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AA Patawaran

Writer in agony

It’s a complicated thing, writing is. All you need is the truth, but it’s hard to do. No matter how much you lie, no matter how capricious you are, given to delusions or illusions or the denial of facts, you have the truth with you all the time, but expressing it is another story. The older I get, the more convinced I am that there is no way you can teach writing. There might be formulas. There might be techniques. There might be tricks, a framework within which to paint the truth in words, but in the end every time you buckle down to write, you start from zero, as if you are writing for the very first time. Sure, there are so many words to come to your aid, but in …

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What’s next for Filipina Emmy awardee?

Roger Ebert, the world’s foremost film critic, called it “wrenching but never exploitative.” The New York Times praised it as “a tender reconstruction of a personal loss.” Slate said that there was more to the film’s art than just aesthetics: “There’s bearing witness. This film does that, somewhat bluntly at times, but beautifully.” In May this year, the critically lauded documentary Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine, helmed by Filipina filmmaker Michele Josue, won the 2016 Daytime Emmy Awards for the Class Special Category. Written, directed, and produced by the Los Angeles-based Josue, whose mother is from Dipolog, the film, which premiered theatrically in February, 2015, recounted the life and death of 21-year-old college student Matt Shepard who was murdered for being gay in 1998 in Laramie, Wyoming. Shephard’s brutal murder sparked national outrage, …

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Michele Josue is a friend of Mine

Images by Robo Formacion Hair and makeup by Scarlett Tumalon Styled by Edward James Castro Video by Jay Bustamante Shot on location at Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu Do you know Matt Shepard? Google his name and you’ll see he wasn’t just some random victim, not even a victim but a hero, whose horrific death in 1998 led to the Matthew Shepard Act, a hate crime prevention measure only recently signed into law in the US by President Barack Obama. On the night of Oct. 6, 1998, Aaron McKinney (22) and Russel Henderson (21) gave the 21-year-old University of Wyoming freshman a ride home in Laramie, robbed him, beat him to within an inch of his life, tied him to a wooden buck fence, and left him for dead in the cold Wyoming fall. A biker, who mistook Shepard for a scarecrow, found him 18 hours …

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Am i a Dutertard

Illustration by Pinggot Zulueta I don’t know about you But change has begun in me Nothing dramatic It’s almost pathetic That I’ve just begun   Am I a Dutertard Sometimes I find him amusing But I do not laugh I am bothered by his every gaffe I pray I won’t be blind   Everything he does I question But the answer I seek in myself I scour the history books There might be clues in every nook I’m more aware of my citizen dues   Am I a Dutertard That I really don’t mind his cussing Better a dirty mouth Than truth in drought A soul undisturbed by our disturbing plight   I worry about the killings But there have always been killings I think he ought to say a word That he be on board But a cleansing does dig up dirt   Am I a Dutertard Or am I seeing my country in a new light No longer dazzled by the …

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It’s not the Michelin Star, it’s Jason Atherton

Cebu seemed to have space too small to give a big enough welcome to British chef and GQ's "Best Restaurateur 2016" Jason Atherton, whose restaurants, under his critically acclaimed group The Social Company, have been collecting Michelin stars in London, such as in Mayfair just six months after his flagship restaurant Pollen Street Social opened in April 2011; in Soho, on Poland Street, where his Social Eating House opened in 2013; and atop the 24th floor of Tower 42 on Broad Street, where the City Social in Art Deco, Gatsby-esque style has been dazzling senses and palates since 2014. But other than his world acclaim, other than the Michelin stars that started descending on him as soon as he set out on his own after having worked alongside great chefs including Pierre Koffmann, Marco Pierre White, Nico Ladenis, and Ferran Adrià, Jason is …

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America in every war

When a US destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of a disputed island in the South China Sea two weeks ago, as reported in The Guardian, just two weeks after a United Nations arbitration tribunal declared the West Philippine Sea as ours, I admit I entertained apocalyptic thoughts—or cinematic, paranoid images of Manila or some part of the Philippines, like Palawan, if not the whole country, turning into a battlezone, choppers puncturing the otherwise tropical blue skies, American soldiers everywhere, and the threat of bombs or missiles hovering like a dark cloud of possibility overhead. I grew up at a time the US was always the good guy, the big hero, against whom the bad guys—the communists mostly, and now the terrorists, maybe the religious extremists—didn’t stand a chance. And, though I seldom noticed …

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Michelin star chef Jason Atherton opens 70-seater restaurant in Cebu

His London restaurants City Social, Pollen Street Social, and Social Eating House have all garnered Michelin stars. His restaurants in Dubai, Hong Kong, New York, and Sydney are huge successes, with a plethora of awards and mentions from food magazines. British chef Jason Atherton could have his pick of cosmopolitan cities in the world in which to expand his growing dining empire — but this year’s GQ Food and Drink Awards Best Restaurateur chose Cebu as the location of his 16th restaurant as a love letter to his Filipina wife and business partner Irha Almodiel Atherton, who hails from the Queen City of the South. The full story is on page E1. To watch the video, scan the QR code in this article.

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Poverty | Reality

I love Maria Isabel Lopez! And I am enraged that such a gem is overlooked in our movie industry that keeps catapulting non-talents to the firmament. I didn’t see Ma’ Rosa until the last full show of the very last day of the film’s run in Philippine theaters (although it was extended at Rockwell and Gateway cinemas) and I treasure the opportunity that I got to see it on the wide screen, despite the crazy-busy day, with meetings back to back, impossible deadlines in the newsroom, and an itch in my throat signaling the beginnings of a bout with the flu. I caught the film in a theater I’d never been to before that smelled of disrepair, the odor of decades past clinging on its walls, wafting in the darkness of the screening room. It …

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Let’s talk about sex

No, it’s not fair, but what you do in bed, what you like in bed, what you prefer in bed, what you do in the darkness or the florescent or incandescent or red lantern-reminiscent lighting of your bedroom (or brothel of choice), it’s only a bit part of who you are—but it’s everything you are, to the world. The world, it needs to know, it demands to know: Are you man or woman, male or female, two choices and no more, as far as legal papers and official documents go (and outside of those papers, they need to know: are you gay, curious, confused, in denial, in hiding?). Also, are you single, married, separated or, in other words, are you sleeping with someone in a way that is “honored” or recognized …

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The Luxe traveler

Mia Borromeo has the best job in the universe, but the job is the result of her wanderlust. Her magazine, The Philippine Tatler Traveller, an insider’s guide to luxury travel, demands of her not only to be the seasoned world traveler that she is, but also to have an insatiable appetite to see, smell, hear, feel, and taste as much as she can. Make no mistake, she will travel if she must ditch all the luxuries in the world. Where equality, democratization are buzzwords, define luxury. It’s having the time and freedom to live your passions. One of mine would be travel. To travel well and meaningfully, you need the time to not be rushing, to explore, to discover, to pause for something beautiful, to savor every moment. Most luxurious travel destinations In the Philippines, …

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