Saturday, December 25, 2010

eric gamalinda has moved to tumblr

Friends and countrymen: I have decided to move my blog to Tumblr. Maybe temporarily, maybe not. Please check my new site at:

See you there.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

"Filipino" on Googlelab

I've just tried the Ngram viewer of Googlelab, which can find recurrences and the frequency of words through centuries of texts. I searched "Filipino" and found something interesting. The word first gets used towards the late 19th century, of course, then usage spikes through the 20th after the American occupation. But there's a slight bump sometime around 1725 which I couldn't figure out. Was the term "Filipino" already in currency back then? A quick search of the available texts gave me the likeliest clue: Rizal would have mentioned something about the Filipino before the 19th century, specifically his annotations of Morga. Aha.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

20 fun facts about the Nobel Peace Prize, mostly according to China

1. It is an "anti-China farce."
2. Its sponsors are "clowns."
3. It is a "crazy act."
4. "A political tool."
5. "A trick that a few radical people use to entertain themselves."
6. "A desecration of the rule of law."
7. "An American conspiracy to embarrass Beijing."
8. China held a special briefing of 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to coerce them not to attend the Nobel Prize ceremonies.
9. 19 countries have opted to skip the prize so as not to offend China.
10. China has suspended trade negotiations with Norway, the host country.
11. The Philippines, admittedly a champion of human rights, has decided to boycott the ceremonies (boooo!!!)
12. China has established a "peace" prize of its own, called the Confucius Peace Prize.
13. Among the early nominees: Bill Gates, Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela, Mahmoud Abbas, and the putative Panchen Lama (not the real one, natch.)
14. And the winner of the first ever Confucius Peace Prize is...Lien Chan, former vice president of Taiwan and honorary member of its opposition Nationalist Party!!!
15. Mr. Chan will receive a cash prize of $15,000. Yay!!!
16. The Confucius Peace Prize will "show the world (China's) comprehension of peace and perception of human rights."
17. We must all "cease using human rights as an excuse to meddle in China's internal affairs."
18. "Can you tell me what we can learn from (Nobel Peace Prize winner) Liu Xiaobo about world peace? We can learn NOTHING!" -- Tan Changliu, leader, Confucius Peace Prize committee.
19. The winner of the Confucius Peace Prize didn't show up at the ceremonies.
20. According to a press release, the Confucius Peace Prize was decided through internet voting. Tan later said no internet voting was involved. In fact, no voting at all was involved. Come to think of it, is there a word for "voting" in Red Chinese?

(PS. At the last minute, the Philippines had a change of heart and decided not to boycott the ceremonies after all. Yea!!!)