Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Podcast’

Serial, season 2 has begun

December 12, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Podcast No Comments →


In May 2014, a U.S. Special Operations team in a Black Hawk helicopter landed in the hills of Afghanistan. Waiting for them were more than a dozen Taliban fighters and a tall American, who looked pale and out of sorts: Bowe Bergdahl. Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier, had been a prisoner of the Taliban for nearly five years, and now he was going home.

President Obama announced Bergdahl’s return in the Rose Garden, with the soldier’s parents at his side. Bergdahl’s hometown of Hailey, Idaho, planned a big celebration to welcome him back. But then, within days—within hours of his rescue, in fact—public reaction to his return flipped. People started saying Bergdahl shouldn’t be celebrated. Some of the soldiers from his unit called him a deserter, a traitor. They said he had deliberately walked off their small outpost in eastern Afghanistan and into hostile territory.

Hailey canceled its celebration. The army launched an investigation. Finally, in March, the military charged Bergdahl with two crimes, one of which carries the possibility of a life sentence. Through all of this, Bergdahl has been quiet. He hasn’t spoken to the press or done any interviews on TV. He’s been like a ghost at the center of a raucous fight.

Now, in Season Two, we get to hear what he has to say.

For this season, Sarah Koenig teams up with filmmaker Mark Boal and Page 1 to find out why one idiosyncratic guy decided to walk away, into Afghanistan, and how the consequences of that decision have spun out wider and wider. It’s a story that has played out in unexpected ways from the start. And it’s a story that’s still going on.

Get Serial.

Podcast: Moira, Juana and Jessica talk about A Second Chance

December 05, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies, Podcast 16 Comments →

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Moira Lang and Juana Change

When we recorded this podcast last Thursday, A Second Chance starring Bea Alonzo and John Lloyd Cruz was already the top-grossing Filipino movie of 2015. Is it everything it’s cranked up to be? How does it stack up against the much-loved first movie, One More Chance?

The cast of this podcast:

Mae Paner a.k.a. Juana Change, activist and author of the bestselling Kwentaxi, her conversations with taxi drivers ranging from the heartwarming to the bizarre. Her latest Juana Change video Laglagan Na was directed by Brilliant Mendoza and has gotten more than 3 million views on Facebook. The next Juana Change video will be directed by Lav Diaz. No word on the running time.

Moira Lang a.k.a. Raymond Lee, screenwriter of Anak, Tanging Yaman, Milan, Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros, Zombadings and producer of Maxi, Zombadings and Norte, Hangganan Ng Kasaysayan. Moira is currently writing a screenplay she is not at liberty to discuss, after which she will start working on Zombadings 2: Game of Trans. Investors, line up here.

Jessica Zafra a.k.a. Jessicarulestheuniverse, accidental honorary executive producer of Norte, who has seen the movies that got nominated for the Best Foreign Film Oscar the year Norte had a shot and still thinks Norte should’ve been in the shortlist. Ida, the eventual winner—blah. Wild Tales—hysterically funny, but not the best. Leviathan—a Russian movie that feels Filipino, and should be shown in a double-bill with Norte, a Filipino film that feels Russian. (Afterwards, a suicide watch.)

Recorded at Cibo with a very good microphone.

Movie rating: Three thumbs down, and three double-espressos to stay awake.

Listen to the podcast.

One More One More Chance

December 02, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies, Podcast 1 Comment →

This is how out of touch we are with pop culture: We saw that A Second Chance had opened in theatres, cried, “Nikolaj Coster-Waldau!” and made plans to see it. When we got to the cinema we guessed by the long queues and excited viewers that it was not the Danish cop drama directed by Susanne Bier.

As everyone knows, A Second Chance is the sequel to the blockbuster romantic drama One More Chance, which makes it One More One More Chance. Though technically, “one more chance” is already “a second chance”. Still, A Second Chance is a savvy choice for title because it leaves room for an infinite number of sequels.

To make up for not seeing A Second Chance the minute it opened, we will watch it tomorrow and then do a podcast with guests Juana Change and Moira Lang.

On the Podcast: The Cat Whisperer mediates between cats and their human allies

May 13, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Podcast 3 Comments →

Joker, a 6-month-old Scottish Fold from Francis Bonnevie’s cattery, participated in All About Cats, a show sanctioned by The International Cat Association, at Resorts World Manila last week.

How do you get a cat to drink more water?

What can you do to dissuade the cat from sharpening his claws on the most expensive piece of furniture in the house? (Because cats, being possessed of impeccable taste, know how to identify the one item in the household whose destruction would cause you the most pain.)

What’s a human to do in the midst of a feline territorial war?

Is your cat really attempting to kill you? Why, why, why, when you are her humble servant?

What is Joker telling The Cat Whisperer?

We spoke to The Cat Whisperer Mieshelle Nagelschneider, who was in town last week for the All About Cats show at Resorts World Manila. She gave us some practical advice that made us smack our foreheads and cry, “Why didn’t we think of that!”

Listen to our podcast with The Cat Whisperer. The podcast is available for streaming, downloading, or subscription on iTunes.

Joker and his 3-month-old cousin, Lambert.

Thanks to the Public Relations team of Resorts World Manila for arranging the interview.

In the podcast: New Adventures in Micro Entrepreneurship

March 24, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Money, Podcast No Comments →

Citi Philippines CEO Batara Sianturi leads a discussion with participating microentrepreneurs.

We attended a round table with Citi Philippines CEO Batara Sianturi and eight beneficiaries of the Citi Microenterprise Development Center (CMDC). CMDC trains, coaches, and mentors high-potential micro business owners. It has been recognized with a social empowerment award by the Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Program.

In part 1 of the podcast, the microentrepreneurs tell us how they got started in business, and express their fears about the future of their enterprises. We’ll hear from a former overseas worker who had had enough of being separated from her family for long periods, so she set up a business that would keep her at home in the Philippines. Then there’s the former sugar plantation laborer who got a small plot of land in the agrarian reform program and turned it into a thriving plantation.

In part 2, the microentrepreneurs tell us how they overcame personal hardships, what they’ve learned about running their own businesses, and how entrepreneurship has changed their families’ fortunes. A start-up entrepreneur recounts how she switched from a hollow block-making business to something closer to her heart: native Filipino snacks. A widowed mother of three marshaled her inner resources to build a thriving meat processing business and now extends financial assistance to other microentrepreneurs.

Hear their stories in our two-part podcast at the Citi Microenterprise Development Center.

Listen to, download, and subscribe to the Jessica Rules Podcasts.

Supervillain, fashion icon, role model: Listen to our podcast with Celia Rodriguez

November 21, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies, Podcast 4 Comments →

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Ms Celia Rodriguez at the screening of Gerardo de Leon’s Lilet, introduced by the Filipino pop cinema specialist and filmmaker (the epic Search for Weng Weng), Andrew Leavold.

Celia Rodriguez is a contravida in real life, but only to the mediocre and stupid. Listen to or download part 1 of our conversation with Celia Rodriguez at the podcast page.

Our favorite Celia Rodriguez contravida lines:

1. In Lipad, Darna, Lipad!, where Valentina is dining al fresco at the Manila Hotel and she spots the flying Darna and says, “Sino ang babaeng yan na mababa ang lipad?” (For non-Tagalog speakers: “Who is that low-flying woman?” Low-flying as in “tramp”.)

2. From Renly: In Joey Gosiengfiao’s Nights of Serafina, where the lovers have a tryst in a barn strewn with candles for that sexy mood. Unfortunately the hay catches fire (Tanga). The lovers burn to death, naked. In the next scene, they are charcoal in each other’s arms. As they are carried away, Celia says, “Yan ang nararapat sa naglalaro ng apoy.” (“That’s what happens when you play with fire.”)

3. From Louie: In Mario O’Hara’s Bulaklak sa City Jail, when Nora Aunor and Celia enter the prison and Zenaida Amador asks Celia why she’s back.

Zenaida: Ba’t bumalik ka na naman, ano na naman ang kaso mo? (“Why are you back?)
Celia: Ano pa, di pagpuputa, mayroon pa bang iba? (“Whoring, what else?”)

What are your favorite Celia Rodriguez lines?