Sunday, May 23, 2010

Eye-Popping, Mind-Boggling 3-D Experience in Shrek Forever After

I was ready to watch my fourth 3-D film, but NOTHING prepared me for Shrek Forever After 3-D! It was an eye-popping and mind-boggling movie experience. 

As a member of the SoCCSKSarGen Bloggers, I was invited to the 3-D Cinema Press Launch of Robinsons Place Gensan Movieworld on May 22, 2010.

A specially-prepared Press Kit with a t-shirt, bookmarks, stickers, press releases, and notepads was given to me. After reading the materials, I realized I was  going to have a 3-D experience literally. 

First, Robinsons Place Gensan is one of nine Movieworld branches equipped with a 3-D screen
through MasterImage Digital 3-D which provides bright vivid 3-D images using silver screen

Second,  Movieworld uses Dolby Digital 3-D single projector. Dolby has set a benchmark in total entertainment by providing crisp and clear images and sound.

Third, moviegoers are given individual specialized eyewear that is easy to wear (even if you have your eyeglasses on) and eliminates the headaches/nausea  brought on by cardboard glasses. These eyewear had to be returned when leaving the cinema though.

The bloggers were escorted to their reserved seats and given a set of burger, fries and bottled ice tea drink from Jollibee. And the instruction to put on the specialized eyewear was flashed on the screen. Shrek Forever After was about to begin.

The opening logo of Dreamworks which was already an animated boy on the moon fishing became more alive when he cast his line and the hook went out the screen into the audience! (Nervous giggles from the audience).

Soon a carriage pulled by horses went out of the screen and the audience felt like the horses were passing through the cinema! And the movie delighted everyone with one eye-popper after another.
Many scenes drew Oohs and Ahhhs from the moviegoers. Laughters and giggles rang through the theater as the movie unveiled the antics of Shrek, Fiona, Donkey, Puss, Gingerbread Man and Rumpeltiltskin.

Overall, my fourth 3-D film experience was exhilarating and fun-filled. And I look forward to more 3-D films to be shown in Movieworld!

Thank you to Pre Carcillar and Bing Velandria of Robinsons Place Gensan for inviting me to this unprecedented movie event in Gensan!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Three 3-D Movies seen and counting

1976 was a memorable year because of the films I've watched while studying at UP Diliman. One of these was Frankenstein 3-D. 
Frankenstein 3-D was the first 3-D film I'd seen. It used the Polarized system in which two images are printed over-and-under on the same strip (Po). I had difficulty wearing the 3-D cardboard glasses so an usher helped tape it to my eyeglasses. The gory scenes were so vivid especially the part when someone  was speared and it went through his body and the screen with a piece of bloody liver dangling from it.  Loud shrieks went up from the audience when that piece seemed to fall on them. After the movie, a lot of moviegoers left the cinema feeling disoriented and nauseous, including me.

The second 3-D film I saw was Jaws 3-D, also using the Polarized system. Set in Seaworld, the whole film looked like a living aquarium with various types of fish swimming about. The killer shark seemed to jump out of the screen and in the climactic part, when it exploded (just like in the original film), pieces of it appeared to be thrown at the audience. The seawater and the 3-D glasses made me seasick. 

The third 3-D film was Spy Kids 3-D Game Over which used the Anaglyphic system in which  two images are printed in different colors on the same strip. I saw it with my godson to introduce him to his first 3-D film experience. Action-filled, the movie caused the two of us to move constantly in our seats.  From time to time, he would reach out and try to touch objects moving towards us. He couldn't stop talking about the realism of the scenes we saw.

Now, I'm looking forward to my fourth 3-D film and it seems that Shrek Forever After is it!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Fully Booked to open its First Mindanao branch in Gensan

Full Booked finally ventures into the shores of Mindanao by putting up its first branch in the island. With the opening of Fully Booked-Gensan in KCC Mall tentatively set in June or July this year, local bookworms are already salivating and furiously saving up. 

With 11 branches (10 in Metro Manila and 1 in Cebu City), Fully Booked-Gensan promises a novel experience for local readers. Occupying the 300-square-meter frontage of KCC Mall, the reading public will be treated to shelves and shelves of books ranging from the latest bestsellers to graphic novels, CDs,  stationery and collectible items. For those who are not contented with looking at the front and back covers of books, browsing and reading are allowed inside the store. Strategically placed couches and seats will be made available to readers.

The presence of Fully Booked will surely change the reading habits of people in the SoCCSKSarGen area by making sure that shopping for books and other items in their store will be a pleasurable experience.

Fully Booked augments the present bookstores in Gensan: Crown Bookstore, Kristan Bookstore, Roxas Crown Bookstore, Philippine Christian Bookstore, Expressions, Booksale, Rex Bookstore and the two branches of National Book Store.

So let's give a big WELCOME to Fully Booked-Gensan when it opens its doors for us in June or July!

The biggest Fully Booked branch in Bonifacio Global City, Metro Manila.

Please read this link for its scoop on Fully Booked-Gensan: Click here

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is NO Laughing Matter for Sagittarius Mining Inc. (SMI) - Thoughts on the SMI Discovery Tour

All throughout the SMI Discovery Tour sponsored by Sagittarius Mining Inc. (SMI) on March 6, I kept hearing in my mind this old love song, They All Laughed, whose lyrics are:

They all laughed at Christopher Columbus when he said the world was round
They all laughed when Edison recorded sound
They all laughed at Wilbur and his brother when they said that man could fly

Surely, if efforts of Christopher Columbus, Edison and the Wright brothers were shot down by the laughter of the people of their times, no progress would have been made in travel, geography, media and flight. Hence, the beleaguered Sagittarius Mining Inc. (SMI) forges on with its corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts facing not only laughter, but rants and rallies from protesting stakeholders.

In these environmentally-conscious times, Sagittarius Mining Inc. Tampakan Project faces several stakeholders who perceive the company to be a threat to the environment: church-based groups, pro-environment (green) groups, indigenous groups, cause-oriented groups, you name it and they're up in arms against mining activities here and elsewhere fueled by the Marcopper disaster, the films Avatar and Blood Diamond, and the general alarm over global warming.

The mining industry is so easy to demonize because it is an extractive industry (meaning, it is not like genetic industries like fisheries and agriculture which produce raw materials) in the same manner as the tuna fishing industry. Like any industry since the Industrial Revolution, the mining industry started out as a profit-oriented one. In the 90s, this orientation became the focus of worldwide criticism. A recent example of this is Nike which was criticized for employing child labor in Cambodia and Pakistan in manufacturing its volleyballs. As a result, profit-seeking efforts by industries worldwide are now tempered with self-initiated ethical business practices. Hence, the rise of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

An accepted definition of CSR is: a voluntary approach that a business enterprise takes to meet or exceed stakeholder expectations by integrating social, ethical, and environmental concerns together with the usual measures of revenue, profit, and legal obligation.

SMI received its CSR mandate from Xstrata. In a Newsbreak Online report, Mining companies put CSR on top of business agenda,

Before Xstrata Copper, the fourth largest copper producer in the world, acquired 62.5 percent of Sagittarius Mines Inc. in March 2007, the Australian-based mining company first required SMI to come up with, among other things, a financially and strategically sound Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) plan.

It came as no surprise. Xstrata makes sure that its representatives all over the world,  including the companies it has bought or partnered with in seven countries, are socially responsible.

And it is not alone. British, American and Canadian mining companies have all been calling for the practice of responsible mining in the areas where they operate . . .

So when Xstrata required a comprehensive CSR program, SMI came up with a hefty P23 million-worth of community development projects. Before this, SMI had already conducted CSR initiatives including reforestation, roadside greening, scholarship grants, medical outreach and livelihood programs.

Let us make it clear that SMI at this point has NOT yet started its mining operation. It is conducting explorations to determine the quality of copper in the project site straddling the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Davao del Sur. But it is working on permit requirements before it can start operating for a period of 20 years. These requirements include a CSR program and Enviromental Compliance Certification. 

Confronted with hostile stakeholder-groups who question the company's  motives, SMI offers its hands in working with them. Fortunately for SMI, it has three predecessors whose CSR programs are lauded: Philex Mining Corp. in Padcal mine, Benguet, Silangan Mindanao Exploration Company Inc. in Boyongan, Surigao del Norte, and APO Cement Corp. in Naga, Cebu. To temper its profit orientation, global corporations have come to put CSR on top of their agenda, next to financial viability.  SMI has already started its community engagement activities: community relations through transparent consultation and communication, community development programs focusing on education, health, skills training and enterprise development aimed at helping communities establish sustainable economies that can survive long after its mining operations end, and to protect and preserve the integrity and rights of the indigenous peoplesfront-line employees and contractors are inducted on socio-cultural sensitivity which includes an orientation on legal statutes that deal on respect for indigenous rights, inclusive of cultural properties. It may well serve the hostile stakeholder-groups to think about this: what have they got to offer the other stakeholders aside from mere opposition?

SMI people walk their talk. SMI now engages the services of local people to coordinate with the stakeholders. Visitors to its core farm, project site and community-beneficiaries in Sitio Salnaong, Sultan Kudarat are gently reminded to respect the culture of the B'laans. SMI initiated an Art Camp for South Cotabato kids and their artistic outputs are featured prominently in SMI wall and desk calendars. Others would be satisfied in launching an art contest and giving out prizes and that's all there is. But SMI goes one step further by placing the kids' drawings in calendars they can be proud of.

The SMI Discovery Tour gave me and the bloggers the chance to see CSR in action. To my mind, there is no doubt that the Marcopper environmental fiasco was a mistake SMI is not going to commit because the stakeholders in its project site in  South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Davao del Sur will be vigilant about this and because SMI people really need to work together with the stakeholders for a sustainable future.

Thanks to Team SMI headed by Sheila Melissa Maniego and Bench Tacumba for the eye-opening tour!

Monday, May 3, 2010

5 Reasons why I'm voting for Adel Tamano as Senator

Even before personally meeting Adel Tamano during the SocCSKSarGen Bloggers' meet-and-greet with him in April this year, I already have him high in my list of senatorial candidates. As the election nears, my reasons for voting for him are getting numerous, but let me cite the Top Five:

#5. He represents an exemplar of who and what a Muslim could and should be.  When asked about misconceptions about Filipino Muslims in an interview with Wilson Flores Lee published in the Philippine Star, Adel said:
First, Islam is a religion of peace, just from the root word for peace which is “salaam” in Arabic or “shalom” in Hebrew, that’s why it’s called Islam. No. 2, the vast majority of Muslims in the Philippines and in the world have no links with terrorism, and the overwhelming majority of Muslims are opposed to terrorism and fundamentalism. No. 3, we have a deep respect for women. In fact, historically, Islam gave women so many rights like women’s right to own property and to inherit property, those were given hundreds of years before the Western world gave those legal rights to their own women.
As a senator, he intends to work for lasting peace in Mindanao. Like many Muslims I have the privilege to befriend and to work with, Adel promotes peace even on an interpersonal level. During our bloggers' meet-and-greet with him,  he was asked a lot of questions about other political candidates and personalities, but he has no mean bones in him and gave at least diplomatic remarks about them.

#4. Adel is an educator at heart. His parents, the late Senator Mamintal “Mike” Tamano and Hadja Putri Zorayda Abbas, instilled in him the love of knowledge and provided him with the rich exposure to a multi-faceted experience by sending him to study here in the Philippines and abroad.

He taught law subjects at Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Ateneo de Manila University, Far Eastern University, Mindanao State University, University of the East and De la Salle University.
When he was appointed by Manila City Mayor Fred Lim as president of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM), he put a premium on providing quality education and created a program that enabled financially poor students to enter the university, thus making PLM truly a “The People’s University.” 

In Adel’s commencement speech in Harvard Law School in 2005 where he was the first Filipino Muslim scholar to graduate with a master of laws degree, he said, “Ultimately, the real value of our education will be assessed in terms of our making the world a more just, peaceful, equitable, environmentally sustainable, and tolerant place for our children.”

#3. He lives up to his name Adel, which in Arabic means Lover of Justice, by pursuing a career as a lawyer. Having both paternal and maternal grandfathers who served as judges and his father and uncles as practising lawyers, Adel indeed carries this torch of legacy in their clan. His acute sense of justice prods him to speak out against injustices when and where he sees them. Reacting to the recent dismissal by Justice Secretary Alberto Agra of the case against the Ampatuans, he said the dismissal was a “thank you” from Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to the Ampatuans for letting her win in the 2004 and 2007 elections. It is also a spit in the face to all the families of the Maguindanao massacre victims. Bravo, Adel!

#2. It is not a well-known fact that 39-year old Adel initially wanted to be a writer before deciding to study law. However, he still continued writing essays and legal books. I enjoin my readers to read this witty opinion piece he wrote for Manila Times: Superman is Moro.

Adel and his wife Rowena (also a lawyer with whom he has two sons, Santi and Mike) are avid readers. When I found out about this fact, it became the very first reason why I will vote for him. His scintillating wit during the meet-and-greet with the bloggers is a testament to his being a well-read person.

Another little-known fact about Adel is that he was a Kundirana member (same group where Ogie Alcasid and other singers had their first taste of performing) as a high school student at La Salle Greenhills.

In my book, any candidate like Adel who reads and sings a lot must have more substance that deserves further scrutiny after initially being dazzled by his resemblance to Eric Quizon (he admitted this to the bloggers) and twin dimples to die for.

#1. Declining offers to run for the Senate in 2007, Adel's initial foray into politics for the 2010 elections is admirably marked with statesmanship and fairness. His platform of government: responsible citizenship, primacy of education, rule of law, and anti-corruption. His legislative agenda: education as budgetary priority, establishment of local colleges and universities, entrepreneurial centers, programmed public services in health, green energy, and peace process. His demeanor and statements during the TV point out the kind of statesmanship that would have made his father proud.

He decried the prevalence of muck-raking and black propaganda  as bad. When he was asked to opine on the alleged psychiatric report on Noynoy Aquino divulged recently by Nacionalista Party volunteer, Guido Delgado, he said:

"I'm condemning the action he has taken. I feel Mr. Delgado did a disservice to the Nacionalista Party by presenting this document that was not verified, not authenticated."
But, Tamano added, the NP would be better off focusing on the strengths of its campaign and the qualification and competence of its candidates. "We have to level-up the campaign, no more smear campaign. But coming up with this fake document, fake psychiatric report is pure and simple black propaganda, specially coming from a volunteer of the Nacionalista Party," he said.
Adel's refusal to play the dirty tactics game in politics has now become a benchmark by which future well-meaning politicians will be evaluated by voters.

Adel Tamano connects with the SocCSKSarGen Bloggers at Grab-a-Crab on April 10, 2010.