Monday, April 30, 2007

Seen These?

Your shoes are made of cement and you have reached bottom

Wankette 22: Survey

April 21 - 25, 2007 / Philippines
(Multiple Response, up to 12 names allowed)

1. LEGARDA, Loren B. GO (59.6) 1
2-4. ESCUDERO, Francis Joseph “Chiz” G. GO (47.2)
2-4 VILLAR, Manuel "Manny" Jr. B. GO (47.0)
2-4. LACSON, Panfilo “Ping” M. GO (43.9)
5-12. PANGILINAN, Francis “Kiko” N. Ind (38.8)
5-12. CAYETANO, Alan Peter “Hello, FG” S. GO (38.2)
5-12. HONASAN, Gregorio "Gringo" B. Ind (35.7)
5-12. AQUINO, Benigno Simeon III “Noynoy” C. GO (35.5)
5-12. RECTO, Ralph “Vilma” G. TU (35.4)
5-12. ANGARA, Edgardo “Ed” J. TU (35.2)
7-14. ARROYO, Joker P. TU (33.4)
7-14. ZUBIRI, Juan Miguel “Migz” F. TU (32.0)
11-15. PIMENTEL, Aquilino “Koko” L. GO (30.1 )
11-17. SOTTO, Vicente "Sliding" III C. TU (29.2 )
13-18. ROCO, Sonia “Inang Guro” M. GO (27.1)
14-20. DEFENSOR, Michael "Sorry Po, Lolo Chavit" T. TU (25.6)
14-20. OSMEÑA, John Henry "Handsome Boys" R. GO (25.1)
15-21. PICHAY, Prospero “Bury Me” Jr. A. TU (24.0 )
16-21. MAGSAYSAY, Vicente “Will I Die" P. TU (22.8)
16-21. TRILLANES, Antonio "Dumalo Naman Kayo" IV F. GO (22.0)
18-21. MONTANO, Cesar “Extra” M. TU (20.8)
22-24. GOMEZ, Richard “Perfect Marriage” I. Ind (14.1)
22-24. COSETENG, Anna Dominique “Losing Money Fast” M. GO (13.7 )
23-25. SINGSON, Luis “Hey, I Climbed Two Points” C. TU (11.2)
24-25. ORETA, Teresa "Tao Pa ba Ako" A. TU (10.3)
26. CHAVEZ, Melchor “Chavitz” G. KBL
27-30. CAYETANO, Joselito “Good for Friendster” P. KBL (3.9)

Wankette 21: The Song and Dance

The elections also put a toll on the various festivals in the country.
Many of the dancers who used to grace these festivals are making bigger money as dancers of politicians during this campaign.
Copying the style of Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis "Chavit" Singson who had his "Chavit Angels" who have been campaigning with him since 2004, many of the politicians here also made their own "angels."
In Agoo, La union, for example, mayoral candidate Tess Dumpit has her "Tess Dumpit Girls" in skimpy shorts to while away the long speeches while her brother also has her own "Butch Tak Tak Girls" for his congressional bid.
The Binanbatan Festival here, which features streetdancers wearing the colorful inabel (Ilocos weave), attracted 10,000 tourists and residents who lined up the cobble-stoned streets amid the sun.
The problem was that there were fewer participants this year because of the rigors of campaign season.
Vigan Mayor Ferdinand Medina said that they had about 14 participants who said they woudl participant, up from 12 last year.
"Then as the weeks passed by, the number went down to seven," said Medina of the 15-year-old Viva Vigan Festival which is being sponsored by Smart Telecommunications.
"They said that their local government units have no money left for their appearance or that the dancers were used for the elections," he said.
Medina said that their activity anyway is politics-free and the campaigning politicians were shooed away from the event.
The lack of participants, however, was compensated by the better quality presented this year.
"Many of the participants have made it their pledge to join every year despite the cost," he said.
The University of Northern Philippines romped off with the grand prize with their colorful gypsy rendition of the binatbatan or the dance made from the traditional cotton ginning (removal of seeds).
Medina said that attending the invitational streetdancing cost money and some towns decided to forego extra expenses during the campaign season.

Wankette 20: Chavit vs. Defensor

Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis "Chavit" Singson, who is running for administration under the Team Unity would not confirm a local radio report here that he asked his fellow Ilocanos to junk fellow TU senatorial bet Michael Defensor for suggesting that one of the TU lagging in the survey would have to make way for Gringo Honasan.
Singson was heard on DZRS Commando Radio, a radio station which he allegedly owns, as saying that Defensor should be the one who should be junked but he refused to comment on it in a telephone interview.
Instead, he said that the Confederation of Ilocano Associations, which supposedly had 2.3 members nationwide, would instead exclude Defensor in their ballots on May 14.
The CIA, which is headed by martial arts expert Roger Wanasen, will do the formal announcement Sunday, Singson said.
"He sent feelers," Singson said of Defensor, "but I do not want to talk to him."
"Instead I decided to campaign alone. It is faster that way," he said.
Singson said that he just came from a four-day campaign trek in Mindanao.
"What is the point of calling us, "Team Unity" when they wanted to break us," he said.
Singson pointed to former presidential spokesman Defensor as the one who suggested that those TU senatorial candidates who are lagging in the survey should give way to former Sen. Honasan.
Wanasen said that he asked his fellow Ilocanos to rally behind Singson and junk Defensor.
"They should not do this to our fellow Ilocano," Wanasen, one of the masters of the Yaw-Yan Martial Arts.
He said that the CIA is composed of such umbrella organizations as United Ilocanos, Full Blooded Ilocanos, Genuine Ilocanos and others.
The Northern Alliance, composed of House members from Northern Luzon and those tracing their roots to Ilocos, was behind the candidacy of Singson.
Singson, however, is faltering in the Social Weather Station survey, ranked from 24th to 25th.
Others in the TU slate with an outside chance of winning include Jamalul Kiram. Teresa Oreta and Vicente Magsaysay.
Singson said that he is unfazed with the survey results, taking hope in Sen. Jamby Madrigal, who was also faltering in the survey a few weeks before the 2004 elections but zoomed to the Top 5 in the final results.
Singson is counting on the nomadic Ilocanos who are spread througout the archipelago.
People in Vigan still believe that Chavit would eventually replace Deogracias Savellano in the gubernatorial race if the horizon is indeed dimming.
But his cousin, Rep. Eric Singson said that this is no longer possible.
And indeed, the junking has started. I already received two text messages calling for the Ilocano support of Chavit and the junking of Defensor. Hala!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Vigan Boys


What I would like to experience most of all would be to find myself freed, even if only for a moment, from the weight of my body. I wouldn't want to overdo it—just to hang suspended for a reasonable period—and yet I feel intensely envious of those weightless astronauts whom we are permitted to see all too rarely on our TV screens. They seem as much at ease as fish in water: they move elegantly around their cockpit—these days quite spacious—propelling themselves forward by pushing gently off invisible walls, and sailing smoothly through the air to berth securely at their work place. At other times we have seen them conversing, as if it were the most natural thing—one of them 'the right way up', the other 'upside down' (but of course in orbit there is neither up nor down). Or we have seen them take turns to play childish games: one flicks a toffee with his thumbnail, and it flies slowly and in a perfectly straight line into the open mouth of his colleague. We have seen an astronaut squirt water from a plastic container into the air: the water does not fall or disperse but settles in a roundish mass which then, subject only to the weak forces of surface tension, lazily assumes the form of a sphere. What do they do with it then? It can't be easy to dispose of without damaging the delicate structures upholding its surface. Primo Levi on "Weightlessness" Photo above of Stephen Hawking, weightless. On the other hand, the top photo is on Bantamweightness

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Stephanie Cimatu

At least ten people texted me (including my sister) asking who Stephanie Cimatu. I myself wanted to ask myself that, having read "Manila Bulletin" after eating sinanglaw at Vigan Cimatu and saw her name. Thom P texted to say that she was the headline of their sports page. I bought PS Ngayon because they, too, have her in their banner.

From Tempo
Rain drenches Palaro
KORONADAL CITY — Rain came like a gift from heaven Friday, providing soothing relief for participants in the Palarong Pambansa.With temperature reaching 39 degrees, the 30-minute downpour was a welcome respite, although action was interrupted at the South Cotabato sports complex.
The sweltering heat has claimed the lives of two officials in the six-day old meet that has been a showcase of the National Capital Region athletes.

A 12-year-old farmer’s daughter from Ilocos Norte, however, drew the limelight away from Metro Manila when she smashed the meet record in the girls’ javelin throw.
Trained by one of the country’s greatest athletes, Stephanie Cimatu threw the spear in 38.53 meters, nearly four meters better than the nine-year-old standard held by Nina Malinao of Calabarzon.
Barely standing five feet, Cimatu accounted for one of four gold medals won by Ilocos Norte, an emerging force in athletics.
Cimatu is trained by many-time Southeast Asian Games champion Erlinda Lavandia, one of three trainers tapped by Ilocos Norte sports czar Michael Keon, former executive-director of Project: Gintong Alay.
"Masaya ako dahil nanalo ako at record pa," said a beaming Cimatu, who stands to receive P5,000 as cash reward coming from the Ilocos Norte provincial government.
Cimatu, a grade six pupil at Nagbalagan Elementary School in Bangui, placed sixth in the event last year in Naga City.

Here's Manila Times
Ilocos lass sets new javelin record
by Frank Calapre, Correspondent
KORONADAL CITY: Stephanie Cimatu of Ilocos Region set a new record Friday in the girls elementary javelin throw as defending champion National Capital Region virtually wrapped the overall title in the 2007 Palarong Pambansa at the South Cotabato Sports Complex here.
The 13-year-old Cimatu, a protégé of former Southeast Asian Games champion Erlinda Lavandia, poured it all in her fourth attempt for a record-breaking distance of 38.53 meters, way ahead of the old mark of 34.94 meters recorded by Nina Malinao of Calabarzon in Pili, Camarines Sur, in 1997.
“I thanked my coach [Lavandia] for this victory. Since she started training me, I improved a lot. She really wanted me to focus on breaking the record and not just to win,” said Cimatu in Filipino, who could only finished 5th in the same event last year in Naga City. Lavandia, the long-time SEA Games record holder in javelin, was hired by former Gintong Alay chief Michael Keon since last year to coach the Ilocos Norte athletics team.
Cimatu, a Grade 6 student, was the second athlete to establish a new record in athletics here after Maika de Oro of Western Visayas in the girls elementary discuss throw last Thursday.

Records fall as rains drop on Palaro
By Joey Villar
The Philippine Star 04/28/2007
KORONADAL City – Records fell as rain drenched the Palarong Pambansa here after a week of heat wave with a javelin thrower from the Ilocos Region producing the worthiest victory and the fancied National Capital Region capping its domination of the pool events at the South Cotabato Sports Complex here yesterday. Ilocos bet Stephanie Cimatu heaved the javelin to 38.53 meters in smashing the one-year-old elementary record of 34.94m set by Nina Malinao of Southern Tagalog A in Naga City on a day heavy rains somehow washed away memories of a sizzling, punishing week that claimed two lives and caused more than 300 heat-related cases. "I thank my coach for helping and training me for this event," said the 12-year-old Cimatu in Filipino, referring to former Southeast Asian Games javelin gold medalist Erlinda Lavandia.

5 Teeners Smash Records
by Peter Atencio
Manila Standard
KORONADAL City—A sudden but welcome downpour cooled down the weather at the South Cotabato Sports Complex here, but birthday girl Sabrina Ingrid Ilustre and four other gutsy teeners had more reasons to celebrate other than the rain.
The teeners went on a record-breaking spree as the Big City bets scooped eight of the 15 gold medals at stake on the final day of swimming competitions of the 2007 Palarong Pambansa.
Stephanie Cimatu, a 13-year-old sixth grader from Nagbalagan Elementary School in Bangui, Ilocos Norte, set a new mark when she heaved the spear to a distance of 38.94 meters in elementary girls’ javelin throw.
Cimatu broke the old mark on her third attempt, improving on the 34.94 m., which Niña Malinao of Calabarzon submitted last year in Naga City.

In our circle, this is known as cartel writing. Rain. Records. Cimatu. But BIG THANKS nonetheless from all the Cimatus in the world.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Happy Days

The good old days are here again in Abra. A week after Gen. Martin was taken out of Task Force Abra, the so-called unidentified armed men killed a barangay captain near the Bangued Church. What audacity, you say. But this is Abra.
Here's an unused story of mine last week:
BAGUIO CITY -- The fatal shooting by a schoolteacher of one farmer and wounding of two others in Dolores town is a personal vendetta and not political in nature. Ferdinand Cabalbal, 37, was attending a funeral wake in Libtec barangay on April 12 at about 10:30 evening with two others when the suspect, Pepito Jaquias Callejo, shot him twice in the body. Also shot were Roque Terrenal and Norieto Tallon, who were playing cards with Cabalbal.
Cabalbal was dead even before arriving at the St. Theresa's Medical Center while Terrenal and Tallon, who are farmers in Libtec, are still confined there. Abra provincial chief, Senior Superintendent Alexander Pumecha said that Callejo was only avenging the death of a cousin who was shot while on his way home in Libtec last February.
Adelo Tejero Callejo was killed last February 6, Pumecha said. Pumecha said that Callejo is a respectable person and was the teacher in charge not only of the Libtec Elementary School but also the nearby Taping Elementary School. Callejo is at large but the police already murder charge against him.
Callejo used a cal .45 pistol in killing Cabalbal and the police recovered four shells in the area.
Pumecha said that the killing is not related to the killing of Rogelio Reyes, barangay captain of Isit, last March 18. Reyes is a known supporter of Dolores Mayor Albert "Pacquing" Guzman, an in-law of beleaguered Gov. Vicente "Vicsyd" Valera, the prime suspect in the killing of Rep. Luis "Chito" Bersamin.

Mikaela's Valedictory Speech

Mikaela is the 16 year old Physics student who graduated summa cum laude and the top student in UP this year.

Pinagpapala ang Pinagpapalà: The Role of the Scientist in Nation Building
Mikaela Irene D. Fudolig
CS Recognition Speech
April 22, 2007

Good afternoon.

Let me start my speech with this quote: "Pinagpapalà ang pinagpapala, at pinagpapala ang pinagpapalà."

For those who didn't get that, let me literally translate it in English: "Blessed are those who shovel, and those who are blessed are made to shovel." Of course, it loses its lyricism, so I repeat: "Pinagpapalà ang pinagpapala, at
pinagpapala ang pinagpapalà."

From the various talks that
I have attended, I noticed a general theme: that aside from being good students, which is the primary reason why all of us are here today to be recognized by the College of Science, we should have leadership capabilities and social responsibility. Of course, the fact that we're from UP sets great expectations.

Do I agree with that? I will make this clear: yes, I do agree. Academic excellence alone is a joy that you will most likely keep to yourself, and if not put to good use, then the University has invested on something for nothing.

The question now is: how do we, as scientists, help in nation building?

I have noticed, again, from the many talks that I have attended, that the common idea of "community service" is Sangguniang Kabataan. Red Cross. Gawad Kalinga. Opinion leaders view community service, which they correlate to nation building, as using
physical energy to help the poor. You want to do community service? Solicit money from your congressman and donate a school building. You want to do community service? Help during calamities. You want to do community service? Build houses for the poor.

Again, let me make this clear: These ways are indeed community service. But are these the only ways to do community service? Should community service simply be giving something for nothing? Should community service necessarily involve a lot of legwork? Should the effects of community service be immediate?

Let me ask you now: When Michael Faraday discovered magnetic induction, was that community service?

When James Hutton developed and Charles Lyell promoted the theory of uniformitarianism, was that community service?

When our very own Alexander Edward Dy made it possible for amoebiasis to be tested based on salivary IgA instead of stool, was that community service?

Current conventional wisdom would answer: NO. Faraday had been criticized before for discovering something without practical use. And so what if slow geological processes occurred eons before and
continue until now? And how can Alexander Dy's amoebiasis test serve the poor in the squatters' area? His method will definitely not give jobs to them. It wouldn't give them shelter. And it's not FREE.

But Faraday's discovery of magnetic induction is what led to using AC power in our homes. It is the reason why we can power this microphone. It is the reason why you have lights at home and in the classroom. It is the reason why you can power your refrigerator.

The concept of uniformitarianism did nothing to help the poor, but it helped gain more understanding of the Earth. And it is uniformitarianism that influenced Charles Darwin in formulating his theory of evolution. And I think you know how influential Darwin's theory of natural selection had been.

Mr. Dy's amoebiasis test would probably not be given for free. It would not give them shelter, and most probably, wouldn't give jobs, at least not to the usual recipients of charity. But if amoebiasis can be diagnosed faster simply by getting the saliva of a patient, something which can be readily obtained, then more amoebiasis patients would be cured. More lives would be saved.

The community service of scientists is often underestimated. Our discoveries are often tagged as having no practical applications, of no use in calamities, and of no immediate help to the poor. If Faraday had concentrated on donating blood, if Hutton and Lyell focused on building houses, if Alexander Dy, now magna cum laude, insisted on tutoring every single kid in his barangay FOR FREE, then the
y would be considered by the majority as excellent servers of the community. But they would not have done what they have done. Where would we be now?

Fellow scientists, do not be disheartened. Our efforts may be devalued by those who seek immediate, visible, and tangible results. But the fact remains: science drives the technology that makes lives better all over the world. Our devotion to our craft, our unceasing search for our holy grail, that piece of knowledge that will change the way things are, is as much community service as the more popular and immediately recognized forms of giving. Let not the pressure to be recognized make us stray from our efforts to improve the life of humanity in the best way we can.

Thank you.

Because she looks like Alice in Wonderland in her photos, I included Abelardo Morell's Alice in Wonderland series.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Deja Vu All Over Again

Time on the Philippines, June 05, 1950:

Last November's presidential election also left an unsavory taste in the Philippines. Most Filipinos think that victorious President Elpidio Quirino, anxious to forestall any congressional investigation into the election results, made a deal with Jose Avelino, who had been suspended as president of the Philippine Senate for trafficking in government-owned beer. Avelino still controlled enough votes in Congress to get Quirino's election certified as legal. And there is no doubt about the fact that Quirino later helped Avelino to get back his Senate presidency, then sent him flying off on an expensive world tour as a good-will ambassador.

These and other rumors of corruption in government circles have hurt Quirino's prestige. Last week, shortly after Manila's tabloid Star Reporter referred to him as "our beloved President . . . who is growing fat like a pig on public taxes," Quirino showed concern for public opinion and appointed his vigorously critical Vice President, Fernando Lopez, to investigate corruption in the government.

Old Vendettas. But Quirino bears little responsibility for at least one element in the Philippines' economic and political deterioration. His faults do not include the narrow nationalism which is the strongest legislative trend in the Philippine Congress. Economic nationalism has frightened off prospective American investors, and inspired in some American businessmen already in the Philippines a strong desire to head for home.

Most prominent of the extreme nationalists is Jose Laurel, Quirino's chief opponent in the last election and head of the Nationalist Party. Laurel had Huk support during the election. If he chose, popular Jose Laurel could be useful in an anti-Communist front against the Huks, but he refuses to cooperate unless Quirino's Liberal Party publicly admits that it cannot handle the job alone and publicly asks the help of the Nationalists.

This makes bargaining hard for Quirino, but he may yet discover that he cannot do without Laurel's aid. The fall of China has encouraged the Huks. Should China's Communists take Formosa, only 65 miles from the Philippines' northern tip, Filipino Communists would become an even more serious threat to the government.

So far, China's fall has not yet hurt the Philippines as much as internal dissension has. Today the strength of the government's forces in the Philippines is still greater than that of the Communists. But its strength is ebbing away in disunity, as businessmen and politicians fight out their old vendettas and pursue their schemes to advance their personal ambitions. The Philippines can be lost, as China was.


Scientists in Germany scanned the sculptures using computerised imaging techniques to show that they match up with portraits of the Bard. The systems, used by police, map out a person's face to identify whether they tally with known pictures. Elizabethan experts deny the claim, saying busts and portraits were not true likenesses so often look similar. The investigation was led by Dr Hildegard Hammerschmidt-Hummel, of the University of Mainz, who has published a book on her findings. The model of the similar features was built after researchers used the techniques to show that the Davenant bust matches pictures of Shakespeare. They found the bust's facial features coincided with those of the death mask, which is owned by the German city of Darmstadt.

Meanwhile, here's a poem by Pinsky

Samurai Song by Robert Pinsky

When I had no roof I made
Audacity my roof. When I had
No supper my eyes dined.

When I had no eyes I listened.
When I had no ears I thought.
When I had no thought I waited.

When I had no father I made
Care my father. When I had
No mother I embraced order.

When I had no friend I made
Quiet my friend. When I had no
Enemy I opposed my body.

When I had no temple I made
My voice my temple. I have
No priest, my tongue is my choir.

When I have no means fortune
Is my means. When I have
Nothing, death will be my fortune.

Need is my tactic, detachment
Is my strategy. When I had
No lover I courted my sleep.

Send as Tragedy

I recently finished a poem entitled "K as a Tragic Word" about love loss and texting. I will post it to you later. It dwells about farewells appropriated by text messaging. Now a new book is saying that Send is more tragic. Here's the story.

The Send button, so easy to click, invites us to write too quickly. ("Send" may be the most dangerous four-letter word of the 21st century.)

Unconsciously, perhaps, we believe an e-mail is less permanent than a letter. We imagine it as a casual private message that vanishes into the ether. In fact, it's likely to be far more permanent than any paper communication. E-mails can be stored with ease by the recipients and by third parties, such as the corporations from which they are sent.

An e-mail has a way of making us impetuous. As S&S say, "It actually eggs us on. On e-mail, people aren't quite themselves: they are angrier, less sympathetic, less aware. ... E-mail has a tendency to encourage the lesser angels of our nature."


There is a resort in Sariaya which has a caged python. When we went there, the python was hibernating and there was a live cat in the cage. I knew it was going to be eaten but the young boy with us rationalized it that the cat was a good friend of the python. On our way to the swimming pool, we saw a cage of cats. A mother cat and her kittens. Python fodder. Calling the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals.


He he he. Last night a kuripot friend was holding nine Putumayo CDs. Told him I would just listen to them but was able to import them in iTunes. How discreetly evil. But this is nothing from what I eavesdropped from a bunch of call center agents drinking beer. One said he spent his first pay to finance the mauling of his sister's ex-husband in Bicol. That husband left his sister and his children. This young man did it two years ago and again last December. Never told his sister. He has a contact in Bicol who would round up the maulers. They would make it look like a robbery or hold-up and then take pictures to be emailed to the young man. He would earn again for another hit this year. All for family duty.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

With a PR Like This, Who Needs Enemies?

CCTV came out with their "Ten Most Beautiful Chinese Women" and tried to be frank about their appearances, who would have thought that this TV network can be brutal? Here's what they wrote:
Gong Li, a traditional Chinese beauty, especially in the eyes of foreigners. In the Chinese perception, she is "average." Shortcomings; her face is a little long and her lips are a little thick.

Zhang Ziyi, actually she is called "little Gong Li." Zhang and Gong have some resemblence on facial features, but she is more beautiful than Gong Li. Her face is suitable to play the role of ancient girls or modern types. Her nose bridge is very high compared to other Chinese girls. Shortcomings: her top lip is thin and lower lip is thick. So she looks a little stubborn and not easy to deal with.

Zhang Jingchu's face is classical, although she has a big jaw

Zhao Wei's eyes are really beautiful. So you always worry if her contact lens will fall out of her eyes. But her face is not delicate enough. She has a big mouth, a big nose and a big face. Her teeth are not very white.

Liu Yifei's face is very delicate, but her eyes are not expressive. This is one reason why she didn't give us deep impressions in her series and movies. She can't use her spiritual windows to communicate with an audience.

Huang Shengyi has a horse face, and big nose. When she smiles, she is fatally attractive

Zhou Xun is almost perfect. If you are critical, her only shortcoming is that her mouth looks like an old lady's

Zhang Baizhi's face is perfect too, but her voice is terrible, just like a weight lifter.

Xu XiYuan, nickname Big S, is average except beautiful long hair. By the way, she has big ears.

Xu Xidi, nickname Small S, just pretty, not beautiful. Small eyes, thin lips, but a TV show hostess like her needs intelligence rather than beauty.


And just like that, the Mariners are at the bottom of the West division. Its last two games postponed again due to rains.

Campbell Statue

The National Association of Independent Travel Agencies is planning to erect a statue of slain Peace Corps volunteer Julia Campbell in Ifugao. Naitas has already raised P200,000 for the project and needs P800,000 more. The project may be in good intention but it's long-term objective is suspect. Hey, the Ifugao people are not only embarrassed but terrified by the whole thing. It's not like this thing happen all the time. They have even disowned the suspect and said that he was only married to a resident here. Prolonging the agony is already a nightmare to all concerned but permanently reminding us of the incident is worse. Hey hey if you want to remember Ms. Campbell, raise scholarship funds to the people in Bicol she once taught to. That is a better legacy.

Philippines and UN Censorship

The World Association of Newspapers and the World Editors Forum have protested to the UN Human Rights Council and its member nations against a resolution that attempts to justify censorship under the guise of protecting religious sensibilities.

The resolution, which aims to discourage "defamation of religion", asserts that freedom of expression "should be exercised with responsibility and may therefore be subject to limitations as provided by law." While the resolution was proposed by Pakistan and supported by numerous repressive governments, several democratic nations also approved the resolution (Mexico, the Philippines and South Africa) or abstained from the vote (Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, India, Peru, Uruguay).

"We are seriously concerned that this resolution will be relied on by authoritarian governments to suppress freedom of expression on the grounds of religious defamation," the Paris-based WAN and the WEF said in letters to the UN Human Rights Council President, Luis Alfonso de Alba, and to the Presidents and Ambassadors of countries approving or abstaining from the measure.

"It is wholly inappropriate for the Human Rights Council to justify censorship and the stifling of dissenting voices," the letter said.

From McSweeney's: Literary Fungi

by Paul Collins

For an editor, dead authors are notably easier to work with than living ones. This probably explains why, in 1731, the London printer Thomas Astley was able to coax a most unusual seventy-four-page tract out of Sir Isaac Newton: Tables for Renewing and Purchasing Leases of Cathedral Churches and Colleges. Since he’d already been dead for four years, it mattered little that Newton was not in the habit of writing lease-calculators: what mattered was that his name could sell any math-related title, and that Sir Isaac was in no position to lodge a complaint about it.

Formally known as allonymic literature, books that steal the names of famous authors are as old as the pursuit of profit in publishing—which is to say, they are probably as old as literature itself. I’ve found, for instance, that a pretty consistent one in six antiquarian copies of Aristotle are not, in fact, by Aristotle at all: they are variants of Aristotle’s Masterpiece, a 1684 sex guide published illicitly in contraband editions up through the twentieth century.

Rarest of all—the truffle of this underground of literary fungi—is the living allonym, the book that steals the name of an author who is still very much alive. The motive is always profit, and the results are always entertaining—if not for these unfortunate authors.

William Shakespeare
The Yorkshire Tragedy (1608)
The tale of a vicious gambler who murders his family, The Yorkshire Tragedy capitalized upon the infamous case of Walter Calverley, who was pressed to death under stones in 1605 for murdering his two sons and wounding his wife. The play, though suitably gory—“I’ll kiss the blood I spilt and then I go: My soul is bloodied, well may my lips be so”—is probably by Thomas Middleton, despite the publisher’s canny use of Shakespeare’s name on the title page. The ploy was convincing enough that even the editors of Shakespeare’s Third Folio of 1663/64 included the play as genuine. Shakespeare was pestered by dozens of other counterfeit attributions during his lifetime, including a bogus poetry volume, The Passionate Pilgrim, issued by London printer William Jaggard in 1599. Despite pirating other editions of Shakespeare, Jaggard landed the printing job for the First Folio of 1623.

Thomas Paine
Tom Paine’s Jests: Being an Entirely New and Select Collection of Patriotick Bon Mots, Repartees, Anecdotes, Epigrams, Observations, &c. on Political Subjects (1793)
Sold for sixpence in London, this chapbook was not exactly the literary crime of the eighteenth century. It maintains the pretence of authorship for precisely one page—the title page—before clumsily referring to Paine in the third person throughout its preface. There are scarcely a half dozen references to him in the remaining fifty-four pages. And like all jest books from centuries that are not the reader’s own, Tom Paine’s Jests is crushingly funny:

A gentleman haranguing on the protection of our law, and that it was equally open to the poor and the rich, was answered by another: “So is the London Tavern.”

Oh, my sides!

A partly destroyed marginal note written in quill on the New York Public Library’s copy hints that the true author also wrote The Spirit of Despotism; the author of that book was one Reverend Vicesimus Knox. This probably makes Tom Paine’s Jests the most hilarious jest book ever written by an Anglican minister.

Lord Byron
Pilgrimage to the Holy Land: A Poem in Two Cantos (1817)
If only Byron had written all the works attributed to him, he would also be our leading vampire novelist—but, alas, The Vampyre was written by his physician John Polidori, despite an 1819 debut in New Monthly Magazine and Universal Register that was plastered with Byron’s name. (Byron’s name was also opportunistically used on an 1829 Spanish edition, El Vampiro.) Byron’s poetic defense of homosexuality, Don Leon—“The muse each morn I wooed, each eve the boy”—is also considered apocryphal. But most nettlesome was Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, a London publication that followed hard upon the success of his first collected Poems; American reprints quickly ensued. Byron denounced the poem as forgery, and years later its authorship was admitted to by the poet John Agg. He blamed the whole affair on his publisher.

Charles Dickens
The Penny Pickwick (1839)
As the first blockbuster novelist in English literature, Dickens spawned a thriving market in convincing counterfeits. (It helped that his own illustrators secretly moonlighted to do the engravings.) The first of a string of knockoffs, The Penny Pickwick was released as the work of “Bos”… that’s Bos, and not Boz. “Bos” was Thomas Peckett Prest, a penny-dreadful hack whose other immortal masterpieces include David Copperful and Nicholas Nicklebery. And who can forget Oliver Twiss? An unamused Dickens took legal action, and a well-thumbed copy of Oliver Twiss found among his effects testifies to many an hour fulminating over his infuriating doppelgänger. Prest would later go on to create a bona fide classic himself: The String of Pearls, better known today as Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Howard Hughes
The Autobiography of Howard Hughes (1972)
Cooked up in 1971 by novelist Clifford Irving and Richard Suskind for a $745,000 advance from McGraw-Hill, The Autobiography of Howard Hughes played upon the famous characteristic of its billionaire “author”: his reclusiveness. Namely, Howard Hughes had hidden from the public for so long that Irving bet that even his book would not bring him out into the light of day. His bet was both brilliant and utterly wrong: Hughes broke a decade-long silence to renounce the book in a conference call with seven journalists. Incredibly, Irving then denounced Howard Hughes as the fake. But the jig was up, and Irving landed in jail. Irving’s story is now being released as the Richard Gere movie The Hoax. Irving has complained, without apparent irony, that the screenplay inaccurately portrays his life.

J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter and Leopard Walk Up to Dragon (2002)
In Shanghai market stalls in 2002, customers picked up the next Harry Potter sequel long before any American could. A discerning eye, though, might have wondered at the title of the first chapter: “A Sweet and Sour Rainfall.” Or, for that matter, at its opening lines:

Harry did not know how long this bath would take, when he would finally scrub off that oily, sticky layer of cake icing. For someone who had grown into a cultured, polite young man, a layer of sticky filth really made him feel sick. He lay in the high quality porcelain tub ceaselessly wiping his face. In his thoughts there was nothing but Dudley’s fat face, fat as his Aunt Petunia’s fat rear end.

The above translation comes from Beijing-based computer programmer Russell Young, who goes on to note that from the second chapter onward, Leopard Walk Up to Dragon becomes a nearly direct plagiarism of The Lord of the Rings.

Yu Shiwei
Execution Wins (2005)
Perhaps emboldened by their success—later “sequels” like Harry Potter and the Water-Repelling Pearl have also been rather heavy on mentions of Gandalf—Chinese publishers have gone on to promote entirely fictitious Western authors. One best-selling classic of business advice, Paul Thomas’s Executive Ability, is a five-volume work in Chinese by a Duke University business professor who does not, in fact, exist. Yet a very real Chinese business scholar, Yu Shiwei, has also found himself confronted with books he never wrote. Los Angeles Times reporter Don Lee noted in 2005 that after a lecture in Shanghai, Shiwei was accosted by an eager autograph seeker bearing ten copies of “his” book Ying Zai Zhi Xing (“Execution Wins”). Shiwei, not wanting to disappoint his fan, graciously signed them without a word.

Paul Collins teaches creative nonfiction at Portland State University. His latest book is The Trouble with Tom: The Strange Afterlife and Times of Thomas Paine.

Wankette 20: Abalos

The press conference Comelec's Abalos last week at Camp Dangwa was first set at 1:00 pm. Then three hours later, the advisory set it at 4:00 pm so Abalos and PNP's Esperon would be relaxed when they meet up with the media after that helicopter trip from Abra. Well, some media came at 1 pm because they were not aware of the 2nd advisory. We came at 3;30 pm and was able to catch the PNP, Dep Ed and Comelec of Cordillera and Cagayan Province having their pre-conference meeting. 4:00 pm came and went. Then 5:30, we are still there. We got a message that "natrapik sila." Then we later got the real score: Abalos was still playing golf at the Baguio Country Club. It was better for us to go home. And so we went home. And one person was P10 million richer and loving his administration's well-known policy of impunity.


I went to visit Delfin Mallari Jr. in Lucena City, Quezon. The banner headline of Compact was written by him. I told him that it is better to write the story than the subject of the story. Better still to write it than be written. Worse is that Pinoy journalese, "takpan ka ng diyaryo."
Let us adopt the anti-Viet's taunting of LBJ and have our own. HEY! HEY! PGMA! HOW MANY JOURNALISTS DID YOU KILL TODAY?

Wankette 19

Some journalists quaking in terror at the Church anti-reproductive health policy makes mistakes in their reporting. Lawyer Carole Ruiz in her blog questioned for mixing the Ten Commandments for Voting.

In an article which first attributed the so-called "10 commandments for
responsible voting to the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), the news outfit actually quoted a different set of "10 commandments," one which was in fact created by Pro-Life Philippines, not the PPCRV to which the same article provides links to.

The PPCRV's separate ten commandments for responsible voting as it turns out, echoes the Catholic tradition of *faith based on conscience* and begins with: "1. Thou shalt vote according to the dictate of your conscience." Nowhere in those commandments is specific mention of divorce, reproductive health or homosexuality—issues which GMA7 News chose to highlight in the brief article. The PPCRV website does provides a link to the Pro-Life Philippines version of the ten commandments for responsible voting, but to equate it with the PPCRV version is no small matter.

Wankette 18: Aksa Begs to Differ

Aksa gave us a piece of their mind:

Here are the "lies":

1.That AKSA is a front of the administration and is a 'project' of Sec. Norberto "Banana Eater" Gonzales

*AKSA** is NOT a front of this administration or any of its leaders or instrumentalities.* AKSA is its members, the organized women, urban poor, workers in the formal and informal sectors, farmers, fisherfolk, muslims, elderly, workers in the transport sector, and indigenous cultural communities. To say that *AKSA* is a project of anybody besides those who compose it is a big insult to the masses that have been at the forefront of *AKSA*'s struggles. It reeks of the elitism that pervades many NGOs in the country. It undermines the masses' capacity and right to form their own organizations, to critically analyze issues and push for their agenda. *AKSA* is a social democratic group, linked with progressive organizations in countries where social democracy is tried and tested, where the quality of life is high, and where governance is geared towards the common good.

*AKSA *carries a pro-poor program of government that: upholds, respects and promotes human and women's rights; brings to the people the basic services they so desire and need; defends the Filipino people's democratic gains; and pushes for authentic politics of ideologies and well-defined programs. This program of government is developed from the decades of active involvement of *AKSA *organizations in people's movements and advocacies. Because of *AKSA*'s ideology and program of government, we have taken positions contrary to those of the past and present administrations. For instance, on the matter of amending the Constitution, *AKSA* has consistently pushed for a parliamentary and unicameral system and federal form of government through *CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION.* We have always stressed that the people should understand the complicated issues surrounding charter change to make an intelligent decision. The allegation peddled by Rep. Etta Rosales that AKSA is part of Sigaw ng Bayan is an outright *LIE*! *AKSA* is for the enactment of a comprehensive and rights-based reproductive health law. The DSWP, one of *AKSA*'s big organizations has been actively working on this for the last 3 Congress terms. RH is included in *AKSA*'s program of government as well as the anti-discrimination bill for the LGBT community and strong programs towards gender equality.

2. That AKSA is connected with the Office of External Affairs (OEA)
This is the second time that *AKSA* is running for the Party List. Therefore, *AKSA* DID NOT anymore need accreditation from the COMELEC. All we needed was to submit a manifestation of our intent to participate in the 2007 elections. There is no reason for *AKSA* to link with any government office to get accreditation from COMELEC. Moreover, there was and is no reason why *AKSA* would need the OEA to decide on our list of nominees.
3.That AKSA's nominees do not represent the marginalized sectors.
For the record, the following are the nominees submitted by *AKSA* to the

1. *ELIZABETH ANGSIOCO* – (Luzon) National Chair, Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP); known feminist; international awardee for human and women's rights; has for decades led in the implementation of various programs for women and the advocacy of pro-women laws.
2. *TIMOTEO A. ARANJUEZ* – (Visayas) President, Union of Filipino Workers (UFW) and Congress of Labor Organizations (CLO); veteran trade union leader of 45 years.
3. *MAO "Ka. Benjie" ANDONG JR. *– (Mindanao) Bangsa Moro community leader; known peasant leader and organizer; President, Kongreso ng mga Manggagawa, Magsasaka at Mangingisda Para sa Kaunlaran (KOMMMPaK)
4. *FERNANDO GANA *– ( NCR) veteran urban poor organizer; youth leader and field educator.
5. *Donna A*. *Casio* – (Visayas) respected community development leader; implementor of various development programs such as micro finance, skills enhancement for livelihood and social participation.
6. *HADJI BALAJADIA* – (Mindanao) youth and LGBT leader; Co-Chair AKSA Youth; Co-Convenor AKSA LGBT; Secretary General, 6th National Youth parliament.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Cho and Andrew Cunanan

This is part of Jeff Yang's essay in

"Most of the perpetrators of mass school killings have been white," said Paul Niwa, a journalism professor at Emerson College. "After those shootings, do you think white people felt guilty that the shooter was white? Do you think white people felt that since the shooter was white, that the shooter would give society a bad impression of whites? A shooter can be white and nobody thinks that race played a part in the crime. But when someone nonwhite commits a crime, this society makes the person's race partially at fault."

Reading these comments, I found myself caught in a dilemma. I want to think that race is not a factor in the toxic mix of rage and psychological disturbance that has occasionally discharged as this kind of violence. And, certainly, in most cases it isn't: Teenage angst is colorblind, and the triggers for crimes like these have included parental abuse, schoolyard persecution, romantic obsession -- phenomena that exist beyond culture or ethnicity.

But professor Niwa is right: When race enters the equation -- when the perpetrator of a crime of this type is black, like "Beltway Snipers" John Allen Muhammad and his ward Lee Boyd Malvo, or Asian, like Cho -- it rises to the surface and stays there, prompting inevitable discussions about whether "black rage" or "immigrant alienation" were somehow to blame; whether in some fundamental fashion, color of skin, shape of eye, or nation of origin lie at the seething, secret heart of such tragedies.

And then I remembered Andrew Cunanan. Turned out there were others who made the crazy connection. One Two: Then I thought about the gunman. The first thing that stood out at me was the Asian description. What’s this going to do to the national perspective of Asians? Nearly every time I’ve seen an Asian in the news — it’s been attached to something bad. The Asian sniper in the Midwest. Andrew cunanan (aka the guy that shot G. Versace). Now this one. Asian-American male stereotype beware. Hell, look at William Hung. No wait, don’t.
A certain rachel in an answer to a blog made the mistake of identifying Cunanan as a white male. Ha ha ha.
Perhaps we should compile a list of spree killings, mass killings, and school shooting done by white males.

I’ll start it, and others can add.

Andrew Cunanan was a spree killer who killed 5 people.

Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were responsible for Columbine.

Andrew Kehoe who blew up a school full of kids in the 20s.

Duane R. Morrison who broke into a school and molested several women, and subsequently killed one of the women.

Kip Kinkel in Oregon was a school shooter.

If you want to find more school shooters, wikipedia has several names; the vast majority of them are male and white.

Another reactor to a blog named frank had this to say about Cho:
Luckily he has none of the cuteness factor that Andrew Cunanan did.
Should Pinoys be glad of that? That our serial killers are guwapo?
And then Yahoo recently deleted a question on Cho re: his sexuality. Since it had been proven that Cho had no girlfriend, does that mean that he's gay like Cunanan?
And then there's Karmela Johnson who wrote:
I want to reach out now to my Korean-American brethren and tell you that even though there will be some idiots out there who will blame you, the rest of us don’t feel this way. The monster that is Cho Seung-Hui was not your fault, just as Andrew Cunanan wasn’t the collective fault of Filipino-Americans.

Rabid Crucifixion

I saw this in New Scientist. Makes your blood chill. One of those who joined the Crucifixion in Cutud died of rabies and must have infected about 100 people. Why didn't this make it in the front pages?

13:22 19 April 2007 from news service

More than a hundred men in the Philippines may have contracted rabies after taking part in a self-flagellation ritual to mark Good Friday, doctors and local authorities said on Thursday.

A health alert was issued after a man who took part in the traditional ceremony – where participants slash their backs with knives before flaying themselves with bamboo whips – died from the virus on 11 April.

Mario Morales, the mayor of Mabalacat in Pampanga province north of Manila, told local media that Eduardo Sese may have contaminated up to 100 people who shared knives to cut themselves. He was bitten by an infected dog in February 2007.

The government doctor in Pampanga, Maria Clara Aquino, said vaccines had been given to 103 people who could have been exposed.
Atoning for sins

Self-flagellation is an annual tradition in Pampanga and other parts of the Philippines in which men whip themselves into a frenzy on Good Friday to atone for their sins.

Rabies is a viral disease that infects domestic and wild animals. It is transmitted to humans through close contact with saliva from infected animals, from example through bites, scratches or licks on broken skin.

Treatment does exist in the form of antibodies to the disease followed by a vaccine to stimulate more antibody production, but it must be administered within hours of infection. Once symptoms of the disease develop, rabies is fatal in both animals and humans. Death can occur within seven days of infection.

A World Health Organization study in 2004 estimated that up to 55,000 people, mostly in rural areas of Africa and Asia, die each year from rabies.

Wankette 17: Abra

Gov. Vicsyd Valera, whom no national political candidate would dare not approach because he is literally KOD (kiss of death) waited smilingly for the supposed peace covenant to finish. He knew that Comelec Chair Abalos had something very important to announce and the SOAYSE Abalos (don't ask me what that acronym meant) gave Valera what he wanted to hear. Yes, the Comelec decided to replace Brig. Gen. Eugene Martin (Valera's adversary for a long, long time because he knew his secrets) with Col. Punk Rocker of Benguet. Five hours later, I got a text from someone in Abra: P10 m for the removal of Martin. And then I got different reactions. One said Martin must be happy now. Another said Abalos is the happy man. Jesus, P10 million! That is already two contracts for murder of a high official in Abra! I pity the people of Abra. i pity myself because I am going to cover Abra and all these things happening would be making very interesting also.

Let Session Road Breathe

Session Road was closed from 6 am to midnight this Earth Day and artists took the initiative by creating chalk drawings from nature. Benhur Villanueva, a retired arts teacher from Ateneo Grade School who settled here to become a sculptor and environmentalist, brought his young students from Tam-awan village and they drew a huge sun radiating on lizards, butterflies, flowers and trees. "Let the children give us the vision of what they want with the city," Villanueva said. "Let Session Road Breathe" was the acknowledged motto during the chalk drawing. A local bookstore and pizzeria donated colored chalk to people passing and soon families were on their knees drawing. I also donated boxes of dustless colored chalk to the artists. The daughters of Bedejim Abdullah, a respected Muslim scholar, were in their summer veils as they drew huge blue flowers. Below them, members of the Baguio Arts Guild were also drawing huge lizards, eyes and the Earth. Streetchildren also followed suit. As the day passed, many of the students bought their own chalk and started doing their own images. The skateboarders also used the city as their downhill ramp. The bikers patroled the streets. The artists made performance art. Some reprising what they did last night at Vocas. Some even made artistic messages to their friends: a far cry from their usual text messages. Baguio priests also tried to revive the Angelus with a five-minute prayer for end to global warming this Sunday. The Church mentioned in their morning homilies of the plan to have all motorists at the Central Business District to turn off their engines for five minutes on 6 pm. The Tigil-Buga Para sa Ating Planeta had all church bells ring within that period to remind them to pray for the Earth. The Tigil Buga is sponsored by the Philippine Greens Cordillera, the Baguio Community of Volunteers Movement and the city government. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources also sponsored a free showing of "An Inconvenient Truth" at SM Baguio.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Cho and Sanjaya with Satan and Moses

Bad week for Asian-Americans. A South Korean shot 33 students and teachers in Virginia Tech. As a result, Sanjaya of American Idol was booted out. Reason: Bad vocals. But he was always bad since Day One. You know the real reason why. And then, Vonnegut died. If you read his novels, one of them, I think it's Jailbird, started with the Texas Tower Shooter.

Gary Lavergne wrote about the Texas Tower Shooter and in Chronicles of Higher Education, he wrote: "On August 1, 1966, Charles Joseph Whitman ascended the University of Texas Tower, in Austin, and in 96 minutes fired 150 high-powered rounds of ammunition down upon an unsuspecting university family. Students, faculty and staff members, and visitors heard "strange noises" and thought nothing of it until they saw bodies and blood on the sidewalks. The shooter killed or wounded nearly 50 people that day. The Whitman story is enduring because it was our introduction to public mass murder and school shootings. It also preys on our worst fear: A stranger aims and kills you because he wants to -- and he doesn't give a damn that he, too, is about to die."

Will P gave us this chilling image:

Compounding our problem are the European press who blamed Charlton Heston for the VT massacre. Heston, if you watched Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine, is the poster boy of the very powerful National Rifle Association. Heston, of course, is also Moses.

Homo Quixotensis

Icelandic philosopher Stefán Snaevarr wrote in Philosophy Now:
Once upon a time a philosopher wrote an article called ‘Don Quixote and The Narrative Self’. He commenced by saying: In this essay, I will discuss the question of whether our selves are constituted by narratives, ie stories. Are we like Don Quixote, whose self was created by his reading of medieval romances: are we Homo quixotienses, the narrative self? Or are we rather like the protagonist of Sartre’s novel Nausea, Antonin Roquentin, whose life did not form any narrative unity? Are we in other words rather Homo roquentinenses? The idea that our life is a story is by no means new. Thus the great bard Shakespeare said that life “ a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” (Macbeth) However, it took philosophers some time to discover the philosophical import of this view of life. It was actually a German chap called William Schapp who first gave this age-old idea a philosophical twist. He maintained that we live our lives in a host of stories, which have connection with the stories of other people in various ways; so actually, our selves are nothing but cross-sections of stories. Our identities are created by a vast web of stories, as is our relationship with reality. We understand and identify things by placing them in the stories we tell about them: just like selves, things do not really exist outside of stories. We are caught in this narrative web because we cannot exist outside of it. There is a world-wide web of stories: the world is that web.

Wankette 16: These Groups Have no Right to Party

Below is a list of "partylist groups" that are fronts of the Arroyo regime and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). This list was prepared by KONTRA DAYA (a broad-based election watchdog formed to expose the very possible repeat of wholesale election fraud in the May 2007 Philippine elections). Please circulate widely to expose these groups. REJECT these groups in the coming elections!!!

1. AT (Aangat Tayo) connected to PITC Usec. Teddie Elson Rivera
2. Abono connected to House Speaker Jose De Venecia. But a source said that Abono is actually with Rosendo So who is at odds with JDV. Also, one of nominees is Pakoy Ortegaa, who is not only NOT a former but has other ways of using abono.
3. Agbiag! Timpuyog Ilocano, Inc. connected to Office of External Affairs Asec. Marcelo Farinas II
4. Aging Pinoy (Aging Pilipino Organization, Inc.) connected to Norberto Gonzales
5. Ahon (Ahon Pinoy) Dante "Klink" Ang II (1st nominee)
6. Ahonbayan connected to Norberto Gonzales
7. APOI (Akbay Pinoy OFW-National, Inc.) DILG Usec. Melchor Rosales (1st nominee), DILG NCR Dir. Rodolfo Feraren (2nd nominee)
8. AKSA (Aksyon Sambayanan) connected to Norberto Gonzales
9. ANAD (Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy) supported by the AFP
10. ANAK (Angat Ating Kabuhayan Pilipinas, Inc.) Supt. Eduardo Octaviano, NCRPO-PNP (1st nominee)
11. ANC (Alliance of Neo-Conservatives) Usec. for Presidential Appointments Liel Cordoba
12. Ang Kasangga member, Sigaw ng Bayan
13. ARC (Alliance of Rural Concerns) Archie Santiago (son of Sen. Miriam Santiago)
14. ATS (Alliance Transport Sector) Ariel Lim, Presidential Assistant for Public Transport Affairs
15. ABA-AKO Percy Chavez, chairperson, Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor
16. Babae Ka (Babae para sa Kaunlaran) member, Sigaw ng Bayan; Sally Dagami (1st nominee), Ruth Vasquez (2nd nominee)
17. BANAT (Barangay Association for National Advancement of Transparency) Raul Lambino (1st nominee)
18. Bantay Ret. Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan (1st nominee)
19. Bigkis (Bigkis Pinoy Movement) connected to PAGCOR Chair Ephraim Genuino
20. BP (Biyaheng Pinoy) Dr. Arsenio Abalos, Jesus Cruz (vice-mayor of Mandaluyong)
21. Kalahi (Advocates for Overseas Filipinos) Poe Gratela, former Office of External Affairs coordinator for OFW concerns (1st nominee)
22. VFP (Veterans Freedom Party) supported by the AFP


My friend Kigao starred in the Boogieman video of Spaceflowers. He said that Shunt V was the original choice but he is too ethereal for me. Check out Kigao's moves as the shamanastafarian. Cruel. There's also a cameo of Kabunian. MTV wouldn't want to use it daw. But they are going to make a new one instead.

Weng Weng

The best five minutes you will ever spend.

Friday, April 20, 2007


Tomorrow, Ada will also be singing "Get Back" by The Beatles for her pop singing recital. She wanted "Michelle" but her teacher said it is too sad for her. Beatles talaga ang gusto. Other than that, it's "paperback Writer." The only non-Beatles song in her list is Seal's Kiss From a Rose.

Human Rights

Tomorrow, the local human rights office would hold a concert at the UP Baguio for the benefit of the desaparacidos. I was asked to read a poem and this is what I decided to read:

This was based on Julio Cortazar's short story, Alejandro.


Nang maglaho
Na lang basta
Si Alejandro,

Ang mga kasama
Niya’t kapatid
Kung paano nila

Ang balita
Sa kanyang ina.
Mahirap na,
Bukod sa biyuda

Ay malala na’ng sakit
Ng matanda
At malapit
Na ngang mamatay.

Kaya hindi
Na nakapagpaalam
Nang mainam
Sa kanyang inang.

Nilang huwag
Na munang

Tutal, ang
Ate ni Alejandro
Ay may asawang

Sa Saudi.
Siya’ng magpapaalala
Na kunwari
Ay ipinatawag niya

Si Alejandro
Bilang kasamahan
Sa pagkakarpentero.
Ito’y biglaan

Kaya't sa isip ng ina
Ni Alejandro
Ay buo ang alaala
Na buhay pa’ng bunso.

Kaya sa pamamagitan
Ng pagbibigay
Ng mga liham
Muling nabuhay

Si Alejandro.
Bawat buwan, may padala,
Kaarawan, Pasko
Pati litratong luma

”Mahal kong ina,
Magpakabuti kayo
Sana malakas ka na
Sa pag-uwi ko.”

Ito and huling liham
Na nabasa ng ina
Kaya ito namatay
Na masaya at mapayapa.

Nakahabol ang bayaw
Sa libing ng ina, at
Matapos ang ilang araw
Dumating ang sulat

Ni Alejandro:
“Inay, uuwi si bayaw
Baka sumunod din ako
Balang araw.’

Ate niyang nakatanggap
At binasa ito muli.
Paghinga’y kinalap
Saka umiyak sa tabi

At di niya alam kung paano
Ihahatid ang balita
Kay Alejandro
Na patay na ang ina.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


A 1968 study showed that the left testicle hangs lower in right handed-men (the same is right testicle for left-handed men) but the higher one is heavier and larger. With this in mind, Chris McManus of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in England examined more than 100 statues of men in Italy and found that most sculptors were wrong because they made the left ball smaller. About forty percent did not even examine their model’s balls and made them the same size. Now, you can look at yours, Mau.

You Know You're From Baguio (The Waterless Version)

1. You know that people taking a shower from busted fire hydrants are only found in MTV and Coke commercials
2. You pay more for the “air” than the water in your water bill
3. Part of your “beach excursion” is bringing your laundry to wash and dry in the lowlands
4. You memorized the number of your water delivery service
5. When worst comes to worst, you can take a bath and shampoo with one pail of water or even a tabo
6. You laugh at news reports on TV and newspapers about a 12-hour no water announcement for Manila and Quezon City
7. You are on Prozac if you are from the complaints department of Baguio Water District
8. It is not shave, shit, shower or shit, shave, shower but shave, shower, shit. You ask why? You save the bathwater to flush.
9. You know there’s a use for the bathtub in your house but you forget what
10. You don’t believe that the next World War would be on water because you are still in Baguio and you have not waged war with anyone yet.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Bees and CPs

The Independent had this story:
It seems like the plot of a particularly far-fetched horror film. But some scientists suggest that our love of the mobile phone could cause massive food shortages, as the world's harvests fail.

They are putting forward the theory that radiation given off by mobile phones and other hi-tech gadgets is a possible answer to one of the more bizarre mysteries ever to happen in the natural world - the abrupt disappearance of the bees that pollinate crops. Late last week, some bee-keepers claimed that the phenomenon - which started in the US, then spread to continental Europe - was beginning to hit Britain as well.

The theory is that radiation from mobile phones interferes with bees' navigation systems, preventing the famously homeloving species from finding their way back to their hives. Improbable as it may seem, there is now evidence to back this up.

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) occurs when a hive's inhabitants suddenly disappear, leaving only queens, eggs and a few immature workers, like so many apian Mary Celestes. The vanished bees are never found, but thought to die singly far from home. The parasites, wildlife and other bees that normally raid the honey and pollen left behind when a colony dies, refuse to go anywhere near the abandoned hives.

The alarm was first sounded last autumn, but has now hit half of all American states. The West Coast is thought to have lost 60 per cent of its commercial bee population, with 70 per cent missing on the East Coast.

CCD has since spread to Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. And last week John Chapple, one of London's biggest bee-keepers, announced that 23 of his 40 hives have been abruptly abandoned.

Other apiarists have recorded losses in Scotland, Wales and north-west England, but the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs insisted: "There is absolutely no evidence of CCD in the UK."

The implications of the spread are alarming. Most of the world's crops depend on pollination by bees. Albert Einstein once said that if the bees disappeared, "man would have only four years of life left".


Here are the Top 10 most gratifying jobs and the percentage of subjects who said they were very satisfied with the job according to he General Social Survey (GSS) at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago:

* Clergy—87 percent percent
* Firefighters—80 percent percent
* Physical therapists—78 percent percent
* Authors—74 percent
* Special education teachers—70 percent
* Teachers—69 percent
* Education administrators—68 percent
* Painters and sculptors—67 percent
* Psychologists—67 percent
* Security and financial services salespersons—65 percent
* Operating engineers—64 percent
* Office supervisors—61 percent

A few common jobs in which about 50 percent of participants reported high satisfaction included: police and detectives, registered nurses, accountants, and editors and reporters.

Here are the 10 least gratifying jobs, where few participants reported being very satisfied:

* Laborers, except construction—21 percent
* Apparel clothing salespersons—24 percent
* Handpackers and packagers—24 percent
* Food preparers—24 percent
* Roofers—25 percent
* Cashiers—25 percent
* Furniture and home-furnishing salespersons—25 percent
* Bartenders—26 percent
* Freight, stock and material handlers—26 percent
* Waiters and servers—27 percent

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Wankette 15: How Ah-nold Campaigns in California

Nick Domalsin, the Arnold Schwarzenegger of the Philippines one time, served as councilor of Baguio. He won several bodybuilding trophies. The signage of his club, Baguio Health Club, was very visible from our house. Now "Health Clubs" have a different meaning i.e. naughty sauna clubs. Domalsin command a testosteronic presence in City Hall and was often made to parade in g-strings during parades. His only problem was his squeaky voice (I don't know why many bodybuilders have that problem) which drew sneakers from his much gauntlier peers in the council. As a result, he can not interpolate much. Domalsin died of a heart attack. Set to succeed him sana was Sammy Ayokchok, who is equally famous and more handsome. His problem, common among bodybuilders, is his temper. We had a little conflict because I wrote a story about his literally mauling his janitor but we became good friends. Ayokchok is not bent on running for office, which is good.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Top 100 Sites Opened by Pinoys

1.Yahoo! 2.Friendster 3.YouTube 5.Google 6.Microsoft Network (MSN) 8.WikiPedia 9.Myspace 11.Photobucket 12.Microsoft Corporation 14.Megaupload 19.Windows Live 20.Rapidshare 21.LiveJournal 24.InvisionFree 25. Yehey 26.Digital Point Solutions 27. The Internet Movie Database 28.DeviantArt 31.Geocities 32.Soompi 33.Go 35. 36. 37. 38. 40.ImageShack 41.Flickr 43. 44.EBay 45. Tagged 46. FanFiction.Net 48.Ultimate Guitar Archive 49.The Philippine Star Online 50. 51. Neopets 52. Information. com 53. Pinoy Exchange 54.CNET 55. The Pokémon Crater 56.CNN 61.Digg 63.GameFAQs 66.World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. 70.AOL 74.GameSpot 76.Adult Friendfinder 79.Apple Computer, Inc. 97.Adobe 99.Technorati

The top site by Pinoys is only on No. 23. Number 38 is the first porn site and it is a gay site! !

Vonnegut's Canon passes through Egger's wringer

This is fun. The Dave Eggers mathematicizes Vonnegut's canon.

Kurt Vonnegut

b. Indianapolis, Indiana

FICTION: Player Piano (1952), The Sirens of Titan (1959), Cat's Cradle (1963), God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater; or, Pearls Before Swine (1965), Mother Night (1966), Welcome to the Monkey House (stories, 1968), *Slaughterhouse Five; or the Children's Crusade: A Dance with Death (1969), Breakfast of Champions; or, Goodbye Blue Monday (1973), Slapstick, or Lonesome No More (1976), Jailbird (1979), Deadeye Dick (1982), Galapágos (1985), Bluebeard (1987), Hocus Pocus (1990), Timequake (1997), Bagombo Snuff Box (stories, 1999)

Kurt Vonnegut is one of the few writers in this guide that I can be sure that everyone has already read (unless "everyone" includes people who cannot read, or do not read, or are very young, or speak a language into which his work as not been translated). So. Vonnegut is a science fiction aficionado, WWII vet, lover of women, pitier of the poor, cranky luddite, fun-loving doomsayer, sometime postmodernist. His books -- very personal novels disguised as allegories disguised as science fiction -- nearly always take the entire world (or more) as their canvas. Usually there is a world war, or some catastrophic event, or often genocide, or a scientific or political innovation that threatens to, or has succeeded in, destroying all that we hold dear.

Because of this, Vonnegut could be dismissed as a cranky pessimist. Because his prose is frank and uncomplicated and often very funny, he could be passed off as a "humorist." Gore Vidal once called him "America's worst writer." But despite Vidal (did you know he's related to Al Gore? And the Kennedys?) and other critics, for some inexplicable reason, Vonnegut is taken seriously (by many at least), and he is loved by millions -- even the superintellectuals like yourself.

He has written many books. Following are inadequate plot summaries of each, sometimes accompanied by trenchant commentary. After each there are notations indicating:

WWII = indicates presence of WWII facts, imagery, themes

V = book touches on senselessness of violence

P = presence of prejudice, and its deleterious effects

A = presence of apocalypse (actual), or apocalyptic imagery

SF = heavy science fiction element

$ = emphasis on issues of economic disparity

-F = loss or threatened sense of family, heritage, community

T = complaints about pervasiveness/soullessness of technology

Ar = one or more of the characters is an artist

S = presence of sex scenes

Oh, and for the readers who like a good joke now and again:

VF = book is very funny

F = book is funny

NSF = book is not so funny

Player Piano: What one man does to force change in an America lost in the wheels of progress. (Did I just write that?) A/SF/-F/T/$ -- VF

The Sirens of Titan: Establishes soon-familiar themes of the essential brutality of man and the futility of attempting change. A/V/SF/T -- VF

Mother Night: A former Nazi radio propagandist and his life of depressed exile in New York's Greenwich Village. Perhaps Vonnegut's most straightforwardly told novel. P/S/F -- NSF

Cat's Cradle: One of his most successful and effectively apocalyptic books -- not to give away the ending -- about a substance that freezes, in a death-inducing sort of way, anything containing water. A/SF/T -- F

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater: About a man who gives millions to poor and pathetic people, this book is not that funny and disappointingly slight. Also contains a vicious portrayal of a gay man, for no discernible reason. A/$/-F -- NSF

Welcome to the Monkey House: A collection of short stories. WWII/P/A/SF/-F/$T/Ar/S -- F, VF, NSF (depending on the story)

Slaughterhouse Five: Vonnegut's most famous book and usually the starting point for Vonnegut inductees, and rightfully so. It crystallizes the author's passions and fears and addresses the pivotal moment in his life: as a WWII POW in Dresden, he witnessed the merciless, earth-leveling Allied bombing of the city. The protagonist is also abducted by aliens and forced to breed with a gorgeous starlet. WWII/V/P/A/SF/S -- VF

Breakfast of Champions: Vonnegut's version of a writer writing about writing, incorporating a number of his alter egos -- Kilgore Trout, et al. Big fun for fans of Vonnegut-as-clown-faced deconstructionist. A/SF/$/T -- VF

Slapstick: An homage to Vonnegut's late sister (whose three sons he raised) about two exceptional siblings. The book posits that Americans suffer from the erosion of the extended family. P/A/SF/-F/$/T -- VF

Jailbird: In which the world's power and wealth resides with an old woman who chooses to be homeless. A/$/T/-F -- F

Deadeye Dick: About a boy who inadvertently kills a pregnant woman while playing with a gun. A treatise on violence, heritage, prejudice. WWII/A/V/-F/P/$/Ar -- F

Galápagos: Speculates that if man were stranded on those islands, he might evolve in a way that would mean less pain for humanity and planet. As pessimistic as Vonnegut gets. V/A/SF -- NSF

Bluebeard: Largely a complaint about the absurdity and impersonality of modern art -- particularly targeting Abstract Expressionism. WWII/P/V/$/AR -- F

Hocus Pocus: A biblical-scale apocalypse takes place in 2001: more realistic than most of his work and very dark. V/A/SF/T -- NSF

Timequake: A rambling essay-cum-novel about not finishing a book, featuring familiar anecdotes, complaints, and visits from old characters like Kilgore Trout. Satisfying for fans, though unsettling, for in it, he claims that it will be his last book. WWII/V/P/A/SF/$/T -- VF

So, Vonnegut is good. If you like books, and like to read them even if they are easy to read and frequently funny, you will like the work of Kurt Vonnegut, a writer.

Also: He has a mustache.

About the writer

Dave Eggers is the author of "You Shall Know Our Velocity" and "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius."

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