May 30, 2009

THIS was Cat Stevens.

He was very big in the 1960s until he converted to Islam in 1977, dropping out of sight at the height of his fame. I grew up listening to his music because of my older siblings. He then changed his name to Yusuf Islam.

With a new album launched, he appears on The Colbert Nation, where host Stephen Colbert, conducts a hilarious yet insightful interview of Yusuf. He talks about leaving the entertainment industry, converting to Islam, and says the first word a Muslim learns is "Salaam" or peace.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorKeyboard Cat

Here's the title track from his new album, Roadsinger.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Yusuf - Roadsinger
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorKeyboard Cat

May 29, 2009

Sex, lies and videotape

“You can’t possibly trust him. He’s perverted.”

—Ann Mullany (Andie McDowell) in Sex, Lies and Videotape

I WROTE this piece three days before the Senate hearing on the Hayden Kho-Katrina Halili sex video scandal. (Maaga ang deadline ba?) It's a further exposition on my thoughts on the issue. Click Something Like Life if you still can't get enough of it.

(Correction: As per my friends, in the sex video, Halili entered the bedroom still clothed, not naked as I had written in my column. Thanks for the correction guys.)

Great Book Blockade revisited

JUST for everyone's perusal, here's the order from the Department of Finance suspending the tax on books. It's by no means permanent, as the DOF is still finalizing the guidelines on book importation. But for the moment, I think everyone can rest easy and go buy their books at their usual prices. (Of course, if the peso devaluates, it will raise the prices of our books, which is another matter completely.)

Here's a shout out to the bloggers and journalists who made a ruckus about the issue, and especially to my former boss and a book lover himself, Makati Rep. Teddyboy Locsin, who bent the ear of the presidentita on this one.

Shouldn't we applaud GMA as well? Hmmm...let's see the final guidelines first.

DOF Order 27-09 Suspending Book Tax
Thanks to Finance Secretary Gary Teves' PR crew at Great Wall Advertising for emailing us a copy of the DO.

Manolo Quezon's take on the issue. Many think that the fight isn't over yet.

May 28, 2009

Important news we missed while we were glued to the Hayden-Katrina faceoff

1. RP has now 10 H1N1 cases

Scary. Wash your hands well!

2. RP economy ‘teetering toward recession’

But I think we'll be okay this year. Spoke w/ some businessmen recently; the second quarter results look promising. You know what the Chinese say: "Crisis means opportunity."

3. BSP cuts interest rates

Well, if you think the interest rates on your savings accounts were too low, this move will cut them further. Even if you go to higher-yielding deposit instruments like SDA's or 5-yr tax-free special savings accounts, your interest rates will be eaten up by inflation.

4. Navy whistleblower Gadian surfaces at CA hearing

I hope Gadian's safety is well-secured. You know what happened to the other whistleblowers in the military.

5. Arroyo: There will be elections in 2010

Of course, we don't believe her. And looks like there's trouble in paradise as the Kampi head Luis Villafuerte was absent at the merger announcement this morning. He has resigned from the party in protest of the merger. Even former Phil. president Fidel V. Ramos, chairman emeritus of the Lakas-CMD party, was nowhere to be found. (Sick daw.)

According to broadcaster Ricky Carandang, the new merged party's name is PaLaKa. Hahahaha!

Ex-cop does a Cherie Gil

For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV

GMA News is obviously so delighted w/ this footage. Notice how they're looping it over and over again.

The ex-cop who poured the water on Dr. Hayden Kho's head has been identified as one Abner Afuang. He holds a press pass w/c is why he was able to get into the Senate hearing. I'm sure, issued by the Senate press office. Ngek.

I noticed though that Sen. Jamboy Madrigal seems to be pretty partial towards Dra. Vicki Belo, who as it turns out, did instruct Eric Chua and Bistek del Rosario, to get the contents of the hard drive of Kho. She was the one who gave the key to Kho's flat. I suspected, Marquise de Merteuil at your service!

And gads, this Sen. Bong Revilla has no business sitting in Senate hearings when he doesn't even know what kind of questions to ask! "So Katrina, ano'ng nararamdaman mo ngayon?" "So Dr. Kho, ano'ng nararamdaman mo ngayon?" Or how about: "Dr. Hayden Kho -- nothing personal -- kayo pa rin ba ni Vicki Belo?" Duh. Doesn't his staff even bother to give him cue cards?

Of course, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada was not too far behind: "Dr. Kho, doktor po ba kayo?" Or, "ano ba ang ibig sabihin ng jologs?" Leche.

This Katrina Halili is also such an artista. She cries crocodile tears. The hearing was turned into a badly-scripted telenovela. "Minahal ko sya!" she wailed to the senators and onlookers. "Inuto niya ako na matagal na niya akong gusto." (tanga) "Ang kapal ng mukha mo!" she accused Kho, inciting Sen. Madrigal to call for a one-minute break. "Ang baduy naman!" sigaw ko.

The Senate hearing was adjourned until further notice. As usual, for projection purposes only.

* * * *

TRANSCRIPT of Katrina Halili's statement courtesy of Senate reporter Bernadette Tamayo

"Artista po ako. Trabaho ko ang maghatid ng tuwa. Pantasya ng telebisyon at pelikula. Pero tulad ng iba may pribado ring buhay din ako gaya ng lahat. Sa pagkakataong ito. dangal ko at dangal ng pamilya ang pinag uusapan dito. Minahal ko si Hayden. bata ako kaya madaling nalagyan ng piring ang aking mga mata para isisping ako lang ang nagmamay ari ng puso niya. pero gaya ng lahat ng relasyong nagsimula sa kasinunagalingan wala itong pinatunguhan.

Wala akong malay na ang bawat yakap at halik ay scripted. Buong-buo kong binigay yung puso at ang kaluluwa ko sa isang lalaking gumagawa pala ng sariling pelikula. Ang tanga ko. Imbes na doktor, direktor pala. Inaamin ko ang pagkakamali ko. Ang pagkakamali ko ay minahal ko siya. At naniwala ako na minahal nya rin ako ng lubusan.

Ako raw ang prinsesa niya sa ikalawa niyang mundo. Bata po ako madali niya ako napaniwala. Ako ang biktima rito. Araw-araw biktima ako habang pinapanood ang nasabing video. Hangad ko po ang hustisya at hukuman kahit alam kong habang buhay ko nang dadalhin ang ginawa sa akin.

Patay na ako pero may video pa rin at may Internet. Dalawa lang kasong sinampa ko sa pambababoy na ginawa sa akin sa pagkatao ko. Gusto ko siyang matanggalan ng lisensiya bilang doktor. Wala siyang karapatan maging doktor. Gusto ko rin siyang makulong at pagdusahan niya ang ginawa niya sa akin.

Pero ano pong iginanti nila. Kasama ni Hayden ang kanyang ina. Sari-saring paninira ang binato nila sa akin at sa mga taong tumutulong sa akin. Inabuso na ako at binaboy ako pa ang may sala. Inabuso na nga ako sa sex video. Inaabuso pa rin ako sa sex video, inaabuso pa ako muli sa publiko.

And issue dito ay pang-aabuso sa kababaihan. Ang pambababoy sa akin at sa iba pang biktima ni Hayden. Sa kultura po natin habang buhay na latay sa pagkatao ko ang ginawa sa akin. May ina din po ako na nasasaktan. Araw-araw na nagdurusa. May anak o kapatid din po kayo na babae. Ayaw din nyo mangyari sa kanila ang sinapit ko.

Sana ipagpatuloy ng Senado at madaliin ang pagsusulong ng mga batas na may layuning itaguyod ang karapatan at proteksyon para sa aming kababaihan dahil iba na ang ginagamit na panggagahasa at pambababoy sa karapatan ng kababaihan. Sa Intenet, sa blogs, DVDs at iba pa.

Nabiktima ako. Isa ako sa maraming babaeng naloko at niloko ni Hayden Kho. Pero may hangganan ang katangahan. At sa araw na ito buong loob na humaharap sa inyo na puno ng respeto sa sarili. Ilalaban ko ang aking karapatan ng mabuhay ng marangal, ng walang takot at malayo sa karanasang inabot ko dahil sa sex video.

Sana po sa publiko itigil na po natin ang pagtangkilik sa mga sex videos at malalaswang panoorin. Kung walang tumatangkilik wala rin din pong gagawa ng mga sex video. Sana po ang pangalang Katrina Halili na lang ang huling sa mga sex videos. Sana po wala ng susunod pa. Salamat po.

Ang galing ni Manay Lolit gumawa ng speech!

Meldita isdatchu?

(What's that song by Swing Out Sister again? 'Am I the Same Girl?' The official photo for the House of Representatives on the left. Photo from People Asia at right.)

Presidency or nothing for Teodoro, says wife

By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez
First Posted 13:49:00 05/27/2009

MANILA, Philippines -- It’s the presidency or nothing for Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr., his wife, Tarlac Representative Monica Louise Prieto-Teodoro, said.

Mrs. Teodoro said “powerful people,” businessmen, and members of civil society had been talking to her husband and had pledged to back him up in his bid to become the country’s next president in the May 2010 elections. (Click here for the rest.)

KAPAL, is what I wanna say.

Seriously now, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro seems like a genuinely nice guy, a real gentleman according to my media colleagues who've covered him in his present and previous jobs in and out of government. In fact, I want to meet him and ask him about his plans for our country's future.

But as usual, it's the wife we're all worried about, innit? I wonder if it's true that San Miguel chair and NPC head Danding Cojuangco didn't want to throw his full financial muscle behind Teodoro, his nephew, partly because of Nikki? After all, she isn't anything like how a presidentiable's wife should behave, right Tita Gretchen? (Oppen ha, not Barreto! ngek)

Should we be shaking in our boots over Nikki, compared to MAR's Ms. K? I wonder...hmmm.

May 27, 2009

Here we go again

I'M feeling a bit under the weather today, folks. The heat was just sweltering yesterday and I was going in and out of airconditioned places. I also think I've been too anxious about this A/H1N1 flu that I've literally scrubbed away even the helpful bacteria from my body.

Like I interviewed this businessman who just came from New York and as soon as we finished talking, I went to the restroom to wash my hands. I washed my hands so many times yesterday (yes while I sang 2 Happy Birthday songs, not aloud though, people might think I'm touched in the head), it's surprising my hands haven't bled yet. So ironically, now I feel a bit flu-ish, if not, foolish. To top it off, I didn't win last night's P168 million Superlotto. Blast!

Anyhoo, BusinessMirror columnist Manuel Buencamino has this interesting take on the foolishness that's been going on our squalid part of the world. Not only have we become illiterate, as PDI columnist Conrad de Quiros has declared, we've become humor-less as well. We can't help Sen. Bong Revilla's brain condition, but I can't understand why even Rep. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, an Ateneo graduate at that, and who I thought was an intelligent smart non-traditional politician, has succumbed to the same silliness as well.

(I used to think Rep. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel was such a great congresswoman, until she started taking issue w/ non-issues.)

Methinks, many of our countrymen's so-called patriotism, nationalism and politically correctness have become misplaced. And I've said it all before at the height of the Desperate Housewives and Jon Stewart controversies; it's like we're suffering from some weird superiority complex that masks how inferior we feel towards other nationalities, that we have to keep lashing out at them just to prove we're such patriotic citizens. If you're so patriotic, why don't you follow traffic rules and pay the correct taxes? Pwede ba?

It's true, what Buencamino says. Because of this furor over these TV shows, now I've become oversensitive to other people's stupidities that everytime I make a joke, sarcastic remark, or use irony in any of my comments/writings, I have to put a parenthesis w/ the words, "joke!" or "joke lang!" I miss those days when we didn't have to explain too much bec. everyone got the joke.

Here's Buencamino's latest dispatch from the Enchanted Kingdom:

Explain the jokes ‘naman’, please
By Manuel Buencamino
BusinessMirror, May 27, 2009

A chip on the shoulder is not a sign of patriotism. It’s the mark of an inferiority complex.—Philip Gilmore

I don’t get the patriotic furor over Alec Baldwin’s remark. “I’d love to have more kids. I’m thinking about getting a Filipina mail-order bride at this point, or a Russian. I don’t care, I’m 51.” I suspect “mail-order bride” had something to do with it, but I can’t for the life of me figure out why.

A mail-order bride is a woman who chooses a different route to marriage. She is not a slut. She is not morally inferior to a woman who opts to be courted in the traditional manner. (Click here for the rest.)

May 25, 2009

Good news citizens!

(Photo from the Guardian)

Taxes on book imports lifted
By Paolo Romero
Philippine Star
May 25, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - President Arroyo ordered yesterday the Department of Finance to scrap the taxes imposed on imported books and reading material.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said the directive was prompted by a torrent of criticism on the move of the Bureau of Customs (BOC), which is under the supervision of the finance department, to impose the duties.

“President Arroyo ordered the immediate lifting of the customs duty on book importation,” Remonde said in a text message to The STAR. (Click here for the rest.)

Philippines' Brillante Mendoza scoops Best Director at Cannes

(The very fierce film director Brillante Mendoza, photo from AFP)

CANNES, France (AFP) — Brillante Mendoza of the Philippines on Sunday picked up the best director prize at the Cannes film festival for his dark movie "Kinatay".

"Kinatay" (meaning "massacre") notably features corrupt cops hacking a prostitute to pieces with blunt kitchen knives.

Mendoza, at Cannes for the second year running, again split the critics, drawing both hisses and applause for "Kinatay". (Click here for more.)

What a great way to start a new week, dontcha think?

Queen wants Adam!

(Will Adam Lambert be the new Freddie Mercury? Photo by Packers30gb)

OK, I'm obviously still suffering from post-traumatic stress because of Adam Lambert's loss in American Idol. One bit of news that perked me up and all his fans though is Queen's Brian May saying the band was interested in getting Adam as their frontman! Wow!

As you all know, Queen lost its lead singer and co-founder, the flamboyant Freddie Mercury, when he died of AIDS complications in 1991. Mercury, being of Indian descent, has been known as the very first successful rocker from Asia. Now, if this gig pushes through w/ Queen, this will be a big break for Adam, and revive the recording career of the almighty rock band. Click here for the story.

Check out Adam (and whatshisface) performing with Queen during the finale show of AI, and tell me who's got the best pipes.

Here's Adam on Fox and Friends the morning after the finale. He really is a swell kid. He has his feet on the ground and seemed genuinely happy at the results. Anyhoo, he knows he's a star. He also confirms the ongoing talks with Queen. I'm so glued to the news on this kid. He's going places!


"Like it or not, we’re surrounded with too much 'noise.' At home the husband and kids scream for their dinner; at the office, the boss nags you on the assignment you still haven’t finished, or your colleagues endlessly gossip while you’re trying to beat your deadline; and even among your friends, you may be listening to the same boo-hoo story about their lying, cheating boyfriend over and over again." (Click Something Like Life for the rest.)

May 22, 2009

DOH mum on flu patient's activities

(Health Secretary Francisco Duque announces first case of Influenza A/H1N1 infection in the Philippines. Photo from AFP.)

THE Department of Health has been doing what it terms "contract tracing" on the case of the 10-year-old girl found to be infected with Influenza A/H1N1 virus. But is keeping a lid on where she went since she arrived in the country on May 18. If she went to the mall, she would have already passed on the virus to other mallgoers.

The DOH officials also didn't want to identify what airport the child's plane landed in bec. it would identify where she is located. However, they did say that the passenger manifest of the plane which the child rode on is currently being reviewed so that the other passengers would be contacted for observation purposes.

The child's family, of course, has requested for privacy. I hope the family was forthcoming enough to inform their friends and relatives abroad who their child came in contact with, of the current situation so they too can be vigilant and observe their own households for possible infection.

For more notes on the presscon of DOH Secretary Duque last night, click reporter Dana Batnag's blog.

Don't panic!

DoH confirms first A(H1N1) case in RP

By Anna Valmero
First Posted 22:26:00 05/21/2009

MANILA, Philippines—(UPDATE) The Department of Health (DoH) confirmed the first case of A(H1N1) influenza in the country Thursday night.

“The DoH confirms today the first case of A(H1N1) in the Philippines. She is a female traveler who arrived in the country on May 18 from the United States, whose throat specimen tested positive based on results from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque said in a press conference at the World Health Organization Regional office in Manila. (Click here for the rest.)

AS a journalist, that's what I want to tell you. But personally, I'm really scared that the Influenza A virus has finally landed in Manila and has infected a young child who just arrived from the States and Canada. This is not good. Let's just pray that it won't spread nationwide.

As Sec. Duque says, this calls for vigilance and honesty. Pls. start thinking of the welfare of your fellow citizens. If you came from countries where Influenza A was prevalent, or have been in contact w/ people who came from those places, and you suddenly feel flu-ish, pls. pls. pls. have yourself checked immediately. In this situation, it's better to be a hypochondriac and err on the side of safety, to make sure you don't infect others.

In the meantime, bring out those masks and hand sanitizers. Try as much as possible to stay away from crowded places. A virus w/ such a virulent strain can easily spread. So pls. be careful.

Here is a poster guide from the World Health Organization on how to wash our hands. The length of time one washes hands should be the time it takes to sing two "Happy Birthday" songs. This is no joke. Spread the word: Clean hands can save your life.

(Click to enlarge.)

May 21, 2009

'A night of surprises'

WITH that statement, American Idol host Ryan Seacrest opened today's season finale, and which I thought sounded ominous enough. I had read all the analysis last night of who might win, many columnists and bloggers also thinking it would be Adam Lambert, because of his fantastic vocal range, style, and consistent performances almost at par with most professionals. He had the IT factor, which unfortunately, most Americans didn't see, or refused to acknowledge. Well, this is why sometimes, democracy sucks, haha. Majority rules but is the majority correct?

No doubt about it, even the AI producers and judges were rooting for Adam. The show needed a star to make it current and relevant again. It had been losing out in terms of audience. Only a handful of the previous season's winners actually made good records w/c were commercial successes. The ones who have been breaking out were the losers like Jennifer Hudson and Chris Daughtry.

(Adam Lambert is still my American Idol. Photo from AI web site.)

But then, Americans love the underdog. And bec. of all the fawning the AI judges and producers did over Adam, they made Kris the dark horse in the competition. Okay vocals, but no star power. As I said, he had forgettable performances. Now that the finale show is over, I don't even remember what he sang, and I don't think it's bec. I have another senior moment.

If you look at the finalists, Danny Gokey (who I thought was a more memorable and stronger performer than Kris) is the most similar in style to Kris. Cool, laidback, cute next-door type guys. Being voted out however, one would wonder who Gokey's supporters would be voting for next. The logical choice is of course someone closest to him in terms of performance, who is Kris.

Also, you can't discount the Christian fundamentalists' vote. Kris being a church leader, family man, looking oh-so-angelic, was pitted against the flamboyant and possibly gay theater performer Adam. (Someone just had to put out the photos of Adam tongue-kissing other men.) As was so evident in the vote on gay marriages, the Christian right has been working overtime to make sure their platform on values and moral issues are heard loudly. Kris, to his credit, said in an earier interview that he didn't want this to be a religious vote but a vote on who's the best singer. Ah well, Kris, you're definitely not the best singer but God seems to love you.

No matter, Adam Lambert fans, we all know who's the real star and who's gonna make the actual bucks. I can't wait what he'll do next. I see Broadway for him and several records. Adam is IT.

P.S. Great show btw, w/ performers like Fergie and the Black-eyed Peas, Rod Stewart, KISS, Cyndi Lauper, Lionel Ritchie and even Steve Martin playing his banjo and debuting a cute country ditty w/ two AI S08 singers. Now that was cute.

May 20, 2009

Who'll win American Idol Season 8?

(Adam Lambert photo from the Huffington Post.)

I THINK glam rocker Adam Lambert is it. The kid has terrific pipes on him, and has been consistently brilliant in his performances. He can twist any song any which way to make unusual covers of the original, and with that wide vocal range, will surely be a commercial hit whether or not he wins this contest. (I can imagine Simon Cowell counting the millions of dollars in his head if he ever gets a hand on Adam's career.)

Adam has a flair for the theatrics which turns off some viewers, but I think the kid has style. He's the bomb I tell ya. When he sang his own version of Cher's Believe, boy, everyone sure sit up straight and took notice. Amazing!

Kris Allen, on the other hand, is a cute singer with a nice voice, though not as strong as Adam's. He's like the cuddly puppy at the foot of your bed, loveable but clearly, will not bring in the bucks for any record company. His performances are far too forgettable. I don't remember any of the songs he sang. And seriously, there are far too many more talented acoustic singers than Kris, some of whom are in the Philippines. (Ever hear Chickoy Pura's acoustic version of Joe Jackson's Steppin' Out? Awesome!)

(Kris Allen photo from Riosoriano07.)

According to Dial Idol, the web site that claims to have been able to accurately predict the past seasons' AI winners, it's a close call between Adam and Kris but it puts the latter ahead in the voting by a mere one percentage point. Dial Idol supposedly measures the busy signal of the voting lines of the contestants to predict the winner. Unfortunately this doesn't measure the text votes cast. So hopefully, more texters were busy voting for Adam.

Who should be voted off the show really is that new judge Kara DioGuardia. Talks too much. And super OA. Come on, there can be only one OA Queen on that show and that's Paula! Haha. Btw, that was a lousy song DioGuardia composed for the finale performance show - houses and mountains and whatnot. Ngek.

I'll try to wake up by 8 am to catch the season finale. Exciting!

Careless more time

IN as much as everyone’s yakking about it, might as well add my two cents worth on this Katrina Halili-Dr. Hayden Kho sex video scandal. Admittedly, I didn't even know who Halili was until this controversy blew up. Apparently she's an artista who is usually photographed in various stages of undress and was recently voted FHM Philippines' Sexiest Woman for 2006 and 2007. Congratulations.

(This is how Katrina Halili poses for magazine shoots. Photo from the FHM web site.)

I only managed to see the Careless Whispers video with both parties gyrating like dancers in some gay or girlie bar, but am informed there are other videos showing them actually doing the nasty. As per the grapevine, these were the videos that Kho’s sugar mommy, Dr. Vicky Belo, saw on his computer which enraged her and caused her to break up with him. (Why she was snooping into his computer in the first place is an interesting question.)

The grapevine continues that the videos were released by Belo’s friends out of sheer frustration because she’s gotten back together with Kho. Well with friends like that, who needs enemies, ey? Of course, these are totally unconfirmed rumors as no one has yet come out accepting responsibility for the dastardly deed.

(Dr. Hayden Kho, wanna-be boldstar/singer/macho dancer. Photo from Divakadiyan.)

Despite the protestations of some women’s groups over this “raping twice over” of Halili, I really feel little sympathy for her. Sorry hija, sexy ka, pero...The way it’s been told, Halili and Kho were porking each other while the latter was still playing sweet music with the Doktora. Halili was aware of this and despite the Doktora being her benefactor as well, didn’t even have the decency to respect said relationship.

From what I saw with the Careless Whispers video, it isn’t difficult to imagine what the two idiots had planned from the start. Seriously, who actually strips down to their undies to practice a dance number? After the rehearsal, were they expected to just go home? You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know where those spastic gyrations and eardrum-splitting singing would lead to. Although I admit Careless Whispers isn’t the type of music that would put anyone in the mood. Bleeah. (Btw, Halili was quite proud of herself in that video. Click this interview.)

(Dr. Vicky Belo, cosmetic surgeon who became sucessful bec. of the endorsements of celebrities. What could she be thinking now? 'Oh no, I created a monster!' Photo from the ABS-CBN web site.)

So some porking was caught on tape. Halili claims she didn't know she was being videotaped. I doubt this. She's seen Kho videotape himself in less than stunning performances, how could she not know he'd have the predilection to videotape his sex acts? He wasn't in love w/ you Katrina! He was in love with himself! Pig.

Halili says she feels violated. For someone who makes a living from being photographed half-naked, this is a mind-boggling claim. Maybe she feels humiliated because firstly, she was caught lying red-handedly after denying to the Doktora's face that she and Kho were lovers. Secondly, she can’t believe how stupid she was for having fallen for someone as despicable like Kho. Thirdly, now her parents are probably beating themselves up wondering whether they passed on the stupid gene to this child. (She has gone to the NBI to seek help what case she can file against her erstwhile lovah.)

Now you have some loud-mouth legislator who can’t keep even his own porker in his pants ranting about the issue and trying to play savior to the downtrodden, calling even Kho a "maniac." A case of the pot calling the kettle black? Magtigil ka na nga jan. Sige ka isumbong kita ke Peachy. Este, ke Lani pala.

'Nuff said.

I wish I lived in Sydney I could watch this! (Reposting from JR Isaac)

Hilarious spoof of The Devil Wears Prada by drag queens comedy duo Courtney Act and Trevor Ashley. It's from their hit show Gentlemen Prefer Blokes. Haha. Love it!

May 18, 2009

A belated Mother's Day tribute

"As many of my friends can attest, to this day Mama is still quite the looker. And she’s always dressed, made-up, and ready to go someplace (she has lipstick on even if she’s just watching another marathon of CSI: Miami on cable TV). So they don’t wonder when I tell them that Mama, even while working as a social worker in Tondo, would traipse around and visit the squatters’ area tottering on her high heels. I’m sure she did the old SWA mighty proud. Hahaha." (Click Something Like Life for the rest.)

May 16, 2009

It's not Shakespeare but...

U2 frontman Bono paid tribute to Elvis Presley with an original poem for BBC's poetry season. Available for a limited time only on BBC Radio 4.

Check it out here. (Reposted from Nikos Gitsis. Thanks.)

Now, can you imagine PTV coming up with a poetry season?

* * * *

UPDATE: Regarding Trinoma's leaking ceilings, kudos to Ayala Land management for working fast on the problem. As of yesterday, I saw all the water stains and leaky areas all patched up and painted over. Hope they hold up for the next stormy downpour. Next time guys, make sure you get a more efficient contractor.

May 14, 2009

My God she's so big!

I muttered under my breath. About 15 minutes later, while still watching the same movie, I said the same thing, "gads she's so big." I repeated this about two more times, unintentionally, like a broken record. I would assume the person beside me in the cinema wanted to slap me already. OK, you all know who I'm talking about right?

In my old newspaper, the lifestyle section published an interviewed w/ Sharon Cuneta, about 60 lbs lighter, I would guess. The gang told me later that Sharon had chainsmoked all throughout their interview but insisted that they not photograph her w/ cigarette in hand. I suppose it had to do w/ keeping her sweet image. (And btw, she really is sweet. Not the saccharine fake type but genuinely nice and sincerely sweet daw. And despite not having finished college, Sharon is amazingly well-read, w/c delighted Ms. G., a big reader herself. She impressed me some more after I watched her on CNBC's Bernie Lo's show and they talked about her investment skills. Wow, megastar na, financial whiz pa!)

So while I was watching her new comedy flick "BFF" this afternoon, co-starring the amazing Ai-Ai delas Alas, I thought, "Did Ate Shawie quit smoking?" I could not believe how large she's ballooned into. I thought smokers always had the tiniest waistlines! This is unfortunate really, because Ate Shawie is one of those artistas w/ actually pleasant faces you don't get tired of looking at. Or probably she really isn't that big but you know how being oncam adds about 10 lbs. to any person.

Anyhoo, the reason I watched BFF was bec. ABS-CBN News said it would be the first onscreen teamup of Ate Shawie w/ someone in her past. O sige na, obvious ba it's Gabby Concepcion. Sympre na-excited ako. Ms. G. also told me that the film was actually funny. Of course, I said, it also stars Ai-Ai, whose Ina Mo films I always watched and enjoyed bec. they're stupid hilarious.

The plot of BFF is a twist on the Playboy Husband w/ Wife and 3 kids has a Querida plot. I will spare you the details in case you still want to watch the film. Having watched Ai-Ai's films, however, w/c were usually a laugh-a-minute, I found BFF rather slow in its comedy riffs. Too many long boring periods where I just shifted in my seat waiting for the next gag. And the ending is kinda a letdown. Ate Shawie and you-know-who weren't even in the same scene/screen together! Kainez. My kilig moment was short-lived.

BFF is not a total waste of time, although personally, now that I've seen it, I should've waited for the pirated DVD nalang. But it does have a few really good punchlines. Ai-Ai, of course, is really the star here bec. her comedic timing can't be matched. And Ate Shawie, despite her hugeness, is such a great sport to use her weight as a constant gag. So, Megastar pa rin! Oh yeah, Gabby still looks gwapo! Sigh.

Btw, I found the fan page of Ate Shawie where I think her fez was super photoshopped. Click here. Fabulous jawline, noh?

May 13, 2009

Pumapatak na naman ang ulan... how the APO's song goes ano? Well, while it was pouring torrents on Monday, I was seeking refuge at the Trinoma. Ok, not quite. I was actually on a mission to exchange some stuff my mom and I bought at a store a few days before (wrong size), and to get a shot of Red Mango's frozen yoghurt, so I deliberately made my way to that mall. (More on Red Mango later.)

(Photo from

As I was on my way up using the escalator in the North Parking vicinity, I felt drops of water on my head. I looked up, and there on the ceiling was a growing water stain. It was a leak no doubt from the rain overspout (or whatever thingamajigger contractors call it).

Hmm...didn't the Trinoma just open two years ago? Well, if this is the kind of shoddy work Ayala Land employs in its buildings these days, I no longer wonder why its income plunged by 50 percent in the first quarter of 2009. Would you buy a condo from the company if it gives you leaky ceilings? Didn't think so.

Like I've said before, and other mall visitors have confirmed it as well, Trinoma is really a depressing mall to go to despite the massive amounts of foliage and bright lights in its stores. Parking is confusing as well as the store locations, it's just chaotic. There are no automatic flushes in its toilets' while the better-smelling pay lounges are located in way out of reach places, instead of central locations. And it's freaking noisy! It's starting to become another regular SM Mall w/ its loud music, and with its bad acoustics you'd think you were in Divisoria instead!

It's so not like an Ayala mall, I tell you. I mean, if you go to an SM Mall at least there are no surprises. You know what you're getting. Loud and crass. Trinoma tries to reek of class but fails miserably bec. the owners think the rich folk from Caloocan and QC have bakya sensibilities. Thus the architecture and interior design. WTF, coño!

* * * *

So is there nothing to love about Trinoma? I admit there are a few, w/c is why you will probably find me there every other week, esp. if there's a new film in town. For instance, I like the variety of goods that Landmark supermarket offers (and btw, it has self-flushing toilets in its regular restrooms). And I enjoy watching films in the mall's roomier cinemas.

Some of the restaurants are noteworthy (Cyma, Thousand Cranes Shabu-Shabu, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Cibo, Peking Garden), and it has Piandré Salon where I get my pedi, and Toni & Guy Essensuals where I turn to for a haircut. And did I mention Red Mango frozen yogurt?

(Red Mango's stall in the hallway fronting Toni & Guy)

Red Mango is a franchise from surprise! South Korea. But it really became a hit when the company expanded in the U.S. So far, it has three local outlets - Trinoma, Eastwood, and Megamall. I love it because it's creamy and tart. Wonderful mouthfeel, but if you don't watch out, will give you brainfreeze! Brrr. (I had two servings of each flavor the other day and ended up w/ a slight headache.) I like both the original and green tea flavors, straight up, no sprinkles.

(My small serving of green tea flavor.)

I'm surprised that the stall in Trinoma never runs out of customers. Who would've thought that Pinoys would learn to appreciate yogurt? Could be that we're really more health conscious now or just bec. the product is still new in the market, and something different from the usual ice cream concoctions we've been used to? It has great price points - P80 for a single scoop for the original (P85 for the green tea), plus P20 for a single topping (fruits, nuts, or cereals). Try it.

(The toppings of Red Mango. I counted about 25 in fruits, nuts, cereals.)

(ATTENTION WHITE HAT GUYS: Okay I know you were the first in asking me to try your frozen yogurt dessert. I promise to get to you soon and give the readers the lowdown.)

May 12, 2009

Isn't she lovely?

JUST got this email from Chet Espino, husband of friend and media colleague Margie Quimpo Espino via our yahoogroups. If you remember, I told you about how Margie had suffered an aneurysm last December while traveling in India. She literally was on the brink of death two-three times, but she was brought back and healed by the Lord.

Margie is living proof of how powerful prayers are. We should never lose hope. We should keep praying. He will answer.

Here's Chet:

Mother's Day was extra special yesterday as we also marked our 18th wedding anniversary with both sides of the family coming over for another big celebration.

Words are no longer enough to describe Margie now, but I hope the attached photo helps.

She still needs your prayers for the recovery of both her legs and her left arm. Therapy is becoming more and more difficult as her sensorium is almost fully restored and the experience of pain is much more felt.

Please join us in our daily thanksgiving not just for Margie's amazing recovery, but for God's gift of family for all of us.

P.S. -- For those who missed the television show, here it is on youtube:

Many thanks to Ms. Karen Davila and her crew for a wonderful handling of the story.

Woohoo! Congratulations to Margie and Chet for 18 wonderful years, and counting! Love you both. You are inspiration to us all.

May 11, 2009

Trekkies have fun

OKAY, okay, I'm turning into a nut job. I've discussed the theories of how one could possibly meet one's past self and co-exist in the same space and time continuum w/ a friend over Facebook, the grandfather paradox and twin theory, etc. after watching Star Trek. It's no use. I'm hooked on the new film and can't stop talking about it. And no matter how much I try to chain it to the dark inner recesses of my being, the Inner Geek wants to be let out. Ick!

Meanwhile, you can have your fill of fun downloads and goodies on the official Star Trek movie site, and entertain others morphing your photos into some of the film's characters via Trek Yourself.

(UPDATE 015/16/09: Yes, I've already deleted the widget.)

Being a good Catholic

"Religion was and never will be an issue when a woman decides whether she would go on the pill. We don’t think we will go to hell for using the pill, an IUD or diaphragm (are those things still around?). And those who don’t understand how it feels to become bloated and cranky every month, suffer intolerable pain in their lower belly or migraines, not to mention the substantial weight gain, the stretchmarks and the hormonal distresses when pregnant, or postpartum depression, have no right to tell a woman what she can or cannot do about her womb." (Click Something Like Life for the rest.)

May 08, 2009

Trekkies alert!

YOU must watch Star Trek the Movie. Now na.

Sure there were a few inconsistencies, head-scratching time traveling, and a questionable love angle, but the film was still rip-roaring fun. As a Trekkie myself (although no, I don't go to those weird gatherings and exhibits), I enjoyed the film immensely, even if Zachary Quinto (young Spock) still has that evil-Sylar look to him. (Btw, according to Page 6, Quinto could not do the traditional Vulcan hand salute, so JJ Abrams had to glue his fingers together. Tsk, tsk.)

Meanwhile, Chris Pine did justice to the James Tiberius Kirk character. He was full of energy and spunk and mercifully, w/o the sometimes B-movie swagger of William Shatner. Karl Urban had the Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy role down pat, you know he watched the original series a lot. And I'm happy that John Cho has grown up and out of the shadow of his Harold role in the old comedy Harold and Kumar to make a fiesty Sulu.

I'm also glad that the minor characters of Lt. Uhura (Zoe Saldaña), Chekov (Anton Yelchin), Sulu, and Scotty (Simon Pegg) were thoroughly fleshed out and given more substance compared to the original Star Trek TV series w/c starred Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei and James Doohan. (It's showing again on cable TV btw.)

And while Trekkies may object to the absence of Shatner in this movie, actually, he wasn't missed. There was just no part for him in the movie whatsoever. I couldn't see any subplot that they could've written just to include his old Kirk. I suspect though, that JJAbrams, the film director, is really more a Spock fan (just like most nerds really who were raised on a steady diet of Star Trek), than a fan of Kirk. Thus you have two Spocks instead of just one. Oops! Yes, Nimoy is in the cast and his role here provides the fulcrum to the movie.

Anyhoo, before I spill any more spoilers, just go watch the movie and be entertained. It's way better than Wolverine where Hugh Jackman looked always constipated. I'm feeling a second viewing of Star Trek is imminent, only next time, I'll probably watch it on iMax.

Enjoy yourselves Trekkies!

This is the silliest thing yet to come out of GSIS

Click this. (Reposted from MLQ III)

THIS is how we journalists do our work. We bring tape recorders to ensure that we get all quotes in our interviews precisely. It is a little tedious transcribing the tape, but most of us still lug those things around for backup, in case the interviewee later denies he said any of those things we published in the paper.

Whenever I do an interview, I also ask permission of the interviewee and ask him/her if he could allow me to tape the interview. Most of the time they agree, as I also explain to them that it is for their protection. It's important that we get all what he/she said correctly. And if he/she wishes, just tell me when when some information is off the record, and in that case, I shall dutifully switch off the recorder.

I dunno what exactly happened between Che-Che Lazaro, PROBE, and GSIS vice president Ella Valencerina in their interview, but I know that she is a good journalist, very respectable, and someone who does her homework. As for the GSIS, well, I'm sure there are still some respectable people there too, but its current leadership doesn't exacty inspire confidence.

When a government official or any company executive is asked to give his or the agency/company's side of the issue presented before them, he not only owes it to his own establishment to do so, but it is simply good PR. Saying "No Comment" to a journalist is the last thing you ever want to do. It is tantamount to admitting you are guilty.

FYI, if you live/work in Makati

TRAFFIC ADVISORY (thanks to Leah Navarro via the pldt yahoogroup)

Due to the the month-long celebration of the 339th Founding Anniversary of Makati City, the following activities will be held this week that will affect traffic flow within the Makati Central Business District and Ayala Center .

ARAW NG MAKATI GRAND PARADE on May 8, 2008 (Friday)

along Ayala Avenue from 4:00 to 6:00 PM

CHALK ART ACTIVITY on May 10, 2009 (Sunday)

at Ayala Avenue in front of MSE and TOEP from 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM

BRASS BAND COMPETITION on May 10, 2009 (Sunday)

at Ayala Avenue corner Paseo de Roxas from 2:00 PM to 12:00 MN

Road Closure and Traffic Rerouting:

May 8, 2009 (Friday), 12:30 PM

- Ayala Extension (from Metropolitan Avenue to Gil Puyat Avenue), Malugay Street from Pasong Tamo to Gil Puyat Avenue) and eastbound lanes of Ayala Avenue (from Gil Puyat Avenue to Herrera Street) will be closed to vehicular traffic, to be used as assembly points of the parade participants. At the start of the parade at 3:00 PM, the remaining portion of the eastbound direction of Ayala Avenue from Herrera to Makati Avenue and a portion of Paseo de Roxas, from dela Rosa to Ayala Avenue , shall likewise be closed to traffic.

Upon reaching Makati Avenue , parade participants will turn right utilizing the southbound direction(counter-flow), turn left to Paseo de Roxas, turn right to Ayala Avenue , and then straight ahead towards Ayala Extension. Northbound direction of Makati Avenue will be made two-way at the time.

Traffic Rerouting:

Westbound vehicles along Ayala Avenue from EDSA going to Gil Puyat Avenue shall turn right to Makati Avenue while those along Gil Puyat Avenue going to Ayala Center or EDSA shall take the stretch of Gil Puyat Avenue , turn right to Makati Avenue and turn left to Ayala Avenue . Light vehicles from Gil Puyat Avenue going to Legaspi Village or Greenbelt can take Pasong Tamo St., turn left to Dela Rosa Street, turn right to Salcedo St, turn right to Gamboa St., turn left to Rada St., and turn right to Legaspi St. to destination.

As the tail end of the parade reach VA Rufino (Herrera) Street, Ayala eastbound direction from Gil Puyat Avenue will be opened to traffic. Light vehicles from Gil Puyat Avenue to EDSA or Ayala Center shall turn right to VA Rufino Street , turn left to Legaspi St , turn right to Greenbelt Drive , or take Paseo de Roxas to Arnaiz Avenue .

After the activities in front of TOEP, the stage will be dismantled and transferred to Ayala Avenue corner Paseo de Roxas to be used in the Brass Band Competition.

Road closure on both directions of Ayala Avenue from Makati Avenue to VA Rufino and both directions of Paseo de Roxas from Dela Rosa to Sedeño Street ; and the traffic rerouting will remain until midnight of May 10, 2009.

May 07, 2009

A great value hotel in Cebu

"One of the surprising discoveries I made on a recent trip is a little hotel out in Punta Engaño, Mactan Island, owned by businessman Grand Benedicto and his family, and managed by Microtel Philippines Inns and Suites. Truth to tell, I always thought Microtel was a hotel brand that was just a notch above Day’s Inn and other budget-hotel chains. But as soon as I stepped into the hotel lobby, I let out a 'Wow!' This certainly did not look like any old budget hotel. Its interiors alone already took my breath away because it was smart, hip and quirky—the perfect match to my equally unconventional personality." (Click Microtel Mactan.)

Ate Vi vs the fish cages

(Ate Vi being interviewed by Howie Severino. Photo from Sidetrip w/ Howie Severino.)

I BELATEDLY stumbled on Howie Severino's interview of Ate Vi, este, Gov. Vilma Santos Recto, and she tells how difficult it is to convince fish cage owners in Taal Lake to dismantle their cages and turn to other livelihoods. It's unfortunate I missed GMA 7's feature on the issue in its iWitness program. I hope the episode gets uploaded on YouTube. (Read excerpts of the interview here.)

The fish cages are a blight not only on one of the country's more famous tourist sites - the Taal Volcano - but an environmental hazard to the lake itself. With the unabated construction of fish cages, the lake will likely be depleted of its oxygen and result in more fish kills, as has happened in the last few years. This will only imperil the future income stream of the residents in the area who depend on their fish cages for livelihood.

(Taal Volcano and lake circa 1950, fish cage-free. A view from the ridge of Taal Vista Lodge. That's my mom at the right btw. Click to enlarge)

(Taal Volcano and Lake, circa 2008, also from the ridge of Taal Vista Hotel. The small dark dots on the water are the fish cages. Click to enlarge.)

As Gov. Santos Recto says, dismantling the fish cages isn't easy. But someone has to do something right now. This is a test of true grit, and her star power. Can she parlay her celebrity status and movie star appeal into convincing the mayors and the residents that reducing the number of fish cages will ensure a better future for them? I wish her luck. And if she does manage to get the job done, maybe she can work wonders even outside Batangas. Ate Vi for President? Why not? Stranger things have happened.

May 06, 2009

More on Ako Mismo: Let's hear it from Jaime

(Forwarded by Jessica)

From: Jaime Garchitorena
Date: Tue, May 5, 2009 at 10:03 AM
Subject: A friendly warning about SMARTs AKO MISMO campaign

Hi All.

I hope you forgive this unsolicited email. AS a member of a youth group youthvotephilippines (, I try to stay on top of campaigns that are targeted to the youth. Last Sunday a very slick ad campaign was launched during the manny pacquiao fight. The AKO MISMO campaign had all the hallmarks of a potentially far reaching youth campaign; actors, celebrities, religious figures, testimonials, heroic rhetoric, good musical scoring and all of this all wrapped in a tidy ad campaign.

I browsed this site yesterday and discovered some disturbing things.

Knowing that you may have youth groups of your own who may want to or already have "joined" AKO MISMO, I would like to ask you to read this warning and pass it on if you feel it is appropriate.

Thank you for your indulgence and apologies if inappropriate.


To all those that signed up with AKO MISMO!

You are now part of SMART telecoms network for potential campaigns in 2010.

In all my years of signing up for information I have never had a site require so much information AS REQUIRED FIELDS. The amount of information they have asked is so detailed that they can track you down to your zip code and contact you any time.

This makes for a perfect voter mapping database and campaign tool for anyone that wants to pay SMART for the information.

Did you think SMART would pay MILLIONS in production and advertising and talent costs for nothing?

If you refer to their privacy policy that no one ever reads, it states:

AKO MISMO MAY use the personal information you provide to:

"Contact you" either in response to a query or suggestion, or to mail newsletters, documents, publications, etc.

"Remember" your online profile and preferences;

"Help you" quickly find information that is relevant to you based on your interests, and help us create site contents most relevant to you;

In other words the can PUSH information to you which is an important tool in making sure that you can receive even unwanted campaign messages.

"Undertake" statistical analysis. They can use your answers to this PUSH for other mapping and trending purposes.

They also wash their hands of any person "accidentally" cracking the site and getting all your info. If you read privacy policy, again, which no one reads:

AKO MISMO shall not be liable under any circumstances for damages resulting from unauthorized use of information collected from visitors to the site.

AKO MISMO may change this privacy policy to reflect changes in the way we collect visitor information.

As a final warning, their privacy policy claims that you can still access this site even if you do not sign up (again from the privacy policy page):

What if I don't want to provide personal information?

Providing personal information on the AKO MISMO web site is optional. If you choose not to provide personal information, you can still browse and use the AKO MISMO site, but you will not be able to carry out certain actions.

This is not true. None of the pages are viewable unless you have signed in. This is already a sure sign that their intent is to make you sign up and not just to make you a part of a youth reform activity.

A friendly piece of advice: Go back to the site and change your details please change all the details that pertain to AGE, SEX, and, LOCATION.

Also change your phone number if you like. This is to protect your privacy.

And remember, you are still holding on to your pledge of participation in making our country great, and they promise not to bar you from accessing the site even if you change your details, so you will lose nothing but you will take back your security.

Please pass to all the people you know who may have signed up.

Ingat lang tayo po sa mga ganito.


Jaime Garchitorena
Edupro (

* * * *

I have only one thing to say. Ang galing mo talaga, Manny Pangilinan!

Btw, since Jaime came out in the open criticizing the Ako Mismo campaign and the way its organizers are gathering information (see previous blog entry), visitors to the web site can now access information on who's behind the campaign (DDB, the advertising firm that handles PLDT/Smart), the FAQs, and the "Contact Us" page, even if one doesn't sign up.

As of 9:57 pm tonight, there have 62,796 "pledges" since Sunday. That's an average of over 20,000 signing up every day for the past three days. Not bad, MVP. As they say, there's one ahem, born every minute.

Beware of 'Ako Mismo'

THE ad looked intriguing enough. It was cleverly placed amid all the ads w/c polluted the Manny Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton fight last Sunday aired over GMA 7. Different faces, celebrities, talking about problems in the country and how it's inherent upon each one of us all ("ako mismo") to solve it instead of waiting for others to move for us.

Interesting concept, creative ad, with just one message. And so far, I've only seen it on GMA 7. But it looked, sounded, felt suspicious. Some people thought it was a Manny Pangilinan presidential campaign advocacy because Smart was one of the ad's sponsors. He has denied he's running for political office. ( I never thought he'd run, and give up his cushy job w/ the Salims and all his ahm, perks. Why ruin a good thing by running for public office?)

I went to the website Ako Mismo which asks you to pledge what you will do. So i filled it up with some nonsense just to get into the site, and already, a multitude of questions were asked, without telling you who or what the organization is all about. What's more, if you click the "about us", it there are no details. And you won't be able to contact the organizers, unless you sign up. The alarm bells went off in my head.

So I asked the friend of one of the celebrities featured in the ad campaign who's the brainchild behind it. She came back w/ one name: Edu. You mean Edu Manzano, Papaya king and my old Vice Mayor of Makati? Yup. So maybe Edu's running for higher office again. Senator Edu? But after his unsuccessful push for Mayor of Makati and the many rumors which swirled after that election period, many of them probably unfounded, would anyone trust Edu for higher office again? Hmm...

When I last saw Edu, it was in my favorite Okame Japanese restaurant sometime last year. He was still running the Optical Media Board. I told him I needed to contact him for a story I was doing. I never got to make that call as I got sidetracked by a bigger story. But he seemed happy enough with what he was doing for ABS-CBN and for the presidentita's anti-piracy campaign.

The presidentita. Now that's a thought. Hmmm...maybe she or her minions are using Edu for some elaborate scheme in preparation for 2010? Is this a support Cha-Cha movement? Is this another gimmick to let everyone know how we will benefit with the presidentita continued stay in office? The alarm bells in my head are clanging loudly now. I can't help it. And unless Ako Mismo's real organizers come out in the open, their motives will continue to be under a cloud of suspicion.

Btw, artist Jaime Garchitorena has started questioning those exact motives. Read this. I wonder why ABS-CBN didn't just ask Kapamilya Edu for a comment? Hmm...maybe I'll drop by Okame one of these days and ask Edu myself.

I like these makabayan songs

Bagong Simula sa BayaniJuan

Isang Bandila by Rivermaya

Noypi by Bamboo

and just for laughs,Chris's own take on Noypi.

May 04, 2009

Winner din si Jinky!

(Jinky Pacquiao at the fight. Photo by Reuters via The Daily Mail)

...but poor Jennifer Dooley. The Daily Mail has shots of her in agony after Ricky Hatton hit the floor. Meanwhile, check out the celebrities who went to watch the Pacquiao-Hatton fight. Click this.

As Chuvaness says, here's to more Chanel bags for Jinky! Ooh, and larger carats? Hehe.

Thanks Nerissa for this post.

Conspiracy theory on the swine flu

MIGGY and I were recently discussing about the swine flu and I, in my usual conspiracy theory mode, ventured that for all we know, Influenza A (formerly known as swine flu) caused by the H1N1 virus, is a result of experiments by the U.S. government. After all, nuclear weapons and missiles will no longer be the weapons of choice when a country goes to war; it will most probably engage in biological warfare. The U.S. government cannot afford not to have such a capability, otherwise it will be at the mercy of warmongering countries who already have biological weapons of mass destruction.

As it turns out, the CDC had in fact, planned to do experiments on avian flu and mix it with the virus that causes human influenza back in 2004. Even the World Health Organization had begged CDC to do these experiments to prepare the world against a possible flu pandemic. So Influenza A maybe was not made by mad genius evil scientists in the U.S. for use by the U.S. military when it goes to war, but it still could be the result of actual experiments. Read this and this.

'The left hook from hell'

(Arekup! Photo by Isaac Brekken/AP via The Guardian)

"Time and again in round two, Hatton shipped heavy shots, failing to impress his claimed greater strength and power on the allegedly smaller man. Pacquiao looked bigger by the exchange and never more of a ring giant than when he threw the concluding punch of the fight, a left hook that could not have landed with more force on the point of Hatton's chin." (Read more here.)

Dealing with mortality

"The rest of our team rallied on, and we completed the first lap successfully. But on the second round, I lost my breath completely, and I could feel my heart struggling in my chest. The kids in the group were still energetic enough to speed on, but I was panting mercilessly. 'Tita, you can do it! You can make it!' egged Benjamin Spock. I didn’t want to let the kids down, but all I could think of was to sit down with a nice cold bottle of regular Coke and just enjoy burping the carbonation through my nostrils." (Click Something Like Life for the rest.)

May 02, 2009

More Chaka-han

ITEM 1: Word is this ranking officer of an international airline company is about to be unceremoniously "retired" after being caught in the middle of the airline owner's tiff with his own brother. (The brother recently was just stripped of his position in another firm of the airline owner.)

It seems the airline owner isn't pleased with what turned out to be the ranking officer's bets in the fuel market which has resulted in some losses to the airline. The fuel hedging measures apparently had the imprimatur of the airline owner's brother. The ranking officer's rumored impending departure was already preceded by the "retirement" of the carrier's chief financial officer.

ITEM 2: Who is this Treasurer of a very high-profile international bank in the Philippines who is facing charges of sexual harrassment by a female former bank officer? The banking grapevine has been on fire lately after the female bank officer unceremoniously resigned without warning.

According to those in the know, the issue stemmed from a recent team-building seminar the bank held out of town, but towards the evening, Mr. Treasurer, apparently having had too much to drink, suddenly grabbed the female officer's breasts from behind. The woman, described by her former colleagues as "hot", started screaming and cussing the Treasurer, and only then did the guy let go. Thing is, the female bank officer didn't even bother filing sexual harrassment charges against Mr. Treasurer and settled for just an apology in front of everyone who had witnessed the lascivious acts.

Part 2 of the story is when the female bank officer was requesting the bank's upper management to have her transferred to another department. Unfortunately, they didn't give in to her request. Silly girl, however, overestimated her value to the bank and told her bosses to choose between her and Mr. Treasurer. Well, guess who the bosses chose? Female bank officer resigned and is supposedly now filing belated charges of sexual harrassment against Mr. Treasurer.

Part 3 of the story (whew, ang daming updates kasi) is that since the female bank officer resigned, Mr. Treasurer has been posting photos of her on his Facebook profile, in what looks like lambing poses with him (although within a group). His FB pals think it's his way of proving that the female bank officer also had a thing for him, or had a history with him. Dreamer? Well, Mr. Treasurer isn't called FGLG for nothing.

I personally find it interesting that this international bank has consistently been embroiled in scandalous behavior among its bank officers, be it adulterous affairs, sexual harrassment, or financial mismanagement.

ITEM 3: Officials of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas are intent on pursuing their cases against Celso delos Angeles, discredited owner of the Legacy Group, even if he has been found to be sick with tonsil cancer. One official out of disgust was quoted as saying Delos Angeles should be jailed first even before receiving treatment for cancer. Good for them. The BSP shouldn't show any mercy to criminals who rob even the poor blind.