Saturday, December 27, 2008

Asshole Politicians Beat Up Father and Son Over Golf

"The world has gone crazy. Two politicians beat up a defenseless 56-year-old father and his 14-year-old son. At a golf course. I swear to God, I thought golfers were decent people. You would think politicians were decent people. I guess not. I guess they gang up on 56-year-old men and beat up pleading 14-year-old kids."

Yesterday was the worst day in the life of young Bambee dela Paz. Read all about it on her blog, here. Go, read.

Just a bit of perspective, by the way: former President Fidel Ramos, who, as his title implies, WAS THE PRESIDENT OF THE FREAKING PHILIPPINES, also plays golf, and always asked for permission before overtaking anyone on the golf course. But apparently the mayor of Masiu City, Lanao del Sur is above such etiquette. So above it, in fact, that he will beat the shit out of you -- with the aid of his goons, of course -- if you even dare to imply that he is in the wrong. Even if you are pushing sixty, or barely in your teens.

Word about the incident is spreading. From Filipino Voices: "The Philippine State needs civilizing really fast. It is currently run by barbarians, murderers and thieves who cannot even follow simple golf etiquette. What more the moral code of the country as embodied by our laws?" From A Filipina Mom Blogger: " heart just went out to both father and son as Bambee describes how they were beaten up. I mean, wouldn’t you feel the same way if that was your father and brother or son? Yes, it could happen to you too."

I noticed that Bambee, a young golfer who has competed in over 25 international events in the past six years, claims Caloocan City as her hometown. Perhaps former Mayor of Caloocan City Boy Asistio, who is a golfer himself and would probably be offended the behavior of these politicians, can do something to help.

Yes, we don't have the whole story yet. And the dela Paz family will have a hard time getting justice, as the witnesses are apparently unwilling to talk about what happened. But it seems clear that major assholery was afoot here.

Also, note to the management of Valley Golf and Country Club, Antipolo City: you could have stopped it. Idiots.

To everyone who plays there, if you too would like to risk getting beaten up over a misunderstanding with a power-mad politician while security guards look on without lifting a finger, by all means, continue to go to Valley Golf.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

You Better Watch Out

From Bizarre Adventures #34 (1983). Thank you Marvel Comics for warping my childhood.

Merry Christmas to everyone! Ho ho ho!

Also, Santa, if you're reading this, this one's for you.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Party at Cubao X

Me, Yvette, and Marian standing in front of Mogwai. Picture courtesy of the talented Miguel N.

May I just say, Furball throws a hell of a Christmas party. Fun people plus loud music plus food and drink galore (including an endless supply of deep-fried squid balls and other street vendor fare, as well as some apparently infamous brownies). We had a great time. Thanks Mads Quark Lyle and all the Furball peoples! :D

Saturday, December 20, 2008

"He Offered His Anus To Satan" - The Further Adventures of The QLE

QLE FTW: Photo by Arnold Arre

So the QLE -- Quark Henares, Luis Katigbak (thas me), and Erwin Romulo -- guested last night on a radio show called Headstart on NU 107. For those who were unable to tune in, the high point, for me, was Erwin declaring that even though he didn't like Rico Blanco's "Yugto," it still stuck in his head, me theorizing that Rico must therefore have cut some sort of deal with Satan, and Quark riffing that this deal involved the violent penetration of Rico's orifices by a trio of demons. "He offered his anus to Satan!" Quark said on-air, and then proceeded to sing -- along with Erwin -- the parts of "Yugto" that did, indeed, make more sense in that context. "Lumiyab ka..."

We were also interviewed by FHM yesterday, regarding the year in Pinoy pop culture. Apologies to Kim and Paul for my late late arrival; I sorely underestimated how bad the traffic out there is these days, and how long it would take me to even get a ride.

AND! The Inquirer ran a feature today on the QLE Awards Night, yay! GO GO READ IT HERE: "The point is the music." :D

Okay, this will be my last post on the QLE for a while, I think. Kind of scary that if you scroll down this first page of my blog, it's QLE this and QLE that. To be honest, like Erwin, I'm "All QLE-ed out," especially after yesterday. But it's been a blast, and I didn't think that a midnight rant about a roster of nominees seen on a web page would eventually become... well, whatever the hell it is this QLE thing has become. Thanks to EVERYONE and hooray for Ang Bandang Shirley, Ciudad, Intolerant, Itchyworms, Loss of Control, Markus Highway, Pedicab, Sandwich, Taken By Cars, Up Dharma Down, and Yosha, and all the brilliant Pinoy music-makers out there!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

THE QLE AWARDS - See You Tomorrow

So it's really happening: THE QLE AWARDS will be held tomorrow, December 10, 6-9 PM, at Route 196, Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City! All thanks to Gang Badoy, Rock Ed Philippines, and Samarami Asia -- and of course the bands themselves, without whom these awards would not only have been highly improbable, but also disturbingly pointless. (Btw, that's not an official poster up there; that's just something I did for funs. Japanese giant robots rock.)

We are very happy indeed that some of the bands that Quark, Erwin and I gushed over will be able to play during the awards: Intolerant, Itchyworms, Loss of Control, Taken By Cars, and Up Dharma Down, woo hoo! (And maybe even more -- we'll see.) Special guest performers will include Juan Pablo Dream and Gasulina.

See you all there! Remember, the whole thing ends at 9, so get there early. :) Admission is free!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Robin in the Rye

Fans of J.D. Salinger and Batman's bare-legged sidekick, please click here. Relive Holden Caulfield's adventures -- this time with Robin as Holden Caulfield. Oddly compelling, even touching. And funny, of course.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Reasons To Buy The Free Press

There are quite a few good reasons to buy the recently-revamped Free Press weekly magazine, beyond the fact that VP Noli de Castro resembles a basset hound (aaaww) on the cover of this week's issue. (Spiffy cover redesign by Juan Caguicla, suckas!)

Reason #1 has to be that Erwin Romulo (former Features Editor of Rogue magazine), is now their new Associate Editor, which accounts for why the century-old publication is changing for the better, inside and out. Reasons #2 and up would be the creative people he's bringing on board -- photographers like Juan, writers like Yvette Tan, Lourd de Veyra, Alexis Tioseco, Tad Ermitano, Armi Millare, Adam David, Philbert Dy, and, ahem, myself, among others.

The new issue has my review/essay about Up Dharma Down in it. Last week's issue (Dec. 6 cover date, Alfonso Cusi on the front) has Adam's first book review for the FP, of Khavn's Ultraviolins -- and it is worth getting for that alone. It pulls no punches, and abounds in insights such as:

"It's an interesting phenomenon, these safe sanctioned transgressions, how we are "given" only a few things to complain about -- GMA, violence against women, corporate churchdom, globalization -- and how we are "given" only a few choice ways to complain about them. It's the height of absurdity, a simulacrum of a rebellion -- corporate punk."

Dig around more in the back issues and if you're lucky enough to find the recent one with the Bayani Fernando cover (mid-November, I believe), get it, because it has an amazing story by Yvette Tan called "Her Room Was Her Temple," another deft mind-mangling mashup of horror, sex and dark humor.

Erwin and I had some conversations about how to change the Free Press before his appointment as editor was confirmed. It's exciting to see these plans -- and more -- actually being implemented. (Everybody used to make jokes about how ugly the covers were -- well, now something has been done about that!) I used to buy the Free Press (and the Graphic) semi-regularly in the 90s, usually depending on who wrote the fiction feature for that week, but I stopped buying both almost a decade ago. So it's a thrill to be looking forward to finding the FP on the stands again these days.

And now I want you all to sing this song, to the tune of the chorus of "Reasons" by Earth Wind and Fire:

Free Press, the Free Press that we need
The Free Press that we read
To improve our thoughts -- and our deeds

Oooooh! And -- after a hundred years on the stands
All of the copies are now in demand
Because the Free Press is now in new hands

La la la la la, etc.

Aww yeah.

Alan Moore and Yvette Tan

Get the October-November issue of Fully Booked online, here! (Link leads to a PDF file.) Not only does it have my feature on the legendary Alan Moore (in which he gives a shout-out to all his fanz in the Philippines -- word), but it also has a feature on the brilliant and lovely Yvette Tan, "an award-winning horror fiction writer climbing the literary ranks." :D Go go read!

NOTE: In the file I submitted to the magazine, I thanked Ramon de Veyra and Erwin Romulo for their help with the Alan Moore article. The acknowledgement is missing from the printed version, so I would like to thank them here: Erwin for suggesting one of the questions I used, and Ramon for being the biggest Alan Moore geek on the planet.

Young Girl and Piano Hamster

I was like she was all he was all they were like we were all like oh my God like totally

Go here for the Parry Gripp-penned fun! And here for more one-minute masterpieces. (Yup, that's the Parry Gripp from Nerf Herder.) Do not miss "Hamster on a Piano (Eating Popcorn)." (Nakaka-LSS.)