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Saturday, July 18, 2015
Friday, July 17, 2015
Back in 2008 when I was conscripted by Nick Cugtas, then “Editor-not-Chief” of the now-defunct pioneering blog site, Filipino Voices (FV) to contribute to his “wisdom of crowds” project, the Philippine blogosphere was far more dynamic and diverse. Twitter was not yet the in thing back then and, as such, the dumbing-down effect of having to “debate” over 140-character snippets that spend all of 5 minutes in the part of a scrolling “timeline” visible on a screen was yet to infect the Philippine “intelligentsia”. So blog posts were the primary currency of articulate and structured ideas exchange at the time.
Leading the pack from the earliest days (perhaps starting as far back as the mid- to late-1990s) was The Noted One, the venerable Manuel L Quezon III. His blog Quezon.ph was the go-to blog at the time, but surrounding him were real heavyweights, Connie Veneracion’s Sassy Lawyer, the PCIJ Blog directly led at the time by Sheila Coronel and the late great Alecks Pabico, and the alluring Rom Sedona on Smoke Talk.
By 2008, when FV went online, the golden age of Philippine blogging was about to go into full swing. Another collective blog, Edwin Jamora’s (a.k.a. Reyna Elena) BarrioSiete had also sprung up adding more fire from an even more “diverse” group.
Another noted blogger Angela Stuart Santiago took stock of the brewing blogo-storm at the dawn of this golden age in her June 2008 piece Battle of the Blogs. By 2012, however, she was already writing about the end of that two-year golden age in her retrospective 2012 piece Blogging in the Wind. The wasteland that was the Philippine blogosphere of 2010 she described as an abject discrediting of Nick’s “wisdom of the crowd” vision for FV. “FV had lost its appeal long before that. The ‘wisdom of the crowd’ never quite showed up; it was impossible to tell who was winning, if any, what argument,” wrote Stuart-Santiago; “and then cory died, FV turned yellow, and then died, too.” The same happened to Jamora’s Barrio Siete. After turning yellow and supporting the candidacy of Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III in the 2010 elections, it eventually disintegrated as well.
What Stuart-Santiago also wrote describing the blogging landscape in 2012 may as well describe the landscape today in 2015, three years hence…
this is all to say how silent, if not kind, the blogosphere is these days, in contrast to the arroyo years. you would think that there’s nothing to question, nothing to criticize, the aquino administration is doing a great job. but since it’s not true, in fact little has changed so far, i figure that most bloggers choose to give the president the benefit of the doubt until, well, who knows, until his term ends? meanwhile, radikalchick and i get a lot of brickbats about being negative, we must be anti-pinoy daw because we have little good to say about the presidency of cory’s and ninoy’s son, and why daw are we not practising journalistic ethics, as in, presenting both sides of an issue, rather than being so critical.
I’ll offer a theory as to why things are “quiet” nowadays in the Philippine blogosphere. But first let us get two obvious major contributing factors to that silence out of the way:
(1) the disappearance of The Noted One, Manuel L Quezon III into the intellectual black hole that is the government of President BS Aquino; and,
(2) as mentioned earlier, the advent of social media which turned formerly serious article writers into cluckety 140-character noise makers.
Outside of those two factors, for me, the real reason the Philippine blogosphere has gone silent as far as real “debate” goes is because the “good guys” are in power. So effective was the 25-year ad campaign to deeply-ingrain the “goodness” of the Yellow brand of the Aquino-Cojuangco clan in the Filipino psyche that criticising top scion BS Aquino today gives people the same heeby-jeebies as, say, cracking Jesus Christ jokes. The beholdenness to the Tarlac saints is virtually religious-fundamentalist in its fervour.
Every now and then, a little boy would apply a child-like innocence to call out the nakedness of Emperor Noynoy Aquino. Unfortunately most people choose to believe that the Emperor is simply wearing clothes made of threads invisible to fools. This mass hypnosis continues today. And a lot of people prefer not to see a world outside of this delusion much the same way the simulated world of The Matrix proved comfier to the half-brained majority of what was left of the human race in that 1999 Wachowski Bothers sci-fi classic film.
To be fair, it is hard to get through to people who to their dying breath fancy themselves a “special” people who hold a monopoly on “goodness” and, whenever said goodness was challenged, would quickly whip out their ace victim card.
Kamakailan lamang, meron mga naki-usap na isalin ko sa Tagalog o wikang Filipino ang tatlo sa aking mga nakaraan na artikulo. Ang isa ay iyong tungkol kay Vice Ganda, yung susunod ay ukol sa Pinoy Big Brother at iyong huli naman ay naglalaman ng mga kritisismo laban sa media ng Pilipinas. Madalang talaga akong gumawa ng artikulo sa Tagalog dahil mas sanay ako sa Ingles pero dahil may nagsabi sa akin na marami daw ang mas madaling makaka-intindi sa aking mga punto, pagbibigyan ko kayo sa ngayon dahil sa tingin ko ay napakahalaga ng media sa buhay ng bawat mamamayan at ito rin humuhubog o sumisira sa kaisipan ng isang pamayanan. Kaya lapit na at makinig kay Tito Grimwald…
Pasensya na lang talaga at hindi ako sanay mag-kuwento sa Tagalog…
Magsimula tayo sa isang pangyayari nitong nakaraan lamang. Sumali ako sa isang kumonidad sa isang MMORPG. Para sa mga walang gaanong alam sa mga video game, ang kumonidad o “gaming community” ay samahan sa isang MMORPG ng maraming manlalaro. Dahil karamihan ng mga MMORPG ay pang-buong mundo, malaki ang posibilidad na may mga gaming community na may mga miyembro na galing sa iba’t-ibang sulok ng daigdig. Isa na dito ang aking sinalihan na kumonidad at in-interview muna ako ng isa sa mga supervisor bago ako ay tuluyan nilang isali.
Ang supervisor na naka-usap ko ay isa palang police dispatcher na taga-New York. Naglalaro siya ng MMORPG bilang isang libangan at para na din magkaroon siya ng kaibigan sa iba’t-ibang parte ng mundo. Mahaba-haba ang aming naging usapan pero paiikliin ko na lang at pipiliin ang mga pinaka-importante sa mga batas ng kumonidad na sinalihan ko.
Heto ang mga sinabi niya na isinalin ko sa Tagalog:
“Ginoong Grimwald, maraming mga batas ang kumonidad na ito. Maraming MMORPG kung saan kasama ang kumonidad natin. Medyo sikat at malaki ang samahan na ito kaya medyo strikto na kami ngayon. Ayaw kasi namin ng gulo at gusto lang namin na ma-enjoy ng bawat miyembro namin ang game world. Heto muna ang tatlo sa mga pinaka-mahalagang batas ng ating kumonidad.
“Una, maging responsable at magalang. Ang lahat ng sasabihin mo ay maaring marinig o mabasa ng ibang mga manlalaro. Kaya kung sa palagay mo ay hindi magdudulot ng mabuti ang iyong mga sasabihin, huwag mo na lang ito ituloy. Irespeto mo ang iba kung gusto mo ring irespeto ka nila.
“Pangalawa, bawal ang personal na panlalait o pangbu-bully. Wala kang karapatan na laitin ang kahito sinong tao kahit kilala mo pa siya. Wala ka ring karapatan na mambastos ng kahit anong lahi, relihiyon o bansa. Kung meron kang binastos ng personal kahit miyembro sila ng iba pang kumonidad, tatanggalin na namin ang membership mo.
“Pangatlo, i-trato ng tama ang mga batang manlalaro. Maraming mga manlalaro na menor na edad pa lang. May mga miyembro ang kumonidad na ito na labing-isang gulang pa lang. Igalang mo sila at huwag kang magkukuwento ng kalaswaan pag kasama na sila. Higit sa lahat, bawal ang pakikipag-usap sa kanila sa malaswa na pamamaraan. Sa oras na mahuli kang nag-kukuwento ng malaswa o nag-hihikayat ng kalaswaan sa mga menor na manlalaro, tanggal ka kaagad at ire-report ka sa mga pulis diyan sa lugar mo.
“Nagkaka-intindihan ba tayo Ginoong Grimwald?”
Napansin ninyo siguro kung paano na lang pahalagahan ng mga Amerikano at mga mamamayan ng iba pang mayaman na bansa ang batas sa kanilang media. Kahit sa mismong online game ay seryoso sila sa pagpapatupad ng batas at pananatili ng kaayusan. Sabi sa akin ng mga nakalaro ko ay dahil daw ito sa kagustuhan nilang maging mabuting halimbawa sa kanilang kapwa.
Kung ganoon ay nalulungkot na lang ako dahil parang tila walang paki-alam ang mga kababayan ko sa media at kung paano nito sirain ang kanilang mga kaisipan…
Heto kasi ang napapansin ko sa mga lokal na palabas natin:
Puro Na Lang Ka-Walang Hiyaan Ang Tema Ng Mga Palabas Natin
Halos lahat na lang ng mga teleserye natin ay umiikot sa pangangaliwa, kalaswaan at patagong pakikipag-talik. Tapos andami sa ating nagtataka kung bakit pabata ng pabata ang mga nabubuntis at padami ng padami pa kamo sila. Totoo man na kahit ang mga anime na pinapalabas noon ay may halong konting kahalayan tulad ng Tenjo Tenge at Air Gear, hindi mo naman masasabi na kabastusan ang iniikutan ng kuwento. Ngunit ang mga lokal na teleserye ay lagi na lang naka-sentro sa tema ng pakikipag-talik sa hindi mo asawa, pag-iingit ng kapwa sa pamamagitan ng kalaswaan, paghihiganti at “pag-ibig” na sa bandang huli ay kalibugan lamang ng kabataan.
Ang Panlalait At Pananakit Ng Tao Ay Nakakatawa
Isa ito siguro sa mga pinaka-malalang bagay na napapansin ko ngayon. Maraming nagsasabing nakakatawa daw ang mga patawa ni Vice Ganda pero, kung ako ang tatanungin ninyo, walang nakakatawa sa panlalait ng kapwa. Bandang huli, nananakit ka lamang ng damdamin ng iba at sinsira mo lang ang dignidad na iyong kapwa. Maging sino ka pa, ang panlalait sa mga taong hindi kaguwapuhan o kagandahan, mga may kapansanan o mga mahihirap sa pampublikong lugar ay kailanman hindi naging tama. Katanggap-tanggap pa siguro ito kung sa loob lang ito ng isang comedy bar, ngunit hindi ito nararapat na ipalabas sa buong bansa lalo na kung may mga batang nakakanood nito. Lagi po sana nating tandaan na kahit ang mga bagay na mali, pag nakikita ito ng isang bata, ay nagiging tama lalo na kung walang magulang na mag-gagabay sa kanila sa panunood.
Ang Pagsama Sa Mga Bata Sa Kalaswaan
Alam niyo na siguro ang isyu tungkol kay Andrea Brillantes, tama ba? Tapos, sa palagay ko, meron pa din ang nakaka-alala kung paano pinilit ni Willie Revillame na magsayaw sa malaswang pamamaraan ang isang batang lalake sa telebisyon. Ngayon, siguro naman may ideya na kayo kung bakit gustong-gusto ng mga child molester na magpunta sa Pilipinas. Karamihan sa atin ay masaya na sa pagbibigay ng kung anong gusto nila na walang paki-alam kung makakabuti ba sa kanila ito o hindi basta lang manahimik sila. Wala na rin tayong paki-alam kung maaring kursunudahin sila ng mga child molester dahil ayaw nating isipin na maaring malaswa na ang ginagawa o ang pinagagawa natin sa kanila.
You can almost hear Robin Leach snootily addressing his audience in the popular 1980s TV show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous when you read this:
See that demoractic government? You can’t afford it.
By hook and, literally, by crook a while back, Greece joined the European Union and replaced the drachma with the euro as its currency. Two national bailouts and another one currently cooking in the oven later, the country is on its knees, on the verge of swallowing a deal that will likely see its Scandinavian-styled welfare state severely downsized and its key infrastructure works and prized national treasures possibly seized or held as collateral by its wary creditors.
The story of Greece is really a short one. First, the country entered into commitments it could not honour. It tried to join a clique of nations it was not equipped to keep up with and pandered to socialist ideals without the resources to back it. Second, it consumed without producing. By a lot of accounts, much of the proceeds from the massive debt it incurred were wasted on bloating its bureaucracy and bribing its voters. Funds were spent rather than capitalised. Instead of going into permanent assets that generate income, improve productivity, and expand equity, funds were pissed away into the wind never to be seen again.
It’s simple financial management. You either save your money for use later when your income can no longer sustain you or you invest it in durable stuff that can deliver you value over a sustained period. If you spend your next euro on things that disappear (or significantly degrade) after a brief dopamine fix, that’s one less euro to brighten your future.
As my colleague Ilda wrote earlier, there is much the Philippines can learn from Greece.
For one thing, Filipinos must re-evaluate the things it focuses on. Democracy is one of them. Can Filipinos really afford “democracy”? Democracy is a tool rich countries use to govern themselves. But in the hands of a Third World society, democracy is a mere toy. A referendum early this month that resulted in a popular vote to defy Greece’s creditors did nothing to solve its vast problems. Funny enough, democracy extremists laud national referenda and call these exercises democracy’s “purest” forms. Referenda, unfortunately, removes the intellectual layer provided by elected representatives (such as the members of parliament) that acts as an intermediary between mob “wisdom” and the educated structured debate that parliaments and congresses facilitate.
So while it may be argued that ordinary Greeks “had spoken” in that referendum, the reality came to bear upon that quaint notion when the long-term consequences of that knee jerk vote came to light. Indeed, the biggest humiliation to the Greek government today is seeing a Far Left government bowing to the capitalist rules of the powers-that-be in the Eurozone. Nice work,comrade.
Coming back closer to home, to the Philippine setting, we see the way Filipinos have also retarded themselves to using democracy as a mere toy rather than a real tool for modern governance. We can see in the Philippine national “debate” in the lead-up to the 2016 national elections that there is hardly any trace of intellectual substance in the rhetoric dished out by the Philippines’ so-called “thought leaders” and opinion shapers. The candidates being evaluated all fall far short of the bar set by real statesmen of a calibre that makes real sovereigns and real national leaders. Yet the national obsession remains fixated on the three- to four-odd bozos vying for that lucrative seat in Malacanang.
That’s Philippine-style democracy at work. Moronism trumps intellectualism on a national scale to the tune of billions of dollars routinely entrusted to crooks and idiots thanks to the inconsequentially drivelous talk that passes off as “political debate” in the eyes of 100 million starstruck citizens.
Greece and the Philippines are the same. They are countries that happen to be physically located within the economic spheres of prosperous regions. Both may have once been prosperous, but it was more a sad prosperity-by-osmosis as neither are true engines of wealth creation in the sense that the highly-capitalised economies of Northern and Western Europe and northeast Asia are. Rather, Greece and the Philippines, like lizards, merely bask in the sunshine of Western European and northeast Asian wealth respectively, their reptilian internal metabolisms regulated by the hour by an external source of energy. Unfortunately whenever storm clouds move in, the rays disappear underneath. Meanwhile, the sun continues to shine above the clouds.
Monday, July 13, 2015
Why isn't the number 11 pronounced onety-one?
If 4 out of 5 people SUFFER from diarrhea... does that mean that one out of five enjoys it?
Why do croutons come in airtight packages?
Aren't they just stale bread to begin with?
If people from Poland are called Poles, then why aren't people from Holland called Holes?
If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?
Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist, but a person who drives a race car is not called a racist?
If it's true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?
If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, then doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?
Do Lipton Tea employees take 'coffee breaks?'
What hair color do they put on the driver's licenses of bald men?
I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks, so I wondered what do Chinese mothers use, Toothpicks?
Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do, write to them? Why don't they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the mailmen can look for them while they deliver the mail?
Is it true that you never really learn to swear until you learn to drive?
If a cow laughed, would milk come out of her nose?
Whatever happened to Preparations A through G?
Why, Why, Why do we press harder on the remote control when we know the batteries are getting weak?
Why do banks charge a fee due to insufficient funds; when they already know you're broke?
Why is it that when someone tells you that there are one billion stars in the universe you believe them, but if they tell you there is wet paint you have to touch it to check?
Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?
Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?
Why did Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?
Whose cruel idea was it to put an "s" in the word "lisp"?
If people evolved from apes, why are there still apes?
Why is it that, no matter what color bubble bath you use, the bubbles are always white?
Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale?
Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?
Why do people run over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it and then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?
How do those dead bugs get into the enclosed light fixtures?
Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?
Why, in winter, do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat?
Do you ever wonder why you gave me your e-mail address in the first place?
And A FAVORITE:
The statistics on sanity say that one out of every four persons is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends.
If they're OK..? (then it's you!)
REMEMBER, A day without a smile is like a day without sunshine!
And a day without sunshine is, like...........night!!!!
Now, stop laughing long enough to forward this onto somebody else who could also use a good chuckle!!!
Lots of debate around who is the victim and who is the bad guy in Europe nowadays thanks to the financial crisis gripping Greece and, as a consequence, the rest of the European Union. It seems to point to the underlying fundamental difference between the way creditors and debtors think which is not too different to the difference between the way capitalists and labourers think.
Hold that thought for a moment while we examine what’s really at work here on the surface. It comes down to the simple question even ordinary people with a bit of cash on hand face every now and then:
Would I lend money to this person?
The key to answering this simple question is in the result of an assessment as to whether or not said person is capable of paying you back.
In short, do you see in that person an inherent ability to honour commitments he enters into?
Obviously, Greece’s creditors saw that in Greeks — twice already as far as risky national bailouts go; and a third time perhaps if things go well in the on-going negotiations this week. See the irony in all this? Considering Greeks today are whining about the powers that be not giving them a break, it seems it is Big Bad Germany that actually finds within itself an ability to feel optimistic about Greece — a lot more than Greeks are willing to grant themselves!
In short, Germany is saying: You can pay us back if you do this and that. But the Greeks tell themselves: We can’t do those things. We are not capable of it!
Sounds familiar? It’s likely because you’ve probably heard a similar conversation between a rehab therapist and her alcoholic patient. Says the rehab therapist to the wino: You’re in this rehab program but the cure to your alcoholism ultimately depends on your ability to commit to certain measures. Alcoholics will always say they’ll comply — after their next drink, that is.
So let’s come back to the earlier train of thought — the idea that creditors and debtors think differently in the same way that sets apart the capitalists from the labourers. The fact is, creditors and capitalists see possibilities in the risks they take. But for the most part, chronic debtors and lifetime labourers are driven primarily by need and can’t see beyond that, much like the avarage wino can’t see a future beyond his next drink.
Is the cure to alcoholism more alcohol? Not a chance. Most addicts who successfully come out of rehab completely free of their demon substances are, in a lot of cases, dirt poor after they’ve lost everything to servicing their addiction. But the key word here is free — which means they are free to start over.
The only way Greece will get out of its predicament is if it is willing to start over. The alternative, of course, is to play ball subject to the rules. It needs to decide which path to take. Suffice to say, the biggest humiliation in being a debtor is to be in constant need of the resources of a person or an entity who you’ve come to regard as your biggest tormentor. As such, the challenge lies in imagining a different path. If you are in the midst of a baseball game and you suddenly want to play football, you need to get out of the field.
A friend of mine who just came back from a three-week holiday in Greece confirmed what we have been reading in the news about how a lot of the banks in the country have closed and there was a long queue for people who wanted to get cash from the few automated teller machines that remained open. So when I read the news that “61 per cent of Greeks had rejected a deal from its creditors that would have imposed more austerity measures on the country’s economy”, I got a bit confused.
The country is running out of cash but the Greeks do not want to accept conditions by the European Central Bank (ECB) before they give Greece more bail out funds? One just has to ask: where is the Greek government going to get money to keep its people alive and keep the country running? The way Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was campaigning against the conditions set out by the creditors, one would think that he actually had a Plan B after he wins the referendum against the creditors. But it seems Tsipras’s plan was simply to show a defiant stance in the hope that the creditors would see it his way and give Greece the loan anyway.
I find their arrogance a turn-off. The Greeks, headed by Tsipras, come across like they have a strong sense of entitlement. They seem to be relying on the notion that members of the European Union are scared of the consequences of a Greek exit from the euro (Grexit) and are confident that the European Union will not allow it because it could mean pulling the rest of the members of the EU and bringing the value of the euro down. The Greeks are probably hoping that scenario of human catastrophe would guilt their creditors into giving them more money.
I can understand the creditors’ position. I mean, why should you give more loans to someone who didn’t pay you the last time you gave him €330 billion loan, doesn’t have the ability to pay you back, and is also acting as if it is your obligation to give him money? It’s enough to tell him to “scram and go get your act together!” I personally do not like people with a strong sense of entitlement.
Greece has been in dire straits for the last five years. In fact, a lot of people saw this coming when they hosted the 2004 Olympics. They were in no financial position to spend that much money for little return. One pundit referred to the event as a multi-billion-vanity indulgence. Now the people are paying the price.
Greece is what happens when the people rely on the government too much. Decades of government mismanagement have led the people to vote a left-leaning Prime Minister into power. Who knows? Tsipras could be hoping for an economic collapse just to implement communist policies with the help of his friends in the Kremlin. The Parthenon might have Russian owners soon.
When I think about the Greeks and their money woes, I can’t help but appreciate, just a little bit, the Philippine economic policy of sending Filipinos abroad to work on jobs they can’t find in their own country. While the policy has its share of shortcomings particularly in the areas of family dynamics, the money the overseas Filipino workers send back home helps keep the country’s economy afloat. This policy has been around since the 1970s during the Marcos years. Succeeding administrators relied on the OFWs to mask the absence of sustained economic development, political instability, a growing population and high unemployment levels.
The Greek tragedy unfolding has made me realize how, to our own detriment, societies have all come to rely too much on corporations to survive. We do not have any idea anymore how to feed ourselves when the shelves in the local grocery store go empty. I certainly do not want to end up like that Greek pensioner who couldn’t do anything but cry helplessly when he could not withdraw his pension after lining up for hours. We must all learn from Greece and do something to keep our self-sufficiency and independence. Learning how to hunt for food in the wild just like in the olden days is a good start.
There is much irony surrounding the whole circus over the “indecent” video, allegedly of Filipino teen star Andrea Brillantes, that went “viral” last week. On one hand are the justice crusaders calling people to respect the privacy of Brillantes (who, as of this writing remains tight-lipped).
Echoing the sentiment of civil society, veteran journalist Elizabeth Angsioco wrote in her Manila Standard Today column…
…what people do in the privacy of their homes is none of other people’s business for as long as what they do is not a crime. So, instead of maligning and questioning the girl, people should go after the person/s who took the videos and/or uploaded the same on the worldwide web.
Indeed, and this is the way mature adults ought to be regarding the whole brouhaha — in a more circumspect manner applying a bit more empathy in considering the predicament Brillantes finds herself in (whether the video is that of her or not).
The trouble is, this is not how reality works — certainly not the reality of the 21st Century where powerful consumer computing products connected 24/7 to a vast global public network are within easy reach of even the poorest most ill-educated people. In real life, what ought to be is often not consistent what with what is to be. My colleague Paul Farol in a five-minute rant offers the real deal that “victims” like Brillantes need to face in today’s world order.
The reality is, you can’t stop people from talking about something once something is made public — really, it’s like stuffing worms back in a can once it has been opened. You can try and there are ways to do this effectively, if you have enough money and can mobilize a lot of people — law enforcers, techies, and publicists.
Of course, knowing this reality does not offer relief from the on-going personal trauma Brillantes and other “viral video” victims might be going through today. Add to that the simple fact that there is little hope that the perpetrators of the astoundingly callous act of uploading this video onto the Internet will ever be brought to justice — not in a country where crime is by all intents and purposes an entire way of life.
It is easy to descend into despair under the weight of immense personal setbacks such as these. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. The thing with the human condition is that what really matters in life is what you do going forward rather than what happened to you in the past. Events disappear from existence when these have passed. But the future is yet to be.
So here’s what’s on the other hand. Observe the recent rise to local mainstream fame of former Japanese adult video star Maria Ozawa who, this weekend, was a featured guest at FHM Philippines’ 100 Sexiest victory party. Ozawa, who recently is making waves in Philippine showbiz after “retiring” from the adult showbiz industry, is proof that Filipinos can see past a seedy past.
Does this mean that Brillantes should consider a career in the adult entertainment industry? Of course not. There are two points we are trying to make here:
(1) Brillantes backdropped by the rising fortunes of Ozawa in Philippine showbiz highlights the fact that Filipinos don’t really know what they are talking about when they pompously wax “morality” in their quaint public rhetoric.
(2) In the very technology that supposedly “destroyed” Brillantes lies her salvation.
On the latter point, this is what Farol essentially says in his rant, that “if you have enough money and can mobilize a lot of people — law enforcers, techies, and publicists”, anything is possible. And this is specially true today in a world where ordinary citizens can fight Big Media’s flamethrowers with their own grassroots fire.
You just need to be smart enough to overcome your historical baggage — vilified parents, unwise words said in anger, or even viral videos, as the case may be — and draw inspiration from people who had succesfully done just that: succeed after being told they are not entitled to a shot at success. Ask Senator Bongbong Marcos, Christopher Lao, and, yes, Maria Ozawa. They may not be the sorts of role models a primitively-judgemental society like that of the Philippines’ may put up for its youth to look up to, but they certainly offer a more real way forward than the imaginary paths paved by our society’s self-anointed do-gooders.
The Net is on fire in the Philippines over the “viral” spread of a personal video allegedly of Filipino showbiz celebrity Andrea Brillantes. Brillantes, star of the hit TV drama series Annaliza, is only 12 years old. But this fact does not seem to stop online perverts from downloading and sharing the video.
As of this writing, no one has authoritatively determined whether the video is really one of Brillantes. But regardless of whether it is her or not, the sexually-explicit nature of its content and the purportedly minor age of its subject makes anyone who views it, is in possession of it, or distributes it potentially criminally-liable. Philippine law with regard to the distribution of offensive content involving minors is clear. Republic Act No. 7610 which provides special protection to children against exploitation among other things includes the hosting or exhibiting of “obscene publications and indecent shows” among acts against the wellbeing of minors that is punishable.
However, Philippine society has a spotty record of remaining consistent to the spirit of its laws, even that of laws relevant to the wellbeing of children. Philippine media itself reflects this astounding reality. Get Real Post author ChinoF wrote of this back in 2011 in his article Does Filipino Society treat Children Poorly?…
Media however remains one of the most influential factors in treatment of children. And media has often been disrespectful to children, no matter how positively they tried to portray such on TV.One children’s advocate before, I believe it was Ms. Feny Angeles Bautista, said that media representation of children was always unkind. Children have always been seen as abused, as “slaves of the adults” or as a source of laughter. Filipino media likes to poke fun at kids, and barely treat them with any sort of equality. She said this in 1997 or 1998. It seems very true today.
This is the irony of Filipino society — at once both a noisy “democracy” and a timid, passive-aggressive culture. This mashup of opposing character flaws manifests its resultant psychosis in the infamous Pinoy viral video circuses that made personal hells for Christopher Lao, Robert Carabuena and, Paula Jamie Salvosa. When a people are told they live in a “democracy” in theory then find that in practice they, in reality, actually lack an effective voice then they switch to the more efficient alternative — technology.
So no amount of signing up to pledges will stop the so-called “cyber-bullying” of Pinoy viral video subjects unless the underlying issues that characterise the underbelly of the Filipino psyche are addressed.
The reality of 21st Century living is that the technology to exercise “freedoms” that bypass traditional communication lines to authority figures, institutions, and public servants is now readily available and ubiquitous. This has always been touted by “social media practitioners” as the single greatest thing about the whole shebang of personal mobile devices, the Net, social networking platforms, and the apps that connect us to these.
Andrea Brillantes may be the latest victim of our slowness to grasp just how much power to do both harm and good powerful and readily-accessible information technology has afforded us.
Thursday, July 9, 2015
A lot of Filipinos do not like the Binay family. Some people see the Binays as a force to reckon with. Some hate them so much they see the Binays as monsters. There are also some groups devoted to stopping their rise to become the most powerful family in the Philippines.
The Binays do not even need introduction because most Filipinos know who the Binays are. They are one of the most powerful political dynasties in the country. In fact, writing about the Binays kind of makes one a bit queasy because the adults in the Binay family occupy powerful positions in government and it’s perplexing when one starts to wonder how they all got voted into office to begin with.
It is actually quite annoying when one has to write some information about all of them in order to show the conflicts of interest. It makes one crazy thinking about how the children — Nancy, Abigail and Jun-Jun, a Senator, Congresswoman and Makati City Mayor respectively — all come to the aid of their father to defend him against his political enemies and critics while the father comes to the aid of his children to do the same.
I guess the only way to understand the complexity involving the Binays is to accept that they treat their hold over a portfolio of government posts as a family business. In a family business, it is natural for the owners to help each other out. The problem is, the Binays shouldn’t be treating their government posts as a family business because they are not dealing with their own money. It’s only in the Philippines that dysfunctional behavior exhibited by the Binays has gone unnoticed until recently.
One has to wonder how the Binays managed to hold on to the mayoralty position in the country’s premiere financial district for decades without anyone complaining until now. Surely, their cohorts in the alleged crimes and the people who kept voting for the Binays despite their excesses should be blamed as well for the sorry situation the country is in with the political family.
The popularity and notoriety of the Binays is partly due to the incessant negative publicity they have been getting from the media from months. One member of the media who has been conducting a trial by media is Solita Collas-Monsod. She seems to have taken on the role of unofficial attack dog for the Liberal Party.
In a recent article on her Inquirer column, Monsod tried to refute the claim made by the Binay family that the Aquino administration is persecuting them. To counter that claim, Monsod reveals that President Benigno Simeon (BS) Aquino gave his Vice President Jejomar Binay a lot of privileges since Day One.
Monsod enumerated some of the “requests” the Aquino administration granted VP Binay starting with giving him the Coconut Palace as the VP’s official residence. In addition, BS Aquino also gave Binay Cabinet roles as Presidential adviser for OFW affairs and as Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council chairman, which, according to Monsod, gave Binay a lot of opportunity to grandstand. Monsod also goes on to mention how Binay was receiving “P200-million-a-year share of the pork barrel—until that was removed”.
If we are to believe Monsod, those things should be enough proof that the Aquino administration has been more than generous to the Binays. Yes, one would have to agree that the Aquino administration has been generous to the VP and it has benefited his family. In fact, in enumerating all the privileges that Binay has been enjoying until the VP’s resignation from his cabinet posts, Monsod inadvertently proved that BS Aquino is partly to blame for creating a “monster”.
Why did BS Aquino agree to give VP Binay the Coconut Palace and even had the place refurbished to the VP’s specifications? According to Monsod, it cost the public more than 50 million pesos to refurbish it. Furthermore, why did BS Aquino give Binay 200 million pesos worth of pork barrel funds? Now, why did BS Aquino approve that? What the heck was he thinking? I thought BS Aquino was against the excesses that happened in previous governments. It turns out he has his share of excessive spending of public funds. Why did he feel the need to spoil his VP with that budget?
The thing that we can take from Monsod’s article is that, BS Aquino himself may not be directly involved in the orchestrated attacks against the Binays headed by a few senators who appear to have a grudge against Binay. If you compare how relentless he was in attacking his political enemies in the past like former President Gloria Arroyo and former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, it is interesting to note how BS Aquino is very restrained when it comes to VP Binay and his children.
After VP Binay criticized the Aquino administration – calling it incompetent, uncaring and blundering – BS Aquino’s response could be interpreted as puzzled yet accommodating. He even said “thank you” to Binay. That is very different indeed to how he treats his “real” enemies. What could be holding BS Aquino back from retaliating in return? It’s not like him to be diplomatic. Could it be that Binay could help him escape prosecution once he is president?
It has been said before that the Binays are actually allied with the Aquinos. Binay has been vocal about crediting the late Cory Aquino for giving him the opportunity to enter politics. Some people even claim that the President’s sisters prefer to endorse Binay as the next President and not the Liberal Party’s bet Mar Roxas. At some point, celebrity sister Kris Aquino was even consoling Junjun Binay after his wife passed away. She may have been to his main office in Makati City, which, according to Monsod, is “huge—larger than a two-bedroom condo in Makati”. We didn’t hear Kris complain about the size of Junjun’s room.
It is quite laughable to think that BS Aquino’s most rabid supporters are busy campaigning against Binay while the Aquinos themselves could be secretly supporting a Binay Presidency.
The bottom-line is, those who hate the Binays so much should look deeper and see who put him and his family in power in the first place. First it was the Aquinos who put the senior Binay in-charge of Makati City and then the voters who got addicted to the Binay dole outs helped build the Binay dynasty.
While the timing of the cases against the Binays is quite suspect (why bring up the cases now when these should have been filed before 2010?), it is still welcome. If it will help expose the Binays and, as a consequence, the Aquinos for who they are, that’s all well and good. But judging by the way the majority of voters have acted in the past – this exercise of campaigning against the Binays will yield results that will simply fly over their heads.
It’s going viral and people have been re-posting and re-sharing it. But what’s not being included in the information accompanying these posts is some much-needed insight or analysis on how a Mitsubishi Strada pickup truck ended up precariously hanging off the rails of the Skyway, an elevated highway south of Manila’s central business district yesterday.
Online motor enthusiast magazine Top Gear Philippines posted the most recent (as of this writing) story about it accompanied by more pictures sent in by witness Francis Aguado who only had this to say…
“It was the bloody railing’s fault,” Aguado offered. “There is a curb that throws your wheels up, and you’re left with a 2ft edge and fake railings! The railing is really an issue. I’ve brought this up before. And they issued a statement claiming the railing was sufficient. But it’s not. It’s just an interlinked joint unlike the old railing we grew up seeing driving up to Tagaytay. Also, the curb is too high. Tires intentionally will try to roll up anything. And that leaves only 2ft or less and then the faulty railing.”
Sure. But this latest mishap follows a more deadly one that happened under similar circumstances. Back in December 2013 a public bus full of passengers also jumped the Skyway rails and fell on the road below killing 20 people. Two of those killed were in a vehicle that happened to be on the road right underneath the falling bus and were crushed to death. The incident was blamed on the sort of usual reckless driving past the speed limit public bus drivers in the Philippines are world-renowned for.
Though not explicitly reported in media outlets that covered this recent incident involving the Mitsubishi Strada pickup, there are a few telltale signs that could be noted. Firstly, the pickup truck is fitted with low-profile tires, which gives us some idea of the sort of character driving it. Second, a vehicle able to jump to a height that almost cleared the Skwyay rails, will have been travelling at a similar speed as that ill-fated public bus in the 2013 accident described earlier. Indeed, in that bus incident, a witness had reported that the bus was travelling way past the Skyway speed limit swerving in and out of traffic lanes. Third, it was reportedly raining at the time the accident happened. Do smart drivers drive a high-centre-of-gravity vehicle fast on a wet road?
[Photo originally exhibited on Top Gear Philippines.]
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
A little something to raise your blood pressure!
There are probably some inaccuracies here and it surely is dependent of where the residence is. But in years past I’ve rented houses to these people and I can attest that they know how to play the system very well. And, to be fair, it existed long before Obama came along. My experience is just in my town. I can’t imagine the scale of this mess we’re funding in the big cities.
More food for thought !THE OBAMA WELFARE PLAN:For a guy and his girlfriend with two kids. Follow these proven steps !!!1. Don't get married to her.2. Always have your mail sent to your mom's address.3. The guy buys a house.4. Guy rents house to his girlfriend who has 2 of his kids.5. Section 8 will pay $900 a month for a 3 bedroom home.6. Girlfriend signs up for Obamacare so guy doesn't have to pay for family health insurance.7. Girlfriend gets to go to college for free being a single mother.8. Girlfriend gets $600 a month for food stamps.9. Girlfriend gets free cell phone.10. Girlfriend gets free utilities.11. Guy moves into home but continues to have his mail sent to his moms house.12. Girlfriend claims one kid and guy claims one kid on taxes.Now both the guy and the girl friend file separately and get to claim head of household for a $1800 tax credit each.13. Girlfriend gets disability for being "crazy" or having a "bad back" or something for a 1800/mo government subsidy and never has to work again.This plan is perfectly legal and is being executed now by millions of people.
A married couple with a stay at home mom yields $0 dollars in government benefits. But an unmarried couple as described above, with stay at home mom nets;
$21600 disability +
$10800 free housing +
$ 6000 free Obamacare +
$ 6000 free food +
$ 4800 free utilities +
$ 6000 Pell Grant money to spend +
$12000 a year in college tuition free from Pell Grant +
$ 8800 tax benefit for being a single mother =
$76,000 a year in benefitsAny idea why the country is $18 + trillion in debt.