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.


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


*(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?”
“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!)


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.


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


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.)

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