Laglag Bala



Unfortunately, I woke up.

The Weak and Pathetic Jose Angel Honrado

By N Mark Castro

12170679_1002452669796583_1419062016_nOne day, not long from now, I hope that this post would reach you. I hope that when it does, you would hate me from the bottom of your feet, for criticizing you the way that I would, in a place that I chose, because of your insistence to allow a crime before your nose and for being an instrument in covering such stench.

Remember this piece, remember this day, remember this woman.

tanim-bala Read the rest of this entry

La Quadriga in Indonesia

There are only two of these Murano glass masterpieces crafted by Pino Signoretto. One is owned by a European and the other by an Indonesian businessman.

For enquiries and private viewing …

Nokia 3210: The Classic Turn of the Century Phone

By N Mark Castro

For all intents and purposes, as cliches go, Nokia’s ascent as the top mobile phone manufacturer on earth was also the reason for its decline.


It rested on its laurels, became complacent, and was late to innovate. It was dead even before the coffin came and was in denial that it was dead. The value kept decreasing because it had diversified so much looking for niche or a new target market when there was a time that they lorded it over everyone and was sold to everyone. Read the rest of this entry

Sate Haji Kelik: A Neighborhood Cafe

Originally posted on ItandEat:

By N Mark Castro

What I find so refreshing in Indonesia is the presence of restaurants and cafes that offer traditional Indonesian hawker food using either native interior design or even modern and cozy set up. It’s like seeing a Philippine canteen offering bola-bola in one of those Greenbelt cafes.

And that’s exactly how Sate Haji Kelik’s 24-hour branch in the recently-refurbished Pasar Festival.


What I love about the ambiance is that it’s practically al fresco with no air-conditioning but the sturdy ceiling fans provide enough breeze together with air ventilation. It was one of the first things I noticed even when they were still setting up the place and figured that it would be a hit among hip-hop kids that seem to take up residence in Plaza Festival, especially during at nights.

Which gives lazy Saturday afternoons free for oldies like me.

DSCN0112The inviting couch is a good place to chill and listen to…

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All Pinoy musicians are dumb, submissive and scared shitless of white people


Not In My House.

Originally posted on CHUBIBO!:

master This is apparently the flawed impression of the caucasian Chief Operating Officer of Resorts World  Manila.

I say this because of an incident that happened recently.

Hotdog band was about to wrap up a lucrative deal with a reputable casino group and it involved the use of the song “Manila” which my brother, Rene Garcia & I (Dennis) created.

Sadly, the deal fell through because the prospective client found out that the lyrics of the song “Manila” was emblazoned on the casino floor of a competitive establishment.

Many people have been telling me about this but I never really found time to see it for myself.

So one day, I finally went and saw the “thing”. The core lyrics of Manila at the pricey Resorts World Manila – on display… without permission, without attribution, without remuneration and with absolutely no guilt.

Strategically positioned by the cashier's cage Strategically positioned by the cashier’s cage

I guess I wasn’t…

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All The President’s Men: Jokowi’s Need for a Cabinet Reshuffle

By N Mark Castro

As the country awaits the much-need cabinet reshuffle, let’s look at some of the controversial statements of our beloved public servants.

failLet’s start with the very wealthy Minister of Trade Rachmat Gobel who, prior to his appointment, was the local partner and franchise owner of PT. Panasonic Gobel. According to reports, he would divest himself from ownership.

So far, so good.

During the earlier part of his appointment, Rachmat revealed that the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Transportation should be governed by the Ministry of Industry. With the unification, according to him, progress in Indonesia can be guaranteed.

That’s how gung-ho he was. He wasn’t satisfied with one Ministry, he wanted two more.

Now, Ministers are supposed to be the representative of the president. They can engage and debate the president, argue each issue, but they are there to convey the message of the president, not theirs. They are there to stand for the president who could not be in all places at the same time.

Which brings the controversy about Minister Gobel quite, how shall we say it, peculiar. Read the rest of this entry

Girl, Interrupted: Marsha Siagian

Originally posted on ItandEat:

By N Mark Castro

Marsha Siagan: Accountant and Fashion Designer.


One look at her and you’d confuse her for a carefree college student that was both charming and smart in your eyes and singlehandedly responsible for other boys’ getting itchy pants.

Once you take a closer look and get to know what she does, you’ll be blown away how much she’s done in so short a time.

Pretty and sweet, yes, but this 26 year old is no cutie-pie. She is pure guts and steel: finishing her Accounting degree at the prestigious University of Melbourne, returning back to Indonesia to work in PT Astra International as Strategic Planner, then giving it up to pursue her passion by moving to the UK to get a degree on Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear at the University of the Arts London | London College of Fashion.

All by the time she turned 26.

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Indonesia’s Most Powerful Industry: Tobacco

By N Mark Castro



How quickly the public forgets.

A few months ago, the president defied international community by executing drug traffickers and declaring to the world that Indonesia is confronted with a deadly crisis of drug abuse, killing 18,000 people annually.

He further disclosed that the number of drug users who could not be rehabilitated amounted to 1.2 million and nearly 50 of them die every day. “In total about 18,000 die every year due to illegal drug consumption,” Jokowi said.

Those were his exact words.
Read the rest of this entry

Vesākha: Selamat Hari Waisak

By N Mark Castro

Although it is not “Buddha’s Birthday,” it is sometimes referred to as such as it commemorates the birth, enlightenment (nirvāna), and death (Parinirvāna) of Gautama Buddha in the Theravada or southern tradition.

In Indonesia, it is celebrated as a national holiday based on the constitutionally recognized official religions. The exact date varies as it follows the Asian lunisolar calendars.

The World’s Largest Buddhist Temple


You would normally associate Buddhism in China, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Japan as major points of references considering that it’s been said Siddhartha Gautama spread his way of life in China and India, while emanating from Nepal. Sri Lanka’s 70% and Thailand’s 90% of population practice Buddhism while Japan’s Zen Buddhism had been responsible for its entry in the West.

What is amazing to note is that in the world’s largest Moslem population, Indonesia, sits the world’s largest Buddhist temple.

It’s a testament to the commitment of the ancestors and founding fathers of Indonesia to its Pancasila Principle or Unity in Diversity.

Read the rest of this entry

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