Cupid and Psyche: The Double Standard of “Kita Kita”

Since Wonder Woman, we’ve been using the GMovies app to book tickets online. It is cleverly integrated into the Ayala Cinemas system, making our booking selection easier. I often forget my SureSeats password.

But what drew me in was the BPI promo: a Php 150 off on our first transaction and Php 50 off in the succeeding transactions. However, as July comes to a close, the promo also ends. It would have been neat to have this promo forever. (Oh, happy birthday Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling!)

Our GMovies E-Ticket for the movie 'Kita Kita (2017)'

Our GMovies E-Ticket for the movie ‘Kita Kita (2017)’

Anyway, let me write this down before I become too lazy. Our last GMovies transaction was for a local movie ‘Kita Kita’. Until bedtime, I still recall snippets of the movie that gave me the frisson. Aside from a new movie review in a while, I haven’t had that lingering feeling for a long time.

(ETA 06 August 2017: Update on the GMovies app. Cancelling your ticket transaction is not as easy as having it on SureSeats. Their landline is not working, and I had to call them several times over their mobile only to inform them that I already emailed asking for cancellation. They then coordinated with Ayala Cinemas to have this settled, then inform me of the result. They are quite helpful but I just cannot with red tape. It would be better if cancelling is a breeze, but oh well. Back to SureSeats now and time to uninstall GMovies.)

*MAJOR SPOILER WARNING*

The title was a play on the Filipino homonyms ‘kita’. When you put the stress on the first syllable, it is the root word for the verb “to see”, while if put on the second, it means “you” (functioning as both subject and object ‘I… you’). Taken as a whole, then, it becomes “I see you”. It was well integrated into a scene called ashiyu (足湯), where Lea (Alessandra de Rossi) and Tonyo (Empoy Marquez) bathed their feet.

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Ave Avedon!

Last weekend, I received three vintage magazines in the mail from my favorite seller: two US Vogue (February 1993 and April 1993) and an issue of American Photo March/April 1994. The third is a special one because it was dedicated to the great Avedon.

A whole issue dedicated to Richard Avedon - American Photo March-April1994

A whole issue dedicated to Richard Avedon: see the Diva (i.e. Dovima with the Elephants) wearing YSL for Christian Dior to the right? It is one of the top twenty most expensive photographs in history.

I can’t even remember when was the first time I’ve heard of his name, but I have a memory of his images from decades past.

When I first searched for Twiggy, Penelope Tree and Veruschka online, I found out much later on that most of their dreamy photographs were taken by Avedon. Twiggy’s headshot with those insanely long lashes, Penelope Tree with the black Halston dress with that ornate metal neck detail, and Veruschka in that epic Great Fur Caravan.

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A day of learning

Last day of the month and February literally passed by with only twenty eight days. I was on half-day leave because I attended a conference/workshop regarding aging and migration in UP, with guest speakers from different countries, especially in Asia.

Bearbrick sweater, skinny khaki pants, stripes canvas belt, black 8-hole Doc Martens with strap and buckles, vintage Coach Metropolitan briefcase messenger

The venue was at the University Hotel and it was then that I realized that I have never entered that area of UP before. Finishing both my undergrad and graduate degree, I still haven’t visited a lot of places inside the campus and the University Hotel was no exception. I thought I arrived late, but good thing that the event did not start until 1:30 PM. I overlooked the schedule of activities, wherein 1:00 PM was just the registration proper.

University Hotel's entrance in UP Diliman
University Hotel's lobby in UP Diliman

The theme of the workshop centers on aging and migration in 21st century Asia. The primary organizer, Prof. Yoneno-Reyes, sent an invitation/announcement to everybody last Sunday. She was also my professor in aging and migration three years ago, and I still find the topic interesting and compelling. The moderator of the event, Prof. Sevilla, was also my professor in a West Asia course. For the whole afternoon, three speakers from Japan, China and South Korea presented their papers. Two of them were from Kyoto University, while the other one was from SungKongHoe University.

Emiko Ochiai from Kyoto University

One by one, the three guests presented their topics: from the concepts of intimate work, ‘housewifization’, to ‘a new woman’; as well as marriage migration chains in East Asia to South Korea’s changing policy on multiculturalism and migration. But if I were to be frank with my observations, it was quite frustrating having to follow and grapple with the discussion. Aside from the looming presence of the language barrier between the speakers and their audience, the faulty sound system made matters worse. I felt really embarrassed for the guests, especially when another discussion from the next-door’s conference got transmitted and broadcasted in our room in the middle of the speaker’s discussion, due to mixing up of wireless microphones’ signal. I wanted to hide under the table.

Gabriele Vogt asking a question

I looked at the list of guests and saw that Gabriele Vogt was present. I was really eager to see her because she wrote one of our required readings in class before. I even cited her in one of my essays for comprehensive exams.

If there is one thing I have learned about myself from the event, it was my tendency not to socialize with people I do not know. There were only two people in the room who I knew, and they were my previous professors who were busy with the workshop. I just sat at the end of room, next to the refreshments (coffee within an arm’s reach, yay!) beside two formidable-looking ladies. I did not start a conversation with them, until I decided against the awkwardness of the situation. I was stunned to know that I was seated next to the dean of the College of Nursing of UP Manila. O_O Good thing she was very approachable and even started asking questions about me. There will be another session tomorrow, but I’m not too sure if I would be able to attend. I really need to seriously start reviewing for another exam two Sundays from now.

P.S.
Just as the day turned 28, I found out that our grandmother (my father’s auntie) passed away due to stroke. She was in a nursing home in Alberta, Canada and I haven’t seen her since the late 90s. She died at the age of 88. May you rest in peace, Lola Soling and we love you so much.