Tag Archives: thoughts

New Media, Indeed!

And I am not talking about internet, or augmented reality or other new tech. I’m more of an old school guy, you know. I still don’t have cable, but free TV adapted, actually, in quite wondrous ways. You still can’t watch free porn but there’s always Solenn Heusaff. Remember radio? they evolved, too. From an all-news format to an all-request station, you can program your radio-playing mobile phone into niche programming and recreate Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas without the guns and the crime because you live in the Philippines and there are more buses and speed bumps in side streets than there are luxury cars and 9mm ammunition. And print? Eh, you’re looking at it.

credits to spot.ph

credits to spot.ph

From a music player full of downloaded files on your phone to buying digital music by the single on iTunes, it may seem that radio is dead, if you don’t want to listen to music chosen by others to appeal to their taste and foisted upon you every day until the earworm goes through your brain on the other side. As noted by the late George Carlin, himself an ex-DJ, lots of music actually get chosen to be put on the radio by sheer catchiness, what is known as the song’s “hook.” This is the hook referred to by Vanilla Ice on Ice Ice Baby’s chorus, which incidentally was stolen/sampled from the song “Under Pressure” by Queen/David Bowie. This is what got Poker Face by Lady Gaga, Sugar Sugar by the Archies, and Napakasakit, Kuya Eddie by Roel Cortez famous. Recently, in order to keep people listening, radio stations repeatedly got the tried and tested formula of copying whatever works (which is currently loudmouthed DJs with opinions catchphrases and jokes colorful enough they are only suitable for 2 things, comedy bars or an all-stud beer session. It probably started with “Kailangan pa bang i-memorize yan?” until the irritating “Mehganun?!” and today’s “*blank*paMOR!” Hearing the Visayan or Ilocano language is good, but more often, when you only hear the medium, it only gives you a warning that the next joke will make fun of a stereotyped “probinsyano.” And now you can listen to sexual jokes on the radio in between playing One Direction and Taylor Swift songs;you know, songs your eight-year old love. Things got bad enough that NU 107.5 closed down a few years ago.

Now the good news. 92.3 FM got bought by Manny Pangilinan and got turned into an all-news FM station. This is one thing that I really wished for when Ondoy hit and I got stuck in the hospital morgue overnight (it is a teaching hospital). Since mobile phones which have radios built in (as opposed to downloading an app) only have FM on it, there will be times that the Facebook newsfeed won’t be enough. Or if you prefer formal news, like when you get aroused on hearing of the latest turn of events about Mamasapano congressional hearings but online news agencies can’t create or speculate web content fast enough, you can always get a phone patch through the radio news.

Niche programming is back, in a way. There is no more NU 107.5 but Tiger 22 Media Corporation put out 2 stations for 2 different kinds of people: people who wish they are rockers and people who wish they’re in a club. That’s Jam 88.3 and 99.5 Play FM for you. Of course you can always convert to mp3 format that youtube video of Elvis Presley singing “Suspicious Minds” so Jam 88.3 has the Merch Crate, a promo tied in with their Facebook page that gives the lucky wiener a gift package full of souvenir items from local rock bands. 99.5 Play FM also has mixes straight from club DJs themselves, which will help you get out of that boring office. Just lock yourself in a sweaty closet and smoke cigarettes (please don’t try this). The dark and stuffy atmosphere and you will think that ‘there’s that cute guy over there, mind you don’t steal HIS cute guy.’

For stuffy, “amoy lupa”-types (we prefer the term, “old soul”), you always have 100.3 DZRJ with songs mostly from the 60’s and covers by Ramon Jacinto. You also have 98.7 FM (Master’s Touch) for classical music and Christian talk radio. There is a surprise as well if you go over to 104.3 DWBR. This is actually a government-run radio service that churns out surprisingly good quality music from the 30’s down to the 80’s. If you can stand the newsreaders with bad Filipino accents (as in p/f/b/v issues and diction), the news content is actually good that propaganda is not as bad as on the TV channel PTV4. Larry Henares, though he mostly quotes other people’s opinion columns, is always good.

rjacinto

For television, I am not talking about television series or the “Mahiwagang Black Box” sold by ABS-CBN to people too cheap to commit to cable yet can’t get enough for their Forevermore fix. Some TV channels have also changed, and what wonderful changes. Channel 9 I think is still with Solar and is now named CNN Philippines. It is not all news though. Bogart the Explorer appears in a comedy documentary reminiscent of Strangebrew and Matanglawin. Channel 5 still keeps pirating other TV channels’ stars, but their MovieMax features that dubs foreign movis in Filipino is so well-entrenched and popular, pirated DVDs actually record these and sell the dubbed copies. The government channel, PTV4 also has an innovation: Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office has 6/58 now and will give new bounds to exciting millions of Filipino people.

Well, it turns out these things are very awesome only when there is no free internet connection to be had. Key is, you have to know what to look for in order to enjoy them.


Words Misused by “Journalists,” or Reasons I Don’t Like Pinoy Network News

I’m a frustrated journalist, make no mistake about it. Thus, I can honestly say I type this piece with some envy. I once dreamed about a reporter myself, but not as Clark Kent, but as Peter Parker! But that is material for another post.

I got off on a good foundation as well, not learning through tabloids and thinly disguised editorials on TV. It was back in 3rd year high school Journalism. This was an elective subject, separate from the English we have been having for the past 2 years at the time. In our school, “elective” does not mean optional. Rather, this is that one subject per school grade that the curriculum makes students take to fill in one period. When I was in 3rd year, it was Basic Accounting and when I was in 4th year, it was Speech. The teacher was also special, as she was newly graduated. I do not know if she was idealistic or if it was her lifelong dream to teach, I have lost contact with her after graduating as she must have switched to another school, or she might have just followed other teachers and went abroad. When it was time for the subject, it was not the usual homework, lecture and seatwork plus assignment model. I must be getting old, but I found that novelty appealing. It gave me a new way to see the world, even though I did not continue to be a reporter. I still like the way I had to watch network news and not care about the content, but how the news gets made, done and served…

More Fun in the Philippines

More Fun in the Philippines

which gets me to the point of this article. Usually, people doing the reports are great. Like Atom Araullo or Maki Pulido, they brave real danger to bring you the news that matters. Even better when they can provide unbiased views of a certain issue that should be monitored by the the masses (an overused word by politics), more too often the stakeholders (this is a very overused word, but in corporate, not journalism) follow better than they follow Maya and Sir Chief. It used to be there was only CNN for you to get news 24-hours a day. Now you get ANC, which is still on cable, but you also get NewsTV on VHF and AksyonTV on UHF. We even get an all-news station on FM radio! But then sometimes you get these, shortcuts and booboos, dahil hindi na nakakatulog ang tagapagbalita:

1. Emotional/Emosyonal – No one cries anymore. No one gets angry, or frustrated, or broken down. They all get “emotional,” as if the victim’s mother were just reciting from rote memory and she starts to let loose when she finally finds out the dead child that had been found by the barangay captain was really theirs. (where did this scenario come from?) Come on, be a little more colorful! Lola Rapper Priscilla knows more words describing human feeling than just “emotional.”

By the way, a certain technique used by unimaginative reporters to elicit the emotional response is to ask, “How do you feel towards: your third cousin’s death/child’s rape by her favorite stuffed animal/the pitchfork swinging mob who watched your sex video?”

2. Riding in Tandem – I admit this may well be an invention of the PNP rather than the press, as when I first heard this used this was from a senior police officer (I forgot who) and some newscasters still say, angkas. But nowadays, riding in tandem this and riding in tandem that. The word is so awkward it forces the sound of bad word construction (see the envy here of not becoming a journalist? This is it in action.) uninformed by the rules of grammar and style into my eardrum. In the US, they describe it as riding shotgun, not riding in/of/by shotgun. I previously thought tandem to be the exclusive domain of words describing synchronized swimming. Now it means a modus operandi of petty crime by which two people ride on one motorcycle, with one driving and one shooting. Imagine Carl Johnson of Grand Theft Auto San Andreas described as committing crimes through riding in tandem?

By the way, I have a theory that this term is to describe criminals who commit crimes on motorbikes… while riding a tricycle, quite common as well.

3. Tagalisms – These include words in English that are used as derived “Filipino” or “Spanish” words. Common words are kaso– for legal case; inabandona– for abandoned, left; and a lot of -yon words: promosyon, relasyon, or posisyon. Funny enough, kunsumisyon does not translate to the English word, consummation. What are these for? Are these used as a prop for English speakers wondering what the verb or noun could mean? Are the news editors (not the newscasters, it is more accurate for them to be called newsreaders) too pressed for time for the next deadline to bother reaching for their Vicassan or UP Filipino Dictionary or just *gasp,* lazy?

Sadly, this is not limited to the journalistic profession. I found many Filipino textbooks back in high school and college talking about kontraktuwalisasyon, komunismo, and recipe books calling for krema. Thinking of style, and how Filipino is really used today, it is acceptable to say, “Pinagtalunan (instead of pinagdebatehan) kanina sa Senado (eh, what the hell, give them that) ang usapin ng contractualization (instead of the word pretending to be Tagalog).

Perhaps I can offer a Rule of Thumb. If it sounds good on Eat Bulaga, the Filipinos can understand it, use it. But that is material for another post.

Like this one, this gets discussed in Eat Bulaga by Joey De Leon all the time.

Like this one, this gets discussed in Eat Bulaga by Joey De Leon all the time.


Kunyari Tweet #3

Ano ang meron sa Robust? Napansin ko meron itong horny goat extract; ano sa Tagalog ang HORNY GOAT EXTRACT??


The Sort of Person Who…

He is the sort of person who, when he says a girl is “haba ng hair,” really means: MUKHANG MANGKUKULAM.


Thoughts for the Day # Kopong-kopong

– The words baked steam has been running in my mind since yesterday. Why?

– Inspired by the Maritess and the Superfriends skit, I thought up a scenario: What if The Justice League went on a visit to the Philippines? They will encounter more than daing. They will experience bagoong, botya, fiestas, Commonwealth Avenue, fixers, Abu Sayyaf, and Mara Clara.


Thoughts for the Day: Ang Paggamit ng Pito

Words of Wisdom: Thou shalt not suck the air from a whistle.

Sa Filipino: Huwag higupin ang pito…lalo na kung ang gumamit ay si Diego.


Deconstructing Sunscreen Part 2

And here come my thoughts in italic:

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’99, if I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be
it. Here is the speaker, apparently facing a gym full of graduates. It is not implied that the speaker is a member of the faculty or even an alumnus of the school, so we might forgive if the advice turns out to be on sunscreen.

The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. This. And this. This too. Seriously, don’t ever think all science is absolute. Very little of it is.

I will dispense this advice now. I thought it was only the sunscreen?

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. This is the best and most dignified admission of old age I have seen. But power? beauty? Tell that to Mr. Volcano in the back row, the one with the very large mortarboard hiding his humongous zits. Tell that to Miss Sweetycakes, 16 years old. She’s in the hospital, pregnant from a baby sired by her own demon father.

But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.

You’re not as fat as you imagine. If you didn’t eat so much of McDonalds and Jollibee.

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. Sometimes it works. Have you ever heard of intuition?

The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday. The practical troubles, my dear. The coming rent with no money to show for it and the payday a week away, what to feed Miss Sweetycakes’ unborn child, they are as real as the beating of your own heart.

Do one thing everyday that scares you. And be scared everyday. Great.

Sing. If you sing well, good. If not, advertise where you are going to be ahead of time, especially to people who might not take your singing in stride. Or you can just pack an mp3 player on the train and listen, if you must have your “music.”

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss. Do Filipinos know how to?

Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself. It’s envy, not jealousy. Get your sins right.

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Practice what you preach, sinner!

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements. So when the sheriff hauls you in to court for estafa, show the judge the juicy details of your lovelife, but leave the sex videos at home. You might be slammed for contempt.

Stretch. How about compress?

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t. No comment. Hahahahahaha!

Get plenty of calcium. Eat chalk.

Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone. When they’re gone, you’d be walking like your cheap, lead-laden, Made-in-China plastic soldiers.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children,maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary, what ever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s. Banish the thought. Have fun! But don’t be too disappointed when you fail. (Not “if,” expect to fail. But fail with dignity.)

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.  An instrument of doom, device for the salvation of the world, cog in the machine, or a tool of Divine Sexy Time.

Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room. You can also dance horizontally. It is the most performed, but not universally acknowledged; enjoyable even without music, awesome when it is; most intimate, but not exclusive; dance in history.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them. Look intelligent, even if you are not. Then run for public office. Not reading directions but following them anyway nets one a good tour of duty in the military.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly. Are beauty magazines supposed to be read?

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Not too tightly on the neck or balls.

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young. Travel to both Ayala Avenue and Payatas, eat Haagen-Daz’s then learn what PSP means. If you plan on being a writer you will have a lot of material.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Am I the only person who thinks this is an innuendo for digestion problems?

Travel. Do not forget to pay the customs officer.

Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders. Escape cynicism if you can. Or write a blog or diary if you can’t.

Respect your elders. Respect if different from utter subservience. And forget about “pabaon.”

Don’t expect anyone else to support you.

Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you’re 40, it will look 85. Sometimes, I hope that it will.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Like I have been patient with you.

Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen. F*%k!