Showing posts from November, 2006

12 days of Christmas

I spent the whole day yesterday trying to play the role of a consummate politician - I run for director of the Personnel Management Association of the Philippines. By some stroke of luck, I won despite the intense and highly sophisticated (there are other words I can use to describe it, but I will refrain from doing so in the spirit of the season) campaign staged by the other group. But here's my column yesterday. Sorry, delayed na naman.

Some e-mails are certain to land in my inbox around this time every year. I am not talking about solicitations and all types of special holiday offers although I do get those, too. One e-mail I don’t mind receiving is that interactive electronic Christmas card that you click on several times to get a colorful tableau featuring a dog and cat frolicking in the snow under a candle-lit Christmas tree.

The other e-mail I invariably get every year is the one explaining the supposed real meaning of that popular Christmas carol, “Twelve Days of Christma…

Pushing the limits in advertising

The following is my column today, November 27, at the op-ed section of the Manila Standard Today.

I am not a prude. In fact, I fancy myself as a liberal. If I were a woman, I would most likely qualify as a feminist. If I were an American, I would definitely be a democrat. You get the drift.
Having said these, let me express my discomfiture over the way certain advertisements are pushing the limits. For quite some time now, I have been seeing ads that tend to raise eyebrows and make one wonder whether the people behind them are aware of the other messages they convey other than “buy this product.”

The ads are on the cutting edge of creativity. To my mind, however, they are a few notches away from being offensive. Before anyone reacts violently, let me clarify what I just said: the ads in question come very close to being offensive, which means they are not yet offensive. They alarm me nonetheless because their existence may be a clue on the types of advertisements bound to follow.

Take for…

Roll out the barrel...

And so the party season has begun.

I went to my first Christmas Party tonight; it was more of a reunion of a graduate school class I once had the privilege of mentoring. It was also my first time in a long, long while to be inside a bar with live entertainment.

The place my friends picked was Nicotina, a garden restaurant and bar along Roxas Boulevard, right next to the Department of Foreign Affairs building in Pasay City. I work nearby, but I didnt even know the place existed. I learned that the place is actually more than a year old. It's a really nice place - there's no airconditioning (only huge industrial fans aimed at the ceiling) but surprisingly the place was not humid at all.

What I liked about the place was that the entertainment was quite relaxing - none of those loud blaring noise that many bars today pass off as cutting edge technology. There were two musical groups tonight - and each one had a distinct sound. The first one featured a piano, a wind instrument, …

Half deaf but recovering

I finally got today the answer to a four-week old nagging question, which by the way also explains why this blog has not been updated during the same period. It's a long story, but since this is the first time that I can actually stare at a PC for more than 30 minutes without going berserk, here is the long story.

I had terrible colds towards the end of October, which I did not take medication for except taking lots of liquids and vitamic c. The frustrated doctor in me has always believed that that colds have a natural expiration date. Unfortunately, I was scheduled to go home to Tacloban on October 27 for the wedding of my youngest brother. So I took the plane and forgot to take precautions for the fact that I had terrible colds.

Halfway through the one-hour flight, my ear started to buzz. Then came this piercing pain. It was terrible and I had the longest ever 30 minute flight in my whole life. I was literally crying in pain and could not wait to get out of the plane.

To mak…


The following was my column yesterday at the op-ed section of the Manila Standard Today. So sorry for the late post. Will make an update on my condition in another post.

Many people, including this writer, could not believe last Monday’s verdict on “Philippine Idol.” For those not in the know, the local franchise of the international singing contest had been down to its last five contestants during the weekend. Last Monday, it was down to four.
Pow Chavez, one of the better singers in the contest, was eliminated because she received the least number of text votes. The results came as a major surprise because Pow was widely expected to be in the top two—in fact, the early buzz was that she was definitely a shoo-in for the Philippine Idol title.

If we are to go by the performances in the last four weeks, Miguel, the youngest contestant at 17, should have been the most likely candidate for elimination. However, it appears that he has a wider and more solid support base. If we are to belie…

A network's saga

The following is my column today, November 20, 2006 at the op-ed section of the Manila Standard Today.

I just finished reading Kapitan, Geny Lopez and the making of ABS-CBN by Raul Rodrigo. I am not sure if the book is already available in bookstores, but I had the good fortune of having been given a copy when I spoke at the Human Resource Summit of the Lopez Group of Companies last Wednesday, Nov. 15.

Kapitan is a fascinating book mainly because it tells a really good story. Reading the book is like watching an ABS-CBN television extravaganza—it brims with big names, drama, spectacular effects, and of course, the trademark chest thumping. Expectedly, the book does tend to venerate Geny Lopez and fortify the institutional value of ABS-CBN within the country’s contemporary history. It is nevertheless a book that deserves to be read for several important reasons.

I will go on record to say that the book is very well written. I tip my hat off to Raul Rodrigo for the wonderful manner in whic…

The mad rush to beautify Cebu

A lawyer-friend of mine who lives and works in Cebu, and who has specifically asked not to be named, sent me an e-mail to share his views regarding the ongoing controversy surrounding Metro Cebu’s seemingly mad rush to “beautify” the queen city of the south in time for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations conference slated in December.

Those of us who won’t be in Cebu anytime soon will not be able to see for ourselves what the whole fuss is all about. However, snippets of the controversy have been featured in some newspapers and in some television news shows. And in situations like these, references to the grand old days when the country’s main patroness of the Filipino value bongga (over the top) the former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos reigned supreme could not be helped.

The buzz is that local officials in Cebu and its twin sister Mandaue have pulled all the stops to make sure that all the eyesores (e.g., squatter colonies, old dilapidated houses, unsightly landmarks, etc.…

It's beginning to look a lot like...

This is my column today, November 8 at the op-ed section of the Manila Standard Today.

Forget about nippy mornings because as we all know, weather patterns have not been as predictable lately. Forget about being cheered by Christmas carols playing on the radio because the remakes of those old carols and the supposedly new songs that are being passed off as Christmas tunes just do not create that old feeling—in fact some are bound to create the opposite effect. You feel like strangling the composer and the singer. And it’s not just the rapping and the grating and the screaming that is being passed off as music. It’s the general thesis behind the new songs or the new renditions of those old carols—everyone seems to have been jilted or swindled or just in dire need of a sex slave.

We know Christmas is just around the corner because everyone who stands to profit from it has been reminding us endlessly, shamelessly and in very unmistakably obvious ways of it. They’ve taken ads, hung streamer…

Breaking Traditions

This is my column today, November 6, 2006, at the op-ed section of the Manila Standard Today.Two issues caught my attention last week. The first issue was unfortunately displaced in the public eye by supposedly more controversial and pressing national issues. The second one is still hogging the front pages of many newspapers, particularly those with a penchant for sowing intrigues and gossip. There are parallels between the two issues. They are about gender, discrimination, rocking the status quo, and balancing hallowed traditions with the mandates for change. From the third grade until junior high school, I was a boy scout. In fact I was a troop leader and truly liked being part of the scouting movement. Had there been a choice between scouting and Citizens Army Training in fourth year high and Reserved Officers Training Course in college, I would have picked scouting anytime. To my mind, scouting offered more practical, exciting, and yes, intellectually stimulating experiences. I ac…

sifting through muck and dirt

Again, this is delayed. Sorry. This was my column at the Manila Standard Today last Wednesday, November 1.

It is always fascinating and yes, exasperating, to go through the froth that inevitably follows any major political statement in this country. I know that a lot of things hinged on that Supreme Court decision – for instance, whether there will still be a Senate or elections next year - but the breadth of discussion and analysis is truly one for the books.

For example, I just don’t get the point of the guessing game about who delivered the supposed swing vote. Not only does such a discussion reek of our proclivity for witch- hunting, for our penchant for looking for someone on whom we can heap the blame on, but it also is quite pointless since anyone among the fifteen justices is potentially the person who hammered the last nail on that coffin. And shouldn’t the discussion be about what was said rather than who said it?

I also do not get all these bitterness over the supposed…