(photo by .bella.)
(Truly beautiful. I want to learn photography so badly.)
It’s been a while since I’ve last posted an entry. Not wanting to put my work to waste, I thought it would be nice to post my reflection paper for my Japanese class here, however futile it may seem than writing a fresh post that would further add to my very short list of written works.
I often wonder what it takes to be a writer. Having so many things going on in my life, it is quite difficult to spend time more writing. If I dream to be a reporter for Time, or a novelist, or a journalist for a news publication, I am feel that I am still not doing enough, which utterly frustrates me lately.
I am currently at a crossroads, again, wondering where I am headed by what I am going through now. I often worry about my actions, for fear that I am leading myself in the wrong direction. Then again, no one ever knows where they are headed. One day we will just realize that all our little decisions, trivial mistakes, spoken (and unspoken) words, all come together to reveal our fate. Choices are what defines who we are, after all.
Right now, I need to hang on to my faith, to continue believing that I am doing things that would take me where I am supposed to be.
Because of you, Cory Aquino, I can now truly say that I am proud to be Filipino. It feels exhilarating to witness a crucial moment in history that would be forever be remembered. What is next is for us to continue what she has started.
Kindness, honesty, faith in God, patience, humility. Cory has proven that her enduring values are enough to lead a country.
I never felt so deeply moved by a president before. My whole perspective of the Philippines and Filipinos has changed now.
Cory Aquino, rest in peace.
There is an anticipated thrill I often feel in experiencing something for the first time. Even when that involves simply watching a movie in a completely different genre, I was certain that the day I watched Memories of Matsuko with two of my new friends is worth mentioning in my long list of significant ‘firsts’.
Memories of Matsuko is one of many outstanding Japanese films that Eigasai 2009 presented in Shangri-La Plaza Mall, which I am grateful to get the opportunity to see with newfound friends Danielle and Jedd from my Japanese class, the perfect complement to my exciting study of the beautiful language.
Memories of Matsuko is completely spoken in Japanese, of course, presenting a stellar cast—including Miki Nakatani who plays pretty Matsuko, who won Best Actress in the 2007 Japanese Academy Awards. Matsuko is a talented girl who leads a troubled, suffering life in a film painted with vibrant colors and touches of cartoonish effects, that in the first half hour through the film we thought the plot was purely lighthearted; surprisingly, it was also splashed with violent, painful scenes difficult to watch, the worse being seeing Matsuko transform from a gorgeous young woman to an ugly, overweight hag, ending her own life in shame of who she has become.
The film showed how far a person would go for them to attain happiness and to search for someone who would love them back. Matsuko is a simple girl who led a stunning life. She went through so much, including prostitution, imprisonment, and other acts of indecency that any female viewer could only cover her mouth in shock. I see her as the modern martyr who endlessly goes through so much suffering in order to make her father notice her, to please people, to love wholeheartedly. The movie was a fantastic portrayal of human struggles, wherein I could only smile and sigh in awe as I see how life can be as surreal as we want it to be.
My friends and I walked out of the movie with Matsuko’s memories that will linger for a long time in our minds. The vivid scenes of a girl whose life has defined by her mistakes and the men she slept with, of her being beaten up by her lover, of that silly face that she uses to make her father smile, among others, is too stunning forget easily.
With regards to their dialogue, I admittedly did not understand a single line they uttered, except terms like hai, moshimoshi, arigatou, watashi, sayoonara, and some other elementary words. Even so, each word was spoken clearly. That hearing them merely speak the language I am still trying to understand helped me grasp the emotions of the characters. Having learned even just the basics of Japanese—Hiragana, Katakana, with a handful of Japanese vocabulary words—watching a Japanese film felt closer to my heart. Any language, when spoken aloud, has the innate power to convey emotions.
Seeing a movie in Japanese makes me even more eager to learn how to speak it. This is also my first time learning a foreign language, and I am more than determined to learn as much as I can, hoping that this ‘first’ will also be worth the experience. Perhaps it already is.