Search and You Shall Find in My World

30 November 2010

Andres Bonifacio is remembered today

Today, my favorite hero of the Philippines is remembered for his 147th birthday. He is one of the founders of the Katipunan (Kataas-taasan, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan), a revolutionary society that waged war against the Spanish regime in the Philippines.

Andres Bonifacio is remembered on his birthday rather than on the date of his death unlike most heroes and saints. 

Photo source:

26 November 2010

"Pilipinas Kay Ganda"

I wish I was able to open the website being launched by our very own Department of Tourism as its re-branding of the Philippines. But it was taken down due to heavy criticisms not just from anti-Noynoy groups but also by the tourism sector itself.

Some said it was a complete disaster not just because of grammar and plagiarism but the site rhymes with a porno website with various "Filipinas" fornicating. Kay ganda! (So beautiful!) Indeed. I even heard from DOT insiders that in every activity they conduct, gyrating half-naked women would greet you at the entrance. Even the launching of Pilipinas Kay Ganda was not spared, prompting attendees to confirm that the Philippines is actually selling Filipinas on its tourism campaigns.

I've read somewhere that this was their description of Cebu (hold your breath, Pilipinas!)-

"You will also see cliffs that tower above crashing surfs, virgin forests, clear rivers, mossy jungles, and cool mountain ridges.”

This was the tallest tale ever written about Cebu. Cebuanos would be lost if they would be put on that place. Any idea what have they written about Bohol and its night life?

The Philippines is getting funnier each time.

You too can make your own logo like the one above by following this link. Don't worry, you will not spend millions of pesos nor be accused of plagiarism on this one.

And by the way, contrary to what Secretary Lim of DOT told the public that not a single centavo was spent on the scrapped re-branding activities of DOT for its tourism campaign, insiders squealed that almost 5 million pesos were already spent. Part of that expense is shown below-

Scanned DV from this site.

25 November 2010

The funny side of the Korean attack

The attack from Pyongyang gets the world ready for another war

If war is inevitable between the two Koreas, we should be digging our bunkers right now. 

For one, the Philippines is now another Korea with the invasion of its citizens to almost every nook and cranny in the country. With the exemption, perhaps, of Basilan and the Sulu areas where kidnapping of anyone alien is like a job description worth bragging in resumes. From TV shows to music to restaurants to nasty Jumongs (a term we invent to call ill-mannered Koreans), Philippines has a lot of them.

When North Korea attacked the South, the world was in slight chaos, I presume, and everyone is watching them since Seoul promised a retaliation. Would this be another World War? US warships are now heading to that area as of this writing. 

Being at war only with myself, a real war could be this exciting.

1996 Miss Universe Alicia Machado of Venezuela
But nothing is more exciting than a former Miss Universe title-holder from Venezuela Alicia Machado who was very concerned with what is happening around the world so that she asked followers in her Twitter account that we pray for the two Chinas not to attack each other and make it worse. Err.

Are beauty queens really that dumb? To err is human after all.


I wonder why there was so much fuzz about the joke a Korean actress made about how we speak English. Filipinos called her racist. Oh c'mon. We are more harsh to them Koreans than what she said on TV. Why care?

We are more racist than anyone else in the planet. We even call ourselves Filipino race while our neighbors call themselves Asians.

Korean attack picture from  
Alicia Machado pic from

Don't worry


24 November 2010

Funny TSA or shall we say Dumb?

There is a story being circulated in the Net about how dumb Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents are. Even in the Philippines, airport personnel share their idiotic reasoning with their American counterparts. Terrorism could this be funny!

So we're in line, going through one at a time. One of our Soldiers had his Gerber multi-tool. TSA confiscated it. Kind of ridiculous, but it gets better. A few minutes later, a guy empties his pockets and has a pair of nail clippers. Nail clippers. TSA informs the Soldier that they're going to confiscate his nail clippers. The conversation went something like this:

TSA Guy: You can't take those on the plane.

Soldier: What? I've had them since we left country.

TSA Guy: You're not suppose to have them.

Soldier: Why?

TSA Guy: They can be used as a weapon.

Soldier: [touches butt stock of the rifle] But this actually is a weapon. And I'm allowed to take it on.

TSA Guy: Yeah but you can't use it to take over the plane. You don't have bullets.

Soldier: And I can take over the plane with nail clippers?

TSA Guy: [awkward silence]

Me: Dude, just give him your damn nail clippers so we can get the f**k out of here. I'll buy you a new set.

Soldier: [hands nail clippers to TSA guy, makes it through security]

This might be a good time to remind everyone that approximately 233 people re-boarded that plane with assault rifles, pistols, and machine guns-but nothing that could have been used as a weapon. 

Source from here: boingboing
Picture from here: vagabondish

19 November 2010

The impoverished lizard goes to watch Harry Potter \m/

We were actually Harry Potters ourselves trying to make magic but hiding the gloom and doom as our benefactor (our Mam who would let us use her credit card for the movie) announced she would not be able to come with us because of some damn spur-of-the-moment invitation!

With our minds and bodies and spirits already conditioned to watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows come seas and high waters, the assuming members of the Order called a meeting if we would or should pursue knowing the limited resources we have. A magic wand would not be helpful at that moment, even if!

Even if Death Eaters are on our way to get our souls just so we could not pursue our madness, we decided we should go for the following reasons: one, we are fanatics, avid at that, so we should be one of the firsts to watch that movie; two, the weekend would be full of lesser wizards so that just by getting a ticket would mean a long wait knowing the pretty girls at the ticket counter do not know any magic, at all, and, finally, who could resist the lure of Harry Potter in 3D?

We combined our forces to produce enough sustenance to survive Ayala Center Cebu, unknown wizards like us who are its poverty-stricken visitors. To be sure we do not have additional charges, we allow our office to feed us first before leaving.

Truly enough, lines were non-existent for the last full show. We made friends with the ticket lady with our insistent demand that we prefer the 3D version. She said they only have the 2D version. Seeing futility with our aggressiveness, she offered to seat us in the reserved seats. We were so happy we were like Bellatrix Lestrange.

The movie did not fail to deliver what is expected of it. In fact, many scenes were simply just breathtaking and surreal, like the tricycle chase, for example. But despite the sense of awe and wonder with the effects, a sense of loss and isolation is very evident in the movie. Everything is wide and lonely. For a non-reader of Harry Potter books like me, I could not relate to the names of some characters, some of which were not at the previous Harry Potter movies. I was at loss.

My heart bleeds when I saw Dobby again. He added an emotional impact on the viewers. He might also be one of the the reasons for a bigger and explosive Part 2.

Later, after the movie, I read that the distributor of this film, Warner Bros, decided not to convert the film into 3D, a long painstakingly job, I supposed, while they already announced to the world the final Harry is coming. I do so hope that the next and finaliest final chapter of Harry Potter will be in 3D.

17 November 2010

The blunder that is DOT: Philippines' tourism department promoting sex tourism?

Really now, this?! Netizens claim that the new tagline reminds them of beauty parlors and Ricky Reyes's beauty program. I can't help but recall Vice Ganda instead. Very ABS-CBN!
Or they really mean this?!

Amongst the many blunders committed by the administration of Benigno Aquino III, the most shameful so far, that's beside the botched Chinese hostage crisis, is the changing of the tagline of the Philippines in its tourism marketing strategies. I've read somewhere that it is part of a 100 million peso budget.

From Arroyo's Wow Philippines they changed it to Pilipinas Kay Ganda since Aquino's administration has this penchant repulsion of anything that came from Arroyo's administration. Yes, I hate Arroyo, too, but not as much as the present administration does.

If you are a netizen, I am sure you have seen or read the uproar brought about by this changing of tagline. I agree with most of the critics were saying: If we want tourists to come, why use an unknown language to entice them? We are not teaching them Tagalog. We want them to come and spend their money here. Unless if they are Koreans.

Or if we want to be patriotic, why use a tourism promotion? There are more venues for that. Is that right?

Even the new website they have created [] to prove how ganda is the Pilipinas was taken down as of this writing for "editing." Remember the recall of Aquino's first presidential order? I can see they always abused the words "not yet final" and "still a work in progress" to justify their errors.

What makes this website interesting is that a mere misspelling of Pilipinas to Filipinas would bring you to a porno site full of women in various forms of fornication. Yes. Well, since time immemorial, prostitution is known to earn money. Might this be the hidden agenda after all? The Catholic Church has yet to react on this as I am also sure they have already seen the porno site.

What did the tourism industry players do on this matter? I am not sure if they are excited about this since I haven't heard anything from them except from Noynoy's appointed DOT secretary Alberto Lim who assured that "the brand ... extols the innermost beauty not just of our destinations but also of our people and everything else that we do.”  That, including buying our women.

James Cordova, from Asian Correspondent wrote: How many more faux pas would these amateurs commit before the president realizes how dumb the idea was to appoint people to key government positions just because they joined in the campaign against Arroyo? There’s Ricky Carandang and Edwin Lacierda. Then there’s Mai Mislang. Now this.

Read more here:

After several searches, here is the Pilipinas Kay Ganda logo and some:

What a week!

Despite the issues of cancer and legally groping the junks of the traveling Americans by the TSA, I am glad I have not been through those kind of paranoid-inducing travel. The past weeks, Noynoy Aquino has been babbling on deaf ears about the issuances of travel advisories against the Philippines, but despite his babbling, he ordered military personnel to bring high-powered guns and parade them at the various ports around the country. A funny sight, after that bungled China tourists hostage crisis.

Anyways, the past two weeks I have not been too kind to myself. I mean, I have combined work with leisure to many activities I could never say no which resulted in a damaging fever that left me exhausted and in pain while languishing in bed.

Week 1. After a night of drinking, I traveled 5 hours overnight to Ormoc for another grueling 4-hour trip to Catbalogan, Samar to shoot a fiesta activity. Worst, the rain was not cooperative and poured hard every time I aimed my camera at the scenes. Scene after scene passed by and I dutifully captured them. I stayed there for two nights and traveled another hour via pumpboat toward an island to spend All Saints Day there. Booze flowed.

I retraced the same voyage to get myself to Cebu for another appointment.

That same weekend I went back to Ormoc to attend a friend's birthday and stayed there for 2 days, touring the less-traveled sites of Ormoc. Tiring but fun.

Week 2. After the Ormoc trip, I stayed in Cebu for a scheduled run. Rushed to Tagbilaran City for an overnight pictorial with friends.

My already questionable back has been sending me signals that I have had too much weight put on it. My shoulders were the living testimonies on this heavy issue. Blood clots marked where my bag handles rested.

The pictorials ended past 3 in the morning and I could not get myself to sleep past 5AM. 

I went back to Cebu in the afternoon and walked almost an hour later in the evening to a scheduled camp out with friends away in the mountains of Kalunasan, Cebu.

Went home after the overnight camp out exhausted and not feeling very well. In the evening, my suffering started. I nursed my fever due to inflamed tonsils for two long days.

I am glad I am okay now.

Simple joys: Simple food

The more simple the food, the better it tastes.

So is the case of the prawns we brought to our camp out in City Springs over the weekend. The fresh prawns were just sprinkled with calamansi juice and rock salt, grilled and voila! A perfect lunch ensued.

We lay wasted after.

City Springs is a private property owned by a family friend and is just within the city of Cebu but literally outside of it because power and mobile signals are very limited or nonexistent. See my previous blog about the place by clicking here.

10 November 2010

Some people

Painting by David Lynch
Some people brushes our lives like a gusty wind - sudden, brief, and only for a moment. They come with a force so strong it throws us off-balanced and marked us with a scar so deep it's forever tattooed in our soul. They are the kind that impact our lives the most, leaving us alone to define our lives after they're gone.

Go where the wind blows even if it's too cold

Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.
~Steven Wright

A weekend at the top of the mountains of Ormoc in Leyte still left me speechless I could not even write a blog. Hence, to compensate my loss of words, these pictures.

05 November 2010

Conspiracy theories on Obama's fight against terror and loss of his popularity

We're not gonna have a war, we're gonna have the appearance of a war. ~Conrad Brean, Wag the Dog

One night, while in Catbalogan, I met this British guy who has a diplomat of a wife. He was a sunny type of chap even if it was raining hard on that side of the globe.

Our discussions arrived at the news of packages as part of a terror plot against America. I liked the way he said DUH! I was never an Obama fan. I liked Hillary Clinton better because I would like to believe America is the land of the brave and the free and never in their history had they voted for a woman. It was supposed to be my kind of test for the Americans. But I disappointedly sighed. So much for gender equality. I am now convinced they are the most traditional just like any other countries around the world.

The intercepted package was in a cargo plane with a minute of a crew. Has it reached American soil? The Brit and I agreed more on the the funny side of our opinions. Was it to enhance Obama's losing battle for popularity in the US? Was it part of a drama to tell the world that they have more intelligence power therefore they are superior? Or was it again part of arm dealing business of America so they still can supply arms to other nations some of them are poor all in the guise of fighting terror? Go to war!

I was reminded of the film Wag the Dog starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert de Niro that tells about a spin-doctor and a film producer trying to fabricate a war in Albania to cover up the sex scandal committed by the president of America. Although Obama has not been into a sex scandal (Clinton, the president, has) but the plot seems likely familiar. Knowing the powers of America. Sometimes we can only sigh even if it's not a sigh of relief.

Well, we all have conspiracy theories. But always remember: When there is smoke, there is fire.

And note that the Philippine President seems to follow Obama's strategy albeit sans strategic directions towards Change.

We are all part of this comedy.

More readings:
Tony Bergonia: Aquino may follow Obama path, warns think tank 

Well, I have, too. Would you do it again...? Isn't that why you're here? I guess so. And if you go to war again, who is it going to be against? Your "ability to fight a Two-ocean War" against who? Sweden and Togo? Who you sitting here to Go To War Against? That time has passed. It's passed. It's over. The war of the future is nuclear terrorism. It is and it will be against a small group of dissidents who, unbeknownst, perhaps, to their own governments, have blah blah blah. And to go to that war, you've got to be prepared. You have to be alert, and the public has to be alert. Cause that is the war of the future, and if you're not gearing up, to fight that war, eventually the axe will fall. And you're gonna be out in the street. And you can call this a "drill," or you can call it "job security," or you can call it anything you like. But I got one for you: you said, "Go to war to protect your Way of Life," well, Chuck, this is your way of life. Isn't it? And if there ain't no war, then you, my friend, can go home and prematurely take up golf. Because there ain't no war but ours. ~Conrad Brean, Wag the Dog

Obama's picture from

Halo-halo at Tina's saved Catbalogan, Samar

I believe clean places in Catbalogan are hard to find. Honest. You can only name a few establishments where you are assured that the food handlers believed the adage "Cleanliness is next to Godliness."

Reason for this haphazard and frank opinion was that when I first went there sometime in 1997, the place was very dirty. Piled garbage remained ignored right at the premises of their Capitol building like they were cancers of the streets. Open sewers flooded the streets. The market place is so wet until now so that going there was like an open invitation to all sorts of sickness. People were ill-disciplined they spit and throw their wastes just about everywhere. Public toilets and restrooms were not worth a peep. 

I believe that the very basic place to see if food is safe in that place is just by looking at their toilets. Just imagine what are they doing with their food if the toilet of that certain establishment is like a garbage bin. 

Two years ago I wrote a disgusting blog about Catbalogan: If you have nothing good to say- blog it! It is really hard to make an honest opinion of a place where some of its residents have become your close friends. But still-

After 14 years of coming to that place, sometimes thrice a year, some establishments have actually improved, thanks heavens. There is now a Jollibee. There are others who have remained clean like Tony's Kitchen, Haropoi, Lugar ni Edgar and Charito's. I saw a coffee shop that looked clean somewhere in Ubanon but never had the chance to go in because the street where it is located was flooded. 

Another improvement is you can now also stay in a clean hotel like Rolet's or a pension house like Rose Scent. Six years ago I checked-in in a pension house but ran away from there because cockroaches greeted me at the door of my room.

The various tables and chairs at Tina's Garden added color to the place

But one of the most consistent place to eat is at Tina's Garden. The place does not brag about sophistication and all but remained simple and reasonably priced. It is located just around the corner from Rolet's Hotel. I wonder why the official website of Catbalogan did not even mentioned the place.

Their version of halo-halo
Tina's most favored products are the cool concoctions, one of which is very famous and the house specialty- halo-halo. Their version is very simple and does not have enough ingredients to compete with Chowking's. But it is one of the best halo-halo I have tasted. Much better than the highly priced but lackluster halo-halo of Cafe Lawis in Dauis Church in Bohol.

Even their sandwiches which I have not tasted at all were plainly wrapped in plastic for the customers to see, unlike Jollibee or Dunkin' Donuts. What I always love to eat there is their deliciously done rice puto and banana fritters and the occasional pudding.

Yummy puto
That is why even if I dislike the environment of Catbalogan as a whole, I still come back to places like Tina's. They are the reason I still believe that people from that place will replicate what these clean establishments are doing so that tourists will come back to that already isolated part of Samar.

I just hope the places I mentioned here would not succumb to the mentality of Catbalogan as a whole.

Related links:

Meanwhile, somewhere in that small island of Zumarraga in Samar, a small store also sells halo-halo. It is not the best but still thirst-quenching in its simplicity.

Is simplicity the clue to great halo-halos?

Mana Choling's version of halo-halo

04 November 2010

Audrey Hepburn Quote

"I have to leave you now. I'm going to that corner there and turn. You must stay in the car and drive away. Promise not to watch me go beyond the corner. Just drive away and leave me as I leave you." ~Princess Anne, Roman Holiday

Photo grabbed from Webshots

03 November 2010

Tunay na lalaki si Mai Mislang, Noynoy Aquino's Communications Assistant Secretary

Blunders upon blunders hugged the administration of Noynoy Aquino since he came into the presidency. From doing nothing about Hacienda Luisita to killing of Chinese hostages to factionalism within his circles to involvement of his top men in jueteng, all of which contributed to his diminishing popularity like his hair.

Now his administration is facing criticisms among his kababayans for the ungrateful and rude comments posted by his speech writer and Communications Assistant Secretary Carmen "Mai" Mislang on her Twitter account during Aquinos official trip to Hanoi, Vietnam. Mislang was part of Noynoy's entourage.

To quote from her no longer existing Twitter account:

The wine sucks” after the state banquet hosted by Vietnam President Nguyen Minh Triet in honor of President Aquino Tuesday during a state visit.

Sorry pero walang pogi dito #vietnam."

Crossing the speedy motorcycle laden streets of Hanoi is one of the easiest ways to die.

But like Puno and Versoza, Aquino chose to take Mislang's comments as shallow and told the Filipinos that it was such a minor issue even the Vietnamese government did not "refer that incident". The Vietnamese knew better.

Mai Mislang is a cum laude tourism graduate from UP.

Read more:

Photo of Mislang from Hay!Men
Cartoon from GMA News