Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Photoshopping of Manny Villar

Left: Manny Villar at the T'nalak Festival in Koronadal City in July 2009, captured by Louie D. Photography and uploaded to Flickr.
Right: Manny Villar as seen on his official website in March 2010.

One note of comfort, at least he has more than one of those orange golf shirts.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Branded Candidate 2010

One of Time's Best Inventions of 2008 was "The Branded Candidate", referring to Barack Obama's amazingly well executed use of coherent system of fonts, logos, and slogans in his campaign. Of course all candidates are actively marketed to the people, but Obama's brand was far more cohesive than anything that came before it.

Naturally, anyone running for office anywhere would want to follow his example. Here are some logos of 2010 Philippine presidential candidates. Click the images for much larger versions.

Noynoy Aquino

Noynoy's use of typography is not consistent-- his website uses Impact, his Facebook uses something else, his twitter uses something else, and so on. What is consistent is his use of color and the dove-ribbon logo. I'm not a fan of the way the dove's wing curves around into that awkward shape, but the dove image brings along a sense of peace and innocence. The color yellow instantly draws a mental connection to his strongest selling point, his parents. And his adoption of the yellow ribbon as his logo shrewdly converts Cory mourners into instant Noynoy supporters.

Manny Villar

Villar has long worked on adopting the color orange into his brand, wearing that same orange polo shirt everywhere he's gone for the past year or two. His presidential campaign uses the check mark for his logo, integrating it into his name as the letter V. That, combined with the forward-leaning letters, sends an image of an active and forward-looking campaign. Interestingly, the main page of his recently redesigned website no longer has the check mark logo.

Gilbert Teodoro

The Gibo campaign has been horribly inconsistent in implementing its brand. While there is a consistent use of the number 1 in place of the letter I (G1BO), I've never seen it implemented in the same font twice. The image seen here is just one of dozens of interpretations that I found in Teodoro's Facebook fan images. What they do have consistent, if nothing else, is the use of the color green.

Dick Gordon

Gordon no longer appears to be a seriously winnable candidate in this election, but he earns mention for his logo. The bolt of lightning integrated into his name conveys a sense of energy in his campaign that I would not have otherwise sensed. His color of choice is red, though he hasn't really been visible enough to establish it himself. Another thing to note... compare his website and barackobama.com-- it is clear where he gets his inspiration.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


This weekend's project: Jell-O.

Stir one pack of powder in boiling water for two minutes, mix with cold water for another two minutes, then refrigerate for at least four hours. Serves eight.

If I knew it was this affordable and easy I would have tried it a long time ago.

It has a scar through the middle because it broke in two when it plopped out of the pot. Yeah, I used a whole pot, couldn't find any other good sized container.

Truth be told, Jell-O is more fun to look at and to jiggle than to actually eat. It's basically sweet water with a jiggly consistency.

Monday, March 1, 2010


The full title of this movie is-- brace yourself-- Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire. Far and away the most pretentious movie title I've ever heard. Before I even started watching I was totally prepared to hate it for pompous self-importance. Fortunately though, it carries just enough weight to live up to its title.

It's about Precious, a tremendously obese (you can hardly tell she's pregnant) and nearly illiterate black girl. She's from a hopelessly poor family. Not poor in a way that triggers sympathy, but a truly pathetic family that mooches off of welfare and lives devoid of dignity. The utter wickedness of Precious' parents is a spectacle to behold. Her mother abuses her, her father rapes her (she's pregnant with his child-- again), and her Down syndrome baby is treated like an animal.

Precious takes it all with stoicism against the relentlessness of her circumstances. The movie isn't exactly about her steadfastness to uplift herself-- her thoughts wander into delusions of grandeur when things get rough, as they often do, and she's resigned to a life of misery because it's all she knows. It's more about the sympathy and the potential that others see in her, like her teacher and the social worker. When she is invited to her teacher's house for a peaceful meal at the dinner table, she comments that it's just like in the movies.

This movie would fit right in with the whole batch of Best Picture nominees two years ago, dark and depressing stories that everyone recognizes the artistic merit of but nobody actually enjoys. Precious grinds away at your comforting shell and exposes a scary world. Not really something to be enjoyed, but it's an experience to appreciate.