Why Manny Pacquiao’s defeat wasn’t that painful

For a nation obsessively in need of a hero, Manny’s defeat yesterday, had it occurred two or three years ago would have been catastrophic and irreversibly traumatic for us whose national psyche is too fragile it rests on one man’s ability to throw punches and draw blood from an opponent whose background is as sorry as ours.

The fewer number of Facebook status expressing dismay, hopelessness, and bitterness due to Manny’s loss to Bradley (at least on my page), compared to what I imagined it would be, had been glaring (at least for me). Have we become less sore of a loser? I have proofs to say that as a nation we still are.

Have the Filipinos become less interested in the legend of Manny? Have the Filipinos thought Manny has already become too moneyed they failed to see their hungry faces reflected in his?

Has his story gone too magically realistic it was rendered unbelievable and felt too scripted in a country were people  eat magic realism for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Have we as a nation shifted our search for a hero to something else? Or have we realized we did not need a hero after all?

Have we thought maybe Manny is just too much of an outlier he can’t be a Filipino? Or has his career like the careers of our many local movie stars’, after having burst into a bright supernova, is now on a road to becoming nothing but a black hole, the star a has-been?

We seem to have cared less now because we realized it is not wise to gamble our national sanity on a champion who, vicissitude they call, will sooner or later face defeat, and that it is far wiser to gamble on our institutions, on our future together as one nation, on a shared belief that this nation is on its road to greatness.

Maybe having a hero was important. But as in all epics, it’s the members of the army who carry out and win the war.


To remind me if in the future this historic fact escapes me:

Senate votes 20-3 to convict Corona

Maila Ager


5:55 pm | Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – Twenty senators, including Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile, on Tuesday found Chief

Justice Renato Corona guilty of Article 2 of the impeachment complaint filed against him pertaining to his failure to disclose to the public is statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth.

Only three voted to acquit Corona and they were Senators Joker Arroyo, Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Ferdinand “Bong-Bong” Marcos Jr.

“The Senate, sitting as an impeachment court, having tried Renato C. Corona Chief Justice of the Supreme Court…have found him guilty of the charge under Article 2 of the said articles of impeachment,” Enrile said.

Enrile then directed the Senate Secretary acting as the clerk of court to give the respondent a copy of the resolution, as well as the Speaker of the House, the Supreme Court, the

Judicial Bar Council and President Benigno Aquino III.

Aside from Enrile, the 19 senators who convicted Corona were the following:

  1. Senator Edgardo Angara
  2. Senator Alan Peter Cayetano
  3. Senator Pia Cayetano
  4. Senator Franklin Drilon
  5. Senate Pro Tempore Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada
  6. Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero
  7. Senator Teofisto Guingona III
  8. Senator Gregorio Honasan II
  9. Senator Panfilo Lacson
  10. Senator Manuel Lapid
  11. Senator Loren Legarda
  12. Senator Sergio Osmeña III
  13. Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan
  14. Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III
  15. Senator Ralph Recto
  16. Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.
  17. Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III
  18. Senator Antonio Trillanes IV
  19. Senate Manuel Villar

Corona is considered barred from public office after senators voted to convict him on charges of betraying public trust and violating the constitution.

He testified last week that it wasn’t only him who is on trial and challenged all 188 lawmakers who impeached him to disclose their dollar accounts – but there were few takers.

The nationally televised 5-month-long proceedings gripped the nation like a soap opera with emotional testimonies, political grandstanding and a sideshow family drama.

Prosecutors, most of whom are Aquino’s allies from the House of Representatives, argued that Corona concealed his wealth and offered “lame excuses” to avoid public accountability.

Corona said that he had accumulated his wealth from foreign exchange when he was still a student. Rep. Rodolfo Farinas, one of the prosecutors, ridiculed the 63-year-old justice, saying he “wants us to believe that when he was in grade four in 1959 he was such a visionary that he already started buying dollars.”

“It is clear that these were excuses and lies made before the Senate and the entire world,” Farinas said in Monday’s closing arguments, adding that Corona had declared in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth less than 2 percent of what he actually owned.

Addressing not only the senators but a public hungry for transparency in a country where corruption is endemic, the rich and powerful rarely prosecuted and a third of the population of 94 million lives on $1 a day, prosecutors sought to discredit Corona’s defense with references to a lifestyle beyond the means of most of the people. With a report from AP

Originally posted at 05:07 pm | Tuesday, May 29,  2012

Retrieved from: <http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/202929/senate-convicts-corona&gt;

Pinoy Blogfest 2.0

Pinoy_Blogfest 2.0 advocates social media for social good

With Filipinos once again acknowledged as among the most active social media users — via FaceBook, Twitter, Multiply, Tumblr, Flickr, YouTube, etc. — Filipino bloggers are challenged to explore the potential of social media as a transformative force in Philippine society.  “Social media as an agent for change” will be the theme of Pinoy_Blogfest 2.0, happening on Friday, 05 August 2011, at the TriNoma Activity Center in Quezon City.

Leading the discussion will be prominent social media activists Usec. Manuel (Manolo) L. Quezon III and Ms. Gang Badoy, who will share their thoughts on these two basic questions: How can we harness the power of social media for the social good?  Can bloggers become positive change agents through social networking?

Both Usec. Quezon and Ms. Badoy will be the main speakers during the Blogger’s BIO (By Invitation Only) programme, scheduled from 7:00 to 10:00 pm as the culminating activity of Pinoy_Blogfest 2.0 on Friday, 05 August 2011.

Pinoy_Blogfest 2.0 is a whole-day event, with several Social Activities targeted at various audiences.  These are open to the public, as follows:  10:30 am to 12:oo nn – The New Workplace; 01:00 pm to 02:30 pm – It’s A Digital Life; 02:30 pm to 04:00 pm – Photography; 04:00 pm to 05:30 pm – Healthy Living.  With expert resource persons for each of these social activities, the public will surely find the sessions both educational and entertaining.  On-site registration will give the audience a chance to win raffle prizes and other give-aways.

Pinoy_Blogfest 2.0 is organized by GADGETS Magazine, with the support of The Coca-Cola Export

Sparing the details: on media restraint

Ted Failon, host of Failon Ngayon

News and current affairs programs nowadays have apparently lost all restraint in depicting heinous crimes. This is regardless whether their time slot is in the late evening or five in the afternoon when children are glued in front of their television sets. The most recent Failon Ngayon episode sounded like a television version of the popular tabloid column Xerex in the 90s.

I urge you don’t misinterpret my intention in writing this; my sympathy goes to the victim of the gang rape.

In an interview with her, the woman recounted how she was repeatedly abused; her three abductors ravaged her while a gun was pointed at her. She was crying, anger was clearly sensed in every word she dropped while giving an account of what happened that evening.

Right from her work as a guest relation officer in an establishment on East Avenue in Quezon City, while waiting with her sister for a jeepney ride home, three men forcibly pulled her inside a van, brought her to an unknown location and gang raped her. Except for some extreme close up of the victim’s un-rouged lips or teary eyes, otherwise the camera focused the entire time on Ted Failon, the program host, as he listened intently, like any responsible program anchor, to the story of the raped woman.

She is married and has children. Her children, according to her, are her reasons for holding dearly to her life, the reasons why she did anything the rapists told her to do if only to keep herself alive.

But what struck me as strange was how Failon Ngayon failed to edit using that very familiar onomatopoeic toot, probably out of lack of regard for decency, ignorance, or malice, the more graphic descriptions of the crime. “Pinasubo po nila sa akin ‘yong ari nila habang ‘yong isang lalaki ay pinapasok ang kanyang ***** sa ari ko (They forced their penises into my mouth while one of the men inserted his ***** (a more graphic Filipino word for penis) into my vagina,” she said while the camera zooms in on the flowing tears to her mouth. “Nakatutok po ang baril sa mukha ko, nang kumatok ang driver at siya naman po ang humalay sa akin, naalala ko pa po ang kanyang tattoo, pinipilit niyang ipakain sa akin ang kanyang ari habang ‘yong isang kasama naman po niya ang nasa likuran ko (The tip of the gun was at my face, when the driver knocked on the door, I remember his tattoo. He forced me to take into my mouth his penis while one of them was behind me).”

I understand the requirement of the program to remain faithful to the account of the victim of the crime and to maintain the ever-important television value of realism (a result of the public’s uber-fondness for reality TV programs that border on unevaluated fanaticism). To be very explicit about it, however, to broadcast the details as if letting the public know what the rapists did to her will enable the people to protect themselves from these criminals, is stepping beyond what is acceptable on national TV broadcasts, not to mention it is useless. Useful if its object is to titillate, but hardly if the crime is rape. The media need to leave it to the court to dissect the gritty elements of the crime and spare the viewing public, the children most especially, the horror of the crime.

In the mean time, I am well aware and am grounded on reality enough to know that the news and current affairs departments of the biggest TV stations in the Philippines will not bother reading this post much less heed the simple call for self-restraint. Nor will they change anytime soon.

Day of the Spanish language

Instituto Cervantes (855 T.M. Kalaw St., Ermita, Manila) will celebrate El Dia Del Espanol (Day of the Spanish Language) on June 19, starting 9:30 am. There will be an open house with exhibits, kite flying, a photo contest, and fun cultural activities. At 6 pm they will screen director Hannes Storh’s 2005 German-Spanish film Galatasaray – Depor (one day in Europe) about the finals of the Champion’s League. Free admission. For seat reservations, call 526-1445. For more info about El Dia Del Espanol, log on to http://manila.cervantes.es.

Humor and the 15th French Film Festival

I find it annoying sometimes hearing people giggling over sappy or barely audible lines uttered by the protagonist or anyone in the film. I would often question myself if I missed something that was really funny to warrant the guffaw. Has my English listening skill deteriorated to such shameful level a simple funny line could escape me unnoticed? Or has my ability to grasp and comprehend sarcasm or irony turned rusty after years of overuse and abuse.

If I’m in the mood, I wouldn’t mind contributing my share to this senseless endeavor, laughing every now and then just so the person next to me feels that the humor is shared and that I am as intelligent as the idiot seated to my right.

But I am seldom in the mood for fake niceties and I seldom keep to myself my disdain for this imbecilic automatic laughing response. I blurt out, as loud as I can, my commentaries on breached movie house ethics to let these people, who giggle at the slightest effort of the protagonist on screen to crack a joke, know that laughing as if they have a secret understanding with the actors barring all other viewers, me including, is the summit of tastelessness.

I am not a self-proclaimed humor censor or a hater of laughing like that blind character in Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, but I am not somebody who easily lets go a social faux pas without leaving a scathing remark, especially something as moronic as this anomaly in a movie theater.

I do not consider this yet as an annual ‘routine’, but I am very happy to have attended the French Film Festival two years in a row now. It’s its fifteenth year that is held in different parts of Metro Manila and Cebu. Sadly, this has yet to reach Iloilo.

This year, I was only able to see three films out of thirteen films that included Brillante Mendoza’s Lola, which I missed, but the spirit of those three films etched permanent marks on me.

La Graine et le Mulet and Welcome tackle the issue of migration and adjusting in a multicultural society while L’Heure d’ete’ fearlessly peers into the universality of Art, death, and the meaning of family. And how will I forget my favorite, Juliette Binoche, sporting a blond.

La Graine et le Mulet (The Secret of the Grain)

The film protrays life at the port via main character Monsieur Beiji, a 60-year-old divorcee with a complicated family. Despite his problems, he dreams of building his own restaurant, which surprisingly becomes the one thing that will bind his family together.

Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Cast: Habib Boufares, Hafsia Herzi, Faridah Benkhetache, Abdelhamid Aktouche, Bouraouïa Marzouk, Cyril Favre, Alice Houri, Leïla D’Issernio, Abdelkader Djeloulli, Bruno Lochet, Olivier Loustau, Sami Zitouni, Sabrina Ouazani, Mohamed Benabdeslem, Hatika Karaoui, Henri Rodriguez, Nadia Taouil , Jeanne Corporon, Henri Cohen, Violaine Carné (de)


Bilal, a 17-year-old Kurdish youth, has traveled through the Middle East and Europe to join his girlfriend, who has recently emigrated to England with her family. But his journey comes to an abrupt end when he is stopped on the French side of the Channel.

Having decided to swim across, Bilal goes to the local swimming pool to train. There he meets Simon, a swimming instructor in the midst of a divorce. To impress his wife and win back her heart, Simon decides to risk everything by taking Bilal under his wing.

Director: Philippe Lioret
Cast: Vincent Lindon, Firat Ayverdi, Audrey Dana, Thierry Godard, Selim Akgül, Firat Celik, Murat Subasi, Olivier Rabourdin, Yannick Renier, Patrick Ligardes, Behi Djanati AtaÏ, Jean-Pol Brissart, Blandine Pélissier, Éric Herson-Macarel, Gilles Masson, Emmanuel Courcol, Jean-François Fagour, Jean-Paul Comart, Lazare Herson-Macarelle, Stéphane Butet, Carine Bouquillon, Philippe Gaulé, Fanny Drouin, Emmanuelle Dupuy, Derya Ayverdi

L’Heure d’ete’ (Summer Hours)

Two brothers and a sister witness the disappearance of their childhood memories when they must relinquish their family belongings to ensure their deceased mother’s succession.

Director: Olivier Assayas
Cast: Juliette Binoche, Charles Berling, Jérémie Rénier, Édith Scob, Dominique Reymond, Valérie Bonneton, Isabelle Sadoyan, Kyle eastwood, Alice de Lencquesaing, Emile Berling, Jean-Baptiste Malartre, Gilles Arbona, Éric Elmosnino, Marc Voinchet, Sara Martins, Christian Lucas, Philippe Paimblanc, Luc Bricault, Arnaud Azoulay

Information about the three films here were taken from www.spot.ph.

Hologram(?) and how this new technology will redefine news coverage… . But wait.

This is something we all come to expect, but still, listening to the bickering between the people of GMA7 and ABS-CBN regarding their respective number one station’s supposed use of new technology in upping the ante of their news coverages during the elections is, to use a friend’s great-sounding adjective, juvenile. But what is even more irritating is the fact that both stations brandished about how they utilized ‘holographic images’ which each repeatedly made it appear as if the anchor in the studio seemed having a face to face interaction with the reporter in a remote situation.

Baloney. Nothing near a real hologram was achieved, only both stations’ multi-dimensional ego was clearly apparent.

Although I am not wont to lift sources from the net of apocryphal origin, this one from wikipedia.net will clearly give us an idea why both GMA7 and ABS-CBN we’re wishing upon a star whenever they mention about their use of their state-of-the-art hologram technology:

Holograph is a technique that allows the light scattered from an object to be recorded and later reconstructed so that it appears as if the object is in the same position relative to the recording medium as it was when recorded. The image changes as the position and orientation of the viewing system changes in exactly the same way as if the object were still present, thus making the recorded image (hologram) appear three dimensional.


The technique of holography can also be used to optically store, retrieve, and process information. While holography is commonly used to display static 3-D pictures, it is not yet possible to generate arbitrary scenes by a holographic volumetric display.

Judging from their efforts, the operative word should have been ‘hologram effect’ since both did not really use holography in the real sense of the word. What each made use of is the ever-reliable chroma key, a technology which is not new at all.

To those who are not familiar with this method, chroma key composting is a technique for making a composite of two images or frames together in which a color (or a small color range) from one image is removed (or made transparent), revealing another image behind it.

This method is commonly used for broadcasts of weather forecast wherein the presenter appears to be standing in front of a large map, but in the studio it is actually a large blue or green background. The meteorologist stands in front of a bluescreen, and then different weather maps are added on those parts in the image where the color is blue. If the meteorologist himself wears blue clothes, his clothes will become replaced with the background video. This also works for greenscreens, since blue and green are considered the colors least like skin tone.

There is nothing entirely new regarding this ‘new’ technology, save the use of more sophisticated software that made the images crisper and appeared like fortune was spent to make them look like what we saw on our television during the unprecedentedly quick election.

If the medium is the message, according to McLuhan, then this medium looks ‘cool’. And the novelty will send both stations scurrying to use this in almost any of its news and current affairs programs, from the important interviews with the country’s leaders to mundane interviews with starlets. But this same novelty will wear people out.

When not properly executed, the image of the reporter appears like an apparition of a yet to-be-identified spirit. And the resulting ‘hologram’ we see on our screen is unabashedly cheap-looking or, worse, ugly.

By the way, who would like seeing their field reporters’ lower body projected on screen? Unless of course these reporters have great asses. But then again this is not possible as a chroma wall allows only the showing of two dimensions. Showing of great asses all for the sake of exhibition in a news coverage still has not seeped through our collective opinion as to how a news coverage is to be properly done.

At least not yet. But who knows what infamy or blessing, malfeasance or change for the betterment, this hologram ‘effect’ will bring.