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Showing posts from June, 2007

Ceremonial Burning

Our Mayor, Peter Rey Bautista, was sworn in last week. To my knowledge, one of the first things he did between his election and his induction was to attend a bonfire. On the day of the bonfire, I was cutting across the Burnham Park football field to meet up with a friend in Solibao. I stopped short in my tracks when I saw, right in front of the Melvin Jones Grand Stand, a pile of blocks of marijuana high enough and wide enough to fill a fireplace. Next to it was a giant, black silyasi. A couple of cops were standing guard a few meters away from the stack of marijuana. They looked a bit too relaxed for this tour of duty. On the Grand Stand were Peter Rey, a handful of government officials looking important in their uniforms, and about 30 high school kids looking a bit lost in their uniforms. A banner stretched across the Grand Stand had some slogan on the Evils of Drugs painted on it in loud red. The high school kids were there with their entries to this anti-drug poster-making comp

These Mothers Rule!

Last week (I told you I love old news), 21 mothers bared their painted breasts before the Supreme Court of the Philippines! Yehey!!! They were brave members of the Arugaan Foundation and Save the Babies Coalition. Galing! They bared their breasts to express their advocacy for breastfeeding and to protest the interference of pharmaceuticals and milk companies in the proper implementation of our Milk Code. Mabuhay!!! You've gotta love these mothers! I wish I could've joined them! Taken from a photo by Rem Zamora, PDI frontpage, 20 June 2007 To sum it up, our Department of Health is finally doing the right thing by aggressively campaigning for breastfeeding, and prohibiting advertisements promoting formula milk for infants below two years of age. (Remember those ads with all those child prodigies who allegedly drank formula milk? I wonder what they're drinking now.) The Pharmaceutical and Health Care Association of the Philippines sued in court to put a stop to this. Wyeth, Me

Random Diss Excerpt #5

ADVISORY: Interesting stuff on the production and negotiation of adat , or customary law, written in dry and boring prose. Diversity and difference within indigenous groups and among various peoples occupying the same territory was highlighted at a government-organized gathering of Dayak adat leaders in Central Kalimantan, in 2005. The purpose of this meeting was to come up with a compilation of Dayak customary laws that could be recognized and implemented throughout the District of Katingan, alongside local government rules and regulations. Leaders from my primary fieldsite of Baun Bango were in attendance. All of the participants ascribed to Dayak identity, and were in agreement with one another that all people living in the District of Katingan, or conducting business within it, should respect traditional Dayak laws and be subject to traditional Dayak sanctions and fines, regardless of indigenous identity and/or nationality. However, there were heated debates on the subject of sanct

Confluence and Condoms

While busy procrastinating on the wide wide web, I found an excuse for having my say about sex (education) in the wake of Hallmark's Father's Day and the confluence of the following: a post on Frank Cimatu's blog about a new ad for Trojan condoms, a post on Howie Severino's blog about sperm, and an old article on BBC about sex abstinence . (I love following links and reading old news.) I like the Trojan ad. Anthropomorphic pigs in a bar. One of them buys a condom from a vending machine and turns into a handsome young man and immediately attracts a pretty young woman. I think the fairy tale aspect of this advertisement will appeal greatly to children. It has the brilliant potential of making future condom-users out of them, the way the indelible Marlboro ads make future smokers out of kids fascinated by the appeal of thundering hooves, heaving rivers, the raw, the wild, and the leather-faced legend of a man (All that in a cigarette!). The Trojan ad should be shown in t


Jose Rizal and Aung San Suu Kyi have the same birthday, today. Both their lives give us ordinary mortals lots to think about. Double the food for thought if you compare the progression of their lives and the spirit of their chosen paths. We need heroes. Our souls are hungry.

Cycling in the City

There’s a feeling of freedom that comes with cycling in a big city which is very important, as one can feel trapped by the routine of touring, work, or even travel.... Even if freedom is an illusion the physical sensation of riding does a pretty good job of making it seem attainable for a moment. -- David Byrne David Byrne writes about how things are looking up for commuters on bicycles in New York, having cycled in the city for over 30 years. Oh how I wish the same could be said for Baguio! I vaguely remember some years ago that the city of Baguio was given funds by something like the World Bank or the Asian Development Bank to create bicycle lanes thanks to some visionary council member! Needless to say, the lanes never materialized. And who knows what the visionary council member did with the funds. Lucky David Byrne has cycled "for transport, not sport" in some of the world's greatest and worst cities, including Manila! Risking life and limb on a bicycle is sheer

Today's mood

In no particular order.

I Heart the Halcema

The Halcema Highway is traveled by the most civilized drivers in da Peelipins. Here, a certain etiquette prevails. Right of way is always given to vehicles going uphill. When it's technically too difficult for a downward driver to pull over or back up, the upward driver will concede. No hard feelings, no shouts of 'ukinnam!' or 'butum!' or 'takkim!'. (Although, some drivers are known to mutter this under their breath.) A slower driver will ALWAYS signal or pull over when it's safe for a faster driver to overtake. 'Thank yous' and 'your welcomes' are always exchanged between drivers who have given way, and drivers who get their way. A nod of the head, a wave of the hand, or a quick beepbeep on the busina. When road repairs are underway, or landslides are being cleared, drivers and passengers patiently wait in line. NOBODY tries to drive up to the front and make singit. If you're fast, you'll be allowed to overtake later anyway.


Something just occurred to me. Baguio might have been a significant part of the lives of the childhood monsters I spoke of previously . They may be -- or some might not be, in fairness to the guys who try to be good -- fine products of rigorous training in Fort del Pilar, Camp Dangwa, or Teachers Camp. They might have been proud graduates at some point in time, and might have even had their smiling, triumphant pictures beside their beaming parents published in the Baguio Midland Courier. Just a thought.

Today's sunset

Lovely pollution index

Childhood Horror Stories

They're BACK and the president bitch is coddling the fuckers; these subhuman, gun-wielding, power-hungry idiots responsible for disappearances (why do we call it 'salvaging'?), torture, and extrajudicial killings. Or maybe the monsters never went away. I just wanted to believe that they did. This came in the mail today: > *Account of Pastor Berlin Guerrero of his abduction > and torture by the > military > * > *Statement of Pastor Guerrero > * > What does it take a government to have the nerve to > abduct, torture, and > terrorize my family on the > basis of an old inciting to sedition case and a > baseless murder charge? > > Far more absurd is the accusation that I am the > Secretary of the CPP > Provincial committee in Cavite. > This lie that they tried to extract from me by means > of physical, mental and > psychological torture and > projecting me in public as a "hand-gun and > gr

Why i hate writing my diss

Wagwag or not, Baguio pedestrians wear the best t-shirts ever.

The Same Inside

She was weeping, and drenched from head to foot. Her clothes were dripping and she was covered in mud from the waist down. She wailed as she staggered down Kisad Road, lurching from side to side as though she might fall over with every wavering step. I had seen her before. She was Lover Boy's most recent woman. Last year she was with child. With some regularity I would spot her and Lover Boy seated on a sidewalk, oblivious to the world rushing past. They would sit so close to one another, their heads touching, their hands unrelentingly stroking each other's backs. Sometimes, I passed close enough to smell them, the acridity of dried piss and moments spent rummaging through garbage bins for scraps of food. Now you see her... (Japanese performer at the Performing Arts Festival held in BAguio in April 2007) Last year, before her womb became swollen, there was another woman with them. She was young and just as bedraggled, just as blithely incognisant of the rat race being run past