Sunday, August 23, 2009

2009 Miss Universe

The 58th Miss Universe 2009 (Atlantis Paradise Island, Nassau, Bahamas) will pick soon the most beautiful woman in the universe.

Based on the photos of Miss Universe Homepage, I tried my subjective judgment as to who is/are the most beautiful faces as far as I am concerned. Of course, all the beauties coming from various countries in the world vying for the most-coveted beauty pageant title are so beautiful giving me hard time, as if I am one of the honored judges, deciding on my picks. From the 83 delegates, eight contestants draw my attention or, say, whose beauty stands out and they are Cyprus, Colombia, Lebanon, Russia, Namibia, New Zealand, Venezuela and Ecuador. I added Bianca Manalo because she represents my country.

Anyway, goodluck to all the contestants and to Miss Manalo. Hope she will win this competition.

Friday, August 14, 2009

GMA's NY Dinner

After the controversial expensive dining ang wining at a classy restaurant in New York during her meeting with Barack Obama, Pres. Gloria Macapagala Arroyo is accused of overspending on trips abroad by Php1.6 billion since 2003, well, according to the opposition, based on the Commission on Audit (COA) report.

On top of these issues, the Malacañang Palace is reportedly wanting to purchase a Php1.2 billion-worth presidential jet. What is that? In time for the upcoming May 2010 elections?

With all these data, she has moral ascendancy over her impoverished constituents. Extravagant spending or spending beyond what is necessary or beyond what the law dictates is scandalous. Scandalous, I repeat.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

National Artist Award Controversy

Pardon me for posting this unrelated graphic art from one of my commissioned annual report projects in 2006. I still have to comment on the latest controversy using my editorial cartoon. Anyways...

Malacañang is a source of disappointment when it dipped its fingers on the nomination and selection of 2009 National Artists. This latest controversy is dividing another sector - the artistic sector - as it did recently.

This came about after Carlo J. Caparas and Cecilla Guidote Alvarez were declared as 2009 national artists but are opposed by the artists in the country which have in turn launched protests for this perceived scam.

Through a separate nomination process composed of Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alberto Romulo, and the head of the Presidential Management Staff Hermogenes Esperon, they made it to the fame. The palace's powers-that-be included them in the list submitted by National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCAA) and Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). Other names that were included were Jose "Pitoy" Moreno and Francisco "Bobby" Manosa.

Mr. Caparas is considered as the comics king in the country. He had countless comics stories he wrote and explored film-making where he received various awards as film director. I am not so familiar of his films as they failed to stick into my mind. But I grew up with his stories as published in comics magazines as one source of our entertainment long long time ago. Ask any barrio lass, they are familiar with Mr. Caparas for his "nobelas." On the otherhand, Ms. Cecile Guidote-Alvarez is notable for founding the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) that honed creative artists and audiences through children’s, college, and community theater, according to an online reference. Perhaps, the only chance I was “involved” myself with PETA, if memory serves me right, was when I participated in critiquing PETA-produced films during the 80s. So when talking about their contribution to the development of the arts in the country, I believe that these two personalities did it significantly on their own rights.

But I respect the artist community who knows well of their kind and their members. Their opinion on the matter should hold water especially over who should be rightfully conferred with that a prestigious award as national artist. It happened that Mr. Caparas and Ms. Alvarez failed to pass to their litmus test to be awarded that way. And not this time perhaps. Also, the separate nomination process had grossly erred in dipping their fingers into matters that purely belong to the world of practicing artists.

GMA's Expensive NY Dinner

When I read the news on the supposed expensive dinner of Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo during her visit in America (to meet Pres. Barack Obama) as it appeared in a gossip publication, I did not right away believe in it until everybody is talking about it.

That is about the supposed “USD20,000-worth dinner splurge” she had in an expensive French restaurant in New York City, according to online news sources. While waiting for the palace to explain this, let me jump the gun by saying that the choice of her group to dine and wine in an expensive restaurant was already a bad idea which was made worst later with the expensive bill that followed. She could have settled for a cheaper yet class restaurant in there. There was a range of choices. She could have just taken for dinner some burger like what Pres. Barack Obama did in a publicized visit to a burger store. That way, she could have exemplified her simplicity and would therefore, without saying a word, remind all government officials to lead a simple lifestyle.

Whatever the explanation the palace will have on this controversy, dining and wining in an expensive restaurant is not appropriate for a leader of a country with grinding poverty issue. Madam Pres. Arroyo, check your lifestyle. (photo above is lifted from

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Reviling Willie?

This Youtube video has nothing to do with the trouble that popular noontime Wowowee host Willie Revillame is in after he allegedly revile Mrs. Cory Aquino whose funeral was on-going. The video was about Kiel, a Wowowee 8-year old contestant, who showed us his talent.

And the trouble? It all started with an inset of the on-going coverage of the late Mrs. Aquino's funeral being simulcast with the lively Wowowee show.

That compelled Willie, to my understanding, to ask ABS-CBN to stop from showing it, not for his disrespect on the late president as many would like us to believe, but because it was inappropriate to be shown in a timeslot where there was all but revelry and laughter while in a portion of the tv screen you see sadness taking place over the loss of a well-loved person.

Definitely, the inset did not belong to that timeslot. In fact, the ABS-CBN management could have avoided that incident by asking Mr. Revillame to momentarily forego the airing of his show in favor of the funeral coverage. Well, it happened. I hope this will be solved as soon as possible.