Friday, February 20, 2009

Malacañang Blinks: EDSA Day is a HOLIDAY.... BUT.

Dear occupants of the Palace by the Pasig,

We wore these T-shirts in 1986 for a reason;
and that reason was not just for any vapid excuse
to get an extra three-day long weekend.

When we wore these yellow symbols
of our fight against a dictatorship,

we knew that we could be picked up
at any time by the minions of martial law;

we understood that by donning these shirts,
it became our uniform in our war against
the deceptions and abuses of that era.

And when People Power miraculously triumphed
without bloodshed on February 25, 1986,
we celebrated the new dawn in our nation's history.

We were patriotic witnesses,
and we were proudly part of our country's
Second Independence Day.

And now, to have our EDSA seemingly reduced
to an arbitrary holiday dependent entirely
on the whims and caprices of minor flunkies

more concerned about too many long weekends
than the real meaning of that February day,

the same petty people who cannot make up their minds
and immediately backpedal and issue sanctimonious
declarations to the contrary,

brings back memories of the doublespeak and hubris
that characterized the rabid barking dogs of Marcos.

Ironically, EDSA II brought back
everything that we fought against
back in those halcyon days of EDSA I.

All the more reason to remember,
honor, and celebrate,
our one and only EDSA Day next week.

Holiday or no holiday.

Tuesday, Feb. 17:

"Feb. 25 was not included in the list of holidays
under Proclamation 1699 issued by President Arroyo
setting the holidays for 2009.

This was not included in the calendar of holidays,
I think there are many long weekends and long holidays,
that’s why Feb. 25 was not considered”

Thursday, February 19:

"President Arroyo on Thursday declared February 23
as a special holiday for all private and public schools
to commemorate the 23rd anniversary
of the 1986 People Power Revolution in EDSA.

The historic event which restored and ushered
political, social and economic reforms in the country,
serves as an inspiration to Filipinos everywhere
as we continue to chart our collective effort
as a nation and as a people."

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Do you have a list of your

The Constant Reader that I am,
of course, I have one.

Among my favorites are:
Total Eclipse by Elizabeth Rigbey,
The Lost Horizon by James Hilton,
The Stand by Stephen King,
The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer,

and perhaps my #1 novel ever,

The Summer of Katya by Trevanian.

Those would have to be my Top 5;
I've read each of those at least thrice!

However, a couple of books in #s 6-10
are now in grave danger of being
knocked out of the charts,

thanks to these two instant classics:

"Accidents ambush the unsuspecting,
often violently, just like love."

When a books's first sentence is that good,
I'm hooked, I surrender, I give in.

It's about a man, horribly burned in a car accident,
who meets a woman who sculpts gargoyles for a living.
He's a human barbecue, and she seems to be bonkers.
It's a new millenium version of The English Patient,

except for the fact that...

apparently, the two have been lovers for 700 years.

Find out more about The Gargoyle on,
and rush to get one of the few remaining copies
at your favorite Fully Booked branch.

Abre Los Ojos!

My other new "Top 10 Books Ever" bet,
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
is as different from The Gargoyle

as an Illuminated Manuscript is from
an Amazon Kindle e-book reading device,

yet, oddly enough,
they are quite similar as well:

both books have unique and unforgettable
female protagonists who are both great at translating codes,
and both of them have wonderful names---
Marianne Engel in "Gargoyle", and
Lisbeth Salander in "Dragon";

both books feature damned and damaged men
who find themselves inexplicably, inevitably drawn
to the women mentioned above;


both books contain parallel storylines
occuring in the present and in the past.

Find Both Books.
Buy Both Books.
Love Both Books.

Open Your Eyes!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Please Be Careful With My...

Sorry, couldn't resist.

A better song would have been
"Fragile" by Sting,
instead of the corny Jose Mari Chan karaoke classic,
but that would have been too obvious, right?

The picture above?
That's what happens to bored people
when there's too long a queue
at the airline check-in counter in Davao.

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Welcome to the DURIAN REPUBLIC!!!

After an 8-hour land trip
over steep mountain passes in Bukidnon,

torrential rains and pea-soup fog, and
a narcoleptic driver who almost drove us off a cliff,

the STI National Youth Convention Team
safely made it to our Final Stop,

the Largest City in the World:


(total land area of 244,000 hectares,
Davao is 7.8 times the size of Cebu and
three times that of the entire Metro Manila)

The High Point of the Road Trip?

Literally, High Up in the Mountains of Bukidnon,
in the vast Pineapple Fields of Gold of Del Monte Farms
(I think the plantation is larger than Singapore!!!),

our team stopped over for steaks from cattle
raised on... what else, pineapples!!!

We had the best Pineapple Shakes ever...
from the soil direct to the blender!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Honorable Gentleman from the CITY of GOLDEN FRIENDSHIP

Unbeknownst to me,
I was elected to the House of Representatives
to serve as the voice of the people of CdO.

Now I can formally conduct congressional inquiries
on why Vandep's Pastel is sooo darn good...
it's the Krispy Kreme of Mindanao!!!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

KOBE or LEBRON : Who's Better???

4:30am Monday,
Manila Time:

Lakers vs. Cavaliers

If their teams don't end up in the NBA Finals,
this will be the last time this season baskeball fans
will see a head-to-head match-up between the players
who are this era's Best Ballers, Bar None.

Though neither will admit it,
both feel the pressure,
as both sorely want to be recognized as
The Greatest Basketball Player on the Planet.

The New York Knicks felt this rivalry most when,
over the past ten days,

Kobe lit up Madison Square Garden with 61 points,
the highest-ever opponent's score ever in the building,
beating Michael Jordan's 55 in 1996;

and just a couple of nights later,
Lebron recorded a Triple Double highlighted by 52 points,
the first player to achieve that since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in '75.

Unfortunately for LJ, the league reviewed the tapes,
took away one of his rebounds, and his record along with it.

You can bet that despite their most vehement denials,
all of these recent developments
will be topmost in both players' minds
when they clash once again....

but the freakin' game's at &*#)(!@ 4:30am!!!

Bathtubs, Books, and THE READER

I've always wondered why no one's invented
a Waterproof Book with Plastic Pages.

And I really thought this would be one of those boring
Best Picture Oscar-bait movies from Miramax.


it turned out to be an extraordinarily deep,
surprisingly sensual, and absolutely thought provoking
treatise on Books, Guilt, Forgiveness, and Redemption.

Definitely the sexiest film ever about Book Geeks.

And true to its title,
it was based on a semi-autobiographical novel from Germany.

This Reader will read The Reader next.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


I was planning to post the diet I just invented,

but this seems to be a much better one...
for now!!!

from Quinito "The Dean" Henson's
Philippine Star column, "Sporting Chance"

Day 1
Eat all fruits, except bananas.
If you limit your consumption to melons,
you could lose up to three pounds on the first day.
There are no restrictions as to how much fruit to eat.
This puts your body on the start mode for the diet.

Fruits will be your only source of nutrition,
providing what you need to sustain life
except total balance and variety.

Day 2
Consume all vegetables, raw or cooked.
For your complex carbohydrates,
start the day with a large baked potato for breakfast
to give energy and balance.

You may add a pat of butter on the potato.
Vegetables are virtually calorie-free and
provide essential nutrients and fiber.

Day 3
Take in a mixture of fruits and vegetables –
any amount, any quantity but no bananas and no potatoes.
You get carbohydrates from the fruits.
This prepares the body to burn excess pounds.

Day 4
Eat as many as eight bananas and
drink three glasses of milk.
The bananas are for potassium and sodium.
You will notice a loss of desire for sweets.

Day 5
Consume one cup of rice and six whole tomatoes.
Also, drink 12 glasses of water to cleanse your system
of the uric acid you will be producing.

For those who are 39 and below,
you may add beef to the diet for iron and protein,
the equivalent of five quarter-pounders.
The tomatoes are for digestion and fiber.
The beef is optional but the tomatoes are mandatory.

Day 6
Restrict yourself to one cup of rice and
all the vegetables, raw or cooked,
you want for vitamins and fiber.

For those who are 39 and below,
you may repeat the Day 5 menu.

Day 7
Eat one cup of rice and all the vegetables you want
plus drink a glass of fruit juice.

If you get hungry on any day during the program,
you may fill up with a “wonder” soup whose ingredients are:

22 ounces of water, six large onions, two green peppers,
three whole tomatoes, a head of cabbage, a bunch of celery,
four envelopes onion soup mix, herbs and flavoring as desired.

You may substitute some ingredients for
asparagus, peas, corn, turnips, green beans or cauliflower
but never lima, pinto or kidney beans.

Vegetables may be taken in the form of a salad without dressing
except malt, white or wine vinegar, squeezed lemon, garlic herbs
and no more than one teaspoon of oil.

As I mentioned previously,
consult your doctor before taking this diet
to make sure your body is primed for the program.

If your body isn’t prepared to go through
with the seven-day regimen,
you should consider other alternatives to lose weight.

Monday, February 02, 2009


Sorry for the l-o-n-g absence, folks.

A couple of people were already asking
what happened to Manila Boy,
after no new posts were put up for almost two weeks.

Sad to say,
a beloved member of my family passed away,
and blogging took a backseat.

This post is dedicated to Apo Cion.

For over six decades,
from my mom and her sisters, my siblings and I, to my niece Meagan,

she was our family's cucinera/majordoma/consentidora...
and our surrogate lola.

She was a legendary Capampangan cook,
and she made the Best. Sisig. Ever.

We're lucky that she managed to pass on her priceless recipes,
but it will never quite be the same without her in the kitchen.

Which is why I'm really happy about
these awesome alternatives!

Spanx' Top 3 Sisig Sources


Largely credited with re-inventing Sisig in the 1980s,
the late, great Aling Lucing once upon a time
decided to place an order of sisig on a sizzling plate,
and the rest is Philippine culinary history.

Sisig is now THE National Pulutan.

Anthony Bourdain himself made a pilgrimage to
this humble hole-in-the-wall by the "riles" in Angeles City,
to taste his first Sisig direct from the original Source.


This "wooden house" inside Villa Gloria, also in AC,
is a museum, a gallery, an atelier,
but most of all, a kitchen.

Inside, Claude Tayag creates his works of art:
sculpture, paintings, installations, and food!!!

The Artist/Chef and his "darleng" MaryAnne are true-blue Cabalens
who refuse to compromise when it comes to whipping up their Sisig.
No fried eggs, no mayonnaise please!

Bale Dutung was Bourdain's first stop in Pampanga,
so you know the food here must be really, really, really good.

If you want to try the Sisig here, it's easy!
Just click on the link below and come and join one of our
Ultimate Philippines Tours!!!

#1 : MELY'S & MILA'S

Along the stretch of MacArthur Highway in Pampanga are
the two best reasons for a pleasant drive on the NLEX.

The Holy Grails of Sisig:

Mila's in Angeles City is the home of the Crunchy Sisig.
The best way to describe it? Premium Lechon Kawali sisigified.

Mely's in San Fernando is the home of the Classic Sisig.
No gimmicks; just sisig, perfectly grilled and sublimely seasoned.

The Ultimate Sisigs.

And finally, if you'd like to try something really special,
order the "Choice Cuts" in Mely's, or as we call it, "Style".

It's Sisig like they used to prepare it back in the day
when the menfolk of Pampanga first appropriated it as a "pulutan".

Large cuts of the choicest pieces of pig's cheeks, ears, & snout,
served traditionally grilled, or even better, exaggerated and fried!!!

Sunday, February 01, 2009


After last year's epic Wimbledon Final,

the first championship confrontation in 2009
between the two greatest Tennis Players
in the world promised even more displays of
sheer genius and genuine passion.

The 5-set Australian Open Final did not disappoint;
but once again, the Spaniard topped the Swiss.

Rafael Nadal exulted,

Roger Federer perhaps sensed the end of an era.

It was a rare show of emotion for the former #1,

but in an age where success in sports
is measured less by the triumphs of will
and more by the dollars earned,

it was truly a poignant moment when Rafa comforted Fed,
and confirmed that for these two gentleman warriors,
the old fashioned values of true sportsmanship still prevail.

Vamos Rafa!!!!

Vamos Roger!!!

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