Monday, October 19, 2009



Wednesday, August 19, 2009


A “diva”, according to Merriam-Webster English dictionary: 1. prima donna 2. Usually glamorous and successful female performer or personality. The word came from the Latin word “divus” which means goddess or a female deity.

The word came to the English language in 1883 and used for operatic prima donnas that time. The contemporary term “Diva” is believed to have started with Maria Callas – the Greek-American opera singer who earned worldwide fame in the 50s. Then there was Googoosh of Persia, Edith Piaf of France, Rocio Jurado of Spain and many others.

BISEAN will list and feature the divas of our great region.

How will we do it?

To lessen "subjectivity" like voice quality, singing style, fan-base, etc. -- We came up with the 5 most common criteria of a Diva. These will be the objective principles to be used in our pursuit to list the region’s ultimate divas:

1. Fame. Her name is known to at least 3 generations; a confirmation of her staying power.

2. Signature Song. A song that only her name is attributed to. No other singer dares to sing it without acknowledging her name.

3. Cultural contribution. Her music represents her nation’s identity and heritage; made an impact to the local music industry.

4. A goddess is never always available. She has no fan-base but commands respect from the public and fellow performers. Appearances are rare.

5. Real tragic drama. Her personal life is one big spectacle itself. The raw emotions of her real life resonate through her songs.

We need our reader’s involvement.

We have already prepared a short list, but we welcome contributions to list the Divas of Southeast Asia.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

MEET OUR NEW SONGBIRD: The Bare-Faced Bulbul

Ha! Our good neighbor Laos has revealed yet another new specie of song birds -- this is the Bare-Faced Bulbul -- only found among the tower-like limestones of the jungles of Savannakhet Province. It is the only known "bald" song birds in Mainland Asia.

It was discovered by Aussie scientists in December 2008 and published in Forktail in July 2009. These birds were noisily foraging around the camp, obviously haven't seen humans before.

How can a very odd creature with distinct features evade humans for centuries? Amazing! Well, maybe because the BFB's habitat is legally protected in Laos and is mainly harsh and inhabitable.

The Bare-Faced Bulbul's official name is Pycnonotus hualon. It is the 138th addition of the world's 137 listed species of Bulbuls. Bulbul maybe derived from the Turkish word "bulbul" which means "nightingale". And no, the Filipino word for "pubic hair" is of a different spelling so don't go smart a** with me =). Ha!

Although our region is faced with seemingly hopeless, endless string of endangered species; BISEAN cheer and celebrate this new discovery!

Thank you, Laos.


Monday, August 10, 2009


Here are our gorgeous delegates to the Miss Universe Pageant this year in Nassau, Bahamas. Live telecast of the coronation will be on 23 August 2009, Sunday.

Zivanna Letisha Siregar, 20, 5'10", Jakarta
JoannaBelle Ng, 21,5'8", Kota Kinabalu
Pamela Manalo, 22, 5'10", Manila
Rachel Kum, 24, 5'7", Singapore
Chutima Durongdej, 23, 5'10", Bangkok
Võ Hoàng Yến, 20, 5'10, Ho Chi Minh City

Zivanna was Indonesia's Elite Model Look winner. Võ Hoàng is Vietnam's Supermodel 2008 winner. Chances? Too early to tell. But with the current trending on how they choose a Miss Universe -- these two will fit the ranks.

But if they are looking for a real beauty queen, it's Philippines' Bianca hands down.

Good luck, girls! Bring home the pearls.


Monday, August 03, 2009

OUR ICONS: Corazon Aquino

Anyone born before or after 1986 knows who Corazon Aquino is. The gentle, soft-spoken, simple housewife who became the 11th President of the Philippines that year and started a “wave” of People Power revolts across the globe.

She is the first female President in Southeast Asia and one of the firsts in the world. Her name is not restricted to the Philippines, "Cory" *her nick name* is a democracy icon in human’s modern history.

Needless to say, the whole world knows who she is. And the forgetful ones scruffled the Internet in the past 3 days trying to get a refresher *she is the top search on the Net right now*.

And I bet if the Martians and Plutonians are reading Time Magazine, they know her too.

Southeast Asia and the world lost one of our greatest icons – Cory passed away last Saturday (01 August 2009) after a long battle with cancer.

BISEAN arrived in Manila this morning to brave the sea of people who will try to get a last glimpse of her at the Manila Cathedral tonight. We want to be part of history. We want to see her for the last time.

See her full biography here.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009


A beautiful soul, a brother, a son... a good friend says good bye...

01 July 1980 - 03 April 2009

Died doing what he loves best, surfing.
Bali, Indonesia.

We will miss you.

We hope to see you in our next life. We'll find you.

*BISEAN will resume blogging on Morgan's 28th Birthday. We will try.


Saturday, March 28, 2009


This is surreal. Posing the same old question: “Has it really been another year?”

Today is Saturday. Last year’s March 28 was a Friday. Weekend. Meaning, a lot of scrubs are going to come to our party. Pfft! Another chance to booze all day and all night non-stop till Monday morning (or perhaps till Tuesday, who knows).

Whew! 2,091,536 hits on our 2nd year? Not bad. Not bad at all.

Thanks to all of you. And as Jedi Master Yoda would put it: "Your continuous support BISEAN appreciates. Herh herh herh."

Ok…that’s it. What do you want from me? Get back to work!


Wednesday, March 25, 2009


BISEAN went on a gym safari and spotted these amazing creatures!

The Gym Bunnies - They come in every effin’ day in lycra leotards. They hop around the gym from one machine to another without ever finishing a routine. Hop, hop hop!

The Gym Gorillaz - Bulky, hairy, and cast a huuuuge shadow behind ‘em. Their color ranges from deep red to Kiwi dark-brown shoe polish.

The Meerkats - They stretch their necks and stick their heads out whenever a gorgeous guy comes in.

The Hyenas - They chat, chuckle, laugh, chat some more and chat, chat, chat to eternity. If hunting rifles are allowed, I’ll take them down first.

The Parrots - Same as the Hyenas but wears fantabulously outrageous gym outfits made in China.

The Gym Crocs - Creatures who never leave a machine and stay there all day as if they own it. They will be the next ones to go after the Hyenas, I tell you.

The Wet Dogs - They always leave the machine wet for the next user. I don’t understand how they sweat so much! Argh!

The Guard Dogs - They bark and woof on the last 3 reps. There’s also a hybrid of this mixed with Gorillaz.

The Giraffes - Tall, gorgeous, painfully beautiful creatures who are so into themselves. Usually found on the machines closest to the mirror wall.

The Hippos - Unbelievably huge creatures but rarely visible. They are found under the bubbles of the Jacuzzi with their noses just above the water.

The Gila Monsters - Huge, ferocious lizards usually found in the sauna all day. They never leave!

The Skunk - They come to the gym oozing with irritating AXE cologne sprayed all over. These creatures DON’t understand! Get away from me! G E T A W A Y !

The Chicken - A creature with massive chest and throbbing arms complete with toothpick legs.

The Kapibara - Fat, amphibious rats usually found “basking” in the area between the shower and the locker room.

The Hamsters - Creatures running all day on the threadmill and go straight to the snack bar afterwards.

Any gym creatures you spotted lately?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I’m sure you know at least one person, who is working in Macau at this very moment, don’t you?

If you are in the entertainment or modeling business chances are, you know quite a few of them.

I’m also quite sure you already asked what in the world are they doing there.

Let’s compare their answers; these are the ones I always get…

1. ramp modeling
2. commercial modeling
3. print ads modeling
4. in-house modeling
5. catalogue modelling

Sure. Whatever you say.

In the past decades, Southeast Asia has seen temporary/transitory migrations of our best looking citizens; Starlets, model-wannabes, what-have-you.

Japan in the 80s, Brunei in the 90s… 2000s? Go figure.

So, what do they really do there in Macau?

You wanna know the real score (as witnessed and documented) in Macau? Here is what they really do over there:

1. night club bikini dancers
2. escorts-for-pay (run by escort service companies)
3. massage-boys-with-extra-service
4. private club hostesses (and who knows what they do in there)
5. common sex traders

All of our countries are represented. No exceptions. As long as you look like a model (or a movie starlet)… you’re in!

Macau would also be a transient -- if they're lucky enough to get sponsors to China (a bigger sex trade/modeling market).

My take on this? Keep the dirty laundry within our own yard.


Sunday, March 22, 2009


Ok, there... I'm done securing my personal investments and family ventures. Converted half of the funds to gold, a quarter goes to Doha and Dubai and the other quarter is secured to real estate.

I can now make my prediction.

Without scaring myself in the process.

Am I scaring you? Don't be... Or maybe, yes.

I'm just an ordinary guy with an excellent instinct for equity trading, with a solid 14-year personal investment experience, exposed to just about every major market in the world and made a killing [most of the time]... *not to mention education in economics* So, don't take my word for it.

So, what's with the date? C'mon!

20 April 2009.

Well, it's not one of those inter-planetary event involving a fly-by. I can assure you that. No armaggedon yet. No. So, relax.

April 20 will fall on a Monday. A very crucial day in the equity, commodity & futures market. If "the" federal decision is made the week before it... sell everything and stock up!

Prediction --

It will be the day the U.S economy will totally collapse.

20 April 2009. I hope I'm wrong.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Nope, this isn't BISEAN's list. But we'll come up with our own very soon.

This (as posted all over the net, thanks to Yahoo!) is from Andrew Harper, a veteran travel writer and foremost in travel & leisure (for over 30 years). He reveals the most spectacular vistas around the world. [source] Guess who made it...

1. The Grand Canyon from the South Rim

People come from all over the world to take in this vista, which at sunset resembles an impressionistic painting brought to life. Hopi Point, on the West Rim Drive, extends far out into the canyon and is an excellent vantage point among many. Try to visit during the shoulder seasons of April-May and September-October, when the weather is milder and the park is less crowded.

2. Hong Kong Island from Kowloon

Hong Kong Island is clustered with dizzying neon-lit skyscrapers, and the view from the Kowloon Peninsula across Victoria Harbour is straight out of a science-fiction film. This dense urban scene is especially impressive every evening at 8, when it promptly erupts into a laser light show!

3. Phang Nga Bay, Thailand

This remarkable bay between the island of Phuket and the Thai mainland is dotted with hundreds of tall limestone formations that rise hundreds of feet from the sea. Ten thousand years ago, you could walk among these towers; now only their tops are visible, like the skyline of a sunken city.

4. Manhattan from the top of Rockefeller Plaza

5. Istanbul skyline from the Bosphorus strait, Turkey

6. The Ngorongoro Crater from North Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Tanzania

7. St. Paul’s from Waterloo Bridge, London

8. The Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin Headlands

9. Machu Picchu, Peru

10. The Yucatan Peninsula from the top of Chichen Itza, Mexico

11. Florence from the loggia of Villa San Michele, Italy
12. Paris from the Pont des Arts, France
13. The medina of Fes from the Palais Jamai, Morocco
14. Annapurna from Sarankot, Nepal
15. Sydney Harbour from Taronga Zoo, Australia
16. The Potala Palace from across the Lhasa River, Tibet
17. The Parthenon from Mount Lycabettus, Athens, Greece
18. The Lemaire Channel, Antarctica
19. The City Palace from the Lake Palace, Udaipur, India

20. The temples of Bagan, Burma

Dotted across a plain beside the Irrawaddy River in central Myanmar, the ruins of Bagan cover 16 square miles. Dozens of immense stupas and temples rise from the red, dusty soil, all that remains of a major city sacked by the Mongol Kublai Khan. The scene at sunrise is unforgettably romantic

Friday, March 13, 2009


I know, I know…we haven’t been posting anything for the past few (waha!) days. And yeah, yeah, yeah...7 blog posts for February is unforgivable. There, I admit it already…so get off me! LOL

This blog post was titled "NO EXCUSE". Well, I lied... here they are;

As you already know the current global economic situation, I have been rounding up my investments in Singapore, Malaysia, China and in the U.S. I’m taking it all back home. I’m not trying to scare anyone here, but yeah, that’s what I’ve been doing for the past weeks. *busy! busy, busy bee*

And also, Morgan and Sofia are nowhere to be found (or be reached) to post at least once and contribute to the blog. I am OFFICIALLY firing them as co-authors. [There… I hope this would alert both useless friends to contact me soon. Haha!]

Another short trip to the Philippines and Cambodia last week to bring YOUR donations to the orphanages I talked about here. The money came from the “clicks” you made on the AdSense adverts found all over this blog.

That’s it. Those are my excuses. Take that!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


A mega-stingray was caught in the Maeklong River here in Thailand!

This is part of a program to tag stingrays and check their population. Our hero this time is a Brit dude named Ian Welch -- a biologist and a champion angler. Thanks dude, for sharing your expertise. *wink wink*

The stingray weighs 771lbs and measures 7 feet by 7 feet plus its 10 foot long whip, I mean, tail. It took 13 men and 9 hours to finally land it. I so miss Steven Irwin right now *sigh*

And the kicker was...she is pregnant! You could just imagine how big her boyfriend is! Stingrays of her specie can weigh as much as 1,100lbs. The preggy mom was release a few hours later.

See full story here.

There are still a lot of hidden animals in our paradise. Ones that keeps on surprising us.

Speaking of which, have you heard of that news about a mega-mega-phyton striking fear among residents of a certain river in Borneo? The aerial photo (apparently discovered on Google Earth) is circulating the Internet. Uhm...but that's another story...

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Friday, February 20, 2009


The Wat Phra Maha Chedi (more famously known as Wat Lan Kuad) in Thailand’s Sisaket Province is the latest addition to Southeast Asia’s official list of eco-friendly tours.

It is made of 1.5 million recycled beer bottles donated by just about everybody who knew what was going on since 1984. Monks of this monastery started using coloured beer bottles as decorations, but people started donating and the inflow went on for the next 25 years.

So... what's a monk to do? Use all donated bottles like there's no tomorrow!

Wat Lan Kuad literally means: “Temple of a Million Bottles” and already making news around the globe. The temple complex has 20 buildings all made of recycled bottles and the monks intend to build more!

Green Heineken *Thank you, Denmark!* and brown Chang Beer *Thank you, Chonburi!* bottles are used to make the walls and roofs. It is all spectacular!

There’s also a mosaic of the Buddha made of recycled beer tin-caps! Amazing, isn’t it? =)

Ok, let's sing together now...

1.5 million bottles of beer on the wall
1.5 million bottles of beer!
You take one down, and pass it around
1,499,999 bottles of beer on the wall!

1,499,999 bottles of beer on the wall
1,499,999 bottles of beer!
You take one down, and pass it around
1,499,998 bottles of beer on the wall!

1,499,998 bottles of beer on the wall
1,499,998 bottles of beer!
You take one down, and pass it around
1,499,997 bottles of beer on the wall!...

Geez! Goodluck!


Thursday, February 12, 2009


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Sunday, February 08, 2009


It’s an extended trip for me here. This is supposed to be a 7-day journey but I have to stretch it till the 15th – meaning, I will be spending Valentine’s outside Thailand. *sobs* Here’s an open letter to my baby…

Dear Teerak,

I’m terribly missing you. You know who you are. Look under your foot – I wrote my name on it to claim you as mine. =)

I’m sorry I won’t be home in time for Valentine’s. I really am.

But I’ll send you a hundred roses. And keep one for me. So, you’ll get 99 beautiful red roses.

It may not be enough to say how much you mean to me, but…

... it will say how much I miss you (and how I’ll think of you on Valentine’s while I’m away.)



*** If you miss somebody back in Thailand, surprise 'em with 99 roses this Valentine’s Day. Lots of freebies! Click here to send flowers to Thailand or through the banners on this blog.
Or you can do it for the kids .

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Saturday, February 07, 2009


Mount Makiling is one of Southeast Asia’s sacred/mystical mountains. It belongs to the league of Mt. Agung in Bali, Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai, to name a few. It is located in the province of Laguna in the Philippines.

Legend has it that Maria Makiling was a goddess. FilipinaSoul better describes her here and who could tell the legend better than the great Rizal himself here.

Mount Makiling is a volcano – an inactive one, that is *whew! now I think y'know why I'm here*. Parts of the area are supplied with electricity produced from geothermal heat from this mountain. And it made Laguna the hot springs, mud springs, mineral baths centre and a very popular hiking treks of the country.

I would like to commend the efforts of those responsible for preserving the eco-system of this mountain -- UPLB. Lush forests, fresh air, ancient trees dotted the area and I can still hear the sounds of its’ abundant animals living in it. Considering Laguna is just an hour or so away from overly crowded Manila.

At the foot of Makiling is the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) – where the country’s future environmentalists, agro professionals and livestock moguls come from. The IRRI and Philippine Rice Research Institute are also nearby.

Mount Makiling isn’t just all these...

Mount Makiling is a heritage icon of the Tagalogs (the dominant ethnic group of the Philippines) – this mountain provided them legends and beliefs that made their distinct culture that eventually became the basis of all other cultures of the Philippines.

--Pisanu in Los Baños, Laguna
06 Feb 2009

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Thursday, February 05, 2009


Laguna is a mysterious place that holds unknown legends and unwritten history yet to be revealed. This province of the Philippines in Luzon Island has intrigued me for some time now –

An ancient volcanic caldera? Was this the area where a Spanish priest burned the written annals of pre-Spanish Philippines? Who was the culprit? Are there any records of him?

Is this, where legend says, lies a Muslim city that was annihilated and totally erased on the map and history? Was Rizal a Muslim royalty? – So many questions on my book, really.

This is how I see Laguna on Luzon Island. It has so many secrets the Filipinos do not know or choose not to know. This area is one of the Philippines' cradles of civilization and holds the secrets of the true history of the Filipinos.

I know that my readers are expecting a tongue-in-cheek travelogue and a couple of misadventures on this 7-day trip. After all, this is how Laguna is to most Filipinos – a tourist destination. Don’t worry; I’ll feature some of ‘em.

Here’s Pisanu, on a trip to the mysterious and enchanting place called Laguna.

--Pisanu in San Pablo City, Laguna
04 Feb 2009

Sunday, February 01, 2009


The Supreme Philippine

Michael Copon (born Michael Sowell Copon) is an American actor/model. He was born on 13 November 1982 in Chesapeake, Virginia to a Filipino father and a German-American mother.

Michael was cast by the Fox Kids Network as Blue Ranger Lucas less than a year after he graduated from Deep Creek High School (2001). He quickly advanced from high school senior and defensive end on Deep Creek’s football team in 2000 to print model in Los Angeles to Blue Ranger. He is well known for his role as Felix Taggaro in the hit telly series "One Tree Hill".

More of Michael here...

(Click photo to enlarge)

Eurasians are the hottest people on Earth.


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