Stuff Worth Watching: Last Train Home

I just heard the radio announcer earlier that the Chinese Government and the Philippine Government are planning to rekindle their “friendship” despite the territorial issues against each other. In my opinion, this is a good news because I always believe that the Chinese people and the Filipino people are very much alike.

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Last night, I watched the documentary film, Last Train Home. It’s about Chunyun or the migration of the Chinese people to their hometowns during  the Chinese New Year. It’s actually the largest human migration in the world. We are talking about 2 billion people here.

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The makers of the film featured one small family out of the 2 billion migrant workers in China during the Chunyun. They have featured a lot of realities about the family of a migrant couple, how they struggled to provide food for their family while balancing it with their broken relationship with their daughter. Not to mention, they have to undergo the very stressful process of Chunyun.

We don’t have Chunyun in our country, but we have the same human problems with China especially the fact how poverty can sometimes break a family.

These film is really a stuff worth watching.

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Stuffs worth watching Part 1

Here are some of the Documentaries I have watched last week:

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1. Yaxin and Vlado introduced me to this awesome documentary called, SAMSARA. These are the sort of films that do not have plots. Everything depends on your interpretation. I also have to suggest that when you watch this film, you should be with other people for an exchange of thoughts. My Interpretation: The film is actually about the downfall of humanity and how humans failed to be humans especially in this generation.

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2. Koyaanisqatsi (Life out of balance) shared the same theme with Samsara. The difference is that the former was filmed in the 80s. Still, there is no plot. My interpretation: Humans failed to embrace nature. Instead, they have exploited it. Everything is instant, even in the 80s. Everything is fast paced. At the end of the day, we are not happy and never achieved contentment. Suggestion: You should compare/contrast Koyaanisqatsi with Samsara. Reflect on the changes that occurred within the 20-year gap of 80s and 00s. 

Other documentaries with the same theme that you HAVE TO WATCH are the following:

  • Baraka
  • Powaqqatsi
  • Naqoyqatsi

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3. Born into Brothels is about a group of kids who were born in Calcutta’s Red Light District. Zana, a british girl who is helping the kids gave each of them a camera and taught them the basics of photography. You will see in the film some of the works of the kids which were actually showcased in New York and some parts of the world. I find the documentary really inspiring that I wanted to do the same project in my area. Watch out for it!

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4. Exit Through the Giftshop. “What was it about?”, asked my friend. “It’s about the world’s greatest graffiti artist”, I answered. They laughed with some sarcastic remarks. I don’t have any idea why they laughed. Probably they are wondering, “who in the world will do a documentary about a graffiti artist?” Well, it was indeed a weird theme for a documentary. But one thing I like about the movie is that PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY FIGHTING FOR ART. They take risks just to show the world their one-of-a-kind creations. It takes a lot of courage to be a street artist. One reason is that it’s illegal. But they have to do it, or they’ll die. You know what I mean, right? I feel for them. I’m an artist in my own way too and not being able to express what I love doing is worse than death. Probably this is not really the theme of the documentary but this is what it left me after watching it. (I will make a separate post about this)

How Green Tea Connected the World

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(I just want to look at it this way because the idea is a bit whimsy and cool.)

During the start of the year, I was able to host Kristina, a pretty girl from the Czech Republic. She’s a student in Taiwan and teaches English to the Taiwanese. She loves tea a lot. She even brought a vacuumed green tea for the whole family.

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Unfortunately, we never opened the tea pack. We are not tea drinkers. On a personal note, I cannot really find the sense of drinking tea or why people drink tea. It’s tasteless, sometimes bitter.

Then everything changed when I hosted the couple, Vladimir (a guy from Slovakia) and Yaxin (a girl from China). My paradigm about tea shifted. I remembered the scene from the movie “Bridge to Terabithia” when Jesse failed to see the vast kingdom behind the trees while his friend Leslie was awed by its beauty. Then Leslie said to Aaron, “Keep your eyes wide open”.

I’m a Jesse. The tea couple were my Leslie.

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Anyway, the couple brought out their miniature tea set– 2 small cups, a small thermos, a cute glass teapot, a filter and a small bowl. Vladimir opened the pack of red tea while Yaxin prepared for the set. My parents and I were clueless.

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After everything was set, they started to make the tea as if we were in Ancient China. They brewed it calmly and served it to us gently. We drank it and I have to admit that I just had the best tea of my life. That moment, I understood why people love tea a lot. There’s something about the preparation rituals/traditions that made the tea delicious. There’s also something about the couple’s deep passion about tea and probably how they shared a whole lot of information about it. The conversations we had while drinking it were all brilliant. We never stopped talking while we enjoyed our teas. Probably this is why they loved tea in the first place. This experience reminds me of Donald Miller’s quote on his book, Blue Like Jazz:

“I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn’t resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes. After that I liked jazz music.Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way.”

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After the red tea, we tried the black tea which I find really strong. Then I just had a great idea! It’s time to try the green tea that Kristina gave us. The couple taught us how to prepare for the tea as well as informed us about its benefits.

The taste of the green tea was indescribable. It was really relaxing and it calmed my senses knowing that I have a canker sore breakout that time.  It’s just the right tea for me that time.

During the couple’s 3-days/2-nights stay in our humble abode, we had a total of 4 tea drinking sessions.

To make the long story short, a Filipino guy, a Slovakian guy and a Chinese girl just enjoyed a Taiwanese tea from a Czech girl. HAHA

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Here are other pictures of Yaxin and Vlad.

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P.s. I just bought my own teapot! Message me if you want to drink with me. LOL

Why God Created Canker Sores

Ok. I saw this Stuff Christians Like post about the author’s reflection on why God created allergies. 

I do have allergies. They are triggered every time I eat sea-foods, insects, and mollusks. But I believe that there  is a pain worse than allergies. They are called “Canker Sores” and the word itself is already painful.

Two days ago, I filed a day off because I cannot tolerate the pain anymore. I had a weird breakout, and I’m talking about 10+ sores inside my mouth and on my tongue. It’s terrible. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. I can’t talk. The doctor gave me a mouthwash with steroids on top of other medicines. I hate medicines, but I am desperate now so I HAVE to..

So here are the possible reasons on why God created Canker Sores. (Don’t worry, I am not religious and all):

1. To keep my mouth shut. I talk a lot… At work…At home..Everywhere! I used to be an introvert, though. Sometimes, I talk too much that I tend to hurt other people already. So I don’t know if this is God’s way of punishing me. He has done a great job here.

2. To teach me to listen. Every word is a bloody torture, so I just decided to listen while I have these little annoyances. Most people are great story tellers but I failed to realize it because I want to hold the microphone in every conversation. Trust me, there are loads of brilliant stories out there. Music is all around us, and all you have to do is listen (August Rush).

My doctor gave me a mouthwash that really worked! I’ve been using it for 2 days already and it eliminated the pain. I will post the ingredients here soon.

To close this post, I would just like to share with you how Mirriam Webster’s Word of the Day empathized with my canker sore breakout. It was funny that the word yesterday (May 22,2013) was actually…CANKER.

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Mail’s Here Part 7

Hello there, here are the cards I received this week:

Dubai cards from my friend in who is now working in the UAE. Image

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Here’s one from Switzerland…is this the TOBLERONE mountain?

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Here’s a card from Neil (India). This is Neil’s 2nd card, therefore, I can now call him a “regular” :

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Another card from Russia:

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Last but not the least, a card from Japan (but was bought in South Dakota, USA).

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