Category Archives: iconography

Friday ∗ 21 Apr 2017

TIME 100 and Duterte’s communications

For a government – and a President – that has had a tendency to blame media, local and international, for covering only the drug war and not much else about what else is happening in the Philippines, it surprises that government even engaged at all with the Time 100 poll and the President’s inclusion in that list. Because Time Magazine – as expected – has been at the forefront of putting the drug war in international news, and has been… Continue reading »

Wednesday ∗ 19 Apr 2017

Duterte chauvinism: Sino bang walang babae?

A direct translation wouldn’t capture how offensive this rhetorical question is, coming from the mouth of any man or woman, as it normalizes and rationalizes the practice of infidelity and polygamy, because look, all men are doing it! And as long as these men can take care of the children they sire, from one, two, three women they keep in their beds, then they are doing the decent thing, they are doing what is right. Wrong. Especially when these words… Continue reading »

Wednesday ∗ 17 Feb 2016

Pacquiao self-destructs

we knew it was coming yes? i mean Manny Pacquiao was always coddled and forgiven, he could do no wrong. this is what we tend to do for anyone we declare hero. because in a nation in dire need of some good vibes, some wins in the midst of too many losses, we make heroes out of, and i paraphrase Pia Wurtzbach here: basketball stars, beauty queens, and boxers.

Thursday ∗ 27 Aug 2015

Women. Freedom. Rakenrol.*

Tres Marias made up of Bayang Barrios, Cookie Chua and Lolita Carbon will be having a concert at the Music Museum on September 4, Friday. I have no idea what it’s going to be like, but having seen these women on stage, and reading this piece from 2012, tells me it’s going to be quite a show. Click here for tickets! It would’ve been a random night over at 70’s Bistro, though it was so wrong to even imagine that to be… Continue reading »

Thursday ∗ 30 Jul 2015

Jim Paredes: The burgis as bastos

Ever since this open letter from 2011 I have not found the energy to make patol Jim Paredes at length. Maybe because I just stopped following him on Twitter, and ignored his Facebook all this time. Maybe because the world is a more intelligent place if I do not have to listen to the Jim Paredeses of this world. And yes, I was able to keep it this way even throughout this PNoy Presidency, when Paredes revealed himself to be nothing but loyal… Continue reading »

Wednesday ∗ 22 Jul 2015

Parental guidance #OhNoGracePoe

Because apparently in order to run a nation, what is most important is who our parents are and how they brought us up. Apparently, the good that the parents stand for is necessarily the son’s and the daughter’s. Never mind that we are all more complex than that, and apparently for Grace Poe, never mind that so often throughout PNoy’s administration (and across Kris Aquino’s career), it has been said that his parents must be turning in their graves.

Tuesday ∗ 05 May 2015

beyond boxing

Pacquiao could have been our Michael Jordan, that homegrown boxer turned global iconic athlete. He could’ve spent time and energy building training camps and schools, to provide local boxers from all over the country with the best free training possible. He could’ve nurtured the new Pacquiaos, made the Philippines known for having the best boxers in Asia, if not the world.

Sunday ∗ 04 Jan 2015

Marian’s freedoms*

If there’s anything that’s true about Marian Rivera, it’s that she doesn’t care what we all think: she presents to us what she is, which is probably the closest to a private self we’ve been treated to within the public space that is local popular TV and movie culture. And when I speak of Marian’s private self, I mean the one that we don’t usually see of our celebrities, I mean that which is usually deemed unworthy of being made public.… Continue reading »

Sunday ∗ 30 Mar 2014

12 Pinay celebrities to be thankful for

It was difficult to celebrate Women’s Month at a time when the Pinay remains under attack, even when she’d like to think otherwise. To me it happens on the level of a beauty industry that has standardized what it is we mean by beautiful, as it does happen on the level of a Catholic Church that continues to take a stand against the Reproductive Health Law, after we have fought for it for 14 years. Scientific and common sense would… Continue reading »

Thursday ∗ 27 Feb 2014

not everyone can make a rom-com: a realization from watching Starting Over Again

There is standard that Star Cinema has set when it comes to the romantic-comedy as a genre, and it’s a standard that has since re-set the formula for the effective rom-com, where effectivity is proven by both a movie’s creation of it’s own cult following and box office success.

Monday ∗ 27 Jan 2014

Dolphy, national artist*

It’s difficult to imagine childhood without Dolphy, even when all he was to me was the image of a father on television, even as who I identified with was Maricel Soriano or Claudine Barretto playing his daughters in two different sitcoms, across two different generations. At some point this father image became interwoven with that of Enteng Kabisote, father to Aiza. The images are real to me, the characterization of fatherhood that was protective but had difficulty providing, that was… Continue reading »

Friday ∗ 17 Jan 2014

kim chews their heads off

in truth i was so happy for Kim Chiu, showing us all how she is human — a smart one at that — who knows what she owes showbiz reporters and what she doesn’t. it’s the same joy i had about Anne Curtis going crazy in a club, where her sense of self is revealed for all the world to see, and oh yes! there is bite in the sweetie-pie image after all! the latter is why i think these moments… Continue reading »

Tuesday ∗ 14 Jan 2014

in defense of Enteng Kabisote*

I agree with some of what Lourd de Vera says (or asks) Vic Sotto in his open letter. I agree that Bossing Vic should aim to do better than a movie filled with product placements. I agree that he should do better than a film where he’s not stuck with a non-kiddie-actor Yap and his mother Kris Aquino. I disagree that this was all Bossing’s doing.

Thursday ∗ 26 Sep 2013

distractions

In times of crises pop culture provides the best of distractions. I’m not one to think this deliberate—popular and media cultures are far too complex to be controlled and dictated upon by the powers-that-be. But certainly that doesn’t remove the possibility that a government-in-crisis will use the popular, controlled and otherwise, to distract a citizenry that is finally angry and now growing impatient. If I were in their place, I would take what I can get.

Thursday ∗ 06 Jun 2013

on Charice

I have nothing but love for Charice. No, I am no fan really, but I find it infinitely interesting when popular culture icons give their mass audience the unexpected or taboo, or something difficult to talk about, something against what we know to be proper or consider as important.

Monday ∗ 03 Jun 2013

Vice Ganda’s false apology

there is no doubt in my mind that joking about the rape of a woman is a no-no, which is like joking that you will kill a faggot. these are black and white, they are premised on gender discrimination, these are violent thoughts we do not think, and do not think to articulate when we actually do think about them out of anger or spite. and yet i get it, too, that really fantastic comedy, the kind that’s intelligent enough to… Continue reading »

Sunday ∗ 21 Apr 2013

so Kris pays her taxes

which is to say what exactly? that she is honest about her earnings? well you see, she has no choice but to be honest, seeing as she likes to display her wealth, talking about it on TV, mentioning it in her interviews, if not using it for the pages of her very own magazine. if you were Kris Aquino, you would have no choice but to pay your taxes. you display your wealth like that, you earn from your life in this way,… Continue reading »

Sunday ∗ 10 Mar 2013

on Robin and the Sultan

Over on Twitter, Teddy Boy Locsin claims credit for suggesting that actor Robin Padilla be brought to Sabah to help resolve the conflict. Locsin’s take on Robin of course is somewhat limited: he is charismatic, he is handsome, he can make people stop doing what they’re doing, Locsin says. But in fact Robin’s iconography, his history as icon, reveals how while he might be all these adjectives, what is far larger than his charisma and looks is what he’s done,… Continue reading »

Saturday ∗ 14 Jul 2012

Dolphy, national artist

It’s difficult to imagine childhood without Dolphy, even when all he was to me was the image of a father on television, even as who I identified with was Maricel Soriano or Claudine Barretto playing his daughters in two different sitcoms, across two different generations. At some point this father image became interwoven with that of Enteng Kabisote, father to Aiza. The images are real to me, the characterization of fatherhood that was protective but had difficulty providing, that was… Continue reading »

Sunday ∗ 02 Oct 2011

give Ate Guy a break, or what’s wrong with that cig?

Let it be said that Superstar Nora Aunor’s comeback is by all counts a success, if we are to measure it not by media mileage or product endorsements, not by tell-all interviews in every darn showbiz talk show or by grand statements about home being where the heart is. Ate Guy’s return has been about none of this and that is precisely a measure of this comeback’s success. Because would she be the unbeatable popular culture icon that she is,… Continue reading »

Tuesday ∗ 19 Jul 2011

notes on OPM 1: celebrity versus talent

We say it often, and truth to tell in these shores it is true: many of our less talented singers have albums, and many of our more talented musicians are without jobs. But what of the non-singer, someone who doesn’t sing at all, gathering a strong enough following for her CDs that she’s now on her fifth (count that!) solo album—and yes, that’s not counting the one she did with her son, and another about the rosary. Welcome the celebrity CD! At… Continue reading »

Friday ∗ 20 May 2011

pacquiao, the pits

am i the only one who thinks this has gone too far? and just way low, the discourse on the Reproductive Health Bill. it’s bad enough that we have to deal with congressmen like Amado Bagatsing who thinks prOscribe can easily be changed into prEscribe (medyo praning), like Roilo Golez who will twist previous DOH Secretary Esperanza Cabral’s words to her face about the risk factors of the pill (medyo sinungaling), like Pablo Garcia who thinks the correct response to the… Continue reading »

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