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Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994
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Archive for August, 2010

Here’s some good cheer before you go back to work

August 31, 2010 By: jessicazafra Category: Rugby, Sports besides Tennis 11 Comments →

After last week, we all need it.


L-R: Matt, Oliver, and Ben Saunders

Oliver, Matt and Ben Saunders are members of the Philippine men’s rugby team. Their mom is from Pangasinan, their dad is British, they were born in the UK or the US and raised in Australia where they live to this day. They’ve been coming to the Philippines since early childhood to visit their grandmother, and have toured the islands on their own.

Matt and Oliver have been on the national team since 2007; Ben, 17, joined them more recently. The three brothers were on the men’s 15’s team which won the Asian Division 2 championships in June, which we covered here.

Ben was captain of the under-20s Philippine rugby team which won the Junior Asian Division 2 championship in Vientiane, Laos two weeks ago. Clean sweep: they beat India 38–7, Kazakhstan 22–10, Laos 52–0 and Iran 12–8. The juniors have now won seven international matches in a row.

Earlier the newly-formed Philippine ladies’ rugby team won the Asian Rugby Ladies championship in Guangzhou, China by defeating India, Korea, Laos and Malaysia. It was their first appearance at an international tournament and they did not concede a single point.

On Saturday and Sunday the Philippine men’s 7’s rugby team is competing at the Shanghai Sevens featuring the top 12 teams in Asia. Matt and Oliver are on the team, which is the newest in the tournament and probably the most petite in a field of rampaging behemoths.

The Saunders brothers are all in Collezione C2 shirts. These photos were taken by their dad at their home in Sydney.

For more of our rugby coverage, go to Categories on the left and click Rugby.

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For our readers in Shanghai who would like to watch the matches of the Philippine rugby 7’s team, here’s their schedule:

Saturday, 4 Sept 2010. 8am – 5pm: Preliminary Round Pool C matches.
China v Philippines
Hong Kong v Philippines
Philippines v Sri Lanka

Sunday, 5 Sept 2010. 8am – 5pm: Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and Medal matches.

The games will be held at Shanghai Rugby Football Club (near Zhouhai Road Metro Station). Tickets cost RMB70 for the Saturday matches, RMB100 for Sunday. More information here.

The winner of LitWit Challenge 3.4: I love the movies is. . .

August 30, 2010 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Contest No Comments →

kurokuroko. I wouldn’t have thought that seeing Engkantandang Kangkarot in an SRO movie theatre where he could only catch glimpses of Roderick Paulate’s face from between the heads of the people standing in front of him would trigger a lifelong passion for the movies, but that’s how love is. While many of us are willing to have shouting matches over the movies, he is prepared to starve for them.


Bolano’s novels including 2666 are available at National Bookstores.

Congratulations, kurokuroko, you win Roberto Bolaño’s 2666—which he had wanted to publish as five volumes, so it’s like winning five books at once. Doorstops tend to be tedious, but 2666 is so rich and smooth it’s like an excellent cup of coffee. Many excellent cups of coffee.

Kurokuroko, you can pick up your prize (It’s listed under your full name) at the Customer Service counter at National Bookstore, Power Plant Mall at Rockwell, Makati.

The Weekly LitWit Challenge is brought to you by our friends at National Bookstore. Stay tuned for LitWit Challenge 3.5.

D’Expendables: Fun with steroids and botox!

August 30, 2010 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies 8 Comments →

My sister made me watch The Expendables. She did not mention that it was an action-horror movie. Every time there’s a close-up of Stallone or Lundgren: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Cautionary tale about mixing steroids, botox and cosmetic surgery. Or very white people not wearing sunblock in LA. (We’re Stallone’s eyebrows tattooed on?)

The Expendables opened in the US on the same week as Eat, Pray, Love. So the question was: What would you rather watch, action has-beens (except Jason Statham) killing an entire South American country, or a rich American woman finding herself by traveling to countries beginning in ‘I’?

The answer: First time in history that an Eric Roberts movie outgrossed a Julia Roberts movie. (How Julia’s reps can spin this: It took Stallone, Statham, Li, Schwarzenegger, Willis, Rourke, Lundgren, Austin, Couture, et al to beat Julia Roberts.)

Stallone co-wrote and directed The Expendables. The one-liners are flat, the action scenes cliché and eardrum-busting but passable. It’s the dramatic scenes—and there are lots of them!—that made me hide under the seat. Please let them be over, I can’t bear to look. (When Mickey Rourke begins his monologue about the girl in Bosnia, stuff your eyes with popcorn it’s less painful.)

It’s so Retro! It should be called D’Expendables. The cast should fly to Manila and go straight to Master Showman Walang Tulugan! Except Jason Statham, who should go straight to my house.

They forgot Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal. (Or they weren’t invited, which must really hurt.)

Stallone was never the most intelligible speaker, but now he needs to be subtitled. Still, he has proven that there is room in youth-obsessed pop culture for post-prime action stars flexing their leathery muscles. Cue theme from Rocky. Up those stairs, Sly!

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Correction from my sister: Van Damme was invited to join the cast but he declined because he felt the story was not strong enough. Obviously it did not have the depth of Bloodsport or Double Team.

Irony roundup: How the mistake of claiming no mistakes trumps a victory, ergo it is not a mistake.

August 29, 2010 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events 1 Comment →

Miss Philippines Venus Raj has gotten more worldwide notice for the mistake that may have cost her the Miss Universe title than if she had given a perfect answer and won the crown.

More attention, in fact, than the contestant who was proclaimed Miss Universe.

Perhaps not the kind of attention we would’ve wanted, but when does the Philippines get noticed on a worldwide scale? It usually takes a calamity that leaves thousands dead, or a revolution—but only if it involves Imelda Marcos—for the Philippines to make the world’s headlines.

And this week, Venus Raj was bigger than Imelda Marcos.

Who, by the way, was also a beauty queen—Miss Manila—and whose win was also controversial (an earlier decision was overturned). And who also has the upswept hairdo.

Filipinos will accept anything of their chosen “representatives” to the world, as long as they are beautiful. Basta maganda! (Di niya nga sinagot, pero maganda siya! Nangurakot nga, pero maganda siya!)

Because Pinoys view life as one endless beauty contest. Nagmamaganda.

The roundup:
On ABC News with Diane Sawyer: No Major Major Mistakes for Miss Philippines
On CBS News: Miss Philippines stumbled on question
In the Washington Post: Miss Philippines: A life of no ‘major major’ mistakes
In the Huffington Post: The Philippine Bus and Miss Universe

How should the Hunger Games end? Write your ideal version of Mockingjay.

August 29, 2010 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Contest 10 Comments →

Mockingjay, the highly-anticipated final novel in Suzanne Collins’s post-apocalyptic dystopian Young Adult science-fiction trilogy The Hunger Games, is now available at National Bookstores at a special introductory price of P530 (one-third off the regular price).

Be among the first to read Mockingjay, for free!

If you have read the first two novels in the series, Hunger Games and Catching Fire, tell us how the trilogy should end. What would you like to happen in Mockingjay? What would be the most satisfying conclusion? Who should live, who should go? Does Katniss live happily ever after? With whom?

Write your ideal Mockingjay plot in 500 words or less and post it in Comments by Friday, 3 September 2010. Your version of Mockingjay need not resemble Suzanne Collins’s Mockingjay, it just has to be compelling. While sticking to the basic narrative and characters of the Hunger Games books, of course.

This Special Edition of the Weekly LitWit Challenge is brought to you by National Bookstore.

Venus is not the Commander-in-Chief; her non-answer had no body count

August 27, 2010 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events 4 Comments →

Where is our explanation? Preferably one that does not point to the misdeeds of the previous government.

I do not give my support casually, and I will not withdraw it lightly, but I need an explanation.

P.S. As long as you’re apologizing to the whole wide world, what about an apology to your own people? More than 15 million of them are feeling like giant idiots right now, and it doesn’t help that we have to hear irrational hypotheticals (“If you had voted for xxx instead, this wouldn’t have happened”).