Thursday, April 30, 2009
by Boys Like Girls
Today is a winding road that's taking me to places that I didn't want to go
Whoa (whoa, whoa, whoa)
Today in the blink of an eye I'm holding on to something and I do not know why
I tried to read between the lines
I tried to look in your eyes
I want a simple explanation
For what I'm feeling inside
I gotta find a way out
Maybe there's a way out
Your voice was the soundtrack of my summer
Do you know you're unlike any other?
You'll always be my thunder, and I said
Your eyes are the brightest of all the colors
I don't wanna ever love another
You'll always be my thunder
So bring on the rain
And bring on the thunder
Today is a winding road
Tell me where to start and tell me something I don't know
Whoa (whoa, whoa, whoa)
Today I'm on my own
I can't move a muscle and I can't pick up the phone
I don't know (I don't know, I don't know, I don't know)
And now I'm itching for the tall grass
And longing for the breeze
I need to step outside
Just to see if I can breathe
I gotta find a way out
Maybe theres a way out
Your voice was the soundtrack of my summer
Do you know you're unlike any other?
You'll always be my thunder, and I said
Your eyes are the brightest of all the colors
I don't wanna ever love another
You'll always be my thunder
So bring on the rain
Yeah I'm walking on a tightrope
I'm wrapped up in vines
I think we'll make it out
But you just gotta give me time
Strike me down with lightning
Let me feel you in my veins
I wanna let you know how much I feel your pain
Today is a winding road that's taking me to places that I didn't want to go
Your voice was the soundtrack of my summer
Do you know you're unlike any other?
You'll always be my thunder, and I said
Your eyes are the brightest of all the colors
I don't wanna ever love another
You'll always be my thunder
And I said
Your voice was the soundtrack of my summer
Do you know you're unlike any other?
You'll always be my thunder
So bring on the rain
Oh baby bring on the pain
And listen to the thunder
.:Looking Back, One Year Ago...:.
I was not one of the initial Aircheckers in Batch 5 since at the time, they were still trying me out in hopes that I could be a jock. Not only did I enter the fray rather late in the game, the whole thing even got cut short without so much as a warning on that fateful August day. Still, people learn to live on and move on, and here we are today. The era indeed ended too soon.
Despite that, I can safely say that Aircheck Batch 5 has played a very important role in my life. Everyone knows how much fun we had with each other, especially at the tail end of our run in the station, where some of the Aircheckers regularly went to my 3-6AM timeslot to train on their boardwork. From handling the console to going on air, some of these kids definitely bloomed when they were there, particularly since they were drilled quite ruthlessly. I am strongly reminded, for instance, of Vanessa, whom we constantly reminded off the air whenever her diction would be a bit off-kilter and all that.
I have a lot of fond memories of Aircheck Batch 5, and I take them with me where I go. One of the few people who has managed to be both Radio 1 and Campus Aircheck, it has been a great honor to have worked with the luminaries of the radio industry, and to know that the door is still open for me to give back to the radio industry in due time. The Aircheckers should feel the same way, because I know they can still make their mark on radio if they put their minds to it.
I don’t have too many words to spare for the Aircheckers today, because I’ve been telling them a lot over the time we’ve spent with each other. For now, here’s one to Aircheck Batch 5, because I just know that gone too soon as it may have been, we’re all in this together for keeps.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Oh, yeah, baby! Vic Sotto is hosting WW2BAM for Channel 5, and that is nothing short of awesome. I personally loved Who Wants To Be A Millionaire during its first Philippine incarnation with Christopher De Leon in Channel 13, and I can’t help but be stoked about it all over again, what with the Slumdog Millionaire hoopla that is closely following behind it.
I am eagerly anticipating this show, and would definitely want to see how Vic Sotto stacks up to Christopher De Leon as a host for this franchise. I loved the show then, and I’m probably gonna love the show now, since I’m a big fan of TVJ.
.:But Wait? What About... The Weakest Link?:.
If you recall my old college creative shot, I was wearing a Weakest Link shirt there, and I was pretty proud of it. During the heyday of the show, we all loved how Edu Manzano’s witty putdowns would demean the competitors, and how he’d turn to the side when he said, “you are the weakest link – goodbye!” If WW2BAM made a comeback, shouldn’t The Weakest Link be following closely behind?
Edu Manzano was an amazing host, but I think that his schtick has run its course. We also know that the videoke master style employed by Allan K to put down contestants never went over too well with the audiences, either, so we now need a new host who can turn the show around with their remarkably different take on manning the helm for a new version of the Weakest Link.
So for your perusal, I present to you to the top 3 people I’d want to have as hosts for a new version of The Weakest Link...
3. Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson: Can you imagine these two being deliberately mean to players? No, I can’t, either. That’s why it would be awesome to have both of them there. In the middle of their tweetums-ness and the challenges they will face in trying to read the questions out correctly (Hey, it could be worse! What if it were Marian Rivera, right?), we will probably be treated to some classic putdown gems like...
- “Sino ang kulang ng Enervon kaninang umaga?”
- “Sino sa inyo ang pinangmumumog ang Pure and Fresh Feminine Wash?”
- “Sino ang hindi nagka-happy period?”
- And of course, ”Sino ang naghanap ng Big Mac sa Jollibee?”
It’s corporate tie-up Nirvana! Not only will Kimerald be challenged immensely in being mean as they declare who the weakest link of each round would be, they will also shamelessly shill like crazy during the show, to the delight of the sponsors. It’s a win-win situation for everyone (Except perhaps for the audience and the contestants.)! Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson as your hosts for The Weakest Link will drive the ratings through the roof, what with the inexplicable following their loveteam has, when it should be the Jakerald tandem we should be looking out for.
2. Mon Tulfo: You want someone even meaner than Edu Manzano and Anne Robinson, the classic host from the British version of the show? Well, Mon Tulfo is your man! With his vocabulary of four-letter words, we’d all have a field day appreciating his witty putdowns at the expense of the contestants, such as...
- “Sino ang bobo?”
- “Sino ang tanga?”
- “Sino ang pulis?”
- And of course, “You are the weakest link - GAGO!”
Mon Tulfo will bring a refreshing kind of wit and brutality to the show. His very candid, honest, and decidedly un-sugarcoated comments will be nothing short of marvellous. To be honest, it’s very hard to think of any particular person in the Philippines, living or dead, who can beat Mon Tulfo at this kind of eloquence and refinement, except perhaps one person, who is undeniably the best possible host the new version of The Weakest Link could ever hope for...
1. Miriam Defensor-Santiago: Was there any doubt about this? The good Senator has all the tools she needs to not only know the answers to any potential question the writers of the show can come up with (Thus eliminating the need for an answer key, and saving on space, thus requiring less paper for question sheets.), she can probably even come up with her own questions (Thus eliminating the need for writers completely.), and nobody would ever get a question right (Thus saving on prize money.). Miriam is a production outfit’s dream: she will save them money via removing the need for scripts, writers, and prizes. Furthermore, she will draw the ratings in because nobody would ever want to miss Senator Defensor-Santiago’s peerless arsenal of putdowns. The kind of putdowns Miriam could dish out can only be described in the vernacular: durog ang pagkatao ng contestant!
-“Which one of you did not graduate from an Ivy League University, and is thus, forever fated to live in a life of servitude to some foreign master in some transnational company who would never even remember their name the minute they die?”
-“Which one of you does not possess an IQ of 200, and thus cannot process even the simplest of questions on quantum physics with so much as a pretense of competence?”
-“Which one of you is impeding my progress in the International Court of Justice?”
- And ultimately, “You are an insignificant insect. You are a troglodyte who cannot even begin to comprehend that you are given this thing we all refer to as a brain. You stood behind the door when God handed out intelligence. You never amounted to anything before getting on this show, and you never will. You are made of phail. You are the weakest link – Get out!”
If anyone ever wants to produce a new version of The Weakest Link, here’s hoping you take these candidates under consideration to host this surefire awesome revival.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
A poster of their Spicy Fingers show...
I had a great time last Thursday night at Mag:Net Cafe Bonifacio High Street, just chilling and enjoying top-notch comedy from the Comedy Cartel yet again. If you’re wondering if I’m getting tired of hearing the same jokes again and again, well, you have to understand that I don’t hear the same jokes again and again. These guys constantly hone their craft, get better and better at delivering jokes, and often even come up with an entirely new and different routine each and every time.
While I was there and talking to the relatively new additions to the Cartel, Noel and Richie, one of the guests who were watching the Comedy Cartel for the first time engaged me in conversation about magic and comedy. I enjoyed the conversation, as I really am a huge fan of stand-up comedy in general, and these guys are, in my humble opinion, the best line-up in the country, hands down. I’ve seen a lot of comedians, but the winning combination you can get from the Cartel is just unbeatable.
With a lineup including Tim Tayag, Mike Unson, Alex Calleja, and Stanley Chi, any given Comedy Cartel performance is definitely a keeper. The crowd was definitely pumped for the performances, what with some people from Maxim, and even several bloggers in the audience.
Last Monday, I was also at their Spicy Fingers show, and I ended up with a front row seat with Stanley’s friend, Andre, and this meant that I ended up becoming picked on by some of the comedians who already knew me. From being told to put my food in the blender if I’m having a hard time eating, to relating a wee bit too much to the statement, “Ang babae, naiihi sa sobrang kilig; ang lalake, kinikilig sa sobrang ihi...” it was quite an amusing night for me, to say the least.
I mean, I’ve already seen Alex Calleja several times, but the minute he directly referred to me and cracked jokes at my expense, I was starstruck. He even asked me a few questions in the middle of his routine (“Kung sumweldo ang lalake ng 15,000 tapos hindi niya ginastos, magkano ang natipid niya?”), and afterwards, said:
“Ibalik nga ang 150 nito! Ang galing, eh. Kabatuhan ko na, mukhang nakikinig talaga sa show ko!”
After the show, the Cartel's manager, an awesome guy named Patrick, thanked me for being at the show again, and joked that considering how often I go to Cartel shows, he's making me an "Honorary Member" of the Comedy Cartel. I found the gesture very touching, because it only goes to show that the Cartel is very appreciative of people who support them. As a professional performer like them albeit in a different field, that mutual respect for each other's craft is something I treasure and appreciate. Note that this simply meant I was on their guestlist, but no, this does not translate into me becoming a part of the Cartel lineup anytime soon. =P Let's make that clear. Hehe.
In any case, I’ve been encouraged by a lot of people to try out open mic nights just for fun, so I’ll give it a shot. I don’t have any plans of being a profesisonal standup comedian (I have my work really cut out for me.), but there’s no harm in having fun and developing my skills at delivery and timing, which can only further enhance my persona as a mental magician comedian. I have nothing but respect for standup comedians and what they do, and will never underestimate the sheer difficulty of being able to go up there and be funny on cue.
If you wanna see the Cartel, they’re performing around 8PM or so, this May 11, at Spicy Fingers in Greenbelt 2. That’s near Italianni’s, so you can’t miss it. They’ll also be performing this coming May 16 at Conspiracy Bar. For more information, feel free to check out E Circle Entertainment’s website for details. There are few better sources for alternative entertainment that come to mind other than Stand-up Comedy... or Professional Magic and Mentalism. ;)
Last Wednesday, Awesome Philippines, the latest tourism campaign collaboration by Department of Tourism and MTV, was launched in M Cafe at Greenbelt 4. This collaborative effort attempts to bring the wonders of the Philippines to the rest of the Asia-Pacific region, and it’s nothing short of awesome, hence the name.
We met Tourism Secretary Ace Durano yet again, and of course, the great people from the company, including Yvonne from MTV Asia, among other awesome people.
Can we expect good things coming from the Department Of Tourism this year? Oh, indeed. You can bet on it.
I don’t really need to talk about the event itself much, because I’d rather talk about the campaign itself. As a guy who has been in this country all his life, I can say without batting an eyelash that there is no reason to leave out the Philippines from your choice of destinations when you go abroad. Whether you want to be an eco-tourist and find the amazing sights and sounds of the country, or if you want an experience of the gritty but endearing big city in Manila, or the quiet but likewise progressive cities in Davao or Cebu, the Philippines is a country worth visiting.
Terrorism? Pshaw. Unless you plan to go to Basilan, I frankly don’t see why you should worry about that. The Philippine is a country generally very welcoming of people from all walks of life who decide to come over here. You don’t have to worry that you’d be treated adversely, since people in general won’t take advantage of naivete here, or will ensure that you won’t be taken advantage of, once you get to know some people here. It’s no different from any other country in that respect.
The Philippines has over 7,100 islands, and is an archipelago of wonder. Visit The Awesome Philippines Homepage to find out more.
Friday night was Banchetto night yet again, but I was walking around like a complete idiot.
You might not get why, so I think this bears an explanation.
You see, earlier that day, I was at work with a pair of Reeboks that seemed ready to give out. My soles were beginning to smile from the heels, but I took it all in stride since hey, smiling shoes aren’t especially out of this world, and is perfectly normal for people.
What I didn’t count on was that the problem would intensify and get to a point where the talking soles started to laugh out loud...
”Mwahahahahaha,” my shoe said.
My sole was hanging by a thread, and it was going to be terribly difficult for me to walk around for the entire day. I tried using double-sided tape, but it was hardly effective, and after a while, it just stopped being able to support my shoe altogether, and the sole just plain fell off.
So there I was, soleless on one foot, and completely worried about how to get to Banchetto. My co-workers were kind enough to deliver my lunch to me, but I wasn’t going to get that lucky at Banchetto since I definitely needed to walk around the place. By the time I got to the Strata area, I went right away to Mini Stop to buy myself some tape and I used it in liberal amounts to hold my shoe together, making an unbelievably ridiculous fashion statement. This was made even sillier by the fact that I didn’t have enough tape for a Mentos moment to tape my other shoe the same way.
In short, I had a mismatched pair: one had wacky tape all over it, the other was pretty much untouched by these shenanigans.
Not quite a Mentos moment...
When I dropped by RX, I ran into Danielle and Tom Alvarez, and a lot of fun was poked at my very weird pair of shoes. Given how things were, I figured that when I met up with the other Plurkers for our Banchetto night, I was going to be treated to more of the same, and boy, I wasn’t wrong on that count, as for the entire night, the Plurkers were asking me to tape up my other shoe just so they’d look the same. As usual, conservations that were rather unbloggable were had by the whole group, so that was a load of fun, too.
Anyways, there was a lot of food to be had. Awesome steak at 100 bucks a pop, awesome lechon at 60 bucks per serving, and of course, the monster burgers. Maybe this is the start of a weekly habit, but if not, I’d still find myself dropping by Banchetto every now and then. It’s really a treat, and you’d be remiss to not ever try it out at one point or another.
Ahh, yes. It was definitely food for the sole that night.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
With only myself and Tabel yesterday, the purported Batch 5 Reunion for Campus Aircheck was an epic fail.
Nonetheless, I asked my Bessie-Moo, Estelle, to drop in on us since we wanted to Lazer Tag and we wanted to have a hustler with us. Estelle is one of the best players of the game, bar none, so it was great to have her on our team, as she was pretty much the only player to score 20,000++ points, while everyone else was scoring 8000 or less points. I came in fifth, actually.
Anyways, it was a quiet Saturday for us, and the three of us just bonded and got to know each other better, especially since this was the first time Estelle ran into Tabel. We had dinner at Sbarro's, then proceeded on our own merry ways, where we resolved to bring some people over to watch the Comedy Cartel on Monday. Lol.
... for once, I can say that about one of my weekly meetings with my friends and colleagues from The Story Circle. The less said about PUA/Naturals, the better.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Ang Tunay Na Lalake is one of the most hilarious blogs I've ever come across. Do drop in for a few laughs, kasi, ang tunay na lalake, nagbabasa ng tunaynalalake.blogspot.com.
P.S. Agree ako sa lahat, pwera na lang sa sinabi nila tungkol kay Rick Astley.
Gawin mo nang di tunay na lalake ang buong mundo, PWERA LANG SI RICK ASTLEY. Mag-aaway tayo.
Friday, April 24, 2009
I wanted to write another satire like this one, but I don't want my point to be lost in flaring tempers and people's inability to discern the hidden messages ever-present in satire. This might be the only time I'd even attempt to address the issue on this blog, so bear with me.
.:Spider-Man Is My Hero:.
The story of Spider-Man is probably not alien to the average person by now. Bitten by a radioactive spider, Peter Parker gained the proportionate strength and agility of a spider. Initially deciding that this was his ticket to fame and fortune, he decided to ignore a thief whom he allowed to slip past him, and this led to the burglar eventually coming across and killing his uncle Ben Parker, who was the closest thing he had to a father.
It was at this point that he discovered that with great power comes great responsibility.
.:We Find Ourselves At A Prime Point...:.
About a mere two to three years ago, it was unthinkable that bloggers would find themselves newsworthy this often, but here we are now, and practically anything we bloggers get annoyed about get picked up by the local news now.
Whether it's about the cat killer, or Nasser Pangandaman, or Boyet Fajardo or Chip Tsao, bloggers have been given more and more time in mainstream media not merely as "feature stories" of old, but even as, to an extent, opinion leaders.
More than ever, people recognize the power of blogging. Corporations no longer merely shrug off abusing a blogger's rights if, for example, they stole their pictures, or if they treated bloggers unfairly at an event or the like. In our quest to have commensurate respect as human beings and as practitioners of new media, we have unfortunately picked up some of the nastier habits of the mainstream. There is no denigration intended here, because we are all in the same boat: there will always be bad eggs in any community, and blogging is no exception.
Clearly, people have been reacting adversely to this development. Some feel angered by people who exploit the system. Those on the other side of the fence feel slighted, discriminated against, or looked down upon. Some sectors from both sides demand education in lieu of criticism. Suddenly, the burden of responsibility has been placed squarely on everyone else, despite the great power bestowed upon the blogging community as a whole to reach out, to effect change, and to influence opinions.
Why are only a select few suddenly responsible, yet everyone wields the power?
At this point, we can also safely say that with great power naturally must come great responsibility
.:A Different Medium Does Not Exempt You From The General Norms Of Society!:.
Has this power bloggers have recently found gotten to our heads already? Has our concept of right and wrong suddenly become completely shot that we now find it excusable to act reprehensibly online or even offline, all under the guise of "blogger power"?
You don't need to be an ethicist to know that with great power comes great responsibility. As bloggers progressively become more and more influential in the general public, more eyes will be looking at how we conduct ourselves. Yes, we must admit that, given the nature of the internet, we cannot expect to enforce any ethical standards upon the blogosphere, and it’s fairly understandable that this concession needs to be made.
However, this does not absolve people who abuse their privileges as bloggers. There is no “blogger police” that is being established to safeguard the reputations of bloggers. All that exists is a simple check and balance: if you step out of line, people will notice. It doesn’t matter if you’re an old blogger or a new blogger. It doesn’t matter if you’re a paid blogger or a “blogging for fun” blogger. No matter how esteemed you are in the blogging world, nobody should be beyond following the basic tenets of decency and respectable behaviour. To say that no standard exists or cannot be set is absurd, because in the offline world, we know when someone is stepping out of line, and we are quick to castigate them. As people who value the freedom of the internet, bloggers in general would rather live and let live, until how other people live their lives directly affects them..
That is why people have spoken up against bloggers who have abused the newfound power of the online community. That is why calls for temperance and moderation in bringing out the pitchforks against the smallest gripe, whining against any minor inconvenience in hopes of fomenting a virtual lynch mob have been made. There is no desire to police or monitor anyone simply because people would infinitely prefer that bloggers are aware of lines that shouldn’t be crossed, but some are unbelievably oblivious to these lines.
There is no need for a blogger police that would impose standards and values on the Philippine blogosphere. The current checks and balances in place should be sufficient if enough opportunities for dialogue and better understanding are taken. If anyone wishes to complain against other people voicing out their opinions while at the same time exercising theirs, then they are clearly being hypocrites.
Most bloggers should be old enough to know the basics of what is right or wrong. If there is a clamor for “education” in lieu of criticism, then perhaps there should also be a willingness to learn, to stow away the onion-skinnedness (If I may coin such a word.) and listen to what is being said in the criticisms. It’s easy to get butthurt about being called out for ill behaviour, but hey, maybe if one didn’t behave in a reprehensible manner, then perhaps they would never have needed to be called out for it, right? Weren’t the lessons on good manners and right conduct enough? Is the concept of “delicadeza” lost upon us now? How many of us got spanked or scolded by our parents for stepping out of line? Do we throw away our regard for propriety and proper decorum just because we’re not in school or at work? What does that make us, then? Savages by default, who merely pretend to be decent human beings when the need arises? Sana naman, hindi.
Bloggers are more powerful than they were a mere three years ago. Perhaps that is why some people have gotten smug about their ability to criticize anyone they see fit. But then, if there’s one thing I learned from the Dela Paz/Pangandaman hoopla, it’s that people who denigrate other people even via their blogs are perfectly fair game for libel lawsuits. This is not “just” a blog. This is a blog. And just like any other mode of printed expression, be it a magazine, a newspaper, or a website, the writer of a blog is deemed responsible for whatever they have written. How many of us have been abusing the written word over the slightest issue lately? I mean, hey, I don’t like what the cat killer kid did either, but do we have to say that driving him to suicide would be a good course of action? Do we have to call for people to kill him, too? Since when did two wrongs make a right?
If you don’t wish basic standards of decency and propriety to be expected from you, please find a community that has no regard for basic standards of decency and propriety. It’s awkward to not want to impose standards yet have other’s standards inadvertently imposed upon you because the way bloggers behave reflect upon the community as a whole. Thus, if one were to act in an ill-advised manner, it is a poor reflection upon the community.
It’s not like the world expects saints and perfect human beings, anyways. I think it’s just fair that the world expects people who wish to act in a certain way to take responsibility for the way they act. It’s time to stop blaming others for how we behave, and it’s time we learned that with great power comes great responsibility. What we write, what we do in functions for bloggers, and how we conduct ourselves both online and offline while we wave around the label of “blogger” as some sort of badge will inevitably affect how the general public perceives the Philippine blogosphere.
If I have offended anyone by what I write today, then I humbly accept responsibility for it. However, if one took offense to these words, perhaps one should also be responsible enough to understand that this is a subconscious acceptance that these words apply to them? Perhaps these words, as harsh or denigrating as they may come off, should be a call to action to raise one’s self to not even a higher standard, but merely a basic standard?
Before you bring out the pitchforks, please. Think about it. Your freedom to act any way you wish ends when your responsibility to the sensibilities of other people in your community, as well as to the well-being of the community you claim affiliation with, begins.
.:Take It From Spider-Man...:.
While Spider-Man’s motivation was the death of a parent figure, Uncle Ben, his motivation is not the same as Batman’s. When Batman was born upon the death of Thomas and Martha Wayne, it was an oath of vengeance against criminals. An oath to not allow what happened to him to happen to anyone else under his watch.
Spider-Man was different. It wasn’t a desire to police other people the way some interpretations of Batman’s quest for justice and vengeance have been. It was a desire to take the power he had and use it responsibly. With the kind of power Spider-Man had, using it merely to achieve fame and fortune became unthinkable to him. There’s nothing wrong with fame and fortune. But if it gets in the way of using his power responsibly, then it had to take a backseat.
We all have the proportional strength and agility of a blogger. This is great power in our hands, and it doesn’t take a genius or an irradiated spider for us to understand how to, or at least that we ought to, use this power responsibly.
And that, my friends, is true.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Yours truly found the rare opportunity to be interviewed by Mr. Carlo Ople on his blog regarding how I managed to pay my bills for a whole year through magic. I made use of the online tools available to me, from a blog to a social networking site, and everything in between.
As most people know, a lot of the inquiries I get about my services come from online. They see my magic videos or find me via Google, and it has really snowballed for me. A lot of my shows were booked via Magikel, and it has certainly been quite an experience for me, relying solely on my gigs for income since I had to do my thesis, which prevented me from taking a full-time job for that entire year.
I know I have a long way to go, but it's a good start, and it gives my colleagues the opportunity to market themselves even further via blogging or social networking. I would never begrudge a fellow magician their chance to earn more via shows, if it means raising the image of magic as an art form as a whole, so more power to the magicians, hosts, and mentalists who would find more success in going online.
Nonetheless, given the many ideas I have for my upcoming show this October 23 in PETA Theater with Jay Mata, Ony Carcamo, and a few other surprise guests (for now), you can be sure that there's a lot to look forward to from this particular performer.
See you guys around, and much thanks to Carlo for featuring me. These are but baby steps in the journey of magicians to make their mark in the online world in ways most people can only dream of for now.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
If they are free to blog and write the way they wish, then I believe I should be free to wonder about them in this manner as well.
A few weeks after the Bebigerls issue has somewhat died down, I've decided to mull things over and talk about it, now that hopefully, nobody would care that I talk about them.
For the sake of disclosure, I am an intellectual elitist, and I am unapologetic for it. I communicate my thoughts as clearly as I could, and if for some reason, I cannot express myself in English, hindi ako mag-aatubiling Tagalugin na lang ang gusto kong sabihin.
Initially, when I saw the site, and its declarations of "straightforwardness to the point of rudiness", I must admit that the grammar Nazi in me laughed and cried at the same time. It's the way I am. I find horrible grammar and spelling (In both languages.) funny and depressing at the same time. As a former English teacher, I couldn't help but facepalm, to be honest. I understand how horrible this may come off to people reading this right now, but I was brought up to respect language. If you intend to speak a language or write in a language, my implicit expectation is that you do it competently, at the very least.
So yeah, we had our lulz, and we chuckled at their poor grasp of English and even their poor grasp of the Filipino language, but a deeper trend that I noticed in them compelled me to write this post, and that's what I'd rather talk about, because as they said, "our English sucks, but the hell we care!" It doesn't really mean anything to them, and insulting them further will make me lose the point I wanted to bring up here...
.:A Trend That Bears Watching:.
In the 80's, moral guardians were upset with a lot of things in the local film industry. Sure, we had the requisite "ST" (Sex Trip) films that alarmed moral guardians, but for once, they were also disturbed by the action films that were being offered by the major movie producers. With films like "Baby Ama", "Alyas Pogi", "Bad Boy", and so forth, it seemed to be the case that these action films were glorifying the lives of criminals. Some of these so-called biopics were really just excuses for a shoot 'em up, but what moral guardians found alarming was the "bida" of a lot of 80's action films was not a hero at all, but in fact, an anti-hero. Ironically, this is one time where we were way ahead of the curve, as it took the 90's for America to realize how "cool" anti-heroes are.
Anyways, I digress. In the 80's, films about the life stories of certain criminals became the norm, and they were lionized in the eyes of the public. It communicated the wrong values to viewers, especially if somehow, an impressionable kid got to watch the film (Most of these films were PG-15, if I'm not mistaken.). The reasoning was apparent: these movies made it cool to be a criminal. As long as you have a heart, as long as deep down, you're a good person, your crimes don't matter.
But wasn't it Batman who said, "It's not who you are inside, but what you do that defines you?"
I am not a moral guardian. Despite being an ethicist, I do not seek to impose my standards upon others if they are not within my circle of influence. In fact, for the most part, as long as they do not impose their own behavior upon me, even within my own circle, I tend to live and let live.
I do not subscribe to the Jack Thompsonesque way of thinking: blaming anything but a person for their own actions, using media, video games, or any other factors. Responsibility cannot be ignored, and these outside factors don't necessarily affect people all the time.
But that they are capable of affecting certain people given certain circumstances cannot be denied. It is not my intention to rail against these factors, but it is my intention to analyze how this has led to a way of thinking that I found alarming when I read the Bebigerls blog. It is a way of thinking that is alarmingly becoming more commonplace, when you look at it.
Like the criminal biopics in the 80's, people now find that it's cool to be a "bitch", or to be a "slut", or to be any other derogatory term they label to themselves. I'm not immune to this. I, for example, take pride in being a "jack@$$" sometimes, particularly when I find myself embroiled in an argument. I'd like to think that it's not my defining trait, though. I can be a jack@$$ at times, but I'm known more for telling it like it is, and if that entails being a jack@$$, then so be it.
So I hope you understand my consternation when I see people calling themselves "sluts' and being proud of it. I don't intend to change them. I just think there are better things to aspire for than to be known as a "slut" or a "bitch" or a "prick", for that matter.
I won't pass judgment on the quality of people the Bebigerls are. For all I know, they might be great human beings deep inside. But it is what they do that defines them, not who they are deep inside, and if their tag cloud is any indication, then there is a disturbing emphasis on "kalandian". They are defined online as a bunch of people who want to be known as "Devil Bloggers". It boggles the mind.
I don't get it. Since when have people found these things worthy of aspiring for? How is this becoming a goal in and by itself instead of a mere side effect of a quirk of your personality? Even the 80's films took the pains to emphasize that even the most hardened criminal wants nothing but to have a simple life and to be loved by someone, as incredulous as that may seem. Fame is a shallow but understandable goal. Fortune is a perfectly understandable goal. But this? Why?
I try to understand where this kind of thinking comes from. I try to contemplate how a human person's function of excellence could possibly be by being a "bitch" or a "prick". Aristotle didn't call it a higher value that the human person aspires to, but merely the fulfillment of his function. To excel, to flourish, to be eudaimon, is a goal that may take many different forms, but is ultimately a worthwhile course of action. Attaching labels like these to yourself and making it your defining characteristic is far from it.
Was this a product of upbringing? Was this a product of an internet culture that finds fans for even the least laudable causes? I'm not a sociologist who can look at the bigger picture and see what factors could possibly lead to this kind of a net culture. Do they recognize this about themselves? Or is self-awareness too much to ask for?
I am not here to tell the Bebigerls that they're wrong, or that their English sucks. Been there, done that, and doesn't help them one bit. What I am doing here is trying to understand how our culture has gotten to the point where such shallowness and triviality has become pursuits for people to aspire for. To me, this is ultimately a pursuit for understanding.
Your life, your rules. It's easy to say that there's more to you than this, but when this is all you show for public consumption, does it not make sense to feel a tad concerned?
What do you think? Is this really a trend? Or just an isolated case?
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
.:Acceptance: The Unsent Series, Volume 2, Part VII...:.
It's been the longest winter without you, but I thank you for still being there for me, proving me wrong. You do care about me. You care about me a lot.
I'm grateful you understand now why I say you never loved me. You were infatuated with an idea of what I could be. But who I am right now is simply not good enough for you. Don't think that's your fault in any way. It's my shortcoming, and I have no right to force you to lower your standards just to stay with me. I have a lot to change about myself, but I also recognize that being a better person does not guarantee you'll come back to me. This time, I have to do this for myself, not for anyone else.
It's hard seeing myself with anyone else right now. You keep on saying that I should open my doors and just go out there and find someone to replace you, but what you don't understand is that there's no replacing you. It's not fair to you, it's not fair to anyone who would come after you (If there's ever anyone who would come after you.). I've given so much of myself to you that it's hard rebuilding myself when everything fell apart.
Thanks for being my best friend, even up to now. It feels weird, and it stings sometimes, knowing you're the cause and the cure, but I appreciate that you're still here for me. The least I can do is not push you away when you're reaching out to me like this.
I thought I couldn't live without you. And to an extent, having you in my life still reflects that reality. The pain is still there, but the anger isn't. I can't force you to love me. I can only hope you would.
It's going to hurt when it heals, too. I'm not superhuman. I feel pain, and while I've done everything I could to keep myself from showing to the world how hurt I have been, I couldn't help it. I need to grieve. I need to realize that loving with my whole heart is not enough on its own. Love is a two-way street.
Today would've marked our second anniversary, but instead, I spend it alone. I feel the unbelievable weight of loneliness, but even then, I know and believe... it'll all get better in time.
Thank you for everything. You made me stronger by breaking my heart. With no regret or hatred in my heart, I thank you for that. I hope that even for a while, thinking about how this day might have been for us would make you smile, knowing that we can never really say never in life and love.
For now, let me tell you one more time... My Beloved, I love you so, very, very much. You know that.
In the interest of "Obamania", I'm drooling at the prospect of owning a Blackberry phone and being able to use it with full support from my cellular network. Given the sheer attention given to The U.S. President's Blackberry, is it any wonder that the average, uneducated Luddite such as myself would be more than mildly curious why one of the most powerful leaders of the world would actually want to practically fight for the right to keep their favorite piece of technology.
That being said, I was genuinely surprised to hear from a friend that Globe is leading the charge in this movement of sorts, what with their upcoming Blackberry Plans for their Blackberry and Blackberry Connect handsets. It's not just a phone, it's practically a gateway to mobile internet via cellphone, something that, for ages, many netizens have been clamoring for. Well, it's here, and it looks pretty promising.
As a guy who's only getting the hang of mobile internet, I'm pretty glad that many new options are popping up to make life easier for me. Admittedly, I'm not a technocrat, but they've been making it easier and easier for Luddites such as myself to actually get into these new trends in technology.
Now, I wonder if there's a way to upgrade my (classic) plan Advantage to score one of these babies? Sounds like a plan to me. :D
Monday, April 20, 2009
This Saturday, April 25, we're going to have the Aircheck Batch 5 Reunion at Market!Market!, 3PM.
So far, the people who have confirmed are...
1. Yours truly
Who else is confirming from Aircheck? Please let me know! Thanks!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Anyways, lemme get some of the unimportant stuff out of the way...
The Cat Killer: He needs help, not ridicule.
Ted Failon: Innocent until proven guilty, gais. Tell that to the cops, too.
.:Wednesday, 15 April, 2009:.
I ended up hanging out with Jen and Eloisa while watching the Bloomfields. Not much there, since we kinda thought this was going to be their last show there for a while. Imagine our surprise when it turned out that wasn't the case. Arbet hath fooled us. Boooo!!!
.:Thursday, 16 April, 2009:.
Was I going to check out Silly People's Improv Theater, or go to Route 196 instead to catch Chillitees, The Ronnies, Sugarfree, Itchyworms, Radioactive Sago Project, and the Bagetsafoniks? Well, it wasn't an easy decision, but being able to hang out with one of my closest online buddies, Ms. Sarah Cada, was the hand that tipped the scales.
So I went, and had the time of my life, to say the least. The bands were all awesome, each one giving us something to really get excited about, from the oldies but goodies courtesy of the Ronnies, to the insanely hot performance by the Chillitees, to "Mariposa" from Sugarfree, a superb live performance of "Freak Out Baby" by Itchyworms, the unparalleled sounds of Radioactive Sago Project, and the sheer energy of Bagetsafoniks, it was quite an entertaining night, to say the least.
So I had a celebrity picture phail that night, though, because I approached this guy and asked for his picture, thinking he was Lourd, the leadsinger for Radioactive Sago Project...
At least, he was nice enough to have a pic with me...
It must've been pretty dark though, because that was not sir Lourd. The minute I saw him perform during "Freak Out Baby", I realized my hilarious mistake. Sarah was laughing her head off at me, and I was thinking how nice that guy must've been if he posed for a picture and he wasn't even a celebrity or something.
Thankfully, for the more knowledgeable among us, that guy was sir Lourd's brother, and he was the bassist of the band, so it was all good.
Now, after Radioactive Sago Project performed, though, I mustered up the courage to approach sir Lourd, but luck was on my side because he was with Mr. Jugs Jugueta of the Itchyworms. I asked them for a picture, and I was surprised when Jugs told me he would do it if I bent the fork.
I had to stop for a while there because I had no idea how he knew that I do that stuff.
Turns out, his girlfriend, Andy, was my co-host during the Oktoberfest Bloggers' Party at Mall of Asia last year, and she saw me perform. This only occurred to me after they already left, but whaddaheck, I performed anyways, and sir Lourd's reactions were priceless. He was almost freaking out!
After I performed, they obliged me with a picture, but it was clear they wanted to know how I did it...
Halp! My idols are threatening me with bodily harm!
After Bagetsafonik's set, I left for home, and was more than pleased with how I spent my money that night. I even got to talk to one of the members of Project 2, and he's interested in performing for "Bound And Gagged" this October... hee!
.:Friday, 17 April, 2009:.
As a way to end the week for us, I ended up watching T2 with my co-workers from Nuffnang this night. I won't review it anymore, but it was scary enough and I don't regret watching it. It was also a great opportunity to bond with my co-workers. They were awesome people.
After they had late dinner at Gerry's Grill near Banchetto (I only had bottomless sago-gulaman.), I ended up hanging out with blogger/plurker friends at Banchetto where we talked about people who should come out of the closet, the Bebigerls, the Ted Failon issue, some fail tidbits in blogging and otherwise, and a ton of other stuff.
Speaking of fail, lookie here... the PGB has been mentioned. But I digress.
It was great meeting these people, to be honest. There was great food (Ate a pound worth of burgers.), great company, and it was just so funny talking about how Helga is jousting with this plurker named Eric(a), who thinks calling someone "no longer virgin" counts an insult. Lol. Weird.
Days like these, I long for the 2006 era where blogging events were few and far in between, and everyone who went had something worthwhile to say about an event... sigh.
.:Saturday, 18 April, 2009:.
I had quite an interesting gig last Saturday in Marquinton, as I performed two very awesome sets that resulted in quite a lot of good reactions from the audiences who were thrilled to no end with the stuff we pulled off. I did magic, I did comedy, I did mentalism, and I was very happy that I really had a crowd that appreciated my stuff.
After that, I headed off to Conspiracy Bar to watch Stanley Chi, Mike Unson, and the rest of the Comedy Cartel for a night of awesome comedy from the best luminaries in point of view observational style comedy. Stanley's new jokes referencing his recent life experiences were really awesome, and Mike just went off for over an hour with his best material, simply flooring all of us with his sheer genius and comedy. Some new guys, Richie and Ryan, namely, were also amazing revelations. I'm extremely glad to have run into them, and to even share a few conversations after their performances for the night. It was definitely an enlightening experience.
I'm proud to be friends with the people of Comedy Cartel. Stanley Chi's come a long way, in particular. He's definitely kept at it and improved his craft at an impressive and consistent rate.
And by the way, they're going to be performing again this Thursday at Mag:Net Cafe Bonifacio High Street. That should be a load of fun. Maybe you guys should drop by. :)
.:Sunday, 19 April, 2009:.
It was a family day, since my mom is home from Thailand for until tomorrow. Awesome times!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
My Walkman phone’s playing the pretty much forgotten fad “Crank Dat” from Souljaboy, and it’s been a pretty slow day for me so far, as I try to acclimate myself in this new working environment I find myself in. This is pretty enjoyable, to say the least, given how excited I am to be here, and how my work does seem cut out for me at this juncture.
It’s all about doing what I can to earn my keep here. I know I’ve a lot to prove, what with this industry being one that I’m entirely new to. I’ve never been in genuine sales before, so doing this stuff will certainly be an adventure for me, and I certainly hope I’m ready for the challenge.
Given the past two days I've had here in the office, I can tell it's going to be rather exciting working here...
.:Fields In Bloom:.
Meeting Arbet, Karen, and Jenny last Holy Wednesday proved to be a very entertaining experience, considering how awesome the Bloomfields were during their performance in Eastwood.
Anyways, seeing Jenny this Wednesday was also amusing, although on top of that, I also met Eloisa for the very first time. The conversations we had were fairly entertaining, to say the least, and teasing Jenny over JJ has been nothing but amusing, although teasing her with Arbet has been equally amusing.
Amid all our craziness and our speculations involving anything and everything, I realize how great it is to be spending time with my blogger friends. I remember last Good Friday, I was actually with MLQ, Marocharim, Jenny, Arbet, Sparks, and a few other people, and we watched a couple of movies at that, "Shadow Of The Vampire" and "Taken".
And given the fun I have being int he company of friends, given my new job, given the whole lynch mob/groupthink thing going on, the armchair analysts, the online Boyet Fajardos, and quite bluntly, given the... enemies I've made recently, I guess that explains why I find myself sitting out majority of future blog events indefinitely.
I got into blogging and attended events for fun. When a conflux of circumstances make an environment I jumped into for fun become patently unfun, I guess I have to step away from it for a while. Not that this should be a big deal to anyone, by the way, because it's really not.
Just a thought, really.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I hope this is the last time I'd ever have to talk about you again like this. I know this might be harsh. I know this might be very bitter. I'm sorry. But it's been eating me up inside for months already, and I don't have anyone to run to. Because you were the only person I ran to whenever I felt down, or scared, or hurt. You were the only person I trusted this much. You were the only person who owned my heart this way.
I guess that's also why you're the only person who can break my heart this way.
For now, I hope this song captures precisely how I feel.
.:I Wish You Could Hear This Song Right Now: Lyrically Speaking Scribbles, Part XIV...:.
Want You To Cry, Too
I, I never asked you why
You never even cried
When you said you don't love me anymore...
You take it so casually. And that's what kills me. It's not that I want you to suffer, or I want you to be unhappy. I just wanted this, all of this, to have truly meant something to you. But I suppose that's too much to ask of you now, isn't it? We've done this dance so many times already, that it never seemed like it would truly end. But now, it has ended.
It just seemed to be unfair
It never seemed so right
That up to now I've never seen you cry...
You wonder why I don't believe you ever loved me. I guess this is the reason why I don't. Looking at you, living your life so happily, admitting that I'm the furthest thing from your mind, I couldn't help but feel wretched. In the end, what can I do? It is what it is, and I can't force you to feel something you simply don't feel.
I want you to cry, too
I want you to see it from my side
That you took away my very hope,
The happiness and pride
I don't want to end up realizing that it was just me, all over again. I don't want to feel that everything I've done and worked for is nothing but a farce, a cruel joke and a waste of time. I'm tired of giving my all, and realizing that I'm not the one you wanted. What you wanted was someone I could only possibly be, but in reality, was someone I never truly was.
I want you to cry, too
Put yourself in my place
Instead of telling me
That this is the best way...
It's best for you. Not for me. That's why I am letting you go. Because that would be best for you. Please don't think that telling me it's good for us would make me feel any better because I know that's only half-true.
I stopped wishing long ago
That you would just come back
'Cause you never even looked from my eyes
I know you're happy now, knowing you're rid of me. Congratulations. Now pardon me if I'm going to be exceedingly bitter about it. Because I'm not going to pretend that I'm all right. I'm not.
And I stopped dreaming with my heart
You took away that part
Without even a tearful goodbye
I hoped on empty. I wanted to fool myself into believing you cared enough, but if you truly did, then you would've fought for this. Maybe it's because you don't care enough, or I'm simply not worth it. Does it really matter what the reason is when in the end, I'd still be all alone? I think not.
I want you to cry, too
And find the reason why I don't want to love anymore
And find the answer to why I'll never open my doors again
I don't know how I let myself be so blinded again. I keep on repeating the same mistakes, and I never seem to learn. I promised to myself back then that if I'd ever love again, I'd leave something for myself this time. But then, I had to prove to you how much you mean to me. There was no way I could do that and have you, apparently. I gave my best, but I guess my best wasn't good enough.
I want you to cry, too
I want you to cry, too
Can't you understand
I want you to cry, too...
Then again, who am I to force you to feel anything for something that never truly meant a thing to you. You've left me so many times already that I've already lost count.
I hate that I love you, despite everything that's happened.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
It was annoying because the line was so long the cut-off was made earlier than anticipated. I don't know when I'll get around to it, but... feh.
Nonetheless, I'm very stoked about going back to work after almost a year of being a "bum" thanks to my thesis. Took the time to hang out with some people from Team Massacre, namely Andres and Tong, and even treated 'em to Mang Jimmy's. The bad news was there was no Tapa Mix or Lechon Kawali that evening. Boooo!!!
So when I went home, I ran into Dr. Kaelin who was having dinner with Dr. Ibana. Dr. Kaelin's one of my favorite teachers from the Philosophy Department, not to mention the fact that he's gonna be in town for only a month, really. It was great running into him, making my last day of bumhood a very exciting one. Not only did I hang out with some magician friends and talk about a lot of things, including the ruthless ribs I throw one of the "top mentalists in the country", but I even ran into one of my favorite teachers of all time.
Given the fact that Mrs. Cardenas has said her goodbyes to the Ateneo, I feel that in some way, the things I've gone through as a hopeful of employee of the University have left me a bit... smarting, but nonetheless, optimistic. I have faith in my ability to adapt to any situation that comes my way, and Nuffnang.com will be quite an adventure that I will be finding myself heavily immersed in as the days go by.
The thesis is still a question mark, but I am determined to finish it and graduate in 2010 (March, more specifically.). I have worked long and hard over it, and though I'm not entirely certain if I'll be able to have much of an academic career at this point, it will at the very least put a definitive bookend in my foray into Philosophy. Doing events and marketing sales is something I'm very excited about, and I don't see myself just changing horses in midstream all over again after this one.
I'm hanging in there. Despite feeling lonelier than I ever have, I'm doing what I can to survive, because one thing I know for certain is that after everything has been said and done, I gave all my love, and all my heart, and even if in the end, I wasn't given the same in return, nobody can fault me with the passion I put into everything I've done.
Last year was a year of changes. This year is a year of direction.
.:Another Literary Attempt...:.
It Was Just Me
Everyone knew that you are my fire
That's what you are, my one desire
Now that we're through, it's plain to see
You never felt the same: it was just me
My love was all I had to give
Without you I don't think I could give
You never shed a tear when you left finally
You never really cared: it was just me
I should have known from the start
That you won't quit playing games with my heart
You said you would stay with me eternally
You never came through: it was just me
Looking back on the things I've done
I realized I was trying to be someone
You never saw that, you took it so casually
You never loved me: it was never me
I was asked by my friend, Mr. Francis Simisim to post this, as it seems Marian Rivera fans have been making statements about this "issue" already. Hopefully, things will be clearer if the truth comes out, and there is nothing to worry about here...
The official statement from Bluewater Day Spa is as follows:
"Every year, we change our endorsers for BlueWater Day Spa and it remains the company's perogative who we choose to represent as our endorser. As of the issue of who dropped whom, there were NO negotiations for renewal with Ms. Rivera or her representatives that ever took place."
One can hope that this will prove sufficient an explanation over what has transpired.
Thank you very much.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Drop on in and say "hi", people! I'll be performing at the Market!Market! fountain area around 4-6 PM as a host and magician/mentalist for the Easter celebration here. Hope to see you guys!
This will be my second show for the day after hosting and performing for Hotel Intercon's Easter celebration as well...
A happy Easter to everyone!
Friday, April 10, 2009
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
My show is gonna be this Sunday, around 4-6 PM, at Market! Market! Hope to see you guys there. Do drop in and say "hi"!
.:Walls Closing In:.
I'm doing what I can to write my thesis, but at the rate I'm going, it does look like I will have to finish it come first sem, rather than the goal of completing it this summer.
I'm just buried right now...
.:A Literary Attempt:.
What Else Is Left To Do?
I am not a dancer, so I cannot dance
To the saddest music that could rend your heart
Each step I would take, each move I would make
All lies to myself I'd have one last chance
I am not a musician, so I cannot compose
A dirge that will touch and melt your heart
Each note hides a tear, each word hides a fear
A prayer bereft of all but woes
I am not an actor, so I cannot star
In the lead role in this film to win your heart
Each scene is a prayer, each take one more dare
In the hope that you could heal this scar
Yet I am not a poet, so this poem that I write
Will never hold any place in your heart
For I am merely a man whose sorrows cannot hide
And I can never make this right
And so, the end.
For sorrow that cannot be sung, that cannot be danced
Misery that cannot be staged, that cannot be written
Is sadness that leads to one's self-made grave
Until I Get Over You
by Christina Millan
Woke up today thinking of you
Another night that I made my way through
So many dreams still left in my mind
But they can never come true
I press rewind and remember when
I close my eyes and i'm with you again
But in the end I can still feel the pain,
every time I hear your name
The sun won't shine since you went away
Seems like the rain's falling every day
There's just one heart, where there once was two
But that's the way it's gotta be,
Until I get over you...
Walked through the park, in the evening air
I heard a voice and I thought you were there
I run away but I just can't escape
Memories of you everywhere
They say that time will dry the tears
But true love burns for a thousand years
Give my tomorrows for one yesterday
Just to know that I could have you here
When will this river of tears stop fallin'
Where can I run so I won't feel alone
Can't walk away when the pain keeps callin'
I've just gotta take it from here on my own
But it's so hard to let go
Tonight, I wanted to write about responsibilities: about how people are responsible for whatever they do or say, whatever medium of expression it is.
Tonight, I wanted to proudly proclaim my being an ethicist and to prove without a doubt that people are responsible for what they have to say in their blogs or journals.
Tonight, I wanted to be a snarky bastard and write another one of those "satires" in a pitiful attempt to have the last word on an issue.
But tonight, I realized, that would be really pointless.
The past few days have seen me turn into quite a big ball of rage, without question. I won't offer any excuses or blame my circumstances for it. I know I am a self-righteous jack@$$ who never knows the meaning of "agreeing to disagree".
As such, I realize that I can be quite pushy at times when I'm trying to explain a point, and for that, I need to apologize to someone I know (I'm not sure if I still have the right to say she's a friend, actually. Or if I ever did.). I want you to know that I was not a "traitor" to anyone, since the other party was fully aware of how I felt about when it came to that other party's actions.
Beyond that, I offer no explanations or excuses. I only offer apologies for ruining your night and pissing you off by being the smarmy prick I can be a lot of the time. I'm sorry. I'm not proud of it. At least, not at this point, since I realized that like I told you, "there could've been a better way to handle things."
And really, I should've handled that better. But I didn't. I'm sorry. I hope you can accept my humblest apologies to you. I'd mention you by name just so you know I'm willing to go out on a limb to set this right, but I'm not so sure if you'd appreciate that.
For now, I just think it's time I stopped going to bed angry at the world and angry at myself, and apologizing to you for being insensitive and bullheaded is the first step towards that.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
.:Film Review: Slumdog Millionaire:.
For you, I would swim in a sea of human excrement...
If there's one thing I can say about this year's Oscar's, it's the fact that it was a really good roundup overall. From amazing breakout performances to very nuanced and resonating films, we had quite a lineup that was worthy of being acknowledged.
In a year replete with great movies, "Slumdog Millionaire" won the Oscars this year, and with good reason, to be certain. This film was brought to us by Viva International Pictures and is officially showing in Philippine Theaters on April 11.
Other than "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire", I didn't know what to expect from this film, but in the end, I was certainly blown away.
Essentially, the story follows, in a pseudo-non-linear fashion, the life of Jamal, a young tea-server in a call center, who ended up getting on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire". As a slumdog with no education, people questioned how he could've possibly known the answers to the toughest questions, and the narrative shows how each question he answered pretty much had some relevance to his life, enabling him to know the answers.
Jamal grew up as a street urchin, along with his brother, Salim, and their friend, Latika, they lived off the streets and did all they can to survive in the poor slums of India. There were many funny moments, dramatic moments, sweet moments, and everything else in between, and they all blended with each other harmoniously, in a masterpiece that you would best be advised to catch if you haven't yet.
With each question, a life experience is shared, and as Jamal grows up, his present-day counterpart finds himself ridiculed by a smarmy, ruthless gameshow host who believes he should be the star of the show. Will he become a millionaire? Will he be able to find Salim and Latika ever again?
This heartwarming story is realistic and at times grim, but there's an inner joy in the movie that no amount of violence was able to extinguish. I was filled with a lot of hope for Jamal with each step of the way, even though I did find the final question a bit anticlimactic since I knew the answer already.
Nonetheless, it was a fun movie that fires on all cylinders. Do catch it. You won't regret it.
Fun Evaluation: A+
Critical Evaluation: A+
.:Film Review: The Wrestler:.
The Ram Jam is quite a slam!
Mickey Rourke may have been screwed out of a "best actor" nod for this film. I love Sean Penn and I think he's awesome, but Mickey Rourke's nuanced performance of one Randy "The Ram" Robinson was sheer perfection.
As a guy who loves professional wrestling, this very harsh look at the realities of what it means to be a pro wrestler has been quite an eye-opener to me, to say the least. Seeing people we regard as legends become broken-down shells of their former selves, selling themselves out in any way they can, tends to show that the glitz and the glamor people achieve in the WWE is not always the status quo for these professional wrestlers.
Randy, for the most part, is a good guy, and is well-loved and respected by the wrestling industry, albeit respect and love don't always necessarily translate into a lot of money. With little savings and living off his wrestling job and a bit of work in a grocery on the side, Randy is living the only life he knows how to live. The years haven't been kind to him, and in one fateful match, he almost loses his life.
Now, he realizes that he's not immortal. He tries to repair ties with his estranged daughter, tries to get into a relationship with the stripper he often confides to in the local strip bar, all the while pondering what to do with his life now that the doctors forbid him to ever wrestle again.
And all through this, the allure of one last match... just one last match... never quite leaves him.
Perhaps, in a way, quite like the stripper in the film, Randy's life parallels hers, as well. As a stripper who is rather old already, she is well past her prime but needs to keep selling herself in the only way she knows how in order to fulfill her responsibilities. Does she love her job? No, not really. You can tell by her character that she would choose something else if the pay were the same.
That's the main thing that's different about Randy, though. He loves wrestling. The way he wears his battle scars proudly, the way he waxes poetic at the sound of a crowd cheering him on... all of this only goes to show how in love he is with the rush of entertaining a crowd.
This film is a great tribute to all those wrestlers who know this story all too well. This is a tale that hits close to the heart of people who are familiar with the workings of the professional wrestling industry.
Of course, the fact that Iran took offense to the portrayal of "Iranians" in the film leaves a lot to be desired, but well, whatever. It does sound a tad familiar to me, though. ;)
Fun Evaluation: A+
Critical Evalutation: A+
Monday, April 06, 2009
I didn't expect to write about this again, but last night, while watching the news, I found out that the rally in Hong Kong against Mr. Tsao actually pushed through.
Really, I don't know what else to say. The man already apologized and admitted that his words crossed the line and have (obviously) offended the sensibilities of some Filipinos.
What else did you want the guy to do?
Did you want the guy to write an essay about how wonderful the Philippines is and how much he absolutely loves the country?
Did you want him to punch the fabric of reality itself and retcon this article he wrote out of existence, as though it never happened at all?
What standards did we establish in the first place to determine that the apology was "insincere and rings hollow", to begin with? He apologized because you demanded for one. He realized that he hurt the feelings of people, and as such, "crossed the line", and I believe that is a fair evaluation of whatever wrong he may have done. Despite that, it was clear that crossing the line against Filipinos was never the intent of the piece: it was a jab at China, a self-referential putdown of how certain Chinese look down on the Philippines only because it's powerful enough to do so, yet won't do the same against people who are more powerful than they are.
In short, China was being put down for being a stereotypical bully. That the Philippines was somehow denigrated in this article is a sad side effect, but to assume this was the intent of a writer whose main audience were Chinese people, is to think too highly of ourselves. Carly Simon said it: "You're so vain..."
In the meantime, our country has a very clear history of not being able to take it the way we dish it out. While we call our milk "Alaska" and we call our paint "Dutch Boy", we are insulted by having some people brand their cookies "Filipinos". While we don't mind Miriam Defensor-Santiago saying that "The Chinese invented corruption", we bristle over Desperate Housewives poking fun at medical schools in the Philippines. While we applaud Michael V. for parodying Indians, we raise a furor over Conan O'Brien.
Why the double standard? I don't hear Miriam or Michael V being asked for apologies, either, or at the very least, these people sure haven't apologized. Yet someone throws something our way, and if it's anything less than a good comment about us, we will not let them hear the end of it.
When a foreigner says something wrong about this country, they are labeled as "racist". When a Filipino says something wrong about this country, they are called "traitors". Has it gotten to a point that the Philippines is so untouchable already that absolutely nobody can make any negative comments about it?
Seriously, guys. He already freaking apologized. Let it go already!
Enough with politicians grandstanding every chance they get, from suing the publication to challenging Chip to a fistfight. I thought as civilized people who hate it when people are surprised we don't live in trees anymore, we'd be above this crap. And if people believe Mr. Tsao's apology is "insincere", I also believe that majority of the outrage from politicians going around is equally "insincere". It cuts both ways, people.
Enough with the bristling over the term "servants"! It reflects on us poorly that we don't take kindly to the word, perhaps owing to the fact that we look down on the term as well, and calling it "noble" is only cold comfort for most of us. In the back of our minds, to be called a "servant" is an insult, the way that people who claim to not be homophobic are still insulted when people call them "gay".
Enough with people who are fighting "racism" with more, unabashed, relentless racism. You don't hear Chinese people complaining about the hatred we pour on Tim Yap, do you? If you think Mr. Tsao is a horrible person, that does not make the entirety of the Chinese race horrible people.
Enough with the internet tough talk of threatening to inflict bodily harm on Fil-Chinese who do not condemn Mr. Tsao! Are you seriously hearing yourselves? You're "indoctrinating" Fil-Chinese in pretty much the same way Mr. Tsao was "indoctrinating" Louisa! Holy guacamole!
By the way,"Louisa" is actually Indonesian. Now, can we also stop these grandiose but ultimately empty gestures of mounting a rescue operation for a non-existent "maltreated Filipina maid"? If anything, Chip opened our eyes to the fact that these things do happen, because the nature of satire is to expose a lot of inconvenient truths. Though he does not himself abuse maids, it is obvious that he is pointing out that certain people actually do.
On a personal note, I am the kind of person who would rarely apologize for anything I do. For the most part, I tend to second-guess myself a lot before I do anything, which means that for the most part, I only occasionally act in a way that I will regret shortly afterwards. To me, an apology is a big deal. If I give one, I mean it. If I demand for one, when one is given, I will assume sincerity on the part of the person who apologized, and accept it.
As a country, we condemned the actions of one of our own, this guy named Boyet Fajardo. I didn't write about the issue because I wanted to see how it played out first, but when he made his apology, I noticed key differences between his apology and Mr. Tsao's, the differences hopefully obvious to all the people reading. When Boyet apologized, he knew his back was against the wall and he was in deep trouble. He even used his apology as an opportunity to shill his products and make himself sympathetic to us. When Tsao apologized, it was really, no skin off his back. Think about it: what can we really do to his livelihood that would scare him? Nothing. He has no product to sell to us. He will still keep his job or lose it at the pleasure of his employers, who are similarly unaffected by our actions.
And no, Filipinos living in Hong Kong inflicting bodily harm upon him don't count as pressure for him to apologize. I think he'd still like to assume, the way I would, that Filipinos are indeed better than that.
Do I condone what Mr. Fajardo did? Of course not. He made a powerplay, and bullied an employee of Duty Free into apologizing to him in a humiliating manner. He essentially forced this employee to kneel to him for deigning to not treat him right because "they didn't know him". Then, when his back was against the wall, it suddenly became a mere "creative outburst", which, any person would understand, is an excuse for outrageous behavior that defies any logic.
Now, I ask... are we turning into a nation of Boyet Fajardo's?!?
Every single slight against us, no matter how small, seems to be blown out of proportion, with all the horrible bandwagonning that follows from it. I understand how people can be offended, as I said before, but I feel that the "punishment" doesn't fit the "crime".
And now, we are powerplaying, demanding Mr. Tsao kowtow to us for deigning to insult our dignity. That a simple apology wouldn't be enough: he should pay damages, he should get into a boxing ring with Roilo Golez, he should do this, he should do that. The man gave you a hand, you clamor for the arm. Now, we want him to suffer. We want him to pay dearly for impugning our dignity. How dare he? Hindi niya ba tayo kilala? Kailangan siya parusahan! Luhod, Chip! Lumuhod ka!
We condemned Boyet Fajardo for this kind of behavior, this "creative outburst" of his.
So to those of us who are doing pretty much the same thing now on an international scale, why shouldn't we be condemned, either?
I can't help but relish the fact that if 2008 was a year of change for me, 2009 could very well be a year of newfound direction.
In the end, whether I finish my thesis this summer or the first semester, it's bound to be the end of a chapter. Not necessarily the end of my academic career, but definitely the end of my being an M.A. Philosophy student. Having said that, I still march next year, regardless when I finish, and no way in Hades do I intend to miss out on marching, to say the least.
In any case, after a series of attempts at finding various forms of employment in radio, education, media, marketing, and the like, it appears I finally found myself in an environment that would be rather perfect for the kind of experience I have under my belt after five years of non-stop work in various industries.
Of course, I would still be available as a magician and a host, although weekday commitments in the middle of the day are highly unlikely at this point. =P
Effective April 13, I start on my new calling, as one of the people working for the Philippine office of Nuffnang, where I will be doing marketing and events coordination.
Do wish me well in this new endeavour I am undertaking. It's a new and exciting chapter in my life, and I hope to meet it with much anticipation.
Sunday, April 05, 2009
Hey, guys! I'll be doing hosting and magic this coming Easter Sunday at Market!Market! around the fountain area from 4-6PM. Drop in, watch the show, and say "hi" if you can! I'd definitely appreciate it. :)
.:4 Years Of Bringing Smiles And Magic To Everyone:.
Last Saturday night, I was the host for the 4th Anniversary of The Story Circle. It was a fun celebration of magic and camaraderie, replete with side comments and a geek magic showdown that resulted in a bloody nose for one competitor, something involving lots of spit, and a magician who ended up worshiping the porcelain god... except the porcelain god wasn't there to worship.
Aside from the geek magic showdown, many performers were on hand for the night, from some rappers in Carl, Sam, and Dark Madien, to Nomer and David's comedy mentalism act, to yours truly, to Andres's coin penetration set, and of course, to Darwin the magician. It was a great night for everyone, and people were really happy for the most part. The after-party spent with BK was mostly entertaining all the same, and I can't thank them enough for being kind enough to welcome straight-edge ol' me into a drinking session, of all things.
Kudos to Nomer as well for receiving quite a pummeling from me as he became the butt of a lot of my jokes, but good sport that he is, he always takes it in stride, and casually shot back some equally good barbs at me afterwards. It was definitely awesome going from "The Roderick Paulate of the Philippines". =P
In any case, allow me to share with you The Story Circle music video celebrating the 4th Anniversary Celebration. Hope you enjoy it!
Congratulations to The Story Circle, and more power to ya!
Well, I just wanted to express my well wishes to Campus Radio for making it back, albeit in online radio format. I know the guys behind this really made a lot of effort to make things work, so I'm glad that it paid off for them.
Having said that, for the people who have moved on beyond the Campus format, I enjoin those who want them back to respect their wishes and not have to bother them about it. Really. There is no need to open any more cans of worms for people who are just doing fine, minding their own business.
Anyways, we still aren't quite sure what this would mean for everyone in the end. After the grueling tale that came to be known as the Campus 99.5 fiasco, a lot of people were rather jaded by what has happened. After spending some time with a former co-Airchecker, TJ, last Tuesday, the both of us were very grateful for having been a part of Campus 99.5, but it's easy to understand why some regrets exist, because there was so much left to do before the plug was pulled. In time, we've generally accepted that some things just aren't meant to be, and we simply have to keep on keeping on.
When rumors came around that Campus was going to return, I was personally excited for them. Now that it's become a reality, well, one can only hope that things will continue to be on the up and up for them, and for the radio industry in general.
While I've been out of the radio industry for a while already, I still have much love for them. I still long for the day I could come back even just to train a new generation of jocks to keep the torch of radio burning. It's the least I can do for an industry that I truly love so much.
Saturday, April 04, 2009
Well, I'm off to Ozine today, for what it's worth. Shortly afterwards, I go to the TSC anniversary to host for them.
All in a day's work, really.
Much love to the people from last night's Plurkfiesta: Juned, Manolo, Arbet, and Jenny. Thanks for the lovely, unbloggable conversations, and the great, intelligent company. =P
We even ran into Baby James last night at Italliani's Gateway! How cool is that? (No, not really.)
Friday, April 03, 2009
Monsters vs. Aliens
More proof why Jack Black keeps voicing for Dreamworks and betting on Pixar.
Dreamworks can't catch a break, really. Outside of Shrek, they simply can't make a film that can capture people's imaginations to the point that Disney-Pixar has consistently managed to. It has gotten to a point where even their voice talents willfully poke fun at this phenomenon while continuing to earn a paycheck, regardless. Mightygodking put it best...
This doesn't mean that Dreamworks's forays into CGI film are terrible. They're not. On average, they're pretty good efforts, it's just that there's little excuse for being "good" when your competitor is "splendid". Nonetheless, outside of Antz, I have yet to come across a Dreamworks outing that I flat-out despised, so watching Monsters vs. Aliens with a good friend was quite a pleasant experience, to say the
I won't bore you with a lengthy analysis of the plot, really, and I don't want this to be a spoiler-y description, but let me just say that this was a good, serviceable movie, whose biggest point against it is that it played things so safe that there is nothing to praise or tear down about it. This is pedestrian filmmaking at its best, although I am terribly biased for Stephen Colbert, so I must commend his portrayal of the U.S. president there.
Not a terrible effort from Dreamworks, but I'm hoping that given the way the movie was made, this would leave room for a sequel that could really blow our minds. As of now, the film was so unremarkable, I can't think of a particular scene or plotpoint I wanted to share.
Recommended watching for people who want something fun and inoffensive but not memorable.
Critical Evaluation: B-
Fun Evaluation: B
.:On Kayfabe: In Defense Of MLQ3:.
Not that he needs defending, nor do I presume to have the right to, but I just wanted to give my props to Manuel Quezon III for being a total class act in the face of having people breathing down his neck over an offhand comment he made regarding the Chip Tsao brouhaha.
Quite honestly, I have nothing against people being offended by what was written by Tsao. People have feelings, and their feelings do count. What I am strongly against though is using hurt feelings as an excuse to give an equally or even more offensive response.
It's an anvil, but the anvil needs dropping: two wrongs don't make a right. I understand varying degrees of sensitivity. Really, I do. Some people might take offense at a joke involving St. Peter, while some would laugh at it with much gusto. What I don't get is how being offended seems to give people license to respond in kind. I've seen too many people calling Mr. Tsao "racist", yet their responses are just as racist, what with the immense hatred for Chinese people and "melamine, SARS, and lead," among other things.
That was the point of writing yesterday's post. Fine, get mad, perhaps even ask for an apology. Those are your feelings, and it's not my right to brush those aside. But once the apology is given, that should be the end of it. I don't see the logic in people demanding an apology then refusing to accept it afterwards. It makes no sense, if you ask me. The guy apologized. He's even expressing his affection for the Philippines as a culture, which I personally find sincere. In the meantime, Roilo Golez is challenging Mr. Tsao to a boxing match or something, and he even questions the sincerity of Mr. Tsao's apology. What a class act.
At the same time, now that you know this article was satire, and now that you know he was being tongue-in-cheek, maybe it's time to tone down the histrionics. There's no Louisa in need of rescuing, nor is Mr. Tsao going to be tolerant of anyone who did what his in-character piece was purported to have done. That's precisely why he lampooned it: it's so outrageous, and it shouldn't be tolerated.
As a guy who has been watching professional wrestling since he's been a kid, I must say that I know where Mr. Tsao is coming from. Like Stephen Colbert, the person writing articles under the title "Politically Incorrect" is not the same Chip Tsao in private life. Colbert is very famous for having so convincing an act that some Republicans actually believe he is on their side despite clearly being a caricature of a Geraldo or a Bill O'Reilly.
Look... when you watched pro wrestling as a kid, you cheer Hulk Hogan, and you booed, oh, say, The Million Dollar Man. But as you grew older and wiser, you learned to separate the man, Terry Bollea, from the character, Hulk Hogan, so that your life wouldn't be devastated the minute Hulk Hogan decided to become a bad guy to boo instead of the good guy we've been cheering all these years.
In wrestling parlance, this is called "kayfabe". Because wrestling tried to hide the fact that it was scripted (Scripted <> Fake, for the record.) back then, the wrestlers adopted a code of secrecy, and insisted on portraying their characters everywhere they went. So if Hulk Hogan and Million Dollar Man were feuding, there was going to be no chance that you would see them at the same dining table, exchanging jokes. It simply wasn't done.
However, as should be obvious to us, kayfabe means that these people could very well be friends in real life. John Cena and Samoa Joe are in opposing companies, but we know for a fact they're friends. Ric Flair and Triple H may have feuded a million times already, but they're practically joined at the hip and the best of friends. Whether or not you like wrestling, you understand this: you don't hate a person for the character they portray in the ring. That's all it is, after all: a character.
Sometimes, there's a problem with separating the character from reality. Ask Sgt. Slaughter, who, in 1991, turned "heel" (wrestling parlance for a bad guy) and became an Iraqi Sympathizer. He had to wear a bulletproof vest to his match against Hogan in Wrestlemania that year. In the local scene, ask any good soap opera kontrabida, like Gladys Reyes. But if you think stuff like that's endemic only to us Filipinos or Americans, think again. Tom Felton, the guy playing Draco Malfoy, is reviled by a lot of kids all over the world for tormenting Harry Potter in the films.
But therein lies the rub: these are kids. You understand kids have a hard time separating fantasy from reality. But adults?
This leads us to my real point in writing this (Since to be honest, the next time I hope to write about Mr. Tsao is in the event that I get to correspond with him and pick his brain and all that. Mr. Tsao, from the Philippines, you have a fan of your writing here. Seriously.)... when MLQ talked about people not getting satire, it was a frustrated rant, one that he is supposed to be entitled to, on his own personal space in Fezbuk.
Thing is, a lot of people who reacted against the Chip Tsao brouhaha felt entitled to respond to him. They were angry and frustrated, and they ended up stooping to the man's perceived level, resulting in a massive "WTF is going on?!?" from cooler heads. MLQ was similarly frustrated at the overblown reaction, and merely expressed his opinion (and frustration). Guys, free speech cuts both ways. If you're free to call Mr. Tsao "a racist Chinese pig", then MLQ was perfectly free to say "you guys don't get satire."
And fine, maybe you also had the right to take offense to what he said. I understand that, too. What I don't understand is how this gave you license to insult the man, to put him down, and overall, to demean him, as if he had personally gone to your house, spat on your dining table, and broke all your windows.I don't even see how being an "undergrad, poufy-haired, vaklush ampon" is supposed to make any sense to the discussion at hand: that people didn't get satire. What MLQ did wasn't even a fraction of what Mr. Tsao perceivedly did, yet why are people so quick to crucify MLQ over an opinion he is entitled to? Is it perhaps because his opinion doesn't jive with yours? Newsflash: it happens. People disagree.
However, while people disagree, the true mark of civilized disagreement is when it doesn't degenerate into name-calling.
Next time you wish to disagree with someone, perhaps one needs to take that into consideration. If you felt MLQ was wrong, tell him. There's no need to demean him and insult him like that. It's just uncalled for, and reflects poorly on you to take the low road like that. What right do we have to criticize someone for something when we exhibit the exact same symptoms? Haven't we had enough pots calling kettles black in five lifetimes?
MLQ apologized because he is a class act like that. It's his prerogative to do what he did, and I will not say that he should or shouldn't have apologized. That's not my place to do so. I don't purport to be anything near that level of dignity, so I shall just commend him for that. However, I think we shouldn't allow one man's apology to eradicate any wrongdoing on our part, or to invalidate what he was trying to get across. Just because somebody apologized does not make you incontrovertibly correct, and they wrong.
Manolo's apology does not mean Chip Tsao's article is not satire. Manolo's apology does not mean you magically understand satire now.
I'm sorry if I may have offended some people for pointing out the white elephant in this room, but I personally feel that ignoring it would've meant nobody would've learned the lesson MLQ was trying to impart in his brief but meaningful vituperation against people's overblown reactions to what really should be a non-issue. But again, just because I am apologizing in advance for hurting someone's feelings potentially does not mean that my point is invalid. Neither does it mean that there is nothing for the persons potentially offended by this to learn from this post.
Okay. That's that. Time to get off my soapbox.