Saturday, May 31, 2008

Massive Attack

Having wild fun with Bit Torrent, getting reacquainted with oldies but goodies. Short article on Massive Attack's "Collected" album on the Inquirer today. Most of you will know that House MD's opening theme Teardrop is one of MA's biggest hits. Anyway, this video is Angel. Enjoy.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Open Veins

How apt. Luis' latest, Octales, has this as one of the taglines:

"There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein." ~Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith


Portishead's "Third" album is out. This is the band performing We Carry On on Jools Holland's show.

Beth Gibbons is god.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Just now talking to three friends in Australia. Virtual drinking with Joey, she rants - "why aren't you here?" I say, "It's because I'm here not there." Oo nga naman. Isn't there a principle of physics that states an object can only occupy one space at time? Well. I'm a human being. Which means I am a subject. Isn't it possible that I maintain several subjectivities at a time? Which means, my being can occupy as many spaces as possible. It sucks being stuck in these interstices of time and space. Neither here or there. I feel like a ghost sometimes....haunting and being haunted by those whom I've left behind, those still waiting for me here. I have left and yet I have not arrived. Am I still on the plane waiting to land?

I miss my friends overseas. I miss M who's about to leave for Honduras. I miss G who's planning to take over the world from Madrid. I miss H who's looking to stay in Australia. I miss A who has (thankfully) settled back well in Indonesia. Above all I miss J. You motherfucker you. I still have you on replay. Stop being so smug. I will get over you one of these days. In the meanwhile, please don't tell me about your new conquests. Like your parents, I'd prefer to think you'll be forever innocent 'til you get married.

Dammit. L has been back from Valladolid since October. And still she feels as I do. Haunted by what she has left behind. Is this truly the postmodern condition? One thing to read about it. One thing to live it. Fragmented beings in fragmented spaces. So many of us scattered all over different time zones. Making money in one....investing in another. Making a living in one....saving up in another. Existing in one....dreaming in another. An object can only occupy one space at a time. An apple. A lamp. A chair. But humans? Are we turtles carrying with us all that we are, all that we do, all that we need and all of our lives on our backs?

Forgive the drunken rant. The plane will land soon.

Quest for Truth: ZTE NBN Scandal (Finally! Updated)

I went to this forum hoping to feel something, to take away something - a renewed fervour. I took away something alright - the feeling that forums like these were meant to provide comfort and hope for discomforting and hopeless times.

There weren't a lot of people in the library. The lady at the reception desk welcomed us without much ado. Me and Butch were obviously nobody important - just concerned citizens who bothered to show up.

10.00 Invocation. National Anthem. Panatang Makabayan.

Like a dutiful agnostic (now I wear the badge with more confidence), I stood up in respect of those who believed. The national anthem was something else though - I hadn't seen the Philippine flag for a while. I was reminded of this romance I have for this country. My repository of hope, the vessel in which I project all of my hopes and dreams. The remnants of the modernist in me - of images of the good life realised in national borders - were rekindled for a moment. I almost cried as I sang the words dutifully. I was surprised I still rememberd the words to the pledge of allegiance (Panatang Makabayan). The decades of reciting it in grade school and high school paid off. Those early morning flag ceremonies, my brain still half-dead from sleep, proved helpful.

10:10 Enteng Romano, opening statement

I do not know Enteng Romano from Adam, but he wore on his shoulders both credibility and steadfast honesty. You know its true that evil marks faces of those who lay in bed with it. Look at all our politicians, even the young ones. Don't they look like they could all use a year-pass at a derm clinic? To erase the worry-lines of those who need to tamp down their conscience. Romano's opening statement merely summarised what had already broken in the news - that there is new evidence of the President's intimate knowledge of the ZTE-NBN deal.

10:15 Vice Governor of Iloilo - Rolex Suplico

VG Suplico then took the mic, speaking of the witness 'Alex'. Apparently the latter leaked to the media the photos we all saw emblazoned on the news - photos of the President and the First Gentleman playing golf with ZTE officials. They named these two as "Romantic Rose" (a lady wearing a pink top) and "Yellow shirt" (a man wearing such an item of clothing).

They then showed more of these photos taken by Alex. Golf Cart no. 25.

10:25. Question from the audience - "Why did this so-called witness only come out now?"

Suplico responded saying Alex needed convincing. Journalist Jarius Bondoc then said witnesses do not usually come out at the same time. To my mind, this "Alex" probably wanted to wait and see what happened with then star witness Jun Lozada.

10:35. Joey De Venecia said he got a call from his father that they played gold in Shenzhen. It was in the coaster, that the President (speaking with Abalos), mentioned "kung pwedeng gayahin yung proposal in Joey para walang cost sa government." "Dapat si Peter Favila ang nandoon, because this is a trade deal." (Instead of Abalos)

Enteng Romano: "Baka di nago-golf si Peter Favila kaya 'di sya ang nandoon" (Smattering of laughter).

Joey DV - "I could safely surmise that the President already knew about this the second, and definitely the third quarter..." [of last year]

Joey DV: Abalos - wanted a P130 million kickback.

Enteng Romano: "Medyo malakas ang ugong na ang dad mo raw ay maraming nalalaman dito." He might be the witness Joe mentioned by Sen. Lacson. When will your father stop calling GMA "my President"? Is he coming out as a new witness?

Joey: "I'm not too sure frankly whether he does know, because he was never really part of the discussion...If my father was part of the meeting...wherever the meeting was...I don't know if he was privy to these discusions."

Enteng Romano: JDV was present during the lunch.

Joey: I'm sure my father is weighing his options, this [concerns his whole political career]

Joey: Sa transaction, Abalos was the 'captain ball' but the First Gentleman was the 'coach.'

10:50 Dante Mendoza: ZTE official: "No president, no money."

Joey: Abalos was telling the ZTE group that he was "the most powerful person in the country" as Comelec chair.

11:00. Romano asks Joey if he knows the 2 ZTE officials in the photo (in pink and yellow). Joey denies knowing them.

ER: San pupunat ang senate hearing? We can't file a case against her. Impeachment, she has the numbers.

VG Suplico: "...the President is untouchable while she is President."

ER: Our only choice is to go after those people around the President - Abalos, FG for example.

ER: Did you know this would come this far?

Jarius Bondoc: May alingasngas na since Jan 2007.

Dante: Same problem Alex will experience... "Before I even came out, sinisiraan na'ko". [Negative publicity launched by Malacanang.]

Audience: "What would you like the people to do...What can I do about this?"

Dante: 'Di ko alam' [sagutin ang tanong mo]. "I did my part, I don't know what other people can do."

11:10. Senator Franklin Drilon: "These are all circumstantial evicences...The people can pressure the Supreme Court."

Joey: No Chinese government official during the signing of the contract. Only ZTE officials and Usec Formoso were witnesses based on the documents.

Drilon: "All of this is circumstantial evidence...which is valid as evidence on [establishing the guilt of a person]."

Audience: "Rebolusyon, civil disobedience...on your own organisation, maybe double time na. [Para] may mangyari..."

At this point there was a smattering of laughter and an exchange of tired and wary glances. I only saw that the lady who stood and spoke was middle-aged. Probably a concerned lola. Definitely someone who lived through Martial Law. Someone, who despite all her decades of living in this country, still had in her hope. Revolution. Don't we pin so much hope on this word? I wonder if we really know what a revolution is. What it entails. The details. When this lady stood up to say this, I wonder if it was clear to her what it meant.

11:25. Romano announces Jun Lozada is on the way from another engagement in QC.

Drilon: "If there is no guarantee of repayment, there is no borrowing." The solution is not so much removing the debt cap but following the law. ZTE is a supply agreement. Congress can't scrutinise the details. Immediately included in the budget...There's no bidding, no appropriation by Congress, because the money never go to the Phil. treasury, it is booked as an obligation upon delivery of the supplies. The supplies are made, obligation and we paid. The appropriation part was skipped. "Unprogrammed."

ER: With the resources of govt, malamang na-identify na kung sino si ALEX at "ginagapang na rin sya". Meron pa ba'ng more explosive evidence other than the picture?

Suplico: As of last night I have lost contact with Alex. "Maybe by this time they have already identify him...I don't blame him, his priority is to survive..."

Audience: "Is it true tinanggal na ang funds for security protection ng senate witnesses?"

Joey: I'm not under protection
Dante: kumonti nga

JB: Mas marami pa kaysa kay Jun/Dante...dozens. There is really an attempt to silence whistle blowers...

11.40 Jun Lozada arrives. Accompanied by a Nun.

Audience: Of the numerous scandals and corruption allegations, why do we only concentrate on the ZTE-NBN deal?

ER: ZTE-NBN is the only scandal that demonstrates the extent of greed of government, and the implication of the highest public official in the land.

ER: (Question addressed to Jun Lozada) How do you make people begin to act on the truth that they know?

JUN: "One thing I've learned is 'manampalataya.' Filipinos should have faith in God and themselves. The worse effect of corruption is stealing the HOPE of the people...Ninakaw na ang basic services ninyo, wag na pati yung dangal at pag-asa ninyo ipananakaw nyo pa."

11.50. Gloria Diaz: had dinner with Romy Neri. Why have you not come out to tell the truth? Neri said he didn't know anythign, has no evidence. He did his part by saying he was bribed.
"He really is enjoying everything now" (Neri). Has no plans to go back to the Senate...because of the way he was treated.

ER: Are you enjoying where you are now (to Jun). Smattering of laughter.
Jun: I would like to have my life back. They scrapped the budget for protection to scare him. 10 armed men attacked St. Scholastica Marikina (Di nadiaryo). Sister Maryjohn is so visible (scare tactics).

"Sige...'todo na rin natin."

12:00. Audience (Mely): Statement of NEDA employees (Forwarded by Solita Monsod....from BNW egroup) "It is time for NEDA to confront the blows to its credibility...For months now we have been complying with the gag order...Top management has chosen to keep silent and inactive...

1. Disclosure of pertinent NEDA docus on NBN
2. Provide moral pressure towards top management to act incisively on actions [harassing] employees
3. NEDA's independence. Top management should pursue a truly independent NEDA.

Journalist from RPN 9: To Jun Lozada, what would you tell Alex?
Jun: "Alex, kung nasan ka man, halika umupo ka na rito...although sa RPN 9 mo makikita ito."

"Alex you have to find a spiritual adviser...You have to dig deep within your faith...Matakot ka sa Diyos wag sa tao."(Asked about the messianic tag people place on him)

Jun: "Ayokong maginag Bayani, kasi ang bayani mag-isa lang. Gusto ko kasama n'yo ko."

12:10 Enteng Romano. Closing statement

"Ang Pilipinas ngayong parang palakang nilagay sa kaldero...tapos unti-unti pinainitan...Di nararamdaman na unti-unting naluluto...Ano ba ang pwedeng gawin ng ordinaryong Pilipino? Ang maganda siguro, pakuluin nating ng mas mabilis ang kaldero...tiyak mararamdan ng palaka at tumalon sya. Wag po tayong bibitiw."


I couldn't liveblog the press conference. But I'm still in Makati, stealing bandwidth from somewhere along C. Palanca. Still have to edit my transcription of the proceedings. In the meanwhile, here are some photos.

As of last night, Iloilo Vice Governor Rolex Suplico is no longer in contact with the latest ZTE-NBN scandal witness, "Alex." Alex is the same 'probinsyano' who leaked the photos of the President and the First Gentleman playing golf (among other things) with ZTE officials "Romantic Rose" and the Man in the Yellow shirt.

Apparently, "No President, No Money."

Para Maiba Naman

How depressing my last few posts. O s'ya sige. I saw Jo Koy live in Brisbane. He was Russell Peters' guest comic. Even Russell admitted being outstaged by this guy. Needless to say, I have never laughed so hard (and for such an extended time - almost 3 hours) in my entire life.

His material is mostly about his Filipino mother, Asian ethnic jokes, being a father and his family. This short snippet does NOT do him justice.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I've only ever seen my mother cry twice. Once, long ago, when I was much younger. We were holed up in a hotel, punishing my father. It was very brief, her show of emotion. When you grow up seeing your mother always in control, a display like that seems life-threatening. She has no qualms expressing other emotions however - anger, contempt, joy, excitement. But sorrow, or anything that would prompt tears, are completely off limits. Control. This is big among the women in my family.

I never saw her shed a tear when my father died. That horrible car crash almost five years ago. Not a single one. Control. She gave me instructions on how to manage the wake and her hospitalisation on top of everything else. Instructions on how to deal with family and friends. There she lay on the hospital bed - the little general commanding an army of one. I remember looking at her, during my father's interment. Her face looked so brittle. But she managed to hold on - not a single teardrop. Her eyes didn't even water. To everyone but me, she might've almost looked bored. I suppose we deal with these things in different ways. Now I wonder if it didn't drive her a little mad.

The second time she cried openly was when I left for Australia. I knew she hadn't meant for me to see her. The car was driving off and I looked back. And there she was, sobbing into her kerchief. It made me realise how old she'd gotten. She doesn't complain, despite everything she has on her plate. Her pride won't let her accept defeat. If anything, my mother is brave. And optimistic. I don't think she indulges in self-pity. I sometimes wonder if she ever lets herself feel pain. She probably does, but is a master in hiding it well.

I've only seen my father cry once, that night he ordered me to leave the house. His daughter grown up to be a defiant little thing. I think it broke his heart, that I was no longer his little girl. He had lost his daughter, and couldn't claim her back until he passed away. Pride. My parents taught me well in that respect. But something else they taught me, in their cold and silent power struggles growing up, is that control doesn't pay.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


In "Castaway" the last scene has Tom Hanks' character standing in the middle of a crossroad. He had finally accepted having been stripped of his old life, and suddenly found himself not knowing where to go. This is what it feels like to be at that crossroad, moving towards a direction for so long, and then having to stop. What to do, what to do?

I have changed. And the only reason why I know this is because everything else I have left behind is the same. I do not want to have to wear the same old me. It is soiled and worn and unappealing. My old life, my old friends, my old relationships, my family's old problems, my old career. My ship has been unmoored for so long, I don't know where to drop anchor. I thought it would be easy, to put back on the layers of the old me. I thought it would give back the comfort of the familiar. It has not.

Has it only been two weeks? Maybe I should give it some time, to mourn the death of my old self. But the horizon is calling.

Friday, May 23, 2008

No Ending

Dear Me,

The world isn't ending tonight. Even though you might feel like it. Some day you will look back at this and laugh. How silly you were. How silly it all was. Time tends to make everything trivial. Even though at this moment it feels incredibly important. Like life depended on it. Remember your philosophy in life: "This too shall pass." History is funny that way. What is unfolding at present becomes an anecodote, a story to pass onto your children. Your children's children.

Do you regret what you have done? Maybe. To forgo this pain. But isn't that what makes life worth living? These little hiccups? So you know you're not living a flatline. So you know life has meaning. That its not one mundane little thing after another. That its not Event A, then Event B, then Event C. You don't like drama. Who likes drama? This is reality folks. All of this is REAL. How can he discount that? How can he sweep it all aside? But then what does he know? He's just a child himself. You're a grown woman. 28 in three weeks. What have you learned in life? That you can survive anything. That you're not afraid of pain. You knew this when you started it. You knew for chrissakes.

You are on this path on your own. He can't help. He only has space for himself. To get over his shit. Wake up sparks. Wake up. Life is waiting. Responsibilities. Other people counting on you. You have to wake up. Now finish that last cigarette. And the bottle of wine. When you wake up in the morning, the world will be right again.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Dean: Do you think law should be guided by morals?
Me: Well, in most societies, killing people is criminal. If the law says its bad, then isn't that a moral judgment?

Dean: What do you think are the limits of government when it comes to interfering with citizens' lives? Is there a limit?
Me: Well, if you dig deep in political theory, and this may be a bit libertarian, as long as an individual's personal choices don't harm others, then she should be free to do as she will.
Dean: What if she harms herself?
Me: As far as I know, attempted suicide is not criminal in any society.
Dean: Don't you think the state should intervene in certain cases?
Me: This assumes the government knows best. Isn't that a bit totalitarian?

Dean: What are your guiding principles?
Me: (very careful answer here) I don't use religious terms as others do. Christians will be comfortable saying they seek guidance from God. I use other signposts. I am modern in that I feel I make my own destiny. But sometimes things happen to me that I feel were just meant to be.

Dean: What do you think constitutes good governance?
Me: People in positions of leadership should be guided by democratic values. I call myself a democrat. What I mean by this is that at bottom, I believe human beings are all the same. Given the same opportunities, anyone can realise themselves to the full.

Dean: So, you like postmodernism?
Me: I used to teach French. So I like French thinkers. Its all language games really. Maybe the attraction was because I was a language teacher first.
Dean: What about it do you like exactly?
Me: That meaning is constructed between humans. As humans change, so does meaning.

Dean: Explain what you mean when you said you're a historical materialist.
Me: *Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit*


De-skinned, de-boned, de-everything. A lamb led to the slaughter. I have to re-learn surviving in this environment again. Two things that I've lost during my pro-longed vacation in Oz, foresight and strategic planning. I need to be neurotic again, to think two-three steps ahead for every possible little thing that could go wrong. In my venture to Makati yesterday, I didn't foresee how long the commute would be. I didn't foresee that Butch would take so long to book his Cebu Pacific tickets because the ladies behind the counter were low on vitamins and minerals. Worker drones who obviously didn't care that they do their job properly. We took the MRT from North avenue, I forgot the queues could be so tortuously long and slow. I don't mind walking under the sun anymore, but I forgot the humidity literally makes you a walking sweat machine. I forgot how home is literally your only sanctuary. The streets of Manila are unforgiving. Dirty, noisy, tiring, hostile. Its an extreme sport just getting from point A to point B. I had forgotten how to navigate, second-guessing myself about the layout of the city. Was I gone that long? Don't think so.

I need to be a worry-wart again. I felt so disorganised for my interview/teaching demo today. I hadn't even practiced delivering the damn thing. Once, in the cab on the way. I counted on the adrenaline rush to do it for me...and I think I delivered. The dean is a lovely woman...we spoke for an hour. Well, I did most of the talking...more like rambling really. Predictably she asked me about the role of the Church in politics....I hope she heard the answer she was looking for. Haha. The teaching demo went well...for something I put together at the last minute. The faculty in attendance were from diverse fields, but all from UP. They knew where I came from. We speak the same that was small comfort.

I need to organise again. My hiatus in Australia has rendered me dull. Now, I feel my being coming back to full life. I have renewed respect for the dwellers of this city. We are made of stern stuff. This environment is pushing me to function again in full gear. Ha. I am home. Welcome back sparks. Welcome back. :)

Sunday, May 18, 2008


I am scared shitless. I have not been in front of a classroom (as a teacher) in a while. Scratch the European Union, I would still have to do research for that, so I'm using a previous paper for my teaching demonstration:

Deconstructing Markets

I. Introduction – Outline of discussion - question

1. What is a market? Importance of answering this question.
2. Role of markets in the contemporary capitalist world system.
3. Theory – heterodoxies (neoclassical economics and its alternatives)
4. Re-instating politics in the discussion of markets – role of the state

II. What is the market?

1. Definitions – an institution, a technology, a system, a metaphysical concept, a morality (?)
2. Polanyian approach

III. Neoclassical Economics and Free Markets

1. Key assumptions
2. Political implications

IV. Critique of key assumptions – brining the social back in

1. A-historicity of the market
2. Are we homo economicus?
3. Dog-eat-dog world?
4. Why ‘dismal’ science?
5. Epistemological problematic of postcolonialism

V. Conclusion

1. Scholarly interventions
2. New areas of research

What the hell am I doing wanting to teach for the O.D.? But the institute is the only one of its kind in the country. So what if it is nestled in the heart of one of the most conservative universities known to Philippine academia? *Shudder* And I like my boss. He knows I'm a historical materialist (a more benign term for a post/neo/Marxist). I am also tolerant of his own Catholic philosophy. I am by no means an ideologue...and neither is he. And our common ground is we're both from UP, so we more or less have been shaped into a certain mould of thinking and being. I sometimes wonder why he wanted me to take this post. Full time! Because of my imported postgrad pedigree? Because he wanted a rabble rouser? Someone youngish to build the department? In any case...I dread this teaching demo. Guaaarrgghh.

Australia in Pictures


Has it been a week? My room is in crazy clutter. Bits and pieces of the past litter each corner. It needs cleaning, like my brain. My life. This bookshelf. I need to get rid of so many books. My infamous historical romances, my fantasies, my guilty pleasure. I used to take comfort in them before leaving for Australia. Like dark chocolate. Dirty, yummy, easy. I have not read a single one in a year. I found myself browsing Book Sale yesterday, but couldn't conjure enough enthusiasm. That comfort is over. All my photocopies are below. Journal articles, entire books. I need to come up with a 20 minute lecture on the European Union. Teaching demo for the Opus Dei on Tuesday. Gawd help me. I left my lectures and more journal articles in J's room. I would've brought them with me, but they were too heavy. A 20 minute lecture. It isn't all that bad, I've delivered monologues longer. I need to impress. Have I learned anything new in Australia? Yes. Not really.

My Klimt prints hang over my bed, sentinels standing guard while I sleep. I had bought them at one of the bouquinistes in Paris years ago. They are my sole comfort now. And my ciggies. I said Iwould quit on my birthday. Three weeks. Maybe next year. Gawd, I'll be twenty-eight. A year older, not necessarily wiser. I have not fully unpacked. My luggage lay strewn on the floor. Still stuff inside. When I find the will to clean my room, in two, three days, it will mean I've moved from this awful place. A week it has been. In limbo still. I am not fully home yet. All that I have left behind. All that is waiting for me here. I saw my best friend the other day, and her new husband, also an old college friend. They looked happy. And old. And settled. All that isn't me at the moment. I need to earn back the years I shed in Australia. I need to be properly cynical and angry again. About things other than myself.

On the way to Shaw the other day, I took the bus lane below the flyover near Galleria by mistake. Lost again. There was a young man who passed in front of the car, pedalling his trisikad furiously. In pursuit were Greenhills Barangay tanods. They were rough with him. We wondered if he stole the trisikad, still laden with black garbage bags. Two, then three more tanods came. The boy would not let go of his prize. I felt curiously detached, like I was dreaming the thing happening before my eyes. It is easy to avoid the unsavoury images of this city. One only need chase her blues away in our malls gigantesques. I was home. Everything old is new again.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Because I have been gone for a while, I see everything with new eyes. Every day is a re-discovery, some things have surprised me, some continue to disgust. The other day, while waiting for my mom's friend (at Starmall on Shaw), a few things struck me. One, that Filipinas are really a good-looking lot. Maybe I have been around too many Caucasians that the 'novelty' of their exoticness has worn off. Filipinas are gorgeous. And we come in different hues and shapes. Damn. I think I'd been hanging out with a few too many lesbians on campus. Haha.

My first four days were partially spent in four different malls. Imagine that. They are inescapable. They are there so we have no choice but go to them. Life in this city revolve around going to them, for various purposes - to relax, to get the necessities, to meet people. Which drives home the point that whatever economic growth this megalopolis is probably consumption driven. Jesus. One only need look at the urban landscape, the billbaords, the glossy magazines and newspapers that all we are here for is to work and then consume. Pacific Fair on the Gold Coast, supposedly Queensland's largest shopping centre, is probably as large as Powerplant Mall and a lot uglier. And only 2 floors! Remember this conversation I had with a British cabbie back on the Gold Coast? SM Mall of Asia drove them nuts. Our shopping culture is unparalleled, and our malls...I never saw anything comparable in Melbourne or Sydney. Probably the closest in terms of 'chicness' is Southgate (in Melbourne), but it was tiny. One would think we had lots and lots of money. All those people milling around in there nothing else to do? Nowhere else to go?

Ah basta. From next week, I will stick to the once-a-week in a mall rule. Today and tomorrow don't count because I need to do some 'getting back home' shopping for myself, my mom and our home.

Another mind-boggling thing is the SPEED with which my wifi connection was installed. I went to SM North to apply for the service. All I needed was P999 and my driver's license. I went to the Smart Centre around 3h30. The whole business was completed in 30 minutes. I got a call around 5h saying the installers would come the day after from 3h-5hpm. The day after, they actually came earlier at 10h30. Imagine that!! A wifi connection in less than 24 hours! I remember a decade and a half ago, we waited years(!) to get a PLDT landline. Jesus. Is this a sign of the times?

This country is wired. The latest in gadgets - mobile phones, computing, anything tech-related, we probably have it. I was afraid the wifi speeds would be incredibly slow. But it isn't so bad. The same as my uni during peak weeks. I compare these little tech shops in the shopping centres on the GC to the labyrinthine 'cyberzones' of our malls. Absolutely incomparable. And our internet cafes and shops.....they are peppered all around the metro. Butch was also saying that during their shoot in this far-flung town in Samar, their American crew was surprised that they had an internet shop...which was always full.

We have had a brief sampling of the ramifications of new media in our social lives. My communications professor back in Bond mentioned the "text-power" unleashed during Erap's time. But that was seven years ago. This is now. 24 million internet users in this year alone. A nation young and wired to the teeth. Imagine the possibilities.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Day 2, back in Manila. I am trying to get my bearings, to learn how to function again in this environment. I was afraid I'd forgotten how to drive. But its like riding a bike. You never really forget. Its fun driving in Manila. Its a cerebral and emotional experience. You get frustrated, mad, exhilirated at various stages. Its almost like playing a video game. Ha, that is the masculine in me talking. I've had to recalibrate the spatial map in my brain. Which is Mindanao and which is North avenue again? Which side roads do I take to get to Ortigas? More importantly, how long a drive is it? I almost got lost a couple of times.

I was 40 minutes late for a job interview. Ah. This is Manila. Gotta plan for things to go wrong all the time. Gotta have contingency plans. But the interview went well, probably because my prospective boss is an old postgrad classmate. We were cracking jokes and laughing half the time. The oddest job interview, but I felt we were on the same its all good. Should I go back to teaching? I sometimes feel its not up to me. Sometimes it feels the decision is made for me. We will see.

I keep having to remind myself to look left first before crossing the street. I was almost run over yesterday and today. My first two days navigating through Manila and I've already been in 2 malls. Jesus. We can't avoid these consumer monstrosities. To have anything done (including net connection), to pay bills, to do anything, we need malls. Our urban landscape is such that we can't avoid these loud, crass, panacea of hyperconsumption. One would think we were rich. Is there anything else to do in this city? Is there any other place to go to but malls? Day 1 was Trinoma (after my interview). I needed to get my eye glasses changed. Again. Day 2 was SM North. I need net connection at home. I feel naked without it. Other than the usual reasons, my friends in Australia are obviously all online.

I feel as though I were in limbo. Trapped in-between. Not quite home longer in Australia. So this is what purgatory feels like.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Becaus you insist

J from Colombia thinks the Gold Coast's bus system sucks. Happy? :-p

Transit....Changi Airport Rocks

I could live here. Free everything - movies, music, internet stations and wifi! Flying home in 6 hours...