August 25-31

I've always held Jesse Robredo in high esteem. I felt that a large void suddenly appear in Philippine political life, a big empty space, when I first heard that his chartered plane crashed to the sea off Masbate last Sunday

It's a tragedy like what happened to two other people I deeply admire: President Ramon Magsaysay and John F. Kennedy Jr.

Robredo, the late Secretary of the Philippine Department of Interior and Local Government and co-founder of the good governance advocacy group Kaya Natin (We Can Do It)!, was the only Filipino in public office to be honored the Ramon Magsaysay, the most distinguished award in Asia.

Here's my text message, read by radio show host Tsongkibenj's in his Nite Chat, Aug. 21, 2012:

"The greatest legacy of Jesse Robredo is his inspiring life, marked with unquestioned integrity and full transparency. His outstanding track record and untiring advocacy of good governance inspire us all, and will serve as a guiding light to future generations of Filipinos who believe in leadership by example and honor in public service."

Jesse Robredo is one of the heroes in Huggybear's 2007 story, The League of Extraordinary Filipino Gentlemen

Huggybear's favorite advice comes from Johnny Depp, soul brother and a real kindred spirit.

When he was a kid, a boy in school was bullying him. This is what his mother told him: Grab the biggest rock you can find, and smash the bully's head!

The idea is: Never let anybody violate or manipulate you, or force you against your will.

Johnny did just that, as he told the students of the Actor's Studio.

“It worked,” he said, "and I felt better!"


Near midnight on November 13, 2011, I finished reading Peter Quinn's historical mystery thriller The Hour of the Cat, set in 1938.

Private detective Fintan Dunne sets off to prove the innocence of a Cuban immigrant accused of murder. The real killer is a Nazi sympathizer who believes non-Aryan people should be exterminated to achieve purity of the race.

In a flashback, Dunne was pressured by his classmates to make fun of a young Jewish boy.

"There are only three types of people in this world," his father told. "Bullies, their stooges, and them who refused to be neither."

A German officer who is plotting to overthrow Hitler tells the story of how a gullible cat was brainwashed by a shrewd rat to act like like a rat. Soon all the cats were believing they were actually rats. Then the real rat told the cats to jump into the river.

At the last moment, the cats realized they have been fooled, bamboozled, and they were able to avert the disaster

U.S. Marshalls Teddy (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck (Mark Ruffalo) are investigating the mysterious escape of a patient, Rachel, from Ashcliff, the island fortress prison for mentally insane prisoners.

Teddy knows that Andrew, the arsonist who killed his wife, Dolores, is also there, but can't find the records. They were being stonewalled at every turn.

Teddy had specifically asked to be assigned to investigate Ashcliff, and Chuck warns that its one-in-a-million approval and the coincidental disappearance could be part of a conspiracy.

Unknown to him, Teddy is being drugged with aspirin, food and cigarettes with hallucinogens. Wherever he goes, Dolores appears to him. 

In a maximum security cell, he was shocked to find George, who had escaped before and who had told him about the experiments being done on patients. 

Rachel is found. Chuck vanishes. Then in a cave, Teddy finds the real Rachel. 

As Teddy is about to leave the island, he demands to know where Chuck is. The head psychologist (Ben Kingsley) said, "You came here alone!" 

Teddy is told that his real name is Andrew, he had killed his wife, and "You have been a patient here for two years." 

Then Chuck re-appears. "Don't you remember me, Andrew?" he asks Teddy. "I've been your psychiatrist for the last two years!" montage photos courtesy of (Jesse); (Depp); (Cat); (Shutter). Story photos courtesy of (Jesse); (Depp); (Cat); (Shutter). Click here to get BrighterPlanet website badge