Skip to main content


Showing posts from March, 2009

Roxas, Escudero jump in survey

Roxas, Escudero jump in survey
Shows youth vote emerging


I've said it before in this blog and am saying it now. 2010 will be a youthquake of an election. It will show the tremendous power of young people, of the Internet, of new media.

And for those running for senators in 2010 who still thumb their noses down at the young and the tech-savvy, mga kuya, magtanim na kayo ng kamote sa tabi-tabi.


By Gil C. Cabacungan Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 19:04:00 03/31/2009

MANILA, Philippines--With a little over a year before the elections, solons said the horse race for the presidency has become too close to call with age and the youth sector emerging as key factors in the people’s choice.

Palawan Rep. Abraham Mitra said the surge of Senators Manuel Roxas II and Francis Escudero in the recent surveys showed that the youth vote has started to kick in.

"The gain of Mar and Chiz are substantial from previous surveys while almost all of the rest are going down,’’ said Mitra, a p…

The Power of YouTube

By Danton Remoto | Remote Control | 03/30/2009 11:22 PM

YouTube has brought the power of vivid images right in your very face. I’m sure many of you have now seen the horrible video where the very obscure Boyet Fajardo ordered a cashier at Duty Free to kneel in front of him. Reason? The poor man did not know Boyet and asked him to show another ID to verify his identity, since Boyet’s credit card was unsigned.

And Boyet, puffed up with wounded pride because he is not known at Duty Free, ordered the hapless man to supplicate. Last I looked there were 600 comments to that video uploaded in You Tube. Rightly so, they skewered Boyet for his crassness and arrogance. But I take issue with some comments who said that Boyet is like that because he is gay. Hello? Where did your logic go? One is not connected to the other. I’ve known gays who used to be as poor as Boyet but infinitely more famous than him now – like my dear friend, Boy Abunda – who have remained humble. The ancient writers are righ…

Up close and personal

Businessworld Weekender magazine

It’s hard to be a woman, but it’s harder to become a woman. Female issues revolve around empowerment, battling for the same entitlements given to men — the right to be educated, to vote, to hold public office, to work and earn fair wages, to have marital as well as parental rights, to have religious freedom, to have bodily autonomy even — but one tends to forget that transgender individuals are struggling for the same fundamental rights sometimes taken for granted by the traditionally male and female members of society.

"As far as I can remember, I’ve always identified myself as feminine."?— Nadine The general appellation of "trans-gender" refers to "people who express their gender in ways that are not traditionally associated with their birth-assigned one" (cross-dressers or transvestites, genderqueers, androgynes), and who "identify with a gender opposite to the one assigned to them at…

Liberation, BB Gandanghari Style

Business World Magazine
March 27, 2009

As advocates for the Filipino lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, we watched in horror and disappointment as well-known members of our community, one after the other, came out on TV and other media disparaging Binibini (BB for short) Gandanghari. When BB Gandanghari first burst out into the scene, we, who make-up the "T" part of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community, were excited that at last someone as high profile as BB had arrived and could potentially bring our issues to the fore and with matching beauty, wit, charm and aplomb at that.

That she was met instead with ridicule, criticism and nastiness only confirmed one thing that we have been contending with for some time now: that the LGBT community needs to do more in terms of educating society in general about equality and respect for diversity particularly in regard to trans-gender issues. For if those pe…

Statement of Senator Mar Roxas on invitation of Kaya Natin!

Nagpapasalamat ako sa Kaya Natin! for including me in their array of choices for a reform president. I am willing to engage Kaya Natin! and all other reform groups so we can find ways to unite everyone who believes in the promise of change and a nation of worth which are the real issues in the 2010 elections.

The values and causes we share in the growing reform constituency are much, much larger than any of us. We represent, fight for and share the struggle with the people.

Kaya naman kami sa Partido Liberal ay masigasig na pinupursigi ang pagkakaisa ng lahat ng grupong nagnanais ng tunay na pagbabago sa ating bansa. Natutuwa akong sumama na sa atin ang mga lider at grupo ng civil society at ng mga sektor sa pagpapalakas pa lalo ng kilusang reporma.

Nagtitiwala ako na dahil tunay at taos-puso ang ating pagkakaisa sa adhikain ng pagbabago, makakamit natin sa 2010 ang ating minimithi na lideratong ipapatupad ng walang pasubali ang mga repormang aayos n gating bansa. Hindi ko pababayaan n…

Panlilio group asks Roxas to join primaries

I thought of this last week, and I am glad to be proven correct. I see here a realignment of forces between Kaya Natin's reformist bloc and the Liberal Party of Mar Roxas. Forget the Lito what's his name bloc of the LP. It's been flushed down the toilet bowl.

I am happy about the Kaya Natin-LP alliance, since LP -- the party to which I now belong -- has a long tradition of being reform-minded. Now, if only this streak of reformism burns brightly and turns into action in 2010, then Senator Roxas as presidential candidate, with Governor Among Ed Panlilio or Governor Grace Padaca as Vice-Presidential timber, will have a strong chance in the 2010 elections.


By Tina Arceo-Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 04:34:00 03/27/2009

MANILA, Philippines—Sen. Manuel Roxas II is being asked to join a US-style popularity contest that will select the standard-bearer of a political reform movement in the 2010 presidential election.

Governors Ed Panlilio of Pampanga and Grace Padaca …


The voice of Lorelei Fajardo emanating from TV is enough to make your skin break out in hives. But wait! You've got to hear what recent vapidity the lady is saying. Rita Gadi Baltazar made the Marcoses look and sound elegant with her wit and learned commentary, when she worked for the conjugal dictators in the 1970s and the 1980s. But Aling Lorelei -- who does not speak but lisps the most IQ-challenged statements this side of the dark world -- takes the cake for being as insubtanstial as a marshmallow. All sweetness, all lightness, and all, sheer air.

I am sure my friend Atty Adel Tamano would agree.


Philippine Daily Inquierer
March 28, 2009

The President of the Philippines expresses her contempt for public opinion by deputizing the most ill-informed, the least knowledgeable neophyte politician available to speak on her behalf. We mean, of course, Lorelei Fajardo, one of two deputy presidential spokespersons.

Her role is lip service, in a deeply literal sense. F…

Enrile: cha-cha will die in senate

Aba'y dapat naman. The posturings of the two Arroyo sons in Congress remind me of Bongbong during the heyday of the Marcos dictatorship. So cocksure, so arrogant, even if their brain cells are melting.

I think it will a go for the elections. And who are running in the administration slate for senators? Recycled losers, has-beens, people who do not even know what a blog means.

Some dum-dums will bite the dust in 2010.


by Karen Reyes-Caringal, ANC | 03/25/2009 10:31 PM

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said on Wednesday he is ready to take members of the House of Representatives to the Supreme Court if they insist on amending the 1987 Constitution without senators' participation.

"The House of Representatives is not the Congress of the Philippines, and the Constitution speaks of the power of Congress to amend the Constitution by three-fourths vote of all its members, meaning three-fourths of the House and three-fourths of the Senate," Enrile said in…

No fats, no femmes

By Danton Remoto | Remote Control | 03/17/2009 12:20 AM
Views and analysis

Raul, 29, is working as an editor at a government corporation. He used to be a journalist who now wants a quiet life, away from the noise and the lunacy of the press room. He is amused now by the slow, agonizing turning of the bureaucratic mill. It is in sharp contrast to his nights, which he spends hooked to the Internet.

After taking off his crisp Barong Tagalog and his tailored pair of pants, Raul has dinner at his condominium unit in Ortigas. He has a housemaid who comes to his house at 6 a.m., cooks and cleans for him, does his laundry and irons his clothes, and promptly vanishes at 6 p.m. It is a good schedule, right to the point, because after dinner, Raul begins to chat.

He goes to the MIRC, the yahoo chat groups, guys4men, and to In the world of cyberspace, he becomes a different person. Or persons, more like it. He wears different masks. The lurkers in the chat rooms do not fav…

'Transgender women are not gay men'

By Danton Remoto | Remote Control | 03/24/2009 12:03 AM
Views and analysis

My transgender friends in Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP) met with me for coffee one night in Makati and told me they want to write a rejoinder to my column about our common friend, BB Gandanghari. I was glad to listen to them and learn more about the transgender experience.

I attended a four-hour-long session with them two years ago about the transgender experience, but I guess I still have a lot to learn. I also admitted that, like many others, I was confused with the beautiful and effervescent BB Gandanghari. In “Pinoy Big Brother” two years and in some of her magazine interviews in the past two months, she confessed to being “a gay man” and not once did she use the word “transgender” to identify herself.

Be that as it may, I now give the floor to Dee Mendoza, Chairwoman of STRAP, who wrote a reaction letter to “articles written about and comments given to BB Gandangha…

Filipinos Deserve Better . . . An Open Letter to Every Filipino

Eirene Jhone Aguila
Wed, 18 Mar 2009 03:15:46 -0700

Dear Fellow Filipino,

I hope you can spare us a few minutes of your time.

With the Elections of 2010 fast approaching, time is running out for us to
choose well. Old faces… could it be that they got us to where we are now?
Almost everywhere you go, people are tired of the old faces, old
establishments, old ties and old players that seem to be our only options.
People ask, “*eto na lang ba*?” We say, “*why settle?*” We’ve been doing
that time in and time out and look where it has gotten us.

We personally believe we deserve better choices. We deserve to be given an
opportunity to choose good leaders. While there is always a big premium on
voters education and getting people to register, one of the loudest
arguments against this is – “*eh, wala namang pagpipilian – bakit pa*?” We
believe that Filipinos are not stupid – not *bobo*. Given a chance to vote
for leaders who have an uncompromising stand against graft, make the most
use of our scarce and limi…

Taboan: Philippine Writers' Festival 2009

By John Iremil E. Teodoro, Contributor
The Daily Tribune

A happy and historical gathering of wordsmiths with phallocentric and Manila-centric overtones


This is from my friend, the excellent poet and critic John Iremil Teodoro, who writes from the magical island of Panay. I wish I have his energy, his passion and his time to write. Writing needs necessary leisure.

But this budding, bading politician has shifted his directions. On this day alone, I have to attend not one, not two, but three political meetings.

And there goes that new poem out of the window. Sigh.


According to Ricardo de Ungria, a poet of the first magnitude and the director of Taboan: The Philippine International Writers Festival 2009, “the original idea was for a simple get together of writers from all over the country who have been recipients, directly or indirectly, of grants and awards from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). What happened last Feb. 11 to 13 was far from being simple a…

The Heart of Summer

BY Danton Remoto

A story that could not be published in the 1980s, because it was called porn and returned to me, gets published 20 years later, and wins a prize. Times must have changed.


On the first day of April, we moved to a row house in a subdivision carved out of the Antipolo hills. A row house is a nice word for houses that somehow managed to fit into 120-square-meter lots. They looked like matchboxes, really, built near the riverbank. The larger houses, of course, stood grandly at the center of the village, in front of the chapel. We’d be renting the house from the mayor’s mistress, one of three houses she owned there.

The living room of the house spilled over into the kitchen. The house only had two tiny rooms, but it was enough for us. The owner of the apartment we had been renting in Project 4 wrote to us (in pink stationery with the letterhead “Dr. Antonina Raquiza, Ph. D.”) to say that she’d raise the monthly rent to five thousand. If we couldn’t agree to her new terms,…

India leaders blog, text to plug in to young voters

Reuters | 03/18/2009 5:59 PM

MUMBAI - Video clips on YouTube, updates on Facebook, blogs, and an online voter registration campaign.

Welcome to a newly-wired India, where political parties are using text messages to send updates and leaders are sprucing up their pages on social networking sites in an effort to connect with the country's growing young and plugged-in generation.

With nearly 700 million people eligible to cast their votes in an April and May general election, the ruling Congress party and the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are devoting more time to first-time voters and the tech-savvy middle class.

The reasons are not hard to find: a booming economy that grew at about 9 percent in the last three years encouraged rapid penetration of Internet and mobile phone ownership, giving politicians tools to connect with even far-flung areas.

"We have 100 million first-time voters in the age group 18-24, and they are all most likely connected via the Internet and m…

Jessica Zafra knocks them down


Twisted 8: the Night of the Living Twisted is the latest reincarnation of the series of books that has made Jessica Zafra famous – or notorious, if you want to put it that way. But hey, along with the books of Ambeth Ocampo, Margie Holmes and, okay, myself, these are the only books from Anvil that get reprinted every year or so. In short, the demand is there, the readers are present – and we meet them headlong.

Ige Ramos of Zeus Books co-published this book, and in his wicked intro he writes: “Twisted 8: The Night of the Living Dead is designed like a non-linear novel with the titles of the essays as sub-headings. One can arbitrarily peruse the book, like an iPod in random mode. It contains exactly what one would expect from a Jessica Zafra collection: essays pertaining to cats, books, film, travel, tennis and personal diaries, plus 3 Bonus Tracks of unpublished stories. Zeus Books – the name Jessica and I agreed to…