Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for April, 2008

Plugging and flogging

April 30, 2008 By: jessicazafra Category: Books 3 Comments →

I have an article about the camera shops of Hidalgo Street, Quiapo in the April issue of Travel + Leisure (Southeast Asia). In the May issue I have a piece on Ilocos Norte.

If you’re in Bacolod, I’m giving a talk at a La Salle symposium on Saturday morning. Followed by a Twisted 8 book-signing. (By the way if you happen to be carrying a copy of Twisted 8 and you run into me somewhere, just wave the book at me and I’ll sign it. What is this fear thing? I haven’t decapitated anyone for asking me to sign a book, at least nothing that can be proven. It’s a matter of timing and common courtesy, i.e. don’t interrupt me in the middle of a conversation, and especially not while I’m eating.)

From the BLB: The Silangan Foundation for the Arts, Culture and Ecology and Pinto Art Gallery in cooperation with The Provincial Tourism Office of Ilocos Norte, are highlighting hand-made Arts & Crafts products in a show that opens on May 4, 2008 (Sunday) at 3 PM. The exhibit at Pinto Gallery highlights hand-made items from organic raw materials: vintage and newly-woven inabel fabrics from Ilocos; the light sculptures of Perry Mamaril made of bamboo and hand-made paper, and other bamboo items; terracotta vases, containers and tiles. A planned Museum of Contemporary Philippine Art featuring Dr. Joven R. Cuanang’s collection of Post-EDSA art will be the beneficiary of the show.

Confused? Desperate? Just bored out of your skull? Consult Aling Chona the manghuhula at Palmistry on the second floor of Virra Mall, Greenhills. Take the escalator up, then turn right. The fee is P1,500 (Sorry, I missed a digit earlier).

Re: Plan Oishii

April 29, 2008 By: jessicazafra Category: World Domination Update 3 Comments →

In a previous post, Plan O from Inner Space, Blythe noted that Oishi does not identify itself as a Filipino brand. This response from Oishi in Shanghai:

“Hi, I am Emily Fenix of Liwayway (China), based in Shanghai. We have an ongoing promo in China, for 100 winners to get a trip to Boracay. See our China website: We have featured Boracay and Bohol separately, in our TV commercials.

“China labeling laws prohibit mention of non-China addresses.

“Thanks, Blythe, for your interest. I would presume you were or are based in China.”

The location of Paradise

April 28, 2008 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies, Philippine Reference Alert 8 Comments →

Takashi Miike, Far East Filmfest – Udine, 2006, originally uploaded by 160507.

The LUA tells me that Takashi Miike’s The Guys From Paradise is set in Manila. According to “Allegedly based on a number of true cases, The Guys From Paradise is a prison story set in the Phillipines against a background of corruption, drug trafficking and paedophilia. . .Though somewhat overlong, The Guys From Paradise paints a lurid portrait of The Phillipines as a country awash with all manner of vice, symbolising a side of Asia which the civilised Japanese have lost touch with. Even though they hold a position of privilege, their suits and ties won’t protect them from being swallowed up by this more savage society. . .” (Note spelling of Philippines. Could’ve been worse, they could’ve spelled it ‘Philistines’.)

In short, the yakuza in the movie find the Philippines scary and weird. Haven’t seen the movie, I don’t know if it was shot here.

To recap our list of foreign productions in which the Philippines plays the Philippines and not Vietnam (Apocalypse Now, Platoon, Born on the 4th of July, etc), Thailand (Brokedown Palace), or Indonesia (The Year of Living Dangerously):

1. Days Of Being Wild by Wong Kar-Wai, with scenes in Tutuban and Villa Escudero
2. Supercock, a B-movie about cockfighting, not a porno
3. The Guys From Paradise, maybe

Now I’m going to watch Takashi Miike’s The Happiness of the Katakuris with its enticing tagline: “The hills are alive with the sound of screaming!” Prefer bloodcurdling shrieks to Climb Every Mountain any day.

P.S. This one’s a real scream: Richard Quest Thought Process Flowchart on 23/6.

The mystery of the gold

April 27, 2008 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, History 2 Comments →

“Gold of Ancestors” exhibition at Ayala Museum, originally uploaded by 160507.

I have an article in the new issue of Newsweek (the print version is out on Monday) about the Gold of Ancestors exhibition at the Ayala Museum. The exhibition features 1,059 gold artifacts that are believed to be up to a thousand years old. They were found in the Philippines; the question is, Who made them? And if our ancestors made them, what can they tell us about who we are?

Gold of Ancestors is part of Crossroads of Civilizations, which opens at the Ayala Museum in May.

Note: The piece is in the May 5 issue, now on the stands. George W Bush is on the cover, title “Turning Green”.

Order restored.

April 27, 2008 By: jessicazafra Category: Tennis 3 Comments →

Tennis makes sense again today as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal won their semifinal matches at the Monte Carlo Open. Rafa defeated Nikolay Davydenko, who beat him in the Miami final, 6-3, 6-2. Roger was well on the way to defeating Novak Djokovic, who beat him at the Australian Open. Then at 6-3, 3-2, after complaining of “breathing issues” and calling for a medical timeout, Djokovic…retired. Yes, retired. The world number 3, who pounds his chest when he wins, pleads “breathing issues” when he loses. Djokovic said he had not been feeling well these last few days–odd, he looked very healthy when he was winning. We’d be more sympathetic if he weren’t in the habit of quitting matches when he’s losing (He’s done this twice while playing Nadal). “Dizziness”? “Sore throat”? Maybe panic attacks? Chokeovich.

Hmm, another walkover win for The Fed. Third or fourth this season. New coaching arrangement with Jose Higueras seems to be working. Here’s The Fed telling the Djokovices to “Be quiet. . .okay?” in the tone of a nursery school teacher telling the kids to behave.

Update, 27 April. Rafa Nadal has defended his Monte Carlo title against The Fed, 7-5, 7-5. I like this comparison: The objective of the hard court player is to close in and make the court smaller; the clay courter’s is to make it bigger.

Happy, Happier, Happiest

April 25, 2008 By: jessicazafra Category: Books 2 Comments →

Saffy inspection, originally uploaded by 160507.

. . .or Smug, Smugger, Smuggest. There’s a special sale for Powercard holders at all Powerbooks branches, 30 to 80 percent off on selected titles.

Happy: Ernie got a copy of Taschen’s Art Now book at P699, original price P2309.
Happier: I got Spy: The Funny Years, an anthology and history of the late lamented Spy magazine, for P499, original price P1445.
Happiest: Bert got Visionaire, the Van Cleef and Arpels issue, for P999, original price P11,099.

I told myself I would only spend what I had in my wallet, so there goes my Globe bill haha. I found Tim Willocks’ rollicking medieval epic The Religion–regular price P695/ sale price P249. Then I got The Sailing Fanatic (P635/299) because I’m editing a book about sailing. After much agonizing over the wide array of language courses on CD, I decided on Basic Russian (P1205/499) because I bought Advanced Russian by mistake years ago. Someday I’m going to run into Marat Safin and I can tell him in his own language: “Ano ka ba, sira-ulo ka talaga, ang galing-galing mo, ang tangkad-tangkad mo, ang ganda-ganda mo, hindi ka man lang maka-second round, kahit siguro ballboy magpapatalo ka!”

So much for our resolution to buy only one new book for every five books in our backlogs that we actually finished.