Monthly Archives: December 2011

Being Happy Begins with Being Healthy

It began with a headache.

The headache continued, which made me wonder as I had never experienced continuous heavy headache before.

It culminated in the following words by our family doctor:
“Nauval, you are reaching to hyper-tension level. Your blood pressure is now 140/90.”

There I was, lying down, stunned and lost for words. Deep down I screamed, “It’s always been 100 and not more!”
The doctor, who called me on nickname basis, who has been with me since I was born, further said in a matter-of-fact manner:
“It’s getting common now for people of your age.”

To me, that is a welcome sign to “hello, you are old now. Take care.”

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Posted by on 12/31/2011 in English, Personal


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My Top Filmgoing Experiences of 2011

What a year.

More than anything else, we will remember 2011 as the year we almost lost cinema.

No thanks to the temporary halt of film import that went on for 5 months (how did we even survive, I wonder?), we almost lost the joy or even the idea of cinema-going experience itself.

Suddenly the term filmgoing experience itself finally acknowledged the idea of going to pirated DVDs shops, something we have been exposed to all along, but not until this year public acknowledgment of such could be said without shame.

The overview of the situation has been written in The Jakarta Globe as part of its kaleidoscope series, by yours truly.

What’s written here is a recollection of how a common filmgoer like me spent his time in movies this year.

I was simply trying to make do of what was left in cinemas, and guess what?
There were unexpected joys to find, thanks to those who still believed in the power of cinema and its audiences, bringing films from different parts of the world, unlikely programming that amused my thirst of quality cinema, and occasionally bad films that, nevertheless, made me smile.

Here they are, my choices for filmgoing experiences of 2011:

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Posted by on 12/29/2011 in English, Film, Personal


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What good is a heart in words?

Dear you,

Before the answer to the title is revealed, and before the fate of this letter ends up in its disappearance from the mailbox, I hope there are some precious seconds you are willing to spare to read this through the end.

And I wonder if the request has now become some sort of soft force I make you do, because if it is, you have every right to divert your eyes from this space.

As much as I have my right to continue writing this, and liking you.

In fact, it has been going on for some time now, in which you may choose to acknowledge in silence, or you keep it by yourself in heart.

Either way, it gives yours truly assurance that what is not spoken in person eventually reaches out to you, something I consider as another personal achievement.

The other achievement lies on how you have made me a complete human being just by falling for you.

In my attempt to keep you in my thought, I’ve kept thinking of you as I close my eyes for the day, and open them to start another.
Injecting you in my mind as a flame has warmed me up when my bitter, cold self turns up in many circumstances.
You are present in my mind as a detractor to keep me away from things I might have done on the first place that would only harm myself.

Dear you,

I don’t need to wonder if I’m ever present in your dream, let alone in your full consciousness.
The fact is, relationship begins as a selfish act when one lonely heart desperately seeks another to avoid loneliness.
The loneliness leads one to despair, often shown in bitchy, cranky traits that further makes one hardly likeable.

Thus it is fine when one shuns unfavorable person to occupy heart, albeit the mystery that always surrounds this sentence: “we cannot choose who we fall in love with.”

Yet, this is not love.
This is only me, a man with nothing else to offer but his heart, telling you that you have made me fall for you, without wishing anything in return.
This is only me, a man thanking you for finally making me believe that, by liking you wholeheartedly, you have given life again to once heartless self.

The heart is full of life again.

Thus, what good is a heart in words?

It’s a heart that is filled with joyful hope and is worth expressing in words.


Posted by on 12/24/2011 in English, Personal


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What Are Crazy Things You Do For Movies?

It all begins with my dear friend Santi saying this:

“Val, I want an action. Something you’ve done.”

I swear if it’s something about impregnating …

“We want something you’ve actually done to show how crazy you are. And we all know you’re crazy ;”

I’m still digesting and thinking if there’s any alcohol involved. Because if it is …

“Let me put it this way: you need to tell me how passionate you are about movies. What are the crazy things you’ve done for movies?”

Exit false pregnancy worry, enter bigger question.

What are crazy things I’ve done to show how passionate I am about movies?

The question has occupied me the entire evening, so much so that you are reading what my mind is thinking right now.

Repeatedly I have written blog entries, which serve like a love letter to cinema. The first one, you can read them here, which tells how I was lured by my parents, then avid filmgoers, to literally “dark side” when I was a kid.
Then there’s another one here, for my emotional outburst during our dark period of cinema-going earlier this year.

Is this going to be another love-letter to cinema? Since “crazy” is the operative word here, I’ll let you decide at the end of the entry.

What I can be sure of instead is how my life has always been evolving around movies. The involvement ranges from being merely as a spectator, or what has been happening in the past six years: a slave in the film circle itself.

Thus, film has always been one of the main priorities, major in fact, in every turning point of my life.

When one does what it takes to get his/her utmost priority, what others perceive as ‘that-crazy-thing-you-do’ is actually a normal thing to do to us. Call it a norm or custom or habits, we don’t feel like doing anything crazy or special at the moment of carrying out the actions.

Only when we look back, like what you and I are doing right now, we realize how often those past things seem surreal.

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Posted by on 12/07/2011 in English, Film, Personal