Thursday, December 31, 2009

welcome back...


Firstly, from the wifey, Marge and myself, a happy new year to all of you and welcome back to BROKEN RECORD.

The handful of you who actually visit this place from time to time will most likely be wondering where i went, what happened, and most importantly, why i shut BROKEN RECORD down for a while.

The reasons are much too sticky for me to thresh out. Just imagine a big plate of fresh, un-sauced spaghetti that was cooked with too little oil, and that got landed on by steamed rice, and this guy has been trying to pick out the rice grains, and untangle the pile without breaking the noodles...

THAT sticky...

Still picking... but getting there...

But yes, i saw the blue-skinned “AVATAR,” which incidentally might have been inspired by James Cameron’s weed-laced dream of sex-starved Smurfs that finally went through a steroid-loaded puberty... also caught Jim Carrey’s “CHRISTMAS CAROL” (on 3D!), and was suddenly struck with nostalgia for the old stop-motion Christmas movies they used to show on RPN Channel 9 (remember the one with the elf who wanted to be a dentist and said that the abominable snowman was only really mean because he had a toothache...?)... saw Roland Emmerich’s expectedly plotless “2010,” and actually enjoyed it because my life felt like it was on the brink of a disaster at that time... i also found myself both laughing and crying at the same time over the list of movie offerings at the Manila Film Festival.

My love for supporting local music also means i will be buying Gino Padilla’s (yes, he’s back) offering of OPM remakes (it’s still Gino Padilla), and Side A’s new disc (too bad they lost Joey Benin...), as well. Both on old-fashioned CD’s at the next opportunity i find myself in a record bar. More on these two much later...

For what it’s worth... i’m back...

And no, the roller coaster still hasn’t stopped running. I must admit to getting dizzy from time to time, but i’m holding on to the rails, and am far from throwing up, much less giving up. It slows down from time to time anyways...

Will also be starting a blog where i’ll toss all my poetic corniness and save the idiots who visit this one from the ants and cockroaches i’ll be sending up their pants and their spines, respectively. For your dose of chunky bittersweet molasses sprinkled with a truckload of rotten corn, please click on “greek verses the world” on the blogroll to the right...

'catch you later...!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Brian May on the Piped-In...



I'm back on board one of those buses-trying desperately to be an airplane... Brian May is howling in the background about how "too much love will kill you..." (how appropriate...), and i'm seated beside some dude who's sporting an amish beard that makes my sparse kung-fu goatee look like a case study on testosterone deficiency...

I'm on my way up days ahead of schedule to give someone some much-needed space... Thankfully, tonight's exit was relatively graceful... Have a good feeling this time-out will do good...

Will miss the wife’s hugs and Marge's giggles though...

On the upside, Maverick seems to be doing alright despite my zombiefied state of mind and the almost total eradication of my EQ level... The guys are pulling through for me... Great...
Now let's see if the late great George Harrison's right about getting one's mind set on something, then giving it plenty of precious time...

'catch you later...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Dante on Gloria Macapagal Arroyo...


Dante Alighieri can now officially give Nostredamus a run for his precognitive money.


I’ve just re-browsed through wikipedia’s entry on Dante’s Divine Comedy, and glossed over the various circles of hell he described. For the uneducated, they are as follows:


1. First Circle (Limbo) – where the Philippines is under Gloria’s administration.
2. Second Circle (Lust) – paging Nani Perez...
3. Third Circle (Gluttony) – Le Cirque, anyone...?
4. Fourth Circle (Avarice) – i don’t even know where to start with this one...
5. Fifth Circle (Wrath & Sloth) – there’s a long list of how Gloria handles her political opponents...
6. Sixth Circle (Heresy) – her every move is an act against all that is holy...
7. Seventh Circle (Violence) – ooh... Maguindanao on da nooz!!
8. Eighth Circle (Fraud) – ‘nuff said!!!
9. Ninth Circle (Treason) – in Gloria’s world, bullshit is spelled SONA.

Upon my recollection of some of the most interesting TV coverage and newspaper headlines, it would seem to suggest that Dante Alighieri had already predicted the existence of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as far back as the 13th century.


I know that at this point, shooting at Gloria is no longer a rare form of recreation for anyone with half a working brain and some spare time. Truth be told, i’ve actually gotten tired of writing about Gloria’s endless habit of shitting on everybody who lives in this country. Just the effort of trying to cover every dubious act, every blatant display of greed and corruption might take more than 7 dedicated days in a week...

But this latest one takes the cake.

Gloria’s puppies say that she will not sever her “friendly” ties with the Ampatuans. This, after so much buzz all over the place connecting the Ampatuans to the Maguindanao massacre. It is a not uncommon saying that one can “know someone by knowing who their friends are...”

So, let’s put two and two together and we will know (again) what Gloria is...

So despite the bludgeoning her administration and her reputation have taken of late, it seems that Gloria truly does not care for what Filipinos think of her. And while big money players can keep talking about how the economy supposedly seems to be looking up. There is no tangible evidence that the greater public is honestly living better lives. Quite the contrary, actually... So she can’t keep saying that her ends justify her awful means. So it just means that she just plain doesn’t care for us at all.

And she’s the president.

And we’re all in hell.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Let me live each day with you,
___________as though it were our last.
Bleeding from the pain
___________and lies of days that passed.

But bleeding with hope as well.
Hope against the tide,
___________that ebbs, that flows, that crashes
________through every dream that lives inside.

But let me love you one more day,
__________And yet one more after this.
And every day i live, i’ll live to beg,
For one more touch,

____________for one more kiss.

And where forever has never been
__________further away from here as now,
See me, hear me...

_______as over and over i repeat this vow...

I would plead, i would bleed
___________and I would give to you,
Everything that’s left of me,
___________all my life, and all i knew...

To wait and wake on that
_____one misty morning a forever away,
To live through what we had
_______
Even for one more final day.

1108pm
11/27/09

image by xymonau (Dez Pain) sxc.hu

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

MAXIMUM EXPOSURE: COMDDAP Expo Manila 2009



23 years, and a long line of pretenders to the throne later, the one, the only, true major IT event in the country is back and bigger than ever!


On December 3 to 6, 2009... visit the SMX for MAXIMUM EXPOSURE: COMDDAP Manila Expo 2009.


Featuring some of the biggest names in IT, communications and technology, COMDDAP(Computer Manufacturers, Distributors, and Dealers Association of the Philippines) stages the most important ICT event in the country.


Get one-time only special deals and offers from brands and companies like AOC, Canon, Envision, Epson, Seagate, MSI, Western Digital, and many more! Avail of event-only discounts and bundles for branded hardware and licensed software.


Look into the blossoming of local brains and talent at the Open Pinoy Solutions (OPS) section, where COMDDAP opens doors and nurtures pure Pinjoy ingenuity... Can't choose between printer brands? Then come over and catch the all-new Printer Shootout, where various brands are pitted on equal ground to determine the best model for your specific needs... LCD and Projector Shootouts will see various brands toe to toe, and graded objectively by no less than you, IT-user!

...and to top it all off, daily raffles give you a chance to win a host of IT goodies on site.
There's no better deal than this!

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/event.php?eid=132183371773&ref=search&sid=592673211.1749790471..1


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


COMDDAP EXPO MANILA 2009 will be the biggest one-stop shop ICT products and Services in the Philippines. The show is the 49th exhibition organized by the association. Last year. over 35 ICT companies showcased their wares and services to over 20,000 visitor/attendees. Onsite sales reached over 10 million pesos. Join the other ICT industry names as the put their best in the greatest ICT show in the metropolis

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Maja is Back in the Limelight... in the wrong way...


The wife and i caught the last two seconds of the promotional trailer for my imaginary ex Maja Salvador’s supposedly “steamy” new prime time soap “Nagsimula sa Puso.”

And this exchange followed:

“Jasper, syota mo, ‘daring’ na...”

“hmm...”kkkkkkkkkkkkk

“handa ka na pakulong...”

“21 na kaya yan... legal...”

“gago, ako magpapakulong sa yo...”


* * * * * * * * * *

So the irresponsible gods-that-be at ABS-CBN have made my Maja Salvador a loaf of stale bread in their overloaded, underutilized talent stable. And after a few very minor roles, “she-who-was-once-perfect-even-without-a-cleavage” is now hopping around town promoting her new show while baring... a cleavage.

So the “tweetums” thing supposedly hasn’t been working for my Maja, but that only means the idiots at ABS don’t know how to do their jobs right? Like better writers, better marketing strategies, a notch of restraint from overusing only selected artists from their overflowing pool... the whole skin thing is a short-cut that Ms. Golangco 2.0 Ms. Salvador does not deserve considering her massive talent and beauty. No other “massive-nesses” are required for her to get the proper level of attention from her adoring, worshipping fans. It’s you guys in ABS that never gave her an honest shot with solid roles.

The only thing you guys are good at is getting rising talent nurtured by GMA, and turning their careers into the dairy equivalent of 5-year old yoghurt...

And please don’t get me started on the implants “other enhancements” Her Former Maja-ness may have been forced to do to her once-perfect self... if this is Her Maja-ness growing up, then no wonder i’d rather remain a retard...

Hmm... i smell coffee... time to wake up... this fantasy’s no longer worth it...

‘catch you later...

one day...

And one day, in that one darkest hour you’ve ever known,
When the world floats namelessly around you and alone,
A rabbit’s hole will come whispering to you in the shade,
“come in here, there is a home for you that we have made.”

You’d take a peek and wonder if perhaps at last,
This is the one last escape you need from the future and the past.
And through the walls, the echoes of the world linger on.
You would still hear the birds, but they’re ever gone...

And through the coldness you find yourself deep within,
You’d almost think that maybe this is after all one way to win.
For the tears have finally ended, and the screams so far away,
And the same voices whisper playfully all throughout the day...

But no, no... no, no, no... this is not the way it must be,
The sweet emptiness is comforting but must not consume me,
And while my arms flail against the velvet veil upon my eyes,
I would force the tears back out and howl to the skies.

I would chase the sun, and I would give up, only to keep trying,
And every fiber of me will no longer be weak, lost and dying.
Give me a speck of dust for each lonely brick I will build,
And give me rain to replant the trees on the meadow I’ve tilled.

And maybe that day will come soon, when all the doubt
That was ever felt will yield to the rain and be washed out.
Then life will be only be better with every lesson learned,
And we can run into the sun, knowing that forever has returned.


7:24pm
10/10/09

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Movie Review: In My Life (Big Apple, Big Stars, Small Movie)


The choice came down to a movie that starred a comedienne used to be known for doing impressions of Vilma Santos, or, after a long while... Vilma Santos.

White-hot funny-girl Eugene Domingo top-bills “Kimmy & Dora.” The comedy is enjoying very good word of mouth, in addition to Eugene’s reputation and/or penchant for lighting up any movie scene she’s in. But we opted for the Vilma vehicle “In My Life.”
For one thing, the wife was partly curious about the inevitable travelogue-ishness of the movie, “In My Life,” which was set in New York. It didn’t hurt that it had “Ate Vi,” who has been absent from the silver screen for quite some time now, and my infant daughter’s crush, ABS-CBN cash cow John Lloyd Cruz. And in a bit of pseudo stunt-casting, we also get Luis (formerly known as “Lucky”) Manzano playing Ate Vi’s son, and resident gay love interest for John Lloyd. Yep, they’re a gay couple in the movie.

"...there’s grit and nails all over the scene whenever [Vilma is] there..."


So in the movie, Vilma is “Shirley Templo” (methinks the joke in the character name will be wasted on many of the audience), a separated lady being convinced to sell an old house officially bequeathed to her by her late father-in-law. Knowing this, she buys herself a plane ticket (on a librarian’s salary) to see her gay son in New York, and forces herself upon his life. The writers do their hardest to show that Luis, who plays Vilma’s son, Mark is the busiest man on their side of the planet. But for the most part, Mark (a.k.a. “Lucky”) just succeeds in looking constipated most of the time.

Speaking of constipated, Vilma Santos seems to have over-acted in this movie... there’s grit and nails all over the scene whenever she’s there. Even if grit and nails aren’t necessary for the supposed scene. The forced comedy of some parts were obviously... forced.


John Lloyd Cruz plays Noel, Mark’s hard-working, multiple-job-holding illegal immigrant (a.k.a. TNT), gay lover. Noel holds many jobs, from limo driver, to housekeeper, to Vilma’s nanny. All of which seems to indicate that he’s everyone’s favourite sucker (no gay pun intended).

Despite being her most constant companion, Shirley somehow still finds it in herself to think ill of Noel. The character of Noel, who is portrayed with such natural earnestness by Cruz, that one can’t help but think that Shirley is a schizo-case who should be thrown back to the third-world country where she belongs. We later find out that Mark is suffering from Stage 1 colon cancer. And Noel is such a sucker (again, no pun intended) that he does not tell Shirley of her son’s illness just because selfsame son told him not to.

Many unexpected things happen (yes, honestly unexpected), and the characters are put in the typical Pinoy movie mandatory situations where every sentence has been designed to be spoken with grit and tears even if it seems absolutely unnecessary.

There are many instances in the movie that require a suspension of disbelief. And one has to keep reminding one’s self that considering the absolutely royal pedigree of the lead cast, along with the location shot, surely Star Cinema will pull out all the stops to produce a very tight story. Something worthy of Ate Vi’s long-awaited visit to movie-making.

"...why do our movies make heroes of illegal immigrants, who are technically felons...?"


But no, the plot’s integrity is spongy at best. I’m guessing they didn’t find enough brand sponsors to pay for better writers...

Such as, why would a glamorous-looking intelligent Filipina woman who owns an American passport stick to a job as a librarian in what looks like a public school? How come such a well-read woman (a librarian!) suddenly switches off her brain and behaves like an uncultured idiot upon stepping on U.S. soil? How come she can’t keep a steady job? Does the movie indicate that the quality of Filipinos in our local academe is of such poor quality that one cannot even hold a simple job as a waitress in the U.S. of A? And why does Tirso (a.k.a. “Pip”) Cruz III, who made a cameo, look like an endorser for Botox, smiling like someone who let Hannibal Lecter have his brains for dessert?

... and why do our movies make heroes of illegal immigrants, who are technically felons in the U.S.? all the while improperly illustrating the sad “convenience marriage” practices of our countrymen in foreign soil.

These are questions begging to be answered... But probably not by die-hard “Vilmanians.”

Luis has his moments, but will benefit from acting classes. Ate Vi has nothing left to prove, but seems to think that over-acting can make up for weak points in the script... John Lloyd... was honestly excellent. What’s admirable about the guy as an actor is that he understands that being emotional in a movie doesn’t always mean you have to start screaming at your co-stars and turning on the waterworks. He has a great gift for emotional nuances, a concept which seems to be alien to many “artistas.” And such elements make his acting that much more realistic and impactful.

Considering that the local cineplexes have been lacking in major label local productions lately, “In My Life” (or even “Kimmy & Dora”) deserves a look. If only to support a local movie industry that is not only on life support, but probably even a zombie struggling out of a morgue.

And while the movie did not leave a lasting impression on me (and probably the wife), at least i did not feel totally robbed when we walked out of the cinema.

‘Catch you later... (and catch a local movie today...)

Saturday, September 05, 2009

To reintroduce a classic Pinoy talent to the culturally stupid... Jun Polistico... Mr. Golden Voice

As a young, budding music lover, I was told by our nanny that back in the day, that every entertainer in the country had to have a tag that identified them with a foreign act.

For example:

VST & Co. = the Bee Gees /Earth Wind & Fire of the Philippines; the Boyfriends = also the Bee Gees; Jose Mari Chan = the Cliff Richard of the Philippines; (my favorite) Claire dela Fuente = the Karen Carpenter of the Philippines... the list goes on... Jun Polistico's supposed bit was that he was the Frank Sinatra /Johnny Mathis of the Philippines.

At that time, I didn't give a crap.

Then came 1992, and a remake of Sharon Cuneta's classic suicide anthem "Sana'y Walang Na'ng Wakas" was delivered on the airwaves by a male voice whose phrasing had a tinge of... Johnny Mathis... and totally owned the song.

After several years of typing his name on limewire and coming up with absolutely nothing, I have relented and have bought a compilation CD that Viva Records has just made available containing Jun Polistico's (a.k.a. Mr Golden Voice's) badass version of this Willy Cruz-penned wrist-slasher.

Ripped copy above with lousy compressed audio for anyone to enjoy.

'catch you later...

Popularity vs. Productivity: The Long Weekends of Doom

It’s amazing how it seems to take forever for congressmen, senators and the rest of the politicians to pass laws and pretend to address social issues in the country. But it seems so easy to declare one new unwarranted holiday after another.

In Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s desperate attempt at trying to zombie-fy her deader-than-a-door-knob popularity level, she has been declaring holidays left and right. Of course, that’s as long as there is a big potential bloc vote involved.

Early last night, i was just informed that there would be no work on Monday. And the sadness of it is that i only had until Wednesday in Manila for the week until i have to go up and do some store stuff. So in one fell swoop, Gloria just took away 33% of my Manila workweek. And for what?

Truth be told, I am a fan of the Iglesia ni Cristo. I love how organized they are, I love the architecture of the temples/churches and all, and I have nothing but respect for the guys who are keeping that thing going and going strong. But having said that, i do not think it is justified to declare Monday a holiday just because one of their leaders will be buried that day. Nothing against the late Eraño Manalo, but he isn’t even the founder.

What about the many meetings of many professionals who have things stacked up on Monday? What about the entire week’s schedule that have all been pushed back? What about make or break deals that could have been made this Monday?

What about employees who have no-work-no-pay deals? They lost another day of work on their paychecks.

The list goes on...

And all because Little Gloria Arroyo wants to desperately kiss some major Iglesia ass. Tsk tsk...
On September 21, we will be observing another new Holiday that Gloria created. That of the official end of Ramadan. Generally speaking, Muslims will feast on that day. And yes, so Gloria. But oh, we forget... she feasts everyday...

For now...

My condolences to all my Iglesia friends...

‘catch you later...

Friday, September 04, 2009

Letters to Prez Glow (#4): WHATTAMOM!!!


Dear Madam Gloria...


I am writing you to congratulate you regarding the results of the recent interview of your beloved son, Mikey Arroyo with Mareng Winnie Monsod and the politically proper Arnold “Igan” Clavio.

There is nothing more rewarding than a politician who has shown himself all naked and baring his very soul on national TV. It doesn’t matter whether or not it was his intention to be so transparent, or if he was just too dumb to even lie competently.

But I commend him for his patience and absolute restraint from going all Neanderthal on Mareng Winnie, who was having a field day with him and his pea-sized brain. You have taught him such, Madame President that I believe that he will grow up with a whole rolodex of revenge methods for political enemies just like you do.

Just like the way you took away Madame Corazon Aquino’s security detail. Totally classy.

You are truly a wonderful mom to Mikey. Imagine, having a son so stupid and still manage to give him a government post. You are truly spending a lot of money and pulling so many strings to do this. Bravo, mom.



Cheers and i hope enjoy the long weekend you have once again created...

Nagmamahal at nabibilib...

New-youtube-addict-because-of-mikey

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Letters to Prez Glow (#3) TRAPIK IN BAG-YO! CEE-TEY...


Dear Mrs. President Gloria...

You cost me an extra 25 minutes of road time today. When I’m in Manila, an additional half an hour on the road is nothing. But it is quite surprising when I am at Baguio City attending to my matters on this wide of the highway.
It normally only takes me 10 minutes to get to work.

But today was apparently extra special. After practically crawling part of my way to the store, I was told by some lady sari-sari store shopkeeper that “andyan ata si GMA (your initials, my dear)... may hinarangan na daan, kaya trapik...” i felt so bad for you, because she had a scowl on her face when she said your name.

It almost seemed like she said other names and words like “demonita,” “satanas,” or simply “kupal.” She scowled, Madame President. I almost wanted to hit her for you. And i will tell her that i hit her for you, and i will pay her good money to hit you back in return.

I was going to do it for you, remember?

Anyways, i am writing to you now because i am sad. Sad for you.

After the throngs of people pouring their hearts out for the late, great President Cory Aquino during the time of her wake, i was saddened to see that there were no people on the streets waiting for you. Of course, there were probably a few who thought of hiding behind some bushes with shotguns in hand just waiting for you, but that’s another story.

Maybe i’ve seen too much TV or too many movies, or too much international news on channels like BBC or CNN, where they show throngs of people lined up in the streets to greet they leaders, or in some poorer countries, to ask for help and some attention. I’ve probably seen too much of those, and have been falsely convinced that those are actually true.

See, the only people i saw on the streets this morning were people gallantly hoofing their way to work, simply because their “beloved” president’s security detail had a few major roads blocked for security.

No throngs of people waiting to greet or simply to pay respects to you, our dear president. Nada. No one. Well, expect probably those people in city hall, where you were going. They HAVE to anyways...

No throngs of people lined up to ask the president to see their plight and possibly ask for some help and attention... No. They’re probably afraid of getting hurt by your security force, MADAME PRESIDENT. Besides, they probably already feel that they cannot get an iota of sympathy from a president who can live like a queen, when her subjects are feasting on shit like UFC Sarsarap.

The welcome streamer hung almost forlornly at the entrance of the Baguio City Hall, since no one was excited enough to see you to hang out by the door. Except maybe the smokers.
But welcome to Baguio City, Prez Glow... I hope you take helicopter going home... under thick, heavy fog.

Nagmamahal at nagpapaalam...

Nalumbay sa Daan

Friday, August 21, 2009

Double Review: The Time Traveler’s Wife ('Time' for a Divorce...)

It all started with a nice premise written on the back of the paperback my friend Odi Rufino showed me not too long ago...

Something about time-travelling man flashes girl, then meets girl, and keeps meeting girl until she’s barely legal enough to boff. Then they boff. Naturally, they don’t live happily ever after. Sort of...


* * * * *

"...['time traveller] isn’t unenjoyable. As long as you take everything at face value..."

The Book


Author Audrey Niffenegger (try saying those three words fast ten times...) has admitted somewhere online that the premise of “The Time Traveller’s Wife” started with a few paradoxical key scenes that i’m guessing she probably thought were cute. Then i’m guessing she figured out a way to string them together into a somewhat hodgepodge excuse for a novel.
And it shows.

I would be first in line to admit that Niffenegger has a gift for assembling very interesting/amusing little character encounters. Get two supposedly attractive sex-starved characters, throw in a slight sci-fi twist, and a sprinkling of déjà vu, and voila... steamy, and sometimes curiously intelligent little vignettes from an otherwise convoluted storyline.

But the thing about the “Time Traveller’s Wife” is that it isn’t unenjoyable. As long as you take everything at face value, allow yourself to get swept up in the emotional vignettes and assume that Einstein is out there somewhere trying to cover the plot holes as a personal favour to you.

Honestly not “must-reading,” but not a total waste of time.


* * * * *

The Movie

Oooooooooookay... the first thing i must get off my chest is that it was a mistake to go see the movie the very day after i finish the book.

With the book still fresh in my head, it was hard for me to just take the movie for what it was without comparing it to the book as most book-readers are wont to do. And while the movie tried to be as faithful to the book as possible, it had to shoehorn a few explanations into the script just to try and enlighten the audience on how mixed up the story really was. That made for more than a few hokey scenes, and some unrealistic dialogue.

The casting of Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams as Henry and Clare was pretty spot-on, the same goes with the character of Charisse in the person of Jane McLean, but Ron Livingston as Gomez sort of missed the mark for me.

Like the book, a few scenes were nicely executed, but ultimately felt like a mere video synopsis of the book. And a lot of the emotion in the book was either forced or was totally absent altogether.

An honest effort, but in my personal opinion, a failure.


* * * * *

Everyone who picks up a novel will always say that the book is/was better. Partly because a book is almost always written with the knowledge that whoever has the brains and fortitude to actually a whole effing book without pictures has got to be smart enough to understand multi-layered plot-points, characterizations, and obligatory sub-plots.

And of course, people who’ve reduced their social lives to whatever’s available online need people to know that they put their hermit time to good use by boasting that the “book is better.” Just to spite your non-book-reading ass and tell you indirectly that “i am smarter than you, because i read a thick book without pictures...”

But yes, the book was more satisfying. And yes, i AM smarter than you...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Letters to Prez Glow (#2) FLYING THE FIENDLY SKIES


Dear Prez-Glow...

Happy weekend to you po, Prez... do you any plans for tonight? Any million-Peso Saturday night parties you might be planning on throwing? In case you do, and you need more guests, please let me know. Out next door neighbour in Quezon City is a taco shell factory, and they have thousands of cockroaches who can keep you company.


You and them aren’t too different po, ma’am. Like you, they can survive anything, and still manage to multiply. I’m sure you guys can find a lot of things to chat about po.
But that’s not the real reason i write to you now.

I am writing to apologize for my previous letter, where I was shooting at you about those made-for-tv-news-dinners you had in the States. Seriously... to quote a little piece of shit with a mole on her face that i saw on TV around four years ago: “I... AM... SORRY...”

I am so fucking sorry, because the couple of million pesos you spent for your meals is fucking peanuts compared to the 1.6 billion peso over-expense you incurred with your foreign trips. A couple of million bucks is NOTHING. NOTHING, I tell you...

And even better, you got a lot of that from the National Contingency Fund. I’m sure that your foreign trips are a form of national emergency that needs a billion bucks worth of taxpayers’ money. I’m sure that your foreign trips are more important than putting up health centers in various depressed provinces, or subsidizing agriculture or various other industries, or some honest-to-goodness housing projects that don’t make houses big enough for a Doberman.
I’m sure you went abroad to build goodwill (to cover up all the shit you’re doing back home), and to woo investors into the country (so that you will have more cows to milk). It’s all for the good of the economy (especially your family’s private economy).

I therefore conclude that whoever came up with the initial P1.1 billion travel budget for you was an absolute idiot. And no, I will defend you tooth and nail if anyone says that you are a bigger idiot for approving that budget since it is painfully obvious that it wasn’t nearly enough.
I will defend you po. I will defend you like I do the cockroaches in our next door factory neighbour.

I will defend you, because I personally want you to have put aside enough money FROM THE GOVERNMENT, AND GOVERNMENT-RELATED SCAMS to have as many trips abroad as you want, that you may consider not coming back again. Ever.

And maybe you will love leaving the country so much that you will finally, really, truthfully, step down on 2010. I hear the weather in Africa is pretty warm. Please visit THAT place more often, since you will need to get used to the heat that you will eventually suffer in hell.

Again po, to quote the short, slimy character with the nasal voice AND A MOLE TO THE LEFT OF THE NOSE: “I... AM... SORRY...”

Nagmamahal at nagpapaalam...

Death by Adobo

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Letters to Prez Glow (#1) WHAT'S FOR DINNER?


Dear Prez-Glow...


How ya doin’ lately?

I assume that by this time, you’ve already managed to shit out the lobster and caviar you guys gorged upon in New York and Washington. I hope you had a bad bellyache, and i hope shitting all that out was painful.

As you know by now, your countrymen are up in arms after hearing about your lavishly extravagant dinners. We really should shut up about those things. After all, you may only seem human to a few, but you do have to eat, right? All this fuss really isn’t necessary, right? I mean, a congressman paid for one of those dinners, right? Not the government, right?

But wait... where did the congressman get the money? I’m sure he didn’t get it from the pork barrels, right? I mean, he wouldn’t dream of doing that, right? He must have other businesses that enabled him to afford blowing A MILLION PESOS ON ONE SINGLE DINNER, right? He will be audited for his expenses as congressman, right?

So it wasn’t you. You really shouldn’t get the blame.

I’m sure $500 for a bottle of wine is perfectly normal. After all, you are the PRESIDENT OF A COUNTRY WITH TERRIBLY POOR PEOPLE, and all the helpless citizens DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO COMPLAIN about you needing to eat... caviar.

I feel so sorry for you... NOT.

But see here... for the past couple or so years, you have been having a terrible PR nightmare. NOBODY LIKES YOU, UNLESS THEY ARE BENEFITTING FROM YOU IN VERY CORRUPT WAYS. And with many people suffering from an awful quality of living all over the country, how did you expect them to react after finding out about you blowing all that money on dinner alone?
Maybe you’re too busy to see the people who are passing the days and filling their sad bellies with rice topped off by salt, or those deceiving themselves that they are having a good meal with shitty stuff like UFC Sarsarap, which costs a mere five pesos per sachet. And yes, you are after all in the States WITH 65 PEOPLE IN YOUR ENTOURAGE. So all that money for dinner is justified, right? And yes, one MUST have lobster, caviar and $500per bottle wine. One cannot survive on a simple pork chop and coke. Or even a little barbequed spare rib... Lobster is a definite must. Yes, indeed.

Oh, and caviar. One must not forget the caviar. Definitely an indispensible part of a presidential diet.

But please remember that YOU ARE THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES. A country of poor people. Many of whom are hungry and cannot afford proper healthcare. At the very least, you must be more discreet about what you do. YOU ARE THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES. THE PRESIDENT. An ELECTED president (supposedly). So whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you fucking wear, whatever you fucking spend, is everybody’s business.

You want privacy? Then just step down. Get out of Malacañang and stop beautifying the economy reports with some accounting magic, and look closer at your people.
YOUR POOR STARVING PEOPLE WHO EARN AROUND P130,000 PER YEAR ON MINIMUM WAGE.

At least I can rest easy knowing that if a dozen minimum wage workers don’t spend a single centavo, and put together the money they’ve earned for the entire year, they can finally afford the meals you spent for in the States.

Why must you bother with all the hard work in desperately trying to extend your term? Don’t you want to blow a million bucks for dinner in private?

Think about it.

I must end this first letter right now, because I must go enjoy my simple lunch of tofu, adobo, and sautéed string beans, while imagining how the tofu will miraculously transform into a lobster. Thank you.

Nagmamahal at nagpapaalam...

Death by Adobo

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Bored Prince


We saw “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” Whoopee... there wasn’t much else to see anyways, and the screening time of “Public Enemies” was oddly late. So “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” it was...


I also had this little light bulb in my head for a spoof movie called “Horny Pot-Heads and the Half-Sized President”...

First thing I need to get off my chest is that while I am not a true Harry and Hogwarts fan, I have always admired the level of imagination that author J.K. Rowling has put into the series. I have never read any of the books, and though I have never found myself queuing on “Potter” movies’ first few nights, I have always felt compelled to at least know the on-goings of the tales.
Somehow, I believe Harry Potter is this generation’s Luke Skywalker, and has become indelible in popular culture regardless of the supposed over-exposure. Could be a source of creative ideas for ads in the near future...

So, on to the movie we went...

"...I believe Harry Potter is this generation’s Luke Skywalker, and has become indelible in popular culture regardless of the supposed over-exposure..."


Somewhere through the third movie, my amusement at the floating candles, concept of high-speed quiddich games, animated photographs on print and other visual nuances of the Potter-verse thinned out and vanished. And being someone who never treated previous Potter movies like biology class frogs that I had to dissect for absolutely no reason at all than being a sado-masochistic geek, I found “Half Blood Prince” to be quite weighted upon by the series’ history.
Funnily enough, the one biggest event of note in “Half-Blood Prince” was a major character’s death. And it wasn’t even done in a mega-neck-pain-inducing wand duel or all-out slug-fest. No, this was done in a quiet, confrontational “oh-look-he’s-dead-now” kind of way...

"...[Snape is] probably Rowling's favorite character, second only to Harry himself..."


By and large, one will also start to notice that with the exception of Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson (who is getting hotter by the minute), all these Brit kids are growing up rather unattractively.

Sufficient googling will render many spoilers as to the relevance of the enjoyable Alan Rickman’s Severius Snape. Besides, it was too freaking obvious from the start that Snape was not just your typical “bad guy.” He's probably Rowling's favorite character, second only to Harry himself...

Given that “Half-Blood Prince” is the penultimate chapter in the “Potter” saga, I suppose it was no surprise that the whole movie felt more like a set up for the finale rather than an actual story on its own merit. I’m sure fans loved it though...

As for me and the wife... we dutifully ate the pop corn, tried hard to not fall asleep at the movie, then dutifully went straight home to find a sleeping Margaret...

Yawn yawn yawn... ‘catch you later...

Friday, July 31, 2009

Guest Concert Review: Boyz II Men (Live in Manila)

Dear readers, I have the honor of giving anothe guest blog. Again, delivered by... (as was his original introduction) ...a first rate music lover, a vocalist par excellence, a one-time showband frontman, a Kundirana veteran, and a member of an almost-was boyband called Soul Purpose back in... dammit, i forgot when... and even he has chosen to forget that episode in his life...Should have been the linchpin of what became Jeremiah (THAT boyband...)... the man, the voice, and the frequent visitor to the blog called "Ang Tunay na Lalaki"... Mr. Carlo Emmanuel Rodriguez Balingit!!!

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Old BOYZ
by Carlo E.R. Balingit

July 21, Tuesday, Another typical workday for me, running here, running there –typical. It was at about 11am when my attention was called to recieve a couple of Boyz2Men tickets, HA! To be honest, I was really hoping but not in any way expecting to get my hands on these. Initially, when I found out that the Boyz were flying in to perform in Manila, my brain was brewing some kind of I don’t know if you can call it scheme to... oh, blah-blah-blah. Don’t want this thing to run a page and a half long so I’ll cut the concert pre-cursor “short”.


“...dateless; ergo my ‘I’ll Make Love to You’ plan has come to the ‘End of the Road’...”

Boyz2Men”, dateless, plans didn’t really work out as “planned” ”, dateless, my son couldn’t watch it with me”, dateless, dragged 2 people in with me as to not waste the seats, dateless, and last before the least – dateless; ergo my “I’ll make love to you” plan has come to the “End of the Road”. Funny, before leaving the office for the Araneta, someone wished me luck and told me “Hope I meet someone I like at the concert”. Sadly, I knew where that particular person was going to be that night and that “that” person wasn’t going to be there at the concert. On to the show – hooray...

Got there a tad late myself since I was still trying to finish up some stuff at work and had a very difficult time finding parking. I hauled my flat ass out of the car and made my way with Kat and Goth ( the seat fillers) to the venue. 9:20pm. Show was suppose to start at 8pm. Of course as everybody knows, 8pm Manila time is about 9-9:30ish in real time. I asked one of the usherettes whether or not the show had started, to which she replied “ No, Sir.” Was I shocked? No. Sometimes you just have to ask yourself why people in Manila, hell, in the Philippines for that matter, even bother to use the concept of time for anything.

Upon entering, I was really amazed (not shocked though) that all the seats were virtually taken. I then ninja walked my way mid-row to where the seats were and snuggly rested my flat ass to where it was suppose to stay for the next few hours. Looking around before lights-off I noticed a few familiar faces in the crowd waiting for the Boyz to do thier thing. Yes, quite a horde of Pinoys were really looking forward to this night, haha.

Looking at my watch and asking myself whether or not this concert was going to start “tonight”, the house lights suddenly dimmed and a video wall started to illuminate the stage, then pop goes the Boyz. Nate, Shawn and Wanye open the evening with Cooley Hi Harmony’s debut single “Boyz2Men”, now I wasn’t really a fan of that single but as a rule opening acts should be energetic. On the up side, the song was turned into a medly of ye ole hip-hop hit and “On bended knee”. Down side was “On bended knee” wasn’t sung in it’s entirety (wtf?!?!). I mean “On Bended Knee!” Now as mentioned, a powerful and energetic opening number cannot be avoided, but why waste one of your biggest hits – disappointment there.

“...where’s the band? ...ooh wait... the band’s burned into the cd minus-one along with the overdubbed vocal harmony...”

So the 1st number was done and delivered and so the standard welcoming spiel was well on it’s way to the wonderful ears of the uber excited audience. I wasn’t really paying that much attention to the whole exchange of dialogue, but was more focused on other things. Things like, where’s the band? OOOh wait, the band’s burned into the cd minus-one along with the overdubbed vocal harmony. Yes, all of the refrain and choral harmonies were overdubbed. No, they didn’t only dub-in the bass, they dubbed all of it “ok”. I was really trying to convince myself that this was a Boyz2Men concert and them doing that would be next to criminal (enter the handcuffs please) sigh.

“...vocal delivery of Nate and of course the godlike Wanye was superb – but I must say that Shawn was sort of losing his touch...”

After the spiel, the Boyz started singing covers from thier Motown album and opened that segment of the act with Mr. Robinson’s “Track of My Tears”. Dancing was so Motown, but visually pleasing to watch, vocal delivery of Nate and of course the godlike Wanye was superb – but I must say that Shawn was sort of losing his touch – haha. Unfortunately, though they covered most of the good songs from that album they failed to perform one remake that was one of my personal favorites “I’ll Miss You”(argh) from their “Throwback” album. Sadly, it was really starting to seems like solo karaoke night for the boyz.

Finishing this entry is taking longer than I thought, it’s been a couple of days since the show, so do please forgive me for leaving some stuff out.

It was mid way through the show that they performed “4 Seasons of Loneliness” and “Water runs Dry”, but what really hit me was a “Doin’ Just Fine” the first cut off “Evolution,” which started out with Nate as solo. Yeah, it really hit me bad – found myself staring blankly into nowhere (bah.).

A common concert gimmick in their concerts was each of the Boyz throwing out roses to the crowd while they sang their biggest hit, “I’ll Make Love to You.”

For the closing number they rendered a song I haven’t heard in a while – “End of the road” (how cliche’). Again Nate and Wanye’s solo parts were great, harmony was canned, and Shawn was really starting to sound like someone kept stepping on his toes all night. Disappointingly they didn’t sing the Brian McKnight-written groove “Fallen” a personal favorite, I know it didn’t top the charts compared to the rest of their hits, but then again, It was the only song in that 2nd Album that projected a musical freshness in my ears.


Upon the inevitable demand for an encore, they worked the crowd for 5mins before Wanye steps out for another spiel thanking everyone for supporting the Boyz for 20 years. He talked about a lot of things, even mentioned that Mike might potentially return to Boyz2Men pretty soon – and they’re hoping that by the next tour three will once again become four (I’m looking forward to that.). Wanye then calls both Nate and Shawn to join him perform “Hard to say goodbye to yesterday”. The very 1st Boyz2Men song I remember hearing. After that number they finally closed the show with a “full” rendition of their fast hip-hop song “Boyz2Men” (wowzer – not.).

“...Boyz2Men will always be Boyz2Men... their music has been and will always be a part of my life...”


Boyz2Men will always be Boyz2Men. Doesn’t matter if there are 3 guys or 4 on stage. Doesn’t matter if the harmony was over-dubbed. Doesn’t matter if a band was non-existent. It’s about how their music has been and will always be a part of my life, a part of everyone’s life. From my teenage years up ‘til now, their music complemented a full spectrum of feelings, and probably even amplified them to some extent. Sadly, the best time to enjoy love music is when you’re “in love” – hence my semi-bland review. Thinking back to Tuesday, as I was seated at Araneta and looking at the sea of people watching the show, everybody was with somebody... somebody to enjoy the moment (sigh). Don’t misunderstand, I can probably get a girl anytime, no problem – Hell, I’m even eyeing somebody I really like at the moment (eyeing being the most accurate description - lmao).... just not sure if I’m ready for it (or vice-versa). Wish I could’ve taken her to the show but I knew I couldn’t (or shouldn’t) and she couldn’t as well.

So here’s hoping that by the time the Boyz do fly back to Manila I get to watch it with someone, just so that I can enjoy what Boyz2Men music is all about – a celebration of something I’ve grown unfamiliar with as of late... a celebration of love.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Plane Thoughts 2

I’m back with a little more pointlessness…

On the flight to Jakarta, we were handed the usual customs declarations card to fill up. And since I haven’t been off-shore since Marge was conceived and born, a few things seemed sortuvakinduva-new to me.

Item #13 on the "do you have with..." questionnaire totally glared at me, and I totally lost it…
I mean, what terrorist in his right mind would tick on the “yes” box, while on a goddamn plane?!

I can imagine a bunch of moronic terrorists saying: “guys… Look at item #13... they’re on to us! They know someone’s got explosives and shit up here… better make a run for it while we can!”

uhm... did the Indonesian immigration guys really expect the people concerned to answer this one honestly? geez...

* * * * *

oh, and check this out... i was so zoned out, that when we landed back in Manila, that was the only time I noticed that my cellphone was on all the time. Oh, and the plane didn't crash.

Imagine that...

* * * * *

'catch you later...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Plane Thinking...



* NASTINESS WARNING *

(The article below is meant for humor. I would like to ask that the people inferred by the stuff written to just… ride, laugh, and hopefully accept my advanced apologies…)

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God bless Philippine Airlines.

I mean, we’re talking here about a company that provides pure, unconditional opportunity and employment.

Check this out…

Only in Philippine Airlines (a.k.a. PAL) did I ever see flight attendants that seemed older than the eff-ing planes. And we’re talking about some really old planes here.
And you think PAL’s cost-cutting? Bullshit. The airline is so kind they don’t seem to care about the cost of the extra fuel it probably takes to get those fat flight attendant asses off the goddamn runway and airborne.

I mean, they’re so wide, they can only deal with the passengers in first class. Screw the guys like us over at couch. Aisle’s too narrow anyways, right?

PAL is probably one of the few airlines who manage to get blimps INSIDE their planes. And said blimps get paid for that, too. And yes, in the “unlikely water landing” I’m sure those nice women will serve other purposes as well.


God Bless PAL.



* I would like to state on record that the sortuvakinduva-above-described flight attendants on the flight I took was were nice, friendly, and took care of us well.

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Speaking of planes, I heard the pilot’s perfunctory “the fasten seatbelt sign is now off…” spiel, and immediately had a mental rush of the potential ridiculousness of the statement.

I can easily imagine an infinite list of ways to finish that phrase. The immediate ones include:


“…the fasten seatbelt sign in now off… we’re guessing you’ve likely been holding back your pee for the past ten minutes, have a leak in you diapers, or have already wet your seat.
Whichever way, now’s your chance to make a run for the bedroom to try and escape the embarrassment.”


Or perhaps this:

“…the fasten seatbelt sign is now off… so for those losers over in couch, you can now pretend to stand up get something out of the overhead bins, or wobble over to another row and pretend to greet people you pretend to know. All to stretch your sad legs, while pretending that the lack of leg and elbow room doesn’t bother the shit out of you…”


Another one could go like this:


“…the fasten seatbelt sign is now off… I’m saying that, because you idiots might be too stupid to notice those tiny lights had gone out. Now you losers in the aisle seats can finally have your revenge on the self-serving assholes who took the window seats! Stop them from getting out of the seat row to hit the john. Now’s your chance!”

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You guys don’t want any more, do you?


‘catch you later…

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P.S. For those who want a quick million, I suggest you guys fly over here to Jakarta with $100 in hand, and run straight to the money changer when you land…

Monday, July 06, 2009

Gloria's Breasts...

Some things just write themselves effortlessly.

So Gloria Macapagal Arroyo got herself some breast implants around two decades ago. Big fat deal. In this day and age, there is nothing newsworthy about breast implants. Even for public officials like Prez Glo.

What makes this whole thing so bloody laughable is how Prez Glo’s entourage keep on trying to insult the Pinoy population’s intelligence in classic Arroyo fashion.

“Medical reason,” my ass.

The only physical purpose female breasts actually serve is to provide food for offspring. And I don’t think silicone produces milk. Unless it does, and it would explain the mental development (or lack thereof) of Glo’s kids, and of course the retardation of FG's brain.

Why not just shut up about the whole thing? Tell people that a woman’s breasts (and implants) are none of their business. Gloria wants to have something cosmetic done to herself, then fine. No biggie. Nothing to be ashamed of. Why not just say it as it is?

Gloria wants a bit of delicadeza about the whole thing. Fine. I must reluctantly agree. But why bait everyone with such a lame answer?


"Medical reason..." Geez…

If that's the best that the Malacañang spin doctors can cough up, then it's no wonder Gloria's public image has the scent integrity of a septic tank.

‘catch you later…

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Ten Reasons Why the COMELEC Will Finally Automate the 2010 Elections


Ten Reasons Why the COMELEC Will Finally Automate the 2010 Elections:
1. The COMELEC have found themselves a great computer programmer who can work out a “glitch” in the counting, which will no longer require the assistance of “Garci” to cheat.
2. They have probably concluded that with Item #1 (above) in place, they can turn election automation into a regular megazillion money-making scam, while giving Pinoys the illusion of a “better” system.
3. Automation in the election process will mean that President Arroyo, should she run again, will no longer have to make those incriminating “Hello, Garci” calls. Upon completion of the voting process, the machines will say the infamous GMA version of “I… AM… SORRY…”
4. They have already killed the ingenious programmer of the cheat system mentioned in Item #1 so he’ll shut the fuck up.
5. The system has been programmed to declare Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as the winner despite not being on the list of candidates.
6. The COMELEC has been taken over by Decepticons, and all those machines they are going to install will all turn into tiny robots who will hump Megan Fox’s leg, then proceed to take over the rest of Philippines.
7. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is Megatron in disguise.
8. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has been assimilated into the gigantific COMELEC computer mainframe, and will proceed to possess every Pinoy voter upon contact with the evil election machines.
9. Old politicos have finally begun to realize the power of computers after “forcing” themselves to review Hayden Kho’s sex scandal recordings.
10. All of the above will not happen, because “at the last minute,” they will “discover” a glitch that will require them to “overhaul” the system, and Pinoys will have to “wait for the next elections” until we can witness another show where they will pretend to finally automate the elections.
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'catch you later...

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Movie Review: Transformers 2 (Revenge of the Fallen IQ...)

I saw Transformers 2. Wow. Whoopee.

And since it wasn’t a very articulate movie, I will instead enumerate my points as mechanically as the movie itself. Here goes…

1. Megan Fox is hot.
2. The plot is brainless. But hey, it’s a film by Michael Bay. A plot would be nice, but well-timed explosions are far more important than dialogue.
3. Having the supposedly “dead” protagonist come back to life in the arms of his hot, mouth-wateringly babelicious co-star has been done so often it felt like the movie’s “writers’” brains are/were on a protein shortage.
4. Megan Fox can have me anytime.
5. My head hurt from trying to distinguish all the robots from one another.
6. My head hurt from trying to understand what Megan Fox is doing among us mortals.
7. I thought I was going to see the Dinobots. Shit. No Dinobots.
8. Star Scream was reduced to a retard in this movie, just like everyone who saw it.
9. The panicky Latino sidekick/comic relief was pointless, useless, and was a total waste of time.
10. John Turturro’s underground lair was such a stupid story element.
11. Turturro’s ass cheeks were not even a story element. Absolutely no reason to be there.
12. Michael Bay is gay. For showing Turturro’s ass cheeks.
13. Megan Fox made me forget trying to look for a real story.
14. It’s only been three days and I already do not remember much more about the movie except that Megan Fox was hot.

15. Megan Fox is hot.



* * * * *


What by far more interesting than Transformers 2 was the absence of long lines at Robinson’s Galleria on a Sunday afternoon. And it’s even crazier to note that we saw this “phenomenon” merely half an hour after escaping the Transformers-seeking mob at Trinoma’s literally steaming-hot cinema level, where the airconditioning seems to have given trying…

I seriously can’t figure out what’s wrong with Robinson’s Galleria… (above, actual day photo...)


I assume that there should be a much more interesting plotline on that than Transformers 2.


‘catch you later…

Friday, June 26, 2009

yeah yeah... Jacko's a goner...


So it seems that Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, affectionately a.k.a. “Wacko Jacko,” after a million nose jobs and bleaches, is dead.

Won’t drag this on too long since the entire web is overflowing with MJ stuff…

Only thing I feel like saying is that with his death, Jacko has effectively pushed away the tabloids for the last time, puts the entire circus known as the last ten years of his life behind him, and his musical legacy will be left to speak on his behalf.

"...in his dying, Michael Jackson may have just unwittingly written the biggest comeback he can ever stage..."

Did he still have music in him? I’d guess no less than a resounding “yes.” But the magnitude of his history bears its weight upon anything he does or tries to accomplish. And coupled with the unrelenting ghost of his own vanity, then it’s safe to say that anything Jacko does is condemned to be a disappointment from the start.

At this point, however, people will finally stop trying to anticipate the next way he will fail. They will instead gather up his body of work, take it for the musical greatest that is bears, and put Jacko in the pantheon of singular cultural icons and great musicians whose music will continue to sell for probably the next half-century at the very least.

Call it poetic justice, but in his dying, Michael Jackson may have just unwittingly (or knowingly?) written the biggest comeback he can ever stage. That supposed 50-date concert tour is nothing compared to what will begin to happen in the next few weeks.
'catch you later...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!


So it’s Father’s Day… ho hummm…

Whatever.

I must admit though, receiving Father’s Day greetings on my phone sort of makes me feel like someone who’s finally been let in in some kind of exclusive men’s club…

I’m waiting for the day Marge will greet me herself without my wife miming the greeting behind her in her best impression of a chipmunk. Heh heh…

Happy Father’s Day to all the fellow dads out there!
'catch you later...
Thanks to fellow sxc.hu contributor Vivek Chugh for the image.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Stuff from Today...

Today...

- Dealing with a bunch of resignations. Nothing particularly extraordinary, but still has pinches of melancholy… particularly for one of them… but she’ll be back sooner or later… one way or another… took her 7 seven years, but she came back anyway… Hope the kid really gets better in a “mom-dammit-you-gotta-buy-me-my-optimus-prime” kind of way…

- Took me a couple of hours to do an ad lay-out I used to take half an hour to do way back when. Getting rusty… lots of typos on the ad… will fix it tomorrow...

- Almost shed a tear in today’s episode of “A Liter of Tears.” Did research/googling and got even more depressed about the story… Nice show...

- Taking me forever to finish a communication plan for a high-end brand that’s been with me for a decade… still not finished as of this writing…

- Still wondering whether or not Maja will approve my friend request on Facebook.

- Thinking it won’t happen. Still waiting for pigs to fly.

- Brought my friend/business partner back home to have dinner with the wifey. She made my favorite: Tinolang Manok… had two-day old cake from Bizu courtesy of a big wedding last Sunday… dammit… make that THREE-day old cake…

- Had fun with Marge. Walked her back and forth in the bedroom. I got tired… Really getting old…


- Made milkshake using leftover avocado ice cream… stomach grumbling….

- Still awake and writing this piece of crap…

- Thinking of writing a review of “Galaxy Express 999: Signature Edition”…

- Have other things to write about… but not tonight…

- Will try and fit a pig with wings and a jet pack, while refreshing my facebook homepage waiting for a friend approval...

’catch you later…


Friday, June 12, 2009

Whattawebsite...


Anyone who knows me well enough knows i'm a nostalgia freak.

And while surfing one of my favorite [unmentionable] sites, (which are unmentionable due to the fact I have a few wholesome readers here), I was pointed towards this nostalgia goldmine:

http://video48.blogspot.com/

Won't talk much about it, but if like me, you guys grew up in a simpler time in the Philippines when Metro Manila was considered one of the cosmopolitan cities in the continent... the Malacañang's San Miguel district was the Forbes Park of the day... SM was just a regular department store in Quiapo... Queen's was the largest supermarket chain... Alemar's was a major bookstore almost comparable to National... and Luneta was a world-class park where rich, poor and everyone in between hung out on any given day, and no one was afraid of getting mugged...

I do encourage you all to just click on the link above and enjoy.
'catch you later...

Movie Review: Night at the Museum 2 (Graveyard Shift)


Imagine a memory of a fantastic dish. It was light fare, not totally filling, but fulfilling. It was absolutely tasty, and all the ingredients were just right.

That’s how I felt about Ben Stiller’s first outing as the hapless night guard in “Night at the Museum.” And $574,480,000 in box office receipts indicated that I was not alone.

So naturally, I was totally stoked about the inevitable sequel.

But what happens when a perfect recipe of visual gags, subtle jokes, and Ben Stiller get overdone with too much and the whole dish becomes little more than a giant heap of bits and pieces?

Welcome to “Night at the Museum 2.”

"...As expected, the whole Smithsonian becomes an animated, overloaded theme park of special effects..."

This sequel, like most other sequels, was obviously an afterthought with the probable directions to make it “bigger,” “better,” and yes, “bigger-er.” And was there a bigger and more colorful museum than the bloody Smithsonian? So they got all the old guys back, tossed in more of Ben Stiller’s friends, and created this lazy excuse for a movie.

Here, Stiller has become a big TV shopping mogul, and has not visited his erstwhile inanimate wards at the Museum of Natural History. When he does go see them, they are apparently being readied to be packed up and stored away “forever” in the Smithsonian. Of course, we are to assume that Ben Stiller is unable to find himself some real human friends, and that his social life is limited to a bunch of old, none-moving museum displays brought to life at night by an Egyptian artifact. Not every different from someone’s horny grandfather with a Viagra stash on a Saturday night.

"...Of course, we did not buy tickets to “Museum 2” looking for a fucking plot..."

Ben Stiller then proceeds to break into the Smithsonian for the sake of making a movie, while totally insulting the intelligence of the movie audience, who they think is obsessed at simply seeing the special effects used to make museum pieces come to life. So many of Stiller’s precious museum piece friends are being moved to the Smithsonian, including the Egyptian tablet thingie that makes everyone come to life at night. As expected, the whole Smithsonian becomes an animated, overloaded theme park of special effects.

And that’s where the problem lay. There was too much going on, and the filmmakers tried too hard to squeeze in as much as they could, but it was just nigh impossible in a hundred minutes. So all the gags ended up being half-baked. Of course, we did not buy tickets to “Museum 2” looking for a fucking plot. But man, at least we wanted to decently entertained, right?

The cast looked like they really tried, especially Hank Azaria, whose entrance was easily the highlight of the film. Amy Adams probably thought she was still in a Disney film, considering how she’s overacting. Ben Stiller and Robin Williams are always a joy to watch no matter how dreadful a movie.

But still-er (bad pun intended)… I wish we didn’t trade the “Terminator” tickets for this piece of overdone crap. I am doing my best to honor the first movie’s fresh, innovative entertainment by doing yoga while convincing myself this sequel never happened.

‘catch you later…

Monday, June 08, 2009

Baguio Bits: The 50-Year Old Hayden Fan...


50 year old lady caused a commotion at the store entrance three days ago before opening hours. In bits and pieces, she kept ranting about buying herself a brand new portable DVD player, “generously” volunteering her newly acquired copy of the “freshest” sex scandal around (the Hayden-Katrina-etc Video Scandal… ho-hummm…) to be used as the “test disc” for the aforementioned DVD player, then allowed our staff to duplicate the disc out of the supposed kindness of her horny old haggy heart.


"...I do not blame our store staff if they were trying to subvert her plans of multiplying..."


Then lo and behold… she apparently got home, excitedly popped the new disc into her equally new player, and… nothing. So it seems, that her sticky (*yuck*) plans for that evening were thwarted with the lack of her much-anticipated Hayden Kho-produced visual paraphernalia.

I am inclined to assume that the old hag did not get any that night.

And she is loudly accusing the establishment (through our “disrespectful” staff) of swapping her prized disc with a blank one. And she is unhappy. Very unhappy.

She also mentioned in passing that the player’s left speaker seemed to be defective. But she didn’t want to dwell on that, or the possibility that her new DVD player was still covered by a 24-hour quick-change warranty. She was pissed that she didn’t get some monkey time with her new lusty, blurry video, and (we all assume) her probably not-so-new, but probably no less blurry man.

She wanted to see the video.

I later found out that she announced earlier (to our whole appliance department in the Harrison branch, no less, when she still wasn’t a happily frustrated sexless old bag of crusty prunes and arthritis…) that she was sort of hoping against the hope that this video will do the trick and will help her and her blurry hubby finally reproduce.

Of course, having met her, I do not blame our store staff if they were trying to subvert her plans of multiplying and bringing more lunatics like her into the goddamn planet.

But I digress… we didn’t swap the discs. It is as yet unexplained. Nonetheless, being our chain’s self-proclaimed “customer service expert,” I volunteered to be party to her pornographic crime and offered her fresh copies of the concerned videos from my personal stash. She happily announced her pending return to our premises within an hour after opening time.

* * * * *

The hour was upon us, and the video has been entrusted to our appliance department’s “disrespectful” staff to be immediately handed to our 50-year old sex-starved customer so she may run on home and restart her fantasies of terrorizing mankind with her imaginary children.

I was told she didn’t take the copies.

Odd. Curiouser and curiouser…

* * * * *
One day, while overseeing the orientation of a new batch of hirees, our resident appliance officer-in-charge tapped on the glass partition and informed me that dumb can indeed get dumber…
The old lady returned after over a week WITH A COP.

That’s right. She was back with a police officer, because she intended to “press charges.” She was still pissed about the supposedly swapped disc. At almost every turn, I saw the police officer sending his eyeballs to the back of his skull, while he smirked like someone who just had some the prior night. Again, we are guessing that the lady still had not gotten any at that point.

She also said she never asked us nor did she ever intend to claim the “new” copies of what is then the Pinoy’s favorite sex scandal, and potential box office blockbuster.

* * * * *
We’re still waiting for the cop to come back. Or the old lady.

* * * * *
And to top off this entry… please indulge me as I share a snippet of our perilously foggy journey down Marcos Highway… and show people how cold it is up there…

‘catch you later…

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Fluke, Lucky & a bunch of really evil people...

While talking a casual walk to the corner with the wifey, we were sort of greeted by a kind, kempt Pomeranian who looked at us as though we the Anti-Christ with our grinning mugs. She proceeded to bark at us, then ran out to the other direction. Only to be promptly faced by a big street mutt who either wanted to pick on her or pick her into pieces.

Spunky Pomeranian stops dead on her tracks, then turns and runs back to us. Probably assuming we were the lesser evil.

That’s how we found and met Lucky.

As toy dogs go, Lucky’s arrival was relatively uneventful. She wasn’t much for grabbing attention with tricks and/or excessive noise. She was just cute and cuddly enough that people wanted to grab her. She was obviously well-maintained, clean, smelled great for a dog one finds lost in the streets, and she was disciplined enough that she didn’t sleep in the bed with us.
But she always barked and made a ruckus whenever we had a masseuse over. She ate like no tomorrow, and as of yesterday was joyfully overweight to the point of difficulty in walking.

* * * * * *

"...the undeniable in-your-face reminder that there are truly bad people who are running around out in this is sad, tired world..."


He was a gift to my then thinly disguised “friend,” who eventually became what was the sum and byproduct of Hitler, Idi Amin and the Ayatollah… a.k.a. my wife.

Fluke relished running, and had often led us to tiring chases up to eight blocks at a time. Playful and powerful, Fluke was a proud creature. A handsome son of the great champion Labrador Retriever known as “Cooper.” Of course, all that was sort of for naught since almost everyone proceeded to neuter every male dog. So from our perspective the supposed greatness was ending right there.

But it was a greatness that gave us 10 years of a great dog who was smart, funny, friendly, and died -defending our home.

* * * * * *

Yep, you read that right. Died. And yes, those things about Lucky are all also in the past tense.
Early morning today, June 6, 2009, at around 4 a.m., our home in Dominican Hills in Baguio City was broken into, where a band of reportedly nine would-be robbers threw poisoned food to cruelly quiet two of our four-legged children.
Of course, anyone who knows us knows that we've lost many dogs before. But none under these rather violent circumstances. None in such an evil and relentless way.
Truly a sad day. Another of those days when shit one sees on the evening news comes to life in full grainy detail. And it is you who cannot look into the imaginary cameras inadvertently held up by helpful family members, as you grieve not only for the loss of your four-legged wards, and feeling violated, but inwardly cry in frustration at your helplessness, and the undeniable in-your-face reminder that there are truly bad people who are running around out in this is sad, tired world.
The wifey and I are left sitting and staring out our window in QC, jumping between thoughts of how we’re fortunate that we weren’t there when it happened, and feeling guilty with the possibility that it wouldn’t have happened if we were there in the first place.

And for someone who has boasted, as well as lived, without showing what most people classify as fear, to have something like this happen in your own personal space that one shares with one’s wife and child (along with non-human children), makes one rethink what fear really is.
See, we do not fear the insanity of other people caused by desperation, we pity that. We do not fear something we can stare into with one’s eyes while they stare back. We do not fear physical pain.
We will fear losing the ones we care for. We fear what our lives will become should they no longer be in it. When we love what our lives have become, we fear any possibility that it will change for the worse, and that such an incidence will be beyond our control.

So I guess I have not truly been without fear for quite some time.
And days like this one rudely reawaken me to that reality.

* * * * * *
To Fluke and Lucky… wish we had one more walk together. Sorry we weren’t there. No more excuses.

‘Catch you guys (much) later.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

UFC Sarsarap... "...put your hands in the air..." ...and nutrition out the window!

The whole concept behind the economies of scale has always been a fact of life here in the Philippines. But some "product developers" (or mad scientists) at pseudo-ketchup mega-brand UFC have just insulted the Filipino middle class even further. (And the citizens don’t even know it yet.)

Introducing UFC Sarsarap Rice Buddy! The latest “product” from another semi-monopolistic conglomerate aimed at making a buck off hapless people, while helping push the rapid downward spiral of Filipino malnutrition even faster than ever.

"...But man… to peddle a product of such questionable value..."

As an ad guy for over a decade and a half, I can imagine the ultimate joke is that the cost of the tri-media ad campaign, the fees of a has-been celebrity endorser, the product development fees of the creative house, the “research and development” costs, and the production cost of the sachet packaging makes the cost of the actual product mere crumbs.

At P5.00 per sachet (suggested retail price), I’m guessing that a few milliliters of starch, sugar, MSG, breadings, flavoring powder, and of course water will chalk up less than a single Peso at the most. And I’m being generous there.

So the product exists mainly so we can see a poor cup of rice haplessly made to look like said has-been celebrity endorser singing a sad, sad tagline: “No more lonely rice.”

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"...so rich and delicious that people sometimes came by to buy only the sarsa..."

In the advertising universe not too long ago in an ethical galaxy now far, far away… there was a beloved product called “Mang Tomas Sarsa ng Litson.”

People may not know this, but legend has it (according to my yaya, when I was a child) that there really WAS a Mang Tomas lechon store in Metro Manila. And the legend further states that their “sarsa” (or liver gravy, for non-Filipinos who may be reading this) was so rich and delicious that people sometimes came by to buy only the sarsa.

Fast forward to the present. The lechon store is no more (was it ever?), but the bottled sauce lives on. People have made “Mang Tomas” a staple in the cupboard. Used with or without lechon. Now the concept of using anything one can find in the cupboard to top off some rice, whether it be with some soy sauce, or a pinch of salt, a bit of bagoong, a spot of banana “ketchup,” or (horrors) Mang Tomas, is a common practice in every Filipino home. In my “growing years” (which didn’t do me much height-wise), I have wolfed down up to five cups of rice matched up against a single tablespoon of bagoong (again, shrimp paste, for non-Pinoy readers).

At one point, Mang Tomas “Sarsa ng Litson” was relaunched into “All-Around Sarsa” with an amusing ad campaign that featured local band, Parokya ni Edgar. One of the most memorable moments of that ad was when Mang Tomas was used (horrors, in public view!) to top off rice as a viand substitute, and even as a bread spread (again, horrors!).

But see, while some people found it demeaning, it was being done. And at the very least, it was presented merely as an “alternative use.” It’s pretty common to find a bottle of Mang Tomas in very other Filipino home. What the residents do with their sauce is none of anybody’s else business.

But man… to peddle a product of such questionable value to capitalize on a people trying to scrimp and save in every possible aspect, and render them even more malnourished than ever… a whole new level, man… if they used the money to produce the Sarsarap monstrosity and diverted it into a rural feeding program, they can probably cover a few hundred barangays.

I have been told that Sarsarap isn’t doing too well in the stores. I hope it falls sooner than expected. Because while I believe that Pinoys really are hanging on to every Peso like crazy, they still have enough self-respect to not want to be caught dead with a “product” that is pretty much little more than an added insult to a nation’s already deep injury.

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‘catch you later…