Monday, November 28, 2005 A.D.
Bigger Than Jesus
With a successful string of indistinguishable revivals between them, Nina and MYMP have revealed plans to form a supergroup. In a strange development, the yet unnamed project will not only be a musical collaboration but a religious one as well. Combining their unequaled capacity for reviving things, Nina and MYMP have apparently discovered how to revive the dead. Their first major concert/prayer rally is in the works and for the occasion, audience members will be allowed to bring in their dead pets (all of whom will be re-animated to "Love Moves in Mysterious Ways").

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Happy Birthday Calvin
I won't ever forget the day you came into my life. You can, however, leave now.

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Thursday, November 24, 2005 A.D.
Happy Birthday Emillie
You changed my life. Please change it back.

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Reaction Star
It should be funny, except it isn't. It's hilarious.

Over a week ago, a former action star, Jon Regalla (not his real name), was visiting his friend in a subdivision (rumored to be somewhere near my place) and was stopped at the gate by the guard on duty. It was already 1:30AM. As it was standard procedure, the guard asked Mr. Regalla for his driver's license and tried calling up the person whom he wanted to visit. Here's the problem: Mr. Regalla claimed not to have a driver's license and the person he wanted to visit wasn't picking up the phone. Simply put, he couldn't enter the subdivision so the guard stuck to his responsibilities and simply kept him waiting the whole time while he kept dialing for Mr. Regalla's friend.

Frustrated by the long wait (not to blame the man), Mr. Regalla then introduced himself. Here's how the conversation went inside my head:

Jon Regalla, action star: I'm Jon Regalla.
Security Guard: I'm sorry sir, but I do not know you.

The stories started to conflict here. The guard's account went that Mr. Regalla, former action star, went ballistic and drew a gun at him before proceeding to flauntingly flurry a few furious fistfuls at the hapless guard. (According to other unconfirmed reports, he then met a dancer being harassed by burly thugs at a night club before he single-handedly took down a corrupt politician's army of henchmen. He suffered a bullet wound to the leg and, with the dancer, lived happily ever after).

The guard's retort must have been quite a blow to the former action star's ego... after all, his body of work does include the venerated classics, Boy Kristiano and Askal. It's also not possible for any living soul to be unfamiliar with his name at all when he falls somewhere between Jeric Raval and George Estregan Jr. in the grand pecking order of Robin Padilla spawnlings (it should be noted that Jeric Raval's claim to fame was an historic joke during the 90s (you know, Dr. Jeric Raval), where he became the J.R. of choice over our esteemed J.R.).

Mr. Regalla, aptly donning a cowboy hat on national television, stated that he never actually did physically assault the guard. He claimed that he was merely driving without a license (nothing wrong with that, of course) and that it was the guard who overreacted by drawing his service firearm (it is a scientific fact that all security guards are trained to shoot visitors who, when entering a subdivision, fail to present valid identification). He also added that he wouldn't think of hurting 'little people' when these 'little people' constitute his fan base (which by inference, should also be little). Credibly backed by unforgettable turns in Totoy Buang and Cesar Hudas, Mr. Regalla ably convinced not only his little fan base during his short guest stint but also the rest of the viewers who were not on drugs.

Mr. Regalla is currently facing a lawsuit (sample link). There won't be much action to be seen hereon, I think, although it's already shaping up to be a pretty promising comedy.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005 A.D.
Happy Birthday Katz
It's complicated.

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Saturday, November 19, 2005 A.D.
A Public Message of Concern: Pornography is Evil like the Devil
I read on the internet that every time someone watches porn, a baby in Africa dies. Let's all please remember this the next time we feel like raiding our - umm - friends' porn stash... before even watching porn, think of little children first!

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Friday, November 18, 2005 A.D.
Almost Famous
You can't make me confess to being a celebrity whore. Unless you promise me a photo-op, of course (then I'll show you what being a celebrity whore really means).

I was more than surprised to see a long queue of cars going into the Greenbelt 2 parking area before dinner time (on a Thursday night no less). EmCow was intent on getting a new phone and I promised to go with her for her long-delayed vanity purchase. After she bought the phone, I headed back to the car and saw on a billboard that Constantine Maroulis was scheduled to perform there this very evening. I didn't get my panties in a bunch just yet because I really find that guy not only to be quite short on credibility (he did join Elimi-date before Idol), but also mightily annoying. Being a 'rocker' (a term that no self-respecting 'rocker' would use), he keeps flashing those devil horns, not knowing how much intent is lost in the action. General belief paints 'rockers' as threatening (to a sexy extent)... Mr. Maroulis, however, is not. The sad truth is that even April Boy exudes a more threatening presence. Mr. Maroulis's devil horns are in the same category as overly juiced up sound systems playing 'My Boo' in mall parking lots. It smells badly like overcompensation. Mr. Maroulis himself, on the other hand, is in the same category as Siakol and Salbakuta, being mall performers. One difference, however, is that Siakol and Salbakuta actually have hits. I do remember catching a struggling group performing in SM City North Edsa in 1996... they were called the Backstreet somethings. I hear they got pretty big. Good luck then, to Mr. Maroulis, who was on his first song when I left (I did see a white guy on stage who looked like him... hard to tell from the distance).

I was slightly peeved that I reached the gym late this evening, and it's not merely because of Constantine Maroulis... even the parking lot outside the gym had a number of cars lined up at the entrance when I arrived, thanks to some big event at the NBC tent. I was already short thirty minutes when I finally clocked in at the gym and I saw chief Archer Joseph Yeo coming out of the locker room, the Ninja himself. Now the disclaimer: although I - officially - bear no ill will towards DLSU, having a considerable number of "friends" from that school, I have been socially conditioned to dislike Green Archers on principle. No offense to the "friends" of course, but I secretly hate all of you and your entrails. Now that that's over with and the "friends" have been weeded out, I would like to go on: I was tempted to follow the Ninja back to the locker room and make him a personal cellphone scandal just to see if what they say about Orientals is true (I wouldn't know, so please don't ask me). Unfortunately, I lost the motivation to shoot his locker room performance after I realized that the male locker room was the last place I wanted to stalk (excuse me random sir, are you showing me your penis?).

To make up for my failed cellphone scandal, I decided to mosey over to the MTV offices to check on my friends (okay, "friends"). In reality, I just wanted to see if the divine Miss Cindy was shooting there tonight and if she would again poke my nipple. No such luck, apparently, but I did catch Rex Navarrete shooting for his show. I didn't stay long enough to meet Rex though, or see if he would also poke me in the nipple. It would have been fun though. Nipples are always fun.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005 A.D.
Happy Birthday Jover
I know this is somewhat inappropriate though, because you were born before birthdays were invented.

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Monday, November 14, 2005 A.D.
Happy Birthday Avid
There is a God. He just doesn't love you.

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Saturday, November 12, 2005 A.D.
Not Your Lola's Ricky
Despite trying my best to look for a DVD copy during my recent trip, I still ended up empty-handed. It was a big disappointment because I only set out to find a few things, each of them of utter importance. To make me feel worse, the DVD I failed to find was an all-time classic of Chinese cinema: Riki Oh - The Story of Ricky.

Don't let the title fool you: we're not talking about Ricky Reyes here but a prisoner with superpowers and a strangely sensitive side. I remember watching this movie about ten years ago on Star Movies Chinese's late night programming and I was tremendously impressed by the sheer violence of the movie because the gorier clips were actually shown with a red filter to minimize the screen's bloody hues (way before TV Patrol used the same motif). While the overly graphic violence wasn't at all believable, it did make for a wonderful comedy, however unintentional (a favorite scene shows a thug who disembowels himself to strangle Ricky the hero with his intestines). In retrospect, the violence was so ridiculous that what probably appealed most to me was the novelty of it all. While the fight scenes were professionally choreographed, the violence seemed to have been conceptualized by ten-year-olds (the plot, by five-year-olds).

Another thing that left such a strong impression on me was that the film actually had the androgynous Cynthia Luster starring as one of the main villains (this was when she was doing one film after another in the Philippines and singing Tagalog songs on variety shows with Vic Sotto).

While my DVD hunt yielded no Riki Oh, I did spy a recently released movie in HMV which showed the same guy who portrayed Ricky on the cover. Apparently a movie thematically similar to Riki Oh, Shaolin vs. Evil Dead had Master Pai Mei from Kill Bill in the starring role. This zombie/kung-fu gore-fest even saw limited local release early this year. It does have the potential to be a cult favorite, although Riki Oh will still prove quite difficult to dislodge from its spot as the unintentionally funniest violent movie of all time that also features a muscular Asian who can tie his severed tendons together.

Here's an excellent (and rather funny) review/summary of Riki Oh:

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Tuesday, November 08, 2005 A.D.
Compact Blood
I met Gabrielle today.

It first required for me to get strapped into a chair that looked like an electric chair. The plan was for me to undergo the initial screenings tonight, just to see if I actually qualified. The problem, however, was that I had a fear of needles. And blood. Strapped in and trying hard not to look, the nurse expertly extracted a syringe of my type-O positive from my left arm with me hardly even noticing. So far so good.

Before the screening, I answered a standard form that asked, among other things, whether I had heart conditions (no), a history of hepatitis (no), dealings with controlled substances (not really), current medications (does ginseng count? no), current infections (not that I know of), etc. It also asked whether I was 'aware of the risks that might cause HIV.' Being a yes-or-no questionnaire, I had to reread the question several times to make sure that I wasn't answering 'yes' to a question that asked whether I had HIV. So yes, I was aware, thank you.

If the test found that my blood did meet the requirements, I would come back the day after and the nurses would extract a pint or so of my blood. That was the plan. However, as things would have it, I learned not thirty minutes later that I did meet the criteria, except that they would be getting my blood NOW. I wondered how I even got here when all I wanted for tonight was to visit the gym for a long due post-holiday workout. I also wondered if things would have been different had I answered the questionnaire falsely and confessed to mainlining Rugby.

The one good thing about qualifying was that it meant I was healthy... that was about it as far as good things were concerned. I was practically hyperventilating with anticipation at the thought of having my virgin vessels penetrated by an electronic vampire.

I was led to a room with chairs/beds that were like permanently propped La-Z-Boys with stiff armrests. I asked my cousin to keep talking to distract me from the fact that I was about to lose a pint of blood. A pint! My right arm was already tightly tied up with a rubber strap and my hand was made to clutch a stress ball (appropriately enough, I was undergoing a lot of stress). I felt the needle go in, and though it was a bit anti-climactic at the time, I was still uneasy at the thought that I had a hole on my right elbow that was being violated by a metal prick. I hardly moved for the next five minutes, attempting to be as motionless as possible despite suggestions from the nurse that I should keep squeezing the stress ball. In front of me were a couple of platelet donors. The machines that they were plugged into did not extract their blood wholesale but re-introduced their processed blood back into their bloodstream after isolating the platelets via several centrifuges. The platelet packets contained clear liquid and took more than twice the time of a regular blood donation to fill up. I thought that I should stop being squeamish because the platelet donors were arguably undergoing a harder ordeal (then again, one of them was a med student, so he didn't really count).

Avoiding a squeamish fit was harder than I thought, and all I could do to not look like a complete idiot was to keep laughing at the situation as if I was on a nitrous oxide high (and looking only like a semi-complete idiot). I kept bringing up different points of conversation with my cousin, asking her at one point to show me the contents of her cellphone but dreading after that she would have the latest cellphone scandal, which could have probably given me faster blood loss. I squeezed the stress ball and felt the unwelcome presence of the embedded needle more. They should have first put me to sleep or something. I then remembered the last time that I underwent a medical procedure that also involved a significant loss of blood except that it was more than fifteen years ago. I also remembered that I was fully conscious that time while I was being whittled into manhood so there was no point being squeamish now, I thought. I'm a manly man, and I could weather five minutes of blood loss and lightheadedness, no problem. As my cousin kept reminding me, it was a good deed after all. Luckily, it was a good deed that I wouldn't be medically permitted to go through again in the next three months.

My blood resembled a packet of cranberry Zesto, and funnily enough, I was handed a Zesto for my efforts and to replenish the fluids that I lost. With bandages on both arms serving as souvenirs, I left the blood bank. I felt tired and slightly cold at this point, but my cousin assured me that it was not due to the blood loss because she would have felt the same way had she gone through the same amount of (needless) tension that I did. Simply put: it was normal even though I wasn't.

I met Gabrielle a few minutes later. We didn't get to talk because of two things: firstly, she's only three and a half months old; and secondly, she's confined to the pediatric ICU unit where her attachments made it seem as if she was in a B-grade science fiction movie. She looked like a fragile little package and the sight of her did not really help me with my situation. It was heartbreaking. Her attending doctors were all specialists and all of them were baffled at her condition. She had been confined for a month and all they could say was that she had a metabolic disorder of some sort. She had been undergoing seizures regularly, and just today, she vomited a considerable amount of blood and needed fresh blood for replacement - the very reason for my impromptu donation. I left the intensive care ward after a few more minutes, barely glancing at Gabrielle as I did. She was quite still save for the occasional inaudible cough that could only be observed from her minute throbbings.

Leaving the hospital, her grandmother thanked me profusely, likewise her mother. I could only reassure them that it wasn't a big deal at all (despite my uneasy state). Frankly, I did it for the experience and not because of some noble intention (maybe I just wanted manly bragging rights). I didn't think of it as performing a good deed, even though I think it did qualify as such. Luckily, it was a good deed that I wouldn't be medically permitted to go through again in the next three months, by which time Gabrielle would already be half a year old. I'm hoping that she gets to see that time and that she gets to have a long and healthy life. There are a lot of painful possibilities to be considered though, but I for one, have only the best wishes for her. Funny. I don't actually know Gabrielle or her family that well, but that hardly even matters now when, all things considered, she is now of my own blood.

I met Gabrielle today and she was adorable.

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