Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It would have been idyllic

Photo: Erik de Castro/Reuters



It would have been idyllic, breathtaking even, to meet one's Maker under such a circumstance: the cast of the sun's morning glow, grass by your feet, the quenching view of long rolls of hills. It would have been a peaceful, melancholic death -- except there are 40 of you and 100 of them.

Women and mothers you never dared mentally undress now lay before you, their pants down, violated and raped. For some, bullets riddled their bodies. For others, it was a slash on the throat -- they silenced screams.

It would have been idyllic -- I wish it were idyllic -- but yes, it was breath-taking.

*for the victims of the Maguindanao massacre



Monday, November 23, 2009

Poor man's chai tea

So Cleopatra. My stirrer, McDonald's, looks like he's enjoying a milk bath, lol!

What you need:

mug
tea, any variant (I use Twinings but I'm sure any brand will work)
a heap of creamer
sugar to taste

Instructions:

Um, place teabag inside mug. Pour hot water, creamer and sugar. Stir... and voila! Your very own Chai Tea Latte, lol!


Ang ghetto, ba? LOL.

It may not be as good as Coffee Bean's but I personally think it's way better than Starbucks'! (My review of Starbucks' Chai Tea Latte when it was first launched here. Not sure if it has improved.) I've tried Twinings' Earl Grey, Green Tea & Lemon and Green Tea & Mint -- and they all taste good, albeit each flavor has varying degrees of zing. You'll just have to adjust the amount of water, creamer and sugar to get the right consistency/taste. Try it!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Nativity Looklet

I've been reading essays by "free thinkers" or basically, philosophers who think that religion do more evil than good so buying a nativity set was the last thing on my mind. But when Mon and I saw this particular set, we were blown away by... the fashion! LOL! It's so Vivienne Westwood! So I bought one for my folks back home.

When we got back to our apartment, Mon thought of having a photo shoot ala Looklet, so voila!


This made me think how many of the Kings were actually black.



Here's the Aryan king. Shimmer kung shimmer!


Back detail


But hands down, this King has the most flamboyant couturier! Spectacular curving and curls!


Overwhelming but still proportional draping


Joseph in his empire-cut ensemble.


Full version. Even without a crown, he makes a spectacular headpiece statement.


Mother Mary and Baby Jesus


Kakapanganak lang nya sa lagay na yan ha!


The curtain call.



Unfortunately, the set doesn't say which company made these lovely creations -- although it does say it was made in the Philippines. Well done!


Monday, November 16, 2009

Ladlad

I may not have blogged about it, but I did tweet about it: Comelec rejects gay party list; cites immorality and exposure of youth to unreligious ways.

I've written as much entries as I can to prove my point and rile against the Catholic Church so I'll let these two do the talking on this particular subject:


To both of you, thank you.

And if you're gay/lesbian and have troubling reconciling your identity with God, I hope my previous entries help:



Sunday's clash

A few days back, I posted an entry wherein, in simple terms, I dissed militants. It stemmed from a quote by Terry Ridon, secretary-general of the League of Filipino Students, posted on ABS-CBN's news site.

If one gets past my catty language -- and I would understand if he/she can't -- I would summarize my entry as such:

    a) No system is perfect (although it can be improved, but I didn't write that in my post) and I feel that in general, rallyists are being overly critical especially because,
    b) We need all the help this country can get especially for Ondoy victims

Hence, I stand by my entry.

Now, Terry is passionate about his cause and would take no crap especially from a "simple-minded" blogger like me (:-P) -- so he posted his response in the comments section. Madness ensued, and for that, I apologize. (So yeah, while Pacquiao was preparing to fight Cotto, I was in the middle of my own match, lol.)

If you can get past all that mudslinging, partly mine, in the comments section -- and I would understand if you can't -- Terry eventually did expound on his organization's position regarding VFA. May point sila... but I'm wondering, if it's unconstitutional, why hasn't the Supreme Court stepped in (especially, as I quote Terry, the SC itself is discrediting the treaty)? There must be a literature out there that addresses this question but I don't have the time to research it now. And also, Terry says the US didn't have to invoke the VFA to justify its humanitarian causes, but from what I heard the US Embassy say, the VFA allowed the US to respond immediately, and I assume, due to logistical reasons.

On my part, I am OK for this country to do everything to rid itself of terrorists, even if it means having American soldiers over. If they engage in criminal activities, then they should be sent to jail, not the embassy. I will repeat it again: this country needs all the help that it can get. (And I think those who live in constant fear of the Abu Sayyaf and other terrorist groups should have a larger say in this. During Clinton's Manila forum, Ces Drilon said Mindanaoans approve of the VFA. I don't know where she got her data, though.)

I promised to post his entire rebuttal here, but I realized it is not quite fitting to this blog's theme, which is essentially fluff (insert self-deprecating humor here) so I will just summarize it and invite you over to the comments section for the full version.

Summary:

    a) VFA, as it is a military treaty, makes no mention of humanitarian aid.
    b) Any country may send the Philippines aid; no treaty is necessary.
    c) VFA is biased for US soldiers, not for say, rape victims.
    d) "VFA is in complete violation of national sovereignty and territorial integrity under the Constitution, which prohibits the stay of foreign troops, the existence of foreign military bases, facilities and equipment."

As his final note, Terry says, "The issue during Clinton's visit is the demand for the abrogation of the VFA, and no other. Not disaster relief, which could be done without the VFA."


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Love is in the Air

Mon and I are surprising my friends from high school later tonight. And no, I am so not cooking, lol. (I wish!)



Can't wait to start Christmas celebrations and turn over a new year -- 2009 has been horrible to the Philippines, some friends and acquaintances; I've had a few stumbles as well. Looking forward to 2010 and what better way to do that with a pre-Christmas dinner which includes crispchon!


Friday, November 13, 2009

Mirror, mirror on the wall, Part 1

Image is important to me -- not that it's an all-encompassing means to judge a person, but still, it is enough to establish or destroy a reputation.

In any case, this is not about me. This is about the presidential and vice-presidential candidates.

We pretty much know who are in the running for the top two posts in the 2010 elections, especially with the announcement of Edu as Gibo's running mate, and despite Villar's silence -- as Loren is his safest bet. Given this scenario, we have:


Gibo and Edu



Erap and Jejomar



Villar and Loren
(Let me just point out that only Villar cannot be referred to on a first name basis out of context; ah the travesty of having the same name as a Filipino boxing legend!)



Noynoy and Mar


Here's how I perceive them to be if I were to relate them to, as Sesame Street puts it, "the people in your neighborhood."

The Pogi Boys

Gwapo, maporma, mukhang mayabang and as @heyjay pointed out, mga La-Sallista (whether that's good or bad, well that is up for debate, lol); The conyo boys raised by an evil stepmother (read: GMA)

I sincerely like Gibo but my problem with him is -- aside from the obvious and that is his Arroyo connection -- he seemed to have sprung out of nowhere. He wasn't heard of as a Congressman and not as Defense Secretary, at least until he announced his presidential ambitions. Given his outstanding and attention-grabbing educational record -- a law degree from UP, top spot at the 1989 bar, and a master of laws from Harvard -- how could he have been under the radar all this time? How could he have not excelled in public service? Given this missing piece -- a popularity and charismatic appeal earned through years under the public spotlight -- he should have tried being a senator first.

As for Edu, let's imagine he wins. And then let's imagine the President dies. I cannot imagine the dude who sang and danced to the Papaya Song, as my President. Also, granted that eradicating piracy is hard, do we vote for someone who cannot solve a hard problem? Do we also vote for someone who cannot even win Makati? A losing streak is a considerable image problem.


Ultimate Pogi:
Bill Clinton. If only these guys were half as good.

Lolong manyak na tambay sa kanto with sidekick

Si lolo na manginginom, sugalero at sabungero. Yung sidekick na pang-comedy na laging nababatukan, ala Babalu or Panchito.

I won't expound on Erap -- I highly doubt his candidacy will be be considered legal. Jejomar is a minor player aspiring to join the big leagues. Being mayor of Makati, as rich as the city may be, just won't cut it.

Besides, Binay is not Makati; the Ayalas are.

And seriously, these two put together is so depressing: they look dull and gray. Heck, one of them walks as if his scrotum can barely hang on to its balls. That image just doesn't inspire.


Ultimate lolong manyak: Nicolas Sarkozy -- Leaves wife to bag the supermodel -- to positive and improved popularity rating!
Ultimate sidekick: Dick Cheney -- when the sidekick is actually the evil, scheming master

Part two, Villar and Loren; Noynoy and Mar.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Militants

From the report, Clinton Arrives in Manila.
American aid officials have defended the agreement, saying it allows US troops to quickly respond to calamities.

But demonstrators said no amount of humanitarian work by the US military justifies their continued stay in the country.

"The visit of Mrs. Clinton in the Philippines will be a mere publicity stunt, and the entire promise of the Obama administration -- that it is going around the world for a renewed multilateralism, and for the opening up of the United States towards greater involvement in the world -- will be all for a sham," said Terry Ridon, secretary-general of the League of Filipino Students.


Please translate. All I read was, "Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah."

This is the same problem I have with people who claim to be animal lovers but continue to eat meat; or if they are vegetarian, continue to wear leather. I believe the Joker phrased it as, "misguided sense of righteousness."

I'm sure Typhoon Ondoy victims appreciated the help by anyone -- whether by fellow Filipinos, many of whom continue to destroy the environment; by the Japanese government, who still refuse to properly compensate, much less acknowledge comfort women; or by the US, whose sins are apparently so huge that "no amount of humanitarian work" may justify its errors.

I hope these militants are as perfect as they expect The System to be.


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

What am I reading/looking at

Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama. The Sartorialist by Scott Schuman. Bringing Home the Birkin by Michael Tonello.

I've been reading Dreams From My Father for over 6 months now but I'm finding it harder and harder to stay interested. (I'm in the part wherein he recounts his days as a community development organizer.) Just a couple of pages in and I doze off. Don't get me wrong, he writes extremely well for a politician as he keeps his prose simple and direct to the point. I just can't relate to his musings, particularly on racial issues, which is the book's center of discourse. This just might be my new Catch-22, the book by Joseph Heller which I never got to finish and never plan to pick up again.

The Sartorialist is a street-style picture book featuring some of the best personalities and celebrities to have graced Scott's blog site. I simply flip the pages to wherever and observe the subject's style -- his color choices, the proportion of his clothes, his quirks, silhouette, accessories. Mostly, I look at the subjects with admiration as I've yet to be inspired by their style, and conversely, translate them into my wardrobe. In some of the photos, Scott would offer an explanation as to why the person interested him and this makes me wonder how many times have I let inspiration escape me due to my blatant lack of interest in details. (Ergo, why I will never be a successful editor and why I've no huge dream of becoming one, either.) By the way, this was Pam and Jill's birthday gift :-)

Mon and I discovered a new favorite hangout with the most delicious coffee and highly glamorous toilet (LOL!) and while lounging around, I saw a copy of Bringing Home the Birkin, which I remember Pam telling me about. This is Michael Tonello's account of how he became a successful eBay reseller by auctioning rare and hard-to-get Hermes items. He offers tips on how to get that sales assistant sell you a Birkin, a bag that has a waiting list of two years. In other words, an advice which I don't see any need for unless I win the lottery. The author can be overindulgent with his prose, and I suspect, this is to stretch his material to come up with XX number of pages, but one cannot be so critical of "chick lit." I'm halfway-through the book and I must say, it's a refreshing change from Obama. :-P



Monday, November 02, 2009

Spooky

This happened early this morning.

It was about 4am and I was half-asleep, when I felt that it was colder than usual so I reached for my blanket and tried to cover myself with it. "Tried" because as I attempted to do so, I could feel something else tugging the blanket to the opposite direction. I tried doing this several times, me tugging the blanket toward my body, but when it dawned on me something was preventing this, I got jolted awake. I got very scared so I kept my bedside lamp switched on.

I fell asleep and I dreamed about my lola, who passed away 13 years ago. In the dream, she was alive but in her early stages of cancer (she died of cancer of the lymphoma). The entire family was hearing Mass and I just kept crying and crying as if we were so close to each other (we weren't in real life). When I woke up, I felt as if my heart got lifted off its burden -- what one usually experiences after crying in a very long time. It may have just been a dream but it was the first time I cried for my lola.

* * * *

In other news, these were taken during my Cebu trip, at the Basilica of the Sto. Nino:

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Figure is a little hazy, but if you take a closer look, there's a white silhouette of a kid in this one:

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... and that of long-haired lady, peering out of the window (perhaps, staring into the camera) in this one:

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