Friday, August 29, 2008

'tis The Final Stretch

If research paper writing were a marathon, I am currently on the last lap. The end is in sight, but there are still a few obstacles to hurdle. Hopefully tomorrow will be the day that I will finally finish my rough draft. Then Sunday shall be spent polishing the text and footnotes. Malapit na....Malapit na...Malapit na...

Gabi ng Historyador

My attendance in this culminating activity of the week-long Linggo ng Kasaysayan was incidental. In short, wala talaga sa plano pero hinatak na lang ako ng mga bata-este- classmates pala...hehe

The night turned out to be a pleasant event (pleasant kasi libre ang dinner hahaha that's the only thing that kept me from walking out of the event) Other things that kept me riveted was the absurd sight of the boys getting drunk on red wine, Sir Tope's masterful skills as an emcee - managing to connect the buffet table to the Philippine Revolution and establishing a parallel between Palma and Fabella that even impressed Spiderman, the dinner (of course) which was satisfying without being too heavy on the stomach, and the videoke portion - Spiderman singing "Hey Jude", Dr. Jaime Veneracion does "My Way", and surprise, surprise! Dr. Maria Serena Diokno's husky voice reverberating throughout the Palma Hall 2nd floor lobby doing a soulful rendition of "Breaking Up is Hard to Do"....that, and Ma'am Diokno intimidating the senior faculty to take up the microphone and sing! hahahaha

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thank You

Thank you to all who remembered and sent their greetings via text, email, friendster shoutout, telepathic telegram...hehe

Sorry if it took a while for me to respond to the greetings. Internet connection is a fickle thing and I often have to contend with its 'mood swings'...

Also, I'm on the last leg of the Great Big Research Paper for our beloved SPIDERMAN. so it's marathon writing, typing, editing, proofreading, revising, headscratching, cursing, filipino-english dictionary browsing, etc for this week.

So it might be next week before I could regurgitate a decent blog post again...

see you in cyberspace.

Monday, August 25, 2008

One Week

Some thoughts (coherent and incoherent, go figure) on my "enforced vacation"

1. Anybody who claims descent and affinity in our family should be able to withstand chronic sonic fluctuations ranging several decibels. In short, kung hindi ka sanay sa mga taong malalakas ang boses at nagsisigawan - kawawa ka sa pamilyang ito.

2. I am utterly useless and completely boring in the swimming pool. Good thing the pool at the water park had a maximum depth of FOUR feet or else Tom would have been unsuccessful in convincing me to take the plunge. hehehe

3. The power of conditioner goes a long way...I'm loving my long tresses...when I had my hair trimmed at the salon, the stylist asked me: "Nagpakulot po ba kayo ng buhok?" to which I replied "Hinde"; he then asked "Nagpakulay po kayo ng buhok?" and again I replied "Hinde"...for the record, my hair is naturally wavy (a fact I realized only when I grew my hair long) and I never thought my hair had a shade different from dark brown but a few commented that my hair had a slight hair seemed to reveal a few mysteries during that week.

4. One week of non-stop airconditioning from the house to the taxi to the mall could be considered a trial for an anticipated vacation to the UK. This trial, unfortunately, I failed. My acclimation went bonkers...

5. Two typhoons raging on a wide mesa! the Earth trembles, China Falls, Chaos reigns for a few minutes! Holy F*ck my laptop! wahahahahahahaha

6. I had planned to compose my research on Spiderman during the research break, but the exigencies of vacation made it impossible. The good thing though, is I was able to start reading for my book review - managing to sneak away from my nephews for a few moments to read up on the Philippine Commonwealth. This gives new meaning to Sneak Peek...

7. Bonding Time with my English nephews! The previous encounter a few years ago was a bit of a disaster since all of them were still brats and my temper is naturally short with kids. But this time Tom and Sam had grown up which leaves Ben as the only remaining 'brat,' so to speak. It was easier this time since Tom and I were broadcasting on the same wavelength, even managing to utter the same sentences at the same time (like "oooooooh" and "to the the left.." hahaha sentences ba 'to?)Sam's habit of becoming quiet when bored made things easier, as well as Ben's conditioned fear of my raised voice (which made things even easier when it comes to reining him in - Tito Mike will shout! hala...) All in all, the boys were good and our interactions were fun and memorable. Though their brotherly banter and roughhousing seemed cute at times...

8. Games and a World of Fun! Dungeon Siege! Warcraft! Feeding Frenzy! Luxor! Bowling! Bump Cars! it was a week to indulge my inner child once again. I am looking forward to getting back on the bump car hahaha parang Grand Theft Auto for Toddlers. In fairness, I execute a mean drift on the bump car. Jonah had his first try in bowling while Tom became addicted to Dungeon Siege II...It was FUN! Though I suspect gaming may have been a BIG factor for my difficulties described in #6.

9.Balik UNO-R Tayo! Beer-ness Santo! Finally, the long drought was ended with several liters of Red Horse littered on the table...but before the fun, there was a bit of work to do. Saw the final output of Yearbook 2007 and consulted with Sir Harry about it. A decent work, though I expected better from the printing company. Still, I am proud of my staff for their work. And despite the flaws, I hope they would be proud of their yearbook, too. But enough about that...Inuman Na!

10. The Long Goodbye...At the Bacolod-Silay Airport - located in Silay...Tom was asking (a bit loudly, as he doesn't have the discretion that characterizes us Filipinos when we are complaining) what's taking so long for us to proceed to the Departure Lounge as it was a hot morning when we left Bacolod. I told him that this is "The Long Goodbye" and if he were to visit the Philippines regularly, he better get used to this. I whispered to him that "This is for your Lola..." whom we were leaving behind in Bacolod. He got the point and shut up.

This is Why We Have The Olympics

Let us forget the critics and naysayers for a the Olympics has drawn to a close we often ask ourselves why the hell were going through this every four years...

A Somalian runner and her last-place finish, ironically, provided me the answer.

Suddenly, the half-empty stadium realized there was still a runner on the track, still pushing to get across the finish line almost eight seconds behind the seven women who had already completed the race. In the last 50 meters, much of the stadium rose to its feet, flooding the track below with cheers of encouragement. A few competitors who had left Samia behind turned and watched it unfold.

Read about it here.

Aside from the opportunity for the Somali athletes to raise their flags as equals among the other nations, I believe that Samia's run was the defining moment for this year's Olympics - spectators rising to their feet and urging on a struggling athlete could be seen as a metaphor for the whole world coming together, urging each other on, offering support, cheers, encouragement for their fellowmen who needed a boost as they struggle on to surmount their own challenges.

This Somali runner has reminded us why we gather every four years for the Olympics. The world should do well and take heed...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Now Back to Regular Programming

I'm back from my enforced, though very pleasant, vacation. I'll be posting some bits and pieces from my one-week "United Nations Convention." Can't think straight today, I'm high on Claritin. hehehe

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Manila 2024?

One of Lenard's blog post features some videos posted online anticipating Manila hosting the 2024 Olympics. While dreaming is a nice endeavor (plus its free and hardly laborious) let me share some of my thoughts while pondering the "Manila Olympics 2024 scenario"...

1. HOLY SH*T! Really!? Hindi pa nga natin maayos-ayos ang bulok na sistema ng gobyerno dito aasa pa tayong maghost ng Olympics? Kung sa bahay pa, linisin muna natin ang bakuran, looban, bubong, basement, pader, kisame, lahat na ng sulok ng bahay bago tayo magpapasok ng mga bisita...Or did we not forget the 'funny' stories during the SEA Games?

2. Speaking of SEA Games...the dream of Olympics hosting will get a huge boost if Monico Puentevella gets elected as President of the Philippines! Kaya simulan na ang kampanya! wahahahahahaha!

3. Huwag na...mahal ang square meter ng tarpaulin pantakip ng "eyesores" around Manila...

4. The Olympics: an international sporting event notorious for scandals, dubious officiating, and with a ruling committee seen as resistant to complaints. The Philippines: where elections defy the rules of mathematics, statistics (even common sense), scandals are commonplace, where everything (it seems) could be bought, and with a governing body serving only the interests of a few...combine them together and you get...?

5. Malaki na naman ang kickback sa construction nito...hala simulan na ang paghuhukay for the Crocodile's Lair! wahahahahaha!

6. If this indeed pushes through, some of the insane scenarios I proposed in my recent blog MIGHT come true. Psychic na ba ako? hahaha

Friday, August 15, 2008

Unlimited Blade Works...

Just counting the hours until I make my way back home. I'm giving myself a break for now since I finished consolidating my notes for Spiderman's research. The brain-wracking and research writing will have to be done in Bacolod. But it doesn't mean I won't be enjoying my one-week escapade...It's a good thing Spiderman moved the deadline for the first draft but I would still have to stick to my schedule since Spiderman's paper is not the only research paper I have to make. But for now, I'm just sitting back, relaxing, and watching old anime series.

Fate Stay/Night AMV featuring Archer...I think I mentioned somewhere that one of the skills that an anime hero should master is declamation...hehe

See you in Bacolod.

[UPDATE: I forgot how cheesy the series got toward the end with all the romance between Shiro and Saber. But fortunately, it only lasted about half an episode then all systems go na for the final confrontation...]

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The 2008 Olympics in Manila

Just indulge me in this lunacy, dear readers. If the Olympics were held here in Manila, what would be some of the scenarios to greet the world as the Philippines showcases itself to the world? hmmmm....

caveat: fun lang po ito, wag pong ma-oofend ang mga Pinoys out there or the OIC for that matter...

1. opening ceremony features dancing prisoners all resplendent in their bright orange suits as they groove to "Thriller" and the Algorithm Song. Yung "P" daw stands for Philippines...

2. Regine Velasquez sings the national anthem, though some Filipino spectators notice something odd with her voice. A few days later, Boy Abunda reveals that the voice singing actually belonged to Frenchie...

3. Manila proudly unveils the stadium that shall house the Olympics. The new stadium was dubbed "The Crocodiles' Lair"...

4. Last minute head-scratching as the Olympic torch used to light the flame was apparently 'misplaced', thus the Olympic flame was lighted using a "Super Lolo" which a passerby happened to possess at that moment. Ang Pinoy nga naman...resourceful...

5. A few days later, a person was arrested after trying to sell the Olympic torch as scrap...

6. The construction of a grand installation art piece to be situated outside the Croc's Lair, showcasing the pride of the Filipino heritage, was ordered halted by the Supreme Court due to anomalies with its contract...

7. Opening Ceremony to be directed by Carlo J. Caparas and Donna Villa. The English translation of the working title: "The Philippines: There will be Blood" [Pilipinas: Aagos ang Dugo] subtitle: "Oh My God!" [Diyos Ko!]

8. During the opening ceremony, a mini-documentary was screened featuring the two most recognizable Philippine exports to the international scene: OFWs and movies featuring macho dancers...

6. The opening ceremony delayed for almost two hours by the late arrival of some VIPs, including the President. Their reason: traffic...

7. Fireworks display goes awry, setting a huge fire in a nearby overpopulated squatters area. Interestingly, the spectators thought the fire was part of the show, with international news agencies praising this part of the opening ceremony as "full of realism."

8. No seating space was given to ordinary Filipino spectators as majority of the seats were 'booked in advance' by all the leading politicians and socialites - accompanied by their relatives up to the fifth degree of affinity and consanguinity...

9. Manila becomes "Tarpaulin City" as all the "unsightly areas" were obscured from the direct line of sight of foreign visitors by billboards advertising Bench underwear, Lucida DS, Glutathione products, and dermatological services from Dr. Calayan...

10. Several new events were introduced in the Manila Olympics this year. The first is the "Balut Eating Competition". The OIC ruled that only non-Asians were to participate in this event, as this would make the event "funnier". As compensation to the Asian nations who protested the OIC's decision, two events were created solely for Asians - the "Elvis Presley Impersonation Competition" and "The Greatest Percentage of Western Blood In My Veins Without Looking Too Non-Asian" competition. The Philippines was expected to perform well in both events...

Olympics: the real and the imagined

I have not yet seen the Olympics on TV. But all the buzz about it is everywhere. Thus, it is unavoidable that I would be giving my reactions to some of the things I've heard about the "Games"...

ON THE "FAKE" MOMENTS DURING THE OPENING CEREMONY: Por Dios, por Santo! Hindi na kayo dapat mabigla na namemeke ang mga Intsik no! hahahahaha Seriously, the opening ceremony is all media blitz and entertainment, so a few tweaks here and there is understandable. Parang Hollywood yan na ang mga sineng pinapalabas puro na lang special effects wala namang nagrereklamo, yung mga artista sa photospread sagad na sagad sa Photoshop - pati ang maitim nagiging puti na, pati mga walang tono at walang karapatang kumanta sa publiko nakakagawa ng album - and it sells! hahahaha Though I am a bit troubled by the singer fiasco - its smacks of discrimination kasi. Di bale palang hindi maganda ang boses basta maganda ang mukha? tsk, tsk, tsk...ano ba yan?

ON'IMAGINED' OLYMPIC MOMENTS: got this inspiration from Lenard's blog post. Lenard opines that if there were a competition on grandstanding, Filipino politicians would take the gold. And I heartily agree with him. A scenario comes to mind...

IMAGINARY OLYMPICS SCENARIO:from the Imagination of Sonofaditch...

In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, a new event called "lie detector test" is introduced. This was the reason, apparently, for the presence of President Bush and Mini-Me since they are also participating as "athletes" for their respective nations.

Yung criteria in determining the winner is the one which ellicits the most reaction from the lie detector machine wins. As expected, Bush and Mini-Me advance to the finals.

The finals are held at the "Bird's Nest" and viewed by an estimated 200 million people worldwide. Bush is the first to be attached to the machine.

BUSH: "There were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."

The machine sputters and emits smoke. Still not satisfied, Bush continued...

BUSH: "I think..."

Machine explodes, launches itself into the air and crashes into the spectators, killing twenty and injuring thirty.

Americans were cheering wildly, believing that they have won the gold.

Enter the athlete from the Philippines...

Mini-me nervously takes her place and is attached to the machine. Unsure of what to say, Mini-me decided to make a brief intro speech...

MINI-ME: "As the democratically elected President of the Philippines..."

All cameras monitoring the event go on a sudden blackout. Observers a few miles from Beijing were in total shock when they heard a massive explosion and saw a mushroom cloud over the area that housed the Bird's Nest, the Water Cube and 60% of the city.

Experts were of the opinion that due to Mini-Me's massive lie, a nuclear reaction was initiated within the lie detector machine, setting off the explosion that decimated the city.

Beijing lies devastated, countless lives were lost, the Olympics were postponed and the whole world mourns...

Pero at least panalo ang Pinas...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

At Naglolokohan Lang Pala Tayo...

What Sonofaditch Means

You are the total package - suave, sexy, smart, and strong.

You have the whole world under your spell, and you can influence almost everyone you know.

You don't always resist your urges to crush the weak. Just remember, they don't have as much going for them as you do.

You are well rounded, with a complete perspective on life.

You are solid and dependable. You are loyal, and people can count on you.

At times, you can be a bit too serious. You tend to put too much pressure on yourself.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.

You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.

You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

You are loving, compassionate, and ruled by your feelings.

You are able to be a foundation for other people... but you still know how to have fun.

Sometimes your emotions weigh you down, but you generally feel free from them.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are balanced, orderly, and organized. You like your ducks in a row.

You are powerful and competent, especially in the workplace.

People can see you as stubborn and headstrong. You definitely have a dominant personality.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.

You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.

You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are a seeker. You often find yourself restless - and you have a lot of questions about life.

You tend to travel often, to fairly random locations. You're most comfortable when you're far away from home.

You are quite passionate and easily tempted. Your impulses sometimes get you into trouble.

You are very open. You communicate well, and you connect with other people easily.

You are a naturally creative person. Ideas just flow from your mind.

A true chameleon, you are many things at different points in your life. You are very adaptable.

You are truly an original person. You have amazing ideas, and the power to carry them out.

Success comes rather easily for you... especially in business and academia.

Some people find you to be selfish and a bit overbearing. You're a strong person.

MY REACTION: hahahahahahaha! I actually like this one better....


What Michael Means

You are confident, self assured, and capable. You are not easily intimidated.

You master any and all skills easily. You don't have to work hard for what you want.

You make your life out to be exactly how you want it. And you'll knock down anyone who gets in your way!

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.

You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.

You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are very open. You communicate well, and you connect with other people easily.

You are a naturally creative person. Ideas just flow from your mind.

A true chameleon, you are many things at different points in your life. You are very adaptable.

You are truly an original person. You have amazing ideas, and the power to carry them out.

Success comes rather easily for you... especially in business and academia.

Some people find you to be selfish and a bit overbearing. You're a strong person.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.

You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.

At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.

You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.

Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.

MY REACTION: That's nice...and so are the innumerable tukayos [i.e. namesakes] I have across the globe...hehehe

Nunally! Nooooooooooooo!

I knew it...

Things probably will get more cutthroat from now on.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Darren Hayes

I had to admit that I was a fan of Savage Garden...hahahaha those were the days...

Then I stumbled across this album by Darren Hayes - A double-CD that had a sticker on it showcasing the critical praise bestowed upon this album. Oh well...the rest is history...

The album is....uh...different? hahahaha basta, it's a concept album dealing with ideas such as time travel - which, i believe, is a metaphor for nostalgia, regret and even closure.

This is a video of one of my favorite tracks in the album...the origami is a motif in the album, a recurring element, a symbol of creation maybe? WTF I'm reading too much into Darren Hayes' work so here it is for your viewing pleasure...

Who would have thought, indeed...

For Pipoy

Hala...gin-debut ko ang blog mo di dason awayon ta ka? hehehe

Seriously, I would just like to offer my 2 cents (kung may bili pa ang dos centimos hehe) on one of the topics that you've touched upon in your most recent blog post. Let's engage in a friendly tete-a-tete (pronounce it like the French do para indi bastos ang gwa) and I do hope that if you'll indulge me my opinion, we'd launch on an enlightening discourse. In short, fun lang walang personalan hehe

ON THE SONA: Truth be told, I haven't heard it nor seen it on the TV, I've read the transcript online but its the same old bullshit. I was told that Mini-me would often pause and await applause at 'strategic' moments during her speech...the only comment I have to that is KAPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL!

ON THE GRP-MILF deal: I don't know if the GRP knows the meaning of "sovereignty" and "national integrity"...going through the terms of the agreement daw kulang na lang ribbon kag giftwrapper ang ibutang nila sa teritoryo nga ihatag sa MILF. I don't begrudge the Bangsamoro and our Muslim brothers their heritage, and I could even sympathize with their desire to secede - if not have a considerably "freer" say with regard to territorial rights and self-governance over the area they deem as "ancestral domain". Muslim rights to their fatherland (or motherland?) is a very touchy issue - especially here in peyups. One noted prof in the History Department was even (verbally) accosted for his innocent comment regarding the Moros. Having said all that, our government is so f*cked up that it's no wonder the Moros want to secede, given that they've endured years of neglect in their respective areas. If the Moros secede, then what is to stop the Cebuanos, the Ilonggos, the Negrenses from jumping ship? Given that the ship is leaking and decrepit hay naku mag-uunahan na lang tayo sa pagtalon with our lifesavers (autonomy? independence?)?

ON BIRTH CONTROL: now THIS is where I put forth my dissenting view. I believe that the problem of rapid population growth, coupled with scarce resources should be viewed not only through the perspective of morality (i.e. the view of the Catholic Church). I do hope you've discussed (or will discuss) Malthus' view in your Econ class which was the rage during the 19th century. A century hence and we see the great strides in science and technology. These, hopefully, would be the balancing force to even out the scarcity and the increasing human population. But there are still stark reminders that the world does not necessarily reflect the ideals of fairness, especially if you consider that we're talking about economic forces here. There are still people in want, there are still those living their lives in abject poverty; then you see the vast difference between people belonging to different social classes, the wide expanse between the "developed and industrial" nations and the so-called "third world or developing" nations.

Any stand of any institution should not be made in a vacuum - all points and perspectives should be considered so that a reasonable solution to the problem could be arrived at. What I am driving at is that it is unreasonable for the Church, especially here in the Philippines, to ignore reproductive health practices as an OPTION for the masses. The Church's stance robs the people of their own personal, private choice on reproduction because let's face it if God's wrath would descend on people who do not keep His Commandments (or the Church's interpretation of them) then the population problem would be nonexistent because a LOT of people would be stricken dead with lighting or pestilence or whatever. Not that I'm implying that God is impotent, but you get the point...

I heard a sermon during a previous Sunday mass regarding this issue. Though I do not fully agree with it, there is one point that the cura made which, in my view, is one ray of hope that the Catholic Church can provide. Padre said that scarcity is an illusion (a fact I do not agree with, as a former teacher of economics) because there is a lot of resources to go around. The only problem is how to equitably distribute these resources so that there will be enough to go around (at this point I was going like: 'interesting...go on Father...'). The key, according to Father, is if we as Christians are willing to step up and do our part, to share what we have with those who are in need. The priest gave as an example the relief efforts for the recent typhoon victims - that despite hard times, people are still willing, and are able to give to their fellow men - is this not a refutation of the fear of scarcity? (at this point, I was quietly nodding my head in assent)

That is something I could agree with. But just like the Church offering to lend its hand to address these troubled times, I do hope that it would not disregard the efforts of the government (for all its worth) in providing an avenue for people to make an informed choice with regard to their decision of increasing or limiting the size of their families. For the Church to spurn the government's initiative in this regard, I believe, is an unfortunate action which only exacerbates the problem.

Phew! ginbalhas man ko bah...teh, Peace whatchutink? If you want to give your violent reaction, please make it as a post on your blog. Looking forward to the lively discussion...

Pipoy has Arrived!

welcome to the world of blogging once again, Peace!

Do Andres Bonifacio proud! hahaha

I look forward to your thoughts online. Cyberspace is one of the remaining bastions of freedom of speech...make it your playground, your refuge, your soapbox, your podium, ang importante it's yours! make your voice heard!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Seen & Heard

SEEN: on a jeepney along North Edsa:


I can't help but supress a silly smile all throughout the jeepney ride since nagkakasabay yung "Veterance" jeep tsaka yung jeep na sinasakyan ko.

HEARD: "Everytime I See You" by Fra Lippo Lippi was playing on the SM North jeep I was riding. I was silently singing along to the song when I noticed the guy on the front seat also singing along. It seems na napansin niya ako via the side mirror kasi panay yung ngisi niya sakin. hahahaha at nag-duet kami sa jeep!

Friday, August 8, 2008

WTF? Not My Doctor Strange!

By the power of the Undying Vishanti...

I just want to give my thoughts on the Dr Strange animated movie. I bought the DVD a few months ago and thought of looking up some clips online. Many people found the movie 'awesome' and 'badass' and had some positive comments about the movie.

I, on the other hand, beg to DISAGREE.

Just five minutes into the movie I saw a LOT of things that were way off the comic book. Granted that Marvel wanted to repackage the character for a new audience but in all fairness to those who got to know the Doc a bit earlier on, this movie is ludicrous. I do not lay claim to having read and possessed ALL Doc Strange comics but the Doctor Strange that I knew during the "Midnight Sons" saga and the "Last Rites" series is not the Doctor Strange this movie was presenting.

The movie tried to give the 'origins' of Dr Strange a new twist. Based on the Stan Lee 'Origins' comic series which featured Dr Strange, he was suffering from father-issues and was an alcoholic. The movie sanitized this into a version where Stephen Strange's frustrations at being unable to save his sister from an illness became the motivating factor for him to pursue medicine with disregard to the emotional or nurturing aspect of medicine. In short, naging bato ang kanyang puso because of the tragic death of his sister.

I found the revised version a bit corny. In fact, even if the Stan Lee origins storyline in the comic was a bit expository, it had hints of profundity which the movie lacked. Everything was so in your face - it was almost an insult to the intelligence of the viewer.

Let me get back to the first five minutes. The opening moments hinted at a darker take on the adventures of Doc Strange...then suddenly these "elementals" arrived wielding - Oh my God - swords! I almost burst out laughing. It was as if the writer/s took inspiration from the latest MMORPG and conjured these characters out of thin air. Then Doctor Strange was taken to The Ancient One's abode and became the male version of Cinderella hahahaha

After a lot of exposition wherein the "elementals" got to show their "cool" martial arts and sword-fighting skills - with a few falling prey to shadow monsters, and Baron Mordo was falling into the dark side etc. then Doc Strange finally summoned his latent magick and conjured - surprise, surprise! - a SWORD! OMFG for the life of me, I never imagined Doctor Strange as a sword-swinging superhero. He's much too...powerful?...for that, I think. Anyway, this is an "origin" movie so maybe the writers thought that Doc should start from scratch hehe

Dr Strange has always been a more of a behind-the-scenes mover. If he decides to engage in action, it is often cosmic (and sometimes transdimensional) in scope. The movie, in a way, made me miss the old Doc Strange, clad in blue, with the Cloak of Levitation draped over his shoulders, endlessly chanting of the Undying Vishanti and other difficult-to-pronounce deities...

Hay naku, Dr. Strange...I feel like I don't know you anymore...

This is why I often get confounded when browsing through the new Marvel comics...the characters that I have grown to love have been changed in such profound ways, it seems nostalgia is my only remedy for these iconoclastic reimaginings...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Historical Humor

The top ten oldest jokes ever. list here

My faves:

2. How do you entertain a bored pharaoh? You sail a boatload of young women dressed only in fishing nets down the Nile and urge the pharaoh to go catch a fish (An abridged version first found in 1600 BC on the Westcar Papyrus)

8. Augustus was touring his Empire and noticed a man in the crowd who bore a striking resemblance to himself. Intrigued he asked: "Was your mother at one time in service at the Palace?" "No your Highness," he replied, "but my father was." (Credited to the Emporer Augustus 63 BC – 29 AD)

9. Wishing to teach his donkey not to eat, a pedant did not offer him any food. When the donkey died of hunger, he said "I've had a great loss. Just when he had learned not to eat, he died." (Dated to the Philogelos 4th /5th Century AD)

it seems the human race has been laughing through the ages.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Seen and Heard

On the day we saw the play Noli at Fili dekada Dos Mil:

SEEN: "COUNTRY Chicken House" - name of food establishment we passed by somewhere in New Manila. Guess what the name of the small carinderia beside it was...Yes, it was "COUNTRYSIDE Eatery."

HEARD: In a UP Campus-Philcoa Jeepney going along University Avenue - "Kuya, diyan lang po kami sa may OVATION banda..." hahahahaha buti na lang hindi "Ovulation" or else baka nahulog ako sa jeep kakatawa.

Just this day:

HEARD: On the MRT - "Chowking Soap Operas"...stories to cleanse your soul and rekindle your spirit. can an old Chinese tale of cannibalism lift up one's spirit? ha? The stories were so morose and banal it almost made me want to bite off someone's head in the train. This is as worse as sitting next to an evangelist in a bus...I was actually looking forward to the monotony of the MRT station announcements. Annapolis Station...Annapolis Station...

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Work in Progress (a.k.a. Patingi-tinging Inspirasyon)

Kahit baguhin man ang mga pangalan, maging mga katauhan ng mga karakter sa kwento, kahit ilipat sa ibang lugar ang mga kaganapan, kahit baguhin man ang wikang ginagamit upang ilahad ang kwento, nananatili pa ring makabuluhan ang Noli at Fili sa pinagbagong bersyon na ito dahil nananatiling makatotohanan ang mga pangkalahatang ideya na ibig ipahiwatig ng nobela – ang mga puna ng ating pambansang bayani sa ating lipunan at ang kanyang repleksyon hinggil sa mga pwersang nagbigay-daan sa matinding karamdaman ng bayan at ang mga hakbang upang mapuksa ang [karamdamang] ito. Ito ang sentral sa reimahinasyon ng “Noli at Fili sa dekadang Dos Mil.”

- from my reaction paper to "Noli at Fili Dekada Dos Mil," a work in progress

Shet! (kung si Spiderman pa) I can write in decent Filipino! hahahaha though this version still needs a bit of polishing. This is what happens kung walang magawa si Ditch...lumalabas ang nakatagong manunulat sa Filipino?

I would have to dig deep in the coming weeks for this hidden "manunulat" since I'll be embarking on my research paper for Spiderman.

Hala! ihanda na ang insenso at i-rehearse na ang mantra! Dig deep tayo for divine, metacognitive inspiration. Ohmmmmmmmmmmm

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Rocky Horror Picture Show

I watched my VCD of this classic cult film again, trying to make sense of it. Halfway through this song, I found my endeavor an exercise in futility so I decided to give up and enjoy this weird and campy movie, scifi flick, horror film, musical, thing - whatever.

Could you imagine Susan Sarandon doing this film 20 years ago? haha Touch-a Touch-a Touch-Me...

Fyodor Dostoevsky

There were a few things that I should've done today. Like read an article for my research paper. Or make the reaction paper to the play we watched last Friday.

Instead, I found myself among the crowd in SM North - braving the heavy rains for the mallwide sale. I didn't even know that there was a sale. hehe

It has been a while since I made a pilgrimage to Booksale so I made my way through the crowd - it seemed that the whole of Metro Manila was besieging the mall just to avail of discounted purchases. My sole purpose: see what's new in the bargain bookstore.

That's how I ended up buying Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment.

Reading the first few chapters is punishing work. A few pages into the story and then you're confronted with a drunken man's monologue that goes on for about eight pages. Then you come across an entire chapter devoted entirely to a letter. Then there are these Russian names that are a challenge to remember - Raskolnikov, Marmeladov, Svidrigailov, Lippevechsel, Praskovya Pavlovna, Pyotr Petrovich Luzhin - names seemingly borne out of an unfortunate Scrabble accident. I may not be able to continue reading this literary masterpiece though, all those "should've been done's" will come back to haunt me tomorrow...

An afterthought: though my purchase may have been seemingly random, the book title has an eerily fitting connection to my Kas 110 research...serendipity perhaps? hmmmmm....

Friday, August 1, 2008

I have Robert Seña's Autograph

Just came back from the Philippine Educational Theater Association's performance of "Noli at Fili: Dekada Dos Mil" and the play was AMAZING!

The play was a reinterpretation of Rizal's classic novels. Imagine the novel occuring somtime during this decade. Imagine Ibarra as a mayor of a small town in Southern Tagalog. Imagine Maria Clara renamed as *gasp* Clarissa (?!).Imagine Elias as a commander of an insurgent group battling illegal loggers in the mountains. Imagine Padre Salvi - now transformed into Colonel Salvi - the patron and protector of the corrupt elements in town. Imagine Padre Damaso as a bishop. Imagine Doña Victorina as a bag-toting, Spanish-speaking socialite. Imagine Kapitan Tiago as Governor Tiago. Imagine Pilosopong Tasyo as Principal Tasyo...hahaha basta ang daming binago pero meron paring nanatiling makatotohanan sa reinterpretasyon ng tanghalan.

Best performance in my view was Robert Seña as Colonel Salvi. Most Consistent Acting Award goes to the guy who played Basilio (mangiyak-ngiyak school of acting kaya siya hahaha) Best Trajectory for an Artist's Saliva goes to the actor who played Ibarra/Simon. Best Performance as an Audience Who Do Not Know How To Behave in a Theater goes to the students at the front rows na ewan ko kung saang school nanggaling. Kaming taga-UP tingin lang sa kanila and we were asking ourselves "First time ba nilang manood ng play?" or "Baka akala nila sine ang pinapanood or noontime show?"

Barbarians! Buti pa ang mga taga-UP maski nakatsinelas lang sa teatro marunong manood ng play hindi katulad sa inyong mga posers - este - poseurs pala! wahahahaha


Aside from indie films, the theater is another niche where Filipinos shine. And shine they did. Though I am not too thrilled with the reinterpretation of the Fili part (gusto ko dark yung ending, parang Sweeney Todd, eh yung ending production number pakanta-kanta pa - in fairness, music composed by Noel Cabangon ohhhhh), the play was an earnest endeavor to translate the social thoughts of our national hero into something the new generation could "gets".

Plus, tenor pala si Robert Seña? hahaha I managed to get his autograph since he was at the end of the line of actors, nearest the exit. Sayang hindi ko nakuha ang autograph ni Kuya Bodgie (of Batibot fame) who played Bishop Damaso.

Weird Moment: When we were hanging out outside the theater during the intermission, I saw Bembol Roco across us, hanging out with Isay Alvarez and isa pang director. Bembol Roco walked toward us and I found myself directly on his path. I froze in my tracks and all I managed to say was: "Si Bembol Roco..." wahahahahaha Star-struck?

Really, I felt stupid the moment the words escaped from my lips...and then Bembol threw his cigarette at the garbage bin beside us.

When we went back inside the theater, guess who was sitting at the row before us?

Si Bembol Roco.