Ateneo Celadon: Chinese Spring Film Festival 2012

Every year since 2007, the Ateneo Celadon along with the Confucius Institute have encouraged Filipinos and Chinese-Filipinos alike to appreciate the wonderful Spring Film Festival brought about by the Chinese New Year celebration. Having been there when the first Spring Film festival was celebrated, I was a sophomore active in the Ateneo Celadon back then, this 6th year celebration which welcomes my animal – the Dragon, now presents 6 movies in celebration of the Chinese New Year. And it’s now all free admission!

As stated on the Ateneo Celadon website, where I will be taking information to repost on this blog,

Unlike previous years when a minimal admission fee was charged, this year’s festival will experiment with free admission.  Schools are welcome to bring their students for block screenings on a first-come, first-serve basis.

These are the movies that will be presented for this year’s Spring Film Festival..

Ocean Heaven 

Ocean Heaven is a family drama which features a father- Sam Wang (played by Jet Li), who is solely taking care of his autistic child- Dafu. Wang finds out that he has liver cancer and has a few days to live. Not only does Wang have to cope with his own suffering and impending death, he also has to deal with the heartache of leaving Dafu with no immediate family. This heartwarming film shows the challenges of being a single parent and how parents, even on their last days, would do anything just to ensure the safety and happiness of their children.

Fans of Jet Li will definitely be surprised to see him in this movie because this is the first to cast Li in a non-kung-fu film where he won the 2010 Wen Zhang Best Actor Award. The movie was also recognized by the Shanghai Media Awards, CCTV Movie Channel Media Awards 2010 and Golden Goblet Award. In July 2011, Li even named one of his charity projects as Ocean Heaven Project to help children with autism, cerebral palsy and other disorders.

Lost on Journey

Lost on Journey is a comedy film narrating Li Chenggong’s travel as he endures bad luck after bad luck just to celebrate New Year’s Eve with his family.  Li hops from a plane, to a train,to a bus, and to a boat in the desire to be with his family during the most important event of the year. And along the way, he meets a stranger Niu Geng who later helps him discover something important about himself and the goodness of other people. This movie is a funny presentation of how bad luck brought two different worlds together.

Country Wedding

Country Wedding tells a story of a couple who is about to get married with their families getting so excited to the point that their parents started to meddle with the wedding plans. The bride’s mother, insists on holding the wedding at a ritzy hotel in Beijing whereas, the groom’s father, being the director of a cooperative in a rural village, feels indebted to the community, wants to share the wedding to the whole village. The couple are getting in between as conflicts arise between the in-laws. This film is a funny portrayal of the clash of cultures between the city and country side.


Confucius, known as the “Great Sage”, lived during the time when China’s dynasties were in chaos and engulfed by corruption and greed. He strongly believed that ethics and education will put all things to order. His wisdom was sought by different dynasty leaders but only to be abandoned after he dutifully served his purpose. The world knows so much of his teachings, but little is known of his hardships. This biographical drama shows the sufferings and pain Confucius endured and the principles he fervently kept that became the foundation of China’s ethics, morality and law. Starring Chow Yun-Fat as Confucius, Nominated for Best Actor at the 30th Hong Kong Film Awards. Other nominations include Best Cinematography,Art Design,Costume Design and Original Song.

Bodyguards and Assasins

In 1905, Hong Kong was under the British rule and revolution was on the rise. Sun Yat-Sen was set to land in Hong Kong to meet and to unify faction leaders to finally take down the corrupt and crumbling Qing Dynasty. Because of this, Dowager Cixi wanted Sun Yat-Sen assassinated. For the Chinese people who had been clamouring for freedom, they understood that keeping Sun Yat-Sen alive would mean keeping China’s hope to be liberated. Li Yutang, a businessman, gathered a tofu vendor, rickshaw pullers, a beggar and an orphan to serve as bodyguards. These bodyguards displayed their superb fighting skills as they battle it out with the assassins to protect Sun Yat-Sen,whom they haven’t even met.  This action-historical movie garnered numerous awards from the 4th Asian Film Awards,29th Hong Kong Film Awards,16th Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards and 47th Golden Horse Awards.

The King of Milu Deer

This 3D animated movie focuses on environment protection. It is a story of a white deer, Yoyo, who turned into a lady and made friends with Tzan-the prince of Kingdom of Clouds and Dreams. Tzan was ordered by the minister to search the Labyrinth Mountain to hunt for the Milu Deer to use it as a sacrifice to bring rains in the kingdom. But Tzan discovered the beauty of the Labyrinth Mountain and got closer to Yoyo. Together, they fought sea lizard monsters, fire,soldiers, and the evil Minister to save the wildlife and natural resources of the Labyrinth Mountain. This movie became the highest grossing Chinese Animated film of all time and received the Best Animated Film of the 13th Huabiao Awards.

Movie Schedule:

January 20, 2012 (Friday)
Country Wedding – 1:00PM
Lost on Journey – 3:00PM

January 21, 2012 (Saturday)
Lost on Journey – 1:30PM
Confucius – 3:30PM
Bodyguards & Assassins – 6:00PM
Ocean Heaven – 9:00PM

January 22, 2012 (Sunday)
Ocean Heaven – 1:30PM
The King of Milu Deer – 3:30PM
Confucius – 5:30PM
Bodyguards & Assassins – 8:00PM

January 23, 2012 (Monday)
Country Wedding – 1:30PM
Bodyguards & Assassins – 3:30PM
Ocean Heaven – 6:30PM
Lost on Journey – 8:30PM

January 24, 2012 (Tuesday)
Bodyguards & Assassins – 1:30PM
Lost on Journey – 4:30PM
Confucius – 6:30PM
The King of Milu Deer – 9:00PM

January 25, 2012 (Wednesday)
The King of Milu Deer – 1:30PM
Confucius – 3:30PM
Country Wedding – 6:00PM
Ocean Heaven – 8:00PM

January 26, 2012 (Thursday)
Lost on Journey – 1:30PM
Country Wedding – 3:30PM
The King of Milu Deer – 5:30PM
Confucius – 7:30PM

January 27, 2012 (Friday)
Ocean Heaven – 1:30PM
Confucius – 3:30PM
Lost on Journey – 5:30PM
Bodyguards & Assassins – 8:00PM

January 28, 2012 (Saturday)
The King of Milu Deer – 1:30PM
Ocean Heaven – 3:30PM
Lost on Journey – 5:30PM
Bodyguards & Assassins – 7:30PM

January 29, 2012 (Sunday)
Lost on Journey – 1:30PM
Country Wedding – 3:30PM
Bodyguards & Assassins – 5:30PM
Ocean Heaven – 8:30PM

OTHER ACTIVITIES (2nd Floor, Grand Atrium)

January 20-29
Chinese Painting Exhibit by the Confucius Institute Chinese Painting Students

January 22
Chinese Painting Workshops by Mr. Caesar Cheng and the Confucius Institute Chinese Painting Students

Contact Details:

For more information please call Ateneo Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at (63 2) 426-6001 local 5208-5209; 5280. For tickets, please call Shang Cineplex at (63 2) 633-2227.

Poem: 小的要求 (A Small Request)






Pinyin version of poem above:

Fēn xīn de wǒ, nǐ xiànzài nǎlǐ?

Gūdú de nǐ, qǐng zhǎodào me.

Làngmàn de wǒ, bùyào xiǎng duō de mèng,

Wánghóu de nǐ, qǐng bùyào ràng wǒ děng.

Rough translation of poem above:

Distracted me, where are you?

Lonely you, please find me~

Romantic me, do not dream too much,

Princely you, please do not make me wait.

During a short break at work that required me to just stand still and watch over the store, I was so bored that I started drawing and writing poetry. I was writing English poetry when I just thought of a few random and simple Chinese words and made them into a poem. Original one has been edited to mean something better, and to sound much better. I feel sort of pleased, considering it’s in Chinese (albeit very simple) and also because I just miss my poetry writing days. It’s amazing how sometimes, the days you feel the most BLAH, are days where you are inspired to write.

There’s nothing in what I wrote that has to do with anything I’m feeling or experiencing right now. But I guess a part of me that just wants to grow up and be realistic, is fighting a side of me that wants to stay naive and romantic.

Me and Adeline Yen Mah, just a computer away

I don’t know if most of you know, but back in my days in elementary school…I hated studying Chinese. It was one of those daunting tasks you had to do at school because it was a class. It was one of those classes that you never really took seriously, where most of the stuff that we were tested on were a bunch of Chinese words we memorized before the exam and forgot after the tests. Or well for most, that’s what it felt like. Because we only spoke English at home and didn’t even practice Hokkien when speaking to one another, I felt like Mandarin was something that wasted my time. I remember spending hours and hours with my tutor, trying to memorize the words and answers to the vocabulary, comprehension, and Q&A parts of the quizzes and exams. It was hell. Of course, not knowing Hokkien made it worse because I couldn’t compare words and ideas to their Hokkien counterparts which would have probably made studying a tad easier.

That was my frustrated Chinese phase in life. Even being Chinese was hard because I felt like I didn’t look the part, and besides practices like wearing red on birthdays, eating noodles on birthdays, wearing white for wakes, me and my family weren’t really Chinese-Chinese. And then in the 6th or 7th grade, I discovered Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah. It was actually from my mom’s library, and it was just lying around the house so I took it and began reading it. That’s where it began. After that, I discovered my mom’s copy of Falling Leaves (by the same author), and later on other Chinese-related books by Amy Tan and Lawrence Yep.

That’s where it began. I started taking Chinese lessons in High School much more seriously. I tried speaking more Mandarin with my tutor, tried conversing with my Dad in Hokkien, even volunteered to talk to my Chinese relatives once in a while. And in one of my years in High School, I even accompanied my dad to Xiamen (my first time on the Mainland)!

Basically, to cut the long story short, I discovered I liked Chinese. I liked learning about Chinese history, reading about Chinese culture and traditions, reading English books about China, and so on and so forth. Heck, I even took up Chinese Studies as my major in university!  I can distinctly say that one of the sources of my discovering my love for all that, all began with Adeline Yen Mah and her books.

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I am my father’s daughter

Marvel Comics top from Samuel and Kevin Beijing; Blue jeggings from Uniqlo Beijing; Knitted cream-colored jacket from H&M Xiamen; Brown platform sandals from

Hype this outfit on LOOKBOOK

I think it isn’t everyday that you can tell or show someone that you are your parents’ child. You can look like your mom or dad, speak like them or dress like them, but having interests or personalities similar to them is something I think is different altogether.

As a child, I often felt out-of-place in my household because I felt like I didn’t look like my siblings. Growing up, I felt that there were 2 things that connected me to my parents – my handwriting and my interest with languages. The first one is easy enough, my handwriting both in script and print is either very similar or is influenced by my parents handwriting. Even the way I write in Chinese is influenced by my dad’s style. The other is what some people may call a penchant for languages.Watching television often enough, copying accents was something that I liked doing, listening to my parents’ speak in their dialects was another.

Growing up in a household where you hear so many languages being spoken, it becomes a habit to pick up phrases and words here and there. Cebuano, Ilonggo, English, Tagalog, Mandarin and Hokkien. One of the things I’m thankful for in this South East Asian country where most people speak at least 2 languages. Now that I’m almost 23, and I resemble my father a lot, I can’t help but be thankful that my childhood insecurity in some way encouraged me to learn those languages.

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Haven’t been back since 2004

Going off to Xiamen in a few hours. I’m very excited since I haven’t been back there since 2004, which was my first trip to China. I’ll only be staying for a few days, so no worries with regard to what’s happening with my life and when I’m coming back. I shall be back….next week.

I was talking to my cousin on 人人网 a few hours ago and it made me realize that if I stay a bit longer, I could actually make it to the 10/1 National Holidays….but that would mean missing a lot of things planned for next week here in Manila. Nonetheless, I’m excited, to be sort-of going home. Xiamen has definitely changed in the 7 years I’ve not been back. Last night as I was going through Google Maps, I was a bit confused as to how the place actually looked, it looks a heck of a lot different from the last time I had seen it so it took a bit of adjusting to. Back in 2004, I didn’t really go around the city much, besides staying in my uncle’s apartment, going to SM, going downtown (for a bit) and going to Xiamen Univesity and Gulangyu, visiting JiMei University and some temple that apparently is pretty famous in Xiamen. A lot of what I remember about Xiamen is vague so this trip will definitely either bring back a lot of memories, or will be spent making new memories.

Also, since my last trip, my Mandarin and Hokkien has improved by leaps and bounds….so I’m excited to sort-of break the barrier when talking to my family there. One of my uncles from there has seen my improvement over the years since my dad would let me chat with him on the phone a few times. He used to have a hard time talking to me since he was used to speaking mostly Hokkien and back then, I had almost close to nil skills in 闽南语. Now, it’s much better. He still talks to me in Hokkien, though I can ask him to switch to Mandarin when his Hokkien starts getting too fast or too complicated for my basic level Hokkien.

This trip will definitely be 1) an eye-opener, 2) family reunion of sorts and 3) a possible look into my future. And yes, my Mandarin skills have probably rusted a little in the last 2 and a half months since I’ve been back…so hopefully that’ll work out okay. Besides that, I have my trustworthy Chinese dictionary to keep me company and to help me when the language barrier arises.

And of course, my copy of A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin is coming with me. I’m already on p260 out of 708 so at I’ll at least have something to keep me company when there’s nothing to do or when I’ll be alone somewhere and would be too afraid to talk to the locals. Haha. Always have to have a back-up plan, or companion!

Ateneo Celadon: Chinese Spring Film Festival 2011

The Ateneo de Manila University Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies and Confucius Institute in partnership with Celadon and Shangri-La Plaza has once again organized the Spring Film Festival of Chinese films at the Shang Cineplex from January 26- February 1, 2011 the Shang Cineplex  (Premiere Theater)

The screening schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, 26 January 2011
MULAN (1:47) 7:30-9:20PM

Thursday, 27 January 2011
THE GRAND RIVER (1:37) 4:50-6:30PM
MULAN (1:47) 7.00-8.50PM
THE QUEEN OF COOKING (1:30) 9.20-10.50PM

Friday, 28 January 2011
MULAN 4.10-6.00PM

Saturday, 29 January 2011
MULAN 9.00-10.50PM

Sunday, 30 January 2011
MULAN  9.00-10.50PM

Monday, 31 January 2011
MULAN 6.50-8.40PM

Tuesday, 1 February 2011
MULAN 9.00-10.50PM

Sponsors of this festival include the Confucius Institute, Credit Suisse Bank, Flexo Manufacturing Corporation, Hyundai Asia Resources Incorporated, Jollibee Foods Corporation, Richwell Trading Corporation, Pfizer, Fortmed Medical Clinics Incorporated, Redpeak Capital Holdings Incorporated and Remal Enterprises Incorporated.

For more information, please call Ateneo Leong Center 426-6001 local 5208-5209; 5280. For tickets, please call Shang Cineplex at 633-2227.


Re-posting from the Ateneo website.

Cut a few days off my life

You know the feeling when you want to do something grand and you plan and plan for it, and somehow, those plans come to a short standstill. Then suddenly, you find out that those plans are set in motion and you just have to cram it into a short amount of time OR ELSE?

Before I left for Dumaguete, I had already set up a few things that would make my return easier. Applied for my transcripts and translation of diploma at my university, and asked a few professors if they’d write my recommendation letter, that sort of thing. Didn’t worry about it too much while on my vacation. During the weekend, dad tells me that I should definitely consider applying to C university, when I had already previously taken it off my list and decided on A and B university. (Names hidden for karma purposes, I am too afraid of jinxing it.) So anyway, here’s dad talking about my previous choices – A and B, and asking me to rethink it because of what his friends said…yadda yadda. Me, of course I’m listening intently to dad since he’s more aware of the situation than I am. To cut the story short, I did a bit of research and talking to my 2 friends with whom I originally planned to go to Beijing with, and as it turns out, C University is actually a good choice. And, wait, guess what, it’s affordable too, a bit more expensive than my tuition at Ateneo. Oh, here’s where it gets interesting, deadline is on June 15.

So imagine, me, weekend, and already freaking out. 10 days till deadline doesn’t give a person much time, especially when the documents needed have to be mailed abroad – to the university. So over the weekend, I filled out the application form (which includes registering for said university site) and waited for Monday. 3 working days before document can be verified, so I was pretty worked up about the situation since I wasn’t too sure how long it would take the courier to send it.

Monday. Woke up a bit late since I couldn’t sleep early. Checked C University website just in case since friend said it could be verified by Monday. Freaked out when the site said my app form was unqualified due to some errors. Tried to stay cal and remedied the situation by fixing said errors and resending the application. 5 minutes later, application form is verified. YAY! Then the problems happen. First, printer connected to the computer I’m currently using is kinda wonky. Printer won’t print since it says the inks are too low (both black and colored) though brother says he replaced the ink prior to our departure to Dumaguete. Didn’t take the risk and replaced the black ink but printer still says it’s low. At this point, I’m somewhat frustrated, but heck, I have to move to my laptop and a different printer.

I’m immensely pressed for time at this moment. Dad needs to leave for work but he can’t since he has to sign the “sponsor” part of the application form. I’m suppose to be getting ready to leave for my university to get my documents while younger brother pays his tuition. Usual bluetooth printer is more reliable, or so I thought. Amidst my rushing, bluetooth between laptop and printer is NOT WORKING. After various tries, I decide to plug in the USB cable. Okay, it works, but the darn app form is printing my document in 2 pages, which I’m kind of iffy about since the signature part got cut off to the second page.

Long story short, I decide to go with the 2 pages since PDF won’t allow me to decrease margins to allow it to fit on one page. I head for school past 2 and I got there before 3. I think Jesus began to pity my unlucky day since I got my documents really quickly. Left to head to the photocopiers and got all my necessary documents photocopied. Then I rushed back to somewhere near where I live to drop off the documents at the courier. Save for getting lost and not finding the courier, I was finally able to submit the documents and can now breathe easy.

Okay, so 1 university application down, 1-2 more to go. I hope everything turns out well, since I’m really set on this plan. O_O

I really cut a few days off of my life with the stress I endured today. And to think, I was able to cram all that in around 3-4 hours.

Practice = Experience

After dinner with my cousins, dad asked me to help him with something small. He asked me to help gauge my cousins’ level of English since they want to study here, and well, let’s just say that their English is as bad as my Mandarin. Haha. Or well, out of my 2 cousins, Tony (the one who’s here for the first time) can speak better English. His English is probably better than my Mandarin since he can converse well enough for me to understand him, and for him to understand me and talk to me. Ken, even if he’s been here before, doesn’t seem to speak as well as Tony. I asked him in Mandarin if he talked to my family in the province (while he was there for a month) using Hokkien, and he told me he did. So much for practicing his English here.

Oh well. In about 11 hours, I will be playing teacher to them. We’ll begin with primary English, or well, in my experience and opinion (since I’ve been reading books since I could grab hold of them) pre-primary books. Anyways, had to look for the easiest English books available at home, since my mom gave away most of the others.

Wish me luck!

Now that I think about it, since I had the plan of teaching English on the side while I studied/work in China, this is practice for the future. This will be good experience since I assume that not many people can speak English properly, so teaching from the basics is important.

Trading Lives

Okay, so my 2 distant – and when I mean distant, it’s the I don’t know how exactly we’re related but we are – cousins are here in the Philippines. One, Ken, was here just a few months back. Around 3 months ago if I remember correctly. He stayed in Manila for only a short while, then stayed with my relatives in the province for a month before coming back here a month after then, right before he returned to China. Now, my other cousin, Ken’s first cousin Tony, is here for the first time. They’re here to supposedly practice their English, so I’m assuming they’re not staying in Manila long and will be going to the province soon to stay with my other relatives.

It’s a bit funny though. They want to study in university here but their English is not well enough yet. Me on the other hand, I want to study in China so I can improve on my Mandarin. It’s like we’re trading places somewhat, except my dad is not keen on sending me to Xiamen which is closer and where most of my China relatives are. He wants me to go to Beijing, where I do have relatives, but where I’m not used to the weather and accents, among other things.

Oh, did I mention that both Ken and Tony (I think I’d prefer to call them by their Chinese names though) are both my age. They were both born in 1988, same as me, so I guess we’re all Year of the Dragon children. When I mentioned this to my friends on plurk, they made a joke about training them….in line with the “How to train your dragon” movie, which is out in theatres right now, and which I haven’t watched yet.

Oh before I forget, check out the new category I put in. This post doesn’t fall under “University Life” anymore. It’s now under “The Unemployed Life”. Sounds a lot better with the article ‘the’ don’t you think so? Haha. Oh well. Part of me can’t believe I’m a college grad, but there you have it. It’s a fact. Other than that, I’ve recently been talking to a few friends about my China thing. Studying AGAIN. It’s made me consider if I’m willing to study all over again. Homework, and oh, THESIS (if ever). Am I willing to torture myself all over again for the sake of getting better at Mandarin? If only I can find a job in China that would accept me, then I’d be able to learn the language without going through the stress of school again.

Oh, haha, just pondering some new thoughts. Which reminds me that I should put up a new header among other things. Dad’s gotten me (and my siblings, but mostly me) a new camera. It’s a Canon Ixus130 with 14.1 friggin megapixel capacity. Super level up from my old camera. It’s got a lot of nice functions so I think I’ll try it out sometime. 🙂

Two in 1-4

I’m spending a few minutes away from my paper writing (no, not just thesis) to write a quick blog entry to fill the 11 days I haven’t written an entry, and the 15+ days I haven’t written a real blog entry.

Today is the celebration of 2 events. The annual Feb 14 Valentines Day, and the coincidental Chinese (Lunar) New Year. Being single, I’m not really celebrating Valentines Day. Usually, this “holiday” would be spent with my close girlfriends celebrating “Single Awareness Day” at some place, and last year it was spent at my good friend’s house making chocolates. We melted bars of chocolate and put them into really cute molds and gave them to friends for V-day. This year though, there are many things that need to be done so celebrating is not really an option.

For me and most of my Chinese/Chinese-Filipino friends though, I think this year is a lot different. Instead of celebrating Valentines on the 14th, most of us ended up spending it earlier like the 12th and 13th since the 14th will be spent with family members celebrating Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year. I remember CCTV mentioning something like it’s the 4770’s celebration of Lunar New Year. Awhile ago, CCTV9 was featuring a Lunar New Year celebration show and all oddly, I was laughing along with the hosts as they were speaking in Mandarin (which I understood….sort of). Living in a somewhat Chinese community, some fireworks were set-off around our neighborhood, though luckily there wasn’t much of it since it’s not a real holiday here in the Philippines anyway.

They should have really make Chinese New Year a holiday here. I can’t understand why Ramadan is a holiday here but Lunar New Year isn’t. Though a lot of people are saying that there aren’t a lot of Chinese here, I think statistics wise, that’s sort of wrong. Maybe there aren’t a lot of pure Chinese here, or people who look Chinese, but many people in the country have Chinese blood in them. What was it my prof mentioned before, something like there’s no such thing as a Pure Filipino since being Filipino itself is about being diverse.

Anyway, there are a heckload of Chinese here in the Philippines. Saw this entry on a site about lawmakers here considering Lunar New Year as a holiday. If Ramadan is a holiday, Lunar New Year should sure as heck get its own holiday too. Suddenly got me thinking though, there are probably too many holidays in the Philippines. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to give Lunar New Year the same rights as Ramadan. Chinese have as much right to their own New Year. Other countries in the Asia Pacific make a big deal out of Lunar New Year, so why shouldn’t the Philippines do the same right?

A thought for me to consider personally… I could be spending Chinese New Year abroad next year. That’s if I’ll be in China (or HK/Taiwan) within the next few months for work.

Damn, am thinking too far ahead. Thesis needs a heck load of work more. 9 days left. What the heck.