Philippines Blog #45 – Pacman, Cable & DVDs

November 18, 2009 – Wednesday

On Sunday we watched Manny Pacquiao, or Pacman as he is affectionately known here in the Philippines, beat Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico in the big fight in Las Vegas. Manny was already a national hero here and his latest victory can only build on that. I have read that he is considering entering politics, a popular career move for successful Filipino’s who want to imitate the success of former president Estrada who like Ronald Regan came from the film acting world.
We don’t have cable yet as we are only renting this house until next July, however, through the internet we found a couple of websites where this cable subscription only boxing event was being broadcast, no doubt illegally. The picture on one was a little jerky but the other was quite smooth, so we ran the sound from one website with the pictures from the other. I do the same to view F1 Grand Prix events, combining the radio  commentary from BBC 5 Live with a upstream video stream of the race. It’s not perfect but it’s better than nothing.
As a matter of principle we regularly hunt for legitimate movie DVDs which seem very scarce except in Manila. This may of course be due to the extensive counterfeiting of movies, some only recently released (or even on pre-release) in the USA and Europe. Whereas I can remember seeing DVDs in Shanghai featuring one movie, Blur-ray and compression technology now enables counterfeiters to produce pirate DVDs containing up to 24 separate movies on a single disk. The result is inferior in quality however as the compression process used for some DVDs produces an image that is closer to a web cam than a good quality picture and the image does not fill the TV screen like a legitimate DVD. Apparently some movies are filmed in a cinema and sometimes you see people in the audience getting up to go to the toilet or buy refreshments.  In the meantime the only cinema in Santiago City closed many years ago.