Tuesday, December 23, 2003


I feel lucky that the Art Film Cinema of Greenbelt is just across the street from our office building. After dilly-dallying for days, I finally decided to watch Dai Sijie’s “Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress� (Balzac et la Petite Tailleuse Chinoise) which is a Chinese and French co-production. I regret not watching it earlier. It’s one of the films that I would love to watch over an over again. It is sad, but would later make you smile as you were enlightened by the ideas presented in the story.

I love the film, not only because of their cute actors, but also because it reminds us of how important art is, the changing powers of knowledge earned from reading books and how a beautiful written work could transform a community.

The film is based on Dai Sijie’s autobiographical novel of the same title. Its synopsis reads:
At the height of Mao's infamous Cultural Revolution, two boys are among hundreds of thousands exiled to the countryside for "re-education." The narrator and his best friend, Luo, guilty of being the sons of doctors, find themselves in a remote village where, among the peasants of Phoenix Mountain, they are made to cart buckets of excrement up and down precipitous winding paths. Their meager distractions include a violin---as well as, before long, the beautiful daughter of the local tailor.

But it is when the two discover a hidden stash of Western classics in Chinese translation that their re-education takes its most surprising turn. While ingeniously concealing their forbidden treasure, the boys find transit to worlds they had thought lost forever. And after listening to their dangerously seductive retellings of Balzac, even the Little Seamstress will be forever transformed.

From within the hopelessness and terror of one of the darkest passages in human history, Dai Sijie has fashioned a beguiling and unexpected story about the resilience of the human spirit, the wonder of romantic awakening and the magical power of storytelling.

This is what critic Jamie Russell wrote about the film:
"Revolutionary peasants will never be corrupted by a filthy bourgeois chicken!" declares a local Communist party leader near the beginning of "Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress", tossing a cookbook into the fire. As opening scenes go, it's one that sums up everything that writer-director Dai Sijie's film is fighting against.

Arriving in the Phoenix Mountains for "re-education" during the Cultural Revolution, bourgeois city boys Ma (Ye Lui) and Luo (Kun Chen) discover a world dominated by petty rivalries and blinkered ignorance.

It's a community in which even their violin comes under suspicion (most, if not all, of the residents in that community are illiterate) - at least until they convince the local radicals that a Mozart sonata is a political mountain song ("Mozart is Thinking of Chairman Mao").

After months of toiling the fields, the boys discover a cache of foreign books and try to do some re-education of their own. They read the novels of Flaubert, Gogol, and Balzac to the local seamstress (Xun Zhou), whose thirst for uncensored knowledge makes her willing to risk her life for art.

A French-Chinese production (rather appropriate, given the subject matter), Dai Sijie's film - based on his own best-selling autobiographical novel of the same name - presents an overly simplistic vision of art as salvation that threatens to turn its three leads into ciphers rather than characters.

Yet, building on its carefully constructed scenes between Ma, Luo, and the little seamstress who they both fall in love with, this is a beautiful paean to a time long past.

Reliving his youth, Dai Sijie finds both joy and sadness in the upheaval of the Cultural Revolution - sadness in the misery of those years of strict indoctrination, but uplifting joy in the realization that change can bring freedom.

As the film's awkward, closing coda proves, though, sometimes love means letting go.

Did I say I love the Film? Oh, yes, I said it already but it’s worthy saying it again. This is the film that would make you laugh at the innocence and ignorance of the people and the “manipulation� of the two re-educated boys just to get out of trouble from communist authorities. It would cause you to hate tyranny and how oppressed masses are further oppressed when leaders fuel their ignorance and made them blames all their woes to intellectuals and rich people. Which is very true in our country as can be seen how Erap and his cronies capitalize on rich vs. poor issue.

It, however, give you hope knowing that knowledge and an open mind can free us. It made you realize that the greatest oppression that a man could make to his fellowmen is to keep him ignorant forever and to subscribe to his ignorant beliefs.

This is the film that beautifully mixes love, coming of age tale and political criticism.

There are plenty of scenes that I love, but there are three scenes that until is etched in my mind.

First is, towards the ending of the film, the Little Seamstress (as she is called in her community) left her grandfather and decided to venture her life in the city. Lou, one of the re-educated boy who is in love with her and whom she had sexual relationship with, ran after her. Lou was the one who was reading Balzac works to her and all Lou wants was to bring her out of her ignorance. Lou asked her, as she left who changed you (Lou thinks that it was him), but the girl answered, “Balzac changed me.� Then she continued saying, there is one thing that I learned from Balzac and that is “a woman’s beauty is a priceless treasure.� And then she turned her back and left.

Another scene was also in the ending, 20 years after their exile in the Phoenix Mountains, Ma is already a world-renowned violinist and Lou is an authority in Dental Medicine. Ma saw a report that that Phoenix Mountain village will soon be covered with water as a dam will be created in the Yangtze River. Ma, decided to go back the village and look for Little Seamstress. She couldn’t be found. It was the time when the village people are paying tributes to their dead by floating paper boats with the name of the dead written on it. Ma decided to swim and look for Little Seamstress name in those paper boats.
The scene shifted to the airport where Ma and Lou had their reunion. In Lou’s house they watched the video taken by Ma in the village and the interview he had with the residents asking if they have recollection of the two re-educated boys. Then their conversation lead to Little Seamstress at this point Lou was crying (he is married already, but to another woman). He said he looked for Little Seamstress, but he could no longer find him, he said she might be in Hong Kong already where it was impossible to find her. Then Lou said to Ma that he knew Ma love Little Seamstress also. Ma, responded yes, but we love her in different ways.

Then the film ends with scene showing the interior of the house in that Village where the two boys used to live. Water started to sip in and the sewing machine was already immersed in water. As the whole house was filled with water another image overlapped that of the flooded house showing Lou reading a book to Little Seamstress who sat beside him with her dreamy eyes and Lou looking at her with the look of love while Ma, was on the side playing his violin.

Beautiful, just beautiful.

(Note: if you want to see more pictures some videos of the film [and see for yourself how cute they are] click here, the only problem with this site is - it's in french)

Sunday, December 14, 2003


Dear KK and Justin:

I was supposed to write this yesterday, but I was in Pampanga doing some family thing for my cousin's wedding.

Yesterday you both promised to love each other for richer or for poorer, in sickness or in health (or somthing like that). My prayer's is that you two will fulfill that promise forever.

KK dear, I remember you in our Silliman and Dumaguete days as a tough lady, yet I also knew that behind that tough lady is a woman longing to be loved and cared for and I know that you have found that in Justin.

I always believe in destiny because there are things in this world that we just can control. Considering the circumstances of your meeting with Justin, I know it is destiny at works. Fate made it possible for you to find each other.

Justin, I don't really know you, but knowing that you have chosen to love KK, I know your a smart person and one hell of a lucky guy!

Now some silly thoughts just came into my mind and reminded me of thsi Cebuano folk song, here it is (and KK, interpret for Justin OK!)

Inday pamutos na sa imong mga bistida
Kinsay imong pamanhon?
Si Ondo akong banahon.

Ondo ayaw awaya
Si Inday nga imong asawa
Kung imo gani soyang awayon
Amo siyang pagabawion.

Onsaon ninyo pagbawi
Gikasal kami sa pari
Unsaon ninyo pagboyboy
Giaslan kami ug baboy.

Now, now, now. I do not dream, of course, that we would come to a moment where we, as KK's friends, would scold you two. I am confident that you two love each other and there would be bed of roses laid down for you. But, like any roses, it has its thorns. My prayer then is that if things have gone bad to worst in future (God forbid!), your love for each other would transcend all the trials and and difficulties that you as a couple would be facing. That no matter how badly bruised are you (and I mean it figuratively, not literally, ok?!), at the end of the day, you two would still find yourselves in the security of the loving arms of each other.

I pray for a blissful, blessed and joyful life ahead of you.

God bless!

With all my love,

Eric J.

Thursday, December 11, 2003


i am: Simply Eric
i want: a brand new cellphone (although a Josh Groban’ Closer CD will do)
i have: 300 pesos in my wallet
i wish: that I could have more money this Christmas
i hate: Panfilo Lacson, Korina Sanches and Erwin Tulfo
i miss: Dumaguete and Silliman in those days when I was still with my friends, Doltz Hall when I was still residing there.
i fear: things I did in the past will come and haunt me in the future.
i hear: the voice of my boss talking to somebody over the phone
i search: for peace of mind and someone to love who will love me in return.
i wonder: what it is to be really straight.
i regret: not doing my best when I was still student where I could have graduated with honors
i love: my mother, my sisters, my friends
i ache: for pan de coco, rice (I am on a diet!)
i always: play solitaire in my PC
i am not: a quiet person
i dance: most of the time
i sing: always!
i cry: when the thing that I am watching (TV or Movie) moves me to tears.
i write: legal pleadings
i win: in Extemporaneous and speaking Contest and Quiz Bees
i lose: any sporting event
i confuse: Susan Roces and Helen Gamboa
i need: have my teeth fix and enroll in a gym
i should: be more diligent with my diet
my father thinks I am: My father is dead
my mother thinks I am: earning a lot, which is not true
my ex-boyfriend thinks I am: I don’t have an ex-boyfriend nor an ex girl friend!
three things you are often complimented for: resourcefulness, work, voice
I get embarrassed when: I say something “awful” in public
animal cruelty: is awful!
I keep a diary: I don’tl
I like to cook: yes
I have a secret I have not shared with anyone: a lot
I am in love: I am not in love (eros) with anyone now!
I set my watch a few minutes ahead: nope, I set it on time
I bite my fingernails: I don’t bite my fingernails, its yucky for me!
I believe in love: I am a hopelessly romantic fool!
the cutest female I know: Bea, one year old daughter of my landlord
the weirdest person i know: Ritchie Galon!
the Loudest Person I know: Johann Quisumbing (a member of the Praise Team of the Union Church of Manila). Once this person talks (which is always) you would want to cover his mouth!
the Sexiest Person I Know: Andrea del Rosario! I love her!
the Person that Knows the Most about me: my friends
most Boring Teacher: My Introduction to Law Teacher
my most overused phrase: Grabee!, putcha, gago, basically
the last image/thought before sleep: anything on TV/how succesful am I with my diet and exercise
my best feature: my eyes, color and texture of my skin, my brain!
Inside joke: can’t think of anyt
ake a shower everyday: Yes
have a(any) crush(es): Andrea del Rosario, an unknown church mate ( haven’t had the courage to ask for his name) an officemate (same reason) and JOSH GROBAN!
want to get married: yeah, to someone whom I really really love and who knows me and would be willing to take me despite of who I am.
have any tattoos/where?: nope and never!
piercing/where?: none, although I would love to have my ear pierced where I can place one small diamond stud
get motion sickness: happened only twice, inside the supercat going to CDO (from Dumaguete) and inside my boss’ RAV-4 driven by the late Manong Remy on our way to Bacolod
think you're a health freak: not yet
get along with parents: kinda
thunderstorms: are fun to listen to when you’re in bed talking about anything with friends

Tuesday, December 09, 2003


No, no, no, no, no! This is not related to the 2004 Elections!.

That is Manny Pacquiao at the center (lower row). Remember how he made us proud by defeating Marco Antonio Barrera? All odds were against Manny when he decided to fight Barrera, but he persevered and made us all proud.

Now, we can all express our gratitude for bringing honor to our country by voting for him as 2003 HBO Fighter of the Year. And we can do that by clicking it here.

(note: as of writing Manny leads all other contender in the HBO pool)

Friday, December 05, 2003


This week I decided to run away from one thing that causes my insecurities. When I say run away, I mean it literally.

And so last Tuesday, at 5 am I put on my jogging shoes and joined my Landlord Bobby, a policeman, in his morning jog at the Amari reclamation area. Yes, Amari - that controversial reclamation project of the Public Estate Authority. Amari is now a new jogging haven of residents near the Roxas Boulevard area. Free from the sidewalk vendors that infest the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex, what you have is an unobstructed jogging path. And since it is quite far and in the absence of a public transportation (i.e. jeep, bus, etc) going to the place, only those who have a car can go there, which would mean, konti lang ang jologs!

Since, Bobby can only go with me every other day, I alternate my jogging with my Tae Bo exercise, using Billy Blank’s video.

But of course, exercise is not enough, If I really intend to lose weight, I have to couple it with diet. Since Monday, I have been eating breakfast cereal (Fitness by Nestle) and fruits, a cup of rice and some meat for lunch, and fruits for dinner. I tried to stay away from sweets and white bread (those made of refined processed flour).

I’ve realized the most difficult part is to get started. I’ve been wanting to do this since January this year and it is only now that I was able to start. However, the most difficult part of all is resisting the temptation to eat more than what is necessary. For years, food has been my coping mechanism. When I’m bored, I eat. When I’m pressured, I eat. I love to eat bread (pan de coco, ensaimada, ube pan, name it!), I love to eat almost anything. The trouble is actually compounded since my office is just a stone throw away from greenbelt where all the nice restaurants, fastfoods and coffee shops are.

I am 80 percent successful in controlling my urge to eat (I am still on my first week ok!). Eating fruits can be boring, my only consolation is that I have set my Sundays as my “day off”. On Sunday, I can eat anything that I want. That is my reward for having disciplined my self, and of course, a preparation for another 6 days of controlled eating.

I am giving myself six months to achieve my desired result. Hopefully next week, I’ll be able to enroll in a gym for my weight training.

This time, I hope it will work.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003


Thank you for the 16 years that you showed us that a TV News Magazine could survive, followed and respected, not because of the personalities standing in front of the camera, but because of the story that you shared to us. And if indeed persons standing in front of the camera have become personalities, its is only because of the respect and admiration to your infallible journalistic standards.

Than you for your creativity. Thank you for showing us that an investigative reporting is never boring if we people behind the camera are as creative as you are, creative yet mindful of the standards you set.

Thank you for giving us faith and for showing us that in coming out with your stories every week, it wasn't fame that you are after, but the desire to show us the truth. And if you have became famous out of it, thank you for never letting us down,

Thank you for showing us what a journalist should be. That it wasn't all glamour to be working for TV. Thank you for making us appreciate the hardworks that you did just to come up with a story. Thank you for showing us that people who works hard will earn their share of glory as oppose to those who rose from the ranks out of favoritism and "stepping on other people's toes."

Thank you for making us cry because you have showed us the state of poverty and the sufferings of our fellowmen. Thank you for making us laugh at the innocent remarks of the people in the streets or because of how you made your anchors get through some "missions". Thank you for making us proud and took pride of the success of our fellow Filipinos and of your success too. Thank you for bringing us to places in and out of the country even if were just sitting at the comforts of our living room.

As you left the air last night, you have left a void. Our Tuesday evening will never be the same again.

We are sad because you have finally left, but we are also hopeful that the seeds that you planted will someday bear fruit. And we are happy knowing that these seeds are scattered and making their marks in this country and in other parts of the world.

Goodbye our dear Probe Team. We will surely miss you.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003


I have added another link in my website. Now, this blog claims that Beth, Ted and my blog have inspired her to start blogging. The catch, however, is she won't reveal herself. I have the feeling who she really is, but I want some second opinions from you people. So click the link and together let us unmask the identity of this "mystery blogger".

Note, I am already using the pronoun "she" because I am pretty confident who she is. So what are you waiting for? Visit her site, ok?

Friday, November 07, 2003


courtesy of joshgroban.com

Tell me why can't I get over you? Tell me!!! .

Tuesday, November 04, 2003


Joel, my fellow singer of the Praise Team in one of the Protestant churches in Makati, told me that his five-year-old son, Juliard, likes watching us sing. Of course Joel was happy. Then Juliard went up of their sofa and mimics someone whom he said that he likes watching. Joel taught that it was him, or probably Marvin our team leader. Yet Joel still asked his son and was surprised when Juliard answered, "I am imitating Eric." Joel asked, "Why?" to which Juliard answered, "I like to watch Tito Eric sing."

Joel's amazement is not without reason (other than the fact that he is a bit jealous because his son likes to watch me over him), I didn't sing any solo parts yet while he did a number of times already. But it didn't surprise me also that his son would like to watch me (please note, watch not hear me sing). Members of the Church, even our Graeco-American Pastor , told me that they love my being "lively" on stage (admittedly the Greek blood in our Pastor was the reason for it).

But that is just me. Most of the time, I shed all my inhibitions when I am on stage. And when the music starts playing my body goes with the melody. I love music and I love expressing the emotions of the song through the movement of my body and the expressions of my face.

I am a performer and performance for me is an art - - an expression.

But then again, I am still amused. I have a five-year old fan.

Not that its is the first time that happened to me. I already had my own share of "followings" even when I was still in high school. When I was a junior in high school, I was the only male in a three-person team that would represent our school for chemistry quiz bowl. Accompanying us the contest venue (which was an hour drive, two towns away from our school) were the whole Chemistry Class, our coach and her 12 year old daughter. I don't know, but I probably made an impression of our coach daughter that a week after, my coach approached and told me that her daughter has a big crush on me. Whoa! Have you even been approached by a mother, who happens to be your teacher and coach, and told you that her daughter likes you? I was flattered, of course, but my God! She was 12 year old! (I just turned 16 then).

A year after, that girl was accepted in our school (our school is relatively small, of the 500 freshmen applicants only 80-100 are accepted). I was in my senior year then and I never told my classmates about what our coach confided to me. You know how senior male students are, they seem to have the right to "victimized" freshmen ladies. One of those freshmen was that girl (I am really sorry but I forgot her first name already). My classmates was up for a big surprise, I wasn't a ladies man (and never was!), but when they (yes, quite a number of them) started courting her, she bluntly told them, "there is only one person I like in your class and in this school and that is Eric and nobody else."

Well, some guys can be so lucky, isn't it? She was good looking, but I did not end up with her. At that time I was having this "mutual understanding" with my batchmate and fellow teammate named Cynthia.

The same thing in college. There was Jenjen, a fellow masscom student and writer of the Weekly Sillimanian, who regularly informs me that a resident of Edith Carson Hall (a freshmen dormitory for ladies) likes me but won't tell her name. And some other freshmen.

Again it was not surprise for me. Having hosted the freshmen convocation for two years, chances are some freshmen would fall for this guy with a firm and well modulated speaking voice who speaks good English. I just wonder, having been a son-of-a-bitch that I was (and probably still am) would that "crush" wears off soon.

Okay, so I was Mr. Personality. I shouldn't have trouble with that, yes? But no, trouble is there are people whom I badly want to fall for me but they just wont wooed by my so-called charm. While those that I don't like are those that fall for me. Gaaad! Life can be so cruel, so unfair. Worst, while you tried to follow people you like, people you don't like are the one who pursue you and some of them have become my share of psycho-stalkers.

I mean for once in my life, would cosmos be too kind to give me someone that I like and who would like me in return?

Thursday, October 30, 2003


I've gotten this from Postcripts of the Philippine Star.
Mr. Fernando Poe Jr.,
7 Narcissus Drive, Beverly Hills,
Antipolo City

Dear Mr. Poe:

We are ordinary citizens with no political affiliation. We do not support any particular candidate. Therefore, we have no other agenda except our deep and unfailing allegiance to our country and the Filipino people. It is from this loyalty that we draw the courage to write you this letter.

It is in the news that you are considering running for president. If you love your country, we urge you, please deliberate on this with utmost care. We all know you will win because of your tremendous popularity as a movie hero. You have earned the esteem and admiration of the Filipino people such that to many, you have come to represent a promise of hope.

However, this is not enough. The task of governing our country that is beset with problems is much more complex today than it was many years ago. At this moment in our history we need a leader who can gain the confidence, respect and trust also of the international community.

This is paramount. An increase in foreign investments is necessary. It is imperative that we stimulate our capital market with a platform of government that is as specific as it is credible not only to our people but to the world as a whole.

While we are certain that the masses are your primary concern, you cannot ignore the class of people whose abilities are critical in order to propel us forward.

Our OFW’s are true heroes and while their skills serve us well when they work abroad, we also need to retain at home the talents that will give us the comparative advantage we so badly need. It is this group who are highly marketable and, on their own, can take their capabilities elsewhere to the benefit of other countries instead of ours.

Expert leadership is the only way we can extricate our people from poverty. It is the very masses who worship you and will vote you into office who will suffer the most, if the ship of state is not maneuvered masterfully.

We can no longer afford to think in a parochial manner. We need a leader who will make the Philippines a competitive player in the global market.

Our economy is at its breaking point. Our country can no longer afford to be dismissed or, worse, written off as The Sick Man of Asia.

You have secured an untarnished reputation as an artist and we acknowledge that your contribution to Philippine cinema has been significant. We believe, however, that the presidency of this country will best be served by one who has the proper background and experience to enable our beloved Philippines to be part of the global community -- not as an aid recipient but as contributor to the enhancement of this world we live in.

Winning will be effortless. Governing, on the other hand, will not be an easy task. We are, historically, a fractious nation. Consider the toll it will take on your family and the privacy you guard so tightly. We believe that you will be able to contribute much more towards uniting our nation and helping our economy as a private individual -- one who wields enormous influence over our less fortunate brothers. We know of the praiseworthy projects you and your wife have undertaken so quietly; your humility is admirable.

It is not too late. Please, look back and learn from the Erap episode of our history. Do not let individuals with their own agenda gain undue influence over you. Should your administration fail, it is you, not they, who will pay the price.

Let the Filipino people remember you as the man who could have been president but chose not to... because he truly loved his country. We are certain history will judge you not only as a reel hero but as a real hero.

Mabuhay ka, FPJ!

(PS from Postscript: Speak up if you share the conviction that while FPJ is a good man, he may not be prepared for the presidency at this time. If you have Internet connection, you can email the letter to everybody in your address book. Or make copies to snail-mail or hand out. And add you name to the growing number of Filipinos who share the same conviction. Or you can even write your own letter to FPJ.)

Monday, October 27, 2003


I just can't help but post this Photo. That was me with the big smile on the left, Dinah is in the middle and Ritchie. For the story about the picture, please read it here.

Saturday, October 25, 2003


I wake up this morning with this message in my cellphone from Atty. Tintin, the wife of my boss:
Wear black on Monday in support of Davide (Supreme Court Chief Justice). Boycott San Miguel Products. Lets Teach politicians and greedy businessmen a lesson. Pls. pass
I don't have a cellphone load already so I am placing it in my blog hoping that honest-to-goodness Filipino Citizen will chance upon this blog.

What strike me as odd when the news the Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide was impeached by Congress was majority of of those who signed were members of the Nationalis People's Coalition (NPC), the political party of Danding Cojuangco, Chairman of the San Miguel Corporation (SMC). While those who are not members of the NPC are closely associated to Mr. Cojuangco. I refuse to believe that Danding does not have a hand on this.

You might might ask me why? After Marcos was booted out of this country, Danding has been battling with the Chairmanship of SMC. The money that Danding used in buying the majority stocks of SMC came from the Coco Levy Fund. During Davide's leadership in the Supreme Court, the court declared Coco Levy Fund is a prima facie a public fund which would simply means that Danding would now have a hard time in securing his Chairmanship in the said company.

I hate it when someone puts down a good man out of greed and I hate when that man is being supported by people that we have elected. I hope to get all the name of the congressmen who signed the impeachment comlaint so that we could all remember them in 2004.

Friday, October 24, 2003


Can somebody teach this lady how to dress and to behave!

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Dear Sebastian:

First allow me to congratulate you for your CMMA Nomination. Indeed this is a big honor for you and we are damn too proud of your achievements. Now, here's one of the reason why you should attend the awards ceremony:


This year the CMMA turns 25. The CMMA, remains to be one the most prestigous award giving bodies and has been true to its thrust of helping improve the media industry by commending those who have continued to live by responsible and values-oriented media practice.

And as they celebrate their silver year, CMMA will bring together the best media practitioners and the biggest artists of today. Jaya, Ana Fegi, Luke ijares, Jay-R, Kyla, Jolina Magdangal, Roselle Nava, Ciara Sotto, Montet Akoimo, Dessa and Gary Valenciano will be among the performers in the awards night.

TJ Manotoc and Donita Rose will host the program.
The Catholic Mass Media Awards 2003 will air on October 26 at 9 PM on RPN.

And of course, the possibility of being discovered by who knows who, the possibility of making beso-beso with the stars, the possibility of bumping into Miko Palanca!

So if you have a chance, please go and attend. We want to see your face on TV and proclaim to the rest of the world that "hey! that guy is our friend."

I've got these while rummaging through my notes:
When you finally accept that you're a complete dork, your life gets easier. No sense in trying to be cool.
- Reese Witherspoon

Amen to that Reese! Back in high school one of my insecurities is my inability to "belong" to the cool people in the campus. Then I realized there is no sense in trying to be like them. I mean they are so preoccupied with hooking up with fellow cool people that that what consumes them most of the time. And it consumes them so much that only later they realized that there's more to this world than beeing with cool people.

Now, I live a much better life compared to them. While the "cool schoolmates" are left in that small town with no choice but to make a living for their kids having impregnated their girl friend or gotten pregnant while they are still finishing college.

Now here's another one:
What are clouds
But an excuse for the Sky?
What is life
but an escape from death?
- Death Poem of Lord Yabu
in James Clavell's "Shogun"

I really don't know why I wrote this poem in my notes. But i think becuase it is so dark. Or probably it reminds me of how much I love life that even in the lowest moments of my life, I still believe that somewhere there is a good place for me.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003


Here I am again. I am back to my lazy days.

I have a lot of things to talk, err, write about but I just couldn't bring myself to write the first word. All day, i sit just staring at the PC monitor yet, I can't start anything.

Probably because all my "writing energy" has been foucsed lately on the Appellants Brief that I have to compose for one of our client. Draining it is for me because I have to start from scratch. I don't know how to write an Appellants Brief and worst, I don't know anything about the legal issues (redemption, moral damages, etc.) involve. So while learning the nuances on how make an Appellant's brief acceptable to the magistrate at the Court of Appeals, I also need to learn about these issues. Worst,I need to double time because I have a deadline to meet.

I need to go back to law school!

Hopefully I would be going back to school next year. I finally found a good school after that stupid Ateneo denied my application because I am a transferee even if I was willing to go back to first year. Pray for me guys, I will be taking the exams sometime this November for the Juris Doctor-MBA program of De La Salle University and Far Eastern University. This is a five-year dual degree program which will enable me to have a Juris Doctor (this is a doctorate degree for law as opposed to the usual Bachelor of Law degree that is common in all law school in the Philippines, Ateneo also have a JD program) and a Master in Business Administration after graduation. Our (see I am claiming it na!) campus is located at RCBC Plaza in Ayala Avenue, one of the prime business location in the country.

Ooops! I wrote something already. Hehehehehe

Thursday, October 09, 2003


I just love Jay Leno when he said this:

"Tonight is a testament of just how important one appearance on "The Tonight Show" can be, ladies and gentlemen. You know the critics said, 'Well, Arnold can't be an administrator, he's an actor. Oh, Arnold can't be an environmentalist, he's an actor. Oh, Arnold can't be governor, he's an actor.' Of course Arnold is thrilled -- for the first time in his career the critics are calling him an actor."

I can't say anything more.

Saturday, October 04, 2003


A crazy idea hit me yesterday while watching television and this about the Kris-Joey issue.

I just find it strange that after all the accusations thrown on air by both camps, last Thursday it suddenly ended with Joey asking for forgiveness to Kris on primetime TV and immediately, Kris accepted. Take note, it did not happen any other time but on primetime.

That was it? No bloodbath? With all these wild accusations (gun poking, STD, etc.) I was expecting a war. But no - - the drama ended all of a sudden.

And this is what I found strange. Kris went the police to blotter Joey's alleged gun poking (take note, the media was already waiting for her which means that they received a tip), then that interview with Korina with all the sound effects, lighting and yes set design (picture of Ninoy in the background, flowers, should I name it all). On the other hand, Joey was insinuating that Kris is lying. Then Kris filed a case at the prosecutor's office in Pasig. However, filler was flaunted by Kris side that they will not pursue the case if Joey will issue a Public Apology. Then a day after, Joey issued that apology and Kris readily accepted it and even saying that Joey is not the only one to be blamed, she too committed a mistake.

How convenient, isn't it? After all the tearful confessions, emotional word war between both camps, the pointblank denial, it all ended as simple as that with Joey swallowing his pride and Kris suddenly became all forgiving. Was divine intervention made them end this issue? Or was it planned to end that way.

Now this is much stranger. What if there was no apology issued? What if, Monday came and still both camps are still exchanging accusations on air? What would have happened?

Now you would like to ask me, why Monday? Because this Monday is the scheduled launching of the reformatted version of Game KNB? which is hosted by Kris. Wouldn't it look bad for Kris to look all too cheerful in her "new" game show with still the issue hounding her?

Strange isn't it that it all has to end before Monday?

Now, here another strange thing. This reformatted show is under threat because GMA-7, their arch rival, has launch four weeks ago Extra Challenge, a game show with a twist of reality TV (pinoy style). This show hosted by Miriam Quiambao and Paolo Bediones already has a following. Do I need to mention that it is aired exactly the same time as the airing of Game KNB?

So what a coincidence then that Kris "new" show is launch while everybody was all too eager to see her on TV again. I just could imagine the ratings she would reap this Monday night.

No, I would not conclude that something "fishy" is going on with all this issued about her lovelife. Let us just say, she was making the best out of the worst that has happened to her. What a lucky life then?

And here's another strange thing. Haven't you notice that all the ads that Kris endorsed are flooding our TV screens. And here's one more thing, did you notice her new ad for Smart StarTxt? At the end part of the said ad, where she was being interviewed, she said this, "I will survive, life most go on, smart na ako ngayon (I am smart now)." Isn't this a big coincidence that such ad would come out after the "conclusion" of her real life drama that captivated the whole nation?

My question is, when was this advertisement made? It couldn't be after Thursday (the day Joey issued a public apology), they would barely have a day to shot, edit the ad, that would be too impossible. Was it taken then while the issue was still hanging in the air? So while Kris was having those tearful confessions or her sullen look while she filed the case, she was also shooting for the ad where she was all smiles. Or was it made before the issue erupted? How lucky then for the advertisers that the line Kris have spoken has become more meaningful today because of the issue of her failed love.

All these are one hell of a coincidence. Or Kris and the people working for her are just making the best out of this "worst" episode in her life? Poor Joey, he can't do the same. Or this was all planed? If it is, then this is the biggest coup ever and much better than the lame excuses that Magdalo group continues to assert.

I really don't know. I am just thinking out loud.

Friday, October 03, 2003


I HATE DRIVERS AND BUS CONDUCTORS who think of nothing but the commission they get from every trip at the expense of their passengers comfort in travelling.

As I was waiting for a bus along Buendia this morning, one bus stopped in front of me and the conductor (for those who don't know, they are the one who issue tickets and collects your fare) wave at me and bid me to take the bus. So I went in thinking that the bus still has a sit for me, only to find out that there was none. Unfortunately the bus moved already and I was also in a hurry so I said to myself, "well, I guess I would be standing all the way from Buendia to Ayala." At that time there were already five passengers standing along the aisle.

Unfortunately, the bus keeps on stopping and continued to pick up passengers. Five minutes after I took that bus, there were almost 20 passengers standing. The bus conductor keep on barking "usog lang sa likuran! (move to the back)" So we keep on moving towards the back portion of the bus to a point that we were already compressed liked sardines in a can.

Worst! With the limited space along the aisle, the bus conductor keeps on moving back and forth to collect the fare of the passengers. To add to our agony, the bus continued to pick up passengers.

"Pasok, pasok, maraming bababa sa Ayala (come in , come in, a lot will be disembarking at Ayala)", the conductor keeps on shouting.

"What does he mean", I asked myself. "So they'll have all the right to discomfort us because many of us are going down at Ayala anyway!"

I was already fuming mad. And what really gets my ire is, if one passenger is blocking his way along the aisle, he shoos them as if they were chicken or something. No excuse, no manners. When he came near me and did that to me, I waited for him to come back, and when he did, I said out loud for everyone to hear, "Pwede ka namang mag excuse ah! (you can actually say, "excuse")" But instead of being apologetic, he retorted with a threatening tone, "ano yun sir? (what did you say sir?) I did not respond but instead I gave him that look, the same look that sent chills to my news reporters before at the Weekly Sillimanian whenever they commit mistakes.

If looks could kill, I could kill that rude bus conductor at that moment. He never said anything again

(This is just the first part of my "rants", just "stay tuned", I never realized that I have been keeping a lot of these for a long time)

Thursday, October 02, 2003


I have two new links in my blog. First is The Secret Tango Dancer by Sebastian, an award winning writer based in Dumaguete. The second one is Mom's Closet by my Sydney base friend KK Maslog.

By the way, these two person are so in love at the moment so forgive their being mushy and corny at some point in their resepctive entries.

I am supposed to write something about "Rants" today, but I am just happy at the moment (I don't know why, probably the thought of meeting two goodlooking person this evening),so I don't want to destroy my mood. Tomorrow, I might write something about people I met and how dangerous my mind could be sometimes.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003


While everybody was praising Kris Aquino for her courage to tell the "truth" about what happened between her and her ex-lover Joey Marquez, I thought I was the lone voice in the wilderness. But yesterday, I found one who shared the same opinion with me. Yesterday's column of Conrado de Quiros of the Philippine Daily Inquirer proved that I am not alone in sharing my views against Kris and this whole issue (you can check my September 24 entry). Here's what de Quiros said:

Posted:11:09 PM (Manila Time) | Sept. 28, 2003
By Conrado de Quiros

LAST year, I wrote about Kris Aquino. She had just become the cynosure of the nation's eyes for making her affection for Joey Marquez public. My reason for doing so was that I was bothered by the jokes about it. Though some of the jokes were really funny -- we Filipinos are past masters at gallows humor, and we get sharper the more the noose tightens around our necks. They were also pretty cruel. Or indeed sprung from very wrong premises.

I was particularly uncomfortable about the ones that suggested promiscuity on her part. There was no lack of cheap shots made on the words "Hindi ka nagiisa" and "The Filipino is worth dying for." There was a larger issue at stake there, I thought, which was the double standards we held about the proper behavior of men and women. We had just had a president who did not particularly mind parading his mistresses and conquests before the world, yet no one made any bones about it. Except Jaime Cardinal Sin, and everyone thought him puritan. There were jokes about his incontinence to be sure, but they were not cruel, they were admiring. When Kris, on the other hand, gushed out her affection for someone against all opposition -- her family's chief of them -- the world came down on her.

The reactions I got from friends and readers were: one, that it wasn't the promiscuity people were making fun of, it was Kris' penchant for exhibitionism; and, two, why did I have to fiddle around while Rome burned? The first I don't buy: the underlying premise of many of the jokes was not scorn for Kris' loudness but her presumed "kalandian", a judgment never made about men. The second doesn't bother me. I write about things I feel strongly about, whether others think them important or not. If I can't be true to myself, I can't be true to the public.

This time, however, I am tremendously loath to write about Kris' -- or Joey Marquez's -- current predicament. One would think it would be easier because the women's groups have already given it a national-interest spin: Kris should be congratulated for making domestic violence public. That should encourage battered wives to come out and seek redress, or be rescued from their plight. If true, I myself would join the chorus and sing my praises, too.

But that is the first thing that bothers me about this issue, the rush to judgment. I myself do not particularly like Joey Marquez. And while I am infinitely tolerant of the foibles of love -- those who insist the young should marry, or settle down, wisely have either not been in love or have forgotten how they themselves rushed in where angels fear to tread; it is always a case of temporary insanity, well, sometimes permanent -- I can't understand how any woman couldn't have sensed the danger a mile away. Anybody who has seen an episode of "Palibhasa Lalake" -- the title says it all-couldn't have failed to spot the machismo. I don't mean by this the penchant for fickleness (a lot of fickle men are not macho), but the attitude of being God's gift to women. The kind (like Robin Padilla) that says such patronizing things as "Ang babae ay di binubugbog kundi niroromansa."

But having said that, I don't know that naturally makes Marquez guilty as charged. Is it possible that someone entertaining political ambitions would beat up a partner who is not just the daughter of the most prominent citizen of this country but is one of its most popular show-biz personalities? Well, stranger things have happened and there's no telling what machismo can do. But until that is proven, I don't see why I should join the lynch mob.

That is the second thing that bothers me about this: the uses of the media for whipping up a frenzy. Unlike Maria Teresa Carlson, who was at the mercy of her oppressor, Kris is not. She is a powerful person in her own right in this television-addled country, having several shows in ABS-CBN. She is not the underdog in this case. Maybe it's true, as she says, that Marquez is merely inventing her having said she would ruin him because she is popular and people are apt to believe her, but the way she is going on about this, she is giving credence to his accusation. She is turning Marquez into a sympathetic figure by making him the object of a media mugging. That is assault and battery, too, and it is happening right before our eyes.

The way she and Korina Sanchez have violated every canon of media ethics, chief of them maintaining a degree of objectivity and giving the other side a chance to say his piece, is enough to embarrass any self-respecting journalist. One would imagine that if Kris had learned any lesson in life, it would be that when you try to silence someone by an excessive use of force, he speaks with the force of a thousand tongues.

What this incontinent display of power is bound to encourage is not more battered women to come out and tell all but more idiots in the media to oppress their enemies, particularly those who cannot fight back.

The last thing that bothers me about this issue is our utter lack of sense of proportion, our infinite capacity to dwell on these things. Rome is burning, or this country is. I feel the charge of fiddling more sharply in this case, and my only excuse is that a dissenting voice must be heard here. Of course, other countries are prey to the snares of the Pied Piper, too-even England waxed show biz over the death of Diana whose contribution in life were to prove more interesting than the man she married. But we do it to outrageous lengths. Rico Yan dies and we make a saint of him. Ruffa Gutierrez marries and we want to follow every step of her pregnancy. Kris Aquino and Joey Marquez fight, and we stop the world.

A country of slaves deserves tyrants. A country of simpletons deserves F4. And the Kris and Joey show.

Thursday, September 25, 2003


I wish I had the faculty of language to describe the film that I watched last night, but I don't. All I can say is that I had a wonderful, no, superb movie experience last night. And its all because of the Australian Film "Lantana".

One good thing with my office address is it is just in front of Greenbelt 1 which now host the Art Film of the Ayala Cinemas. Starting September 19 up to September 28 Greenbelt 1 played host to the First Australian Film Festival (I missed the film "The Sum of Us", starring Russel Crowe because I was sick when it was shown) Last night's feature was "Lantana".

To know more about the film, please click here, this will lead you the films Official Website.

This is a must see film. Acting was great and so was the story. It is one of the film that would make you think and it is full of surprises.

The central theme of the story is trust and the character Valerie (portrayed by Barbara Hershey) explained it in the film when she said "trust is as vital to human relationships as breathing is to life." Trust in this film is presented in the context of a married life. This is the synopsis of the film as provided by film's website

A woman disappears.
Four marriages are drawn into a tangled web of love, deceit, sex and death.
Not all of them will survive.

LANTANA is an intriguing psychological drama about love, infidelity and mistrust. It's about the mistakes we make, the consequences we suffer and the attempts we make to fix things up. Detective Leon Zat moves through a dark labyrinth of human relationships on his journey to solve the mystery of a woman's disappearance. He strips away layer after layer to reveal the tender and dark underbelly of this perplexing obsession between men and women called love. And each layer causes him to reflect back on his own marriage, on what he has lost and what he must get back.

Leon (Anthony LaPaglia) had an affair (two night stand) with Jane (Rachel Blake) who is estranged with her husband Pete (Glenn Robbins). Leon's wife Sonja (Kerry Armstrong) has suspicion and consulted her psychologist Valerie. Valerie is struggling with her other patient Patrick (Peter Phelps) who is gay and admitted to having a relationship with a married guy whom Valerie suspect to be her husband John (Geoffrey Rush) who is silently agonizing from the murder of their 11-year-old daughter.

One night Valerie almost had an accident in a dark road and hailed a van driven by Nik (Vince Colosimo) who with his wife Paula (Daniela Farinacci) are the close friend neighbor of Jane. On that night, Valerie was reported missing and on the same night, Jane saw Nick threw a shoe on the Lantana bushes.

The film is full of twists and surprises. Before you could jump into conclusion, your opinion will suddenly be debunked by the next revelation in the film.

If you have the opportunity to watch this film, don't fail to watch it. It is worth your time and would really make you think about the relationships your are in right now.

And yes, Lantana is that flower beside the title of this article.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

photo from PDI


Showbiz. That is the word that could best describe her. If there is one person in Philippine show business that epitomizes the word "showbiz", Kris Aquino is on top of the list. This latest episode of her life that hugged the headlines is just a clear example to her being showbiz.

How do you solve a problem like Kristeta?

Kris Aquino is one of the many personalities who does not care if her private affairs are laid open in public. What matters to her most is that she'll be always on the spotlight. No matter if people call her all sort of names for having been engaged with married man to another. No matter if her family is scandalized by the things she admitted on TV. For her those things are immaterial. As long as she is talked about (in Filipino, napaguusapan), she would be happy to jump into that opportunity.

For Kris, any issue about her, be it good or bad, is still publicity. That is very much like Kris. That is very showbiz.

Now before you accuse me of automatically jumping into conclusion. I would like to say that yesterday's turn of events is already enough for me to derive on this opinion.

What happened between Kris and Joey Marquez at the Essensa Tower in Fort Bonifacio is a private matter. And if indeed Joey physically harmed her and threatened her at gunpoint, then by all means she should report it to the authorities. There is nothing wrong with that! What is actually wrong is all these media coverage.

What happened at the Pacer compound at the Camp Crame yesterday was a show. The intention really was not to report to the authorities the alleged maltreatment done to her, that was just part of the script. The real intention was to grandstand, to have a show.

How did they do it?

First, they need the attention of the media. That is the most important part. Media people have no business at Pacer compound on that day. So what are they doing at the Pacer's compound before Kris arrived? Obviously they received a tip and that's why they were there to record and broadcast the show. Where does tip came from? Well it certainly won't come from Joey's camp, not from the PNP, but it should come from Kris camp.

The came the arrival. Kris arrived with her brother Tarlac Rep. Noynoy Aquino, lawyers Raymond Fortun and Rene Saguisag, and Mayor Jejomar Binay of Makati City. Have you noticed anything wrong with the picture? I do. Kris went there to blotter the incident. This is a very simple procedure of telling your complaints to the police officer and the police officer would record your complaint. Simple as that! I've done this before and any ordinary Filipino could do it. You don’t need all the legal expertise to do it.

I would understand if she arrived with her brother because that would be the right thing to do. But to come with your lawyers (who were not just ordinary lawyers) and with a powerful mayor, to assist you in making the simple task of making a blotter, your intention must be different. Of course the effect would have been different if Kris went there alone or with a not so known lawyer. She wants to create a bang and that’s what she did.

So everything was perfect. Media were in place and the luminaries as her escort. But that did not end there. Kris has to play her part too. And she played it well. The distraught lady and not talking the media, but making sure not to enter her vehicle immediately, linger for a while and make sure that the media can catch your supposed bruises in your arm, which is by the way very obvious if your skin is as immaculate as Kris skin is.

See everything was perfect. There is no reason why the media won't feast on it, all the elements of intrigue are present and that's what the media did.

Now you would ask me, why am I allotting some space (and time) in my blog just to talk about Kris and his affair with Joey?

Because one way of getting rid of your irritation is to write.

It bothers me that news like the leak in the Bar Exams, the appointment of Eduardo Ermita to the controversial defense post and other worthwhile news are being placed in the sideline while a lover's quarrel are given importance.

It sickens me that ABS-CBN to protect their prized talent in the person of Kris would once again (as always pala) loss its objectivity in its news and current affairs program just protect its talent. I mean, for the love of ethical journalism, what's the use of interviewing kids on your late night news program and asked them "who do you like, Kris or Joey?" Spare the kids, puhleesee! And what was the purpose of that man-on-the-street interview on Kris and Joey issue when you haven't really heard the other side of the story yet? Besides, it's a private matter and we shouldn't have any business about that!

Kris irritates me and the people who applauds her for her "honesty" by washing her dirty linens in public. Go ahead tell me about how you fell for a married men. I don't care. But broadcast it on a national TV where my five-year old niece whom I love so much is watching, that is another story. Have she taught about that? What kind or role modeling then would she give to the million of teenagers and kids who are watching her everyday?

Obviously, that won't matter to her. What matters to her is she'll be talk about. That is so showbiz!

How do you solve a problem like Kristeta?

Make her irrelevant. Let her feel that we don't approve what she is doing. That is the only way to solve the problem.

And yes, if you ask who I am inclined to believe? Call me a chauvinist, call me a pig, but I find Joey Marquez to be more credible.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003


I had my much needed rest over the weekend. And I need to be sick just to have that rest.

I was infected with German Measles last Thursday. At first, I thought it was just prickly heat. But then, some tiny red spots started to appear on my face (anything on my face can cause panic for me), I finally decided to see a doctor.

Well, it was a German Measles my doctor said and its contagious. Which means, I have to stay in the house (just a note, if you have one don't come near a pregnant women, you migth infect her and the infection will cause some abnormalities on the baby). Funny, I was really feeling ok, my body is a little bit weak but I have no fever and no dizzy spells. Except for that rashes over my body, I could have been in a perfect condition.

So I had my rest from work, from my Saturday and Sunday singing engagements and from my gimiks.

Today, I reported to the office. Which means, I am okay.

Thanks for those who prayed for me. It is sometimes nice to be given those cares and attention.

Monday, September 22, 2003

My ex-boyfriend will be releasing his new album this November. That one above is the cover. It will be out on November 10.

(Yesterday, the picture link was from Fotki and I think that link is carzy. Good thing I was able to found a forum of Josh Groban's fans and I was able to link that picture above from the said forum. For Josh Groban Fans out there you can access him at his official website or at this forum -Eric 9/23/03 )

Thursday, September 18, 2003


I stop reading Conrado de Quiros already. Yes, he is such one brillian writer, but I have to much of his GMA bashing. Not that I am a fan of Gloria, but I am just tired of it.

However, his article yesterday caught my attention. It did not talked about Gloria but about the F4. Yes, that disbanded Taiwanese band. And I totally agree by what he said. Here's de Quiros" article from the Philippine Daily Inquirer:

Meteors falling
Posted:10:56 PM (Manila Time) | Sept. 16, 2003
By Conrado de Quiros

I'VE been asking people in the past days why the Taiwanese teen singers F4, the stars of "Meteor Garden," are so popular.

The reason for it was the news I saw last week. The Ninoy Aquino International Airport turned into a circus as soon as the group planed in. There was more security than greeted a visiting dignitary and a lot more enthusiasm. A group of kids had skipped elementary school to be on hand to welcome the guests. One girl would say later that she was a little disappointed not to have been able to shake the hands of her favorite stars -- she had been swept aside when the crowd surged forward -- but it was enough that she had shared the same ground with them, or within their proximity.

A fairly senior and impoverished citizen who was at the airport too said she made it a point to save whatever she could to buy F4 or Meteor Garden paraphernalia -- posters, pictures, bric-a-brac. It gladdened her in her old age. Several airport officials themselves, men and women, lost their composure, and like the other fans, faces flushed, gushed breathlessly at the recollection the stars actually passed by them just a couple of feet away. And somebody told me kids from the more affluent schools not just skipped classes but rented rooms in the hotel adjoining the guests'. You can't get more cross-section, and idolatrous, than this.

These are levels of adulation I have not seen for some time. I did see it in my own time in the hysteria that greeted the Beatles wherever they went. I remember that there was a commotion too at the airport when they arrived, and an even bigger one when they left. Though the latter was far less amusing: The group was chased out by a mob, apparently upon orders of Malaca?ang, presumably for snubbing a presidential invitation. A harrowing experience that prompted John Lennon to vow he would never return to this savage land, a vow he never had the chance to break. And an opinion he never had the chance to revise. But that is another story.

But that I should recall the Beatles in reference to F4 must suggest I am impressed by the latter's success in these parts. Certainly, none of the local "megastars" -- Sharon Cuneta, Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera -- has met with the same levels of worship. They too must be wondering what happened, what they did wrong and what the Taiwanese group are doing right. I just read in the papers that fans caused a stampede at the Philsports Arena, forcing the visitors to cancel an appearance in a local TV network next day lest they be crushed by fanatical embrace.

I confess I have not seen a "Meteor Garden" episode -- my TV consists of news, some sports and DVD -- but my 14-year-old tells me it's funny. He himself got rave reviews of it from his bus mates, which prodded him to watch it. He never got hooked on it, however. He left it after a couple of weeks to go back to his favorite Japanese anime, the ones with even weirder titles than "Meteor Garden" -- "Initial D.," "Grander Musashi," "Amon Saga." And to his favorite online game, the locally made, and equally phenomenal, Ragnarok: I'll have to write about that, too, someday. But he says "Meteor Garden" is funny.

The reactions are divided. Some of my musician friends are furious at the impertinent poaching on territory. Particularly, as one told me last weekend, since F4 was apparently already on the wane ("palaos na") in Taiwan. It doesn't help, he said, that they cannot hold a candle, music-wise, to any decent local group. But another musician friend was more philosophical. They must obviously be striking the right chord -- pun fully intended, he said -- with local audiences. And at least the group comes from another Asian country. We're too sucked into American Top 40 it was good to be invaded music-wise by an F4.

I myself think the phenomenon should wake us up to a not particularly pleasant prospect, about which I had warned in several previous columns. That is, that we could be losing our competitive edge in the export of musicians to Asia, which is one of our biggest and better-quality exports. The days when hotels in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok would put up signs that say, "Filipino band playing tonight" may be numbered.

The karaoke sounded the first tones of its death knell. The karaoke's invasion has been far and wide, penetrating the heartland of popular music itself, which is America. Certainly, its march into the local scene has been 2 fast 2 furious, if the ubiquity of the machine is anything to go by. Even NGOs have not been spared, their staff -- like those of government offices -- repairing to the nearest video-karaoke bar after meetings to take out their frustrations on the microphone. That alone may explain the decline in the quality of NGO thinking over the past years, as shown specifically in their inability to distinguish War Bonds from PEACe Bonds. But that is also another story.

The digital revolution turned the faint tones into a sonic boom. We probably still have the edge in ear but other Asian countries have the edge in technology. While we worry about piracy and use taxpayers' money to protect Hollywood (that's what Bong Revilla is doing with the Videogram Board), other Asian countries have been resolutely exploring the possibilities of MP3s and even higher levels of sound compression and finding new ways to market music. I did warn about that too before; we're looking at life through a rear-view mirror, trying to impose old structures on new realities.

Of course we can always say that meteors are fleeting things; they burn bright and die in the blink of an eye. But they can always say the same thing about us too, or our musicians.

I am (desperately) hoping we can find a way to reinvent ourselves. We've always had a good "oido" [ability to learn by ear], maybe we can still play this one by ear. But it helps to read notes, too, or signs on the wall.
©2003 www.inq7.net all rights reserved

Wednesday, September 17, 2003


All the tension that I had over the weekend and the hearing I have last monday plus all the night outs for the last two weeks, finally caught up with me. I was down yesterday with fever and with an aching muscles and joints. Worst, I have to be in the office to answer Katrina Legarda's new motion.

I am okay now, weak but ok.

And yes, for those who have seen over the last six months with my noty so long hair. I said goodbye to that already, I had it cropped last Monday and I never felt so good!

Monday, September 15, 2003


I have just survived one hearing that has been giving me goosebumps over the weekend!

It wasn't really a big deal. I was asked to appear in court as a representative of my boss because he can't attend the hearing for he has to another hearing. All I have to do is to go to the court. Once the case (Declaration of Nullity of Marriage) is called, all I have to do is tell the judge that I am appearing as a representative of my boss, that my boss can't make it to this hearing stating the reason mentioned above, I will ask for a postponement and a period ten days to file a comment on the motion filed by the petitioner (our client is the respondent).

Simple? Probably yes. But when you are not yet a lawyer and your formal studies of law is only up to two semesters (I'll be continuing my law studies next year), you wouldn't have that confidence. Worst, you know that seating at the opposite side of the bench as lawyer for the petitioner is THE Atty. Katrina Legarda. Now tell me if you wouldn't be afraid.

Who is Katrina Legarda? Well, she just happens to be one of the best lawyers in town. She has her own talk show in one of the major TV network in the country, almost everybody listens to her, possess the impression of being feisty and the reason why former Congressman Romeo Jaloslos of Zamboanga del Norte is in jail right now.

I am usually a composed person (my friends can attest to that), my level of confidence is high and when pressured, I don't panic. But this morning, I was fidgety. I was going over my notes a hundred times, imagining all the worst scenarios, I can’t stay in one position while seating. The irony is, I WAS ONLY ASKING FOR A POSTPONEMENT! It is supposed to be as simple as that! But you don’t expect Katrina Legarda to go easy on that and I was right.

By 8:30 the court started calling cases. Atty. Legarda did not arrived yet. Part of me was wishing she wouldn’t come, but a part me was hoping she would. Honestly, I would really want to meet her and know how is she in court (and part if was of course the bragging right that “hey! I have faced the Atty. Katrina Legarda in court!”)

By 9 a.m. she arrived and upon seeing her it seems that there is a percussion band beating in my heart. Worst, she sat beside me which even made me feel more nervous. I was trying to amuse myself at the testimony of a 16-year-old girl while waiting for your case to be called. Katrina, on the other hand, was angered by the taught a 16-year-old girl who was called to the witness stand to testify against her mother in an annulment case. I wasn’t really laughing at the girl (well, sniggering for that matter), I just found her answers bitchy and amusing.

That 16-year-old girl testified that her mom is of unstable mind and has been causing her and her sisters physical and mental abuse. To counter her testimony the lawyer of the mother presented some cards which the girl admitted that it came from her. In that card, she wrote that her mom is the “perfect mom in the world”. The lawyer, dressed in all white and aided by a cane, then asked “how can you reconcile now this card with your previous statements. The girl candidly answered, “you wouldn’t give somebody a card and write bad things about her, won’t you?” At this point, I gave a soft laugh which was noticed by Katrina.

Noticing me, Katrina asked for what case I was there. I told her for the R Case (can’t tell the title ok). She then asked so what are you going to say in court? I answered we will be just calling for a postponement. She answered, “that cannot be, you had all the time to answer.” Then the “interview portion” began, while the judge was still hearing other cases.

“You are attorney?” Katrina asked. “No ma’am, I am just a paralegal,” I answered.

“A paralegal! are you studying law?”

“I used to, but hope to continue next year.”

“So where did you study law?”

“Silliman University”

“Silliman University, that is a good school!” She declared.

“Thank you ma’am,” I answered.

She continued to ask, “where do you intend to proceed with your law studies?”

“At FEU-LA Salle.”

“Oh, that business and law program at RCBC Plaza?”

“Yes, Ma’am”

“Well, if you have a problem just tell me, I know Atty. Bautista the dean of FEU law school.”

“I will ma’am.”

She was kind. Later an employee of the court approached her. After that our case was called. If she was accommodating to me while we were still seated she wasn’t when we were already standing in front of the judge. Eventually, the judge was persuaded by her arguments and refused to give the postponement that we asked. The judge told us that the petitioner’s motion will be submitted for resolution without our comment.

Well, I was not able to get what we want but I am happy to say that I did not commit any blunder, either. I am also pleased by the fact that even if she knew meas a paralegal only with a minimal knowledge about law compared to her, she did not go easy on me. She treated me as an equal and made me defend my case the best that I could. She had all my respects.

And yes! Most of the people that I talk to had all this comment about Katrina. She is a dyke. I beg to disagree. Yes her hair is cropped, but no dyke would come to the court bringing a pink handbag made of indigenous materials and with floral design. No dyke would have well-manicured nails and wear a pink blouse top by black coat. Katrina is not what most of the people think about her, that is obviously an unfair stereotype. She is a handsome woman. Feisty, determined, but still a lady.

Friday, September 12, 2003


I've added two new links in my blog. These are the live journal "Catharsis" by Nikolai a freshman Filipino-American Student at Georgestown U. He is an interesting read, articulate and his commentaries on American and world politics are good. Another link is the blog "beadle-doodles" by my friend Aldwyn who is managing a Human store in Cebu.

Check them out.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

(Second Installment)

26. Your car has an amusing female name. I don't have a car

27. You're the only one at your high school reunion who looks a lot
better than you did in high school. Yes! All my other classmates in high school seems to lost a lot of years in their life (nalusyang in Bisaya), I even look better than those who were considered hunks when we were still in high school

28. You've got at least one framed picture of a pet. I don't have a pet

29. If your mattress could talk, it would be Joan Rivers. huh!

30. You know that sex complicates things. Yes, I do. But I still love it. I don't have sex though with my close friends, I find it incestous

31. You know that being called a "cheap slut" isn't actually an
insult. I am a slut, I transfer from one bed to another and I love it!

32. There's a married guy somewhere who is terrified of you. A lot! And when I saw them in the malls with their girl friends or wives, they would go the opposite directions. I just love the look on their face when they saw me. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

33. Nobody tells you what to do in bed...unless you tell them what to
tell you. I am the master in Bed and my partners are the slaves. But I am the master who would teach my slaves to treat me like a slave, I just love it!

34. You have a medicine chest stocked for any occasion. I don't have a medicine chest

35. You have at least one movie musical on video. NO, but I have the soundtrack of Chicago, would that qualify?

36. You're not embarrassed to sing in a piano bar. Why should I? I have a good voice!

37. You're embarrassed by people who sing in piano bars. Unless their voice is awful

38. You never hold a grudge for longer than a decade or two. I am a forgiving person

39. You know how to make an entrance. If I love to, I will. But most of the time, I like it when I am unnoticed

40. You know when to make an exit. same as above

41. You worry about people you don't even know - like Liza Minnelli. I worry about a lot of people because I am a caring person by nature

42. You choose the most fabulous greeting cards. I choose cards for what it says, not on how it looks

43. You know how to program your VCR. I do

44. You've got sunscreen at every conceivable SPF level. I only have a moisturizer with SPF 15

45. You have a cologne display worthy of Bloomingdales. Nada

46. You understand, viscerally, Joan Crawford. I don't watch Joan Crawford

47. Some of your best friends are your ex lovers. I don't have an ex-lovers. But yes, some of my good friends now are those I once share a bed with.

48. You know when to play dumb. Yes

49. You know what to do for a hangover. I rarely have hangover

50. Yes, you do have a condom. I always have two hidden in my wallet (in case of emergency)

Thursday, August 28, 2003


Happy 102nd Founders Day to the school that changed my life - Silliman University. As a loyal Sillimanian, I won't miss this day without greeting all my fellow Sillimanians worldwide a Happy Founders Day.

Promise, I will be writing about Silliman and how the school changed my life.

Loyal we'll we be to Silliman.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003


It is alright, you have not access a wrong window. This is my blog, yes the blog of Eric Samuel P. Joven.

Why change? Becasue I feel that the former web design that I had for my blog is not really me. Those "cutie-cutie" dogs paws in the background is not and the whole concept of the web design is not refecltive of my personality.

I am comfortable with this new lay out. I hope you are to. Please don't forget to drop a line or two, if you agree. if you don't - - bahala ka sa buhay mo! hehehehehe

Tuesday, August 26, 2003


And there lies started to crumble.

Remember July 27, 2003? That day when these Magdalo soldiers held our country in hostage? On that day they accused Sec. Angelo Reyes of ordering the bombings in Davao.

Well, in the questioning during the Senate Inquiry, Lt. SG Antonio Trillianes (yes, him, that arrogant bastard!) said this, "For the record, based on our evidence, we have no direct link. The Davao bombings have no direct link to Secretary Reyes."

Imagine, you have the tenacity to place bombs around the country's central business district with the sole reason that you are showing your disgust to the corruption in the military. Then, then to prove your point you accused no less than the Defense Secretary of ordering the bombings in Davao, and yet, you don't have enough evidence! how foolish can you be?

How foolish Trillianes can be? And this is the guy whom a lot of girls (and gays) have been hero-worshiping?! My gad! I never liked that guy the first time I saw his face on TV that early morning of July 27, now I can prove to myself that indeed I wasn't wrong in not liking him. ( I also don't like Sec. Angelo Reyes, but that is another story)

Here's the story from today's edition of thePhilippine Daily Inquirer:

Trillanes: No direct link of
defense chief to bombings
Posted: 2:22 AM (Manila Time) | Aug. 26, 2003
Inquirer News Service

THE SPOKESPERSON of the Magdalo group of mutinous soldiers has admitted having no direct knowledge of Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes' involvement in bombings in Davao City earlier this year.

Navy Lieutenant Senior Grade Antonio Trillanes IV said during questioning at a Senate hearing on the mutiny that he was not personally aware of Reyes' involvement in the bombings in March and April that killed more than 40 people in Davao City.

"For the record, based on our evidence, we have no direct link. The Davao bombings have no direct link to Secretary Reyes," Trillanes said during questioning by Senator Loren Legarda-Leviste.

He said he and his fellow mutineers came up with the conclusion that ranking armed forces and defense officials were behind the Davao bomb attacks based only on the testimony given by Army Captain Milo Maestrecampo that a superior officer had ordered Maestrecampo to hurl a grenade at a mosque in Davao City.

Transcripts of the Senate hearing showed Trillanes also said his group linked top defense and military officials to the bombings because of documents on "Oplan Green Base" which they believed had the signature of Eduardo Ermita, presidential adviser on the peace process.

The documents also bolstered the mutineers' suspicion that ranking government and military officials were behind the Davao bombings, Trillanes told the Senate.

"We used that as some sort of propaganda material," Trillanes' testimony went.

Ermita has denied signing such a documents. Defense and military officials say the documents were bogus.

Trillanes insisted that the explosives used for the bombings came from government arsenal. "Whether the airport bombing was the [work] of the MILF [the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front], the point was that the ammunition and the explosives used there came from the government arsenal," his testimony at the Senate went.

Thursday, August 21, 2003


It really irritates me, no, it makes me angry, no, it annoys me, when someone thinks that they did the country a great favor when they expose alleged corruption in the government, when they themselves does not come in clean hands. This reminds me of the Bible adage, "he who never sins be the first one to cast the stone."

It annoys me further when these people made their exposé in the floors of the Senate or of the House of Representative where they are basking from their parliamentary immunity. Because this won't set the level of playing field on even grounds. There basically are no legal remedies available for the victims of these exposés since they can not sue the one who uttered it is because he is cloaked with that immunity.

( Parliamentary immunity means that a Senator or a Representative can not be sued for anything he says during the sessions of the Senate or of the House, on committee hearings or any other venue where he speaks/acts in his official capacity.)

The problem actually is, no matter how true your exposé might be, it automatically becomes unbelievable since people would question your motives.

That is the trouble with Ernesto Maceda, Mr. Expose himself but who was once called "so young but so corrupt" by a Manila official. The same trouble with Congressman Mark Jimenez and now with Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson.

Granting that what Ping Lacson said about First Gentleman Mike Arroyo about is true, should I start to clap my hand and stand up an applaud him? Should I praise him for his desire to expose this corruption? On the first place, is it really his desire to expose these acts so that once and for all we could get rid of all corrupt officials in the government? Or this is just a vendetta on his part? A Political Propaganda? Judging from the premises of his privilege speech last Monday, this is purely a political vendetta and an early campaign for 2004. (have you seen the Lacson's ads that come out on TV a day after he delivered that speech? It speaks the same problem and portraying Lacson as the one who can solve it)

You see, the battle against corruption is already lost on first base because you failed to convince the people of its truth because you as the source and your motives in doing it is questionable. Good for people like us who can appreciate evidence, but what about the people who does not? What about the people who already had had this bias against you? How would you convince them when you yourself are tainted?

Secondly, I can not bring my self to praise Lacson for what he did. I can not appreciate a person who does a seemingly good deed but hidden is the sinister intention. Lacson already declared his intention to run for President. Obviously, by destroying the President's husband, she have also destroyed the President Arroyo, Lacson's contender in the 2004 race (we are not sure that GMA will run or not in 2004). I also agree with Amado Doronila's analysis that because of what Lacson did, debate on economic and social issues in the 2004 election will be push aside and mudslinging will once again take center stage. That is always the problem with exposés like that.

Third, I can not applaud Lacson's speech. A serious study of his speech reveals that while he alleged the First Gentleman and the so called "Toh Triad" in having millions pesos in their bank statements, it never showed that those money came from government coffers. How sure is he that the Tohs doesn't have any other business. What Lacson did last Monday was to insinuate but never prove that indeed that money in Tohs' account came from illegal deals. So what if Arroyo kept the bigger portion of her solicited campaign funds in 1998 if she knew that the real fight was not in 1998 when she run for Vice President but in 2004 when she was, then, planning to for President? Remember that she was already a sure winner in the Vice Presidential race (and she indeed won with a very wide margin). Wouldn't it be wise for you to keep your money for the real fight? There is no law in our country that prohibits that.

Fourth, what was Lacson's purpose in dragging the name of Mon Tulfo, Alex Magno and Jarius Bondoc and his wife Marissa? ( I never like Mon Tulfo, but that is another story). They were arch critics of Lacson. And so what if they were seen in LTA Building in Makati? Does that mean they did something fishy. Again this is Lacson's insinuation. Too bad, these people he mentioned can't go after him because he is cloaked with immunity.

Fifth, I agree with Rina Jimenez David that Lacson's speech was just a copycat to Joker Arroyo's opening statement in the impeachment trial. And by using the Incredible Hulk as a comparison to the tall, big First Gentleman, Lacson's intention was to gain media mileage, more than anything else.

Lacson may feel that what he did is heroic. By exposing the alleged corruption at the highest level, he might do a Chavit Singson act. But before we can proclaim him as hero, there are still big shadows that follow him. These are the Kuratong Baleleng Case and the issue on Narcopolitics. Just this, made me doubt Lacson's sincere objective.

Talking of heroes, there is another one person who feel that he did the country a great favor with what he and his classmates did last July 27. His name is Lt. SG Antonio Trillianes IV.

Trillianes for me is one arrogant fool. He feels that we should thank him for what they did? He feels that we should thank him for exposing the corruption in the military as if we don't know that? Well thanks to him. Thanks to him our economy sink further. Thanks to him we one again lost investor's confidence. Thanks to him for holding the whole nation in hostage. Thanks to him for further aggravating the devaluation of our peso.

So they have complaints against the government. So they want to air their grievances. We all want that. But plant bombs and threatens to explode it? That is something else. There are a lot of ways you can air your grievance? You can go hunger strike, you can go to the media, but come in with fully armed with all the high tech weapons and a threat to violence? That is totally distasteful.

Now, Trillianes would want us to believe that what they did was spontaneous. Spontaneous my Ass! Three hundred men coming from Mindanao, Luzon and Visayas coming in together and you are going to tell us that it was not planned? Coming with armband that you just can't buy in any stores because the design was obviously a combination of the KKK's symbols?

Again, these people did not come clean. They want us to believe that they were not supported by any private citizen. But we won't be fooled. They claimed to be lowly paid, yet one of them was able to check in at Oakwood four days before July 27. Oakwood is not just any hotel, a stay in Oakwood cost seven thousand pesos per night. Moreover, their arm bands alone already cost 54 thousand pesos, how much more their high tech gadget? Where did they get the money? Who financed them? These they failed to answer.

Trillianes is an example of an intelligent persons who think that they are so intelligent that they alone could save the country from destruction. They are kind of people who think that they can get away with their stupidity.

Lacson and Trillianes are two examples of persons who thought they are heroes. Trouble is, it is only them (and those they fooled) who think that they a re indeed.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003


Got this from Ian's page, and being a concern citizen that I am, I'm posting it also in my blog to spread the information. Here it is:

You have until November 14, 2003 to register with the COMELEC if you are a first time registrant or revalidate if you are already a registered voter.

Let it not be said that, when the opportunity came for you to save your country by being actively involved, YOU NEVER LIFTED A FINGER.

Please PASS ON to every netizen in your address book.


From your friends at the WHITE FORUM and Youth Alliance Philippines

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Even if you have registered before you need to validate your registration!

Here are the dates for Comelec Registration - August 4 - November 14, 2003.

Go to your local Comelec office in your City Hall or Municipal Hall and submit the following:

A. A 1x1 or 2x2 ID Picture

B. Age 22 and above (at least 2 of the following)
1. Driver's License
2. NBI Clearance
3. School ID
4. Company ID
5. Passport
6. Proof of Billing (Meralco, MWSS, PLDT etc.)
7. Police Clearance
8. Postal ID

C. Age 18-21
1. Birth Certificate
2. Any ID listed in B.

All ID's should indicate Present Address.



I already installed BlogSpeak in my Blog. This would mean that if you like to comment on the things that I wrote or you just feel like writing to me without the need of opening your email, you can now do it. Just click on the word "comment" at the end of every comment. Go ahead, try it. A warning though, other people can read your comment since this is open to the public.

Now, if you really would want to send me a private mail and you don't know my address, at the lower left portion of this page, you can see the word "contact", click on the phrase "Tell Me" that would direct you to my email address.

Over the weekend, I had a very nice conversation with two smart women. And honestly, I was attracted to one of them.

I know KK (and some of you) is raising here eyebrows now, but what the heck, I was honestly smitten (dami kung "honestly", mukhang defensive).

Rochie arrived last Saturday from Doha. She had two nights layover in Manila before she will fly back to Qatar. Early Sunday morning she called me informing me that we will be joining the 8:45 service of the Union Church of Manila and will be bringing with her two of her fellow flight attendants from Qatar Airways.

I met Marilou of Argentina and Malina of India. Marilou looks like a typical Latina. Curly hair, some freckles on her face and an aquiline nose that betrays her Spanish ancestry. Marilou speaks English with a Latin accent. Malina, on the other hand, is a statuesque dark beauty with deep-seated eyes and a soulful look on her face. She is grace and beauty personified. A goddess. (Now, you know who I was attracted to) Malina speaks English the way an educated Indian does.

We are very comfortable with each other that over some Egg McMuffin and Egg Omelet at Mc Donalds right after the service and only minutes after we are introduced to each other, our discussions were already as profound as the poverty of our respective countries and as personal as the choices that we made in life.

Prior to that, while we were walking towards Mc Donalds, I asked them if they watched "View from the Top", a film about flight attendants starring Gwyneth Paltrow. They all answered "yes". When I asked them what was their reaction to the film, Marilou declared, "we are not that stupid." She said the film was a stereotypical presentation of a Flight Attendant.

I realized that life of a flight attendant is never that easy. Sure you've got to travel to the beautiful cities in the world for free plus a reasonable allowance (200 US Dollars for every long flight) and free first class hotel accommodation. But you also have to sacrifice something. First, you've got to be separated from your family. Marilou confided that she lost her father two months ago and she felt bad that she wasn't there when her father was struggling for life. Secondly, while the work demands that you appear sweet, caring and charming, the same job demands presence of mind and alertness and the ability to handle difficult customers with finesse. Now, you may want to dismiss this by saying, "well it's not something unusual, in our job we ordinarily handle demanding clients", but try handling a difficult client while your body is tired because for most of the duration of the flight (that is ten hours for Doha-Manila) you have been standing and handling over food trays, coffee and other beverages while trying to maintain your balance as the plane moves. Most importantly, a flight attendant is there not just as your "dignified waitress" but they are also there to keep you secure (in every sense of the word) in your flights. The pilots are there only to make certain that the plane takes of, fly and land safely. The rest are in the hands of the cabin crews whose responsibilities include, among others, handling a panic-stricken passenger, a racist passenger (Rochie told me one time that once a British passenger declared right on her face that "you Filipinos are nothing but worth five dollars") and on the extreme, possible terrorist attacks.

Malina said that she loves flying, but she does not look at it as a lifetime career. She used to fly with KLM Air before KLM's base in Bombay, India closed. She said after working for more than two years in the airline, your body will start to show some signs of fatigue and you would grow tired.

It is really a pleasant thing having nice intelligent conversation with women. You know, ladies, we men (no matter what our sexuality are) can sometimes be tired with all your whines about men and your chatters about who is cute or not. I am always genuinely interested with women who can talk to me about other things, other than men or other people's lives. While the stereotypes of women flights attendants are vain persons who are only concerned with how they look, these two ladies broke that stereotype. Marilou and Malina went to the church with no make up at all and wearing casual clothes. Both admitted that they only wear make up when they are boarded on the plain (which made me wonder, how beautiful could Malina be when is totally made up). And most importantly, they are not detached from the reality. Both are concerned with the poverty of their respective countries and have a wide grasp of knowledge on the culprit of that problem. Both are thankful that they were educated and even if they don't approve of any practice (Rochie was telling us how people in Munich would just lie in the park naked, and some were even groping), they have an open mind and respect other people's lifestyle.

I am thankful that I met these women. Meeting beautiful and smart women and having good conversation with them is indeed a treat.

Now, now, now, I know my lady friends would surely react upon reading this piece. Don't worry ladies, to quote the last line of the new KFC commercial, "don't worry, you're smart naman eh." Hehehehehehe.