Pinoy Leading Men, A Review-ish

Don’t Give Popoy A Chance

I’ve been thinking about writing this for a long while. About 7 months ago, I re-watched One More Chance with my sister and our friend, A. A mentioned how the leading man’s character, Popoy (played by John Lloyd) was the type your mom warns you about. He might have said that of most Pinoy leading men characters and not just Popoy’s.

In the course of watching One More Chance for the 3rd time I found myself annoyed with Popoy’s character. Basha could have moved on and found someone less controlling and oblivious. The tipping point for A and my sister (and that break up part of the movie) was when Popoy separated the fried chicken skin from the meat, not allowing Basha to eat it. Okay, concerned lang. Isn’t it nice of him to think of her health? Uhm yah but nah. That’s a good thing in a partner when he/she looks after you and helps you shape up. In this case, Popoy the character merely directs and decides for Basha (ie. he changes Basha’s presentation at work without her knowledge).


Of course people have flaws and so should the characters but this particular leading man lacked a redeeming quality. My sister mentioned that Popoy never even realizes why Basha broke up with him. He (though understandably) gets broken and goes on a downward spiral when they break up. Then he gets better after a while, “moving on” when he meets another girl only to fall for Basha again. Throughout the movie, I still do not feel any sympathy for Popoy and rather than being endeared to his character, I am still annoyed as ever.


Same Old, Same Old

I haven’t watched the sequel so I can’t speak about that. Considering One More Chance is an “old” movie and there have been countless romcoms that came after so I think that there’s hope for the Pinoy leading man. Always Be My Maybe was promising and it had so many good things. Yet once again I couldn’t find sympathy for Jake (played by Gerald Anderson). Supposedly, a playboy who eventually wanted to settle down with his girlfriend. Then his girlfriend would have none of it, he was too late and she’s over him so he’s this guy with hurt feelings. I mean I don’t know if I can believe that a player suddenly wants to be serious.

He’s such a typical bro. He works in his dad’s business but is dreaming to be a photographer. Okay good, I just need more depth. Just need to know more about this cookie-cutter pogi dude who seems like every Manileño.


Where Art The Leading Men?

I have to say though leading men are kind of improving. Everyone seems to love the Jadine team. I do too! Heehee. But I haven’t been religious in watching anything except for the first few episodes of OTWOL. Series have the upper hand over movies it seems when it comes to character development. Totally different format and you can show all sorts of things and reasons why this character is so and so. Might not be fair to say Clark’s character had more depth compared to Popoy’ and Jake’s because there were more chances to get to know Clark.

Yet I think it could still work. Case in point was this Kathniel movie, Crazy Beautiful You. Daniel Padilla’s character Kiko was actually very well thought of. Of course it had a tacky cheesy ending but in terms of the leading man’s character, I felt like I was more involved and that I really liked the guy. The responsible anak-sa-labas ng mayor who has to clean up after his feeling-dalaga irresponsible mom. But then he was still funny and quite endearing.


Anyway I am looking forward to watching Jodie’s movie Achy Breaky Hearts because I will get to know 2 leading men instead of 1. I’m expecting that these characters are more multi-dimensional. Or I could be biased. (Showing in Vancouver International Village Jul 8-21!!! I was not paid to promote this. I have no followers and I have yet to watch it. Haha.)


Anyway I still look forward to better characters in our Pinoy leading men. Whatever socio-economic class their character is in I hope the personality shines through. If the guy is poor, can he not be this generic poor guy? If he’s rich, can he not be this generic rich guy who stands to inherit his family’s hacienda or something?

Mahalin Ang Sariling Atin

One of my tags for this entry is #jologsmoment but in reality, I think Pinoys can aspire to make better movies and improve on the highly snubbed genre of romcoms. I kind of feel sorry for those Pinoys who automatically dismiss Pinoy movies. I mean yes I understand it can get tacky and super inane! There are enjoyable & good ones out there you just have to give it a chance. And hey, I think Hollywood produces loads of movies and most of it are crap then some good ones. I hope our industry produces even more movies to the point that the ratio of fun relatable movies to tacky ones become 5:1 at least instead of the seemingly 2:5 (I’m just making these numbers up. That’s how it seems to me. :p). Tangkilikin ang sariling atin!

That said, I’m looking forward to my sister’s film career. I will just have to ask her to make those movies for me.

Yun lang. Bow.

(images from

A Birthday Wish and A Birthday Gift

Before we left for Canada, my mother brought me and my sisters to a Joey Ayala concert. His melodies were a part of my childhood music education along with The Phantom of the Opera, the Bukidnon lullabye and assorted children’s songs but I have never been in one of his performances until then. I was excited!

I learned during this event that aside from being an exceptional artist, Joey Ayala is also a super effective facilitator*. Instead of a traditional music session, I found myself participating in a workshop! We were seated around tables, provided papers and coloured pencils. Imagine the audience being asked, What do you love doing? by a man walking around with a guitar and singing Ang Lahat ng Bagay ay Magkaugnay. He continued with more ideas and questions: What are you good at? What are your strengths? What do you want to do? Who do you want to be? 

In the course of a few hours, each us had come up with a draft of our Salundiwa or what I can only loosely translate as personal vision. My family still has each of our Salundiwa posted in our rooms. 

At this point, I am going to have to admit that I have just turned a year older this month. While my twenty something years seem to be fraught with uncertainty, disappointment and failure I am grateful for the constant source of inspiration from other people I admire and surprisingly even from myself.

On my birthday, instead of defaulting into my list-making habit, I did not to make one. I always had a list. I make lists and revise them regularly that making one for this year would be redundant. Instead, with the spirit of the Salundiwa workshop, I decided to focus more on discerning, seeking wisdom in my decisions so that I can align my lists with my Salundiwa or personal vision. Besides, doesn’t diwa mean the sense, the meaning, or the soul?

me having fun. yay!

There are many things I want to happen in my life. I want to travel. I want to be independent and not rely on a job. I still think of myself crazy how I can want so much but then again, do I really want to toil away and not get anywhere? Or get somewhere but not where I imagined and would love myself to be? 

In the midst of my country mourning the loss of Sec. Jesse Robredo, seeing how he lived his life has instilled in my mind and heart that nothing is impossible. When he entered public office, he was determined to do what was right and not to be swallowed up by the system. In Philippine politics riddled with corruption, that is an “impossible” feat but he did it and had he lived longer he would continue to do it.

I see how taking the steps to achieve one’s dreams incurs a lot of discomfort. Sec. Robredo has been criticized, sued many times over, challenged by overwhelming pressure but the changes he has put in place, the good that came out of his vision was surely worth the temporary discomfort. 

My mentor says, you have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable to be comfortable. It’s a mouthful but it makes so much sense. Until recently, I used to be so worried about my achievements as they compare to my peers’. I’ve always felt I wasn’t good enough. The fact that I am a self confessed glossy mag reader doesn’t help because those things always seem to require me to be so and so. 

One time at the airport I came up with an imaginary identity just for fun in case someone who had no better things to do would chat me up. Lara Abelardo – well travelled author, non-profit organization program manager, dances and scuba dives in her spare time

Of course my name is not Lara Abelardo. I can’t write a cohesive post. This girl works in customer service, can’t swim and has two left feet. But my birthday wish isn’t to be her or a version of this imaginary woman. My birthday wish is to someday live the life I want to live and be an example so other people know that it’s possible. In the end, my greatest gift this year is that I am happy that I no longer care of what the world expects me to be at the age of 2_ and in knowing that I now have the inner resolve to be who I , and only I, want myself to be.

*This is funny but I just googled him again a few minutes ago and found my realizations backed up by his twitter description: singer, songwriter, facilitator.