Sex and religion

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Saturday, February 1, 2014

THE week was certainly busy for news grabbers, both in the national and local level.

National media have been all over what happened, or what didn’t happen, between Deniece Cornejo and Vhong Navarro on the night Vhong went up to Deniece’s condo for the second time.

The events that unfurled make for a much juicier plot than what the average telenovela dishes out on weeknights.


In fact, what transpired is reminiscent of a classic film noir, albeit without a dead victim and tilted camera angles. However,
footages taken from the condo’s CCTV inadvertently evoke the visual style of the genre: black and white photography, characters never shown directly and who can ignore the reflections on the mirror.

Present too are the stereotypes: Vhong as the victim of circumstance, Deniece as the femme fatale and then Cedric Lee.

Oh Cedric. He’s the quintessential noir villain: well-dressed, well-groomed, rich (or so he says to the extent that he has piqued the interest of BIR hound Kim Henares) and socially powerful.

He reminds me of Waldo Lydecker in the 1944 film “Laura.” Waldo is a wealthy writer who is obsessed with a young woman (Laura) whom he takes under his wing and molds into a social powerhouse (uhuh). He also has a habit of dealing with Laura’s would-be suitors (sounds familiar?).

Okay, so that’s where the similarities end. I mean, (spoiler alert) Waldo ends up killing a woman he thought was Laura and he gets killed trying to kill the real Laura for the second time.

As for Vhong, he really is suited for the role of the protagonist. Unlike a conventional hero, the noir protagonist is a disillusioned and alienated character who inhabits the world of the demi-monde (Vhong has had several failed relationships so he must be disillusioned. As for being alienated, try being friends with your exes. And, and how else will you describe the world of show business?) In short, the noir protagonist is a flawed character, whose world is dominated by the three Cs, “crime, corruption and cruelty (need I say more).”

And since the noir protagonist is often emasculated (ahem) by the female noir who is attributed with masculine characteristics, he ends up humiliated and reduced (his alleged tortured nether region).

Speaking of the female noir, Deniece surely had balls appearing on TV with no trace of trauma after surviving an alleged sexual assault.

She exuded such blatant sexuality--rouged cheeks, pouty lips, hair that beckons “come hither”(really, Publio?)—at 22. Her appearing calm and composed as she described the kind of woman she is makes her the perfect fatale. It certainly looks like Deniece knows how to use her beauty and sexuality to get what she wants.

So here’s the question. Who really believes Vhong tried to rape Deniece?

Come on. Don’t be bashful. I asked several people--friends, co-workers, the guy who sells peanuts and tempura beside the office—they all shook their head.

And so the Vhong-Deniece mystery continues to, well, mystify.

The second news grabber took place earlier in the week.

Three children discovered a “talking Sto. Niño” on a beach in Sitio Saac Dos, Barangay Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City.

Devotees began flocking to the Sto. Niño de Cebu parish in the barangay where the image has been placed. The commotion attracted media and church attention, prompting one priest to investigate.

After much prodding and questioning, one of the boys admitted lying about the “talking Sto. Niño.”

The Cebu Archdiocese urged the faithful not to immediately believe in alleged miracles.

To quote Nora Aunor’s Elsa in Ishmael Bernal’s masterpiece “Himala”: “Walang himala! Ang himala ay nasa puso ng tao, nasa puso nating lahat!

Tayo ang gumagawa ng himala, tayo ang gumagawa ng mga sumpa at ng mga Diyos. Walang himala!”

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 02, 2014.


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