New bridge

Cebu, like Manila, has an inner-city airport.

Okay, not exactly, but that's down to geography. Instead of building it close to the mountains, they decided to build it on a flatter island just ten kilometers away from smack middle in the city center. Considering how heavily industrialized Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu are now, for all intents and purposes, Cebu has an inner-city airport. But, unlike Manila, there's only really one direction to go if you're leaving the airport for downtown, or at least to your hotel, unless you're staying in Mactan.

I fly to Cebu at least twice a year, and it's become a familiar routine for me now. You stay thank you to the flight crew as you step out of the plane. You either take the escalator - shouldn't we call it a "deescalator" if it goes down? - or, if you're feeling haughty, the stairs. You claim your luggage, after waiting for fifteen minutes or so. You head out of the terminal, and proceed to the taxi queue.

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Melting in the dark

It's been raining hard lately, which isn't a surprise, considering it's August. Well, thankfully it isn't a surprise, considering it's August, and we've had unusually hot weather lately, and we really should be talking about this in terms of a heat wave, but the window's passed now, hasn't it?

However, you don't really know from the flat if it's raining or not. I don't know if it's the direction of the wind, or if it's the design of the building, but you don't see droplets of rain on the window glass. You can look outside and it'll just be gloomy, not knowing that it's on the verge of torrential outside.

But it's a huge window, and it's been raining hard lately, and lately, finally, you know if you should worry. For now - I say "for now" because there's construction beside the flat and this view will be obstructed in a couple of years or less - I can see as far out as Antipolo. I can see the side of Pasig I've only been in once, and I can see the queue of people lining up to see Raffy Tulfo. When one of those things disappear, you know it's raining hard. When all of those things disappear, you're stuck where you are, held hostage by what Shalla calls "the Mist".

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Lychee juice

I've never forgotten this exchange I had, perhaps fourteen years ago, with a classmate from college.

"You drink alcohol?" she asked.

"Oo!" I answered.

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Forty forever

Perhaps the problem lies in the thinking that being complimentary of something means being complimentary of everything about it. So, no, this isn't a puff piece. This isn't an analytical piece, even - I am too lazy for that now. I'm likely to ramble, even.

And yes, it's worth also noting that not everybody likes this show; that some people think this show is the problem with Philippine television; that it harbors some old-fashioned thinking, if not an old-fashioned sense of entertainment; that it exploits poverty for entertainment; that it launched the political careers of people who probably shouldn't have launched political careers. Some most likely just don't like it to the point of disgust.

Still, you have to give credit to Eat Bulaga! for lasting forty years - the closest thing Philippine television has to an icon, if only for sheer longevity. Like perhaps tens of millions of Filipinos, I don't know of a life without Eat Bulaga! It's always been there, at lunch time, on the television, six days a week, so much so that I may have taken it for granted. It's been around for so long it transcends the television network it's on (although, again, it's been on three - the rare example of an independent production on our airwaves). It's been around for so long I was shocked to realize that its three main hosts are close to their seventies.

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Brand values

Two nights ago I was daydreaming about what I would do if I won the lottery. Not necessarily those blockbuster jackpots; even the tens of millions of pesos ones will do. Maybe I can finally get the things I need for the flat, like a fridge.

Just hours later, Rodrigo Duterte would unilaterally ban the lottery, and all of the other gambling operations of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, citing massive corruption in the agency.

It certainly was swift. Yesterday I saw photos of police closing down lotto outlets. That seemed a bit drastic; you'd assume those kiosks who did nothing but the lotto - and I'm sure that's every kiosk - would close it down themselves, because, well, what else can they do? They may try to sell tickets but the system will be offline. Then again, drastic is the brand the president rides on. Decisive is the brand the president rides on.

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