Catholic scandal of the week: Vatican forces Benetton to pull Pope Benedict kissing ad
MANILA, Philippines – The Vatican is showing no love for Benetton’s new campaign, “Unhate” which featured a scandalous ad of Pope Benedict XVI sharing a friendly smooch with Muslim cleric Mohamed El-Tayeb. The photograph, one of many digitally altered ads of world leaders kissing, was created by the Italian clothing company to promote tolerance for love in all of its many forms. Unfortunately, Benetton’s good intentions were not enough to save the company from the wrath of God’s church. Instead of praying the problem away, the Vatican resorted to man-made forums of conflict resolution, threatening the international retailer with legal action. The ad was pulled from the lineup immediately after. — Veronica Gutierrez
Failed attempt of the week: The Arroyos
We’ve all heard the story of how ex-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo developed a rare bone disorder that can only be treated abroad and how the government is trying to stop her from leaving, even offering to pay for her medical expensesand flying in specialists to see her. The government’s motives may be seen as an attempt to keep her in the country after rumors spread that Arroyo and her family obtained Dominican Republic passports and planned to seek political asylum there to avoid criminal charges. Drama ensued when the DOJ barred her from leaving after being allowed by the Supreme Court to seek foreign medical advice. As an assurance, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio offered one of his testicles if his clients don’t return from the trip, raising the ante from potentially promising to potentially disturbing.
Sporting competition of the week: The 2011 Southeast Asian Games
The Philippine teams made a great start at the 26th SEA Games that began on Nov. 11 and will last until Nov. 22 in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia. Proving that the country does not only produce topnotch boxers, the Philippines has the sixth highest number of medals with 16 gold medals, 28 silver, and 34 bronze for a total of 78 awards as of Nov. 16. Host country Indonesia leads the pack with a total 222 medals and Vietnam comes next with 168 medals.
Awakening of the week: Occupy Wall Street
It seems like Occupy Wall Street has another problem besides the social and economic inequality: sanitation. Police arrived at New York’s Zuccotti Park on Nov. 15 to clear the area after local residents and merchants complained of the negative impact the group has been receiving. Police sent notices to the protesters, saying that they should temporarily vacate the premises so that it could be cleaned. This was met with some hostility, leading to the arrest of 70 protesters, including a group who chained themselves together. The mission of the movement sounds noble, but perhaps the protesters should leave Wall Street alone and occupy health centers instead?
Crybaby of the week: Juan Manuel Marquez
Juan Manuel Marquez faced Manny Pacquiao for the third time in an attempt to settle the seven-year-old question: Who is the better fighter? In their first two matches, Pacquiao won by a draw and then a split decision, prompting the Mexican fighter to wear shirts emblazoned with the statements “We were robbed” and “Marquez beat Manny Pacquiao twice” in the Philippine streets. In the tradition of Pacquiao matches, crime rate dramatically decreased but the tension was sky-high as Pacquiao beat Marquez yet again, this time with a majority decision. Many were frustrated as they believed Marquez should have won – either way, he followed Pacquiao’s lead by singing a song after the match: a possible swan song.
Record-breaking movie of the week: Praybeyt Benjamin
There is a certain charm attached to Vice Ganda and it was proven by his hit movie Praybeyt Benjamin, which earned P320 million in ticket sales in the span of 20 days, making it the highest-earning Filipino movie of all time. The record was previously held by No Other Woman, starring Cristine Reyes, Derek Ramsey, and Vice Ganda’s gal pal, Anne Curtis. The film’s success relied heavily on his permanent stay on the wildly successful noontime variety show Showtime and his effective self-promotion. In an interview, Vice Ganda was quoted as saying, “May ibang magic ang Diyos.” Yes, Vice. Both you and Jesus are “un-kabogable.”