Tiny-Titanic Thoughts

Thoughts have consequences, either small or big

On Jovit Baldovino’s Reinforcing The Secrets Of YouTube’s Million Hits July 24, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jess Fernando @ 1:47 pm
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Three reasons why I was drawn to Jovit Baldovino, the grand prize winner of the just concluded Pilipinas Got Talent: 1) Like Susan Boyle of the Britain’s Got Talent, Jovit also got million views on YouTube, 2) I never heard any of the songs Jovit chose for the contest, and as I loved them right away, it impelled me to google those songs, and 3) it seems there is an emerging concept of how one can become an instant hit to YouTube.

Ordinary people who hit million views on YouTube are rarities. So if someone does, the hype it generated is more than enough as an incentive for one to gossip on.

I was watching TV Patrol World and there the news blared that Jovit, one of the contestant on Pilipinas Got Talent got million views on YouTube. Things like this, of course, couldn’t be just left unconsumed, so I looked. “Faithfully” was the first song Jovit sang. Geez! Never heard of this song before, I was hooked. When was this song a hit? I asked myself. So I googled “Faithfully”. The song was popularized by the band “Journey” in mid 80’s. Remnants of “Journey” were looking for a lead singer to replace Steve Perry, it‘s previous lead singer. That led me to discover another Filipino talent by the name of Arnel Pineda, who, by the way was spotted, too, on YouTube, and became the new lead singer of the band. Through “faithfully” of Jovit, I discovered, “faithfully”, too, of Arnel Pineda. And just in time then, I incorporated Arnel Pineda’s MP3 version for one of my video projects

“Carrie,” Jovit’s semi final piece on Pilipinas Got Talent was another strange song to me. The tune is so yummy. I asked myself again, Where does Jovit getting his songs? “Carrie” was a “Europe Band’s” song. Like “Journey” I didn’t know who the heck “Europe Band” was, but then googling it, I found some songs of “Europe” worthy to save on my MP3.

When Jovit appeared on stage to sing “Carrie”, he was an “Improved Tide”. He was dressed up for the occasion wearing a jacket and dyed his hair brown. The white blotches on his face seen when he sang “Faithfully” were gone. Jovit projected himself as neat, likeable, and a polished performer on stage. With “Carrie” song, Crowd cheered wildly. Jovit won a standing ovation among the three judges. Kris Aquino, one of the judges made comments, though – Jovit should do away with his jacket, why he dyed his hair? Jovit should just wear shirt so his humble image stuck.

I think, Jovit heeded to Kris’s advice. When Jovit sang “Too much love will kill you”, for his entry to the finals of the competition, no more jacket for him, just a long sleeve shirt.

Darn! I didn’t know this “Too much love…” song, either. I just learn it’s a “Queen‘s” song. At least, I know “Queen”, and its lead singer Freddie Mercury who died of AIDS, and the “Queen’s” song “Bohemian Rhapsody” claimed to be one of the top ten rock songs of the century. But this “Too much love…” It was only Jovit who made me aware of it, and love it instantly.

Questions linger on my mind. Jovit seemed got hooked on European rock stars. The “Europe Band” was from Europe and so was the “Queen”. Scorpions Band, which he said on one of his interviews as one of his favorites rock band is from Germany. I saw Jovit’s earlier video recording – sort of jamming session with his older friends at the garage, he was just maybe ten or eleven years old then, and he belted this song “I don’t love you”, by “My Chemical Romance,” another rock band unknown to me. So my questions are: What are the circumstances how these Europeans rock bands get into Jovit’s orbit? Who introduced these rock bands to him and made him liking it?

With Jovit’s massive hit on YouTube, he reinforces a formula emerging of how one can be a YouTube’s sensation: You must have an exquisite talents backed up with juicy personal story. Susan Boyle, of Britain’s Got Talent, a 47 years old, unemployed, matronly looking single woman with a soaring angelic voice defied the stereotyped definition of a “Star”. Similarly, Cherisse Pempengco, abandoned by her father in an early age, a small kid with a whale like vocal range who can mimic and hit high notes with ease every famous singing diva in the U.S. The legendary search of the remnants of “Journey” to find their lead singer in the person of “Arnel Pineda” via YouTube that saw the revival of the “Journey Band”. And, finally, Jovit’s story, him, as a “Siomai Vendor” with unemployed parents and whose father had tuberculosis before, and bet on his singing talent to rise up from poverty. Exquisite talent plus juicy story equals YouTube’s million hits.


Granatsa May 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jess Fernando @ 3:56 pm

This is a two-hour movie, and this is Part 1 – about nine minutes. “Granatsa,” the video is long for a standard movie. The urge of putting all the shots and scenes, no matter how bad, stupid and inconsequential they are, almost tempted me.  If I didn’t restrained myself, if I succumbed to the insistence of those who starred in the movie to put every little non-sense scenes, I could probably made a movie with an equal length of the “Winds of War”, a 15-hour TV Mini Series of 1983. Even then, much as I wanted to trim it down, “Granatsa”, ended up two-hour still.

“Granatsa’s” length posed problem. For family and friends length wouldn’t be an issue as they love their own, of course – even if they gorge on their eyes watching. But to venture out the movie to “WWW,” – to the unattached – two hours watching can be a gruelling and a wasteful experience. “Granatsa” is about a bunch of unknowns – surfers couldn’t probably relate to. It is not even about celebrities surfers can gossip on. So, unless I make “Granatsa” compelling, worthy of the “WWW’s” surfer’s time – that’s my challenge!

I thought of two approaches to make the movie seem interesting – at least. One, use music’s magic to harmonize “Granatsa” with tunes reflecting the mood of every scene. On this, however, I’ll have to make a disclaimer. Although some of the music I had put in is already in the public domain, some are fairly new and copyrighted. I would have to hold on the “fair use” of the copyrighted materials. There’s no intention on my part to use them commercially but just to enhance my creation. Asking permission for the use of the copyrighted material can be daunting, as there are many to ask, and I have no clue as to its procedure. I think I have just to acknowledge its use through this blog as many like me are doing for their own movie project.

Second, make the potential “www’s” surfers to feel and experience the excitement and enjoyment we had, virtually making them as part of our entourage – by giving them historical backgrounds, insights of things experienced and observed, and human interest commentaries: complemented, of course, by this blog.

Part 1 of this two-hour video is segmented in three parts. 1) Our departure from Winnipeg. 2) The hasty nostalgic trip to my place of origin and 3) our close encounter with road accident going back to Mabuhay Manor, the hotel we’re booked in.

Our tour to London and Paris in 2007, in an answer to promotion by Globe and Mail as subscriber initiated us to the adventure of traveling. Our London-Paris tour had been a success, and that initiation paved the way for my wife on becoming a good vacation planner. She had been so itchy trying once more her new found vocation, so we planned to have a trip – this time, to the Philippines. The last time we had our trip in the Philippines was in 2005, but we just stayed in one place. We didn’t really get into exploring. To think that we have opportunities to explore ( as now, we have resources, unlike before where we had none) just staying foot would be a disgrace – not venturing on those most talked-about beautiful spots of the country. Also, exploring would expiate our unpatriotic guilt. So, here we come to the grandest vacation planned by my wife which includes our two daughters who would be their first time to set foot on the country of their birth, twenty years after they were born there.

We enplaned from Winnipeg, December 26, 2009. Thirteen hours later, we landed at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. As we waited for our ride at the holdover office of the Mabuhay Manor, the hotel we’re booked in, that familiar humid smell of Philippine’s air filled my chest. And as my sweats soaked my undershirt and underwear, somehow I thought this is one thing I missed about in the Philippines: The easy sweats minus the gym. The cacophony of horns blaring without let up, the pulsating noise of people bustling around, the commotion of the midday traffic, the swishing of wind unable to mitigate the hot atmosphere – I was back to the rambunctious Philippines I knew!

The Mabuhay Manor Hotel is nestled on an area in Pasay City, South side of Metro Manila, where one would think the City Planner abandoned the use of Zoning Variance. Our ride steered us to Ortigas Street, a narrow street which is more of a back lane. On the left side, are rows of motels for quick carnal excursion and on the right are garment factories. Along this “back lane,” the lobby of the Mabuhay Manor Hotel is situated. Further up the street after the Mabuhay, is the FB Harrison Street, a main road bigger than Ortigas, but then it gets smaller because of the flea market crowded with stalls of merchandise. Walk further down of FB Harrison lead you through EDSA, a stretch of highway coming from the North. This part of EDSA is filled with rows upon rows of bars and other “night” establishments. The Mabuhay Manor is on a block surrounded by disrepute establishments and hodgepodge of out of synch business entities. The smorgasbord is a sign that the block escaped the notice of City Planner. The Mabuhay Manor is clearly out of place on this location. The image the hotel emits through the internet – which is a middle range, in a nice environs, family oriented kind of hotel, is different from the actual. But the hotel, on the time we arrived was bustling with activities; people come and go – Filipinos and other nationalities. The lobby has been so busy, and it gave you sense that staffs got their hands full.

Whatever misgivings I have of the “Mabuhay” had been swiped by the splendid array of their free breakfast buffet. It was a complete local breakfast. The kind you always dreamed off when you’re away from your country. The tuyu, tinapa, itlog na maalat, the pancit, the sopas, fruits for the season, the dips – everything you could ask for. On this alone, I said to myself, it worth my stay. Also, they have this restaurant which offer “Sutukil” they called it. A combination of ways you wanted the fresh sea foods in display to be cooked – whether with soup, like “sinigang”, or charcoal broiled, or with just dip with vinegar with other spices. I ordered two live “talakitok” sinigang sa miso with some veggies. I’ve never ever tasted “sinigang sa miso” for as long as I can remember. Then it came. Wow! Then, “inihaw na pusit.” And we ate beside the swimming pool. This is life: “feeling rich” I said to myself.    

The next day I arranged transport for us to be taken to Baliwag. We had some baggage to drop off to my cousins’ house, and we have to withdraw money from the bank – the proceeds of the rent of our house, which we will use for the rest of our adventure.

“Rilis” the name of the barrio where I was born which was changed to Bagong Nayon, meaning “new barrio” – as then, the barrio has this ghetto kind of reputation, rose up to the new image it emits.  “Rilis” then were just a mere adjunct of Sto Cristo, one of the bigger barrio of Baliwag, before it was named Bagong Nayon. Now, “Rilis” is a newly built city within Baliwag.     

               I put this caption in the movie when we shopped in Pure Gold, one of the supermarket in Bagong  Nayon.

Faye and Farrah were so anxious to see where they spent their kindergarten and grade school days, so we visited St. Paul School at San Rafael, the nearby town of Baliwag.  Under the Mayorship of Ricardo Silverio – at the time of our visits, an inauguration of their new municipal building at Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway is about to take place. Before, the San Rafael Municipal building was buried deep in a remote barrio, where St. Paul School is located.  Now, this once sleepy town, would become the bustle of commercial activities, like what happened with Pulilan Bulacan  when the politician there had that inkling when that highway was allowed to pass their town.


Subok lang April 2, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jess Fernando @ 3:38 pm

This is just a trial.


The Bofu bofu Scare November 20, 2006

Filed under: Humor,Uncategorized — Jess Fernando @ 4:07 am

I net googled “Palakang Araneta,” in search of a frog’s description that would match my remembrance of it, and its exact name. The Filipino sites didn’t yield enough info, except that the frog’s appendage “araneta” came from “Araneta Coliseum” because of the frog’s hugeness. However, at Wikipedia dictionary I found the frog’s description that matches my remembrance of it. I just don’t know if that is the real name of the specie found in the
Philippines. Wikipedia called it Bofu bufo, or Common Toad. The Bofu bofu frog can grow up to seven inches – truly big, and its skin full of pockmark warts crinkled throughout. Its color ranges from green to brown. It’s like an ancient fish which had on its scales the attributes of an ocean rock. 

My skin morphed into that of a Bofu bofu one day, reminiscent of my childhood’s mischief, upon which my proclivity to naivety had taken its toll.   

Among the two of my close barrio mates, I wasn’t the street-smart, but the most naïve. And my naivety always court disaster, courtesy of Tabog and Pepit.  

Tabog and Pepit asked me one time to join them stealing guava fruits from Mang Asyong’s farm.  While we were on top of the tree picking, we heard swishing of pellets coming from a slingshot. As I enjoyed feeling my belly bulged with fruits – I used my tucked shirt as basket – I continued filling it up, not minding that my two rascal friends already climbed down and run away. Meanwhile, not far from the branch I was perching in, one pellet of the slingshot hit a beehive.  When I looked down, I saw Mang Asyong waiting under the tree. I was given a choice. Who would I like to kill me first? I chose the bees. The bees feasted on my body not realizing Mang Asyong was a very patient man waiting under the tree.   

I climbed down when my skin couldn’t handle the bee’s bites anymore. Seeing what happened with my skin, Mang Asyong smirked. He confiscated all the fruits tucked in my belly and let me go. I felt my face itchy, thick and puffy. My eyes half closed. My torso bloated.  

Out of nowhere, as I walked away from the farm, Tabog and Pepit jumped out in front of me.  

“Oh… my God! You looked like Palakang Araneta”, Tabog said. Then Tabog and Pepit blamed me for not coming down early.  

“We warned you”, Tabog said, “but you didn’t listen.” 

“I don’t like to be seen like this by my mother? I feared my mother’s wrath”.    

“I know.” Pepit said, “We can get that skin healed”.   “How…?” I asked. “Soak yourself on where the water-buffalo take their bath”  

“What?!” I exclaimed, “Shouldn’t it gets worse?”  

“No. Because carabao’s dung residue is good for bees’ bites,” Pepit said.  

“Yeah.” Tabog seconded. So I soaked myself to that pool of water where carabaos have their nap. Several minutes after I came out from the pool, I felt myself more expanded, and exceedingly bloated. Tabog and Pepit were aghast.   “Okey,” Tabog said, “Pepit’s idea was bad. Try mine. You should wash yourself in water-lily’s pond” 

Sucked in now so deeply and desperate to heal my skin, I heeded to Tabog’s advice.  I washed myself in water lily’s pond, and felt terribly itchy when I came out. I seek refuge on bark of the acacia tree nearby and scratch my back against it. My back got reddish like its burning; blood seemed oozing out. Tabog and Pepit panicked.  

“Let’s powder your skin with “apog” (white powdery substance use as disinfectant) Pepit was gone for a while and when he came back, he powdered my whole body with “apog”.  

When my mother saw me, bleached white in “Palakang araneta” skin, and puffy body, she spouted off expletives, and asked me who did this horrible thing. I said, Tabog and Pepit.

“Have you got any other kids to go with? You stuck yourself with those rascals! Next time you go with them, I’ll make you eat that ugly “palakang araneta”. She threatened.  

“I heard that frog is poisonous,” I said. 

“That’s right”, my mother said with conviction.


The Puerile “Palutsot” Mentality November 10, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jess Fernando @ 7:01 pm

Filipinos is now God’s chosen people. Think of it. Any ascribable “mentalities” that God bestow, Filipinos seemed suck them all.  From the classic “colonial mentality” to “crab” to “Tingi” (micro retail) to “Asa” (depend) to “Utang na loob” (debt of gratitude) to “Tambay” (hangers-on) to “Harimuhanan” (scrounging) to “Hambog” (boaster) to “Maka-isa” (one-upmanship) and to the puerile, “Palusot” (making shortcuts), God seems running out of these mentality handouts. Filipinos must have been so likeable to God.  

God knows Filipinos can be so adept handling these “mentalities”. God said, “To those much has been given, much is expected”. Filipinos are poised to exceed God’s expectation. Proof: Opposing camps of the Philippine’s national leaderships are on it. They are perfecting this puerile “palusot mentality”, making themselves its poster boys.   

“Palusot mentality” is an attitude or thinking making excuses or alibis to extricate oneself from difficulty, or cutting corners making short shrift of certain activities.  

So crucial for maintaining political power and economic privilege is the use of “palusot mentality” to both camps of the Philippine’s national leaderships, it doesn’t matter caricaturing themselves as buffoons.  

During President Arroyo’s impeachment imbroglios, the oppositions convened the “people’s court:” a court used by the New People’s Army putting into trial suspected deep penetration agent among their ranks, and get rid of them. How the oppositions thought of this NPA’s patented “people’s court” as their “palusot” was indicative act of desperation. The opposition would try anything just to get rid of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, or at least create condition that would speed up her downfall.  

Question was; under whose authority this “people’s court” would have the power to implement their verdict, if ever there were? Unlike the NPA, the opposition has no “sparrow unit” for liquidation…!

Yet, the oppositions, as if they were in a real court of law, they all dressed up to the hilt. Their demeanor: somber, solemn and glum. They wanted people to believe that their public trial exercise was serious, worthy of attention, although they know for themselves that they were for media mileage.  

Teofisto Guingona, venerable former Vice President and Senator, when he swore in the members of the court, looked earnest, lugubrious, yet ludicrous. He was like an actor, acting in penance.   Probably, deep in his heart, he was asking, why a person like him would have entangle himself to this farcical show.   

The “People’s Initiative”, spearheaded by the Sigaw ng Bayan, Lito Banayo of Malaya, called it “Singaw ng Bayan, as the easiest way to implement a change in the Philippine’s Constitution, had made it, as the Palace’s “palusot” grand finale. The two “palusot” Proclamation 1017, declaring a state of national emergency, and Executive Order No. 464, banning high-ranking government officials to attend congressional hearings unless cleared by Malacanang, had the half-empty – half-full verdict from the Supreme Court.

But this “People’s Initiative” was the mother of all the botched up “palusot”. The SC ruling stated that the latest people’s initiative proposal was “constitutionally infirm (and) propelled by deceptively gathered signatures.” That was total rebuke. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s advisers and allies who are desperate to change the form of government from bicameral to unicameral must had been stung hard. Now, they are eyeing on “Plan B”, (Con Ass) Constitutional Assembly, another “palusot” in the making. Of course, the opposition leaders have their own brand of “palusot”, too, to make.  

The puerile “palusot” mentality when applied can be a waste of vast resources; money, time, effort and energy.  Why can’t both camp of the national leadership eschew “palusot” and just play straight?

For God so loved the Filipino’s prone to mentalities, he gave this “palusot” for elders to use and for youngster to emulate. How puerile…! Phew! 

Also, to make Filipinos suffer like Job, as a test of faith, and as a price as God’s new chosen people…!


Discourage Disparages October 30, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jess Fernando @ 11:12 pm

A curious soul e-mailed a question concerning my latest blog – “OFWs: Modern Day Disparager”.  The e-mailer asked – How would a simple collective disrespect can pull off such a huge event as putting a nation to stagnancy?

The question is innocuous, yet intelligent. The email made me happy; 1) because it spare me tinkering topic for my next blog, 2) because of the interest shown, an additional 500 or less words to the topic would not hurt, if it will further explain my blog’s argument and 3) out of the thousands hits my sites get, one soul is braved enough to ask. That’s something!

Collective disrespect is an individual – unconnected yet unified, behavioral reaction to existing phenomenon. It’s like boos echoed in unison by an audience upon hearing bad racial joke. 

Filipinos have long-standing bad ideas about the Philippines: corrupt government, malfeasance of bureaucrats and politicians, inefficient bureaucracy – subliminally, these have produced disrespect among people, albeit individually.

These subliminal disrespects, which by the way, the OFWs carry, too, when they left the
Philippines, come into sharp focus – when, as a courtesy of the host country, the OFWs gained a newfound global perspectives. As they now see the undesirable part of Philippine’s governance, with hues of one-upmanship and assertive streaks, the OFWs speak these subliminal disrespects in disparages. Disparages that can flow back to their relatives, friends, colleagues, and to million others in the Philippines. In all likelihood, these disparage rekindle the disrespect the locals already had.  As this happens, the nation reels on to its vortex of stagnancy.

Disparages as it breed disrespect, discourages confidence.  Confidence is the current that excite and spur the nation to move. A river without current does not reach its destination. It form a dead stream which harbors harmful organism. Likewise, a nation without people’s confidence is a paralyzed nation. We see it on how the stock market behaves, for example.  A hint of slight weakening of people’s confidence, investment retreat: and that triggers all other to fall like dominoes. 

As OFWs’s, monies speak louder, any one receives them, listen. Whatever the OFWs say has power and influence. If they depart from disparages, it would do a nation good: psychologically and economically.    

“Ask not what the government can do for you. But ask what you can do for the government.” That’s a famous line from John F Kennedy. It may well be that the OFWs heed to Kennedy’s command: Push positive poise…! Discourage disparages…! Then, no doubt, for me, the OFWs are the resurrected “Modern Day Heroes”.


The “Iron Fist” Aftermath October 17, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jess Fernando @ 12:26 am

Monday morning, last week, I spot this ad at the bottom page of Globe and Mail while having coffee. It escaped my mind whose ad is it. As I was at the paper’s business section at the time, I assumed it’s from a financial company. The ad’s caption says – “You see kid’s gloves. But the market sees the iron fist”

I couldn’t make out what exactly the message is. But the two key words, ”kid’s glove” and “iron fist”, spun-off some word associations; bad cop, good cop, carrot and stick, soft and hard, harshness and domesticity, cruelty and innocence, hands, knuckles, ore, mineral, alloy, blood, discipline, attitude.

I analyzed why the caption stuck in my head. It’s readable. The two simple sentences have only eleven words and twelve syllables: Pithy, yet emphatic. Rhythmic, too, yet, it seems, given how I found the texts; I can hear an indefinable noise of impact.

It is as if the caption positioned me as a bystander to a movie watching credits rolled. Hugo Chavez mocked George W. Bush as the visiting devil of the United Nation. Kim Jong Il tested his nuke. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad refused to budge Iran’s uranium enrichment. The axis of evil pirouettes, flailing dangerous sparks! Fidel Castro locked up in the hospital. Saddam Hussein waited for his execution. In one way or another, these people ruled with an iron fist.

Has anyone ruled the Philippines with an iron fist? Former President Ferdinand Marcos was close, but not quite. Has anyone ruled the Philippines with an iron fist in kid’s glove? All of them, I guessed. Politicians have two faces.

Has any gynecologist “iron fisted” a patient while having her period? The “iron” is derived from the iron that is on the patient’s blood which is now on the hand of the gynecologist. How the heck, I know. Yuck! This is gross…!

Now, I realized what the caption meant. Don’t get trap with the smooth, crisp cadence of an ad. It can punch so much hard shit in your brain, and your head couldn’t stop its iron fist like bombardment of weird thoughts.