Sunday, January 08, 2006

Do they know it's still Christmastime in The Philippine homeland? by Marc Guerrero, January 2006

MANILA, 1 January 2006 – We, in The Philippines, have the longest celebration of Christmas in the world, Or have you, my dear fellow Filipinos in Amerika, almost forgotten?

For five long months from the cool breeze of the first of September morn, Filipinos in the Philippine homeland would shift mode to a good sense of prosperity and selflessness from a "culture of poverty" ("damaged," as James Fallows of the Atlantic Review preferred to dub the Pinoy generation under Marcos, that I reject). I define culture of poverty as "thinking and feeling poor, despite some degree of abundance in the material sense." And so for almost halfyear-round the normal Filipino life, we tend to have an outpouring of kindness and generosity. Pinoy benevolence drops ( but never stops) till the day after Chinese New Year.

In the current 2K6, we will exchange "Kung Hei Fat Choi" (batsoy to the fatsos!), though I am no Chinoy, on the 29 th of January, when the Rooster would crow his adieu to mark the dawning of the Fire Dog's bow-wow-wow! Circa-21 Confucians would digitally forecast that those dog-born (years 1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982 and 1994) will be compatible with horse-, tiger- and pig-born.

In between 1 Sept 2005 and 29 Jan 2006 are a long sequence of traditional and modern Filipino feasts: "Thanksgiving Day" in the Ilocandia (Sept 21, because Apo Marcos so declared the day he imposed martial law to usher in his socalled new society, and the gayems or Ilocano friends still commemorated in deference). Octoberfest of beer-gulping till we dropped, a German influence, followed as pop scenes in the bar- and bandstands of Baguio, Clark & Subic, Manila, Cebu and Davao metropolis. Eid ul-Fitr, Islamic celebration of joy in the last day of Ramadan fasting, resumed our Muslim brethren's normal eating, drinking and sexual habits. Halloween trick-or-treating (Oct 31) is in in the buena familia blocks, while the middle class and lowlife content themselves merrymaking in cemeteries on All Saints Day (Nov 1) and All Souls Day (Nov 2) to honor their dearly departed. November 30 is not only great Filipino plebian Andres Bonifacio Day; in the boondocks of Sierra Madre and the Cordilleras, our Pinoy Communist brethren (long after Communism in countries of its foundation had ceased to exist) cease fire to have some real fun.

December 16 marks the nine-day early-morn misa de gallo to conclude on December 24 of misa de aguinaldo and usher in the Day of Christ (more aptly, Baby Jesus); December 28 is Niños Inocentes; December 30, the day Jose Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonzo Realonda died; and a few hours of firecrackers, fireworks and gunshots here and there comes next on December 31 to welcome the New Year. We have the Feast of the Three Kings after that, Feast of the Black Nazarene (on January 9 in Quiapo, the heart of Old Manila), the Feast of Santo Niño de Praga in The Philippines' historic capital of Cebu and in Tondo, Manila, on the Sunday that follows, which ushers in the mardi gras-type Ati-atihan, Sinulog, Dinagyang and other festivals across the nation.

There is also the four days that rocked the world (Feb 22-25), when Peoplepower Fiesta at EDSA in 1986 happened. You see, even our (and the world's) first peaceful democratic revolution was a "big Filipino fiesta," that made all of us, proud, and sikat. The rest of the year, Filipinos are creative and compassionate. We can shine again. Sisikat muli and Pinoy!
OBB. Opening Billboard. GMA Mattered.

SKTBIZ fetes as "sikat Asian Filipino leader" The Philippines' 14th President, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, for being adjudged by TIME Magazine, "Persons of the Year: Bill, Melinda Gates and Bono" cover, as one of People Who Mattered in 2005. George Walker Bush's great economist ally in Southeast Asia had survived her administration's unpresidential lies and other scandals in governance due to what she described as "her faith in God."

In 2004, we at project supported by celebrities Kris Aquino, Boy Abunda, Ai-Ai delas Alas, Sarah Geronimo, April Boy Regino et al for GMA of Sen Ramon Magsaysay Jr won for Arroyo the overseas votes and other "thinking" webby voters, according to the Philippine Star. But she did not make good with her promise to "make the Republic stronger" that should have aggressively and massively inculcated patriotism and synonymous other motherhood statements of nationalism down the Filipino grassroots by and through a "Make It Strong Foundation Inc' that was formed, and never took off.
OBB 2. Gloria or Glue-ria quote.

WITH that tip of the iceberg (or ice cream, for Erap), we raise the 2K6 curtains of SKTBIZ with Macapagal-Arroyo's infamous but statesmanlike quotable-quote: "I lied… and I'm sorry!" She intends to stay on glued (says the First Gentleman's critics) on the Malacañang Palace grounds until 2010, or onwards, if and when her waltzing with Fidel V Ramos and Jose de Venecia will get on uncontested by the multitude. And that is why even the Thai Prime Minister can't believe it that The Philippines had romped off in December 2005 with most of the gold medals at the 23 rd Southeast Asia (SEAG) Games in Manila. He had this mistaken notion that Filipinos are liars and cheaters, not only in politics.
OBB 3. Bushism.

WIKIPEDIA the first free online encyclopedia that anyone in the world can edit created by Jimmy Wales ( ) , the Wikimedia founder, has got company in Merriam-Webster's Open Dictionary ( ) where you can submit and share entries that aren't already in their online dictionary, and browse entries submitted by other members of the Merriam-Webster online community. A nonprofit bloc has to contribute this Bushism, that can go hand-in-hand with Glue-ria sabi-da, to both Merriam and Wiktionary.

Global Language Monitor of LA (seat of Hollywood) had identified a most memorable Dubya lingua of 2K5 on world TV newscast: "Brownie (referring to Michael Brown, then, but now, ex-Federal Emergency Management Agency chief), you're doing a heckuva job." Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. Brown was unable to get aid to Louisianians on time; his head rolled. Talk of (1984 the book where "Big Brother" first appeared) George Orwell's "newspeak," when politicians in front of the media "say what they don't mean, and mean what they don't say."

30/30: Let's End a News Story to Start a New Story.
"In First Person" gives way to the hottest stories on the Year That Was.

PHILIPPINE entertainment in 2005 was lackluster, save for some mixes of emotions, scandals, upheavals and wornout scripts, reported movie editor and journalist Julianito "Boy" Villasanta, an ABS-CBN TV Patrol pioneer, to SKTBIZ.

Villasanta, who manages the next big band SKROTUM (check them out in "Hodgepodge" below), listed down in his SKTBIZ yearender exclusive the top showbiz stories of 2005: "Pinoy Action King Fernando Poe Jr died of celebrity vanity excesses but real action did not happen in 2004. His real and reel life leading lady, Susan Roces, took the cudgels of leadership from the ragtag opposition in the first quarter of 2005, charged GMA of cheating FPJ in 2K4 elections, and did a Cory Aquino (well, almost, if only Niño Muhlach, Rez Cortez et al knew what they were doing?).

"Superstar Nora Aunor was nabbed by US drug enforcement for illegal possession of narcotics after she did a series of shows across America . She was sentenced by a US court with much-needed rehabilitation (from her hard habits-to-break that spanned decades with a B-Pinoy rapper making La Aunor bankrupt and ruined beyond redemption) and community service.

"Flawless Pegasus stripteaser-turned-serious rocking actress Rosanna Roces made war with the family of Senator Jose Marie Bautista (aka Bong Revilla Jr) and Candy Hernandez (aka Lani Mercado), when the couple's eldest, Jolo Revilla, impregnated the Stillnox-downing hot momma's lovechild, Grace Adriano. Both minors, Jolo's and Grace's baby named Jose Gabriel's DNA was put in question by nasty critics who charged the boy was not a Bautista or a Revilla. Osang and Grace were vindicated by the DNA results. And both Pop Lolo (Bong) and Pop Lola (Osang) enjoyed the grandparenting joys of looking at Gabe in 3D-detailed ultrasound even before the boy first saw the light."

Meanwhile, Lani's Bryan Revilla and Maui Taylor, former Viva Hot Babe who was a Journalism graduate in London, are falling head-over-heels with each other. Lolo Ramon Revilla – at 80ish the most productive senator who sired more than 80 children, and counting – must be enjoying his apos'sexcapades to the hilt!

"Telefantasya shows," continued the Villasanta report, "like 'Darna,' 'Kampanerang Kuba,' 'Panday' and other surreal boobtube heroes – all remakes (of yesteryears' movie blockbusters by Lipa Mayor Vilma Santos, and FPJ), save for a few originals made by the Royal production outfit of Eddie Gutierrez and Annabelle Rama for their sons – were, even for the busy businesswomen of Makati, 'must-watch' nightly series, together with Pinoy Big Brother by loyal ABS-CBN protégé director Lauren Dyogi, and won with a PhP6-million purse by Nene a Davaoeña.

"It was like the Eighties-ressurect when sex videos flooded the sidewalks. But no more Vilma Santos-Romeo Vasquez or Vivian Velez-Rudy Fariñas bedroom bouts on betamax. High-technology inched its way, this time, through the cellular phones's multimedia system (MMS), from where anyone can see the smooching Richard Gutierrez, Eddie's & Anabelle's Alaska milk's grow tall-little boy model-no more, and Tanduay GSM Blue model Anne Curtis; or a peeing midget, fondly called 'Mahal' (long-lost sister of another midget by the name of 'Mura,' a boy who looks like a girl), at their most vantage shots, by the participants themselves. Mobile phone cameras also caught compromising sizzlers by Fil-Am cager Alex Crisanto with her part-time girlfriend, Ethel Booba, a gorgeous but homo-looking comedienne who impersonated Rufa Mae Quintos, a real pretty, foxy comedienne who was the 'original Booba' (equated with blonde-dumb American sexbombs).

"Father to Kris Aquino's son, Joshua, Phillip Salvador, suffered anguish so much due, perhaps, to a true-blue Salvador's womanizing tendencies, lost his multimillion-peso estafa case against ex-live-in paramour Cristina Decena, a businesswoman.

"SM Megamall banned the screening of sexy films in all SM moviehouses. From this obstruction to freedom of expression rose the digital film factory that gave greenlight to a series of digital filmfests like Cinemalaya International Film Festival and Cinema One Filmfest. Digital filmmaking by indie filmmakers brought a number of international awards to local artists namely Brillante Mendoza's 'Masahista,' which won major awards in Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland, and Aureous Solito's 'Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros,' which brought home the bacon from Toronto Filmfest in Canada.

"Regal matriarch, Mother Lily Monteverde, still was the object of protests among fellow movie producers when more than half of the Metro Manila Film Festival Philippines' official entries were hers or co-produced, lineproduced by her conglomerates like Good Harvest Productions or MaQ Films.

"Tax evasion charges slapped by the Bureau of Internal Revenue against Judy Ann Santos, power manager Douglas Quijano, Richard Gomez et al were seen as political vendetta when the stars and manager openly supported candidates who were not allied with GMA, a malicious accusation denied by the Office of the Press Secretary.

"Kris Aquino and Claudine Barretto both reset their weddings to James Yap and Raymart Santiago, respectively, but made sure 2006 will be their dates to walk the aisles.

"Funnyman Willie Revillame wed Liz Alimoro. And so with Andrea Bautista, an actress and newscaster youngest daughter of Ramon Revilla Sr, to Rizal political clan's scion, Jun-Jun Ynares.

"Ten-year-itch etched on Cris Villanueva's and Criselda Volks's systems finally erased when they called it quits after a series of squabbles. The actor saw himself marrying one of political philosopher Waldy Carbonell's children. Likewise, teen heartthrobs Kristine Hermosa and Diether Ocampo's marriage on the rocks when the pretty actress filed annulment of their secret marriage late last year. Matrimonial plans designed by lovers Angelica Jones and Bobby Yan went kaput. But Patricia Javier never said die to marrying her foreigner fiancé.

"Tiffs and strife also characterized 2005 when all of a sudden the teeny bopping conflict between Angelica Panganiban and Camille Prats resurrected primarily because of their past relationship with a young gent, Carlo Aquino. Blood is thicker than water but they also had bitter throwing of dirty linens in public in half-sister Ara Mina and Cristine Reyes because, according to the elder sis, the younger one wasn't heeding her advice about love liaisons which she the elder sis claimed, she had done and gone to. GMA Network StarStruck's Mark Herras and Jennylyn Mercado's drama was love-hate, but finally broke up, to their hearts' content. Comedian-singer Janno Gibbs and Bing Loyzaga also went separate ways as husband and wife."

HODGEPODGE. Anything Goes.

SKROTUM. Check out the next big band SKROTUM, or Sons of Cain Rockin' Over the Unknown Music, at the Riverbooze Bar and Resto owned by Marikina Councilor Ferdie Marco and situated within the Marikina Bridge , and other gigs. Skrotum the Album – carrying the prime cuts titled "Paano," "Bukas," "Ikaw," "Unan," "I," "Floodway," "Dark Side" and "Crab" – was recorded by vocalist Ace Espiritu, with Mark Lopez in drums, Hutch Alvarez, bass; Melvin Camato, lead; and Gerard Gallardo, keyboard…

VENTRILOQUISM. Check out Pinoy renaissance man, Ronaldo "Ony" Carcamo, the country's premier ventriloquist, who has been doing live educational shows since 2000. He created the one-of-a-kind Laff&Learn Kidshow Ventriloquism Program that teaches children character-building concepts using magic, humor, and the ancient theater art of ventriloquism. He and his wacky, colorful puppets have been performing in schools, malls, restaurants, hospitals, zoos, museums, sports clubs, music and comedy bars, and in many living rooms. They have been featured in national magazines and newspapers and have appeared in top-rating TV shows.A vent and puppetry teacher at Miriam College in Quezon City, a motivational speaker and trainer, a former advertising Creative Director, and a multi-Palanca Award-winning writer, Ony's performance is about 30 minutes, but can go up to one hour. Ony uses three to four characters, including his world-famous Axtell puppets and his signature sidekick, Makatang Nonoy, a ventriloquial figure created in 2001 by legendary American sculptor/figure-maker Tim Selberg. The show is fast-paced, fun, and has a lot of audience participation. Ony takes care of the script, puppets and props, and sound system…

IMMIJ AS IN IMAGE. Check out the foxy R&B performers to-die-for from Frisco, IMMIJ (pronounced as "image") Ladies, comprised by Doris, Kris, Lyn, & Mei and handled by creative manager Christina Luna of Daly City. She will be in Manila for possible tour and distribution negotiations with eager takers, Ms Luna sounded off to me. I played on my MySpace MP3 player their prime cuts "Ladies' Anthem," "So In Love," "Still I Hold On" and "If Only." I liked what I earviewed. I even added their music to my MySpace metrosexual mediamind profile…

UNVEILING NAYLA.Check out the next filmmaking mecca in the Middle East, that is, Dubai, if the first United Arab Emirate's woman independent producer and director of films, Nayla Al Kahja, is to be believed. I voted for her in the The 24-year old Nayla of Dessart Productions, who maintains a Filipina executive assistant, Irene Guanlao, was so hardworking and persuasive enough to tell me about the documentary "Unveiling Dubai" and its Media City where their D'Adz Fz LLC offices are based, that I was kept glued asking for more about the next Hollywood in the Middle East.I am set to do an interview soon with Miss Nayla for worldwide audience…

THE PEARL OF MANILA. Check out where the Prince of Brunei was billeted during the SEAG in Manila to rally his compatriots? Where else? At the "Enchantment Penthouse Suite" of The Pearl of Manila Hotel owned by the Campos families of Dasmarinas, Cavite, who also operates the Medical City Manila and Emilio Aguinaldo College. According to Pearl's threesome-power marketers Goody Directo, director of sales; Rebecca Esguerra, marketing consultant; and Maui Doctolero, account sales manager, the Pearl along Taft Avenue takes in pride in serving people who matter in Manila for their hotel needs. Some of the celebrities who frequent the Pearl are musician Jimmy Bondoc, sexy star Ara Mina, comedian Jon Santos, restaurateur Antonio Lim of Ling Nam in Frisco, California , among others.

CBB. Closing Billboard.

VISIT It is now going live. Watch out for the official website of Fil-Am Press Magazine of Houston, Texas, to strengthen it's initial 10,000 monthly circulation (per US Circulation Audit Bureau) times a multinational readership pass-on rate of minimum 10 persons per copy, equivalent to average over 0.1 million readers per month, all over Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and other cities across the Bush state. It's coming! #


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