Random notes – September 04, 2009

BATASAN STUFF. A couple of nights ago, Rep. Mong Palatino took me to the congressmen’s lounge beside session hall, to sample some of the food. It is exclusive to members of the House but I think they’re allowed to bring one or two of their staff or family once in a while. It was free, limitless, hotel-like food for congressmen every session day. Apparently, Mong said he hasn’t seen any same dish served twice for the entire month. No wonder many of the congressmen get fat in Congress, literally, and figuratively too.

That night, it was Chinese-themed food. I don’t think Congress has a concept of simple living, which is a shame in a poor country like the Philippines. Iba talaga when one has the “power of the purse.” Speaking of Congress’ “power of the purse,” I briefly attended the first hearing of Congress for the government’s P 1.541 trillion budget for next year. The hearing was very well-attended by the congressmen, their staff and employees of the Budget and the Finance departments. I could barely find a comfortable place, not even to sit, but to stand. It’s that packed. Iba talaga pag pera na ang pag-uusapan.

TAMBAY SA OSPITAL. A few days ago, some of my fraternity batchmates and I brought another batchmate of ours to the hospital due to his chronic seizures because of his multiple sclerosis. He had five attacks that day, and the UP Health Service urged us to move him to a bigger health facility because all they could provide were valium shots. It was the first time I saw someone having a serious seizure, and it was quite scary. Since his parents were in the province and his relatives couldn’t come as soon as possible, we stayed at the hospital the rest of the afternoon, some of us till later that evening.

MEETING BOY ABUNDA. In between staying at the hospital, I went to a meeting with some ABS-CBN staff together with Boy Abunda, to talk about his new political talk show. I don’t know why I’m part of it. I got a call a few days earlier inviting me to join in, and well, I agreed. Though I’m having second thoughts now. True, I may be opinionated, I write and I blog, but I don’t do a lot of talking, really. Details to follow, as I don’t think I’m at liberty to disclose any more information about it.

CLEARING OUT OF U.P. I’m currently processing my papers for my honorable dismissal from UP Law. I passed by Malcolm Hall yesterday, after not being there for weeks now. It didn’t feel nice being in a place you were forced to leave all of a sudden. Unfortunately, I’ll have to keep coming back the next few days to finish the process, get a transcript and other papers to be able to take tests in other law schools.

Bikoy on QTV’s Qtube

A few months ago, around February I think, someone from QTV 11 called to ask if I was willing to be featured in one of their upcoming shows. I agreed then, and simply asked them to inform me a few days before the day they wanted to have the shoot. It wasn’t until the show, QTube, was finally launched and a few months after their first call, or a few weeks ago, when they called back and said it’s my turn to be featured in one of the show’s segments, Bloggers’ Digest.

Bloggers’ Digest is where they feature interviews with different Filipino bloggers and their personal profiles. Three weekends ago, I had a sit-down interview with their crew at UP Diliman, in front of Palma Hall. I was uneasy at first, but I eventually shrugged the awkwardness off.

We shot some situationers around campus, some where I was pretending to take photographs with my DSLR in the middle of the Lagoon, some with me using my laptop at obscure places like in front of the Oblation at Quezon Hall.

A few days after the first shoot, another set of technical people went to our house to shoot more situationers at home. It was a pretty short feature on me, a little more than three minutes. I was billed in the web teasers as “a young man who dares to go beyond the youthful trappings of Facebook and Multiply and uses the net to let his views be heard loud and proud.” And that was pretty much how the feature went. In sum, what I simply said was that, I guess what makes my blog different or what sets it apart from the thousands of other Filipino blogs on the internet today, is that perhaps no other blog can claim to have witnessed or chronicled almost a decade of a young boy’s life, through his formative years, and the changes he has undergone from being a high school freshman at the Ateneo, to the film student he was in UP, to all his socio-political involvements, and up to his being a law student.

Anyway, do catch QTube, the only show in the country that takes what’s online on-air every Thursdays, 10:15 PM, on QTV 11.

She can’t possibly shut this show off the air

I have a terrible backlog of entries that I have to publish before anything else, but I find this a little too good to pass. I had just finished watching Goin’ Bulilit, a children’s gag show, on ABS-CBN. Part of tonight’s show was a spoof of a showbiz talk show where one of the kids impersonating John Lapus was interviewing another child actor impersonating President Gloria Arroyo. President Arroyo is made to sit on an electric chair. The host explains that the chair would electrocute the President if she lies to John Lapus’ questions.

Interestingly, for a children’s gag show in a segment spoofing a showbiz talk show, the questions were mostly about the NBN-ZTE corruption scandal. And as expected, the President is portrayed as lying to her teeth. And she of course, gets electrocuted a number of times. Hilariously, as the President is electrocuted, everyone on the set suddenly dances like crazy with a shower of colorful confetti and merry background music complementing the stint. It was fuckin’ hilarious! The same stint would be repeated over and over as the President is electrocuted. Crazy. Tawa ako nang tawa! Way to go, Goin’ Bulilit!

It just feels so remarkable for me for a children’s gag show to come up with political satire like this. In the end, as the President is caught lying the last time, she oddly escapes another electrocution. A kid impersonating the President’s husband, Mike Arroyo, enters frame and declares that her wife is safe as they had already bought control of the electric company. That was, of course, in reference to the Meralco issue. Instead of the audience dancing to the same merry music, the President and her husband go dancing in the middle of the set mocking everyone else. Wow!

Organizer daw

I only had barely two hours of sleep because of the previous night’s fraternity ball, among other things–but I had to get up and dash to Makati to meet up with the crew that will cover the Aliwan Fiesta in Manila. I took the MRT route, and I was able to make it by call time, in under one hour.

We were given privileged “organizer” ID’s by the Manila Broadcasting Company so we were able to access areas normally off limits to other press and media people. I felt quite guilty for a while especially during the afternoon when we were all at Quirino Grandstand. While all the other photographers were being scorched dry under the heat of the sun, I was at the stage platform shooting away under a shade. Every other photographer had better cameras and lenses than me anyway. Yes, I felt quite insecure too. Hehe. I will write about the parade and other experiences during that day in another entry.

All-around personal assistant

Last Tuesday was a change in routine for my internship at Living Asia. Eka and I were sent to shoot a couple of segments for a certain show (that doesn’t air in the Philippines anyway). We finally did something outside the office! Though it wasn’t as full-blown a production nor was as hectic as I expected or even as stressful our productions in school, it was a pretty cool experience. But before we left the office, we had some cake for Rina’s birthday. There, igi-greet kita kahit di ako nangi-greet usually sa blog. Happy birthday, Rina! Sorry sa pag-“walk out” ko kahapon.

Geez, a set of redheads (lights) never weighed that much in school. Carrying that box of redheads from Living Asia up and down flights of stairs is an achievement!

Anyway, since it was a girly show we were shooting segments for, our destination last Tuesday was a fancy parlor and a fancy gym. Heh. Tomorrow, on the other hand, we’re being sent to Manila to shoot/cover the Aliwan Festival parade!

Thank you for waking up this early

Despite retiring to bed at already 1 in the morning, I had to wake up at a little past four last Friday in order to get ready for my “second TV guesting,” this time at Breakfast on Studio 23.

I was given a 6 AM call time but I ended up appearing in the show among the hosts Patty, Vince, JC and Atom at almost half past seven. It’s all right, nevertheless, even though I did have to miss my Spanish class for the second time this week.

It’s freezing inside ABS-CBN studios. This is an incoherent entry. Wish me well and luck this week, guys. I might not be able to post often in the coming days.

Today begins another

Yesterday afternoon, I went to Geronimo St. in Sampaloc, Manila with my documentary film class groupmates and other film friends to do an ocular for our documentary.

If you think the usual large slum communities are depressing, small cardboard and umbrella shanties on the sidewalk are worse. I didn’t know how to feel when I was talking to some of the people. People who bash poor people for being jobless, for being ambulant vendors or for being squatters should shut up. They don’t know anything, them sheltered fools.

Martha, Athena and I went to ABS-CBN last night to ‘guest’ at Studio 23’s News Central newscast. It was actually a first time for me inside ABS-CBN, and it had to be a ‘guesting’ at that. It didn’t help that it was really freezing inside studio seven. I just kept blabbering incoherent motherhood statements about the youth. As if everyone my age feels the same way I do.

Anyway, I might be back in ABS-CBN tomorrow for Studio 23’s Breakfast to do and say the same things.

Lost heroes

November 4, 2006. Some American television series can be really addicting. If we had shows like these on primetime here, I’d be an obese Filipino couch potato. Hehe.

I finally caught up with the latest episode of the third season of Lost last night. Yes, after nights of staying up late at night watching more or less five episodes a sitting. This show can really get me glued to my computer monitor for hours. The series is really exciting and storyline is really stimulating. People crashing and being stranded on a strange island trying to figure out what the hell is happening to them–strange being an understatement.

Surfing the web and reading all sorts of theories regarding what the island really is or who the Others really are or how every happening and character is related to all the others, geez it can get you into hours of inquisitive self spoiling.

When I thought these sort of television series couldn’t get any better, here comes Heroes. Rickey of Rickey.org recommended it in one of the comments he left. The series is about individuals who discover that they have extraordinary abilities as a result of human genetic progression. The thing is, the world is in peril and they soon realize that they must seek each other out and save the world together. It’s just on its sixth episode of its first season, so it’s not too late to start following the series. It just gets more interesting as the story progresses.

Free trade is not fair trade

I was channel surfing one afternoon when I came across a set of documentaries on IBC 13 hitting the World Trade Organization. I was a little surprised that such documentaries were airing on a government TV station, knowing how much of asskissers our policymakers are to foreign financial instutitions that force us to liberalize our economy.

You may watch the documentaries at Make Trade Fair. One of the documentaries is about the Philippines and how our rice farmers’ livelihood is being killed with the importation of cheap rice. If I may add, this is just one of the many examples of how free trade has been killing our local and/or infant industries and how it has kept many of our countrymen in poverty.

Here are some interactive animated diagrams that explain how unfair the current set-up is at the WTO. Once you’re convinced that we have unfair trade policies forced upon us by the rich countries, sign the online petition for fair trade. Also, please stop electing and supporting current politicians whose debt and loyalty apparently belong to foreign financial institutions than to our poor farmers. And don’t support a proposed Charter that will institutionalize these conditions!

Voltes V

Haha. I’m sorry. This would be my last video-linking for today. Voltes V is not a super sentai series, but it was probably even more popular than Bioman. Here’s a little trivia from Wikipedia:

The cancellation of the Voltes V show back in the 1970’s in the Philippines was not because Ferdinand Marcos, the dictator of the Philippines, thought the show had messages of rebellion or that activists might use it as a tool to create a revolution… It was cancelled because the television station that aired Voltes V then was the number one station in the country, surpassing other two government-owned TV stations. To negatively affect the ratings of the station that aired Voltes V, Marcos banned not only the airing of the robot anime, but well as the other top rating television shows including Charlie’s Angels. Marcos stated that the violent contents had a negative effect on children. The Voltes V cartoon series was only able to resume its TV run after the People Power Revolution that eventually toppled Marcos in 1986.

Here’s to a childhood filled with Japanese team heroes and mecha robots!