Tuesday, May 31, 2011

JCS: The Second Coming

.:JCS: The Second Coming:.

They could've had a bigger poster, though.

Last Saturday, seeing as how Typhoon Chedeng canceled an office event we had, I decided to take up Billycoy on his invitation to catch Repertory Workshop's staging of JCS, which is, along with Avenue Q, my favorite musical of all time. I do not exaggerate when I say I've seen the TV version of this musical at least two hundred times already, so I was going to be pretty nitpicky about what I was going to see.

Still, I didn't want to go alone, so I ended up asking a relatively new friend of mine, Jen, if she was interested in watching the musical. I was happy to know that she was, so we went in, pretty much stoked about catching JCS live. Personally, I was also on the lookout to see what role Billycoy was going to play, since he never mentioned which one he was assigned.

True, I really loved JCS like crazy, but I didn't want to watch the staging with impossibly high standards. Indeed, I found the film version to be close to perfection, but I didn't want to foist those same standards on a staging by a group of obviously talented but mostly greenhorn performers. Cutting them some slack in my mind before I went in allowed me to enjoy the play more than I probably would have had I been more exacting.

I memorized the soundtrack from beginning to end, including the film-only song, "Then We Are Decided," which I only recently found out was not ever part of the stagings of JCS. As I saw the cast really give it their all, I couldn't help but realize how much Judas stood out in that cast, as well as Pilate and Herod.

Unfortunately, Jesus and Caiaphas didn't do nearly as well. Jesus couldn't hit the high notes, and Caiaphas couldn't hit the low notes. Maybe they should've switched?

That being said, it was still a fun romp, and Billycoy has me beat in the "starring in a musical" department, which I have never done, despite auditioning for Avenue Q. He even had two roles, as he portrayed both a soldier and a pimp throughout the play, which just shows versatility right there.

And I know this picture makes me look really fat, but hey, whaddaheck. Your moment of zen:

What's the buzz? Tell me what's happening!

Afterwards, Jen and I went for some yogurt for a nightcap, and I saw her off shortly thereafter. All in all, a pretty great time, and one that I hope I can do again soon.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Project 52 (22/52): Look At Me Now - Chris Brown Featuring Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes

.:Project 52 (22/52): Look At Me Now - Chris Brown Featuring Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes:.

Embedded above is a cover done by internet sensation Karmin, who just really knocked this song right out of the park. "Look At Me Now" is admittedly a fairly expletive-laden song with some hardcore rapping courtesy of Busta Rhymes, Lil Wayne, and even Chris Brown himself.

Y'know, to be honest, I feel for Chris Brown, and it's not because I think it's okay what he did to Rhianna all those years ago. If anything, given how I am, I do recognize how wrong what he did was. Despite that, it's been years, he clearly regrets having done it, and because he's black, he isn't cut the same kind of slack Charlie Sheen has been cut for having done worse to Denise Richards.

That being said, no matter how you may like or dislike Chris Brown as a person, not only does his musical talent stand apart from all that, his song pretty much speaks the truth. You can hate on the man all you want, but your eyes are on him, and he's making money while you're sitting around slinging mud at him. See if he cares, really.

But yeah, whatever I have to say for or against Chris Brown, the true hook for this song was Busta Rhymes's verse, as he just spat out those lyrics in a way that would make the hypothetical and clearly impossible love child of Twista and Rebel XD proud. It's really what made the song stick to my head for the past week, and has easily sent it into my shortlist of favorite songs from 2011.

Give this cover a listen, because it's pretty witty how well Karmin edited the whole song to make it a radio-friendly masterpiece. Pretty good work all around, and it inspires me to go and practice spitting out Busta's verse, even if my tongue is complaining about getting tied way too much.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Street Fights, Sword Fights, Laugh Bites, And Geek Fights

.:Apparently, Spiral Causes Fights To Break Out:.

This is like, what? The fifth or sixth time someone challenged me to a fistfight or something? And over what? The fact that they can’t break out of the Spiral knife trap on Marvel vs. Capcom 2? That’s pretty sad, really.

Next time I see that guy, he’s not gonna like it when I give him even more Spiral goodness.

Let’s face it: if you suck at playing games, don’t blame the expert for owning you. Learn to play, and get better.

.:Machete Hotdogs!:.

Aljur’s hotdog rocks.

I never expected tuna hotdog to taste more hotdog and less tuna, but Century has pulled it off! On top of that, I even had the opportunity to just run into Mr. Aljur Abrenica himself, who seems to be the nicest guy ever, to say the least.

The Disenchanted Kingdom has definitely been a very star-studded show the past week, what with Karylle and Jim Paredes showing up as well last Thursday. It’s a bit crazy to know that they’re gonna be six to nine in the evening, Mondays to Fridays, come next week, though. Let’s see how that plays out.

.:Merk’s Yet Again!:.

Missed out on performing in Tomato Kick because of the Let’s Get Digital party, but I made up for it by having an excellent eleven minutes in Merk’s, combining some of my new and classic standup material with the ultimate crowd-pleasing mentalist act: psychokinesis.

There were just four comics that night, and surprise surprise, Chino Liao headlined!

Larger than life, that Chino.

.:To The Victors! To Uranus!:.

Last Thursday night, in Gweilo, the team that adopted me last time hosted the Geek Fight for the night, and it was all about Nerd Machismo.

Not pictured : an actual nerd.

With eight categories, including Organized Crime, Post-Apocalyptic Scenarios, Male Fashion, Manly IQ, Manly(?) Music (They played a Bieber song! How was this manly?!?), Secret Agents, Vehicles, A Goddamn Batman round, and of course, the round we Jokered (That is, you win twice as many points per correct answer in that round.), Pro Wrestling.

That night, I ended up seated with the team who apparently won the previous Geek Fight: the Explorers of Uranus, and they gamely adopted me, as I convinced them that we should focus on Pro Wrestling as our Joker round, even if it seemed, I was the only one on the table absolutely certain about our (collective) pro wrestling knowledge.

So we got down to business, and we didn’t have a very auspicious start. We were mostly keeping pace with everyone, until things started cooking during the Organized Crime round, when one of the veterans, Leo, just took the reins for our team and introduced us to the wonders of the Omerta and the Colombian Necktie. Ouch. Remind me to never pick a fight with Leo. Heh.

It was also shocking that during the music round, the ladies of our team were the ones answering with utmost confidence. It turns out they were clearly manlier than the men on our table, which just amused the Hades out of everyone involved.

The round that really swung it was really the Pro Wrestling round, as our team got 8 out of 10 answers (thanks to also getting the bonus question right), that catapulted us past Broken Social Skills, one of the best teams in Geekfight bar none, by the slimmest of margins: one measly point. That round must have been my favourite round of all time, considering how much of the questions I really knew the answers to.

As an amusing side note to the Batman round, when asked who played Batgirl (Lexi Belle!) in the Porn Parody, I absent-mindedly blurted out, "Wait, I know this! I saw... err... read about this!" The rest of the team just nodded at me condescendingly. :p

Anyways, as I did mention, Explorers Of Uranus ended up winning a second straight Geekfight. As you can tell, we were very happy about that…

This picture proves that the iPad 2 is the most awkward camera ever. Just sayin’.

Immediately upon winning, we decided to cash in and pig out in Gweilo’s, as most of us actually ordered conservatively that night. There was a lot of food to go around afterwards, all in the blink of an eye.

Ah, the sweet taste of victory. It is very sweet. And victorious.

Here’s to the next Geekfight, then! I’m totally stoked for it, and who’s to say what happens next, right?

A Contribution To Filipino Freethinkers

.:A Contribution To Filipino Freethinkers:.

Now, whilst there’s a lot of hoopla going on about the RH Bill that the fine folk at Filipino Freethinkers are covering like mad, and whilst I’m certainly not an atheist by any means, I do feel for them.

On the other hand, with all the brilliant commentary from their end about the issue already, I figured that it was better for me to contribute to their fine website by writing about a topic dear to my heart : mentalism.

I’ve been a professional mentalist for going on five years already. Through it all, I’ve maintained kayfabe, but never hesitated to drop character if it was going to cause me any crisis of conscience. As a performer, there is, by definition of being a magician (Sorry, fellow mentalists. You still count.), an implicit contract between audience and performer that you’re going to deceive them, but you’re going to entertain them through it. This is the tie that binds: the contract that allows people to enjoy the performance of magic without them thinking too hard how it was done afterwards.

When you drop that conceit and pick up that of passing yourself off as the real thing, it begins to tread on questionable ethical grounds. This is particularly highlighted when you use your magic tricks to fool people into thinking you could tell them how to live their lives, sleep with them, or talk to dead spirits. Given my background, and given the fact that I’m all after elevating the respect for the art form, it becomes very objectionable for me when a show like Mind Master gets away with manipulating people who are grieving for a lost loved one.

I think my post on FF covers all my objections to the whole thing, albeit in a sarcastic manner. I can totally understand when people think that perhaps question the motive of the takedown, but anyone who has known me long enough knows that it isn’t just about the person, but about the ethical issues he now pushes mentalism into. As a performer sharing the same designation as he, I do not want to be misrepresented as that, and would like to set the record straight.

Now, without exposing any secrets, I will explicitly tell you: we are not mediums. We can’t talk to the dead. That isn’t part of our job description at all. On top of that, not all of us are slimy, manipulative douchebags. We are generally very honest about our dishonesty. Despite what you may see or hear from my contemporary, he is a woeful minority in what he does.

Is it more exciting to pretend we can talk to dead people and predict the future accurately? Of course. I’d do the same if it didn’t hurt anybody. But see, the minute Ali Sotto started crying on TV, this whole performance art crossed over from mere entertainment to outright exploitation, and I cannot abide by that. Magicians are pre-occupied with the ills of exposure, and to this day, they are railing against Bearwin Meily. That’s fine, but I also hope they aren’t so blind as to just acceptor even encourage the unethical use of the skills a fellow magician has learned from this industry. Otherwise, we just become selective enforcers of ethical practices, all without looking at the bigger picture if we tolerated this practice.

This is why it is my fervent request to GMA-7 and the producers of this show to simply put a disclaimer at the start of each episode. Just make it clear you are not declaring these feats to be legitimate solely by virtue of airing it. Is it vestigial? Yes. But it makes all the difference in the world for the network to acknowledge publicly that it will not encourage this abhorrent practice.

I don’t think it’s such a big thing to ask, is it?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Project 52 (21/52): Caught Up In The Rapture - Anita Baker

.:Project 52 (21/52): Caught Up In The Rapture – Anita Baker:.

Considering the 90% Catholics in the Philippines didn’t massively disappear last Saturday night, nor did the tons of Christians I know, I have this nagging suspicion that Harold Camping and Family Radio were completely wrong about when the scheduled Rapture was gonna happen. Unless only Randy Savage was meant to go in that Rapture, then yeah, I guess it’s safe to say we still have no idea when it’s really going to happen, and then we have the end of the Mayan Calendar on December 21, 2012 to look forward to as well, just in case.

There were a ton of songs for the Rapture playlist, including that terrible Blondie song, the awesome REM song “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (But I Feel Fine),” and for the especially religious, maybe even some cheery uplifting hymn song about the world going down in flames like Bon Jovi’s “Blaze Of Glory” minus the bad hair and awkwardly tight pants.

Thankfully, amid all of the good and bad songs, Anita Baker, the seven-time Grammy winner (That’s six more Grammy’s than Milli Vanilli!), sang a song about being caught up in the Rapture. Which does make you question why there seem to be so many negative connotations to the word, notwithstanding the running punchline Harold Camping has made of it twice already. Rapture is supposedly a joyous moment, yet because of the paranoia over the end of times, it becomes a moment of paranoia.

Well, listening to Anita Baker’s vocals will certainly calm those nerves with ease. She just sings so marvellously and so effortlessly that you can’t help but be taken by her music, caught up in the very rapture of her soothing voice. As one of the foremost legends of R and B, you just have to give it to this lady for everything she’s done for music. Suddenly, seven Grammy’s don’t seem to be enough when you think of her staggering discography.

Anyways, I figure this is a great song in light of the fact that the Rapture has yet to happen. Come to think of it, last week’s Project 52, “I Don’t Care,” also seems appropriate as a response to the end times predictions...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Macho Sacrifice

.:"Macho Man" Randy Savage: 1952-2011:.

Last night, the unthinkable happened, and the man everyone knew as the Macho Man, Randy Savage, passed away in a car accident. Considering how someone dear to me lost her dad because he succumbed to a heart attack while behind the wheel, the story certainly still leaves a chill in my spine.

Last night, I was in Sid's birthday party in Capone's when the news got to me. Needless to say, I was stunned for the rest of the time.

Out of all the wrestlers who have come and gone in the industry, few of them would ever stand out the way Randy Savage did, having been one of the "total package" performers the WWF has had the honor of having. He could get it done in the ring, he could get it done on the mic, and whether he had to be cheered or he had to be booed, he knew how to get the job done.

It's a testament to the kind of influence this man has over the world, considering how he's been out of the ring for an entire decade before he passed away on May 20. Very few people who were fans of wrestling would forget that he was involved with some of the most memorable moments of WWF and even WCW history. There was, without a doubt, a macho method to his macho madness, no matter how off the wall his rap album may have been.

In the end, the world is just a little emptier without him around, and as jocular as it may sound, if the world doesn't end this 6PM as the Rapture doomsayers insist it will, I'm giving Macho Man Randy Savage full credit for making the macho sacrifice necessary to save the world.

He will truly be missed.

At least, they have a valid excuse why the world didn't end.

Friday, May 20, 2011

What A Week, What A Week...


Last Tuesday night, King DJ Logan went up onstage in Tomato Kick and performed his first ever standup comedy set. I'd have uploaded the video I took of it, but under pain of death, Mr. KDL has given me a very compelling reason not to.

Having said that, Tuesday night was really awesome, what with all the people who were there watching the show, as well as all the new blood that night brought together. I think that was officially the most number of open mic'ers I've ever met in one night, not including the Comedy Cartel vets themselves.

That really just rocks, y'all!

.:Quite A Rut...:.

Been trying to find inspiration to write for the POC in recent days, but other than the RH Bill and Noynoy Aquino and the still-stagnant Maguindanao Massacre trial, is there anything actually worth writing about in the world of politics at this point? These topics have been covered ad nauseam, and anything I could say would probably just be a retread of some other's pundit, even in the realm of satire or plain snark.

I'm trying to recharge my batteries for now, and I hope that something in the world of politics turns up that doesn't retread these rather tired topics at this point. I might sooner find it in me to write a showbiz article than a political one at this point, what with all this news about Mo Twister and Rhian Ramos, among other things.

.:My Good Deed For A Day...:.

Tried to surprise a friend by dropping by her office with half a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts. Sometimes, I suppose it would be great just to spread some happiness all around...

Here's hoping she actually likes donuts, though. Heh.

.:Ready For The Rapture?:.

With all the rapture and end-of-the-world jokes running around thanks to Harold Camping, I suppose it's rather amusing to think how many people could possibly get laid for the first time ever just for believing this kind of tripe, particularly coming from a guy who got it wrong seventeen years ago.

See, it doesn't really matter if you believe in God or not. The end of the world for anyone comes at the moment that they die. That's the end of your world, while the rest of the world goes on. It's a bit of a buzzkill that you won't be forming a Tribulation Force or something by Sunday, but let's face it: May 21 would likely find more free comic books given out than people mysteriously disappearing as man and God meet each other halfway across the sky.

Why fret over the end of the world when you could do something to help prevent someone's world from ending? I think that if you were to do good for someone on May 21, Rapture or no Rapture, you wouldn't really have anything to regret by doing the right thing when the next day comes.

And then you do it the day after that. And after.

By the end of it, you've done your part to make your world that much of a better place. And you can be pretty much sure that by the time your world ends, people won't be happy to see you go, but will live on through you by your example.

I guess I know how I'm going to spend my time on this (hypothetically) last day of Earth, then. Suddenly, getting laid doesn't seem like such a top priority. Although I'm sure it wouldn't hurt if that was the only Second Coming to be had tomorrow...

That being said, here's a question for the commenters: what song would you sing at the end of the world?

Me? I'm totally Rickrolling everyone 'til oblivion, like a sick version of Nero watching Rome burn. With Rick Astley blaring from his fiddle.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Project 52 (20/52): I Don't Care - 2NE1

.:Project 52 (20/52): I Don't Care - 2NE1:.

While preparing for my talk on E-Ethics (!) later, I couldn't help but think about this song all the while, if only for the fact that I'm eagerly anticipating this...

2NE1 in Manila, baybeh!

I'm actually a pretty big fan of mainstream K-Pop acts, as I find their music very quirky and catchy. Whether it's "Tell Me" by The Wondergirls or "Fire" by 2NE1, I'm hooked on those ladies, and "I Don't Care," among all those K-Pop songs, really has a great message in the face of lousy relationships and being suckers for punishment.

It's easy to keep running back, but at some point, you just have to throw your hands up and just say "I don't care!" When you have to stand up for yourself, when you refuse to let someone dictate your worth to you, it's the most sensible thing you can do.

I love 2NE1 as a group, and I'm a huge fan of Dara even from way back when she was still a star in the Philippines. I watched her movies, I found her funny and witty, and overall, she's just an awesome person, and there's no question that the rest of 2NE1 are just as colorful people. The way they do their music and the way they get people going, you'd realize just how carefully planned every step is. They're manufactured in nearly every sense of the word, yet there's no denying that behind the manufactured feel of the group, there is immense talent to be found.

Not to mention the fact that "I Don't Care" is pretty much good relationship advice for anyone who'd bother taking it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bits And Pieces...

.:Getting The Groove Back:.

This past week has been all about getting back into the groove of performing, and what a time it has been!

Monday kicked things off with the Comedy Cartel dropping in on the Disenchanted Kingdom. That was a pretty fun time as everyone really chipped in to make an entertaining show, overall, and it was a taste of what was to come in Tomato Kick the very next night.

What made Tuesday night awesome was the fact that despite the chaos going on in the station, we still had a pretty good show brought about by talking about standup comedy for a second straight day. Overall, it was a pretty great time for everyone involved, and then when the open mic night at Tomato Kick happened, things just got even more awesome from thereon. The new guy, Muman, performed his first ever set, and he pretty much knocked it right out of the park.

Wednesday saw yet another standup comedy night, this time happening in Merk’s Place, along Pasay Road. This pretty much felt like a homecoming to me, since my first ever professional show happened in Merk’s Greenbelt around five years ago. I made note of this on the microphone, then proceeded to demonstrate the Shanghai Shackles for their entertainment.

I had everyone’s attention on lock with my amazingly bad puns!

That felt exceptionally good, really. It was full circle for me to be back in Merk’s after all these years, and I jokingly said, “look how far I’ve come. I’m *still* a magician,” to a lot of laughs. With all the comics that night, and of course, with none other than the legen… wait for it… dary Jacqui Magno capping off the night, things were just awesome all throughout. I still have a very soft spot in my heart for Merk’s, even if it has moved places.

Then, come Saturday, it was time to up the ante, as I performed in Ayala Heights for a very interesting Star Wars party. I hosted and debuted a couple of new routines, but overall, it was a very entertaining time for everyone involved. I had to do a lot of improvising on the spot, though, as I didn’t really have much of a program to work with, but thankfully, Darth Vader jived well with Mister Vader that day…

Other than the heavy breathing and force-choking people to death, he was pretty cool.

With things slowly picking right back up, I’m pretty happy, no question about it. Nonetheless, here’s to more developments like these in the near future!

And, oh, did I mention that I actually spent time with Jazminne and Jemina last Sunday during the con?

It was madness, I tell you! Madness!


So I decided to drop in last Friday night on Quantum Bar, where they had Geek Fight night.

On a Friday the 13th, no less!

I eased up a bit when I ran into Ren Aguila from Ateneo, and ended up being adopted by his team by default. We did pretty poorly, though, what with having (apparently) little knowledge about the Sweet Valley Universe as well as casual games on Facebook. We surprisingly did well during the Girl Band, Superstition, and Mythbusters rounds, though. One of the scorekeepers even expressed her perplexpication (I just made a word up! Woooo!) over the fact that the only two people who got the answer to the Wondergirls question was a bunch of girls who were one or two years removed from college, and myself alone in my team.

It was great meeting new people, and of course, meeting old people like Karen De Vera or Mark Poa, and a host of other people I used to hang around with in Ateneo Debate Society. I even ran into fellow mentalist Cakit, which took both of us by surprise.

In the end, our team, Sir Lorem of Ipsum, ended up with 6th Place, out of 12 teams. The sad part is, we were supposedly the defending champions. So much for a defense, apparently. We then capped our night off by going to Mercato Centrale and eating to our heart’s content, and it turns out, a lot of the Geekfighter went there, too.

The next one’s happening in Gweilo, on May 26, a Thursday night. I fully expect to be there.

Turning Tricks : Philippine Magic Turmoil

.:Turning Tricks:.

Nation, yours truly realizes that he is far from a commentarist on the showbiz industry, and that’s well and good. After all, for the most part, the world of show business is full of backstabbing, ungrateful, rumor-mongering hypocrites, so much unlike the world of politics.

Nonetheless, a few people know that I have some expertise when it comes to the worlds of magic and mentalism, which, thanks to a couple of recent developments on television, are now a hot-button topic in the world of show business, if not for a minority of people who actually keep an eye on developments among mentalists and magicians in mainstream media.

Now, some people might ask why we lump magicians, who are known for doing tricks, with mentalists, who are known for demonstrating skills. Aren’t they supposed to be different? Well, yes, and no. While the methodologies may (or may not) be different, the outcome is the same: something seemingly impossible is made possible. Either way, both magicians and mentalists are entertainers. It becomes pretty embarrassing when they try to be anything else. These performers are here to entertain, not to start a new religion. Yet a few people seem to lose sight of that.

If one may make such an analogy, magic and mentalism work just like pro wrestling. Yes, there will be deception involved on both ends. No, we, as performers, will not go out of our way in the middle of performances to expose the business for your own pleasure. It’s all about entertainment, so why be apologetic for a deception that is inherently understood as part of the equation in the first place? What point will it serve to break the vissimilitude of an excellent performance? Surely, it would take an exceptional kind of person to willingly break this golden rule, right?

In a recent episode on TV 5’s Magic Gimik,Bearwin Meily earned the ire of virtually the entire magic community because he went out and actually exposed some secrets behind the art form. It didn’t take long for the community that used to glorify him to now declare him “persona non grata.” Now, if you ever had to earn a living and the preservation of a harmless secret is what spelled the difference between your ability or lack thereof to feed your family, how do you think it would make you feel to have your meal ticket disappear while Mr.Meily mugs it up for the camera? Surely, you can’t help but feel grateful to him, right? “Thanks! You just killed my livelihood, but you’re my idol! Yeah!”

Being a still cap of the episode, I wasn’t so sure if he was blowing or sucking. The smoke, I mean.

How about the new TV show called “Mind Master” featuring the mentalist known as Nomer Lasala? When he tells you a totally believable story about being banned from a casino at a younger age because he can “read the dealer’s mind and predict what the numbers could be,” don’t you just feel the truthiness of his world? After all, when you were younger, weren’t you banned from casinos too, albeit for a slightly different reason, like you know, being underaged? Surely Mr. Lasala must be telling the truth! Mentalists out there must be nodding their heads in approval because this story is in no way unbelievable whatsoever.

This is the face of a man you could totally trust.

In the magic and mentalism world, they may be misunderstood, but truly, people like Mr.Meily and Mr.Lasala are true heroes of the art form, and they must be respected as such. On the one hand, we have Bearwin, who gives away secrets to magic he doesn’t own because he wants other magicians to step up, since clearly, he believes that magicians need to step up and get more talented because he is already himself absolutely oozing with skill and talent in the art of prestidigitation. Surely, Jeffrey Tam, with his cabinet full of trophies from winning international magic competitions can’t hold a candle to the accolades of Bearwin Meily who has won... absolutely nothing. What a man, indeed, to incite everyone to step up. What a tough act to follow!

On the other hand, we have Nomer, who is the paragon of honesty and sincerity. How could you not believe him when he tells you that he can’t do a telekinesis(sic) anymore while bending a piece of metal for your amusement? Truly, if honesty is such a lonely word, then its sole companion is Nomer Lasala himself. Isn’t it comfortable for Filipino mentalists out there to know that a man like this is going to capably represent them? Surely, because it was published online, that means the journalists who wrote this have done their fact-checking, right? Surely, they’ve checked if Mr. Lasala has ever been to Switzerland, or asked casinos whether or not they’ve banned him, or at least know his name, right? Why would Mr. Lasala, heaven forbid, ever embellish a story just to make himself a bigger deal than he actually is? That’s just unheard of! It must also do the heart good to trust in his predictions like the time he promised this lady that her estranged husband would come back to her within six months – oh, wait, he didn’t. Emotional and psychological trauma for the sake of entertainment! Willie Revillame would be proud. Hope that guy you talked to really wins the next elections, then, or else you’d have led them on with false hopes, huh?

Nation, Philippine magic is a very fickle industry, rife with many flash-in-the-pan acts who will tickle your fancy for maybe a few months then fade away into obscurity until they immortalize themselves by doing something absolutely heroic like stabbing their so-called friends in the back by exposing their secrets wholesale, or stabbing their so-called friends in the back by betraying the very people who gave them a break and then lying through their teeth about it. These people of great strength of character are the exemplars by which future magicians should live by.

Welcome to our crazy world. It’s shrouded in secrecy, it has its share of lunatics, but then, when all of this is for your entertainment, and when it doesn’t really hurt anybody, where’s the harm in letting kayfabe run its course onstage? Surely, unless you are a true-blue exemplar who finds himself exempt from petty things like concepts of propriety and respect for other people’s livelihoods, then one should be willing to share a knowing wink with the performer that hey, let’s just all have fun and not stress over the details too much. A lot of performers seem to be forgetting that we’re here to entertain, not to start a new religion. Trying to pass off your psychological mind games and your sleight of hand as genuine psychic power is just tacky and sets performing arts back by making it a joke when the truth comes out.

Of course, if you choose otherwise, you would turn yourself into a hero. Like Bearwin. Like Nomer. If you wish to be a hero like these two, then by all means, destroy away. Go ahead and give the middle finger to all the people who came before you and worked hard to bring the industry where it is today.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Project 52 (19/52) , And Non-Satirical Thoughts On Harapan

.:Project 52 (19/52): Another Brick On The Wall - Pink Floyd:.

In light of last night's debate on the RH Bill on TV, I couldn't help but think about this song, albeit I was hearing some changed up lyrics in my head. Instead of "Hey, teacher! Leave those kids alone," I was hearing "Hey, preacher! Leave those kids alone!"

Pink Floyd's only number one single to date, "Another Brick On The Wall," really takes it to the (mis)education system with style and aplomb, to the point that it ended up being quite an anthem that needed banning in a particularly country that escapes my memory at the moment.

And really, if you listen closely enough to the lyrics per se, it's not attacking just any kind of education, but the kind of indoctrination and brainwashing brought about by "thought control." That is, without a doubt, something that is highly dangerous and deserves a close look. There is so much thought control going on at present, and some of it has to do with the utter dominance of religious matters in what is supposed to be a secular world.

We need genuine education and learning, and human development. We don’t need indoctrination and blind devotion to an ideal, all the while throwing away any form of logic or critical thinking out the window simply because it’s far more convenient to do so. This Pink Floyd single had so much to say, and I’m pretty glad that not only does it have a very strong message, the song itself sounds great, as well. I could only imagine how much of a ruckus the lyrics caused back in the day, because even now, it still strikes a chord in us, especially in a third-world country where miseducation is far more commonplace than it should ever have to be.

There are so many things this world needs, but clearly, thought control is not one of them. Why is it that the closer we move to an ideal and good society, the closer we also get to a dystopic nightmare where all civil liberties come under threat? Surely, a balance can be found somewhere, right?

.:Thoughts On Harapan...:.

So tonight, the much-anticipated RH Bill debate on ABS-CBN, Harapan, finally aired on TV. Unfortunately, it didn't really take a mentalist to prove that you were going to see nothing but a whole lot of red herring arguments from the anti-RH side, instead of actual, compelling arguments to perhaps sway the opinions of those who just want to, you know, give women an educated choice with their bodies, as opposed to listening to a bunch of guys who supposedly took vows of celibacy on how one should comport herself in the bedroom.

I wish I could get all satirical or at least sarcastic. Really, I do. But I suppose all things considered, I'll just save it for some POC article down the road. For now, I'd rather just write while the feelings on the matter are still very fresh. Needless to say, Harapan was far more exciting than Pacquiao’s last fight.

There's very good reason why formal debates turn out much better than these ill-moderated, informal affairs on television. First of all, it's inherent to the structure of the debate that any arguments should always adhere to the issues at hand. Secondly, the existence of the Point of Information means if anyone said something patently stupid, they can quickly be called out on it. In Harapan, there were so many opportunities to correct the anti-RH side, especially when Congressman Golez used weasel words to get his point across. Because he didn't have statistics to prove his point, he instead relied on speculation, like "this *may* lead to cancer and *may* lead to immorality."

How would you know, Honorable Golez? Have you even tried it yourself? Why is it that you would espouse plaintives like "our population is our greatest asset" one minute, then quickly ignore the fact that our OFW's are working precisely because our country doesn't have enough opportunities for her citizens on its own? So your solution to making this country prosper is for us to be even more dependent on other countries for our livelihood than we already were long before this massive brain drain has hit us? Neo-slavery for the sake of economic progress? Wow. Just wow.

And from there, we were treated to splitting hairs on what is and isn't abortion, and a whole litany of irrelevant religious arguments that don't even cite one bit of scripture, and actually goes against the Pope himself, who has somewhat eased up on his stance on condoms. True, it could be better, but the church is only doing what you expect it to do when it insists on abstinence and sex only within marriage. That is well within scriptural grounds, but extending beyond that, particularly when it comes to affecting government policies for everyone, regardless of religious affiliation, is a different issue altogether.

Then the doozy came when the sex education discussion became pure speculation on things that weren’t there, like teaching kids about sexual technique (What school is that? Shagwarts Academy?), and casually ignoring the optionality of the module within the prescribed law as is. There was just so much obfuscation and misinformation going around, and yet despite clearly logical arguments in the face of appeals to emotion, appeals to moral authority, and ridiculous slippery slope logic, it still seems nobody’s mind was changed, and many people who actually need the RH Bill for their own sakes are themselves against the very law meant to empower them.

You know what's sad about it? I'm supposed to be one of those Catholic apologists you've heard about. Despite that, with each instance of their heavy-handedness in the face of changing times, with their resistance to the needs of the flock they’re supposedly looking out for, I begin to realize that I’ve been doing nothing but apologize for the Catholic Church.

In the meantime, the woman who doesn’t have tv or internet access with eight mouths to feed couldn’t care less about the debate, because whether or not the RH Bill gets passed, it’s practically too little, too late for the likes of her.

And after opening the polls to the texting public, who do you think won from the text polls? Why, Globe, Smart, and Sun, of course.

It’s rather telling that a lot of people miss the point of the RH Bill. It’s a solution, but at no point is it the only solution to the problems besetting us. Neither should “corruption” be a deterrent for us, when you consider that corruption will exist wherever, and excuses like these would mean we should never do anything because anything can lead to corruption. The RH Bill needs to come to pass because the issues facing our country right now do need solutions, and as Carlos Celdran pointed out, we’ve been doing it their way for 16 years already, to no avail.

Hasn’t it been said that insanity is doing something again and again, yet always expecting the results to be different?

It’s funny, because I actually am all for saving one’s self up for marriage and all that jazz. I just don’t want that to come with misinformation and slut-shaming in the event that someone doesn’t quite meet those standards. It’s a personal lifestyle choice, and while religion plays a factor, in governance, religion should take a backseat to sound, beneficial policy.

The core of the problem is this: our Catholic leaders do not trust their flock to do what they believe to be the moral thing, when presented with choices. Thus, they seek to crush the opportunity for these choices to be presented to their flock. By keeping them blind and miseducated, they will have some semblance of dependence on the church instead of learning to make their informed choices because clearly, the church is afraid that their flock is not strong enough to make the “right” choice.

How is that the government’s fault? Is it not the job of the church to strengthen the values of her flock, yet because she clearly can’t do her job, she now foists the blame on the government for giving her flock a choice they could potentially screw up on? Is that not the biggest display of hypocrisy, imposing non-universal standards on everyone just so Catholics aren’t given a chance to make the wrong choice? How does this make a Catholic a good person, when they are practically shoehorned into forever only doing the default, without knowing why they make this (non) choice?

Pointing back to Nicomachean Ethics, the truly ethical man is the one who has habituated the ethical action. It is a habit borne by one’s repeated choices, and not one that is merely brought about by indoctrination. Fast-forward to Kantian Ethics, and we still see the same theme: the ethical man is autonomous, and does what is good as a categorical imperative, because doing good is an end in and by itself, and not merely an ends to a means, like, say, winning the approval of the priests.

What the church is doing at this point is removing the free will that God has instilled in each and every one of us. That’s like saying God shouldn’t have given the ability to choose to Adam and Eve, so we’d all still be living idly but happily in the Garden of Eden to this very day. In effect, if one were to look at it this way, it wants to go against the very intent of God, to give the human person the power to choose and thereby, to learn and to deal with the consequences himself or herself. A man without free will is hardly a man, and more of an automaton. In stripping choice away from man, the church becomes guilty of attempting to create a flock of automatons.

And you know the most ironic thing about this? They do this because it’s a quick fix to their own deficiencies. Because they can’t impart the values that they believe their flock should share, they force their flock to not have any other choice but to be exposed to only church-approved values when the church can help it, even if it already gets in the way of church-state separation. As a way to make up for their inability to do their job, they disrespect the very nature of humanity in an attempt to remove the soul and nobility of doing the right thing by ensuring that they have no visible choice except to do the right thing.

Yet in the end, even with all these attempts, people will still ignore what the church has to say when in the privacy of their own bedroom. And as we have seen, without proper education, without proper values formation, then they will end up doing much worse, because they are not empowered to know any better. It’s this kind of twisted logic that has people believing that wearing seatbelts leads to more accidents because of a supposedly false sense of security. No, prayer has led people into a false sense of security far more than condoms ever could.

Because the church can’t do its job, everyone pays. Think about that, and ask yourself if that sounds the least bit altruistic or compassionate as the Christ you believe in would have been had He been alive today.

Hey, preacher! Leave those kids alone! All in all, you’re just another brick in the wall. The wall of ignorance. The wall that needs to be torn down.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Back To The Grind, The Mentalist Grind

.:Ye Olde Magick Blog And The Project 365:.

2011 really seems to be a year for magic to gain a lot of stellar bloggers, as by my count, I have noticed at least three different magicians who are doing a project 365 of sorts in their respective blogs. This, to me, is quite intriguing because I can safely say that while I did it first, there’s practically no chance that they got the idea from me. Parallel thinking does run quite deep, to say the least.

Now, I’ve written much about magic in the past year, and to this day, I still do share my thoughts on the topic every now and then when I find it appropriate to do so. I feel a tad guilty about not being too active in the Magic CafĂ©, but it’s at least good to know that through my own way, I’ve given back to the industry through my Project 365 last year.

I guess that’s why it does the heart good to see that Ye Olde Magick Blog, penned by the professional magician Andrew Musgrave, actually went and featured my effort on his blog in his own Project 365. I felt very honoured, and as I continue along my path of self-improvement as a performer, I hope that I would continue to be able to pass on to the community both nationally and internationally the kind of passion and drive I have in elevating the art form through quality performance and critical analysis of how the industry is coming along and where it is headed, as opposed to where it should be headed.

That I hold myself to a higher standard as a performer and refuse to half-bake anything is my strongest suit. It helps set me apart from a few of my contemporaries, and it stands as a stern reminder that there should be no room for mediocrity in this industry if you want to gain recognition. Nowadays, being the first mover in the mainstream for our industry no longer gains you a significant advantage. It’s about running with that ball once you’ve gotten it.

Of course, the burning question has been whether or not I’d still be doing something huge related to magic and/or mentalism this year, and the answer is an unequivocal “yes.” As expected, the tandem of Kel and Jay will again be doing a show sometime in the –Ber months in the Vibal Publishing House building, but we’re coming up with something else. Something we’ve been dying to do for the longest time. Something we hope has never been done before, if not in the world, then at least locally.

For too long, the concept of a magic show has been patterned after the Blaine’s and the Copperfield’s of our era. It took something like Penn and Teller’s “Bullshit” show for them to do something different, but that was tenuously tied to magic at best, and then another alternative take was demonstrated to us by one Derren Brown in his awesome specials like “Messiah.”

As entertainers who want to bring nothing but the best, Jay and I are pretty excited about what we have cooking. Look out for it soon. It will hit you before you even realize it.

.:Spreading The Love:.

Yes, Technogra is totally a celebrity. A shame about the hairstyle, though. Coulda sworn he had a better one in the poster.

With this renewed drive to reach for the proverbial brass ring, I ended up with yet another brush with celebrity the other night, as I went and caught a huge party by Globe Tattoo, where they showed off their amazing roster of brand ambassadors, including Sarah Gaugler, Alodia Gosiengfiao, Saab Magalona, and Rico Mossesgeld. Coach Rio was unfortunately out of town, but that sure didn’t dampen the mood one bit. This is a pretty diverse lineup filled with people who are both very influential in their own rights, yet at the same time, very real people all the same. I guess that speaks volumes about Globe’s desire to target the general public by showing off a roster of people who are both lively and larger than life at the same time, but I digress.

In any case, seeing as I’ve been a Globe subscriber for about seven or eight years already, it was a no-brainer that I would drop in on this event when I received the invite earlier in the week. Not only am I pretty much a loyal subscriber for as long as I had a mobile phone, I’m also fairly well-acquainted with three of the endorsers, as I work with one through my company, and have been friends with two for years already.

Joey Mead and RJ Ledesma hosted the event. Cosplayers abounded, and I even met some familiar faces in the community, which just made me feel very at home. Some talents were showcased at the freedom wall, and meanwhile, I was hobnobbing with the PR people, talking to them about what to expect for the night.

As usual, sans the data-capping thing very few people seem to be happy about, this was good news all around. Globe’s pulling out all the stops with their 4G, and it remains to be seen how this will change the mood in the air for everyone else.

With that being said, because Ms. Pia Magalona kinda forgot her fork from when she last dropped by 99.5 RT, I took it upon myself to rectify that little error, as I performed a telekinesis (Looool. So sic.) for them that just made jaws drop all around. I even ended up doing it a second time for Frank and Elmo, two of Pia’s sons, whose astounded reactions made my and Rico’s night, without question. Afterwards, I did some psychological mind-reading then proceeded to explain how I did it. The explanation made the whole thing even more amazing to them than the actual performance, and ladies and gentlemen, that’s how you show mastery of the mind: by showing them the cold, hard truth, yet still blowing their minds all the same.

So mind-blowing, everything turned into a purple haze.

Overall, everyone was pretty happy with the event, and I even got a pretty cool picture where I could make-believe that I’m actually endorsing Globe. Unfortunately, I think there’s something a wee bit disturbing about my mock poster…

I can’t quite put my finger on it, though…

Mother's Day, Sophia The Lappy, And Aleitheia The Tabby

.:A Happy Mother’s Day To All The Moms Out There!:.

Because if it weren’t for you fine ladies, literally none of us would be here today.

And worry not, because this doesn’t mean that we’d forget about you for the remaining 364 days of the year. Didn’t you know? Every day is mother’s day, today being just that extra special…

She looks like a thinner Sharon Cuneta, no?

.:Retail Therapy For The Buyonic Man:.

Taking a page from Denise Cua’s blog, I’m going to share some of the recent purchases I made…

Meet Sophia the lappy and Aleitheia the tabby.

Since I was cashless until Monday last week, I missed out on the launch day for the iPad 2, which was just fine, as I ended up going to Greenhills to search for one. I didn’t own an iPad 1, so I felt no regret at all about getting the newer model (Seeing how most people who upgraded said that it wasn’t really worth the upgrade.).

In any case, after a futile search in official iStores, I found a stall in Theater Mall that sold the iPad 2 at a decent price, so I jumped right at it. I named her Aleitheia, which I hope wouldn’t be awkward to my future daughter if I ever have one, since I totally plan to name her that, too. After a few more moments of installing stuff and whatnot, I took it home, proud of a purchase well-made.

That was, until, I tried to sync it with my office laptop.

You see, as the office owns the laptop, I had no admin privileges to it. This meant that I wasn’t allowed by my computer’s iTunes to sync with my iPad, which proved to be a bit of a dilemma for me. This led me to the realization that since I don’t have a personal computer at the moment, I may as well buy a good one, and after going around SM Megamall’s Cyberzone one day after buying the iPad, I found her.

She was electric blue, and even matched my iPad 2’s cover. 500GB, decent speed, albeit no Bluetooth or DVD drive. That was fine, since I was provided with an external player, anyways. All things considered, the Acer Aspire One I got looked slick, felt slick, and even had a dual OS, allowing me to switch between Windows 7 and Android at a whim. It also clocked in at about ten inches, making it the smallest computer I have ever owned. I needed the portability, so it was just perfect.

Turning to this tiny powerhouse, I named her Sophia. Which has little to do with my friend, Sophie Manapat, and more to do with the greek word for wisdom itself.

Considering how I don’t buy too many gadgets outside of Android phones, I think it was a long time coming for me to finally get myself the iPad 2 and the laptop. Should be very helpful for work in the coming days, as I’ve been using both heavily for presentations and whatnot.

But no, don't worry. I didn't just suddenly morph into some kind of tech blogger of whatnot. I'm still as pseudo-Luddite as can be. 'Cause it's cool to pretend to be Luddite while holding an iPad 2 in your hands.

Backblogging But It's Worth It!

.:DK Hilarity:.

All things considered, this week has been a watershed week for the Disenchanted Kingdom, from gaining about three thousand or more viewers on the website to Marf’s very interesting disappearing act for most of the past week, there are a lot of things inquiring minds would like to know.

Couple that with finally getting a chance to do some comedy again after a month-long layoff by doing open mic in Tomato Kick, and you can tell that things are nothing short of insanely building up to better things for the wacky crew.

Of course, last Thursday was filled with amusing craziness, too, because while on air, the gang decided to hype up the lie that I actually had some crazy nude photos of certain celebrities like Angel Locsin or Ellen Adarna or Kim Chiu and even those of a couple of friends of mine who shall remain unnamed in my new iPad. I played along, and when we uploaded the pictures on the DK website, well, here's what they saw...

Too hot to handle, apparently.

.:Itching For Some Itchyworms:.

And then there was darkness, like five seconds afterwards…

About a week ago, I actually caught a pretty fun show in 70’s Bistro with the Itchyworms. It was a great time to catch up with my favourite band, as they performed some of their best hits, besting even an untimely power outage with excellent music and showmanship.

Talking to them after the show was even more amusing, what with this particular person who insisted on singing us a song or two and then promptly shying away afterwards. True, she probably wasn’t all there and everything, but that doesn’t stop it from being quite strange to me. I also finally got to meet the great Dong Abay during the same night, so there’s that, too.

The night was just fun overall, but what really made it was the fact that after the whole thing, Kel (As in the band member, not yours truly.) told me the next day that he got jealous because I stole the Jazz and Kel duo from underneath his nose. That’s what I get for having the same nickname. LOL.

That's okay, though. Seeing as how I was applying in JAM 88.3 before, the fact that Kel is on that station means I'm not gonna end up in JAM anytime soon, since they already have their own Kel. He gets JAM, I get Jazz.

Monday, May 02, 2011

DK Recap

.:More DK Recap Madness:.

If you haven't been listening to the Disenchanted Kingdom on 99.5 RT, you really should. From 6-10 PM, you're treated to one of the most entertaining radio programs on Philippine radio, featuring King DJ Logan, Marf, Ana Q5, and Lu Skywalker. Every now and then, I drop by and guest, but this show is just awesome from top to bottom, truth be told.

All things considered, while last week was a bit fun thanks to how we ended up discussing some silly stuff where we just ended up laughing our heads off for no apparent reason. Obviously, our show went really well because everyone just hit their stride that day. I'm just trying to remember what we were laughing about, though...

Last night, though, was something else. With KDL and Marf absent, Lu and Ana had to hold the fort, and when I got there, things started cooking when we decided to talk about rules on dating and relationships. Lu practically gasped when I mentioned the rule about not dating co-workers and then pointing out I don't technically work with Cleo Caliente. That resulted in a pretty interesting discussion, punctuated by them telling me that if I had a hot co-worker, I'd quickly ignore this rule like it were nothing.

This was when I snuck in a greeting and said to them that Denise Cua, my uber-hot co-worker, is indeed hot, but I still wouldn't break the rule, regardless. Denise was amused when I told her about it, albeit yeah, that means I just threw myself into the friend zone right then and there.

Whether it be advice for a caller about getting involved in friends' relationship woes, or the rules on when to call a girl or how many rings she should wait before taking your call, it was a lively discussion all around. For a half-manned DK, that was certainly one of our better efforts, to say the least, although Justin Bieber being a security threat in an airplane was quite an irresistible setup for my lousy joke about Bieber being the bomb. I'm sure Bin Laden would've been proud. Too bad he's dead.

Well, better Osama than Ozawa, I guess.

Film Review: Thor

.:Film Review: Thor:.

I wasn't able to shoot myself mugging in front of the poster, so this Marvel comics variant cover should suffice.

Buy Odin's beer! It's great!

Just in case, let's just say: SPOILERS AHEAD!

I generally like comic book movies from Marvel s'long as they're not involved with Daredevil. I mean, really. I found Hulk decent except for the Gamma Dogs, I was cool with X-3 and Spider-Man 3, and I totally adored Howard the Duck. Well, not really. And I didn't like both Fantastic Four films, either, so I don't even know the point of this opening paragraph anymore.

But let me preface all of this by telling you that I think Thor is one of the most wittily written comic films I've had the pleasure of watching. Everyone says Iron Man or The Dark Knight was the pinnacle of comic films, or maybe even Spider-Man 2. They're great movies, but there's something about the snappy writing of Thor that just makes it stand out, even if their character arcs were severely truncated because of time constraints.

If you know your basic Norse mythology, then you know the story here: Thor is the Norse god of thunder, and in this film, he is the heir to the throne of the Allfather, Odin. His brother, Loki, the god of mischief, covets the throne, and attempts to keep Thor from ascending to the throne. All the while, Loki doesn't know that his true heritage is not as the son of Odin, but as the son of the king of the Frost Giants, the bitter enemies of the Asgardians.

As Thor's fall from grace lands him powerless in Midgard, he tries to understand the ways of the people around him, and this part, for me, was the best part of the film, as Thor plays the fish out of water trope to a tee, and it works for him very well. Chris Hemsworth's chemistry with Natalie Portman, who was playing Jane Foster, really shone, and this lent itself to a great onscreen pairing with some palpable romantic tension thrown in for good measure.

With Thor out of the way and Odin suddenly falling ill, Loki ascends to the throne, but Thor's friends, Lady Sif and the Warriors Three, suspect that Loki schemed and plotted to make this happen. Indeed, it seemed apparent that Loki would finally claim his birthright as a Frost Giant when he promised to deliver Odin on his deathbed for the giants to slay.

And yeah, climactic battle happens, day is saved, yadda yadda. Thing is, that wasn't what made the movie work, even if the action itself was pretty good.

Thor's strength as a film lies in the dialogue, which was witty, snappy, funny, and overall a joy to watch. Despite the fact that Thor went from self-important, entitled douchebag to a bleeding heart goody two-shoes in the theatrical version of a snap, the ride was still very entertaining, and the scripting was very smart. Volstagg and his killer line was definitely a show stealer, but for a movie that didn't rely on its action as much as you expected it to, it was actually all the better for it. From interacting with the SHIELD agents to Thor looking for a horse in a pet shop, it was entertainment non-stop, only broken up by the predictable smashy-smashy stuff.

Which is kind of weird, when you think about it. Of all films in the Marvel roster, Thor didn't seem like the one to be the most introspective of them all, and work just as well for it. Hulk tried it. While it worked for me, majority of the people who watched it didn't agree with me at all. Thor, on the other hand, certainly won me over, even if it felt like another crazy shill to make the Avengers happen, which they are clearly setting up for. Too bad DC wouldn't try the same thing, though.

That being said, with a visually stunning film and well-written dialogue, Thor is a film you wouldn't mind paying to see at all.

Fun Evaluation: A+
Critical Evaluation: B+/A-

Project 52 (18/52): We Could Be In Love - Brad Kane and Lea Salonga

.:Project 52 (18/52): We Could Be In Love - Brad Kane and Lea Salonga:.

While it's too bad I could find only this version with Jed Madela and Ms. Lea Salonga, there's no question that this extremely sappy song is like a bad habit you just can't quit. During the year this came out, it easily topped Ms. Jessica Zafra's list for worst songs of the year, and yet a decade and a half or so later, and this song still has legs, no matter how blood-curdling it is to listen to.

It doesn't take a jeen-yas to see why this song really works, despite the cheesiness. Lea Salonga is just that good, really. Listening to the song, you can't help but feel at peace with yourself if you tried not to overthink the lyrics too much. It's also a very tongue-in-cheek look at how sometimes, you fall in love with someone without ever even realizing it. Hey, don't knock it. It happens. It really happens.

This week, I will pay tribute to keso through this song. I don't really know why I am, but I figured that I just ought to. Needless to say, I am a great admirer of Ms. Lea Salonga's talent, and this song, no matter how sappy it may be, still showcases how effortlessly great she truly is.