Monday, November 30, 2009

Balancing on Two Fingers

RH (Reproductive Health or Religious Hysterectomy) Books You Need


The Guardian listed the Top Ten great singers who can't sing. Among them are Tom Waits. Johnny Cash, Nick Cave and even Bob Dylan.
Then they recently followed it up with those who can't really sing. Yes, Paris Hilton included. So my Pinoy friends, take heart. Or in Yoko Ono's case, take art.

Margaret Cho

Yes, Manila Bulletin interviewed her

Women and Journalists First: The Movie


Directed by:

Produced by:

Written by:


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gay Queen Loses Crown (Literally). And Wig

Ang sabi niya, Potah ka! Sa akin yan! Ako ang nagwaaagi!

EMBED-Brazilian Drag Queen Gets the Royal Weave Ganked - Watch more free videos

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ukay Ukay Grammar

Velvet Dreams

In Case You Hadn't Realized...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Best Dramatic Performances

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Introducing My Idol

Human Rights Film Contest

nternational human rights group Human Rights Watch is inviting filmmakers to submit works on human rights. Deadline: December 10.

According to the Human Rights Watch Web site, the International Film Festival has become a leading venue for distinguished fiction, documentary and animated films and videos with a distinctive human rights theme.

Selected films will be screened at a film festival in London from March 17 to 26, 2010 and in New York from June 10 to 24, 2010.

Interested applicants should fill in the online form. For more information, click here.

Asia Pacific Media Conference for April

Media professionals from throughout Asia Pacific can attend a conference in Hong Kong on "reporting new realities in Asia and the Pacific," from April 25 to 28, 2010.

The event, the Hong Kong Media Conference 2010, will provide updates on news and media issues in the region through keynote speakers, panels of journalists and other professionals; media workshops; a pre-conference study tour to Southern China; and a post-conference excursion that will examine important issues in Hong Kong today.

The conference is also seeking panelists. Interested participants should submit summaries of a maximum of 150 words. Deadline: January 31, 2010.

Registration varies, from US$175 to US$225. The event is sponsored by the Hawaii-based East West Centre.

For more information, click here. To learn more or to apply to be a panelist, e-mail

Monday, November 16, 2009

Las Meninas

Is Barthes Still Relevant?


Please Read Aloud (Especially the Zen Book)

Signs of the Times

Walking on Water

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Beat the Pirates. Here's the Pacquiao - Cotto Fight

Pacquiao - Cotto Fight Photos (Gallery)




TORRENT LINK 1: (511 MB, Sky Sports version, AVI format)

TORRENT LINK 2: (462.73 MB, AVI Format, Private Tracker)








*for Pacquiao-Cotto Latest Upates!

Water Drops on Water Drops Etc

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Miguel Cotto, the Boricua from Puerto Rico came in right on the nose:- 145lbs.
Pacquiao, the challenger was a pound less at 144 lbs.

Lord of The Rings Map

Friday, November 13, 2009

Manny on the Ring: Three Small Things You Need to Know come Nov 14

AI finalist Ramiele Malubay will sing "Lupang Hinirang"

Shawn Porter will be part of the Pacman posse when they enter the ring

The rejected Time Magazine covers:

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Silent Era's Matrix

Time to Say Goodbye

Monday, November 09, 2009

Movies About Writing

Of course, Shakespeare in Love. Dead Poet's Society. Sideways. Adaptation. Capote. Give me six more.

Why No "Lad Lit"?


I learned a new term today: conveyancing. It means,"the act of transferring property title from one person to another." This is usually used for moving homes. Back in the old days, as seen in the painting of Carlos “Botong” Francisco's "Bayanihan," moving houses could mean convincing your male relatives and neighbors to carry your house. We used to have a print of that painting in our house and my father would always use it to demonstrate the concept of “bayanihan” or “cooperation.” But that was when a house was made of straw and wood. Now it's almost impossible to physically move your house. Well, in the cyberworld, you need to be more creative. There's this website known as moveme, which makes the concept of conveyance convenient.

Moving home can be a very stressful experience. But this site will make your life easier by taking the stress and hassle out of moving home, and you save your time and money in the process. The site is organized in a way to help you with everything you need to do when you move home so that you won't have to go through the pain of doing it yourself. They would guide you through every step of the move process with help and advice, lists of suppliers and easy online quotes. They also help with transfer or set up home services like gas and electricity online to save you from call centers and phone queues. It will help you manage your move, reminding you of everything you need to do with the tools and information to do it.

Conveyancing is broadened and simplified for all non-legal people. The site gives you tips on how to get a Conveyancing Quote from property solicitors, home moving companies or removal companies and “man with a van” firms. You even get instant Online Home-Survey Quotes from They can also help you with HIPs (Home Information Packs, a legal requirement when selling a property and should be completed before your property is marketed). can help you find a low-cost HIP from reputable and qualified property solicitors. In other words, you get Cheap Conveyancing from Yes, as its blurb says, it’s “Everything you need when moving home.”

Sliding Door


Thursday, November 05, 2009

Last Week from Harpers Weekly

Two burglars were arrested in
Iowa after police spotted their getaway car and found the
suspects inside with their face-masks scribbled on in
black permanent marker; a would-be thief was laughed away
by staff and patrons when he rushed into a Polish bank
shouting, "This is a stick up!" and brandishing a spoon;
and a burglar who during his trial rubbed his own
excrement on his attorney's hair and face, and flung his
feces at jurors was sentenced to 31 years in prison and
ordered to pay $129 to replace one juror's briefcase. Two
coyotes mauled to death a 19-year-old Canadian folk singer
while she was hiking, and a 112-year-old Somali man took a
17-year-old as his sixth bride. An 11-pound lobster named
Larry, born around 1939, was on sale for $275 at a New
York restaurant, and the annual New Zealand "rabbit throw"
contest, in which children compete to see how far they can
toss dead rabbits, was banned. Swedish scientists learned
that when male bedbugs, which are gender-blind, attempt
gay bedbug sex, the victims release a pheromone that tells
the aggressors to back off. Parents and teachers in the
Guangdong province of China were upset by a new sculpture
in a city park of an eight-inch girl with giant 16-foot
breasts. "The little girls were scared and cried loudly,"
said one kindergarten teacher, "asking me if they would
grow those huge things." Scientists at the Guangdong
Entomological Institute discovered that the female
short-nosed fruit-bat routinely provides her partner with
oral sex during intercourse, making the bat the only adult
animal besides humans to engage in such behavior. "We were
also surprised at how often it occurred... It was
difficult to provide some hypotheses for the function of
the fellatio behavior," said short-nosed-fruit-bat
researcher Libiao Zhang. "We held many meetings to discuss
the functions." Fake snow blanketed Beijing.

Catch my Disease

You must memorize this before going into this. This!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Interviewing Politicians (from Media Helping Media)


There is a fine art to interviewing politicians. You need to understand their motivation, realise they will have a script, not allow them to complicate matters, refuse to be sidetracked, retain an open mind, know your subject, avoid a slanging match, and remember that you are only there to uncover information to inform the public debate. The most important rule is never do deals; there must be no agreement on the outcome.

1: Interview for the benefit of the audience

Remember you both have a constituency. Yours is the

audience, who you are committed to inform with balanced, impartial, objective and accurate information. Theirs is the electorate that they represent, made up of people who may or may not have voted for them. You are not there to look smart or win a battle, You are there to ask questions on behalf of your audience and uncover information in the category of "had it not been for you the world would never have known." A political interview doesn't not have to become confrontational and heated. A good interviewe

r will draw out the information he or she is seeking without the need for raised voices.

2: Understand the politician's motivation

Your motivation should be to inform the public debate with robust journalism offering verified and sourced facts that enables the audience to understand better what is going on around them and make educated choices. However ambition, personal interests, activism, personal gain, revenge and other personal bagga

ge could get in the way. You have a responsibility to deal with this. This is about integrity. You can’t conduct a meaningful political interview without integrity. Their motivation should also be to inform the public debate, and to ensure that the needs of all in the community they serve are represented and accounted for. However, party loyalty, fear of l

osing their seat/position, ambition, ideology, and a host of personal issues could cloud this. Your job is to see through this and cut to the facts of the matter in hand.

Politicians are public servants. They have been elected to do a job on behalf of those they represent. Their professional performance is open to scrutiny. You as a journalist have a unique role to sit with these decision makers and ask them the telling questions that your audience is not able to ask. You are operating on behalf of you

r audience. It is your job to dig deep and to uncover facts about professional conduct, how the politician is executing his or her responsibilities, and any personal issues that might prevent them from doing so.

3: Keep it Simple

Politicians love to complicate matters when it suits them. They like to make the journalist feel inferior by suggesting they d

o not understand the situation. Phrases like ‘well it's complicated’ and ‘you need to understand the background to this’, are common ways of trying to reduce the effectiveness of the journalist. Stick to the core journalistic questions of who, why, when, where, what and how. Questions should be short and to the point. Do not be afraid to continue to ask the same question repeatedly until you get a clear answer; having a couple of different ways to phrasing it helps reduce the likelihood th

at the politician will get annoyed. However, if they do become angry, don't let that bother you.

You will not be expected to be expert in everything a politician is involved in, but it is important that you have a solid understanding of the issues you are going to be pressing them on. You certainly need to know your history. You need to make sure that you know what you are talking about and that the questions you ask are well researched and backed by intelligence.

4: Don't be sidetracked or derailed

It is so easy to be steered away from the crucial question. Once the journalist has lost his or her cool, they have lost the interview. A politician who is on the ropes may lash out in order to force you on the defensive. They may be trying to guide you into a discussion they want to have, rather than discuss the issues you want to address (or which you agreed to tackle when arranging the interview). Do not be taken in by that, it's a trap. Return to the question you want to ask.

Always steer clear of personal insults and never enter into a slanging match where you end up shouting at one another.Once that happens, the interview (although probably highly entertaining for the audience and likely to end up on YouTube and be virally marketed globally) has lost its power as a tool for informing the public debate. You and the politician will have probably damaged your integrity. It will reflect badly on your news organisation, too.

An interview with a politician should be a sincere attempt to uncover information to help your audience understand more about current issues. It's not a battle of wits between you and the politician. It's not about point scoring. Nor is it about making you look smart in front of your peer group and friends.

5: Don't do deals

It may seem obvious, but you must never go into an interview with a politician with any form of agreement, explicit of implicit. There must be no mutual undertanding that both sides will get something out of the interview. This is corrupt and goes against the core elements of journalism. It is fine for a politician to try to do this in order to ensure that they achieve what they set out to achieve; that's what politics is all about. But you have to be above this. It is an integrity issue. There must never be any suggestion that the course of the interview can be mapped out in advance. The only things you can agree beforehand is the length of the interview.

6: They will have a script

As you prepare for the interview you will have thought through the areas you want to cover and may have written down the questions you want to ask. The politician will probably have done the same. It is likely that they will have had several working sessions with spin doctors and will be briefed on exactly what ‘message’ they want to broadcast via your interview. Political organisations spend a fortune on hiring media training consultants who train politicians in how to avoid answering questions and ensuring they get their message and points across no matter what questions are asked. There is a big business in manipulating the media. Often this training is carried out by former journalists, so the politicians will be well briefed.

You can be fairly sure this has happened when you hear the answer to your questions starting with, ‘Well that is an interesting point, but the main issue here is...’ or, ‘I am glad you asked me that, but you have to remember that the real reasons behind this are...’ These and many other answers suggest that the politician is primed and ready to use your interview as a party political broadcast and not as a vehicle for informing the audience. There will be no doubt that the politician has a script in their head. They will know the end result they are required to achieve that will reflect well on them and their party. They will have a final line (the last word) that they will want to push, regardless of the questions you have asked. Remember, you are not there to take down a list of statements like a secretary taking dictation. You are not a scribe helping them with their PR campaign. You are a journalist whose job is to get to the truth.

All political parties will have spin doctors, those public relations people and political backroom staff whose job it is to ensure that the party message gets out no matter what the opportunity; and remember, your interview will be viewed by them as just that --- a political opportunity. Never think you will be more prepared than them, this is naive and foolish.

You need to go into a political interview knowing that sitting behind the politician is a news management team who will have done this hundreds of times and will have used journalists like you to achieve their ends.

7: Keep an open mind

Although it is important to know what you are going to ask (as explained above) it is also important to go into the interview with an open mind. It's a delicate balancing act to go prepared with a set of questions and yet still retain the flexibility needed to be alert to some new information that you didn't know before. You should aim to discover something new through the process. You can't do that if you doggedly stick to your script.

8: Don't let them dodge the question

There are many ways for a politician to avoid the question being asked. A couple have been mentioned above. It’s important for the journalist conducting the interview to know when this is happening. The interviewer needs to know when it is right to hold back. It is often clear to the audience that a question is being avoided. You may not need to keep pressing. Make sure you have a number of key questions to ask. You will probably not get to ask them all, and you will almost certainly not get clear answers to all. Decide which are the most important so that if you run out of time, and broadcast interviews are far more likely to suffer from this than print interviews, you can be sure to ask the key questions. Never leave the best to last, just in case you run out of time.

9: Try to understand the politician's motivation

Despite the news management issue, the politician remains a human being and an individual with one particular need --- retaining the support of the public in order to continue to do his or her job.

So, no matter how prepared and primed they are for the interview, they will also be vulnerabe on some points. They will be keen to make a good impression. The journalist needs to understand this because, with careful wording of questions, by following up on some of the leads they give you, by exploring some of the topics they seem to want to explore, and by engaging them with an understanding tone and approach, you may be able to dig deeper in the areas that you feel the audience needs to know about.

You may get a lot further with a softer, sympathetic approach than with a hard, confrontational approach. This all depends on the situation and the politician. But the key is to be flexible. Remember, the point of the exercise is not to make you look great and the politician look small, it’s to uncover essential information that informs the public debate so that the audience can make educated choices.

10: Ensure the last word informs the public

Do they get it, or do you? Do you allow the politician, at the end of the interview, to sum up, or do you take responsibility for that? They will want the last answer to be a party political broadcast. One way round this is to ensure that you sum up at the end with the key points.

To do this you need to listen to all their answers, take notes, keep a bullet point summary and repeat it at the end. It is also a good idea to jot down key quotes that you can return to at the end in order to illustrate your summary.

Good luck and stay strong. And always keep at the front of your mind that you may uncover a fact that 'had it not been for you, the world would never have known."

Note: This training module is the copyright of Media Helping Media.

Sunday, November 01, 2009


Selfish Pigs

From the creator of Bunny Suicides. More

Rats in Literature

Ghostworld: Mapping the Baguio Ghosts

Ghost stories are old wives' tales but in Baguio, it is the yuppies telling the stories and scaring themselves. But then experiencing the fright nights is better than listening or reading about them. We compiled this map with the help of ghost hunter Chona Simbulan and some habitues of Rumours Bar. We rated them from 1) K (Kilay lang ang tumaas or eyebrow raising) 2) H (Hair-raising) and 3) S (shivers) and 4) N or Nabanig, a Kankanaey term for experiencing a ghostly apparition and you are so frightened you can't move.

1) Laperal House. Known as Addams family summer house. That white house on a foggy night with the pine trees in the background is the perfect locale for a nightmare. It was built in the 1930s and now owned by Lucio Tan. People lucky enough to enter it said that it is an Art Deco masterpiece and not really that scary. But no one dared sleep there. S
2) Dominican Hotel. It was built as a sanatorium for American Jesuit priests and an observatory in 1907. In the 1970s, faithhealer Tony Agpaoa turned it into the Diplomat until he died in 1980. The hotel had since been in disarray and only airsoft soldiers use it for their Counterstrike simulation. Don Dacumos, a nurse, said that they planned to sleep there last year but then he saw this tree full of fireflies and knew this place is an N.
3) Room 203. This is a vacant room in a dormitory in a university here. Simbulan said that a students was raped and tortured there and his spirit has been haunting those who go near it. Also Room 4 in one of the love motels here where a tryst became a stabbing spree instead. Also Rooms 507, 123, 024, 129, 203 and 125 in different hospitals in the city for various reasons.
4) Hyatt Terraces Grounds. N
5) Bokawkan Road. According to Simbulan, a dog-like creature sometimes appear there near the site of the house where three people were killed. Also a recent slide killed 19 people there. S
6) The cemetery in Loakan Road. Andy Singian, the co-owner of Rumours, said that his nephew and friends decided to steal on the white metal crosses there. Then they all had nightmares and when they decided to return the cross, it wasn't there. With his mother, Singian's nephew decided to offer flowers to the plot where they got it but then on the gate was the stolen cross wrapped with wires. N
7) The ladies room in a big hotel in Baguio. Also a ladies room in SM Baguio where someone met a bloodied fireman. They said it was the ghost of one of the four firemen who perished during the Pines Hotel fire in 1983. Also the ladies room of a bar along Session. And the shared basthroom in a defunct hotel in Baguio. What's with ladies rooms in Baguio? HR
8) Teacher's Camp. The case of the lovesick Igorot ghost. The case of the wandering Thomasite. The case of the ghost partygoers. These stories are all over the Internet.
9) Baguio Cemetery. Of course. But only a few knew that it was also the sight of one of the bloodiest battles in World War II. N
10) Some houses in Quezon Hill. Simbulan experienced staying in one of the houses there where even the landlord refused to sleep in. She had the same dream as her friend of someone trying to open one of the closed doors there. Another house there turned into a karaoke was also said to be haunted. There is also a bench there that when you sit you have a feeling that someone is sitting with you. N
11) Brent School especially the chapel and Ogilby Hall. HR
12) The pond in Hole Number 4 in Camp John Hay. Two years ago, a man drowned there trying to retrieve golf balls. Golfers who knew it say a little prayer before hitting their shots or else it will inevitably fall into the water. K
13) The old BGH. Dr. Yvonne Soriano said that when she was an intern, she met a young girl in white in the back lane at 2 in the morning. A nurse who claims to be clairvoyant saw bodies all over the BGH grounds. HR
14) The Jesuit Retreat House above the Lady of Lourdes grotto. HR
15) Casa Vallejo. S
16) That spot where the pine tree in the middle of Loakan Road used to be. Taxi drivers have different stories about the Lady of Loakan. HR
17) South Drive. Sometimes the Lady of Loakan takes a taxi and stops there. HR
18) That house in Otek Street. N
19) That house in Yangco Road. N
20) The site of the former cemetery for German nuns along Holy Ghost St. N
21) Nevada Square. HR. Also that inn nearby where the UP writers used to have their workshops. S
22) Gonzaga Building of SLU. S
23) Commission on Elections building at Leonard Wood. Ghost voters. K
24) Safari Lodge. With all those heads of gazelles, antelopes, hyenas and elephant, it must be scary. K
25) Spirit's Disco. The top disco in the 1980s because the owners capitalized on it being a haunted house. Then it became a strip bar where the police and NBI shot each other one New Year's Day. S
26) Baguio Cathedral. Hundreds died when American planes bombed it at the end of World War II based on a tip of a Filipino spy that there were Japanese inside. HR
27) The Japanese tunnels at the Centennial Park. I also wrote about a grocery clerk in La Trinidad who was apparently possessed by the ghost of a Japanese soldier because she started speaking in Niponggo. S
28) Vermen Pines Condominium along Bakakeng St. Destroyed by the 1990 earthquake yet people say they still see "guests" checking in. S
29) The site of the bridal shower of Korina Sanchez last month where a female ghost was among the guest. K as in Balitang K
30) The pine grove in front of UC and below the Athletic Bowl. A writer hang himself there or, as we say, wrote 30. N

There are 3 more but my computer kept on conking out when I wrote about them
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