Manila is Not in Indonesia

There’s a new men’s magazine in town from the makers of FHM. The name’s Zoo Weekly and their first issue came out today — for free! Yep. A girl dressed like she works at Hooters was handing them out at the Flinders Street station earlier today.

So, what’s the magazine like? Well, it’s kinda like another FHM really. Only, weekly. And lots of pictures of nearly naked women. And, yeah, the requisite articles and pictures on cars, jets, sports, gross topics and some geeky topics.

Well, on this issue, it also had something on the Bali Nine and their sentencing. It basically detailed the life of Australian Chris Parnell who was jailed for 20 years in Bali and how it was such a horrific ordeal that he wished he got the death sentence instead.

I thought the article was quite an unpleasant but surprisingly interesting revelation. It made me think about how scary it could be in prison, specially in a third world.

I then looked at the photos that accompanied the article. Then there’s one where it looked like a bunch of smiling Filipinos crammed together in jail. Now, that was weird. It must be some kind of mistake, I thought. The article was about the Indonesian prison of Bali.

I had to take a closer look then I read the caption: “Manila City jail: five times over its capacity”.

No wonder they looked like Filipinos. Heck, they were! Oh, I’m sure it’s very cramped in the Manila City Jail but there was nothing in the article about Manila at all, apart from the picture.

I only take issue because people reading the article might think that the Manila City Jail is in Bali, Indonesia when in fact it is not. Either the magazine accidentally used the photo thinking it’s actually in Indonesia or they intentionally wanted to pass it off as a photo of inmates in a Bali jail.

I just thought it was weird.

Published in: on February 14, 2006 at 9:35 pm  Comments (2)  

Valentine Gift

First, let me greet everybody reading our blog a Happy Valentine’s Day. Now that’s out of the way…

On Valentine’s Day, I usually buy Raquel a dozen or so flowers along with some chocolate. This year, I did something else. Instead of flowers, I bought her a gold necklace with a heart-shaped pendant.

And since she’s been asking me to write her a poem for the longest time, I wrote her one yesterday. Now, I haven’t written poetry since my university days and even then, I’m not sure I was ever good at it.

Still, I hope she’d like the end poem despite its lack of literary flair. And to make it a bit interesting, I decided to write it in song (based on an old love tune which I’m not going to name).

When the clock struck 12 midnight last night, I gave Raquel the necklace, played a tune from my PDA, cleared my voice and sang the song I wrote for her (albeit horribly sung — hey, I was nervous, okay?).

She seemed to have enjoyed it, but you better ask her if she actually did. I was glad she liked it. That made my night. Nothing pleases me more than to see her happy.

~ ~ ~

If you are interested in the poem/song I wrote for Raquel, you can read it below. I intended to include the guitar chords along with it but I was having problems trying to align the chords on top of the corresponding words. I originally planned on playing the guitar while singing it but since I have yet to buy one, I had to make do with a pre-recorded tune playing on my MP3 for my accompaniment.

O, Mahal Ko

Nung unang subok kong
kausapin ka,
wala man lang akong
kibong nakuha.
O, mahal ko.

Kahit di mo man ako
gustong makilala,
nagpursigi akong
mapa-ibig ka.
O, mahal ko.

Pag-ibig ko’y iyong-iyo.
Sa puso ko’y ikaw lamang.

Di naman nagtagal
ako’y sinagot mo.
Naging ika’y akin at
ako’y sa iyo.
O, mahal ko.

Napaibig akong una
sa iyong ganda.
Matapos kong makilala ka,
matalino pa pala
ang mahal ko.

Pag-ibig ko’y iyong-iyo.
Sa puso ko’y ikaw lamang.

Ngayong mag-asawa na
masaya ako’t kapiling ka
at iyan ang tunay.
O, mahal ko.

Wala na ngang ibang
Ikaw ang nag-iisang
gustong kapiling.
O, mahal ko.

Published in: on February 14, 2006 at 1:17 pm  Comments (7)  

No Mercy For Renae

Renae Lawrence along with eight other Australian citizens, collectively called as the Bali Nine here in Australia, were arrested in the airport of Bali, Indonesia on April 17 last year for attempting to smuggle heroin from Indonesia to Australia.

She cooperated with the authorities’ investigations. The prosecutors at her trial only asked for a 20 year sentence for her. And what did the judges gave her? A life imprisonment.

According to a Sydney Morning Herald article, the Lawrence was given a higher sentence than that asked by the prosecutors because the judges thought it was fair to give all the drug mules the same sentence.

That and this:

“(Anggia) Browne (Lawrence’s defence lawyer) said she believed the judges had decided on a harsher sentence than the one prosecutors had demanded because the families of the three other mules – Rush, Martin Stephens and Michael Czugaj – objected.”

Sounds like tall poppy syndrome hard at work.

Even though I do not condone drugs (in fact, I don’t even condone cigarette smoking nor alcohol drinking), I still believe that by assisting with the police investigation, Lawrence should have earned herself some redemption points. I think she deserves jail time for being a drug mule but I don’t think she deserved to be sentenced to life imprisonment.

Published in: on February 14, 2006 at 9:18 am  Leave a Comment