A Love Letter to the movie Ten Things I Hate About You

The teen movies of my generation (Okay, I just pulled the “my generation” card, yikes) didn’t involve vampires, wolves, or a lot of supernatural love triangles. It was mostly a very pretty version of the high school experience, mostly ending in climactic scenes involving the prom. I loved three in particular, She’s All That (Hello Freddie Prinze Jr.), Drive Me Crazy (Makeovers and girl fights) and Ten Things I Hate About You.

I loved Ten Things I Hate About You the best out of the three because the protagonist was an angry, verbose, feminist who wrote, played guitar, and played football (soccer, same diff). She liked rock music, got in trouble for being too opinionated, never followed what anyone thought they were supposed to do, but still managed to go assimilate into the crowd when needed at a party and (almost) pulled it off.

I.E. the person I wanted to be in high school. Who could juggle all those activities and still have a life, without caring what anybody else thought, and wrote in iambic pentameter. Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles) was my adolescent hero for a lot of reasons.

Back to the movie. I love it mainly because of two scenes:

  1. Heath Ledger’s very public apology singing Can’t Take My Eyes Off You. One, that breathy, almost perfectly on tune rendition with a slight Aussie accent, acapella until the school band starts, dang. I still think that it would take a lot of cojones to pull that off, and I don’t know how it worked since it was so camp, but it did. Even the chase scene at the end with the school security was priceless, with him slapping the butt of the chubbier one chasing him. Fifteen years later, still the best public declaration of love (real or fictional) that I’ve seen.


  1. The Paintball date. After flashing her football coach to get Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger) out of detention, they head to the marina for a paddleboat, and then to a deserted paintball field where, instead of shooting guns, they were armed with balloons filled with paint that they got to throw at each other. Growing up, I truly believed there were places like these in real life, and my goal in life was to go on a date at one of these places, and scoured newspapers and the internet for any similar ones opening here. I now realize that this might not have existed at all as one, paint is expensive and even actual paintball gun ammo which carries about 1/18th of the paint that those balloons had is expensive, never mind the cost of the jumpsuits they had to wear, who would do this as a business venture?  It was amazing though. They had the place to themselves. They got a little dirty but looked like a rainbow exploded on them after (which, I do like color). The ammo didn’t hurt (much, I hope), and it ended with a movie star kiss, where he threw away his goggles before leaning in for a smooch.

Suffice to say, it’s been more than a decade later. Heath Ledger is gone. Julia Stiles has moved on and off from Dexter, and Joseph Gordon Levitt has had a movie where his character enjoys his own company all.the.time.

I still love it. It’s on my playlist for feel good movies that don’t want to make me hit myself for too much cuteness.

Have you watched this movie? Tell me what you think!

Jodythinks · Love/Life · Thanks

Not bad, 29, not bad at all.

Bantayan Island
Not bad at all


The view from Bantayan island in Cebu was gorgeous. A sleepy tourist town, it is 4 hours away from Cebu City, with a 3 hour bus ride and 1 hour ferry ride to get there. It was my first time to visit my birthday weekend, after hearing about it for years, finally getting there for my birthday.

You will find it hard to get lost there, as it is small and filled with very helpful locals most willing to help. They have their own recommendations of course, and you will be offered a ton of services, but on the whole, they’re just nice.

It is also an island full of expats, seemingly German, who’ve married Filipinas and have built their lives there, with resorts, restaurants and other business that cater to those who just want to enjoy the island, no matter how short or long. It has become such a normal thing, that our sicad (pedicab) driver pointed out that a new, posh neighborhood mostly consisted of Europeans who have Filipina wives.

That is to say, this is not to be a commentary on the society of Bantayan, or the choices of women and men from different sides of the world.

It is an appreciation of where I was, turning 29, on an island, with who I was with, and what I’ve done so far to get there.

I dreaded 29, it seemed, OLD. I know if you’re older than me, you will roll your eyes at this, and if you’re younger, you’re probably nodding your head. 29 is the last of my 20s, of what is supposed to be, your formative adult years, where you can make mistakes, take your time, and explore. I have been, suffice to say, not much of an explorer. I have been wary of too much insanity, of too much risk, taking into account what my friends have done before me, and what limits me as a person of my own income, and responsibilities.

I do not travel a lot. I admit it. No matter how much fun it seems to blow savings and “figure it out later”, things have come up in my life that have prevented me from going away too long, or too far. I am also, a person very much attached to the person in my life, and if they do not want to go, I am embarrassed to admit that I would be quite disappointed to go without them (barring a few instances here and there).

I do like the beach, and staying in places where I can just sit, take a dip in the ocean, have a nice walk, and eat great food. It’s not much, compared to dreams of Paris or Rome.

So when I found myself doing just that, in a trip that someone else planned, executed and paid for, I couldn’t help but pat myself in the back and thank my lucky stars that I was there, I was happy, and I was whole.

It was, in my mostly down and up life, an amazing moment of peace and contentment that I was extremely grateful for, that I will look back on when people ask me how old I am, or ask when I’m getting married (no plans yet Tita), or how much weight I’ve gained lately (quite a lot), or the scars on my legs that have accumulated lately (bun life).

Not bad Jods, not bad at all.

Jodythinks · Love/Life

Of jewelry, and ancestry

Last week, I bought my first piece of jewelry. Why does this matter? For most of us, jewelry doesn’t. And in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t. A shiny piece of rock, a  glint of metal that catches the eye, and sometimes even brings you more trouble than its worth. Jewelry is affectation, meant to show success or just an affinity for things that are pretty.

My lola (my dad’s mom), loved jewelry. I remember growing up and going to her house 3 hours away on weekends to stay the night, and being asked to go into her room, and walking out with a ring, or necklace or a matching whole set. She liked the shiny of diamonds, and collected a lot, and us being her only immediate grandchildren, and only two girls, we were the ones who received them.

I am not saying in any way that we are wealthy. She was comfortable with her small businesses and didn’t like to spend on most anything really. She hated travelling. She wasn’t one to spend on food. She never liked shopping because it meant a trip to Manila, and was not a fan of being away from her home too long. She did like her trinkets. I remember not being impressed with diamonds and other rocks because I saw her a lot of times with a lot, wearing them to bed, and stretching out her lobes so much she needed surgery to fix them. (Ladies, this is probably sounding graphic, but it was true, so please, don’t sleep with your earrings on, or have to have your earlobes sewn back together because they’re so stretched out).

So I guess this is mostly a story of my lola, who had her birthday on April 2nd, and I’m hoping nodding with approval up there when I picked up the eternity band and never put it back down. It is now sitting on my right ring finger, a little bit too shiny for my old fading shirt and ripped shorts sitting near a pond full of tilapia, but just too pretty to say no to.
So hello Lola. I hope this Easter you and Ninong bonded over coffee and pandesal, and watching over us, a little extra shiny now.