Thursday, April 26, 2007

"Lose the accent, Mary Poppins! This is AMERICAN IDOL!"

Positively the funniest TV moment of the year...

In an absolutely stunning role reversal,
SIMON COWELL auditions by singing a horrendous version of
"Doncha (wish your boyfriend was hot like me)"...

as Marge, Lisa, and HOMER do spot-on judging performances
as Randy, Paula, and Simon himself, respectively.

you can laugh your head off by clicking here!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


36 degrees and rising...

time to take a break from Manila's stifling heat,

time to escape the ever escalating stupidity of the
political campaign jingles blaring on loudspeakers
that wake me up every morning,

time to stop thinking about ways to get
Sec. Raul Gonzales to go on a hike
and hopefully get himself lost,

time to escape all the gridlocks caused by the
oh-so-conveniently timed road repairs
simultaneously and haphazardly being done all over the city,

time to pause and read a good book in bed
without the need of turning on the airconditioner,

time to spend a leisurely brunch noshing on strawberries
and sipping salabat
at that cafe' by the ruins,

time to see what's up in cool, cozy, comfy Baguio,

time to CHILL.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Man Who Could Save PAMPANGA

Meet Father ED.

He's an Independent Candidate for Governor of Pampanga.

Against decidedly evil choices:
the wife of the country's top Jueteng Lord,
and the son of the King of Illegal Quarrying,

it's poetic,
if decidedly Quixotic,

that a Man of the Cloth
has coalesced the forces of good
in the hopes of saving Pampanga from its so-called Leaders,

including the President of the Philippines herself.

How could she blatantly allow,
and even encourage,
such morally unqualified candidates
to run for the top post in her home province?

It's symptomatic of her supreme arrogance
and utter callousness, really.

This is the same President who didn't even reprimand
the Secretary of inJustice, when, with infinte insensitivity,
he declared that
Julia Campbell,
the U.S. Peace Corps volunteer bludgeoned to death in Banaue,
was to blame for her own demise...
because she should have known better than to go hiking by herself.

This is the same President who's NOT lifting a finger
to prevent the congressional campaign of her phonepal "GARCI".
Letting her "fingers do the walking" indeed.

This is the same President who's ruining the career of a hapless Manny Pacquiao;
forcing the "People's Champion" to run as Congressman,
if only to forcibly evict the Opposition's Muse,
Darlene Antonino Custodio, from the Lower House.

This is the same President who's bent on inflicting Lito Lapid,
the former Pampanga Governor (now seemingly lobotomized Senator),
on the people of Makati;
the sole reason for his Mayoralty campaign? If he wins,
the Opposition loses its last remaining Rally Point in MetroManila.

Petty, petty, petty.

And now, this.

In a microcosm of what should be systemic in our nation,

a good man with hardly any resources,

in this case,
an "Among",
as Priests are called in Pampanga,

has had to run against tremendous odds,

just to give hope,
and perhaps, bring back a semblance of honor,
to his home province,
stripped of all dignity by the powers-that-be.

Can he really succeed?
Does "Among Ed" really have a fighting chance?

In circumstances not too far removed
from the current drama in Pampanga,

two brave women once dared to challenge,
and win,
against seemingly insurmountable, immovable, entrenched rulers.

Cory Aquino dismantled the Marcos dictatorship in 1986;

and just three years ago,
Grace Padaca ended the Dy's hegemony in Isabela.


please visit:

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Be Cool in BICOL!

It was so good to see ALBAY again.

After the double whammy of MILENYO and REMING
in the last quarter of 2006,

which hit Albay in much the same way that
PINATUBO and its Lahar
devastated my home province of Pampanga in 1991,

I'm happy to report that the hardy folks
in this part of the country are well on their
way to getting back on their feet again.

I flew to Legaspi immediately after Holy Week
to attend the much anticipated wedding of two shiny happy people:
Dr. Glenn Isip and his lovely wife, Jennifer!

(Glenn the Groom,
is obviously way too shiny for his own good.)

And since it had been a year since my last trip to Bicolandia,
I wasted no time in visiting old haunts
and discovering new pleasures in Tabaco and Legaspi:


the legendary Baby Back Ribs of Boracay
are available in Bicol...
at a much lower price (!!!)
along with its perfect partner:
OETTINGER Wheat Beer from Germany.

As is our wont,
my Best Friend Dr. HonHon of Binakayan,

and our Hosts,

Dr. Elmo of Polangui
and the Benig siblings of Tabaco,

terminated a couple of six-packs worth of the sweetish beer,
and in the process,

drowned massive amounts of ribs and sausages
from the wonderfully-stocked deli case of the restaurant.

the 1st Red Wine from the Bicol Region

... no Red Hot Chili Peppers
were harmed in the wine making process.

these colorful abaca home accents
are one of the most popular pasalubongs
from Bicol these days,
second only to Pili Nut Candy.

she's the Isip Family's longtime yaya and cook;
her version of the province's most famous dish
is simply the best I've ever had---

best eaten with steaming hot white rice,
you can't Beat this Heat!!!

also known as Laing in the rest of the country,
Camalig, Albay has the best in the country;

and the best Pinangat comes from LET's restaurant!

nope, it's not something you smoke,
but it's just as lethal:

Tabacs are the large bolo-like knives
forged for centuries by the blademasters
of Tabaco, Albay.

despite sharp gouges caused by its most recent "silent eruption"
that now mar its perfect cone from some angles,

as seen from the Legaspi Airport,
still more than qualifies as one of the
Eight Wonders of the World:

...I'll be back soon, Beautiful!!!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Mother Earth's BACON

Sunday, April 08, 2007

A Bloody Traditional MAUNDY Thursday

The most common sight you'll see in
San Fernando, Pampanga
every Holy Week:

hundreds and hundreds of flagellants,
each atoning for the sins of the past year,
or supplicating for blessings for the year ahead.

A few extremists
have themselves crucified at Barrio Cutud.

My cousins and I are quite used to these sights;

during our pre-cable TV, pre-internet, and pre-DVD childhood days,
there really was nothing much to do during Holy Week
in San Fernando except enjoy the Bloody Show...

and of course,
pray all Three Mysteries of the Holy Rosary
in the darkened San Agustin Parish,

as our Lola Sally,
in her unique Ilocano-Capampangan accent,

led her clan in speed-reciting

After the Marian Marathon,
we all looked forward to the Bloody Good Maundy Thursday dinner:

overcompensating for Good Friday's NO MEAT menu
by overloading on the CALLOS,

and we would all fight over the Marca del Rey CHORIZO de BILBAO,
so much so that the family cooks eventually
made it the majority meat condiment in the recipe!

It's good to know that some things never change...

except for the now mandatory desserts
from our family's very own Rachael Ray,

This year,
our "MP" outdid herself by baking a Bloody Great

and she managed to obtain a Bloody Spectacular Cheesecake


in San Fernando, Pampanga.

At dusk,
the image of The PIETA
leads off the yearly procession
that winds through the downtown streets,
then moves along MacArthur's highway,
before finally ending at the San Fernando Basilica.

It's a solemn,

if somewhat eerie sight...

Saint after Saint,
dressed in funereal black.

...and towards the tailend of the procession,
our family's "carroza",
St. Peter at the Pearly Gates.

This icon was left in our care by our uncle,
the iconic designer formerly known as GANG GOMEZ,
who shocked the Philippine Fashion World
when he finally heeded his true vocation,

and became DOM MARTIN,
a monk of the Benedictine Monastery of the Transfiguration
in faraway Malaybalay, Bukidnon.

This year,
we offered our prayers and intentions
for another family member in an even more remote location:

our cousin,
Sgt. Ramon "MonMon" Hizon of the U.S. Army,
assigned for a year somewhere in IRAQ.

This one's for you, cuz!!!

Sunday, April 01, 2007


During Holy Mass this PALM SUNDAY,
I was reminded of this scene from

perhaps the Most Joyful Scene
in any movie about JESUS,


Hey Sanna Sanna Sanna Hosanna
Hey Sanna Hosanna
Hey JC, JC won't you smile at me?
Sanna Hosanna
Hey Superstar


Tell the rabble to be quiet, we anticipate a riot.
This common crowd, is much too loud.
Tell the mob who sing your song that they are fools and they are wrong.
They are a curse. They should disperse.


Hey Sanna Sanna Sanna Hosanna
Hey Sanna Hosanna
Hey JC, JC you're alright by me
Sanna Hosanna
Hey Superstar


Why waste your breath moaning at the crowd?
Nothing can be done to stop the shouting.
If every tongue were stilled
The noise would still continue.
The rocks and stone themselves would start to sing:


Hey Sanna Sanna Sanna Hosanna
Hey Sanna Hosanna

CROWD (alone)

Hey JC, JC won't you fight for me?
Sanna Hosanna Hey Superstar


Sing me your songs,
But not for me alone.
Sing out for yourselves,
For you are bless-ed.
There is not one of you
Who can not win the kingdom.
The slow, the suffering,
The quick, the dead.


Hey Sanna Sanna Sanna Hosanna
Hey Sanna Hosanna

CROWD (alone)

Hey JC, JC won't you die for me?
Sanna Hosanna Hey Superstar

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We're #1!!!

"Our name is our message.

It embodies our core idea and ideals~~
people first,
their interest and welfare above all."

No wonder MALACANANG is trying its darndest
to throw all this Party List's leaders into jail.

BAYAN MUNA's core mission statement
is just the reverse of that of the Party-in-Power's.

and Bayan Muna is the #1 Party List group
in the latest Social Weather Station survey.
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