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Archive for September, 2012

The mistress is a saint but the movie is a tease.

September 30, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies 3 Comments →


This is not a scene from The Mistress.

The Mistress, a Star Cinema production directed by Olivia Lamasan, dangles many titillating possibilities then leaves moviegoers doing exactly that: dangling.

The title alone is the stuff of Filipino melodramas: Querida! Kabit! Masamang babae! It could only be more Pinoy if it were entitled “D’Mistress”. In the title role is one of the studio’s hottest properties, Bea Alonzo, who up to this point has played mainly good girls. This movie signals her career shift to more “daring” adult roles, declares the PR machinery.

Starring opposite Bea Alonzo is her longtime screen partner, John Lloyd Cruz. The pair has headlined some of the biggest blockbusters of the last decade, and their drawing power is such that they don’t even have to pretend to be lovers in real life. None of that cheap emotional blackmail (Nagkagalit sila, nagkabati, galit, bati, repeat) we’ve come to expect from showbiz “love teams”—these are pros, and they happen to be fine actors. A lot is said of their “chemistry”. Oh please, if an actor is skilled, he can summon up chemistry with a fire hydrant.

Read our column today in the Philippine Star.

Saffy goes dental

September 29, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats No Comments →


Saffy’s eyes are both green, that’s just a reflection.

My cat Saffy is 12 years old and eats her weight in kibble every week so when she seemed a little lighter I took notice. I thought she’d lost weight from her habit of patrolling our house every night, walking the same route over and over for hours. If I block her path she just climbs or walks around the obstacle and continues her circuit. This must be her exercise program.

Then, last week, I saw something sticking out of her mouth, and her breath smelled bad. Of course, cats have fishy breath, but this was different. The piece that I thought was sticking out was actually a bit of her lower gum, which was strangely exposed. (Imagine a micro-version of the scary half of Two-Face in Batman.)

Read Cat takes a trip to the dentist, our column in Pet Life in the Philippine Star.

Alphabet review: The Mistress

September 28, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies 17 Comments →

Obviously The Mistress starring John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo is criticism-proof so we decided to entertain ourselves instead. Here’s our review (after Edward Gorey’s The Deadly Blotter): 26 words about The Mistress, in alphabetical order.


Alonzo, Bea, coincidentally does errant father, garrulous heir.


Incidentally, John-Lloyd knows.


Lachrymose. Moments: nice. Overall: patchy. Quotidian. Reassuringly safe. Quo, Reaffirms status. Quarrels, reunions. Safe.


Transgression?? Ultimately, virtue. Whatever excites your zygotes.

Alphabet story: The Deadly Blotter

September 27, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Books 1 Comment →

Edward Gorey’s The Deadly Blotter



A detective story told in 26 words in alphabetical order.

The complete story is here.

Study says parasite in cat poop makes people more sociable and reckless

September 27, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Science 1 Comment →

No, it doesn’t.


Toxoplasma gondii, a common and very clever parasite you can get from handling kitty litter or eating steak tartare. Image: KLAUS BOLLER Photo Researchers, Inc.

Feeling sociable or reckless? You might have toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by the microscopic parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which the CDC estimates has infected about 22.5 percent of Americans older than 12 years old. Researchers tested participants for T. gondii infection and had them complete a personality questionnaire. They found that both men and women infected with T. gondii were more extroverted and less conscientious than the infection-free participants. These changes are thought to result from the parasite’s influence on brain chemicals, the scientists write in the May/June issue of the European Journal of Personality.

Read Common Parasite Linked to Personality Changes

Again, Never Again

September 26, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Current Events, Technology No Comments →


George Orwell called it. Eric Blair, you’re a prophet. Penguin anniversary edition cover design by gray318.

It was fitting that as the 40th anniversary of the declaration of martial law drew near, the hot topic on social networks, blogs and traditional media in the Philippines was the end of freedom of expression.

Read The Cybercrime Law: The Return of the Thought Police, our column at InterAksyon.com.