Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Holy Weak

Bicolanos are fervent Marian devotees. Unfortunately, that devotion can sometimes lead to an absurdity such as this:

Couldn't they have created a Facebook page instead? I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds "Ina only shares some of her profile information with everyone. If you know Ina, send her a message or add her as a friend" off-putting.

I know Our Lady of Peñafrancia, but that doesn't mean we ought to be Facebook friends. It's awkward that people can "poke" her; it's absurd to think she's really looking for "networking," or that she has an e-mail address and two websites. Besides, any and all messages or prayer requests people have they can send her directly—I'm confident Our Lady doesn't read postings on an FB wall.

Friday, March 26, 2010

They Broke The Internet!

I bet that at this very moment, in the SC Public Information Office—the office responsible for maintaining and updating the Supreme Court website—there's an alarm going, "The town is under attack! The town is under attack!" like in that classic game Warcraft. The reason?
1,451 out of 5,903 Bar examinees pass
By Tetch Torres

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE) A total of 1,451 out of 5,903 examinees from 108 law schools nationwide passed the 2009 Bar examinations, Associate Justice Antonio Eduardo Nachura announced Friday.

Nachura, chairman of the 2009 Bar examinations committee, said this represented 24.58 percent of the total number.

The announcement came after the high court’s en banc session where Nachura presented the result.

Continued …
It seems everyone is trying to get on the website. I don't know why I'm surprised; after all, the exact same thing happened last year.

[27 March 2010 Edit]

Congratulations are in order for my old classmate—she's one of the lucky few who passed. From now on that's Atty. Monkey Mind to you.

The list of successful examinees can be found here and here.

Mo-pho: Surely You Exaggerate

Photo taken with my trusty Sony Ericsson K600i.

I searched high and low but didn't find a single news report about a lawyer dropping dead en route. How disappointing.

(For the record, the distance from the Justice Hall to the Supreme Court compound can't be more than five kilometers as the crow flies.)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Riddle Me This

On the street the other day I was handed my first (and so far only) campaign leaflet for the May elections. In addition to the de rigueur information about the candidate's qualifications I found this curious instruction:

How did they know the candidate's number on the actual ballot?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Okey Sa Olrac

It has been a while since I last saw him, but this young man is one of my favorite people on the planet.

[Photo credit: T. Roa]

The other night I came across his copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Do-It-Yourself Book by Jeff Kinney, the best-selling author who made it to the 2009 TIME 100 list of the world's most influential people. It's a fun activity book-slash-journal for kids (of all ages) and is chock-full of writing prompts. I think I shall make use of a few of them here.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Small Mercies

Today I wished only for a happy thought. The universe obliged, in advance even: on this day of days Manny Pacquiao won't be singing in concert.

[25 March 2010 Edit]

Some fun facts:

31 is a prime number.

= 20 + 21 + 22 + 23 + 24
The sum of five powers of 2.

= 50 + 51 + 52
The sum of three powers of 5.

= 25 - 1
A Mersenne prime.

There are 31 letters in the Cyrillic (Russian) alphabet.

Thirty-one is a betting game played with cards.

In French the expression trente et un means someone who is well dressed.
[Hat tip to Richard Phillips.]

Thursday, March 18, 2010

New Skins

Blogger last added to its collection of blog templates years ago, so yeah, I'm geeked about the newly launched Blogger Template Designer. It's about time they kept up with the blogging services out there that offer infinitely more "official" designs.

The availability of new designs has given delinquent blogger Katroni something to work on. I would like to try a new template myself but there's one thing stopping me: according to the Blogger announcement post,
The Template Designer is not supported on Internet Explorer 6, nor, for that matter, are the new templates. While we’ve made an effort to ensure that they’ll still be readable, the new designs are not going to look particularly attractive on IE6. We strongly encourage the very small number of bloggers and readers still using IE6 to upgrade to a more modern browser. …
That's too bad, because as of this writing, a full tenth of those who stumble upon this blog use IE6.

[Image taken from]

What to do, what to do?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Q: Guess which Filipino fighter scored the better-looking win at Cowboys Stadium this past Sunday (clue: it wasn't Manny Pacquiao).

[Credit: Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images from Yahoo! Sports]

A: Eden Sonsona, that's who.
Sonsona knocks out tough Colombian foe;
Fareñas-Morales fight ‘no decision’

By Roy Luarca
Philippine Daily Inquirer

ARLINGTON, TEXAS—Filipino bantamweight champion Eden Sonsona continued to flaunt his newfound power, knocking out Colombian Maurcio Pastrana in the eighth and final round of The Event’s opening bout at the Cowboys Stadium.

The 21-year-old Sonsona caught Pastrana with a wicked left to the chin, sending the Colombian down for the full count with one minute and 33 seconds left in the fight.

Continued …
It seems there's something in the water at the family compound: young Eden is the first cousin of former World Boxing Organization super flyweight champion Marvin Sonsona.

[Hat tip to From the 50 Peso Seats.]

With two weeks to spare I've accomplished my blogging goal for this month. Boom.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Doff Of The Hat

We lost a good Filipino yesterday.
‘She lived simply, didn’t have a fancy car’
By TJ Burgonio, Julie M. Aurelio, Doris Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—She spent most of her life in government but she never craved money or power, lived simply and left public service untouched by any whiff of scandal.

At 2:05 p.m. Monday, former Budget Secretary Emilia T. Boncodin passed away due to cardiac arrest at a Quezon City hospital after her body rejected a kidney donated by her sister. She was 55.

Continued …
I seem to recall being in the same Malacañang room as then-Sec. Boncodin once, but it could be just my memory playing tricks on me. What I'm certain of, though, is that my mother, herself a career government employee, held her in high regard. Ms. Boncodin was from our hometown, after all—a local girl who made good, rising from the ranks to become a Cabinet member and keeping all the while an unsullied reputation. She made us—still makes us—Irigueños proud.

Fare you well, Ma'am.

Here's a blog entry from one of former Sec. Boncodin's students at the National College of Public Administration and Governance in UP Diliman.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Toying With

Perhaps frustrated at Joshua Clottey's turtle technique, Manny Pacquiao threw a double punch that Da King, Fernando Poe, Jr., would've been proud of.

[Credit: AP Photo/David J. Phillip on]

Lots of people (including me) are disappointed that the clearly overmatched Clottey survived twelve rounds. A Pacquiao win by decision—even a unanimous one like yesterday's—just doesn't cut it anymore. Manny has spoiled us so.

Actor Marlon Wayans' Tweet about Journey vocalist Arnel Pineda:
The dude that sang the phillipian anthem look like he was in the middle of a sex change and they were like "hey we need u 2 sing"

For lack of a better thing to do (other than to cuss Clottey out for refusing to mix it up), people speculated which famous person Pacquiao's opponent most resembled.

I'd smile like that, too, if win or lose I'll get a multi-million dollar paycheck.
[Credit: AP photo from Yahoo! Sports]

Some said it was the NBA player Emeka Okafor.

[Photo credit: Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images from Yahoo! Sports]

Some suggested singer Akon, he of the hit song "Smack That," which is exactly what Manny did to his hapless opponent.

[16 March 10 Edit]

Here's an article from The Sweet Science about Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach's thoughts on what everyone is calling as Manny's "pompyang punch":
THE KIMBALL CHRONICLES: Roach Wonders If Mole Infiltrated Wild Card
By George Kimball

Oh, yes. About that “Thunderclap” -- a/k/a “Pop Goes the Weasel” -- Pacquiao effected in the fourth round, drawing a stern admonition from referee Rafael Ramos when he slammed his fists against both of Clottey’s ears at once. Roach chalks that one up to, well, a case of Manny being Manny.

“He does it in a gym all the time,” said Roach. “I don’t think there’s been a guy he ever sparred with he didn’t try it on, and Steve Forbes, in this camp, was the first guy who’d even retaliated. When he talked about doing it in a fight I warned him ‘Manny, don’t even think about it, because they’ll take a point away if you do.’”

“No they won’t,” replied  Pacquiao. “The first time I do it they’ll just warn me.”

In gym sparring, or in amateur bouts, the technique can be downright dangerous, since catching an opponent wearing tight-fitting headgear on both ear-holes at once could easily rupture an eardrum, “but I frankly don’t understand why it should be illegal in a professional fight,” said Roach. “I’ve asked a bunch of people and never gotten a good answer.  Think about it: all you’re doing is throwing two punches at the same time. I can’t think of any rule that says you can’t do that.”

Full story …
"No they won't," replied Pacquiao. "The first time I do it they'll just warn me."

This, ladies and gentlemen of Sarangani Province, is the man who would be your congressman. Aren't you just thrilled?

[Hat tip to Fire Quinito.]

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I've Been A Bad, Bad Boy 2

I have no love for the sudden downpours the past two nights.

One, I'm not the Boy Scout type—I don't have an umbrella on my person at all times.

Two, I like walking home, or on days when I have to wear formal shoes, part of the way home. It gives me time to think, plan, or reflect; it's also the only form of exercise I get these days.

Three, I become an asshole. Last night I beat a mother and her child to a taxi. When the lady asked, "Kuya, puwede bang kami muna?" I simply ignored her and got in the cab. 

(In my defense I was drenched from standing under the rain to hail a taxi; they had an umbrella.)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Make Me Proud, Marikina

If you really want a shakeup in the Sanggunian, go and elect this guy who's running as an independent.

 [Image credit: SuporTADO Ka Namin on Facebook]

You can take it from me. I was a Barangka Boy for close to twelve years, see.

[Hat tip to A Spool of Yarn.]

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Before I Forget…

It's 311 Day 2010, woohoo!

Were I the kind of person who has a bucket list, watching 311 live on 311 Day would rank among the Top Ten items. It's a bitch that not only am I half the world away from this year's concert venue (Las Vegas), I also don't have the means to watch the paid webcast.

Oh, well, I'll be there in spirit. YouTube will cure all my ills. Now sing it with me: Life could slip away in absentminded numbness

There's The Kitchen Sink!

While it's popular knowledge that Team Villar is pulling out all the stops to capture the presidency, and that most likely they've been at it for years, some components of their campaign are relatively low-key.

For example, a few weeks back I learned of the comic book Ang Alamat ni Manny V: Tagumpay ng Kabataan Laban sa Kahirapan. Now, a former boardmate who works for our high school alma mater has encountered the "Manny Villar Excellence Award."
Orange Hurts My Eyes

At the end of each school year the institution awards deserving students who have achieved the spirit of excellence in the fields of academics, sports, arts, etc...

Today an odd object came to our mailbox:

Yup, that's right. I guess Agent Orange also wants to award students through his own brand of excellence in every school's graduation/recognition ceremonies. The set, held together by a bright orange leather cover, contains a medal (with his name and title on it), a glossy certificate (with his photoshopped picture andauthentic signature), and an application form.

They didn't even bother giving us a formal letter explaining the guidelines/criteria on how to choose the student who deserves the award. labo, tsong...

Continued …
"Labo" is right, padi.

To its eternal credit my high school alma mater has thrice now declined to confer that unsolicited award. Unfortunately there are a number of schools that have obliged or will oblige. There's an even larger number of graduates who have listed or will list that "honor" in their resumés. Yet if my friend's experience is any indication, then the events that led to their getting that award likely aren't too lofty.

(Sorry to burst your bubble, kids.)

[Hat tip to J.]

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Stab At Reading Between The Lines

Chot Reyes, the multi-titled head coach of the Philippine Basketball Association team Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters and a fellow Ateneo alumnus, is one of the few people I follow on Twitter.

Yesterday he posted a cryptic Tweet:
Funny how a team owner can make those comments in todays PDI when his coach and team mgr thanked me and my boss after their semis sweep
My curiosity was piqued so I did some sleuthing on There I found this:
PBA OKs Harbour Centre-Barako Bull ‘jersey deal’
By Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer

x x x

Meanwhile, Alaska team owner Wilfred Steven Uytengsu said that a P10 million fine for teams that will walk out of a game in future is a “bargain if you can endure the embarrassment.”

“It’s not high enough,” the three-time board chair said in a text message. “No amount of money can represent the impropriety of walking out of a game. Every team has a responsibility to the league and to the fans to do their best regardless of the calls.”

Full story …
First, a brief backgrounder. On 5 February 2010 Coach Chot's team, protesting what it perceived as biased refereeing, walked out of and forfeited Game 4 of its Philippine Cup quarterfinal series against the Barangay Ginebra Kings. Talk ‘N Text was later fined over P1.2 million, and went on to lose Game 5 as well as the series, three games to two.

The Tropang Texters' infraction, which was reminiscent of the 1990 walkout of the Añejo Rhum 65ers (who are now called, in an ironic coincidence, the Barangay Ginebra Kings) in Game 6 of the First Conference championship series against Shell Rimula X and the 2006 near-walkout of the Red Bull Barakos in Game 4 of the Philippine Cup finals against the San Miguel Beermen, led the PBA to increase the fine for walkouts to P10 million.

Having read the Philippine Daily Inquirer article, I see now that Coach Chot and I have differing ideas what "funny" means.

But if Coach Chot is to be believed, Alaska Aces head coach Tim Cone and team manager Joaqui Trillo thanked him and his boss (who could either be Ricky Vargas, Talk 'N Text's representative to the PBA Board of Governors, or team owner Manny Pangilinan) after Alaska swept Barangay Ginebra in their best-of-seven semifinals.

Now I don't know what exactly the Talk 'N Text did to deserve Cone and Trillo's thanks, but let me hazard a guess: The Tropang Texters' previous complaints of biased officiating ensured that in the Alaska-Barangay Ginebra series, the referees' calls did not all go the crowd favorite Gin Kings' way.

Ain't I smart?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Remember, Remember

A year ago today a pillar of the Pinoy music scene joined the choir invisible.

Francis Magalona
(4 October 1964 – 6 March 2009)

He is missed.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Assisted Blogging

Following February's pathetic eight-post tally I resolved to hit double-digit blog entries this month. That's going to be a challenge, though, since I'm fresh out of ideas and I'm wary of reducing this blog into a whine platform. I suppose I could simply regurgitate stuff I find on the Interweb, but that would be cheating.

Thank goodness I can use a Plinky prompt:
The world is clearly ending soon. Where will you go to ring in the apocalypse?
Well, the apocalypse I prefer is that from Deep Impact, i.e., there's a huge comet that crashes into the planet and causes mass extinction. For that I want to be somewhere that overlooks the Marikina Valley (the balcony of the Pollock Renewal Center in Ateneo comes to mind), sipping a Rum and Coke while I eyeball that hunk of rock as it plows into the Earth at a shallow angle and skips towards me like a flat rock on water. That is a beautiful death, no?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Project Exodus: November 2004

Moses is taking too long to come down from the mountain. These posts from November 2004 are starting to lose faith.

Wow, last month I only posted eight entries. That's the lowest monthly count since I started this blog in 2008. I must bounce back.