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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Vomit Queen

In an unforgettable interview with Larry King on CNN, Tyra Banks taught Larry how to "smiyes," that is, to "smile with your eyes".

She's really amazing, isn't she? She has this unique talent for making people throw up in their mouth. Watching America's Next Top Model and the Tyra Banks Show on the ETC Channel is like taking a bus ride from Manila to Banawe listening to the music of ABBA for six hours- it's too much, you'd want to fling yourself outside the window and onto the ravine below.

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Bursting the Bubble

OK people, we just had a depressing experience and we need every bit of kind words to lift our spirits up.

However, there are exceptions, pompous, pretentious cliches like "tomorrow is another day" or "after the storm, the rainbow comes out (or something)" and the worst, that there is "a silver lining in the dark cloud of despair" make us want to dive right back into the murky canal water.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Aftermath

Although nobody expected typhoon Ondoy would pour out so much torrential rain and inundate the metropolis, once the waters have receded, it will be easy to take the government to task for what happened.

Last Saturday afternoon right after Ondoy blew its top, the main street near my neighborhood turned into a river and people were left to fend for themselves wading waist-deep in the water. I mean, where the hell were the barangay officials when we needed them most.

Sure, this may probably be the worst typhoon to hit Metro Manila in 40 years, but what does this say about the Flood Control program of the government? Is it really effective? Are local government units at the barangay level even prepared to respond to crisis situations like this? Why were there still people trapped in rooftops for 2 days? There weren't enough rubber boats, how come? Where were the helicopters? Rescue came for those trapped only when it was nearly over. For many, there was none at all.

As Secretary of National Defense tasked to lead disaster management efforts -and the obvious fact that he's running for President next year- this was supposed to be Gilbert Teodoro's shining moment. He disappointed big time.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Flooded!



Probably the heaviest rainfall in recent memory. I was sleeping soundly when I realized the sound of falling rain was eerily nearby, and literally I jumped when I realized my bedroom was already flooded.

Outside, my neighborhood street turned into an instant riverside.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Friends

Both Erap and Lacson are trading accusations over the murder of Bobby Dacer; they could very well be digging their own political graves. With the return of Cesar Mancao from the States, the police officer clearly implicated the Senator and former police chief as the mastermind of the murder, causing Lacson to shelve his Presidential aspirations.

And if he's going down, Lacson thinks that it's quite unfair if he goes down alone, so he might as well drag along his former boss, Erap who clearly benefited from the disappearance of Dacer.

This reminds me of an excellent Spanish idiom: "No hay peor cuña que la del mismo palo." It means "The worst enemy is he who was once a friend."

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Shooting for the Moon

And so Gilbert Teodoro is the anointed candidate of Gloria's party. This, after Noli showed no interest in running under the banner of the administration.

His chances of winning are pretty slim, despite the ruling party's machinery. Remember de Venecia's bid, where he lost to Erap? His situation is a throwback to that period.

Despite his impressive credentials as a bar topnotcher and having gone to Harvard for his masters, these things tend to get lost on people's minds because Gloria's negative trust ratings means whoever she endorses will be highly mistrusted as well. Noli's smart enough to realize this.

Proof of this is the less than 1% rating for Teodoro in recent surveys. This early, it is apparent that Gloria's and her party's endorsement for Teodoro spell doom for his candidacy.

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Crossroads

When you stop going along with the crowd and start heading your own way, you realize that there are things about yourself you hardly noticed before and may not like at present.

You become insecure and often wonder where you will be in one year, two years, five years,but the mere thought scares you because you barely know where you are now.

You ponder your current status, your job for instance. It is not even close to what you’ve imagined yourself to be as a kid.

You have become more critical and judgemental than ever. You begin to draw certain boundaries in your life and come up with a set of criteria detailing what is acceptable or not.

One minute you’re insecure and paranoid and the next, you are cheerful and optimistic. You feel lonely, scared and confused.

You try to resist change and consider it the enemy, holding on stubbornly to the past for dear life, unable to let go, until you realize that it’s either you stay put and shrink like a prune or move forward and bloom like a bud in spring.

You go through the same emotions and questions over and over again, and talk to your friends about the same subjects because you’ve hit a brick wall, paralyzed by indecision.

The future is worrying you- making a life for yourself. While beating the odds and securing a better life is the reward for finishing the race, right now, all you really want is just to be a part of it, and everything will play itself out, for better or for worse.

*You may emote now.*

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Clingy

And so Juan Martin del Potro, at just 20 years old, defeated Federer for the US Open crown. Good. Never liked Federer.

Anyway, Vogue editor Anna Wintour (many thinks she's actually the Meryl Streep character in the Devil Wears Prada) was spotted sitting within the reserved box for Federer's family and friends along with other celebrities during the match.

Use "Like" in a sentence: Why do people like her like to attach themselves like leeches to personalities like Federer who have genuine talent and abilities. She was also spotted hanging out with Micheal Phelps after the latter's record-shattering performance at the Beijing Olympics. What's up with her? People like Wintour and Paris Hilton and Tyra Banks (*vomits!*) who have nothing to offer but their closet should stop flinging themselves at people who achieved success through sheer hard work. I'm sorry, but fashionistas and athletes are not on the same level.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Mooncake Season



I think this is the time of year when the Moon Festival season takes place.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Two Cents' Worth

I think the coming elections will be a Noynoy-Villar fight. Let me explain.

I am convinced Noynoy will likely get the middle-to-upper income vote. His family hails from this income group. He is quiet, unassuming and Jesuit-educated. His reputation remains untarnished with neither corruption allegations nor cheating scandals. The Church likes that. The moralists like that, too. Big business groups sympathetic to Cory (think the Lopezes, the Ayalas, the Cojuangcos) will likely support his candidacy. So-called cause-oriented groups sick of Gloria, her family and her minions will throw in their support, too. Thing is, as of this point, all these groups are still talking among themselves and have not really engaged the broader electorate yet into the support bandwagon.

You see, it is the C-D-E classes that dominate this country, the masses. For Noynoy to take crack at the Presidency, he has to employ massive resources to appeal directly and effectively to these income groups. And he has a good chance, if the remaining crop of Presidential hopefuls insist on running.

Consider this: Villar (the frontrunner), Erap, Noli, Loren, Teodoro, Jamby and Bayani. That's seven candidates splitting the remaining pie. We can safely remove Jamby from the list because she is really just a nuisance candidate. Teodoro and Bayani may both be courting Gloria's anointment, but they should realize that her endorsement is a Kiss of Death--they should avoid her like the plague. The public had had enough of her. These two are goners, Teodoro is still totally unknown to most, and Bayani is only popular in Metro Manila. Jamby, Teodoro and Bayani's candidacies hardly cause a ripple.

So that really leaves us with four people running against Noynoy. Noli and Loren will not likely settle for the Veep position, having crossed swords for that position last time. Noli seems hesitant to take Gloria's endorsement. He correctly assumes that any association with Gloria will only jeopardize his chances. And Loren still has lots of energy for kidnapping and NPA peace deal photo ops as well as for attending enviroment-and-climate related international conferences to raise her Presidential profile. Nah, I think she will not make it this time. Too image and "stage effect" conscious.

Which leaves us with three vying for the masa vote. Erap, Villar and Noli. The key here is Erap. I think Erap is not really serious in running, or if he is, will be persuaded later on to give way to either Villar or Noynoy. He looks too infirm to run for public office (his best friend FPJ already died, yes?) and needs to just enjoy his retirement and spend his twilight years away from prison. He may simply be trying to stir the entire field. Whomever he will throw in his support later on, will likely be the President. Yes, I'm assuming this is going to be a Noynoy-Villar fight and Noli's gonna be relegated to the sidelines.

Villar: he has built a grassroots support early on. His self-made, rags-to-riches success story resonates with the C-D-E masa (he grew up in a shanty in Tondo). He has further consolidated his support base via the OFW vote. One out of every ten Filipinos after all, has a relative working abroad. That's significant. But the fact that, assuming he got Erap's endorsement, he still has to split the masa vote with Noli, Villar does have a lot of work to do.

Noynoy: He has the support of the Church, big business, cause-oriented groups- essentially middle class. But he also has Kris Aquino for a sister (and drags along with her, Boy Abunda, Mother Lily, Korina Sanchez and the entire ABS-CBN. By the way, she convinced Pangilinan to be her brother's official spokesperson, which means Sharon Cuneta is now in their bandwagon as well).

Strategies: Noynoy has to expand his support base from the middle class to the masa. This is where his sister comes in and the logistics and financial support of his rich backers. In fact, it works to his advantage if there are many candidates because this will only dilute the chances of his opponents.

Villar on the other hand, has to prevent Noynoy from encroaching on his masa support base. At this point, you can say he's really running against Kris Aquino. He also has to work hard to convince Erap to support him instead, considering that he has to split the masa vote with several other lesser candidates.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Gomez: Ave Maria

¡Feliz cumpleaños Mamá María, madre de Dios!

Una interpretación preciosa, en un español perfecto de mezzo soprano Elina Garanča.

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cunning...Fox?

Everybody's talking about it, so might as well join in the fray.

Why would Mar Roxas decide to shelve his Presidential aspirations and endorse Noynoy Aquino when the latter hasn't even decided whether he will run or not for President? Methinks Mar the strategist has his thinking cap on. It could work either way:

(1) Mar is really giving way to Noynoy out of the goodness of his heart, or for the "sake of the country" because Noynoy is really a formidable candidate to reckon with and the best candidate to beat the crap out of Gloria and her minions;

What this only means is that Mar has assessed his chances and decided that he's better off as the Veep of Noynoy because he's not exactly topping the surveys for President. Running side-by-side with an Aquino can definitely boost his chances for the Veep position.

(2) Should Noynoy decide NOT to run for President, Mar would still have earned patriotic points for his actions, presumably gain a lot of respect, and as the front runner for the Liberal Party, still run for President.

In either case, whether he will run for either Veep or President, this goody-two-shoes stunt will be a public relations master stroke.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Yes, Ma'm

How would you react if you found out your English teacher in high school in the Bukidnon highlands is on Facebook?

We're not "friends" yet, I just saw her comment on a post made by a classmate. I think it's pretty cool, it means that I'm not that old after all because I still have teachers who do not seem to have an affinity with the Jurassic Period.

The drawback is that I feel I have to be extra careful with my posts, lest I embarrass her with my grammar, syntax and sentence construction :)

Why is it that our teachers still look exactly the same as we remember them?

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