Thursday, June 30, 2005


Today, I was at the book launch of former Sen. Jovito Salonga "The Task of Building a Better Nation."

We were hoping to get a couple of soundbites from him regarding recent events in the country but after his speech, he begged off saying he could barely speak.

So we acceded to his request.

Anyway, during his speech, he quoted a writer who said something about the difference of loneliness and solitude.

To paraphrase: "English is a clever language, it created the term 'loneliness' to describe the pain of being along. But it also has the term 'solitude' to mean the glory of being alone without being lonely."

Ahh, such wisdom.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Manang Inday vs. Ate Glo

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You cannot have a better proof than what had happened today at Susan Roces' press conference to say that politics in this country, unfortunately, is personal.

Roces was fuming, spewing fire, in journalistic parlance, soundbite after soundbite.

Wearing a white top and eyeglasses she barked at the President, "...Arogante siya. Hindi niya isinalang-alang ang damdamin ng nakakarami, manhid!"

Any acting advice to the President? Oh yes! "Hindi nanggaling sa iyong puso ang paghingi mo ng sorry. Kitang kita ko sa iyong mga mata na ibig mo na naman kaming isahan."


"She has done enough damage to our country. She has put our country and countrymen to shame."

And she said, towards the end of the question and answer portion, responding to a question from a reporter regarding the President's announcement that her husband is leaving the country voluntarily, "Hindi ko alam ang kasaysayan ng kanilang pagmamahalan."

This is perhaps our history's biggest catfight.

Let's wait and see if the President will react to this. Will she perhaps call Manang Inday and say, "Hello, Swanie? ... I am sorry." Hehehehe.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Damage Control

The administration is getting better at this.

When the issue on the wiretapped conversation came up, somehow I knew, that the administration could survive it. And after the admission of the President yesterday, looks like it will.

This is again, not to say, that I am pro-administration. It's just that, when you're watching from the sidelines (you can say, on the front row seats because of my job), you get to see strategies from both sides.

I thought the admission diffused the opposition. Prior to this, there have been street protests calling for her ouster. Opposition quarters say that her continued silence has eroded her credibility to rule. And her silence is an admission of guilt.

For weeks, that has been the battlecry of the opposition. And it was easy to counter.

With the admission, the opposition has lost steam, steam which it has been taking a little while to gather.

And again, the administration was successful in reverting to the original narrative they tried to sell initially.

When Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye came out with two copies of the CD containing the conversation, he said that he had the "smoking gun" of their misdeed. Proof of their illegal activity (wiretapping).

The reactions were not the type the administration predicted. They thought, people would raise hell over the President being wiretapped (who's safe now?).

The opposition, at least, was able to point out the real issue: electoral fraud. For a while, the debates were about rigging (why would a President call on a COMELEC Commissioner?; why the instructions to cheat?).

And they should have capitalized on it. And seized the opportunity when there still was.

But the administration acted faster and has, as it appears, caught the opposition flat-footed.

The problem of the opposition is, and has always been, its unity. And it looks like, the administration knows this all too well.

Monday, June 27, 2005

So Who's the Liar Now?


COMELEC Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano had denied it was him talking to the President, when we ambushed him on June 6, days after the supposed tapped conversation with the President came out.

He had just come out of the regular Tuesday COMELEC en banc session and was avoiding us.

But we insisted to get some soundbytes from him. I shouted: "Sir, was that you on the tape? Yes or no, sir!"

"No," he shouted.

Was he lying through his teeth?

He's nowhere to be found as of this time. Looks like this issue is far from over.

"I Am Sorry"


Mga minamahal kong kababayan

For the last several weeks, the issue of the tape recordings has spun out of control. Tonight, I want to set the record straight. You deserve an explanation from me, because you are the people I was elected to serve.

As you recall, the election canvassing process was unnecessarily slow even after the election results were already in and the votes had been counted.

I was anxious to protect my votes and during that time had conversations with many people, including a COMELEC official. My intent was not to infuence the outcome of the election, and it did not. As I mentioned, the election had alreday been decided and the votes counted every major public opinion poll, and adjudged free, fair and our own NAMFREL

That said, let me tell you how I personally feel, I recognize that making any such call was a lapse in judgement. I'm sorry. I also regret taking so long to speak before you on this matter. I take full responsibility for my actions and to you and to all those good citizens who may have had their faith shaken by these events. I want to assure you that I have redoubled my efforts to serve the nation and earn your trust

Nagagambala ako. Maliwanag na may kakulangan sa wastong pagpapasya ang nangyaring pagtawag sa telepono// pinagsisisihan ko ito ng lubos// pinananagutan ko nang lubusan ang aking mga ginawa, at humihingi ako ng tawad sa inyo, sa lahat ng mga butihinh mamamayan na nabawasan ng tiwala dahil sa mga pangyayaring ito. Ibig kong tiyakin sa inyo na lalo pa akong magsisikap upang maglingkod sa bayan at matamo ang inyong tiwala.

I took office with a mandate to carry out a plan for the nation. Since that time, I have focused on making the tough but necessary decisions to make up for years of economic neglect. We passed a comprehensive, fiscally responsible national budget; raised new and necessary revenues to reinvest in the people; and implemented new anti corruption measures that have led to the highest collection of taxes in history.

Nothing should stand in the way of this work, or the next phase of my reform agenda, which includes new investments in education and social services with our new revenues; and an expansion of our successful anti-corruption and lifestyle checks.

That is why I want to close this chapter and move on with the Business of governing.

I ask each and every one of you to join hands with me in a show of unity, to help forge ONE philippines, where everyone is equal under the law, and where everyone has the oppurtunity to use their God Given talents to make a better life

Our nation is strong and getting stronger. The progress is steady and I ask you to walk with me on this journey to rebuild our great nation. I will remain your humble servant and promise you that I will fulfill my constitutional oath of office to serve the people to the best of my ability

God Bless the Philippines

President Admits to Calling Garci

Hot off the press from Caballi (Ruth Cabal) who's in the palace right now holding a press statement from the President (embargo for the moment).

Some of the texts of the statement reads: "Calling him was a lapse in judgment. I'm sorry. I take full responsibility."

Ruth says it's sad for somebody like the President to do that, but you know that's a courageous thing to do, though.

Friday, June 24, 2005

(Heart)Breaking News

Some unverified reports: the other network, supposedly, gave separation pays to some of its senior reporters. Reason? Cost-cutting. Sad to say, one of those is a good friend of mine, kahit pa magkalaban kami sa beat no.

If this is true, it is sad. Ano 'yun ganon na lang? I mean, this girl, is like so hard-working at marami nang pakinabang ang kabilang istasyon sa kanya. Hay, naku, walang utang na loob.

You know what they say about forgetting your past (or those who have been good to you in the past), you lose sight of the future because you don't acknowledge where you came from.

But it's them and I hope we're different.

It's confirmed. Lucky for her, her immigrant visa was approved. :)

Song to Memorize!: Fuck It

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Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back) - Eamon

Whoa oh oh
Ooh hooh
No No No

[Verse 1:]
See, I dont know why I liked you so much
I gave you all, of my trustI told you,
I loved you, now thats all down the drain
Ya put me through pain, I wanna let u know how I feel

Fuck what I said it dont mean shit now
Fuck the presents might as well throw em out
Fuck all those kisses, they didn't mean jack
Fuck you, you hoe, I dont want you back
Fuck what I said it dont mean shit now
Fuck the presents might as well throw em out
Fuck all those kisses they didn't mean jack
Fuck you, you hoe, I dont want you back

[Verse 2:]You thought, you could
Keep this shit from me, yeah
Ya burnt bitch, I heard the story
Ya played me, ya even gave him head
Now ya askin for me back
Ya just another act, look elsewhere
Cuz ya done with me
Fuck what I said it dont mean shit now
Fuck the presents might as well throw em out
Fuck all those kisses they didn't mean jack
Fuck you, you hoe, I dont want you back
Fuck what I said it dont mean shit now
Fuck the presents might as well throw em out
Fuck all those kisses they didn't mean jack
Fuck you, you hoe, I dont want you back
Oh oh
Uh huh yeah
Oh oh
Uh huh yeah
Oh oh
Uh huh yeah
Oh oh
Uh huh yeah
Ya questioned, did I care
You could ask anyone, I even said
Ya were my great one
Now its, over, but I do admit I'm sad.
It hurts real bad, I cant sweat that, cuz I loved a hoe
Fuck what I said it dont mean shit now
Fuck the presents might as well throw em out
Fuck all those kisses they didn't mean jack
Fuck you, you hoe, I dont want you back
Oh oh
Uh huh yeah
Oh oh
Uh huh yeah
Oh oh
Uh huh yeah
Oh oh
Uh huh yeah
[Until the end]

Santa Kara

One of the Elida girls, Kara, has been canonized recently. Hehehehe. In this first ever miracle to be attributed to her graces, captured in this photo, one faithful tasted the tasteful.

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Seriously though, we want to congratulate her for being recognized by the Rotary Club of Manila for her investigative works. Go gurl!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Guitar Life Lessons

Today, my left hand fingers are kinda numb, from all those guitar fretting last night. It was fun though, learning about D-major, C-major and G-major. Downloaded this guitar tutorial from the web and it's quite effective y'know.

"It's going to be quite hard," says the manual, "but have patience."

Sounded more like an instruction on how to live life.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Binuo kita mula sa pira-pirasong impormasyon. Tinahi ng sinulid ng imahinasyon. Bente tres anyos. Hip-hop. Medyo payat.

"Ano itsura ng mata mo?" tanong ko sa 'yo. Nakahalukipkip ako sa malamig kong unan na walang buhay, tumatawid at nagtatagpo, ilusyon/imahinasyon sa wireless na daigdig.

"Okay lang," nahihiya mong sagot.

Ano ang okay lang, tanong ko sa sarili. Singkit. Malaki. Makapal pilik-mata? Malaungkot? Nangungusap. Masungit?

"Ikaw?" balik mo sa akin.

"Well ..." mukhang hindi ko rin masagot sarili kong tanong.

"Ano ginagawa mo?" tanong ko na lang.

"Patulog na," sabi mo.

Alas-dose na ng hatinggabi. Mag-aaklas nang unti-unti ang umaga. Kakauwi ko lang.

"Ikaw?" tanong mo.

"Ito, nakikipag-usap sa 'yo," sabi ko.

"Anlamig dito," bigla mong sabi.


"Malamig dito."


"Naka-sando lang ako at briefs," sabi mo.

"Kaya pala e ... hug kita?" panunukso ko.

"Ok lang," sabi mo.

Binuksan na natin ang pinto ng pagnanasa.

Papasok na tayo sa oras ng pagniniig ng pangungulila at pananabik.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


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(Like a little kid, here's me clutching "Stevie". Hehehehe.)

Last Saturday was a new low for me. Didn't see it coming. After waking up with hang-over and a slight case of over-smoking (if there's such a thing), I felt a little depressed. The TV show I was watching triggered it, and for the most part of the afternoon, I was crying. Didn't like that it happened but it did.

"Must be (place where we've been to), just don't stay there too long," Ruth advised after a told her about what had happened.

Maybe. I realised that I was still looking for him. Don't know why exactly, but I was. And it's sad.

Then I realised, I better find something better to do when something like that occurs again. I can't surrender to it again. It must stop.

And so, yesterday, I went to the mall and bought myself a guitar.

I've always wanted to play the guitar and I thought this would be a good time. I went to this music store and scouted some guitars.

Swear, I was totally clueless. Plucked some guitars here and there. A fancy, blue-green guitar caught my attention. Strucked the first few treble strings and liked how they resounded in the sound hole (see, I've new terms! ehehhehe). So I picked it up. I was super ignorant, I was near asking the salesman: "Do you have a new stock?" Ano 'yun damit? Hehehehe.

Along with the new guitar, which I christened "Stevie" (after Stevie Wonder, because of the song "Overjoyed" which I like), I bought two instructional manuals and a songbook. Went home and attempted to comprehend the instructions. Man, I didn't go beyond "How to Hold Your Guitar Properly" and "Strumming" ehehehehhe. Attempted to play Madonna's "Crazy For You" (on E-A-B) but failed miserably.

But that's kind of expected. I just need patience I think, which is ironic because my friends think I'm the opposite. Hopefully, after a couple of months, I'd finally learn to play the guitar, hopefully shorter than my recovery period.

Friday, June 17, 2005

You Want To Play The Tape?

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez has this advice to congressmen who want to play the tape of the supposed conversation of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and COMELEC Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano: "Memorize the transcript of the record!"

A laughable point, the ridicule directed at congressmen. Obviously, they want some spotlight on them regarding the issue because really this is outside their territory. Administration senator Miriam Santiago warns of a constitutional crisis if the House of Representatives insist in getting some answers from the President. "Wala silang kapangyarihan na magtanong sa Presidente tungkol sa isang imbestigasyon na may aspetong kriminal ... ang kapangyarihan ng Kongreso ay mag-imbestiga pero tungkol sa isang panukalang batas," Santiago says.

I agree.

But that is not to say, the President should just keep mum about this. Of course, she has to answer the question: "Was it really her? And did she really talk (with the assumption of an order to Garcillano to cheat) to Garcillano?"

Because she should. But how?

There are some suggestions that a independent committee be formed and investigate it. I like the idea. And the President should not ignore it. I think the only way this issue would disappear is if she admits (a very unlikely scenario)/deny (a very unlikely course of action) it. If she continues her silence on the issue, it will become a phantom that she can never hide from.

Second, I think the NTC should back off on its warning to media outlets not to play the recorded conversation. Wasn't it said that the best antiseptic is sunlight? Let the truth come out.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

"Amusing But ..."

(DOJ on Gloria-gate Ringtones)
(see related article, "Whatever Happened to Independence" on the left)

This morning, we asked Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez to listen to the widely circulating ringtone with the supposed President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's voice combined with 50 cent's "In D'Club" or something.

"(beat) ... Halloh ... Garci?! ... (beat) ... Halloh? Halloh? ... So I will still lead by more than 1 million? (beat).

While he was listening, we don't know if he was amused/amazed/appalled at what he was hearing. Politicians, I think have a way of camouflaging their real emotions.

So I asked him: "Do you find that amusing, sir?" I was fishing.

"Well, at the start that was amusing," Gonzalez said, left eyebrow raised in sarcasm/dry humor.

"But I'm interested about the source," Gonzalez said.

"But will you file charges against those using and spreading it?" we asked.

"Well, you asked me if there was a violation (of R.A. 4200 or the Anti-Wiretapping Act of 1965) and there is," he said.

"SO will you file charges against the users?"

"The end-users, no," he answered.

"As I said, you can't prevent this people from doing what they want to do. But the government has to strike a balance. You know what they say, if you prevent certain things, it only whet their appetite. But if a law is violated, and you don't punish those who violated it, there's something wrong with that also," he explained.

We pressed on.

"So okay lang sir if we use it as our ringtones?" I asked.

"Meaning, 'pag nag-ring, 'yun ang lalabas? ... Bahala ka," said a chuckling Gonzalez.

Was that a threat or consent?

For those who want to hear the ringtone, you can listen to it via www.pcij/org. Sabihin ko na lang ke Lolo (Raulgon) kung san location n'yo para sa subpoena. Hehehehehe

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Love Poem (Wahahahaha!)

For Paul
(March 26, 2004)

Run to you
is what I want to do;
escape to be beside you.

Memorize again
the details of your face as you sleep:
pink lips, Egyptian eyes

Or smell your smoke-stained hands
yet as sweet as ever.
Or hear your faint heartbeat
close to mine.

Separated by continents
I want to fly.
Or swim across great oceans,
battle the winds, refusing to surrender.

Because my love, baby, recognizes
no boundaries nor time.
It only knows two things:never to surrender,
to love always

*fcuk you

Monday, June 13, 2005

"La Funeraria Toti"

La Funeraria Toti should be buried.

I tagged along Nelson Canlas who covered the event, to watch the premiere of "La Funeraria Toti" - a film which supposedly tackled the HIV/AIDS dilemma as reflected by a several intertwining life stories.

But I almost slept through the whole duration of the film. I was willing to overlook the conscious acting (most of the actors were graduates of GMA's Artist Center) and the form (digital, form as not really being more important than substance) and camera shots (poor lighting, shaky shots with no apparent justifications) because I thought the objective of the film to articulate the dilemma was promising enough.

But it still did not deliver.

The cardboard characters did not do well to articulate the vision. In the end, as one officemate commented after seeing the film, "Natakot ako tuloy makipag-sex," the achieved effect was the opposite. It frightened, more than it made understandable, the dilemma of someone who has HIV/AIDS.

The only bright spots of the film were the acting of Isay Alvarez and Soxy Topacio.

Ah, Soxy Topacio. Boy, was he funny!

Topacio, before the start of the film, received an award from the organizers of the Pink Film Festival. I don't remember anymore the award (was it the Golden Gay Award? hehehehe) but that is irrelevant. It was I think for his positive portrayal of gay roles in his career or whatever.

"Sana hindi lang Ten Outstanding Young Men or Women lang ang in-award nila, sana meron din para sa mga tulad natin," Topacio said.

Anyway, in his speech, Topacio related, that unlike some homosexuals, he did not have a traumatic experience being one.

"Ang alam ko nagi-enjoy ang mga nanay ko kapag nagdadamit-babae ako," said Topacio.

He asked a priest once, considering that some homosexuals are ostracized: "Father, akala ko all encompassing ang pag-ibig ng Diyos," he told him.

"Oo naman," said the priest. "Mahal kayo ng Diyos. Basta, hindi kayo nakikipagtalik sa mga lalaki," the priest admonished him.

To which he retorted: "Father, kaya nga ho bading kami e nakikipagtalik kami sa kapwa namin. Kasi kung hindi, self-pollination 'un! Hehehehehe!" Topacio said.

Self-pollination. Hehehehehe. I should have left the moviehouse on that note.

If I Could

If I could
I'd protect you from the sadness in your eyes
Give you courage in a world of compromise
Yes, I would

If I could
I would teach you all the things I've never learned
And I'd help you cross the bridges that I've burned
Yes, I would

If I could
I would try to shield your innocence from time
But the part of life I gave you isn't mine
I've watched you grow
So I could let you go

If I could
I would help you make it through the hungry years
But I know that I can never cry your tears
But I would
If I could

If I live
In a time and place where you don't want to be
You don't have to walk along this road with me
My yesterday
Won't have to be your way

If I knew
I'd have tried to change the world I brought to you to
And there isn't very much that I can do
But I would
If I could...

What Happened to Independence?

This is a dangerous tendency.

Last I heard, the media is not one to be cowered but what's this recent paranoia that stems from airing the SUPPOSED taped conversation with president gloria macapagal-arroyo and comelec commissioner virgilio garcillano?

A week after Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio Bunye came out with what he had called a "wiretapped conversation with the president" (which he later retracted saying he was not sure if it was indeed the president. "It sounded like her," he said) the National Telecommunications Commission issued a press statement warning, in essence, if that the media continued to re-play the conversation their license could be revoked supposedly for airing a "false information." it would be, so the NTC said, a violation of their circular.

If we take it at face value, which I think, most of us, are already, it is scary enough.

But let's break it down.


First, you have to answer, what law? Is it Republic Act 4200 or the Anti-Wiretapping Act of 1965? If you're assuming this then the answer is NO.

Atty. Marichu Lambino of the University of the Philippines' College of Mass Communications said that one of the essential elements in an offense under R.A. 4200 is the presence of an aggrieved/offended party who will say that they've been wiretapped without their consent.

Meaning, in the context of the taped conversation, if it was indeed established that it was the president and garcillano who were talking on the phone, then the two could be the complainants against, again under the law, those who replayed the taped conversation, possessed it etc. aside from the party who actually tapped the conversation. Of course, we all know why this won't happen.

In other words, until an offended party comes up and complains that he/she has been wiretapped, the identity of the tapped conversation can be anything but WIRETAPPED.

Even NTC's Solis clarified that if media outlets re-play it, it will not be a violation of R.A. 4200 but a violation of NTC's circular prohibiting airing/publication of false information.


Yes and No.

Yes, if we make a judgment that it was indeed the president and garcillano talking.

In practical terms, that would be like saying, "Mga Kaibigan, ito po ang pag-uusap ni Pangulong Arroyo at Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano."

No, if we qualify that we are not sure that it was the president and garcillano talking.

That is, if we say, "Hindi po batid kung sina Pangulong Arroyo at si Garcillano ang nag-uusap."

Even NTC would admit that their warning is not an exercise of "prior restraint." They can impose sanctions, only if, we air false information. Considering the discussion above, I don't think we've committed that error as of yet.

"We're requesting the media outlets to exercise prudence, sobriety considering the context. May tendency, that if we play this over and over again, people might think that it was indeed the President on the phone," Solis told me.

The message of the NTC is loud and clear. The rationale of the press release is more preventive than anything else. It is like saying, let's not aggravate the administration any further.
I don't subscribe to anarchy. I, like many others, want stability for our government (not of any particular administration).

But suppressing the truth is another matter. That is, as media practitioners, our primary goal, the essence of our being.

Or have we forgotten, that one warning from the government could scare us?

Teddy Burn

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You guys recognise the bear of course, someday, I told myself, this umbilical cord to the past would be burned.

Tonight was the night.

This, for the times he loved me and thought of me (and for the times otherwise). Took me 8 months or so but the past few days saw me making significant, albeit small steps, to forgetting so I thought i'd hasten the process. It's a difficult decision to make, but one that must be made.

Watching it burn was like re-living the memories, i'm still dizzy from the stench of burnt cotton. I feel empty, hallow which tells me i've gained space for my next great love. Only God knows when he will come (no pun intended). That's how life and love works, you make space for new things. God knows how much I loved/love him but as Mathilde said in 'A Very Long Engagement', 'what is lost is lost... From ashes to ashes'.

Happy independence day!

I'm cc:ing this to paul for good measure. I was not your greatest love but I tried.

"...if I fell in love with you, would you promise me to be true and help me understand... Love was more than holding hands." "If I Fell," Maroon5 (original by Beatles, accdg to K).

Thursday, June 09, 2005


LIBRA (Sept. 23–Oct. 22): NASA's Deep Impact probe is scheduled to bomb the comet Tempel 1 on July 4. It will then study the dislodged material, which scientists hope will provide clues about the mysteries of the solar system. Meanwhile, Russian astrologer Marina Bai has sued NASA, claiming that a strike on the comet would "disrupt the natural balance of forces in the universe." Personally, I side with NASA, since the data that the probe gathers could help humanity deal with comets on a collision course with the Earth in the future. Besides, disrupting the natural balance of forces in the universe is sometimes the right thing to do. In fact, I recommend that you yourself do just that in the coming week.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Panahon ng Taglibog

Marunong tumayming si Lord.

Para sa 'yo na tapos na ang Panahon ng Pagkatigang, kalimutan ang lupa ng kahapong bitak-bitak sa mga ala-ala. Ang nag-aapoy na lupa sa tag-init, mapapalitan ng naglalaglab na panibugho.

Sa bawat patak ng ulan: pag-asa. Pag-asa na muling sisibol ang mga bagong kabanata, mga bagong panaginip, mga bagong ala-ala.

Magtampisaw sa biyaya. Tapos na ang paghihirap. Malamig ang gabi pero hindi tulad ng dati, maligaya ka na ngayon.

Could My Great Grandfather Be Gay?

I chanced upon an article in the International Herald Tribune at a house of one of my interviewees. Call it divine intervention to hasten my acceptance (yes, I'm still overwhelmed) of my recent coming out. But the article (posted below for your reference) points out that homosexuality (or heterosexuality) may be dictated by a gene. That it is largely inherent more than a product of acceptance. In the study, a female fruitfly was artificially endowed with a single male-type gene. Soon after, the female fruitfly exhibited male characteristics. As the article points out, this discovery puts the debate out of the realm of morality and into science.

If someone's gay, blame the genes.

A single gene answers question of sex
By Elisabeth Rosenthal International Herald Tribune

FRIDAY, JUNE 3, 2005When the genetically altered fruit fly was released into the observation chamber, it did what these breeders-par-excellence tend to do: It pursued a waiting virgin female.

It gently tapped the girl with its leg, played her a song (using wings as instruments) and, only then, dared to lick her genitalia - all part of standard fruit fly seduction.

The observing scientist looked with disbelief at the show, knowing that this was where this courtship ended: The suitor in this case was not a male, but a female that researchers had artificially endowed with a single male-type gene.

That one gene, the researchers announced in the journal Cell, is apparently by itself enough to create patterns of sexual behavior, a kind of master sexual gene that normally exists in two distinct male and female variants.

In a series of experiments, the researchers found that females given the male variant of the gene acted exactly like males in courtship, madly pursuing other females. Males that were artificially given the female version of the gene became more passive and turned their attention to their own sex.

"We have shown that a single gene in the fruit fly is sufficient to determine all aspects of the flies' sexual orientation and behavior - it's very surprising," said Barry Dickson, senior scientist at the Institute of Molecular Biology at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna and the paper's lead author.

"What it tell us is that instinctive behaviors can be specified by genetic programs, just like the morphologic development of an organ or a nose."

The results are certain to prove influential in debates about whether genes or environment determine who we are, how we act and, especially, our sexual preference, said experts in the field, who added that they were both awed and shocked by the results.

"The results are so clean and compelling, the whole field of the genetic roots of behavior is moved forward tremendously by this work - that a single gene can generate male behavior in a female fly is really surprising," said Michael Weiss, professor and chairman of biochemistry at Case Western Reserve University in the United States.

"Hopefully this will take the discussion about sexual preferences out of the realm of morality and put it in the realm of science," Weiss said. "I never chose to be heterosexual, it just happened, but humans are complicated.

"With the flies we can see in a simple and elegant way how a gene can influence and determine behavior."

The results suggest that, in terms of sexuality and sexual preference at least, genes exert a powerful influence.

That supports scientific evidence accumulating for the past decade that a sexual preference may be innately programmed into the brains of men and women - straight or gay.

Equally intriguing, the researchers say, is the possibility that a number of behaviors - hitting back when feeling threatened, fleeing when scared or laughing when amused - may also be programmed into human brains, a product of genetic heritage.

"This is a first - a superb demonstration that a single gene can serve as a switch for complex behaviors," said Gero Miesenboeck, a professor of cell biology at Yale University.

Dickson, who recalls running into the lab when an assistant called him on a Sunday night with the results, said, "This really makes you think about how much of our behavior, perhaps especially sexual behaviors, has a strong genetic component."

All researchers cautioned that any of these prewired behaviors set by master genes can and probably will be modified by experience. Though male fruit flies are programmed to "do it," Dickson said, "males that are rejected often by females over time become less aggressive in their mating behavior."

When a normal male fruit fly is introduced to a virgin female, he almost immediately begins foreplay and then copulates for 20 minutes.

In fact, Dickson and his co-author, Ebru Demir of the Institute of Molecular Biology, chose to look for the genetic basis of fly sexual behavior precisely because it seemed so strong and instinctive, therefore predictable.

But no one dreamed that simply activating the normally dormant male portion of the gene in a female fly could cause a genetic female to display so perfectly the whole elaborate panoply of male fruit fly foreplay.

Saturday, June 04, 2005


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You know how a lighthouse helps a ship find its course in a dark stormy night? This film, "A Very Long Engagement" became a lighthouse of sorts when I saw it. Mathilde, ended her long search for her fiance with the realisation that what is lost is lost.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Beer Nights

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During nights like this, you realise that work isn't bad after all. 'tangna, yosi lang at beer ang katapat ng buryong moments!


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This is the part where we were trying to project a "fake smile." The resource person described it this way: "no cheekbones, no sparkling eyes, lips slightly puckered." Ian, was, hands down the winner. Me, I couldn't do it. I was laughing all the time! This was before I broke out into a loud laughter (while in session).

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Kuwela Koleksyon

Sa aming trabaho, minsan nakakatisod ng mga soundbytes na nakakahagalpak, nakakaaliw, nakakalungkot, nakakaaliw. Pero hindi namin puwedeng gamitin sa ieereng istorya dahil censored. Kaya dito n'yo mababasa ang hindi n'yo nakikita sa telebisyon.

Presenting ... the kwela koleksyon of soundbites!

1. ESTER BAILEY, sa hearing sa pagpatay sa kanyang kapatid na si DFA Assistant Secretary Alicia Ramos. Pababa siya ng hagdanan mula sa 3rd floor ng multi-purpose building ng DOJ, pagkatapos ng hearing. Sa isang klasik twang na tanging siya lang ang nakakaalam...

ESTER BAILEY: "Hey, hey good lukin'!. Hehehehe. Taahhhlk (talk) to me!"

2. FELICIDAD BARBA, kaanak ni Roberto Lumagui na pangunahing suspek sa krimen. Sa kanyang salaysay, narinig daw nilang nagtatalo ang mga suspek matapos mangyari ang krimen dahil kulang ang hatian. P700 lang ang naibigay sa naipangakong P20,000.

FELICIDAD BARBA: "Nagrireklamo raw si Joel (Ablay, isa pa ring suspek). Sabi ni Joel, 'pare,
nakapatay tayo ng tao, tapos P700 lang?"

-- to be continued --

Secret Revealed

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One of the greatest mysteries in recent history was the identity behind the codename "Deepthroat". A man, admittedly, who was instrumental in the expose of the Watergate scandal. Above, W. Mark Felt, reveals he is Deepthroat. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein confirmed that indeed it was him.

Read story here.


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This is Hazel's (a colleague) baby, Sacha. (As much as I want to have one, my current sexual disposition indisposes me tehehehe.)