Light up

The line at Mini Stop was long, partly because it was eight o'clock and people are grabbing stuff to munch while pretending to work, and partly because the cashier was taking a while to... taking a while to do something.

The guy in front of me suddenly turns in my direction. He looks uncomfortable. Pained, even. It's like he's trying to keep something in, but he couldn't - and yes, I know what that suggests.

"Nagbebenta ba sila ng yosi dito?" he asks me.

Read more »

A president unhinged

Well, consider me surprised.

I wrote yesterday's longer-than-expected essay to, more or less, refute Noynoy Aquino's defense of the Disbursement Acceleration Program before he could deliver it. Let's be honest - we all know what he'd say before he could say it. And, in that regard, he didn't let us down. He said the government would, understandably, file an appeal to the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision calling the DAP unconstitutional. He insisted the DAP is within the bounds of the constitution (and, for his purposes, the 1987 Administrative Code, which his mother, Cory Aquino, signed into law). He maintained that the DAP did not go to dirty projects, but was used to accelerate programs deemed necessary to sustain the country's growth. Above all, he reiterated that the DAP was done in good faith, and therefore cannot be scrutinized in the same way as the Priority Development Assistance Fund.

Of course he couldn't resist the opportunity to, again, paint himself as incorruptible, and his immediate predecessor as impossible. But of course he'd say that. He always has.

Read more »

When "in good faith" is not good enough

At six o'clock tonight, Noynoy Aquino will take to the airwaves again, ostensibly to "discuss current issues". Of course, we all know he'll take to the airwaves to defend the Disbursement Acceleration Program, a government spending scheme where savings gathered by different agencies are gathered and reallocated, to jumpstart an economy that began flagging after a slowdown in public sector spending.

From the moment the now detained senator Jinggoy Estrada revealed the existence of the program, portraying it as an "incentive" given to senators who voted to impeach former Supreme Court chief justice Renato Corona, the president's fight against corruption (or, specifically, his fight against corruption during his predecessor's time) has threatened to bite him in unwanted places. Critics have called the DAP "presidential pork", because of its similarities with the controversial Priority Development Assistance Fund, notably its a lump sum not appropriated to anything in the annual budget. How could Noynoy, his critics cried, fight one kind of pork barrel and keep another one to himself?

Noynoy and his allies unceasingly defended the program, claiming that the DAP had a key role in the stellar performance of the Philippine economy to date. To their credits, the numbers do support their argument: our economy grew around 7% each quarter in the past couple of years, with this quarter's slowdown easily (and sensibly) attributed to typhoon Yolanda. International financial groups have expressed their optimism for the country, and foreign investors are giving us a second look. Unfortunately, they also bolstered their argument by calling anybody who disagrees as haters who are merely bent on bringing the country back to the dark times.

Read more »

Notes on a gawker's bible

100. Gretchen looks better on her uniform. Always has, always will.

97. I don't watch the PBA, so... but I do know she isn't the one who got Gatorade dumped on her. Or was it? See? I don't know what I'm talking about.

92. Wait, she's here?

Read more »

Hey girl

I'm sorry about the news.

I know you're hurting inside. Really hurting inside. I mean, you might say I don't know how you feel, because I never went through what you went through. You looked up to him. You saw him as the perfect example. You imagined yourself with him. You wanted to be with him. And then you realized you can't, so you settled for watching everything he's in, reading everything he's mentioned in, that sort of thing.

And now you feel betrayed, because you hoped hard, and wished hard, and imagined hard, and yet it wasn't enough. Where was that law of attraction when you needed it? What happened to "if you think about it, it will come"? How come, after all this devotion, Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes end up having a baby?

Read more »