Showing posts from August, 2006

Does this work?

A friend sent me this email, swearing that this works because he tried it. I am tempted to try it, because I figured what the heck, eating apples can't be all that bad. Except of course the epsom salt thing - is that safe?

Anyone out there who has tried this regimen?

by Dr Lai Chiu-Nan

It has worked for many. If it works for you please pass on the good news. Chiu Nan is not charging for it, so we should make it free for everyone. Your reward is when someone, through your word of mouth, benefits from the regime.

Gallstones may not be everyone's concern. But they should be because we all have them. Moreover, gallstones may lead to cancer.

"Cancer is never the first illness," Chiu Nan points out. "Usually, there are a lot of other problems leading to cancer. In my research in China, I came across some materials, which say that people with cancer usually have stones.

We all have gallstones. It's a matter of big or small…

The New Media

I have wanted to write about blogging in my column but didn't have the time until now. So the following is my column for today, August 30, 2006, at the op-ed section of the Manila Standard Today.

I have been asked many times how I got invited to write for this paper. My standard answer is that I was plucked out from the blogosphere (i.e., the world of bloggers in cyberspace). I am the second blogger to have been invited by this paper (the first is my spacemate in this section, Sassy Lawyer Connie Veneracion). As far as I know, we are the only two columnists who started out as bloggers and this paper is the only one to have recognized the talents and potentials of bloggers. The editors of this paper sure know their way around the blogosphere (some have their own blogs), which tells you about how progressive people in this paper are (ahem).

Although the two worlds—traditional media and the blogosphere (also referred to as “the new media”) complement each other, the relationship is f…


The following is my column for today, August 28, 2006, at the op-ed section of the Manila Standard Today.

I had the great privilege of being raised by a grandmother who should have enjoyed her twilight years in more relaxing pursuits than taking up the difficult responsibility of bringing up someone who was a total nerd until high school. I know many others who were in the same situation, although when I was growing up, I believed most of us “lola’s boys” were “adopted” by choice by what I thought were women with an abundance of maternal instincts that needed recipients.

With the growing number of overseas Filipino workers and working parents today, I suspect that there are more and more grandparents out there who are assuming parenting duties in their old age. Being reared by a grandmother can be a blessing—my own grandmother taught me the wondrous gift of reading among many other things. But my grandmother had the means to do it. I don’t think this can be said of many other grandparen…

No to boycott

Someone e-mailed me to inquire if I will support the brewing move to boycott the Philippine Daily Inquirer over Isagani Cruz' hateful remarks directed at the gay community. My quick answer was no.

First,Isagani Cruz is actually a minority in that paper as far as attitude towards gay people is concerned. There is a Manuel L. Quezon, Rina Jimenez-David and Michael Tan in the same paper who are also standing up for the gay community.

Second, although I believe that the Inquirer should come out more strongly about where it stands on Cruz' bigotry (its editorial on the subject was neither here nor there and was a lame attempt at placating the community), boycotting the paper is not a proactive solution. It shuts down communication processes and no one benefits from such a situation.

Third, I said it would be unethical for me to advocate for a boycott because I happent to write for another paper.

However, I do not think we have seen the end of it yet. Who knows what Isagani Cruz wi…

The right to live

The following is my column for today, August 23, 2006 at the op-ed section of the Manila Standard Today.

WHEN I was offered to write this column, I asked for only two guarantees. First, that I can write about anything I wanted to write about provided I did not libel anyone or used my writing for personal business gain. And second, that I can disagree with anyone, including other columnists. I know that as a matter of professional courtesy, one should try not to pick fights with the people who share the same newsprint commune. I had no intentions of picking fights with fellow columnists, but I wanted to be sure that when push comes to shove, I could. Fortunately, that has not happened yet.

But over at the Philippine Daily Inquirer, two eminent columnists, retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Isagani Cruz and Manuel L. Quezon III are engaged in an acrimonious exchange. The whole furor began when Cruz penned a column entitled “Don we now our gay apparel,” which was a screed against gay …

A lesson not learned

The following is my column for today, August 21, 2006, at the op-ed section of the Manila Standard Today.

BARRING super typhoons, earthquakes, tsunamis and similar acts of God, the second impeachment complaint against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will be dead by tomorrow. It’s an outcome that doesn’t surprise anyone because as everyone knows, this was already a foregone conclusion right from the very start. But because no one in this country likes to lose an argument, there is always something to be agitated about, and this time, it is the cause of death. The killing of the impeachment complaint is either a case of premeditated murder or a judicious death sentence, depending of course on one’s political affiliations.

The macabre metaphors being used to describe the whole political process is telling. A killing. Rigor mortis. Dead on arrival. A cadaver of a complaint. The last nail on the coffin. A funeral. A corpse that was buried by Congress. The fact that these morbid terms are b…

Bandits on the road

The following is my column for today, August 16, 2006, at the op-ed section of the Manila Standard Today:

I LIKE driving. It is an activity that clears my mind and relaxes me. Unfortunately for people like me, driving around the streets of Metro Manila has ceased to offer these pleasures. This column narrates why.

Although it is wrong to embrace it as a given, I have come to accept that a little rain, some accident, and in most cases, simple carelessness and inconsiderateness on the part of one or two kababayans will create a monstrous traffic jam, which does not mean of course that I will stop ranting about it. But another day, perhaps.

Hulidap and kotong cops, I think, are a little more manageable although not necessarily any less annoying and exasperating. In my experience, the best way to deal with them is to flatly refuse to give in, get their names, and tell them that you will report them. I am told that speaking in English and being firm and assertive without directly challenging …

When Fashion Comes To Work

The following is my column for today, August 14, 2006 at the op-ed section of the Manila Standard Today:

MY VIEW about fashion is that at the very least, it is a good reminder that nothing in this world lasts. Today’s hot pick is tomorrow’s laughing stock. I am not a fashionista and I disdain spending inordinate amounts of money just to wear some Italian or American guy’s name on my person. So I have always wondered what possesses designers to come up with those creations that fashion victims drape on their bodies supposedly to assume some semblance of respectability. There are instances, of course, when the exact opposite happens; instead of achieving respectability, someone becomes a laughingstock or at least becomes the object of unwanted and unpleasant speculation (what the heck is that thing she is wearing?).

But such is the way of the world. What most everyone should wear is dictated by an elite group of people whose whims and caprices many are simply more than happy to oblige des…


The honorable former associate justice of the Supreme Court, the great old man who personified justice, equality and liberty just wrote another scathing condemnation of gay people. Isagani Cruz of the Inquirer has once again proven that yes, in this country, bigotry and intolerance exist even among those who are supposed to be a higher intelligence.

The wise man says:

HOMOSEXUALS before were mocked and derided, but now they are regarded with new-found respect and, in many cases, even treated as celebrities. Only recently, the more impressionable among our people wildly welcomed a group of entertainers whose main proud advertisement was that they were “queer.” It seems that the present society has developed a new sense of values that have rejected our religious people’s traditional ideas of propriety and morality on the pretext of being “modern” and “broad-minded.”

Mr. Cruz begins by asserting that the mockery and derision of gay people have ended. I don't know what kind of world he l…

The Jerks

What a distinction! Forget about all those attempts to land a place in the Guinness Book of Records. Hang those boxing gloves. We have just landed the title as the world's "busiest loners" according to an article published in the front pages of Inquirer today, August 9, 2006.

Just in case you haven't read the article (and on the off chance that you missed the euphemism), the article quoted a survey (another one!) that says...tadaaaaan! Filipinos do the solitary act more often than everyone else. Okay, okay... it said we jerk off more often than any other people in the world. Blush. Snicker. Guffaw.

What does this make of us?

Stubborn, stubborn, stubborn

I AM sure that someone out there may—and most likely will—offer a more politically correct and sociologically fascinating take on this phenomenon best described as our legendary stubbornness as a people. I also despise Pinoy-bashing; however, I must admit that there are days when I just feel like screaming at certain people for their obstinacy, especially during crisis or when in the face of clear and present danger.

Take the case of a number of local residents who adamantly refuse to leave the 7-km danger zone of the restive Mayon Volcano. They insist on staying put despite the fact that as of this writing, the alert level has been raised to level four, meaning an eruption is imminent; and despite the fact that the volcano is already spewing mushroom clouds and spewing lava 24/7.

I can empathize with those who say that they cannot leave their livelihood behind, although I still think they should pack up and get out of harm’s way just the same. One farmer bewailed that half of his crops…

Why Not?

The following is my column today, August 7, 2006, at the op-ed section of the Manila Standard Today.

LET’S be honest about this. There are very few party-list representatives in the House today who are actually there to achieve the spirit and intent of the law creating party-list representation. What we have in abundance are representatives or lobby groups for certain business or political interests masquerading under various social causes. In fact, I think we can even go as far as to say that it appears that the party-list system is currently being used by certain interest groups as just another back door in getting a share of the influence and power that a seat in Congress provides.

There are party-list representatives for all kinds of communities, sectors and groups that cover a wide spectrum of geographic, political, social, and cultural classifications. So why not a party-list representative for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders? This marginalized community comprises a siz…

The Uzi Syndrome

Is it a false sense of audacity? Perhaps sheer inability to comprehend danger? Or perhaps just plain unadultered stupidity?

I am talking about those people who continue to tempt fate and court tragedy by refusing to get out of the way of the Mount Mayon lava flow. Elsewhere, the mention of lava flow should be enough to send people scampering away. But we are in the Philippines, so instead of seeing people scared witless, we see grinning people doing cartwheels and patintero a mere two feet away from the smoldering lava flow.

Those uzis (usisero, kibitzers) have made it a pastime to show off just how unconcerned they are of the imminent danger. Some local residents continue to marvel at the natural phenomenon up close. Others have even become instant tour guides to foreigners and non-residents who also want to see lava flow up close and personal. Someone was even shown on television lighting his cigarette with a piece of volcanic rock. I half expect to see someone broiling lunch…

Cure for boredom

The following is my column for today, August 2, 2006, at the op-ed section of the Manila Standard Today.

IN THE same week that the State-of-the-Nation Address was delivered, someone in my human resource management e-mail group posted an article published in Personnel Today ( that got my friends and I laughing so hard. The article, which was based on a study conducted in the United Kingdom, offered insights as to what people imagine when they are stuck in a boring meeting that is going nowhere.

The top answer?

Why, sex of course, as if you did not suspect or already knew. More than half 57 percent of the respondents admitted to thinking about sex during business meetings. These were adults, not adolescents. The next time I get stuck in a boring meeting, I am going to guess which of the attendees comprise that half.

Interestingly, the survey, which was conducted among 4,000 adults, offered yet another insight on the differences between men and women. (There ha…