Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Money’

Art Fair Philippines 2015: Making, shopping, schmoozing

February 04, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Money, Places No Comments →

NSFW drawings by Jose Legaspi

Geraldine Javier wants to know what you think art is.

Alwin Reamillo does stuff with the innards of old pianos.

They’re like burial plots for the colorful undead.

Clearly Poklong Anading wants you to ask what the hell that is.

We forgot to ask gallerist Albert Avellana what this is. It looks itchy.

Art Fair Philippines
5-8 February 2015
The Link (across Landmark), Ayala Center, Makati

In other art news, Picasso’s granddaughter plans to sell art, worrying the market. Because she inherited about 10,000 pieces by Picasso, whom she hated. Ooh, a glut. Can’t have prices dropping.

The Strand’s Last Stand?

November 25, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Money, Places 1 Comment →


Naah, the famed New York bookstore is still doing well in the age of Amazon, but its survival depends on whether the next generation of owners continues to love books. Because they are sitting on very expensive real estate.

Read How the Strand keeps going in the Age of Amazon, in New York magazine.

Cinemalaya X: The Economics of Indie Cinema

August 13, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Money, Movies 1 Comment →


At the Cinemalaya awards night last Sunday, the talk was less about the art and craft of film than intellectual property rights and economics. The previous day, filmmakers from the 8th and 9th editions of the annual indie film festival discovered that their films had been uploaded to YouTube in their entirety. The films were taken down, and the Cinemalaya Foundation issued apologies at the closing ceremonies, but it will take some time before the indie community stops seeing Cinemalaya as The Big Bad.

This is not the first controversy Cinemalaya has been embroiled in, but it is certainly the worst because it calls into question the very integrity of the project. We will wait for the outcome of the dialogue between the Cinemalaya Foundation and the filmmakers (Though it was a major jerk move, trying to pin the blame on technical staff). We hope that the foundation invites the most vocal critics of its policies, that these critics show up, and that the discussion is calm and productive. It is difficult to reach a consensus on Twitter, much less delve deeply into the issues.

For now we interrupt our Cinemalaya X reviews—which are late anyway (We blame the weather and especially the horrible traffic, which has reached civil rights violation levels)—to look into the cost of making indies, and their economic potential.

Read our column at

In the podcast: New Adventures in Micro Entrepreneurship

March 24, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Money, Podcast No Comments →

Citi Philippines CEO Batara Sianturi leads a discussion with participating microentrepreneurs.

We attended a round table with Citi Philippines CEO Batara Sianturi and eight beneficiaries of the Citi Microenterprise Development Center (CMDC). CMDC trains, coaches, and mentors high-potential micro business owners. It has been recognized with a social empowerment award by the Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Program.

In part 1 of the podcast, the microentrepreneurs tell us how they got started in business, and express their fears about the future of their enterprises. We’ll hear from a former overseas worker who had had enough of being separated from her family for long periods, so she set up a business that would keep her at home in the Philippines. Then there’s the former sugar plantation laborer who got a small plot of land in the agrarian reform program and turned it into a thriving plantation.

In part 2, the microentrepreneurs tell us how they overcame personal hardships, what they’ve learned about running their own businesses, and how entrepreneurship has changed their families’ fortunes. A start-up entrepreneur recounts how she switched from a hollow block-making business to something closer to her heart: native Filipino snacks. A widowed mother of three marshaled her inner resources to build a thriving meat processing business and now extends financial assistance to other microentrepreneurs.

Hear their stories in our two-part podcast at the Citi Microenterprise Development Center.

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The Breaking Bad School of Business

September 30, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Money, Television No Comments →

Heisenberg poster from the Breaking Bad Store.

There are obvious reasons for watching “Breaking Bad”: for once the Hollywood hype surrounding the television series is justified. But there is also a less obvious reason: it is one of the best studies available of the dynamics of modern business. A Harvard MBA will set you back $90,000 (plus two years’ lost income). You can buy a deluxe edition of all five seasons of “Breaking Bad”, complete with a plastic money barrel, for $209.99, or a regular edition for less than $80.

“Breaking Bad”, whose finale airs on September 29th, takes place in a recession-ravaged America where most people are struggling to get by on stagnant incomes but a handful of entrepreneurs live like kings. The hero, Walter White, is a high-school chemistry teacher with a second job in a car wash. When he is diagnosed with cancer he is also shaken out of his lethargy: he decides to go into the highly lucrative methamphetamine business to pay for his cancer treatment and leave his family a nest-egg.

Read Schumpeter: The best show on television is also a first-rate primer on business, in The Economist.

Thanks to our friend who could’ve saved his tuition at Harvard Business School for the link.

Interesting how some of the best television shows of the 21st century are about business. Deadwood chronicles the rise of the free market during the Gold Rush. The Sopranos is a primer on capitalism. The first season of The Wire is a dissertation on the drug trade.

Update: Our friend’s spoiler-free review of the final episode of Breaking Bad.

“Pitch-perfect ending, like a good poem.”

Customer service guys, read this.

January 24, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Childhood, Money 8 Comments →

Lego Ultra-Sonic Raider. Thanks to Jackie for the alert. We remember how upsetting it was to lose parts of our toys so we really like this story.

From Forbes: Seven-year-old Luka Apps spent his Christmas money on the LEGO Ninjago Ultra Sonic Raider set. Against his father’s advice, young Luka took his newly aquired Jay ZX with him when they went shopping. And then, disaster struck: the figure went missing, never to be seen again.

Luka decided to write a letter to the folks at LEGO asking for a replacement:


My name is Luka Apps and I am seven years old.

With all my money I got for Christmas I bought the Ninjago kit of the Ultrasonic Raider. The number is 9449. It is really good.

My Daddy just took me to Sainsburys and told me to leave the people at home but I took them and I lost Jay ZX at the shop as it fell out of my coat.

I am really upset I have lost him. Daddy said to send you a email to see if you will send me another one.

I promise I won’t take him to the shop again if you can.