Saturday, April 29, 2006

Save the Internet Campaign

The future of the Internet is being decided in US Congress. Because this is the way things work in the world we live in, news of Huge Telecoms winning their bid to set up tollbooths on the Information Highway, is really nothing if not predictable.

The US Congress has shot down the bill to preserve Network Neutrality, making way for the likes of AT&T, Verizon and Comcast to achieve their dreams of making more money by controlling the internet.
A U.S. House committee approved a bill Wednesday, under which Internet carriers would have a free hand to charge the likes of Google Inc., Yahoo Inc extra for faster delivery of services to consumers, bringing a two-tier Internet one step closer to reality.
From SavetheInternet Coalition:

What is this about?

This is about Internet freedom. "Network Neutrality" -- the First Amendment of the Internet -- ensures that the public can view the smallest blog just as easily as the largest corporate Web site by preventing Internet companies like AT&T from rigging the playing field for only the highest-paying sites.

But Internet providers like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast are spending millions of dollars lobbying Congress to gut Net Neutrality. If Congress doesn't take action now to implement meaningful network neutrality provisions, the future of the Internet is at risk.

What is network neutrality?

Network Neutrality — or "Net Neutrality" for short — is the guiding principle that preserves the free and open Internet.

Net Neutrality ensures that all users can access the content or run the applications and devices of their choice. With Net Neutrality, the network's only job is to move data — not choose which data to privilege with higher quality service.

Net Neutrality is the reason why the Internet has driven economic innovation, democratic participation, and free speech online. It's why the Internet has become an unrivaled environment for open communications, civic involvement and free speech.

Who wants to get rid of Net Neutrality?

The nation's largest telephone and cable companies — including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner — want to be Internet gatekeepers, deciding which Web sites go fast or slow and which won't load at all.

They want to tax content providers to guarantee speedy delivery of their data. They want to discriminate in favor of their own search engines, Internet phone services, and streaming video — while slowing down or blocking their competitors.

These companies have a new vision for the Internet. Instead of an even playing field, they want to reserve express lanes for their own content and services — or those from big corporations that can afford the steep tolls — and leave the rest of us on a winding dirt road.

What's at stake?

Decisions being made now will shape the future of the Internet for a generation. Before long, all media — TV, phone and the Web — will come to your home via the same broadband connection. The dispute over Net Neutrality is about who'll control access to new and emerging technologies.

On the Internet, consumers are in ultimate control — deciding between content, applications and services available anywhere, no matter who owns the network. There's no middleman. But without Net Neutrality, the Internet will look more like cable TV. Network owners will decide which channels, content and applications are available; consumers will have to choose from their menu.

The Internet has always been driven by innovation. Web sites and services succeeded or failed on their own merit. Without Net Neutrality, decisions now made collectively by millions of users will be made in corporate boardrooms. The choice we face now is whether we can choose the content and services we want, or whether the broadband barons will choose for us.
Since a huge slice of the Internet is American, the implications are global. If only I knew to what extent exactly. Anyone?

There Is No Spoon

Now that Sassy Lawyer and MLQ3 have blogged about the Filipino child punished by his French-Canadian school Ecole Lalande for using a spoon and fork instead of knife and fork, I predict there's going to be a firestorm of protest in the Pinoy blogosphere.

A quotable quote from the principal Normand Bergeron:
“I don’t necessarily want students to eat with one hand or with only one instrument, I want them to eat intelligently at the table. I want them to eat correctly with respect for others who are eating with them. That’s all I ask. Personally, I don’t have any problems with it, but it is not the way you see people eat every day. I have never seen somebody eat with a spoon and a fork at the same time.”
Which points to how insular and ignorant he is about the rest of the world eh?

If you want to give Monsieur le Directeur Bergeron a piece of your mind, you can e-mail him here:

(Edited to add)

Some interesting (and hilarious comments) on the West Island Chronicle article written by Andy Blatchford:

Marnie Dideles:
"To make someone as young as 7 years old feel bad about his own culture is detrimental to his self-image and his perspective of his culture."

Jacob Chermak:
"One thing to know Mr Principal, the world is small and filipino community is tight. Rest assured Filipinos across the world will hear of this. Best of wishes Mr. ignorant coward."

K Lee:
"The principal's comment "I have never seen somebody eat with a spoon and a fork at the same time” shows all of us that he's buried deep in the Twilight Zone, probably beyond recovery since he's already past that "learning stage" that he's talking about."

Raul Debuque:
"I am especially disappointed that the school principlal, M. Bergeron, a French Canadian who no doubt fights every day to assert his heritage and culture, would then turn around and practice the same sort of cultural negation that French Canadians so vehemently reject. Shame. "

Geneviève Perchotte:
"On behalf of all us francophone Canadians, I apologize for M.Bergeron' treatment of you and hope that you can forgive him and not allow this to damage your life in any way. Especially, do not think that all Canadians are like this. "

Erik Kujala:
"I am also concerned for that. Mr. Bergeron obviously has a limited perspective on other cultures and what it means when people come to this country. Nowhere is it written that when a person comes to Canada they must give up their identity or their ways. That would be a tremendous loss for all of us."

Allan Jarina:
"Mr. Bergeron, you make me sick. You're a putrescent mass, a walking vomit. I will never get over the embarrassment of belonging to the same species as you."

Rei Laue:
"I also felt slightly superior to my 45-year old Canadian classmate in a German language course when he admitted that he had never seen an Eierbecher (egg cup) in his whole life because they didn't use that in Canada. I smile as well every time my husband whispers "pocket billiards" whenever he sees a North American eating with only one hand on the table. "Taschenbillard" is the playful way of saying wanking in German, so Germans show both hands on the table when eating so that others don't have to guess what the hidden hand is doing...

...And to think this demonstration of racial superiority comes from someone who probably thinks an egg cup is a term that describes what he does with his other hand under the table while he's eating his dinner."

Alvin Chua:
"Um, I don't understand. Perhaps I'm just ignorant (being an uncivilized Filipino, heh) but what exactly is this singular eating implement? A spork? Are there pictures of it, that we may educate ourselves? (Sorry, but this just boggles the mind.)"

Monday, April 24, 2006

On Bilingualism

Blog entries come to me while driving. It's probably because I can best hear my "voices" in the solitary confines of the car. At times the dialogue begins with the opening sentence, a catchy phrase. Most times it starts with ideas and images in my head. I imagined writing this post in Filipino and found I couldn't. At best, I can translate after writing this in English. A select few are truly bilingual in this country. Those lucky enough to have had a private education, or those, like me, who are linguistically inclined.

It is normal, for the bilingual elite, to communicate in English. It becomes something of an anomaly when viewed by foreigners. In Europe some years back, a friend and I were speaking in a mix of English and Filipino when a Swede classmate approached and asked us why we were speaking in English. The Japanese were lumped together speaking Nippongo, the Koreans speaking Han, the Germans, Deutsche. And here are two Filipinos speaking English when there was, in her eyes, no apparent need. Why indeed?

The Bilingual elite will most likely speak English when speaking of "intellectual" matters, and when I say intellectual I mean all things pertaining to the expression of ideas. This is so because English is the language of the academe. Most everything we learned in formal schooling; ideas, concepts, scientific and mathematical formulae, are learned in English. We simply do not have the linguistic tools to express ourselves in Filipino.

Rarely is Tagalog ever used in intellectual, let alone academic, discourse. Except maybe in the deepest recesses of UP. I once attended a lecture by Bomen Guillermo delivered entirely in academic Filipino. It seemed he was speaking a foreign language altogether! I felt not a little ashamed that I could barely understand what he was saying.

It is normal for the educated elite to think in English. Some will think in English all the time, while others, like me, think and use different languages for different occasions. For me, Tagalog, Pangasinense, sometimes Ilocano, are languages at home and in dealing with the certain life experiences. When dealing with the "servile classes" (waiters, maids, sales persons, jeepney drivers) one speaks in Tagalog. When dealing with peers, with superiors, in business and government, one speaks English.

For a select few, English is the only acknowledged language. I have taught kids of this select few. Tagalog to them is a language foreign, never to be spoken. Should they deign to speak it, they do so with hesitance, straining their untrained palate to roll their R's and open vowels. Tagalog is a different world, evoking alien life experiences, totally separate from their own reality.

In this country, speaking good English, can mean many things. It can express belonging to a certain class, a certain socio-economic category. Even inflections and accents in speaking Filipino can signal different things. I was channel surfing last Saturday chanced upon this interview on Star Talk. A certain male celebrity was speaking with the trademark not-rolled R in "parang" and "" I distinctly remember this celebrity speak with a "jologs" accent not too long ago. I suppose, in his dealings with various people in the entertainment industry, he has learned to speak a certain way, to be perceived a certain way.

In this country, there is a hierarchy of languages. English comes first, connoting privilege, education and progress. Tagalog comes in second, evoking images of the underclasses. All other Philippine languages are a distant third, connoting idyll and backwardness. Among Filipinos these languages serve as barriers separating, not only life experiences and realities, but people. For a country searching for common roots and the idea of a single nation, would it not better suit our needs to do it in one language? Or at least, to destroy the hierarchies of the tongues we speak?

(I will valiantly try to translate this in Filipino. Coming soon...)


(Edited to add: April 25 12:30pm)

Ukol Sa Bilingualismo

Ang mga tala sa blog na ito'y nangungusap sa akin habang nagmamaneho. Marahil ito'y dahil mas mainam kong naririnig ang aking mga "tinig" sa katahimikan ng loob ng sasakyan. Paminsa'y nagsisimula ito sa isang pangungusap o di kaya'y nakatutuwang habi ng mga salita. Inisip kong isulat ang talang ito sa Filipino, ngunit nagkulang ang aking kakayanan. Mas mahusay ko itong maisasalin na lang siguro matapos kong isulat sa Ingles. Kaunti lamang ang tunay na bilingual sa bayang ito. Yaong mga mapalad na nakapag-aral sa mga pribadong paaralan, at, tulad ko, yaong may kakayanan sa mga wika.

Normal para sa "Bilingual elite" ang mag-usap sa Ingles. Ang nakasanayan ay nagiging kataka-taka sa mata ng mga banyaga. Sa Europa, ilang taon na ang nakararaan, lumapit ang isang Swede habang ako'y nakikipag-usap sa isang kaibigan, sa saliw ng Ingles at Filipino. Tinanong n'ya kung bakit raw kami nagsasalita ng Ingles. Hayon ang mga Hapon, nag-uusap sa Hapon, ang mga Korean ng Koreano, ang mga Aleman ng Aleman. Heto ang dalawang Pilipinong nag-uusap sa Ingles ngayong, sa kanyang tingin, ay 'di naman kailangan. Bakit nga ba?

Ang Bilingual elite ay malamang na gagamit ng Ingles sa usaping "intelektwal," at sa aking pakiwari, ang intelektwal ay tumutukoy sa pagpapahiwatig ng mga ideya. Ito'y marahil ang Ingles ang wika ng akademya. Karamihan ng ating natutunan sa mga paaralan at pamantasan; mga idya, konsepto, mga formulang siyentipiko at mathematical, ay natutunan sa Ingles. Kulang ang ating kaparaanang linguistic upang maipahayag ang ating mga sarili sa Filipino.

Madalang na gamitin ang Tagalog sa mga talakayang intelktwal, lalo na't akademiko. Maliban na lamang siguro sa pinakaloob-looban ng UP. Minsa'y nakinig ako sa isang lecture ni Bomen Guillermo na kanyang inihayag ng buo sa akademikong Filipino. Tila wikang banyaga ! Nahiya ako sa aking sarili 'pagkat halos 'di ko mawari ang kanyang mga sinabi.

Normal para sa mga edukadong elite na mag-isip sa Ingles. Ang ila'y gagawin ito ng palagian, at ang ilan, tulad ko, ay nag-iisip at gumagamit ng iba't-ibang wika sa iba't-ibang pagkakataon. Para sa akin, ang Tagalog, Pangasinense, paminsa'y Ilocano, ang mga wika ng tahanan at ng ilang sitwasyon. Sa pakikipag-usap sa mga "uring nagsisilbi," (mga waiter, katulong, tindera, tsuper ng jeep), ang isa'y gagamit ng Tagalog. Sa pakikisalamuha naman sa mga kaibigan, katrabaho, mga boss, sa larangan ng komersyo at gobyerno, ang ginagamit ay Ingles.

Para sa maliit na mangilan-ngilan, ang Ingles ay ang nag-iisang wikang gamit. Nakapagturo na ako sa mga anak ng mangilan-ngilang ito. Ang Tagalog para sa kanila ay isang wikang banyaga, kailanma'y 'di na dapat bigkasin. Kung talagang kailangang gamitin, ito'y nabibigkas ng may alinlangan, ang lalamuna'y pilit na ibubulalas ang 'di nakasanayan. Ang Tagalog ay ibang daigdig na kumakatawan ng mga ibang karanasan, hiwalay at kaiba sa lawak ng sarili nilang ginagalawan.

Sa bayang ito, ang pagsasalita ng Ingles ay maraming kahulugan. Maaari nitong ipahiwatig ang pagiging bahagi ng isang uri o kategoryang sosyo-economiko. Pati ang mga paraan ng pagbigkas at pananalita sa Filipino ay nagpapahiwatig rin ng ilang mga bagay. Noong isang Sabado, habang ako'y palipat-lipat ng channel sa TV, napanood ko ang panayam sa isang artistang lalaki sa Star Talk. Napansin kong ang artistang ito'y para nang kolehiyalang magsalita - ang pagbigkas ng R tulad ng sa wikang Ingles na pinalabukan ng kay raming "" Matuwid kong naaalala na ang artistang ito'y dating nananalita ng may puntong "jologs." Marahil sa kanyang iba't-ibang pakikisalamuha sa mundo ng showbiz, natutunan n'yang manalita ng ganito upang ikubli ang kanyang pinagmulan.

Sa bayang ito, may bai-baitang ang mga wika. Nangunguna ang Ingles na nagpapahiwatig nga pribilehiyo, edukasyon at progreso. Pumapangalawa ang Tagalog na nananalamin ng kahirapan. Malayong ikatlo ang iba pang mga wikang Pilipino, nagpapahiwatig ng mabagal na saliw ng kanayunan. Ang mga wikang ito'y nagsisilbing balakid na naghihiwalay, 'di lamang ng mga karanasan at kamalayan, ngunit ng mga mismong tao. Sa isang bayan na patuloy pa ring naghahanap ng matibay na diwa ng isang bansa, 'di kayat' makabubuting gawin ito sa iisang wika? O, kung 'di man, ang buwagin ang pagbabai-baitang ng ating mga wikang gamit?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Podcast 12: Book Lust

On objects of my affection. Listen to this podcast here.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Machine is Us: iblog 2 Conference

Some of the Philippines' Blogging elite congregated in the UP College of Law yesterday for the 2nd iblog conference. If the government had wanted to get rid of all dissidents in the Pinoy blogosphere, security in Malcolm building was incredibly lax.

I was surprised by the variation among participants. There were 20 years olds as well as 60 year olds. Men, women and all else in between. The average seemed 30ish and male, more likely to be wearing spectacles than not. It was a lively bunch, the literary/personal blogging sessions more so than the political/legal ones -- some serious as well as tongue-in-cheek railing against the evil government went on over there.

MLQ3 delivered a presentation entitled "Blogs and the Battle for Ideas: Personalities and Issues." Like Randy David, he is much more charismatic and funnier in person than those snippet interviews shown on TV.

Among those spotted were: Filipino Librarian, Village Idiot Savant, By Jove, Ellen Tordesillas, Yugatech, Mikey (of Man Blog), Manuel Viloria, Dean Alfar, Atty. Punzi and Dean Jorge Bocobo (who was seated next to me, but I was completely clueless).

I was hesitant to speak to anyone because their first question tended to be "What's your blog?" and I still want my blog to remain anonymous. I have learned the hard lesson that things can get hairy when your cyber persona and real life bleed into each other.

The Pinoy Blogosphere is growing and becoming more relevant as more Filipinos get wired. This is only the 2nd iblog conference and it seemed succesful to me. There were probably 200 to 300 attendees (my estimate from around 10:30 am to 4:30 pm). Hard-core, fanatical bloggers they all are. Blog on!

Sandbar Beach Resort in Puerto Galera

NOTE: I am in now way connected to Sandbar Beach Resort. I was merely a patron. What is written here is my own personal opinion.

While everyone was crammed on the noisy, sweltering, fly-infested and overrated White Beach, I found yet another little-known treasure in Puerto Galera.

Sandbar Beach Resort is on Boquete Island 10 minutes away from Balatero and Muelle Piers. Aside from the excellent view and the relative peace and quiet, you will enjoy the tan-colored beach and decent marine-life 5 meters offshore. The food is a tad expensive compared to the rest of PG; P250 dishes (serves 2 people) but they are excellent, excellent fares. Don't miss the chicken curry!

How to get there:

1. Either take a bus going to Batangas Pier, or take a car.

2. If you take a car, just go to SLEX, pay the exorbitant toll fee and get off the Batangas Exit (second to the last). You can leave your house as early as 4 a.m. Since it is still the summer season, there's no telling what kind of traffic you'll have to battle through to get to paradise. Better safe than sorry eh?

3. When you get off the exit, watch out for the Star Tollway. This is a newly constructed highway, blissfully empty and well-made. Pay the P16 fee to avoid having to pass through town propers and bottlenecks.

4. Get off the the Batangas City exit, about 10 minutes of driving 110 kph straight. I told you, blissfully empty and well-made. After you exit, make your way to the evidently booming and wealthy Batangas Pier. You won't miss the turn to the right.

5. When you get to the Pier, you can leave your car inside the Pier facility itself if there's space left. If not, you can leave it in the private parking areas outside for P200/day. A mite expensive, but your car will be safe.

6. Take a boat bound for either Balatero or Muelle. This should set you back P180. A driver from Sandbar, with his yellow "hummer," will fetch you when you arrive.

7. Enjoy!!!! :)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

French People Power Works

After months of debates and two days of the largest mass protests France has seen in decades, the French government's labor law bows to people power.

President Chirac finally repealed the law yesterday after the indubitable demonstration of its unpopularity.

Bad news for Presidential hopeful Dominique de Villepin, that feisty (then) foreign minister who brandished swords with Anglo-American diplomats at the height of the UN debates on the Iraq invasion back in 2003.

Certain quarters lament this sad turn of events. Ashley Seager on talented workers migrating to the UK to find work:
The French are valued workers in London. Many are highly qualified in maths and engineering and have easily found work in the City of London. Thus they contribute to the British economy and pay taxes here rather than at home. It is unfortunate for France that its sclerotic labour market encourages its keen, educated young workers to go abroad in such numbers.
Victor Keegan wonders at the paradox of a succesful capitalist country and the vagaries of its almost socialist-minded people:
France clearly has a serious cultural problem since, if opinion polls are to be believed, two-thirds would like to be civil servants (where their contribution to the wealth-creation process is debatable) and only a third appear to believe in a market economy. This is not an obvious model for a successful economy in a globalised era when companies are competing against low-wage economies in Asia.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

On Presidential Speeches and "Worsism"

John Berger has an interesting take on the French President's address last Friday. While he specifically targets Jacques Chirac, he might as well be describing Madame La Présidente.
In the past political leaders, when addressing the nation, proposed construction. They might exaggerate, minimise the price to be paid, or simply lie; their projects could be as different from one another as the Third Reich, the United States of America or a Socialist Republic. Their propositions nevertheless evoked the realisation of some vision, or the creation of a society which did not yet exist. Construction.

Under other circumstances in the past, political leaders proposed the active defence of already existing institutions and practices, more or less respected by those they were addressing, and now considered to be threatened and in danger. Such propositions often led to chauvinism, racism and witch-hunting. Yet their rhetoric encouraged and made real, however briefly, a widespread and lived sense of shared loyalties, during the saving of something.

The rhetoric of today's political leaders serves neither construction nor conservation. Its aim is to dismantle. Dismantle what has been inherited from the past, socially, economically and ethically, and, in particular, all the associations, regulations and mechanisms expressing solidarity...

...No electorate is yet prepared to accept such a dismantling. And for a simple reason. The act of voting, however manipulated or free the election, is a way of assembling memories in support of a proposed future programme...

...Consequently the process of dismantling has to be disguised and hidden. And today this is political leaders' first task. Their own role of course is also being dismantled. But they have already chosen to exercise, enjoy and exploit their albeit diminished powers, rather than confront any global truth. It is this which explains their pragmatism combined with their staggering lack of realism. As also their unprecedented shiftiness as politicians. Their task is to prevaricate whilst the broker's deal is arranged elsewhere.

Return now to the typical address of political leaders in the times we're living. Whenever they face contestation, they have to hide what is happening by swiftly erecting a wall of opaque words...A verbal wall to hide what is happening. And on the other side of the wall the bulldozer continues to dismantle.
Barbara Ehrenreich on American "Worsism"

Years ago, there was a theory on the American left that someone—maybe it was me—termed Worsism: the worse things get, the more likely people will be to rise up and demand their rights. But in America, at least, the worse things get, the harder it becomes to even imagine any kind of resistance. The fact that you can be fired “at will”—the will of the employer, that is—freezes employees into terrified obedience. Add to that the fact that job loss is accompanied by a loss of access to health care, and you get a kind of captive mentality bordering on the kinkily masochistic: Beat me, insult me, double my workload, but please don’t set me free!

Far be it from me to advocate the burning of cars and smashing of store windows. But why are American students sucking their thumbs while the Bush Administration proposes a $12.7 billion cut in student loans?

Where is the outrage over the massive layoffs at Ford, Hewlett-Packard, and dozens of other major companies?

And is the poverty-stricken quarter of the population too stressed by their mounting bills and multiple jobs to protest cuts in Medicaid and already pathetic housing subsidies?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

"Is France Ungovernable?"

Well, it depends on who is asking. If you ask the French economic elite, the answer is "its the rule of the mob." If you ask everyone else, then the answer is "it's noisy and unweildy, but we're doing our best."

I came across this article on MLQ3 questioning France's "governability." Allister Heath writes:
In a devastatingly frank speech in 1961, he warned that “any country with three hundred different kinds of cheese is ungovernable”. Forty-five years later, as France braces itself for a fresh day of disruption on Tuesday when opponents of reform take to the streets again, De Gaulle’s successors are rediscovering that the French are simply not prepared to accept change, however necessary.
This is the typical sentiment of pundits in the United States. To a country which has never even dreamed of creating a welfare state, the strong opposition agains the French job law is viewed with contempt.

Robert Samuelson writes, the French are in denial:
Hardly anyone wants to surrender the benefits and protections of today's generous welfare state, but the fierce attachment to these costly and self-defeating programs prevents Europe from preparing for a future that, though it may be deplored, is inevitable. Actually, it's not the future; it's the present.
Lawrence Kudlow says France has no work ethic. To a country aggressively exporting democracy, Americans seem to balk at masses of citizens exercising their democratic rights:
Why is it that so many French people would rather riot than work? ...In France, you see, companies don't grow because it's too costly to hire while it's against the law to fire. Hence, since they rarely add jobs, French businesses under-perform, under-produce and under-employ. Think of it: It's awfully tough to increase output without a growing workforce to produce it.
The general sentiment from across the Atlantic seems to express the inevitability of the French welfare model knuckling under the pressure of even tighter competition in world markets. For French capital to compete, it must reduce all the "unecessary" expenses on people's work benefits and safety-nets. If you want to solve unemployment, boost the economy and even stand an iota of a chance against American capital, hop on the CPE train. Those who fail to do so, will be crushed.

The next few hours will be critical in the resolution of this stand-off. To whom is the French State answerable?

The unthinking hooligans of Jean-Luc Godard, Victor Hugo, Gilles Deleuze, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre's alma mater?

The lazy French unions?

The rest of them "unruly" yet well-organized-right-to-the-last-flight/train/bus/Eiffel Tower elevator ride-striking mob?

Qui ne risque rien, n'a rien....donc...Matira matibay

Week two of the battle raging on the continent, 3 months after the controversial labor law was first announced mid-January. Last Friday, President Chirac went on national television to address his rebellious constituents. French protesters remain unappeased with the President's compromises in drafting the First Employment Contract law.

Today the organizers hope to surpass or at least equal the rallies of last week which drew out 1 to 3 million marchers all over the country.

Ipsos and Le Monde published a survey regarding people's reactions to Chirac's compromise:

"Do you think the President's intervention will resolve the situation or further embolden the opposition?" An average of 71 among those questioned believe the latter.

Monday, April 03, 2006

On Bianca and Zanjoe (This is not Nina's Blog)

Hello Bianjoe fanatics, welcome to my blog. I am not the person who wrote that letter to Mr. Boy Abunda. That would be Nina. She posted her letter on her blog. Thanks.

Oh I've been wanting to blog about this for a long time, but now I feel it imperative to do so.

I am a PBB addict. A Bianjoe addict in particular.

I was watching Y Speak last night and felt incredibly bad for Bianca Gonzalez and Zanjoe Marudo. I suppose the next few days will be hectic because everyone would want a piece of them. In the mean time, I can imagine the two of them having to put their "special friendship" on hold as they both attend to unfinished business.

I'm a Bianjoe fan from the very start. It's the classic "forbidden love" angle. For those who have been living under a rock for the past 2 months, Bianca is Lino Cayetano's girlfriend (as in the late Senator Cayetano's son). Inside the house Bianca and Zanjoe developed a "close friendship" that included frequent hugs and kisses. Since both admitted to being attracted to each other, I think its safe to say that their feelings can't be completely platonic.

I've been rooting for the two of them because both exhibited grace under pressure -- the pressure of their minds battling with their hearts.

I think it unfair for people to say mean things about Bianca. Forums reveal just how virulent these comments can be:
kse simple lang yan no...?elementary..if me konting decency yang c bianca,kahit landiin sya,d nya papatulan mga pag-'tempt',overtures ni zanjoe kse po me boyfriend sya!ganun lang ka-simple kung talagang naloka sya ke zanjoe,ano b nman yung mag-antay muna sya after pbb to see kung totoo yang nararamdaman nya.e di i-break nya c lino and ituloy nila landiaan nila sa lbas.she could've done it with a little class.d yang ganyan plastic pa sya na friends daw sila.ano kme ######o.poor lino.

I'm very disappointed with Bianca! grbae na ginagawa nya. Kawawa ang BF nya. As for Zanjoe, wala syang respeto sa BF ni Bianca. He knows may BF si bianca pero sige pa din sya....tamad na...wala pang respeto sa ibang tao.
Yan si bianca, kaya lang yan hindi bumibigay kay zanjoe kasi on-cam siya. Pero for sure kung walang cameras around them matagal nang sila. Malamang they even had ######. She doesnt give in not bcoz she has respect for her bf or that she knows her boundaries, but simply and logically bcoz, THERE ARE CAMERAS ALL AROUND.

I regularly watch Y Speak and can say that Bianca is not only smart and articulate but humble. Having to deal with brats on regular occasion, I can safely say that Bianca is an exception.

Bianca went to High School at La Salle Zobel. She then went to the Ateneo. That she is pedigreed is of no question. Even wihtout knowing this, the way she speaks and holds herself is evidence enough.

In the same token, the way Zanjoe speaks and holds himself reveal his much humbler origins. Did he even finish his studies at Mapua?

Lino Cayetano, on the other hand, belongs to the elite. Rich, coming from a family that includes a former Senator and a current senator (his sister Pia) and well-educated (didn't he study film at NYU?). He isn't bad looking either. Any girl would want to bag and keep Lino as a boyfriend and a possible husband.

I laud Bianca for even giving Zanjoe half a chance. For looking past socio-economic barriers, for not being a snob.

I laud Bianca for risking a good match to follow her heart.

Maybe she saw something in Zanjoe that was lacking in Lino (despite all his riches). Maybe she saw genuine passion and affection? Maybe she felt truly...adored.

I remember Lino guesting in Y Speak a few months back. He and Bianca were interviewed as a couple. He didn't really leave much of an impression. As an "artist" he had the requisite long hair and all, but his eyes didn't show much...verve. Even his voice didn't seem...animated. His body language towards Bianca was very cold. This was made even more obvious because the other couple interviewed (Chiz Escudero and wife) were very affectionate, in their glances, they way their knees touched. The way Lino looked at Bianco while they were answering questions didn't reveal much.

Now I'm comparing how Zanjoe acted around and looked at Bianca in the house. Even last night during the interview. I would forgo all the riches of a pedigreed boyfriend to have the man I love look at me like that.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Smoke for Freedom!

Here's a suggestion to the Black and White Movement Black Friday protest;

Smoke "Raison Soft Revolution" cigarettes. Smoke for freedom!

At P68 per pack, it's like smoking paper.

The Comedy of IP Overkill

Interesting facts on IP from Mother Jones. Highlights:

U.S. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY is valued at $5.5 trillion, equal to 47% of our GDP and greater than the GDP of any other nation but China.

VENICE INTRODUCED the patent concept in 1474. Infringers were fined 100 ducats.

AMONG THE 16,000 people thus far sued for sharing music files was a 65-year-old woman who, though she didn’t own downloading software, was accused of sharing 2,000 songs, including Trick Daddy’s “I’m a Thug.” She was sued for up to $150,000 per song.

NEARLY 20% of the 23,688 known human genes are patented in the United States. Private companies hold 63% of those patents.

“SENSORY TRADEMARKS” include a duck quacking (AFLAC), a lion roaring (MGM), yodelling (Yahoo!), giggling (Pillsbury), and a “pre-programmed rotating sequence of a plurality of high intensity columns of light projected into the sky to locate a source at the base thereof” (Ballantyne of Omaha).

42% OF ALL VIDEO files shared online are pornographic. No porn-sharing cases have yet been tried in the U.S.

RENTAMARK.COM makes money by claiming ownership of 10,000 phrases, including “chutzpah,” “casual Fridays,” “.com,” “fraud investigation,” and “big breasts.”

Strange Sightings...

Seen in Makro Cubao.

Seen roaming the backroads of UPD.

I am told he is part of the CAL faculty.

Identity crisis?

No, that is the gripo.

I sense a need for anger management, don't you?