Thursday, October 25, 2012

Step Up Revolution: Flash Mobs at its Finest

I am always been a fan of dance themed movies. As a dancer, I see myself as part of what I am watching; grooving with the beat, relating to the character's story plot since most of these movies depict the struggles a dancer encounters to deliver a message he/she wants to tell the world, that dancing has always been a burning passion for them.

As I seldom do reviews on movies, I did not make this pass.  I was a little bit frustrated that the film had a late screening here in Tacloban City (my hometown Bacolod had it on the big screen on the premiere date, here it was roughly 3 weeks after).  But as they say, good things come to those who wait.. And the film did not disappoint me.

Step Up Revolution is the fourth installment of the Step Up series, produced by Jon Chu.  It stars Ryan Guzman (Sean) and SYTYCD Season 6 runner-up Kathryn McCormick (Emily).  The film is set on a steamy beach side Miami where THE MOB, a group of dancers that performs flash mobs in public, turned performance to a form of protest after Emily's dad a wealthy real estate owner, will try to build a five star resort, forcing a community, including Sean's neighborhood to be demolished.

Favorite line of the movie:

"Enough with performance art; It is time for protest art" - Emily

Contrary to other reviews online, I do not see the plot of the story as common as the previous Step Up Series.  Except for the first installment, all other Step Up films were about crews vying for the public's respect, having showdowns if whose team is the best.  This film, however, delivers a strong message that if we stand ipfor what is right, we can make things happen, and that's achieving our goals.  Emily, with the help of THE MOB, made her dad (played by Peter Gallagher) realized the community he is about to destroy if he continues his ambitious project.

The film also did not fail in delivering the best of choreography there had been in any dance movies.  The mixture of hiphop, ballet and contemporary dance was very fascinating to watch.  It was also nice to see some SYTYCD and ABDC alumni share the big screen to deliver great flash mob performances. I love all the performances but my favorites were the flash mobs at  the museum, fine dining, and the protest mob.

The Flash Mob in the Museum

The fine dining flash mob

The MOB on Protest

Overall, I give the film 8.5/10.  I honestly enjoyed the film (and this is a personal review).  As a dance, it gabe me a feeling of excitement to be able to dance again with a group and practice some hard hitting hiphop choreography after watching the film.  Not now but maybe in some days to come.

Photos courtesy of Yahoo! Movies and Google
All rights reserved. Copyright © 2012 Summit Entertainment.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Dakak: The Forgotten but Still Amazin' Resort

I remember when I was a kid while watching television during noontime, I usually come across the commercial of Dakak during breaks from Eat Bulaga.  It was stunning to see even on tv that I told myself I will have to visit it someday.  And yes, I made that dream come true.  I was able to set foot on the said paradise.

May 5, 2012.  Four days following my successful final interview in the new company I am working with right now, me and my girlfriend, together with our friends Charisma and Charlotte decided to take a land trip from Bacolod to Dumaguete (a 6-hour nonstop drive) and hop aboard a fast craft going to Dapitan City.  From the port, a service van from fetched us and took another 30 minutes drive to Dakak Park & Beach Resort.  You can also hire a single motorcycle (or locals call it habal habal) to get you to the resort.

The place is still the same as what is seen in the commercial.  Beautiful sights, peaceful ambiance, a perfect place if you want to get away from the city's busy lifestyle.  So as I described it - a hidden paradise.  Other than the beach itself, we also enjoyed the city tour as part of our group package (roughly 7k for four persons).  Yes, Dakak offers group packages which includes your overnight stay, visits to Rizal Shrine in Dapitan, Gloria's Fantasyland (an amusement park based on Enchanted Kingdom, less the roller coasters) as well as a quick city tour to a nearby city, Dipolog.  

One of three pools offered for your relaxation

A Chinese temple with the scenic mountain background

The resort also offers three swimming pools, one of them is about 12 ft deep that it is very good for those who wants to practice diving (as long as you know how to swim); bowling, billiards, videoke, snorkeling, jet skiing, and kayaking.  Charlotte brought her skim board so I practiced skimboarding by the shoreline early morning (and was not good at it haha)

Rizal's Shrine in Dapitan

Charlotte, Edz, Me and Charisma enjoying the clear beach waters

At Gloria's Fantasyland

The Magestic sunset in Dakak

Amidst the popularity of "party" beaches, to name Boracay and Puerto Gallera, Dakak is something beach lovers should visit.  If you are a peace-loving person, you will be amazed of the tranquility the place has to offer.

How to get there:
Dakak is in Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte.  It is accessible via air (Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines) from Manila and Cebu to Dipolog Airport; via fastcraft from Dumaguete, Cebu and Tagbilaran to Dapitan Port.  If you have a tour package with the resort, a service van will be available for you.  If not, or if you just simply looking for adventure, you can hire a habal habal, but always remember to negotiate first.  For more information, you can get in touch with them at (+63) 65 213 6813.