Personal Experiences, Social Issues

Emosyonal

CJ Corona is emotional

IMAGE SOURCE Kevin dela Cruz for Abante Online

Para akong asong nakarinig ng kaluskos nang marinig ang balita tungkol kay Chief Justice Corona ilang araw na rin ang nakararaan. Naging emosyonal daw ang punong mahistrado sa harap ng kanyang mga taga-suporta na nagdaos ng rally sa harap ng gusali ng Supreme Court. Hindi naman talaga ako mahilig manood ng balita sa TV at hindi ko sinusubaybayan ang proceedings ng impeachment trial sa senado, pero noong hapong iyon, nang naging laman ng mga balita ang emosyonal na mahistrado, palipat-lipat ako ng channel.

Hindi, hindi ako gaanong interesadong makita ang punong mahistrado, isa sa pinakamakakapangyarihang tao sa pamahalaan, ang malabathalang tagapagbigay ng hatol, na nagiging emosyonal. Mas interesado ako sa headline ng mga newscasts. Ewan ko kung nag-usap-usap ba ang mga writers sa iba’t-ibang istasyon at nagkaisa silang isang salita lang ang gamitin upang ilarawan si CJ Corona, dahil halos lahat yata ng headlines sa lahat ng istasyon, ganito ang sinasabi: CJ Corona, naging emosyonal sa harap ng mga taga-suporta. Katulad nito.

Ang ipinagtataka ko, sa dami ng maaring salitang gamitin, bakit emosyonal pa ang napiling gamitin ng mga newscast writers. Bakit hindi na lang “naiyak” o “napaluha”? Iyon naman talaga ang nangyari kay Corona, at may mga video na magpapatunay dito.

Hindi ito ang unang beses na narinig kong gamitin sa mga newscasts ang salitang emosyonal. Madalas, naririnig ko ito sa tuwing may bagyo, baha, landslide, sunog, o kahit anong sakuna. “Naging emosyonal si Aling Bebang habang ikinukuwento ang pagkawala ng kanyang limang-taong-gulang na anak nang bumaha nang matindi.” (Ang mga salitang water world at kalunos-lunos ang top 2 at 3 sa mga pinakamadalas gamiting salita sa mga balitang sakuna) Syempre, naririnig ko rin ito kapag may isang artistang nakipagbreak sa kanyang boyfriend o girlfriend. “KC, emosyonal sa interview ni Boy Abunda.”

Maraming uri ng emosyon, at sa pagsulat ng balita, kailangang tiyak at accurate ang facts. Sa paglalarawan ng damdamin,wala nang mas lalabo pa sa salitang emosyonal. Anong emosyon ba talaga ang tinutukoy ng emosyonal? Saya, lungkot, pighati, galit, o deadma?

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Beefcake Billboards
Social Issues

Beefcake Billboards

Beefcake Billboards

IMAGE CREDITS Billboard: FreakingNews.com; Meat: thegoatcheeselady.wordpress.com

Andreo Sakay, fresh out of college, has just been hired as a staff writer for Escort, a soft-porn magazine and gadget catalogue that pretends to be a high-brow culture guide. He hates his every minute in the magazine because he feels he is just wasting this talents doing Q-and-As with female models in bikinis who all believe that getting photographed in Escort is a “big break”. He thinks he has a prodigious talent in writing and he would be better off working either at the National Geographic or the New Yorker. Unfortunately, neither the National Geographic nor the New Yorker has any Philippine franchise. The only research he does in Escort is for that column that spotlights a new sex position in every monthly issue. The theme for its December 2011 issue is Genius, so it is profiling 20 geniuses in the Philippines. Andreo is assigned to interview the Genius Number 2: Banson Co, CEO of Soyeah Corporation and creator of the clothing brand Banco, which is making waves these days for its risque billboards. (Genius Number 1 is Mario V. Pakyawan, President of Smack Telecommunications, one of the biggest telecommunications company in the country) Banco happens to be one of the magazine’s major advertisers. Here is an excerpt of his interview with Banson in the office of Soyeah Corporation in the Ortigas Business District.

Andreo

Muscular male models are the rage these days. We see them in almost every ad, be it on TV or print or billboard. Banco’s billboards are especially known for them.

Banson

I like the way you put it: “Muscular male models”. Alliteration, isn’t it? I can say we started the trend. In the late Nineties, when you can only see pictures of hunky men in small magazines for gay men, we dared create a TV commercial where Raymond Garos was driving a bike in a hilly place, wearing sando and spandex shorts. As all brilliant ideas do, our idea got copied. Now, every ad, say, for iced tea in PET bottles or pancit canton or feminine wash, it always has a hunk in it.

A

Your billboards have gotten so much attention this year. There’s this one in Makati with three members of the Philippine Sungka team wearing nothing but their briefs, which the mayor wanted to be brought down. The CBCP said your billboards corrupt people’s morals. The MMDA has also requested the court to ban your billboards because they distract motorists and so, cause road accidents.

B

We are selling briefs here. How could we do that if our models had their pants on? As for the CBCP, with all due respect to these guardians of our morals and spirits: Morals? What do morals have to do with briefs? Why do the priests always freak out at every suggestion of skin? Do they want all Filipinos walking around in soutannes like them? That would be too unfashionable and impractical in a tropical country like ours so I would never allow that to happen. Banco has kept its promise to give the masa at least a piece of the lifestyle of the rich, beautiful and famous through our trendy yet affordable clothes. To ask us to guard people’s morals would be too much. That would mean adding a new department in our company. As for the proposed ban on our billboards: We have taken care of it. A five-year supply of briefs did the trick.

A

An industry insider told me that Banco’s men’s underwear ads are made to appeal to gay men.

B

Of course – I mean, of course not! Actually, our ads are made to appeal to women. We found out through our market research that it’s the women who buy briefs for their boyfriends and husbands. Women have become the top spenders in the Philippines, what with more women becoming domestic helpers and caregivers abroad and call center agents here. So that explains why we use hunky male models with perfect biceps, pecs and abs, very much like the leading men in the paperback romances they so love. That’s what women want.

A

What about the men? Shouldn’t they be the main market for briefs? The metrosexuals, especially. I can say you’re partly responsible for creating the metrosexuals in this country. They know exactly what they want and they wouldn’t simply pass the task of shopping for underwear to their partners, would they?

B

Yes, yes. Women, and metrosexuals. But never gay men.That would be too much trouble.

A

Trouble?

B

Trouble, because that would mean asking people for their sexual orientation. How many people are willing to answer that? So, yes, age, socio-economic status, media consumption, and pyschographics are what defines our target markets. And, yes, sex; that is, male or female. But never sexual orientation. If we got a lot of flak for putting together in an ad three sungka players who had just finished picking cowrie shells in the beach, imagine how much trouble would it bring us to mount another with two football players snuggling in their jockey shorts.

A.

Some people say that billboards have become eyesores in the city.

B

Eyesores? I’ll tell you, our billboards are the most beautiful things that have ever been erected in this city. Don’t you just love hard, muscular bodies that glisten with oil everywhere you turn your head to? It’s eyecandy, not eyesore. I can even say it’s art in the league of Robert Mapplethorpe’s works, so we’re giving people a free lesson on art appreciation.

A

Why does it have to be so big?

B

Of course, it has to be big! Who doesn’t love big? I even personally check on our male models to see if their equipment are big enough.

A

It’s the models who build the billboards?

B

What? Oh, well, what I really mean is, of course, our billboards should be that big for people to better see the quality of our underwear, how it’s different from that of our competitors, see for themselves the shaft – I mean, shape – of it.

A

A billboard bearing your ad toppled over during one stormy day a few years back. What can you say about billboards as hazards during typhoons as many billboards are built over residential areas?

B

It was an accident, so it wasn’t our fault.Why did those people choose to build their shanties at the foot of a billboard, in the first place, when they think it could harm them in some way? When a river overflows during a stormy day and it wipes out the houses on its banks, do you blame the river? Do you tell it, hey, you, river, move away! You’re a hazard! Residential areas? You mean, areas like Corinthian or White Plains?

A

A group of independent journalists did an investigative report on your company and found out that your clothes are made in sweatshop factories in China.

B

Well, at least it’s not in the Philippines. It’s cheaper there in China.

A

What about the sweatshop issue? The report said that dressmakers are locked inside poorly ventilated factories.

B

What can we do? It’s not as if we can dictate our Chinese contractors how to run their business. At least, these dressmakers have jobs. Our paper bags are made of recycled paper, and we sell t-shirts with Banoy Acuna’s large eyeglasses on them. I think that’s enough corporate social responsibility, don’t you think? Worker’s rights is not exactly our corporate communication team’s cup of tea. Besides, Filipinos will buy anything as long as it’s Banco and a model from Macondo wears it. Who are these journalists, anyway?

A

Speaking of Macondo models, Jose Arcadio Yamashita recently had this press conference where he blamed your company for his asthma. He said that during the shoot for one of Banco’s campaigns, you had him swim in a freezing swimming pool for twenty-four hours.

B

He’s an ingrate. Before he did that campaign with us, he had nothing but a bit role as a plumber with steroid-pumped muscles who can’t speak straight English nor Filipino in a corny sitcom that lasted only for two episodes. Look at him now: He’s got projects here and there despite his weird Filipino and lack of talent and girls and gays swoon over him because of his weird Filipino and lack of talent. All that because of Banco. And now he’s blaming us for his asthma? That’s ridiculous, if anything. Actually, we wouldn’t have moved the shoot to the pool had he been good in bed.

A

Bed?

B

Yes. The original idea was to shoot him lying on the hotel bed. The problem was, as soon as his back touched bed, he would doze off. He’s got a bad case of sleep apnea. We weren’t shooting a campaign for sleeping pills here, were we? How can you expect us to work with such a model? So unprofessional. It was already midnight and we still didn’t have any decent shot. Imagine how inconvenient it was for the whole team. So we decided to move the shoot to the pool and have him swim in it. And it was good. The water jolted him awake.

A

He said no one gave him any bathrobe after the shoot.

B

Why would we? After all the trouble he gave us? If only he had a brain as large as his biceps…

A

Now, what should fans of Banco expect this new year? Trunks that would keep its wearer afloat when the Great Flood comes?

B

First, let me thank you all for making us the top clothing brand in the country all these twenty years. We promise to continue providing you fashionable yet affordable clothes so you can look like your favorite celebrities without the hefty price tag. And exciting mornings as you commute to work, as we plan to fill the entire length of EDSA with our billboards. Now, for that floatable trunks, you just gave me an idea.

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Personal Experiences, Social Issues

The Joys of Stupidphone

old-phone

I have a phone. I do. I’ve had it for as long as I can remember. It’s actually a hand-me-down from my mom. I’ve long forgotten its exact model name but it is definitely not a Blackberry,  a Samsung Galaxy nor an iPhone, those smart and sexy phones that my friends carry with them and that fit entirely on their whole palms and do everything. My phone can’t do everything. I can’t take a picture with it. I can’t store and play songs with it, much less record my own voice. I can’t open my email, Facebook and Twitter accounts from it. I can’t cook rice with it. It can only send and receive text messages and calls. And, at 5:30 in the morning, ring like an alarm clock. It also has major battery issues: The battery won’t fit anymore in the slot at the back and keeps falling off, so I have to insert a small piece of wadded-up paper to hold the battery in place. I know, it is in a bad– no, terrible — shape. The back cover keeps falling off as well, so I have taken to bolting it to the whole phone with a rubber band. I actually have coined a name for it: the stupidphone. Of course, I dare not say it in its presence lest it comes alive and hurls itself on my face.

Like a mother with an ugly baby, I have come to appreciate my stupidphone in spite of what it is and because of what it is. I brandish it in public, taking pride in it as a rare and ancient tool of communication, like the ram’s horn used by tribal communities in the olden times to signal the coming of invaders. That’s one reason. I’ve listed here the rest:

1. It is cheap.Very cheap. I don’t have to pay a telecom 3000 pesos a month and a phone seller 1000 pesos a month for two years for the handset. I only pay at most P30 for the prepaid cellphone load which lasts for as long as a couple of weeks.

2. It keeps vanity at bay. It keeps me from the compulsion to take a picture of the latest four pieces of kwek-kwek I ate, skewered on a stick,  the cup of taho I drank this morning, my pimple, myself in a planking position, my face in my cutest pout, and post them on Facebook. Come to think of it, it also saves me from committing a social faux pas – just imagine how my Starbucks-drinking friends would react if they know I’m drinking the lowly taho.

3. It is safe. I don’t have to worry about punctured eardrums and swollen thumbs and knuckles.

4. It gives me peace of mind. I’m spared from the tweet war between a celebrity cosmetic surgeon and her lover.

5. It frees both of my hands. While riding a train, I need to firmly hold a book as big as Thomas Friedman’s The World Is Flat or Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way.

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