Jim’s Country

The internet always fascinates me. Gone are the days when one has to travel far, endure a long queue and rub sweaty faces and armpits just to get near a celebrity to brush elbows with them or, if one gets lucky enough, exchange ideas with them. If that happens, usually it won’t even last for several awkward minutes. Nowadays, to get close to the famous would need only a couple of type away.

I got Jim’s site from my wife’s links. She’s a fan of the singer. From then on I return every now and then to read his posts and I discover more about him than reading from the Song Hits magazines or any other newspapers. His site showcases his talents, ideas, spirituality, fantasies and even his temperament, that is if you can read between the lines. Sometimes though it is just too obvious.

Last night right there was anger in his post. Something that I’ve been also frustrated at for several days already. As I browse through it I find that his frustrations (and evil wishes) are just like any other Filipinos. And the thing about it is that he could care less, let the issue die a natural death and enjoy his comfy Australian residence. But nationalism probably does go beyond borders.

Jim is one of those who actively participated in the EDSA 1 revolution. He also composed Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo as the theme for the post-EDSA 1 Filipino. It would be safe to say he is an idealist. So I do understand where he is coming from. The succession of events that have been going on lately appears like the Filipinos have forgotten again. I don’t know if it’s just me, but the current situation would escalate once again to make the people call for reforms, for a President to step down, for a snap election to happen. Again.  Maybe sooner we would be calling the gods to cast fire unto the Philippines. If we don’t get our acts together, we’ll get it sooner than soon.

It’s interesting that even a man like Jim, who may have stuffed his walk-in closet with awards and accomplishments (or even cash) still gives a damn about what is happening to his country, our country. I wish that someone from the millions of Filipinos would step up as a leader of great integrity and courage to face and eradicate the TRAPOs that seems to multiply in numbers every election.

Tomorrow is barangay election day. Let’s see what happens next.

 

Are you the Man of Steal?

(Blog originally intended for my alma mater’s blog site.)

I was thinking of a better title for this blog and I remember a high school classmate whom we tagged as “Man of Steal.” Not that he’s a professional thief, but it’s just that he had this annoying habit of not returning things he borrowed or worse, keeping small petty stuff that our classmates possessed and valued—such as David Pomeranz cassette tapes (yes tapes!), books, etc.

I’m quite sure we’ve had our share of petty thievery way, way back in the past. We’ve sneaked into our nanay‘s wallet to fund our Masskara escapades. We’ve kept extra resistors from the lab to support our home-made audio amplifiers and boosters. We’ve raided the stock room to pick extra welding rods for our bike’s frame. And we’ve, intentionally or unintentionally, grabbed one lumpia or burger from Claire without shedding a single centavo.

Those who are guilty, please raise your hands. Wait, I can’t type one-handed.

Mr. Genito’s reminder prior to our last OJT still stays fresh in my mind, ”INDI pagkuhaon maski bato sa inyo ulobrahan (DO NOT take even a single rock from within your company).” I will always remember that briefing every time I’d see gravel in the parking lot and would ask myself, ”Maski ini? (Even this?)”, ”Oo, maski ina! (Yes, even that!)”, my good side will respond immediately.

As the technology around us gets more advanced than it was before—and becomes affordable to almost everyone—another form of stealing gets so rampant and so common that one wouldn’t know that he has actually participated in it. Even those with the best of intentions, regardless of social status, religion, or profession are victims. Even friends.

This is film piracy. Once again I’m guilty as charged. But that was more than eight years ago. I remember the last bootleg copy I bought was Tom Hank’s Cast Away which I got from one of the malls in Alabang. That day, I also grabbed some beer, pulutan, and then went home so eager to watch it with my wife. Sadly, I almost crushed our VCD player in disgust when in the middle of the movie it started pixelating and ruined our night altogether. And that was it, I had enough.

I guess it was one of my wake-up calls to end the illicit practice once and for all. And as if trying to justify my life-changing decision, I read the papers, watched the news and attended company-supported training sessions related to this. It was then when I became more aware of things such as Intellectual Property and Copyright laws.

Of course, everyone knew how costly (some may find it even ridiculous and stupid) it is to stop buying pirated products nowadays. It’s the reason my Core 2 Duo still has the genuine Windows ‘98 OS in it and until now the dual core processor is concentrating its power on the free solitaire game—dasig gid eh (very quick), if you will ask.

Since then, my wife and I also started saving to buy the CDs and DVDs that we like. If the budget isn’t available we’d content ourselves to listening to our favorite music over the radio and watching movies on the cable channels or in the cinemas.

Although feeling good about doing the right thing, I’ve kept mum about it. Pushing this anti-piracy advocacy in front of most people I know would either get me booted out of my circle of friends or get raised eyebrows at the very least. (I even discovered that one high position expat got a whole shelf of “Quiapo” DVDs in his home. It’s disappointing and frustrating.)

Until now I still wonder if there will come a time when the government and other concerned organization will eradicate or significantly lessen this illegal trade that’s been killing almost the whole industry—even food, toys, books, textiles and other consumer products in the market are affected. Wishful thinking? If and when that time comes, I’ll be one proud man.

And by the way, if after reading this one might wonder if I’m the OMB chairman, Edu Manzano, I wish but I’m definitely not. I’m just one concerned individual hoping to influence at least one. Yes, at least one who might influence another.

So are you the Man of Steal or not?

Practice, Practice, Practice (My First Blog)

How do I get to Carnegie hall? Practice, practice, practice.” – Arthur Rubinstein

Influenced by this one line I first read on philskies.net—as I lurk this flight sims enthusiasts’ web forum—I will start my first blog post today and my first practice will be my own Rockstar piece. My inspiration came while listening to INXS album Switch which already has J. D. Fortune, the new vocalist the band picked through the reality show Rockstar INXS.  In my opinion, J.D Fortune now sings better since we last saw him on TV against other contestants such as J. D. Marty and Migs Ayesa in their quest to become the next INXS front man. Eventually, J. D. got INXS’ nod and the rest is history.

This time new hopefuls vie for a spot in another band called Supernova and currently, there are six remaining contestants on Rockstar Supernova.  My number one pick tonight is Toby and I find it surprising as I never liked his performance since the show started. I even doubted last week if he can pull off a show with Supernova’s original band members—Gilby, Tommy and Jason—although I agree that he gave justice to one of the songs. But tonight, he made me a believer. He performed first with Storm Large as backup for her cover of Evanescence’s Bring Me to Life. He then sang solo Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell where he got the crowd going.  I don’t know if the elements were just right—my favorite song, right voice, and good performance—that made me bet on him tonight. Anyway, whatever it was, he did just great.

Second on my list is Dilana. Yes, Dilana. This notorious contestant gets my vote this time. She did a good job singing Mother Mother which she rendered with powerful voice and with emotion so real that I can almost feel her angst in front of the TV. Yes, she was that good.

The hottie Storm Large comes third. While I hate the first portion of her version of an Evanescence’s song wherein I thought that she would quit and just storm out of the stage in the middle of her performance to concede defeat, she was able to redeem herself.  She got to the peak of Bring Me to Life that if only I wasn’t looking at the boob tube (no pun really) I would have mistaken her as the original artist.

My disappointment goes to Ryan Starr and I think I have just seen his worst. Being the lead contender I was expecting him to sing Coldplay’s Clocks into almost perfection but never happened. His piano stunts did not impress as it compromised rather than accentuated his performance—crawling on top of the grand piano made him look cheap and plain copycat.

I am now sure that with all these developments Supernova will have a hard time picking their front man—or a woman in this case. I must have spoken too soon when I said to my wife that a woman doesn’t fit in this band. Well, I could be wrong as pressure intensifies. Nevertheless, whoever wins this contest has really earned it. I would love to see the day when Supernova with their new vocalist play in the background while I write another blog post.

First edited on March 4, 2011

Last edited on June 9, 2013