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Put the pitchforks away idiots.

Ok this is fucking ridiculous already.

Yes this silly little 23 year old girl named Jeanne Napoles is lavishly flaunting her wealth. But why vilify her for it? Vilify her mother, who’s the one supposedly stealing from the country. You think this kid knows where her family’s wealth comes from? You think it crossed her mind that these were illegal funds? No, she probably assumed that her family was well off, like any other kid out there would. I’ve seen people saying that she belongs in jail and shit. For what? Spending money her parents gave her? For meeting Justin Bieber? Grow up people. If she was involved in the embezzlement or was aware of where it came from then fine, but I’ll bet my house that she didn’t know shit. Her only crime is being slightly tacky and having a bit of an overbite.  But one report goes out about how she likes to spend and all of a sudden SHE’s the new target and not the actual perpetrators of the plunder.

So enough of the mob mentality thats all over the internet and start directing your anger to the people that ACTUALLY MATTER. Like her mother. And everyone else involved with this Pork Barrel Scam.

God people are fucking stupid.

One more time, with FEELING.

First and foremost, I’m a Catholic, but for the last few years I’ve had problems with the way the Catholic Church of the Philippines keeps trying to run this country.  Carlos Celdrans conviction and impending jail time is the latest in a string of things the CBCP and the local Church has done in the past few years that have caused much facepalming and an embarrassment. Lets get one thing straight though: While I agree with Celdrans opinions on the controlling ways of the church (RH Bill anyone?); what he did is actually a CRIME.

Art. 133. Offending the religious feelings. — The penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period shall be imposed upon anyone who, in a place devoted to religious worship or during the celebration of any religious ceremony shall perform acts notoriously offensive to the feelings of the faithful.

What Celdran did was pretty much like having a protester jump into a kindergarten class mid lesson to start protesting.  There’s a time and place for it and in the middle of a religious service is NOT it. People should be able to worship their faith peacefully and without interruption, BUT the fact that Celdran faces up to a year in jail seems a bit extreme for me.  I honestly would have expected that he would have been slapped with a large yet reasonable fine then sentenced to a crapton of community service.  It’s not like anyone was hurt with what he did.  Oh wait, their FEELINGS.

See, this isn’t a problem of our freedom of speech being taken away from us, it’s more of a problem with the fact that once again, we see no clear boundary between church and state.   From this law alone we can see that the church still wields too much power in our government.   Our government needs to look at itself and remember that they’re representing the best interests of the Filipino People and not the Filipino Catholic Church.  Laws need to be looked at and revised, and the CBCP needs to learn to shut up and butt out of government affairs.  This country will never progress and develop if we continue to be held back by archaic beliefs that are controlled by an unchanging religious grip.  I wish the Government would realize that there are Filipinos of other religions who live here too.

Also, why is this case over and done with so fast when we still have to try a murderer thats waiting to be convicted of murdering 58 people?

OPM isn’t dead you idiot.

First and foremost, there are three things I get really, REALLY worked up about in conversations.  The first is my beloved Liverpool FC, the second is photography, and the third is music.  Specifically, local music.  I’ve been a part of this industry since early 2002 and I fucking HATE it when people tell me that OPM is dead. They state things about the massive machine that is K-POP and local revival pop music.  They tell me that record labels aren’t listening anymore.  They tell me that there’s no more mainstream support. Well fuck you; I’ve been a part of the music scene since 2002 and most of my drunken conversations with friends, musicians and fellow music lovers have always ended up at the state of OPM; and let me tell you something.  None of us think it’s even CLOSE to being dead.
Yeah losing NU107 hurt.  Musicians now have no real outlet to get good exposure for their music right?  Wrong. You have the internet.  You all have what all of your heroes of your teen angst years didn’t: The world at your fingertips. Share your music on social media.  You have things like Soundcloud, Facebook and Twitter.  USE IT.  Don’t sit there and complain that OPM is dead because no one came to your gig in Guijo that you didn’t really promote. Have you ever sat in the middle of a mall handing out hand drawn flyers to a gig you’re playing at in Rock Radio later that day? Have you ever spent the day burning CDs and sticking on photocopied labels that you plan to sell for 50 bucks outside KAFE? Have you ever stood up in the middle of class to announce to your batchmates that your band is playing at Mayrics later? Put the hard work in and the success will follow.  It’s not like Urbandub landed in Manila with a record deal in hand. They worked hard in Cebu, then worked harder in Manila, and even then, it took 3 albums before labels took notice.  Your heroes went through what you’re going through now.  If you call it quits after barely a year, then all you’re doing is contributing to the stigma that OPM is a joke.
If you think OPM is dead because of the whims of record labels, revival songs, pop acts and K-POP then you’re part of the problem. OPM is NOT dead. OPM has ALWAYS been here. OPM is NOT going anywhere. OPM is NOT defined by what’s on TV, by what’s selling in record stores, by what’s playing on the radio (especially in this NU-less age).  OPM is defined by Filipino musicians making ORIGINAL PINOY MUSIC.  If your idea of OPM is whats being displayed on mainstream media, then obviously you haven’t been LISTENING for the last two decades.
Francis M, Wolfgang, Razorback, POT, GreyHoundz, Slapshock, Queso, Kamikazee, Parokya ni Edgar, Sandwich, Rivermaya, Twisted Halo, Kjwan, Chicosci, Urbandub, Radioactive Sago Project, Cambio, Sugarfree, Bamboo, Kapatid, Spongecola, Imago, Dictalicense, Faspitch, Ambassadors, Taken By Cars, Up Dharma Down, Hilera, Cog, The Out of Body Special, Jejaview, Sirens, The Butchercons, Pupil, Archipelago, Pitik, Salamin, The Wilderness, Ang Bandang Shirley, Twin Lobster, Outerhope, Pedicab, Peso Movement, Yolanda Moon, Curbside, Earthmover, and COUNTLESS more.
TELL ME AGAIN HOW OPM IS DEAD?
EDITYou know, people need to realize that my rant is directed at those that say OPM is dead and not the author of the Philstar Article. I’d rather anyone who reads my blog NOT use it as a launching point of attacks against Don Jaucian. I only linked him because he was the latest in a long line of people that have continuously said that OPM is dead. The rest of my rant doesn’t even discuss what he says in his article. His article is more on the record label side of things. Do I have issues with things that were written? Yes, and I have my own opinions on that subject, but that’s a completely different topic of conversation.My rant is basically an answer to all of those who tell me that OPM is dead. Because it’s not dead. It’s staring at you in the face.

Fuck you Sotto.

You’re an embarrassment to the Philippines and have no right to call yourself a Senator. All of your arguments are invalid and your reputation has been ruined because everything you have done or will do cannot be trusted to be honest. Resign now or refrain from continuing your diatribe of misinformation Sotto.

I refuse to call you senator because you obviously don’t deserve it.  As an artist I find it despicable that you blatantly plagiarize someone’s work and DENY that it happened by trying to find a loophole and saying you “quoted the doctor” that was quoted in the blog.  As an artist and as someone who is very aware of intellectual property laws I find your actions APPALLING and EMBARRASSING, especially someone who is an Elected SENATOR OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. Nothing you say will be trusted from here one and anything and everything you plan on doing or have ever done (Oh hello Pepsi Paloma) should be scrutinized and subject to public investigation.

Plainly put, you’re a fucking liar Tito Sotto and you have no right to be holding the office where you so blatantly abuse your power.

A Quick Word on the RH Bill

I’ve been avoiding writing about the clusterfuck known as the RH Bill debate because I’ve talked enough about it on my show (OK It was more of a drunken rant than an educated discussion) and I really didn’t feel like getting dragged into the pool if ignorance and screaming.  I’ve always considered myself Pro-RH and I’ve had some good talks with people that are Anti-RH and their reasons for doing so.  Mostly they talk about the economic burden and the statistics of overpopulation and how the population is more city-centric, creating an illusion of overcrowding/population etc etc.  That’s fine, those are the reasons why I feel there is a debate about the viablilty of the RH bill in the first place, and they’re the only reasons that don’t infuriate me to the point of blind rage.

I tweeted earlier about the #NoToRHBill hashtag and the sheer ignorance I saw.  I’d like to apologize for that.  I was pretty pissed off at the time.  I know that not everyone who is against the RH bill is an ignorant member of society, and I was really referring to the religious spin on the Anti RH Bill side.  Most of the ridiculousness on there infuriated me.  Gems such as

If you’re a Woman and you’re Pro RH bill, shame on u for letting the Governmental decide when & how you should enjoy Motherhood. #NotoRHBill

Which is laughable because the RH bill is EXACTLY about letting a Woman choose WHEN and HOW she has a child. Oh and we have:

I Live To Fight For LIFE And LOVE. No one Stops Me For This. Not even the Constitutional Laws. MY GOD IS FAR GREATER THAN THAT. #NotoRHBill

Is she saying screw the constitution and laws? Right.  Get out of my country please.  Oh and there’s also everyones personal favorite:

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You know why people get so frustrated when debating the RH Bill? It’s because most of the time it seems like most of the time these people haven’t even READ the damn thing.  Honestly, if you want to have an honest and open discussion about one of the most important bills in recent Philippine History, then at LEAST READ IT.  Understand it, then make your arguments from that.  Too wordy for you? Then read this article from Senator Pia Cayetano (who is right now, my hero.)

Why do I support the RH bill? Well Sen. Cayetano said it best in her article:

I am aware that certain religious groups are anti-RH. I respect their position. But I cannot adopt their position because it would be depriving other Filipinos who have other views on reproductive health and on the reproductive health care and services that they need and want.

This country is not 100% Catholic, and these people need to realize that.  Do you think they would be comfortable living in a country that had vastly different religious views that were forced down their throat? No, I don’t think they would.

The country may be divided right now but the important thing is that BOTH sides engage in EDUCATED discussion. If all you’re going to spout out is garbage like “THE FLOODS ARE GODS WAY OF PUNISHING THE RH BILL SUPPORTERS” then I’m going to kick you in the face. I understand that people are entitled to their own opinions, and I am too.  My opinion is that your opinions are stupid and wrong.

Photo Pit Etiquette

I know, it’s been a month.  I really should update this more, at the very least blog weekly.

There are three things I get really REALLY passionate about nowadays.  The first is Football (specifically my beloved Liverpool), the second and third are two things that have been a part of me for the last 10 years: Music and Photography. I’ve been shooting concerts both local and international for the better part of the last 9 years and I remember back when I first started it was literally me and maybe one or two kids taking pictures at the various concerts all over the city.  The widespread availability of DSLRs and the improving quality of cellphone cameras have pretty much opened the floodgates for every aspiring photographer out there, which is awesome and has produced some amazing photographers (Oh hello Nina, I know you’re reading this :D); but there is a certain etiquette that people really SHOULD follow. I hate to sound like a crusty old fart, but seriously, there is some shit that goes on in photo pits that really pisses me off. I’m not talking about the kids with their cellphones high in the air recording everything their favorite singer does, because that’s just fans being fans; I’m talking about YOU.  Yes YOU.  That asshole in the photo pit with his brand new 28-70 bursting a goddamn speedlite in the singers face every 6 seconds.  Yes.  YOU. This is for you.

FIVE Rules Of The Photo Pit

1) GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY SHOT

Nobody likes the pushy asshole in the photo pit that stands in everyones line of sight and blocks their shots. Just because you have a lanyard around your neck that says “PRESS” or “PHOTOGRAPHER” this does not mean you have a right to stand up straight and tall in the very front of the pit with no regard to the shots of the other photographers around you and most importantly: TO THE FANS behind you. Those fans paid good money to watch their favorite performer and they’re going to be fucking livid if they’ve got your big ass head leaning on the monitors waving your goddamn 85 Prime in the singers faces.  Crouch down.  Get out of their way.  Or pop up real fast, snap of a few shots then crouch down again while you review.  DON’T FUCKING REVIEW YOUR SHOTS WHILE STANDING UP IN THE VERY FRONT.  It makes you look like an even bigger douchebag.  If the pit is crowded, shoot and move so other photographers can get a good angle too. If someone asks if you can step to the side for a bit, don’t sneer and throw a hissy fit, it makes you look like a bitch.

In fact, as a concert photographer why the hell would you stand still anyway?  If you’re going to stand in a pit for 2 hours and take 500 pictures from exactly the same angle then you should just sell your camera because obviously you’re an idiot.

2) RESPECT THE EQUIPMENT

Repeat after me: THE MONITORS ARE NOT YOUR TRIPOD.  Foreign acts in particular can be pretty anal about their sound on stage (and with good reason) so if you start leaning on the monitors and tripping over wires screwing up the sounds then they’re going to get fucking pissed.  Also, you’re fat and you might break that shit.  As much as possible DON’T lean on the gear.  If you have to lean on a monitor, do it gently and do it fast then move again (see point 1)  DON’T grab a mic stand and push it out of the way of your shot while the band is singing you massive tit.  AND DONT STAND ON THE FUCKING AMPS.

3) IF YOU DONT HAVE TO BE IN THE PIT THEN GET THE FUCK OUT

Look, I hate to sound like a bit of a snob here but some of you people have no right being in a photo pit.  I’m talking about the girl that sneaks in with her DSLR.  I’m talking about the idiots who stand in there just to watch.  It’s a photo pit.  Not the front fucking row of a Beiber concert.  I don’t care if your pass says “JOURNALIST”, if you aren’t taking pictures then clear the area.  You’re taking up space and blocking peoples view.  Just last week I saw a writer in the photo pit doing nothing except standing there singing. Sorry what? If you just want to watch, get in the crowd like everyone else.  You don’t need to be in the freaking front blocking the view of the paying crowd.  What are you going to do? Set your laptop up on a monitor and start writing in the middle of the show? GET OUT. It’s already crowded in here because of the douchebags standing in everyones shot and you’re just making it worse.

4) FOR THE LOVE OF GOD FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY IS BAD

Now I’m not knocking the idea of using an external flash, I use it all the time in small events; but please god be mindful of who you’re blinding.  DON’T aim that shit straight at the band.  How do you expect the singer dancing around stage to keep balance when he’s got a 580EX going off in his face every 10 seconds? It’s disrespectful.  Actually, as much as possible don’t use a flash in the first place if you’re standing that close.  I know I know, some venues allow it, but let me tell you its not fun to be performing then all of a sudden go half blind.  Generally larger events will ban flash photography, but you’re always going to get that douchebag who disregards the rules.  Because people are fucking stupid.

5) A PRESS PASS IS NOT A TICKET TO ACT LIKE A DICKHEAD

Just because that pass around your neck says PRESS, it doesn’t mean you get to act like you own the place. Drill one thing into your head: it is a PRIVILEGE for you to be in this pit.  You are here for FREE.  You may even be getting PAID to be in there.  This does not make you better than everyone else.  I’ve seen photographers get mad at bouncers, stage hands, roadies etc all because someone told them to get out of the area.  YOU are not contributing to the show, they are.  Listen to them and do what they say.  Remember this: THE BAND IS THERE FOR THE FANS, NOT FOR YOU OR YOUR GODDAMN PORTFOLIO.

On a side note (and I realize what I’m about to say is hilarious coming from me), I kinda wish more people would stop taking pictures of gigs and just sit and enjoy the music.  I know, everyone loves to take pictures of their favorite bands, or videos of their favorite songs.  It’s a part of us and I completely understand it; that’s how I started shooting in the first place.  I just wish some people realize that they don’t HAVE to be shooting the whole time.  There’s nothing wrong with putting your camera away and just simply LISTENING once in a while.  I realized early on that if I focused more on shooting, I felt like I would miss out on half of the emotions that made me love the music in the first place.

I read a story about Adam Lazzarra of Taking Back Sunday while we were preparing for their show here back in April.  Apparently he walked into the crowd in Orlando and told them “Let’s the cut the middleman out, put the cameras down. Why have a screen between you and me? I am right here. I am right here.”

It’s something to consider the next time you watch a show.

Great Comebacks of the 21st Century


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The Inquirer had an interesting opinion piece on it’s website yesterday regarding the Boysen Paint sponsored art on EDSA.  The author, one Neal H. Cruz came out swinging and bashing the EDSA murals calling them ugly to the point of giving children nightmares.  He then proceeded to attack the whole project, thinking it expensive, that Boysen sold them crappy paints, etc etc.  Basically he didn’t do his research. Not to go too much into the details behind it, but a lot of what the writer said was uninformed, poorly researched and all around lazy journalism.  Answers to all of his questions and complaints could be found with a quick look on google.  Seriously dude, this shits so easy to find my dad could have done it, and he doesn’t even know how to send email.  If you’re going to write for one of the countries biggest newspapers, at least put a little effort into researching something before you rant against it.  It’s not even the first time he’s done this as he mentioned the murals weeks ago.

Anyway, I love a good internet beatdown so I was pleasantly surprised to find that the principle curator of the project dispensed some snarky internet justice.

Mr. Cruz, I am the principal curator of the Boysen EDSA Project. Your rant has occasioned an outpouring of support for the artworks you object to.

In this bouyant mood, it seems opportune to acknowledge you for provoking such strong expressions of public ownership of art made, precisely, for EDSA commuters.

The curatorial team and project sponsors placed huge faith in the intelligence of the commuters: that they can grasp and enjoy complex visual concepts that resonate with the complexity of their lives. We assumed, at the outset, that they will not take kindly to idealized images of the Philippines, because their lives, especially on EDSA, do not mirror bucolic dreamscapes. We bet that folk wisdom will figure out global art language that articulates local experience.

Like the rest of the public, we are happy to use EDSA as artspace instead of crass marketing space. And most importantly, the better air people breathe because the air-cleaning paint innovated by Boysen and used in this project, appears to have sustained our project mantra: EDSA. Everyone deserves safe air.

With the phenomenal eruption of goodwill which rejected your column’s diatribe, we realize our faith is rewarded. And how! We learn much from this positive mood: from the wit, the deft wielding of sarcasm, the contemporary art savvy, the refined sense of outrage (note that the biting humor is precisely calibrated to the relatively high level your issue takes in their hearts relative to the big ones we all face), and the good old Pinoy genius for skirmish.

We learn that the public likes public artworks to be done by professionals. We learn that —  however difficult EDSA is for those who have to use it — it is a space the public possesses jealously. Indeed with ferocity. We learn, too, that the public discerns sharply between art/media messages that respect their minds (the artworks on EDSA) and messages that disparage their ability to discern (your column).

We learn of a vibrant city whose public endures and confronts the worst possible urban griefs, but with great heart and sophistication.

For us, therefore — the artists, curators, bureaucrats, corporate heads, chemists, and house painters who thank our lucky stars for this project — the project emerges as even bigger than the large-scale concept we began with. It is now the project that occasions the emergence of a robust and very Pinoy sense of a commons.

Murals 1 Neal Cruz 0.  I’m going to wear my I Love Boysen Paints shirt and laugh.

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Oh and speaking of comebacks.  LOL Miami.