Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pramis, Peksman, Hope to die


My apologies to my foreign readers who do not speak Filipino or Tagalog or Taglish (our local version of Tagalog and English). I am blogging this in the local language, hopefully, to get the message across, and praying that it get circulated on a national scale. If you have Filipino friends, you may want them to translate it for you.

Mga kababayan, tatagalugin ko ito (este, may Taglish din ang ibang kataga). Sa mga hindi marunong magtagalog (sabi ni Fortun hindi daw nakakintindi ng tagalog ang mga Ampatuan), paumanhin po. Itong huling blog na ito sa huling araw ng Enero ng taong ito ang araw na ilalahad ko kung sino ang aking iboboto sa darating na halalan.

Alam ko na walang pakialam yung iba diyan kung sino man ang magiging manok ko sa darating na halalan. Eh wala din naman akong pakialam kung sino ang inyong iboto.

Sa dinami dami ng mga "jingle" ngayon at mga pulitikong nagsipagsulputan bigla sa Facebook, hindi naging madali ang aking pagpili kung sino sa mga tatakbo ang aking ini-endorso sa darating na halalan. Halos dalawang buwan ko din itong inisip...at pakiwari ko, panahon na, para mangampanya na din ako.

Malapit na ang eleksyon. Batuhan na ng tae ang iba't ibang kampo na tumatakbo bilang pangulo ng kaawa awa nating Pinas.

Kung ang pagbabasehan natin kung mas matalino na ang botanteng Pinoy ngayon ayon sa mga nakikitang mga "advertisement" sa media (TV at radyo) - ang sagot diyan ay HINDI!

Nakakapanindig balahibo ang ibang mga "advertisement" at "jingle" at "theme songs" o "background music" (at may kasama pang Silent Night) ng iba!

Susmaryosep! Bakit ba pinaglalandakan ng iba diyan na galing sila sa mahirap? May mahirap daw at may tunay na mahirap (sabi ni Dolphy, meron daw...kaya siguro yung iba pekeng mahirap?!?!?). Magbobote, laking Tondo, nagtutulak ng kariton, nagbibigay ng libreng tulong (kasama na ang ataol), gamot, pabahay, "Medical Missions" (parang dumami ang doctor na libre ang singil pagdating ng eleksyon na kasama sa hakot ng pulitiko), tulong sa mga OFW, tumutulong sa mga nasalanta ng pagputok ng bulkan...pasiklaban, payabangan na ng mga nagawa. Pati yang mga gusgusing yagit, sinama na din sa pagkanta ng isang sugo na aahon sa bansang ito sa kahirapan.

Kakaibang hayop talaga magisip ng gimik na papatok ang mga political advisers ng mga ito. Pangmasa ang dating. Ginawang eng-eng ang mga Pinoy! Pakanta kanta, pasayaw sayaw. Ika nga ng isang commercial - basta happy tayo! Sanamagan na halalan ito!

Wala naman akong away sa mga ito. Oks na oks naman sa akin na mangarap tayo ng mas mabuting buhay para sa sarili at para sa ating pamilya. Sipag at tiyaga and tunay na solusyon diyan. Paminsan minsan, may kikislap na bituin (o kulog at kidlat), at tatama ka sa Lotto!!! Yan ang jackpot! Yan ang tinamaan ng suwerte talaga!!

Tunay na pangarap at hindi yun nangangarap na gising. Hindi panaginip na magiging isang bangungot sa mamamayan. Sawa na tayo diyan. Bawat pulitiko eh pulos pangako naman na iaahon tayo sa hirap. Asan na tayo ngayon? Andito pa din. Kaya dumami ang OFW natin sa mga huling taon (at yang ang bida ni Ate Glu) ay dahil di na nila maatim ang paghihirap at di pagtupad sa mga napakong pangarap ng mga pulitiko sa Pinas. Sa ibang bansa nangangarap ang ating mga kababayan. Kaawa awa talaga ang Pinoy.

Kaya nga bentang benta ang "concept" ng mga mahihirap na may isang sugo na aahon sa atin sa kahirapan. Diyan ako nasuka. Sayang. Magaling pa naman yung ibang kandidato. Walang masama mangarap at magbigay ng pagasa, pero tama din naman si Gibo, na hindi lamang "jingle" ang dadala sa isang bansa para maging mas maunlad at matatag. At kaya natin lumipad patungo sa ating mga pangarap kung magaling ang piloto natin.

Kung ang pagpapatayo ng bahay at paaralan, pagbigay ng tulong sa mga OFW o sa mga mahihirap, o pagpapaunlad ng sariling pamunuan ang magiging basehan natin sa pagpili ng pangulo, "I am sorry to say", hindi yan ang dapat maging basehan. Ang mga pinaglalandakan ninyong mga nagawa o "achievements" na yan ay isang DAPAT LAMANG na ginagawa ninyo. Walang dapat itanaw na utang na loob ang mamamayan sa inyo po! Dapat lamang gawin ninyo ito. Susmaryosep. Aba, lumalabas pa na dahil ginawa ninyo ito eh karapat dapat lang kayong maging pangulo?!?!?! Sanamagan. Eh pawis at dugo namin na binabayad sa mga patong patong na buwis ng lecheng pamahalaan na ito ang pinanggagalingan ng inyong "pork barrel" funds! Pawis at dugo ng buwis sa mga nagtratrabaho, na kinakaltas ninyo buwan buwan. Yang mga patay gutom at istambay at iskwater at mga Juan Tamad ang nakikinabang. Kung ako ang masusunod, eh ang mga nagbabayad ng buwis lamang ang may karapatan bumoto! Saling pusa lang kayo.

Ito lang ang masasabi ko, wala kayong karapatan angkinin na may nagawa kayo sa pera ng taong bayan, dahil ang sagot diyan ay DAPAT LANG!

Ang daming tatakbong sugo ngayong halalan. May sugo ang Diyos daw. Noong nakaraang halalan, nakalimutan ng Diyos yung sugo niya. Kung tunay na sugo siya, dapat parang isang propeta sa bibliya sana siyang pumupunta sa Malacanang at itaas ang kanyang batuta at sabihin na may mga sumpa na darating sa palasyo ng duwende kung hindi nito pakakawalan ang mga Pinoy sa kahirapan. Yung huling sumpa eh kukunin ang panganay niyang anak na congressman din. May nangyari bang ganito? Walang himala...kahit na ang simbahan eh tiklop. Nung namatay nga ang palaban na si Cardinal Sin, ang ibang mga kaparian natin eh parang maamong tupa. Utos siguro ng Roma na huwag makialam.

Para sa akin, huwag ng mag asam na maging pangulo ang sugo ng Diyos. Walang himala! Napanood na kaya nito ang pelikula ni Ate Guy? Sayang ang pera na nauubos sa pangangampanya para sa isang himala. Maraming nagugutom. Maraming puedeng pagbigyan nito. Hindi niyo ba napapansin ang simbahan kung makahingi ng abuloy linggo linggo eh may pangalawang koleksyon pa?!?!?! Ang pangalawa ay abuloy kung saang saang proyekto - sa Haiti, sa mga kaparian, sa nasunugan, sa nasalanta ng bagyo...kulang na lang sa pagkain ng mga malnourished tulad ni Kim Chiu. Kahit di Katoliko si Eddie V, kung talagang may malasakit siya sa mga Pinoy, eh tutulong siya, kahit na anong relihyon ka!

Sayang din naman ang ibang kandidato natin na may kakayahan. Madaming nagawa sa kanilang sariling pamunuan. Maunlad na maunlad na ang kanilang pamunuan, pero ang tanong, paano nila nagawa ito? Hindi sa sipag at tiyaga mga 'tol! Ang tawag dito - nepotism! Syete mga 'tol. Isipin ninyo na hindi sila nagkakalayo sa mga Ampatuan. Sa totoo lang, karamihan sa mga pulitiko ay hindi malayo sa mga Ampatuan. Ilan ang kilala ninyong Mayor at Congressman sa lokal ninyong pamunuan mula ng matalsik sa puwesto si Marcos? Sa Makati lang, eh pulos Binay ang pangalan. Paslit pa ang anak ni Binay nung naging mayor si Jojo. Pumalit sa kanya nung matapos siya maging mayor ng ilang termino ay ang misis niyang doktora. Tapos bumalik siya sa puwesto. Habang lumalaki si JunJun. Ngayon tapos na sa pag aaral at may mga anak na din si JunJun, eh panahon na bumaba ang ama. Kaya si JunJun na ang tatakbong mayor ng Makati. Parang walang katapusan ang DYNASTY nila duon. At parang ang tanga tanga ng mga tao sa Makati. Iisa lamang ang kanilang kilalang pinuno? Ano siya, Hari? Eh di dapat mayor ang tawag duon kundi Datu o Hari! Huwag ng mag eleksyon pa sa Makati o sa Marikina o sa Olongapo o saan man sa Pilipinas.

Tama nga si Ate Glu. Dapat palitan ang ating Konstitusyon. Hindi karapat dapat ang klaseng pamahalaan natin ngayon. Pero mali din siya at si Tabako king (Former President Fidel VR) na dapat parliamentary ang pamahalaan natin. Maniwala kayo't hindi, mas papatok ang monarchial government sa atin. Lahat gusto maging hari at reyna. Walang gustong bumaba sa puwesto. Gusto ng lahat maging sugo --- FOR LIFE!!!!

Kung si Ate Glu ang ating pagbabasehan, ay talagang hindi mananalo si Gibo. Sa mga fanatikong mga taga La Salle lamang siya patok na patok. Sa totoo lang, magaling magsalita si Gibo. Napapahanga ang mga kabataan sa mga katagang nilalabas niya sa bibig niya tuwing sumasagot siya sa mga napupukol na mahihirap na tanong. Tulad ng kanyang amo ngayon, matalino din si Gibo. Pero hanggang duon lang. Maabilidad. Magaling magsalita. Ano ang pinamalas ni Gibo at puede natin siyang maging pangulo kundi sa likas ng galing sa pananalita? Habang buhay siyang magkakaroon ng utang na loob sa isang taong naging ganid at sinungaling. Habang buhay niyang papasanin ang pagtatakip sa mga kasalanan nito. Kung makukumbinsi niya na hindi tumakbo si Ate Glu bilang congresista sa Pampanga sa darating na halalan, may pagasa pa siyang manalo. Mapapaloob ang mamamayan na mawawala na ang duwende sa pulitika. At kahit na magkaroon ng pagpapalit ng ating konstitusyon, di na maaring bumalik pa sa pulitika ang duwende! Kahit na sa puwesto bilang baranggay tanod! Kung magawa ito ni Gibo ngayon, maaraing manalo siya sa darating na eleksyon.

Ang ibang tumatakbo ay isang masaming panaginip lamang. Inutil naman ang ating Comelec. Basta gustong tumakbo, hala sige, takbo! Alam naman natin na isang malaking kabaliwan ang ibang kandidato. Umaasa pa sila. Pero sa totoo lang, may following ang mga yan. Ang tawag sa followers nila, fanatiko! Parang si Jason Ivler. May following sa Facebook. Kahit na mali, ay tama para sa kanila. Yang mga fanatikong yan ay mga walang pangarap sa buhay. Baliktarin mo man ang mundo, para sa kanila, mamamatay at papatay sila para sa idol nila! Puede dito mag-recruit ang Al Queda. Mga fanatiko ito. Sabi nga sa ingles, "no reason, no rhyme"! Sanamagan talaga. Dapat patok na patok ang specialidad ng Psychiatry sa Pinas sa dami ng may kulang na turnilyo sa tuktok. Isama mo na ang dakilang sugo ng mga yan. Ang tawag sa sugo nila, ilusyonado. Pero bebenta yan. Alam mo naman ang Pinoy, showbiz na showbiz ang dating. Tamang tama ang huling kataga ng kanta ng pambansang awit natin - ang mamatay ng dahil sa iyo!

At dito magtatapos ang aking dalawang buwang pag-iisip kung sino ang aking pipiliin maging pangulo. Pagkatapos sumakit ang ulo sa pakikinig sa GMA, ABS-CBN, ANC, sa mga debate sa paaralan, sa mga internet websites, sa SWS at Pulse Asia ay lalo akong nalito sa mga pasiklablan nila. Eto tayo sa huling punto ng aking pagpili ng susunod na pangulo ng bansang ito.

Tama ang mga batikos kay Noynoy. Wala nga siyang masyadong kakayahan.

Kakayahan lamang ba ang magiging basehan natin sa pagpili ng pangulo? Pustahan tayo na mahigit 75% ay nag-eendorso ng manok nila, hindi dahil sa kakayahan, kundi dahil sa isang tanog - WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME? Sampalin ninyo sarili ninyo pag nagsinungaling kayo sa sagot na ito! Pustahan tayo na marami sa atin eh may pangarap maging sikat! Sikat sa pulitika. May kilala sa pamahalaan. May kilala na senador, kongresista, mayor, baranggay kaptain, tanod at sino man pipitsugin na kinaugalian natin i-name drop!

Sabi ng iba, galing si Noy sa pamilya na sikat kaya nadadala lang siya ng agos ng eleksyon. Hindi nga siya si Ninoy at hindi din siya si Cory. Sa dugo lang niya at ng pamilya niya lumalatay ang isang tunay na dahilan kung bakit dapat tayo mamili ng tama sa darating na halalan - ang pagmamahal sa ating lupang hinirang!

Ang mga magulang lang ni Noy ang nagpakita ng tunay na pagmamahal sa ating bayan. Isang bayan na kahit na wala ng pag-asa ay binalikan ni Ninoy para mapakita sa isang dikdatura na walang takot siyang mamamatay para sa demokrasya. Isang bayan na kahit na walang patutunguhan ay itinaya ni Cory ang kanyang mga huling sandali sa pagdarasal at paglalaban sa tama.

Isang bansa, na sa darating na halalan ay mabibigyan ng isang pagasa uli bumangon at ipakita sa mata ng mundo at mata ng lipunan na may pinagyayabangan tayo bilang isang lahi! Tayo'y Pinoy! Sa salita, sa diwa at higit sa lahat, sa puso! Kung mahal natin ang ating bansa, ito na ang huling El Bimbo natin. Ito na ang pagkakataon na maiahon natin ang ating bansa sa tunay na kahirapan. At taas noo natin masasabi sa buong mundo na AKO AY PILIPINO!

Ang simula ay dapat galing sa puso natin. Hindi sa kung ano ang makukuha natin sa mga pangako ng tumatakbo bilang pangulo. Hindi pangako ang kelangan natin kundi isang pinuno na may integridad.

Bayaan na ninyo yung katagang - may takot sa Diyos. Nabenta na yang katagang yan at walang nagsabi ng totoo. Kung makakasagot lang ang Diyos, eh sasabihin niya na natatakot siya sa mga Pinoy sa dami ng sumumpa at gumamit sa pangalan niya para lamang maging kampon ni Satanas.

Simulan na ang laban.

Sino man ang manalo sa darating na halalan, kung ano man ang inyong naging Pramis at nag Cross your heart and Peksman pa kayo...kung hindi ninyo matupad itong mga pangako na ito pagkatapos ng inyong pamunuan, eh sana matupad ang huli...hope you die!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

iPad, the next generation




OMG!

That's all I could say when I opened my laptop today. My browser actually logs on to Apple's website automatically (as I use Safari) and voila!!! It was a 7 1/2 minute presentation of Apple's launch on it's tablet.



Is it going to change the way we marvel at technology? It's going to be available beginning end of March 2010 for the Wifi, while delivery is in April 2010 for the Wifi + 3G version. It's lowest end in 16 GB is priced at USD$499 for the Wifi ($629 for the 3G), 32GB at $599 ($729 for the 3G) and the 64GB at $699 ($829 for the 3G).

I won't say much about it because once I watched the video, I was in awe! And awe is a description I rarely use. It was definitely jaw dropping, particularly with regards the iBook. Darn, I was drooling...

Now to save enough the next 2 months as I have made my reservations. This definitely will be my new toy!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

This is it!!! Galing ng Pinoy!!!

You've seen the dancing prisoners of Cebu on You Tube.

Now, with the choreographers of Michael Jackson, watch this! Pinoy Power and all I can say is...SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE!

10 Supermarketing Tips from an Expert


Ahem...I go to the supermarket every Tuesday. For the last decade (or so...I think longer), I've reserved Tuesday as my official day off. A friend of my commented that it's Tuesdays with Inang. Tuesday happens to be my official supermarket day as well.

And I've become THE expert when it comes to supermarket deals and I'm sharing some tips to my readers on how to shop and save in the supermarkets:

1. NEVER SHOP WITH CHILDREN. You know how these little kids are when you pass through the candies and junk corner. And the moms. Darn...they just accede to whatever the little runt picks up in the grocery. Junk, junk, and more junk.

The other day, I saw a mom buying Oreo cookies, a pack of M & Ms, and chocolate chips with a bottle of water for the lunch of her 2 1/2 year old boy. And he's so reed thin that if I had accidentally hit him with my cart, he would have flown 100 meters and died right there. Parents, a word of advice - feeding is a habit that is learned! Notice how kids are in the grocery. Bilmoko nun, bilmoko nyan ha! (Buy me this, buy me that mode!) I have parents that literally beg me to prescribe a good vitamin for their children who have such bad eating habits. When you ask them what's literally in their lunch box, it's practically junk.

Lesson number 1 - DO NOT BRING YOUR KIDS WITH YOU TO THE SUPERMARKET! You will save on the junk that you don't need to buy. (And you people have the temerity to complain that you don't have enough money for food but look at what's in your cart! Dang these people.)

2. EAT BEFORE YOU SHOP - I've noticed that whenever I am hungry and go to the supermarket, I am always buying more what I don't need. Hotdogs, bacon, salami, Spam, tofu, yogurt, fresh orange juice, fruits, etc. Normally I buy enough for a couple of days. But when I'm hungry, I buy not only more (in terms of amount) but even those I don't need - candies, ice cream, chips, popcorn (they're junk!!!). And I normally hesitate buying junk. It has a certain way of beckoning the buyer when the buyer has a growling tummy. I'm sure you believe me by now. Best way to avoid over spending on food? Shop after lunch or after dinner. The crowd is usually thinner as well.

3. COMPARE PRICES IN SUPERMARKETS - Take mental notes. Sometimes some supermarkets have better deals than others. Just because it's S & R does not mean that the imported items are cheaper. Actually, what you seem to be shopping by the bulk may actually mean more expenditure which you don't need. And try to budget yourself on a weekly basis especially when it comes to food. You don't want to overwork that refrigerator of yours and wonder why the meat you bought a year ago is still sitting in your freezer or the yogurt you have expired 3 months ago and your son just ate it! Both Makati Supermarket and South Supermarket (of course, near where I reside) have almost the same price for food, but South Supermarket seems to have a bigger array of choices when it comes to household items and other knick knacks in the house. S&R is okay when it comes to fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and seafood. But S&R prices are steeper than the ordinary supermarkets. When shopping, remember - every centavo counts! What you save with one product when compounded can add up to your next lunch meal!

4. NEVER BUY APPLIANCES AND OTHER NON-SUPERMARKET ITEMS IN THE SUPERMARKET - Amazing how some supermarkets carry all these. TV, iron, iron board, maids uniform, underwear, supporter, socks, water heater, car wax, tires, jogging pants, light bulbs...get the drift? They're actually cheaper at Ace Hardware or in designated appliance stores. The tag price difference may be a few pesos (water heater at SM supermarket is P380 for the 3D brand, while the same water heater at Anson Appliance is P375) but you can talk to the store manager of the appliance store who'd gladly offer discounts if you're paying in cash or straight charge (P340 in the end).

In short, sort out the essentials when you go to the supermarket. If you need to buy the flat screen TV, go buy it in the appliance store. You can even get it at 6 months 0% interest, which the supermarket will not do.

5. READ THE LABEL - Okay, so you're always in a rush. And you don't have time to read the label. Tough luck. Read it when you get home. If you're still harassed at home, tough luck. Read it while you're sitting in the toilet bowl taking a crap. That leaves you no excuse not to be stupid.

I had this patient that complained so much about his kid gaining so much weight lately. And all his teenage son was into was Vit Water. He would not drink anything but Vit Water and that Fit and Right thingy that's being sold left and right as slimming aids. Nutritional content? Anywhere from 50-120 cal per serving. Water is 0 calories. Why in God's name do you want to buy water laced with vitamins or a drug? There is no way, no way at all that they can make it taste that good without adding sugar! And stupid you, you go ahead and believe it without reading the label.

I gave the dad a pop quiz - how many calories in 1 bottle of Vit Water (for energy) he didn't have a clue! 49 calories. How many calories in 1 bottle of Viva water? 0. That's what it's supposed to be - 0. Nada. Zip. None. Wala.

Look for carcinogens. Look for aspartame. Look for added coloring. Look and read. Ignorance is bliss. You have time to go into Facebook or play Bejeweled or that DS Lite, but you don't have time to read the nutritional content of the label. That's why there is a label.

And reminder - If there is no nutritional content or the label has no ingredients written down, DON'T BUY IT! It's not worth it if the company is not willing to reveal what it manufactures. Don't risk your life.

6. CHECK THE DATES WHEN THE FRUITS WERE PACKED - Notice at how some of the fruits are already prepacked? And there's a price tag right there. Well on the price tag you should be able to read when the fruits were actually packed. For freshness, make sure that they're packed on the day you're buying them. Otherwise, just get the loose ones and have the sales lady weigh how much you'd like to buy. I always prefer that you get the loose ones rather than the prepacked because they usually stuff the rotten fruits at the bottom of the prepacked ones.

7. ALWAYS CHECK THE EXPIRATION DATE - You notice how some goods are buy 5 take 1 or buy one take one or the Hershey bar is 50% off? Well that's because it's near expiry! It's always tempting to go for a sale, but you're going to throw it away if you plan to eat or drink it 1 month from today!

8. AVOID SUPERMARKETS THAT MAKE YOU PAY FOR YOUR PARKING FEE - You're already buying from their store. The least they can do is not to charge you for the short time that you shopped in their store. (It's the same take I have with malls. I think they're all thieves. They should make it an incentive that if the shopper buys at least a minimum amount, their concierge should validate your parking pass and not charge you for the parking. Ano sila sinusuwerte? Sila lang ang may karapatan yumaman?) They should be honored that you're shopping there. The customer has rights too (but the Supreme Court is ignorant of that and the Department of Trade and Industry will always side with the thieves.)

9. PREPARE A CHECKLIST BEFORE SHOPPING - You don't need to zip from one lane to the next like a ditsy drug-crazed maniac trying haplessly to recall what you needed to buy and what you did not. Maybe this, oh yeah and I need this too and oh, do I still have this? Like a psycho who's trying to make heads or tails out of what you need or not need to buy, it's always best to make that checklist before you go to the supermarket. And use recycled paper! Try to be kind to the environment.

10. GO GREEN - Most supermarkets offer shopping bags for a minimum price (or even free at S&R). Bring it with you when you go to the supermarket so you don't have to ask for more plastics and more plastics (of course you need it to put your trash, cheapskate). If you're such an advocate of environmental concerns, start with yourself. In Hong Kong, the supermarket asks if you need a bag. If you want a plastic bag, they charge you $1.00 (HKD) for the bag. They ought to do that here. In the US and other countries, they use paper bags. Oh well, we're third world, what did you expect? It's on our own initiative that we practice going green.

Can't resist a good buy? It's always best to be an intelligent buyer than having to shell out that hard earned money needlessly.

Incidentally, that product you may have been buying is not currently available. No, the manufacturer did not close. Some supermarkets have not been paying their merchandisers on time, so their accounts have been blocked by the merchandisers. Check with the companies on line. If you see that product in other supermarkets, then the one you're going to is probably over their head in debts. It won't be around the block much longer.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bitching 101 - Between Pessimism and Sarcasm




Bitch of the Week: Bishops air concern over poll automation (Headline of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Jan 25, 2010)

CBCP President, Bishop Nereo Odchimar issued a pastoral statement saying that "many serious questions about the reliability and integrity of the equipment and the personnel involved have not been satisfactorily answered." He suggested that the Comelec come up with fallback positions and scenarios. Dang these church people. Why are they so pessimistic? I cannot understand why they cannot be proactive! Instead of conjuring "apocalyptic predictions", can they not have a more positive outlook by joining in an information campaign effort for the upcoming automated polls? The problem with preaching from the pulpit is that you simply play mouthpiece without coming up with solutions to issues. For example, each parish church that has an LCD (of course they have laptops), should be able to come up with a prepared 5 minute video presentation to guide the people on how to vote during the upcoming computerized election. For those parishes that do not have, the sermons can be cut short (after all, you gotta agree with me that some of the sermons are actually nonsensical and out of the gospel reading). The priest can ask the lector to just read to the church goers the mechanics of how to fill out the ballot form using the automated method. It's a matter of being proactive. There is nothing worst than priests who condemn and cast the first stone.

As an example to the public, watch the video by the Sex Bomb Dancers created by GMA TV where a positive contribution can actually help educate (even the most uneducable, believe me this will catch on, especially the jologs):


Ompong, Willie and Villar. The King of Comedy (well once upon a time), has a 1 minute video commercial endorsing the candidacy of Manny Villar that's been airing on prime time television. Personalities and big names have been taking the plunge at the various candidates running for president in the upcoming 2010 elections. This is not unusual. In the US, Oprah Winfrey made the sales pitch for Barack Obama, which pushed the latter into the White House office a few months later. But the endorsers must be credible. Dolphy for all he is worth has been one of the prime movers of Philippine cinema. But alas, his family does not seem to fit the bill. Many of his kids and his grandchildren have been in various melee with the law - from murder raps to drug busts. While his personal life is no business of ours, one who carries that extra baggage in his back is unbelievable. Which goes to the point of Wowowee King Willie Revillame. The guy is an absolute jerk. But he seems to be able to charm the Pinoy crowd. Bastusan na kung bastusan sa show niya at parang manyak pag sumasayaw ang mga dancers niya, pero swak na swak ang dating kay lola na walang ginawa kundi umindak ng umindak parang naka droga! (Being lascivious on his show and acting like a maniac when the lady dancers are gyrating, even the grandmothers seem to enjoy and gyrate like drug addicts on his show). But Villar may just make it with this kind of company he runs around with. The Pinoys can actually relate to them.

BAKIT? And on the entertainment page, the upcoming movie of Gerald Anderson and Kim Chiu is entitled "Paano na Kaya". I am not endorsing this movie. I am posting the pop quiz - how many Pinoy movies can you name that's actually a question? There's: "Dapat ka bang Mahalin?" (Sharon Cuneta and Gabby Concepcion, "Paano Kita Iibigin?" (Regine Velasquez and Piolo Pascual), "Nasaan ng Kailangan Kita?" (Snooky Serna, Susan Roces, Janice de Belen), "Saan Nagtatago and Pag-ibig?" (Vilma Santos), "Bakit may Kahapon Pa?" (Nora Aunor) just to name a few. And then starting this afternoon is GMA's telenovela "Ina, Kasusuklaman ba kita?"

Speaking of Kim Chiu, this girl is as thin as a reed. I normally don't watch noon time shows, but at ASAP yesterday, it was the first time I saw this scrawny looking girl, as this as a reed, as narrow as a scarecrow. If she got hit by a car (and I'm talking about a Cherry QQ), she'd be dead on impact with all those bones scattered 100 meters away. They should bring her to a doctor for a check up. Her "thinness" (if there is even such a word) is not a good role model for the Pinoys (unless we happen to be advertising malnutrition as our next slogan, she is picture perfect as poster girl for the malnourished people).

Medical Societies and Sponsors: It's that time of year when you see medical societies and medical organizations holding annual conventions left and right. I have no qualms on sponsorships. Naturally, the medical societies will ask (if not beg) for sponsorship. That means, moolah out of the pharmaceutical industry. Which means that they have to pass it on to consumers (read: drug price increase). But the government doesn't want the price increase (why not? Politics of course. The election is just around the corner. You cannot give away Philhealth benefits only. You gotta give away the Botika!!!). There's a 2 page advertisement on PDI today for the Foundation for Lay Education on Heart Diseases, Inc. There are ads by C-Lium Fibre, Memo Plus and Cor-30 (Aspirin). Not including the side bars involving Therapharma (a division of Unilab) for registration to the convention; Pfizer, Pascual and Therapharma (again) for Publicity; Therapharma (again and again) for Audiovisuals; Folares (for the convention kits); Boehringer Ingelheim for Signage (darn, even this is at the expense of the drug company). This does not include the food that they partake and the luncheon symposia and other miscellaneous events. I am just using them as an example because they are the first in a multitude of organizing societies that will hold scientific sessions left and right this year. Nothing against scientific events to upgrade the brain capacity of the doctors. Can societies not function without having to ask for sponsorships from pharmaceutical companies so that they are not beholden to benefactors?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

My weekend with Jessica Zafra and my iPhone




I am not a fan of Filipino writers. The only one I actually follow is Bob Ong. (Alright, I don't like reading heavy stuff! I don't need migraine. Duh?!!?) That is, of course, until Jessica Zafra came along.

Her recent book "Twisted 8 1/2" was head turner at National Bookstore. This 103 pages short stories (really short) page turner talked about the techie revolution. The story telling prowess of Jessica was spontaneous, witty and something I am sure most of my blog followers will be able to relate to (read - most of you who're reading this have to put on reading glasses).

In one of her chapters, "Requiem for the Compact Disc", she pictures her journey on the evolution of the Walkman to the Compact Disc and our trip down memory lane on what used to be music stores. How giggly we'd get at poring over all those new records, whether here or abroad.

"There is infinitely more music on the net today. You can read the album notes, visit the artists' websites, and hear samples of the music. But you can't hold the albums in your hands. You can't be among other people listening to music, judging them according to their musical tastes, and getting a kick when you realize that other people like the music you consider yours exclusively. Ah well, progress."

And I completely agree with her. With Facebook and Twitter and Multiply and all the gadgets coming out in so rapid terabytes, I have this strange feeling that before the end of this decade, machines may eventually control the humans who have made them.

Have you ever considered getting out of your house without your mobile phone? I'm sure most of us go back home to get it, otherwise suffer an anxiety attack the whole day.

I recommend getting the latest book of Ms. Zafra. Instead of reading the Philippine Daily Inquirer for the next week, this P100 short story book is a good deal to uplift your daily dose of laugh and reality check with the techie world.

Rating: 8 (scale of 0-10)
Value for money: Excellent!

Photo of the book from jessicarulestheuniverse.com

Then there was my Globe bill! Watdfuk?!?!?!? I had this iPhone 3GS since last year and thought (okay, still think) that it's the best mobile phone I ever owned. (You gotta know that I change mobile phones every 3-4 months. The longest was my Sony Experia which replaced by HTC)! It's a cool gadget! It's an iPod touch with a Phone. And camera and video. The reviews are right. No other phone has come close to the iPhone!

Then there's Globe. Hayyyyy, there's Globe. I promise to vote for Juan Ponce Enrile on the premise that he will shoot some Globe official off the wall. Included in my subscription is 10 hrs of internet charges already (you've got to pay for that separately). I got this just in case I am out of the office and need to check for emails as an emergency.

According to the customer service lady I talked to, my GFlex plan does not include my roaming, but includes GPRS/EDGE/3G/HSDPA and other Web-browsing charges. Check it out - I was on browsing for 4269 minutes (71.15 hrs) for my bill (for the months Dec 13, 2009 - Jan 12, 2010) of which only 600 minutes (that's the 10 hrs) was credited because it's supposed to be what free??!?!?! Now that is peeved me. Really really peeved me.

When I asked them (nope, challenged them) to show my how I actually consumed so much internet time, they curtly said that it was probably the phone. It has a thing for doing that...the iphone is so intelligent that it has a thing for connecting to Globe's internet...ang galing galing ng iPhone daw!! Leche!!!

Then they went on to say that maybe I did not put the push data off. I told them I was told to put it off when I got the phone so that I do not accidentally browse. Then they said that probably I did not have the 3G off. I do not use 3G, I retorted. It is always off unless I am in the US or Japan or some other country that needs 3G. They asked me to check my Wifi mode. Off, I replied. Maybe the location services is on? Off. What about the data roaming? Off. Internet tethering off! VPN not configured! Facebook chat off!!!! OFF OFF OFF OFF!!!

Oh they said it's the APN under cellular data. I should add a 1 to the internet.globe.com.ph at the end so that it does not automatically log on, according to the lady from Globe. I asked why. Oh because you automatically connect to the internet when there's no number 1 so that it does not get recognized. Huh?!?!? Built-in? Yes, was her reply.

And before we go, she nicely tells me, each time you connect to update your phone, you need to redo all these. I asked why? The iPhone is so smart that it goes back to all the default settings. The iPhone is so smart that Globe is actually making a killing for all these settings. Wow!!! Unbelievable!!! A phone that makes Globe so rich!!! Sanamagan.

To close the issue, I asked her what my flex plan included. She curtly replied, it included local data charges of internet browsing. And so, why am I asked to pay P1,253.21 of browsing time? I only spent P1158.53 on call and text charges. It's a 3500 Flex plan! Then she puts me on hold several times and comes back after 5 minutes to tell me that their system is slow today...sorry...can't check it...

Slow?!!?!?!?! Duh?!?!?! And they sell internet subscription?!?!?! Sanamagan the mobile services in this country. The reason for this kind of service is plain and simple - monopoly! You need to open up the very core of this kind of service to more people and the government should be more lax in providing incentives to competitors so that it is not only the Ayalas and the Pangilinans, or the Gokongweis who end up as the major players and cheat the public out of every little earned peso? While I can afford to pay for this - it's the principle that counts. One thing I hate is a cheater and big business that cheats consumers are the scum of the earth.

The only consolation I get out of this blogging is this is where I get to unleash my dark side. Thank God for that because I have a type A personality and Miriam Defensor-Santiago is on my idol list!

I will trod off to the nearest business center of Globe and politely ask once more regarding this. God help me!

Postmortem
: As of this blogging, Brian Viloria lost his boxing bout. Knocked-out on the 12th round in his own country, the Philippines. This Fil-Am guy should retire. One more Pinoy boxer bites the dust. My take? Pilipit ang dila eh. Tingnan mo si Manny Pacquiao, tigas pati dila!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bitching 101 - The Looney Bin: Bow!




Neurotic, psychotic, schizophrenic, autistic...you name it, we've got it!

Marlene Aguilar-Pollard: "Briton is informant, gunman" - Dang this woman! She is the mother of suspected murderer Jason Ivler and the sister of rockista Freddie Aguilar. She's got this conspiracy theory that Renato Ebarle Jr was killed by her British bodyguard Mark Hauser to frame her son on orders of people who don't like what she's been writing in her "book". Well definitely, she's no Tom Clancy or John Grisham, but wow! Fantastic! With the assault weapons her son's got and the footage on his shootout with the local National Bureau of Investigation, this has got to be one of those fantasmagoric tales that only a cookie would probably conjure. Not that she's unbelievable, but hey, you gotta hand it to her. Her story is one for the books. CIA, conspiracy, who'd believe the mother and son tandem? The media should stop printing her stories. Darn. It's getting to be a headache and puhlizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, can we get their family to see a shrink?

Manny Villar: They're playing politics. Okay, so they're dirty. So what? It's the political ballgame dude. You gotta face the music if you wanna be president! The continuing saga of Manny V's efforts to ditch the ethics and misconduct charges are akin to GMA ditching her efforts at accusations of graft and corruption. And he's not even president yet. You gotta hand it to him. He's using all that moolah of his to get people singing the tune of "...si Manny Villar and aahon sa atin sa kahirapan" (Manny V is the one who will lift us from poverty). Sanamagan. You use these mendicants to sing the song and air it on prime time and on the radio, it might just work! I am saddened though that there are respectable personalities that believe this crap! Manny had taken this complaint to the Supreme Court already to file for a temporary restraining order and a permanent injunction to stop the senate committee from continuing its investigation. But time and again, his complaints have been foiled. Now he's using his moolah and fanatics (or should I say his insignificant followers including the once credible Gilbert Remulla) to move his current residence to Malacanang. Face the music first Manny. Unbelievable! The guy is so much like GMA. Deja vu? Jamais vu?

Jamby Madrigal: Doesn't believe in surveys but her own. Even if she's trailing at the bottom 0.2%, she thinks she'll still make it. Her reason? The SWS and Pulse Asia surveys didn't even think she'd make it as Senator in the last election. But she placed 4th among the winners! In your face SWS and Pulse Asia!!! But then again, she's got the Ladlad Party and the other gay groups in the senate and congress and wherever to bring this cookie to the palace. Who knows, she may be right? After all, she's in good company with the rest of them.

And the only place these people should be is actually the nut house! Philippine Politics is pathetic. We're nearing the presidential election and we've got loonies in our midst. Bow!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

CSI Manila (Jason Ivler arrest)

You gotta hand it to the Filipino police (or should I say, NBI, but what's the difference)!

I was watching the news of the arrest of Jason Ivler, the fugitive Fil-Am who's wanted for 2 counts of murder. The long and short story of it was that he has involved in a road rage a year ago, and a repeat performance of his anger on a few months ago. A P1Million ($22,000) had a bounty on his head, after the second murder on the son of a Malacanan official.

I am attaching the link as seen on You Tube on his arrest.

It was interesting how media men handled the crime scene by being on the way, grabbing the camera during the shooting melee, pointing at the weapons and places in the house where the arrest took place with their fingers, how Ivler was carried out of his house with barely his shorts and underwear showing and his butt all in the air.

I think I watch too much CSI, Criminal Minds, the Mentalist, and other American detective shows that I think we treat crimes here like some sensational show. Darn it! And when the media men get shot during the operation, they cry that the cops didn't handle the scene of the crime well. Sanamagan this country!

Of course, had the media not been there (not only to blunder the whole operation and cover the arrest), Ivler would have met Satan earlier!


Watch the video clip:





POSTMORTEM

While I am not a fan of GMA, I am in awe with Cerge Remonde, her faithful press secretary. She is lucky to have had someone who would die for her (literally and figuratively). My condolences to his family whom he left behind. At 11:54AM this morning, Mr. Remonde, at 51 years old, passed away after a heart attack in his residence.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sitemeter

So there's an added feature on my blog. It's the sitemeter. Someone asked me when I installed this sitemeter thingy. Well, for everyone's knowledge, I only learned about how to attach this tracking device last week. Officially, my sitemeter was installed January 11, 2010 (01/11/10)! Nice number huh!

Now stop asking and just get back to reading the blogs.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bitching 101 - Okrayan na!!





For my foreign readers, Okrayan in gay-slang means Heckling in the English language.

This was a tiring weekend. My sister had a D & C and completely turned my weekend schedule topsy-turvy. I didn't get to go to the wedding of my favorite god-daughter and practically stayed in this weekend. But family will take care of family.

This was one weekend where I channel-surfed through the talk shows and noontime shows on local TV, watched the pirated DVD version of "The Rebound" (just goes to show how readily available pirated CDs are and how Edu Manzano really did a fu*k*d up job as Optical Media Board chair before Gibo's camp decided to make him run for VP), started on a new book "Ford County" by John Grisham, on a lazy restful weekend.

Watching the talk shows and noontime shows made me almost puke. But hey, HBO and Star Movies were all re-runs. GMA had SOP and ABS-CBN had ASAP. Can I just make some feisty but constructive criticisms? Ahem...excoooooooooooooooooooz me, but the GMA honchos have to to realize that Dennis Trillo CANNOT and I say it with conviction, CANNOT sing! Puhlizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!! Shut the guy up! I hate to say it, but the guy may have the looks but definitely DOES NOT have the voice! Let's not get to the point of being insulting to someone's senses! Can you puhlizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz discover some singing talents? And DO NOT make this guy sing! He's like some crazed drug-addict rocking along with other talents. On to Channel 2. Caught the act of Charice Pempengco doing some rap number! The girl can belt out and sing!! But she has bad diction. All that practice in the US and she still can't pronounce the words well. If not for the lyrics that float on the screen, I had a difficult time understanding what she was singing. Perhaps she should get some speech training course or something. With all that moolah she apparently makes, it's gotta go to improving herself and her career. After all, if you can't take care of the goose that lays the golden egg, she'll eventually grow old and end up singing in some bar in a foreign land or probably as a character for Hong Kong Disneyland!

After getting really tired of the bakya crowd, I decided to just watch "The Rebound".

Catherine Zeta-Jones is absolutely gorgeous in the role as the 40 year old housewife who get's a divorce from her unfaithful husband (who gets a blowjob in a children's party), runs off to New York City with her 2 kids and makes a career of her penchant for sports when she used to be a stay home mother. Justin Bartha is the 25 year old guy who has just had a "divorce" from his girl friend (wife?) Elise, who marries him for a green card. The paths of these characters cross each other in the oddest of two people who are coming from a failed relationship.

The humorous (but cheezy) love story of this movie, however, stands out on its own as it evolves and apparently sinks into you as a "not so ordinary" May-December love affair. Each of us have our dreams, and our rebounds. And we're entitled to happiness, so long as we respect each others boundaries. I highly recommend this movie to those who look forward to a relaxing weekend.

After the movie, I had switched back to the local channels for the update news on Kris Aquino and her apparently "shouting spree" with one, Mayen Austria because of her husband James Yap. I got it first from the newspapers, but then wanted a follow-up. Of course, there are always two sides to the story. Whatever it is, my take on this is simple - DON"T F**K around with a married man (or even someone in a relationship). Only desperate or sick people do this. Even if Mayen is apparently "clinically depressed", her family should be able to control her libido. As a matter of fact, her family should be there to support her and lead her in the right direction. Kris has all the right to protect her family and claim ownership of her husband. She has to fight for him. Friend or not, Mayen has no business having to cry on the shoulder of James in her heartfelt break-up with her boyfriend. God, if Mayen has this type of attitude, her boyfriend has all the right to break up with her! I wouldn't want to have a relationship with someone psychotic. Let's put an end to this.

First and foremost - even taking for granted it was the guy that was chasing Mayen, she should not even entertained horny hots for him. She knows he is married. Period. Second - even if she is just a "friend", she did not need to seek advice from a married man over her failed love life. She is in a league of the likes of Krista and Katrina Halili. These are the kind of people who think about themselves but do not like the scandal in the end. Finally, she is lucky that Kris only allegedly spat at her. If I were Kris, I'd burn the house of the Austrias to the ground!

Not even the Philippine Daily Inquirer had the right to make a big fuss over a domestic spat. Politics or no politics in this matter, this country has bigger problems. It's really not front page material.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bitching 101 - Today's Headlines



My friend once told me that the best way to get depressed is to stress oneself. And the best stressor is the Philippine newspaper, in general, and the Philippine Daily Inquirer in particular.

I classify newspapers in the Philippines into two categories - the legitimate newspapers and the tabloids. The former are made up of the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI), the Philippine Star, Manila Bulletin, and then there are others (Business World, Manila Standard). Then there are the tabloids. These are a sleazy bunch of newspapers that have nothing but gore and sex on the headlines. The latter are the staple reading materials of drivers, lackeys, and the average Pinoy who has nothing better to do than read smut in his spare time.

On my way to work, I have this newsboy that runs up to my car to bring me my daily fix of horror or stressor stories for the day. My favorite section of the newspaper is always the OP/Ed (Opinion and Editorial) page. Any my favorite columnist is Conrado de Quiros. I like his acerbic tongue. Then the business section is second on the list, where I try to follow the foreign exchange market and the Philippine economy (as if I understand this part of the business sector in the country). Finally, I browse through the entertainment section to find out who is slapping who in local showbiz. Unless of course the headline reads that some dwarf in the palace has turned into stone, the other news events are usually lopsided. Lopsided based on what is to the interest of the mediamen and not necessarily on the nation (but that's my opinion).

In today's PDI, the front page hits were:

"Earthquake shatters Haiti" - so why was this the headline? When Ondoy devastated Metro Manila, did Haiti even blink to make this as headline in their newspaper? Duh? And PDI ran a whole story on the political history of Haiti. Through the courtesy of PDI, now I know that the Philippines even has a peace keeping mission among our police officials in Haiti. What the?!?!!? Why not just send them to Maguindanao? My golly gee wow!! Can't understand why we need to be sending our Pulis Patola to Haiti, when they can't even catch Ivler in Manila! OMG!!!

Ampatuan Massacre: Andal Jr fired first, says witness - and we are obsessive compulsive over the this saga of murder/massacre/greed/money/Muslims/guns/terror. If this were made into a movie, it would probably in the proportion of the Saw series. I only follow the news about what's happening. What makes me puke are the lawyers of the Ampatuans. Noted for their high profile cases, the Fortun law firm seems to be cash strapped that taking on the Ampatuans side is a sign of desperation. Of course, as CHR head Lilia de Lima points out, until proven guilty, the Ampatuans are just suspects. According to Atty Fortun, his clients can't speak nor understand Filipino or Tagalog or English. In the last interview of ABS-CBN the other day with Andal Jr., the guy could speak AND understand Filipino and Tagalog and English and Taglish. Either the lawyer is a dump or a liar. As they say, all lawyers are good at the latter. But the plot thickens. And like all telenovelas, this will probably drag on...until either boredom sets in, or the series is canned and everyone forgets.

JPE urged to quit post for smooth transition - the guy who has lasted all of the other presidents should retire. Enough said. I've always made my point - NOBODY after 65 should lead a nation. There are people younger and with more experience and less corrupt who should be given the chance. Statistics shows a positive correlation with years in office and graft and corruption - the longer you stay in public office, the higher the probability of practicing graft and corruption. JPE - retire already - you can drag Erap into exile for all we care!

'Diyos at Bayan' my slogan, Bro. Eddie tells Noynoy - puwede ba? Eddie V should be reminded that he is no Moses and that the Philippines is no Egypt. God is not on his side and can we for once stop using God's name in vain? Damn these Pinoys who always use God God God and Jesus Jesus Jesus for all the things we do right and wrong. Everyone has the right to use God's name because God is no one's property. Combining God with country is not Eddie V's own idea. The American presidents were actually the first to use this catch-phrase. Tinagalog lang ni Brother Eddie. This nuisance candidate should just take a rod and staff and curse Malacanan and the dwarf in the palace. But unless he can show to the people that he is the deliverance sent by heaven, he should just shut up.

Interestingly are other news but not necessarily headliners.

LTO stops tagging vehicles - too much fuss about the RFID (radio frequency ID). While I have no objections to this added scam of the LTO, they should be able to produce CR (certificate of registration) first. It's been over 1 month that the LTO has not released the CR of my car. Their reason - no paper. Walang papel!!!! Anak ng pating!!! Anong klaseng buhay naman meron tayo? May sticker para sa bagong raket pero walang papel para sa basic requirements ng kotse? Sanamagan talaga itong bansang ito! Grabe!! If I were the president, all these non-performing government employees will be reassigned to Maguindanao for life!

Ang Ladlad: Bishops assail SC ruling on gay party - Borongan Bishop Crispin Varquez told the Church-owned Radio Veritas his adamance to the idea of partly list representative "Ang Ladlad", saying that it's a very dangerous move. According the Varquez, "There's a big possibility that they will push for immoral bills. They are already in favor of pre-marital sex and for sure they will push for same-sex marriage. That's why they should not be allowed in the party-list elections". My take? These are big IFs and BUTs. Varquez should look at his compatriots in robes and not forget that the Vatican had to pay off so many people for sexual crimes committed by the priests. He who has no fault, should cast the first stone. Was that not part of the bible or did Varquez come from a different religion? I personally believe that there should be no representation anymore for the gay group. After all, we are well represented already. Even in Church.

Talent show faces censors' sanction - "Showtime" has been banned for 20 days after Rosanna Roces shot back at Vice Ganda during it's January 4, 2010 program with apparently cussing words.
The exchange went like this:
VG (to RR): Pagkatapos mong makipaghiwalay, hinete agad ang ipinalit mo (After splitting up, you quickly replaced him with a horserace jockey).
RR (to VG): Walanghiya ka talaga, hayop ka, demonyo ka. Wag kang ganon, nangbubuko ka ever. Di ka naman maganda. Vice Ganda lang ang pangalan mo. (You're shameless, a beast, a demon. Don't do that. You're revealing things. You're not even beautiful. It just happens to be your name).
So what was wrong with this? RR was telling the truth. VG is not beautiful. The better description of VG is actually the animal that the horsejockey rides. And they were cuss words? I hear them on the various telenovelas in Primetime where slapping, shouting, hair-pulling, water throwing, murder and sex are the basic themes (and attires). Gimme a break. Somebody should just put MTRCB chair Marissa Laguardia in a room and show her the basics of censorship. It should also be a rule that the prude and stupid should just join the convent.



A FINE DAY

Fill in the blanks:
1. BOO_S
2. _ _ NDOM
3. F_ _K
4. P_N_S
5. PU_S_

Answers:
1. BOOKS
2. RANDOM
3. FORK
4. PANTS
5. PULSE

If you had a different answer, you must be on the same wavelength as Laguardia. Pervert!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

a good fall



At the airport in Hong Kong on my way back home, I chanced upon the latest book by Ha Jin.

The book is a compilation of 12 short stories. Except for the last story, A Good Fall, the rest have been published in magazines or newspapers.

All the stories take place in Flushing, New York, where the characters are all Chinese immigrants who deal with life in America. These daily struggles take us from the young monk to the elderly grandparents who have uprooted from struggling communist China in order to "make it there" in America. In one of the stories, the protagonist says, "You can always change. This is America, where it's never too late to turn over a new page. That's why my parents came here."

The book is light reading and deeply moving and for some reason, I could relate to the characters in the book. Han Jin is a masterful story teller. He immerses you into the scenes of the short stories. His writing is highly engaging and you will be transformed to the scenes as he vividly yet simply describes the various scenes in this book. His stories are short and leave a lot to the imagination for each short stories' ending.

You do not have to be of Chinese descent to appreciate this book. It transcends nationality. Even the typical Filipino or any Asian immigrant will see a mirror when he turns the pages of "A Good Fall".

Cost of the book at Relay Bookstore (HK Airport) - $250HKD (P1500.00)
Recommended reading: 9 (scale of 0-10)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bitching 101 - The 2010 Presidentiables






BITCH OF THE WEEK:


So the presidential race is finally on. And the gloves are finally off. The mudslinging has begun. Fact of the matter is - there are no qualified presidents.

Noynoy is the most inexperienced. He has moral ascendancy and that's it. Timid. Soft-spoken. But no concrete track record of a public executive in office. He carries with him the ghost of the Christmas past - Ninoy and Cory. And is being endorsed by sister Kris (who probably is not much of a worthy endorser considering the many bags her past has carried as well), and the Philippine Daily Inquirer, and Boy Abunda, and ABS-CBN, and Dingdong, and AiAi, and....

Gibo. What can I say about this La Sallite? While he has the brains and the background, he does not have the money to fund a campaign on his own. He definitely is getting a push from the Lakas-Kampi-NUCD camp. And we know that the Queen Dwarf in the Palace lords over this camp. She, who is lord of all evil, who has redefined the role of the devil and the deep blue sea, who has in her capacity changed the paradigm of evil and all its being, is actually funding Gibo's campaign. Remember the story of the man who sold his soul to the devil? In due time, Satan would demand payback. And I do not think the Queen Dwarf should be making a comeback as the next prime minister of this country. Nine years in hell is enough. Then again, some Filipinos are masochistic by nature. They just love the devil f*ck**g their souls.

Manny V. Oh my oh my how could you? When I saw the commercial of the "poor" children chanting to his tune that Manny V will deliver us from poverty, I wanted to throw my wine glass to the TV set. To me, that was the height of hipocrisy. Damn these idiots. Lord knows there is no quick fix to poverty. These b*llsh*t promises to end poverty are only for the dumb. But the promise sells. Look at where it got Erap. It is sad that the Pinoys believe that there is such a thing as deliverance from poverty.

Dick is the guy that's pulling our dick. While the blabbermouth makes some sense, his sense of politics is nepotistic at the very least. Megalomaniac in thinking, he thinks he is the guy that will convert the Philippines to becoming the next Singapore. While I admire him for his wanting to become the next Lee Kwan Yew, there just doesn't seem to have enough Chinese blood in a guy whose name ends with Gordon to make a case that what he has done for Subic can be done for the Philippines. Which means, considering that Subic is being run by the Gordons, so will the Philippines if and when Dick becomes president.

During the presidential debates and discussions, a lot of people have centered on the inexperience of Noynoy. So what's new? He actually is the most inexperienced. You may add that his inexperience at manipulation, graft and corruption, and being involved in scams is also the least. And while Manny V has hammered at this inexperience, Manny V has never answered the charges of graft and corruption on the C5 project and what his company has spent in order to profit his realty properties company.

The other candidates? This is all the space I should give them on my blog. Eddie V should just ask God to intervene for him. If he truly has a calling, let God decide on that. But even God would not side with him. Otherwise, 6 years ago, God would have created a miracle by deciding to take the Queen Dwarf's life instead of FPJ. Jamby M. She should probably join a pilgrimage to Norway and go on exile. She has been a nuisance and I don't even know how she got voted into public office. Erap should just go to Korea where we can have an exchange program. Send the Koreans here to learn English and we send some Pinoys there to learn Korean. Maybe with a foreign language like this, he can learn to communicate better. Then there are the who? I don't know them and don't even plan to know them. Enough said.

The brick brat is all talk on executive experience. Even if you gave a two thumbs up to executive experience, the bottom line in the upcoming election is not about this. It is about integrity. About moral ascendancy. About the lesser of all evils.

Fearless forecast is the guy with the most money will win. Ganito sa Pilipinas. Walang utak ang mga botante. Pag nagiba ang ihip ng hangin, dalawang bagay lang yan - tumalino ang mga Pinoy o magugunaw na ang mundo. Sabi nga ni Nora Aunor, walang HIMALA!


A FINE DAY

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, and all the friends I want to see. What is nice about life is that each day is never like the other. Life is beautiful. Enjoy it and throw all your troubles away...It is in being happy that makes life worth living."

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Changes and Promises

So it's 2010. And it's another year. Those who've been following my blog - a big thank you. To the newbies, welcome to my blog.

The past years, I've simply blogged about special events. It's been 2 1/2 years. I guess it's time to put my faithful Mac to it's maximum potential!

I'm writing a book this year and hope that I can finish it before 2011. That's a big leap because this will be my first venture at writing a compilation of short stories.

Second is that I'm starting a weekly write-up, on my blog, about issues and it's called BITCHING 101. It's a little jab on issues (whether it's about politics or movie stars or travel or anything about life itself). My way of expressing my views on certain issues that need a little stabbing now and then. As to sustainability on a weekly issue, now that's called pressure.

Finally, I've changed the colors and featured pic on the blog, hopefully I can create an original one myself without having to borrow pics from the internet.

Oh yeah, I will need to ask my niece to help me out on putting up ads for my blog. Who knows, one day, this may eventually become a hit!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Mickey and We








First flight out of Manila to Hong Kong on CX904 at 630 am is always a no no! You crowd together with those flying Delta to the US. But off to Disneyland we went.

Alright, so we're all adults (and 1 senior citizen), so who cares if we wanted to meet up with Mickey and his gang again? This was vacation. And we wanted to have fun. It was after all, the longest holiday in the Philippines. And splurge I did (my pocket hurts).

This was a last minute decision, so all flights were booked by the time I got seats on line for Cathay Pacific. Hence the very early morning flight! And I had to call Disneyland long distance for hotel bookings. There were no more rooms available if I were to book on the internet. And unlike in previous years where we stayed at the posh Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, we had to settle for the less classy, yet quaint Hollywood Hotel.

In spite of the lack of sleep, my family and partner, had a lot of bonding. Harried and tired amidst the dreary Hong Kong winter weather, we managed to stay less argumentative and ventured on places we had not seen in Hong Kong, like the Citygate Mall at the Tung Chung exit line where ALL the branded outlets were. The sale there was crazy!!! Imagine getting Lacoste bags at 50% off or a pair of Reebok rubber shoes for only $200 HKD (P1200) or having a quarter kilo of fresh cherries for only $20 HKD (P120) or buying Esprit shirts at $120 HKD a piece (and get 30% off if you buy 3 pieces)!

And the food was all we dreamt of. It was food tripping all the way. From the fancy dinner at the Lotus Restaurant at the Hong Kong Disneyland, where we had the Salt Fried Chicken to the extra large prawns in sweet and sour spicy sauce, to the Peking Duck, to the salted fish fried rice, to the steamed garoupa...the extra baggage of fine food was unforgettable.

We had the Park View room at the Hollywood Hotel, so in spite of the rain, we would huddle off to our rooms, turn on the TV to channel 36 and listen to the music accompanying the fire work display and watch the fire works from our room! How cool was that?

The newest park destination in HK Disneyland is the "It's a Small World" ride. It is the nicest among the "small world" sites of all the Disneyland Theme Parks (probably due to being the newest). Of course, we had to look for the dolls representing the Philippines and had not my niece told me, I didn't even recognize it because the Philippines was represented by a Nipa Hut (now how monkey could you get?) and a supposed tarsier (which actually looked like a Koala bear).

We had a day dedicated to going to the city - and it was a mad rush for more SALE at Causeway Bay. When my mom saw the onslaught of people at Times Square Mall, she was flabbergasted and wanted to go back to the hotel immediately.

Whenever we got back to the hotel, it would be simply heaven, having to rest our tired feet and aching backs and enjoy the warmth of the rooms. Honestly, I guess we all didn't get enough sleep.

We took the 245pm CX 919 flight back to Manila. A little more duty free shopping to even up the last few Hong Kong dollars. A little more duty free shopping for me on the plane to get some bargain toiletries.

And it's back to reality when we landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

This holiday, it was simply family bonding. And of course, there was Mickey and We...