2015 was Amiciness’ debut year after expanding out from Tumblr. Honestly, I didn’t expect the blog to grow as fast as it did. After 525,600 minutes, the blog gained a couple of sponsors, 170 likes in Facebook, over 80,000 page views and almost 40,000 unique visitors. This blog is my “baby” project. Since blogs became a thing, I have always wanted to have my own and I have always been a frustrated writer. For some reason, I forgot to fulfil this dream. Maybe I felt that I was not ready or I could not sustain it because of school and eventually my day job. Finally, I decided to do it and commit. You won’t know if you’re ready for something unless you’d tried. This is Amiciness’ 2015 Year in Review.
2015 Year in Review
To celebrate 2015, here’s a recap of the posts that went “viral” (in my own definition) and those that were memorable to me as a blogger and pop culture fanatic.
Apocalypse Child is the story of surfing instructor and Baler native Ford (Sid Lucero), who is apparently the son of famed director Francis Ford Coppola. At least that’s the story, nay the urban legend even, in town.
By Mario Cornejo (writer-director) and Monster Jimenez (writer-producer), Apocalypse Child was an official entry to the QCinema International Film Festival Circle Competition just last month. It went home with four awards including Best Film, and Best Director for Cornejo. I was already eyeing to see this during the festival but alas my schedule got in the way. So when they held a charity screening at Rockwell earlier this week, I immediately grabbed the chance to catch it. I must admit: I came for Sid Lucero (I’m a huge fan!) but I stayed for the beauty of Baler and the mysteries that surround it. I’ve only been to Baler once, but this film is tempting me to go back.
Some, after watching the trailer, might dismiss this as merely a surfing movie, but it is much more than that. It isn’t even just the story of Ford. The people around Ford also get their space to share their own tragedies. Chona (Ana Abad Santos) is Ford’s mother who firmly believes that Francis Ford Coppola is Ford’s father, and is determined for father and son to meet in the future. However the truth is much bleaker than that. Fiona (QCinema Best Supporting Actress Annicka Dolonius) is Ford’s girlfriend, in town to tend to her dying grandmother. Ford’s childhood friend Rich (RK Bagatsing) left Baler for several years but has now returned to fulfill his duty as newly-elected congressman. He and Ford were as close as brothers before but time, distance, and conflicts happened, causing a rift in their relationship. If that’s not enough tragedy for you, he also has a damaged eardrum preventing him from surfing ever again. Serena (Gwen Zamora) is Rich’s fiancee, but spending time with Ford during surf lessons might give her second thoughts about her relationship. Jordan (Archie Alemania), Ford’s close friend, is the fifth wheel paving the way for comedic moments in the film.
I can’t say this enough, but Apocalypse Child is a visual and aural (thanks to Up Dharma Down’s Armi Millare) feast. Sid Lucero really fits the bill as the laid-back, carpe-diem-believing surfer. When the scene requires intensity and passion, he gives in spades. (I think I blushed a little during that scene.) Annicka Dolonius deserves the accolade as she shines in every scene that she is in. I have to give props to that scene when Fiona ambles to Ford’s house and asks him to hug ang console her for the last time. Pretty intense. I’m not too familiar with RK Bagatsing’s filmography but I’m looking forward to see more of him in films like this. On the flipside, I am familiar with Gwen Zamora’s work as a TV actress, but this film showed a new side of her. Archie Alemania is in a lot of films lately (my first reaction to seeing him on screen was siya na naman?) but his every-man character works perfectly in this film providing the comic icebreaker for when times might get overly dramatic. Finally, I have to commend Ana Abad Santos’s performance as Chona. I love how at the beginning she was just being Ford’s cool young mom and then slowly unraveling to a woman who has gone through a tragic childhood and coping. I was at the edge of seat in that scene where she was recounting the events leading to Ford’s conception at her young age of 14.
Here’s hoping there are more screenings (or even a commercial run) in the works soon. In the meantime, here’s the trailer for Apocalypse Child:
Have you watched Apocalypse Child? What did you think of the film? Are you, like me, wanting to return to Baler, feel the sun, surf the waves, and immerse in the town’s culture?
That’s me with Sid Lucero after watching PETA‘s Arbol de Fuego last March 15. This was one of the few surreal moments of meeting actors in real life. It made my body literally shiver like I was vertically thousands of feet away from the ground on top of Mt. Pulag. I was supposed to take pictures with the actual cast members: Cherie Gil, Bembol Roco and Raffy Tejada (one of my basic acting weekend workshop facilitators) among others. Unfortunately and fortunately while waiting, I saw Sid outside. I was hesitant at first but the adrenaline of the that week just kept on coming. I decided to take the chance and just do it. I asked him for a photo and he didn’t hear me so I tapped his shoulder. Out of nervousness, I just posed for the camera even if he wasn’t ready. He saw the camera and said: “Oh.. Okay.” Hahahaha AWKWARD.
My friend was using my phone but for some reason the shots were too exposed. She asked us to change positions hoping that it’d solve the problem (it didn’t but good thing it didn’t, I really like the effect). We posed but my friend was having a hard time adjusting the focus of the camera so it was really an awkward couple of minutes. Sid put his arm on my should and I started shaking. He felt it and said “You’re shaking, man.”. I died (and wished that the earth’d swallow me whole).
I’ve been watching Sid since Etheria (Encantadia’s prequel) and I’ve always admired his acting skills. This was quite an experience. Looking forward for more celebrity encounters. Watch out! I’m going to post my other “celebrity encounters” in the future. 🙂
Side-note: Arbol de Fuego was so nice. The performances were great. I’ve never seen a straight play that had more than four characters. Everybody brought something to the table and the script sounded natural considering it was in English, Spanish, Tagalog and Ilonggo. The overall theme of the play was all about letting go. Being less attached to the past to embrace the gifts of tomorrow.