She Wants to Move

'Banksy Hiphop' by Duncan Cumming, on Flickr I’ve been trying to lose some excess weight since… um, I guess, ever. I’ve always been on the full-figured side for people in my age group, so I’m no stranger to calisthenics and aerobics and basically anything that gets me to move my “humps” (or “jelly,” if you prefer the Destiny’s Child term). I used to work out using home videos, particularly the MTV “The Grind” workout series. The “Grind” workouts featured dance moves that were fun to execute even as I all too easily broke into a sweat.

When Marielle and I received our gym memberships at Gold’s Gym last July, I started using the treadmill and elliptical trainer machines for my cardio workouts. I didn’t get to bust a move much in the ten or so months that followed; the Gold’s branch we went to did have some aerobics and dance classes, but they were always scheduled during times we had to be elsewhere.

Our parents are enrolled with Fitness First, so when a promo came up, they grabbed Passport memberships for Marielle and me beginning last May. Since then, we’ve been exploring the group exercise opportunities that the Fitness First gyms have. I love the Les Mills BodyJam workouts they’re offering because the choreography is fresh (changed every three months), and after one or two tries on the dance floor I pick it up easily. I also attend a hiphop class where the choreography is more technical and changes weekly, but the challenge is what gets me out of bed on Monday mornings.

Let me tell you a little bit about my instructors, though I won’t name names. Let’s talk about my first BodyJam instructor. He’s this guy who’d show a new move twice or thrice, and then kick off into a full-speed rendition of it. This is great for people who’d already been through the choreography once before (say, a previous class), but I incidentally had started going to his class three weeks before new choreography was to be released. Thankfully I was able to keep up, but he liked to show off more complex moves on stage.

When BodyJam’s new choreography was released last week, I took a BodyJam class where he was the substitute instructor. Amazingly, he was focused on the workout at hand; there was no grandstanding this time, except at one point in the workout he came down off the stage and danced with me. Heh. Maybe I was feelin’ it too much? Ü He’s going to be away for two months. Guess who his sub is? My hiphop class instructor. This guy can really move, but he just can’t help himself and tends to yell his instructions when he’s really pumped up. I guess it’s his way of energizing himself. After all, it’s pretty hard to stay motivated for a 6:30am class, and he had to do that twice in a row this week for the hiphop and BodyJam classes.

If there’s one thing I don’t want to do in a dance class, it’s to draw attention to myself. When that happens, thoughts start coming into my head, like “Am I trying too hard? Do I look like I’m from the Pretty Fly (for a White Guy) video?” I suppose these instructors take note of people who look like they’re enjoying themselves, though. Two weeks ago I was attending a BodyJam class and the female instructor set up a dance-off, and she put me on the front lines. After a bout of stage fright where I messed up mightily, I really got into the groove and left class with a big smile on my face. Or maybe that was the endorphins. Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands!

One thing I can say: this isn’t me working out in my living room with the shades drawn anymore. With my videos the instructors couldn’t see me and I didn’t have people shaking booty alongside me. In dance class, I get feedback and encouragement from the instructors, and when I mess up a move there are other people who can see. Thankfully they’re usually also messing up and don’t notice.

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I Am Poisoned!

While we may not all fall victim to a maliciously poisoned cup (like the Queen in Hamlet), eating out has risks of its own. I’m talking about food poisoning, of course; I’ve just recovered from a bout of Salmonellosis and I’ve got to say, it was not pretty.

Last Saturday, my family and I were at Megamall and decided to have some hot chocolate at Cafe Xocolat for our afternoon snack. Since the taza de xocolat we had all ordered is an extremely rich and heavy drink, my mom asked my dad to purchase some salty food from a nearby Chicharon Espesyal stall. He bought a small paper bag of pork chicharon (rind crisps) and another bag of chicken skin crisps. While Mama and Marielle indulged in the chicken skin crisps, Papa and I ate the pork chicharon. I was able to snatch only three pieces from the bag before my dad finished the whole thing.

Sick Kid, by Bob Reck on Flickr I started feeling weird around 9pm that night, while Marielle and I were at Sugarnot having a late dinner with friends. The nausea only worsened as the night progressed, and I begged to go home two hours later.

The next morning, I felt feverish and had no desire to eat. At breakfast, I found that my dad had spent the rest of the previous day in the bathroom. I didn’t feel much better than that, and after breakfast I had to go lie down and sleep, or else I felt I would start vomiting. I slept most of the day away, didn’t eat lunch, and had a piddling dinner before tottering off to bed at 8pm.

We figured it must have been the pork chicharon that did us in, because both my mom and Marielle had felt no ill effects — and they had the chicken crisps, not the chicharon. My dad and I were both knocked down by the food-borne illness, but our symptoms were different in intensity. While I only experienced nausea, fever, a bad headache, and loss of appetite, my dad ran almost the whole gamut of symptoms representative of salmonella poisoning: fever, abdominal pain, headache, nausea, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.

This morning, my dad still couldn’t get out of bed. I awoke feeling much better and raced off to hiphop class at the gym with my sister. My appetite still hasn’t returned to normal, but that’s to be expected for a few days more.

In any case, I lost two whole pounds, which makes me feel just a teensy bit better about the whole ordeal. Just a teensy bit.

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Search String Salvo

I enjoy looking at my visitor stats just because it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling to know that people actually do read what I have to say in this little pocket of the Internet. Ü Some come in through direct links from fellow bloggers, while others stumble in through search engine results that may or may not give them what they were looking for. While the search strings I get generally aren’t as cringe-worthy as Ade’s, I do get some interesting hits.

Despite some creepy search hits, I like knowing who’s reading. So, how did you get here?

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Sugar-free Sweetness

Being my bum self, I spent quite a few hours at the gym earlier today. There is some point to going to the gym (aside from helping me kill time): it helps me fit into my pants every day without them bursting a button or a zipper. Given my family’s predilection for food, every little bit of calorie-shaving counts.

Some of you may know that my family has practically sworn off sugar as part of our everyday lifestyle. No, we’re not diabetic, but we’re simply trying to lighten the caloric load our bodies have to process. Also, sugar = carbohydrates. There’s scientific evidence that shows cutting down on carbs results in faster short-term weight loss because you eat less.

With last Sunday being Father’s Day, my family felt it our duty to treat our dad to all his favorite foods. After lunch at Italianni’s, we were looking for a sweet dessert. Of course, it had to be sugar-free.

Sugarnot! storefront

For that, we went to Sugarnot! Cafe at Podium Mall in Ortigas. My mom had spotted the small store with the intriguing name when she had dinner with some colleagues at Pagliacci, and she’d brought home some creampuffs, walnut rolls, and ensaymada for us to sample. We liked them so much that we couldn’t wait to try the other choices they offered.

Sugarnot’s selling point is simple: everything is sugar-free, low-fat, and low-carb. According to the helpful and informative staff behind the counter, the owner suffers from diabetes. He set up the cafe so that people who couldn’t have sugar could still indulge in sweets.

In place of sugar, the cafe uses Isomalt in its products. Isomalt is a sweetener made from sugar beet processed by an enzyme. This renders it only partially digestible and thus reduces its caloric content and glycemic impact — a boon for dieters and diabetics alike. Some local bakers, most notably Uncle George (you can find their products in Greenhills Tiangge) have already been using it as a sugar substitute with great success.

Sugarnot!: cake view As we entered Sugarnot to place our orders, we gravitated toward the pastries on display. There was tiramisu, a chocolate cake called the Last Temptation, and a New York cheesecake. Sugarnot!: Isomalt We ended up ordering a piece of each of these choices along with a fist-sized chocolate chip cookie. My parents also ordered cappuccino, while Marielle ordered an iced guilt-free caramel blended drink.

The coffee drinks complimented the cheesecake, the tiramisu, and the chocolate chip cookie. The Last Temptation cake was especially good; I can say with conviction that it was the best chocolate cake I’d ever tasted. It was moist and had just the right amount of sweetness.

Need I say we found the entire experience extremely satisfying? We’ll definitely be back for more. Of course, food of any kind should be taken in moderation. It’s just comforting to know that trying to lose weight doesn’t necessarily mean depriving oneself of the joys of sweets.

UPDATE: DessertFirst and ShopCrazy review Sugarnot! Ü

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Tales from Coco Beach: We Be Burning

This is part three of a series of posts about my stay at Coco Beach Resort in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, from June 10-12, 2006.

grilled skin! The problem with holidays involving sun and swimming is neglecting to replenish one’s sunblock. Before going swimming, I dutifully and liberally apply sunblock lotion on my skin. Unfortunately, I don’t reapply often enough, especially after towelling off. Between us sisters, I’m the one who tans deeply and almost never burns, and I thought it would be the case on this trip.

On our first day at Coco Beach, we managed to miss most of the midday rays because we had a late lunch. I didn’t get burned then. However, on the second day I don’t know what possessed me to use suntan lotion. That’s SPF 4, folks: for the fair-skinned, only four minutes of protection before skin starts to burn. We were out snorkeling at the coral gardens at Long Beach for three hours, then came back to the resort for two hours more swimming and poolside lounging under the sun. You know what happened next: sunburn. My skin was red, warm to the touch, but wasn’t painful. However, there was some discomfort since it felt like my skin was too tight.

kicking my heels up The next day, however, the redness had faded and I felt more like a human than a lobster. Because it was our last day at the resort, I decided to make the most of it by going swimming again. Since the pool opened at 9am and our checkout time was at 11am, I only spent an hour in the water before heading back to our cottage and packing up.

Even though I hadn’t bought anything extra to carry, my sunburned shoulders took the brunt of my luggage’s weight, and my already-raw skin rasped against the rough canvas fabric of my backpack. It didn’t help that the path from our cottage back to the reception desk had virtually no shade at midday, and to add insult to (my self-inflicted) injury we had to wait on the beach for our boat. Aside from a few palm trees, there wasn’t a patch of shade sizeable enough to accommodate three potential boatloads of people.

that's a hot beach! The first boat approached the beach and was immediately met by a rush of people desperate to get out of the sun. Among them were the Rotarian women and the Indian family with whom we had arrived at the resort. Nobody paid attention to the clipboard-holding guy shouting out instructions like, “Pakihintay lang pong tawagin ko ang inyong numero! (Please wait for me to call out your number!)”

My companions and I decided to wait for the next boat. While standing there, we noticed several boxes full of eggs and other miscellaneous goods piled on the beach. Initially I thought these were things that had been brought for the resort’s use, but as the minutes ticked by and nobody was evacuating them from the beach, I realized that these things were to be shipped off the island.

The next boat came in, a thirty-seater, and the resort’s porters jumped into action and scrambled to carry the luggage of a group of fifteen Europeans towards it. We approached the clipboard guy and asked if we could get on this boat. He replied, “Hindi po, magkakasama po ang mga Pilipino. (No, all Filipinos will be riding together.)” We were to be loaded onto the third boat, and since the pile of boxes weren’t being carried on board the second boat, we realized we’d be riding with the boxes.

It must have been the sunburn or the heat. More probably, it was the racial segregation I was experiencing from my own countryman. I snapped. “At bakit kailangan magkakasama ang mga Pilipino? (And why do all the Filipinos have to ride together?)” I said to the clipboard guy, who even seemed pleased that he was cramming all the Filipinos into one boat. He asked me how many were in my group, and I informed him that there were five of us. He waved us onto the boat with a shrug. Aside from us, seven other Filipinos were able to get on the boat, and we were on our way home.

I’m not sure if the people who run these tourist spots (like hotels and resorts) know this, but Filipinos can be tourists, too. Shakespeare’s Shylock said, “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?” Filipino tourists are perfectly capable of choosing where to spend hard-earned money on luxury items like vacations, and we will talk about whether something was worth it.

Coco Beach was a mixed bag of experiences, but I still enjoyed myself. You really can’t go wrong with sun, sand, and a refreshing drink in the hand. How interesting, though, that this trip was peppered with instances of colonial mentality as memorable as a bad sunburn.

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Tales from Coco Beach: Happy Hour

This is part two of a series of posts about my stay at Coco Beach Resort in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, from June 10-12, 2006.

Indulgence was really the name of the game at the resort, and every group of guests had their own way of going about it. While my companions and I ate and drank between swimming and jacuzzi sessions, the European women marked time by burning themselves under the heat of the tropical sun. Even though they were already salmon-colored by the end of their first day, the next day would find them taking up their poolside positions again. I guess for them red natural sunburn beats orange fake Mystic Tan?

The thing about going on vacation is that diets are usually thrown by the wayside, and this occasion was no exception. After weeks of semi-starvation in order to fit into a bikini (okay, not really), we let everything go to waist once we got to Coco Beach.

Carabao Restaurant Carabao English menuIt started with lunch on our first day; despite the atrocious grammar and laughable descriptions on the restaurant menu, the food was good and we ended up ordering too many dishes. We kept making the same bad choices, vowing to eat less and save money, but gorging ourselves on food nonetheless. Mornings were a special problem since our vacation package included free buffet breakfasts; we kept going back to the buffet table for more helpings.

Pigging out continued when we discovered the resort’s Happy Hour promo: from 4-5pm, we could get two mixed drinks for the price of one. Over the course of two days, we indulged in mai tais, screwdrivers, margaritas, and rhum citrus coolers (not all at the same time, hopefully! *hic*) while lounging in a jacuzzi beside the guests-only Silent Pool overlooking the ocean.

Coco Beach sand and surf The lack of structured activity for my brain coupled with the addling effects of too much food and drink only served to make me more observant of the other guests at the resort. We had come over from Manila accompanied by a large tour group of Rotary Club women (on holiday from their husbands), an Indian family, and a lovey-dovey young couple (look, Ma, no wedding rings!). Already there at the resort were: a Hispanic man, his Asian wife, and their toddler; six fat white men (more on them later); an African-American dad and his teenage son; a family from Holland; a young French family of four; and a couple of middle-aged German women.

I noted with some amusement that this international cast of characters needed only a murdered victim and a fastidious Belgian detective with a curly moustache in order to turn into a typical Agatha Christie mystery novel. (I overfilled my brain with too many such novels back in March.)

While Filipinos are generally reserved and don’t go out of their way to make conversation with strangers, these foreigners tended to provide a whole lot of information about themselves to each other. Hanging around them (actually, eavesdropping) showed me the advantage of being bilingual in Filipino and English. I could listen to them talking in English, and then gossip in Filipino with my companions. It was great fun — until I realized the guy I was talking about wasn’t Fresh Off the Plane; he had been living here in the Philippines for quite a while and his son had just graduated from an international school here. I’ll bet he understood more Filipino than he could speak, too. Yikes. My bad for indulging in gossip.

As for the six fat white men I mentioned earlier, they indulged themselves by engaging the services of three young local women. Sad but true: the illicit sex tourism trade is the dark armpit of the nascent tourism industry in the country.

This sickening mixture of colonial mentality, exploitation, and objectification was laid out for all to see during Happy Hour on our first day. We were minding our own business at the Silent Pool when all nine of them burst onto the scene and started roughhousing in the pool. I felt the bile creeping up my throat when one of the men said to his girlie, self-congratulatorily, “You look tired.” They all seemed to think they were virile, macho men; how funny that they had to go to a Third World country and pay to get laid.

The girls naively wanted to please these men so much that they effaced themselves. Here’s a typical scene: my friends and I were on our way to our cottage one night and happened to run across two of those guys and one of those girls. One guy was saying to the other, “I’ll take care of my girl and you’ll take care of your girl.” The two had a short argument and one said to the other, “You’re an asshole.” The girl giggled and agreed, “Yeah, I’m a [sic] asshole.” I couldn’t decide whether to slap her or to scratch those guys’ eyes out. I indulged neither impulse and went to bed. The next morning, the six guys were through with their “vacation” and were on their way off the island.

Happy Hour that day was much happier.

To be continued…

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Tales from Coco Beach: Getting There

This is part one of a series of posts about my stay at Coco Beach Resort in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, from June 10-12, 2006.

my sunglasses Since June 12 (Independence Day) falls on a Monday this year, Marielle and I decided to take advantage of the three-day weekend by going to a beach. Marielle had gone to Puerto Galera last April (on the weekend after our trip to Boracay) and loved the experience, so we decided to make the trip back with three of her officemates. However, instead of going to the very public and popular White Beach, we booked a stay at the private and secluded Coco Beach Resort.

At 6:30am on Saturday morning we were at the Manila Hotel, the pick-up point for our bus ride. There were already a group of people waiting there for the same bus, and we were all dressed for the beach — flip-flops, shorts, tank tops, and the works. Since we couldn’t very well wait outside the hotel entrance, we decided to go in and wait at the lobby. As we entered through the hotel’s varnished wooden doors, we had to go through an airport-style security check: metal detectors and luggage x-rays. Then the woman at the metal detector looked us up and down and sniffed, “We have a dress code here. You can’t come in here.”

We were aghast. There were no signs posted about any dress code. “You mean, we can’t even use your restroom?” we asked plaintively. It was a strange way to make potential guests welcome. I felt affronted and commented, “Well, just put us somewhere you can hide us so we don’t ruin your beautiful hotel.”

A middle-aged lady who came in behind us told the woman, “If we were foreigners you wouldn’t even have said a word.” A few minutes after we had taken seats off to the side, some blonde foreigners cruised in through the doors and lingered in the lobby talking among themselves before making their way to one of the hotel’s restaurants. We were still miffed at this double standard when our bus arrived to collect us, but the four-hour bumpy road trip to the jetty port in Batangas pushed our hostile thoughts into the background as we napped, listened to music, or watched cheesy fantasy flicks on the bus’s television screen.

At the jetty port (which was really nothing more than a glorified pebble beach), we clambered into a twenty-foot long wooden banca boat for the 60-minute ride to Coco Beach. We arrived with the tide out, so our banca couldn’t approach the beach. A speedboat was dispatched from shore to fetch us and our things, and we finally landed on the island at noontime.

Coco Beach: morning view After receiving a free coconut drink and our keys, we walked to our cottage. “Climbed” might be a more appropriate word, since our cottage was nestled midway up a hill and it took us fifty steps on a narrow cement staircase under a scorching sun to get there. The view was worth the sweat.

To be continued…

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Da Vinci Whatever

First off, let me say that I avoided making this post yesterday because, you know, 6/6/06 is t3h ebil!!!1oneone!1! Oh wait, the only evil part is releasing a crappy The Omen remake and making Julia Stiles play a mommy role.

I was just really lazy and unmotivated yesterday, and today’s subject is a dead horse beaten to such a bloody pulp that I’ve put off writing about it for as long as I possibly can. This is why you’ve had to suffer through painful opening paragraphs that have absolutely nothing to do with what I’m writing about, other than the fact that The Da Vinci Code is, like the new Omen movie, an evil, life force-sucking vortex for commercialism.

old man Leonardo da Vinci Oh, good. You’re still here. I just wanted to catch your attention about the whole phenomenon that is Dan Brown’s take on Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and a certain Renaissance artist. (Here, read the whole load of informative DVC links Brownpau’s accumulated.) Just so you know, I read the book back in 2004 by borrowing an illustrated copy from a friend. While I appreciated the pace and twists of the novel, in order for me to be able to suspend my disbelief, my fiction should be sprinkled with factual information, not spackled with baseless assertions. Shouting “it’s historical fact!” several times isn’t enough. Also, Dan Brown can’t write.

Still, regardless of my lack of affection for it, The Da Vinci Code is a huge phenomenon, definitely affecting people’s lives. Imagine going on a tour of Europe — okay, maybe just France and the United Kingdom — and using a work of fiction to set your itinerary. You don’t need to imagine it: there are many tour operators offering a Da Vinci code tour, and if you’re not willing to shell out the Euros for a real live tour guide, there are self-tour guidebooks floating around out there.

(I’m well aware that there are tours of places where famous authors lived and where they set their novels; the Jane Austen Society of North America schedules tours of England. Still, Ms. Austen was very detailed and accurate about the England she wrote about. I can’t say the same for Mr. Brown.)

Apparently, attaching the name “Da Vinci” to anything is a surefire way of getting people’s attention. For example, spam emails have gone out inviting people to join a book club and offering a free copy of the book as incentive. (I wouldn’t sign up for anything that offered me a free Dan Brown book, but that’s just me.)

And in possibly the most ridiculous and most recent attempt to capitalize on the hype surrounding the book and movie, some baker created a diet based on the Golden Ratio. Sure, the disciples of Pythagoras believed this number Phi expressed an underlying truth about existence, the architect Le Corbusier based his system of architecture on the number, and Plato wrote some gobbledygook about two things being able to join together completely through the adaptation of this proportion. Still, nothing seems to be able to move units like “Da Vinci,” and the author and publishers of the diet book are hoping “to pique the interest of Da Vinci enthusiasts and weight-loss seekers alike.”

Da Vinci linguine The diet is 20 percent protein, 52 percent carbohydrates, and 28 percent fat. I guess in this low-carb world you can’t blame a baker for trying to create a market for his goods. This should also be good news for the established Italian pasta brand Da Vinci. Possible tie-ins should not be ignored. (There’s a Flying Spaghetti Monster joke in there somewhere, but I can’t juggle two heresies at once, dammit!)

Behold the awesome moneymaking power of da Vinci! Even better, behold the awesome attention-getting power of da Vinci! Let’s face it, why else did you read this post to the end?

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Nothing Is Sound

Nothing Is Sound by Switchfoot I’ve been listening to a lot of Switchfoot‘s music lately; I never tire of their blend of catchy pop-rock and inspirational, meaningful lyrics. Sad to say, all my Switchfoot tracks weren’t acquired through purchasing their CDs, although for the past few weeks I’ve been trying to change that by locating and purchasing their latest album, Nothing Is Sound (2005).

Unfortunately, there’s this beast of a computer program called XCP included in a number of their record label Sony-BMG’s releases. Last November I wrote about the nasty malware-type actions of this XCP bug. It’s supposed to be copy-protection technology to prevent the user from making more than a limited number of copies of the disc or ripping the content into MP3 files. ( has an article on the legitimate uses of CD ripping and why the recording and entertainment industry don’t want people making copies for personal use.)

However, XCP installs itself without the user’s knowledge or consent, then more or less hijacks the computer system. It also has some serious open backdoor issues which leave a way for trojan viruses to sneak into the computer while it’s connected to the Internet.

Sony-BMG supposedly ordered a recall of Nothing Is Sound as well as the other infected albums, and has offered non-XCP discs to exchange with these at the point of purchase. There’s even a settlement website where people can file claims for exchanging their CDs, although it seems to be only for the benefit of residents in the United States.

And that’s where my main problem lies. XCP has received so much press in the United States, and the threat of a class-action lawsuit forced Sony-BMG to pull its act together there. Here in the Philippines, however, consumer rights seem to be secondary to ensuring business profitability, and Filipino customers culturally aren’t very vocal about failure of service or product (politicians are the notable exceptions — there is always someone around to criticize them). After more than six months since the infected Switchfoot CDs were pulled off shelves in the US, record stores in the Philippines are still receiving shipments of XCP-“protected” discs.

Last Sunday I was at SM Megamall and dropped by Radio City to look for the aforementioned album. I was so excited when I spotted it that I almost bought it on the spot. Then I remembered the signs to look for when determining if a CD has XCP packaged with it: A symbol on the spine of the CD with the text “Content Protected,” and a box on the back panel of the CD with the URL “”. I checked the CD, and sure enough it had both of them. This stopped me dead cold in my purchase-bent tracks, and I put the CD back in the display and decided to try my luck with other stores.

I thought that Tower Records/Music One was a chain of stores major enough to warrant a fresh, non-XCP shipment of albums. The CDs proved me wrong again (frustrating!!!) and I just had to ask the saleslady, “Miss, when did these CDs arrive?” She took a look at the barcode sticker and told me the store had received them only in May of this year. Again, I forced myself to walk out without buying the CD.

That night, I logged onto the website of Sony-BMG Philippines to see what was really up. To my surprise, the website proclaims:

Sony BMG Philippines has not released any XCP-Protected CDs. Local patrons need not worry about content protection software installation on their PCs, or any threat of infection from the virus which exploits said protection.

…which is complete bollocks since I saw such CDs with my own eyes. Still, I was willing to give Sony-BMG Philippines the benefit of the doubt, since the record shops I had been to that day might have imported the CDs instead of acquiring them from the local label. I withdrew the benefit of the doubt when I visited an SM Record Bar this past Thursday and again found XCP-protected Nothing Is Sound discs.

There is an avenue of redress provided by Sony-BMG Philippines. The site continues:

Should despite this, [sic] any of Sony|BMG’s local patrons find themselves having a purchased CD with content protection software embedded therein, please call our offices at 632.636.37.21 that appropriate action may be taken.

Ibig sabihin, nakabili na. (Meaning, the customer has already purchased a problem disc.) I don’t even think they’ve made an effort to pull out XCP-infected discs and instead are relying on the consumer to pipe up and ask for a replacement. It’s no skin off their nose if the poor buyer doesn’t know any better to avoid such CDs in the first place.

I’m holding out on buying the Nothing Is Sound album until Sony-BMG Philippines starts releasing non-XCP versions. However, I will be buying Switchfoot’s earlier album The Beautiful Letdown (2003). I like all the tracks on it, but more importantly, it doesn’t have XCP. It’s a sound CD.

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