Tree falls on driver, everybody hears it

This has indeed been annus mirabilis, a year of wonders.

A sitting senator resigns over allegations of poll fraud, the University of the Philippines wins two basketball games, the President meets with a rebel leader, and the country might actually get back at the Arroyos for playing us for fools for nine years.

And wonders have not been confined to the capital, either. Strange things have been happening in the provinces as well, reminiscent of mythical times (or the 1990s).

In Camarines Norte, a baby was born with Mermaid Syndrome, a rare condition where a baby’s legs are fused together; this makes it look like the baby has a tail and no legs.

Naniniwala si Jane na may kinalaman sa naging itsura ng kanyang baby ang madalas na pamamasyal sa tabing-dagat at panonood ng fantaseryeng Mutya na tungkol sa batang sirena.

‘Nanonood ako ng Mutya hindi ko alam na buntis na pala ako,’ sabi ni Jane Sariba, ina ng sanggol.

(Jane believes her child’s appearance has something to do with her frequent trips to the beach and watching Mutya, a TV show about a mermaid child.

‘I used to watch Mutya, I didn’t know I was pregnant yet,’ Jane Sariba, the child’s mother said.)

The child, named Mutya after the TV show, died soon after being born and did not get to see her mother embarrass herself on national TV.

In Cebu, a tree falls on a jeepney, killing the driver and making the front page of one news website for some reason. To be fair, it was an exciting day for the province of Cebu, where a concrete post fell on a taxi, killing no one and making it to the front page for some reason.

Also, something about a congressman accused of tax evasion.


Anti-Social Media: Fact-check Fail

Here is something that we found on Facebook that shows national hero Dr. Jose Rizal is going the way of Ernesto “Che” Guevara.  In a few years, Rizal will be a cultural icon whom people will confuse with the lead singer of Queen.

"Adios, patria adorada...they call me Mr. Fahrenheit."

This article, published on Dr. Rizal’s birthday and to plug design house Team Manila, is either a case of lazy editing, or of time travel. You decide.

This article was written at 88 miles per hour

For those in the audience who need glasses, or do not click on the picture, the copy reads thus:

One hundred fifty years ago, he was shot to death. Today, he lives–on t-shirts, mugs, notebooks, posters, postcards, and various accessories.

Which, as you know, is wrong because Rizal was shot 115 years ago at the age of 35. And not, as this article from a national broadsheet’s Sunday magazine implies, at the moment of his birth, by a crack team of Imperial Spanish terminator robots.

But maybe there’s some secret backstory here. Some unconfirmed report from anonymous sources that says Dr.Rizal was in fact killed by time travelling Castillians and was replaced with some less-awesome (but already pretty awesome) version who advocated education and not armed struggle. Is it true? Inquiring minds want to know.

Thanks, Facbook account of Vic Torres!

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.

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.

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!

Anti-Social Media: bickering on the beat

This is both an illustration and a clue

It’s boys versus girls at one major news beat, an anonymous source tells us.


The conflict apparently started at a sponsored excursion (which is what people used to call junkets in the 1980s) where tequila (which people used to drink in the 1990s) and hormones combined in a cocktail of conflict.


To keep things wholesome, guys were billeted together in one room, and girls were supposed to sleep in another room. Reporters being a drunken and unwholesome lot, one guy reporter ended up sleeping in the girls’ room after they asked him to hang out for a while.


This, apparently, did not fly with the other guy reporters because a. ancient laws of propriety were broken, b. they wanted to hang out with the girl reporters too, c. they said that reporter was just faking drunkenness to sleep in the girls’ room. Not to, you know, get laid or anything like that. Just to get to hang out with girls. Which, I don’t know, should only piss you off for not thinking of it first.


So, the guys got pissed off at drunken reporter guy for being better at chicks (and being less married) than they were, and at the girls for falling for it, I guess.


The conflict has reportedly resulted in snide remarks being thrown around, passive-aggressive status messages on Facebook and other social media, and an actual shouting match between a hotshot guy reporter and a girl reporter, both from major broadsheets.


Another source says the conflict has even reached the people these reporters are supposed to be covering. They have been asking reporters about the conflict, possibly because they think they have the monopoly on petty word wars and easily-offended pride.


One one hand, it’s nice to know that the media has been practicing self regulation and respects family values. On the other hand, it’s sad that that self regulation is on something as silly as this.


From what sources have been telling Indolent Indio, being on the take is okay as long as you don’t act like you’re a chick magnet.

But what?

Here’s a cheerfully confusing Father’s Day headline from the Inquirer: “Girl survives massacre but finds a father and a name.”

But what, Inquirer?

But carabaos?

Call me a stickler for words meaning what they do but doesn’t it suggest that ‘yeah, the girl survived the massacre and then more shit happened’?

Metro News: Gay alerts people to freak accident

Well, all right. The actual headline on ABS-CBN news was “Army sergeant dies in freak accident in Taguig,” but there was nothing really freaky about what happened.

A guy has an argument with his wife, walks out, and is run over by a black van. It was surprising, but not freaky by any standard. If the guy had been run over by a Jaguar…driving a Tamaraw FX, then that would have been freaky.

In fact, what’s most striking about the story is this statement from Staff Sgt. Ronnie Natividad, the victim’s buddy and fellow soldier:

Nasa loob kami tapos may narining kaming lumagabog. Sumisigaw iyong bakla, sabi niya may nasagasaan daw. Paglabas namin nakabulagta na siya dyan. (We were inside when we heard a thud. The gay man was screaming that someone had been run over. When we went outside, he was already sprawled there.)

Who was this ‘bakla’ and how does he figure in the story? Why did S/Sgt Natividad have to specify that the witness was gay? Was the witness the one they found sprawled on the ground? Was it the victim?