Posts Tagged ‘Manila’

If there’s something laudable about the brand Red Horse Beer other than the kick in its full-flavored taste, it is the commitment to discover Filipino talents in rock music. I say commitment because the brand has successfully sustained its Muziklaban Rock Challenge for 13 years now. That’s no easy feat considering how many local talent competitions we hear about that just come and go.

One reason for the staying power of Red Horse Beer Muziklaban Rock Challenge is because it’s very relevant not only to the brand, but also to a targeted community of shared interest—lovers of all things rock music. And it stayed true to this community despite the lure of more popular genres or the excitement of a new customer engagement program. I believe Red Horse Beer is doing it right.

And it’s doing it even better this year by embracing social media to reach out to more amateur rock bands in the country. Aside from submitting entries manually through San Miguel Brewery sales offices and designated venues and through live studio auditions across the Philippines, amateur rock bands can now submit entries through the Red Horse beer website, its Facebook page, or even through Youtube. And for the formal launch of this year’s competition, Red Horse Beer did its first ever digital press conference via live streaming from Hard Rock Cafe in Makati City. I was one of the lucky ones to be invited. 🙂

Digital is good, but there are things best enjoyed live, like a cold Red Horse Beer

The means to reach out and discover more Pinoy talents may change and evolve with the times but making Pinoy rock the constant is the way to go for Red Horse Beer. It is showing the way for many other established brands that are still in the search for a relevant, unique, and sustainable engagement program for customers.


Deadline of submission of entries: September 15, 2011

Eliminations: October 1 to November 5, 2011

Semi-finals: November 2011

Grand Finals: January 2012

The Grand Champion will win P1M worth of prizes: P500,000 cash prize, band start-up support through music video or album production support worth P300,000, and a Red Horse Beer endorsement deal worth P200,000.

The winner in the best original Red Horse Beer song composition will also take home P500,000 cash prize.

For more details on Red Horse Beer Muziklaban Rock Challenge, visit this site.

Rakrakan na!


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2009 is coming to a close and so I thought of doing some reminiscing of the past months to identify the 10 newsmakers and noisemakers in 2009. Here goes my list, in no particular order: 

  1. Nicole a.k.a Suzette Nicolas: She recanted rape story against US lance corporal Daniel Smith, mocking efforts of feminist groups that lobbied in her favor, leaving many wondering “sino ba lasi? sino ang tunay na baliw?”
  2. Ted Failon: The broadcaster who was made primary suspect  for his wife’s death, but was proven innocent
  3. A(H1N1) or swine flu: The only kind of pig Pinoys won’t dare touch
  4. Hayden Kho: His sex videos with actresses Katrina Halili and Maricar Reyes put some porn films to shame and his license for medical practice to eternal rest
  5. Cory Aquino: Her death reawakened a sense of nationalism in many and made her son Noynoy the ‘sentimental’ candidate for the presidency
  6. Ondoy and Pepeng: The uninvited that ravaged Manila and parts of Luzon, making Pinoys realize that LVs and Secosanas are both equal in floodwaters 
  7. Manny Pacquiao: Pacman makes history with five boxing titles made more interesting with a cover in Time and an alleged illicit affair with starlet Krista Ranillo
  8. Ampatuans: The megalomaniac clan who are allegedly the masterminds behind the Maguindanao Massacre with the main suspect pleading insanity to be scot-free
  9. Efren Penaflorida: The Tondo boy who was named CNN Hero of the Year for his kariton classroom that educates streetchildren in Manila


Who do you think should complete the 10?

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This is another sharing on Ondoy experience, but this is all about me and this is not a sad story.

Don't come again, Ondoy. You're not welcome here.

Don’t come again, Ondoy. You’re not welcome here.

It’s been over three weeks but the typhoon Ondoy experience still feels like it was just two days ago. I think maybe it’s because I haven’t really gone back to life as usual. Everyday as I travel the ‘long cut’ to work and back using public transport, I keep remembering how much easier life was before Ondoy, at least for me. Now it feels like I don’t have a choice but to live with its aftermath until, well, life is back to normal. Heaven knows how I hate not having choices.

Walking was never this fun. Yeah right.

Let’s go jogging, anyone?

For the first time, I braved waist-deep flood to buy food from the nearest grocery from home, which was like walking from EDSA Central in Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong to SM Megamall in Ortigas, Pasig. I didn’t mind the walk; it was leptospirosis I was most worried about. My mom was most concerned about my panic-buying tendencies. 😀

The other things Ondoy wiped out

The other things Ondoy wiped out

When ankle-deep water inside the house subsided the night of that Saturday, I thought Ondoy was over and we can go on with our lives again until we learned that roads outside the village were impassable and the only way out was to ride a tractor or a make-shift boat. I thought I could deal with it; I would just have to think of it like an adventure trip, backpacking and all, and pretend that it’s a new culture I’m immersing myself in. Ah, a preview of Tonle Sap, I thought.

Not all best things in life are free

Not all best things in life are free

But the first time I went out of the village to report to work, I had to line up for hours at the village gate waiting for the tractor ride. It was free ride alright, but the dump truck was filthy beyond compare and it took in as many bodies as it could, leaving people with no choice but to bear the one-hour ride sweating like pigs and smelling all kinds of odor known to man. Even my boy scout and ROTC years didn’t prepare me for it.

Not your typical street party

Not your typical street party

Going home that first day out of the village was no different. In the city rotonda, I lined up for hours again for the free ride. I sat on the street gutter like many did, unable to hold up standing after a tiring day at work, trying to amuse myself by downloading songs on my mobile phone. Birthday Sex by Jeremy. Apologize by One Republic. Tokyo Mix. Jai Ho. Daughtry’s Home. Ahh, how appropriate, I thought.

A day in the life of a chicken. Or pig.

A day in the life of a chicken. Or pig.

Several days after riding dump trucks and moving chicken pens and pig pens, we found a new way out of the village—the ‘long cut’ going to Taytay, Rizal. I have to take a tricycle passing through what they call a Floodway, a long stretch of residential homes, many shanties, where people crowd the street like it was part of their houses. I said in one of my previous posts that I have become numb, even blind, to poverty in Manila. That still holds true to this day, but for the past two weeks I have no choice but to recognize it because it’s right before my eyes.

Front-seat luxury on a truck

Front-seat luxury on a truck

All the conveniences of travel that I was used to because I always chose in their favor were all removed post-Ondoy. I say ‘conveniences’ to contrast my experience with many others who lost loved ones, their property, and possessions to the flood. I say that to remind myself of the many stories I heard on news and overheard inside jeepneys and buses of how people survived that day, or how many others didn’t. I say that to remind myself that I have so much to be grateful for and I believe that with all my heart.

While for others Ondoy opened their eyes to new realizations, it reaffirmed to me what I’ve always known about myself.

That I can adapt to the call of the day but that I refuse to accept anything less than what I can get for what I work hard for.

That I easily abandon the idea of having choices and making them in times of need because I stare at what is too long rather than on what else I can do.

That I’ve always hold on to the belief that one can still reach out and help, even when you yourself are wounded.

That I’ve already learned not long ago the lesson on happiness and fulfillment brought about by doing, not by having.

And that I can stand a long walk, a long ride, and a long day, but not bad odor. Never. 🙂

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"wake up, mama"

"wake up, mama"

If not for ewok1993‘s mother and child post, I would not have remembered this photo I took a few months back while on traffic one Saturday morning in Makati using my celfone. I didn’t roll down my window, thinking I will get the child’s attention and ruin the ‘moment.’

This would have been a good Mother’s Day post, but the photo is timeless in its own right, showing a snapshot of poverty and progress in Manila: a homeless mother and child sleeping on a road center-island with a high-rise condominium under construction just across the street.

Poverty in Manila no longer moves me, but scenes like this will always ground me, humble me, remind me that a good life I plan ahead for myself has the word ‘others’ attached to it.

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If the weekly oil price increase in the Philippines will continue, this is probably what’s going to happen:

I recall the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Land Transportation Office (LTO) reporting that volume of cars in EDSA has decreased by 10 percent as a result of high oil prices. I’m quite sure though that this reduction hasn’t made traffic situation in EDSA any better, specially on rush hours.

Even registration of motorcycles, which is now the widely used means of transport in Metro Manila according to government report, has also decreased. This means it will take much longer before Manila’s traffic situation will be similar to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, where motorcycles rule the streets.  So let’s rule out this possible scenario for now.

Possible scenario two: rise of “traffic jockey” system similar to Jakarta, Indonesia. But because private car owners here do not trust strangers as passengers, I doubt if this will ever happen.

Possible scenario three: overloading in jeepneys, buses, MRT, LRT, and other public vehicles. But commuting will no longer be as affordable; a ten-peso flag down rate increase in taxi fare is imminent.

Possible scenario four: pedal your way to work or school and back, similar to the increase in bicycle use in China. Some online forums in Manila are now discussing this possibility. In Cebu, the local government has revived the “cops on bicycles” system as a fuel-saving measure. Will our government officials follow the same example by giving up their cars? Wish upon a star! Hahaha! 😛

Do you have other “rush hour” scenarios in mind?

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“Astoningshingly barbaric behavior.”

This is how Conrado de Quiros describes Pinoy motorists’ behavior in his There’s The Rub column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

I agree with him completely.

Steering around Metro Manila’s roads is not for the lily-livered, gutless motorist. You have to contend with motorcycle drivers who take advantage of any and all space available just to race past you. Many of them don’t even have a decent helmet on, that is if you see them wearing one.

And jeepney drivers, many of whom don’t seem to respect any traffic rule; they stop abruptly in front of you to load and unload passengers, even right in the middle of the street.

And bus drivers who think that the mere mammoth size of their vehicle grants them the license to bully smaller vehicles to give way.

And then there are sluggards on highways whose slowness compels me to shout “Accelarate! You m*#f*#r! Accelerate!”

I admit: there are episodes when I fantasize about killing erring drivers on the road by racing beside them, rolling down my window, bringing out my Metal Storm, and literally storming them with more than a million bullet, not until they die, but until I am fully satisfied.

Call it overkill, but yeah, I sometimes like the thought of ruthless killing on the spot, poor mortals dying right before my eyes even before they could beg for mercy, their blood and brains staining streets and street signs — a permanent reminder that under my fantasy game, inconsiderate drivers with subnormal intelligence are prohibited from being alive. 

Blame my dad for my road rage, which is, by the way, still comparably moderate by Pinoy standards. I grew up seeing my dad as an aggresive-defensive driver. You cut him and he’s going to race past you to do the same to you, and more — he slows down in front of you so you can’t speed up. If you’re a turtle who gets in his way, he’ll honk like a madman until your annoyance drives you to pick up speed.

He even used to have a bullhorn set up in his Datsun pick-up to angrily censure motorists into driving properly. I remember being embarrassed whenever he speaks into the microphone and his loud voice shocking motorists and pedestrians, as if an angry god from hell spoke down on them. I was really happy he sold his Datsun years back, and with it the bullhorn and all the embarrassing moments that it brought me.

Today my dad has better control of his road rage, and while he has remained faithful to traffic rules, I’ve become quite the opposite. For two consecutive years, I drove his car from my office in Mandaluyong to my graduate classes in Katipunan on rush hour Fridays when the car isn’t allowed under government’s coding scheme 😛 , hiding from traffic enforcers’ view by driving beside buses along EDSA or racing up beside SUVs. Now I’m already doing my thesis (well, trying to do it hahaha) and not once was I apprehended.

And take this: for almost two years now, I’ve been driving around with an expired license. I forgot to renew my license before my birthday last year; now I’m too lazy to renew it (Err,uhm, I promised myself I’ll renew it before the year ends.) And yeah, I’m proud to say that I’ve never been apprehended. Haha!


So count me in, De Quiros. I’m one of your barbarians on the road 🙂

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