Movie Review: “On The Job”

When I was growing up, Pinoy movies would be “copycats” of Hollywood Movies, whether they were about love, comedy, horror, thriller or action-filled movies. Action movies would revolve around fighting for justice, revenge, “cowboy” stories, secret agent stuffs with unbelievable gadgets, and lots of fighting, whether they armed or unarmed combat fightings between the main character with the rest of the cast.

Lately, Pinoy movies would deal on love triangle, betrayal of trust, and other social issues prevalent in the country or in any community or society. Sometimes, it would depict a fight or conflict between the rich and the poor families with an ending that gives some moral lesson to the viewers. Whether they are action, thriller, love story, or comedy movies, the viewer can easily depict the ending of the movie.

I think that since the early 70s, I started to draw myself to Hollywood Movies and did not had an opportunity to watch Pinoy Movies. However, I would watch some of the action movies of FPJ where he portrays being a policemen, a soldier, or simply somebody who defends those who are oppressed.

After 40+ years, I was tempted to watch a Pinoy movie.

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Movie Ads From The Internet (Google)

The movie “On The Job” is completely a different genre of a Pinoy Movie which was brilliantly and perfectly presented from a story that is based on actual events. The movie portrays a “rotten and corrupt” system from the top of the government up to the very basic unit of the society which is the family. In between such spectrum, we have the law enforcement agencies; the prison system; and the convicted felons serving their respective sentences inside the prison. Generally, the story revolves around an old and young prisoners who are “hired contract killers” who could get out and in the prison with ease when they are ordered to “hit” their target.

The “twists and turns” and climax of the story are very jolting to one’s senses and differs from the mind conditioning that we expect for a much favorable ending of the movie. It will keep your mind asking for  answers for the “why” such things happened in the movie story. There might some small “flaws” and inconsistencies on the characters and the technical aspects of the movie but they are not significant to affect the general story and message it wants to share to the viewing public.

The movie is simply outstanding and it strikes to the very core of our “problematic” society and corrupt system of governance.

If you ask me why I am doing a movie review in a runner’s blog? It is because the prisoners, with their lack of better nutrition, training, and physical conditioning system, are better RUNNERS and SHOOTERS than the law enforcement personalities portrayed in the movie story.

With the things that are presently happening in the country right now, I just wish that our political leaders and the institutions that are part of the justice and penal system of the country will be able to see this movie and serves as their “mirror” and maybe, do something to correct the “rotten and corrupt” system.

If a policeman would be able to pay for his “banana cue” from a poor lady looking for an income for her family, then, that would be a good start to correct the situation we are in.

Keep on running!

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Movie Ads On Internet (Google)

“The Way”: The Movie

My interest in watching the movie, “The Way”, came from the pilgrimage-experience of Father Picx Picardal which he blogged on a regularl basis last year while walking & jogging (in barefoot and sandals) along the El Camino De Santiago (The Way of St James) from the French border town of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to the city of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. The route covers a distance of more than 800 kilometers along the Pyrenees Mountains. In 35 days, he reached his destination. His journal/diary about his pilgrimage is clearly explained & described in his blog. 

It was in April this year that I was able to discover in the Internet that there is movie produced/filmed about the El Camino De Santiago by Emilio Estevez with his father, Martin Sheen as the lead actor. My research would lead me to more advertisements and websites about the movie with no definite date yet when the movie will be released in the local theaters. Finally, on the first week of October, the movie, “The Way”, started to be shown in selected theaters in the United States.

Movie: "The Way"

I watched the movie on its third week of showing and I considered it as one of the best drama movies I’ve seen in the past 20 years. I don’t need to tell the synopsis of the movie and it is up for my readers to watch the movie when the time it will be released in the local theaters in the Philippines. If you have watched it already on DVD, then it is something that it should be a part of your collection of movies.

Now you ask me, why do I have to feature it in my blog? I was inspired by the movie and the diary of Father Picx Picardal that I’ve placed it in my “Bucket List”. This could be my greatest “adventure run” throughout my entire life.

With The Final Movie Poster In Theaters

It’s time to meet Father Picx Picardal in person to discuss on the details of my plan.

Buen Camino!!!

Squat Test

Last month, I was able to get a free copy of the Competitor Magazine and one of the featured articles is about Kelly Starrett’s stretching methods and workouts which are featured in his blog at In his blog, he promised his readers that he will post stretching exercises on a daily basis which started sometime in August of last year.

What impressed me most is his 10-minute “squat test” which he featured in his first “you tube” post in his blog. And for the past week and days, I’ve been dong this workout on a daily basis. On my first day, I could hardly bend my legs due to the tightness of my left lower quads, calf and knee (due to my injury). I could hardly complete a 2-minute duration of half-squat. I admit I cheated on my first day by trying to tip-toe my feet while bending my legs on half-squat. It was really painful and challenging that I have to sweat it out before finishing a duration of 2 minutes. I was not able to complete the 10-minute squat test on my first day!

Persistence and patience did it and after 10 days, I could already fully squat with my feet flat on the floor but I have to either use the wall as my anchor on my back or hold the legs or edge of a heavy table while keeping myself on a squat position for continuous duration of 10 minutes.

I am happy to say that I got positive results for the past 3 days. My tight quads and calf had loosen and I could no longer feel any pain on my left knee while walking or jogging. I would say that the daily 10-minute squat test is very effective in treating my injury.

As what Kelly Starrett has recommended, I have been strictly following his basic instructions for injured runners/athletes on their lower extremities. Aside from the daily 10-minute squat test, these are his key instructions:

1. Hydrate your body tissues. The formula is to divide your weight in pounds by two and the result is the number of fluid ounces your have to normally drink everyday. If you are involved in running or any endurance sports, you have to drink 16 fluid ounces for every hour of workout. Right now, my weight is 146 pounds, by dividing it to 2, the result is 73. That is 73 fluid ounces of water! If there are 33.8 fluid ounces in one liter, then you can do your math as to how many liters of water you have to drink every day.

2. Take some supplements. He recommends Glucosamine and Omega Oil (Fish Oil) as daily supplements for one’s nutrition needs. He says that these supplements lubricate the joints, reduce inflammation and speed recovery.

3. Follow the Mobility Workout of the Day as featured in his blog.

Desperately wanting to speed up my recovery from my injury, I’ve been a “sucker” to Kelly’s method and instructions. I’ve been following his instructions for the past two weeks (to include the supplements) and I am recovering fast. One more week of “squats” and I would be back again pounding my feet on the ground.

If you are interested to follow the Mobility Workouts of the Day of Kelly Starrett, you can click the MobilityWOD on my blogroll.

The following “you tube” clip was Kelly Starrett’s first blog post on the 10-minute “squat” test.

2011 Miwok 100 Video

This is the video of the frontrunners during the 2011 Miwok 100 Trail Run.

This video was copied from “you tube” which was posted by the Endurables.

Looking at the video, the recording or filming of this event was done by one of the runner-participants who leapfrogs from one section of the course to another by taking the adjacent paved road that is parallel to the direction of the trail. He could be using a car from one entry-access to the trail to another. It is just my suspicion but I might be wrong since I did not see any cyclist mounted on a mountain bike trying to film the event.

The first few seconds of the video shows the top 3 finishers who were sitting and conversing with one another. Hal Koerner in blue upper shirt, black compression shorts, and blue calf sleeves; Dave Mackey wearing a sun visor; and Mike Wolfe.

I am familiar with the 1st 7 miles of the course as some of it are on the paved roads of the Marin Headlands. After their early start at the Rodeo Lagoon Beach, all the runners go to the Rodeo Trail until they reach the paved Conzelman Road which is located south of the Rodeo Lagoon until they reach the Coastal Trail that leads the runners back to where they started. After the runners cross the small bridge at the Rodeo Lagoon, it is now the start of their climb towards the Townsley Battery and northward direction to Mt Tamalpais Park.

It was my first time to enter the Pantoll Station which is 13 miles away from the Rodeo Lagoon. I’ve seen and ran on the trails all the way up to Muir Beach after passing the Wolfe Ridge Trail, Miwok Trail, Old Springs Trail, and towards the Tennessee Valley. But from Muir Beach, I could say that it is a continuous uphill towards the Pantoll Station by looking at the overall contour of the area.

The next portion of the video where there is a muddy area along the curve portion of the trail is that part which is approaching the Tennessee Valley Aid Station. At this point, the runners had covered 11 miles and on their way back, this will be the last Aid Station before they reach the Finish Line.

The portion where you see the runners in single file is the trail on the ridge of the mountain facing the Pacific Ocean. By looking at the movement of the grasses surrounding the runners, you could conclude how strong was the wind coming from the ocean.

Looking at the video, the race was contested between the top 4 runners—Dave Mackey, Mike Wolfe, Hal Koerner, and Dakota Jones as the “real” race started after the turn-around. The first 3 runners are veterans of ultra trail running competitions and they had been running this route and part of the Miwok 100 past editions. Dave Mackey is the holder of the course record in 7:53+ hours. It was Dakota Jones first race at the Miwok 100. After the turn-around and on their way back to Pantoll Station, Dakota Jones took the lead with Dave Mackey behind him. But, before reaching the Pantoll Station, it was a competition between Mike Wolfe and Dave Mackey. Dakota explained in his blog what happened to him during the race.

I had finished with my job as a volunteer when Dave Mackey was approaching the Point Bonita YMCA as the first runner of the race. He finished in 8:03:22 hours, followed by Mike Wolfe in 8:06:00 hours and then Hal Koerner in 8:06:55 hours. Dakota Jones arrived almost 11 minutes behind Hal Koerner.

My next post on this race will deal on my personal observations on the race and its runners.

A Trip To Batanes: A Dream Come True

(Note: This is an entry to SEAIR’s  Batanes Winter Bloggers’ Tour Contest)

A Trip To Batanes: A Dream Come True

Having been born and lived in Ilocos Norte and stayed for almost three years in Cagayan Province when I was in High School, I have heard already about the northern most province of the Philippine archipelago which is called the Batanes Group of Islands. I would hear stories about the place and its people from my father who was then a Principal in one of the Agricultural Schools in Cagayan and later as a Regional Supervisor of the Department of Education. He would always say nice things about the place and its people. With his stories, I would believe that he had been on those islands of Batanes in connection with his job then. Continue reading “A Trip To Batanes: A Dream Come True”

Running In The Movies

You can predict that there is always a “running” scene in every action movie. It is very basic that the main character is being hunted or he is the one trying to catch up with somebody. Running will always be there!

Last week, I watched the movies “The A-Team” and “Karate Kid”. “The A-Team” was a TV-series which started in 1983 and lasted for about six years or seasons but it was never been produced or filmed as a movie. While the “Karate Kid” was a motion picture released in 1984 which was followed with two films as sequels to the first movie and another film, “The Next Karate Kid” which featured a girl as the main character. I was a consisten fan of “The A-Team” as I was in the United States for my military schooling when it first hit the TV screens. As compared with the Karate Kid, the first movie was considered as the best movie of the said franchise and I did not mind watching the sequels.

The "Original" A-Team

 What endeared me with The A-Team was the fact that I was able to talk and meet Mr T who acted as “BA Baracus” in person at the Los Angeles Municipal Court. Yes, he was wearing those 20+ kilos of gold chains on his neck and wearing an overall denim clothes with his trademark haircut.

The "Original" Karate Kid

Well, for the 1st Karate Kid, I could remember the simple story and the famous phrases, “Wax On, Wax Off”!

Fast Forward…In the movie, The A-Team, you could see Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith, after he escaped from two corrupt Mexican officers, running along the trails of US-Mexico border trying to save Lt Templeton “Face” Peck from being executed by Mexican “thugs” and drug dealers. In the middle of the film, you could see again a lot of running and chasing on foot from Brock Pike, the leader of the Black Forest Group, and the rest of the A-Team along the streets in one of the cities in Europe.

In the movie, The Karate Kid (aka The Kung-Fu Kid), you could see a lot of running after Dre, the main character, did his own way to get even to the group of Cheng, the bully & protagonist in the story, by splashing them with “waste” water from the drainage. Cheng chased Dre running along the streets and alleys of the town/city until Dre was cornered in a court near their residence.

Action movies are not fun and exciting when there is no running scene incorporated in the story. It only proves that running is a part of life and without running, our life is not fun and exciting as it can be.

You better watch these two movies on the widescreen! Enjoy & have fun!

“Thanks For Not Inviting”

1. In a few hours today, Joy Rojas’ “Takbong Pangarap” Run Across USA will hold a Press Conference at the Hotel Intercontinental in Makati City about her 3,000-Mile Run Across USA which she completed on the middle of November 2009.

2. I knew this Press Con event from a Race Organizer who is close with Joy Rojas and Mat Macabe last week. I asked from the Race Organizer if I can attend the said event since I know that such event needs an invitation letter of e-mail. However, since Monday, I was given a lot of reasons and “alibis” for me not to be able to contact a certain Leila Caringal, the event organizer. And the Race Organizer who informed me about the event is no longer answering my text messages if there is a possibility that I could attend the Press Con. And what is worst, I know that Mat Macabe has my cellphone number.

3. It is on record in my blog that I tried to locate the location of Joy Rojas after a month or two from the time she started her run from Eagle Rock, California on the 2nd week of May of this year. From the e-mails I received from my ultra running friends and comments in my blog, some problems emerged from the team of “Takbong Pangarap” where one of the members left the team and returned to the Philippines due to some “complaints” and “misunderstanding” with Joy and Mat. Aside from the said “misunderstanding”, one of my readers questioned the integrity of the running event. I tried to get the side of Joy and Mat about such “issues” and it was an opportunity to exchange e-mails with Joy and she was able to send me some of her pictures of which were “grabbed” by other websites. Joy tried to evade to answer the “issues” but she told me that her run will go on. As Joy reached Idaho, I stopped monitoring her running event and since then, I never heard about her whereabouts.

4. After reading the book of Brian Stark on his experiences of running across the USA through the American Discovery Trail and Trail Roads without any support; watching the DVD film on Dean Karnazes’ 50/50 and Running The Sahara; and browsing the different blogsites and websites of runners who ran the Transcontinental USA for the past years ( pls refer to, I have my personal doubts about the feat and accomplishment of Joy Rojas. These ultra runners prepared their plans for years and collected at least 500 maps to trace and plan for their routes; they have journals and documents to prove their feat through their websites and blogs, complete with pictures; and they take advantage of the gadgets and devices that the high-technology world has to offer in order to track and recors their runs.

5. An ultra runner friend of mine, Tess Geddes, a Filipina who finished two editions of the Marathon Des Sable in the Sahara Desert had recommended me to track one of his ultra running friends, Ray Zahab, who was running across Canada with the use of a GPS tracker. By clicking his website at, I was able to locate him on real-time on what part of Canada he was running! Ray Zahab is the Canadian runner who is one of the team members who was featured in the film “Running The Sahara”.

5. If you think that this is one of my “crab mentality” stories and insights, this is not so! We are dealing here with the truth and integrity of a runner’s accomplishment and purpose. If I was not invited for this presscon because of the thought that I might “ruin” or question the integrity of Joy Rojas accomplishment, then they are wrong. I will let this blog speaks for itself. You will be the judge.

(P.S. I never met Joy Rojas in person! The PressCon would have been a nice venue to meet and congratulate her personally)

“50/50” & “Running The Sahara”

1. I received a very early X’mas gift  from Jay Nacino aka Prometheus Cometh two weeks ago and it was delivered through courier system. The gift was a compilation of running films/movies recorded in two (2) CDs. Thanks, Jay for the gift. God bless.

2. The following films were recorded in those two CDs: Chariots of Fire; Without Limits; 50/50; and Running The Sahara. Having seen the first two films mentioned in widescreen, I was very interested to watch 50/50 and Running  The Sahara because they deal more on ultramarathon and multi-day stage runs. Both of these running events were filmed sometime in 2006.

3. I will not deal with the whole story of these films as every reader of this blog could easily browse or “google” the title of the films and they could get the details of these running events. 50/50 was made as a film and at the same time published as a book to document Dean Karnazes’ 50 marathon races, in 50 States in the US, in 50 days. Running The Sahara is a film about three (3) ultrarunners from the USA, Canada, and Taiwan traversing the African continent by passing through the Sahara Desert in 111 days.

4. What I like to point out and emphasize in these running events is the tremendous PLANNING involved to undertake such feats. Dean Karnazes took at least 3 years to convince The North Face in appreciating his plan to run 50 marathons, in 50 different States, in 50 days and another year to finally coordinate and arrange for the implementation of the said project. It was only when his book “The Ultramarathon Man” became a No. 1 Top Seller and his being a top contender in the 100-Mile Western States and Winner in one of the Badwater Ultramarathon editions that he became popular.

5. The planning and preparation for the three (3) ultra runners in 3 different countries in the Running The Sahara took also years. Moreso, with the logistics; production/film crew; and other administrative requirements preparations for the event. This film/event also tested the endurance of the support staff and film crew in order to finish the running event.

Kevin Lin (Taiwan); Ray Zahab (Canada); & Charlie Engle (USA)

6. These two running epic events were well-planned and documented. These films really inspire other people to seek their endurance limits and at the same time promoting some advocacies/charities to help less-fortunate people. So, if ever you plan to do such endurance run, whether an ultramarathon event or multi-stage/day run, you have to document it so that the INTEGRITY of the event is intact. A simple blog (with pictures) would do or inexpensive tracker/GPS device to record your event should be with you all the time during your run.

“Cavite”: The Movie

When I last visited my family in Los angeles in December 2006, my daughter asked me if I’ve seen the movie “Cavite” and I was surprised to hear the title of the movie and I said “No”. That was the first time that I heard about that movie and I didn’t bother to ask further questions. However, my daughter recommended that I have to see it or look for a DVD copy of it.

On the day my daughter left Manila for Los Angeles last 22 February, she gave me a DVD original copy of the movie as a gift which she bought at Powerbooks at Powerplant. From its pack, the movie is an “indie” or an independent movie which was made by non-popular movie outfit, actor, producer, etc. I tried to play the DVD to my notebook but it could not play it because the DVD was not made for my notebook’s DVD player.

So, yesterday, I asked one of the officers at the Transient Facility to set-up a DVD player in our living room. Well, the movie’s story/plot is nice and I can relate myself with the movie as I was once assigned in Mindanao when I was a young officer fighting the MNLF in Maguindanao and lately, in Zamboanga City and Basilan fighting the Abu Sayaff Group (ASG).

I don’t want to tell the story/plot but if you are a  Christian or non-Muslim, you could see another perception/insight of what and why violence and terrorism still prevail in Mindanao in the eyes and minds of the Muslims.


Note: This movie is a “fiction”!