Archive for January, 2010

A tribute to the Cebu Dancing Inmates

Posted in Uncategorized on January 26, 2010 by otakujade

In July, 2007 something complete unexpected and new made a debut on the internet – the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) Dancing Inmates!

Honestly when I first heard about them from a friend I laughed and got so curious about the rave that I immediately went online and watched their video on Youtube. And they were great!

It all started out as a morning exercise program for the inmates of CPDRC. Byron Garcia, the security advisor to the Cebu government was credited for starting a program of choreographed exercise routines for the inmates. Garcia initially introduced an exercise program where the prisoners marched in unison, starting out with marching to the beat of a drum, but moved on to dancing to pop music.  He started them out with camp music such as In The Navy and Y.M.C.A. by The Village People, so macho prisoners would not be offended at being asked to dance.  Then he started recording their routines which he eventually uploaded on Youtube. The first video he upload was virtually ignored but the 2nd one “Thriller” gathered so many hits that it became an over night success.

Eventually, the Filipinos became used to looking forward to their next performance and the next and the next. Little did we know that our little pleasure was slowly creeping into the consciousness of the worldwideweb.

But in as much as the CPDRC Dancing Inmates are receiving praises, they are also not immune to the criticism of some people. I guess that’s what hurts the most sometimes – its when the people who know so little about them would make the most hurtful comments. I read one comment on Youtube who called them nothing but slaves who’re forced to dance. Allow us to make it clear that the prisoners who perform in these routines are not being forced. They are there because they wanted to be there. They enjoy what they do – it’s a little piece of normalcy for them. It’s the time when they feel not so alienated from the world they left outside, but I guess some people don’t want them to find any happiness..they want these prisoners to suffer. As what Byron Garcia said  “If we make life like a living hell for these fallen angels, then we might just be turning out devils once they are released and re-integrated into society”.

And now, their latest achievement…apparently, Michael Jackson was aware of their performances and so in line with this Travis Payne, Jackson’s long-time choreographer, came to the prison and gave the 1500 dancing inmates of CPDRC a dancing lesson.

The number was called “The Drill,” the last choreography Payne and Jackson collaborated on before the King of Pop died in June 2009. Payne visited the Cebu penitentiary last week to teach the inmates “The Drill,” which would be part of the Blu-Ray and DVD copies of “This Is It.”

The dance was uploaded on YouTube last January 22 and as of today has gained 417,610 views.

And yet for all that…this is still my favorite CPDRC video…imagine they actually danced this before radio stations here in Manila heard about this song! hehehe!

and this..

The Old Lady has a point…..

Posted in Random on January 24, 2010 by otakujade

This was something I over heard while hubby and some friends were talking and relaxing after a long outdoors ride one afternoon.

One of the neighbor’s kids was playing this really loud rock music and one of the guys ( I can’t recall who) commented about the stupidity of the music. Then one of them said that his grandmother used to say that ‘back in their days in grade school the music teacher would separate the class into two groups – the first group would consist of kids who possesses a great voice and can actually sing and who were dubbed as the singers; the other group who loved to sing but can’t carry a note if their life depended on it were called the listeners.’ Thus the music class would continue with the great singers singing and the avid listeners listening. Today, according to grandma those group who’re supposed to be in the listening group are called rappers and rock singers.

This little piece of wisdom made me smile and realized how true grandmother’s observations were. All you have to do is watch Filipino variety shows today and you’ll see artist (actors and actresses) who can’t sing and dance being made to sing and dance and the fans go wild about it. There used to be a time in the Philippine Entertainment Industry when to be able to sing you’ll have to be a really good singer, or dance if you’ve been trained professionally or even act if you undergo acting training. But today, it seems all the criteria you have to pass to become a celebrity is a pretty face and white sparkly teeth.

……or be a part of a damn reality game show on TV!

And they wonder why the movie industry is deteriorating…sheesh!

Not a very nice week….

Posted in Uncategorized on January 21, 2010 by otakujade

Been sick since Tuesday last week, and though I’ve tried to go about everything as usual there are days when I just couldn’t make it to work. Last week I spent 3 days staying home because of my illness; today again I was unable to go to work…and it looks like I’ll be staying home again tomorrow.

I hate being so sick, I know everyone has that sentiment but it just gets too much for me that I’ve been like this for two weeks already. I really admire those who can muster their courage against their illness because I don’t know how they do it.

I went to the doctor again this morning and he changed my antibiotics to something stronger…but it also costs more. Hubby was saying it was okay it’ll make me better but I can’t help thinking about the cost and that we could have saved that amount to buy things for when the new house is completed.

Aside from being so weak and constantly cold and having problems with my breathing I think my youngest also caught my cough and cold which is really bad. Though he’s younger and his body resistance seem to b better than mine because his illness only last a few days.

*sigh* I do admit my prolonged illness has something to be with my age, I know I’m only 37 but I’ve been a workaholic most of my life and so I think my body is paying for the abuse I gave it earlier. I hate to sound so pessimistic but I just needed somewhere to vent my frustrations about being coop here at home.

Satomi Hakkenden

Posted in Movies on January 17, 2010 by otakujade

English Translation: The Legend of the Eight Dog Warriors

Known as the “greatest samurai novel in Japan”, this drama is based on the novel by Kyokutei Bakin. The novel was actually completed within the span of 30 years; Bakin had already gone blind by then and so the final part of it was dictated to his daughter-in-law Michi.

I haven’t seen the first 2 TV series based on this novel but the last one, I just had to find. And I think people who know me enough already knows why…it stars Tackey! What else!?

The story takes place during the beginning of the Sengoku Jidai in Awa, a tiny province that is currently a part of modern-day Chiba Prefecture.  In the kingdom of Awa, on the southernmost part of Kanto, Sadakane and his wife Tamazusa abused their positions and brought poverty and grief to the people of that region. Eventually the commoners sought help from the great commander Satomi Yoshizane, the hero of the Yuki Battle, to over throw the cruel monarchs.  Satomi took his army and invaded the southern kingdom, killing Sadakane and at the point of killing his wife Tamazusa; the woman begged forgiveness and explained that she had nothing to do with her husband’s cruelty that she was but a mere follower unable to say ‘nay’ to his demands.  Being a compassionate man by nature Satomi took pity on Tamazusa and ordered his men to set her free. But his advisers brought about facts statingthat Tamazusa was actually the driving force behind her husband and she was in fact a willing participant in his cruelty.  At this juncture Yoshizane was left with no choice but to take back his word and asked Tamazusa to do the honorable thing and commit seppuku.

Tamazusa was angered at Yoshizane for taking back his word and promised to extract revenge. She cursed Satomi and his descendants including his kingdom.  Now unknown to those present Tamazusa was a very powerful witch and certainly able to fulfill her curse. Yoshizane’s men killed her then and at the moment of her dead lightning struck her and Tamazusa disappeared leaving behind nothing but a huge imprint of a giant spider on her place.  Tamazusa’s curse said that she would change men’s desire into dogs. By this she meant everything that was reprehensible about man.

From that day forward Awa was shrouded in clouds, the crops would not grow due to lack of sunlight and the weather was always cold. Years later the Satomi clan was attacked by neighboring kingdoms and in order to save the family line. Yoshizane implored the remaining princess to flee together with her fiance Daisuke, she was to be the last of their line; the younger princess had been taken by an eagle and was lost many years back.

On their way from the castle, they encountered some of the attacking soldiers and Daisuke asked the princess to escape through the woods. There the princess encountered Tamazusa, and she reminded her of the curse. Tamazusa informed Hime (princess) that she was pregnant with the curse children that will sow – strife, jealousy, betrayal, murder….

Hime refused this fate. It was then that Daisuke came looking for her and at the sight of Tamazusa he loose an arrow to kill the witch but Tamazusa disappeared and Hime was struck with the arrow through the heart. With her dying strength Hime took her knife and stabbed herself, giving her life in exchange for the children in her womb. With her sacrifice she changed the fate of the children in her womb to the good virtues of men. The spirit of these children was scattered throughout the land at her death and landed on 8 male children who were to become the 8 dog warriors of Satomi who will someday destroy the curse on the land.

What followed was the adventure of the eight dog warriors. Throughout the series, each dog warrior recognizes the other through three distinguishing features: a last name starting with the word “inu” (meaning dog), a birthmark in the shape of a peony (the emblem of the Satomi clan) and a bead containing a kanji character that reflects eight of the fundamental virtues of Confucianism. They are:

  • kō (孝) – filial piety; devotion
  • gi (義) – duty and obligation, but it can also be translated as righteousness
  • chū (忠) – loyalty
  • shin (信) – faith
  • tei (悌) – brotherhood; brotherly affection
  • jin (仁) – sympathy and benevolence, but note that, according to Confucianism, “jin” is also the greatest and most perfect virtue of all. It should come as no surprise that the bearer of this bead also happens to be the most powerful warrior of the eight.
  • chi (知) – wisdom
  • rei (礼) – courtesy, but this can also be translated as proper form, i.e. an extensive knowledge and proper observation of tradition and manners.

The adventure of the eight dog warriors started with Inuzuka Shino-Moritaka (Tackey) as he was the first to find another man with the same birthmark as his and has a crystal bead with a virtue written in kanji inside it. From Shino the story moved forward as he proceeded to carry our his father’s dying wish but along the way meets other dog warriors. They eventually found Daisuke who had by then become a travelling monk seeking out the dog warriors and he explained to them he significance of their mark and their role in Satomi.

As for the rest you’ll just have to watch this movie to find out…sorry but I think I would not be able to do justice to the series so you’ll have to see it for yourself.

Marriage Contract Expiry Date Slammed by Congress

Posted in Uncategorized on January 13, 2010 by otakujade

A party list aspiring for the national elections proposed the bill before Congress and was slammed down even before it reached the first reading. The proposed marriage contract with expiry day was put forward by partylist aspirant1-ABAA (Ako Babaeng Astig Aasenso).  It is said that the group’s main advocacy is “to help women become economically empowered by helping them become entrepreneurs, giving them better employment, providing sources of livelihood, access to capital, and other ways to make women financially independent.”

Now please, would somebody tell me where in this supposed advocacy would that proposed bill come into play? How would putting expiration dates on marriages be beneficial to women of this country?

When a friend told me about this proposed bill I didn’t take her seriously, I mean who would? Then I finally saw it in the news and I was…well, to say I was surprised was lying really…I thought it was hilarious! I mean, this is one of only two predominantly Christian country in Asia with about 85% of its Congressmen being Catholics how could they ever hope to pass that bill through Congress?

Okay, so if you don’t like the man you married you only have until the 10th year of your marriage then you can dispose of him? You’re free! But that’s 10 years of your life wasted, ain’t it? With or without expiration date on the marriage it only works if you are willing to make it work. It does not rely on whether there’s a way out or not. We have enough broken families in this country we don’t need more! Shessh! People use what’s between your ears sometime!!

Philippine Government Websites….HACKED!!!

Posted in Random on January 11, 2010 by otakujade

Honestly, I was not even surprised when I heard about this on the news. Our government agencies had been overly confident about their websites – how  these websites are supposed to be well encrypted and how these sites are immune from hacking. I remember one officer from our agency saying that their site is impossible to hack…hah! I wonder what that officer is thinking right now.

As bad as this issue may seem now, considering that the country is very near it’s first ever electronic election process, it’s also a good wake up call to everyone concerned how easy it can be for these talented hackers to break their website defenses.

I still remember COMELEC officials keep on insisting that their PICOs machines are impossible to tamper with, well this new development isn’t exactly building any confidence on the ability and capability of the government to protect the electoral process against tampering if they can’t even defend their own backyard.

The websites that were reported hacked are: Department of Justice; Department of Health; Information Technology and Electronic Commerce Council; Philippine National Police – Criminal Investigation and Detection Group; Department of Labor and Employment; and Technical Education and Skills Development Administration.

I was amazed and at the same time appalled when I heard that the PNP-CIDG was included in those websites that was hacked! I mean, aren’t there sensitive data that could be had from that site??? Just asking.

Looking back…..

Posted in Introspection on January 9, 2010 by otakujade

As always I was the last to go to sleep last night…I have turned off the TV and was getting ready to go to bed when I happen to glance towards the twin beds at the other side of the room. My two young sons slept peacefully, and I looked at them a deep sense of longing stole over me…what would I give to be able to carry them in arms again; to be able to rock them to sleep while I sing lullabys for them.

Hubby for his part often comments on how just a few years ago he could still lift both of them on either arm and how he used to enjoy carrying them on his shoulders, those days were gone but they’re some of the sweetest, happiest memories we have of the boys.

I guess, I only now understand why parents are always being accused by their children as treating them like kids, because in our hearts, in the deepest recesses of our hearts we will always look at them as our babies. That feeling of protectiveness, of concern and of needing to take care of them will never go away I guess. Yes, as a responsible parent I must learn to let go to, to let them spread their wings and try things on their own no matter how hard it is for us to see them go.

Someday they’ll fall in love and there will be times when they might get hurt, and I know that all I can do is let them know that I will always be there for them no matter what. There will also be times when they may hurt someone, and I will have to be the one strong enough to tell them they’re wrong and to set them straight.

They’re growing up so fast, sometimes I feel like I’m not yet ready to let them go. In my heart of hearts they’ll always be my babies, even if they want to recognize that or not.