“Pugad Baboy,” the popular comic strip from artist and author, Pol Medina Jr., first appeared in the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) way back in 1988. For over 2 decades, the comic strip has poked fun on virtually everything under the sun but with particularly biting insights on Philippine politics, media, and the Filipino culture. Pol Medina has been such a veritable fountain of creativity, intellect, and humor that his body of work has managed to grow robustly over the years–spawning multiple collected editions, merchandise, even a live-action TV series–and, moreover, has continued to stay relevant and as sharp as ever while winning new, younger fans and keeping old ones. It’s not even a stretch to say some people buy PDI just because it carries Pugad Baboy, and Carlos Celdran (the flamboyant tour guide and social gadfly) made the same remark on his Twitter account.
But in a shocking twist of events, Medina and PDI’s mutually beneficial and longstanding relationship suddenly cracked and split open this week. Medina was suspended by PDI because–after 25 years–Pugad Baboy somehow finally crossed a line. It had apparently made a joke so grave and offensive, that the national broadsheet, which trumpets the slogan “Balanced News, Fearless Views,” simply had no choice but to temporarily cancel the strip, essentially forget about freedom of speech, and suspend the brilliant author.
The joke? Pugad Baboy said pretty girls and possibly some nuns in St. Scholastica’s College were lesbians.
PDI Can Burn in Hell
To put it quite bluntly, PDI can burn in hell. Or in that green, nasty wildfire from Game of Thrones, which scorches through metal, bone and flesh. Whatever piece of paper escapes from this fiery extermination must then be gently crumpled up and used to wipe the asses of more intelligent people who are clearly not part of the moronic bunch who suspended Pol Medina.
To put it quite bluntly.
Because why the fuck would you suspend somebody who wrote a freakin’ joke in a freakin’ fictional piece of work (suspiciously named a COMIC STRIP) composed of freakin’ fictional characters?
Why the fuck would a newspaper, which prides itself as a champion of press freedom and free speech, do such a thing if not for the fact that whoever’s running it is as dumb as a bag of doorknobs?
Apologies. Let me pull myself together for a second before I spam this article, (which started out quite professionally) with more fucks and fuckity-fuck-fucks.
(Breathes in, breathes out). Ok. Maybe the reason for this travesty is not really a tragic depletion of intelligence. According to reports, St. Scholastica’s College administrators had an “emergency President’s Council Meeting” in the aftermath of the devastating comic strip, and “The Sisters’ community” also had to convene lest somebody failed to understand the seriousness of the matter, which was appropriately described by the letter from the Office of the School President as a “crisis situation.” After the 11th hour deliberations, the administrators reached the conclusion that they must sue PDI if they did not hear from the newspaper about their protest.
And so PDI, upon receiving St. Scholastica’s threatening letter, and being the epitome of press valor that it is, FLEE WITH ITS FUCKING TAIL BETWEEN ITS FUCKING LEGS AND FUCKING SUSPENDED THE FUCK OUT OF POL MEDINA.
SWEET JESUS! BY ALL THAT IS HOLY I SWEAR TO G–HOW SPINELESS DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO GIVE IN SO EASILY TO SUCH A THREAT?
I mean, as a national broadSHIT–sorry–broadsheet, wouldn’t you expect every single day that some people and organizations would find something disagreeable in your paper? It is, after all, a newspaper–a bunch of paper filled with news, half-news, speculations, sometimes downright bullcrap, some views, and, yes, comic strips that are all subject to discussion and interpretation, and by extension, subject to possible lawsuits, too, if some entities really deem them THAT wrong.
But doesn’t that come with the profession? Isn’t that part of the trade? It makes me wonder what’s so terrifying about St. Scholastica’s letter that PDI had to turn its back on its own principles and its longtime profitable contributor. Surely, countless other people and groups have threatened to sue the paper throughout its publication and it stood its ground like any normal, sensible newspaper would do?
And here is where my rational investigation of PDI’s motives end because I can’t really think of any other reason why they resorted to go full retard aside from utter stupidity or cowardice.
Of course, there are other possible explanations. Pol Medina himself says he smells a consPIGracy that has something to do with his anti-Marcos strips. I’ll just let you guys chew on that while I reach deep under, feel my nuts and happily appreciate the fact that I still have them unlike PDI.
The Joke’s on PDI and St. Scholastica’s Administrators
It was inevitable that some people online discovered their knack for original thinking again and ended up comparing Pol Medina’s fate to Vice Ganda’s. After all, they’re both jokesters and they both made offensive jokes that roused the gravity of some long-dormant issues and the righteous anger of some Filipinos.
In the same vein, it was inevitable, too, that these people were going to be tagged by me as giant boneheads with an IQ of a toenail.
First of all, Pol’s joke was totally different from Vice Ganda’s. Pol’s joke was about some girls being lesbians and possibly some nuns, too. Vice Ganda’s joke was about gang-raping Jessica Soho while she looked for an apple because supposedly she looked like a lechon.
Can you see the difference? If you can’t, then I suggest you set an appointment with a psychiatrist right away because your moral compass is hopelessly broken and it is very likely you’re currently developing into a remorseless serial killer and you’re not even aware of the silent transformation.
There’s simply no excuse for joking about rape the same way there’s no excuse for joking about genocide. You notice I said genocide, not murder. Because it’s easy enough to justify the murder of a single, twisted man but there’s no way an ethnic or racial group deserves genocide. Likewise, nobody deserves rape. After all, there’s a reason it’s called a crime against humanity. And that is why, no matter how big a fan of Vice Ganda you are, if you’re a level-headed person with at least a passable moral compass, you’d understand how the comedian’s joke was unacceptable.
That is simply not the case with Pol’s joke.
In fact, an open-minded person shouldn’t even find anything remotely offensive in Pol’s comic strip–certainly not something offensive enough to warrant suspension. Let’s get to the crux of this: what is offensive about saying some pretty girls and possibly some nuns in St. Scholastica’s College are homosexuals?
I must be a complete tool as I fail to grasp what’s so contemptible about the statement. Isn’t being a lesbian just another gender category like being a boy or a girl? Let me put it this way: in an alternate universe where people are mostly homosexuals and straight folks are the minority, that comic strip would say some pretty girls and possibly some nuns in St. Scholastica’s College are straight. See the absurdity in that? Isn’t the statement totally normal and harmless? And it should be totally normal and harmless because there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a homosexual just as there’s nothing wrong with being straight.
But alas! We still live in a society where backward-thinking witch hunters can throw their weight around without getting kicked in the arse even if they royally deserve it. We live in a society where it’s so goddamn difficult to pass legislation for population control, safer sex, and the protection of women amidst all the hysterical wailing from the sidelines that we sinful lot are going to hell. Separation of State and Church be damned. We live in a society where surviving Australopithecus robustus curiously called “bishops” urge us to not judge Charice Pempengco while saying she’s undergoing an identity crisis and that she needs guidance (One can never be too careful. After all, young lesbians grow into EVIL adult lesbians who are proven to be extremely horrifying). A society that makes clowns out of a group of people who are, by all measure, normal and unremarkable except for the fact that they’re not restricted by socially constructed notions of what are expected from males and females.
Sometimes, I just find myself feeling sorry for the rest of us straight people–us, stone-age idiots who will surely be the laughing stock of the genderless, classless future. But don’t you worry. PDI and St. Scholastica’s administrators are still going to be the centerpiece of the hilarious freakshow. I’ll be laughing my bones off in my grave.
A lot has been written about Fille Saint Merced Cainglet—news articles, player profiles, fan blogs—none of which has really spoken the words bursting out of my chest. And so to this unacceptable hole in sport literature, I eagerly offer this latest issue of DNBG with the aim of sufficiently chronicling all angles of this crazy phenomenon that has seen non-sporty guys like me suddenly tuning in to watch a sport we thought had died ages ago. Let me be the voice of the voiceless falling for a volleyball player who can only play with us in our wildest dreams.
To Fille, I offer you my love letter.
You don’t know me but you should. I’m one among thousands who fell in love with you because one of our pals told us to “Check out this Fille Cainglet” one fateful day. And so I tuned in, spaced out, fell deep, and now I can’t get over you. Like a ball that never goes over the net and hopelessly hits it every single time.
I credit you for my knowledge of volleyball, much of which was only recently gained by never failing to watch you play in the UAAP. I swear to you I forgot a long time ago that volleyball is a game with four or five sets where teams race to 25 points each set except for the last one. Did I get that right? The rules are still fuzzy to me but believe me when I tell you that if not for ogling you on the court, I would’ve died never remembering what the sport was all about. Such a terrible shame of existence you saved me from, my messiah in short shorts!
But what amazes me most is I keep on watching volleyball without really caring about volleyball. Oh, I wish I do, but I really don’t! It does seem like a fun, healthy sport and yadda, yadda, yadda—but the point is I only want to watch you. At times, it even feels like you could’ve been washing dishes and I still would’ve sat down popcorn and all on the couch, gripped by the tale of how tiny soap bubbles pop in your dainty hands on the TV screen.
I guess it’s your oriental eyes that make you look like a seductive ninja assassin in the Edo Era. Or that permanent smile you wear even during the most crucial moments of the game and the hardest of falls. In truth, a sudden desire to be a wooden floor erupts in my heart whenever you fall, Fille, so I could catch you and tell you the pain will soon go away. But then you never looked like you felt any of these falls, anyway. In fact, you always look as if you just gave birth to baby unicorns sliding on rainbows and playing violins with their horns.
Even your sweat doesn’t make you look icky-sticky unlike the average, normal human being. Whenever I step out of the MRT every morning, I’m sweaty-icky-sticky. Sweaty-icky-sticky-stay-away-from-me-stinky, actually. You never look like that. On the contrary, it’s mind-boggling how your sweat makes you look fresher. You’re like the infamous McDonald’s fries–you’re incapable of spoiling. Are you somehow related to Benjamin Button? Were you born into this world an old woman and now you can only get younger and fresher ’til the day you die? But maybe you can’t even die. What if you’re like a phoenix, reborn in fire? Or perhaps a phoenix-like eagle eternally renewing her life through scorching blue flames?
Your grace on the court is otherworldly. It’s like Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini” directly translated into muscle movement. Somebody told me you once did ballet and fencing and that’s the reason why you easily flow on the court like a song. I wouldn’t be surprised if you did a combination of the two–ballet-sword-fighting while juggling the cosmos and hearts of lonely boys.
I can’t emphasize enough how I could care less about your player stats and feats even though they’re obviously astonishing and I’m sure you’re mighty proud of them. Whenever my pals and I watch the Lady Eagles play, the only insight I can give is “God she’s lovely as the summer sun” and I tend to do my game analysis in a strange language of smitten sighs and “tsk-tsk-tsks.” People may say I’m not a true volleyball fan but I dare them to say to my face that I’m not a true lover.
I know I won’t ever get a chance to “show you a few things” a la Justin Timberlake. But if this letter ever finds its way to you over the vast, cruel cyberspaces that separate us, please allow me to depict you and I together, so that you may know we could work out…
You and I together. You and I exploring our schools hand in hand. We’re like neighbors, you know? You can show me around Ateneo and I’ll take a silent stroll with you around UP while exchanging sweet glances and eating isaw.
You and I painting everything blue. I’ll paint anything blue for you if that’s what it takes to make an Atenean like you happy—even our dogs and chickens at home. PETA can cry in outrage, I don’t care.
You and I devouring everything green. Green, leafy vegetables—we’ll tear them to shreds with our fangs and spit them out onto the floor like psychotic, vegan savages. Or maybe I’ll serve you a whole ungutted sushi slathered in green wasabi, so you can eat the green’s heart out like an aswang–green, spicy sauce dripping from your irresistible lips. Vengeance has never been so healthy.
You and I giggling, whispering about how Gretchen Ho, Mika Reyes, and Michele Gumabao are kinda pretty, too, but they pale in comparison next to you. Me, admitting I also liked Bea Tan’s moves on that “Call Me Maybe” video but, well, she’s just no Fille. Just no you.
You and I falling… in love.
Well, this letter is already too long even for an infatuated guy with so much to say. But if you’re reading this, I hope you can somehow feel a little bit of what I feel, Fille, and know that with me, you—the most beautiful of the blue—will never ever again have to feel lonely and blue even when La Salle beats the crap out of you.
Forever yours win or lose,
Welcome to One-Legged Fadeaway–the ultimate basketball blog in all the Interwebs that my friends RB and Ryan have been planning for such a long time that I never thought they could actually put their lazy asses to work and really start doing it. But it’s finally here and though you can’t see their faces, please know that RB and Ry are giddy with a kind of excitement only their girlfriends on a hard-earned weekend can usually evoke in them.
Welcome, too, to the Diary of a Non-Basketball Guy, a featury column here on OLF that I will be writing regularly if I manage to stay on the good side of RB and Ry. (I will be writing again guys, right?)
The title leaves no doubt as to what this piece is all about: it’s about the non-basketball stuff. In fact, this will be about non-sports stuff. There won’t be any mention of balls here unless I’m talking about how much it hurts if you receive a kick to the groin in a street fight.
Why write about non-basketball stuff on a basketball blog? Let me put it this way: it’s the 1 Percent Rule.
The 1 Percent Rule is a rule I picked up from doing social media marketing. It states that at least 1 percent of your published content should be totally unrelated to the main theme of your campaign, so that people get a break from the usual diet you’re feeding them. Think of it as the amusing commercial break when you’re watching a tense NBA game–the one that gets the nervous chuckles from fans who could barely breathe because of the suspense and who would surely pee their pantaloons if they were watching a nail-biter without interruptions.
This column is that 1 percent and my friends couldn’t have picked a less sporty guy to write it. See, the guys behind OLF are your ordinary homies with a specially keen basketball sense and perspective that may or may not show when they’re actually playing the game (I bet you’re guilty of that, too, you Quinito Hensons of the world). When we talk about basketball, you can always trust RB and Ry to have a good point or analysis that, upon further reflection on a particularly ambitious drunken discussion, ought to be published on a blog. I’m the one who doesn’t know shit about the subject and who would regularly ask my pals if Michael Jordan is still the best player who ever lived, who’s better–LeBron or Kobe, Yao Ming or Shaq, whatever happened to Jeremy Lin, and does Magic Johnson still have HIV. All vague questions that reveal a strong desire to leave the basketball talk and move on to the next topic, which is sex.
But that utterly unrelated, stupid and oftentimes nonsensical 1 Percent is important—nay, even essential—to the smoothness of a friendly discussion over cups of coffee or bottles of beer. And you know this to be true. You know you derive some pleasure and amusement from that one friend of yours who would bravely cut through all the expert sporty talk to ask if anyone has ever dunked from the three-point line. That stale, dead air from the realization of just how stupid and idiotic your friend is is the break your brain needs to step back and more accurately assess the game at hand, which could lead you to make a more informed bet.
The break keeps you talking and thinking—and don’t all breaks? Just think of how hellish life would be if you were forced to work without weekends and vacations, or to chomp your way through a Big N’ Tasty or Whopper without French fries, to finish a bucket of beer without a sizzling plate of sisig, and to ride the MRT without the horde alighting at Cubao station. Heck, even the occasional fight in a relationship could at times serve as a breath of fresh air just to get away from it all for a while and spend some badly needed me-time because as the song says, “even lovers need a holiday far away from each other.” That break, that 1%, can keep you going a long while.
This “diary” is that 1% on OLF. The section where I’ll try my best to discuss other things aside from sex. (To RB and Ry: That was a joke. Half-meant.)
Again, welcome to One-Legged Fadeaway.