Poetry By Paoz

I’ve been listening to a lot of Pinoy gangsta rap over the past few days, and I must say I’m very impressed.

There’s a certain musical quality to a poem; the reason why it is often recited, sang, or performed is that the written verse cannot be separated from its sound, the aural nature of it.  When you gather a bunch of poets together to debate and discourse on the “beauty of poetry” – pretenses of poesis and the decentering of the poetic subject (whatever that means) aside – you’ll probably come into an agreement that a good chunk of poetry is about sound.  There really is no difference, at least to me, between poetry readings in swanky cafés and bistros that contrive the whole concept of the “artful,” and freestyle rapping in inner-city sari-sari storefronts that do descend into violence.

Give a starving artist a quill, he’ll write the great Filipino novel.  Give him anger, and you got the great Filipino rapper.




From my days in the school paper all the way to my current job, I’ve participated in many discussions and heated debates on the matter of logos.  It’s not that a logo is the be-all-end-all of branding, but as a visual element, it occupies a central space in the way things are marketed and (inevitably) sold.

The story goes that Seattle’s Best Coffee, the part of the Starbucks empire that deals with frou-frou coffee, have moved their logo direction from this…

To this:

Streamlined, sleek, and clean… anything but coffee.



The World According to Willie Revillame

Here is the world according to Willie Revillame.

In a recent PEP.ph article, the host of “Wowowee” seems to have made up his mind to leave, after a very public spat with Jobert Sucaldito and the many issues and scandals that hounded Willie Revillame.  Willie Revillame still remembers some of them: “Wilyonaryo,” the ULTRA stampede, comments about the Cory Aquino burial shown on his TV show.  Willie Revillame didn’t go as far as to apologize or mention the patronizing treatment Willie Revillame has for the poor who watch the Willie Revillame show, but I’m pretty sure Willie Revillame has that in mind.

The contrite, humble Willie Revillame is no stranger to the average Filipino viewer.  Willie Revillame has apologized one too many times for the one too many mistakes that’s reasonable for a top talent of a television network.  Never mind the lumalaki ang ulo, never mind the day-to-day pambabastos, never mind the audacity of Willie Revillame to challenge the Willie Revillame employers on national television thinking that the Willie Revillame show is the center of the universe.



Hologram Theater

In an industry where accuracy matters more than fluff, the big news is on holograms.  The Mainstream Media (referred to as a proper noun for purposes of douchebaggery) have made news items out of the technologies they use to broadcast the news: “virtual presence” for ABS-CBN, and “holograms” for GMA-7.  All technical aspects and nomenclature aside, the message reflected to me – Lowly Consumer of News Shown on Television (again, referred to as a proper noun for purposes of douchebaggery) – is nothing beyond cachet, buzzwords, and keeping in step with “how the rest of the world does news.”

I don’t know much about holograms except from science fiction, but I sort of know how news is delivered.  I have nothing but respect for reporters and news anchors who take a lot of pains to make sure that their story is accurate and on time.  I should know: having done it myself at one point in my life, I know how difficult it is to gather facts and write news.  The holograms themselves may have been made in the interest of making the news livelier and (to a certain extent) more tolerable to watch, but the rest of the day, outside of triggering nausea and raising a few eyebrows here and there, hologram effects don’t really add to value, nor do they inform the public better.



Where The Rue Go

Today’s Inquirer headline brings me back to sex stories.

I’m not talking about Literotica: I think that animal-related euphemisms for genitalia are confined to the American mindset.  I’m not talking about erotic literature either: I’m talking about Filipino porn stories in the tabloids at the back of the news stands, smack right next to the lotto numbers and the horse race results.

Forget “pussy,” where “puke” would do better.  “Cock” is too… avian, sosyalin, that one would use the more masculine, brusko term: “tarugo.” The act of intercourse isn’t “making love” or “fucking,” but appeals to the war-like state of mind of a man with a raging erection, and a woman with insatiable sexual appetites… but first…

A break tag.



To Me, Six Years From Now

Dear Marck, Six Years From Now:

I’m writing this knowing and having the feeling that you probably just sat there, taking things as they came, offered an opinion here and there, and gave up, thinking it’s none of your business anymore.

By now, you should have a fair understanding of how – and why – democracy works.  The reason why that man was your President is not solely because of the choice I made or did not make.  Millions of other Filipinos contributed to that decision, to the course of this country’s leadership.  I hope that in those six years, you didn’t look at your ballot or your vote as a contract to surrender your rights.  I hope that you do not believe that oxymorons like “benevolent dictatorships” solve these country’s woes.  I hope you paid your taxes, I hope you abided by the law, and I hope you exercised your duties as a citizen, and not banked all your hopes to a six-year Presidency.



Confessions of Måröchárîm III: I Am Politics

Useless disclaimer: the entry that follows is satire.  – Marocharim

The foot of space that exists between me and my computer monitor is made completely out of politics. The screen radiates politics: I am compelled to read news websites all day to keep myself abreast of really important issues. My very soul exudes politics: I have no living calling other than to be a shepherd to the ignorant, apolitical flock. My genius is underappreciated by petulant, passive, observers of no consequence to the grand scheme of the political and the social.

The truth is I’m not either, but the difference between the shepherd and the sheep is that I (shepherd) do the thinking for the animal (sheep). I blog about it and you don’t. So shut up, listen, and learn. You need my commentary: think of it as guidance. You come here seeking information, and my blog is the gate of Enlightenment. Purge yourself of the propaganda of the powerful. Think. Since you can’t, I’ll do all your thinking for you. Here, where issues matter.

I am compelled, every hour of every day, to make sense of the issues of the day. Yet at the end of the day, don’t opinions matter more than the facts?