The Wrong Guest ?

ph_starsa.jpegLast October the world diamond producers held its 2007 Diamond Conference in Antwerp, Belgium to showcase the headways made by the industry in generating economic opportunities and addressing the concerns over human rights abuses and conflicts caused by the “blood diamonds” or “conflict diamonds” in the continent of Africa. Most of you may have watched the movie ” Blood Diamond” and you would know what I am talking about. As expected the conference was attended by heads of African States, diamond producers, dignitaries and and this time around it was graced by Nobel Prize awardee Prof Joseph Stiglitz and anti-poverty activist Sir Bob Geldof ( remember Save Africa, the We Are The World theme of the mid-80’s?) as guest speakers. Well, it looked like the industry was way too optimistic of Geldof’s position on the issue at hand because this was what he had to say in his speech :

He told the diamond producers – “stop your nonsense ” ! Ouch ! Geldof’s unexpected tirade undoubtedly made the expensive 750 Euro dinner quite bitter to swallow. He dismissed the much celebrated reform initiatives as farce and that the Kimberly Process Certificiation Scheme being trumpeted by the diamond producers as the solution to the conflict diamond problem is not working as many Africans are still oppressed and human rights abuses disappointinglyΒ flagrant. Geldof being a stalwart anti-poverty activist appeared to have the entire African continent in mind when he suggested a reform with the likes of the Marshall Plan, a massive war reparations program initiated by the U.S. to rehabilitate Japan and other Asian countries ravaged by World War II.

Whatever, but the lesson here is when you decide to select you best man to speak at your wedding, better make dead sure he is on your side so you know he is not going to tell the congregation that you’re an ass****. Pardon the expression but somehow I have to make a rejoinder to the title of this post πŸ™‚

DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER ( sang by Shirley Bassey from a James Bond film of the same name)

Diamonds are forever,
Sparkling round my little finger.
Unlike men, the diamonds linger;
Men are mere mortals who
Are not worth going to your grave for.

I don’t need love,
For what good will love do me?
Diamonds never lie to me,
For when love’s gone,
They’ll luster on.

Hmmm… Madam Bassey had made her point. The diamond is woman’s best friend. Anyone dare say aye or nay ? πŸ™‚


Those of us who have been out of the country for decades find it incredibly difficult to keep up with the latest news back home. Thanks to the internet – it had somehow narrowed the gap. It is quite disconcerting when you attend a Pinoy concert and you hear a portion of the crowd clapping their hands whistling and shouting when a particular song is sang and you say huh ? I never heard this song before. You look like a poor mangmang. I mean if I attend an APO concert and the trio does “Kabilugan Ng Buwan” and everybody cheers, I say hey I’m with you guys coz I know that song ! Now when I see Pinoys not even batting their eyelash and not joining the cheer I’d say – well these guys came well ahead of me into this country . They’re more mangmang than me hehe πŸ™‚

One time I was with my wife at another Pinoy store buying food before they close for the day and I noticed Edu Manzano on the TV ( The Filipino Channel) visibly upset, answering questions of reporters. It turned out it had to do with his tiff with Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) President Leo Martinez . We overheard two of the storekeepers who were cleaning up to close the store ( likewise old timers in the country) conversing about the Manzano-Martinez row :

Lady A : Galit na galit sa TV is Edu at binulgar raw siya ni Leo Martinez

Lady B : Bakit? Binulgar ba na bakla siya ? πŸ™‚ LOL

Lady B then went on to the lounge where a few patrons were still huddling, briefly glanced at the TV this time playing a Pinoy soap opera with Maricel and Merryl Soriano on the screen. Overheard conversation again :

Lady B : Sino ba yang bata na yan?

Patron A : Si Merryl Soriano ho yan.

Lady B: Ang ganda and laki na pala ng anak ni Maricel ano?

Patron A : Hindi ho, pamangkin ho siya ni Maricel πŸ™‚

Out of circulation confirmed. Strike 2 in a matter of minutes πŸ™‚


32 Responses

  1. I love Leonardo di Caprio in Blood Diamonds. He was so cool.

    I don’t appreciate diamonds that much yet, but maybe if I grow older. I agree it stays with you forever haha..

  2. parang kumuha sila ng bato na pamukpok sa ulo nila.

    just like the tag line ni verns:”what’s that saying “why do I keep on hitting myself with a hammer?” …oh it’s because it feels so damn good when I stop.”

  3. The guests were probably choking on their caviars after Geldof’s speech, hahaha. πŸ˜€ I remember me and my then gf (and soon to be ex-wife) arguing whether to have diamonds on our wedding rings or not. Well, she had her way and we had a set made with 4 tiny sparklers each — which I later sold at a loss after we split.

    You think you’re out of circulation? I live here and I’m as lost as you are on Pinoy celebrities. Were it not for my Mom who regularly watch those talk shows, I would even have inkling of what goes on in local entertainment, hehe. πŸ˜€

  4. Gulp. Who was the events organizer of that diamond conference? I guess that person has already been sacked.

    I don’t know who Merryl Soriano is either, and I’ve been away for only four years and nine months.

    I got intrigued with that tiff you mentioned between Leo Martinez and Edu Manzano. Got to google it later. LOL.


    You wrote: “The diamond is woman’s best friend.”

    I disagree. A very loyal pet dog is a woman’s — and for that matter, a man’s — best friend. LOL

  5. Irrealis – yep, Leonardo di Caprio was pretty cool in that movie. I was particulary impressed with his flawless South African accent.

    I’m sure sooner our later you would appreciate diamonds, more so when you marry – you will need one in your finger hehe πŸ™‚

  6. MyePinoy – yes, they unknowingly shot themselves in the foot. with Sir Bob πŸ™‚

    Ouch..That analogy with tag line is quite painful πŸ™‚

  7. Sngl – I’m sure the shocker was far from their expectations 😦

    It’s good that your ex didn’t claim that the ring was unequivocally hers LOL πŸ™‚

    I declined to subscribe to TFC ( The Filipino Channel) coz I can barely cope up with no of channels I have with my TV system. It’s just that sometimes you get lost in the conversation with fellow Pinoys if you know zilch about the latest news back home πŸ™‚

  8. Jayred – very true – I’m sure the senior executives were gritting teeth with rage on the embarrasing fiasco, wanting to get to the bottom of the screw up 😦

    The tiff between Manzano and Martinez had to do with politics of business as both have leadership positions in the agencies they represent – it had nothing to do with Edu being gay LOL !

    I happen to agree that dogs are more loyal than men πŸ™‚

  9. A Marshall plan for Africa? That continent is pretty big and isn’t a lot of aid already going to that continent? I’d be curious to hear more about this Marshall plan for Africa.

  10. I don’t think diamonds have a bright future. I read somewhere they can “create” new diamonds. Even professionals can’t see the difference between the genuine diamonds and the new ones.

    I like Bob Geldof!

  11. This is what I meant when I just recently commented on my blog that some of these celebrities that sometimes these people don’t really know what they are saying or when to say it. πŸ™‚

    I love the film by the way.

  12. Diamonds are forever, true…Woman’s best friends, I beg to disagree kind sir …. nowadays, it’s laptop and the internet πŸ˜€

    wala na rin akong kilalang mga artista/artists na bago sa pilipinas..kundi ko pa nababasa sa mga pages ng bloggers.

  13. It was so unwise for the diamond producers to invite Sir Bob Gelforf as guest speaker, as if completely uninformed of how outspoken he could be. That should teach them a great lesson.

  14. I’ve been back here in Manila for a few years now and to date don’t know much about the local celebrities, either. As for local music, it’s just as abundant; thus difficult to keep up with all the original Pinoy hits.

    As for diamonds, there will always be a market lusting for them — think of engagement rings alone.

  15. whoever invited this guest speaker must have fainted right on his/her seat, hahahaha! diamonds sure are lovely, but i dont think i’ll buy any. i’ll just wait till i someone gives it to me or better yet, convinced my mom to leave me some of her gems. sama ko talaga no, joke lang hah. bwahahaha :mrgreen:

  16. Wil – the Marshall Plan was a rehabilitation of areas damaged by war and was part of the American conciliatory and humanitarian effort to help a defeated foe as well as allies affected by the conflict. We can only hope that richer countries can poll their resources together and help Africa in a very meaningful way, as in singer and Africa activist Bono’s plan to have the G8 nations pledge a certain percentage of their GDP to the Africa cause. It’s a hard sell and the G8 countries won’t commit to Bono’s proposal.

  17. Sidney – that’s very interesting news ! What if diamonds can be faked or created en masse. Now that will definitely wreck havoc to the industry. I’m sure the diamond producers will flex their muscles and exercise their powerful influence to make sure this technology doesn’t lift off the ground 😦

    BTW Welcome back πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to see your pics from the Maskara festival. I am from Bacolod you know πŸ™‚

  18. Ipanema – very true…they can be unpredictable. Bob Geldof however is a much widely known anti-poverty activist much like Bono and everyone knows his stand on issues of human rights in Africa. I think this fiasco was more on the organizers not knowing Geldof fully well, that the man isn’t interested in proposals and action plans but concrete results !

  19. Thess – times have changed indeed – yes, the laptop and the internet are the must have for women nowadays hehe πŸ™‚

    I’m also out of circulation most of the time that’s why I refrain from making comments for fear of saying something silly πŸ™‚

  20. Major Tom – the organizers are to blame. They probably wanted to boost the conference’s ratings so they invited Geldof. They should have at least asked him for a copy of his planned speech hehe πŸ™‚

  21. Eric – my friends once asked me to watch a Toronto concert of the highly acclaimed Pinoy band called Side A. I declined because I knew zilch, nada about their music. That goes to show how out of touch I am with the Pinoy music scene hehe ..

    Yes the engagement ring market is a lucrative one for diamonds. The high end market for the rich and famous also makes
    in the industry thrive. As long as cupid is around, diamonds will be around for a long time πŸ™‚

  22. Nell – I wonder who were clapping their hands after Geldof’s speech LOL πŸ™‚ Man, I can’t imagine the kind of reception Geldof got after the dinner ! Now that’s a smart idea – why stress yourself – just wait for someone to give it you hehe πŸ™‚

  23. blood diamonds, heh?

    i’m a fan of bob geldolf!
    and i don’t like mondays! πŸ˜›

  24. Tutubi – Bob Geldof sure got himself lots of pogi points with his gutsiness but looks like he may hard a hard time getting invites to speaking engagements in the future hehe πŸ™‚

  25. i haven’t seen blood diamond. so what’s the reaction of the organizers after the speech?

    and re the second post… natawa ak dun kay edu. i don’t know kung anong pinag-awayan nila pero natawa ako sa hirit ni lady b. hehehe ;p

  26. Tin – Geldof’s bashing was taken tongue in cheek by the organizers who have been for the most part quiet about the incident. Suffice to say, no one made a big deal of it πŸ™‚

    I’m not sure of the details sa intriga between Edu and Leo Martinez pero ang alam ko it had to do with politics sa film industry.. Ang sinasabi ko lang mabuti pa tumahimik na lang kung wala na sa circulation at baka ano pang masabing ala sa tono katulad ni Lady B hehe πŸ™‚

  27. What a big buzz Geldof’s created. He had the right audience for his remarks just the wrong event.

    Not sure about the Edu-Leo thing as well. I’ll ask my mom, she is glued to TFC everyday.

  28. Nakakahiya man but I don’t know Merryl Soriano myself. Hehe.

  29. Leah – I love your comment on ” the right audience but the wrong event ” ! I guess Geldof knew this fully well so he took the opportunity to unleash what he needed to say πŸ™‚

    We were trying to get TFC for my wife’s parents when they were here for a year to babysit my daughter but at that time it was so darn scarce and expensive .

  30. Abaniko – i’m totally out of circulation too and didn’t know who Merryl was ( my wife actually did hehe ) but I wouldn’t open my mouth saying things that I’m not positive about . Na-correct tuloy sya ng patron πŸ™‚

  31. Good day!,

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