Thursday, October 30

The Emperor's New Blog

Wednesday, October 29

How to be Good

I don't really know how to do that, but if I get what I really really want, I will try to be. Good, that is.

Just give me a nice blank slate. I'll try to be nice. Really.
How to Flunk

[1] Ride the slowest jeep in the world. It doesn't matter if you leave the house two hours before the blasted exam. That turtle crawl from Pantranco to UP has got to be the longest 45 minutes of my life. Dammit, I did not get up and eat early so I can be late. I already have issues about punctuality, ie, I have been trying my best to come on time, if not earlier than the proposed appointment. So far I have been successful. Morning person or not, I have found myself getting up at 6.30 am to make it to school before 9am. This just upsets me so much.

So I get to the office and I was afraid they'd forfeit me the exam, but Attendant Girl just leads me down the stairs to the dungeons of hell and hands me several pieces of paper and the questions. Who would have known that Julio Cortazar is going to be my downfall?

[2] Your brain functions at the current rate of 15rpm. Slooow. Read the text handed to you 3 times. See those words? They mean something--and they want you to say something spectacularly coherent about it. But. You. Understand. Nothing.

Which is really bad, because the text we were assigned were instruction materials: How to Cry, How to Sing. I wanted to cry, badly. But the author said that I only had 3 minutes to do it. Damn. If I were reading his pieces for pleasure, I would have appreciated it more. The guy was funny. But, man. Having to explain how it all hung together organically. Just skewer me please. Since them gods think they're being funny, they should have given us "How to Die" instead.

[3] Hypersense. I don't know if that's the word for it. But I could hear every single drop of moisture from the aircon unit, another examinee's pen tapping on the corner of his desk, the shifting of feet, and my brain screaming "Dammit! Methodology? What methodology are you talking about?!"

All in all, I feel like I blasted my way to Neptune. You know that feeling that you are da bomb? And you just exploded and you just want to slink down and melt and disappear into a puddle like those witches in Oz? Yeah, that sums it up.


Related, but slightly. Okay, so The Mentor Dude has decided he wants to talk to me again. He texted me last night about my botched exam. He ran into my Fairy Dear Adviser in Malate which is just grand. But he's texting me since the Fall from the Workshop Heaven incident, so this must be good.

Or if I really want to be pessimistic about it: Mentor Dude is really just glad he's going to get rid of me, finally. My, ain't life grand?

I've never felt this shaky before. Dammit, I never wanted anything as badly as this in a long while. And if I don't get it, I have no one to blame but myself. Stupid slow jeep. Feh.

Sunday, October 26


Was what I was last Wednesday. As in the previous posts, I was geared with the thought that I had a full day: Exam, interview, dinner with friends I haven't seen in quite a while. I was pretty sure of my schedule this time because I had taken to writing them down and putting them on post its on my desk.

I realized I really wasn't a morning person anymore. It took me three attempts to read and actually understand this short story we were handed out for us to analyze. At nine in the morning. All the time I was thinking: [1] It's so damn cold and didn't bring my hoodie in exchange for this blasted cardigan, [2] Shyet, I should have reread that "Spunky French Guys you can name drop as you wing your way through sounding intellectual and pretentious" article, but I didn't, so feh.

I had lunch with my friend A+ half a galaxy away from the FC. When it was time to go back, I boarded a jeep and only then did I realize I left my hairbrush on my desk. I was supposed to have an interview and I was having a bad hair day. Feh.

It turns out I need not worry. I walked in, at the appointed hour, and this girl tells me it's going to be held tomorrow, Thursday.

"But somebody called me at home and told me it's on Wednesday."

"No, it's going to be October 23."

I wanted to shake her silly because I noted it down on my notepad. But I left the big note pad at home and I didn't have proof right there so I walked out of the office and sat on the concrete bench in the waiting shed, still feeling like I was in some time space warp. When I got home, the first thing I checked was my notepad. True enough it said: "Wednesday, interview. 1pm, Room 1017." There was no date, although she must have said October 23. But I couldn't really be sure.

Postcript to this: It went well. I sort of knew what they were going to ask me: Why I want to do this thing when I could be visibly disenfranchised economically. I wanted to go all Dustin Hoffman-ish and Winona Ryder-esque on them and say "Beats me," but I don't think they'd appreciate it. Now I will really might try to look up that French dudes article. Before I went into the holding room, there were two girls trying to put on make up and Girl in Blue asked: "Did you read up on Structuralism?" I was screaming in my head: Wtf? All I was worrying about was whether I should put on another coat of lip balm because it was cold. Durr.

Post postcript: There must have really been a rip in the time space warp last Wednesday. When I finally had my senses back, I hiked over to the MRT station in Q Ave so I could hang out in the mall a bit. Four trains came and went on the Northbound side of the tracks and no trains going South. Wtf? The tide of people waiting for their ride grew five deep. And they made no special announcements as to why it was taking them too long.


*Is how my friend W usually says it. Not "disoriented," like we'd usually say in our Sesame Street learned English. His is the remnant of days when we were forced to drop our Rs and not roll them.

Monday, October 20

I am praying

For a good hair day and a nice fit in my clothes Wednesday. And yeah, I have to hear myself talk.
I woke up way too early today.

Like a little after 8am because my phone was already ringing. So I attempted to get my brain to process the information being said to me, and then I hung up and went back to bed. Minutes later the phone was ringing again and again and again. Oh goodie.

Why do they have to pile all my appointments for Wednesday? I mean, I appreciate all the breaks and all, but why everything on Wednesday?! By the time I get to my 1pm appointment, my brain is going to be mush. It's not good, you know. I need my wits to be full bar by then. Time for fireworks, feh.

So now I'm horizontal. My veins are vibrating with some weird polytone bio-surge screaming lack of sleep. I dream of pillows and blankets and light wool, with soft red lights. Beam me some sleep please.
Lecheng Friendster

Pati si Jose Javier Reyes (self proclaimed pornographer) may Friendster, and he's got a blog too! Wow, techie guy pala siya.

Hmm...Maybe I should I Friend him so he can convince Mikee Cojuangco to make romantic comedy (eek!) movies again. Hehehe.

Friday, October 17

Singleton Nation

Is what we might be in like 10-15 years. A year ago, Newsbreak had its Singles in the City issue. A lot of young people are uncoupled, for various reasons, and we're upping the marrying age. Is it time to panic? I don't hear no clock ticking.
Kissing in fours

Is a "preserve of Paris," as this article says. It is also usually reserved to family and really close friends. The French are known to be oscillation oriented people, but the kissing map also defines how many kisses one may give or receive depending on the geographical location. Some kiss only once, in the more conservative Atlantic region of Charente-Maritime. Go the Teutonic Alsace and you get the normal two: one on each cheek. But go somewhere near the Cote d'Azur and you will get three.

Here in Manila, depends on where you are and who you're with and you will be invariably be greeted with: [a] Oy! With matching taas ng eyebrows, [b] A short primal scream, followed with air kisses which suffocate you in the other person's parfum, [c] A hug with matching "Where have you been all my life?!" After which you run away, or [d] A nod, begrudgingly given and then you go ahead with minding your own businesses. I don't. Maybe as a collective we're really not just the kissing sort, unless you count the "mano," where you bring your elder's hand to your forehead.

Prior to working, I never was one for making beso. I only learned to live with it when I had older friends who insisted on making them. Now I'm fine with it, but of course it still depends on the closeness with which I relate to them. And oh, some people really just value their personal space, which may be like 3 inches or 3 feet.
Lunch at Period 3

I am awake most nights, and only feel the stirrings of a yawn by around 3 or 4am. I hardly get up now before 10 am. I used to think that it's because I became used to writing during night time, but now scientists have another explanation: Night people may have a shorter version of the Period 3 gene, compared to those who have a longer version of the gene who usually are extreme morning people.

But scientists say that your lifestyle still has a say on how you early or late you start your day. You can always override your genes. Oh goody. This is going to be hell when I'm forced to live normal lark days. I rather like being an owl.

[via metafilter]
Nestor Torre gives tips for aspiring scriptwriters.

Uhm, okay.

But he makes kambyo naman and says that the tips are actually by Marsha Norman, playwright, so it's not all that bad. *snicker, snicker* Bad, kantogirl, bad, bad.

Here it is:

First, to be a good writer, you have to be an avid reader. Read at least four hours a day. No arguments here. Not three hours and a half, but four. Take it or leave it.

Next, don't write about your life now, it's too unclear and inchoate. Write about your past, something that's already been completed, and thus easier for you to get a handle on.

Write about something that terrified you, something you still think is unfair, something that you haven't been able to forget after all the years that have passed since it happened.

Don't write in order to show the audience how smart you are. The audience is not the least bit interested in the scriptwriter, it only wants to know-and care about-the characters.

If the audience begins to suspect that what it's watching was actually written by some other person, it's going to quit watching and listening. So keep yourself out of it!

If you have characters you can't write fairly, cut them out. Grudges have no place here. Nobody cares about your grudges but you, and you can't attract an audience!

There must be one central character. Only one. Not two, not three-one. And he or she must want something. And by the end of your script, your central character must either get it or not. Period. No exceptions.

You must tell your audience right away what is at stake in your script-i.e., how they know when the drama is over. They are, in a sense, the jury. You present the evidence, and then they say whether or not it seems true to them.

If it does, your script will work. If it doesn't seem true to your viewers, try to find out why-and don't do it anymore!

If, while you're writing, thoughts of critics, family members or the audience occur to you, stop writing and do some reading until you have successfully forgotten them.

Don't talk about your script while you're writing it. Good scripts are always the product of a single vision, a single point of view. Your friends will be helpful later, after the script's direction is established.

A script is one thing you can easily get too much help with. If you must break this rule, try not to say what you have learned by talking. Or just let other people talk and you listen. Don't talk your script away.

Keep pads of paper near you all the time. Whenever you have thoughts about your script, write them down.

Never start writing until you know what your first sentence is that day. It is unhealthy to sit in front of an unused typewriter or computer for any length of time. If, after you have typed the first sentence, you can't think of a second one, go read.

There is only one good reason to write a script, and that is that there is no other way to take care of it, or process it, whatever it is. There are too many made-up scripts being written these days.

So if it doesn't spill out faster than you can write it, don't write it at all! Or write about something else that does spill out. Spilling out is what scripts are all about. "Writing" is for novelists.


Four frigging hours? If you count webpages, maybe. I read a lot of stuff from the net now. Mag-newspaper rounds lang ako, that's a lot already. Although must admit I'm becoming slow na when it comes to books. I've had "How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents" in my backpack for more than a week now, nasa p.46 pa lang ako.
Attack of the Giant Paella! (Or the Pick your favorite colonizer day)

I like the sound of castanets clicking, don't you?

Hopefully substantial nga siya. The month long Fiesta event by the Spanish Embassy and Instituto Cervantes will hold a street party with lots of music, wine, fireworks, and the aforementioned giant paella on Saturday, 18 October at the Puerto Real Gardens in Intramuros.

I missed the Neruda poetry reading last Monday night, but hopefull I'll be able to catch the event this weekend. Unless of course you prefer to worship at the altar of the Big Bush or at the meccas of shopping in Ortigas. But traffic is probably going to be bad, and security all over the metro will be tight, so why not head to Intramuros right?

The Spanish Film Festival is also ongoing at the Greenbelt 1 cinema from 16-26 October. For other events, you can also check out their activities page here.

Thursday, October 16

Once, twice...

According to this strip, come November I'm gonna be a loser two times over. Hah!

[via elephant blog]
It's raining frogs and dogs

Watched Amores Perros and Magnolia back to back last night while waiting for a phone call. Asteeg! And I'm such a loser kasi it took two (not just one) 3hr movies for the call to push through. Aaak! But at least I'm done with it. Di na raw kailangan ng revision. Yeah! (But of course it could also be kasi pressed for time na. Dammit, I am no genius!)

Both movies had a lot of dogs in it. Parang medyo nabawasan ang potency ng Amores Perros for me. I realized that we never really knew what happened to Valeria after her amputation. Gael was still credited as "Gael Garcia" in this one. I wonder when exactly did he add the Bernal in his name. But he will always be my Gael Garcia Bernal.

PT Anderson is still mayabang, in a very good way. I like how everything in the movie is all about the "sins of the father." (Uuy, more lit theory fodder. If all else fails, blame your dad, your mom, and your imperialist oppressors.) Saka Tom Cruise still comes out as Tom Cruise in some parts, like when he was finally by the bedside of Earl Partridge. Nagpa-OA na naman ang leche.

But nothing beats the rain of the frogs, ever. A plague on both of your houses!

In other worlds, I've been watching a lot of dark comedies lately. I caught Praying Mantis at the UP Film Center earlier this week, and it was hilarious. I'm never one for peeping on middle-aged sex, but it just made me squirm in my seat when those bloated old men would reach for Jancik's hand and place them over their crotches. Yikes! Yes, call me biased and all, but all the while I was screaming "Lolo, wag po! Maawa kayo kay Lola Babes!"

I liked how the violence was underscored, the actors were so deadma. It's like "Oooh, there's a dead body on my kitchen floor, what would I do? *pause* Oh, I know." Then she reaches for the cleaver and proceeds to cut him up and put him in little giniling sa supermarket trays, complete with saran wrap. (It's so Gamitan, actually. Oh well.) I just didn't like it that after all the killings, Lola Babes still didn't get away with it. You know, crime doesn't pay and karma and all that blah. But astig sana yun if they let her get away with it.

Tuesday, October 14

Oh, I can be a brat sometimes.

When I feel like it, but I can also be an annoying adult as well. Any which way, stubborn pa rin. Time for an Oprah moment and take this emotional age quiz.
D S2pehd movie on my mind

Lea Salonga to sing "non-political songs" for Bush in Malacanang visit.
Here's my proposition:

Lea vs Salbakuta.

Now that would have been a surreal scene for George W Bush. Tipong Broadway mixed with jologs. I watched parts of the Songs from Home concert on television some weeks back, and it's becoming more obviously glaring that Lea is boring. Manangly boring. Or as some other writer put it before, she doesn't have an ounce of libog in her veins. Oh she tries to make it lively by doing "raunchy" numbers and singing dukebox staples, but argh! Just how many renditions of Tukso can you stand? And who does her clothes--Inno Sotto forever? She could have died from strangulation and asphyxia from her own shawl. Somebody give this girl a nice red strappy gown, like she the one she wore in a Cosmo cover some years back.
Miasma over Manila

Are you dukha and stressed? This article digs into the argument that the poor and jologs get all sickly and have bad skin because they have more to worry about than where they can get LV Murakami bags and Jimmy Choo shoes.

There's the theory floating back from a couple centuries that the more depressed areas have this pall hanging over them, a strange air that makes everyone fall sick. As opposed to the well to do with their well ventilated abodes, spacious and high ceilings and dwelling huge enough to contain several holes of a golf course.
Children of the Corn

Corn, the abundance or lack of it, is at the heart of the world's obesity problems. It's more pronounced in America, the land of McDonald's upsized fries and drinks, where 3 of 5 people are overweight. While lawsuits have been filed accusing fast foods that they haven't been informed that eating large servings will make them fat (duh, like they didn't know that), the same companies are making the rest of the world indulge in the surplus of corn.

Interesting article in the NY Times which traces America's health problems through its corn production. How in the 19th century the corn surplus made way for cheap moonshine and thus contributed to the alcoholism problem. Neat trivia: the ritual we know as the office coffee break started as a respite for farm hands from their daily grind. They would chug down pints of moonshine which had become cheap and affordable. When the Prohibition came, it was substituted by coffee. And now we have people downing designer coffee with lots of whipped cream and assortments of syrup.

After the Depression came ever increasing returns from the farm. The oversupply of corn can then be blamed after Nixon's time, when subsidies were given to farmers so they wouldn't have to sell their produce at a lower price. Farmers harvested more and more corn, which the government stored in their granaries, and they don't know what to do with it. So they had to "add value" to it by turning it into corn flakes, corn syrup, and fed it to cows and chickens so we had cheap corn-fed beef which they turned into burger patties which sold for $.99 in McDonalds, which in turn marketed it world wide and asked customers to "upsize" their drinks and double their burgers for an additional php5. So the usual 600 calorie meal of a burger, regular fries and drinks were bloated to a sky high 1,500 calories.

Then we wonder why we keep on getting fat. That's why McDonald's is evil and we shouldn't keep on upsizing those fries and drinks. All that because them imperialist farmers have to do something with all their surplus corn. Even if we get all high tech and postmodern* with our cell phones and wi-fi and friendster (hee!) we are all still bound to agriculture.

*In the critical lit theory class I sat in, there were arguments whether or not Pinas is a postmodern society. Kasi we're semipyudal, semikolonyal daw, and we never went from modern to industrial to post industrial and all that shit we learned from STS and Alvin Toffler so it's impossible that we jump straight to postmo. But then since Pinas is this weird place where we don't have linear history and a sense of a grand narrative, and we're really a Romantic (and rustic), where we're all stories happening at the same time, therefore we're postmo. Aak! Ang gulo noh? But yeah, anything can happen in Pinas.
Bible my foot

The CW majors reading list is online. My batch wasn't supposed to be covered by this list, but they made us guinea pigs anyway. 50 books by Filipino writers in English which by the time you graduate you should have read at least most of it. Then by the time you submit your thesis which consists of either a portfolio of poems or 50 pages worth of prose/fiction/nonfiction (or if you want to escape that, try to do something in other genres which they know nothing about, like flash fiction or comic books or maybe a screenplay). The panel gets to grill you on the books you should have read.

When I had a class on Contemporary Phil Lit in English, we had texts which were written in the 70s. Latest and contemporary na yun ha. Concession na nga na that they have Jessica Zafra on the list, but really no young writers. The list is getting really old, and they should update it more.

Wala lang, kasi I found the list while blog hopping. Reminds me of pre-thesis jitters way back in the day.

Monday, October 13

baguio was a bust

It wasn't the big big blast we expected it to be. First off, we missed looking at the bomb blasted Macoy bust probably because we were all dozing, and the bus was so freaking slow.

We had a nice breakfast at Cafe by the Ruins. Wagi yung home cured bacon nila, and I had a tinapang bangus all to myself. Little did I know that we had to eat more bangus by lunch. Ahh, death by bangus.

Then we went to the Tossed Salad Festival at the Athletic Bowl. (Would have been more fun if they actually tossed the athletes into the salad, hehehe.) It's like eating a Wendy's side salad but adding php550 for the pamasahe of going to Baguio. We all left immediately because some bands with names like "Scourge Of Marikina" was going to perform. I mean hello, Scourge of Marikina?! Plus Tootsie Guevarra was also there. I mean what if in a dozen or so years Tootsie Guevarra becomes Vice President of the country? (At least yun yung projection ni Bob Ong).

Then we traipsed down Burnham and were talking about Spongebob and Baby Bob, and then our friend's brother Kuya Bob. And then suddenly Kuya Bob's sister Mary is there with her Mom. Smallish world is shrinking even more!

Di kami nakapag-ukay ukay to death kasi most of the Bayanihan stores were boarded up with iron sheets and it wasn't too much fun to go around anymore in the new ukay place down session. The goods were really sort of expensive and all I got was a Brasil football jersey and some really strange socks.

Then it rained really really hard we had to evacuate and crash Mary's mum's hotel room in Camp John Hay. I like the cafe there because it faces a very nice courtyard and they make really nice hot chocolate.

But I think we really missed the ukay and the six o'clock habit. Wala naman kasing provisions ang ulan sa tips on how to road trip. Maybe we would have had better luck with watching Green? But any travel adventures with the Sisterhood of the Socks is welcome. Wala nga lang kaming new sorority socks this year.

Friday, October 10


Speaking of addicts, here something from the plaridel papers mailing list, about some guy protesting the use of "addict" as a brand in the mobile communications industry. It got almost nasty comments. Kasi naman eh. Ano ba, dude, is it all literal with you? Pati ba naman taglines at brand names di n'yo pinatawad. So what's next, stone Smart for false advertising?


By Dennis L. Berino

"What's in a name? A rose called by any other name will smell as sweet." So goes a line from the great playright William Shakespeare. In this day and age however of branding, a product name sends a powerful image as to what a particular product or service is supposed to convey to the consuming public.

Many highly competitive and progressive companies now undergo specialized procedures to determine the best brand name they will give their product - from executive opinion to sales force composite to focused group discussions, just to name some. The objective is not only to create brand awareness and recall but also to position the product in such a way that they will be preferred by the consuming public because of the strong positive image and utility they will get in using the brand.

Now we start wondering how a leading cell phone company ended up calling its latest offering as ADDICT MOBILE? You get a Webster dictionary and you will get a definition of the word addict as "one who is devoted or surrenders oneself to something habitually or
obsessively." That is the literal definition of the word and in that sense, you can really get addicted to a lot of things, like to chocolate, television, texting or to web surfing. They even made a Hollywood movie with the title "Addicted to Love."

But you and I know that in the context of contemporary use, the word addict is usually and generally associated with the illicit use of drugs or narcotics. And there lies the rub in using that term in branding their new service as ADDICT MOBILE.

The leading cell phone company of course, heavily advertised their ADDICT MOBILE offering in print and television to create awareness and eventually patronage from the consuming public. Advertising is a powerful tool in providing information to the consumers. What kind of information do you get with a by-line like "Get hooked" or "Gratified" which their recent ads banner and use?

The branding and advertising slant of ADDICT MOBILE is specifically of the psychological appeal type which generally aims to persuade by appealing primarily to human emotional needs and not to reason. And it raises certain moral implications in its choice of the word addict considering the word's context as earlier mentioned and the prevailing drug menace our society is experiencing right now.

In fact, the national government has put the national police and all other government regulatory bodies concerned with controlling and eradicating the illegal use and handling of narcotics, to high gear to try to stamp out and eliminate this great threat and menace to our society's well-being, especially of the youth. The youth has been the primary target market of drug pushers and it is not coincidental that the youth is also the heaviest users of mobile facilities and services.

And so there is really something not quite kosher for this cell phone company to capitalize on the contextual slant of the word addict to position and push its new mobile service to the consuming public, especially the youth which is their primary target market.

Some quarters actually objected already to this company's use of the word addict but the outcry against it did not reach a critical mass to force the hand of the mobile company to consider pulling out its new service. In fact, as of this writing, they continually show in print and on television their advertisements whose dark orientation is normally associated to the melancholia and depression that many drug addicts are prone to.

Its such a shame that such a leading cell phone company capitalizes on this grave threat to our social well-being and national security to push their new service to the consumers. It smacks of insensitivity and poor taste on their part to continue foisting their Addict Mobile service given the heightened sense of urgency right now to control and eliminate drug addiction in our environment.

What message do they send? Its cool to be an addict in relation to using your mobile phone but they cannot escape the direct attachment of that coolness to drug dependency to which, to the point of belaboring it, the term addict has been contextually attached to.

Several months back, a leading burger company pulled out its television advertisement when there was a public outcry to the wrong values it was sending to a child who was receiving some sort of a bribe from his father. Now, that is a responsive company conscious of its social responsibility role.

The drug menace is an even bigger problem which should not be trivialized because we want to appear cool and we want to capitalize on it to push a product or service. If the AdBoard or PANA or any concerned government agency cannot do anything about this situation because the company concerned might cite its freedom of expression or some other justification, then I believe we as concerned consumers can make a stand and advocate for this company to pull out its campaign in the interest of societal well-being. Boycotting this Addict Mobile service is also another option to persuade them to pull out their morally questionable service.

With due apologies to Shakespeare but a name, in this instance the branding of Addict Mobile, serves only the commercial and financial interest of the cell phone company without taking into account the issue of the common good. The name then here takes on a critical
issue which needs to be addressed. I'm sure the company can come up with a more neutral and morally acceptable brand name than what it is using right now.

The author teaches Management Science and Business Ethics in the Graduate School of Business of De La Salle University Professional School, Inc. He is assistant vice president of the Sales Operations Group of Insular Life Assurance Co.
no friendster tonight, boohoohoo

Guess what I did after running home from the PSID exhibit at the PBCom Tower? Yeah, even if it was raining hard, and we got off the cab, we ran into my room so we can freaking log on to Friendster.

Tapos down ang Friendster.

Parang nakakaleche di ba? I mean, we took a cab and all. I could have gone to UP and did some errands, but we were such huge Friendster losers kasi excited ako to add some few other people whom I found and who found me.

Tapos I'm leaving for Baguio in a couple of hours and the page says Friendster will be back 5am PST. I mean, what time exactly is 5am PST as opposed to GMT? Gah. I never learned how to calculate time zones.

I remember writing the concept paper for this (on f*cking Valentines Day if it matters), but I'm not around anymore to take part in it. It went by a different title, but basically the same sudsy story you are all familiar with: provincial lass, innocent and sweet; worldly mysterious foreigner; the brooding local hero. A langit at lupa love story, with a twist. But now it's all im-im-impyerno.

Monday, October 6

better, hopefully

I wrote my FutureMe a letter for when I'll be a quarter of a hundred years old. I'm crossing my fingers that things will be better by then.

[ link found via ursula_lear, whoever she is ;) ]

Sunday, October 5

The city of stories, again.

NYC from the pov of a Russian immigrant. How one is introduced first to the underbelly of a city, how you feel out of the loop because everyone else is better dressed, more well off than you. You love the dirty feel, the grime, then you leave to study (to better yourself, you say) and come back to a city that has been “urbanized” and is under siege from a vast future and happening presence of wealth. Tragedy strikes: terror, recession. And you are back to your culture of grime and crime. Welcome home. Yes, I will always be a city dweller, in Manila where there are disco lights by the boulevard.
Run Gloria run

So I woke up this afternoon and the first thing that greeted me on tv was PGMA in her crisp white shirt addressing the elderly Pinoys of Pampanga, and eventually declaring that she will indeed run in 2004.

Yeah, we've been half expecting it. Even if she did say before that she'll not run anymore, did anyone actually buy that? I'm really just pissed because she could have done away with her whole act of doing the right thing when all she really wanted was get a full term. The people on ANC were pointing out that the legality of it: PGma only took on the remaining years of the deposed Estrada. So she has three years. Had it been 4 years, she would have been disqualified to run na. Ha! Lucky b*tch. But I have to hand it to her as well. The woman is feisty, and probably doesn't mind the taunting she will get for changing her mind. She doesn't flinch, coup or no coup.

Side side note lang din. PGma's speech was at times interrupted by her cheerleaders going "GMA! GMA!" The entire chant sounded to me and my friend as something approaching orgasmic levels. Rhythmic kasi eh, tapos it went faster and faster and the intervals were intermittently short. I dunno. We must have been either hungry or just dazed.
Jessica Hagedorn's Dream Jungle is out. I remember reading about it in her homecoming essay in a special edition of Time Magazine a couple of months back. The Sta Mesa she wrote about was nothing like the place I knew as a kid in high school. In the article, she told about an interview she had with the man who "discovered" the Tasadays. According to the NYT review, the book while it doesn't exactly have a plot, deals with reality as manufactured truth:
Could this whole Stone Age tribe business (based on the controversy surrounding the ''gentle'' Tasaday) be a fraud? Will the fake war (based on Francis Ford Coppola's filming of ''Apocalypse Now'' in the Philippines) make contact with the real hostilities nearby? Can ''Napalm Sunset'' -- Hagedorn's perfect title for the film -- do justice to the agonizing war that inspired it? What interference (or protection) can the filmmakers and anthropologists expect from the Philippine military and the Marcos government?
The last Hagedorn book I read was still Dogeaters, which was part of my reading list for the history as narrative in my Comparative Lit class with Issy Reyes. What I noticed was most of the books dealing with that theme revolved around recollections of the Martial Law years. Everything from Killing Time in a Warm Place to State of War.

I remember arguing with my mother, who thought that Martial Law was an "orderly" period and the whole thing about missing people and salvaging was just overblown. How could I argue otherwise, when I wasn't there? Well, she had a point. My memory of the Marcos years is a hodgepodge created from reading and stories of people who almost died but lived anyway. My memory of the first Edsa nga is hazy. I just brought it up because I want to read something that approaches my current time-space zone other than the Marcos years.
Enter the Matrix

Mark your calendars for November 5, at the zero hour. During which the the last of the Matrix trilogy will open simultaneously in 80 countries worldwide. While I was admittedly disappointed with Reloaded, which I thought was a two and a half hour prologue for Revolutions, I think I will still line up on opening day to see this. I have to. I need to have that closure, dammit.

In other matrix related news (or maybe not), I woke up from this very weird dream the other day. It was a fast forward dream, wherein I had supposedly done my share of course work for my graduate studies. My thesis proposal, which I have been joking about doing sriously, was about Kris Aquino's significance in Pinoy society. (Hmm..maybe I should start saving those forwarded emails related to Kris.)

I mean, if Patrick Flowers can pass off his Noranian streak into academia--he had this paper on why Nora Aunor is the narcotic of our society. Why not parlay my morbid interest in showbiz tsismis into a worthwhile piece of, ahem, intellectualized study, right? Anyhow, the panel thought otherwise. They don't want to hear anymore about Kris Aquino. So I suggested the next best thing:

Bomba! Thirty years of bold movies in Philippine Cinema.

I could even see the chapter outlines. There would be a whole chunk devoted to agriculture and deshabille. A historical background tracing the evolution of the bold movie: from the first torrid screen kiss, to the wet look, the pene movies and Dr. Rey Dela Cruz's softdrink beauties, the late 80s ST trend, Rosanna Roces, and the rise of the Viva Hotbabes and other minutae. O di ba, bongga?

Yes, I know it's weird. It's like saying, When I grow up, I wanna be a pornographer. Just because I liked the sound of it.

Thursday, October 2

What do you think you're looking at?

New billboards are getting attention in Arizona. Some reported seeing one or two messages, but the newspaper listed all of them. Here's a list of all variations of the "God Speaks" billboards. The billboards are a simple black background with white text. No fine print or sponsoring organization is included. These are awesome... enjoy.

Tell the kids I love them.

Let's meet at my house Sunday
before the game.

We need to talk.

Keep using my name in vain,
I'll make rush hour longer.

That "Love Thy Neighbor" thing...
I meant it.

I love you and you
and you and you and...

Will the road you're on
get you to my place?

Follow me.

Big bang theory,
you've got to be kidding.

My way is the highway. -God

Need directions?

You think it's hot here?

Have you read my #1 best seller?
There will be a test.

Do you have any idea
where you're going?

Don't make me come down there.


I rather liked the last one. I mean seriously, what if companies sponsored God-themed billboards. Like if God had a Starbucks sponsored billboard, what would it say? "That mocha frap can feed a hundred kids in Africa. Finish that to the last drop of whipped cream." Or for a phone company: "There's no such thing as a low batt in my book."

I'm a lousy copy writer. Do you guys got any brighter ideas?

Wednesday, October 1

first song syndrome

sintang paaralan
tanglaw ka ng bayan
pandayan ng isip
ng kabataan.
kami ay lumaki
na salat sa yaman.
hanap na dunong
ay iyong alay.

ang layunin mong makatao
dinarangal ng pilipino
ang iyong aral,
diwa, adhikang taglay
PUP aming gabay
Paaralang Dakila
PUP, pinagpala.


ang weird pero yan ang first thought na nagpop sa consciousness ko kaninang umaga. hindi pa nga masyadong gising nun. siyempre napa-what da? ako.

then i remembered na october 1 pala ngayon. foundation day ng peyups.

at lalong weird kasi after not hearing nor singing it for like seven years, bigla siyang nag-pop sa utak ko. semi-conscious pa ako nun ha. oh well. happy foundation day sa lahat. may perya kaya ngayong taon?

Maroons forever baby,
kantogirl from Batch 96
open, close, close, open

hindi talaga ako relihiyosa or anything, but i sort of found wisdom and comfort in this one. siguro dahil natataon. siguro kung kaibigan ko si kris aquino, she would have adviced me to get my nasal bridge straightened from walking into all those closed doors. pero hindi ko friend si kris aquino so keri na rin. bitaw kung bitaw. ang problema ko lang, sabay sabay namang nagbubukasan ang mga pinto. hindi ko na alam kung anong uunahin ko.

lynched from ellen

We need to learn to thank the Lord for closed doors as we do an open door. The reason God closes doors is because He has not prepared anything over there for us. If he didn't close the wrong door we would never find our way to the right door. Even when we don't realize it, God directs our paths through the closing and opening of doors.

When one door closes, it forces us to change our course. Another door closes, it forces us to change our course yet again. Then finally, we find the open door and walk right into our blessing. But instead of praising God for the closed door (which kept our butt out of trouble), we get upset because we "judge by the appearances." And in our own arrogance, or ignorance, we insist that we know what is right.

We have a very present help in the time of need who is
always standing guard. Because He walks ahead of us, He can see trouble down the road and HE sets up road blocks and detours accordingly.

But through our lack of wisdom we try to tear down the
roadblocks or push aside the detour signs. Then the minute we get into trouble, we start crying "Lord how could this happen to me?" We have got to realize that the closed door was a blessing. Didn't He say that "No good thing will He withhold from them that love him?"

If you get terminated from your job - don't be down,
instead thank God for the new opportunities that will
manifest themselves - it might be a better job, or an
opportunity to go to school.

If that man or woman won't return your call - it might not be them, it might be the Lord setting up a roadblock (just let it go).

I'm so grateful, for the many times God has closed doors to me, just to open them in the most unexpected places. "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way." -Psalm 37:23.

God gives you . . .

Enough Happiness to keep you Sweet

Enough Trials to keep you Strong Enough

Sorrows to keep you Human

Enough Hope to keep you Happy

Enough Failure to keep you Humble

Enough Success to keep you Eager

Enough Friends to give you Comfort

Enough Wealth to meet your Needs

Enough Enthusiasim to make you look Forward

Enough Faith to banish depression, and

Enough Determination to make each day a better day than the last

Life must be lived forward .... but can only be understood backwards ...