01 June 2008



Hi Brian!

I would like to take this opportunity very late in the game, to thank you for your support of my books and my opinions which I have strongly believed in for so many years, yet all that time public opinion was against me. But who cares, because the books sold and are still selling!

Volumes—literally. I had to sell my books out of a friend's office. For many years I could not dine in public in Manila. Many people also avoided being seen with me. I was even afraid no one would attend my book parties. Some did but not many. The best (or worst) part was that many did not admit to reading my books yet the sales spoke, because at first, National Bookstore refused to carry my books because of the content. But I guess business got in the way of pride and fear. I was writing for the Inquirer then and one review from them brought National to carry my books.

However, for the second book, I did not get the same support not because of the editors but because of the owners---which was yet another lesson for me on the cowardice of local media. And this was on a gossipy lifestyle topic, not on the rice shortage, okay??

The popularity of my books is proof that one does not survive on traditional media alone. However, I have to say that the oldest media in the world is still the best: your mouth! (Email and text have become extensions of this) Having come from traditional local media, I know what they can and can't do. And I have learned not to rely on them.

Those were before the days of blogging. Before YOUR blog.

I was in Manila in April and I was surprised that so many people wanted to meet me. Even have pictures taken. Gone are the days of "Are you Kitty Go?" And I would answer, "Who wants to know?"

I have supported your blog from day one because:

1) From your experience with DJ and Philippine "getting" high society, technologically skilled, I do admire those who have found their voice you have created a media case study on how powerful and popular blogging is. Bow talaga ako sa 'yo—as they say in Tagalog. What you have started is a blogger's dream. Although I am not particularly through this medium. Unlike me who still writes (by hand!!) an entry in a diary every night on an old-fashioned hard bound Florentine journal. That's how low-tech I am!!

2) Although you are not making money out of the blog (and the Chinese started some form of vigilance. Also, the blog has shown us how in me STILL wishes you charged us from the start!!) you have in many ways turned that rotten calamansi DJ and his lot into a fantastic lime soda. Although you have not brought down the Star, at least you havecowardly the local traditional media is and will always be.

3) Just as the Philippine gossip scene was about to drift off, in comes the greatest thing since Soozy Hopper. Just as the Gucci Gang was gloating at the summit of their societal position (or is it pretension?), you barge into cyberspace, unannounced, totally unexpected and completely uncensored!!! (da best part!!) I do not believe in destroying people's reputations for fun. For me, gossiping is simply telling stories and there really is a lot to tell. Of course stories are interesting when the stakes are higher but I believe everyone has a story and there are as many tales out there as there are people.

In addition, there are two sides to every story so there's probably twice the number of stories as there are people. (Many ask me whether I fear negative karmic results. As Christians, we believe in reward and punishment and thus we think—you do something bad= bad karma in this life. But it doesn't work that way because Buddhists believe in re-incarnation. Perhaps others could argue I would come back as a weather-beaten handbag owned by Millet Mananquil in my next life! However, from what I have studied, karma is based on intention. My books have never been an intention to hurt. In fact, I hold no grudge against anyone. They are simply great stories that bring laughter to many on the weaknesses of others. In many ways, they can be seen as stories of me laughing at MYSELF and my stupidity to even be part of local media!)

4) With the power of blogs and the open communication between author and readers, your blog and Chikatime have become unofficial society police which is a VERY good thing because people really should learn how to treat people if not graciously at least equally. Like the Dalai
Lama believes, everyone from Richard Gere to a gerbil must be treated with the same respect. He was once asked about what he felt about shooting a sick animal. He replied, "Would you shoot your kid if he was sick?"

I'm sure you've heard it all---that people have short memories, that your blog is getting out of hand, you are targeting people who are not involved, you have made yourself an 'authority' on the Philippines, etc.. I still believe it is YOUR BLOG and detractors don't have to read it. Don't you love it that you can't lose because to dislike you they HAVE to read you??

Like I tell everyone, "If he was going to listen to everyone about the contents of his blog, he might as well be writing for some local glossy! Editing his contents defeats the purpose of a blog."

(I happen to like where the blog is going---gay issues, localcorruption, foreigners killed or cheated—I'm always afraid it would happen to me or my friends, the non-existence of justice, libel as a crime –Jesus H Chirst! etc..and the numerous reasons that qualify my decision to live abroad—in fact, I should have STAYED away from the first day I left for school!)

Now I would like to make a special announcement exclusively on your blog. I, too, have started a blog and it is : http://chichitsthefan.blogspot.com.

I started it especially as an online
supplement (is that the right word?) to my third and hopefully last novel.

I felt I needed to get into cyberspace like the rest of the world. I am someone who hates being in a crowd but when there is a crowd, I want to know what's happening so here I am! Years ago when I was in Hanoi, I saw a crowd and forced my way into the middle only to find
out they were all watching TV!!

I hope my blog doesn't turn out to be a Hanoi -TV moment.

And so Brian, as Filipinos love to say --–More Power to You!! (I always wonder where they are going to get it—these days, certainly not from Meralco)

Lots of Love,
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