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Archive for August, 2010

Missed Universe

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Miss UniverseThe recent Miss Universe pageant showed how some Hollywood stars were outraged by the Philippine Government’s mishandling of the hostage-taking crisis at the Quirino Grandstand. In my extensive, in-depth research, I found out that actor Baldwin-–was it William or Alec or their youngest brother Stephen?–originally wanted to ask Miss Philippines Venus Raj the most profound question in all of Miss Universe history, which is, “If you win the Miss Universe title, what’s your favorite color and why?”

Weather for dummies

Monday, August 30th, 2010

pagasaIF you know what Intertropical Convergence Zone is, skip this column because you are either Pagasa or that man in a Crocodile Dundee getup who gives us the weather and some info on how iguanas copulate. Meaning, you’re the only person who understands what the hell he’s talking about.

This weather report for example: “Tail-end of a cold front affects Eastern and Southern Luzon and the whole of Visayas, while moderate to strong northeasterly surface windflow prevails over Luzon and Visayas.” The time required to figure that out is proportionate to the dedication required to understand the Trinitarian Doctrine. It is that profound.

Humor as incongruous

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

laughHumor is defined as the experience of

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playful incongruity. When something is incongruous it is described as odd, strange, absurd, inappropriate, unsuitable, inconsistent, or bizarre. It is anything that doesn’t fit our logical expectations of things.

It is incongruous to equate the Catholic Faith with bonsai. It is incongruous for cats to step on heads of popes. It is incongruous for cows to act as protectors of women against sexual attacks. It is incongruous for priests to be chased by naked women, or vice versa. It is incongruous for a bonsai papaya to take the shape and form of a naked woman, and it is double the incongruity if you give this as gift to the apostolic nuncio.

And the final is me (a repost from somewhere)

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

angry girl(I’ve been asked to give talks, mostly in campuses, on how to be an effective writer. For those who made the right decision not attend those talks, the following is a summary of my advice. I’m serious)

NOW a few tips on how to write an effective letter.

1. Keep it short and to the point. Make it concise, factual and focused. Don’t exceed one page or you will lose your reader.

2. Focus on what the recipient needs to know. Imagine him seated accross a table from you. What essential information does that person need to know?

Of cats and bonsai

Friday, August 20th, 2010

cat and bonsai

The genius of the humorist allows him to move from the spiritual to the mundane with ease. If one moment Renato Madrid forces us to contemplate our mortality with his black humor, he rewards us the next with pages of visual fun.

In “DevilWings,” the novelist Madrid opens the book with images of six stray cats wangling their way into the apostolic nuncio’s house, “staging occasional forays into unfriendly neighbourhood of huge, vicious dogs, receiving well-placed kicks that landed the poor animals on top of mantelpieces, fireplaces and dusty cupboards.”

‘Am I right or am I right’

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

rudy v.

(I gave a talk last Sunday (Aug. 15) in San Carlos Seminary College as part of the Special Lecture Series on Literature in celebration of Year of Madrid, on the occasion of the 70th birthday of Renato E. Madrid. Excerpts are published here in three parts–LPN)

This whole idea of paying tribute to an artist who is still very much alive may actually be a joke in itself, an exercise in black humor only priests and seminarians are capable of doing.

Outside, we don’t honor the living. We honor the dead. We extol the virtues of great men and women who are no longer around to enjoy the attention. Paying tribute to somebody who still has plenty of air to breathe is sending the message that we cannot wait to see him go. And that person will have his revenge: he will outlive us all.

Mom vs. Zombies

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

ICUToday I start the fourth week of my stay in the hospital to watch over my mom. That’s three straight weeks of playing Plants vs. Zombies as nurses and doctors, and student nurses and student doctors, and practically everyone in the hospital who wears a stupid white cap and a frown, take turns keeping in place all those tubes they have attached to the old woman’s body.

At one time, I counted a total of eight tubes in various colors and sizes, sucking out poison from my mom’s 78-year-old frame and replacing it with life-giving nutrients. With all those machines and scary-looking gadgets that ensured her breathing, my mother looked like one of those H. G. Wells characters she used to read to me aloud when I was six, only prettier.

What to steal from a hotel room

Saturday, August 7th, 2010


Capitol has launched what could be the biggest investigation in the history of the Province since its decision to buy an underwater football field in Naga town so many years ago. It’s called “The Search for the Missing Towels.”

Plants vs. Wormbies

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

plants When worms attack crops and other vegetation, they are asserting their right to be recognized as legitimate creatures of the earth.

Worms: “You, humans, have been trampling on our worm rights as citizens of the, er, soil. Now watch as we munch on your rice, corn, garlic, squash, onion, okra, broccoli, eggplant, cabbage, chicory, rutabaga, arugula, poinsettia and Christmas tree.  This is worm power, humans!”

And they always win. Right now, they have farmers in Quezon Province mourning over the death of 700 acres of corn, vegetables and other agricultural crops. In Cebu City, worms are devastating thousands of teak trees planted in more than 100 hectares in Barangay Toong. If you don’t know what a teak tree is, it’s a kind of tree planted in Barangay Toong.

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