The Blog and Tour Schedule of Carlos Celdran. A man who is trying to change the way you look at Manila - one step at a time. Telephone: (02)4844945 Text/Cell:(0920)9092021 or Email: celdrantours@hotmail.com

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

AND WERE BAAAACK!


And the Quiapo Tour is back on the schedule. Starting November 5. Monday. Hope to see you guys there. Scroll down for the details and the tour dates. Thank you sari sari store for the photo.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

OH SH**...

Literally. The Washington Post reported that the explosion in Glorietta 2 mall was not caused by terrorists but by Ayala Mall's inadequate sewage system which likely created a methane explosion similar to the one in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1992.

Now one might instinctively and quite insensitively react with an "Oh thank god it wasn't a terrorism plot." - let's not lose sight of the big picture here. Although this may no longer seem like a local security issue (To: Senator Trillanes and all the other conspiracy theorists who sure look like morons now. Please go die.), this now brings up larger issues of proper urban planning and overdevelopment. And how ignoring the importance of such issues can not only cause inconvenience, but ultimately cost lives.

And if this methane-gases-due-to-human-waste theory proves itself to be true, considering that this is Ayala Malls, the country's supposedly most prestigious real estate development corporation that supposedly prioritizes issues such as these, can you imagine what the sewage system of less "prestigious" developments might look like? Just think about what horrors lurk underneath MegaMall or worse, Robinson's Malate and Galleria. People of Summit Media, you know what I'm talking about. The underground parking lot of your offices in Galleria really are Dante's seven levels of hell. And I'm already being kind.

Malls are not only the ones who commit crimes of improper crap disposal as well. Residential developments such as the uberuglyoverdone Malate Bayview and uberoverpriced Serendra still need to prove to us that they have their sh** together before we can trust that they won't create another tragedy like Glorietta 2.

And it has to be a community effort to demand such things such things as proper urban planning and sustainable waste management. We Filipinos just have to start looking beyond ourselves and take responsibility for the crap we create. I mean, look at how shamefully we litter our cities and countrysides. Total proof that we might really be a primitive, uncivilized people incapable of understanding the workings of the world around us. And class, money and power are not the issue here. Just take a walk through Binondo, there is so much money on Calle Ongpin yet it's tenants allow feces to freely flow in full view between their streets. The will should not only be political but of the people as well.

Ultimately we should all realize that sewage is serious sh** and just because we flush the it down, doesn't mean that it's going away. Period.

Evidence that I might be warming up to Mayor Lim. He allowed a study to determine the humanitarian disaster that was Mayor Atienza's birth control ban. Thank your Rina for writing about it.

Oh, and remember the Australian journalists booked at the Peninsula who cancelled after the bombing? Well, they decided to come and visit anyway. What a hardy bunch. Toured them last Monday as scheduled. Lovely folks. Nary a whinge at all. Australians rock.

Labels: ,

Friday, October 19, 2007

GLORIETTA AND GLORIA. WHA?

It's been quite a day. Quite a day I tell you.

After my 9:30am tour of Intramuros, I immediately rushed to the Brothers Burger restaurant in front of Makati Medical Center for a 12:00pm meeting with Dr. Ernesto Santos of MMC and other members of the Makati Tourism Council to talk about plans of creating a heritage "walk" zone in Old Poblacion near Rockwell.

After all was said and done (meeting went well - were looking at creating a map of old houses in Makati. Told them to get in touch with HCS), we all said our goodbyes at about 1:15pm. Dr. Santos headed out to Makati Medical Center and I walked off to meet my wife at the MAC store in Greenbelt. On my way there, right about 1:45pm when I was crossing the Ayala Museum, I saw a woman screaming. She was completely incomprehensible, sticking close to the wall, wailing close to the ground. I thought she was in a panic because her bag was stolen or something. Soon enough, a group of people gathered around to ask what was wrong but nothing she said seemed to make sense. It was only when she reached for her cellphone to call a family member that we all overheard the news: a bomb had gone off in Glorietta 2 and she ran all the way to Ayala Museum.

I don't think I could ever forget the look in her eyes. There are no words to adequately describe the degree of fear and panic I saw gashed across her face as I am sure there are no words to describe what she saw as well. This poor girl, a mid-twentysomething college graduate, perhaps on her way back from lunch, did not expect a tragedy of this magnitude to happen right before her eyes today. And her scarred expression and the damage to her nervous system really made me wonder about universal justice. I mean, this was some innocent Filipina, at the threshold of her professional life, innocently going about her day. She didn't deserve this. This country doesn't deserve this. Nobody deserves this.

By 3:00 I was back in Malate. By 3:30 Dr. Santos is on TV reporting that eight are dead, more than fifty injured.

By 4:00, I notice that the bombing has become the latest opportunity to once again bash President Gloria. What is with some people in this country? Not that I like Glo that much but really, I don't see why the very opportunistic political opposition (Trillanes is just pure evil. May he die from hemorrhaged anal fissures in jail for his grandstanding and insensitivity) and the hopelessy transparent reporters on ABS CBN (don't play poker ever guys - your smarmy faces will give you away), should needlessly provide innuendo and political posturing during a time that should call for more reason and sympathy. And hey Maria Ressa? Even You? C'mon. Your comment that "there are only two umbrella groups with this capacity: Jemaah Islamiyah and law enforcement agencies." was practically dripping with implications that our own military blew up a bomb that would kill and maim fellow Filipinos. Watch it, guys. This is the wrong move for now. People don't want politics at this moment. Take my word for it. Report this latest tragedy with a little more sensitivity please or report something that at least has PROOF, ok?

But I'm not going to let this get me down. We're a cool country. Were on our way up. Something like that isn't going to get us down now. Tomorrow the malls will be open.

Life in this crazy city will go on as usual again.

6:00pm. My private VIP tour for Australian travel journalists with the Manila Peninsula has been cancelled because of the bombing. They decided not to visit the country.

Then again. Maybe life might not.

Thank you paulf08 for the interesting shot of smoke at the Glorietta.

Labels:

Monday, October 15, 2007

BRAVO. BRAVO. BRAVO.

Wala lang (Nothing really). I just made this post because I just love it when I see Filipinos scratching the fringe of fame and pop culture superstardom. As a child, I remember how amazed I was when I saw Tetchie Agbayani acting side by side with Shelley Long and Tom Hanks in Steven Speilberg's "The Money Pit" and more recently, how vicariously thrilled I was to see Migs Ayesa ALMOST making it as the lead singer of INXS. So just last week, when a friend of mine, freelance writer/New Yorker, Bruce Northam of AmericanDetour.com, flew into the country to cover adventure tourism in Palawan, Manila's rock music scene and to interview some guy named Arnel Pineda - I was pretty tickled pink by the news he gave me. Now, "Arnel who?" you might ask (I know I did). Well, according to Bruce, Mr. Pineda, of a band called The Zoo, has been chosen to become the next lead singer of American 80's glam rock band, Journey starting in November. Tres Cool. Hey, now being a maaaaajor Journey fan in High School myself (I remember being a freshman and playing the song, "Faithfully" over and over until the cassette tape was eaten by my overheated Pioneer component system), it's amazing to learn that a Filipino will be a frontman for one of rock music's most iconic bands. But then again, according to some voices in the InterWeb, Arnel might have a hard time warming up to some die hard Journey fans in the midwest who consider him to be the equivalent of musical "outsourcing". But who cares, whether Arnel makes it as their lead singer for all time or only as a "temp" and they eventually go their "Separate Ways". I still say to Arnel, "Don't Stop Believeing". Remain as "Faithfully" as you can to your craft and perhaps the American audience will welcome you with "Open Arms" and all the blogosphere haters out there who made fun of your Pinoy accent will see "Who's Crying Now."

*I saw The Zoo at Bagaberde Roxas Boulevard last week with Bruce. I was impressed by Arnel's talent I have to say. And so was Bruce. Check him out doing what he does best on the Youtube post above. Hmmm. Cecile. Do you think we could give this guy some styling pointers.? He looks like he just came off his shift at a Netopia Internet Cafe or at the Copylandia or something. A better haircut would be in order too.

Labels:

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

LOOKY! LOOKY! LOOKY!

THE BATTLE OF THE BRUJAS (tm)...
This is really old, but nevertheless, it's still good.

Now what would happen if we pit Imelda Marcos and Leona Helmsley against one another over a pair of shoes?

Log onto the defunct grudgematch.com and check out what ensues. And even though it was all written in the late 1980's, (the Marcos funeral, Mike Tyson, and Liz Taylor perfume references being a dead giveaway), the humor still has legs today. The word Filipino is also spelled in many interesting ways throughpout. So brush the dust off this site and prepare to waste at least ten minutes of your day.

My bets were on Leona. Sorry, Madame.

CLICK HERE.

And guess whooooooo's baaaack? It's a bird. It's a plane. It's a pig in the sky. It's Malu Fernandez. Ever unremorseful with no hint of her past troubles, check out her latest entries on how to relieve yourself from the heartbreak of gluttony and hangovers in last Monday's Manila Standard.

Wala lang. Frankly, I don't care. But I just like to stir sh**.

Everyone. Read her article here:

Then vent your anger here:
Kamahalan Publishing Corporation
Manila Standard Today
Leyland bldg., Railroad cor. 21st
streets, Port Area, Manila
Trunk line: 527-8351 to 55

Central desk
Direct lines: 5274011, 5274126
Trunk line: local 208, 209, 210
Fax numbers: 527-2059, 524-6649

mst@manilastandardtoday.com

Thanks watergirl for sending Leona - Imelda and riain for the Malu update.

Now back to work.

Labels: ,

Sunday, October 07, 2007

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES UPDATE...


FOR MY HERO!
Originally uploaded by mtxtremist
UPDATE:
Mayor Lim proves to the world that he does not understand sarcasm and perhaps has no idea what the internet is at all. Today, Mayor Alfredo "Maddie" Lim calls for Filipinos to join together to protest against "The Daily Show with John Stewart" because of Cory Slut-gate. (See previous post.)

MORON! What the f***? Ask the nearest ten year old to you to find the episode on You Tube and you'll see just how silly and senile and obnoxious you are being. Really, I dare you to try starting a signature campaign. Only complete idiots and people who have no idea how to use the dictionary will sign it.

Come to think of it. Dang... That could be a lot of people...

Nevertheless. Take my advice, Lim. Drop this. Not only because it will make you look like a fool but also because a lot of people don't LIKE Cory Aquino as much as you might think. And once again, I'll give you a chance. Drop this topic within the next 24 hours, Mayor, and I won't judge you as being unintelligent. Deal?

God, I hope Jon Stewart and Samantha Bee don't think that all Filipinos are as imbecilic as Lim, Deedee, Cory and whoever else other green passport holder is chasing this NON-ISSUE. Besides, this won't hold water. The Desperate Housewives Filipino slur protest was spearheaded by the Filipino-American community, not the Filipino-Filipino community, and that was why it was given so much media attention in the states. We don't matter here much on this side of the world in the eyes of US media. Filipinos only matter there because they are physically present in the country - and if they are American citizens, even more so. My fearless forecast is that Cory Slut-gate will fade away because it's only a big issue locally (if at all).

And Samantha. Please feel free to make fun of the aforementioned Dee-dee, Lim, and Cory. Then again, why would you waste your time, no?

Thank you mtxtremist for the photo of Mayor Lim under the Ninoy statue in front of Intramuros.

Speaking of which, could someone please move that statue out of it's current location at the corner of Burgos and Luneta Park? The Ninoy statue would be more appropriate near the Manila Press Club. Ninoy was a journalist. He has nothing to do with the Spanish colonial period of the Philippines at all. The statue just looks stupid next to Intramuros.

UPDATE 2:
Another reason why the writers, producers, and directors of Desperate Housewives (and not Teri Hatchet) should be tarred and feathered for their ignorance. Read this story sent to me by my Joan Perry, my blog tukayo (same name) "Walk This Way" from Charleston NC. Apparently, five Filipino nurses saved a man who was attacked by an alligator. Really, what would make the joke on DH funny was if the comment was true. Proof of Filipino medical competence like this shows you just how much DH needs to make amends with the Fil-Am medical community (who were mostly trained in the Philippines). Read about it here. Be careful, the photo of the severed arm can be gross to look at.

Then again, maybe I just side with Jon Stewart because his humor is highbrow and funny and I just hate Desperate Housewives because it's a stupid shallow show about stupid shallow people with stupid shallow issues. Maybe I'm just a snob like that.

Labels: ,

Friday, October 05, 2007

ANOTHER DESPERATE HOUSEWIFE...

Although I totally agree with Mr. Nadal and the other 72,0000 petitioners about lodging a protest against The Desperate Housewives TV show for trying to perpetuate a malicious fallacious stereotype, I recently found a similar issue which might prove that the Philippines has become the whiniest nation in the world.

Just this morning I saw Pinky Webb interview some lady named Deedee Sytangco on the TV show "Umagang Kay Ganda" about another racially motivated comedy hate crime. According to Miz Dee, people are now up in arms against "The Daily Show with John Stewart" correspondent Samantha Bee for calling former president Cory Aquino a slut (above). Now, I know that isn't nice. If there are any words to describe Miz Aquino, I'd choose, "terrible president" and "theocratic megalomaniac" over "slut" any day. But regarding this particular skit, it's more than apparent that Miss Sytangco and friends are being just a little too thin-skinned and if I may add, moronic as well.

Miss Deedee, if you understand this little thing called "satire", you'd realize that the feature was a veiled compliment and not an insult. Ask the nearest ten year old to turn on the computer and find the feature "Is America Ready for A Woman President" on the YouTube website, you'll see that Miss Bee described Miss Aquino as a leader who "faced down dictators". Really, it was really obvious that you didn't watch the segment yet before coming onto the show.

So don't be stupid, Deedee. Drop the topic. You and Cory can should just go back to praying the rosary or whatever it is that you do but be smart and leave this issue alone. Save yourselves from looking like idiots.

And Pinky, judging by the look on your face, you knew this topic was absurd, so why did you still make it make it patol (pursue this)? Was ABS CBN hoping to increase ratings by manufacturing a another scandal similar to the Desperate Housewives one? For shame.

But at the end, let's all learn how to laugh at ourselves, guys. Because if we don't do it, someone else will do it for us.

My favorite Filipino slurs in American Media: Family Guy. Gee. I wonder what the Filipino nurses will say about this one?

Labels: