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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Chasing My 'Sweat' Dreams

What do you think? 
     
                 Anyone who knows me and/or who has come into physical contact with me could tell you that I am nothing if not a profuse sweater.

Buy Now!
Techni-Ice: All I Want For Summer
               I literally sweat all the time and in amounts so unsettling you’d always think I just came from an intense workout – or an oven. The sad thing about all of this is that I don’t even do exercise nor do I bake, and still I’m often greasier than a lechon. I’m naturally just a sweaty guy.


            Needless to say, summer weather has never been kind to me given the abnormally active sweat glands that I’ve been endowed/cursed with. And even the least energy-consuming of human activities such as walking or just plain staring at the TV while sitting on the sofa could bring me to an amount perspiration equaled only by the amount of water in the La Mesa Watershed.


             It doesn’t matter if you throw me in a skydiving wind tunnel, my perspiration will always manage to come out like zits on a teenage boy’s face and dampen my spirits and t-shirt. 

           I wish I were exaggerating, but I’ve given up on trying to find ways to hold my sweat in and just embrace my hyperhidrosis (The medical term for “excess sweating”). So you could only imagine my massive ecstasy when I came across this contraption called Techni-Ice when we visited my aunt’s house in Manila last April.

Me ruining my friend's debut by sweating
profusely.
I was sulking in a living room chair while cursing the ridiculous summer heat wave at my Aunt’s home in Quezon City (Need I still point out that I was soaked with perspiration?) when my cousin noticed my armpit splotches and handed me a cool, puffy, frozen sheet of ice. I was vastly relieved by this offer though I didn’t know what to do with it at first. 


              My cousin said that I should slab it around my neck and body to douse the absurd heat. I did what I was told and to my surprise it was nothing less of amazing. It's like covering yourself in ice cubes without the unpleasant wetness!

When I asked what sorcery this was, she explained that it was Techni-Ice, something my aunt bought in Australia. It was something they used as a cold compress to beat the heat and to keep food and beverages cool and crisp on out-of-town family excursions.

At the back of mind, I was thinking what a convenience it would’ve been for me if I had one of these babies. I heard that they cost around 300 pesos and I was willing to spend some of my savings for some heat relief. But sadly, I didn’t know where to buy Techni-Ice.

I only coveted the Techni-Ice even more when she demonstrated how it worked. It was the coolest thing ever! She just ran water unto it, slid it in the freezer and in a matter of minutes, it was rock-hard solid and ready to help me fend off the heat! I remembered something about its New Millenium 4 Ply Construction inscribed at the back of the sheet and was wide-eyed at how ingenious our technologies have become.

A part of me (meaning all of me) was hoping that they would give me a Techni-Ice as a keepsake before we headed back home to Bicol. But unfortunately, they didn't. 


          The heat here in Bicol is probably just as vicious as that in Manila and I am so desperate to get my hands on some Techni-Ice that I’m willing to claw through mud and barbed wire for it. This is why I consider myself incredibly lucky to have found this blogging contest organized by Techni-Ice Philippines itself in no less than the last, I repeat, the LAST day of the competition!

Once I found out that I had only 4 hours before the deadline, I sprung into action and wrote this official blog entry for the Techni-Ice Blog Your Way Blog Contest where I have the chance to win THREE TECHNI-ICE SHEETS, which would be literally a dream come true for me!

Oh yeah, they’re also giving away a Samsung Galaxy Mini 2, a Techni-Ice mug and a Techni-Ice T-shirt, which are also very cool. But for me, I’d have everything if I had my Techni-Ice sheets! So please judges, I'm just a boy with glandular problems sitting in front of his laptop asking you to let me win!


Another photo of me NOT being dry, in case the judges need  to be more convinced.


            Visit their website at www.techniice.com.ph!
        They also have a Blogspot page!


             Check out this vid:  http://bit.ly/techniice
                                     
                                                           

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Looking Back at the Sitcoms of Yesteryears and Away From PBB

What do you think? 

            You know that disquieting feeling when you’re watching two dogs go downtown on each other right in front of you on the street? Well, that was what I felt when I last watched Pinoy Big Brother Teen Edition 4 realizing that this was absolutely the biggest pile of rubbish anyone could ever put on television, even in ABS-CBN standards.
          Picture this: Millions of Filipino youngsters ranging from puerile tensomethings to creepy eightysomethings would actually stay up late to watch this piece of cow shit for what? To witness how emotionally scarring it is to fall in and out of love all in a span of forty-five minutes? To stay in the loop about the latest breakthroughs in shameless underage canoodling and crotch-handling? To guess which teen housemate will have a baby on her prom?
Yes, what you’re feeling now is a socially concerned parent’s rage.
            Personally, I have nothing against PBB. Well, except maybe Big Brother himself who’s always cooking up ways to impose and sermonize the show’s viewers with morality through challenges and tasks that are ironically completely against any moral code known to man.
But other than that, PBB used to be buttloads of fun to watch, especially those seasons where Kim Chiu, that guy and that other guy emerged as the Big Winner. Recently, it has been just socially irresponsible and downright gimmicky.
I don’t know where our world is heading but PBB Teens isn’t a good sign for anything.
Which brings me to my next point: What does Philippine television have in store for us? If PBB is a microcosm of one thing, it would be for how Philippine media is capitalizing on two things: pretty faces and sex.
Anyone who knows me could tell you that, just like hot sauce on anything, I love me some occasional dash of pretty faces and sex in my TV shows. The problem with Philippine TV is not so much the face value and sex itself as its quality and repetitive nature.
There’s always a recurring story formula in Philippine TV that is always overly used to the point of mind-numbing exhaustion. Here are my personal favorites:
1.      Mara archetypes get bullied by Clara archetypes.
2.      Boy meets bimbo. Boy has sex with bimbo. Bimbo aborts baby. Bimbo goes to Church in pekpek shorts to beg for absolution.
3.      Instead of using systematically written story arcs to push the story forward in a cinematically tasteful manner, half-baked, shameless writers cheat by using soliloquies and flashbacks that take up about 90 percent of the entire teleserye.
4.      Piolo Pascual as a reluctant priest, reluctant tycoon, reluctant playboy or reluctant male. (If all aforementioned could pass what viewers may consider as “TV-acceptable”, we might as well expect a teleserye about Mahatma Gandhi to be played by Renato Corona.)
5.      If all else fails, dispatch goons in a black van and kidnap the fucker.
Evidently, primetime television has taken a turn for the worse and has been reduced to Cristine Reyes in a see-through dress pointing a gun incorrectly.
I miss the days when primetime was wholesome and fun. When it wasn't all that embarrassing to be  jologs because cultural and societal rules were much simpler back then and hipsters and douchebags haven't been invented yet. When Marvin Agustin was still taken much more seriously in Whattamen in 2001 than he was in GMA's Iglot in 2011.
Have you wondered what ever happened to the good ol’ sitcoms that used to swarm our TVs when we were little? Or in the case of our parents, when they were less OLD? Why did they die? How did reality shows suddenly replace sitcoms in the early 2000s?
Lest you’ve forgotten what a real primetime good time looks like, let’s take a stroll down memory lane and recall all those wonderful sitcoms that have provided the Filipino viewing pubic its cultural identity. An identity which was apparently taken to the grave along with these sitcoms.
See if you remember these! Here are some sitcoms which obviously existed before Photoshop was created and before people didn't care much about proper spelling:
Home Along Da Riles (1992-2003)
Kool Ka Lang (1999-2003)
I couldn't find a photo for "Beh Bote Nga" (1999-2003) so please indulge in this photo of Tiya Pusit.
OK Fine Whatever (2003)
Abangan Ang Susunod Na Kabanata (1991-1997)
Okay Ka, Fairy Ko (1987-1997)
Palibhasa Lalake (1991-2000)
Whattamen (2001)
Ober Da Bakod (1992-1997)
Oki Doki Doc (1993-2000)
It’s hard to believe that Philippine primetime used to be a treasure cove of humor, good-natured fun and societal parody - something unrecognizable from today’s flurry of scandal, melodrama and boys discovering their first boners.
I would like to return to a time when TV was still a mirror of society, albeit a comedic one, rather than PBB and endless crude mutations of Mara Clara.  
There is more reality in the sitcoms of yesteryears than in the reality shows of today that claim to be the “kuwento ng tunay na buhay”. PBB and these overly dramatic teleseryes aren’t reflections of society, they are distortions and exaggerations. Their twistedness is so uncanny yet appealing that a lot of viewers take them as reality and regard them as the norms and values that should dictate their lifestyles.
To put it in a more simplistic view, if people watch kids' kalandian as they exchange spit  and other bodily fluids on PBB, it would give kids the impression that engaging in animal behavior is okay and parents would subsequently buy tire swings for their rooms.


At the level of overall social relevance, the ol' sitcoms will always be tops in comparison to the filth on TV today. And it's pretty weird how slapstick humor or Tessie Tomas in Abangan... will always have more true moral and historical value than Santino will ever have. 
It’s so depressing that we’ve entered a world where people are pressured to emulate the people they see on TV just because they’re oh so gorgeous or oh so chic or oh so greased-up in a skimpy bikini. TV is no longer about idols, it’s become a cesspool of people to emulate. We put people like Kim Chiu on TV, not because she's great at acting. I've seen better dramatic conviction in Disney Channel's Upin and Ipin, and they're not even real people! 


            We put people like Kim Chiu there solely because people want to BE like her and dress like her. TV stations recognize this reality and make profit out of it at the expense of turning people into mindless zombies. Networks forgo actual entertainment quality to make way for Zanjoe Marudo in a loincloth.
But those network execs will never get me. I’d choose watching Dolphy smack Vandolph with a newspaper over Marian Rivera anyday.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Top 10 Albums of 2012 That I'd Buy Once I Get A Job

What do you think? 

            I’ve decided this year that I should be collecting albums.
I don’t know but I feel that I have to finally start collecting stuff my offspring could inherit in the future. Just like how my dad would enthuse my musical passion by having me listen to James Taylor, Barry Manilow, Michael Jackson, The Beatles and Kenny Loggins, I’d like to have that same deep musical impact on my future kids by immersing them in the hallowed melodies of One Direction, Flo Rida, Justin Bieber, Super Junior and LMFAO – the contemporary counterparts of legends!
If and when I finally get hold of that payroll, these are the Top 10 albums of 2012 I’d be rushing to the record store to purchase immediately:

#1 - "Born and Raised" - John Mayer


#2. "Radio Music Society" - Esperanza Spalding

#3. "MGMT" - MGMT

#4. "Thank You Camellia" - Kris Allen

#5. "Scars & Stories" - The Fray

#6. "North" - Matchbox Twenty

#7. "Love Is a Four Letter Word" - Jason Mraz

#8. "Oh, You Kid!" - Casey Abrams

#9. "The Idler Wheel Is Wiser.." - Fiona Apple


#10 "Picture Show" - Neon Trees

Sanchez, Phillips and A Bunch of Careers That Await the Loser on American Idol

What do you think? 

"We hate each other."
              As a realist who was expecting a Colton Dixon/Phillip Phillips standoff in the finale, I could not stress enough how shmowzowed I am about the American Idol Top 3. 
             And I bet if the savagely undervalued Elise Testone managed to break into the Top 4 instead of that awful Hollie Cavanagh (who had managed to show America that getting to the Top 4 isn’t so much about the vocal quality as sounding as if you’re gargling marbles while singing), the competition might've been a little more interesting. But I digress.
"Thia Megia who?"
     With a Top 3 as electrifying as Season 8’s Allen/Lambert/Gokey trifecta, we could forget about the losses that have so been unfairly executed within this season.
              Earlier, we saw Joshua Ledet leave the show, which to me was not at all surprising. At that point, seeing any of the three get eliminated wouldn’t startle me. However, if I had to kick out somebody from Idol judging from the numbers last night, it would definitely be Jessica Sanchez.
            Jessica Sanchez last night was about as exciting as taking your dad out to KFC after a prostate exam. To me, she was so dangerously drab and boring during her last set of performances that those people who voted for her on the hotline could convey sweaty palms over the phone. She was definitely in hot water last night and is very lucky to have overcome the crucible of bad song choices, especially in the competition’s most crucial point. I blame the judges and Jimmy Iovine for their sucky vocal optimization theories!
              But now we could all let out a collective sigh of relief as Sanchez is now officially a Top 2 finalist. Next week, it will be a bout between Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips.

   The clash of powerbelter against blue-eyed soul singer stirs up everyone so much that I’ve heard that even our old neighbor is putting up a viewing party so that the rest of the neighborhood could watch the epic showdown together next week.
    He thinks it’s a boxing match.
   Anyway, at this point, even I am stumped as to who’s going to win Idol. But the more pressing question of our time is “What in Lana Del Rey’s surgically altered lip folds will the loser be doing as he/she wallows in the shadows of the victor?”
   Ending up in Idol as a runner-up ain’t half-bad. There are still limitless possibilities! If you don’t believe me, read my list of Jobs That Await The Loser on American Idol!

If Jessica Sanchez loses, she could:
  1. NOT be famous for a while and then appear in Party Pilipinas.
  2. Teach Hollie Cavanagh a thing or two about using the vocal chords to sing.
  3. Sing one of Charice Pempengco’s songs just to fuck with her.
  4. Start to figure out if she’s going to sing the Philippine national anthem for Manny Pacquiao or sing the national anthem of Mexico for his Mexican contenders.
  5.  Establish a promising career in doing roles as an extra in Hollywood movies about the Vietnam War.

If Phillip Phillips loses, he could:
Wait for it...
  1.  Always expect that Penshoppe is always keeping an eye on him even as he sleeps. 
  2. Cut the ribbon for Phillip Phillips Philippines, the most phonetically redundant organization in the country.
  3. Get extremely intoxicated in his concerts so that he could finally not just sing like he's drunk, but also sing WHILE he's drunk.
  4. Sign with TV5 to make locally produced records and act terribly on television. And then NOT go back to to the States just like David Archuleta and Keith Martin, the “Because of You” guy. 
  5. ...there it is!
  6. Finally do something about that forehead vein and be immortalized as a 9GAG meme.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Six-Word Stories Contest #2: Assembling an Avengers Adventure

What do you think? 
Definitely the dopest movie evar.


            As a lot of you may probably have noticed already, The Avengers movie is dopesauce!

To pay homage to the record-shattering global success of The Avengers, I am launching Six-Word Stories Contest #2 of The Culture Shack. The topic this time is “Assembling an Avengers Adventure”. In EXACTLY SIX WORDS, create a story based on any or all of the Avengers. Let your imaginations run feral like The Hulk has just broken loose in Harlem.  Be funny, smart, sarcastic and ambitious! Write anything that would impress me as long as it could be contained in six words, which I also deduce is Hulk’s vocabulary capacity.

Also, hyphenated words like “batshit-crazy” and “RuPaul-pretty” count as one word. We've talked about this, if your entry does not amount to six words, you are considered disqualified from winning these fabulous prizes! The contestant with the best entry will win a prize package that includes Chuck Palahniuk’s novel “Tell-All”, one of my all-time faves, and the “We Piss Off Angry Birds” issue of MAD Magazine.

"Tell-All" by Chuck Palahniuk

MAD Magazine

Submit your entry via this post’s comment box in this format: Name, Mobile Number and Six-Word Story. ONE ENTRY PER NAME ONLY. I don’t want to have to teach you basic arithmetic to make you understand this stipulation.

SAMPLE ENTRY:
Name: John Doe          Mobile number: 0929XXXXXXX
“They got Hawkeye instead of Legolas.”

            I will be posting the Top 5 entries next week. All entries must be in before 11:59pm of May 17, 2012. I will contact the winner and give him/her the details of how to claim the prizes. So what are you waiting for?

At the Asia As Our Society Film Festival Press Screening

What do you think? 








            With the aim of promoting Filipino awareness on Asian culture, Asia Society Philippines, together with Shangri-La Plaza and the Film Development Council of the Philippines, will spearhead the Asia As Our Society in May 17 to 21, 2012 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza.

Albeit how notoriously sporadic a blogger  I am, I was privileged enough to be found online and get invited by the kind people at Asia Society Philippine Foundation, Inc. to the Asia As Our Society Film Festival Press Screening last May 3 at the Shang Cineplex.

            With me in the event were my best bud Carlo Copada, whom I brought as a photographer, and Franco Lasay. At the Cineplex, the three of us were met by Ms. Migel Estoque, the program assistant.

            When we got there, we frankly had little knowledge of what the organization was all about so we requested Ms. Migel to bring us up to speed. According to Ms. Migel, Asia Society Philippine Foundation, Inc. is an organization dedicated to promote understanding of Asia through education and network links and in building cultural bridges – not only between Americans and Filipinos, but also between Filipinos and other Asians through pan-Asian programs.

            She also explained that Asia Society has several branches around the world particularly in Australasia, Hong Kong, India, California, Shanghai, Texas, Washington and New York where their headquarters can be found.

            Ms. Migel noted that while Filipinos were way too engrossed with Western culture nowadays, they fail to become familiar with the identities of other Asian nations. This I thought was very ironic considering that we know a whole lot more about the US and Europe than we know our neighbors in Asia.   

            The film festival was a way for Filipinos to get a glimpse of life in other Asian countries. During the press screening, we were treated to an Indonesian indie film entitled “Jakarta Maghrib” (Jakarta Sunset), which was comprised of six short films that features six different but interconnected stories. The overall story of poignantly portrays the Jakarta sunset as the key element that weaves all the tales and relationships together. 

            Watching this film, one could not help but be staggered by the resemblances between Indonesian culture and Filipino culture. Listening to their language is like listening to a strange Filipino dialect and their ticks, nuances, mannerisms and lifestyles are so similar to ours that Filipino viewers could really identify with the characters in terms of culture.

            The press screening was definitely a refreshing endeavor for me and if you want to be part of this cultural experience yourself, just come on down to Shangri-La Plaza Cineplex from May 17 to 21, 2012. Here’s the best part: IT’S ABSOLUTELY FREE!

            For inquiries about Asia Society and the film festival, please contact 752-4374, 09335309721 or info@asiascoiety.org.ph


(Photos by Carlo Jay B. Copada)