Sunday, April 30, 2006

Bookstore in Vigan

Ric Favis of UNESCO unloaded some of his books and now selling them at his shop Casa Antigua in Crisologo St. here in Vigan. Expensive (nag-ngina sika) but worth it. Irving Penn. Ansel Adams. Christie's prints. Fauvism. Coffee table books pero wala namang kape. etc etc. I bought a Film Noir Reader and also old postcards (1880s at P50). Ric, when you come back give me a hard bargain or else....

The Frank Sense of Humor

Vigan City's Binatbatan Festival


I went to Manila last Thursday and oh boy, was it scorching. I had a nosebleed while waiting in line in the MRT. I had a tissue (surprise!) because my shirt got dirtied the day before (in SM Baguio) while looking for used books at Booksale. I bought those small packets of napkins for P4 pesos and who would I thought that it would come in handy during my nosebleed. Parang the move, "Signs" where everything has a purpose in the denouement.

Friday, April 28, 2006

"Have A Nice Day" in Different Languages

Afrikaans Lekker dag!
Arabic اتمنى لك يوما طيبا
Czech Pěkný den
Danish Fortsat god dag
Dutch Nog een prettige dag [toegewenst], Een goede dag verder
Finnish Hyvää päivänjatkoa
French Bonne journée!
German Schönen Tag noch!
Hebrew (Sheyihiye lach yom na'im) שיהיה לַך יום נעים
(Sheyihiye lecha yom na'im) שיהיה לְךַ יום נעים
Icelandic Hafðu það gott
Indonesian Semoga harimu menyenangkan
Italian Buona giornata!
Japanese (Yoi ichinichi o)
Latin Die dulci fruere!
Latvian Lai jums laba diena!
Lithuanian Geros dienos!
Maltese Il-gurnata t-tajba
Polish Miłego dnia!
Portuguese Tenha um bom dia!
Romanian Îţi doresc / Vă doresc o zi plăcută!
Slovak Pekný deň! Pekný deň prajem
Spanish ¡Tenga un buen dia!
Swedish Ha en trevlig dag!
Tagalog Magandang araw sa'yo!
Tigrinya (deHan walu)
Turkish İyi günler!

The WEA Twin Dogs

One had a Botox under Dr. Bello. Hindi si Vicki, si Silvestre.

Operation Heckle 2

Last April 21, President Gloria Arroyo was heckled by several persons during the graduation ceremony of the Cavite State University while she was reading her speech. Maria Theresa Pangilinan, one of the graduating students, said that GMA's boring and redundant speech (according to Pangilinan) signalled their unfurling of their banners calling for PGMA's ouster. Pangilinan, who was supposed to get her journalism degree, was the student council president and a writer for the school organ. She remained defiant and CSU decided not to hand her diploma. On April 20 in Washington DC (so almost the same time), Wen Yi Wang, a medical doctor and writer for Epoch Times, also heckled visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao at the White House. Speaking in Chinese, Wen shouted, "Stop oppressing the Falun Gong," "Your time is running out," and "Anything you have done will come back to you in this lifetime." Falun Gong is a kind of exercise like taichi, members insist, but the Chinese government also insists that it is a religion and has punished and even killed possibly hundreds of practitioners in China. Wen was charged of a federal offense and could be imprisoned for six months. Ed Cabagnot, can you read the stars for me at that time?

The pathetic Andy Zapata unleashes his eight steps of the preying mantis.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Good News Last Week

In Hawaii a new law was passed that allows a mother to take home her placenta, or "iewe," and bury it under a tree. Yehey to Pinoy parents there. They can now bury ballpen (for the gift of writing), money (prosperity) or the picture of Tia Carrere or Jasmine Trias (fame). Scientists reported that ichthyoallyeinotoxic fishes--such as mullet, goatfish, tangs, damsels, and rabbitfish--could produce LSD-like hallucinations in those who ate them. Pawn-shop owners in Texas noted that more people were pawning their belongings in order to buy gas. A member of MiniKiss, a KISS tribute band made up of dwarves, denied that he had tried to sneak past security at a Las Vegas concert of Tiny Kiss, a KISS tribute band made up of three little people and a 350-pound woman. In the Netherlands authorities fined an advertiser for placing advertisements on sheep blankets. "If we start with sheep," said Bert Kuiper, the mayor of Skarsterlan, "then next it's the cows and horses." Researchers discovered that the buried lakes of Antarctica are connected to one another by secret rivers. From Harper's Weekly

The Overseas Class

L.A. Times Features 'The Overseas Class' of the Philippines

By Amee R.Enriquez

Early this April, the New York Times did an editorial about the "dark days for Philippine democracy." After the N.Y. Times editorial, the Philippines is once again in the spotlight, with a major U.S. newspaper focusing on Filpinos working overseas.

In a four-part series, Los Angeles Times reporters Richard Boudreaux, Carol J. Williams, Richard C. Paddock and Tracy Wilkinson examine the worldwide flow of remittances. Part three of this series focuses on the Philippines.

The story, the "Overseas Class," written by Richard C. Paddock, was printed on the L.A. Times and posted last April 20 on the website. As of April 21, the story is listed as one of the most emailed stories. Aside from the story, the Times website also has an interactive feature, an audio slideshow with photos of the
Philippines and the overseas class workers and an accompanying narration.

"Millions working abroad help their nation get by, but not prosper. It's a life of lonely, risky sacrifice," reads the subtitle of the Times story.

The story dwells on the "Philippines' most successful export: its workers." "They nurse the sick in California, drive fuel trucks in Iraq, sail cargo ships through the Panama Canal and cruise ships through the Gulf of Alaska. They pour sake for Japanese salarymen and raise the children of Saudi businessmen," according to the Times.

The Times traces the start of the overseas worker phenomenon of the Philippines to the time of President Ferdinand Marcos when Filipinos were "encouraged" to seek jobs in other countries, until today, when "Nine million Filipinos, more than one out of every 10, are working abroad. Every day, more than 3,100 leave the country."

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Brainer Answers

Please look at the comment portion of "Brainer" for the answers.

Last Song Syndrome

You will not forget this Muppet song. And maybe you are interested with the story of the song.


Neatorama came out with this item:

On Good Friday, Filipino Catholic devotees in Lenten, Philippines were nailed to the cross (for real) in an annual ritual.

Forty-five-year-old Ruben Enaje grimaces as he is nailed to the cross for the 20th time during annual lenten rites in San Pedro Cutud village, in San Fernando city about 70 kilometers (45 miles) north of Manila on Friday April 14, 2006. Enaje said it is his way of thanking God for miraculously surviving a fall from a building when he was a construction worker. At least seven Filipino devotees were nailed believing that the sacrifice would save them from sin.

The responses are more interesting:

Responses to “Filipino Crucifixion.”
jael Says:
April 21st, 2006 at 1:39 pm
Another heathen misconception rooted in “macho” culture.
Only Christ’s sacrifice can save…period.
By doing what they’re doing, they unwittingly mock the ultimate gift.
Nowhere did the apostles or early Christians do this
because they understood both the sacrifice and the communion. They also understood that Christ alone was worthy of this sacrifice.

This primitive scenario where “traditions of men” overshadow Christ’s teachings is just sad. Too often, traditions and holidays usurp the commandment of God…Jesus railed against such things, yet preachers often ignore truth in favor of the “feel good” religious aspects.

It’s ok though, they’ll get a chance to rectify their
ignorance when we come into the millennium of teaching and rule…
we all have lots to learn.

Ok, But First You Have to Admit That You Were Wrong Wrong Wrong » Blog Archive » Consider Yourself Crucified! Says:
April 21st, 2006 at 4:38 pm
[…] […]

Jefff Says:
April 21st, 2006 at 4:40 pm
Yeah, that millennium of teaching and rule is gonna be pretty sweet.

TDB Says:
April 21st, 2006 at 11:26 pm
Hey, is it just me or does the guy in the cheap plastic Roman helmet look like Micky Dolenz…or maybe a young Larry Storch?

ed note: Dolenz is the lead singer of The Monkees

Talking Out Of Turn » Filipino Crucifixion Says:
April 22nd, 2006 at 1:42 am
[…] I find this story about several Filipinos crucifying themselves, “believing that the sacrifice would save them from sin” grotesquely sad. (PC) […]

Jael Says:
April 22nd, 2006 at 9:29 am
Yeah TDB…definitely! Hey, hey we’re the monkeys!

Yep Jeff…right on brother…

Guse Says:
April 24th, 2006 at 2:25 pm
oh crap, is that this millennium?

For Sale. 1961 Columbia Records Slide Book

Excellent condition with 2 sets of slides, 36 slides each. Sadly nawawala ang record ng boses ni Carlos P. Romulo as your tourguide. But still... Give me your price and I will reject you kung barat ka masyado

Porn Lit

For Choy, Grace and the rest: Must reading

Profs: Porn serves as unique learning tool
By Christiana Schmitz

April 21, 2006

It’s like bathroom habits or masturbation: you just don’t talk about it. Then, all of a sudden, it’s on your required reading list.

Pornography was once a topic heavily debated but rarely studied. Now, academics are beginning to find substance in the once disgraceful genre. Pornography is becoming a trendy topic intellectually, and what Time magazine has dubbed “the porn curriculum” has slowly trickled into to Northwestern academics.

Students and professors alike are becoming more interested in using pornography as a tool for studying everything from history to science.

“Pornography has many uses beyond the classic one-handed one,” radio-TV-film Prof. Laura Kipnis writes in her book “Bound and Gagged.”

She writes that pornography is “profoundly and paradoxically social, but even more than that, it’s acutely historical. It’s an archive of data about both our history as a culture and our own individual histories…” More.

Passport, Sir?

Yes, this is a blog that does everything to you including an online passport photo maker. Here.

The Baguio Imponderable (Filipino)

Another question that only Baguio people would get:

Ano ang pagkaka-iba ng ng at nang?

Sa mga nakapagtapos ng MA sa Filipino o sa Creative Writing, hindi na siguro tanong ito pero sa karamihan, ito'y napapagbaligtad. Sa akign kaalaman, kung ikaw ay tumutukoy sa panahon, "nang" ang gamitin. Halimbawa: Nang isilang ka sa mundong ito.
Isa pa, kung gagamit ka ng adverb. Halimbawa: Kumain ka nang mabilis. Sa ibang bagay, "ng" na ang gamitin.


Sa Baguio, ganito iyun:

The Nangs own Rosebowl Restaurant while the Ngs own Baguio Palace Hotel.


Refer to our past blog. If you can answer that, then you are eligible to go to Washington DC.

Reporting on urinary problems eligible for award
Region :Worldwide
Country :None
Topic :Specialized Reporting


Journalists around the world can enter a competition for sensitive, accurate reporting on urinary incontinence. Submission deadline: June 1.

The Embrace Award is open to journalists who cover consumer or medical affairs for print, online or broadcast media. The idea is to encourage responsible reporting on urinary incontinence, which is the involuntary, often temporary release of urine. The World Health Organization says the condition is a "widespread global disease and one of the last medical taboos."

There are three categories: consumer media, medical media and broadcast report. The winner of each category receives a three-day trip for two to a different city. The winner of the consumer award visits Washington, D.C., the medical media winner goes to Paris, and the broadcast winner travels to Oxford, U.K.

For more information, visit Brochure and entry form (PDF format):

The Baguio Imponderable (History)

When I was young (an eternal refrain in this blog), my older brother Arell (who is known otherwise as Busol because he used to run after an uncle with a bolo) stumped me with this question:

Is Bonifacio a hero?

It's not an easy question, believe me. For example, you would answer, Of course, his being a hero is out of the question, the question should be: Should he be our national hero? Or, Pity a land that needs a hero. Or, Bonifacio was also an ilustrado or as the late great Nick Joaquin had it, a fashion victim. But no, Busol would not allow such explanation. The question is better said than read:

Isbonifacio a hero?

It depends on how you say it or what is in your mind. Good answer.

Isbo ni Facio a hero?

In Ilocano, that translates to: Is the urine of Facio a hero? There used to be a person named Pacio in our neighborhood so it adds credence. Of course, you would answer, No. Then my brother would ask again, You mean you are learning about Bonifacio in school as the Great Plebeian and everything is a lie? So you never win.

Reminds us. We've been memorizing about the "Great Plebeian" and our teacher never told us what that word meant. Plebeian came from the Latin plebeius, from plebs, plebis, "the common people." Essentially, it meant pertaining to the Roman plebs. It meant the common tao and by association, refers to the vulgar, coarse masa. The Great Plebeian is an oxymoron (refer to Session Road Blues).

Monday, April 24, 2006

Headless Buddhas and Heady Fun in Ayutthaya

Our travelling correspondent Babeth Lolarga writes about outside Bangkok:

"Ayutthaya is beautiful," writes Melinda de Jesus in an email from Istanbul after I asked her what places not to miss in our short five-day visit to Thailand during the Holy Week. "It is an hour's drive away," she continues, "and I would recommend a tour that will give you the whole day. I always try to include this in people's itinerary as it is just so rich with sites from different periods. There are two temple sites that are my favorites, but I do not have the names with me now. Tours usually include a lunch."

Ayutthaya it is, high on our Easter Sunday itinerary. After another breakfast buffet at the Marriott Resort Spa's where I stuff myself to my gills with cholesterol-rich soft rolls, crisp bacon and salted cheese omelette, I join our party of 11 in an airconditioned bus equipped with a "happy room," a toilet at the back.

I consider this trip an honest-to-goodness vacation on my part, not another busman's holiday where I copiously jot down notes as I usually do during trips out of town and out of the country. The only time I write down anything is the train station stop that leads to the harbor where we take a connecting barge to our hotel. Ah, those luxury barges that we hope the Pasig would have someday under a more enlightened and progressive President! The crewman on board gives us, the tired shoppers, cold ginger-scented towelettes to wipe our brows, neck and arms with followed by cold bottles of mineral water.

Our amiable guide to the Ayutthaya Historical Park points out during the hour-long trip the highrises along the countryside as the new homes of the poor. We notice very few billboards along the way, but many Thai flags fly from even home-based poles.

From the literature my partner purchases, I learn that Ayutthaya is Thailand's former capital and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At our first stop at Wat Chaiwatthanaram, the digital cameras are whipped out and the members of the Fernandez clan walk on a carpet of green grass strewn with fragrant fragipani. We are aghast at the rows of headless Buddhas—hacked by antique hunters for greedy collectors in the days when there was no security. There is a tall stupa where a few of the Buddha's ashes are housed and the intrepid among us negotiate the steep stairs. When they reach the top, they let out a proud whoop.

The child in me thrills at the visit to the elephant farm (I am, after all, referred to fondly by a niece as Tita Elephant or Phant for short because of my size). I pet a year-old elephant baby tailing its mother wherever it goes. Off we go to the elephant palace and kraal for the ride of my life on a lumbering mammoth. It is like being in a sea-tossed ship, I tell my partner, and the plus is the ride lasts no more than 20 minutes. He purchases for 300 bahts each all our photos of our first ever elephant ride from the commercial photographer.

Lunch is another buffet at the Krungsri River Hotel with the kids settling for familiar pasta with tomato sauce instead of the spicy hot tom yum gong and other Thai specialties. Some settle for generous servings of sushi. I don't forego the Thai equivalent of our halo-halo complete with kaong, kamote, gabi, gelatin, crushed ice topped with sweetened coconut milk. Our guide reminds us to bring some bread to feed the striped catfish during the cruise along Pasak River. Behind one grand pagoda, the fat fish jumped all over, catching the bits of bread thrown their way.

We make a stopover at St. Joseph Church built in 1666. It is painted a yummy caramel, and I think of the famous caramel cake that has made a modest bakery in Quezon City famous. The church is empty, and we each choose our own pew and quiet ourselves, the visit taking the place of Sunday mass.

The rest of the cruise gives us a view of riverside life among ordinary Thais. The children, especially the boys, are no different from their Philippine counterparts somersaulting naked into the river.

It is with light hearts that we leave Ayutthaya for Bangkok again and its myriad, more sophisticated stimulants

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Sesame Street Clips

From Session Road, we detour to Sesame Street. What are your favorite moments. Here's some for me. Ready, countdown muna:
1) The Alligator King and His Seven Sons
2) The Number Painter
3) Sleepless in Sesame
4) Grover's echo
5) Letter B

Coney Island Ice Cream

Coney Island Ice Cream. Four words that bring back memories of Baguio. After Magnolia's Flavor of the Month, we have the almost inexhaustible flavors of Coney Island. How we saved for a weekly dollop of New York, New York, Bubble Gum, Peaches Melba, Pistachio and many others. It is especially fitting to have it in Baguio, our Little America. Every July 4 then, they would have everything at 50 percent!!! You should see the queues during what was then an official holiday, RP-US Friendship Day. Remember that (actually ugly) red, white and blue logo? Later, they set up Coney island in Camp John Hay.
The main complaint now is that when John Hay was "Filipinized", pati ice cream at the kiosk also became Pinoy.
Anyway, when I went to the US, I actually looked for the original Coney Island Ice Cream. I can not find a single one. All I know is that Coney Island in New York was where the ice cream cone was invented.
As it turned out, there was no franchise. Coney Island is 100 percent Pinoy. It was started by the Trillana family in Manila 30 years ago. Of course, it played on our fascination with Americana.
Later, Purefoods Inc. bought Coney Island, kaya nga nagkaroon pa ng Coney Island Ice Creamers ata sa PBA. I heard the Trillanas own the Go Nuts Donuts, which is the Krispy Kreme version naman. This is now very popular in Manila and I will not be surprised if it
Trillanas also own Whammos, which is a copy of Hostess Twinkies.
Say what you want to say but they got the scoop on us instead of the other way around.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Driving in the Philippines

While writing a very mild story, I came upon this:

Traffic Accidents (2003)

Cause Frequency(percent)

Driver's Error 25.72
Drunk Driving 0.57
Mechanical Defect 12.20
Overspeeding 17.71
Using Cell Phone 0.29
Road Defect 4.77
Hit and Run 4.10
Bad Overtaking 12.44
Bad Turning 9.40
Overloading 7.15
Self Accident 4.91
Others 0.75

This was from 16,418 accidents. Source: Traffic Management Group, Philippine National Police. Until 1998, the health sector through the Department of Health used to compile health statistics, including information on casualties due to road traffic accidents. The information was published in Philippine Health Statistics. For unknown reasons, this compilation was stopped.

Sir, what is self accident?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Session Road Blues

Oxymoron is the positioning of two seemingly contradictory words next to each other to create an effect. For example: bitter-sweet. Kidlat Tahimik is not an oxymoron but Kulog Tahimik is.
Other examples are act naturally, Advanced BASIC, clean coal, dangerously safe, deafening silence, exact estimate, genuine imitation, friendly fire, instant classic, light rock, mild mannered reporter, military intelligence, modern history, moral majority, safe sex, sweet tart and war games.
A good poet should have oxymoron as one of his arsenal, flinging it like a baseball pitcher to surprise a batter. I was thinking hard about it but I believe Session Road is an oxymoron.
Session Road was named after the 1st Philippine Constitutional Session which was held here in the first part of the year. When people are in session, they are expected to seat on their benches and huddle and filibuster. Such sessions take months to finish. Then we take “road” which means “travel” and “in motion.”
I love Session Road because of its quirky origin. It is one of the rarest thing in Cordillera: a straight road. When I see Session Road, for once I do not recognize it then slowly it reveals itself to us.
Because I love traveling at night from Manila, I always arrive in Baguio during the so-called small hours of 2 to 5 am. Even at 6 am, Session Road is ghostly. But the street sweepers are already there, cleaning up last night’s party. The fast food centers are fortunately still cleaning their mote so we go to the old reliables: 456
Restaurant, Dainty Café and Luisa’s Café.
You get the strongest coffee and try to open your mind’s Filofax.
Session Road, of course, has changed throughout the years. At the start of Baguio, Harrison Road was even more popular then. In the 1930s, Japanese shops dominate Session Road. Then the war came and Session Road was carpet bombed. There are still reminders of that, the bombed out space between KFC and National Life.
The late performance artist Robert Villanueva was planning before he got real sick to install a huge bomb there made of the bamboo baskets used to pack Chinese cabbage and wrap it with a red-white-and-blue ribbon. I recall my old magazines and I think Fernando Afable (now a Zen abbot)wrote two poems about that bombed out area.
Baguio and Session Road survived the war and then the Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Filipino traders came in. The old Chinese restaurants here with their high ceilings and wide spaces are loved by architects. Remember Bheromulls where you buy your Bantex? Remember Limpins where your father had his pants made and perma-pressed? You must remember Koken’s, too.
Some of these places are forever lost, not only victims of urbanization but the changing fashion. Now we are feeling the malling of Session Road. If it sounds like “mauling”, that is intentional.
There is another phenomenone: the ukay-ukayization of Session Road. Substandard stalls were put up for these ubiquitous ukay ukay. They were supposed to have been demolished years ago but their lawyer is now a councilor and a very young and arrogant one at that.
Session Road is becoming just your ordinary streets with the McDo, ChowKing, Jollibee and KFC. That’s why the Baguio media were passionate about the battle over Lopez Building years ago. Lopez Building is one of the oldest buildings and the fast food centers wanted to rein into it.
I found it funnily endearign what the Tahong Bundok did with the old building in what was then the Bheromulls. They painted funny smiling faces on the windows.
Session Road is similar to Vigan’s Crisologo St. It is our memory lane. Nostalgia is bad for good poetry that is why we are writing this in prose.
Anyway, a few friends are thinking of coming out with a small book called Session Road. It will be filled with photographs and vignettes about Baguio life. We plan to bring it out by 2009. Anyway, contributions are welcome. Give your odes, paeans, ramblings and monologues on that oxymoronic Session Road.

The map of Baguio labeled by a co-blogger

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Saints of the Days 4

There should be a bill requiring parents to names their children for the feastdays of their birthdays. That way, you don't need to ask their birthdays. Like April 17 is the Feast Day of St. Bernadette. She was known as Bernadette Soubrious, an asthmatic adolescent gathering firewoods when One Day in 1858, The Virgin Mary appeared to her. Our Lady came back 17 times with weird request for Ms. Soubrious includign eating grass to atone for the sins of mankind (misinterpreted by the Rastafarians) and tellign her where to get water. Because of the latter request, 27,000 gallons of miraculous water from Lourdes are taken from that spring every week. Sadly, the replica of the Lady of Lourdes here in Baguio can not replicate the miraculour water simply because there is no water in Mirador Hills here. They are making money only on candles.
April 18 is the feast day of St. Aya whose name is invoked against lawsuits. "Before her demise this wealthy Belgian widow bequethed her wealth and property to a convent at Mons. When their heirs contested the will, Aya testified against them, "in a hollow voice," from the tomb. Case dismissed."
April 19 is the Feast of St. Expeditus, the patron saint of UPS, JRS and other express mail carriers. There was once a shipment form Rome to a Parisian convent, supposedly carrying the skeleton of an authentic saint. It was labeled "spedito" whihc meant "special delivery" in Italian but the Parisian nuns thought it came from St. Expedito.
April 20 is for Saint Uriel, an angle positively identified by Pope Gregory the Great as the Angel who stands guard at the gates of Eden with a fiery sword.

Finally, the Philippine Comic Art Museum

Drawn website, a very influential site for illustrators and graphic designers finally featured Gerry Alanguilan's The Philippine Comic Art Museum.
This is from the underappreciated Vincent Kua Jr.

Let's Make Tusok-Tusok da Fishblog.

The Inquirer had a report written by Erwin Oliva, incidentally a Baguio boy, about blogging in the Philippines as the domain of the elitista. Hmm
He quoted the blog of Dr. Ronald Meinardus, the resident representative of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. I opened Meinardus' only to learn that it has moved on to its own website.
E sinong elitista ngayon? Most of the exclusive websites on the Philippines are made by Fil-Ams and maybe elitistas because of the prohibitive cost of maintaining one.
Kaya nga nagbloblogspot na lang kami or (a chorus of 3.5 million Pinoys) nagfriefriendster na lang.
Good point on the anti-PGMA blogs, though. But that doesn't need much analysis. They blog because they can't say what they want in any other way (even in their own newspapers).
The PGMA is now dominated by advertising agencies, all pathetic Dustin Hoffman wannabe's in Wag the Dog. Kaya nga nagresign si Yongyong Afable (let me hear you say, incidentally a Baguio boy) as image maker. He said that Malacanang then was full of ad agency presidents askign for contracts to improve the image of Preisdnete Labandera.
Hey, I am now reading "Under Three Flags" by Benedict Anderson and why Rizal and Isabelo delos Reyes and other patriots were actually anarchists in contact with the whole global anti-imperialist mini-revolts then.
That is even 100 years before the entry of Internet.
It's better to say that the bloggers are actually treading the same line. We are, in Paolo Manalo's term, anarchists in the jolographic scene.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Stop the Press

Death of Jesus mourned today

Black Saturday observed today

Joyful Easter Sunday rites today

These are the banner headlines of Manila Bulletin when it is the only broadsheet that came out Black Friday and Black Saturday. What a way to seize the day or should I say today

Manila Criminals

The Inquirer reported that there was a 10 percent decrease of crimes in Manila during the past Holy Week. Know why? The criminals all went up to Baguio, including those in Malacanang. This is true. There were only a few people in Manila last week. In fact, this was Luneta during the Holy Week.

He he he. In 1900

Ballpark Estimate

Want to be literally in a ballpark? Even if you are not a Padre fan? Here

Lumpiang Shanghai

Writing as Tourist or Tourist Guides

Here's my guide to the talk I gave two weeks ago in UP Baguio in front of literature teachers. To make up for my incompetence, I also made a PowerPoint presentation. He he he

In 2009, Baguio City will be having its Centennial and I was planning to come up with an anthology of poems on Baguio. What I realized was that there are so many poems on Burnham Park, pine trees and strawberries.

I, who consider himself a Baguio poet, do not have a poem on Burnham Park, pine trees and strawberries. What is wrong with me?

There were some instances when friends who became judges in Palanca or whatever told me that they thought a poem, essay or short story came from me because it was about the Cordillera. I am not saying that they made the piece win because of that.

My early poems really weren't about Cordillera. I wasn't really into "poetry of place" then and now, more about "poetry of time." I was writing poems on Pugo and Tugo and Katy dela Cruz. If I wrote about Baguio, it was about the "pageantry of the past.' I was writing about Chainus Guirey, the Carnival Queen from the Cordillera.

I think I only became conscious about the relation of Baguio to my poems when the poet Francis Macansantos asked me about it. He was writing about the young Baguio poets in the late 1990s and I casually mentioned that I can only write my poems in Baguio. It was just satori, a lightning thought. It wasn't something I imposed on myself then. It just dawned to me that I have not written my poems anywhere else.

But after saying that, I believed in it or I have to believe in it. Everyone has a ritual in writing. That has to be mine. I can find the "germ" of my poem anywhere but the writing, at least the first draft, had to written by longhand in Baguio. I should be sober, although the spark often comes after drinking beer. And usually I write in the so-called small hours, 2 to 4 in the morning when everybody else are asleep.

That is why my blog is

That said, the poem would be there waiting.

If only, it would be that easy.

A Baguio writer has a whole knapsack or pasiking of things to consider before he can write his first word.

First, Baguio, Cordillera or highland? My parents were all born in Ilocos Norte but I was born here. They were the only ones who decided to migrate to Baguio. Some of my cousins, even those who decided to migrate to Hawaii joined the "Samahang Ilocano" fraternity but I wasn't really up to it.

I worked for ten years for a left-leaning NGO concerned with indigenous peoples rights and yet I encounter some shallow people reminding that I am Ilocano and not Igorot.

I thought of myself as a Baguio boy. In the 1980s, "Cordillera" became a byword here. Many were like are migrants from the lowlands and not Igorots but many of my classmates, playmates and friends are. "Cordilleran" was seen as a compromise.

Then there was the question of language. Baguio is seen as the "Little America." We grew up with John Hay and AFRTN. We were dollar-ispokening in High school and were not allowed to speak in Ilocano and Filipino. And yet, when I joined the UP Writer's Workshop, I was in the category of "poetry in Filipino."

I used to say that I write in Filipino when I have a problem with my country and English when I have a problem with myself but I myself don't believe that.

I used to write Ilocano poems but Baguio Ilocano is so hybrid compared to the Bannawag Ilocano.

Then, of course, there is the problem of subject matter. Should I write about Burnham Park, strawberries, pine trees and Banaue Rice Terraces?

Ten years ago, I was also invited to talk here about "Writing in the Cordillera."

I talked about Sinai Hamada, the founder of Baguio Midland Courier. But before that, Sinai was known as one of the best fictionist in the 1930s. He was winning awards for his short stories then. Why did he turn to journalism?

I said then that maybe because there were a lot to explain about the Cordillera and maybe Sinai wanted to be of service with his people by educating them first. I always liked to believe that "Tanabata's Wife" was his Igorot mother because he described her so sensitively and lovingly.

The ghost of Sinai is like Mount Sinai to many writers here. Many journalists in Baguio started as poets but they have their own reasons for shifting as I have mine.

Many of course did not go back to being creative writers. Three years, a dying Peppot Ilagan asked me to read his poem on lost love and Teachers Camp for a poetry reading one Valentines Day.

I can not bear to do it and resolved on his grave that I will go back to writing poems or at least come out with my own book of poems.

There are still a lot to explain about the Cordillera now but should we, supposedly the creative writers of Baguio , relegate ourselves as tourist guides?

But then it was Jorge Luis Borges who said that that "writing is nothing more than a guided dream."
We are all essentially tourist guides of our dreams. In another instance, Borges said, "In my dreams, I am always in Buenos Aires."

In journalism, we have what we call "parachute journalists.' These are journalists from outside who come to our area, stay for a few days and then write like they are experts.

Fortunately, there are no "parachute poets or fictionists." How else do you explain Borges' dictionary of imaginary beings? Or Tolkien and Middle Earth?

I have nothing about poems on strawberries and Burnham Lake. But I don't want to be labeled as a "regional writer" just because I live outside Manila. Also I do not know everything about Cordillera. I am still learning, just like all of you here.

Margaret Atwood in her "Lives of the Poets" said:

"Everyone thinks writers must know the inside of the human brain, but that is wrong. They know less, that's why they write. Trying to find what everyone else takes for granted."

Write about Baguio after the tourists come. Write about Lakandula St. instead of Burnham Park. Write about Burnham Park. Write like a tourist or a tourist guide. But the main thing is to write.

Libro de Numero

Read first

Saturday, April 15, 2006

"Tyger, Tyger Burning Bright

In the forests of the night." Wm Blake

This to greet Jawo and Amay on the birth of their son.

Friday, April 14, 2006

The Holiest Comics Character

Robin, of course

Maximo Premio Espanya

Bravo Solito

Author, Author!!!

The Top 100 best-written movies according to the Writer's Guild of America:

1. CASABLANCA, Screenplay by Julius J. & Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch. Based on the play "Everybody Comes to Rick's" by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison.
2. THE GODFATHER, Screenplay by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola. Based on the novel by Mario Puzo.
3. CHINATOWN, Written by Robert Towne
4. CITIZEN KANE, Written by Herman Mankiewicz and Orson Welles
5. ALL ABOUT EVE. Screenplay by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Based on "The Wisdom of Eve," a short story and radio play by Mary Orr
6. ANNIE HALL, Written by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman
7. SUNSET BLVD., Written by Charles Brackett & Billy Wilder and D.M. Marshman Jr.
8. NETWORK, Written by Paddy Chayefsky
9. SOME LIKE IT HOT, Screenplay by Billy Wilder & I.A.L. Diamond. Based on "Fanfare of Love," a German film written by Robert Thoeren and M. Logan
10. THE GODFATHER II, Screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo. Based on Mario Puzo's novel "The Godfather"
11. BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID, Written by William Goldman
12. DR. STRANGELOVE, Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick and Peter George and Terry Southern. Based on novel "Red Alert" by Peter George
13. THE GRADUATE, Screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry. Based on the novel by Charles Webb
14. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, Screenplay by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson. Based on the life and writings of Col. T.E. Lawrence
15, THE APARTMENT, Written by Billy Wilder & I.A.L. Diamond
16. PULP FICTION, Written by Quentin Tarantino. Stories by Quentin Tarantino & Roger Avary
17. TOOTSIE, Screenplay by Larry Gelbart and Murray Schisgal. Story by Don McGuire and Larry Gelbart
18. ON THE WATERFRONT, Screen Story and Screenplay by Budd Schulberg. Based on "Crime on the Waterfront" articles by Malcolm Johnson
19. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, Screenplay by Horton Foote. Based on the novel by Harper Lee.
20. IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, Screenplay by Frances Goodrich & Albert Hackett & Frank Capra. Based on short story "The Greatest Gift" by Philip Van Doren Stern. Contributions to screenplay Michael Wilson and Jo Swerling
21. NORTH BY NORTHWEST, Written by Ernest Lehman
22. THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, Screenplay by Frank Darabont. Based on the short story "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption" by Stephen King
23. GONE WITH THE WIND, Screenplay by Sidney Howard. Based on the novel by Margaret Mitchell
24. ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, Screenplay by Charlie Kaufman. Story by Charlie Kaufman & Michel Gondry & Pierre Bismuth.
25. THE WIZARD OF OZ, Screenplay by Noel Langley and Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf. Adaptation by Noel Langley. Based on the novel by L. Frank Baum

26. DOUBLE INDEMNITY, Screenplay by Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler. Based on the novel by James M. Cain
27. GROUNDHOG DAY, Screenplay by Danny Rubin and Harold Ramis. Story by Danny Rubin.
28. SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, Written by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard
29, SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS, Written by Preston Sturges
30. UNFORGIVEN, Written by David Webb Peoples
31. HIS GIRL FRIDAY, Screenplay by Charles Lederer. Based on the play "The Front Page" by Ben Hecht & Charles MacArthur
32. FARGO, Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
33. THE THIRD MAN, Screenplay by Graham Greene. Story by Graham Greene. Based on the short story by Graham Greene.
34. THE SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, Screenplay by Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman. From a novelette by Ernest Lehman
35. THE USUAL SUSPECTS, Written by Christopher McQuarrie
36. MIDNIGHT COWBOY, Screenplay by Waldo Salt. Based on the novel by James Leo Herlihy
37. THE PHILADELPHIA STORY, Screenplay by Donald Ogden Stewart. Based on the play by Philip Barry
38. AMERICAN BEAUTY, Written by Alan Ball
39. THE STING, Written by David S. Ward
40. WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, Written by Nora Ephron
41. GOODFELLAS, Screenplay by Nicholas Pileggi & Martin Scorsese. Based on book "Wise Guy" by Nicholas Pileggi.
42. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, Screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan. Story by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman
43. TAXI DRIVER, Written by Paul Schrader
44. THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES, Screenplay by Robert E. Sherwood. Based on novel "Glory For Me" by MacKinlay Kantor
45. ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST, Screenplay by Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman. Based on the novel by Ken Kesey
46. THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE, Screenplay by John Huston. Based on the novel by B. Traven
47. THE MALTESE FALCON, Screenplay by John Huston. Based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett
48, THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, Screenplay by Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson. Based on the novel by Pierre Boulle
49, SCHINDLER'S LIST, Screenplay by Steven Zaillian. Based on the novel by Thomas Keneally
50. THE SIXTH SENSE, Written by M. Night Shyamalan
51. BROADCAST NEWS, Written by James L. Brooks
52. THE LADY EVE, Screenplay by Preston Sturges. Story by Monckton Hoffe
53. ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN, Screenplay by William Goldman. Based on the book by Carl Bernstein & Bob Woodward
54. MANHATTAN, Written by Woody Allen & Marshall Brickman
55. APOCALYPSE NOW, Written by John Milius and Francis Coppola. Narration by Michael Herr
56. BACK TO THE FUTURE, Written by Robert Zemeckis & Bob Gale
57. CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS, Written by Woody Allen
58. ORDINARY PEOPLE, Screenplay by Alvin Sargent. Based on the novel by Judith Guest
59. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT, Screenplay by Robert Riskin. Based on the story "Night Bus" by Samuel Hopkins Adams
60. L.A. CONFIDENTIAL, Screenplay by Brian Helgeland & Curtis Hanson. Based on the novel by James Ellroy
61. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, Screenplay by Ted Tally. Based on the novel by Thomas Harris
62. MOONSTRUCK, Written by John Patrick Shanley
63. JAWS, Screenplay by Peter Benchley and Carl Gottlieb. Based on the novel by Peter Benchley
64. TERMS OF ENDEARMENT, Screenplay by James L. Brooks. Based on the novel by Larry McMurtry
65. SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, Screen Story and Screenplay by Betty Comden & Adolph Green. Based on the song by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown
66. JERRY MAGUIRE, Written by Cameron Crowe
67. E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, Written by Melissa Mathison
68. STAR WARS, Written by George Lucas
69. DOG DAY AFTERNOON, Screenplay by Frank Pierson. Based on a magazine article by P.F. Kluge and Thomas Moore
70. THE AFRICAN QUEEN, Screenplay by James Agee and John Huston. Based on the novel by C.S. Forester
71. THE LION IN WINTER, Screenplay by James Goldman. Based on the play by James Goldman
72. THELMA & LOUISE, Written by Callie Khouri
73. AMADEUS, Screenplay by Peter Shaffer. Based on his play.
74. BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, Written by Charlie Kaufman
75. HIGH NOON, Screenplay by Carl Foreman. Based on short story "The Tin Star" by John W. Cunningham
76. RAGING BULL, Screenplay by Paul Schrader and Mardik Martin. Based on the book by Jake La Motta with Joseph Carter and Peter Savage
77. ADAPTATION, Screenplay by Charlie Kaufman and Donald Kaufman. Based on the book "The Orchid Thief" by Susan Orlean
78. ROCKY, Written by Sylvester Stallone
79. THE PRODUCERS, Written by Mel Brooks
80. WITNESS, Screenplay by Earl W. Wallace & William Kelley. Story by William Kelley and Pamela Wallace & Earl W. Wallace
81. BEING THERE, Screenplay by Jerzy Kosinski. Inspired by the novel by Jerzy Kosinski
82. COOL HAND LUKE, Screenplay by Donn Pearce and Frank Pierson. Based on the novel by Donn Pearce.
83. REAR WINDOW, Screenplay by John Michael Hayes. Based on the short story by Cornell Woolrich
84. THE PRINCESS BRIDE, Screenplay by William Goldman. Based on his novel.
85. LA GRANDE ILLUSION, Written by Jean Renoir and Charles Spaak
86. HAROLD & MAUDE, Written by Colin Higgins
87. 8 1/2, Screenplay by Federico Fellini, Tullio Pinelli, Ennio Flaiano, Brunello Rondi. Story by Fellini, Flaiano.
88. FIELD OF DREAMS, Screenplay by Phil Alden Robinson. Based on the book by W.P. Kinsella
89. FORREST GUMP, Screenplay by Eric Roth. Based on the novel by Winston Groom
90. SIDEWAYS, Screenplay by Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor. Based on the novel by Rex Pickett
91. THE VERDICT, Screenplay by David Mamet. Based on the novel by Barry Reed
92. PSYCHO, Screenplay by Joseph Stefano. Based on the novel by Robert Bloch
93. DO THE RIGHT THING, Written by Spike Lee
94. PATTON, Screen Story and Screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola and Edmund H. North. Based on "A Soldier's Story" by Omar H. Bradley and "Patton: Ordeal and Triumph" by Ladislas Farago
95. HANNAH AND HER SISTERS, Written by Woody Allen
96. THE HUSTLER, Screenplay by Sidney Carroll & Robert Rossen. Based on the novel by Walter Tevis
97. THE SEARCHERS, Screenplay by Frank S. Nugent. Based on the novel by Alan Le May
98. THE GRAPES OF WRATH, Screenplay by Nunnally Johnson. Based on the novel by John Steinbeck
99. THE WILD BUNCH, Screenplay by Walon Green and Sam Peckinpah. Story by Walon Green and Roy Sickner
100. MEMENTO, Screenplay by Christopher Nolan. Based on the short story "Memento Mori" by Jonathan Nolan
101. NOTORIOUS, Written by Ben Hecht

Saint of the Day 3

April 15 is the feast day of Saint Hunna, ang patron saint ng mga labandera. "Although she was a daughter of an Alsatian duke and wife of a count in Strasbourg, tanggap pa rin nang tanggap ng labada sa mga kapitbahay. Thus, Hunna or Huva was known as the Holy Washerwoman. Although she died in 679, it was only in 1520 that she was canonized gawa ng connection sa duke of Wurtemmberg. She was the inspiration of Gloria Labandera. Also the patron saint ng mga kasamahan ko sa UP na tanggap nang tanggap ng mga racket gawa ng baba ng sweldo.

Saint of the Day 2

April 14, the birthday of a someone I used to _____, is the feast of The Blessed Lydwina. There are three other saints who died on this date but I chose Lydwina because
1) she has a nice name
2) her life can be used for a telenovela.

Her name means "friend of suffering" and I do not see a parent wanting to bestow that name to her daughter. She is a saint and she was beautiful so it followed that she saw her physical attractiveness as a curse. Maybe she is a little dense because she prayed to be less beautiful. God loves to fulfill such a weird wish.
Lydwina decided to skate in the ice and she fell and broke a rib which punctured her flesh resulting in a hideous abscess that never healed. It resulted in a fissure from her brow to her nose. Her lower lip fell. She also decided to wear a horse hair girdle to make herself more unattractive.
For 33 years, she had been applying sebo de macho, actually eel fat, on her wounds. One time, she run out of eels and asked for chicken fat from a poultry owner. He did not give her anything and she casually said, I hope the mice get rid of your chicken. Of course the Lord did just that.
Another time, she was in a church when a wafer came down from the sky and descended on her. The priest refused to give it to her and the parishioners chased the priest up to the cemetery.
Lydwina was afflicted wiuth headache, bedsores, toothache and blindness. In the end, God also gave her stigmata. She died in 1433. She is the patron saint of KC Concepcion (for a brief time), Michelle Kwan, Tonya Harding and the SM Megamall Ice Skating Rink.


Thursday, April 13, 2006

Tired of all the karaoke deaths caused by the singing of "My Way"? At least this Holy Week, try "holy karaoke."

A new videoke microphone brings you all the verses of the Holy Bible and then with one push of a button, you get to sing from more than 1,000 gospel songs.

"This was developed particularly for the Philippine market," said Orville Roque, president of The Astra Group, Inc, one of the two distributors of the XTreme Magic Sing Videoke Microphone.

"Hopefully by next year, we could include the pasyon," Roque said.

Those who have no access of pasyon, the narrative of the passion, death and resurrection of Christ sung during the Holy Week, at least one website has it online.

The website of Hagonoy town in Bulacan ( contains all 160 pages of the Kasaysayan ng Pasyong Mahal ni Hesukristong Panginoon Natin (History of the Holy Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ).

Roque also said that the "Gospel of Judas," a Gnostic text (one of Unorthodox Chrisitan documents written in the first and second centuries) which is very popular in the media right now, could also be included.

"The Bible Microphone can be customized as long as there are more than 500 orders for that specification," Roque said.

He said that the specification would be done in their main office of Enter Tech Inc. in South Korea.

Version 10.0, which is sold for P12,500, has the entire New International Version and the user can easily select the book, chapter and verse.

The problem, according to Roque, is that the background displays are the standard international and Filipino scenes found in their karaoke.

But Roque said users can install a picture background of their choice from an external video source like digital camera, camcorder, DVD or from the TV itself.

"We expect the microphone to become popular immediately among church groups to enhance their congregational prayers, reflections, discussions and worship with its highly-adaptable control features," he said.

Aside from Astra, the other distributor of Magic Sing Videoke Microphones in the Philippines is the In-a-Jiffy Enterprises.

Roque expects no resistance from conservative religious groups.

"We live in an electronic age where the electronic media is indispensable. Once the Bible Microphone is used by a group, the demonstration effect will come into play," he said.

When the user switches to the Videoke Mode, the Bible Microphone contains 1,050 Christian praise songs and hymns. The user can then select traditional church instruments like piano, organs and drums, as well as set various voice combinations.

Although karaoke is internationally known as a Japanese invention,
many Filipinos still believe Robert del Rosario's Sing-Along System
was the prototype. In 1994, Enter Tech reinvented the karaoke by coming up with a line of compact video karaoke system. The bulky karaoke's visual and audio qualities were built in a single microphone the ASIC or the Application Specific Integrated Circuit, the most popular product being the Magic Sing Along.
Roque said that when Magic was introduced by AGI four years ago, only a handful can afford the P10,000 price tag. But even then, Filipinos were already karaoke crazy.
According to the Department of Trade and Industry, Filipinos in 2001 bought 75,700 units of karaoke compared to 43,700 videocassette
recorders and 10,600 units of Video compact disc players, 302,100 radios or music centers and 883,100 new color TV.

To whet Pinoy's appetite for original Pilipino music, Magic Sing now has six Tagalog chips with each chip containing at least 500 songs, aside from thre built-in chip which has more than 2,000 songs. A praise chip has more than 500 songs.
Roque said a substantial number of their customers are balikbayans, who would either bring back the karaoke microphones when they come home or aks a relative to buy them. He said that they find it much cheaper to buy them here rather than order them abroad.
The balikbayans also like the Filipino backdrop, he said.

Robert Pinsky Introduces Eugene Gloria

Washington Post lang naman

Poet's Choice

By Robert Pinsky
Sunday, April 9, 2006; Page BW12

Eugene Gloria's new book, Hoodlum Birds , demonstrates a central quality of poetry: depth of language, the power to get past the first surfaces of words and of things. Or to put it differently, the power to hear harmonies beyond the obvious ones, finding new undertones of meaning.
Instead of the customary, sensible and predictable word, poetry discovers one that vibrates with meaning. When Shakespeare says "Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow" (in Sonnet 30), the lethal and exaggerated meaning of "drown" communicates an ambivalent, self-critical feeling: His weepy mood may be self-indulgent or less than clear-sighted.
Gloria's book brings the historical and the contemporary into fresh, vivid relation, so that the street and the museum are no longer sealed off neatly from one another. He finds the buried historical passions underlying a world of Cadillacs and fistfights. And conversely, he finds a contemporary urgency in violent saints' lives. Gloria's material is not limited to a tough American neighborhood or a 12th-century Andalucian Jewish poet, but traces the currents of feelings and ideas that run between the two.
I don't mean simply his eclectic range of reference -- though it is pleasing to read poems that can speak with conviction about the poet Lorca and the painter Zurburán and with similar passion about the boxer Flash Elorde or the neighborhoods of Manila and Anaheim. Beyond that, and beyond the mere metaphor-making ability to see things in terms of other things, the poems attain a robust sense of reality. The title brings the language of the first term, "hoodlum," together with the observed reality of the second term, "birds." That simple procedure is richly imagined:

Hoodlum Birds

The fearless blackbirds see me again

at the footpath beside the tall grasses

sprouting like unruly morning hair.

They caw and caw like vulgar boys

on street corners making love to girls

with their "hey mama

this" and their "hey mama that."

But this gang of birds is much too slick.
They are my homeys of the air

with their mousse-backed hair and Crayola

black coats like small fry hoods who smoke

and joke about each other's mothers,

virginal sisters, and the sweet arc of revenge.

These birds spurn my uneaten celery sticks,

feckless gestures, ineffective hosannas.

They tag one another, shrill and terrible,

caroling each to each my weekly wages.

But they let me pass, then flit away.

They won't mess with me this time--

they know where I live.

I like the way "each to each" sounds both like Renaissance lyric poetry and the screech of the birds. I like the literary flamboyance of "feckless gestures, ineffective hosannas" played against the vernacular flamboyance of "small fry hoods who smoke/and joke." And I like the way the merging of birds with gang boys finds its resolution in the last line, with "where I live" implying that the poet is not completely unlike the bird-toughs. "Where I live" is part of the street-threat but also a phrase that means "what is important to me." That implication of fellow-feeling with his subject is part of Gloria's imaginative generosity.

(Eugene Gloria's poem is from his book "Hoodlum Birds." Penguin. Copyright © 2006 by Eugene Gloria.)
From February edition of Harper's Magazine's Index

Average amount it costs U.S. companies to process a query through a call center:


[The Center for Customer Driven Quality (West Lafayette, Ind.)]

Saint of the Day 1

We decided to include this among our regular feature. This being April 13, we giveyou Saint Margaret of Castell, the patron of the Right to Life Movement

Margaret was a blind, lame and deformed dwarf and her parents decided to bring her when she was 14 to the Dominican chapel of Citta di Castelo in Italy in hope of a miraculouscure.Walang himala! So herparents left her there and she became the dakilang alalay of the nuns.She was made in charge of the day-care facility and she eventually became the whole town's mascot.

AP story:
The human hitting machine, Ichiro Suzuki has 1,139 hits during five-plus seasons in the majors. Few have have felt as good as one in the fourth inning on Wednesday.

"I was just about as happy as when I got my first hit," said the Japanese star, who stopped an 0-for-18 slump. "I wanted to keep the ball."

Ichiro ended his slide and so did Seattle.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Ichiro, What's Happening??

Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners is in a slump. Pray for him

Literary Darwinism

New literary theory. From NY Times Magazine:
Just as Charles Darwin studied animals to discover the patterns behind their development, Literary Darwinists read books in search of innate patterns of human behavior: child bearing and rearing, efforts to acquire resources (money, property, influence) and competition and cooperation within families and communities. They say that it's impossible to fully appreciate and understand a literary text unless you keep in mind that humans behave in certain universal ways and do so because those behaviors are hard-wired into us. For them, the most effective and truest works of literature are those that reference or exemplify these basic facts.

From "Seed" interview of Jonathan Gottschall,
What did you find when you started reading literature through this new lens?
The Iliad was particularly significant for me because I was reading it while also reading Morris and other texts on sociobiology. As a result, Homer's evolutionary themes were jumping off the page. Right away I was seeing the drama of naked apes competing for social status and material resources; as well, they were competing directly and indirectly over women...You know, Einstein once said that theory defines what we can see. If Literary Darwinism has anything going for it we should start to see things in literature that weren't seen before, or seen as crisply before. I say this because I feel that I saw things in Homer that even 2,600 years worth of Homer scholars hadn't seen.

Do you expand on these insights in your forthcoming book, The Rape of Troy: Evolution, Violence, and the World of Homer (Cambridge, est. 2006)?

Yes, I use an evolutionary lens to flip conventional commentary on Homeric disputes. Instead of suggesting that winning women is merely a proximate goal masking competition for wealth, power and prestige, an evolutionary perspective suggests that honor, political power and social dominance are the proximate routes to the ultimate goal of women--for Homer's heroes and for ordinary men.


Richard Wiseman, a professor at Britain's University of Hertfordshire, has conducted some experiments which indicate to him that we have a lot more influence on our own good fortune than we realize. Prof Wiseman executed a ten-year study to determine the nature of luck, and published his findings in a book called The Luck Factor: The Scientific Study of the Lucky Mind. Among other things, he experimentally studied the lottery winnings from people who count themselves as "lucky" and compared them to those who are self-described as "unlucky," and found that one's perception of their own luck before a lottery has no bearing on their likelihood of winning. Now, there are lucky and there are luckier ones. To be the luckier ones, know these four principles:

Principle One: Maximise Chance Opportunities
Lucky people are skilled at creating, noticing and acting upon chance opportunities. They do this in various ways, including networking, adopting a relaxed attitude to life and by being open to new experiences.

Principle Two: Listening to Lucky Hunches
Lucky people make effective decisions by listening to their intuition and gut feelings. In addition, they take steps to actively boost their intuitive abilities by, for example, meditating and clearing their mind of other thoughts.

Principle Three: Expect Good Fortune
Lucky people are certain that the future is going to be full of good fortune. These expectations become self-fulfilling prophecies by helping lucky people persist in the face of failure, and shape their interactions with others in a positive way.

Principle Four: Turn Bad Luck to Good
Lucky people employ various psychological techniques to cope with, and often even thrive upon, the ill fortune that comes their way. For example, they spontaneously imagine how things could have been worse, do not dwell on the ill fortune, and take control of the situation


Hi, Boys! Gbye, Boys Hi! Hi Girls!

This is friend Pigeon Lobien's story on dear old SLU Boys High which graduated its last all-boys batch this year. It is now co-ed.

When Sam enters school this June to kick off the 2006-2007 school year, she is actually making history as one of the first female graduates of what was once a very exclusive school in the city.
It is ironic though for the 15-year Samantha Ramirez to be one of the close to 700 students who will graduate next year from the Saint Louis Laboratory High School, more popularly known as Boys High and one of the most recognizable intermediate educational institutions in the city. It is also the training ground of some of the city’s leading male citizens.
It was just recently that the last all-boy class had been graduated even while Baguio-Benguet Bishop Carlito Cenzon and more than 20 others celebrated their 50th reunion as graduating class of the Boys High School.
Cenzon was joined in by his co-graduates who themselves have distinguished themselves in their respective chosen careers. A co-graduate is now a priest, a parish priest of a church here (four others have taken the vow), one is a retired military general, two went on to become secretaries to mayors and one is a distinguished contractor.
It is more ironic for Sam that her father, Noel, is also a graduate of that same institution when a concrete, iron railed 100-meter wall divided that institution with another exclusive high school adjacent to it. Noel’s only other brother graduated from Boys Hi while their two sisters (one of them married to Cordillera Today cartoonist Hubert Cabanban) are from across the wall.
That wall literally started crumbling down when the Saint Louis Center High School or Girls High was relocated in 1995 to Saint Vincent and merged with a “rival” all girls high school, the Holy Family.
I remember that “wars” waged by these two all girls high school as a high school back in the 80s when most of us from a public high school dreamt of dating one of those girls from the exclusive schools and when being seen in public with those blue and white uniform wearing girls (not the white and maroon) could make you a hero among your school mates.
The move to have the two all girls highs together left the old Center for the elementary students who still have to look past the iron railings to see fellow pupils from the Laboratory which will be deprived of high school students later on after Boys High was removed to its new campus at CM Recto St.
In 2003, Boys High started removing its all boys tag when it accepted the first female enrollees which included Sam, who just graduated from the SL Laboratory Elementary School.
As a high school here, I waged a tough competition against Boys High students in various school competitions. I remember the Laras, the Sos of Lab Science Class who were my toughest rivals in quiz shows.
There were the Padillas who went to moviedom, one was a toughie (who did not graduate), while the other was rather effeminate who recently admitted that he is of the fairer gender.
While it was an all-male school, some students feel that they should belong to the school across the wall that also earned the school the monicker Hi Boys not Boys Hi.
As a graduating Psychology students in the late 80s, I had my guidance and counseling practicum at Boys Hi (as well as in the SLLES) and handled a third year regular class. The adviser was a stern one and the boys were all behaved everytime that she was there for our monthly homeroom activity.
During one activity, one of the students said that he wanted to be an actor, as well as an entertainer then went on to grab an imaginary mike while a fellow student mimicked that of a cameraman and he went on to sing slowly shedding of his masculinity. Years later, I see him wearing make ups and sometimes dressed as a female. He never went to show business just like Rustom.
That “very stern” teacher resigned after her “well behaved” class started calling her as the primeval man, since her name is the same as the monicker given by anthropologists to what is said to be the first human.
Surely, Boys Hi is gone but the spirit of those who were products of this one proud school remains strong.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Gospel of Hudas

Hudas not know Judas these days, with all those revelations of the Gospel of Judas? These are the songs with references to Judas. Of course, we also have a band known as "Judas Priest" and an obscure metal bank known as "Judas Iscariot." These are the songs, from Wikipedia, of songs with reference to Judas.

"At Least I Know I'm a Sinner" by Atreyu
"It was as if the Dead Man Stood upon the Air" by Norma Jean
"Truly, Truly this is the End" by Zao
"My Genesis, My Judas" by Aria
"New Sons Of Babylon" by A Traitor Like Judas
"Omerta" by Lamb of God
"Judas" by Depeche Mode
"Judas Iscariot" by Rick Wakeman
"The Man's Too Strong" by Dire Straits
"Masters of War" by Bob Dylan
"The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest" by Bob Dylan (this was the inspiration for the name of the band Judas Priest)
"Pride (In the Name of Love)" by U2
"Until the End of the World" by U2
"Down There by the Train" by Johnny Cash
"With God on Our Side" by Bob Dylan
"Brainsaw" by Therapy?
"Judas My Heart" by Belly
"Judas" by Helloween
"Amarok—Zorn Des Lammes III" by Nagaroth
"Kiss of Judas" by Stratovarius
"Judas be My Guide" by Iron Maiden
"Age of False Innocence" by Blind Guardian
"Behold Judas" by Hate Eternal
"Don't You Grieve" by Roy Harper
"Judas" by Yngwie Malmsteen
"Abuse and Confession" by Laibach
"Please Don't Judas Me" by Nazareth
"Forgive Them Father" by Lauryn Hill
"Judas" by Charlatans UK

How about Bamboo's Hudas? "Tinatawanan lang ni Hudas/Ako't ikaw, tayong lahat." Also Wolfgang's Halik ni Hudas. "Tao sa pangil ng buwaya/Kapangyarihan ng halik ni Hudas"

Bakit hindi "Hey, Jude" ng Beatles? St. Jude yun.

Happy Holy Tuesday.

The person with the most correct answers in our "Brainer" will get a Free "unholyhours" T-shirt.

(S+C) x (B+F)/T = V

What is this, Alfonso Corpuz? Answer tomorrow

Monday, April 10, 2006


The Holy Week vacation is long. While watching The Robe and Victor Mature, try this quiz.

1. Who played the Yaya in Shake, Rattle and Roll?
2. Who played Aling Atang in Flor de Luna?

3. Title of the movie which gave Ronald Gan a Best Actor Trophy.
4. Eugene is Simang in Sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan. Simang is short for what?
5. Who was the male bold star introduced in The Rape of Virginia P.?
6. Who was the love interest of Maricel Soriano in Underage 1?
7. Name of Manilyn Reynes in Ober da Bakod.
8. The very first Little Miss Philippines title holder.
9. Leading man of Roderick Paulate in Bala at Lipstick.
10. Name of the character of Rico Yan in Mula sa Puso.
11. Launching movie of Melissa Perez Rubio.
12. Title of the sitcom of Richard Gomez and William Martinez.
13. Which movie did the line “Champion ka talaga!" come from? Not "Live Show."
14. Who once said, “I am not a GRO!!!"? Not Keanna.
15. "Ate, mamamatay ako pag inagaw mo sa akin si Alex. Ipalilibing kita!" came from what movie? It's an oxymoron, poetic fans.
16. Who was the pianist in "Bagong Kampeon"?
17. Title of the movie with Lea Salonga, Lilet and Regine V. Not The Three Tenors.
18. The surname of Esperanza. Bonus: What is the family name of Esperanza, the singer?
19. Title of the talk show of Boy Abunda & AJ Abayari (later replaced by Gretchen).
20. Movie of Jimmy Santos, Raymart Santiago and Ai-Ai.
21. Title of the movie of Kris Aquino and Christopher de Leon.
22. Lead star of Stop: Child Abuse.
23. Sitcom of Ogie, Gelli, Carmina and Ai-Ai in Channel 2.
24. If Luis Alandy is Clarence in Sa Dulo, then who is for Pangako Sa Yo?
25. Title of the movie of Aiza Seguerra, Spencer Reyes and Merryl Soriano.
26. Who’s the third angle in the love triangle of Ate Guy and Cocoy Laurel in Lollipops, Roses at Burong Talangka?
27. Who played Dondie, Angeline's gay bestfriend and business partner?
28. Who was the model for Guillermo Tolentino's Oblation?
29. First Filipina to pose for Playboy? This was in 1968.
30. The Pinay who co-starred with Mel Gibson in "The Year of Living Dangerously"?
31. What is the real name of Connie Reyes?
32. What is the real name of the commedian Dabiana? See Number 29.
33. Title of the daily noon time show of Jackie Lou Blanco in Channel 4.
34. She's the Bilmoko Girl.
35. Famous line of Eddie Ilarde at the end of Kahapon Lamang.
36. Title of the duet song of Pops Fernandez and Joey Albert.
37. Who sang with Gino Padilla in the song Let The Love Begin?
38. Angeli Pangilinan dedicated to whom the song Sana'y Maulit Muli (Hoping for Redundancy)?
39. Who was the fourth member of APO who left the group in the 70's?
40. Which movie did Aga Muhlach fall in love with Janice de Belen? Bonus: What song came out of it?
41. What was the first movie team-up of Shawie and Gabo?
42. Who was the leading lady of FPJ in Ang Panday?
43. Who played the mother of Shawie in Pasan Ko ang Daigdig (I Steamrollered the Earth)?
44. Who was Wengweng’s love team partner in "For Your Height Only"? See Number 7.
45. Who played the Spanish Teacher in the movie Bagets (French Bread)?
46. Who directed Bagets?
47. Title of the movie of Joyce Jimenez and Richard Grieco. Not My Fat Greek Wedding?
48. Which sitcom did Jolina play the role of Baby Girl? Not Judicial Notice.
49. Who was the Pinoy evangelist who had a snake and a spaceship?
50. Who is the mother of Eduardo and Diego in Pangako Sa Yo?

Is PGMA Telling us Something?

We know PGMA as a very good economics teacher but are perplexed why she is doing all the things economists warned her not to do. Look how stupid her population policy is. Look at her job creation project. Her poverty reduction scheme.
But like that of Pres. George W. Bush, her popularity is going down, down the esteroville but the stocks are going up. Look at this chart from Slate showing the stocks (up) and the popularity ratings (down).


Sorry to ABS-CBN. It should not be abominable snowman. I meant "abdomenable." Sorry.

Creatures of Mt. Everest

This is from Live Science:

Scientists from Conservation International and Disney's Animal Kingdom recently launched a two-month scientific expedition into six regions of the Tibetan "Sacred Lands" in the mountains of Southwest China and Nepal.

Today they announced the discovery of a pocket of the world rich in extraordinary flora and fauna.

"The fact that we found so many new species in such a harsh environment, as well as documented several rare and endangered species is good news for these two regions," said Leeanne Alonso, the expedition's lead scientist and vice president of the CI's Rapid Assessment Program.

Here's a sampling of the outlandish critters:

Giant hornets so deadly locals call them "Yak Killers"
Jumping "Yeti" mice
A new grasshopper species in which the males hitch piggy-back rides on the females
Baby blue-faced golden monkeys, the region's largest primates
Hamster-like pikas that eat their own feces
A couple of new frog species, eight new insect species, and ten new species of ants to add the more than 11,000 already known.

Flash! They found just now a new creature. A Filipino abominable snowman. Abnerus Mercadus.

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