Thursday, June 21, 2007

Mars, 'Noli,' and 'Marimar'

In between fits to finish an article, I browse various Web sites, usually my favored ones, in search of something interesting, or something that will brighten my day and will prompt me to finish what I'm doing. And recently, following are what I found, and my two cents' worth on each find:


From Reuters: This image is a composite mosaic of four polar views of Mars, taken at midnight, 6 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m. local Martian time taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft and released October 16, 2006....

From BBC News:
Volunteers sought for Mars test

First reaction: OMG!!! This is kind of cool - and a great find now I'm considering a career outside of writing.

So, read, read, read:
"The European Space Agency (Esa) is seeking volunteers for a simulated human trip to Mars, in which six crew spend 17 months in an isolation tank.

They will live and work in a series of interlocked modules at a research institute in Moscow.

Once the hatches are closed, the crew's only contact with the outside world is a radio link to "Earth" with a realistic delay of many minutes.

It sounds like Big Brother, but there are no plans to televise the test...."

Hmm.... So far, OK:
"...In all, 12 European volunteers will be needed. They must be aged 25-50, be in good health, have "high motivation" and stand up to 185cm tall. Smokers, or those with other addictions, to alcohol or illicit drugs, for example, will be rejected.

Esa is also looking for a working knowledge of both English and Russian...."


Bummer. Why this chance is only for Europeans, or among those who have the resources to explore the universe (hello, Descovrir, they're financing it)? What happened to equal opportunity? And as I remember how my sweetie put it once, to paraphrase, the US (and other advanced countries as well) are spending too much money for space explorations. Why not pool the resources to save our planet instead? Might be too late, but we can try - more. Ditto, sweetie.


From PDI: "Ang Pagtitipon" by Leandro Cruz

'Noli' in oil on canvas

Artist Leonardo Cruz gives Jose Rizal a different gift on the hero's 146th birth anniversary - painting 28 key scenes of the novel Noli Me Tangere in rich colors, giving the literary opus a new perspective, and which recently is translated by Penguin Books, proving more that the novel is truly one of world's classics.

Cruz's works are on exhibit at Fort Santiago, Manila. This effort will hope to entice more Filipinos, particularly the young, to read, and understand a classic such as Noli, and that the visual rendition, as Cruz paints the scenes in a comic-like manner, will make the novel graphically appealing, thus, creating the curious, and reigniting the imaginations of those who read the work, to look back on it.

More on Cruz's Noli rendition and about the novel here. (Interestingly, the author of this article shares the same birthday with our national hero. Don't ask me though how old this author is, hehehe).

On local TV:

Thalia as Marimar
Localizing "Marimar"

It's official. Marimar will no longer be seen on Philippine TV as dubbed in Filipino. The telenovela captured us because of its dramatic, juicy, lilting, lines (as dubbed in our own language). Remember, it dislodged the tabloidized TV news programs from their seats in the prime time, as the telenovela offered a concise, fast-paced storyline (in contrast with the Filipino soaps then that neared a decade to end) - a different take on the favored plot of poor-girl-becomes-victorious-and-avenges-for-her-sorry-past-
but-in-the-end-again-falls-in-love-to-her-hero/oppressor
-thus-happy-ending.

GMA 7 won the rights to remake Marimar. I'm a bit nostalgic about this - I was a late bloomer about the Thalia/Marimar rave. I didn't know then what the fuss was about when my high school friends (whom I miss) talked of Marimar, Sergio, Choy, Fulgoso (the talking dog), until I saw it and got hook eventually, even cutting our patintero/volleyball games and going home by 5pm to catch the telenovela.

It was first weird to see a Mexican "talking" in our lingua franca. But we got the hang of it, eventually empathizing with the protagonist's plight, even little girls wishing to be like the multimedia, beauteous artist Thalia. The phenomenon has become a subject in media classes as well (another blog post might be needed to discuss about everything that is with the phenomenon), as it altered the Filipino's prime time viewing. Soon, media outfits caught on the business the foreign telenovela is raking in - it is said cheaper to import canned soaps than produce them - and they scrambled (well, ABS-CBN that is) to get the other Thalia-starred soaps.

GMA is into remaking these days - even Shaider they're remaking too - but don't we just wish (especially savvy, media consumers), to see more quality, Filipino-made programs, than adapting programs as our own? Business-wise, it's not OK, but on my end, I want to have "good" memories of the programs (even not ours, and dubbed in our language, yet retained their production) that became part of my not-so-distant growing up years.

There goes my chopsuey post.
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