Friday, July 30, 2004

Win it, Kerry.
Win the elections and make your refoms before Uncle Sam loses any more friends and brave young men and women. Please.
I can see the headlines now...
Australia Slams RP Troop Pullout
locals respond with hissy fit; lawmakers threaten Aussie import ban

We get like this every time somebody overseas says something even remotely unpalatable about us. I remember that hissy fit we threw when Claire Danes complained about the roaches. Ban her movies, we wailed. Then there was that row over how ours was high on the list of corrupt governments and unsafe countries. We protested to high heaven. Of course, we don't flog other Filipinos who complain about how this country is poorly run. Why is that?
Sheez. If there is any Philippine diplomat, congressman, law enforcer or government executive who bothers to read this...
Get it through your heads: until we are the new fat heavy swinging dicks in terms of economic and (ha ha!) military power in our region, our hissy fits will be just that-- hissy fits. We're so prone to throwing tantrums, we forget what has to be done. We keep doing this, then we may wind up alienating important trade and military partners. It's enough that we officially, diplomatically, "agree to disagree." We can always give our critics the finger in the privacy of our own homes.
You want Australia to eat its words? Ask it the same question we should have asked Uncle Sam: "Where are the WMDs? Not in Iraq? Then may we ask what you are still doing there?" You want the rest of the world to put us off the kidnapping watchlists? Do your damn jobs!

You want our saber-rattling to be taken seriously? Then have the wit to stick to this long-term goal: "a safe and poverty-free Philippines within the next 20 years."  We'll have the necessary clout; you'll have your place in the history books; you may even be amply rewarded for your pains. Help us do this, and I can guarantee all of it happening for us.*
* Do this, and I can also guarantee we'll be too busy nation-building and getting rich to rattle sabers or make futile hissy fits.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Tonight I found out why some men choose to be gay. It's almost too easy to cop out of a relationship with a woman-- by nature, beguiling but utterly alien-- and find comfort in someone who is utterly familiar: another man.

Hijo de p_ta.

Plug the Hole

Filipinos are very good at stopgap solutions. Like stopping gasoline leaks with chewing gum; jerry rigging viable televsion antennas from wire hangers; closing wounds with superglue; discovering more uses for toothpaste than manufacturers ever intended...

Maybe all this ingenuity has something to do with a dearth of material and spare parts-- necessity being the mother of invention, and all. But I've noticed the not-so-obvious downside to the Filipino's vaunted ability to do a MacGyver wherever he is. An environment in which everything is damaged, jerry rigged or in short supply also fosters a mentality of limits and, of all things, a strange complacency --

"So what if my line of buses is full of obsolete junkers? I can still make 'em run with chewing gum and hold 'em together with scotch tape, safety regs be damned. I ain't paying for new buses. Puwede na 'yan."

I'd like to see Filipinos shaken out of that complacency, someday soon.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Some Good News for a Change

Angelo De la Cruz is home. And at least one Philippine presidential administration showed the world it can look out for the interests of the people who count-- the people who put said administration in office in the first place. Take a bow, GMA. But make note: I'll buy your belt-tightening recommendations in your upcoming State of the Nation Address only if you take a pay cut.

An eight storey building keels over in Tondo, Manila. Power lines are cut, dust and debris fly everywhere... and no one is hurt!

Apparently, the cops in Manila were informed beforehand that the ricketty building was going through its preliminary death-throes. They cleared the street, ordered neighboring establishments closed and kept out the gawkers. When the building finally fell, there was no one around for it to squash.

Efficient cops? Here? Shocking! 
As I write, Manila police are keeping watch over the rubble, to keep away thieves. Mayor Atienza's also putting together a task force to investigate the collapse. There is a renewed interest in building safety laws and practices-- and it's about damn time.
Better stow those Canadian immigration forms away. There is hope for this country yet.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Won't Need To Rant and Fulminate for a Week
If you're an avid fence-sitter in world events, you simply cannot ignore the weirdness that is going on in the great US of A, also known as the Average Filipino's Second Country(1). I once called it Nova Roma and I'm right to do so. It's a sad fact of life that if someone sneezes in the American halls of Congress, our administrations previous and present commence:
1. rolling over and salivating (the lapdog stance);
2. shaking in their collective boots (the Don't Hurt Us WTO stance);
3. indignant but polite namecalling and vituperation (the toy saber rattling and popgun brandishing stance
Those of us who wish for even a partial understanding of American politics are most enthusiastically enjoined to visit this site: and load up the flash animation ("This Land"). Pictures say more than  a thousand words, so look it over and understand why I won't have to rant about America for a week.  
Ah, Blogging Bliss!
Notes: (1) Canada running Second, Saudi Arabia and Japan running neck and neck as third country of choice. Notice that the majority of countries listed here are hostile to Filipino immigrants and prospective workers. Canada, God bless her, is so vast and empty that they're practically letting everyone in.     

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

More Silliness

I got this quizz off Tobie's blog. Online quiz results are often visually incompatible with my other blog's layout, so this winds up in the Big Bodega. Apologies. Couldn't Resist.

Your Years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Family Line
Dated Cho Chang
You are well known for The best witch/wizard Hogwarts has ever seen!Wo0t!
Percentage of student body you shagged - 29%
How do the staff and students feel about you Huh?Who's that?
This cool quiz by lady_ameily - Taken 155975 Times.
New - Kwiz.Biz Astrology

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Words for the Week

mess n. 1. A state of confusion and disorderliness
fix n. 1. a difficult situation 2. something craved ("I need my coffee fix!") 3. the act of putting something in working order again (repair, remedy) 4. A determination of the location of something ("I've got a fix on that Borg cube, Captain!")
faux pas n. [from French, "false step"] (fow'pa) A socially awkward or tactless act
voyeur (vwoyoor) n. [from Old French French, "one who lies in wait"] 1. A viewer who enjoys seeing the sex acts or sex organs of others 2. An obsessive observer of sordid or sensational subjects
debacle n. [from Old French "de-bar, unbar"] (day+bawkle) 1.A sudden and violent collapse 2. A sound defeat 3. A total, often ludicrous failure  
rendezvous (rawn+di+voo) n., v. 1.A meeting planned at a certain time and place 2. A place where people meet 3. A date; usually with a member of the opposite sex (tryst) 4. (v.) to meet at a rendezvous

raison d'etre [from French "reason to be"](rayzone+detra) n. reason or justification for existence 

Some words sourced from The American Heritage� Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth EditionCopyright � 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Bodega Bits: Mess

Bring Back Ben & Jlo
No, let's not.

Old news, but it's been on the local late night talk show replays. This has been Jlo's third marriage? I've lost count. It's been great as food for voyeurs and paparazzi, because of its high entertainment value. I'm wondering though: are we all getting our kicks, betting with ourselves yet again on another Jlo mariage going bust, because Jlo's previous marital messes are a sign that our own lives are comparatively better?

With respect for Mark Arthony's kids and Dayanara Torres's pain, I hope Jlo manages to make herself happy.

But what do I know anyway?

Lost in Vietraq
What more needs to be said about the Angelo De la Cruz mess?

Philippine support for this half-assed US war waged for nothing (pittance of US aid for us, supposedly the US ally in the Pacific; weapons, where?) = bad idea. Sending troops to US-occupied post-Saddam Iraq = further ticking off the very polarized and militant locals who, thanks to US abuse, have every right to be ticked off = bad idea. I'd go with the argument that one shouldn't encourage terrorists by capitulating-- but we, as part of the Coalition of the Willing, terrorized them first, in principle.

I won't pretend that Saddam would have been unseated, or the world would be safer from crazed zealots even if the war wasn't prosecuted (make note, the official raison d'etre for the war wasn't unseating Saddam). I'm glad Saddam's gone, nevertheless: though the cost may involve Iraq evolving into a very Talibanized militant Islamic State.

Let's just get De la Cruz and our boys back home. Shoulda sent a civilian contingent without the trappings of the military draped about them instead.

Related links: &

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Allow me a Little Silliness...

What kind of Final Fantasy Character would I be?
by TheBlueParadox
Your Name/Handle
Your Hair StyleBeautiful Flowing Blond Hair Beautiful Flowing Brown Hair Beautiful Flowing Red Hair Beautiful Flowing Black Hair Beautiful Flowing Silver Hair Beautiful Flowing Gold Hair Beautiful Flowing Copper Hair
Your Clothing StyleFlowing Clothes/Lots of Frills
Your Weapon of ChoiceCunning
Your MissionMission? I'm here to get paid.
Your Role in the FantasyTrue Hero:"We leave together."
Created with the ORIGINAL MemeGen!