the graduating batch!

To the professors

Some of you had been really good educators for us inside the classroom, and some had been more than just educators. A lot of you had become our inspirations, to strive harder, and to be where we are today. More than the scores, I am thankful for the countless life lessons you have given us. I know no other ways on how to repay you, but to make myself a better person and to reach the dream I’ve always been chasing since day one.

Ma’am, Sir, thank you.

To myself

Yes, I am making a letter for you—for the version of myself I’ve only known when I entered college. Back in high school, you were this achiever, the student whose name stood on top of the list, the school’s pride. I used to think highly of myself. I used to think, there’s not a single test that I cannot pass. Well, those were five years ago.

But look at you now, the college version of myself, and how much you’ve changed over the years. You’ve finally learned that nothing comes easy—that everything requires your whole heart, mind, and soul if you really want something. You’ve finally learned that no matter how certain you are that you’re the best, there will always be someone who’s better than you, and that is completely okay. Your only competition is yourself. You’ve learned how to accept failures, and how to see past them. You have a stronger heart now, and though there’s still some fear creeping inside it sometimes, I know for sure that the faith you’ve been keeping inside your heart will always be bigger than your fears. I know you’re scared of what the future holds, but you’ve come this far. There’s nothing you cannot do anymore.

Look how much you’ve grown for the past five years. Look how much you’ve grown.

I am proud of you, always.

And lastly, for all the people who weren’t a part of bigger groups that I included in this letter, please remember that I appreciate each one of you. Whether you’re a batchmate, an org. mate, a common friend, or just someone whom I’ve shared a small talk with before, thank you. You are all a part of my college life, and I’m grateful enough to decide not to change a thing—even when time permits me to do so.

I am ending this letter with a happy heart. I wish the same for you, reader.

‘Til our paths cross again.

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Personal

Mess

I think I badly need to declutter my mind.

Like there is so much going on in my head right now, I am honestly having a hard time organizing my thoughts. I have been wanting to start writing again, because obviously this has been my little getaway everytime I wanted to be out of here temporarily, but I can’t seem to put all of my endless ideas into proper sentences these past few days. I don’t know. I just… I’m losing interest in everything, right now.

I’ve been trying to keep myself busy with other things—tv series, social media, school, friends, and other stuff—but there’s this sense of emptiness inside me. I am in a constant thinking about missing something. I am losing my focus on things that matter, but what is it that really matter, anyway?

So many things have been happening lately, and everything’s going by so fast. I am making reckless decisions, and I am being tricked by my own emotions. Mind over matter. Mind over matter.

But I think, more importantly, it should be mind… and things that matter.

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Personal

Dreams

Four years ago, I was decided.

I was decided with everything that’s about to happen. I knew what I wanted, and very seldom had I questioned myself for wanting those things. I was in sophomore year in college when I made these decisions. I even did a new Twitter account! That was how certain I am that I’m headed to a new path—the one which I wanted, the one which I’ve always dreamed of. My papers were ready—application for scholarship programs, enrollment forms, even go-to contacts—all prepared in front of me. Okay but, what the hell am I talking about, right?

I am talking about the 17-year-old version of myself. Pretty much the hopeful, goal-oriented, ambitious, me. Everyone who knows me that well probably knew that I was a huge mess when I failed the UPCAT. Technically, my grades didn’t make it to the cut for UP Diliman, but luckily it did for UP Los Baños. UPLB is too far from where I live, and that was just one of my problems. Fast forward, we did considered it, but a lot of things were getting in the way. Expenses, transportation, and the mere fact that I am going to live alone far from my parents’ home got them really worried.

But I wasn’t.

I wasn’t that worried at all. Living in a dorm excites me. Studying in UP was what I am most excited for. So you see, I made my decision long before I entered my freshman year in college. I’ll study in PLV, and eventually, I’ll transfer to UPLB. If my grades are high enough, I’ll transfer to UPD. Just because that was the ultimate dream. All UPs are UP, but when I saw UPD’s Sunken Garden, I can already imagine myself sitting on the bench during class breaks, observing. Listening. I was ready to embark on my UP journey, and be the world’s bestselling author, but just like any other’s sob story, life happened. Sophomore year turned to junior year, and then senior year, and now I’m already a graduating student. Not of University of the Philippines, but of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela.

Things didn’t happen as what I had planned. I am not a creative writing student. I am not some English lit cool chic that sits in one of those benches around Sunken Garden. Calculators are nothing similar to classic novels. 17-year-old me would have questioned 21-year-old me’s life decisions.

I don’t want this to end with some petty life lessons, like some consolation in exchange of my failed plans. I’ll even admit—I still regret a lot of things I never did in the past. I may have made a mistake in picking my future profession, but life sucks in giving us the right options so, I’m taking this one as a challenge. As a matter of fact, no one ever told me that I can’t be a writer and a Certified Public Accountant at the same time. I still love UP, a part of me seem to have stayed with that university when I first entered it in 2012 to apply for UPCAT, and I love PLV just the same. Two universities, two sides of me. The other one molded my dream of becoming what I wanted to be, and the other made me the smart, independent, and strong woman that I am today.

Dreams shouldn’t remain dreams; and the future ahead of me excites me more than anything else right now. I’m off to achieving greater things, and my younger self couldn’t be more proud of me.

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Writings

Aftermath

Maybe that’s the aftermath of it all — of me, growing up as a reader. Maybe I’ve already read too many ‘I-saw-him-reading-my-favorite-book-in-a-coffee-shop’ interactions, enough for me to spend hours inside a local café near school hoping that the same will eventually happen to me. I don’t know, man. Maybe I was just looking for a man version of myself. Someone who reads books as much as I do, someone who drinks coffee atleast three times a day, someone who loves art museums, someone who hates tomatoes on hamburgers, someone who’s willing to rewatch Interstellar with me on a Saturday night.

I don’t wanna force this ‘perfect guy’ idea on every guy that I meet, because certainly no one is, but I’m still hopeful, you know. I know someday, I’ll finally be getting that clicking moment with someone — and it would be magical. Funny, but magical.

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Writings

The Human Brain

The human brain. How interesting. It’s like a stubborn little companion inside our nutshell of heads—it plays tricks on us right before our very own eyes. Ah, the human brain. Do we really own our minds, or are they just mere compilations of other people’s consciousness brushing against ours?

When we are wide awake, our conscious mind is on action. It sees what we see; the flowers, the sun, the trees, the birds—it hears what we hear; the soft breeze sound on a chilly Wednesday afternoon, the muffled Tullycraft song from the headphone of the boy sitting beside you inside the bus, the crunchy noise a dry leaf makes when you accidentally stepped on it—it feels what we feel; the sticky sweat of the athlete guy that hurriedly ran past you on the school corridor, the smooth pages of your newly-bought dotted notebook, the subtle and soft touch of skin from a friend you greeted this morning—interestingly, the human brain does nothing with all of that, but it does see, hear, or even feel everything.

Remember the last time you had a dream about someone whom you’ve never seen, talked, or even thought of, for a long time? Maybe the last single thing that will possibly make you think about that person would be a place–a significant place–you happened to see on Facebook. It was like a quick glance, a little, “Oh.” and that’s it. Not even a quarter of a second.

Yet your subconscious mind decided to make a big deal out of this by letting that person appear in your dream. It’s like a big ‘JOKE’ was stamped all over your face. The memories of that person, which you carefully buried into the deepest and farthest corner of your mind, was recovered once again to make fun of your existence.

It’s like the subconscious mind telling you, “Ha, what did you say? You’ll forget this person? Let’s see.”

It’s funny in some ways, like how I’m imagining my subconscious mind to be these careless little workers slipping papers in and out of their little offices. One little information could trigger them and boom, they would all go crazy. Maybe because we store too much information inside our subconscious mind, and we filter only those that we wanted to think of and retain inside us as of a certain moment, that they already held too many secrets that we might never recognize anymore. The faces who were automatically tagged as ‘not important’, the names we chose to forget, the places we erased in our own maps, the feelings we’ve set aside until we finally forgot about them.

If I could have a peek inside my own mind, I would, but I guess I never will.


Featured photo is a painting made by Kaitlin Walsh.

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