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Monthly Archives: May 2009

Currrently in repeat mode: “Waves” by Marjorie Fair


The memorial of the mind (via NYTimes)

Roo Moo-hyun: A life of challenges (via Chosun)

Fungus threatens to wipe out Philippine frogs (via Daily Times)

Websites keeping ‘deleted photos’ (via BBC)

Awkward boners (awkwardboners)

Freesouls: Captured and Released, by Joi Ito (Freesouls)

Mary Roach: 10 things you didn’t know about orgasm (via YouTube)

World’s most interesting bridges (via darkroastedblend)

This is Photobomb: Photojackers of the world unite! (thisisphotobomb)

No one certainly saw this coming, certainly not after the bloodbath Mendoza’s gotten from critics:

Brillante Mendoza of the Philippines on Sunday picked up the best director prize at the Cannes film festival for his dark movie “Kinatay”.

“Kinatay” (meaning “massacre”) notably features corrupt cops hacking a prostitute to pieces with blunt kitchen knives.

Mendoza, at Cannes for the second year running, again split the critics, drawing both hisses and applause for “Kinatay”.

More: Philippines’ Brillante Mendoza scoops Best Director at Cannes


Previously, Mendoza’s film has received a slew of criticism from some prominent critics, notably Sun Times’ Roger Ebert, who said “it is Mendoza’s conceit that his idea will make a statement, or evoke a sensation, or demonstrate something—only if he makes the rest of the film as unpleasant to the eyes, ears, the mind and the story itself as possible.” (Full review here) Maggie Lee of of the Hollywood Reporter added the film was a “prurient and excruciating viewing experience that makes the audience partners in crimes of inhumanity.” On the flip side, Mike Goodridge of Screen International found “Kinatay” a “nerve-shredding exploration of crime, which is both repellent and grimly compelling.”

More: ‘Kinatay’ draws raves, rants in Cannes

Apart from Mendoza’s “Kinatay,” two other Filipino films were in the Official Selection: “Independencia” by Raya Martin and “Manila,” by Adolfo Alix Jr and Raya Martin, prompting Bangkok Post’s Kong Rithdee to write “Filipino directors are on a roll.” He adds:

The strong presence of the Filipinos in Cannes signifies a few things: This is a country mired in economic and political troubles, a country whose film industry enjoys little government support and has no official booth in Cannes (Thailand has two, from the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Commerce). These Manila boys blaze their paths through persistence and intellect – their aesthetics are steeped in the tropical heat and chaotic past of their homeland, and it’s not presumptuous to say that they will be around in the art film scene for a long while.

More: Southeast Asian films step into the spotlight on the French Riviera

From Manila Times:

The Department of Health (DOH) said that the first case of swine flu in the Philippines has been “contained.”

Health Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd announced on Thursday evening that the first case involving a 10-year-old girl—a Filipino who arrived in the country on Monday after traveling to the United States and Canada—tested positive for the A(H1N1) virus that causes swine flu.

But the Health department allayed fears of an outbreak.

“The DOH would like to emphasize that there is no community level outbreak in the country and measures are being done by the government to prevent transmission, starting with the quarantine of household close contacts,” the department said in a statement on Friday.

More: Philippines’ first killer flu case ‘contained’

So while everyone is feasting on leaked videos of Hayden Kho screwing a couple of chicks (including a popular starlet, a Brazilian model, and a doctor-cum-commercial endorser), a massive landslide, in the meantime, is wreaking havoc on a hillside community in Cordillera, killing 26 and leaving hundreds homeless.

Related: Katrina Halili to visit Senate, plan legal actions vs Hayden Kho | Porn vendors cash in on ‘Hayden video’ scandal | Philippine landslide death toll hits 26, 6 missing

In relation to the Hayden scandal, it is interesting to note how the “proliferation of sex scandals involving celebrities in the Internet… could benefit a government that wants to muzzle its citizens” (via gmanews), which couldn’t get truer (and scarier) if this is any indication. And speaking of landslides, they have become so common, a nation is desensitized enough not to care anymore.

Questions that do not necessarily beg any decent answer: (1) Considering the physical nature of urban Manila, isn’t it a tad too redundant to pay $30 just to learn Parkour? and (2) Isn’t getting around the metro itself an advanced form of Parkour?


A new sport is getting more and more popular in the Philippines. It’s not exactly a team sport… but the thrill of the jump is attracting many.

It’s an urban workout like no other – Parkour – which translates to “the art of moving” – is becoming increasingly popular in the Philippines with enthusiasts signing up across the country.

More: Roof Jumping Gains Popularity in the Philippines| Plus, totally not related but worth sharing: Human landscapes from above

Currently on repeat mode: “Boogie Mo” by Bembol Rockers.

Plus, something from John Mayer: I couldn’t get Taylor Swift on my record so I found the world’s greatest impersonator, Laura Jacksheimer, here.

Why so touchy? There are a gazillion things needing to be addressed pronto in these parts, yet local politicians would rather dwell on inane quotes from some comedian than do what they’re being paid for, and for what? Yes, your guess is as good as mine. Ultimately, either somebody needs to take a chill pill or know for sure what the definition of a joke is. And when you have a brain-dead official like Bong Revilla threatening “mayhem” over what is clearly a farce, then you get a glimpse of what the real joke is: Philippine politics and legislation.

From Monsters & Critics:

Alec Baldwin, the Long Island thespian famous for many film roles including “The Cooler,” “Married to the Mob” and “The Departed” and for his Emmy winning role in “30 Rock,” won’t be vacationing anytime soon in the Philippines.

Baldwin allegedly cracked wise about ordering a Filipino mail-order bride on the May 12th The Late Show, telling David Letterman that he would love to have more children, and was “thinking about getting a Filipino mail-order bride at this point … or a Russian one.”

More: Alec Baldwin’s TV joke falls like Ricky Hatton in the Philippines

And possibly related: This incident has proven so funny, even a retarded celebrity blogger like Perez Hilton had to blog about it, here.

“Akala nyo Igorot ako, hindi ako Igorot, tao po ako.”

— Candy Pangilinan, whose joke above at a gig in Baguio prompted the summer capital’s council to declare her persona non grata.

Of course Baguio as a modern city has a slew of problems of its own — not the least being massive environment degradation, overpopulation, overdevelopment, poverty, corruption, and illiteracy, among others — but its city council would rather act swiftly on a comment by a showbiz personality that hurt their sensitive ego than do something more productive like, say, lay more budget on books for schoolchildren. Pangilinan has already apologized to the Igorots on national TV, for crying out loud, what more could this city council possibly want?

Related: Bloggers won’t forgive Candy | Candy apologizes on TV

And speaking of politicos with too much time in their hands (and nothing much between their ears), a timely reminder from Jay Contreras, of all people:

In a serendipitous moment of sheer brilliance, PAGASA finally musters the courage to declare something only the dead didn’t know:

“The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) yesterday officially declared the onset of the rainy season in the western section of the Philippines, which includes the Ilocos Region, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, Metro Manila and Western Visayas.”

More: PAGASA: Rainy season is here

On a totally related note, it’s funny how the the phrase “as unpredictable as the weather” doesn’t ring true anymore, especially in light of how predictable the weather has been the past two months. For one, it’s never been easier to predict when it’ll rain: surely in the afternoon, it will. This phenomenon might clearly spell out the forthcoming irrelevance of weathermen, but it also stresses one of the most fundamental concepts of modern existence: dealing with a world on the verge of a disastrous climate change. But while it is true that climate change poses a bleaker picture of things to come, it still morphs nonetheless into a hip catchphrase for both the cool and the politically ambitious. In RP’s most recent celebration of a little funny movement called Earth Hour, for example, Ria Tanjuatco-Trillo, host of Studio 23’s News Central, proclaims, “Filipinos are finally aware of global warming.” Either the girl is hallucinating or just has a low neuron count who happens to earn a keep reading the idiot board, nobody knows, but one things is for sure: impoverished Filipinos are not the ones who should be force-fed concepts on human-induced climate change, but rather citizens of gas-guzzling nations whose greenhouse gas emission per capita sucks everybody into a world of harsher, most times deadly, and ever more predictable weather. Maybe Ria should take a breather and drown herself in the afternoon rain?