Thursday, February 26, 2009

Between Belo and Boy....

Showbiz time!

There's an all out war by friends of Boy Abunda against dermatology cum cosmetic specialist Dr. Vicky Belo on her striking a chord against talk show host Boy Abunda in the most recent spat on tinseltown. Belo made a comment when controversial DJ Studboy Mo Twister asked her during a talk show on GMA 7 on her comments regarding rival Calayan and she replied that "if you want to look like Piolo Pascual or Dingdong Dantes then go to Belo. If you want to look like Boy Abunda go to Calayan". Calayan is the competitor cosmetic spa owned by Drs. Manny and Pie Calayan.

And the war began. Fellow ABS-CBN alumni waged an all out war against Belo with fellow ABS-CBN reporter Jobert Sucaldito coming to the rescue of Boy Abunda. Sucaldito maligned Belo on his radio show.

All I can say is poor Vicky.

Abunda has found comfort in the fact that all his peers (on channel 2, that is) have rallyed to his side. And with them owning prime time viewership, well, let's just say that Belo has bought her coffin for her career.

But in fairness to Belo, it is odd that Calayan would use Abunda as a model. I mean, really. No offense meant, but let's leave it to the mirror to talk. Uhmm, Boy, if you were to look at my magic mirror, what would it tell you about your looks? Then again, according to Boy, "perhaps Calayan saw a different beauty in me".

While Abunda has cried a river on ABS CBN and cried foul and poured his heart out to the public that he has achieved fame and fortune not because of his looks, I tend to look at the more positive side of the comment of Belo. Abunda should agree to the fact that while he is not good looking, Calayan has made wonders at making him look better than what he would have looked like, had it not been for the magic wand of the Calayan team. External beauty has its price, but it cannot change what is skin deep.

The onion skinned people who have gauded Abunda into believing that he is like the protagonist in the "Emperor's New Clothes" have been unmasked by the little Belo who just said, he's not wearing anything at all. So those who sucked up on the gullibility of Abunda are now tearing up the wall of Belo and want her Botoxed skin for the taking.

In short, what's so wrong with not being good looking? True beauty after all is skin deep and beyond the human eyes. Reality bites. Ouch?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Slumdog saga

When a young Indian boy wins the 20million Rupee in India's version of "Who Wants to be a Millionare?", it seems like a lame plot to get by. The film, however, makes its way towards the red carpet night when the Oscars roll out one of five nominees for Best Picture of the Year. "Slumdog Millionaire" is the story of Jamal, who at the beginning of the movie, is seen to be held by police authorities on charges that he used fraud to get to where he is - a question away from winning the biggest prize in India's game show history.

But the intertwining story between the plot and the play (the game show) was actually entertaining, to say the very least. It would and could have been a film done in the dark alleys and shanties of Manila, but the setting is in Mumbai and Bombay, India. The decrepit life among the homeless, the child and prostitution rings among the poor, the mafia-style thugs among the rich, the dank and dirty streets of the city, the call center industry and the avid following to game shows are but a few of the mirror images the Filipino audience should be able to relate to.

It's actually a movie whose plot a Filipino would have thought of in his kitchen while making soup for the day. It's what the indie films should be in this country. Sad to say though, majority of what is called "indie" films in the Philippines are actually soft porn movies of boys (or men) who're willing to show skin and bulges and heavy homosexual tendencies and eroticism for the director who seems to be taking advantage of the "indie" business.

Ready boys....andddddddddddddddddddd...action!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The practice

I had a referral the other day. A 14 year old boy diagnosed last January 2009 to have severe aplastic anemia. He has been in and out of the hospital in the last 2 months. His last hospitalization was a few days ago. He was directly admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit because of difficulty of breathing. Managed as a case of sepsis with pneumonia and put on several high-power antibiotics.

Then I got the call for an infectious disease consult.

The story is not about the consult. It's about how badly I felt after seeing the boy.

He's 14. And the family is not well off. I can understand and feel the burden of a serious disease and its toll not only on the family's life, but on how the young man feels.

There's a burden of hopelessness that lurks in my spirit and yet I know I need to draw strength from the greatest healer, Jesus Christ, so that I can do everything in my knowledge in the practice of medicine in providing the best care to the boy. What is most draining and depressing is the fact that I feel helpless to some degree. I am at battle with a disease on a helpless patient whose immune system seems to just look like it wants to give in.

Not everything in the field of medicine is life-saving. Half, perhaps is due to the physician who heals. The other half, today, I leave to God, the divine healer. While the boy strives with every breath left, and the family looks for means to make him survive, I am left with hope and should not give up on him. Not yet.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Pinoy Jokes...

They say that laughter is the best medicine.

I'm not into so much humor but receiving a text now and then from some friends on some jokes is indeed heartwarming and destressing!

Now I'm passing it on to those who follow my blog. Unusual as it may seem - it's JOKE TIME!

1. Advantage and disadvantage ng may asawa...advantage: pag kailangan mo nandiyan agad...disadvantage: pag ayaw mo na, nandiyan pa rin!

2. Bakit ang Pinoy, hindi tama sumagot maski maayos ang tanong?
- Kumain ka na? Sagot: Busog pa ko.
- Nandiyan ba nanay mo? Sagot: Bakit po?
- Anong oras klase mo? Sagot: Mamya
- Saan kayo galing? Sagot: Lumabas lang
- Paano mo ginawa yan? Sagot: Madali lang
- Bakit wala ka kahapon? Sagot: Absent ako
- Anong oras na? Sagot: Maaga pa
- Saan ka na? Sagot: Malapit na ko, wait lang sabay tayo!

3. Buhay may asawa...
Umaga: Laba damit
Tanghali: Sampay damit
Hapon: Tiklop damit
Gabi: Plantsa damit
Hatinggabi: Hubad damit
Madaling araw: Hanap damit

4. Humingi ng sorry si Dr. Hayden kay Dra. Vicky..."It's a short affair lang daw with Katrina". In short, gusto niya lang tikman ang lasa ng "Lechon de Leche" at i-compare sa lasa ng "paksiw".

5. From Wall Street:
Business forecast for 2009: The financial situation will be so bad that men will have more sex with their own WIVES! (Too bad for the mistresses..)

6. Lady to fortune teller: I have two suitors but I can't decide whom to marry. Who's the lucky one?
Fortune teller: One will marry you. The other, the Lucky One!

7. Double standards of terms!
If rich ka, you have ALLERGY, if poor, you have GALIS.
Pag poor, SIRA ULO. Among the rick, NERVOUS BREAKDOWN.
If dark brown skin ang yaya - NEGRITA. Ang amo - MORENA kahit mas maitim pa sa yaya.
MALANDI if dukhang alembong, LIBERATED if rich.
PETITE for the high society. Sa poor, PANDAK.
Pag well-off, SLOW LEARNER. BOBO pag pobre.
The socialite is called SLIM. The poor PAYATOT.
Kung mahirap KUBA. Pero pag rich, SCOLIOTIC.

8. MIRIAM: Erap, alam mo lesbian ako...
ERAP: Ano ba ang lesbian?
MIRIAM: I love to kiss, embrace, undress and make love to sexy girls.
ERAP: Ah ganun ba? Lesbian din pala ako...

9. ANAK: Itay, bakit umuungol si inay kagabi? May sakit siya?
ITAY: Wala anak. Maligaya lang siya...
ANAK: Ibig mong sabihin gabi-gabi siyang masaya nung nasa Saudi ka pa?

10. Economics teacher: "Class, give me an example of a complete business failure due to negligence?"

Student: "A pregnant prostitute!"

11. A young couple went to a sex therapist and asked, "Will you watch us have sex?" The doctor looked puzzed but agreed. When the couple finished, the doctor said, "There's nothing wrong with your intercourse" and charged P300. This happened for weeks. Finally, the doctor asked, "What exactly is your problem?" The man replies, "she's married, and I'm married so we can't use our houses. Shangri-la is P7500, Mandarin is P6000, Victoria Court is P1500, and Sogo is P500. Here we pay P300 and get P250 back from Philhealth."

and my all time favorite...

12. After having sex, the girl kept on touching the genital of the guy. Boasting, he asks the girl, "You want more?". The girl replies, "Nope. There's just something I miss (while still stroking his penis gently)." The guy retorts, "Who?, your ex-boyfriend?". With a sigh, she replies back, "no silly....I used to have one like this..."

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and China Sea, the Philippines has got to be one of the best destinations for sun, sea and sky! Despite the political backlash the country gets from other envious countries, the Philippines is definitely one of the best vacation destinations in the world. The hospitality, warmth and smile of its people is enough to make the trip to our country one of the most memorable.

I'll leave the sales pitch on promoting the Philippines as THE BEST destination spot in Asia.

I'll just talk about one of the reasons why people should come here. For the golf!

I've always been intrigued by this sport and never got into the hobby. But among my friends who are avid fans of this game, it's something they look forward to on the days when they need to unwind. They say it's relaxing. In the golf courses in the Philippines, not only do you get a variation of what the city, province or region has to offer. You also get a taste of the diverse culture this country is most known for.

Perhaps I have not had the time nor energy to get into the game. I've always thought of it as a game where you hit the ball, find the ball, hit the ball, chase the ball and shoot it into this tiny hole. Some of my friends say that it's a skill sport. And the walk through the golf course is an exercise in itself. Sure. Wouldn't it be fun if I just hid the ball in one of the holes and you get 1 hour to look for it? Of course, all golf enthusiasts would call me idiotic. Thank you.

I've always enjoyed a weekend at Tagaytay Highlands and the splendor of the place puts my tired body to rest. But that was then. With all the work I have, Sunday means sleeping late. The golf course at Highlands is truly beckoning and the foggy mist in the early morning with the smell of dew on the manicured grass is truly refreshing.

When my niece was only 10 years old, she had gone with me to Highlands and while watching the sunrise and looking over the vast golf course, she quietly asked me why there is so much splendor and so much land here when the city is so cramped. Why couldn't the government divide these golf courses for the benefit of the poor? That from a 10 year old. My mind was racing and thought of the poor politicians who wouldn't be able to wear their Lacoste shirts to boast of in the golf courses. I just smiled and told her that someday, she will understand. Today, just enjoy the sunrise amidst the fog.

Perhaps I will take Dr. Alex Natividad on that offer to caddie for him. Then, he can teach me some golf in exchange.


P.S. The pics are from Tagaytay Highlands

Monday, February 2, 2009

How how the carabao?

"I got a butterfly with flower-designed wings."

"Ms. Vera, please entertain this computer."

"The engine of the tractor is sleeping now."

"There are times that there are invisible elements in the air."

"Put a check before the sentence with details that tell the atmosphere in the poem is truly very silent."

These are just five of over 500 sentences of a similar nature that is found in the the recently released public school textbook entitled "English for You and Me", a Reading for Grade 6 book published by Book Wise Publishing House, Inc., authored by Elodie A. Cada and get this, approved by the Department of Education (DepEd) for use by our students in public school.

What the FARK!


When Antonio Calipjo Go, academic supervisor of Marian School of Quezon City engaged media in exposing the poor quality of textbooks being used by our public school students over a decade ago, his advocacy to improve the quality of English education would be a lonely one. And the DepEd authorities are defensive over the crusade of Mr. Go. They have issued replies to the effect that these textbooks they approved have been reviewed by experts from Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, University of Santo Tomas, and University of the Philippines. And they were approved with a few revisions.

Few? I mean, duh? Does someone have to tell these people that it doesn't take a genius or a "spell check" to figure out that the grammar and syntax are all wrong! Trees died for a cause. In this case, it was insanity drawn together by a couple of idiots who decided to connive with graft and corruption.

Someone even questioned who Mr. Go was. What were his credentials? Has he ever written something that eventually got published?

Dang! If publishing this kind of work meant being a writer, then call me crazy because even the carabao can write better.

This special report came out in the Philippine Daily Inquirer today, February 2, 2009.

Why blog about it?

To take the crusade of Mr. Go one level higher - through the internet, we can probably make a difference. Spread the news so that those in government get to realize that these textbooks are the biggest joke we have unleashed on the quality of education we provide to the Filipino people.

Oh yeah, we don't only have carabaos in the Philippines. Even our English grammar is carabao...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Economics 101

On CNN the other day, there was a discussion between two newscasters on whom to blame for the global economic depression. Flipping through the cable channels was depressing, to say the least. Of course, one had the choice of going through the local news where the grim specter of kidnapping, murder, the corruption of GMA's government and showbiz scandal make the day more putrid.

But the exchanging banter between the newscasters on the Davos Economic Forum left me thinking - would the world economy crash overnight? And yes, who was responsible for this? Which led me to thinking about basic economics which I learned in high school. The law of supply and demand!

True, notwithstanding all the hooplah about the subprime mortgage the United States had gone through, the spiraling crash of the market worldwide did not seem like it started alone with the real estate disaster spawned from greed among hotshot business yuppies in the US.

The subprime mortgage was only the tip of the iceberg. Fund companies began lending out money to almost every Tom, Dick and Harry. Those with inadequate funds were also allowed to loan. And when the banks began collecting the loans, so much bad debts were eventually uncovered. The rest was history.

Undeniably, the various investigations then led to the discovery that several, if not practically all CEOs and COOs and CFOs and other "chiefs" (what's in a name) were tagged as raking in millions to billions of dollars as their take home paychecks. Far beyond the pay grade of what the ordinary businessman used to get, greed got in the way. And companies were paying million dollar wages to lackeys - those that had a degree, but didn't have the brains or balls for the job.

Unraveling the mystery on the whodunnit first isn't really a challenge. I recall my high school economics teacher etching on our blackboard the need to balance the economy with a seesaw rule where the demand and the supply are on both sides of the tipping scale.

So now I pose the hypothesis. Sure the global economy grew in the past decades. And yes, free trade in a free world surely is the way to go. But at what price? I think that the basic economics where more supply than demand, is the culprit for the worldwide slowdown.

I look at it from a local perspective. When Globe and Smart initially introduced the concept of a cellular phone in the Philippines, the queue was horrendous. Everyone wanted one. The mobile phone was hot business. People didn't mind getting locked into plans that were horrifically paying off only for the phone companies. After less than 5 years in the market, there was a sudden slowdown - in mobile phone units, plans, prepaid concepts - and an increase in the providers. The plans got really cheap and the phone aplenty. From initially a Nokia and Motorola model, came along LG, Blackberry, iPhone, Samsung, Vertu, several China made models, Sony Ericsson...Of 90 million Filipinos, it is estimated that there are about 65 million phones running around in the country (and counting). This includes the toddlers who already have a mobile phone in their hands and the subscribers who have a second, or third, or even fourth mobile phone in tow (one has got to be a Sun Cellular for indefinite texting and calling). I guess, the Philippines did not earn the title of "Texting Capital of the World" for nothing.

The Philippines has had its share of the real estate flop when Fidel Ramos was once president and the first wave of the financial crisis had taken its toll on the Asian region. Properties lost their values. Today we see a wave of growing condominiums and real estates by Ayala Land, MegaWorld, and other developers at leaps and bounds. Properties are pre-selling like hotcakes and the Philippines is about to experience the first bout of defaults when people begin to lose their jobs as companies merge and lay off workers.

Which goes back to my hypothesis - that there is too much of the good stuff running around. Too much supply for a market that is already saturated with material goods. And the demand has decreased because more and more people are not in the financial capacity to buy. With the current situation of a collapsing financial institution, people are holding on to whatever cash they have on hand.

And we're all asking - are the banks safe haven? Remember, all these banks use our money to lend it to other business enterprises and once these businesses begin to shakedown, so do our cash. And it can come full circle where even the biggest local banks can collapse.

The dreadful scenario leaves many of us who have some savings wondering about the future.

But the Filipino is a different race. Resiliency is in their spirit. And they've been through both good and bad times and most know how it is to be dirt poor. And most of us will survive it. The question left is, how? Don't you see the spate of wannabe movie stars, singers, newscasters, and politicians?

Hopefully not through greed and corruption. Karma has its way back home...