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Showing posts from July, 2011

Sex, lies and videotape

This was my column on the date indicated above.This post is antedated.

We live in a world and at a time when everyone, it seems, thinks he or she is entitled to information; when the concept of privacy has become incomprehensible to many.I guess this is to be expected given advances in technology. We have at our disposal all these gadgets supposedly designed to keep us abreast of everything that is happening around us, and elsewhere in the world, 24/7, and on demand. It doesn’t help that we’ve been conditioned to expect nothing less by the influential people in this country. Why, if Kris Aquino has no qualms about revealing to the whole world the most intimate details about her life including the indiscretions of her partners, then we should expect nothing less from others of lesser social stature.We’re so used to people readily spilling the beans on whatever controversy they happen to be embroiled in that we seem to resent it when other people who figure in controversies choose to wit…

Wheel of fate

This was my column on the date indicated above.This post is antedated.
I am not surprised, although I must admit not being pleasantly so, that our senators and everybody else at the Senate gave the Catholic bishops reverential treatment last week.I want to stress though that I certainly didn’t expect and wouldn’t have wanted them treated the way other witnesses are usually treated in Senate and Congressional hearings, not necessarily because they are religious leaders but because nobody really deserves to be treated with the kind of disrespect that is usually characteristic of these hearings.Three hundred years worth of Catholic guilt pretty much explains why we tend to tiptoe in the presence of religious leaders. We’ve all been conditioned to think of them as royalty. I came from a family of Catholic religious zealots and my grandmother had this thing about treating bishops and priests like they were higher species of nature and we were unworthy to even breathe the same air they were …

Wishful thinking

This was my column on the date indicated above.This post is antedated.
At around four in the afternoon today, or thereabouts, the 15th President of the Republic of the Philippines, Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III, will deliver his second State-of-the-Nation-Address to Congress as prescribed by Article VII, Section 23 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.This year’s edition (some simply refer to it as the biggest fashion event of the season on account of the fact that our legislators and their spouses grab the chance to show off the abundance— or sadly, the absence—of fashion and common sense) is the much awaited political event of the season as the President is widely expected to use the occasion to reveal the most explosive revelations about what concrete damning evidence his administration has on former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her lackeys.We expect to hear facts and figures, and more importantly, what exactly this administration has at this point, that will stand in court. …

Missing the point again

This was my column on the date indicated above.This post is antedated.The cute little girl asks the cute little boy “Girlfriend mo ba ako?” (Am I your girlfriend yet?).The cute little boy says “Ayoko nga, di pa ko ready eh. Demanding ng mga girlfriends! Gusto ganito, gusto ganyan. Ewan!” (I don’t want to. I’m not ready yet. Girlfriends are so demanding, they have many needs. It’s exasperating).The cute little girl says coyly “Gusto ko lang naman ng McDo fries, eh” (But I only want McDo fries!).The cute little boy’s face lights up and then reaches for change in his pocket “Talaga?” (Really?).The ad was… cute. I have objections to it but they had nothing to do with what our bishops found objectionable.If you haven’t seen the 30-second TV commercial or if you are wondering why you haven’t seen the ad being shown on TV since middle of last week, that’s because McDonald’s has already pulled it out after certain officials of the Catholic Church protested that it conveyed the “wrong message …

Spare us the sanctimoniousness

This was my column on the date indicated above.This post is antedated.
The giant billboards showing members of the country’s rugby team wearing nothing but briefs and smug expressions on their faces have been removed from their strategic perch near the Guadalupe Bridge. The Metro Manila Development Authority also removed other billboards on EDSA last Monday, purportedly because the billboards in question were put up either without the necessary permits because they were morally objectionable. The billboards of Phil Younghusband (he is shown without a shirt on) and Angel Locsin (she showed off her leg) hawking canned tuna was one of the casualties of the newfound vigilance and sudden attack of moral righteousness on the part of our authorities.Okay, I know that I have written many times in the past about the need to clean up our cityscape of those giant billboards. Why am I not happy?Let me make myself clearer. As I wrote in this space last Monday, I am four-squares behind the campaign …

Appropriate and misplaced outrage

This was my column on the date indicated above.This post is antedated.There were four things that struck me last week as the allegations of the involvement of Catholic bishops in the illegal disbursements of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office funds came to a boil.First, that there are people in this country who are still genuinely surprised at the level and extent of corruption that is happening here; and consequently, that we are still capable of feeling outrage at these shenanigans. Theoretically (and I must note that I am glad that this is not the case), we should have already become numb and immune to these things because, for crying out loud, we eat this kind of shocking revelations for breakfast every day.Seriously, did we really think certain institutions are impervious to corruption just because they claim to have and therefore act like they have God’s private telephone number? To put it in better perspective, did anyone really think that Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her min…

Skyflakes and catfood

This was my column on the date indicated above.This post is antedated.
My friends in the theater were hopping mad last week over what was referred to derogatory, mean-spirited, insulting comments made by indie film director Rafael “Rafa” Santos. I meant to write about the issue but the Sara Duterte issue came up and, well, that issue pretty much wrote itself out. I am writing about the Rafa Santos incident now because as a former theater actor (ahem) and an avid follower of the arts scene in this country, I feel that it is everyone’s responsibility to propagate appreciation for what theater artists do for the sake of their art. I also feel there are valuable lessons that can be learned from this incident.The Santos and Duterte incidents both deserve our attention as they are classic examples of why people should act more responsibly and be more particularly careful about what they say or do in public. It’s now a lot easier to record and spread in the Internet damning evidence of carele…

Simply wrong

This post is antedated.I am trying to recover the online version of my columns before the Manila Standard Today deletes the archives for 2011.I made the mistake of assuming the archive will be online for five years.Sigh.I think it is important to make sure that this point is put forward clearly, repeatedly, even more assertively, above the din and dynamics of the debate: What Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte did last Friday was wrong. Punching someone is wrong. It doesn’t matter what the provocation was. It doesn’t matter if Duterte is mayor. It doesn’t matter if she was under so much stress, or that she was a woman whose authority was undermined. It doesn’t matter what cause she was fighting for or what her motivation was. What she did was wrong.It is wrong to punch someone, period.We are not even talking about why it is wrong for a public official to do that to another official who ranks lower in the bureaucracy. We are not yet talking about why it is wrong to do something like that in…