Friday, May 29, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

On Professional Courtesy In Magic

In light of finding out someone ripped my magic off today, and after having him flaunt it in my face that he did precisely that, I figured it would just be fair that I write this...

.:On Professional Courtesy: An Ethical Issue:.

There are many issues on professional courtesy in magic, whether undercutting other magicians and the like, but allow me to discuss the most glaring one: outright plagiarism of other magicians.

In the age of torrents and YouTube and piracy, people seem to forget their manners. The internet is indeed the perfect place for people to act as if the rules of propriety and respect don’t apply, but just because everybody does it does not make it right.

As magicians, especially professional magicians, we invest into our material. From purchasing videos and books to watching seminars, learning from other fellow performers, learning the history of our routines, and never performing routines if we can’t do them justice.

Magic has always been an industry of secrets, and we have seen unscrupulous magicians in the past, dating all the way back to the heyday of Vaudeville, who would actually steal each other’s routines. While we do not have true ownership of our tricks, the presentations we employ, and even the inspiration for routines we come up with or appropriate for ourselves, are issues that we must be sensitive towards.

We are no longer in an era where people actively sabotage each other in the realm of magic solely to get ahead in this industry. There is indeed still competition, but in general, competition has not eliminated the concept of simple professional courtesy to each other. If we know a particular magician has developed a reputation based on a particular routine or presentation, we don’t try to upstage them by using the same routine on their time. It’s common professional courtesy.

I remember when Mr. Sonny Minoza taught me one of his prized routines, the one where he stands and has several people push a stick he is holding, and they are unable to push Mr. Minoza. I am unaware if this is originally his, but he taught me the routine, and gave me the blessing to perform it, except on television. Out of respect to the man, I complied, and he has never had a problem with me when it comes to that. Even during a Comedy Cartel show where Mr. JB Dela Cruz performed psychokinesis, despite requests that I perform the same thing after the show for some friends of a comedian, I declined, citing that another performer has done the same thing a while ago. Consider that I have built a reputation as a performer based on the psychokinesis routine, and you would get an idea of how stringent I am when it comes to giving due respect to fellow magicians.

While some people may rightly point out that I have no legal leg to stand on, I was never a legalist when it comes to my love for magic. What I have always emphasized, though, was the need to be an ethical performer, such that we do not act in a way that degrades the art form of magic, nor act in a way oppressive to our other fellow magicians. It’s basic good manners and right conduct. You don’t have to be a magician or an ethicist to know that if someone gave you a good idea, you thank them for it, or better yet, ask their permission to use it, especially if you’re making money off of it. I don’t think it’s too much to ask. Do you?

Look... if you didn’t pay to learn your magic, whether you learned it from YouTube or a friend taught it to you, learn to give the source credit. If you actually have a way to reach the actual source of the routine, you actually ought to ask their permission for it, because that’s their intellectual property. Even a simple translation of patter from English to Filipino already means that the new Filipino patter you’re using is already the Filipino speaker’s intellectual property. As a general rule of thumb, if it’s not yours and you didn’t pay for it, you ask permission and you give credit. This is their livelihood. If you want it to be your livelihood as well, you better learn to respect the intellectual property rights of your fellow professionals.

I’ve been beset with acts of sheer unprofessionalism in the past. Whether it’s an unprofessional client who strings you along until the last possible minute and then backs out on booking you, or an unprofessional colleague who actually grandstands and performs one of your routines despite the fact that you booked him not as a magician but as an aura reader, I’ve experienced these disappointing acts.

By no means did I tolerate them then. By no means will I tolerate them now. As a professional, I hold myself to a higher standard. I do not believe I should expect any less from a fellow "professional".

This particular performer has done this to another magician before, and I’m sure that I won’t be the last person he’d rip off from. He ripped off this other magician’s routine, then had the nerve to ask this other magician if he could get the music this other magician used when he performed the routine. This is outrageous! Why are we tolerating this kind of behaviour? The routining, the wording, everything about the magic act is somebody’s intellectual property. Ripping that off wholesale is just shameful and a slap in the face of all the magicians who work hard to improve their craft.

As a professional, I have always emphasized ethical behaviour, and key to that is respect for the art form and for the artists. Even though my stand on exposure has always been liberal, I have never used that as an excuse to disrespect other performers and thinkers. I invested time, money, and even my intellect into coming up with routines that fit my personality and fit my character onstage, using words that suit my character best. If I learned something by watching, say, a YouTube video, I make sure to credit, or if I can reach the performer, ask permission from the performer, to use a certain approach or nuance to a given effect.

Simply put, when in doubt, I research. That way, I can credit and ask permission. If I want to get anywhere in this industry, throwing away my professionalism is the worst thing I can do, because being unprofessional assures me that I will not only earn the ire of my contemporaries, but I will also alienate my clients who expect me to be on my best behaviour. When you’re being paid an average worker’s entire monthly salary for a mere half-hour of your time, there is no reason to take shortcuts and to shortchange the people who have it made it possible for you to have that kind of livelihood.

As a person who is only getting into standup comedy, I actually see that there is so much more leeway in magic when it comes to intellectual property. Since many magic routines incorporate the same principles, since so many performers technically sell not only the routine but their performance itself, we seem to think that we are entitled to rip off anything we see from other performers. Standup comedy, being the way it is, is downright strict: you don’t use another comedian’s jokes, period. Would I say that magicians have been spoiled and don’t understand what it means to respect another person’s body of work? I would say that some magicians are, but certainly not all.

Newsflash: we are not entitled to do whatever we want to do just because. When you’re being paid thousands of bucks to do what you do, is it so much to ask for a little credit from the people who gave you the idea to do what you do? Or is it already second nature for you to screw them over and not care about their livelihood, their efforts, and their intellectual property? If it is, really, you’re in the wrong line of work. If you can’t respect the art form and the artists, magic is not for you.

As a performer who has been nothing but respectful to everyone in the industry, as a performer who refuses to speak ill of contemporaries to laypeople, as a performer who has taken the pains to write his own material and line up his routines painstakingly to maximize his client’s entertainment, and ultimately, as a performer who takes pride in his body of work, I have done nothing but show my utmost love and respect for my art form.

With this kind of respect I have given to my art, am I supposed to take lightly any disrespect to me as an artist?

I don’t think so.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Third Open Mic...

.:Toyz Comedy Showcase Tuesdays: Finally, Progress!:.

Last night, the effects of the Comedy Cartel show seemed to have carried over, and everyone who performed at the Comedy Showcase Open Mic Night in Toyz Cafe seemed to be performing on a different level as well, and that included the open mic people.

Well, admittedly, I haven’t been that proud of my first two attempts at doing Open Mic, but this night was rather different. With a very supportive audience on our side, I managed to go up there and finally start doing a hybrid of standup comedy and standup magic that I feel is right up my alley. As one of the biggest fans of Michael Finney, that’s one guy who has mastered the art of mixing and matching the two, and I can’t help but take after him when it comes to this.

Anyways, it was a good night all around, as the audience was extra appreciative of our comedy last night. There was an Australian guest who was laughing even at jokes that were cracked in the vernacular, and it was just weird but gratifying to see that kind of appreciation for comedy. As a guy who really appreciates stand-up, finding a restaurant filled with people who are just as appreciative is nothing but heartwarming. There’s also quite a moment of joy that a standup comic gets when you don’t just get laughter, but the much-cherished applause + laughter combination. During my comedy magic shows, I live for moments like those.

I know I technically cheated since I used my magic as a way to bridge the confidence gap I have when performing comedy, but I think it worked out pretty well for me last night. It was also a good opportunity to bond with the other comedians, especially Noel and Ryan. Thanks a lot for the kind words and the votes of confidence! I sincerely, sincerely appreciate the shot in the arm.

For once, I’ll actually let you in on how I did. It’s not perfect, but if you saw how my first two sets went, this was definitely a noticeable improvement... hope you like it!


Comedy Cartel Raised The Bar Last Monday Night!

.:I Loved Angels And Demons!:.

Just a quick aside before I get to my main point...

In my opinion, it was better than the book, thanks to the fact that they didn’t use one particularly idiotic plot twist in the film adaptation.
Thank goodness.

.:Completely On Fire!:.

Last Monday night, the Comedy Cartel had their Comic Strip standup night happening in Spicy Fingers in Greenbelt 2.

Let me tell you that this is, bar none, the best show I’ve ever seen from the Comedy Cartel thus far.

Something about Monday night just really lined up neatly for the Comedy Cartel, as their entire roster was on fire from top to bottom. The audience was just really into it, and they definitely went there to be entertained by the Comedy Cartel.

I must say that Noel Gascon’s strong opener really set the tone for the night, and it was pretty obvious that the crowd was going to ride with HK references throughout the night. You just knew the other Cartel members were going to capitalize on that, and boy, they definitely did. Marlon’s ADMU-DLSU joke got the biggest reaction of the night, Ryan debuted in Spicy Fingers with a bang, Stanley’s pacing was amazingly on that night (and he even made an MR reference and linked her name to me... lol), Red had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand, Victor was made of win, JB definitely wowed people with his magic, and Mike Unson of course main evented with much aplomb.

Special mention has to go to Richie Fernandez, who practically could’ve declared his candidacy or something, considering how many people went there because of him. Heh. Also, thanks for having me over at his table, as meeting his friends was really quite an experience. It’s just amazing what conversations you can find yourself in with people who are in a jovial mood thanks to top-notch comedy. My brother even dropped in on the show, and he was definitely pleased as punch by it.

I’ve been supporting the Cartel precisely because I know they’re this damned good. These guys are awesome, and I hope that as time goes by, more and more people would see and appreciate these guys for the comedic geniuses that they are.

If you want to find out more about them, feel free to go to their website. Their next show is coming this June 13, in Conspiracy Bar. It’s gonna be Mike Unson’s birthday show, so watch out for that!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Swung By The Morning Rush Yesterday Morning...

.:They Are Still Made Of Win:.

I love Mojo and Grace Lee like anything, but there's no question that Chico and Delamar are the two jocks who have influenced me the most, bar none. Although Chico's on vacation until Friday, the show was still very interesting, as it was manned by Delle and Radio 1 student jock Suzie.

I've sung Chico and Delle's praises for years already, so I have little to add when it comes to that. As such, allow me to sing Suzie's praises.

As a student jock who has been training with Chico and Delamar for a while already, Suzie has what it takes to be a full-fledged jock in due time. She has a very assertive but likable attitude on the air, and she knows how to develop rapport with other people.

She's witty, thinks quickly on her feet, and she can express herself very candidly without any hesitation. Most student jocks find it intimidating to talk around a dj on the air because they don't know if they talk too much. Suzie seems to know those limits very implicitly, and as such, always has something good to contribute to the discussion whenever she speaks up.

Few people can train her as well as Chico and Delle could, so she's in really good hands. Suzie can go a really long way, and it only goes to show, with people as promising as her, that radio is still an industry that is far from dead.


Much props to you!

.:Truer Words Have Never Been Spoken:.

Senator Chiz Escudero had a very candid interview this morning on AM radio while I was in the cab on my way to RX. Essentially, he was saying that while he respected the senators' move to have to Subpoena the women involved in the HK scandal, he was not going to participate in it, and he felt that there were more important issues to address.

Indeed, the issue needs to be addressed, and slowly, the Anti-Voyeurism bill is being refined into something that actually has worth and merit, but Senator Chiz is correct in saying that there are more pressing matters that need to be dealt with, and perhaps, it is best to just do this one-of investigation for a day in that it is truly "in aid of legislation" as far as the AV Bill is concerned, but beyond that, leave the resolution to the proper avenues.

I am not ignoring the necessity of dealing with the issue, but I feel that we are overestimating its importance. I actually feel that calling some of the women involved in the scandals would do them more harm than good and put them under unfair scrutiny. It sickens me the kind of double-standard imposed here that some people look at these women horribly just because they got intimate with a man, especially the lady doctor. For crying out loud, she was in a relationship. Why is that reason to judge her adversely?

Double standards are terrible, but they will only be aggravated by this media circus. Meanwhile, we conveniently are drawn away from other pressing issues...

And seriously... what's going on with Jun Lozada? Why do we seem to have no idea what happened to him ever since this whole mess started?

That, and what verification can be had that the COA findings that clear Joc-Joc Bolante of the fertilizer fund scam was indeed a fair and unbiased investigation?

Inquiring minds would really like to know.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Day Of Victories!

.:Worst Film, Best Director...:.

Indeed, one man's trash is another man's treasure.

Notwithstanding the critical panning one Roger Ebert gave the film "Kinatay", Brillante Mendoza's vision as a director was still recognized, leading to the first time a Filipino has won "Best Director" in Cannes.

As I have yet to see the film, I can only offer congratulations to the director, and oftentimes, there is this trend where a director is recognized for his skill and expertise even if his film may not have quite been as well-received as he himself is.

There have been very polarizing reviews about the film so far. Either people outright loved it, or outright hated it. There's very little opinions in between, and I believe that given the nature of the subject matter, it was certainly going to be the case as the film definitely seems to be more than willing to push a lot of buttons.

So congratulations, Brillante Mendoza! Your work has been recognized, and I'm certain you have more films to do and more stories to tell.

And who knows? Maybe next time, a happy story?

.:The Great Book Blockade Has Been Lifted:.

And as Dominique Cimafranca put it, now what?

In a move people have been praying for, President Arroyo asked that the tax on books be lifted immediately. Say what you want about the president, but she didn't just waste our time with privilege speeches about the issue, and simply just asked it to be taken out.

Indeed, this is a laudable exercise of "blogger power", as it were, but this is merely the tip of the iceberg for us. Our crusades don't end here, and only in a perfect world should we expect never to find a cause worth fighting for.

We've already opened up to the people that reading has merit and that we don't want to leave it to the wayside. Now, what are the avenues we may explore to promote reading to everyone? Even if books become affordable, we need to find a way to aid the declining book-reading population in the country.

At the same time, how much are you willing to bet that some unscrupulous Customs agents will ignore this directive and just play dumb anyways? Somehow, I don't think I'd be too surprised if that happened.

We still have a lot of work cut out for us, but any victory we can take is a victory we must cherish.

Or did they just close this issue so people can focus even more on this silly Hayden Kho brouhaha? Meh.

I'm glad that bloggers managed to do something right, though. Goes to show there's more about us than libel and general asshattery. Much more, I'm sure.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Ted Failon's Pyrrhic Victory...

.:NBI Investigation Reveals: Trina Etong Committed Suicide:.

Finally, it can be confirmed that Ted Failon did not attempt to kill his wife. The investigation was very clear and though this is not cause for joy but merely relief, I’m sure that Ted Failon must be feeling significantly better now that he is not being suspected, at times even accused, of having killed his wife.

I write about this story because I personally find it to be a very important lesson to people who enjoy doing nothing more than speculating and bandwagoning. The sheer number of armchair CSI specialists who turned up in Plurk and on the blogosphere alike was ridiculous, and I hope all of those insensitive souls who were quick to assume the worst out of Mr. Failon are eating crow right now.

I don’t have much to add when it comes to the NBI findings, really. I just feel that this moment is a victory, albeit a pyrrhic one for Mr. Failon. I would never know if the man is a saint or whatnot. I don’t know him personally. But when people started to go on a witch-hunt and when they decided for themselves that watching CSI on TV was going to be enough education for them to bypass due process, I was admittedly disturbed by the trend I saw. Just a year or two ago, I left this kind of sensationalism up to anonymouse bloggers or Brian Gorell, but now, I see so much sensationalism in blogs and Plurks alike, I find it difficult to tell them apart from seedy tabloids.

So to the people who went ahead and accused Mr. Failon of being his wife’s killer, are you decent enough to offer an apology to him, even if he may never read it? We bloggers keep on talking about our power and our ability to voice out what we think, but are we responsible with what we write or say? Or is libel just the standard operating procedure in cyberspace?

I could’ve sworn that wasn’t the blogosphere I spent almost seven years in all this time. When did it all take a turn for the worse? When did bloggers get so full of themselves that they think the rules of decency and propriety no longer apply to them?

If I didn’t make it clear enough, to the people, be they bloggers, politicians, plurkers, or whomever else who accused Ted Failon of killing his wife, to those who aggrandized themselves by thinking they’re some wonderful forensic experts despite not having set one foot in the “crime” scene, shame on you.

Shame on you for milking your traffic with theories about why he acted the way he did despite being a journalist. The next time your wife gets shot in the head and you’re going out of your mind trying to save her life, I hope you’d know exactly what to do and not let a single ounce of emotion get in the way.

Shame on you for accusing an innocent man of wrongdoing for no other reason than it sounds sensational and it “seems” to make all the sense in the world.

Shame on you for being insensitive to a man who just suffered a tragedy.

And shame on you for not understanding the concept of “innocent until proven guilty”.

Alec Baldwin Apologizes. The Other Guy: Still A D-Bag

.:He Apologized Already. Let’s Move On, Mmkay?:.

Alec Baldwin apologizes, and proves he’s a bigger class act than certain people we know...

Alec Baldwin is not a perfect person. His life isn’t even measured in years, but in public apologies. Despite all that, he’s still a much classier person than Senator Revilla, who threatened him with bodily harm. Never mind that the also-“insulted” Russians didn’t even bother reacting to the issue. Never mind that nobody seems to care that Krusty the Clown also insulted the Philippines, and Roger Ebert slammed a Filipino movie during Cannes. Of course, I’d be doubly amused and annoyed if they picked up on those issues and used it to grandstand some more.

But really now. The passive-aggressive apology was just classic Baldwin. He said what I hoped Chip Tsao would’ve said: that it was merely said in jest (Or in Tsao’s case, in the course of a satire.), and that while he meant no offense, he apologizes to those who took offense. It’s a clean admission of (non) guilt, and does not condone the hate messages that flew in response to what was merely perceived as a racist remark.

For the life of me, I cannot understand why a lot of Filipinos are so uptight over the lightest remark, and are willing to resort to fisticuffs just to defend their honor. Sen. Revilla and Rep. Golez seem to be made from the same mold.

If you’re a foreigner, you can’t say anything negative about the Philippines. That’s racism.

If you’re a Filipino, you can’t say anything negative about the Philippines, either. That’s crab mentality.

Ergo, nobody can say anything negative about the Philippines. Period. Absobloodylutely brilliant.

Will we ever get to see this country get its head out of its own @$$?

Who knows? The Shadow knows.

Pacefalm!

.:Bravo! Bravo!:.


There are no words.

The aftermath of this idiotic Hayden Kho scandal extends beyond the unfortunate situation one lady doctor not named Vicki Belo finds herself in.

Quite honestly, when I think about it, I find next to no sympathy for the sexy star involved in this scandal, given how she did this knowing full well Hayden was in the middle of a relationship. I think it was a wasted opportunity when she, of all people, played the poor victim card, because she could’ve struck a blow for women had she asserted herself and stood up for the doctor lady instead.

Of course, that’s just me. I mean, what do I know? I’m just a PR guy, and obviously, a lot of this situation, sad and unfortunate as it may be, is certainly a matter of PR.

It’s easy to play the victim card, even though this may just be instant karma striking out at the sexy star. Despite that, if she came out strong, and asserted herself and shrugged off the scandal as if it were nothing, sympathy would still be with her, but this time, they would know that she’s definitely in charge and will not just allow people to judge her solely because she starred (unwittingly, so I heard) in a sex scandal video.

Had she instead stood up for the lady doctor instead of playing the victim card, I’m sure the mood of the entire affair would’ve turned on its ear, chastity advocates be damned. Sometimes, no-selling a controversy could do you more good than making it obvious how affected you are.

.:Embarrassing:.


No witty captions needed.



In what can only be termed as “embarrassing”, the sex video brouhaha disrupts an Iloilo council session.

First of all, why do we even need to have a resolution to condemn Dr. Kho’s actions? Do we really need to waste taxpayer’s money on a tautology? That’s like saying we should spend a session to declare that water is wet. I don’t know about you, but I find this terribly unproductive and even annoying.

What makes this article absolutely lol-worthy, though, is how these supposedly honourable councillors jostled to see the video that they were intending to condemn. The sheer hypocrisy just emanates from the whole setup.

Guys, as Fritz succinctly put it, we didn’t pay taxes for our politicians to watch porn. Seriously. If you want to watch those videos, don’t do it on the taxpayers’ dime. You’re making a mockery out of governance.

Are these the stellar examples of Filipino leadership that we can muster? Or do we have more honourable leaders we can look up to, like, say, our senators?

Oh, just you wait.

.:Yes! Let’s Make What People Do In The Bedroom OUR Business!:.

In a fit of knee-jerk reactionism, Senator Pia Cayetano has drafted an Anti-Voyeurism Bill for the Senate to debate on. It’s a bit funny that it wasn’t Senator Revilla who drafted the bill, considering how much noise he’s been making, but whatever. Of course, notwithstanding rumors that the good Senator has his own video scandal, you'd think he'd be rushing to make a law over an issue he initiated via a privilege speech, right?

The thing is, the way the bill is currently worded is incredibly lopsided and it reeks of loopholes. The priority on this law is clearly misplaced as there are more important matters to make time for, one of the least important being the book blockade (We of course assume legislation in aid of addressing the more primal needs of our nation, such as food, clothing, and shelter, should also be in the wings.) that has conveniently been left ignored by our lawmakers, except for Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

The undue attention this scandal has been getting has been ridiculous and a monumental waste of time. I wish I didn’t have to write about it, but hopefully bringing up the sheer inanity of it all would make people realize that there are more important things to shell out our tax money on. Really, there are. Do we suddenly spring to action only because some top TV star is affected? What about us lesser mortals who don’t have high profiles to railroad our agendas with? Do we just throw these crusades under the bus?

What about those other girls who had their sex scandals on the internet? Why do we seem to not care about their plight? Is it because they’re not celebrities? As one of the guys who strongly believes in the saying, “I may not like what you have to say, but I sure as Hades would fight for your right to say it,” I’m already put off by the fact that Congress has or is in the process of banning hentai, without even knowing what “hentai” really is, and completely leaving alone other forms of pornography.

I cannot, by any stretch of imagination, figure out why so much time is being wasted on this by the Senate. I’m sure this issue should be addressed. There is no question about that. However, I believe that there are more appropriate departments that should be able to deal with it. Hades, Edu Manzano and the OMB seems better-equipped to handle this issue than Sen. Revilla, and maybe they should leave the issue in his hands instead. The Senate has more pressing matters to deal with than this.

Dear lawmakers, what’s up with that? Why should we care about what people watch or say or Hades, draw, when they’re of proper age? I know our concept of “freedom of expression” in this country is quite “less” free than that of the United States, but sometimes, I don’t think this is really a case of “restricted freedom” as it is a case of “mildly liberal inquisition”.

What other people do in their bedroom should be none of our bloody business. Ironically, the more repressed our society is, the more we concern ourselves with it.


Deplorable! Absolutely deplorab... w-ait... lemme rewind that again... yeah! Deplorable! Absolutely deplorable!

.:In Other News...:.

... Dr. Hayden Kho is not related to my batchmate, Darn Kho. Lol.

My Sandbox And My Song

.:Sandbox Is Now Open, Come Play!:.

Smart’s new mobile blogging platform is now out of Beta and is now open for everyone. Drop in on www.mysandbox.com if you’re interested in giving mobile blogging a try in a social network filled with people you might already know.

Of course, there are still kinks in the system, but overall, my experience in Sandbox has mostly been positive. Hope yours will be as well!

.:Finally, A Recording I’m Content With...:.

I had to record this song thrice before I finally got a version I’m comfortable with.

So now, I share with you my third recording of “I Can’t Make You Love Me”, originally done by Bonnie Raitt. It’s a very subdued cover, and while it may not be as good as the original, I poured my heart out into singing it. It’s a very personal song, and I hope you appreciate it if you give it a listen.

I’ll upload it to YouTube when I find the time.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Archie Comics: Reminiscing!

.:My Childhood Might Finally Have A Bookend... Then Again, Maybe Not:.


Archie finds himself in a life-changing moment, and nothing will ever be the same again!

So sue me. I grew up loving Archie comics. It happens to be one of those things that has simply allowed me to learn conversational English with ease because despite being “merely a comic”, Archie was written with impeccable grammar. As a reading tool, Archie has been a source of education and much amusement for most of my life, and I would never hesitate to recommend the franchise to anyone who wants some light reading in comic format.

One of the cornerstone storylines of the Riverdale gang despite its lack of any coherent continuity is the Betty-Archie-Veronica love triangle. It has been a constant well for their jokes and plots, and there has never been any clear-cut resolution to it. It was in 1996, I believe, when they fakes all of us out with their “Love Showdown” miniseries that promised to change the status quo forever.

It did, but only by complicating the plot further by reintroducing Cheryl Blossom to the Riverdale gang. From a love triangle, it became a love rectangle.

And really, what’s with the preoccupation with Archie, ladies? Why are you so gung-ho on ol’ carrot top, when there are clearly so many other eligible guys out there in Riverdale? You have Jughead who is so totally not gay (Though it would’ve been cool if he were.), you have Dilton, who will probably be richer than Moose Mason no matter how good Moose gets (Remember: the nerd wins!), or even that token Mexican whose name escapes me at the moment. When Reggie isn’t being his usual pranky self, he’s pretty cool, too, not to mention better-looking than Arch.

Anyways, this time, there will be no fakeouts. Archie Comics promises a resolution to the Archie triangle! This event will be a story in the future, about five years after the Riverdale gang graduates from college. Archie will propose to Betty or Veronica, and we’re going to be here to see history happen!

I’m excited about this because I really am all for seeing whom Archie would pick after seven long decades of indecision. Here’s hoping that Sabrina doesn’t use her magic to undo the marriage and revert to the status quo, though. I’d really, really hate if they’d do that in a comic. I’m glad that would never happen in comics, because it’s such a cop-out. Oh, wait...

In any case, I’m also interested if this will give us a glimpse into what would happen to my favourite character in the Archie universe, Jughead Jones. Will we finally find out what the “S” in his sweater means?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Unsent Series, Volume 2: Part VIII

.:You’re Hot Then You’re Cold: The Unsent Series Volume 2, Part VIII:.

Dear Audacity,

It boggles the mind the way you vacillate at the drop of a hat. You keep on changing your mind about anything and everything that has to do with us, all the while expecting that if you realize you’ve made a mistake in the end that somehow, I’d still be here, waiting for you to come around.

You know what? You’re right. I’d still be here, because I’m a fool for you. It doesn’t matter how many times you change your mind, I’d still be holding out and hoping you’d come back because I still love you after everything we’ve been through. It’s crazy how I can’t read you and I have no idea what’s going on in your head, but it is what it is. As painful as all of this may be to me, I know I have no choice but to deal with it, because I knew from the get-go that loving you was going to take everything out of me, but I still went through it, anyways. I have no right to be angry at you. I have no right to hate you.

You never accepted me for who I was. You always wanted to change me, and no matter how hard I tried to be a better person, it was never good enough for you, because quite frankly, you haven’t the foggiest idea what you want to do with your life. That explains exactly why your life is like that: you’re still sheltered, you’re still in your ivory tower, and you still want to hold out for something, yet you don’t know exactly what this “something” is.

I hate that I still love you this much despite everything that’s happened. I’m an idiot, a complete fool for you, but hey, I guess that’s to be expected. I gave two of the best years of my life to you, and it wasn’t enough. You wanted more. You always wanted more. It was never me that you gave a damn about, but some potential person who never came to pass. I couldn’t be sorry enough that I wasn’t good enough to be someone you want, but I’m honestly worried that you may never know what you really want in life. You keep saying you’re waiting, but do you know what you’re waiting for?

Meanwhile, all I wanted was for you to love me. But I guess that’s far too much for me to ask now, isn’t it? I can’t blame you. I can’t make you love me if you don’t. I can’t force you feel something you simply can’t. It would be foolhardy of me to do that. I just wish that you’d stop confusing me. I just wish that you’d understand that if it’s really over between you and me, then you no longer have the right to be nice to me, or to treat me kindly. If it’s over, then it’s over. Please don’t give me acts of kindness that give me a futile glimpse of how good we could’ve been for each other.

I didn’t want to confess to this, but I still cry myself to sleep over you night after night. The spectre of what we had still looms over me, and I am powerless to fight it. It would be unfair to say that I regret everything, or that you were a horrible person for having put me through all this. Would I feel a sense of loss this great if you were anything less than the most wonderful person I’ve ever known? How could I ever regret loving with all my heart, as futile as it may have ended up being? I have to be fair. I can’t move on. I can’t get over you. Perhaps there is no getting over you.

If it’s over, please... let it be over. Stop being kind to me. Stop being sweet to me. Stop calling me “babe” or “puppy” or whatever other animal pet name you have in store for me. Stop holding me when I break down in front of you.

I need you to be cruel to me now. More cruel than you have ever been to me.

Ironically, that could very well be the kindest thing you would ever do for me.

Dear Audacity, I understand you. I understand everything you’re going through. But understanding doesn’t make it hurt any less.

FML? No. More Like FMC.

.:They Have Successfully Wagged The Dog:.

Thanks to Mr. Hayden Kho’s shenanigans, suddenly, people have forgotten about the book blockade.

Hooray! They have successfully wagged the dog yet again! Ever noticed that nobody cares what’s going on with Jun Lozada now?

Congratulations to our great overlords! They have proven yet again that the Filipino people have the attention span of a goldfish! Onwards to first world status in 2020!

I am soooo glad that my taxes are funding porn-watching in the senate. Not.

.:Being-Unto-Mirth:.

Last night was my second foray into stand-up comedy, and I must say that I am still far from being worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as a Stanley Chi or a Noel Gascon. These guys are amazing comedians who know what they’re doing, and know what it takes to get their desired reactions.

Despite that, my standup last night was snappier and less meandering than my first effort. I have to say that it was significantly more straight to the point, but I still don’t know how to give those subtle hints that I said something funny. I don’t think I’m too aware of my facial expressions, or my gesticulations, which are all very important parts of a successful standup comedian’s schtick. In fact, I believe they are so integral that most good comedians don’t even realize that’s exactly what they do, but last night, I think that really shone to the forefront.

While I was observing the way Stanley Chi was doing his performance, there were certain nuances in his voice, certain subtle dips and peaks in the tone of his voice that tipped you off he was telling a joke. It wasn’t an overt kind of signposting, but it was fairly telltale when they’re going for a laugh. Plus, Stanley’s laugh is almost as funny as his jokes. LOL.

Anyways, with all that being said, I’m fairly happy about my set that night. It was a marked improvement over the previous one, although I know I still have a lot more to develop and hone before I can feel even the least bit content about my output...

I’m a being-unto-mirth. Slowly, but surely, I know this will all lead to something good, and if it’s any indication, the very promising prospect I’m cooking up with them is just the start of something excellent for everyone involved.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

You're On A Roll!

.:You’re On A Roll!:.

Senator Bong Revilla calls Dr. Kho a “maniac”.

The good senator is on a roll, and has now taken the opportunity to really slam Dr. Hayden Kho over the multiple sex scandals he is currently embroiled in, earning him the unenviable/enviable monicker, “The Edison Chen of the Philippines”.

I understand that you have to have concrete knowledge about the videos to be able to pass on judgment over the issue, but maybe it's just me, but isn't his seeming "expertise" on the topic tipping off just how intently he viewed this scandal? I do find the statements about the issue rather... odd...

“I saw the scandal, and it was so disgusting! Especially what he did to her at 8:25. That was just revolting! I had to rewind it several times just to fathom how deplorable that was. And the way she sounded in 14:22. That really made my... hair... stand up on end. It was unbelievable what Hayden did! And she was even asking him repeatedly at 17:40 if anyone was recording them because of those creaking sounds in the background. And when he finally... oy vey. It was just wrong. Hayden, anak ka ng teteng! I think I need some new pants.

In all seriousness, while I cannot condone Dr. Kho’s actions (and apparent lack of remorse), is it already verified that he was the one who released the video scandals? Because if he did, then for once, I’d have to agree with the good senator on this one, grandstanding aside.

Oh, Senator Revilla. Never change!

Filipinos Were Poked Fun At Again, Oh Noes!

.:Here We Go Again...:.

Because Chip Tsao is soooo yesterday’s news, as far as Filipinos are concerned.

Alec Baldwin makes a joke about Filipina (And Russian) mail-order brides, and Filipinos predictably bristle. Obviously, the overblown reaction to the offhand comment will follow, and Bong Revilla doesn’t disappoint.

As always, I’m here to say that while I understand people who take offense over these jokes (I personally don’t, but I am all for YMMV.), I don’t think that reacting like boors and savages will get the point across that Mr. Baldwin’s comments did not go over well with people. Personally, I’m of the belief that a joke is a joke is a joke, but hey, I’m the type who laughs at dead baby comedies, so my tolerance for risqué humor is higher than the average Filipino’s.

Just look at it this way... are the Russians reacting nearly as violently as some of us Filipinos are right now? A simple Google search would tell you that no, the Russians aren’t the least bit offended by this off-handed comment. While we tolerate our own brand of racism here in this country (Albeit Candy Pangilinan’s joke about Igorots didn’t fly too well with us, either.), we cry foul when it’s our turn to be in the limelight.

You gotta love the double standard on free speech here, and I doubt it’s endemic to Filipinos alone. How many people have we heard whining in their blogs/twitters/plurks about people who whine about them in their blogs/twitters/plurks? How many of them wish these people who have something negative to say about them disappear, yet turn around and do the exact same thing to other people?

Ladies and gentlemen, if you can’t take it, then stop dishing it out. You made your bed, so freaking lie in it. You can’t expect to make up some silly standards for yourself then break them when it’s convenient then uphold them when someone else is breaking them and it’s not to your liking. If you want to besmirch someone, then be prepared to be besmirched right back... or poked fun at, for acting like an airheaded boor with no concept of manners whatsoever.

So yeah, Mr. Baldwin: I didn’t take offense over your not-so-funny joke, and on behalf of the Filipinos who will overreact, I apologize in advance.

But man, you should learn to treat your daughter nicer. That was pretty harsh, and unlike Christian Bale, this wasn’t your DP you chewed out. It’s your own daughter.

P.S. Of course, I do wonder if the Russians aren’t reacting because they’re sending the KGB to deal with Baldwin and Letterman as we speak...

.:So Why’s Nobody Reacting To Roger Ebert Yet?:.

Roger Ebert slams “Kinatay” as the “worst film in Cannes history”, and am I wrong in thinking that there will be a backlash against Ebert over this?

If a person thinks the movie was crap, then that’s one man’s opinion. He even sort of liked “Serbis”, which was shown last year, so to pull the racist card on the man would probably be quite a stretch of imagination.

But lo and behold, I will just have to wait. Give it about a week to sink in, and you will have Filipinos calling for Roger Ebert’s head for giving a negative review about a film that just happened to be Filipino. How dare a man do his job and not like a movie? It’s Filipino! Filipino movies are good and perfect! With classics like “Enteng Kabisote” and “Lapu-Lapu”, how could he possibly denigrate the very pinnacle of filmmaking genius?!?

That’s right. Ebert is a hack, and a racist hack at that! We demand he apologize to the Philippines, nay, we demand that he kneel down before us and ask for our forgiveness, because we will never let him see another Filipino film ever again until he does! He will be deprived of cinematic greats like “Kangkong” and “Itlog”, and forever rue the day that he deigned to express his opinion against us Filipinos. Only us Filipinos should be allowed to criticize fellow Filipinos...w ait, no! We shouldn’t do that either, because that’s called “crab mentality”. Nobody has the right to criticize Filipinos!

P.S. Here’s hoping this preemptive jocular gesture will remain only that – a jocular gesture. I will seriously palmface if I see another politician attempt to use this incident as an opportunity to grandstand again. Guys, do your job! Stop scrounging the internet for what other people have to say about us!

Jack TV Animation Festival 2009!

.:JACK TV’s Animation Festival!:.

Pictures are borrowed from Azrael. Thanks!


Chokeslam! Bah Gawd!

Last Saturday proved to be a very interesting experience for me as I hosted Jack TV’s Animation Festival for their afternoon leg, and it was a blast, as I found myself co-hosting with Fatima, one of my friends in the cosplay industry. It was really fun, because I’ve been hosting far less often than I do magic gigs lately, and it was a welcome change of pace, seeing that I wasn’t only going to do voice overs and the like for raffles, I was also going to host a cosplay competition, albeit a small one, since there were only eight competitors due to the fact that there wasn’t enough hype for it.

Despite that, as you can see, we had some pretty good contestants, including Undertaker (excellent impersonation of the dead man), Carlito (as pictured above), and John Morrison from the WWE. Of course, the more elaborate costumes came from the LXB (League of Xtraordinary Beings) block of JACK TV’s programming, which featured:


Three characters from Marvel, two from DC.

Well, aside from that, it was pretty fun hosting with Fatima because we were just ad libbing like mad for quite a while during that day, what with the opportunities to poke fun at anything we could, and acknowledging the presence of people who were there, such as Louanne, Az, RG, Mark Cerbo, or yes, Chris. I was being incorrigible as usual, and of course, the audience was very receptive to our antics. I even ran into Doc Ronnie during the event, as Pinoy Toy Kollektors was actually there for the day.

In any case, much love going out to JACK TV for having us over, although here’s hoping next time, you also have guys who will join and cosplay as characters from your SACK (Superb Animated Comedy Knock-Outs) like Family Guy and The Simpsons...


’Til next year, we hope!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Happy Returns!

.:Happy Birthday, Eky!:.

One of my good friends, Eky, celebrated her birthday last Saturday, and I’m very happy to have had the chance to be present at her celebration. Meeting some of my old friends from high school was cool as well, and of course, my first ever experience with Rock Band was definitely a great one, albeit admittedly, “Livin’ On A Prayer” was pretty difficult to sing... heh.

I tried pretty much every single instrument... guitars, bass, and even drums, and it was just a load of fun, to say the least, although seeing Eky very happy that night really was great. She’s been through a lot of rough spots throughout the year so far, and seeing her so happy and surrounded by people who care about her does make you feel that nice guys don’t always have to finish last.

I may be straight edge, but here’s a cyber-cold one for ya, Eky! Belated greetings to you!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Today's LSS... Angel, by Sarah McLachlan

.:I Need Some Distraction...:.

Sometimes, everything weighs down on you, but the trick is to keep on keeping on despite everything that goes wrong in your life. You owe it to yourself.

But for now, I need some distraction, as I deal with the tempests of my so-called life. There are few things that make me weaker than the realization that I have loved all for nothing.

Then again, what else is new?



Angel
by Sarah McLachlan

Spend all your time waiting
For that second chance
For a break that would make it okay
Theres always one reason
To feel not good enough
And its hard at the end of the day
I need some distraction
Oh beautiful release
Memory seeps from my veins
Let me be empty
And weightless and maybe
Ill find some peace tonight

In the arms of an angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
Youre in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort there

So tired of the straight line
And everywhere you turn
Theres vultures and thieves at your back
And the storm keeps on twisting
You keep on building the lie
That you make up for all that you lack
It dont make no difference
Escaping one last time
Its easier to believe in this sweet madness oh
This glorious sadness that brings me to my knees

In the arms of an angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
Youre in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort there
Youre in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Bipolar

.:Oh, Yes. I’m The Great Pretender...:.

Sometimes, I can’t believe how well I fool myself and other people that I’m just fine. Knowing you don’t feel the way I do about you, knowing it’s just me again.

Sometimes, I find very strong and compelling arguments that make me believe that indeed, loving someone just plain sucks. This is my day of bitterness. Let me at it.




.:Of Course, You Know, This Means War...:.

Something about seeing Jollibee prance around in front of a McDonald’s parade just really cracks me up...



Will McDonald’s have a reprisal? Lol.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

In My Element

.:FADAL Manila Launch In Fashion Art: A Revelation:.

Azrael invited me to the launch of Fashion Designers Alliance Manila, and I gladly accepted, since I was present during the F. Art “Perya” show last time with Happy and Viva, where I first met these two amazing ladies. I would be the first to admit I’m not a fashion blogger, but as supporters of art, be it music or comedy or even magic, F. Art is simply a home to aspiring artists such as myself, albeit not necessarily artists in the fashion world.

I am awed at the sheer effort Happy puts into her craft, and meeting other designers who are part of this new group, as well as finding out that Happy is the president of the group, is nothing but sheer awesomeness in my book. While I am not in the know when it comes to the movers and shakers of the fashion world, I know I was party to something big last night, and I’m sure the other bloggers might have felt this as well.

Amusingly enough, Mike Unson was there, which meant this was the second time in two days I’ve seen the guy, and so was Ronnie Mariano, whom I was with last Monday for the Ruffa and Ai guesting spot. I went there to see what was going on, but I was in for quite a shock when Viva approached me ever so sweetly and asked if I could share some of my magic with them that night. Who was I to turn down such a lovely offer?

After courtesies were extended between the designers and the bloggers, Mike went up to do his standup set, and people were rolling in the aisles. I must admit that I laugh rather hard whenever I watch comedy, but that’s because more often than not, I pay good money to be entertained, so this is me showing the performer onstage that hell, I’m getting my money’s worth. I’ve seen Mike and the rest of the Cartel countless times already, but every single time, they bring something new to the table, and tonight was no different. Bloggers and designers alike were very much entertained by the great Mike Unson, so there was a bit of pressure for me to step my magic up a notch that night.

Now, I normally don’t go around with a full show in my bag, but I almost always have three powerful routines prepared just in case: Shanghai Shackles, Lady And The Rope, and Liquid Metal. It’s not a full show, to be sure, but it’s definitely something that would entertain people, as these routines are three of my best routines.

Afterwards,, we found ourselves invited to some upcoming fashion shows, most of which I would love to attend if only to support the fashion industry in my own way, fashion blogger or not. It’s the least I could do for a gracious community that hosted us bloggers and invited me to perform.

Unbelievably, one of the people I performed for turned out to be Ms. Jaz Cerezo, one of the contestants in Project Runway Philippines.


Wow!



.:What I Have Learned...:.

The thing is, I used some of the lines I used in my standup foray the previous night, and there was a marked difference. I was in a different zone, and while I was performing magic, the jokes that seemed to ramble and meander off during Tuesday night were very well-received and spot-on last night. It did make me wonder what the difference was, and if the fact that I was doing magic instead of pure standup had anything to do with it. I realized that the answer was “yes and no.”

Yes, doing magic affected my lines. But no, it didn’t affect it in a way that my lines were cooler or better, since they were in essence, the exact same lines I used the previous night. How doing magic affected my lines was the confidence I had when I was onstage and performing that night. I will be as meek as a lamb when it comes to talking about my capacity as a standup comedian (Which I am not.), but I will have an air of confidence, at times, even a swagger, when I am up there as a professional magician (Which I know in my mind and heart, I am.).

It wasn’t that magic filled in any gaps between the gags I used to entertain the audience. That was merely secondary. What being on “magic mode” allowed me to do was to go up there and believe with every inch of my soul that I knew what the Hades I was doing, and it showed. In effect, the delivery noticeably changed, and one of the bloggers present, Jennie, pointed that out, since she saw the video I had performing standup the previous night and she was able to make a comparison.

Admittedly, while I recognized that I had a long way to go if I really want to pursue standup, I was a bit downhearted the entire day because I knew I laid an egg the previous night. I’m my own worst critic, and while others might sugarcoat my standup last Tuesday and tell me that “you have good material, but your setup could use some work,” I was telling myself how absolutely terrible I was that night. Being given an opportunity to perform last night while I was in my element simply gave me back a lot of confidence. I’m still my own worst critic, and I probably noticed at least fifty things I could’ve done better during that brief magic show, but I can go home satisfied with the thought that I entertained a room full of people that night.

To Happy and to Viva, to the members of FADAL Manila, and even to the bloggers whom I’ve seen for the first time ever, it was a wonderful opportunity to have met all of you, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to have entertained you last night. It was a great shot in the arm, and I’m definitely here to support you guys in your endeavours in whatever way I can.

On Baptisms And Fires

.:Absolute Respect:.

That is the emotion I felt as I was amazed, impressed, and humbled all at the same time last Tuesday night during my first ever open mic for standup comedy.

Now, I’ll have you know that I would be the last person to ever sell comedy short. It’s not easy to be funny at the drop of a hat, and it’s certainly not easy to make people laugh for a living. If people think magic is hard, I must say that comedy is probably harder, particularly when it comes to a barrier of entry that cannot easily be breached with merely a fat wallet.

Magic as an art form has its own difficulties and challenges, but the sheer effort going into a mere five minutes of comedy for a standup comedian worth his salt is exorbitant, to say the least. We tend to take for granted the jokes that a comedian would chuck at us, thinking that if we were up on stage, we’d be doing just as well, or possibly even better than they do.

As a guy who thought it was going to be difficult, let me tell you already: it’s even harder than I thought.

I’ve been doing magic for years. People know that when I’m in performance mode, I have a completely different aura. I seem to pick up an unmistakable swagger that shows people the kind of confidence I have in what I do. As a guy who has tried his hand in many different forms of magic, I must say that mentalism and comedy magic are the two forms of the art that appeal the most to me, and are also the two forms that I do respectably well in.

Some people might assume that if you can do comedy magic, then the transition to pure standup comedy should be a snap. I’m here to tell you that unless you’re simply that gifted, it’s not. My experience last Tuesday night, with material I wrote and carefully went over for almost two weeks, all flew out the window when I went on open mic in Toyz.

First of all, I expected that the open mic people would go ahead of the actual comedians. I figured that they’d want to save the best for last, but I figured wrong. They saved me for last, which just really took me aback, since Ryan, Noel, Derf, Mike, and Stanley all went ahead of me, and I was even the second of two open mic people.

While it’s expected that they would deliver topnotch observational comedy that night, I must digress for a bit and give my props to Stanley Chi, the birthday boy, who went on, in my opinion, the best standup set I’ve ever seen from him, and I’ve been watching him for almost three years already. Stanley has always been a funny guy, but he was just on fire last Tuesday, and I cannot tell you enough how awesome I found his set to be.

So imagine my trepidation when I came on, and my friends mostly from The Story Circle went there to support me on my first ever foray into standup comedy. I stumbled my way through 2/3rds of my set, as I realized I went too long and rambled on too much. I’d like to think I had competent material, but I flat-out sucked in delivery and timing, as I set my punchlines up for way too long.

Thinking back to Leodini’s lecture about comedy magic, I realized what he meant: my laugh-a-minute ratio was far too low to hold up in a standup comedy setting. I was so used to doing it the way Penn and Teller do it: tell a story, go for some light chuckles that may or may not come, then go for a big laugh around three minutes into your narrative. My 0.2 laughs per minute ratio was not going to cut it, especially not for a 5-minute set.

After listening to some gentle but telling advice from the pros, they simply affirmed what I believed all along: I want to do this, but I have a long way to go. There’s no shame in that. We all start from somewhere, and I’d like to think I have nowhere to go but up from this point.

I think back to my first ever paid show for Richard Merck, and I realize that while I cannot claim to be a great, noteworthy magician, I have come a long way from three years ago when I was just starting out. I still have so much room to improve, but what’s important is that I’m willing to listen and do what it takes to get there. I dare to fail, and whatever rejections and harsh words I may receive, I willingly accept it as part of the learning process for as long as these awesome people are willing to bear with me.

To the Comedy Cartel + Ryan the Cowboy, I thank you guys for the opportunity to give what used to be merely a pipe dream a try. I can’t tell you enough how big of a deal all this was to me.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ruffa And Ai, Comedy Cartel... Mmmm....

.:The Second Go-Round:.

I did only Liquid Metal yesterday when I guested for a second time for “Ruffa And Ai”, but it was definitely well worth the effort, as the audience was clearly pleased with my performance, and of course, I’d be remiss not to mention Ronnie Mariano’s Snowstorm, which definitely wowed people as well.

That day, I also had the opportunity to teach a bit of magic to Ai-Ai, who did pretty well when she did the ring through rope routine. I’m definitely happy about this opportunity to have been featured on ABS-CBN 2 a second time, although I got a bit too tongue-tied when I ran into Kuya Kim, and didn’t tell him about my not-so-perfect experience with Matanglawin some time back.

Nonetheless, it was a very interesting run, to say the least. I’d love to be back there if the opportunity presents itself again, albeit a Kel and Jay appearance would be much more hopeful. :P

.:In The Interest Of Diversification...:.

... I have been working on this for a while already, and given how my nightlife lately has consisted of going to Mag:Net or Route to watch bands, or hang out with people like Sparks and Jenny and Pakbet, or to go to Mag:Net or Spicy Fingers or Conspi to watch the Comedy Cartel perform.

Thing is, I missed some awesome shows from Route last week, involving Project 2 and some acoustic nights for bands I never expected to have acoustic nights. Despite that, the tradeoff of having been able to hang out with the Cartel has been nothing but eye-opening to me, particularly when I went to Toyz for the first time to watch some members of the Cartel do their comedy there on an open mic night where they get together to try out new jokes and routines.

I like the band scene more than the club scene, so that explains my fascination with hearing people like The Ronnies, Itchyworms, and Radioactive Sago Project, but we know why I’m not trying to be part of a band or something, don’t we?

Well, since I can’t sing or dance for crap, I decided that giving standup comedy a try would be for the better, so with tonight’s Open Mic night in Toyz looming over me, wish me luck! I’m definitely stoked about it.

After a good conversation with some of the people from Cartel, especially Noel and Richie, I got encouraged to try my hand at writing some stuff here and there, so I’m extremely grateful to them for the encouragement. We’ll see where this is all headed, I suppose. I’m fairly excited about the prospects coming up, to say the least.

And speaking of the Comedy Cartel, wish my good friend, Stanley Chi, a happy birthday!

The I-Blog 5 Roundup

.:The I-Blog 5 Roundup:.

As always, I-Blog was a great day filled with opportunities for learning and growth. With a lot of new bloggers making their presence felt for the first time in I-Blog 5, it was a perfect opportunity to introduce to them to the great things blogging has to offer right now.

As one of the few people who has attended all five I-Blogs, I saw the steady evolution of the Philippine Blogosphere, for better and for worse. Friendships were built, as were rivalries, new bloggers arose, older bloggers faded into the background, but overall, the trend of Philippine blogging has been one of growth.

There was a time that blogging was nigh-exclusively the online equivalent of opening your diary to the world, but now, that is merely one slice of a gigantic pie that cuts across various factors, dynamics, and considerations that have become the norm in the blogosphere, from travel bloggers to photo bloggers to video bloggers to food bloggers to tech bloggers to everything in between. I-Blog 5 addresses these trends, sometimes even precedes these trends, and tries to give some semblance of order to the wild, wild west we have come to know as the blogosphere.

For better or for worse, blogging is here to stay. As legal issues have clearly begun to be pushed to the forefront with the whole Pangandaman vs. Dela Paz issue, we are slowly discovering that indeed, there is a need to be responsible for what we blog about. It’s no longer just a blog. We’re no longer just bloggers. This is not to say we’re superior, but we are achieving the par, and that means we have to be willing to stand up for the things we write on our blogs. You never know if your latest senseless rant is actually grounds for libel, after all... well, actually, you should know, since it’s fairly obvious when a line is crossed.

Nonetheless, with this in mind, I must say that a fun topic like video blogging as covered by Azrael and Kring was nothing short of teh awesome. The humorous approach to the topic was definitely a highlight, and I commend them for the stellar effort, and Kring’s witty commentary during her presentation.

Special mention also has to go to Juned and Benj, aka Yin and Yang, who talked about blogging ethics, including a call to responsibility and a discussion on taboos, and the kind of censure that arises from a community with no real punitive measures for the breaking of taboos.

Of course, I’d be remiss not to mention the Nuffnang segment of I-Blog (In the interest of disclosure, I’ve been working for Nuffnang since April 15.), as my boss, Mr. Eric Ramirez, gave a talk about how Nuffnang Philippines has been doing in eight months of existence here in the Philippines.

Indeed, I-Blog 5 was quite an experience, and with a fun after-party involving some dancing from Kring and Poyt, as well as some crazy antics and laughs to be had by everyone, as well as the after-after party I had involving a few other bloggers where I had quite a great time swapping stories and even sharing some lateral thinking puzzles with them.

Overall, I-Blog 5 was a great opportunity to showcase how far the blogosphere has gone in the Philippines. Needless to say, we can only hope for even more interesting developments come I-Blog 6.

My hands disappear in sheer approval! (Photo courtesy of Jen Adams...)


Jazz hands!


Monday, May 11, 2009

I'll be on Ruffa and Ai around 10:15-11:15 AM today, guys, on Channel 2. Do watch! :)

Friday, May 08, 2009

I'm Guesting On Ruffa And Ai AGAIN This Monday!!! =D

.:Before Anything...:.

I’m guesting on Ruffa And Ai this Monday, 11 May, 2009, from 10:15-11:15 AM, Channel 2, LIVE!

Yes. I’m guesting again. This time, I’ll be doing mentalism instead of comedy magic. =)

.:TV Guesting Win!:.

My TV guesting on “Ruffa and Ai” went well even if it unfortunately wasn’t with my partner in crime, Jay Mata. I was on a total of three times, and I was definitely happy about the results. I performed in a rather rushed manner, but I still got to entertain the people in the audience, although the fact that they gave out my cellphone number during the show sorta made for very interesting times...

The entire episode is here, actually...

Anyways, I hope you guys liked it. It was a pretty great guesting, and the hosts, Ruffa and Ai-Ai, were very nice people. =)

.:The Cellphone Is A Crazy Thing...:.

So last year, I’ve been getting crazy text messages from random people who thought my cellphone was Giselle Sanchez’s phone, which resulted in a lot of hilarious moments where people declared their love and refused to believe I wasn’t Giselle Sanchez.

Anyways, it got worse after I guested on “Ruffa and Ai” last Monday, since my number was on TV, and the minute I stepped out of the studio (There was no signal there.), I was blasted with 50 messages, one after the other, and it was just unbelievable. My phone kept on getting

By my count, I had: one indecent proposal, one person asking me for load, one person inviting me to a party in Tondo, seventy people who wanted to learn my “secret for magic”, and two hundred sixty thousand people who wanted to be my textmate. Compare that to the five people who inquired about my services, and I begin to realize that my internet marketing has been much better than my mainstream media forays, promotion-wise.

However, I must say that this text message really just completely took the cake...

"Sir, napanood ko kayo sa Ruffa & Ai sa TV. U r a good magician. May hingi ako magic word pangkontra sa masama spiritu. Kabila bahay namin mahilig kulam kami sa kaluluwa. I wish u will help me."

Let me make a few things clear...

1. I don’t do textmates. My cell number is a business number. Stop texting me in the middle of the night asking me if I ate lunch. Texting costs money, and I have better things to spend my money on than fielding every single “h3llur PoWh” message out there.

2. I am straight edge. Yes, that includes casual sex. So don’t even think about it.

3. I am a snob. I don’t like talking to complete strangers unless I have to. This especially means that I hate forwarded text messages from people I don’t even know. It’s bad enough from people I actually know.

4. I am a magician-for-hire. That means I don’t give away magic secrets.

5. I am absolutely not an exorcist!

Anyways, here’s hoping that I don’t get these crazy messages again next time I go on TV, but for now, I’m just mildly confused and amused at the deluge of messages I’ve been receiving.

.:Blogging More Some Other Day...:.

I’d have blogged more today, but my arm hurts like crazy. =(

When I donated blood for Cakit’s dad last week, I think the nurse didn’t do too well hooking me up, so the result?


Ouch!!!


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Thoughts On Recent Developments...

.:This Is Me Pretending I Care...:.

Congratulations, Manny Pacquiao! Awesome victory! Now, if you can just get off the political bandwagon, maybe I’d start caring more.

P.S. You’re an awesome guy, but I hope you don’t mind if I don’t pin my hopes on you. You got to where you are with hard work and training, not just dreams and wishes. Let’s hope your fans get the hint.

.:Books Of Wrath:.

I cannot even begin to understand how our customs can be as stupid as to do this, but here’s hoping these money-grubbing idiots get their comeuppance in due time.

The sheer gall of people like these, making their absurd assertions, and acting all high and mighty like this is just beyond me, to be honest. We signed the Florence Treaty in 1952. The way customs has been abusing their position to force people to cough up money for everything from a present to relief goods has been deplorable, and exposing the pseudo-embargo on books they’ve pretty much enforced is merely the tip of a terrible iceberg.

There isn’t enough fury I can muster up to show my displeasure over this practice. Really, there isn’t. This is pretty much why I don’t tolerate cabbies who ask me if I’d like to turn off the meter when I ride on their cabs. I have great contempt for people who game the system and abuse it.

Well, this situation bears watching. For now, that’s all I can do.

.:Geez, Lighten Up!:.

When I think about the laws of free speech in America and how their freedoms allow them to burn an American flag not merely in protest, but, in the words of Penn of Penn and Teller, in celebration of their freedom to perform such an act, I realize that such an act is illegal in the Philippines, and yet we also say we are a “free country”.

Unless I am mistaken, any given reinterpretation of the Star Spangled Banner is fair game for the United States, and I’m not surprised that we have certain specifications when it comes to the Philippine National anthem, but isn’t it time we looked at how strictly we enforce these laws?

I’m still on the fence how to feel about the national anthem bit, really. On one hand, I believe in the freedom of expression. On the other hand, I don’t want to come off as if I have no respect for my country or the national anthem.

Perhaps we should change the national anthem, to make it more singer-friendly. I mean, we already changed our national animal, didn’t we?

What we shouldn’t change, though, is our National Bookstore. That would just be terrible.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Magikel @ Channel 2's Ruffa And Ai This Monday!

I am guesting tomorrow at ABS-CBN's "Ruffa and Ai" (MONDAY), sometime around 10:15-11:15 am. Waiting for confirmation today, but wish me luck, and do catch the episode. I'd be exceedingly happy if you did. :)

Friday, May 01, 2009

Random Thoughts On Labor Day...

.:Here's Hoping For Post-Paid Friendly Promotions!:.

Globe had an excellent awareness campaign for their SuliTXT 15 and Everybody TXT 20 promos, where both offers give you 100 text messages to Globe and Touchmobile subscribers, although Everybody TXT would allow you to text 10 messages as well to non-Globe or TM subscribers.

These offers will last 24 hours from when you avail of them, whether via registering on 8888 or at your neighborhood loading center as well. It's never been easier!

The campaign last night was hosted by the amazing Dax Martin, a gay comedian who really had the audiences rolling in the aisle. I ended up making beso with him a bunch of times, since it was all in good fun, and the bloggers were enjoying themselves while we were all there.

Thanks to Globe for having us over, and for making life easier for the prepaid subscriber who wants to get the best bang for their buck.

Of course, one would hope that us Globe post-paid subscribers would have our own promos in the future. =P

.:EDIT: Well Played, MA'AM. Well Played:.

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I am a big fan of taking it the way you dish it out. Well, I've dished out a lot of vitriol over the past few weeks, so now, I have discovered that according to this blog entry, I could be one of two types of bloggers:

1. I am either the person who "likes magic" (Which isn't entirely true. I "love" magic. And do it for a living. Haha.), and is thus, the ANGRY BLOGGER who "seldom makes sense", or...

2. I am this new category of bloggers: the FEELING MO PINAG-UUSAPAN KA, PERO HINDI NAMAN" blogger.

I will be the first to admit that I am not the paragon of coolness, as I have a very short fuse and I tend to have a lot of pet peeves. On the other hand, I don't want my defining characteristic as a blogger to be one who is "angry all the time".

You see, that's the nature of satire: it exposes inconvenient truths for all of us, and I am not the kind of hypocrite who would cry foul over something like this, assuming this is in reference to me. I dished it out, I should be able to take it.

Hades, if anything, I got off easy here. Being called an "angry blogger" who "seldom makes sense" is a lot less harsh than some of the other comments leveled at the other people in the other categories.

So anyways, to Patricia Magubat, I don't know you, but I thank you for your astute observation. I don't wanna promise I'd stop being an angry blogger when I see just cause in being so, and if this bit turned out to not be about me after all, I don't wanna promise I'd stop being vain, either. =P

It's satire, guys. If it hits you, dammit, learn from it! Batu-bato sa langit, ang tamaan, buti nga! Ang pikon ay laging talo. =P

Errata: As I said, in the event that I happen to be wrong about this, I will humbly accept the term "Feeling pinag-uusapan pero hindi naman pala blogger". Given the updates, it would appear I *am* wrong, and I wasn't the "angry blogger". Now, I suppose it's safe to say that I am now the "guilty blogger", but I would also like to apologize to Patricia for referring to her as a "sir", since I was just using the expression "well played, sir" even if I wasn't really assuming that the author was male.

Now, I can safely say that I'm right about being the "guilty blogger", not just because of the clues given, but because if I'm wrong again, then it's pretty obvious that I really am guilty, lol.

Still, I'm serious when I say: guys, if it hits you, instead of taking offense, do something about it! It's for your own good!