Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘History’

Read this hair-raising excerpt from Marcos Martial Law Never Again

April 26, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Election News Junkies Support Group, History No Comments →

The Boy Who Fell From The Sky
Introduction to Marcos Martial Law Never Again by Raissa Robles

On the morning of May 31, 1977, residents of Antipolo — a mountainous municipality just east of Manila — saw a military helicopter circling low over a deserted area. Minutes later something fell out of the helicopter onto the rocks below. Then the aircraft clattered away.

Curious residents ran to see what had fallen.

They found the bloody, battered corpse of a young man. He had been cruelly treated. His head was bashed in, there were burn marks and dark bruises all over his body. On his torso, an examining doctor would later count 33 shallow wounds apparently gouged with an ice pick. Several meters away from where the body had fallen, somebody found an eyeball.

The police came, took the corpse to a funeral parlor and started the process of identifying the remains. Somebody remembered a news story about a teenager who had been missing for more than two weeks. He was 16-year-old Luis Manuel “Boyet” Mijares, son of Primitivo, a former aide of the dictator, President Ferdinand Marcos.

Later that day, the phone of Manila Judge Priscilla Mijares rang. Journalist and family friend Teddy Owen tried to break the news about her son gently to her, advising her to send somebody to the Filipinas Funeral Parlor to identify the victim.

The person she sent called back with the devastating news: “It’s your boy.” All that remained of her good-looking boy was a mangled, tortured body.

He had been kidnapped, because shortly after he vanished the family had started receiving phone calls demanding a ransom of P200,000.By then, Boyet’s sister Pilita recalled, a Philippine Constabulary official named Panfilo Lacson (who became a Philippine Senator in 2001) had been assigned to the case and managed to trace one of the calls to a building inside the University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman, Quezon City.

Although the family told the kidnappers they would pay the ransom, the calls suddenly stopped.

Over the objections of the police, Judge Mijares had followed Owen’s advice to leak the news of her son’s kidnapping to the dailies. The news came out on May 30.

The next day, Boyet’s mangled body was found.

Hele, the Lav Diaz film that won in Berlin, is Stupendous, and we would watch it Again.

March 21, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: History, Movies 1 Comment →


The preview of Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis (Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery) at the Dolphy Theatre in ABS-CBN yesterday was called “Take The Hele Challenge”, playing up the best-known fact about the film: that it’s eight hours long.

Not that it won the Silver Bear in Berlin.

Not that it’s awesome.

But that it’s long, implying that it appeals to masochists.

And that it stars Piolo Pascual and John Lloyd Cruz. (Clearly Lavrente has no manager, or the fact that their names are above and dwarf his own would be an issue.)

We were prepared for the “challenge”. Ricky made up a hashtag: #endlesslav. Ricky, Jay and I met early to get a proper breakfast. I brought a neck pillow for comfort, fish crackers and caramel and cheese popcorn for sustenance, and a fully-charged phone for sending friends desperate pleas to help me escape from the screening. I did not need any of these. Amazingly, I did not need the intermissions (with catering) every three hours, either. They turned out to be a distraction. Once you get in the zone, you just want to keep watching the movie.

It’s gorgeous. It’s bizarre. It’s beautiful. It’s bonkers. At no point did I feel like leaving the cinema.

My friends and I would watch it again. In fact I want to stand outside the theatre and point and laugh at the people who cannot watch it till the end.

Now I have to write about it, and it’s daunting because the review has to do the film justice.

* * *

Here’s the link.–lav-diazs-new-movie-is-the-passion-of-the-filipino-in-8-brief-hours

Art, Bozanians, and the Secret History of the Edsa Revolution

March 10, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Cats, History No Comments →

On view till March 26 at Tin-Aw Art Gallery: Transmission, an exhibition of the work of artist-mentors and their mentees. The anniversary show features pieces by Elmer Borlongan and Mike Adrao, Renato Habulan and Alfred Esquillo, Eduardo Orozco and Mark Justiniani, Don Salubayba and Henrielle Pagkaliwangan, Santiago Bose and Alwin Reamillo, Jose Santos III and Ioannis Sicuya, and Leo Abaya and Lee Paje.

The minute we stepped into the gallery we knew which piece was by Leo Abaya.

Panginoong Alipin

Next to Leo’s painting was an arresting copper etching by his student Lee Paje.


The panels on the right tell the story of alien spacecraft who arrive on Earth and abduct gay couples, including pairs of Disney princes. The spacecraft look like the Bozanian ships on Voltes V, which reminded us of a piece we wrote many years ago.

It was Roby Alampay, now the editor of InterAksyon and BusinessWorld, who first saw a link between Japanese robots and People Power.

Leo’s painting also reminds us of Steph’s cat Twister.


Tin-Aw is on the Upper Ground Floor of Somerset Olympia, Makati Avenue, Makati City, across from Old Swiss Inn. Somerset Olympia is next to the Peninsula. For more information, call (02)892 7522 or visit

Ang Pagtatapos ng Gandang Ganda Sa Sarili Sa Disyerto: Queen of the Desert starring Nicole Kidman

March 08, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: History, Movies, Places 2 Comments →

By Noel Orosa, ECD, Campaigns & Grey


Sa British Embassy sa Tehran kung saan pinagdududahan ng mga opisyales ang pakay ni Gertrude.

BRITISH CONSUL: Ano’ng ginagawa mo dito?

GERTRUDE: Nagpunta ako rito para magmaganda.

BRITISH CONSUL: ‘Yun lang? ‘Yun lang talaga ang pinunta mo rito?


BRITISH CONSUL: Hindi ako naniniwala sa ‘yo.

GERTRUDE: Maniwala ka man o hindi, ‘yun lang talaga ang pakay ko.

BRITISH CONSUL: Talaga lang, ha? Aber, kanino ka magmamaganda?

GERTRUDE: Sa buong Middle East!

BRITISH CONSUL: (pabulong sa kanyang sarili) Antipatika! Arestuhin ka sana ng lahat ng mga Druze, ng mga Arabo, ng mga Sheikh! Arestuhin ka sana nilang lahat!

(Kay Gertrude, hindi siya makapipigil) Gertrude, mahal kita!

GERTRUDE: Ano? ‘Di ba may asawa ka na? Bakit? Ay. . .Sigh. . .H’wag mo na lang akong sagutin. . .


Sa disyerto kung saan inaabangan ng mga Druze ang beauty ng kampo ni Gertrude.

MABABANG URI NG DRUZE: Gertrude, walang ganda-ganda sa desierto. Lahat pinapatay namin! Papatayin kita!

GERTRUDE: Masyado akong maganda para patayin ng isang mababang uri na katulad mo! Dalhin mo ako sa sheikh mo! Sheikh mo lang ang may karapatang pumatay sa gandang ito!

MABABANG URI NG DRUZE: Ang kulit mo ha! Sinabi nang walang ganda-ganda sa desierto, eh.

Sa bahay ng sheikh ng mga Druze.

SHEIKH: Ang ganda mo.

GERTRUDE: Sigh. . .

SHEIKH: Ang bagay sa ‘yo, variety show.

GERTRUDE: Hindi ko pinangarap mag-artista.

SHEIKH: Loka! Ang ibig kong sabihin, ang bagay sa ‘yo manuod ng variety show! ‘Yan ang gawain namin dito t’wing kami’y nababagot.

Sa bahay ng sheik ng mga Druze kung saan may variety show.
SHEIKH: Pakakawalan na kita. Ang ganda mo, eh.

GERTRUDE: Sigh. . .


Sa desierto kung saan inaabangan ang kampo ni Gertrude ng mga Arabo.

ARABO: Huli ka! At hindi ito isang hamak na pag-aresto lamang! Ipinakukulong ka ng aming sheikh!

GERTRUDE: Bakit? Sobra na ‘yan, ha! Kahit ako hindi ko naman inisip na ganuon ako kaganda para ikulong ng isang sheikh!

ARABO:Kunwari ka pa na ‘di mo alam na gano’n ka kaganda! E alam naman naming ikaw ang Reyna Ng Mga GGSS dito sa disyerto.


MGA ARABO: (Sabay-sabay) Gandang-Ganda Sa Sarili

GERTRUDE: Ah. . .Siyempre naman alam ko ‘yon. Pero ang sarap kasi umakting na kunwari hindi ko alam na maganda ako. Role model ko kasi si Tweety de Leon sa classic na Heno de Pravia TV commercial kung saan kunwari hindi n’ya alam na crush siya ng pintor kahit pagkalaki-laki ng portrait niya na pi-naint ng pintor.

Sa bahay ng sheikh kung saan nakakulong si Gertrude dahil sobra siyang ganda.

GERTRUDE: Fatima, alam kong ikaw ang nanay ng sheikh. Pero ilang araw na ang nakalipas at nakakulong pa rin ako. . .bakit?

FATIMA: Gusto kong ikaw ang maging reyna ng harem ng aking anak na sheikh.

GERTRUDE: Pero…(magsisinungaling) May asawa na ang beauty ko.

FATIMA: Umalis ka na rito.


Sa British Embassy kung saan papayag na si Gertrude na patulan ang Consul.

GERTRUDE: O, ayan. Bumalik na ako para sa ‘yo.

CONSUL: Ako naman ang kailangang umalis para makipaglaban sa giyerang ito.

GERTRUDE: (nagtataka) Kaya mo talagang iwanan ang gandang ito?

CONSUL: Hindi. Katunayan magpapakamatay ako sa giyera gaya ng una mong kasintahan.


Sa isang baile kung saan umaakting na malungkot si Gertrude upang lalong mabighani sa kanyang ang lahat ng mga nagtitipon.

OPISYAL1: Patay na si British Consul. Nagpakamatay raw sa giyera.

OPISYAL2: Bakit daw nagpakamatay?

OPISYAL1: Dahil daw sa isang babaeng GGSS.

Maririnig ni Gertrude ang lahat.



Sa British Embassy, kung saan pinag-iisipan ng lahat ng mga opisyales ang sagot sa isang napakahalagang tanong.

OPISYAL1: Kung maging independent na ang Iraq, napipiho kong magkakagulo duon. Marami ang gustong maging hari.

OPISYAL2: Mahirap lutasin ‘yan. Tanging isang taong GGSS lang ang makakalutas n’yan.

OPISYAL1: Isang taong Galing na Galing sa Sarili?

LAHAT: (sabay-sabay) Hindi! Gandang-Ganda Sa Sarili!

Sa isang disyerto kung saan kinakausap ni Gertrude ang dalawang Arabong may falcon.

GERTRUDE: Ang ganda ng falcon mo.

ARABO1: Pero mas maganda ka.

GERTRUDE: Magiging hari kayong dalawa.

Tatayo si Gertrude upang iwan na ang dalawa.

ARABO1: Pa’no niya nalaman na magiging hari tayo?

ARABO2: Ganda kasi niya eh.

Maririnig ito ni Gertrude at lilingon sa dalawa at mapapangiti. Ngiti ng isang babaeng hindi alam na maganda pala siya.



Gandang Ganda Sa Sarili Sa Disyerto: An epic synopsis of Queen of the Desert starring Nicole Kidman

March 07, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: History, Movies, Places 3 Comments →

Iskrinpley ng GGSS SA Disyerto AKA Desert-Proof Ang Ganda Ko
A synopsis of Queen of the Desert (not Priscilla, Gertrude), written and directed by Werner Herzog and starring Nicole Kidman
by Noel Orosa, Executive Creative Director, Campaigns and Grey


Sa bahay ng mga Bell, kung saan sinesermonan ng kanyang ina si Gertrude.

MOMMY BELL: Gertrude, pansinin mo ang mga manliligaw mo, ha? Tandaan: Huwag masyadong magmaganda.

GERTRUDE BELL: Mommy naman, ba’t ako magmamaganda? Hindi mo ba alam na hindi ko alam kung gaano ako kaganda?

Sa isang baile kung saan naghahanap ng mapapangasawa si Gertrude.

MANLILIGAW 1: Matapang ako.

GERTRUDE: Maganda naman ako.

MANLILIGAW 2: Mayaman ako.

GERTRUDE: E ano? Maganda ako.

MANLILIGAW 3: Ang ganda-ganda mo.

GERTRUDE: Sigh….alam ko.

Balik sa bahay ng mga Bell kung saan bagot na bagot na si Gertrude.

GERTRUDE: Papa, masyado akong maganda para ikulong ni’yo lang sa palasyong ito!

PAPA BELL: Saan kaya babagay ang beauty mo… Alam ko na! Sa Tehran!


Sa British Embassy sa Tehran kung saan pinagdududahan ng mga opisyales ang pakay ni Gertrude.

BRITISH CONSUL: Ano’ng ginagawa mo dito?

GERTRUDE: Nagpunta ako rito para magmaganda.

BRITISH CONSUL: Yun lang? Yun lang talaga ang pinunta mo rito?


BRITISH CONSUL: Hindi ako naniniwala sa ‘yo.

GERTRUDE: Maniwala ka man o hindi, yun lang talaga ang pakay ko.

BRITISH CONSUL: Talaga lang, ha? Aber, kanino ka magmamaganda?

GERTRUDE: Sa mga Turko.

BRITISH CONSUL: (pabulong sa kanyang sarili) Antipatika! Arestuhin ka sana ng mga Turko.


Sa disyerto. Slow-mo ang ihip ng hangin sa disyerto. Sa madaling salita, pati disyerto ay nagmamaganda. Dumadaan sa desierto si Gertrude kasama ang kanyang mga alipores at mga camel. Haharangin sila ng mga Turko.

MGA TURKO: (Kay Gertrude) Inaaresto kita.

GERTRUDE: Ang gandang ito? Inaaresto mo?

ALIPORES: Huwag kang mag-alala Ma’m. May papeles ako.

LIDER NG TURKO: (Kukunin ang papeles sa kamay ng alipores) Ano’ng papeles ‘yan? (babasahin ang papeles) Ang papeles na ito ay patunay na walang kasing ganda ang isang antipatikang nagngangalang Gertrude Bell. Signed, Ms. Diaz, Ms. Moran at Ms. Wurtzbach.

(Kay Gertrude) Hindi ko kinaya ang papeles mo. Ikaw na.


Sa British Embassy ng Tehran kung saan mapapaibig ni Gertude ang opisyales na si Cadogan.

CADOGAN: Gertrude…

GERTRUDE: Alam ko na’ng sasabihin mo. Mahal mo ako.

CADOGAN: Pa’no mo nalaman?


PINSAN NI GERTRUDE: (mangiyak-ngiyak) Pero ilang taon ko nang minahal si Cadogan…

GERTRUDE: Sigh. . .Ate, una—bakit ka sumisingit sa eksena? Alam mo namang ekstra ka lang sa talambuhay ko? Pangalawa, manalamin ka muna kaya para malaman mo kung bakit hindi ka niya pinapansin…

CADOGAN: (Kay Gertrude) Pakasal na tayo.

GERTRUDE: Game. Susulatan ko ang mga magulang ko ngayon din.


Paglipas ng ilang araw. Sa may fountain kung saan alam ni Gertrude na lalo siyang magmumukhang maganda kung siya ay umaastang walang kasing lungkot dahil hindi niya alam na maganda pala siya.

SUNDALO: May dala akong telegrama para sa ‘yo. By the way, alam mo bang napakaganda mo? Sa ganda mong ‘yan…

GERTRUDE: …wala kang ipagkakait sa akin.

SUNDALO: (takang-taka sa tamang sagot ni Gertrude) Pa’no mo nalaman?

GERTRUDE: Sigh… (Babasahin ang telegrama) Hoy, hija, umuwi ka ngayon din. Signed, Papa Bell.


Sa bahay ng mga Bell.

PAPA BELL: Hindi mo siya puedeng pakasalan.

GERTRUDE: Alam ko kung bakit mo sinabi yan! Pero manners dictate na tanungin pa rin kita: Bakit?

PAPA BELL: Masyado kang maganda para sa kanya.


Ilang araw ang nakalipas.

PAPA BELL: Hija, ikinalulungkot kong sabihin sa ‘yo. . .nagpakamatay na si Cadogan.


PAPA BELL: (may ibibigay na sulat kay Gertrude) Ito ang kanyang huling sinulat.

GERTRUDE: (babasahin ang sulat) Gertrude…ang ganda mo. Ang ganda-ganda mo talaga. Paalam.

PAPA BELL: Puede ka na uli bumalik ng Middle East. Mas bagay talaga ang beauty mo sa desierto.

Abangan ang susunod na kabanata. . .bukas.

Miss Universe and Our Imagined Community

January 01, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: History No Comments →

When I was a kid at family gatherings, my elders would recall how, in 1969, as Apollo 11 landed on the moon, Gloria Diaz won the Miss Universe title. They repeated her snappy answers to the host’s questions. They told the story as if it were part of epic tradition, like the Iliad to the Greeks or the Nibelungenlied to the Germans. Gloria Diaz assumed the stature of Paul Revere in his midnight ride or Henry V thrashing the French at Agincourt. Even her name sounded mythical: Glory Days.

Face it, we don’t huddle round the fire to talk about Lam-Ang or Bernardo Carpio. We don’t listen to tales of Bonifacio at Pinaglabanan. We hear how Gloria Diaz would welcome the man from the moon with a change and a shave. (Possibly the shave was not part of her answer, but that is how it was handed down.) Is it a feat of courage? Try keeping your wits about you when you carry an entire judgemental nation’s hopes while standing on a stage in a swimsuit exposed to the judgement of the planet. There are many kinds of battles. In the one we are taught, the heroine didn’t kill 20,00 men, but she did slay the board of judges.

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