Page 1 Saturday, January 29, 2011


The Tourist



Mercdes Benz SLS AMG


Soul purpose

Clint Holton P. Potestas finds out the importance of exploring one’s freedom.


Sun.Star Weekend | Saturday , January 29, 2011 CHERRY ANN LIM Managing Editor, Special Pages and Features JIGS ARQUIZA Editor CLINT HOLTON P. POTESTAS Writer

cover story

Soul purpose “I

never gave up on love. Why, are you giving up on love?” she briefly answered and then echoed the question I threw after she mentions ending a five-year marriage with a man she also dated for five years. If this conversation happened a year ago, she would not have beamed with this answer. She would have shrugged and walked out. And if it happened on a weekday, she would have turned me down. Thankfully, it was Saturday afternoon - the only day she is off from juggling three jobs in a week. Or to be overly romantic, Saturday is the only time she can smell the flowers by the window. Then the resolution: she never knew the separation would mean freedom. To explore, to regain, to start another life. Now that Cathy Gabronino can talk straight about it signifies moving on. She has already dusted it off. In perfect shape, she is definitely back: a renewed spirit, a new career, a new search, and a new man who puts a smile on her face. “If I gave up on love, I would not find him,” she meant Pancho Ramirez, Jr. sitting next to us on the couch at Mr. Coffee in Persimmon, the chiseled assistant protocol officer of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama. The chemistry is palpable: Both are people-persons. “Last year, I resigned from the show because I was in a difficult time of my life, and I wanted to rest and focus. It was during the separation that I could not pretend I was happy. With television, you need to be very honest to your audience. That’s the secret, when I was younger, I thought,” the 28-year-old host shares, referring to her weekday morning program Maayong Buntag, Kapamilya on ABS-CBN-Cebu where she is tasked to deliver light information, opposite news anchors Vilma Andales and Rico Lucena. She is not new to broadcast media. After being hailed as Miss PHOTOS: JAY DALUMPINES RALPH RHODDEN C. CAVERO Graphic Designer

Sun.Star Weekend | Saturday , January 29, 2011


Cebu third runner-up in 2002, she appeared on several shows on the same network: Sabado Na Gyud Ngiga Gud as one of the main hosts and in the revival of the Cebuano-spoken drama, Milyonaryong Mini, where she portrayed Salud, the leading lady. When she was granted the hiatus, for almost four months, she tested her limits. While taking a full-time executive post at Sykes, she joined the non-governmental organization Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary, which qualifies her as a reserve coast guard officer. Thus, during the fluvial procession of the Sto. Niῆo this year, she was one of the marshals. “I was surprised when the (ABS-CBN) management called me last July if I could return on MBK. I was surprised because I thought they didn’t need me anymore,” Cathy narrated. With the comeback, she also accepted the offer to host the entertainment segment of the local newscast TV Patrol-Central Visayas. Simultaneously, she committed herself as an officer at the Cebu City Tourism office after quitting her job of six years as an account manager at Sykes. Goodbye to all that for now. She is leaving for Cagayan de Oro next month. To work. To test her limits. “It is very painful to leave a job that I love the most because there has not been a problem among the co-hosts, the station, the management, and the rest of the crew. But I am a type of person who keeps on searching for meaning, for answers. I opted for Cagayan because it is laid back and quiet. I want to try that out,” she said. There, another hosting job in another ABS-CBN regional station and an executive post in a call center company are waiting. Born Catherine Bongcac Gabronino from Davao City, she has always been amused by the human behavior and the quest for the real purpose. “Since my mother is a dentist, I first enrolled dentistry and finished the two-year preparatory courses, but when I saw an unbelievably thick book I was required to study, I backed out. I am not a bookish type of learner,” she laughed, who ended up completing a degree in Psychology. “I am always soul searching. I want to explore and challenge my limits. I like the idea of stepping back from any situation and analyze, and Psychology has helped me with that process,” she continued. “But I have always been cynical. When I was younger, I thought of becoming a nun because I was very active with church activities. I used to be the psalmist in our parish. I never believed that I would be married or find love in a man.” Cathy has never been this brave, bold, and confident. If this new plan doesn’t come out favorable, she no longer worries. She lets loose, whether it is investing on the right job or the right man, because she doesn’t mind going back to square one even at age 70.

The Gullwing lives! Contrary to what people would probably expect, it isn’t called the 2011 300 SL Gullwing. Instead, the official name of this car is the Mercedes Benz SLS AMG. It does, however, retain the gullwing doors, fondly called “Flügeltüren“ by Germans and automobile enthusiasts, found on the original gullwinged Mercedes, the 1954 300SL. Powered by a 563 horsepower 6.2 liter V8 engine coupled to a sevenspeed dual-clutch transmission, the 3,500-pound car can reach 60 mph from standstill in just 3.8 seconds, putting the car at par with today’s fastest supercars. The engine is basically the same kind that AMG puts in the C63 and S63, both sedans, so you can just imagine the kind of shove in the back you would get when you’re driving a two-door coupe

flat out with an engine like this growling under the hood. The seven-speed gearbox comes with several settings, among them the Sport Plus mode, Sport and Controlled Efficiency, all developed to suit the driver’s driving style. Footwear comes in the form of 19inch Continental ContiSport tires in front with 20-inchers at the back. Stopping power is produced courtesy of a composite ventilated disc brake system, with a ceramic brake package available for even more stopping power. In terms of comfort, the SLS is fitted just like most other Mercedes Benz vehicles, that is, very luxurious. Leathercovered seats with power adjustments, a high-end 11-speaker system with 7.1 surround sound, iPod integration are only a few features that can be found in the SLS.



Sun.Star Weekend | Saturday , January 29, 2011


It’s probably best to head into “The Tourist” with the mindset that you’re going on an actual vacation yourself. If you’re in the mood for mindless, escapist fun – dazzling scenery, elegant evenings, decadent hotel suites and expensive clothes – you’ll be fine. There are all the obligatory chases and shootouts you’d expect in a romantic action caper, but you never get the sense that anyone’s in real danger. There are twists, but they won’t make you think too terribly hard, and in the end you will have devoted fewer than two hours of your life to a decent diversion. Watching Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie bounce off each other isn’t torture. Pretty people went to Venice and made a pretty movie. Joining them won’t be thoroughly satisfying, but it won’t kill you, either. It’s probably also best not to let the esteemed pedigree of the people behind the movie trick you into expecting something way more substantive or meaningful than you’re going to get. “The Tourist” is the first Hollywood film from director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, whose debut, the excellent German film “The Lives of Others,” won the foreignlanguage Oscar in 2007. It comes from a script that’s credited to Henckel von Donnersmarck, Christopher McQuarrie (“The Usual Suspects”) and Julian Fellowes (“Gosford Park”). Cinematographer John Seale (“The

English Patient”) provides the scenic vistas and intimate views of the exquisite Jolie. Costume designer Colleen Atwood (“Chicago”) dressed the gorgeous superstar. These acclaimed talents – Oscar winners, all – have given us something unabashedly light, frothy and ridiculous – almost knowingly preposterous. But still, fun, so if you feel like shutting your brain off for a little when there’s so much heady awards bait out there, this isn’t a horrible way to go. Jolie stars as Elise Clifton Ward, an elegant and mysterious Englishwoman (which allows her to dust off that impeccable British accent she did for the “Tomb Raider” movies). Elise is the lover of the elusive Alexander Pearce, who’s the target of Scotland Yard for having stolen billions from a gangster. (Paul Bettany gets some dry laughs as the head of the investigative team.) When we first see Elise, she’s being trailed by authorities to a cafe in Paris, where she receives a note from Pearce instructing her to take a morning train to Venice. While on board, she’s to pick out a man of similar height and build to serve as her companion and confuse her followers. She chooses Depp’s Frank Tupelo, a mild-mannered math teacher from Wisconsin – and after all his recently hilarious flamboyant roles, it’s a welcome change of pace to see Depp in an understated mode, to see him a little schlubby and

self-deprecating. Once they arrive in Venice, Elise and Frank find themselves being hunted not just by the police but by the angry gangster (Steven Berkoff), who wants his money back, along with his band of hapless thugs. Everyone assumes Frank is Pearce – and even if he’s not, he’s still in trouble (and the score from James Newton Howard tends to play up the madcap hilarity, and the would-be romance, a bit too intrusively). Along those lines, do Jolie and Depp, two of the biggest stars on the planet, have any chemistry with each other? Here and there. They’re actually more interesting as individuals, which isn’t exactly helpful, given that “The Tourist” is meant to be a romance. But Jolie provides the sultry action, and Depp offers some sweet, goofy laughs, and in the end no one got sunburned or suffered from food poisoning. IMAGES FROM THE INTERNET

Sun.Star Weekend | Saturday , January 29, 2011

short reviews



Tapes ‘n Tapes, “Outside” (Ibid)

Rabbit Hole “Rabbit Hole” is suffocatingly sad, as you can imagine any film would be that deals with the death of a young child. The challenge is to find a way to get people to want to see it, and then want to sit through it, without being filled with abject dread – or at least the feeling that they’re slogging through eat-your-vegetables cinema. John Cameron Mitchell accomplishes that with graceful performances from his stars, Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart, which are filled with subtle moments as well as recognizable human frailties and flaws. Everyone deals with grief differently. There is no right answer, especially when it comes to coping with the unthinkable loss of a 4-year-old son. “Rabbit Hole” gets that notion and conveys it vividly, yet also offers some welcome glimmers of humor and even hope. (AP)

Tapes ‘n Tapes brings us pop tonic for these long, dark winter nights: its third album, “Outside.” The new album doesn’t completely recapture the joyful abandon of the Minneapolis quartet’s crazy-good first album, “The Loon,” but it’s a rebound for a band that seemed to disappear from view after a tepid response to its second album, the tense and self-aware 2008 “Walk It Off.” That Dave Fridmann-produced album wasn’t bad, but it left the band at a crossroads, and at times it feels like singer-guitarist Josh Grier and friends are unsure which direction to head on “Outside.” The band parted ways with its previous label, eschewed outside help and paid for “Outside” out of its own pocket while recording it last March. While outwardly that’s not a great sign, that’s pretty much the same way “The Loon” came into existence. They never achieve the magic that gave us such infectious confections as “Just Drums,” ‘’Insistor” and “Omaha” from “The Loon,” but patience pays off here. The album starts off nicely with “Badaboom,” which skitters along on Jeremy Hanson’s sugary cymbal work, then curiously turns glum until the midway point. That’s where we find “Outro,” a stray instrumental that morphs from a jazzy shuffle to a muscular guitar line and signals more fun on the way. Up next is single “Freak Out” which with its anxious guitar line, bouncy backbeat and chanted chorus comes closest to those soaring “Loon”-like moments. “Hidee Ho” builds from a lazy walk on the beach into an angry run and “On and On” takes an ominous tone and turns philosophical. (AP)

Beauty Queen finale this week on GMA Telebabad With only a few days left before its curtain call, GMA So here’s the gimmick in “Season Network’s Beauty Queen topbilled of the Witch”: It takes place during the by Iza Calzado offers an intense and highly-dramatic finale week 14th century, but everyone speaks in beginning Monday, January 31. The contemporary language, which might have previous week ended with Maita been acceptable if the dialogue were clever being brought to the hospital after or intelligent or funny or, you know, good. Dorcas (Katrina Halili) deliberately Instead, Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman ran over her. As they struggle to are the knights who say ... nothing of any find a donor with a matching blood particular note in a supernatural action type, Virgilio suddenly appears thriller that’s never actually thrilling. You and saves the life of the daughter expect this kind of schlock in January, he never knew he had. After but “Season of the Witch” isn’t even bad Virgilio’s unforeseen move to save in an enjoyable way. The scenery is drab, Maita from the brink of death, will the battles are interchangeable, and no Amparo (Elizabeth Oropesa) ever one seems particularly interested in being learn to forgive him for doing her here. At the same time, Dominic Sena (who wrong, and eventually accept the previously directed Cage in “Gone in Sixty way her life has turned out to be? Seconds”) never flat-out goes for it in a Will Maita also accept Virgilio in schlocky, B-horror kind of way. What we’re her life as her real father? left with is just bloated, boring and utterly Meanwhile, Maita remains forgettable. (AP) motivated in winning the Bb. IMAGES FROM THE INTERNET Isla Pilipinas title. After going

Season of the Witch

through the pains and drama of the beauty pageant world, will she finally succeed in bringing home the crown? Or will Dorcas still manage to interfere and uncover another one of her evil plans? Finally, the question of whether Maita will end up with Dante (Luis Alandy), Donald (Marvin Agustin), or Marc (TJ Trinidad) still remains. Who among her leading men will capture the heart of the beauty queen? Will it be the compassionate best friend who remains persistent in pursuing her? The successful business man who wanted her to the point of obsession? Or the former playboy whose life completely changed after meeting Maita?  With director Joel Lamangan at the helm, the much-awaited finale week of Beauty Queen begins this Monday after Machete on GMA Telebabad.

CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: Tapes ‘n Tapes shift gears on “The Saddest of All Keys” like a Indy car driver on a road course, slow, then fast, then slow, then fast, changing directions on a whim, all the while building to a dramatic organ-drenched climax. Grier’s guitar and voice are a dual threat here, textured and tough and angry, demanding repeated listening to pick out all the good bits.

Smile Designer After a month of public SMS voting nationwide, the winning entry for the Havaianas “Design a Smile” contest has finally been named. Havaianas “Design a Smile” contest winner, Meghan Sevilla, is proud to show Filipinos what makes her smile. Her winning design will be produced into an actual Havaianas pair for the benefit of Operation Smile Philippines. “I chose this design because when people take care of our natural resources, it gives me a smile on my face.” With the donations from the participants and the SMS and MMS votes, over P100,000 was collected by Havaianas for Operation Smile Philippines to fund its different missions to heal children’s broken smiles.


Sun.Star Weekend | Saturday , January 29, 2011

books bottoms up Aileen Quijano

Mini Cookbooks Boxed Set: Everything Chinese A collection of favorite Chinese recipes. From delicate dim sum to nourishing soups to hearty family meals and tasty desserts. Each set comes in a unique and beautifully designed box. Great as a gift or for personal collection. Every boxed set contains 5 specially selected bestselling titles. Each title features 35 illustrated recipes that can be scaled up or down for a single meal or to feed the family. All recipes are accompanied by beautiful full-color photographs and a headnote explaining the origins and /or how each dish is best enjoyed. 5 TITLES IN THE COLLECTION: Healthy Chinese Cooking -35 tasty and nourishing dishes such as Chicken and Mushrooms in Wine, Dried Cuttlefish and Pork Ribs with Lotus Root Soup, Duck with Winter Melon, Gingko Nuts and Tangerine Peel. With a pictorial glossary and informative headnotes about the beneficial properties of each dish. Dim Sum -Enjoyed in tea houses and restaurants all over China and Hong Kong, and increasingly in the West, dim sum, the Chinese light meal enjoyed with a cup of tea is always welcome at the dining table.

Kiss The Rain Rain – it falls, it flows, it floods, it cleanses. It’s been raining for days now and the murky rivers from nowhere gush out time and again to rid the streets of its familiar garbage and stench. The roaches and rats scamper to ride out the waves, hoping to settle in a more stable spot not too far away from home. While the children – bless them – gleefully run through the showers, shirtless or bareassed, oblivious to it all. Perhaps, like them, it’s also time for us to let go or unload. For weather – we like it or not – is apparently wet enough to wash away not only the city’s dirt, but yesterday’s baggage as well. Ah, rain. Never mind that we sometimes get stuck in our work towers and miss that all-too important after dinner cocktail at the mall. Never mind that for the nth time, we might be missing out on our regular jogging session at the Big Oval (yeah, blame it on the rain). And never mind, that once more, our all-too-white pants will get drenched… for even now that it’s raining more than ever, we still refuse to be bothered by Rihanna’s umbrella, right Ella? Ella, ey, ey, ey… Anyway, before that song carries me away, the point is – the season of cleansing has come. And that is enough to forgive the little (or even major) inconveniences for a taste of a much awaited change. If we’re open to it, this season could mark an exciting moment in our lives. Perhaps, for those of us who’ve been floating for awhile, it’s time to finally learn how to swim or paddle forward. Or, like children, we can see this as the perfect opportunity to shed our tight dress of boring routines

and depression, and go make a splash in the world. For some of us, it’s the season to crossover. Despite economic forecasts, what lies ahead in 2011 may be as blurry as the sight of a world overcome by sheets of rain. Sometimes, it chills the bone to think of crossing unknown seas just to get to a land that promises nothing more than the probability of a much more fulfilled life. Perhaps it’s better, perhaps not. But then, if we don’t find the courage to decide our course, the incessant wondering about it might also be enough to drown us. So let’s move on ... in hope and with much faith. One thing I’ve learned from a mentor is that the best way to learn how to swim is not by testing the waters with your toes, but simply, to dive. So come what may, let’s forge the life that we were meant to live. And like the rain, let’s learn how to spit and claw till the fear and blocks cower away to nothingness. Ah, rain – for better or worse, it molds us. If we don’t fight it too much, we might be blessed and even find some of our best moments in the rain -- shooting balls with a friend, raging against storms, splashing like a kid at the City Sports Complex, playing tag with a cute crush or simply walking home while daydreaming with a rain-battered ice cream cone on hand. Be it raindrops on roses or rainbows in the skies, the season is here to signal that something fresh and new is coming. Oh, to embrace it, to sing and dance in the rain for the meantime – what a glorious feeling indeed to be happy again. (

Hearty Chinese -From braised and stirfried meat, poultry and seafood dishes, to hot, steaming noodle and soup dishes, this collection of 35 Chinese recipes will satisfy any craving for homey, comfort foods. Chinese Vegetarian -This exciting collection of Chinese vegetarian dishes proves that there is no need to use the traditional but highly processed wheat gluten to replace meats. These quick and easy vegetarian recipes make use of natural ingredients such as fresh vegetables, mushrooms and bean curd to produce tasty vegetarian dishes that will satisfy the taste buds of meat and non-meat eaters alike. Chinese Desserts & Soups -From all-time favorites such as Green Bean Soup with Tangerine Peel and Bird’s Nest Drink, to lesser known dishes such as Duck with Lotus Seeds, Barley and Tangerine Peel and Chicken or Lean Pork with White Fungus, Chinese Desserts and Soups features 35 recipes that are as tasty as they are beneficial to health.


Sun.Star Weekend | Saturday , January 29, 2011


scribblings circus of fancies Pami Therese Estalilla

THE UNINVITED by Halzi L. Duites

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls... There’s something magical about the circus that not everybody gets. This is understandable- as the circus rarely comes to town and a lot of people in our little corner of the world have never actually been to one. Miracle of miracles, The Great American Circus did come to town a few weeks ago and I almost missed it. But of course I didn’t, and in the end, I was clutching my ticket amidst a chaotic queue front of Cebu Coliseum. (I have witnessed few orderly queues in my lifetime, and by that I mean theoretically-correct ones with one person after another instead of two here and three there and a pseudo line that originated somewhere in the middle, and people who think they have the right to move ahead in the line just because they know the people way up front- they’re waving back, see?) It was a bit of an experiment as well- along the lines of rereading The Chronicles of Narnia because I had loved them when I was a child. (I discovered quite recently that I’d outgrown them, which really is surprising for a fairy tale-obsessed adult.) But as soon as I heard the opening fanfare, I knew it wouldn’t be the case. It wasn’t even that I was expecting the most astounding of visual spectacles akin to that of Cirque du Soleil. There was an air of something that I recognised but couldn’t quite describe. Perhaps every circus carries a whiff of its origins- the thrill of catching a travelling show, the niggling feeling of indulging in the forbidden, even if you know it really isn’t the case. Perhaps it’s because circus performers are in the ring to defy human expectation, to tango with death and danger, to engage in the seemingly impossible- and as a spectator a small part of you goes out there with them. For an hour or two in your life, you are able to fly, and breathe fire, and dance with lions and live. I’ve heard it said that in Ancient Rome, the circus was the only show in which male and female spectators were not separated. Without knowing the specific

reason for it, this actually makes a lot of sense. In this aspect, the circus is cousin to the carnival, the Mardi gras, and the masquerade. All three are Wonderlands to the suppressed. You leave your inhibitions at the door because they destroy the magic. The rules no longer apply (figuratively, otherwise there’d be plenty of fatal accidents). There’s a hand-in-the-cookie-jar sense of dark delight. Yes, darkness. There is also a definite hint of darkness to the circus (carnival, masquerade, and so on) that cannot be ignored. Whether or not we understand fully, it’s there. There’s a shadow of death, past, imagined and possible, in that arena. Throw in the bizarre and inexplicable, always the perfect oil for the dark cogs of our consciousness. PT Barnum’s Museum, Menagerie and Circus first introduced the world to human “freaks”, and since then, though most circuses have abandoned this practice, traces of this morbid fascination remain. We feel it in the brightly grotesque grins of clowns that should logically have struck our funny bone; every so often instead, there’s this chill. We adults push this to the back of our minds, but why do so many children scream at the sight of them? Perhaps it’s because they don’t yet care about what they should be feeling; they only know what they actually do. At the end of it, I always feel this sense of yearning. I feel this sense of power, as if all I had to do were to touch a trapeze and I would suddenly, magically be able to swing effortlessly off it. I want it all- I want to swallow swords and leap through rings of fire. There are few occasions I want as much as when I walk away from a circus. It may be a different thing for everybody else, but I believe we all take more back than what we deposit at the door when we come in. Here it all is again from the package counter- our disbelief, our inhibitions, our sense of reality, but what’s this? Check. There’s a little red package thrown in extra.

Got something to share with us? Sun.Star Weekend invites readers to contribute original, unpublished poems and essays or commentaries about funny or memorable moments in your life. Please email your contributions to:

Darkness crawls into the walls of the room, a blinking incandescent lamp spoils its reverie. The squealing of the waggling fan, the reverberating throats of sleeping heads wrestle with silence.   With calculated moves tip toe, tip toe goes the uninvited while dusk plays with the dawn.   The eye of a restless owl, the paw of a mischievous cat gently reaches its prey.   Towards the pink pig dozing off on the table, belly swelling with sou of silver and gold.   Inch by inch, a sou for the left pouch and a sou for the right while eyes stuck on the uninformed hosts.   Leaking sweat cast-ironed eyes revolting heartbeat.   Deep breath--tip toe, tip toe goes the uninvited and darkness fulfils its reverie. IMAGES ON THIS PAGE FROM THE INTERNET


49 Gen. Sepulveda Street, Cebu Tel. No (032) 255-0105 & 412-5551 Fax No. (032) 412-5552 Email:



Sun.Star Weekend | Saturday , January 29, 2011

peeps (people, events and places)

Hed Kandi at the CICC Last January 15, Sinulog Saturday, Big Fish and Nocturnal brought to Cebu the most stylish name in house music, Hed Kandi. With doors opening at 9 p.m., it was a toss-up whether Cebuanos would want to trek to CICC with all the other events happening all over town, not to mention the rain not being able to decide if it was going to continue pouring or not. But even with the inclement weather, partygoers packed the CICC to listen to the world’s most exhilarating DJ’s spinning the finest House tracks. On the same night at The Penthouse, the master of funk, turntable master DJ Funk Avy unleashed his full force on the dance floor as The Penthouse unveiled The Funk You Chronicles. Right after Hed Kandi at the CICC, the party continued at The Penthouse for the Hed Kandi After Party.

Hed Kandi DJ Andy Daniels

Christine Fernandez

Fiona King

Margaret Bol, Mariz Kuizon and friend

Sha Supangan and Channel V VJ Cliff

Mactan Shangri-La’s Chef Patrick

KC Montero

Jacqueline Schubert

Sam Pinto and Paul Jake Castillo

Glen Soco, Yong Larrazabal and Kenneth Cobonpue

Meanwhile, at The Penthouse...

Chico Cristobal ripping it with his guitar.

Abby Asistio

Sam Pinto

Guys and gals enjoying the night.

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