Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Tagalog for the Philippines

I found a site where Bienvinido Lumbera has been honored. He makes the following statement:

Language, says LUMBERA, is the key to national identity. Until Filipino becomes the true lingua-franca of the Philippines, he believes, the gap between the well-educated classes and the vast majority of Filipinos cannot be bridged. "As long as we continue to use English," he says,"our scholars and academics will be dependent on other thinkers," and Filipino literature will be judged by Western standards and not, as it should be, by the standards of the indigenous tradition itself.

I have to disagree with his sentiments because of globalization. If the Philippines existed alone and independent of market forces of the world, then fine, you can try to make Filipino the lingua franca. HOwever, I know of many Ilokanos and Cebuanos and many others who will fight you tooth and nail over Filipino as a lingua-franca. It is paramount to English as the official language of the United states. The move is myopic.

First off, I used to believe that there was Filipino/Tagalog and the other spoken words in the PHilippines were dialects. I have come to realize that the "dialects" are actually languages. There is enough difference between words and structure such that Iluko is a different language than Tagalog.

I would have to propose that the key to national identity is to celebrate the multi-lingual and multi-cultural aspect of Filipinos. To try and create a lingua franca is to kill 40-60 languages. In other parts of the world, scholars are trying to resurrect and rediscover dead languages. Forcing the creation of a lingua-franca for the Philippines is to kill Iluko, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, etc. I would then point out that the Philippines needs to become a country of polyglots like the countries of Europe. If the Philippines can do this, they will understand the Filipino character in a deeper and more meaningful way.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003


Saw this at a yahoogroup:pagbabalikloob.

>Once upon a time in the kingdom of Heaven, God was missing for
>six days.> Eventually, Michael the Archangel found him, resting on the
>seventh day. He> inquired of God, "Where have you been?"
> God sighed a deep sigh of satisfaction and proudly pointed
>downwards>through the> clouds, "Look, Michael. Look what I've made."
> Archangel Michael looked puzzled and said, "What is it?"
> "It's a planet," replied God, "and I've put Life on it. I'm
>going to call >it> Earth and it's going to be a great place of balance."
> "Balance?" inquired Michael, still confused.
> God explained, pointing to different parts of earth.
> "For example, northern Europe will be a place of great
>opportunity and>wealth,> but cold and harsh while southern Europe is going to be poor but
>sunny and > pleasant."> "I have made some lands abundant in water and other lands
>parched deserts."> "This one will be extremely hot, while this one will be very
>cold and>covered in> ice."
> The Archangel, impressed by God's work, then pointed to a group
>of islands>and> said, "What are those?"
> "Ah," said God. "That's the Philippines, the most glorious place
>on earth.>There> are beautiful beaches, rivers, mountains and forests. The people
>from the> Philippines are going to be handsome, modest, intelligent and
>humorous and>they> are going to be found traveling the world. They will be
>extremely sociable,> hardworking and high achieving, and they will be known
>throughout the world>as> carriers of peace and love."
> Michael gasped in wonder and admiration but then proclaimed,
>"What about> balance, God? You said there would be balance."
> God replied wisely, "Wait until you see the idiots I put in the

Several days ago, it was the SO's birthday. All I can say is NERDS. Why? Because her brother scoured the whole of the Bay Area to find a copy of the Risk game the Lord of the Rings Trilogy version. Then, as soon as we came in to the party, we ended up playing the game. I had to play as the third player so that it would be more fun. Now personally, when I play games, I get obnoxiously competitive. I try not to let this side of moi come out too often.

Anyways, since her brother had already played the game once, we were on the defensive. So, I formed an alliance with the other bad guy to beat the elves. DAmned elves, they don't laugh in the movie when the city of Gondor is under attack and heads are sent up via catapult. Heheheh. The strategy of not letting someone who knows more than others win. Hihihih.

The SO ended up cooking aruskaldo although it had too much rice and not enough water for my taste. And of course, the SO asked me if it needed more patis. Well, yes, but since we are all older now, leave it to each person to add the patis. Besides, there was so much chicken drumstick that once you ate the chicken, the taste was pretty good. There was also some moulting spices present so we ended up moulting some cheap burgundy wine. Wow, add some sugar and cinnamon to shitty wine and you get pretty good tasting wine.

Another activity to do was Texas hold-them, a poker game. It turns out that I do well with five card draw, but with texas hold them, I am too impatient. For those not in the know, Tex plays the following way: you get two cards. Bet. Three community cards are dealt (called the flop). Bet. The bend is the fourth community card. Bet. The River is the fifth community card. The game allows mediocre players a chance to win because the increase in number of cards increases the chances for flushes, three of a kind and other combinations. I was used to calculating odds according to the five card stud and five card draw.

The great deal for the whole thing was that I finally got to use poker chips which I purchased about 14 years ago. I had this image of building friendships based on poker night. Unfortunately, I hanged out with people who were not interested in poker. Talk about hanging out with uncool folks. Actually, I take that back. The grad school folks were pretty cool. We usually played a card game called Queens.

Oh, the evening ended with us watching the LOTR, extended version.

Getting banned

What did I tell you? Do I know how to pick them? News of the blog day is that the cat has been banned from a forum. The only questions that I have is will the cat mention the name of the forum? This is one interested Tatang. Can I get banned in the same forum and can I do it in a shorter time. What will get you banned in said forum?

Pin@ys! They think they want and know what democracy. But every chance they get, they practice Marcos democracy. Look at me and my poetry writing group. I think I might be scaring potential candidates. But hey, you should be dedicated to poetry, you know?

Monday, December 29, 2003

Conservative life in the Philippines

This was a response to an e-mail discussion about conservativism.

--- In, Resty Odon wrote:
> Hi. thanks for the link, though my opinions might not feel comfortable
>in your blog. The reason I got so interested about alleged left-wing bias on
>the dispensation of 'truth' - according to former WOW (LA?) president Tammy
>Bruce - is that Bruce is coming from an insider's perspective. She was
>associated formerly with the Left - lesbians, feminists, etc. etc.

I must admit I don't know who Tammy Bruce is. So I checked the internet.

An amazing amount of liars (that's what I call them when they misrepresent the truth) come from the conservative movement. Among these liars are pople like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and others mentioned in Al Franken's book "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Lie" (or something like that). Hell, there is even a Filipina who is joining the conservative ranks. I believe her name is Michelle Malkin.

I prefer to check up on reports like the dailyhowler because they actually do research on Nexis-Lexis which is a transcript service. They check their facts. Something that is so simple, but conservatives don't seem to master it.

>She saw how someone like Laura somebody (forgot her surname)
>could be pressured to quit her job just because she claims to be
>conservative, while a badmouth like Eminem received nothing of the brickbats Laura had.

I believe there is a fallacy in argumentation in this one. One is comparing how a conservative person is forced to quit a job to Eminem who is a rap singer/artist? (am not really a fan?). One is comparing apples to oranges. As for Eminem, freedom of speech applies for everyone. Sometimes, people say ugly things. And damn, I'm forced to defend their right to say it.

>Then there's the Rodney King case and the LA riots, a
>simple case that devolved into racism and ethnic violence,
>no thanks to the spin given by the local media.

Heh. Race in America is never simple. The history of slavery and the amnesia which many people who happen to be white have about slavery and the forced integration of the South is something that requires books. Let's look at a simple case of conservative thought process. When the South was forced to integrate it's schools in the 1960's due to the Civil Rights Law passed by congress and Pres Johnson, the state of South Carolina added the confederate flag symbol as a sign of protest. (By the way, before integration, white children went to different schools than black children. Actually, the practice was called segregation: separate but equal. Unfortunately, the black schools were not very equal to the white schools.)

The confederate flag was the one used by the Southern states during the Civil War. Over time, it has become a symbol of white supremacy and oppression of black people to many minds. The people of South Carolina put a symbol of oppression in the sate flag. Freedom of expression? Sure. But what would be something similar? I would put forth the idea that this would be akin to putting the swastika on a state flag in Germany. (I'm reaching a little bit when doing that because I am equating the Holocaust with slavery, but I would think that the overall cost in human lives is something that is so similar that I am willing to risk my name on it.)

Normal people would think that having a symbol that is very divisive is a bad idea. Nope, not the people in the South, specifically South Carolina. They call it their culture. Fine. What has happened is that some African-Americans have asked for a boycott of South Carolina because of the state's insistence on continuing the use of the confederate symbol. If this does not sound familiar, one of the reasons that the South was forced to integrate was that the blacks started boycotts of restaurants, buses, and other white owned businesses during the 1960's which caused said businesses to feel economic pain. A boycott of South Carolina by Hollywood would result in a lot of economic pain for that state.

The manipulation of information does not only happen with liberals. Al Franken's book "Lying Liars…" shows that there is no liberal bias. I have read the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. Those newspapers are conservative.

What I have noticed is that conservatives tend to tell more lies. Then they cover it up with pathetic excuses.

By the way, the other blob to the equation of the Rodney King case was the fact that the white police officers were "Not guilty" in their trial. The trial was held in a city Simi Valley in Los Angeles that did not have too many black people. I believe that their jury did not have one black person in it. Now, is that a coincidence or is that racial prejudice? I always laugh when people complain about blacks crying racism and then I see whites practice it in front of everyone else. Come on, the world is not stupid. The riots began after the trial.

And since I'm on the roll. When the state deployed the soldiers from California's National Guard, the line was held at Beverly Hills. The message could be interepreted by someone like me to be "It's okay to riot in areas like Korea town and Watts because poor people live there. But if you go to white areas like Beverly Hills, you will be stopped."

Again, these are my opinions on life in the United States. It's not that simple.

>The novel and movie Bonfire of the Vanities tackled this theme.
>The latest example among these vicious disortions of truth is taht
>of Michael Jackson, whose child molestation case could receive the
>same racial discrimination spin. Don't you hate the very
> fact when news becomes PR! Bruce, in her book, exposes that
>such double standard in telling the truth can be traced to who's
>funding which org. So there.
>message have been removed]

I tend to believe that when Michael Jackson sleeps with children, he does not sexually molest them. I tend to believe from watching some biographies that he is trying to recapture his youth that was taken away by his fame.

Heheh. Some people believe that the district attorney for santa barbara has got something against Michael Jackson and that is why he is pursuing the case. I personally believe that the DA is so incompetent that he will not be able to prove the case. As for the racism charge, as a lawyer, it is in your client's interest to use all the cards that one has. Is it nasty and wrong? Sure! But America was builty by many, many billionares who did really nasty stuff. Are we going to change the system now that a black billionare can take advantage of the system? Wouldn't that be racism?

Expectorants: Pin@y Blog of the Day

Greetings to the aswangs, dwendes, tikbalangs and tiyanaks spattered around the globe. Some of you are working, some are unemployed, and some are on vacation. If you want to be entertained, go to Expectorants and cough up that phlegm that's been disturbing your breathing. I swear to you, it's almost as good as Vick's Vaporub. However, one note of caution. I don't completely agree with his viewpoints, but he does give opinions and in this world, opinions by a Pin@y is worth its weight in gold. And yes, I admit, if I grew up in the Philippines, I probably will think like him.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Political Correctness

This is something I wrote in response to my assertion that political correctness was from conservative think-tanks. I certainly would love to hear the blog entries of Barbara and the WilyPin@y and Leny on this topic.


The first time I met the term political correctness was in the early 1990's. At that time, a prestigious private university (I believe Stanford or Harvard) decided to drop the prerequisite for a "Western Civilization" course/s. This led to a reaction from the media that the tenets of democracy were under attack. Many college students of color (blacks, asians and latinos) wanted to fulfill writing requirements studying literature written by non-white authors. After all, if you are a Filipino who grew up in the United States without knowing what your culture was all about, you would want to study said culture. Since studying Greek mythology and the great works of Europe did not once show a Filipino playing a major role, I can see where as a Filipino student one could feel left out or irrelevant. (For example, we can get into how shows like Friends are set in New York, yet you will not see more than 1 Filipino in the whole of New York.)

As I recall, the newspapers called the movement to drop western civilization as "political correctness" or bowing down to the influences of the feminist movement, gay movement, and minority movement. The papers made it appear that said movements were being forced upon all students in colleges. The way I see it, if you are a gay college student, you might want to read more about gay literature more than let's say the history of Rome.

I just did a search on google on political correctness and origins and a majority of the cited websites come from conservative writers. One interesting thing in the US is that the conservative movement has allied itself with universities such as the Hoover Institute in Stanford University. These institutes are funding scholars to write journal articles that support and advance the conservative movement.

Now, why the necessity for conservative think-tanks? It is estimated that around 2050, whites will become a minority in the United States. This of course has led to a backlash with respect to trying to define what an American culture is. Since the first Americans were Europeans, obviously, there is an impetus to define "American" as being white. And before the different movements that I have mentioned, that is precisely what was studied in the colleges. The gay movement and feminist movement have made many whites very uncomfortable and so there is now a push and a desire to redefine what is "American."

A google revealed this link and this link.

Six years has passed since my graduation from Berkeley's MCB Department. One year was spent learning what it would feel like to earn money. Two years was spent in post-doctoral training. Three years was spent learning about Quality practices in biotechnology.

While on the road, I was talking to the SO's sister who is also a research scientist at UCSF. She's doing cutting edge research, which is something that I thought was going to be my life when I graduated from Berkeley. One of the choices then was to do a post-doctoral fellowship in Alabama or in Chicago. In one of those twist of fates, I decided not to pursue a continuation of my research in cancer biology. Instead, I decided that I needed to get a job and stay in California.

That was also the time when I met the SO. After chasing some women who had massive personality problems, I finally found someone who was actually tall, intelligent and good-looking. Was I going to throw it all away and leave her just when I found her? Was I going to pursue my career? The answer was NO.

Sometimes though, I wonder what I could have done with the competition when it comes to science RO-1 grants. I believe that I could have competed with the best of them. I had written some proposals in my post-doctoral years in which the main criticism was not about the grant but as to the abilities of the laboratory to be able to support the grant. That was a pretty good assessment of my skills. Even now, experiments still come easily. If being a research scientist allowed you to make tons and tons of money, I probably would still try to go at it. But why do that when you can become a millionare by making your own business?

I realize that part of the attraction is the involvement of the ego. I wrote this grant which got me a half a million dollar grant. Part of the attraction is due to the competition against other labs. I proposed these scheme of experiments which show that my idea is correct. God, I am GREAT!

But then, part of the things that I have forgotten are the fears when it is grant time and you are on pins and needles because you are not sure that you got the grant. I remember interviewing for a post-doc in a lab where everyone was so arrogant because they had grants. The questions were pretty mean and nasty during my interview talk. I got "killed" because I was very open about my assessments of my project.

But what I remember also was that a graduate student was proposing a project and she was going to use PCR to detect mutations. Specifically, she was going to use primers to determine the presence or absence of mutations. I was aghast as to the lack of knowledge with respect to the possibility of a successful project. I knew immediately that that project was dead and with it the lab.

Later on, as a post-doc in another lab, I met one of the students who was in that lab. He told me that the lab failed to obtain a RO-1 grant the next year. I knew already that a non-renewal is inevitable if a post-doc and a grad student could get to a point where they could propose an inappropriate technology to detect mutations in genes. As a result of that loss of grant, that lab laid-off two technicians and lost all of the post-docs they had. This is what you face as a principal investigator.

Sometimes, I wish I were a professor at a major university. I like the prestige. But then again, for the shit you have to suffer through, it is really worth it? Is it really worth it to kowtow and amuse people who couldn't get grants themselves? Wouldn't it just be better to just make money, take care of the family and write books of poetry, and sell photographs?

Saturday, December 27, 2003

The Chatelaine is a King

So, if you were to enter the Chatelaine's December 26, 2003 entry into the gender genie, the results are:

Female Score: 1133
Male Score: 2445
The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: male!

Does this mean that Achilles enjoys the Chatelaine's company because of the Chatelaine's gender-bending proclivities?

The SO suggested that I enter some entries from other people.

Apparently, Leny, Barbara, and the SO are all male. I also write in a male way, supposedly.

Friday, December 26, 2003


The inventiveness of the Pin@y mind amuses me to no end. Check out what I can only assume is ocho-ocho.

Part dancing, part sexual invitation, and part a humorous commentary on Philippine politics, ocho-ocho is the kare-kare of 2003.

a subtlety dies
in the hands
of ocho-ocho.

a lustful perk
begins, peaks
and subsides in seconds.

finally, a simple
smile spreads
like sunlight.
Holidays Continue

Happy Kwanzaa to everyone!!!

The beauty of America is that people who live here can define their culture. Kwanzaa is an example of how a community can define itself and give meaning to its existence in the United States.
To catch a mouse, be a CAT

While reviewing the referral logs to my little kingdom, it's always a pleasure to find other Pin@y kingdoms out there in the world. Today, our featured blogger is Now What, Cat?!!! You should specially read her tribute to her father. It is the June 10th entry for 2003.

Quick, go to her website to find out her Pin@y experience in the wide world of the internet. I know I will.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Meri Karismas

To everyone who's on the blogroll on the right, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Holidays!

Salamat sa inyong pagtaguyod sa aking munting pahayagan.


Tuesday, December 23, 2003

The egg or the hotdog?

But, come on, how would you like it if a stranger just walked by and casually nudged your private parts?

I believe that the world would be a better place if we can get a grip on each other's handles. Why I for one would know that George Dubya would have never been president. Imagine all those admirers trying to find brass balls only to find snuffed out specks of distant memories.

Give peace a chance! Gladhandle someone's private parts!

Disclaimer: Not for implementation by those who have been guests in the California Department of Corrections. May cause arousal in certain individuals, notably the governor of California, Herr Gropenfuhrer. May be mildly addicting to those who do not want a life.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Asian blog awards

If you are not too snobby, go vote for sassy lawyer in the asian weblog awards.
Harry Potter Craze

And don't let me get started on the Harry Potter craze. Mind you, only imbeciles celebrate the coming out of these books. They are CHILDREN'S BOOKS!!! I tried reading them and could not go farther than 25 pages. Shit, there wasn't any challenge. Storytelling? How about spoonfeeding? I would have had more fun renting out a brothel for a photoshoot featuring dwarf wrestlers.

873 pages. As if bullshit can be covered up by the number of pages. Anyone, anyone, can you say Stephen King? The biggest phony of them all. Analyze the writing and it's just adjectives thrown into adjectives and adverbs. Pretty sorry storytelling at that. Maybe for teen-agers. But for adults? Christ, you might as well read the Bible. It's more entertaining.
The Return of the King

Apparently, I am one of those people who likes to make comments while the movie is going on. For example, when the orcs sent the city of Gondor gifts via the catapults, I laughed out of my ass. You must admit, that it was a funny scene. What else would they send? Rocks? Hell no. the first job of the first salvo is to make the enemy lose their morale. What better way than to send in helmeted piccolos?

Odd thing though, I was the only one laughing in some parts of the movie. I mean, I thought that the people who went to those movies all dressed up as elves and whatnot would understand that they are at "times like these." What the hell? Why not enjoy the blood and the gore? And the nastiness?

I have to recall the other times when I almost fell out of my seat laughing. The movie was great. It would have been how I would have waged war. Without honor. Without bullshit. Let the orcs begin!!!

Thanks to the SO, I was reminded that I also was very naughty when Pippin was being extremely stupid and trying to look into the crystal ball that Gandalf had taken from Isengaard. When I shouted, "You should have killed Pippin" apparently, many of the elf-wannabe's in the crowd stared at me for a long time. Typical elves. All they do is stare and look serious. Give it to an Orc to introduce some fun into the adventures.

But seriously, if you were Aragorn wouldn't Merry and Pippin be pushing up weeds in the dungeons of Moira? Come on, hold and make a noise out of a cadaver? Pretty good stuff there. And how about Boromir? How did he die? He died defending the two idiots Merry and Pippin. Maybe I can start a group called Kill Merry and Pippin.
Joey Ayala to the Rescue!

As most of you psychic viewers know, I have been waylaid by the nasty flu virus the past few days. It was so bad that I had to take Nyquil au naturel.

This afternoon, as I awaken with a slight headache my nose remained stuffy and was giving me a headache. Suddenly, a memory of Joey Ayala came to me. While Joey was at Pusod, he described how the California was extremely dry during the winter seasons. It usually messed up his voice and sinuses. As a cureall to the dry humidity, he "snorted" warm water into his sinuses.

As a scientist, I was aghast. I mean, water into your sinuses? That can be pretty painful. The SO had tried it several years ago. Today, since I was not doing anything too important, I tried it too.

The important thing is to snort it gently. We're not doing cocaine here folks. Make sure the temperature of the water is around body temperature. If you hold your hand under the water and it burns your hand, too hot. You don't want to burn your sinuses now do you? Snort gently. Don't inhale the whole gallon at once. I was fine with just a few milliters. You can feel it pass into your sinuses. Now blow gently. Awesome! Clears your sinuses like nothing!

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Nasty, nasty flu

I suppose it must have been my insistence of being with my fellow man the last week. I contracted the flu. Bastard! This is not a nice flu. This is a knock you off your feet flu. Two days I was out. The night before I was basically out. Very, very bad. Very, very mean.

My body is aching right now. But the goodnews is that the fever broke last night. I started sweating. I tried to break it the whole day, but could not. It took a third blanket and some magical power before it broke.

Thursday, December 18, 2003


I just tried to call my old yaya from the Philippines. She had asked me to call Monday to Friday so that her "amo" is not there. I think I just spoke to the bastard. i swear, if he is lying, I curse him with pain that will not stop.


I'm paying for the damned phone call. At least let me talk to her.
Sacha for President!

So, I am disappointed at the number of actors who are running for president. I can only see it increasing later on. Maybe even the demon that Pops Fernandez married will run for president. I can only hope that he takes himself out soon.

But, how about having someone who is smart run for president? I heard that Lito Lapid's son who is 26 years old is running for governor. Hell, Sacha will run after getting her Ph.D.

In addition, she will give everyone advice on their love life.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Disagreement with what I posted?

Just after sending that post, an earthquake shook the building. Hmm, is that a message or a gentle rebuke or a growling assent?


From Merriam-Webster Dictionary's word of the day:

duende \doo-EN-day\ noun

: the power to attract through personal magnetism and charm

Example sentence:
[TatangREtong] possessed not only the talents of a fine adobo cook but also the duende to lure fans to the kitchen.

Did you know?
The word "duende" comes from Spanish, where it translates literally as "ghost" or "goblin," and is believed to derive from the phrase "dueƱo de casa," which means "owner of a house." The term is traditionally used in flamenco music or other art forms to refer to the mystical or powerful force given off by a performer to draw in the audience. The Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca wrote in his essay "Teoria y Juego del Duende" ("Play and Theory of the Duende") that duende "is a power and not a behavior ... a struggle and not a concept." Nowadays the term appears in a broader range of contexts to refer to one's unspoken charm or allure.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Miserable Failure

With the capture of Saddam Hussein, a miserable failure can be re-elected to the highest office in the US of A. Alleluiah! Huzzah! Mabuhay!

The eventual re-election of Bush the Younger will be a string of hope for those Pin@ys contemplating the eventual presidency of FPJ in the Philippines. Look, if America can go on and prosper with a miserable failure at its helm, so can the Philippines. Hell, Clinton was a brainiac and he let the Republicans run all over him. Trust in idiots to guide your country. They will do a better job because people can't afford but take pity on them.

Now, the question will be who's going to run for the presidency on 2008? In America? In the Philippines, I'm going for Kris Aquino or her partner Korina Sanchez.

I am constantly surprised

The SO is a diamond. So many facets to explore. So many sides that sparkle. So deep in her clarity.

How do you fight a goddess? Let her tell you.

Monday, December 15, 2003


Will someone please ask Saddam where the hell he hid those damned weapons of mass destruction?

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Republican lie unfolds after death

The only difference between Republicans and Democrats is that when Republicans lie, their lies are not revealed till they die. Word comes out that former Senator Strom Thurmond a former segregationist has a daugther of mixed race.

Well how about that? The segregationist had jungle fever. What a fucking hypocrite. I can see it now. Strom is being judged by God...

(fade out to darkness, with one spotlight)
Strom: I hate black people. But, given a chance, I'll fuck them.... No God, I believe I was very fair with the blacks.... I spent half my life hating them and the other half fucking them.... Oh you want me to go to the light? Well, it is kinda warm over there and my arthritis is acting up. If you say so God.
(fade out to darkness)

And there should be a place somewhere in God's universe for people like Strom. Strom, you old devil you. From now on, I'll always laugh when I see your stuff. You old hypocrite you.

Gore picks Dean

Need I say more on why Gore lost the presidency to an idiot? He backs Dean. Anyone who thinks Dean has a hell of a chance to beat Bush, raise their hands.

I don't understand Gore. He loses his personality in front of the cameras. Keeps playing it safe when he's speaking. For crying out loud. America elected an idiot to the presidency! We don't care if you are an idiot! But we do care if you look like you are lying which is how Gore looks on camera. Damn, maybe he should start taking relaxers so that he can get his swing on.

And how the hell do you lose your own f*cking state in the elections? What the hell is that???

He should have fired his campaign manager. Idiot.

Adobong balyena

The sad news that Keiko has passed away is posted in CNN. If the Norwegians knew business, they would can the whale and sell it as a delicacy to the Philippines.

Balyenang adobo. Mmm, yum! My idea of cooking the whale is not so farfetched. Keiko was compared to a 4000 pound golden retreiver. I'm sure that Keiko tastes just like dog.

I have been thinking more and more about dogeating lately. Not that I would want to eat dogs raised in the US. They supposedly don't taste right. I suppose the drive for purebred dogs has diluted the malinamnam from the dog.

Maybe I'll start some poems on how Pin@ys not only eat dogs but also cats. We don't discriminate when it comes to pets.
Life in America as a Titser

Go visit durgaspeak (adventures and misadventures of joffin-of-the-boondocks in the city). Her entries for Dec 13 and 11 are classic. I might follow in her footsteps of becoming a substitute teacher.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Chateileen, Real Estate, and Jollibee

At first glance, I thought that the fallen angel's blog was titled Chateileen. I took pause for a few minutes wondering at the thought of the fallen angel going through all manner of dictionaries, encyclopedias and god knows what else just to find a word that contains her name. I mumbled "Boy the angel's wings have really undergone a growth spurt." Or else, Jose Garcia Villa, the anchored angel, has begun visiting and lecturing the fallen angel on building a cult based on one's personality. Amazingly enough, I found "chatelaine" in a book I was reading. Leave it to the fallen angel to be avant and yet hip. I don't know how she does it.

I took the real estate class final for the class today. I was studying for the whole week. I am planning on taking the test to obtain a real estate license. As the test was beginning, one of the students tried to close the door. The door opens to the outside and it was about 60 degrees inside the classroom. The classroom was a little chilly. The teacher told her not to touch the door and that it was his responsibility.

Throughout the semester, Mr. Scott the teacher has been trying to teach everyone how to give respect. After all, if you are going to serve clients as a real estate agent, are you not supposed to give respect to them? Unfortunately, people are too stubborn to get it. Or, their pride is too high. I don't get it.

Maybe Mr. Scott's reprimand was a little too sharp. I did not think so. However, she gave Mr. Scott attitude. Not just disrespect. It was outright hostility. (Personally, I don't think she will make it as a real estate agent. Can't handle pressure) He calmly told her that she could take the final on Tuesday if she was not feeling well. Well, if you are having a bad day, wouldn't you do the same?

She missed out on the exam which had about 30 repeat questions!!! What that means is that you basically have about 40 to 60 points. At the end of the class, Professor Scott pretty much decided that he will rewrite the exam to make it harder. So, little Ms. Attitude gets the short end of the stick.

Which brings me to a ride to San Francisco to visit a jewelry store, Arkipelago books and Jollibee. Shreve Jewelers because it's that time of the relationship when you gotta back up your intentions with some hardware. To the credit of the so, she has excellent taste. Is it coincidence or is it providence when the SO has the same exact taste in jewelry as my mother? Frankly, I'm amazed.

The Mikimoto collection of necklaces and jewelry was a great favorite of my mother. Pearls. White. Black. There is something magical about the internal secretions of an oyster that encases a grain of sand in a cage of beauty. The grain of sand is transformed to an object of desire. A bain for the oyster but a delight for man.


Speaking of delights, have you visited Arkipelago bookstore in the Mission lately? They have books that will satisfy everyone's desires. From anthologies of literature and poetry to historical studies about the Philippines, it's all there.

I happened to meet at Arkipelago the painter Rico Galvez. Hopefully, he'll have a website soon so that you can see his works. We ended up discussing art and its various manifestations and subjects. I specifically mentioned about being colonized in this day and age. I cited as an example this book which shows in photographs the devotion of Pilipinos to the religious statues. the photos were taken during the various processions during the town's fiestas. I pointed out that the majority of the statues resembled and were modeled after Caucasians.

Rico mentioned this "experiment" he wanted to do where he asks Filipino-American actors to select the image of god among the following pictures: an Asian, a black man, a Caucasian and a Filipino. It will be interesting to see who they choose.

At the end of that conversation, I had to eat. Since I was in the Mission next to the Moscone Center, I figured I should drop by Jollibee. Ah, Jollibee, home away from home of Pinoys. The one place where a Pinoy can visit and instantly, he is back in the crowded streets of the Philippines. I ordered the number 11. Three pieces of chicken joy with rice and sauce. NO vegetables at all. The vegetables are in the burgers made from Angus beef. I have not seen a Pinoy go to Jollibee and order burgers. They always seem to get the chicken joy. I suppose you can always get a burger at McDo. But joy from chicken? Only from Jollibee.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Which 20th Century Philosopher Are You?

You are Michel Foucault! You wrote groundbreaking
histories of prisons, hospitals, asylums, and
sex. Interestingly, you thought basically the
same thing about all of them. Your historical
accuracy is a bit dodgy, but that was never
really the point. You were very obsessed with
power roles - so obsessed that you frequented
gay S&M clubs, and died of AIDS in 1984.

What 20th Century Theorist are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

The Corpse is Buried, Long Live The Chatelain

A shyatellain? Siyatelayn? Siya, sino siya? Ano nga ba? Ang kulit naman.

Chatelain. Nope, not a chattel. She's not a piece of personal property nor is she a real estate property. She's something more than that.

The wine connossieur (I acutally spelled it correctly) evolved into a corpse with delusions of fallen angels. Now the corpse has been resurrected into a chatelain with two cats and a dog.

Hmm, adobo anyone?

Go visit her. She spent way too much time in a place with fallen angles, err angels. She needs our help so weigh her down with all of your worries. Watch out for the wings! I think it's gotten bigger.

God, I missed her. It was so SILENT!!! I had to walk in my own head. But it is over! I have been delivered ala Federal Express!!! And to a castle none the less!

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Katuluyan ni Rio Alma

If you thought that my mention of Virgilio Almario was over, you guessed wrong. While dyipniing, I saw this essay by Gellacio Guillermo. I hope that your Tagalog is in great shape. Otherwise, bring out that dictionary.

Tungkol sa may-akda: Dumaan din si G. Guillermo sa International
Writers Program sa Iowa University, 1970-71. Kinatawan niya ang
Pilipinas sa 27th Poetry International Festival sa Rotterdam,
Holland, 1996.

I am fascinated by the state of poetry in the Philippines. I am wondering how the mechanics of poetry in the Philippines occurs. If anyone would like to tell me how Tagalog poetry is divided into certain movement, please write me on e-mail.


Culture and its importance

From the corner of the karinderia, I took a google dyipney looking for NVM Gonzalez. I ended up in some very interesting places. The first place has been mentioned here before. It is the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy. In the foreword to the discussion written by Leonardo Mercado, George McLean has this to say about Mercado's writings.

As has come to be seen only in the last ten years in other parts of the world, culture is not a curiosity but the stuff of a people's freedom. It bears the truly humane and humanizing achievements of their history and provides the context in which future generations can truly be educated.

That definition is very mind opening in my search for the value of culture. In the United States, various neoconservatives have declared a cultural war in America. I personally view it as a finding of culture specially when the ones trying to find it are children of immigrants.

As a minority in the United States, one can not but help notice that one's image is never to be seen in the mass media. The men and women in the major television shows are Caucasian with a smattering of African-
Americans in the Warner Brothers network. Sometimes, we see some Asians, but get to the details and I certainly don't see too many Filipinos in shows that occur in New York.

Faced with this discontinuity in the media, minorities are forced to either acculturate/assimilate or to find their own culture in which the images reflected will be ones that look the same as minorities. This is why I have photographed Filipinos and not HAPAS in the Philippine folk dancing series. I want to show the image of the Filipino in the United States.

Culture is the pot which leads to the various states of freedom.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Beam me up!

From Barbara's site comes the question of which Trek character you are. I'm quite surprised. But then again, I am debonaire and dashing.

Captain James T. Kirk

"Scotty, beam me up."

I don't have a predisposition to being a serial-killer

Riding the dyipney, I stopped and mused at bloodberry's site about growing up and being in college. She puts forward a psychological test.

I am glad to say that it took me a while to answer this one. And I got the wrong answer.

University of the Philippines and Philippine Science High School

It's been raining in the city of Oakland in Northern California. Probably two more days of rain is in store. I suppose I am lucky compared to the poor devils who have to play in the snowstorms. They get frozen ice thrown at them. Sure it's fun to make a fallen angel and a snowman. But, you also happen to freeze your butt, your hands, and your feet! Maybe it's fun to have snow for one day of play. But snow for three months is hell.

I have been amusing myself by taking the a google jeepney in the internet. I like looking for amusing blogs of highly intelligent people who have something to say besides discuss their love life in the internet. Let's face it, reading about people pining away for evil men is not my cup of ginebra. Oops, it's early in the morning. Not ginebra. Vodka!

Reading some of the Pinoy blogs, I realize that the admissions process in the Philippines is one of the hardest. It has to be. One takes the UPCAT in which one is graded on math, verbal etc, etc (probably like the SAT). Then, in the application to UP, you pick a campus like Diliman or Los Banos. Then, you select which major you want. However, you better make sure that your UPCAT scores are high enough. Because if it is not, off you go to some other major.

I always wanted to go to UP Diliman. It had that aura of being the best in the Philippines. When I was five or six years old, we would go to the campus and I would be struck by those triangular bus stops on either side of the road. I call them bus stops because I don't know what they are. More than anything, those triangles hanging in the air represented for me the goal of UP.

Of course, since we are discussing past lives, I would have probably gone to Philippine Science High School. Sigh. I wonder if I could have fulfilled my dream of being a scientist if I had gone there. Or would I have ended up on stage or theatre? Maybe then I could have met and married Pops. (Focus! Focus! I need to stop thinking about the princess in distress!)

The one difference that I saw between American teaching and Filipino teaching is that explanations are always available in the classroom in the United States. Mind you, this is from the public school of the Los Angeles Unified School District. For example, even though I was learning algebra in English, I managed to understand the distributive property of numbers as compared to the associative property of numbers. In fact, I enjoyed math during high school. But in the Philippines, I remember that algebra was something that I could not understand for the life of me. For some reason, the lessons in the American school made sense to me. I don't remember that being the case in the classrooms in the Philippines.

Of course, this could be because I just studied harder when I came to the US. I do remember saying to myself that it was a new life and I could remold my life. In the Philippines, I was not a distinguished student. I was constantly the student who kept going back and forth between the A class and the B class. Each year, I would hope that I was in the A class, and then wham! I get to show up in the B class. That’s was extremely disappointing because I could see the patterns. I was just not that gifted naturally in mathematics or in verbal. But I could see patterns, and maybe that is why I was pretty good once I was in the US.

With respect to Phil Science High School, I was supposed to go there for high school". I managed to squeak by as an alternate. I remember when one of the employees of PSHS went to our house. He lived just across the street so he wanted to deliver the package personally. I almost wreaked the house when I celebrated my admission. I had visions of greatness I tell you!

My parents and I visited the high school and I tell you, it looked like an American high school in terms of architecture. It was the single most beautiful school I had ever seen. The corridor was dimly lit, but we could peek at the science rooms. I could see those mini-sinks with the glittering faucets. The spit-shiny new classrooms. And the smell. It was the smell of America. In my dreams PSHS still ranks as number one.

Unfortunately or fortunately for me and my family, we knew that we were going to go to the United States. If I had attended PSHS and then left before graduation, I would have had to pay for the tuition and the costs. So, my parents made the hard call and decided that I should not enroll there. I was heartbroken. I saw PSHS as my only way of getting into UP Diliman.

Several years later, I end up graduating from the school that was the model for the University of the Philippines. Berkeley. At one time, the SO was giving a tour to some Philippine artist/professor/intellectual. He asked to go to Barrows Hall the economics and business administration building. Said personage stood in front of the bust of Barrows and introduced himself. Talked to the bust for a few minutes about the system in the Philippines and then left.

In the diasporic land which is America, we come to these moments of irony. I would trade away some of it if I could just set foot on the UP campus and the PSHS campus . Hmm, maybe they need a lecturer for molecular and cell biology over there?

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Pops Fernandez

In another life, twenty years ago, I was supposed to go to the Philippines, meet Pops Fernandez, and we get married and live happily ever after. Instead, I finished college and went on to graduate school. A demon from America swept towards Pops and threw a spell over her. She ended up marrying the demon.

Now, that demon was just seen in the television and the demon still can not speak Tagalog without a damned accent! He's been living in Pinas for 20 years. When he is judged by St. Peter, San Pedro will ask him to recite the Lord's Prayer in Tagalog. If he misses, he goes straight to impiyerno.
Military Order Bride

Hmm, I was riding the internet jeep and found the following story about a Pinay who is trying to get out of the cage. I hope she is able to finally get free. Otherwise, divorce and separation are always a good thing.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Drugs over the internet

In Good Morning America, there was a feature on drug buying over the internet. The main protagonist is a teen who died from an overdose of prescription drugs like morphine, etc. The owner of the internet prescription drugstore is going to jail.

Everyone knows that is is quite easy to get drugs over the internet. Take a questionarre and answer it over a webform. A physician will "review" it. And, voila the drugs are shipped to you. Businesses are doing over $3 million dollars per year. A reviewer physician can make over a million dollars.

Regulations are needed for businesses like these. You are essentially self-prescribing your own medication for viagra, uppers and downers.

I have to wonder about the teen-ager who was able to order drugs online though. Do kids now have their own credit cards that they are able to use it online? If the kid is living at your home, should you not talk to them to see if they have problems. I get confused by all these parents who don't know that their kids are doing drugs. Maybe talking to them once a day or once every day or so should be mandatory.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

I'm rambling, rambling

It's that season again when the weather gets bone cold. And the advance of my age is going forward since I notice now the phenomena of actually feeling weather. What that means dear youngsters is that my big toe, which apparently is being affected by gout the disease of kings, begins to hurt as soon as it gets around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. I suppose my fluids are being frozen? Or is it my joints that are crystallizing at such low temperatures? At any rate, I can also tell when it's going to rain by the way my toe hurts. I remember something about the pressure of the atmosphere having an effect on the physiology of joints. For the life of me however, I don't remember nor do I know how that phenomena can be translated physically.

While taking a neuroanatomy class I learned that the receptors for cold sensation and the receptors for hot sensation are basically derived from the same type of receptors. That's why when you put your hand on something very cold, the pain that you feel is the same pain as when you put your finger on top of a candle flame. Unfortunately, I hated neuroanatomy because it was pure pain of memorization. The case studies that were presented were so trite and the professor was so perfunctory that it was absolute hell. Added to the pain of that semester was the fact that I was also taking physics. Can someone say a nosedive in my grades? How about my one and only C in college. It still hurts somewhat that I got a C. But hey, I never did like physics.

Which all brings me to love and the pain associated with that. Funny how I associate love and pain together during my undergraduate years. For that matter, love and pain go with the graduate years too in case you are wondering.

I don't know how you deal with the pain in your heart when faced with unrequited love. It is not quite physiological, but not completely psychological either. I do remember that pain was present in my heart. I also remember that pain or the presence of pain was in my psyche. It hurt to breathe. It also hurt to think. I suppose that the pain that is present while you are in the midst of dealing with a rejection is something that only time can heal.

As a biologist, the only explanation I can say is that the dendritic tree which was formed at the moment of rejection has lost some of its connection. The hormonal lows associated with the rejection have also passed and that is why you eventually recover. In general, if you get over the hurt and don't become psychotic and bitter like most people do, then you come out well adjusted and able to deal with a wide range of strange and foolish people.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Vatican, Oh Vatican

Err, just when I come to a respite with my criticism of the Catholic Church, I read about condoms not preventing HIV/AIDS. Will someone in the Catholic church please read some science journals? Please? Please? That way, we can prevent embarassing events like hiding child molesters and contributing to the spread of AIDS.

Somewhere out there in hell, there has got to be a special place for the Vatican See. For if they do this with knowledge of the truth, they shall burn in eternal damnation.

Got Adobo?

Do you have pieces of adobo in your computer? The Wily Pin@y is asking for submissions for adobo recipes, poems, short stories, novels, epics, and what ever you might have that is related to that glorious incantation called adobo. Check my contribution to the adobo craze in Hay(na)ku, Tatang!.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Readings for Going Home to a Landscape

Images of the readers for the Bindlestiff reading are now up in the gallery. You are invited to check them out.

Images of the readers for the City Lights reading are now up in the gallery. You are invited to check them out.

Bow Ye All Before Me

(With flashy lights and a burning bush in the background) The Smurf Name Generator has called me YAHWEH SMURF.

Where are my deserved offerings of fruit, coconuts and mangoes? Where are my mighty servants leagues strong? Where are the sacrificial lechon on a spit? I command thee all. Serve me! Make sacrifices for me!

Umm, anyone here have some kutsinta with niyog?

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

City Lights Bookstore

Even I know where and what City Lights bookstore means to the world of poetry. And tonight, the SO was part of a set of Pilipinas who read at City Lights. The night brings to a close a monthlong celebration of the release of the anthology "Going Home to a Landscape." The quality of the voices presented in the anthology is staggering. It seems like each and every single one of the women have a book out or a book coming out in the next year or so.

Marianne Villanueva went first as the lead off reader for the evening. Marianne served as hostess for the evening and read sparingly. Her two excerpts came from "Mountains" and "Sutil." The Pin@y community owe a debt of gratitude to Marianne and Virginia Cerenio the co-editor of Going Home to a Landscape.

Barbara Reyes read "Anthropological" tonight. Amazing that something like this could have been written five years ago. It is as fitting and as important now as then.

Maiana Minahal just came back from the Philippines where her book of poetry "Sitting Inside Wonder" was launched. Maiana read her poem "Tired" which is exceptional in capturing the fleeting feeling of immigrant life in America.

Michelle Bautista read the poem "Upon Reading an Opera" which is a work written after she read the whole poetry book "Opera" by Barry Schwabsky's Opera.

And lastly, Angela Torres read "Tango". Angela is definitely one of the best narrative poets out there.

I hope to get some of the photos published in a website soon. I'll definitely write up the address here so watch out for it.

In closing, I was sitting at City Lights' poetry room and staring at the wall of books of poetry. The books were written by authors from all over the world. In the center of the room were six books of poetry written by Pin@ys.

There must have been 500 to a thousand books of poetry in that room. In an instant, I knew one truth. Pin@y writers need to write so that we can tell our narrative, our song. If we do not, some time in the future our children will search for signs of our existence and finding nothing and will have to start from square one. Some will be lost and will never find what it means to be Pin@y. Some will be lucky and will know how to google. And some will hopefully write and continue the narrative.

To kill a God

For some reason, I found Jose Garcia Villa's republished book "Anchored Angels" in a bookshelf last night. I knew that the corpse had edited said book. I believe I even went to a public launch of the book at Arkipelago many moons ago. But I just never read it. In retrospect, I don't believe I was ready.

At midnight, I began to dive into the anchored angel's world of commas, icon bashing, and basic war against God. Such absolute egotism, basic drive, and epic disappointment! It was so thrilling to watch from the sidelines as Doveglion took on God in a pugilistic exhibition. A matador dueling with a bull. The old lechon cook dueling with dusk.

Doveglion needs to be read by every single Pilipino who is searching for the self. Villa provides enough helping for you and you and you and me. It is not classic diasporic reading which explains why you are here and tells you what to do with yourself. Rather, it maps the way for the future when you are at peace with your diasporic self and ask "Is this all there is to it?"

Villa skipped the diasporic and went straight to kill his God. And kill the God he did. In beautiful ways. In unimagined ways. In poetic ways. Not just blood and gore. Not without honor. Not without grace. He killed God, took the ashes and fashioned God after himself, with commas to make sure the pacing never got away.

(I remember high school and my fascination with em dashes. I would put them at the end of sentences. My English teacher Mr. Hickman refused to allow such indignities to God. He punished the transgressor by one grade for each occurrence. I refused to let go of em dashes because they paused; I needed that pause damn it! It was to breathe. To recollect. To reexamine thyself.

And now to think, maybe the spirit that drove doveglion to wondrous heights was simply visiting me in high school! The spirit must not have liked the snow in New York. Ha-ha-ha! Take that, Archangel Mr. Hickman!)

So go and watch Villa kill his God. You might not be ready for it, but you will have to sooner or later.
To be the poet

While at City Lights, the SO showed me the book To be the poet by Maxine Hong Kingston. Since her book Woman Warrior is just plain required reading for Asian American studies, I perused through some of the pages. The book suggested that poetry is something that is easy to do and more preferable than writing novels, plots and storylines.

I would have to agree that poems can be easily made. However, good poems that make you stop an hour after reading it, great poems that shake your soul, and poems that change your life demand as much from the poet as great novels demand from writers.

I wish writing poetry can be easy. But each poem demands a level of sacrifice from me. It's almost as if they are sucking some part of my life in them. I don't necessarily mind since it is fun to see Aquino and Marcos verbally jousting with each other. Or seeing Kennedy and Nixon become more Pinoy as each day passes. And who can resist Bonifacio and Rizal chasing a turkey?

We did not end up buying the book by Maxine Hong Kingston. A passage about poets not caring for money kinda turned me off on the whole idea of the book. As the SO says, poets care about money. They just don't get paid much.

Monday, December 01, 2003

The Price of Democracy

Once more an actor has decided to run for the presidency of the Philippines. And once more, the middle class and the educated classes complain about how events mar their vision of politics in the Philippines. I suppose that somehow, this is not how they thought of democracy.

Instead of losing hope and cursing, I celebrate the fact that an actor can become president of the Philippines. It means that democracy is working. The most popular candidate is winning. No one can contest that when Joseph Ejercito Estrada or Erap ran for president he did get the most votes from the people. The poor people that is. Erap para sa mahihirap. And the poor voted for him and sent him to Malacanang.

And let's not forget that before the presidency, Ramos picked Erap as his running-mate for the elections. Erap paid his dues just like any political candidate. He played second fiddle and let the spotlight shine on Ramos. He served willingly and ably as a vice-president.

I gave Erap the benefit of the doubt. After all, he became a politician under the wing of Marcos. I figured, of course he will be good. He learned all the mistakes one can do with Marcos. Instead, Erap just proceeded to once more take advantage of the Philippines. He took what Marcos did in 21 years and proceeded to do it in two years. Corruption and pare politics were back in style.

Thank God for Edsa 2. The people elected him. The people took him out. What was the reason for Edsa 2 again? Oh yeah, Chavit Singson charged him with being the Lord of the Jueteng Lords. Geez, almost makes him mystical. Lord of the Jueteng. Can we make a movie out of that?

Yes, most likely, Fernando Poe Jr will be manipulated and will be corrupt. Yes, he will most likely ally himself with the same allies that Erap had. Yes, he will probably rape and pillage again.

But candidates like FPJ are the price of democracy. We bitch and moan about how bad he will be. But at least we have a choice. Aquino is savoring this moment. People can choose the candidate. Marcos is shaking his head. People can choose the candidate.

So let's get ready for the next election. It will be bumpy and sketchy. But hey, we got a choice.