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VOL. XLVI NO. 1 JUNE 2005

The LaSallian Menagerie (June 2005)

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    VOL. XLVI NO. 1 JUNE 2

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    ALBUM

    WEBSIT

    FOOD

    TV SHOWS

    ER LINEART:RICK JOY ABANILLA

    ER FLATS AND COLORS:MICHAEL JAUDIAN

    OUT:MICHAEL JAUDIANS DE VERA

    Welcome to Wisteria Lane where sexy damsels mow their lawns whileclad in skimpy sequined gowns, gardeners possess poster-boy looks andinhabitants are caught up trying to live the Seventh Heaven lifestyle. Itsthe perfect setting for a detergent commercial. But alas, things are not whatthey seem in this picture-perfect suburban neighborhood.

    One day, in the least likely of situations, perfect housewife Mary AliceYoung (Brenda Strong) takes her own life by driving a bullet through herhead, much to the shock of her four closest friends. But fortunately for theviewers, things dont simply end there for Mary Alice. In fact, for the rest ofthe show, she is kind enough to give audiences a blow-by-blow account ofthe events that unfold in her peculiar town.

    Desperate Housewives centers on the lives of the four disparate sub-urban women who were affected most by Mary Alices passing. TheresLynette Scarvo (Felicity Huffman), a former career woman who abandonedher promising vocation to spend more quality time with her four sons fromhell; Susan Mayer (Teri Hatcher), a lovesick divorcee, single mom, and parttime arsonist; Bree Van De Kamp (Marcia Cross), who makes the StepfordWives look like My Fair Ladys Eliza Dolittle; and finally, theres GabrielleSolis (Eva Longoria), a materially- pampered former model who resorts toafternoon trysts with her hunky 17-year old gardener John (Jesse Metcalfe).The secret lives, not to mention the domestic disputes, of these four womenare posthumously narrated in vivid detail by Mary Alice from her newly-dis-covered point of view.

    With its evident knack for adulterous scenarios, marital exploits, andsex-flavored conversations, Desperate Housewives is essentially a glorifiedprimetime soap. But given that obvious premise, what makes this show differ-

    ent and more refreshing than the usual episodic drama fodder is that it takesan age-old TV formula and puts in certain cinematic touches like film-noir anddark comedy. Mary Alices offscreen narration, for instance, is an apparenthomage to Sunset Boulevard. Now, throw in a snappy screenplay and cleverdialogue and you have the makings of a TV-bound guilty pleasure.

    The plot, in all its soap opera-inspired essence, is cliched to be sure.But thats what makes this show seem more honest. It does not try to avoidclichs. Instead, it glorifies them. It presents tried-and-tested scenarios ina overly-familiar manner, but eventually transcends them by giving themmore depth. All in all, Desperate Housewives functions more than a noseyneighbors dream come true. More importantly, it gives viewers insights on thedarker side of domestic life through its amusing and well-drawn caricaturesof typical dysfunctional families.

    - Chuckie Chavez

    Fuzion serves healthy alternatives to suit the Filipino profile. The menu that Fuzion caters is far from clich diet food of celery stickbland flavors. Fuzion presents dishes bursting with fruity and sensual flavors that you wont feel guilty wolfing down.

    The service is friendly enough to cater to your needs and present you with bright and whimsical menus. Entering Fuzion is aa treat, with a retro appeal, mixed with a minimalist approach. While sitting in their orange chairs, why not view the photo mdecorated in-line with their brightly colored dcor. The pin lights envelope the room in that incandescent orange hue. A d ining dilethe comfort rooms, is prominent among the malls restaurant clientele. It does not have comfort rooms or wash areas located the restaurant, which may become a nuisance to diners.

    In terms of food presentation, desserts and meals are chic with bright and contrasting colors. For start order their world-renosmoothies. The natural ice crystals from the frozen fruits, frozen yogurt and aloe nectar, are mixed together balancing sweet anflavors. Their Very Berry Good smoothie is a combination of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries that acts like a wave uponof berry goodness that leaves the sweetness lingering. The smoothie presentation is lacking, especially to in-house diners wherserve their smoothies much like the Starbucks Frappucino. Another recommended choice, The Strawberry Crepe is the very esof summer. The berries are tart yet sweet mixed with whipped cream, enveloped in a thin and warm crepe. Lastly, crepes are twith their homemade ice cream. The contrast of warm and cold is simply divine. But, the use of imported mangoes is ironic. substitutes imported mangoes, thus turning their smoothies and crepes into sour and bland creations. Fuzion also serve truly pasta, rich and comforting cakes, homemade meals and calming tea concoctions

    The restaurant has many flaws regarding their choice of ingredients, its presentation with their main product (smoothies) aprice of the products. In terms of opportunity cost, their smoothies are a splurge. The magic of the restaurant is left abated whbill is given. However, Fuzion does serve a delectable array of flavors international and local, friendly service and a retro ambHealthy isnt always lame and bland, Fuzion makes sure of that. So, plop yourself down into a sofa, grab a smoothie andenjoy the summer!

    - Jared De Guzman

    Rob Thomas ismore popularlyknown as the lead

    vocals that gavesoul to hit songssuch a s Push ,Unwell, If YoureGone, and manyother chart-topperswith band MatchboxTwenty. In his newalbum entitled Some-thing to Be, the onlysemblance left of thehunky singer is hissultry voice - togetherwith a whole lot offunky undertones inthe background. Withhis single Lonely No

    More out on the air-waves, listeners can already get the idea what the rest of the albumis all about- more upbeat-Latino-sounding tunes and less of the darkalternative melodies that everybody has come to love from M20.

    Something to Be contains 12 original songs written by none otherthan Thomas himself, along with other renowned songwriters. The firstsong on the album, This is How a Heart Breaks, sets the mood of thewhole album itself, blasting loud and clear that the entire record is un-like any other collaboration that Rob Thomas has done. His songs havemore of an upbeat hip hop flavor, not to mention that he is often ridiculedby critics for being too Justin Timberlake-ish this time around. (pertain-ing not only to the style of the songs, but also to his look on the cover)Heartbreak is also one of the more noticeable themes of the album, with 5songs serving as a tribute t o loves utter sadness and pain. The song Whenthe Heartache Ends might be the only track b eating along to Matchbox 20spunch of alternative music.

    Rob Thomas has managed to catapult his reputation from a mere singerto a notable songwriter with the release of, by far his greatest hit, Smoothtogether with the legendary Carlos Santana. He has proven himself with hisalbum, creating decent lyrics such as Youre spending your time, Wantingfor words but never speakfrom the song My, My, My. His work is obviouslya reprieve from all the pathetic night-sight-way-day rhyming of songs that isclearly in abundance nowadays.

    Rob Thomas solo flight, however, does not serve as a signal of MatchboxTwentys demise. According to Thomas official web site, they are simply on abreak. He merely took this as an opportunity to broaden his horizons and tryhis luck solo. But, unfortunately, it seems like he doesnt get that far becauseas much as youd like to appreciate good talent; the music just doesnt seemto give him justice.

    - Dianne Tang

    There are two things teddy bear

    lovers know by heart: One is that they can only truly love onbear in their lifetime (much like a parents secretly favored son odaughter among a batch of equally adored children). Anotheis that they always find enough space for another teddy bear treside in their rooms, if not in their hearts.

    Close to a teddy bear lovers dreams, the Deans CollectorClub is an exclusive club that stirs the furry hearts of teddy lovers around the globe, children and grannies alike. Considered aBritains oldest teddy bear manufacturer, Deans is a recognizedat least for teddy lovers, bear collectors club that has beetouching lives for more than 20 years. Although its annuamembership is a tad costly (38, egad!), its bears make up fothe heart-wrenching price. Made from the finest mohair, Deanbears display a delightful streak of charm and elegance. Eacbear is uniquely made, and it is evident that the gentlemantrace in each bears face comes from the Englishs legendartrait for refinement. Easily recognized as a leader in superioteddy bear craftsmanship its bears have gained a cultishfollowing over the years.Upon membership, members are entitled to receive a fremembership bear, a lapel pin, a copy of Deans 40-pagcatalogue, 3 copies a year of The Club Reporter Magazine20% discounts off special Club Edition Bears, posters, seof postcards, factory visits (for the jetsetter), competitionexclusive offers to Deans club members. The bears arive regally at the post office, but have to be picked upersonally with a fee (P30). The bears on their own arreminiscent of bears from days past, bringing with theman old flavor that makes them all the more adorabland precious. And of course, whats a luxury teddy beawithout a 360 feature rotatory head, arms, and leg at the fullest angle.

    But as much as it is tempting t o rotate those armand legs, these bears are delicate, and once you get hoof one, youd really have more heart to put it behind glasshelves than play with them the way you did when yowere a child. For those whose hearts remained younfrom the start, these bears would serve more than treat, but as a treasure only a teddy bear lover caever appreciate.

    -Kube Chua

    e to another year in the Jungle!weeks before finalizing the line-up thiswas desperately trying to squeeze myy trying to think of a suitable theme One that does NOT involve wed-dependence Day, nor Back-to-Schoolt.unately enough, inspiration came oneen Paul, one of our Editors-In-Chief,y started talking about this new showEncantadia.He then went on elaborat-

    this new show has followed a longther past fantaseryes.by now, you must have at least aea as to why the cover page is crowd-such peculiar characters. This yearsover story focuses on the Fantaseryeenon. Expect scales and feathers toe analyze and divulge why local TVes are suddenly developing a tasteasy-based soap operas and why the

    s are each others throats (again).w, we move on to the subsections.Lounge, we feature two of the radios freshest faces- err, voices- who alsoto be Lasallians. ForOTBT, the writer

    o experience what its like to run aria , while for 25 Centavos Worth,er relates her views on the place ofal Chinese customs in modern times.nth also features the unveiling of twosections. First, theres Rant n Rave, reviews are taken to the next level.

    eres Fearless Forecasts, where a writera certain current trend, analyzes it,

    dly predicts what would happen ine, based on whats happening now.maiden FF, the writer gives his honesthe potentially dismal fate of the videodustry.what are you waiting for? Turn thehe Zoo awaits, dear intrepid reader!

    Juan Carlos ChavezMenagerie Editor

    Desperate HousewivesStudio 23 (Thursdays, 9pm)

    rs Note Rant n Rave

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    No misprint above. Hiphappeninghappy is really this second year literature majors pre-ferred on-air alias. For Michelle Marielle Happy Feraren, her fondness for radio firstmanifested during her early teens. She remembers having this big crush on Mo Twister,

    who incidentally was a DJ of Magic 89.9 during that time, and that she would listen tohim every time she got the chance.

    Eventually, what started out as infatuation soon grew into determination. Shedecided that by the time she reached college, she wanted to become a student DJ.Luckily enough for her, opportunity came knocking as early as high school, whenshe was given the chance to audition for campus patroller. However, she was only15 during that time (the minimum age requirement was 18). But it was her naturalknack for public speaking that eventually prevailed, and her being three years belowthe minimum age requirement did not hinder Happy in pursuing that one thing shedesperately wanted to start doing. And now that shes working for Magic 89.9, shecouldnt be happier (no pun intended).

    According to her, the radio industry is really tough. You have to be patient, youhave to know your place and you cant be presko. Happy also stressed the importanceof always making sure to say something substantial when on air. In my part, I justplay my cards right and when Im given the opportunity, I dont do anything stupid, Ireally grab it and make the most out of it. She also strongly believes that developingones skills in radio requires tons of personality enrichment - This is radio your faceis not seen and you have to work with your voice, so you cant sound dull. Happyalso testifies the value of being herself when on air I dont try to copy anyone...somepeople go on air and put on this fake American accent, You have to be yourselfthen your personality will stand out, she further adds. As for her practice rituals,Happy finds that reading a couple of magazines out loud and reciting tongue twisters

    are extremely helpful regimens for her pronunciation, especially when shes preparingherself for an hour or so of talking on air.

    Her nickname notwithstanding, Happy means business when it comes to hosting andseems to be very serious with her current choice of work. But despite her rather straight-forward approach, you can always count on her to perk up the airwaves whenever shesbehind the microphone.

    To most of us, dealing with a hefty academic load while competing with De La Salle Universityscheetah-paced trimestral system is, in itself, nerve-wracking. But to be a full time student and, at thesame time, work for one of the Philippines youth-oriented radio stations? Thats suicide! But in thecase of these two perky individuals, they make it all seem effortless.

    Meet Michelle Marielle Happy Feraren and Sabrina Mimai Dar Santos full time disk jockeys guar-anteed to add spice for your radio-listening pleasure!

    Aside from having the potential ability to cure listeners from Kailangan Pa Bang I-Memorize Yan Syndrome,Happy and Mimai share a lot more in common. Both are students from the College of Liberal Arts. Both areactive members of DLSUs Green Media Group, and b oth are members of that organizations hosting pool.

    Happy Ferrarenaka Hip Happening HappyMagic 89.9

    Sabrina Dar SantosSabrina

    Campus Radio 97.1 DWLS

    You got hiphappeninghappy all the way til 12 oclockon this hot Sunday afternoon only here on the station thatgives you nothing but todays best music, Magic 89.9

    You are tuned in Campus Radio 97.1 DWLSFM, thisis Sabrina of aircheck batch 3 checking in on a lovelySaturday morning to give you your favorite hits for thenext hour. Oh yeah! Its gonna be you, me and yourfavorite hits on Campus Radio.

    AnimoAiron

    Through their experiences as DJs, they both realized that they have the power oinfluencing and shaping listeners minds even through their voices. And just like ever yother person from the same vocation, they are constantly faced with the challenge otrying to uplift the spirits of their listeners. But most importantly, though they both enjotheir current career, both Happy and Mimai say that they are not limited to this profession, nor is it their end goal. Instead, they see this kind of job as a major stepping-stonto bigger, and perhaps, brighter things in the future.

    So, to all wannabe DJs out there, may these two be inspirations for you to reachout and pursue your aspirations. Consider this as a pleasant awakening to add a sparof new interest to all you radio addicts.

    On air, she may prefer to go under her original moniker. But to her closest friends,fourth year Organizational Communication major Sabrina Dar Santos, is knownsimply as Mimai, the girl with the contagious laugh and a generally optimisticoutlook in life. With such an energetic disposition, no one would suspect that heron-air hours require her to stay up from 12 midnight up to the wee, ungodly hours ofthe morning.

    A long time collector of Smash Hits and other music magazines, she first worked herway through auditioning just last year due to her friends referral. Although she initiallydid not have any plans of entering this kind of job, her fondness for speaking gave wayfor this opportunity. Growing up, Mimai looks up to a couple of MTV VJs. She says shewas fascinated by the way these personalities projected on T.V. I have to say that mygreatest influence would be T.V. personalitiesI was enamored by the way they speakand carry their selves, its like there so smart. And according to Mimai, her coursehas indeed helped her a lot in her job.

    In spite of her calm aura, Mimai is of course, no stranger to on-air pressure. Butnonetheless, she manages to handle it well. You have to sound smart and spontane-ous, Miami shares. Practice is also a necessity for her; some of her rituals beforegoing on air include talking to herself and playing a lot of things on her mind.

    Mimai also shares that when shes on air, time flies and if shes the one in chargeshe have to be as lively and energetic as possible. When asked as to how she wouldproject on air when on a bad mood, she says, No matter the situation you have tohold down your emotion. - Now, thats professionalism! One thing Sabrina loves aboutworking in her station is that her work in school and as a DJ never come into conflict.Our station tells us that its always school first, if we have something to do they tell usto work on it, as long as its school related.

    Sabrina is not afraid of grabbing oppor tunities and making sacrifices. However, onething is for sure, she doesnt want to remain stagnant in this profession and is preparedto moved on for greater things in her future. But, for now, with a big grin on her face shesays, Im enjoying every bit of it.

    PHOTOS BY ERIC SIY

    e Lounge

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    Most kitchen chores are fairly easy. Cooking is one no-brainer, provided youre not doing fancy stuff. The samegoes for washing dishes and baking. So working in a

    carinderiamust be just as easy, right?Well, that could be the case if I was the Iron Chef.But, all I can assure right now is - Working, much more run-

    ning, a carinderiais definitely no picnic

    Off to the Market!

    Staying up late to do school work is nothing new. Neither iswaking up in the wee hours of the morning for the same purpose.But waking up at three in the morning to go to the wet market? Iwasnt even aware that the market opened at that time!

    Apparently, the market does open even earlier than three. Infact, by three AM, the Pasig City Central Market is a busy place,contrasting sharply with the dark sky above it.

    Without much ado, Ate Madelyn, the proprietress of mychosen carinderia, and I started marketing. Awake as thoughit were high noon, Ate Madelyn zipped here and there, to thisstall and to another with me tagging along. With us was Ryan,Madelyns ten-year-old son.

    It was a bit hard to keep track of her. It was clear that wewere going down an established route of various sukis. The go-ing was quick. Shed come up to a stall. The vendors, obviouslyfamiliar with her, would attend to her quickly. If they had theirhands full at the moment, shed be allowed to rifle through theirgoods without worrying that she might ruin their foodstuffs.

    Soon, after about an hour and fifteen minutes, we foundourselves heavily loaded with ingredient-laden plastic bags andheading back to Ate Madelyns carinderia(which, incidentally,was in front of her r esidence).

    Sweating Off in the KitchenUpon our return, Ate Madelyn immediately started prepar-

    ing the days fare. According to her, she would open the storeat 6:30, as she caters to the graveyard shifters in the nearbyoffice building. And since her morning repertoire included fiveto seven viands, soup and lots of steamed rice, we had to beginright away.

    All preparations were done in Ate Madelyns very narrowkitchen. The cooking area consisted of a small cutting/choppingarea and a corner with two gas ranges with two heating coilseach. And right behind that was an open door that led to a big-ger preparing table set under an awning.

    Thus, the work began. For me, that meant peeling and dicing

    ginger, slicing eggplants and helping to cookbopis, pinak-bet,and porkchops. Ryan steamed the rice, something AteMadelyn said he did exceptionally well. Mang Andy, hervery supportive husband, went over to the big table outsideto do whatever his wife should assign (preparing adobo,in this mornings case). It was obviously a well-rehearsedassembly line. I was beginning to think that an amateurlike me was more of a bane than a boon.

    The whole time, Ate Madelyn helped keep things in-

    teresting by sharing tidbits about how she runs things. Forinstance, she always makes it a point to prepare adobo.She also always makes room for innovations. Changeslike these have made her carinderia a place to frequentbecause of the great variety of food she served. Plus, shehardly takes sick leaves even if she is sick. The thoughtof the income shed lose by resting even one day wouldother her too much.

    I checked my watch. The time is 6:15 AM. Our publicawaits!

    Here, There, and Everywhere!We started lugging out pots full of rice and assorted

    putahe: binagoongan, the ever-popular adobo, pinakbet,pansit, longganisa, papaitan, bopis. We quickly set upthe tables as customers were beginning to show up. Afterthe 6:30 opening, Ate Madelyns carinderia closes forabout an hour after 9:30 and reopens at 10:30-11 toserve brunch.

    Then, there is another lull. She doesnt serve lunchbecause its too taxing. And also, as I suspect, becausemost of the fellows whod go for lunch there would geta take-out baggie during brunch, when the foods a bitcheaper. Well, she knows her limitations.

    The last thing she prepares is merienda, which stillfeaturesadobo, but this time with some turonand banana-cues thrown in.

    There is just no real way to give the blow-by-blowaccount of the whirlwind of customers, food, moneyexchanges, and conversations that blew around me.Admittedly (though people who know me might gag inamusement and disbelief), I was a bit shy about goingforth and serving. After all, I didnt know how much foodto serve to each customer, I am bit clumsy, and worst of all,I didnt know how much everything cost (no, there was nolist). But with a little egging on, I took my post by the ricepot under the watchful eye of Ate Madelyn.

    I spent most of that morning, from about 6:45 to about

    9:30 dishing out really hot rice or stuffing it into pbags, popping the caps off Coke bottles and accepayments, still under the eye of the proprietress. Twas this one moment I made a painful discovery: sing rice can actually cause burns! It was a tiring runit wasnt over yet.

    Brunch was interestingly different. It was serveddistinctly fast-foody way: the value meal. Its a pacdeal with rice and a viand at 20 pesos (normally are sold separately). If you want a small Coke to go with your meal, then you pay an extra five.

    A motley lot eats at Ate Madelyns carinderia. Mtheyre office workers from the nearby building. Theclude people of very different professions from mechto engineers to secretaries. Generally, the female cuers prefer to get food to go, possibly to avoid the albunch that actually sits down and eats.

    When people come together in a place liketheyre not likely to spill their guts and tell all. But, tsomething about being united in food and drink that mcommon entertainment the lives of everyone presentwithout the help of alcohol. Theres a wealth of experto be picked up from places like these: stories as complace as those about work to tales about things as coas getting sued for beating up someone in a brawl.

    When All is Said and DoneDuring my one-day run in the carinderia, I susta

    several cuts, rice burns and tired feet. But in the ewas all worth it, because like a l ot of things in l ife, treally more to carinderiawork than the cookingcleaning. And just like a lot of things in life, the only

    youll find these pearls is if you go to the sea and divthem yourself.

    Experience has once again proven to be one ofgreatest teachers because for sure, Ate Madelyn hdegree in Hotel and Restaurant Management . And yedaily schedule, and the precision to which she folloto my mind, must resemble the organization of that obest businesses around.

    But, this sort of venture does have a requiremesomething that no classroom can ever fully impart anno course card can ever truly reflect.

    NICOLE TANGCO

    girlscarinderia Theres a wealth of experience to be picked up from places like these

    stories as commonplace as those about work to tales about things a

    colorful as getting sued for beating up someone in a brawl.he Beaten Track

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    PRODUCED BY ANJELI PESSUMAL & KARESS RUBRICO

    Something is happening to our local primetime viewinghabits. Non-referential titles of television shows that weredirectly lifted from famous local ballads are now beingreduced to just the name of the main character as the title.Less actors are given roles with names like Maria Bianca orDoa Constantina and other two-names-said-in-one-breath.In fact, names are getting harder to pronounce: Bagwis,Harimon, MambabarangMambabawhat?

    Thefantaserye, whether you like it or not, is here tostay. Amusing as it may sound, our culture has had a longand interesting history with the soap opera, but this seemsto be the freshest of all. Thats saying a lot, considering thefantaseryecan still get quite ludicrous and tr ite.

    When Marimar became VivianWhile Judy Ann Santos Mara Clarahad been around

    long before our networks became a melting pot of inter-national novelas, it was Marimarthat changed the phaseof the TV drama. In fact, these dubbed shows gainedsuch huge followings that they were given primetimeslots, and soap operas in the Philippines would never bethe same again. The arrival of the Mexican telenovelawas welcomed by the Filipino audience because of thecultural proximity of the two countries. Their portrayal ofthe poor and the oppressed seemed to be akin to that ofthe Filipino suffering, and the heroes continued strugglesymbolically reflected the Filipino resistance. Close tohome, but not quite.

    The more recent wave to hit primetime drama wasthe chinovela, and soon after, the koreanovela. Broughtfrom Taiwan and Korea respectively, these soap operasfeatured lighter themes focusing on love, had less char-acters, and appealed more towards the youth than thethirtysomething housewives. In the meantime, Filipinoteledramas remained stagnant, even supporting the moreprominent and headlined chinovelasin their respectivenetworks. That is, until ABS-CBN plunged into the deepwaters for Marina.

    From catfights to bird fightsDubbed as the first ever fantaserye, Marinafeatured

    the story of a young woman who was cursed into be-coming a mermaid. Her quest of getting back her legs,

    swimming her way out of evil, and finding love becamethe focal points of the series. Sounds familiar?

    Not to be outdone, GMA7 announced the first etele-fantasya,Mulawin. Before anyone else could bquestioning the terminologies, Mulawin, a mythical sof half-birds, half-humans who protect people from a gof vengeful Ravsoared high up the ratings, sending rival network to the libraries to explore other possibilitithe fantaserye. Krystala, an obvious rip-off from the coseries Darna, became ABS-CBNs pride and joy, wGMA ironically copied the superhero idea by buyingrights ofDarna. Two more series have emerged since

    Sounding like a play-by-play account of the twoworks rivalry, it seems that producers care more abouings than anything else. With that being said, the quesis: How new are these new shows anyway?

    CGI-Sige LangOne thing is for sure: over the years, technology

    drastically improved the production value of televishows. Producers of the fantaseryeshave taken advanof this by going the extra mile. Underwater camera, cial effects using CGI, over-the-top costumes and makebecome staples in the shows. The top actors in the induquick pacing of the storylines, subplots go on to adthe hype.

    ANTASIES IN A BOX

    er Story

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    strong identification towards these fictional roles makes fora hopeful Filipino. It is not enough for them to be hopeful oftheir struggles through an oppressed protagonist; instead,they find themselves hopeful of possessing human quali-ties that the superhuman possesses in order to defeat theirown struggles. Going a bit deeper now, this pop culturephenomenon is a sort of shared public fantasy. It all liesin the creation of characters that everyone could not justrelate, but also aspire to become.

    The real superpowerThe sheer number of fantaseryes mushrooming left

    and right does make eyebrows go to orbit. Reiterating theearlier point, the whole concept is absurdyet these showsare faithfully revered by their audiences. One such factorto this is sheer a ccessibility. The fact that they exist in therealms of television confirms that they can be very easilyreached by a wide audience in the shortest possible time.Yes,Mulawinreally does swoop down your TV screen,while Marinaflips her tail flirtatiously at you. Of course,that comes before selling the real idea; the producers,assuming their typical money-hungry roles, cook up theseshows. This act comes off as an attempt to connect withtheir audience which actually works.

    The fantaserye, pretty blatantly, leans particularly

    towards the fantasy genre something that the audreally can relate to, wings, fishtails, and superhumaners notwithstanding. Better to give this drivel to the vito generate more money in the producers alreadypockets, than teach them intricate, complicated, andligentthings they wouldnt understand. No viewer cohension beget no understanding, no understanding no audience, no audience beget no sales, money, Thatis the real world. Pretty simple as that.

    A LessonIn the long run, while megabucks may be mad

    the trials and tribulations of scantily clad teen starstelevision producers offer to the audience - the hidmeanings, the lessons, and the eye candy - are but atively cheap way to give back what viewers have toThere may be a clearer distinction of the producers mand how it goes around them, but whatever theyre seviewers ultimately does not really operate the same wgiving and getting. Because producers and consuare nonexistent in that other arena.

    Besides the massive production value leading to bigger budg-ets, the shift from drama to drama-adventure seems drastic onlyin the producers part, but not a s much in the creative side.

    The characters seem to take on new forms, but stereotypesremain. The suffering young woman; her childhood friend witha hidden desire for her; the rich suitor who will do anything forher; the jealous villain and his/her sidekick; the comic relief: theycouldve well been the same characters from last yearstelenovelaput into this years hit drama. Add in high flying kicks here, theability to fly there, and magical transformations all over, andyouve got a fantaserye.

    Nobody seems to mind, really. After all, these plotlines andcharacter profiles are tried and tested formulas for a commer-cial success. Who can argue against the high ratings Mulawinearned in its final episode, or the success of Marinaleading toits spoof, Marinara?

    Putting the fan in fantasyIn the past, the fans of the teleseryeswould mostly comprise

    of followers of the shows main love teams. The fantaserye, on theother hand, does not deal with the pairings as much. True, most

    of their adventures are in the name of love, but the assortment ofits audiences from 6 to 60 are stemmed from markets variedinterests: the kids love the adventure, the youth follow the loveangles, and the older crowd appreciates the production value.While thetelenovelabridged classes, the fantaseryebridged agegaps. They have the ratings to prove it.

    But the attraction to this genre has to go deeper than just theadventure, love angles, and production value. It seems that thefantaseryehas been able to do something that no other localtelevision show has.

    The more subliminal approach to analyzing the attraction ofthe teleseryehas focused on the escapism of its Filipino audience.Their sympathy towards the suffering main character allows themto follow her struggles and the ways in which she gets past them.The audience always knows of a happy ending; this satisfiestheir own hopes.

    The telenoveladisguises itself to be reality, hence the audi-ences fascination. Thefantaserye, on the other hand, admits toan artificial world, where superheroes and mythical charactersexist. The audience realizes its absurdity, and yet believes in it andis drawn towards it. The magic in the formula lies in the mythicalcharacters humanness. The heroine of the story (pun intended)is meek on the outside but strong and willful on the inside; themythical characters are half-breeds but possess strong humanqualities that make them admirable to the Filipino audience.

    The telenovelacreates a parallelism between the characterslife and their audience; the fantaseryeexceeds that by putting

    their character on a pedestal. The term hero never seemedmore apt. Because of this, the audience believes in surpassingtheir own struggles upon seeing superhuman characters do it. The

    While the telenovelab r idged c lasses, thefantaserye bridgedage gaps. They have theratings to prove it

    WITH REPORTS FROM MARGA CORON

    ARTWORKS BY PATRICK JOY AB

    GRAPHICS AND PAGE DESIGN BY JAN J

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    The room is quiet. Arms chilling, heart rate increasing,fingers are aching. BAM! And player 1 sends the final bossdown to the canvass with a virtual elbow to the head.Credits Roll. Game Over. But at the rate things are goingright now, the same thing might eventually apply for thegaming biz itself.

    Sure, it might sound silly for an industry that growsjust about every year. In fact, last year, the video game

    industry grew by a margin of 8%. Pretty impressive, right?But what we dont realize is that video games are actuallybecoming stale. According to PC Magazines John Dvorakin his article Doom 4: End of the Game industry?, it maybe because of the high price of video gaming (games cost$50 in the US), and how the video games have hardlychanged since the originalDoomhit our fathers computerscreens.

    Five Category WonderYesterday, Pong was the first video game and Super

    Mario was a fresh idea. Starcraft and its brother Warcraftwere innovative. Sonic the Hedgehog was the only bluecritter who could turn into a ball and Mortal Kombat wasthe goriest game in town, not to mention the only one tokapitalize on switching Cs with Ks. The market today,however, says otherwise. Todays games are in simpleterms, rip-offs.

    Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo discussed the lackof new game ideas and that there were more or less fouror five game categories. Furthermore, Dvorak observedthat Most of todays hottest games are combinations oftwo or three of these categories, with a storyline added tokeep the players from being bored stiff. Come to think ofit, they do have a point. Todays biggest games likeGrandTheft Autoand its sequels are a combination of simulation,adventure and action games.

    Plumbers, Hedgehogs and Gun-totting girlsRemember the time when Sonic, Mario, Lara Croft,

    Link (from Zelda), and hell, even Duke Nukemwere sobig, they were given pop star treatment? Today, they areno longer the first thing on gamers minds. Proof is that

    Microsofts Xbox has survived even without a companyicon or mascot. In some ways, they show how the videogame industry has changed. Mario and Sonic usedto have their own TV shows, and each new video gamelaunch was a major event. Obviously, there were no Xboxsuccess stories back then.

    Companies like 3DO and Ataris last video gamesystemJaguarfailed because of, ironically, the lack of anestablished mascot to market their system. But after Sonicthe Hedgehog made Mario a run for his, err, coins, many

    followed ship. Soon, there were more furr y creatures withattitude than Sonic could outrun. Video game developerseven took it to the next level using characters from the foodindustry, like the 7-Up dot and Ronald McDonald!

    Another probable reason for this impending declinewould be the change of times. The video games, whichused to be part of the toy industry, now make up theirown corporate juggernaut. And because of this, they k eepgetting more technologically advanced. But with real ismbeing the apparent new trend, there seems to be less spacefor cartoon plumbers and mushroom princesses in todaysvideo game scene.

    Insert CoinTodays video game industry can be summarized

    into two words: Cash Cow. With the booming industryironically lacking in innovation, they opt to take a sidequest to increase funding and hence, the new trend ofvideo game advertising. Product placements in games hasrecently emerged as the potential saving grace for videogame developers, whose costs are seen to fur ther increasein the coming years.

    And apart from those awful console-inspired movieslike Street Fighter, Super Mario, and to a remote degree,Starship Troopers, one of the things video game compa-nies do is re-release their classics. Its those magical oldgames where gamers relive their childhood memories and

    acknowledge how faulty the new incarnations of their videogame characters are. Talk about nostalgia trip!

    Here Comes a New Challenger!From here on, gamers will be hearing much more

    about the next-generation systems poised to dispatch

    Playstation 2s, Xboxes, and if anyone owns it, Gamecubeslike the Betamax. So hello again to the beautiful (for now)graphics, realistic (for now) sounds, the USB controllers,the fancy Blu-ray DVDs, the silver casings, the hard discs,the highly accelerated graphics cards, online, and all theother candy stuff in the form of the PlayStation 3, Xbox360, and the Nintendo Revolution.

    The more gamers hear about it, the more it says howvideo game systems turned from the 8-bit, 16-bit, 32-bitwars to the PC sellers diagnosis. To quote Dvorak: The

    business is going to attempt to sustain growth and creativityby making game players buy newer and newer machines.Computer gaming has always been sustained by never-end-ing improvements in resolution and realism. But once weget to photorealism, what is going to sustain growth?

    Game OverBoss DVD is not the only pirate word out in the

    streets, theres always the relieving Boss PS2, Xbox,DVD Game follow-ups. Those simple Bossy quotationsdescribe how the video game industry is in the Philippines.Its obvious that most of those who own video game systemsare, dare I say it, piracy patrons. Looking at the greaterpicture, its actually more of a give and take relationship.Someone should calculate how many Playstation unitsSony is supposed to sell in a third world country if thegames cost of the unit itself. Nevertheless, it is one ofthe factors that might eventually lead to the downfall ofthe gaming industry. Imagine if the rest of the world getssick of the high prices.

    The near future is still not totally bleak for the gamingindustry. But with all of the factors combined, includingthe increasing costs for both the buyers and the sellers,the next generation of gaming systems could be very wellthe last of the current gaming boom. Eventually, peoplewill get satiated with shelling out $300 for a new gaming

    console every 3 or so years and find themselves playingthe same old games with improved graphics and sounds,and a host of new awkward control features.

    Besides, the 8-bit NES, or Family Computer as it ismore popularly known here, still boasts a library of highquality games, which can rival the quality of gameplay

    in many PS2 games. Add to that the need to satisdemands of the gamers and the devotion needed totodays complex games. Save a Hadouken and a Boom please.

    Press Start to ContinueAs the Continue? screen counts down, it is stil

    to imagine future without video games. But assuminthere will no longer be gaming consoles plugged sets, the end of the industry will not automatically sp

    complete doom for video games. There will a lways audience for it, just that it will be marginalized likecult film followers.

    But with the apparent coming soon of interatelevision, who needs a video game industry with intive TVs and, perhaps even robot pets dominating hin years to come? The future can still be the future without video games, and who knows? Maybe it wbecome much brighter once it happens. Game Ove

    FRANZ CHAN

    GRAPHICS AND PAGE DESIGN BY JAN J

    [ As the Continue?screen counts down, it still hard to imagine futur

    without video games. ]

    rless Forecast

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    ONVERGENCEWhat is your secret TV pleasure?

    I like watching Chinovelas like MeteorGarden, Dolphin Bay, and Korean seriessuch as Hotelier, All About Eve, WinterSonata, and many more. By the way, I onlywatch cable channels. I dont watch localchannels except (for) news.

    -MJ, IV-ACM

    I like to watchFriends because its notstressful and you dont really have to think.

    -Michael Cancio, I-IBS

    Watching reality shows. I enjoy watch-ing human dynamics and interaction.

    -Herbert Hallig, V-CHE

    Soap operas. I used to watch Hiram andSpirits. I always wanted to go home early soI [wouldnt] miss it and since I was obsessedwith it, I had my friend tell me the details ofthe show when I missed it.

    -Mai, III-PHM

    Mga cartoons. Lalo na pag LooneyTunes. Pag-napanood ko na yon parang anghirap nang ilipat yung channel.

    -Jet, III-OCM

    Mickey Mouse. Same Ears.-Gene, III-ECE

    Cartoons. Basta maganda ang draw-ing.

    -Fernando Legaspi, IV-ECE

    Spongebob Squarepants. Hes like a weirdand funny kid trapped in an old sponge. Helives in a pineapple under the sea.

    -Alvin Vasquez, II-CIV

    Bioman! Ako si Pink-5!-Leia, V-CAM-MMG

    Meteor Garden. Whoohoo! Oh baby-baby-baby, my baby-baby

    -Bancs, IV-CAM-MMG

    Anything Gundam-related. Better if its theolder series.

    -JM de Leon, V-CAM-MMG

    I love watching cartoon programs espe-cially if they are funny like Timon and Pumbaaand I also like cartoons about mysteries likeTotally Spies and Detective School Q. It makesme think to get clues.

    -Margaret Gile, II-BMG

    Mostly reality TV shows such as AmericanIdol,The Biggest Loser, etc. When watchingthose, you just have this feeling that you alsobelong to that show which makes it more funand exciting.

    -Cyrus Matela, V-ACM

    I watch Chinovelas like Meteor Garden.-Bernadette Banzon, II-AE-BSA

    Reality TV shows like The Apprentice.-Jennifer Sibal, IV-ACM

    Art films. Xmas @ Oprah.-Abram Sze, CBE-MMG

    Watching anime.-Nestor Ong, IV-ACM

    Watching the MYX hit charts andCharmed, even if I dont believe in that stuffand dont have the chromosomal make-up toappreciate those skimpy clothes.

    - Chab, V-BMG

    Ha-ha-po-pi. I never knew whatthose words meant, but I saythem like my grandmother taughtme as a little girl. Every time wewould visit our grandfathersmausoleum, shed utter thosewords with me as we raised ourincense sticks and offered themup to the heavens.Burying the Dead

    During my grandmothersfuneral, those words becamea lonely requiem that echoedthrough my head like a silentprayer. A Buddhist chant playedin the background as she restedpeacefully in her beautiful silkrobes. All decked out in white,my cousins and I knelt before thecoffin to pay our last respectsbefore we finally made our way

    down to join the funeral entou-rage. Trumpets blared cacopho-nous symphonies to drive awaywandering spirits as pallbearerscarried my grandmother into thehearse.

    Behind, a truck was loadedwith all the goods that my grand-mother might ever need in herperilous journey to the afterlife:sack after sack of carefully fold-ed paper money, a paper houseof 7-foot proportions, paperappliances, a paper airplane,Mercedes Benz and sedan chair,paper lanterns, and her earthlyclothes. All of these things wereto be swallowed by a pit offire, whose smoke would raisethe ashes to their master, to bereceived in the next world.

    ANNE LORRAINE NG

    COMPILED BY: ISABELLE REGINA YUJUICO

    When

    Cultures

    Co

    llide My father, with his two broth-ers, led the funeral march. Don-ning white, pajama-like garbs,

    they each had a white bandtied across their foreheads thatmade them look like 3 kung-fumasters grieving behind thecreeping hearse. The womenfollowed closely behind, veilsthrown over their heads while wegrandchildren trailed at the rear.Under the scorching afternoonsun, we snaked our way throughthe dusty, urban landscape. Themarching band broke into an-other song, and we bowed ourheads in mourning. Today, wewalk with the dead. But cometomorrow, will we still?

    Burying a Culture

    They say that the vast libraryof complex Chinese traditionsdrew from a 4,000-year oldheritage that spans throughoutcivilized history, from the earliestYellow River settlements to theImperial Courts that so beguiledMarco Polo. With the onset ofthe Maoist revolution during thepast century, highly volatile po-litical and economic conditionssparked the exodus of Chinesemigrs to the four corners ofthe world.

    Today, each Chinese commu-nity across the globe celebratesits own distinct set of culturalvalues that have been the subjectof many a Westerners booksand memoirs. But do the Chineseyouth of today respond with asmuch zeal and appreciation to-wards their inherited identity?

    If you can visualize whathappened on my grandmothersfuneral, then youll realize justhow excessively elaborate Chi-

    nese rituals can be, which addsto my distaste for them. Living ineconomically taxing times, suchexcesses can prove to be moreimpractical than they are oblig-ing. Many of these practices,besides, are no longer treated assacred religious rites but merelystand for ceremonial pomp andglitz. Only the most devout of

    Buddhists continue tothe spiritual value of tions, but since my gcounted as one, wthese rituals in revermemory.

    Slowly, the tighunadulterated Chineis being eroded byof global exposure.would often tell me sthis childhood in BSunday trips with his traditional Chinese pternoon treks to the lwith our grandmothexperienced any of thmy early years are memories of Misa debibingka during Chrlazy couch-potato we

    Pong Pagong and eawalks with my grandfLuneta. A lot of timesFilipino than I do Chple ask me questionculture and half the even answer. Somefascinated at how labout my own roots.

    Burying RegreWhile I will neve

    core traditionalist, I hheld an ardent esteheritage. Theres a cin knowing that this mture is what sets methe rest of the world. DChinese traditions inhdepth and color to tapestry of the huma

    I am Filipino-Chinup amid the jeepneysas of Manila, squeade Castros stories oand manananggaEnglish, listen to rock

    spent my childhoodthat I was destined Wonder Woman. Itsome time for me to how so very differecan co-exist harmothe worlds giant meam living proof of thfunny enough, this ocultures is who I am.

    25 centav

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