Friday, February 26, 2010

Sino pa? Eh di ako!

I think is the best political ad for the 2010 elections.

No poor is exploited and there are no sob stories. Everyone's dancing, singing and having so much while still maintaining an effective call to action: Sino pa? Eh di ako! Of course, there is the pun, but it's wittily constructed. I love it!









Eddie Ako!
Composed by: Paul Armesin
Singer: Gloc 9

I
Umasa kang pagbangon ay posible pa
Pangarap nating araw ay sisikat na
Pag-asay magniningas sa bagong Pilipinas

II
Buong sambayanan magkapit bisig na
Upang tunay na pagbabago'y magsimula
Sa pag sulong ng bayan, makiisa!

Chorus:
Sino pang may malasakit at pag-ibig sa bansa
Sino pa? Eh di ako!
Kailan mag uumpisa? Magkaisa, kumilos na!
Kailan pa? Eh di ngayon!
Sino pa nga bang gagawa?
Sinong pagsisimulan
Sinong magtataguyod ng bayan ni Juan?
Eh di ako!

III
Panahon na para sa pag bangon, sa kahirapan lahat ay umahon/
Ngayon ang oras ng pagbabago isang bayan para sa tao/
Kanino ba dapat ang simula/ Ang pag asa ng bayan ay mag mula/
tungo sa pag sulong ang sagot ko kung walang aako
Eh di ako!

Song information and lyrics via Blogging Mama


Thursday, February 25, 2010

My early faves for Bb Pilipinas


UPDATE (Feb 27):

Telecast of the preliminaries will be on Sunday, February 28, not Saturday as mentioned here.

* * * *

After looking at the photos of this year's Bb Pilipinas candidates, I can say that this year's batch is promising. Here are my favorites, although these may change depending on how well they do on Friday's preliminary competition (to be aired the following night on GMA-7). 

Miss Universe

For the win: Mary Ann Ross Misa




Stunning face and an equally stunning figure -- it will be easy for her to stand out in Miss Universe with her 5'11" height and China doll features (granted that China, Korea and Japan representatives don't send someone who looks more smashing than her, lol). She reminds me of Japan's Kurara Chibana, Miss Universe 1st runner-up, 2007.

 


I read however, that this is her first pageant ever, and her videos show that there is a certain awkwardness with the way she walks and poses. She'll need to be more confident and sultry to get the judges' nods.





Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The DoH Chief is fierce!

UPDATE:

A bishop had called Cabral "immoral," and warned that one of her feet is already in hell for going against the teachings of the church.

"Of course, I am afraid of the Church. They are very powerful and they can sometimes be very vicious. I'm not exactly one who likes to live dangerously," Cabral told ANC's Dateline Philippines on Wednesday when asked if she's affected by the bishops' threats against her for advocating the use of condoms, which is seen by the church as an abortion tool.

Cabral, however, said that she'd rather live dangerously than do nothing against the very alarming rise in the number of HIV/AIDS cases in the Philippines.


More snaps for Ms. Cabral! Original entry below.

* * * *


I would have sent the good Secretary a letter of commendation in her e-mail but the Department of Health website still lists its previous chief under its contact details.

I suppose this is better as I can do away with formalities.

To Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral, I have two words for you: Bongga ka!

Ang taray ng sound bites mo, ha. I particularly love the following, as quoted by Jerry Esplanada in the PDI article, DoH chief snubs Church on condoms issue:

“[But] we are not a religious state [like] Iran. We are a secular state where there is separation of Church and State.”

"Not everybody in the Philippines belongs to one church."

LOL! So saucy, particularly citing the religious state that is Iran. I approve! *clap, clap, clap*

This all started when the Catholic Church thought it best to bully the DoH Chief by asking her to resign, after the government agency distributed free condoms on Valentine's Day.

The bishops claimed that the way to stop the spread of HIV-AIDS was to follow the teachings of the Church and to respect the sanctity of the human body.

“It’s so immoral for someone in the government to be pushing the use of condoms, which we all know is not a deterrent to AIDS,” [Lipa Bishop Ramon] Arguelles said.

Ayan, nag-matalino si bishop. Perhaps, he ought to do actual research before verbalizing such inanities: Africa has the highest incidence of HIV cases in the entire world. The continent is also overrun by Christian missionaries. (Because that's where they're trying to dupe more people into joining their flock since Europeans and to a smaller extent, Americans, are moving/have moved toward a secular state.)

While I don't wholly blame the Church for spreading AIDS in Africa (since there are governments and people's free will, after all), there is definitely a strong correlation between the two. Read Max Blumenthal's report for The Daily Beast, Rick Warren's Africa Problem, to see this connection. And yes, the author of The Purpose Driven Life is all for conducting anti-gay "witch hunts" in Uganda.)

So thank you, Ms. Cabral. The last thing I want is to further embolden the Catholic Church in its perceived self-entitlement. (And what a baby!) If continued, it may soon call for death penalty for gays, as the Christian missionaries made the Uganda government do in its country (the bill is presently pending in parliament).

XOXO!


It's coming

 Where did you get those lovely eyes? (this pretty lady),
And that exciting winsome smile (this Binibini),
Where did you learn to move like graceful palm trees in the breeze?
What magic does she have?
What miracle is this?

Who wouldn’t love the way her skin is kissed by golden sunlight?
Fascinating gem so rare!
She’s the perfect symbol of the people,
Rich in heritage and love
What lovely, pretty, captivating, so exciting,
These girls will surely win your heart,
Binibining Pilipinas!


Will the Philippines find its new Gloria Diaz and Margarita Moran, or its new Janina San Miguel? LOL. Pre-pageant to be broadcast on GMA-7 this Saturday, February 27.  Finals night on March 6.



Monday, February 22, 2010

Annyeong haseyo

I've been long curious about the Korean salons popping all over the metro so I finally gave one of them a shot -- Park Jun's Beauty Lab Inc.

I wrote my review on my let's-all-be-cheery-and-positive-hence-no-hatin'-on-anyone blog (LOL!).


Friday, February 19, 2010

Just as you are... with auto-tune

This is Charice Witherspoon's new single, Pyramid:



... except she doesn't sound like Charice.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Brand map

While I was posting about the Collezione C2 x Moleskine collaboration on my other blog, I got to thinking: the Philippines map does look gorgeous right?

He looks like a respectable old man with a cane, and I imagine him to be the jolly grandpa type. Or a horse on its two hind legs. Or, leaving the metaphors aside, the jagged edges and irregular shapes make it look new everytime you look at it -- you can never truly recreate drawing it from memory.

Or does it actually look good since we're now too familiar with it? Over at my other blog, I noted that at the least, it looks interesting (an empty adjective, I understand, but allow me to use it to prove a point); not like Sri Lanka's, which frankly looks as sad as a bird dropping.

While I am quite familiar with world flags, I'm afraid I don't have the same aptitude for maps. Do you know of other countries that can trump the Philippines map?


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Herbs

At the risk of sounding like I down ampalaya juice for breakfast every day (LOL), here's my unsolicited advice:

Perhaps my Catholic friends would consider not announcing their sacrifices for lent. It makes them sound like complaints, and their intention, less noble.


And I hope these sacrifices don't make you grumpy. But if they do, I'll try to understand :-)


Monday, February 15, 2010

Noy no more (Updated: April 23, 2010)

SECOND UPDATE:

My newer post, A Case for Noynoy, is now up. I'm moving this entry back to the archives.

FIRST UPDATE:

I will be writing a separate, newer entry on this, but for now, in the interest of fairness, here's an entry by journalist and blogger Felicty Tan, wherein she exposes the bias of the GMA News series (mentioned in the original entry below) against Noynoy Aquino:

... the case of Stephanie Dychiu/Howie Severino's Luisita series on the GMA News website is a glaring offense to the profession. What stands out is that the offended journalistic conventions are so basic. Read the rest.

She herself spoke to the Hacienda Luisita famers and here's the video:


Her blog entry regarding the video.


MY ORIGINAL POST, dated February 15, 2010:

I was literally heartbroken after reading GMA News's series of reports on Hacienda Luisita.



I've been following it over the last two months, but reporter Stephanie Dychiu (with Howie Severino) saved the most damning facts in Part 4.

I never withdrew my support for Noynoy even after having read Part 3, and in fact, even while reading about the murders in Part 4: I figured, the Cojuangcos surely never wanted anyone killed. (Though now, I ask myself, who then killed the activists?)

But this part of the story completely disheartened me (proceed to the bottom for the gist):

The year 2005 was a crucial turning point in the farm workers’ struggle in Luisita, and once again demonstrated the transcendental link between the hacienda and MalacaƱang that has been manifesting since the time of President Ramon Magsaysay.

Under pressure from public outrage over the November 2004 massacre, the Arroyo administration, through the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), formed Task Force Stock Distribution on November 25, 2004 to study the causes of the workers’ strike. The Task Force was later renamed Task Force Luisita. In March 2005, teams were sent by the DAR to Luisita’s 10 barangays to investigate the SDO.

Three months later, while the investigation was ongoing, “Hello Garci" hit the country—and possibly turned the tide in Luisita.

In early June 2005, tapes of wiretapped phone conversations between President Gloria Arroyo and Comelec (Commission on Elections) official Virgilio Garcillano surfaced. This led to accusations that Arroyo cheated during the 2004 presidential elections, and a clamor rose up for her to resign.

The late former President Cory Aquino and son Noynoy initially defended Arroyo.

Even after Arroyo delivered her famous “I am sorry" speech on TV on June 27, 2005, which the public took as an admission of guilt, and which prompted Susan Roces, widow of Arroyo’s 2004 election opponent Fernando Poe, Jr., to deliver her own famous “not once, but twice" speech, Mrs. Aquino defended Arroyo, saying: “I am glad the President has broken her silence. Her admission of judgment lapses leading to improper conduct on her part is a truly welcome development. Tonight the President has made a strong beginning and I hope she will continue in the direction of better and more responsive governance. Let us pray for her and for all of us Filipinos."

Rep. Noynoy Aquino, for his part, said in a June 29, 2005 report of the Philippine Star that President Arroyo should be commended for admitting her mistake. He said her televised apology was “a good start" for her administration.

Two days later, on July 1, 2005, the Philippine Star reported, “Cory went on TV yesterday and… warned against using extra-constitutional means to oust President Arroyo." The article quoted Mrs. Aquino as saying she had gone to see Susan Roces to congratulate her on “the passion of her speech and the sincerity of her convictions", but also to stress that she would always stand by the Constitution.

At the fifth Congressional hearing on the Garci issue on June 30, 2005, three days after Arroyo’s televised “I am sorry" speech, Rep. Noynoy Aquino voted against playing the “Hello Garci" tapes.

“Tarlac Rep. Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III disappointed his colleagues in the House when he voted on Thursday night against the playing of the audio tape, although an overwhelming majority had voted yes," reported the Philippine Daily Inquirer on July 2, 2005.

“(Aquino’s actions) are no less than political payback" because President Arroyo was the “most powerful and influential patron" of the Cojuangco-Aquinos in the Hacienda Luisita dispute, Anakpawis party-list Rep. Rafael Mariano said in the July 2, 2005 Inquirer report. Mariano said Arroyo knew what really happened during the Luisita massacre, and that was why Rep. Noynoy Aquino played “guardian angel" to Arroyo.

(Arroyo, whose candidacy in the 2004 presidential elections was supported by Noynoy and Kris Aquino, and who originally ascended to the presidency in 2001 after Cory Aquino and various groups led the campaign to oust President Joseph Estrada from office in EDSA 2, was suspected of aiding the Cojuangco-Aquinos during the November 2004 strike in Hacienda Luisita because of the involvement of the military in the dispersal and the Assumption of Jurisdiction that was declared by the Department of Labor.)

Unfazed by the criticism, both Noynoy and Cory Aquino continued to stand by Arroyo.

But on July 8, 2005, just a little over a week after Rep. Noynoy Aquino voted not to play the Garci tapes and Mrs. Aquino lauded Arroyo for her “I am sorry" speech before admonishing Susan Roces, the Aquinos dropped their support for Arroyo.

"I ask the President to spare our country and herself . . . and make the supreme sacrifice of resigning," Mrs. Aquino said in statement issued to the press.

The day before she gave this statement, Mrs. Aquino met with President Arroyo in MalacaƱang. There were rumors of a shouting match, which Mrs. Aquino denied. “Yes, we met last Thursday, but there was no shouting," she said in a July 12, 2005 report in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. “We just kissed each other goodbye."

From then on, she and son Noynoy actively joined the calls for Arroyo to either resign or be impeached, and to this day the scorching rift between the Aquinos and Arroyos continues to rage.

Luisita farm workers that GMANews.TV spoke to believe the Aquinos’ abrupt withdrawal of support for Arroyo had something to do with the hacienda.

The Aquinos broke ties with Arroyo in July 2005, the same month the DAR’s Task Force Luisita submitted the findings and recommendations of its investigation. This formed the basis for the government’s decision a few months later to revoke Luisita’s Stock Distribution Option (SDO) and order the distribution of the hacienda’s land to the farmers.


The gist: Noynoy, then Congressman, voted against disclosing the full version of Arroyo's Hello Garci tapes, which would have provided a welcome inroad to the President's investigation. It appears he and Cory were in full support of Arroyo -- until the President, through a government body, ordered the distribution of Hacienda Luisita's land to the farmers.

And so I am withdrawing my support for Noynoy. I'm not sure what excuse he'd give for these past choices, but he can't run under the advocacy of a clean government when he supported Arroyo even after her improprieties came to light. The fact that he and his staff did not bother explaining his side to GMA News is just as disturbing as Villar's non-confrontational stance on his own issues.

Regarding my first sentence, yes it hurts to believe so much in someone and discover there's an ugly truth behind him after all. (And here I was, thinking I was pragmatic.)


Dispatches from the Edge

Finished reading my February book, Dispatches from the Edge (HarperCollins, 2006) by journalist and CNN host Anderson Cooper. It's an easy read, very much like a blog, in which Anderson searches the logic behind his brother's suicide, and correlates this personal tragedy to those whom he features for work.

He is blunt -- he immediately dispels (implicitly) the notion that journalism is a noble job. More often, the job requires him to be a vulture -- needing to circle around situations wherein people are weak and vulnerable, as in wars or the aftermath of a tsunami or hurricane, and swooping in to, not just get their stories, but stories that matter to network executives. In one occasion, he discusses touring a hospital in Africa, trying to find a child that looked starved and dying enough to capture on video.

If that sounds harsh, he is merely stating a sad truth about this world: it continually moves on. You die and life continues for others. Headlines are only as good as the day they are on the front page. There are other deaths, other wars, other tragedies elsewhere in the world. No experience is unique to just one person. In these terms, you are not special; hence, the need to find the most compelling and harrowing images.

I imagine the book is a tough pill to swallow to the non-pragmatic. Otherwise, it's just another day for the desensitized. To quote the author, "some stories don't have happy endings."


Friday, February 12, 2010

Lingkod L

Three years ago, I blogged about running for senator this year. To those who promised me their votes, I am sorry. I can't run this 2010.

For one, Lorin LaGuardia, for obvious reasons, refuses to dress up as Baby Spice and announce my entrance at the Miting de Avance. She opted to run as Vice President and I wish her well. In fact, I called her three days ago:

Me: Oy, Lorin.

L: It's so good to hear from you! Manny and I were just discussing...

Me: Stop it, woman! You know I don't want anyone mentioning his name...

L: Ay, sorry...

Me: Dapat lang. Kala mo ang ganda mo ha...

L: What do you mean?

Me: Your ad, Lorin.

L: You mean you don't like it?




Me: Like it? Kulang na lang mag-bayo ka ng palay. Anong peg nyo, Amorsolo painting? (*to self* I'm so cultured talaga and clever!)

L: My advisers did think...

Me: Mare, kung environment girl ka na rin lang, itodo mo na no.

L: Like how?

Me: Get Chin-Chin Guttierez to endorse you! She talks to the wind, trees and birds. You can all star in an ad ala Pocahontas. Get shirtless men to surround you -- dun kayo sa Pagsanjan, maraming bangkero do'n. Pa-rebond ka ng bundok tapos mega-talon ka sa waterfalls! Tapos when you emerge from the water -- dapat on cue as you flip your hair ha -- you sing Colors of the Wind but you change it to The Colors of Lorin.

L: The Colors of Lorin?

Me: O eh di ba, anti-Erap ka dati, tapos lumipat ka kay FPJ, tapos iniwan mo si Chiz, and finally, look at where you are now! Ay sorry, I have to go...

L: You don't understa...

*click*


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Little hearts from heaven

My best friend makes the best cupcakes, and I'm not only saying this because she's my friend, but because they truly are. I'm never the food critic (I find it hard to analyze food -- either I hate it or I love it), but I can honestly say that these are better than Sonja's.

I mean, come one, these ARE pretty:



Biting them is almost such a sad occasion, as if you're destroying a work so precious, so pure...



... until you sink that mouth into that puffed bread, and the icing and all that sugar melts. All create a symphony of flavors no words can ever give justice to: screw precious; you are Sue Slyvester.

Now, she (my best friend, not Sue), along with two other friends, are magnanimous enough to share these little hearts from heaven. You may look at their other creations by visiting their websites, Sugar Rush Lab and their Facebook page. I've long been bugging them to create a simpler layout for the flavors and prices (:-P) but they should be all there.

To order:
sugarrushlab@gmail.com
+63 917 856 0049


Wishful thinking

ANC Alerts posted this question in Twitter, and I thought I'd wallow in fantasy.

Tonight's Super Lotto jackpot may reach P195M (US$4.2 million). If you won, what would you do with your winnings?


I will:

    - Enroll at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp (Visual Arts, major in Fashion)



    - Move the family home to Quezon City (not Makati because...)

    - ... I'll buy a penthouse suite at Gramercy (so there'd be space and distance somehow, lol)



    - Treat my friends to a shopping spree worth P500,000 each (Either I'm very generous or I have very few friends, lol. Pick one, haha!)

    - Patronize local galleries and artists

    - Start a menswear line, if through my education, I feel I'm still up for it; otherwise, I'd use what I learned to be the Suzy Menkes of Asia

    - Say hello to Hermes and Bottega Veneta on a regular basis


That's practically it! (LOL at "practical") And yes, I'd still love to be based in Manila :-)

PS
I wonder how much it would cost to clean up Pasig River?


Monday, February 08, 2010

Go lang

Piolo Pascual singing Madonna's Jump in a black tank top, jeans and high-cut sneakers is awesome:





What is the sound of Aiko Melendez laughing?



Comelec, stricter criteria for political aspirants please. Thanks.


Friday, February 05, 2010

Tita Aida

Asked if there was any measure that the government could implement to address the purported rise in HIV cases, Ms Arroyo said: “First of all, are [the reports] on this supposed HIV epidemic real?

-- Steady rise in HIV cases noted by Rey M. Nasol for PDI



From the same article, the Philippine National AIDS Council said there is at least one new HIV case reported every three days.

OK, so let us trust this government to sit on this one.

On the other hand, it is not the government's responsibility to abstain from sex, or use protection when having one.

In a TV Patrol report last week, it said that free medication for HIV patients in government hospitals will stop within the year (or I think in 2011 -- can't remember). Afterward, it will cost from P10,000 to P15,000 a month. That's P120,000 to P180,000 a year!

Also, my previous entry: If you can't abstain, then stay protected


Thursday, February 04, 2010

Or perhaps...

it is the material. Is Rent still relevant today? Sure, it discusses love, life and death, but the characters are limited by, for one, the lack of social networks online. Mark needn't have waited a year to screen his documentary -- he could have uploaded weekly episodes on YouTube. Maureen could've had a wider audience -- the world in fact, via live streaming. Or Twitter. Benny could have had blackmailed Mimi with her sex video. There'd be no answering machines -- everyone is visible and online.

In other words, I felt that the material was dated and therefore, less comprehensible for the young Pinoy, and the characters, less accessible to the actors.


Rent: Hits and Misses

Here's my nice :-) review of 9 Works Theatrical's staging of Rent:

From left: Anna Santamaria, Job Bautista, OJ Mariano, Carla Laforteza and Mark Tayag


    -- Carla Guevara-Laforteza as Maureen was riveting and smashing; her portrayal stole the show from everyone who was on the stage with her. Watch out for her Over the Moon performance, which brought the house down. (And if my poor memory serves me right, it was better than Monique Wilson's.) She also started the production rolling -- it had a rough start (the bad news: she won't be onstage until the last quarter of Act 1). Carla was also hot as a lesbian.

    -- Pleasantly surprised with Oj Mariano's Tom Collins considering this is his acting debut. There is a believable chemistry between his character and Angel (Job Bautista).

    -- I wonder if Mikey Arroyo was Noel Rayos's peg for the smirking Benny. This made him really irritating.

    -- I liked the voice of Nicole Asensio (Mimi)

    -- I liked the ensemble; Gary Junsay in particular looked really pissed.

    -- I also liked Jenny Villegas as Joanne but my lesbian friends don't agree because they found her old and unfashionable relative to Maureen.

    -- Fredison Lo (Mark) is extremely cute

    -- Everyone had their accents down pat


Fredison Lo, Gian Magdangal, Nicole Asensio and Peachy Atilano


Now, for a few unsolicited suggestions:

    -- The other actors would need to step up. Hunching over with your trench coats does not automatically make you starving, derelicts, cool, hip and dying.

    -- There should be sexual chemistry/tension in Would You Light My Candle; I don't understand why Gian Magdangal's Roger is so disgusted with Mimi's... goods.

    -- The chemistry problem goes on throughout the play, I just couldn't find myself rooting for these people. (Mark was practically a cardboard, save for his number with Joanne, The Tango Maureen.) Benny could have razed their apartment building to the ground for all I care.

    -- Angel was cute as a button, which is a problem. She should be a diva, the star! But that's hard with Carla being so good as Maurene.

    -- Demmit, Will I is my favorite number -- please work on this.

    -- Audio was awful


At the post-show press conference, I liked the question of Michelle Katigbak (The Philippine Star) because the actors' responses addressed my nagging thoughts behind the acting snags: for the younger ones, how do you relate to the material?

Fredison answered, by reading books and articles on the Internet.

But Rent is real life, it's out there.

Meryl Streep will not like.

* * * *

Rent runs on February 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28, at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

God may actually prefer atheists


You know what? I wholeheartedly agree.

I'm a changed person after having read this book:



I've read about this book in my online researches and thought it impossible to be available locally; however, as if God led me to it, I accidentally found it in Fully Booked, a lone, "well-read" copy, hence its discounted price.

After having finished it, it made me realize so many things. Chiefly, we are raging mad at the Ampatuans, but the Catholic Church, as just one example of other religious institutions, has killed a thousand times more. Why give them the moral authority? To preach about heaven and hell for that matter?

And why is it the Church's duty to always make us feel guilty? Why do I have this so-called "original sin"? Because of Adam and Eve, who historically speaking, never existed? I was born a baby, guilty of no sin against ANYONE (well, maybe except my mother, who had to endure a full day of labor) -- I resent the Church for laying on me the sins of a mythical couple. And let's not get started about their sin: that they ate a fruit, which they weren't exactly 100-percent guilty for anyway. After all, Eve was tempted by a... uh, talking snake.

It is because of these sins that we've embraced perpetual guilt; the need to appease and please, in ways that add to the Church's coffers and ego. (Case study: Mike Velarde; plus: religious leaders who feel important enough to "anoint" political aspirants.)

* * * *
Further digression: the Pope, who attacked the UK's equality and anti-discrimination laws, is visiting the country and the British government is spending £20 million for it? Wow, I'd be royally pissed if I were the taxpayer.
* * * *


It is also because of this guilty card that we genuflect and bow our heads before our priests -- as a sign of subservience to the organization. If that's not what it is, then praying while sitting, standing or lying in bed should be deemed disrespectful.

As for me, I will live life the way I please it: with the help of my conscience because I am smart enough to know what's wrong from right, as I trust human beings are, even without having been corrupted by this grand, Romanian conspiracy. (I don't know enough of other religions to comment, but the Christopher Hitchens book make excellent cases against them as well.)

And if I die, and there does happen to be a God, then great! He, in his infinite wisdom, cannot fault me for defecting from a group that has been historically, and is still presently, and I'm restraining myself here... nuts.



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