EXTORTIONISTS

Extortionists?

House Speaker Jose De Venecia urged Cong. Herminio Teves and son, Finance Sec. Margarito Teves to identify extortionist solons who demanded favors in exchange for the younger Teves’ confirmation. Wait. Extortionist solons? Isn’t that redundant?

Extortionists II

Outgoing Surigao Del Sur Rep. Prospero Pichay, a member of the powerful Commission on Appointments, categorically denied that congressmen-members of the CA are extortionists. Other CA members opted to keep mum on the issue last week. But rumors say they are willing to face the media very soon – on one condition: bayad muna.

Disaster

Senator Aquilino Pimentel warns of electoral disaster if Maguindanao votes are counted. By electoral disaster, he means “personal electoral disaster” because counting the votes of Maguindanaoans will deprive his son Koko the rare chance of joining him in the senate.

Recall Order

Wyeth Philippines has published in several newspapers the list of milk brands covered by the Bureau of Food and Drugs’ recall order. Internally, Wyeth is also busy finalizing the list of officers and employees who will be jobless soon following this milk mess.

Postscript to an Outburst

My SmartBro nightmare continued over the weekend. Last Saturday, my connection was disrupted twice. Yesterday (Sunday) four SmartBro customer service reps had to endure a buttf*cking sort of experience as I unleashed my frustration over the company’s mediocre service. Nope, I wasn’t mad. I was furious!

Here’s a sample transcript of the phone conversations. (And what I wanted to say but couldn’’t.)

SmartBro: Customer care hotline, this is Miss Invectives Absorber how may I help you?

Heckler: (Of course you cannot help me!) This is Mr. Vesuvius of Makati – again! My service reference number is blah-blah-blah.

SmartBro: Thanks for that info. What’s your concern sir?

Heckler: (Ah, nothing much. I just wanted to congratulate you and your colleagues there at the SmartBro Hotline Center because SmartBro has a f*cked up service thereby assuring you of a job as calls from irate subscribers will surely flood your lines!) My connection is disrupted – again! This is the fifth time it happened in six days and this is my third call today. Chances are you will tell me that there’s a technical problem at the base station.

SmartBro: Kindly hold on sir, I’ll just check your account.

Heckler: Sure. (As if I had a choice!)

SmartBro:
Thank you for waiting. I’m sorry sir but there’s a technical problem at the base station. Kindly monitor your connection in 24 to 48 hours.

Heckler: [Of course, I expected you to say that! Come on, can’t you be more novel with your excuse? Your technical group has been fixing that freakin’ base station for weeks. Wala na bang katapusan ‘yan!) Ah ok! Thanks anyway.

Well, guess what. It would have been more helpful if Mr & Ms SmartBro customer service rep gave a more creative justification for their inefficient service. That could have somehow eased my frustration. I was thinking of the following:

Top 5 Things to Tell An Irate SmartBro Subscriber If You Were A Customer Service Representative

5: “I won’t say sorry for our poor service Mr. Vesuvius. Lest you forget, SmartBro didn’t force you to be a subscriber. So stop whining or I’ll kick your dumb ass off this planet!”

4: “I’m sorry sir. But here’s a suggestion: why not try Globe Broadband? That’s the essence of competition and a deregulated telecoms industry, right?”

3: “I’m sorry sir but we’re just being consistent. Get used to it!”

2: “I’m sorry sir but our big boss, Manny Pangilinan is so preoccupied with his favorite pastime – basketball and basketball players. He doesn’t have that much time to check on the efficiency of SmartBro’s service. And he doesn’t really care if the people behind SmartBro are actually doing something to address the problem of poor service. Ang mahalaga, makapasok sa PBA finals ang Talk N’ Text.”

And the top thing to tell an irate SmartBro subscriber if you were a customer service representative:

1: “Sir, I know you’re frustrated with our service. And I am sincerely sorry for that. If you want, I can offer my personal service. Care to trade digits? Here’s mine: 0910-675-BLOW.”

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GOT MILK?

The Wyeth Case

Millions of cans and boxes of Wyeth milk products like Promil and Promil Kid – which are still out in the market – were discovered to have developed rust and mold on the packaging. Now we know the secret of Promil Kids: kalawang at amag lang pala!

The Wyeth Case II

Millions of cans and boxes of Wyeth milk products like Bonakid, which are still out in the market, were discovered to have developed rust and mold on the packaging. Because of this development, the Bonakid jingle has been reworded. Altogether now… Bona Kid… batang may amag!

The Wyeth Case III

Aside from Bona and Promil, Wyeth will also recall millions of cans of Progress Gold from the market due to molds and rust in the packaging of the milk products. But don’t be surprised if Wyeth introduces a new brand in the coming weeks – Progress Brown.

Missing Sin

During the commemoration of Cardinal Sin’s second death anniversary, Balanga City Bishop Socrates Villegas admitted that he sorely misses holding the hands of the late Manila Archbishop. Tell me, did Bishop Soc just come out?

Manila Zoo, Out Zoon?

Reports say the Manila Zoo might be gone soon to give way to the construction of the Philippine Basketball Association or PBA Dome. But parents and children need not worry because the animals at the zoo will be transferred to a place where they rightfully belong – in Congress.

Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao has dropped his plans to take up political science and has decided to study English instead. That is an ill-advised decision since broken English is his best source of humor.

Regine’s Career

Regine Velasquez says she’s willing to give up her career for boyfriend Ogie Alcasid. If she’s really serious, then she must do it soon because she doesn’t have that much “career” left.

Most Irritating Words?

“Blog”, “netiquette”, “cookie” and “wiki” have been voted among the most irritating words spawned by the Internet. Read full article here.

Personal

Apologies for the delay in posting this new article. I was about to publish this post when my Smart BRO connection was disrupted (again!) by what a Smart Hotline dude described as “technical problems at the base station” (again!). Mind you, this has happened not just once but several times! Not once Ms. Susan Roces! Maraming beses na!

Before I became a Smart BRO subscriber, I have heard and read countless complaints against Smart Bro. But the masochist in me ignored them. Today, I am tempted to form a “Smart Bro Ka Ng Ina Mo!” cult. Who wants to join… raise your hands!

I am not done yet.

When my connection was abruptly halted, I immediately dialed *1888 – the Smart Bro Hotline. Press 1 for Hell, press 2 for Purgatory and Press 3 for Hell! But since the Vatican has decreed that purgatory doesn’t exist I pressed 4 so I could speak directly to Beelzebub himself!

Fuming mad, I rehearsed my two-page diatribe. Mt. Vesuvius is about to erupt. Poor customer service rep! He’ll either be Pompeii or Herculaneum tonight. So I waited. And waited. And waited. No answer!

When will I hear the line, “Thank you for calling Hell. This is Satan, how may I help you!” Five minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes… nobody bothered to take my call! Where could Satan be? Taking a shower? I heard it’s humid in hell these days.

And then finally… after 1 hour and 22 minutes, somebody spoke:
Blah… blah… blah.
I replied:
Bleeh, bleeh, bleeh.
He retorted:
Bluh. bluh. bluh.
I asked:
In short?!?
He replied:
“Technical problems at the base station.”

Smart BRO made me wait for 82 minutes only to give me a six-word excuse for their inefficiency. Where is justice in that?

Times like this, I wanna down a glass of milk.
Promil, anyone?

SCANDALS

THE FEUDING Bektases have declared a truce. The Gretchen Barretto-John Estrada Kissinggate scandal is over. And both Annabelle Rama and Dolly Anne Carvajal have refused to appear on talk shows. That’s good, right? Wrong! We want scandals! We want mudslinging! We want gossip! We want controversies! We want more! So here goes…

The Top 10 Scandals We’d Like to See

10: Caught on tape: James Yap giving Boy Abunda a facial; Kris Aquino to file for annulment

9: Former Congressman Romeo Jalosjos escapes but is recaptured while offering a lollipop to a 10-year-old girl outside the Bantay Bata compound

8: Sun Cellular launches new promo: “Unlimited free txt and unlimited free call for one year” Smart, Globe denounce promo as “predatory pricing;” NTC’s intervention sought

7: Ninoy Aquino’s lost diary is found; page 8 entry reveals own plot to assassinate himself to spark civil unrest against Marcos. Now that explains the immortal line, “The Filipino is worth dying for.”

6: Senate’s security camera shows Jamby Madrigal enjoying a drinking a session with Biazon, Honasan, Lacson and Trillanes.

5: Governor/Father Ed Panlilio wins highest pot ever in Pampanga jueteng draw.

4: Millions of Filipinos heap praises on Comelec for a truly honest, peaceful and orderly election in Maguindanao, Lanao, and other southern provinces.

3: Clad in baro’t saya, Gretchen Barretto leaves their house without bodyguards, rides a jeepney along Taft Avenue, shops at Divisoria, and then prays the rosary at Quiapo church.

2: During a brownout in Malacañang one stormy night, a half-conscious First Gentleman Mike Arroyo mistook President Arroyo and daughter Luli for two huge candles and lit them both. They suffered second-degree burns.

And the number 1 scandal we’d like to see…

1: Yilmaz Bektas reveals real reason behind his separation with Ruffa: “I am very in love on Raymond. He must in love me also. I feeling it.”

What’s News? Bad News!

What’s News: Senator Lacson denies lusting for blue ribbon
Bad News: Senator Lapid admits lusting for Red Ribbon (sweet!)

What’s News: MILF says kidnappers of Italian priest demand millions of pesos
Bad News: MILF elated; the higher the ransom, the higher the commission

What’s News: Speakership threatens to divide Liberal Party
Bad News: Was it even united to begin with?

What’s News: Imee Marcos quits politics to write book about his dad
Bad News: Fiction lovers couldn’t wait for it

What’s News: Arroyo won’t require Cabinet men to resign
Bad News: DSWD chief Esperanza Cabral is worried; she’s a woman

What’s News: PNP to pull out Ruffa’s bodyguards in a month
Bad News: Only if they could last that long with Annabelle Rama around

What’s News: Inquirer is the most read broadsheet
Bad News: That’s according to the Inquirer

HEADLESS

OFW Executed

An OFW in Saudi was executed for killing a Pakistani national who tried to molest him. Now that’s ironic. For not allowing a Pakistani to give him a head, he was beheaded.

OFW Executed II

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, the Cabinet’s most senior member, says he is very surprised to hear about the execution of an OFW just now. Ermita’s reaction is not really surprising ‘coz he’s very busy helping his defeated son reverse the results of the vice gubernatorial race in Batangas.

Jalosjos & the OFW

Malacañang says the commutation of the sentence of former congressman Romeo Jalosjos will decongest the national penitentiary. And by not doing its best to help the convicted OFW who was beheaded in the Middle East recently, Malacañang indirectly helped decongest the Arabian penitentiary.

Optimists

A Social Weather Stations survey showed that 32% of FIlipinos look forward to an improved quality of life and a better economy this year. The rest are staunch oppositionists and extreme leftists.

Estrada Trial

The oral arguments in the plunder trial of deposed president Joseph Estrada are scheduled Friday, June 15. Rumors say die-hard Estrada supporters John Osmeña and Ernesto Maceda wanted to join the oral arguments but the Sandiganbayan denied their request.

For Ruffa’s Safety

The Philippine National Police assigned three cops to escort tv host-actress Ruffa Gutierrez. That’s three armed policemen – two to protect her against Yilmaz, and another against Dolly Anne Carvajal.

For Ruffa’s Safety II

Reports say Ruffa Gutierrez got three escorts. Years ago, she was the escort.

Enjoy your weekend!

SPECIAL

Special

On the eve of the country’s 109th Independence Day celebration, US Ambassador Kristie Kenney said the Philippines is a “special place.” Oh yeah! And we have “special people.” Just look at the type of politicians we elect. Very special.

Koko’s Offer

An election supervisor in South Cotabato claimed that the camp of opposition senatorial candidate Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III sought “their help” by offering bribe. However, the poll exec declined the offer because the bribe was a year-long supply of pork and beans. They were Muslims.

Ruffa & the Inquirer

Ruffa Gutierrez lambasted, on national television, the “Philippine National Inquirer” for publishing the wrong photo of her first husband, Richard Daloia. But the Philippine Daily Inquirer will not apologize for the mistake – unless Ruffa says sorry for misstating the paper’s name.

Ruffa & the Inquirer II

Ruffa Gutierrez lambasted the Inquirer for publishing the wrong photo of her alleged first husband, Richard Daloia on the paper’s front page last Sunday. According to the PDI, the photo was sent by a reader. It turned out however that the reader is a regular subscriber of the Philippine Star.

Kissing Record

For the second time, Hungary broke the Philippines’ record for simultaneous kissing when 6,400 Hungarian couples locked lips for 10 seconds last Saturday. But the Philippines is no longer interested to break the record. Instead it will attempt to set the record for a new category – extra-judicial kissing.

Bobby Bruised

Bobby Pacquiao was defeated by Mexican Humberto Soto in their superfeatherweight non-title bout Sunday. Bobby lost badly. Kuya Manny’s got company.

SHOWBIZZY WEEKEND

Buhay

Two factions of the party-list polls top vote-getter Buhay are in a bitter fight over the right to assign nominees for Congress. Now they’re just talking about nominations. Imagine what will happen when Congress starts allocating millions of pesos in pork barrel funds.

JV’s Wedding

Reports say 60 cops were deployed in and out of the Pinaglabanan Church in San Juan to secure the wedding of Erap’s favorite son, JV Ejercito. Twenty were assigned inside while 40 were deployed outside – just to make sure Jinggoy couldn’t go near the church.

Preserving Our Languages

Instead of focusing solely on the national language, Filipino, the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino will focus on the development, propagation, and preservation of the country’s other dialects and languages. Members of the commission were inspired by Annabelle Rama. They find her language “really entertaining.”

The Buzz

A photo showing actor John Estrada smooching with actress Gretchen Barretto has started to circulate on the Internet. Ooops, she did it again.

Gretchen Barretto kissing John Estrada in a birthday party?!? Now we know why Tony Boy Cojuangco has been losing hair lately.

Gretchen Barretto and John Estrada kissing each other captured by a Nokia N95 phone camera during Rufa Mae Quinto’s birthday party. Imelda Cojuangco is throwing another party.

Revealed

Rumors that Boy Abunda is afflicted with Alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease causing hair loss is false. The PR expert started to lose hair when he handled celebrities like Kris Aquino, Mike Defensor, and more recently, Gretchen Barretto.

Yilmaz on Ruffa & Kids

Yilmaz Bektas was quoted to have said that he’ll allow his kids to stay with their mom Ruffa Gutierrez “as long as she’s decent.” A decent Ruffa. Yilmaz may not be that fluent in English but he sure knows how to use oxymoron in his statements.

Ruffa on Yilmaz

Ruffa Gutierrez finally admitted two things on tv today, Saturday: that she was indeed married before she met Yilmaz and that Yilmaz would physically abuse her when they were still together in Istanbul. None of these made any impact though. These days, the public has more interest on what Annabelle Rama would say.

Enjoy your long weekend!

TEAM UNITY: This Is For You

AS I WRITE THIS POST, the top 10 winners in the senatorial race are being proclaimed by the Commission on Elections.

The victors include 6 from the opposition, 2 independent, and 2 from the administration. Yes, only two administration candidates made it. This, despite Team Unity’s prediction of a 12-0 sweep. What could be more frustrating than that?!

Well, to ease the pain, this post is sincerely dedicated to the members of Team Unity and the party’s political advisers.

Top 10 Movie Remakes Inspired by Team Unity’s Debacle in the May 14 Polls

10: The No Luck Club

9: Camote

8: Juan Flew Over the Koko’s Nest (Subtitle: The Fight of Juan Miguel Zubiri)

7: Boto, Boto Paano Ka Giniba?

6: Belat: Cultural Learnings of Gloria For Make Benefit Glorious Opposition of the Philippines

5: The Silence of the Lampaso

4: Sana’y Wala Nang Wakas… Ang Bilangan

3: Y Tu Mama Tambak (Ang Lamang ng Kalaban)

2: Bukas Luluhod ang mga Talo

And the No. 1 movie remake inspired by Team Unity’s debacle in the May 14 polls…

1: Ocean’s 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 18th, 19th, 21st, 23rd, 24th and 26th Places

Better luck next… hmm, in 2010. If there would be polls.

HOLY VISIT!

The President & the Pope

President Arroyo had a private meeting with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican that lasted about 10 minutes. Had it been a confession, it would have lasted 10 hours.

The President & the Pope II

The President reportedly told Pope Benedict XVI that the Philippines was not just the only Catholic country in Asia, but the “most devout.” Much to her surprise, the Pope was rumored to have replied in Filipino: “In fairness, hindi halata.”

The President & the Pope III

President Arroyo brought an image of the Sto. Niño Dormido for the Pope as a gift. Unverified reports say the aging pontiff couldn’t identify at first which one was the real image: the president or the Sto. Niño.

In Other News…

Recto Concedes

Administration candidate Ralph Recto has conceded defeat in the senatorial elections. He couldn’t wait to start working as governor of Batangas.

Lacson’s Committee

Re-elected senator Panfilo Lacson admitted that he wanted to chair the Senate Blue-Ribbon Committee. Lacson, however, denied that he wanted to rename it “Senate Pink-Ribbon Committee.”

No To GO

Tito Sotto says he has no plans of going back to the opposition. His priority now is to go back to his wife.

Still Together

Lala Sotto, daughter of defeated senatorial candidate Tito Sotto denied that her dad and her mom, Helen Gamboa (who left for the US during the campaign period) have separated. Well, Ogie Alcasid also denied that he and wife Michelle were estranged. A few months later…

UP Protest

Militant students of UP Diliman staged a picket in protest of the 300-percent increase in tuition at the state university. The demonstrators insist that money alone does not guarantee quality students or education. Nope, they’re not taking a dig at La Sallistas.

Mark Jimenez

After filing cases of estafa against his own children a couple of weeks back, former Manila Congressman Mark Jimenez has filed a string of estafa cases against his wife, son, and sister-in-law. So don’t be surprised, if one of these days, he decides to file a similar suit against himself.

Kris Switches

Kris Aquino has decided to sign up with another beauty clinic considered as an indirect competitor of the Belo Medical Clinic she used to endorse. An excited James Yap has reportedly conducted an ocular of the rooms in the clinic.

Top 5 Reasons Why Kris Aquino Left the Belo Medical Clinic

5: Facialists on her new clinic are really bad looking. James could visit the clinic as often as he wants and she wouldn’t be alarmed.

4: She’s taken a closer look at Vicky Belo’s face and she realized, if the Belo Medical Clinic failed to make its owner beautiful, how do you expect it to do wonders on other people?

3: The last time she underwent a cosmetic enhancement at Dr. Belo’s Clinic, people thought she was Noynoy when she emerged out of the operating room.

2: As Belo endorser, she didn’t get a raise. But her husband did – when Hope was around.

And the No. 1 reason why Kris Aquino left the Belo Medical Clinic in favor of its competitor…

1: Wala lang. Pa-kyut. Papansin. Pa-Kris.

ARF!

Anti-Rabies Act

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has signed into law the Anti-Rabies Act of 2007. The program involves the mass vaccination of dogs and puppies. Justice Sec. Raul Gonzales Jr. turned pale when he heard the news. He’s afraid of needles.

Mike Defensor Concedes

Surrounded by his family and reading from a prepared statement, former Presidential Chief of Staff and Team Unity candidate Mike Defensor conceded defeat in the senatorial elections. The statement that he read was drafted during the campaign period when his series of ‘Tol ads topped the list of the most ridiculed political advertisements.

Where’s the Party

Senatorial candidate Prospero Pichay says he will throw a party if he reaches the 10-million vote mark. If he reaches 10.5 million, that’ll be a bigger party. And if he reaches 11 million, that’ll be alarming. We need to verify the election returns.

Gun Attack

Good News: Namfrel spokesman Jose Bernas survives shooting
Bad News: Namfrel spokesman now speechless

Pampanga’s Best

At 5.4 kilometers, Pampanga has successfully set a new world record for making the world’s longest longganisa (sausage). Nope, there’s no truth to rumors that Pampanga’s longest longganisa belongs – to a priest.

Seaba Cagefest

The Philippine basketball team won the Southeast Asian Basketball Association championship title in Thailand. That’s really funny since no member of the RP Team was Southeast Asian.

Kobe’s Demand

Kobe Bryant is demanding to be traded from the Los Angeles Lakers – which is not actually possible because Kobe’s the only player on the team.

PICTURE PERFECT

Miss Photogenic

The Philippines’ Ana Theresa Licaros won the Miss Photogenic title (decided through an online vote) in the recently concluded Miss Universe pageant in Mexico City. Unverified pageant sources say Licaros even got more votes than the senatorial bets of Team Unity combined.

Miss Photogenic II

Thru an online vote, pageant crazy Filipinos made Ana Theresa Licaros win the Miss Photogenic title in the Miss Universe pageant – making it three years in a row for Filipina candidates. If the gay population can produce winners in the universe, imagine what they can they do in Congress’ party-list polls.

Miss Photogenic III

For the third straight year, the Philippine representative to the Miss Universe pageant won the Miss Photogenic title. To minimize cost next year, the Bb. Pilipinas Charities will no longer hold the Bb. Pilipinas pageant. Instead, a photo contest will replace the competition. Smile!

Top 5 Questions to Ask Corrupt Filipino Politicians If they Were Miss Universe Candidates

5: What would you consider as your best asset – next to your huge bank accounts?

4: If assholes could fly, when is your next flight?

3: If looks could kill, can we stare at you?

2: If you get elected to Congress and decided NOT to accept hundreds of millions of pesos in pork barrel… are you nuts?!

1: If you have only a day to live and you’ll surely die tomorrow… why not now?