The Jacque Bermejo Scandal  

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From hero to zero.

If my earlier Ondoy-related post talked about a hero who saved more than 30 lives in a few hours, this one's about an overseas Filipino worker in Dubai who rose to notoriety when she allegedly made the most insensitive remark on Facebook regarding the calamity.

In a span of approximately 24 hours Jacque Bermejo became an instant Internet celebrity slash hate-puppet all across the world wide thingamajiggy. It all started when in the middle of the crisis brought about by typhoon Ondoy, a rather unsavory comment was found on her Facebook page. It said:
"buti n lng am hir in dubai! Maybe so many sinners bak der!so yeah deserving wat hapend!".
This is a prime example of how fast word can travel over the Internet. In less than a day people have started a hate page that as of this writing now has 10,596 members. One cannot blame a nation, who had just suffered one of the worst natural disasters in recorded history, for being sensitive to comments such as that, right?

Then there are also those who defend Ms. Bermejo, stating that her alleged Facebook and Multiply pages have been riddled with "trolls". They give a rather informative defense, as seen here. I just don't bite it.

Personally though, I really see no point in pursuing the matter further. If Ms. Bermejo was indeed an innocent victim of haters, I'd chalk it up to tough luck. No such thing as bad publicity anyway. She might even get her 15 seconds of fame on TV one day. But seriously, what is there to do about it? I highly doubt that anybody's gonna get a good spanking from mother, much less arrested, over this. If you're worried about clearing your name, think about the Gabby Concepcions and the Maricar Reyes's. Like I said, no such thing as bad publicity.

Now if she really was the culprit, then I hope she's ready to suffer the nation's electronic wrath.

Screenshot from Facebook

update: Jacque Bermejo's official statement. Fine, I'll shut up.
another update: Told you she'd get her proverbial 15 seconds of fame.

Muelmar Magallanes: Real-Life Hero  

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I came across a Facebook post about a dude who saved more than 30 people from drowning in floods caused by tropical storm Ondoy (Hurricane Ketsana) before meeting his own demise after rescuing a mother and her infant. The article reads:

Philippine man loses own life after saving dozens from floods

An 18-year-old construction worker braved rampaging floods in the Philippines to save more than 30 people, but ended up sacrificing his life in a last trip to rescue a baby girl and her mother who were being swept away on a styrofoam box.

Family members and people who Muelmar Magallanes saved have hailed the young man a hero, as his body lay in a coffin at a makeshift evacuation centre near their destroyed Manila riverside village.

"I am going to be forever grateful to Muelmar," said Menchie Penalosa, the mother of the six-month-old girl whom he carried to safety before being swept away himself. "He gave his life for my baby. I will never forget his sacrifice."

Mr Magallanes was at home on Saturday with his family when tropical storm Ketsana unleashed the heaviest rains in more than 40 years on the Philippine capital and surrounding areas.

At first the family, long used to heavy rains, paid little attention to the storm.

But Mr Magallanes and his father quickly decided to evacuate the family once they realised the river 800 metres away had burst its banks.

With the help of an older brother, Mr Magallanes tied a string around his waist and attached it one-by-one to his three younger siblings, whom he took to higher ground. Then he came back for his parents.

But Mr Magallanes, a strong swimmer, decided to go back for neighbours trapped on rooftops.

He ended up making many trips, and eventually saved more than 30 people from drowning, witnesses and survivors said.

Tired and shivering, Mr Magallanes was back on higher ground with his family when he heard Ms Penalosa screaming as she and her baby were being swept away on the polystyrene box they were using in an attempt to cross the swift currents.

He dived back in after the mother and daughter, who were already a few metres away and bobbing precariously among the debris floating on the brown water.

"I didn't know that the current was so strong. In an instant, I was under water. We were going to die," said Ms Penalosa, her eyes welling with tears and voice choking with emotion.

"Then this man came from nowhere and grabbed us. He took us to where the other neighbours were, and then he was gone," Ms Penalosa said.

Ms Penalosa and other witnesses said an exhausted Mr Magallanes was simply washed away amid the torrent of water.

Neighbours found his body on Sunday, along with 28 others who perished amid Manila's epic flooding. The official death toll stands at 100 with 32 missing.

Standing next to his coffin, Mr Magallanes' parents paid tribute to their son.

"He always had a good heart," said his father, Samuel.

"We had already been saved. But he decided to go back one last time for the girl."

His mother, Maria Luz, wept as she described her son as incredibly brave.

"He saved so many people, but ended up not being able to save himself."

Maria Luz Magallanes grieves beside the coffin of her son, Muelmar, who saved more than 30 people from rampaging Philippine floods over the weekend

Time Machine  

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As some of you might have already noticed, the number of posts on my blog suddenly increased. No, my blog's not on steroids. I decided to merge all my blog posts from the multitude of platforms (exaggeration) I've been hopping on. All them ruddy posts from '05 on Friendster up until the last post I made over at Multiply have been migrated (err, copy-paste) over to The Stories from the Simian Crease. They're still my stories after all, right?

So back-read a while. Let me just ponder about life's purpose for now.

"We can't go back to 2007 Sheldon, we can just read his posts."

Fresh Vegetables and Napalm  

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Yes. Napalm.

I swear this had to be one of the wildest gustatory sensations my tongue has ever had in years. I was eating lumpiang ubod (sauteed wrapped vegetables) earlier today when I felt my mouth was on fire. It wasn't the usual spicy chili pepper burn that you get when you eat red pepper, it felt more like gargling acid. The burn was in my mouth. I then realized the lumpia was spiked with loads of chopped raw garlic. Now I usually love garlic, even raw garlic, but not in these combustively volatile amounts. I thought it had burned a hole through my tongue. Talk about a chemical burn. It just had be right up there with military-grade napalm and C4.

Scrumptious!

*Note: Photo is from www.maxschicken.com, and was not the actual combustive delicacy I had consumed earlier.

Firefly Day  

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Now who would've thought I'd be writing about this?

Yup, I was there. Well, there but not really there. I was at the SM Megamall yesterday with some of my team mates to see Cosplay Mania '09. Too bad I had to go before we could get inside the Megatrade Hall 2, but at least I still got to see all those people in costumes. Now despite my Chinese slash Japanese appearance, I'm no authority when it comes to anime and manga. I'm not a real big fan, you see. I'm just big, period. The real anime buff here is Firefly, and I wouldn't be surprised to see if she comes out with a more detailed blog post about Cosplay Mania '09 than this one soon.



It was amazing to see how everybody seemed to have put in so much time and effort on their costumes. From the gaudy to the ridiculous, everybody was strutting their stuff dressed as some anime cartoon or comic book character. Some were pretty off, but there were also those who really looked like the real thing. It was like seeing these characters come to life. I must admit though, I was a little mean to those who looked funny in their costumes. But I soon learned to keep my mouth shut when I saw Darth Vader staring me down while brandishing his lightsaber. I wouldn't want to cross paths with that dude when he's angry.

The girls were awesome too. I just couldn't help noticing how their striped socks were longer than their school-girl skirts. I wish all the girls would dress like that. On second thought...maybe not all of them...school girls...

Okay my mind drifted there for a sec. Oh, and you should've seen the kids, some had little geisha dresses and some had monkey tails. Kids are always adorable; too bad not all of them stay that way until adulthood.

Well that's probably as much as I can possibly say, seeing as I did leave the event early. Maybe next year I'd come back dressed as Big Bert from Voltes V. Or then again, maybe not.

Firefly, hiding from Team Rocket

Marauder's Path  

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So Senator Noynoy made his announcement. He came out to the waiting press and proclaimed:

"I solemnly swear I am up to no good."


Sorry, I was reading The Daily Prophet and not The Philippine Star. What he really said was:

"I accept the call of the people."

It was so aptly said. Weeks prior to his announcement the idea came about of Senator Noy running for the highest seat in government. Pleas of "Noynoy for President" spread far and wide, because the people were sorely looking for change. With his candidacy, the people now have hope. With the elections still a few months away in 2010, Senator Noynoy's political machinery barely has enough time to mount a full campaign.

Unlike his mother though, Senator Noynoy actually has more time to prepare for the elections. That can work for and against him. I'm sure his detractors can see an opportunity here, as they have a few more months to ruin the good senator's credibility before the people cast their ballots. That much can be expected. After all, we are in the Philippines.

And how does the proposed computerized voting system affect 2010's results? That remains to be seen.

I'm curious to see how the race to Malacañang unfolds. As previously mentioned, D-Day is still a few months away. We might still see a certain former president turn his Arthro commercial into a prophecy. There are talks of he-who-must-not-be-elected making another go at the presidency. Talk about greedy.

That's all for now. Too much politics can be dangerous to one's health.

Mischief managed.


Oh Nine! Oh Nine! Oh Nine!  

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Today is a day of nine's: September 9, 2009. In short, 09/09/09. So, in commemoration of this rather interesting but utterly useless fact, I would like to make a rundown of some of the things that I miss the most.
  • I miss the days when I wasn't sogging wet down to my underpants. Lately, the weather has been literally raining on my parade. Not to mention my shorts, my socks, my hair, and my lit cigarette too.

  • I miss my TV shows. The good news is that its September, and I'd soon be seeing Leonard and Penny (The Big Bang Theory) and Claire Bennet (Heroes) again. Both series start their new seasons on Monday, September 21st.
  • I miss Dad. I would've put him at the top of this list but I know he wouldn't want me going too sentimental on account of him.
  • I miss reading. After the Harry Potter series was over, I felt like everybody left Hogwarts and I was stuck there with Peeves and Sir Cadogan. I dare not touch Twilight. I'd rather wait for Dan Brown's new novel, The Lost Symbol. It will also be coming out in bookstores this month.
  • I miss being a kid again. Being a child at heart really has no significantly positive effect on one's physical well-being whatsoever. I just want to live without thinking about consequences again.
  • I miss being in love. Holy crap, what's this doing here!??
  • I miss sushi. Okay, now I'm really hungry.
  • I miss playing in a band. Oh God I really do.
  • I miss my high school allowance. Wasn't it great when you didn't have to work your butt off to get money?
  • I miss my old clothes. Especially those pants that had a smaller waist line.

I decided to keep the list as it is, without edits, so it's random and not based on importance or how badly I miss them. Okay fine, this is another bullet blog, though this time with bullets. Sue me. So many thoughts, so little time. This stupid new work schedule's a bitch, you know. Oh and by the way, if you're in the US please follow this friendly advice:

Reboot your fucking modem before you make that goddamn call! Morons!

There, I feel so much better.

A Call To Leadership  

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Destiny. Or a really compelling feeling of deja vu.

The idea of Senator Benigno Aquino III running for the country's highest electoral post has been one of the most widely discussed news items these past few weeks. Many Filipinos believe that the son of former president Corazon Aquino would be able to continue in his mother's footsteps and lead our nation to true democracy; freedom from greed and corruption that threaten to bring our economy to its knees.

Senator Aquino, more popularly known as "Noynoy", has been in the hotseat ever since news of the possibility of him entering the presidential race in 2010 came out. The people immediately took to the idea and clamors of Noynoy's potential run spread like wildfire.

It can be recalled that before Mrs. Aquino became president, Salvador "Doy" Laurel was favored to become the country's chief executive. He withdrew his candidacy in favor of Laurel ally Ninoy Aquino's widow and slid down to running for vice-president. It became a double success for the United Nations Democratic Organizations political party as Aquino and Laurel became president and vice-president in 1986 respectively.

Today, it may be less of a coincidence that similar circumstances are apparent in Senator Aquino's political career. For months now, Senator Mar Roxas has been slowly building his campaign to become president. Liberal Party chairman emeritus Jovito Salonga has been pushing for a Noy-Mar tandem in 2010 with Aquino being Roxas' running mate.

Public opinion may soon change that as more and more "Noynoy for president" signature campaigns have been initiated. Calls for Senator Aquino to run for president have been at an all-time high. Talks of him leading our country have been widely proposed even in the far reaches of the Philippines.

He has also gone on a spiritual retreat in Zamboanga, as he seeks guidance just as his mother did during her time, in making this very important decision.

Senator Aquino is expected to announce his decision on whether he will take on the biggest challenge of his political career or not on September 9, which marks the end of the 40-day mourning for his late mother.


Okay so enough of the snotty serious journalist. I personally believe in Noynoy. I think it was destiny that Mrs. Aquino met our Master when she did and that calls for Noy's candidacy came out. I think it would be a real challenge for him because he has to live up to his parent's legacy, but at the same time this will be an opportunity for him to bring about change to our country. What better time than now, when Filipinos are thirsting for a fresh start away from leaders whose reputations have been stained by corruption or issues of morality?

Senator Aquino, heed our call. Turn this ship around. Run for president.

Septemberfest  

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Yeah so I wanted Oktoberfest early, so what?

What a way to start the new month. I ushered September in while lying on my back throbbing with my highest body temperature ever recorded. It wasn't exactly how I would like to define "hot in bed". I had to miss two days of work because of the flu, as if I won't be missing enough workdays already. I'm serving out two of my three-day suspension this week. Ironically, they suspended me - forcing me to not go to work - because of absenteeism. It's like winning a box of pizza in a pizza-eating contest. What a riot. It's like serving detention in the forest with Hagrid.

Just before I got sick, as stated in my earlier post I went to Batangas with some of my old college buddies. We went to this far-flung little haven in Laiya located deep in San Juan, Batangas, called Sabangan. I wanted to show you guys the good times we had there but unfortunately I don't own the camera that took all our photos. I'll post another... er, post, when they come around to uploading them. Maybe I'll do another bullet.

Last night I saw an old flame of mine and boy was she smokin' - figuratively and literally. She's one of those topics that I would usually just skirt over, but I decided to put a little more detail in this time. Her name is

Nah, I won't name her just yet. But here's the etchy part: she works as a bar girl. You know, the girl you pay to sit at a table with you while you chug away bottles of booze. You can even throw in some videoke while you unscrupulously let your hands crawl in places your mother would never had taught you to put them in.

Yeah, she's that kind of girl. Our mothers warned us about her.

The conundrum is, I think I'm crazy enough to be serious about her. Don't worry, I'm still thinkin'. I've had enough trouble with women to last me a lifetime. So I'm not adding to my list of hastily-made decisions just yet.

Thing is, she found another job as an inventory clerk at some factory in Alabang and she's slowly quitting the bar girl business. She said she gets slightly more than minimum wage, a lot lower than what she gets from the club every night, but its decent money. I for one sincerely hopes that she makes a turnaround. Well I'm one to talk.

I'll talk about another more personal taboo when I feel its safe to tweak.

I'll also talk more about Noynoy Aquino in a later post. For now, I want to see how the story unfolds. He has my vote though. I just don't feel like trashing any senators or former presidents this morning.

Whatever happens, September sure seems like a heck of a way to start 2009's send-off party. I can't wait to see what happens in the next few months. I sure hope I still have my job though. Cheers!

*note: There really is such a thing called Septemberfest, I didn't make that up.

STBM  

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This absolutely sucks. I've been wanting to write about the fun I had in Batangas a couple of days ago, but I've been sick ever since I got back. Mom pulls the thermo out of my pits and reads a stinking 40-degree fever. I've never been this sick before. My chest feels like a huge bruise, and breathing's becoming more like wheezing. Coughing's a real pain in the ass chest. I hate this. The worst part is, I have to prove to some people I was sick. I missed worked because of this, you see. I'll cut this post short. I'll talk about my adventures in Batangas when they post our photos on Facebook. I need some rest.

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Stories from the Simian Crease by Binchee is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.
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