Thursday, December 29, 2005


I am writing this as a reflection on my visit to Divisioria yesterday afternoon. We all know what that place means for many people: über affordable shopping paradise (I heard that 168 Mall has already earned the ire of the SM Group), where everything - and as in EVRYTHING - can be found, home to overstaying Chinese traders and all things legal and illegal. All this while PNP personnel keep watch over the pandemonium and mayhem of Manila's "new" shopping district: Divisoria.

My visit yesterday was brought upon by my wanting to surprise my Mom by getting her fresh peaches - the big, pink, crispy ones that she liked during her visit to Xian. She actually brought one home for me to taste but I told her that anything that you find in China, you can also find in Manila. Well, almost everything and I did recall seeing the same kind of peaches during my last visit to buy rice lights for the farm.

At any rate, JGC wished me luck and advised that I might get luckier in Binondo. Knowing how overpriced fruits in Binondo are, I insisted on going to DV because I do know the exact place to find them. Needless to say (but I'm still saying it), I did't find any this time. Must be the season or something, rain and all, but what were there were the usual ponkans (yawn..) , grapes and anything round to cater to Filipinos' new-found penchant for obtaining "luck" in whatever form. Streets are awashed with fruits of all sorts, lucky charms (Chinese characters embossed in faux gold with long red tassels) , clothing and new-generation firecrackers including those which I know are illegal. As I said, this is DV.

The area around Divisoria Mall was, to say the least, terribly cramped with stalls taking over what little street space there is left, squeezing people into several lines. Then there are the cargadors with their huge boxes of deliveries further pushing people out of the way. I can't say this is all fun. Any first timer would have fainted on the spot. But back to the fruits.

There are pears of all kinds, really huge ones to the point of being grotesque, from Japan, Down Under, and the common ones from China (yellow and green, though I prefer the latter for its juiciness and that it doesn't easily ripens). Kiwis sell for Ps 20 per piece, and dragon fruits from Vietnam go for Ps 120 per kilo (2 pieces by the looks of it). The huge, ugly pears sell for Ps 25 each. It was obvious that due to the mad rush for anything round, the sweet melons and pineapples (not round but it holds a special place in the list of lucky things) were harvested way too early. Tiny pineapples like those I buy in Dangwa for flower decoration purposes sell for Ps 10 each, while the melons were just about the same. They look terribly unripe and I seriously doubt if they can be eaten at all. Oh, well. Basta kumpleto ang 12 fruits, who cares?

What did I end up buying? A trusty, old-style marble mortar and pestle from Romblon at Ps 100, longgans (ps 100 per bunch), and atiezas (acheza?) which was one of the fruits of my Pampanga childhood. I saw them in this lonely stall where green señorita bananas, nice suha, and solo papayas were also displayed but largely ignored by everyone. At Ps 30 per kilo, they are sure to be a hit at home since we rarely see these Pinoy fruits anymore. I miss the mabolo a lot. I only know of one tree exisiting in Mexico, Pampanga because I used to pass by that garden in my elementary school days.

I decided to escape from all the madness by walking all the way to Tabora and catching a jeep to Avenida, from where I'd be taking a bus home via Sta. Cruz. What a day indeed. And I will surely be back.

By the way, 2006 is said to be the year of Red Fire Dog (Year 4703) to celebrate on the 29th of January. I wonder what it has in store for Rabbits like me.

I will edit this article on my next visit. I didn't get to write down what I really want to say.


This was sent by my Mom through e-mail. It's supposed to be a walking woman, and was created as an email drive to bring attention to the plight of breast cancer victims around the world.

This one goes out to my beloved Mother, to my very good friend Grace, and to JGC's sister.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


I grieve because you misunderstand
Or you choose to not understand
Not to listen
Or if you do listen, you are deaf.

I seek solace in this ethereal space
Stare blankly at this screen
Of endless possibilities
Wishing that
Google will give me the
Answer to life’s questions

I can hear voices
See lives
The past
The future
The changes
And the things that never will be

Because minds are closed to
Stories, stories, stories
forcing themselves on to me

I am inundated by
interminable stories

stories, stories, stories, stories, stories and more stories
of every color and hue

coming from the sarimanok dreams.

Source: FROM THE SARIMANOK DREAMS by Dylan Yap Gozum, 2005

Monday, December 26, 2005


Recent photos I took of myself, the common desk at the mango farm, and an artsy-fartsy take on aluminum chairs against the red floor. I hope everyone is having a great time during the Holidays! A Happy Christmas and a Hopeful New Year to all!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


1.) Haw flakes

2.) ‘Tintin and Friends’ comic books

3.) Tom Yam

4.) Fried chicken from Serenity
5.) Early morning flights
6.) Baguio City market

7.) Lolita Rodriguez in Chito Roño’s 'LUCIA'
8.) Spanish classes at the Instituto Cervantes
9.) Saturday movie specials at the Salon de Actos

10.) Hanging out in friends’ houses


I recall reading Ayn Rand's defining work ATLAS SHRUGGED in college and how I got hooked on the idea of objectivism. However, my mother chanced upon the book lying on the couch in our house in Pampanga and after a cursory check, asked me to stop reading it. Yes, she may be the in-house MTRCB of sorts (she has rejected several films from my collection from being shown in her presence) but she does have her reasons. Needless to say, I ended up reading THE FOUNTAINHEAD as well, and bought two more books by Rand - both collections of essays. I wouldn't mention their titles here as they are too high-brow and I honestly haven't had the chance to actually finish reading them. Suffice to say that I was on an Ayn Rand mode for a year or two, even used RAND as a chat username (how cheap!) and managed to get the kind of attention I wasn't actually asking for but a welcome one nonetheless. Came across a photo of this nice, nice sweater the other day and bham!, it was Rand-landia all over again. So much for reminiscing.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Working towards the UN Millenium Development Goal's 201 target is driving everyone in a frenzy these days, especially NGOs and social development agencies of governments around the world.

Since my Mom is working in the education sector, her NGO has used the CHILD FRIENDLY SCHOOL (CFS) as the central theme in achieving the goals set in education. She has travelled from Pangasinan in the north to Camotes in the south to lecture on this topic. Hopefully, everyone concerned should be able to come up with doable action plans in order to uplift the situation in their areas.
In some of my trips to these areas, I have heard people say that NGOs have become their direct source of support when it comes to funding their programs. In fact, local DepEd offices have become so dependent on NGOs for funding: from trainings to "exposure" trips. I've read somewhere that almost US$40 billion have been poured by several NGOs into Philippine development since the 70s. What happened?


It appears that the market for kidneys is still alive and well. A new report by PDI's Christine Esguerra here proves that what used to be a matter left between two families has become a black market enterprise.

I know this is not new to the Philippine setting. Many years back when I started watching social-related shows on TV, this has already been a major source of income for many people, mostly from those living near the sea wall of Manila Bay.

If i am not mistaken, the story was done by Cheche Lazaro herself in her multi-awarded show Probe Team, then running on GMA7. Just imagine how Ps 150,000 can go a long way in changing people's lives. But is it worth it? We may have to wait a few more years to actually find out. Soon, another dilemma will loom in the horizon: health costs for those who have one kidney remaining. By then, it would be too late to even think of regret.


And I thought mischief ended after the 2004 elections, but wait! Here come 4 boys based in Sacramento, CA who have upped the ante a little bit further by making music videos AND lypsynching to songs by original artists!

Called The Mischievious Boys ("mischievious" here is pronounced as "mis-chee-vee-uhs"), they have released several videos of themselves using original songs by Will Young, Madonna's (Hung Up), 98 Degress, Global Deejays, Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston and Kenny Clarkson.

It's totally funny to see 2 Filipinos (Edward and Joseph), 1 Thai (David), and 1 Vietnamese (Tommy) full-grown boys in muscle shirts cavort, dance, and lip synch to Houston's TRY IT ON MY OWN. I really do not know what to make of these people, but the videos are fun and amusing!

Check them out here!

Sunday, December 04, 2005


Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros has been making waves since it opened to commercial viewing last November 30. I saw it during its debut at the 1st Cinemalaya and I wrote the review that same day. The article was published in Yehey! Movies.

To add fuel to the fire, the makers of the film have also opened a blog supposedly written by Maximo himself. Hmmm...

Going through it, it appears that the boy actually is into, well, boys, flowers, cooking, Sandara and Claudine movies, “magsulsi ng damit, mag-shopping at mamalengke [darning clothes, shopping and going to the wet market]” though not necessarily in that order. Amusing.

See the blog here and the official site here.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


I never fail to make an entry on December 1. It's been a habit since my college days to always remember this day. In the university, there always would be a special exhibit in the Science Center lobby courtesy of the Biophilic Society which we headed.

Today, more than ever, the need for education and information sharing remains as crucial and important.

December 1, 2005. World AIDS Day. In honor of those who work so hard to give hope to those who are still living.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Came across this wonderful game from the Nobel Prize website. It consists of sending peace doves to disarm nuclear arsenals across the globe - from India to the US. You can launch the doves using a destination box on the screen.

The catch here is, you're supposed to be well-read on the topic in order to send the dove to the right country on the first try! I was able to disarm 5 out of 6 countries. Not bad for a start. Start playing it here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


HIMALA (Source: UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies )

This entry is based on an article by well-respected medical anthropologist Michael Tan in his January 29, 2004 article entitled “Movies as social capital,” published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Read it here.

In 108 years of cinema in the Philippines, there is nothing that can take away from our film makers the urge to portray our current state of affairs as they are - be it about our continued abject poverty, or even the simplest nuances and changes in the Pinoy character.

Looking back 30 to 40 years ago, we've had a wealth of of films that were made during very difficult times and we are glad to still have them today, thanks to the hard work of our archivists (despite the lack of a proper archive) and film enthusiasts. I had the chance of seeing some of them a few years back - thanks to ABS-CBN - and they pretty much convey the same message to us today. Which is weird because this says a lot about how much we've changed as a society.

With my apologies to the film makers, writers and producers, I wish to reflect on some of them here today. Lino Brocka's “Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang” can be remade into “Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Mabigat Ka Talaga”, perhaps pertaining to the growing width of Filipinos secondary to our present lifestyle and habits. One can say that the Pinoys were born and will probably die in – if not of – these fastfood chains, what with our TV sets bombarded daily by their calls to get hold of the latest crispy chicken inventions.

Writer Ricky Lee's “Himala” can be remade into “Himala…Pa Rin” to reflect how much – or how little – we’ve progressed since Nora Aunor portrayed the sad character of Elsa in the 1982 award-winning social commentary by National Artist for Film, Ishmael Bernal. Perhaps it's time to stop waiting for miracles to happen, stop depending on the government for many things, and strive on our own to achieve what we want for ourselves and our family? Toying with a famous saying, if we want to learn how to fish, we must learn how to make use of a net.

“Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon” is just as perfect and relevant if re-titled as “Ganito Kami Noon, Ganito Pa Rin Kayo Ngayon” because the Pinoy life is a cycle of the same good and bad times. Like we always say, “things never seem to change around here.” This is best exemplified by some photos I’ve seen lately (probably taken around the early 1900s) of Manila underwater after a monsoon rain.

It did not escape my attention that “Minsa’y Isang Gamo-Gamo” can have a proper sequel if the recent Subic rape case involving 6 US Marines, (5, depending on whose report is it that you’re reading) is of any indication. Eyewitnesses say that the poor girl was left half-naked by the Marines on a parking lot. If Nora Aunor’s famous one-liner wouldn’t be just as applicable in this case, I don’t know what else will.

Sir Tan finished his article as thus: “More than a matter of aesthetics, appreciating our films is recognizing how they chronicle, even if sometimes in a glamorized or sensationalized way, a nation's trials and tribulations, aspirations and triumph. Films are an integral part of our social capital that need to be preserved with care and transmitted, with pride, across generations.”


And for you, dear reader, an old song from Gine Tan (Grand Prize, 1st ASEAN Songfest of 1981):

Magsimula ka,
batiin ang kay gandang umaga
Nang may ngiti sa iyong mga mata
Sa pagkakaidlip,gumising na!
Ang buhay ay masaya,
palalampasin mo ba?
Iisa lang ang buhay mo,
kumilos ka, gamitin mo
Kung may nais ang puso mo,
mangarap ka, abutin mo
Upang ito'y makamit mo,
magsikap ka, simulan mo!

Friday, November 18, 2005


What better way to spend your upcoming travel plans than by having a nice, no-bumps flight and a cup of Lavazza, undeniably the best italian espresso brand in the world?

For starters, take a look at the much-anticipated Lavazza calendar for 2006. Ah, flying and Lavazza! This is the life! (Click on photos to enlarge)

Saturday, November 12, 2005


I almost cancelled an anonymous phone call yesterday afternoon thinking that Fitness First was pestering me again to sign up for a demo workout (just wait, okay?!). Anyway, I went against my own personal rules and picked it up. Turned out that it was Greenpeace Manila, congratulating me for making it to a shorlist from which a winner will be chosen next week to appear on MTV Pilipinas and join the crew of the Rainbow Warrior II on its next trip to Iloilo City. Yikes! And they leave at midnight midweek next!

I only have my very, very brief essay to thank for this. The topic was on why we need clean energy now. What luck, I thought, when I am about to take up my Public Health masters early next year because my specialty would be environmental health. The timing couldn't be any better. If I am not mistaken, the target sites in Iloilo would be coal-fueled power plants like that in Masinloc (see entry below). I am not sure if Mirant, DM Consunji, or Korea's KEPCO have actually pushed through with their plans down south because if they have, the Iloilo trip will be a memorable one (please don't let there be violence again!).

Anyway, if I don't make it to the top, there's always the option of having dinner with Amanda Griffin (Thanks, Grace!), MTV's face for the Greenpeace campaign, onboard the Rainbow Warrior II or win a nice Greenpeace tee shirt. If it were the latter, please make sure I don't get a pink one like Amanda's. It doesn't match my skin color.


Zambales, PHILIPPINES — A German Greenpeace activist participating in a peaceful protest against the Masinloc coal power plant outside Manila was horrendously beaten by local plant personnel.

Three other Greenpeace activists from New Zealand and the Philippines had stones thrown at them. German Jens Loewe, 36, has been taken to a hospital emergency room. Filipinos Janine Mercado, Pam Palma and New Zealander Debra Gay Pristor have also been taken to hospital with less serious injuries.

Read the rest of the story here on Greenpeace Southeast Asia's website.

Friday, November 11, 2005


If the pink community is smarting over the recent Pugad Baboy strips syndicated by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, it is not showing it. For a group that has been the force behind most of the country's creative output (which by the way provides employment to thousands of people), surely a little show of respect is in order.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


(Photo by

Mom just arrived from an educators' congress yesterday. During the course of our conversation, she mentioned that while a delegate from Samar was speaking, Tagalog-speaking delegates were guffawing over the way she/he said certain English words.

You know, like "poet" can sound rather, uhm, unusual when a Visayan-speaker says it. Ditto for "oil" as "owel". As a Visayan speaker myself, I really do not find fault when fellow Visayan speakers replace "i" with "e". Blame the Visayan alphabet for that or something. A significant part of my life was spent in Davao, Cagayan de Oro and Cebu and I have gotten used to hearing English spoken in the Visayan manner.

Not to start a fight here but it was in bad taste for Tagalog speaking delegates to laugh loudly while the speaker was on the podium. They perhaps need to be reminded that across all subjects but more so in English, Science, and Math, that Samar is currently the No. 1 province in the entire country in terms of profiency?

And poverty has nothing to do with it. Just pure, plain hard work and the occassional tongue twister.


Doctors and would-be physicians in the Philippines would do themselves a major favor by getting a copy of the recent Time Asia magazine. It has a special feature on at least ten (10) doctors from around Asia (the Philippines EXcluded) who have redefined their roles in their own communities.

Perhaps the answer is not leaving the country. It's simply a matter of finding better things to do.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


Mom left today for Davao City, my birth place, to attend a national congress of educators until Wednesday. She's attending it in her capacity as National Learning Coordinator of PLAN International. She texted me this earlier:

Her: "Airport is bustling with educators! Flight delayed 1 hour and 15 minutes. Pray everyone will learn and effect change."

"I'm crossing my fingers."

We're not naturally pessimistic, Mom and I, but we are always cautious about certain issues that we are both passionate about - education, for one. The Philippine Educational System must be one of the most studied systems in the world. Back in college when doing my research, I almost always come across a certain Medium-Term plan on education. It seems every administration has one, normally running for ten years or so which is beyond their terms. I've read the education plan of the Marcos period and I found it to be very realistic in the sense that it has identified what the system's problems and flaws were.

In fact, all medium term plans up to the present time have been correct in the identifying the issues: the growing shortage in classrooms and books, the interminable review of the curriculum (the last was made during Secretary Roco's time), and many others too complex to discuss here.

Here's another sad news this Sunday morning courtesy of The Philipine Star: 3 in 4 recent elementary graduates can’t read. Read the story here.

This is tragic news indeed. I've personally confirmed this two years ago during a tour of Southern Luzon and Visayas - from Pangasinan to Mindoro to the islands of Samar and Leyte. Not only they can't read properly (if at all), the level of comprehension is equally horrifying. DEPED must be reminded that reading is NEVER enough. Reading AND comprehension are twin goals that should given equal attention. During one exam in English that I was administering to Grade 5 students, they could read it alright but they couldn't understand what the questions meant. Unfortunately, I had to translate some of these questions and I can see that it was only then that they understood. Although I was aware that doing that would have altered the measurements were trying to get, I just couldn't help it. Naawa naman talaga ako sa kanila. It just not fair. When my Mom was teacher and principal of this certain school, kids in Grades 2 and 3 were already reading the classics!

Also, I am against private donation of textbooks and books UNLESS these answer the need for reading improvement. Most private donations tend to be second-hand items or do not meet the requirements of certain grade levels. I am also against the removal of science subjects from Grades 1 and 2 and incorporating these across many subjects like English and Pilipino. Science is an exciting thing and can be seen and observed everyday even from the classroom windows. I don't see why we can't bring back the fun in school.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


Dearest Mom,

I know you've been sick for almost three weeks now. I bet the continous rain during your recent working trip to China has made matters worse for you.

Last night, you asked me if I wasn't worried about you. I assume this question was asked in the context that cancer does travel, and the lungs can be one possible loci for the next growth (God forbid! *knocks on wood*). It has happened to many people, yes, and I know you are scared that it might happen to you.

The weird thing about all this is that we've never really talked about your condition. We were both hospital-bound last year: me for my cholelithiasis, and you for Breast CA IIB. It's been a horrible year for both of us, emotionally and financially. But hell, it doesn't matter. We were lucky to have people who helped us, and hey! We're celebrating another Christmas together like we've always done before.

Allow me to say that I am sorry for always leaving your side during your chemo sessions before. I just couldn't bear seeing you like this - you who have always been a brave, strong woman. Just thinking of the many things you've done in your life - leaving home in order to study in faraway places, taking huge risks and yet achieving the ends despite the weight of the means. Sometimes I think this is not you. This couldn't be you.

But this is you now. This is a fact I should face squarely.

You always ask if I have dreams for both us. Back in college, you always asked if you were part of my long-term plans. The problem with living apart for the greater part of my life is that we've never learned to commuinicate our feelings to each other. You know it too well, and you always say that I tend to keep things to myself. In fact, I do. Not just from you, but from everyone else as well. Somehow, I have ways to deal with issues by myself. I learned all that by growing up and living away from you. Of course I only have you to thank for what I have become now. I have no regrets whatsoever about what we've both been through - and I also remember Nana Noning, my yaya, when I say this. We've survived all these years and guess what, I bet we still have long years ahead to spend together!

And now the answer(s) to your question(s): Yes, I worry about you. I worry about you all the time. And I totally blame myself for not taking clear and definite action on a lot of things in the past 7 years or so. For once, i'm putting it on record that I am sorry. In fact, I've been sorry long enough to put an end to this stalemate as regard my career. I have made medium-term plans as to my own directions in the next 5 years, and I hope to see you retiring within that time frame. Like you know, draw and paint again as you used to do back in Bukidnon.

I do love you, Mom. Things wouldn't be the same without you around, so thank you so much for not giving up on me just yet! Be strong even if I know it's difficult. I'm just here for you in many ways possible. But I guess you know and feel that already :-)

Your son, Dylan

P.S. I found this nice video from the blog my dearest friend, Dr. Greenleaf, who is currently undergoing her chemo sessions.

Friday, November 04, 2005


From The Wily Filipino, i decided to do something silly by Googling my name and appending "needs" after it.

Here's what I came up with:

Dylan needs to go the bathroom
Dylan needs parent(s) who are calm, patient, and kind, who open their hearts and home to home, welcoming and respecting him.
Dylan needs a Pulitzer Prize
Dylan needs some walking tonight, evidently
Dylan needs to be torn down and rebuilt from scratch if it wants to be thought of as a high end hotel.
Dylan needs all the visibility it can get
Dylan needs to hope in this, but falls too quickly to the despair of his namesake, Dylan Thomas, who drank himself into the dark night
Dylan needs justice
Dylan needs a home where he feels safe and secure and that is his forever.
Dylan needs a family who is devoted, able to model appropriate behaviors, and are good listeners
Dylan needs to have some fun once in a while.
Dylan needs a governess
Dylan needs no introduction
Dylan needs to learn communication skills using a picture board (communication device) to help him talk
Dylan needs me to be writing about his book like he needs an armadillo in his cornfield: he doesn’t, and would hardly notice it only by chance
Dylan needs a critic
dylan needs to go live the normal life of a rock stars child: drugs, chicks, and NO MUSIC...


Thursday, November 03, 2005


"Da mihi animas, cetera tolle!"

Was surfing yesterday when I came upon this photo.

Was totally speechless for a sec.

Don Bosco Pampanga was home to me from 1989 to 1991 before I left for Cagayan de Oro to join my Mom, who was then connected with Del Monte Philippines.

The structure straight ahead was then the largest gym in Central Luzon. The one on the left is the chapel where I was once a member of the choir under the direction of Fr. Bobby (?). Then there's the large soccer field where my cousin (then a student at Assumption University) would compete for the Coca-Cola Go for Gold championships.

All is now buried under tons of lahar since 1991.

It is said that to locate the same spot, one should look for the pine trees jutting out of the lahar soil. Pine trees were special to DBA because of its connection to the saint's family name or something. Sorry but it's been a looooog time ago! I used to be so good at this.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


God knows how many times I've drawn this logo in my notebooks, between the covers of my books, or wherever there's white space. It's AEROFLOT, of course. USSR's national airline.

Back in Don Bosco, I played some sort of a war game with friends. They were the Americans and I was the leader of the Russian group. Like ridiculous high school boys, we even memorized what CCCP means in Russian (I wouldn't even attempt to write it down) and dug up date on the many Russian inventions that were considered way ahead of American technology. Well, there weren't much because after the Sputnik project, the US started their own space missions which were far advanced than that of Mother Russia.

Ah, the Cold War spirit! We were labeled the war freaks of DBA then. That was back in 1989.

Last year, I saw someone in NAIA wear a red shirt with this logo on it. I almost died. I would still die today if I were to see one again. Fuck, I guess i'm never growing up!

Saturday, October 22, 2005


The other day, I was trying to weigh my reasons for making a decision to take up Masters in Public Health. Today, I found my reasons strongly supported by what I read in the papers tonight:

"...the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that around one million people in the Western Pacific region die each year from environmental health risks and this number will increase if effective countermeasures are not implemented.

The WHO said 580,000 of these deaths are attributable to "traditional" risk factors such as indoor smoke from solid fuels; unsafe water; and inadequate sanitation and hygiene.

Modern risks are responsible for another 405,000 deaths, 96 percent of which occur in the region’s developing countries. The WHO said these modern risks include urban air pollution, exposure to lead and other pollutants, industrial accidents and effects of climate change.

WHO representative for the Western Pacific Dr. Shigeru Omi said WHO member countries need to strengthen human resources and institutional capacity for environmental health risk assessment and management.

He said this concern was raised during the 56th session of the WHO regional committee for the Western Pacific. The meeting, attended by 100 representatives from various countries, discussed future health directions in the region.

Though there are international agreements to reduce environmental health risks, the committee underscored the need to develop "more systematic approaches to assessing and reducing" these risks.

The members of the committee agreed that multi-country efforts are required to address the problem since water, air and coastal pollution are transnational concerns."

It's a go!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


"In other words, the water cannon cannot discriminate." (Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago)

Alright, so we almost died laughing with regard the use of the word "canonization" or "were canonized" to mean that several politicians - two Senators - and priests (Robert Reyes among them) were hosed down during the so-called Prayer Rally in Manila last week. If the Philippine Daily Inquirer's reputation still holds water these days, maybe we just found ourselves a new noun.

And indeed, with the videos and photos now doing the circuit in TV stations and weblogs, you can say that the people hosed down were "canonized" by their actions (though not necessarily by their persuasions). The soon-to-be-saints: the politicos. The common enemy: the Arroyo government. There must be a funny way fate plays with certain people. I mean, we do not even know what Jamby Madrigal had in mind when she joined this "prayer rally." The presence of one Father Robert Reyes does not a prayer rally make, either.

Maybe they really had it coming, given the fact that this group did stray from their original agenda and decided to march towards the Palace in a brave attempt to do a Chino Roces, whose name they always use to mean "bravery." The poor dead man must be creating so much kinetic energy by rolling in his grave whenever his name is used in vain.

Okay, so I'm starting to fill in the role of Advocatus Diaboli here, but i have to leave it to the media to play the exalted role of Postulator to prove once and for all if the "canonization plot" that happened in Recto that fateful day were all worth it.

For the meantime, Satur, Jamby and Teofisto can go huddle around a bonfire and nurse their wretched egos.

Photos courtesy of ABC5 and by Jove Francisco

Monday, October 17, 2005


What a long day. Too long, in fact, that I ended up stuffing my face with anything edible that can be found in our cafeteria.

First there was coffee prepared by yaya before I left the house, then a lite breakfast of toast and eggs Benedict (lite, huh?!), then a heavy lunch of nilagang baka.

When Myette, my coffee mate, invited me downstairs for, uh, coffee later in the afternoon, I ordered a bratwurst sandwich, huge enough to make one keel over. I normally turn down the offer of ketchup (it had to be Del Monte kasi, for reasons known only to me and my mother), and had the guy slather mayo and mustard on my sandwich instead. Sinful merienda ito but it was well worth it.

2 hours later, I was again making kurot on a ham-and-cheese sandwich while poring over several patient histories. So why am I still wondering why people are protesting the breaching of my upper-limit weight of 175lbs a month ago?

Sigh. Long day, long day, long day.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


My birthday wish, courtesy of Toothpaste for Dinner :-)

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Celebrating Life

Happy Birthday Dylan!

Monday, October 10, 2005


It's often hard to discern where The Beautiful South's sound comes from. Their own brand of darkly witty white-soul-cum-country sounds like many things. But what makes them tick? We find out with Golddiggas, Headnodders and Pholk Songs.

Cover albums are tricky. The band take a risk with "Don't Stop Moving" and "You're The One That I Want", aware of the fans (often their own) who may not appreciate the radical reinterpretations offered here, slowing them down and treating them as near-jazz pieces. Similarly ELO, Blue Oyster Cult, Lush (!), and The Ramones (!!!) get the treatment. Some of it works- "Don't Fear The Reaper" loses its riff but gains smoky Latin overtones--while some of the rearrangements may be considered a little arbitrary. The breadth of taste is to be applauded, as is the adventurous spirit, but this might be one that appeals more to the most loyal of fans. --Thom Allott

Product Description

The Beautiful South’s Golddiggas, Headnodders & Pholk Songs features their own inimitable take on classic pop songs. Includes versions of songs made famous by the Ramones, S Club 7 and John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John.

Friday, October 07, 2005


STOCKHOLM - Australians Barry Marshall and Robin Warren won the 2005 Nobel Prize in medicine on Monday for showing that bacterial infection, not stress, is to blame for painful ulcers in the stomach and intestine.

The 1982 discovery transformed peptic-ulcer disease from a chronic, frequently disabling condition to one that can be cured by a short regimen of antibiotics and other medicines, the Nobel Prize committee said.

Thanks to their work, it has now been established that the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which the new Nobel winners discovered, is the most common cause of peptic ulcers.

The Australians' proposal of a microbial cause instead was “very controversial and unexpected,” said Goran Hansson, who presides over the Nobel committee that awards the medicine or physiology prize. “They had to spend the first few years convincing the rest of the world.”


Mr. Marshall even deliberately infected himself with the bacterium in 1985 and showed that it caused stomach illness, noted Lord May of Oxford, president of Britain's Royal Society. Mr. Marshall suffered inflammation, which can lead to an ulcer.

Mr. Marshall, 54, and Mr. Warren, 68, celebrated their new honour with champagne and beer.

Read the rest of the story here.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Over and above the actual fear of Martial Law slowly creeping into our consciousness, the terrorists in our midst will now have every reason to be afraid. You can't just terrorize us all our lives, you know. Someday, all you do will just have to end.