A spoiler-free review of ‘The Little Prince’

A spoiler-free review of ‘The Little Prince’

While everyone is currently going gaga over Star Wars, I will do everyone a favor by not writing about the science fiction film series and revealing plot details. A fan I am not. And it’s not because Yoda or Skywalker failed to amuse me. It’s because I don’t remember seeing one of the films at all.

So let’s talk about the movie adaptation of the French classic The Little Prince instead. Perhaps the only book I’ve read countless times since high school and through adulthood, this work of Exupery is close to my heart. I was in my early teens when I first borrowed a copy from the library and I swore to myself that I will never forget to be a child because I thought that’s what the le petit prince was trying to tell the grown-ups. Ironic for a kid, I know.

Anyway, the film was not loyal to the manuscript, and it was evident on the first few minutes of the movie. A good tactic, I must say, because viewers would let go of their expectations, forget about the book, and absorb what Mark Osborne was about to allow movie-goers to experience. Absorb his work we did.

I was amused with the graphics, especially with the 3D stop motion. They looked like they were lifted directly from Antoine’s sketches. The sound track perfectly set the mood. You would want to buy the album for Sunday-morning listening or for when you want calm music in the background. I’d say the movie was as interesting as the little prince’s journey to Earth, but I think certain moving dialogues in the book were overly used. “Thanks for rubbing it in, pareng Mark,” you’d probably say. As a result, the once essential parts of book just lost their, um, essence.

The entertainment took a nosedive when one of the protagonists–the girl–seemed to have lost her mind. “A crude airplane cannot travel that far,” my brain said. “That can’t happen in the real world.” A few minutes later, the film redeemed itself and sent its timeless, important message to the audience before “Fin” appeared.

Initially, I thought only the grown-ups would appreciate the film. But it looked like only kids would appreciate the unwelcome (at least by me) adventure the girl took. I was a little disappointed. And perhaps, the little prince is just as disappointed in me because I have forgotten to be a child and have focused on “matters of consequence.”


Date a Girl Who Swims

swimI think I don’t have the authority to write a blog entry with such a title. But let me tell you how this entry came to be.

One of my best college friends shared via twitter a year-old blog post called Date a Boy Who Travels. The blog led me to other old blog entries about Date a Girl Who Bikes and to re-read The Bull Runner’s Date a Girl Who Runs.

I shared with my friend Date a Girl Who Bikes, because it holds true for me (Well, except a Sierra Madre proposal. I still don’t want to go back to Sierra Madre for a 5kph climb). She said she couldn’t relate to it. She was a swimmer. And I thought, why shouldn’t a decent man date a swimmer? 

What added to the inspiration was that I went to swim training after work. And I realized that the water is a completely different world that these swimmers embrace. I urged my friend to write. She said she needed to internalize first. With my hyperactive brain cells, however, I took my smart phone and typed “Date a Girl Who Swims,” reminisced my friend’s raves about swimming, and started writing with her in mind.

This piece went through her peer review. I asked her to tell me if I did it any justice. I requested that she tell me to scrap it if it didn’t make sense and asked her to write it herself because I’m confident she’ll come up with a better piece.

“You know me too well,” she said, after reading through it. It passed her review. So here it is to share with the world why you should date my friend, I mean, a girl who swims. 🙂

Date a Girl Who Swims

Date a girl who swims because she’s a happy girl and she finds joy in the simple things. Show her a photo of the beach and her eyes will sparkle. Write her name on the sand and she’ll feel like you gave her a bouquet of flowers.

Date a girl who swims because you can always take her to the beach even when she has her monthly period. She relishes the sand, the sun, the waves, and the marine life. Take a walk with her along the shore barefoot and she’d appreciate the conversation; she’d enjoy the sand tickling her toes; and she’d laugh heartily as the wind blows her hair. At moments of silences, she closes her eyes as she listens to the calming sound of the waves. When she opens her eyes, she appears more relaxed and she flashes that big grin of contentment.

Date a girl who swims, because she possesses natural beauty. She doesn’t need a sexy two-piece swim wear to flaunt her body. Her strong core, wide shoulders, and toned arms and legs shine through any clothes she wears.

Date a girl who swims. Understand that her dry hair was damaged by chlorine, the sun, and salt water. Date a girl who swims, because even after 4km of swim training, she still looks fresh. Date a girl who swims, because she has both natural grace and determination.

Love a girl who swims. Her sun-kissed skin is evidence of how much she could love a hobby or a sport that she dumps the notion that white is beauty. She could do more than get a tan for someone she loves. Love a girl who swims and who would do run trainings because of her coach’s instructions. She will run the required miles even though she’s not as comfortable on land as she is in water. She will do anything for her love of swimming. Likewise, she’ll do what it takes to show her love for you.

Love a girl who swims because she is as calm as a lake. She’s at peace with herself. Love a girl who swims and you find serenity in a beautiful woman. She’s as serene as a pristine beach. Love her even though she gets upset. Everyone cracks up sometimes. Love her through her PMS, and she will love and understand you just as she’d understand angry waves during a storm.

Love a girl who swims. She will love you like she loves the water. She can laugh with your shallow jokes and can listen to your deep, pensive monologue about your highly technical work.

Love a girl who swims. She may be physically strong, but take care of her fragile heart. Don’t pluck her from balanced aquatic-terrestrial life and just leave her because you’re insecure of her strength. When she starts to love you, you become her new home and source of strength. When things go rough, don’t just abandon her. That’s like capturing a carefree fish from the ocean, putting it in a bowl, taking care of it, and leaving it to die.

Love a girl who swims. Be expressive with your feelings. Tuck a note inside her swim cap. Pick her up after her swim trainings. Treat her to a hearty, protein-packed recovery dinner after her speed drills (Don’t be surprised that her appetite is as big as yours. Then you start to wonder where she stores the food in her body.). Propose to her in the most romantic way you can think of and make her feel like she’s  a Disney water princess.

Marry a girl who swims. No need for a fancy honeymoon at a five-star hotel with an infinity pool. Just take her to a private beach and she’ll be happy. Marry a girl who swims. With arms toned and core muscles strong, she’s fit to cuddle and carry your baby for long hours.

Marry a girl who swims. She will teach your children how to float and glide on water. She’ll let your children paddle through the water on their own until they get to relax in the pool while she keeps a close watch. She’ll let your children be free to play with other kids and support their other endeavors, but she still keeps watch to guide them as they grow up.

Marry a girl who swims and be loyal to her. When both of you grow old and gray,  you can simply watch the sunset by the beach. Smile at her. Observe her. She’ll flash back that same smile whenever you took her by the beach years ago. She’s still that happy, content, care-free swimmer you loved and always love.

Helmet Girl Shares her Running Dead Stories

The zombies are coming. Rawrrrr.

It’s almost 5pm. I stand on my favorite spot under a tree, a couple of meters from RITM. I take a sip of Powerade Orange Burst. The taste lingers. I’m still thirsty. This Helmet girl zombie thirsts for water and for some hill repeats.

I stay close to my tree, hold on its rough bark, and take a peek at what’s happening a few meters below. I can feel the dry grass through my barefoot running shoes. The summer wind blows. The canopy of the trees protects the entire zombie herd from Mr. Sun’s rays.

Zombie Tales at The Running Dead
Each zombie has a story. Each zombie has a favorite spot in our uphill stretch of Danger Zone for The Running Dead runners. Each zombie waits patiently. Excitement brews as the clock nears 5pm.

We heart brains. We heart life flags, too.

A few minutes later, they arrive at last. The first wave of runners enters our Danger Zone. Excitement finally fills our area.

Our once quiet territory is filled with screams, groans, zombie laughter, and shoes pounding the pavement.

Where are the runners? Groans.
The zombies wait.

No Walking. Rawwwwrrrr.
Some runners sprint our uphill stretch. Some jog. Some walk. Just like the rest of the RITM horde, Helmet girl doesn’t like walkers. Runners should run, even through the uphill. You walk the hill, she runs after your life flag. You run the hill, she chases you until her helmet removes her fake forehead scar.

As an RITM team, we work like a team. After one zombie runs after a runner, another startles the poor mortal. As the runners run for their lives and try to escape our horde, another zombie snatches one of their life flags.

Zombies care for you. We really do!
We zombies like the chase. We like it when you scream. We like it when you run for your life flags. Helmet girl likes it when the men shriek. She relishes runners’ moments of confusion and disorientation. We zombies love it when you’re scared. But you scare us, too.

You scare us when you turn pale from sprinting the uphill. Helmet girl doesn’t like fainting, especially for runners because runners don’t wear helmets. Helmet girl would sprint to fetch Powerade for a runner gasping for air, but would take one life flag in exchange for hydration.

You scare us when you lie on the ground or sit on the side walk. We zombies would call for an ambulance should you need it. We zombies have a stock of ice to offer in case you cramp, too.

You scare us when you trip and roll over. We don’t want you having the same wounds we have. We help runners get up and let them have all their life flags to themselves.


You scare us when you suddenly stop running and bend over. Helmet girl would give you her own hydration and would let you relax for a bit.

You scare us when you show us we scared you too much that we thought you had a heart attack. Helmet girl would apologize soon after, but would run after you.

You scare us when your entire bunch runs through the trail. We tell you to share the road with us and promise not to get your life flags. We don’t break promises. We just don’t want you to break a leg, literally.

You scare us when you sprint downhill without paying attention to the road, but paying attention to us. Helmet girl doesn’t want you kissing the ground, because you have no helmet. We zombies would tell you, “Watch where you’re going!”

You scare us when you show us you’re not scared. Helmet girl wonders, “Don’t I look hideous enough?” She feels insulted when a runner says “Ang ganda mo namang zombie!” Or “Pa-picture naman!” Helmet girl wonders, “Oh no! Why do I look approachable? Is my make-up gone? Do I need a retouch?”


24 life flags

No, it’s not what you think it is. Helmet girl didn’t do #2 on her RITM spot. Helmet girl collected 24 life flags. She enjoyed sprinting the uphill as much as you did. She savored your moment of fright. But she worried about your safety, too.

The hill repeats Helmet girl had hurt her quads, glutes, and calves. She needed a massage afterwards. But Helmet girl had fun at The Running Dead and hoped you had a great time, too! 🙂

Like the entire horde and zombie leaders, Helmet girl was pleased with the support from the community to help four junior triathletes advance with their training. We’re looking forward to see these young athletes represent our country soon! 🙂

Photo Credit: Carina and Team Endure.

Whatchadoing outside my room?

I found this strange-colored amphibian outside my room. Hugging the wall and staying still, it looked like a sticky piece of dirt:

I stepped closer to examine it. I spotted two black spots, which looked like eyes and noticed its folded front and hind legs. For a moment, I stood in awe. It’s a frog! A yellow one!

Then I froze in fear. What on earth is that creature? I’ve never seen it in books nor pictures. And I wondered what it was doing outside my room? I stepped inside to get my phone so I could take its picture.

Then it leapt. It changed positions. It scared me. It made me worry of our little dog, too. What if Mulan plays with it or tries to bite it? If I remember correctly, the more colorful an amphibian is, the more potent its skin’s poison is. I’m not sure if it holds true for this mustard-colored (well, a few shades darker than mustard) frog (or is it even a frog? We have no pond in the compound!).

So the question lingers: What are you?

Music, my mother, and me

musicWag mong ilipat!” my mother exclaimed with glee while I was radio station surfing one night in 1997. We were having some chit chat after dinner then, with the FM radio as our background music.

“That was sung by [I forgot the artist]. That was [I forgot the exact year as well]. I was in college,” she said nostalgically. “But that was one of my least favorite songs back then.”

Her last statement puzzled me. How could she enjoy listening to music that she once never liked? We both had no issues with 90’s music. In fact, like me, she listened to Spice Girls, and even noted that Victoria was her favorite Spice Girl.

So I wondered: Why would she want the radio tuned in to some old song that she didn’t fancy when she was young over some rockin’ 90’s song that we’d both like?

Curious and confused, I asked her, “Ma, why do you like listening to old songs?”

She chuckled as if I asked a stupid question. I didn’t mind and just waited for her to enlighten me.

“It reminds you of your childhood,” she explained. “It brings back memories.”

Pag tanda ko din kaya, ganun din ako?” the silly 13-year-old girl that I was asked.  My mother laughed at my thinking-out-loud moment.

Fast forward to 2011 and in one of those random days, Jars of Clay’s Unforgetful You  started playing in my iPod shuffle. The song reminded me of how carefree and how fun being young is.

If I had an MP3 player back in high school, I wouldn’t have that song in my favorites’ list. But today, as I listen to it, I relish every drum beat and every note. I remember our stereo system, where it used to play. I remember the CD . I remember the problems I faced as a teenager. Today, it dawns on me that they were miniscule compared with my late 20’s problems. And it dawns on me that there are certain things that you’d only understand as you get older–like how nostalgic it is to listen to songs of our childhood. 🙂


Is it deadly or lovely?

It’s not everyday that I get to share anecdotes like this. So allow me to tell you a short story on how a pair of stiletto shoes taught me a lesson on perspective and interpretations.

My friend Kathy and I went window-shopping at the mall while waiting for dinner time with another friend. She spotted a purple stiletto shoe at one of the shoe shops and shrieked “That’s love!”

Kathy went inside the shop. I’m not a big fan of such shoes, but I went in, too. I looked around at the flats, the boots, and some sandals, while Kathy made her way through the rack where the five-inch stiletto shoe stood proud.

While we left the shop, Kathy mused again on how pretty the shoes looked. I gave her a reluctant nod, which she understood perfectly: “Look at you. You don’t agree, do you?” And then she laughed.

She knew well that I can’t walk on four-inch high heels. How can I even manage to stand on five-inch shoes?

We strolled some more and found ourselves in front of the same shoe shop again. “That’s love!” I heard Kathy said again.

“Kat, please,” I said finally. “Don’t call it love. You think it’s love. I think it’s deadly. Put them together and it’s like saying ‘love is deadly.’”

So now you see how two different people view the same thing differently. 😛