Monday, February 27, 2006


I’m not too keen on this particular quiz because I find the questions too simplified, they don’t take into account nuances. Then again, it’s just an online quiz.

All-Around Smart

You are all-around smart. Essentially, that means that you are a good combination of your own knowledge and experience, along with having learned through instruction - and you are equally as good with theoretical things as you are with real-world, applied things. You have a well-rounded brain.

20% applied intelligence
20% learned intelligence

Take this quiz at

Hay Naku

They said the country needs a tougher leader, and that unfettered democracy doesn’t work for the Filipino because we lack national discipline. Well, now that PGMA showed us that she has, uh, balls, they’re now crying, “Over-kill!”

Hay naku.

They want reforms, but they want it now. And they want it done through counter-constitutional means. But when it’s done unto them, suddenly they’re constitutional experts and it’s “save the constitution” all of a sudden.

Hay naku.

Meanwhile, I received this email from the Jesuits. I particularly like how they framed the brewing national problems as they unfold.

* * * * * * * * * *

February 27, 2006


RE: Preliminary guidelines for the present situation of “national emergency”

In view of the confusing reports regarding the present situation, and the many calls on Jesuits, lay partners and Jesuit institutions to support various movements, I wish to share with the Province some information on our present situation and some responses for your discernment and guidance. As with the earlier Guidelines from the Province Commission on the Social Apostolate, these considerations are the fruit of discussion and discernment, understandably hurried given our circumstances, of an adhoc Province Committee on Crisis Response.

At a time when things remain fluid and unstable, these guidelines are presented, not as a total and final response to the situation and the problems of political legitimacy and reform, but as an initial response to very immediate concerns and questions. Moreover, they are offered for consideration and discernment, rather than as “positions” all are required to adhere to. Those who, after prayer and reflection, find that they can, in conscience, hold these positions, may share what is contained with others, who seek guidance in a time of confusion and heightened emotional responses.

Let us continue to beseech our gracious Lord for the light, courage and hope we need as we face these challenging times in our country’s history.

Sincerely in our Lord,


Preliminary Guidelines for the Present Situation of “National Emergency”

A. The Situation:

There seem to be groups in the military who have seriously been engaged in attempts to seize state power. Part of the impetus for these coup plots appears to be legitimate grievances concerning the present state of the military under the present administration. But it does not seem that the ventilation of these grievances is the only agenda of the present movements among these groups. There also appears to be a genuine intent to take political control of the country. Transitional juntas, with civilians participating, appear to be envisioned. Some civilians, chiefly politicians and organized political groups, seem to know about these plans. Some, convinced that all constitutional means to oust the present administration have been exhausted, support these attempts.

There appears to be a crucial difference between the events of EDSA 1986 and the present. EDSA was a civilian-led initiative against dictatorship that received support from the military. What we are witnessing these days is quite different: a military-led effort seeking civilian support and legitimation.

The response of the government is the declaration of a state of National Emergency, through Proclamation No. 1017. The column of Fr. Joaquin Bernas, S.J., in today’s Philippines Daily Inquirer, explains the constitutional basis for and scope of emergency powers in the Proclamation. But Fr. Bernas also points to the disturbing inclusion of what seem to be martial law powers in the President’s declaration, particularly in its appeal to Article XII, Section 17 of the Constitution, concerning the temporary takeover of privately owned businesses and utilities, a move that seems aimed at government control of the press and media.

B. Some Guidelines:

1. The crisis of political legitimacy and the crying need for reform of the military are real. Nonetheless, any attempt by factions in the military to seize state power, however well motivated, cannot be supported. Such attempts overstep the noble task of the military in a democracy. The consequences of such actions that threaten civilian supremacy over the military will be extremely difficult to reverse and would be seriously harmful for the country’s future. The experience of countries in which a politicized military has taken state power—what we often refer to as “banana republics”—gives sobering illustrations of these consequences. Once having captured the state, military forces have not given up power easily. A cycle of constant struggles for state control among military elements begins, to the detriment of political stability, democratic freedoms and national development.

Democracy demands the rule of civilians who are legitimately chosen from and by the people, and not simply kept in power by military might. It is important to recall the principle articulated by the CBCP in its pastoral statement of January 2006: actions that “condone violence or counter-constitutional means in resolving our present crisis” are not acceptable, especially since they “would only bring about new forms of injustice, hardships, and greater harm in the future.”

2. The serious threat to democratic freedoms involved in Proclamation No. 1017 should be exposed, questioned, and resisted. Even constitutionally mandated emergency powers can be abused if they are exercised disproportionately, to the point of undermining basic rights. It is alarming that, even now, there seem to be indications of this abuse, such as the arrest of civilians without clear bases and charges. This is a serious and unacceptable violation of civil and political rights.

3. Furthermore, the present administration’s actions towards controlling the media must be resisted. Not only are these moves of questionable constitutionality, but state takeover of media seems morally unjustified, as such a measure would violate the freedom of expression which is a fundamental tenet of democracy.

4. We must not be naïve and uncritical. Many groups have taken and will continue to take advantage of the present confusion. We, especially religious and Church groups, must be wary about which groups we identify with, lest we indirectly legitimate and support antidemocratic groups with vested interests. The question of the future governance of the country, should the present administration collapse, is not a matter of indifference, but a serious moral consideration. Who assumes power, with what mandate and what agenda, are questions that we must seek answers to from those who would solicit our support.

5. The present administration’s actions to frustrate legitimate constitutional means of reform and accountability must be held largely responsible for the present crisis. Government’s constant attempts to evade accountability and true reform have made the military solution seem attractive and inevitable to some.

Thus, it is necessary that the following be addressed with greater urgency: the search for truth on the many controversies of the recent past; the revamp of COMELEC and other necessary electoral reforms; reforms in the military; and the continuing search for solutions to the problems of poverty and inequality that beset most of our people.

C. Some Immediate Courses of Action:

In this situation, the following are appropriate immediate courses of action:
• Gatherings of prayer for peace and a non-violent resolution of the crisis;
• Gatherings to exchange reliable information, and to discern collectively in the light of emerging developments;
• Expressions and actions of protest against the curtailments of democratic freedoms in Proclamation No. 1017.

* * * * * * * * * *

While I’m not too hot on “gatherings of prayer for peace” (can we pray privately and work publicly?) I’m all for protesting the “curtailments of democratic freedoms in Proclamation No. 1017” in legal, non-violent means.

Gloria, an iron hand may be needed these days, but don’t you dare get carried away.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Wondering Out Loud

If all those people and all that energy being exerted in EDSA and Ayala today were instead diverted to helping dig out the landslide victims in Leyte, I bet the rescue operations will be a lot faster and there’ll be more survivors.

Coup Kuro-kuro

It’s that time of the year again.

As consistent as Christmas, there’s another coup attempt/mass protest/destabilization action on-going in Metro Manila. Earlier this morning two military officers were arrested, purportedly heads of a coup attempt. Now diverse groups are converging in the EDSA Shrine, with different agenda, different views, all wanting the same thing—that they get what they want via people power. The government had suspended all levels of classes early this morning; now they’ve declared a state of emergency.

These always happen during the later part of February. It’s that blasted EDSA Revolution anniversary—people use it as an excuse to push their agenda onto the people. I agree with the Time magazine article about people power. The Filipinos’ gift to the world has worked for everyone else except for us. Back in 1986 we had the ball in our court—and we dropped it along the way. I wonder when we’ll snap out of this vicious national cycle we’re in. If I look at places like Bohol or Marikina, it’s clear to me that Filipinos are able to govern themselves properly on a local level. It’s when things go national that we freak out.

Meanwhile, I’m just waiting for top management to declare it a half-day for us. Then it’s mall-time for me!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

My Pet Albums

I’ve decided to rank the albums of Pet Shop Boys, one of my all-time favorite acts. Excluding compilation albums (their greatest hits and their remixes, such as the “Disco” series and “Alternative”), I’ve whittled down their albums to eight. Please note that I’ve ranked them as a listener, not as a music critic. Thus, the ranking:

# 8
Introspective (1988)
It is an album of dance tracks, all clocking in at more than 5 minutes long per track. Introspective’s songs have that throw-away quality of music meant more for dancing, not listening. Stand-out tracks: “Left To My Own Devices” / “I Want A Dog” / “Always On My Mind/In My House”

# 7
Please (1986)
The very first album is quite lightweight and flippant in tone. The Boys seem to revel in being snide and ambiguous, so their songs also come out as non-committal. Stand-out tracks: “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)” / “Love Comes Quickly”

# 6
Actually (1987)
Kudos to the Boys for their brilliant use of Dusty Springfield in “What Have I Done To Deserve This?” On their third album, the Boys are learning to put more weight into their songs. Stand-out tracks: “What Have I Done To Deserve This?” / “Rent”

# 5
Nightlife (1999)
Two of their longest-titled songs are in this album. Here the Boys seem to be at their bleakest, and despite their jaunty ode to The Village People, “New York City Boy” most of their songs speak about betrayal and uncertainty. And for the first time after years of winks, hints and allegations, the word “gay” appears in their lyrics, in the Broadway-ready tune “In Denial” featuring—what else?—a gay icon herself, Kyle Minogue. Stand-out tracks: “I Don’t Know What You Want But I Can’t Give It Anymore” / “You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You’re Drunk” / “In Denial”

# 4
Bilingual (1996)
Honestly, I had a hard time deciding between Nightlife and this album. Both are uneven, but in the songs that work the Boys show that they’re in great form lyrically and musically. The only difference is the over-all tone: the former album is more pessimistic while Bilingual (released earlier) is a whole lot happier and festive. They should have subtitled it, “PBS goes Ibiza” thanks to the Latin-inspired beats in several songs. Stand-out tracks: “Discoteca” / “Single” / “Before”

# 3
Behaviour (1990)
The Boys exhibit a serious, non-ironic side for the very first time, and the result is a maturing of their sound and pop persona. Apparently, the Boys want to be taken seriously, thus the song “How Can You Expect To Be Taken Seriously?” The album is also one of their most cohesive, flowing wonderfully from song to song. Stand-out tracks: “Being Boring” / “To Face The Truth” / “So Hard” / “Jealousy”

# 2
Release (2002)
Their most recent original album shows the Boys coming to terms with the ups and downs of life. Sure, there’s still drama (“Love Is A Catastrophe”) but there’s hope too (“Here”), and the result is a well-balanced album, both musically and thematically. Plus it has an insidiously hilarious “what-if” song that tweaks Eminem, an artist with a homophobic public persona who ironically is also a popular fantasy of many gay men. Stand-out tracks: “Home And Dry” / “The Night I Fell In Love” / “You Choose”

# 1
Very (1993)
Hands down I think this is the Boys’ most accomplished and cohesive album ever. No song is a throw-away. The Boys stretch their musical boundaries yet still make each song flow wonderfully to the next. They even manage to make fun of themselves in “Yesterday When I Was Mad.” And just when you think they’ve pulled off the perfect album, they end it with a head-scratching choice, a remake of the Village People’s “Go West.” But before you can condemn this track as the lone stumbling block, the song magically transforms from a fey tune into an awesome elegy for those fallen by AIDS. It takes a genius to craft something equally campy and solemn, and the Boys pull it off oh so Very well. Stand-out tracks: all of them

P.S. – Depending on my mood, I sometimes skip some songs while listening to Behaviour. But I listen to Release and Very without skipping a track.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Jurassic Park

Quezon Circle during Holy Week, especially Good Friday, during the late 90s. Back then the QC government allowed the park guards to go on leave during the Holy Week (cost-cutting, I guess). That turned the whole place into Jurassic Park, with velociraptors and other meat-eating predators lurking under trees and within shadows. The gates were open for anyone to enter, the lights were mostly switched off (except for a lamp post or two), and there so many places where miracles of the unholy kind could take place.

I remember a particular spot near the restaurant area. There were two huge old trees there—one had huge roots where guys could sit next to each other and blow each other off; the other’s trunk was tilted sideways, making it a convenient “bench” where guys could hang around. The whole area was shrouded in darkness as there were no lamps nearby. It was a perfect place for an orgy or a circle jerk. True enough, that particular Good Friday there were around 10-15 guys milling around the area. There was a group of around 6-7 watching a threesome in the thick of things; some of the viewers would fondle one another while watching. Then there was another group by the other tree; there it was more of a circle jerk. Guys would switch from one group to the other. Once in a while newcomers would chance upon the scene; some recoiled in horror, some stayed and watched, and some even joined in. There was an unspoken agreement to keep silent; people’s voices rarely rose above a whisper, and the moans and groans were hushed, furtive. I must say it added to the excitement, like there was a chance we’d be caught. But by who? There were no guards or police around.

I remember a particular individual who really got into the thick of things—he was almost completely naked, his shirt stuffed into his pants’ back-pocket, his jeans and briefs pulled down to his ankles. He was being fucked by guys one after the other, with no protection whatsoever. While he kept his ass up and open for rear-entry, his mouth was very busy blowing guys off. I tell you, he makes one hell of a factory worker, his mouth and ass as efficient as an assembly line.

Nowadays the Circle is well-lit and well guarded, even during Holy Week. A few minutes before midnight a voice over the public address system gently reminds visitors of the closing time. And when the clock strikes twelve, the gates are closed and locked.

Jurassic Park is once again quarantined.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Indulge Me

From the photo shoot last Saturday. Photos by David Fabros. Visit

Swoon Milby

So yesterday I indulged my inner jologs and watched Close To You, the Star Cinema and Close-Up co-production. I’ve always liked John Lloyd, and Bea is, well, Bea. The two are a relaxed, comfortable love team to watch. Both are pleasing to the eye, albeit Bea tends to be high-strung at times. But they’re not exactly the reason why I watched the film.

It’s Sam Milby. Oh Sam, Sam, Sam! The director was wise enough to maximize his strengths (killer pa-cuteness) while keeping the acting demands within his range. The result? Why, the boy looks like he could act! Plus his pa-cute scenes were unusual in their restraint: instead of lingering on his face while doing the lost-puppy look, the camera would cut away a second before it became cloying. Still, watch out for his “Good night!” scene with Bea at the Dumaguete hotel—I swear I got a nosebleed watching him in that scene.

John Lloyd and Bea are a very solid love team, so to make the movie work Sam had to play a guy who could really be a threat to the two. His character comes off as being too good to be true, but hey, the whole movie is a walk on the fantasy side. Plus he gets to wear a sando which he later takes off to reveal his torso. Unnecessary, yes. Gratuitous? Oh puh-leez, let’s not be so Pauline Kael here! Besides, Bohol was featured prominently in the movie, so to me that deserves a B (for biased).

Friday, February 17, 2006

Jokeback Mountain

(Have you guys received the following email? Hilarious.)

Weekly Grocery Lists for Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, Summer, 1962




Coffee (espresso grind)
2 tubes K-Y

Fresh Fava beans
Jasmine rice
Prosciutto, approx. 8 ounces, thinly sliced
Medallions of veal
Porcini mushrooms
1/2 pint of heavy whipping cream
1 Cub Scout uniform, size 42 long
5-6 bottles good Chardonnay
1 large bottle Astro-glide

Yukon Gold potatoes
Heavy whipping cream
Asparagus (very thin)
Gruyere cheese (well aged)
Extra virgin Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
6 yards white silk organdy
6 yards pale ivory taffeta
Case of Chardonnay
Large tin Crisco

Maniwala Ako

The Keys to Your Heart

You are attracted to those who are unbridled, untrammeled, and free.

In love, you feel the most alive when everything is uncertain, one moment heaven... the next moment hell.

You'd like to your lover to think you are stylish and alluring.

You would be forced to break up with someone who was ruthless, cold-blooded, and sarcastic.

Your ideal relationship is open. Both of you can talk about everything... no secrets.

Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.

You think of marriage as something that will confine you. You are afraid of marriage.

In this moment, you think of love as commitment. Love only works when both people are totally devoted.
What Are The Keys To Your Heart?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Get The Message

I’ve said this once, I’ll say it again: I’m not the settling down type.

Your Five Variable Love Profile

Propensity for Monogamy:

Your propensity for monogamy is low.
You see love as a gift that you should give to many.
It's hard for you to imagine being with one person at at time...
Let alone one person for the rest of your life!

Experience Level:

Your experience level is medium.
You probably have had a couple significant loves.
And you may have even had your heart broken.
But you haven't really dated a wide variety of people.


Your dominance is low.
This doesn't mean you're a doormat, just balanced.
You know a relationship is not about getting your way.
And you love to give your sweetie a lot of freedom.


Your cynicism is medium.
You'd like to believe in true and everlasting love...
But you've definitely been burned enough to know better.
You're still an optimist, but you also are a realist.


Your independence is medium.
In relationships, you need both “me time” and “we time.”
You usually find it easy to be part of a couple.
But occasionally you start to feel a little smothered.
The Five Variable Love Test

Brokeback Quote

“I wish I knew how to quit you!” That’s Jake Gyllenhaal as…

1. …a chain-smoker trying to quit in Smokeback Mountain.
2. …a computer illiterate attempting to shut down a computer in Brokeback Modem.
3. …a porter with a slipped disc trying to quit his job in Brokeback Mountin’.

10 Things to Keep In Mind re Brokeback Mountain

1. The film is very subdued. It makes its points without underlining them or bashing you on the head with them.
2. All this awards-hype is actually detrimental to the film because it raises viewers’ expectations unfairly.
3. Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger are way too good-looking to be cowboys.
4. Aside from Jake and Heath, there are no other good looking men in Texas and Wyoming. Or even in Mexico.
5. Heath’s mumbling makes Method Actor Marlon Brando eloquent in comparison.
6. Inquiring minds wanna know: did Ennis and Jack do it doggie-style throughout the years?
7. Jake’s a bottom! (Or so we wish.)
8. Anne Hathaway’s wigs are Madonna’s hand-me-downs.
9. Jake leaning on his truck in a come-hither pose. Fifty fuckin’ points!
10. Unlike most gay movies, this one doesn’t have any finger-snapping, sharp wit or the phrase “You go, girl!” Like most gay movies, one of the gay characters dies in the end.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I’m Wearing a Housemate

The t-shirt is an early Mitch Dulce, a current housemate in the Pinoy Big Brother Celebrity Edition. The eyebrow raise is vintage McVie.

My Funny Valentine

Some wayward thoughts:

* * * * *

Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
Some poems rhyme,
This doesn’t.

* * * * *

I wish one day I have enough money to buy a farm in a nearby province, like Tagaytay or Pampanga. I’d build a villa there, and open it to the public as a bed-and-breakfast place, ala-Sonya’s. But it’ll be exclusively for gay men. Couples will be the obvious target market, but the place will also accommodate groups of more than two. Room-hopping won’t be discouraged, so long as there’s an agreement with everyone concerned. Discretion is the better part of orgies.

I will call that place: Casanova Villa.

* * * * *


It started back in 1997. Backstage at the Rizal Mini Theater during the run of Makbet, the coupled cast and crew members were all a-buzz with Valentine’s Day preparations, discussing publicly their plans for that day. This irritated most of the single people in TA. When the singles started discussing this irritating habit of PDVD (public display of Valentine’s plans) coupled with PDAs in the dressing room, they decided to use codes: “cowboys” for couples, and “indians” for individuals. (It was briefly suggested that, to be able to use the word “singles” instead of “individuals”, the code be changed to “Sikh Indians” but this suggestion was met with a stony silence.)

One day two single members, Miren A. and Joy P., came up with the idea for the singles of TA to have a group date on Valentine’s Day. Thus was born the First TA Indians Party, held at Shakey’s Katipunan on Feb. 14, 1997. It was exclusively for TA singles; couples or members with significant others were banned from the party, which really wasn’t a problem because they had plans of their own that night.

The first few Indians Parties consisted of lots and lots of pizza, chicken, beer and catty chats. While the Cowboys were away, the Indians would talk about them endlessly. Couples were assessed one by one according to: [1] compatibility; [2] sustainability; [3] peace-to-conflict ratio; [4] presence or absence of sexperience between the two; [5] number of windows broken in the RMT; [6] tendency to violence and the improper use of a hammer and saw; [7] other factors. Also discussed were the romantic possibilities of certain Indians at that time—whether they’d remain Indians by next Valentine’s or cross the line and become Cowboys.

Eventually coupled TA members were asking to be included in the Indians Party. So the party was expanded to “Cowboys and Indians Party” with a caveat: couples must refrain from excluding themselves from the group as if they're in their own world. Otherwise, they face the wrath of Indians who are just itching to scalp wayward Cowboys.

* * * * *

The Cowboys and Indians Party is actually an insidious way for TA singles to get back at the tyranny of couple-hood. Since there are always more singles in TA, the C&I parties end up a riotous event. The couples feel excluded from all that fun. But if they try joining, they’re put in a dilemma: Aren’t they supposed to be spending that time with each other?

Being partnered with someone is a good thing. But once in a while people should realize that it has set-backs. Since couples often act like the rest of the world doesn’t exist during Valentine’s Day, maybe we singles of the world should toss them off during the day of hearts.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Deep Throat

Friday around 3am (eek! The hour of mischief for the Devil!) I woke up with severe chills and a very high temperature. After 39 years in this earth, I’ve come to know my body very well, and although I’m no doctor I often can immediately tell the general area where the cause of illness is coming from. It’s my throat, there’s something wrong with my throat. Yesterday it was already acting funny, like a bad cold brewing underneath. Now it’s very painful to swallow. But why the high fever? I went back to sleep, shivering.

By 9am I called in sick, drank paracetamol and lots of fluids (my mom insisted on serving me Tang mixed with kalamansi or Tang mixed with honey), gargled using a salt solution, ate lugaw only and stayed in bed the whole day. Luckily, I had the six books of “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency” series by Alexander McCall Smith to keep me company (I plowed through all of them in two-and-a-half days).

By four in the afternoon nothing had changed so I knew stronger juju was in order. We went to our neighborhood clinic. That’s the same clinic we brought my dad when he had his heart attack. The nurse, seeing that I was weak and chilly, told me to lie down on the hospital bed while waiting for the doctor. It was the same bed where my dad was pronounced DOA. Uh-oh. Happily the doctor came, looked down my throat, wrote a prescription and sent me home. It was bacterial pharyngitis.

My sister and brother noted that of all of us siblings, I’m the one who rarely gets sick. Or if I did, I’d be the last one to get hit. Also, I recover pretty fast. On Friday afternoon my doctor gave me enough antibiotics for five days. Saturday morning my fever was gone. By the end of Saturday I was already raring to go out of the house.

Now swallowing is a cinch. But memo to me: spit instead. Then gargle with a powerful mouthwash.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Want to have slick, professionally-shot photos for your Friendster account and the like? Then you’re invited to the THIRD GLAMCAM FRIENDSTER PHOTOSHOOT by David Fabros.

FEBRUARY 18, 2006, Saturday, 3:00PM-8:00PM

at VISIONCAPTURE Studio (David’s studio)
6239-A Manalac St., Poblacion, Makati, near Rockwell.
From EDSA southbound, turn right at Estrella, turn left on Rockwell Drive, go past Ateneo Law School, turn right on Palma St., (corner is Equitable PCIB), then left on Manalac St. The studio is the second building on the left, white walls, second floor.

For Php500, each person will get at least 25 shots in CD-R.

[1] Bring your best outfits.
[2] If you have your own make-up and prefer to use them, please bring them.
[3] There will be two layouts, surprise kung ano, just be ready to be on the wild side. For those who have no qualms, nudity is welcome. :-)
[4] You can bring food and drinks for all if you want.
[5] This is open to guys of a particular preference only. If you have cute friends who are also interested, invite them too! The more, the gayer. Target number of participants is at least 20.

Please reply here or email me for confirmation on or before Friday, February 17, 2006.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Things That Made Me Go Hmmm….

Me and We

I’m raising the following out of intellectual curiosity. Really, pramis! I welcome any comments of a legal, sociological, psychological, even moral nature. But can we leave religion out of this, please?

Anyway, here goes.

It’s obvious to me that in an incident like the recent stampede at Ultra, the organizers are held accountable for what happened. It is their responsibility to make adequate preparations to prevent such a tragic incident.

But I wonder: what about the individuals in the crowd who pushed and shoved? Are they exempt from any kind of responsibility for their actions? If we assume that they pushed and shoved without knowledge that they are killing the people in front—therefore they acted without malice—is that considered an “accidental homicide” then? In a crowd or herd mentality, do individuals “lose” their identities, making them not responsible for their individual actions? Are those individuals exonerated from any charges simply because they are just too many of them to track down one by one? Or is holding them liable an exercise in futility?

In a stampede like this no one dares bring up the question of whether individuals in the crowd can be held responsible for their actions. (Obviously, ABS-CBN cannot do that.) So I ask: what happens to individual responsibilities in cases like these?

* * * * *


I made a mistake of giving my number to this guy named Ace. He saw my Downelink profile and stupid me I gave in to his request. He’s been sending me jokes, quotes and sayings almost every day; I’ve kept quiet the whole time, neither encouraging nor complaining.

This morning I received the following message from him: Send u naman me ng mga lab kowts.


I actually had to think more than twice before deciding not to do anything but press “delete.”

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

When Push Comes To Shove

Any company faced with such figures as “74 dead, 627 injured in stampede” is in a no-win situation. Apologize, and people will say that’s not enough; don’t apologize, and it’ll be worse. Offer assistance, and people will say money cannot replace lives; don’t assist, and they might as well commit corporate hara-kiri. Cover the event in news, and people will accuse them of bias. Don’t cover, and the accusation is proven true. Explain their side, and people will insinuate, “They’re trying to escape their responsibilities!” Don’t explain, and people will pin everything, including Ninoy Aquino’s murder, on them. Kahit ano’ng gawin, mali pa rin.

So what do they do? Apologize. Offer assistance. Cover the news. Say the prayers. Explain, even if people are out for their blood. Do the right thing even if people insist that’s not enough, even if people disagree on what’s “the right thing” to do. Because doing right is what they should do. Assume responsibility and learn from this.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Take Two?

Aha! Are the people behind Pinoy Big Brother Celebrity Edition playing safe? Are they just getting celebrity versions of the housemates in the first season of PBB? To wit:

Mich Dulce looks like she’s going to be the “Ate Raquel” of this batch. She may turn-off her fellow housemates with her quirky personality.

Will Zanjoe Marudo, the hunky model, be one of the early evictees just like Rico?

Depending on whether he’ll be pasaway or not, Budoy Marabiles can either be the next Franzen or the next Jason.

This batch’s Sam seems to be split into two: while John Prats has the advantage of looks (but not the height), Rico Robles of RX93.1 is the Inglesero of the group (and he’s not that bad-looking either).

Commander Nene may meet her physical match in Gretchen Malalad, 3-time karate gold medalist in the SEA Games.

Will kolehiyala Roxane Barcelo be the next Say?

Cebuana Angela Calina may give Cass a run for her Bisaya accent.

Notorious Chx may look pretty tame beside Keanna Reeves or Aleck Bovick.

And unlike Uma, will Rustom Padilla admit, ummm, you know? Hmmm?

No one can argue with success. In Pinoy Big Brother Celebrity Edition, did success breed repetition? Will success be repeated? Will there be another stampede? Anyway, we’ll see in the next 50+ days.

Music Is My Drug

Has this ever happened to you? You’re listening to your favorite music, and suddenly there’s this funny feeling inside your head, like a tingling sensation or a sight buzz, almost a blurring of thought. It passes quickly, a giddy second or so of sensation. Yesterday I was listening to Madonna’s Confessions on a Dance Floor, and it happened during the second song, “Get Together.” Two-thirds into the song the beat pauses, and Madonna’s echo-filled voice sings “If it’s bitter at the start / then it’s sweeter in the end” while the beat builds up behind, sputtering back into pulse-pounding life.

For the past two days I’ve been playing again and again Madonna’s album and I must admit that the album has a hypnotic, even narcotic, effect on me. In “Sorry” it is the part where Madonna intones in the background, “I heard it all before” over and over; in “Future Lovers” it’s the Giorgio Moroder-like synthesizer background; in “I Love New York” it’s the irresistibly sing-along chorus and her “Get off my street” mantra towards the end of the song.

But I must admit that while Lola Madonna’s album is fantastic, I sort of tune out by the time her Kabbalah-inspired “Isaac” comes on. An album full of non-stop dance music can get tired, especially after the 40 minutes or so. Too much sugar and after the rush you get exhausted. So I limit myself to (usually) the first five songs of the album. Then I go back to the first song and repeat the whole thing.

Friday, February 03, 2006

“I’m terribly vexed.”

I must have been out of my mind when I gave them my phone number, but now some people continue to send me jokes, inspirational sayings and other such nonsensical load-wasters via SMS. I don’t even bother reading them; just a glance at the first line and I delete. There are two or three people who send me messages every freaking (!) morning without fail. I don’t know why they continue sending even if I don’t react to any one of them. Are they extremely loaded? Does text messaging give their existence meaning? Just right now I received a message from [xxx]: I’m in Mindanao for a training. How r u? Have a gud nyt. [xxx] and I are not close; heck, I’ve not even seen him face-to-face. I resist replying: So? What do I care? I just press “delete.” Call them vex-text; call me text vexed.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Musing

When Brad and Angelina get married, will she be called Angelina Jolie-Pitt? (sings) “May pumukol Joli-Pitt sa sanga ng isang kahoy….”

(This is what happens when I’m still in the office at five-fucking-twenty-AM [!] finishing an audio-visual presentation scheduled at 11AM [!!] later.)

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