Wednesday, June 29, 2005

GMA New Media Job Openings


Application Developer/Programmer
Graduate of Computer Science of any related course. Highly knowledgeable in UNIX OS, Linux OS, C/C++ programming.

Process Documentation Officer
College graduate; has strong management background with knowledge on the latest trends in IT; Develops/documents policies, processes, methodologies, systems and procedures related to the core business of the organization; Takes the lead in performing data requirements gathering during project initiation; Provides assistance to the project manager in conducting requirements analysis to determine the scope, organization and cost of the project during project initiation; Has at least 2 years working experience in systems development projects with strong participation during data gathering, testing and/or rendering post-implementation user support. Familiar with the Systems Development Life Cycle process.

Database Administrator
College graduate; Proficient in Oracle Database administration and Linux System Administration; has been involved in the design, development, implementation, and support of database system; Should possess a good analytical and interpolated skills combined with good programming skills.

Technical Support
Graduate of Computer Science of any related course. Highly knowledgeable in UNIX OS, Linux OS, C/C++ programming. Familiarity with editing and is a plus.


Product Officer
Graduate of any degree. With superior product / brand management, finance, sales, and marketing exposure; with at least four years experience in consumer industry; Graduate of Business Administration, Marketing, Advertising, or any related course from top universities; Must be of high integrity and maturity; Excellent communication and interpersonal skills

Airtime Sales Executive
Graduate of Business Studies/Administration/Management, Sales & Marketing, Art & Design, Mass Communications, Advertising/Media or equivalent; must have adequate experience in selling advertising spots preferably on TV


Flash Developer
Graduate of Computer Science or related degree. Highly proficient in Flash Development and Action Scripting.

Mobile Application Developer
Graduate of Computer Science or related course. Highly proficient in Symbian C/C++ and/or J2ME. Experience in developing mobile games from a mobile content provider is an advantage.

Business Development Officer
Graduate of Business Studies/Administration/Management, Sales & Marketing or equivalent; Experience in a mobile content provider in a business function is an advantage. Preferably 1-4 yrs experienced employees specializing in Marketing/Business Development or equivalent. Proficient in researching for new products, technologies and market. Can give prompt assistance in regional and international development, project management, and coordination on development of projects.


Video Editor
Graduate of Communication Arts, Film or related course, familiar with linear/nonlinear editing systems particularly Adobe premiere & Adobe After Effects, Knowledge of time code systems/EDL Management, posses above average oral and written communication skills, above average interpersonal skills. Willing to go on shifts.

Web Designer/Graphics Artist
Graduate of any course; has an impressive portfolio of previous design work; with successful blend of creative and technical skills and demonstrated ability in converting static designs into dynamic media; Proven expertise in Adobe Photoshop; Good team player and has strong work ethic

TV Segment Producer
Graduate of Communication Arts or related courses. Excellent Interpersonal Skills. At least 1 year experience in script writing preferable for a lifestyle TV show. With knowledge on TV Production.

Web Producer/ Editor
Outstanding organizational and communication (oral and written) skills; at least 2 years experience in Web production, preferably as Web Producer. Possesses expertise in Website content management and creation; Has the ability to produce high-quality content quickly on tight deadlines; Manifests good leadership skills and is willing to multi-task

PHP Programmer
Minimum of 2-3 years dynamic website development applications/programming experience in PHP; Demonstrated ability to assess functional project requirements and translate same into technical development projects; must posses dedication to delivering projects within time requirements while adhering to established quality standards; ability to learn and adapt quickly and with ease.

Graduate of photography; with versatile photographic skills and compelling portfolio of works; fresh graduates are welcome to apply

Production Assistant

Production Coordinator

All positions posted for urgent hiring. EMAIL applications at: or

We will respond only to QUALIFIED applicants. It is a must to indicate position applied for

Deadline of submission of application is on: July 31, 2005

Peyups.Com Grand EB! will be having its grand eb at Club 650 Libis (beside Shopwise Libis) on Saturday July 2. EB starts at 5pm while the program starts 7pm. There will be bands, booze, video games, a fashion show and lots more in store.

We will also be shooting photos for the soon to be revived photo of the day so please be there.If you love, please show your support by posting this message to your bulletin boards, blogs.

For more information, visit this article:

BTW: kasama rin ang mems ng other university online communities (, and

Punta tayo. Dami daw tsiks sabi ni Karl.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The right thing

Earlier on I-Witness, Sandra Aguinaldo delved into the controversies of the 1898 Philippine revolution that involved Emilio Aguinaldo and Andres Bonifacio. The timing was quite peculiar, since I remember Ambeth Ocampo writing a piece about the Tejeros convention, the infamous election where the quarrel between Aguinaldo's and Bonifacio's factions in the Katipunan came to a head. Ocampo contended that dagdag-bawas indeed took place during the elections in Tejeros, and tonight the big headline involved the President addressing an issue related to alleged cheating during the last elections.

Like I previously wrote, I hate what's happening to the country right now.

I hate the President's insincere apology. I've heard more convincing lines from showbiz couples.

I hate the minions of Marcos and Erap buzzing around trying to regain their lost power.

I hate the hypocrites in "Civil Society" and in the Left for their continued willingness to compromise their principles to achieve their selfish goals.

More than that, I hate what it's all doing to me. I've always cared about my country, and I've always hated all those people, the pundits, the bloggers, the columnists, people who were cared more about being right about what would happen next, who cared more about looking smart, instead of making a stand for what is actually the right thing. I hate that this whole thing is turning me into them, because it's so hard to care right now,and it's so easy to take the easy way out.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world, MLQ3 abandons his polite, if not clinical prose in his reaction, and despite his efforts at diplomacy, comes off really pissed. I think he's a much, much more brilliant writer when he's making a stand.

The present time called for a presidential statement demonstrating frankness and courage. The country got no such thing. Having been so carefully-worded upon the advice of her lawyers, the statement, in my opinion, was characterized by neither frankness nor courage. There was no nobility in this statement; there was craftiness, and cunning. This is not what the country deserved to see.

De Quiros writes about desperate measures, pointing out that while we are virtually powerless to make the President step down either through resignation or impeachment, we could still make the government feel the pain through a tax boycott.

I've asked before why we should pay taxes when Arroyo had just used our taxes to campaign (the Pagcor and PCSO ads are ironclad proof of it), when she cannot even protect journalists from being murdered (which shows our taxes do not return in terms of basic services), when she has turned the country into the second most corrupt country in Asia (which proves taxes satisfy private avarice rather than public need). That was well before Archbishop Oscar Cruz brought witnesses to show her husband and son were the godfathers of jueteng and Sammy Ong brought out The Tape to show she was the godmother of cheating.

That isn't legal and moral ground for a tax boycott?

Friday, June 24, 2005

Hari ng Kagubatan

There's a new Starzan movie in the works, and playing the title role will be... Keempee de Leon! Meanwhile, Pekto's been tabbed to play Chitaeh. But I'm most excited about Francine Prieto playing the role of Jane.


Baby baby baby baby oh baby

I just found out that Sonic Youth is offering up free downloads of some of their classic stuff for download, including their absolutely f'n kick-ass cover of The Carpenters' Superstar.

Also, I got a bunch of books off, two Jeanette Winterson books off Mika's recommendations, as well as Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. I'd been wanting to buy books from the site all this time, but I just kept putting it off. I'll be getting the books this Sunday.


Thursday, June 23, 2005

Long day

Had a hell of a day today. Lynn used to have these time stamps at the end of the blog posts, "Posted at the ungodly hour of [whatever time it is]" and it used to crack me up reading "Posted at the ungodly hour of 3PM" or "Posted at the ungodly hour of 6PM."

Anyway, I was in at the office by around 10 AM, which has become quite an ungodly hour for me. I've been coming in to the office usually after watching Eat Bulaga while having lunch at home, and I usually got home from work a couple of hours after dawn. I loved my schedule, don't make any mistake about it, but it makes coming in at 10 AM such a bitch, especially since it usually means I haven't had enough sleep the previous night.

I had a meeting scheduled with the network's marketing department, and, while I'm not saying that meetings are totally useless, they have a way of draining the life force out of me. Then after a quick lunch, I had another meeting up, so there went another couple of hours for me.

And then about thirty minutes after that, I got a call for my boss that I was needed for another meeting. I was pleasantly surprised though, when I found out that I was needed to discuss a certain project with journalist Howie Severino, since I've always been a fan of his work. I'm a bit psyched for that one, which is just about the only work-related stuff I'm excited about right now (at least that doesn't involve Julia Clarete).

And then later, I remembered we still had basketball practice in the evening. I am terribly out-of-shape to begin with, but I hadn't even attended a practice or played since right around our trip to Galera, which is now almost a month ago!

And our practices our tough. Like earlier, we were practicing our trapping defense, and if a side loses the ball or allows a score, the players had to run suicide sprints. Now, if you don't know what suicide sprints are, there's a reason they're called suicide sprints. So much so that I think my back gave out during practice.

My whole body aches right now, and I'm looking forward to a long, long slumber. Which is too bad, because I've got another meeting scheduled for tomorrow morning at some ungodly hour.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Oi Jam, astig o

RP's Araullo rules tough Sarawak Triathlon

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Tea in the Sahara

I finished reading Paul Bowles's The Sheltering Sky over the weekend. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed with the book; I didn't like it very much.

Probably part of the reason was that I had just come off reading All the Pretty Horses, which I adored very much, and it just paled in comparison. But then a lot of it stems from the fact that I just wasn't very interested in the characters, the plot, or what Bowles had to say at all.

To be fair, there were a handful of highlights to be found on the pages, such as the legend of the three sisters having tea in the Sahara, which inspired Sting to write the eponymously-titled song for The Police. You'd probably be more familiar with John Mayer's (brilliant) cover of the song.

But like the oases in the desert that dominates the novel, the highlights come few and far between. In a way, it reminded me of Paolo Coehlo's The Alchemist, since both novels take place in Northern Africa, except that The Sheltering Sky is far darker and utterly devoid of optimism. It's a story about three Americans who set out on an epic journey to try to conquer the vast Sahara... and then losing very, very, very badly.

There's a lot of pseudo-existential stuff in the book, none of which was able to capture my imagination vividly enough for me to form any attachment to them. The experience may be different for other people.

Up next on my reading list is Nabokov's Lolita, which had been referred to in another song by The Police, Don't Stand So Close to Me. Incidentally, Sting had written another song about another one of my favorite books, Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire, in Moon Over Bourbon Street.

Anyway, I suspect I am going to enjoy Nabokov much more so than Bowles. Tell you all about it in a couple of days!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Hello, Garci

I realize I've been writing about the Gloria scandal for an inordinate amount of entries now. Please pardon me for doing so; it's either this, or I'll be writing about Madame Auring's love affair with Archie, while spending a thousand words trying to figure out kung may asim pa ba si Madame Auring. Believe me, I'm the same guy who spent his Saturday afternoon watching Startalk while Madame Auring declared to the world, "Cool off muna kami ni Archie ngayon!" a la Mark and Jennylyn.

I've been thinking about how our President would be able to get out of this mess, and I spent the majority of the last week racking my brains for the answer. And then I finally figured it out. Two words:

Sex video.

Think about it. A guy goes to Quiapo, a vendor asks him if he wants a copy of the Gloria scandal, and curious, he ends up buying one. He gets to work, pops it into his PC, puts on the earphones, and gets surprised when a video pops up with Gloria on a bed wearing sexy negligee, while the famous opening conversation takes place, under a very, very different context.

Gloria, in a sexy bedroom voice: "Hello, Garci!"

Garci, obviously hesitant as a half-naked Gloria lies in front of him: "Hello... hello ma'am!"

Ok, did I scar you psychologically? Maybe I should have written about Madame Auring and Archie instead.

Ven aqui, ven aqui

When I think about it, the person I feel sorry for with this whole Gloria scandal has to be Luli Arroyo. Not only did she give up her well-earned position in the Philippine diplomatic hierarchy, she is also by all accounts a nice, well-adjusted person.

It must kill her that while she makes the ultimate sacrifice, her idiot brother runs for public office without regard to propriety, produces crappy movies (without regard for, well, good taste), gets involved in the whole jueteng mess, and spends his idle time raising controversial imported racehorses.

On that note, could I just say that I absolutely love the fact that Mikey Arroyo has horses? I mean, can't you just totally imagine Mikey Arroyo waking up in the morning, and then in his robe going out to his veranda to shout, "Mga muchacho, ilabas na sa kwadra ang mga kabayo, pronto! Ven aqui! Ven aqui!"

Odds and ends

MLQ3, the iBlog, the Bangus Supremacy, and Brown Pau all linked to a previous entry about the Gloria scandal, which proves my theory all along: everyone can't get enough of Rez Cortez.

I like the new layout of Macy's blog. Well, it's not as much the layout as the fact that I like Jessica Alba's face plastered all over the blog. I didn't really like her (Jessica's, not Macy's) blonde look for Fantastic Four, but she does look lovely in the pictures on the blog. Now, if only she'd update her (Macy's, not Jessica's) blog as often as she changes the layout...

Happy birthday to Nikki! May you continue to always be the life of the party.

Oh, and best wishes to Mark and Hannah, who'll be welcoming Baby Samuel into the world soon. Hopefully you figure out a great second name for the baby, and hopefully it's not Jackson. Or Lagmay.

Friday, June 17, 2005


I realize that over the past week, all I've been writing about has been politics, basketball, and showbiz. Well, if you think of it, that's just typically Filipino. But I figured I'd write something else, for a change.

Actually, I'd write about basketball again, but then Purefoods got swept by Shell in the quarters (without Kris Aquino watching!), and besides, I'd probably just get another comment from that idiot who goes around the Internet defending Kris's honor on blogs. Lynn already said she wanted to pick a fight with the guy, but then how good a fight would that be when he doesn't even have the balls to leave his email address?

Anyway, enough of all that craziness, the Purefoods season is over and I've put all of it behind me. I had wanted to write about books.

I'd been able to finish three books over the past two-and-a-half weeks, thanks in large part to my mp3 player.

I re-read Les Miserables, and also finished Ethan Hawke's Ash Wednesday and Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horse. I had read the first book way back in high school and had been meaning to re-read it again for some time now, while the last two were used books I had bought several months ago (along with a copy of Snow Falling on Cedars, which remains unread) at a Booksale.

Last Wednesday, I also discovered that there was now a branch of A Different Bookstore at the Araneta Center, outside the Shopwise Arcade right across the coliseum. The shop wasn't as large as the shop in Eastwood, and I was disappointed by the lack of a substantial Filipiniana section, but I still liked it better than the Fully Booked at Gateway. I came away with Lolita and The Power of Myth, a book containing transcripts of a TV discussion between philosopher Joseph Campbell and journalist Bill Moyer.

I had originally meant to start on The Sheltering Sky like I wrote about several weeks back, but I had left my copy at the office so I started reading Les Mis instead.

Now, I had never seen any of the stage or film adaptations of the book, but while I was going through the pages I couldn't help but think how well the book could be adopted into a local teleserye, something one of the networks could air on weeknights. Another poignant moment that struck me was Eponine's last words in the arms of Marius, despite only passing hints by the author of their affair (or more accurately, her love for him). I even thought about how her last words would make for a very cool song, which could be titled something like Eponine, to Marius, as she said something to the effect of "Promise me, you'll kiss me on the forehead after I'm gone. I promise you I will be able to feel it."

Truly enough, the moment in the book seemed to have an effect on a lot of other people as well, as I discovered later that the stage adaptation expanded the love triangle among Eponine, Marius, and his true love Cosette. And there was even this wonderful duet between Marius and Eponine just as she was about to pass:

A Little Fall of Rain

Don't you fret
M'sieur Marius
I don't feel any pain
A little fall of rain
Can hardly hurt me now
You're here
Thats all i need to know
And you will keep me safe
And you will keep me close
And rain will make the flowers grow

But you will live, 'Ponine; dear God above
If i could close your wounds with words of love

Just hold me now and let it be
Shelter me
Comfort me

You would live a hundred years
If I could show you how
I won't desert you now

The rain can't hurt me now
This rain will wash away what's past
And you will keep me safe
And you will keep me close
I'll sleep in your embrace at last
The rain that brings you here
is heaven blessed
The skies begin to clear
And i'm at rest
A breath away from where you are
I've come home from so far

Eponine: // Marius:
So don't you fret // Hush a bye
M'sieur Marius // Dear Eponine
I don't feel any pain // You won't feel any pain
A little fall of rain // A little fall ofrain
Can hardly hurt me now // Can hardly hurt you now

I'm here

Thats all I need to know

Eponine: // Marius:
And you will keep me safe // I will stay with you
And you will keep me close ' // Til you are sleeping

And rain

And rain

Will make the flowers

Will make the flowers....... grow

Ash Wednesday was fairly light reading, and it reminded me a little of Ethan Hawke's Sunrise/Sunset movies, with its introspective on a couple in love. Now that I think about it, the books I've read so far of Hollywood actors remind me a lot of their films. Steve Martin's Shopgirl, in particular, comes to mind. I enjoyed that book so much more than Ash, but then again, I enjoy Steve Martin's films much more so than Ethan Hawke's.

But what I was truly happy to read was the last one, All the Pretty Horses, which had been turned into a movie a few years ago (I still hadn't seen it). I didn't even expect the book to be so good, or that I would like it so much.

The first thing one would notice when reading the book is the unique prose. It's hard to get into at first, but soon you end up appreciating how deftly- and beautifully-written the prose is, lyrical, almost like poetry, even combining two languages seamlessly.

Oh, and the story. I couldn't remember reading a book that had brought with it such energy, and that worked on so many different levels. There were horses and gunplay and romance and fistfights and dreams and heartbreaks, all under the light of the blood-soaked sun of the Texas-Mexico border. It's a spaghetti western, a coming-of-age story, an action adventure, a romantic love affair, an existentialist look at the cowboy life, and so much more.

When I was done with it, I had to check when the book was released, which was 1992. Funny, I thought they didn't make books like this anymore.

Thursday, June 16, 2005


Picture nicked off Rez Cortez' profile page on Friendster. Jona says that if Rez (as the leader of the opposition) were to run as president, the slogan should be "Rez for Prez!"

Did you know that if you Google for 'Rez Cortez' (and indeed, everyone should Google for Rez Cortez), the first result is an article titled: Bunye: Who do they want to take over Palace, Rez Cortez?

I think he was trying to be funny. When you come to think of it, the Press Secretary is really a funny guy. Remember last week when he said he was submitting his letter of reimbursement, making everyone think he was submitting his letter of resignation. Ha, resignation, reimbursement, get it?

Of course, all along he's been saying that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is innocent and is ready to face all charges levelled against her. The man is a comedic genius. ABS-CBN should hire him to host their noontime show or something; I mean, he can't be worse than Willie Revillame paying his audience to laugh at his jokes, right?

The def comedy jam spills out into other branches of government as well. Take this latest breaking story on Inq7:

(Nueva Ecija Representative Aurelio) Umali said that obviously, those behind the CD distribution had funds and resources.

"They were able to immediately audio copy the CDs, which proves that they have the money and equipment for reproducing the tapes," he said.

"This bolsters suspicions that the destabilization plot against the President is not without financial backing," he added.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Krisis Korner

Last week, my blog received an inordinate amount of traffic because of my recent post about the romance of Kris Aquino and James Yap. I even got an angry comment from a certain Francisco D. Valmoria, Jr., who apparently goes around the Internet commenting on blogs defending the honor of Kris and her family.

(Boy, I'm glad he didn't see that episode of Kool Ka Lang a couple of years ago when Joey Marquez and Philip Salvador were fighting over this ancient sword, you know, a kris. The way this guy had his knickers in a bunch over my post, he probably would have gotten a heart attack over that. That episode, by the way, had me rolling in laughter. But I digress.)

Anyway, to get my mind off such things, I spent my weekend watching good ol' Purefoods basketball. I caught the delayed telecast of Game 2 of the wildcard series between Purefoods and Fed-Ex on Saturday night. Purefoods had won the first game of the series and had an opportunity to advance outright with a win. Meanwhile, Fed-Ex is easily the whiniest and most annoying team in the league (their top two locals are Ren-ren Ritualo *and* Wesley Gonzales).

Well, I thought I could get away from all of it, but moments after tip-off, the cameras focused on Kris Aquino who was in the crowd. I didn't mind it the first time, but it grew kind of annoying by the 543rd time the production team did it. I wouldn't have minded, except that Purefoods ended up losing (with that sonofabitch Ritualo having a monster game and out-playing James Yap). Si Kris kasi eh.

I decided to watch Game 3 of the series live on Sunday. Moments before I left the house for the arena, I was channel-surfing and saw that Kris Aquino was still on The Buzz.

I arrived at the arena just as the game was about to begin, and Purefoods ran off to an early 15-point lead to start the contest. Near the end of the first quarter, the people around me started buzzing, and after a couple of minutes trying to figure out what it was, I saw Kris walking in right across the arena from us. The crowd was actually excited about Kris Aquino more than the basketball game.

Of course, Purefoods took this as a cue and promptly lost their lead (well, that, and the fact that Ryan Gregorio is still coaching the team). Meanwhile, at halftime, the people at the lower sections went up to Kris to have her photo taken with their camera phones. Unbelievable.

It wasn't all bad though. Purefoods ended up winning, thanks in large part to -- get this -- a fourth-quarter explosion by James Yap. Hehe, so hindi pala si Kris ang malas.

Whatever. I'm just hoping that (like James Yap on Kris Aquino?) Purefoods goes all the way. They've got Shell up next in the quarters:

(The ultra-professional looking graphic nicked off the PBA website) I'd meant to be sarcastic, but now they've changed the graphic to something that's actually professional-looking.

As for Kris and James, the whole thing reeks of publicity gimmick. Their script looks a lot like the one with Kris and Mark Lapid. Think about it. Kris Aquino's biggest product endorsement today is San Miguel beer, which is owned by the San Miguel Corporation, which also happens to own Purefoods. The big boss of the corporation is Danding Cojuangco, Kris's uncle.

But why would they do it? Potentially, James Yap might be the brightest star in the PBA for the next decade, and the bigger his star becomes, the better it is for the league. And who owns the broadcasting rights for the league today? ABC-5, chaired by Danding's nephew and Kris's cousin Tony Boy Cojuangco.

I'm probably wrong, but who knows? At the end of the day, and after several hundred words on the subject, I don't really care. Man, I just want Purefoods to win.


The burning issue

With everything that's happening in our country right now, you'd think everyone at our company, which is owned by the country's most popular broadcast network, would be talking about the alleged wiretapped recordings of the President and her relatives' involvement with jueteng.

Well, no.

I did spend a substantial amount of my weekend watching television, trying to get ahead on the week's work. The issue I was closely following had nothing to do with the aforementioned issues. I was following news about the break-up of Mark Herras and Jennylyn Mercado after she caught him cheating on her.

They've been the most popular love tandem for the network, in terms of fan support from text messages and website presence. And while Angel Locsin probably has more casual fans than Jennylyn Mercado, I think Jen (or more accurately, the Jen-Mark team) has more die-hard fans.

(Feeling ko nga, kahit magkaroon pa ng coup d'etat sa Pilipinas, kebs lang yung mga fans... eh pucha, nag-break kasi si Mark at Jen no!)

Already, the fans on the message boards have rallied around Jen, basically throwing Mark (and the other girl) under a bus. While a handful of them are still in denial, most of them seemed to have moved on. They're already having debates as to whom should be the next partner for Jen (the names of Richard Gutierrez and Dennis Trillo have all come up), while some suggested that Jen shouldn't be paired up with anyone so soon after the break-up.

The whole issue took up a substantial amount of time during our weekly production meeting. My colleagues and I were joking about how Jennylyn could become this decade's Manilyn Reynes (who was two-timed by then-boyfriend Janno Gibbs which led to public sympathy carrying her to superstardom), even suggesting that the first single off Jen's next album should be Manilyn's hit song, Sayang na Sayang.

Of course, (again in the immortal words of Seth Cohen) I'm only there for comic relief, so during meetings I just try to squeeze in as many jokes as I could. Like the other day, a colleague was asking me about some designs:

Colleague: "Pwede ba tayong mag-table dito?" (referring to HTML tables)

Me: "Aba, pare, basta meron kang pang-bayad ng ladies' drink, pwede kang mag-table!"

Also, at the meeting earlier, we were discussing doing features on celebrities and their pets, and talk turned to celebrities who had prominent dogs. Everyone chimed in with their suggestion, and then when it was my turn to talk, I just blurted out, "Katrina Halili has nice puppies, and I sure would like to see them."


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Crisis mode

Don't you hate what's happening to our country?

I've been having a bad feeling about this whole thing since last week. I've tried to be detached about national issues since the elections last year, because they have a tendency to drain you, and because I just see it as hopeless.

But I couldn't ignore this whole thing about the tapes and the jueteng allegations was driving me batshit, partly because the last couple of weeks I had to edit some copy regarding TV reports on the issues for use in the website. I just had a bad feeling about it, and true enough, by Friday last week, I was nursing a terrible fever.

If you want to get up to speed on these issues, check out MLQ3, who's doing his best Andrew Sullivan impression on his blog (or is it the Huffington Post?), as well as the PCIJ blog, which offered up mp3s and transcripts of the controversial conversations. MLQ3 in particular is pretty stoked about all these, convinced that something big's going to happen and fervently doing play-by-play coverage every hour, in the process aiming to make blogging history.

I think he's right.

The most sensible thing I've heard is Sen. Aquilino Pimentel's call for President Arroyo and Vice-President Noli de Castro to resign, a sentiment echoed by Conrado de Quiros. I think Noli's the only thing that's keeping us from doing another people power, and if there was any hint that we could get rid of him too, Gloria would be in trouble. I personally welcome the idea of voting in a snap election.

I don't have anything substantial to add, but in the famous words of Seth Cohen, I'm just here for comic relief. So I offer the following observations:

1. Apparently, Rez Cortez is now the leader of the opposition. Now, I can't begin to tell you how much pleasure this brings me. I'm, like, the biggest Rez Cortez fan; not only is he the only action movie villain who looks like a gay dance instructor, he also has the longest eyelashes in all of Philippine showbiz. Add to that the fact that he's been rocking that perm for nearly twenty years now. Plus, you can't go three hours on Cinema One without coming across a movie with him in it. If there ever was a Paquito Diaz Pinoy Baddie Hall of Fame (you know, with Bomber Moran, Max Alvarado, Joaquin Fajardo, et. al.), it should have a Rez Cortez Wing in it.

2. I love the fact that Lito Lapid is leading the investigations regarding jueteng in the country. Do you know why he's at the forefront for such a sensitive issue? Because he's the chairman on the Senate Committee on Games! I'm not even kidding. Isn't that unbelievable?

3. When Samuel Ong declared to the media that he possessed the "Mother of All Tapes" he said he feared for his life, he implored for protection from Susan Roces.You know, because Susan Roces is such an all-powerful, uhm, what is Susan Roces again? I mean, Ong does know that even though people call her "Queen of Philippine Showbiz" she isn't really a queen, right?

I wish she had turned him down, just to see if Ong would ask Dolphy next (because, you know, he's the "King of Comedy").

(And then I wish Dolphy would turn him down so he'd be forced to ask every other celebrity, and they all turn him down until Ong is forced to ask someone like Jay-R, who's the "Prince of R&B".)

4. After Ong got kicked out of the sanctuary, the opposition took him to some other safehouse. With Rez Cortez leading the opposition, I bet the safehouse is either an empty mansion or an empty warehouse, just like in those action movies. Which is bad news for Ong; when the police finally decides to conduct a raid, they'd all end up dead (especially if Lito Lapid decides to lead the way).

5. It's crazy how self-serving this administration is, I mean, it doesn't even pretend to not be doing something dirty. Like the source of this mess, the appointment of Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcellano. Let's see, the election was extremely close, the President desperately needed to win in Mindanao, so who does she appoint to oversee the elections there? The guy who's the Michael Jordan of Philippine electoral fraud.


And now, we see the NBI telling the public that the tapes have been altered, Justice (heh!) Secretary Raul Gonzales telling everyone on TV that he'd have everyone who had a copy of the tapes arrested, the NTC releasing a memo banning all press outlets from broadcasting or printing excerpts of the tape, and the police telling everyone that they want to take Ong into custody to "protect" him. Galing no?

Survey says

This afternoon I received a message in my mail from someone from MIT (Massachussetts, not Mapua) asking me to take a survey for a study that they were conducting regarding weblogs.

I think this is the first time in my life I've been part of a sampling for this kind of a survey. I remember people who doubted presidential election surveys here in Manila usually pointed to the fact that they've never been part of any such samplings, which made them doubtful about the veracity of the surveys.

If you have free time, they're also looking for volunteers to take the survey by requesting for a key. It's a fun survey to answer, and takes less than fifteen minutes.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Umuwi ka na baby, 'di na ako sanay nang wala ka

Look at the time! Still at the office. Was about to go home about an hour ago after finishing up some stuff, but then it started pouring, and I've been stuck watching MTV here. Good thing they've been playing good videos, most of which I hadn't seen before (mostly because I never watch MTV). A few minutes ago they played The Killers' "All These Things That I've Done" which is such a great pop song that it's hard to believe that it's only the third-best song on their Hot Fuss album (it's that good).

And right now, Orange and Lemons' "Hanggang Kailan" is playing. It's the song I wrote about last week, the one that sounded like a Hotdog/Boyfriends song from the '70s with a chorus so absolutely baduy, I just had to have it.

Looks like the rain's settled down a bit. Will go home now.


Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Earlier today, an officemate asked me to come with her to take backstage photos at a taping of All-Star K! at Broadway. We arrived at the venue at around 7PM, and were surprised to see that there was a taping of... Eat Bulaga?

Apparently, they were taping some segments in advance. I assumed this was because either Vic or Joey aren't coming in tomorrow, and as all Bulaga fans know, it just isn't the same without either of them.

We walked in just as they were taping a Bulagaan segment, and seeing it live was quite a treat, despite the fact that the studio was almost empty, save for the crew and a handful of fans. In fact, this even became the running joke throughout the portion, as Jose kept shouting, "O, yung audience, 'wag kayong magsiksikan diyan, baka magka-stampede, merong pang mamatay diyan." Meanwhile, during all these, Joey de Leon was laughing so hard he was almost crying, and when he was finally able to speak, he cracked everyone up by saying, "O, dito sa kaliwa, maluwag pa!" You had to be there.

I had wanted to write it down for the handful of people who'd get to read this and watch the segment (tomorrow? Friday? I don't know when it's gonna air), just so they could be in on the joke too. It's remarkable to think that, as funny as the Bulagaan segment is, the TV audience probably misses out on most of the fun that the cast has. I guess you just have to be there.

We took some pictures of the Bulagaan, made our way to the next studio where All-Star K! was actually being taped, and took photos and did our business. I noticed this pretty woman backstage, and I tried to guess which of the celebrity guests she was with. There were three guys on the set, Wowie de Guzman, Benjie Paras, and Christian Vasquez. So who was the pretty girl with?

She was with Aiza Seguerra. Hacheche-pache!


Friday, June 03, 2005

The other new girl

She's the new girl in Eat Bulaga, the one who's making every fanboy today say, "Toni who?"

And she also quite literally saved our visit to the show today. It was a pretty boring show. Neither Vic nor Joey were there, and neither were the more popular Sexbomb Girls.

We arrived just as the Bulagaan was about to end (I was able to take the picture that's at Bulaga page now). We got to interview a few cast members (at nilandi pa kami ni Teri Onor, hehe), but the highlight of our afternoon was an interview was when we spoke to Julia.

Aside from being very pretty, she was very warm and friendly, inviting us to sit on the couch with her (we'd previously done the other interviews standing on the hallway). She related how cautiously optimistic about her status in Eat Bulaga (probie pa rin eh), and she's trying not to get too excited about it. But she did say she was having a grand time on the show, especially because everyone's been so nice and down-to-earth.

She was very articulate and she seemed genuinely excited while she was talking to us. And she was quite tickled when we told her that we've been watching her since Trip.

I think it was the most enjoyable celebrity interview I've conducted so far. Pucha, mahal ko na yata siya, hehehe.


Just a word of thanks... the the spectacular Steve Nash and his merry band of Phoenix Suns, who were eliminated yesterday from the playoffs by the big bad San Antonio Spurs. Thanks for being the most fun to watch team in all of basketball in recent memory.

As for the rest of the playoffs I think San Antonio will win it all. They're far and away the best team in the league, able to play any type of game and win. Tim Duncan's injury during the regular season certainly helped them, as it allowed Ginobili and Parker to go through a stretch where they had to carry the Spurs. They not only improved, but it enabled Pop to trust them more. Not to mention the fact that Duncan is well-rested because of all the games he missed, and that they stole Nazr Mohammed from the Knicks at the trade deadline.

I'm rooting for Miami to win the other playoff series, if only because I'm so sick of Larry Brown, and because I want to see more of Dwyane Wade. If you haven't been watching, you're missing a lot. Wade plays a lot like a young MJ, and yes, he's better than LeBron.


James Yap is my favorite basketball player. He's so good that I pay good money to see him play live, and millions of other Purefoods fans feel the same way too. We almost creamed our collective pants when we drafted him last year, knowing he'd follow in the footsteps of and be as special as Alvin Patrimonio.

Well, just how well did he follow Alvin's footsteps? He's marrying Alvin's first celebrity girlfriend, Kris Aquino. Here's an item from Philstar (which I'm pasting here because Philstar sucks and their pages expire overnight:

Kris confirms she’ll marry PBA cager
By Ricky Lo
The Philippine Star 06/03/2005

Kris Aquino has confirmed that she and Purefoods small forward James Yap are planning to get married. Here’s Kris’ reaction to yesterday’s Funfare story, texted from Hong Kong, where she and son Joshua are celebrating his birthday:

"I think the best thing we can say is that we are happily committed and engaged, we want to share the future together and our families are aware that we would want to marry within a year. Most likely early 2006."

Kris’ mom, former President Corazon Aquino, reportedly approves of the wedding because James is single, unlike Kris’ past relationships (Joey Marquez, Phillip Salvador, Alvin Patrimonio and Robin Padilla, who are all married).

Sources say a prenuptial agreement will be discussed, much like the one between Sen. Kiko Pangilinan and Sharon Cuneta before they got married years back.

Kris and James met through their manager, Dondon Monteverde. They have been going steady since May 4.

The couple has at least a ten-year gap between them, since James is 23 and Kris is in her mid-30s.

James, who is 6’3" tall, is a product of the UE Warriors and was proclaimed MVP. He also played for Welcoat in the Philippine Basketball league and was a member of the Philippine national team that won the gold medal in the 2003 Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.

As a San Miguel Beer endorser, Kris’ contract reportedly prohibits her from being romantically linked to any other man. Before James, Kris was romantically linked to cager Rommel Adducul.

Also, there was this item forwarded on the Purefoods mailing list:
Kris at James kasal na?
Ni: Cristy Fermin

Kaliwat'kanan tanong ang tinanggap namin ngayon tungkol sa lumalabas na kwentong nagpakasal na sina Kris Aquino at James Yap ng Purefoods. Ayon sa kwento ay nanggaling ang impormasyon sa isang empleyado ng Quezon City Hall, nagpakasal daw sa huwes ang aktres-tv host at ang basketbolista, Mrs. Yap na raw ngayon si Kris.

Ang kaya lang namin sabihin ay ang kung anong alam namin, totoong magkarelasyon na ngayon sina Kris and James, opisyal na nagsimula noong May 4. Tungkol sa usapin na pagpapakasal ay wala pang sinasabi sa amin si Kris, napakaimposible naman na sa mga usapan naming oras ang binibilang ay hindi niya yun nababanggit sa amin, kung totoo man.

At hindi rin kami magtatakang magtanong sa kanya, mas gusto namin kay Kris magmula ang katotohanan, alam naming magsasabi siya ng totoo. Nung isang araw lamang ay tinawagan kami ni Kris, mahabang-mahaba ang aming pag-uusap at malalalim ang aming paksa, alam naming gumagana ng wasto ang kanyang utak sa mga panahon ngayon. Umaasa kami.

Like, eww.

I think Jona put it best: "(Mag-aasawa na rin lang ng celeb) gurang pa at may anak na... at may pagka-lokaret!"


Thursday, June 02, 2005

The new girl

Like I said, I met a new girl over the weekend, and I love her already. Her name is Shirley, and here she is, posing with the Madagascar animals here at the office.

What, you really thought it was a girl? You should know better by now.

(Jona just told me over IM, "Mukhang mas okay yan sa totoong girlfriend ah, hindi pa yan tumitingin kung may kotse o wala. Low-maintenance pa.")

Anyway, she's a Creative Muvo2 1.5GB player. I got her last week, a few hours before our trip to Galera, for a little less than Php10,000, and it came with a free FM wired remote.

On to the questions:

So why not an iPod?
Well, because I couldn't really afford an iPod. Actually, I could have bought an iPod if I really wanted to, but I just didn't want to fork over the extra cash. I'm not really a fan of the iPod (or Apple) and in the end, while I would have bought an iPod if I had more money, an iPod just wasn't compelling enough for me to buy.

Why this one, then?
Well, it's the cheapest MP3 player on the market that's got more than 1GB, so it strikes a nice balance between the big hard drive-based players and flash-based ones.

Is it good?
It's plenty good. It stores around 500 songs (MP3 format), and acts as a USB mass-storage device when plugged in to Windows, so no more need for drivers or any sort of installation when using it on another computer.

Also, the audio sounds absolutely fantastic, so much so that if you hear news that I've been run over by a car on the street, it's probably because of this. But seriously, the audio is brilliant, especially on a well-engineered album like The Killers' Hot Fuss or even Session Road's Suntok sa Buwan.

Oh, and the wired remote has an FM tuner, if ever I need a 90.7 Love Radio fix, and there are 30 presets, para 'di na talaga kailangan i-memorize yan.

The unit is tiny, around the size of a 20-peso bill folded in half, which makes it easy to store in the pocket even if you've got other stuff there.

Ok, what don't you like about it?
This is really just nitpicking, but the LCD screen is too small (only two lines). This isn't really a problem, except for the fact that you can't create playlists on the fly. Not a big problem for me, because I prefer listening to whole albums, and I get pretty OC when organizing music files. The buttons on the unit are also a little small, but it's something I could live with.

Also, for the past couple of days, I've been having problems transferring files into the unit when plugged in to the USB cable, with the unit seemingly hanging during transfer. I was about to get support when I tried the unit with another USB cable, the one I use for my camera, and the transfers went without a hitch.

Over-all, I love it. The biggest thing is that it helps me with my insomnia; I found that out during at Galera, where I bunked next to Oliver, whose snoring is comparable to a jackhammer. I just plugged in my earphones, and I've been able to sleep. It's become a habit now for me before I go to bed, and will probably continue to be so in the foreseeable future.


Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Come on and rock me tonight, ako ay sa 'yo forever

I bought a couple of CDs earlier tonight at Gateway, where my officemates and I had dinner. The first was Orange and Lemons' second CD, "Strike Whilst the Iron Is Hot."

I always liked the band ever since I saw their video on TV. I've always liked their style (even if it could come off a bit pretentious) and I've always liked their sound, a combination of Belle and Sebastian sissy rock, Burt Bacharach '60s pop, and with a little Manila sound on the side. I never did buy their first album, probably because I didn't find buying it compelling enough; the album was a bit more expensive than the regular OPM record, and their songs tended to be a little too long and over-indulgent (I felt their tracks would have worked better as two-and-a-half minute pop songs).

Then last week, on a cab on the way to work, I heard this Tagalog song on 90.7 Love Radio and I could have sworn it was by Orange and Lemons. But it couldn't have been Orange and Lemons going Umuwi ka na, baby on Love Radio, right? So I searched the Internet for the song, which sounded like something Hotdog would write, and true enough, it was by Orange and Lemons!

So that's how I ended up buying their CD. After picking up a copy (which was only P250 cheap, yey, and yey to their record label for selling it cheap and getting it played on a non-obscure pop radio station!), I looked around the rest of the OPM rack to try to find another disc. I thought about buying Pedicab's Tugish Takish, but I had already listened to their whole CD and I was quite disappointed; there was nothing on the album as good as, say, Cambio's Ledgeboy (which was also written by Pedicab frontman Diego Mapa).

And then I saw a copy of VST and Co.'s Greatest Hits album, which sold for only P250! So I quickly grabbed the disc and went to the counter, where I witnessed quite possibly the most stupid conversation between two record store employees ever:

Girl 1, taking a look at the VST CD: "Sino 'tong VST? Magaling ba sila? Parang ang daming bumibili sa kanila ah."

Girl 2: "Dahil 'yan sa Sex Bomb, kasi ni-revive ng Sex Bomb 'yung kanta nila."

WTF? Ok, so maybe the Sex Bomb cover helped, but still, VST's work stands on its own. Sa record store pa naman sila nagta-trabaho. Kainis.

But it's cool. Anyway, tomorrow I'll write about this new girl I met over the weekend, and how she's changed my life completely.



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