Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Lunchtime Filipino show still makes me laugh after over 20 years

One of my fondest memories while growing up in Cebu City is lunching with the whole family while enjoying the happy banter of TVJ on television. Tito, Vic and Joey - the enduring hosts of noontime show "Eat Bulaga" which aired first in 1979 are still making millions of Filipinos laugh up to this day.

From their earliest shows with Chiqui Hollman-Yulo and Debraliz Velasote in RPN 9 they rivalled Channel 7's Student Canteen. They even managed to "pirate" the two female hosts of said rival show; Helen Vela and Connie Reyes. For a short while, Plinky Recto and Ces Quesada shared hosting parts with the trio and later, Christine Jacob and Rio Diaz became their muses.

Now, it is a whole gang of individual shapes, personalities and sizes - contributing to the pot that is filled with memories and fun, indeed their line in Tagalog says it all, "ito ang tanghalian ng inyong buhay" (this is the lunch of your life)! Who could forget seeing little Aiza strut the duckie walk in Little Miss Philippines or the many loves found and lost and found anew by 'bossing' Vic; the romantic marriage of Senator Tito to enigmatic Helen Gamboa and seeing their children especially Ciara who is now host of the same show grow up before our very eyes? Joey's own children Kempee and Chenee also made memorable appearances along with Daria Ramirez and now, Kempee joins in hosting segments of the show. The same goes for Vic's children Oyo Boy and Danica.

Last week, Vic even showed excerpts of Danica's wedding to Mark Pingris. And it was but proper having had the entire Philippines see him from that 'tikling' singer fronting then VST band to the 'bossing' that he is now. His courtship and marriage to Miss D (Dina Bonnevie) was shown in Eat Bulaga, their painful married woes and the many other loves that followed were all visible in the show - if not consciously so - then it was shared as normally as anyone who goes through lifes many journeys. And we watched, perhaps judged, but continued to watch the comedy and the drama that is Eat Bulaga because we know everyone by heart. We know them and have owned them as one of us, maybe we know they live more comfortable lives, go to more lovely homes, drive fancier cars, have assistants and servants at their beck and call - but we know their strengths, their weaknesses, their errors, we have been through the happiest and saddest moments of their lives with them; cried their sorrows, laughed their joy, even created jokes along with them, we have expressions, one-liners, banters that have come from them, popularised by them and shared with them.

My daughter is starting to dance the "itaktak mo" and watches Bulagaan along with me and my husband. The lunch of our life is being passed on to the next generation.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Exporting the aetas, the gall!

I was just browsing through TFC when I saw a piece on GMA's program of training aetas in technical and mechanical skills and then providing them with accommodation, similar to what it would be like if they were abroad and separated from their families and then, eventually sending them off to Saudi or UAE or Australia to work as OCWs.

OK so maybe the aetas are tired of living the hard life in the mountains and perhaps want to try living in what we may call as "civilised" environment. But exporting our natives is somewhat going too far.

It's bad enough that our own youth are leaving the country immediately after the first sign of opportunity and professionals seeking greener pastures abroad due to lack of similar opportunities in our own beloved Philippines but to send out these native aetas, who may be leaving their homes because:

a) they're being threatened by military exercises/activities or may be caught in the crossfire of military and "revolutionary" forces;

b) there's nothing left of home to speak of what with cutting all the trees and changing all the forest lands into malls and "subdivisions";

c) they've been given "hot-air filled promises" from the current government that they will have better lives earning dollars abroad and would be able to help their families;

Our natives should be given a huge tract of land to call their own, protected by our government from any form of intrusion or invasion so that they continue to cultivate and pass on the culture that is uniquely theirs and part of our roots as a people. Being the original natives of the land we now know as Philippines, aetas should get special treatment from all of us. They are after all the original owners of the islands we now all inhabit.

Just like the Inuit who Canada gave out a large area of land for them to live free as they are, keeping their unique culture and ways for other "civilised" societies and cultures to see....and those native American Indians who have conservation sites and sacred burial grounds intact and protected by US law...we ought to, in the least be doing the same for our aetas - NOT train them to be electricians abroad!!!

We've really been abusing our aborigines for a long, long time; depriving them of their land, destroying their natural habitat, at some point during the US military bases in Clark and Subic, American forces using them as target-practice, in the all-so-innocent-excuse that they (the soldiers) thought they were wild boars(!); and now this, exporting them as overseas contract workers.

Isn't it enough that one in every family of five has an OCW member that we have to include our aborigines to the list? What next? Kankanaey head-hunters as hairdressers in Kuwait? How about the T'bolis as entertainers? oh, oh and yes, let's use the aetas as domestic helpers and let them send dollars back home so we can declare that the Philippine economy is sound, stable and on the rise....

God, how far does this government think they can go and continue to exploit everyone and still have the gall to say, it's been a successful administration?!?!? Successful for whom?

Enough already! Do we keep into office leadership that would even sell the remaining pieces of culture for a few pieces of silver? When is enough, enough? Where do we draw the line and say, "that's it, we've had it!" When?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Man (another poem unearthed from the past!)

i saw him again today
we stared at each other for a time
he with all the years etched on his face
all those lines each with a story to tell

i'd like to come closer
and speak to him, touch his beard
feel his face and know the story of each line
share the memories hidden in each aged fold

but i turned away
to go because i've not the courage
neither the daring nor the wit to go near him
couldn't stay and stare, just stare forever

yet i regret
for i'll never see the man again
on the morrow he is going back home
his own land across the sea, far away

perhaps i will
go and visit him one day
when i've saved up enough to travel
and find him in this famous French museum

his was truly
the friendliest face i've ever seen
painted oil on canvas, measured 37 by 43
how i wish, i knew his name.

(found this written on tissue paper with Jollibee logo - must be pre-Jollibee Philcoa days though, more like Jollibee SM or Pantranco, late 80s or early 90s, before 1992)

More for Wadirunner

Rob's still somewhere in Jordan so my bet's still on...so more "dis-heartening" graphical creations in an attempt to depress Rob and thus drive Tipo to his death....

Regrets, a poetic attempt

I'm dying in my youth
where am i going?

the fire in me's burnt out
what am i doing?

life's passed me by
I am but one

one life gone, wasted
I've done none

sad, lonely, bitter
i feel my pain

i only wish i could
live life over again

started writing in BRI's office
continued at AS 101, UP Diliman
while waiting for my TCG to be issued.

BRI - Business Relations International, a PR firm in Manila.
UP - University of the Philippines
TCG - True Copy of Grades

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

For Wadirunner

This image is done for my old neighbor, Robert Fay who is also known as the "wadirunner" in his travelogue. He's driving a 1990 Fiat Tipo from Al Ain, United Arab Emirates to Ireland. We, his colleagues have a pool going as to where Tipo will croak and thus leave poor Rob, on foot or finding other means of transport. Here are the poolies, wishing "Death to Tipo!"