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Mum's the word


FOR a blog with significantly less hits than a porn site during Good Friday, Nothing in Particular has its fair share of readers, a number of whom, I am proud to say, are accomplished individuals.
Shortly after I began to blog regularly—an acquired taste, especially for someone inured to seeing his pieces printed on paper used for wrapping smoked fish, cleaning windows, and firing up charcoal—I discovered that there were other people, besides my wife, who were interested in what I had to say online.
So I began, however haphazardly, to indulge their fancies by contemplating my dirty navel, among other body parts susceptible to sweat and grime.
As Nothing In Particular’s hits grew—not exponentially but enough to draw an infinite supply of inspiration from—some visitors occasionally posted comments and/or sent email messages in reaction to some of my entries.
Last month, a day or two after American novelist Kurt Vonnegut Jr. died, I posted entries which dealt with separate encounters of two people I knew with the author. Turned out I was just half right.
While Ibarra C. Gutierrez, the father of a friend, did have dinner with Vonnegut in New York—a privilege I envy to this day—Butch Dalisay didn’t lose a book which he asked Vonnegut to autograph, as I previously reported.
Sir Butch, who was my English college professor immediately posted a comment and corrected my facts. He said that the book he had autographed and then lost was Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.
Meanwhile, a week or two ago, Pete Lacaba, another multi-awarded writer, posted a comment on an entry which said that the editor-in-chief of Playboy’s Philippine edition considered him as among those best suited to write for the magazine.
Although Lacaba raised the possibility that he knew who my source was, he nevertheless asked me where I got my information.
Lacaba, I guess, has more than a passing interest in the matter. After all, years before FHM began to publish its local version, Lacaba was all set to become the editor-in-chief of Penthouse’s Philippine edition. Unfortunately, the deal fell through.
Meanwhile, since I was sworn to secrecy, I told Lacaba in an email that I secured clearance to write about the subject—even in a trifling blog such as this one—because I promised never to mention any person nor entity nor to refer to any of their identifying characteristics.
He hasn’t replied since.
Too bad—I would have wanted to ask him who would have been Penthouse Philippines’ publisher.
But then again, I’m pretty sure that our paths will cross again soon enough.
Lacaba, together with other writers, has launched Salinawit, a project which intends to put Filipino lyrics, usually loose translations, into popular American standards. With this in mind, I’m looking forward to singing Filipino translations of Night and Day, One for My Baby (and one more for the road), and ‘Round Midnight. So how about it, Sir Pete?
But back to Playboy: the Philippine Edition.
Another Palanca awardee, Faye Ilogon, has asked me “why can’t they bring in Playgirl too to level the playing field?”
Hmm…good point, Faye.
Unfortunately, my sources aren’t that deep.
Graphic above courtesy of

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  1. It’s true! There are already too many darn magazines for men. I’m all for equal opportunity exploitation. Playgirl Philippine Edition!!! Arghhhhh. Hmmm. I wonder who its first cover man would be. (Just a dirty thought: it’s a shame George Estregan is no longer around.)