Saturday, May 31, 2008

NBA Retro Finals Manila Broadcast Schedule: LAKERS vs. CELTICS!!!

We've been dreaming of this for 21 long years...


Manila Schedule on BTV and C/S:
all games LIVE at 9:00am,
replays at 9:30pm

Friday, June 6 : L.A. Lakers at Boston Celtics
Monday, June 9 : L.A. Lakers at Boston Celtics
Wednesday, June 11 : Boston Celtics at L.A. Lakers
Friday, June 13 : Boston Celtics at L.A. Lakers
#Monday, June 16 : Boston Celtics at L.A. Lakers

#Wednesday, June 18 : L.A. Lakers at Boston Celtics
#Friday, June 20 : L.A. Lakers at Boston Celtics

# if necessary

>>> my fearless forecast : LAKERS in SIX!!!!

p.s. SkyCable ka ng Ina Mo!!!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Don't Stop Believing : ARNEL PINEDA and his JOURNEY

Earlier today,
a grizzled veteran of the Rock & Roll clubs

(CalJam!!! Strawberry Fields!!!)
along Magsaysay Avenue in Olongapo City
back when Subic was still a U.S. Base,

made his American Television debut
as the lead singer of JOURNEY
in the ELLEN show.

So how did Ellen's crowd react?
They went absolutely NUTS for our Kabayan!!!

tore through the classic rocker "Separate Ways",
and shone in a new "Faithfully"-style ballad,
"After All These Years".

And everyone had the same amazed reaction:
"If I close my eyes,
I could swear that it was Steve Perry's
soaring vocal that I was hearing!!!"

But don't take my word for it,
watch it here at

Why Not Coconut's E News!!!

I first saw this boy from 'gapo sing live
back at the very first San Miguel UltraStorm
over twenty years ago,

and even then, despite being "only" the front act
for more established bands like The Dawn and Rage,

Arnel Pineda and the Amo Band
stole the show with his "Bohemian Rhapsody",
and yes, even then, on that stormy night in 1987,
he already showcased his inner Steve Perry
when he blasted through "Open Arms" at the ULTRA.

Two decades and millions of YouTube hits later,
he's taken the place of Mr. Perry as lead vocalist
for this new JOURNEY album that will be released on June 3:

So how did our talented Mr. Pineda
make his ultimate JOURNEY
from Zambales to Los Angeles?

We all know about the YouTube story,
but there's another cool tale to be told:

the e-mail below is supposedly from a Consul
at the American Embassy on Roxas Boulevard,

and it details how Arnel met his first American fan
on the way to getting his U.S. Visa.

It sounds plausible enough,
(NIV = Non-Immigrant Visa)
and if this is indeed a true story,
it can only add to the Legend of Arnel Pineda.

Please take the time to read it, it's truly the
ROCK & ROLL DREAMS COME TRUE feel good e-mail of the year

Subject: Funny story.....

..and apparently true..

From an A-100 colleague..

I have a nice holiday story to share:
(Apologies to Snider who's now heard this 14 times,
but hey, your stories aren't getting any newer.)

Months ago a band shows up at my window.
It was Lemons and Oranges, or something fruity.
Asked why they would play a concert in Seattle.
They claimed some following there. I asked about their music;
looked at their posters, CDs, etc.

At the end of the interview, they were saying,
"come out and see our show tonight."
This invite was probably due to my withering questioning,
and since they thought they were hot stuff, pride was wounded,
etc. etc.

It turned out that the venue is actually on the way home
from the Embassy, only ten minutes away. So I says,
"I can't take any free tickets yada yada yada but maybe I'll pop in."

It was a Friday. I went with two LES.
We got a table, ordered some beer, fried chicken and so on.
The opening band comes on. They were called "Zoo"--
this I'm sure of, since I'm from Kalamazoo, the name stuck.

The Zoo starts rocking out to 70/80s tunes,
like Foreigner, Night Ranger, etc.

But the coup de grace was indisputably when they busted out Journey.

I mean, the singer was not just good--
95% of all Filipinos are good singers--
he was really dern good. I couldn't shut up about it.

I was telling anyone who would listen,
"Dude, not only does this guy have pipes, and range,
he's got perfect pitch. He has only missed a few notes
on some of the hardest power ballads in schlock n roll history."

The LES grudgingly agreed, but they've been desensitized
to the regular displays of amazing karaoke you get in Manila,
so maybe they were just humoring me.

Since I'm from Michigan,
I had an older brother who sported a mullet and wore softball t-shirts.
His first 8-track was Styx.
Ted Nugent is referred to simply as the Nuge, or Uncle Ted.
The Silver Bullet invokes Bob Seger not Coors.

In short, I'm qualified to judge this kind of thing.
The performance was poignant for me...
Images of Camaros and pegged jeans danced in my head...
definitely surreal.

Then.. then!... Lemons and Oranges comes on and, frankly,
they were a bit of a let down.
I mean, their music was Edie Brickel / Natalie Merchantesque.
And that's fine --it has its place--
but let's be clear: it is a metaphysical transgression
to go from Journey's "Separate Ways" into Lisa Loeb's "Stay..."

The next week I'm sitting at an NIV window
next to a soon-to-be legend of an officer name Singer.
Singer and I were doing FMJs
and so we would trade off regular NIV applicants
occassionally so that we got fair share of student visas.

Singer loves the three things: the FAM,
movie quotes that might cost him an EEO violation someday,
and cases that make sense.
Things that don't make sense, make Singer an unhappy man.

I hear Singer say,
"Journey? The band Journey?"
He flips through papers. He sounds unhappy.

I butt in: "What's that all about?"

He turns off his mic and looks over at me.
"I don't know. This guys says he's going to try out for Journey."

I'm puzzled. "Journey? The band JOURNEY?"

Singer goes, "That's what I just said, [EXPLETIVE]!"

"Great, another nutjob. I'll take it."
Singer takes my student, I take the nutjob.

I look over his stuff and say "purpose of travel?" and all that.
I start to scrutinize more carefully and realize
its the guy I saw from the night before.

"Hey, does your band play at Bagaberde?.. ."

He confirms and he goes on to tell me the story of how
he uploaded some clips of his band that he recorded to YouTube
and contacted Journey's manager,
having heard they were looking for a new singer.

He says they called him up and invited him to the U.S. to try out.
Given the malarkey you get at a Manila NIV window,
this story only got points for being original.
He produced some flimsy emails and letters, etc.

So I go, in my best dubious voice,
"Yeah? let's hear Wheels in the Sky!"

He belts it out for the whole waiting room and for the staff to hear
(I made sure to take off my headset and let the speaker play it
because what I was really doing was covering my butt).

I said,
"Look sir, there isn't a person in this Embassy
who would believe that story--
going to try out for Journey!--
not a soul would believe that.

Except for me.

I saw you sing last Friday
and I couldn't shut up about how your vocals were perfect Steve Perry.

So I tell you what.
I'm giving you that visa.
You're going to try out.
And you're going to make it...."

And the rest is rock n roll history, my friends:

Happy holidays!

HOOTERS PLAYHOUSE Manila Girl of the Week...

I've decided to make this a regular feature,
not only to honor the Beauty of the Pinay,

but to make sure that all the folks who Google
"Hooters" and "Playhouse" and end up here

don't get disappointed with all the severe diatribes
and goofy fanboy posts that's the norm in Manila Boy.

Gentlemen, meet JEF GAITAN:

Holy Cow, BATMAN!!!

only 7 weeks to go...

After the disappointing Indiana Jones and the Crystal Crap,
and the low expectations for the new Hulk movie,

is my best hope as this summer's best movie,
right up there with Iron Man!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008



If I get one more text from one of my 'friends' saying
"Gutom na ME", I'll reply with a text stating that
our fu-budding friendship is terminated imMEdiately.


If I hear one more sportscaster saying an unnecessary
"OF COURSE" when he just wants to say "Syempre...",
I'll sic the ghost of the great Joe Cantada on him.


If I see one more dumbass Kapamilya or Kapuso sputtering a
"BASICALLY" when these airheads actually mean "Eh, kasi...",
I swear I'll smack them on the head with a Webster's Unabridged.


If I read ÜBER used one more time in a blog post,
I'll smote it with some good Old Testament wrath;
it's basically überused, of course. Pagod na Me!

That's how I usually start off my corporate POWER ENGLISH modules
and IELTS review classes for U.S.-bound nurses
and migrants to Canada,

where together with my excellent co-teachers,

Agatha, Sam, Red, Jam, Tony, and Teddy,

we try to restore the Pinoy's English Proficiency Skills,

It's Tough Love,
but it certainly works, baby!!!


I suggest you substitute "absolutely" for "über",
"actually" or "essentially" for "basically",
"certainly" for "of course",


"hoy, gago! gutom na 'ko" for "gutom na me"!!!

Ticket Prices : RICK ASTLEY at the Araneta > August 1, 2008

If he doesn't sing
I'll scream bloody murder!!!

But I'm not really worried because...

P 5,250 VIP

P 4,200 Patron

P 3,150 Lower Box

P 2,100 Upper Box A

P 1,050 Upper Box B

P 525 General Admission

TicketNet : 911-5555

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Excellent COFFEE is finally available at the Centennial Terminal

very strong coffee
served piping hot
with just the perfect
amount of condensed milk
swirling through and settling down
to a perfect balance of sweet creaminess...

For years,
the only place to get real coffee here
was at the corner store that doubled up
as the PAL terminal's smoking area;

that was a boon for smokers,
because nothing beats a cigarette
enjoyed with a steaming hot cuppa java...

but the overpriced coffee at that lounge
is really quite mediocre, and besides,

what about the unlucky non-smokers who'd
have to endure smelling like a wet ashtray
just because they had to get a cup of joe?

Nescafé did open a short-lived coffee shop here
that featured high-end international blends,

but I guess most people couldn't accept the
world's best know budget brand suddenly
selling coffee at Starbucks prices.

And now, YA KUN solves this brewing problem.

Ask anyone from Singapore,
and most likely, they will passionately declare their allegiance
to either Ya Kun or Toast Box as the best Kape/Kaya joint.

I haven't seen any other Ya Kun Coffeestalls in Manila,
but now, for only P65.00, travellers can enjoy

one of the Best cups of Coffee
in All of MetroManila (not just in the airport, mind you),

and they can do so in a very pleasant smoke-free environment,
where the dominant scent is not that of second-hand smoke,

but rather, the wonderful aroma of steaming coffee and
of freshly toasted slices of bread slathered generously
with dollops of sweet Kaya and slowly-melting butter...


Monday, May 26, 2008

"The PERFECT BOOK to read when there's Nothing on TV"

This is why you shouldn't hesitate
to skulk around and browse in the
discount bookstores such as
BookSale and Books For Less:

While NBS, Powerbooks, and Fully Booked
are excellent establishments all,

the fact remains that they employ book "buyers"
who have to keep in mind what the Pinoy Reader
might be interestested in buying.

Hence, with a few notable exceptions,
you'll likely find the exact same selection
(of prohibitively priced publications)
on the shelves of these major booksellers...

Which is certainly the opposite of the wild, untamed variety
available in the bargain chains, all of which seem to use
a shotgun approach in getting used/unsold books in bulk
from the United States, the U.K., and Australia.

And while a lot of chaff must be separated from the grain,
the intrepid reader is almost guaranteed to find gems like

this absurdly interesting book that I found in the
Books For Less
at the undiscovered hidden treasure trove that is
WalterMart Makati,
the best "small mall" in MetroManila.

details the trials and tribulations
the blood, sweat, and tears,
the low comedy and the high drama
behind the creation, launch, and worldwide domination
of the most famous TV shows of the past decade:

It's certainly a keeper,
chock full of extremely detailed minutiae of

the producers' behind-the-scenes machinations,
the quirks of the directors,
the abuse of the writers,
the egos of the actors, and
the genius and the greed of the networks

that somehow combine in grand ways
and allow TV addicts to get their weekly fix.

And all this entertainment about entertainment,
in an almost new (published 2006!) hardcover (!)
that cost the grand old sum of P199.00 (!!!).

It's the book that you'll want to read
even when there's Something on TV!!!

Guaranteed to make you CHOKE on your Popcorn!!!

The Antidote to CGIndiana Jones!!!

Remember these DiBiDis from back when they each cost P80+++
five or so years ago?

They still play perfectly to this day,
exactly as they did when they first warmed the cockles of my DVD player
back in 2003!!!

Good thing,
because I just had to watch all of these stunt-laden,
authentic, bombastic but plausible, unpretentious joyrides,
infused with smart dialouge and warm emotions from the actors,
enhanced by tactile matte paintings and convincing miniatures,

after the bad taste left behind by the disappointing
CGI-intensive, pixel-fetish Crystal Skull mess of a movie
that left me quite disappointed and unaffected,

a film that seemed to have been created by Lucas and Spielberg
when they were both on high on

Crystal Meth!!!

GOYA Goes Global!!

These are pretty damn goooooood!!!
World Class Quality
from homegrown tsokolate.

Proudly Made in the Philippines
by Goya Chocolates,
under license from a Swiss Chocolatier.

And with this globalization of Goya,
I predict that this will not be far behind:


Friday, May 23, 2008

THE CRYSTAL SKULL : How George Lucas and Steven Spielberg turned Homer Simpson's Head X-Ray into INDIANA JONES IV

By all means, watch this movie...
but dial down your expectations to PHANTOM MENACE levels,

so that you don't feel too bad about how George Lucas
again somehow managed to partly ruin another
of your precious childhood movie memories!!!

(you'll understand exactly what I mean
once you finish watching the movie,
and consider how this one compares,
literally and figuratively,
with the three that came before it)

Well, first the GOOD:

1. the theme music still made me giddy with anticipation

2. there are a LOT of cool homages to Raiders of the Lost Ark
(the secret government warehouse!!!
indy's classroom!!!
the red lines moving across an old-fashioned map!!!)

3. Sean Connery appears somewhere in the movie

4. the Paramount Pictures logo once again
dissolves into a scene to start the movie

5. the retro look of the cinematography
in the first 30 minutes is gorgeous;
Indy 4 looks exactly like a motion picture shot in
Eastman Color sometime in the '50s!!!

6. Harrison Ford is still packs the best punch in the movies.

7. Banana Republic will sell a lot of clothes again.....

Then, the BAD:

1. Seriously now,
I can't see the Spielberg touch in this movie,
this is all wooden-dialogue clunky-action Lucas.

It took them almost two decades to come up with this?

2. And what a waste
of the extraterrestial possibilities of Area 51!!

What happened to the mind-blowing Sci-Fi mystique
in movies like E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind,
and the original StarWars trilogy?!??!!

Instead, George and Steven deliver
a very murky, disjointed, exposition-heavy story
that makes the X-Files mythology seem simple by comparison.

But X-Files intrigued;
this "new mystery" is intriguingly unsatisfying.

I can't fathom how Lucas and Spielberg thought
that something that looks exactly like Homer's x-ray
could be the critical "lost treasure" focal point
that would make for an exciting movie.

3. Indy's trademark hat still looks great,
but that's about the only thing from the previous three films
that's retained its shape.

4. The wisecracks which used to be whipsmart?
Now, just limp, forced, over-scripted retorts.
*and not enough cracking of the whip*

5. Shia LeBouf is a far, far cry from River Phoenix.

6. The breathtaking, organic Action Sequences
which used to be the standard by which all movies were measured?

It's all CGI now, baby!!!!
No more great stunts, just a lot of obvious moving pixels.

The previous movies' action scenes
served to drive the plot forward;
(the mine sequence in Temple of Doom!!!)

but while those were edge-of-your-seat fun,
some of the scenes in the new film
are just squirm-in-your-seat ridiculous!

One chase scene is lifted straight off
The Return of the Jedi;
but this time, the green screen seams are way too obvious.
And instead of cute Ewoks, we have cute monkeys....

7. and when a key player starts emulating Johnny Weismuller
(Google him if you're not familiar with his name),
at that point, Indy 4 jumps the shark.

and finally, THE UGLY:

Karen Allen is as misused here as Helen Mirren
was in National Treasure II: Book of Secrets;
all unconvincing, suddenly goo-goo eyes at her long-lost lover,
Harrison Ford, who does his best Jon Voight....

and those are not the only similarities between
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
and that horrid, predictable, formulaic, Nicholas Cage movie.


that was a bit of a spoiler!!!

I better STOP right here.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

COOK Is It!!!


True Confession Time...
I've seen every single American Idol episode since 2004,
Season 3, when the two Pinays, Camille Velasco & Jasmine Trias
reached the Top 10 in the fantastic Fantasia season.

And I never realized how emotionally invested I was
in this favorite cheesy show of mine until David Cook
was crowned as this year's American Idol.

Like millions of true Cookies,
I almost.. okay, dahell with it...
I did tear up just like the winner,
and immediately started whooping with joy after.



This was the REAL Winning Moment;

"Hello", "Eleanor Rigby", and "Billie Jean"
got most of us thinking that David Archuleta could have
a real challenger for the A.I. title;

but after "Always Be My Baby" during Mariah Carey week,
all of us realized that DC really could be the American Idol!


Turns out, this accidental audition
of a low-key bartender/crossword puzzle addict
who just accompanied his brother that day for moral support,
launched the career of the 1st Rocker to win it all!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

DAVID COOK is the 2008 American Idol

Snooze Puppy did his predictable muzak stylings,

I now consider him the Regine Velasquez of American Idol:
a robotic performer programmed to over-emote every line
with unnecessary flourishes just to show "range",
and to disguise the real problem:
an absence of real artistic creativity and identity.

David Cook is the counterpart of Lea Salonga.

Pure talent doesn't need to embellished
with overwrought histrionics;
it shines through even in the quieter songs.

Let's be clear -

DialIdol is definitively predicting that
David Cook will win American Idol.

No ifs, ands or buts about it.
No crazy margin of error claims or anything.

COOK : 40.93%
ARCHULETA : 29.37%

The DialIdol scores are significantly different enough
to wash all that out the window.

DialIdol uses your phone & phone modem
to automatically speed dial votes for your favorite contestants

DialIdol records the result of every call,
a vote or a busy signal,
then submits this data anonymously to receives results from people
all over the United States and uses
the busy/vote ratio to produce a prediction.

DialIdol was 91% accurate for season 6 of American Idol.

DialIdol has accurately predicted the winner
of every American Idol season it has covered.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The $$$ 2.3 BILLION $$$ Tour, or How I Got To Be HOMER SIMPSON for a day...

I'm Homer, the world's greatest nuclear engineer.
I'll be your tour guide for the day!"

"At P42:$1, this never-used power plant costs
P96,600,000,000, or simply put, 96 Billion Pesos!!!"

"The vastness and the emptiness...
Bart and I like flying kites here!"

"I love the smell of URANIUM in the morning."

"Welcome to my Control Room! So many pretty lights and buttons!"

"My cutting edge, hi-tech Hot Lines!"

"My boss, Mr. Burns..."

"Turning the giant gears of this giant
Westinghouse cooling unit,
or basically, a big-ass refrigerator."

"The heart of this baby,
the Nuclear Reactor!"

"We'll go down below,
just like Schwarzenneger did in Terminator 2."

"I like drying my hair here...
so warm and cozy!"

It's that-a-way..."

"What do you mean "CHINA SYNDROME"??!?!?!"

what's this button for?"

"D'OH!!! She's gonna blow!!!"

"Whew! That was close!
Taking a dip in the Westnuk Beach
to wash off those radioactive thingies."

"Time for a DUFF BEER!!!"

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