Monday, June 27, 2011

PLDT myDSL's Internet To Sawa TRANSFORMS My Internet Experience From Megan Mullaly To Megan Fox

.:Because I Totally Am Watching, Yo!:.

Yes, I said it. PLDT myDSL, with its blazingly fast internet speeds, has transformed my internet experience from this:

You watched Will And Grace, right? You should know her, then.

To this:

But I'm sure you know this one, right?

And it's simple, really.

Megan Mullaly isn't ugly, by any stretch of the imagination. She's funny, she's witty, she played Karen in "Will and Grace," and let's face it: she's been in the entertainment business for long enough. Ugly people don't really have much longevity in that industry, unless they're playing goons in some typical 80's action flick, so it's safe to say she's got her admirers.

And really, my internet experience has always been that way: nothing remarkable or special, but something just plain reliable. While Megan Mullaly could steal any scene from Debra Messing whenever they shared screen time together, it's not like Debra was a comedic genius, anyways, so Ms. Mullaly had it easy, to be honest.

But then, with PLDT myDSL's internet to sawa, Megan Mullaly transformed into Megan Fox! Shazam!

And boy, you know what that means: from steady and reliable, internet just got blazing hot, hot, hot! I mean, when you have a movie about robots, and explosions, and FREAKING ROBOTS, you'd think that the focus would be on them. But no, you'd be mistaken.

Pictured: only the SECOND most exciting thing about the Transformers movie franchise.

Megan Fox almost turned a movie about robots, explosions, and FREAKING ROBOTS into "Megan Fox Looks Hot While Some Robots Go Ka-Blooey In The Background." That's how much of a show-stealer Megan Fox truly was, and that's how amazing internet to sawa by PLDT myDSL really is. When you take solid internet connections for granted already, it takes an astounding level of speed for you to notice it's doing much, much better than "solid" already.

And with that, let me just say that Transformers 3 will probably be an awesome movie, but without Megan Fox in it, TF3 almost feels like a spin-off. I'm just sayin'.

Visit for more information or call 171 to confirm your subscription today!

Just Another Magic Monday: Magicians Are Gay

.:Just Another Magic Monday: Magicians Are Gay:.

So I kinda missed writing about being a magician in the Philippines after that Project 365 in 2010. Don't mind me, I just figured that now is a good times as any to kickstart that tradition. Maybe I'll abbreviate this into JAMM or something. I dunno. It's the first time I'm writing like this. Bear with me.

Having said that, this means that I will probably move my Project 52 to a different day, maybe Tuesdays or Sundays, to accommodate Magic Mondays. I do like writing about music, so yeah, definitely not going to leave that project behind.

And of course, by "magic," I don't mean the card game. While I do write about M:TG every now and then, I certainly don't write about it on a regular enough basis to consider doing it weekly, especially since I don't even play the game nearly as much as I used to about a year or so ago.

But I digress.

In the past few months, I've felt less and less bristled whenever the terms "magician" and "mentalist" have been used interchangeably, and I believe it has a lot to do with the fact that between being asked to talk to the dead or to pretend I have superpowers, I'd rather have people just assume that what I do is a trick. I was never fond of being given responsibility over the lives of other people, or whatnot. I do what I do to entertain. Is there anything deeper beyond that? Sure, maybe. But I won't take responsibility over something I have no business being responsible over.

So I'm a Philippine magician, and I'm a Philippine mentalist. Are they the same thing? In that they're both entertainers who make the impossible seem possible, yes. In terms of methodology and internal logic? Not quite. If you'd be very technical about it, all mentalists are magicians, but not all magicians are mentalists. Despite that, it sometimes feels important to remind people of the magician roots of a mentalist because otherwise, they might give them more credit than they are due, and that's when the trouble begins.

Our sole responsibility, in my book, is to entertain people. I guess sometimes, people feel compelled to do more beyond that, which is well and good, within reasonable limits. That's also why I got into standup comedy, although that's still well within the realm of entertainment. I wanted to be able to amuse my audiences in two distinct ways, and given my brand of comedy, even give them some food for thought after my act, whether through my magic and mentalism or through my comedic stylings.

Which reminds me of a friend of mine, who also does comedy and magic, JB. He used to have this joke about magicians being gay, because of the way they gesticulate whenever they perform. And then, it reminded me of the fact that today happens to be Gay Pride day, and as a self-professed ally of the LGBT community, I certainly want to show my solidarity with them.

I think back to the standouts among my friends who just happen to be gay, and JB's joke takes on a new meaning to me when I look at it through those lens. It's a joke that originally preys on gay stereotypes, but when I think more about it, magicians do have a lot in common with gay people, both positive and negative, particularly in Philippine society.

In saying this, I definitely don't mean to belittle whatever challenges the gay community may be going through, but there certainly are parallels, especially when you consider how easy it is for magicians and gay people to have precisely being a magician or being gay as the only thing that defines them. Which is kinda sad, but in the case of most magicians, it's their own fault.

When I started out doing magic, I really did everything I could to let people know I'm a magician. I performed at the drop of a hat. I crashed tables and did street magic just because I can. It took me about a couple of years before I realized that maybe reigning it all in a bit would be better for me and for my career and sanity. I was right.

Five years since I went pro/semi-pro, I'm no longer known just as "that magic guy," or "that fork-bending mentalist." I let my other facets speak for themselves, positive or negative as they may be. People know I write, I talk politics, I support causes, I do magic, I do mentalism, I do comedy, I do radio, hosting, and all those multiple aspects that make up who I am. I am all of those at the same time, and being a magician alone does not define my entire being.

Neither should being gay. Or being straight, for that matter.

We only call attention to one's sexual orientation because it's different from us. In doing so, even the most well-meaning of people, who probably don't even think they have a single gay-unfriendly (I don't think the term "homophobic" is apt here.) bone in their body, could often just put someone in the "gay" box and not realize anything else about them.

Gay people come from all walks of life. Not all of them cut your hair. Not all of them are fluent in Swardspeak. There's more to them, much much more, than just their orientation, which shouldn't even be an issue any which way, to begin with (Unless you wanted to date them.).

Think about the closest person to you who happens to be gay. Do you think that's the only reason they're close to you? Obviously not, just in the same way that you're not close to anyone solely because they're straight.

Most magicians have willingly shoehorned themselves as "that magic guy" for many reasons. I have a hard time believing the same goes for gay people, though, because let's face it, straight people don't obsess over their own orientation, either.

To an extent, when I think back to how many people looked down on me because I'm a magician, I see how gay people are also very familiar with being marginalized, although with more drastic symptoms, in their case. These little things that make me consider them more, makes me realize that indeed, though the magnitude and the necessity of the situations are nowhere nearly the same, magicians and gay people simply strive for acceptance in this day and age.

As an ally of the LGBT cause, I am one with you in celebrating Pride Day.

Project 52 (26/52): Alone - Heart

.:Project 52 (26/52): Alone - Heart:.

Here's a song that is such a standard in karaoke every single time. That's not to say that this is an overplayed song, or anything to that effect. In fact, it only indicates how popular this song happens to be, and how awesome it really happens to be.

There's really something about this song, to say the least, and with the idea of finding someone alone, and being able to shower them with love and affection, I must say that it's a very suitable song for me this week, especially when I consider that it was Jazminne's birthday last Saturday, which meant I had to do what I can to really catch her by surprise. Needless to say, that all worked out pretty well, and I'm very pleased as punch that she enjoyed the little surprise I had lined up for her.

Anyways, "Alone" is all about finding a chance to really have that special someone in your arms. It's about asking aloud what has to be done to get there, and how difficult it can truly get. That's kind of a very interesting point of view, really, particularly when time or distance gets in the way between you and your love. It is what it is.

Magic in the Philippines has always been turbulent and rather... marginalized. Hopeless romantics among us certainly exist, though, and that's precisely why this song is something you can expect any magician in this country worth his salt to be extra partial towards. Oh, believe me. It's true, even if the sudden sidestep into magic was a bit unexpected, considering this is Project 52.

Nonetheless,as a mentalist, I tend to overthink this song quite a bit, to the point that it makes no sense any longer at times. I've always been a huge fan of Heart, and this song has certainly been one of my favorites, especially when presented with an opportunity to actually dedicate it to someone, as one ought to.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Yet Again, What Were They Thinking?!?

.:MILF Used To Be Intimidating...:.

In the Philippines, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front is indeed a fearsome countenance. A group of Muslim separatists that split from the erstwhile revolutionary Moro National Liberation Front, the MILF is often considered a terrorist group by international observers, allegedly with ties to the likes of the Jemaah Islamiyah and the Al Qaeda. Despite ongoing peace talks, there is no question that the MILF remains a force to be reckoned with and one that must be dealt with very carefully at all times.

And then American Pie came along. And the MILF never meant the same thing in this world after that.

So imagine my amusement when I saw this headline...

You can "declog my river" anytime, baby!

Obviously, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front isn't to blame for the unfortunate alternate meaning of their acronym, but there's been a significant drop in bad-@$$edness for these guys ever since American Pie came along. And now, they just turn into a lousy punchline whenever they do something that ends up getting them in the papers.

.:Bubba Tea Licious: Really?!?:.

If there are three things you can count on, it's death, taxes, and sniggering over a name like "Bubba Tea Licious" everytime it's said aloud, especially in the Philippines, of all places.

Ang sarap mag-Bubba Tea!!!

Did these guys even bother to think about this when they picked up the franchise? How'd that franchise meeting come up? Imagine if yours truly and Maro decided to start a tea franchise.

Hey! We're gonna franchise milk tea!

So what are our choices?

Well, there's the party teahouse place, Tea Gang...

No, that sounds too dry.

How about a tea delivery place like Tea Call?

That seems a bit too self-serving.

Well, maybe Proh's Tea?

No, that's too easy.

How about the one from the couple? Tea Gus-Anne?

Now, that's too hard.

Well, the last one we have is Bubba Tea Licious, so I dunno...

That sounds explosive! Let's take that franchise!

And thus, Bubba Tea Licious was born! Awesome tea, tea-spurting name!

P.S. Bubba Tea Licious, please don't sue me. MILF, please don't kill me.

So I Was Gonna Blog About Chico's Birthday Last June 17...

.:So I Was Gonna Blog About Chico's Birthday Last June 17...:.

Unfortunately, I found myself too busy to do so, and forgot all about it because of the 99.5RT + Geekfight combination that evening.

But then, I started off my day by going to Strata to say "hi" to the birthday boy, whom I haven't seen since last Christmas, I believe. Since then, I found out that Delamar is expecting, Chico has given birth to a new Tiyanak persona, and overall, the show has just gotten better and better, hard as that may be to believe.

What actually annoys me at this point, and I will be blunt here, is that the only time I see people searching my blog about Mr. Chico Garcia, it's all about a certain question that I believe shouldn't even be an issue, to begin with. Out of respect to the man, I won't bother mentioning the question here, but you all know what it is.

What he does outside his radio show, quite frankly, is none of our business, and it shouldn't really matter, because, in the end, Chico Garcia is a wonderful human being, and to me, that's all that matters. After everything has been said and done, I really don't care much about that, not because I don't want to know, but because it doesn't change a single thing about him.

So with all due respects, if the only reason you end up in my blog is because you wanted to find out about the nature of Chico's lovelife, then I'm sorry, but you're not going to find out from me, because in the almost fifteen years I have known him, it has never occurred to me to give a damn about it.

And that's really a testament to how great a person Chico is now, isn't it? With that sentiment, I greet you again: happy birthday, Chico! Thanks for being one half of the best thing that happened to my every morning for the past fifteen years.

Fabucelles Returns!

.:Fabucelles Is Back!!!:.

The POC has Fabucelles writing a scathing new one for them, covering the whole Jerzon Senador hoopla, essentially pointing out how for more than just a few people, they're so gung-ho about animal rights, yet they're so quick to ignore gay rights while they go into a sanctimonious, self-aggrandizing speech to lambast Jerzon Senador for his obvious travesty, while subjecting him to homophobic speech when gay people had nothing to do with this whole mess anyways...

This frustrates me greatly, because it was unnecessary and uncalled for. I'd be the last person to make excuses for Jerzon's actions, but why are we using "gay" as an insult against him? No, it's not okay. It isn't okay at all to make a sick joke of someone's being, and turn it into a tired punchline. Condemn his actions all you want, but dammit, lay off the homophobia and assorted hate speech.

I'm just dismayed this keeps on happening,to be honest. Every single time, when someone does something wrong, it's so easy for us to just dogpile on the poor guy to the point where the punishment no longer even fits the crime, and we become every bit as inhuman as the person we loathe, completely defeating the purpose of rebuking him for his lack of moral fiber by having none to show for ourselves.

And the ultimate irony of ironies? Few people even realize this when they do it. When we lambasted Boyet Fajardo for power-tripping over someone who did something wrong to him, did we stop to think why what he did was wrong? Remember this?

Well, we are turning into a nation of Boyet Fajardo's. It's so hard for us to show compassion or even restraint in the face of an apology, and in our so-called righteous fury, we hurt people who had nothing to do with the problem along the way. Really? A few days past Rizal's 150th birth anniversary, this is how we show what it means to be a Filipino? To put on an internet tough guy attitude, and then to resort to homophobic slurs to insult someone whose grievous mistake had nothing to do with his sexuality?

How enlightened of all of us! How easy it is to throw stones, without even aiming squarely for our target, and even getting angry when other people who had nothing to do with this issue feel gravely offended! How many of you got annoyed when gays started complaining about being targeted by your hate speech for no apparent reason? How dare these people, with, you know, human rights, get in the way of our armchair crusade for animal rights?!?

Listen. If you wanna be a slacktivist and throw stones on the internet against an animal abuser, make sure you're throwing stones against the animal abuser, and not against the entire LGBT community. They had nothing to do with this, so the least you could do is to leave them the fuck alone.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The ToyCon 2011 Recap

.:The ToyCon 2011 Recap:.

That has got to be the best stage for a cosplay event I've ever seen, hands down. Photo from Mr. Abundo, as is any other onstage photo you see here.

So... ToyCon.

Having been involved with ToyCon since 2007 in one way or another, I was certainly stoked to know that I was going to be doing some hosting duties yet again for the biggest convention in the Philippines not held in SMX. Last time I hosted was, I believe, in 2009, and needless to say, given the scale of how big this year's ToyCon was, I was just glad that I was a backup host, and not the main one.

At least, that was the case on the first day, as I stuck to hosting exclusively on the stage at Megatrade Hall 2, which was where the bands and panels were going to be, but not the cosplay itself, which was 190++ people of pure cosplay goodness. I actually saw the latter half of this event, when Cholo and Ashley Gosiengfiao took over hosting duties, and it was just awesome, but definitely stressful.

Meanwhile, in contrast, I mainly handled doing questions for the ACPI during their panel segment as we talked about animation, then shared the stage with Cholo for the panel on comic books with local artists who made their names in the international arena like Edgar Tadeo, Mico Suayan and Gilbert Monsanto, as we entertained questions from the audience, and even quizzed them on their Kick Fighter knowledge.

After the cosplay segment, though, and they needed to buy time for Ashley to make her exit lest she be forced to perform an acapella song number, I was instantaneously called up on stage to do some standup comedy and magic, with mentalism thrown in at the end. I had to buy them about ten or so minutes of time, and it was fun, because I was back where I started: onstage, in ToyCon, performing magic and mentalism just the way I did four years before.

I even ran into an old friend, Liezel, who was wearing a ton of blue that day as well, which resulted in this awesome photo...

Bluer than blue! Note my jacket there, then note my jacket on Day 2 in later photos.

I left day 1 pretty happy, because even if the crowd was ten thousand strong, I had a relatively light assignment of handling only the panels for the day, which was a far cry from the high stress you'd come to expect from doing the actual cosplay segment itself, especially when you factor in the intimidating size of the stage. At the time, just performing for fifteen minutes onstage seemed enough to me, since I didn't do the normal mental preparations I do for hosting cosplay events (Oh, believe me. You have no idea how much effort CosFus was for me before I hit the stage...).

It was a lot of fun, I met some people from GameOps, Fritz, Ryan, and several other people from the blogging world. Overall, it was still a hectic day even if I was only handling the minor stuff.

And then Day 2 came along.

Day 2 was super hectic because they were both doing the regular stuff for the convention as well as handling the shooting for Cosplay Nation. Day 1 had the ACM happening in ToyCon, so that was overall busier, but Day 2 was no slouch, either. By the end of the shooting, Cholo was exhausted from being the hype man all throughout, so at the last minute, I discovered I had to do hosting duties for the group Cosplay competition as well as the Gamer Girl contest.

It was a really hot crowd, undeniably. When I did a roll call of all the UAAP schools, there was wild applause from the people from each school - except NU, which apparently didn't have a single representative that day. :P

The group cosplay went all right for the most part, although I had to buy the program people another twenty minutes by doing straight standup comedy, seeing as I didn't have my bag of tricks with me. I can't thank Mr. GB Labrador enough for the inspiration for that one, but I pulled it off, and once the program got going, save for a few minor hitches, all proceeded according to plan. 99.5 RT got so much mention throughout my spiels, obviously, so Gibb, Neil, Koji, and Cleo should be proud. Heh.

What shocked me, though, was that almost immediately afterwards, after all the fun we had, and the fact that the eventual winner, the Sentai group has a name that rhymes with "hentai" (How juvenile, I know.), the Gamer Girl contest featured none other than Jazminne Huang! Considering that she's one of my dearest friends, we ended up sharing so many obvious inside jokes while we were onstage together that I had to remind the audience I'm not a judge, especially when we found out later on that she actually won the thing. Considering she's also one of the frontrunners in the race for the Prettiest in DLSU, she's had quite an awesome time recently.

With only six candidates, this was still pretty hotly contested.

While two of the ladies in the competition turned out to have never even played video games ever, and one of them, despite claiming to be a hardcore gamer, apparently doesn't even know what the Contra Code was, that didn't change the fact that this was quite a hotly-contested competition. I didn't even have an inkling that Jazminne would win, although she did answer very intelligently during the Q and A segment. I believe my questions involved the Contra Code, one's least favorite boss, one's personal milestone as a gamer, a question about what games a certain girl plays since she isn't a gamer, a question about what game one would play if she gave video games a chance, and about the stereotype that male gamers are better than female gamers by default.

After the contestants were done, while they were coming up with a script, Alodia ended up onstage, along with a celebrated cosplayer from China named Grace. We had amusing banter, probably brought on by the fact that this wasn't the first time we co-hosted, so we had a lot of professional chemistry working in our favor. Inside jokes flew in rapid succession, but the audience still managed to get them. I mean, after seeing these people applaud for Temptation Island, it was almost like the entire audience heard my own inside jokes when I was telling them to my friends.

Good times, good times.

So when we awarded the winners (I had to step offstage, though because they were shooting for the movie at this point.), it was quite a thrill, especially when I had to hand the prizes to Jazminne, who was in shock at winning the Gamer Girl Contest. It was double win for me, and as Cholo thanked me, it just really felt great to be doing a good job, especially since even the Cosplay Nation people were congratulating me even if my hosting had little to do with their actual shoot.

Of course, nothing could cap off my day better than sharing my moment of personal triumph with yet another wonderful winner, though.

Maybe I should've stuck with the Ateneo jacket?

Project 52 (25/52): Hero - Bonnie Tyler

.:Project 52 (25/52): Hero - Bonnie Tyler:.

Decided not to change my video sizes just because I can have bigger images on my blog now. That being said, as I write this on the (moved) holiday celebrating the birthday of our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, I ended up thinking about this song all the while because it just felt so appropriate.

As a guy who writes satires about what it means to be a Patriotic Filipino, I do it not to ridicule being Filipino per se, but the misplaced patriotism we find in not a few of us. Contrary to what cynics have to say, there are quite a lot of reasons to feel patriotic about being Filipino, so there shouldn't be any shortage of that, when it comes down to it.

And let's face it, Gat Jose Rizal, being the hero that he is, and no matter what shortcomings we may have to put up against him, is, without a doubt, one of the best of us, and his status as national hero is certainly well-earned, if not undisputable.

I won't bore you with a history lesson about the man's beginnings and his eventual martyrdom, which, for most, became the catalyst for the Filipino uprising that managed to liberate us from Spain as we declared independence on June 12, 1898, an occasion we have been commemorating the past 113 years already. While some short-sighted people think that Jose Rizal only "wrote a couple of books" but didn't really aid in making this nation free. He was supposedly just some "rabble-rousing blogger" in the eyes of some critics. To a blogger such as myself, that is less a criticism as it is faint praise of bloggers, but that's beside the point.

Jose Rizal died as a martyr for the Filipino people. Through his ideas, through his actions, the nation managed to rise above the hurdles it faced, despite the fact that he himself was never really one for active armed conflict. To ignore his contributions, and to ignore the effects of his endeavors upon the psyche of this nation to this very day is nothing short of a travesty.

And with this song, I choose to honor Jose Rizal. We're still holding out for a hero like him to come along at present, but if there's one cue we should have taken from him and the great men of his time, it isn't about holding out for a hero, it's about doing what needs to be done to be one.

Not every hero needs to die for this nation. Sometimes, it's just as important to live for it.

Thanks, Dr. Rizal. Image taken, ironically, from

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Abante: Plagiarism Fail!

.:Plagiarism Fail:.

While reading some Tweets this afternoon, I noticed a pretty funny one from one of the people I follow, Tania Arpa…

That sounds funny. I must investigate.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Et Tu, Supot.PH?

.:A Su’ Epilogue…:.


A couple of days ago, I wrote about the hilarious but unfortunate implications of running a website called su’ (Accent for clarity. LOL.), expressing my bemusement over the whole thing and wondering if they actually knew what they were doing when they bought that domain name.

Then just yesterday, someone I have zero common friends with invited me to Facebook, and in one of those rare times, I actually went and accepted the invitation. He didn’t take too long before he introduced himself to me, though. This is how that innnnteresting conversation panned out…

So far, so good.

So the guy just complimented me on my blog, and naturally, I thanked him for it, since hey, I’ve been doing this stuff for almost nine years already, and every tiny bit of recognition I get is a tiny bit that I totally appreciate.

In any case, it seemed like it was no big deal, right? Suddenly, his initial praises for my blog turned reeeealllly awkward, when…

Did I mention this was reeeealllly awkward?

If you were in my shoes, I dare you to not feel that he was being sarcastic or passive-aggressive when he said he "enjoyed" reading what I had to say about his site, considering how I wasn't very flattering of their name choice.

Now, I’ve mercilessly criticized Willie Revillame, and was fully prepared to be sued and sent to jail if it came to that over my statements. I did the same with Manny Pacquiao, and anyone who follows my writing on the POC knows I probably ingratiated myself to GMA, P Noy, Chiz Escudero, Herbert Bautista, Nick Perlas, and a host of other powerful people, if they ever bothered reading what I had to say about them.

And really, that’s fine. If (knock on wood) I died or went to jail for the sake of my strong beliefs on these various matters, then at least, I paid the price for a worthy cause.

So paranoid old me didn’t want to suffer the indignity of being sued over a joke I made, especially since I never even went for the joke and only implied it. That would've totally sucked.

I was kinda surprised, because it seemed like a huge disconnect between telling me my blog is interesting, and then being informed that the person I’m speaking to is the owner of the site I’ve been poking fun at just the other day.

So regaining my senses, I replied to him.


Thing is, the head of su’ isn’t just a good sport, he’s actually pretty clever, when you think about it. It’s obvious now that he knew what he was getting into when he bought the domain, and if you asked him what he was thinking, it was exactly the same thing we all are now: it could be misunderstood, and open to a lot of uncut jokes. Which translates to instant buzz about their fledgling site. Which can only be a good thing for them, even if their name sounds funny. I pretty much realized that the fact I joked about his website was exactly the desired effect of picking the domain name!

Because really, if they’re pushing a good product, a funny name could only make them even more memorable and not take anything away from the quality of their services at all.

Do I take back what I said about the unfortunate implications of naming your site su’ Obviously not. Those implications still stand, and I’m sure I’m not the first person to notice it, since even the CEO himself knew it from the get-go. Before he said goodbye to me on Facebook, he even squeezed in a “Go Team Supot” battlecry, which I actually chuckled at aloud, because it seemed so self-aware, coming from him.

But do I now realize that it was all part of the plan because it was all about getting people to talk about them? Absolutely, and I obviously fell for it hook, line, and sinker. Remind me to interview you guys next time to get the full story behind the site, because right now, the fridge logic of the whole thing is only beginning to sink in.

Well played, su’ Well played. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Project 52 (24/52): Pag-Ibig - APO Hiking Society

.:Project 52 (24/52): Pag-Ibig - APO Hiking Society:.

So sue me, but I love the APO Hiking Society, and I'm a sucker for the Nestle commercial that was inspired by this song. Thanks to that commercial, I can't even listen to this song anymore without getting all misty-eyed, and with good reason. APO Hiking Society is just that damned good.

I mean, it's no secret that I am a huge fan, considering I've seen their farewell Valentine's concert, Jim Paredes was my teacher, and I normally sing "When I Met You" during videoke sessions, but I must admit that I overlooked this song for a long time until the Nestle 100 Commercials came along. It's such a beautiful song about love, in all its many splendid forms.

Listening to this song just really takes me back, in all honesty. It's such a great, memorable tune, and all things considered, it's downright criminal that this doesn't get played during weddings more often, because it's just so appropriate, perhaps even the best song among the countless gems in the discography of the APO Hiking Society.

After everything has been said and done, though, I don't think I've heard a single cover except perhaps by Noel Cabangon that even remotely does justice to this song. Aren't we all grateful that the original is always just there for us to listen to and enjoy? I know I am.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

What Were They Thinking? Heh.

.:That’s My Girl!:.

“Let me have two of your best photos!” There’s no way this could possibly go horribly wrong, right?

So apparently, there was a site that allowed you to upload a couple of pictures so you could Be Gerald Anderson’s girl in a mock commercial. It was a pretty cool concept, and one of my officemates was practically gushing as she looped the commercial featuring herself again and again after she created it.

Essentially, the first picture would be used as Gerald’s cellphone wallpaper and the picture in his photo frame. He will end up kissing the photo frame before heading out to pick up his girl at her place.

The second photo will be shown while he’s driving to the girl’s house. He’ll point at it, and then say “that’s my girl!”

Pretty cute execution, interactive, and obviously, effective. What could possibly go wrong with this, right?

A lot, apparently. Almost predictably, someone made an explicit version of the commercial, since there weren't any means of screening the images uploaded. Folks, welcome to the internet.

For a while, you would’ve seen on this link a very not safe for work tour de force bastardization of the commercial. Man, what an incorrigible bastich that person really was, whoever he or she is. ;)

All praise be to Aljur for saving our eyes and sanity from the horror!

What was intended to be a cheesy but awesome way to market Maybelline products almost ended up being a massive disaster, if the news about it didn’t get to the people behind the campaign quickly enough. True, the video still exists, but at least, now that the people behind this have now been properly introduced to the 34th Rule of the Internet, I suppose a little foresight would be helpful from this point on, right?

That’s my girl - or maybe not.

I guess when you’re marketing something, you really have to cover all avenues, no matter how mundane that may seem to do. Don’t really want to condemn anyone here, as it’s clearly just an oversight, but I guess this will serve as a harsh but useful lesson for future reference.

Needless to say, shortly after this whole mess was exposed, the site was quickly taken down. I’m sure they’d want to put it back up after a while, but by then, they’d be more stringent with screening images, I’m guessing. We ended up having fun with the whole story on the air in the Disenchanted Kingdom last Friday, though (Without mentioning the brand in question, obviously.).

In the end, though, is it really horrible of me that I just had to chuckle over the whole affair? It was just such an obvious, albeit horrible, joke to pull. You gotta admit, if you've been on the internet long enough, you kinda begin to expect this stuff would happen at the drop of a hat.

.:The Unfortunate Implications Of

I think with medical science being how it is today, it’s pretty much been made clear that circumcision has more to do with cultural and societal pressure than actual medical benefits, given the inherent medical risks of performing circumcision as opposed to the limited scientific benefits that circumcision provides.

That being said, those very cultural and societal forces at work still make the Filipino word for uncut, su-pot’, pretty damned funny on the surface. I for one wouldn’t use the word as a slur against anyone’s manhood, but I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see it still used to this very day, unfortunately.

Oh, come off it. Pinoys are smart enough to know which supot we mean. Right? Right?!?

Which leads me to the unfortunately-named While I’m sure they meant su’-pot, or the local word for a plastic bag, the lack of accent marks on the site conjures only the other meaning for the word, which makes you look at this fledgling e-classifieds website in a whole different (I’m tempted to say “uncut,” but that’s too easy.), unfortunate light.

Neither does it help when the people behind this website are known collectively as “Team Supot,” which just makes people wonder if they’re secretly a lobby group against an apparently barbaric Jewish and Islamic tradition. Sorta like Russel Crowe, I guess.

I got nothing, really. The jokes just write themselves at this point, and I’m afraid of making one that would be deemed “too easy,” like another joke about “your mom” or something (See what I did there?).

Rambling On Independence Day...

.:The Reverse Celebration Of Independence:.

The freedom to be fabulous!

It’s our 113th Independence Day, and it does make me wonder how far we’ve really come. True, the spirit of EDSA is also important, and so are other key dates that we have marked down to commemorate what makes the Freeman from the Philippines the way he is today, down to the very fact that because I’m online more than anything else, I see more Filipinos hating this nation than loving it.

The irony is, they can be every bit vocal about it precisely because we are a free nation. We can tell Noynoy what a lazy bum he is because of the blood, sweat, and tears our forefathers shed for all of us on this day. Personally, I think that’s amazing, and if the very nation-bashing we see today becomes a reverse celebration of what makes this country (still) great despite everything we’re faced with, then so be it! Bring on the hate, and whether or not I agree with it, I will defend to the death your very right to say it.

Speaking of Independence, I’d like to exercise my freedom not to bash this country, but more like express my joy in being a Filipino. Or to talk about frivolous things like how awesome it was to watch “Hangover 2” with my officemates, and how I don’t feel compelled in the slightest to review the film, regardless. Or how awesome it is to be with the Disenchanted Kingdom lately and how awesome Ms. Pia Magalona has been for supporting our show like anything.

I could talk about a lot of different things just to highlight that yes, we are a free nation, no matter how many dimwits and corrupt officials we are beset with, no matter what kind of poverty we are faced with, no matter the injustices. We’re still better off than Singapore, and… wait. Maybe not, but there’s a point to be made there somewhere.

And the point is that with all this freedom we have, isn’t it the challenge to us to make of it something greater than ourselves? If we are, as St. John Bosco himself said, born for greater things, shouldn’t we choose the better things? True, our freedom in this country extends to so much as we can afford the choices we make, but that only highlights the fact that freedom and responsibility do indeed go hand in hand.

I’m not interested in hoisting myself up on my own petard and talking about what I’ve done for this nation. That’s rather self-serving and counterproductive. Rather, I’d like to make people ask themselves that admittedly unsettling question. Too often, we ask what this nation has done for us, and true, I understand the sentiment. But sometimes, we also need to ask, what have we done for this nation? That is the essence of June 12, 1898 to me. We have the chance to make of ourselves a great nation. It’s up to us to not blow that chance. While that unrealized potential can be sad and disappointing, the fact that the window still hasn’t truly passed us by should provide us with great consolation.

It’s still there for the taking for us, guys.

And that being said, I’m also proud of our film industry, even in the middle of the dreck we sometimes get subjected to, especially during the Metro Manila Film Festival. Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to catch the Nestle Philippines 100 minutes for 100 years film anthology, Kasambuhay sa Habambuhay, which really just hammered home how great storytellers our Philippine filmmakers can actually be when given the opportunity.

All in all, ten ten-minute films were shown to the bloggers in attendance, and we were floored by them. Now, while I’ve seen a lot of great Pinoy films over the years, you have to admit, our best ones tend to be just… depressing. Even during the Brocka era, you couldn’t name a single pivotal Pinoy film that didn’t explore poverty or loneliness as a central theme.

Well, we were treated to ten good films that weren’t depression-a-thons, and that includes the one entitled Silup, which follows the story of an honest cop going through an existential dilemma of sorts. It may have been gritty, but it sure didn’t strike me as grim.

Aside from Silup, we also had: The Howl And The Pussyket, outlining the trials and tribulations of a child with a speech defect who will stop at nothing to win a declamation contest. The fact that comedy paragon Eugene Domingo stars here makes this film just that much more powerful.

Oh! Pa Ra Sa Ta U Wa Yeah! A film about young love and the secret techniques housed in the Womanual. It’s actually pretty catchy, and appears to be a sequel of sorts to the Nestea commercial featuring the same characters.

Downtown, a touching tale about an old Chinese man that would be criminal for me to describe, because doing so without spoilers would prove to be too difficult.

Sali Salita, the story of how sometimes, words do have as much power as actions. The man playing the role of the grandfather in this short film will reaffirm your childhood if you grew up in the 80’s or early 90’s, unless his turn during “Ang Pagdadalaga Ni Maximo Oliveros” is just too traumatic for you…

Isang Tasang Pangarap, starring Ramon Bautista. That alone should already cement the film’s appeal, a surrealist take on the joys in a cup and psychic abilities. Monra is the true Mind Master.

Cooking Mo, Cooking Ko, Romeo and Juliet, carinderia style. What’s not to love?

Unplugged, starring Marvin Agustin and Eddie Garcia. It’s a very good film that reminds us that truly, the best things in life still boil down away from the keyboard and the glare of the LCD screen.

Tingala Sa Baba, my personal favourite, which is like the Waiting For Godot done by kids discussing the social caste system of the Philippines.

Ten great films, ten minutes each. A hundred minutes of goodness corresponding to a hundred years of goodness from Nestle in the Philippines. It couldn’t get any simpler than that, and this past weekend, they showed these films for free to the general public in select SM malls, including SM Megamall.

Indeed, June 12 is a great day. Today, we celebrate our freedom, and whether we do it by cursing the country and its government, or by praising the little or great things that makes the Philippines great, we are still indeed celebrating a freedom that those who came before us staked their lives upon, and the recognition of all that is the least we could offer them today.

Thanks to Aileen for the photo! Happy Independence Day, everyone!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Random Quick-Bite Updates...

.:Welcome Back, Cleo Caliente!:.

After a while, Cleo Caliente made her way back to the Disenchanted Kingdom, trading places with Lu Skywalker, who now handles the 12-3 time slot for 99.5 RT.

Was there last night, and it's pretty clear that Cleo hasn't missed a beat at all.

The Disenchanted Kingdom can now be heard Mondays to Fridays, 6-9 PM, on the station that's totally better than DM 95.5, 99.5 RT!

.:This Should've Been A Film Review, But Whaddaheck...:.

Trixie says: don't forget me come the next elections! Trixie the Fixie for vice-kagawad!

Two events courtesy of Nuffnang last week really worked out pretty well: the film screening of X-Men: First Class, followed by the Nuffnang family day.

Crazy tiring on both days, but there was certainly a lot of fun to be had. I'll update this post with links and the like from other bloggers covering both events as well as my two cents when I get around to it...

Monday, June 06, 2011

Project 52 (23/52): Price Tag - Jessie J

.:Project 52 (23/52): Price Tag- Jessie J:.

So I'm picking another Maddie Jane cover of an excellent song, and I must say, this song just hits the spot, and Maddie Jane does it a load of justice.

Sometimes, it really isn't all about the money, even if it can make the world go round. Sometimes, life is simply about taking the good with the bad, and having a full life by doing whatever it takes to make a difference. It ain't so bad, really, and I must say, it's a refreshing change of pace to listen to a song so positive.

Anyways, allow me to get away with not talking about how awesome this song is and its history and whatnot. I think this is one of those times where it's good to ask whoever's reading this... how do you find the song? Is it just more pop fluff, or is it actually one of those few songs that can really make a mark in one's life?

Quite frankly, I think it could very well be the latter.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Randomicity Halfway Through 2011...

.:Tomorrow, It's Her Birthday...:.

... and quite honestly, I don't know what to say or do.

I still wish my best friend would come back to me. I really do.

.:The Absolute Best!:.

Guess who guested on the DK last night? That's right! Ellen Adarna!

So I guested on the DK last night again, and I had yet another brush with celebrity with the lovely Ms. Ellen Adarna. It was pretty awesome shooting the breeze with her, but truth be told the night was really punctuated by the fact that radio history was made as 99.5 RT, the station steeped in so much tradition, has, for the first time in radio history, given away t-shirts of another station as a prize for a contest.

Considering that we are currently the station that's better than DM 95.5 right now, then I guess that makes us awesome people. Imagine, being the 24th best station among 25. There's something to be said about that, right?

Anyways, standup comedy was hilarious that night as well, and overall, it was a crazy night. I even ran into Ms. Saab Magalona in Tomato Kick, for that matter.

.:Death By Sugar:.

Let that image sink in for a moment.

You are looking at sugary madness. A single Sylvana(s?), sandwiched between a slice of sans rival, like a menacing sandwich of sweet, sweet death.

Thanks to Carlos, I managed to indulge in this ridiculously delicious diabetic delight. If you're one of my readers who has never tried sylvanas or sans rival, then I just gave you two reasons to go to the Philippines and try them out.