Friday, December 24, 2010

The best Christmas

This promises to be one of the best Christmases ever.

Children abound. Noise at an intolerable level. Gifts unwrapped lying on the floor. And it's the 24th already! Dang, I blame myself to be such a crammer.

"I'm at my best when I cram," I declared loudly to my wife as she mumbles again at my incoherent planning. Bah, when do I ever plan? Suddenly I remember even this vacation was not approved until the 1st of this month. Only if she knew. I smiled naughtily.

The clock says 5:57 in the evening.

Old Filipino pop hit blurts outside murmuring romantic nothings to anybody who cares to listen. Jeez! It's cheesy but I confess I do submit myself to the occasional torture of listening to the likes of it abroad. Ironically, to drown loneliness outside, I torture myself by listening to Filipino songs. Or foreign songs rehashed by Filipino artists. Heck, eighty-percent of Filipino songs are rehashed hits. The remaining twenty are from Filipino bands who thankfully are getting to a level where you can be proud of blasting their music even abroad.

An aunt is ready to rock, looking for the Magic Sing. And she is the silent type. Hahaha.

Lechon baboy is going to be here soon. One of the reasons to be home this Christmas. Well, lechon is going to be the star for any season. But on Christmas, it is the wine in fruitcakes. If you know what I mean.

This is not going to be the end of this. I promise to write about this evening on the morning after. Like I said, this is going to be a very special evening.

Enjoy, everyone!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The dalliance

Lately, it has been getting more and more difficult for me to go home early on Wednesdays. Everytime I try to visit her place, I am getting more and more lost in her world. I know it's a bit wrong--knowing that my wife is at home waiting. All the more wrong when my baby Nash is expectantly awaiting for dad's playful embrace.

But how can I resist her?

It is futile to resist temptations like this. The man called Oscar Wilde wisely declares to get rid of temptation is to yield to it. How can I not when the lining of her perfect curve succulently rests into the cup of my palm. To gently touch the bed of where she rests before you bounce her against the same bed is pure joy. The culmination of the suppressed guilty secret smiles in the six days you had waited.

Everything leads to this. Leave all doubts behind. No time for anticipating consequences. Despite common perception, Basketball is not a team sport. It is a dalliance between me and Spalding.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The burden of proof

The number 1 pound-for-pound boxer today ( at least in his mind) has done it again. He has dodged the one foe that many believed can put a spot on his undefeated record.

Bear in mind that once upon a time, Floyd Mayweather Jr was a beast. He used to fight (and beat impressively) the best and the baddest dudes out there. Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo to name a couple. The fight with the former was the fight that put him on the map of pound-for-pound rankings.

A former Olympian, he started his professional career with a chip on his shoulder that carried through his early career. He sought out the best and hardest fights out there. But as the wins piled up apparently the motivation to prove his mettle went south.

After career defining wins over Corrales and Arturo Gatti, the names and the caliber of boxers he fought were cherry pickings with an occasional reputable match here and there like when he fought Zab Judah.

But when the time called for him to step up the plate against boxers many critics feel could give him a run for his money, he ducked.

Shane Mosley. Antonio Margarito (before the hand-wrap fiasco). Miguel Cotto (before he got clobbered by Margarito and ---). Now Manny Pacquiao.

To prove that he's the best, he has to fight the best. There is no excuse of beating around the bushes just to protect an undefeated record.

Ultimately, a boxer is judged by the quality of his opponents. After all, even all-time greats Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard suffered defeats. An undefeated record could mean you are good. Or it could mean that you were never really tested.

In Pretty Boy's case, I lean towards the latter. As many angry fans now accuse him of. A chronic ducker.

Forget about his demands about random drug testing, if he were so concerned of it, he would have obliged Zab Judah, Ricky Hatton and Oscar dela Hoya to undergo such tests. His prima donna attitude is not serving him well.

This is not to overlook the possibility of PEDs in boxers today. But Pacquiao has never tested positive in any of the drug tests since he came to prominence. The burden of proof should not lie on him.

The accusation that he has jumped outrageously as a 16 year-old professional campaigning at 108 to where he is now is preposterous considering that when Mayweather was also a 108-pounder at one time, as a 16 year-old amateur.

Where to now?

Many of us fans are still hoping that this match is still going to be done. What with the promise of it being the richest fight in boxing history. Both fighters and the promoters are crazy to turn their backs on this.

More importantly, the legacy that both fighters work so hard for to cement point only to this fight. The respect that PBF has long yearned for from critics and fans can only be rewarded if he willingly does this. No ifs and buts.

In the question of is-he-or-isn't-he-ducking, the burden of proof only lies on the great Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


The problem with baldness is men always think they are too young for it.

Most people have the perception that men do not care how they look. That we can go to work with scraggly hair, stubborn stubbles and minute pieces of last night's dinner plastered to our face akin to a murder victim's cadaver displayed until the police's body trace.

Well, mostly we don't.

The masculine gene in us allow us to nonchalantly display a basketball-size gout as pure animal sexiness. Or the more couragious of us would even defy good hygiene and go to office without taking a bath for days. Just because.

A lion can not be tamed.

And yet mention a slight hint of bald patch, we go on panic mode. Our miserable life would pass right before our very eyes.

The very gene that allows us to let go of any amount of shame because as men we feel we can get away with anything is the very gene that causes us to wince at the mere mention of an expanding forehead.

Thus the very desperate attempt to hide it.

There is the carpet look where some of us would grow hair longer on one side and sweep it to the other side to cover a shiny middle. Put ample amount of gel to cement the architectural masterpiece. Nice idea, but fuck the superior being who invented wind.

Then there is the more common wig. The funny thing about wigs is that the men who wear them does not seem to have an idea about historical continuity--or deny it. How then can you slap a thick patch of straight hair on your noggin when you have been curly all your life? What do you want the rest of us say about this?

Uhm, there is a horse tail on top of your head, where's the rest of its body?

Ah, creative things we do to hide a shiny spot. If we can only grow grass on top, the only question coming out of our mouth would then be: How many times a day?

The problem with baldness is we always associate it with growing old or worse growing less appealing. Having it would mean we are on the decline side of the success curve.

Lately though there had been gradual change of perception. If there is one thing I am grateful for, I am glad the hair waited long enough to witness great celebrities strutting their bald plate before wilting.

I am glad that Michael Jordan came before me. He was at his athletic best when he sported the bare dome look. This Bruce Willis dude also grew sexier as the hair go thinner. Even the wig model of his generation Sean Connery who sported a patch while playing James Bond has embraced his true self.

Imagine if I would have lived in the time of the great Bembol Roco?

So as I slowly face my inevitable shiny destiny I am forced to make an important decision and so I have: No mirrors around the house!
Shine on shine just does not make it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Labsong Writer

There are great questions out there that are better left hanging much like the chicken and the egg debate. Like who tops Kris Aquino as the most irritating TV personality? Or to a person who is at the proverbial crossroads of his sexual path, to be or not to be? Or better yet to a struggling singer trying to impress the bitchy judge who himself is a poor imitation of Simon Cowell, to birit or not to birit?

But some questions, we can answer more easily. In fact, to some more passionately.

In this regard, the question I drown myself into more frequently is who is today's best Filipino songwriter?

First there is Ely Buendia who was the main songwriter of arguably the most influential band that ever came out of Filipino radio. He spawned the seminal hits Alapaap, Ang Huling El Bimbo and Magasin. He is the master of narrative songwriting, wrapping you with the stories of friendship, love and yes, of that lady who looked like Paraluman. Sadly, the band caved in under its own grand ambition. But he is still pushing the envelope with his new band Pupil.

Second, there is Rico Blanco who was the main songwriter of the consistently critically acclaimed rivermaya. The band in itself evolved with a few members gone and replaced but Blanco was clearly the sole driving force of the band. He concocted the hits Himala, You'll be safe here and Kisapmata. He has since left the band to pursue his own music. Now a solo artist, he is still able to feel the pulse of the masses with hits like Your Universe and Antukin, 2009's NU Song of the Year.

Last is the guy who used to be the face of rivermaya. Bamboo was never known as a songwriter in his Maya days but with his own band, ehem, Bamboo, he surprised most of us with his anthemic Noypi and Hallelujah. Scourging through their albums though, one could sense that the band is equally comfortable with soft jazz/reggae numbers. Plus, his looks mesmerized a thousand of collegialas thus helping push the band's albums to record sales. Personally, I feel there is much more to be desired in his songwriting. But that is a matter of personal opinion that is disagreed to by the number of fans who are passionate about the band's music.

Pinoy rock today has never been parched with talented composers. Among the most notable are Ebe Dancel of Sugarfree, Gabe Alipe of urbandub and Barbie Almalbis. Of course there is the oft-overlooked but absolutely sublime Cynthia Alexander. Each has his or her own strength from which to draw from, creating tales about love and life delivered in the blistering sound of the almighty amplified guitar. (Or in the wistful strums of the acoustic guitar.) Altogether wrapping us in bittersweet ecstacy. Ah, such is the story of the eternal romantic Juan.

Altogether, Pinoy rock has never been in a better place. A slew of new bands and artists crop up on TV and radio every now and then hoping to catch the ever fleeting attention of Juan. Thus these same artists try to top each other with better materials much like Bob Dylan did to the Beatles and the Beatles to Bob Dyland and the Beach Boys.

The uphill fight against piracy notwithstanding, Juan comes out the ultimate winner as he becomes richly immersed in different takes and perspective on the greatest subject of all: Kris Aquino este, love.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Heavy Metal Heart

Two people meet. Bonded by a common passion. Defies the odds and went boldly for it. For better or for worse.

In true rock and roll fashion the band Anvil went for their dream of rocking a million faces, but unfortunately for them, destiny looked the opposite way.

The band went touring with Metallica, Anthrax, Bon Jovi and the likes in the '80s. Considered as one of the pioneers of glam metal, the band unfortunately went south after that. With 15 minutes of fame expired, the band dragged on to its last two original members and childhood friends, Lips and Robb now in their 50s.

The documentary "Anvil," narrates a surprising story full of heart and tender moments despite the protagonists' love of the devil's music. It tells about going broke for a dream, false promises, great expectations, broken hearts, and ultimately, redemption.

During the course of the story, you will be charmed by the eternal optimism of the band's lead singer, Lips and the steady presence of his best friend-drummer, Robb. It shows the other story of the entertainment industry. For every Metallica, there will be a thousand Anvils.

As their story progresses, you become wrapped up in their quest for redemption because you know inside there is a little Anvil inside each of us. We all hope for a dream come true. Because in this story, even devil worshippers need a little redemption.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Technology has changed the past few years that one could not imagine even ten years back the gadgets we have now could even exist. And in turn our lives have been changed drastically.

Cellphones with cameras/videos. I-pods. Laptops. Bluetooth. To name a few. And of course, the 20th century version of the wheel, the internet. The greatest single invention recent history has produced.

Because of it, globalization, where as before was an abstract concept of the world coming together through commerce and communication, has become a virtual yet tangible reality.

I could go praising on and on about this invention but I should just stick close to what matters more to me. Music.

When I was "younger" listening and "getting close" to the bands I love would mean going to music stores and go "sonic shopping." A more complete experience to window shopping. I would be there for hours listening to the music blasted from the speakers and at the same time browsing through (no, make it "breathing information" as if hanging on to dear life) the album in-lays. For me, everytime I do that the time just stops. Even until now, I couldn't resist the lure of the record shop. I will find myself staying there for hours. Friends and wife be damned.

At that time, you only submit yourself to what is available. Of course you can not really expect a small record shop in a small city to have everything. From the latest to the back catalogues and most especially from bands even the local DJs are not aware of.

But now, because of internet, my laptop has become my virtual record store. And I am constantly in nirvana. Fuck, even my wife thinks I should sleep with my laptop.

Even in my laziest days I can not stop romancing my laptop. How can you when you can now download songs from records that you have only dream of having when you were just a skinny little kid who does not even know what a bank account is for when money just barely grazes through your hand-me-down wallet?

Just like that, through a few fiddles in the keyboard, songs pop out. And it is for free! Wohooo!

Right now I am into "If I were a carpenter," a tribute album to (tada!) The Carpenters by bands and artists who were as unknown then as they are now. But it is such a visceral and orgasmic experience hearing the all-too familiar and depressing (almost suicidal) sound of the tragic duo through the unique voices of these bands. Try it but please don't kill yourself.

Without the internet, these songs would have been just peripheral experience. Just a faint soundtrack to the younger years. Of course there are moral and criminal issues to downloading songs to profit from it. But I am not. And many are complaining about information overload in the age of internet. But I am a news buff myself. So who's complaining?