On good runs, short-term jobs, and long-term love
CHANNEL SURFING - Althea Lauren Ricardo () - February 19, 2008 - 12:00am

As you may have already guessed, I was extremely disappointed that Marc and Rovilson ended up in third place in The Amazing Race Asia. I’m still proud of them, though. They had a good run—and they still managed to have yet another unforgettable moment where, already knowing they had lost, they still ran to the pit stop proudly carrying the Philippine flag. No other team, except for the other Philippine team Henry and Terri, openly displayed their country’s flags.

I know that when you really think about it, TARA is just another reality TV contest. I also know that whatever Filipinos—or any other team, for that matter—can achieve participating in it can easily be a tiny, tiny footnote in any country’s Annals of Great Achievements, if it will be included at all.

Considering the alternatives, though, I’ll celebrate any ounce of greatness that comes our way. And yes, I still think Marc and Rovilson played a great game. I also think they’re part of the reason TARA’s ratings shot up this season—and that’s a big boost to our country’s image. It’s just a pity they didn’t go to any of our fabulous islands in the Philippine leg.

Incidentally, if you think you can do better than these two guys, The Amazing Race Asia Season 3 is still open for applications until 6pm (Singapore time), February 25, 2008. Visit www.axn-asia.com for details.

Endo: This year’s love story

A lot has been said about ufo Picture’s latest project, Endo (directed by Jade Castro and co-written by Castro, Raymond Lee, and Michiko Yamamoto), but I think the buzz is going to continue for quite some time. Judging by the production company’s previous successes (Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros and Sarong Banggi), and considering this one, I’m now more convinced than ever that the Filipino film industry isn’t really dying, but experiencing a rebirth and the playing-safe, big-time producers better learn to catch up.

On the surface, Endo can be seen as just another boy-meets-girl love story—and it’s a little bit marketed as such. However, it goes deeper into romance, Filipino-style, where a huge bulk of the work force have to settle for contractual jobs and contend with everything temporary that comes with it—financial security, bosses, friends, lovers, and dreams.

“Endo” is slang for “end of contract” and main character Leo (Jason Abalos) finds that with every “endo” also follows the end of yet another relationship—until he meets the idealistic Tanya (Ina Feleo), who wakes up the dormant dreamer in him.

What is most moving about Endo is its lack of sentimentality—it’s a romance without flowers, where the sweetest gifts are the most practical ones, like slippers. The characters go about their lives, moving from one short-term job to another, getting whatever slightest bit of pleasure and comfort they can get from the moment. They celebrate every “endo” with several rounds of drinks; they catch up with each other as they job-hunt; they schedule dates around pay days. 

But Tanya is different—as she goes through the short-term job cycles, she sets her eyes on her long-term desires: Financial security for her family, the stepping stone of which is a well-paying job on a ship. Leo meets her just as he is also beginning to hanker for something more permanent, though it takes a bit of a while for him to get to the space Tanya is in.

The film ends aptly—no illusions of “I’ll do anything for love” romance for a country where economic considerations take top priority, and yet, with great hope that you just might beat the cycle (of contractual jobs, of poverty, of short-term relationships) if you stick to the pursuit of what you want, long-term.

Email your comments to alricardo@yahoo.com. You may also text them to 0920.273.7087. Please remember to mention your name in your text messages. You can also visit my personal blog at http://althearicardo. blogspot.com.

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