Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year To All!

New year, new changes; I’ve always been partial to change. Part of change is embracing the new and letting go of the old, especially if the old is bad for you.

In the Chinese calendar, next year is the Year of The Rat. How fitting then that a couple of “rats” revealed their real selves to me, so I’ve cut them off from my life. It’s amazing how easy it is to cut off people who are not worth keeping around anyway.

Meanwhile, change is forthcoming. The McView Show Season Seven, soon.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Here Comes The New Year

I was never really as enamored with New Year’s Day as compared to Christmas. Oh, I loved how the New Year ushers in hope and change; but to me the holiday seems like the homier cousin of Christmas. This despite the fact that, as kids, we would wake up on the morning of New Year’s Day to find a second round of gifts under the Christmas tree. (Our parents told us Santa Claus decided to come back through the Philippines on his way back to the North Pole and decided to reward us kids for being good the whole year. I bought into the whole Santa-doubling-back-in-his-tracks bit; as for being good the whole year, who was I to argue with The Man in the Red Suit?)

What really ticked me off during that time of the year were the firecrackers. Let’s differentiate firecrackers from fireworks: the former are primarily the noise-makers (5-star, bawang, Sinturon Ni Hudas, etc.) while the latter are the ones that make spectacular light shows (lusis, baby rockets, fountains, etc.). The Chinese invented firecrackers to ward off evil spirits; it’s no surprise then that I hated them. I remember how embarrassed I was to cover my ears in front of my cousins or my neighborhood friends whenever I see a firecracker about to explode; I knew it was less manly to cover one’s ears, and at that time I was already conscious of not wanting to look too weak and unmanly in front of others. I saw firecrackers as a crude form of outing: “Aha! You’re afraid of firecrackers! You must be gay!”

Another peeve of mine was the smoke. New Year’s morning I’d pick my nose and my finger will be all black and sooty. Ugh.

Since 2000 we’ve ushered in the New Year in Bohol (once in Baguio). I especially enjoyed celebrating the New Year in our little town of Bilar. We’d first attend the midnight mass then proceed to my aunt’s place to eat (there was always lechon and sotanghon). Before and during the mass we could hear intermittent explosions from firecrackers, often few and far in between. The moment the bells clanged to signal the end of the mass and the faithful started to pour out of the church, that’s when the noisemaking swings full-blast. Which often goes, pak-pak-pa-pak… pause… pak-pak… pause… pa-pak-pa-pa-pak… pause… pa-pak… pause… pak-pak-pa-pak… longer pause… pak… pause… pak-pak-pa-pak. In about five minutes it’s over. Not surprising, given that most of the folks in Bilar are simple farmers. They must have seen a year’s worth of savings go up in smoke in those five minutes.

Last year I decided to treat my family and the Bilar folks to a rare treat. I bought a box of fireworks worth more than Php2,000; that would give us about a minute of non-stop fireworks blazing at the clear starry New Year sky of Bilar. So after the mass ended we walked over to our aunt’s place which is just about a minute away from the church gates. People from all over Bilar were piling into their vans and buses and motorcycles to celebrate the New Year in their respective homes. I wanted to light the fireworks then, but my aunt insisted we eat first before the lechon cooled. So by the time we were ready to light the fireworks, everyone had gone home and there was no one left by the basketball court in front of the church. We ended up enjoying the fireworks display by ourselves.

This year is the first in a long time that I’ll be greeting the New Year in Metro Manila. We’re keeping it simple: we’ll just have spaghetti and ham and champagne (besides, I’ve already consumed enough to feed a small province in China). I’ve long mastered the art of not flinching and covering my ears when a firecracker explodes. I’m seriously considering just switching on the aircon in our parents’ room and staying there until the merrymaking ends (nah, we don’t believe in leaving the windows open for luck). And I’ve long stopped jumping so that I’ll grow taller.

Whatever happens let us embrace change, for the only thing constant is change. Happy New Year, folks!

Hard Drive Raspa

Last week I was down to a pathetic 700+MB and it was impossible for me to do sound editing on GarageBand. So I bought a 160GB portable external hard drive so I could free up memory space in my office laptop. By the time I finished transferring my 2007 files to the HD, I had cleared up a total of close to 7GB.

Ahhhh!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Rainy Day Thoughts

If happiness is the acceptance of what is, then unhappiness is what drives us to change. So are ambitious people unhappy, that’s why they’re driven?

We need to identify the things that make us happy and the things that make us unhappy. Because it is in the former that we turn to when we want peace, joy and a sense of well-being. And it is in the latter that we are ambitious, that we aim to excel.

Do not attempt to roll them into one; dualities have their purpose in Life. Figuring out how to straddle between the two is to find balance in your life.

* * * * *

Okay that’s it. Staying in my room on a rainy day with a laptop in front of me is turning me into Yoda—but without the awkward sentence constructions. Time for me to go out.

I Am The Ghost Of Christmas. Period.

Growing up, Christmas Day for me meant a pile of presents under the tree. Our parents gave us gifts, as well as Santa Claus (until we got old enough). That’s two for each of us six siblings already. Plus back then our uncles and aunts would send money to our parents so that they’ll buy for them the gifts for their pamangkins and inaanaks.

But as the years progressed and my brothers and sister got married and left and our uncles and aunts migrated to the U.S. or worked in Baharain and we siblings got jobs of our own and my parents retired, the pile of gifts under the tree got smaller. And after 5 consecutive years of spending Christmas in Bohol with my mom, aunt and the unmarried ones, this is the first time we’re celebrating Christmas as a whole family once again here in Manila. (Well, almost; our youngest sister is spending her very first Christmas season working in a call center in Singapore.) This year the pile was mostly from me; my sister and brother are in between jobs, and my mom has stopped buying gifts since she retired.

And yet it was one of the happiest Christmases ever. It’s really different when you fall in love with your family. At lunchtime everyone was there. Even my sister was virtually there via the webcam; she stayed with us throughout the meal, until she had to log off because the DHs were already crowding into the internet cafe.

And while the gifts were few, they were heartfelt. My brother and his wife gave me a spoofy “Kuya Germicidal Soap” t-shirt (hmmm… I hope they suspect something, hehehe). And now my sister and brother, the ones who have all the time in the world to watch TV the whole day, now have two movies each to watch (I got all horror films—Poltergeist, Twilight Zone (The Movie), The Shining and Alien. Let’s see if they can sleep in the days to come, mwhahaha!)

Before I felt bad that I got fewer and fewer gifts every year. But as I looked at the few gifts I got this year, no sad feeling washed over me.

This year got me wondering: what would I do if I had to spend Christmas on my own? Happiness is best shared with others; if I were in my sister’s shoes, I’d gather my friends. But what if my friends have plans of their own, or couldn’t join me? I think I’d end up treating myself to a day for myself. Or maybe drop by an orphanage. Who knows what I’m capable of when no one is watching except Him?

So my gift to myself this year is this: While others can make you happy, do not depend on others for your happiness. Yeah, yeah, I can already hear you romantics groaning behind their keyboards as you’re reading the previous sentence. No wonder you romantics slam the song “The Greatest Love Of All”. Oh well, go ahead and quibble all you want.

But notice how the song says “Have yourself a merry little Christmas” and “Make the Yuletide gay”? Take note of the active verbs.

At the end of the day if your Christmas wasn’t happy, it was your choice.

* * * * *

Quotes for post-Christmas ponderings:

The normal rhythm of life oscillates in general between a mild satisfaction with oneself and a slight discomfort, originating in the knowledge of one’s personal shortcomings.... To be delighted with oneself is the exception and, often enough, a smoke screen which we produce for ourselves and of course for others. Somewhere in it is a lingering feeling of discomfort with ourselves and a slight self-dislike. I assert that an increase of this spirit of discontent renders a person especially susceptible to “falling in love.” – Theodor Reik, Of Love And Lust

Remember: most of us are lazy. To relieve our feelings of boredom or inadequacy on our own takes too much effort; letting someone else do the job is both easier and more exciting. – Robert Greene, Art Of Seduction

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Pasko Na Podcast Ketch!

This is the podcast recorded during “Pasko Na Sinta Ketch” last Dec. 20 (with a conclusion recorded Dec. 23, which also was the birthday of Tony). Unfortunately due to technical difficulties certain portions had to be edited out. Oh well, live and learn.

FYI: This podcast is also posted in MGG.

Merry Christmas, folks!

O, Eh Ano Pa Nga Ba?

Merry Christmas, McViewers!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas McShopping, 2007 Edition

For years now my Christmas shopping has always been last minute. It’s not because the bonus comes in late; I really don’t want to think about it too much until it’s necessary. It’s because if I give myself time to think about what to give whom, I end up thinking of alternatives and then I find myself unable to decide. So by going last-minute I take out the option of pondering too long over gifts. It’s decision-making by looming deadline.

The disadvantage of that method is that at times I overspend; I don’t have time to canvass or compare prices. So this year I instituted a couple of changes in my Christmas shopping for the family.

No gift goes over Php500. After reviewing my finances I placed a cap on spending. Yeah I know 500 seem cheap. But then you’ll be surprised at the items you can buy at less than 500 pesos and still make people happy. One exception: gifts for children below 5 years old. With them I allowed myself to overshoot a bit.

Happily I only transgressed once, with the gift for my older brother. But it was a Beatles coffee table book that the others can enjoy (most of us in the family are Beatles fans) and it was just slightly above the 500-mark, so I let it slide.

If possible all gifts—or their packaging—should be quadrilateral in shape. I’m so not good at gift-wrapping, and while there are gift paper bags you can buy in any bookstore, they’re more expensive than just relying on gift wrappers and scotch tape. So I’m making it easy on myself.

As always, there were two exceptions. But one of them I had gift-wrapped at the store, so whoopee. The other, while not quadrilateral in shape, can be folded into one. So: whew.

No gifts to people in the workplace. Excluded are people who were friends long before we became co-workers. It’s bah-humbuggy and so Scrooge-y, but so what. That includes people who’ve given me gifts; gift giving is not about tit-for-tat.

I can only cite one imperative why I imposed this rule this year: I need to save money. The less folks on my gift list, the better.

Do not hesitate to buy gifts for one’s self. But that’s where my discipline faltered a bit this year. In almost every store I ended up buying a gift for someone else and one for me. Luckily I only targeted two stores where I can buy all my Christmas gifts.

Limit your shopping to a couple of venues. In a couple of Christmases past, I bought everyone something from just one store. (My favorite all-in-one shop? The Body Shop. Again, excluded here are children 5 years old and below.) It made for such shopping ease. But after a couple of times it becomes boring. So limit your shopping to just around three shops. Or limit yourself to shopping in just one mall.

In the past several years my mall of choice was Shangri-la Mall. This year I chose Rockwell. Parking is not a problem and the crowd, while still plentiful, is of the genteel, “I-don’t-push-people-aside” kind. Very anti-Tutuban. Snobbish? Not really. But the less crowded malls are less crowded precisely because they cater to the hoity-toity. So go hoity-toity, but don’t buy hoity-toity.

I started shopping at around 4pm; I finished in about an hour and a half.

Every year I ponder if next Christmas I should buy gifts very early. And every year I put off the decision ‘til last minute.

Friday, December 21, 2007

TGIFBC*!

*(Thank God it’s Friday before Christmas!)

* * * * *

Quote for the day:
“Never let someone be your priority, while allowing yourself to be just their option.”

* * * * *

Last night’s “Pasko Na, Sinta Ketch” was fun. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting any super-karir event. Nor was I looking out for any earth-shaking revelations that night. Migs showed up briefly. Corporate Closet mixed around with the guests. Gibbs was late, coming from watching “Avenue Q” in Makati. And I finally got to meet the Misterhubs and Hubby. To be honest, I was a wee bit star-struck to engage my favorite lawyer-blogger in conversation, so I found myself talking to Hubby. He doesn’t blog, and while I tried my best to interest him to start something, I think he’s happy letting his partner get the online attention. Besides, from their body language I think the two are happy with the offline attention they get from each other.

* * * * *

So we held our company Christmas party last Tuesday. It was a no frills, no fuss affair: lots of food, booze, raffle winners and dancing to 80s music. No more frantic trips to stores or costume rental shops for outfits. No after-hours practice for a Christmas presentation.

For our party, I edited a “Y&R mix” of a classic 80s tune; I recorded “quotable quotes” of my officemates and placed them over a remix of Madonna’s “Like A Virgin”. It made its public debut at our Christmas party. Now it debuts online. I’m sure not all of you will get the humor behind some of the chosen upsounds; however, I present this 3-minute-21-seconds-long exercise in sound editing as proof that, yes, I have been that busy, and that I’m now tackling a lengthier format beyond the usual OBB.

(But don’t worry Dan & Rye & show, as well as my fellow Fabcasters, I’m not giving up doing OBBs.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

This Sh*t Is Going Bananas!

The following was recorded the evening of Saturday, Dec. 15, in a cottage in The Farm at San Benito in Lipa, Batangas. The voices you will hear are from my friends and I. You will hear Marisse, who’s the noisiest of the girls, Eve, Harry, Dave, Gold, Domi and the birthday girl herself, Katski. Except for Dave and me, the rest are batchmates. But we all came from the same school and we’re all members of the same college theater group. Take note, mga taga-teatro ito, so you’ve been warned.

Here’s the background: those who rode with Eve developed LSS or Last Song Syndrome with Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl”. They were making fun of the line, “this shit is bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s”, replacing the word “banana” with other fruits. Well, it started with fruits. Then it went to other banana products and banana-based food. This was before dinner (I think).

Later on that night—which was already past 10pm, if I’m not mistaken—we continued this running gag.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Lipa, McVie, Lipa!

So after more than a month of weekend overtime work, pitches one after the other, deadlines tripping over each other in a mad rush to beat the end-of-the-year cut-off, I had a weekend that left me more or less free (though we had a major presentation the Monday after). I needed to get away from the toxic life. I needed to flee; a weekend escape was in order. Good thing that was also the weekend my friend K scheduled her birthday blow-out to seven of her friends (including yours truly)—an overnight stay in The Farm at San Benito in Lipa, Batangas. So off we flew to the land of Gov. Ate Vi.

The Farm bills itself as the “Hippocrates Health Resort of Asia” and while no one among us had any idea what that meant, it didn’t stop us from replacing “Hippocrates” with “hypocrites” and had a field day mocking it:
“You know why it’s a Hypocrites’ Health Spa?”
“Why?”
“Cuz we’ll pretend for a day that we’re not smokers and we like to eat grass and root crops and things that don’t have eyes.”


We actually ended up smoking on the sly, so that makes us truly hypocrites when we were there.

To be fair, the place is fantastic. The facilities, the landscape and the amenities are as award-winning as their prices are wallet-breaking (check out their awards and other info at their website). Go find yourself a rich sponsor or a sugar daddy if you want to enjoy the place. Or go and befriend Migs.

Pictures to follow in a future episode. But let me gush about this pool they have over there. It’s a hidden pool bordered by a wall of rocks where a gentle waterfall flows down into the pool. The water is heated, though, so you know that the whole set-up is man-made. It’s such a relaxing hideaway—and a perfect place to make hada, had a chance presented itself. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) there was no one amongst the guest or the staff who caught my eye.

So how was our stay at The Farm? I loved the fact that I had an honest-to-goodness break. It was a weekend get-away that was very relaxing and detoxifying and laughter-filled. (Good lord! In a future episode, I will let you guys hear exactly how laughter-filled it was.)

My only quibble is the food. Okay, so they never hid the fact that the place only offers an all-organic, vegan-friendly menu. And to be fair, the food we ordered taste delicious—in small doses. After a certain point I felt like mooing or bleating. For dinner I ordered spaghetti with onions and garlic (ah, my favorite!). When my order came I received a bowl full of noodles and garlic and… green peas? Where was that on the menu? Breakfast fare fared better; fruits and grain were in abundance, and they had “scrambled eggs” made from tofu that didn’t look or taste at all like scrambled eggs but were delicious anyway. And I felt the effects of stuffing myself with all those leaves, grain and nuts the following morning when I sat down at the toilet bowl to do number two. Whoosh, aaaah! Clean from within! Now that’s detox.

Still, the moment we left The Farm on Sunday after lunch I only had one thing on my mind: calorie-laden, artery-clogging meat. That night I stuffed myself silly with three slabs of steak. Aaaah, toxic once again! Haylaveth.

In the end, as much as The Farm is a spiritual Shangri-la, I realize I belong more to a funny farm instead.

Make The Yultide Gay (last call for alcohol!)


Guys, CHANGE OF VENUE!

The party this Thursday will be at Butterfly Bar along Tomas Morato corner Sct. Fernandez. Do you know where Chili’s is along Morato? The street beside it (perpendicular to Morato) is Sct. Fernandez. Butterfly Bar is located very near the corner.

Party starts at 9pm. MaliGAYang Pasko!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

What? Me Busy?! Nah! What Made You Think That?

No, The McVie Show is not on hiatus because of the Writers’ strike.

* * * * *

Good lord, I’m beginning to hate December.

Okay, too much, way too much. Let’s scale back, shall we?

So. December used to be my most favorite month, and Christmas my most favorite holiday. They still are but this year was one heck of a “waddafakinshethwuzzat?!” And I’m talking only about the first half of the month.

Whew.

Just like Metro Manila traffic, Time seemed to have stopped and become jam-packed. Work was punishing but in the end we made it through. The company is undergoing changes both cosmetic and structural. I haven’t begun Christmas shopping for others at all. There are movies and plays I haven’t watched, presents I’ve yet to buy, out-of-town trips that have yet to be planned or scrapped, and invites to parties I’ve yet to find the time to attend.

And now I’m back to strenuous training at the gym, thanks to Ken. Ever since I started working again in Makati I’ve always gone to the gym in our building. At first I worked out on my own but got bored and worried I was not progressing. So I got me a personal trainer. And Ken was quite good and patient and easy to train with. But when they raised their rates I had to drop the personal training.

Several months and pounds heavier later, I had to re-hire Ken. I realized I needed external help to whip me back in shape—which is actually a bad thing since it’s better if the motivation comes from oneself, but I’m desperate to jumpstart getting in shape again. I also noticed that I couldn’t cheat myself when Ken’s monitoring me. I’m paying someone to make sure I don’t cheat on me. Hmmm, I’m paying for my lack of self-discipline. Must. Remember. To. Find. Ways. To. Eliminate. That. Expense.

Anyway, yesterday was the scheduled fire drill of our office building. I was made fire marshal for our office on the 27th floor. That meant I had to be in our office when the drill started, walk 27 floors down and report to the building authorities that, yes, everyone in our floor is safe outside. I thought walking down was going to be a cinch. But I was surprised when my legs felt heavy and wobbly a couple of hours after the fire drill. Ugh, that was how out of practice my legs were.


In fairness to the fire drill, they even had fake smoke and actual water use. And they even rescued an “injured civilian” and brought him down the building via ropes on the side. Cool.


This morning Ken and I were supposed to work on my legs. Gudlak to me! I had to ask Ken to revise my training for today.

I just finished a 3+ minute remix of Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” featuring sound bites from various officemates; this ala-“Secret Garden” with dialogue from the movie Jerry Maguire project (I’m moving up from 1-minute OBBs to 3-minute remixes) will debut in our 80s-themed office Christmas Party on Tuesday.

It’s past midnight already and I’m still in the office on this very early Saturday morning. I have to be in Katipunan by 10am later because I’m going out of town with friends.

I just love to hate December, but I don’t have the heart to.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Make The Yuletide Gay (second call)


Come you all, readers of The McVie Show! This is the time to parteeeh! The very first get-together organized by Migs of MGG, celebrating World Peace, Love, and Kindness this Christmas season! All are welcome—closets, pa-mhin, str8acting, effem, out and about, whatever you are, whatever gender or persuasions you belong to—go! In the party, you will not be forced to reveal who you are if you choose not to. That’s what will make this exciting. Several blog superstars have accepted Mig’s invitation to join him in this event. So go na kayong lahat!

See you all at Bar Uno (28 Timog Ave., Quezon City, in front of Music 21) on Thursday, December 20, 2007. There will be free booze (only till supply last) and surprise guests that will surely tickle your fancy, courtesy of Migs, the Manila Gay Guy.

Wanna join? Register here. Kaya BILIS, click the link and register na!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Is This The Film They Call “Beowulf”?

I watched Beowulf in 3D at the IMAX Theater in SM Mall of Asia yesterday with the family. At Php400 a ticket I thought, “This better be worth it.”


Well, the 3D made the movie an interesting experience, not unlike looking into Fisher-Price’s View-master for almost 2 hours. At first the 3D effects seem like Robert Zemeckis showing off a new toy (which is not so new really): coins tossed towards the camera, tree branches in the foreground, a mouse on a rafter, etc. Big deal, right? But then Grendel barges in. A flashback of Beowulf fighting several sea monsters. A battle at the beach front. The dragon attack. Ooh, the dragon!


The big action set pieces all benefit from the 3D technology. Suddenly it’s like you’re in the middle of the action. Imagine what 3D technology can offer in the hands of a really skilled director; imagine the opening assault on Omaha Beach in Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan in 3D. By the end of that sequence, the audience will be wet, bloodied and shell-shocked.

My humps, my humps, my humps, my humps!

Okay, so much for 3D. But how is the film? What’s fascinating is that this is a film co-written by Neil Gaiman (with Roger Avary), and his mark is undeniably in the script. The screenplay is a modernist re-imagining of the oral tradition classic. The movie touches on the nature of stories, myths and legends, of tales told and songs sung from generation to generation. Just how much of the tale is truth and how much is fiction, formed to fulfill a social purpose? Are our heroes really infallible, or do they also have feet of clay? And in the end does any of this really matter?

My hunk, my hunk, my hunk, my hunk!

It seems a bit heady and heavy for a swashbuckling, all-CGI movie to tackle, but wisely the writers and the director do not hit you on the head with it. Instead, they throw blood and entrails and flying arrows and tossed bodies towards the audience. And some of the audience actually flinch and dodge in their seats.

After watching it in 3D, I don’t think I’d want to see it in any other format. That’s too bad for its DVD sales.

Make The Yuletide Gay


Gay bloggers and readers (of whatever persuasion, we won’t ask) of gay blogs! Here’s your chance to be merry and meet some of the brightest queer stars in the blogsphere. What’s the catch? You may not realize you’re already talking to one of them!

Pasko Na, Sinta Ketch! is going to be a Yuletide get-together wherein those who are anonymous online can remain anonymous offline as well. Meanwhile, you can also get to meet the out-in-the-open bloggers (such as yours truly). It’s an excuse to spread the Love this Christmas. Spearheaded by Migs of the Manila Gay Guy with the Fabcasters, this get-together will be a night for folks to mingle and mix and jingle all the way.

Watch out, details to follow soon. Meanwhile, block your social calendars, peeps! It’s on Thursday, December 20, 2007.

MaliGAYang Pasko!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Pa-Mean

The following incidents happened in the mid-90s.

* * * * *

One day I was at the left-most lane near the intersection, waiting for the traffic light to turn green. A boy of about 7 years old, a street urchin, approached my side of the car. He was holding a McDonald’s cup, coins clicking inside it. He raised the cup towards me, with matching facial expression of pure mendicant pleading.

I just ignored him.

Then he did something which, at that time, to me, was a pet peeve of biblical proportions. As in, Old Testament biblical proportions. He placed his dirty, oily face onto my window, creating a smudgy abstract impression on the clear glass.

Something between my ears snapped.

I first checked the light; it had just turned green. I quickly rolled down my window and reached for his cup, as if I was about to drop a coin in. He too was looking at the light and at the vehicles in front of me that were already starting to move. Perfect! I took the cup from his hands as I moved my car forward. I could see his shocked expression from my side mirror.

At the edge of the intersection, as I turned my car to the left I dropped his cup, scattering the coins on the pavement. Then I zoomed away.

* * * * *

Another time I got into my car that was parked near McDonald’s in Katipunan. I had in my hand a plastic cup marked “Hi-C” since I ordered orange juice. Just as I started the engine, another child mendicant approached me. He raised his hand in the familiar gesture of begging. I shook my open hand in a gesture of “I have nothing to give to you”.

He then pointed at my cup and said, “Sir, yung Coke na lang.” “Hindi ito Coke,” I answered back. “Yung Coke na lang,” he insisted. And then he did the McPet Peeve of Old Testament Biblical Proportions.

Another snap.

I leaned my head towards him, twisted off the cup cover, and slowly finished the orange juice while he watched. Then I rolled down my window and threw the cup at his feet. Then I drove off.

The whole time I was driving home, I kept telling myself, “Karma’s gonna get me, karma’s gonna get me. My car will break down, or I’ll get into an accident, or some truck’s gonna ram into me.” But then I got home without a scratch so I said to myself, “Mwhahaha! Evil wins again.”

* * * * *

William Shakespeare once famously wrote, “To thine own self be true”. But to do that, I need to know myself first.

In those two incidents I surprised myself just how mean I can get. But with that revelation came a resolution: It will be my choice, and solely my responsibility, if ever I act that mean again.

To this date no street urchin has incurred my wrath of Biblical proportions. For another line from Shakespeare keeps reminding me: “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.”

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A Really Bad Hair Day

The real reason why Trillanes and company failed? Blame it on the man with the hideous wig; he was standing behind Trillanes and company during the televised press conference. The folks who were revolting (used as both verb and adjective) lost all credibility the moment the viewers saw him.


Would you choose to die beside a man wearing the worst wig since Eddie “pelukang itim” Gil?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Pen Pen De Sarapen

(Because I realized that I forgot to include one character in the script, I’ve re-written this episode. Those who have read it before can spot the difference. Those who haven’t, well, enjoy. I hope.)

* * * * *

The man at the Front Desk of the Manila Peninsula saw the group of fatigue-clad men charging towards him. He suppressed his instinct of raising one eyebrow; he has become quite good at that gesture, by the way. But as he assessed the situation, he realized that a professionally executed eyebrow-raise wouldn’t have any effect on these soldiers. Instead he performed a crisp salute.

“Good morning! How may I help you?” Front Desk asked politely as one of them, a serious looking man who was not in uniform approached him and returned his salute.

“I’m Thrillanez,” he said. “Me and my men need a room.”

Front Desk didn’t want to be impolite, but he couldn’t keep from staring at the man right behind Thrillanez. The man was wearing what obviously was a hideously used mop on his head.

“Right,” said Front Desk, eventually tearing his eyes off the man’s mop top. “Have you a reservation?”

“No,” Thrillanez replied.

“Riiight,” said Front Desk. “Okay, we have this room on the second floor—”

“We’ll take it,” Thrillanez said.

“We will need a deposit, sir. Will that be cash or charge?”

Thrillanez stared back at him.

“Will that be cash or charge, sir?” repeated Front Desk.

Thrillanez stared still.

How will you pay, sir? Cash or charge?” asked Front Desk.

A slight quiver crossed Thrillanez’s eyebrows. Then he replied: “Whateber.”

And he walked off and proceeded to the second floor, followed by his entourage.

As they passed him, Front Desk couldn’t help himself. “Must be very windy outside, eh?” he asked the man with the wig. The man didn’t even break his stride.

* * * * *

Front Desk saw a woman approach. She wore a short mannish hair-do, the kind that screams “Lesbo!” even if the owner isn’t.

“Where’s Thrillanez?” she asked brusquely.

“He’s in the second floor, ma’am,” Front Desk answered politely.

“I will go to him!” the woman turned around, ready to walk up the stairs.

“Er, ma’am?! Ma’am!” Front Desk called her back. “I’m sorry but they’re not to be disturbed.”

“What?! Of course I can go in!” shouted the woman. “Don’t you know who I am?”

“Actually yes—” Front Desk began, but she cut him off.

“I am Bilet Reyna!” Her voice echoed across the grand lobby. Several hotel patrons paused and turned to stare at her. “I am an award-winner! I am a popular comedienne! I am a woman! I survived breast cancer! I’d rather die here than die of cancer!”

“And I think you’re not funny anymore,” said Front Desk. “Your humor is as flat as your ch—”

“In here, Bilet!” Thrillanez called out from the second floor. “We’re billeted in here!”

Bilet threw a furious glance at Front Desk and then walked off.

* * * * *

Then a man ran up to the front desk of the hotel. “Puff! Puff! Where’s Thrillanez?”

Front Desk sighed. “They’re all upstairs, Father. Don’t tell me; you’d rather die with them, right?”

The man kept running in place. “Yes! We’re here to call on the illegitimate president to step down and let us take over!”

“Really, Father?” Front Desk asked. “You’ve been saying that for years now.”

“It is what’s right,” puffed the priest.

Front Desk raised his eyebrow. “You keep running to all these political activities. Why don’t you just run for office instead?”

The priest stopped in his tracks.

“Oh never mind,” Front Desk sighed.

* * * * *

A few hours later, with a glass door smashed down and tear gas all over the lobby, Thrillanez and company faced the cameras of the media who were still with them.

Bilet spoke first. “We would like to thank the media. Despite being asked to leave, they stuck by us to protect us from the police.”

“No we didn’t,” said one of the reporters. “We’re just doing our job.”

“Yes you did,” snapped Bilet.

“No we didn’t.”

“Yes, you did!”

No we didn’t.”

Yes, you did!

“Whateber!” Thrillanez butted in, ending the argument. Then he faced the other members of the media. “See how this illegitimate government will do anything and everything to stay in power?! They used excessive force!”

“Isn’t taking over our hotel excessive too?” asked Front Desk. “Why can’t you just take over the Senate or something? Why use our hotel?”

“Have you seen the insides of that aging Senate building lately?” snapped Thrillanez.

“Well, have you?” Front Desk snapped back.

“Huuu-whaaat?!” yelled Mars Magpayo, the woman whose wedding was interrupted by the take-over. She charged at Thrillanez. “You mean to tell me you just wanted a better interior design for your putsch?! Anaknam-putsch-a!

“Stay out of this!” Thrillanez yelled at her.

“Stay out of my wedding reception!” she yelled back.

“Stay out of things beyond you, missy,” former Vice Prez Guing-gone-na butted in.

You just stay out, has-been!” she retorted, dagger-eyes flashing.

“I think we should all stay out of here,” said Front Desk, as the tear gas floated upstairs.

“We will leave!” said Thrillanez. “As soon as the tear gas clears.”

“Why wait?” sniffed Ms. Magpayo, who will wait one more day as a “miss”.

“We won’t look good on TV if we’re squinting and teary-eyed,” said Thrillanez.

And eyes rolled.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Hello Fabcasters!

And so I’ve been busy with yet another pitch. So meanwhile let me just present to you: the end of The Troikasters, and the birth of The Fabcasters!

(P.S. – Yours truly produced the brand new OBB. And this particular podcast was produced by, again, yours truly.)










Download this episode (right click and save)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Siege At The Manila Peninsula


If a Filipino abroad were watching CNN, they’d think that the siege was in The Manila Hotel. Oh my.

* * * * *

We were holed up inside our conference room working on another pitch, with the television on, when we heard the following snippet during the press conference with Trillanes and company:

Trillanes: “Like soldiers, we’re going to face this.”
Reporter: “Sir, how are you going to face this?”
Trillanes: (after a beat) “Whatever.”

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Back From The Ad Congress

First of all, apologies for not leaving word earlier that The McVie Show would go on a four-day mid-season hiatus because of the 20th Philippine Advertising Congress in Subic. The Ad Congress happens every two years, and this year I’m one of the official delegates from our agency.

The past four days I was inspired, enlightened, intrigued and fascinated. As delegates we had too much fun and not enough sleep. Plus I was assigned to drive one of the company cars to, within, and from Subic. I’m surprised I’m still alive.

What were the highlights for me? In no particular order: [1] Neil Gaiman opened the Ad Congress with a talk followed by Q&A hosted by my friend Marlon Rivera of Publicis, prompting a slew of “gay man meets Gaiman” jokes. [2] Marlon, usually a vision of poise and control, was reduced to a giggly fan doing an ala-Pilita bending-over-backwards routine. [3] In the bingo game of GMA-7, a delegate from the ABS-CBN contingent won 75,000 pesos and another Kapamilya won 10,000 pesos. [4] Marian Rivera aka Marimar announced, “Number seeksty-seeeeex!” during the said bingo game. You’d think she just made an honest mistake, until she announced, “Number seeeeeeex!” later on. [5] Neil Gaiman’s second and more intimate talk, hosted by another friend, Leigh who acquitted herself nicely even though she is also an uber-fan. [6] My current art director won two prizes in two separate raffles, damned that lucky fuck. [7] Bronzes, silvers and gold—8 awards (out of 10 finalists). [8] Driving my boss’ Mazda 3 all throughout the Congress. Damn, I looove driving! I must have been a chauffer in my previous life. [9] Dancing to 80s music at the JWT party. [10] Meat Plus beef is the bomb!

* * * * * * * * * *

And an extra highlight—a conversation between three gay men in one car:

Poma: “Napanood mo na yung ‘Kramer Versus Kramer’?”
McVie: “Ay! Maganda yun!”
Poma: “Eh ikaw Harvey, napanood mo na yung ‘Kramer Versus Kramer’?”
Harvey: “Hindi ba yun yung boxing movie?”
(Poma and McVie look at one another. Then it dawns on Harvey.)
Harvey: “Ay! ‘The Champ’ pala yung boxing movie!”
McVie: (laughing) “At, Harvey! Kung boxing ang ‘Kramer Versus Kramer’, anu yun, magkalaban ang mag-asawa?!”

A few minutes later, the talk turned to horror movies.

Harvey: “Eh Poma, napanood mo na ba yung ‘2010’?”
Poma: “Ay oo! Pero hindi ako masyadong natakot dun.”
McVie frowned.
McVie: “Paano naging horror yun? Eh di ba sequel yun ng ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’?!”
Harvey: “Ay! Eh ano yung movie na nandun si John Cusak sa isang hotel?”
McVie: “Aaaaah, hindi yun ‘2010’….”
Harvey: “Ay! ‘1608’ pala yun!”
Poma started laughing.
Poma: “Pero in fairness, nagkaintindihan kami ni Harvey kahit mali yung title!”

Back to regular programming tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tiu-rly You Must Be Kidding!

Do any of you believe that the following Connexion profile is genuine?


According to the profile, Chris’ sexual orientation is “Bi”. (Ang mga kilay, pakibaba muna.)

In the “About Me” section (I just cut-and-pasted it): I hope that anybody who comes across my site respects my photos posted and would maintain the sacredness of one's property

Christopher John or Chris Tiu, Captain ball and star player of the Ateneo Blue Eagles, a Management Engineering major, an honor student, a budding entrepreneur, SK chairman and occasional model One of the Mythical 5 Ive soon to be seen in GMA 7 Network My Birthday July 25, 1985

I’m a normal lad, like leading an adventurous life in the real world, meet n greets, seeing the sites, cultures and whatever gets ya boat a floating. I’m easy to get along with, got a big heart for my friendz n’ holding auditions for more if ur interested. (I’ll be suprised if anyone pm’s me with a half decent convo put it that way!) n wierdos i dares ya to challenge me!


And in the “Who I Want To Meet”: No consistent agenda. I’m really lucky to know you if you’re lucky enough to really know me. Beyond that, anyone who inspires me to be a better man.

As for love, there is definitely has to be chemistry, but I want to share my own unique joys and trials with someone whose own are different; I want to grow through whom I know, and to enhance the life of him who shares in mine. Laugh our asses off, love with abandon, and have the kind of tantric mind-scrambling sex that only happens when souls are disrobed and completely bare.


Wanna check out the profile? Here: http://www.connexion.org/viewprofile.cfm?id=267590 (You must be a member of Connexion to access it, though.)

O ano? Raise your hands and say “Aye” or “Nay”.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I Roll My Eyes

I wanna paraphrase an Avenue Q song to a very makulit 19-yr old: “There’s a wide, wide line between love… and a waste of time”. Oh puh-lez, texting me “Beh”?! Bleah!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Deranged

We advertising folks are a deranged lot. We agree to participate in a pitch* even thought the deadline is tighter than two lizards copulating. (*What’s a pitch? That’s when agencies scramble amongst themselves to try and impress clients that they can do the impossible with their brands within the numerous constraints imposed on them.) We spend ten days holed up in a room that’s a freezer by day and sauna by night, trying to generate middling to maddening to magnificent ideas. We get intimate with the various plastic utensils, packaging disciplines and erratic delivery response times of different fastfood companies. We are fed variations of Pinoy, Chinese and junk food. (I fear our accounts people have a premise that the more MSG in our system, the more brilliant our output will be. Totally false, but we in Creatives are not about to correct them any time soon.) We bend over backwards and forwards, grappling with what the target market wants versus what client wants. We spend seven straight days going home after midnight. And all throughout we wonder if all this effort will not be wasted on a client who may just end up stealing our ideas from us.

Then we don coordinated costumes, make massive mock-ups, and rely on caffeine and adrenaline to prop us up while presenting at 9 on a Monday morning. After that, we hike off to a tres-chic resto like People’s Palace, stuff ourselves silly with spicy dishes, and congratulate ourselves for a job well done. And we oh so giddily replay the high points of the presentation blow-by-blow, anecdote by anecdote. And the whole week that was is brushed gently to one side.

The only other creatures who behave the same way are theater folks. No wonder a lot of us straddle both worlds.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Hold Up!

This happened back in 1981, between my first and second year of high school. I was with a classmate buying books in Cubao. In some small store in old Ali Mall a guy approached us and identified himself as Boy Diablo. He claimed he held a knife hidden inside his jacket pocket. He also said his colleagues were watching a few feet away, unidentified and ready to jump at us should we try to run away. I wanted to take a chance anyway and make a run for it, but my classmate froze. So I had no choice but to tag along.

Since we already bought books, we only had around 20 pesos between the two of us to give to Boy Diablo. He insisted I give him my watch; I refused, because that watch was a gift from my parents. My classmate begged me to give up the watch, and promised he’ll pay for it. “I’m holding you to that,” I muttered, pointing a finger at him. Then I took off my watch.

Boy Diablo also took our money, but left us around 5 pesos so that we can take the jeepney home.

It took my classmate several years to pay me for my watch. How? He won in the Kentucky Fried Chicken Name That Mascot Contest. He was the first who named the mascot “Chuckie”. After paying me for the watch, he used the rest of his prize money to buy a study table. How nerdy.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Apples And Oranges

Since last weekend I’ve been seeing oranges every day. So when I saw this poster in one of the underground walkways in Makati, I had to take a picture.


Funny thing is, I see that photo and I think: standing out means staying solo.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Eye-Popping Pop


I guess the reason why they called it “pop” music is that the best ones have this effervescent quality, and the new song and music video by Fergie has that in spades.

Clumsy may be its title but the song’s production is definitely not. What I love most about it is the mish-mash of old and new. The whirring opening sound (which can only be produced in analog), the bleating horns, the “girl can’t help it, girl can’t help it” chant, and even the spoken bridge in the middle—including the “oohs” and “aaahs” of the back-up singers—all hark back to the sound of the 50s and 60s. But the blips, beeps and beats are trademarks of today’s “sampled” tunes.

And what an infectious tune! You can’t help but tap to the beat and sing along after just one listening. And the chorus is one of those made-to-embed-in-your-mind irresistible sing-alongs: “You got me slippin’, tumbling, sinking, fumbling… clumsy ‘cuz I’m fallin in love, so in love with you.”

I can’t help it, I just can’t help it, I’m so in love with this song right now! Ahhh, giddiness is so contagious.

And the music video is whopping feast for the eyes. It’s literally eye-popping.


Too bad Universal Music Group requested that the embed function be disabled, so I’m just directing you to YouTube to watch the music video at the following link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kN9vm95SocU

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Now They’re Pulling My Leg

Until now I’m surprised when someone considers me physically attractive. More than pleasantly surprised, I was puzzled that my Facebook friends voted me “sexiest”, “most attractive” and “hottest”. Ironic, since I’m the last person who’d use any one of those descriptions on myself.

Perhaps it’s because I have posted several personal sexcapade episodes on The McVie Show. But that makes me either courageous or an exhibitionist, not sexy. To be completely honest I’m still very insecure about my looks: I’m not handsome enough, I’m fat and out of shape, I’m just average-sized down there, I’m not tall enough, I’m not hunky enough, etc. But I’ve been able to cope with my insecurities by either pushing them aside (especially when I enter a bathhouse or a dance club) or making light of them.

My insecurities are mine alone; I am responsible for them. Others may point out my shortcomings, but ultimately it is my choice how I want to react to their assessments.

And my reaction to being voted “sexiest”, “most attractive” and “hottest”? Tara, sex tayo!

(With my luck, those who voted for me are most likely my female friends. Argh.)

Finger-Lickin’ Good

The new campaign of Kenny Rogers Roasters features Marc Nelson. On TV he’s attacking the new sandwiches with such gusto. On billboards they show a slab of ribs with the headline “Sizzling…”, and beside it is Marc with the second part of the headline, “…hot.” That prompted my friend Leigh to wonder out loud, “Who are they targeting with their new campaign? The Pink Peso?” Maybe they think Marc “Yummy” Nelson would be more compelling, more convincing, more “kanin na lang, please”-worthy for the gay market. I want to eat Marc clean off the TV or the billboard, but who else feels the same way? And is Marc’s meat really more tender and juicier than Piolo’s leg-and-thigh? Or Papa Aga’s drumstick? Who knows, maybe they’ll all be trumped by the granddaddy of them all, Colonel Sander’s barrel.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tanghalang Ateneo Premieres Glenn Mas’ “The Death of Memory”

Tanghalang Ateneo goes contemporary Filipino in “The Death of Memory,” the second production of the company’s 29th season. Written by Glenn Mas, “The Death of Memory” is a Palanca prize-winning play and an awarded thesis production at the Catholic University of America. Tanghalang Ateneo’s staging would be the play’s Philippine premiere production.

In the play, four people are trapped in a nowhere land where time has stopped, and with no memory of how they got there, and no ideas on how to get out. Each one carries a painful and violent memory—sexual abuse, abandonment, murder—that assaults them at unpredictable moments and ties them to this purgatorial prison.

A Keeper holds them in this limbo. At one point, the newly arrived man, Juan, incites his fellow prisoners to defy the Keeper and escape from memory. Will they be able to free themselves? How? This intense and imaginative play examines the strength of the human will to live and choose, to fight against paralyzing pasts, and to move on.

Ralph Quiblat and Brian Sy alternate as the newcomer, Juan, while Rachel Quong and Margarita Paje play the Keeper, the ethereal guardian of the nowhere land. The rest of the faculty cast are Randy Solis, Dianne Laserna, Miguel Lizada and Angela Serrano. In turn, the rest of the student cast is composed of BJ Crisostomo, Regina Francisco, Nicolo Magno and Gianna Villavicencio.

Director Ricardo Abad and Production Designer Salvador Bernal depart from their Asian motifs to create an abstract world that is replete with surreal and violent images. Joining them are choreographer Matthew Santamaria, lighting designer Jonjon Villareal, and Sounds and Graphic Designer Reamur David. Katski Flores, finalist in Cinemalaya 2007, incorporates film images of the character’s memories.



“The Death of Memory” runs from November 29 to December 1, 4-8, and 11-15 at 7pm, with additional 2pm shows on December 1, 8 and 15 at the Rizal Mini-Theater of the Ateneo de Manila University. For inquiries, contact Shiela Concina at 09155715665 or the Rizal Mini- Theater at 426-6001 local 5121. Because of the adult theme and the graphic images, the play is shown for mature audiences only.

Going Out On A Limb

The door to his room was open. In the dim light of the bathhouse I could see him seated in a lotus position on his bed, with his towel draped over his lap. I had to swing by three times to assess the essentials. Face: sharp features, maangas-looking—check! Torso: well developed, especially his chest—check! Arms: strong-looking with large biceps and triceps—check! And all three times he’d nod his head when I’d slow down at his door, inviting me to come in. So I did.

He turned off the light inside his room as I locked the door. I took off my towel and positioned myself in front of him. He leaned forward, kissed my belly then flicked out his tongue and slowly teased it downwards. I felt his warm mouth gently enveloping me, gulping all of me in his mouth as I slowly throbbed to life. He teased me to full hardness, licking and slurping the whole length of my shaft. Finally I couldn’t take it anymore. I pushed him down on the bed then roughly pulled off his towel and reached down to lift his legs up. That’s when I noticed something was off. His legs didn’t feel quite right, with his left leg thinner and bonier than his right leg. Then it hit me: I’m going to fuck someone who had polio.

Several thoughts ran immediately through my mind, most of which shouldn’t be mentioned here. So I will. The first was, “Oh my god!” Then the following thoughts came so fast and almost simultaneously that I couldn’t tell which came first: “Oh cool, no wonder he worked out his upper body.” “Can I still back out?” “There’s always a first for everything.” “How do I back out now?!” “No wonder he had his towel draped strategically over his leg.” “Fuck, I’ve been duped!” “Fuck, I’m going to fuck him cuz he duped me.”

Well what can I do? I decided to just go with the flow. At first I wanted to totally forget about it, but his leg kept getting in the way. Since it was impossible to ignore, I decided to just accept it and not make too much of a big deal about it. And I must admit, I did put on quite a show for him. Still, a part of my mind remained detached from the scene, like I was watching myself doing it with him. Pretty soon he was moaning and groaning and losing it. But little did he know that a part of me was just pulling his leg that night.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Let’s Get Proud, Let’s Get Proud!

(This is different from the White Party in Malate earlier this year. The avid kasuys of “The Dan & Rye Show” should know. This early, let’s prepare.)

* * * * *


Pride is about dignity. Own it.

Flaunt your rights.

Celebrate your freedom.

Join the 2007 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride March on December 8, 2007 in Malate, Manila.

Click here.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Response

The following was inspired by Gabby’s letter in MGG; read it here.

* * * * *

I’m a veteran of unrequited love. It took me a while to learn my lesson well and live to tell the secret I have learned. As in, a while—I went through five successive ones before I stopped banging my head against the wall. And when it comes to disentangling oneself from an unrequited love situation, there really is no easy way, especially if the one you “love” cannot reciprocate but wants to hold on to you as a friend.

What have I realized?

[1] In the end, it is really just your problem and yours alone. No one is responsible for fixing it but yourself.

[2] The best and only way… I repeat, the best and only way… one more time, the best and only way to get over him is to give yourself time and distance. Again, time and distance. One more time: time and distance.

[3] The song by Journey says it plainly: Be good to yourself ‘cuz nobody else will. Because he isn’t looking out for your welfare when he says, “I miss you, it’s not like before, you’re pushing me away”. FUCK YEAH, I’M PUSHING YOU AWAY. Because I fucking need to get over you, and I can’t do that with you around. So get over your fucking needs and think about what I need, jerk! Better yet, I should be thinking about my needs.

[4] Can you still be friends? Like Humpty Dumpty, no amount of King’s horses and men can put the old friendship back together again. It’s best to view it this way: that old friendship is dead. If you want to re-connect with him then start from scratch, and preferably after a period of time has passed so that you’re sure you’ll never pine for the old friendship again.

[5] Don’t think he’s the only guy you’ll ever want to be with. There are so many beautiful people out there in the world.

[6] Will this experience make you a jaded, bitter guy? To be honest, I did go through the bitter, jaded, cynical route. But in time I snapped out of it. How could I stay jaded? It’s really not fun to be in gothic black mood all the time, spewing bitter truths about love and lies. Most likely you will never recover the innocence you once had; in my case I became wary. But hopefully you’ll come out of this wiser and still willing to risk your heart again.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Beautiful Liar

This is the way to sell newspapers.

The headline story is about how the impeachment complaint against PGMA cannot be replaced, amended or supplemented. Place a huge Beyonce photo near it, with her story on the lower right of the photo. Then watch readers gasp then grab your paper off the shelf.

(I must admit though, natawa ako.)

Cry

Nes was short for Nestor. He was the kid next door who was a couple of years older than my brother. He knew how to play the guitar. He has all these plastic toy soldiers. He had the sweetest smile. And I had the biggest crush on him.

But he and my older brother were the ones who clicked. They looked for each other every afternoon. My brother lent him our Matchboxes; Nes taught my brother the major and minor chords. They dared each other to climb the guava and duhat trees in our backyard. They even got circumcised in the same year. They would invite me along, of course. Maybe they saw us as a trio, but I always felt like the third wheel. I couldn’t stand feeling bad all the time at Nes’ paltry token attention towards me, yet I couldn’t stay away from him.

One day I heard Nes singing a song that he heard on the radio. He really liked it and was trying to figure out the chords on the guitar:

If there’s a tear on my face
It makes me shiver to the bones; it shakes me, babe.
It’s just a heartache that got caught in my eye,
and you know I never cry,
I never cry.

I may be lonely but I’m never alone.
And the night may pass me by,
but I’ll never cry.

Take away, take away my eyes.
Sometimes I’d rather be blind.
Break a heart, break a heart of stone,
open it up but don’t you leave it alone.

‘Cause that’s all I’ve got give to you.
Believe me babe, it ain’t been used.
My heart’s a virgin, it ain’t never been tried.
And you know I’ll never cry.
I’ll never cry.


It was Alice Cooper’s 1976 hit, “I’ll Never Cry” and little did I know how much it’d reverberate in my inner jukebox for years to come. From then on I never let him see how much I liked him and how much it hurt just to look at him.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Bad Hair Day

As in, really bad.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Peek? Sure!

I am so going to hear from my former classmates who watch The McVie Show!

* * * * *

My sister was cleaning up several days ago when she unearthed two class pictures. Egad! Those are my class pictures.

This first one is during our first Holy Communion in Grade Two.

The next is our Grade Three class photo for our yearbook.

Ugh, I never did like my hair for the longest time. It was only in recent years did I make peace with my follicles, especially when I found out that while half of my batch mates have thinning hair, my only problem is the increasing number of white hair. But then it ceased to be a problem when people told me I looked more dignified. Ay sus.

Grade Three and I think I instinctively took on a beauty contestant’s quarter-turn pose. Hmmm. Strange then that I never had the Miss Universe “gay gene”—never memorized the names of the winners, never bothered to read about their Q&A, never liked watching those shows and rooting for contestants.

The guy in the middle will eventually put up Club Dredd, the historic bar where Eraserheads and other local bands first found fame.

Directly behind me is my friend who’s now a successful doctor in the U.S. To his right is a guy who, if I’m not mistaken, last I heard he kinda flipped and was institutionalized; to this day I’m not sure if that’s a true story or an urban legend.

English Exercises That Are Fit For The Fit Japanese

I featured portions of this funny video a couple of seasons back. But just today I stumbled upon the unedited version. Apparently in the previously uploaded version, the scenes wherein the American thugs mugged the Japanese woman were edited out. But why? Were the Japanese afraid that the Americans would be insulted and demand an apology?

Anyway, let’s get physical and verbal! (For those who have never seen this, hold on to your seats lest you fall and really do an honest-to-goodness ROTFL.)



Damn, I should change my entry in Cokskiblue’s “iVlog, uBlog” project! The new entry will be “How to Vlog: A Step-By-Step Instructional Vlog” featuring me in a tight tee and short shorts, very 80s leg warmers, with matching bandana, and doing side-side-front-kick! while repeating over and over “You can add music! You can add music! You can add music!” in a high-pitched girly voice.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

You Can Stand Watching This Umbrella-ella-ella

Sorry guys, I just had to put this here. After you watch this video, you’ll understand why.


Umbrella - Rihanna (lip dub in High Definition) from TP CMM on Vimeo.

I got this off AJ’s blog. It’s students from a Singaporean University doing a Mischievious Boys-and-Girls number to the tune of Rhianna’s “Umbrella”. You may not like the song, it’s okay don’t be alarmed. It’s just kiddie fun.

My favorite parts? [1] The guy with the umbrella in the hallway. Hindi siya masyadong bakla. In fact, straight-na-striaght nga si Dudeparetol. [2] Mr. Sadako, or should that be Sadoku?

Friday, November 02, 2007

L-O-V-E Spelled Backwards Is E-V-O-L

He looked at me, daring me to answer yet afraid that I would actually do so. “Why don’t you believe in true love?” he asked.

Seeing that look on his face I paused first, did some mental editing, and then I spoke.

“Oh, you got me wrong,” I said. “I didn’t say I don’t believe in true love. In fact, I do believe that love should be true and honest and genuine.”

His eyes relaxed with relief.

“What I don’t believe in,” I continued, “is everlasting love.”

Baffled eyes. Again.

“I don’t believe in love that lasts forever. Nothing lasts forever. Everything ends. It only seems forever because the other one dies first and everyone thinks, oh his love will go on and on, every night in my dreams. Yeah right. On and on—right onto the ocean floor. The moment he froze to death his love ended. The end. There’s always an end. Even if you have superfluous scenes with old Rose in the present day throwing the necklace into the ocean—‘Oops’?! Can you believe that?—you’ll still end up with credits. Even the whole Universe—that’s with a capital ‘U’, mind you—will collapse once again into a Singularity. With a capital ‘S’ no less. And that’s the beauty of it: you get a fleeting glimpse of the eternal, and then it ends. Maybe you’ll mourn, maybe you’ll grieve; maybe you’ll dance for joy. But the finiteness is what makes it so special. Otherwise, imagine being in love with the same person for all eternity. No wonder it sucks to be a vampire. In more ways than one.” Then I took a swig of San Mig Lite.

He was about to say something but I cut him off.

“Now let’s exempt God from this,” I said. “Or Buddha or Mohammed or any form of deity. The love of Supreme Beings is of a different plane, okay? They don’t count.”

“But I wasn’t—oh, never mind,” he said. Then he looked out the window, at the blinking lights of the city below.

“Just have another Lite,” I said, and pushed a bottle towards him.

The stars in the sky echoed the lights down below.

Undas The Way…

…aha, aha, I like it! Aha, aha.

Each year it seems like the cemetery gets less and less crowded compared to the previous one on November 1. That’s when we visit our dead at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina.

I remember how less commercialized it was back then. Outside the gates of the park they would put up small kiosks to sell cold drinks and some snacks. I remember when Shakey’s Pizza first put up a stall that sold slices of pizza. Through the years that small stall would become bigger and bigger until they put up a tent beside it to accommodate several tables and chairs and whole families could order whole pizzas and enjoy them right there. Now there’s also Jollibee; and just like Shakey’s, they offer free delivery right to your loved one’s gravesite.

We’d always leave the house around 9am, be at the park by 10am (we’d always park at the Loyola House of Studies then walk down the hill) and stay there until about 11:30am. Then we’d always have lunch out, because that’s the only time besides Christmas and New Year that the whole family gets together again.

Ever since 1982 when we had the first death in the family (my then 4-yr old brother died), I never missed going to the cemetery. That is, until today. I chose not to join them and just stay home and recuperate. A little after lunch my mom texted me: What do you want from Shakey’s? Garlic and cheese thin crust pizza, I answered.

Nothing like a little anti-aswang pizza to complete my November 1 experience.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

uVlog, iVlog Back!




This is what happens when I’m stuck in the house the whole day.

I never thought I’d end up doing a vlog. But when I was going through Cokskiblue’s updated guidelines on his “uBlog, iVlog” Project, the song and the concept just popped into my head. Pop! And just like that, I realized: [1] my digital camera has video functions all along (“Doh!”); [2] the old iMovie software is so much friendlier than the new one; and [3] I still miss the Avid when it comes to video editing.

Meanwhile, why don’t you guys check out Cokskiblue’s project and join? I’m sure you guys have a mouthful to say regarding video blogging or vlogging. So go ahead, type away or shoot or speak. Whether you blog, vlog or podcast, say your piece.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Propimplelaxis

I haven’t had sex in a week! And this is all because of a small matter that went out of hand.

Last week I noticed a pimple in—of all places—the middle of my chest, just above the tummy but below the nipples. It was right smack in the middle. At first I didn’t mind it; at my age I rarely get pimples and the lucky few die a natural death within a day or two.

But not this one. Because my shirt kept rubbing on it, I didn’t notice that it already popped plus my shirt kept irritating it so that it got infected. A few days later I noticed that the area around it had reddened and was tighter than usual. It became painful for me to bend forward or backwards. Worse, during the grand EB with Dan & Rye, a friend poked it by mistake. OWWW! Good thing I have a very high threshold for pain. But by then I knew I needed immediate medical intervention.

The doctor ordered antibiotics and painkillers. And the results were quite dramatic. The redness remains, and the immediate area is still tender to the touch. But at least the pain is now a dull throb.

But what bad timing! A long weekend last week, and a longer one coming. Then again, the last time I was forced to be celibate was in Bohol with the family, and I lasted for more than two weeks.

This will be an unexpected, if welcome, change of pace.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

With Dan & Rye

Did anyone pass by Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf or Figaro at the Bonifacio High Street last night for The Dan & Rye Show Grand EB and Podcast? We weren’t able to transfer to that venue after all. We ended up staying at Italianni’s after dinner because the orders took so long getting to our table we decided not to move anymore.

Did you miss Dan and Rye? Too bad. Had you confirmed your attendance as requested, I would have found a way of contacting you about the last-minute change of venue. (In fairness to me, I passed by CB&TL and Figaro thrice that night, even going so far as to order a drink in the former, hoping to be spotted by a would-be participant. But no one approached me.)

* * * * *

Thank you to those who dropped by last night.

I had so much fun. The reason I love listening to the two is that singularly they’re interesting, but combined they’re deadly entertainment. As in, pamatay. That kind of rapport and repartee cannot be faked or manufactured. But they are very accessible and audience-friendly. And they are very inclusive; notice how whenever Chris joins them, they become a trio instead of a duo ganging up on one?

Give these guys a real show, quick!

(I didn’t take any pictures. I’m sure they’ll post their photos in their site soon.)

Monday, October 29, 2007

De-Voted To You

Thank god my mom knew most of the candidates and had prepared a list for us. I was in and out in less than 10 minutes.

At The Car Wash


Hu-whaaat?

Theater Talk

Organized by Pinoycentric and MGG with Gibbs Cadiz, “Theater Talk atbp” held last Saturday was a fun event. They asked me to facilitate; I ended up not even introducing myself (heller?!). Floy Quintos was an engaging, passionate speaker for theater. And with several tickets for different plays raffled off, several participants in the talk now have no excuse to not exercise what they’ve learned from direk Floy.

It was also fun to meet other bloggers, all of them younger than me. Jeez. But hey, if I’m going to entrust the future of theater appreciation to anyone, might as well be to them.

Will there be a follow-up or similar events in the future? We lucky participants do hope so.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Salieri

The problem was he always believed that he was a good, nay a great actor. It didn’t help that he had high grades and was admired by many of his dorm mates. He was first cast in a supporting role; he didn’t exactly suck but neither did people take notice of him. After that he would insist that his next role should be a substantial one. But he was always passed over. He was five-foot-three-inches in height, dark-skinned and wore thick-lens glasses. His voice was high-pitched just a note below girlish, and had an effete lilt. Yet he always felt he deserved a major role. Too bad there were no plays about Napoleon then. It didn’t help that the actresses that were often cast in the female leads were at least two inches taller than him. So after getting offered less stellar roles in several auditions (all of which he turned down), he stopped joining productions altogether.

After college he started writing theater reviews for a major daily. After a while no one in the theater world liked him. He rarely gave an all-out positive review; he always had something negative to point out, be it acting, production design, direction, or whatever. Most theater folks grudgingly agree that often he raises several good points. Unfortunately his acerbic, know-it-all tone turned off a lot of theater practitioners who could have benefited from his review.

One day he moved back to his province and stopped writing theater reviews. And we never heard from him since.

Psychosomatic Addict Insane!

Hello Mr. Sandman

“Last night I had the strangest dream…”

I was in this vast building that looked familiar like it was from another dream, and then as I was going out I find myself hitching a ride with John Lloyd Cruz, a guy named Chichi Angustia who’s straight and whom I knew back when he was still in college but I lost touch with him as soon as he got kicked out after failing his third year, and an unknown girl (most of the girls in my dreams are unknown and unimportant) who was their friend, and this scenario felt familiar because in a previous dream I already hitched a ride with them, and we were going somewhere in Cubao, a bulaluhan that turned out to be an Indian restaurant set-up (sit on the floor with throw pillows and all) then we were just settling down when immediately we were at a park beside a horse-and-carabao race track where guests can ride a carabao so all three of us rode one and John Lloyd was in front of me so I’d lean on his back so that I could get a grip on the carabao’s horns and John Lloyd was so sweet cuz he allowed me to lean on him and he also leaned on me and then the carabao got testy because it didn’t want its horns to be touched and it was weird because his left horn was long and curving while the right horn was just a stub, and the carabao had to go up a platform with us on its back and then go down but its handler forced it to go back up cuz it didn’t go around the platform properly but then the carabao turned into a brontosaurus—long neck and tail and all—and was already tired so it shrugged us off its back so we walked to a table and sat down to order merienda and all around us were sea creatures struggling to stay alive out of the water and there was even a huge as in HUGE horseshoe crab that was turning and spinning on its shell before scampering off and we followed this crab into a production number featuring high school kids singing and dancing at a huge school ground so John Lloyd and the other two joined in the production number while I hung back and the song-and-dance number morphed into a CMT/ROTC clean-up drive and while the kids were cleaning up I proceeded to this rented “cottage” underneath some huge stairs where inside was just one huge bed so the boys were going to share it while the girl was going to stay somewhere else and so later on when she passed by our cottage together with her brother she turned into Pia Cayetano and her brother was director Lino Cayetano and they both said goodbye so Chichi and I were in bed trying to fall asleep and then I felt John Lloyd slipping in beside me so I turned to him and we cuddled and he placed his hand inside his pajama so I put my hand inside his pajamas too and I peered in to take a look at his cock and I saw lots of hair and then I heard Chichi move to whisper to him so I pretended I was asleep and Chichi was telling John Lloyd, “Ay naku ka,” in a partially exasperated, partially humoring tone and John Lloyd was thanking Chichi for understanding the situation and I remember thinking to myself to not rush things with John Lloyd because maybe after we have sex I’ll immediately get bored with him.

And that’s when I woke up.

“Didn’t want no one to hold you,
what does that mean? And you said…
Ain’t nothing gonna break my stride
I’m running and I won’t touch ground,
Oh no, I got to keep on moving!”


* * * * *

I rarely remember my dreams these days, so when something as vivid as the one above is still misty in my mind even as I’m fighting the cobwebs of sleep off, I just had to grab my pen and write it down fast before it fades away forever.

So now I have an instant Sunday episode for The McVie Show.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Age Ain’t Nothin’ But A Number

You Are 22 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.


No wonder I attract 20-year olds!