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Showing posts from January, 2011

A woman at the steering wheel

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
Hollywood superstar Sandra Bullock shot to international stardom by playing the role of an accidental bus driver in Speed, a blockbuster movie starring Keanu Reeves. The fact that a woman was at the wheel of a bus loaded with explosives contributed to the nail-biting suspense although it must be noted that it was less because of her gender and more because she was supposed to be inexperienced in driving a bus.From what I remember (the movie was shown two decades ago), whatever reservations and apprehensions people had about Bullock’s character in that movie was gone after ten minutes. People eventually forgot about her gender and started rooting for her. A movie is probably the worst metaphor for the latest wrinkle in our lives as commuters but there really is no other parallel we can think of at this point. Most of us have not seen a woman bus driver although it’s a common sight in other key cities abroad.I once …

Giving bloggers a bad name

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
Every once in a while something happens that gets bloggers and their loyal readers all riled up. It is during these times when one feels the energy pulsate through the whole blogosphere as everyone weighs in with his or her own “take” on the burning issue of the day. Occurrences like these have become rare lately—the blogosphere has been relatively calm and boring for quite sometime—which probably explains the relatively high level of attention being given the particular issue at hand.The current controversy revolves around allegations of unethical practices of a certain blogger presumably in cahoots with a certain Public Relations firm.What triggered the whole brouhaha was an article written by Margaux Salcedo (who is also a blogger and a media personality in addition to being spokesperson of former President Joseph Estrada) entitled “Please Don’t Give Blogging a Bad Name” published in the January 23 edition of t…

Father's Day

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
Snicker away all you want, but I have a strong feeling Sharon Cuneta will meet her target of losing gazillion pounds and become svelte all over again.No, I am not a fan of the megastar. It is difficult not to notice Cuneta’s determined battle to lose the bulges though because it is a very, very public battle. She talks about it endlessly in her television shows. What is more, we see huge billboards all over Metro Manila documenting and proclaiming to all and sundry every single pound that she is shedding.It’s not just mindless, intrusive showbiz drivel. It’s actually a business case. A major company engaged in the “slimming business” is behind it. And of course, it’s also propaganda for Cuneta’s upcoming television show, which is reportedly going to be a show about people shedding unwanted pounds.When someone’s shrinking visage becomes a major business case, then we are clearly marking new territories in terms of …

Current events essay test

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
What does it say of us when the main story about the President of the Republic that greeted the New Year was about his purchase of a luxury car? Prior to this, there was that hullabaloo over what many people thought were uncalled for partisan remarks during the traditional Vin d’honneur or New Year’s reception at the Malacañan Palace.I know. President Benigno Simeon Aquino III’s recent purchase of a Porsche has already been roundly criticized by many as being ill-timed, ostentatious, impractical, out-of-sync with the general image he has been laboring hard to portray, etc.On the other hand, the defense trundled out can generally be summed up in this way: Inggit lang kayo (roughly, we can’t help it if you are envious).What does it say of us when the main story related to the President’s visit to the queen city of the South to attend a major religious and cultural festival was about his search for a girlfriend (shou…

Ophiucus and Sotto

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
When I told my friends last Saturday that I couldn’t understand why millions of people are so worked up over the supposed addition of the 13th zodiac sign Ophiuchus (November 29 – to December 17), one of them snapped back at me: “That’s because your zodiac sign has not changed; you are still a Pisces!”For a moment, I was dumbfounded. True, unlike in their cases, the supposed shift in the dates covered by each of the zodiac sign didn’t affect me. I was born March 12 and the supposed new cutoff dates for Pisces, which now covers March 11 to April 18, still makes me a Pisces. In the case of a friend, she went to bed Friday night as a Scorpio and woke up Saturday morning a Libra. She was not showing signs of disorientation, she was fuming mad because the dates covered by Scorpio were now apparently reduced to only six days! And she said she hated Librans with a passion! We joked that she probably now needs to get lega…

Protectionism and devotion

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
A number of local performers, among them singers Kuh Ledesma, Ogie Alcasid, Rico Puno, Nonoy Zuñiga, Marco Sison and others have been griping about what they perceive as unfair competition being posed by international artists.Ledesma and company are talking about Janet Jackson, Taylor Swift, and others who are slated to hold concerts in Manila during the Valentine season. The concerts of Jackson and Swift are expected to be bestsellers because of their global celebrity status. In fact, tickets to Swift’s concert have been sold out as early as December. I am told that the tickets to Jackson’s concert is also quite in demand. And mind you, the tickets to the concerts are quite pricey: About P15 thousand for the best seats. The cheapest tickets are going for about two thousand each.I am surprised that Ledesma and company are raising the issue of protectionism at a time when Filipino artists are finally penetrating th…

Scraping the bottom

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
It seems we really are not used to not having controversies in this country because in times such as the present when things are generally quiet in the political front, we tend to stir things up to create fireworks during events that should have been occasions for unity or out of the most mundane issues. A friend offers a different perspective. He says we have this predilection to self-destruct. When things are going so well, we tend to shoot ourselves in the foot.Take for example President Benigno Aquino III’s indelicate dig at the opposition last week during the annual Vin d’Honneur to honor the diplomatic community. PNoy’s remark struck a raw nerve because of the lack of a suitable context. Taking potshots at one’s perceived enemies at a formal occasion one is hosting smacks of illegitimate political behavior, particularly if the people being targeted comprised majority of those who graciously lent their presen…

The state of our public hospitals

This was my column on the date indicated above. This post is antedated.
The country’s attention in the last few days has been riveted on the casualties from the New Year revelry. Cameras focused on the grimacing faces of the victims while medical professionals ran around trying to do what they could given the dire situation; and I refer not only to the seemingly endless stream of victims that needed to be attended to. Also present were a number of aggravations such as lack of resources, inadequate facilities, parents or family members that get in the way, etc.Of course the whole drill is something we do regularly - on an annual basis, in fact. This will probably not sit well with some people, but it must be said: We’ll soon forget about the people—children included- who lost limbs because they were careless or because someone was stupid or irresponsible enough to allow them to play with firecrackers on New Year’s Eve. Even our sense of indignation has an expiration date, it seems. Unt…

Expectations and resolutions

This post is antedated. This was my column on the date indicated above.
The significance of a new year is unique to each individual although it is pretty much a given that everyone expects – or hopes – for better things ahead.I validated this observation when I sat down for coffee with some friends a few hours after the changing of the year. Of the five of us who made it to the early morning get-together, one was greeting the New Year with relatively low expectations, looking at 2011 as a series of difficult hurdles that need to be overcome. Another one, he who lost someone he loved recently was, as can be expected, welcoming 2011 with a heavier heart but with profound appreciation for yet another opportunity to live and to savor the company of people closest to the heart. Two were brimming with hope but for different reasons – one was expecting a major career boost while the other one was expecting the arrival of the stork. I was the one with the more realistic expectations.I don’t e…