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, February 26, 2007

Oscarred For Life

Ellen was so-so. I think she played it too safe, too nice; it was so middle-of-the-road. But I suppose “safe” is a lot better than just plain “bad,” as in, the production number of “For Your Eyes Only” by Sheena Easton-bad.

* * * * *

I actually wanted The Departed to win over Babel. I liked the latter, but I found it over-reaching. The Departed is slick, but it has a pumping dark heart—and a mean funny bone—underneath the Hollywood gloss. Too bad I still haven’t seen Little Miss Sunshine; many in the office liked that film a lot, but I suspect they are responding more to the content than to the total craft given their comments: “It’s such a cute film.” “It’s so feel-good.” Anyway, I’ll reserve my comments until I’ve seen that movie as well as The Queen and the big surprise for the night, Pan’s Labyrinth.

* * * * *

For me, the most surreal moment was during Helen Mirren’s speech. She thanked HM Queen Elizabeth II, saying that without her, Mirren wouldn’t be onstage accepting the Oscar. Then she raised the statue to the audience, and with an awkward smile on her face that best described as “dopey,” she announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, I give you THE QUEEN.” Calling a naked, bald, golden man holding a staff to hide his little Oscar “the queen” is, uhm, a royal head-scratcher.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Fete De Minyong

Saturday evening I went to the retirement party for Mr. Herminio “Minyong” Ordoñez. He was the CEO of Publicis Manila, and before that the chairman and CEO of Basic Advertising prior to its merger with Jimenez to form Jimenez/Basic. He’s one of the pillars of Philippine advertising, the grand old man who helped Jollibee trounce McDonald’s and made “Lalaking Disente” for Three Flowers Pomade. I believe he was also responsible for the “Chickletin Mo Baby!” and the “Kilig Sa Lamig!” of Zesto.

The party was held at Father Blanco’s Garden behind San Agustin church in Intramuros. I got trapped for three-and-a-half hours along España all the way to Quiapo because there was an event in Plaza Miranda. I got there past eight in the evening; the program had started already.

The whole party was a fusion fete, a tribute to Minyong’s First World exposure and sophistication mixed with his down-to-earth and pedestrian, even barriotic, sensibilities born out of his growing up in Majayjay, Laguna. Thus guests dined on street food (from fish balls to hotdogs-on-sticks) downed with wine. There was also the ubiquitous lechon, because every Basic event always had roasted pig. I particularly liked the pan de sal with white cheese and pesto palaman. And since Jollibee wouldn’t be Jollibee without Minyong, they sent styro boxes and boxes of palabok. Even the Jollibee mascot had a dance number for Minyong and his guests, composed of bigwigs from Philippine advertising and from clients both local and international (Nestle is a huge account of Publicis). Now that’s so Minyong.

I had so much fun seeing old faces from Basic. In my working years I’ve stayed with Basic the longest, around seven years. Former officemates were now CEOs and presidents, others already on client side, others on suppliers’ side. Some were hotshot commercial directors while others were already assigned abroad. Funny, Basic Advertising people are all over the industry—we’re like the exported Pinoy housemaids, infiltrating different households in so many countries. There were many more who didn’t make it that night; it was quite difficult to track down all the ex-Basic employees.

Embarrassing moment for me: I was with some former officemates around a table when I stood up to get more lechon. When I went back a woman had taken my place at the table, happily muching on her food. I wondered to myself, “Who’s this woman, and why is she at my place?” I took my drink, which I had left on the table and moved elsewhere. As I was going away, I heard my former creative director Tere (now a farmer and a teacher) call out, “Mon! Mon! They’re calling you onstage.” The guy beside the woman turned and I recognized him as Mon Jimenez. Suddenly I realized the woman who took my place was his wife Abby! Ngyek. No wonder she looked familiar.

It was nice seeing all the old faces once again. As we remembered names and events of Basic past, it felt like we were back in Basic during the late 80s and early 90s. The Lawak-Utaks. The yearly out-of-town Corplans. The punchlines. The brownouts. The people. Always it’s the people. Basic was one big family, and while the late Antonio R. Mercado was the father, Minyong was the wise uncle who kept every one’s feet on the ground.

I had to meet someone in Makati so I left early. Walking down the old streets of Intramurous was like walking back into the past. But as I drove away, the streets transformed from cobblestones to asphalt to cement, and the buildings became cold steel-and-glass.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Poly Wanna Crack Her

I received an email from XanderKhan! regarding this very interesting article on polyamory. Polyamory is different from polygamy. For those whose minds are a little more open than most, or are willing to see a very different kind of view, read on.

The following are excerpts from the article.

* * * * *

Love unlimited: The polyamorists
07 July 2006
Exclusive from New Scientist Print Edition.
by Annalee Newitz

“I was dating Gordon when I met Heather and Jim. Then I started dating Jim too, and Heather started dating Gordon right before he and I broke up,” says Noemi. Confused? Tonight I’m having dinner with a group whose unusual lifestyle warrants such introductions. They are a “polyamorous” family—one whose members are openly committed to several lovers at the same time.

For psychologists and evolutionary biologists, polyamory is a rare opportunity to see, out in the open, what happens when people stop suppressing their desire for multiple partners and embrace non-monogamy. Proponents say the poly brand of open but committed relationships may be a way around infidelity because it turns an age-old problem into a solution: polyamorists are released from the burdens of traditional marriage vows, yet they seem to keep their long-term relationships intact. What makes poly enticing is the possibility of reconciling long-term stability and romantic variety.

And why shouldn’t we consider it? When most people think of non-exclusive marriages, they think of polygamy, an ancient but still widespread practice that involves one person, usually male, acquiring multiple spouses in a harem-like arrangement. Or swinging, in which couples have casual flings on the side. Polyamory is different. It encompasses a dizzying variety of arrangements—anything from couples with long-term lovers on the side to larger groups with overlapping relationships. If anything characterizes poly, says Elaine Cook, a psychiatrist who has a private practice in Marin County, California, it is a lack of rigid structure.

What evidence there is shows that poly couples stay together as long as monogamous ones—and, apparently, for good reasons. In a study published last December in the Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality (vol 8), Cook analyzed the relationships of seven couples who had been married for more than 10 years, and who had had additional partners for at least seven of those years. She found that most of the couples reported “love” or “connection” as important reasons for staying together. This contrasts with monogamous couples, Cook notes, who often list external factors such as religion or family as major reasons for remaining committed.

That is telling. Cook speculates that polyamorists perceive themselves as having more choices, and therefore they only stay in marriages and relationships that make them happy. “They have other relationships that they are perhaps equally excited about being in, but they want to maintain this [marriage] relationship because it continues to satisfy them,” she says.

For some, poly may be more realistic than monogamy. Having multiple partners frees people from the process of trying to find “the one” who is perfect for them in every way. In April, psychologist Rachel Robbins at the Mission Mental Health clinic in San Francisco conducted a survey of 250 polyamorous women. The number 1 reason they gave for being poly was “to experience different activities and explore different parts of themselves with different people.” Instead of asking one person to meet all their needs, polyamorists are content with several people who each meet a few.

Heather says poly is a way of keeping her long-term partnerships alive. “When you think about it, what happened is that Jim and I didn’t get divorced when we got new partners. We’re still together and yet have more love from other people.”

“Polyamory is not for everybody,” says Jim. “But it creates a range of options, which is important because you can’t optimise one kind of relationship to fit everyone.”

“The important thing is that we trust each other,” says Noemi, rubbing her pregnant belly with a smile. Although poly is still well out of the mainstream, it has become an attractive alternative to monogamy for some. Whether it is good for society remains an open question. For now, there’s a more pressing issue—is it good for you?

(For the complete article online, log on to:

* * * * *

While I’m far from agreeing with polyamory (deep down, I think I’m a manang-at-heart… charing!), I found the article raises some very interesting points to ponder. What do you think?

Jonel’s Briefs Are The Bomb!

According to CornerEye, the person who posted this in YouTube, this was shot in 1999 for a class project. I pray none of those involved in the project are in advertising today.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

It’s In The Stars

So I share the same zodiac sign, Pisces, with the following celebrities (c/o

Cindy Crawford
Charles Barkley
Alan Rickman
Drew Barrymore
Lea Salonga
Billy Zane
Steve Jobs
Sean Astin
George Harrison
Josh Groban
Antonio Sabato, Jr.
Chastity Bono
Shaquille O’Neal
Freddie Prince, Jr.
Carrie Underwood
Sharon Stone
Osama Bin Laden
James Taylor
Liza Minnelli
Billy Crystal
Michael Caine
Albert Einstein
Erik Estrada
Rob Lowe
Kurt Russell
Queen Latifa
Vanessa Williams

Hmmm. If we were to take astrology seriously, I should be as funny as Billy, as vocally adept as Lea or Josh, as good at basketball as Charles and Shaq, as wanted as Osama, as fabulous as Cindy and Vanessa, and as gorgeous as Antonio, Freddie, Rob and (gasp!) Fabio.


Obviously we really can’t take it seriously, can we? Hahaha!

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Troika Review

Sigh. Where do I begin? How do I begin?

Maybe it was the narration. Delivered in a breath-y yet breathless manner (try imagining that!) by lead actress Mara Altiera, the script is, uhm. Hmmm.

Maybe it was the occasional gasp-and-giggle-inducing leaps from logic in the script. Do we just leave a mildly autistic child alone in a tent? Do we just become one big happy threesome just because said autistic child had an attack?

Maybe it was the I-can-see-it-coming-from-a-gazillion-miles-away predictability of the script. Yeah right, the child playing with the Zippo lighter is to establish the explosive ending. That and the dialogue about the dynamite being left behind. And all that talk about gold and man’s need for it.

Maybe it was the silly subplot—irrelevant to the plot but necessary to make a point—involving the two female investigative reporters. And do we need to show Criselda Volks in her panties? Speaking of underwear, isn’t Baguio too cold to be wearing nothing but your underwear at night?

Maybe it was the music. Ominous music to signal some sexy scene to come: “Cue in music!” Music plays. “Cut to sexy scene!”

Maybe it was the adequate (the leads mostly) to bad acting (the slutty best friend comes to mind).

Maybe it was the mildly anti-Indian sentiments present throughout the movie.

Maybe I should say something good about it. Okay, it was unintentionally funny at times. The leads are quite sexy, and they make an effort to be more than just eye-candy. And to be fair, the videography is excellent. Lighting design, camera work and production design are a cut above the usual haphazard standards of indie digital films.

Maybe because the movie is somewhere between an all-out soft-porn and a well-intentioned indie film. Maybe the filmmakers should have just stuck to one instead of straddling between two directions. Wait a minute—were they doing a cinematic equivalent of a troika? How very post-modern.

Troika is a bisexual’s fantasy movie. With gold. Funny enough, there are many scenes in the gold mine, but not once does the audience see any gold. The same thing can be said for the movie.


* * * * *

If there’s one thing good about watching the movie, it was the chance to go out with a new set of people. And what a fun set they are. Maybe one day we’ll be able to put up a bathhouse with thematic rooms (let me worry about the tilting floor and the flooding water for the “Titanic” room). Maybe we’ll spill more wax on someone else’s pair of shoes. Maybe we’ll all end up leaving incriminating letters on typewriters. And maybe one day we all have a lover.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Surreal Sunday

They chose the hottest gym in the world for their venue. I've been sweating like a hog this Chinese New Year day, in the year of the pig. How appropriate.

Family Day

I don't believe this. I'm in a minor seminary watching 2nd year students dance to Boom-Tara-Tara, and 4th year students to Michael Jackson's Beat It. Surreal Sunday.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Of Sleep And Elections

Memo to me: Don’t stay up ‘til 4am in Bed if you have a 1pm gym appointment later in the afternoon. Trainer Ken had to pull back a bit. Every movement was an effort of universal proportions. It’s like forcing your laptop to run several applications while on low-batt.

* * * * *

It’s national circus time, aka the local elections, once more. The TV ads have started airing, and I don’t care if a friend of mine from the advertising industry was responsible for it, but Pichay’s tagline “Pichay para sa senado: Itanim!” is fucking stoooopid. And someone should tear down all these billboards of Richard Gomez along EDSA: for Bench, Belo and one more that I forgot. Puh-leez! And what the fuck were they thinking when they thought of of the ‘Tol series for Mike Defensor: “Walking ‘Tol!” “Standing ‘Tol!”?! We know he’s short, but what next, “Pu— ‘Tol!” if he’s angry?! “Ka ‘Tol!” if he’s courting the Communist votes? How about six years from now, for his re-election slogan: “Back ‘Tol!”?

Manny Pacquiao, you should have just stayed in the boxing arena, not the political arena.

Elections are in May. It’s going to be an excruciating three months.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Pop Goes My Eyes And Ears!

Children of the 80s, rejoice! Or weep.

If only for the 80s feel, I wanna watch the movie Music and Lyrics.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Outfit For Valentine's

The guy in yellow is actually cute. But his t-shirt is cuter. It says: "I'm smart that's why I'm single."

Feb. 15 – Belated episode update (I originally blogged using my Z610i phone, so tinamad ako to update this last night): After he got his order, he went to the condiment area to get ketchup. On the way to his table, his plastic spoon fell on the floor. While bending down to get it, his glass of soda slipped and the contents spilled all over his pants and on the floor.

So much for being smart. “I’m clumsy that’s why I’m single.”



Tom Cruise and Ben Stiller will play the leads in 20th Century Fox’s The Hardy Men, an action-comedy based on the Hardy Boys mystery novels. The movie is about the Hardy Boys, after they’ve grown up and gone on to live separate lives, coming together one last time to solve a case. Stiller will produce with his Red Hour partner Stuart Cornfeld, along with Robert Kosberg, who owned the original Hardy Boys rights.

Between The Two, Why Not!

Toni, Sam and Zanjoe in a new movie, You Got Me!? They got me at "Sam and Zanjoe"! Shet yang Toni'ng yan, ang suwerte ng pohtah!

Happy VD!

Nawa’y magkatuluyan na ang magkakatuluyan ngayong araw na ito. Para tipid pag mag-anniversary.

* * * * *

This morning before 9am, three different bouquets of roses were delivered to three of my co-workers. All the girls in the office who saw them were all a-gush over the flowers (even if they weren’t for them). And I’m thinking, what’s with girls and flowers? All of them have their own flower anyway.

* * * * *

Every little thing that you say or do, I’m hung up, I’m hung up on you.
Waiting for your call, baby, night and day. I’m fed up.

I’m tired of waiting on you.

* * * * *

I promise not to snicker or smirk behind the back of anyone wearing red today. Unless he’s wearing a Santa Claus costume. Haller, noh?!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Move Over, Lovapalooza!

Tomorrow is the time of the year again, when red is the color and heart is the shape. And like (most) every year, I will spend it with the single guys and gals in TA.

We started this tradition more than five years ago, when we realized after a Feb. 14 performance of “Macbeth” that the couples in TA were excitedly flying off to their dates, leaving us singles behind. So we thought, “Why not we singles have a group date?” Through the years the TA couples, jealous that the singles were having fun—and free pizza, thanks to the TA alumni—during Valentine’s, managed to invite themselves over; we generous singles welcomed them with open arms.

Well, this year we decided to make it exclusively for-singles once again. We’re going to a member’s house after dinner, and we’re going to pile up the beer, chips and pizza. We’re going to have an “all about love” group counseling session, and we’re calling it “LOVE-A-PADUSA?” It looks like I’ll be playing Joe D’Mango for the night, since I suspect I’ll be the oldest one there. I promise to rein in my inner cynic and espouse the true, the good and the beautiful about love. Okay, maybe just the true. Or at least what I know is true—for the moment.

This is gonna be fun. Ehehehehe.

For Nelz

Nelz, as you can see the size is more of a CD box than a DVD jewel box. Plus the material is made of hard cardboard.

From your description it looks like what’s sold in Canada is the same as here. Maybe production here is cheaper—construction material, whatever. Or as you suspect, it’s a marketing decision to ensure more poor Pinoys can go gaga over Madonna’s pa-Hendrix effect.

Monday, February 12, 2007


I am currently tripping on (in no particular order):

Burger King’s Black Pepper Whopper – It’s the bomb! I love the spicy black pepper sauce; I order it without mayo so that I can really taste the sauce. Sans mayo doesn’t make the burger significantly healthier though. Back in the late 80s when I first started working and earning my own income, I used to subsist on Big Macs every day, lunch and dinner (they didn’t serve them for breakfast). Thus in a couple of months I became literally a Big McVie. I am like that with certain foods; I would fixate and could go on for months without getting tired of them. Before the Big Mac it was Shakey’s Garlic & Cheese pizza. Later on it was Chili’s Chicken Crispers. Now it’s this Whopper. Thank goodness I think the black pepper sauce version isn’t a permanent item on the menu. And add another damper to my appetite: my gym fees.

Madonna’s The Confession Tour DVD/CD – Dancers on roller skates onstage! Parkour all over the stage and the stadium! “Music” mashed up with The Trammps’ “Disco Inferno”! “Future Lovers” segueing into Donna Summers’ “I Feel Love”! “Erotica” re-imagined as a ballroom dance number! Lighted stage floors! (Okay, so the religious/“I-have-a-message” overtones in certain numbers are an eye-rolling nuisance, but they’re easily dismissed. Besides, the production values are distracting enough.)

The Curse of the Golden Flower – It’s not one of my top Zhang Yimou films (I like “House of Flying Daggers” and “Hero” better), but the production design is dazzling to watch on the big screen. Gong Li’s performance is dazzling to behold. Her character would have been a perfect candidate for a drag queen’s repertoire, except that the costumes are too intricate and expensive to replicate, and her gestures aren’t expansive, diva-esque. But oh how yummy her role is! The whole movie is gushingly melodramatic like a cheap paperback novel, which adds giddy fun to the whole proceedings. Plus I enjoyed staring at the three sons, never mind their mostly physical acting. Why those yummy boys had to be covered in all those layers of sumptuous textiles is a disappointment, but given that the costume design was nominated for an Oscar, who am I to complain?

The Police reunion at the Grammys – After The Beatles and Paul McCartney and Wings, The Police was the only other act outside the Fab Four (and their post-break-up incarnations) that I could proudly declare a personal favorite of mine. This was during the late 80s. U2 was great, but I wasn’t completely sold on them until “Achtung Baby” in 1991. I considered the Pet Shop Boys too fey and would put me one step closer to outing myself. And to date I personally know of only one other person who is an unabashed fan of Electric Light Orchestra; Adam Sandler doesn’t count because I don’t know him personally and I’m not sure if he’s just reliving music from his childhood when he used ELO in his movies’ soundtracks. To see and hear Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers rock it out at the 2006 Grammys is even better than The Beatles reunion via “Free As A Bird.” Hey, when your lead singer is dead from a deranged fan’s bullet, you can only do so much in terms of reunions without going through an séance.

A Joke For Squares

What is an irrational number? Is it a number that refuses to quit? “Hear me, people! I am Square-Root of Three, and I am one point seven three two zero five zero eight zero seven five six eight eigth seven seven two nine three five two seven four four—hey, don’t interrupt me!—six three four one five zero five eight seven two three six six nine—don’t laugh!—four two eight zero five two five three eight one zero three eight zero six two eight zero five five eight zero six nine seven nine four five—get your hands off my period!—one nine three three zero one nine zero eight eight zero zero zero three seven zero eight one one—I still have more than a million to go….”

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Saturday Is McVie Day!

Work out at the gym. Then make out with yoga instructor in sauna. Great lunch. Surf the net. Buy Madonna DVD/CD. Buy tickets to Curse of the Golden Flower. Eat my current guilty pleasure, Black Pepper Whopper. Later on, maybe CB then Bed. Life is good.

Friday, February 09, 2007


Hey I can now blog pictures from my phone! Go, my McZ610i!

You’ll Wanna Love This Tender

Armi & Danny are from Finland. Their 80s music video trumps anything that Ok Go has done, dancing-on-treadmills notwithstanding. And check out the lyrics below or better yet, sing along! (And who is that VJ? Meatloaf?)

With this video the career of Armi and Danny are Finnish-ed. (pa-thump-thump!)

I love you, I wanna love you tender.
You could be my only sweet surrender.
I would never bring you any kind of sorrow.

You love me, you wanna love me tender.
How can I be sure you’re not pretender?
You want me today,
But what about tomorrow?

Oh, you’re absolutely fine,
Your lips are taste of wine.
I’d like to think you’re mine.
And if I could touch your hand,
This rock would turn to sand,
So this is where we stand.

You love me, you wanna love me tender.
How can I be sure you’re not pretender?
You want me today,
But what about tomorrow?

I love you, I wanna love you tender.
I just want to be your loving fender.
I would like to take you;
I know I can’t deceive you.

I love you, I do can be so tender.
I can be your only sweet surrender,
And if you give your heart,
I'll never ever leave you.

Oh, you’re absolutely fine,
Your lips are taste of wine.
I’d like to think you’re mine.
And if I could touch your hand,
This rock would turn to sand,
So this is where we stand.

If we all say “Wanna love you tender,”
No one has to be a great pretender.
And this world would be
A better place to live in.

Dead Gurl

Anna Nicole Smith, 39, died Thursday, Feb. 8, in Florida. The cause of death is still unknown, pending an autopsy. Tabloids, Entertainment Today, The Insider, E! News and stand-up comics mourn the loss of their perennial headliner and favorite punch line.

Hers was a sad life… and death, too.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Para Maiba Naman

For those who think McVie is cynical about love, here’s a quiz. The following are sayings that I got off Rob Brezsyn’s Freewill Astrology site ( Guess which statement is most relevant and meaningful for me.

[a] “Love asks you beautiful, unanswerable questions.” – Carl Sandburg

[b] “Love brings to life whatever is dead around us.” – Franz Rosenzweig

[c] “Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

[d] “Love is the only game where two can play and both win.” – Erma Freesman

[e] “Falling in love is a lot like dying. You never get to do it enough to become good at it.” – (Rob’s) Scorpio friend Elise

[f] “Love is like a well in the wilderness where time watches over the wandering lightning.” – Pablo Neruda

And you, which statement resonates with you the most?

Top Movie Quote

“You’re nothing but a second-rate, trying-hard copycat.”

If there was an official list of most memorable movie lines from Filipino movies, I think this one will top the list. Nora Aunor’s “Walaaaang himalaaa!” will also be there, as well as her “My brother is not a peeeg!” I shudder to think that Mark Lapid’s “Saging lang ang may pusooooo!” line will make it to the list, so let’s not get into that.

I think what makes the Bituwing Walang Ningning line so memorable is a combination of copy and execution.

The line is a study in elegant construction. The words have a natural cadence that makes them easy to deliver. The pauses fall at very strategic points. “You’re nothing,” pause. What a powerful intro! Then the rest of the sentence is structured in a classic 1-2-3 build-up to a crescendo. “But a second-rate,” pause. Bring it up a notch. “Trying-hard,” pause. Hit the peak. “Copycat!” Notice how the last three phrases each have three syllables? “Se/cond/rate,” “try/ing/hard” and “co/py/cat.” A perfect 3-on-3 structure that delivers a 1-2-3 knockout punch.

Then the execution. Cherie Gil is a master at playing the bee-yotch. Her voice dripping with venom, she brackets the line with a pitch-perfect delivery of “You’ll never make it” (she actually does a subtle sing-song starting with the word “never” and you can swear there’s a smile behind those scathing words), and the ultimate exclamation point: she splashes water on Sharon Cuneta’s face. Take that, Mr. DJ!

To this day one can hear the line uttered by drag queens, stand-up comics and even ordinary folks. Such is the power of that line.

Monday, February 05, 2007

McVie Eats His Words

So much for my “simply my life” shit. Meet my new phone, Zee:
It actually fits my requirements for a McPhone. It’s a clamshell that’s thin enough—the Z610i is actually just a wee bit thicker than my current Motorola, and it’s just about the same length and height. That it’s a 3G phone with a 2.0 megapixel camera is a welcome bonus. But the real deal-clincher? Our office was able to negotiate with our client to buy them at a discount plus 12 months to pay. Saan ka pa?

Since I still love my Moto, I’m keeping it as back-up. But for now, I’m back to Sony Ericsson.

Freaky Friday

This was a little freaky, even for me.

About two weeks ago a friend of ours met us to tell us about neuro-linguistic programming or NLP. It’s used primarily for personal development, but there are other practical uses for it, especially in sales and—get this—seduction. So I decided to try it out a bit, especially this “mirroring” thing. Mirroring is part of establishing a rapport with another person; by matching his or her body language or voice or speech, you make yourself more in synch with the other, increasing the rapport. This also makes you more “attractive” to the other person; the idea behind this is that “people like people who are like themselves.”

So last Friday I went to Bed. My intentions were simple: just have a drink or two, enjoy the music and test this mirroring thing. I got me a drink, then planted myself a few feet away from the bar, behind the couches. I spotted this guy by the edge of the bar. I’ve seen him several times before, always around the same area; I think that’s his favorite spot. He’s tall, with an angular face and a slightly-too-prominent jaw, but still quite cute. In fact, I’ve always been intrigued by him ever since I noticed him months ago, but he always seems to be wrapped up with his own posse. This time he was alone. Taking a deep breath, I zoomed in on him and started mirroring his body language from across the room. When he crossed his arms, I crossed mine; when he placed his hands in his pockets, I did too. I tried not to glance too often in his direction, just peering from the corner of my eye. But I did notice that he would glance at me once in a while. Hmmm, interesting! I finished my San Mig lite and continued to watch the people on the dance floor while mirroring his movements. After 10 minutes or so, I saw him call a waiter over. And then I saw him gesturing towards my direction. Whuh?! A few minutes later the waiter approached me, holding a cold, newly-opened bottle of beer and the message, “For you, from him,” and he pointed towards my benefactor.

Bingo! Pong! Full house! Jakpat! Bongga wagi! Victoria! Winner! Tarush! Babae na akoh! (Ay teka, sa Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah Ze Musical pala yun.)

Never has a stranger bought me a drink before. I’m pretty sure he has seen me before here in Bed, so I doubt if this is a case of “oh-here’s-a-newbie-let-me-welcome-him” gesture on his part.

We ended up talking most of the night. There was some flirting going on, but ultimately nothing happened. I didn’t push the mirroring exercise anymore when we were conversing. I was okay with finally meeting him and knowing his name.

I know that one test subject is not conclusive, but it was already too late into the morning for me to conduct one more test. Next time na lang.

As I said, it was a little freaky even for me.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Dynamic Duo

And the winner for The McVie Awards’ Best Performance by a Duo Online is…

Mac and PC! These two guys have portrayed rival computers in 18 (and counting) online ad spots. I think this is a triumph of spot-on casting, witty scripting and effortless performances. Not to mention Mac (played by actor Justin Long) is a cutie in the ads, hehehe (if you cannot guess who’s Mac and who’s PC, you must be computer-illiterate).

(To view the ads, log on to and click on “Mac ads”)

Blog Bath

When I stepped into Club Bath after an absence of two years, it felt like a homecoming. I saw some familiar faces among the staff. Whereas before they were manning the floor, they’ve since moved up and are now behind the counter, handling money and stuff. But there were a good number of new faces too, most of them young, thin and short. That must be the casting brief for “bath house staff.”

The general structure and facilities remain mostly the same as two years ago, but everything looks very well maintained. The rooms are as I remembered them, with minor but noteworthy improvements: gone are the bulky stand-alone side tables that take up space, replaced by slimmer cabinets attached to the walls; and a portion of the floor is now covered with a no-slip matting (rubber?). The most obvious renovations are the shower rooms and the toilets—they’re cleaner, swankier and more stylish, with Zen-like décor and aura. You can tell that the owners of CB have better design taste than the owners of F.

The crowd definitely skews older than F, but one can still spot yuppies and even chuppies (chinese yuppies, not chumuchupang yuppies, pero puwede na rin!) in CB. If you see someone in F with a defined body, more often it’s the slimness of a fresh grad. Ah, the beauty of youth, when one is still physically active and financially strapped! They cannot afford to eat and drink all they want so their bellies remain flat, or relatively flatter than most. In CB the guys either have the belly of someone living it large, or a fairly well maintained body that has seen its share of expensive and fattening food.

I find the crowd in CB better behaved than in F. The silence rule is honored by most, thanks to signs that say, “The thrill is in silence” all over the place. And because the walls of the cubicles and rooms are high enough, no one dares to peer over the walls, unlike in F. In CB there are no noisy videokes stacked with Celine Dion and Mariah Carey songs, no XXX-rated videos, no Jacuzzi and no liquor bar. But they do have a steam room, and in the “bar” you can even have Chow King delivered. Sey n’yo sa Chow King, ha! Have your cock and eat siopao too.

While CB is a bit more expensive than F, in the end it’s really a matter of taste (and no, I’m not talking about asado versus bola-bola). Do you prefer to cuddle up to papas or do you want pretty young things? Are you a bear-lover or do you have an inner pedophile? In many ways CB and F are the same in ways all bathhouses—and their clientele—are alike. But just to highlight the difference, it’s the genteel restraint of old-rich Pasay versus the brash, rebellious energy of middle-class Cubao.