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Showing posts from November, 2010

Slow and boring

This was my column on the date indicated above.
The kids wanted to catch it the moment it hit local screens but I was in the middle of an election. I figured it was going to be such a huge hit it would probably be screening for at least a month so I asked for a rain check. As expected, the kids couldn’t wait so by the time I was available to watch it, they’ve already watched it on their own. But they still wanted to watch it a second time so off we went to the Mall of Asia Friday night to catch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.I expected a packed theater and was surprised to find it half full during the 6:00 pm screening. There was reverential silence as the opening credits rolled up. The kids seated behind me whimpered to her seatmate “Oh my god, this is it… it’s about to end.” Deathly Hallows Part I is the second to the last installment of the popular franchise. A generation of kids grew up reading the books, watching the movies and perhaps even more time waiting for the n…

Enough already

This was my column on the date indicated above.
As expected, the whole Philippines stayed home to root and cheer for Emmanuel Pacquaio last Sunday. He won, of course. We’ve gotten used to the idea of the The Pacman winning that losing to Antonio Margarito was simply unthinkable. A loss just didn’t seem like an option particularly since everyone in the world other than the Mexicans have placed his bet on the The Pacman.The win earned Pacquiao his eighth title—the World Boxing Council super welterweight belt. It was also his 13th consecutive win.Immediately after his victory, people started expressing their desire to see The Pacman go up against the flamboyant Floyd Mayweather.The Internet buzzed with taunts and counter-taunts from both sides barely minutes after the fight. The Pacman’s supporters mocked Mayweather, virtually calling him a coward. Most of the taunts ridiculed Mayweather as “less of a man;” some people said Mayweather should put on some pants and give up wearing skirts. O…

Activist for human capital

This was my column on the date indicated above.
I was a student activist when I was in college. I spent a large percentage of my days meeting with other student activists or with various activist groups such as urban peasants, workers, farmers, even teachers and women’s groups. I spoke at rallies and joined demonstrations. I even took a year off from my studies to spend time with the progressive movement in Davao City. And then Ninoy Aquino got killed, Cory Aquino ran for president, and I graduated.When I run into college friends these days, they take note of my corporate position and tease me about how I have turned turtle. “You used to wear nothing but denim jeans and white camisa chino shirts or batik shirts,” they remind me as they point to my corporate attire. And I always shoot back with my own observations about how they, too, have moved on with their lives. Quite a number of my college comrades (they who also screamed just as loudly: “Down with US Imperialism!”) are now based i…

Generation wars

This was my column on the date indicated above.
My friend Alex was fuming mad last week and wanted to vent. Fortunately, I was free for dinner so we met up. But by the time we met up, he had already cooled down sufficiently and was more in the mood for “theorizing,” which is what we call the discussions that we have where we try to make sense of the nonsensical.What got Alex’s goat this time around was that two young, promising members of his team took off for two days from work because they were sick. What made him really hopping mad was that they were working on major deals; the kind that made or broke careers. They were working on really tight deadlines and my friend needed everyone on board almost 24/7, he moaned.I shifted to human-resource-management-professional mode and asked a barrage of questions: Were they really sick? Did you check? Was being absent due to sickness habitual on their part? Did they have sick leave credits left? Perhaps the workload was making them sick alread…

Accountability

This was my column on the date indicated above.
Two readers recently sent in their reaction to that Halloween column I wrote which was partly about Assistant Secretary Mai Mislang and her unfortunate tweets from Vietnam and about Hayden Kho.Reader Joseph Baldono agreed with my consternation over the recent attempts to resurrect Hayden Kho’s celebrity career. Baldono’s reactions are quite insightful so I have decided to print them in full:“Like you, I am aghast that certain media personalities are allowing themselves to be party to the resurrection of Hayden Kho’s star. The handsome pornographer ex-doctor has been all over television trying to look innocent and angelic, his photoshopped mug blown up in giant billboards has been slowing down traffic at EDSA, and he has been very busy it seems doing the rounds of various social occasions in the last few weeks. He and his doctor-girlfriend has been featured in many society columns attending this and that event. These developments are very …

The raid season

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This was my column on the date indicated above.
These must be really slow days for both media and the police because the usual harassment—better known as raids—on bars, massage parlors, and other places condemned as places of sin by moralists and by those who stand to gain from exposing the supposed evil that happens in these places has started once again. The season has started and it’s not really just because Christmas is in the air.These raids usually happen during times when there is nothing scandalous or salacious enough for certain television programs to feast on. Thus, they instigate raids, which they meticulously cover from the planning, to the actual police operation, down to the part when the victims are forcefully unmasked or embarrassed publicly.Police authorities cooperate because it provides them the opportunity to look good in the public eye—it’s one of those rare occasions when they are depicted as extremely competent and adept. In short, they get to show off.The bottom…

Scary

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This was my column on the date indicated above.
We all knew it was just a matter of time. Given its commercial possibilities, Halloween was bound to become a major social event in this country. Halloween also allows us to celebrate our fun loving side and to flaunt our flair for bongga (over the top). Over the weekend we saw just how Halloween has become embedded into our culture just like Christmas and Valentine’s Day. But there are other reasons why Halloween is now big in this country.At the Bank where I work full time, everyone was agog over the Halloween festivities. There was a Halloween decoration contest. The guidelines of the contest specifically asked that people stress “fun” and go for wholesome themes that were playful and creative rather than the scary and ghoulish. The organizers specifically asked to do away with coffins and cadavers. Did people listen? Heavens, no! At least two departments displayed makeshift caskets and one even had a real person posing as a cadaver. P…