Stories posted 2006

An outsider looks in

JEFFREY JETURIAN’S most recent film, Kubrador, concludes with an interesting scene: the protagonist Amy, played by Gina Parreño, walks into a dispute between two men in the middle of a road. She is a random passerby, but is attracted to a growing crowd surrounding the debate. At some point in the argument, one man takes a gun and begins firing, hitting a random spectator and failing to wound the opposing firebrand, who takes off running immediately. At this point the crowd disperses — but only momentarily. After it appears that the threat of violence has been subdued, the crowd regroups, this time even larger than before.


Bryanboy and Nikki Alfar, bloggers

WHAT face comes with your favorite Pinoy blogger? PCIJ shows you two.

We recently had a chat with Bryanboy, owner of the two-year-old blog with the same name, and Nikki Alfar, who’s been blogging ‘Contradiction in terms’ since 2003.

Confessing selves

I have a confession to make: I used to have a blog. It is one that I have since become ashamed of, but can’t quite figure out how to delete. The shame comes from the force that drove me to even start it: a broken heart. And since that has ceased to exist, there is a need to delete proof that it ever did.

Now showing: Me

“PHILIPPINE IDOL” semifinalist Ira Marasigan is not your typical reality-television contestant. She is, after all, a fresh graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University who is living an upperclass lifestyle. That alone makes her an oddity in a television genre notorious for attracting all sorts of desperate characters who compete over cash and careers in show business.

Then again, Marasigan says she saw joining the Philippine franchise of the global TV hit “American Idol” as just having fun: “No one convinced me, I thought it would be quite an accomplishment to make it to Philippine Idol.” It was — considering how many Idol-wannabes auditioned for the show.

Somebody’s watching me

The above is part of the title of a popular ‘80s tune, but it may well be the anthem for this age. Back then, the notion that someone was out there observing us had malevolent undertones, and the proper reaction was wariness, if not outright fear. Nowadays, however, a great many of us seem to welcome being watched — and we’re not talking only of those who join shows like “Pinoy Big Brother” or “Pinoy Dream Academy.” As our opening piece in this month’s series on voyeurs and exhibitionists points out, the Internet and the proliferation of nifty cybertools like MySpace and YouTube have made it possible for practically anyone to take to the stage and perform whatever tricks he has mastered in the hope of catching some attention. In other words, we are now ourselves in constant search of an audience.

It’s not easy being generic

SO THINGS haven’t quite turned out as planned for Philippine generic-drug manufacturers and distributors. In fact, says Janet Estrañero, sales and marketing vice president of Pacific Pharmaceutical Generics that is the exclusive distributor of DLI Generics products, it’s all been a big disappointment.

“(The situation) is very, very far from what we expected it to be 18 years after the enactment of the generics law,” she says.

New Rx needed for generics movement

AMONG ALBERTO Romualdez Jr.’s saddest experiences as a physician, one that he says he continues to encounter, involves his regular trips to the drugstore. “You cannot miss this scene,” shares Romualdez, who was the health secretary during the brief presidency of Joseph Estrada. “Somebody with a prescription, say for antibiotics for one week, comes up to the sales clerk and pleads, ‘This is the only money I have. Is it possible to buy just one or two tablets or whatever this amount can afford?'”

An illness in the family

“THERE ARE times when your heart is overflowing with love for her,” says Ruby of her mother. “And there are times when you really want to kill her.”

Ruby is not her real name. Her mother, now 62, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 24 years ago. Also called manic-depressive illness, what her mother has is a long-term brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in a person’s mood, energy, and ability to function. While every person goes through normal ups and downs in his or her life, people with bipolar disorder suffer from severe symptoms that can result in damaged relationships, poor performance at work or school, and, for many, even suicide.

Stress and the Filipino

HOW DO we say we’re stressed in Filipino?

We don’t. Well, at least not in a way that we would in English: I am stressed. It just doesn’t work out; we don’t, as far as I know, have a word in any of our Philippine languages for stress and being stressed.

First Person

High-quality healthcare on the cheap

I HAD no intention of becoming the embodiment of all ills that the Millennium Development Goals stand to eradicate. But that’s pretty much what I was when I found myself jobless, single, and with a 15-month-old baby suffering her second bout of pneumonia in the span of six months and now diagnosed with primary complex.

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