COVID already close to home.

To my dear readers:

Please don’t be complacent re COVID. The variant that is now in our environment is deadlier than the original. We were informed that my mother’s nephew ( our first cousin ) was hit by COVID, and for several days , was fighting for his life. The good news is that he has survived , and will be coming home in 5 days. The bad news is the staggering cost of his hospital bills. One medicine costs around $ 500 , and he takes 5 different medicines a day. What surprised us the most is that the patient also pays for the PPE ( Personal Protective Equipment ) that the doctors and nurses use , which is even more expensive than the medicine. Relatives and friends are now pooling their resources to help the family. We just transferred some money to them. Our bank actually needed to know the reason for the transfer . The bank clerk made a side comment that it was good to know that relatives help each other. I think it;s cultural, though. Anyway, their HMO is paying half of the cost ( the running balance is now in the millions … 1.7 M pesos, to date. ).

Also this week, we got news that another relative, my Mom’s cousin, also died from Covid. Here’s her brother’s message to Mom.

Dear Prima,

Last Friday, I lost my sister to Covid. She passed away less than 24 hours after testing positive. We knew it was an uphill climb because she had co-morbidities ( diabetic , high blood pressure ) . Still, her rapid deterioration despite 1 jab of J & J was unexpected. We couldn’t have her admitted anywhere because all the hospitals here in Davao City were full. We had to provide the oxygen ourselves. Prima, for the first time in my life, I truly felt like a Third Worlder. There was practically no time to grieve. That’s another realization. Covid mandates that even grief must be quarantined. I have yet to see my brother face to face who had contact with my sister. Burial was the next hurdle. We faced a weekend where all the crematoria were full. The other alternative was even a more scary prospect…. the mass gravesites prepared by Mayor Sarah Duterte. Fortunately, we were able to arrange a burial in a vacant memorial lot. Of course, premium had to be paid each step of the way. I wonder how the less fortunate can cope.

The source of infection was my sister’s new housemaid who was asymptomatic, but kept it to herself. She even refused a swab so we had to turn her over to the authorities before she spreads horror to the community. All facilities were full , but she needed to be in isolation. Good thing we have a spare house . Isn’t it ironic we have to take care of the person who killed my sister ? In the meantime , my brother who took care of my sister tested positive, but is thankfully asymptomatic, and is now in isolation as well. This isn’t an isolated story. Many infections come from drivers, household helpers and people who run seemingly innocous errands for us. Have them tested before engaging their services.

So, my dear readers, stay safe and be self- aware, especially those who are most vulnerable. Covid will be with us for a long time. Have that booster shot as soon as it’s available. By the way, another relative, the wife of Mom’s first cousin, also died. She was a healthy 75 year old lady, fully vaccinated with SinoVax ( Chinese ) , and seldom went out . ( By the way, in the Philippines, people over 65 years old are not allowed in the streets. ) But , her daughter is a nurse who lives with them. So we suspect she brought home the virus. She’s negative.

Wordless Wednesday, First time doing this wordless thing…. do you see the president of the Philippines Duterte ? Wordless for him. Crickets, crickets… second hand embarassment, again. Yikes !

Second-hand Embarassment….. You can’t make this up !

I told you before I’d been active on Facebook to disseminate factual information on the state of politics in the Philippines. All they ever get in the Philippines are falsehoods and fake news. The present administartion have employed thousands of trolls ( read my other post about trolling in the Philippines, the DDS or Duterte Death Squads ).

So, Facebook————

We all know that every time we post, it immediately gets posted on Facebook… ……. … food, selfies, etc. Right ? So, a cousin sent me a link that I immediately posted on Facebook. LO and behold, for the first time, I got a notification that the video IS BEING PROCESSED. Okay, I understand. Maybe they’re trying to verify or whatnot the authencity of the video. I’m a bit suspicious that maybe Duterte’s regime has given a hefty sum to Facebook to filter any videos that are not favorable to him. And another thing…… I’ve been to some other fora before and I know that any post the moderators do not like are banned. How do we know? We get the same exact notification… Our Comments are being Processed.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I was determined to post the video, so I kept on posting , at least 20 times, and finally after an hour, the video got posted… in fact it was double posting.

Here’s the video. You won’t believe this actually happened. This video got shared so many times. Unbelievable. The president of the Philippines is a pariah ! ! He got disrespected and humiliated during an ASEAN event . ( ASEAN is Association of South East Nations composed of the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and Brunei. )

Please watch……. just 1 minute.

Revenge of the Nerd

I’m reading a book about revenge. It’s more than 2,000 chapters , and right now, I’m on 1,945 th chapter.

I love reading stories on revenge because

1. I believe there is no true justice without restitution.

2. To apologize and ask for forgiveness are not enough in my book. Sure, I can forgive or accept an apology, but I’ll never forget. It’s like a scar that will never disappear, and whether this is right or wrong, I red mark the character of the person who has wronged me. I’ll never look at that person the same way again, ever.

3. I hate bullies. Who doesn’t , anyway?

When I say I hate bullies, I really mean that. Getting bullied is something that I have experienced personally…. and no, I wasn’t overthinking, nor suffering from persecution complex. My experience was straightforward physical bullying.. I was a 7 year old new immigrant from the Philippines, short, ( well, I’m still short ) ,thin, and could barely speak English. I was an easy target. The bullying was something that people only see on TV. I was elbowed and nudge off the food line at the cafeteria, everyday ,for more than a month. I decided to bring my own lunch, but this 150 lb. orangutan continuously harassed me. She made fun of my lunch…. fried rice, sweet -sour pork , pork chop, noodles, etc. “Oh, a rice eater. Where are your chopticks ? ” That fat ugly orangutan was a freakin’ racist. So young, yet so corrupt.

Unfortunately, we took the same school bus. It was worse on the bus. Every time she’s passed by me, she’d hit my head. Or, she’d sit behind me and pull my hair. What kind of person would do that. I don’t care if she was just a child herself. She was naturally evil. What made me snap was when she sat behind me and hit my head continuously… thump, thump, thump. I stood up and hit her with my backpack. She stood up, shoved me and kicked me. That was the only time I cried. I finally told my Mom what was happening to me at school. My Mom wrote a scathing letter to my teacher and the principal. The next day, there was a meet-up with my mother and her mother at the principal’s office. I had so many witnesses to the bullying, including some classmates and the bus driver. Needless to say, the bully was suspended for one week. Physical bullying was a serious offence.

Then, my mother said to me… Ren, don’t get mad, get even.

Fortunately, a newly transfered classmate befriended me, and another classmate who was also my neighbor. They had witnessed the bullying, They said, ” Ren, fight back. We’ll help you. ” So, we started the campaign . We’d make oink, oink , monkey, and gagging sounds when she was around. My neighbor/classmate told her sister (who was in 6th grade )about her, so, a group of 6th graders confronted and warned her to stop the bullying, or else. Then, another opportunity came to further hurt her. My birthday. My mother brought to school birthday treats for my classmates. I still remember the stuff……….. 1 muffin, 2 Krispy Kremes, expensive chocolates ( 1 Toblerone, a package of Lidnt Chocolates, Ferrero ) a bag of chocolate crinkles, nicely ribboned , an invitation card to my birthday party at home, and most importantly , a box of colored pencils for each classmate. Why was that box of colored pencils important? We heard the bully’s mother couldn’t buy a box of colored pencils ’til payday. Payday? More like welfare. Anyway, my 2 classmates distributed the goodies , each one got their share, except one, the bully. Everybody noticed she got none. They understood. It was payback time. Oh, and take note, she was also a bully in our class, so they were all glad she finally got her comeuppance.

‘Was it harsh? No, I don’t think so. Revenge is a dish best served cold. Every action , decision and choice have a consequence . It was a lesson that I hoped she’d never forget. I’m sure she didn’t. I saw her last year pushing supermarket carts. She saw me….. and avoided me. Heh. That’s your job? Is your father still in jail ? Does you mother still have to wait for payday to buy a loaf of bread ?Karma is, indeed , a bitch.

Do you think I’m actually the loser for not forgiving and forgetting ? In a way, yes. It still haunts me. But that’s exactly the reason why people should not bully and hurt the weak. It can result in long -time trauma. To this day, every time I remember the image of the 7 year old me eating my lunch in a corner, alone, hiding, and getting physically bullied, I tremble with anger……. anger for kids who are also experiencing the same pain and hurt right now, somewhere. I’m sure that like me, they will be scarred for life because they will never forget.

Do you remember my post, “Should I or Shouldn’t I ? I hope you can find time to read the article here from a Philippine news article, from Washington Post as original source. It is scary, and it might affect us all even here in the US, and around the world. Philippine Internet Trolls are so brutal , ” berdugo” , deadly, all other trolls are saints compared to Filipino trolls, so much so that other countries are hiring them. In the Philippines, these trolls are known as DDS or Duterte Death Squads. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, please have mercy on the Filipino people. The Philippines is now a ” hub” of disinformation… not China, not Russia… it’s the Philippines.

By Shibani Mahtani and Regine Cabato July 26, 2019107

MANILA — In a white-walled room, a small cyber-army of four is furiously typing. And posting. And clicking. And scrolling.

And trolling.

For the next eight hours, they will be glued to their screens. They are hired guns in one of Manila’s hundreds of troll farms churning out fake content, false narratives and anything else the client wants.

This trolling mission was for a candidate running for the Philippine Senate. One aim was to cook up fake social media accounts to make it appear as if the candidate had a vast and fervent base of supporters. Another goal was to smear any critics, especially those who call them out for precisely the jobs they do.

Across the Philippines, it’s a virtual free-for-all. Trolls for companies. Trolls for celebrities. Trolls for liberal opposition politicians and the government. Trolls trolling trolls.

The world of Internet trolls — the gaslighting, the fabrications, the nastiness — is now a fact of life in the Web ecosystem nearly everywhere.

But something new is happening here: Experienced public relations experts in the Philippines are harnessing the raw energy of young and aggressive social media shape-shifters.

How social media companies outsource their dirty work to the Philippines

They are dramatically altering the political landscape in the Philippines with almost complete impunity — shielded by politicians who are so deep into this practice that they will not legislate against it, and using the cover of established PR firms that quietly offer these services. 

It is also showing signs of going global — with the Philippines as a hub — as the United States and countries across the world move into another election cycle in the troll age.

“This is what disinformation will look like in the U.S. in 2020,” said Camille François, chief innovation officer at the New York-based social network analysis company Graphika. 

Political manipulation, she said, does not need to come from an ill-intentioned enemy state. It can originate with those who have cut their teeth in the competitive worlds of advertising, media and marketing. Social media companies, she added, were caught off guard before — notably in the U.S. presidential election in 2016 — and could be yet again with this new iteration. 

“The Philippines shows us trends that are headed this way,” said François, who led a report commissioned by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence investigating Russian trolls in the United States. “And, it is 2019, the market is global — so they will find jobs outside of their own nation.” 

Facebook’s second-class workers are waging a quiet battle

These ambitious operators now want to turn their country into the go-to place to influence corporate and political campaigns worldwide — using the same young, educated, English-speaking workforce that made the Philippines a global call center and content moderation hub.https://8dc5249186ec8d3631ee2c020ba49e16.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

The Washington Post interviewed over half a dozen paid trolls, who all spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity and illegality of their work. They offered a glimpse into how Philippine trolls are shaping politics in their country and possibly showing signs of things to come elsewhere.

For the Senate candidate, for example, the hired trolls worked round-the-clock to flood platforms such as Twitter and Facebook with seemingly organic messages of support. Fans leaped to his defense, debated his critics and sang praises of his leadership style ahead of crucial midterm elections that were held in May. 

Except it is all an illusion, manufactured by hundreds of fake accounts all meticulously tracked on a spreadsheet. 

“This one, she is a fan of K-pop,” said one female worker, pointing to an open Twitter page showing the fake profile of a young, pink-cheeked woman. Buried among her fan posts for bands such as BTS are messages in support of the Senate candidate. The more likes and retweets, the better she’s doing.https://8dc5249186ec8d3631ee2c020ba49e16.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

The candidate was not elected, but he came close. 

Several paid troll farm operations and one self-described influencer say they have been approached and contracted by international clients, including from Britain, to do political work. Others are planning to expand overseas, hoping to start regionally. 

“It has all become an enterprise,” said Yvonne Chua, a journalism professor at the University of the Philippines who has extensively researched misinformation on the Internet. 

“It has come to a point where you can rely on the Philippines for all sorts of things: trolls, click farms, whatever you want.” Silicon Valley correspondent Elizabeth Dwoskin speaks about The Washington Post’s investigation into job conditions for content moderators in the Philippines. (Jonathan Baran/The Washington Post)

‘Get into your character’

He calls his operation a “white troll” farm, now an industry-wide term. 

“Positive trolling” is another way to describe it, said the owner of a public relations firm that now specializes in these services. The idea, he said, was to counter the vitriol of the “black trolls” in the Philippines, linked to strongman President Rodrigo Duterte, whose supporters have turned online intimidation into an art. 

The troll operator said he watched from the sidelines in 2016, when Duterte and his allies harnessed the power of self-declared patriots online and turned them into an organized cyber-mob — the Die-hard Duterte Supporters, or DDS. He was shocked to see female candidates and opposition leaders being humiliated on Facebook, threatened with rape and even death. 

When Duterte assumed the presidency in 2016, the idea of a “white troll” farm took shape in the PR executive’s mind.

Duterte-linked trolls “use this power to peddle lies, concoct fake news, brainwash people,” he says in an interview. “I said, at least people should be influenced properly.”

His rules are strict: no harassment, no targeting of women or minorities, no fake news. Comments cannot be posted through a simple copy-and-paste job; they must always be new and original. Yet the online accounts that power his business are still largely fabricated names and backgrounds.

White House escalates war against Facebook, Google and Twitter

“We’re changing the landscape of trolling somehow,” he says.https://8dc5249186ec8d3631ee2c020ba49e16.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

His clients range from real estate firms looking to sell units in new developments to overseas Filipinos, companies battling a public relations crisis or celebrities looking to fend off black trolls. 

He makes the most from politicians, who pay anywhere from about $38,000 to $57,000 — “depending on their needs” — to hire his company on a month-long retainer for up to eight months. He has worked recently for seven politicians, including the senatorial hopeful whose campaign office The Post visited. 

“When I launched this two years ago, the idea was really to target politicians since it’s really meant for them,” he says. “They’re always targets of fake news. They’re always on the news.”

He likens the job to theater: “You assume different personalities. You should get into your character.”

Every campaign starts with a client presentation. Any client who asks for a “black operation” is turned away, he said. Once it is approved, the client has to provide SIM cards: one is needed for every Facebook or Twitter account. https://8dc5249186ec8d3631ee2c020ba49e16.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

He then asks for 15 days.

“I call it the cultivation period,” he said. “We just make accounts.” 

His social media manager, who chose to be identified as Agnes, carts almost 1, 000 SIM cards with her, in case Facebook asks for a login code sent through text. Each SIM card stands for a fictitious character who “lives” on social media: He or she goes shopping, drinks a latte, poses at a popular tourist spot and shares gifts received. 

“You really keep it alive” before you start posting messages of support or bashing critics, Agnes said. 

Troll vs. troll

Then they get to work. 

When a politician attacked Agnes’s client, her team went into overdrive. They pointed out, ironically, that he was merely using hired hacks to criticize the client. The rival ended up deleting his post.

Her terms to describe her trade evoke images of bloody war on the battlefield. She speaks of “invading” online chat groups and Facebook fan pages, and she talks of fighting her “enemies” online in real time.https://8dc5249186ec8d3631ee2c020ba49e16.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

“That’s how we look at our enemies if we’re fighting online. We check if the accounts are real,” Agnes says. “We know that could happen to us, too, so we keep the account ‘alive’. So if they see us, they’ll see . . . ‘Oh, this person was in [the resort town] Tagaytay. They were in Starbucks.’ ”

And if they are accused of being trolls themselves, “we stick to the statement that we aren’t,” she said — doubling down on a lie.

“We challenge them to look at our Facebook accounts,” she said.

Listen on Post Reports: The surge of troll farms in the Philippines

These sparring matches — between live, paid social media operatives — are the latest evolution of this industry. It is also the clearest sign that inauthentic social media behavior has seeped into every layer of politics in the Philippines.

“It is really unique to the Philippines. We haven’t seen so many other countries that are using live moderators to battle it out,” said Samantha Bradshaw, a researcher at Oxford University who has studied misinformation campaigns worldwide. “This idea of the troll versus the troll, it is quite new.” 

The operator of the white troll farm is among those who, having perfected their craft at home, dream of growing beyond the borders of the Philippines. He is hoping for global expansion, even if he starts small by exploring the market in regional countries such as Singapore. 

“Why not?” he challenged. 

A lie 10,000 times

Filipinos spend the most time online in the world — more than 10 hours on the Internet a day — according to social media analytics firm Hootsuite. The country is also one of Facebook’s biggest markets. In some cities, there are more users on the platform than the population. 

For Duterte’s trolls and social media operatives, this was fertile ground.

Among the targets of their most vile and aggressive troll campaigns are imprisoned Sen. Leila de Lima, an outspoken critic of Duterte’s war on drugs; former opposition Sen. Antonio Trillanes, whose term ended in June; and prominent journalist Maria Ressa, named one of Time’s 2018 people of the year.

Ressa, ironically, was working with researchers like Graphika’s François, studying troll campaigns linked back to her government.

“One day, she called me and said, ‘It is me they are going after. I’m the target now,’ ” François said.

One trolling-services firm says planting and amplifying these falsehoods was deliberate. 

“If you hear a lie once, you don’t believe it,” said a representative of the trolling-services firm, which is linked to the Duterte administration. “But if you hear it from 10,000 people, you start questioning what you know.” 

Lima, Trillanes and Ressa are all fighting charges they say are politically motivated, and they have been the victims of fabricated news articles that allege corruption, involvement in the drug trade and an assortment of other crimes. 

Ahead of the Philippines midterm elections in May, The Washington Post found a number of other senators using fake accounts to boost their popularity, one strongly allied with Duterte. 

Some gave themselves away easily. In March, a Twitter account in support of Sen. Sonny Angara was found using a profile photo of a dead Filipino girl, murdered in the United States last December. 

The account has since been taken down. But an image search by The Post also uncovered the same photo being used in accounts supportive of politicians Bong Revilla and Grace Poe, a former presidential candidate. 

The Post also found Twitter accounts supportive of Angara and Poe misleadingly using photos belonging to a travel blogger, a software start-up founder, at least two beauty pageant candidates, “The Apprentice Asia” winner Jonathan Yabut, and Filipino American social media personality Bretman Rock.

Revilla, Poe and Angara all won Senate seats in the midterm elections. Poe led a Senate hearing on misinformation last year, and she described the problem as something that “plagued” society. 

However, she pushed back on the idea that lawmakers should legislate it for fear of censorship. 

All three denied that they utilize such services.

‘We’re determined, too’

The Philippines is one of the countries where Facebook offers its “Free Basics” service, providing free Internet access to a small number of websites and Facebook itself — essentially turning the platform into the de facto Internet. The main Philippine cellular providers also offer cheap Facebook data packages. 

Facebook is now using the Philippines as proof that they can right their wrongs. After apologizing for not acting sooner, the company has staffed up a local office in Manila — a rare move for Facebook — and launched a digital literacy program. 

Hundreds of Facebook pages linked to Philippine troll farms have been removed from the platform, including digital marketing group Twinmark Media. It controlled a so-called digital news website, Trending News Portal, that posted unverified and salacious articles critical of Duterte’s opponents. 

In late March, the social media platform removed 200 pages, groups and accounts that they said were linked to Nic Gabunada, who was the head of Duterte’s social media strategy during the 2016 campaign. 

The social media analysis company Graphika, which helped Facebook archive this content before its removal, said these pages glorified Duterte’s war on drugs, which human rights groups say has resulted in the deaths of more than 20,000 people in police raids and extrajudicial slayings.

Gabunada, in response to questions from The Post, pushed back on the idea that he was running a trolling effort. He said he was merely sharing his views on politics and support of Duterte, and was consulting with Duterte supporters who wanted to start their own fan pages. 

He also believes he was unfairly targeted.

“The vitriol we observe in social media conversations today are coming from both sides,” he said. “I have a feeling I was singled out, whereas the anti-Duterte and opposition pages were not.”

A separate trolling-services firm linked to Duterte said the Facebook crackdown was so dramatic that their clients considered cutting their budget by 70 percent, unsure whether the investment was worth it if pages kept getting taken down. 

The firm has since evolved: investing more in making their pages look authentic and posting memes and photos rather than text, which are harder for algorithms to detect. Business has picked up again. 

“We know this work will never be done. We have determined adversaries who will keep evolving their tactics to circumvent the new barriers we put in place,” said Nathaniel Gleicher, head of cybersecurity policy at Facebook. “But we’re determined, too, and will continue to be focused on making it as difficult as possible for bad actors who want to abuse our services.” 

Ellen Tordesillas, a longtime investigative journalist at Vera Files, a nonprofit media organization that also works with Facebook to fact-check in the Philippines, said a particularly nasty bout of trolls emerged after Facebook pulled down the hundreds of pages. 

“It is not like they can post on Zuckerberg’s Facebook page and have any impact; their office in the Philippines is not exceptional,” she said. “So it is easier to attack us.” 

Another wave came after the news organization published a commentary on a list of names supposedly linked with the drug trade, from a whistleblower who called himself “Bikoy.” Among them was Paolo Duterte, the leader’s son, who has denied the charges. 

As she spoke to The Post, her phone rang. It was an unknown number, but she picked up anyway, thinking it might be the bank. She soon realized it was a troll. 

“How’s Bikoy?” the person said. “You’re done for.” 

She hung up, but the same caller tried again, and again, and again, until the phone stopped ringing. 

Embattled Philippine journalist says Facebook partly to blame

8chan looks like a terrorist recruiting site. Should governments treat it like one?

Duterte takes aim at the press, and tests foundations of Philippines democracy

Today’s coverage from Post correspondents around the world

Like Washington Post World on Facebook and stay updated on foreign news107 CommentsGift Article

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By Shibani MahtaniShibani Mahtani is the Southeast Asia correspondent for The Washington Post, covering countries that include the Philippines, Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia. She joined The Post’s foreign desk in 2018 after seven years as a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal in Southeast Asia and later in Chicago, where she covered the Midwest.  Twitter

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By Regine CabatoRegine Cabato is the Manila reporter for The Washington Post Southeast Asia Bureau. Before joining The Post in 2018, she worked as a writer for broadcast and digital platforms at CNN Philippines.  Twitter

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Please don’t get bored___ this is about my favorite Filipino boyband SB19. ( Again ! ) I’m so excited to know they’re going to replay the virtual concert that I missed watching because tickets were sold out.

Eh. I didn’t even know they were selling tickets. I thought I could watch it free somehow. When I found out I had to buy a ticket to watch, it was too late… tickets had been sold out. What the heck.

SB19: Back in the Zone

Good thing they’re going to replay it. Yes ! I hope they lower the price , though. It’s $ 100, but since it’s just a replay…… Okay, never mind the stiff price. I want these talented boys to earn a lot of money. They’ve been through a lot ! ( like borrowing money for bus fare … they trained everyday, no salary, no food and transportation allowance, and there was Stell sharing peanut butter sandwiches prepared by his grandma …. that was the group’s lunch )

Anyway,

It’s on August 22!

Here’s a snippet of their performance video of BAZINGA ! It’s totally live ! ! Bazinga, Bruce be proud….

I’m going to KTX and buy the ticket now. Bye ! ! (* wears my Fangirl / Airhead / Idiot hat * )

I missed the most awaited virtual concert of my favorite Filipino boyband, SB 19…. all tickets $100 international sold -out ! ! How can that be ? It’s live streaming, right ? They can have millions and millions of views , so how ?

SB19 Members Profile (Updated!)

It was when I went to YouTube to post my favorite Filipino boyband ‘s latest song that I found out I missed SB 19’s virtual concert BACK IN THE ZONE .. Well, not really missed_____ the tickets were SOLD OUT ! ! ! Huh? How can it be sold out ?? I mean, it’s live streaming, and they can take in millions and millions of viewers, right ? Apparently not. It’s 5,500 Philippine pesos per ticket or $ 100 International. How many tickets did they get to sell ???

SB19: Back in the Zone

Anyway, here’s the video of one of their latest song, DETERMINADO .

Sorry there’s no subtitle in English. It’s purely in Filipino language, and even though I can now speak the language more fluently, I still don’t understand what they’re saying here, except the title, DETERMINADO or DETERMINED in English. This song shows SB19 is not just a teeny bopper sing and dance boyband…… they have the talent to delve into different genre……… and they compose all of their songs. * Their ballads have exceptionally beautiful melody. *

Darn ! How could I have missed it ?

Things are dire____ I really need to help , no matter how puny it is.

I have decided not to post what’s on my mind. here on WordPress. Why not, you ask. Well, it’s useless because I’m sure no one here on WordPress will be interested. My Facebook page has been very busy, though. I’m happy my posts there have been gaining traction .

On Facebook, I’m like this________

And , I’m thankful readers are paying attention. They are sharing my stuff.

Here on WordPress, I’m relegated to this.

Or this______

I don’t know what else I can do. I’m just one insignificant puny person.

Kesehoda. I’ll do what I can.

Should I or Shouldn’t I ?

Nothing , really. I just want to share some cuteness and fluff. Ta – da !

Alright, enough. I want you to know this is just a filler. I;m still wondering if I can post what’s burning on my mind at the moment, or forever suppress it .

Should I post it, or shouldn’t I ? I’m sure I’m going to offend some innocent, good folks again. I just want peace and goodwill to all men, and close my eyes to evil deeds that are going on in the world . Don’t rock the boat. Just smell the roses, and hope for the best. As long as it doesn’t affect me and my livelihood……….

On the other hand…………

Let’s go watch BINI.

Me and Van Gogh. Now you know, I’m 4 – eyes. Haha . We can ‘t wear contact lenses at work, especially if work tool is a set of microscopes.

Here’s a music video of a group of cute Filipinas from the Philippines, singing and dancing. They call themselves BINI.

Check out my anime/manga/videogames blogsite at https://2megaworthitwordpresscomblog.wordpress.com

By the way, right now, it’s 112 F in my city. That’s 44 C. It’s climate change, folks. So, what are we going to do about it ? Get ready for it in the years to come.

SHOWING OFF ____ HEY, I WORKED HARD FOR THESE BEAUTIES ! !

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  • Daydreaming “

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Next to purchase is a white table with lattice design.

Check out my manga/anime /video games blog https://2megaworthitwordpresscomblog.wordpress.com

Natural Disasters

Taal Volcano in the Philippines exploded again last week. It also erupted on Jan. 15, 2020. The volcano was still spewing smoke when we had lunch there one month after the eruption.

It’s the smallest volcano in the world. The volcano’s mouth is the one protruding from the lake. Can you see it ?

Photo below was taken in 2014 .

About 100, 000 were evacuated before the eruption last week.

The eruption last year destroyed large banana, coffee, pineapple, and flower farms. On a positive note, it will make the land around the volcano very, very fertile.

Once again, volcanic ash will envelop Manila.

The Philippines is a country the size of California ( actually, smaller ) but has 300 volcanoes, 53 of which are active. It belongs to the Pacific Ring of Fire, and its volcanoes rank as the most deadly and costly in the world. Nice.

The biggest eruption in 20th century also happened in the Philippines in 1991. ___Mt.Pinatubo’s. It was the only eruption that penetrated the stratosphere____ and lowered the earth’s temperature by .5 C.

When it comes to natural disasters, the Philippines is truly a favorite punching bag of nature. It has only 2 seasons____ wet and dry____ Wet is from June to November. The country is visited by at least 20 typhoons every year, with at least 5 being very destructive. Typhoon Yolanda ( Haiyan ) in 2013 was the most destructive so far. It was a Super Typhoon that was off the charts. A 220 km/hour or 135 miles/hr. is a Super Typhoon , a category 5 storm. Yolanda was 195 miles/hour or 312 km/hr.

The Philippines is said to be “the most exposed country in the world to tropical storms. ”

Super Typhoon Haiyan Beelines for the Philippines | Climate Central
File:Late 2006 Philippine typhoon tracks.png - Wikimedia Commons

What ?

Why don’t we listen and watch this music video WHAT? from one of my favorite Philippine boyband SB 19 while I ‘m taking stock of my thoughts at the moment. The music video is dope !

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Take it all off, Josh.

A Few Notes from Animated Adaptation of Filipino Comix TRESE on Netflix

Obssesed much ? Not really, just shamelessly plugging and totally hyped up, because , finally, we see an animated Filipino female hero that is shown on a hugely popular platform that is Netflix.

With that out of the way, let’s check out the cast of main characters.

Alexandra Trese ——–Shay Mitchell, plays as Emily Fields ,the teen lesbian in the TV series, Pretty Little Liars and a half-Filipina.

Anton Trese-, Santelmo————-Carlos Alazraqui, a veteran voice actor.

Captain Guerrero——Matthew Yang King, a veteran voice actor

Hank, Xa-MUL —————–JonJon Briones, who plays a Filipino psychiarist who runs the hospital in Ratched, and as Grand Chancellor Ariel in American Horror Story.

Mayor Sancho Santamaria ——— Lou Diamond Philips , starred in Young Guns, Stand and Deliver, as Richie Valens in La Bamba, The Prodigal Son, Longmire, The First Power, The Night Stalker, The 33 and many more. He is of Filipino descent.

Marco Guerrero—————- Darren Criss of TV show , Glee, and also starred as the Filipino serial killer Andrew Cunanan in The Assassination of Gianni Versace ( Cunanan was half Filipino as Darren Criss is ) and won Emmy’s Best Actor and Golden Globe and he also stars in Hollywood in which he plays as the director of The Good Earth ( 1938 movie where a white actress played a Chinese girl, which later won her an Oscar) but who wanted a Chinese _American to play the part, but he himself couldn’t say to anyone he was part -Filipino because he looked white, so he just went with the flow.

Half-Filipino Darren Criss Doesn't Identify As Asian-American & Twitter Has  Lots Of Opinions! | Darren criss, Celebrity news, Half filipino

Nuno, Bagyon Lectro——— Eric Bauza, a Filipino -Canadian and who is now the new voice of some Loony Tune Characters like Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, Woody Woodpecker, Tweety, Speeedy Gonzales, , and title character in Netflix’s The Adventures of Puss in Boots, Marvin the Martian, Pepe Le Pew, El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera, Chairman Drek from Ratchet and Clank Video Game [OMG, I didn’t know this ! I played all the games from 1 to 4 ] and he’s the voice of tons more ! !

FAN EXPO Canada - CARTOONS COLLIDE at FAN EXPO Canada!... | Facebook
Eric Bauza | Talking Voices (Part 2) - YouTube
Puss in Boots Interview with Voice Actor Eric Bauza

Miranda Trese ———— voiced by Nicole Scherzinger, a member of popular PussyCat Dolls, a girl group during the 90’s, and is Filipina , whose real name is Nicole Valiente.

Nicole Scherzinger – Bio, Husband or Boyfriend – Grigor Dimitrov, Net Worth  - Networth Height Salary

Bagyon Kulimlim———- voiced by Dante Basco, a Filipino, who played as Rufio in Hook, head of the Lost Boys, and Prince Zuko in Avatar: The Last Airbender and he is Jake Long in American Dragon: Jake Long.

Nicole Scherzinger – Bio, Husband or Boyfriend – Grigor Dimitrov, Net Worth  - Networth Height Salary
7 Filipino Voice Actors Behind Modern Cartoons and Anime

The Twins, Basilio and Crispin ———–Griffin Puatu , a professional voice actor, of Filipino descent

Griffin Puatu Picture

Maliksi, the car racer—————-Manny Jacinto, Filipino-Canadian actor who plays the “dumb” playboy in NBC series The Good Place.

Manny Jacinto of "The Good Place" on the Next Big Thing | DA MAN Magazine

Datu Talagbusao, Ibwa————– Steve Blum, veteran American voice actor.

Jay Oliva is the executive director of TRESE, also a Filipino-American, who is a storyboard artist, and film director of numerous Marvel and DC animated comics, such as The Dark Knight Returns, Parts 1 & 2, Flashpoint Paradox, Deadpool, Thor 3 , Justice League, Green Lantern, Legend of Korra, The Titans, and will be directing the animated version of Army of the Dead.

Maybe he is the reason why TRESE gives me that DC/Marvel vibes, rather than a typical Japanese anime. He says he’s enthusiastic to do this because it is part of his Filipino heritage.

Sorry that I’m shamelessly plugging the anime that depicts Filipino folklore ,mythology and urban legends. I’ve had enough of mecha robots , Zues, Dracula and Thor.

Problem is, Netflix does abandon even their own project if it doesn’t get enough audience. I want a Season 2. Philippine mythology offers so much more than are shown in this anime .

So, please watch on Netflix.

Next, I’m going to post an honest review and a few explanations. Six episodes are not enough to flush out the characters of Trese, both humans and supernaturals .

Happy Father’s Day

Open Photo