Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

We know nothing about Apolinario Mabini, whose 150th birthday it is today

July 23, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: History

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Rigodon, an art installation by Leo Abaya showing the presidents of the Philippines as players on a chessboard. Now on view at the exhibition Triumph of Philippine Art on the third floor of Ayala Museum. Photo courtesy of the Ayala Museum.

I wonder how Mabini feels about going down in history as “The Sublime Paralytic”, as if he were defined by his disability. In the first place, how does one become a sublime paralytic, by levitating?

This is like calling Kris Aquino “The Massacre Queen” or Gretchen Barretto the “ST Queen”. They probably would not like it. It reduces everything they have ever done to the movies they made in the 1990s.

And we know way, way, way more about Aquino and Barretto than we do about Mabini, and he was “The Brains of the Revolution”. I don’t know if he had a wheelchair—according to history books, he was carried by soldiers on a hammock—but in comic book terms, he would be the Professor Charles Xavier of the Philippines.

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Notes from the Uncool # 1

July 22, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books



Mat advises you to find your feline soulmate

July 21, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats

Hello, I am Mat and I am a rescue cat. My human rescued me from hunger and homelessness, and I rescued her from boredom and sameness. We have been together since 2001. When people see me they ask what breed I am. I may be part-tabby, but I’m not sure. I do know that if you take in a stray cat, feed it properly and give it shelter and affection, he will look elegant (and sosyal) in a few weeks.

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There are many cats (and dogs) looking for the right humans at the shelter run by the Philippine Animal Welfare Society, a non-government organization which has been around in 1954. PAWS accommodates homeless cats and dogs and finds humans for them to live with.

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PAWS also offers clinic services including low-cost spaying and neutering. Spaying and neutering are important, otherwise the stray cat population grows unchecked. I was neutered in 2005. It’s better for feline health. It also curbs my urge to walk the earth so I don’t get into fights with other cats or rummage in garbage cans and eat stuff that will make me sick. Or risk getting run over, kidnapped or lost. Plus I don’t pee on things to mark my territory. I stay indoors and play with Saffy and Drogon, who are also rescue cats.

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Consider adopting a cat. Cats are fun, as anyone with an internet connection knows. If you’re entertained by cat videos online, imagine how much more delightful it would be to have a feline housemate. Like Leo here, who loves humans.

PAWS Animal Rehabilitation Center (PARC) on Aurora Boulevard, Katipunan Valley, Loyola Heights, Quezon City is open to the public Mondays to Saturdays from 10am – 5pm. (Photos courtesy of PAWS volunteer Arnold Cabalza.)

To find out more about the cat adoption program and other activities including the Volunteer Orientation next week, visit the PAWS Facebook page.

The Norte screening at Alabang Town Center today, Sunday, has been cancelled.

July 19, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Announcements, Movies

The screening of Norte, Hangganan Ng Kasaysayan scheduled for today, 3pm at Alabang Town Center has been cancelled as electric service has not been restored in that area. (Walang koryente sa ATC.)

The 3pm screening of Norte at Glorietta will go on as scheduled.

Scenes from the history of medicine

July 18, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Books, History


The Wellcome Library, London has made a thousand years of historical images relating to the history of medicine available free to the public.

Images from Wellcome Library, London

For news on works of art, music and literature in the public domain, visit The Public Domain Review.

Weird Al, Grammar Police

July 17, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Language, Music

“Police”, singular, like they used it in The Wire. A show we loved just a few years ago, which now feels like the distant past.

Thanks to Ricky for the alert.

Somewhere Marvin Gaye is laughing.