Roundup Philippines: A country that has it all

•July 1, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Originally posted on ESCapology:

El Nido-Nacpan Beach-PhilippinesIt’s been a quiet some time now since I have traveled the Philippines but I never got to write my final roundup. Recently thinking about it, I wasn’t even sure if I should write it at all since it has been so long ago already. But giving it a second thought, I just had to do it. In the end it was the country where I spent the longest time (three months), the country where I found new friends, fellow travelers and locals alike, the country of many adventures and the country with probably the friendliest people I have met. No, not writing this final roundup wouldn’t do this beautiful country and its people justice. A country that has it all and that is probably my favorite country after all.

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•June 29, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Originally posted on Caroline Kennedy: My Travels:

Speech Delivered Aboard The QE2

June 1987

By Caroline Kennedy

Leaving the Philippines, in 1984, for what seemed like the final time saddened me. I had spent almost two decades there, on and off, and had assimilated myself so much into its history, its culture and its people that many locals referred to me as their country’s favourite “honorary Filipina”.  The advantages were that I could now, from a distance, take a step back and view those two decades objectively. I had always told myself “one day I would write truthfully about the Marcos era” and now here I was in an unique position to do just that.

I had arrived in Manila almost by accident in 1968 and remained there on and off for the next sixteen years. My first decade there turned out to be, perhaps, the most bizarre in my entire life. During that short…

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I Can’t Be A Singaporean Anymore – Deborah Tan

•June 12, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Originally posted on Material World:

We’ll be celebrating our nation’s 50th birthday next year but Deborah Tan has the nagging feeling that it will also be the year she makes the decision whether she’ll call this place home.

I remember defending Singapore when friends studying overseas criticized the country for its many faults such as, the lack of press freedom, the near absence of an opposition party in Parliament, and its high costs of living. I was 19, idealistic, hopeful, and all I saw was a clean, safe, developed country, the country my teachers had shaped in my head over years of National Education. I remember feeling baffled whenever friends told me that they had voted for the opposition.

I couldn’t, for the life of me, imagine living anywhere else in the world.

But things have certainly changed over the last 15 years. As I grow older, I’ve become less certain whether I can continue…

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Ever Wished That Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson Would Return to the Comics Page? Well, He Just Did.

•June 7, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Originally posted on Pearls Before Swine:

Bill Watterson is the Bigfoot of cartooning.

He is legendary. He is reclusive. And like Bigfoot, there is really only one photo of him in existence. 

Few in the cartooning world have ever spoken to him. Even fewer have ever met him.

In fact, legend has it that when Steven Spielberg called to see if he wanted to make a movie, Bill wouldn’t even take the call.

So it was with little hope of success that I set out to try and meet him last April.

I was traveling through Cleveland on a book tour, and I knew that he lived somewhere in the area. I also knew that he was working with Washington Post cartoonist Nick Galifianakis on a book about Cul de Sac cartoonist Richard Thompson’s art.

So I took a shot and wrote to Nick. And Nick in turn wrote to Watterson.

And the meeting…

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Filipinas are a Man’s Chattel

•May 15, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Originally posted on Flips en Rogue:


Where were Vhong Navarro’s supporters in 2009?

It has been three months since Cedric Lee and friends brutally beat Vhong Navarro. To this day, Vhong Navarro enjoys an overwhelming level of support from the public. His supporters have been criticized as blind fanatics who are incapable of being fair regarding the merits of the entirety of this case. After all, Vhong Navarro allegedly sexually assaulted Cedric Lee’s rumored girlfriend, Deniece Cornejo.

Vhong Navarro’s supporters are outraged by the criticism that their clamor for “justice” is nothing more than celebrity idolization. They insist that this is about true justice. One of said supporters even sent me a strongly worded message, flattering me on one end about my writing but criticizing me for having my heart in the wrong place (not on Vhong Navarros side). In his seemingly sincere expression of hurt feelings about my advocacy, he asked, “Have you had a…

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:: bed bugs bite ::

•March 18, 2014 • 2 Comments

I miss writing. I know I am not a good writer. So, if you mix it with my absence in the blogosphere, a huge ten-folds of unattractive writing. Especially to the seasoned and those who mastered the craft of writing, I could hear your loud cringe-filled tones while reading the first paragraph of this online journal post. Obviously, after reading this paragraph, you might as well read something eye-worthy.

Oh, self-deprecation, how I missed you.

Less than a month left before I turn thirty-tree. Man, a lot of things have happened. Marriage, child, improv, breast implants. I am way better than Shoemart, I got it all for you. Not to mention the constant verification of my age. If you ask my age out of nowhere, it’ll take me fifteen seconds to give an answer. Is this really part of the thirty-ish generation?

In all seriousness, it is really hard to write nowadays when time is super important for a fledgling father like me. Yes, I don’t even know what fledgling means, but it sounds good; like eating at Sofitel’s Spiral buffet. You know what, the most time-consuming part of parenthood is putting your child to sleep. I don’t mind aching muscles. I don’t mind non-saliva resistant skin. I just want my child to sleep the way a normal human does.

I know you’d probably give me a bunch-a links on how letting your child sleep peacefully without waking up in the middle of the night and would opt to play Dance Central at 2 in the morning. I actually found a way, to make her sleep, recently but I want something more, more than Vanessa Hudgen’s love for Zac Efron in High School Musical. An appropriate minimum of eight hours of sleep is absolutely a want and needed.

Again, I miss writing. This is just some random ramblings I want to remember.

Bea, dowter, I shall make bawi when I get old. I hope you have the same patience for your dear old daddy.

I love you.

:: pangit na pelikula ::

•January 3, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Gusto ko lang naman malaman kung bakit sa panahon ngayon, sa taong 2014, ang issue pa rin ng mga pelikula ay kadalasang nauuwi sa mundo ng MMDA. Sorry, hindi ko talaga maintindihan hanggang ngayon kung bakit ang laki ng kebs ng tao sa isang festival na alam naman ng lahat na isang money-making scheme lang. Na ilang pelikula na ba ang laging nagsasabi na proud sila sa pelikula nila dahil naging blockbuster ito sa takilya. Blockbuster meaning kumita ng limpak-limpak. Pera na nanggaling sa mga 13th month pay usually ng empleyado.

Pero bakit ganoon? Eh may nagbabago na rin naman hindi ba. Kaya nga nagkaroon na ng New Wave sa MMFF para ma-cater sa mga nagrereklamo na nakakasuya na raw ang mainstream appeal ng MMFF. Kasama na rin na isa na lang ang sequel sa nakaraang taon, ang Kimy Dora (nag nag-iinarte rin, pero makakarating tayo doon, don’t worry). Wala namang enteng. Wala namang tanging ina. Wala namang panday. Wala namang SRR. Pero nasisisi ngayon lahat sa My Little Bossings. Akala ko ba may katalinuhang diskurso na sa mundo ng pelikula sa ilang mga grupo-grupo na umiikot ngayon sa Internet? Ilan ba ang pinalabas noong MMFF? Labing-tatlong pelikula. Eh bakit sa lahat ng panonoorin ninyo, My Little Bossings pa. Tapos magrereklamo kayo na panget siya.

Eh baka ikaw ang problema?

10,000 Hours; Girl, Boy, Bakla, Tomboy; Kimmy Dora: Ang Kiyemeng Prequel; Pagpag; Kaleidoscope World; Pedro Calungsod: Batang Martir; Boy Golden; Island Dreams; Saka-saka; Ang Maestra; Dukit; at Mga Anino Ng Kahapon. Ayan, nilista ko na ang ibang pelikula na kasama sa MMFF. Alam ko na pamilyar kayo sa iba. Syempre malakas ang hatak pa rin ni Vice Ganda. At nakalikom ang 10,000 hours nang pagkarami-raming mga awards na pinarangal ng isang grupong nagtra-trapik sa edsa. So, Kimy Dora, ano ang drama mo? Eh ano ngayon kung na-snub kayo? Eh balita ko, may alanganing punchline daw kayo sa pelikula tapos mage-expect kayo na makakuha ng award? Sa tingin n’yo ba basis nila talaga ang mga tunay na artistic at technical aspects ng isang pelikula? Ang mas sisilipin pa nila, kung nag-swerving kayo sa commonwealth.

Pero hindi po kaso ang swerving. Pauso lang po ng mga gustong mag-lunch niyan.

At don’t tell me na hanggang ngayon, ang dating pa rin ng mga pelikulang Pinoy ay pangit ng dahil sa My Little Bossings. Alam ko napanood ko ang Mga Anino Ng Kahapon kaya alam ko na nagkakamali ka. Alam ko rin na ang basis mo ng maganda ay mga “blockbuster” films na punong-puno ng CGI at effects na hindi naman talaga natin kayang pag-interesan dahil matalino ang mga Pinoy, lalo na ang mga nasa industriya ng pelikula. Kaya nga punong-puno tayo ng mga festivals ngayon. At kung gusto mo nang CGI at effects, baka makatulong diyan si Napoles na kaibigan ni pogi este ni panday.

Isama ko na rin na pag sinabi mo na panget ang buong MMFF, sabihin mo muna sa akin kung naka-ilang Brocka, De Leon, Bernal, at O’hara ka na. At hindi lang tuwing Pasko nagkakaroon ng pelikula ang mga Pinoy. Buong taon po. Ang alam ko lang naman na nagreklamo ngayon ay mga fans ng The Hobbit.

Pagpahingahin na siguro natin ang walang kamatayang pangit ang MMFF. May labing-isang buwan na punong-puno ng mga pelikulang nanggagaling sa Star Cinema, Viva, Cinemalaya, Cinemanila, at iba pang mga Pinoy festivals. At lagi na lang tayong naghahanap ng automatic hit at automatic na maganda. Eh sa tingin mo ba maganda lahat ng napanood mo na? Hindi mo naman siguro masasabi na maganda ang isang pelikula kung hindi ka rin nakapanood ng pangit.

At nagrereklamo sa 220 pesos pero willing mag-starbucks, mag-J. Co, at mag-Vikings.

Eh baka ikaw nga ang problema?


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