For the record, to address some insinuations of the grossly misinformed, no. I don’t support Tito Sotto and his politics just because he is associated with Eat Bulaga.
Why? Because I’m educated and smart enough to distinguish and separate his showbiz associations from his political affiliations and beliefs.
I’m sure he’s talented as an entertainer; he wouldn’t be a showbiz icon for decades otherwise. However, I’m not in agreement with his politics. I disagree vehemently with his position on the RH Law. As a writer, I also can’t tolerate his dismissive attitude towards plagiarism.
Really, I think he should stick to show business. Eat Bulaga owes a lot of its longevity to him, Vic, and Joey.
I do find it surprising that AlDub detractors try to use Tito Sotto as fodder to bash AlDub. Face facts: Tito Sotto has frequently topped senate surveys waaay before AlDub happened, and he’s been in the senate for multiple terms already.
With or without AlDub, it seems we’re stuck with him.
Originally published on my Facebook account last 13 October 2015.
Kasalukuyan po akong naghahanap ng running mate para maging Bise Presidente ko. Sya ang makakaakibat ko upang isulong ang adbokasya ko ukol sa China, kung saan papalakasin natin ang diplomatic ties sa Saturn at Jupiter para makatulong sa ating Hukbong Sandatahan. Gagawa kami ng VAA (Visiting Aliens Agreement).
Titiyakin din naming si Darth Vader ang hahawak sa DILG habang si Queen Femina Suarestellar Baroux ang bahala sa bagong kawanihang tatawagin nating Department of Tourism, Warfare, and TOEFL. Iluluklok namin si Spock bilang MMDA chairman para maresolbahan ang trapik sa Maynila sa pamamagitan ng advanced Vulcan scientific theories.
Gagawa rin kami ng listahan ng magagaling na mamamayan para patakbuhin para sa Senado. Sisiguraduhin ng mga senador ko na maaamyendahan ang Anti-Discrimination Bill upang isama ang mga Durlan, Khund, Kree, at Skrull sa listahan ng oppressed minorities. Pero kebs sa mga refugee mula sa Tamaran, orange ang skin nila, hello! Eww! #AlienLivesMatter
Sino sa inyo ang sasama para sa pagbabagong babalot sa sansinukob? Panahon na! Allan… Carry-On, Pilipinas! Allan, Allan, Pangulong Pangkalawakan!
Muling papaliparin ang Quezon Memorial,
Ang Tunay Na Intergalactic Earth Ambassador (accept no substitutes)
And just in case you’re slower than a tranquilized bantha, have a look here.
Just in case you happened to pass by, curious and wondering if I were in contact with aliens from outer space and if I had an embassy set up on the planet Tatooine.
I am, however, willing to open up diplomatic relations with the Klingons for so long as you promise to get me enough energon cubes from Cybertron.
It’s funny how some people are now trying to defend “It’s Showtime” because it’s probably finally realized it’s been beaten. Or rather, finally admitted it… because the show and the network have been in a state of denial.
“Why are people bashing Showtime?” the pretending-to-be-oblivious rabid Showtime fans ask. (I say “rabid” as there surely are some fans who are level-headed, and I myself do not deny watching some of its old features, like Pogay.)
“Why can’t they leave Showtime alone?” these mouth-frothers whine. “Vice says they were never trying to beat Eat Bulaga.” As though they had not been on social media for the last few months and had not seen exactly what had happened.
The reality is, Eat Bulaga was quietly basking in the unexpected success of its phenomenal, wildly-popular Kalyeserye series, topbilling Alden Richards, Maine Mendoza, and a trio of comedians that used to be second stringers but are now a force to reckon with. Week on week, the show trended on social media, most notably on Twitter and Facebook, and week on week, the tweets increased. One million. Two million. Six million. Twelve million. Twenty-four million. Thirty-nine million.
And all this time, its rival show was not happy. However, in the game of TV ratings, that’s expected. In fact, for the longest time, GMA lagged behind its competition on most of its shows, and it was nothing new.
Something was different, though. The rival show’s unhappiness manifested itself in utter bitterness as it attempted to thwart the unstoppable rise of “AlDub,” and this monstrous manifestation was most apparent in Vice Ganda.
First came the bragging that the Twitter trends of Eat Bulaga could be beaten by Showtime. “Twitter parties” were heavily promoted by several visible figures of ABS-CBN despite their claims that they were not trying to compete. They failed miserably as AlDub numbers dwarfed their valiant efforts.
Next came the blatant attempt at copying by trying to find an unknown social media sensation to build her up. This in itself is not a wrong move; it’s typical of showbiz. However, this resulted in a PR nightmare as the chosen subject was not exactly endearing, and the approach the show took was heavily-criticised for basically pimping out the girl. Where AlDub kept receiving praises for its positive messages and awards for being role models, Showtime was receiving notices from the MTRCB and being questioned for its content.
At around this time, always the classy mouthpiece of the network, Vice Ganda also decided it was in good taste to tweet, “How much is that doggie in the window?” Yes, right around the time AlDub haters started calling the AlDub fans as “AlDogs.” Of course, he will deny this, but everyone knows exactly the kind of person Vice Ganda is.
Then came the attempt at boosting Showtime’s audience by suddenly “kicking off” its anniversary celebrations… you know, an entire month ahead of time. Three popular celebrity love teams who were not really associated with Showtime were made guests. There was nothing wrong with that (again: showbiz), but they tried to use the fandoms of these three pairs to boost its Twitter trends while pretending trends did not matter.
Unfortunately for them, the three fandoms were infamous for not getting along, with one particular group actively hating the other groups and their idols, apparently ready to boil oil and everything. This lack of unity was no more apparent when the said contingent went rogue and tried to make their own trends that would prop their idols up instead of being there together for Showtime. Way to go, Showtime! That was some awesome foresight.
Still, with the obvious outside help, they hit the six million tweets they desperately wanted that its rival achieved weeks prior… on the same day their rival broke records and hit twenty-four million tweets.
And again, the bitterness surfaced.
“Our tweets are real and organic,” Vice Ganda announced with impunity, never mind all the screenshot evidence going around of several bots being responsible for propagating their hashtag. Or perhaps he was trying to convince himself.
Then, there were the ABS-CBN “alipores” also posting all sorts of insinuations on their social media accounts that Eat Bulaga was faking its trends. There were the declarations that Twitter trends did not matter after all, despite shamelessly trying to trend on Twitter.
And all of that was shut down when a VP of Twitter itself confirmed that the AlDub trends were 100% legitimate. Do you need a tall glass of pure vodka to wash down that foot, Vice?
And if tweets really did not matter (McDonald’s would disagree), then certainly ratings did, and ratings across various agencies showed a significant difference in ratings between the two shows. Heck, Ben10 was beating Showtime if I’m not mistaken.
So is it any wonder why people started bashing Showtime when they used to be silent?
The reason is that Showtime sent its attack dogs first, led by an arrogant Vice Ganda insulting and trying to pull down the competition. Likely threatened that his own fast-declining popularity would result in fewer basketball players to support, Vice himself instigated the social media war by subtly attacking EB, Alden/Maine, and their fans by insinuating that their popularity was fake and manufactured. All his snide and cruel remarks are documented, remarks he thought were proper in the name of ratings and money.
Unfortunately for him, he woke up a sleeping dragon he thought he could push around, and that sleeping dragon beat him to a pulp. A dragon backed no less by multiple sponsors, an overflowing 55K-capacity Philippine Arena, and a VP of Twitter itself.
And typical Vice, caught in his own little web, now acts like a victim, like his show never tried to take on Eat Bulaga let alone try to create a smear campaign against it. His prior words and actions show this is a load of BS. Everyone knows his career, built around insulting people, has always been punctuated with his frequent shows of false humility once he gets called out (Jessica Soho says hi). Sadly, he took down his entire show with him – including his co-hosts who, to be fair, have largely been quiet about the whole thing.
Some people truly can dish it out but cannot take it.
Eat and enjoy that humble pie.
Even more good vibes to end this piece. Enjoy!
I’ve had some technical issues with my blog in the last couple of weeks, and I only got it fixed today. Thus, I’m only able to share this review of Felix Manalo today.
I wanted to like the film “Felix Manalo.” I really did.
Yes, despite not being a fan of the INC, I am a fan of good films, especially good local ones, given that there has been a dearth of such in the past but where there has been hope in the last few years with the likes of “Norte,” “Heneral Luna,” “On The Job,” “Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank,” and several others. Moreover, ours is a history and culture rich in subject matters that can be mined to boost the local filmmaking industry and to provide quality entertainment at par with global standards.
And whether we like it or not, Felix Manalo was a man of historical significance for the Philippines. So despite any personal opinions I may have with his doctrines and how his group turned out, I was interested to see a biopic that would give insight into this man both revered and hated by different sections of Filipino society. Besides, the trailer was definitely promising, so I went ahead to see the film.
Let me start off by saying that “Felix Manalo” had excellent production design and costuming. It was quite a visual treat that managed to provide a level of authencity to multiple decades spanning three colonial powers.
That said, aside from Dennis Trillo, production and costume design were the only good things about this bloated film that was little more than a propagandic history textbook that seemed to takes its storytelling cue from Wikipedia. It was a three-hour non-epic whereas I was hoping for an actual epic.
Scenes moved from one to the other without any true cinematic value or meaty narrative trajectory. It was basically a showcase of, “This happened,” then, “That happened.” There was little character development, even with its own lead character. The approach felt quite aseptic, as though a history teacher were simply lecturing us about events as opposed to a director giving us an actual film to sink our teeth into.
Most forms of conflict, mostly minor, were resolved haphazardly or glossed over within a sequence or two without any real consequences, all simply to make its hero completely flawless and 100% virtuous. Truth be told, characters without flaw do not make for engaging cinema.
It was obvious that “Felix Manalo” was more intent on being defensive about the legitimacy of its subject and protecting his image rather than telling a good story about a man who was doubtlessly complex and worth better treatment. Surely someone who was of such historical significance deserved to be fleshed out? Everything about the man in this movie were broad strokes with nothing substantial to offer to an unbiased viewer where it could have done so.
For instance, his frequent transfer of religions and denominations could have been an intricate look into the psyche of this man, rife with dramatic twists and turns. Instead, in the clumsy hands of Joel Lamangan, Ka Felix seemed more like a call center hopper, one who frequently jumped ship and resigned to join another call center where the opportunities were seemingly better, until he finally just decided to put up his own call center. Regardless of my personal thoughts about the man, I’m pretty sure he was a much more complicated individual than that.
The one segment where the material could have been elevated – the WW2 sequences – were essentially of little consequence to the movie’s narrative other than it being an era the man lived through. For the most part, Ka Felix just sat through tales being brought to him of the atrocities that the Japanese were committing against members of his church. An attempt at relevance, where he continued preaching despite Japanese guns aimed at him, felt more like an urban legend to mythicize the man as opposed to being an opportunity to finally gain traction for a lackluster tale that had very little conflict or climax.
The sad thing about this film is that it had one of the most underrated actors of his generation headlining it. Dennis Trillo has always been an excellent actor capable of nuance and depth, and here he was saddled with carrying the entire movie all by himself. Despite the literally dozens of well-known local celebrities coming in and out of the frame in cameos, often with little acknowledgment or sense, the entire film revolved fully around Ka Felix, with everyone surrounding him being nothing more than sounding boards to mouth off his lines against. No matter how good Dennis is, that type of expectation was too much of any actor, particularly when about 60% of his lines were Biblical verses he spouted of with quite the zeal and fervor.
Save perhaps for the always-amazing Mylene Dizon, whose character passed away early on, almost everyone else in the film was a blank slate. And perhaps that was another failing of this movie: the countless celebrities roaming in left and right were largely pointless, ultimately serving as a distraction rather than enhancing the film. More often than not, a number of these roles could have gone to extras or completely removed, and it wouldn’t have mattered. It was star-studded for the sake of being star-studded, and many of them appeared in only one or two scenes, barely speaking and being of little impact to, well, anything.
As an aside: I’m surprised the INC folks did not react negatively to Ka Felix’s two wives being portrayed by star(let)s with a sexy, uhm, background: Arci Muñoz who headlines “Pasion De Amor” and Bela Padilla who appeared in a controversial FHM magazine cover.
Speaking of INC folks, I have read a lot of them commenting angrily on negative reviews of this film, blindly defending it and insulting the reviewers who, from what I’ve seen, have largely been panning the filmmaking and not the person or the INC itself. I actually feel sad for these people, simply because I believe that they deserve a better film of their founder than what they got, and they have settled for praising this film simply because it exists. I would like to think that, if they just look at this film more objectively, they would be demanding a better portrayal of the man they call “sugo.”
“Felix Manalo” could have been a Filipino epic biopic in the league of GMA’s “Jose Rizal” or the more recent sleeper hit “Heneral Luna.” Instead, it faltered as it focused more on flash and propaganda rather than substance and character. Perhaps, at some point in the future, a truly good film on Ka Felix will emerge, or better yet, an episodic TV mini-series, which may be a better medium to tackle the complexities of a man who managed to found a religion that has an impact to Filipino society through to today.
Dear Polo Ravales,
Ateneo at UP Diliman graduate ako. Mataas na ang sweldo ko sa call center. Matagal na nitong nabawi ang tuition ko, including Masteral units. Nakakatulong na ako sa magulang ko, nakakapagbakasyon en grande pa ako kasama ang mga kaibigan ko sa kung saan-saang lugar dito sa Pilipinas at sa ibang bansa.
Mas mataas pa tiyak ang sweldo ko sa kinikita mo nung pahubad-hubad ka na lang bilang nalaocean ang karir mo pagkatapos ng T.G.I.S., at tiyak ko na mas mataas at stable ang sweldo ko kaysa sa pinagkakakitaan mo ngayon.
Kung nais mong iparamdam ang sarap ng buhay sa mga tao, mas mainam sigurong bumalik ka na lang sa paghuhubad kaysa mang-insulto ka ng mga taong mas maganda ang kita at ugali kaysa sa iyo.
At least kung maghubad ka uli, baka magka-sequel pa ang flopchina mong pelikula kung saan enjoy na enjoy kang makipaghalikan kay Joseph Bitangcol. At tiyak na mas mag-eenjoy pa kami imbes na mabwisit sa pagka-arogante mo.
P.S. Kung may sapat kang utak para makaintindi ng dire-diretsong Inggles, pakibasa na lang ito:
Today at The Library Underground, I talk about the time I spent with Alexander Dreymon, star of the upcoming Blood Ransom with Anne Curtis and who also matched wits with Patti LuPone herself in last year’s American Horror Story: Coven.
He reads, and he can hold his own against an icon like Patti LuPone (until she shoves a pillow on his face, that is).
It’s safe to say the hotness factor is off the charts.
Recently, I watched Lav Diaz’s Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan. Actually, I was able to watch it twice, the four-hour running time notwithstanding. It was a pretty amazing experience, a Filipino movie so good it’s rare. Very rare. It’s been chosen as our entry for the Oscars this year, and here’s hoping it makes it to the final list of nominees at least. It has won a lot of awards and rave reviews internationally, and the crowning glory would be a much-covered Academy Award.
So when did Philippine cinema take such a turn for the worse that we only get to see gems like Norte oh-so-very infrequently? There was a time when Pinoy cinema was pretty good, where the talents of Brocka and Bernal shone brightly and where the caliber of films was astounding. Nowadays, most local fare has turned to a steaming pile of cow dung, and quality and meaning have all been but lost with the exception of a few worthy experiences. Instead of more Norte and Babae Sa Septic Tank, we are served with My Little Bossings and more Kris Aquino movies (wait, didn’t she say before that she was quitting showbiz? dammit).
To be fair, Philippine cinema is slowly experiencing a renaissance, at least in indie filmmaking. A lot of these indie films that make it into the international festival circuit are becoming the talk of cinephiles globally. According to my mentor, these days Philippine and Romanian films are the next big thing in world cinema, if the reactions to such films are any indication.
Yet locally, still very few of our quality films get the right support from big name producers and investors. Never mind the accolades from critics and discerning viewers around the world. These mainstream “filmmakers” – and I put that in quotes, for these people seem to have no inkling of what filmmaking is – have for the most part abandoned true talent for the sake of trash for cash. Is it really worth it?
Read more about my thoughts on this in this month’s issue of Mega Magazine. The feature is tucked neatly inside, titled “A Formula for Disservice.” Enjoy… and let’s hope Pinoy cinema gets elevated to better heights once more.
(It’s the October 2014 issue with Judy Ann Santos on the cover. No, I didn’t write about her, but it is interesting to note that, even though I’m not really a fan, I do believe she is one of the last few true deserving stars of this struggling industry. It’s also nice to note that the Mega Man magazine insert features Daniel Matsunaga. Just because. I mean, it IS Daniel Matsunaga, after all. Where are Hideo and Fabio?)
I love books. Really, I would never have become a writer if I didn’t start with books. Books are food for the soul. They stimulate the mind, bringing in new ideas and new worlds into one’s consciousness. They mould your being, providing insight and growth no matter how much you might not know it.
Over at The Library Underground, I’ve shared my list of fifteen favorite in a two-part article. Certainly, this is not a comprehensive list, but it’s a pretty good cross-section of awesome books that have helped make me the writer, and the person, that I am today. Hopefully, you get to enjoy these books, too, as much as I have.
Yes, I admit it. I am occasionally shallow, and I give in to bouts of teenybopperdom.
I actually watched Enrique Gil’s concert. He dances like the bastard son of Ricky Martin and Magic Mike; his singing is passable, if auto-tuned. I’ve seen his movies; he has acting potential.
Despite my aversion for local soaps, I began watching watching Moon of Desire, all its silliness notwithstanding, because of Dominic Roque. He was not enough to sustain my interest when the primary characters of JC De Vera and Meg Imperial were exasperating and the main plot was excruciating. Only Dominic and the hilarious chemistry between Beauty Gonzalez and Franco Daza made it bearable. And yes, I tweeted the three of them about it.
I also religiously follow Martin Del Rosario. His work in the barely-known Dagim and in mainstream fare are remarkable. A supremely-underrated talent and a big loss for ABS-CBN, he got a turn in Cinemalaya X’s Dagitab, and I regret having missed that one.
Now don’t even get me started on international heartthrobs like the three Chrises (Pine, Hemsworth, Evans) and Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
It is because of this shameful teenybopper disease that I forced myself – nay, I excitedly brought myself – to watch Pinoy teen romcom Talk Back and You’re Dead, all because of this young man named James Reid. He’s so pretty, and I’ve heard him sing well, but I’ve never seen him act. I missed Diary ng Panget, and I don’t think he’s been in anything else. Or in anything of note, anyway.
After having watched Talk Back and You’re Dead, I can quite lovingly say: James, you’re so pretty. Continue your singing career! And don’t get tired of taking off your shirts.
Read my full review at The Library Underground: