June 29, 2009

CAAP doesn't solve problem

(CAAP Director-General Ruben Ciron is the man who holds your life in his hands whenever you fly in the Philippines. Photo from CAAP web site.)

WRITTEN on the web site of the newly-formed Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), is its mission, foremost of which is "to provide safe and reliable air transport system and regulatory services, as well as promote the economic viability, develop and regulate the technical. operational, safety and security functions of civil aviation."

But the agency, headed by retired General Ruben F. Ciron, is turning out a bit as inutile as its predecessor, the Air Transportation Office (not the Civil Aeronautics Board as I earlier mentioned). In reaction to the most recent accident of Zest Airways where its Chinese-made MA-60 plane overshot the runway at the Caticlan Airport, instead of grounding the carrier and these planes, it decides to penalize other more professional and efficient airlines instead, by banning two-way traffic at the airport. Click here for the story.

Here's a video at the accident site on June 25, 2009:

Like many government regulations, this is another limp-wristed reaction to a severe problem that has been plaguing Philippine aviation industry – the lack of real a credible regulatory body that would actually protect the traveling public from careless carriers like Zest Air. CAAP should address the issue of Zest Air's use of these Chinese-made planes w/c I repeat, has not even been certified as airworthy by the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority. Sure the carrier's not going to fly to the U.S., but isn't the Philippine government supposed to promote the use of international regulations and airworthy standards in the country? After all, even our airports' safety is rated by the FAA.

So what is CAAP waiting for them to actually address this Zest Air problem? That another crash happens and passengers die? (Knock on wood!)

This is a video of another MA-60 of Zest Air which undershot the Caticlan runway in Jan. 2009:

Btw in a web site of worldwide aircraft disasters, there is only one crash on record of the MA-60, and that distinction belongs to Zest Air. (It hasn't been updated yet for the last Thursday's crash.) So obviously, that plane wasn't made for the short and rough Caticlan runway. Indeed, there are some extremely brilliant people on Zest Air's staff who don't know sh** about planes and Philippine runways. I know who they are but let's see if Gen. Giron can guess da who.

* * * *

BTW, I checked the background of Gen. Giron, and he did lead a colorful life apparently. Accdg. to several sources he is an "Enrile boy" just like Gringo Honasan and Red Kapunan and played a prominent role in the People Power revolution of 1986. A former officer of the Philippine Air Force, Giron's wife reportedly "stopped Gen. Tadiar from bombarding Enrile and Ramos in Camp Aguinaldo" during the People Power revolution in 1986." Giron was a member of the military advisory council of the presidentita when she became concurrent secretary of defense.

With such a background, let's hope he implements more courageous regulations to protect the flying public.


"But like many in my generation who were born in the age of longhand and who wrote letters, used postage stamps, and mailed their letters (now called snail mail) in their youth, we have noticed how e-mail messaging has virtually reduced official business communication to informality." (Click Something Like Life for the rest.)

June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson, 50

LOS ANGELES — For his legions of fans, he was the Peter Pan of pop music: the little boy who refused to grow up. But on the verge of another attempted comeback, he is suddenly gone, this time for good.

Michael Jackson, whose quintessentially American tale of celebrity and excess took him from musical boy wonder to global pop superstar to sad figure haunted by lawsuits, papparazzi and failed plastic surgery, was pronounced dead on Thursday afternoon at U.C.L.A. Medical Center after arriving in a coma, a city official said. Mr. Jackson was 50, having spent nearly 40 of those years in the public eye he loved.

The singer was rushed to the hospital, a six-minute drive from the rented Bel-Air home in which he was living, shortly after noon by paramedics for the Los Angeles Fire Department. A hospital spokesman would not confirm reports of cardiac arrest. He was pronounced dead at 2:26 pm. (Click NYT for the rest.)

Michael Jackson Live in Manila, HIStory tour, 1996

Goodbye, angel

Farrah Fawcett, sex symbol and actress, dies (UPDATED)

(CNN) -- Farrah Fawcett, the blonde-maned actress whose best-selling poster and "Charlie's Angels" stardom made her one of the most famous faces in the world, died Thursday. She was 62.

Fawcett's death was confirmed by Paul Bloch, one of her representatives at Rogers and Cowan, an entertainment public relations firm.

Fawcett, who checked into a hospital in early April, had been battling anal cancer on and off for three years.

Bloch told CNN that Ryan O'Neal, Fawcett's romantic partner since the mid-1980s, and her friend Alana Stewart were with Fawcett at Saint John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California, when she died. (Click here for the rest.)

The story from the New York Times here.

Career highlights of Farrah Fawcett here.

June 25, 2009

Zest Air na naman!

AT about 10:30 a.m. today, I received a text message from a media colleague telling me that another MA-60 plane of Zest Airways overshot the runway at the Caticlan Airport, the gateway to Boracay. Mercifully, no one was hurt. Strangely enough, none of the online media sites carried the news. Strange ano? Or tanga ba to even wonder there's no news about it?

(Zest Air owner Fred Yao)

Another strange thing, despite this being the second landing accident of Zest Air in less than 6 months, the gov't-run Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, which replaced the inutile Air Transportation Office, hasn't grounded the airline. The CAAP pala is even more inutile than CAB. Or maybe it's because they're afraid of Zest Air's owner Fred Yao of the Zest-O fame, who is reputedly very close to the presidentita? Hmmm. (Click here for photos of the first crash in Jan. 2009, and the story in Manila Standard.)

CAB didn't even bother to lift a finger to investigate the airline, still called Asian Spirit then, flying w/o insurance last year, the now infamous Ipis incident, and didn't ground Zest Air despite the first incident of undershooting the runway resulting in injuries.

Now, this is an appeal to the riding public: Just bec. an airline offers cheap flights, it doesn't mean you should jump at the chance. Check out the background and track record of the airline first before making that final booking and reservation. Don't take chances w/ your life and with the lives of your loved ones. It pays to google. In cyberspace, there are a number of bloggers who've written about their travails of riding in this or that airline. It pays to be well-informed. And yes, the life you save may be your own.

Pi !

NO, I'm not talking of that expletive famously uttered by Sen. MAR Roxas in a rally, but Philippine islands, the newest line from the Cebu-based Islands Souvenirs of the ever-busy Jay Aldeguer. Colonial Americanos called the Philippines "P.I." during their time and some of Pinoys abroad strangely still call the Philippines the same. I always try to disabuse them from using the term because of course, its current connotation is completely different.

(Guess what I got in the mail today!)

(Suspense muna...)

Anyhoo, I guess Jay thought it okay to bring the term back in fashion and since they are using a lowercase "i", it won't be mistaken for anything but "Philippine islands." But then, it could also mean the mathematical constant 3.1416. Hmmm...must ask Jay about this.

(Drum roll pls!)

I got one of the Pi shirts in the mail today, and although it's late for Independence Day, I love it! (Thanks Jay!) The shirt is uniquely Pinoy as most of Islands Souvenirs' products are. In his letter Jay says:"The slogan of our new line is 'Wear Your Pride,' where we aim to inspire the love of country in all Filipinos especially the youth of today."

Just brilliant and truly reflective of Jay's love of country! The Pi line is available in all Islands Souvenirs outlets nationwide. And to all those who've been bugging me about how they can order Islands Souvenirs shirts online, Jay says he will have a transaction site up and running very soon. So, abangan.

(Tadaah! Cute noh? I think I'll wear this to the next anti-Con-Ass rally.)

June 22, 2009

Flu fashion

TRUST the Japanese to come up with some stylish, fashionable surgical masks to protect you from the flu viruses. I want to get my hands on one of these.

So far my favorites are the geisha mask,

(Photo from the Hara Museum Online Shop.)

...and the Rising Sun mask of Yoriko Yoshida, a well-known Japanese illustrator.

(Photo from Pink Tentacle.)


Murder in the White House!

(President Obama is kinda creepy here, anu?)

And here's Stephen Colbert and Jeff Goldblum's take on the "crime"
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Murder in the White House - Jeff Goldblum
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorStephen Colbert in Iraq

Finally, The White Hat

I WENT to the new SM Annex at North Edsa, QC last week bec. I needed to buy a USB modem. On the fifth floor of the newly-designed annex (which is huge! btw), is the Cyberzone, featuring whole slew of computer stores and camera/TV shops, and stalls of the latest electronic gadgets, laptop sleeves and bags, accessories and all sorts of gee-gaws to please all you nerds out there. Well, instead of buying an inexpensive USB modem for my Macbook (the one by Apple costs P3,400...ulk!), I came home w/ a new digicam instead. That's what I get for spending too much time at Cyberzone! Hay naku! (The story about that in a future entry.)

(White Hat at the 2nd floor, SM North Edsa Annex)

Anyhoo, before I went to the fifth floor, I finally decided to go to White Hat, this frozen yogurt place on the second floor of the Annex. I've been getting invites from its marketing/PR people since its first outlet opened at the SM Mall of Asia sometime last year. I never went since, of course, it's far from where I live. So I waited 'til White Hat opened a branch here in Quezon City.

As far as I can tell, the owners are Filipinos, and according to their web site, they import live active cultures of yogurt from Italy and brought in an Italian gelato maker create their frozen yogurt dessert. Frankly, I'm not one who gets easily impressed by branding ("made in Italy!" "direct from France!", "created w/ American hands!", etc.) unlike other people. When it comes to food, taste is what counts the most, then plating, the service, and then the price.

(Cute posters of little kids wearing their yogurt dessert on their heads.)

White Hat only has one one flavor, the usual yogurt flavor, but the idea of course, is to put your toppings on it. I'm a purist when it comes to frozen yogurt. I don't like putting any toppings on my dessert. To me the toppings just distract my palate from the actual taste of the yogurt.

Now, White Hat's yogurt is creamy and basically tart as a yogurt's supposed to be, but this one leaves a sweet curl on the tongue. Maybe it's because they used an Italian gelato maker to create the dessert? I dunno. My taste buds go for the sour, tart, tangy and citrusy, so I wasn't digging White Hat's too much. But if you're into the sweet treats like ice cream or chocolates, then you will probably like it. (Those who like White Hat say it's closest to Pinkberry, the other froyo place in the States. And yes, the latter has a sweeter blend.)

(Some of the toppings at White Hat.)

The restaurant itself is mejo small and kinda clinical, but which could possibly sit about 20 people comfortably. What gave some life to the place were these posters of cute little girls w/ ceramic bowls of yogurt on their heads, worn, yup, just like hats! The people at the counter wait for you to make up your mind and are not pushy about the toppings on your dessert. Btw, it has a limited amount of toppings compared to the competition, although they have almost the same price points. (P85 for a small serving at White Hat, P80 for same size serving at Red Mango, original flavor.)

(A small serving of White Hat's frozen yogurt.)

What surprised me was that contrary to the white ceramic bowls in the posters, my frozen yogurt was served in a white paper cup, with a plastic spoon. The kicker was, as I was about to leave, I asked for a glass of water, and the server at the counter told me I had to buy the bottle of water. I'm not sure if this was deliberate on the part of management to push bottled water or bec. SM didn't give them access to clean potable water to serve to customers.

Anyhoo, while White Hat is alright, it just has a less professional feel to it (notice its hand-written labels for its toppings). Red Mango, has a lot more going for it despite being in the same price category. For one, its yogurt is really tart not sweet, and the dessert gets served in deep fluted dishes, and you use a real teaspoon. It also has more exotic toppings to choose from (e.g. almond mochi, laban ka?), the ambiance a lot more relaxing and classy, and yeah, the water's free.

(White Hat is also located at the SM MOA, Robinsons Place in Ermita, Rustan's Supermarket Makati, SM Clark Pampanga, and Shangri-La Plaza Edsa mall.)

June 21, 2009

Bigger fish to fry

(Photo from the web.)

GMA: We're not out to scrap elections

TOKYO – President Arroyo broke her silence yesterday amid speculations that she is bent on prolonging her stay in power through the Charter change efforts of her allies in the House of Representatives.

Mrs. Arroyo said she was not moving “to scrap the elections” next year but stressed she believed the Constitution needs to be amended for political and economic reforms.

“We are not out to scrap the elections,” Mrs. Arroyo told reporters here when asked to comment on last week’s anti-Charter change rally in Makati City. (Click here for the rest.)


June 19, 2009

It must be love, Sabel

Sure, I admit that I was among those who were cynical about their relationship in the beginning. Those of us in the sidelines watching his career in government and were aware of the chismis surrounding Roxas’s and Sanchez’s respective love lives before they encountered each other, didn’t give the coupling a high batting average, so to speak. (Click Something Like Life for the rest.)
(Sen. Mar Roxas serenades fiancée Korina Sanchez with the song “Gaano Ko Ikaw Kamahal” in a traditional Filipino pamanhikan to the Sanchez family in Merville, Parañaque, with entertainers Tado, lef, and Jason Gainza. Roxas formally asked for permission from the Sanchez family to marry Korina on June 14, 2009. PHOTOS COURTESY OF SEN. MAR ROXAS’S OFFICE)

(That's certainly not the Cha-Cha!)

(Sanchez with friends: former beauty queen Dang Cecilio and ABS-CBN head of special projects, Chit Guerrero)

(The couple's respective families pose for a souvenir shot. From left, seated, Roxas' aunts Stella Marquez-Araneta and Baby Araneta Fores, mom Judy Araneta Roxas, aunt Ruby Roxas, Sanchez' aunt Leticia Baluyut, and civic leader, possible ninang Rosa Rosal; Standing, from left: Roxas' uncle Vicente Roxas, Sen. Roxas, Sanchez, Roxas' uncle Jorge Araneta, and Sanchez' uncle Eduardo Baluyut.)

June 17, 2009

Captain America is Jesus!

IN honor of Steve Rogers' – Captain America's alter ego's - resurrection, here's something you children of the 60s and 70s might wanna see again.

Captain America was created in 1941, as the United States was going to battle with the evil Axis powers. This was reflected in the goons the superhero had to fight. Now that he's "reborn", as the new Marvel comic series is dubbed, I wonder if he intends to lead the hunt for Osama.

June 15, 2009

Interesting reads

SPENT most of the day reading and picked up some entertaining bits. Enjoy!

On CNN something nice about the Philippines for once:
"Taxis are the best way to negotiate the city, and they're cheap and plentiful, but it's worth jumping into the back of a crazily colorful jeepney at least once, just for the experience." (Click here for the rest.)

Only an iReport but at least as Pangs says, CNN pa din. And I'm glad it mentions Apartment 1B, one my fave restos in the Salcedo Village area, and the Saturday Salcedo Market. Too bad no mention of sungit Lola who makes the best kuhol sa gata there! Haha.

To those who said it wouldn't happen, eto na!
"The 52-year-old senator, dressed in a striped light-blue, buttoned-down shirt over black trousers, sang an old Tagalog love song to Korina. Comedians Tado and Jason Gainza accompanied Mar on the guitar.

"The 44-year-old Korina, in a light-bronze sleeveless dress, joined in the singing. ‘To keep Mar on-key,' explained a family friend who attended. Epy repeatedly reminded the audience, ‘He’s a senator [not a singer].’ " (Click here. Photo from Mar and Korina's blog.)

And guess who this cutie is?

He already has the confidence of a star even at 12 y.o. Click here to find out.

Have some kiwi

NZ biz group wants kiwi promoted in RP
April 6, 2009

ZESPRI International (Asia) Ltd. is allocating 20 percent of its marketing budget for Southeast Asia to push the sales of more kiwi fruits in the Philippines.

In an interview with select reporters on Tuesday, Daniel Mathieson, market manager for Southeast Asia, said the largest chunk of the Philippine budget is allocated to promoting the fruit at the supermarket level.

While he declined to reveal the actual budget figure, he said, “We’re committed to growing our market here.” Initial efforts to market the Zespri kiwi brand yielded a 200-percent jump in sales in the Philippines in 2008, equivalent to 3.3 million pieces. “We’re hoping to double that this year,” Mathieson said, as he cites kiwi becoming “part of the emerging Filipino diet.”

Being a new market, the Philippines accounts for about 4 percent of the Zespri’s total sales in Southeast Asia. “So we see a lot of growth potential for us here,” he said. Zespri, which is the marketing organization owned by the kiwi growers in New Zealand, sells about $1 billion worth of kiwi globally. Its largest market are Japan, Spain and Germany, while in Southeast Asia, representing 1.5 percent of total global sales, its largest markets are Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.

Other than New Zealand, China also grows kiwi fruits in Asia and are called gooseberry. But Mathieson said even China represents a huge growing market for Zespri because “the Chinese found that the taste [of the New Zealand varieties] more superior.”

In the Philippines, about 90 percent of the kiwi fruit sold in the supermarkets are the gold variety, which has a pointed tip. The rest is the green variety which has a round body. The local supermarkets being eyed in Zespri’s marketing campaign are Landmark, SM, and Rustan’s.

Each kiwi fruit costs about P19 at retail, which is more expensive than apples or oranges, the common imported fruits available in the local supermarkets. But Mathieson said his organization’s campaign is trying to push the health and nutritional aspects of the kiwi fruit which will hopefully appeal to the growing numbers of health-conscious Filipinos. “It’s more a value proposition because of its nutritional content,” he stressed.

Nutritionist Sanirose Orbeta, who was present at Zespri’s launch at The Stock Market, a restaurant along Bonifacio High Street in Taguig on Tuesday, said the kiwi “is a naturally high source of vitamins, provides excellent mineral balance, high in anti-oxidants, and full of phytonutrients for good health.”

Citing several nutrition studies, she added the kiwi is “a leading source of vitamin C” providing 108.9 mg compared with an orange (53.2 mg), mango (27.7 mg), pineapple (16.9 mg.), banana (8.7 mg.), and an apple (4.6 mg.). Kiwi is also a leading source of folate, vitamin E, and is comparable with the above-mentioned fruits in terms of fiber source.

Diabetics can also take heart to the fact that kiwi has a low glycemic index of 48.5 points (gold variety), compared with the mango (55), banana (58), papaya (60) and pineapple (66).

As part of Zespri’s marketing effort, The Stock Market will be offering kiwi-based dishes to the public for two weeks beginning on June 15.

Mathieson said Zespri’s kiwis are primarily imported by two companies in the Philippines, Elite Fruit Marketing Inc. and Beauchamp.

In a separate interview, Kingson Chan, manager of Elite Fruit, also outlined the massive potential of kiwi fruit sales in the country. “We imported 30,000 crates last year and we’re doubling the imports this year.”

He said the supermarkets are still Elite’s biggest customers, accounting for 80 percent of company sales, followed by restaurants and hotels at 10 percent, and wholesalers at 10 percent. Elite Fruit also imports apples from China and grapes from Chile and the US. The company is among the top five fruit importers in the Philippines.

At present, the kiwi fruit is levied a 7-percent tariff in the Philippines, but with the recently-signed Asean free- trade agreement (FTA) with New Zealand, Mathieson said he sees local retail prices of the kiwi dropping which will help further boost their sales. “This will benefit both our growers and the Filipino consumers.”

Under the Asean-Australia-New Zealand FTA, the tariff on fresh edible kiwi fruit is scheduled to be reduced to 5 percent this year, 3 percent in 2010, and zero by 2011.

(My story was originally pulished in the BusinessMirror, April 6, 2009.)


Date night

(Photo from Type A Mom.)

It takes a lot of work to keep a marriage interesting, especially in this fast-paced world with too many “distractions.” I’ve listened to many husbands and wives tell me how they sometimes feel just brotherly or sisterly toward their spouses. After several years of marriage, with the kids and all the responsibilities to the family, spouses sometimes just lose touch with each other. Everything becomes so familiar and so boring. (Click Something Like Life for the rest.)

June 13, 2009

Springtime in Paris

TIME for more Chaka-khan kiddies! I recently picked up a few juicy bits about some very political people while rallying against Cha-Cha at the corner of Paseo de Roxas and Ayala Ave. Not an unlikely place for gossip and rumor-mongering it seems. No names of course; we have to protect the subjects' horrors, este, honors.

(Photo from Newsweek)

ITEM #1: Da who is this muy guapo political persona who recently junked his membership from a certain political party to support a rival party's presidential candidate said to be dripping w/ cash courtesy of a rich relative by ahem, marriage? Supporters of El Traidor's old party were apparently fooled by his angelic charms but now drub him "mukang pera". Wag naman! But then, that could explain his recent controversial choices in clients. Of course, if he runs for senator as what my other sources intimate, he does need all the financial backing he can get. There's nothing wrong w/ being practical right?

ITEM #2: Da who is this presidentiable who may soon be following Senõr Soldado's footsteps and will announce by Oct. that he will no longer run for president in the 2010 elections? Instead, Señor Los Ojos will run for VP. He must be realizing by now that his main backer Don Reloj del Docena will not risk spending millions of pesos on his presidential candidacy if there is no certainty of him winning nationwide. In fact recent surveys show that while Los Ojos figures prominently among the presidentiables, he has a stronger showing as a VP candidate.

So it seems Don Reloj would rather see Los Ojos be a VP to another presidentiable, Señor Banquero, who is the Don's friend as well, and who may have better chances of winning. Perhaps, too, Don Reloj trusts Señor Banquero bec. the latter has more political savvy and a wider experience in the business of running a gov't. Besides, if the Don supports Señor Banquero's presidential candidacy, he would only have to spend P50M at the most, the latter not exactly in penurious circumstances like Los Ojos. It's all business for Don Reloj, even in politics.

(Photo from this web site.)

LASTLY, ITEM #3: Da who are these two ranking officials of the Philippine government recently caught displaying their affection towards each other in Paris, the city of lights, and love? They were said to be very intimate towards each other in public places like it was nobody's business! Although they were in Paris on official business, attending meetings and such, sources said, they timed their attendance so they could be together during this wonderful time of the year, spring! Je t'aime, mwah! mwah!

El Jefe is a vital member of the presidentita's official family and is always in the news, while Señora Assumptionista, currently holds a position as a special envoy. What's interesting about these two lovers is that they are not married to each other, but to other people. Oooh-lala! How very French!

June 11, 2009

The best 'nobody' on Facebook

THIS video has been making the rounds of Facebook. It's hilarious! No one knows who this guy is. I wonder if he's a traffic cop from Korea (some say Thailand) and this is how they direct traffic there. Katawa.

From the horse's ass himself

Gonzalez: 'I think Arroyo will run again'

MANILA - President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will run again in May 2010 if efforts to change the form of government from presidential to parliamentary through a constituent assembly succeed, according to newly appointed Presidential Legal Counsel Raul Gonzalez.

In an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN News, the former justice secretary said he believes that Arroyo will run for a parliamentary seat in Pampanga so she could be elected as Prime Minister in 2010 in case the current efforts to change the charter through a Senate-less constituent assembly materialize.

"I will not be surprised if the President will run as Member of Parliament," Gonzalez said. (Click ABS-CBN News.)

IF this isn't the clearest statement yet about the Presidentita's intentions, I don't know what else there is to say. To those who still doubt the congressmen's motives about HR 1109/Con-Ass, that's your proof right there.

Images from the Makati rally

I attended the rally versus HR 1109/Con-Ass and Charter Change (Cha-Cha) yesterday, in Makati City. Here are some images from the protest action. Anyone who says the rally didn't gather enough participants should get some spectacles.

June 08, 2009

Speak up! Speak out!

Below is the complete list of Congressmen who voted for House Resolution 1109 convening Congress into a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass). If you do not agree with their decision, write/email your representative and tell him/her so. Let your voice be heard!

Click this to find out your legislator's email/snail mail address. You can actually email them from their respective pages.

Thank you.

Con Ass Congressmen

June 06, 2009

Asar sa Con-Ass

Join the 1st Facebook Eyeball vs CHA-CHA, hosted by the Blas F. Ople Policy Center on Sat., June 6, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Powertips, 5th Floor Podium Mall, Ortigas, Pasig.

Be informed. Discuss. Protest. For inquiries and reservations, pls. call 0918-8040-055, or email: oplecarlo@gmail.com. Not for Facebook users only.

June 05, 2009

From bold star to vice mayor

ONE of the things I do after I take my lunch is to have coffee while watching ANC News. At about 2 or 2:30 p.m., broadcaster Tony Velasquez presents the news, and interviews guests in his usual witty manner. Why the Lopezes haven't thought of giving him a talk show w/ a David Letterman-like format (sans the comedy routine) is unfortunate bec. I think Velasquez is just hilarious when he interviews politicians and makes his side comments.

Anyhoo, this afternoon, I was shocked to watch Velasquez's show bec. he had as his guest, former actor Isko Moreno who I didn't know is already Manila's Vice Mayor! OMG! Who would've thought that the two-bit artista w/ the wild bushy eyebrows would reach this political height? Sure he was a councilor before, but Vice Mayor? And by the way he sounded this afternoon, he is surely gunning for the mayoralty position after Mayor Alfredo Lim finishes his terms of office (a mayor can be elected for three consecutive terms if I'm not mistaken).

(That's Entertainment graduate and bold star Isko Moreno then...)

I'm not dissing Moreno bec. of his past, and believe me after googling photos of the time he was an artista, it brought up pretty interesting, ahem, poses. I'm just pretty amazed at how far he's gone in his political career. If I remember correctly, Moreno grew up in Smokey Mountain or somewhere in Tondo, and rummaged through garbage to help his mother make some money and put food on their table. After being discovered by a talent scout in the '80s, Moreno went on to become a regular on That's Entertainment, became a bold star (okay, I'm over 40, so I use the term 'bold star'), and acted in a few forgettable but titillating films. I haven't seen any of them so I can't tell you if he was any good.

I dunno what happened after but suddenly, he resurrected sometime in the new millenium as a councilor, under the term of then Manila Mayor Lito "Hawaiian Punch" Atienza, former Bayanihan propsman and responsible for those expensive strombotiko street lamps along Roxas Blvd. (kadiri!), and who is now the Environment and Natural Resources Secretary (despite his checkered anti-environment past). Apparently after Moreno's three terms as councilor, he ran for Vice Mayor under PDP-Laban and won. I've been told that Moreno actually finished high school, took crash courses in politics and finance at UP, finished a degree in public administration at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, and is now studying to be a lawyer. Whew!

Btw, Velasquez and Moreno were discussing the Pandacan Oil Depot and the case to be filed by Secretary Atienza at the Supreme Court questioning the recent decision by Mayor Lim to allow the oil depot to remain for economic reasons. The gall of Atienza, considering he took his mighty sweet time in kicking out the three oil firms from the Pandacan depot when he was in office from 1998-2007. (My only issue w/ Moreno is his predilection of forgetting to pronounce his "F" as in "facilities," and not "pacilitis". Other than that, Moreno seems a remarkable student, and has taught himself how to speak passable English, just like Manny Pacquiao.) More on Moreno and Atienza here.

(Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, now. My, he cleans up well, doesn't he?)

Wala lang, I just thought I'd share w/ you my delight and surprise over Moreno, and wish there were more people who would emulate him (well, maybe not the soft-porn career), and just pull themselves by their bootstraps to turn their lives around.

June 04, 2009

Con-Ass break

(Ang tindi ng lolah nyo! Natalo si Oprah, o ha? Photo from msn)

ARE you tired of reading about Angie? Angelina, Brangelina, Brad and Angie, The Pitts? or Maddox? Well, read some more!

Angie landed on Forbes Magazine's top 100 powerful celebrities for 2009, edging out regular front-runner, Oprah Winfrey (thank God! I stopped watching her show years ago!). Also making the list are Madonna, Beyoncé Knowles, and Tiger Woods. Interesting to note that except for Tiger Woods, all the top winners are gay icons. Haha.

Read this.

If you're incensed w/ Con-Ass and your congressmen

PLS. go to this web site, NO TO CON-ASS, click on and display those badges (like you see on the right sidebar of this blog) on your web sites and blogs. Show your opposition to House Resolution 1109 convening Congress into a Constituent Assembly!

The full text of HR 1109 can be found here.

June 03, 2009

Statement of Rep. Teddyboy Locsin on Con-Ass

TLL Statement on Con-Ass

De La Salle suspends classes due to H1N1 (w/ updates)

IN case you still haven't heard La sallistas, you have no classes from June 4 to 13. According to Health Secretary Francisco Duque, an exchange student was found infected with the Influenza A/H1N1 virus and may have had contact with at least 120 other people. (Click here.)

Keep safe everyone. Wash your hands properly. And stay away from other people if you already have the virus. Go into quarantine.

(UPDATE 1:40 a.m.) I've heard that a case of Influenza A infection has also been discovered at the Manila headquarters of the Asian Development Bank. Stay tuned for more details.

(UPDATE 06/04/09 at 5:47 p.m.) Influenza A case at ADB confirmed

June 02, 2009

Unless you guys are hiding under a rock

YOU should be watching right now on ANC how pro-Cha-Cha congressmen are trying to railroad the approval of House Resolution 1109 which will convene Congress into a Constituent Assembly. This will allow them to push for changes in the 1987 Constitution to keep the presidentita in power.

History repeating itself! GMA doing a Marcos! Kawawang Pilipinas.

(Do you want this face to keep ruining your day for the next 20 years?)

(UPDATE 11:30 PM 06/02/09) Resolution is approved. Bloody hell. Congressmen to cha-cha after receiving their ka-ching, ka-ching! Click House OK's Con-ass

June 01, 2009

Merry Christmas people!

WELL, it is the first of June and almost half of the year is over. You betcha Christmas will sneak up on us faster than you can sing 'Grandmagotrunoverbyareindeer!'

More importantly though, it's amazing that most of us are still on our feet. We still have our jobs, the love of family and friends, have a roof over our heads and can still eat three basic meals a day. Many of us are still relatively healthy, dear readers. Forget all the petty annoyances and insignificant idiots who sometimes make life hell for us. Let's just be grateful for being able to wake up each morning and getting up on our feet. And getting on w/ our lives. Woo-hoo!

(Another reason to rejoice: It's the first day of the new schoolyear so the kids in the village are outta here! Yay! It's so quiet I could cry, haha!)

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Just read this on the news: The runup to the presidential elections in 2010 sure looks tight if you read the latest survey of Pulse Asia.

Just look at this table of survey results:

(Screenshot of Pulse Asia survey results from ABS-CBN News)

Most remarkable of all is MAR Roxas, formerly a kulelat, is now among the top 5 candidates, after gaining 5 points since the Feb. 2009 survey. Would it be the Korina factor you think? Ooh, if this keeps up, I see a wedding by December. Joke!

Seriously, I think I'll take Korina over Nikki Teodoro anytime. The Defense Secretary, btw, is hardly rating. Then again, it's less than 11 months to presidential elections. Anything can still happen between now and May 11, 2008.

To be frank though, even if Gilbert Teodoro does do an FVR (i.e. form his own party, as his wife has threatened, ugh) if PaLaKa, the administration party, doesn't nominate him as its presidential standard bearer, I think he lacks the political savvy, charm, and connections of the old man. You may recall that FVR had been around the political universe even during Marcos' time w/c allowed him to tap those old powerful networks when he ran in 1992.

Teodoro has hardly the financial muscle and TV face time like his 2010 rivals, who've been hogging the headlines and airtime far longer than him. If only he can get his Tito Danding to drop Chiz Escudero, who really is much too young (not to mention, overmemorized) to be leading this country, then Teodoro has a larger chance to make the rest of the country know him a bit better.

(FVR and GMA Photo from Supreme Master Ching.)

Other than that, I wish the opposition can just get their act together and agree on one common candidate. It's the only way to defeat the PaLaKa/administration candidate, whoever it may be. It's time these guys think about the country for once, instead of furthering their own petty interests. Yun na!

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AY, hindi pa pala. How true is that FVR and the presidentita already kissed and made up? And over glasses of cognac? Click here. Well, should we have expected something more respectable from our 'elder statesman'? Ugh.