Saturday, December 31, 2016

Firecracker names and what they say...

The year 2016 is about to end and I'm thinking about something to blog about. It's been a long time since I have blogged about something (or nothing) and I don't how to start the ball rolling again.

Anyway, I have noticed that yearly the amount of firecrackers are decreasing. I remember about two decades ago when my friends and I would start the new year revelry early by firing off firecrackers as early as September but compared to now, it's only a few hours before new year's eve when the intermittent explosion could be heard. Of course, I'm talking about our neighborhood and the case may be the opposite with others. 

But on the other hand, the size and the power of today's firecrackers has evolved to the weapon's grade level, which according to some police officers, is comparable to improvised explosive devices (IED) used by terrorists. Legally,  firecrackers should not exceed the 0.2 grams gunpowder limit allowed by RA 7183 and firecrackers that exceed this limit is illegal and should be confiscated by the Police but judging from the size and power of the new generation of firecrackers, it's obvious that they contain more than the 1.3 tablespoon limit. 

Anyway, the branding of these super-firecrackers is something to think about. It's sick, funny kind of sick, really, because most of these brands are named after the hottest issues of the day from supertayhpoons, sports, to local and international politics. When Bin Laden was the most wanted man by the US, a firecracker was named after him, then there's Manny Pacquiao to pay tribute to the pambansang kamao; Yolanda after the supertyphoon, Napoles and now Goodbye Delima. There was even a "Crying Bading" which smacks of homophobia.

What do these brand say? (to justify the title of the post). Nothing. I guess the manufacturers of these firecrackers think that the best way to end the year is to blast these issues into smithereens, with the exception of Manny Pacquiao, of course. Or they think they are just being funny.

When I was teenager, I used to love firecrackers and the noise of new years eve. Heck, we used to fire my father's 5 inch GI pipe "kalburo" (smelled like rotten eggs) powered canon which used to knock out our neighbor's fluorescent lamp because of the vibrations it created. It also used to knock off the roosting chickens in our talisay trees. My friends and I loved that cannon and we used to fantasize that we were firing a 150 mm howitzer by putting cans and coconut on its nuzzles as projectiles, unfortunately it got rusted and I had it sold to the junk shop.

But now I'm older, I guess my eardrums got sensitive because of age hehehehe. God, how I wish that we celebrate the changing of the year in total silence, in reflection.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

MMFF movies and no Enteng Kabisote, Shake rattle and Roll, and Mano Po! My Gawd!

I am not really fond of Filipino Movies except maybe the bits and pieces of ST movies of the late eighties and early nineties, which due to the testosterone over production, made it irresistible for me and my friends to watch cut and spliced scenes from various ST movies on beta and VHS tapes.  

I guess one reason I never fell in love with our movies is Hollywood, the cinematography. Movies are primarily visual and this is where Hollyood movies are good at. They could produce blockbuster movies about nothing yet sell the movie based on the power of its eye popping special effects and catchy soundtracks.

Growing up watching movies filled with crawling ants and amoebas floating around the screen, which I thought then was OK, instilled in me the idea that Filipino movies were bad, especially when compared to American films.

But despite this, I missed old movies because of the nostalgia I feel whenever I see these old movies being replayed on TV. time travel. But its telling that the Philippine movie industry has no plan to restore or digitally enhance these old movies. 

Anyway, I heard on the news that some mainstream, money making, blockbuster and microcephallus causing movies were off the MMFF's list and instead the festival focused on the artsy, alternative and indie movies. This is an injustice especially to the Filipinos who love these movies, this according to an actor who produced one of the movies. Baahhh, I say. 

But this step taken by the MMFF is telling. I could only theorized that even the most objective member of the festival organizers realized that movies with sequels running into the decades is an indication of  artistic atrophy. How many sequels does it take for a movie to exhaust its logical continuity? How many sequels before it turned into the surreal-mind numbing zone of inanity and insanity? How much lime is there in a piece of lemon?

The formula is simple, if it made money this year, it would in the next and the businessman in these producers have one primary goal, the box office at the expense of artistry and creativity.

I guess the MMFF got tired of this. Anyway these are the MMFF entries:

  • Sitsiritsit
  • Birds
  • EJK
  • Manila Scream
  • Mga Bitoon sa Siyudad
  • Mitatang
  • Mono
  • Passage of Life
Nope, I have no plans of watching any one of these. No PBB yet.

Ever the SM and why I even bother with this post...

I feel a sense of loss when this facade was changed to the
blue and grey color of SM malls. I don't why this place did
not make money but the moment the place opted to allow
trinkets sellers and pirated stuff vendors inside the mall
it became the air conditioned tiangge which sells stuffs you
are not supposed to find in malls.
I have been reading a lot of rants and grunts about the traffic in Ortigas Extension nearing junction Cainta. The object of the hatred is the newly opened SM east Ortigas. The place used to be Ever Gotesco Ortigas but it did not make money so SM bought the place and renovated it to the SM east Ortigas Mall.

Now, it doesn't take a genius to figure out what's wrong here. In fact, my dog could very well figure out the culpas here (I'm not talking about the whote stuff found inside the foreskin of the male genitalia here, I'm referring to the faults).

Go figure!
Ortigas Avenue has been widened to eight lanes (I think) four on each side. The widening was done to ease the traffic jams and to accommodate the growing number of vehicles in Rizal. Since most of the remaining acreage in the province has been converted into residential subdivision and industrialized zones add the growing numbers of squatters (or to be PC, informal settlers) that migrate to the province due to its growing industry and proximity to Metro Manila and what you have is what you got. 

I like the old Ever Gotesco facade.
But the road widening stopped at the Cainta, Junction. The eight lane road is connected to a two lane that then branch out into the  ortigas extension and the Bonifacio Avenue leading to downtown Cainta, the bottle neck. And the rest is a classic case of cause and effect.

Anyway, when Ever Gotesco closed shop, the traffic eased up a little bit. Aside from the vehicles going in and out of the mall, there was also a significant decrease in pedestrian traffic. But now that SM East Ortigas is now operating, the bottkeneck plus the private vehicles going in and out of the mall, plus the pedestrian traffic, add the jeepney terminals that automatically pops up in malls, what we have is what we got.

Anyway, I propose a very simple solution, let's stop going to SM malls because in the end our patronage keeps this traffic generators in business. I mean, to think that we promote Henry Sy as a business guru and yet his business is doing this to us, the amount of pollution, lost time, stress, materialism etc. is it all worth it? Shetland.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Siomai my love for you

I was on my way to the old Taytay public market to buy lunch when I had the irresistible urge to buy
siomai from this cart. 

Since the two kilometers of main road in dowtown Taytay has been under rehabilitation and the traffic diverted, the place has turned into a street vendor's paradise and one big parking lot.

I saw about five or more of these carts, about one every ten meters and they are selling like hot cakes.

They offer various flavors: pork, beef, chicken, shark's fin, and Japanese. These siomais cost 15 pesos for four pieces. Cheap.

I have tasted the pork and the beef and to tell the truth, I could not tell the difference.

While chewing, I was thinking of words to describe the taste and one that came to me up was paper. But as I continue on, there seemed to be traces of meat but not that meaty, more like a shrimp-ish taste and the texture was pasty.  

The siomais were sprinkled with fried garlic which did not taste like garlic. In fact it had no distinct taste. Definitely it's not garlic, at least the garlic that I know of. Just like the siomais, it tasted like crunchy paper, I had the suspicion that this stuff, due to the texture, was made of grated coconut meat, dehydrated and then fried but the absence of the coconut taste denied it. So, I could only imagine what these stuff was.

Poured on top the crunchy garlic-not-really-garlic was the chili sauce which was a teaspoon of cooking oil with fried chilis floating on it.  It  was an attempt at chili garlic sauce that failed miserably. The soy sauce was obviously diluted with water and finally there's the sliced calamansi and tooth pick to finish the serving. But to tell the truth, after much thought about it, I like the stuff and at 15 pesos for four pieces, don't expect much.

After the siomai, I walked to where my motorcycle was parked and I saw this deep fried breaded liver. I cannot resist walking passed by the pedicart without spearing one and dipping it on the vinegar sauce. I just have to take a bite.

Of course, I cannot help but think about the saquce. I was thinking about the number of people who have dipped and re-dipped their fried liver in it and the thought of other peoples saliva mixing with the sauce. According to studies, this common dipping sauce thing transmits infectious diseases like kissing.

Aside from the sauce, I was also thinking about the liver itself. Did the liver came from freshly slaughtered animals or did it come from "double dead" animals. So all these thoughts stopped me for a while and made me think but then the smell and the...I couldn't resist it.

Street foods could very well kill me.

My EDSA III experience and stuffs about the anti-Marcos rally

  It seems that the anti-Marcos people are trying to spark a movement (snowballing is what this is called, I think, though we don't have snow here, ) to reverse President's Duterte's decision to allow the burial of Manong Ferdie in the LNMB.

I was watching the news last night and I was a thinking, here we go again, is this another EDSA in the making? To tell the truth, I have grown tired of rallies and I know that I'm not the only one who feels this way because these demos cause horrendous traffic jams. Though my only experience in joining one was during the pro-Erap's EDSA III when me and my friends went to Ortigas in support of Erap, I could say, that demos or rallies or whatever you call them is not for everyone.

It was an experience that will never happen again. I mean, the effort and the energy spent to support someone who I did even knew personally and would never care for me, the discomfort of being surrounded by thousands of people behaving like one mindless mass was enough for me to say, hey, that was stupid!

Image result for eraps edsa

We were young (not that young really, I guess the better description would be: we were bums then and had nothing better to do) and it was really a spur of the moment decision. We took advantage of the free jeepney rides provided by politicians to transport people from Rizal to the rallying area in Front of Robinson's Galleria. There were rumors of free food, which there was, and drinks (ice tubig) and of course there was the curiosity, the experience.  But in all honesty we thought that Erap was the hope of the masses and wedid vote for the guy. We later found out that most people in the rally were INCs. Curious as we were, we did not really belong there. 

The morning after, saw the video footage of the violence and the arrests in Mendiola,  I realized how foolish our actions were considering that we almost went along with the march to take Malacanang. Not worth my life.

Anyway, to the present.

Rallies are being held in opposition to President Duterte's decision to bury Apo Marcos at the LNMB. It seems that the Marcos-not-a-hero movement is expecting their rallies to snowball and culminate into a nationwide "people's movement" with enough number and decibel to change the president's mind.

Judging from the number and the composition of the rallies, I predict that the movement will fizzle into a moist fart in a few days. Of course, I could be wrong.

Here we go:

Renato Reyes and his group. I don't personally know this guy. All I know about Mr. Reyes is that every time I turn on the TV to watch news, his face would be there spewing out statements in pure Filipino in that UPish manner in a cadence that I could only say was trademarked by professional demonstrators. Listen to him and his comrades talk, check the rhythm, check the volume, check the angry neck veins and arteries, and look in their eyes, they're all clones. 

It seems to me, that he and his group would rally for any reasons under the sun. But I'm not saying he and his group is bad or evil, it's just that with the way he hugs the headline, I can only opine that he is up for a congress or a senate seat like his predecessor Teddy casino and his ilks. 

I saw former senators Saguisag and Tanada speaking in the Black Friday rally yesterday. These
guys are the real McCoy, genuine freedom fighter who fought and suffered during the martial law era. But I don't think they have the influence like they did during the eighties and the nineties. But seeing them in the rally, I think, gives the rally a bit of credibility especially to those who knew these two ancient ones. But I don't think they could contribute number to the movement.

College students. My daughter is a second year college student at the PUP. One of her first experience with rally is when a professor asked them to attend an activity only it turned out to be a protest of some sort. I am not saying this is the norm but there are professors who give "considerations' to students who join rallies.

According to estimates, majority of the anti-Marcos are college students. This is not surprising, college students have always participated in rallies knowingly or unknowingly. What is confusing is the lack of GnX and Ys, the middle agers, who are the connecting generation between the Millennials and the baby boomers or the senior citizens who truly experienced living under martial law. Why is that? I guess the GenX, doesn't give a damn that much. Our generation have been through a lot of EDSAs and seen a lot of political dramas that I think we are better off doing something else. speaking for myself of course.

 A lot has been said about this photo, but honestly, grade school pupils? 

Again, I don't care about Marcos. He is now buried at the LNMB, a national shrine where K9 are also buried. Whether Marcos is a war hero or not, is another thing which the anti-Marcos should take to the court to settle the question once and for all and they'd better be prepared to be disappointed.