Anti-Social Media: Tiger Blood

"Just the facts, ma'am"


Just so you know, fellow indolent indios, Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s first press conference since moving from the House on the River to the House of Representatives was not held just so she could lambaste the Aquino administration for its lack of leadership.

She did not, for example, call her son’s lackey at the House press corps, and say, “Hey, Mr.Sheen*,  the flood situation in Cotabato has caused me much concern and we need to hold a press conference in Lubao to talk about it.”

The press conference was actually planned weeks in advance but had to be rescheduled because a.) Rep. Macapagal-Arroyo had to be rushed to the hospital for a pinched nerve and b.) Mr. Sheen just plain fucked up.

You see, bickering on the beat had gotten so bad that when Mr. Sheen’s principal, another congressman from Pampanga but not necessarily representing Pampanga, tapped him to get the media to attend Mrs. Arroyo’s press conference, he excluded members of the media that his clique was not cool with.

Which, as a dude, is sort of cool, but as an operator, not so much. After all, if you’re going to ask for a Ford Explorer in exchange for selling out your journalistic ethics, you’re expected to deliver as much media mileage as possible. By excluding people you’re not on good terms with, but who are still members of the media, you’re pretty much shooting yourself in the foot.

Given that among those members of the media that Mr. Sheen excluded was a reporter for a conservative national daily with a circulation of thousands, Mrs. Arroyo’s official spokesperson (i.e. not an operator with a press pass) had to step in and invite everybody.

And so, we get what we had last week, which was Mrs. Arroyo slagging her former Economics student for not being a good President. Which she might not actually be wrong about. But the point is, it was planned weeks in advance.

As for Mr. Sheen, we can just call him that because despite all evidence, he still thinks that he is, as his Hollywood counterpart does, that he is winning. When, as an operator, he almost failed.

*Not his real name, obviously.

Indolent Internet Weekly Digest 5

Every weekend, Indolent Indio tries to come out with a short and hastily-done roundup of things we’ve found on the Internet (pinoy chapter, of course.)

Quality, quantity, content, and success may vary.

Boracay island is aghast over the President referring to their island as “Bora” just like everyone else has in the past 10 years.

A Filipina in Hong Kong throws herself in front of a bus to save her young ward, thus redeeming us for that other incident involving Hong Kong people and a bus.

A Christian church marries eight gay couples in Baguio City.

When you are in a rap battle and you try to follow up calling your opponent a bitch by calling him the “bitchest,” consider admitting defeat:

Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, former President,  holds a press conference to score the Aquino administration and its lack of leadership. As this happens, her hometown and congressional district  gets flooded because of heavy rains.

Lawyer H. Harry Roque, crusader for justice and publicity hound, wants the Supreme Court to scrap a guideline on live coverage of the Maguindanao massacre trial that bars networks from cutting to commercials. He said the rule infringes on editorial freedom and on the media’s right to make money. [Note: allowing live coverage was already a concession.]

Pinoy Gonzo talks about the anguish of writing: “Ilang nobela ko na ba at short stories ang parang mga programa ng gobyerno — puro simula lang — dahil sa sobrang gipit ko sa oras ay nawalan ako ng gana sa kanila?”


Santo Tomas trumps State U

The University of the Philippines and the University of Santo Tomas have had a friendly sort of rivalry that dates back to before #schoolwars was something that might trend on Twitter.

The two schools, perhaps envious of the Ateneo-De La Salle rivalry, have been competing against each other in everything from cheerleading competitions to pretty much every licensure exam in the country.

So, when UP commemorated its centennial anniversary with a special edition 100-peso bill:

Actual monetary value is still P100

It was inevitable that UST, which marks its 400th anniversary this year, would try to one-up UP with this:

The bill nobody wants in their wallet.

Well played, Thomasians. Well played.

Anti-Social Media: Plagiarism victim Rey Joble quits

This just in: Rey Joble, whose article on GMA News Online was plagiarized by author Krip Yuson for a magazine article, has left the company.

Joble said goodbye on his Facebook account today:

After more than a year of writing/editing stories for the sports section of GMA News, the author is bidding goodbye to his readers/followers. Thanks so much for making me and the sports section of GMA News a part of your reading interest. Thanks so much as well to GMA News for the opportunity.

Yuson was let go soon after the plagiarism issue spread on social networking sites.

No cheers for new Pampanga tourism program

Pampanga province commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Mount Pinatubo eruption this month, a cataclysmic event that swallowed entire towns and gave every kid who grew up in the ’90s a reason to believe in the Wrath of God.

One eyewitness described it thus:

We would be fearful whenever it rained due to lahar threats. We would hear rumbling sounds of rocks and other volcanic debris as the nearby river system was only about two kilometers away from our house. They sounded like a cavalry of horses galloping and running into the wild. Barangays Dolores and Tabun were entombed. Our village was next in the lahar path.

So what better way to say “meh, we’re so over that,” than by kicking off a tourism campaign called C.H.E.E.R.S Tours? Which, incidentally, is how people back then dealt with having their homes washed away by lahar: drinking and making up acronyms while drunk. (All right, mostly drinking.)

Hardly anybody knows this name

President Benigno Aquino III may claim to be ushering in a new era of Philippine politics, but there are some things that you can’t change overnight. Government agencies loving marginally-clever acronyms, for example.

In this case, C.H.E.E.R.S. stands for Cuisine, Heritage, Eco-Tourism, Educational, River Cruise, and Specialty. It makes little sense, I know, but congratulations to Pampanga for coming up with that one.

No congratulations, however, on what was apparently a disorganized test run that foreign diplomats and members of the media were sent on with no prior warning. A source who went to the Cheers launch said there was no itinerary provided, no announcements on how long the group would stay at a particular stop, and no waiting for people still wandering around when it was time to move on. Some members of the group were apparently left behind to fend for themselves. It is hoped that they will be seen again.

Most of the tour was spent sitting in a bus or a boat (R is for for River Cruise) and having one of 40 tour guides point at a site and say something interesting about it. Still fresh out of training, the tour guides tended to clump together, so it was really like being with one tour guide who had a tour group of tour guides.

It's the same cat...

Our source says one reporter was so frustrated at how things were done that she complained there was little to write about except that she left the office, got on a bus, and was driven around. People were still ranting during an open forum on the bus ride home by the time that bus arrived in Manila, Indolent Indio was told.

I have Capampangan blood myself and my grandmother’s hometown was among those swallowed by lahar, so I do wish the Cheers program the best. Things could have been done better, that’s all.  I mean, it’s not like they didn’t have 20 years to plan for this.

[Edit: Somebody who claims to be a tour guide for the Cheers program has left a comment to “correct our info”. In the interest of fairness, we are publishing it here, albeit edited for style. Thanks, “Eunice Sadsad.”]

Eunice Sadsad says:

We are not 40, just 31 to be exact. And it is so impossible that just one of the tour guides spoke on that tour because first,each boat has a capacity of minimum 10 to 15 persons each. Each boat has a local guide. So, if we used seven boats to bring them to one of the stations of the river cruise,then definitely seven guides were used up already. Each station that is part of the itinerary has a guide waiting for them there to do the briefing.

And, yes, we were fresh from training but we’ve had several dry runs before that launching day and we’ve heard nothing but praises from the guests that day.

So, there. Again, Indolent Indio, and specifically OneTamad, wishes the Cheers program the best. We are nothing if not for the development of the Philippines, and this tour is definitely a step in the right direction.



Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres Gomez: legislator, TV host, magic fairy

In Worse Than Free (2005), journalist and personal superhero Vergel Santos scored Noli de Castro for shilling a brand of brandy in a television commercial while still a news presenter for ABS-CBN.

He said de Castro, by agreeing to endorse Emperador Brandy, “increased his television exposure, not to mention his
earnings” and ended up topping the 2001 senatorial elections. And it was based on a bald-faced lie.

The point is he got where he is partly by misrepresenting himself and breaching ethics: As one who never touched the stuff, he was less than truthful in his brandy commercial, and as a media person, less than proper.

Since then, the worlds of advertising and politics have overlapped so often that Philippine media is like New york City (Earth-616)in the Marvel Universe.

Except with less costumes, more barongs

Senator Francis Escudero’s endorsement of Technomarine is only among the latest, but Senators Loren Legarda, Panfilo Lacson, and former senator Richard Gordon have all appeared in ads for laundry detergent, a dermatologist, and for anti-bacterial soap. Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao falls in a different category altogether for endorsing every product ever made, and for being a part-time congressman.

Those ads, at least, were based on reality. Escudero wears a watch, Legarda wears clothes, and Gordon washes his hands (also, he donated his talent fee to the Red Cross, he said). Senator Lacson has nice skin, I guess.  Pacquiao is Pacquiao, the closest thing the Philippines has to an actual Thor (half god/half congressman). Not so these recent ads by Lucy Torres Gomez, Leyte representative and fairy of some sort.

In a series of TV commercials for a brand of detergent, Gomez is portrayed as some sort of fairy/superhero in the fight against mildew and laundry that smells of damp. She even has corny catch phrases like “Wash out!”, “Kaya ng powers ko (my powers can handle this!), and “More powers to you!”

"Wash Out!"

Sadly, she is not speaking of the powers of Congress to hold inquiries in aid of legislation and to craft laws but of the stain-beating, mildew-removing powers of this detergent of which she is the personification.

Listen, we get that politics is mostly a joke in this country, and we have very low expectations when we elect actors (and their spouses) to the legislature, but come on.

There is a certain gravitas to legislation and we expect our lawmakers to act a certain way. Sure, you can go ahead and steal our money, let your children act like beasts now and then, but at least do it with dignity. Save the silly costumes for the annual State of the Nation Address.

This is no basis for a system of government

Anti-Social Media: Freethinkers game tabloid

When you live in an absurd world, it’s sometimes hard to know when someone is kidding. Like in the case of tabloid newspaper Abante, which apparently lifted a story from the website of the Filipino Freethinkers.

Sadly, that story falls under fake news, a form of comedy made popular in the early 2000s when the world was not yet such a silly place.


Satire: not our strong suit

Compare that with this story on, which quotes a group whose name sounds vaguely like Tagalog slang for that crud that accumulates on the tip of your penis if you’re a slob (or, as science-minded folks call it, smegma) .




Blogger MisterVader, who tipped us off had this to say:

It’s sad enough that you plagiarized an article from a blog without giving them a single ounce of credit. What makes this steaming pile of fail even worse is that you plagiarized a parody article and passed it off as news. That’s just depressingly pathetic.

Nobody can tell what this will mean for the Reproductive Health bill. Probably nothing. Some reporters are getting drunk tonight, though. That much is sure.

Thanks for the tip, MisterVader!

By Jingo!

By Jingo! There is nothing like having a rich and heavily-armed neighbor sniffing around your backdoor to whip our politicians into a nationalistic fervor.

Although the Palace has officialy called for calm on the issue of Chinese navy ships cruising near the Kalayaan Island Group, Paranaque Representative Roilo Golez wants to hit the Middle Kingdom where it hurts: its international image.

We can deliver speeches and statements in Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), UN (United Nations), Apec (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation), IPU (Inter-Parliamentary Union), various parliaments especially the US Congress, Australia, Japan, South Korea. We should internationalize the issue in both official and unofficial channels,” Golez said.

Golez, who believes everything on Wikipedia  is true , said China’s image abroad is where it is “most vulnerable and where a credible attack can be launched and sustained.” He even suggested a “diplomatic alliance” with Vietnam despite that country also claiming the Spratlys as theirs.


The loose strategy seems to be to pressure groups like Asean and the UN (where China sits on the security council) to, I don’t know, say some pretty words about sovereignty and freedom.

"Good luck with that, guys."

Over the weekend, Albay Governor Joey Salceda, a former economic adviser to the Arroyo government, suggested a boycott of China-made goods. “Let us boycott ‘Made in China’ products. Buy Filipino. Let us hurt them where it counts,” he reportedly told his constituents on Independence Day a few decades too late. With no real industries to speak of, buying Filipino at this point will hurt us more, and where it counts.


Not keen on Filipinos basically not buying anything they can afford, the Palace was quick to reject the proposal.

“Governor Salceda, like many other Filipinos, has strong opinions regarding the issue of the West Philippine Sea and we respect that. However, a boycott of Chinese products is not administration policy at this point,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.

If you grew up knowing that the Spratlys were in the South China Sea (and if you were born before today, that includes you), then more fool you. As every red-blooded Filipino knows, the Spratlys are in the West Philippine Sea, according to the country’s latest campaign to legitimize our claim over the islands.


(Palace spokesman Edwin NMI) Lacierda said the Palace was taking its cue from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) which has been using “West Philippine Sea” in the series of letters and notes verbales protesting China’s incursions into areas that the DFA claims were well within Philippine territory.

The DFA earlier explained that using “West Philippine Sea” to refer to the waters where the disputed territories lie was “in keeping with our tradition and history as well as reflective of its proper geographic location.”

No longer can China use that foulest of the arguments  used by playground bullies: “I don’t see your name on it.” You can see it now, China. You can see it now.


Senator Francis Pangilinan also chimed in on the issue with a statement that on one hand is irrelevant, and on the other hand, isn’t true at all: “The Philippines has a long history of freedom and popular uprisings against tyranny and the arrogance of power. We will never allow any superpower to bully us into submission.”


Happy post-Independence Day, everybody.

Except you, Renato Pacifico, you fink.

Fuck you, guy. That is the Philippine flag.

Doroteo Jose station, LRT Line 1, Manila

Fuck you, guy. That is the Philippine flag that my grandfather spent most of his life fighting for. He did not survive the Death March and a Huk ambush and then ironically die from an incorrectly diagnosed stomach problem at Veterans Memorial Medical Center so you can use it as as a goddamned sun shade.

Fuck you very much.

Also, fuck you, Doroteo Jose station of the Light Rail Transit Line 1 for putting up a Philippine flag near wet paint and letting paint stain that flag so it looks like some guy used it to wipe his ass. If you’re going to put up a flag to mark our Independence Day, know that is not just some funky Pinoy Pride curtain.

Why don't you just set it on fire and pee on the ashes?