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A Valentine’s gift from UNO Magazine.

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Justice for Alexis and Nika: The September ’10 Issue

Text from an editorial note I made after sifting through our Afterburner section to upload online:

I remembered Eggy today after looking through the archives of our Afterburner section for the magazine. Unlike most, I was introduced to Alexis outside his career in film, as we went to the same college, he being a batch lower. We were friends. Later on in the following semesters, we got involved in a point of conflict, details of which I would rather not talk about — but it is suffice to say that these were, in his words to Erwin Romulo, “a little bit of weirdness.” We parted ways. Many years later, we were in touch thanks to the wonders of Facebook, but never got to speak in person. I was excited to hear from Erwin that Alexis would be working with UNO. That we’d both be working together. But alas, fate had other plans. Today I still read his work. It’s the next best thing to talking to him again. — Jayvee


A note from the editor, Erwin Romulo (@erwinromulo)

I wish this issue didn’t have to exist.

It’s been a year since our good friends Alexis Tioseco and Nika Bohinc were murdered in their home. Up until now, there has been no movement on the case and none of us know why they were killed. All I know is that it wasn’t a robbery and that the authorities have not done a proper investigation. I should know. Along with the Tioseco family, I’ve met too many police officials, bureaucrats, investigators, lawyers, politicians, psychics, and inept people named Agnes to say otherwise.

Alexis, in particular, meant a lot to those of us here in UNO. He’d even sit in during our editorial meetings. (See picture.) He was very much a part of what this magazine was all about, why we all chose to take on the challenge of doing it. But our friendship with him went well beyond working together. At least for me, he was no less than a brother. And I’m lucky that I was able to tell him that I loved him before he died. I told it to him quite often actually and he never gave up on me even when I gave up on myself.

It’s also with heavy hearts that we mark the recent death of another friend, cinematographer Miguel Fabie III. Miguel wrote to me last year, shortly after Alexis died. The letter is excerpted below:

Dear Erwin—

I met [Alexis] after one of the first screenings of Batang West Side—he approached me, introduced himself, commended me, then slowly… in editing lingo—“dissolved to black.” That was my first feature film and though he sounded like he knew what he was talking about, I was taken aback by this young punk who seemed so sincere and passionate that my selective-memoried brain decided to keep him in its archives.

Anyway, in his case praise came across not as something to feed my ego but actually inspired me to better my craft. The same way Eddie Romero did on our first introduction when he commented about the same flick (Batang W.S.)—“Young man, either you’re extremely stupid and just plain lucky, or a genius”… To this day, I am trying to prove it’s not the former. The latter is something I believe is a DNA thing; you can’t work to be a genius, but you CAN work to be a better cinematographer/writer/musician/doctor ON YOUR OWN TERMS.

In [his famous letter], Alexis hoped that he and Nika would be together in/’till “the end.” Maybe they’re just beginning, but if this is the first step toward that direction or a major leap to the eternal we have yet to find out for ourselves in OUR own time, willingly or otherwise. Wake up call: get ready to be willing.

May we ALL rest in peace, in WHATEVER stage or phase in life.


I couldn’t agree with Miguel more though it’s tough for those of us they left behind.

In that Alexis-written piece reprinted in this issue in its definitive form, he says that “There’s a line in Aguila where a Moro secessionist is told his cause is lost. He replies that winning doesn’t matter, it’s doing what one feels one should do. That’s wisdom for you.”

With this issue we mourn, we mark, we reminisce, we remind. Let not another year pass before justice is done. We fight, not just against forgetfulness and the apathy that follows, but because it is what we feel we should do.

Here’s to Alexis, Nika and Miguel. And, yes, we’ll keep on going no matter what. ‘Till we hopefully meet again.

Erwin Romulo

Original sources are here and here.

Rhian Ramos is the current endorser of NUVO City.

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Annicka Dolonius

My generation is jaded with politics. And how can we not be jaded? I grew up in the Philippines of the ‘80s. We are the That’s Entertainment generation. We are the poster children for the jaded. We grew up against the backdrop of the Aquino assassination, the snap elections, the Mendiola massacre, the power outages, the Metro Manila Film Fest fiasco, and the showbiz career of Kris Aquino. We’ve survived an earthquake, the Mt. Pinatubo volcanic eruption, waist-deep floods, dengue outbreaks, three days of darkness, bird flu, and the showbiz career of Kris Aquino. Somedays, I feel like we’re trapped in a poorly written sitcom that is starring bad actors with poor makeup, in a show that is in a perpetual state of re-runs—with Kris Aquino. [A Note from the Editor]

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On Marcos

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If you only have to get one issue of UNO this year, make it this one

Don’t panic if you find yourself looking out from whatever household, or office, or town, or planet you’re in, and start thinking, now here’s the sort of place that just gets so damn tired.

You think of how much your city turns on the dull urges of its greediest and its hungriest, how it moves on the slow metabolism of everybody else in between. And you think of how little difference things made in your life if you had gone this way instead of that way, or if you had taken this opportunity instead of not at all.

But there are days you see a picture or read some words or dream a little longer at night, and you say to yourself, now there’s something I might really want to see. Or somebody tells you—in my case it was Erwin (Romulo), and Luis (Katigbak)—about something exciting they have in mind, and you think to yourself, now there’s something I wouldn’t want to miss.

Sometimes we need to rely on our most wistful and our most speculative selves to show us what should have been and what might have been and all those other things in between. For this issue, we found ourselves relying on the finest writing minds we could gather to put together real words and real pictures. Now we depend on your real sense and actual experience to ignore the disclaimers and the dangers, even for a moment, and weigh the real difference.

from “Don’t Panic,” a note by UNO Magazine issue #68 Guest Editor Sarge Lacuesta

And now the synopsis from Luis Katigbak:

Quark Henares takes us on a tour of the strangest corners of his sex life. Jimmy Abad makes a modest proposal. Krip Yuson reimagines Rizaldry. Butch Dalisay shows us the unseen side of Soledad’s Sister. Robin Hemley discovers a cache of old letters to his great-grandfather from a Filipina girlfriend, dated 1904. Sarge Lacuesta encounters a sexbot. Erwin Romulo reviews some really bad albums. Ramon de Veyra showcases the best comics you missed out on. Frank Cimatu sends Pepe Smith into outer space.

Aldus Santos and Cynthia Bauzon-Arre present the last — and lost — Eraserheads album. Arnold Arre and Clarissa Concio-Tiglao take us for a ride in the cars of the future. Yvette Tan writes about fact and fancy, scar tissue and Sta Teresa. Waya Gallardo dines at the controversial aswang-themed restaurant, Kagat, and undergoes a sort of transformation. Patricia Evangelista writes about the rise of Magdalena. Oli Reyes shares a selection from the unknown history of television. Tara Sering comments on a loopy bit of legislation. Neil Gaiman teaches us how to lie. And Philbert Dy attends an orgy.

And no we’re not telling you who the cover girl is.