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Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Fil-Am activist Melissa Roxas recently revealed her ordeal as she was abducted and tortured by "military agents" (her claim) while doing outreach work in the Philippines last May.

The computerization of the 2010 elections seems to have gone under with the withdrawal of the Filipino Company that would've partnered with Smartmatic, a Brazilian Consortium that won the bid.

I am saddened that in this age of the internet where we have gained by leaps and bounds the enormous ability to communicate -- in the Philippines, we seem to have slipped back to the dark ages. The Arroyo administration's dismal human rights record is troubling, most especially since our lawmakers in Congress and the Senate seem to be unwilling to investigate or pursue justice for the victims. The torturers are more sick than the participants of the latest sex scandal, if you ask me. The sadistic use of force, under the guise of duty, is a blatant disregard for another person's fundamental rights. Sad that we still have such occurrences this day.

With the looming back-to-manual tabulations of our elections in 2010, if indeed we will have elections, will show the entire world that the Philippines does not pursue true democracy.

Worse, we have shown the whole world that Filipinos suck when it comes to keeping their end of a deal.

Philippines 2000? More like Europe ca. 1100.

POSTSCRIPT (July 3) As of this evening, it was announced that the computerization of the 2010 elections shall push through after all. Smartmatic and their Filipino partners have come up with an agreement amenable to both.

POSTSCRIPT (July 30) In the news tonight, Melissa Roxas has met with Gen. Palparan and again stayed true to her recounting of her abduction and torture. Is this the new Guantanamo? Tsk, tsk, tsk... Gloria... and you have the nerve to go to the White House?!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

TOTI & DAVID (The Blogcom 3)



Toti is checking his all-white, velour tennis outfit in the mirror. David walks in...

You're playing tennis now?

(Toti ignores David as he practices his tennis strokes with an imaginary tennis racket and ball, grunting as he 'hits' a ball, bouncing the ball before serving, etc.)

I didn't know you play tennis...

I don't... (he gets bronzer and applies some on his legs and arms) We're going to Malate tonight for the Gay Pride White Party...

Uhhhhhh Honey... please not the White Party again...

We never go out anymore, David... I promise tonight will be fun, it won't rain like last year...

(Teasingly) Let me guess, you're going as which Williams sister again...?

Very funny... (Gets a blonde wig with large curlers) TADA! FARRAH FAWCETT! (Toti puts on wig and starts to remove curlers... then he resumes practicing his tennis strokes again)

You look beautiful in that Honey...

Sweetie Pie, let's go pleeeeaaase, it's going to be fun...

I have nothing to wear...

(Toti gets something from a paper shopping bag) Here... (Hands him a sequined glove) You can go as Michael Jackson!

I'm too fat to be Michael Jackson...

But you're white as Michael Jackson!... wear all black then put on the glove and moonwalk your way to the bar...

Honey... I'm not sure about this... please, can we not go to Malate this year. Malate depresses me. All those street children selling me flowers... and those old, fat, white men with children of both genders... Honey... I know you went through all these trouble to get your costume, which I think really looks good on you... but, can we skip the White Party this year?

(Toti stops doing his tennis moves and frowns)

Oh Honey... (beat) Okay, but I'm not going as Michael Jackson... (He goes toward Toti) You can go as Farrah Fawcett and I'll go as... (He gets down on one knee) Ryan O'Neal... will you marry me?

Awww... Sweetie Pie (He sits on David's leg) Thank you... well, it's just that we haven't gone out for the longest time... you don't take me out to dinner or the movies anymore, or... Thanks David... Oh, but when you propose to me later in front of the crowd...? I want a diamond solitaire!

(Reaches into his pocket as they both stand up) I've got something better... Pack your bags, Sweetie Pie... we're flying to El Nido tomorrow! (He shows plane tickets) Happy Anniversary!

Oh David... I thought you'd forgotten...

What do you say we skip Malate and just order out and have a quiet dinner here tonight... we do have an early flight tomorrow...

(Teasingly) You think they have a tennis court in El Nido town? I wonder if there's a gorgeous tennis coach there... Or I could learn to scuba dive...? I heard the dive masters in El Nido are hunks...

Honey, you're gonna absorb the entire China Sea like a sponge if you dive in that outfit...

Haha! (Gets cordless phone) So, let's do Junk Food Saturday? Yellow Cab or Friday's?

Yellow Cab Friday's

Ok, Friday's Ok, Yellow Cab

You decide! You decide!


a new e-postsode of Toti & David will be posted every sunday

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Every last Saturday of June, Malate celebrates Gay Pride with a White Party. It used to be that a parade/march commences in the late afternoon before festivities in the evening. Concerts, Fashion Shows, Street Parties, and other gay frivolities abound in Nakpil Street and the peripherals notably Ma. Orosa's famous loop of bars. Sadly, organizational setbacks, personality clashes, and conflict of business interests have mired the organizers' efforts to sustain the activity. Denizens of Malate however carry on the tradition albeit on a smaller scale. Why? Because it's fun to go in drag. Even if just once a year.

It all starts with the shoes. I was in Kinder when I first tried on my mom's shoes. They were maroon stilettos in a velvety material. I remember how wonderfully tall I felt strutting in them even if my feet were only 3/4 the size of the shoe. From there it was my eldest sister's platforms with cork heels and leather uppers. I almost fell off the stairs on those.

As I grew older, I had moved on to wearing my mom's dresses. Only the formal ones. Or party dresses. I'd put on a scarf. Or pin a brooch. Wear a necklace. And how I'd twirl and twirl till I was dizzy from both the giddy delight of dressing up like a woman and from the swirling colors and patterns of the balloon skirt as I, er, twirled and twirled. All these done of course when I was left alone at home and I'd lock myself in my mom's room.

I progressed to putting on make-up. Due in part to my sisters' Seventeen Magazines where there would be illustrated articles on how to put on make-up. First I would memorize my mother's vanity, making sure I'd be able to put back in place everything I would touch in their exact position lest she catches on my weekend dragfests. Then I would open the page of the magazine and step-by-step put on make-up. Then I would dress up head to toe and check myself out in the full-length mirror.

I stopped doing my illicit drag weekends when I was in High School. Not only did I not fit into her clothes anymore, but I no longer wanted to look like Mommy. I had discovered boys. And the boys in my class wanted girly-girls not mature, sophisticated women who looked like their mothers. I became a tomboy. Playing sports with boys, drinking and smoking with them and the ultimate mark of manhood -- POKER! From one solo illicit act to illegal group activity. We stopped playing poker when a classmate had blown 2,000 pesos in one game -- this was a big amount of money in the early 80s.

Going back, I now do drag once a year. Either on June Gay Pride or Halloween. Again, it all starts with the shoes. Finding the pair that fits me will determine what dress I will wear with it. I scrounge the thrift shops for hip, retro dresses or ultra-luxe, stylish gowns. Of course, I WOULD NEVER BE CAUGHT DEAD WEARING THE SAME OUTFIT TWICE! A true drag queen never repeats her outfits. After the shoes and dress have been procured, the wig comes next. Is it Audrey Hepburn pixie cut this year? Or shall I do a Penelope Cruz long mane 'do? The drawback with wigs is that they're terribly hot for humid Manila. But why bother going in drag when you'll be confined to an airconditioned bar, no way, it's out in the streets for us Queens. The better for the commoners to see their 'royals'. I once went as Coco Chanel -- little black dress, pearls, her trademark glasses -- and they thought I went as Edna, the Costume Designer in The Incredibles! Damn this generation gap!

Being in drag turns the table around. Now, it is I being ogled at. There were times men would actually open doors for me. Or buy me drinks (Yipee! I already spent a fortune on my outfit and my nails okay!) It is nice to feel pretty, feminine and poised. Hats off to all the women who do it everyday and never tire. I think dressing up once a year is fine for me.

See you all in Malate tonight!

Friday, June 26, 2009


Clueless as to current events (I don't own a TV nor listen to the Radio), it was only this afternoon that I found out Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson have both died. The media frenzy and Blog-Facebook-Twitter hysteria surrounding both deaths (especially MJ's) have reached proportions only seen last with Princess Diana's demise. Expect the media to cover MJ for the next month (or more).

I remember playing Charlie's Angels with my 'girl friends' in elementary. Every Monday we would talk about the previous day's episode of Charlie's Angels. Often copying favorite scenes. Although I must confess I identified with Jaclyn Smith/Kelly Garret maybe because she stayed on the series until it finally folded up. In Freshman year in High School, I attended the Dance the Juniors sponsored to raise funds for their JS Prom that year. I remember dancing with a 'girl friend' from Sophomore year to MJ's 'Rock With You'.

The point I am trying to make is that, yes, our grandparents and parents were right after all. Indeed, life is short. When we were impatient and rushing to grow up, they would tell us not to be in such a hurry. Because life IS short. I am in my early 40s now, my Dad passed away 4 years ago this November. My Mom has had another mild stroke this month. She will be 75 on December. My Grandparents passed away in the 90s. Very soon my generation will follow. With or without the intervention of Medical Breakthroughs.

When we look at how the Universe was formed, we realize that our own time on Earth is but the tiniest blip on its radar. In the bigger sphere of things we need these deaths to remind us of our own mortality. How seemingly senseless these sudden deaths are. But only because generally, people don't discuss death. We find it morbid to do so. It is a taboo. But I think we should be more open to discussing death. It will relieve us of our own denials. After all, Death (like Life) is what we make of it. Is it a rebirth? Is it the next phase to everlasting life? Or after everything is lived out, are we not just 'food for maggots'?

Life and Death is what we make of it.

Now let me go back to that Physics Journal I was reading.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


President Sarkozy expressed support for a total ban on the wearing of the burqa in France, saying it is a symbol of subservience which is anathema to everything the French believe in with regards to equality of the sexes. (click on the link above)

I say Bravo! The wearing of the burqa is an outright public display of one's faith, something modern civilizations should ban as this may be a source of animosity between opposing faiths. Let them wear the burqa when entering mosques, but never in public. Ditto the wearing of the cross, the carrying of religious icons, etc. Tolerance for different faiths starts with the elimination of such public displays of religion by individuals.

It is for the same reason that residences in the US may not display religious icons and other symbols outside their houses eg. in gardens, front doors, etc. as this may be offensive to other residents in the neighborhood. Churches and other venues for worship may only do this.

History has shown that it is precisely religion that has been the major cause of wars/conflict. Do we really need this in the 21st century? By banning the wearing of the burqa, I believe Muslim women will be less exposed to discrimination.

Take it from the fashion capital of the world. Ditch the burqa in public.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

TOTI & DAVID (The Blogcom 2)


Int. Saturday Evening. Bedroom.

The TV illuminates the dark bedroom as Toti & David are watching a film on DVD. We hear the last few strains of the film's background music as credits go up. Toti & David are quiet. David turns on lamp on his side of the bed. He gets remote control and turns off DVD/TV.

So... how did you like the movie?

uhm... t'was okay...

No, really... I want to know what you thought of it...

Well... I... I didn't like that scene at the Shabu-Shabu resto where Bill Murray and Scarlett Jo'Hara...


Yeah, Johnston, whatever... anyway, I think they were total dorks in the Japanese restaurant! I mean, you Americans don't know how to accept and enjoy other cultures... you travel abroad and stay as American as forever, looking for the first McDonalds you spot, and laugh at how other people live their lives if it doesn't appeal to you. And that's how you Americans get into trouble in the first place. You're all so arrogant even outside your territory...


And Bill and Scarlett are just two bored Americans using their alienation as a convenient excuse to have an affair! It's like 'Falling In Love' -- at least De Niro and Meryl Streep were of the same age, more or less! (beat) What do you think?

Exactly, I was just thinking, how could a young, pretty, hot woman like Scarlett Yo-han-sson fall for an oaf like Bill Murray! Now, if Jack Nicholson played the part...

...Jack Nicholson would've taught Scarlett how to use chopsticks and I'd love the movie...

(David turns off lamp. David and Toti turn their backs away from each other. Beat.)

Why didn't Bill Murray just shoot Ground Hog Day 2... you know, where he wakes up everyday and it's always February 2...


(They laugh and snicker and tickle each other. When they settle down, David cradles Toti under his arms... they resume getting to sleep with smiles on their faces. Beat.)

(whispers) David...


Sorry... okay go back to sleep... (to himself) Next time I'm choosing what DVDs to play.

(mutters to himself) Oh no, not another Kevin Bacon retrospective...

(elbows David in the stomach) I heard that!

Ouch! (He gets up...)

Where you...

Have to pee... (He goes towards toilet singing and dancing...) Footloose, footloose, put on your Sunday shoes...

(Toti throws a pillow at David. Then his blanket.)

Sleep in the sala!

A new e-postsode of TOTI & DAVID will be posted every Sunday

Saturday, June 20, 2009


I am not about to spew doomsday speak and cause panic and alarm. (Click on link below) But Manila does have its history of earthquakes dating back as early as 1658. The thing about earthquakes is that they're unpredictable. They don't give warning signs. They just happen. And sometimes they occur wreaking destruction and claiming casualties.

Such was the case with the July 16, 1990 earthquake that hit Northern Luzon. That day will remain etched in my memory for as long as I live. Now may I share with you lessons we've learned first hand from that experience.

Preparedness is best prior to emergencies. Power will be cut off. Ditto water supply. Here's what we all can do:

1. Always have canned food available in your pantry to last at least a week until situation simmers down. Make sure you have gas for cooking food and boiling drinking water.

2. Have an Emergency first-aid kit where all household members know where to find it.

3. Candles and matches for the long brownouts. Make sure rechargeable flashlights are charged! Don't know if mobile phone transmission towers will be working, but it's a good idea to have a charged spare battery. Expect phone networks (mobile and landlines) to go berserk a la 9/11.

4. Have a packed bag ready with the basic essentials for each family member in case you need to leave your home. Include a change of clothes, toiletries, first-aid kit, cash (ATMs will be down the first few weeks until situation normalizes) and other items you think are indispensable. A whistle just in case another big aftershock occurs and you find yourself trapped in the rubble, rescuers will be able to find you when they hear you blow on the whistle.

5. Sleeping bags and tents also umbrellas and raincoats will definitely come handy as some may prefer to sleep in their yards instead of inside their homes as aftershocks will occur after a big earthquake.

6. Best to wear comfy clothes and sturdy shoes after a big quake. Easier for you to get around. Always have a full tank in your car/s.


1. Ask your neighborhood association, PTA, district, barangay for plans during a big earthquake. How prepared are they? Form a group that will handle emergencies. Designate an area in your neighborhood for relocation (basketball court, park, gymnasium, school, etc.) and have the local council declare this as so.

2. Ask your school to make mandatory fire and earthquake drills. (We used to have a lot of that in elementary back in Baguio in the 70s, and when the earthquake did happen, I tell you, it helped a lot.)

3. Have a qualified engineer check your residence and assess how the structure will hold up in case of an earthquake. If budget allows, make necessary repairs now! Or move out to a stronger house if you're renting. Know emergency exit points in the building you live in and/or work at.

4. Inspect how your house is set-up. Are mirrors, frames securely attached on walls? Are bookshelves potential traps in doorways, corridors? Do you have several bric-a-brac free- standing on top of furniture, cabinets, shelves? These could cause severe injuries when they topple off during an earthquake.

5. Pinpoint to your local Barangay, District, Councilmen, Mayors, Congressmen potential danger spots or weak structures like old houses, half-demolished buildings, etc. and make sure they do something about it!


The first thing to do is stay calm. Move to a flat clear space if outdoors. Stay under sturdy desks if indoors. Never take the elevator. Best not to go with the crowd, panic may ensue and cause a stampede. Look for alternative exit points. When driving, stop car until earthquake ceases. Avoid driving on bridges after a big aftershock, the bridge may have suffered damage and not passable to vehicles.

When the situation has simmered down, and all members of the household are accounted for, join a volunteer group to help out in first-aid, a soup kitchen, a clean-up drive, etc. It will take your mind off the tragedy and make you feel you are somehow in control and on top of the situation. It's also a good way to reach out and give to those less fortunate.

Starting today and everyday, be grateful for everything you have. Hug your kids/parents and tell them how much you love them.

UN to Metro Manila: Ready for Big One? -, Philippine News for Filipinos

UN to Metro Manila: Ready for Big One? -, Philippine News for Filipinos

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Rizal house is green but people see red -, Philippine News for Filipinos

Rizal house is green but people see red -, Philippine News for Filipinos

Shared via AddThis


The ancestral house of Dr. Jose Rizal in Calamba, Laguna has recently been, hold on to your seats, painted a 'light shade of green' by no less than the National Historical Institute (NHI). That's not all, they painted the interiors a kind of yellow and the ceilings blue. Even if these are in Martha Stewart's tasteful palette -- the reason this was done is outright stupid. Government has once again shown its disrespect for history and its disregard not only of tax payers money but more importantly the opinion of these tax payers. Don't they even hold consultations with the residents of Laguna? (read full article by clicking on the link above)

This is but another example of Government's lust for tacky infrastructure. Take the Cement Pine Tree at the top of Session Road which was 'planted' with more than a million pesos. To add insult, there's the engraved sign, also on cement, that reads "Plant Me and Protect Me". Now a cement pine tree with white, 60s plastic orbs for lights -- a giant energy-consuming tree that doesn't eat up carbon monoxide spewed by vehicles on Session Road?! I really don't get it. Also those street sign posts and flyover railings made of cement but rendered to simulate pine logs. Didn't know pine trees had as many nodes as bamboo. Wow! Green as a dodo's phlegm!

Or how about the lamp posts along historic Manila Bay. Ugly by day, uglier by night! You'd feel like you just walked into the 'Wheel Of Fortune' set! Don't be surprised if someone dressed like Vanna White prods you to buy a vowel! Only Kuya Germs and The Bellestar dancers would find those lamps pretty.

Now the Philippines doesn't lack for artists, urban planners, architects, etc. Heck, the Cultural Center of the Philippines is just a stone's throw away from Manila Baywalk. National Artist Bencab is a resident of Baguio. What was NHI's Ambeth Ocampo thinking of? Green, yellow and blue? Go, Look and Sob. Worse even, they put up a tarpaulin explaining the choices of color for the Rizal House. Tarpaulin again?! If you'd line up all the tarpaulins in the Philippines, it would be enough to cover, uhm, the entire Philippines! Think of all that plastic.

Speaking of tarps, government is looking at taking down the 'sexy' billboards along Edsa, because they're a source of traffic accidents. Those billboards were tastefully conceptualized, executed, and photographed by competent and creative people in the advertising industry. Not to mention they cover some eyesores. I'd rather ogle Marc Nelson's abs than walk along Baywalk. Manila drivers are crazy, with or without sexy billboards. (Unless them bus drivers are now gay?! Oh, but that's another blog post.)

Going back, I'm not even going to think of how they could have spent those funds on worthwhile endeavours.

Next time, go ahead and get your kickbacks from these projects, we all know you do, but please, leave us with something more aesthetic. Don't any of you pick up anything in your yearly junkets abroad? Unless y'all just visit Disneyland.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook while at Harvard and the whole world caught on. A recent Time article explained that FB's followers are mostly composed of those 30 years old and above and still growing especially with the older set. And all because FB is like being back in school, if you ask me.

Whether you actually enjoyed school or not, FB is like Grade School. We get to do Show-And-Tell via our photos/videos. We snicker a lot with our best friends. The upside, we don't have to wait for recess to eat and we can block 'mean' people on our FB Friends List.

FB like High School is fraught with insecurity. Do I look good in this outfit? No? Untag photo. I don't feel very pretty now, I'll use my childhood pic. Oh and how some of us stalk their crushes, or kiss ass to the 'right crowd' or try to be with the 'in' crowd and join the conversation. And that's why so many of us love taking those tests and quizzes. Coz you can't flunk FB!

It's also a lot like University, we get to choose which apps we'll upload like choosing course subjects. We also go on FB whenever we like, although some log on as if they've got to complete 15 units of FB. 8 hours of FB a day. Just like in College, we're developing our own style, making up our minds on issues, and getting silly drunk with best buddies. Show-and-Tell is now Post-A-Topic-And-Discuss! And we've actually included our former teachers in the fold. It's also a lot like University coz you'd rather hang out with friends than with family. Oh, and FB Mafia is the new Fraternity/Sorority. By the way, have you been invited to any party lately?

FB is like school. And Mark Zuckerberg is the guy who got along with everyone. FB is like school minus the rain drenched uniforms, the commute to school, the dreaded finals.

Mom, can I have my FB weekly allowance now?


Imelda was on the news recently asking the government to give back her jewelry confiscated by the Presidential Commission on Good Government because they're hers and : "I'm poor. I have no money."

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo plans to run for Congress in 2010 according to close allies. Proof that she is stepping down as President to allay fears that she plans to stay put in Malacanang.

Joseph Estrada, emboldened by recent surveys that place him at the top of Presidentiables, is considering running for President if the opposition doesn't field one candidate.

Okay... now these three Dodos are taking Juan dela Cruz for a ride once again. They actually think so lowly of Filipinos. Ginagawa na naman tayong tanga!

Imelda, who was born poor, definitely did not inherit those jewelry, neither were they gifts from visiting dignitaries, and George Hamilton most certainly couldn't afford them. Tax payers' money spirited out during her orgiastic shopping sprees is how those items were purchased. Living Blue Ladies who chaperoned Madam in those trips can attest to that.

With the pardoning of Erap, Palparan, Jalosjos, Teehankee, etc. Imelda probably feels entitled to 'her' jewelry, and if you think how this gov't has been dispensing favors of late, it really isn't a long shot.

GMA actually believes she can win? Is she going to pull another 'Hello Garci'? How out of touch can she get? Don't her closest advisers tell her when enough is enough? Or does she want to just bask in driving everyday on the SCTEX chanting "This is the road that Gloria built". Or fly via the Diosdado Macapagal Airport singing "Papa can you hear me?" Papa must be turning in his grave!

Erap... egad! What to do about Erap? If Erap truly loves the Philippines, he should just be Citizen Erap. His two years in Malacanang saw the depreciation of the Peso. Now if I were a foreign investor, would I invest in a country whose former president was thrown out via People Power due to corruption, then prosecuted and sentenced and served time for such crimes only to be pardoned by the other 'questionable' president and then now running again? Hell no! I'd rather invest in India where people speak impeccable English albeit with an accent and Jai Ho my way to the bank with profits! Or I'd rather invest in China, even if they suppress Human Rights and monitor Google, at least they're serious with industry and manufacturing and give their people much needed jobs. Erap is not good news for the economy.

A(H1N1)?! Con-Ass?! Doomsday might just come for Filipinos via any one of the above!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Was chatting online with a guy this afternoon, a slackavist in his late 20s, works in IT somewhere along Ortigas... the usual pleasantries...

He was 'aghast' (his own word) at how/why I've never watched a single episode of 'Desperate Housewives'. And I told him that I don't have a TV. A very long pause...

He comes back online and asks what I do instead of watching cable. And I told him I enjoy reading a lot and asked him what his favorite books were? Another long pause...

I ask him if he's ever read JD Salinger's 'Catcher In The Rye' and told him he should and that it's one of my favorite books of all time.

His reply: "I'll just wait for the movie version".


Monday, June 15, 2009


The frontrunners for the 2010 Philippine Presidential Elections are Sen. Mar Roxas and Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro. Whom to choose?

As Senator, Mar Roxas to his credit has not figured in any corruption scandal. Neither has he been entangled in any spurious activities. His tenure in the Senate though, is lackluster, if you ask me.

Gilbert Teodoro seems to be the brilliant, young, technocrat-lawyer this country needs oh so desperately. He could boost esteem of the Armed Forces and really, really, professionalize this sector. No more corrupt Generals spiriting tax payers' money out of the country please! And no more rub-outs, disappearances, torture, etc.

Their spouses would make good First Ladies. Should the Korina Sanchez-Mar Roxas Nuptials proceed, Korina can bring to Malacanang the same work ethic, integrity and warmth a la Michelle Obama. Rep. Nikki Teodoro can be the Philippines' Jackie O! Real class and nary a speck of deprivation. We're assured Nikki won't horde tacky artworks, jewelry or shoes.

Both Mar and Gilbert are UP Alumni. Time for these young UPians to undo, rectify, redeem UP's name in Malacanang (Marcos and GMA were UP alumni too). Whoever wins, Mar and Gilbert MUST work at rehabilitating the corrupt system that breeds in Philippine Politics and Government. Also to make harsh but needed reforms in our country if we intend to be in the fold of Global Economics, have a say in International Politics, and make a mark in the Arts & Culture Scene Worldwide!

I like both Mar and Gilbert for their idealism and sense of duty to this country. Time for the old hag to pass on the torch to this generation! In lieu of any other viable Presidentiables -- I'm looking to choose between these two Oligarchs. I hope they don't run this country like it was their Hacienda though. And we, their slaves. Will wait for their platforms. 

Hope whoever wins doesn't disappoint us. 

Otherwise, I'll just plant some trees on Election Day. Then, I'm out of these 7,000+ islands!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

TOTI & DAVID (The Blogcom 1)


Toti is a Filipino gay in his early 30s. David an American, also gay, in his late 40s. They have been cohabiting for the past 3 years in a typical apartment in Makati, Philippines. It is a Sunday afternoon, David is busy working at his laptop. Toti steps out onto the porch...

What is this rag out...?

Honey, you don't say 'rag out'... it's 'ragout'!

No, I'm talking 'bout this rag out here...

Oh you mean 'rug', not 'rag'... and appropriately, it's a door mat.

No... I'm talking 'bout this rag. Your friggin' old t-shirt you cut up this morning to wipe Pacquiao's puke! Before you even interrupt me, why don't you get your eyes off that laptop and see what I'm talking about! Must you always correct my pronunciation? I hate it when you do that, David!

Oh, Honey, don't get testy with me...

(Toti gets leashes for Imelda, the pet Weimaraner and Pacquiao, the mongrel who scares the shit out of all the neighborhood dogs.)

I'm walking the dogs, YOU cook dinner!

Oh, okay... how would you like your steak?

I'm not eating your bloody steak, I WANT TUYO! (under his breath) ...Leche

Toti dear, don't let me cook your tuyo?

It's TOH-Tea, not TOE-tee, and it's Two-YOH, not TOO-YOW... (to the dogs) halina kayo mga bata, dali, mamamasyal tayo ni mommy! (let's go kids, Mom's taking you out for a walk!)

How do you expect the dogs to be disciplined when you insist on talking to them in Tagalog! Dogs aren't bilingual...

(stepping outside) Akala nya hindi ko alam ang 'ragout' at paano bigkasin ito? Kaloka!
Ragout-ragout ka pa dyan, pochero lang yan no?! (And he thinks I don't know what 'ragout' is and how it's pronounced?! That's pochero!)


A new e-postsode of TOTI & DAVID will be posted every Sunday.

tuyo: salted, dried fish often eaten with raw tomatoes

pochero/puchero: A meat stew similar to Spain's cocido, but Indigenized by Filipinos via the addition of saba bananas and/or sweet potatoes.

guavas, cows and crocodiles: FRANKIE CALLAGHAN


I met Frankie at a friend's birthday party the day I started tweeting. I remember wanting to stay home that night and bask in Twitter's realm and remain absorbed with TheJoelStein and other tweeps but text messages on my mobile were beckoning me to head to the party.

Kawayan introduced me to Frankie and said he was from Baguio too. I vaguely remember his sister who went to Brent School, a stone's throw away from my grandparents' house where I grew up, but couldn't remember Frankie despite the common friends we both share. Frankie hands me his calling card and I put it in my pocket.

While scrounging for loose change this morning I chanced upon Frankie's calling card and decided to check out his website. You guys ought to do the same.

Frankie's photos of the metropolis are beguiling and definitely not in a National-Bookstore-Postcard kind of way. Neither are they off-putting like most photo-realist, uhm, photographs.

He says little in his website. His images say so much.
Click on the link above.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


My Canadian friend, Lew, who has lived here in Manila for the past four years has some interesting insights on us Pinoys.

"Martin, you Filipinos use your friendliness as an excuse for your inefficiency" Lew said one evening we were drinking beers in Malate. He then continued to relate how he had to endure red tape at one government office, spending the whole day in that same office. He claimed all the clerks/staff were smiling and being friendly with him, and chatting with him throughout his official business there. And I said, "That's because you're white, Lew". And he again said, "No, I think you're all just smiling to compensate for your inefficiency" apparently Lew had accomplished little despite spending the whole day there.

A few months later, Lew had changed his mind on the whole Pinoy-friendly issue. "Filipinos are not friendly, you're all rude!" Lew had a scheduled appointment that morning at 8 am, which his client had set (ditto the meeting place). As Canadian as Lew can get, he arrives at the designated meeting place 5 minutes earlier. After some 10 minutes pass and his client hadn't shown up, nor texted, nor called -- Lew decides to call her instead. She then gives this lame excuse that she forgot to set her alarm or something and Lew screams on the phone "You get your ass over here! Now! I made it! You should!" The client appears within 30 min.

Lew has other examples of how rude we Filipinos are: we all know about Manila drivers, don't we? But he also cites everyday instances like how people don't give way to those exiting the MRT before they board, or how people stop at the foot of escalators knowing full well that there's a bunch of others following them, or how people don't move to the side in malls when they meet friends and decide there and then to chat causing a traffic jam, or how people don't cue properly in supermarkets. And the list goes on...

Courtesy apparently escapes the majority of us. These are not the less fortunate Pinoys Lew is talking about. These are educated, mall-going, middle-class Pinoys.

I tend to agree with Lew. I felt the same thing when I first moved down to Manila. My fellow Baguio-mates will agree that in this big city, people are a bit ill-mannered. I'm not even going to tell you about Lew's take on Pinoy's lack of respect for personal space.

But then again, Lew has only been exposed to Metro Manila -- I keep telling him to go out of the city. Go up North where people are genuinely friendly and there's free marijuana. Or go down south where people are genuinely friendly and genuinely tanned.

One more thing, Lew sez Filipinos use the word 'actually' way too much. You know what, I actually believe him.


This is the title of an essay I wrote a few years back as part of the yet-to-be-published collection of essays "This Is Not A Cookbook". I submitted this essay to the yet-to-be-published anthology on "Martial Law Babies" ergo I have chosen not to post it here until the book comes out sometime this year.

I thought the title would catch all your attention though.

I hope to blog daily, expounding on my daily tweets, but be assured reader, I am not going to inundate you with what I am having for breakfast, why I'm skipping lunch, who I'm having dinner with, where I am going to drink, when I am going to quit smoking, etc.

Methinks I'll leave the Y-Gen'ers to that kind of stuff.

I may be a bit passionate about issues I care for (the environment, my hometown Baguio City, the incorrigible asswipes running my country, etc) and I hope to engage everyone in some fun discussion.

So, tell me, what should we talk about now?