June 23-29

Internationally hailed filmmaker Aureus Solito (Ang Pagdadalaga Ni Maximo Oliveros) traces his roots to a Shaman-King lineage from an enchanted paradise at the end of southern Palawan.  His mother "told me stories when I was a kid that nobody knew of," he tells Janet Nepales of Hollywood Bulletin. "It was a world that was magical and pure." His Busong (Palawan Fate) was "shot with purity," enthuses Swiss filmmaker Sylvie Cachin. Aureus, chosen as one of the world's most influential emerging filmmakers in Take 100: The Future of Film (Phaidon Press), cried as the movie was selected for the Cannes Director's Fortnight in April 2011, amidst a thundering chorus of acclaim. His countless awards and screenings span the globe, including Sundance, Spirit and Berlinale. The groundbreaking film is the first salvo of Aureus' planned trilogy, with Delubyo (Deluge) and Sumbang (Origin). Busong, starring Alessandra de Rossi and Clifford Banagale, "is just the beginning," he says, "of introducing to the world the Palawanon indigenous universe."

Dante Nico Garcia's admirably original Ploning is a cinematic multi-layered celebration of life in his hometown of Cuyo, a remote, beautiful island in Palawan. I find it perfect to see real islanders acting it out with the likes of Judy Ann Santos (Hating Kapatid); Mylene Dizon (100) and Ketchup Eusebio (Rakenrol). I long for a simple life, away from the rat race and in touch with nature; so I can relate to the character of Tony Mabesa, with his serene existence, the great expanse of the mighty ocean at his feet. Time moves slowly in paradise, as he sat on the beach, telling his curious grandkids about life in the city, trying to remember what it was like, really.  That scene is what sticks to my mind, like chocolate on the tounge, when I think of this hauntingly stunning directorial debut by Cuyo's most celebrated son

I met a guy who graduated from Ateneo High School, Batch 1963. He showed me his yearbook as we drank on his chi-chi balcony around the third week of May 2012. I took this picture of one of his cutie batchmates, former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, while I look at the city lights of Manila and photos of a seemingly innocent bygone era

Moving around from place to place, I can relate to the gypsy life of Sam and Dean Winchester . I've had supernatural encounters too, and oftentimes, I'd rather deal with shape-shifters than mood-swingers . I was temporarily staying at a friend's house, last week of May 2012. Here are two true: I was outside. From my peripheral vision, a white blur crossed the living room, framed by the open kitchen door. Sure as hell it wasn't the dog. I chose to sleep in the couch rather than the guest room so I could watch TV (PBB) when everybody has gone to bed. One time past midnight, I woke up to find a shadow looming over me. "Who are you?" I asked it mentally while building a white shield against spiritual attacks . "Why can't you find peace?" I waited for an answer. And as my eyes adjusted to the dark, I realized I was talking to the electric fan

Almost everything he had, he lost. He descended into the abyss of despair. But the insights he gained were priceless. It was exquisitely tempting to emo in self-pity but that doesn't help anything. Instead, he channeled the energy of his new-found awareness into his personal transformation. He's a survivor, and he has overcome his fears because he has conquered himself

People think he's weird. He's an outsider; but because of his movie star looks, he's not entirely an outcast. If he tends to stay away, it's because some humans can be so ... inhumane. He can read your mind, really intriguing! A boy-next-door-type but not your typical neighbor, he's not like most people. It's not a question of being superior or inferior because that's a stupid idea, anyway . Then again, he really is ... different