Tuesday, August 25, 2009

And the Winner is...

Stefania Fernandez, 18, Venezuela! Many pageant fans were surprised yesterday as Stefania Fernandez of Venezuela was crowned Miss Universe 2009. She succeeds Dayana Mendoza who is also from Venezuela. This is the first time in Miss Universe history that a country won 2 crowns in a row. Congratulations Stefania!

On a sadder note, Miss Philippines Bianca Manalo failed to make it to the Top 15. More surprisingly, no Asian made it to the semi-final list. However, 10 of my picks did make it, including alternates. Below is the complete list of the 3 cuts .

Top 15:

1. Puerto Rico
2. Iceland
3. Albania
4. Czech Republic
5. Belgium
6. Dominican Republic
7. Sweden
8. Kosovo
9. Australia
10. France
11. Switzerland
12. South Africa
13. USA
14. Croatia
15. Venezuela

Top 10 (after Swimsuit competition, with scores):

1. Australia 9.264
2. Dominican Republic 9.189
3. Kosovo 8.790
4. Venezuela 8.760
5. France 8.640
6. Switzerland 8.611
7. Puerto Rico 8.533
8. South Africa 8.460
9. Czech republic 8.350
10. USA 8.060

Top 5 (after Evening Gown competition, with scores):

1. Dominican Republic 9.428
2. Kosovo 9.250
3. Puerto Rico 9.050
4. Australia 9.039
5. Venezuela 8.8691

Special Awards:

Miss Congeniality - China
Miss Photogenic - Thaiand

Final Result:

Miss Universe 2009 - Venezuela
1st Runner-up - Dominican Republic
2nd Runner-up - Kosovo
3rd Runner-up - Australia
4th Runner-up - Puerto Rico

Congratulations to the winners! And to Bianca, you will always be the Miss Universe in the Filipinos' hearts.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Miss Universe 2009

I watched the Miss Universe Presentation Show yesterday and I must say that there are a lot of worthy contenders this year. The presentation show is where preliminary judging is done on the swimsuit and evening gown categories. All candidates will then be interviewed privately and 15 semi-finalists will be selected to compete in the finals night. Coronation night will be on August 23, 2009, 9PM ET. Below are my picks for top 16 based on the preliminary swimsuit and evening gown competition:

1. Australia
2. Brazil
3. Colombia
4. Czech Republic
5. Dominican Republic
6. Great Britain
7. Guatemala
8. Mexico
9. Netherlands
10. Paraguay
11. Philippines
12. Puerto Rico
13. South Africa
14. Spain
15. Venezuela

If I could make it top 25, I would include:

1. Albania
2. Curacao
3. Guam
4. Indonesia
5. Kosovo
6. Montenegro
7. Peru
8. Russia
9. Sweden
10. Finland

Considering how Miss Universe works, the following might be given complimentary slots:

1. Bahamas - host country
2. Panama - best national costume
3. USA - they always get into semi-finals
4. Thailand - swimsuit sponsor
5. Japan - they are not the crown sponsor anymore but I still got the feeling that she might get in

Of course, my sentimental favorite is Miss Philippines, Pamela Bianca Manalo. Here she is during the presentation show.

I think she was the best Asian candidate during the preliminaries. Let's see if the judges think the same way. Good luck Bianca!

Friday, August 7, 2009


In contrast to my previous post, 4 gentlemen deserve recognition for a job very well done during Pres. Cory Aquino's funeral. These 4 gentlemen are Police Officer 1 Danilo Malab (PNP), Private First Class Antonio Cadiente (Army), Airman Second Class Gener Laguindan (Air Force), and Petty Officer III Edgardo Rodriguez (Navy). They are the four honor guards who stood at attention on top of the moving truck beside Pres. Aquino's coffin during the funeral procession. As the whole nation witnessed last Wednesday, the funeral cortege from the Manila Cathedral to Manila Memorial Park lasted for 8 hours. These men braved the heavy rain with no food and water. They didn't even have the chance to stop and go to the toilet to relieve themselves. They also had to endure being hit by coins that were being thrown by the crowd to the coffin. (This is customary for many Filipinos in the belief that the gesture will ward off bad luck.) Now, that is what I call discipline! My husband even commented that it's amazing that PO1 Malab was able to do it and somehow erased the notion that all Filipino cops are lazy and have a bulging tummy.

The four uniformed men are now being considered for commendation by Congress and the Senate. PO1 Malab has been promoted to the rank of Police Officer 2 by the PNP.

Good job men! Bravo!

@ Quirino Ave. around 1PM

@ Magallanes interchange about 4 hours later

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Shame on you, Jamby!

I recently read a blog post about Sen. Jamby Madrigal allegedly electioneering at Pres. Aquino's memorial service. Below is the full transcript of the original post on Facebook. You be the judge.

" Shame on your Jamby Madrigal by Happy Feraren

Now that we’ve remembered, relived and recreated the spirit of ’86 let’s make sure this yellow ribbon doesn’t get tangled up in other people’s political campaigns.

Subtle electioneering IN A FUNERAL?!?! SHAME ON YOU. Do not ride on Cory’s wave to pursue your vested interest. The people who waited in the streets weren’t there to see you! The revolution doesn’t belong to you, phony politician, it belongs to the people. And what makes you think you could get away with such a dirty trick? Cory’s lasting impression of sincerity, humility and honesty is now the benchmark of what leaders are supposed to be. You think people don’t see through you? The respect we have for Cory is not something you acquire with falsity (or through endorsement from Judy Ann Santos) it is earned. How dare you pose as someone offering sympathy to the Aquino family while you think about the votes you’re going to get come election time.

As I waited for the cortege (news networks’ new favourite word) along the South Super Highway, my mom and I bought 2 yellow umbrellas from this street vendor who was also selling nuts. And then as we paid, he pulled out something from his pocket – a yellow beaded bracelet nicely packed in a small clear plastic bag. Upon handing it over to us, he said: “Eto o, bonus para sa inyo.”Of course my mom and I were pleased and were all “awww how sweet.”Until I actually looked at the bracelet and saw a little tag with the name and photo of Jamby Madrigal.

I called out to him and asked, “O bakit may Jamby Madrigal itong bracelet na ito” and when I looked at the vendor for an answer he had already walked away.

Maybe an hour before this incident, I saw her car passing by the growing sea of people. Window open, flashing the L sign and strangely enough, a cameraman in front filming the people. My mom started shouting “Transparencyyyy!” and then I looked at her asking if I could put up my middle finger and my mom looked at me and said I should just shout transparency, accountability or good governance. In other words “BOOOOOOOO!!!!” And then the two of us just started shouting BOO JAMBY!!!

I am utterly disgusted by you, Ms.Madrigal. And to you other filthy politicians, behave yourselves because we are all watching you, even if you’re supposedly Cory’s “favorite” mayor. Genuine democracy is People Power and everything Ninoy and Cory stood for. It also means that now, whenever there’s a phony claiming he or she is there to protect Cory’s legacy, we will be able to speak up and act with the same fearless fervour we had before.

You know sometimes I wish I could march in the government offices with a magical broom that can sweep away all the dirty politicians we have in this country. A giant clean up, but this time not just for the environment but for our government. Haha, imagine if we could really do that? I’m already writing down the names of the people I’d attack first with my magic walis!

So, before you file for candidacy (a bit too late though in this case) think again. Actually, good luck! The people have remembered."

Please do our nation a favor and repost. Voters have the right to know about this. Thank you!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Farewell to a President II

Since Saturday, August 1, I have been glued to my monitor, watching the news and special coverages of the death of former Philippine President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino. I first heard of the sad news via radio streaming on the morning of August 5. Last Monday, I sat and watched as her remains were transferred from La Salle Greenhills to the Manila Cathedral which took 5 hours. Then, there was the Necrological Service on Tuesday night wherein I listened to and cried with the 19 speakers. Lastly, I spent 10 straight hours watching today's Requiem Mass at 9AM, the 8-hour long funeral procession, and the burial at around 8PM.

For me, the highlight of the whole experience was Lea Salonga's rendition of the song, "Bayan Ko", which was popularized during Ninoy Aquino's death and the EDSA Revolution. I got goosebumps listening to her sing and looking at images of the Philippine flag waving on the screen. Below is the clip of Lea Salonga's performace. (Note: I was watching the coverage on ANC because I thought they had the best coverage and anchor people.)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Farewell to a President

Most Filipinos woke up today to the sad news of the passing of former Philippine President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino. She died at 3:18 this morning at the age of 76. We have seen her death coming since she was diagnosed with colon cancer last year, but the news still came as a shock to most people.

I was a young 5th grader in far away Mindanao when the EDSA Revolution happened in 1986. My innocent mind could not understand everything that was going on in the country. I only remember putting Cory stickers on my shirt, handing out Cory/Doy flyers, and performing dance numbers on the local stage during Tita Cory's presidential campaign. Before that, I recall repeatedly watching footages of Ninoy Aquino's assasination on Betamax in 1983 and throwing yellow confetti at the rallyists when I spent summer of 1984 in Manila. All of these events led to the bloodless revolution for which Tita Cory will be most remembered.

The Filipino nation also witnessed how Tita Cory was as a mother when she lovingly embraced her daughter, Kris, after her scandalous breakup with former Parañaque Mayor Joey Marquez. I remember being moved to tears when Tita Cory hugged Kris and simply said, "Welcome home."

Throughout her life, she was truly a shining example of courage, humility, integrity, simplicity, love, and faith. For this and more, thank you so much, President Cory. Paalam...