Friday, January 30, 2009


One hundred shows, two thousand artists, eight hours. What more could you ask for? It's the perfect thing to do this Sunday.

See all you can, pay what you can at the Pasinaya '09: CCP Open House Festival. Featuring previews from the upcoming shows of the Cultural Center of the Philippines resident companies, guest artists and groups. More than 100 shows and activities to choose from in several locations: Theater, Dance, Music, Literature, Visual Arts, Culinary Arts. The event also features a Bazaar (arts and collectibles, food, ukay ukay), a kids activity zone, and workshops.

Visit the CCP Visitors Center and get 50% off tickets to selected shows in the upcoming season. Offer good on Sunday, February 1 only though. So make sure you make it there this Sunday.

Previews of: "ZsaZsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal", "Gerilya sa Powell Sreet", "Neo-Filipino", "Darangen at Bantugen", "Night Creatures", "Counterpoints", "Rama at Sita", "PPO Season"
and performances by Ballet Philippines, Bayanihan, Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group, Philippine Madrigal Singers, among many others . . .

Sunday, February 1. All day.
The most creative place on earth apparently,
The Cultural Center of the Philippines on Roxas Boulevard, Manila.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Just letting you all know that deliberations regarding the Reproductive Health Bill HB5043 will resume in Congress on Tuesday the 27th of January, 2009 (Uber-gross Roilo Golez will be the interpollator).  There will also be another deliberation on the 29th.  

We're getting closer to the prize, folks.  So go spread the word and show up in Congress and be counted.  Go at around 4:00 to 5:00pm and prove to Congress that over 70% of Filipinos want this bill passed.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Remember Helena? That uber chic diva who used to run that edgy 70's fashion line Azabache and shmooze with Jean Paul Gaultier? Just a few months ago, I made a post about that ambitious plan of hers to create a utopian island/resort/artist's haven on an island in the north of Palawan. Well, no surprise. She got it done and she got it done fast.

Mangueguey is now open. Two suites and two native cottages on a stunningly amazing island in Busuanga are ready and waiting for the discriminating traveller who is looking for that elusive "native chic" element missing from so many resorts in the Palawan region. The design of the resort is Vogue Decor meets Nipa Hut, it's cuisine fresh and light, and Helena's personal touch make Mangueguey truly the epitome of barefoot sophistication.

Mangueguey is really one of a kind. And that's only natural because the same can be said of Helena as well.

Quick. Make your easter holiday plans now. Make reservations at Mangueguey and check it out for yourself.

Living Room




0917 8151313

Stay tuned. I'm planning a three day weekend trip to Mangueguey to visit the former Leprosy Colony on the Island of Culion sometime in the summer.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Wanna spend your days wandering about our country's most beautiful tourist spots?
Wanna meet interesting people and expand your personal and professional network?
And do you want to make a bit of money while you are at it?
If so, then I believe that you want to become a Mabuhay Guide.

Don't miss this chance. Come and join the Mabuhay Guide Program, a training module designed to enlist our country's brightest and most charming young men and women to guide visitors around our gorgeous country. It's a job that can be both glamorous and fulfilling. And as well trained & well-educated world class accredited professionals, you will not only to take care of arrangements of the our country's guests but, above all, talk about their country, its people, history, culture, attractions in an highly intelligent & engaging manner suited to your personality.

So if you are:
Between 24 – 40 years old;
Male or female; gay, straight or anything inbetween.
Have a college degree
Physically fit
English proficient
Loves Travel
Knowledable in English, Japanese, Chinese, Korean,
Russian, French or any other foreign language desired.

Then please apply and be part of this very select group of scholars that hopes to bring Philippine tour guiding to world class standards. During this workshop you will learn everything about the Philippines from the following leaders in their field:

Literature: Virgilio Almario
Art: Eric Torres
Philippine History: Flor Hornedo
Philippine Cultural Identity: Felipe de Leon, Jr.
Architecture: Ning Encarnacion
Music: Ramon Santos
Dance: Larry Gabao
Filipino Cuisine: Gaita Fores
Philippine Antiques & Crafts: Jaime Laya
Philippine Geography: Doracie Nantes
Philippine Heritage Sites: Toti Villalon
Tourism & the ecology: Lory Tan

Moreover, a certified trainor from London will be invited to host the program. The trainor will handle tour planning, problem solving & guiding techniques, communication & presentation skills for guiding on foot, on site & from a moving vehicle, stressing on health, safety, customer care & other practicalities.

So think of this as a fun finishing school for Filipino tour guides, where you shall become part of an elite team of "superfriends" (ONLY 30 people will be accepted into this program) that will navigate visitors through our exciting country

To make the program attractive to the highly qualified, an allowance of P5,000.00 (Five thousand pesos) for during the training period will be offered. Employment upon graduation is assured. And as certified tour guides, you can make as much as P4,000.00 to P5,000.00/day.

Now ain't that a great deal? So spread the word to friends and family.

Monday, January 05, 2009


OK. Holidays are over. Back to work, everyone. And back to our regularly scheduled programming. Topic for today as usual: Reproductive Health Bill (HB5043).

And so far, things seem kinda rosy. According to Rep. Lagman (above), the author of the bill, "We have 113 co-authors of the bill apart from the two dozen congressmen who have committed to voting for the bill." And remember, only 86 votes from the 238-member House of Representatives are needed to endorse it.

But nevertheless, we should not rest on our laurels just yet. The fat lady hasn't sung and Lord knows what depths the Catholic Church heirarchy of The Philippines will stoop to deprive mothers living in poverty from their right to plan a family.

So if you are looking for congressmen to harass and send dead rats to, please consider the following:

A. Teddyboy Locsin: this fricking guy is seriously demented, just read any of his series of articles in Business Mirror. Out of touch, out of line, and should be kicked out of office.

B. Roilo Golez: In Congress, he flashed a photo of children from the slums of Paranaque on a screen and asked "Sino ba dito sa mga batang ito ang sa tingin ninyo ay dapat hindi na sana pinanganak?" (Which of these children do you believe should not have been born at all?) Not a very convincing argument and only proof that lawyers suck.

C. Ed Zialcita: He claimed in a press statement that the provision on the bill "ensuring that women who have post-abortion complications shall be treated humanely and in a non-judgmental manner" is tantamout to AN ENDORSEMENT FOR ABORTION. And to drive the message home that all women are just mere objects unworthy of any dignity, he sponsors the fricking "Mrs. Philippines Beauty Pageant". This misogynist pig should be feathered and tarred and spat upon by a team of militant lesbians for the pageant alone.

D. Trinidad Apostol: Can't listen to this woman. Actually, I also find it hard to look at her. Click here.

E. Pablo Garcia: Sira ulo, sira ulo, sira ulo (broken head, broken head, broken head). He's one of those people who reason that if Manny Pacquiao's parents practiced family planning, there would be no Pacman.

F. Liwayway Vinzons-Chato: (Special mention) she said in a TV interview that "women who undergo BTL (bilateral tubal ligation) will go to hell." Shet sha.

G. Mary Ann Susano: She posted graphic banners of dead babies. What a freak. No further unsolicited commentary needed. Can't believe the bitch went to Harvard.

And to round things off, go harass:
Rene Velarde and Carissa Cosculluela of Buhay Partylist
Junie Cua
Baham Mitra
Rufus Rodriguez
Thelma Almario
Rodolfo Antonino
J. Dodo Mandanas
just because they need to be taken down a notch and reminded that over 70% of Filipinos want this bill passed...

Now, on the opposite spectrum, start aiming pink light and love towards the following co-authors of HB5043:

Group photo (L to R): Rep. Mitch Cajayon (2nd District, Caloocan), Rep. Abigail Binay (2nd District, Makati), Rep. Darlene Custodio (1st District, South Cotabato), Rep. Cinchona Cruz-Gonzales (Partylist CIBAC)

Rep. Jesus Crispin Remulla (3rd District, Cavite)

And not in pictures, please send love to Rep. Janette Garin and Rep. Rissa Hontiveros-Baraquel.

And lastly, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU XINHUA NEWS AGENCY for the lovely shout out about RH5043.

by Xinhua Writer Xu Lingui, Ana Santos also contributes to the story

MANILA, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- Struggling with a daily meal budget of less than two dollars for a family of 12, Floriza Bacli said she was happy to spoil her children a bit on the New Year Eve with something special -- half kilo of fried chicken and a quarter kilo of hot-dogs.

Squeezed inside a tiny make-shift shack made of galvanized steel and wood with her 10 underage children, 37-year-old Floriza said the family had fun on the New Year Eve, or the Noche Buena, literally the good night.

"I wished my family would be far from sickness, even though we might not get rid of poverty," Floriza said.

Read the rest here:

Saturday, January 03, 2009


It was a pretty sedate New Year's Eve for me.  I was in bed by 12:01 am, stone cold sober, with only a belly full of beef.  But what a belly full of beef it was - medium rare and carved tableside at my favorite five-star restaurant in all of downtown Manila, The Rotisserie of The Manila Pavilion. Yeah, it seems that with all the major changes going this year, my wife Tesa, I and some close friends from the neighborhood decided to step into 2009 by stepping back in time. Done in rich wood, red carpeting, packed with Federico Alcuaz paintings on all the walls, the Rotisserie is the epitome of Philippine Cold War Chic. Still stuck in it's LBJ/Marcos era glory, the pedigree of the restaurant practically drips from the walls, it's ambience as distinguished today as it was back when it was "the" three martini lunch place for Ermita expat executives and the second home of UN president Carlos P. Romulo. And it's standards of service are definitely from another time as well.  The waiters still wear tuxedoes, the ladies menus don't have prices, nothing is "nouvelle" and everything seems to be on wheels (the desserts, cigars, Caesar salad, and Mangoes Jubilee are all done table side).  Just to give my age away, think "La Tasca" restaurant or the former "Champagne Room" of the Manila Hotel as a peg for your experience. 1967 never looked - or tasted - this good.  

The Rotisserie
The Manila Pavilion Hotel
United Nations Avenue, Ermita
632 526 1212