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Showing posts from January, 2011

The 200 M check: the smoking gun in Garcia plunder case

By Ellen Tordesillas
Tuesday, January 25. 2011
Malaya Business Insight

If the general public was appalled by the plea bargain agreement struck by Maj. Gen. (ret.) Carlos Garcia and the Office of the Ombudsman , one can just imagine how it was with Heidi Mendoza, the government auditor who was the lone prosecution witness who gave documentary evidence in the plunder case against the former military comptroller.

Mendoza, who withstood all kinds of pressure while she was investigating the Garcia plunder case, said it was so painful to hear and read government prosecutors say that the reason they had to accept Garcia’s offer for plea bargain was because the evidence was weak.

She said that’s what everybody was telling her and her team when they were conducting their investigation. Garcia was a smart guy, there was no paper trail in the more than P300 million that he was accused of filching from government funds.

But God works in mysterious ways. Over the weekend, in an interview with some membe…

UN cites Pinoys for outstanding online volunteerism

UN cites Pinoys for outstanding online volunteerism
01/22/2011 | 04:45 PM

A Filipino graphic artist and a medical technologist are among the winners of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) program’s “Online Volunteering Award 2010," the Philippine Mission to the UN disclosed over the weekend.

Professor Edwin Cuenco and Edith Marie Garingalao were cited for their outstanding contributions to peace and development, and to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through the internet.

"The Germany based UNV said Cuenco provided pro bono graphic design services to various NGOs, including the Association Against Women Export (AAWE)," the Mission said in a news release on its website.

Cuenco, an award-winning graphic designer who teaches graphic design at the Arkansas Tech University, developed promotional materials that “strengthened AAWE’s capacities to advocate against human trafficking and contributed to raising funds for the organization’s wome…

Philippine poetry in an unlikely place

Philippine poetry in an unlikely place
01/18/2011 | 11:19 AM

Share Although the Philippine International Arts Festival is scheduled for February, the first month of the year has already been filled with events for the artistically inclined.

On January 8 at the Greenbelt 5 Gallery, Palanca Hall of Famer Alfred "Krip" Yuson led a star-studded poetry reading featuring Ed Maranan, Enchong Dee, Cesare Syjuco, Maxine Syjuco, Trix Syjuco, Myrza Sison, Danton Remoto, Enrico Subido Juaniyo Arcellana, Reggie Belmonte, Leandro Leviste, Raymond Ang, Ronald Regis, Audrey Carpio, and Igan D' Bayan. Also featured were Karen Davila and Derek Ramsay, who as it turns out has been writing poetry since he was a child.

The event was en grande, as Krip Yuson (GMANews.TV editor-at-large) had warned me. And why not, since it was a celebration of the Philippine Star's 25th anniversary. But attending a poetry reading in the middle of a mall had a certain dissona…

A poetry reading unlike any other

Photo by Joey Samson

BY Krip Yuson
Philippine Star
17 January 2011

It was a reading like no other I’ve experienced. For one, it took place at the very heart of a posh shopping mall, the activity center called the Gallery on the second floor of Greenbelt 5 in Makati.

The celebration of The Philippine STAR’s 25th anniversary this year came off with a bang with the first of a full month’s series of literary activities involving the Lifestyle section’s writer-editors and regular contributing columnists — as conceived and spearheaded by Lifestyle Editor Millet Mananquil.

For January, the focus will be on Literature, with National Book store as a partner. The first Saturday was given over to a grand Poetry Reading, the conduct of which I was tasked to oversee, as well as emcee.

Millet and I initially came up with a roster of readers that numbered a full dozen — headed by full-fledged poets who also served as Star columnists: Juaniyo Arcellana, Ed Maranan, and Danton Remoto. Also asked to particip…

From the 19th century to the LRT

Writing Athwart: Adelina Gurrea’s Life and Works
By Beatriz Alvarez Tardio
Ateneo de Manila University Press

If you take the LRT-1 and LRT-2 trains, you will see the walls abloom with images and words from Spanish poems with Filipino translations, a pet project of Instituto Cervantes. Taking off from Poetry in the Tube of the London trains, this project has proved so successful that our National Book Development Board has done Tulaan 1 and 2as well, focusing on Filipino poets this time.

But one poet on the wall can claim both distinctions -- Spanish and Filipino poet -- with aplomb. She is Adelina Gurrea, represented in the gallery of Spanish poetry with a short, lyrical poem. But who was she, and why is she not even a footnote in our literary history?

This gap in her life and writing is filled by Beatriz Alvarez Tardio, who has just published Writing Athwart: Adelina Gurrea’s Life and Works, with a companion volume in Spanish titled La Escritura Entrecruzada de Adelina Gurrea. …


This is the second and the last poem I read in today's reading. I hope the children in the crowd covered their ears with their hands. Thanks to my friend Karen Davila of ABS-CBN fpr this photo, which she put in her Twitter account. Other twitter messages called my poems "naughty" and "sexy. az in." Hmmmm. I just woke up the afternoon crowd because I didn't want them to think that poems always need to be serious. Or boring. ;-)


I don't know what it is about your fingers
that caress my skin with a touch
like breath warm and urgent in the lobes
of my ears.

I don't know what it is about your lips
that kiss my nose, my face, and nuzzle
my neck, awakening the pores of my skin,
leaving them humming.

I don't know what it is about your tongue
that slides sinuously down my body, waking up
nipples from their deep sleep, making the navel
pout with envy as your lips reach the silk of my thighs.

I don't know what it is about your voice
that begins as a whisper int…

My Five-Year-Old Nephew Talks to Me

One of the poems I read at today's Philippine STAR and National Bookstore poetry readings. I wrote a draft of this poem ten years ago but lost it. This morning, it all came back to me the moment I woke up from my sleep, and wrote it down for today's reading.

My Five-Year-Old Nephew Talks to Me

Uncle, uncle, what happened to you?
Why do you have a smile as sticky as glue?

Then sometimes, my uncle, your smile is gone
Like the parts of my toy gun that came undone.

Some days you pass like a breeze in the house,
your feet floating above the cat and the mouse.

Then sometimes your face darkens like a cloud,
you are so silent, and your door is locked.

But one morning you went home with marks
on your neck -- small, red marks

That made my eyes widen
and so I asked Yaya Mirren

To spray Baygon in your room
so the mosquito that made your neck bloom

Into this red and sorry sight
will no longer bite you -- ferociously -- at night.

STAR, NBS present poetry reading session

STAR, National Book Store present poetry reading session today
By Millet M. Mananquil (The Philippine Star) Updated January 08, 2011 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine STAR launches its 25th year celebration today by focusing on the power and luster of the written word. Well, make that the spoken word.

For today, a poetry reading session will be presented by The Philippine STAR Lifestyle Section and National Book Store at Greenbelt 5’s second floor Gallery at 3 p.m., led by literary icon and word wizard Alfred “Krip” Yuson.

Joining him in an afternoon that will mix divine magic with sublime charm are Karen Davila, Derek Ramsay, Enchong Dee, Cesare Syjuco, Maxine Syjuco, Trix Syjuco, Myrza Sison, Juaniyo Arcellana, Reggie Belmonte, Leandro Leviste, Raymond Ang, Ronald Regis, Audrey Carpio, Enrico Subido, Danton Remoto and, last but not least, the venerable Ed Maranan – stalwarts all, in literature and media. Starbucks and Krispy Kreme will provide hot brew and sweet potence.


Love and EDSA

I am working at UNDP Philippines again, and go to work via EDSA every day. The traffic I had learnt to take in stride. I sleep, or spend my commuting time reading the billboards.

One small, black-and-white billboard had Maricar Reyes talking about diamonds. Beautiful and wide-eyed, below her face runs the test: "Because I take love seriously."

A few hundred meters away is the big, black-and-white billboard of Hayden Kho. No longer naked but covered in expensive, white winter wear, Hayden is promoting his perfume made in Paris.

When a female friend sent me the alleged sex video of Maricar and Hayden, I only watched it for a few minutes. The couple was making love, not having sex. I could not bear to pry into the privacy of two lovers sensuously kissing each other's faces and lips and bodies. They were fully naked, but it was not porn. It was erotica.

Her billboard upheld the importance of being seriously in love.

His billboard said a stink can be pushed at bay by a spritz of p…