Biyernes, Agosto 5, 2016

Embalmer talks about a dead hunchback

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

For several weeks already I’ve been strutting with gusto my gab, er, chatter on “talk radio”.
 It is a co-anchor morning broadcast opened by Eagle’s Jack Walsh’s rock piece “Life in a Fast Lane”.
Hunchback or Kuba or Bugtot in the Philippines
In my early endeavors, I invited public officials like Congressman Pol Bataoil, Dagupan City Mayor Belen T. Fernandez, local government units’ officials and even heads of private industries like the Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM).
It’s a self-learning experience. For example, I just learned in my research before I faced my guest that the ICT-BPM is a $25 billion for this year business.
 Thanks to our cheap and American English proficient labor force, the Indians who used to reign on this industry was literally biting the dust from us Flips, er, Filipinos 
“That $25 billion is almost near the $28 billion remittances yearly sent by our 2.4 million overseas contract workers (results from the 2015 Survey),” I quipped when  Wilson Manalo, Vice President of ICT Council in Dagupan City, told me about the 2016 revenue projection in our country from ICT-BPM.
This “Sunshine Industry” that presently employed more than a million Filipinos is projected to generate up to $55 billion by 2020 or roughly 11 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to World Bank estimates.
The ICT-BPO jibes with Dagupan City’s Mayor Belen Fernandez three growth areas program where the mayor wanted to snare 5000 jobs in three years for the people in and outside of the burgeoning city to have jobs as animators, call center agents, software developers, game developers, engineering designers, and medical transcriptionists.
Even the Pangasinan's provincial government and Mangaldan’s local government unit, as I monitored in media outlets, want to emulate Mayor Fernandez who positions the city as haven for IT-BPM.
Many of our radio interviews were simultaneously videoed through social media’s Face Book live feed so more people could watch or hear the program.
Lately, I and Audrey Hidalgo had a series of interviews with the city’s hottest band Les Five, an undertaker, and an embalmer --- the last two were timed after the spate of killings of narcotic peddlers by the police and death squads
I was looking to interview, too midgets or ‘dwarfs,  gays with big implanted boobs, labandera (laundry hand washers), other queer individuals.
I plan to discuss with them how they lived, their priorities in life, others.
I even sang the Eagle’s piece “Desperado” in that radio and video program after Les Five rendered Fra Lippo Lippi’s “Stiches and Burns” and Apo Hiking Society’s “When I Met You”.
As I posted the kind of program we were foisting to the amused listeners and watchers at FB from various places in the world, Michelle Zarate Liaonag, a woman of class and substance and owner of the music bar Rag Time, commented to me at FB:
“There is variety! Great concept! You can tackle anything under the sun whether it is current issues, lifestyle or what have you”.
Here’s one of the excerpts of our interview with embalmer Robbie Undang, who embalmed more than a thousand cadavers, and Andy Abalos, another embalmer, mortician, and proprietor of the bigger Abalos Funeral Parlor in Dagupan City.
ME: May experienced na ba kayo Andy na ang namatay ay kuba o hunchback?
ANDY:  Opo.