Monday, December 31, 2007


In the spirit of superstition, Frank Cimatu decided not to drink liquor, gave gifts, shopped earnestly, read and wrote, listened to boring people with interest, greeted enemies like friends, greeted friends with texting only and some other sweet stuff. He thinks he will be that good for 2008. Let's wish him luck in his hypocrisy.
To all my readers, roamers and reactors, I also wish you happiness and grace.


2007 Ads

The five funny TV ads of 2007 that Philippines didn't get to watch:

1) Cadbury's Drummer

2) The rabbits

3) The dominoes

4) Raining time

5) Mail on Sunday


2007: The Stories We Forgot to Tell You

How weird was it? Shilpa Shetty, Bollywood star, victim of racism during the Celebrity Big Brother in UK eventually won. A Cambodian girl last seen tending their carabao was found 19 years later after living in the jungle. Anna Nicole Smith died and lovers and pretenders started fighting for her $1 B estate. A collosal squid weighing almost half a ton was fished off the coast of New Zealand and later in Germany, a giant scorpion claw was fished. 33 Virginia Tech students and teachers shot to death by a lonely South Korean. Kryptonite composed of sodium, lithium, boron, silicate and hydroxide discovered. Superman can not be found. In Sudan, a man was forced to marry a goat but Rose the goat later died. I will not discuss the cause of death. A pet camel killed an Australian woman. In August, the Perseid showers commenced. Again in Sudan, a UK teacher was freed over the hoopla of the teddy bear named Mohammad. After lording it out in the 1990s, Netscape Navigator is finally saying goodbye.

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Rizal Day 3: Sisa

Did you watch The Dance of Sisa? Noh? Yes, it's a Noh play. It was taken from Amelia Lapena Bonifacio's Ang Paglalakbay ni Sisa: lsang Noh sa Laguna. Sisa, of course, is from Rizal's Noli. I wrote about this in Inquirer (Cimatu, Frank. Baguio gets a feel of the Noh, The Philippine Daily Inquirer Lifestyle. October 16, 2005)

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Rizal Day: Gerry Alanguilan

Are you following Gerry's Rizal series in Fudge Magazine? No? Better start now.

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Rizal Day Part I

In Dapitan, Rizal actually has his "Code of Ethics." "Dont be a drunkard." Oh please, Rizal would not be this stupid.

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Last night, we were in Rumours when I asked Mao if he heard of Pinong lately. He said No. So I texted Pinong with a Rizal Day greeting at about 11:00 pm. I received a text:

Ds s weng, wife ni pin0ng. he passed away at about 10:50 2nyt.

I almost dropped my glass. I called up Choy because Pinong was his frat master. He didn't know. Finally I got the story. Pinong had been suffering from terrible headaches but he just popped analgesics. Nothing in him and how he acts would tell you that he was battling with a brain tumor. He was a goon but an intellectual goon, having studied in UP. He went up the mountains. He is politically astute but can beat you if he wants to. One time we played golf on the driving range and his shots were so far. Coach, farewell.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Christmas of Five Magdalenes

Titillating viewers in Christmas 1965

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Friday, December 28, 2007


At the end of the year, this is what I will ask myself:

And I hope the world would be satisfied with my answer


Sumo Cats

One year ago, I saw this video of fat cats in Tokyo. One of them was so fat (27.5 pounds) they had to create a harness to help the cat walk.

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On Being a Bearer of Shocking News

Last Sunday, I had to break two tragic news to people who should have known of the incidents before I did. At about 2 pm, I called up Mountain Province Gov. Maximo Dalog to get his reaction about the amush of Paracelis Mayor Cesar Rafael. Then later, I had to convey to Abra Gov. Kit Bersamin that the house of Cong. Luna was bombed. Dalog was shocked. I can imagine him raising his eyebrow. My introduction to hiim was, "Merry Xmas, Gob. Did you hear about the news..." Silence. The cellphone meter was ticking. "I didn't know that, ah. Why wasn't I informed?" he said. Then he has to be my legman for the story. With Bersamin, he was at the airport, seeing off his children and apos back to the U.S. With Kit, it was silence and more silence. Then, "I'm here in Manila. Tell me what happened."
These situations are hard for journalists because you would be catching your sources in an awkward moment. They would be in a situation when they can't give you the soundbites you need. Most of those you see on TV are orchestrated. The cumbersome setting-up of the crew and lighting and sounds and the introduction would erase the novelty.
Unless you are like that guy who went to the scene of the collapse of a building in Cabanatuan during the earthquake and then was confronted by a victim trapped between concrete slabs. All the poor TV guy can ask was, "How does it feel?"
Surprising sources about shocking news would only say that they are not in any way connected with the tragedy. And we are not even sure about that either. Maybe you can write, "the governor was shocked upon hearing the news" but we're not really certain. The interview was done on phone and you can only imagine the reaction.
I think the best thing to do is to call again.

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Martha Stewart's Prison Belen

Thursday, December 27, 2007


This same sister is a sudoku addict and I gifted her an electronic sudoku. This one looks much better and thrice harder: a Sudokube. This one sells for four dollars or if you are again ingenious, just print the numbers on your existing Rubik's Cube with a permanent marker. Good luck!


Calendar at Your Fingertips

I finally got my Starbucks diary last week. I showed it to a sister and then forgot all about it. Yeah, you know the story. She now owns it. Haynaku! I have been promised two diaries so maybe I will settle for that. But this idea is really cool.

Nails grow at an average rate of 3 millimetres a month. Keeping that in mind, etch the months from June to January (depends on the length of your nails) on your thumbnail with January at the top. You can use a laser cutter or if you are a Luddite and simply ingenious, use a cutter sans laser. Every 3 mm, the month get clipped off and etch "July," for example at the base of your thumbnail or the lunula.

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We have been fighting about "The Lord is come" and the historical context. M kept on saying it should be "has come" or "coming." I had this argument under my thumb because "Joy to the World" was written by Isaac Watts in the early 1700s and at that time "The Lord is come" was gramatically accepted. There was another version used by the Mormons which corrected it. So I won.
But then there was this Badjao children who came to us and sang "Jingle Bells" and none of the words matched. At least Jingam Bells has "bells." The Badjao version I heard has nothing right.
"Because it wasn't their culture to have Christmas," A said.
"It's more of them not given a chance to learn to read and write," was what I said.
This YouTube was sent by Ige Ramos.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Big J

There is a book about the 100 top basketball players in the country. There is only one born in Baguio but then he's The One. Ok, Number Seven. The Big J. Robert S. Jaworski Jr. Born March 8, 1946 in Baguio City of a Polish father and Pinay mom. He's mum about his Pop but when i was young, I thought his father is Leon Jaworski, the Watergate prosecutor. Jawo was the point guard because he loves to point when he was a coach and say, This is you. This is me. Jawo's nicknames were "Big J" and "Living Legend." So what's the S? Eh, di "Sonny." Ha ha ha. Funny, but it stands for "Senador." OK, "Salazar." He became a senator, becoming the third basketball legend to become one. There was one time when he came to Baguio to discuss about some titled lots in Engineer's Hill. Robert Jaworski Abano and I covered him just because naman ano. Know where he held his consultation. On the basketball court, of course.

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Ms. Bellucci is 43 years old. And this is from her photo ehem spread for Paris Match. Women ask, Why? We ask, Why the furry sheets?


Aquarium on Holiday

Why Oh Why? Why is There No Justice? Why Do People Have to Die? Compelling questions indeed but good only for bad telenovelas. In this era of impunity from puny leaders, we should stop having rhetorical questions for banner headlines. We know the answer is far, far away and it only frustrates us and the readers.


The UP Madrigal Singers in Vigan

Nothing could be more enchanting during the Holidays that being serenaded by the Philippine Madrigal Singer on the cobble-stoned Calle Crisologo.

"The mayor is very romantic, that's why," was what former mayor (and now husband of Mayor Eva Medina) Ferdinand Medina said.

But not only lovers but evens nuns and priests led by Monsignor Abaya converged at the crossroads of Crisologo and Gen. Luna Streets to listen to the most awarded choral group probably in the world.

This would be second Christmas performance in Vigan in a row.

So it was a pleasant surprise that the Madz sang not only sacred but profane tunes.

The concert began with the singing of the doxology and national anthem sang by the Vigan's Children Choir.

The Madz started properly with their wonderful arrangement of the "Ama Namin" and followed by the Ilocano romantic classic, "Ti Ayat ti Maysa a Ubing."

Then they followed with a selection of folk "Sitsiritsit Alibangbang" and "Pakitong-kitong." Then they sang "Ambango ng Bulaklak." The vocal gymnastics and bebop arrangement were so engaging that the double entendres were ignored.

These were followed by "Seaside Rendezvous" by the Queen and turned it into bebop with them turning into jazz instruments. They finished off the first part with the karaoke favorite "Bituing Walang Ningning."

The second part of the show was a serenade of Christmas songs like "Pasko Na Naman," "Deck the Halls", "Have Yourself a Merry Christmas."

It was the most ribald Filipino versions of "Christmas Tree" and "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer." The first is about a student making a tall Christmas tree in 1983 and climbed by a female classmate who was stuck on the branches without her underwear. A female professor tried to rescue her but she, too, was stuck. The Madz's version of Rudolph had him with a red nose and reddened balls chased by naughty girls.

We kept glancing guiltily at the nuns beside us but they were laughing like the rest of the audience.

Two encores of Christmas songs were given by the Madz before greeting Mayor Medina with a traditional birthday song.

The Madz later made up for their naughty songs by performing during the start of Simbang Gabi at the St. Paul Cathedral.

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Papaya Update

Good friend Elmer Mesina of Philip Morris is an avid collector of vinyl records and he has a 45 of "Papaya." It was recorded in 1973 so that settles the issue about the date, Edu M.
The "plaka of Papaya" of the other E.M. is in mint condition and he wouldn't part with it. One of these days, we will ransack Elmer's collection. Ito, meron ka?

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007


The New York Times through Grant Barrett's article brought out their buzzwords of the year. Here are some selections:

bacn n. Impersonal e-mail messages which, unlike spam, you have clicked and so deserves the annoyance.

boot camp flu n. "An adenovirus that is usually innocuous but in its latest strain has led to pneumonia and death. The virus often occurs among military recruits, who are susceptible to it because they live in close quarters under stressful conditions" OK, so this is also what ails our PMA cadets. An eager correspondent wanted to bring out the meningo into it. Hopefully he was contained.

chief sustainability officer n. A business executive hired to meet environmental regulations and to find ways to profit through environmentally friendly products and services.

crowdsource v. To use the skills or tools of a wide variety of freelancers, professional or amateur, paid or unpaid, to work on a single problem.

e-mail bankruptcy n. When your inbox was so filled with many messages not spam that you found impossible to answer because you have not opened your email for all time, you declare bankruptcy from your senders. This happens when you join egroups with a huge following, all sending chain letters like the baguio web international. Beware!

FTW interj. For The Win. A bragging exclamation of approval, as in “K-Fed got the kids FTW,” or “I was able to open the file with Photoshop. FTW!!!” Originally part of the patter of the game show “Hollywood Squares” and later found in online games like World of Warcraft. Now largely used ironically and sarcastically.

global weirding n. An increase in severe or unusual environmental activity often attributed to global warming and includes freakish weather and new animal migration patterns.

gorno n. A genre of movies that are gory almost to the point of being fetishistic. A blend of “gore” and “porno.”

-hawk suffix Indicates a haircut similar to a mohawk. Sanjaya Malakar, a contestant on “American Idol,” sported what he called a ponyhawk. Shawn Andrews of the Philadelphia Eagles described his haircut as a brohawk, something akin to a short mohawk on a black man. An older use is fauxhawk, in which the hair is styled in a vertical strip but none is cut.

I-reporter n. CNN’s name for citizen journalists who submit their own photographs and reports about news events.

kinnear v. To take a candid photograph surreptitiously, especially by holding the camera low and out of the line of sight. Coined in August by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee of the Yarn Harlot blog when she attempted to take a photograph during an encounter with Greg Kinnear at an airport.

life-stream v. To make a thorough, continuous digital record of your life in video, sound, pictures and print.

lolcat n. On the Internet, an odd or funny picture of a cat given a humorous and intentionally ungrammatical caption in large block letters. Originally called a cat macro.

make it rain v. phr. To drop paper money on a crowd of people, especially in strip clubs, nightclubs or casinos.

maternal profiling n. Employment discrimination against a woman who has, or will have, children. The term has been popularized by members of MomsRising, an advocacy group promoting the rights of mothers in the workplace.

mobisode n. A short version of a full-length television show or movie, suitable for playing on a mobile phone or other hand-held electronic device.

mom job n. Also known as a mommy makeover, this is a package of cosmetic surgery procedures that will reduce the visible effects of childbirth, like stretch marks or sagging.

multi-dad v. Said of a woman who has children by more than one man. First popularized in Britain.

Navy shower n. A very short shower in which you turn off the water while lathering up. This old term is also known as a G.I. bath, but it’s new to many in the drought-stricken Southeast. Its antonym is the Hollywood shower, a long, wasteful one. Here it's long known as sisid marino.

nose bidet n. A neti pot or nasal irrigator, said to help with allergy symptoms.

post-kinetic environment n. In military jargon, the site of an explosion, severe gunfire or a destructive engagement. Unlikely to be used in the Philippines because it takes a lot of seminars to explain post, kinetic and environment.

tumblelog n. A Web site or blog that is a collection of brief links to, quotes from, or comments about things a person has encountered while Web browsing. It is a sort of digital commonplace book.

vegansexual n. A person who eats no meat, uses no animal-derived goods and prefers not to have sex with non-vegans.

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Readings

New Yorker in their Dec. 24 issue returned to Raymond Carver. Rough Crossings is about Carver and his "carver", the legendary editor Gordon Lish. The essay talked about how Lish shaped Carver's distinct style. As an example, New Yorker gave us "Beginnings" by Carver and how it was edited by Lish. For the journalists, here's a short essay about journalism and globalization.

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Hoy, Your Papaya is Polish!

"Papaya" is ubiquitous now in the Philippines, thanks to Edu Manzano and his program. Marcos babies like me knew Papaya in their childhood but can't exactly point where the papaya tree came from. A Pinoy homeschool teacher pointed out that it was a Groovychick's remix of Urszula Dudziak's song. Dudziak is a Polish jazz vocalist and was a great scat artist with a five-octave range. The Encyclopedia of Popular Music noted that "Language barriers hold no problems for her, as she customarily eschews words in favour of a wordless vocalizing that is far more adventurous than scat." She recorded about a dozen albums but even Edu is not sure on what year "Papaya" became a hit. I had a feeling that "Papaya" was included in her album entitled "Urszula" because this album was produced by Arista Records in 1975 and she was 31 then. She later became a vocalist of Vocal Summit group, together with Jay Clayton, Jeanne Lee, Bobby McFerrin, Norma Winstone, Michelle Hendricks, and Lauren Newton so that must be the ultimate vocal gymnastics team. "Although her remarkable talent is worthy of greater exposure, Dudziak's chosen style has meant that she has remained relatively unknown except to the cognoscenti," EPM wrote. How ironic that a country like the Philippines, where the musical taste of the common person is the opposite of cognoscenti, would champion Urszula.

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Merry Christmas to My Writer Friends

Merry Christmas to My Cat-and-Dog Friends

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Merry Christmas to my Alcoholic Friends


Merry Christmas to My Peace-Loving and -Hating Friends

Merry Christmas to My Marginalized Smoker Friends


Saturday, December 22, 2007

EW's Eoww! Five Worst Books of 2007

1. IF I DID IT (The Goldman Family)
According to O.J. Simpson, whose name was purged from the cover of his ''confession,'' it was all her fault. Nicole Brown Simpson was manipulative, whiny, and confused. She wore ''ridiculous'' short skirts, partied with druggies and hookers, and kept O.J. from seeing his kids. And so if he did it — if he slashed her throat and slaughtered her friend Ronald Goldman one balmy night in 1994 — the exasperating lady had it coming. A bloody glove could have written a more tasteful book.

2. THE ALMOST MOON by Alice Sebold
The narrator of Alice Sebold's queasy second novel smothers her elderly mom, then calmly reflects: ''When I was a teenager, I thought every kid spent sweaty summer afternoons in their bedrooms, daydreaming of cutting their mother up into little pieces and mailing them to parts unknown.'' Actually, they don't. The few who do may be the only readers who relish this unsavory melodrama.

3. 7: THE MICKEY MANTLE NOVEL by Peter Golenbock
With this trashy fictionalization of Mickey's miserable life, Peter Golenbock manages to strike out, pop up, hit into a double play, and foul a ball into the stands, beaning a little kid.

4. CELEBRITY DETOX by Rosie O'Donnell
Here's what you learn from Rosie's sloppy, score-settling memoir: She hates Donald Trump with such a fury she can't see straight; she worships Barbra Streisand more than seems healthy; she can't ''poop'' in public restrooms. Thanks for sharing, Ro.

5. BOOK OF THE DEAD by Patricia Cornwell
Like a putrefying corpse left too long on forensic pathologist Kay Scarpetta's table, Patricia Cornwell's thrillers just get stinkier and stinkier. Her latest gory specimen is in such bad shape it's virtually unrecognizable as a novel.

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 AT&T's best-selling ringtones of the year are as follows:
1. Shop Boyz - "Party Like a Rockstar"
2. Mims - "This Is Why I'm Hot"
3. Soulja Boy - "Crank That (Soulja Boy)"
4. Nickelback - "Rockstar"
5. Akon - "Don't Matter"
6. T-Pain - "Buy You A Drank (Shawty Snappin)"
7. Hurricane Chris - "A Bay Bay"
8. Sean Kingston - "Beautiful Girls"
9. Huey - "Pop, Lock & Drop It"
10. Fergie - "Big Girls Don't Cry"

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Ten Filipino Buzzwords

I coined these while stuck in the Holiday traffic.

1) Culture of puniness: akin to “culture of impunity” but instead of being callous, this term goes to the root. “Puny” does not only mean “small” or “tiny” like President Gloria M. Arroyo (PGMA) but also the smallness of empathy, conscience and integrity of the people in the government which allows the killing of people who point out this fault.

2) Friendsterism: I’ve been using this term a long time ago. Why do Filipinos use “friendster” over other social networking sites like Facebook, mySpace etc? Because we want to be direct. We love abstract words. We use “friendster” because we want to make friends. We invented “love virus” because we know that people just want to be loved.

3) Pratsfall: (from Camille Prats) You are a cute mestiza. In Pinoy showbiz, that’s enough to make you a starlet. So you have youth, fame, commercial endorsements, movies. Then you got pregnant. Her PR friends tried to make a game of who the father is but people don't care. That’s the end of your fame, dahling. No second act.

4) Bossanian empiricism: (from Bozanian empire) The tendency of Filipino music heads to cash in on “bossa nova.” Sitti Navarro, she with the outrageous diction, started it all. Then we have Sophia, Cinderella bossa, VST bossa, religious bossa, Ilocano bossa. After all, it’s not that hard to do. Even in circa 1970’s Yamaha organs, bossa is just one flick of the switch.

5) CBCPal bull (also H-scad): The tendency of mainstream media to treat all “pastoral letters” from the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines as the argument to end all arguments, similar to the papal bull. Politicians know this. When PGMA was tagged as the most corrupt president Philippines ever had, the Inquirer took a photo of her beside a picture of Christ with the flaming heart. Context: I may be corrupt but God is with me so sorry ka na lang (you’re the Lucita Soriano, sore loser) H-scad means “highly scandalous acts against decency” which is the term used in the House of Representatives, of all people, for their new bill imposing higher penalties against H-scad.

6) Call-centeredness: You are a fresh graduate. You are made to train to speak in an American drawl. Then you get to talk at midnight to Americans as you guide them on the wonderful tedious world of computer or telephone operation. You have this notion that you are talking to a very important American who has more important things to do other than learning how to operate the computer. You are teaching God’s chosen people! Sometimes they bawl you out. That’s OK. Sometimes you have a feeling you are talking to illiterates but that’s OK. You are here guiding those who will save the whole world. If only...

7) Dedma texting: From dedma and texting, of course. This explains the rising number of vehicular accidents in the country because the motorists and pedestrians are busy texting. No wonder, this term was coined from “dead man walking.”

8) Political Korectonism: During the past elections, the only wonderful result was that many showbiz people lost in the elections. Maybe the voters are becoming politically savvy (good luck!). Sen. Ralph Recto knew this. Throughout his married life, he was referred to as “Mr. Vilma Santos” and he used this tag in gaining his first senatorial term. Then in his second run, he thought: Hey, I am the apo of Claro M. Recto, one of the country’s most brilliant and respected statesman. So he changed his motto from “Mr. Vilma” to “Ko-Recto.” Nice shift. He lost. Vilma won.

9) Sinigangstah: “Sinigang” is Pinoy’s favorite food (fish broth soured by tamarind or Knorr Sinigang Mix) but sinigangstah is actually a combination of “sine” and “gangstah.” This is highlighted by Jim Libiran’s “Tribu” which is a story of the many gangs in Tondo. It’s a tragedy because everybody died in the end but it won the Cinemalaya and is now reaping awards abroad. Expect many more movies of the sinigangstah genre. No bittersweet endings only sourness to the hilt.

10)Trillaness: The name has become a condition. Hey, he could not have become a senator if no one voted for him so there must be a lot out there who thought he was the savior out to clean government. But all these coup attempts is getting into our nerves. “Trillanes” is becoming just a “trill” or a “Thrillah” which is all spectacle. Many of us realized that change of government using the military may not be the solution but to some sad people, there’s no other way. Also “Barbarias at the Gate” which refers to “OA attempts to quash Trillaness.”

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Pickpocketing for Holidays

I found these in a Russian magazine which I think is very apt for all of us.

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Friday, December 21, 2007

How-to: Own Holiday Toast

My first lucky recipient received this: May your YouTube videos be litigious and filled with jai-alai. Hey, create your own and have fun.

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The Master's List

Pitchfork came out with their "Top 100 Tracks of 2007."
But give it to one of my favorite blogs, the Vulture, to put it into a pie-chart context.


Bashing the Birthdays

Last weekend up to last night, I must have witnessed about 20 "birthday celebrations" in John Hay Manor, Pizza Hut, Don Henrico's and Tia Maria. These "celebrations" require the waiters making a fool of themselves by dancing and singing "Happy Birthday" with guitars and maracas. I am familiar with this gimmick and I can tell you that 90 PERCENT OF THESE BIRTHDAYS ARE FAKE. No one is celebrating a birthday. Most of these are aging guys who are having their reunions and it's really a macho thing that all the people should know that they are having fun and out to wreak havoc. They just want to make people perform crazy stuff. The real classy people (like me) would hostage the whole bar and buy everyone a drink and not give a reason. If I have a bar, I will require any proof of birthday before I will allow my people to become fools. And I will announce the true age. That includes you, Jesus.


House of Indecency

The Inquirer reported:
To help curb, if not eradicate, crimes of indecency, a member of the House of Representatives has filed a bill seeking to impose stiffer penalties for perpetrators of “highly scandalous crimes against decency.”

Aside from longer jail sentences, House Bill 2856 filed by Cebu Representative Antonio Cuenco also seeks to increase the fines provided for in the Revised Penal Code for such offenses as grave scandal, indecency and pornography, among others, to between P100,000 to P2,000,000, among others.

This, after the 'very decent" Cuenco and other House members gifted themselves more than P200,000 for their Christmas bonus. Thinking they would be seen by Santa as nice? Fcuk you sanctimonious liars.

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Bliss Xmas

Jim Ward, who calls himself "a role model for chubby but healthy vegetarians everywhere" will be cycling from Baguio to Manila on January 1 but before that Bliss Cafe will be holding a Christmas buffet on Dec. 22 and a showing of It's A Wonderful Life on Dec. 23 and Singing in the Rain on the 30th.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Yatta by the Green Leaves

This is a classic I thought I posted a long time ago but I didn't. Asia's answer to Full Monty and YMCA.

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Let Unholyhours Help You with Your Shopping

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Cerveza Negra is Good for Your Heart

Well, it's the closest you can get to Guinness. I've been seen as a freak for insisting on drinking this dark lager and now the British finally sided with me.
A pint of the black stuff a day may work as well as an aspirin to prevent heart clots that raise the risk of heart attacks

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When I was still studying at the UB Science High School. our Christmas Cantata was never complete without our Gregorian chanting and Dave Tabligan, who made it his panata to go home from somewhere in the world to play on piano Handel's Hallelujah Chorus. He used to have an Afro then and he was jolly and funny. Years ago, he went home for good and now plays at the Piano Bar at John Hay Manor. He is diabetic and slowly lost his signed. He also lost his Afro. I visited him yesterday and I have to introduce myself, short of telling him that I was a tenor till 4th Year. Ha ha ha. We became good friends back when I still go to Luisa's Cafe. Dave can still play any song ever recorded by a major label and some obscure ones and he still does it wonderfully. Merry Xmas, Manong Dave. Here's to you and dear Emmett, wherever you are.

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Deep Blue Funk

From The Hindu, I read in their Chess section:

Shyam Sundar stuns Deep
Mary Ann Gomes on the road to victory

OMG, Indian girls beating Deep Blue regularly!
Turned out it was Deep Shengupta, who is the fourth seed. Back to the doldrums. You know what? Our sportswriters in the Philippines have degenerated into boring hacks who are also into covering only "sponsored" teams or events. They even fell off their seats when someone suggested that they give 'color" into their stories and not rely too much on "cartelized' or PR stories. What was wrong with that comment, di ba?
Just a case in point. Wesley So became the 7th youngest to ever become GM, joining a truly illustrious cast. The headlines were ho-hum.
Inquirer's Roy Luarca (whom I admire, no B.S) had this headline: 14-year-old Filipino is Newest Grandmaster. Whoa! How exciting!
gmanews has: So is now RP's Youngest GM, World's 7th Youngest. Manong Percy Della was right about the state of RP's sportswriting. Hoy Manong, diay red wine ko ha?

But I digress. I would like to thank the famous Mr. Mesina for giving me my first calendar for 2008. Hmmm. Cowboys. Thank you. I am also 5 cups short for the Starbucks calendar. Last year, I lost two cards which only needed a few cups before I can complete them. Talk about dedication. I have only written my diary until the first weeks of January.

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Now You Know Why Only Baguio (and Sagada) Have Chimneys

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Cannibal Poet R.I.P.

The Mexicano arrested for eating his girlfriend (and seasoning) and who was reported to have completing a book entitled "The Cannibal Poet," was found hanging from his belt in his jail cell

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Trading in Bones

I am writing about three outsourcing where India excels and Philippines should take advantage. Trading bones is one of them. Hey, Hey, PGMA, how many journalists did you kill today? Just checking.

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Tis the season for forgivin'. But honestly, can you forgive Celine Dion? Some scholars agree.

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Xmas Tree Minus Space

National Bookstore is selling one-sided Christmas trees which you can slam on the wall. Now here's a better idea if you have no room at the inn. The ceiling tree.


Now Bring Us Some Figgy Newtons

"Now bring us some figgy pudding. Now bring us some figgy pudding," the Madrigal Singers sang in Vigan last Sunday. "What's a piggy fooding," a local journalist asked me. Now, seriously. I wanted to sing, "Now bring us some Fig Newtons" because December 25 is the birthday of Sir Isaac Newton. You might say that is the birthday of Jesus but remember what some sects told you: that December 25 was chosen as His birthday through a papal bull. Meaning, it can be true of not true. But Newton is true and Dec 25 was his birthday.

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Seuss, Pasko na Pala

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Ike and Tina: The Continuing Saga

Didn't you know that Tina Turner guested in Joe Quirino's Seeing Stars with JQ. A proud moment in Filipino TV History but the nadir in Tina's career because that was the time when she was escaping from Ike's clutches, being a beaten wife and all. She gave away Fita Biscuits and Nagaraya Nuts to JQ's guests! And now that Ike is dead and Tina is the Grandmother of Rock, New York Post gave us this funny/terrible headline.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Lara Croft's Adventure in Sumilao

Filipino Farmers to Angie: We Need You!

by Josh Grossberg
Mon, 10 Dec 2007 10:48:51 AM PST
A group of farmers is appealing to Angelina Jolie's mighty heart.

The leftist group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (the Movement of Farmers in the Philippines) has petitioned the United Nations to send its most famous goodwill ambassador to visit the country to survey the plight of refugees displaced from their homes following decades of insurgencies. In a letter to the the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees—which routinely dispatches Jolie to refugee camps around the globe—the agrarian group says her presence will highlight the struggles of civilians caught in the crossfire. More than 160,000 Filipinos have been killed and more than 2 million have been left homeless by twin uprisings that have pitted the Philippine army against communist fighters and Muslim separatists since the late 1960s. The farmers' leader, Willy Marbella, told reporters on Friday that Jolie could refocus the world's attention on their troubles, especially amid the army's renewed attempt to rid the countryside of guerrillas. "Since June 2005, we have been asking the chair of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, to look into this and send Angelina Jolie to see the real situation of internally displaced people in the country. Hundreds of people are being forced out of their homes and farms every month," Marbella said. The long-running conflict has taken a sharp toll on the Philippine economy, as farmers are barely able to sustain themselves.There was no immediate comment from Jolie's reps regarding the request. The refugee problem in the developing world has become a principal passion for Jolie, whose humanitarian work has taken her to camps in Cambodia, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Pakistan and Iraq.



Clio and the Perils of Drinking. You Drink Too Much, You Become Bush

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Porn for Girls

I Searched for a Site and This is What I Got

The Importance of Being Ernest

Well, I don't know what got into me last week when I wrote about Coco Banana, a disco I never visited but heard so much about. And then a while back (while I was in Pagudpud), I got a message from Butch P that Ernest Santiago was stabbed dead by two young boys in Pagsanjan. That house we visited in 1991 with other young journalists. O Manang Erning! I imagine you peeping at the Disco Upstairs telling San Pedro, Iyan huwag papasukin. Iyan, puwede. Iyan, pauwiin.


Saturday, December 15, 2007


Call for Papers: Foodscapes of Southeast Asia
The York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR) and Founder's College, YorkUniversity, Toronto, Canada, will host Foodscapes of Southeast Asia onFriday, February 29, 2008.
This event will explore the relation between food consumption and food production in Southeast Asia. The afternoon consists of two panels ofacademic papers from different disciplinary perspectives with ampletime for discussion. Currently, we expect to have presentations on the natural food revolution in Thailand, street foods of Hanoi, steamed rice cakes as representations of local identities in the Philippines,Women entrepreneurs in the food industry in Southeast Asia and the use of seaweed in the Philippines.
Attention will also be drawn to the multi-sensorial aspects of food.While the academic discourse on food is often text-based, knowledge about food is also coded in taste and vision; and our personal experiences with food reflect the integration of these different approaches to knowledge production. We will have at least one multimedia presentation entitled "Doing Lunch in Salaya."
The afternoon ends with a presentation by photographers and cookbookwriters, Jeff Alford and Naomi Daguid, best-selling authors of Seductions of Rice, Hot Sour Salty Sweet, and Mangoes and CurryLeaves. They will present "Hot Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Journey along the Mekong River," followed by a special Southeast Asian meal.
If you would like to present a paper, please send a title and short abstract to by January 18, 2008. Works in progress by graduate students are particularly welcome. For information about the program, please contact Professor Penny VanEsterik at esterik@yorku. ca, or 77782. If you are interested in attending, please email for more details.
Alicia Filipowich
Centre Coordinator
York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR)
York University
Ste. 270, York Lanes, 4700 Keele Street
Toronto, ON Canada
M3J 1P3
Telephone: 416 736 2100 ext. 44068
Fax: 416 736 5688
falicia@yorku. ca

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Naughty this XXXmas

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