Thursday, April 29, 2010

Touch them not

Ayoko sanang mag-tunog paulit-ulit, pero kasi, nakaka-ilang pahina na ako sa Noli Me Tangere (nandoon na ko sa bahagi ni Sisa) at talaga namang nakaka-galit ang Simbahang Katoliko. Alam naman natin na hango sa kasaysayan ang isinulat ni Rizal at isinasalamin nito ang ginawang pang-aalipusta ng mga prayle sa ating bansa, kaya naman kumukulo ang dugo ko kapag naiisip ko kung gaano pa rin makapangyarihan ang simbahan sa panahon ngayon. (Ibabahagi ko ang mga ilan dito sa mga susunod kong sanaysay.)

Aaminin ko, halos di ko binasa ang libro noong nasa high school ako. Di ko maalala kung paano ako nakapasa sa klase -- maaring binasa ko na lamang ang komiks o pinanood ang teleserye na hango dito -- pero malaki ang hinala ko na "censored" (pasensya, di ko alam ang Tagalog) ang nobela ni Rizal na ipinamahagi sa amin sa pribadong eskwelahan. Paano naman, talagang ipinamukha ng ating bayani kung gaano ka-gago ang mga itinuturo ng simbahan, at lalo na ang mga pari. Habang binabasa ko ang mga ito, naisip ko, "Pucha, 300-taong tayong ginago ng mga 'to, pero di pa din tayo nadadala? Bigay pa rin tayo ng bigay ng pera sa mga pari at sunod-sunuran pa rin tayo sa mga di makataong pagtuturo nila?"

Laking panghihinayang ko din na pinatay si Rizal ng ganung-ganoon na lang. Maaring ang kanyang kamatayan ang nag-nitsa ng pakikibaka ng mga Pilipino laban sa Espanya, pero para sakin, isa pa ring walang kakwenta-kwentang kamatayan iyon. Ilan lamang ang tao -- kahit sa panahon ngayon na may Internet at makabagong teknolohiya -- ang nakakamit o makakakamit ng tagumpay gaya ng kay Rizal; sayang ang galing at talino nya. (Walang sinabi yung isang tumatakbong presidente diyan.)

Ang punto ko eh, parang wala yatang hustisya sa pagkamatay nya. At parang di rin naman humingi ng paumanhin ang Simbahang Katoliko sa mga kasalanan nito sa Pilipinas at sa ating mga bayani at ninuno.

Sa aking pagsisiyasat, ito ang nakita ko. Mensahe ng Simbahang Katoliko noong ika-100 anibersaryo ng ating kalayaan:

For this year, our country celebrates the Centenary of our political independence.  For all of us, this has profound significance in the past, at present and for the future.

Proclaimed a hundred years ago at Kawit, Cavite, the Declaration of Philippine Independence signaled the development of Filipino consciousness and marked the culmination of years of struggle for Filipino nationhood.  In that struggle, thousands of Filipino heroines and heroes, such as Fathers Gomez, Burgos and Zamora (GOMBURZA), the Fathers of Nationalism, participated to gain freedom from colonial domination.

At present, the Centennial celebration is a great occasion for us to thank our sisters and brothers who dedicated their lives, even to the point of dying, to preserve the heritage of freedom.  It also stands as a reminder to examine ourselves how far we have been worthy of that heritage, and how far we have contributed in sustaining it.  For our part as an institution, we apologize for the ambiguous stand some Church people held during the revolution, which partly explains the rise of the religious revolution.  It is with pride to recall the EDSA defined what struggle for freedom means to a nation "colonized" by its own leaders.

Ngayon, di ko alam kung ito ang unang pagkakataon na humingi ng paumanhin ang Simbahang Katoliko, pero kung oo man, aba eh, inabot pa ng 100-taon pagkatapos iwagayway ang bandila ng Pilipinas sa Kawit, Cavite. At ang pinakamahalaga sa lahat, naramdaman nyo ba yung kanilang pagsisisi? Aba, parang niraos lang na mabanggit ang mapait na bahagi ng ating kasaysayan na iyon at dalos-dalos na binuhat nito ang kanilang sariling bangko sa pagbanggit nito sa papel nila sa People Power EDSA. Di rin nila pinansin -- o sa madaling salita, dinedma nila -- si Jose Rizal o kaya si Andres Bonifacio at bagkus, ipinagmalaki sina GOMBURZA, na bukod sa pagiging sekyular, ay pinapatay din naman ng kapwa nila pari.

Sa madaling salita, walang pagsisisi at labas sa ilong ang paghingi ng paumanhin. Nakakapagtaka na kung umasta sila eh para bang wala silang kabahid-bahid ng kamalian. Katulad na rin ng kasalukuyang Papa na walang pagsisisi sa ginawa at ginagawa nitong pag-dedma sa kaabusuhan at panghahalay ng kanilang mga pari sa mga bata. Walang walang pinagka-iba.

Kung sabagay, bakit nga naman sila hihingi ng dispensa? Payag ka naman sa ginagawa nila di ba?

Friday, April 23, 2010

A case for Noynoy

I take the presidential elections seriously, so much so that I've lost a few hours of sleep deciding on who to vote for.

I was originally for Noynoy Aquino until I read about GMA News' series on Hacienda Luisita. My blog entry on this received a lot of attention, having been linked to and cited by supporters of other presidential candidates in their respective Facebook accounts and personal and political websites.

I considered Gibo Teodoro until he himself removed any remaining doubt I had about his utang na loob or indebtedness to Gloria Arroyo:

Gibo defends Mikey's party-list bid | 03/24/2010 1:36 PM

Administration presidential candidate Gilberto "Gibo" Teodoro on Wednesday defended Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo's bid as party-list representative.

"Is it legal or not? It's legal. Wala tayong magagawa (We can't do anything about it)," Teodoro said when asked to comment about criticisms against Arroyo's nomination as representative of Ang Galing Pinoy, a party-list group representing security guards.

Yesterday, I re-posted Ricky Carandang's twitter message:

The objections to Agra's decision are not based on legal procedure but on a shared sense of right and wrong. Shared by most of us, at least.

That sums up my feelings toward Gibo, who's OK with Gloria, Miguel and Mikey Arroyo because everything they do is "legal" anyway.

Hello Garci scandal? Legal. Fertilizer scam scandal? Legal. ZTE scandal? Legal. Mikey Arroyo as a party-list representative of security guards? Legal.

Gloria Arroyo is also a sure win as Congresswoman; Gibo Teodoro as President, Gloria Arroyo as Speaker of the House... *shudders*

Hence, I limited my options to Dick Gordon and despite a guilty conscience due to Hacienda Luisita, Noynoy.

Yesterday, Elvino posted a YouTube video on his Tumbler site showing interviews of former Hacienda Luisita farmers. It dawned on me that for the first time, someone actually interviewed toilers of the land -- not lawyers, communist leaders or UP students. The interviewees yearned for the return of their former, peaceful life -- wherein the Cojuangco's remain as the hacienderos.

I was skeptical about the video -- this could easily be a Noynoy propaganda with actors, not farmers. The YouTube account owner, voicesunheard00, offered no additional information about himself/herself or the interviews. So I researched about its possible source.

Using the names of the farmers as my lead, I ended up on this blog. Journalist Felicity Tan, together with citations from blogger Jay Salazar's own analysis, exposed the bias of the GMA News series on Hacienda Luisita against Noynoy.

As it turned out, it was she herself who shot the YouTube video and interviewed the Hacienda Luisita farmers. Her other notes on this subject is found in this entry.

Given Felicity's educational background and journalism experience, I doubt she'd do anything to ruin those years of hard work. Hence, I have faith in the video's integrity.

The Hacienda Luisita issue was the only thing that kept me undecided and guilty for considering Noynoy. Given these findings, I can now sleep peacefully with my vote.

* * * *

My friend Drei, who is pro-Gibo and anti-Noynoy, posted this link on his Twitter:

"Stupid and honest. That’s what Filipinos want." - Antipinoy on Noynoy supporters |

Stupid? Uh... he's not the one who chose a game show host as his Vice President -- the person who will head the country if the President dies; the government's caretaker if he's out of the country. I won't even further comment on how this same presidential candidate has allowed his party to collapse; and just when it lay in ruins, quit its chairmanship in the process.

(As a digression, I also have a problem with the Antipinoy article. It says:

... the thinking that a “crooked” president necessarily translates to a crooked presidency, and an “honest” president necessarily translates to an honest presidency... See, that kind of thinking would apply if the Philippines were an absolute totalitarian state... However, the Philippines is a democracy. Its system of governance consists of three branches (one of which the Presidency belongs to) that check-and-balance one another. Officers in two out of three of these branches are elected by popular vote.

Am I in a twilight zone here? Isn't the Arroyo administration a prime and glowing example of this... crookedness? To add, she has control of all three government branches -- executive, legislative [by dangling pork barrel funds] and judicial.)

In the meantime, I have yet to hear and read about Noynoy's "stupid" choices or "stupid" remarks. In fact, he has shown remarkable calm and collectedness (aside from good sense) in presidential forums and interviews -- characteristics I can't say of Gordon. Noynoy's major fault -- if at all -- is that he fails to provide juicy sound bites.

His interview with TV Patrol's Ted Failon was one that stuck in mind after all these months -- particularly because of the way he handled Failon's "autistic" remark (5:55 mark). This was broadcasted in November 2009.

I can't imagine Gordon not going ballistic if placed in the same spot, he who is suing SWS and Pulse Asia partly because they included his name in the surveys without his permission.

For the record, I will not have a problem with a Gordon presidency. These comments only explain part of the reasons why I am choosing Noynoy over Gordon.

Another misinformation connected with Noynoy is his apparent laziness in the Senate. Gordon himself said that Lito Lapid is better than Noynoy because the former has one bill passed. Not true.

  • Lito Lapid = Senator since 2004
  • Noynoy Aquino = Senator since 2007; has two Senate bills passed, pending approval in the House of Representatives

Noynoy has authored more bills than Alan Peter Cayetano, an ally of Manny Villar and critic of the Liberal Party, albeit by a difference of one. He also chairs the Senate Committee on Local Government.

All these and his other accomplishments are discussed in the article, "Noynoy Aquino, out of the shadows" by Jaemark Tordecilla of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism.

A better outlined list of his legislative record is in Noynoy's official website.

And here's his attendance record, also lifted from the same website:

14th Congress Roll Call Late OM/Late Total

First Regular Session

Session Nos. 1 – 88

July 23, 2007 – June 11, 2008
85 1 - 86 - -

Second Regular Session

Session Nos. 1 – 84

July 28, 2008 – June 3, 2009
80 2 - 82 1 1

Third Regular Session

Session Nos. 1 – 49

July 27, 2009 – February 9, 2009
36 8 - 44 3 1 + 1* (*death in family)

Two absences in three years (I can't say the same for myself), one of which is due to his mother's death -- that speaks highly of his work ethic.

I rest my case.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Breaking them in is hard to do

I'm on my third day and geezwhiz, my feet are in pain! The size is just right (I can still wiggle my toes around) but it's taking such a herculean effort to break them in! I've developed six blisters; every time I walk, I feel like a Chinese girl with lotus feet. Give me my cheongsam.

 Venus fly trap

The thing about the Sebago Docksides, my first pair ever, is that the leather is tough. Three days of consecutive uses and there is nary a wrinkle. And being a masochist for vanity's sake, I intend to wear them everyday until they become soft and I feel like I'm walking on clound nine, a promise akin to that of our presidential candidates': highly questionable. I'm even tempted to wear them outside with socks but the thought gives me goosebumps.

I did a few Google searches and some say the break in period for this particular brand and style takes weeks -- Lord, help me. Others says there's no such thing as a break in for the Docksides -- screw you.

From my experience, Singaporean brand Pedro's casual shoes don't require breaking in, even on Day One. They are the most comfortable shoes ever -- I can walk on them for hours and my feet won't hurt.

Zara's sneakers also don't require breaking in -- except the quality is very poor; I've two pairs that require retirement and they're not even a year old.

Vans requires some breaking in. In fact, I have one that's about four- or five-years old and I can't stand walking on them for one whole day without the feeling that I'd develop blisters somewhere near my heel. (Though in fairness, Vans never did give me blisters.)

Rubber shoes, like those from Nike, Adidas and Gola, are padded and cushioned, so they don't cause blistering (and of course, you wear socks with them).

Got break in tips (for shoes, not cars and houses)? Fire away under comments.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Justice in this country all eventually grinds to a halt; in some instances, it reverses itself, as in the case of Maureen Hultman's, a curious one I don't think I'll ever get over with.

You have the Jason Ivler case: he who openly shot the son of a government official and who previously killed a presidential adviser in a road rage mishap. He eluded authorities, with the help of his mother, until all the clues led to his family home. There, he went on another shooting spree, this time, with a baby armalite, to resist his arrest, wounding police officers in the process. He is not yet convicted. He even picked up over 30,000 fans through his Facebook page.

You have the Ampatuan case: they who brazenly massacred 57 women and journalists. Yesterday, the "Justice" Secretary cleared two of the massacre's conspirators, Zaldy Ampatuan and cousin Akmad Ampatuan Sr, from the murder rap. An earlier court decision dismissed the rebellion charges against Andal Ampatuan Sr., the clan's patriarch, but this probably makes sense as the Ampatuans' powerful firearms were provided by the Arroyo government.

What hope is there for us? To be rich (Teehankee case), a presidential appointee or son of a high-ranking government official (Ivler case), a journalist murdered in broad daylight (Ampatuan case) -- instances, wherein your relatives are assured of vindication (no matter how insignificant compared to the life that was lost) -- and yet, somehow, the scales of justice still tip the other way?

Last night, I started reading Noli Me Tangere, and as Jose Rizal describes the Philippines as having cancer, an observation made from over 100 years ago, there is the question: what changed? We've been nurturing this cancer for over a century.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Appointment

I picked up The Appointment by Herta Muller from the P99 bin of Books for Less, together with my February book, The Flaming Corsage.

It had the most intriguing synopsis, written at the back cover:

"'I've been summoned. Thursday, ten sharp.' Thus begins a day in the life of a young factory worker during CeauลŸescu's totalitarian regime. Her crime? Sewing notes into the linings of men's suits bound for Italy. 'Marry me,' the notes say, with her name and address. As she rides the tram to her interrogation, she thinks over the events and people of her life under the terror. In her distraction she misses her stop and finds herself alone on an unfamiliar street. And what she discovers there makes her fear of the interrogation pale in comparison."

I later learned that the author received the 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature. All in all, I was prepared to love this book. However, as I turned the last page, I didn't even like it. I'd even say that the book blurb was a bit misleading

If you have a thing for poetry, this book may be for you. As for me, my love for poetry does not go beyond Pablo Neruda -- yes, it's that bad -- so needless to say, I had a hard time appreciating the author's lyrical description of her daily events. On top of that, I also think only a woman can understand this book -- her musings revolved around her alcoholic husband, insecurity over a prettier best friend, sexual attraction to father figures AND actual fathers... topics that totally alienated me.

I also didn't understand the ending. If you've read the book and liked it, please leave a comment and help explain it. I saw no explanation from Google, although I did find this:

Reviewers have criticized The Appointment for its lack of direction. The intensity of the events also makes it a difficult novel for casual readers, but it is recommended for academic studies.

I suppose it's a good study for:
  • Writing a narrative -- The author, seamlessly transitions from one event of her life to another, from one flashback to the next. The entire story takes place in the protagonist's short train ride, which probably explains the ADHD reference in eNotes's review.
  • Understanding Communist Romania
* * * *

Up next for April/May, the Harold Augenbraum translation of Jose Rizal's Noli Me Tangere!

    Right to a refund!

    Over at my other blog, I wrote about my newly bought Sledgers espadrilles that gave up only after two hours of use. Two days later, I requested Mon to get it exchanged or refunded for me.

    He trekked to SM Department Store at Megamall. It turned out that a pair is no longer available in my size, so Mon asked for a refund instead.

    The SM salespersons said this was not possible and offered to give Mon a gift voucher instead. Mon called me up and the news got my blood pressure up. "I don't want any other pair -- I want the espadrilles or they give me my money back!"

    The salespersons stood their ground. So did I -- I called up my sister who works for DTI. She said all stores are required to give a refund for defective products, no exceptions. Indeed, I checked the DTI website and found this:

    6. Can a store exercise only a policy of exchange but not refund?

    Consumers are entitled to either an exchange or refund, as long as there is a defect in the quality of goods or imperfection in the service.

    So folks, it is your right to have your merchandise exchanged or refunded.

    My sister also gave me a number which you may call at the store while you're in a dispute. The DTI representative will gladly explain to the store manager or salesperson your rights. The telephone number is 751.3330.

    After having explained all these policies, the hapless salespersons (Mon said they looked kawawa from all the stress), who would do EVERYTHING except issue a refund because apparently it would screw their books (I'm beginning to think poverty is not this country's number one problem; it's bureaucracy.), thought of a solution: call other SM branches. Fortunately for them, a pair in my size is available at SM Makati and they offered to issue a voucher so that I could claim it there.

    Now, I could have rejected this offer and demanded them to deliver the shoes from Makati to Megamall but I thought it was unnecessary as I had a nagging thought in my head: What if the new espadrilles turn out to be defective again?

    So I asked Mon to accept the voucher and I figured I'd get boat shoes from Sebago instead (which I eventually did).

    Thursday, April 15, 2010


    From 'immoral' to 'abnormal'
    by Danton Remoto
    ABS-CBN News Online
    April 12, 2010

    Six months, in 21st-century Philippines, Ang Ladlad and I were called "immoral" by the Second Division of the Commission on Elections. Last week, we were called "abnormal' by a Catholic bishop.

    The second division of the Comelec is composed of Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer, an Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister of the Church in Binmaley, Pangasinan; Commissioner Lucenito Tagle, Director of the Christian Family Movement in Cubao; and Commissioner Elias Yusoph, a Muslim imam. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but these three gentlemen should have inhibited themselves from discussing the merits of Ang Ladlad's accreditation because they would be biased parties in the case at hand. Instead, they rushed headlong into it, with the singleness of purpose of a typhoon bearing down on a small island. During the hearing which I attended with my laywer, Atty. Nick Pichay, I would be asked brilliant questions like this.

    Commissioner Yusuph: How shall I address you, Miss or Madame?

    Danton Remoto: You may call me Professor Danton Remoto, or Mr. Danton Remoto.

    Commissioner Ferrer: I think you are already over-represented in Congress. Tell me who are the gays in Congress! And the gays in Senate, tell me who he is!

    Danton Remoto: Your Honor, Imee Marcos said that there are only 13 gay people in the Congress when she was there, but she claimed she's the only one who is out of the closet there. As for the gay senator, I am not aware of his identity. If you are, Your Honor, maybe you can shed light on the issue?

    I wish this conversation is part of my Lorin LaGuadia series but I'm afraid this is non-fiction.

    Read the rest of the article here.

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    The commencement speech

    Lorin: Magandang hapon sa inyong lahat. I want to thank Father Benz and The Arneyow community for this honor!

    Father, Mother, Brothers and Sisters, faculty and staff, parents and siblings, graduates of 2010 – many congratulations.

    With your permission, I will speak now.

    Eywa has heard you... Eywa has heard you! *raises arms*

    The Sky People sent me a message... that Mar can take whatever he wants, including The Arneyow, our Pandora. That no one can stop him.

    He thinks I'm an ignorant savage? And he's been to so many places? I guess it must be so. But still I cannot see if the savage one is me. How can there be so much that he doesn't know? He doesn't know.

    I am not just some small town girl, livin' in a lonely world, who took the midnight train goin' anywhere.

    I am a Tree. A Tree whose hungry mouth is pressed against the earth's sweet flowing breast.  A Tree that looks at God all day, and lifts her leafy arms to pray. A Tree that may in Summer wear a nest of robins in her hair; upon whose bosom *clutches breasts* snow has lain; who intimately lives with rain.

    I say, and you can quote me on this: Tama na. Sobra na. Palitan na.

    This day we rescue a world from mysticism and tyranny and usher in a future brighter than anything we can imagine. The world will know that free men stood against a tyrant -- FYI, this is Mar -- that few stood against many, and before this battle was over, even a god-king, who's always number one in the surveys, can bleed.

    Prepare for glory! Repeat after me: A-HOOH!

    Graduates: A-HOOH!

    Lorin: A-HOOH!! A-HOOH!! A-HOOH!!

    Graduates: A-HOOH!! A-HOOH!! A-HOOH!!

    *thunderous applause*

    Tuesday, April 13, 2010

    Lorin's commencement speech: The Aftermath

    Dear Father Benz


    I have been told last night that portions of my graduation remarks - in particular my address to the Schools of Humanities and Social Sciences - had been borrowed from certain other authors whose works have been published. For this, I wish to express my sincerest apology to you, the University and to the 2010 graduating class.

    I have had some help in the drafting of my remarks, but I take full and sole responsibility for them.

    I am told further that comments posted on Facebook have started to spill beyond graduation, and are now alluding to my misconduct with respect to my crying at the Senate, partnering with Money Villar, claim of being an Antique native, alluring and beguiling smile in my TV ads, and so forth. 

    Fr Benz, this has been a source of deep personal embarrassment for me. 

    I am truly regretful for it. It gives me a lot of personal discomfort to continue to be closely involved with Arneyow affairs after this incident. I am afraid the damage has been done - wala talaga akong mukhang ihaharap pagkatapos.

    With much regret, Fr Benz, I would wish to retire from my official duties at the Arneyow.

    With all good wishes to you and to our graduates.

    L. L. G.

    Dear Lorin,

    I received your apology just a few minutes ago and feel how deeply embarrassed and pained you are by this event. We realize that this was a mistake and we respect and appreciate your taking responsibility and your immediate apology.

    At the same time, we know that this happened without your full awareness, though you take full and sole responsibility.  However, may I clarify that you never have and never will be offered official duties at The Arneyow. Ambisosya ka.

    May the Risen Christ be Light to you.

    Fr. Benz, S.J.

    OHMYGAD. Noooooo!!! This can’t be! But the speech I wrote for Lorin was like, totally original! I’ll upload it later, you be the judge!

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    A prelude to the commencement speech

    After talking to Tita GMA, I realized that I do owe Lorin LaGuardia an apology. So I swallowed all my pride and called her up:

    Me: Sorry na.

    Lorin: Hmp.

    Me: Sorry na, please. It was wrong of me to imply whatever it was that I implied.

    Lorin: Hmp.

    Me: In fact, I felt so bad for what happened and given your recent lower ratings, I thought I'd help you out.

    Lorin: Help me? As in improve my ratings?

    Me: Yes! And make you win -- I'll do whatever it takes.

    Lorin: I'm listening.

    Me: Thank you Lorin. Well, first of all, I think we need to corner Mar's market.

    Lorin: I've done that. I've toured many palengkes na and ate with my bare hands with Money.

    Me: Yes, yes there's that but there's also Mar's sosyal market: The Arneyow University.

    Lorin: What about The Arneyow?

    Me: Well, since it's graduation season, I thought it'd be fantastic if you deliver the commencement address. I'll arrange it with the school officials; trust me, I can get you the spot.

    Lorin: Magandang PR yan ha. I can directly talk to the students, connect with their parents, and address the entire Jesuit community. Ika nga nila, it's a win-win situation, or in this case, win-win-win! Sabi rin nila, it's like shooting two birds with one stone, or in this case, shooting three birds with one stone, only in this case, the stone stands for words, which sabi nila, is mightier than the sword... although of course, being pro-environment -- alam mo naman, aking pinaglalaban ang karapatan ng ating environment, pati na rin ng mga kababaihan at si Mother Earth ay isang babae -- I am against the shooting of birds.

    Me: Err... um, yes. And don't worry na about the speech. I'll write it for you. As in all you need to do is show up, smile and make beso-beso to everyone.

    Lorin: Brilliant! You know naman, I'm so busy na nga these days.

    Me: So ano, peace na?

    Lorin: Ikaw naman, you're so paranoid! I was never mad at you! Friends naman talaga tayo eh. When we meet at The Arneyow, you can go ahead and claim your free hug from Ate Lorin!

    This was last week. A few days after Lorin's speech, hell broke loose and I find myself in the midst of a huge controversy :-( Will post about it tomorrow.

    Wednesday, April 07, 2010

    Your Tekken geek post for the day

    The acting looks awful; the storyline, cheesy; its IMDB page riddled with misspelling; and it's going straight to DVD in the US, lol. I can't wait to have a copy!

    It's Tekken the movie, y'all!

    I love how they painstakingly made sure the actors eerily resemble their characters. I think Craig Marduk, played by wrestler Nathan Jones, takes the cake, lol.

    Others in the cast:

    Nina (Candice Hillebrand) and Anna (Marian Zapico) Williams. I think they could've gone with a younger-looking Anna.

    Raven (Darrin Dewitt Henson) and Eddie Gordo (Lateef Croweder). You gotta love the capoeira stance. Eddie and Christie Monteiro, who's also in the film, are two of my heavily used characters.

    Brian Fury (Gary Daniels) and Jin Kazama (Jon Foo)

    I can't believe they left out my Divine Fist-ranking Lili Rochefort from the cast! Same with Armor King -- you'd think he'd pass on this tournament? No way! To think Yoshimitsu somehow found a way to be included in the film! (Would have been nicer if Panda and Roger Jr. were included, too. You got exponential kitsch factor right there  :-P)

    * * * *  

    Speaking of Tekken, while Deepa has made me extremely jealous with her God of War 3 exploits, I've had to content myself with Tekken 6 on my PSP. Lili made the cut, thankfully, although my hit combination -- where my opponent will never get to stand up til I knock the lights out of him :-P -- no longer work :-(

    Despite the presence of new awesome characters -- the drop-dead gorgeous, kanin-na-lang-ang-kulang Miguel (left) and the sultry Zafina -- I still prefer Tekken: Dark Resurrection. The latter has better graphics and more unlockable features (the new release no longer has bowling; the command attack mode, which helps you master a character; the dojo mode; and download options for ghosts and characters screensaver.)

    The new release also has the lamest plots for the character's story modes. So far, all the prologues I've opened feature cartoons, not videos.

    I'm also ultra peeved by the bonus round character, NANCY-MI847J, whom you simply can't beat; and the overall boss, Azazel, who reduces me to squealing like a 5-year-old kid, "Ang daya-daya mo!!!!" (Although I've recently unlocked the secret to beating him way too easily, by way of Zafina.)

    While there is greater character customization -- for example, my Lili is now sporting a Rihanna 'do, lol!-- and some stages are now two-level, the graphics look cheaper (I'd say a 3D version of Streetfighter circa 90's). I'm afraid, Dark Resurrection really set the bar very high.

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