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Showing posts from January, 2010

Ain't I glad

Now that the Senate has shown itself for the circus that it really is, ain't I glad I did not file an appeal with the Comelec when it disqualified me from running for senator because I did not have a party.

I could have had a party. One presidential candidate included me in his list, but slid down to vice-presidential candidate and was heard, as the writer of macabre tales Edgar Allan Poe would put it, nevermore. I tried contacting his party, but you have to talk to 10,000 layers of the hierarchy before you could get a clear word in. Chaos is the name of their game.

I could have had a party. Another presidential candidate sent an emissary and I kinda liked the candidate, but they were offering ten percent of what a senatorial campaign needs. A senatorial campaign needs PhP 200 million. What will I do with PhP 20 million? It won't even pay for everything when the gun starts to bark on February 9 -- the start of the official campaign season.

I could have had a party. I kinda liked …


Ang Pahayagang Malaya
January 26, 2010

‘Is it perhaps because Enrile knows more? Or is it plain and simple cowardice?’
WHAT would you do when someone calls you, publicly and openly, a "coward"? What ought you do if the one assailing your character is a fellow senator?

Which brings to mind the legendary politician and statesman, Jose Bayani Laurel Jr., eldest son of the wartime president. Tio Pito with whom I was extremely privileged to be associated, was not only an astute political player, but more so, a principled man with the courage of his convictions.

After years of martial law, when it became quite clear that the allegedly "noble" ends of authoritarianism were being abused, and after Marcos had declared his Kilusang Bagong Lipunan not just a movement but a political party, effectively condemning the NP and LP into political limbo, Speaker Laurel spoke openly against authoritarian rule. "Sobra na. Nais pa yatang maugatan sa kapangyarihan" (…

My email

I have received some inquiries on how to reach me via email. Pls send email to me at:

Ang Ladlad might be able to run. I am not running as party list rep because I lost in the 2007 congressional elections and the law forbids me from running under the party list system. We will have five names for Ang Ladlad.

Good times should lie ahead. I hope the clouds are beginning to lift. Have a happy weekend.

On poetry and 'Singing in the forests'

KRIPOTKIN By Alfred A. Yuson (The Philippine Star)
Updated January 18, 2010 12:00 AM

I met Indian poet and dancer Tishani Doshi at the 6th Ubud International Writers and Readers Festival in Bali in November 2008. Not only was the lady gorgeous; she read her poetry well. And her poetry seemed as luminous as she looked.

I’ve since discovered that she’s also written a novel, The Pleasure Seekers, which might have already been released by Bloomsbury of UK. Born in Madras in 1975 to a Gujarati father and Welsh mother, she was educated at Queens College, in North Carolina, and at Johns Hopkins University. She worked for Harpers & Queen magazine in London, but has since moved back to India where she works and performs with a contemporary dance group all over the world and “only” moonlights as a writer.

Her first book of poems, Countries of the Body, won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 2006. She also won the All-India Poetry Competition that same year.

Here’s a poem of hers, …

144 party-list groups allowed to join polls

by Joel Zurbano
Manila Standard Today
January 16, 2010

The Commission on Elections has approved the application of 144 party list groups to join the May elections and vie for 55 seats allotted to them in the House of Representatives.

The Comelec en banc led by its chairman Jose Melo accredited Ang Ladlad and 143 other groups or less than half of the 306 groups that wanted to join the polls.

To qualify for a congressional seat, a group has to obtain at least two percent of the votes cast in the party-list system.

“Included in the list was Ang Ladlad as per the Supreme Court ruling that ordered Comelec to include it in the ballot with pre-printed names of candidates,” said Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal.

The Supreme Court ordered the Comelec Tuesday to include in the ballot Ang Ladlad, a pro-gay organization that had been disqualified last year by the second division of the poll body.

In its Nov. 11 resolution, the Comelec Second Division headed by Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer disq…

Bishops' gloves are off, urge snub of gays

The ignorant stand of these two bishops is the best endorsement for Ang Ladlad. I am sure there will be more tirades coming from the religious sector. They should read the Constitution first: there is no religious test for any political candidate. And there is a separation of Church and State.

Matagal nang patay si Padre Damaso.



TWO bishops have shed the non-partisan stand of the Catholic Church by urging the public against voting for Ang Ladlad as party-list representatives.

"Dapat walang bumoto para sa kanila sa darating na halalan sa Mayo… Ignore them so no danger," said Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes over Church-run Radio Veritas.

"Simple lang, huwag natin silang iboto," Baguio Bishop Carlito Cenzon said.

Bastes had already said supporting Ang Ladlad will not be good for the country.

"I believe such a party-list will not redound to the good of this nation," Bastes said.

Cenzon said he does not buy the claim of Ang Ladlad that they are …

144 party-list groups get Comelec nod

Even if this is not yet final, since the Supreme Court will still have to decide, seeing Ang Ladlad in that list already makes us happy -- and gay. Expect Ang Ladlad to win three seats and win by a landslide over its rivals.


By Vernadette Joven ( Updated January 15, 2010 05:43 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) today gave the green light to 144 party-list groups to participate in the May 2010 elections.

In issuing Resolution No. 8744, the Comelec en banc allowed 144 out of more that 300 party-list groups that filed their manifestations of intent to participate in the coming polls.

Gay group Ang Ladlad was among those given the go signal to run in the polls.

The poll body previously allotted 200 party-list organizations but since the approved list was lower than expected, the length of the ballot to be used in the elections may be altered.

Meanwhile, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said that although disqualified party-list groups could stil…

Why is Noynoy Aquino losing support?

By Tony Lopez
Tuesday, 12 January 2010
The Manila Times

As I have written in a previous column (December 17, 2009), the May 10 presidential election is going to be tighter than most people think.

A Social Weather Stations survey of December 27 to 28, 2009 found support for Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino 3rd for president has diminished, from 46 percent to 44 percent three weeks after a previous survey (December 5 to 10, 2009) also by SWS. On the other hand, support for Sen. Manny Villar has increased dramatically, by 6 percentage points, from 27 percent to 33 percent.
Assuming a high turnout of 45 million voters, 6 percent translates into 2.7 million votes—a big gain in just 20 days. That implies Villar is gaining 135,000 votes nationwide every day. That is not “soft” support, contrary to what former Sen. Frank Drilon insists. If Villar gains 100,000 votes every day for the next 120 days, he adds 12 million votes to his base by May 10.

At the start of January 2010, the former Senate pres…

My Teacher, Franz

By DANTON REMOTO | 01/12/2010

Francisco "Franz" Arcellana was my teacher. Like many writers, I first read him before I met him. On my own, I had read "The Mats" and "The Flowers of May" when I was a young and sullen undergrad at the Ateneo. Instead of reading my books on Financial Accounting and Business Statistics, I sat on the table beside the PS 9991 shelves in the Rizal Library every afternoon, and read the books of Filipino writers. One day, I said to myself, keeping the secret deep in my heart, one day I will also write a book.

I liked the subtlety of "The Mats," how it showed that at the core of the Filipino is his or her love for family. The word "Recuerdo" woven on the mat for the dead daughter captured this vividly. And "The Flowers of May," which won a Palanca Award in 1952, isn’t it in a way the flip side of "The Mats," since it talked about the death of Victoria recalled just as the rains of…

SC orders Comelec to count Ladlad in 2010 polls

O kitam? There is a God of divine justice who sees all, but just waits. Let us hope and pray the SC reverses the insane Comelec decision calling us immoral and not lettng us become the number-one party list in the 2010 polls.


SC orders Comelec to count Ladlad in 2010 polls

By Norman Bordadora
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 17:33:00 01/12/2010

MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court ordered the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Tuesday to recognize the gay group Ang Ladlad as an accredited party-list group and to include its name when the poll body starts printing the ballots for the May elections.

The directive was contained in a temporary restraining order issued by the court against a Comelec resolution disqualifying Ang Ladlad from the party-list elections in May.

Deputy Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez, in a late afternoon news conference, told reporters that Ang Ladlad’s appeal of its disqualification by the Comelec remains pending with the Supreme Court.

He said the Supr…

'Her' man

Ang Pahayagang Malaya
January 7, 2010

THE last reputable surveys done after the filing of certificates of candidacy show three presidential candidates at the top: Noynoy Aquino in the mid to high forties, Manny Villar and Erap Estrada in a virtual tie at 20 or 19 percentage points. And Gilbert Teodoro, the man anointed by the once humongous Partido Lakas-Kampi founded by Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, incumbent and long-staying president of the benighted republic, at low single-digit numbers. The rest are also-rans, at 1 percentage point or even lower.

Why the regime’s anointed is languishing at bottom lows, despite the vaunted party machinery, the well-placed ads projecting competence and intelligence ("galing at talino"), and despite inarguably better speaking and debating skills than the competition, is attributable to the public belief that he is "Gloria’s man", the chosen "one", the person she deems most fit to succeed and most acceptable to her…

Gays pursue party-list fight in Supreme Court

Gays pursue party-list fight in Supreme Court | 01/04/2010 10:26 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Gay party-list group Ang Ladlad is still intent on asking the Supreme Court (SC) to review the case for their party-list accreditation.

On Monday, Ang Ladlad was set to file a petition for certiorari, essentially asking the SC to review the decision of the Commission Elections (Comelec) to reject Ang Ladlad's petition for party-list accreditation last year.

Ang Ladlad claims to represent gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) communities in the Philippines.

In their petition for certiorari, a copy of which was sent to, Ang Ladlad said the resolutions "demonize the LGBT community by accusing them of indulging in imaginary acts of immorality that the Comelec deem as a 'threat to the youth.'"

In the same document, the group said the Comelec's presiding Commissioner said at a press briefing that "there is no distinction …