Tinay Bugayong is feted in January for returning P300,000 in cash intact to its rightful owner. As a reward, Tinay receives lifetime scholarship and a new computer, proving that being honest can actually earn you money.

***

Immigration agents raid the infamous 168 Mall in Binondo after intelligence reports reveal that many vendors were overstaying Chinese. The raid is conducted on Christmas day. Apparently, the Chinese translations of directions to the rest room are a dead giveaway. However, it didn’t escape the eye of some people that the arrests are made just in time for Santa Claus’s coming.

***

Quezon City passes an ordinance declaring piracy illegal. The city council claims the ordinance is not a duplication of the Intellectual Property Code, so what else can it be? I advise persons wearing eye patches, bandannas, peg legs, and with obnoxious parrots or are otherwise named Jack Sparrow to stay away.

***

The FBI claims it is ready to train judges’ bodyguards in the wake of Judge Gingoyon’s murder. Court sheriffs could probably do the trick with a lot more if they carried shiny badges and started looking like Edward Norton in Red Dragon.

***

Mother Lily is aghast that her film Blue Moon can win best film and best screenplay awards and yet lose the best director, best editor, and best actor plums to slasher-thriller Kutob at recently concluded Metro Manila Filmfest. Nobody cares. Really. In related news, Eddie Garcia is still alive and kicking at 86 and, from pictures of MMFF, still able to walk upright. I should really start exercising and drink whatever he drinks (my wife claims he drinks placenta, but the thought is too gross for me to comprehend).

***

Israeli PM Ariel Sharon lapses into a coma after a blood clot in his brain ruptures. I bet that if the Bush administration’s ratings were so bad, someone would claim that the suicidal hemoglobin had links with Islamic Jihad and Al-Qaeda.

***

Homosexuality is still an issue in Salt Lake City as megaplex owner Larry Miller of the Utah Jazz pulls critically-acclaimed film about gay cowboys, Brokeback Mountain, on the day of its supposed screening. Conservative pundits in Utah (that’s not a redundant term) praise the move. In related news, DVD rentals for the miniseries adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Angels in America, which is about, among others, homosexual Mormons, is reportedly doing well.

***

A special Roman Catholic quasi-parish for Filipinos is inaugurated in New York City for overseas Pinoys to celebrate the singing of the Pasyon, lavish weddings, Simbang Gabi, and other Filipino Catholic eccentricities. A building on the site is named Hall of Sin after the late cardinal. I’ll bet some New Yorkers are perplexed at what appears to be a standing contradiction.

***

FVR gets caught in a photo-op doing the thumbs up with Tito Sotto and Frank Drilon at a supposed political merger meeting. The news media picks up the story within hours of the picture. Days later, FVR issues a statement calling for GMA to resign by next year to pave the way for the Ramos plan to transform this presidency into a parliament. I guess the rumors of FVR, Tito Sotto, and Frank Drilon joining the Finger-Wrestling Olympics are unfounded.

***

The peso soars to three-year highs on a weak dollar in early January, with the currency seen to gain strength this year. On the other hand, the US dollar slides to new lows against foreign currencies. Given her current troubles, I wouldn’t be surprised to see GMA use the strong peso to her benefit, claiming her economic policies are actually working. Common sense must be at an all-time low.

Francis Acero

Francis Acero is a thirty-ish guy employed in the public service. While he has been married since 2003 and a father since 2007, he's been with his wife since...

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