My Observations: The Macross Plus Love Triangle

As a long-running anime franchise, Macross is well remembered for not only its portrayal of war, action-packed transforming machines (mechas) and engaging storytelling but also for its use of love triangles to emphasize the human element of the saga.

The Super Dimension Fortress Macross anime TV series (1982-1983) would have ended up looking generic with other robot anime series had it not featured the love triangle of Hikaru-Misa-Minmay. That love triangle was clearly the centerpiece of the saga and each member got developed individually throughout the 36 episodes.

Over a decade later, the sequel Macross Plus was released in the form of a 4-episode original video animation (OVA) (and in reimagined form via a theatrical version in 1995) and it featured a brand new love triangle with Myung Fang Lone, Isamu Dyson and Guld Bowman.

Spearheaded by the legendary Shoji Kawamori as co-director and mecha designer, Macross Plus was a more challenging story to sell to fans and anime enthusiasts given the fact that it had no conflict of good-versus-evil nor hero-versus-villain. There was not even a war to focus on. Instead its conflict was more centered on the love triangle.

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Guld. Myung and Isamu.

The background is like this. In the year 2033, Myung, Isamu and Guld were close teenage friends until something terrible happened to them which not only destroyed their friendship but led them to taking separate paths carrying pain and unforgiveness deep inside.

In the present day of 2040, military pilot Isamu got re-assigned to his home planet of Eden as a test pilot for the prototype fighter plan the YF-19. This re-assignment happened because Isamu was too reckless and dangerous to be in active duty. Shortly after arriving he encounters Guld who is also a test pilot assigned with the stealthy YF-21. Right from the start their bitterness and rivalry intensifies.

The stakes grow even higher when Myung returns to Eden as a producer of Sharon Apple, a powerful computer designed to project holograms of a digital lady who could not only sing but also express emotions. She’s described by her handlers to be a living artificial intelligence but behind the scenes her programming is incomplete and Myung herself has to provide the emotions and singing.

Enough with the plot. Let’s move on to my analysis of the love triangle.

The love triangle

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A close encounter between them.

Let’s start with Isamu. On face value, he’s a handsome young guy who has achieved a lot when it comes to flying and combat but he is too risky to be with due to his impulsive nature, love for danger and recklessness. His cocky personality reminds me somewhat of Maverick (played by Tom Cruise) from Top Gun but the difference is that Isamu is much more dangerous.

Oh yes, Isamu also acts childish. This is evident during the first test flight of the YF-19 and most of the time he was playing around, cheering and expressing himself instinctively. The very ironic thing about his childish act is that he got to push hard the technical and technological capabilities of the YF-19 with regards to how it moves, how fast its speed is and how efficient its functions are.

But is Isamu an ideal man for a lady to spend her life with? Absolutely not. He loves fun too much and his being a loose cannon is a headache for his military superiors. His lack of self-control alone will make any relationship end quickly. At least in the context of Macross Plus, Isamu is not meant for marriage nor love but for dangerous fun. Still there are certain aspects of him that show he can still change for the better such as daring to find answers to be certain and pushing forward with life even though painful times strike along the way.

Next is Myung. She is an example of a very talented young singer who failed to become a professional artist. As a teenager she loved to sing and was described to have sung during her sleep. Somehow the violent falling out she experienced with Isamu and Gul impacted her ability to make it big in the world of entertainment. Think about it. While there are many talented wannabees who made it as singers but did not achieve super stardom, there are others who never qualified to be singers.

In the present day, Myung still carries pain and unforgiveness deep inside. She deals with her pain by burying herself with her work as a producer and rides along the tremendous success of Sharon Apple who is not even real. As such it is no wonder why she felt uneasy being reunited with Guld and Isamu. During her time in the forest with an injured Isamu, she got to try a fruit (which she suspected to be sour) after being told by him (who already had a fruit) to do it. Upon tasting the sour thing, she expressed that she always hated how Isamu dared people to try something even though he already knew the answer or what would happen. Before going to the forest, however, Myung was the first person Isamu saw after sleeping for days in the hospital due to a test flight accident. The mere fact she attended to him proves that she has feelings for the hot shot pilot.

Finally we have Guld, the half-human half-Zentradi person with grayish skin. Like Isamu, he has the passion and skill for flying. He does not have the recklessness and impulsiveness of Isamu, but he could be very violent due to the warlike tendencies (example: rage or outburst) he inherited from his Zentradi heritage. Remember in Macross, Zentradi was a race of artificially made giants produced through cloning and because they were bred for war and militarism they were devoid of culture.

As test pilot of the YF-21, he is oriented to control the plan mentally and this allows him to actually feel the machine as if it was his own body. Remember how Guld sped right into a barrage of rockets and got away untouched with the YF-21? That was the result of not only the YF-21’s stealth features and ability to predict the direction of the missiles but also of Guld’s extension with the aircraft.

Still Guld has feelings and he is far from being a living killing machine. Right from the start of his reunion with Myung, he expressed his feelings for her and swore to protect her (even though she did not need such protection). This shows that he was willing to adjust for Myung, forget the past and move forward. Guld does not have the charisma of Isamu but that does not make him less human nor does it make him an undesirable person. He also does his best to be something that Isamu cannot be – an honorable pilot.

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When things get way too personal, Isamu (right in YF-19) and Guld (left in YF-21) violated military protocol to fight each other.

Overall the love triangle of Guld, Myung and Isamu is still engaging to follow whether you watch Macross Plus in its OVA format or in its theatrical version (titled: Macross Plus: The Movie, Macross Plus: Movie Edition). At the same time this triangle is geared towards adults and one of the themes behind Macross Plus is growing up or coming-of-age. Other moral lessons worth learning: dealing with the painful past, maintaining discipline while doing your duty and learning how to forgive.

In reality, unforgiveness or the unwillingness to forgive truly causes more harm than good. There really is no escaping the negative effects. Repenting and forgiving each other go together and only then will healing happen. Forgiveness is emphasized in the Holy Bible. Below is a scripture for you all.

bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

Colossians 3: 13 (NKJV)

Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this article, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well.


Author’s Note: This article was originally published at my old Geeks and Villagers blog. What you read on this website was an updated and expanded version. In other words, this newest version you just read is the most definitive version

 

My Observations: Food for a Cause

There is nothing like enjoying a meal in support of a good cause.

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Really delicious pasta I bought to help a friend.

Today after attending a church activity, I bought from my friend Chicken Parmesan Pasta for lunch and enjoyed it not only because it was delicious but also because I helped her on her effort for a good cause.

So there I was at home about to watch local and foreign news on cable TV with a bowl containing portions of the Chicken Parmesan Pasta I brought home. As I watched the news unfold, I took bites and each bite was a delightful experience. The pasta was nicely cooked, it had a smooth and creamy texture and was flavorful enough I did not need any condiments for it. Oh yes, the chicken was something nice to chew with.

If you have a friend who is selling something good or useful to raise money for a good cause and you have money to spare, help your friend.

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So yummy!

As I enjoyed my friend’s pasta again today, I am thankful to her (she’s a talented cook as well as a very talented singer) and of course to the Lord for the blessing.

Here’s a scripture of thanksgiving from the Holy Bible.
For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 4: 15 (NKJV)


Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this article, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well.

My Observations: Union Jack Tavern’s Sticky Toffee Pudding

During my recent afternoon visit at Union Jack Tavern at Festival Mall in Alabang, I ordered an Apple Crumble of theirs which is a favorite dessert of mine. However they could not serve it because they ran out of Apple Crumble that day (Sunday) which was served during their Sunday lunch buffet as the dessert.

Then I glanced over their menu to check what other desserts were listed. Out of curiosity, I decided to order their Sticky Toffee Pudding. Around fifteen minutes later, it was served to me by their waitress. I took time out to take a close look at it before consuming it.

Sticky Toffee Pudding is composed of a moist sponge cake, vanilla ice cream and chopped dates which were covered with toffee sauce.

After taking a few pics of it, I decided to take my first scoop of the dessert with the spoon carefully getting a portion of both the cake and ice cream together. The result – a great taste with a satisfying feeling in my mouth! It was really tasty and in terms of sweetness, it felt rich yet not excessive to my taste buds. Anyone who loves toffee or chocolate-like food should try this!

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Union Jack Tavern’s Sticky Toffee Pudding. This one cost me P233.50 which includes the 10% service charge. Truly it was worth the price!

Having enjoyed the first bite, I gradually consumed it as I want to enjoy it to the best I could. In between bites, I drank water.

Ultimately, UJT’s Sticky Toffee Pudding is a GREAT dessert to have and it truly is worth its high price (listed at P215 on the menu as of this writing). I felt that the unavailability of Apple Crumble was a blessing in disguise. Had that other dessert been available, I may not have tried Sticky Toffee Pudding.

If you are visiting Alabang in Muntinlupa City, I highly recommend you visit Union Jack Tavern which is located at the lower ground floor of the Expanded Area of Festival Mall. Physically their place is located by the “river” (across Landmark Alabang) and near them is Mesa restaurant.

 

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This is the exterior of Union Jack Tavern at Festival Mall in Alabang. A great place to visit for drinks, meals and fun!

Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this article, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services.

 

 

Escape From New York Is Still A Solid Movie To Watch

In my life, I was fortunate to have visited the City of New York not once but twice. The first in 1997 and the last in 2011. Already the city was highly modernized and Times Square was often filled with people enjoying the place without worrying about criminals pouncing on them.

What I never got to discover was New York City during its dark, old days when it had a lot more crime and a depressing social atmosphere as seen through the history books of the city. This alone makes watching John Carpenter’s 1981 flick Escape from New York a more interesting experience for me personally. Anyway, here is my review of Escape From New York.

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Kurt Russell as Snake.

The movie begins with information that in the then-future of 1988, crime in America skyrocketed by 400% which compelled the Federal Government to convert Manhattan of New York into a maximum-security prison zone which is eventually surrounded by very high walls (complete with armed guards), mines on the routes out of Manhattan and armed security personnel patrolling the water (by helicopter). Those who were sentenced to imprisonment at Manhattan really have no hope escaping.

In the then-future of 1997, Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) is captured by the authorities for a Federal Reserve robbery attempt and eventually he gets offered a deal: if he rescues the captured President of the United States (Donald Pleasence) in New York and recovers a sensitive audio tape, a presidential pardon will be arranged for him. Before going to New York, Snake is injected with micro explosives which will blow up in less than 24 hours and they can only be neutralized if he succeeds with his mission. Snake flies into New York but his mission starts roughly.

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The gang and its leader.

That’s enough with the plot. Now I’ll talk about the quality of the film.

For a movie with a low budget of $6 million, Escape from New York looks pretty grand in certain parts specifically with the physical presentation of the streets of the city looking very deserted (note: location filming took place at the isolated and decayed sections of East St. Louis, IL), the on-location shooting at Liberty Island and the gladiator fight at the St. Louis Union Station’s grand hall. Furthermore, the filmmakers managed to stretch whatever Dollars they had to making the New York prisoners looking undesirable and dangerous.

The visual effects, believe it or not, were the result of the film crew having very talented specialists who made the photo-realistic shots. The matte paintings looked very convincing and so did the wire-frame animation sequence which was done with the use black light and special tape (which are visually visible as lighted wire frames). Not to be outdone is the use of miniatures to emphasize New York City with the flying shots. Definitely no computer-generated images here!

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James Cameron doing a matte painting for the movie.

In terms of storytelling, the film remains engaging to watch and along the way you do get to feel and relate with Snake Plissken who does not really care about the affairs of the President nor the Federal Government. He is one of those individuals who only wants to be left alone although his crime of robbery shows his desperation. Snake by the way reflects the anti-authoritarian views of director John Carpenter who in turn wrote this movie’s script after the Watergate Scandal happened.

On face value, Escape from New York looks like an action film but if you’re expecting mind-blowing stuff, intense explosions and lots of hard action, you will be disappointed. The best way to look at this movie is that its presentation of action is moderate. There is the firing of guns but don’t expect a war. There is some hard action here and there, but don’t expect extensive choreographed hand-to-hand fight sequences. What defines the action big time, however, is Snake’s “gladiatorial” battle with the big guy who overdid himself and gave Kurt Russell a truly hard time on shooting the action scenes. Snake’s struggle in the ring was truly Russell’s hard struggle. He was not acting at all during those action scenes.

Ironically, the lack of action and explosions did result the incidental acts of the many extras hired to play New York’s prisoners which really made the film’s concept of a metropolitan prison convincing. Snake’s escape from a run-down building being chased by many bad guys was fun to watch. The scene in which the good guys rode a vehicle only to be hit by debris thrown by many bad guys was intense.

With regards to performance, Kurt Russell’s Snake is truly iconic. He captures the character’s tough guy mentality and the good and honorable guy deep in the character’s heart. Donald Pleasence as the US President was pretty engaging even though he did not have the same amount of screen time as Russell. Pleasence is a very skilled actor and his handling of showing the US President as a scared and desperate person in captivity and as a cold-hearted man with power in safety is very memorable.

The other players like Lee Van Cleef (the hard authority figure), Ernest Borgnine (clearly the comic relief), Isaac Hayes (The Duke), Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau and Tom Atkins all had nice performances and they contributed well into the film’s quality.

With regards to weak spots, I could only wish the opening explanation (that crime accelerated by 400%) was accompanied with staged or archived footage of city crime to emphasize society’s downfall and make the film’s concept of turning New York into a prison more convincing. Also there was the missed opportunity by the filmmakers to use archived news footage of New York City’s history of high crime and police corruption. Lastly the final conflict between Snake and the Duke lacked impact and was underwhelming.

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Snake, his companions and the US President (rightmost).

Overall Escape from New York is not only one of John Carpenter’s best films…it is truly a Hollywood action-adventure classic with a very intriguing concept (New York City as a prison) that deserves your attention. Unlike Carpenter’s Halloween (1978), Escape from New York is timeless and remains fun and relevant to watch. Just don’t expect to see bombastic action and stunts.

If you intend to watch the movie, I suggest buying the movie’s collector’s edition Blu-ray disc release while it is still available. Good luck finding a copy of it.


Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this article, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your project or business, check out my services.

Author’s Note: This article was originally published at my old Geeks and Villagers blog. What you read on this website was an updated and expanded version. In other words, this newest version you just read is the most definitive version

 

 

My Observations: Las Piñas Cafe

Today I managed to visit a particular new place in the City of Las Piñas which has been getting some attention lately. It is called Las Piñas Cafe and it is located just steps outside of the main building of City Hall.

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Las Piñas Cafe from the outside. It was recently inaugurated by the City Government of Las Piñas led by incumbent Mayor Imelda Aguilar.

Currently operating on one floor, Las Piñas Cafe is a canteen which has a large floor space with many tables and chairs (estimated sitting capacity of at least 80 people) kept cool with air-condition units.

Upon entering the front doors, you will find to the left is selection of meals and drinks where customers can line-up and pay for. There is also another spot of snacks (note: junk food) to choose from.

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The self-service counter for meals and drinks.
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A selection of snacks on display.

Out of curiosity I bought a drink and sat at one of the many chairs across the room to drink and watch. In my observation, the place is pretty comfortable. I would not be surprised that very soon, the place will be occupied by more people (notably City Government employees and visitors) seeking comfort and refreshment.

With the summer season approaching, I can easily imagine a lot of people spending time inside the cafeteria to escape the scorching heat.

According to the City Government of Las Piñas, the Las Piñas Cafe actually had its soft opening last year. The formal and full opening happened very recently which was done by Mayor Imelda “Mel” Aguilar together with her daughter (and running-mate for this May’s election) April, Vice Mayor Louie Bustamante, members of the City Council and heads of varied City Government departments.

The construction of Las Piñas Cafe was described to be part of the mayor’s infrastructure development program.

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A view from the far end of the cafeteria.

If you have time to visit City Hall, I suggest visiting their comfortable and cool cafeteria.


Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this article, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your project or business, check out my services.

 

You Want The Truth About The Ten Commandments? Pay Attention To The Holy Bible, Not The 1956 “Classic” Movie.

I am a geek and I love watching movies, playing video games, reading comic books, attending pop culture conventions and the like. But more importantly I am believer in Lord Jesus Christ and God The Father.

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As a person of faith, I don’t hold this classic movie with high regard anymore. We are better off reading the Holy Bible if you really want to follow the story of Moses and the Ten Commandments from God.

Very clearly the Holy Bible contains the Word of God and it truly is the definitive source of holiness and the Truth.

Already there have been many movies around the world that adapted stories from the Holy Bible which created mixed results with regards to accuracy and portrayals.

One notable movie to tackle here is Cecile B. Demille’s 1956 Hollywood “classic” film The Ten Commandments which starred Charlton Heston (who played Moses), Yul Brynner and many others.

I first saw the movie on television as a young boy and found it to be engaging. Of course, that was my old life and I was not yet dedicated on reading the Holy Bible. In fact, I was rather lazy to read the Bible back then.

While The Ten Commandments is an epic film of the 1950s with acting that feels rather unnatural by today’s standards (note: stage-style acting and speaking was the norm in the 1950s), it certainly is NOT the proper way to realize the Truth and the Word which can only found in the Holy Bible.

For one thing, the script of the movie adapted content from non-biblical sources like the Sepher-ha-Yashar, Josephus and the Chronicle of Moses (this only provides a mere hint of verses from the Bible. Next is about the the rulers of Egypt who were named in the movie and yet in the Holy Bible they each were referred to only as “Pharaoh.” Oh, are you aware that the mother of Moses in the Holy Bible (New King James Version) goes by the name of Jochebed (Exodus 6: 20) but in the movie she is referred to as Yoshebel?

Truly The Ten Commandments had lots of inaccuracies (and missing details) here and there and this alone should compel each of us believers in Christ to focus mainly on the Holy Bible. Personally, I don’t hold the 1956 movie with high regard anymore.

It may have been a major cinematic epic of the 1950s that also won lots of acclaim and sold a lot of movie tickets. It sure was included in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in America for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” but the thing remains that The Ten Commandments still does NOT come close to the Holy Bible for truth and accuracy when it comes to following the story of Moses, the Hebrews and God’s Ten Commandments.

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Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this article, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your project or business, check out my services.

 

 

 

 

My Observations: Former Parañaque City Mayor Bernabe Turned 71 With Big Party

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Former Parañaque City Mayor Florencio “Jun” Bernabe turned 71 and he is still in good health.

On the evening of February 5, I attended and observed the big-time birthday party of former Parañaque City Mayor Florencio “Jun” Bernabe who turned 71 and he showed no signs of slowing down.

The party was held at the multi-purpose facilities of Tahanan Village in Parañaque City which attracted some thousands of guests that include villagers (including those from BF Homes subdivision), business owners/managers, politicians, government workers and the like.

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The many guests dining and waiting in line for meals and drinks at Tahanan Village.

Bernabe did not just celebrate his birthday. He is also running for Mayor in the May 2019 local elections and this explains why his teammates were present during the party such as his running-mate Jeremy Marquez (former Barangay BF Homes chairman) and the many candidates running for seats in District 1 and District 2 of the City Council of Parañaque.

To put things in perspective for those who are not familiar with Bernabe, he comes from a family that has a long history of public service in the history of Parañaque. Jun Bernabe first entered politics in 1998 and served as City Vice Mayor for six years (1998-2004). Then he served as City Mayor for three straight terms (note: 1 term is 3 years) from 2004 to 2013.

During his time as Mayor, Bernabe launched several city projects that not only helped the development of the city but also did so while following national laws. His administration won several awards and citations that are too many to list down in this post. Unlike recent times, Parañaque under his leadership was found to be very competitive with other cities.

What is most notable is the fact that Mayor Bernabe was named as Outstanding Mayor in 2006 with attention paid to his leadership, fiscal management and administrative style that boosted the locality’s finances through efficient tax collection. That award was won during his first term as mayor and so it was no surprise that he went on to get re-elected to serve the maximum of 3 consecutive terms.

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Bernabe with Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos on stage. She supports his bid for Mayor, he supports her bid for Senator.

Back to the birthday party, Ilocos Norte Governor and candidate for Senator Imee Marcos arrived big time and was warmly received by Bernabe and the guests. This was the first I ever saw a Marcos in person.  She expressed her support for Bernabe’s candidacy and the mayor returned the favor to support her run for the Philippine Senate. Here in the Philippines, voters nationwide get to vote for candidates for the Senate.

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Former Senator Pia Cayetano expressed her admiration for Bernabe.

Shortly after, former Senator (and current Congresswoman) Pia Cayetano arrived at the party and was warmly received. Like Marcos, she expressed her support for Bernabe and expressed her family’s connection with Parañaque. She is running again for Senator this May.

Finally, I can confirm that the party was very lively. Guests reached out to the public servants and some celebrities. The band hired played very lively music and there was a special presentation celebrating Mayor Bernabe’s birthday.

Can Bernabe and his election team win big this May to change the tone at Parañaque City Hall? We will find out soon enough.

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Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this article, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your project or business, check out my services.