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Showing posts from April, 2008

The road to 2010

Danton Remoto
Remote Control

The road to heaven is paved with good intentions. So is the road to 2010.

It is still two years before the elections, but the battles have already begun. In the third district of Quezon City where I live, the councilors running for vice-mayor have strung many tarpaulins showing their fat, oily faces. Since they would be vacating their seats they have warmed for three terms, they have included photos of their wives, or sisters, or brothers, along with the pet poodle named Fifi to complete the family portrait. Of course, the wives, sisters, or brothers would run for councilors two years from now. In the Philippines, this is not called a political dynasty. It is called royalty.

Some of them are wise about it, in the Tagalog meaning of wise as in ”tuso.” They are offering 50 percent tuition discounts at some middling school or other. And when the poor people of Escopa would go to the schools, they would be informed that the councilors’ discount…

brave danilo of cebu

my apologies for not posting anything in the last week or so.

i am teaching six units this summer. introduction to poetry and books of the century. in poetry, we have finished japanese poems and are now in phil poems in english. in the 20th century icons, we have finished a portrait of the artist as a young man by james joyce and mrs. dalloway by virginia woolf. on monday we will have migraines with the metamorphosis by franz kafka.

but the more kafkaesque events happened to danilo of cebu, victim of the black suede scandal, aka the cebu rectal surgery scandal.

ang ladlad has issued a statement, shown everywhere -- radio, tv, internet, newspapers, blogs. i have appeared on tv, in the radio, answered interviews at 6 am, 7 am, 8 am, appeared in shows that taped at 1 pm, 8 pm, etc. i would go home dead tired -- as tired as i was in the last elections, and sleep the sleep of the just. to be woken up by a 6 am call from an am radio station asking for updates. anthony taberna of umagang kay ga…

Ang Ladlad slams discrimination of rectal-surgery victim

Media Statement
released 1:00 P.M.
April 18, 2008

Ang Ladlad, the national organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Filipinos, has slammed the doctors and nurses involved in the rectal operation of a gay patient that was later uploaded in YouTube.

“This is a violation of the patient-doctor confidentiality that is part of the Code of Ethics of a medical practitioner,” said Danton Remoto, chairman of Ang Ladlad and Associate Professor of English at Ateneo de Manila University. “What rubs salt on the patient’s dignity was the fact that the doctors and nurses were shown saying anti-gay statements while making fun of the sedated patient. In this case, it is not the patient but the doctors who are sick.”

The came stemmed from the rectal operation of “Jan-Jan,” a 39-year-old gay man who had sex in Cebu City on New Year’s Eve. He claimed he was drunk and his partner inserted a perfume canister in his rectum, which necessitated an operation on January 3. The operation was done at the …

How to survive as a nouveau poor: a mother's guide



Posted April 15, 2008

I wrote this piece in the mid-1980s – after returning Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. had been shot at the airport and the People Power Revolution that swept his widow, Cory, into the presidency. I dug this up in the journal I kept during those turbulent times.

I am publishing this because I want to ask – have times really changed for our poor but beautiful country? It’s written from the point of view of a mother who is a public-school teacher. The mother is both the fulcrum and focus of the Filipino family, keeping it balanced, not teetering to despair, or to doom.

1. Every morning, repeat this line after waking: we’re better off than a million others. At least we have fried fish and tomatoes for breakfast. Then rise form bed, wash your face and mouth, proc…

Campaign coverage mostly on sorties, personalities

Avigail Olarte

(I am reprinting this informative article from pcij to help our readers analyze the 2007 election campaign and results. Please note that Ang Ladlad was the most covered party list with almost 4.28 minutes. If a one-second exposure can be quantified at P10,000, then we got almost P4.28 million of free publicity. And that was only from January to February, 2007. Imagine...)

CAMPAIGN sorties, jingles, slogans, and personalities dominated media’s coverage of the senatorial elections in the first three weeks of the campaign.

This was one of the key findings of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) in its initial report on the 2007 elections coverage. From February 13 to March 2, CMFR monitored the coverage of the three major dailies — Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star, and Manila Bulletin — and six television news programs on ABS-CBN 2, GMA 7, ABC 5, and NBN 4.

CMFR said readers and viewers were “treated to a daily log of the candidates’ cam…

Of blogging, the internet, and anonymity

Danton Remoto
Remote Control

Of blogging, the internet, and anonymity

The blog of Brian Gorrell has had 2 million hits, has been written about in the papers and featured on Channel 2, and discussed in radio shows, reunions, e-groups, chatlines and, yes, other blogs.

Since I teach Introduction to Fiction to freshmen students at the Ateneo, when we study character I tell them to look at the motivation. Brian’s motivation here is both a paraphrase and an allusion to a line from Shakespeare: ”Hell hath no fury like a woman [in this case, gay man] scorned.”

Allegedly, Brian, who ran a flower farm in Australia, took a visit to Boracay and, like all of us, fell in love with the island paradise. There, he met a group of high-powered, social butterflies with mega-media visibility. Brian from the boonies was amazed, perhaps titillated, even proud, to have fallen into such a fabulous group.

And he also fell in love with one of them, a guy who, if you believe the blog and the comments it…

Gay universe

LODESTAR By Danton Remoto
Philippine STAR
Monday, April 14, 2008

Aside from Ladlad 3: An Anthology of Philippine Gay Writing that Neil Garcia and I just published, two new titles show the strength of the gay universe. One comes from the tower of academe; the other from the street corner sangfroid of a beauty parlor.

Ronald Baytan has finally collected his poems in The Queen Sings the Blues (Poems 1992-2002), published by Anvil, the Manila Critics Circle National Book Award winner for Publisher of the Year. In these 47 poems, Baytan show the arc swinging from desire to doom, love to loss, beginning to ending. It is “a decade’s musings on the catwalks of desire . . . from bathhouses to bars, from trains to rooms, from the closet to the stage. . .”

Lest my readers from the Catholic Women’s League and the Opus Dei berate me again for destroying their Monday mornings, let me just quote for you the less “scandalous lines” from this book. For truly, Baytan belongs squarely (pun intended) to tha…

just came back from hanoi

i was in hanoi for a week to attend a microsoft-sponsored conference on asia-pacific teachers. my paper, phil star, sent me there. i did write a blog entry and was about to post it when the internet went dead.

yes, vietnam is like manila. but they have enough rice, less pollution because there are a million motorcycles and bikes on the road. the way they drive is like us, too. pedestrians are seen as nuisance on the road, and have to be flattened.

my heart skipped a beat when i saw from afar the mausoleum for ho chi minh. this poet, president, revolutionary of viet nam speaks to us still, in the burning and beautiful poems he wrote. i teach his works for my asian lit/ third world lit class at ateneo.

hanoi is full of lakes. 130 in all. the newspaper, vietnam times, looks like a high-school paper. coffee is great. we stayed in sheraton hanoi, which is very elegant. i met some filipinos in the hotel (musicians, executives, Ayala Alabang tourists) and yes, they asked me about 2010. i smiled…

Final exams

It is a week after final exams. I saw my students going to Kantina, the drinking place beside Shakey's, on Katipunan. For them hell week is over. Well, it is still here. I am down to the last section, having checked the three other sections. Grades are due tomorrow, online.

In the midst of these, of course, life moves on. My mother tells me that we will have a super big family reunion in the third week of May, in Albay. So I am having things printed: my photos in pocket size, at the back of which are things helpful for students -- measurements, conversion rates, etc. My former Ateneo teacher, Lou Vidal, is also helping me do a komiks version of my life. How to distill 45 years into four pages of komiks? A friend of mine has offered to print it, for free. I am also gathering lots of used/ second hand books, to be donated to the book-less public libraries of the state colleges in the Bicol Region.

My eyebrows fly when so-called political operators tell me that I need P100 million, or …