Friday, March 31, 2006

Cheap Phones for Sale

A friend is selling two cellphones. One has a camera with 4 megapixels (the model available in the market has 2 megapixels only). Another has a camera with similar capacity and a vibrating alert. Cheap.

Things to do this Summer

The Sound Effects of my Marcos Years

Remember the old Batman TV Show with Adam West as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Burt Ward as Robin, the Boy Wonder? Of course you do. I did not love the series too much because it became too predictable. You know, Villain enters town then Commissioner Gordon calls Batman, Batman and Robin go to the Commissioner's office then the duo go after the criminal. This is followed by the trap and then of course, they escape. Chase scene and then the fight between the forces of good and evil. Then the slammer. What made the series interesting, that is if anybody else noticed, were the sound effects which were really written on the screen. Some were obvious:

Then there were the ridiculous.

The weirdiest are the Z sounds.

Duel in The Palace

Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2006 07:00:39 -0500

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Marcelo Del Pilar"
Date: March 28, 2006 9:52:23 PM EST
From: Krip Yuson
Date: Mar 28, 2006 12:25 AM
Subject: Re: On the Yuson Column (as of March 27, 2006)
To: Marcelo Del Pilar

Keep em coming, pepeng bilat. They just bounce off my flak vest anyway. Pero huli ka na, at ganado rin si Angie Santiago na ipaaalam sa plaridel na maraming pumuputak-te. How indefatigable naman kayo, nakaka bilib.
Aren't you glad you can now ride on something and make it a life cause, at least for the nonce?

Ngayon, kung magpakalalaki ka sana muna at magpakilalala, kaysa magtago sa ngalan ng bayaning siga, baka respetuhin ko pa yang tulong mo sa pagorganiza ng mga sasagutin ko.


Oops, Zir Krip, don't shoot the messenger naman. No match, this tiniest of planktons to a poet-novelist-columnist-producer-bookeditor-Ateneo professor fa!- etc of your stature! Gusto ko lang pong icompile lahat ng lumalabas tungkol sa ginawa ninyong column. Masama po ba iyon? Sori po, e nagkataon lang pong walang statements in your favor e, iimbento pa ba naman po ako? Actually, as in actually, I didn't make sama the texts that keep flying Left-Right-up-down, all directions po, Zir! Kadiri nga po (sa atin-ating lang, dami nyo po pa lang kaaway, hindi nyo lang po alam si guro, o alam po ninyo pero nakatawa rin po kayo sa kanila—ala Balagtas po na kababayan ko!)

But here's the deal, Zir Krip! I will do a Budoy, or even a Rustom (I will tell who I really am!) at any place of your choice—Ateneo Cafeteria, UP Sunken Garden, UST parade grounds, or even at the Malacanang RTVM office po—PROVIDED you also tell tell Pinoy Big Brother, or just your colleagues in the Ateneo and in UMPIL who have lots to say about the "kagagaguhan" [his word, folks] you created, who the following are: your "birdies," "the few writers in English in UP," "the same beerhouse theoreticians," and of course, your usual guests in your column, your "intelligence sources." Usapang lala… ay, sir, galit feminista dyan. Usapang "tao" na lang, Zir. Promise!

Sorry, Zir. I thought kasi you wanted a real debate, Conspiracy-style. And I didn't k now only columnists are allowed to use unnamed sources. At least, ako po, I hide in style, di ba, 'no? Saka, wag na lang po ninyo akong igalang—ayoko ko po ng galang ng mga macho, lalo na kung wala sa lugar. Wiz ko type!

C'mon, Zir Krip, don't prove them right by being pikon. Vavooo!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Baguio's Da Vinci Code

The front garden of the Baguio Cathedral including the Crucifixion scene where it is de rigeur to pose and smile is being renovated in time for Holy Week. I peeped at the renovation and saw paganic totems (the Ifugao olog, anito and dapay). Also the equally morally ambiguous Baguio Arts Guild (called satanic by at least two born-again Christian groups) were remaking the Crucifixion scene. Da Vinci, adi.

Weird Americans

Morality depends on the person and the people. Americans, according to a study, said that excessive drinking is morally wrong (61 percent) but not overeating (32 percent). Because if they say that overeating (the first sin in the movie "Seven" is gluttony, remember?) then almost all Americans are sinners. Also 88 percent said that having affairs is sinful but only 35 percent say the same ons ex between unmarried people. Not reporting all income to the IRS is sinful, according to 79 percent of the respondents. In the Philippines, where almost all do not pay the proper income tax, the result would be very different. These is how they rate the other "sins" :

Smoking marijuana: 50 percent
Homosexual behavior: 50 percent
Telling a lie to spare feelings: 43 percent
Gambling: 35 percent

The Truman Show

In my lectures on biographical features, I always use Truman Capote's New Yorker sketch on Marlon Brando. How happy I am only now to learn that you can download it.
This profile is outstanding not only because of the style etc etc but Truman never took notes for the interview. Brando's reaction, of course, merits another blog entry. Ha ha ha.
Here's a quote from Truman about tape recorders. This does not forgive you journalistic slobs, however.
"My particular quality as a reporter is I never ask questions. If you do, it ruins the rapport with the person. I never take notes, I never use a tape recorder, I particularly interested or occupied by the thing, because if you seem to be, you totally ruin the rapport between you and the person. But if youre really tuned in, you know everything. You know? I never could have written "In Cold Blood" for instance, if I had used a tape recorder -- if I'd ever taken a note. Ever. If Id ever produce a pencil. Beause that was that with these particular people, those Kansas people, the single, landscaped, as it were..."
That was from Conversations.
Also, as an added bonus, Paris Review hs a copy of the Art of Fiction Interview with Truman in 1957.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Ah but these people know how to attract attention even when they were not in the limelight.

You go, Grrrl!!!!

I was a cheerleader in Fourth Year High School. I have to bring out that shameful experience out of my body. Just like George W Bush. Why did I let my classmates make me raise my hands? It's called hunger for applause. Sad republic.

Dirty Shakespeare

A researcher by the highly-accentuated name of Héloïse Sénéchal used computer techniques to uncover double entendres in Shakespeare's work. She said that previously innocent words such as carrot, pencil and horn were the Bard's terms for penis, while pie, fruit dish and 'buggle boe' were references to the vagina.
An example that The Standard gave is Midsummer Night's Dream.
Act 5, scene 1. Flute, playing Thisbe in the mechanicals' play, laments that a wall separates 'her' from her lover, Pyramus:

Flute: O wall, full often hast thou heard my moans

For parting my fair Pyramus and me.

My cherry lips have often kissed thy stones, [meaning either mortar or testicles]

Thy stones with lime [puns on 'limb', ie penis] and hair [plays on sense of 'pubic hair'] knit up in thee

A few lines later, Thisbe tries to kiss Pyramus, but cries: I kiss the wall's hole [gap/anus], not your lips at all!

I was on a bus to Ilocos Sur and weird because the bus had been showing a Spanish film in tis entirety and the students (most of the passengers) were watching maybe out of habit. After the movie ended near Balaoan, it was changed to Romeo & Juliet with Di Caprio and Danes.

Here's Senechal's take on R+J:
Here are examples from Romeo and Juliet (II, iv)

Mercutio O here's a wit [penis] of cheveril, that stretches from an inch narrow to an ell broad [45in, or a large penis]!

Romeo I stretch it out for that word 'broad'; which added to the goose [whore] proves thee far and wide a broad goose.

Mercutio Why, is not this better now than groaning [sexually] for love? Now art thou sociable, now art thou Romeo; now art thou what thou art, by art as well as by nature: for this drivelling [dripping] love is like a great natural, that runs lolling [with tongue or penis out] up and down to hide his bauble [fool's baton or penis] in a hole [vagina].

Benvolio Stop [cease or stuff it in] there, stop there

Here's the most Adobe'd Asian kid in history:

After reading this.

And this is what I will do to the one who changed my password


This is the Manila Bulletin banner headline, at least the edition that made it in Ilocos.

FPJ endorsed as Nat’l Artist

Malacañang yesterday endorsed the nomination of the late movie actor Fernando Poe Jr. to the illustrious roster of National Artists for his significant achievements and contributions to Philippine cinema.

Presidential chief of staff Michael Defensor said the President and the entire Cabinet agreed that Poe, known as the king of Philippine movies, deserves to win a National Artist award this year.

The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) have finalized screening the nominations for granting the prestigious awards this June.....

This is moot and academic. According to my CCP sources, FPJ is out. And if my source (another one not the CCP sources) is also right, PGMA should know by now. So why is she saying this?????
To make herself perfumey to the opposition? To squash the ongoign controversy on the National Artist for Literature? Or to make a strong stand for her son Mikey's National Artist in 2020 bid?

The Future. In Movies

2007 December 24: Jack Starks meets a grown-up Jackie, who tells him he's meant to be dead (The Jacket)

2008 July 4: Los Angeles - A major heatwave strikes as the city reaches the brink of social, economic and environmental disaster (Southland Tales)
Jason Voorhees is captured (Jason X)

2009 Gangster Christian sets about eliminating his rival gangs (24 Hours in London)

2010 Thunderbirds
Jason Voorhees' attempted execution - he escapes and is cryogenically frozen (Jason X)
Dr Heywood Floyd heads to Jupiter to discover The Discovery and reactivate HAL-9000 (2010)
Humans create humanoid drone robots with artificial intelligence to fill jobs as construction workers and servants (The Matrix trilogy)

2011 99% of the Earth's population is taken out by a virus; the survivors are placed under the care of Dr Goodchild, who found a cure (Aeon Flux)

2012 Fairview Falls B-movie actor Peter Jacobs investigates the truth behind the Black Rose Killer, who killed his wife and son (Sins of the Father)
November 6: The United States elects a female president (Back To The Future Part II)

2013 The Postman
Los Angeles - Snake Plissken tries to escape (Escape From L.A.)

2015 The corrupt Houses of Parliament fall victim to a terrorist attack (V for Vendetta)
October 21: Chicago Cubs win World Series for the first time since 1908, and Marty, Jennifer and Doc arrive from 1985 (Back To The Future Part II)

2016 Escape From Mars

2017 The Running Man gameshow is set up (The Running Man)
Steel Harbor - Barbara Kopetski hunts some bounty, as the fascist American Congress brings the Second Civil War on itself (Barb Wire)

2018 John and Karen Brennick are imprisoned for attempting to have a second baby (Fortress)

2019 Ben Richards, Amber Mendez, William Laughlin and Harold Weiss must survive a TV execution gauntlet/game show to win their freedom (The Running Man)
Humans are created as insurance for the rich, using their DNA (The Island)
Tokyo - A boy in a motorcycle gang receives corrupt power from an ultimate source called Akira, amid rioting turmoil (Akira)
November: Blade Runner

2020 Dragons invade London (Reign of Fire)

2021 A data courier carries the cure for Nerve Attenuation Syndrome (NAS), with which half the world's population is infected (Johnny Mnemonic)
Kyle Reese joins the human resistance (The Terminator)

2022 Soylent Green is People!

2024 The ozone layer reforms, and Connor MacLeod battles to remove the artificial shield protecting the earth (Highlander II: The Quickening)

2025 Ghosts of Mars
John and Karen Brennick are re-imprisoned and attempt to re-escape (Fortress 2)

2026 Metropolis

2028 NEB Corporation controls mining operations throughout the known solar systems (Screamers)

2029 Pericles, a chimpanzee, disappears into a magnetic storm in space; Leo Davison follows him (Planet of the Apes)
In the time of major war, Reese is sent back in time to help save the humans from the machines (The Terminator)

2030 Alexander Hartdegen visits the Fifth Avenue Library Information Unit (The Time Machine)

2031 Giant humanoid warriers begin the first Space War (The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love?)
March: The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

2032 T-850 sent back to 1997 (Terminator)
Simon Phoenix escapes cryofacility during release hearing; SAPD thaws John Spartan to capture Phoenix (Demolition Man)
Innocence: Ghost In The Shell
July 4: John Connor killed by a T-850 (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines)

2033 October 28: The T-850 that killed John Connor is captured and reprogrammed, then sent back to 2004 (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines)

2035 Robots go bad. Will Smith puts them right. (I, Robot)
James Cole sent back to 1996 to find information about the disease that wiped out 5 billion people (Twelve Monkeys)

2036 First spaceship to the moon launched - ie. the whole Neil Armstrong, that didn't happen (Things To Come)

2037 The moon is destroyed (The Time Machine)

2040 Douglas Quaid goes to Mars (Total Recall)
Caesar the ape dies (Battle for the Planet of the Apes)
Deep space vessel Event Horizon sent to test an artificial wormhole (Event Horizon)

2046 Doom
The last year before Chinese control over Hong Kong changes; and a place where lost memories can be recaptured (2046)
Neptune - The lost ship Event Horizon is discovered in low orbit (Event Horizon)

2050 Newspeak eclipses Oldspeak (1984)

2054 Minority Report


Last year, the world's biggest calamay was gone in ten minutes. This year, an hour and a half after Candon's claim for the world's biggest rice cake was opened, the residents are still halfway through the huge cake made of glutinous rice, coconut and brown sugar.

This "magnified" calamay presented last March 28 at the Candon Plaza weighed 2,547 kilos set in a makeshift bilao with a diameter of 6.8 meters and a height of seven inches.

'My stomach is heavy with all these calamay," said Candon resident Willy Balikawa. He is one of 10,000 who this time lined up for a share of the calamay.

Candon officials are hoping to beat the previous record for the biggest rice cake set by the city of Niigata, Japan in March 1, 2002. The traditional rice cake weighed 2,097 kilos and was sponsored by the Kamaura Food Co.

"We had it harder because we had to grind the rice into flour and grate the coconut meat," said Candon Mayor Allen Singson.

Workers started pouring the calamay at 3 pm last Monday while a representative of the Department of Trade and Industry was weighing its pouring.

Liza Abaya, president of the Candon Calamay Makers based in the village of Bagar, said that 45 cooks worked around-the-clock to produce 132 vats of calamay in three days. They used 2,000 coconuts, 200 gantas of galapong or rice flour and 1,200 kilos of brown sugar.

Singson said that they spent more than P100,000 for the ingredients while the Bagar calamay makers gave their services for free.

Lat year, the calamay was open to the public and a melee started with the calamay gone in ten minutes. 2005's calamay was made of 270 kilograms of glutinous rice or diket as it is called in Ilocano and 1,440 coconuts and 720 kg. of white and brown sugar.

This year, the calamay makers wearing a green T-shirt with "I came. I saw. I tasted…" printed on its handed out the calamay. Although Candon is selling both the white and brown varieties, the city decided to make only the dark calamay.

Rep. Eric Singson said that the Guinness world record attempt is their way of marketing Candon and Ilocos Sur as a whole.

He said that since Candon began making these giant calamays since 2003, the production has gone up.

"Balikbayans have been buying the calamay in bulk and freezing them where they can stay fresh for about a year," the older Singson said. Without refrigeration, the Candon calamay can last for a week.

He said that the calamay industry started before World War II with Rosa del Rosario and Caridad Dario.

Although other areas have been making calamay, Liza Abaya said that theirs is still the best.

"The best is that we are constantly smiling while we are cooking it," she said. "That way, you can only have happy thoughts while eating it."

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

National Artists


This March 2006, the joint boards of the National Commission for
Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines
(CCP) shall make the final selection for the 2006 Order of National
Artists. The body, including living National Artists, shall choose
from the list recommended by a Second Deliberation Panel last

Recently, disinformation concerning the results of the deliberations
has been coming out in sms, email and even newspaper columns. At the
very least, this disinformation has been causing needless confusion,
speculation and dismay. In the interest of transparency and
accountability yet without breaking the complete confidentiality of
the process, this letter hopes to inform the whole community of
Filipino artists and cultural workers about HOW the National Artists
are actually chosen, WHO are making the choices, and more importantly,
WHO are the artists to be finally recommended to the President of the
Republic of the Philippines *"for confirmation, proclamation and

*Transparency* in the process and *accountability *of the individuals
responsible for the selection are indeed necessary in establishing the
integrity of the awards. Thus, it must be noted that a National
Artist is chosen either through the nomination and selection process
set forth by the NCCA and CCP or by the exercise of Presidential
prerogative. This discretion is said to be legal and within the
provisions of Proclamation No. 1001 (dated Apr il 12, 1972 and signed
by then Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos) creating the National Artist Award.


The first deliberation was held in January this year. Around 100
artists and cultural workers (now called Council of Experts, not
Council of Peers as in 2003) met to decide on the first shortlist from
more than a hundred or so names nominated to or listed by (not
nominated but included after diligent review) the National Artists
Awards Secretariat.

Some 100 nominees were presented: 5 in Dance, 14 in Music, 8 in
Theater, 16 in Film, 4 in Broadcast Arts, 26 in Visual Arts, 19 in
Literature, 5 in Architecture and Allied Arts, and 4 in Fashion


*DANCE*: Paz Cielo Belmonte, Eddie Elejar, Corazon Inigo, Ramon
Obusan, Alice Reyes *MUSIC:* Fides Cuyugan Asencio, Alfredo
Buenaventura, George Canseco, Ryan Cayabyab, Josefino Cenizal,
Ernestina Crisologo, Octavio Cruz, Constancio de Guzman, Fr. Eduardo
Hontiveros, S.J., Gilopez Kabayao, Sylvia La Torre, Basilio Manalo,
Eliseo Pajaro, Ramon Santos *THEATER:* Zeneida Amador, Amelia Lapena
Bonifacio, Rustica Carpi, Romarico Cruz, Katy dela Cruz, Anthony Juan,
Antonio Mabesa, Naty Crame Rogers *FILM:* Nora Aunor, Manuel Conde,
Rogelio dela Rosa, Mike de Leon, Dolphy (Rodolfo Quizon), Peque
Gallaga, Eddie Garcia, Rita Gomez, Fernando Poe Jr., Lolita Rodriguez,
Gloria Romero, Carmen Rosales, Leopoldo Salcedo, Vilma Santos, Vic
Silayan, Charito Solis BROADCAST ARTS: Cecilia Lazaro, Nick Lizaso,
Dely Magpayo, Francisco Trinidad *VISUAL ARTS*: Pacita Abad, Federico
Aguilar Alcuaz, Glenn Bautista, Dick Baldovino, Rosario Bitanga,
Santiago Bose, Ben Cabrera, Alfredo Carmelo, Eduardo
Castrillo, Roberto Chabet, Francisco Coching, Araceli Limcaco Dans,
Abdulmari Asia Imao, Raul Isidro, Diosdado Lorenzo, Eduardo Masferre,
Mauro Malang Santos, Onib Olmedo, Ramon Orlina, Cenon Rivera, Manuel
Rodriguez, Simplicia Nena Saguil, Ricardo Trofeo, Romeo Vitug, Jaime
Zobel *LITERATURE:* Cirilo Bautista, Antonio Realce Berango, Linda Ty
Casper, Clodualdo del Mundo Sr., Ophelia Alcantara Dimalanta, Gilda
Cordero Fernando, Lazaro Francisco, Juan S.P. Hidalgo, Jr., Lucila
Hosillos, Magdalena Jalandoni, Bienvenido Lumbera, Genoveva Edroza
Matute, Buenaventura Medina, Jr., Carmen Nakpil, Francisco "Soc"
Rodrigo, Rogelio Sicat, Kerima Polotan Tuvera, Azucena Grajo Uranza,
Rene Villanueva *ARCHITECTURE AND ALLIED ARTS*: Francisco Manosa,
Felipe Mendoza, Felino Palafox, Ildefonso P. Santos Jr., Jose Maria
Zaragoza *FASHION DESIGN *: Ben Farrales, Jose "Pitoy" Moreno, Joe
Salazar, Ramon Valera


The experts (more or less ten in each group) met in groups to choose
their candidates for the first short list. Then, the whole body
convened and each group's representative announced their choice/s or

Known to the more than a hundred or so people in the deliberation,
those in the first short list are:









*Broadcast Arts*


*Visual Arts*




*Architecture and Allied Arts*

Fashion Design*



The second deliberation was held in February. A representative of each
group delivered a prepared presentation for each of the names in the
short list (called by some people as "lawyering"), after whi ch, the
representatives of the group voting individually, trimmed down the
list further to 8.

Unlike the first panel, second panel voted inter-category; one in
which a representative from dance, for example, voted for the names in
other categories.

Who are these 8 in the second shortlist? That this letter is not
prepared to disclose. A lot of names have been mentioned, as
previously stated, in sms, e-mail, and even in the press. The motives
are not clear. Sourgraping? Red-baiting? Who knows? Some say the
purpose is to preempt whatever decision the joint NCCA-CCP board will
make when it meets this month to make the final decision: is it going
to be all 8? 5? 6? Or none at all?

But what this letter is prepared to list down are the
not-so-confidential names of those who will be choosing the names to
be recommended to the president as the 2006 National Artists of the



JOSE CARLOS B. LACSON, House of Representatives
MARIETTA CHOU, Records Management and Archives Office
CORAZON ALVINA, National Museum
PRUDENCIANA CRUZ, National Library
NESTOR O. JARDIN, Cultural Center of the Philippines
NITA P. BUENAOBRA, Komisyon sa Wika
FELIPE DE LEON JR., private sector, arts
CARLOS B. EBEO, private sector, cultural communities
ALREDO G. GABOT, private sector, cultural dissemination
ROSE BEATRIX C. ANGELES, private sector, cultural heritage
CECILE GUIDOTE ALVAREZ, executive director



NESTON O. JARDIN, president
BEL DERAYUNAN, corporate secretary


ARTURO LUZ, visual arts
EDITH TIEMPO, literature
SALVADOR BERNAL, theater design


Plaza de Buensuceso
No. 5, 1o, Barcelona


Tuesday March 21. 2006

Nationalist Artist awards, anyone?
KRIPOTKIN By Alfred A. Yuson
The Philippine STAR 03/20/2006

Three years ago, a day after initial deliberations were conducted for
the National Artist awards eventually given out in June of 2003, UP's
university professor emeritus, the distinguished poet-critic-mentor
Dr. Gémino H. Abad, wrote a letter to the NCCA's then executive
director Mafin Yonzon and CCP president Nes Jardin.

Dr. Abad offered his observations on the conduct of the deliberation,
lamenting that not much time was given the Committee on Peers, headed
by him, to review the comparative merits of the nominees for

The letter was dated March 6, 2003, a day after the first-level deliberations:

"It was only on March 4 that I knew who the nominees were – Virgilio
Almario, Cirilo F. Bautista, Jose Asia Bragado, Juan Hidalgo,
Magdalena Gonzaga Jalandoni, and Alejandro Roces; and on the day
itself, during the course of our deliberations, another 'sector' (the
Multi-disciplinary) was authorized to pass to our Literature 'sector'
two other names, Bienvenido Lumbera and Bienvenido M. Noriega, Jr.

"The actual deliberations started about 10 a.m., so that we were to
consider eight nominees within about two to two-and-a-half hours. Our
anguish then was for lack of time, for so serious an Award, for so
great an honor, as the title of National Artist on the sole ground of
a nominee's inimitable achievement in art as a rich and distinctive
contribution to our national cultural heritage. Ironically, for lesser
honors (though without doubt they are also very significant) – the
Magsaysay Award, the Palanca, even the Free Press – so much more time
for the judges is expended."

He suggested giving the NCCA's research group better lead time to
accomplish their task, especially with regards regional writers, and
perhaps allowing the Council of Peers at least three months to conduct
their review and deliberation.

Of course, Dr. Abad commented, he was all too aware of the so-called
"budgetary constraints" – which to this writer must constitute the
most tricky element in the choice of National Artists every two or
three years.

Particularly telling, too, as part of Dr. Aba d's post-mortem – and
which I will hark back to in my own observations about the way this
delicate matter is handled – is the following:

"… The documents provided us on each nominee are very helpful indeed,
but they are not sufficient for the very day itself: we need to have
thought out the matter long enough, consulting with other scholars,
reading or re-reading the works of the nominees, reconsidering views
and opinions, etc., way before the meeting where a decision has to be

"Speaking only for myself – if I had known beforehand, and were given
sufficient time – I believe I could have made a much stronger case for
Cirilo F. Bautista than the write-up prepared for him in our
collection of documents. I must have been chosen, I suppose, as an
'expert' on Filipino poetry in English.

"I believe of course that Virgilio Almario deserves the highest honor
of National Artist; but I also feel that, in his own place in our
literature in English – which is not comparable with the course of our
literature in Tagalog – Cirilo Bautista cannot be justly displaced."

Now here's my rhetoric and my beef, born of credible rumors to the
effect that several weeks ago a differently composed Council of Peers
had met to deliberate over the new set of nominees, and chosen a
couple of names for Literature that would then advance to the second
level of deliberations (which in turn had a regrettable end result).
Well, to begin with, as for that new set of nominees, it seemed more
like "same-same."

As reported by the usual birdies, the front-runners were Cirilo
Bautista and Bienvenido Lumbera. National Artist for Literature Edith
L. Tiempo, who joined that council deliberation, made a strong case
for Bautista. It was also pointed out by some members of that
seven-to-eight-man group that Bautista was the compleat creative
writer. Epic poetry, short fiction i n English, a novel and a book of
poems in Filipino, and continuing works of criticism and journalism –
these are Cirilo's domain. For his part, Lumbera's more significant
work was in the field of literary scholarship and criticism.

The Council of Peers agreed to select these two names from the
nominees' list to advance to the second round, the deliberations in
which would be conducted by committee officers of the NCCA. Bautista
would be representative of the Literature nominees for creative
writing, while Lumbera would advance on the strength of his literary

Now guess who was knocked off in that second round of deliberations,
and whose name as finalist will now be presented – and "lawyered" for
– in the third and final round of deliberations conducted by the CCP
board members as well as a few NCCA reps?

Cirilo Bautista is a long-time friend of mine, and Jimmy Abad's. It is
however NOT this terribly Pinoy facto r that causes us much anguish
over the choice of Bien Lumbera as the Literature finalist. I have
much respect for Bien, and with little doubt he qualifies as a
prospective National Artist for Literature. Candidly, however, I must
say that I find his criticism unfairly biased for Filipino and
regional writers; he has practically dismissed the works of writers in
English. I suppose that's because he likes to be seen as, or is in
effect seen as, a "nationalist."

By the by, not a few writers in English in UP and beyond have asked
jocosely of one another, over bottles of beer: "Name me one
particularly memorable work of literature Lumbera has penned." These
same beer house rhetoricians also predict that it is the "extreme
Left" that will be overjoyed by their champion's ascension as National
Artist. The communist candidate, it has been said rather bitchily.

Now I do not wish this to be construed as an attack on Bien Lumbera.
Even as I could only smile over his backers' well-organized efforts at
lobbying endorsement in the months leading up to NA deliberations,
inclusive of testimonials from California Fil-Am groups and
comprehensive Internet postings, I believe Bien has indeed done
significant work for Filipino literature. Er, make that Philippine

The least I could have bargained for, if someone cared to listen
during those two rounds of deliberations, was that both Bautista and
Lumbera were advanced as finalists for the ultimate reckoning. And,
why, both could also be declared National Artists in Literature on the
same year.

But I suppose that's where "budgetary constraints" come into the
picture – that same variable that would have a committee deciding on
the inclusion of departed nominees because the cash involved in the
case of posthumous awardees is significantly less.

If it were to be an absolute one-person choice however between
Baut ista and Lumbera, I say give the creative writer the better due,
as the scholar, researcher and critic is necessarily a second-tier
citizen in the republic of arts and letters.

It may be too late, however, to repair the damage done the literary
persona of the eminent creative writer Cirilo Bautista, one charge
against whom, I hear from my usual intelligence sources, during the
NCCA second-level review was that his "reclusivity was a mark of

My eye! My word!

It does not matter that Bautista prefers to cocoon himself in his room
at home to work on his outstanding poetry and prose, rather than waste
his time socializing at book launchings, or that he only occasionally
indulges in a little beer with close writer-friends. He has been
selfless in mentoring generations of students at De La Salle and UST
and at writers' workshops. His literary editorship of and column in
Philippine Panorama magazine has for long years con tributed to the
molding of young poets and writers. He is the compleat writer, not
merely (sorry, everyone) an epiphyte of a critic.

But that's how the ball bounces, especially when humans can only be
human, subject to possible manipulation. I suppose that since my
stalwart friend Virgilio Almario was anointed National Artist for
Literature in 2003 (on the strength of his poetry in Filipino AND
criticism, and conceivably not because scholar-critic Resil Mojares
plugged for his scholarship on Filipino literature), a trend has been
established, with Bien Lumbera's succession, that may keep our
creative writers in English at bay where the National Artist for
Literature is concerned.

I am sure that "Mom" Edith Tiempo, herself a notable critic, but whose
poetry and fiction will be more of her inspiring legacy, will be
saddened by this turn of events. And I can't help but imagine how
Franz Arcellana, NVM Gonzalez and Nick Joaquin – our p revious National
Artists in Literature, all of them supremely creative writers in
English – may be pshaw-pshawing in their graves.

Maybe we can start calling it the Nationalist Artist awards. That
should be just as good a novel term as what's been bandied about as
the "DNA" or Dagdag National Artist. I hear this year Soc Rodrigo
might posthumously lay claim to that sorry title. Alas and alack. A
pity, for Soc was a poet.

Copyright (c) 2005 . All rights reserved.

Why Beer House Rhetoricians Should Not Be in the Council of Peers

First, let me share with Mr. Yuson and his ilk the wise words of two eminent
British columnists:

Martin Amis: "Enjoying being insulting is a youthful corruption of power.
Admittedly there are some critics who enjoy being insulting well into middle
age. I have often wondered why this spectacle seems so undignified."

Paul Johnson: "The most important point: Never exploit y our power as a
columnist for personal ends."

Alfred Yuson, in his column Kripotkin (March 20 issue) impugns the artistic
achievements of Bienvenido Lumbera by harping over and over again on the
limited scope of Lumbera's writing. A "second-tier citizen" he calls
Lumbera, because he simply presumes that Lumbera is nothing but scholar,
researcher and critic.

This only points to Mr. Yuson's own semi-illiteracy and skewed ignorance
about the whole field of Philippine literature. How can anyone putting
himself forth as a spokesperson for Philippine literature be entirely
ignorant of Lumbera's primary position in the canon of Philippine culture
and literature as playwright and poet? Much more can be said for Dr.
Lumbera's artistic, intellectual and inspiring influence in the whole field
of Philippine literature, in the multiplicity of its cultures and languages.

As Yuson's article continues, he descends into senseless vituperation, until
he finally reveals his predilection for such simplistic equations as
'nationalist equals communist'. We will leave it to Yuson's fellow
rhetoricians to take him to task for dragging them down into the slime of
his own Philippine jungle energy beer house. I can only hope that when Mr.
Yuson was composing his column, he was drowning in his cups sans their

To resolve the matter, I am proposing that he read a paper on the subject,
or if he likes, even that very same column itself, for a Conference on the
Philippine Literary Canon, in which everyone else engages in a fair exchange
of educated and sober opinion.


Rosario C. Lucero
Departamento ng Filipino at Panitikan ng Pilipinas
Kolehiyo ng Arte at Literatura
University of the Philippines Diliman


March 22, 2006


I've been mentioned in Alfred A. Yuson's column and in Joi Barrios' response
to it. I wish to contribute a thought on the matter.

All Filipino writers in whatever language are nationalists,
unless it can be proved beyond reasonable doubt that, following the
definition of "nationalism" in the document on National Artist Awards, a
writer does NOT "promote national cultural identity and the dignity of the
Filipino people through the content and form of their works." As Sir Walter
Scott has so well put it, "Breathes there the man with soul so dead, / Who
never to himself hath said, / This is my own, my native land!" I believe
that "nationalism" is what is meant by the word "National" in the title of
the Awards.

Yet "national ism," as defined for the Awards, is hardly an
artistic criterion. There are many nationalists who, not being writers or
artists, cannot be given the Award. The key word is Artist. The Award then
is to be conferred on the sole ground of a nominee's inimitable achievement
in Art as a rich and distinctive contribution to our national cultural

In that light, if by literature as Art we mean "literary works"
or "works of imagination" (poetry, fiction, drama), I believe Cirilo F.
Bautista fully deserves the National Artist Award in Literature. Since 1963
to the very present, he has wrought a considerable body of works in
Literature, in English and in Tagalog-Filipino – epic and lyric poetry, the
short story, the novel – all of exceptional worth and quality. I make no
invidious comparisons. I only insist on Art and artistic merit.

Incidentally, I cannot see why, in a given year for the Awards,
there may not be two or even three, National Artists in one or the other
artistic field. On artistic merit alone is the decision based, not on
budgetary allotment.



March 22,2006

Maraming salamat po! Thank you and muchas gracias, Professor!

It might be useful if you can ask from the NCCA or CCP for a copy of the
new--that is 2006--rules and guidelines governing the selection of the 2006
Order of National Artists. Or go to their site:


6. Candidates may be nominated und er one or more of the following

6.1.5 Literature - poetry, fiction, essay, playwriting, journalism, and/or
literary criticism.



March 23, 2006

THANKS, too, Marcelo. No, I wasn't really aware of the categories under
LITERATURE. Well, maybe, the author-ities on the Awards should re-focus a
little, re-conceptualize. My own personal thought is, yes, include the Essay
(there are many varieties of so-called "creative nonfiction").

I understand there are new Categories - (1) Fashion Design; (2) Broadcast
Media. I'm not sure that's a good idea. I'm not sure either about
Journalism and Criticism (or Scholarship in the Arts: to broaden it).

I guess the chief difficulty (for me, anyway) is what concept of Art may be


FROM "LOPE K. SANTOS" (email address withheld upon request)

March 24, 2006

Is this a final admission by the venerable Prof Abad that all along his
notion of art and its categories are personal and subjective, variable and
contestable? What have these writing workshops been about then for writers
like Prof Abad? All these literary contests for which he and Mr. Yuson have
been eternal judges? These literary anthologies? A power struggle between
this and that notion?

His last paragraph indicates that there is a "valid" and non-valid concept
of art. In this regard, we wonder who is speaking, being spoken to/with
and/or under what conditions matters of validity ought to be judged? By
whom? At what price?

What are the stakes for Yuson, Abad and their barkada?

Hi. Identity Theft

Someone got my password for my yahoo account and then changed it. So there.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Losing My Religion and Reviving it in Comics Form

Some Top Super-Heroes and their Religion

Superman Methodist
Spider-Man Protestant
Batman Episcopalian/Catholic (lapsed)
Wonder Woman Greco-Roman Classical Religion
Captain America Protestant
The Hulk Non-Religious
The Thing Jewish
Daredevil Catholic
Wolverine former atheist
Elektra Greek Orthodox

Are Nearly All Major Superheroes Episcopalian?

"The original creators of comics, 60 or 70 years ago, were almost all Jewish and Italian kids from various parts of New York," notes DC Comics Executive Vice President and Publisher Paul Levitz. "And the characters they created were pseudo-whitebread Episcopalian. It was almost de rigueur back then to paint people in this idealized American image." from "At DC Comics, Diversity Is No Laughing Matter"

Which major mainstream superheroes are most consistently portrayed as overtly religious? These are characters who go beyond simply exhibiting positive religious values, charity and heroism, but who openly exhibit religiosity tied to an organized religious affiliation, through prayer, verbally sharing their faith, worship service attendance, and other means.

- Nightcrawler
- Wonder Woman
- Martian Manhunter
- Firebird
- Doctor Mid-Nite
- Dust
- Black Lightning
- Green Arrow
- Captain Canuck
- Wolfsbane
- Mary Marvel
- Atom Smasher
- Triathlon

(Note that these characters represent many different religious faiths and denominations, including: Catholic, Greco-Roman classical religion, American Baptist Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Buddhist, Jewish and Islam.)

Spider as Protestant. I don't think so.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

DNKY. Update on the Battle of Pandakan

Di ba, Dinky Soliman was caught baywalking wearing a black Tama na, Now Na! Tshirt? Now, according to naughty INQ columnist Vic Agustin, Dinky was wearing a fake Tshirt na may tatak ng DKNY worth less than P100. She would be charged for wearing fake merchandise. How ironic. But if her fake tatak was "DNKY" then she can say she owns that label. O di ba?
But above's a point to ponder

Monday, March 20, 2006

It's OK. Hemingway Used to Spy Asia

Then problem is, his secrets might have been passed on to Russia

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Powerpuff Struggle

PGMA, who wore military green throughout her whole month of powertrippin' to signify that she is Buttercup (please see my earlier blog). No not Mojo Jojo. Blossoms! Former DSWD Sec. Dinky Soliman (her former partner) was baywalkingwhen she was arrested. Dinky Soliman was wearing black but we all know her color is blue.

Saturday, March 18, 2006


Someone is compiling the Filipino sound of
a bee droning
a small bird
a big bird
many birds
cat meowing
cat purring
chicken clucking
rooster crowing
cow mooing
bull snorting
crocodile (I know what you'll say. The House is now in session...)
crow cawing
dog barking (small, medium, large)
dog biting
angry dog
dog gnawing a bone
duck gabbing
snake hissing
The site has them in Danish Dutch English Finnish French German Greek Hebrew Hungarian Italian Japanese Portugese Russian Spanish Swedish Turkish Urdu but no Filipino so we should make our mark for the sake of our hayop

Friday, March 17, 2006

Magellan Loved Wine More then Arms

Have we matured as Filipinos that no one noticed the passing of the 485th anniversary of the "discovery" of the Philippines by Ferdinand Magellan last March 16? Or have we just forgotten.

Martial Law babies know fully well this date, thanks to Yoyoy Villame's novelty song called "Magellan" which starts, "On March 16, 1521/ When Philippines was discovered by Magellan/ They were sailing day and night across the big ocean/ Until they saw a small Limasawa island."

Scanning the newspapers, no one hardly noticed the passing of this date. A recent book on the Spanish Empire by Hugh Thomas entitled "Rivers of Gold" also glossed on this fact. The book only came out in 2003 and its softcover edition cmae out the eyar after. Thomas has previously written six other books on the Spanish Empire.

Not only did Thomas not mention the "discovery" of Philippines but also spent only five pages out of the total 764 pages on the exploits of Magellan in the Philippines.

Thomas also wrote about Magellan near the end of the book, emphasizing that the Spanish Empire was already on the wane when Magellan came to the Philippines.

In spending pages and pages on Christopher Columbus, Diego Colon and Vasco Nunez de Balboa, the saga of Magellan came as a whimpering chapter.

One trivia would, however, interest history students. One reason that Magellan must have lost the battle of Mactan (written here as Matan) was that the explorer brought more wine than artillery in his five boats.

"It was always said in Sanlucar de Barrameda that Magellan spent more on the dry fortified wine, manzanilla, than on gunpowder," Thomas wrote.

In the footnote, Thomas cited Mauricio Gonzales for the data that Magellan spent 594,790 maravedis for manzanilla and 564,188 ms. on armaments including gunpowder. A maravedi was the most common and smallest currency in Magellan's time; 34 maravedis equal one real while one peso was equal to 450 maravedis.

This is not to say that Magellan's armory wasn't formidable. He brought 62 culverins (long, heavy cannons), ten falconets (smallers canons) and 50 arquebuses (heavy match lock guns). Also brought in were 1,000 lances, 220 shields, 60 crossbows, 50 light guns or escopitas and 50 quintales (about 5,000 pounds) of gunpowder.

But then, as previously said, Magellan also brought more than 400 barrels of either wine or water.

Thomas tried to be politically-correct, calling what were previously written as "natives" as "indigenous peoples." As it turned out, Thomas noted that it was not really the first time for Cebu people to meet foreign discoverers.

"(I)n ZZubu, in what is now Cebu in the Philippines, they (meaning Magellan's party) heard news for the first time of the Portuguese voyages ahead of them. The interpreter of Magellan explained to the indigenous people, firmly, that their master, the King of Spain, was more powerful than the King of Portugal."

After exchanges of gifts (including 14 pounds of iron form Magellan for 10 weights of gold), Magellan's men were entertained and, according to Thomas, Magellan agreed to fight the people of nearby Matan "for the benefit of pleasing the King of Zzubu."

And the rest is the song from Yoyoy Villame of Bohol. "hen the battle began at dawn/ Bolos and spears versus guns and cannons/ When Magellan was hit on his neck/ He stumble down and cried and cried."

Lest you forget, especially the Fil-Ams who were twice conquered, we give you YOYOY VILLAME.


On March 16, 1521
When Philippines was discovered by Magellan
They were sailing day and night across the big ocean
Until they saw a small Limasawa island

Magellan landed in Limasawa at noon
The people met him very welcome on the shore
They did not understand the speaking they have done
Because Kastila gid at Waray-Waray man

When Magellan landed in Cebu City
Rajah Humabon met him, they were very happy
All people were baptized and built the church of Christ
And that’s the beginning of our Catholic life

When Magellan visited in Mactan
To christianize them everyone
But Lapu-Lapu met him on the shore
and drive Magellan to go back home

Then Magellan got so mad
Ordered his men to camouflage
“Mactan island we could not grab
Cause Lapu Lapu is very hard”

Then the battle began at dawn
Bolos and spears versus guns and cannons
When Magellan was hit on his neck
He stumble down and cried and cried

Oh, mother mother I am sick
Call the doctor very quick
Doctor, doctor shall I die?
Tell my mama do not cry
Tell my mama do not cry
Tell my mama do not cry

That’s the end of Magellan
in the island of Mactan long time ago
ladies and gentlemen

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Ang Tanging Jonathan Tiongco

Is the Jonathan Tiongco now tagged as a police asset, self-confessed sound engineer, Mike "Boytoy" Defensor's sound expert witness, PD 1017 posterboy and PCIJ's newest best friend the same Jonathan Tiongco who:
1) composed "Tanging Ina"
2) arranged "Build Me Up Buttercup" for Filipino taste (or rather, musical taste)
3) is a popular disco arranger
4) is a DJ who goes by the name JT

Is he this?

Art of Resistance Poster

I warned you.

Celebrity Virus

Ellen Degeneres virus - Your IBM suddenly claims it's a MAC

Gringo Honasan Virus - Your ROM becomes RAM

Danny Lim Virus - Your RAM turns to you

Jonathan Tiongco Virus – Arranges your music files then files a libel case against you

Art Lomibao Virus – Edits your files and converts them all in police blotter form

Hello, Garci Virus – Subtracts and adds your files and turns them into ringtones

PGMA Virus – Fucks up your files and blames it all on too much politics

Noli de Castro Virus – Balks then backs up your PGMA virus

Monica Lewinsky virus - Sucks all the memory out of your computer

Lorena Bobbit virus - Turns your hard disk into a 3.5 inch floppy

Woody Allen virus - Bypasses the motherboard and turns on a daughter card

Ronald Reagan virus - Saves your data, but forgets where it is stored

Oprah Winfrey virus - Your 200MB hard drive suddenly shrinks to 80MB, and then slowly expands to 300MB

It's Hard to Yawn in Muslim

There are so many Muslims in Baguio. The last time I checked (two years ago), there were 5,000 of them, 95 percent are Maranaos. Now there could be more. Because without them, we can not watch live versions of Swan Lake, Rent, Carole King, Bob Dylan, Enrico Caruso and a whole lot more, we should be sensitive about them. Because sometimes we bore them, we should know the etiquette of yawning, Muslim style. Harder than I thought.

When one sneezes, one should say ALHAMDULILLAH. (Bukhari)
In reply to this, one who hears (the person who has sneezed say Alhamdulillah) should say YARHAMU KALLAH. (Bukhari)
The person who has sneezed must reply by saying: YAHDEE KUMULLAHU WAYUSLIHU BAALAKUM. (Bukhari)
Whenever our beloved Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam sneezed, he should cover his face with his hands or with a piece of cloth, so that the sound of the sneeze could not be heard too loudly. (Tirmidhi)
Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: "When one yawns, cover the mouth with the hand, as the full opening of the mouth allows the Shaytaan to enter the mouth. (Muslim)
It is narrated in a Hadith, that when one yawns, one should not make the sound 'Haa', as this causes the Shaytaan to laugh. (Muslim)

This is the picture of the Top Ten in PMA which I wrote about. The photo by Toots Soberano is weird because former strongman Ferdinand Marcos appeared to be Number 6.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Your President

Monday, March 13, 2006

With Good Looks Come Great Responsibility: Marky Cielo Wins!!!

Rumours, a popular bar in Session Road, was empty last Sunday night except for a couple of lovers. Other hangouts here were virtually empty.
As it turned out, most have went home to watch till Monday morning for Mark Angelo Cadaweng Cielo win this year's edition of Starstruck, garnering more than P4 million incash and prizes.
You could hear a collective sigh in Baguio at 1:00 am when Cielo was announced as the “ultimate survivor” of Starstruck 3.
Markymania finally reached its climax, with the 17-year-old Igorot student garnering the most votes in GMA 7's premier star search contest.
Cielo even beat the “ultimate female survivor” Jackie Rice of Olongapo, who upset favorite Iwa Moto. But while Rice is Fil-Am and Moto is Fil-Jap, Cielo is FBI!!!! Full Blooded Igorot.
Blogs have affirmed that Cordilerans from as far as London and New York have voted for Cielo through the Internet.
"Uray dakami asna london et ikarkararag me ta sik-a nan mangabak (We were praying here in London that you wouild win)," said Lodoner in kankanaey. "Prove to those judges that we Igorots are at par if not better than the rest."
"Ayeh talaga ay nala-eng ken naanos ti Igorot anya. Siya it ay, habang ay man-ar-artista ka ay et adi ka linglingan han nalpwam ken importante it han ugali (Igorots are really good yet patient. Now that you are a star, don't forget where the importance of your roots and your attitude," advised a certain Jenny though email.
"Itakdeg mo data ko ay Torogi (You stand for your being an Igorot) With great looks comes great responsibility," said Harold Guanso, whose claim to fame now is that he was a classmate of Cielo.
Huge posters of Cielo or Starstruck Marky can be seen all over town. “Marky Cielo, Pride of the Cordilleras” was hung above a popular ukay-ukay store here.
Though born in Butuan City, Cielo traced his roots in Mountain Province and was proud of his Igorot roots. He studied high school in Buguias and then took Architecture in Saint Louis University here, where he is a staff artist of their college paper.
When "Starstruck: The Nationwide Invasion" came to SM Baguio last month, the mall was filled to the rafters with his townmates from as far as Besao hiring buses to watch him.
Cielo was being marketed as a great dancer but his gregariousness even infected his fellow survivors, who consistently voted for him to stay in the series.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

High in Irony

Returning to the state of national emergency. During the PMA Reunion (where a bomb was supposedly found the day before and yet the show must go on despite the presence of the officers and gentlemen there and despite the possibility that other bombs might have been planted), the guest of speaker is Karina Constantino-David. She used to be a frontliner of those demos that usually ended in water or sewage being sprayed on her or worse. Her father is the Renato Constantino and her brother is that Renato Jr. She used to be half of Inang Laya, the Peter and Paul of street parliamentarians then. Now she is the CSC Chair. Maybe in that capacity, she was asked to speak among the hundreds of PMA alumni.
"The challenge is not to seize power. The challenge is to create a strong and legitimate political system that makes military interest unnecessary and allow the military to become simply a professional corps," Karina said.
David's speech was applauded when he said that that military need more respect and understanding from from "former hardened activists" like her.
President Arroyo wasn't there but Luli was. Would PGMA allow her only daughter to attend if there really was a bomb there?
But let's go to the ironic part. A few days later, during EDSA Revolution's 20th Aniversary, PGMA with the prodding of the banana-eating Norberto Gonzales issued PD 1017.
Some activists decided to challenge that ill-advised directive and were arrested. The first to be detained (and would go down in history thanks again to NG) is Randy David, the husband of Karina.

Guide to GMA's Presidency

For the Catholic Church hiearchy and other sacred cows.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

SkyCable Obit

Ten years ago, I wrote about "500 channel" cable. Stupid me. I was optimistic then, for the real is far, far from what we got. SkyCable Baguio, instead of adding its channels, is decreasing them one by one. They took out ESPN. We hemmed and hawed and won. Or so we thought. The ESPN they gave us is the Taiwan edition where they show endless snooker events LAST YEAR. They took out the better Japanese channels maybe because those were illegal. So we have to presume that those four Indian channels weren't and so were the Quiboloys and six other religious channels. Ow! They have an interactive channel where parents get to see how their children set their trysts. AND the rate kept on getting more expensive. To make it look like they have more channels, they repeat their useless channels. Then they add an interesting channel to justify increase in rate. Ten years ago, they wanted to gobble up the small cable stations. We're glad they didn't make it. Thank god for competition. Yes, we will be switching.

Martin Under The Stars

A log I made a year ago.

You need to book Martin Nievera weeks and even months in advance considering his very busy schedule. But four years?
"What? I don't even know what I'll do tomorrow," Nievera remembered thinking when Baguio Country Club President Federico Agcaoili told him in 2001 if he can perform for their 100th Anniversary celebration on February 18.
His second reaction was, Why me?
"There are others there. Why me," he told them.
Agcaoili has his own reasons but any Baguio resident will tell you that Martin Nievera has roots in Baguio.
"I am an Igorot by injection," he told INQUIRER before his concert.
His father, the balladeer Bert Nievera, was born and raised in Baguio.
"I took my first steps in Baguio," Martin said. February 5, 1962, Martin Nievera walked for the first time in a house that no longer exists near the Forest House beside the former main gate of Camp John Hay.
"It was an enchanted walk and it happened in Baguio," he said.
"Baguio is so pleasant. I love the climate. The people are very cooperative," he said.
During the torch parade along Session Road the day before, Nievera said that the "people follow the rules."
"Manila could learn so much from Baguio people. Baguio is a place to look up to," he said later during the concert.
"Manila is a place to look down to. I didn't day, look down on."
So Baguio was very memorable for Martin and since there are lots of time to think about his concert at BCC, he decided to make it into his dream concert.
"I always wanted to have a concert nestled in the trees," he said.
They decided to hold the concert at the opening tee of the golf course, between Hole No. 10 and Hole No. 18. It is in front of the Main Clubhouse and Nievera said that the hotel served as a sound buffer.
Seats were provided around the stage while those who preferred to stay in their hotel rooms and at the verandah can stay there. Martin Nievera was within eyesight of all in the audience.
"The greatest special effect would be when I would be in my Broadway Medley" and I would be singing from "The Phantom of the Opera" and the natural mist would come in. Then I would be singing "Climb Every Mountain." It would be perfect," he said.
It was 9 pm when Martin made his entrance, making a putt at the green of Hole No. 10.
Because it was the National Astronomy Week, the first three songs Martin sang were all astronomical.
He began with "Stardust" followed by "Corner of the Sky" and Van Morrison's Moondance. Inevitably, people looked at the stars and the waxing moon and it was a clear night for the BCC centennial.
Then Martin followed with Spiral Staircase's "More Today Than Yesterday" with Agcaoili duetting in the "I love you more today than yesterday/ But, darling, not as much as tomorrow" chorus.
You have a feeling it was Agcaoili's choice of songs with Free Movement's The Harder I Try (The Bluer I Get), Unforgettable, All The Way, Misty and Frankie Valli's "Can't Take My Eyes Off You."
Nievera, however, tried to connect with the younger set with Maroon 5's "This Love" and he did very, very well for a father of a son whose favorite song was that song.
"My son told me that this is one fo his favorites and didn't you know that the lyrics are very sexual.
Of course, what with the first lines of "I was so high I didn't recognize" down to "I'll fix these broken things/ Repair your broken wings/ And make sure everything's alright/ My pressure on your hips/ Sinking my fingertips/ Into every inch..." OK, got the point.
So he went back to Paul Anka's "Times of Your Life" before reminiscing about his attempt to conquer Las Vegas, one of his "groupie," it turned out, was BCC Boardmember Sylvia Illusorio-Yap.
He said that to get your way there, you have to learn from those who made it there like the "Rat Pack."
"My favorite was the smallest one, Sammy Davis Jr.," he said. "We have many similarities. His wife left him," he said, followed by nervous laughter from the crowd, then he went on his Sammy Davis medley.
By that time, I was going, losing Martin in the enveloping fog...

Burst of Ulan II

This is how the song goes:

Lagi nalang umuulan
Parang walang katapusan
Tulad ng paghihirap ko ngayon
Parang walang humpay
Sa kabila ng lahat ng aking pagsisikap
Na limutin ka ay di pa rin magawa

Hindi naman ako tanga (Actually, tanga ka nga)
Alam ko na wala ka na
Pero mahirap lang na tanggapin
Di na kita kapiling
Iniwan mo ako nag-iisa
Sa gitna ng dilim at basing-basa pa sa ulan....

Nothing really exciting. Most probably this was composed when it was raining. This reminds me of what Sylvia Plath wrote in her journal: "Today is the first of August. It is hot, steamy and wet. It is raining. I am tempted to write a poem. But I remember what it said on one rejection slip: After a heavy rainfall, poems titled RAIN pour in from across the nation."
If only Cueshe would have heeded Plath's call but like their fans, they probably don't know who Plath is. Oh they watched the movie. OK. The most famous Filipino song composed during the rain is of course "APO Hiking Society's Pumapatak na Naman ang Ulan"

Pumapatak na naman ang ulan sa bubong ng bahay
Di maiwasan gumawa ng hindi inaasahang bagay
Laklak ng laklak ng beer sa magdamagan
Kung may kahirapan at di maiwasan
Mabuti pa kaya matulog ka na lang bago sumakit ang tiyan

Ang araw ko'y nabubusisi ako ang nasisisi
Bakit ba sila ganyan
Ang pera ko'y hindi magkasya
hindi makapagsine
At ayaw naman dagdagan.

Only Baguio can induce such subtle thoughts. Cueshe's Ulan was inspired by Cebu rain. The TXT generation thought that this is the song of "Parokya ni Edgar." Hindi ah. I remembered the APO saying that this was written decades ago when they were stranded in Baguio.

Ubos na rin ang beer
Kaya ano na lamang
Lahat sinusubukan
Kahit walang pulutan

Ang buhay ng tamad
Walang hinaharap
Ni konting sarap man lang

Radyo, TV, at mga lumang komiks
Wala ng ibang mapaglibangan
At kung meron kang tatawagan
Trenta sentimos ika'y makakaltasan. Ahay.

Of course. Parokya's take on the last line is "credit sa text ika'y makakaltasan." My generation should be proud to have the APO weaning us. Suddenly, even Yoyoy became so profound. Now they have Cueshe. Sad Republic.

Burst of Ulan Part I

THe most famous song indapilipins today is "Ulan" by "Cueshe." Allow me to quote this comments from the fans:

…shEkZ!!!…iT hUrTz huh!!!!….bKiT ngA nGa bA iTz sO hArd!!!…saKit nG KanTa!!!!….sUmaSamA akO…sAnA sA pAgbUhOs nG uLan isAma niTo lAhAt ng sAkiT na NarAraMdAmAn kO….anG biGat….i JusT waNNa diSsaPeAr oUt oF The bLue!!!!!!!……………………………………………………………whEw!!!!!!!!…………………………………………………fReak Y!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

rum lgi knkanta ng mga klasmyt ko ang ulan…laluna ngyn dba…lging umuulan…grabe ang gnda n2 sbra kaso sna poh hnbaan nio poh ng konti..ksi poh bitin poh ang mga kumakanta…tulad “KO”….joke,,,,sna sumkat pah an cueshe dhil npka glng nio tlaga sbra…………….sna mkpag compose pa kau ngmrami ha…hehehe…gudluck na lng sa career nio…at chaka poh pl….sna poh irevive nio poh ung witha smile…. cge poh igatzz na lng kau

tangina guapo ni ruben he rocks whew!!!

the song ulan “ULAN” is now part of timeless classic of romantic songs for hertbreaks…it is so touching that it refreshes one’s memory of love and letting go….

ei pipz!!

fan din me ng cueshe’ lalo na c ruben!!!
kamukha kc xa ng ex- q!!
kya nga hangang nagun d pa me nakakarecover sa broke up namin!!

fav song q sa album nila ang ulan nakakarelate aq e!!!

basta khit anong mangyari #1 fan aq ng cueshe’
bibili aq ng next album nyo kya gwa na kau ha now na!! hehehe joke pow!!

GOD BLESS u all!

cueshe’ u rock!!
and RUBEN u rock my world
swerte ng GF mu sau!!!

this is “THE SONG”… i can relate in this song.. it hurts a lot men.. sana mabasa toh ng crush ko msg ko… manhid kc sya e.. hehehe… take care and more power to you guys. mag-ddota lang muna ako.. hehehe

But seriously. If PGMA should have a reason to declare a state of emergency, this should be the one. The fans are writing online not texting using their cellphones. Why are they writing like dey r texting??? I used to laugh at the scholars who were saying that texting is bad for education. Now I bow my head and believe them. We are doomed. Doomed.

Is Our President Getting Uglier?

This is a hot topic in blogs today.

"Yeah, the president, perceived and insisted by many--not only those who are in the opposition but the large public as hoax--is getting fatter and fatter everyday. Hey, did I hear someone shout uglier? Nah..," goes one blogger.
This is Ms. Arroyo in 1989.

And in 1999

This was the Gloria during the time of PD 1017

US newspapers also do this regularly. Stress, not evil deeds, actually makes presidents not really uglier but out of shape. But I have to comment on PGMA's sartorial sense during the time of emergency. She favored that dark green Nehru jacket which reminds us of Quiboloy of the children-grabbing cult in Davao. I think Nehru is not the great fashion icon for PGMA at this time. She should try to look like Gandhi, spinning that yarning wheel of restitution. Otherwise whe is trying to look like Madame Mao with those fascistic kinda fascion.
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