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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Headlines, Judas, and Arthur (UPDATED)

UPDATE: In observance of the Holy Week, your empress will take a break for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Black Saturday. Regular blogging will return on Easter Sunday with revision of maruja radio playlist and certain random lives.

In the meantime, do feel free to browse around my blog, press play on maruja radio for the freshest Filipino tracks, and also check out my latest tenant, Full Metal Photographer. This is the photo blog of
Full Metal Attorney, a heavy-metal loving, anime-adoring law student from Nebraska. This photo site features his attempts at amateur photography, which he takes as a hobby. His photos are great, I'm still browsing at it as I type this update. I'm sure you'll love his photos as well, and do check out his blog as well.



If you happen to live in the Philippines for the very first time, chances are reading the local newspapers could take you a bit squirmish.

No, it's not because the local press would tend to treat heinous crimes with front-page caliber. It's not because they put showbiz news on centerfold.

Just look at the headlines.

The Philippine press is known to use terms that only Filipinos (and their tongue-in-cheek humor) could understand, not to mention to save space.

I have today's edition of The Philippine Star and its littered with a bunch of headlines that foreign readers
would say "Wat Da Pak?"

JDV: 'Pork' restored, not padded

For the untrained reader, you would think that the country's holy man insists that the holy pork has been restored to its original shrine of worship and not a imitation consisting of padded styrofoam, especially that the Holy Week is nearing.

Filipino press have a penchant of using initials of prominent names. For instance, our current president is known by her initials GMA (Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo), while Pope John Paul II is headlined as Pope JP2.

In this case, JDV stands for House Speaker Jose De Venecia, who clarified that the 20-million peso "pork barrel" (fat funds that politicians here use to fund their projects, and make them rich at the same time) pad for congressmen only restored what was slashed from their allocation last year.

This alone is an obvious reason why my country never goes anywhere. Politicans here are so concerned over their earnings...I mean, their fundings.

How about this headline...

Labor group calls for Cha-cha debate.

We Filipinos are crazy. Why would we want to debate about a Latin dance?

Not really. Cha-cha means "charter change" or moves to amend the decade-old constitution. I for one would want the government to amend the constitution, but knowing the politicians here, such amendments
would tend to sway in their favor and interest.

'Batas an 5' ask DOJ to dismiss rebellion case

Robot-superhero team "Batasan 5" accused of rebellion? Why?

The "Batasan 5" are actually five congressmen housed in their own offices for fear that they would be arrested for rebellion if they step out of the Congress building.

This style also applies to the "Hyatt 10," "Big 3," and "10-17."

I'll leave this final headline to you...

House leaders still eyeing con-ass -- Jaraula

Wat Da Pak?



All members of the imperial household gathered round last Sunday to watch National Geographic's documentary about The Gospel Of Judas.

Ah, nothing like good old Sunday family gatherings. We sacrificed not watching the monthly finals of Shall We Dance (our country's spin-off of Dancing With The Stars, which my Venezuelan chatmate Luis abhors) only to see for ourselves what the fuss is all about the newly-discovered Gnostic document that was supposed to shake one's faith.

Among the country's Catholic majority, Judas (or Hudas in local vernacular) is not only considered the traitor of Jesus, but also a butt of jokes. It is not uncommon to see jeepneys plying around the metro with a sign bearing the words, "God knows Hudas not pay" (God knows who does not pay).

And now that Easter is nearing, Judas will play a major role in Pampanga Province, the country's cradle of
the Catholic faith (and my mom's home province). Aside from parades of men flagellating themselves on their backs and actual crucifixions, Pampanga is known to highlight Easter with a doll resembling Judas--always painted red--twirl around a pole fronting the church and explode with hundreds of firecrackers wrapped around its belt.

But among a select group of early Christians, Judas is not a traitor.

He actually did Jesus a favor.

The gospel contains what was stated as a secret conversation between Jesus and Judas days before "The Betrayal. What was startling was that, according to the text, Jesus said to Judas: "You shall be cursed for generations, (but) you will come to rule over them," and that "You will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me."

The writers of this document (since it was certainly not Judas Iscariot) believe that Judas was the most favored among Jesus' disciples and that he made Jesus a favor by liberating Him from the flesh.

After watching the documentary, my little brother commented, "I thought it was something so shocking."

I guess his faith was not shaken.

As for me, I think the document complemented the four Gospels that we have accustomed to. It can be said that Jesus was already aware of Judas' betrayal and that He understood its impact in generations to come.

For one, His life became a stepping stone of a major religion in the world.

Through this document, we have heard another side of the story of Jesus.

But Judas is still Judas. Hero or traitor, it all boils down on what to believe.



Here's a hot photo of Philippine actor Arthur Solinap (who plays Moros in Encantadia). This is one of many steamy male photos that will be shown in the upcoming issue of X-Ray Magazine. I better save up for that one.



New on Maruja Radio. I have concocted of a playlist consisting of the Brownlandia's hottest tracks from different music genres. Please leave a comment of your best and worst picks.

I'll be detailing the songs in my next post.

So what yah waiting for? Christmas? Passover? Election? Take your pick now.


Blogger pseudo-artist said...

hey gorgeous!

i just wana tell you that you really write well. i enjoyed reading you blog. i thought this was just another queer site.

i'm not sure how i found your link. i sure am happy i got here. i'm linking you up. you'll be part of my daily reads :)

more power to you sister! ;)

Wed Apr 12, 03:45:00 PM GMT+8

Blogger Neil said...

Hmmm... sensationalism is the best policy.

Well, it has been a 'tradition', and a standard in journalism, though comic or not. If layouts should follow standards, like of course, unit counting of the headlines to be placed on the page, they need to reword terms as much as possible. hehehe. Cha-cha is the popular term of charter change, and so on and so forth. Some letters are ommitted, constricted, compressed, and sometimes 'sensationalized'.
American newspapers do the same, too.

About Judas, there were/are arguments involving the existence of a book specially written for his biography and contribution to the Church. Same as Mary Magdalene, the Apocrypha, etc. I'm not precise with this one since I last read that article when I was in elementary. Accordingly, these groups are testifying that the Book of Judas, found as one of a compilation of ancient Bible scripts in Egypt and the Dead Sea, should be part of the New Testament since such book gave credit to Jesus Christ, his contribution to the Church, and the 'real' story behind this gruesome allegations of his 'satanic' betrayal. Same as Mary Magdalene's. But of course, if all of us have read references about the legitimacy and the hypocrisy of these books, maybe people could argue how the Bible was altered for the Catholic, or other religions' 'hidden agenda'.

Maybe the world has been cruel to him. His sin was also underscored in "La Divina Comedia" as one of the 3 Worst Sins in Hell (Inferno Book). Poor Jude.

Sometimes, I don't know what I should believe. If I only knew...

Wed Apr 12, 03:54:00 PM GMT+8

Blogger ribbiticus said...

excellent post, my dear empress! you put it so succinctly. i myself missed that national geo special but am definitely going to watch the replay. :)

Thu Apr 13, 01:00:00 AM GMT+8

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello dear empress! What an entertaining post. Yeah, we Pinoys have a penchant for acronyms and such. And also I dont like reading most of the newspapers or even seeing the news since it's littered with only crimes and bad news. Happy easter to you btw!

Thu Apr 13, 03:56:00 PM GMT+8

Blogger Martian Anthropologist said...

Hey there. I notice you link to my blog, which I really appreciate. However, I switched to Wordpress. Would you mind changing the link you have for me to my new location?

It's at:



Sun Apr 16, 12:29:00 AM GMT+8

Blogger Airah said...

nice post, empress!

as always..

anyway, happy easter! & have a nice day! *hugs*


Sun Apr 16, 01:23:00 PM GMT+8

Blogger Empress Maruja said...

TENCHU -- It IS another queer site, only tamer, I think. Thanks for the add.

ASIATIC NEIL -- I do think that the early Catholic Church did a lot of streamlining not because they wanted to hide some "truths" but rather for the Church's survival.

RIBBITICUS -- Thanks so much for the kind words.

CHAS -- I agree. Crimes tend to be on the front page here more often than good news.


AIRAH -- Thanks a lot! Hugs din!

Sat Apr 22, 11:44:00 AM GMT+8


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