Wednesday, January 31, 2007

That's Entertainment

My college yearbook write-up begun thus:

He is a cross-breed between Albert Einstein and Richard Gomez. He has the looks of Einstein and the brains of Richard.

That should tell you everything you need to know about what I think about Richard Gomez' announcement that he will run for the Senate. I am not saying that he will miserably fail as a senator just because he is an actor. I am saying that he will miserably fail as a senator, period.

Come on. Who the fuck are we kidding?

Since 1986, we have had the following illustrious people as members of the upper chamber of the Congress of the Republic of the Philippines: Tito Sotto, Ramon Revilla, Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr., Lito Lapid, Jinggoy Estrada. (I have left out former Pres. Joseph Estrada. He was, after all, a town mayor for some 20 odd years before he won a Senate seat.) Years have come and gone, to this day I have yet to see a former actor argue against one of his colleagues on an issue of national significance on the Senate floor. One of them actually had the gall to be caught - on national TV - napping during the impeachment proceedings. To be perfectly honest, I am salivating at the thought of Lito Lapid engaging Joker Arroyo in a debate. That would be good enough for Bubble Gang.

This is the Senate folks. Not the set of Enteng Kabisote. This is the same chamber which produced the likes of Manuel Quezon, Sergio Osmeña, Jose P. Laurel, Rafael Palma, Claro M. Recto, Manuel Roxas, Elpidio Quirino, Lorenzo M. Tañada, Gil J. Puyat, Francisco Soc Rodrigo, Jose Diokno, Ferdinand E. Marcos, and Benigno S. Aquino, Jr.

Now, in their stead, we have had Tito Escalera, Nardong Putik, Ben Delubyo and Ben Tumbling. And we can't wait to vote for Tuklaw.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Finding Mr. Right

Mr. Right could be standing next to you.
- deodorant ad posted inside MRT trains

For anyone taking the MRT every day, the ad admittedly poses a curious scenario. And the folks over at the ad agency certainly knew that during rush hour, save for some people who boarded the train at Taft, everybody else would practically be packed and cramped like illegal Asian immigrants in container vans on their way to some US West Coast city. Just like in the movies.

The only problem with this scenario - which the folks over at the ad agency obviously failed to consider - is this: the trains are segregated.

The dumb, rich boys forgot that women and the elderly exclusively occupy the first three cars of the train. The rest of humanity occupy the remaining cars. Which means that, if you are seriously considering the possibility that Mr. Right is standing next to you:

a. You like them old. Really old.
b. You are into toddlers.
c. Your boyfriend is an inconsiderate and insensitive dork who had to drag you into a cramped and testosterone-charged car because he cannot stand a thirty minute train ride to Cubao without molesting you.
d. You are not into girls.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Now Showing

Leave it to local movie producers to ruin really good songs for you by making movie titles out of them, while at the same time, trying - and eventually failing - to make any coherent and sensible story, even remotely related to the title of the song (who cares about the lyrics?). I am expecting nothing less from GMA's latest film, The Promise, which stars Richard Gutierrez and Angel Locsin (who else did you expect?).

The Promise is a very good song. The Promise will be a really sappy and predictable movie. In that film, I am pretty sure someone, sometime during the span of two hours, will make a promise, almost break it, and end up fulfilling it in the end. In between, would be all the other scenes written for the sole purpose of filling up the dead space. It's all too anti-climactic. I hope I am wrong. But, pinoy commercial films are just too predictable that you can almost swear that you know what the lead characters would say next.

Speaking of GMA (the channel, not the dwarf) and Angel Locsin, I thought that after ripping off Smallville, they would, at least, try to give originality a shot. After seeing an episode of its latest offering, Asian Treasures - which could very well ruin the next generation of Filipino students' knowledge of Philippine history more than any texbook ever has - I could swear I was watching Lara Croft. Only this time, the special effects, the budget, the acting, and, uhm, the body parts, are on a much smaller scale. I once said that the mute button has made it possible for me to enjoy Angel Locsin starrers, but the Lara Croft look just doesn't cut it as well as Darna's costume, if you catch my drift.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Unjust Vexation

I don't know if threats really work, but after sending one of the most creative and acerbic letters I have ever written, via email and fax, to Citibank, and telling one of their so-called "Citiphone officers" that if I don't get my card before the end of last week, I will cancel my account, point-blank, guess what, the office receptionist told me the cards were in last Friday.

I was waiting for my second replacement card. The first one, was supposedly sent last October, two months before the expiration date of my old card. I called their attention at the beginning of the month, to the fact that I have not yet received my replacement card. Since it was already more than 60 days since they sent it to their couriers, they had to give me a new card again, this time with a new account number.

I know that patience is a virtue. But patience doesn't work with utterly incompetent courier services who, for some mysterious reason, cannot seem to find one of the most recognizable buildings along the most famous avenue in the country's premier financial district. After three more follow-up phone calls, one email and one faxed message, they finally got around to delivering the card. In my email to Citibank, I suggested that since I always get my monthly bills on time with no delay whatsoever, maybe they should consider the much-maligned folks over at Philpost to deliver the cards for them. Apparently, not only are not only faster, they are more efficient as well. (Yes. I also never thought I would ever say that.)

Well, at least, now I wouldn't have to worry about these direction-challenged courier services. At least, not until the end of three years.

Edited to add:

In fairness to Citibank, it appears that they promptly acted on my, uhm, feedback. Aside from finally getting the cards (the supplementary card was likewise late) last Friday, I also received an email apologizing for the whole snafu. I also received a phone call where I was told that they have forwarded the issue to the proper persons, and as a token of good faith, have likewise prorated my annual membership fee. Honestly, I didn't expect that they'd even bother to confirm receipt. I was pleasantly surprised.

So, next time you're pissed, speak up.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


repetition same shit
every day, every year
change is forbidden
restrained by the fear
apathetically speaking
it's been a long time
the cakes remain the same

now beat on the doldrums!

yes, i have it
you gotta have it, you gotta have it
i have it
you are infected

- Eraserheads, Monovirus

Friday, January 05, 2007

High School Life

The resident-genius of our high school class (now a UP professor) noted the other day that last year was the fifteenth anniversary of our graduation (or emancipation) from high school. Usually, similar thoughts would bring back memories which would make one wax nostalgic about those halcyon years. Usually.

Instead, we remembered, among others:

- "Our beloved Alma Mater," pronounced as "mey-ter" every single fucking morning before class. Imagine my surprise when during my very first day in college, I learned that except for the graduates of our fine institution, everybody else in the known universe reads it as, well, "mater."

- "Uulitin ko. Ayoko nang paulit-ulit." Out of respect for the woman's wishes, enough said.

- "Love is a feeling that you can feel." Yes. It was a lesson we learned. In class.

- "Sol mi mi mi sol fa mi fa la do ti la la sol sol." How I still remember the notes to the first two lines of this song almost sixteen years after the fact is beyond me. Specially if you consider that, almost sixteen years ago, I refused to sing the goddamn notes (I supposedly got a 75 for that). After sixteen years, nothing has changed. That exercise remains utterly stupid and senseless, and still contributes absolutely nothing to the mass of human knowledge.

- My ghost-written column. The adviser of the school paper probably thought that he can write better than a high school student (he was wrong), giving him the temerity to write a column under my name. I was actually more humiliated for being credited with such a pathetic display of a total lack of aptitude in writing, than pissed for his having replaced my real column with trash. He tried to do it again for the second issue, but let's just say that I was more prepared the second time around.

We could have come up with a much longer list, if not for the number of acts of slander we noticed we were both already committing. So, here's to the fourth batch of "our beloved alma mey-ter." Cheers.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Word Order

WORDS took a walk on the wild side in 2006. The words in a president's emergency proclamation chilled spines, resurrected frightening shadows and ultimately ended up being dissected and autopsied long after the edict had been retired. A national icon unleashed fighting words as quick and effective as his admired fists. Words brought some from out of the closet and others into the bushes to answer the call of nature. The words joined hands and took to the streets again. Words failed us when so many were silenced forever due to disaster and a darkness seeped out into the waters of paradise. Just as a year seemed ready to end, the words formed a train out of the halls of lawmaking, only to be reined in by the warnings of others. The year to come brings another opportunity to mark our words, to have your say. It was a year of blood, oil, fierce water and tears of both laughter and lamentations. It was a year unlike any other. And who knows what awaits us in 2007. Let us celebrate what was said, now that all is said and done.

- Ruel S. De Vera, Sunday Inquirer Magazine, 31 December 2006