Friday, November 30, 2007

Eh-hum # 216

It was beyond television drama, and I was honestly worried that there will be bloodshed yesterday that would (unfortunately) make martyrs out of them. "Them" being Senator Trillanes, Brig. Gen. Lim, former VP Guingona, members of the Magdalo group and people from civil society groups/orgs.

It started out as a daring courtroom walkout, but as events began to unfold, it turned out to be a bad idea. PDI online's headlines: Trillanes revolt crushed. Below are some of my thoughts on the incident yesterday:

1. I was quite thankful that there were NO politicians who went to the hotel during the standoff. Perhaps the PNP were the first on the scene so they couldn't take charge of the situation without having to deal with Mamang Pulis General Avelino Razon. Or that they felt the revolt of sorts will not prosper because it failed to garner civilian support (read: no voters present, so why go). Or that to be associated with a radical like Trillanes et al would kill any chance they have for 2010. Hmmmm.

2. Management of the Manila Peninsula Hotel said that 310 out of 497 rooms were occupied before the standoff began. Great, thanks a lot for scaring the tourists/investors and robbing the Manila Pen and its employees valuable and hard-earned income. Not to mention their very festive lobby.

3. Maybe its just me, I find it ironic that a Senator would defy the law by disrespecting the court (a desperate move indeed). Besides, I don't think he became a Senator because he was qualified; I agree to the comments made earlier that it was a protest vote against PGMA.

4. If Trillanes stated his case at court, there could be a chance that the justice he seeks will be served. Staging a mutiny for a second time, defying the courts and putting innocent civilians in jeopardy again...oi, it doesn't look too good for him and his co-horts.

5. Guingona should've retired peacefully. Or if he really wants to get involved, do it in a way that would earn respect, not humiliation. Furthermore, if you are more than 80 years old, it is not a good idea to join a mutiny led by armed mavericks.

6. Media people should've listened the first time (or second time) when they were asked to leave the premises. They said it was part of their job to continue reporting. True, and I admire them for that. However, they should also understand that it is the job of the PNP to ensure that all of the mutineers are accounted for (like the last two Magdalo members who were found hiding in the hotel during clearing operations). While its good that the media people were all released last night, I still don't think its "overkill".

7. Trillanes exploited the media (who followed him around to get his comments, etc) and used them as a protective shield when he went down to the lobby to inspect the sorroundings, the first time since they got to the hotel. Am sorry, that's not kagitingan in my book.

8. Senators should have one staff dedicated to watching the news, taking note of every detail expressed. For instance, Senator Mar Roxas (a guest at DZMM) asked about the curfew and its effects on call center agents. Well, that was answered like, an hour ago when Secretaries Puno and Gonzales were giving a presscon at Malacanang and Secretary Teodoro was being interviewed by Ted Failon and his lady love (and ticket to 2010) Korina Sanchez.

9. As it turns out, the curfew did garner some positive results. Sleazy joints were empty, no drunkards roaming the streets. Would it kill to be a little more disciplined? And no, we are not under martial law. People, pay attention!

10. Makati, again?! What's up with that? Mayor Binay seems not too keen in keeping the city safe from coup plotters and mutineers. At this rate, businesses will move to other places, like Quezon City. Well, that's good news for us.

Finally, 11. While the whole thing was a dud, the government, especially the President, should not take it lightly. Trillanes is reckless and arrogant, but their grievances are rooted in real life. If the government (meaning everybody, from the President to the kagawad, administration and opposition alike) does not shape up, there will be more of these in the future. The Filipinos, particularly the tax payers, don't deserve this kind of drama. Geeez, I hope your trip in Europe will bring good news, madame President. By the way, whats with the entourage? Eh-hum.

Oh yeah, today, is Bonifacio Day. Let us not forget that. :)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Eh-hum # 215


I could've just stayed at home and relaxed. But NO! This was an opportunity of a lifetime, and I am not about to let it pass.

I suddenly remembered that I was in Kobe when Neil Gaiman toured Tokyo last September 2007. If I had a LOT of money at that time, I would've bought a Shinkansen ticket just to see him. But it was either that or starvation. Nonetheless, there was hope and yesterday proved to be a blessing. Therefore, I couldn't think of any good reason NOT to see him in person. Hehehe, not even Mina the typhoon. And the wonderful part about that was, I was not the only one willing to face the bad and unpredictable weather just to catch a glimpse of Mr. Gaiman.

Oh. Did I mentioned that I was there?

Yep, I went to Fully Booked at the Fort and attended the awarding ceremony of the 2nd Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards as well as the launching of the book Expeditions, which contains the works of last year's winners (one for each category; comics and prose). Mr Gaiman provided the foreword of the said book(s). Thankfully, the weather cooperated with us (just a drizzle) and everything went smooth as silk. Local magician Eric Mana and a group of percussionists/musicians/arnis practitioners (forgive me, with all the excitement I forgot their name) graced the evening and provided entertainment.

I was contented to be just a few feet away from Mr Gaiman, though I wished I arrived much earlier and owned a better camera, fit for those zoom shots. But its fine, I had fun and it was really heartwarming to hear Mr Gaiman applaud the winners for their good work and talk about the uniqueness of the Filipino tradition and culture. Now, the contest is in its third year, and Mr Gaiman asked all interested parties to submit their best works. He even announced that they are including a new category: short film (to the excitement of the crowd). The organizers will be giving the future contestants a year to do their stuff, hence, mediocrity is NOT an option.

I'll leave all the writing/drawing/moviemaking to the professionals; I'm just happy to be one of Mr Gaiman's fans and be in the same place as he is. The most memorable event of the evening was when Mr Gaiman requested his son, Mike, to join him in the stage (wherein Mr Gaiman expressed that one can profit from your children's nightmares, hehehehe). You can see that apart from being an amazing storyteller and bestselling author, he is first and foremost a father and family man. Better yet, read his blog; he gushes over his children.

That's basically it. Oh yeah, I also bought an autographed copy of the movie Beowulf script and won an autographed Sandman bookmark (which I have yet to claim). Thanks very much Mr Gaiman, hope you can visit the Philippines soon, you are ALWAYS welcome.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Eh-hum # 214

Two quizzes here; wala lang.

You Are A Weeping Willow Tree

You are a dreamer, and you're into almost any kind of escapism.
Restless and capricious, you love to travel to exotic places.
You are easily influenced by others, as long as they don't pressure you.
You tend to suffer in love until you find that one loyal, steadfast partner.
An empathetic friend, you love to make others smile and laugh.

You Are Not a Cheapskate

When it comes to money, you're very fair.
You're generous when you can be, and you never cheat anyone out of what they deserve.
If you have the money, you enjoy splurging. But you never overspend.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Eh-hum # 213

I can't believe I am posting this just now. He's in Subic for crying out loud. I mean, we're practically breathing the same air.

It was Monday. I was in school and just hanging out in the library (where it is properly and comfortably ventilated and quiet). I logged on and proceeded to do the usual stuff, like checking my email. When I got to the blog-hopping part of my Internet itinerary, I totally flipped-out. In his Sunday post, Neil Gaiman casually mentioned that he, in 18 hours, was about to leave for the Philippines. Holy of all holiness...

I felt kind of bad for not making an effort to see the Fab Five when they visited the country last year, since they were a MRT away (from Ayala Malls I mean). So I am not about to make the same mistake again.

>Kindly visit for more information on Mr Gaiman's Manila tour. He's in Subic most of the time for the 20th Philippine Ad Congress, but on Sunday, he will be at Fully Booked at the Fort. Gaiman fans unite!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Eh-hum # 212

The authorities are considering other angles, but as of the moment, this makes a lot of sense. Two days later, the Philippine National Police believed that Basilan congressman Wahab Akbar was the likely target of the bomb that exploded at the House of Representatives' South Wing. Akbar and four others were killed in the said explosion which also left several others wounded. These inlcuded two other solons, Representatives Teves and Ilagan.

Early reports say that the bomb was planted on a Honda motorcycle parked near the South Wing lobby (see picture above) and was detonated by a cellular phone. Akbar was a former member of the extremist group Abu Sayaff who later turned against them and helped the government in the campaign against it. If investigations lead to the Abu Sayaff, then the incident could've very well been an assasination. Relatives of Akbar in Basilan agree that he was the target, except for the suspects and the motive. His political rivals could also be responsible. Before becoming congressman, Akbar was the governor of Basilan. His first wife succeded him while his second wife is the mayor of Isabela (also in Basilan). So, governing Basilan is an Akbar family affair. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if the attack was politically motivated; they practically owned the place.

Others say that the attack was against the Congress as an institution, or part of a plot to destabilize the government (both were discredited by the PNP). But I guess the lamest and speculative of the bunch (which, as usual, came from a party list congresswoman) was that the bombing was a diversionary tactic to cover-up the ongoing bribery proceedings and filing of impeachment complaints. Let me just say that (1) I'm really tired of hearing this, (2) its not a good idea to say such things without any proof (channeling "Senator" Trillianes at the Glorietta 2 incident) and (3) now it is a good time to get our acts together and find the perpetrators of this heinous crime. Also, I applaud the congressmen/women who decided to cast their (political) differences behind and made an effort to help the victims of the blast, as a team. Sus, puwede pala iyon. If our politicians were that mature, then we (the country) are on our way to better things. I guess there is such a thing as having too much opinion. Eh-hum...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Eh-hum # 211

I am not much of a gamer, but I thought this article from Yahoo! was interesting. And I am familiar with most of the characters included in the list.

If I had to choose my favorite video game characters (among the list), it would have to be Mario, Lara Croft, Sonic and Cloud Strife (not in the top ten, but mentioned anyway). Maybe they should also include the whole population of the Sims. Just a thought, hehehe.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Eh-hum # 210

Wow, American TV network ABC is on a roll. First it was Desperate Housewives, now its Jimmy Kimmel Live! Wonder which ABC program will take on the Filipino pride next. Eh-hum

The latest joke about Pinoys occured on the set of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, wherein Kimmel was interviewing Josh Hartnett. The latter just finished shooting a film at Mt. Diwalwal in Davao. During the interview, Kimmel expressed that Filipinos lack the ability to speak and read English. The comment/joke came in after the two talked about Hartnett's and the American crew's safety while filming near the mountain; the locals told them that there were cases of kidnapping in the area before they arrived.

Like the Desperate Housewives "joke", I initially expected the Filipino-American community will demand Kimmel's head on a silver platter. But according to a report from local network ABS-CBN, the Pinoys and the Fil-Am community in the US had "mixed and considerably milder reaction" to the said remark. I also had the same reaction.

The joke was uncomfortable, but I'm not taking it too seriously. I mean, it was made by an American comedien, so I don't really expect him to do some "research" on the Philippines. If a person (or foreigner) does not know and/or understand a nation's politics, culture, and history, he or she is bound to have her own perceptions (or biases, depending how you look at it). I find myself doing the same thing. The only difference is that, I don't do it on national television.

Geez, I hope this won't become a trend.


Due to my 207th post, I would like to think I had something to do with this (I did vote, twice):

Filipino, 7 others picked to carry Olympic torch in China

Associated Press Last updated 00:47am (Mla time) 11/03/2007

BEIJING -- (UPDATE) A Filipino marketing manager and an American who works with Chinese orphans are among eight foreigners living in China who have been picked to join in the 2008 Beijing Olympics torch run across the country, organizers said Friday.

Marcos Antonio Torres was picked from among 262 applicants in a contest organized by Chinese computer maker Lenovo Group, an Olympic sponsor, and the government newspaper China Daily. Each will carry the torch for 200 meters on Chinese soil.

Read the rest of the article here. Mabuhay tayo!