Monday, January 30, 2012

Hashtag FML

Dear Lady-Who-Was-Directly-Behind-Me-And-Was-On-

I didn’t have to hear about "the boil outside [your] labia" na "pumutok na," but since you were talking oh so loudly, I did. Many hours later I still have a very graphic mental image that, despite all my best efforts, has not been erased by thoughts of kitties, puppies, or Care Bears.

So from the bottom of my grossed-out heart, Eff you.

Very truly yours,

Friday, January 20, 2012

Ikaw Pa Lang Ang Minahal 20 Years Since

On Cinema One last Monday night I caught the second half of Ikaw Pa Lang Ang Minahal, the 1992 film directed by Carlos Siguion-Reyna and topbilled by Maricel Soriano, Richard Gomez, Charito Solis, and Eddie Gutierrez.

I don't know, the movie just didn't age well (unlike, say, A Few Good Men or Unforgiven, both of which also opened exactly two decades ago). For a multi-awarded drama, Ikaw Pa Lang Ang Minahal is cringeworthy and unintentionally hilarious. My whole experience was perfectly summed up by the twelve-year-old who watched with us and Spoiler! astutely remarked: "This is painful to watch."

I went on Google to find the film's exact title and encountered this nearly two-year-old article where the writer said that Maricel Soriano should've won an award for her "tour de force performance." I thought, Okay, that tour de force bit is a stretch but whatever, everyone's entitled to their own opinion, yadda-yadda-yadda.

I soon discovered that the same writer has commended everyone and their mothers, it seems, for "tour de force" performances (Jean Garcia, Anita Linda, Coco Martin, Eugene Domingo, and Gina Pareño) and portrayals (Rustica Carpio, Susan Roces, Judy Ann Santos, and Glaiza de Castro). Hell, even singing (Raymond Lauchengco)!

It looks like somebody found a nice, highfalutin phrase of French origin he could drop in articles as a fancy adjective (although it's not really an adjective). I wouldn't be surprised if the writer in fact describes everything—from overwrought, beat-you-over-the-head acting to his bowel movement in the mornings, and everything else in between—as "tour de force."

Like Iñigo Montoya I can only go, You keep using that word; I do not think it means what you think it means.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wikipedia Is Blacked Out

Earlier today Wikipedia made its point—and how!

Imagine one indeed.
[Screen grab from here.]

Since I use it only occasionally, Wikipedia's 24-hour blackout is just a minor inconvenience. But for a long while there I couldn't remember what it was I did on the Internet to look up and learn about things before the advent of that website. It only goes to show how much—limited use and all—Wikipedia had become part of my online routine. Before today at least, it was just…there, much in the same way that FM radio was just…there for me for a good long time until just a few years ago, if that makes sense.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ateneo De Naga University Press Launch

This Friday afternoon, 20 January 2012, the Ateneo de Naga University Press will be launched (yet again?):
Ateneo de Naga Opens University Press, Launches 2 books of Bikol Translations

Naga City—The Ateneo de Naga University opens 2012 with the formal opening of its university press by launching books of translations in Bikol by two of the region's noted contemporary writers. When it is launched on Friday, January 20, 2012, the AdNU Press is the newest addition to the list of academic publishing centers in the country.

Fr. Wilmer Joseph S. Tria, AdNU Press Director, discloses that one of its goals is to become the premier resource of Bikoliana in the world. As an academic publishing house, AdNU Press is open to all who are interested to have a manuscript published. Fr. Tria further adds that optimum quality of materials to be published is a primary requirement, and, therefore, as practiced by university presses worldwide, all submitted manuscripts will be subjected to necessary evaluations.

Full story…
The event will be held at the James J. O'Brien, S.J. Library, and will feature a lecture on academic publishing from Maricor Baytion, Director and Marketing Manager of the Ateneo de Manila University Press, as well as the launch of two AdNU Press books.

AdNU Press' initial offerings for 2012 include Doros asín mga Anghél: Translations in Bikol of John Donne's Holy Sonnets and Selected Works by Victor Dennis T. Nierva.

[Image grabbed from here.]

Nierva is the author of the multi-award-winning Antisipasyon asin iba pang Rawitdawit sa Bikol asin Ingles.* Doros asín mga Anghél** is his second book.

Congratulations, Pading Vic!

This is the (new?) AdNU Press logo:

[Image grabbed from here.]

Classy. That thing on the left is meant to evoke a rotary printing press as well as AdNU's famed Four Pillars, I assume

* Translation: Anticipation and Other Poems in Bikol and English

** Translation: Air and Angels

Friday, January 6, 2012

Kicking Ass. More Fun In The Philippines

Here's my (unsolicited) contribution to the new Philippine tourism campaign launched earlier today:

The Manny Pacquiao double punch on Joshua Clottey.
[Original photo credit: AP Photo/David J. Phillip]

You're welcome, Department of Tourism.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Kiefer Ravena's Fastbreak Is A Go

Oh hey, that Kiefer Ravena-led benefit game on January 6 has a poster:

That Lower Box ticket price might be a misprint, though.
[Image grabbed from here.] reports that the exhibition game will pit the team composed of Ravena, Jason Abalos, Marco Alcaraz, Anton Altamirano, Baser Amer, Rico Blanco, Joross Gamboa, Jhong Hilario, Xian Lim, Champ Lui Pio, Terrence Romeo, and Chris Tiu against that made up of Luis Alandy, Kevin Alas, JP Erram, RR Garcia, Jon Hall, Sam Marata, Rafael Melocoton, Thirdy Ravena, Nico Salva, Dan Sara, Gab Valenciano, Joshua Webb, and Young JV.

There will be a three-point shootout at halftime featuring Allan Caidic, James Yap, Jason Sabio, Jai Reyes, and Mark Zambrano. The Philippine Azkals, who will play in their own charity football game the following day, will also be in attendance.

Courtside tickets have long been sold out but Lower and Upper Box tickets are still available for PHP100 and PHP50, respectively, at Titan outlets in The Fort, Ronac Center, and Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City, and at the Filoil Flying V Arena on game day. Ticket reservation may be made via

Donations for Typhoon Sendong victims will also be accepted and collected at the venue on January 6.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I Found A James C. Humes-Autographed Book

Look what I found in the copy of Confessions of a White House Ghostwriter: Five Presidents and Other Political Adventures I rescued:

I think it reads:
To Velia Fisher
a staunch patriot & Republican

(Signed, "James C. Humes")

Newport Beach, Ca
Cool, huh? That has happened to me just once before.

One cool bit of trivia about Humes: he co-authored the (grammatically incorrect) text on the Apollo 11 lunar plaque.

[4 January 2012 Edit]

I found an autographed copy of Football's a Religion, Why Don't We Have a Prayer? by Jere Longman. There's no dedication, but it raises my tally to three.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

I'm Starting On My 2012 Book Tally

After realizing I had a pitiful, pitiful 2011 book count I rescued some books from the bargain bin so I could start on my 2012 tally right away:

[Image source.]
Confessions of a White House Ghostwriter: Five Presidents and Other Political Adventures by James C. Humes — Over three years ago there was an interesting Washington Post profile on Barack Obama's chief speechwriter, Jon Favreau. That article and this book piqued my interest because in the Philippines where they're sometimes labeled "ghostwriters," it's rare that the identities of the President's speechwriters are public knowledge. Off the top of my head, the only past or present presidential speechwriters I can name are Teodoro "Teddy Boy" Locsin, Jr., who wrote for Cory Aquino, and Mai "The wine sucks" Mislang, who wrote for Noynoy Aquino.

[Image source.]
The Stone Cold Truth by Stone Cold Steve Austin with Jim "J.R." Ross as told to Dennis Brent — Of all the WWE wrestlers who rose to prominence during the Attitude Era, Steve Austin is my most favorite.

First, his character wasn't convoluted and his gimmick did not require too much suspension of disbelief unlike, say, Gangrel, Kane, or Undertaker's "Deadman" incarnation.

Second, even though Austin wasn't built up as a "technical" wrestler like Bret "Hit Man" Hart, there was a logical progression in his finishing sequence that I thought was a nice touch. Austin would kick his opponents in the gut or groin first, causing them to bend over in pain and be in perfect position for his Stone Cold Stunner finisher. Contrast that with Randy Orton, who regularly hits his RKO finishing maneuver from out of nowhere and without any kind of setup whatsoever.

[Image source.]
Total Access: A Journey to the Center of the NFL Universe by Rich Eisen — One of the best things about my college semestral breaks was that on weekday afternoons I could watch SportsCenter on ESPN. That show was top-notch in terms of production values,and had a lot of great anchors like Dan Patrick, Rich Eisen, Stuart Scott, Kenny Mayne, and Linda Cohn, to name just a few.

For some reason I found Eisen especially entertaining. Maybe it's because he had these folksy catchphrases that he used in reporting the day's sports highlights, like "He busts out the whuppin' stick!" whenever a baseball player hit managed to hit a home run. Or maybe it's because Eisen looked like he could be Dan Akroyd's little brother. I can't decide.