â€œKung kinakailangang baklasin, babaklasin namin, (If we have to tear things down, we’ll tear things down.â€ This was Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Bayani Fernando’s ultimatum to the developers of the Skyway that has turned the South Luzon Expressway anything but. (Well, it still goes to South Luzon, so there’s that.) He’s given them until Sunday to ease traffic along the highway or the MMDA will step in.
In 2007, the average score on the National Achievement Test given to our public elementary school kids was 55%. In 2008, it was 66%, the new benchmark set by our Department of Education from the original 75%.
Law expert Atty. Romulo Macalintal has officially joined the ranks of government apologists like House Speaker Prospero Nograles, Presidential legal adviser and zombie lord Raul Gonzalez and douchbag extraordinaire Michael Defensor by resorting to that finest of legal arguments: the ad hominem.
In a press briefing this week, Macalintal attacked Philippine media, and journalists in general, for expecting his principal, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to live a moral life when they themselves are corrupt.
“If we’re talking about morality, you should take a look at yourselves, at the informercials you’re running which could be violating the law,” he said, referring to pre-campaign “advocacy” ads that have been airing on the major networks (of which several were produced by government agencies.)
“If you already know it is immoral, then why advertise? Why accept the advertisement? Doesn’t that also make you immoral?,” he asked, vindicating his boss not at all.
“Who among us here is clean anyway?,” he asked, adding that journalists receive pay offs just like politicians do.
He also took a jab at American media saying, “why don’t you ask the New York Post the basis for bringing up the issue of immorality, given there are many poor Filipinos.”Â What indeed?
In my mind, this is pretty much the creative process of ANC’s show, Storyline:
Producer: Intern, choose a random word from the dictionary, find three people who embody it somehow and meet me in the editing room in five minutes.
Intern: How random a word is random? What if I come up with ‘aardvark?’ How do I determine the relation of signifier to significant in a world of arbitrary meaning? Producer? Producer?! AWWW, HERE IT GOES!
There is probably more to it than that, and they probably have more than one intern, but I always get the impression that Merriam-Webster and an address book play a large part in their brainstorming.
The show has been getting rave reviews (based on its TV ad, at least,) so maybe the whole let’s get people we can shoehorn into neat little one-word categories to talk about themselves approach works. Getting former armed forces chief Senator Rodolfo Biazon to talk about manliness, for example. Or “veteran journalist Vergel Santos, sex therapist and clinical psychologist Margie Holmes, and Fr. Mike Paez, a parish priest with a colorful past” for a show with the theme Freedom.
The show does tend to be cheesy, though. They once did an interview with former child prodigy Shaira Luna (she just grew up, she didn’t get dumb all of a sudden or anything) and how she dealt with a world that expected much of her. As naturally as the sun is at the center of our solar system, Ms. Luna decided to follow her passion instead of a career in the academe that wonder milk Promil prepared her for.Â In the last scene, an old photo of her as a child is burned on camera to reveal the “real” her in the background. It was cheesy as hell and left me emotionally scarred for life.Â Maybe the theme of the show was cheese.
Storyline is set to break new ground with its “Bayan Ko” episode featuring Ka Freddie Aguilar, though. Two words, and they aren’t even English ones.
God Help Us! Carlo J. Caparas has a point, or at least a talking point worth spinning into the age-old rich vs. poor rhetoric that political debate at any level always boils down to.
In a recent radio interview, Direk Carlo J., argued that other National Artists protesting his being awarded a National Artist are dry, old academics whose works are only read in college classrooms. He, on the other hand, is â€œa National Artist who came from the masses.â€
National Artists Virgilio Almario, F. Sionil Jose and Bienvenido Lumbera should be kissing his feet, he said, because finally, there is a national artist â€œwho the masses can identify withâ€”someone who walks beside them, someone who can inspire them.â€ Inspire them to massacre people, I suppose, or to put on superhero costumes. Or maybe the object lesson is to pray to God in the face of horrible crimes. Whatever. The point is the inspiration is right there for the taking. Whereas, of course, students have to slog through novels and short stories (and go to college, I guess) before picking up some sort of lesson from these old writer guys.
And, really, that’s it isn’t it? A National Artist should be someone who embodies the culture of his people. And if we happen to appreciate fantaseryes and komiks more than we do literature and films that make us think, then Carlo J. Caparas as national artist makes total sense. In the end, the main criterion is â€œhaving made significant contributions to the development of Philippine arts.â€ Nobody said that it should be a development we necessarily welcome.
And come on, guys. How can anyone argue with his wife Donna Villa who said “even Jesus Christ was criticized because of his boldness to save mankind from sins”? Do you know who else has used that defense? Cebu Rep. Pablo Garcia for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Also, and to much less success, Jesus.
It’s the same thing with Nazis and Godwin’s Law, I guess. As the list of someone’s critics in a Catholic third world country grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Jesus approaches 1. This is M‘s Law, and marks the end of rational discussion.
The Dutch say that coffee has two virtues: it is wet and warm. No doubt, they say it in that sing-song way of theirs, but this is true. True, coffee has pretty much gone the Belo route over the past decade with the whipped cream and hazelnut syrup and being served over ice. But that’s just, you know, artistic license. Under all that fluff, the coffee remained pretty much just coffee whether it was grown ethically or was pooped out by a civet.
San Miguel takes coffee to a whole new level with its Pro-Health coffee, though. As the company describes it, Pro-Health Coffee is â€œdelicious, sugar-free, cholesterol-free, low in fat, low in calories, and absolutely aromaticâ€¦the coffee made perfect, San Mig Coffee Pro-Health.â€ In other words, it’s an abomination unto God.
San Mig Coffee Pro-Power has 10 mg of Gingko Biloba for virility and mental superiority. Pro-Beauty has 250 mg of collagen for tighter skin (and possibly fuller lips,) and Pro-Slim has 200 mg of that L-Carnitine that will supposedly save you the effort of actual exercise. Pro-Fiber on the other hand will help you poop regularly, which, I suppose is some sort of super power.
It’s better living through chemistry perverted to create a coffee so superior that it will not only keep you awake, but will also make you a better person. It’s a bit like MGH* Â but with the value added of a caffeine high. Which, I guess, Â you’ll need, as you spend your nights alone and fearful of human beings who will misunderstand and resent your increased intellect and supernatural beauty.
*Mutant Growth Hormone — Mutie Lovin’ OneTamad
Apologies for the low update rate (even for this site), Indolentry.
Our tiny corner of these Philippine Islands is temporarily not part of the global village.
M is holding down the fort at the moment, but we should be back to regular(ish) posting by this week.
Also, we’ve fixed the problem with the feeds. This may require subscribing again, but it will be worth it because subscribing is free!