Pop(ulation) Machine

Halina’t sumamba/ lahat ay may pag asa sa Pop Machine –Eraserheads, Pop Machine


There’s a kind of magic in the air, and it’s not even the Bruce Springsteen kind.

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Xenophobia Begins At Home 1: Indians

Actual Indians May Vary

Actual Indians May Vary

The Indians are one of our nation’s oldest trading partners. Widespread contact with India in pre-Hispanic times is evidenced by a great number of sanskrit loan words in our national language.

What We Call Them:
Bumbay– From Bombay, which is a city in India. It is by no means the only city in India from which all Indians come from.

5-6- For their loan practices. The math is probably complicated, but the basic rule of thumb is you borrow P500, and you pay P600.

What We Say About Them:
They stink, and so does their food. That’s pretty much it, I guess. Also, they can be called upon by yayas and mothers to kidnap disobedient children. Or, possibly, to take them as payment when said yaya or mother cannot cough up the P600 she owes.

Why We’re Douchbags For Saying It:
We all smell weird to other people. Filipinos, they say, smell of fish. Surely some culture in the world finds that abhorrent. Probably everyone else who isn’t Filipino or a fish.

Older generations of Filipinos actually gag or have asthma attacks when encountering Indians or their food. Aside from being absurdly OA, they conveniently forget that some Filipino stuff like bagoong and various meals made from gastric juices and animal innards are pretty fucked up, too.

As far as kidnapping goes, we’ve got things back-asswards. Indians are more likely to get kidnapped than your average child. Criminals probably think that a person who can afford to lend money is worth kidnapping.

Common sense holds, however, that a person who lends money is only really worth kidnapping if money owed is actually collected. One doesn’t have to work for the World Bank to know, though, that paying our debts is not a Filipino virtue.


The Joker

No, seriously. Why not?

No, seriously. Why not?

Birth and Taxes

The only form of protection the Philippines allows

The only protection allowed by the Church

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who talks to God (but doesn’t always listen), bowed to Church fathers on their stand against contraception and population control. Supposedly, Arroyo decided “to maintain her stand against the use of contraceptives because of the weak lobby for artificial family planning methods.” This may be as much because people are too busy fucking as it is because people don’t want access to artificial family-planning methods, one must note.

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Finetime: The Eraserheads Stage Comeback

“I hope we could spend more time together/ a few hours is better than never”

The ’90s generation peed their collective pants a little when rumors started floating around that the Eraserheads were getting back together for a reunion concert, and had a spontaneous orgasm when it was announced this week that the rumors were spot on.

Rumor has it, or it’s probably official now, that the event will be sponsored by Marlboro, and that the E-heads are supposedly getting millions for playing again years after breaking up.

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Divide, and Conquer

Leftist youth group Anakbayan assaulted the corporate headquarters of oil giant Petron last week throwing used diesel fuel at the building (how crude.) Also-leftist-but-of-a-different-age-bracket organization Bayan swept down on the offices of Pilipinas Shell today, vandalizing the place with red paint and rhetoric. With the price of pretty much everything going through the roof, more protest actions are expected in the next few days.

Government has little to worry about, though. We Filipinos have never been much into organizing. Consider all the little revolts and petty rebellions that we’ve had over the centuries and try to find one conflict where there was an organized network of Filipinos who had an actual strategy and not just random slogans and mission/vision statements.

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Music To Eat Food By

At a small Chinese restaurant on Commonwealth, the food is great, the service, excellent, but the background music, illogically, is a mix of R&B and power ballads that are as Chinese as my girlfriend’s grandmother who has kinky hair and was born in Zambales (which is to say, not Chinese at all.) Sadly, this scene is repeated in most restaurants in the country, although sans my girlfriend’s grandmother.

While restaurants are not expected to strictly enforce sticking with a theme (Thai food can, for example, be served even without Bangkok whores to provide authenticity,) lack of attention to detail when it comes to music can make or break one’s dining experience.

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Name Calling

This is a declaration of war against you, Stepmother Spain. And you, Uncle-who-touches-me-funny UK. If you are at all familiar with playground politics, you know damn well a person can only take so much name-calling before they fight back.

You remember these, don’t you?

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Walk This Way

Not that we really need to explain ourselves to the rest of the world, but the slow pace of life on these islands is as much an accident of geography as it is of the climate.

On the island of Palawan, as is probably the case in many others, the trip from one end of the island to the other takes as long, if not longer, than the voyage from the mainland.  Geographically, it is easier to travel between islands than within them, what with mountain passes, river crossings, wild pigs and tribal wars barring your way.  More often than not, it is too much of a hassle to go anywhere.

Because local horses are laughably small, travel during our ancestors’ times was either by river, but most often by foot. The particularly rich could get other people to use their feet, riding in baskets and hammocks carried by servants. Thus was Filipino time just another turn of phrase for I’ll get there when I get there.

With fuel prices out of control, and everyone rushing to get on the trains making it look like World Youth Days ’95 to ’97 every day, the Filipino might have to start walking again. Fares on all public-utility vehicles are about go up, if they haven’t already, and trying to get a ride in rush-hour Manila will be even harder with less people able to afford to drive. In this heat, late is about to become the new early.

(cue title music, roll credits)