EXES BAGGAGE: A Movie Review

Exes Baggage is a Filipino movie starring Carlo Aquino as Nix and Angelica Panganiban as Pia. It centers on Nix’s and Pia’s romance and how their previous relationship/s play a part in it. Thus, the title.

I have never been in a relationship and have never really fallen in love with someone seriously yet so I cannot say I can fully relate with the film but it still resonates. Exes Baggage may have pointed out reasons why I’m still afraid to fall in love or enter a relationship at 26. Here are some reasons why.

  1. Being in a relationship is never easy.

Being in a relationship is never a clean cut whether you’ve only been in one or had multiple ones.  As The Script says, “when a heart breaks, no it don’t break even.” It is never “We’ve broken up but we’re good. No hard feelings.” Feelings are hard control. If it easy then there will be no heart breaks, no broken hearts, no “It’s complicated” status. You can never really control what you are feeling. We tend to be irrational at times and if two people broke up, it’s never even.

Relationship can be messy that’s why it’s never really a good choice to enter one in a drunken state (Trust me on this. I’ve seen two of my good friends got into a relationship when they’re both drunk just to end so badly two months after.) nor to enter one if you’re not fully over your last one. It’s never a good idea to have a rebound. It will not only hurt you but it will hurt the other person more especially if they really gave it their all in the relationship.

It is hard work. It’s not all sunshine and butterflies. There will be pain. There will be struggles.

2. Insecurity can end what might have been a lasting relationship.

Insecurity is a self-war that is hard to battle alone.  It destroys you from the inside coz you are battling with yourself. It applies to all aspects of life, not only in relationships. You’re always gonna compare yourself to the Ex, maybe to someone better than you, and it will decrease your confidence. It will make you doubt that the other person loves you fully. It will make your faith crumble and when faith is lost, the relationship’s gonna be hard to continue.

There will definitely be someone who’s prettier, someone who’s better, someone who has it all, someone whose like the ideal person of the person you love. Comparing yourself though is gonna be self-destructive so don’t ever try. It definitely is hard especially if you have low self-confidence to begin with but that’s why it’s extremely important to be open to your partner. Talk it out. Build each other up.

I’m still battling with mine even without a special someone so I guess I’m really not ready yet.

3.   Staying in a relationship is a choice.

*Spoiler alert*

There was a scene in the movie where Pia asked Nix who he loves more, Pia or Dwein (Nix’s ex) and Nix couldn’t answer. Pia started packing up her things from Nix’s place and left while Nix was just there. Not talking. Not answering. Ultimately, letting Pia leave. Thus, ending their relationship.

People might have entered a relationship for the wrong reasons but staying in a relationship is a choice. It always is. And it’s not only a choice for one, it’s always a joint choice. A relationship is called a relationship because there’s two people involved. This also brings us back to point #1. Relationship is never easy but it’s worth it if you’ll work together.

 

I’m no relationship expert and maybe I’m a coward for choosing not to be in love than to get hurt but I’m working in opening up.

 

If you haven’t watched the movie yet, you should watch it regardless of your relationship status. First, it’s Carlo and Angelica’s first movie together in a while. Second, it has lots of good songs that are not Moira. haha. I like Moira but it’s nice to hear songs by other bands/artists. Third, ang hot ni Carlo Aquino. hahaha. This turned to be a reflection more than a review. lol. But you should watch it, you won’t regret.

 

P.S. I’m back. Will now be updating my blog again. Regularly this time. 🙂

 

 

A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor

a map for wrecked girls.jpg

I have parked this book for too long. I first downloaded the e-book a month or so ago. I tried to read it back then but then I couldn’t connect with the story so I stopped. Just recently, because of my lack of books to read, I decided to try to read the book again. Surprisingly, I finished and enjoyed it this time.

A Map of Wrecked Girls is a story of survival, sisterhood, love amidst chaos, acceptance, youth, and new beginnings. It’s a story of Henri and Emma, and Alex. After a night of unplanned adventure, they found themselves stranded on an island of who knows where, one companion dead, with no one knowing where they went.

Let’s talk about survival. I think everyone can agree that the question “What will you do if you’re trapped in an island?” question has come up in discussion, with friends, family, lovers, etc. at least once. But I think no one has ever really thought that it will happen to them. Honestly, if I will ever be stranded in an island, I think I’ll not last for a week. I don’t know the realistic possibilities of what the story had shown for them to survive, but the story was not really focused on that although that is the whole premise of it.

More than romance, the story focused more on sisterhood between Emma and Henri. Henri, being the older sister, is the more outgoing one. The party girl. The wild one. Emma, on the other hand, is the Yes sister. The non-vocal one. The goody-two-shoes type. The book goes back and forth from the present and the past, detailing the events that led Henri to hold a grudge against Emma.

Stranded in the islands for a little over than three months, we see how sisters, at the end of the day, will still have your back. Blood is thicker than water. No matter what argument you have or if you’re not in speaking terms. Although it came close to the ending already, we see that the sisters opened up to each other. They fought, argued, but later on resolved the misunderstanding and miscommunication, and their bond became stronger than ever. You see, I believe that open communication is one of the keys to have a long lasting relationship. People are not psychics to know what the other person is thinking or the reason behind their actions, even if you are the person who supposedly know the other person best.

Love amidst chaos and survival. The romance aspect comes between the budding romance between Alex and Emma. They have known each other for less than 24 hours before they were caught up in survival. But love knows no time. They grew close as Emma became the mediator between Alex and Henri since they couldn’t stand each other. Eventually, they confessed their feelings to each other and despite their main priority which is to survive, they found time to enjoy each other’s company.

A Map for Wrecked Girls also gives a glimpse of the youth today. More than before, I think the youth that we have now are more adventurous to the point of being reckless at times. They are more into survival than doing what is upright and lawful. They’re into popularity, convenience, sex, etc. They are more wild and unrestrained. This needs to be addressed, either thru proper parenting, or proper guidance.

New beginnings. Lastly, the story also shows hope for new beginnings. New beginnings for the wrecked relationship between sisters. New beginnings for Alex, who, at the later part of the book, was disclosed as a small time drug-dealer. There is always hope. This is what the book’s trying to tell I think.

A Map for Wrecked Girls is kinda semi-heavy and even if I did not like it at first. I am glad I took the second chance with it. ahaha. Now I’m recommending it to be read especially those who have sisters. 🙂

 

Poets, Artists, Lovers: A Novel by Mira Tudor

poets, artists, lovers.jpg

One thing, it’s a very complex book for me. I find it hard to digest but at the same time I do find some parts enjoyable. Just like what art is to me.

Poets, Artists, Lovers: A Novel is certainly not a beach read. It is not something that you can pick up and read to pass time by. When Mira first approached me and asked if I could review her book, I was honestly shocked and happy at the same time. I have never professionally reviewed a book (not that this is a professional one) and certainly not one approached to review a published work so I wanted to be honest in my review as this is what I can offer.

I have a thing for art and poetry. I like poetry but I love novels. I have an inclination to art even though I don’t understand it most of the time. That’s why when I read the synopsis of the book, it intrigued me.

First impressions. Let’s talk about first impressions. I think, honestly, that if I was not approached, I might not have discovered this book And even if I saw it in passing, I might not have picked it up. When I read the title, my first impression was like “Who puts novel in a novel title these days?” When I read the synopsis (even though I was curious), it took me a long time to accept the character names (told you I have a thing for character names). Henrietta, Pamfil…. These are definitely not names that you’ll encounter in most contemporary novels. It took me a while to get used to the names but I got over it and continued with the novel.

Characters. Reading the novel, I find it hard to focus on who is or are really the main character’s. There’s a lot of characters in the novel. You thought you’ve been introduced to them all already then suddenly another character comes along then another one. This made it harder for me to grasp everything at first. The POVs often change but more than Henriette and Ela, I think the book really revolves with Pamfil. I don’t know who’re the poets, the artists, the lovers anymore.

Pamfil, for some sort of reason, is a girl/woman magnet and is such a frivolous guy. Like every girl/woman described in the book seemed to fall for him in one way or another. Henriette, Ela, Anca, Marie… Like this Pamfil guy is really a charmer isn’t he? For all these girls, no matter what the age gap and relationship status is, they seem to just for fall for him in an instant. But my main question is, why does Pamfil act this way? Does he really fall in love easily? Is it just lust? Was there anything in his past that made him this way? With all the flashbacks in the story, I was never able to find the reason why.

Themes. Speaking of relationship status, that’s the thing, I also find hard reading in the book. It involves cheating and a lot of it. And in this book, the women are the one having the affair. And all but with one guy, Pamfil. Henriette cheated with Pamfil for years, Anca with Pamfil one summer when she’s clearly with Marcel. Ela fell in love with him while she’s with George and Pamfil is secretly with Henriette who’s having an affair. Can this group of friend’s relationship web get even more complicated? But maybe this is reality and maybe I was uncomfortable, in the sense that, at the back of my mid, I know that this is possible and that this is happening. Just because I don’t have first hand experience at it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Sequence. This is not a linear story. Every so often it will go back to the past. It will bring up new characters. Changing back and forth confused me. There were dates given but I could not keep track of them unless I’ve written them down or go back again.

Ending. When I reached the end, I was like, “That’s it?” Even with all the confusion, I have developed a ship between Pamfil and Henriette. That’s why I would have love to see if the frivolous Pamfil will emerge again when he meets Henriette years after their affair. But nada, there was nothing more. It’s the end.

But more than all this, I appreciate that the book introduced me to a wider concept of the art. It is informative in this regard. I like how various art pieces, artists, creators, poets, poems were included in the novel. It introduced me to places I never thought I’ll encounter much in a novel (since mostly I just read US novels).

I also like that it holds more than the superficial things. Like it is trying to teach you about being an artist, a poet, a lover, and how complicated love and relationship can be. I like that it gives you perspective on how one person can affect and influence so many. I like the growth as well of Ela and Henriette. Of how, in their own pacing and time, cope with the changes.

The novel speaks like how I see art. It’s complicated in it’s own way, sometimes people don’t understand or could not appreciate it. It takes connection, deeper understanding, focus, experience, to see and appreciate what lies underneath.

I think that Poets, Artists, Lovers: A Novel would speak more to the adult. To the ones who have or had experienced a fair share of relationship experience, to the deep thinkers.

Over all, I was not able to be hundred percent in tune with the novel but I enjoyed my time reading. Thank you for the opportunity.