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Wednesday, February 14, 2024

It's Juan Ponce Enrile's 100th Birthday Today

In my opinion, today is a historic Valentine's Day (and Ash Wednesday) because a colorful figure in Philippine politics is celebrating his 100th birthday. Juan Ponce Enrile is the name of the man. Currently serving as the Presidential Legal Counsel, Enrile is the oldest incumbent public official in the Philippines. He is also entitled to a 100,000 peso cash gift from the government. (An infinitesimal sum compared with his net worth). Also known by the nickname Johnny, he has become a staple in pop culture in the past few years because of the memes that poke fun on his longevity.  

Many people are in awe with his ability to stay alive that long while supposedly possessing mental clarity. (I am one of those who wish to achieve that feat in the decades to come.) My interest in Enrile's longevity started in 2012, when ABS-CBN Publishing released his memoir. Enrile was already 88 years old then, so many observers thought that the book was meant to be some sort of a "swan song." The following passage is even found in the back cover: "I have been judged and condemned many times. But I fear only the ultimate judgment of God and of history."

If I am not mistaken, the book had a price tag of about 1,200 pesos at the time of its release. Although I wanted to get hold of a copy, I ruled against shelling out the amount. I would have to work for a few days to earn the amount needed. Furthermore, there were voices saying the book was too expensive for what some reviewers labeled as "fiction." (To be fair, I would also embellish my own memoir if I would write mine.) 

The publishing house is part of ABS-CBN, a multimedia giant in the country. As part of the book's promotion, the then-active TV station of the company aired Enrile's story as a two-part episode of the drama anthology "MMK." Bugoy Cariño and Enrique Gil portrayed Enrile in his years as a child and adult, respectively. (Side Trivia: Enrique Gil's movie "I am Not Big Bird" is going to open in movie theaters today.)

I forgot about the book until it came to my consciousness six years later. Let me tell you a background story. Before the work-from-home era, I used to commute from the province to my office in Quezon City. There was a policy that anyone logging in beyond 10 a.m. was considered late. One day in July 2018, it was already 10 a.m. and the UV Express van I was aboard was just approaching SM North EDSA. In instances like that one, I would alight the van and proceed to the mall. I would have early lunch and do some window shopping. I would do bulakbol first before working.

On that day, I decided to eat bulalo at the Food Court and make a pilgrimage to National Bookstore. In the latter establishment, I saw shopping carts holding copies of Enrile's memoir I was planning to buy about six years ago. I was amazed that it was on sale for only 125 pesos. Of course, I promptly bought a copy, along with Asuncion David Maramba's "Seven in the Eye of History." The book eventually disappeared from the store's bookshelves and became some sort of a collector's item. In 2021 or 2022, I saw a Facebook post of a media personality saying that she bought a second-hand copy for 3,000 pesos. 😅 For now, I have no plans to sell my copy.

Due to work-related and personal obligations, as well as the challenges of commuting, it took me another two years to finally read Enrile's memoir. (My thoughts about the book will be the subject of a future post.) As my reading intensified during the pandemic, I sought more online articles to supplement my book list. One of those articles is about him attributing his long life to a vegetable called saluyot. In an effort to boost my immunity, I also started to include this vegetable in my diet most days of the week. It can then be safely asserted that Enrile is not just a pop culture figure but also a health influencer. 

Monday, April 1, 2019

Philippine School Graduation Ceremonies and Wrestler Randy Savage

It is already graduation season in the Philippines and a popular tune often played during the ceremonies is March No. 1 in D, one of English composer Edward Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance Marches." Debuting in 1901, March No. 1 is the best known of the six marches.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

The tune might also evoke memories for those who grew up watching World Wrestling Federation matches on IBC-13 during the 1980s. Randall Mario Poffo, better known by his ring name Randy "Macho Man" Savage, often used the tune as his entrance music. The following video is a slide show of Savage's entrances, with the said tune playing on the background:

Video Credit: Youtube / WWECenaManiaTV

Monday, November 5, 2018

Rico J. Puno, 65

Original Philippine Music legend Enrico de Jesus Puno, better known as Rico J. Puno, passed away on October 30, 2018, at the age of 65. According to a New York Times obituary, Puno "channeled American superstars to forge a distinctive brand of local soul music."

Photo Credit: Rico J. Puno Facebook

Rico J. Puno's career in the Philippine entertainment industry spanned more than four decades. His fame as a singer allowed him to establish his celebrity status on movies and television. Moreover, he ventured into politics as a member of the Makati City Council from the 1st District. In honor of his memory, following are some snippets of his life.

*** Born on Friday the 13th of February 1953, Rico J. Puno was the eldest among Felipe Sr. and Corazon Puno's six children who grew up in Balic-balic, a part of Manila's Sampaloc district.

*** Despite finishing a Bachelor of Arts degree at the Philippine School of Business Administration, Rico J. Puno pursued a career in music and became successful.

*** In 1975, Rico J. Puno's big break happened at the Palazzi, where he was regularly performing as a folk singer. The Temptations were at the restaurant having lunch with executive producers from Vicor Records. The Motown group was so impressed with Puno that one of its members sang with him. Vicor went on to produce his first record, Love Won't Let Me Wait.

*** His moniker, "The Total Entertainer," is also the title of an album that was released by Vicor in 1977.

*** In the 1977 film Wow, Sikat! Pare, Bigat! Rico J. Puno is dubbed as "The Country's Top Musical Idol."

Photo Credit: Video 48

*** While being featured as a guest in the talk show Tonight with Arnold Clavio,  Rico J. Puno recalled that sometime in the '70s film actor Fernando Poe Jr. sought his help to serenade Susan Roces. Poe later paid him 650 pesos for singing Sunshine on My Shoulders about 20 times. The two famous men died almost 14 years apart, both at the age of 65.

*** Several noontime television variety shows showcased Rico J. Puno's talent as a co-host from the mid-1980s to early 2010s. These shows include GMA Network's Lunch Date (1986-1987) and RPN's Chibugan Na (1994-1995). On ABS-CBN, he was part of Pilipinas Win na Win (2010) and Happy Yipee Yehey (2011-2012).

*** In July 2018, Rico J. Puno also offered advice to aspiring singers as one of the judges in Tawag ng Tanghalan, an amateur singing competition currently aired as a segment of the ABS-CBN noontime show It's Showtime.

*** The name of Rico J. Puno's character in the ABS-CBN sitcom Home Sweetie Home is Vino "Daddy V" Valentino. It can be noted that his birthday is the day before Valentine's Day.

*** One of Rico J. Puno's final acting stints on television was in the ABS-CBN action drama series Ang Probinsyano. He played the role of Engelbert Moreno, with the given name of this character probably a nod to the English pop singer Engelbert Humperdinck.

*** As a public servant, Rico J. Puno served for three consecutive three-year terms in the Makati City Council from 1998 to 2007. He was elected again to the council in 2016 for another three-year term.


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Track Listing for "Eraserheads Anthology Two"

Yesterday's post dealt with the compilation album Eraserheads Anthology. A follow-up greatest hits compilation album, titled Eraserheads Anthology Two,  was released in 2006.

albums, Eraserheads, Eraserheads Anthology Two

The album constitutes a 2-disc set, each disc having fourteen tracks. Following is the album's track listing, along with corresponding running times:


Tindahan Ni Aling Nena - 03:07
Shirley - 04:02
Shake Yer Head - 04:05
Hey Jay - 04:41
Alkohol - 02:55
Wishing Wells - 03:35
Butterscotch - 04:38
Sa Wakas - 02:38
Wating - 04:16
Kailan Lounge - 03:19
Waiting For The Bus - 03:27
Paru-Parong Ningning - 02:50
Poorman's Grave - 04:38
Walang Nagbago - 03:24


Casa Fantastica - 05:17
Futuristic - 02:55
Balikbayan Box - 05:16
Andalusian Dog - 05:05
Ha Ha Ha - 04:46
Spoliarium - 05:31
Tikman - 02:59
Saturn Return - 05:05
Scorpio Rising - 05:11
Tama Ka - 03:24
68 Dr Sixto Antonio Avenue - 05:38
Palamig - 04:27
Playground - 04:16
Christmas Party - 04:05

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Remembering the "Eraserheads Anthology"

Ten years ago, I bought a copy of Eraserheads Anthology, a compilation album of the defunct Filipino alternative band Eraserheads. My copy is now missing, although I intend to buy another one in the future.

Eraserheads, Eraserheads Anthology, albums
Front cover of the album
The two-disc album was released by Sony BMG Music Entertainment Philippines in 2004, two years after the band's dissolution. It includes the Eraserheads' greatest hits. Following is the album's track listing, along with corresponding running times:


Ligaya - 04:31
Pare Ko - 05:25
Toyang - 03:49
Minsan - 04:17
Overdrive - 05:08
Kailan - 03:17
Sembreak - 04:06
Ang Huling El Bimbo - 07:30
Alapaap - 04:25
With a Smile - 04:40
Magasin - 04:12
Superproxy - 05:47
Torpedo - 04:17
Huwag Mo Nang Itanong - 04:12
Kamasupra - 04:38


Kaliwete - 03:09
Hard to Believe - 03:34
Para sa Masa - 04:55
Bogchi Hokbu - 04:20
Maselang Bahaghari - 03:31
Pop Machine - 05:40
Huwag Kang Matakot - 03:12
Maskara - 04:13
Hula - 03:08
Julie Tearjerky - 03:35
Fruitcake - 04:37
Trip to Jerusalem - 05:27
Tuwing Umuulan at Kapiling Ka - 04:43
Run Barbie Run - 02:54
Police Woman - 05:07
Tamagochi Baby - 04:39
Harana - 06:05
Sa Tollgate (previously Unreleased) - 02:59

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Return of the "Dog of Flanders" on TV

Dog of Flanders, a tearjerker Tagalog-dubbed anime series that was broadcast by ABS-CBN during the 1990s, will start its re-run on the same television network starting today at 9:30 in the morning from Monday to Friday.

Nello, Patrasche, ABS-CBN, anime, Dog of Flanders
Photo Credit: Anime News Network / Tokyo Movie Shinsha
The original series is the 1992 Tokyo Movie Shinsha (TMS) production My Patrasche. Two years later, ABS-CBN started airing the Tagalog-dubbed version as part of a children's programming block that also included Bananas in Pyjamas and A.T.B.P. (Awit, Titik at Bilang na Pambata).

Dog of Flanders has literary roots: It is an adaptation of A Dog of Flanders, a novel by Maria Louise Rame. Set in 19th-century Belgium, the novel is about an orphan boy named Nello, his grandfather Jehann and the titular canine Patrasche.

In the early part of the story, Patrasche was a beaten dog who was found and taken care of by Nello and Jehann. Following recovery to health, Patrasche helped Nello and Jehann in selling milk by pulling their cart into town. Moreover, the dog became Nello's best friend.

I will not discuss the story further to prevent myself from revealing some spoilers. All I can suggest is to view the series once more and relive some childhood memories associated with it. Following is a composite YouTube video featuring the opening and closing themes of the series' 1994 airing:

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Names for Tropical Cyclones within the Philippine Area of Responsibility: 2015 Edition

The Philippines is a country regularly hit by tropical cyclones. In 2013, state weather bureau PAGASA revised the four lists of names for such weather disturbances within the Philippine area of responsibility.

Each main list is used every four years. A corresponding auxiliary list will be used in the event that the number of cyclones within a given year exceeds 25. Following is the list for 2015:

Main List


Auxiliary List