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

Justin Coveney says

October 29, 2010 By: jessicazafra Category: Men, Rugby, Sports besides Tennis, Traveling 4 Comments →

Justin Coveney has been on the Australian TV soap Home and Away. I said, Why were you on Home and Away? He said the modeling agency sent him.

When they checked into the Sutera Harbour one of the first things Justin and Harry did was to take photographs of themselves wearing…how shall I put this…tableware. I think I should consult a lawyer before I post them, but Justin Is a lawyer. Let me think.

The Philippine Volcanoes at the Borneo 7s, Day 2

October 29, 2010 By: jessicazafra Category: Men, Rugby, Sports besides Tennis, Traveling 11 Comments →

After a good breakfast, another day of stalking covering the Volcanoes. I’m hoping everyone’s had a good night’s sleep so I can take proper photos and video.

Meanwhile you have homework: the IRB Beginner’s Guide to Rugby. Same rules apply to rugby sevens, just halve (or multiply by 0.466 or .375 everything)—seven players, three-man scrum.

We’ll take your request, just post them in Comments.

This exclusive coverage of the Philippine Volcanoes at the Borneo 7s is brought to you by JessicaRulestheUniverse.com and Globe Telecom.

The Philippine Volcanoes in Borneo: Coverage begins Now. (updated constantly)

October 28, 2010 By: jessicazafra Category: Rugby, Traveling 68 Comments →


Team manager Phil Gittus, Justin Coveney (with earbuds), and players who were asleep because they’ve been training almost continuously since Tuesday afternoon. Justin is a lawyer in Sydney. He does civil suits; mostly they represent insurance companies. Does that mean you’re evil? I asked. He said they had to deal with a lot of ambulance chasers.

Dispatch from moving bus. We’re on the way to Clark airport to catch the flight to Kota Kinabalu. On board: 11 members of the national men’s rugby team, Coach Matt Cullen, Manager Phil Gittus, and trainer Damian Raper. The 12th member we pick up at the gas station after SM North. More on him later.

The team will compete at the Borneo 7s, where they placed sixth overall last year. This year they’re ranked tenth after the disappointment of the Shanghai 7s. The Volcanoes are hoping to qualify for the 2011 Hong Kong 7s, the biggest most prestigious sevens tournament on earth.

The captain of the Borneo 7s team is Harry Morris, who is already known to readers of this website. (The first thing he said: “Are you prepared to see some skin on this tour?” I said, “We’re not used to seeing you clothed.”)

According to Coach Matt Cullen, this is a bigger, stronger team than the one sent to Shanghai. Many of the members are playing for the Philippines for the first time: there’s Patrice Olivier, 20, who’s Filipino-French. He says he doesn’t speak much English, so my 12 units of French and many Eric Rohmer movies may come in handy (I know two horrible cusswords).


Say Bonjour to Patrice, one of the newest members of the Philippine Volcanoes. He’s from the south of France. I noted that there are lots of Filipinos in France. I’ve never seen a Filipino in France, he said. Except my sister. To his right is team trainer Damian Raper. He’s not Filipino, and he has no emotional/cultural and especially no financial reason to be working with the Volcanoes. He just believes in the cause and wants to help. People like that do exist.

The team bus made a pit stop in QC to pick up the 12th player, who is probably known to you. His name is Andrew Wolff. “Do we have to pick him up because he’s a celebrity?” I asked. No, it’s because he lost his wallet at their office building the other night. This morning he checked his facebook account and saw a message: a security guard had found his wallet. So he went to retrieve his wallet, and we retrieved him.


Andrew Wolff has nerd cred. He got his A levels in Math and Latin.

Digression. Andrew Wolff is even more beautiful from three inches away than on a billboard thirty feet high. I know this because I am sitting next to Andrew Wolff. To be more exact, we are scrunched into a two-person seat and his muscles take up a lot of room. Oh the horror and tedium of my life, that I have to squeeze into a seat with Andrew Wolff.

By the way we will refer to him as Wolfie as there are three Andrews on the team: Wolff who is half-Brit and speaks pretty good Tagalog, having lived here five years; and Everingham and Farrar, both half-Australian.

This exclusive coverage of the Philippine Volcanoes at the Borneo 7s is brought to you by JessicaRulestheUniverse.com through a sponsorship from Globe Telecom.

Homage to Kubrick

October 28, 2010 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Movies 1 Comment →

Today’s vision of surpassing beauty is a painting by Geraldine Javier, one of the stars of contemporary Asian art.

“Red is the Color of Life, and So is Black” is based on that scene in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. For a week after I saw The Shining I had a fear of long hallways.

Geraldine’s painting won’t be exhibited in Manila—it’s going straight to Seoul. The artist has given us her permission to post this photo. Good luck lining up for an actual Geraldine Javier painting, I hear it takes years.

The winner of LitWit Challenge 3.10: Manila’s Finest…

October 27, 2010 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Contest 7 Comments →

Will be announced after we take you through the judging process. To refresh your memory, here are the entries.


Photo: Sari-sari store we spotted one afternoon on our way to the Quiapo cinematheque. Marx and Engels?

Our guest judge for this LitWit Challenge is Butch Perez, who’s read every detective series we can think of.

“I gave 3 points for characterization, 3 points for Manila local color, 2 points for style and, unfortunately for them, no one could have scored higher than 8 because I kept remembering the opening scene in James Hamilton-Paterson’s Ghosts of Manila. Most scored low in the Manila-ness criterion.

The scores for each detective:
Dorian Angeles 5
Jamila Bond 7
Bennie Arrienda 6
Turo Lucero 6
Mangtorney 7
Jane de la Cruz 5
J. D. 5
James Bello 6
Pitik 6
Sister Yla 6
Kap & Goliat 7
Lakay (Sergio Rumbawa) 7
Cristina Rivera 6
Ernesto Villegas 6

The winner is Cacs for his creation, Lakay. Runnerup is ruth (Mangtorney) because of the line “Nawawala ang Nazareno.”

Thanks to our guest judge, and to everyone who responded to this assignment. Cacs, you can pick up your prize, Blood’s A Rover by James Ellroy, starting tomorrow at National Bookstore in Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati. Something to read during the long weekend!

The Weekly LitWit Challenge is brought to you by our lovely friends at National Bookstore. The next Challenge goes online soon.

A visit to “the Messiah”

October 26, 2010 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies 4 Comments →

“We’re doomed,” I told Noel as the van crawled through Saturday afternoon-long weekend traffic on Ortigas Extension. “We’re late for our interview with the Messiah of Philippine Cinema. I expect hellfire and brimstone, something out of Patayin Mo Sa Sindak Si Barbara.”


Celso Ad Castillo at his house in Siniloan, 23 October 2010. Photograph by Jessica Zafra.

Celso Ad Castillo, rumored madman, auteur of Burlesk Queen; Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-itim ng Tagak; Ang Pinakamagandang Hayop Sa Balat Ng Lupa; Asedillo; Patayin Mo Sa Sindak…; Nympha; Ang Alamat Ni Julian Makabayan; Paradise Inn; Snake Sisters; and the infamous Payaso lives in his hometown of Siniloan, Laguna. This is where he receives the moviegoers who come to pay tribute—these days young film critics who have just discovered his oeuvre. I’ve always known of Celso Ad Castillo—I remember critics and artists yelling at each other over Burlesk Queen’s victory at the Metro filmfest. It was my first inkling that Cinema is War.

I’d seen some of his movies and written pompous driveling reviews in the high school newspaper, but I didn’t really get what the fuss was about until I saw Burlesk Queen two years ago. It was like getting punched in the face, holy crap what a movie. So when Ronald Arguelles asked me if I’d like to interview Mr Castillo for the Cinema One Originals 2010 Catalogue my immediate reply was Hell, yes.

And then we kept him waiting for three and a half hours. By the time we got to Siniloan I expected him to throw us out, but he didn’t. We had an excellent conversation. He was candid, pleasant, and utterly lucid, occasionally making pronouncements that gave us whiplash where we sat. Pronouncements like, “Nympha (the bomba movie from 1970) might yet become my Citizen Kane.”

Good thing Noel allowed himself to be dragged to the interview because he remembered to ask what “Ad” means. It’s short for “Advento”.

The interview will appear in the Cinema One catalogue; the outtakes in my column. Can’t wait to write it up.