IN THIS MORNING OF MY LIFE…


It’s a mad montage of gorgeous faces and horrific aftermaths of people’s actions.

Carlos Celdran…. on a Throwback Monday find
Carlos Celdran…. on a Throwback Monday find

Starting with dreamer and trouble-maker Carlos Celdran, with an old Haribon Society ID displaying tousled, Byronic high school glory. Carlos wears a vast array of hats (literally, too). He’s a world-famous tour guide who’s lifted his corner of the profession into performance art. He’s an activist for reproductive health and gender rights and gotten grief from the Catholic Church. And, yeah, he bagged the first victory among Change.org Philippines users — for his stop Torre de Manila petition — and he’s done it twice.

A bizarre press conference serves up the yin and yang of China’s fractured self. Call it the Mad Lauriat, with ambition and unforgotten slights as aperitif and the main course fermented by years of pain and rage.

Braving Fire. Chen Guo joined a group suicide attempt in January 2001. Photo from Hufftingpost.com
Braving Fire. Chen Guo joined a group suicide attempt in January 2001. Photo from Hufftingpost.com

The before and after faces of two beautiful women who set themselves on fire in a political protest.

There’s something definitely lost in translation. The race for sensationalism is deadly to your brain cells. Nothing tells us why and how the Falun Gong can get women to immolate themselves. Nor does it say how US journos came up with the startling suggestion that the women were government stooges.

My instinct says, not  the latter. Stooges are inherently driven by self-interest. I doubt if the Chinese government ever gifted stooges with rewards on the level that could erase the primal fear of losing one’s face. That will need some cosmic belief, for better or worse.

Iran is rewarded for scaring the world with nukes. $500 million. Well. someone wants to reward the PH government for its inefficiency. Emergency powers, indeed. Everyone forgets this country has spent the years after emergency powers untangling the messy results.

Manny Pangilinan needs nobody’s blessings as he continues gobbling up huge chunks of industries — this time, the media. He’s got TV5 and its news website, Interaksyon, and shares in assorted other media firms, and now he wants GMA. He’s given “multi-media” an entirely new meaning! As the news website he owns acknowledges:

“Any PLDT acquisition of a broadcast network would have to go through the gamut of regulatory and Congressional approvals. As it already owns TV5 and BusinessWorld — as well as minority stakes in Philippine Daily Inquirer and Philippine Star — PLDT’s bid for GMA would attract close scrutiny, if not opposition from certain quarters concerned over the concentration of media power in one conglomerate.”

UNREST. After two years of relative calm, Thai protesters trying to oust yet another Thaksin government.
UNREST. After two years of relative calm, Thai protesters trying to oust yet another Thaksin government.

It’s rock and roll — again — in Bangkok

“Protesters, led by former deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban, have declared they will shut down the Bangkok and force a resignation of PM Yingluck Shinawatra before they install an unelected people’s council that will undertake reforms.  They plan to blockade key intersections across the city before attempting to cut water and electricity supply. The armed forces has sent more than two dozen companies of troops to protect important ministries and utilities.”

Twitter photo grab
Twitter photo grab

How many more cycles of the poor electing their bet and the middle class and elite promptly massing for ouster? Losers of elections wanting to gift themselves the right of rulers. This is so deja vu. And we hear the same murmurs now in the Philippines. Not necessarily from losers. A council. A council. Shortcuts and the never-neding cycle of conflict. Doesn’t take much to know who benefits.

Veronica Pedrosa tweets about a boy beaten to death by traffickers in Malaysia.

This isn’t the first case of refugees being oppressed in Thailand. Go around Bangkok’s red light district and ask for the nationalities of the women.

Trafficking. How much trust and opportunity were lost when an award-winning NGO was charged with siphoning off a big part of donors’ funds? I think of a recent lunch when a friend stressed the need for organizations to be self-sustaining.

A reminder that I may not have watched a single Oscars contender yet. Can’t wait for Emmanuel Lubezk’s “Gravity” (a likely Oscar win) and Hayao Miyazaki’s 2-D historic drama (animation), “The Wind Rises”.

DZBB Flash: Isang tanker at kotse, nagkagitgitan sa ilalim ng Skyway, Makati City.; wala namang napaulat na sugatan.

And for a surreal end from ‏@BostonDotCom.  They used to photoshop models to make them look thinner, more idealized. Then the models started mutilating themselves to kill any inconvenient reminder of reality. Then the real people started to protest. And now they  photoshop models are photoshopped to make them look fatter.

“The vast majority of the models who need reverse Photoshopping aren’t women who just happen to have that body type… They are part of a social institution that demands extreme thinness, and they’re working hard on their bodies to be able to deliver it.” — Lisa Wade, chair of the sociology department at Occidental College in Los Angeles, who blamed “an industry that requires women to be unhealthy and then hides the harmful consequences.”

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