Monday, July 11, 2011

the bar is low

let's break some rules here.

the blogosphere is rife with the news that once again, Philippine entertainment is scraping, nay, licking the bottom of the barrel, exerting their creative juices by making a version of Gossip Girl.

bringing myself to watch the teaser trailer, it is as cringe-worthy as you might imagine. i don't care if they are merely playing characters - i want to kill these stupid motherfuckers: the actors, actresses, scriptwriters, directors down to the PAs, drivers, makeup artists, and gofers associated with this project.

oh, that's right, the raison d'etre for this series is because, yes, today's Philippine youth also exhibit the same tawdry and stupid behavior their American counterparts have (specifically, the upper crust). yup, i've read some horror stories involving kids of showbiz/political folks, who are more likely to be of the moneyed clans (hence, they get a license to do whatever they want - exhibit A: the asshole known as Borgy Manotoc).

see, normally i wouldn't pay attention to these things - i haven't even seen an episode of Gossip Girl. i still might. posters for the upcoming second season puts the following quote from the Boston Herald: "Every Parent's Nightmare". it might convince me not to be a parent anymore.

but fine, Americans are known for TV series extolling the shallowness and immaturity of youth - Dawson's Creek, The O.C. The Hills, to name a few of more recent ones - and the audience themselves lap it up, making money all around and further fueling such behavior, because its fucking cool and its awes0me, duuuuuuuude! Gossip Girl takes it a step further, tackling teenage issues wrapped with Sex and the City sensibilities.

and we brown Yank wannabes have nothing better to do, recycling American

and don't play the nationalist card on me. what's nationalistic about copying Hollywood?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

coda ... for now

due to the events of the last few weeks (no, not the emergence of her dumbness Sarah Palin), i've come to conclude that i won't be able to post in this blog as much as i would like to, as i need a lot more time these days to get my head into writing something substantial (as if i do that anyway). this blog has encompassed the personal and the outside view, the important and the mundane, the funny and the sad, and a great deal of it examining pop culture through my dirty eyeglasses.

digital dust, through its initial incarnation in Xanga and Blogger 1.0, has been my baby since 2003. the years have zipped by quickly, spawning a couple more blogs along the way. some time back, i opened a Vox account to get a version 2.0 of dust rolling, but that never got off the ground as much. i kept going back to Blogger. and for good measure. now, perhaps the time has come to close the door on this particular tome.

not that i've come to dislike blogging - far from it. writing gives me a slice of peace of mind, but at the same time activating it in all directions. its the one thing my parents blessed me with, i think, and although i wouldn't say i squandered that talent, i don't think its enough to pay my bills anyway. its more of a pleasure that i indulge in. however, it takes a lot more energy to string words these days that somehow make sense or make people laugh. one of my favorite topics to blog about is looking back at my childhood and fondly reminiscing and laughing at myself. my family recently sent me scanned copies of old pictures of my wonder years - the wife and i were in stitches all night. maybe at some point, in some form or another, i'll be sharing those with you. assuming i'm not senile by then.

i won't be deleting this blog (now how else would you be reading this eh?), and i hope Blogger keeps it up for sometime (is there a cutoff date for non-activity and they delete it themselves?). i'll still be posting in the shared blog with my pals, and my own stream-of-consciousness dabbling with my first love, comicbooks. at this point, it is easier for me pound a few keys, paste a few links and get on with my life. plus there's always my flickr page. am still going back here from time to time as i am too lazy to bookmark the links i usually visit on the right sidebar.

within a month or so, America will have a new president, and the way its going, there could be chaos either way. assuming the economy hasn't completely fallen flat on its place, there's still scary stuff out there. the blogosphere can be a force for change, but it can only do so much. perhaps you'll find me out there.

thanks for passing by, boys and girls. see you around. the internet's a big place, but not that big. ask the CIA.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


first, i would like to greet all my family, relatives and friends who are here with us, and in spirit, during this trying occasion.

i will be the first to tell anyone how much i would like to be here right now, and not recording this to be played at the funeral. unfortunately, these kind of circumstances cannot be projected or scheduled. it will be something i will always remember with regret, that i am not here with the family.

when my dad had his stroke three years ago, we all thought we might lose him there and then. it was then fortunate that i was able to still see him, that he waited for me to get home, that despite his injuries, he was still able to recognize people, that we were able to spend a good three more years with him before last week.

i do not have my Dad's gift for writing and talking. i should know, he used to write all our school speeches when we were growing up. he wakes up at 3 in the morning to write something, anything, even if its just a laundry list of things to do for the day. he loves to talk to people, talk in front of an audience, to tell stories. he's a politician who didn't want to be a politician.

and when his stroke robbed him of his abilities to write and to talk, i believe, that was the saddest blow he ever had. can you imagine if, in the last three years, he was at least able to speak and write? he would probably have finished an autobiography out by now (published by Armvet, no less).

Dad was the type who never aspired to be rich, and for some reason, life wasn't really always that generous to him. but his generosity to others sometimes approached the bounds of the impractical, which is strange because he's more likely to cut costs, especially on things for his own benefit. when he retired, he could have used some of his retirement money to travel around the world, but no. he put up a school, to help the community's youth, and give them a chance at a better future. the long term gains of this endeavor is neither here nor there, but i am proud to say that he has indeed helped a lot of young people in Aparri, a place which is not even his adopted hometown. i hope, in their hearts, they will remember his contributions as long as they live.

and for the record at least, on our insistent prodding, he has managed to travel and visit me and our other relatives abroad back in 2003.

for someone who had the insight for long-term returns, he sure liked to live on a day to day basis. i used to give him a hard time because he stubbornly refused to hand over the domestic budgeting to my mother. Dad likes to consider himself a businessman, which gave the rest of the family a lot of concerns. i still think he should have asked for and listened to better advice.

he had at least made better decisions with his choice of partner in life. i cannot even imagine repaying someone like my mother, who has managed to bring up three children (and me not even her own), shepherd us through school and work, keep a job, and tend to him during his last years here on earth. Mom, i hope Dad will ask heaven to bless you with an easier time in the next chapters of your life. Dad, can you please do this as a final request?

we all have our own memories of him, but i would think a lot more is lost through the years. at this point, i would like to ask each and everyone to recall and remember the one best memory you have of my father - and keep it in your heart forever. in this regard, he is rich and wealthy. may we all be as fortunate when we pass on.

in closing, I would like to thank all the people who have stood by us in recent years, and have given generously, not in just material terms - Bapang Meng, i will forever be indebted to you, Tita Mely and my three favorite cousins and their families, the Del Mundos, the Tius, the Tiglaos, the Lacsamanas, our kin in Mabalacat whom my Dad never failed to visit when he was still healthy, his friends who have in one time or another gave him just a little bit more reason to live, and last but not the least the Perez clan on my mother's side, whom i have come to love as family since 1983. thank you for your generosity and kindness.

It is with great sadness that i humbly bid goodbye

to my Father

your Coya Bel

your Attorney Adriano

Ing Ginung Dios atiu Queca.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

picks of the week

let's see ... the Golden Boy is out, Vick's heir apparent is suicidal, its lights out for San Diego, the Rams and Raiders are still pathetic, and Ocho Cinco should be renamed Siete Cinco. that's only week 1.

Week 2
Tennessee @ Cincinnati
Green Bay @ Detroit
Oakland @ Kansas City
NY Giants @ St. Louis
Indianapolis @ Minnesota
New Orleans @ Washington
Chicago @ Carolina
Buffalo @ Jacksonville
San Francisco @ Seattle
Atlanta @ Tampa Bay
New England @ NY Jets
Miami @ Arizona
San Diego @ Denver
Pittsburgh @ Cleveland
Philadelphia @ Dallas
Baltimore @ Houston

last week: 12-4

the pain

with the emergence of a new player in American politics, the event which created a massive media frenzy not seen since maybe Hurricane Katrina, the Republicans have turned the tables on the Democrats and the American people are now flocking to the next American idol.

it does seem eerily similar that a woman could potentially take the presidential seat given the right circumstances. in 2005, ABC once produced a political drama starring Geena Davis, whose title role is the what else, Commander in Chief. they probably did it with Hillary Clinton in mind.

but now, Hillary is "olds" and not news anymore, the Clintons painted as bitter and jealous has-beens, in the afterglow of Barack Obama's stellar rise in the Democratic ranks. John McCain, war hero, does not have age going for him, and it is definitely a substantial question of his health holding up in an expected turbulent 4-year term, if ever? oh, but first, he has to win the election first. enter Sarah Palin.

i have no problem with women running for political office, even if i had the right to vote here. but really? you're thinking of voting for an unknown state governor who has even less experience than Obama? what happens if she suddenly gets thrust on the driver's seat? that will even beat Tita Cory's task of trying to repair a fractured country.

Robert Herbert of the New York Times eloquently says it better than me. take it away, Bob.

The economy is in a tailspin. The financial sector is lurching about on rubbery legs. We’re mired in self-defeating energy policies. We’re at war. And we are still vulnerable to the very real threat of international terrorism.

With all of that and more being the case, how can it be a good idea to set in motion the possibility that Americans might wake up one morning to find that Sarah Palin is president?

I feel for Ms. Palin’s son who has been shipped off to the war in Iraq. But at his deployment ceremony, which was on the same day as the Charlie Gibson interview, Sept. 11, she told the audience of soldiers that they would be fighting “the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans.”

Was she deliberately falsifying history, or does she still not know that Iraq and Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks?

To burnish the foreign policy credentials of a vice presidential candidate who never even had a passport until last year, the Republicans have been touting Alaska’s proximity to Russia. (Imagine the derisive laughter in conservative circles if the Democrats had tried such nonsense.) So Mr. Gibson asked Ms. Palin, “What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?”

She said, “They’re our next-door neighbors. And you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska. From an island in Alaska.”

Mr. Gibson tried again. “But what insight does that give you,” he asked, “into what they’re doing in Georgia?”

John McCain, who is shameless about promoting himself as America’s ultimate patriot, put the best interests of the nation aside in making his incredibly reckless choice of a running mate. But there is a profound double standard in this country. The likes of John McCain and George W. Bush can do the craziest, most irresponsible things imaginable, and it only seems to help them politically.

even i can make a better political analysis about Russia and Georgia.

some people even think the Democrats made a mistake when they ditched Hillary for Obama. Hillary is probably even seething mad right now and would be so if McPain won the full ticket, McCain bites the dust and Palin gets the Oval Office. no offense to women everywhere, but i wouldn't pick Hillary or Palin at all. too bad i have no say in this election.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

picks of the week

Here we go again (and on that note, kailan kaya ako magkakaHDTV?)

Week 1

Washington @ N.Y. Giants
Detroit @ Atlanta
Seattle @ Buffalo
N.Y. Jets @ Miami
Kansas City @ New England
Tampa Bay @ New Orleans
St. Louis@ Philadelphia
Houston @ Pittsburgh
Jacksonville @ Tennessee
Cincinnati @ Baltimore
Carolina @ San Diego
Arizona @ San Francisco
Dallas @ Cleveland
Chicago @ Indianapolis
Minnesota @ Green Bay
Denver @ Oakland

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


in the past week or so, i've had some kind of contact from old friends from my short stint in the late, maybe-not-so-lamented Urban Bank. for those who still remember, Urban Bank was a solid pillar in the Philippine financial community until an unfortunate series of events brought it crashing down to earth. 10 years later, i feel like part of a seminal rock band, which kind of broke up just before they hit the big time,  and the dissolution became a very hyped disaster. i left the Bank about a year before it went under, and i feel sorry for those who stayed behind then had to scurry like rats to flee the sinking ship. a sad story to this day, which culminated in the death of star banker TCB.

oh, yeah, back to my old friends. i received a message in my old Friendster account (i know, i know, i barely update the damn thing) that my friend Loida was getting married. i exchanged emails with her sometime back, and she was at a crossroads because her fiance and her had an adorable daughter and their wedding was called off. now, happy days have come again for her as she served notice that she was marrying the guy early this month. they've been together for such a long time, that there should be no other ending. congratulations, Loids!

the other contact i had (again through the trendy-in-2003 Friendster) was from the Australian transplant Maricris, who started a blog and ehem, credited yours truly for inspiring her. Maricris was the older sister/hen we had in our department, and she kept an even keel on things even though we didn't know what the hell we were doing (speak for yourself, grifter). the funniest thing i ever heard from her was her nickname during the Yuletide season (hence the name of her blog). she used to lend me Dragonlance books and that was my one-and-only time brush with fantasy novels, despite not having played any D&D and my tastes ran more along the lines of political/military superthrillers. having lost track of her in the ensuing years, i only had Friendster to tell me that she and husband moved to Oz with their daughter. she actually may have other ties to me as her sister worked with my mother-in-law in the previous decade. funny how life is.

oh, and before August ends, although he won't read this anyway, belated happy birthday, Pong Pagong! thank you for throwing me a line in 1996. it was quite an interesting 17 months.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

1992 was so long ago ...

and i miss my well-worn copy of Zander Hollander's Pro Basketball Handbook. he made the reader so familiar with these strange tall men. so we'll just say goodbye to Duck. sorry you ran into that certain Chicago God, er ... guard.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

yeah, i had to wake up for this

breakneck pace in first quarter woke me up faster than a cup of joe. playing more of run n' gun, the Spaniards played right into the hands of this generation of Yanks who really like nothing better than to shoot.

speaking of the Spaniards, some of their jerseys read: "Rudy", "Ricky", "Marc", "Bernie", "Raul" etc. sounds like Menudo to me, if only Pau Gasol wasn't a familiar face. and on the topic of faces, i bet they wouldn't be (caught) making this face again. by the way, that kid Ricky Rubio is pretty good for a 17-year old.

As for the Americans, well ... this is the most likable group since the (now-legendary) 1992 Olympians. good thing they weeded out the malcontents (Starbury, Iverson etc.). their 69-61 halftime lead yo-yo'ed between 10 and 2 points, and they traded big shot after big shot with the tough Spaniards and held on for the 118-107 final score.

Redeem Team? sounds like born-again Christians.

no more "Coach L". no more "LeBronze". the USA is back.

and on that note, thank you, Beijing, for a great Olympics (even if that girl didn't really sing, and those gymnasts aren't really 16).