The Dolphy I know–the John Purungtong that preceeded the modern Pinoy Husband

July 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

I met Dolphy only once in my life. I remember seeing this man wearing an all white outfit in an exclusive restaurant where I was fortunately in. It was him–He Who Made Us All Laugh.

He was very dapper in his suit. He doesn’t look like he’s eighty or something. And he’s not the “joker” or the thin comedian we see in his early films.

Dolphy, as I saw him back then, was a dazzling person of distinction.

For the millions who weren’t able to see or meet him in person, the Dolphy they knew was He Who Made Us All Laugh. I am extremely fortunate that I grew up during the time when he got the highest accolade from the people whom he gave his life for.

It was the John en Marsha era, the time when Dolphy was king and lording it over the airwaves with his witty jokes–simple yet most effective in eliciting those hearty laughs.

His improvisations on the show were exceptionally good. John en Marsha, back then, was the longest running comedy show on air. It filled up the dreary nights of Filipinos everywhere and shone during a time of great darkness. People went home early back then, to watch the show together with their loved ones. It was the only relief from the stresses of every day life during Martial rule.

John Puruntong was everyone’s father, the kind that you want to be with back home. He was jolly. He was unselfish. He was caring. He was affectionate, to a fault.

John Puruntong was the modern father figure, the kind that allowed his daughter to date for as long as the suitor does the traditional ways of courtship, or the father that took care of his newly married son and took him under his wings while he worked his way towards independence.

The Purungtongs of old preceeded the modern Filipino family of the Now. Several people says the Purungtongs reflected the kind of life back then, but if you looked at those scenes one more time, you’ll find that the Purungtongs actually showed what kind of family life the Filipinos will have several years later.

The Millions who met Dolphy during this heyday of his career were the very ones who crowned him “king”, much the same way, as People crowned Fernando Poe Jr, the “King”.

Last July 10, people will remember that day as his day, Dolphy’s Day. It will be remembered as the day when comedy just suddenly, stopped. Comedy will never be the same again, with Dolphy’s demise. Comedy, as what Dolphy represented, is not the kind of comedy Vice Ganda or Chocolait or Pokwang represented, no.

Comedy is very dapper, very sophisticated, the kind that makes you laugh naturally, not being forced, or the kind that makes you laugh because you saw your laughable self in it. Comedy, as we know it today, depends on someone’s physical deformity or some one’s ugliness. Dolphy’s is not like that.

As we mourn the passing of a Great Man, let us comfort ourselves to the thought that, probably God is giving us the chance to do our comedy by ourselves, and try to do a Dolphy, each and every single day.





Pacquiao’s stunning defeat to Timothy Bradley: conspiracy theories and facts

June 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

Manny Pacquiao used to be the world’s best pound for pound boxer. Now, with a stunning loss to Timothy Bradley in a split decision in their fight today, the Pacman’s defeat may be the most worrisome in his career.

Many people are criticizing the judges’ decision to award the fight to Bradley. I saw the fight, and like others, it may not be the outcome that many expect but there is some truth to the judges’ decision.

For one, let us recognize that boxing, like any other sport, depends on scores. In boxing, judges award the round to the boxer who they think landed the best and biggest number of punches. Based on the judges’ scoring, Bradley won in seven out of twelve rounds. They probably judged it based on the number of punches Bradley unleashed against Pacquiao.

I previewed the fight again, and noticed that inspite of being tagged so many times by Pacquiao, Bradley survived every single round by either pedaling back, or using the best defense available–he used his hands to parry the shots away. Yes, Pacquiao nearly stunned Bradley out of his senses, but the fact was, he was’nt able to. Yes, Bradley appeared more tired and stressed than Pacquiao but the 28 year old boxer was relentless. Bradley was stung here and there, but for every stung, he counter-punched.

When Pacquiao stings, Bradley stings thrice. When Pacquiao unleash one bomb, the Desert Storm counters with four bombs. Those counter punches which mostly connected in Pacquiao’s face and body, were counted.

However, in terms of power punches, the Pacman won.

That’s how Oscar dela Hoya thinks–that fight would have been judged based on the performances of the boxers.

RP back in business after melodrama that is, Corona Impeachment

June 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

Last Tuesday became another watershed in Philippine history, when Renato Corona became the very first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to get a very strong impeached verdict from the Senate. The impeachment had all the elements for a successful telenovela, yet, after all the drama, the Senate had to cut short the emotional show and rendered a very strong judgment–20 senators in favor of impeachment while only 3 said otherwise.

Corona became the first person impeached with finality. However, President Aquino said the drama about Corona is not yet over. He should be hauled to court and should face the music. The Office of the Ombudsman will now be the next stage in Corona’s life. He should very well answer charges of amassing ill gotten wealth during his term as a government official.

The next episode is now dependent on President Aquino’s choice as Corona’s replacement. Several suggestions indicate a choice outside the judiciary, something which is probably the final nail in cleansing and revolutionizing this centuries-old institution. An outsider appointed as Chief Justice is not violative of the Constitution–it is, however, a departure from tradition. If Aquino breaks tradition and appoints an outsider, it would be a welcome news for the people. It is advised that the President do so to finally put an end to a possible power struggle among current Associate Justices.

Obviously, the current acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio enjoys a very small modicum of support from society, seeing that several groups see him as another remnant of the previous dispensation. Initial fears and speculations all centered on Aquino’s alleged favorite to replace Corona which puts a bad taste in the fight against corruption. Carpio, like Corona, enjoys a big doubt in the minds of people, since Carpio once played the role of big bad wolf behind the Gloria Arroyo administration. Carpio, as permanent Chief Justice, will surely create a destabilizing situation, because many allies of this administration and even outside of it, would surely break into a tumultuous protest mob once Aquino proclaims Carpio as Chief Justice. There is no turning back–Carpio should also be out of the picture.

There is now, a clamor for more reforms as the country faces a bright future ahead of it. The economy is slowly recovering and the economic prospects are brighter than before. Poverty remains an issue. Peace and order is also another problematic area. Graft and corruption has been minimized, yet remains a very real threat towards full recovery. The country must be given the time to recover fully from the real threats it faced during the previous dispensations. The country must put this impeachment trial behind and focus on the real issues that bedevils this country for centuries. It needs a strong government to finally put a nail on the coffin of traditionalism and corruption.

AVAYA helps SMEs and schools in greater connectivity

May 31, 2012 § 1 Comment

AVAYA, the world’s leading technology provider, has just launched its new Ethernet routing switches designed to empower Small and Medium-sized enterprises, schools, events places, shops and hospitals with enterprise-class features and capabilities at a fraction of the cost.

The Ethernet Routing Systems 3500 or ERS 3500 series are compact-sized Ethernet switches designed for small spaces yet delivers top-notch network services such as Gigabit Ethernet, resilient stacking and convergence at prices points for the small and mid-size market. The ERS 3500 simplifies common network operations such as plugging in new IP phones or managing devices. It is designed to work seamlessly with AVAYA IP Office to simplify deployments of our flagship collaboration solution for SMEs and make their businesses, more productive, faster and reliable.

The AVAYA ERS 3500 series delivers cost-effective and fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet connectivity that supports voice and data convergence. It operates silently, great for open environments such as doctors’ offices, classrooms, conference rooms, shops and hospitality suites.

AVAYA ERS 3500 have true plug and play functionalities especially in connecting these devices with IP phones. These switches are designed to automatically synch with AVAYA IP Office, for seamless, hassle-free deployment of mobile and business collaboration features such as messaging, video conferencing and presence. One single command will automatically provision the switch and enable all IP phones on an AVAYA IP office system.

Rohit Mehra, director of Enterprise Communications Infrastructure of IDC USA says that the AVAYA ERS 3500 is a product that responds exactly to the needs of a growing SME market. Mehra says “The mid-market enterprise and the SME segment are growing markets for cost-effective Gigabit Ethernet solutions that provide the full range of capabilities typically seen in enterprise-grade networking switches. Solutions such as Avaya’s new ERS 3500 are appropriate for these businesses and for segments such as education, healthcare and hospitality. They provide an attractive entry point for a stacking platform along with other options such as silent, fanless operation. This lets enterprises start small and allows for growth as business and capacity needs grow.”

The AVAYA ERS 3500 series comes with a stackable Ethernet architecture that will allow customers to stack up to eight ERS 3500 units for enhanced network availability, simplified management and up to 80 Gps of virtual backplane capacity. Intuitive tools are also included in every AVAYA ERS 3500 package for managing, trouble-shooting and operating devices—including web-based GUI management, industry aligned command line interface (CLI), comprehensive centralized management and configuration tools for large branch office deployments.

Val Robison, sales Vice President of Sunturn USA describes AVAYA’s new ERS 3500 as a reliable partner of  small and medium sized business with large organizational requirements. “Avaya’s new ERS 3500,” says Robison, “ is a flexible switch that will meet the needs of many of our customers. It delivers a terrific set of features for large organizations with voice-specific capabilities and a price that will really appeal to smaller enterprises. It’s a great addition to our portfolio of offerings that will make it even simpler to install and support end-to-end solutions from Avaya for our customers.”

The device is also ready for the next generation convergence with features like enhanced Power over Etrhernet (POE+) that help future-proof networks and power advanced IP phones, wireless access points and video surveillance cameras. The ERS 3500 has a 10-  and 24-port model variants.

The ERS 3500 improves the user experience and gives customers the features and capabilities they need. This is part of the ongoing effort at AVAYA to deliver the best solutions to customers worldwide.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg marries “sweetheart”

May 20, 2012 § 2 Comments

ImageAt twenty eight years old, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire to have ever walked on this earth. He owns majority shares of this hugely popular social media site which has over a billion members and now, being opened for Initial Public Offering (IPO). The potentials of the site is enormous. 

At 28, Zuckerberg probably thinks that it is now time for him to settle down, seeing that his sweetheart, Pricilla Chan, has just finished med school at the University of California. Zuckerberg and Chan met when the young FB inventor was still an unknown geek at Harvard. When Zuckerberg founded FB in 2004, Chan was there with him.

Zuckerberg’s marriage with Chan was extremely private. Not more than a 100 guests took part in the ceremony which most did not even witnessed since most of the guests were ushered in during the wedding feast. Anyway, no one balked. That’s a signature Zuckerberg feat.

The only question really is–was there a prenup signed? Knowing Zuckerberg, there is,probably.

Lady Gaga target of religious and political puritans in Philippines

May 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

A group composed of Filipino politicians and men of unknown religious denominations held a press con last Friday, denouncing Lady Gaga’s forthcoming concert at the Mall of Asia, SM arena. I will not dignify what these people of the frock and men of politics accused Lady Gaga of one by one, I will just lump their statements together into one–indecency. They are accusing Lady Gaga of being indecent.

Lady Gaga is what you call a “performance artist”, someone who uses a variety of tools for her performance. She is what others call a “shock artist”–someone who shows very lewd actions to attract attention. Lately, there has been a slew of online material depicting her acts as “Satanic”, even accusing her of being a high priestess of Baphomet, a mythical demon in Christian theology.

What these people want is prevent Lady Gaga from performing at the arena. They accuse her of being Satanic, and of promoting indecent behavior.

I don’t know about you, but there is something sinister with the things these people are trying to do.

For one, this is not the first time Lady Gaga will visit and perform in Manila. This is the second time around.

The first time was when Lady Gaga performed at the Araneta, attended by thousands of screaming and shrieking teenage fans. At that time, no one protested. No Lito Atienza, former Manila mayor was there. No shadow of Congressman Benny Abante and his brother, the alleged leader of Bible International were there.

That concert which was held I think in 2009, was a smash hit. That’s why there is a repeat here at the SM MOA Arena.

Maybe because The Araneta is not like SM? Maybe because SM MOA is very near Manila, which happens to be the place where Congressman Abante and former mayor Lito Atienza sees as their turf? Which is why such actions are now justified because it can be used for political purposes, seeing that 2013 is just around the corner?

Last 2009, no one tried to bar Lady Gaga from her “weird” performance. No one actually tried to threaten her with criminal suits when she donned sexy dresses and sang “Bad Romance”. No one.

Now, maybe these political figures saw an opportunity to create a scene, and blow this up as an issue so that the people will talk about them, again.

An artist has every right to express herself yes. In the Philippines, freedom of expression is being recognized but with some limitations. If that expression has offended the sensitivities of others, then, it is tantamount to a criminal suit.

In this issue, these people are using religion as a cause for heightening political awareness of themselves.

What if, for example, Lady Gaga does indeed worship the devil. In democracies, worshipping the devil is a right enshrined by the Constitution. Religion is someone’s belief. When that belief opposes another belief is not in the realm of rights but in the realm of debate. Every one has the right to believe in something, and to be respected of such right is common in democracies.

Fact is, this issue opens up a discussion on what Filipinos do think about democracy. We are predominantly a Catholic country due to the sheer number of believers on Roman Catholicism, but it does not necessarily mean that we exclude other “religions” just because majority are Roman Catholics. No.

If we respect the Indigenous Peoples’ rights to believe in animism, why will we bar someone who believes in a religion contrary with Christianity? Whose rights will the state recognize–the right of the Christian or the right of a supposed devil worshipper? In democracies, both rights are recognized.

Hence, Christians have the right to be offended by Lady Gaga’s performances on the same vein that Lady Gaga has also the right to express her offensive views on Christianity. All is fair in democracies.

Now, puritans among us would really be very angry with what I wrote here, but, I’m sorry to say, that is the truth. We live in a democracy where respect of rights is one of the bedrock by which we live. If we always say that ours is a thriving and living democracy, then, we must, by all means, respect Lady Gaga.

Lady Gaga is foremost, an artist. She is not a religious preacher. She is, by all means, a singer. If, at all, Lady Gaga sings songs which offend the sensitivities of others, then, by all means, hit her with all you got. Boycott her. But, do it personally, and not campaign against her. Campaigning against the likes of Lady Gaga is showing extremism.

Now, don’t tell me that if you boycott Lady Gaga, you will also boycott Madonna, Aerosmith, even Jessica Sanchez. These singers, like Lady Gaga, sing songs which promote a different kind of love. Jessica Sanchez sang Bohemian Rhapsody, something which puritans of religion in the seventies believe contain implicit lyrics which condone demon worship. Don’t tell me that Atienza and his gang of puritans will also bar Jessica from performing Bohemian Rhapsody here in the Philippines when she visits the Philippines for a concert tour?


Joshua Ledet out–Jessica and Philip are in

May 18, 2012 § 3 Comments

Louisiana native Joshua Ledet, the man who idolizes Fantasia and was actually tagged as “Mantasia” by the American media, is out of the American Idol season 11. Ledet, whom the judges thought gave the best performance during the Top 3 performances, lost out in the vote. 

Unofficial results say, Jessica got the highest number of votes from the American public. Ninety million votes were counted, and program insiders say, Jessica got more than 80 million votes, with the rest divided between Ledet and Philips.

What probably pulled Jessica through is the choice of popular songs which connected with the American public. Though it was not Jessica’s best vocal performances, nonetheless, her songs resonated. 

Ledet’s style meanwhile, is getting boring. Yes, he gave his all but the judges thought that that was it, and he does not have the chops to really bring out a new side of him.

This is not what Philips is doing. Philips showed that he can hold a tune, and he can still show a new dimension in his performance. His two songs in the Top 3 performances are revelatory. It shows that Philips can still hold his own over the popular Jessica Sanchez.

Now, the finale will be very interesting. A Sanchez win will break the all male winners at AI. She will also be the youngest winner in AI history. She will also be the first member of the Filipino-American, and the Latino community to have clinched the title.