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FHM Is Tagalog For SMH: Laughably Racist Magazine Cover

March 6th, 2012 | 13 comments | Posted by Jen

For the cover of FHM Philippines’ March 2012 issue, someone thought it’d be an awesome idea to surround 20 year-old Filipina actress Bela Padilla with a group of black models. The racial message of the photo’s bad enough. Light-skinned model–or can we just say white here because that’s how it reads?– on a pedestal surrounded by dark-skinned models in subordinate positions. Then consider the fact that this is published for the Philippines, a country where it’s estimated half of the women bleach their skin.

Then there’s the caption. OH MY GOD, THE CAPTION.

After a Change.org petition was created to protest this cover, it’s been pulled and sent back into “the shadows,” back to the place where our world’s latent colonialist fantasies continue to reside, sipping their gin cocktails and lamenting “the good ol’ days.”

[via Daily Beast]

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Gulf Air Baby “May Be” Up For Adoption

September 14th, 2010 | 2 comments | Posted by Jen

A baby born on a Gulf Air flight from Bahrain to Manila who was found alive in an airplane trash bag Sunday “may be” up for adoption if authorities can’t track down his mother or declare the woman unfit, the AP reports.

Baby George Francis being attended to by nurses

The six-pound, nine-ounce baby boy, named George Francis after the plane’s flight code GF, is doing well, despite only being discovered when an airport security officer noticed something moving in one of the trash bags being removed from the plane. Inside the bag, baby George was covered in blood and tissue paper and still attached to the placenta. He was taken immediately to an airport clinic, where he was cleaned, clothed, and fed. Airport nurse Kate Calvo said, “After he was cleaned, he let off a soft cry.” Philippines Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman told the AP the baby looks Filipino. (Also, judging by the picture above, totally adorbs with a gorgeous shock of hair.)

I’m no expert, but let’s assume that a woman who’d throw her baby away in the trash is unfit to parent and get George Francis adopted already, shall we? After enduring his first moments of life in the rubbish heap and being left to die, this kid deserves The World’s Most Awesomest Parents. He needs parents who are going to embarrass him with hugs and kisses. He needs parents who’ll spoil him with too many toys, carry him when he’s way too old to be carried, and let him sleep in their bed when he’s scared. He needs parents who’ll always be there for him and take him wherever they go.

Basically, he needs these people:

Continue reading Gulf Air Baby “May Be” Up For Adoption

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Who Knew? Pilipinas Loves Animal Sounds And Bondage Gear And…

March 19th, 2010 | 4 comments | Posted by Diana

What I learned watching the following excerpt from Pilipinas Got Talent:


1. “B.M.” doesn’t always stand for “Bowel Movement.”

2. Sometimes, scaring is caring.

3. Black vinyl dominatrix gear with a flirty yellow tulle robe might get you fugged in the United States, but the PGT judges love it. LOVE IT.

4. The sound of a loud horse neigh scares the shit out of me.

5. It’s true–heels DO go with everything.

6. When you wait for the loud “X” buzzer, it never comes.

7. Those strange talents that the losers honed in homeroom while I was doodling stuff for my fanzine might actually pay off one day.

8. I clearly wouldn’t know talent if it walked up to me on Sunset Boulevard wearing an “I’m Talent” t-shirt and holding up a sign reading, “What does talent look like? Me!” then kicked me in the ass, punched me in the eye, and said, “I said I’m TALENT!”

[YouTube: Pilipinas Got Talent Big Mouth (BM)]

Source Thanks, G Scott!

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Congratulasians To Efren Peñaflorida, 2009 CNN Hero Of The Year!

November 23rd, 2009 | 2 comments | Posted by Diana

The people have spoken, and what they have said is that our man Efren Peñaflorida, with his pushcart school, is a hero among heroes. Try not to cry during his acceptance speech:





Perhaps we could all learn something from his tireless efforts and pushcart lessons. Peñaflorida said:

“Our planet is filled with heroes, young and old, rich and poor, man, woman of different colors, shapes and sizes. We are one great tapestry. Each person has a hidden hero within, you just have to look inside you and search it in your heart, and be the hero to the next one in need.”

And right now, from behind our walls of daily snark and selfishness and shame, we kinda believe him.

[CNN: Pushcart Educator Named CNN Hero Of The Year]

Thanks, Jasmine!

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How Did Manny Pacquiao Do It?

November 16th, 2009 | 5 comments | Posted by Jen

How did Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao make history this weekend, by becoming the first fighter to win seven world titles in seven different weight classes?

Intern Jasmine, our resident Pinaysian, has a theory.

adobo

It’s all in the adobo, baby.

[Sky News: Philippines Erupts As Boxer Makes History]

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AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Efren Peñaflorida Jr.

October 12th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana


Name: Efren Peñaflorida Jr.

Hails from: Cavite City, The Philippines

Occupation: Student, Founder of the Dynamic Teen Company organization, source of the pushcart classroom in Cavite City

Known for: Building a new path.

CNN has highlighted the 28-year old Pinoy, who grew up in the slums of Cavite City, amongst their Top 10 Heroes of 2009. Peñaflorida, like many of his peers, grew up terrorized by gang violence in his community that included offenses of vandalism and rape.

In high school, he made a decision–he was going to create a different option. With three friends, Peñaflorida created a club called the Dynamic Teen Company, aspiring to “cater youth awareness projects, talent and self development activities, and community services.” Living near the dump site of his city, he eagerly developed feeding projects for the small children sent to scavenge for leftovers and rotten food there. Years of development (building awareness, training themselves as educators, staging activities and concerts) eventually led the group to become a self-sustaining education organization, and they soon obtained a pedicab to create a traveling vehicle for their educating missions.

Ten years after the launch of DTC, Peñaflorida travels weekly with the pedicab–which has been outfitted as a foldout classroom, around the city to lead classes for children 2 to 14. He is armed with armed with a team of trained teen volunteers. They also run a hygeine clinic where kids can bathe and learn to care for their teeth.

CNN adds:

“Since 1997, an estimated 10,000 members have helped teach more than 1,500 children living in the slums. The organization supports its efforts by making and selling crafts and collecting items to recycle.”

It’s a lot of work, with slow-moving impact and very little fanfare. Yet somebody wants to do it: Efren Peñaflorida and his team of friends. What’s a little work when you’re creating real change?

So what else does Peñaflorida want? More carts. And, in case you’ve forgotten, the winner of the CNN Heroes Contest will receive $100,000! Help a brother out by voting for Efren now.

[CNN Heroes: Vote for Efren Peñaflorida]
[Dynamic Teen Company - Official Site]

Source

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A Prayer To Mother Nature For Our Kinfolk In Asia

September 30th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Dear Mother Nature,

First you flood the Philippines, where the homes of over 2 million people have been affected and 246 people have been reported dead so far. Then you unleash an undersea earthquake that turns into a tsunami on the Samoa Islands, killing dozens. After that, you take the same storm that menaced the Philippines, and move it over Laos and then Vietnam, where 170,000 homes have been damaged and 41 have been reported dead at last count. Still hell-bent on destruction, you then toss in another earthquake Wednesday–with a magnitude of 7.6–in Indonesia, near Padang, the capital city of West Sumatra, that claims 75 lives.

From the Philippines (Reuters)
From Padang, Indonesia (Reuters)

Lady, WTF? What did Asia ever do to you? Sleep with your fella, Father Time?!

Amidst all of this apocalyptic disaster, we did notice one tiny shred of good news:


No harm has come to the 20th season of Survivor? PHEW. Let no one say Mother Nature is without mercy!

On that note, do you think you could find room in your heart for a little more of that and, like, TAKE A FUCKING CHILL PILL?

How do you end a prayer to Mother Nature? Amen? Gaia be with me? LYLAS? Anyway…

yours sincerely,

DISGRASIAN

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Ketsana/Ondoy: Let America Guide The Way

September 28th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

The death toll of the Philippines’ Tropical Storm Ketsana (referred to in The Philippines as “Ondoy”) has reached 144, and is not done growing.

A few images of the devastation and panic caused by rapid flooding:




The country, described by AP this week as “doomed by geography and hobbled by poverty,” saw a rise in anger as stranded and suffering residents saw little or no quick aid from the government.

Dr. Prisco Nilo, chief of the PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration) who briefed the National Disaster Coordinating Council on the disastrous events, took an opportunity during an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer to blame the residents: “Instead of just watching the soap operas on TV, they should also watch the news,” he said.

But the government–particularly its leader, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo–pointed elsewhere, noting that the Philippine government’s response and public cry for International help was “quick” …compared to the response of the United States to Hurricane Katrina (and despite more than 7 additional inches of rain).

The mighty United States–not known, by and large, to be crippled by location or poverty–clearly pondered this statement, looked up to the sky, twiddled its thumbs and began to whistle nonchalantly.

[Times UK: Hundreds Featred Dead As Tropical Storm Ketsana Lashes Manila With Month's Rain In A Day]
[ABC News: Anger As Philippines Flood Death Toll Rises]

Source Source Source

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Philippine Prison Looks Phun! [Michael Jackson's "Dangerous"]

July 27th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Once again, the prisoners at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, where 70 percent of the inmates are convicted of serious crimes like murder, rape and drug trafficking, make maximum-security incarcerasian look really awesome with another Michael Jackson dance video, this time to “Dangerous”:

The prisoners’ first Michael Jackson video, choreographed to “Thriller,” has received over 30 million views since it was uploaded two years ago.

[NYT: Dance is part of rehabilitation at Philippine prison]

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The Importance of Being Earnest When You’re Alec Baldwin

May 20th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Alec Baldwin made a quick quip about Filipino and Russian mail-order brides* last week on Letterman (see video above, at 00:33)–and the immediate fallout in the Philippines was not pretty. In fact, the incident incited a particularly hot reaction from Filipino Senator Ramon Revilla–a former action movie star–who called Baldwin “arrogant” as well as insensitive and ignorant to the country’s laws against mail-order brides.

From AP:

Let him try to come here in the Philippines and he’ll see mayhem,” Revilla said, using a local idiom that implies the speaker will personally administer a beating.

Perhaps not the most professional or diplomatic approach, but certainly effective.

In response, Baldwin (who by now must be familiar with the art of public apology), submitted a lengthy “I’m sorry” note to the world via The Huffington Post–noting the outstanding issues of sex trafficking in The Philippines as well as other parts of the world, while directing attention to the non-profit organization Love 146.

And we’re down to support his apology. We’re also really, really, really glad we’re not famous TV stars whose comments are resonant enough to cause international rage.

In other news, Baldwin is going to Hanoi with the N.Y. Philharmonic! [Insert off-color quip here.]

*side note: I’ve actually met one Russian M.O.B., and she was very nice, as well as shockingly well-adjusted.

[HuffPo: Alec Baldwin - An Apology Regarding My Letterman Appearance and a Clarification on U.S. Autoworkers]
[Love 146 - Official site]

Source

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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! The Philippine Government

January 30th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

I found out a couple of weeks ago that I did my 2007 taxes wrong. I was surprised, y’know, cuz Asians just don’t do things incorrectly, like EVER. Okay, yeah, I worked on my forms myself instead of handing them off to an accountant (Dumb!), procrastinated until the very last minute (Stupid!), and hurriedly completed the form online while sitting in a Boston hotel with Jen, a night before speaking at the Harvard Berkman Center about our fun Internet lives.

Alright, I wasn’t that surprised that I did them wrong. I suck.

So, okay. The IRS wanted their money. Fair enough! Let them have my damn money and spend it on some Wall Street fat cat bonuses, if that’s what they want to do! I could deal with that. All it took was the signing of a check, the placing of a stamp, and on the day went. I’m not bleeding money, but when I owe a buck or two, I pay it. I show a little dignity for my errors.

And so I’ve gotta say, having, er, been there, that I am heavily disappointed in the Philippines (pardon the synechdoche here, friends in the Philippines) for dicking around on a millions-large amount of owed NYC property taxes for well over five years. The NYT reported this week that, after much toil, the country just reached a settlement with Manhattan regarding the dues, and has finally agreed to pay $9 million in back property taxes and interest . This amount is “about 85 percent of what the city had sought… for a building at 556 Fifth Avenue.”

Meanwhile, India and Mongolia, next up on my tsk list, are still in court dealing with equally enormous unsettled tax debts.

Sigh. Just write the check and place the stamp, guys. It’s the only way.

Source Source Source
Thanks, Jasmine and Patrick!

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What to Do if You Love Trannies, Hookers, and Internet Porn?

September 26th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen


If you’re in New York or L.A., go see The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela this weekend. This movie, a sort of fictional doc about Raquela, a transsexual dreamer from the Philippines, is filled with things DISGRASIAN loves: trannies, prostitution, Pinaysians, Internet porn, Paris, and cigarettes. The story is loosely based on star Raquela Rios’s life as a “ladyboy” in Cebu City. It is a fairytale without a fairytale ending, a story with a middle but seemingly no beginning and no end, a dream state that takes you from the Philippines to Iceland and then to France. Even if you’re not into trannies, prostitution, Pinaysians, Internet porn, Paris, and cigarettes (in which case, WTF is wrong with you?!), see Queen Raquela for its hazy verité beauty that is equal parts Lars Von Trier, Jean-Luc Godard, and Wong Kar-Wai (and any other auteur with a three word-name, which, coincidentally, Raquela‘s director, Olaf de Fleur, also has).

Click here for theaters.

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