My June-July Movie Report

It’s been quite a while since I last wrote about what I have been watching, and it’s high time I do that again! It’s just weird that I am writing in the middle of the month, but I have to do it lest I forget again. Picking up from where I left off, here are my movies 139 onwards:

139. The Impossible

140. Moneyball

141. Jack the Giant Slayer

142. Beautiful Creatures

143. Die Hard

144. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie

145. The Apartment

146. Man of Steel

147. Jaws

148. The Goonies

149. Zack & Miri Make a Porno

150. Chocolat

151. Before Sunrise

152. Before Sunset

153. 21 Jump Street

154. Kung-fu Hustle

155. Wanderlust

156. Clerks

157. Trainspotting

158. Wild Child

159. Vicky Cristina Barcelona

160. The Campaign

161. Groundhog Day

162. Chinatown

163. In the Heat of the Night

164. The Dictator

165. Dodgeball

166. In the Loop

167. Admission

168. Role Models

169. Monsters University

170. Despicable Me 2

171. Monte Carlo

172. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

173. Before Midnight

174. Le Prenom

175. Olympus Has Fallen

176. Employee of the Month

177. When in Rome

If you can see a pattern, you must be crazy. There is no pattern. I just watch what I feel like, and it’s messy. But it’s fun!

6 Ways Successful People Stretch Their Comfort Zones

Business & Money


This post is in partnership with Inc., which offers useful advice, resources, and insights to entrepreneurs and business ownersThe article below was originally published at Inc.com.

Everyone has a so-called “comfort zone.” You know what I’m talking about: that mental space you live in where there are boundaries and you feel a sense of emotional security with your work and your decision making.

What distinguishes successful people from everyone else is what they do with their comfort zone. There are those who are perfectly happy staying warm and cozy in this safe box they’ve built; and then are those who constantly push and test the limits.

You already know which person goes on to be a successful entrepreneur.

(MORE: 3 Signs You’re Meant to Be a Leader)

Now I’m not suggesting that the comfort zone is a bad thing. It’s there for a reason: to…

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Eurotrip Step 1: VISA

So this is what’s keeping me busy these past few months. We’re planning a Eurotour!

My high school friends N, MM, M, C and I are going to Europe this August! It’s C’s wedding, you see, and she’s getting married in Mettray, France. So the three of us based in Asia, N, MM and I, decided to go on a Eurotour after the wedding. Too bad S can’t join us. M, on the other hand, will be coming from San Francisco.

We hatched this plan in January, and made plans since. MM and I went to the Manila Travel Expo last February and managed to buy roundtrip tickets to Paris from Manila for USD828.10 with Malaysia Airlines! At that time, the exchange rate (USD-PHP) was just in the 41-42 level, so it was just about PHP33k (however, with credit card charges, I think I paid PHP34k. Here’s a tip, local bank issued credit cards have a lower charge for USD purchases). We’re planning the whole trip ourselves, so we used Booking.com for our hotel bookings. I have to note that our flight booking can be cancelled (for a fee), which was great because at that point we didn’t know whether we will be granted visas.

As Filipinos, we know that probably the hardest part in planning a trip to Europe (apart from saving enough money, of course) is getting a visa. So this post details what MM and I did to get our visas.

In the travel expo, we went to the RAJAH TRAVEL booth and inquired. I also called up other travel agencies but we decided to go with Rajah.

The Schengen visa allows you to enter the 27 countries of the European Union with only one visa. You have to get the visa at the country where you will be staying longest, in our case, France. 

I managed to talk to Regina of Rajah, and she gave me all the requirements for the French visa, which are the following: passport, filled out application form, 2 passport sized pictures with white background, letter of intent, certificate of employment stating the position, tenure, gross annual income and approved leave, bank certification, credit card statement, income tax return, travel insurance, hotel certificates, and flight itinerary. I asked Regina if she could schedule me for an interview, and she asked for a scanned copy of my passport and application form. With these two documents, I was scheduled for an interview in 3 weeks, or on 20 May 2013.

A week before my interview, I was asked by Regina to submit all the other documents. The lacking documents, I just scanned them and emailed them later. The reason for this is that they will arrange the documents and check if there was anything lacking. 

On the day of the interview, I was requested to meet the Rajah representative Carlo 30 minutes before my appointment at Starbucks in Pacific Star. He was busy! Apparently, he was assisting 9 other interviewees that same morning. Anyway, what he did was give us the visa fee (which was prepaid to Rajah when I submitted my documents), and the documents which were already neatly arranged in an envelope. He explained that there will be 2 submissions of documents and the papers were already segregated.

So we (I was scheduled with two other Rajah clients, cousins B and B) were escorted to the French Embassy. We entered and were given a number for the payment. The waiting room was packed, but there were seats for almost everyone. There were 5 windows, with window 4 acting as the “cashier” window, and the others were “interview” windows. You can actually hear some of the conversations between embassy official and applicant, which is good, in a way, because you can prepare. The number was called, and we paid and gave the first set of documents (which included the application form, travel itinerary and hotel vouchers). We sat down again and waited for our names to be called.

When my name was called, I gave the second set of documents (financial and work-related), and my fingerprints and picture were taken. The embassy officer (I think she’s Filipina) asked only the following questions: (1) So you work at the —-? (2) And you work there as —? (3) Who are you travelling with? (4) Why were you not interviewed together? <to which I answered “She had difficulty arranging her interview” – which was true! MM was scheduled for interview the following week>. I thought I did well, I mean it wasn’t really a tough interview. I authorised Rajah to get my passport and visa for me, which I got the following week , 29 May. I was granted a 2 month visa. 

My total cost (visa fee, service fee, and travel insurance) is PHP9,377.08.

RAJAH TRAVEL is located at Gercon Plaza, Makati Ave., Makati City. You can contact Regina at +6328940886, or email them at documentationmkt@rajahtravel.com.

February 2013

It was such a weird month for me, I went to several wakes and there wasn’t much to celebrate this February. Also, I failed to reach my quota of 28 films for the month, due to my crazy busy schedule. Nevertheless, I still managed to watch an impressive amount for the month. Oh, and I signed up with GetGlue, so I can track down the movies and shows I watch.

Anyway, here are the movies I watched last month. As always, it was a mix of the old and the new, as well as a hodge-podge of genres. I’m thinking of making a proper list so the genres are mixed well, but I’ve got no time to do that now. There was a point where I managed to watch a whole slew of sci-fi films, that was crazy, but I enjoyed it a lot. I can now confidently play Game of Nerds (SciFi movies category) haha!

– Toy Story I
– The Big Lebowski
– The Giant Mechanical Man
– His Girl Friday
– Date Night
– Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
– Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
– The Princess Bride
– An Affair to Remember
– The Philadelphia Story
– Shakespeare in Love
– Driving Miss Daisy
– The Graduate
– Meet the Robinsons
– 2001: A Space Odyssey
– All the President’s Men
– Blade Runner
– A Clockwork Orange
– Cloud Atlas
– Wreck-It Ralph
– Metropolis
– Hot Fuzz
– Frankenweenie
– The Hangover II

Oscar Movie-time!

The latter half of January was just as productive for me, movie-watching wise! Again, it was a weird mix, I actually watched what suited my mood at the time I was watching. The last few days of January, however, were dedicated to watching the nine movies nominated for Best Picture in this year’s Oscar awards. Anyway, here’s a list of what I watched this second half of January:

– On the Waterfront
– A Streetcar named Desire
– Waiting for Superman
– The Wizard of Oz
– The Five-Year Engagement
– Sunset Blvd.
– Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark
– Hotel Transylvania
– Les Miserables
– Life of Pi
– A Dangerous Method
– Little Manhattan
– Lincoln
– Argo
– Star Trek (2009)
– Django Unchained
– Beasts of the Southern Wild
– Zero Dark Thirty
– Amour

Starting the year right!

It has been a good start of the year for me, in terms of movie watching. So far, I have already watched 13 films, and I will be watching one again today! I am actually thinking of “reviewing” the films I watched, but as it turns out, I can’t even regularly update this blog with my travels and eat outs, so how can I even review the films. Anyway, here’s my list so far:

Citizen Kane
Thy Womb (Sa’yong Sinapupunan)
Pitch Perfect
Sisterakas
Cabin in the Woods
Some Like It Hot
Singin’ in the Rain
I Love You, Man
Annie Hall
Dr. Strangelove (or how I stopped worrying and loved the bomb)
City Lights
50/50
Schindler’s List
Raging Bull

Whew! It’s a weird mix, I know, mixing the classics (one more round of Citizen Kane, anyone) with Filipino “blockbusters” (Sisterakas). I have to say, there’s a reason why movies like Annie Hall achieved its pop culture status, why Charlie Chaplin is considered one of the greatest comedians, and why everybody knows how to sing Singin’ in the Rain. There’s something to be said about each of the movies I watched, I thoroughly enjoyed them all!

December movies

December is almost over, and I watched a good number of movies this month! With only 4 days to go, I have, to date, watched 18 movies! Below is the list:

The Breakfast Club
Pretty in Pink
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Dead Poet’s Society
Sixteen Candles
American Graffiti
Heathers
Rurouni Kenshin: Samurai X
Ruby Sparks
Lola Versus
The Hobbit
Garden State
Casablanca
Que Parezca un Accidente
Shaun of the Dead
Zombieland
Big Fish

I still have time to watch more! I can’t wait to get started on the Time 100/ AFI 100 movies!