Single And Ready To Mingle

Thursday, March 31, 2011

I don't really want to be taking sides and all, but if God thought having a lot was a good thing, he wouldn't have stopped with His Only Son. I'm just saying.

Men And Wrestling

The thing about growing old is that you don't really know how far into the age game you're in until you turn on the television. The other night, I was looking for some late programming when I saw a rerun of the Wrestlemania XXVII. I haven't watched "pro" wrestling in years but I was kind of happy to see that the contenders were the same people I followed back when I was still watching avidly 10 years ago. Ho boy, did it take me back to my younger years.

The match was the Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels, with Undertaker's 17-0 win streak and Shawn Michael's career at stake. I didn't really know anything about the backstory but that was more than enough for me. The ridiculous ante wasn't really surprising, since there's ALWAYS something at stake when it comes to wrestling. It's never just about becoming the best, or at least improving your league seeds. Hell I'm not even sure if there's such a thing as ranking in WWE. It's about grudges, it's about rivalries, it's about beating the shit out of the other guy for any reason other than just to see who's better. But hey, we wouldn't really have it any other way. If professional chess leagues were anywhere near as competitive as wrestling, one grandmaster would beat the shit out of another because he slept with the other's wife and got a venereal disease for it. If that happens, they'd have more fans, specially if stalemate endings have steel chairs involved.

And perhaps that's really why men just love wrestling. It's a marriage of adrenaline-pumping sports and ridiculous story premises with intricacies that would rival any soap opera. It proves that men do love a good plot, we just don't want that fact to be obvious enough and taken against our sexuality. I remember excitedly going to school every monday morning to talk about the latest happening in Smackdown and Raw instead of learning something that would actually be of use later on in life. There'd be firey debates on the finer points of the chokeslam, and how the Blue Blazer is in fact Owen Hart. There was a point in time that everyday, during 3:16pm in the afternoon, people would start talking about Stone Cold Steve Austin. Why? Coz Stone Cold said so. Doesn't make sense? Why should it? It's wrestling for crissakes.

So yeah, so Undertaker entered the stage, the lights dimmed, and the trademark death knell music played in the background. I wondered how many thousand times it has already happened before. Undertaker would roll his eyes back so it only shows whites, and then the lights would come on slowly. He must be sick of it also. I know I would. I've been watching undertaker "take care" of shit for as long as I can remember. I wasn't even in preschool when I first watched him with my dad on Saturday afternoon TV in Saudi. He was so awesome back then, and his intro is no less awesome now.

And then there's the match itself. Strictly speaking, it can hardly be called a match. It's scripted. I know, I know, it's scripted. We've always known it's scripted. Nobody gives a shit. It's like saying "Santa doesn't exist" but it doesn't matter anyway for as long as you play along and get the gifts that you want. The choreographed match is beautifully executed and it has so many twists and turns that you'll never know who will emerge as victor. You never really have that in other real sports. Or if ever, not often enough. In wrestling, you have it EVERY WEEK with recaps every Sunday. If wrestling weren't scripted, it'd be an hour of boring matches where nobody ever gets knocked out. Instead of death-defying acrobatic moves, we'd have stupid leglocks and takedown maneuvers with an occasional injury that will cause a celebrity wrestler to disappear for months before coming back half the man he used to be. Who'd want that boring-as-oregon bullshit? So pull out a steel chair and hit the ref already.

The match last night was just that. It was exciting, riveting, and it brought out the child in me that never really got over the WWE fever. Not even the ever present reminder of fakeness could take me out of the "game". But then there's also the reality, served so obviously to me when Undertaker and Shawn Michaels did a staredown, and it just dawned to me. HOLY SHIT. THEY BOTH HAVE RECEDING HAIRLINES. Where hair used to be, now emaciate forehead extensions lay. It was at that point that I also noticed that their ripped, steriodal bodies look like they were partially sagging already. And I guess it's understandable. Basic math tells me that if I started watching these two guys wrestle before I hit kindergarten, that means they've been doing these moves for over 20 years already. Twenty years. (And they can probably still kick my ass six ways to Sunday) These guys were already old back then, and they were much much older now. Undertaker even looked like he was having a hard time bending the rope to enter the ring. But none of that mattered to them at the moment. They were doing the same moves that they did 20 years ago, with bodies that are probably begging for otherwise. At one point, Undertaker did the top-rope walk he was famous for, although when he did jump into Shawn, he INJURED himself, and FOR REAL. Showmanship dictated that Shawn kick the injury anyway. Shawn likewise did a top rop jump on the Undertaker and likewise got injured bad. After watching matches for a long time, you just know what's real and fake.

Thinking about it, the fact that people of their age are able to do those death defying jumps, crashing on to barely padded mats and propped tables is a feat in itself. Hell, I'm at the peak of my fitness and I wouldn't dare do half of what they do in the ring. There's nothing fake about the risks, and it's that idea of real life daredevil heroics that pique the interests of guys like me in what other people condescendingly call "a violent version of ballet". The injuries they got during the match weren't staged. Undertaker tombstone piledrived Shawn outside the ring and you could just see the pained experssion in his face when his knees hit the floor while holding a FULL GROWN 45 year old man upside down. It. WAS. AWESOME. Not because it's all real, but because it's fake, but with reality just seeping back in.

Shawn Michaels lost the match, and as dictated in the stakes he must retire. While retirement is a gimmick employed by the WWE for entertainment purposes, this one looked pretty real. Undertaker shook Shawn's hands and the audience, realizing what they were witnessing clapped the standing ovation clap. The one time I chanced upon a wrestling match is coincidentally the last time one of the legends of my childhood put a closure on his book. It was moving. More than Shawn Michael's career, I felt that it was also the end of a two decade old following for one of my biggest heroes (who just happen to love putting his foot up people's chins to knock them out).

But of course that's never the end of things. Undertaker is still wrestling up to this day, and though there will probably nobody more charismatic and respected than him, there are tons of others just waiting to fill his spot. When I get kids, I'll probably introduce them to wrestling too, if not to learn about life, just so they have something to talk about come Monday morning at school.

Why? Coz Stone Cold said so.

How To Stop The Drug Mule Problem

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Honestly, I still don't see how somebody could take a package from somebody for delivery in exchange for money without knowing its contents. The only time I see this happening without ending in grim tragedy is when the KFC delivery guy doesn't check if my ordered food contains gravy. But yeah, we can field about more reasons on why this keeps on happening, but at the end of the day, there's a good chance those people who got caught in the act of ferrying contraband across borders knew the risks they were facing. Anybody who's tried smuggling food into the library back in school knows this.

But now we have the government stepping in, attempting to solve the problem by going after the "syndicates", which they can't even name on public TV. They might as well have called the perpetrators "nazi aliens" and they'd still be as damn intangible. Bottom line is, our country sucks. You can probably smuggle a whole container ship made of glistening shabu here if you have enough money to drown customs officials in confiscated liquour. Trying to catch anybody making drugs in the country is like trying to catch every drug addict in congress. It's a futile attempt, and half-hearted at best.

So where do we stand? Surely we can't afford to have more people killed off by foreign governments. For every person who ends up in the hanger for walking dope, a hundred of us will be in more suspicion every time we try to bring along tawas with us for our trips. (Note: Some countries like China do not sell deodorant. This is a likelier scenario than you'd imagine) So here's some things I think would help solve the issue.

1. I remember before, in some highways, they left cars that got into accidents along the road and just put a sign there saying "THIS COULD BE YOU." That's as effective as whipping the insolent kid in front of the class as an example to be feared by all. It's tasteless but it actually works. That's what we need to do. Take the pictures and clippings of previous cases, put them on airports and then put up a HUGE PINK MMDA-LIKE SIGN that says "TANGINA, SIGE LANG, BAUNIN MO YAN."

2. Stop wasting the additional 250 (security terminal fee) that we're paying to print out the face of Noynoy on every immigration card. Having to print his shiny reflective forehead consumes a lot of ink, and is probably detrimental to our image of a people with no hair problems. We can use that money to actually train the guards to know drugs WHEN FIVE FUCKING POUNDS OF IT IS STRAPPED TO THE WAIST OF ONE OF THE PASSENGERS. How the hell do you feel that in a hand search and think it's perfectly normal to have a balikbayan beltbag masking taped to waists?

3. Plan agents in the airport who will play as dummy drug mule recruiter. If anybody accepts the offer, the agent should have full authority to backhand slap the passenger. There is only one right answer - NO. Any other answer will set you an appointment with the business end of the agent's hand. Ain't nothing more corrective than a correctly placed smacking to the face.

4. Stop sending political envoys to countries that are planning to kill drug mules. I understand that sending our country mascot/vice president can be entertaining at times because it's like E.T. all over again, but that's just sending the wrong signal, pun not intended. Send Willie Revillame instead. This won't help, but since we're pouring money into a tax blackhole anyway, we might as well make it festive and occasionally scandalous.

5. Put Pepe Smith as customs head. He'll sniff the shit out of your baggage and take care of any confiscated material on the spot. Since there's more than one airport and Old Pepe can only take in so much, have somebody from those Kapuso/Kapamilya noontime shows to sub him out. Given the nature of drug use in showbusiness, we won't be running out of manpower anytime soon.

6. If somebody does get caught locally, send them anyway and make sure they get caught on the other side by phoning them in advance. Since our country is too softhearted on these things, let other countries with the balls to take them out deal with the problem.

Problem solved.

Shogun 2 Crash When Loading Saved Game File

Friday, March 25, 2011

I love the Total War series. I've been a huge fan ever since Rome Total War days. I honestly think it's the "historical RTS" that got the balance right between a fun gameplay that doesn't require you to tweak a thousand different variables to run an empire and a sort of entertaining degree of historical accuracy. As for Shogun II, I've been waiting for this game since forever. Being a history buff, and having a trip to Kansai late last year made me real pumped up to play a grand RTS campaign based on Japanese history.

But the problem is, and I don't know why this is just so damn persistent, like history, Total War seems to keep on repeating the same mistakes over and over again as far as product quality goes.

I installed Shogun 2 Total War this afternoon, and it's just damn unplayable. Even the most basic of basics, the main menu, only loads 6 out of 7 times. You'd think they'd be able to see that not being able to see your game is already A BIG GODDAMN DEAL. But okay, there's a workaround for that right? Just run the game again, hopefully with better luck roll.

And THEN there's the saving problem. Eight turns in, I've subjugated a nearby clan and am preparing a massive excursion into another clan and then I told myself "hey, I've done a lot already, I should shut off this thing and get back to getting a life" And so I did. I saved and left.

Then after I tried switching the thing on, BAM. Saved files are no longer loading. LIKE FUCK. I told myself, maybe it's just my copy. I check the net and saw that the problem is prevalent in a lot of other player experiences too.

Okay, so it's just a bug. Maybe it renders your effort useless every now and then randomly, but hey, we all make mistakes.


As early as Rome Total War, there's already been issues with save files getting corrupted. Medieval II Total War also had it (although it was addressed fairly quickly), Empire TOtal War also had it, and it took almost forever to get fixed. You'd think that since it's just the same company, the first thing they'd check when testing the game is to see if issues that popped up last version wont anymore in the new one. But it just does.
And we're just all expected to lap it up and wait for a fix. Whatever happened to the days when you buy a cartridge, play with the game and not have to deal with half-baked products like this? We didnt download no steenkin patches back then. Thanks to the internet, games are coming out half done, like a badly rushed homework or something.

I honestly hate love this game so goddamn much.

History repeats itself.

To the guys who are also experiencing this problem, report your problems on this forum so CA and SEGA know that this is a major issue and not just a minor one:

Let's not waste 50$ on a game that wont even work in the most basic level.

The Other Derek Ramsey : Interview Transcript

Thursday, March 24, 2011

About a year ago, a friend of mine from highschool invited me to start writing for Statement magazine. One of my first few tasks was to prepare the main article for a certain Derek Ramsey, who up to that point is only familiar to me because he tends to appear on posters about canned tuna. A lot. Write a straight man's article about Derek, my editor told me. Uhh okay. So I thought I'd try to get past the parts where female/female-at-heart writers usually stop because they start orgasming at some point in the interview.

So I went with deeper questions, to prove to myself and the rest of the readers that there's nothing much beyond that. Let's call it man prejudice: "He's not me, therefore he's a turd." The interview proved me wrong and changed my opinion to "He's not me, so he's kind of okay." For a man's opinion of another man, that's about as good as it gets. So I set off writing the article, but alas, for some reason I just couldn't come up with the right piece that fleshed out the spirit of the interview. People who read the article kind of agreed, so to at least make up for my failed goals, I am publishing the transcript of our discussion.

You're technically the most sought-after guy in the country today. And I think you know this.

That's what they say, but I don't really...

Did you ever foresee this happening to you?

No. Even this whole showbiz thing I never thought... even commercials I'd end up doing. Any of this.My first commercial ever was closeup and I was still (nice?) enough to do that and then I was in and out of the country then because I was studying in England so every time I'd fly in and visit my parents, I'd shoot a commercial, fly back to college, shoot a commercial, fly back, then move to the states, then after the states after graduating, i moved here permanently and got a job with MTV and I got offers left and right from showbiz and I denied that for a couple of years then I said you know what sige na nga I'll just try it.

That was the point that you realized, I think I'm made for this?

I still don't think that that was the moment. I couldn't get in front of the camera to tell you the truth but I'm a guy that likes to get over my fears. Before graduating I decided to join a college play just to get that feeling of being in front of a crowd, anything to do with acting or even public speaking so I auditioned for this play called the postmaster and got the role. and I did it. My parents flew halfway around the world just to watch and that was when I started to get comfortable being in front of the camera. Then ayon, commercials left and right.Then my stint with MTV which was fun and gave me even more confidence. I'm really willing to try anything but I never expected that I'd be where Im at now

You're currently doing modeling hosting and acting.

I find modeling the hardest thing to do. I'm not a ramp model I'll leave that to the pros.

What do you think is the next step for you.

I know one day this rollercoaster ride is going to end. I hope im going to be someone better someone new. I'm willing to grasp that day will come and im just taking it one day at a time. Enjoying whats being given to me now. Doing what contracts that I have. I always finish my contact. What's next? I dont know, more challenging roles. Stop playing the rich kid. Stop dying in the movies. Yeah. My dream is to play on like a war movie do a war movie or something historical.

If youre not an actor, or not a model, or not a host what would you be doing?

I think I'd be a teacher. I started as a marketing major. I did physics math at A levels. I dont know why. All my friends say they think id be a good teacher and I enjoy teaching kids so I think Id be a teacher but not here.

Three things that you cant do without.

First my family I have to be with nearly family. My sports even though I have a busted knee Im still playing. I'm hardheaded. And travel I have to travel. REquirements sa akin yan every year.

SO you're well traveled?

Im very lucky my parents brought me up, sending me all over the world. Ive been to israel kibbutz afrika, jordanl, all over europe, all over asia. Name me a place and Ive probably beent here. This year ill be in South africa for the world cup. I'll be in Korea to compete. Shanghai to compete. PRague to compete. Yeah, I've been everywhere. Even Finland. I don't know.

Which do you think is the most beautiful place on earth?

Here. That's why I'm here. I'm never going back to Europe. I'll never be in Europe. If I were to pick a place to spend the rest of my life, it would be here or in australia. People are very laid back, very nice. Over in ENgland you have to make an effort just to make friends. People just come up to you and theyre already nice. Extreme because if you piss them off, they get mad. Some of the most beautiful places Ive been to are here in the Philippines. To retire, somewhere int he province here or in Gold Coast Australia, which is similar to what we have here, just more organized.

Can you tell us something that few people know:

Ive been olaying the piano and the trumpet. I took piano classes for six years. The trumpet was a forced instrument for me to play. I wanted to play the Saxophone, but there were no more sax available so I got stuck with the trumpet

Did you ever want to play for the public?

Hell no. It's a thing I'd rather play by myself. I can read notes, but I'm more of making kapa. But I haven't been playing any instruments lately.

Statement Questions.

What do you think makes a man successful?

Wow. I guess it's not about making millions and millions of dollars and pessos. If youre content with the things youve done. My dad always told me, Derek if you did it all, even if you fail, I'm proud of you. He wasnt the father that forced me to get good grades, even though bagsak grades ko, even though I did my best, he's proud of me. If I can reach half of what my dad's done with his life, I'd be very proud of myself and I'd consider msyelf successful. It's the work that you put in. You put in all your work, and one day you sti back and you can say "This is all mine because of hard work." You have a family that sticks by you and you have been committed to that family. I guess that's how you judge the success of somebody. It's not hte money you make. It's being content with what you've done.

You're aware that this whole showbusiness is not forever. How would you want to be remembered and what kind of legacy do you want to leave behind.

I'd like people who I've been working with to know that everytime Ido a role or have a job, I givemy best. I want to be known as the actor who doesnt compete with his fellow artist when doing a project. I'm all for createing a good project not getting involved with you know how some things are, guess it's true. I play the role that's given to me. Let's put it this way. Everyone always say "Why do you always die? Bakit ka pumapayag na pinapatay yung character mo? I say That's what'sint he script. Why would I change it? They say it's not good for my image. I don't play for my image. If I like the scirpt I like the character. I play my character. I don't like to change it midway when we're shooting a project. That's what I want them to remember. "Ah si Derek, hindi yan maarte. Sya lang yung, you know, he plays his role, he does his job. When I start a job, I finish it. Even though halfway through, you encounter some problems. Tatapusin ko. Let's say may prob ako with this actor, director, I don't talk to that person anymore pero no prob tatapusin ko."

Last question. What is the role of the showbiz industry in shaping the future generations (Deep question)


People look up to you.

We gotta educate the people who are watching us. I dont want to sound mean, but what's kind of disappointing sometimes is we are kidn of scared to take the risk of trying new things for the things that we do. You know indy films. I'm all for indy films. Try different style, different stories, not just doing the same thing, changing the setting, changing the name of hte characters. Sinasanay naitn viewers natin na ganun. We should be able to take new risks to give our viewers something new. If we do that, we'll tap all the classes, we'll get more peopel to support our own work instead of people watching cable, watching foreign fimsl, I think that's our resposnibilt to educte the viewers byd oing stuff liek that instead of doing more of the chismis side. I think the shows that rate the most are teh ones with most chismis, sinasanay natin yung mga viewers na magfollow ng lives ng people, who are also arent perfect and they feed on that, the imperfect of other people. Educate the viewers, give them new things to watch, things that they can indulge into.

ANy movies anytime soon?

I havent thought about htat. I'm a sponge Im still learning a lot of new things as an actor. As a director, I wouldnt know what to do I need to learn. Onet hing with me, that';s why you dont see mi in ASAP, singing and dancing regularly, I leave that ot the pros. The ones who acutally have talent, I'm the first one to admit I cant sing and I can't dance. We accept that you put soembody there who cannot sing but we still love him because, sige kasi maganda na mukha, pwede ka na magartista. IN the states, you have all these people who may not be the best looking people but htey have talent. ANds I feel sorry for the people here who relaly have talent in acting but theyd ont get the chance to because of their physical apperaance which is not something I agree with. Yun.

Last statement

I'm very vocal. I gets me in trouble. But that's how I am. That's how I was brought up. I stand up by the values given to me by my parents.

Worse Than Crab Mentality

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

You think you have it tough dating? Try being a crab. You can't hold hands without injuring your partner, walking side by side is a bitch because you're both walking sideways, and you can't tell the gender of the other crab without having to reach down the nether regions to see if it's lalaki babae or bakla. To make things worse, you won't know if you're dating a fatty until you've gotten far enough to the point that you remove each other's shells. You'd think you're dating the hottest crab on the beach and then BAM. SEE THOSE OOZING ALIGUE? OH SHIT, HAMBEAST!

Leila De Lima For President

Monday, March 21, 2011

Leila De Lima : Your president, everybody's mom

Okay, so a few years back I made a vow - that so help me God I will help Kris Aquino become president if she makes so much as a sign that she wants to run. This was back in 2006, long before anybody even contemplated on the idea, because Public Static is all about firsts, FUCK YEAH. I still think she holds the right qualifications, even if popular trend says she's a joke.

You can read my previous case here.

But then NOYNOY happened, and the odds that after seven years the public will still want an Aquino in the palace is next to nil, not considering not considering the great Benigno rising up from the dead to save the lot of us. Because of this, the Kris Aquino project has been indefinitely shelved. I'm not saying our current president is a poor choice, I'm just saying I doubt well be seeing him in any monument or monetary unit anytime soon. We just screwed up our chance to have the best president ever, Filipinos. :|

So that said, I am endorsing another future possible: Leila De Lima, who is, as of this writing, the current head of the Department of Justice. Now she may not be the ultimate president, but think about it. Take one good look at her, how she acts, speaks, and carries herself from one scandal to another and try hard to not think of her as a mother.

It's going to be hard.

Because secretly, Future PRESIDENT Leila de Lima is channeling the "Nanay Mojo" of every Filipina Mother and is eating that for breakfast. She'd be like the proto-nanay of Pinoys.

Right now, she doesn't seem like she can do much. But then again, that's because she's being assigned to positions where she can't do much. I am willing to bet that if the president issues an executive order that Leila can act like she's the mother of every politico, she'd be spending days on end just dragging congressmen by the ear back to their houses and smacking the fear of the law back into them, as the Constitution intended.


Remember that time Leila De Lima was still in the Commission of Human Rights, which, next to the Philippine Association of Mga Komedyanteng Bungal is probably one of the most toothless organizations in the Philippines? She nearly turned it into a goddamn paramilitary outfit, marching towards military camps, barking at generals like they smacked her child once and now have the devil to pay for it.

Now imagine you give this scary lady power to actually do some damage. Give her some teeth. Give her the authority to knock teeth off. Do you still remember your mom at the moment she was about to give the younger you the throw down of your life? Wasn't that scary? THAT IS WHAT THIS COUNTRY NEEDS.

Because in truth, even though for the last 30 years, we've had two war veterans, an action star, a mother capable of producing offsprings like Kris and Noynoy, we've never really had a president who can scare the rest of the government shitless. And like kids who didn't grow up with a good dose of fear in their system, our government has become insolent. And curing insolence is what mothers do best.

Leila De Lima is the mother that this country needs right now. She's the president who'll pull down your shorts, beat your ass, and wish you'd never squandered a single peso of tax payer money in your entire life.

follow thine hand or get smacked with it. your call.



Priests, Prayers, and Others (Part 2)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

(Since I've already tackled this topic before here: PART 1., let's just consider this as a part 2.

Today I went to Church service with my younger sister and mother. The priest that headed the mass is, for the lack of a better term, hardcore traditionalist. And yes, he's the very same priest that caused me to write a pretty lengthy article last time. Please don't get me wrong. I love going to Church. At the most pragmatic level, I have a belief that there's a functional need for religion in the human intellect. At the least pragmatic, well, I like the idea that somebody out there is looking for us. Sometimes though, I can't help but feel there are a lot of things in a Catholic Mass that we could do without, without having to lessen the effect it has on people, if not even improve on it.

1. I sat through 25 minutes of homily today. That's 5 minutes short of a highschool class, minus notes, visual aids, or a chance to validate what you're listening to. I've always believed the human mind is capable of 7 minutes of undivided attention. It's probably much less now given our propensity to multitask. So after 25 minutes of speech material, even though I tried hard, I am left with almost nothing that I can remember. It's not me, it's really just the nature of the human mind. You'd think people who are public speaking their whole adult lives would know a thing or two about effective communication. I mean, look at the Bible. If Jesus spoke of the beatitudes in a 25-minute speech, Bibles will be 3x thicker, and nobody would probably pass Religion 101. Brevity is the soul of wit. Jesus had the right idea.

2. Because of Lent, our roster of songs have changed again. Not change changed, but changed just enough so that it's still basically the same song, but with subtle changes made to the rhythm, tune, or lyrics. I take it that the choir wasn't expecting the change either because the priest and the choir at times were singing different "covers". Naturally, the community spirit was deader than a Christian in a Roman Coliseum. Where people should be encouraged to sing along, they just couldn't, because somebody in the Ministry of Who Sings What decided that Church songs should be seasonal, but should still sound remarkably similar and dissimilar to each other at the same time. If we really want to write more songs for the church why don't we make it 100% different? So we don't have to get confused which song is currently playing? To make matters worse, some versions of popular songs seems to only exist to showcase the range of the voices in the choir. Are they really singing to foster the community spirit, or is that just pride I'm hearing?

3. The second collections. Why do we still have second collections? Why can't we just have one and let the Church decide how much of the community-pooled resource goes to where? Can't they tell us what we need to give money for before the first collection so we can deem how much we are going to give? The whole idea of the collection is to show that we are one community. By adding as second collection for a "special purpose" it makes giving sound optional. If we are really "one" then there should be no optional when it comes to giving.

Lastly, and I really didn't want to discuss about the whole Republic Health bill brouhaha here because it's too controversial, and I've already done it before, but I want to mention the Oratio Imperata, an ordered prayer. I am not questioning the nature of Oratio Imperata. I am questioning its contents, which if you have heard before, sounds so imperative about what we want to happen, that it already sounds ARROGANT and INSOLENT. Whereas normally, we ask for God's guidance, this prayer makes it sound like we are guiding the good Lord himself, as though omniscience won't tell Him what's best for the people. In truth, if you analyze the prayer frther, it's so imperative because the Oratio Imperata is more of a device to condition the mindset of those who say the prayers, which is an unfortunate turn of events because a very powerful device is being turned into a method of advocacy propagation, which begs the question who we really are addressing. It's a lose lose situation, most saddening, and until things change, embarrassing.

I know I've nothing to say but bad things for the Church at the moment, but that don't mean I love it any less than the lot of church goers, I am speaking out because I believe that there's more to the Mass than advocacies, tradition, and grandiose worship. It's about sanctity of dialogue with the Maker. And that's something we might be forgetting in the long run.

Pangilang presidente si President Quezon : The Final Answer

Saturday, March 19, 2011

In case people are still asking. Here's my question to that long question about translation:

What is the English translation of :Pangilang presidente si Manuel Quezon?

Answer: What is the ordinality of Manuel Quezon as President? or What is the ordinal number of Manuel Quezon as president.


You can shuffle the words, but the key here is the world ORDINAL, which I learned at some point in working with IT terminologies. So who says being a programmer makes you absolutely useless?

I think the better question is, "Bakit sa Bente Pesos Nilagay si Quezon Eh Hindi Naman Sya Tumira Sa MalacaƱang?"

My Credit Card Story

Friday, March 18, 2011

I've never been big on credit cards, mainly becuase I've always believed I don't have a need for it. I hardly ever make any big purchases, and whenever I do, the establishments I go to tend to give bigger discounts when you pay in cash (yeah, fuck you Gilmore). It was not until I started working abroad, where the prospect of not having any cash at hand, nary a card, and a tourist-grade inability to explain yourself in the vernacular could land you in prison where I assume you will be made to taste rather unsightly delicacies (e.g. rape). So I finally got one, and so far BPI hasn't given me any major pain in the ass.

Granted, there are a lot of points for improvement. Their cards, for one, look like they're allergic to being stored in anything more compact than a two ton shipping container. Storing them in my wallet breaks them in just a couple of months, and I don't even have a gargantuan ass. Meanwhile, my ATM cards, some of them already old enough to become registered voters are still working. My BPI credit card has conked out three times in the last three years, and twice I had to pay for replacements. FOUR HUNDRED BUCKS FOR A PLASTIC CARD, REALLY?! On the last instance, I lost my shit and demanded that I be given a free replacement, at gunpoint if need be. The folks were nice enough to give me a free replacement, and strange enough, an ass-size reduction program at Marie France. I didn't even have to load my revolver.

Then there's the program for making your own card image. I tried it last year to see if I can make gifts out of the promo. The registration program online ended up swallowing my applications for an entire month, with the staff in CS vehemently saying I never submitted anything. I started thinking there's a conspiracy going on, and that if I were to start looking for the Holocaust they'd say it never happened as well. Towards the end, somebody somewhere in BPI wised up and told me that my image broke their rules, which weren't written on the site, which weren't conveyed to me when I started complaining. If I didn't act, I'd have ended up waiting for signs or something. It's almost like talking to God, really.

Lastly, there's the membership fee. Now I'm not even sure why credit companies still insist on having those. For every transaction we make, the merchants are already giving them amounts that are likely coming from the price we are paying for the goods anyway. This doesn't even include any interests that we sometimes have to pay when we can't make the full amount (or got too lazy to pay that month). That's like paying twice for the same service. Fortunately, the banks allow the fees to be waived. For my case that's 2250 every year that doesn't have to be written under the ever-growing "stupid fees I don't really understand but pay anyway" list in my big book of expenses.

How I waive my membership everyyear is almost 100% the same, I'm not sure why I still have to do it again and again. It works this way. Sometime around March, I recieve my credit card bill and say "Oh dear. My bill is quite high this month" then I scan down my list of legitimate purchases, purchases that I would not be proud to show to my parents, and purchases that made under the influence of very strong psychoactive components. One of them will be marked "Membership fee". Membership fee?! I ask myself. "I thought I already told those guys at the Most Handsome People On Earth Organization that I do not need to be grouped to stay as handsome and ravishing as I currently am!"

So I inspect it again and see that it's actually for BPI's credit card program. I dial 89-100, navigate through the labyrinthine IVR interface that requires me to press more buttons than when I wrote this article and then patiently wait for an operator while listening to the hold music designed to passify any angry callers through subtle messages embedded in the music ("WORSHIP BPI"). After what seems like an entire presidential administration's wait, an operator will answer me and at this point the music has pacified me to a point that I already sound like Ghandi. It takes me about half a minute to compose myself into the normal steroid-angry customer that I'm supposed to be playing.

And here is where it gets strictly theatrical, in a sense that I'm sure I don't really mean half of what I say and the CS are acting and playing along just as much. I question why I have a membership fee tacked on my bill. They tell me it's because I didn't make the quota usage of 1,000,000,000,000 pesosesoses. I tell them that's ridiculous and that I've never heard of anything like that before. (I have) They tell me it's new regulation rules. (It's not) I pretend that I am terribly upset and ask my card to be cancelled. They pretend to check with their supervisor if it's okay to do so. I tell them okay. One last time they tell me it's too much of a favor to ask. I tell them if they don't, I'll cut the membership and pull out my four accounts, as well as my support for the current government administration. They ask me to wait. I wait. Then afterwards they tell me the amount will be waived, and that I should just try to use the card more. (I probably will)

And it's like that EVERY SINGLE YEAR.

In the spirit of optimization, wouldn't it be just faster if they just accepted the idea that I will not be paying such a ridiculous amount for the benefit of being able to pay some MORE? If cancelling the membership fee automatically is hard, then at least there must be some hidden phrase that I can just use to bypass the whole procedure, which is no longer than most mating rituals of animals in the wild, but is just as energy-consuming when I could be writing articles like this instead. Yeah, just one reserved word will do. Like:

Me: Hello, I'm here for the annual waiver.
CSupport: Okay, credit card number please.
Me: Asterisk x15 - 135. (that's how they like to write it anyway)
CSupport: Okay sir. Let me check.
CSupport: Codeword registered. Your membership fee has been waived. Have a nice day.

Done and done. I'd have more time for my lesiurely surfing for illegally procurable files and they'd have more time dealing with people who can't manage debt if their lives depended on it.


Why I Don't Own An iDevice (iPhone, iTouch, iPad, iDontCare)

Monday, March 07, 2011

A lot of people keep on asking me why I'm still not interested in buying an iDevice despite the facts that:

1. iDevices are the new hot gaming platforms
2. The multitouch controls are the shit
3. More people use it than common sense
4. Non-users are not part of the coven and shall be purged in the Great Reckoning

My reasons are simple. iDevices are cool because they combine a lot of things we want in one convenient gadget, and because it's trendier with the young crowd than venereal disease is with clubgoers in Malate. I need neither. I like my gadgets separate, and I don't like things because they're trendy. But because this is suppose to be a full-length article and there's nothing to be gained in settling an argument in a couple of sentences, here are my point-by-point rebuttals to the usual reasons:

1. The iPhone sucks as a phone. Ergonomically speaking, a wide screen is good for touch control, but it's shit when you have to hold it for more than 5 minutes near your ear when you have to use it for what it really is, like, you know, make phone calls. 10 years ago Nokia figured out that making phones that have curves and aren't as wide as a soapdish are easier to hold. Why do we have to uninvent this? That'd be like having some guy change the shape of the wheel back to square 100 years after everybody agreed circle is best, for the reason that a square wheel can also be used as a window frame. You can argue that a bluetooth phonepiece will solve this issue, but I can argue that bluetooth phonepieces make you look like an retarded jackass who likes talking to inanimate objects when people see you making phonecalls.

2. The iPhone/iTouch sucks as an MP3 player. Now don't get me wrong on this. In this day and age, almost all Mp3 players are practically the same, having the same features, playing the same low-bitrate bullshit being sold online. When I say it sucks, I mean it in a "I used to have an Mp3 player the size of a wrist watch back in 2001 why is this shit still as large as a brick ten years later" kind of way. I like my music player small because it makes it more convenient to carry around. As far as convenience goes, a device a few inches larger than my palm just to play music might as well be a 70s era jukebox.

3. The iPhone's multitouch controls aren't as awesome as you'd think.
The idea of a screen capable of multitouch is nothing short of astounding. Even now, I still find it amazing that they were able to pull it off. However, if you try and think of how you control of your phone, most of the time you're not really using the "multitouch" function. You have a finger, and you're using it to manipulate the interface. Like a stylus. Except unlike the stylus, the finger on a capacitive screen isn't the most accurate thing in the world. We grow up working with pens and sharp pencils because we know those big fat crayons aren't of much use when you run out of big coloring books to work on. This is just like that, specially in gaming. The controls are almost often either inaccurate or shakey. "But Jet, you just get used to it LOL." No. There are better alternatives out there, why put up with something less?

To make matters worse, the controls are always on the screen, making games that require more complex button press sequences visually awkward, with your fingers blocking out portions of the screen. The only iPhone games that I really enjoy are those that rely on the six-axis sensors, but even then, it's too gimmicky for my taste, and my hands are too shaky.

4. The games.
The games are casual. And I admit a lot of them are entertaining, but most of these games are just rehashes of what I've been playing for years elsewhere online. Angry Birds, for example, is nothing but a rehash of Crush the Castle - a game that's been free online since 2007. There aren't many games out there that haven't been done and outdone before somewhere in the annals of Flash-dom. The only difference is that this time the platform is portable, which brings me to my next half point.

I love gaming, and the idea of being able to bring games wherever I go is awesome, specially when I know I'm going to be alone somewhere without anything to do or anybody to talk to for a very long time. Masturbation is an alternative, but good luck getting away with it in a public commuter train. But then again, that sort of instance just doesn't happen often enough for me to think of having something to play on all the time. Whipping your game console out when you are with other people is just likewise so antisocial, unless they also have the same gadget and you'll be playing co-op. DS and PSP had this feature and exploited it well. On the other hand, most iPhone games are just single player. That means when somebody's playing, there's always one less person interacting with the group. It kills the group dynamic, so unless that's your intention in the first place, portable gaming isn't the way to go. We can say that it's also possible that everybody can get their own iGadgets and go play a game of who gets the highest score... but that's just tantamount to playing Patintero with five people belonging to the same team. :|


Good Parenting

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Seen inside SM Hypermarket Harrison Plaza.


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