Since our flight to Yangon, our first stop in Myanmar, was early (we had to check in the airport at 4:55 am), Katrina and I decided to head to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and wait there from midnight until check-in time. This meant staying awake in Old Town White Coffee (the only coffee shop open at the airport) and think of ways to distract ourselves to while away time. With both our phones and my tablet drained, we eventually decided to play Yes and No (also known as "Pinoy Henyo".)
I caught myself staring outside the bus, at the tall buildings lining the highway from Kuala Lumpur to Penang, and I thought the idea of being in a strange country, or strange city or town or whatever territory that is not what you're used to -- it felt like coming inside someone's house, uninvited, and you watch the people who live there with so much curiosity, and perhaps romanticization. You watch them and their home detachedly, like it is the nicest thing ever -- do you know how Americans (or Touristy White People In General) would go to a poor country (Manila) and say, look at them, so happy in the midst of poverty? It felt like that, except I don't mean it in the sense that I glorify poverty or suffering, but in the sense that there is something charming in the (artificially) unfamiliar, the undiscovered, the unknown.
Have you seen "Metro Manila" yet? The Sundance film starring Jake Macapagal and Althea Vega which is now UK's entry to the Oscars? Yes? Probably out of curiosity why a foreign director would direct a film discussing the squalor of Metro Manila?
Some spoilers here, so read on only if you've already seen it: you probably remember that scene when Oscar (Jake Macapagal) mentions something about Alfred Santos's plan being founded on dreams, and his scheme being more sensible. Am I the only one who disagreed and thought that Oscar's plan wasn't that fool-proof? That his plan absurdly, quite dim-wittedly, relied on the assumption that his belongings would be given to his wife (Althea Vega) at the end?
The audience is presented two incidents when the guards' partners deliver their deceased colleagues' belongings to their kin. These guards died while performing their duty, not while committing a crime. (Of course Ong isn't exactly a saint, but then Oscar didn't tell his boss about Ong's skulduggery.)
What made Oscar assume that his boss would ask his partner to do the same for him?
If you know the answer, I'd really like to understand. Did I miss something important while watching the film?
(Plus: Oscar's family would probably end up becoming poor again: this article says that 70 per cent of people who unexpectedly come into large sums of money will lose it within seven years. )
HELLO, MY NAME IS EVAN TAN.
I'm a writer and communications professional based in Manila, Philippines. Outside of my regular job, I like to travel, work out, volunteer, watch movies and plays, go to art galleries/ fairs and museums, read books, and eat vegetarian food.
More about me here.