Friday, May 29, 2009

Hayden Kho and A(H1N1)

There are only two headlines alternating broadsheets these days: Hayden Kho's sex scandal Katrina Halili and The increasing number of infected Filipinos of the deadly A(H1N1) Virus, also known as the Swine Flu.

These issues have somwthing in common: Both Hayden's Sex Scandals and the Virus spread quickly and in multiple proportions! The former in your favorite pirated video store, the latter via liquid transmission.

Both the virus and the scandal are dangerously contagious, and both destroy: The virus destroys the body immune system, while the scandal destroys the the Filipino psyche.

The casualties of these two issues have also been bad: The virus has reported almost a hundred deaths worldwide, with the Philippines reporting around 14 infected. The scandal has brought out the worst of the Senators involved in the investigation, it brought out how sorry we are for electing them for Senate. The scandal also delayed a number more important, more relevant investigations and bills.

These are the primary reasons why both issues are strong contenders in next few days' headlines. :) God help us...

Who's it gonna be?

It's Orlando Magic 3-2 over Cleveland in the East. Lakers lead over Denver in the West. We will soon find out who will be the finalists in 2009 over the weekend.

Fearless Forecast: Orlando vs. LA!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Manila by Sunset

Nothing beats the sight of the sunset in Manila Bay. It is breathtaking to witness how the sun changes color from bright yellow to orange as it fades towards the water, and how its colorblends with the color of the sky.
Luckily, I was able to capture the breathtaking sight. :)

It is amazing to see how the sun majestically graces the end of our every day.

Thank God for the traffic in Roxas Boulevard, I decided to take a few shots. :)

Hayden Kho Scandal

Cheers to the Philippines' version of Edison Chen!

Thanks to this controversy, Filipinos have already forgotten other more important matters like the A(H1N1) outbreak. Jun Lozada's plight has been sidelined. Several dozens of Senate bills delayed review due to the scandal-related privilege speeches and planned investigations. Samuel Ong died silently. The crazy regulation on book tariffs was disregarded in the headlines (well at least Malacanang already did something about it). Alec Baldwin was easily pardoned.

Will new laws on pornography or cyber crimes be created with this controversy? This has long been demanded even before the iloveyou virus was created. And now, another scandal broke out, and no governing law can apprehend the culprits but the far-fetched Anti-abuse on women and children law, which is a very very weak accusation when it comes to this issue. How can you bring the victims to justice if there is not even a clearcut law that would pin them down?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Alec Baldwin Racial Slur

I don't see the reason why we overacted in Alec Baldwin's statement on Filipina Mail Order Brides. First, I personally think that he had no intention of hitting on Filipinos in general. He was just joking about the often neglected side of the Filipino social picture, that is the human trafficking among Filipino women.

I personally found it not too offensive, definitely not like the previous "jokes" on Filipinos, like that of the Desperate Housewives episode, or that of Chip Tsao's. In these two previous incidents, they hit on respected Filipino workers, doctors, domestic helpers, servants. To me, these are much more offensive.

I consider the joke by Alec Baldwin as a wake up call to our citizenry, and most especially, our government, that transactions like mail order brides are stilll rampant today for it to merit Mr. Baldwin's attention. If you search the words "bride" or "pinay" over various search engines, you will be surprised to see hundreds, if not thousands of posts on Filipino Mail Order Brides. Even in social networking sites such as Multiply or Friendster, there will definitely be a side advertisement on such by-order brides. With this, I think Mr. Baldwin is simply stating a fact, and thus, does not merit any special attention or ire.

Let's check it out to see if it is really offending:

I've watched it over and over again and I can't seem to find the offending part in his interview.

Perhaps it is much more offending to see politicians prioritize investigations and privilege speeches and waste tons of taxpayers' money for some sex scandal!

Wow Bohol! Day 2 (April 4, 2009)

Day 2 of our Bohol Island Tour.

Dolphin Watching
Snorkeling at Balicasag Island
Virgin Island
Meryenda at Alona Beach
Dinner at Miravilla

We woke up at around 5:30 to catch the beautiful dolphins of Bohol! We got to Alona Beach in Panglao at around 6:20am, a few minutes late from the ideal time of 6am. We rode the boat and went to the spot where the dolphins were seen.

The weather was unpredictable. At first it was sunny, but when we got to the spot, it started to shower.

We were very very lucky to see a big school of dolphins coming from everywhere around our boat! That was a breathtaking sight to see!

After which we headed to the nearby island, Balicasag island, for the snorkeling. It was the first time that I saw a school of Jacks hovering just near the shore! Too bad I did not have an underwater camera to capture that beautiful work of nature.

I admire the fisherfolk in the area for maintaining such beauty underwater. They were responsible enough to let us know the do's and don'ts in snorkeling. The coral reefs just a few meters from the shore are intact and beautiful, thus maintaining the fishes' habitat. I saw a lot of little Nemos and Marlens with their habitats, sea anemones! One of us even saw a sea turtle as it swims towards the middle of the sea. It was really an exhilirating experience!

At 11am, we had our lunch served at the island!


Sinigang na Maya-maya.

Fried Maya-Maya.

Kinilaw na Maya-maya (The Big Maya-maya was divided into three parts for the sinigang, fried and kinilaw)

Inihaw na Pusit

Kamatis at Bagoong

Eat all you Kanin

Nothing beats the taste of fresh fish in the middle of an island!

At half past 12, we asked if the boatman could take us to the much talked-about Virgin Island, famous for its long Sand bed. The boatman agreed to take us there so we rode back to our boat and set sail for the island!

Richard James, the young apprentice, the first mate

The Virgin Island, or some others would call the "Puntod"

We arrived at the island a little before 1pm. The sand bed was truly a captivating sight! At the first sight of it you would easily want to jump your boat to run it through!

The island was so small, you can walk through its shores for just 5 minutes!

We met a few fisherfolk selling "Uni" or Sea Urchin for only P50 for a "lapad" bottle! I was tempted to buy all four bottles and sell them to hotels here in Manila and make big money! :)

Luckily, the ladies obliged to give us free taste. Nothing beats a freshly cracked Uni!

We stayed in the island for about two and a half hours, ate chips, cracked jokes, slept, went around the island, drank fresh Buko Juice (we bought it from the only "convenience" store in the island!), took lots of pictures... We didn't mind the intermittent skin-piercing hard rains and just went our way to enjoy the Sand bed, the sight, the island. Before we left, the sand bed already had disappeared due to the high tide.

As we were going back to Alona Beach, hard rains struck our boat in the middle of the sea. We got so damn scared! Luckily the waves were mild and the boatman was able to take the boat closer to the shore of the main island. Whew!

We took a short break at Alona Beach to have some meryenda. We had pancit, chips, shakes, burgers, and the native street food Tempura (thinner than kikiam), which is sold like fishball. After which, we went back to Coco Grove to wash up and prepare ourselves for dinner.

We had dinner at Miravilla Restaurant in Tagbilaran. Food was good, the price was just right. It was more of the province's own version of the dampa. It was located near downtown Tagbilaran. People would visit the place not just to eat, but also to swim because they had an infinity pool and a few cottages.
That caps the second day of the 4-day Bohol adventure. :)

Day 3 to follow...

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Pacman on

Floyd Mayweather Jr., are you up for the challenge? :)

If this pushes through on December, this will be another sports spectacle in boxing history. As always, I am confident that Manny Pacquiao will breeze through this fight. :)

Manny Pacquiao in Time Magazine

I am proud to say that I had not a single tinge of doubt on Manny Pacquiao's victory over former Light Welterweight Champion Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton. My initial prediction was a round 5 knockout. With Pacman's new level of maturity inside the ring, I am confident that he will be undefeated in the next 2-3 years. He showed through his round 2 KO over the powerful Hatton just showed that he is the best pound-for-pound fighter inside the squared ring.

Aside from this, Pacman scored another victory by being the only Filipino to be included in Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world! He joined the ranks of Fellow sportsmen Kobe Bryant, Rafael Nadal, and Michael Phelps, and other world leaders like Barack Obama and Hu Jintao. According to, Pacquiao gathered the most number of votes with more than 20million among the list! Wow! That just shows how the Filipino ring icon is loved and respected not only by fellow Filipinos, but of boxing fans and sports enthusiasts around the world!

I'm just happy that Filipinos like Manny Pacquiao are excelling in their respective fields not just in the country, but around the world! I hope Manny Pacquiao will continue to inspire Filipinos to strive for the best and excel. I also pray that he thinks twice about getting into politics. Manny, there are many other ways to inspire and help people and politics is definitely in the bottom of the list.

Mabuhay ka Manny!