By now, you should already know that SKE48’s Jurina Matsui emerged as queen of the AKB48 53rd Sekai Senbatsu Sousenkyo, officially called the 10th annual AKB48 Sekai Senbatsu Sousenkyo.
Miss Jurina was crowned in front of more than 30,000 subjects of the 48 music fandom at the Nagoya Dome in Nagoya, which is the base of AKB48’s first sister group.
Homecourt advantage? No doubt. Miss Jurina love Nagoya so much that the fans from the city (and the Aichi Prefecture, in general) made her queen.
It was an all-SKE48 1-2 finish at the Senbatsu rankings. Coming in at #2 was Akari Suda. Their combined votes (348,464) totaled more than the combined votes of #3 Sakura Miyawaki of HKT48, #4 Yuka Ogino of NGT48, and #5 Nana Okada of AKB48 (combined votes of 297,802).
SKE48 also achieved a 1-2 finish at the Undergirls tally. Kaori Matsumura and Akane Takayanagi came in at #17 and #18, respectively.
There should be a flurry of articles over the Internet about Miss Jurina’s victory by now and I cannot wait to read them all.
Moreover, I am already getting excited for the upcoming single, which I expect should be the best Senbatsu track since 2014’s Mayuyu Watanabe-centered “Kokoro no Placard” and 2015’s Haruka Shimazaki-centered “Bokutachi wa Tatakawanai”.
In the middle of my thoughts over the latest development in the 48 fandom, it had popped into my mind one of the AKB48 singles that Miss Jurina centered or co-centered.
I am not talking about “Oogoe Diamond”, “10nen Zakura”, and “UZA”. I am talking about “Kimi no Hohoemi wo Yume ni Miru”, which was released in 2013.
Miss Jurina was center of that 2013 single due to her victory in the AKB48 34th Single Senbatsu Janken Taikai (officially the 4th Janken Taikai). Her victory did come with a controversy.
Setting that subject aside, did it occur to you…
…that Jurina Matsui is the first person to win both the Senbatsu Election and the Janken Tournament?
Another thing too!
She is also the first non-AKB48 member to become winner of the Senbatsu Election…
…that is if we take Rino Sashihara’s AKB48 roots into account. Sasshi was transferred to HKT48 in 2012. She would later win the Senbatsu Elections four times (2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017) as member of HKT48.
You know this. Every 48 music fan should know this, especially the ones who came before me.
I have been thinking about SKE48’s future for quite some time after the departure of Rena Matsui. With Miss Jurina’s victory, I come to believe in the group’s commercial and critical potential… again.
By the way, word is out that AKB48 will hold an emergency convention, wherein the top 100 members will discuss the group’s future. The said convention will be held at some time after the Senbatsu Elections.
This convention is a long time coming. Like everyone else, I think about the future of the group too.
All hail the new queen, Jurina Matsui!
The AKB48 53rd Single Sekai Senbatsu Sousenkyo (53rd Single World General Election) and 10th annual AKB48 Sekai Senbatsu Sousenkyo have just concluded.
Matsui Jurina of SKE48 is hailed queen by the fans of the 48 music fandom. Her coronation took place just last night before a crowd of more than 30,000 people at the Nagoya Dome, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture.
It was a fitting coronation for the 21-year-old lass who debuted in July 2008. She was 11-years-old at the time when she joined SKE48 as a first generation member – and when she became the first member of a sister group to sing in AKB48’s main single (“Oogoe Diamond”), of which she was both center and cover.
Miss Jurina currently holds the record for the most appearances in Senbatsu of 48/46 Group with a total of 60 A-side appearances across all groups.
At the concert that was held before the main event, she collapsed on stage.
What a way to make people forget that incident!
SKE48 rules the Senbatsu Sousenkyo again
In this year’s Senbatsu Sousenkyo, SKE48 shares a plurality of positions with eldest sister group AKB48 in both the Senbatsu and Undergirls units.
In the Senbatsu (ranks 1-16) unit, SKE48 and AKB48 both have 5 positions. HKT48 has 3; NGT48, 2; and NMB48, 1.
In the Undergirls (ranks 17-32) unit, SKE48 and AKB48 both have 5 positions. NGT48 has 3; NMB48, 2; and HKT48, 1.
SKE48 rules the top 2 positions of both Senbatsu and Undergirls units.
Suda Akari comes #2. The other SKE48 members in the top 16 are Oba Mina (#8), Souda Sarina (#11), and Furuhata Nao (#15).
In the Undergirls unit, Matsumura Kaori and Takayanagi Akane placed #17 and #18, respectively. Joining them are Kitagawa Ryoha (#27), Arai Yuki (#28), and Sugawara Maya (#29).
No doubt the Senbatsu is orange again, not only that Miss Jurina is crowned queen by fans but also because the group ruled the top 2 positions of the Senbatsu and Undergirls lineups, making the hometown crowd happy and proud in the process.
SKE48 is based in Nagoya.
Where the other 48 members rank
4-time Senbatsu Sousenkyo winner and last year’s queen Sashihara Rino of HKT48 did not participate. Also not joining were Tano Yuuka (who made controversy early this year for her remarks about South Korea) and Kashiwagi Yuki of AKB48, Yamamoto Sayaka of NMB48, Kodama Haruka and Moriyasu Madoka of HKT48, and Kitahara Rie of NGT48.
All members of JKT48 declined to participate in the 2018 Senbatsu Sousenkyo due to Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr holiday.
Miyawaki Sakura of HKT48 landed #3, shocking fans who thought there was a competition between her and Miss Jurina.
Ogino Yuka of NGT48 placed #4, followed by STU48 captain Okada Nana and AKB48 general manager Yokoyama Yui at #5 and #6, respectively. Shiroma Miru of NMB48 landed #20 and Minegishi Minami is #32.
Two international members landed positions, both from BNK48: Cherprang Areekul (#39) and Praewa Suthamphong, aka Music (#72).
Once again, congratulations SKE48!
The meeting that will change the world
Like everyone else who keeps watch of the upcoming June 12 historic summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and American President Donald Trump – between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States of America (USA) – we cannot help but wonder what the outcome would be.
We are anxious but at the same time hopeful: hopeful for the reconciliation and peace of Korea and anxious because we really don’t know what would happen. Media organizations have it that Kim and Trump will discuss issues such as North Korea denuclearization and an end to the Korean War. Will the hermit kingdom’s human rights abuses be brought up?
We are surprised that Kim and Trump agreed to hold what would be the first meeting between a Korean leader and a sitting US president. Who could ever imagine the two would ever meet face-to-face, given the distrust and hostility that define US-NoKor relations?
The meeting almost did not push through. Trump pulled out last May due to “tremendous anger” and “open hostility” from North Korea, which also threatened to pull out because of ongoing US-South Korean military exercises. Cooler heads later reigned.
It is a (face-to-face) meeting that could change the world and, above all, determine the future of Korea and the Korean Peninsula. Trump described the summit as a “one-time shot” at peace and said the two were in “unknown territory”.
“It’s unknown territory in the truest sense, but I really feel confident,” said Trump during his press conference at the end of the G-7 summit in Canada. “I feel that Kim Jong Un wants to do something great for his people and he has that opportunity and he won’t have that opportunity again.”
Trump expressed hope that the summit would be good for world peace but also for the dictatorship.
We don’t know what kind of preparation Kim and Trump have made but it seemed that they prepared – by dealing with people. Just weeks ago, Kim met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the inter-Korean summit.
Trump, on the other hand, commuted the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson (an African-American woman who spent 21 years behind bars for a first-time nonviolent drug offense) and angered G7 leaders over tariffs and trade barriers.
As of this writing, Kim has already arrived in Singapore, ahead of Trump. He has met with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and told him, “The entire world is watching the historic summit between the DPRK and the United States of America, and thanks to your sincere efforts … we were able to complete the preparation for the historic summit.”
We pray Kim and Trump would achieve world peace – whatever it takes.
To Leader Kim and President Trump, a fruitful meeting to the both of you! May both of you be victorious!
The barangay, which roughly translates to “village”, is the smallest political unit in the Philippines. As of 2017, there are about 42, 036 barangays all over the country. The barangay captain or chairman, along with his councilors and other officers, leads the barangay.
This post, however, is not about this unique political system in my country. This is not even about the upcoming barangay elections that will be held on May 14.
This post is about the people that comprise the village security or protection force, people who are expected to perform night guard duty, people who act as the local police, people whose duty is to maintain the peace and order in the barangay.
I am speaking about the barangay tanods, which roughly translates to “village guards”.
Why do I write about them now?
As of this writing, the bon odori or Japanese summer festival is taking place at a barangay 2-3 kilometers away from where I live. That village teems with expatriates, mostly Koreans, Japanese, and white people. That village, more economically progressed than the village I live, is one of the villages I pass on the way to work and home.
I am 10 months into my new job and I was one of the unlucky people assigned to the night shift or graveyard shift. Being made a regular employee after 6 months, I was made to join the other regulars who start their rounds at night or around midnight.
Just within 4 months, I endured 6 schedule changes. It was first 9 PM, next 10 PM, 11 PM, 12:30 AM, 1:30 AM, and then 3 AM.
Only one thing did not change: the sight of barangay tanods and a few policemen watching TV at their outpost.
Don’t know if outpost should have cable TV but should not these men be patrolling the streets at those very hours? Probably they were done with their rounds when I passed by the outpost and might have carried out more rounds after that.
Do they? I hope they do and how I wish they do.
In my experience, I had travelled by foot and by public and private transport villages left unguarded and unpatrolled at night. That barangay and the other barangays I pass on the way to work are among them.
What do the barangay tanods have to do with the Japanese summer festival?
On the opening day of the bon odori, on the way home after hanging out with friends, I came across not a few barangay tanods at the street leading to the commercial center where the festival is taking place. Complete cast. In full gear and in high spirits.
It’s not what I see at the outpost every night or midnight on the way to work. When they are not watching PBA, PBO, or HBO, they would be sleeping or chatting. I could not mistake the boredom on their faces or bodies.
I have yet to meet or see a barangay tanod on the way to work at night or midnight.
If they have not been patrolling the streets at night, then I need not to ask why burglary and robbery/holdup persist in the city.
If they have not been patrolling the streets at night, then it’s no wonder why scammers from other cities and nearby towns flock to the vicinity. I was also victimized once and it was night. My aunt was not lucky.
One Facebook friend, who is a critic of government and religion, said “This barangay election, vote for the people the barangay can depend upon, not for the people who depend on the barangay (the office) for their livelihood.”
This 2018 barangay and SK (Sangguniang Kabataan) elections, I hope the people will vote for barangay officials who will then appoint the men and women best suited to wear the uniform of the barangay tanod.
Evil runs in the family and in the party
Philippine politicians do not serve the country out of love and in the name of public service but out of greed and lust. This is how poverty gets widespread and evil triumphs in the country. By producing new generations of corrupt and evil leaders, they prolong the suffering of the Filipino people. Evil runs in the family and in the party.
Evil penetrates deep into Philippine society due to the abundance of political dynasties and the popular practice of switching political parties among Filipino politicians.
Stealing the people’s money and putting family members and friends in government offices are not the only things Filipino political leaders are good at. They are also good at changing political affiliations before and after elections.
These people even claim to be patriots. Patriots, my ass! They are tyrants.
They will never give up their lives for the country in an event of an invasion or civil war. They will save their own necks and their own families first… well, that’s the only thing they will ever do.
They know no love and they have no love… for God and country. They only love themselves and their families. They love money, they love power. They love to enslave the Philippines.
Filipino politicians are crooks. I stand by my generalization.
There is nothing wrong with the constitution and the type of government that the Philippines have. It’s the kind of people that rule the country who are wrong.
They will give account on the day of judgment
But it is necessary that they rule the country so the Filipino people will know how evil looks like, how it works, and how it affects them.
It is necessary that political dynasties and political turncoats, sycophants, opportunists rule the Philippines in order for the people to know who their true enemy is. Not poverty, not drug abuse, not mental illness, not environmental degradation, not hopelessness, but them who sit in the different branches of the Philippine government… they who enable them in the first place.
Because of their rule, hope burns alive in the hearts and minds of the true patriots who will one day overthrow them, their families, and their minions.
In due time Philippine politicians, their families, and their minions will pay… with their lives, with their blood on the streets.
The day of reckoning will come and they will taste their own blood on the streets and see vultures feed on their flesh.
The god they worship will not save them. They can no longer hide behind the skirts of their churches or mosques.
Love for God and love for country remain steadfast among the true patriots who are ready to lose everything in the war against the reign of evil in the Philippines.
A glorious day it will be! Genuine love for God and for country will reign once more and corrupt Filipino politicians, their families, and their minions will be no more.
“Love” lost in the proposed new constitution
Lawmakers at the Philippine House of Representatives have proposed to delete the word “love” in the 1987 Constitution, the current constitution, in the move to change the country’s system of government to federalism. The House speaker threatens to hold the funds of lawmakers who oppose federalism.
Philippine Congressmen or congresswomen who support federalism belong to the Philippine president’s party or switched to the ruling party some time after the election… in order to save their political ambitions.
What does this suggests?
This suggests that Filipino politicians have no love for the people they are supposed to serve.
They are in public service not out of love for God and the people. They get into government only for the family name, for the money, and for power.
No God in Philippine government, only evil
They are never for the people, for the country, and for God. The political leaders of the Philippines serve their belly, which is their god.
They use the people to get into public office. They feign love for country to stir the people into electing them. They use and misuse God for personal and political gain.
These people even claim to be Christians or Muslims. You see them how they worship and praise Yahweh, Jesus, or Allah, venerate Mary and the saints, read the Bible or the Koran, or sing Psalms and hymnals.
But deep inside, they serve another god, whom they worship and praise to the fullest once they leave their places of worship.
In the name of God, in the name of their personal savior Jesus Christ, in the name of Allah, they run for public office in order to serve a different god.
They are not in government for public service. They are in government for greed and lust.
The kind of love Filipino politicians have is carnal love and love for money and power.
In the name of the god they worship, they milk the people of their hard-earned money and abuse their privileges and position.
Giving thanks to their god and in accordance to the twisted interpretation of their religious tenets, they claim the country and the people’s money as their personal properties. Evil chooses no religion.
Their corruption affirms that they do not love the Filipino people. Worse, they do not love God. They are no different from the corrupt kings who once ruled Israel.
(To be concluded)
Mocha Uson, the founder of Mocha Girls music group and current assistant secretary for social media under the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), unfortunately became the subject of jokes and memes for a reason that should put science and geography teachers all over the Philippines and even her alma mater (University of Santo Tomas or UST) to shame.
Addressing her social media followers and fellow Duterte fanatics while in New Delhi, India for the ASEAN-India meeting that she attended with President Duterte and others, she mistook the location of the popular and currently erupting Mayon Volcano for Naga City, which is in Camarines Sur, instead of neighboring Albay.
Reactions travel fast over the Internet, faster than Olympic medalists Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps breaking sports records. Quick the reaction was, plus the creation of memes that immortalize Uson’s blunder.
As netizens made jokes and memes, her fans and followers defended her. It was just a minor mistake, they said, and it should not divert the public’s attention from serious issues like the Mamasapano Massacre, the Dengvaxia scandal, and the eruption of the volcano itself, which forced thousands of people to evacuate.
A minor mistake? Minor mistake, my fuckin’ ass! It is a world-class mistake. The Mayon Volcano is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Philippines. For its perfect cone, it is one of the well-known mountains and volcanoes in the world.
Mayon Volcano in Naga City? That’s akin to saying the Buckingham Palace is in Edinburgh, the Statue of Liberty in Chicago, Mount Everest in Africa, the Sahara Desert in China, and the Holy Land in Eastern Europe. What next? Taal Volcano in Metro Manila or Mount Apo in Tagaytay?
To err is human, to forgive is divine. Yes, but let not this phrase be misused and abused by Uson herself and her fellow Duterte fanatics. As a member of the populist President’s communications group, she has all the resources – paid for by the Filipino people – to make good research, to gather accurate information. If she is not sure where Mayon Volcano is, she could consult Google, Wikipedia, or Encarta. What’s the Internet for?
It is not a minor mistake. It is a serious one. It is an assault to Philippine geography, although not a serious offense that deserves life imprisonment or the death penalty.
What does Uson’s relocating Mayon Volcano from Albay to Naga prove? The Filipinos’ witticism and sarcasm? Our sense of humor even in the midst of a state of calamity? The power of social media? The need for blogger accreditation?
It is the power of faith, one that moves mountains or erupting volcanoes.
It is President Duterte and Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar’s faith in Mocha Uson being Assistant Secretary for Social Media. It is the diehard Duterte supporters’ faith in her. Above all, it is her faith in herself as a major blogger or social media influencer.
In other aspects too, it is her faith in her boss, President Duterte, and in her legion of followers who will defend her from her bashers, critics, detractors, and many others who oppose Duterte, his drug war, and federalism.
Mocha Uson, the influencer, has faith that whatever she says, people, especially her fellow diehard Duterte supporters, will take her seriously.
Such is the power of faith in its various forms. Faith can move volcanoes. Faith can move Mount Fuji to Moscow and Australia to Europe physically just in time for the Eurovision Song Contest.
To all readers and followers of this blog, Merry Christmas from me to you and to your loved ones.
Thank you very much for reading my my blog and above all, for sharing them on your social media and to your friends.
I hope you and your friends have benefited from my articles and advice. I pray you have learned something new.
I hope I have not only quenched your thirst for new information but also encouraged your creativity and helped you make good decisions.
I would like to apologize for not posting new articles over the past few months. I have been very busy with more.
I have three projects on my back and they are taking most of time and talent.
There are lots of things I have been wanting to write about: the state of Philippine politics, Jpop, MNL48 (more on the Filipina sister group of AKB48), current events, and many more.
Rest assured I will accelerate my progress on their completion so I can get back to updating my blog again.
I ask for your forgiveness and your patience.
Once again, Merry Christmas from me to you!
Hope you will have a wonderful Christmas holiday season!
SKE48 refuses to die even after Rena Matsui (one half of WMatsui) graduated in 2015. It thrives despite decreasing sales and being overtaken in popularity by Nogizaka46 and Keyakizaka46. Results at the recently concluded AKB48 49th Senbatsu Sousenkyo attest to the resilience of the girls from Sakae, Nagoya.
While there was no upset (Rino Sashihara of HKT48 retains her crown for three consecutive years), the 49th Single Senbatsu Sousenkyo or 9th Senbatsu Election marked the return of SKE48 in the top 16. Led by Jurina Matsui who retained her 3rd place finish, SKE48 landed 5 positions, with 2 in the Kami 7 (top 7):
- #3 – Matsui Jurina
- #6 – Suda Akari
- #8 – Souda Sarina
- #14 – Furuhata Nao
- #15 – Takayanagi Akane
In the 2014 and 2015 editions, the group held 4 positions. In 2016, they had 2 positions (HKT48 had 3). This year, with 5 positions, they attain the plurality and more importantly, the chance to regain lost ground.
Sign of renewed success to come? Since the departure of Rena Matsui, SKE48 has been lackluster. I almost lost my love for Jurina Matsui and company, although she remains as one of my favorite members in the whole 48 universe and SKE48, one of my favorite Jpop groups. I admit the excitement has faded, and they have not released material to my liking.
Or is it that my love for SKE48 is never that strong? That I do not believe in them at their worst? What kind of a supporter that I am? If I can’t support them at their worst, why should I support them at their best?
With the results of the Senbatsu election, I hope to regain my enthusiasm for the Nagoya squad. I hope to renew my faith in SKE48… my interest in their music… my love for Jurina, Ryoha Kitagawa, and Oya Masana.
I want SKE48 to release better material this time. It’s time to make the Senbatsu orange again.
Marvel’s much-anticipated superhero film Black Panther is slated for release next year, and fans can hardly contain their excitement. Moviegoers need something new, something fresh to watch, and it’s not the Avengers or anything that has to do with the X-Men. We’re tired of that.
In the coming days, fans will troop to the cinema halls for Wonder Woman and Justice League. Our piggy banks are getting full. We want to savor the anticipation for the two upcoming superhero flicks from the DC Extended Universe.
About Black Panther, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has just announced the confirmed cast for the film, as what you can see in the photo. Chadwick Boseman, who played baseball icon Jackie Robinson in the 2013 film 42, takes the lead role of the titular character. Michael B. Jordan, who played the black Johnny Storm in the ill-fated 2015 Fantastic Four, plays the antagonist. Andy Serkis (The Lord of The Rings trilogy), Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland, Zulu, and Taken 3), and Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) are among the confirmed cast.
It’s one of the best castings in a superhero film if you ask me. Perhaps second to the Justice League, but nonetheless beautiful… more than beautiful. It’s a description that entered my mind every time I look at the picture, and I can’t be wrong. It’s aesthetically relieving too.
I don’t know if Black Panther is the second superhero film to feature an African-American playing the lead role. If I’m not mistaken, the 1997 supernatural superhero film Spawn was the first. It has been a longtime coming. The standalone Cyborg film of the DC extended universe features an African-American in the lead role, and is expected to be shown on theaters in 2020.
Too bad Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Orlando Jones, and Tyler Perry are never considered for a role in Black Panther or any superhero film. But they’re bigger than superheroes anyway. Of Samuel L. Jackson, he’s got the Avengers.
I can’t wait to watch Black Panther next year. I can’t afford to miss it. But first, I need to watch Wonder Woman and Justice League. Because of Gal Gadot. That’s why.