Manila, Philippines – Pork barrel has become a universally-accepted term for discretionary funds allocated to politicians to use for their local pet projects. But the term has a very bad reputation in the Philippines, thanks to a 10 Billion-peso scam that siphoned taxpayer money into fake non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and into the personal accounts of some business people and politicians.
The Philippine Senate is currently holding hearings to look into the alleged involvement of some of its members – Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla, Jr. It has cast a not -so-favorable image for the entire Senate.
So, in an attempt to diffuse the negative image brought forth by the pork barrel scandal, the Senate unanimously agreed to rename the Senate investigation to “Spam Tocino Hearings.” The idea came from Hormel Foods, U.S. manufacturer of Spam . Hormel recently came up with a limited edition of its popular canned meat, capitalizing on the popular Filipino cured pork called tocino.
Senate officials said that renaming the hearings would give their investigation some “stateside” flavor while promoting the ever popular Filipino breakfast fare tocino.
Filipino activists immediately criticized the Senate move, accusing the senators of whitewashing the investigation while perpetuating Filipino colonial mentality.
Incidentally, Spam Tocino is available on the Hormel Foods website for $3.00 a can plus shipping. Hormel can only ship to U.S. addresses.
Quezon City Philippines – When the 2014 Bb. Pilipinas (Miss Philippines) beauty pageant concludes on March 30 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, only one candidate will be declared the winner and will be wearing four crowns.
Bb. Pilipinas Charities, franchise holder of the four-in-one pageant, announced a major change in choosing the Philippines’ representative to international pageants. Traditionally, the contest ends in four beauties being crowned Miss Universe Philippines, Bb. Pilipinas International, Bb. Pilipinas Supranational and Bb. Pilipinas Tourism Queen, respectively. This year, however, only one candidate will be crowned for all four titles.
Pageant organizers said this new regulation will increase the Philippines’ chances of winning the much-coveted international beauty crowns. Sending the same candidate to the four international pageants will increase the Filipina candidate’s exposure in world media while boosting her experience and confidence on the pageant stage every single time.
What happens if Miss Philippines wins the crown in the first scheduled international competition? Then the first runner-up in the Miss Philippines pageant will take over and represent the country in the next three international pageants. If she wins the crown in the second pageant, then the second runner-up takes over, and so on.
“What a brilliant idea,” a beauty pageant fanatic commented, “after all there can truly be only one queen, not four.”
Beijing, China – The Chinese government continues to be puzzled by the sudden increase in the panda population in just the last six months. The latest official panda count is placed at 1,600 but as of the end of February, 2014, an unofficial panda census shows that the number of these absolutely lovely animals has reached almost 6,000, not including the worldwide zoo population.
In an investigative report done by a reporter for The Adobo Chronicles,
it was revealed that at least 4,000 of the pandas registered with the Chinese Ministry of Endangered Animals, were actually chow chow (chow) puppies, whose fur were dyed so that they would look like baby pandas.
Reacting to the Adobo Chron report, the Beijing government issued an advisory for all panda owners to report to the Ministry of Endangered Animals with their “panda” pets for verification and registration. “Pandas” discovered to be actual chows will be given decoloring baths and the owners will be dealt with a hefty fine.