Thursday, June 29, 2006

Last Week

If someone asked you, How was your week, Harper's can guide you: Swedish researchers announced that the Toxoplasma virus hijacks human cells and forces them to commit suicide. North Korea reserved the right to test missiles capable of hitting the United States. A Canadian bear was caught stealing oatmeal, and London's mayor cracked down on a "radical" pigeon-feeding "splinter group" in Trafalgar Square. Congressman Peter King said Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi's heavenly reward would be 72 virgins who "all look like Helen Thomas," the 85-year-old White House correspondent. State Representative Kathi-Anne Rheinstein introduced legislation that would designate Fluffernutter as the official sandwich spread of Massachusetts. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography predicted that a massive earthquake will strike southern California some time in the next ten years. The Episcopal Church elected its first female primate, Katherine Jefferts Schori, and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted to allow experimental liturgies that would permit the Holy Trinity to be evoked as Mother, Child, and Womb, or Rock, Redeemer, and Friend. Daryl Hannah was forcibly removed from a walnut tree in South Los Angeles. A six-toed cat named Lewis was placed under house arrest in Fairfield, Connecticut. Scientists told women who are interested in having babies to relax. Men who undergo vasectomies were found to have increased levels of genetically abnormal sperm. The Pentagon classified homosexuality as a mental defect akin to retardation. Scientists announced that the Earth is surrounded by giant fizzy space bubbles; the bubbles swell to nearly 620 miles in diameter, explode, and are replaced by a cooling solar wind. Researchers in Texas successfully convinced fringe-lipped bats to eat poisonous sympatric cane toads. "Nerve-friendly" cells helped partially paralyzed rats walk, 25 of Britain's 4,000 beetle species were missing, and the World Health Organization said that Indonesians who contracted bird flu were ignorant. A federal court ruled that the penile plethysmograph, a test used to measure male arousal levels, may not be used to supervise sex offenders. A study by Pfizer found that most women between the ages of 25 and 74 prefer their sex partners to have hard penises, and a Rhode Island handyman won $400,000 in compensation for his ten-year erection. Lance Corporal William Windsor, a billy goat in the British army, was demoted for "lack of decorum." The theme of the 2006 World Refugee Day was hope.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Session Road Band

You can take the Session Road Band out of Session Road but you can't take Session Road out of Session Road Band.
When vocalist and rhythm guitarist Hannah Romawac married long-time boyfriend Javier "Javy" Olives last week here, her brothers Chavi(drummer and leader of the band) and JV (percussionist), lead guitarist Coy Placido, bassist Jal Taguibao, and keyboardist Jesse Hoover as well as friends and relatives tried to make the whole-day
affair as close to home as possible.
They were married last June 16 at the St. Joseph Church. Though more popular as the place where Aga Muhlach and Charlene Gonzales got married, this church in Pacdal village is also memorable to the Romawacs since their house in Lualhati is a slingshot away.
The wedding was kept as private as possible, said Ferdie Balanag, an old friend of Chavi and Hannah.
"The motif was olive green and their theme song is "Somewhere Over The Rainbow'," Balanag said.
The reception at the Baguio Country Club was interesting because only tapuy or the native rice wine was served. A dance troupe of Igorot dancers wearing g-strings and tapis (native skirt) blessed the jars of wine and beat the gongs and led the community dancing.
To keep up with the formal atmosphere though, the tapuy was served in crystal glasses not in the usual coconut shell passed around. The local band "Rewind Band" made the counterpoint to the gongs with their reggae and R&B.
When Hannah danced with her ailing father Tony Romawac, the funniest shaman in his wild days, all the guests were sobbing.
The Session Road being what they are, the day would not be complete without a wedding concert at Session Road.
All the old friends including National Artist Ben Cabrera, anthropologist Padma Perez (whose ten-year-old daughter Solana had her first one-woman show at the Café by the Ruins), artists Kati Sta. Ana and Bob Acosta, filmmaker Butch Perez, Baguio artists and many others flocked to Vocas at the top floor of La Azotea to hear ska from the Spaceflowers.
The meanest ska band north of Manila, Spaceflowers were wearing their patented plaid uniform and Chuck Taylors as they churned out classic ska songs as well as their originals like "Brown Boogie Man."
In the end, Hannah and the rest of the gang went onstage to serenade their guests.
Anytime soon, the Session Road Band will be serenading the whole country with their third album, "Bakit Hindi" under Alpha Records.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Superman and Olsen Used to Co-habit?

Superman/ Clark Kent to Jimmy Olsen: Since we're such good friends, this time I won't keep it a secret! We'll let the world know that Jimmy Olsen and his pal Superman are living together in the same apartment!

Mga Pari, Stop Defacing Our Churches!!!!

We endorse the A Petition to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines: Please Stop the Further Defacing of Philippine Heritage Churches Petition to Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. Sign the online petition here

Wanted: Saints

Arroyos claim saints for allies
ROME, ITALY -- In the ongoing battle of prayer between those who want President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo out and those who want her to stay in power, Ms Arroyo is said to have strong heavenly allies. Inquirer story

Your President meant St. Upido, St. Ooges and St. Ruthless.

Pang-Finals Na Ba?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Japanese TV

Of course our kapihan would not be complete without the Japanese reality TV

Karaoke Murder. The Simpsons

Kapihan sa Japan. Q and A

Q. Why do Japanese people remove their shoes when they commit suicide?
A. The simple answer is that they are copying what they see in ‘trendy dramas’ where suicides are common and shoes are often removed. The origin of the practice probably lies in the same place as the idea of taking off your shoes when you enter a house. Shoes are considered dirty and when one steps up to enter a house one leaves one’s dirty shoes behind. Taking off one’s shoes before one jumps symbolizes leaving the filth and dirt of the material world behind. Removing one’s shoes also serves the practical purpose of showing that your death was not an accident.

Q. Why do so many Japanese people (and yours truly) turn red when they drink alcohol?
A. More than 50% of Asians have a strong sensitivity to alcohol. What it all comes down to is an enzyme called acetaldehyde dehydrogenase, which is crucial for the breaking down of alcohol. Some people will tell you that many Asians lack the enzyme, but that’s not entirely true. The real problem is that they have a ‘defective’ copy of the gene that produces it, so their enzymes act extremely slowly.
Before it is acted upon by acetaldehyde dehydrogenase, alcohol is turned into a substance known as acetaldehyde. It is this substance (and not alcohol) that turns many Asians’ faces red. In people with the slow-acting enzyme, acetaldehyde is broken down at only about half the regular rate. Acetaldehyde also causes nausea, malaise, and headaches in many people. People with the slow-acting enzyme do not however, get drunk more quickly, because the alcohol itself not broken down any more slowly.
Acetaldehyde is also a probable reason for the relatively low alcoholism rates in Asia. Their strong reactions to it cause many people to stop drinking before they get too drunk.

Q. Why do so many Japanese women walk pigeon-toed? Does this have anything to do with Japan's low birth-rate?
A. Walking pigeon-toed is considered feminine in Japan, and is an affectation rather than a physical characteristic. Some people have suggested that it is because their legs are deformed from sitting in seiza (on your shins with your legs folded under you) but this is simply untrue. The real answer is that it is a holdover from the days when people still wore kimono. If you walk normally while wearing one, the kimono tends to comes open so for modesty people began walking pigeon-toed. Even though people no longer wear kimono, a shuffling walk with one's feet turned inward is still considered modest, feminine, and even cute.

Q. Why do anime characters have such big eyes?
A. The practice of drawing anime characters with unusually large eyes dates back to the art form's founder, Osamu Tezuka. When he started drawing his most famous creation, Astroboy, he was inspired by the famous cartoon character Betty Boop and her enormous eyes. After the success of Tetsuwan Atom (Astro Boy), other manga and anime artists began to copy Tezuka, and a trend was born.

Q. My friend and I are having a bet right now and I can't seem to find any proof to make my point. I told him that sumo wrestlers used to insert their testicles into their body cavity to protect themselves, he completely doesn't believe this to be possible. Have I been misinformed? - Question submitted by Irina De Baghy
A. Yes, you have. This popular myth comes from the old James Bond movie, You Only Live Twice. In the film, James watches some men training by kicking each other where the feathers are thin and is told by Tiger Tanaka that sumos train by 'massaging' there testicles so that they become capable of retracting up into the inguinal canal. The movie's creator's probably got the idea from old stories about kung fu masters who were capable of the same thing, but it seems about as likely as 'death touch' techniques and catching bullets in your teeth.

A dissenting opinion:

I read your answer to the answer with interest. When I was at medical school we had a lecture from an eminent professor regarding the cremaster reflex. There is an area of the inner thigh which when stimulated causes the testicles to retract upwards into the body. This is usually a mild response but with training the testicles can retract completely into the body for protection. We were also told that this was used by samurai to protect themselves in battle. Whether the latter part is true I do not know but the cremaster reflex is certainly true.

Q. Why do so many Japanese shops have those ceramic cats with one paw raised in their windows?

A. The ceramic cats you are asking about are called Maneki-neko, which means 'beckoning cat'. They are thought to bring good luck or attract customers to the shop. There is a famous story about an extremely poor temple whose cat beckoned to a traveller who was sitting under a tree outside its gates. He decided to come in and just as he moved away from the tree, it was struck by lightning. The stranger turned out to be extremely rich and he became the temple's patron, making it extremely wealthy. There are several different varieties of Maneki-neko and they all have different meanings. Cats with the right paw raised are beckoning in money or good fortune and cats with the left paw raised are beckoning in customers. Most Maneki-neko are white, but if you see a black one, it is warding off evil, and the even rarer red ones are to prevent sickness.

Q. I have several Japanese friends who swear up and down that the name of McDonald’s mascot is ‘Donald’, rather than ‘Ronald’. Why did they change his name here.
A. When McDonald’s came to Japan in 1971, they were worried that people would have trouble pronouncing the initial ‘R’ in Ronald’s name so they changed it to Donald.

Q. What on earth are those green plastic leaves they put in bento boxes for?

A. Many bento boxes, especially sushi, have an inedible green plastic leaf in them. Surprisingly, it even has a name: it's called a baran (though knowing this word is a bit like knowing that the plastic tip of a shoelace is called an aglet). Some people will tell you that the leaf is supposed to be bamboo, but baran actually comes from the name of a member of the lily family called Aspidastra. Originally from China, in the past, this plant's leaves were used to wrap vegetables and other perishable foods because they were odor resistant and helped to prevent food poisoning. The modern plastic baran is partly decorative, but also serves the traditional function of separating foods and keeping the flavor or smell of one from seeping into another, as well as preventing the growth of bacteria and spoilage.

Q. I've heard that there is a Japanese superstition which says that you should cover your thumb if a hearse passes by. What is the origin of this practice?
A. Japanese people cover their thumbs when a hearse passes by, because they believe that if they don't their parents will die soon. This is because in Japanese, the thumb is known as the 'oya yubi' or 'parent finger'.

Q. Why do Japanese school girls wear sailor suits?
A. Of course the obvious answer is that it is to fuel the multi-billion dollar school girl pornography industry and drive salary men wild with desire, but the sailor uniform actually originated in Europe. It is based on the British navy uniform which originated in the 17th century and became popular in Europe after Prince Edward (later Edward the fifth of England) was photographed wearing one when he was five years old. They became enormously popular for both boys and girls and were adopted as school uniforms. During the early part of the 20th century when Japan was westernising, it looked to Europe as a model for its education system, and borrowed black military style uniforms for boys, and sailor suits for girls

Q. Why is it in anime and manga, when a boy acts like a pervert they are pictured with blood gushing from their nose? Is this derived from a legend of some sort?

A. In anime, a nosebleed means that a male character is sexually aroused. It's kind of funny if you think about it--he is so aroused that blood not only fills up his sex organs, it starts coming out his nose too. For more information about Nosebleeds and other symbols and cliches in anime, check out the following pages:,, and

Q. When I was in Japan, many people asked me what my blood type was because they believed it would reveal my character. What is the origin of this belief?
A. In the 1920's and 30's, blood type became a major issue in Japan because Western scientists were claiming that they proved the inferiority of the Asian race. In the west, there are very few people of blood type 'B', which is very common among Asians. When scientists began testing the blood of animals, they discovered that 'B' was the most common blood type among animals and took that to be evidence of Asian inferiority. Then, in 1927 Furukawa Takeji, a psychologist studied blood types in an attempt to relate them to people's personality types and published a series of articles on his findings. The blood type obsession however, did not take off until 1971 when the hugely popular book, "What Blood Types Reveal About Compatibility" was published. The book argued that just as different blood types are incompatible, so too are people with different blood types. Apparently there have been cases of companies making hiring and promotion decisions based on blood types, and relationships have been broken off because of blood type incompatibility. People with type AB are said to be particularly discriminated against.
The four blood types are A (Farmers), B (Hunters), O (Warriors), and AB (Humanists). Farmers are said to be careful people who like planning and are hard-working and loyal. They are said to be conservative and uncompromising. unters are independent, outgoing, and liberal. They tend to have varied hobbies and interests, and are very changeable. Warriors are leaders and organisers. Although they are popular and outgoing, they can also be selfish or arrogant. umanists are efficient and rational but also said to be stand-offish or shy.
For more information about blood types, visit the following sites:,,

By Hook or by Rook

Chess Boxing. Balbin, you will love this.

That 80's Show

Your are a child of the 80s when:

You remember Don Johnson when he was "cool"
You know who shot J.R and Ninoy Aquino
You remember when Michael Jackson (pre-surgery) was actually considered something of a sex symbol
You practice getting in and out of your car through the windows
You know that bagets is not the French bread
Your first Walkman weighed 10 pounds and was the size of a brick.
You wore L.A. Gear tennis shoes.
You know the meaning of Wax on/Wax Off
You're always "in the mood for dancing" You can feel St. Elmo's fire burnin' in you.
You need a shopping cart to carry your personal stereo with you.
You go rollerskating every Friday night (not to skate, but to 'hang out')
You watch NYPD Blue thinking, "Well, they're no Crockett and Tubbs, that's for sure".
"Outrageous!" is the term to describe something neat and cool. Thanks Lionel Ritchie
You think that Garbage Pail Kids are your children's worst enemy
You had a poster of Bo, Luke & Daisy Duke
There was nothing to question about Bert n' Ernie living together
You went out and purchased the sound track for 'Miami Vice'
You remember the magazines of song lyrics
You think Hulk Hogan is the best wrestler of all time.
The best non-slasher movie in your opinion is An American Werewolf In London.
You remember when Irene Cara (Fame. Im gonna make it to Heaven) was still slim

What is your Kryptonite?

You know kryptonite. Bad if you are Superman, di ba? Most also have an inkling that kryptonite comes in different colors, but green ius the menacing one. Yu'll find out that numerous varieties of kryptonite have existed over the years, and different iterations of Superman have used them differently. Even if you restrict your question to the comic books, you can get wildly different answers. It all depends on the time period and title you ask about.

So what exactly is kryptonite? Where does it come from, and why is it here? What makes it so dangerous for Superman and other Kryptonians? And what does retcon have to do with it? In this article, you'll learn the answers to these and other questions about the radioactive mineral known as kryptonite.

In order to understand how kryptonite works, it's helpful to know a few things about Superman. Superman's home planet, Krypton, orbited a red giant star called Rao, about 50 light-years from the Earth. The planet was considerably larger than the Earth, so it had a much greater gravitational pull. In comic books from the late 1930s, Kryptonians all had super powers. However, in the current Superman universe, Kryptonians had no super powers -- Superman is only super because of the Earth's weaker gravitational pull and its yellow sun.

A nuclear chain-reaction in its core caused a massive explosion, destroying the planet Krypton. Through the years, explanations for precisely why this reaction occurred have differed. In some older comic book storylines, Krypton had a uranium core. In the 2002 issue "Superman" #166, Krypton was creeping toward its sun, and the sun's immense gravity pulled the planet apart. The modern explanation is that a great war took place on Krypton, and a doomsday device known as the Destroyer started the internal chain reaction that destroyed the planet.

Just before the explosion, Kryptonians Jor-El and Lara outfitted their son Kal-El's birthing matrix for space travel. They sent Kal-El to Earth, where Kansas farmers Martha and Jonathan Kent found and adopted him. The Kents named the baby Clark, and he grew up to be Superman.

As Kal-El's birthing matrix traveled through space, it pulled fragments of the destroyed planet, made radioactive in the explosion, along in its wake. This radioactive debris became known as Green Kryptonite, or simply kryptonite, and it is deadly to super-powered Kryptonians. It does not react with oxygen, so it does not combust when it enters Earth's atmosphere. However, kryptonite is not invulnerable --you can cut it, chip it, crush it and melt it with acid.

When exposed to Green Kryptonite, super-powered Kryptonians instantly become weak. With prolonged exposure, they die. Green Kryptonite has this effect because the interaction between two substances: its radiation and the Kryptonian's cells.

Like radioactive Earth elements, kryptonite emits radiation, although exactly how kryptonite atoms decay is unknown. However, kryptonite radiation seems to behave like gamma or X-ray radiation -- it can penetrate objects and living bodies but cannot penetrate lead. This suggests that kryptonite radiation a form of electromagnetic energy, like gamma or X-rays, rather than particles of matter.

Bend Like Beckham

Friday night (almost 11:30 pm), I met a crowd of Korean students. They were all wearing red T-shirts and some were wearing red bandannas which would have put them in trouble with the CRIPS kuno here in Session Road. The Koreans were obviously in high spirits because a win over Switzerland would put them in the Round 16. A tie would be OK. They forgot the Frogs who scored 2-0 over Togo. That is the cushion of points France needed. Needless to say, the Koreanos were somber Saturday night at Nevada Square when they were usually rowdy, World Cup or no WC. They were instead hoarding on Korean DVDs. I felt sad for them but then some were really arrogant last week especially since the hapless Japan had an early exit. Imagine in their last game, Japan had to win over Brazil with a 3-goal margin. It turned out the other way around: Brazil 4, Japan 1. So now we have England winning over Ecuador with Beckham bending it like a crazy banana. i like Ecuador. They are like the Philippines, and had they won the assumption that national income had nothing to do with futbol would have rang true. But it's OK. I'm also glad that Portugal won over Netherlands. That was a very intense game, almost like American football. 14 yellow cards! 4 red cards!

Friday, June 23, 2006


World Cup Strategies

These countries made it to the Next 16 so we give you their strategies here.
And we hope Mexico will go all the way

Pinoy Truisms 2

Ang buhay ay parang bato,
it's hard.

Kapag puno na ang salop,
kumuha na ng ibang salop.

Magbiro ka na sa lasing,
magbiro ka na sa bagong gising,
'wag lang sa lasing na bagong gising.

Kapag may sinuksok at walang madukot,
may nandukot.

Pagkahaba haba man ng prusisyon...
mauubusan din ng kandila.

Ang buhay ay parang gulong,
minsan nasa ibabaw,
minsan nasa vulcanizing shop.

And speakign of rude awakenings, watch how the Japanese wake themselves

Hey! We have a chance to play in the World Cup Finals.

Seriously. The Worst World Cup. Ha ha ha
On the day the World Cup final was played in 2002, the Caribbean island of Montserrat played the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan in a specially arranged match between the two lowest ranked teams in the world.

Bhutan, ranked 202nd, beat Montserrat, then ranked 203rd and last in FIFA's rankings 4-0 in front of 15,000 people at home high in the Himalayas. After the match the players got together and watched Brazil beat Germany 2-0 in the real World Cup final on TV.

FIFA's membership has now grown to 205 countries but last-placed American Samoa -- unenviably on the wrong end of a 31-0 world record defeat to Australia five years ago, will not play 204th-ranked Turks & Caicos Islands on the day of the World Cup final this year.

"It's a shame," FIFA spokesman Markus Siegler said at FIFA's daily briefing, "because it was a great occasion and there was a great documentary made about it, but there are no plans to repeat the idea."

Ando so we say goodbye to the US and Japan. France, good luck

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Survey Says.....

Child Labor

1. Manila Philippines
2. Makati Philippines
3. Buffalo United States
4. Rochester United States
5. Columbus United States
6. Philadelphia United States
7. Washington United States
8. Boston United States
9. Minneapolis United States
10. New York United States


1.Manila Philippines
2.Makati Philippines
3.Adelaide Australia
4.Brisbane Australia
5.Perth Australia
6.Melbourne Australia
7.Edinburgh United Kingdom
8.Sydney Australia
9.Toronto Canada
10.Philadelphia United States

"man on man"

1. Philippines
2. Ireland
3. United Kingdom
4. United States
5. New Zealand
6. India
7. Australia
8. Canada
9. Sweden
10. Finland

1. Philippines
2. Singapore
3. United States
4. Australia
5. Canada
6. India
7. United Kingdom
8. Thailand
9. Belgium
10. Sweden


1. Philippines
2. United States
3. Canada
4. Australia
5. Germany
6. United Kingdom
7. France

1. Canada
2. United States
3. Finland
4. Norway
5. United Kingdom
6. Australia
7. Sweden
8. Chile
9. Poland
10. Belgium


1. Germany
2. Netherlands
3. Ireland
4. United States
5. United Kingdom
6. Belgium
7. Denmark
8. Canada
9. Australia
10. Switzerland

Sex, Corruption, Basketball, God and Jobs

Newbreak Magazine, to which I also contribute, noted that the Philippines tops other countries in searchign these words in the Internet. This is according to Google Trends.

Child pornography
gay sex
same-sex marriage
Roman Catholic
Jesus Christ
birth control pills
natural family planning
birth control
work abroad
job opening

What does it say about us, Filipinos? We are, like Jon Santos essayed in that one-man three-character play, whores, virgins and politicians. We love to play basketball and politics. Our politicians, starting with our president, are catholic hypocrites who doesn't want their children habving sex for pleasure but at night and alone in their computers they look for lolitas and sex.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Just Do It

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


A 12-year-old nephew was so engrossed on The Beatles that his 60GB ipod is filled only with Beatles songs. I invaded his itunes library and added 1,400 more songs. Maybe he erased them now. But the Last Song Syndrome got on me and when I'm bored, I listen to the Beatles. I gave him my eight-series Beatles Anthology and he had been watching them constantly. In case you watched that, a crucial episode in their lives is The Philippines Experience to the point that Ringo even exclaimed, I hate the Philippines!


This would be an important blog entry if you are like me: trapped in 70s cartoon heaven. You memorized the introductions but that was decades ago. After bad jobs, marriages etc etc, these kept ringing in your head and the best way is to exorcise them. Listen to them again:
Wacky Races
Land of The Lost
Challenge of the Superfriends JLA versus The Legion of Doom. How black-and-white can you get (especially when your TV was indeed B&W)?
Scooby's all Star Laff-a-Lympics Were you rooting for The Scooby Doobies or the The Yogi Yahooeys or were you really bad and wanted The Really Rottens led by Mumbly (Not Muttley).
The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show.
And, of course, Wait Till Your father got Home

Karaoke Murder. The Alyssa (Milano) "Keys" Scandal

She is a VHB. Viva Hot Babe! Now you know why some Pinoys become murderous in karaoke bars.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Why Ronaldinho Has Only One Name

because he is a god?

Jay Leno

Hey Kev, what has 22 arms, 22 legs and no goals in life? The American World Cup soccer team. We haven’t scored a goal yet.

Are PGMA and the Idiots Gonzaleses on their Way to helping us have our first World Cup appearance?

Franklin Foer
The New Republic

Friday, June 09, 2006

There have been revolutions to create socialism, democracy, and authoritarian dictatorship. But humankind has yet to fight a revolution to guarantee one of the most vital elements -- if not the most vital element -- of the good life. That is, a winning soccer team. If we were to take up arms for this reason, what kind of government would we want to install?

Political theory, for all its talk about equality and virtue, has strangely evaded this question. But, after 17 World Cups, there's now a mass of empirical data, and, using the most sophisticated methods available, we can now determine the political and economic conditions that yield soccer glory.

To begin, we must first reach back into the dustbin of history. Communism, despite its gulags and show trials, produced great players and rock-solid teams. The Hungarian squad of the early '50s has gone down in history as one of the best to never win a championship. A few decades later, in 1982, the Poles finished third in the tournament, drawing with Paolo Rossi's Italy and beating Michel Platini's France en route. These triumphs are reflected in the overall record. In World Cup matches against non-communist countries, the red hordes bested their capitalist foes more often than not -- by my count, 46 wins, 32 draws, 40 losses.

But the fact remains that a communist country has never won the World Cup. After watching the communists perform efficiently in preliminary rounds of the tournament, you could usually count on them to collapse in the quarterfinals. There are many explanations for why communism never ascended higher. For starters, there's the Lobanovsky factor.

Valeri Lobanovsky, the great Soviet and Ukrainian coach of the 1970s and '80s, believed that science could provide underlying truths about the game. He would send technicians to games to evaluate players based on the number of "actions" -- tackles, passes, shots -- that they performed. These evaluations perversely favoured frenetic tackling over the creative construction of an attack. Lobanovsky's method captures the pernicious way in which the rigidity of Marxism permeated the mentality of the Eastern bloc. Such rigidity might produce a great runner or gymnast, but it doesn't produce champions in a sport that requires regular flashes of individuality and risk-taking.

Then there's the misery of life under the hammer and sickle. Hungary, for instance, couldn't prevent its greatest players -- Laszlo Kubala and Ferenc Puskas -- from defecting to Spain in the '50s.

If the above data leads us to conclude that communism does not produce a superior soccer society, fascism has far more to recommend itself. Fascist governments can masterfully manufacture a sense of national purpose and, more than that, national superiority. This ethos, while not so appealing from the perspective of those who worry about individual rights, cultivates the perfect climate for a World Cup. Not only can it produce a healthy confidence, but it can also generate a powerful fear of losing. Who wants to disappoint a nation swept up in this kind of fervour? Or, more to the point, who wants to disappoint a leader who might break your legs and imprison your grandmother? What's more, fascist governments subscribe to a cult of fitness and hygiene that leads them to siphon considerable national resources into sports programs.

The fascist record speaks for itself. During the '30s, Il Duce's Italy claimed two trophies; Germany took third in 1934, as did Brazil in 1938. Overall, fascism compiled a record of 14-3-3 in that decade.

But fascism has performed miserably since the fall of the Axis. Proto-fascist regimes like Francisco Franco's Spain or Juan Peron's Argentina presided over some of the great underachievers in the game's history. Antonio de Oliveira Salazar's Portugal appeared in only one tournament during his 36-year reign.

What accounts for the falloff? In the 1930s, fascist nations were an independent force in the world. They were the most ferocious regimes on the planet. After the war, this swagger vanished. Suddenly, the power of these nations rested on their alliance with the United States. Once you become lapdogs of the Americans, it's hard to muster the same will to win.

There's an important corollary to this finding. No country has ever won a World Cup while committing genocide or gearing up to commit genocide. Germany and Yugoslavia both faltered on the eve of their mass murders. In 1938, Germany didn't win a single game. The greatest Yugoslavian team of all time lost in the quarterfinals of the 1990 tournament. Apparently, lusting after the blood of Jews and Muslims distracts vital energy from the more pressing task of scoring.

Now we've examined two of the most ubiquitous forms of command economy. That leaves a third: the good, old-fashioned military junta. You can't find too many of these in the world today. But military juntas are historically superb at winning World Cups. The Brazilian and Argentine juntas presided over the most glorious victories in the tournament's history in the '70s and early '80s. It makes sense that juntas would excel at this. They are collective efforts, where even the strongmen are part of a broader apparatus. A good soccer team is, in a sense, a junta.

While military juntas have a tremendous record -- three trophies in all -- they still can't claim to be the most successful form of government. This is partly a problem of dilution. Military juntas must also claim credit for straggler countries like Paraguay and El Salvador. Their achievements, in the end, can't compete with the most effective form of soccer government known to man.

Social democracy delivers more championships than the juntas -- six in all. And even the worst social democratic teams -- Belgium, Finland -- win more consistently than their authoritarian peers. To understand this success, one must understand the essence of the social democratic economy. Social democracies take root in heavily industrialized societies, and this is a great blessing.

No country has won the World Cup without having a substantial industrial base. This base supplies a vast urban proletariat, which in turn supplies players for a team. Industrial economies also produce great wealth, which funds competitive domestic leagues that improve social democratic players by subjecting them to day-to-day competition of the highest quality. And, while the junta mindset nicely transposes itself to the pitch, the social democratic ethos is a far neater match. Social democracy celebrates individualism, while relentlessly patting itself on the back for its sense of solidarity -- a coherent team with room for stars.

The new paradigm of political theory posited above can not only help guide a revolution, but it can also help fill out a tournament-prediction bracket. It is my contention that the outcome of each match in the World Cup can be forecast by analyzing the political and economic conditions of the countries represented on the pitch. This isn't quite an unbeatable system. But I have yet to see a method for filling out a tournament bracket that beats it.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Who's On First

Rolly, you need to know this also. Abbot and Costello's original "Who's On First."


I know you should not die until you know these. List of problems solved by MacGyver.

Relax. See a Movie

"Classic Na, Orig Pa: The Cinema One Originals and Filipino Classics"
June 21-25, 2006
SM Megamall and SM Manila Cinema 1

Schedule of Screenings:

SM Megamall:

Day 1: June 21, Wednesday
4:00pm SITAK
8:00pm DILIM
9:30pm Star Cinema's ANAK

Day 2: June 22, Thursday
11:00am ANAK NG TINAPA (pending MTRCB review)
2:30pm DILIM

Day 3: June 23, Friday
11:00am SITAK
6:00pm DILIM

Day 4: June 24, Saturday
10:30am MANILA BY NIGHT (City After Dark)
1:00pm ANAK NG TINAPA (pending MTRCB reclassification)
8:00pm BONA* (tentative, subject to change)

Day 5: June 25, Sunday
11:00am DILIM
1;00pm SITAK
9:00pm closing film: SALOME

SM Manila

Day 1: June 21, Wednesday
11:-00am ANAK NG TINAPA (pending MTRCB reclassification)*
2:30pm DILIM

Day 2: June 22, Thursday
4:00pm SITAK
8:00pm DILIM
9:30pm Star Cinema's ANAK

Day 3: June 23, Friday
10:30am MANILA BY NIGHT (City After Dark)
1:00pm ANAK NG TINAPA (pending MTRCB reclassification)*
8:00pm BONA (tentative)*

Day 4: June 24, Saturday
11:00am SITAK
6:00pm DILIM

Day 5: June 25, Sunday
11:00am DILIM
5:00pm SALOME
7:00pm SITAK

All film titles with asterisk are still tentative and subject to sked
changes. All digital movies will be shown with English subtitles.

Word Up

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts(NCCA) and Filipinas Institute of Translation (FIT)sponsor Sawikaan 2006: Pambansang Kumperensiya sa Salita ng Taon that looks at the development of Filipino as a national language and focuses on new
words or phrases that were popular in the local socio-cultural scene in the preceding year. Sawikaan will be held on August 3-4 (Thurs & Fri) at the College of Arts and Letters, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.

The conference, with this year's theme "The Filipino National Language and Philippine Education," has two parts. The first one is a discussion on the development of Filipino language in contemporary Philippine education with invited resource speakers from the government and private sectors. Also, there will be lectures on the development of national languages in other countries with guest scholars from Spain and Indonesia talking on language policies and engineering in their respective countries. Filipino language planners and users are expected to learn much from the discussions.

The second part of Sawikaan is the search for the "Salita ng Taon." Scholars, linguists, students, teachers, and language enthusiasts are encouraged to
submit 2-5 paged papers that argue why particular words/phrases deserve to be called as "Salita ng Taon." Finalist entries will be presented in the conference. Entries must be new words, i.e. not found in the dictionary. Or if already a dictionary entry, it must have acquired a new meaning. Words contained in phrases can also be considered as entries. Participants and a panel of judges will choose the
word most deserving of the title.

By analyzing words or phrases that influenced the lives of Filipinos in the past year, we gain a deeper understanding of the national language. This can be an
indicator of how far have we gone in making it a truly nationalistic tool.

Deadline of submission of entries will be on July 15, 2006. For details, please contact Ms. Eilene Narvaez at 09209144723 or Mr. Romulo P. Baquiran, Jr. at
9244899. Or visit the website or email to

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Dina, you must hate me now. I bought the whole first season of Numb3rs for P100.

Sino'ng Tatay mo?

Who's your daddy? According to the quiz I took, si Bruce Lee. Ikaw?
And I'm Black Bunny. That's my manga name. Hindi Hawaiian mango. Japanese Anime. Hindi six. Sex.

Friday, June 16, 2006


Football God

Oh yeah. Rooney is back. Maybe God is indeed smiling on the English fans. But if there really is a God. Let Thailand or Vietnam at least become one of the 32 qualifiers for next World Cup at the expense of (Yes!!!) South Korea. Let Philippines win at least one football game and this should not include Brunei, Laos (did we win against them?), Burma or East Timor.

Also there's a Danish site for 3D replays of goals in the World Cup. Can't speak Danish? Click on the first link you see. I can't access BBC.

Join (Plus Starbuck's Secret Coffee Size)

Are you a joiner? There are some clubs you can join. Siyempre, you will say that you are a sure member of Darwin Dating. Sure. Maybe because you dated Charles Darwin. Not Darwin Lising ha? Because you are not really special if you dated Darwin. He's my friend. He he he. He's an NBI agent who can tell me who's dating whom. Anyway, join Darwin Dating. If you feel funny, join the super secret almost nudist club. They have a new model every week. Or still reeling from Da Vinci Code, here's your chance to join the French Gnostic Apostolic Church
Then here's Frank Boosman's blog on a secret Starbucks coffee size. Short!!!
The Secret Starbucks Drink

It turns out there's a drink that Starbucks doesn't list on its menu. Well, not a drink, exactly; rather a size -- but the size affects the quality. Slate sussed it out:

The drink in question is the elusive "short cappuccino" -- at 8 ounces, a third smaller than the smallest size on the official menu, the "tall," and dwarfed by what Starbucks calls the "customer-preferred" size, the "Venti," which weighs in at 20 ounces...
The short cappuccino has the same amount of espresso as the 12-ounce tall, meaning a bolder coffee taste, and also a better one... Within reason, the shorter the cappuccino, the better.

The problem with large cappuccinos is that it's impossible to make the fine-bubbled milk froth ("microfoam," in the lingo) in large quantities, no matter how skilled the barista. A 20-ounce cappuccino is an oxymoron. Having sampled the short cappuccino in a number of Starbucks across the world, I can confirm that it is a better drink than the buckets of warm milk -- topped with a veneer of froth -- that the coffee chain advertises on its menus.

This secret cappuccino is cheaper, too -- at my local Starbucks, $2.35 instead of $2.65. But why does this cheaper, better drink—along with its sisters, the short latte and the short coffee -- languish unadvertised? The official line from Starbucks is that there is no room on the menu board, although this doesn't explain why the short cappuccino is also unmentioned on the comprehensive Starbucks Web site, nor why the baristas will serve you in a whisper rather than the usual practice of singing your order to the heavens.

The remainder of the article gives the economic theory explanation for why Starbucks a) offers the short cappuccino but b) keeps it a secret. (Hint: It has something to do with more money for Starbucks.)


This is a picture of a Borneo rhino. You will never see this again. There are only 13 left, or that was the number if Borneo rhinos documented. Which makes you think. If the Philippines was able to get back Borneo (I met a sultan who told me that they formed a task force to strengthen the Sultan of Sulu's claim for Borneo), would the rhinos still be there? With our rising poverty and population, I don't think so.

Bush Leads Blind

This is the press conference transcript where US President Bush tried to be cute, needling Los Angeles Times reporter Peter Wallsten who asked a question to Bush while wearing sunglasses. Wallsten is legally blind; he has a rare genetic disorder called Stargardt’s Disease. This is a form of macular degeneration that can be slowed by wearing UV-protective sunglasses and avoiding exposure to bright light.
Wallsten said Bush’s comments did not offend him at all. “I never advertise it to him. I’ve never told him.” But still. There are some media in the Philippines and even in Baguio who are visually-challenged and PGMA and other public figures should be more sensitive.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Peter. Are you going to ask that question with shades on?

PETER: I can take them off.

THE PRESIDENT: I’m interested in the shade look, seriously.

PETER: All right, I’ll keep it, then.

THE PRESIDENT: For the viewers, there’s no sun. (Laughter.)

PETER: I guess it depends on your perspective. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Touche. (Laughter.)

PETER: Following up on the other Peter’s question about Karl Rove, you said that you were relieved with what happened yesterday. But the American public, over the course of this investigation, has learned a lot about what was going on in your White House that they didn’t know before, during that time, the way some people were trying to go after Joe Wilson, in some ways. I’m wondering if, over the course of this investigation, that you have learned anything that you didn’t know before about what was going on in your administration. And do you have any work to do to rebuild credibility that might have been lost?

THE PRESIDENT: I think that — first of all, the decision by the prosecutor speaks for itself. He had a full investigation. Karl Rove went in front of the grand jury like — I don’t — a lot of times. More times than — they took a hard look at his role.

Secondly, as I told the other Peter, I’m going to tell you, that there’s an ongoing trial, it’s a serious business. And I’ve made the comments I’m going to make about this incident, and I’m going to put this part of the situation behind us and move forward.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

World Cup Ticket

A man had great tickets for the World Cup Final.

As he sits down, another man comes down and asks if anyone is sitting in the empty seat next to him.

“No," he says. "The seat is empty."

"This is incredible!" says the other man. "Who in their right mind would have a seat like this for the World Cup Final, the biggest sporting event, and not use it?"

"Well, actually, the seat belongs to me. My wife was supposed to come with me, but she passed away. This is the first World Cup Final we haven't been together since we got married."

"Oh .... I'm sorry to hear that. That's terrible. But couldn't you find someone else, a friend or relative, or even a neighbor to take the seat?"

The man shakes his head. "No. They're all at the funeral."

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

New Email Address

Hey, you can now contact me at

How to Scramble Eggs

The Independent recently had a series of crucial skills you need to know. They got the best to talk about this skills. So, we have the great JEAN-GEORGES VONGERICHTEN (chef and owner of 15 restaurants around the world, and the author of three cookbooks)to teach us how to scramble eggs.

Ten minutes, a saucepan, a whisk, some butter and some eggs - is all you need to make the perfect scrambled eggs.

This recipe is for two people. If you have only a non-stick pan, switch the whisk for a wooden spoon.

Combine five eggs, 20g butter and salt and pepper in a saucepan. Turn the heat to medium-high and beat the egg mixture with the whisk, stirring almost constantly but not so fast that it foams.

After the butter melts, the mixture will begin to thicken, and then lump up in small curds. This will take between three and eight minutes, depending on the thickness of your pan. If the mixture begins to stick, remove the pan from the heat for a moment and continue to whisk.

When the eggs become creamy, with small curds, they are ready. Serve immediately so as not to overcook. Stop the cooking while the eggs are still loose.

Test Your Music IQ


Cat in a Bottle

Why Ronaldinho Has No Last Name

Kaka scored the first goal of Brazil. Did it make you wonder why Brazilian football players go by their nicknames? Slate has an article.
insert italic tags
But some of the things poitned out in that article I don't agree.
"Brazil's affinity for nicknames might stem from the country's historically high illiteracy rate. As such, shortened spoken names are typically used more often than longer birth names."
Ha? When we had the People's Power in EDSA, there also was an article on Pinoy nicknames. But the poverty and illiteracy issues did not crop up. The article talked about FVR, Bongbong Marcos, Joker Arroyo, Gringo Honasan and many others. Of course, these are the Pinoy elite so you can't use this "analysis."
"Some scholars speculate that the use of single names could have its roots in the slave system. (Slavery was abolished in Brazil in the late 19th century.) When they were documented, slaves would be referred to either by their first name only—say, Joao—or by their first name and country of origin—say, Joao Congo."
If we go by that logic, all the Pinoys would have been called Mamsir, Boy, Hoy, Inday and Pssst. In fact, the sue of nicknames carry an anti-colonial tag among our heroes. That is why Rizal and his ilk have their pen names.


I have a U2 ipod. I decided to add more songs using my brother's computer. Stupid me, I lost all my original songs and came up with only 50 songs. That was two weeks ago. Now I have 1,500 plus songs in my library but I have to use my brother's computer or else I will lose everything again. Imagine I have to bring all my CDs to my brother in Laguna just to stack on my library. Now that I am back in Baguio, how can I unload my music in my computer without losing everything? Help!


I only go to SM Baguio for two things. Movies and books. It's been awhile (I was in Laguna) since I passed by the three bookstores here. Well, this is what I bought in Diplomat: Michael Chabon's Summerland (P29) and Alan Lightman's Good Benito for P39. Needless to say, hardbound sila. Then up to Booksale and chanced upon the Virgin Film Books series. I bought the complete Lynch (P220), Copolla (P175), Gangster Films (P175), Comic Book Films (P175), Bond Films (P175), Oliver Stone (P175) and Scorcese (P220). I will not be eating lunch and drinking (or at least paying for my drinks) in the next four days. But who cares?

Click on this and count how many movies you can make from the clues

Monday, June 12, 2006


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Bruce Lee Wannabe

This is the photo of a friend in Candon who stole my Bruce Lee DVDs and inspired by his deed, bought a chaku. Iyan. Karma ka tuloy

Saturday, June 10, 2006


NBA Finals

NBA: Separated at Birth


I asked a friend to make me a bookshelf. He asked me if I have a particular design in mind. I had nothing but now I like this, so I posted it just in case. Brickgame. Or as they call it in Russia: Tetris.


My cousins in Batac, Ilocos Norte (now mostly in Hawaii) call our slippers as "smuggle." I never bothered to ask them why. The "Mercedez Benz" of smuggles then was Beachwalk. They would walk along Session Road wearing Beachwalk like they were kings when we (Baguio people) think they are so probinsyano because we were used to wearing shoes.
The last time I checked FHM, they are selling smuggles for P1,500 to P2,000. The brand, I think, is Havaiianos and they call it flip flops. A smuggle for P2,000??? I don't see the point, unless your style is "casual Americano."
Anyway, here's a smuggle that is worth its price. It has a can opener.

Now your favorite beer-opening sandals are available in leather. Reef makes the Leather Fanning Sandals as a tribute to pro-surfer and pro-drinker Mick Fanning. The Leather Fannings have Nubuck or full grain leather uppers that are lined with soft glove leather for comfort. A built-in bottle opener lets you crack a bottle on the beach while everyone else's beer warms up. Just be careful not to spray the only two girls at your house party with the beer you're trying to open, trust me.

Oh yah, ngem no nakapayat ka ngay ti takki? Trust me pay laeng??

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Been There, Been That and other Pinoy Truisms

Salamat kay Rowland T.

Aanhin pa ang damo, kung bato na ang uso!
Its better to cheat than to repeat!
When all else fails, follow instructions.
Ang hindi marunong magmahal sa sariling wika, lumaki sa ibang bansa.
Ang taong nagigipit, sa bumbay kumakapit
Pag may usok, may nag-iihaw. Better in Baguio, kung may usok, may gold. Or, kung may usok, may canao.
Ang taong naglalakad nang matulin, may utang.
No guts, no glory... no ID, no entry.
Birds of the same feather that prays together, stays together.
Kapag may sinuksok at walang madukot, may nandukot.
Walang matigas na tinapay sa gutom na tao.
Ang taong di marunong lumingon sa kanyang pinanggalingan ay may stiff neck.
Huli man daw at magaling, undertime pa rin.
Ang naglalakad ng matulin, late na sa appointment
Matalino man ang matsing, matsing pa rin.
Better late than later
Kapag maikli ang kumot, tumangkad ka na!
No man is an island because time is gold.
Hindi lahat ng kumikinang ay ginto, muta lang yan.
Kapag ang puno mabunga, mataba ang lupa!
When it rains, it floods.
Ang buhay ay parang gulong, minsan nasa ibabaw minsan nasa vulcanizing shop.
Batu-bato sa langit, ang tamaan sapul.
Huwag magbilang ng manok kung alaga mo ay itik.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Best Ice Cream

Soy Sauce Ice Cream

Japanese Ice Cream

Guess the flavors:

Why Cuban Matters

Cuban wrote about the poor officiating during his Mavs's series with the San Antonio Spurs. He was fined for what coudl be the gross national income of one of the towns in the Philippines. Cuban's Dallas Mavs made it to the NBA Finals for the first time. That's why we have to read his blog entry: Why Journalism Matters.

Well, here's the bitch on Cuban's piece. "Why Journalism is Broken"
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