Friday, November 29, 2013

2 Hot 4 8List: 8 Alternate Interpetations For The "Binay Stopped At Restricted Area" Picture

.:2 Hot 4 8List: 8 Alternate Interpretations For The "Binay Stopped At Restricted Area" Picture:.

(2Hot 4 8List are lists that for various, often obvious reasons, need to be published on a personal capacity, rather than as something that de facto represents the website I love to write for. I hope you enjoy it, because whether or not they ended up on the site, I still worked pretty hard on them, minus the epic graphic design you've come to know and love from the 8List.)

Recently, a new picture came out featuring our Vice President, Jejomar Binay, allegedly being stopped by US Soldiers from entering the restricted area for UN Humanitarian Relief. The Vice President, who was campaigning for 2016 spearheading relief efforts by putting his name on all the relief goods, was trying to get in.

Five different numbers texted me this picture, praising our Vice President in the process.

Of course, a conflicting report indicates that this photo was actually that of a handshake between the Vice President and one of the US military overseeing relief efforts, so there’s that, too.

Taking one more look at the photo, you can’t help but think that it might be open to a myriad interpretations, though. Since I am an impulsive creature made of pure, weapons-grade Id, that’s exactly what I did…

Because to white people, they all look alike.

He's wearing a black shirt, genius.

Someone needed to take over after Willie Revillame retired from TV...

Family reunions really bring tears to our eyes.

Worst. Wrestlemania. Ever.

No wonder that bootlegged DVD of "Rocky IV" was so cheap!

No wonder that bootlegged DVD of "A Few Good Men" was so cheap!

Do not. F*ck. With. Binay.

Blogger Events? It Felt Like A Lifetime Ago...

.:... And Yet The Entitlement Complexes Never Went Away:.

I slowly eased myself out of attending blogger events ever since I worked for Nuffnang four years ago. At some point, being at blogger events was more work than anything else, and it no longer became a prominent part of my life. Nothing wrong with blogger events at all, mind you. I just lost interest in attending every single one that invited me at some point.

Of course, I remained friends with a lot of bloggers. It's not like I stopped being one, myself, or decided to isolate myself from the rest of them. But in doing so, it provided me with the opportunity to really choose who I would spend time with, rather than to waste my time being surrounded by vexations to my soul.

This also means that I missed the newer generation of bloggers, especially the newer generation of atrocious ones. The ones who decided that this whole "patay-gutom bloggers" thing was really cool and they should continue its fine tradition. And continue, they did.

I feel rather jaded about the blogging scene lately, to be honest. Most of the award-giving bodies have successfully turned blogging into a celebrity-dominated sphere, where nobody bothers with the opinion of anyone who isn't a power blogger, whatever the Hades that means.

The "Power Blogger," in its element.

The thing is, blogging on its own has been nearly as irrelevant as it has been before it even existed. In the age of 140 characters or less, someone sitting down to read a full-length blog entry where some self-proclaimed social media (idiot) savant shouts about his relevance from the highest mountaintops, yet nobody is listening. Have you noticed who gets nominated for blogging and social media awards lately? I'll give you a hint: nearly all of them are celebrities, and they will drown you out, regardless what your message is.

With how much I've been writing for the 8List ever since last year, the frequency of my blogging has obviously taken a hit. I'm not the same blogger I once was, and haven't been particularly waving the banner of blogging that much in the last year or two. As such, what really does get to me is how more than a few of these remaining loud voices in the blogosphere take it upon themselves to represent everyone else, saying they do the sh*t that they do for the "honor" of bloggers. Who died and made them our savior, really?

Look. I'm not being a hipster about this blogging thing. You wanna SEO your way to riches? Go ahead. You want to receive tokens and gift certificates all the time so you never have to do your groceries ever again? Be my guest. But I am not you, and when you keep saying you are fighting for people like me, it annoys the f*ck out of me. I don't know you, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to, so leave me out of your drama.

I'd be looking at the back of my skull if my eyes rolled any further.

I've been keeping what is functionally an online diary for eleven years already. I like to write. I like to get on my soapbox and talk about things, with varying degrees of success. I like being snarky, and even getting into flame wars or trollbaiting people sometimes. But what tires me out is when that's all I ever encounter, when some bloggers who think they're hot stuff use their so-called influence to leverage threats against people, and then claim they are being bullied when the inevitable backlash flies in their face.

I don't need someone telling me how to be ethical when they keep jumping from endorsing one skin whitening brand to another at the drop of a hat, yet still looking every bit the same.

I don't need someone telling me how much this restaurant sucks because it can't give anything beyond free food for bloggers to try and write about, when any self-respecting food critic would actually want to do this incognito.

I don't need someone telling me to get outraged at the latest issue you deem worth "curating." You have yet to meet an ambulance you didn't want to chase.

I especially don't need someone telling me how to be ahead of the social media curve when they don't even have five hundred followers to their name while they proclaim themselves a "guru."

It's all self-aggrandizement, really. People who are all bark and no bite, yet think that crying "wolf" the way they do about their vaunted influence would somehow make the world be at their beck and call. It doesn't work that way. 

Your blog doesn't make you special. Your traffic doesn't increase your bust size, nor does your ad clicks increase your sperm count. If you think for one moment that your status on the internet entitles you to anything more than any other human being should reasonably expect, then maybe you need some WD-40 to get your head out of your own ass. It's way too far in already.

Visual aid.

I don't represent anyone when I say this, mind you. Maybe some people agree with me when I say this, maybe some don't. But most won't even bother reading this. I don't care. I just want it to be stated for the record, that for the most part, I'm jaded with where the blogosphere has ended up after all these years. When celebrity culture permeated blogging, I never thought that most everyone would ignore virtually all the good stuff that comes with it and instead only pick up the relentless narcissism, the unmitigated self-importance, and the overblown sense of entitlement.

So please. When you talk about how people who aren't bloggers should deal with those who are, when you talk about what bloggers are all about, or when you try to so much as stand as a representative for bloggers at large? Just f*cking speak for yourself, okay?

Being a blogger does not make you special, or entitle you to anything out of the ordinary. Being a blogger does not make you smarter or more amazing than anyone else. It's the person behind the blog that makes something special, not the blog in and by itself. And if you squander that strength of personality over some petty vendetta or some stupid score you have to settle, do you genuinely think it's worth it?

Somehow, I don't think so.

Monday, November 25, 2013

2 Hot 4 8List: 8 Sassy Comebacks We Wish Korina and Anderson Made to Each Other

(2Hot 4 8List are lists that for various, often obvious reasons, need to be published on a personal capacity, rather than as something that de facto represents the website I love to write for. I hope you enjoy it, because whether or not they ended up on the site, I still worked pretty hard on them, minus the epic graphic design you've come to know and love from the 8List.)

.:8 Sassy Comebacks We Wish Korina and Anderson Made to Each Other:.

In the recent word war between Korina Sanchez and Anderson Cooper, the latter’s passive-aggressive ways mostly won in the eyes of the public.

It basically went down like this:

Korina: “Itong si Anderson Cooper, sabi wala daw government presence sa Tacloban. Mukhang hindi niya alam ang sinasabi niya.”

Anderson: “
Miss Sanchez is welcome to go there (Tacloban City) and I would urge her to go there. I don’t know if she has, but her husband is the interior minister and I’m sure she can arrange a flight.”

Since last week, Korina is on the field for her program “Rated K,” which means rumors of her being suspended for her tiff with Anderson are effectively debunked. Meanwhile, Anderson has turned his attention from feuding with Korina to feuding with Alec Baldwin.

While even Frosty The Snowman himself may have felt the burn Anderson Cooper inflicted upon Korina Sanchez in their brief non-exchange, we can imagine ourselves looking into eight different alternate universes where both journalists were sassier and cattier than they already were.

Of course, she would know a thing or two about slippers.

Imagine if she stuck it out with Noynoy...

There is nothing more Pinoy than using "iggg" as a sound effect.

You can't beat the master, Korina.

Pour some more milk for these kitties!


Oo nga naman.

Game set, match.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

So When Were You Going To Tell Me? The Unsent Series, Volume 4, Part IV

.:So When Were You GOing To Tell Me? The Unsent Series, Volume 4, Part IV:.

Dear Carbon,

I chalked up everything we went through back then as a matter of bad timing. I didn't have the gumption when I needed to have it, and I didn't know how to stand up for what was right when I should have back then.

I let things pass me by, but at some point, I realized I couldn't do that any longer. So I laid my cards on the table, and you knew I was dead serious. It was about time. I was ready. 

But you weren't. At least, not yet. And that's fine. I respected that, and gave you the time you asked for because the last thing we needed was uncertainty. It was a testament to our years of knowing each other that it was the easiest thing in the world to do for you, because why wouldn't I? I would be a fool not to.

Except just like before, you would flit in and out of my life, and I couldn't quite tell where to stand with you, because you never could manage to just stay still and tell me the truth. You had to keep me spinning right round like a record. Why? Was it so hard to tell me how you really felt? was it so hard for you to be honest with me?

So now, after telling you I was willing to give it time, you never bothered to give me that chance. You just went ahead and moved right on as if I never once figured in your plans. Thanks, really. It only goes to show how important what we had really is to you.

Carbon, what could have been can now never be. You chose to make it so, and left me with no choice. You threw away everything because you couldn't even give us the kind of respect we deserved. You had no idea how much I was willing to give to make this work. You had no idea how much I wanted this to work. Instead, all you cared about was yourself. Not once did you think that someone was waiting for you. Not once did you think that someone was hanging onto your word.

Your words, which, apparently, have no value whatsoever.

Were you just going to leave me in the lurch without giving it a second thought? At what point would it have occurred to you that I at least needed the courtesy of knowing I was just wasting my time? It's not like that would have genuinely hurt me nearly as much as having to wait on empty ended up hurting me. Then what? You'd turn to me and ask for help again when your world crumbles down one more time? How predictable.

Carbon, no amount of pressure will turn you into the diamond you ought to be, if this is the kind of treatment anyone can expect from you. I'm sick and tired of waiting for a realization that clearly will never come.

You threw it all away. And I'm done picking up after you.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Comedy Challenge

.:The Comedy Challenge:.

After four years on and off of doing standup comedy, I've found myself mostly relying on current events material for my jokes. That's nice, except for the part where you have little choice but to discard your material after a few weeks.

A week ago, I did a 15-minute set for the first time, and I couldn't thank GB enough for the opportunity he gave me. It certainly felt like a culmination of sorts, as I did a fairly competent extended set, and I had it all recorded, so I more or less knew if I was doing stuff right on the money/

Then last Monday, I opened for Mike, and he asked me to do 10 minutes, and it seems that's the norm he expects from me at this point.

As my friend and mentor, Mike challenged me to develop my material, and give myself a year to be able to do a full 1-hour set. It's daunting, looking at it right now, but I have to admit, that is something I want to strive towards.

With Switch, the improv comedy group I'm a part of, really taking off as well, there is so much good going on in the world of comedy, and I'm glad to be even just a small part of it.

Here's hoping that I do manage to continue improving my craft. I have such a long way to go, but I have never felt more optimistic about it than I do now.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Case of the Ridiculous "Research" Paper

.:On "Oplan: Discredit The Preacher":.

Wait, what?

It was hilarious enough the first time this cropped up. I wrote an article on the 8List about scandals I believed to be worse than Chito Miranda, and then saw that same list blow up when it was featured by Yahoo.

And yes, that was the sorta-hilarious but also sorta-scary point where I realized that my time in the 8List could very well yield some death threats. Crazy, I know.

But you know what's crazier? That someone who I don't remotely even know would go out there, do a "research" paper on me, and get his dose of daily exercise by running his mouth and jumping to conclusions. So if you ever end up reading this, Toto Onato, come at me, bro. I'm ready for you.

En garde.

Let's take a look at the drivel he wrote, then. And no, I won't even bother correcting his grammar or spelling. Too much work.

Toto opens with the supposed "background" on the list that I wrote...

Background: On August 16, 2013, a certain Kel Fabie published on Yahoo! News an article entitled “8S candals Far Worse Than Chito Miranda’s (Chito Miranda, Jr., incidentally, is a Filipino lead singer for the band “Parokya ni Edgar ”. On August 3, 2013, video snippets of Miranda having sex with his girlfriend Neri Naig were leaked and became viral hits in many social media sites but Fabie, in his article,did not consider it even a scandal of sort).  

Right there, you see that we are operating from starkly differing points of view. As far as I'm concerned, I've made it very clear that I don't find any scandal in a rock star who happens to have sex with his girlfriend. When I pitched this for the 8List, I came in with the intention of diverting attention from what I found to be a worthless distraction, and instead make people pay more attention to what I found were truly scandalous things, in varying degrees. Let's face it: between two consenting adults screwing each other, and Janet Napoles screwing the entire nation over, I'm more inclined to have actual f*cks to give about the latter than the former.

So Toto goes on, and says that he will investigate me further: except it's clear that he doesn't, because at no point does he ever stumble upon the 8List, which would have provided him with a whole lot of context for why I write what I write.

Save for one (1) religious preacher who landed in the number 8 position from the list, all theothers are either past or present government officials, politicians and associates involved in large scale graft and corruption in government and other forms of criminal acts. The author’s strange inclusion of a lone religious personality from the list of scandals in politics and governance had placed his intention in serious doubt, hence, the consistency and integrity of his work necessitates further scrutiny.In the spirit of fairness, this report aims to present an impartial assessment on the credibility of his article and to ferret out the probability of an ulterior motive behind the publication of his own preferential list of scandals.

I'm not a journalist. I'm opinionated, I do ruffle feathers, and in case it hasn't been so obvious yet, when I make lists, I like throwing in some choices from out of left field. But no, I'm  not a journalist. Of course the list would be subjective, and the "ulterior motive" you speak of is to remind people that Chito Miranda's scandal is the least of our problems. That it just so happened to be Brother Eli at this point instead of, say, the multiple instances of pedophilia or sexual harassment demonstrated by some of the Catholic clergy, is just par for the course.

It's laughable how he keeps on placing disclaimers "in the spirit of fairness" that this is an "impartial assessment" regarding the credibility of my list, when all he ever does is play mind-reader and question my motives without ever once refuting the evidence I have linked to regarding Brother Eli Soriano's case. Which is a thing. That exists. 

So he quotes my list in the next section of his "paper" and completely misses the fact that the list was designed as a wake-up call to people who seem more preoccupied with what consenting adults do in their bedroom than the people we supposedly call our leaders.

From there, he quoted some information that he would actually care about, as he is clearly a member of Ang Dating Daan:

Bro. Eli had been facing numerous libel cases in various courts in the Philippines and they were all filed by the Manalos’ church Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC). The INC also filed sometime in 2001 a frustrated murder case and in 2004, a rape case against Bro. Eli. The frustrated murder case was dismissed during the early part of 2010 while the rape case had been ongoing.Complainants Bernardo Santiago in frustrated murder case and Daniel Veridiano in rape casewere former members of ADD who were excommunicated for adultery in the case of Santiago and multiple rape and malverzation of funds in the case of Veridiano. The moment they became privileged members of the INC, that was the time they filed their respective complaint against him. Incidentally, the rape case had been previously dismissed at the level of the Fiscals’ office in Pampanga but the surprise intervention of the Department of Justice then under Secretary Raul Gonzales who was under Manalo’s sphere of influence, hastily reversed the earlier resolution and ordered the subsequent re-filing of the dismissed rape case. References:1)

Notice the part where he said that there's still a warrant for arrest out there for Brother Eli? How about the part where Brother Eli is still technically a fugitive evading arrest, much like Senator Lacson was a few years ago? Oh, he didn't mention any of that? Strange. I thought he said he was being "impartial?"

I feel so betrayed.

So from this point, he then launches into his "findings," and points out that yes, 7 out of 8 entries were all politically related, without at any point being cognizant of the fact that at no point did I promise that all 8 of the scandals would be political in nature...

Moreover, the statement from the author himself: “if he is innocent, this is a scandal of clear religious oppression” is a manifestation that he is not fully convinced that Bro. Eli is liable. Therefore, such “benefit of doubt” should have effectively deprived the author of anymore valid reason and resolve to proceed with the odd inclusion of the lone preacher on the list.Instead of being reasonably guided however, the author even presented the purported scandal list in reverse order from 8th to 1st so that the name of Bro. Eli appears to be the banner headline.

And here, he displays his complete lack of research, which puts his credibility into question, more than anything else: I included #8 because it was a two-way scandal. If it were true, it's a scandal on Brother Eli's part. If it were false, it was a scandal of religious oppression. Either way, it is a scandal, and one that people should be very aware of.

He makes it even worse by being oblivious to the notion of a countdown, which is the standard practice for all lists on the website, barring very few exceptions. But since he doesn't even know that the 8List exists because he never bothered to actually do any research for his "research" paper, it becomes pretty obvious why he makes this conjecture, and proceeds to assume this was done because of SEO, rather than an increasing order of relevance for the average person as we approach the #1 item.

So mad, you guys.

At this point, he drops all pretense of scholarly restraint, and proceeds to lay this doozy down...

Noticeably, the author even managed to use blog links sympathetic to Bro. Eli apparently in a feigned attemptto project himself as not being biased in reporting. In short, the author’s temerity for trickery and pretentiousness to project image of objectivity and fairness is obvious. Nonetheless, it can never erase the evident shadow of his devious and malicious intention against Bro Eli, who, in reality, is his article’s main target personality. (emphasis mine)

Oy, vey.

Brother Eli was far from my main target. In fact, he was the token non-political guy I threw into the list for the sake of a bit of diversity. The main target was, and obviously always has been, Janet Napoles. A cursory look at the multiple lists I've written or co-written should tell you as much, but of course doing any minute amount of "research" on this "research" paper is way too much work for Toto, isn't it?

And to think I found out about this paper from a frigging vanity search.

His conclusion? Even worse.

Kel Fabie article about his so-called 8 scandals is obviously nothing more than a poorly executed propaganda plot against Bro. Eli Soriano (apparently sponsored by his detractors) which should have been entitled instead as “OPLAN: DISCREDIT THE PREACHER”. 

Discredit the preacher? Do you think I even care about your preacher's credibility as much as I care about the fact that he is involved in a high-profile rape allegation case and is still evading arrest? Do you think this is the face of someone who gives a sh*t?

Not pictured: the face of someone who gives a sh*t.

Hey, Toto! You know the only reason people ended up really remembering why your fearless leader (who's apparently in hiding from cops looking to serve him a warrant of arrest) is still being accused of having raped a dude? Because people like you think people like me give a sh*t. Newsflash: I'm a religious egalitarian. I hate 'em all equally.

There is no plot, and it would have been cool if I were paid by Brother Eli's detractors to write a list I would have totally written for my job anyways, but nope, that didn't happen either. Newsflash: the world doesn't f*cking revolve around you.

Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah.

I also find it laughable that other people in the comments "defended" Soriano from being called "homophobic" because all he did was cite the Bible. You mean, just because the apparently homophobic verses are from the Bible, they're magically not homophobic somehow? It doesn't work that way.

Ultimately, it's pretty pathetic that you feel so compelled to defend your great leader when he isn't even willing to face the music and do it himself.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


.:Why Me?:.

Someone on Facebook recently turned to me for advice. As in serious love advice. 

I tried my best, given the circumstances, to give her what she needed, as I was all too familiar with the scenario: she was beginning to feel what it is to be a meantime girl. It isn't a good feeling if you were hoping for anything more, that's for sure.

While I was talking to her, she even gave me a nickname I have never heard anyone use on me before... Mar.

Also, I honestly have no flipping idea how I supposedly know her and why she's my Facebook friend.

Really. I've been checking for half the day, just trying to figure this out. No such luck. I don't know why someone I don't even know would approach me for help, and why she would think I'd be even remotely qualified to give relationship advice, given my track record. 

I'm glad I got to help. Really, I am. But I also wish I had the foggiest idea who I was helping.

.:Times Like These...:.These are not easy times, to put it mildly. There are a lot of people suffering, a lot of people hurting, a lot of people grieving. And as much as we all try to do our part, we really could never help enough.

And yes, there's still a lot to be jaded and cynical enough. I don't need to chime in how unprepared the government was. Or how stupid the conspiracy theories about how the typhoon came about, when we also accept the "incompetence" of the government while maintaining their "hypercompetence" at producing this "man-made" calamity, which, I must repeat, is totally not. I'm tired of the random griefing from people who want to get a rise by invoking Schadenfreude against the Philippines, or by using religion as an excuse or as a way to denigrate people further. I'm sick and tired of all of them.

But while all that is true, that's not what we need. We need to be reminded that good people are still doing good things. We need to remember that we are not alone in this planet, and as much as we have helped others when they needed us, they are more than happy to do the same for us in our time of need. We need to remember that for every looter out there, there are hundreds of people coming together to help thousands survive.

The worst is out there. But so is the best. And if both things are equally true, and equally happening right before our very eyes, shouldn't it be obvious where we should focus most of our attentions upon right now?