Monthly Archives: January 2012

Happy Yipee Yehey Ends, ABS-CBN’s noontime woes continues

Ending weeks of speculation, ABS-CBN announced last January 26 that its noontime show Happy Yipee Yehey (HYY) will be having its final episode on February 4 – or just a week shy of its first anniversary.

As a consolation, network spokesperson Bong Osorio added that the show’s hosts will be given new projects soon. “We also extend our deepest gratitude to our viewers, here in the Philippines and in The Filipino Channel (TFC) markets worldwide, for their support to the program,” Osorio said in a statement given to the Philippine Entertainment Portal.

Hunk actor Matteo Guidicelli is one of the hosts of Happy Yipee Yehey

Like Pilipinas Win na Win before it, HYY suffered from perpetual low ratings. It must be very tough going up against Eat Bulaga, a television show that has aired since 1978. ABS-CBN’s noontime woes began in May 2010, when then-Wowowee host Willie Revillame went on an indefinite leave a day after challenging the ABS-CBN management to fire entertainment writer/TV host Jobert Sucaldito from the network, or else he will resign. Sucaldito earned Revillame’s because of his negative commentaries against Wowowee.

Instead of having Revillame return to hosting Wowowee, the network decided to replace the show altogether with Win na Win. It had a new set of hosts which initially included Kris Aquino and Robin Padilla, and later on, The Hit Makers. The move prompted Revillame to rescind his contract (valid until 2012) with ABS-CBN, triggering a P426 million court battle which remains unresolved to date. Win na Win was canceled by the end of December 2010.

After learning that his buddies John Estrada and Randy Santiago have accepted ABS-CBN’s offer for them to do a noontime show in the network, Revillame railed on national television: “Hindi magre-rate ‘yan! Ako nagsasabi sa ‘yo!” Nearly two years after Revillame’s abrupt departure from the Kapamilya network, ABS-CBN still hasn’t found a worthy replacement to the hugely popular Wowowee. With HYY’s impending exit from the boob tube, it looks like Revillame will have the last laugh.

Other news:

Iza Calzado leaves GMA 7; inks three-year contract with ABS-CBN

Carla Abellana in quandary about staying in GMA-7 or transferring to ABS-CBN


Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo dies of cardiac arrest abroad

UPDATE (8:00 PM)

Quoting former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, ABS-CBN’s RG Cruz reported that Negros Occidental Rep. Ignacio Arroyo has died after the life – support systems were removed from his body. “Support systems were pulled out already thirty minutes ago. My brother passed away already. I’m so sad,” the elder Arroyo said.

UPDATE (1:40 PM):

ABS-CBN’ RG Cruz reports that according to the former First Gentleman, “Iggy is brain dead or clinically dead but has not been pronounced as dead by doctors.” Iggy is still on life support, but it “could be taken out anytime.” The older Arroyo said’d he’ll issue an official statement at the proper time.


Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Isa Avendano reports that Negros Occidental 5th District Rep. Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo has “succumbed to cardiac arrest while undergoing treatment abroad.” He was 60. His remains would be brought to the country any day from now, his brother former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo said in an interview with DZIQ.

Rep. Ignacio "Iggy" Arroyo has died of cardiac arrest while undergoing treatment abroad

He was on his third and final term in Congress. He was first elected in 2004, a year after he gained nationwide prominence when he went public to claim ownership of the mysterious Jose Pidal bank accounts. In a series of Senate inquiries held from August to September 2003, Senator Panfilo Lacson repeatedly stressed that the First Gentleman is the real owner of the bank accounts. He also scored the younger Arroyo for acting as a “fall guy.”

In an interview with ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau’s Rose Eclarinal last December from the United Kingdom, the younger Arroyo stated that he will not be able to return to country until January of this year upon the recommendation of his doctor, Professor Roger Williams of The London Clinic. He refused to elaborate on his medical condition, but he insisted that he is not running away from charges stemming from his alleged involvement in the sale of second-hand helicopters to PNP.

During the 14th Congress (from 2007-2010), when members of the ruling Lakas-Kampi CMD still dominated the House of Representatives, Iggy Arroyo chaired the House Committee on Natural Resources. He was also the vice chair of the Committee on Government Reorganization. At the same time, he was a member of the following congressional committees:

Agrarian Reform
Public Works and Highways
Foreign Affairs
Trade and Industry
Higher Education
National Defense

He earned his degree in Business Administration (major in finance) from the University of San Francisco in 1974. He is survived by his three daughters Bianca Marie, Dina, and Alelu.

Related news:

Mike’s Brod: I am Jose Pidal (Philippine Star, September 2, 2003)

Curriculum Vitae of Rep. Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo

Was Edcel Lagman junked for supporting the Aquino-backed RH bill?

In a brief but strongly-worded press statement released last Thursday afternoon, Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman announced his resignation as House Minority Leader to give way to Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez. He described Suarez as “former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s anointed one.” Lagman also resigned from Lakas-CMD, the ruling party during Arroyo’s term.

The solon from Albay said he will be an independent fiscalizer of the Aquino administration and an advocate for what he describes as a “progressive and alternative agenda.” After being allied with the now-detained ex leader for years, Lagman now declares that he “cannot continue serving a political aggrupation that “follow blindly the importuning of former President Arroyo” instead of recognizing “a competent, militant, and responsible leadership.”

Rep. Edcel Lagman of Albay will be explaining his decision in a privilege speech this January 24

Lagman must have felt like Julius Caesar during the Ides of March. In a privilege speech after Arroyo was placed under hospital arrest for electoral sabotage in connection to the 2007 senatorial polls, he slammed the Aquino government for having “no single, credible, and competent evidence presented … to substantiate its fears and speculations that the former President is a flight risk.”

He also described Arroyo’s detention as illegal since the Supreme Court has not yet decided on the legality of the joint COMELEC-DOJ fact-finding body that filed the charges against the latter. A week after that speech, Lagman went as far as mentioning legendary Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei in justifying a house arrest for Arroyo. If Lagman has been consistent in defending Arroyo before, he is also steadfast in attacking the present dispensation.

Lagman has criticized President Benigno Aquino III since the honeymoon period of his presidency. Two days after the infamous Manila hostage drama where eight Hong Kong nationals were killed, Lagman called on Aquino to fire three of his cabinet men, Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo as well as spokespersons Ricky Carandang and Sonny Coloma for their “palpable incompetence” in handling the crisis.

In June last year, he led the minority lawmakers in attacking Aquino’s close buddies (labeled as “kakampi, kaklase, kabarilan”) for alleged cronyism. As the President marked his first year as in power, Lagman declared that 15 million Filipinos made a “mistake” in choosing Aquino. “Shibboleths and promises during the presidential campaign concealed and overshadowed his inadequacies,” Lagman said. And when 188 of his fellow House solons signed the Aquino-backed resolution seeking Chief Justice Renato Corona’s impeachment, Lagman described the move as “the mother of all blackmails.”

But, despite his attacks on Aquino on essentially all fronts, they stood side-by-side on one controversial issue – the Reproductive Health bill. Last year, Aquino included the RH bill in his list of priority measures. When the Palace introduced clarificatory amendments to the RH bill, Lagman immediately pointed out that the measure wasn’t “watered down” since its salient features had been retained. During the 7th Annual Population and Development Media Awards, Lagman reiterated that “the voice of the people is the voice of God,” referring to surveys suggesting that a majority of Filipinos support the RH bill.

My mom, me, and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman during the 7th PopDev Media Awards

Lagman’s unflinching support for the Aquino-backed RH bill might have played a role in driving a wedge between him and Arroyo.  In an interview with veteran journalist Raissa Robles, Lagman explained that his support for the bill will not wither just because of Aquino’s efforts to prosecute Arroyo, insisting that his RH advocacy and the issue surrounding Arroyo’s incarceration are not related.

Arroyo has not supported the bill when she was president, and as a lawmaker from Pampanga, she co-authored the “Protection of the Unborn Child Act of 2010,” considered an anti-RH measure.  Other Arroyo allies like Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay, Bacolod City Rep. Anthony Golez,  and Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles (son of ex Speaker Prospero Nograles) are also opposed to the bill. Based on this policy issue alone, is it not surprising for Lagman to say that he is “not part of Arroyo’s inner circle”?

I have contributed this article to Click here to read the post.

Beware of text scams using fake DTI promo numbers!

Have you ever received a text message from an unregistered number saying you have won a huge prize for a contest you don’t remember joining at all? Here are two scam text messages I have received:

June 29, 2011

Sender: 09173311529

Congratulations! Last Jun/29/2011 Ur Cell# had Won! P750,000+N95:frm-PCCNS DTI NCR Permit#1948-S’of11-to Claim Ur Prize! Pls Call me Now! IM ATTY.MARK Mendez

January 17, 2012

Sender: 09058286843

(Congrats)!Ur SIMcard#won Php880,000.2nd prize winner draw last night.To claim ur prize,pls call me now!I’m Atty.Miguel A.Lopez.,Per DTI#5247seriEs of 2012.

The two SMS were sent seven months apart but they follow essentially the same structure. First, the sender tells me that my number won a particular amount through an unspecified promo. Notice that the message sender (which purports to be a lawyer on both occasions) is urging me to call him immediately for my prize.

Then, they use a fake promo permit number from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to give their modus operandi a semblance of authenticity. You can easily countercheck this through the DTI website.

Department of Trade and Industry

The authenticity of permit numbers mentioned in text promos can be verified via the DTI website

Here’s what I found out:

Permit # 1948 – Love Life Discount Health Card from the St. Luke’s Medical Center

Permit # 5247 – HSBC Premier’s 2011 Member Get Member Promo

Therefore, I have proved without any doubt that the text messages I got were plain scams. According to the Department of Trade and Industry, the public should watch for the following warning signs:

1. You don’t know the person who sent you the message.
2. You are asked to provide your bank account number and the sender offers to deposit money into it.
3. The request contains a sense of urgency.
4. The text message appeared credible because it supposedly came from a trusted government institution and/or a well-known government official.
5. The person texting you appeared to be credible (like a lawyer).

The two scam messages I received fits in three of the five situations mentioned above. In its website, the DTI posted a story where the victim gave her bank account number to an anonymous texter, confident that the latter will not be able to access her money. Much to her regret, she found out later on that the P10000 balance in her ATM account had been wiped out. To avoid being victimized by text scammers, the trade department has these reminders to the public:

  • Kung wala ka namang sinalihan na promo, napakaliit ng posibilidad na ikaw ay nanalo ng isang malaking premyo.
  • Ang mga nananalo ng malaking premyo sa isang promo ay pinapadalhan ng sulat o telegrama upang sabihin na sila ay nanalo at hindi sa pamamagitan ng text message lamang.
  • Huwag basta-basta magbigay ng mahalagang impormasyon tungkol sa iyong sarili gaya ng address sa bahay at opisina, pangalan, at lalong-lalo na ang bank account number na diumano ay gagamitin “for verification.”
  • Lalong huwag magdeposito ng pera sa isang bank account number at huwag magpadala ng prepaid load na diumano ay para sa “tax” ng inyong premyo.

The public can call the DTI at 751-3330 for their complaints. Scam text promos can also be reported to the National Telecommunications Commission website (, which ironically is inaccessible at this moment.

Thoughts on the murder of Nelson Macam, Math teacher in RMHS Manila

Nelson Macam, a Math teacher in Ramon Magsaysay High School (RMHS) – Manila (the institution where I graduated back in 2006), was found dead in his Tondo, Manila residence. He was stabbed at least 20 times by a yet-to-be-named assailant. And as if Macam’s killing is not yet brutal enough, the local media’s irresponsible and sensationalized reporting on his death is tragic as well.

Nelson Macam, 1963-2012 (photo taken from his Facebook page)

Apart from being an alumnus of RMHS, what made me interested in this case is the fact that I was in the school doing research when the news broke out in the afternoon of January 12. Born May 13 1963, Macam has taught in RMHS-Manila for twenty years already. At least five tabloids and one broadsheet carried this story. They are the following (click the headlines to read the story):

Abante Tonite – Titser, binurdahan ng 20 saksak

Hataw – Bading na titser, tinodas ng lover

From Hataw tabloid: "Bading na titser, tinodas ng lover" (Gay teacher slain by lover)

People’s Journal – Robbers stab HS teacher 20X!

Philippine Star – Teacher stabbed dead in Tondo

Pilipino Star Ngayon – HS teacher, utas sa lover

Remate – Titser, binurdahan ng saksak, tigok

Reading the news stories made my stomach turn. All the writers either speculated or explicitly mentioned that Macam is gay. It is no secret that he is, but I am wondering if these journalists even bothered to ask for permission from the victim’s relatives if they can mention that.

I think the use of statements like “the victim had a constant male companion who frequented the place” and “the victim frequently entertained male visitors and gay friends in his room” seems nothing but malicious innuendo. It is disappointing to see journalists succumb to sensationalism.

Let me discuss the appalling lapses of each abovementioned news items:

Abante, Hataw, People’s Journal, and Remate

What is the purpose of including in your article the complete address of the victim?

Hataw –

“Sa imbestigasyon, nabatid na madalas magdala ng bisitang lalaki ang biktima na kilalang bading sa kanilang lugar.” – Ito ba ay tsismis?

Hataw and Pilipino Star Ngayon

Paano ninyo nasabing “lover” ni Mr. Macam ang pumatay sa kanya?

People’s Journal

What is your basis for writing that Macam “had a constant male companion who frequented his place”?

Philippine Star

Did journalist Nestor Etolle ask where the police officer he interviewed got the information that Macam “frequently entertained male visitors and gay friends in his room”?

"Teacher stabbed dead in Tondo" - Headline from The Philippine Star (click image to enlarge)

The news items are totally appalling and very disrespectful to a man who’ve dedicated over half of his life to molding the minds of his students. #

Tickets to the Katy Perry in Manila Concert on January 22, 2012 are running out!

Those hoping to watch international pop star Katy Perry’s performance at the SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds on January 22, 2012 will have to buy their tickets as soon as possible.

With merely six days left before the concert at the, two of the five ticket types for the Katy Perry concert are already sold out, a representative from SM Tickets said in a phone interview. Here are the tickets available to the public and their corresponding prices:

 Diamond – P10448 – sold out          

Titanium – P6844 – 184 tickets left

Gold – P3710 – sold out

Silver – P1620 – 504 tickets left

Bronze – P889 – 1981 tickets left

The figures mentioned here are as of 6PM of January 16, 2012. With phone-in reservations already stopped since yesterday, Katy Perry fans will have to go an SM Cinema Ticket Booth within the mall hours to purchase concert tickets.

Katy Perry California Dreams Tour - live in Manila (official poster - courtesy of MMI)

Apart from the five abovementioned concert ticket types available to the public, the promoters had set aside Super VIP and VIP seats to certain individuals. No discounts are provided for bulk orders.

Tickets are only good as long as supplies last. Smart subscribers can get a 10% discount in ticket prices by typing TEXT COUPON (space) 510 to 9800, P1 per text. SM tickets can be reached at 470-2222.

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