Monday, February 25, 2008

Week #10: Bloggers on Philippine Politics

The past week and the week ahead will be tumultuous ones for Philippine history. In this week's feature, I'll give you links to blogs that write about Philippine politics, and you can check on them everyday for the news and analysis you don't see or hear on newspapers and tv. (UPDATE 2/29/08: The past few days and today especially, the following blogs are said to have been hacked so you will only see the Homepage: Ellen Tordesillas, Manolo Quezon and Uniffors.)

Ellen Tordesillas, Making Life Worth Living - Here you can read the latest news and scoops. Ellen Tordesillas is a journalist at Malaya, and her blog is widely read by concerned bloggers and citizens. Read the many comments too, for unheard of before information.

The Daily Tribune, the online version - Although not a blog, this opposition 'newspaper' is a perfect complement to Ellen Tordesilla's blog. Check out the Commentary Section's Editorial and Ninez Cacho-Olivares' Frontline.

Manuel L. Quezon III, Punditry, Politics, History, Commentary - If you like reading long and serious political analysis explained clearly, this is the blog to read. It may have anti-Arroyo topics, but the subjects are dealt with objectively and fairly.

Ricky Carandang Reporting - I often see him on ABS-CBN and ANC. It is rare for a journalist of a big tv network to blog as 'himself' and post anti-Gloria entries. The posts here though are moderate and 'careful'.

Our Times, Writings of Susan 'Toots' Ople - This blog raises questions we only think about. With the insider's view of the political circle (Susan being the daughter of Blas Ople), Susan blogs about politics and events from her personal view.

Viewpoints, Personal Views and Commentaries - written by Most Rev. Oscar V. Cruz, Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop's Residence, this is only one Catholic priest's view of the current events. The events are commented upon, but no names are mentioned, even Jun Lozada's. But a good peek at the Church's moral stand on the issues.

Uniffors, Life in Gloria's Enchanted Kingdom - To 'cool off' from the heated events, here are jokes and funny stories inside Gloria's palace. I love the stories here, funny versions of the breaking news. But there is always truth in humor.

The Daily PCIJ - Keep updated with the news blog of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism.

And here is a list of other regular 'bloggers' who sometimes rant, sometimes analyze, sometimes personalize, sometimes criticize, and always blog their discontent:

Pedestrian Observer - A human rights blogger, critiques the "dysfunctional governance in the Philippines... ravaged by corruption and mismanagement."

Bayan ni Kabayan - Malacanang and its oppositions compared to Star Wars. Gloria as the Emperor, Joker Arroyo as Darth Vader, Speaker Jose de Venecia as Yoda, Congressman Nograles as Jar-jar, and the infamous Atty. Antonio Bautista as Bautista the Hutt. Can we call the youth of today as the young Jedi knights?

Tongue In, Anew - Personal anti-Gloria commentaries of the current political events. Sometimes too sad but funny. Or is that the other way around?

Manila Bay Watch - Here, no words are minced. Get high and get politicized.

The Equalizer - Equalizer says this in his blog: "What We're Fighting Against: Corrupt Establishment, Incompetent Establishment, Authoritarian Agenda, Political Spins." This is what he blogs about.

Mon Casiple’s Weblog on Philippine Politics - "A running commentary on Philippine politics." Objective analysis of the latest political news.

Diego K. Guerrero - Diego's "chronicle, perspective, random standpoint, rantings and personal opinion on Philippines current events, politics, and environment". - Commentary and personal blog.

Still working on the list.. more to come...

And also, announcing the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Resign Blogswarm:

(Photo from Kabayan)


Monday, February 18, 2008

Week #9: Calling for the Gloria Resign Blogswarm

By definition, a blogswarm is "a situation in which thousands of bloggers comment on the same story or news event. A blogswarm can become the "hot topic" of the day in both the blogosphere and mainstream media." -

But when Jenjen called for a blogswarm of Gloria Resign..

Bloggers unite!
Tomorrow, Friday, February 15, if you cannot join the mass protest actions in Makati because you cannot leave the comforts of your home or the toxicity of your workstation, or simply because you're in another province, nation, or planet, then you can.....BLOG about it! Put the title "Gloria Resign" together with your favorite photo of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo-Pidal!

.. only a few bloggers responded:

Uniffors - Life in Gloria's Enchanted Kingdom
Mob mentality: Supporting the Resign Gloria Blogswarm
Emperor Palpakparin Arroyo, Resign!
My Dad's a Rich Fatso - Luli Arroyo
Gloria Resign
Gloria Resign!
Gloria resign! Now na!
Philippine MOST WANTED: Gloria PINAGHAHANAP Arroyo
Sobra na. Resign!

This is only a microscopic drop of the Filipino bloggers all over the world. Not all are concerned or awake, yet. But as Ramon Casiple writes, "the situation is definitely developing and what’s interesting, is the involvement of the middle class and other various sectors." Hm.. maybe the bloggers will follow too, once they're ready. As Pedestrian Observer observes, Jun Lozada's plight and the counter-moves of the government to remain in power.

The rally held last Friday is fully reported at Ellen Tordesilla's blog, Sobra na. Resign!. Makes you feel you were there too. And PCIJ reports the week's events ending in the rally of ousting Gloria at Ayala, Makati. This report also includes links to the different sectors' full statements against the government, from the MBC, to the UP Faculty's call for Neri's resignation, the CBCPs and the AER's. Worth reading..

Talking of links, the Supreme Court allowed the airing of the 'Garci tapes', although during Saturday's news, the govt still threatened they will take to court any tv or radio station or newspaper/magazines, (probably blogs too) that will air or print the transcription of the Garci Tapes. I don't know why they should be alarmed about it being aired, as it's readily available at YouTube and the downloadable mp3s of the tapes (of all versions) and transcription are provided at PCIJ's website. You might want to read Tonyo Cruz's blog, High Court trashes gov’t ban on airing of Hello Garci tapes.

Here are the links:
Gloria-Garcillano Tapes, downloadable mp3s at PCIJ.

And if you want a laugh at YouTube, Hello Garci (animated) from Tembaron and Gloria Arroyo funny by macant3232. These two videos are worth a laugh.

What you can do aside from march:

Petition for UP Faculty Members only, UP Faculty Demand Resignation of Romulo Neri as CHEd Chair.

Petition for all Filipino citizens: Calling for the immediate resignation of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Noli de Castro and for the Holding of Special ("Snap") Elections within 60 days.

Black and White Movement, sign and be counted.

Pinoy Big Briber. You get this bribe of thanks from Pinoy Big Briber if you vote for the eviction of Ate Glo. :D Although deadline was Christmas, this is a replay and can go on indefinitely. As of last site visit, the vote was 53,459. This one lists the ALLEGED Violations of Ate Glo of the House Rules, with funny descriptions (in Tagalog): 1) Hello Garci, 2) Joc-joc only, 3) ABZTEFG, 4) Self-impeachment, 5) Christmas Caroling, 6) Liar! Liar! and 7) Erap's Pardon Me.

And of course, always choose truth and transparency.

Monday, the Senate Hearing will continue, followed by the scheduled rally on the 22nd Anniversary of EDSA next week (Feb 25). Filipinos, be vigilant and be aware! Take action and make your choice!! NOW.

Here are pictures you can re-post on your blogs. These are my favorites. Don't forget to link to the source--not me.

Photo from Kris Jou

Photo from Kabayan

Photo from

Photo from

Photo from GMA Resign

Monday, February 11, 2008

Week #8: Blogging Filipino Events

I'll just list the events blogged about by Filipino bloggers this week.

On the very light side, witness the new newspeople of today, bloggers and their poised digital cameras and camera phones. It's not fun to be a famous person these days. I'm So Happy I Met HappySlip, Happy Slip turning Filipino bloggers into papparazzis.

More about Happy Slip (sigh, I'm not envious). Except this post starts with a New Year greeting. Kiong Hee Huat Tsai is Happy New Year in Binondo.

On a more serious side (although it's another comedy in Philippine politics), a blog post by Manuel Quezon on Lozada's Great Escape. If you want the full story, a full history of the event is recounted here. This one kept everyone glued to the television, could this be the one to topple down the GMA regime? Abangan..

An apt celebration of Heart's Day this week. Black hearts at
The Black Parade, Revolutionize The Face of Valentine's. A good way to celebrate Valentine's by burning your heartaches and bridges behind you. Free for college students.

And if you are the kind who's not into freebies, watch the 12th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, Philippine's annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHABF), the country’s biggest aviation sports event. Full schedule is provided.

And another fantastic fiesta, the Panagbenga 2008, Flower Festival in Baguio. This post gives tips on how to enjoy the festival.

Until next week!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Week #7: Philippine Food Culture According to Bloggers

An American once asked me, "What is it with Filipinos and food?" Of course, it'd be no different from the question, "What is it with Filipino bloggers and food?" Recipes are swapped, secrets in cooking are revealed, memories are unearthed, local cuisines are written about, restaurants and food and cooking are reviewed, some even write about what they ate for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. But what is it with Filipinos and food? Maybe.. the diversity? Each region, each town has its own specialty and delicacy, its own way of preparing a certain Filipino dish, its own perspective on food, and its own traditions. And consider what one writer in the US wrote when talking about Philippine cuisine, "there is no such thing as Filipino food". (Gasp!) Could it be true? Could all our eating and writing about Filipino food be all false and delusional? Or could it be that Filipino food is the original fusion food because as Doreen Fernandez says, we ingest not only food but culture and make our own what we like from others?

So this week, we look at the food culture in the Philippines, according to Filipino bloggers. And find out for ourselves if there really is such a thing as Filipino food.. culture.

But first, a background on Philippine Culture, What Is Filipino Food? by Doreen Fernandez. And from the same site, Reynaldo Alejandro writes about The Basics of Philippine Cooking.

From bloggers:

The Heart and Soul of Filipino Food. Here Connie Veneracion tries to answer her editor's question "What characterizes great Filipino food?" And in another article, she writes about Cultural Differences and Acquired Tastes, a defense of Filipino cuisine.

In a way, it's true that we are known for eating pig's feet and chicken feet, and intestines and blood and snouts, eyes and brains, and duck feotus, but it's also true that we have a whole tradition behind us of food that foreigners and Fil-Ams have never even heard about. They know adobo (because of the band?), pancit and lechon (because they're ubiquitous), and dinuguan (for its icky factor). But do they know Ginataang Kuhol (escargot, snail)? Do they know we eat frog's legs? And dogs? And rats? Bats? Okay, enough joking around.

Here's a list of food as talked about by bloggers:

Pangasinan Cuisine by Kai, she writes a vivid picture of food traditions and introduces us to Pangasinan Cuisine. Who is familiar with intemtem, masikoy (palitaw), inlubi, katiba, unda-unday, inkaldet and patupat?

Filipino Food by Connie Veneracion. Sweets such as palitaw, buko pandan, pichi-pichi, puto maya are everyday snacks for us but curiosities for foreigners.

Or you might want to read Margaret Magat's long essay: Balut: Fertilized duck eggs and their role in Filipino culture.

I will add more blogs here as I find them, that talk not only about Filipino food recipes, but also the preparation, the traditions, the memories, and the culture that are still to be unearthed. Come to think of it, we need more food bloggers writing about Filipino food in their region, as they know it.