Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Source: Eat Bulaga Facebook page.

That is the hashtag in the Twitterville for the commentary exchanges of netizens worldwide as they waited for/watched/reviewed the events about to transpire/happening/successfully completed at the Philippine Arena, the largest indoor arena of the world, on Saturday, 24 October 2015.

The Tamang Panahon event had been much-awaited for the last three months ever since Lola Nidora promulgated that Alden Richards and Yaya Dub would be able to meet/touch/talk to each other when the right time (tamang panahon) comes.

When she announced it a Saturday earlier, where this would happen, and at what price to pay but for a noble cause--a Project Library for schools across the archipelago--pandemonium, sort of, broke across the AlDub Nation.

We witnessed the queues to the Ticketworld booth at Trinoma during the week: people who reserved online and those who wanted to take a chance for still available tickets. The prime tickets sold out on the first day.

The 55,000-seat Philippine Arena filled to capacity. (Source: Eat Bulaga Facebook page)

We had the TV set all by ourself for more than three hours (it extended a little past the airtime 1130am to 230pm) when Eat Bulaga was aired non-stop with no commercial interruptions. This got us glued listening to jubilant cheers of the AlDub fans that fully occupied the 55,000-seat arena, laughing with them as the lolas Nidora (Wally Bayola), Tidora (Paolo Ballesteros) and Tinidora (Jose Manalo), aka Kalye's Angels, threaded the Cinderella-like story of Alden and Yaya Dub/Maine Mendoza with throwbacks to their own growing-up memoirs.

The lolas Tinidora, Nidora and Tidora. (Source: Eat Bulaga Facebook page) 

It was altogether a grand production number of the KalyeSerye that happens within the Juan For All, All For Juan segment of Eat Bulaga. The other EB hosts (Dabarkads) including Tito, Vic and Joey became supporting characters during the entire show.

Source: Inquirer online.
The event broke all Twitter records at 41-million beating the 35.6-million tweets sent during the semi-final FIFA World Cup match of Brazil and Germany on 08 July 2014.  Previously, AlDub already set the all-time Philippine high of 26-million tweets on 25 September.

The KalyeSerye has 'united' Pinoys worldwide: fan clubs who followed the story live or replays through YouTube or Facebook video posts. For this Tamang Panahon event, those who could not go to the Philippine Arena became TeamBahay or TeamAbroad, viewers at home or abroad.

The AlDub phenomenon, of course, has detractors. The issue of apparent 'shallowness' (kababawan) stirred some social media debate, Social scientists and academicians had taken interest, and 'think' papers/articles had been written about its socio-cultural implications.

The religious community also took notice: the Catholic mass media group has gone to the extent of giving awards to Lola Nidora, Maine Mendoza and Alden Richards for the push their kalyeserye is giving to traditional Filipino values.

We believe that the netizens [and TV audiences] of various ages also take AlDub as an effective medium for positive personal/family/community values formation. AlDub is simply one brief comedic spiel from Monday to Saturday; thus, back to the labors after the freeze of the KalyeSerye characters at the end of each episode..

Source: Manila Bulletin digital edition
The AlDub nation remains grounded, we would like to think. The show is just a break from the daily grind. It does not hug the headlines everyday, nor does it banish away mortal cares: MRT/LRT mess, traffic jams, poverty, lumad killings, tension in the West Philippine Sea, national elections in 2016, etcetera.

Source: The Standard online digital edition.

Whether this will be kilig for a long time or forever depends on the fickle mood of the viewing public. What may keep it going is the receptiveness and prompt response of the story writers to ideas and comments of the AlDub Nation. We sense that the segment writers are keeping track of what netizens say via the social media.

This one headlined AlDub. (Source: Balita digital edition.)

The KalyeSerye as a social-media phenomenonal success is already history, and it continues to be 'history in the making'.  

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The fighting spirit of Miriam Defensor Santiago for 2016

A beaming Sen, Miriam Santiago before her supporters at the UP Bahay Alumni,

It was a brief meet-and-greet session with her supporters at the UP Bahay ng Alumni yesterday (26 October 2015). Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago who is running for the presidency of the republic in 2016  spoke no more than five minutes. It was, nevertheless, a vibrant evening: the audience had a spirited repartee with their favorite candidate.

Earlier in the day, we watched the working team set up the audio-video on the senator, and took pictures of the screen images like those on her education. We presumed this would be used to introduce her during the evening program.  

Her images as iskolar ng bayan reminded as that she was in the college of law in the UP Diliman at the same time we were struggling with our subjects in the nearby college of engineering.  These were the years when the studentry started to feel the winds of the coming First Quarter Storm.  We read her editorials in the student weekly Philippine Collegian: she was the first female editor-in-chief of the paper. We saw her as Corps Sponsor of the UP ROTC twice; also as a councilor and then vice-chair of the UP Student Council during that period.

The education of Miriam Defensor Santiago

The other images gave highlights of her outstanding public service: posts she handled in key government agencies.  She was 43 years old when she received the 1988 Ramon Magsaysay Award in recognition of "her bold and moral leadership in cleaning up a graft-ridden government agency [Bureau of Immigration and Deportation]." 

When she arrived, she sat at the middle of the platform with the spotlight on her and the master of ceremonies read her credentials instead of showing the video presentation.

Red was the color of the evening. The red flag, so to speak, was up to stop graft and corruption (walang katapusang pagnanakaw sa ating pera, as she put it).

"Allow me to introduce myself," she said after thanking those who came. "I am the person who is seeking for public office next year."  Because of this, one netizen posted an urgent wish that she should die before six years. "It's up to you," she told the audience, "whether to accommodate the macabre wishes of that person."

Is she healthy for the campaign and the presidency if she wins? She told the audience: "I have passed through the hardest of all the physical trepidations and hardships known to man.  Cancer is not an easy disease to have and still thereafter. I decided after consultation with my panel of doctors from St Luke's hospital that it should be up to me to decide on whether or not I should campaign for president again."

At this point the lively repartee between her and her supporters began:

She said, "My answer is this. Do you want a clean government?"  The shout-out response: "Yes!"

"Do you want a courageous government?"  Audience: "Yes!"

"Do you want a government of, by and for academic excellence?"  Audience: "Yes!"

"If that is the case, do you want me to ..?", which was interrupted by "We want, we want!"

"Alam mo, napansin ko sa Senado, hindi naman pala mahirap na  ipunin ang pera ng gobyerno  Ang problema lang sa atin sa bansa nating ito ay una, ang nagsasalita, iyon din ang magnanakaw. Pangalawa, pag nagsasalita sila, kunwari laban sila sa graft and corruption, maling-mali pa ang Ingles nila. At pangatlo, ninanakaw nila ang pera ng gobyerno para pag nakuha nila lahat ang pera, ibibili nila ulit ng boto ng taong bayan at sa ganung paraan wala ng katapusan ang pagnakaw sa ating pera. This must stop."

Shouts from the audience: "We love you!"

"Kaya subukan at subukan ko pa rin ang lahat ng magagawa ko itong tumatanda na ko."

Voice from the audience: "Kasama mo kami!"

Santiago: "Kasama mo ako? Hindi mo lang alam ang ugali ko!"  Loud cheers from the audience. 

Selfie time of supporters with their idol!

"Basta ako, i-sige ko at i-sige itong ating  laban sa ating bansa. Nag-iskwela  ako sa Amerika, Nag-iskwela ako sa England. Kung saan saan ako nag-iskweal. Hindi ako tatanggap na matatalo ako ng anupang bansa Tayo ang magaling. Filipinos, believe in yourself. Have faith in the Filipino. For, as poetry says, It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul."

She ended her brief speech with: "Come and join me, and thank you very much for becoming the captain of your soul."

Friday, October 23, 2015

Heneral Antonio Luna and Antonio Fogata

They're both Antonios. They were not contemporaries. Both were Ilocanos.

Source: University of Michigan Digital Library,
Antonio Fogata was from San Narciso, Zambales, whose roots came from the Ilocos in the late 1830s. Possibly, he knew that the Heneral was related to the Posadas family of that town.  Fogata was called 'Bottiog' by his town mates because of his wide abdominal girth. He was a government worker when he came back to the town. My mother told us that he was the best friend of my grandfather, Bottiog, in fact, gave  his music sheets (he was a composer) to my grandfather who kept them in a baul.  After the Second World War, they were found to have all been eaten by termites.

To many young men born at the end of the 1800s or the early 1900s, Antonio Luna was a hero.

Fogata, for one, already a popular Ilocano poet-writer in the 1920s, greatly admired the Heneral. He wrote for El Filipino, a trilingual fortnightly (Ilocano-Spanish-English) published in the 1920s. Archival copies for the years 1925-1926 are in the University of Michigan's 'The United States and its Territories, 1870-1925: The Age of Imperialism' library collection.

Fogata wrote a pagbasaan (reader) on the Heneral in Ilocano, a biography set for release on 31 October 1926. It was advertised in El Filipino as a must-have, must-read book available at a very low price (nalaca ti bayadna).

We have not found a copy of that book in the UP and National Libraries. Fogata could have kept a copy but this was destroyed by Mt Pinatubo's ashes in 1991. Even his copies of Bannawag where his Ilocano works were featured all perished during that volcanic eruption.

What remains are digests from the book published as Pacasaritaan ti biag ni General Antonio Luna y Novicio (Narrative on the life of General Antonio Luna y Novicio) in the special edition of El Filipino of 31 October 1926 to commemorate the Heneral's 60th birthday.

Source: University of Michigan Digital Library,

The extracts dwelt on Antonio Luna as a student here in Manila, his academic performance at the Ateneo Municipal, where he earned his bachelor of arts degree, and at the University of Sto. Tomas, where he took up pharmacy. The next section Ni Luna cas Farmaceutico, Quimico ken Bacteriologo (Luna as pharmacist, chemist and bacteriologist) described his education in Europe, at the universities in Barcelona and Madrid, where he gained his license as pharmacist; in Belgium, where he obtained his expertise as chemist; in France, where he honed his scientific skills in bacteriology.  Fogata's account named the renowned chemists and pharmacists in prestigious European laboratories under whom he trained.  When he returned to Manila in 1894, he was most qualified to compete for the post of head and professor of the 'Laboratorio Municipal de Manila.' He bested other talented Filipinos who also took the examination for the post.

The section Ni Luna Cas Mannurat described Luna as writer and propagandist. He wrote a book of poems dedicated to the girls at the colleges of Sta. Catalina and Concordia. He wrote for La Solidaridad.  His Impresiones Madrilenas de un Filipino was criticized by the Spanish journalist Mir Deas. This led to an altercation which Luna wanted to settle with a duel but Mir Deas tcowardly avoided.

Of course, the narrative ends with Luna's stint as commander of the revolutionary army and how his life ended at the hands of Aguinaldo's loyalists in Cabanatuan.

Aside from the Fogata work spread in 14 pages, that special edition also contained accounts of the assassination/death of Luna by Artemio Ricarte and Teodoro M. Kalaw. Ricarte's was in Ilocano and its English translation; Kalaw's was in English. Ricarte was recalling what he heard from Mabini during their exile in Guam.


  • Fogata, Antonio. 31 Oct 1926. Pacasaritaan ti biag ni General Antonio Luna y Novicio. El Filipino: revista mensual. 2(8):10-25. Manila: Filipino Publishers. Retrived from the University of Michigan Library collection, 'The United States and its Territories, 1870-1925: The Age of Imperialism.  URL:

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

More Fun in the AlDub Nation

Note:  All photos are from the Eat Bulaga Kalyeserye Facebook page.

This year, the 36-year old noontime show Eat Bulaga has added 'KalyeSerye' to the ever evolving Filipino vocabulary. It has also redefined 'love team' in the entertainment world using current media technology and apps--split screens and Dubmash--in the creation of AlDub (rhymes with I Luv) that has captivated the heart and mind of the Filipino, er, AlDub Nation. 

We've watched EB metamorphosed from a purely entertainment show into one with truly commendable advocacies: scholarships, school and barangay assistance projects using the ecological solid waste management recycling principle (plastic bottles from participating barangay folks!), among others, And now with the kalyeserye, EB has added values education into its fun-filled agenda.

AlDub, culled from Alden Richards (Richard Faulkerson, Jr in real life) and Maine Mendoza (whose Dubmashes in the socail media started her journey as Yaya Dub in Eat Bulaga), has become the most popular love team in television. They earned more than 25 million fan hits in the Twitterverse in one Saturday episode of the Juan for All, All for Juan segment of Eat Bulaga. Competition has yet to beat that number!

The other key character in that segment is Lola Nidora (played by the versatile, cross-dressing Willy Bayola). She connects AlDub to the Filipino audiences world-wide: young and senior citizens, students, workers and professionals,OFWs and religious groups. Of course, AlDub (Alden and Meng) and Lola Nidora get tremendous support from Lolas Tidora (Paolo Ballesteros) and Tinidora (Jose Manalo) of the Sugod Bahay team and the Dabarkads (headed by the veterans Tito, Vic and Joey) at the Broadway Centrum.

The popularity is phenomenal.The segment itself has become audience-participatory. It appears that audience feedback has contributed in developing story lines. AlDub songs are also being composed by both popular musicians and talented fans.

The appeal of AlDub among the senior citizenry stems from the collective recollection of the GMRC (good maaners and right conduct) subject in the schools during their time.  Lola Nidora's messages about traditional Filipino values throw them back to those days of yore. She uses the new medium to refresh old lessons.

Reports say that the AlDub kalyeserye's 'moral agenda' has been gladly received by the Roman Catholic Church and other religious groups. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), for example, has praised the noontime show through its Twitter account for highlighting 'moral stancdards when it comes to marriage.'  The Radio Veritas also twitted a salute to Eat Bulaga for 'the pure intentions of the kalyeserye to bring back to mind the basics of love and responsibility.'

May be it's the Lola Nidora medium that makes it easier for the millenials to relate/connect to the kalyeserye's GMRC messages. In time, we may be able to see how far and deep these quotable quotes from Lola Nidora affected personal/familial/community relationships:

"Dapat maging inspirasyon natin ang mga kaibigan nating OFW... Malayo sila. Hindi nila nakikita ang mga mahal nila sa buhay pero dahil iniisip nila ang magandang kinabukasan, nagtitiis sila." (07 Oct)

"Maganda ring masubukan ang tunay na nilalaman ng puso. Minsan talaga dapat magkalayo kasi nga may kasabihan, 'absence makes the heart grow fonder.'" (06 Oct)

"Ganyan and panunuyo ... kinakantahan, pinagsisilbihan, pinupuntahan sa bahay ... Hindi sa kalye nagliligawan, Ngayon, tinginan lang, MU na agad! Hindi pa lubos na magkakilala, eh, in relationship na! Huwaw! Tapos sasabihin, "it's complicated"! Ang lovelife ngayon daig pa ang balita ... LIVE via satellite!" (03 Oct)

"Nakaupo lang naman, holding hands na agad-agad? Hawakan ang kamay dahil may dahilan... Hawakan ang puso kung tunay na nagmamahalan..."  (30 Sep)

“Ang katapatan ay iyong dangal na hindi nababayaran”  (30 Sep)

"Laging isipin na ang pag-ibig ay hindi laro, Pag naglaro kayo, kayong dalawa ang matatalo. Ang pag-ibig ay sineseryoso. Kund hindi kayo seryoso, mag tumbang preso na lang kayo ... Wag na wag niyong laruin ang damdamin niyo, Kung ano ang totoo ,,, go, go, go! Kung ano'ng nararamdaman, BANG! BANG! IPAGLABAN!" (30 Sep)

"Ang pag-ibig n'yo ay hindi pambayanihan, hindo pantakbuhan ... Pangsugod bahay lang. Isa lang ang winner. Isa lang dapat ang winner sa puso ng bawat isa." {29 Sep)

"Walang maiinip sa taong tapat ang hangarin. Walang susuko sa taong totoo and tibok ng puso. Ang pag-ibig na hinihintay ang tamang panahon ay pag-ibig na magtatagal sa mahabang panahon." (25 Sep)

"Ang inggit ay kalawang na sisira sa iyong pagkatao ... Believe in yourself." (15 Sep)

"Ang tunay na pag-ibig, kahit hindi kayo magkapiling nararamdaman. Ang tunay na pag-ibig, kahit hindi nagkikita, pinapahalagahan at iniisip ang isa't isa! Iniisip ang kabutihan! At hinihintay ang tamang panahon!"  (05 Sep)

"Masarap umibig ... masarap ang my inspirasyon, huwag lang minamadali ... lahat ng bagay nasa tamang panahon." (12 Aug)