Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What is your favorite film from Asia-Pacific?

CNN's Screening Room is having an online poll for the "favorite Asia Pacific movie of all time." The winner will receive the CNN APSA Viewers Choice award at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards on November 11.

From the Philippines, there's Ishmael Bernal's Himala, which, really, is probably the best Filipino movie of all time, although Oro, Plata, Mata comes close. But judging from the stampede that happened at UP when its sequel premiered at the UP Film Center, Scorpio Nights is close to many Filipino hearts (or loins). (I also saw the Korean remake of Scorpio Nights and it is also quite good, but not many Filipino have seen it.)

Among the nominated films for the poll, the two best for me are Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Wong Kar Wai's Chungking Express. I can still vividly remember the communal awe of the audience at the theater when Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi started leaping over walls and fighting for the possession of Chow Yun Fat's sword. Chungking Express is also a gem of a movie, Wong Kar Wai's best work before his artistry got the better of him and he started producing smoky films with extended soundtracks.

Infernal Affairs
is also really good. I liked it so much I refuse to this day to watch Scorsese's The Departed, its Hollywood remake.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Recto's racist remark

NEDA Secretary Ralph Recto could have just said Secretary Margarito Teves was tired after a long day. It would have been perfectly understandable. But instead he explained Secretary Teves's prematurely telling President Arroyo of a US$ 10 B World Bank support fund by saying that the latter was probably confused who the white guy he was talking with in Washington DC. After all, according to Secretary Recto, "They're Caucasians and they look alike."

I think such a comment is racist. You often hear it from wisecrackers who dismiss Asians. There are even some people who seriously suspect that this "they all look alike anyway" mentality also partly explains why the United States chose to drop the atomic bomb in Japan and not in Germany.

I bet Secretary Recto would also feel bad if Caucasians confuse him with, say, Secretary Romulo Neri, his predecessor at NEDA, when he goes abroad. We don't like it when we hear Caucasians say we Asians all look alike. We also should not say it about them. Because, truth of the matter is, Caucasians don't look anywhere alike. One would have thought Secretary Recto knew better.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Charge it on the general's card

This is the second time a general's wife is travelling with too much cash. First, there was General Garcia's wife; now, there's Gen. Eliseo de la Paz, his wife and P6.93 M in St Petersburg. In what seems to be an overreaction especially given Secretary Puno's assurance that nothing was irregular, Gen. Verzosa is suspending all foreign travel by our police. What if there's an important urgent foreign travel that needs to be done?

Really, the solution to this "contingency fund" problem is simple. The PNP should issue an expense account credit card for the the generals travelling. That way, all expenses are easily accounted for and no need to carry too much cash.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Mikee Arroyo breaks rank with Malacanang

Funny thing happened the other day. We were approaching congressmen at the House to have them sign a petition asking the Austrian parliament to cancel an onerous incinerator loan. The petition was launched by Cong. Edcel Lagman and Cong. Risa Hontiveros-Baracquel a week ago. Guess who agreed to sign it? Mikee Arroyo.

President Arroyo vetoed the cancellation of payment for that loan in the 2008 national budget.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Job opening

Wanted: News Researcher

GMA News Research's primary task is to beef up the content of GMA News and Public Affairs programs with comprehensive and accurate information. We provide daily research support and generate content for GMA-7 and QTV-11 newscasts including Balitanghali, 24 Oras, News-on-Q and Saksi.

We are looking for a news researcher.


* Attend to research requests from news reporters, writers, and producers
* Write, edit and upload content to an electronic database of reference materials
* Generate supplementary content for GMANews.TV, GMA Network's official news website
* Write special reports for GMANews.TV and produce stories for the newscasts
* Train and mentor new researchers


* Experience in working for a media organization or related field
* Bachelor's degree in social sciences or related fields
* Excellent general knowledge
* Strong interest in news and current events
* Strong research and writing skills
* Ability to gather, understand and interpret data
* Internet and social media savvy
* Knowledge in website creation and maintenance
* Unfazed by multi-tasking and able to work under time pressure
* Avid reader
* Willingness to learn

If you'd like to apply, kindly e-mail your resume to For more info about GMA News Research, please visit

What does the Bible say about contraceptives?

No, there is no mention of condoms and the IUD in the Bible.

There is, of course, the first ever command uttered by God to man to go forth and multiply, but arguably with more than 6 billion people in the world (spewing greenhouse gases and destroying the environment), that directive has already been accomplished. God killed Onan for coitus interruptus, but also arguably he probably was killed not for his pioneering the withdrawal method but because of his shirking of the responsibility under Levirate marriage to raise a child for his brother with his brother's widow.

Marriage, the Bible says, is for the raising of children but Proverbs 5:18-19 also instructs the couple to delight in each other without mentioning children (so probably it's okay for a married couple to have sex even if they don't plan a pregnancy anytime soon).

As in many other issues, the Bible is not really explicit in its condemnation of contraceptives and most Filipinos probably do not find the responsible use of contraceptives by a married couple morally reprehensible. They probably are railing against the RH bill not so much for the bill itself as for the suspicion that it might usher in down the road legalized abortion, which is universally detested in the country even by, surprisingly, the feminists. I once saw an interview of Cong. Liza Masa and she says she personally does not countenance abortion. This is, of course, quite surprising because you would expect a feminist to say it's all up for the individual woman to decide.