What ’30 Rock’ taught me today

Have you ever wondered if what you did today is the same thing as you did a year ago?








In the 15th episode of 30 Rock Season 6, Tina Fey (Liz) looks back on her diary and surprisingly realizes that everything that is happening to her is a repetition of what happened last year.

And so, I wondered – what did I do during the past August 25’s of my life?

2008 (blank)
It was a Monday. What did I do? Based on my planner, nothing.

2009 (more-than-normal workday)
Results of Civil Service Exam released. I passed! (9am); I had a meeting with the Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (PRAISE) Committee, City Hall(10am)

2010 Friday (another normal workday)
Technical Working Group meeting for the Balanced Scorecard Formulation of the League of Cities of the Philippines (9-3pm); Meeting with Mr. Loi David for the Center for Leadership, Excellence and Responsible Citizenship Foundation, Inc. (4pm)

2011 Thursday (normal workday)
Attended a ribbon cutting ceremony of the Organization of Socialized Housing and Development (9am); Printed telephone slips (1pm); Drafted questionnaires and topics for our newsletter (3pm); newsletter meeting (4pm)

There should be an improvement (so-called ‘level-up’) in the thing you do to gauge if you are moving forward (or backward) in life.

For the year 2012, August 25 fell on a weekend. I guess that’s the reason why it is not that memorable. I was supposed to treat my friends today or go out for dinner but staying at home seemed to be the perfect thing to do today. Nothing beats “me” time.

From a blank page in 2008 to a filled-up page in 2011 – I guess that’s a proof that something’s going on with my life.

Next year, I just have to look at my Facebook timeline instead. That would be easier!

For 30 Rock, you earned an avid fan.

People’s television

I guess the Twitter-inspired logo is a good sign that the government network, People’s Television, is geared to improve in the next coming years. I am happy that public officials (or those in charge of the network) finally appreciated the value of communication. From the establishment of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office to the major makeover of the Philippine Government website, the communication strategy of the current administration has hurdled issues on procurement of Blackberry phones and Apple computers and PNOY’s relationship with Grace Lee. Very promising indeed.

July 2012 logo of PTV 4

One attention-grabbing tourism music video became sort of viral this week. And I stand by my comment in response to Carlos Celdran’s post regarding the promotional video of Pagsanjan, Laguna:

I think the video is not that bad. I watched the video three times to analyze, well of course, the coming of Nicki Minaj had an effect on my judgement, hehe 😉 but generally, it is Ok – the music and the choice of shots. of course, we have see better promotional videos. The mayor really made an effort. there is still time to improve (maybe a better one will be released next year)

Pagsanjan Music Video ft. The Mayor

The death of Dolphy is really significant. After hearing the eulogies and watching all the tributes offered to him on TV, I’m sure that Filipinos will never forget his legacy. Read related post: https://earl1987.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/dolphy-days/

Among the channels of communication, television remains one of the most powerful. Truly, it’s the people’s television.

Techie vamps and timeless diaries

I am taking a break from my “Vampire Diaries” marathon while writing this. I have decided to devote my weekend finishing season one of this TV series; and after tweeting much about this show for a week now, I just realized I’m addicted to it!

Other vampire shows didn’t catch my attention over the past year of the “Twilight” madness. On the other hand, “The Vampire Diaries” piqued my curiosity as if I allowed the bloodsucking stars enter my home, look into my eyes and lure me into finishing all the episodes. Unexpectedly, the series did not end up boring. Its love triangle twist is totally far from the Edward-Bella-Jacob thing.

In this American television series, Elena (Nina Dobrev) falls in love with the mysterious-new-guy-in-school named Stefan (Paul Wesley) who turns out to be a 162-year-old vampire. Their relationship is challenged by Stefan’s vengeful brother, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) which complicates the story. Suspense, action, drama and mystery are packed in one show. This “Dawson’s Creek-meets-Buffy” kind of series from CW Television Network also introduces witches and more vampires as the story progresses.

What got me even more stuck in watching this show is its very realistic location. Set in a modern-day community, scenes are shot in semi-eerie, romantic and mysterious areas in British Columbia and Georgia that perfectly represent the fictional town of Mystic Falls. Add the songs of Mat Kearney, One Republic, The Fray and Sara Bareilles and you get entertaining MTV-quality scenes.

What if vamps really live among us? It is very interesting to watch vampires use mobile phones and enjoy a bit of booze. Aside from that, every episode starts with a narration by Elena as she reads excerpts from her diary. Other characters, like Stefan himself, keep a diary. It just shows how timeless personal chronicles are, even in this age of emails and blogs. Nothing beats a good old leather-bound notebook where you can document daily musings. For me, I guess I’ll just consider this six-year-old blog as my virtual diary.

Now back to watching a few more episodes.

Glued on crime drama

Last weekend, I joined my mom in watching a TV series on Diva Universal entitled “Covert Affairs” and I got hooked on it. Reasons for being glued:

  1. I mistakenly identified Kari Matchett (Joan Campbell) as Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe of Friends). I just miss “Friends” and Kari really looks like Lisa. And so my dad goes – “Yeah, she starred in Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion.” Ok, not really.
  2. Christopher Gorham playing a blind CIA agent is so cool – way cool-er than being Ugly Betty’s love interest.
  3. Peter Gallagher (the dream dad from The O.C.) is playing another “daddy” role and he’s still good at it.
  4. The lead actress, Piper Perabo, is good. You deserve the Golden Globe nomination.
  5. The title of the series itself is interesting.

I am not a fan of crime drama series. The advent of detective-type shows starting off with CSI (LA, Miami, NY), Bones, 24, and a cable channel full of crime/suspense became the platform for the revival of some good American TV stars. As for Covert Affairs, I easily get distracted since almost all of the actors starred in hit shows I previously tuned into. I can still identify them in their former roles. What a mix of talents!

This not-so-popular crime action/drama series aired in the US last year and is expected to launch is next season on May (according to the oh-so-reliable Wikipedia). I just realized I found a substitute for “Friends” and “The O.C.” Plus, I miss watching a TV series such as this. Target: Vampire Diaries marathon.

Network Wars

Whenever I switch on the TV, I do not actually watch certain shows. I simply scan channels as if I am waiting for a jackpot combination on a slot machine until I reach interesting programs ranging from TLC’s Invite Mr. Wright to NatGeo’s Great Migrations. Sometimes, I still watch local news on primetime and some bits of showbiz scoops from DJ-turned-chismoso, Mo Twister. But most of the time I think I’m making the cable company richer every single day I do not watch cable channels.

I must admit, when I was in grade school, one of the biggest debates were those which tackle network wars;  the never-ending comparison between ABS-CBN 2 and GMA 7 that still exists today. During coffee breaks, I still find myself in a raging debate with my officemates on which television network is the best. If only the Lopezes and Atty. Gozun have seen our outpour of emotions defending our side, they would probably laugh.

Endless battles on ratings by AGB Nielsen, TV personalities that come and go, noontime shows wanting to be on top, and primetime slots are still the major topics in the “Kapuso” vs “Kapamilya” war. Personally, I have my “heart” on GMA 7.

I lot of my childhood friends would probably remember that I am for Channel 7, and that never changed. Of course, anything I say would spark a lot of remarks. In my point of view, GMA is more credible when it comes to delivering news. I find ABS-CBN anchors a bit loud and biased. Also, I’m not a fan of drama series and I believe the Kapuso network is on the right track when it comes to producing shows which portray fantasy, opulence and high standard of living instead of intense drama and lives of the less privileged.

In the book of Ateneo Graduate School of Business entitled “The Blue Way: Case Studies on Leadership, Strategy and Ethics,” the case study “GMA Network Incorporated, Winning the Network Wars” further convinced me that the said network is close to their vision of becoming the ‘most respected, undisputed leader in Philippine broadcast industry and the recognized media innovator and pacesetter in Asia.’  B-H-A-G!

I stumbled upon a funny link while writing this blog:

Whether Kapuso or Kapamilya, people should look out for MVP’s revamped TV 5. Remember, great competitors won’t stop ‘til they reach number one.

Adding Value to Ads

Let me list down three of the most attractive commercials on Philippine TV (according to my biased, superficial opinion). I know a lot of people have been talking about these commercials and it’s high time to take this opportunity to cling to their popularity.

McDonald’s latest commercial (courtesy of DDB Philippines) gave me a mixed feeling of unexplained emotion and nostalgia. The storyline was simple yet impressive (watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzkFry48P1I). The catch – childhood sweethearts never ended up being with each other. The hard part was when the guy (GMA’s Gino dela Pena) met his childhood sweetheart’s husband (ouch!). Of course, everything happened in McDo. It’s the kind of commercial you’ll hang on to until it ends. It did touch a lot of Pinoys’ hearts. I bet the emphasis on the choco sundae would boost its sales (oh, and the fries, too!) Nice work. *still singing ‘Ang Huling El Bimbo’ while writing this*

Hats off to Unilab’s new catchphrase – Unilab ba ‘yan? Although this may not evolve as a word of mouth like “I love you Piolo!” or “Goodbye, Carlo” yet I’m sure consumers will recall this commercial whenever they buy any drug/medicine. I believe the ad is amazing.

I love the whole gang of John Lloyd Cruz in Greenwich commercials. The four of them are symbolic of the four types of people who eat pizza. The concept is catchy and customers tend to identify themselves through the four characters (thereby rushing to the pizza store and daydreaming that they are the ones in the ad).

The advertising industry in the Philippines is evolving. I hope advertisers will continue to produce sensible ads.

*Note: The author was not paid to advertise the brands mentioned above (he wishes) *wink*

Waiting for Love

After watching a few episodes of the American drama What About Brian, I can officially say that I am hooked. It took me sometime before I discovered this TV series aired every Tuesday at Star World. The show’s main character is Brian portrayed by Barry Watson whom I looked up to as Matt Camden in another series I love to watch – 7th Heaven.

The story revolves around 32-year-old Brian Davis who remains the only single guy in his group of friends. Although the setting is Los Angeles, any single guy from any part the world in mid-20’s or 30’s could easily put himself in the shoes of Brian. Typical love angle twists occur sporadically throughout an episode but what makes these twists unique is the sense of humor involved.

In terms of acting, Barry Watson improved a lot since his appearance in 7th Heaven. His realistic impression of his character adds to the convincing approach of the story. “Couple” problems are also tackled in most of the episodes. Among the two couples who are both friends of Brian, my favorite would be Dave (Rick Gomez) and Deena (Amanda Detmer).

One of the best episodes would be the time when Dave and Deena, after 13 years of marriage, encounters couple dilemma that lead to cheating. On the other hand, after marriage counseling and a dramatic scene during a wedding banquet, everything went well. At this point, I am excited about the future of newlyweds Adam Hillman (Matthew Davis) and Marjorie Seaver (Sarah Lancaster). Brian, on the other hand, survives the life of a bachelor despite the fact that everyone around him is happily engaged (much like myself).

In the US, What About Brian ended last March, 2007 yet I am patient to watch the coming episodes in local cable for the sake of brightening up my Tuesday television viewing. Like Brian, I think I’ll enjoy my friends’ love stories and in time, I’ll tell my own.


I can clearly remember the times when I enganged myself in a copycat version of Bruckheimer’s Amazing Race. The first was when we were in Botany class where we were like kids-gone-wild racing to identify scientific names of campus plants (how nerdy!). I thought being part of the race itself was hard, so in the next two versions of ‘Amazing Races’ (the BioRace in UST and the Retreat Race in Caleruega) I was involved in, I chose to be one of the organizers. To my disappointment, I found out that being in charge of a scheme to cause commotion and panic to teams of bestfriends, lovers, and strangers was more complicated than I ever thought. Whether an organizer or a team member, a race is a matter of strategy.

The first question I asked when I saw Amazing Race on TV is, “Are those backpacks full of real stuff?” Well, I can’t imagine myself running around the streets of Tokyo carrying a ton of clothes and flying to a US state carrying even a heavier load. More pressing questions came – How many cameras do they use? How do they manage to edit such a lengthy race? Where did they get all the resources? I found the answer in one name – JERRY BRUCKHEIMER. He really changed the face of reality TV. After several runs and reruns of the international version of the popular race, AMAZING RACE ASIA finally arrived.

In the Asian version, I always knew that Filipinos would rule. After all, living a day in Metro Manila is like a simulation of Amazing Race – even worse. We find ourselves lost in the unnamed streets, run after transport vehicles, and get late due to heavy traffic. Okay, so we didn’t make it to the first installment of AR Asia with boldstars representing our country. Good thing I didn’t waste my time tuning in to Ernie and Jeena plus Aubrey and Jaq, who were all eliminated even before they have gone halfway through Asia. But on the second season of the race’s Asian version, Pinoys rule!

Marc and Rovilson, the consistent number 1 team of the AR Asia 2, make me proud. They are very fluent in speaking in English and even sound better than the show’s host. They always finish every task ahead of the rest because of teamwork. In terms of friendship, they really set a good example – “I’ve learned to accept him as a friend, even with his faults” (Marc on Rovilson when interviewed for their team profile). In every task, you seldom see them panic. They never blame each other. Instead, they always end up laughing at their mistakes. Yes, they are serious about winning the US$ 100,000.00 prize money, but they see to it that they have fun. They never run out of jokes and they see to it that they enjoy every thing they do. No matter how hard the other teams try, they cannot beat the Pinoy boys’ strategy. Their way to win is a mixture of physical advantage, linguistic ability and social maturity. (Well, they are really sports-minded, have a lot of travel experience, and are good local TV hosts)

The race isn’t over (as of this moment I am writing this blog) but this one is for Team Philippines – win or lose – you’re amazing!

Worth Watching

‘Friends’ is already obsolete, I don’t like the story of ‘The OC’ anymore, and I’m fed up with game shows. After my long search for new shows that would suit my taste, here are the top three series that luckily passed my unstable TV standards – Entourage, Heroes and The Starter Wife.

Entourage (HBO) Fame: it’s more fun with your friends.’ Curiosity has led me to watch the first episode of the second season of the latest offer by HBO. Some of my friends in school have been talking about Entourage although nobody is actually glued on the show. I’ve heard that this is a male version of the ‘Sex and the City’ gang – partly true – but Entourage has more to offer. I am entertained by Vince’s popularity, Drama’s healthy living, Turtle’s social climbing, and most of all, Eric’s whole personality. ‘E’ is my favourite character because I have a lot of his qualities. Ari, Vince’s demanding and rude manager, plays a big role in keeping the show light and funny and in the succeeding episodes an Asian secretary was included in the cast and I have observed that some lines were quite discriminating. As a whole, I’ll give Entourage a 7 out of 10 for the humor, trendy settings, and big star guests every now and then (I loved the episode with Jessica Alba)

Heroes (C/S, RPN) ‘Save the cheerleader… save the world’ Alright, with all the people going nuts with Hiro, I eventually joined the bandwagon after my friend lent me a DVD of the first season of ‘Heroes.’ As a Biology student, I appreciate the Genetics in the show. Aside from tinkling the biologist in me, I am amazed by the super powers the characters have. My favourite would be that of the Petrelli brothers. Another 7 out of 10 for this fantastic masterpiece. I can’t wait to watch the next season.

The Starter Wife (Hallmark) ‘Let’s see if it is a life worth saving’ Debra Messing has never failed to make me laugh since Will and Grace. In this new mini series by Hallmark, she portrays the role of a solo ‘Desperate Housewife.’ She is very funny and the satiric lines are so meaningful. The actors and actresses are all good and it is what I call a tasty approach on divorce. I only watched 3 episodes and I am longing for more. I really loved the line when Sam Knight saved Debra’s life and said ‘Let’s see if it is a life worth saving’ as an answer to ‘Thank you for saving my life.’ From then on, I became in love with the show. An 8 out of 10 for this comedy.

Now I have these three shows as replacements for my previous TV show favourites who have now gone to their rest in the hope of rising again.


Am I overdosed with romantic comedies and reality dating shows, reading romance novels, and listening to my friends’ romantic stories? Well, I think time will come that I shall stare at the mirror, point at myself and shout: “What a (cute) hopeless romantic!”

A Lot Like LoveLast Tuesday, I was entertained by Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet’s movie “A Lot Like Love.” Ask my closest friends and they know how much I love romantic comedies. I still remember the time in senior high school – the Christmas Party exchange gift – wherein I announced what I wished for: two CD’s of romantic comedy movies. Am I insane? Okay, I was just so crazy over these kind of movies. “A Lot Like Love” is a sweet interpretation of two people meant for each other and no matter what hindrance come along, they would still end up together… get it? That’s because they’re meant for each other! Interestingly, producers won’t stop wasting rolls of films for making these sort of movies because people like me continously patronize their crap… (ooops!) I mean, craft. As a movie fan of countless movies in this category (such as On The Line, Head Over Heels, Life or Something Like It, Sweet Home Alabama, etc.), in a scale of 1 to 10, I’ll give Ashton (don’t get me Punk’d) and Amanda a grade of 7.

I have come to another self-realization, or should I say, self-daydreaming: I see myself in those movies (alright, I may sound ‘feeling’) not in way that I look like Freddie, Ashton or Brad, but because I am currently alone, desperate to find the one for me, yet I feel like I’m not ready.

“Eh kasi, torpe ka!” Abbey would tell William on their TV series Bestfriends.

William ThioConsidering myself as ‘Torpe’ may sound very negative. I’m still in the verge of self-denial and I wouldn’t like to be called that way (well, who would? Unless you want to live like a rotten tomato forever!) In t he TV series I mentioned (Bestfriends), I can’t help but put myself in the shoes of William Thio. Like him (according to the script), I cannot find anyone who fits my desire (now that sounds erotic! *laughs*). Let’s put it this way, I cannot hold on to relationships that move so quickly. I want to start a platonic interaction, not the instant ‘love at first sight’ reaction.

There are several ways on how to find somebody for you. I have tried, and I failed, NOT IN LOVE, but in SEARCHING. I think I still have time to search and probably others can help me out. Anyone for a blind date? (I hope your plans will work classmates!!!) Nah, just kidding. One might end up simply saying,

“Eh kasi Earl, torpe ka!”

Am I?