Padayon

Isang basong tubig galing sa poso inutang na kanin at malamig na ginamos
kaunting asin sa plastik na platito busog na bay, puwede nang magtrabaho 
Sa aking balikat ay papasanin tatlong-daang kilo ng asukal limandaang sako ng denorado sanlibong kaha ng delata sampung tonelada ng arina
Kalawanging bubong, pader na may butas posteng pilay at sahig na paduyan-duyan ang aking palasyo’y pagkatibay-tibay pero puwede na ‘pre – tuloy ang hanapbuhay Ngayong araw ay tatapusin ko isang subdibisyon, limampung hektarya tatlong dosenang mansyon na magara higanteng gusaling likha sa semento kilo-kilometro ng kalsada
Oo, kay tamis ng buhay oo, kay daling umasenso  hangarin ko’y makatikim ng kaunting hayahay subalit kailangang ipagpatuloy ang hanapbuhay Pagkat walang ibang makagagawa nito paandarin ang makinarya bigyan ng buhay ang industriya patakbuhin ang ekonomiya padayunon ang pagpangita
Padayon!
Isang awiting obrero, para sa mga obrero, sa araw ng mga obrero.
May isa akong tweet na nabasa noong panahong wala pang masyadong jologs sa Twitter, mula yata kay ginoong Ramon Bautista. Kung gusto mong magkaroon ng inspirasyon sa araw-araw, pagmasdan mo daw ang mga ordinaryong taong pumapasok sa kanilang mga trabaho tuwing umaga.
Oo nga naman. Madalas, puro reklamo tayo sa hassles ng buhay. Puro reklamo sa trabaho at pag-aaral. Puro hinaing sa kung ano ang mga bagay na meron tayo. Gayong marami sa ating mga kababayang obrero, halos mamatay na sa trabaho na magkaroon lamang ng marangal na pagkukunan ng ipangtutustos sa kanilang pamilya. Ganoon ba dapat ‘yun? Kailangangmamatay upang makabuhay? Isang napakalaking kabalintunaan.
Hanga ako sa mga obrero, lalo na yung mga (mababa pa sa) minumum at arawan lamang kung sumuweldo. Tapos, hindi pa mga permanente at puro kontraktwal. Sila yung mga taong pinaghuhugutan ko ng inspirasyon para hindi sumuko sa buhay. Nakakahiya nga sa kanila. Ako na nga itong nakatapos at nasabing mas may pinag-aralan, ako pa itong tatamad-tamad sa trabaho. Paano kaya kung nagbiro ang tadhana at iyong skill at knowledge ko ay nasa kanilang mga masisipag? Napakalayo na siguro ng narating nila.
Kung hindi lang sana kalakaran dito sa atin ang kontraktwalisasyon. Kung ang trabaho ng mga obrero ay permanente at hindi na mamomroblema makalipas ang limang buwan. Siguro nga, metaphysicaly speaking, sa mundo ng negosyo at Kapitalsmo, maituturing na ‘necessary evil’ (o kinakailangan talagang umiral dahil ito ay nasa kaniyang natura gaano man kasama ang epekto) ang kontraktwalisasyon. Pero naniniwala akong hindi dapat iyon ang kalakaran sa tunay na mundo.
Isa sa mga paborito kong kanta ay ang ‘Padayon’ na orihinal na inawit ni Joey Ayala (na muling binigyang buhay ng Rivermaya sa kanilang album na “Isang Ugat, Isang Dugo”). Napakaganda ng mensahe nitong nagbibigay buhay sa manggagawa na huwag susuko at ang kanilang importansya sa lipunan.
Ang ‘Padayon’ ay isang salitang Bisaya na ang ibig sabihin ay ‘magpatuloy’ o ‘tuloy lang’. Sa katunayan, ginawa ko na ito bilang aking personal na ‘mantra’ at motto sa buhay. At kung hindi ka kabilang sa 85% ng mga tagasubaybay sa blog ko na hindi naman talaga nagbabasa (at may attention span lang ng dalawang talata), malamang ay napansin mong madalas ko itong gamitin sa aking mga naunang akda.
Ngayon ay Kapistahan ni San Jose, ang manggagawa. Siya ang itinuturing ng Simbahang Katolika na Patron ng mga obrero, ng mga manggagagawa. Ngayong araw din ipinagdiriwang sa buong kapuluan ang Araw ng mga Manggagawa o ang Labor Day.
Noong bata ako, itinuturing ko lang ang ika-1 ng Mayo o Labor Day bilang araw ng protesta ng mga aktibista at iba’t-ibang mga unyon ng manggagawa na kung misan, mapapa-“Punyeta!” ka na lang sa kanila dahil nagiging sagabal sa daloy ng trapiko, maingay, at parang mga ngawa lang nang ngawa na wala nang ginawa kung hindi magreklamo.
Pero kahit minsan, naisip mo ba na kung wala ang mga “maiingay” na ito, ang mga raliyista na nagreklamo, ang mga may hawak ng placard sa kalsada na dahilan kung bakit ka naipit sa ga-impyernong trapiko, hindi dapat  natin tinatamasa ngayon ang ilan sa mga pribilehiyo bilang mga manggagawa? Kung wala ang mga nakipaglaban na yan, wala tayong weekend, overtime pay, social security, sick leave,health benefits, at iba pa?
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Imbes na magreklamo dahil nahuli ka sa pagpunta sa mall para manood ng Iron Man 3 ngayong holiday, magpasalamat ka na lang kahit papaano.
Isa sa mga pangarap ko para sa ating Patria Adorada ay ang dumating ang araw na ang Araw ng Manggagawa ay maging isang araw na punong-puno lamang ng kasiyahan at pagdiriwang. Walang protesta. Walang sinusunog na effigy. Isang araw na pinapangaralan at pinasasalamatan ang lahat ng mga dakilang manggagagawa.
Sana, magkatotoo.
Mabuhay ang mga dakila at masisipag na obrerong Pinoy! Padayon!
Elsewhere:
  • NagResignAko.com – Kaunting katatawanan mula sa iba’t-ibang istorya ng mga manggagawang nagbitiw sa kanilang trabaho. Akala mo ay pinaka-impyerno na ang trabaho mo? Bakit hindi mo ikumpara sa kanila?

Philippine Daily Inquirer: You Got Trolled!

It was no surprise that for most of us who have been religiously following the happenings on the cyber world (half of which are journalists and the other half are bored individuals like me) – whether it be on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr – that President Aquino made it to this year’s list of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. The news came last April 18 at 7:03 PM, Manila time.

In response, President Noynoy Aquino said that he was merely the “face” of the Filipino people, that the recognition is due to his countrymen and of the whole country and that if success was achieved, it would be the success of everyone.

As most of you know, I have always been fascinated with covers and front pages of various local and international broadsheets and magazines. In fact, it is my daily habit before starting a day’s work to browse and to look at various front pages and covers whether it be in print or in digital format. I consider it as an exceptional art and as a part of history as well. So when the list came out, I eagerly waited on who would be on the cover of TIME’s special issue.

An hour past midnight earlier, while waiting for the developments on the manhunt of the marathon bombing suspect in Boston (and while waiting for my ‘Homeland’ episode download to finish), I dropped by the website of the Philippine Daily Inquirer to see if they have already uploaded their page one for today. As I looked at the digital format of the front page, aside from the photos of the two Boston bombing suspects, I saw the photo of President Aquino in an apparently, a cover of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.

 

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But here’s the catch: The cover looked fake and the photo of President Aquino that was used was one of his, excuse me, unflattering photos. I immediately searched TIME magazine to verify its authenticity and lo and behold, it turned out to be fake. The cover for this year’s special issue is Jennifer Lawrence. Not President Aquino.

So what? Some trolls and pranksters probably made that “false cover’ to fool on people.  But here’s the thing, it landed on the cover of one of the most respected broadsheet in the country (and they have repeatedly said that they are the leading broadsheet in the country, which, I believe by the way). The fake TIME Magazine cover landed on the front page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. What a shame! (I later discovered that this fake cover came from one of the memes of Showbiz Government, a satirical Facebook page. Good job guys!)

I have a love-hate relationship with that broadsheet. Though I have repeatedly praised some of their creative front pages (like the false cover and the bloodied cover for the Philippine Independence Day celebration), I have also criticized (if not make fun of) some of them. to name a few, there was the juxtaposition failure, their tabloid-esque layout, and the headline that’s more appropriate in the entertainment section.

It has been a buzz in the social media that the Inquirer is “too yellow”,  a broadsheet that is always in favor of President Aquino. In fact, my (new) favorite blog, The Spin Busters, describe the Inquirer (or PDI) as thePresident’s Daily Inquirer. The Inquirer later apologized in a tweet saying that it was an honest mistake. But here’s the catch, they also said that they wish it was President Aquino on the cover. With that being said, I think it is evident that there is no statement “more yellow” than that.

I once worked for the publishing industry and it is a mortal sin among us to run and print non-factual information and materials. Though my previous job is not that of the news industry (I worked for a private company publishing textbooks), this broadsheet, In my opinion, with their hundreds of employees, should have exercised diligence in publishing their paper. Now that the boo-boo has been published and distributed nationwide, I think this broadsheet has lost a bit of their credibility. That’s the price you pay of falling for a troll’s trap.

Going back to President Aquino’s statement that he is the face of the Filipino people, I cannot but take a look again at his unflattering photo. The trolls have successfully used the President’s signature “nganga” image. In the local pop culture, “nganga” – or the act of leaving your mouth wide open – has a connotation of emptiness, laziness, tardiness, and stupidity.

If this is the real face of the Filipino people, then we are travelling not in a promised Daang Matuwid. We are in a Ngangang Matuwid.

Elsewhere:

Handog

Parang kailan lang ang mga pangarap ko’y kay hirap abutin. Dahil sa inyo napunta ako sa nais marating. Nais ko kayong pasalamatan kahit man lang sa isang awitin.

Parang kailan lang halos ako ay magpalimos sa lansangan. Dahil sa inyo ang aking tiyan at ang bulsa’y nagkalaman. Kaya’t itong awiting aking inaawit nais ko’y kayo ang handugan.

Tatanda at lilipas din ako nguni’t mayroong awiting iiwanan sa inyong alaala dahil, minsan, tayo’y nagkasama.

Parang kailan lang ang mga awitin ko ay ayaw pakinggan. Dahil sa inyo, narinig ang isip ko at naintindihan. Dahil dito ibig ko kayong ituring na matalik kong kaibigan.

I first heard and learned this song when I was in grade two (mid-nineties). It was the celebration of teacher’s day in our school and we were asked to sing this song during the program. As what most of the students that age would do, whether we liked it or not, we sung in unison, swaying our heads and our bodies, because the teacher told us to do so. Never mind if some aren’t actually singing (and just a mere chuwariwap on the background). Never mind if some are out of tune. Never mind if some are horsing and laughing during the presentation. We learned the song, we performed it on stage in front of the teachers, and we went back to our usual activities.

There are some who would say that kids that age would never truly understand the meaning of the song. It is the period of early childhood where thet usually devote more time on playing above any other else. Yes, it may be touching to see them singing this heart-warming song but from their perspective, it may appear as just a mere presentation, some activity forced by the elders to do.

I may have not appreciated the whole meaning of the song when I was in grade two but I haven’t forgotten it. And growing up, I had other different encounters with this masterpiece. I came across an old movie on Pinoy Blockbusters (pre-Cinema One channel) with Subas Herrero and other famous actors and actresses of that time. I forgot the title but on the end part, they sung Handogand Subas adressed the viewers about the dedication and legacy of the artists, movie makers, and workers. (I tried searchig the internet for the title of the movie but I don’t know where to start. Please drop me a message if you know the title.) During the ‘band explosion’ of 2006, the group Join The club made their own version of the song and it was included in the The Best of Manila Sound: Hopia Mani Popcorn compilation. And in 2008, Kenyo used the chorus of the song in the mash-up of their carrier single Sana in their debut album Radiosurfing.

Handog was composed and popularized by folk rock singer Florante de Leon (who is popularly known as Florante). He was one of the pioneers and exponents of Pinoy folk rock during the musical boom of the 1970’s. His songs are part of the famous musical genre of that time called Manila Sound. Such was the beauty of the song that other artists and groups revived it and used it in movies and other productions.

There is something with the Filipino songs of that time that puts a smile in our faces aside from nostalgia. They are simple yet full of meaning; subtle yet they touch the hearts even of the simplest Filipinos; gentle without trying to be mushy; and you can easily grasp its soul and pass it to the next generation. What’s the evident proof? Those songs are being revived by solo singers and artists of today (even just for the sake of releasing their own record – of covers).

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On the evening of July 10, the Philippine cyber space exploded with a shocking news: the Comedy King, our national treasure, Dolphy Quizon, passed away. Almost all of us, even our parents and grandparents, grew up watching and laughing with Mang Dolphy. The whole nation wept and grieved on the loss of one of our (if not the) finest jester and painkiller. If laughter is indeed the best medicine, then we have lost the pill that cured millions of Filipinos.

It wasn’t until then that I found out that he also has his own version of Handog. Almost all TV stations played the song in remembrance of the man’s legacy which spanned for almost six decades. Or thirteen Philippine Presidents (fourteen if you will include Fernando Poe, Jr.)

Suddenly, the song has another meaning, impact, and spirit. The song’s poetry fits Mang Dolphy. Perhaps because of all the features on the news programs, we are now familiar with Mang Dolphy’s journey from humble beginnings to being the Comedy King that we know today.

But personally, there is more than this song. Listening to the song, I remember the old days when we are singing this song in front of our teachers. I may have not understood its real meaning then but what struck me is the age when I sung it. It was the age of innocence and carelessness. It is also the good old days when the whole family, and perhaps the whole nation, laughed and cried with the Cosme family in Home Along Da Riles. It is good to remember those days once in a while to remind us of our innocence, dreams, purity, and happiness. It serves as a reminder or a pensieve whenever we are down and weary with life’s hardships.

Some would say that comedy is just an opium, a temporary escapism from the realities of this life. But it is with the laughter that we get our strength, our positivism, and good memories.

Perhaps it is Mang Dolphy’s eternal handog to all of us: That from time to time, we must laugh, forget our problems, and face this life with an uplifted spirit. His death is not the end because he has already been immortalized by his legacy to the Filipino people. He even left us a line that pertains to his immortality and I quote: “Hinding-hindi ako mahihiwalay sa inyo. Pindutin niyo lang ang play at siguradong magkakasama-sama tayo.”

Maraming maraming salamat sa inyong handog at paalam, Mang Dolphy.

Elsewhere:

Sino si Pepe?

Sino ka ba, Pepe?

Pinanganak June 19, 1861 Calamba Laguna Namatay December 30, 1896 sa Bagong Bayan na ngayon ay Luneta Dito nanumpa ang maraming mga pangulo at binabaril minsan ang mga turista Ang dami mong sinulat pero sino ba ang nagbabasa? Kabayanihan mo’y nasa aming ugat pero tunay ka ba naming kilala? Mula kapanganakan hanggang kamatayan kasama namin ang iyong pangalan Nalimutan na namin kung sino ka talaga

Sino ka ba, Pepe? 

Pero naku, ang dami naming tanong. Talaga bang ikaw ay para sa rebolusyon o assimilasyon? Talaga bang binawi mo ang mga sinulat at sinabi mo noon? O ikaw ba’y isang dakilang ilusyon ng panahon? Sabi mo noon gusto mo ang libingan ay simpleng hukay. Isang bato, isang krus sa paanan ng bundok. Walang anibersaryo, walang seremonias, walang palabok. Pero Pepe, wala kang magagawa, paminsan-minsan masabi lang namin, may kalahi kaming dakila.

Sino ka ba, Pepe? 

Pero tignan mo naman ngayon, Pepe.
Hindi ka lang pinag-aaralan, dinadakila, Ikaw rin ay dinadasalan, sinasamba na parang Jesus Christ lang. Kaya idol talaga kita Pepe. Kahit ano pang sabihin nila hindi na bale. Dahil wala kang katulad. The first Filipino. The great Malayan. The Pride of the Malay Race. Tagalog Christ. National Hero. Sobresaliente. Kahit ang mukha mo ay nakikita lang namin sa piso na nawawala na nang halaga.

Sino ka ba, Pepe? Sino ka ba talaga, Pepe?

Who is Pepe? Who is Jose Rizal?

I was then a cute and talented grade one student in my former school (the adjectives may be unnecessary but trust me, it’s essential for this article). You know how things go along on schools during the celebration of its foundation. there were programs, parties, field demonstrations, and other things that our teachers forced us to do. I was the candidate of our class in the usual mister and miss pageant/talent show/whatever you call those contests. During the question and answer portion, the host asked me what will I do if ever I got the chance to meet Jesus. Yes, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Now most of the kids my age would probably ask the God about material things, blessings, and other kiddie stuff (you know, he’s omnipotent) but did you know what I answered? I told the host that if ever I got to meet Jesus, I will ask him to tell me a story. Not the usual stories or parables of Jesus but the life story of Dr. Jose Rizal.

Guess what? I lost the competition and did not even place. I think I got one special award but it was too unessential to have a place in my memory.

Do I have any regrets answering that way? Maybe a little. Because my parents – with their high expectations for the said competition – repeatedly taunt the way I answered. (But for the record, I did not hate them for that. It’s actually funny to remember those things after all these years.)

As I grew up, I had other chances to meet Dr. Jose Rizal. I was in grade three when I first visited his house in Calamba, Laguna. I was in grade four when the biopic Jose Rizal starring Cesar Montano came out at the Metro Manila Film Fest. I was in High School when I studied his life and two novels – Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. And in college, I took the required Rizal subject and looked at him in a deeper perspective. I studied his life, works, his escapades, his women, and the controversies surrounding his life.

I thought I already knew Jose Rizal. I was wrong. It turned out that I would learn more about him after finishing college.

This may sound ridiculous but although my favorite subject in school history, I had a tough time dealing with bookish teachers who seem to know nothing about the subject. I suffered from poor teachers teaching bad history and apathetic classmates (i.e. “Huwag ka nang magtanong. Aanhin mo ba yang history sa trabaho?”). So I resorted to my own effort to know the subject more.

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Of course, we learned who Dr. Jose Rizal is, his achievements, (some of) his works, the number of women whom he allegedly went to bed with, the number of places he’s been to, and the number of languages that he can speak. But are those enough? Is that the way Pepe wants us to remember him?

I think knowing and understanding who Pepe is is a continuing work (or a struggle, if you may permit). We live in the world where everybody seems to be speaking in behalf of a great person; where history can be manipulated; and the stories heard are from those with a loud voice.

I am no expert when it comes to history nor have a sufficient knowledge about Dr. Jose Rizal but let me share with you the things that I have learned after graduating  from school: Do not be contented with your teacher’s history. Read other books. Compare. Ask questions. And do not be gullible.

As we celebrate and commemorate Pepe’s 151st birthday today, I hope we all make an effort to know him more and to really understand his legacy and message. Let us not let the man’s noble efforts and sacrifice die in vain.

Ikaw? Ano ang pagkakakilala mo kay Jose Rizal?

Elsewhere:

  • Rock Rizal – The song above is Sino si Pepe? by Radioactive Sago Project. It is included in last year’s Rock Rizal compilation featuring original songs inspired by Jose Rizal’s life and works. Check out the other tracks from Ely Buendia, Gloc-9, Ebe Dancel, Jett Pangan, Peryodiko, Aiza Seguerra and many more. 
  • Reflections on Rizal-Three Thoughts – Sir Nik’s piece about how we Filipinos view Jose Rizal, how he grew up with him, and how we should view his works. This is a must-read. 

Cradle of Noble Heroes (‘Duyan ka ng Magiting’)

It may look like real bloodstains on the front page of today’s issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer but no, they are not.This is the broadsheet’s way of saluting the heroes who offered their lives for the freedom of our country.

They further explained this catchy way of expressing their advocacy when I opened the broadsheet and opened the real front page.

Filipinos have made the ultimate sacrifice to win and protect the freedom we now enjoy. Let us continue to uphold it with brave, responsible journalism.

I first saw the image of this front page from ABS-CBN’s Niko Baua’s tweet earlier this morning. And because I am fond of memorable and artistic front pages and covers, I immediately went to the public market and grabbed myself a copy.

But this was not the first instance that the Inquirer did this Independence Day gimmick. Last year, they created a ‘false cover’ as a statement of press freedom press in lieu of the independence day. [You can check that issue by looking at my last year’s post here.]

Kudos to the Inquirer for your catchy way of showing to the younger generation the meaning of heroism and freedom! Long live our heroes! Long live the Filipino people!

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Side notes and other stuff:

  • Today is the 114th Independence Day of the Philippines. Let us thank our heroes and forefathers who fought for the freedom that we are enjoying today. (Special mention to my wasak na wasak idols Juan Luna and Graciano Lopez-Jaena. Tagay sa langit – o kung saan man – mga pare! and to the macho guwapito Gregorio del Pilar.)
  • Much has been written about the celebration and non-celebration of the Philippine Independence today. Some are jubilant, others are apathetic. There are those who care for its essence and there are those who care for the holiday. You may not feel it, you may not celebrate it, or you may not care for it, but you are still one of the beneficiaries of the victory of the war of our fathers. Smile. And be thankful even just for today.
  • Rp612Fic 2012 (#RP612fic) – If you are following some of our local journalists, bloggers, and policy makers on Twitter, then you may have seen this hashtag (But I guess not since you are busy kissing the ass of the Twitter famewhores and sucking the updates of Pinoy Big Brother). It’s the project of the blog RocketKapre.com. For today’e celebration, they have come up with tweets of alternate history stories (Most tweets are funny, entertaining, and out-of-this-world!). I am inviting you to join the conversation, stretch your creativity and imagination, and have a good laugh. I have already made some on my Twitter account, you may want to check it out.
  • Lupang Hinirang: The Philippine National Anthem Animation for Independence Day 2012(Animated by Arnold Arre and performed by Radioactive Sago Project) – NHCP and RockEd Radio’s gift for the Filipino people to mark our 114th independence day. This is probably the best music video of our national anthem that I have seen – no self-gratifying politicians; no artistas who do not memorize the lyrics of the song. Just pure artistry and music. Check it out!
  • I have already written and said this last year but let me repeat again:  We are celebrating independence day but I believe that we are not really that free. Press people are killed and information are kept hidden. Support the Freedom of Information Act! Pass the Freedom of Information Bill. NOW!

I suck at concluding my posts and articles so let me just share my favorite line from my favorite Sugarfree song, Los Baños:

Kalayaan sa ating lahat!

Twelve Rounds

Much has been said about the controversial Pacquiao-Bradley fight yesterday. It is written all over the blogs, news portals, tabloids, and broadsheets. It is the content of almost all the local news programs and I expect it to last for at least one week and another week after Manny Pacquiao’s homecoming.

I am writing this not to sound as an aspiring sports columnist. Or as a sports writer/blogger. Or some expressive bandwagon rider who writes his opinion on almost every issue.

I am writing this as an ordinary viewer who tried to keep focused on watching the fight despite a nasty hangover brought by an inuman session with his friends the night before the match. And as an ordinary Filipino boxing fan who, together with his fellow countrymen, felt robbed of a good and clean entertainment.

Please take note that these should be taken with a grain of iodized salt.

  1. Pacquiao was undefeated for the last seven years (fifteen fights) of his boxing career – until the tragedy came yesterday. Perhaps we are just always accustomed to his victory that’s why we were all shocked by the tragedy. How about that?
  2. Karl Marx once said that ‘Religion is the opium of the people’. Well here in the Philippines, it’s showbiz, television, social media, and the fights of Manny Pacquiao. In a country plagued by tragedy, corruption, impunity, and crime, there must always be something to uplift our spirit and temporarily escape these tragedies and Pacquiao’s fights are one of them. So I understood our grief. It is like taking away from us our painkiller.
  3. But of course, you will argue that yesterday’s fight was a clear victory for Manny Pacquiao. First, you are not the judges (who happen to have the final say on that match). Second, some boxing analysts saw a ‘relaxed’ Manny Pacquiao during the last, crucial rounds of the fight and they would have called it a draw. And third, as what Pontius Pilate said, “What I have written, I have written”.
  4. The  tragedy of Manny Pacquiao yesterday reminds me of the same boxing tragedy of Mansueto ‘Onyok’ Velasco during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. He was also robbed of what would have been the country’s first Olympic gold medal. What happened? Did we create the same noise? Did we support Onyok’s protest? Maybe I was just too young then to know these things. And times are different now with the age of social media. (The last time I saw, Onyok plays as a co-host and one of Pacquiao’s sidekicks on his shows. But that’s another story.)
  5. Some (including my Erpats) said that Manny’s loss was a justice for the supposed victory of Juan Manuel Marquez during his third fight with the former. Plausible? (Maybe we should call the Mythbusters to test this.)
  6. Another conspiracy that came out yesterday was Bob Arum was behind all of these. He wants a more hyped rematch for Pacquiao and Bradley which will only mean two words for the boxing promoter – Kaching! Kaching! (With these, I suggest that Manny Pacquiao’s entrance song on his next fight would be ‘Price Tag’ by Jessie J and not the overused and Rocky-ish ‘Eye of the Tiger’.)
  7. With yesterday’s aftermath of the match and most of the people’s reactions, I have once again proven that the word ‘loser’ (or ‘talunan’) is not in our dictionary. We use the equally synonymous terms dinaya,niluto, and  pinagkaisahan. They are commonly used during the election period.
  8. One of the most retweeted tweet/joke yesterday was ‘Niluto ang labang Pacquiao-Bradley. Sa sobrang luto, nasunog si Bradley!’. Wow! Just a few days ago, most of us went berserk on the alleged racism of the Bayo advertisement. I admire our inconsistency. Mabuhay!
  9. I felt bad for Manny Pacquiao’s sons. It was their first time to watch their father’s fight on ringside. Some moron may look at this as a bad luck but hey, Daddy Manny would still go home with Money Many Prizes. Kaching! Kaching!
  10. And yes, win or lose for Manny, Mommy Dionisia would still get her Hermes bag. So the ‘No Hermes’ trending topic yesterday is a blasphemy against Manny’s riches.  Kaching! Kaching! (After all, Manny has already bought Mommy D. a new van for her birthday last month).
  11. As what Jessica Zafra said on her column today, it is natural for us Filipinos to look for someone or something to blame – his new-found love for God, Politics, show business, and the people around him. but let’s just leave it there. After all, Manny Pacquiao, despite his loss yesterday, will still (and always) be remembered as one of the greatest, if not the greatest boxer of all time.
  12. Comic artist Gerry Alanguilan (Komikero) tweeted this yesterday“I think we all need to lose once in a while. To keep us from being complacent. To keep us hungry. To have some humility.” Boxing is a game. There are winners and losers. Manny may have lost but this is not the end of him. And I think his new-found faith in God will help him deal with this loss. Or maybe this is the proper time for Manny to pass the torch to the next generation of great Filipino boxers.

Elsewhere:

Yes, this is the Front Page of the Inquirer Today

 

Yesterday was no ordinary Sunday. It was a great day for sports fans. There was the much-anticipated fight between Miguel Cotto and Floyd Mayweather Jr. (with a dash of 50 Cent and Justin Bieber) and the do-or-die PBA Championship match between Tim Cone’s B-Meg and Chot Reyes’ Talk N’ Text. It was also a great day for geeks and astronomy enthusiasts with the ‘super moon’, where the moon is at its closest approach to the earth.

Just when most of us thought it would be a fun and action-filled Sunday, it turned out to be action-filled in a violent way. A brawl erupted at NAIA Terminal 3 when Raymart Santiago with six other men ganged up on Philippine Daily Inquirer Columnist and one quarter of the balls-incarnated Tulfo Brothers, Ramon, for taking photos of the former’s wife, Claudine Barreto. According to Ramon, he noticed a woman giving a stewardess a dressing down over an off-loaded luggage. He also said that he did not recognized the woman, whom he described as matronly-looking with a pretty face, as actress Claudine Barreto.

Minutes after the incident, as expected, the internet through various forms of social media erupts with taunts and jeers. In a country where these fights are considered ‘entertainment’, especially if it involves known personalities, it is but expected to be the instant talk of the town. And to spice things up, the footage of the actual brawl spread on the internet and is considered far better than the defunct MTV show, Celebrity Deathmatch.

The fiasco is far from over as both parties are threatening to sue each other in court. And I expect this to be the content of tabloids and showbiz-oriented shows for weeks to come.

But I did not expect what I saw this morning.

In today’s issue my favorite broadsheet Philippine Daily Inquirer, the banner story came to me as a shocker. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, they put yesterday’s airport brouhaha in the front page as the main headline. At first, I was disgusted and I felt a little disrespect for the broadsheet but things eventually came down on me. 1. Ramon Tulfo is one of theirs. He is a columnist and and announcer for Radyo Inquirer. 2. Maybe because it was a slow news day yesterday? Over the past days, the headlines are all about the recently-concluded ADB Governor’s meeting (which, I believe, millions of Filipinos, including me, don’t know what that is all about). And the event was the biggest news yesterday? 3. Or is just an ice breaker for the bloody return of the impeachment trial. Or not. Whatever.

I have no idea why the editors chose this as their banner story, which, in my opinion, appears to be tabloid-ish. Well, in the country where there are no clear boundaries politics, showbiz, and whatnots, what would you expect?

And to add insult to the injury, here at Juan Republic, let us dig further into the issue. Screw the impeachment trial! This is more exciting. The following items are satirical and should be taken with a grain of salt:

  • Moonsanity. Let us blame the moon’s gravitational pull. Maybe, in yesterday’s super moon, the moon approached the earth too close and its gravity sucked the fluids and loosen a few sanity screws and temper bolts of these individuals. Yes, the moon is that powerful.
  • Camera Obscura. According to NAIA General Manager Angel Honrado,there were no CCTVs at the carousel area of the NAIA Terminal 3. Congratulations and good luck to your luggage. Now the criminal minds know where the airport’s vulnerability is. Wait, how much again is the terminal fee at our world-class airport? Is it worth the price?
  • Airport Security. Have you seen the video of the brawl? If you were keen enough to observe, you will see helpless airport security guards who were no match to break off the power of action star Raymart Santiago and former mermaid Claudine Barreto. Wow. It seems like security can be a factor to put NAIA at the list of the world’s worst airport again. Again, congratulations.
  • Matrona+Hulk=Clash of the Titans. According to Mon Tulfo’s version of the story, he did not immediately recognized the woman as Claudine Barreto. He described her to members of the Press in an interview as “tumaba at mukhang matrona”. What a deadly combo! I expect a monster worse than the Hulk in the days to come. (Speaking of which, I wonder if Hulk’s character is a woman, how worse could she get with all the stress and PMS. Damn. I cannot fathom. But that’s another story.)
  • Mythbusters. It has been a long-time tsismis that Claudine and Raymart’s marriage is on the rocks and the two are already separated. Well, here it is, the proof of their happy and action-filled bond as husband and wife. I’m sorry showbiz writers, the myth has been busted this time.
  • In Character. Aside from being an action star, I remember Raymart most with the TV shows Kool Ka Lang, Bantatay, and Futbolilit. Apparently, Raymart lost his Kool Ka Lang attitude when he saw his wife being being aggravated, that’s why he showed his Bantatay instinct and futbolilit-edMon Tulfo’s helpless face. Boom! And as for Claudine, I only remember her as Via from Mula sa Puso and as the mermaid Marina. Other than that, nada. Wait, what’s her latest known character anyway?
  • Band of Brothers. Most of us know that the Tulfo Brothers (Mon, Ben, Raffy, and Erwin) are known for being maangas, walang inuurungan, and being authoritative. In other words, bayag-incarnated. Now, it seems that one of them, the eldest, has met his match with the Mr. and Mrs. Santiago. what would be the next episode of this fiasco? Earlier this morning, Erwin Tulfo in his radio program, invited Raymart Santiago et al for a coffee. Yes, coffee. I just hope that there are no biscuits, sandwiches, candies, korniks, and a bangka ng sakla with this invitation. If you know what I mean.

After making sawsaw and dissecting some parts of this issue, let us look at the bigger picture: airline services, privacy, and respect.

The problem started with an off-loaded (missing) luggage of the Barreto’s by carrier Cebu Pacific. Barreto, in her anger, scolded and threw hurtful words to the helpless stewardess. Tulfo, being a journalist, seeing the helpless attendant, tried to document the whole incident.

The problem of Cebu Pacific’s handling of the passenger’s luggage has been repeatedly criticized by Mon Tulfo (in his column) and other passengers. Maybe, this incident will be an eye-opener and a lesson for the company to fix the mess of their services. Maybe, the Santiagos and Tulfo are the shameful sacrificial lambs (pardon me for those words) to fix the service of this carrier.

The second thing is respect. Just because you are well-known and may kaya, do you really have to put this helpless flight attendants into shame by throwing harsh words to them? Yes, it is a fact that there are lapses with their services but that doesn’t mean you have the right to treat these persons as shits. The customer is not always right.

And the last thing is privacy. In today’s age of digital cameras, smart phones, and internet, it seems that the notion of privacy is nothing but an abstract concept. Take this as an example: As long as you have a camera and a decent internet connection, you can easily shoot a video of a person (even without their consent) and upload it online. Let’s say that it is for the purpose of news and evidence but what are the parameters? What are the things that you can or cannot share online? Do we have the liberty, for the sake of freedom of information, to share these stuff online? This is still a subject to debate and legislation. Mahaba-habang inuman pa ‘to.

Some people would say that this is just nothing but a cheap fight between two prominent personalities. Some would enjoy this just as much as they enjoy watching Tiyang Amy’s Face to Face. But there is bigger picture here.

It just sucks to realize that while all the attention of the public is focused on this incident, some important issues are neglected – poverty, corruption, land reform, freedom of information, and impunity.

Welcome to the Philippines!