OCTOB ER 2015
cr a sh ELLEN ADARN A
S C OU T M AG . P H
FREE M A GAZINE!
I S S U E NO . 1 4
On the cover: GOSHA RUBCHINSKIY shirt, stylist’s own, CJ CRUZ trousers, stylist’s own. STOCKTON ROW Lorenzo earrings
floating sound nation
32 on the cover ellen adarna
c i n e m a l a y a ’s pusong bato
20 art + design
22 space upcycling
h e y, d i d d l e d i d d l e
marcelo santos III
tagaytay art beat
dating older men
w w w. sco utmag . ph Group Publisher
BEA J. LEDESMA Editor in Chief
JED GREGORIO C r e a t i ve D i r e c t o r
Romeo Moran Nico Pascual
C o py E d i t o r September Grace Mahino Cont ribut ing Writer Pristine De Leon Contributing Photographers Cyrill Araga, Paolo Crodua, Artu Nepomuceno, Cenon Norial III, Pam Santos Contributing Stylist Paul Jatayna Contributing Illustrator Marcela Suller Interns Ishbelle Bongato, Dani Chuatico, Chealsy Dale, Fiel Estrella, Chio Gonzales, Andrea Lopez, Eunice Sanchez, Camille Tolentino Editorial Consultant Ria Francisco-Prieto Board Chairperson Alexandra Prieto-Romualdez Finance Advisor and Treasurer J. Ferdinand De Luzuriaga Legal Advisor Atty. Rudyard Arbolado V P/ G r o u p H R H e a d Raymund Soberano VP and Chief Strategy Officer Imelda Alcantara SVP and Group Sales Head, Inquirer Group of Companies Felipe R. Olarte AV P f o r S a l e s Ma. Katrina Garcia-Dalusong Sales Supervisor Polo Dagdag Ke y A c c o u n t s S p e c i a l i s t Angelita Tan-Ibañez Senior Accou nt Execut ives Thea Ordiales, Abby Ginaga Accou nt Execut ives Charm Banzuelo, Andie Zuñiga, Sarah Cabalatungan Sales Support Assistants Rechelle Endozo, Mara Karen Aliasas Marketing Associates Erle Mamawal, Jann Turija Marketing Graphic Artist Lee Caces, JR Larosa Business and Distribution Manager Rina Lareza Circulation Supervisor Vince Oliquiano Production Manager Noel Cabie Production Assistant Maricel Gavino Final Art Supervisor Dennis Cruz FA A r t i st Kristine Paz
grilled cheese sandwiches
Le tte r fr o m th e E d i to r What do we talk about when we talk about love? Only here in Scout can the discussion bring you from falling in love with older men (“In With the Old,” on page 28) to falling in love with a piece of rock (“Love Me Harder,” on page 6.) Among the editors, it also brought to mind people who love what they do—from Brian Wilson, who is hoping to revitalize the action movie industry here, to photojournalist Hannah Reyes, who is travelling the world to seek out human stories to photograph. We talked about heartbreak, too—or the cure for it, which, according to managing editor Cai Maroket, is a grilled cheese sandwich. Cai’s edit of the best grilled cheese sandwiches in town (page 24) never fails to make me crave, and I’m sure it will nudge you as well to journey for a bite of comfort. As this issue gets sent to press, our cover star Ellen Adarna finds herself all over the news. This time, she’s condemned for getting drunk at the Star Magic Ball. One online article says she was “wild and uncontrollable.” That’s precisely the problem; if they were looking for another superstar to control, they obviously picked the wrong one.
long stor y short
Apex Chuidian a.k.a. Floating Sound Nation says that his newest sound is an open-ended conversation where everyone is invited Interview by NICO PASCUAL Photography by CENON NORIAL III
lation” Contemp “Days of y b a playlist und Nation So Floating
Toes Glass Animals
G.H.D. Benny Diction & Able8
Heart ds232 Pelao
Let’s Never Come Back Here Again Submerse
Lonely Town Dirg Gerner
Miss U Dante
APEX CHUIDIAN is used to telling stories. He had studied creative writing before settling full-time in Manila to try his luck in the growing underground music scene. Now he is part of the Buwan Buwan collective and he currently goes by the name of Floating Sound Nation, which is a collective diary of his sprawling thoughts and multiple personalities. He tells us that he doesn’t want his music to be about him, but rather be an invitation for others to tell their stories as well. He tells us about his fondness for different sounds and his plans for an innovative sound exhibit that will accompany his newest album. How did you start Floating Sound Nation? Before I started Floating Sound Nation, I had two projects: Sacred Vomit and Welcome to Limbo. The first two were just experiments, having fun and all that. I remember I was doing freestyles with my friends, like Jorge aka SimilarObjects. There was one song I called Floating on the Sound. I started rapping and the first thing that came to my head was “Welcome to the Floating Sound Nation.” I was like, okay, I’m going to keep that and see where it goes. Floating Sound Nation is currently the go-to name for all my projects. I would say that it’s the foundation of everything. I’ve been working on finding new ways to come up with different sounds.
Oxbow B Lorn
The Long Walk Home At Midnight Xela
What’s your process like? It normally starts off being spontaneous. Normally in a day, I can finish like 10 to 20 drafts. Then I just nitpick from there and see which ones are nice. The start is really spontaneous, and then the process becomes more and more controlled. What’s it like being part of the Buwan Buwan Collective? It’s pretty fun. We have conversations about different techniques and how different sounds work. Most of us don’t actually sound alike, but it’s nice because it’s a community where everyone appreciates each other’s art.
“With all that chaos, I’m trying to find a form of order; I’m trying to soothe myself with my music.”
How would you describe your sound now? It’s a little bit of hip-hop and intelligent dance music; My music sounds serene, but if you listen to the first few projects like Sacred Vomit, they all sound angry and everything was just chaotic. With all that chaos, I’m trying to find a form of order; I’m trying to soothe myself with my music.
How did you end up here in Manila creating music? My dad had problems with his health, so while I was in Dumaguete studying Creative Writing in Silliman University, my mom asked me to come back here to Manila. So I met up with Jorge and asked him what he thinks I should do. He told me that maybe I should do music or writing, because those are the only two things he could really see me do. I decided to try out music, and that’s where I am today, still trying it out.
Orion Fallgrapp ft. Loalu and Luky Kakao
As you said earlier, your songs are like a dialogue between characters. Does that mean they are telling your story? I feel like every song is supposed to tell each story through different emotions. What I really want to do is evoke different feelings from people so they can feel the story too. My music is very open-ended. It’s not just my story; it’s everyone else’s story.
How do stories play a part in creating your music? Writing is my first love, but music is my first passion. I’ve always been reading since I was a kid. I’ve recently been reading Murakami, and his stories are relatable. The way I try to make my music is that I have each instrument act as a character in a story. They are all just talking to each other; if you listen closely, there is conversation between the instruments.
What’s next for Floating Sound Nation? It’s supposed to be a secret but in November 14, I’ll be dropping an album called Freqs of Nurture in Restock. It’ll be a sound exhibit with a few artists whom I asked to work with me, including Czar Kristoff, Justine Basa, and Kristine Caguiat, among others. They will put up artworks to accompany the music that I’ll be playing. The artworks will be based on their interpretations of the new tracks. What inspired this album? There is a lot of isolation in this new album because for a year, I haven’t been listening to any music except for my own. There is a bit of sadness and remembrance in it as well. Those are the themes because all the past events that happened to me nurtured who I am today, and I am trying to emulate those events through different sounds. Do you feel the need to constantly change? Yes, change is very important because you can’t stay stagnant. I see a lot of people who get stuck in their pigeonholes and don’t push their boundaries. I constantly keep trying to push my boundaries and try new processes when it comes to my music. Will you continue pursuing music in the future? I’m not sure if it’s in terms of me making music but no matter what, I can’t eliminate that aspect. I’m looking into doing musical scores in the future, maybe in video games. Something like the musical scores in Final Fantasy or Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, that’ll be cool. n
love me harder Stones may break your bones and quite possibly your heart, too, according to this year’s Cinemalaya best film Interview by MARTIN DIEGOR
Above: After an earthquake, Cinta Dela Cruz (Mailes Kanapi) wakes up with a strong fascination for a rock she found lying in front of her.
AT SOME POINT in our lives, something is bound to hit us hard in the head and make us fall flat on our faces. It could be a rock, it could be love, it could be both. Such was the story of Cinemalaya 2015’s best film, Pusong Bato, directed by 23year old Martika Ramirez Escobar, a film major from the University of The Philippines. One day, Martika found herself randomly thinking, what if I fell in love with a rock? (Why so? She has no idea). She was so fascinated with the concept that she looked it up and found that attraction to inanimate objects is real. It’s called objectophilia, a strong fixation out of love and commitment to items or structures. According to studies, objectophiles commonly believe in animism, thinking that even lifeless things have souls, feelings, and intelligence. “I researched the whole thing for four years before my thesis semester. I wanted to pursue that concept for my other class productions but ended up having doubts if I could pull it off. But for my thesis film, I just knew I had to do it. I had a feeling that I was ready,” she says. Well, the golden balangay pretty much proves she was.
our family. It was my mother who would often use the camera to take videos of anything and everything. As a kid, I remember being amazed by how this small device captured reality. Luckily, when I got a bit older, my mom allowed me to use our handycam. It quickly became my favorite toy. Without knowing it, I already had my own stack of videotapes, all full of shots of our pets, house and family.
You really love movies, don’t you? What got you started? I grew up in a creative family. My grandma studied fine arts in college and my mom is a mass communication graduate. They are the arts and crafts types who nurtured an artistic atmosphere at home. In the ‘90s, handycams were somehow staple household items. So when I was a kid, my grandfather got one of those for
Must be really exciting to be part of Cinemalaya. How was the experience? It was extra special! I have been a follower of the festival for almost half a decade already, so it is just overwhelming to watch my film in the same screen where I first saw many of the works that had inspired me as a filmmaker. It’s also cool because I got to meet a lot of new people—fellow filmmakers, industry
How did you know it’s what you wanted to do? I have always been interested in moving pictures but it was only in high school when I decided to take it seriously. During my “rocker” phase in high school, with matching black nail polish and checkered Vans, I got fond of watching local music videos. It’s just simply my two favorite things in the world—music and movies. Then I learned that many of my favorite music video directors studied filmmaking in college. I thought, “Wow, it’s a legit course!” Then and there, I said, “I want to take up film and become a music video director/filmmaker.”
film Clockwise from left: A young Cinta (Anna Deroca) was once local cinema’s sweetheart, here paired with matinee idol Edgardo Salvador (Acey Aguilar). The official poster of Pusong Bato. A funny exchange between Cinta and a local pastor giving her advice on her love affair.
professionals, film enthusiasts and of course, people who got to see our work. But the best part of Cinemalaya for me is our screenings. It’s the best feeling in the world to see and hear people react to images that were once only ideas in my head. It felt surreal, like a shared dream. What’s it like working with acclaimed actress Mailes Kanapi? I remember her telling me that she’s crazy. She really is, and it is perfect! Since we’re both admittedly crazy, it became much easier to work with each other. No doubt that she is an amazing actress. She’s a great collaborator too. There are a number of decisions in our shoot made by both of us. What aspect of producing Pusong Bato did you find most challenging? It has to be the writing process. The flurry of ideas, imagined scenes, characters, and thesis deadlines just drove me crazy. It’s a neverending struggle to gauge if the script is at its best version. The rest of the process from pre- to postproduction went smoothly, thanks to my very lovely, passionate, and tiwang team. Where do you see Philippine Cinema in the next five years? It’s hard to tell, and I’m not the best person to ask but, from the eyes of a newcomer and a young filmmaker such as myself, I can say that I can only see good things for Philippine Cinema. It has drastically changed throughout the years, thanks to our history, culture, government, etc. It really is an ever-changing industry. Right now, people still ask about the difference between mainstream and indie but I think that in five years, that wouldn’t be much of an issue anymore. If it still is, it will be more about the
“People still ask about the difference between mainstream and indie films, but I think that in five years, that wouldn’t be much of an issue anymore.” purpose of the film (business or art), rather than the style, form, or manner of storytelling that people will use to compare the two labels. Gladly, recent years have proven that even the formula that we know and are so used to is already starting to change. There are many game changers in the industry and the Filipino audience now seems to be more open-minded. The boom of grant-giving festivals is also proof that there is hope for the brave and creative filmmaker who wants to bring his/her film to life, even without the big studios. The existence of such festivals is important because they are the ones who have the power to shape the Filipino audience into a more critical one. Do you have a dream movie that you want to direct and produce? Right now, I have two. One is a short film, another meta-film that would be the third installment of this trilogy I’m making that involves film genres. What I can tell you is that it’s a modern bomba film. The other one, a potentially fulllength project, involves a mermaid. I wouldn’t want to spoil anything yet. But I hope these projects happen! If you were to fall in love with an object, what would it be? A camera. n
Eiffel for you A piece of trivia: A well-known objectophile is world-champion archer Erika Eiffel, who married the Eiffel Tower in 2007. And yes, Eiffel is her surname because of that marriage.
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Where better to experience both love and heartbreak than in the realm of shopping? Scout editors share what they’re coveting this month 4
What fuels creativity? It’s futile to track down a singular wellspring of ideas, because inspiration can come from everywhere. If you don’t always have the luxury to travel and seek it out, or the sheer willpower to craft a spectacular adventure any given weekday, you can start with the habits you hone, the culture you consume, and the company you keep. If you’re able to create a space for yourself that melds all that, you’ll find yourself constantly inspired. –JED GREGORIO, editor in chief
8 9 12
11 1 CRATE & BARREL pendant lamp 2 H&M HOME bottle opener 3 H&M HOME shower curtain 4 LEGO Darth Vader keychain, Hobbes and Landes 5 GOSHA RUBCHINSKIY hoodie 6 HUMBOLDT’S GIFT by Saul Bellow, first edition, The Manhattan Rare Book Company 7 JONATHAN ADLER unglazed ceramic orb 8 ROCHE BOBOIS Bubble sofa 9 PAUL SMITH socks 10 NEWGATE Bullitt desk clock, Rustan’s 11 LEGO The Simpsons The Kwik-EMart, Toys R Us 12 Porcelain crumpled cup, Dimensione 13 Lucite bookends, 1stdibs. com 14 ROCHE BOBOIS lacquered steel chair 15 KELLY WEARSTLER chess set
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black parade I must confess: I have an affair with everything black. Everyone’s trying to replace it with a “new black,” but there’s always something that keeps me coming back to the real thing. Call it goth, the lack of color, or maybe even boring, but there’s a reason why it’s called a classic. –MARTIN DIEGOR, art director
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The constant FOMO I experienced a few years back has been replaced with what I would call FOBO, or Fear of Being Outside. Is it a sign of aging? (Or “growing up” if you’re sensitive about that sort of thing.) I don’t know, but a night in with History Channel and fuzzy socks sounds much more enticing than EDM and flashing lights. And if the day calls for company, friends are always welcome to come over and hang. I have Apple TV. –CAI MAROKET, managing editor
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I’ve always been fascinated with quiet moments. For me, there is nothing better than having a day off where you can just reflect and be with yourself. On such days, I tend to daydream about the different places I’ve been to in the past or conversations I may or may not have had before. This nostalgia can arise at different times: sometimes I feel it right in the middle of an interesting book or film, while at other times, it happens during my morning jogs while I’m still half asleep. –NICO PASCUAL, editorial assistant
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muscle mass Not that I’m trying to be the manly man jock dudebro that ends up breaking the overall combo of the Scout team, but these really are the things that make me tick (and sweat my ass off). Fitness is an expensive endeavor; while you can definitely get by with the basics, it sometimes breaks my heart that you need to pony up to get some sort of edge. Whichever way I get to it, though, it’s always worth it in the end. Your body will thank you after it’s done screaming in agony. –ROMEO MORAN, editorial assistant n
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Mary Kantrantzou Spring 2016
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Brian Wilson is fighting his way to put Filipino action movies on the map By ROMEO MORAN Photography by ARTU NEPOMUCENO
FIL-BRIT BRIAN WILSON wants to literally kick down the door into the mainstream. After seven years in his mother’s home country, the Juan Direction alum, martial arts practitioner, and action film junkie, believes that Filipinos and their martial artists could be the key to a new, different brand of international recognition. But at the moment, he’s finding it a little difficult to convince the local showbiz industry to gamble on real talent. “We just need to put videos out there that showcase martial arts and action scenes, and make people know that these videos are made in the Philippines,” he says. “And hopefully, people see these action scenes that we are producing.” Brian talks to us about his love for the genre and the goals he has for its growth. What martial arts disciplines did you train in? Okay, the funny thing is, I’m from the YouTube generation, meaning I kind of taught myself a lot of things. So I do have a martial arts background, my background is mainly Taekwondo and muay thai. I’ve just started MMA as well. So I took the
Photography assistant IGNACIO GADOR
k.o. classes just to sharpen my techniques and to learn the foundations, the basics, to make sure that I perform the techniques properly. But before that, I was already making videos before I’d ever taken a martial arts class. Simply because I was always kind of a hyper kid, I was naturally flexible. It all started when my brother just randomly brought home a DVD copy of Bruce Lee’s film, Way of the Dragon. I remember when he first bought it, I kind of like scoffed at him. I was like, “Why’d you buy that?” And then he put it on. I was amazed. I’d heard of Bruce Lee before that, but I never really watched his films. Just watching that film really opened my eyes. I think I was probably around 13 at the time. I was totally drawn to his charisma and just the way he performed every move and the action scenes. Even though they were made in the early ‘70s, they still looked good. They looked better than a lot of films I was watching around that time. So I was like, “Woah!” I bought all these other films, and that eventually led to me watching Jackie Chan and Jet Li, and other guys
like Sammo Hung and Tony Jaa. I just became a total martial arts movie freak, just buying any martial arts movie I could. Mainly the Asian ones, because the US, for me, isn’t really up to par in terms of martial arts. Even though they have people like Van Damme and a few other actors, they have a different way of doing it, where the action is shot in a way the director wanted it. And a lot of the time, the director doesn’t know how to film martial arts. But in Hong Kong, the action director is the guy actually handling the camera as well. When you watch the action scenes, Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee, you see every move. And it helps that the performers were really good, and all the stuntmen are amazing performers. They could really pull off all these moves. So the action director basically takes control of the camera and just films everything in a way where you can see all the moves clearly. It just looks amazing, and I got so into that that I’d try out the moves myself. I found out that I could actually do the kicks. I can mimic stuff pretty well. That’s how you got into it. That’s how I got into it! I remember the first ever action scene I shot. It was just me and my brother in my kitchen, and my mom filming with the camcorder. It was literally that! A 10-second fight scene, me vs. my brother, and it’s still on YouTube! You can check that out, but I won’t say it’s good! You said one of your goals here was to reinvent the local action movie scene. There are other Southeast Asian countries that have basically put their respective film industries on the map through martial arts films, which is something you don’t expect. It’s something I guess producers in the Philippines don’t expect would happen, which is why they don’t make action films and martial arts films. That’s why Ong Bak put Thailand on the map, and that was a martial arts film. The Raid put Indonesia on the map. And those films weren’t made solely to please the local audiences. Those films were made because they know that internationally, that’s what translates. You don’t need subtitles to watch an action scene or a fight scene. I think that may be a problem here in the Philippines: producers want to please local audiences too much and don’t think about what could be exciting for international audiences. And I think that’s where martial arts and the act of action filmmaking come into it, because if you do those well, it will impress people from any country, no matter what language they speak. It’s something I really wanna do, especially since the Philippines has its own indigenous martial arts that are actually already being used in Hollywood and other countries. The Bourne films and countless American Hollywood films are using FMA (Filipino martial arts) and yet, it’s something you don’t see in Filipino films. It’s kinda strange why that’s happening, but it’s something that we should be proudly displaying in our own films. A Filipino doing martial arts, no matter what martial art? I think obviously there should be a bit of the local arts in there. If I was to do something that I wanna show internationally, made in the Philippines, I would integrate some of that into it.
“Local producers don’t think about what could be exciting for international audiences. That’s where martial arts and action filmmaking come in. Because if you do that well, that’s what impresses people from any country, no matter what language they speak.”
action reel Brian recommends martial arts movies you should watch
Enter the Dragon “Just because it’s a classic. Most people would have already seen it; if you haven’t, just watch it. It’s Bruce Lee’s finest moment and his most popular film.”
Police Stor y, Drunken Master 1 & 2 “Okay, everyone knows his American films, right? If you wanna watch a good Hong Kong film of Jackie Chan, watch the original Police Story. It was his first modern action film where he stopped doing the kung fu style and went into more modern action. If you wanna watch one of his kung fu films, Drunken Master 1 and 2.”
Undisputed 2 & 3 “If you’re aware of Scott Adkins, he’s this British martial artist who is amazing. He’s bulky, but he can move as well. He moves like Tony Jaa. He does flips, he can do any move out there, these twists and flips and kicks, and he’s amazing.”
As I’m not an expert in that kind of thing, I would bring someone in to teach me, because it would be beneficial to show off what is local and what is indigenous to the Philippines. So yeah, I think it would just be awesome to see a Filipino action film made locally. I’m from the UK, and there’s another action director who’s from the States, but at the same time, we’re both half-Filipino, and we wanna showcase what the Filipinos can do. I think it has to be a film made here, with local talents, and whoever wants to get involved to show off what the Filipino action industry—if there was one—could do. You mentioned local producers are too busy trying to please local audiences that they end up compromising elements. I think the perfect example is the Metro Manila Film Festival. You see, the films they release in the MMFF are exactly what is acceptable on what the producers think will sell here, so you always get the romance, the comedy, the horror, and then maybe you get one that’s a little different, but that always ends up being the film no one watches. So I guess the producers learn from that, and that’s why the big films, where the money is are the comedies, the romances, the horror movies, and stuff like that. When you do see a film that’s a little different, like last year I was in Bonifacio, and even though it won lots of awards, in terms of the box office, it didn’t do as well as the more mainstream films. And that’s not even really an action film; that’s a historical epic. It just had elements of action in it. But if producers would take a risk, they’d realize that there is money to be made internationally, that there is a huge market for action films and martial arts films abroad. Because it’s not just about the box office. Films like Ong Bak, The Raid, they did show in cinemas around the world, but they didn’t make loads of money. They made all their money through DVD and Blu-Ray sales. It’s not just about the money they made directly from those films, but also the impact they had on those film industries. They’re known around the world for making these really wellmade action films, and good films in general. There are films that get noticed around the world that are made in the Philippines, and they’re usually the low-budget indie efforts, the dramas, the Cinemalaya-type stuff. But it’s still not stuff that’s really making people talk about the Filipino film industry internationally. And I think that’s what the action side has the potential of doing. That’s what action films have the potential of doing. There are so many people around the world who just love watching that kind of film, and I think that’s what needs to be done. That’s what I wanna do. n
At first glance, independent clothing brand Euniform’s newest outing of crisp workwear has echoes of a bygone normcore buzz, but designer Eunice Armilda says she’s capable of much more Photography by PAOLO CRODUA Styling and interview by JED GREGORIO How did you get into fashion design? How did Euniform come to be? Before even considering going to fashion school, and after deciding not to go back to studying communications in university in 2007, I ran an online store where I sold vintage and thrifted goods and handmade accessories. My takeaway was that I had loads to learn before I could stand on my own as somebody who makes clothes. Until 2012, I focused on fashion school. Outside school, I would take side jobs. It was, in a way, learning work ethic from creative people I admire. It wasn’t until 2013 when my real internship happened. It still stands as the most enriching experience of my scholastic career, and my former boss still gets a kick out of how I learned to value punctuality. All of this sounds like a walk in the park now, but back then, I thought things couldn’t get any worse. In 2013, I found myself listless and back home. It was one of the lowest points of my life because I didn’t feel like my normal self anymore. After several attempts at finding something to bring me back to living alone in Manila, I decided to just quit it and focus on what I really wanted to do. This prompted me to dig up all my old ideas and my past lessons and experiences. It was like a culmination of all those important things. The idea of Euniform was to have something superb yet unpretentious to wear everyday, an answer to my own problem, and other people’s too. Little by little, it moved along. There were many massive setbacks and delays, but with the help of my family and friends, Euniform went into business December of last year. Who or what are your greatest influences? When I was a kid, my mom designed a lot of our clothes, especially our matching Sunday dresses. She studied making clothes when she was in her early 20s. I obviously got that idea from her. It’s so funny because recently, I unearthed an old matching set I’ve never seen before that she made a very long time ago, and they looked like some Euniform pieces. It was a joyful coincidence, and maybe I wasn’t as original as I thought I was. I am also so lucky to have very talented friends and mentors who are doing very well in their fields. I don’t think they know this, but I learn a lot even in the most mundane conversations. Ethics, principles, values. I get a lot of inspiration from different media. I try to avoid concretely fashion references, because there would be little sense to making a brand of knocked off goods. I also like to look into the nature of things, physically and essentially. Our nature is a treasure trove of inspiration.
Can you describe your new collection? Was there a particular inspiration behind it? There wasn’t a concrete inspiration for this one other than the last collection. But this time, I tried approaching it from a wardrobe point of view rather than a novelty set of clothing. Who wears Euniform? The Euniform wearer has a lot of quiet confidence in their own skin, with little desire for validation from others. It’s something I noticed from our clientele. It takes a certain kind of confidence to pull off our pieces, and it’s so good to see that subtle kind of badassery in people. What makes a good new collection? Evolution and growth are immensely important to me, but so are cohesion and continuity. It’s very typical in fashion. Trends come and go, like normcore for example. It was a huge thing, and then it wasn’t. But I reckon some people would still describe your clothes as normcore. I used to scoff at it, but I can see why people say Euniform is normcore, and now it’s just kind of funny because that wasn’t my intention. So I guess it was a weird coincidence. I always like hearing what people think of the clothes but it’s never about riding on a trend. I notice your palette is always muted, your fabrics are very utilitarian, your cuts are streamlined. You don’t seem to be the kind of designer who would work with heavy velvet or fur or ornate detailing. My love for textile is very tactile! Sometimes when I see somebody wearing something and the fabric looks interesting, I find myself reaching out to stroke the fabric or material, which has gotten weird stares. I can’t say that I’ll never work with heavy velvet, fur, nor ornate detailing because I want to do all that one day. Right now, the fabrics I’ve been working with are sturdy fabrics. Cotton twill, knit, and poplin are workwear fabrics, and they just keep with Euniform’s everyday feel. They’re also very lovely to wear during the day because cotton is breathable. With the more basic cuts, found in the bodysuit and dress, I went with spandex. What’s the best thing about being a fashion designer? The best thing about making clothes is having people wear them. I really believe that clothing is a way of self-expression and people identify with what they wear. In a way, wearing Euniform is like making the brand and our pieces a part of you. The worst thing? People think you’re not working or everything you do is easy. I don’t really know how they expect clothes to appear on their own. How do you see Euniform growing as a brand and business? Are you set on being minimalist all the way? Euniform is working within the bounds of minimalism in the sense that only what is essential is brought out, in both business and design. But who’s to say what will happen in the future, right? n Euniform’s new collection will be available next month online and in select stockists. For more information, visit euniform.co
Makeup by SYLVINA LOPEZ Hair by EDDIE MAR CABILTES feat. HANNAH
Photos courtesy of Lenovo and the National Geographic Channel
photographs by hannah reyes
trigger happy Interview by JED GREGORIO and NICO PASCUAL
Photojournalist Hannah Reyes, now Cambodia-based, spends a week in the Philippines to document with only her mobile phone
A fruit market in Cebu. Above: A fortune teller in Quiapo
You’ve also done excellent work in Mongolia. What was that like? Mongolia was awesome. It’s one of my favorite places that I’ve ever traveled to; I spent a week just going around. Their culture is very different from ours. To them, they just let you be. One of the dads of a family I had stayed with made me herd his cows while I was riding a camel, and he yelled at me because I didn’t know how to! They’re very straightforward, but at the same time welcoming. You can knock on their doors and enter; it’s part of their culture to allow you in. I remember a time when it was raining and we couldn’t eat out to have a picnic, so we just knocked on some door and a man let us in. I
As Filipino kids, growing up, our education was all about being trained to get a job, not exactly to go out into the world. Transitioning into doing photography full time was a really long journey. I think I was lucky because I started earning in college, so I didn’t have this fear of my allowance getting cut after graduation. I’ve had photography gigs since college. I was shooting at my cousin’s restaurant, I’d take photos of people and upload them on Facebook as simple promotion. Eventually, jobs started to come in. In my mid20s, I started to say no to some, whereas before, I had to say yes to everything just to make rent. But I really, really knew early on that I didn’t want to work a desk job.
THE LAST TIME we spoke to Hannah Reyes, she had just ended her National Geographic grant, which took her to North Luzon to photograph indigenous tribes. Last month, she went on a six-country street photography tour, sponsored by Lenovo and the National Geographic Channel. During the Philippine leg, we were able to catch up with her again, and she told us about her adventures while living with Mongolian tribes and her decision to settle down—for the time being—in the colorful city of Siem Reap in Cambodia.
Children in Carbon Market, Cebu
Since you’ve moved to Cambodia, do you ever feel that you’ve taken enough photos? There’s really no quota, as there are always new stories. The other day, I was on set of a Cambodian show that educates the youth about sexual health. That’s so new to them because they’ve had a long history of war, and they’re just rebuilding their pop culture, their music, everything. This is the first generation of Cambodians
Have you ever gone to a place to photograph it, and went back after a certain period? Perhaps to see what has changed or to see the people again? Yeah, and it kind of made me sad. I did it in Kalinga. The first time I went, it was as a tourist. The second time, I went for the NatGeo grant. It was the Buscalan, where they do the tattoos. So much had changed: they were asking for money every time I took a photo of them. The rise of tourism definitely affected the community.
Is there anywhere else you’d like to go to right now? I want to go back to Mongolia and spend a longer time there. I was there for nine days and that wasn’t enough for me. I want to see what it’s like in winter. I realized that moving to a place is so different from just traveling there; you understand the place so differently.
I remember seeing a photo of yours from Mongolia, of this man reclining on a day bed. That’s him! He was cool. I think if it weren’t for photography, I wouldn’t have been able to meet him.
offered him salad, and he yelled at me, “I am not a goat!” They don’t baby tourists; it’s not a touristy culture. They just go on with their lives and they don’t try to make things pretty for you.
A man and child at Carbon Market, Cebu
Can you think of one photo that was particularly difficult to take? Or an experience that was very difficult for you as a photographer? The shanty demolitions were the hardest. I’ve gone into situations where someone would tell me he’d rape me. That’s hard to shake off, and I didn’t want to go out anymore after that, but it’s just my calling trying to take care of me. I was working with the European Press Photo Agency at the time, and my boss made sure that I had a proper bulletproof vest and a Kevlar helmet. It’s really interesting because it was my first time shooting a situation like that. There were a lot of emotions; I was crying while shooting. I think it’s very vain when documentary photographers say that photos can change the world. I don’t know if that’s true, but I know it can make other people see what life is like in other places. It can make people be more empathic to others. n
Speaking of grants, have you ever wished there were more money to spend? Or does having a limited budget have its perks? The good thing about not having a lot of funding is seeing that only the really, really good projects get funded. Part of my job is getting rejected from a lot of grants and seeing who got in and thinking, “That’s a really good project! That deserved to win.” It pushes me more. I get a lot of questions about how I got into National Graphic, and I think you shouldn’t just do this to get into National Geographic. Find a story, find something you actually want to do, and not whether someone’s going to fund it.
that don’t have any real memories of the Khmer Rouge. John Vink, a Magnum photographer who is my neighbor, has been living there for more than a decade and he’s still doing long-term work that has to do with every single protest in Cambodia, just a documentation of each one. He’s there every day, he works every day.
20 art + desgin
alien invasion Sculptor Leeroy New transports art from the gallery and into the streets By MARTIN DIEGOR
IT’S NOT EVERY DAY that you see a giant rainbow-colored fly perched on a Makati building, or a woman with her head made of mismatched plasticware doing groceries. Don’t worry, you’re not delusional. Or maybe you are. But if you chanced upon these peculiar sights, you probably just saw a glimpse of the strange and fantastic world of artist Leeroy New. From the outside, his place in Quezon City could pass for a home, if not for the pink, corallike contraption sticking out of the fence. Two big melting skulls meet you in the garage where alien headdresses hang from the ceiling. “I like creating my own mythology,” Leeroy says. A white alien with four eyes and four hands smile at our direction from the other side of the table. “My work has influences from the things I grew up with—robots, aliens, and anime—which are things a lot of people can relate to.” Leeroy’s name is synonymous with the bizarre—sculptures of twisted human anatomy, legions of chimera made with found objects, and body suits from latex that are made to look like your skin getting stretched away from your body. It is weird as weird can get, but this weirdness has earned him accolades in the local and international art scenes. But if there’s anything unique about Leeroy’s work, it may be that he is one of few well-known artists that exhibit and create their work in the context of the public space. “When I was starting, there were really limited platforms where people can see art,” he shares. “I thought that art shouldn’t be so exclusive.” Rewind to his stay at the Philippine High School for the Arts, where one of his professors and a major influence to his career, artist Roberto Feleo, had taught him that prior to Spain’s introduction of formal gallery spaces, art was simply part of the average Filipino lifestyle. Precolonial weapons, clothes, and even pots had some kind of artistic value to them. This is where Leeroy first picked up the idea of how art should truly be in the public’s eye. “We were taught to rethink art. Putting my work out in the open requires a whole different mindset from traditional art platforms. With public art, you leave your work out there for people to see and interact with, for the weather to age, deform, and eventually destroy,” he says. Interaction is Leeroy’s keyword. The Sipatlawin ensemble, a frequent collaborator and willing volunteer for donning Leeroy’s costumes, performs in trains, bridges, and random streets, their performances documented in photo or video
Leeroy New wearing a helmet from his work on Aliens of Manila. Photographed by CHIO GONZALES for Scout.
for the world to see. It is in this mutual interest in experimental performance art (and beer) that they were able to come up with the project Aliens of Manila. Think of it as something like HONY, but if Manila were in Mars and everyone speaks in witty, often meta one-liners. The spin-off features Leeroy’s friends dressed in colorful, grotesque body suits, snapped casually prancing around the city. One of its photo series was shot by photography duo Everywhere We Shoot. “Right now, it’s just me and my friends, but in the long run, we’d like to invite other people to be part of it, too.” As an experiment, Leeroy invited attendees of Ayala Museum’s Inspire Everyday series of talks to wear his masks (search #aliensofmanila on Instagram). Fun as it may be, the view from behind the scenes looks much different. A quick look at his calendar shows you a schedule with little down time. He keeps a room in his studio where he can spend the night. During our interview, he was juggling calls and checking work. “I need to keep doing all this so I can fund my passion projects.” Enter Julia Nebrija of Viva Manila, whom Leeroy is collaborating with to create an interactive floating island on the Pasig River to promote tourism and attention to the
river’s care. He wants it to be a central piece for events held in the river, such as painting murals on the otherwise bland concrete along the waterway, and other activities that would involve the settlers surrounding it. The project received a grant from the world-renowned Burning Man Festival, which awards funding to “projects that bring people together in unexpected ways, that encourage exchange of skill, knowledge, and inspiration.” After coordinating with different government agencies, they finally got the chance to hold a demonstration of the interactive float last May. The results seem to be positive. “At some point, you graduate from just making commentaries to actually trying to think of design solutions for real problems,” Leeroy admits. Despite all of this, he thinks he still has a long way to go. He looks forward to working with experts from different fields (“Like robotics!”) and maybe get involved in designing large structures (“Maybe stadiums”). “I think that’s the only way you can learn. You don’t have to subscribe to a single medium. That way of thinking is already outdated. You should be able to express yourself in whatever means you want, especially today.” n
art + design 21 Teratoma II (2008) Installed on the facade of the Singapore Art Musuem
Psychopomp Reef (2011) at Bonifacio Global City
Paoay Sculptural Playground (In-progress) Set up in the Paoay sand dunes, it is made from an assortment of discarded materials like water tanks, cement fountains, window frames, a jeep, and spiral staircases, among other things. Also featured in this park is a huge cocoonlike spaceship made entirely of bamboo. The sculpture park is a collaborative project with the locals of Paoay and the local government of Ilocos Norte.
The first demonstration of Leeroyâ€™s interactive float at the Pasig River, a project made possible with a grant from the Burning Man Festival.
Teratoma (2007) Leeroyâ€™s undergrad thesis transformed the UP Diliman waiting shed.
upgrade ya Another man’s trash is designer Paco Pili’s next masterpiece By MARTIN DIEGOR Photography by CYRILL ARAGA
EVERYTHING IS DISPOSABLE, but not everything has to be thrown away. No, I’m not talking about your ex. Enter Paco Pili, a self-taught designer who turns thrifted objects into furniture that would definitely go to your dream room Pinterest board. His portfolio includes wall mirrors made from old tennis rackets, mini cabinets with legs, and a split bathtub sofa, among many other fascinating things. His process is upcycling, the transformation of old, used products into new things with better quality and value. (Still not your ex.) In the book The Upcycle, designer William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart say that the goal of upcycling is not merely the creative reuse of objects, but also the long-term redesign of our lifestyles toward sustainability. For Paco, it all started with an old suitcase that he turned into speakers. He studied marketing in university, but since discovering his talent for repurposing items, he decided to take it seriously and make it a way of living. “I never had formal training in industrial design. I learned everything I know in carpentry and design from my dad and grandfather who always had things to tinker with in the backyard. I just love to play with old stuff, mixing the old and new into one.” Since, Paco has earned the attention of notable colleagues in the industry, a sponsored set of power tools from Bosch, and new clients. “My next project is to build my brand. I know it’s important, and I’ll work on it seriously sometime soon.” Now, he’s content with his home garage that his family has allowed him to claim as his studio. In the long term, he wants to be a household name. “I want every space to have a Paco-made upcycled creation. I want to have a team that will design and redesign old spaces. I also want to train our local carpenters to improve their craftsmanship. It’s all in the details.” n
Paco is on Instagram @pacopacopili. Follow his work at upcycleph.tumblr.com
DIY diskette notebook Paco’s simple homework to get you started in upcycling
Materials: Diskette (2 pieces) Cable tie Puncher Used Paper (2 pieces) Drill with 1/8 drill bit, or depending on the size of your cable tie
Step 1: Cut a stack of paper into squares, a bit smaller than the diskettes, according to the number of pages you want for your notebook.
Step 2: Punch holes into one side of the stack of paper.
Paco Pili int his garage studio in Quezon City
Remastered Upcycling isn’t only about turning plastic bottles into plant pots. The Paraguaybased Orquesta de Instrumentos Reciclados de Cateura uses instruments that are made from found objects in the Cateura landfill.
Step 3: Drill holes into the two diskettes that are about the same distance as the punched holes on the paper.
Step 4: Use the cable ties to bind the stack of paper in between the two diskettes.
Illustration by CHEALSY DALE
melt with me Warm your heart and your stomach with the king of comfort carbs By CAI MAROKET Photography by PAM SANTOS
IT WAS IN A LITTLE RESTAURANT along Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles, during a particularly low point in my life, where I had a bite of the most amazing grilled cheese sandwich in all of my 20-something years of existence. It wasn’t the prettiest sandwich I’ve come across, but what it lacks in looks, it makes up for in flavor. In my memory, it had the crunchiest bread, the sharpest, tangiest cheeses, and the crispiest bacon bits with my ultimate guilty pleasure (and source of future heart attack): mac ‘n cheese. It’s a taste and feeling that always comes back to me on those days when melancholia kicks in. Should you need comforting, here are a few incredibly tasty fill-ins I found around the city.
local edition’s gooey grilled cheese Shell out: P180 What’s in it: Mozzarella, havarti, and cheddar on white bread grilled panini-style For experimental types who want to create their own sammiches. People can opt to have it with or without mayonnaise or Dijon mustard. Other available mouthwatering add-ons include bacon, ham, roast chicken, LE sauce (their own pesto-based concoction), and more. Mayfair Mansion, 116 Perea St., Legaspi Village, Makati
tipple & slaw’s truffle grilled cheese with honey & tomato soup Shell out: P350 What’s in it: Mozzarella, raclette, truffle noir, and appenzeller with a mushroom salsa on white bread Perfect for people who are feeling particularly indulgent and enjoy the deep, earthy, umami taste of truffles. Best enjoyed with a drizzle of honey, followed by a spoonful of their tangy tomato soup. 2nd floor, The Forum, 7th Ave. cor. Federacion Drive, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
nikko’s baking studio’s ultimate grilled cheese Shell out: P290 What’s in it: American cheddar, gouda, mozzarella, gorgonzola, and queso de bola, with parmesan cheese on white or wheat bread for extra crunch For the grilled cheese connoisseur, this sandwich is a good balancing act of very distinct flavors as it uses six types of cheese. Standouts are the queso de bola for added saltiness and the smidge of gorgonzola for fans of that sharp bleu cheese hit. 59-A Paseo de, Roxas Blvd, Urdaneta Village, Makati City
early bird breakfast club’s ultimate grilled cheese with roasted tomato soup Shell out: P325 What’s in it: Cheddar, mozzarella, and gruyere with a sweet and spicy onion relish sandwiched between the crunchiest bread ever The most savory of the group, what with the addition of its house onion relish, this sandwich is ideal for those looking for an extra kick to the taste buds. Dip it in their tomato soup that’s topped with whipped cream for a little sweetness. GF Fort Pointe 2 Building, The Fort Complex, 28th St, Taguig
borough’s grilled cheese & tomato soup Shell out: P280 What’s in it: Mozzarella and cheddar on buttered homemade brioche Incredibly filling without overwhelming the palate with too much cheese, this buttery offering from Borough is perfect for people ending a night out drinking with friends. It is served with their own version of tomato soup drizzled with crème fraîche, which is just the right amount of tart to tickle your taste buds. Ground Floor The Podium Mall, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City
the lovesmith The man behind Para Sa Hopeless Romantic proves that one can be successful being, uh, a professional hopeless romantic By ROMEO MORAN
THE VERY MENTION of the name Marcelo Santos III on some public forum, I’ve noticed, will reveal three different types of people in the Philippines. First, the dichotomy: those who love him and his work against those who loathe him and everything he stands for. And then, of course, we have those who—for one reason or another—don’t care about him. For the members of the third party asking who he is (and why you should pay attention), it’s simple. You’ve either seen graphics going around on Facebook or Twitter of random, meaningful quotes about love and heartbreak and relationships and life and #hugot. Or you’ve been to a bookstore lately and caught a glimpse of one of his books as you passed by the Philippine literature section (that you weren’t going to buy from anyway). To one-half of you, Marcelo is a wordsmith who can articulate all your deepest, rawest feelings in a manner you never thought was possible, using Filipino words you never thought could go together that way until you read the things he wrote. To the other half, he is a hack who’s become a hit touching on tropes that are pretty much layups with the masses. Love? Kilig? Hugot? Filipinos love all the cheesy stuff, and some of you find it too silly, to the point that some online personalities have parodied Marcelo’s signature graphic style. I’ll be honest: I find his work cheesy. While that’s not necessarily always a bad thing, it’s interesting that one’s body of work can consistently revolve all around love, and the pursuit thereof. Are there not other things to worry about? Like employment, taxes, basic needs? I wondered, what drives a man to make a living out of chiselling and cutting and shaping and presenting love, in many different forms, for the lovesick world to see and consume and be awed by? I wondered, so I asked him. “We Filipinos are emotional. We like love stories, and love stories are fulfilling when you do them,” Marcelo tells me in Filipino. We met up for this interview at the Mrs. Fields in Trinoma, after days of trying to wrangle him on a day he would be free. Marcelo is an unassuming, soft-spoken boy who prefers to speak and write in Tagalog, and he really just wants to write about love. And he really just wants to write, period. And at only 24 years old, he’s a busy man who has to be everywhere, just having launched his third book. His first book Para Sa Hopeless Romantic just got a movie adaptation starring James Reid and Nadine Lustre, among others, earlier this year. “When I was in high school, I don’t know why, but my friends always approached me, asking help with their love problems. They’d share, and I’d give advice,” he continues. He would end up making “love stories on video,” where his stories would be read aloud in a, well, video that would be uploaded to YouTube. These love stories on video would go viral in 2010. Soon after, he would write and make short films, but nothing would come out of them. After compiling a couple of the stories he had written, he self-published Para Sa Hopeless Romantic to little fanfare. The only way he was able to sell the book was through meetups and displaying them in shops owned by friends. This went on until one day, a publisher noticed the book. Marcelo was working then for Star Cinema. The publisher offered to mass produce his work and sell it all over the Philippines. It was a gamble at the time, but it paid off. On a quick reading of the book, it’s not hard to see why. Marcelo’s style is reminiscent of Lualhati Bautista, author of Philippine classics such as Dekada ’70 and Bata, Bata, Paano Ka Ginawa? His writing, like Bautista’s, is light and fluid, walking briskly on colloquial Taglish and touching on feelings people have felt at least once in their lives. There is no forcing of the absurd in his stories, no bizarre high school gangsters or kids with wild hair colors. In one word: relatable.
The numbers don’t lie: Hopeless Romantic debuted at number two on National Bookstore’s bestselling Philippine publications back in 2013— losing only to a book called Everything I Need To Know About Love I Learned From Papa Jack. The publisher had to rush a second print run just to meet demand. This summer’s movie adaptation earned at least P8 million on its opening day alone, and that isn’t even considered a huge hit; the previous two JaDine movies, Diary ng Panget and Talk Back And You’re Dead (while thematically similar, they’re based on Wattpad novels and not anything Marcelo wrote), earned P120.9 million and P80.1 million respectively. “I think that they are speaking to a specific audience, with a specific set of wants,” says Carljoe Javier, creative writing professor at UP Diliman and author of books such as The Kobayashi Maru of Love and The Geek Shall Inherit the Earth. “It’s been obvious for a long time that our literary output in the Philippines doesn’t exactly address a large audience. In fact, it’s a very specialized audience that reads poetry, literary fiction, and the like. What
love advice and/or bitter sentiments in a pretty and simple little image, branded with his trademark cartoon avatar. (He’s rather shy, choosing to avoid showing his face as much as he can.) The style and the cartoon comprise a clever branding move that has inspired multiple copycats that either pay homage or parody them to twist their spirit. “Before I started posting on Facebook, I was really prolific on Twitter,” Marcelo explains. “I thought, since my Twitter followers were growing, why not post on Facebook? I started posting quotes on Facebook. Maybe some people don’t like reading advice; not everyone takes it. But my advice is my perspective. So I know not everyone would agree with it, not everyone is in favor of it.” He adds quickly, “Mostly because they don’t read my books.” He was affected in the beginning, but now he’s learned to ignore and not let it get to him. “I never got used to the fact that there are violent and negative people. It was hard at first, but eventually, I learned how to deal with it.” The more bizarre thing is that people have been setting up fake Marcelo Santos III accounts on Facebook that plagiarize, or worse, make terrible statements that he wouldn’t say. “There are quotes I post that come from what I see on Twitter, but I credit them,” he says. “But the things they say about my stealing quotations, that isn’t true. They even posted something, a quote by Mitch Albom, but my name was on it. That wasn’t me. Really, they made it up. “And then there was this incident in a literary festival last year where a writer displayed a screencap from one of the fake accounts posing as me. I apparently said, ‘Those of you who don’t read, don’t bother reading’— something like that. The people never saw the source because it was just a screencap, so they thought that was me. A lot of people criticized me over it.”
[the success of books such as Marcelo’s and Wattpad novels] reveals, though, is there is a readership, and there are things they would like to read. And now there is a medium that is helping them to get that content.” “It’s probably because my writing is simple,” Marcelo suggests. “How I speak, how I tell stories, that is how I am in my writing. I’ve read reviews that say my writing is easy to read, so it’s relatable. They say it’s like they’re talking to someone instead of reading a book.” Every success spawns a new brood of critics and haters, and Marcelo’s work is no different. (And because of the stuff he writes, especially Marcelo.) However, the strange thing is they’re not actually judging him for the books he’s written or the love stories on video—in fact, he’s never received any scathing criticisms for his books. People are hating on the regular quotes he posts on social media. These are the graphics he comes up with, packaging
It must be tough to have ardent haters, but Marcelo chooses to remain positive. There are four main characters in Hopeless Romantic, each representing a certain state of love that he’s been through, and he chooses to embody the optimistic aspect, even if people would find it naïve. “It’s probably because I got through a point in my life where I was so down,” he says when I ask him why he’s so optimistic. “We’re not rich. My parents didn’t send me to school; my tita did, and I had to study. I had to be a helper around the house just to get money for tuition and allowance. So many people tried to bring me down, have told me in high school and college that I wouldn’t get anywhere. And when I got here, I thought to myself, this is it. This is my dream. Now I have to be positive in life, because I’m the only one who could raise myself up.” Now, Marcelo’s trying to expand his target audience. He wants to write deeper stories. He wants to try writing fantasy and horror, even if he can’t help tossing a love story into it. He wants to make more short films, and a quick trip to his YouTube page reveals that he’s been pretty prolific in that regard. It’s looking pretty good for him, no matter what you might be thinking of him and his work. And for those of you who do frown upon him, whether it’s because he’s cheesy and corny or because you think life and love aren’t really how he tries to paint them in his work, here’s his best advice: “There’s still something in store for all of us. If it isn’t happy, it isn’t the ending yet. I want to tell them that we’re the writers of our lives. We’re the ones who have the solutions to our own problems, and we’re the ones who can write the twists in our stories. We have power over our lives.” And since it’s vintage Marcelo—his take on life—you’re free to either take it or leave it. n Marcelo Santos III is on Twitter @akoposimarcelo. His new book, Mahal Mo Siya, Mahal Ka Ba? is out in bookstores now.
in with the old
PRISTINE DE LEON prefers dating older men. Boys, hereâ€™s why Illustration by CAMILLE TOLENTINO
I HAVE NEVER DATED A TEENAGER. Except once in high school, when old gent driving the fancy car, in a rhythm that’s powerful yet so sickeningly naïveté counted as a valid excuse for poor decisions. Yet even at that time, over-passive. Petite and at 4’10”, I’m aware I look like the perfect prey. Add I recall almost dating this 20-year old college graduate, had not my overly to that the implications of my name. paranoid father naturally cautioned me against it. “Older men know things,” No one ever lectured me at length about my choice of guys. They made he warned, eyes aghast across the dining table one Sunday night. He was me feel like borderline, unlabelled queerness was a crime. No handcuffs poised to fire his lecture, likely culled from that morning’s sermon on the tree involved, but I feel like I’m always carrying a sort of scarlet letter. A for of knowledge and the loss of Eden. Anastasia Steel, setting back the feminist agenda by a hundred years. Just last year, a friend had reposted on my Facebook wall a confession On the other hand, it’s just as counter-progressive to blindly prefer from one of those online Secret Files. It went like this: “I don’t want to date younger guys just because the world declares it’s more age-appropriate. I get you. I really want to date your dad. I like my men like I like my wine: aged, that a young girl holding hands with a guy 12 years older isn’t exactly pleasing robust, and in large doses.” Let me clarify: I didn’t write that overly suggestive to see on one’s feed. It may not be a pretty picture, yet when it comes to remark. My mom forbids any mention of romance that verges on taboo. I dealing with the overly personal, I can’t just decide on mere aesthetics. I’m admit, however, that whoever the sender was, in college, I had obviously not going to reject anyone just because he didn’t pass the filter. We tend to shared her sentiment. play around so much with images. Even with all the liberties and the LGBTQ There is an unspoken rule they say I follow when it comes to choosing openness that this generation claims to have, we’re still uneasy about a host men: the older, decidedly, the better. At 21, I’m in a relationship with a of things—for instance, the overly offbeat who can’t fit the spectacle of a guy who’s older by 12 years, and yes, I’ve dated someone older than that. well-curated feed. Psychologists and all those crazy breeds of intellectuals Sure, there are Hollywood couples who’ve won the determined to make sense of our basest selves have world over regardless or because of the age disparity. explained why older men might be ideal. Girls’ brains The real ones, however, are left to toe the line between mature years ahead of boys growing up, and the romantic and disturbing—and when the scale is tipping just a number masculine set catch up only in their early 20s. Thus to the latter, we blame the media for brainwashing us From 1 to Brangelina, how the segregation of boys and girls in exclusive schools. with the glamorized perverse. But, really, it’s the same solid is your relationship? Thus the reason why some age gap might make for a set of images telling us to crush on young, hot males good match. with the solid packs. We are, all of us, inflicted with our The internet, of course, has taught us its own respective fantasies. formula for dating: the girl’s age must be half the guy’s, Past our gender politics and our psychoanalytics, plus seven. If we believe these completely rational my real reason is frustratingly so simple: I just want a assertions, then yes, men, like wine, taste exceedingly guy who isn’t so attached with the image and the virtual better when they age. space, someone who could set aside the iPad when we Yet notwithstanding the almost-science behind spend the evening out. The boyfriend doesn’t really these claims, no matter how convincing the theory, the care much for social media, and one ex ‘til now doesn’t brad pitt + angelina jolie real picture looks as sketchy. Take for instance the ex even have a Facebook profile. These days, intimacy So classy, people don’t question (or who could pass off as my dad, given five more years or can simply mean that the world isn’t tuned in to your notice) your age gap. so; one friend even said he noticed the resemblance. A everyday shenanigans. night with just the two of us in a bar has all the makings Let me tell you what goes on behind the curtains of a creepy film scene: the aged guy preys over a frail and let me assure you it isn’t R-18. We go for dinners 15-year-old, buys her a drink, touches the sweating or drinks without caring much which angle will make glass before letting it slide gently across the table. This for a perfect post. I talk to him about everyday things isn’t 50 Shades of Grey. Maybe just some real-life, and just get lost in the stretch of thought. Sans canned current-day version of Lolita. retorts and repeating memes, the world looks less Needless to say, it isn’t a pretty picture. Imagine me predictable than it is. We rarely take pictures, and I feel jay z + beyoncé taking him out to meet my friends and it’d look like a I’m dating a real person and not courting the worldYou’ve had serious misunderstandings because of your group of young girls needed an adult chaperone for the wide-web’s approval. age, but you still soldier on together. night. If you’re wondering about the other way around, I remember telling my boss a few months back no, I hadn’t been out drinking with his adult circle. I’ve how I can’t wait to be 30. Dating looked like the easy heard of his friends and just met a few on occasional ticket out of the millenial age whose fixations freak me visits. I’ve even watched some of their five-year-olds out. Yes, we’re all drawn to the taboo, the uncanny, the running around their office. forbidden—whatever you want to call it—but if you’re To an extent, we just kept the entire thing a secret feeling briefly romantic about the case, you’d say I’m until reality took over. We broke up, decided we had enamored with the old world that I was never able to to move on with our otherwise normal lives, and met have, while he’s attracted to the youth that he can bob harris + charlotte other people. Ironically, I was about to go out with never bring back. You want someone more mature. He this guy who’s about the same age as he, had not my Beyond that, things aren’t so cheesy. There’s doesn’t want to grow up. It’s fun, but doesn’t last long. 30-something friend launched a convincing argument something endearingly real about a guy who’s gone on why, finally, date someone my age. “At this point,” through all those past five-year-long relationships, my friend lectured, “you’re not supposed to be learning because somehow the cheesiness never carries over things from someone who could be your dad. You’re to his next one. Scrap the talk about “forevers,” and supposed to be learning life with a kid who’s figuring what you have is an honest-to-goodness “let’s just try things out like you are.” Almost compelling, I admit. our hardest as long as we can.” Call me a commitmentAlthough a year later, that same 30-something friend phobe but maybe I got the trauma from the boys who became my present boyfriend. were talking about marriage at 16. I’m a hopeless case. So if you really must know, I don’t call him daddy— edward + bella He watches you sleep and you I’ve lost count of those who’ve asked if my type although, okay, one ex before asked jokingly if I wanted cling to him for dear life all day, were simply pedos or if I had some sort of Electra to. A friend remarked that maybe I just wanted his everyday. Is that healthy? complex. Enter him and me, holding hands. Zoom in protection, but they think it’s the guys I date that on the shocked faces; and cue in the expected lines: they should protect me from. I thought we’ve outlived “Is he married?” “Does he have a kid?” “Is this a 50 the middle ages when girls were pitiable damsels in Shades kind of thing?” There’s always been, after all, distress. some crazy, intellectualized explanation of why we want So while everyone is scrambling to the next big gig what we can’t have. Taboos become fetishes, and my this Friday, he introduces me to some melodramatic dating history could give evidence to Freud’s dated farCarpenters song that’s apparently popular back in his flung theories. At the very least, it prompts people to ask day. I’ll get drunk in a club with other young friends the most awkward line to date: “Do you call him daddy?” some other night, but for now, I’m satisfied with my freddie aguilar + 18-year-old wife It freaks me out. One friend put it bluntly: “You just wine. He cooks me dinner and the song hits refrain, You won’t have to sleep alone tonight. Congratulations. But why want him to take away your control.” A lot may think “Every sha-la-la-la, every wo-o-o-o still shines. All the don’t you want to be seen together? everything’s like a scene from that kitschy Lana del Rey oldies but goodies.” n video: the fragile woman surrendering all virtue to the
boo, who? You don’t need to spend a lot of $$$ or go the slutty nurse route to have a bangin’ Halloween costume. Here are a few ideas to help you figure out this year’s trick or treat uniform By CAI MAROKET and MARTIN DIEGOR Illustrations by MARCELA SULLER
Kanye 2020 Running for student council next year? Get a headstart with your campaign by announcing your candidacy while blasting Kanye’s Power in the background everywhere you go. *Mic drop*
Left Shark Nevermind if you can’t keep up with everyone in the room. It’s the awkward ones that stand out (and you might just end up being more popular than you expected).
The Ancient Aliens Guy If you look like you haven’t slept a wink and your hair looks like it came from outer space, just tell your friends it must be aliens.
Stabbed Jon Snow Win Best Costume of the night by surprising everyone like every GoT finale did.
Motorist stuck at EDSA If your friends are wondering why you’re late to the party, just tell them you’re still in EDSA trying to get into character.
Sausage Party of One All you gym buffs have been waiting for this night. Show off all that hardwork with nothing but a pixelated party popper.
Crying Biebs at the VMA’s What do you mean you’re too emotional to go out on Halloween? Just throw a harness on and don’t bother hiding your feelings. All feelings are beautiful.
Kylie Jenner For girls who have three tubes of the same shade of lipstick, Halloween’s the night to use them all.
The Weeknd So tell me you love me Only for tonight Only for one night, even though you don’t love me oh oh Just tell me you love me
Emoji skin tone squad For all the lucky people who actually have friends, make Steve Jobs proud by dressing up as every possible skin tone in the Emoji keyboard.
Bing Bong from Inside Out Part cotton candy, part elephant, and part dolphin. Get your rainbow rocket and scream “WHO’S YOUR FRIEND WHO LIKES TO PLAY?” from the bottom of your heart. *Sobs*
Bad Blood Taylor Swift If you happen to be tall, blonde, and beautiful, get the squad and your bustier ready for a showdown with that bitch who beat you at cheerleading try-outs. n
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y o u d o n â€™t
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In an interview, Ellen Adarna was asked to respond to criticism on her questionable workout methods, particularly her wildly popular boxing videos. The criticism seems to stem from the lack of ergonomic sensibility in boxing bra-less—don’t her breasts hurt? To which Ellen only responded with a resounding duh. Because it doesn’t matter. “Of course, they’re fake!” she says. No denials, no tears. In another interview, the “40 Forbidden Questions” segment of radio DJ Mo Twister’s Good Times With Mo podcast, Ellen candidly answered a stream of questions that included, among others: Have you received indecent proposals? If yes, from whom? Which celebrity do you think has had her boobs done and should admit it? This time we give Ellen another questionnaire. (We’re skipping “Who would you have a threesome with?”, though, sorry.) Here she talks love, heartbreak, and her biggest insecurity.
Interview by JED GREGORIO Photography by PAOLO CRODUA Styling by KAREN BOLILIA
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JOEY SAMSON dress, STOCKTON ROW Lorenzo earrings. Previous spread: RAJO LAUREL parallel skirt (worn as dress) MARTIN MARGIELA Tabi boots, stylistâ€™s own
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“I used to get really pissed about being called a sex symbol. But now I’m just like, whatever. Feel free to say what you want about me.” What adjective best describes you? Crazy.
know? But then nothing was coming out anymore and I was getting scolded. The only way to get any emotion out of me was to really break me down. I guess it worked. But usually, I would read the script, so that I have an idea about where the story is going. I try to characterize my role. Based on the story I try to get a feel of the scene. Most of the time it works, but I just can’t cry anymore, I just think of a last resort, my family.
Why? Because… I’m a girl! (Laughs) I guess I got it from my dad. I have my mood swings. Why do you think you have this reputation of being fearless? I just don’t care. I grew up like this, so for me it’s just normal. I grew up being surrounded by people like that in my family. The girls, they’re all like me. Isn’t that how you’re not supposed to be, when you’re in showbiz? Here’s the thing with me—I do what I want and I do what makes me happy, so I really don’t care for other people’s happiness. I’m selfish like that. (Laughs) In showbiz they try to control you but… they just can’t do it to me. I mean, if my dad can’t… What’s your greatest fear? Lizards. They’ve fallen on me countless times, I’ve stepped on one. Even three days after the fact I still feel grossed out. What do you enjoy doing the most? Working out, but lately I haven’t. I haven’t gone to the gym for the longest time. When did you start being into that? Since we were kids we’ve been very active. I did ballet, gymnastics, karate, volleyball. I have four younger brothers, so we’ve been used to always doing something. When I’m sweating I forget my problems. I forget the world when I’m just focused on doing that. Cooking, too. I make a good paella and baked chicken. What do you do to unwind? I go to the spa or I drink. Do you easily get drunk? No. What’s your dream vacation? To go somewhere really cold—the North Pole! I’m actually doing it next month. It’s not the actual North Pole that’s covered in Arctic ice, but it’s Finland, Norway, that area, where there’s a Santa Claus Village. I’ll be there for two weeks. I’d also like to see the aurora borealis. What do you consider to be your biggest break? When I moved to ABS-CBN. It hasn’t been a month but I already met with the big bosses, I was given a project, an afternoon soap, Moon of Desire. But showbiz started when I ran away from home. I didn’t have a job, so the timing was great when GMA called. So I just left.
Are you close with your family? Yes. If I really have to cry and I can’t, I imagine them dying. It’s so bad! It’s not nice! But if you really can’t feel that you’re the most miserable person on earth, if you can’t feel what the character is going through… I’ve killed my siblings, my dad, so many times. (Laughs) But I try not to do that technique all the time. What did you want to be when you were a kid? A doctor. But in school I realized early on that I hated reading, I hated studying. I can’t be a doctor.
Ellen on her favorite book, movie, and music Before Sunrise “My all-time favorite. The first time I saw it, I didn’t like it. It was so boring! Why is there so much I have to listen to? They were just talking about too many things! There’s nothing happening, no suspense! But it grew on me. It makes sense, it’s realistic. And the acting is really great.”
Musical genre: Classical “What I listen to, it really depends on my mood. Sometimes its hip-hop, sometimes trance. But it was never heavy rock. Sometimes, even classical. I play the piano. When we were kids, we were instructed listen to classical music, close our eyes, and identify what instruments are playing. The tests were like that! They were bizarre.” The Analects of Confucius “It’s not a fairy tale, it’s not lovey-dovey, it’s real life! It’s about focusing on yourself. My dad required all of us to read it.”
But if you weren’t an actor… My dad’s assistant. Maybe I’ll be an architect and engineer, my dad is. That’s what I enjoyed most when I was working with my dad, the site visits, the measuring of things, the drawings. After showbiz, I guess I’m going back home, because there I can be the boss. And it’s convenient and easy and comfortable. That’s what I can think of right now, because work is just really tough. Sometimes I just want to be in control of my time, I want to be the boss. I’d like to have a business that I can just leave, something that can sustain itself somehow. Going back home is part of the plan, I just don’t know when. I live in the moment. I don’t plan much. What was it like growing up? I’ve been outgoing since I was a kid, I never changed. I was never shy. But I had my moments. I was insecure, but I’m way past that. I think everyone goes through it, when you’re unsure of yourself. But now I think those were all just shallow thoughts. Eventually you’ll forget them, outgrow them. Once in a while you’ll have a small insecurity, maybe, but not as bad as those when you were younger. What’s your biggest insecurity? Now, it’s when I think about my future. If you didn’t ask, it really doesn’t bother me much! Maybe it’s not an insecurity, because it’s just normal, right? When you’re not sure about things. I mean, it’s the same for everyone, we’re all not sure what’s going to happen. So it’s just that, there’s always that fear. What do you miss most about your life before becoming a celebrity? My time. I actually miss the eight-to-five job. As I said, I was an all-around assistant to my dad. The job description was fluid, it was whatever he told me to do. I really miss that, being able to control my time. It’s impossible in showbiz.
What’s your favorite food? Adobo. I can eat it every day! I have my own recipe, but it’s really basic. What I do is, after three days, I fry it. I make a huge batch of chicken pork adobo, stick in the freezer, and I just get from that stock whenever I want to. If I want it to have sauce, I microwave it. If I want it fried, I can do that, too. If that batch lasts for a month, it tastes better.
What do you think about being viewed as a sex symbol? Before, I used to get really pissed about it. But now I’m just like, whatever. Feel free to say what you want about me.
What’s the most memorable moment in your career? When I was asked to cry for 27 hours straight for the first soap I did. It’s like every single scene had me in it. I was raped, my dad died, my boyfriend left me, I was beat up—all in one day! Looking back I absolutely don’t know how I did it. Maybe it’s because the director was really good. For the first few scenes it was easy, I can cry, I can draw emotion from somewhere, you
What does it mean to be sexy? My close friends, or the people who come to really know me, they’d say, “Oh, you’re different from what I expected.” It’s my personality that’s sexy. It’s confidence that’s sexy. I’m a good person. Occasionally crazy, but always fun. I’ll just brag about my personality. (Laughs) As opposed to bragging about my body, [which I won’t do]!
Are you closer to your dad than to your mom? I’m close to both, but in very different ways.
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“Growing up, I was spoiled. I was spoiled by my grandparents. A lot of boys courted me. For a time I guess I believed that just because I had a pretty face, I could get away with anything. ”
What do you find attractive? Physically, someone tall. Humor, too. We have to have the same humor. My humor is a bit mean. Even some people I know, they seem to get offended or insulted, but it’s just supposed to be funny! What is love? Fuck that shit. (Laughs) It can be so many things… True love? Love is understanding—understanding the person, understanding all things in general, understanding the situation, everything that happens. Maybe when I was younger, love was prince charming and romance. Now, it can be everything. Love is patient, kind—those are true! That’s what I think about love now. I feel that someone loves me when that person understands me, because I think I’m difficult to understand as a person. How many times have you experienced heartbreak? Twice. How did you cope? One was a bad heartbreak. The other one was painful, but… The first one, it was a cry-your-eyes-out kind of heartbreak. The other, I was more composed. I knew that it wasn’t going to work, it was painful but I understood it immediately. I drank my sorrows away. What’s your drink? Gin and tonic. What’s the best advice you’ve received? Life is never easy. Growing up, I was spoiled. I was spoiled by my grandparents. A lot of boys courted me. For a time I guess I believed that just because I had a pretty face, I can get away with anything. Maybe it was high school or early in college, my dad said, “Only stupid people think that life is easy. Life is never easy.” At that time I thought, “Wow. Pressure!” But now I know, yes, it is very hard. It’s never easy and you have to really work, to work hard on your own. What’s something you wish you could tell your younger self? Listen to your parents. (Laughs) I wish my personality was different. I wish I was very obedient. That seems like an entirely different person, totally not me, but maybe life would have been so much easier. What’s a talent you wish you had? Dancing. It’s really my frustration. I want to be a female version of Channing Tatum. With real moves, you know? What do you think is the biggest misconception about you? That I’m a bad person. I just feel like some people think I’m a really, really bad person. I mean, I guess I can be mean, but I think there are those that
think I’m just evil! I’ve had a lot of people whom I’ve worked with that told me, “I really thought we wouldn’t get along,” or, “I never expected that we [would] be friends.” How’s your dog? He’s gay. I have imposed it! If I have kids, I really want one to be gay. I really do. With four brothers growing up, I would put makeup on them. All of my dogs, they’ve all been boys. Everyone’s boys! So I’ve decided with this one, my bulldog Pebbles, he has to be gay. I also put makeup on him. And I think he’s really gay because he only humps guys. Do you have any regrets? Perhaps something you said in an interview? Regrets? When I was interviewed drunk! How did that happen? Well, I really don’t dance. And I have stage fright. I don’t like the feeling of being up on stage, all eyes on me. When I transferred to ABS-CBN, everyone was talking about this trade launch. I was like, “Trade launch? What’s a trade launch?” I was told, “You just do a little performance for investors. It’s usually dancing.” But I don’t dance! I really don’t. But I was told I didn’t have a choice, I really had to. During rehearsals I was already shaking. I already took anti-anxiety pills. This was just rehearsals, early in the afternoon. I was so nervous. So, valium, valium, valium! Now it’s 6:00 p.m. I did ask permission, “Can I drink?” They said I could, there won’t be any interviews anyway. So, bottoms up! Tequila, tequila! Before I went on stage, the tequila was already half consumed. I even had everyone else drink. So I danced and finally it was over. Apparently I was so friendly to everyone, I was talking to everyone. I don’t remember any of this! I was just told by my handler the next day that I was interviewed on TV. I didn’t know what I was saying. The news headline even made me look more stupid than I already was. I mean, at least in my interview with Mo Twister, I knew what to expect. I was pacing. When I felt like I was sobering up, I took a shot. But here I was just wasted! What’s something you would never do? I don’t know… Kill someone? Although if I really had to… (Laughs)
Makeup by SYLVINA LOPEZ Hair by OGIE RAYEL Stylist’s assistant STEVEN CORALDE Shot on location at THE BAYLEAF INTRAMUROS
CJ CRUZ shirt, stylistâ€™s own, FLOAT Alexa surf suit (worn underneath), STOCKTON ROW Lorenzo earrings, MARTIN MARGIELA Tabi boots
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Photography by CENON NORIAL III Styling by PAUL JATAYNA
SALAD DAY custom jumpsuit. Previous page: OS ACCESSORIES White Fangs cap
LEE JEANS denim overalls customized
RANDOLF turtleneck top
VAMPIRE WEEKEND merch t-shirt, SALAD DAY shorts, ADIDAS X RAF SIMONS sneakers. Opposite: ROY BACK shirt, SALAD DAY jacket
follow the beat Here’s what you get when fresh talents in art and music come together for a onenight show By NICO PASCUAL Photography by EUNICE SANCHEZ
THE TAGAYTAY ART BEAT is a microfestival of art and music, organized by Museo Orlina and Doc Def Productions to bring a new wave of artists to those who want to hear and see something different. Micro-festivals are nothing new, but what made this year’s Art Beat special is the flow of the festival and the location, breezy Tagaytay. What Museo Orlina created was an intimate gathering of people in one space, with a different vibe from what they are used to in the city. The museum is found along a sloped driveway with a cobbled pathway going down to the museum’s gardens, where the bands played. Upon entry, the flow worked in a way that made visitors pass by all the artworks before reaching the concert grounds. This was an ingenious move on the part of Museo Orlina, because rather than making the artworks merely the backdrop of whoever was playing, they made the museum an integral part of the event. You could listen to local talents such as The Ransom Collective, Farewell Fair Weather, or Bullet Dumas while chatting with the young emerging artists whose works were showcased throughout the venue. Three floors up, there was an open-air rooftop where DJs spun and free beer was served. The goal of Museo Orlina and Docdef Productions was to expose people to the possibilities of both art and music at the same time; to make them realize that there are commonalities in each—such as artistic expression, which everyone present could relate to. This event was more than a celebration of the youth; it was also an open invitation for new artists to hone their talents inside a space where its owner molded different materials into new and exciting shapes. n
Over 1,200 people headed South for the Tagaytay Art Beat
The Ransom Collective
Fools and Foes
Artworks, clockwise from top: 45 by Lee Caces Digital illustration on lighted box 30.3 x 30.3 in. 2015 Delivered from Scheme by Rae Toledo Paint on screws on wood 48 x 72 in. 2015 Cheese n Hot Sauce by Ivana Tyler Gonzales Mixed media on canvas 32 x 25 in. 2015 Kalesa by Monica Castillo Ink and gold paint on Figueras acrylic paper 19.25 x 25 in. 2015
If you really, really hate sleep, here’s what you need to watch By FIEL ESTRELLA, ROMEO MORAN, and NICO PASCUAL
Carnival of Souls (1962)
The Wicker Man (1973)
After surviving an accident that had killed her two friends, Mary Henry takes on a job as a church organist and tries to get on with her life. However, this is made difficult by frequent run-ins with a mysterious man and an abandoned carnival. Nightmarish imagery make this a true horror classic. – F.E.
We meet Sgt. Neil Howie, a religious policeman who investigates the a child’s disappearance in the fictional island of Summersisle. He then discovers that he plays a central part in a perverse May Day parade. It’s an unnerving kind of horror, which, in the era of cheap thrills, is worth a revisit. – N.P.
Asian horror films have always been scarier than any other cinema in the world, but Thailand might have set the bar highest with the original Shutter. If Shutter doesn’t scare you enough to be a good person forever until you die, you may just have no heart. – R.M.
The lives of a couple are shaken when the husband meets a strange girl at his mother’s grave and enters into an unfaithful relationship with her. The truth of the situation is more tragic and complicated, though. The movie is proof that Philippine cinema can helm ghost stories that are brilliant and have heart. – F.E.
Salo or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)
Final Destination 3 (2006)
Time Lapse (2014)
Feng Shui (2004)
This bleak and controversial film is a transposition of the classic Marquis de Sade novel to WW2-era Italy. In this adaptation, four hosts – the duke, the president, the magistrate, and the bishop - express their desires in the form of sexual perversions like coprophilia, necrophilia, and the torture of the young men and women. – N.P.
Bus drivers and conductors here have a fucked-up taste in in-ride movies. Some of them will occasionally pop in a horror DVD in the bus player, and some of them will have the gall to show you a Final Destination movie. The first four movies in the franchise are good watches, but the third made me forever wary whenever I’m in a gym. – R.M.
Three friends find a large contraption and discover that it prints Polaroids showing events that will happen the next day. They begin to use it to their financial and personal advantage, but their futures grow more and more grim with each photo. It’s a successful, malicious commentary on morality and the pitfalls of control, or lack thereof. – F.E.
One can argue that the Philippine brand has its own unique identity—one that borrows from both Western and Eastern influences and still somehow manages to stamp its own flavor. Feng Shui might be the best Filipino horror movie we’ve had in recent history, no matter what you think of Kris Aquino. (Wonder if this ever affected bagua sales?) – R.M.
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
It Follows (2015)
Eyes Without a Face (1962)
Night and Fog (1955)
Rosemary’s Baby is a brooding, macabre film that follows a couple as they go through a pregnancy. What is chilling about this movie is that the director gives the audience a great deal of information early on. By the halfway mark, you know who Rosemary’s baby really is, but that hardly matters since we are unable to help her. – N.P.
Teenager Jay sleeps with her boyfriend and contracts a sexually transmitted curse where a supernatural being takes the shape of any person to stalk her and end her life. It’s really the subtle anachronistic techniques employed by filmmaker David Robert Mitchell— nondescript suburbia, classic cars, no cell phones—that make it so eerie. – F.E.
To combat his guilt, a surgeon turned mad kidnaps young women and removes their faces to replace that of his daughter’s, whose disfigurement was his own doing. Juxtapositions of the beautiful against the macabre are all over the film, a great example of the mad scientist genre and an atmospheric portrayal of moral ambiguity. – F.E.
This documentary is a look at the horrors that took place in the now abandoned grounds of the Jewish concentration camps. Throughout the film, we see mostly empty spaces save for the garments and other items that were collected from the dead. These scenes sum up to something so horrifying that we should have us turn away, but we mustn’t. –N.P.