Saturday, January 31, 2004

Straight Eye for the Queer Guy

I don't know why everyone is so engrossed with Sex in the City. They should all watch Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. I wonder what the Pin@y version would be of this show.

Thom: Design Doctor

Which Member from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy is your type?
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, January 30, 2004

Andoy, Andoy

Theater piece on Versace's killer protested
By Noaki Schwartz
Miami Bureau
Posted January 11 2004

Miami · Seven years after Gianni Versace was gunned down on the steps of his South Beach home, his killer may be the central character of a musical theater piece.

The news has stunned some members of South Florida's gay community who don't think Andrew Cunanan's life should be memorialized. The San Diego native's cross-country killing spree ended in the deaths of two former lovers, a Chicago real estate agent and Versace. The internationally known fashion designer died on July 17, 1997.

There's a Whole Lot of Pain Out There

Hmm, I would have thought that the next response is to drop the girl. But I guess dumber is really ingrained into men. I wonder if someone responded to this e-mail.

Reply to:

I just found out my girlfriend cheated on me and I'm looking for someone to take my mind off her. I can probably get this from one of my female friends but I don't want to complicate the situation even more. I'm just hurtin and I need someone to ease the pain. Well, enough of the sob story... about me, I'm 25 Filipino/ Pacific Islander, 5'8" 220lbs stalky/athletic, handsome, clean cut D&D free, pretty simple guy really. I'm seeking anyone who's cute with a decent personality. Age, race is not important. Your pic gets mine.

Foot surgery

The news is that woman are obtaining foot surgery in order to fit into the current fashion of boots. This shows just how far society has gone in terms of giving rights to women. In the old day in China, footbinding was done as part of tradition and culture. Thanks God that Mao Ze Dong made footbinding illegal so that the women can work in the fields along with the men.

I have had my own share of foot problems and I tell you, if you can avoid doing things to get bunions, you should. I wear the Alzner foot pads to make sure that I have proper arch support. I have a very high arch. I think it's a gift of being double jointed.

One thing for women. Guys don't really care if you are wearing a cute sandal or high boots. Men are much simpler than that.

Singing and a Universal God

Ala-ism is a story of a singer taking philosophy and thinking about new age religion where there is a universal god instead of a catholic god or a jewish god. After all, god is the same. It is only the way in which humans are limited to comprehend the state of god that we all get into trouble.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Joining the WWW

Now, I have officially joined the web. Someone went to my blog by asking for "ads of pennies enlargement (baguio)".
The King of Light

Jim Paredes is a member of the APO Hiking Society one of the great bands in the Philippines. I am talking about the music to my childhood. The first vinyl I bought was APO and I had to ask a friend who went to the Philippines to buy me the vinyl. It turns out that Mr. Paredes is not only a singer songwriter but also a philosopher. Why can't he run for President of the Philippines? At least he has written on the ether his opinions and thoughts. Send him good vibes because Writing on Air is the Pin@y Blog of the Day for the 30th of January 2004.
Changing Books

After much thought, reflection and a leaving of time, I have decided on a course of action that is quite drastic. I will take a slight detour on the road of life.

I was brought up on the thought that knowledge was power. And I believe that it is up to a certain point. For a family who are sharecroppers, for example, a child graduating and becoming a professional is a milestone because it can mean the end of poverty. Stories like these are abundant in my motherland the Philippines.

However, in America, knowledge can only go so far. I have seen with my own eyes the smartest and brightest people go into academics and become professional academics. At the end of thirty years of research, the scientists retire and go off into the sunset. Meanwhile, some of the students of the scientists in turn became academics and the cycle started all over again.

But guess where the rich people were. They were not among the scientists. Chances were that the scientists had maybe 1% become millionares by starting their own companies. But even that number did not last because more often than not, those scientists who became business people did not know how to run a business. There were exceptions like the people who began Chiron and Genentech. But for the most part, many biotechs that started in the 1980's and 1990's have failed.

Credit most of those failure to the inability of the CEO's to run the company into the ground. One company had raised $8 million. Guess where the money went to. It went to office furniture instead of marketing and sales. That led to the company sinking into oblivion.

So, I cleared out two shelves of my bookcase that used to hold biochemistry, cell biology and math books from my undergraduate years. In place of those books, I placed on the bookshelf books about sales, advertising, strategies for making yourself rich, poetry books, and other books that I find interesting in the here and now.

I don't know how this will turn out. But, in the long run, I want to become a millionaire. I want to be able to write poetry without worrying about money. I want to be able to sell my photography without wondering where the mortgage money will come from. The road will probably be very bumpy. But then again, I have learned so much already about communication that perhaps, it will not be so bad.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004
Perfecting Democracy

The Philippines is making ousting presidents its claim to fame. With old memories of Marcos, Imelda, assasinations, bombings by terrorists and government soldiers, the country needs as much public relations good will as any other country. But, sometimes, there are individuals who have their own vision and opinions. Meet Katie. She has a plan to wake up each and every single one of the Pin@ys in her country. Because of her rabble-rousing, Katie's diary is the Pin@y Blog of the Day for the 29th of January 2004.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Joke Some More

> THE BEST E-MAIL OF 2004 !!!!
> Do you think you know English? Try this one.
Can you decipher this:
> Two individuals proceeded towards the apex of a
> natural geologic protuberance, the purpose of
their expedition being the procurement of a
> sample of fluid hydride of oxygen in a large
> vessel,the exact size of which was unspecified.
> One member of the team precipitously descended,
> sustaining severe damage to the upper cranial
portion of his anatomical structure;
> subsequently the second member of the team
performed a self rotational translation
> oriented in the same direction taken by the
first team member.
> scroll down for answer:.......(in simple English
> what does this
> translate to??)
> Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail
of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown
and Jill came tumbling after!!!
> Artificial intelligence does not even come near
> natural stupidity!!!
Dive deeply into life

I am fascinated with the lives of "bakla" or gay men in the Philippines. The standards are different when comparing the Philippines and the US. I don't understand it. So maybe the merman can explain it. This is the Pin@y Blog of the Day for the 28th of January 2004. Sit next to me and be a voyeur into his life.
Pin@ys are everywhere

With the state of the Philippine economy and the great education offerred in the Philippines, many Filipinos choose to migrate to other countries. Sometimes, the stories are sad like that of Flor Contemplacion. Sometimes, the stories are full of opportunities and sweetness as shown in the blogs by kiwipinay and moonyeen. From the Middle East, Richelley writes her story which is the Pin@y Blog of the Day for the 27th of January 2004.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Coffee Table

Accounting, singing in a band, and New year's resolutions are outlined in gen's coffee table. Check out gen's opinion on culture in her December 10 entry. The kapeteria is the Pin@y Blog of the Day for the 26th of January 2004.

Well, I'm going on the third month of unemployment. I had been hoping that my interview would go well and that I would at least be offerred a temporary position. It did not go as I expected. I have to try to figure out how the monkey can retain control over the flow of energy during interviews. Sometimes, I place too much detail that the answer seems to be missing. I was hoping that in this case, I had made myself crystal clear.

Now, I gotta begin looking for jobs that are part-time so that I can get over some of the hump. There is something in me that stops me from doing this. Is it shame? Is it this blasted ego? Just because I got a higher degree makes me wary of having people that I worked with see me in public serving food. But as a teacher once said, sometimes, you have to drop the ego.

The cleaning of the apartment continues also. I am working on the bookshelf now. I cleared off the top and the first two shelves. I dumped a bunch of old magazines. In some area of the US, those mags were collector's items. But as the SO say, if you don't actively try to sell them, they are just taking up space.

Wish me luck. Send me some good energy. St. Jude, pray for my little behind. Maybe you can send some good word to the Biggie Upstairs.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Eat Bulaga Sucks

Eat Bulaga Sucks reminds me of myself when I was flaming away at soc.culture.filipino. How funny! How exciting! How entrancing. Too bad the host has stopped posting. But what is there is a great commentary on how fucked up Philippine programming cana get.

As if...

Stories can be happy or sad. More often, they show us what humanity is all about. Hope. Purplewarts is as human as anyone can be. See her account of her grandfather's passing, her crying in the restroom, and her giving up on love. She sings Miami Sound Machine Gloria Estefan's song Words Get in the Way as she becomes Pin@y Blog of the Day for the 25th of January 2004.
Bang! Bang!! Bang!!!

Bang and Blame just got her short story published in Manila Times. Check it out. Warning! Azucena up ahead!
Subject: The Bubble of American Supremacy by George Soros
The Atlantic Monthly | December 2003 | The Bubble of American Supremacy

A prominent financier argues that the heedless assertion of American
power in the world resembles a financial bubble-and the moment of truth
may be here

by George Soros

It is generally agreed that September 11, 2001, changed the course of
history. But we must ask ourselves why that should be so. How could a
single event, even one involving 3,000 civilian casualties, have such a
far-reaching effect? The answer lies not so much in the event itself as
in the way the United States, under the leadership of President George
W. Bush, responded to it.

Admittedly, the terrorist attack was historic in its own right.
Hijacking fully fueled airliners and using them as suicide bombs was an
audacious idea, and its execution could not have been more spectacular.
destruction of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center made a symbol
statement that reverberated around the world, and the fact that people
could watch the event on their television sets endowed it with an
emotional impact that no terrorist act had ever achieved before. The
terrorism is to terrorize, and the attack of September 11 fully
accomplished this objective.

Even so, September 11 could not have changed the course of history to
the extent that it has if President Bush had not responded to it the
he did. He declared war on terrorism, and under that guise implemented
a radical foreign-policy agenda whose underlying principles predated
the tragedy. Those principles can be summed up as follows:
relations are relations of power, not law; power prevails and law
legitimizes what prevails. The United States is unquestionably the
power in the post-Cold War world; it is therefore in a position to
impose its views, interests, and values. The world would b enefit from
adopting those values, because the American model has demonstrated its
superiority. The Clinton and first Bush Administrations failed to use
full potential of American power. This must be corrected; the United
States must find a way to assert its supremacy in the world.

This foreign policy is part of a comprehensive ideology customarily
referred to as neoconservatism, though I prefer to describe it as a
form of social Darwinism. I call it crude because it ignores the role
of cooperation in the survival of the fittest, and puts all the
on competition. In economic matters the competition is between firms;
in international relations it is between states. In economic matters
social Darwinism takes the form of market fundamentalism; in
relations it is now leading to the pursuit of American supremacy.

Not all the members of the Bush Administration subscribe to this
ideology, but neoconservatives form an influential group within it.
publicly called for the invasion of Iraq as early as 1998. Their ideas
originated in the Cold War and were further elaborated in the post-Cold
era. Before September 11 the ideologues were hindered in implementing
their strategy by two considerations: George W. Bush did not have a
clear mandate (he became President by virtue of a single vote in the
Supreme Court), and America did not have a clearly defined enemy that
have justified a dramatic increase in military spending.

September 11 removed both obstacles. President Bush declared war on
terrorism, and the nation lined up behind its President. Then the Bush
Administration proceeded to exploit the terrorist attack for its own
purposes. It fostered the fear that has gripped the country in order to
the nation united behind the President, and it used the war on
terrorism to execute an agenda of Ameri can supremacy. That is how
September 11
changed the course of history.

Exploiting an event to further an agenda is not in itself
reprehensible. It is the task of the President to provide leadership,
it is only
natural for politicians to exploit or manipulate events so as to
promote their policies. The cause for concern lies in the policies that
is promoting, and in the way he is going about imposing them on the
United States and the world. He is leading us in a very dangerous

The supremacist ideology of the Bush Administration stands in
opposition to the principles of an open society, which recognize that
have different views and that nobody is in possession of the ultimate
truth. The supremacist ideology postulates that just because we are
stronger than others, we know better and have right on our side. The
first sentence of the September 2002 National Security Strategy (the
President's annual laying out to Congress of the country's security
objectives) reads, "The great struggles of the twentieth century
and totalitarianism ended with a decisive victory for the forces of
freedom-and a single sustainable model for national success: freedom,
democracy, and free enterprise."

The assumptions behind this statement are false on two counts. First,
there is no single sustainable model for national success. Second, the
American model, which has indeed been successful, is not available to
others, because our success depends greatly on our dominant position at
the center of the global capitalist system, and we are not willing to
yield it.

The Bush doctrine, first enunciated in a presidential speech at West
Point in June of 2002, and incorporated into the National Security
Strategy three months later, is built on two pillars: the United States
do everything in its power to maintain its unquestioned military
supremacy; and the United States arrogates the right to pre-emptive
In effect, the doctrine establishes two classes of sovereignty: the
sovereignty of the United States, which takes precedence over
treaties and obligations; and the sovereignty of all other states,
which is subject to the will of the United States. This is reminiscent
George Orwell's Animal Farm: all animals are equal, but some animals
more equal than others.

To be sure, the Bush doctrine is not stated so starkly; it is shrouded
in doublespeak. The doublespeak is needed because of the contradiction
between the Bush Administration's concept of freedom and democracy and
the actual principles and requirements of freedom and democracy. Talk
of spreading democracy looms large in the National Security Strategy.
But when President Bush says, as he does frequently, that freedom will
prevail, he m eans that America will prevail. In a free and open
people are supposed to decide for themselves what they mean by freedom
and democracy, and not simply follow America's lead. The contradiction
is especially apparent in the case of Iraq, and the occupation of Iraq
has brought the issue home. We came as liberators, bringing freedom and
democracy, but that is not how we are perceived by a large part of the

It is ironic that the government of the most successful open society in
the world should have fallen into the hands of people who ignore the
first principles of open society. At home Attorney General John
has used the war on terrorism to curtail civil liberties. Abroad the
United States is trying to impose its views and interests through the
of military force. The invasion of Iraq was the first practical
application of the Bush doctrine, and it has turned out to be
counterproductive. A ch asm has opened between America and the rest of

The size of the chasm is impressive. On September 12, 2001, a special
meeting of the North Atlantic Council invoked Article 5 of the NATO
Treaty for the first time in the alliance's history, calling on all
states to treat the terrorist attack on the United States as an attack
upon their own soil. The United Nations promptly endorsed punitive U.S.
action against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. A little more than a year later
the United States could not secure a UN resolution to endorse the
invasion of Iraq. Gerhard Schröder won re-election in Germany by
cooperate with the United States. In South Korea an underdog candidate
was elected to the presidency because he was considered the least
friendly to the United States; many South Koreans regard the United
as a greater danger to their security than North Korea. A large
throughout the world opposed the war on Iraq.

September 11 introduced a discontinuity into American foreign policy.
Violations of American standards of behavior that would have been
considered objectionable in ordinary times became accepted as
the circumstances. The abnormal, the radical, and the extreme have been
redefined as normal. The advocates of continuity have been pursuing a
rearguard action ever since.

To explain the significance of the transition, I should like to draw on
my experience in the financial markets. Stock markets often give rise
to a boom-bust process, or bubble. Bubbles do not grow out of thin air.
They have a basis in reality-but reality as distorted by a
misconception. Under normal conditions misconceptions are
and the
markets tend toward some kind of equilibrium. Occasionally, a
misconception is reinforced by a trend prevailing in reality, and that
when a
boom-bust process gets under w ay. Eventually the gap between reality
and its false interpretation becomes unsustainable, and the bubble

Exactly when the boom-bust process enters far-from-equilibrium
territory can be established only in retrospect. During the
phase participants are under the spell of the prevailing bias. Events
seem to confirm their beliefs, strengthening their misconceptions. This
widens the gap and sets the stage for a moment of truth and an eventual
reversal. When that reversal comes, it is liable to have devastating
consequences. This course of events seems to have an inexorable
but a boom-bust process can be aborted at any stage, and the adverse
effects can be reduced or avoided altogether. Few bubbles reach the
extremes of the information-technology boom that ended in 2000. The
the process is aborted, the better.

The quest for American supremacy qualifies as a bubble. The dominant
position the United States occupies in the world is the element of
reality that is being distorted. The proposition that the United States
be better off if it uses its position to impose its values and
interests everywhere is the misconception. It is exactly by not abusing
power that America attained its current position.

Where are we in this boom-bust process? The deteriorating situation in
Iraq is either the moment of truth or a test that, if it is
successfully overcome, will only reinforce the trend.

Whatever the justification for removing Saddam Hussein, there can be no
doubt that we invaded Iraq on false pretenses. Wittingly or
unwittingly, President Bush deceived the American public and Congress
roughshod over the opinions of our allies. The gap between the
Administration's expectations and the actual state of affairs could not
It is difficult to think of a recent military operation that has g one
so wrong. Our soldiers have been forced to do police duty in combat
gear, and they continue to be killed. We have put at risk not only our
soldiers' lives but the combat effectiveness of our armed forces. Their
morale is impaired, and we are no longer in a position to properly
our power. Yet there are more places than ever before where we might
have legitimate need to project that power. North Korea is openly
building nuclear weapons, and Iran is clandestinely doing so. The
regrouping in Afghanistan. The costs of occupation and the prospect of

Meanwhile, largely as a result of our preoccupation with supremacy,
something has gone fundamentally wrong with the war on terrorism.
war is a false metaphor in this context. Terrorists do pose a threat to
our national and personal security, and we must protect ourselves. Many
of the measures we have taken are necessary and proper. It can e ven be
argued that not enough has been done to prevent future attacks. But the
war being waged has little to do with ending terrorism or enhancing
homeland security; on the contrary, it endangers our security by
engendering a vicious circle of escalating violence.

The terrorist attack on the United States could have been treated as a
crime against humanity rather than an act of war. Treating it as a
crime would have been more appropriate. Crimes require police work, not
military action. Protection against terrorism requires precautionary
measures, awareness, and intelligence gathering-all of which ultimately
depend on the support of the populations among which the terrorists
operate. Imagine for a moment that September 11 had been treated as a
We would not have invaded Iraq, and we would not have our military
struggling to perform police work and getting shot at.

Declaring war on terrorism better suited the purp oses of the Bush
Administration, because it invoked military might; but this is the
to deal with the problem. Military action requires an identifiable
target, preferably a state. As a result the war on terrorism has been
directed primarily against states harboring terrorists. Yet terrorists
by definition non-state actors, even if they are often sponsored by

The war on terrorism as pursued by the Bush Administration cannot be
won. On the contrary, it may bring about a permanent state of war.
Terrorists will never disappear. They will continue to provide a
the pursuit of American supremacy. That pursuit, in turn, will continue
to generate resistance. Further, by turning the hunt for terrorists
into a war, we are bound to create innocent victims. The more innocent
victims there are, the greater the resentment and the better the
that some victims will turn into perpetrators.

The terrorist threat must be seen in proper perspective. Terrorism is
not new. It was an important factor in nineteenth-century Russia, and
had a great influence on the character of the czarist regime, enhancing
the importance of secret police and justifying authoritarianism. More
recently several European countries-Italy, Germany, Great Britain-had
contend with terrorist gangs, and it took those countries a decade or
more to root them out. But those countries did not live under the spell
of terrorism during all that time. Granted, using hijacked planes for
suicide attacks is something new, and so is the prospect of terrorists
with weapons of mass destruction. To come to terms with these threats
will take some adjustment; but the threats cannot be allowed to
our existence. Exaggerating them will only make them worse. The most
powerful country on earth cannot afford to be consumed by fear. To make
the war on terro rism the centerpiece of our national strategy is an

A recent Council on Foreign Relations publication sketches out three
alternative national-security strategies. The first calls for the
of American supremacy through the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive military
action. It is advocated by neoconservatives. The second seeks the
continuation of our earlier policy of deterrence and containment. It is
advocated by Colin Powell and other moderates, who may be associated
either political party. The third would have the United States lead a
cooperative effort to improve the world by engaging in preventive
of a constructive character. It is not advocated by any group of
significance, although President Bush pays lip service to it. That is
policy I stand for.

The evidence shows the first option to be extremely dangerous, and I
believe that the second is no longer practical. The Bush Administration
has done too much damage to our standing in the world to permit a
to the status quo. Moreover, the policies pursued before September 11
were clearly inadequate for dealing with the problems of globalization.
Those problems require collective action. The United States is uniquely
positioned to lead the effort. We cannot just do anything we want, as
the Iraqi situation demonstrates, but nothing much can be done in the
way of international cooperation without the leadership-or at least the
participation-of the United States.

Globalization has rendered the world increasingly interdependent, but
international politics is still based on the sovereignty of states.
goes on within individual states can be of vital interest to the rest
of the world, but the principle of sovereignty militates against
interfering in their internal affairs. How to deal with failed states
oppressive, corrupt, and inept regimes? How to get rid of the likes of
Saddam? There are too many such regimes to wage war against every one.
is the great unresolved problem confronting us today.

I propose replacing the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive military action
with preventive action of a constructive and affirmative nature.
Increased foreign aid or better and fairer trade rules, for example,
violate the sovereignty of the recipients. Military action should
remain a last resort. The United States is currently preoccupied with
of security, and rightly so. But the framework within which to think
about security is collective security. Neither nuclear proliferation
international terrorism can be successfully addressed without
international cooperation. The world is looking to us for leadership.
provided it in the past; the main reason why anti-American feelings are
so strong in the world today is that we are not providing it in the
El Filibusterismo y Noli Me Tangere

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: El Filibusterismo
Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2004 12:16:05 -0000
From: "Dr. Robert L. Yoder"

I am pleased to report that on January 11, 2004, the Gutenburg
project put out an electronic version of Charles Derbyshire's English
translation of Rizal's EL FILIBUSTERISMO. Entitled THE SUBVERSIVE,
it is in the public domain. The URL where it may be accessed is as
It may also be found in the "files" section of RP-Rizal:
Because of technical problems with the account it is not possible at
the moment to put it in HTML on the sister site, "Rizal's Life and
Writings" but this should take place sometime in the year.
The first novel NOLI ME TANGERE can be accessed at that site:
Look there in the writings section.
We hope that his will be useful information for you.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Words fail

The SO said that I manage to pick interesting blogs or that I manage to give them very good descriptiions. I give praise back to the SO because she manages to make the most mundane event become the grandest story. But go visit gummy thoughts the Pin@y Blog of the Day for 23 January 2004. Check out the May 2 2003 entry for a photo of a bombed out Manila.
Ode to Martin Luther King, Jr.

you had a dream unfulfilled

dreams continue even after
someone passes the mortal coil

now, it is said that your
dream is fulfilled.

so why is it that in shows
like Friends, the
minorities stay in the back
like muted shadows?

the dream is unfulfilled
it's just that racism
is hidden under the cover
of commercialism.

Friday, January 23, 2004


The monkey looks the moon and wonders whether or not the fallen angel knows how to play poker.
Another heart breaking

You can almost hear the cracks appear on the surface of her heart. If you want to relive your most painful memories of breaking up with someone, go to butterflies' site. If you have a heart, tell her to forget about the guy. Pin@y Blog of the Day for the 23nd of January 2004.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Pin@y politics as usual

Hehehe. A lot of people are scared of Ronnie Poe Jr. They even falsify testaments.
What personality type are you?

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy New Year!!! It's the year of the monkey! Get your tails out so that the monkey can pull them!

INTP - "Architect". Greatest precision in thought and language. Can readily discern contradictions and inconsistencies. The world exists primarily to be understood. 3.3% of total population.
Take Free Myers-Briggs Personality Test
People's Court

A woman is suing a man for about a thousand dollars. She has a Master's degree in Social Welfare from Fordham University. The guy says he owns the building when he actually is the supervisor for the building, and not even a good one because he was relieved of his duty. She admits in the court that she is a smart cookie, but not when it comes to love.

The guy borrows money from her because his electricity is cut. In another occasion, he backslaps her with his hand. That should have been it for the relationship. But, it is not. She ends up giving some more money.

This is the problem of not having the courage to be alone.

To be a Pinay kolehiyala

When you get to be in college, you find that you begin to think for yourself. Questions about following church doctrine begin to pop into one's heads. If you are not careful, you end up criticizing the catholic church and all that is nasty and evil in it. Purple chocolates goes to school in the University of the Philippines where innocence is shed like skin. Purple chocs is the Pin@y Blog of the Day for the 22nd day of January 2004.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Chinese New Year's Eve

The Pin@y Blog of the Day for the 21st of January 2004 has not been updated for some time. But check out the 29 July 2003 entry. It is hilarious. Go on, read the Pinoy Hardware, you might even fall of your seat from laughing about the joke.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

It snows in Canada

Jon Magat knows the how cold it can get in Canada more than any other Pino. From the warm tropical islands, Jon threw his fate to the winds and immigrated to Canada. As an immigrant, he suffers through the pangs of loneliness for family and the pain of working in the cold. Go warm him up by visiting the Pin@y Blog of the Day for the 20th of January 2004.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Seventy years has to be worth something

Alberto Florentino is a seventy year old writer and publisher. He has seen the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows in Philippine literature. Known for his work The World is an Apple, Alberto Florentino now lives in the Big Apple after publishing in the Philippines for more than thirty years. For being seventy and keeping on writing, Alberto Florentino is the Pin@y Blog of the Day for the 19th of January 2004.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Being single and female in the Philippines

The irony of being a parent in the Philippines is that you don't want your kids to have relationships when they are in college. But by the time they are 25 years old, you want them to be married. How is a female looking for a sensible, mature, intelligent guy supposed to find one with circumstances like this? The graveyard zombie is in the midst of tackling this existential problem. For having been asked whether or not she is a female, graveyard zombie is honored with the Pin@y Blog of the Day for the 18th of January 2004.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Goodbye and Thank You

When I left for college, I began to accumulate material things. At 18 years old, I thought that having materials would give me happiness. So, I started to buy things through credit cards. I thought that buying and shopping made me feel good. Every time I saw something that just came out, I lusted after it. Portable CD player? Bought one. Five disc CD player? Got one. 250megasomething amplifier? Yup, that too. VHS player? Got three. Sony 27 inch television? Got it in my first year at graduate school. I thought buying electronic equipment would satisfy this yearning and gaping hole in my chest.

Just like everyone else, shopping did not satisfy that fear that was inside of my chest. Now, I see all the young people buying left and right and contributing to the massive progress of the capitalist world, and I breathe a sigh of relief at not having to be the one to buy, buy, buy. Now, through the help of some financial books, I see that shopping is a reaction to the fear of leading an empty life. Shopping is a reaction to the fear of not knowing how to lead a life. Spending money is the ignorance of not knowing that you have the habits of being poor. The old timers had it right when they said you needed to save your money and invest it wisely.

If only my high school had taught this lesson to me instead of shop class, I would not be a recovering financial wreck. At least, I am not deep into the debt hole as some people I know who are in debt of up to $100,000. That's a third of a house. Wow.

One side effect of the buying binge that I did a long time ago is that I have an apartment full of outdated and non-functioning equipment. Added to this the fact that I had a poverty mentality of trying to be a pack rat and I have a very crowded apartment. In the last few months, with the help of the SO, I have begun to clean and throw things out.

Why is it so hard to throw some stuff out? First, the cost. The cost keeps coming up in my head. This one cost me $250; how can I throw it away? This jacket cost me $100. What? To the dump? The more I look at the things that I have to throw away, the more I am reminded that I made some major mistakes in life. Not just mistakes about buying stuff, but also mistakes about how I treated some friends. When all of that comes back, I feel fatigued and would rather sleep than face all the memory. Damn this photographic memory. Why counldn't I have photographic memory when it comes to my studies? How come I see permutations and probabilities of events that are about to happen and events that did happen like they were roads not taken?

But, with the Power of the SO, I have been able to say "Thank you" and "Goodbye." Two simple words through which I absolve myself of my mistakes and release into the world that which reminds me of it. It can be freeing. It can be exulting. There were these books which were supposed to have been used for a test that I would have taken if I had become a physician. Those books sat there for about seven years! Each time I saw them, I thought, wow, another thing left undone, incomplete. But really, that path was closed off when I chose certain roads. I needed to jettison the baggage.

Last summer, we managed to have a garage sale and though the books were not sold, they were donated off to some store that recycles. I no longer see the constant reminder of "What if I had done that?" Instead, I just see how much lighter I feel when I don't have to keep living in the past.

Living in the past. I guess this is what I was doing. I would hold up something that would make me remember and I would cringe at the a****le that I was. I would be embarassed at the crudeness and the immaturity I had. Why was I keeping this again? I never did have a happy smile when I saw it.

Another reason for keeping things is that I when I lost my mother, I was far away. I scrounged around to try and keep things that she had given me. Letters, bills, notes, flowers from graduation, clothes. Lots and lots of clothes. I can not throw away a rag of a shirt because she bought it for me. The SO says that my mother would not want me to be sad. So I thank the rag and I place it in a bag of trash. I cherish the moment when my mother took me shopping when I was sixteen and I go on with my life.

Probably, I have this fear that my children will not know my father and my mother because they never met them. It is hard and it can happen because I did not know about my father's parents. Even now, I find it difficult to find from my aunts and uncles just who my grandparents were. Talk about colonized. They forget who their parents are. It's a good thing that my uncle was a writer. He wrote about his childhood.

During vacation, we saw my mother's album full of photos of people we do not know. I never did videotape mom when she was talking about the people in the book. Some of the photos are of my siblings. But most of them are of my mother and her friends. The faces are nameless and smiling. The clothes are faded and old. What are memories when you have no stories that go with said memories?

Today, we got rid of a sofa, a television and two monitors. The television was the first television my family owned in the United States. It was worth something like $350 to $400 in 1982 USA. The sofa was from an acquaintance who was leaving for medical school. I thought I needed a sofa. One monitor was from the first computer I ever had. I even kept the old boxes that came with the monitor. My first purchase that cost me over $2500. Jesus, did I really spend that much for a computer? I believe I had to get a loan for that. The other monitor was my dream monitor, a 21 inch. It cost about $1500 and I bought it for $400 used. It lasted me two years. It was the best years for monitors. I'm hoping to someday get the 21 inch High definition apple monitor. But, only when I can afford it.

Thank you and goodbye.
Loneliness is a state of mind

Sometimes, you can be lonely but be with many people. Melissa is at the cusp, the turning point. In this month she decides what her future will be. Will she apply for a visa to the US? Will she take the dice and roll it for her future? Will she change her mind about her situation in the Philippines? So many have done it before. So many have lost the will to leave. So many have lusted for something they can not do. So what does someone do when they have the chance? Read her blog and find out. Because she is on that turning point, the loneliest person is the Pin@y Blog of the Day for the 17th of January.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Service to dog conoisseurs

This recipe was obtained from soc.culture.filipino. The author was One would have to believe that Pin@ys would make excellent dog trainers. If the dog is too rowdy, off to the pot it goes!!! Hide Achilles! Run!!!!

dogalo (dog soup)

2 kg of ribs/legs
1. boil with one oinion - add ginger 2 thumbs size - turn the heat to meduim low after boiling - leave for 2 hours or so
- add salt and soy sauce
- add 1 carrot, 1 potato
- add a little of bit cabbage
optional - hot chili

A father's life

The blog of one Mel Santos is presented for your edification. The writer left his kids to work in Japan for ten years. He writes in his blogs about his love for his kids and his regret over not seeing them grow up. For his efforts, Mel is the Pin@y Blog of the Day for the 16th of January 2004.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

An example of a colonized mind

In my opinion, the writing quoted below is an example of the difficulty that Filipinos have when encountering the grandeur of the Western world. It is only through education and a reassessment of the written history that one understands how colonialism affects the way that one thinks. This is from the flips list.

We are talking here about accredited world wonders. It's not I'm belittling the Banaue, but as far as I my knowledge, it didn't measure up to the quality to make it one of the eight wonders of the world. I have been watching the series of documentaries depicting the construction and precise science and mathematics employed by the pyramid builders, and it is incredulous. And for a construction massive as the pyramids requiring precision, and huge materials, unfortunately, great numbers of people were indeed required. It is insignificant in this argumentation whether slaves, volunteers, paid workers whatever were used. We are limiting the discussion to achievements only. I am seeing a deviation of the arguments to an attempt to picture me as unFilipino. This is wrong, erroneous interpretation. In fact, what I am trying to find is the scientific explanation as why Filipinos and other second class cultures remained underdeveloped, and that America and some western cultures flourished? This is the heart of the discussion. There is no colonial mentality involved here but simple common sense and inquisitiveness. Now if you are calling me as one with a colonial mentality, the closest that I can associate myself with them is my being creative, inventive like them. Like it or not, this is the backbone of progress. Isabel Ball

A response to a colonized mind

Oscar Pen~aranda responds to the above:

Hi Isabel, et al.,
The people who "accredit" the world wonders are people of the west,
white people. Even though some of the "chosen wonders" were in non western
locations like the pyramids and babylon, the owners of those lands were western. Egypt belonged to the british, so did what is now iraq (where the hanging gardens of babylon were).if we filipinos were the ones who did the accrediting, then you can bet your house that the banaue rice terraces would be there. it's not like these 8 wonders of the world came out of a vacuum or a democratic vote from all the peoples and scholars of the world. reminds me of that anecdote of two people speaking on a classic painting of a hunter, one foot on a dead, gigantic beast of a lion. One said "magnificent painting, isn't it?" the other replies, "Yes, but it would be a different picture if the lion had painted it."

Another racist ad. This time for penis enlargement

Yes, as they say, there is no more racism in America. So how come people keep seeing racism in television ads? Or is that just some figment of the imagination?

[Flips] ENZYTE t.v. ad


Hi Everyone:

Last night, I caught the latest spot for that new viagra rival/male
penis enlarger called ENZYTE during the sports highlights intermission on ESPN2. The ad that ran was really quick, lasting no more than 20
seconds, tops. It took me & my girlfriend awhile to gather what we'd just
seen, because neither of could believe how obviously sexist & racist the
ad was. If you click onto the Enzyte home page, you'll read the
following neutral (washed) description of the ad, called 'Big Deal':

"'Big Deal,” set in a Japanese restaurant, is the first in the
series to run completely without dialog and shows off Smiling Bob’s skill as a negotiator without saying a
word." - from http://www.l

The following is how/what one REALLY makes of the ad:

"The commercial involved a restaurant business negotiation with a white
man sitting at one end of a table, and five Japanese business men
sitting at the other end. The white man had a large, tall bottle of sake,
while the Japanese business men had small cups of sake. The Japanese men are trying to negotiate with the white man, and they keep offering more and more while the white man sits there with an obnoxious smile, saying nothing. The Japanese men comment on how "firm" his negotiating skills are, and how "stiff" the competition is. One of the Japanese men looks at the white man from under the table with a surprised look. Finally the Japanese men cave in to offering way more than what they initially offered. At the end of the commercial a geisha-like Japanese hostess looks at the white guy with a surprised and pleased look." - from, Dec 28, 2003 entry

I don't think much more can be added to this description beyond that I
urge you to see the spot for yourselves to believe it. It's so awful &
horrendous, & really shouldn't get anymore airtime than it's already

Big sigh....
Letters from Riyadh

A mother's concerns and thoughts are written for her family living in the Philippines. Moonyeen lives in Saudi Arabia which has been a destination for Pin@ys since the 1970's. The blog contains the typical life for a OFW, except for the fact that she gets to communicate to her daughter via the blog. Personal letters and personal stories that become short stories for everyday living. Monyeen is the Pin@y Blog of the Day for the 15th of January.
I love America!!!

People say that there are too many lawsuits. Well, some of those lawsuits have a point. Read on.

Posted on Fri, Jan. 09, 2004Steak shop's name stirs controversy:Woman wants Chink's changed, saying it's a slur to Asians; owner says no way By MYUNG OAK KIM

TO SUSANNAH Park and most any Asian-American, the word "chink" is as hurtful as the n-word is to African-Americans.

So when Park, of West Philadelphia, found out about Chink's Steaks, in Wissinoming, she was horrified. Park called the restaurant owner and has since begun a campaign to change the shop's name.

She has gotten the support of the Anti-Defamation League and other community groups, who will meet tonight.

"Having a restaurant with that telling the world that 'chink' is an appropriate term and that its not a racial slur," Park said. "It's also disregarding the pain that is associated with that word for people in the Asian community, how it dehumanizes us."

But Joseph Groh, owner of Chink's Steaks, on Torresdale Avenue near Benner Street, doesn't understand the hoopla and says changing the name would destroy the business.

Opened in 1949 by the late Samuel "Chink" Sherman, the steak shop has become a neighborhood legend. Voted Best of Philly for cheesesteaks by Philly Magazine in 2002, Chink's is known to locals as one of the best cheesesteak shops in the city.

"It's been here 55 years and no one has ever questioned it," said Groh, 41. "Everybody's welcome here. I know there's a lot of racist people in the world but I'm not one of them."

Sherman got the nickname when he was 6, said widow Mildred Sherman.

"He had slanty eyes...and the kids started calling him 'chink,' " Mildred Sherman said. Many people didn't learn of his real name until they attended his funeral in 1997. Sherman said the nickname is etched on her husband's gravestone.

Sherman called the controversy "ridiculous. We are Jewish. We're far from racist. We have Chinese customers," Sherman said. "My husband was well-loved by everybody."

Residents and patrons in the predominantly white neighborhood support Groh and have trouble recognizing the harm of the shop name. Chink is a derogatory term used for Chinese people.

"I have never looked at that word as slanderous before. That was his name," said Dave Sharkey, who has been eating at Chink's for 20 years. "If your name is connected with your reputation as being a quality sandwich shop and not implying any defamation to anyone, it would be hard for me to understand how you could change the name after all these years."

"It's like telling George Perrier to change the name of Le Bec Fin," Sharkey said, referring to the famed Center City restaurant.

City Councilwoman Joan Krajewski praised the shop and decried Park for being too "touchy."

"I don't see anything wrong with it," she said. "It's not meant to insult. We have a lot of Asian people up here. I'm just really sorry that this whole thing is happening."

Even the most innocent intentions doesn't make the word "chink" any less of a slur, said Andrew Rice, spokesman for the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium, an Asian civil rights group in Washington D.C.

"People think that they can use terminology such as this and their intent makes all the difference, when in fact their intent really doesn't matter," Rice said. "Somebody walking down the street will not know about their intent."

"If you replace "chink" with any other racial epithet, people understand it very clearly. For some reason, when it's an Asian derogatory term, people don't get it," Rice said.

Groh has been working at Chink's Steaks for 25 years, doing every job from onion peeling to mopping the floor. He bought the business in 1999 and works 12-hour days at the tiny old-style shop.

Groh is visibly upset about the controversy and fears that Park's campaign will put him out of business.

"She has nothing to lose. I have everything to lose," Groh said.

Park, 21, heard about the restaurant during a conversation with an Asian friend two months ago. A former West Virginia resident, she called Groh in December to set up a meeting, but ended up discussing the matter over the phone. She suggested changing the spelling of the name, but Groh refused.

Barry Morrison, head of the local chapter of the Anti-Defamation League, said his agency sent a letter to Groh and is setting up a meeting with him.

Park said she thinks the restaurant name hasn't become a controversy because it is in a neighborhood that is largely white and because the Asian community is not very outspoken.

She hopes bringing attention to this will help educate people.

The restaurant name "is just another reminder of how much cultural insensitivity there still is," she said.

Hmm, so let's say that I am dark skinned. Someone nicknamed me N*****. Does that mean that I can make a store named N*****? Yeah, right!!! Has anyone ever raised the point that perhaps people patronized the place because they thought that chinks was an appropriate name for Asians? I'm just asking!!!
Learning Pilipino languages

During dinner at Boston Market, the SO and I ended up having one of those deep and illuminating" conversations. This is one reason I am in love with the SO. I am able to expand my horizon and learn from her all the time. If only people trying to get married would keep this thought in mind, there would be more thought into jumping into marriages and a lesser number of divorces happening.

The SO is part of Maina Minahal's current project at the Jon Sims Center. In the piece Sandayo, the woman Sandayo battles the wind goddess for the life of her husband. As a side, I would like to thank Maiana for her quest in telling the narratives and the myths and legends of the Philippines. This is one aspect of Filipino culture which has been grossly overlooked. By using legends and myths, Maiana is continuing the oral tradition of the Philippines.

In one part of Maiana's piece, she speaks the words "Mahal ko." When watching the piece, I heard the words mispronounced and immediately, I reacted negatively. In my thought process, I reasoned that if one is going to use Pilipino words in a theatre or poetry piece, one should pronounce them correctly. So I asked the SO about my reaction.

(Sidenote: I should preface it by saying that I did not immediately tell Maiana about my thoughts because I know that in theatre, sometimes there are many layers. For example, the artist is trying to make a point with language itself. Two, the mispronounciations could be caused with Maiana trying to follow the beat of the piece that is dictated by a guitar playing in the background. Three, artists should be allowed to create pieces according to their whims and fancy. After all, they worked for it.)

The SO has been trying to learn Tagalog for a while now and can explicate the difficulties which non-native Pilipinos endure in the process of learning. One of the deeper statements that the SO said is: Filipino-Americans are not allowed to make mistakes when learning about the language. The way in which they are corrected by the parents and teachers are so jarring that they lose interest. After all, if one can not be very good or be perfect in learning Pilipino, why do it at all? This is the truth. Do children need another reason for their parents to shout at them? The child can do that just by being a child. Why learn something that guarantees that their father or mother will end up screaming?

Fortunately or unfortunately, I know someone who had some tapes of her childhood in which one can see how much pressure is placed upon children by Filipino parents. The eldest child is trying to learn the pledge of allegiance with her father in the background. Every time the child made a mistake, the parent would shout "Incorrect! Repeat!" The child would then start from the beginning. At first the tape was funny to me because it was true. That was how they taught children in the Philippines. Thinking about it more though, I realized just how painful it was for a child to learn under such pressure for perfection.

Another aspect of learning Pilipino which the SO pointed out is that one Pilipino speaker will often argue with another speaker about the proper way of saying things. She cited an example in which a friend of hers had two native speakers argue for thirty minutes about the way in which a particular word was used. I myself have often felt the urge to correct people when they mispronounce things. I have since learned that sometimes, silence is the greatest gift one can give a person. If one is just trying to correct someone for the sake of looking intelligent or looking smug, then think about how the other person feels.

I blame this particular behavior of correcting other Pin@ys to the perfection ideal that most Filipinos have about the world. Things should be black and white. There is no gray. Grayness is just imperfection masquerading as reason. Perhaps, it's a the grayness of the world is one of the things that Pin@ys must learn in the process of becoming part of the world. For the life of me, I don't know how to teach that to them.

The one part in which the SO pointed out that pronounciation must be accurate is that for names. She mentions how Aglipay must be pronounced ahg-lih-pie and not ahg-lih-pay. I had a nightmare story on this involving Lloyd La Cuesta who is a news reporter for KTVU-2 in the San Francisco area. Lay-cue-stay was the host for the Filipinas magazine awards in 2002. But, unfortunately, laycuestay did not do his homework about the pronounciations of the names of the participants. Have you ever seen someone make an ass out of himself? Well, lacuestay did it and he did it well. One of the honorees that evening was Master Danongan Kalanduyan of Palabuniyan Kulintang Ensemble. Laycuestay mispronounced the name of Danongan Kalanduyan over and over and over again. If that were not enough insult, each time lacuestay pronounced Kalanduyan or Danongan, he had a different pronounciation! It got so bad that the wife of Master Kalanduyan screamed at layquestay how to pronounce the name.

I understand that sometimes, Pin@ys just accept the way in which their names are mispronounced in everyday life to avoid trouble. But, people have very few things in life. One's name is one of those that one holds. Why not say it proudly?

So for those of you out there who will have children, go easy in the way you teach them. They will learn better and you will have given them a great gift. Remember, your kids will love to speak Pilipino languages if they know that you will not scream at them when they learn it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

For you who trust too much

You probably don't live in Lafayette but forewarned is still forearmed. Take care of yourselves.
Hi friends and family. I know that with all the psychos out there, we still think that something couldn't really happen to us, right? Wrong! As most of you know, I live in Alexandria, but I work in Lafayette where I stay with friends when I'm there.

As you know from America's Most Wanted TV program as well as the news media, there is a serial killer in the Lafayette area. I just want to let you know about an "incident" that happened to me a few weeks ago that could have been deadly.

At first I didn't go to the police or anyone with it because I didn't realize how serious this encounter was. But since I work in a jail and I told a few people about it, it wasn't long before I was paraded into Internal Affairs to tell them my story.

It was approximately 5:15 am in Opelousas, La. I had stayed with a friend there and I was on my way to work. I stopped at the Exxon/Blimpie station to get gas. I got $10 gas and a Diet Coke...I took into the store two $5 bills and one $1 bill. (just enough to get my stuff)

As I pulled away from the store, a man approached my truck from the back side of the store (an unlit area). He was an "approachable-looking" man (clean cut, clean shaven, dressed well, etc.) He walked up to my window and knocked. Since I'm very paranoid and "always looking for the rapist or killer", I didn't open the window....I just asked what he wanted. He raised a $5 bill to my window and said "You dropped this." Since I knew I had gone into the store with a certain amount of money....I knew I didn't drop it. When I told him it wasn't mine......he began hitting the window and door and screaming at me to open my door and that I had dropped the money! At that point, I drove away as fast as I could.

After talking to the Internal Affairs department and describing the man I saw and the way he escalated from calm and polite to angry and was determined that I could have possibly encountered the serial killer myself. At this point, it is unclear as to how he gains access to his victims since there has been no evidence of forced entry into homes, etc. And the fact that he has been attacking in the daytime when women are less likely to have their guard up...and what gesture is nicer than returning money to someone that dropped it????? How many times would you have opened your window (or door) to get your money and say thank you....because if the person is kind enough to return something to you...then he can't really be a threat.... can he????

Please be cautious! This might not have been the serial probably wasn't...but anyone that gets that angry over someone not accepting money from them, can't have honorable intentions.

Forward this to everyone you know....maybe they can be as fortunate as I was!

death sentence

Leny mentions that the Philippines now has a lethal injection chamber for criminals given the final kiss of life. Leny asks, "How can they be so nonchalant?"

My opinion is that Pin@ys are in such a bad condition that by seeing someone else worse off than they are, they can let go of their suffering. Perhaps, it's like the reliving of Christ. When someone dies from a lethal injection, the sins of the Philippines is given a reprieve. Of course, with the sins being committed by all the presidentiables, the Philippines will have to give the final kiss of life to a person per month.

In some ways, I tend to think that many Pilipinos think in very simple ways. I know because I used to think this way. There are no grays. It's white or black. You sinned? You should be punished. Whack! This is probably one reason why Pilipinos can be manipulated so well. The ultimate way that Marcos used to control them was through fear. Since death is final, many of the Pilipinos just went along even though others protested. It was only when the Pilipinos realized that being dead was better than being alive under Marcos could they finally overthrow a dictator.
a Chatelaine Rescuing Salieri's Rep

Eileen features a story by Erica Jeal from the Guardian about Antonio Salieri. In the movie Amadeus, I have identified with Salieri. I disliked the looseness of Mozart.

The interesting thing about history is that when stories and narratives based on lies are told by Western minds, they are inventive. When stories and narratives are told by Eastern minds, they are liars. Amadeus is just another instance of lying and inventiveness. It really bothers me because I don't like lying. But perhaps, it's not really lying.
Eating delicious Dogs

This is from the inquirer site in the web. It seems that dogs are a good source of protein. In the Philippines, there are a lot of dogs too. And isn't it a survival thing to eat protein source?

In Batangas, dog meat trade is a door-to-door business
By Arnell Ozaeta The Philippine Star 01/05/2004

PADRE GARCIA, Batangas ˜ Despite being illegal, the trade in dog meat is growing so fast that dog traders are now going door-to-door looking for canines to buy.

Dog meat traders now hire tricycle drivers to go from house to house shouting "Aso! Aso kayo diyan, may ibebenta kayong aso d'yan (Dogs! Have you got dogs to sell)?"

One dog trader, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they transport 800 to 1,000 dogs a month to Baguio City and Tarlac, Pangasinan and the Cordilleras to supply about 100 eateries and restaurants that openly serve dog meat.
The trade in dog meat was made illegal by the enactment of Republic Act 8485, also known as the Animal Welfare Act, which criminalizes cruelty to animals and covers the slaughter of dogs for food.

Despite the law against it, the trade in dog meat is brisk ˜ a situation that exists because of poor implementation of the Animal Welfare Act, studies have shown.

There is no political will to enforce this law, particularly in prosecuting those who engage in the illegal dog meat trade because many top local officials are dog-eaters themselves. (remainder snipped)

Australia & Africa

Continuing the coverage of the lives of OFW, we feature two Pinays living in different continents. KiwiPinay shows her life and drama in the continent of Australia. But imagine, she sends some padala to the Philippines. But, the person she trusts ends up betraying her by taking some of the padala and replacing it with old tsinelas. Sad that some Pinoys can be cheaters and bastards. Pondahan has beautiful Tagalog writing at it's best.

Jade is a Pin@y living in the Horn of Africa. If you are interested about the going ons in Africa, go to her site. She discusses the lives of volunteers and the role of clans in Somaliland. Pondahan and A Taste of Africa are the Pin@y Blogs of the Day for the 14th of January 2004.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Me, myself, and I

Apparently, I am rare like the tears from a pomelo.

MAREO: rare; uncommon

What would your Japanese name be? (male)
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Notes from the Philippines

A wonderful detailed account of life in the Philippines by BoyetB. As he says, "These pages contain the musings, random thoughts, rants, raves, and opinions of a thirty-something Filipino on every day people, events and situations."

Going off Boyet's rolls, I eventually encountered Promdi who writes the blog Living, Loving, Lusting. Read about his elegy for his great-grandmother. Or, read about his incisors ruining his teeth. All of his writings come from the heart. Except for his desire for his prepuce. That one comes from the desire of the second head.

These 2 are the Pin@y Blogs of the Day for the 13th of January.
Masseuse of the body

What about those masseuses? They touch, press, hit, and caress your flesh just so you can get back into a functional state. Here's a masahista from Pinas.

Monday, January 12, 2004

Twentysomething in the Pines

What are the thoughts of a twenty year old? Bianca works for ABS and she has tons of pictures of her friends. Amusing to no end. Bianca is the Pin@y Blog of the Day for the 12th of January.
Lord of the Rings Parody

Someone made a series of blogs for the LOTR characters. Check them out. The original is at this site by Cassie Claire.
To dream the impossible dream

This was forwarded through a mail list. I found it extremely entertaining. I hope that you as a Pin@y voter will too.

Courtesy of Nestor Mata's column in Malaya:

"The Impossible Dream" has inspired the suddenly revived "Los
Enemigos," a
group of anonymous satirists in the time of martial law, to compose the
following lyrics for "Election 2004", sung to the tune of that song
from "Man from La

Sing to the rune of The Impossible Dream from the musical Don Quixote:

"To build the impossible team/
To fight the unbeatable Poe/
To bear the unbearable Roco/
To go where Lacson dare not go/
To right the unrightable Mike/
To grant whatever Danding wants/
To cry when your eyes are too weary/
To reach the unreachable Toh/

"This is my quest to follow that Bush/
No matter how reckless, no matter how mad/
To champion his cause/
without question or pause/
To be willing to march into hell because Jesus is Lord/
And I know what Ramos also knows of this powerful pest/
That my heart won't lie peaceful and calm when I'm led to my test/

"And the land will be poorer for this,/
That Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will try/
with the help of de Castro/
to stop with her last ounce of courage/
the unstoppable Poe!"


A Refutation of the Weak Pin@y Character

There have been several instances in which Filipinos have criticized the Philippines as being weak because of the weak character of the Filipino people. This is a rebuttal by Lily Mendoza. As an aside, this is what I love about America. Scholars can come to this country, study the world and then critic the world.

From: Lily Mendoza 
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2004 10:33 PM
Subject: Re: [williams] Change!
I beg to disagree with the thesis of this message!  I thought we had by now already seen through and debunked this "Damaged Culture" thesis of the notorious Atlantic Monthly journalist James Fallows in 1987!  The contention that the reason for our continuing poverty is a function of our culture is not only a lie but utterly baseless and, pardon the _expression, stupid.   

If you look at all the countries being cited as examples (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Switzerland) none of these have undergone the massive destruction and violence of protracted colonization as the Philippines had (in the case of Australia and NZ, these places were completely taken over by European colonial powers and became settler colonies, displacing their indigenous populations).  As one anthropologist put it, "Under conquest social and cultural formations enter long-term, often permanent states of crisis that cannot be resolved by either conqueror or conquered." 

I think we have yet to reckon fully with the impact of the Philippines' historic colonization that left in its wake a thin layer of English-speaking elites (like us) imposing a predominantly western mode of being and doing on the rest of Filipino masses whose indigenous cultures and ways of being were forcibly marginalized, if not totally displaced.  Contrary to the notion that it's our so-called "damaged culture" that's the problem, Edilberto Alegre has this to say: “I am not worried about our culture.  It survived Spain, the US, martial law and post-martial law eras.  It is adamantine.”  In fact, liberation psychologists Ver Enriquez, Felipe Jun de Leon, Fr. Bert Alejo, Zeus Salazar, among others, believe that our greatest strength lies in our indigenous cultures.  Unfortunately, owing to the way all our institutions (educational, religious, economic, etc.) remain structured around alien(ating) models, we're not able to tap into this rich cultural resource but now even consider such "counter-productive" and unfit for "progress." 

I think we make a very dangerous assumption when we attribute the poverty of poor nations as being their own making (as this powerpoint presentation clearly makes).  This is the same thing that is said here in the US (where I am) that the problem with the poor, the homeless, those on welfare, drug addicts, juvenile delinquents, etc. is that they are responsible for their own condition (as if they grew up ambitioning to become homeless, derelicts, addicts, etc.) given that they don't have the right attitude toward life, are lazy (lacking in work ethic), etc.  This is what those on the affluent side of the divide would have everyone believe: that if ever they are rich, it's because of all their wonderful traits, hard work and strength of character. 

On the contrary, ever take a moment to think what the rich countries given as examples have in common?  Ever notice they're all white (with the exception of Japan w/c nonetheless was an imperial power)?  Ever ask whether the aborigines of Australia, Canada and New Zealand feel they are rich and lucky to be living in such rich countries?  Ever heard of white supremacy working hand in hand with western cultural Christianity to reduce global injustice to a matter of personal responsibility and individual psychology?

I, too, used to believe that we Filipinos are cursed because we can never get our act together, are inherently lazy, irresponsible, easy-going, etc.  Some American missionaries even said that Filipinos will never make good leaders because they don't value time, are always late, and their "yes" is never a "yes" and their "no" not a "no.  I have since wizened up.  A bit of critical historiography and cultural studies went a long way in terms of making me realize that the reason why Europe and the West and most countries of the Northern hemisphere are rich is not because they have an inherently superior way of life or ideology but rather because they have plundered the wealth of Third World peoples, hauled off slaves to build their empires and shaped global economic arrangements to benefit their coffers.  THAT--rather than any intrinsic goodness and morality is what's behind the wealth of most wealthy nations.  Ever wonder why there's a direct inverse correlation between the growing wealth of such nations on the one hand and the increasing impoverishment of the rest of the world?  No, it's no coincidence. 

Alas, one of the functions of imperial ideology is precisely to naturalize the vast inequities in the world as being "just the way things should be" given the powerful nations' purported natural superiority in terms of their chosen way of life vs. the barbarism of backward peoples (like Filipinos), the message being, "until you become like us, you will never enjoy the blessings of progress." 

Thank you for giving me this chance to comment.  I noticed that most of those in your list come from NEDA.  If you have a chance to read the more recent works in historiography coming out of UP, that will be great.  I took the trouble to respond only because I find this powerpoint message being circulated very dangerous and precisely what Empire would love to have circulated and embraced by all its subject peoples.

Lily Mendoza
University of Denver
UP Alumna

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Hip-Hop Dance Competition

A cousin of the SO invited us to go with her to a hip-hop dance audition/competition in Oakland California. At first, I was hesitant to go because rap is not really my type of music. I can not find the rhythm and I often don't understand what they say because they say it too fast or there is too much slang in the song. Also, I envisioned this dark, dingy nightclub where the restrooms are littered with used toilet paper, the sink does not work, and the men miss their urinal mark. There will be no seats so that I can leisurely judge the participants. I will be uncomfortable and irritated. Not my ideal place now that I am getting older and older.

However, it turns out that 106 KMEL has some taste and decorum so they held the contest at an indoor basketball court within a sports gym. It was nice because of the high ceiling which allowed the body odor from participants to dissipate into the ether. It was also brightly lit and clean. The one thing I observed though was that the members of the gym were not so used to seeing that many young black people outside the doors of the gymnasium. Some of them had that look of fear and confusion in their eyes. I could just see some of them think in their heads, "Huh? What are they doing in this place? I hope they are not going to be members."

As for the music, it was really hip-hop and not rap. I can barely tell the difference. If forced, I would have to say that I can dance to hip-hop and I can't really dance as much to rap. I would have to extend that hip-hop would be closer to rhythm and blues too. The one question that did pop into my head is "When did rap evolve into hip-hop?" I remember LL Cool J and Run DMZ with the song Walk This Way from the 80's. But while in college, I could no longer listen to rap because it had evolved into a very harsh form like gangster rap like NWA. I essentially ignored rap until around 2002 when my co-workers would dance to it while working. I noticed that there was a rhythm and a groove in the music. That was when they told me that it was hip-hop.

Looking at the performers and the people that were present in the floor, it was obvious that hip-hop had become integrated into American life. The movement and the music allows for a perception of greater freedom from rules and regulations. The atmosphere is that of anything goes. In fact, some of the women were gyrating so much that I thought they were trying to pick up some of the judges. And there is such a strong beat to the music that you have to be dead if you don't want to at least move your body a little bit. Although for me, I still prefer the tango, international style.

Hip-hop might look easy, but it is still ruled by the rules of dance. There must be a beauty to the lines of your body. Your movements must be delineated and precise. There must be fluidity of form. And more importantly, a part of the body must contain that exhibitionist gene which wants to be the center of attraction. Without one of these components, the contestant is already eliminated.

In this competition, there were many people who looked very good in their hip-hop clothes and could dance very well when with a group of people. But once they are alone in the dance floor, it's a different ballgame. The butterflies in the stomach start flying; the muscles get tight; the ego takes a beating. One contestant went in the middle and completely blanked out and left. The announcer called him back and others pushed him back into the spotlight. There is no quitting allowed in this place.

Many of the women who dance really well when surrounded by their friends become very shy when dancing alone. It's probably because the dance that they do is very sexual. They vibrate their whole body; they hump with their buttocks; they insinuate with their gyration. These movements are fine and dandy when everyone around you is dancing the same way. But when performing it alone, it can degrade you into a sexual object. Or worse, it makes a mockery of your abilities to dance. Context determines whether you are slutty or a good dancer.

One contestant basically just shook her buttocks at the judges. The female judge made a face of disgust and quickly judged the dancer. The male judges all looked, but they too quickly realized that sucking up is sucking up. I was disappointed because of all the gyrations that I saw during warmups, this is the best that this dancer could do. Another spirit stifled by pressure.

In the end, hip-hop is still the movement of the body in synchronization with music. Sure, there are gifted people out there who can do amazing things. But the knowledge of some ballet and jazz will allow a dancer to stand out from the rest. Vibrating one's buttocks for a whole minute is not very creative. But working the floor with a series of spins is. Humping like a dog in estrus is amusing for about three seconds. Do it for a whole minute and it's embarassing. Wear something that shows off the body. Lose clothing will hide the pops and the smacks of the fine body movements.

To all you hip-hoppers out there, you better enjoy it now because when you get old, you can't do it again. Look at Hammer. He's not dancing anymore, is he?
Pin@y Blog of the Day: kulitmodaw

coolitsky is a poet at heart. Describing the landscape and the atmosphere of the location, kulitsky will make you laugh and cry. Cheer him on in his journey. Convince him to write more of his poetry. His poetry is truth stripped of all the trappings of daily living. His words cut in the little places hidden in eveveryone.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Adventurous Pin@ys

The wily filipino is starting off his beer odyssey with Bud Light. He's probably going from the bottom of the list to the top.

Bud Light was one of the nastiest things I have ever tasted. There is no pleasure in drinking it. How football fans or graduate students drink this material is a mystery to me. I remember that in my school, they actually enjoyed drinking this swill. And yes, those people actually received their PhD which just goes to show you that sometimes, even PhDs can be morons.

I will pray for the wily Pin@y. He does not deserve this type of pain and suffering. I will make sure to bring good beer to the Adobo Party in February. Maybe Anchorsteam or some Heineken. That's it! Wily, go get yourself some Heineken. I don't suggest going to the mountains of Colorado. I don't suggest Ralph's plain wrap beer. Maybe get yourself a subscription to the Trader Joe's beer a month club. But don't drown yourself in bad beer advertsied during NFL games. There's a reason they advertise.
Kris Aquino and Morning Girls

God, I am blessed. I don't have the TFC channel, but in KTSF San Francisco, they show the Morning Girls. And there she is in all of her glory, Kris Aquino. I don't why I am so attracted to her. It's not like my attraction to Pops Fernandez which is true love. My attraction to Kris Aquino is like waiting to watch two armies fight each other in the medieval ages. No hiding, no sneak attacks. You charge, I charge. Or, it's like watching some innocents go hurtling down a wagon without brakes. (Now, I have seen everything. Kris just played with a hula-hoop!)

Right now, they are interviewing couples and their relationship? Will Kris mention Joey and how she publicly castrated his political career? What self-respecting Pin@y would vote for a guy who f*cks around? Wait, let me rephrase this question. Who will vote for a guy who got castrated in public by a woman?

Now, she is asking two transgenders (chromosomally XY) about the state of their relationship. Look at her curiosity. It's like a kid in a candy store. It's so infectious. Kris takes the lives of these people and makes a public display out of it. And I certainly don't know if she is holding them to ridicule or if she is doing it so that others can accept them. Kris is non-committal in her questions. She gives them the opportunity to explain themselves, but at the same time, she shows herself recoiling from the scene that she just created. Correction! Apparently, one of the couple is gay and he is married(?) to a woman who just happens to look like a man. I think that the make-up artist kinda fucked up their make up to hold them to ridicule. The other couples have decent make-up but these two don't.

Ooops, new commercial for a lawyer that specializes in immigration. At the very least, he doesn't mangle Tagalog like other commercials that have been parodied by Rex Navarette. I believe that's the commercial where a Caucasian mangles "Maraming Salamat Po."

Back to the show. It seems that Kris is trying to find the secret of a loveless marriage. Or is it a marriage full of love? I wonder what Kris is paying for in her life? Why does she have to become a parody? Is it because of what her father did? Ninoy became a martyr. That can't be it. Maybe, Kris is making her move to follow her mother's footsteps and become the president of the Philippines.
Pin@y Blog of the Day: Buhay Amerika

The life of a mother in a different land is chronicled in blog ka ng blog. The updates are quarterly because she takes care of TWO babies! Wow, my tongue rolls out from how tired she is.

The changes that happen in a woman once one has a child are probably hard wired in the brain, but it is described here in words so beautiful that I can hardly contain my emotions. Warning: Tagalog up ahead.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Natural Selection Walks Around

Thank God for video cameras. Now, all the stupid people out there are trying to get on the television for their fifteen minutes of fame.

The most famous of these was jackass from mtv. After that show, the floodgates were opened. I still remember the first show in which they tried to determine if personal protection devices really had any effect. They tried out those electrical shock devices and I was just falling out of my chair laughing. Then, they tried to determine if pepper spray really can incapacitate someone. Again, laughs galore when you watch them try to describe the experience.

In the latest incarnation of natural selection walking, totally outrageous shows three guys riding a sofa down a steep hill with the tires attached to the sofa. However, there was no steering or brakes. What would drive three teen-agers to do this without any brakes, I don't know. The videos show them riding halfway down and then the sofa hits a small pole which tosses them forward true to the laws of nature and inertia. My, that was a beautiful sight to behold. Three bodies flying through the air, one body doing a rotation from head to foot. Sadly, Uncle Natural Selection was not around to claim the kids. They will someday have an opportunity to reproduce.
Pin@y Blog of the Day: Maricar Suntukan--A New Beginning

Maricar Suntukan begins a new phase in her life in Los Angeles. Fresh from dumping her boyfriend, from crying, and from smashing things, Maricar looks at the world and tries to find committment. Instead of living her 30's in the land of the matrix, she chooses to drink the red pill and chase reality. But, reality can be a bumpy road for people who are "single, self-supporting, childless, [and] boyfriendless graduate student." Pray that as Pin@y Blog of the Day that Maricar has the strength to find what she is searching for.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Pin@y Blog of the Day: Germs -- Anyone got disinfectant?

These days, germs are everywhere. They can be bacterial or viral. Pin@y Blog of the Day for the 8th of January happens to exhibit insightful comments on Pin@y life and philosophical musings on working during the graveyard shift.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004


Burping is one of the normal functions of the body to release gas. It is also one of the activities which my niece finds hilarious. Just say burp and she will laugh like a mad man. Well, giggle is more like it. My sister says that instead of practicing her ABC's, the little old niece practices burping. She stands in the middle of the room, drinks water and burps. Maybe I should tell her that soda pop is better. I never did burp too well with beer. I always got dizzy so I won't tell her to go to beer till she's way over 30.

We were finishing lunch and she was eating along with us. Out of nowhere, I just said BURP and she giggled like I was the funniest comedian in the world, which I am. How a child understands the word Burp and does not want to say Uncle is beyond me. But then again, my niece is a very different child. She will showoff to my fiancee by brushing her own teeth and climbing into her stool during lunch. All this to show off to her auntie. Bizarre. I was always a shy kid. I never wanted to meet people.

Can you believe that statement? Me. Shy. Then why am I showing off my whole life for the world to see? Because there are stories to be told of immigrants making a life in the United States. Because the US does not run on Caucasian power alone. Because the world needs opinions of small people.

Burp. I'm losing the burping power. I better get some soda pop.
Pin@y Blog of the Day: Basagulo -- The Life of a Nurse

Sometimes, you find treasures in the lives of Pilipinos in the different parts of the world. Check out the experiences of a nurse in the United States. A mix of the blessed and the cursed. So close to life and so close to death. Are they robots or humans? When you cut them, one thing for sure is that they bleed. Shields up because life can not get any more raw than this. This is the 7th of January's Pin@y Blog of the Day.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Pin@y Blog of the Day: Marianmayhem -- Introspection on Philippine Life

Well, when you find them, you post them. Marianmayhem speaks from the heart and bares the rawness of
Filipino life. She writes about the seeming lack of power of voters, the reality of Filipinos becoming overseas foreign workers, and of childhood memories of a television show Shaider. When Filipinas write about their past, asteeg (tigas=hard) talaga!!! Pin@y Blog of the Day for 6th January 2004. Warning: Tagalog up ahead.

Ahh, I feel the chains of colonialism and Catholicism bogging me down again. These are metaphysical chains. Chains which restrict the way I photograph the human body. Chains which strip my courage and dissuade me from posting a natural thing such as sex, porn and masturbation in my blog. See, there it goes again. That hiya. But babbling point has pointed the way to entertaining and hilarious blogs.

It's good that I found a blog called called kabalastugan, that deals with sins and trespasses such as sex and politics for all those people eating at the karinderia and wishing to become a voyeur like me.