Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sarah, Gerard and The President Allergic To Bad News

Sarah Geronimo made entertainment headlines recently after her budding love story with actor Gerard Anderson prematurely came to a halt. Thanks to her mom, the notoriously conservative Mommy Divine.

Just a day before that incident the Kapamilya network, during TV Patrol’s 25th anniversary, took a tongue-lashing from the their honorable guest speaker no less than the President of the Philippines: PNOY.

PNOY, without a trace of hesitation and constraint, criticized how bad news seem to be the staple headline of the program and how the main anchor (in this case, former VP Noli De Castro) was unnecessarily bashing him and his administration’s accomplishment.

Two lessons learned here:

First: Be careful who you choose as guest speaker.

Second: If you've done nothing good, keep your mouth shut!

PNOY forgot that he was at the ABS-CBN compound and not in Batasan. It slipped his mind that he was supposed to be a guest speaker not delivering an extension to his SONA.

Aquino was quoted saying: “Ang pagkiling sa negatibismo ay mag-aatras lamang sa dapat sana’y pag-usad na ng ating bayan at mga kapwa Pilipino”

And now that PNOY is already allergic to negative news, why in the world would the Kapamilya network air the break-up episode of Sarah and Gerard? That’s bad news to the nth degree!

Like a faithful dog to his master, Spokesperson Lacierda chose not to highlight the bad news while conducting a press briefing about the typhoon Gener (wrong forecast, late suspension of class etc.) instead, he defended PAG ASA and allied government agencies by saying that they have been providing information without fail via (hold your breath) twitter!

Well, there's nothing wrong there except that the former PAGASA Chief  Prisco Nilo now understands why he was sacked two years ago after typhoon Basyang. Not that he was incompetent or because of the erroneous forecast but because he was not diligent enough to go online and tweet!

In other news, GMA was granted provisional bail for her case on electoral sabotage but since that is bad news, let’s scrap it.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines quashed De Lima’s motion to junk the disbarment case against her, which means that her ambition to be the next Chief Justice might be in jeopardy. That’s negative news also so let’s cross that one out.

The Philippine Olympic delegation has gotten smaller and smaller over time and has never won a medal since 1996 an indication how sports deteriorated because of lack of support, corruption and politics. Then again, that’s pessimistic and unconstructive, so let’s leave the topic.

What then is a perfect news headline in tonight’s newscast as per Malacanang and PNOY's standard?

BREAKING: Mommy Divine approves Sarah-Gerald relationship; Love is sweeter the second time around.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Brilliant Neil Tupas In Search For The Next Chief Justice

Almost like a reality talent search the Judicial Bar Council opted to televise the interview process for the next Chief Justice in the name of transparency and foreshadowing the eventual nomination of Sec. Laila De Lima.

In a nation obsessed with Big Brother shows and enchanted by the ‘Tuwid Na Daan’ spell such as ours, aren’t we all guilty of equating a televised proceeding to transparency and transparency to truth and fairness?

The selection process is said to consider three things in a candidate: probity, independence and competence.

Obviously the same criteria cannot be used as a yardstick to measure the aptitude of the panel of judges.

Enter the ‘late’ Rep. Neil Tupas of the famous prosecution team in the recently concluded impeachment case against the Chief Justice.

Yes, the brilliant Neil Tupas came in late on the first day of the televised interview process. Why?

(A)  He had to drop by at Malacanang for the questionnaire which should be given directly to De Lima

(B)  Woke up late because he had to prepare for the questions the other night. Suffering from mental block ever since God knows when.

(C)  He had to drop by at St. Lukes as his hands were severely numb and swelling due to excessive clapping in SONA.

So if Tupas is the one evaluating fitness of a CJ candidate, aren’t we all in serious trouble? Apparently, only one representative from the Congress and Senate would be allowed to sit in as member of the JBC as per recent Supreme Court ruling. 

Sen. Chiz Escudero, representative of the Senate, chose to give way because he was busy taping the latest episode of KrisTV.

Prior to the selection process, PNOY was quoted saying De Lima among top choice for CJ.

Why state the obvious?

The same article exposed that among PNOY’s choice was Franklin Drilon.

There goes your incentive for taking the role of lead prosecutor during days when Cong Neil Tupas was mentally incapacitated (which is like almost every day).

During the JBC live interview process, De Lima was quoted saying that she will focus on judicial independence.

Remind me again why a lie detector test is not part of this process?

In the same venue, De Lima declared that academic credentials should not be the sole requirement for a CJ. 

Neil Tupas jumped for joy! He still has a fighting chance!

De Lima hopes the disbarment case filed against her would be resolved before the deadline set by JBC otherwise she would be technically knocked out of the CJ list. 

I suppose she can sit and relax, PNOY was able to conjure an impeachment against Corona in less than 24 hours.

The JBC will endorse the names of the nominees to PNOY before July 31 which should give the President 30 days to decide who to appoint. 

BREAKING NEWS: Laila De Lima's victory party is slated August 1.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

SONA Certainties and The Batasan Zoo

I woke up today wondering if it was Philippine Fashion Week when I opened the television only to find out that it is that day of the year again when public officials employ fashion designers to create their gowns, ternos and barongs that they will wear as they attend the SONA also known as ‘in-fairness-to-my-administration-annual-speech’.

The morning newscast anchor would repeatedly ask the congressman, congresswoman and senators this question: ‘Who are you wearing today?’

And these public officials would smile and often say: Rajo Laurel , Randy Ortiz or Paul Cabral but not one would dare say ‘Oh I’m wearing the taxpayer’s money!’

As certain as SONA being a venue for the search for the best dressed public official is the fact that PNOY will brag about his administration’s accomplishment in terms of ousting Corona and filing a case against Arroyo.

Guess what?

Arroyo was able to file a substantial plunder case against ERAP in TWO MONTHS. Aquino took more than TWO YEARS!

But with recent surveys saying that more and more Filipinos are considering themselves as poor and popularity and approval ratings of the PNOY administration spiraling down fast the only way that NoyNoy can solicit thunderous claps from the audience would be to bash Arroyo and her allies.

The irony of it all is the fact that the same audience who would clap at the mention of PNOY’s anti-corruption rhetoric were the same Arroyo cronies who gave her standing ovations when she delivered her SONA nine times.

Who says you can’t teach old monkeys new tricks?

Outside the Batasan building is the usual protest of activist groups who are not satisfied with the President’s performance, which makes you wonder if they are doing it out of conviction or just mere tradition.

One thing is for sure though- they never liked ANY Philippine President. And it would stay that way as certain as Annabelle Rama making enemies every month.

Speaking of Annabelle Rama, if and when she is elected as one of Cebu’s representative in the Congress, the next SONA would surely become more exciting.

Imagine the GMA allies inviting either Nadia Montenegro or Amalia Fuentes (or whoever her enemy is at that point in time) a simple, effortless provocation would surely make Annabelle go berserk  and only then will the Philippine Congress be officially recognized by the Guinness Book Of Records as one of the most sophisticated zoos in the world- a recognition it so deserves. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

QUIZ For The Excommunicated

No cheating! Those who would be caught cheating would be subject to hospital arrest and would be denied burial at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani!

Encircle the best answer. When finished, raise your hands and ask a friend to take the quiz!

TRUE or FALSE: If Jerusalem or Palestine happens to be within the continent of Asia, China would have claimed it as their territory.

If Lazarus’ story would happen in the modern world, what would make him come back from the dead?

A.  Annabelle Rama attending his funeral
B.   Ruffa Gutierrez announcing on twitter that he is already dead.

Should Goliath be alive today, who would be the modern David?

A.     Mahal
B.     Mura
C.     GMA

Noah was asked to build an ark that could only accommodate one specie of a modern animal. Which of the following animal would he most likely save from the great flood:

A.     Annabelle Rama
B.     GMA
C.     None of the above

Should Moses hand over the Ten Commandments to Manny Pacquiao with the option of obliterating one of them, which of the Ten Commandments would Pacquiao get rid of?

A.     Thou shall not covet your neighbor’s wife
B.     Thou shall not commit adultery

If Judas would pass his crown to his next successor who would it most likely be?

A.     Chavit Singson
B.     Franklin Drilon

If Magdalene would appear in the modern times what would majority of the Filipinos have her do?

A.     Pose for FHM
B.     Have a billboard in EDSA

If Moses were alive today what would he rather part?

A.     Tuwid Na Daan
B.     Red Sea
C.     EDSA during rush hours

If Pontius Pilate would be reincarnated who would be his modern manifestation?

A.     NoyNoy Aquino
B.     PNOY
C.     All of the above

If the story of Jonah would have happened today, how will he escape after being swallowed by the shark?

A.     Via text votes. BBE Jonah (vote to evict) or BBS Jonah (vote to save)
B.     Via twitter trending. #JonahOUT #SaveJonah
C.     By blaming GMA

Friday, July 13, 2012

Social Class, Magnum and Fastest Fingers First

Haagen Dazs is pulling out their business in the Philippines- a classic case of wrong target market. Instead of targeting the Class A and B they should have targeted the ‘social climbing class’ of this country. Magnum has been successful so far.

Social stratification evolves per generation.

In ancient Philippines we have slaves (alipin sagigilid and namamahay), the freemen and the noble class. Recent SWS and Pulse Survey Asia tag social class using letters A-E which denotes the financial capability of the cluster (in descending order).

Class A (rich) make up for 5% of the population, B and C (middle-class) constitutes 30%, D and E comprise 45% and the rest belongs to the Magnum-eating class.

Lesson: Money can’t buy class. Progress in financial status does not guarantee evolution in terms of decency.

Twitter is the new melting pot of social classes. It is where the elites broadcast their opinions; the celebrities reveal their IQ and EQ levels and the Magnum-eating class showcase their check-in at Greenbelt and Rockwell.

Still on twitter, instead of #RIPDolphy, #RIPRuffa almost made it to the worldwide twitter trending topics.

This was after she prematurely posted a twitter message announcing the demise of The King of Comedy.

If Ruffa is a contestant in Who Wants To Be A Millionaire she would have been the runaway winner in the ‘fastest-finger-first’ round.

While in the topic of fastest fingers, Mrs. Guidote-Alvarez pointed her fingers to PNOY in the pending case of Dolphy’s National Artist status. 

If this happens to be true it might be the greatest enigma of this decade why an impeachment case against a Chief Justice can be signed by 250+ congressmen in less than 24 hours and NOT decree which just requires a single one?

Question: If both Ruffa Gutierez and members of the congress (who signed the impeachment case in a flash) would compete in the fastest fingers first- who would have won?

The answer: ABS-CBN. When they released their Dolphy tribute milli-seconds after the confirmation of his death.

POST SCRIPT: Villar’s Nacionalista Party is coalescing with PNOY’s Liberal Party. I wonder what happened to LP’s allegation of corruption to Villar and NP’s allegation of mental instability to PNOY?

LESSON: If you want to move on fast from a heartbreak, be a politician. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Farewell Mang Dolphy: The King of Comedy

‘Kung ayaw maraming dahilan, kung gusto maraming paraan’

In a government where Supreme Court rulings can be defied by virtue of a DOJ Secretary’s stubborn interpretation of hold departure orders and where an impeachment case versus the Chief Justice can be railroaded and acted upon less than 24 hours by virtue of the whims of the President, we can’t help but wonder why a recognition cannot be conferred to man every inch deserving of the honor.

“Doon ako natatakot eh. Baka manalo ako. Madaling tumakbo, paano kung manalo?”

In a country where showbiz and politics are interchangeable and artists mistake popularity for competence one man humbly restrained- defying expectations. A man who could have easily snatched a seat in the congress, in the senate, in the Malacanang even, showed the world that winning is not and should not be the end-goal.

‘Stars are not made, they are born’

In a country where the slightest achievement or provocation earns a title ranging from the laughable Prince of Mall shows to the mundane Prince and/or Princess of whatever- kind-of-medium-or-stone comes a King rightfully deserving to be called one. The long list of films made, the box-office stamina, the intangible contributions to the art form, the immeasurable love of the craft and the heart that remained void of arrogance and sense of entitlement.

In a culture that has made it a habit to laugh at someone else’s blooper or interchange comedy with ‘ridicule’ or elicit laugh by making others look and feel like they are either imbecile or hominids, lived a clown who elegantly used comedy to bring genuine laughter and sometimes candid tears.

To the one and only Kevin Cosme and John Puruntong- the image of what many among my generation would identify to as the ideal ‘tatay’ – the Philippines has lost not only a national gem in the field of movie and television but a rare, perhaps one-of-its kind antithesis to the sickening status quo and the unending cycle of pretension and superiority complex.

Sure his life was imperfect but he never claimed to be a saint. Not once preaching about the words of God or tweeting a bible verse or pretended as if he is the only son of God.

Rest in peace Mang Dolphy. This generation and the next would never forget you.

And to those, who in this day and in the next few, would attempt to expedite the National Artist recognition may you one day understand this phrase: ‘Huli man daw at magaling, huli pa rin!’

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Game Fixing, Twitter and the Next Chief Justice

So Don Allado became the latest twitter sensation and subject of primetime news telecast when he blurted allegations of game-fixing  to the league that he is a part of: the PBA.

I do not know which is a dumber move. The fact that he retracted the statement after he was slapped with half a million peso fine and a possible disbarment from the league or the fact that he claimed to have posted those messages in twitter while he was at the height of emotions.

Don Allado would not be the last twitter celebrity to commit this faux pas.

Despite several warnings and concrete examples of ‘think before you click’ incidents, celebrities both genuine and pseudo, seem to take pleasure on the habit of playing with matches at twitter only to say sorry when they realized they created a bomb capable of obliterating what’s left of their hiccupping, lackluster career.

Twitter is the new stage for those wanting to get noticed, heard or revive a career! 

Manny Pacquiao’s recent loss to Bradley ended up in a controversy because of claims of unfair officiating and so is Koko Pimentel’s inability to move on from 2010 issues versus Migs Zubiri and the LAKAS party.

Had Allado stood by his allegations, it would be an interesting testimony that could have demystified the legends of game-fixing in popular sports.

Allado’s proposition is interesting because if proven right it would make PBA no longer a sport but a form of entertainment not any different from WWF. Apparently the required proof to establish such a claim goes beyond a whimsical twitter post.

Can you blame Allado if he retracts it anyway? Koko Pimentel’s dispute went on for years and would have not been resolved if left with the COMELEC as with Loren Legarda’s claim versus Noli De Castro or Mirriam Defensor against FVR or Fernando Poe’s versus GMA.

In a country where allegations of manipulation require seven reincarnations to resolve, can you blame the whistleblower if he decides to take the less painful path?

So what makes Twitter the Bermuda Triangle of celebrity boo-boos, fake deaths and career harakiris?

Perhaps it’s the ease of having an internet connection and the comfort by which you type a message in a keyboard and the illusion of grandeur which multiplies as you gain thousands, even millions of twitter followers.

At the other side of the same coin, Laila De Lima accepted the nomination to be the next Chief Justice.

Should she become our next Chief Justice via NoyNoy's appointment I wonder if senior members of the Supreme Court would go to twitter and shout ‘luto!’

One of the main impeachment allegations against Corona was his perceptible bias towards the GMA administration. Apparently, the same cannot be said against De Lima and NoyNoy.

Daang matuwid characters are incapable of doing anything wrong! The yellow army is insulated from anything that is dirty or incredulous.

Post Script: The Search For The Next Chief Justice would be televised much like a reality show for transparency purposes and yes, you guessed it right- citizens are allowed to throw questions via TWITTER!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Top Ten Pinoy Typhoon Boo-Boos

Ten: If students are given the liberty to choose their schedules for the school year I’ll bet 10 Million Dollars that 97% will choose the PM shift.

Aside from the fact that they don’t have to wake up at 5AM to listen to the early morning news they also gain benefit from the late advisory of DepED and their respective Mayors who have made it a habit to declare suspension of classes after lunch time.

Nine: Typhoons bring out the Kuya Cesar in DepED and Local Government Units.  They take their time before they announce with finality if there would be suspension of classes but they would be quick as thunder in pointing fingers on who should have done it in the first place.

Eight: It only takes one mayor within the vicinity to declare ‘no classes!’ and the rest would follow. I don’t know if they are playing ‘pass the message’ or they just have the mentality ‘pag hindi nag suspend, hindi ka IN!’

Seven: Listening to AM radio stations 5AM in the morning is so primitive. Updates from twitter are now more reliable than PAGASA, DepED and Metro Mayors combined.

Six: Students who insist on going to school are either determined, determined to go the mall or determined not to lose a day’s worth of allowance. So, mom and dad, please stop the 'no school no pay' policy!

Five: Typhoons make Madam Auring more reliable compared to PAG-ASA.

If PAG-ASA forecasted a typhoon to hit an area you could almost be certain that it would be sunny the entire day. Consequently, if they announce that there is no typhoon you could bet your retirement fund that Metro Manila would be flooded in just a few hours which makes you wonder if sarcasm is a basic requirement in weather forecasting. 

Four: Typhoons like Manny Pacquiao bouts make primetime news telecast predictable. The headlines would all be uniform: a teenage boy drowned in the river while swimming with friends, terrible flooding and traffic in EDSA plus landslides in some provincial areas. Of course the star of the season: Malabon, Marikina and Angat, La Mesa Dam and the legendary Espana.

Three: Typhoons bring out the ingenuity and business acumen of the Pinoys.

Who in the world would have thought that stones and wood planks can be made into makeshift bridges and that pedestrians who don’t want their feet get wet should pay a minimum of 2PhP?

Two: Typhoons are not only made up of strong winds and heavy rains; they also help forge stubborn citizens.

As soon as the government organizes and calls for evacuation efforts only 10% will oblige, the other 90% would rather blame the government if something bad happens to them and to their family.

One: Typhoons are a painful reminder that you are a part of the income-generating workforce of this country and as such you have no right to stay at home even if it means you have to go through flying billboards, chest-deep floods and riding rubber boats just to go to work. 

Hazard is a word reserved for those who enters school and those that work in government office.

Post-Script: In the Philippines, a typhoon is a political opportunity.

For the incumbent to distribute noodles and sardines and be perceived as helpful and for the hopefuls to start their campaign via relief good operations.