Monday, August 24, 2009

UPDATED: Four-Point Plan for a Successful Miss Universe Campaign

Ever wonder why Filipinos love beauty pageants? From the smallest barrio to the most prestigious competitions, from girls to guys to the in-betweens, from humans to animals and even lechon, believe me, walang pinalalampas ang Pinoy. However, recent years have shown that our dearest country isn’t having much luck on the most celebrated beauty contest in the world, the Miss Universe Beauty Pageant. So, trying to break the black drought, I propose four simple ways on how to have a successful Miss U campaign:

1. Naturalization of Venezuelans, Puerto Ricans, Brazilians, etc.

Admit it, but the competition has an obvious fetish for Latina beauties. Don't agree? Check Wikipedia. In our case, finding Latina-looking Filipinas could be a great option but when scarcity prevails, let the law take charge. We have a whole lot of Brazilians thriving in our country so make use of them!

2. Mandatory online voting for the Miss Photogenic Award.

One evident sign of the lack of unity in this lovely country is our failure to bag the highly coveted Miss Photogenic award for two consecutive years. That’s TWO CONSECUTIVE years of dearth preceded by a legendary THREE-PEAT. Common guys, make those fingers working! If we couldn’t make it in the top 15, then at least we are assured of a special award. Added exposure is very important.

3. Do it the Miriam way!

Now this goes to the delegate herself. Hold your head up high, toddle on the catwalk as if you’re a ghost floating on air and throw a banana peel you secretly hid behind your sash. Make sure to step on it. Then do the Miriam Quiambao move! See to it that you stand up as graceful as possible and at the end extend your arms to the crowd as if you’re saying “There you go, folks!” Two Miss USAs did it and it proved effective on them so why not give it a try? Audience impact din yon.

4. Use the ever reliable interpreter.

I know we Filipinos are very adept with using the international language, but just for this special event, let's pretend otherwise. For obvious reasons,it will benefit our representative big time. She will have ample time to think and give a very good answer as the question will be posed on her twice. Strategy!

Someday, the Philippines will conquer the universe.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Father or Brother?

[Note: Long, religious post ahead. Hope you read it still.]

“I want to be a priest” I said. My closest friends stared at me in wide-eyed disbelief, eyebrows angled at 90°, and after doing a couple of somersaults, told me encouragingly, “Utot mo!!”

Their reaction did not take me by surprise, really. If you’re someone close to me, you’d know that I am anything but priestly. I only hear the gospel during the first Friday mass at school or during Christmas Eve. I don’t pray the rosary. And I only knew my Bible stories because of Flying House.

But it doesn’t mean that I am a man of little faith. In fact, I am a man with a lot of faith. And my self-imposed recollection in my room last Holy Week just magnified every bit of faith I have in my soul. I realized that God almost always gives me what I pray for. It’s my turn now to give back the glory and serve Him on a higher level.

That’s when the idea of priesthood entered my mind. Only with one big dilemma: I’m not sure if I can live up to a celibate life. I want to have a family of my own, of course.

Now that’s when the idea of converting my religion from Catholicsm to Born Again Christianity came into view. “If I can’t be Father Joel, then better be Brother Joel” I said to myself. And being surrounded by a lot of Christian friends, I somehow have the gist on how it is to be in their group.

I religiously followed Bo Sanchez’s blog, listened to Hillsongs music, and started reading the Bible by heart. For a time, I somehow thought I wanted to be a true Christian.

Then one day, one of my friends told me to read a particular book written by a Christian pastor. Interested, I obliged. I was enjoying reading the first few pages of the book, but for a certain reason, I felt the urge not to continue.

What I don’t like (not that I hate it) about some Christians is they sometimes try to impose on others that what they believe in is right. That the other religions are spreading falsehood among their men. That their OWN interpretation of the Bible is the RIGHT one and should be the one to believe in.

I know I’m not the right person to talk about religion but I can’t help but feel disconcerted. It’s not only an attack to my religion, but a personal attack on me, as well as the other followers of my religion.

Now please, don’t get me wrong, I’m not planning to start World War III here. Kristiyano ka man o Iglesya o kahit pagano, nire-respeto kita. I just want to get my message across: We all believe in ONE God. In the end it’s not about who’s got the better religion because there is NO such thing. This is not about religion. This is about FAITH. And faith is not something you impose on others. It’s something you find for yourself. Something you find IN yourself.

So what now, Father or Brother? I still don’t know. So help me God.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Oh, My Nose is Bleeds!

Noong unang panahon nagbibiruan kami ng mga kaibigan ko tungkol sa isa naming kaklaseng mali-mali ang grammar pag nag-i-Ingles. Ang lakas ng loob kong sabihin, “Haha! Wrong grammar naman siya!” Biglang sumagot ang isa kong kaibigan at sinabing, “Mali! Dapat grammatically incorrect.” Kabog.

Tayong mga Pilipino, ang lalakas manlibak ng kapwa lalo na sa pagsa-salita ng Ingles. Mamali ka lang ng pronounciation (Hep! Hep! It’s proNUNciation) o kaya ng gamit ng subject-verb agreement para ka ng lumabag sa batas. Kala mo kung sinong kay gagaling.

Meron din akong mga kilala (karamihan mga artista) na ang fluent mag-Taglish, pero kapag pinag-salita mo ng purong Ingles na nagkaka-buhul-buhol na ang mga dila. At kadalasan, sa kanila rin nagmumula ang mga matatalas na komento tungkol sa pagsasalita ng ibang tao.

Tulad nga ng nabasa niyo sa itaas, aminado rin akong gawain ko yun minsan (para kila Marvin at Jericho, please forgive me). Pero hindi, as in, HINDI perpekto ang Ingles ko (kaya nga pinili kong isulat itong entry na to sa Filipino). Sa katunayan, hindi na mawala sakin ang pagiging wrong grammar, este, grammatically incorrect kung minsan. Patunay nyan ay itong mismong blog na binabasa niyo.

Bakit nga ba ganon tayo? Sabagay, second language natin ang Ingles. At minsan na rin tayong naging pinaka-magaling sa paggamit nito. NAGING pinaka-magaling. Noon, kapag may nagtanong ng Ingles, merong sasagot ng purong Ingles din. E ngayon? Kapag may nagtanong ng Ingles, merong nino-nosebleed.

Hindi ko sinulat to para pangaralan ang ibang tao. Sinulat ko to para “sipain sa pwet” ang sarili ko. Ganyan na tayong mag Pinoy e, past time na natin ang manlait ng iba. Pero ang sa akin lang, sinisimulan ko ng baguhin ang ugali kong yon. Sabi nga, tignan mo muna ang sarili mo bago mo punahin ang ibang tao.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Goodbye and Thank You

I woke up today with high hopes for this brand new day. It was a little bit gloomy, though, as it has been raining for hours now. I turned on the Internet to check for some updates when I found this very depressing news: Corazon Aquino, Philippines president, dead at 76 (AP).

I stared in front of the monitor in wide-eyed disbelief. Tita Cory, the good, passionate, demure and strong-willed woman who once governed this country has now surrendered to her true master. Then I instantly knew the reason behind the gloomy weather. The heavens must have been mourning for her too.

A lot of public figures have retreated to their final resting place already but none of them had blown such an impact on me than Tita Cory. How could someone be so lovely, so full of heart and so gracious like her be gone? Siguro totoo nga yung kasabihan na “Kapag masamang damo, matagal mamatay”. Tita Cory is far from being one.

I want to keep this post short. And as a final salvo, I want to say, thank you President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino. THANK YOU.