Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

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Loving Doorstops (or, Reading Long Books in the age of instant media)

November 27, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: twisted by jessica zafra No Comments →

Literature is incompatible with the information age. The digital world demands speed, accessibility, connectivity, user-friendliness, interactivity. Reading requires slowness. It asks you to disengage from “the real world”, to shut out other people and listen to the writer’s voice inside your head. Even before people started Instagramming their food the way we said grace before meals in school, this was considered antisocial and possibly schizophrenic.

What, then, is the pathology of loving doorstops? By “doorstops” I mean fat novels—War and Peace, Olivia Manning’s Balkan Trilogy, anything by Neal Stephenson—and not coffee table books, which are more coffee table than book. The most famous of them were written in the era before TV and other distractions, to keep people from murdering each other while trapped indoors in pitiless winters (which is why the Russians rule this category). When I see a doorstop by a well-regarded author, I’m inclined to think that the subject is so riveting, they needed a thousand pages to do it justice. I am often wrong, but this has not turned me off doorstops.

Read our essay at BusinessWorld Weekender.

We plan to review every play at Virgin Labfest XI

June 26, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: twisted by jessica zafra No Comments →

virgin labfest

Reviews of Set A.

Everyone’s looking forward to Nick Pichay’s Macho Dancer: The Musical. Get your tickets now at the CCP Box Office or Ticketworld, Php300 per set—just Php100 per play. Cheaper than a movie, but conversation fodder for days.

Get your friends Twisted for the holidays.

December 07, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Cats, twisted by jessica zafra 2 Comments →

Our latest books, Geeks Vs. Jocks—a collection of our articles on tennis, rugby and more death-defying games such as politics, and The Stories So Far, our new short stories, will be available at the end of the year in e-book form. There’s been a delay because we’re finicky, but they are definitely coming.

The print edition appears next year. Buy the e-book and get a discount on the hardback. Yes, hardback. (Our books have never appeared in hardcover, a lingering frustration we can now address.)

mat and saffy twisted

In the meantime, if you’re looking for holiday presents for friends who are sympathetic to the cause of World Domination or whom you wish to convert, or if you just need to stop thinking about what to get people for Xmas, give them the gift of Twisted. We’ll even sign the books for them.

Fill out the order form below and email it to Our elves will get back to you within the day to confirm your order.

ORDER FORM – Twisted

You can pick up and pay for your orders at Nexus Technologies, G/F Don Pablo Building, Amorsolo St (between De la Rosa and Rufino Sts), Makati City, near Makati Medical Center. Part of our sales will go to Nexus’s Yolanda Relief Fund.

This offer is good till 30 December 2013 or until our stocks last.

* * * * *

Thank you for your inquiries. Each book (newsprint, brand new) is Php200. Yes, we can ship complete sets of Twisted (10 books) abroad, provided all the books are in stock. If you’re ordering Twisted from another country, you should probably buy at least 10 books or the shipping cost will exceed the cost of the books.

Babagwa (The Spider’s Lair) is a Filipino movie about catfishing.

October 02, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: twisted by jessica zafra 1 Comment →


Babagwa by Jason Paul Laxamana (Boboy says it’s BA-bag-wa, not Ba-bag-WAH or Ba-BAG-wa) is a movie about internet scam artists who find their marks on Facebook.

Our friend Renly is an IT guy.

So we asked Renly to review Babagwa from the perspective of an IT professional. Kind of an expert opinion.

Babagwa reviewed by Renly the IT guy

I ended up multitasking as I was watching the screener. Sorry, we IT professionals tend to work this way. I guess the only way to do this is in bullet points.

* The opening scene threw me off a bit. They used the same lipstick on all the kids, and even on the teacher. All the lips in that scene had the same color.

* Point where my disbelief was suspended: When Greg knocks on Neri’s door and she says “Bakit andito kaaaa??”

* Kung ako si Marney:
– Pinirmahan ko na ang kontrata sa apartment ora mismo!
– I would not ask for Php 20,000. I would ask for small amounts not worth reporting to the police, say Php500, maybe even Php1500.
– I would not use a bank account as my conduit. There’s GCash, Smart Padala, Cebuana.
– That fake account buildup strategy was spot on, though. I know someone who had an internship at a PR company in 2010. His tasks were similar to the strategy in the movie. He was asked to create six fake Facebook accounts. He had to give them personalities and map out their relationships. He was then asked to ‘friend’ a list of other profiles.
– Parang Napoles no?
* There is actually a word for this and it’s Catfishing. Ah, so this movie is about catfishing!
– Hey, is that why that scene opened with Marney’s dad scaling a fish? Was that the catfishing reference?

Okay, so:
* Nice, a Pinoy movie about catfishing!
* I liked Greg, Marney, and Neri. They seemed like real people.
* People catfish for a variety of reasons; too bad the filmmakers picked the least plausible one (for money) as the primary motivation in the film.
* They could have spent more time showing different catfish techniques and behaviors…Sana tinodo na nila. An explicitly gruesome ending for the scammer as a sex slave, de lata (sa steel drum) or stewed genitalia (soup No. 5) would’ve been more interesting to me.

We should have Quick Change reviewed by a transwoman, Badil by a small-town election operator, The Guerilla is a Poet by an NPA rebel, Sonata by an opera singer, Ang Turkey Man ay Pabo Rin by a Pinay married to a foreigner, Puti by an art forger, and so on.

Vatileaks: The Pope’s butler did it?

May 27, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Places, twisted by jessica zafra No Comments →

An on-again-off-again scandal that the Italian press has called VatiLeaks burst into the open on Friday with the arrest by Vatican gendarmes of a man, identified in news reports as Paolo Gabriele, the pope’s butler, who the Vatican said was in possession of confidential documents and was suspected of leaking private letters, some of which were addressed to Pope Benedict XVI.

The arrest follows by a day the ouster of the president of the Vatican Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, amid conflicts over how to bring the secretive institution in line with international transparency standards and days after the publication of a sensational book, “Your Holiness: The Secret Papers of Benedict XVI,” in which the journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, aided by “Maria,” discloses a huge cache of private Vatican correspondence, many revealing clashes over the management at the Vatican bank and allegations of corruption and cronyism.

Read In Vatican scandal, a whodunit of a suspect in the NYT.

If we were a T-shirt

May 03, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, twisted by jessica zafra 8 Comments →

Granimator wallpaper by RickyV

What line/s from any of our books, columns, articles or blogs would you like to see on a T-shirt?

P.S. “I’m not doubting your honor, I’m denying its existence” would look great on a T-shirt. We would buy that T-shirt in all available colors. Unfortunately we don’t own that line, George R.R. Martin (or HBO) does.

We mean something we wrote ourselves. Sorry.