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Archive for June, 2011

How to lose a fight with a baby

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

ulanTHIS is a Father’s Day article, so forgive me if I sound extremely sentimental today.

You can’t write about fatherhood without tears welling up your eyes. I consumed 30 rolls of tissue paper before I could even start a word. So here we go.

Last Sunday morning, while all the other fathers in the world woke up feeling important and ready to bask in the limelight, I was challenging my three-month old baby to a fight. The boy accepted the challenge and fought in the best way he knew how, by screaming his baby lungs out. Like the real gentleman that I was, I refused to smack the boy’s face with a pack of diapers and fought him in the best way I knew how under the present circumstances, by screaming my aging lungs out.

So that’s how I and my baby spent our first ever Father’s Day celebration together, by being locked in a shouting match inside our little rented room in Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City.



Doctor, doctor, the country’s sick

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

Super Hero

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This Duckface Generation

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011
BEFORE we start, I would like to ask you to press your lips together, got it? Push your mouth out like a pout or pucker and suck in your cheeks, got it? Raise your eyebrows, with one slightly higher than the other, got it? Set your cell phone camera ready and point it at your face at an approximately 45-degree angle, done? Now click!
Congratulations, you are now part of the Duckface Generation! To complete membership, post the picture on Facebook and beg friends to like it.
Yesterday, thousands of members of the Duckface Generation went back to school to start another year of duckfacing inside the classroom, at the canteen, in the library, in the science laboratory, inside the Student Affairs Office, inside the comfort room, at boarding houses, in dormitories, under the mango tree, at the sidewalk, at the mall, at parties, in drinking binges, at the bar, and just about any place where a phone camera can be pointed at a 45-degree angle to the face and there’s enough light.
If you are a parent and you happen to be reading this column, the reason your little girl failed Calculus last year was that she spent half of her study time duckfacing and posting her little duckface photos on Facebook. The other half she spent liking the duckface photos of others on Facebook.
If you’re a parent and you’re wondering what a duckface is, I advise you to go back to the first paragraph and try the instructions out yourself. After you’re done and you’re still confused what the fuss is all about, here’s this Internet definition of your daughter’s duckface pose:
“Duckface is a hideous facial expression, popularly used in self-taken photographs, in which the lips are pursed and flattened, usually accompanied by widened eyes which rarely look directly at the camera. It is mainly used by the subject to show how cute and random they are.”
When you’re done, you might want to call your daughter and beg her to please stop doing that duckface thing or you will cut her cell phone load allotment. Then catch up with us in the next paragraph.
Before the duckface, there’s the V-sign of some ten years ago, an equally bewildering Internet phenomenon that left us wondering what wrong have we done to some of our Asian neighbors that they inflicted this kind of punishment to us. The V-sign continues to attract followers, some of whom are now combining it with the duckface, doubling their bewildering effect on us innocent stalkers.
But while the duckface gained popularity with the rise of Facebook, one of its origins is traced to Derek Zoolander (Zoolander, 2001), whose trademark “Blue Steel” has a similar look. Google “Duckface” and “Zoolander” to know what I mean.
There’s a striking coincidence here. Zoolander the character, played by Ben Stiller, is self-centered, dim-witted and, stupid — the same adjectives duckface haters use to describe their enemies.
Another origin is thousands of years old. Remember Moai, those monolithic human figures carved from rock on Easter Island between 1250 and 1500? Look at those pouting lips! This could only mean one thing: hardcore duckfacers are dictated by the same divine power that commanded the Moai to walk around the island and into their present location.
Of course, there’s always Donald Duck to blame. But he’s too cool to have anything to do with all this.
I admit I have my own share of duckface photos too, but at least I don’t have a Calculus to fail.

duckfaceBEFORE

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we start, I would like to ask you to press your lips together, got it? Push your mouth out like a pout or pucker and suck in your cheeks, got it? Raise your eyebrows, with one slightly higher than the other, got it? Set your cell phone camera ready and point it at your face at an approximately 45-degree angle, done? Now click!

Congratulations, you are now part of the Duckface Generation! To complete membership, post the picture on Facebook and beg friends to like it.

Yesterday, thousands of members of the Duckface Generation went back to school to start another year of duckfacing inside the classroom, at the canteen, in the library, in the science laboratory, inside the Student Affairs Office, inside the comfort room, at boarding houses, in dormitories, under the mango tree, at the sidewalk, at the mall, at parties, in drinking binges, at the bar, and just about any place where a phone camera can be pointed at a 45-degree angle to the face and there’s enough light.



Sinugbang Sugbo

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
TWO news stories caught my attention last month because they involved two of my favorite funny Cebuanos, Esteban Escudero, who is Provincial Board Member Julian Daan when he tries to be serious, and Max Surban. Of course we know Max Surban. He popularized the song “Billionaire” written by Bruno Mars.
Last May 16, a man barged into Teban’s house in Talisay City, held him up at knifepoint and ran off with P1 million worth of jewelry, the news said. Teban was working on an episode for his regular drama show when the robber demanded money from our funny man. Teban only had P300 in his pocket and the vintage manual typewriter in front of him, so he led the robber to the master bedroom where the jewelry was kept.
The news said that at first Teban thought a prank was being played on him. We can imagine him telling the robber, “Dong, wa man ni labot sa eksena, HAHAHA.” (In English: Dude, this is not part of the scene, LOL.) But that moment, Bisaya humor seemed to fail, even if the robber was arrested the next day.
Few days later, novelty music icon Max Surban made it to Page 10 when he sued his long-time record label over unpaid royalties. He filed the complaint against Bayanihan Music Inc., accusing the music label of duping him into assigning to the company the rights to ten of his popular songs for only P1 back in the 1980s. He demanded close to P1 million in damages and litigation expenses.
The case is pending, so we will not discuss it here. There’s this legal term called sub-judice, which is Latin for “don’t discuss it here or the court will whop you with more Latin words.”
I grew up listening to Teban’s radio shows and Surban’s songs. From them I learned that the Cebuano language can be a powerful creative tool to make people laugh and forget about their wives, I mean, worries.
I was reminded of Teban and Surban and Bisaya humor while tweeting last week. I keep a Twitter account to amuse myself at how people behave online in 140 characters. How to make a fool or a philosopher of yourself in such limited space is the challenge that makes Twitter popular.
What I didn’t expect to see in Twitter is Bisaya humor kept alive by a group of young people with Esteban Escudero and a Max Surban in their blood. I’m referring to the Twitter account “Sinugbang Sugbo.” Instead of tweeting about how boring their day was and how life is empty without the Azkals, blah blah blah, the group makes fun of just about anything they think is worth making fun of, in 140 characters, and in Bisaya.
And Bisaya tweeters appreciated the fun. In less than a week, Sinugbang Sugbo attracted 80 “followers,” actually a speck of dust in a network of millions of stalkers. But if you’re familiar with Twitter, you have to be Lady the Gaga or Justin the Bieber to attract followers without trying.
The account employs dialogue as device, between a boy named Gorio and his mother, simply known as Mama, in poking fun at pop culture.
Take this on Manny Pacquiao:
Mama: Dong Gorio, datoa na anang Dionesia no? Unsa ra tawn na sila sa una. Gorio: Unya? Mama: Aw, wa man, naa ra gyud na nimo kung mag-boxer ka.
Some English lines made it into the posts, but always with a distinct Cebuano taste to it:
Gorio: Unsay sud-an ma? Mama: Fish with vinegar, salt, seasoning, bell pepper, bulb onions, garlic cloves and ginger. Gorio: Unsa na? Mama: Inun-unan.
Just check them out for a good Bisaya laugh at Twitter.com/Sinugbang Sugbo. I seriously doubt if Teban and Surban are not behind this account.
MONKEY11

TWO news stories caught my attention last month because they involved two of my favorite funny Cebuanos, Esteban Escudero, who is Provincial Board Member Julian Daan when he tries to be serious, and Max Surban. Of course we know Max Surban. He popularized the song “Billionaire” written by Bruno Mars.

Last May 16, a man barged into Teban’s house in Talisay City, held him up at knifepoint and ran off with P1 million worth of jewelry, the news said. Teban was working on an episode for his regular drama show when the robber demanded money from our funny man. Teban only had P300 in his pocket and the vintage manual typewriter in front of him, so he led the robber to the master bedroom where the jewelry was kept.

The news said that at first Teban thought a prank was being played on him. We can imagine him telling the robber, “Dong, wa man ni labot sa eksena, HAHAHA.” (In English: Dude, this is not part of the scene, LOL.) But that moment, Bisaya humor seemed to fail, even if the robber was arrested the next day.





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