A bemused film snob’s letter to Liz Taylor

Dear Ms. Taylor, 

I was first introduced to your unspeakable radiance when I was 9. In, of all movies, The Flintstones. Needless to say, the movie was terrible, but you were its only saving grace. You epitomized style and elegance, even in makeshift mammoth fur coats. You had a wattage that could light a thousand towns. 

It was only when I graduated from Saturday morning cartoons and evolved into the self-confessed film snob that I am when I fully understood why you’re a modern-day legend. You had the qualities and presence of a goddess. You were amazing in A Place in the Sun (1951), a sight to behold in Cleopatra (1963), and electrifying in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966).  I’ve yet to see Butterfield 8 (1960), but I’m sure you also gave a tour-de-force performance there. I love that word. Tour-de-force. 

Oh, and speaking of “tour-de-force”, in George Stevens’ Giant (1956), you played a role that was ahead of your time – a loving but headstrong housewife with the compassion to look beyond racial barriers and the feistiness to overcome her husband’s stubborn, domineering ways. And for me, that was the role which most mirrored what you were like in real life: a steadfast woman who was determined to speak her mind in a male-dominated society. I always knew you had a little bit of Leslie Benedict in you. 

It’s true. You were a fighter. You advocated AIDS research, rallied for gay rights, and you were unafraid to see your friends as who they really are, despite what the public perceived them to be (I’m referring to Jacko, of course). You were more than just a strong woman, you were an exceptional human being, a complete individual. 8 husbands could never do justice to that. (Oops. OK, we don’t have to elaborate on that if you don’t want to. Sorry). 

In your Twitter account, you also said that “Every breath you take today should be with someone else in mind“. I must say, I couldn’t agree more. Life is not worth living if you had nobody to live it for. We are worth what we love. And you, Ms. Taylor indeed had a lot of love to give. 

So in closing, I just want to say that the downtrodden cliche holds true. You may no longer be with us, but your legacy will definitely live on. There will never be another Elizabeth Taylor, but you were a prime example of how love and strength can justify one’s existence.

So, thank you, Ms. Taylor. Thank you for being you.  

Sincerely yours, 

Chuckie


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Singabound

In a few hours, 3 1/2 to be exact, I will be bound for Singapore, together with my Mom, my Ninang Gina and her husband Brian, who both arrived from Chicago early this afternoon.

This will be my second visit to the Lion City. First one was July 2007 when Mom had to attend a Rotary function with one of the sister clubs there. I agreed to tag along – mainly because I always instantly say yes to countries I’ve never visited.

Unfortunately, that trip was a catastrophe. We arrived there on the 13th, which happened to be a Friday. As soon as we left the airport, the superstition started to ring true. I was willing to forgive the fact that we stayed at a dingy “hotel”, but then, we were left at the mercy of neglectful “hosts”, scowled at by uptight locals and, to top it all off,  I lost my Canon CoolPix camera (along with hundreds of un-uploaded photos) when I fell asleep on the cab. In a nutshell, everything that could possibly go wrong in a trip went wrong.

Then again, the city’s notoriously clean, flora-smothered surroundings were indeed eye candy and I’m a sucker for multicultural communities (same reason why I adore San Francisco and Canada), which is why I never closed my doors on the possibility of another visit.

And I’m guessing things will be better this time, since I now have some friends there to show me around.

So see you again in a few hours, Singapore! Let’s make it right this time. 😉

One of few surviving decent shots from that dreaded trip: Me frumping it up in front of a Merlion statue.

Alone is Okay

Here’s a little darling of a video Sheena shared on my Facebook wall last night.

Inspiring and beautifully-written.

This could very well be the next “(Everybody’s Free to Wear) Sunscreen”

Night of Cardiac Assaults

Sheena kicked off her weeklong celebration at The Collective, where we shared this diabolical concoction:

Everyone, meet The Offbeat Burger.

Not exactly heart-attack-in-a-bun, because it doesn’t come in a bun. They use sugar-glazed Krispy Kreme donuts. Well, that, plus the usual thick juicy beef patty, sunny-side-up egg, strips of bacon, slice of cheese, and obligatory fries on the side. Good luck, arteries.

It may take a while to get used to the stark contrast between the savory flavor of the meat and the treacly sweetness of the donuts. Sheena easily chowed down her half, while I ended up eating the ingredients separately. But overall, it’s an interesting find.

And believe it or not, we still somehow managed to save room for these:

Buffalo Chicken Wings from Wingman

Let’s just be thankful that Makati Medical Center is a 10-minute drive away. =p

Adios, Amparo

The universe has lost one of its celestial beings.

Amparo Munoz, the stunning Spanish beauty who was once crowned Miss Universe 1974, passed away Sunday night after a long battle with an unspecified terminal illness. She was only 56.

She is notable both for being Spain’s first (and so far, only) Miss Universe and for being crowned in Philippine soil. (LEFT: Amparo with Imelda Marcos)

Amparo’s reign was anything but smooth. During her run, she was hounded by controversy and ended up abdicating her title only after 6 months, thus making her the first Miss Universe to step down. She was never officially replaced, which is most probably why she is still universally recognized as that year’s titleholder.

After her tumultuous reign, Amparo would later on foray into an acting career in her homeland, making sporadic appearances in B-movies and TV shows. She would also enter a string of unsuccessful marriages before eventually sinking into obscurity during the mid-90s.

Infamy aside, she is still widely considered as one of the most beautiful titleholders in the history of the pageant.

Farewell, troubled angel.

ABOVE: Amparo‘s crowning moment in the then-newly constructed Folk Arts Theater. Note that her runner-up was Wales‘ equally-controversial Helen Morgan, who was stripped off the Miss World title later that year for being an unwed mother.