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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Movie Ads: "Campus Girls" (1995)

On January 25, 1995, the movie Campus Girls was shown in theaters. Under the direction of Mac C. Alejandre, the cast of this Viva Films presentation is led by Vina Morales, Donita Rose, Donna Cruz, and Geneva Cruz.

Campus Girls, Viva Films, Vina Morales, Donita Rose, Donna Cruz, Geneva Cruz

Miscellaneous Dates in Philippine History

* January 17, 1981: President Ferdinand Marcos lifts martial law eight years and five months after declaring it.

* January 19, 1607: San Agustin Church in Manila is officially completed. The Church building still stands up to this day.

* January 20, 2001: President Joseph Estrada is ousted in a nonviolent four-day revolution. Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo succeeded Estrada.

* January 23, 1899: The Malolos Constitution is inaugurated at the Barasoain Church. As the First Philippine Republic is established, Emilio Aguinaldo is sworn in as its President.

* January 25, 1933: Corazon "Cory" Aquino, the 11th President and first woman president of the Philippines, is born.

Movie Ads: "ProBoys" (1995)

ProBoys, a youth-oriented film from Moviestars and Mahogany Pictures opened in theaters on January 18, 1995. The ensemble cast includes Niño Muhlach, Ruby Rodriguez, Beth Tamayo, and Giselle Sanchez. The movie introduced Paco Arespacochaga of the rock band IntroVoys, along with Joan Pascual and Sharmaine Suarez.

ProBoys, movies, Paco Arespacochaga

Notes on "Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story" (2011)

A scene in the 2011 MMFF Entry Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story shows Asiong and his wife going to a movie theater which features the funeral of the comedian Togo.

In real life, Asiong was killed in a shooting incident in 1951, while Togo died of heart attack in 1952. In the movie, Asiong expressed his desire that his funeral be attended by many people, same as Togo's.

I'm not sure whether the anachronism was intentional to emphasize Asiong's dying wish.

Movie Ads: "Pare Ko" (1995)

On January 11, 1995 Star Cinema presented Pare Ko, which is also the title of a song by rock band Eraserheads. Mark Anthony Fernandez, Jomari Yllana, Claudine Barretto, Jao Mapa, Gio Alvarez, Nikka Valencia, and Victor Neri led the cast of this youth-oriented movie. Jose Javier Reyes wrote and directed Pare Ko.

Pare Ko, Star Cinema, movies

Santol (Lolly Fruit)

Santol (sour apple, cotton fruit, or lolly fruit) is one of the well-known fruits in the Philippines. Scientifically known as Sandoricum koetjape, the santol can also be found in other parts of Southeast Asia. Shown below is the yellow variety of the fruit, which has a fuzzy rind.

The inedible brown seeds are enclosed by a pulp that may be sweet or sour. The pulp can be enjoyed as it is, while the rind can be eaten with salt. Aside from being used as a souring agent for sinigang, the whole fruit can be made into candies, marmalades or jams.

santol, sour apple, cotton fruit, lolly fruit, Sandoricum koetjape

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Star Cinema's First Foreign Film Offering

According to an online news item by ABS-CBN News on January 3, Star Cinema's upcoming release of the Jackie Chan movie Chinese Zodiac will be the first time the leading Philippine film production company will be distributing a foreign film.

SOURCE: Facebook page of Star Cinema
This might not be the first time, however, based on an article that was published on the Manila Bulletin on August 8, 1993. Star Cinema's first foreign film offering was Hear No Evil, starring the John C. McGinley, Martin Sheen, and the Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin.

Hear No Evil, Star Cinema, Marlee Matlin

"Balimbing" (Carambola or Star Fruit)

Although the balimbing (carambola) is endemic to the Philippines, we are having a hard time finding this tree in our place. Scientifically known as Averrhoa carambola, the balimbing has distinctively shaped fruits, each having multiple, typically five, ridges. The sour variety of the balimbing is is greener and smaller than the greenish-yellow (and sweeter) variant.

When sliced crosswise, the resulting section is star-shaped, so balimbing is aptly called star fruit. Because of its numerous sides, balimbing has also become a Tagalog political slang term for turncoats. Following is a picture of a balimbing fruit from various angles:

balimbing, carambola, star fruit

balimbing, carambola, star fruit

"Matalino Man ang Matsing..." (The Monkey May Be Wise...")

There is an old Tagalog saying that goes like this: "Matalino man ang matsing, napaglalalangan din." Roughly translated, "The monkey may be wise, but it can also be deceived." Considering monkeys' biological affinity with human beings, the saying is also relevant to our daily existence. As we start this day, we ought to be watchful of deceitful persons who maliciously aim to make monkeys out of us.

A monkey inside a cage at a zoo in Bohol province.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Two Movies about the "Chop-Chop Lady Murder Case"

In early 1994, two movies about the Elsa Castillo murder case, infamously known as the "Chop-Chop Lady Murder Case" opened in theaters. OctoArts Films' The Elsa Castillo Story: Ang Katotohanan and FLT Films' Chop-Chop Lady: The Elsa Castillo Story.

OctoArts Films' presentation opened on January 27 that year. It has Kris Aquino in the title role. Important supporting roles were portrayed by Eric Quizon, Miguel Rodriguez, and Johnny Delgado. Laurice Guillen, Delgado's real-life wife directed this production.

The Elsa Castillo Story, Kris Aquino, Chop-Chop Lady, OctoArts Films, Laurice Guillen

FLT Films' version opened on February 2, with Lorna Tolentino in the title role. Under the direction of Edgardo "Boy" Vinarao, it also featured Mat Ranillo III, Mark Gil, and Amy Austria. Aside from featuring the witness Rio Ravelo as himself, the movie capitalized on endorsements from Epimaco Velasco, the Director of National Bureau of Investigation, and Adelina Santos, the victim's mother.

The Elsa Castillo Story, Lorna Tolentino, Chop-Chop Lady, Edgardo Vinarao

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sliced Chico

Last December 3, a post showed unripe fruits hanging from the branches of the chico tree in our backyard. Almost a month later, the fruits have ripened. A picture of a ripe fruit and another one, which had been peeled and sliced, is presented.

Achras zapota, chico, Manilkara zapota, tsiko

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Pritos Ring

Many of us probably know the Pritos Ring, a brand of tsitsirya (junk food) that we used to buy from the neighborhood sari-sari store when we were younger. Pritos Ring is manufactured by Honai Food Corporation in Caloocan City. During the '80s and '90s, the packaging was bright red; it is now fuchsia pink. The font however remained the same. Following are pictures of the 30-gram pouch:

Pritos Ring, snacks, junk foods
Front portion of the pouch

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 35g
Servings Per Container: about 0.800

Amount Per Serving
Calories 160 Calories from Fat 50

                                        % Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 9%
Sodium 320mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 8%
Protein 2g

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Pritos Ring, snacks, junk foods
Rear portion of the pouch

Ingredients: Wheat Flour, starch, MSG, iodized salt, sugar flavoring, edible oil and artificial food color

Manufactured by: Honai Food Corporation, 720 A General Luis St., Bo. Kaibiga, Caloocan City, Philippines

Tel. No.: (632)9840317, (632)9840319, (632)9840321

Friday, January 18, 2013

Some Movies Based on '90s Pinoy Sitcoms

Philippine television saw the heyday of some sitcoms during the '90s. The popularity of these programs warranted movie adaptations that also became box-office hits. Some of these sitcoms are Home Along Da Riles, Ober da Bakod, and Oki Doki Doc.

Home Along Da Riles: Da Movie is based on Dolphy's long-running sitcom on ABS-CBN. This co-production between Dolphy's RVQ Productions and ABS-CBN's Star Cinema opened on August 26, 1993.

sitcoms, movies, Star Cinema, Dolphy, Home Along Da Riles Da Movie

Oki Doki Doc is another ABS-CBN sitcom that was made into a movie. Both television and movie versions feature Aga Muhlach as the friendly neighborhood veterinarian. The movie version was Star Cinema's initial offering for 1996, opening on January 11 that year.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Some Notes About Championship Sweeps at the Philippine Basketball Association

In sports terminology, sweep pertains to winning all the games in a championship series. Only three teams have did so at the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA):  Swift Mighty Meaties, and Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants, and Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters.

Yesterday, Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters defeated Rain or Shine Elasto Painters at the conclusion of the 2012-13 Philippine Cup. The first sweep happened at the 1992 Third Conference when Swift Mighty Meaties defeated Seven-Up Uncolas. The second sweep was during the 2009-10 Philippine Cup when Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants won over Alaska Aces.

PBA, championships, sweeps, Philippine Basketball Association
Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters (Source: Web site of the PBA)
* Interestingly, Seven-Up Uncolas' franchise is now held by Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters - from soft drink to cellular phone.

* Rain or Shine Elasto Painters coach Yeng Guiao was the coach of the Swift Mighty Meaties team that made the first sweep in 1992.

* Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants is currently known as San Mig Cofee Mixers. In 2010, it defeated the Alaska Aces team, which is then coached by Tim Cone. Two years later, Cone is the head coach of San Mig Coffee Mixers.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

2013 is 60 Years of Philippine Television

Officials and employees of leading television network ABS-CBN gathered earlier tonight to launch the year-long celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of Philippine television. According to a report by the news program TV Patrol, ABS-CBN Chairman Gabby Lopez and President-CEO Charo Santos-Concio led in reminiscing about the network's history.

The launch was also highlighted with  performances by Gary Valenciano, Kuh Ledesma, Jed Madela, Erik Santos, KZ Tandingan, Yeng Constantino, Jovit Baldivino, Marcelito Pomoy, and the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra.

It can be recalled that Alto Broadcasting Systems (ABS) made its first TV broadcast in October 1953. In 1958, a merger with Chronicle Broadcasting Network (CBN) resulted in the formation of ABS-CBN. The declaration of Martial Law in 1972 led to the network's closure. A few months after the People Power EDSA Revolution, ABS-CBN reopened.

ABS-CBN, anniversaries, 60 years

Expensive Personal Computers During the 1990s

We now live in an age were information and communications technology has become democratized. Mobile devices and computers have become user-friendly: There is no need to study complicated programming codes to operate these devices.

Owning a personal computer during the mid-1990s used to be very expensive in terms of money and space. A proof is a newspaper advertisement that was placed by ElectroWorld, an affiliate of appliance store chain Abenson, on the Philippine Daily Inquirer in April 1996.

In this advertisement, the Compaq Presario 7110 M540 personal computer along with the EPSON Stylus COLOR printer is sold for a whopping PhP 59,995! The set have a 3-year limited warranty. No surcharge is imposed on major credit cards, such as BPI Express Credit, Citibank, Diners Club International, Equitable Visa, and Unicard.

personal computers, Compaq Presario, 1990s

Specifications are enumerated for comparison with present-day computers.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"Alimango" (Crab): The Subject of a Popular Children's Song

Tong, Tong, Tong Pakitong-kitong is the title of a popular Tagalog children's song about the alimango or crab. The title is an onomatopoeic reference to the way the alimango  moves. The lyrics go like this:

alimango, children's songs, crab, Tong, Tong Pakitong-kitong

Tong, tong, tong, tong pakitong-kitong
Alimango sa dagat
Malaki at masarap!
Kay hirap hulihin, 
Sapagkat nangangagat.


Tong, tong, tong, tong pakitong-kitong
Crab in the sea,
Big and tasty!
So difficult to catch,
because it bites.

alimango, children's songs, crab, Tong, Tong Pakitong-kitong

In 1998, a comedy film titled Tong Tatlong Tatay Kong Pakitong-Kitong opened in theaters. This Star Cinema production features then-child actress Serena Dalrymple as the orphan Jingle. It also features Babalu, Redford White, and Bonel Balingit as the wacky trio who adopted her.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Kamatis (Tomato)

Kamatis (tomato) is one of the plants mentioned in the Tagalog folk song Bahay Kubo. It is scientifically known as Solanum lycopersicum or Lycopersicum esculentum. The fruits of the plant are yellowish-green to green when unripe, and red to reddish-orange when ripe.

A member of the nightshade family, the tomato is related to eggplant, potato, and bell pepper. It grows to at least one meter to about three meters in height. A support is often needed due to its herbaceous stem. Originally from the Americas, the tomato is believed to have reached Philippine shores during the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade in the 16th Century. The tomato is celebrated every December in the town of Laoac in Pangasinan province.

The fruit can be used raw in salads or served with condiments, such as patis (fish sauce) and bagoong. It can also be sauteed with garlic and onion to impart a savory taste to various dishes. Aside from being processed into ketchup, the fruit of the tomato plant can also be used in making beverages. Following is a picture of some tomato fruits:

Bahay-Kubo, kamatis, tomatoes, Solanum lycopersicum, Lycopersicum esculentum

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Division of the Province of Kalinga-Apayao

The Philippine province of Kalinga-Apayao in the Cordillera Administrative Region was divided into the provinces of Kalinga and Apayao with the passage of Philippine Republic Act No. 7878 on February 14, 1995.

Almost a year before the division of the province, an article titled 'Separating Kalinga-Apayao will destroy another Marcos legacy' by Frank Cimatu was published on The Philippine Daily Inquirer. According to the article, propagandists saw a slight resemblance of the map of the original province with the profile of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos.  

SOURCE: The Philippine Daily Inquirer / May 16, 1994

Monday, January 7, 2013

Emilio Advincula, the Honest Taxi Driver

In 1996, the story of Filipino taxi driver Emilio Advincula's good deed became news at a time when honest persons are (and still) very rare. Advincula gained the admiration and respect of the Filipino public after he returned the PhP 2.5 million a passenger left in his cab.

Private citizens and civic groups took the initiative to reward Advincula and his family. In the following picture, which was published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer on February 11, 1996, receives a reward from Jovito Salonga, head of the cause-oriented group Kilosbayan.

Emilio Advincula, human interest, taxi drivers, honesty

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Rambbo Slippers

Many of us probably still remember the so-called "Rambbo" slippers that became popular during the '80s. Yes, the spelling is "R-A-M-B-B-O," although the typeface has an uncanny resemblance with the typeface of the title cards in Sylvester Stallone's Rambo action film series.

As Many Filipinos are known for spoofing foreign popular culture influences, the slippers might have been inspired by the popularity of the film series. The word "RAMBBO" is embossed on the straps. The thick rubber soles make the slippers suitable for knocking down empty tin cans when playing the game tumbang preso.

A few weeks ago, I was at the market, on the lookout for a new pair of slippers. Nostalgic serendipity prevailed upon me upon seeing pairs of Rambbo slipper being sold at a footwear stall. At a cost of 100 pesos a pair, I can say that the purchase is not just a steal, but also a "sly."

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Sitaw (Yard-Long Bean)

Sitaw (yard-long bean) is one of the plants mentioned in the Tagalog folk song Bahay Kubo. It is scientifically known as Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis. The pods of this legume can be cut to fist-length pieces and cooked in soy sauce (adobong sitaw) or fish broth. Following is a picture of some sitaw pods:

Friday, January 4, 2013

Movie Ads: "Sariwa" (1996)

During the mid-1990s, Seiko Films became known for producing movies in the so-called Titillating Film or TF genre. One such movie is sex-oriented drama Sariwa, which opened in theaters on January 4, 1993. Priscilla Almeda (previously known by the screen name Abby Viduya) led the cast.

Romnick Sarmenta and Leandro Baldemor, who was introduced in this movie, played leading men roles. Other cast members include Gina Pareño, Luz Valdez, and Jimmy Fabregas. Renowned scriptwriter Abbo Q. dela Cruz directed this movie under the name Rico Mambo.

Priscilla Almeda, Seiko Films, TF movies, Sariwa

Movie Ads: "Mabangis Na Lungsod" (1996)

On January 4, 1996, the action movie Mabangis na Lungsod was shown in theaters. The tagline boasts, "Get ready for explosive action & death-defying stunts!" The cast of this Libran Films presentation is led by Yuen Biao, Cynthia Khan, and Monsour del Rosario.

Mabangis na Lungsod, movies, Yuen Biao, Cynthia Khan, Monsour del Rosario

Movie Ads: "Dyesebel" (1996)

Charlene B. Gonzalez, the Philippines' delegate to the 1994 Miss Universe beauty pageant, played the  title role in Dyesebel, which opened in theaters on January 4, 1996. Dyesebel is the mermaid protagonist of a komiks series created by Mars Ravelo. Emmanuel H. Borlaza directed this Viva Films production:

Charlene Gonzalez, Dyesebel, Mars Ravelo, Emmanuel H. Borlaza, movies

Movie Ads: "Batang Z" (1996)

Superheroes have an enduring appeal in Philippine popular culture. One proof is the movie Batang Z, a MAQ Production which opened in theaters on January 4, 1996. Tom Taus Jr. plays the lead role, while Jorge Estregan (who is now provincial governor of Laguna) portrays the lead villain. As can be observed in the advertisement, Batang Z resembles the swashbuckler Zorro.

Supporting cast members include Dan Pacia, Melissa Mendez, Berting Labra, Marco Ballesteros, Charles Sabalboro, Marivic Duenas, and Karel Santos. Bey Vito directed this fantasy movie aimed at young audiences.

Batang Z, Tom Taus Jr., Jorge Estregan, Bey Vito, movies

Movie Ads: "The Annabelle Huggins Story - Ruben Ablaza Tragedy" (1995)

The Annabelle Huggins Story - Ruben Ablaza Tragedy: "Mea Culpa" a film starring Dawn Zulueta and Cesar Montano in the lead roles opened in theaters on January 4, 1995.  It was based on a 1963 kidnapping and illegal detention case. According to a Video 48 blog post, Huggins appeared in many, following the controversy that resulted from this case. Carlo J. Caparas megged this joint venture by Viva Films and Golden Lions Productions:

The Annabelle Huggins Story - Ruben Ablaza Tragedy, movies, Cesar Montano, Dawn Zulueta, Carlo J. Caparas

Most layouts of Caparas' movies contain lots of text. The passage appearing on the top portion of this advertisement read like this:

"Oh love omnipotent with might!
You sway even the realm of son and sire...
the heart you tempt with your delight
would shun his all totend your fire!"

Movie Ads: "Pustahan Tayo, Mahal Mo Ako" (1995)

On January 4, 1995 Regal Films presented Pustahan Tayo, Mahal Mo Ako, an RRJ production. Maricel Soriano and Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr. lead the cast of the movie, which was directed by Danilo P. Cabriera. Other members of the cast include Miguel Rodriguez, Ruby Rodriguez, Jennifer Mendoza and Niño Muhlach. Following is a newspaper advertisement for the movie:

Pustahan Tayo Mahal Mo Ako, movies, Maricel Soriano, Bong Revilla

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Flowers of the Santan Plant

When we were still children, many of us habitually sucked the nectar out of the flower of the santan plant, which belongs to the Ixora genus in the Rubiaceae family. Commonly selected for hedges, the santan plant has leathery leaves and yields large clusters of tiny flowers. Flowers may be red, yellow, pink or orange. The red variant is shown in the picture:

santan, Ixora, Rubiaceae, flowers

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

"Dragon Ball" Anime Ad

One of the foreign influences in Philippine pop culture is anime. In April 1996, RPN started airing the anime series Dragon Ball on Philippine television. An advertisement promoting the series appeared in the major newspapers. It even includes the lyrics to the series' English-translated theme song, "Get that Dragon Ball."

television programs, anime, Dragon Ball

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Philippine Holidays for 2013

Today, New Year's Day, is the first regular holiday in the Philippines for 2013. This holiday was stipulated by Proclamation No. 459, which was signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III last August.

As many of us get ready to return to work tomorrow, we are encouraged to look forward to a more productive year than previous ones. Knowing that we will work hard, let us anticipate and enjoy the occasional holidays set in this proclamation: