September 11, 11:25 am
SCENE IN NEW YORK : a report from ground zero
by Yvette P. Fernandez
was like the scene out of a movie.
___But it was real. Way too real.
___Pictures of the World Trade Center on fire. Right there on live television,
we saw one tower on fire-- a huge gaping hole in the familiar landmark.
It was surreal. Immediately called my friend Isa who lives downtown two
blocks away from the scene. She just moved here from Manila two weeks
___"What the hell happened?" she asked sleepily. "I just
woke up to an explosion, and now there are sirens."
___ "Isa! A plane just crashed into World Trade Center! They say
it may be terrorists...omigod! Another just crashed into the second tower!
Get out of
___She dashed to her window. She could see people panicking in the streets,
she said. Debris flying all over the place.
sister Lara and I were glued to our television. President Bush vows to
hunt down those responsible for the "apparent terrorist attack."
An aircraft crashes into the Pentagon. A fire on the mall in Washington.
A car bomb explodes at the State Department. Flights all over the United
States have been cancelled.
___"America Under Attack" scream the TV headlines. We're getting
calls from loved ones all across America and from way across the seas,
in Manila. We're ok.. we're ok, we tell them but apparently thousands
of others downtown are not. We have friends who live downtown, friends
and many, many colleagues who work downtown on Wall Street. We're hoping
they're all okay.
I head off to work. The streets are packed with people. Many of the subway
lines are closed, people are crammed into buses. All bridge and tunnels
in and out of the city are closed. People are walking, heads bowed, or
looking lost, distracted. People try to use their cellphones but cannot.
Traffic jams in all directions. But no horns are blowing. Strange for
New York City. An eerie sense of silence. Just the distant blare of sirens.
___And the fatalities. Mayor Rudy Giulani saying there could be a "horrendous
number of lives lost." Police sources saying they could be in the
thousands. No pictures of any of the injured, any of the dead yet. And
it's been over two hours. To protect America from the full horror of the
tragedy perhaps? Just repeated pictures of the explosions-- of the people
being evacuated. It's almost as if there is a news blackout. What is the
world being protected from?
Just got a call from Isa. She's in my midtown apartment, in tears.
___"Yvette, I thought I was going to die," she cries. "I
was right there when the first tower collapsed. A huge, rumbling sound.
I saw it all. It was black...so much smoke. No one could see anything."
___People were jumping out of the buildings, she says. She actually saw
people jumping out of the buildings. She's just called home, she says.
They know she's safe. Why in the world did she move to New York?!?
My phone has been ringing off the hook. My Filipino friends checking on
other Filipino friends who work, live downtown. We're all family to each
other, have been for many years.
___Yes, I just heard from Michelle and Dino, I tell my friend Eric. They
both work downtown but are not safe at home midtown. Eric had woken me
this morning with the news. Turn on the TV now, he had said grimly--There's
been an explosion at the World Trade Center!
___Michelle is worried about Noel who works right across from the scene.
No one has heard from him yet. Nor has anyone heard from our other friend
Babette. Many phone lines still horribly busy. A call from our Tokyo office
checking to see if I've heard of a Japanese reporter at the New York Stock
Exchange. Mayumi's parents are oh so worried. Please call us as soon as
you hear anything.
___Another friend Elaine who lives downtown calls from midtown. Go to
my apartment, Laine, I tell her. My sister is there with lots of food.
Stay with us tonight. She's fine for now, she says. But she'll be in touch.
___Lara calls from home. She's just been to the grocery where the lines
are snaking to the checkout counters. People are panic-buying. Loading
their carts with bread, milk, canned goods, bottled water. She's spoken
to her friends Nana and Joan who work downtown, and our cousin Paula who
lives down there. They're all welcome to stay at our place if they need
Memos from human resources here at work. People who live in Manhattan
can go home if they feel it is safe to do so. Arrangements being made
for people who live out of the city to stay at hotels. Lots of food available
for us in the conference rooms if we need it. A plea being made for blood
donations. A shortage of blood in DC and New York, we're told. Please
go to the nearest hospital to donate blood.
Finally get through to Noel. He's safe at home all the way uptown. He
walked over a hundred blocks to get there and his feet are covered with
callouses, but he's fine.
___"At least I can walk. Other people can't even walk, he says,"
his voice breaking. "We saw it. We saw the second plane crash into
the second tower. It happened right in front of our eyes as we were evacuating
our building at the World Financial across the street. I was in shock.
Everyone started running. There was smoke all over. It was just chaotic.
I can't believe this is all happening."
The televisions continue to blare with the latest news. Just pictures
of smoke and debris and panic. Still no pictures of the dead or wounded.
Still no faces to this horrible tragedy that has shocked the world. By
the time this story goes to press, there will probably be many. Tens of
thousands of stories to be told about the tens of thousands of people
killed or wounded in this horrible tragedy. And the millions of people
in the city who knew them, whose lives they touched. Mothers, fathers,
children, colleagues, friends. And the millions of people in America and
billions all over the world who have been glued to their TV sets for hours,
* * *
Hello all Trekkies! Sorry I made a mistake last time. If you want to join
the founding of the first Philippine Star Trek club (that I've heard of),
send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org NOT email@example.com
* * *
PAULINE KAEL R.I.P.
Pauline Kael died today. Can't say I knew her. All I know is that she
wrote movie reviews for the New Yorker. Who the heck reads the New Yorker
anyway? I guess we should all read her some time, but in the meantime
thanks Pauline for introducing people to the wonderful world of movies.
* * *
Sept. 4, 2001
A KNIGHT'S TALE, PAYATAS, PHILIPPINE BOOKFAIR and COOL
just saw A KNIGHT'S TALE today, which was very lucky coz they just
happen to be showing sneak previews at Rockwell at regular prices. Anyway,
I've been wanting to watch this movie all year coz it is directed by Brian
Helgeland, director of Payback (and script writer of LA Confidential).
Payback rocked so much that there is no way he could do a bad job with
this one. And he didn't. After Spy Kids this is probably the best movie
that I've seen this year that I can remember.
___ It is not that the movie was fantastic. It is just that I found the
concept riveting, knights being portrayed as sports superstars with rock
and roll music playing in the background. The whole movie I just got a
thrill watching them joust and joust and joust and joust (yes, there is
a whole lot of jousting in the movie) And watching the lances explode,
the thundering of the horses. I liked the armor, the costumes, the sets.
Though I have never seen so many bad extras in my life! I just like the
jousting! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! (which reminds me The Fast and The Furious
is next). And that may have been the problem of the movie, after awhile
it was all that for 2 hours! You can see that's why he made the movie,
coz wouldn't jousting be kewl! and then just built up a pseudo story around
it. But what I like is how Brian Helgeland experimented with this teeny-bopper
film, how he tried all sorts of new sets and takes for a medieval setting.
I hope he makes more movies soon! He's one of my favorites. Too bad this
movie didn't come out after The Lord of The Rings coz it might have gotten
a bigger reception.
___ And, oh yes, a little explanation on jousting, if your lance shatter
on your opponent's shield you get one point, if your lance shatters on
an opponents helmet you get two points, if you unhorse him, you get three
points, and the lances are blunted so you just get hit rather than pierced.
Anyway, before I ramble on too much, on to the next topic.
I just saw PAYATAS by Carlitos Siguion Reyna at the full moon showings
behind the Manila Bay (which all of you have to go to once at least once,
i'll update ya when the next one is). It was really kewl, what he did
was set up two projectors and had a synchronized showing. One film was
showing ballet, the other one was showing a story, both in perfect sync.
A technical marvel in itself was the coordination of the two films. He
must have spent weeks if not months in the editing room. Who knows when
it will be shown again (maybe in Brash, =) who knows). But I have to admit,
Carlitos is talented. Soon he'll make full-length movies that doesn't
need a sex slant to sell. Soon, di ba Tita Midz (ralph! hehehe). By the
way, PAYATAS, was shot on DV.
go to the BOOKFAIR, go to the BOOKFAIR, go to the BOOKFAIR! It
is in the MegaTradeHall in MegaMall. Excellent stuff. Every single small
publisher is there! They even have a website! (www.philippinebookfair.com)
I have never seen so many locally produced and written books. I sincerely
believe that the Philippines is going through a Renaissance, and art IS
flourishing. I believe in it so much that I will start producing movies
soon, Brash Young Pictures or something like that. And get a booth in
next year's bookfair. So any of you director's out there who want to make
a movie and need money, yes, money. We'll start producing soon, so get
ready with your good stuff!
And speaking about a Renaissance, check out COOL PIETIES, in the
Art Center, 4th Floor, Bldg. B. Megamall to see really awesome installation
art and other wall art. It is bee-yoo-tee-ful!!! I am always looking for
a certain brashness, a certain confidence in Philippine art, and these
artists have it or are at least are on their way. I have never seen such
confidence in the Philippine modern art scene b4 and this was great! It
is hard to describe but let's just call it modern art. I also noticed
that when modern art is done in your country it makes sense. For example,
when I was in the MOMA in New York City, I never understood modern art
fun of the Brooklyn Bridge for example, but if you have someone in the
Philippines making fun of the South Superhighway, it all makes sense all
of the sudden. Gets? It ends on Sept. 8 so better catch it before then,
it's a MUST-SEE! And the bookfair ends on Sept. 9, so better catch that
one, too! And Powerbooks and National Bookstore are on sale, so better
use that, too! Viva La Art!
And what do you think, will A.I. rock? I don't think so, but I
guess we HAVE to watch it. And how was Crazy/Beautiful? We HAVE
to watch that, too. (Don't you hate movies you HAVE to watch not because
they are good but they become points of referrence in future movie discussions)
I am not looking forward to any movies anymore except for JAY AND SILENT
BOB STRIKE BACK and SEXY BEAST and oh yes, ROLLERBALL coz it's directed
by John Mctiernan, director of the 13th Warrior.
September 2, 2001:
An interesting article from the Inquirer
UNTV's Eat My Shorts: NU107 has launched its tv station called
UNTV on UHF channel 37, home cable channel 59, destiny cable channel 59
and for SKY call 6367591 (kinda like an I Want My MTV, I guess). Anyway
what is special about this channel is that they show short films and not
just any short film but YOUR short films. Anyway, they release a new short
film every Friday at 9 PM and also every Saturday at 3:30 PM and every
Monday at 10:30 PM, I think they call this segment Eat My Shorts. Yesterday
they showed AKO SI SUPERBIKER by Lyndon Santos, which I wasn't
able to watch coz my TV has been down. But it should be good! Anyway,
tune in to UNTV, it looks like its gonna be kewl!!! (and by the way DON'T
go to www.untv.com, it looks like its a PORN site! what's a porn site
anyway? hehehe. NU's website seems to be on www.nu107.com, but it ain't
My friend Jay, just introduced me to this site called attrition.org, anyway
go to this section http://www.attrition.org/gallery/priceless/
and see a lot of Net-published pictures, kinda like a JackAss on the web.
Some of these pics might turn you off (but they are not scary), just be
sure next time you are in a "compromising" position make sure that you're
"friends" don't take a picture of you coz you don't know what you are
going to see on the web next!
August 30, 2001:
BRASH YOUNG VISION
It is the vision of BYC to be the Mayric's of Independent film the place
where all great directors are born! Naks! So please start sending in your
originals right away and we'll figure out some way to split the fees so
that we can both benefit!
It is my great thrill to announce the converging and launch of BrashYoungCinema.tripod.com
the website (no we don't own the dotcom yet). But I think its really kewl!
Lionel Valdellion, an old friend of mine, just redesigned and launched
the new website which serendipitously happened to correspond with the
signing up of the 100th member of our egroups! =)
Also this info just in from DVDiva of pinoydvd.com,
dvdtracker.com charges 10 $ per year to put your DVD lists on their site
but dvdaficionado.com gives
it away for free! Secondly, you might want to check out Adventure Videos
- DVD and VHS rentals in Pasig, it seems they have a good selection, which
occurs to me, we should open a Brash Young Video Club soon...
* * *
UNITED FEDERATION OF PLANETS INVITATION
My friend Paolo has just thought of forming an official Star Trek group,
which incidentally would be the first in the Philippines if not in Asia
itself. We thought of having a meeting every Sunday (but probably every
first Sunday of the month) to watch movies, watch Trek TV series and maybe
even (gasp!) wear Trek uniforms! Anyway Paolo is still registering with
the United Federation of Planets in the States and finding out more about
how to go about forming a club so in the meantime you can subscribe to
So all ya Trekkies out there this is it! Our time has come!!! Incidentally
I have all Star Trek movies on laser disc including the Next Generation,
except for one, which I can't remember, thanks to my bro-in-law. And Paolo
has all the Next Generation TV series on his computer and I'm sure there
is more stuff out there... we are all set!
The annual Philippine Book Fair will start on Sept. 2 in the MegaMall
MegaTradeHall (ya know the top of MegaMall where they have all those conventions).
This book fair rocks because every small publisher in the Philippines
is there, really interesting stuff. Like last year I remember this guy
from the Iranian embassy was there with all sorts of books maybe this
year he'll have movies! Anyway, check it out! And don't forget Ayala Museum
is also having a Philippine currency exhibit till the end of this month,
which should also rocks for all you numismatists (like me).
MUSEUM MONEY EXHIBIT
Ayala Museum is having a Philippine currency exhibit until the end of
August, which should be kewl, and if you have time, check out the ships
and galleons too, they rock! You are sooo money, hehehe!
THE FILMS OF QUARK HENARES, RAMON DE VEYRA, CHRIS COSTELLO AND MO ZEE
Sulyap: (A short film by Mo Zee) A real-time encounter between
a sampaguita vendor and a yuppie. (4 mins.)
Slumber Party : (A short film by Mo Zee) 4 friends get together
over chips and lambanog. Mayhem ensues. (9 mins.)
Dikdik : (A short film by Mo Zee) A drug deal gone sour. (10 mins.)
The Last Day: (A short film by Ramon de Veyra) One guy has 3 tasks
to do before graduation, including humiliating a teacher. (15 mins.)
Quark Comes Out : (A short film by Chris Costello) A final desperate
attempt at love during the final days of college. (14 mins.)
At Laging Meron Pa: (A short film by Chris Costello) A "sliding
doors" type narrative, pre- and post-suicide. (5 mins.)
Saging at Rambutan : (A short film by Quark Henares) Mockumentary
on low-end video porn.
A Date With Jao Mapa: (A short film by Quark Henares, featuring
Jao Mapa as himself) Jao Mapa is the biggest teen idol of yesteryear,
and Alexa is his biggest fan, the fan who loves him a little too much.
When Alexa takes that love to questionably higher degrees, the results
are… damn well shot. (20 mins.)
Hopefully, we'll have a rescreening of everything again soon. we'll keep
you up to date =)
August 8, 2001:
I must warn you that my website is basically about Robert Rodriguez, Kevin
Smith and the directors from Propaganda Films. Though I do cover all movies,
these are my favorite topic. So without further ado, I bring to you Troublemaker
Studios , Robert Rodriguez's official website and View
Askew , Kevin Smith's official website and Propaganda
Films , Propaganda Film's official website. Thank you. =)
Just discovered two other websites thru e-mail, www.filmthreat.com
and www.ugo.com interesting sites trying
to cater to the underground scene.
* * *
August 7, 2001:
Between running a website, printing a newsletter, and trying to run a
little screening room, all this is starting to become a lot of work, but
heck, I guess to a former bum, anything is a lot of work, hehehe, so when
am I going to direct a movie? =) anyway so here's the latest from the
July 29, 2001:
WISH LIST: Does anybody have copies to Tom Tywer's (RUN, LOLA,
RUN) other movies? Like The Princess and The Warrior and WinterSleepers?
July 27, 2001:
I don't want to read it (coz it might spoil it, hehehe). But aintitcool.com
just wrote an article about Quint interviewing Jon Favreau about SWINGERS
and MADE, which should rock!
July 25, 2001:
A David Fincher website!!!
It doesn't seem to be quite finished yet but it has potential, and according
to a post on aintitcool.com, he's directing Rendezvous with Rama, which
is an Arthur Clarke novel, all on CGI! Which should rock! It seems that
CGI has finally taken Hollywood by storm or always has and we just never
knew about it. Also Hammer of God (not by Arthur Clarke) but directed
by the director of Blade, Stephen Norrington, is coming out. It seems
to be a Chinese sword movie, but I think more battle scenes, not one-on-one
like in Crouching Tiger. Anyway, I also got that tidbit of news from aintitcool.com.
So better head on to aintitcool.com to get all the latest info! Thanks,
My friend, VINCE SALES, has just published his first book called, CHILDREN
IN EXILE, an anthology of short stories. According to my classmate TJ,
it is a book about "growing up and OUT of the magical world we all once
inhabited as innocents, and the burden of living in exile in the real
world." TJ's wife, Maisa Deluria, illustrated the book. I dunno when and
where the book is officially launching but if you want a copy earlier
just e-mail me. Vince, for me was one the best writer's of my class, and
so I am looking really forward to reading this book. He also has a novel
in the works, which should also be kick butt!
July 20, 2001:
I have this enjoyable pastime of filling up lists and surfing on amazon.com.
Though I never have the money to buy anything on amazon, I get a great
buzz, just thinking about the things that I could possibly buy! You should
try it some time. You can make a wish list, a list of things you like
and best of all when you are done, amazon sends a list of recommendations
to you which serendipitously are the books, movies and music you wanted
in the first place! I love amazon!
July 13, 2001:
SOME BRASH YOUNG POLICIES
I just realized that there is somebody selling food and drinks out of
a cooler in front of DZRH all nite, which is useful to know. Also there
is a vending machine selling softdrinks, three buildings down Esteban
towards Hererra, beside DZRH. Anyway, going to my place, I've decided
that everyone can bring food, drinks and videos especially videos! But
if you get from fridge we recommend you give P20 for softdrinks, P30 for
beer and bahala na how much for the wine. (I hope this is okay with you
JJ) That should be able to get this thing going. =) . But most especially
bring videos! BRING VIDEOS!!! coz that is exactly what this place is all
Secondly, I want to establish firstname.lastname@example.org as an
egroups to discuss and to also trade videos at. I just realized that all
of combined have one wham-bam collection of DVD's. So we should just lend
em to each other. Now don't be an ass and just borrow and not lend. Or
just borrow and borrow and never return em. We should all borrow from
each other and lend to each other. That's what a community is all about.
=) Eventually I am going to put a big bulletin board outside BYC where
you can post messages about videos you want to borrow and those you are
willing to lend.
MY (HOPEFULLY GROWING) COLLECTION OF VIDEOS AT THE BRASH YOUNG CINEMA:
Early Film (Edison, Lumiere Brothers, Melies)
Early Film 2 (George Melies)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
City of Lost Children
lotsa Schwarzenegger, Ridley Scott, Paul Verhoeven, etc. which I have
to list down
To all you David Letterman fans, channel 64 (or 63, was it), basta channel
E! shows David Letterman every weekday at 10 PM. And Meet the Press with
Tim Russert is shown every Sunday night at CNBC at on channel 11. I've
heard NU107 has just opened up a channel on UHF which I haven't been able
to locate so please e-mail me where this is found. And Wolf Blitzer, you
suck! =) hehe.
SOME THOUGHTS ON FILMMAKING:
To put it bluntly, FILIPINO MOVIES SUCK! But to also say that Filipino
movies had me in mind while they were making their movies would be foolish.
In my little experience in moviemaking, I realized that those who make
Filipino films work really hard, it's just that those movies were not
made for me. Moviemaking is a business. It costs money to make and so
you must expect money in return. But that was before. Now that we have
Digital Video (DV), home PC editing and the power to telecast movies over
the Internet, there is no reason why we can not make movies the way we
want them to be. All you need is a digital video camera, a PC and a website
to show it on. But where will you get the money for all that? Well you
have to work for it, silly. Unless, of course, you have parents who will
sponsor you. Or have nice friends who you can borrow from. And so now
you can make your movies! But how will you get people to watch your movies?
Well you have to market it plus you have to make your content compelling
enough for people to watch. Well what if still nobody wants to watch your
movie? Then, my friend, you are an artist and nobody understands you,
hehehe. But forget that! Either people watch your movies or they don't.
But as long as you keep on making movies, someone will like you eventually.
And if still nobody likes them, Tough! Get on with it! But never give
up! I think this world would become a better place if we are always making
movies. How do I know that? Well it's just a hunch. And so what's next?
So you have made your movies and people are watching them. So now you
can sell your stuff to TV channels or movie studios or on the Internet.
Or you you can set up your own website and make money off advertising
and subscriptions. Or maybe you can even start printing your own DVD's
and selling them to your friends. And then what? Well then, now you are
FAMOUS! And you can have all the angst you want, because you are now totally,
officially and finally a FILMMAKER! =)
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