This Pageant is Decadent and Depraved

Pic in no way related

A dispatch from Calatagan, Batangas reports that a certain beauty pageant is now what “That’s Entertainment!” and talent shows of its ilk were in the 1980s and 1990s: a hunting ground for politicians looking for starlets.

Not that Indolent Indio is in any way a credible source of information, but our baby mouse tells us that many candidates have politicians as backers and sponsors.

Said patronage can get weird sometimes. Like in the case of the mayor of the Municipality of Birdland (obviously not the actual name of the municipality, but it would have been awesome if so) who backs one candidate and wants her to win.

But Birdland already had an official candidate and she didn’t want to give way to the mayor’s bet. So the mayor has his candidate run to represent the neighboring Municipality of Macondo.

With that, municipal support for Miss Birdland dried up and she wasn’t even allowed to use the municipality’s van to get around. It is not a huge leap to think that that support went to Miss Macondo, actually a resident of Birdland.

The questionable wisdom in using municipal funds to pay for candidate aside (a win, could, after all, up the municipality’s prestige), using those funds to pay for a candidate from another town is downright treacherous.

Pageants have also apparently evolved much from the stage mommies (and families)
we saw in “Little Miss Sunshine” and, well, the actual Little Miss Philippines.

Our baby mouse says candidates have managers and handlers now, and they have machinery in place to help ensure a win. Envelopes for reporters and bloggers covering the event, say. He said this will help justify a rigged win.

The managers are particularly worried about one candidate, the favorite of a local politician where the pageant’s finals will be held. They say will likely win because her backer agreed to provide a venue for the finals.

The existence of pageants in a country that claims respect for women is debatable but the backdoor deals and back stories suggest that they are more than just about who is the smartest and prettiest.

If we are picking beauties who will represent the Philippines in international pageants, then the apple should go to the fairest, not to who paid the most.

Five reasons Metro Cebu is better than Metro Manila

We’re not even talking about the city’s fine females whom we saw, encountered, gawked at, stared at, thought about, talked to, fantasized, toasted to, drank with, flirted with, hit on, gossiped about, Googled, confronted, took pictures of, tailed.

Pic from

For your reference

Everything except scored with, given the nature of our limited budget, lack of sophistication, and overall charm deficit.

In any case, Cebuanas are works of art, national treasures, true symbols of Filipino beauty.

And yes, that includes you, Governor Gwen Garcia, despite your bad hair days.

Cebuanas deserve a separate blog entry, an ode, here at Indolent Indio.

But we’re getting carried away.

And so, to begin:

Bigger is not necessarily better.

Best proof of that is Metro Manila.

Besides being the Philippines’ richest and most populous city, the metropolis also enables its residents to enjoy a 24/7 lifestyle every single day of the year.

As a result, every Manileño — including the pseudo-city slickers in Tondo and the coño kids in Makati — exude a sense of superiority wherever they go.

But those days are about to end, if they haven’t yet.

How come?

Metro Cebu is about to overtake Manila in more ways than one.

With its low-key nightlife and well-planned urban development, Cebu has increasingly trumped the offerings of Metro Manila.

Facilities in the Queen City of the South are not only world-class but are more advanced than those in Manila.

It has everything that the capital can offer without the severe urban blight that is Manila.

Take our first example.


For years, the Mactan International Airport reigned supreme.

Before terminals two and three of Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) were built, everyone — Manileños included — were aghast at the monumental confusion spawned by its layout.

Departing or arriving at the NAIA was like being stuck in a government housing project whose contractor absconded with the money the minute the check cleared.

You needed a guide to navigate the maze that would bring you to the boarding gate and once there, you needed someone to take a pee break before you could even get a seat.

Just a decade later, NAIA’s Terminal II — built (or so it seemed) for the exclusive use of Philippine Airlines, now controlled by Lucio Tan — is showing its progenitor’s shortfalls.

Even on regular days, passengers are reduced to munching on exorbitantly-priced yet tasteless sandwiches while standing up.

No such thing at the Mactan airport, then and now.

Seats at the departure lounge are always available, even if the terminal serves passengers of as much as seven flights — domestic and international — on a given hour.

Also, pre-flight entertainment

Moreover, if your flight gets cancelled, all you have to do is to park your posterior at the nearest strategic location and drink in the sights of young, nubile, and shapely Cebuano-speaking eye candy.

This piece of advice is especially useful if you’re male or lesbian.

But let’s not get into that.


Taxis are plenty to and from the Mactan airport, within the metro, and any which way to and from the city. And even though drivers only speak a sprinkling of Tagalog, most of them won’t screw you over.

Best proof — again — is reason Numero Uno: the airport.

Upon reaching the arrival area, passengers can choose to board yellow cabs that are readily available on the same floor but at higher prices.

The well-worn and otherwise budget-conscious traveller is advised to take the elevator to the second floor — the departure area — and exit the building from there.


Just outside the departure area’s entrance and exit gates is a queue of regular-priced cabs, waiting for their next fare.

To ensure against any irregularities, security personnel are posted at the head of the line, handing out small pieces of paper containing the cab’s license plate number, useful for reporting incidents should anything go wrong.

No such arrangements are available at the departure area of Manila’s Terminal II.

Cabs are encouraged to leave without any passengers at all once their fares have gotten off.

So what happens?

The driver will only take you in if you agree to pay an extra amount on top of the regular fare and/or if you promise to let him cop a feel.

This insight is especially useful if you’re female, gay, or lesbian.

But let’s not get into that.

Talk Radio

If Manila’s airwaves have Papa Jack, Metro Cebu has Papa Joe.

Papa Jack’s good in dispensing advice to his callers regarding matters of the heart and — arguably — cracking jokes.

But Papa Joe’s better.

Besides being the audio version of an advice column, Papa Joe also helps out with the sundry problems of Cebuanos — dead, malfunctioning cellphones,
faulty motorcycle engines, and — get this — high blood and aneurysm.

He even knows if his callers just want airtime because he lets out a barrage of questions before answering them.

Moreover, unlike Ernie Baron, he doesn’t claim to know everything.

If Papa Joe doesn’t know the answer to a question, he asks listeners to call back without telling them that they should buy triangle-shaped hats or drink water from boiled leaves.

Also unlike Ernie Baron, Papa Joe can rap.


The Cebu City government has always advertised its South Road Properties (SRP) Project on at least one local cable television channel.

The advertisement features Caucasian-looking executives, extolling the virtues of doing business in Cebu and why investors should put their money in the city, particularly the SRP.

A reclaimed area, the project will soon be the site of another SM Mall of Asia by 2013, among other developments.

To ensure the smooth flow of vehicular traffic between the SRP and the city, project’s proponents have already built a highway for the very purpose.

All Malls of Asia must be built on reclaimed land

In turn, the newly-constructed highway — which is to Cebu what the C-5 is to Manila — has also produced a fringe benefit.

It is now used by motorists as the main thoroughfare to the South, helping decongest traffic along the city’s old South Highway.

As far as we know, that didn’t take a genius to figure out.


Given the past four reasons, is it any wonder why Cebu continues to attract more tourists than Manila?


What does this prove?

Build good infrastructure in a city that already has a great culture and a laid-back atmosphere — tons of babes wouldn’t hurt — and you get a tourist magnet.

Not only do residents reap from the tourism industry’s multiplier effects, you also bring forth a vibrant city that is both fun to live and work in.

Fact is, there may be more tourists per square foot in Metro Cebu than any other city in Metro Manila, thanks to direct flights mounted between foreign destinations and Cebu.

Indeed, everything’s good — and cool — in Cebu.

Now, if we can only score with the babes.

But let’s not get into that.

Thank you, Indolent contributor D.R. Alvarado!

Dear DJs of That Reggae Show on the Radio

Dear DJs of That Reggae Show on the Radio,

Listen. I went to a liberal college for a really (really) long time and have long hair, so I can say I love reggae as much as the next reasonably cool guy. I think it’s really great that you guys play reggae on the radio and I hope you guys stay on the air for a long time.

A favor, though: Could you maybe lay off the fake Jamaican accents? I know that you’re Filipinos and nobody’s expecting your station to scout Kingston for authentic selectors just to keep me happy.  You’re not fooling anyone, and don’t have to.

Also, the references to weed.  I know it’s sort of an open secret that reggae = weed, but that’s the thing. You’re not supposed to be in everyone’s face about it.  Don’t pretend to be firing up a bong in your radio booth. We know your station, and the businessman who owns it, won’t allow it. And supposing that your bosses do allow you to do drugs while you do your show, there’s no reason to let everyone who can tune in know about it.  The Babylon system is everywhere, especially in Manila.

3 valid reasons to hate Willie Revillame

Now that it seems Willie didn’t actually abuse the kid, we need to remember that Willie Revillame is still a big douchebag:

Torturing his ex-wife, and then spinning it for sympathy

In 2006, Willie’s wife Liz Almoro filed a Temporary Protection Order (TPO) against him to keep him away from her.

The TPO is an order issued either by a court or a village justice panel to protect women from husbands who beat them up or subject them to psychological torture. Under that order, a husbands accused of beating his wife is forced to leave home and stay away
from his wife and children.

Not to be out-underdogged, here’s how Willie dealt with the court basically telling him that he is a threat to his wife’s life:

The “Wowowee” program host was supposedly “squatting”
in a dressing room of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. and sleeping on a narrow couch after he was “thrown out”
of his conjugal home…”


Possibly actual sexual harrassment

Former Wowowee dancer Euanne “The Bump” Bautista accused Willie of feeling her up and, on more
than one occassion, kissing her between her breasts

The case was dismissed by the court because apparently, being just a talent, and not an employee of ABS-CBN, Willie could not have committed sexual harassment. He couldn’t possibly have used his position or authority to force himself on “The Bump,” right?

Hiding behind his show and his fans

For all his macho bullshit about, you know, being a ladies’ man, Revillame is only tough when in front of fans he has already bought with the promise of free money.

He went to war with showbiz columnist Jobert Sucaldito on his show and only on his show. Since DZMM, where Sucaldito works, is in the same complex as ABS-CBN, where Willie does, it would have been easier and less drama queenly to just go up to Sucaldito and tell him what’s what.

But Willie chose to do it on his show, daring the network (where he has no position or authority) to fire Sucaldito or lose him as a talent. He lost.

When he transferred to TV5 and ABS-CBN sued him for copyright infringement, he told his fans to show their support by showing up at the Makati court where the case was being heard.

Even spats with fellow comedians/sex fiends have to be shown on air like real life were the World Wrestling Federation.

When John Estrada was offered a job hosting a show for ABS-CBN, Willie called him out on his show.

“He told him on the phone with the microphone held to his mouth, ‘Pag nag-Channel 2 ka at nag-noontime show ka dyan, wala kang kaibigan na Willie. (If you work for Channel 2 and you go on a noontime show there, you’ll have no friend named Willie)'”

He also told Estrada, on live TV, to look for a new best man because he would boycott Estrada’s wedding to a Brazilian model.

The only way that episode could have qualified as good television is if Hulk Hogan suddenly came out and gave Willie a Leg Drop of Doom.


If you hurt my friends, then you hurt my pride

In Defense of Willie Revillame – An Analysis of the Jan-Jan video

Watch the video again. Again. Closely. Pay attention. Watch the kid. Watch Willie. Listen. Consider the whole situation.

Outrageous, isn’t it? Willie Revillame was actually trying to SAVE the kid from humiliation.


To everyone saying that it’s degrading for the kid to dance like a stripper: you’re wrong.

Can’t blame you for thinking this, especially when Willie likened his performance to the scene in Burlesk Queen where a stripper was crying as she performed her dance, all too aware of the indignity and sexual degradation that she’s sunk into.

But see, Willie was making a joke. Because this is a completely different situation.

The kid’s humiliation doesn’t stem from the fact that he’s pantomiming a risque dance. He doesn’t understand that the act is sexual in nature. Or even what the hell “sexual in nature” means.

Proof: watch his face as he starts dancing automatically every time they start to play the music. Blank. Robotic. It’s Pavlovian how he goes through the exact same motions when that music starts playing.

To him, it’s just a meaningless act he was taught to do. This is what parents do, and probably what your parents did to you too: train their kid to perform tricks for their amusement. Doing a little skit, singing a little song — all so they can show you off to neighbours and relatives.

But for you and a million other angry netizens, because you recognise this particular trick as a risque dance, you imagine with horror what the kid must be feeling: the indignity of having to gyrate like a Babylonian harlot in front of this jeering audience.

But he doesn’t feel that way at all. This is just a cognitive bias on your part. You’re projecting. Because you think it’s sexually humiliating, you think that he also thinks it’s sexually humiliating. But it’s not. HE’S A SIX-YEAR-OLD KID.

It’s just a trick to him.

The kid wasn’t crying because he’s being exploited sexually. He’s crying over something else.

But what? Let’s return to the source.

In the scene where the kid is stepping up to the stage for his first dance. He’s already in tears. If it’s shame at his sexual act, as in Burlesk Queen, then he should only have started crying after he started the performance. But he already had tears in his eyes when he started, so let’s rewind.

You’ll notice that the kid was in a good mood before the performance starts, while Willie was talking to him. Pay attention to how Willie talks to him. He was actually very nice about it. His tone is gentle and earnest, and he would affectionately repeat and refer to to the kid’s name (“Ilang taon na si Jan-jan?”).

He does crack some jokes when he finds the kid’s response funny (like with the Dad owning a parlor.) and he and the audience have a laugh at it, but two things: one, these jokes go over the kids head (like how the sex thing is beyond him). You’ll see him smiling along as the audience laughs about it. Second, he reins in the audience when he senses the kid getting uncomfortable and then resumes his earnest questioning.

Listen to the kid’s voice throughout all this: normal. He even gives Willie some attitude when asked about his favorite singer. “Di po ako kakanta! (I’m not singing!)” he protests, which makes Willie genuinely laugh. This in turn makes the kid smile.

Now pay attention. We’re going to slow things down here because this is where the drama begins.

Willie asks the boy who he’s with.

Tita ko po (My aunt),” he says.

Willie asks where the kid’s mom is.

Sa bahay (At home),” he says.

Bakit hindi ka sinamahan ni Mama? (Why didn’t Mama come with you?)”

This is where Jan-jan’s tone starts changing into a more sombre mood. He explains that his mom couldn’t accompany him because she just gave birth. Willie senses the mood change and tries to disarm it with casual questions.

Eventually, Jan-jan points out the aunt in in the audience and she makes a request to be allowed to come up to the stage and give Willie a hug. Willie lets her and she is so moved that she breaks down in tears. She confesses that it’s always been her dream to hug Willie.

Now to us, this is the saddest and most pathetic thing ever, to actually see someone whose life goals include hugging Willie Revillame, and then see her actually accomplish it.

But to this poor woman, this is absolutely one of the best moments in her life and she is filled with emotion. The 3,000 pesos Willie gives her makes it even tackier for us, but for her, it’s a double rainbow.

After she returns to her seat, Willie turns back to Jan-jan and asks him if he’s got anything to say to his aunt.

This is it.

As Jan-jan begins to thank his aunt for accompanying her here, his voice starts to break. This is where he starts to cry. And this is why:

He watched the genuinely heartfelt emotions that his aunt expressed and as a six-year-old kid who’s watching a loved one cry, he himself was moved. As he starts expressing gratitude to his aunt and to his dad for bringing him here, he finally wasn’t able to hold himself back and starts tearing up.

At this point, what did you expect Willie to do? Can you stop for a moment to actually play out the alternate scenarios in your head?

Did you expect him to stop the live show, kill the audience’s buzz, and delve into why the kid is crying? Should he have cancelled the kid’s performance and asked him to leave the stage? Should he have called his aunt to get the kid from the stage, the same kid who was so moved that his aunt brought him all the way here because his mother couldn’t?

These are all horrible alternatives and would in fact have lead to greater shame and embarassment for the kid.

So Willie Revillame did something beautiful. He actually tried to stop the kid from crying. He gave him a quick pep talk and encouraged Jan-jan to overcome his sadness by going ahead with his performance and showing off his talent to everybody. He was really nice about this and even gave the kid a kiss.

Jan-jan got up there and started to dance.

If Jan-jan instead sang a beautiful slow song, or performed another style of dance, then there would be no outrage. There would be standing ovation at this kid who persevered through the tears and still managed to perform his talent.

But no, it was a lewd dance. What everyone got was a most incongruous combination of crying and hip gyrating.

It caught the audience by surprise, including Willie. Remember, he originally thought the kid was going to sing. Not dance, especially not like this (UPDATE: Commenter bp pointed out that Willie knew what the kid was going to do). It was absurd. And everyone in studio found it hilarious.

To everyone else watching on the Internet, they just focused on the image of the kid, apparently crying over being forced to do these perverted acts. And because this is Willie Revillame, the despicable sleazeball that’s hated by everyone above a certain income tax bracket, everyone just assumed the worst. “Child abuse” was the accusation.

But watch again, and you’ll find there’s no abuse here. The kid’s crying is unrelated to his dancing, and that dance, in turn, has no sexual meaning for him at all.

Beyond the laughter and the outrage, we forget that there’s a kid who’s actually proud to perform his talent, however distasteful this talent may seem to some of you. He stopped crying midway through, neither shame nor humiliation in his face. He was determined to finish this dance.

He pulled it off, and Willie immediately jumped in to heap praises on him. Naturally, he threw in a few jokes about it, but if you listen, he was genuinely trying to comfort and congratulate the kid. And when Willie asked him to perform for a second time, it was clear, Jan-jan was over his sadness–his chin jutting out, steely resolve on his face.

I am not apologising for Willie Revillame’s character. With or without this incident, the guy is still a total sleazeball. There are plenty of good reasons why you should hate Willie, but I believe this isn’t one of them. Sure he and the studio audience got some lulz from the kid, but it wasn’t of an abusive nature that everyone claims it to be. And anyway, that’s the nature of his show, right? He makes fun of all his guests. In fact, given how he usually behaves, I think he was very supportive and kind to Jan-jan already. Relatively.

I may be wrong but please, before reacting, do watch the video again, consider my points, and let’s discuss it.

–Joseph Dent

Jake Cuenca as Hubert Webb

Further in the rape of sensibility, actor Jake Cuenca has expressed
interest in playing Hubert Webb, recently acquitted for the Vizconde Massacre,in a movie or TV project.

Of course, I’d like to do it because it’s an interesting role. Syempre yung Vizconde massacre eh magandang bigyang buhay yun
kasi may awareness dun sa nangyari eh, (Of course, it would be good
to recreate the Vizconde Massacre because there’s awareness
about what happened)” he said.

No such awareness, though, on how much in bad taste massacre movies are.