Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes


Archive for January 17th, 2008


Observations and trivia 8

Posted on January 17, 2008 by jimparedes

The past few weeks, I’ve come across some interesting observations and trivia which I’ve been wanting to write about.

– On the way to Cronulla Beach in Sydney, we passed by a bridge with a great view, which was unbelievably called ‘Tom Ugly’s Bridge’. Ala (my daughter) and I were imagining the teasing and ribbing Tom Ugly (whoever he is) must have experienced in his lifetime. Imagine growing up with a name like that. Imagine the school roll call. Imagine him a grown up and having a child and his friends visiting the nursery and commenting that the kid looks like his father by saying, ‘That sure is an Ugly child’.

– I am having some house repairs done currently, and one of the handymen, a Pinoy graduate of PMA told me something interesting, and quite amusing. He said that during their masses at PMA in his time, they actually sang the APO song , ‘Love is for Singing”.

For the life of me I don’t know how this song I made can be an Offertory hymn. I kinda find it funny imagining soldiers and cadets standing straight and taut and with their manly voices singing,

Love is for silly, silly things that you never think of doing
And all in a sudden little things have bigger meanings.
It’s getting up at night and climbing up a tree so high
And then you try and touch the sky and you ask why…’

In church at that!



– I learned from a military general’s son that the best rendition of the song “My Way’ can be heard during PMA reunions. It is sung with so much feeling and passion that almost everyone present is brought to tears.


– I have observed that Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, unlike GMA is NOT in the news everyday. Sometimes, you don’t hear about the Prime Misnister at all for 4 days or even a week. There seems to be a lot more things happening in this country other than politics.

– The Prime Minister’s house is called the Kiribilli House. One can pass by it when sailing at the harbor, or go by car. Right next to the house are just regular neighbors!

– Australia is now officially the country with the highest percentage of obese people. There is a reality TV show here called The Biggest Loser where contestants compete against each other by losing the most weight. The government also has ads on TV and print encouraging people to have a fresh go at weight loss this new year.

– Behind our house is a very small farm with a corral and meandering cows. And beyond that is a park which gives us a great view of the outdoors. Driving around the neighborhood and even in parts of the city, one can see cockatoos, and other very colorful birds everywhere.

– Think of prime time TV shows in the Philippines. There’s BIg Brother, Marimar, dramas, and inane comedy shows. Over here in Australia, even if they have game shows, comedies, dramas as well, they also have great, well-made documentaries. Aussies are also big on gardens, and one of the shows on prime time features Australia’s most beautifully made gardens!! That would be totally unheard of in the Philippines.

– Past 10 PM, there is so much soft porn on TV, including ads for downloading erotica on your cellphone or meeting singles, etc., it’s actually irritating. I sometimes wonder how much of the percieved ‘breakdown of morals’ in the Philippines is caused by pornography when there is relatively so little available there except for the occasional accidental ‘exposure’ in variety shows. Sex is so much more open and seemingly more casual here, from people going topless in beaches to legal brothels in many places. Yet, there doesn’t appear to be a moral breakdown in the sense that there are not too many rape cases, at least not as much as we seem to hear about back home.

We should worry about drugs more.

—-Still on the same topic, I find it quite refreshing that open discussion of sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction are openly tackled. One sees advertising (serious ones, and also funny and clever ones) on TV, and on radio.

A memorable one features two pianists who go in front of the piano, drop their pants, raise their hands and play Chopsticks with… you get the picture?

– I watched the Spanish Harlem Orchestra at the Domain. It was quite a show with great musicuans playing latin, zalsa and all that. Furthermore, it was a free concert. There’s lots of things going on in Sydney at this time of the year being art month. So many free events everywhere. People show up in outdoor concerts with mats, and with elaborate meals, at times complete with appetizers, cheese and wine.

Aussies are quite informal and know how to party. I sort of draw the line though (meaning, I wont do it) when it comes to walking barefeet and shirtless in the city no matter how hot a summer’s day it can be.

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