What’s Life Like Outside a Rape Schedule?

Saturday Night Live‘s recent sketch called “Welcome to Hell” could not be more accurate. If you’re surprised at just how common sexual predators are at home, in an actor’s studio, in the boardroom, at a party, then you either don’t exist or you’re a man.

Women have long adjusted their lives to the fact that rapists and sexual predators exist. Rather than living in an environment that lets these criminals think twice before doing what they want, women always have to second guess their safety.

It’s not even victim-shaming I am talking about here. It’s the rape schedule: “the ways in which women alter their daily lives in order to limit their chances of sexual assault.” It’s the very subtle ways women are equipped to protect themselves. I bet you don’t notice it even, it’s almost second nature. At night, I call my sister at least two minutes before the car gets to my house so she can open the gate. Why? I don’t want to ring the bell and wait for her to come. It’s the perfect time for someone to come and harm me.

Dark alleys are a no-no unless you’re walking in a group. I’ve delayed plans to make sure a male companion can be with me during nights out. We’ve even developed tracker apps to alert loved ones if we feel unsafe and even straws to detect date-rape drugs.

My mother always reminds me to bring a jacket especially when I wear something sleeveless. Sure, it’s because I might get cold but she also made it clear it’s for something else.

I received compliments on the extra steel legs found at the bottom of my bag because I can use it as a weapon. I’ve seen women walk around waving their big umbrellas in an exaggerated fashion. In the morning, I time my jogging so there’s some sunlight in my path. Sometimes, the first toys given to young girls are whistles to remind them to make noise if they feel threatened.

Of course, there is such a thing as being cautious and erring on the safe side. But for women, the way we observe safety is doubled, if not tripled. This is how our sole responsibility to make sure we don’t get raped is emphasized. There should be no flaw or fault that people can pin on us. The painful part? We will still be blamed whatever happens most of the time.

Still, we will continue to teach women to follow the schedule: carry some pepper spray, limit private interactions with males unless in a group or in a public area, giving our girl offspring a curfew while their brothers come home whenever they please. We make sure that we don’t give men any signals for him to claim as an invite. That’s why there are still a lot of women who walk with their eyes downward.

It’s hard to live outside the rape schedule. And some of you may think it’s not real. Just evaluate your day or ask the precautions a girl friend takes and compare it to one of your male pals. You’ll see the difference is terrifying.

Art by Lara Intong


WATCH | Marvel assembles biggest superhero cast for ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

A scene from 'The Avengers: Infinity War.'
LOS ANGELES | The evil villain Thanos is preparing to take over the universe and Marvel has recruited all of its cinematic superheroes, from Iron Man and Thor to Doctor Strange and Spider-Man, to save the galaxy in Wednesday’s new trailer for “Avengers: Infinity War.”

The film, due in theaters in May 2018, will see the biggest gathering of Walt Disney Co.-owned Marvel’s fast-expanding cadre of cinematic superheroes, including Doctor Strange, Black Panther and the Guardians of the Galaxy.

“This is the culmination of 10 years of filmmaking and I think it’s unprecedented,” Joe Russo, who co-wrote and co-directed the film with his brother Anthony Russo, told Reuters in July, after early footage of the film was shown at Disney’s D23 fan exposition in Anaheim, California.

The trailer shows the Avengers coming together as they prepare to battle Thanos.

Tony Stark and Bruce Banner are seen with Dr. Stephen Strange and Wong, Peter Parker feels his Spider-Man senses tingling while on the school bus, Loki gets his hands on a powerful Infinity Stone and Black Panther teams up with Captain America, Black Widow and the Winter Soldier.

“When you combine them, you get something that you haven’t seen before,” Joe Russo said.

The Russo brothers said that “Infinity War” will close out a 10-year storyline that began with 2008’s “Iron Man,” and set the stage for a new iteration of Marvel’s on-screen superheroes.

Watch the trailer tease of “Avengers: Infinity War” here: https://youtu.be/3VbHg5fqBYw


Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar lead male-dominated Grammy nominations

Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar. (Photos by Reuters)
LOS ANGELES | Jay-Z’s soul-baring album on love, life and social fractures led the Grammy Award nominations on Tuesday with eight nods in a list that saw women sidelined in some major categories and Katy Perry excluded completely.

Jay-Z’s “4:44” album was nominated for album of the year, one of the top three Grammy accolades. The album’s title track and “The Story of O.J.” songs were nominated in song and record of the year.

“4:44” will compete for album of the year against R&B star Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic,” New Zealand pop singer Lorde’s “Melodrama,” hip hop artists Childish Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love!” and Kendrick Lamar’s “Damn.”

Lamar landed seven nominations overall, Mars got six including the top three categories and Childish Gambino, the alter-ego of actor Donald Glover, scored five nominations.

“Despacito,” the hit from Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi featuring Justin Bieber and Daddy Yankee landed three nominations including record and song of the year.

The 60th Grammy Awards, music’s biggest night honoring the year’s achievements across more than 80 categories, are scheduled for Jan. 28 at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

Music released between October 2016 and September 2017 qualified for this year’s awards and will be voted for by members of the Recording Academy, made up of music industry professionals.

Newcomer R&B singer SZA was the most-nominated female artist with five nods including best new artist, in which she will face singers Julia Michaels, Alessia Cara, Khalid and rapper Lil Uzi Vert.

Taylor Swift’s “Reputation” album will not be eligible this year due to its November release, but she garnered two nominations including writing country group Little Big Town’s “Better Man.”

The most notable ommission from Tuesday’s Grammy nominations was Canadian hip hop artist Drake, whose “More Life” album dominated streaming, charts and radio play since its March release.

British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, whose “Divide” album topped charts around the world, garnered two nominations in the pop categories. Lady Gaga and Kesha landed two nods each in the same categories as Sheeran.

Pop star Katy Perry, who is yet to win a Grammy award, did not score a single nomination for her “Witness” album.

The absence of some of the biggest female artists marked a stark contrast with the 2017 awards, when Beyonce led the nominations and Britain’s Adele swept the top awards. Neither released new music this year.

Meghan Markle departs ‘Suits’ after engagement to Prince Harry

Prince Harry poses with U.S. actress Meghan Markle in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace on Monday after the pair announced their engagement. (Photo by Toby Melville/Reuters)
LOS ANGELES | U.S. actress Meghan Markle has wrapped up her role on legal drama series “Suits” after seven seasons, USA Network and Universal Cable Productions said in a statement on Tuesday, a day after Markle and Britain’s Prince Harry announced their engagement.

Markle, 36, played Rachel Zane on the cable network drama, rising up the ranks from paralegal to lawyer. The character is engaged to be married to Mike Ross, played by Patrick J. Adams.

Markle has completed all her filming for the seventh season, which will return in early 2018, the network said.

“We want to send our most heartfelt congratulations to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on their engagement,” USA Network and Universal Cable Productions, both units of Comcast Corp, said in a joint statement.

“Meghan has been a member of our family for seven years and it has been a joy to work with her. We want to thank her for her undeniable passion and dedication to Suits, and we wish her the very best,” the statement added.

Markle and Harry, 33, announced on Monday they were getting married in May 2018.

The couple met on a blind date in July 2016 and said their relationship had blossomed “incredibly quickly.”

Rachel Peters makes it to Top 10 of Miss Universe 2017

Rachel Peters.
Despite being one of the top favorites to win this year’s Miss Universe crown, Rachel Peters only made it as far as the Top 10 during the pageant’s coronation night held Sunday (Monday morning, Manila time) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The 26-year-old Filipino-British model had figured prominently in pre-pageant fearless forecasts and drew some of the loudest cheers from her Filipino supporters at the Axis Theater in Planet Hollywood where the pageant took place.

Peters, who was also a favorite of model and pageant co-host Ashley Graham, was even voted in the Top 5 by those watching at home but did not get enough points from the judges, which included Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach.

But the Filipina struggled in cracking the Top 16 as Miss Universe adopted a new format where the first 12 will come from their respective regions (Asia Pacific, Americas and Europe). With only four slots given to Asia Pacific candidates, Peters did not make the initial cut.

She, however, later made it to the Top 16 as one of the last four “wildcard” candidates that were selected from any region.

On pageant night, Peters looked every inch like the formidable contender she was touted to be from the get-go. She was particularly stunning in the swimsuit competition and looked very regal in her elegant glittering outfit during the evening gown competition.

In the end, however, it was another Peters that took the crown. South Africa’s Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters was named Miss Universe 2017, with Miss Colombia Laura Gonzalez as first runner-up and Miss Jamaica Davina Bennett second runner-up.

Peters’ Top 10 finish follows Maxine Medina’s Top 6 outcome last year when the Philippines hosted the pageant in Manila for the third time. After the Philippines’ rise as a pageant powerhouse in recent years, Peters fared only slightly better than the country’s bets in the other three of the Big Four international pageants this year.

Prior to Miss Universe, Binibining Pilipinas-International 2017 Mariel de Leon failed to even make it to the semifinals of the Miss International 2017 pageant in Tokyo, Japan, while Miss World Philippines 2017 Laura Lehmann only made it as far as the Top 40 in this year’s Miss World beauty contest.

Only Karen Ibasco won the Miss Earth 2017 tilt held here in the Philippines.

The country fared better in the Miss Grand International pageant where Elizabeth Clenci placed second runner-up, Miss Globe 2017 where Nelda Ibe finished first runner-up and Reina Hispanoamericana won by actress Teresita Ssen “Winwyn” Marquez.

Voices of A New, Emerging Majority Rise Up at the Successful Cinematografo International Film Festival

SAN FRANCISCO --- The very first Cinematografo International Film Festival (CIFF) opened its inaugural year with a four-day exhibit of 28 films that echo the voices that tell the stories of Filipinos and Filipino-Americans.
Opening night at the AMC Dine-In Kabuki 8 Theaters saw a parade of filmmakers, celebrities, government officials, community leaders, and guests walking the red carpet just before the U.S premiere of Loy Arcens’ “Ang Larawan” (The Portrait). Director Arcenas, Lead Actor Rachel AlejandroProducer Girlie Rodis, and Maestro Ryan Cayabyab, who wrote the music, were in attendance and participated in a Q&A with the audience right after the screening.
Good spirits, good food, and wine flowed at the Opening Night Party at the Omni Hotel in downtown San Francisco. Filmmaker Ramona Diazwas impressed, saying, “I think to get Filipino American filmmakers in one room is already an accomplishment. Cinematografo has really stepped up to the plate.” High-profile publicist David Magdael lauds that Cinematografo’s inaugural year was held in San Francisco because of the rich diversity and the strong Filipino artist base and Filipino community in the Bay Area.
Screenings throughout the four days enjoyed good attendance from movie lovers. There were those who attended all four days, having purchased the festival pass, and savored a good line-up of movies, including documentaries, feature-length narratives, shorts, and animation.
The energy was palpable throughout the festival as filmmakers, actors, creatives, and other industry representatives networked at the filmmakers’ lounge at the Kabuki in between movie screenings. Jannet Nuñez, iTVS Content Development Manager, emphasized that “any film festival that really focuses on a specific community is always important to visit, especially if you’re not part of the community, because you can learn so much.”
Festival Highlights
One of the highlights of the festival was a tribute to documentary filmmaker Ramona Diaz where her latest, award-winning film Motherland(Sundance 2017), about one of the world’s busiest maternity wards located in Manila, was screened, followed by an intimate conversation about her work and prolific career as one of the most renowned Asian women documentary makers today. 
Other highlights were the various panels that featured discussions on: (1) State of the Nation(s); (2) The Minority as the New Majority; (3) Tribute to Documentary Filmmaker Ramona Diaz; and (4) Cinematografo Originals and New Projects. All panels were well-attended. Participants were excited with the launch of Cinematografo International Film Festival, and were eager to get the conversation going about finally having a platform where the unique stories of Filipinos and Filipino Americans can be told.
A New Platform for Emerging Voices of the New Majority
“What I love is you’re my people! Mga kababayan ko! (My fellow Filipinos!) So, it’s a great feeling to have our own festival,” Hollywood Actor Reggie Lee enthused. Fellow Actor Dante Basco echoed the sentiment saying, “It’s time for us Filipino Americans to really flourish as artists. We have so many stories, so many great artists. It’s about time we continue to work and produce great product and support each other.”
Bianca Catbagan, Director of “Supermodel,” one of the featured shorts, stated that, “We want to see more films by women, by people of color. Having this network is great because we see each other’s work and we can be a group that forges on together.”
Cinematografo helped amplify the voices of this generation of storytellers, providing them a platform where they could show powerful, unique stories about the Filipino and Filipino American realities. 
Asian American Studies Professor, Writer and Poet Oscar Peñaranda said that Cinematografo offers a fresh perspective in its vision of shining the spotlight on stories of Filipino Americans that is not presented elsewhere. The Festival was a viable arena to showcase the voice of the community. Cinematografo Executive Director John-D Lazatin got his wish as all participants felt that the passion for storytelling was the energy that filled the Kabuki in those four days. As Cinematografo Festival Director Miguel Sevilla reiterated, they want Cinematografo to be the festival where the Filipino voice refuses to stay quiet, where Filipino stories refuse to be forgotten.
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The CIFF is the premier event for Filipinos abroad to tell their stories, and is the platform to bring these films to the world stage.
Guided by its mission to elevate Filipino talent to the global stage, Cinematografo aims to foster, nurture, and inspire filmmakers from the Filipino diaspora. The festival serves as a platform to launch films funded and developed through one of its initiatives – Cinematografo Originals, and serves as a venue for Filipino filmmakers to express their passion for filmmaking, to share their stories of the world through a cinematic lens, and to connect them through an international industry and community network.


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