Friday, April 29, 2005

Isn't this true?

From the University of the Philippines Dean Luis Teodoro, in his commencement address delivered during the UP College of Mass Communication commencement exercises, which was held last April 24. Taken from Jojo's Thirtysomething blog. For the complete address, just make clicky with the link above.

I find this portion of his speech very, very important.

Let me venture a suggestion why, despite the injustice, violence and misery the global and national orders breed there is less defiance than the reality demands. The media–the disciplines to which you have devoted four years or more of your lives to study and master–have failed to report, much less interpret, the world to its inhabitants.

The media could hardly have done otherwise. In the Philippines the media are firmly in the hands of interests whose political and business agendas are often contrary to the imperative of truth-telling. You have all heard it said that the broadcast media are driven by commercial interests, that it is what will rate rather than public significance that decides which stories will make it to the six o’clock news. The broadcast media are indeed redefining news to mean reports that assure higher ratings and advertising revenues.

As a consequence, broadcast news is turning into entertainment, and into orgies of voyeurism and bloodlust as it focuses more and more on celebrities in addition to the usual emphasis on blood and gore. Since 96 percent of Filipinos have access to television, and since as a consequence television is the most credible medium for some 72 percent of the population, much of the information Filipinos receive is either in the category of fluff stories on the state of this or that actor’s romantic life, the violence of life among the poor, or uncontextualized reports on the latest guerilla-Armed Forces encounter in Mindanao, which leave viewers with exactly the impression the state wants people to have: that rather than responses to poverty and injustice rebellions are their causes.

Reporting in print is only a little less driven by the same commercial aims. The one newspaper in which what appears on the front and opinion-editorial pages is subject to the owner’s approval every day seems to be an exception. And it may also be true that this newspaper’s difference from your favorite broadsheet is evident in their respective attitudes towards government. But it is equally true that they have one thing in common: neither questions the validity of the political, social and economic systems.

The defects of these systems are too obvious to be concealed through editorials celebrating Christmas and Valentine’s Day and the anniversaries of this or that association. These systems’ survival in fact depends on their capacity to reform themselves, which is the cause to which the second broadsheet is dedicated. But in practice, the consequence is a refusal, or inability, to look into the root causes of this country’s problems, and to see them merely as the results of mistaken policies and bureaucratic bungling.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

One of the perils of publishing...

Image hosted by

is that you never realize how a photo looks until after it's published.

During my editor days, we found that it was much easier to edit stories and layout when they were printed out instead of staring at the computer screen. We were able to spot mistakes that we never would have found editing onscreen. Not to say that we never made mistakes (believe me, we made plenty), but it was a style that we adjusted to easily.

I guess Tempo* (the newspaper) just never realized how big of a splash this photo would make.

And with the current winds of opinion surrounding the Pope (stern-looking, disciplinarian, hardliner), well, this photo won't do anything to put those opinions to rest. Except maybe for a laugh or two.

*published on 24 April 2005, Tempo.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Tongue-in-Cheek Predictions.

In honor of all the craziness that is known as American Idol, two of my coworkers and I have decided to guess this week's theme and the songs that our erstwhile contestants will sing.

Theme: Movie Soundtracks

Anthony Federov
"Ice Castle", The Sound of Music

Vonzell Solomon
"My Heart Will Go On", Titanic

Scott Savol
"Time of My Life", Dirty Dancing

Carrie Underwood
"How Do I Live", Con Air

Bo Bice
"Sweet Home Alabama", Sweet Home Alabama

And my personal favorite:

Constantine Maroulis
"Gollum's Song", The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Oh yeah. I'm way out of line.

Photos taken from

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Better days.

editorial photo!
Originally uploaded by smartsimpleton.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the 2002-2003 Editorial Board of The LaSallian.

A laugh out loud picture, if you will, for the 2004 Green and White Yearbook. When we were so crazy so as to actually touch Je (the ecstatic center of attention and erstwhile Sports Ed) in his, erm, chest area (and other parts we daren't mention).

Mon (our modelicious swimmer, resident Crush ng Bayan, and Art & Graphics Ed) is the guy whose hands are touching Je just below the nipple area. If I'm not mistaken, it's Mike (our prodigious University Ed) who is actually touching one of Je's nipples. All the other hands are for show only. Mike is to Je's right.

Kwa (erstwhile Sports Ed; long story) is waving his hands in the air, standing to Mon's left, while Chris (our Managing Ed) does a halfhearted wave right beside Mike, but gives a cross between a smile and a smirk in the process.

For some reason, it's the guys who want to be near Je.

Michelle (Office Manager), is standing to Kwa's left. She joins in on the guys' fun with a wave of her own.

Tish (le Jungle Queen; Menagerie Ed) isn't sure whether she wants to touch Je or not, though her hand is captured midway in descent. She's in front of Michelle.

Djong (our stylin' Associate Ed) makes her intentions clear with the direction her hand is taking. She's partially covered by Chab (Circulations), natty in her brown business jacket and denim jeans. Chab is reaching out to touch the least-threatening part of Je's lovely, lovely body.

I am clinging on to Je for dear life, with tousled hair, rolled up trousers, and high heels to boot. I don't know why I am in this position.

Clar (erstwhile Photo Ed), is right to express her shock at our posing. She makes sure not to touch any of the tainted people in the photo, the weirdos.

Crazy ass people. I miss them already.

Monday, April 18, 2005

How fat is your city?

I tend to never believe surveys published in 'leading' newspapers and magazines, because I think the bigger picture is what they don't represent. Or they skew their findings to fit their conclusions. Whatever.

Anyway, I'm breaking tradition with this one post on America's Fattest Cities, a survey annually done by Men's Fitness magazine. Every year since 2000, they've covered America's 50 largest cities, with categories ranging from climate to commute to geography to fitness habits and yes, the number of donut shops within a certain city (I'm afraid Fort Worth in Texas is the dubious title-holder of this).

Writer Keith Griffiths asked, "Is fitness a matter of attitude, or a matter of address?" That was what he and his team at Men's Fitness magazine set to find out. Their research is now published every year, complete with short commentaries on the results.

For this year, America's Top 5 Fattest Cities are:

1. Houston*
2. Philadelphia
3. Detroit
4. Memphis
5. Chicago

Just so you know, the sixth fattest city is Dallas. And the tenth fattest city is San Antonio, and the eleventh fattest city is El Paso. Plus, Fort Worth is the fourteenth fattest city. Are you noticing a trend? Everything is definitely bigger in Texas.

If there are fat cities, then there are also fit cities. Here are America's Top 5 Fittest Cities:

1. Seattle
2. Honolulu
3. Colorado Springs
4. San Francisco
5. Denver

Seattle is a beautiful, beautiful place. If there was one city I would gladly visit in America, it would be this one. Gorgeous geography! Water and mountains - a tough combination to beat when it comes to walking trails and water sports.

I would also like to point out that two cities in Texas are also in the top 25 fittest cities: Austin, the state capital, and Arlington, my old hometown.

Forget about Austin; I'm going to concentrate on Arlington. According to the results, it's The Most Improved City (woohoo!) and also The City with the Most Free Time (relatively hassle-free commute.). Men's Fitness reports that it also has the seventh-fewest bars and taverns in the survey, the lowest ratio in Texas. It'd probably be a novelty to find someone wasted. Or maybe they hide it all too well.

Last year, Arlington was America's eighth fattest city. That's a definite leap of improvement right there.

Oh Hollywood, where art thou? Arlingtonians can kick ass.

*for the rest of the rankings, go here

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The patronizing world of life and love.

The young-sounding DJ inwardly sighs and readies himself for his radio program. Thoughts inside his head are all aswirl with potential possibilities and lovelorn ladies crying for their men, and lovelorn men crying for their ladies.

He pushes his thoughts aside and plays the canned music that characterizes what love is all about in this country.

"Welcome to Doctor Love with R----- V-----.Lahat ng mga love problems niyo, itawag niyo lang dito sa numerong -------."

Cut to commercial. The DJ waits for his first caller.

"Eto na ang ating caller, si Mel. Mel, ano ang inyong problema iha?"

(Barely discernible words come over the line)

"Iha, paki-laksan at hindi kita marinig." A nice-sounding voice should mask my irritation, the DJ thinks.

Incoherence improves to mumbles, and finally the DJ is able to catch bits and pieces.

"...kasi itatanong ko lang sana kung meron ba talagang pagtingin sa akin ang lalakeng ito."

"Sino ba siya, katrabaho mo?"

"Opo, katrabaho ko po."

"Naging kayo ba, o niligawan ka ba ng lalakeng ito?"

"Hindi po. Pero may nangyari po kasi saming dalawa eh..."

"Ah, may nangyari. At pagkatapos nito?"

"Nawala na po."

"At ano ang status ng lalake? May girlfriend na ba, o kasal na, o single pa rin?"

"Kasal na po siya eh."

"Eh! Kasal na pala siya pero gusto mo pa ring makipagbalikan? Naku iha," cluck-clucks the DJ.

"Mahal mo ba siya?"

"Hindi ko po alam eh."

"Mahirap yan, Mel. Kasal na ang lalakeng ito. Kailangan mo nang mag-move forward sa buhay mo."

He readies his next salvo, chest out, righteous indignation stirring in the atmosphere.

"Gusto mo bang maging HOMEWRRRRECKER? Gusto mo bang pagusapan ka sa pamilya na KABIT? Gusto mo ba lahat yun?"

"Hindi po.."

"Tama yan. Kaya I'm playing this next song, I'm Missing You, para sayo, para maka-get over ka na sa lalakeng yan."

"Thank you po."

Monday, April 04, 2005

A good excuse for not posting.

Gigi returned my tagging favor. So does that mean I get to tag you back...again?

You’re stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?

I want to be Elizabeth Bennet in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Quit laughing.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

Gilbert Blythe, Anne of Green Gables staple character. The man is absolutely gorgeous and I adore him, but then I'm biased.

The last book you’ve bought is:

I bought two at Books for Less:

1. Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women (Susan Faludi) - I vaguely remember hearing this in my GENDERS class. Now I can't believe I waited so long to get a copy.
2. The Adventures of Pilandok - Gift to the Sister-Brat for finishing another (Nazi) school year. Of course she goes to a good school. And besides, who doesn't love Pilandok?

The last book you’ve read:

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. I'm still in the process of reading it; does that count?

What are you currently reading?

Refer to above post. And Susan Faludi's Backlash. Highly recommended.

Five books you would take to a deserted island:

1. Rainbow Valley (L.M. Montgomery) - The offspring of Anne and Gilbert Blythe, coupled with 'wild' neighboring manse kids, never fail to keep me laughing.

2. A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide (Samantha Power) - So I can thank my lucky stars that I'm on a deserted island with no fear of racial disparity. Or exploding shells.

3. Me Talk Pretty One Day (David Sedaris) - I like laughing, a whole lot. This fits the bill.

4. Music and Silence (Rose Tremain) - I love historical fiction threaded with romance.

5. The Sandman: Fables and Reflections (Neil Gaiman) - My favorite collection in the whole Sandman series. Who could resist Emperor Joshua Norton I?

Who will you pass this quiz to?

Zane, of course, as I want to know more of what she likes reading. And let's also tag Tanya, whose blog is the featured Pinoyblog of the week!