Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Gospel According To Manny Pacquiao, The Living Saint That Is Sharon Cuneta

Some three weeks ago a small group claiming to be disciples of the Bible and their church called for the cancellation of Lady Gaga concert. The reason? Lady Gaga is a (or the) devil.

Their basis? Her song, entitled Judas, which they have interpreted literally to mean as a celebration of the infamous biblical character. Lord, please forgive them, English is not their mother language so they really can't grasp the full meaning of it, let alone if it’s in musical form.

About a few weeks prior to that incident, Manny Pacquiao, pound KUNG pound king, received the greatest gift of all- that of divine enlightenment, or so he claims.

He started preaching using almost every opportunity, in almost every venue and at one point succeeded in almost passing as a biblical scholar except that his indiscretions were just too fresh to be forgotten. And no, Krista Ranillo and Ara Mina and countless nameless women wouldn’t want to be written down in history books as the modern incarnation of Mary Magdalene.

Let's go outside the Philippines, President Obama recently expressed support for gay marriage. He is lucky to have been in the right country at the right time. Had he been in the Philippines he would have automatically clinched the monicker ‘Satan’! So, yes, it’s amazing how geographical location can spell the difference between heaven and hell.

Consequently, in the 2010 Philippine Presidential Elections- the portrait of good versus evil has been heavily used (abused?) and as many historians would put it- the good (PNOY) triumphed versus the evil (GMA).

I would have conceded to this categorical claim except for one thing: the devil’s cronies in the congress are now the same allies of PNOY. So if a devil becomes friend with an angel (?) the devil becomes holy?

Meanwhile, The Vatican should acknowledge the contribution of twitter to the spreading of the word of God. Because of twitter, quoting a bible passage has been the hobby of major celebrities in the country.

If twitting a bible verse is a requirement for sainthood then Sharon Cuneta might be the strongest candidate to be ordained by the church as a ‘living saint’.

The Vatican is contemplating if she is rightful to the title: The Patron Saint of Palengke.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Aftermath Of The Impeachment Verdict

Now it can be told ex-Chief Justice Renato Corona went down to history as the first impeachable officer to be removed from the office by virtue of a 20-3 Senate Impeachment Court vote. He also was the first official to use Medical City as a refuge as instead of St. Lukes!

Because the Impeachment Season is over the search for the next Chief Magistrate of Justice is now in the works! Here’s how it would work:

‘Auditionees’ from all over the country would need to be chosen by a panel of judges, preferably composed of the Ombudsman, members of the Liberal Party and 2/3 of the congress.

Those who will make it to the first round will battle each week by presenting their SALN to the public and demonstrate if they have declared their dollar deposits.

The public will then determine the final two via text votes and phone call to a toll-free landline.

The ‘finalists’ would then face each other in an oral argument on how Gloria Macapagal Arroyo can be convicted of plunder with PNOY as the sole judge of competence!

Meanwhile, many are now commenting how the entire impeachment trial was a waste of public funds. Things would have been easier if it was Alfredo Lim who is the President- he would just simply spray paint the house of Corona with the message: ‘Mandarambong Alis Dito!’

After the result of the verdict has been made known, Justice Cuevas’ impeccable trial track record now has a blemish. His record now stands at 100,547 wins, 3 draws, 98,765 KO and 1 loss. ‘Hindi pa tapos ang boksing’, he was quoted saying.

Apart from the ‘faulty interpretation' of the Foreign Currency Act it was the testimony of Ombudsman Conchita Morales and Corona himself that handed the win to the prosecution. So Neil Tupas, yes, you still suck!

Speech writers of the President expressed relief in the conviction verdict. Finally they have something to write as  an ‘accomplishment’ in the SONA this year!

CJ Corona, although he lost his post as the Chief Justice, has been contacted by the Malacanang to be the poster boy of the ‘daang matuwid campaign!’

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Thirteen Things We Learned From The Impeachment Trial

The 'Coronavela' is about to conclude later today. It would be a shame if we walk away not learning a few lessons from this once in a decade spectacle, so here they are:

What the prosecution lacks in evidence they make up with speed as evident in the 24 hour turnaround time for the impeachment to be signed by their 180+ members. I wish they could be like this everyday!

While members of the house of congress can be criticized for the absence of loyalty, they can't be at fault when it comes to obedience.

The Congress  is not the best place to go if you are in search for the brightest minds in the country. Lead Prosecutor Neil Tupas, any objections?

Basic math is not a requirement to be a congressman as evident in their declaration of 40 properties which turned out later to be 4. Don't be deceived though, their addition and multiplication skills are sharpened during release of pork barrel funds!

Neil Tupas has been removed as Lead Prosecutor after day one. He was, since then, replaced by Sen. Franklin Drilon.

Cuevas and Enrile are two living proofs that memory does not depreciate with age. Memo Plus Gold should get them as the new brand ambassadors!

If you want to be multimillionaire someday the formula should be easy (1) start saving dollar deposits as early as your grade school years and (2) marry someone with family feud over properties.

The word 'culpa' is Justice Cuevas' kryptonite. 

Incidentally, the best way to pacify Sen. Santiago is to say the magic words- 'Mea Culpa'! The best way to provoke her? Change your name to Neil Tupas! 

Apart of course from covering your ears while she is lecturing.

Contrary to public perception, senators start their day by praying. I wonder why they have yet to invite Cong. Pacquiao to lead the invocation. Perhaps in tomorrow's 'finale'?

Unlike American Idol, the verdict is not left for the public to decide so don't worry CJ Corona even if your 'finale' performance sucks you can still hope for an acquittal. Challenging the congressmen and Sen. Drilon to sign a waiver though was a brilliant move- reminiscent of the movie Drag Me To Hell!
CJ Corona's finale performance revealed who his real mentor is- complete with the wheelchair props and the unconvincing script reminds many of the infamous 'I am sorry' speech!

A few hours from now we will find out if 'conviction' has been redefined not as a penalty for the culpable violation of the constitution but rather a consequence of  wrong interpretation of the Foreign Account Secrecy Law.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ampalaya and American Idol 11 Results

For the last time this season- Ryan Seacrest said ‘dim the lights, here we go!’ which, as we know signals the announcement of this year’s American Idol garnering over 132 million votes- the highest number of votes casted in the show's history.

Viewers particularly in the Philippines and in Mexico, which are used to watching the Miss Universe, were waiting for Ryan to say 'In the event that the winner would not be able to fulfill his/her duty, the runner up would take his/her place', but it didn't transpire.

Not even after the replay of the episode. So yes, there's no way to dethrone the winner!

Many people thought that the 132 million votes were bloated because of the popularity of one of the finalist in facebook, text, Skype and Magic Jack! But that was not necessarily the case.

The first Asian-Mexican-American winner was not called to the stage and as expected, many citizens of the social network,  expressed their extreme disappointment- crying expletives which are lavishly colored with commentaries ranging from ‘racism’ to ‘rigged’ voting system.

While all these were happening, CJ Corona has been enjoying the diverted attention and hopes that Season 12 would start immediately tomorrow and that a Filipina would once more participate so the nation can tune in to ETC or Star World instead of local Filipino news which broadcasts the impeachment trial live!

Going back to the American Idol results show, I found this article from very revealing and interesting:

The article basically points out that after a careful analysis of tweets favoring the finalists, they found out the Philipp was indeed America’s idol and that Jessica’s influence was mainly attributed to territories outside states (ehem! Mexico! Ehem! Philippines!)

Maybe that's the reason why facebook citizens are declaring her 'World Idol'!

While I want to give our kababayans the time to grief over this lost bragging opportunity (or what majority would say ‘national pride’) I can’t help but ask how do you deal with a competition that was designed to be a ‘popularity contest’ from the start?

And I came to a compelling realization: Why do we find the results shocking when we, as a nation, installed senators like Bong Revilla, Tito Sotto and Lito Lapid? We almost made Joseph Estrada president – NOT ONCE BUT TWICE! (borrowing lines from Susan Roces- no plagiarism intended!)

The point is- when you leave the decision to the populace you have to respect their preference. Yes- it is a matter of preference so ultimately the definition of who has the better voice or if it matters at all resides in the voters. That's democracy as its purest- take it or leave it. 

The premise of a popularity contest such as AI is that whoever garners the highest votes is assumed to have the fan base which would later translate into sold-out concerts and albums. 

So, if Filipinos really want to vindicate Jessica- buy her records post American Idol stint! Sadly for us, CDs purchased at Divisoria, Baclaran and Makati Cinema Square would not catapult Jessica to the Billboards.

On other news, past presidential candidates cried 'foul!' claiming they are far more superior intellectually compared to the one who was voted by the majority in 2010 to which PNoy replied – ‘and you, and you, and you! You’re gonna love me!’ (while playing Diablo 3!)

To which Jennifer Holiday responded: NGA-NGA!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The American (IDOL) Dream

So Jessica did what Jasmine and the rest of the Fil-Am past contenders failed to do- enter the finals of the ‘most popular reality show in America’.

The Philippines has all the reasons to stay glued to the competition:

First, we are a nation who loves singing in every known form- from reality shows to karaoke parties to magic sing microphones in almost every middle-class household.

Second, we are a nation who celebrates the ‘accomplishments’ of our ‘kababayan’ specially when its Hollywood related or anything that is remotely connected to what happens in the United States- from Charice being a guest in Oprah, to Pacquio singing ‘Sometimes When We Touch’ in the Jimmy Kimmel Show.

And finally because we recently witnessed CJ Corona’s testimony in the Impeachment Trial and found it (as Justice Cuevas would say) immaterial, impertinent and irrelevant.

If Jessica wins tomorrow night she would be making history as

the youngest contestant to win the competition

the only contestant ‘saved’ by the judges to win the title

the first contestant of Asian-Latin-American descent to grab the crown and

the first winner to be installed at the top thanks to the indubitable powers of Skype, Facebook and Magic Jack!

If at all, there is no doubt that Jessica should win the award for having the most wonderful voice in the 11th season of American Idol- the technique, the depth, the power and the famous GROWL! Is that enough to make her a winner?

Unfortunately, the answer is no as evident in her near exit when she was voted off earlier in  the competition. The sad reality is, singing competitions are not like fairy tales where the best in vocal technique wins at the end. In fact, American Idol has been, for the last four seasons, criticized for crowning WGWG (White-Guy-With-Guitar), a testament to the voting population’s preference considering its demographics- young girls innately attracted to Caucasian males with average singing range and an acceptable guitar playing skill.

If Jessica fails to advance tomorrow I expect a backlash in social media among fans which would include conspiracy theories about ‘racism’ to judges being biased and yes even challenge the accuracy of the voting system- after all, in the Philippines walang natatalo, meron lang nadadaya.

Resident mentor Jimmy Lovine made a great comment when he said that ‘If Jessica wants to win she has to have a magical moment in the Finale’. It is understandable why a magical moment is necessary- one, because she is considered an underdog compared to Philip and second because approaching the finals- she lost steam.

Any American Idol fan, observer and critics placed her at the top of the race- virtually invisible up to that stage where she sung Whitney Houston’s 'I Will Always Love You' and perhaps extending to her moment with ‘Everybody Has A Dream’. Everything went downhill and became a roller coaster ride after- the culprit? Poor song choice.

So, is she really the underdog? Or did she just peak too early in the competition?

Can she be considered an underdog when she has the Philippines and Mexico supporting her apart from her fans in the States? Or are the judges too conservative in giving her lavish praise and standing ovation?

In the end- what she needs to win the American Idol is that magical moment the same magical moment Kelly made when she belted out ‘A Moment Like This’, Carrie when she did the killer combo that is ‘Inside Your Heaven’ and ‘Angels Brought Me Here’. Whether there is magic in her performances today remains to be validated tomorrow- when the votes are in.

Meanwhile, Lady Gaga has left the country and devils still abound.