Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Review: Marcopolo Hotel

I know it is not fair to rave or rant about something just because of one particular thing about it. But, what can I say I’m totally blown away by one special thing at Marcopolo Hotel in Davao. It makes me realize how special the minority or handicapped people feel when the majority pays attention to their needs.

I never thought that Marcopolo Hotel would have a praying room (Muslim praying room) not because it’s in the Philippines where the majority of the people are Catholics, but because even in the five star hotels in Jakarta where the Muslims are the majority they don’t provide us with one.

Well, okay, they do. But, not right next door to the meeting room. They would put it somewhere at a far flung place that necessitates you to go around asking for direction. And guess what? Most of the time we would end up in the basement.

How about Marcopolo? Not only the praying room is right outside of the meeting room, it is also very presentable. I’m impressed.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Seven Unfortunate Lifetimes All Thanks to a Moment of Impulse (一时冲动,七世不祥) by Jiu Lu Fei Xiang (九鷺非香)

Seven Unfortunate Lifetimes All Thanks to a Moment of Impulse by Jiu Lu Fei Xiang is one of the Chinese novels that I really like. I like how the story starts with the scene of the female lead Xiao Xiang Zi and the male lead Chu Kong try to kill each other off with their bare fists.

I like that instead of directly enamored with his good looks and heavenly air, the female lead finds his appearance and attitude offensive. I like how instead of meekly accepting his highhandedness she chooses to stand her ground and teaches him a lesson or two or three.

Xiao Xiang Zi – the lowly cloud fairy, whose ambition in life is to do nothing but enjoying her little nap works for the extremely stingy God of Moon. That is why she loves money.  It takes her forever to accumulate just a small amount enough to buy herself a fan.

For her money counts. It has a lot of sway in her decision making.

But her laziness and no ambition attitude disguise a temper, a sharp mind and an even sharper tongue which the Celestial God Chu Kong has the misfortune to learn firsthand.

Their fists fight has destroyed the red threads in the God of Moon’s temple, or that is what other people think. Those red threads are destinies that tie lovers together.

Since they destroy other people’s love lives they are being punished by the Jade Emperor to spend seven lifetimes as mortals who are tied together in a love fate.

Xiao Xiang Zi suffers the punishment in silence since she couldn’t tell the Jade Emperor that it was Yue Lao who messed all those threads when he was drunk and not their fight.

But she could no longer hold her temper when she hears Chu Kong asking the Jade Emperor to give her a heavier punishment and when she hears him telling the delicate Ying Shi that he’ll make her seven lifetimes hell before coming back to count the stars with her.

I love how Xiao Xiang Zi decides then and there that she will not let that happens. If someone is going to suffer for seven lifetimes that someone is not going to be her.

I love how she escapes the underworld to the mortal world for their first life time with her memory intact and a determination to making Chu Kong’s life hell.

I love how she plots to wrap Chu Kong around her little finger. And she does manage to make her little husband head over heel in love with her but on the other hand unknown to her she is also being wrapped around his little finger right from the moment he opened his eyes.

Not the one to take a beating kindly Chu Kong manages to keep his memory intact in their second life time and takes revenge on Xiao Xiang Zi for making his first life time hell.

Xiao Xiang Zi who is left behind was fuming with rage after Chu Kong forced her to drink Madam Meng’s soup of oblivion. Her rage is increasing by folds when she learns that in the mortal world she will be an idiot because she drinks too much of that oblivion soup.

Just imagining how Chu Kong will turn her life hell is enough to make her want to die or slave away in hell for eternity. She doesn’t even pay attention to Yanwang who tells her not to worry because although she will be an idiot, Chu Kong who has fallen in love with her won’t have an easy life either.

What does it matter if Chu Kong won’t have an easy life either? She will be the idiot who will be bullied and tortured by him day and night for a life time.

I really really love how this love story is being written. Seven Unfortunate Lifetimes Thanks All to a Moment of Impulse is such a delight. A rare treasure that I never thought exists in the land of Chinese novels.

Xiao Xiang Zi is such a darling. I love how she manages to make Chu Kong’s life hell by wrapping him around her little finger every single time even when she becomes an idiot who doesn’t even remember that she hates his guts.

I love how despite not knowing her true feelings for Chu Kong she willingly sacrifices her life for his sake. She always does her best to do what is best for him every life time.

It’s not love at first sight on the contrary it’s hate at the first sight/fight.

But I love how the strength of love is being shown by this couple during their love wars. I love how life and death or even memory lost have no effect in their love.

Their love grows from companionship, from growing together, from knowing how the other person feels about things, from understanding the other person characters.

Love is without a doubt the strength of this story but I need to mention that this novel is hilarious. You can’t help but fall in love with this feuding couple that make you cry and laugh at the same time.

Xiao Xiang Zi might turn into an idiot in her second life time. But this is where she has the most brilliant idea ever.

She needs a husband. Why? What for? To help her do all those chores that Chu Kong heaps on her idiotic head. She needs a husband so that she could have time to be her lazy self. She needs a husband who can do her chores and then give her all the money that she needs. I love her.

For the sake of those who don’t like spoilers suffice it so say that this novel totally worth your time. It’s hard not to fall in love with the couple or the story when they are being written this way.

Jiu Liu Fei Xiang is awesome!

Thanks a lot to the wonderful translator at rosyfantasy who shares this beautiful story with us. The beauty of this story could only be felt and savored because of your excellent translation. Thank you so much!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Currently Loving Hins Cheung Afterward ( 後來 - 張敬軒 )

I've been going back and forth from kdramas to tdramas without finding one that could really grab my heart. Disappointed, I'm switching to reading the translation of Chinese novels and that's when I found this song by Hins Cheung.

Right now I'm falling in love with 'Afterward'.

ps. I forgot to put the lyric

後來 - 張敬軒

Hou lái  wŏ  zong suan xuě hui lè rú he qu ai
Afterward I finally learned how to love
Kĕ  xì nǐ zao yi yuan qu xiao shí zai ren hai
It's a shame you disappeared into the sea of faces
Hou lái  zhong yù zai yan lei zhong  míng bai
Afterward through all the tears I finally understood
You xié ren  yi dan cuo guó jiŭ bù zai
That you can only miss somebody once

Hu zhǐ hua báihuà ban
White petals of orange flowers
Luó zai nǐ lan se bai zhe qun shang
Fall on my blue pleated skirt
Ai wŏ nǐ qing sheng shuō
I love you, you softly say
Wŏ  dí xia tou wén jian yi zhen fen fang
I lowered my head and smelled the burst of fragrance  
Nā gě yòng heng de ye wan shí qì sui zhong xia
That eternal night 17 years old midsummer
Nǐ wén wŏ de na ge ye wan
That night you kissed me

Rang wŏ wang hou de shí guang mei dang yǒu  gan tan
Letting me in my future days, when I feel like sighing
Zong xiang qì dang tian de xing guang
To always remember that day's star light
Nā shí hou de ai qing
That love then
Wei shen ma jiŭ néng na yang jian dan
Why was it so simple like that

Er you shì wei shen ma ren nian shao shí
And also why when we are young
Yi  ding yao rang shen ai de ren shou shang
Must we let those whom we love be hurt?
Zài zhe xiang sì de ye li ni shí fou yi yang
On this similar deep of night are you the same?
Ye zai jing jing zhui hui gan shang
Also feeling the quiet hurt of regret?

Rú guó dang shí wo men néng bu na mo jué qiang
If at that time we could have been less stubborn
Xiàn zài ye bù  na mo yi han
We wouldn't feel regret now

# Nǐ  dou rú he hui yi wo dài zhu xiao huò shí hen chen mo
  How are you remembering me?Does it bring you laughter or 
  Zhe xié nian lai you mei you ren néng rang nǐ bu jí mo
  These past years was there someone who could let you not
  be lonely?

Hou lai wo zong suan xuě hui lè rú he qu ai
Ke xì ni zao yi yuan qu xiao shí zai ren hai
Hou lai zhong yù zai yan lei zhong míng bai
You xié ren yi dan cue guó jiŭ bu zai

Yòng yuan bu hui zai chong lai
It will never happen again
You yi ge nán hai ai zhe na ge nu hai
To have that boy in love with that girl

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Comeback of Park Shi Hoo

Never thought that I would write anything about Park Shi Hoo since I felt nothing about him. I didn’t even care when he shot a movie with Yoon Eun Hye. But I find his comeback to a drama land with a drama titled ‘A Neighborhood Hero’ impossible to ignore.

I’m not saying he should be punished for eternity, particularly since he is never found guilty by the court. Some of his diehard fans insist the poor guy might be raped by that scheming lying gold digging horny little bitch, thus his comeback should be welcomed with open arms and sincere apologies.

However, regardless of the fact whether he was the one being raped or not my feelings for him have changed from nothing into something. His case reminds me of Kim Hyun Joong’s.

In Kim Hyun Joong’s case, his scandal has totally destroyed my perception of him. His blinding smiles have lost their power to blind me. No matter what he and his management said I can’t bring myself to like a guy who is bigger and more powerful than a girl but uses his power to physically hurt her. Be it intentionally or not. Be it just one time or worse.

In Park Shi Hoo’s case, I can’t bring myself to rooting for a hero who I know in real life is not the kind of man that would get my admiration. I don’t know whether Park Shi Hoo is guilty or not. I don’t know if he was the raped victim or not. But what I know for sure is how I feel.

I don’t like seeing a guy who can’t even act as a gentleman acting as a hero, particularly in kdramas where a hero is always someone who is honorable/with principles (at least when they are dealing with women) even when they are being an ass.

How do I feel about a guy who brings a drunk girl into his home? Suspicious. How do I feel about a guy who sleeps with a girl than shares that girl with his friend? I’m beyond disgusted.

It doesn’t matter to me whether it was a rape or an orgy. If that girl is a famous star, I doubt I would be able to watch her as a heroine with the same eyes and feelings prior to the incident.

Therefore, I find it hard to watch Park Shi Hoo in kdrama be it in a romantic or a heroic role. He might be innocent of rape but he definitely is not a gentleman. There is nothing romantic let alone heroic in a guy who shared a drunk girl with another man.