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)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Behind The Scenes


This video is less than four minutes, so go ahead and watch.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Big. Blistering. Bombastic.

It was awe-fuckin’-tastic!

Most U2 fans can be divided into two, based on their albums: [1] the pre-Achtung Baby and All That You Can Leave Behind onwards; and [2] the experimental three (Achtung, Zooropa and Pop). Few fans can straddle the two divides; I am one of the few. But both parties will enjoy the dazzling display of showmanship in “U23D”, the IMAX movie that blows up one of the world’s biggest bands into gigantic proportions fitting for their ambitions. And what do Bono and the boys want? Nothing less than world peace—via three chords and the truth.

Watching a concert on IMAX reveals small details you rarely notice in other concert footage. The girl singing earnestly in front. The man taking a photo of Adam Clayton using his cellphone and showing it to his girlfriend beside him. The play list taped on the floor. A stagehand untangling the wires of Bono’s microphone.

Bono was never shy about wearing his heart—and his politics—on his sleeves. And while that may turn some people off, you know that a U2 concert will always have a message or two. Maybe Bono was a little heavy handed during the Rattle And Hum days, but now the Time Man of The Year knows better than to smother the audience with serious “Messages” (with matching capital “M”). Which is well and good, since the sight of a preaching 50+ feet tall Bono can be more than overwhelming. The Messages are still there, but they are integrated seamlessly into the songs and the performances. Still, the filmmakers couldn’t resist ending the movie with a gigantic beating heart onscreen. Fitting, I guess, since only the IMAX screen is big enough to capture the band’s huge heart.

Too bad today was the last day; my brother wants to watch it again. Tomorrow “Hannah Montana In 3D” begins its run in the IMAX Theater in MOA. The Apocalypse follows.

***(as of May 06) CORRECTION: "U23D" is still showing at IMAX. Check out the daily screening schedules at http://www.smcinema.com/ now.

Hello, ELO

I am a huge fan of Electric Light Orchestra, or ELO. (And apparently Adam Sandler too; most of his movies include a song or two from them in their soundtrack.) They were an English rock group that created pop/rock songs with classical music overtones; in other words, a band with a light orchestra (consisting of only a few cellos and violins) accompanying them. The very first song of theirs that I remember hearing on the radio was “Turn To Stone” and I immediately took to their sound—it was decidedly rock and roll, with jangling guitars and pounding drums, but with a lush orchestral background that enriched and punctuated the song’s riffs. And I eagerly lapped up every song of theirs after that; there was no song they released that I didn’t like.

Their biggest hit in the U.S. charts was “Don’t Bring Me Down”. And ELO gained popular appeal among the Eat Bulaga! crowd when their song “Xanadu” (vocals performed by Olivia Newton-John) was used for a dance contest that featured tanga-clad females being lifted at the climax of the song. But way before that, ELO already captured the ears of the masa crowd with the following song. In fact, I honestly believe that all maids and yayas during the early 80s knew this song by heart and could sing along—albeit with erroneous lyrics—to it (I know ours did). Had there been karaoke at that time, this song would have seriously kicked “My Way”’s butt in popularity and ubiquity. And you know you’re a child of the 80s if you know this song:



Sing along ka na!

Commercial Muna Muli


May 7-10 6:30pm (English)
May 14-17 6:30pm (Filipino)
with Saturday matinees (May 10 & 17) at 3:00 pm

Rizal Mini Theater
Loyola Schools, Ateneo de Manila University

an open forum follows the show

ticket price: Php150
for more information, contact
Janelle Mupas at 09156410911
Ia Solis at 09165415165

the play's running time is about an hour

Monday, April 28, 2008

See Posters And Print Ads For Details

My friend P is a 23-year old art director who is seeing a 38-year old married man with kids (the guy’s separated from his wife).

One day P was bemoaning about the fight he had with his boyfriend. Long story short: P gets mad at BF for canceling a date, even with a valid reason (BF was sick). After several days, P realizes his mistake and asks forgiveness from BF. But BF is out of town for work, and he’s not replying to P’s text messages. One of BF’s last SMSs read: “Now’s not a good time to talk.”

P was understandably distraught: “He’s not replying! I can’t stand this!”

Ah, youth! I thought. Out loud I said: “I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s not replying because he’s still angry at you for being selfish and unfair to him.”

P: “Okay, okay, I get that, it’s my fault na! But what can I do?”

Me: “Nothing. You just have to let him calm down first.”

P: “But I’m going crazy na! What can I do?”

Me: “Nothing. Just wait.”

P: “But that’s so difficult!”

Me: “Sorry, no choice. You just gotta learn how to wait. If you can’t wait, maybe you’re not ready to even be in a relationship.”

P looked at me like I was a Martian or something. But in fairness he didn’t argue further. Later on, we were waiting for the elevator going down to the basement parking when light finally dawned on him.

P: “Friend, I just realized my behavior sucked these past three days. I was so kulit, texting him the whole time.”

Me: “See? You just have to be patient. For all you know he just doesn’t want to call you yet because he thinks you’re not calm enough and that call might just degenerate into another argument.”

The elevator door opened and we stepped in.

P: “But friend! It’s so difficult to wait! I’ll go crazy just waiting!”

Me: “Find some constructive distraction. Update your blog. Help your mom in one of her projects. Take up crocheting. Paint your house. Go swimming! Go CB! Something!”

P huffed. “So you’re saying I should forget him first.”

Me: “I’m saying you shouldn’t focus too much on him. That’s not healthy for you nor for him either.”

The bell rang as the elevator halted at my floor.

Me: “The problem is that you’ve made him the center of your world. He’s like this huge, massive product logo placed at the center of your print ad, as mandated by client.”

The doors opened.

Me: “You’re the art director. Put some balance in the layout!”

And I winked goodbye at P as I stepped out of the elevator and headed for my car.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Star Struck

The 4th iBlog Summit was the very first “big” bloggers event that I attended (I’m excluding the Theater Talk by Floy Quinto which I attended because while it’s open to all, the topic was for a particular interest and thus was for a limited number of participants). I normally don’t go to those events because: [1] I never knew about them before; [2] I only know a few bloggers and they also don’t go to those kinds of events; and [3] I am not really into hobnobbing with strangers. But I wanted to attend this particular event primarily for the following speakers (in order of appearance): Brian Gorell, Coy Caballes and Manuel L. Quezon III.

Brian sent a pre-taped talk, shot by a brook in his farm in Australia. The sound of running water kept competing with his voice. Brian’s unfortunate camera set-up cropped the top of his head throughout the clip. Mosquitoes attacking his legs and arms provided some distraction and levity to the proceedings. But since no one could ask him questions (a scheduled live hook-up with him fizzled out), a possibly intriguing Q-&-A session never pushed through.

I am a fan of Coy’s vlogs, so I wanted to see his and Aileen Apolo’s presentation on podcasting and vlogging. They produced three videos that elicited a good amount of audience reaction (much laughter in Aileen’s examples of podcasts and in Coy’s Chaplin-esque countdown). And both were quite engaging to watch onstage, especially during the Q-&-A portion.

Early on during the summit I was talking to AJ of BaklaAko.com and we observed how good bloggers may not necessarily make for good presenters. Which is why I found very refreshing Manuel L. Quezon III’s talk. He just stood center stage and talked for several minutes. But his talk was one of the most engaging and impactful that day. It really helps when one is passionate and knowledgeable about a topic; the enthusiasm comes across loud and clear and adds to the engagement. (That’s why Juned Sonido’s presentation on photoblogging was also engaging—he used a lot of visuals, onscreen in Powerpoint and onstage when he brought out his various cameras one by one like a magician pulling off a trick.)

That evening I joined the others for the after-summit party hosted by 88DB.com in Katips. I started recording a podcast during the party. I got to talk to AJ, Tenchu, Coy and Jeff of Teknostik when they opened the bar, so I set aside my recorder for a while.

I was busy drinking beer and talking to Tenchu when Juned tapped me on the shoulder to introduce me to someone. I looked up—gasp! It was Manuel L. Quezon III, his hand extended to me! I shook his hand as he said, “Hey, I read your blog.”

Good lord, so that’s what it’s like to be really star-struck. I couldn’t think of what to say. I think I said thank you to him, but I’m not sure now. Shet! I couldn’t even tell him, “You know, I also read your blog every day—before. But after a while with all of the shenanigans of GMA and ilk blurring into one big mess, I decided to limit my political readings to the daily newspaper headlines and opinion pages. But I still read your column religiously!”

I forgot to stand up properly when I was introduced. Speechless, I couldn’t even look him in the eye. I remember looking around helplessly and thinking, “Good lord, he must think I’m such a snob!” After a few awkward seconds I turned to him and said, “I’m star-struck!” Ugh, how lame.

Thank god he spared me further awkwardness and embarrassment by bidding us all farewell. He had to go somewhere else, Juned said, adding, “Wow, Manuel really lost a lot of weight.” Really? I asked; I never saw him in his heavy state before.

After that, I totally forgot all about the podcast.

So if you’re reading this, let me say that I’ll try reading your blog more often, I’ve linked it here, and yes, you do look quite fit.

Camp It Up

The idea first came to me while waiting for our flight to Malaysia to start boarding. My officemate Jay (who was with me on the trip) was raving about the pre-wedding seminar that he and his fiancée attended that prior weekend. What struck him was how the whole thing was one huge compatibility test; if the couple pass with flying colors, the chances of their marriage succeeding is high. In fact, the whole seminar seemed designed to discourage rather than encourage couples against married life. The idea behind it is to dispel all romantic notions of marriage that often are the source of conflict within a marriage.

Last Friday evening I ended up counseling a friend and fellow blogger about his increasingly rocky relationship with his boyfriend. We stayed up for more than three hours in Eastwood, trying to work things out. Then Saturday afternoon I stepped out of the iBlog Summit for a few minutes just to counsel another blogger-friend on his shaky long distance relationship.

(The irony is that I’ve never been in a relationship ever. I’m just lucky, or maybe unlucky, that I know lots of folks—friends, actually—who’ve gone through the rollercoaster ride of falling in and out of love with the right or wrong person in the right or wrong time and have learned or not learned their lesson well. And I kept asking questions—easy questions, difficult questions, stupid ones, obvious ones, ones that probed deeper, unlikely ones, surprising ones. But never ask me to analyze myself when I fall for someone.)

And several months ago lobster_tony posted in his LiveJournal his idea of putting up a sanctuary for gay folks. Click here to read about it further.

So it occurred to me: what if I put up a Relationship Camp for Gay Couples? We’re not out to encourage gay marriages (heller, Catholic Church kaya?!) but rather to provide a venue wherein gay couples can put their relationship to the test to see if indeed they have it in them to make the relationship last long. It’s a Compatibility Boot Camp, but with stilettos for the cross-dressers and pointed-tip Paul Smiths for the pa-mhintas.

The camp will be held on a weekend in an enclosed, secure area in Puerto Galera (I’m thinking of the land nearest the area that they call “Jurassic Park”). Couples will undergo various exercises and tests, ranging from written tests to physical ones.

Important questions will be raised; important issues will have to be faced. Do you have matching personalities as well as matching wardrobe? Are you sexually compatible, or is one of you getting the raw end of the deal (and no, he need not be the bottom one)? Are you financially up to it, or will a sale at Prada mean the two of you will be eating instant noodles for days? When an argument arises, do you resort to shouting and quoting all the contrabida lines from Sharon Cuneta movies? Will it be Madonna more than Mariah, or vice versa? Pa-mhin or pa-girl? Campy or sarcastic? To chat or not to chat? Club Bath or Fahrenheit? Long distance or not? Exclusive or open?

The final test will have all the couples in a pitch-black dark room. They will all be naked, and the only instruction they have is to find their partner in the dark. The challenge is for the participants to go through the exercise without it degenerating into a free-for-all orgy. They will also not be given a time-limit; participants should feel that they may be stuck in that dark room for the whole night. At an unannounced hour, the lights will suddenly be switched on. Bistuhan na ‘to!

A camp full of homosexuals is going to give new meaning to the word “camp”. And that’s why I need help on the name studies for this camp. It’s too expected to play on the word “camp” so I’m kinda staying away from that, but you guys might come up with something brilliant along those lines. Anyway, do give your suggestions.

What would be the name of the camp? And what other camp exercises would you suggest?

McVie Replies

From the episode “Then There’s Another Angle”, here’s a comment I received from someone called “biktima ng sariling mga kafatid”:

what is more important?

the victim admitting what really happened pre-op to quench the curiosity of some people OR the victim actually focusing on the legal steps he should do to punish those who did him wrong?

aside from "feeding our curiosity" what's the reason why we want to know how that canister ended up somewhere inside him? WILL THAT BE RELEVANT TO THE CASE?

di ba natin naisip na pag ang mga umanoy "tutoong" NANGYARING iyan ay lumabas sa media para masatisfy curiosity natin eh magsisilbi lang itong weapon ng mga holier than thou para muli at paulit ulit na sabihing makasalanan tayo?

imbes na makatulong tayo, malamang ma-muddle lang ang isyu at mawala ang focus sa mga nilabag na karapatan.

pag minsan tanungin naman natin ang sarili natin kung akma ba ang mga katanungan natin bago tayo magsulat, dahil baka hindi na nga tayo nakakatulong, nakakapag ambag pa tayo sa patuloy na pagdurusa ng ating minority sector dahil sa di pa nawawalang kakitiran ng pag isip ng mas nakararami.


* * * * *

Let me reply to the points.

[1] “what is more important? the victim admitting what really happened pre-op to quench the curiosity of some people OR the victim actually focusing on the legal steps he should do to punish those who did him wrong?”

I think the more important thing is for the victim to actually focus on the legal steps he should do to punish those who did him wrong, including the person who, according to him, raped him.

[2] “aside from ‘feeding our curiosity’ what's the reason why we want to know how that canister ended up somewhere inside him?”

Because I want to know if the victim was indeed raped or not. I want to know if his accusation is true.

[3] “WILL THAT BE RELEVANT TO THE CASE?”

To the case against the hospital doctors and nurses, NO. To the rape accusation, YES.

[4] “di ba natin naisip na pag ang mga umanoy ‘tutoong’ NANGYARING iyan ay lumabas sa media para masatisfy curiosity natin eh magsisilbi lang itong weapon ng mga holier than thou para muli at paulit ulit na sabihing makasalanan tayo?”

If the victim was really raped, then he has all the right to slap his attacker with a sexual assault case. That’s why there is a need to know the truth.

If the victim was really raped, what was done to him was not a homosexual act, but an act of violence. It is sexual orientation-neutral.

What are we really afraid of here? The truth? Or what the holier-than-thous will say? Should we be forever afraid of what these holier-than-thous will always say? Should we always cower whenever these bishops and priests say that who we are and what we do are against God’s will?

[5] “imbes na makatulong tayo, malamang ma-muddle lang ang isyu at mawala ang focus sa mga nilabag na karapatan.”

There are several issues involved: [a] the cause of the ass-jamming; [b] the malpractices in the hospital; [c] what Msgr. Achilles Dakay said. There are possible “nilabag na karapatan” in [a] and “mga nilabag na karapatan” in [b], and we should focus on both of them, not just one. Both are important and should not be ignored.

Will the outcome of [a] affect the outcome of [b]? They are separate issues; if the victim’s lawyers are good, then one shouldn’t affect the other.

[6] “pag minsan tanungin naman natin ang sarili natin kung akma ba ang mga katanungan natin bago tayo magsulat, dahil baka hindi na nga tayo nakakatulong, nakakapag ambag pa tayo sa patuloy na pagdurusa ng ating minority sector dahil sa di pa nawawalang kakitiran ng pag isip ng mas nakararami.”

Tinanong ko ang sarili ko bago ako nagsulat. At sinulat ko pa rin, dahil paniniwala ko ay tama lang na dapat tayong magtanong.

Naniniwala ko na mas “nakakapag ambag pa tayo sa patuloy na pagdurusa ng ating minority sector” if we are always afraid of what holier-than-thous will say. Why should we keep silent about what we homosexuals do? Are we ashamed of what we do? Are our acts shameful in our eyes?

The victim shouldn’t be ashamed that he wanted to have sex with another man. “Oh, but the rest of the population wouldn’t think that way! They’ll just turn things around and say we homosexuals are sluts and we should remain victims and minorities of society!” Eh kailan pa tayo lalaban? Kailan pa tayo magsasalita?

Also, the victim shouldn’t be ashamed to admit that he hired a prostitute—heck, a lot of heterosexual men aren’t ashamed to admit that, so shouldn’t we homosexuals not be ashamed too?

Or are we just being prudent and we don’t want to “shock” or heterosexual brothers and sisters of what we do? But keeping our hetero folks ignorant will not help them understand us even more. When do we educate them? When do we wait for a chance to educate them? Do we wait for a “proper” chance to educate them? Is there such a thing as a “proper” chance? Or do we just take all chances, proper or not, to educate them?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Then There’s Another Angle

Thinking again to what I wrote about the can-in-the-ass incident in a Cebu hospital, I realized that I automatically sided with the poor guy who had to endure the shame of having to have a can pried out of his ass and the world knowing about it. But then several questions came to mind right after I posted the previous episode, most of them questioning the victim’s story of the events prior to the hospital.

I will ask those questions in a while. But first, why dare ask? I’m curious to know what really happened. When one’s drunk, your sense of reason—even your memory—goes all blurry. Maybe he said yes to something he shouldn’t have. Maybe there was a misunderstanding. Maybe his recall got jumbled up. Or maybe he’s really telling the truth.

Yes folks, I am aware of the issue with the hospital. It’s just right that the victim slapped the hospital with a lawsuit—what was done inside the operating room was deplorable. But let’s leave the hospital for now and travel back in time.

In a way the priest was right in pointing out that there still is that incident which landed the victim in the hospital in the first place; it’s just unfortunate that the priest used the incident to condemn homosexual acts. But let’s toss aside the priest for a moment (wouldn’t we love to literally do that?) and think: What really happened that night?

So my questions: [1] How did the can end up in his ass in the first place? [2] Is his story of “I was drunk and they shoved it in me” all true, or is it just a cover story? If the latter, then which parts were tweaked? How much tweaking was done? [3] Was the inserting of the can really an act of cruelty? Or was it a case of a drunken dare gone horribly wrong? [4] If the victim claims he was raped, and he knows the person/s who raped him, then why isn’t he also pressing charges against his assailant/s?

Maybe some of my questions were answered already; perhaps I just missed seeing the news reports on TV and newspapers. If so, I’d appreciate if someone could point them out to me. Then at least I’m assured that what the victim said was true.

Because truth be told, as a sexually active man (my sexual orientation has nothing to do with this) I have seen and heard of weirder things being inserted, eaten, splashed on, inhaled, etc. Aminin na natin, mga kapatid. And that’s why I’m wondering.

If the victim really wants justice served in full, then charging only the hospital seems, pardon the pun, half-assed.

* * * * *

Oh, and one more thing. Is it cruel for me to ask such questions when the victim is already a victim twice, maybe even thrice, over? Maybe it is, especially when the wounds are still fresh. But I’ve never really shied away from asking such questions anyway.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Trust A Priest To Turn The Issue Gay

The following is from Inquirer.net.

The headline: Cebu priest: Real issue in video is gay sex.

The article (excerpt only): For an official of the Roman Catholic Church, the commission of a homosexual act is the real issue behind the rectal surgery in Cebu City that exploded into a scandal on YouTube.

Msgr. Achilles Dakay, spokesperson of the Archdiocese of Cebu, Wednesday said the doctors and nurses who had made fun of an anesthetized male patient in the operation room of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) and uploaded a video of the surgery on YouTube should not be blamed solely for the scandal.

“We are asking everyone not to forget or to bypass the main issue: the wrong act of a guy with another man,” Dakay said in an interview over the Church-run Radio Veritas. “People are not talking about what happened before the operation—the homosexual act that was done very badly.”

(by Margaux Ortiz, Philippine Daily Inquirer. First posted 04:48:00 04/24/2008)


* * * * *

Good lord, the ignorance of the sexually inactive! If we define a “homosexual act” to be “an act done exclusively by homosexuals” then jamming a can up the ass is not a homosexual act. Doing it to a gay person doesn’t make it a homosexual act either. Heller naman! It’s an act of cruelty, plain and simple. (It is also an act of amazing muscle control—or lack of it—but I digress.)

Yes, homosexuals use the ass hole for sexual pleasure (primarily anal sex). And it is also widely known that we jam dildos up where the sun doesn’t shine. But women also use dildos, and straight women have been known to jam a finger or two up their straight boyfriend’s ass, much to his initial shock and eventual pleasurable surprise (or so I’ve been told).

There are a lot of acts done by homosexuals that are also done by heterosexuals, albeit not as frequent or as popular. Straight couples can and do engage in anal sex. Blowjobs are not limited to gays. Rimming is popular among gays, but heck, anyone of any sexual orientation can do it as long as they have a tongue and the stomach to do it.

Homosexuality is not about jamming things up our ass. Some clergyman down South needs to have this huge stick up his ass removed pronto, preferably by the same team of doctors and with video footage uploaded on YouTube too.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Nightmare Country

(Spoiler Alert: I will talk about the talked-about ending so if you don’t want to know how the movie ends, click away from here. You’ve been warned.)

I’ve been a fan of the Coen brothers ever since I saw their first movie, Blood Simple. Thanks to my friend Glenn, I got to watch almost all of their movies. They turned their wicked sense of humor up a notch with Raising Arizona (Nicolas Cage before he got lazy, and a hilarious turn by Holly Hunter), then went noir again with Miller’s Crossing (still one of my favorite opening scenes of all time). The weirdness started with Barton Fink. Fargo somewhat restored my faith in the brothers (excellent Oscar-deserving performance by Frances McDormand, and although the plot’s twist-upon-twist came close to becoming a parody, that movie was still wily and engaging enough to acquit the brothers). But the forced humor and head-scratching moments of The Hudsucker Proxy made me think twice when they came out with The Big Lebowski (Jeff Bridges and John Goodman’s mugs on the posters didn’t help any). I never watched that movie from start to finish. By the time they made O Brother, Where Art Though? and The Ladykillers, not even the above-marquee names of George Clooney and Tom Hanks respectively could entice me to take a peek at them.

Most reviewers dubbed No Country For Old Men as a return to form for the Coen brothers. In a way, yes. The humor is there, but controlled. The twists are there, but not contrived. This is one of the brothers’ most accessible movies in its simplicity and straightforward structure. It is also one of their most mature.

I think what was most remarkable is the characters. Yes, Javier Bardem was a monster, but somehow he managed to make me believe that he was a monster you could run into on some deserted highway. Josh Brolin managed in not so many words to convince as a man who would never back down from anyone or anything, including an unstoppable psychopath. Perhaps the characters of Anton Chigurh and Llewelyn Moss were flat on paper. But Bardem and Brolin breathed flesh and (litters of) blood into the roles, so that even just 30 minutes into the movie I was already cringing with fear and dread at what may happen next to the characters.

The general reaction of most people who’ve seen it is: “It’s great except for the last 10 minutes”. The ending seems the most bothersome, troubling moment of the movie. Tommy Lee Jones tells his wife about a puzzling dream he had with his father. It’s a dream he cannot comprehend. “And then I woke up,” he ends his story, and the screen goes black. And the academy bestowed the Best Picture award for that? What the hell was that?

But really, the whole movie is very much a puzzle of a dream—or rather, a nightmare. Then we wake up. And we viewers realize that we were in the grip of two masterful dream weavers who, along with their excellent cast, managed to draw us in and not let us go until the very end.

The movie poster says it all: “There are no clean getaways.” The disturbing feeling lingered even after I left the movie house.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Importance Of Being Late

Joey and I go way back, ever since he joined a TA production of “The Importance of Being Earnest” during college. Afterwards, we both worked in the same radio station and then in the same advertising agency. Now he’s joined our agency after being self-employed for several years.

But this episode is not really all about him. Rather, his return reminded me of an incident back in our “Earnest” days.

In “Earnest” I was the stage manager; Joey played Algernon, the handsome roguish cad who unfortunately is onstage when the play begins. Joey was perfectly cast as Algernon; he was one of the campus crushes of our batch. Tall, handsome and with a lazy Californian twang to boot, Joey always sounds like he’s talking to you with a Four Seasons drink (complete with mini-umbrella) in one hand while lying down on a hammock at the beach. So it’s no surprise that in this particular all-girl school which had booked several classes to watch our play, the girls were spreading the word: “The guy playing Algernon’s such a cutie!” with matching squeal.

It was a rare weekend morning performance. (Performances are often scheduled in the afternoons and evenings because, as any actor will tell you, morning shows are hell on the voice and energy level.) Several sections from that all-girl school were watching that morning. The other sections had watched the weekend before, so when the girls piled into the house, all of them were abuzz with excitement at seeing “that cutie” up close and in person.

Unfortunately Joey lived in Alabang; back then most Alabangers were rich, good-looking kids who carpooled going to and from school. (Why carpool instead of driving their own cars? I have no idea; using gas money for gimik instead, perhaps? Anyway, Joey was one of those kids.)

I knew we were in trouble when, at 20 minutes ‘til curtains up, Joey was nowhere to be found. Back then there were no cellphones, no pagers. As stage manager I assumed the worst.

At five minutes ‘til curtains up, I put on Algernon’s coat and walked out to address the audience. The girls were all eager eyes, waiting for the show to begin so that they can feast on eye candy. A cough, then I explained to them: in theater tradition, should a cast member fail to perform his duties, the stage manager takes over and reads his role. The moment I mentioned the name “Algernon”, a huge collective “Awwwwwwwww” of such deep disappointment swept through the audience. By the time I finished my spiel I could see most of the eyes were crestfallen; some were still in shock, while I swear a couple of them were ablaze with righteous anger: You cannot deprive us of Cutie!

I smiled and walked off-stage. The moment I was out of visual range I dropped my smile and muttered, “Tangina n’yong lahat! Mga letcheng kepz kayong lahat! Buti na lang bakla ako, kundi…! Humph!”

The performance started with me reading Algernon’s part and giving it my all. After all, I had much to compensate for the girls’ terrible disappointment. At the end of Act 1 Part 1, Algernon and Lady Bracknell were to leave the stage.

Backstage was in turmoil. Joey had arrived, running and puffing; he had changed into costume already. The Avon lady was finishing the barest of hurried make-up. I took off the jacket and put it on Joey. “Just go in as if nothing had been amiss,” I whispered to him. He tried to apologize about the carpool trouble; I just told him, “Later. Just concentrate on the performance first.” I tapped his shoulder on cue and he stepped onstage.

You should have heard the collective gasp and shrieks that accompanied his grand entrance.

Backstage I breathed a sigh of relief at not having to do the whole play as Algernon. And I gently reminded myself what the audience so cruelly told me that morning: I’m no matinee idol.

* * * * *

Epilogue: Our director applauded me for keeping everything moving smoothly and making sure the whole troupe acted professionally. And it turned out to be one of Joey’s best performances in that role. By the time the play ended I had no heart to even stay mad at him.

Friday, April 18, 2008

What Does My Birthday Mean?

According to this Facebook widget:

“You are friendly, humorous and full of energy. You are open-minded and do not care for minor details. Your weak point is your hot temper. Your Love, You are willing to start off in one-sided love affairs because you strongly believe that you will eventually win his/her heart. On the other hand, once you are together, you always want to do things your way, which is often the fire starter. You usually run in and out of love quickly.”

They got my temper wrong—I’m often even-tempered and mild-mannered. But the bit about starting off “one-sided love affairs” is spot-on. I needed to go through more than 5 unrequited love affairs to help me recognize the signs early on and bail out while I still can.

“A man can tell a thousand lies,
I’ve learned my lesson well.
Hope I live to tell
The secret I have learned…”

— Madonna, “Live To Tell”

Commercial Muna!

They asked me to help publicize the following, so here it is.

* * * * *

TANGHALANG ATENEO MEETS NICK JOAQUIN IN MAY DAY EVE

“Mirror, mirror, show to me him whose woman I will be.”

Tanghalang Ateneo opens its 30th season with a splash by mounting a stage version of Nick Joaquin’s May Day Eve, a tragic tale of love found and love forgotten in the patriarchal 19th century Philippines. Adapted for the stage by Alberto S. Florentino, May Day Eve moves from the blissful light of young love to the dark shadows of disillusionment.

Don Badoy Montiya, now a grandfather, visits his old house in Intramuros which assaults him with happy memories of his youth. At a homecoming party, he meets and falls in love with a feisty Agueda, who resists Badoy’s advances. But she learns that she’d be able to see her future spouse by reciting an incantation in front a mirror. To her surprise, Agueda sees Badoy’s image on the mirror. The couple marry and start a family. Don Badoy learns from his grandson that when she was alive, Agueda, has looked into the mirror and saw him as a devil. Badoy shares that he sees a witch every time he peers into the same mirror. Badoy reflects on the death of love.

Tanghalang Ateneo’s production retains the period and manner of the original text and reads the play as a swan song, or a final goodbye, of sorts. Professional stage actors work in tandem with student actors in bringing May Day Eve to life. Bodjie Pascua plays the older Badoy, while Gelo Brillantes acts out the part of the young Badoy. Nady Xavier plays the older Agueda while Ysabel Yuzon handles the role of the young Agueda. Naty Crame Rogers does a cameo appearance as Anastacia, the nanny who informs Agueda about the mirror, while student actors take their parts as friends of the young Badoy and Agueda. These are Jaru Hermano, Tito Cosejo, Samboy Lim, Crix Untalan, and Reige Arceo.

Performances will run for two weeks. The shows on May 7-10 will be in English while the shows on May 14-17 will be in Filipino (translation by Jerry Respeto). Ricardo Abad directs, Gino Gonzales does production design, and Voltaire de Jesus handles the lights design. For ticket information, contact Janelle Mupas at 09156410911.

“Mirror, mirror, show to me him whose woman I will be.” Find out whom in May.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Eye Con

My straight friend was curious: “So how come Madonna and Mariah Carey are gay idols? What made them gay idols?”

I thought for a moment. “I think gay idols are usually public figures, often in showbiz or entertainment, whom most gays embrace because of two things: either they’re so diva-esque that most gays would want to be her, or strive to be like her; or they rose up from difficult circumstances and triumphed, and so are great examples to emulate. Then there are those who are embraced because they embody the “oh-we-are-so-sawi-sa-pag-ibig” that’s a common theme among gay people.”

“Really?” my friend was awestruck.

“In general I think that’s the idea,” I said. “There may be exceptions; you really cannot predict how a group of people will act all the time, you know.”

“But why are gays so sawi-sa-pag-ibig?” my friend asked.

My brow furrowed further. “Well, given that society frowns on us, it’s not surprising that we find ourselves in doomed attractions at one point or another in our lives. Either we fall for the impossible—like, straight guys who can never reciprocate. Or we cannot make it work because circumstances—and people around us—are against it. When you’re young and you’re attracted to the same sex and you’re told that’s not what’s normal, doesn’t the whole situation take on a tragic appeal?”

My friend nodded. “I see.” He stared into the distance for a while then turned to me again. “So are there any local gay icons?”

“Hmmm,” I searched my memory banks. “Nora Aunor, especially during her height of fame. Regine Velasquez—” then I backpedaled a bit, “—but I think only if you like her songs.”

“Jolina?” my friend volunteered.

“Fashion victim, not icon,” I said. “Now has-been.”

“Piolo?”

“Gay, period. Icon? Maybe.”

And we both laughed out loud.

* * * * *

Later I checked Wikipedia. It turns out my “definition” was close to what was in the online encyclopedia. I was also surprised to find out that the first recorded gay icon was Saint Sebastian. But then one look at his tortured portrait, all muscular and nearly naked, and I thought, “Ay! Closet case!”

To be honest, I never paid particular attention to local gay icons. Here are several names of public figures and tell me if you think they deserve to be called “gay icon” or not:

[1] Vilma Santos
[2] Sharon Cuneta
[3] Cherie Gil
[4] Imelda Marcos
[5] Sarah Geronimo
[6] Judiel
[7] Lea Salonga
[8] Madame Auring
[9] Aiza Seguerra
[10] Kris Aquino
[11] Melanie Marquez
[12] Tessa Prieto Valdez

Okay, I’m sure you can come up with more. Your turn.

Listen!


I had a MyPodcast.com account before, but because I didn’t upload anything new in months, the site owners pulled it out. Now I’ve created a new McPodcast site, “The McVie Show In Stereo!” (click on the link and enjoy). There I will post Fabcasts, solo podcasts, and other productions. Do check it out if you have the time. The link is found on the left column of the screen.

Take note: I’ve been slowly adding my past productions into the podcast site, though not in chronological order. So that explains the haphazardness of the podcast episodes. But rest assured any new Fabcast or solo podcast will definitely appear there.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Eye Spy

He was in his late 30s, in my guesstimate. He had the darkest skin among those who regularly work out in the morning; not African-dark, just indio-dark. What I found mildly distressing is that he loved exposing his butt for all to see when he puts on his underwear. Nothing distressing about seeing butt (heller?!), but seeing a lighter-toned ass beside a very dark back that’s smothered with Johnson’s Baby Powder? Ick! Yes, he’d dump almost half of the contents of the baby powder bottle on his whole body—arms, chest, back, legs. I’ve always wanted to tell him, “Sir, powder is just white; it doesn’t make you white.” And his movements are so lazy and languid while putting on his boxers (never briefs), I suspect Powder’s really putting on a show in the locker room. Plus his eyes are always so busy wandering here and there, glancing, peering and staring. Con-feeermed, as my AE Poma would say.

A semi-regular morning gym person is this Caucasian who reminds me of Dolph Lundgren, so I’ll call him Dolph here. His face doesn’t resemble the has-been actor’s, but he could pass for a body double. His demeanor—and the fact that I rarely see him wear something more formal than a polo shirt—makes me suspect he’s a body guard of one of those ambassadors holding office at our building. Actually if you tell me he’s with the Russian mafia, I’d nod my head and say, “So that’s why.” Like most Europeans, Dolph has no problem exposing himself for a brief second or two in the locker area. But either he’s become sensitive to Asian modesty, or he’s realized that pink prying eyes abound the locker area; he limits his exposure to a butt-bearing 2 to 3 seconds only. That’s how fast he slips his briefs (never boxers) on (and his dress-up-quickly skills make me suspect even more that he really is a body guard, or perhaps even a spy). He never lingers at the locker area; dress up, pack up, and he’s outta there.

So this morning I had the honor of dressing up together with Dolph whose locker was immediately across mine. This morning I also had the misfortune of having Powder two lockers away, towel wrapped around his waist, and delaying whatever it is he’s supposed to do just so he can steal a glance the moment Dolph drops his towel on the floor. Normally I wouldn’t mind stealing a glance at Dolph—hey I’m human, sue me. But with Powder lingering so obviously (in my eyes, at least; everyone else was too far away and so oblivious to what was happening near my area), it suddenly struck me: it’s like the paparazzi waiting for Britney to come out of her train wreck. It felt weird.

Then Dolph dropped towel.

There was no audible intake of breath, no gasping for air. Heck no way, otherwise the Russian mafia will come here and rub Powder and I out. But since this is the McVie Show…

WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!

Imagine the biggest pinkish bratwurst you could think of, with a downward curve; its head dangling so much lower than his two enormous balls. Not so thick, brownish pubes—does he trim it himself? Even at its relaxed stage his long shlong could gag someone stupid—or lucky—enough to trip and fall headfirst with his mouth open straight into his crotch area. The shaft was amazingly smooth and vein-less, and—I averted my eyes before Dolph could sense the heat coming from them.

Then I saw Powder’s eyes. They were riveted. They were hungry. They were recording everything they were seeing in hi-def and in slo-mo, ready to be replayed again and again (with no gen-loss!) in Powder’s mind whenever he’s feeling horny. They were taking in every inch of Dolph’s love-meat, down to the smallest detail.

It was quite an embarrassing sight to behold. Weird, ‘no?

So I did what I thought I could do at that point. I looked straight into Powder’s eyes. At first he was too enthralled by the euro-cock to even notice that someone had noticed him. But then he glanced up and saw me looking at him. Gotcha!

As far as Powder was concerned, he didn’t see me looking at Dolph; all he saw was someone who caught him staring at some mighty meaty. He turned, almost violently, to face his locker.

Despite Dolph’s quick dressing-up speed, Powder was first out of the men’s locker room this morning.

Look Again

Onai, a.k.a. Bing, left a comment regarding the music video of Kylie’s “I Believe In You” (original version): “the video na walang change costume but with just an art installation na with christmas lights and the torid (sic) hand choreography”.

Hoy Bing! Since when has Kylie come out with a music video na walang change costume, ha?! (Actually, meron nga yata. Hahaha!) Anyway, watch the video and you’ll see that not only does she change costumes, may make-up change to match!

video

Monday, April 14, 2008

It’s An SM-Mall World After All

Before the ubiquitous SM logo was placed on the outside wall, casual motorists would be forgiven if they thought that Marikina was building its own airport. The ramp, flyover and the overhead street signage remind me of the old Ninoy Aquino International Airport (I hate that airport, I so hate it). They say SM Marikina will open in time for the opening of classes. Ugh, I can imagine the traffic already.

During a dinner with my friends from theater, the topic turned to the SM malls. Someone mentioned that the business mandate was to open at least 4 SM malls a year (or so he heard). Of course our imagination got the best of us, and we thought of ways by which Henry Sy can turn the whole Philippine archipelago into one big mall. Maybe one day there will be an SM mall in every corner of every city; think SM Convenience Mall. So the Sys will have to fit their malls into the unlikeliest of locations:

[1] SM Chocolate Hills, Bohol – Each hill will house a section; men’s section on one hill, children’s section on the other, and so forth. If the Sys are really greedy, they can put up a complete mall on every hill. Boy, talk about “the hills are alive”.

[2] SM Hundred Islands, Alaminos, Pangasinan – Like in Bohol, but this time islands instead of hills.

[3] SM Sulu – It will be a floating mall in the form of a giant vinta.

[4] SM Culion Leper Colony, Palawan – In honor of the island’s degenerative disease past, the mall will have several sections missing. Most obviously absent will be the shoes section because, hey, the extremities fall off first.

[5] SM Taal Volcano, Batangas – According to Wikipedia, “Volcano Island contains a lake about 2 km across, called Crater Lake. Within Crater Lake is another small volcanic island, called Vulcan Point. Vulcan Point is the world's largest island within a lake on an island within a lake on an island.” If they build an SM Vulcan Point, it’ll be the world’s largest mall within an island within a lake on an island within a lake on an island. Think about that for a minute.

[6] SM Mall Within an SM Mall – When they run out of places to build malls, they will build malls within their malls. From “let’s make them bigger and bigger” they will now shift to the “let’s make them smaller and smaller” philosophy, like the Japanese. Watch out for SM Lilliput soon. And if they create an SM Mall within SM Vulcan Point, it’ll be the world’s smallest mall within a mall within an island within a lake on an island within a lake on an island. Now think about that for a minute too.

Okay, now it’s your turn to think of ideas on where to put new SM malls. Don’t be shy. Let’s help Henry Sy in his ultimate goal: SM Earth.

I Believe In Kylie

I have a soft spot for Kylie “Cancer Survivor” Minogue. Like Madonna, she does not have pristine vocal prowess, and she’s also vertically challenged. But like Madonna, she’s made seriously compelling and incessantly fun dance tracks (“Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” more than lives up to its title) and visual eye candy videos. Unfortunately she was never as huge as Mrs. Ritchie (Guy, not Lionel). She’s Down Under Madonna, both geographically and career-wise.

Still, the Madonna of the Outback (hmmm, that sounds like a new title for the Virgin Mary) more than earns her gay-idol status. Just listen to her songs and watch her videos. I have yet to meet a straight guy who seriously likes her songs (I know a creative director who is straight but he knows all her songs and watches all her videos. But scratch the surface and you’ll realize that he doesn’t really like her songs; he just likes listening to her voice. And he watches her videos so he can ogle at her in tight, ass cheek-baring shorts. In other words, he’s in lust over her.)

When she came out with her Ultimate Kylie, she added a new song “I Believe In You”, a collaboration with Scissor Sisters members Jake Shears and Babydaddy. It was an upbeat eurodance track that was gayer than a pride march. But several years—and a successful battle with the big C—later, she performed the song in a British television special. What blew my socks off was the re-arrangement of the song into an orchestral version. Suddenly the flippant song gained heft by just trading the synthesizers and drum machine with a piano and strings. Wow. Watch and listen:

video

I’ve been obsessing over the two for a couple of days now, playing the original and orchestral versions again and again on my iPod. Give me a couple of days more before I get over them.

More Than 4 Minutes

O, ayan Rye! Now you can watch “4 Minutes” by Madonna featuring Justin Timberlake and Timbaland.

video

Can Art Stop You On Your Tracks?

(Thanks to welldan for posting a link to the Washington Post article online.)

You have to read the article. Not only is it superbly written (it won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing), but it also tackles a most intriguing premise: What would happen if you place a world-renowned musician, one of the greatest living violinist in the world, in a busy Washington DC station and have him play some of the most elegant pieces in history? Will the music stop commuters in their tracks? Will beauty transcend over train schedules? How will art fare over rush hour?

You’ll miss one-third of your life if you don’t read the Washington Post article. Click here now. As in, now na!

Koala Lumpo


No, I did not see a crippled koala bear. This is my fourth time to go out of the country, and the first time in KL. And after seeing the airports of Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur, I really, really dislike our airport. Ugh. The two cities have an express train that goes from the airport straight to the heart of the city. In fact, the Kuala Lumpur Sentral Station is right in front of our hotel. It was so hassle-free I felt envious—walang ganyan sa Pinas!

I arrived in KL with my officemate Jay to attend a two-day workshop sponsored by our mother network. The first thing we noticed was the daylight. We landed at the airport at 7pm, but the light outside looked more like 5pm in Manila. Woah.

We had three nights to ourselves, so on our first night Jay and I walked around the block right in front of the Station and checked out the restaurants there. Turned out the block predominantly housed Indians, so there were rows of Indian restaurants one after the other. Spice, spice, baby! Jay and I played a game of “What does this remind you of?” and we agreed that the area is reminiscent of either Cubao or Chinatown in the morning, when the streets are still clean. The next day the locals told us we wandered into the poorer side of town. Oh, that’s “poorer” for you?

The supposed poorer side of town by night...

...and by day.

The next night we went to their Chinatown, which is like Greenhills except ours is enclosed in an airconditioned mall. (Ha! Look who’s “poorer” now?) We tasted their local iced coffee (yum!) but I snubbed the many fakes being sold there.

The next night we went to a street that’s one big open-air dampa. In fairness I loved all the spicy food we had that night, especially the grilled spicy squid. Unlike most Filipinos the McVie tongue loves spicy hot, so I felt at home with the food there. I also tried frogs’ legs for the first time. It’s tastes like chicken but softer and slimier.

In fairness, the food here was a whole lot better (and cheaper) than the hotel food we had... not that I’m complaining about hotel food in general, hehehe.

We also went to a pub that was located beside a mall. Too bad that was the closest I got to the Petronas Tower.

Walking around the swankier side of KL.

An open-air ice cream bar which I bet serves ice cream bars as well.

My hand was shaking thus the motion blur. Yeah, the towers were still very far away.

I love eating at international fastfood franchises and checking out the differences. They serve this barbeque chicken on pita with lots of melted cheese, chopped tomatoes and onions, and pieces of tortilla chips! It is actually yummy!

On the train on our way to the airport for our flight back home, we saw the countryside for the first time (it was dark already when we took the train for the first time).

A train headed for the city.

The train toilet is sooo cool! It is huge, well-lit...

...and I am reduced to taking pictures of the sink!

They have their own Megamall, but I think our Megamall is bigger.

What is this flying saucer in the countryside?

It’s a 28-minute train ride from airport to the Sentral Station. I guess it’s like landing at Clark Airport and taking a non-stop train to Farmer’s Market, Cubao. Hey, if the Malaysians did it, maybe we can too.

Damn, I really dislike our old airport.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Back On Air

Flying back to Manila today, going straight to the office for work. No rest for the wicked. “The Malaysian Episode” coming soon.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Shake, Rattle, And Roll

I don’t know if I can broadcast The McVie Show while I’m in a seminar. So since I may be off-air until Thursday, I’ll just leave you with a three-part episode.

PART ONE

He was tall, young and chinito, with a naughty grin and searching eyes. He was also fully clothed, unlike all the others who were either wearing towels or in their underwear. In the semi-darkness he approached me, peered into my face and flashed his naughty smile. He fondled my biceps; I asked him up to my room.

In bed he refused to take off his clothes. He insisted that I relax; he wanted to do all the work. “Gusto ko paligayahin kita, gusto kong nagpapaligaya ng lalake,” he whispered, his grin turning naughtier. Sure, why not, who am I to argue?

His mouth was busy, his tongue lapping up greedily. He was like a kid let loose in a candy store, and I was his Tootsie Roll. Okay, Chupa-Chups. (There, happy?) He wanted to see me cum into his palm. Ooo-kay. Afterwards, he licked his palm clean, all the while looking into my eyes. What a tease.

“Gustong-gusto ko magpaligaya ng lalake,” he repeated. “Lalakeng-lalake’ng dating mo sa akin!”

Inward I smiled and rolled my eyes at the same time. It’s the facial hair, I said to myself. And I wondered what would happen if I replied with:

“Anish ka bellias, sistraks?! Teh, bigotelles lang itetchiwa-ri-waps! Chenelarz lang itetch, teh!”

Complete with high-pitch and matching kembot. I bet that would wipe that naughty grin off his face in an instant.

PART TWO

With his semi-kal haircut and svelte but defined body, he was hot as hell. Sure he was Kate Moss-thin, but his muscles were tight and hard. And he agreed to go with me to my room.

He had a happy trail that lead to an even happier end, and I was happy to make his manhood angry. When I had all of him deep in my mouth, he said, “Slowly! Slowly! Theeeere.” But I soon found out that slowing things down turned him on so much. “I’m coming! I’m coming!” he said.

So what I did was to prolong the agony. Or rather, I extended the exquisite torture. You know how painfully sensitive our cocks are right after ejaculation? I refused to stop and continued to slowly work my tongue up and down his slowly relaxing but still hard member.

“Aaaaaaaaahh! Ye—aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh! Oooooooooooohh! St—aaaaahhh! No—oooooooh!” He started to whimper in between moans and tickled laughter. His curled his body; he placed his fist in his mouth to stifle the sounds (which was music to my ears). “Put—aaaaaaaah! Angggg! Innn! Aaaaaah!” he panted between breaths.

After a few more seconds of torture I let go. He uncurled from his fetal position slowly, eyes shut but with a wide, embarrassed grin on his face. I lay down beside him and whispered, “O, buhay ka pa?” He playfully punched me on my shoulder. Then he threw an arm around me and hugged me tight.

Round two several minutes later, he was just as noisy.

PART THREE

Looking at the slight paunch in his belly and the way his pecs were undeveloped, I figured he was around my age, maybe even a little older. But his chinito eyes, smooth face and clean-cut hair made him look young. What gave away his age?

He was wild in bed. As in, wild! As in, he knew how to position himself in so many ways I had to think quickly to catch up with him. I wanted to stop him and ask, “Can we document these? How did you manage that? Where the hell did you learn that?”

I don’t know how long we were at it, but after a while I was already covered with sweat and breathing heavily. This isn’t sex; this is a triathlon!

He was considerate enough to allow me to catch my breath. Then he said, “You can piss on me if you want.” Oh, a golden showers kind of guy! Unfortunately my bladder has a mind and a schedule of its own, and refused to respond on command. So I politely declined his offer. But he wanted more. “Ano’ng trip mo? Kahit ano, sabihin mo.”

Hmmm, let’s see nga?! I wonder how far he’ll go, so I pushed it: “Wanna do bareback?”

He paused. “Ay, wag.” Okay, he passed the test.

We chatted for a while. He had a long-time lover, but they allow each other to go to the bathhouse. I asked him how old he was. He smiled and said, “Guess.” So I decided to give a ridiculously low number. “Uhm,” with matching pause-as-if-I’m-thinking, “…33?”

He looked at me and said, “O sige, puwede mo na akong i-bareback!”

We laughed and I asked him, “Hindi nga, ilang taon ka na?”

“48,” he replied, closing his eyes.

Wow! Give me hope, Johanna! Now I have something to look forward to when I approach the big 5-0.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The G-Detector Test

I met up with Cee and Dee last night at the mall. We entered this sports store, looking for a particular brand of footwear for Cee; upon entering, we immediately split up to cover more areas faster. I was so focused on searching for that brand (it’s not widely distributed here) that it took several minutes before I recognized what was playing full blast on the store’s PA system:

* * * * *

I’ve been warning you for months to clean up your act.
You’ve be late, you’ve been mean, giving all kinds of bullshit flack.

That’s a lie! That’s a lie! It’s just I haven’t been feeling that well.


* * * * *

It dawned on me: “Good lord, it’s the soundtrack of Dreamgirls!”

I rushed to look for Cee and Dee. Suddenly I found them both in one section of the store, as if we converged on purpose. Dee was even mouthing the words of the song. All three of us had the same expression of recognition on our faces: They’re playing “It’s All Over” in, of all places, a sports store! We all laughed out loud at the incongruity.

* * * * *

Stay out of this, Lorrell! This is between Deena and me.

Yeah? Well, it’s between me too.
I’m as much a part of this group as anybody else and I’m tired.
Effie, I’m tired of all the problems you’re making us.


* * * * *

“Naku, hindi bakla yung nag-play nito! Straight na straight!” I declared.

“At hindi lang basta-basta kung anong kanta sa soundtrack, yung argument scene pa!” laughed Cee.

I theorized that they played that song on purpose just to detect who among the customers are gay. Had they played “Listen” or “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going”, some straight guys may be familiar with them because those songs are popular enough. But the diva-tastic duel between Jennifer Hudson versus Beyonce Knowles, Jaime Foxx, Anika Nonie Rose and the rest? Only true gay fans would be familiar with the song—or even have the lyrics memorized!

It’s a form of Gay Detector Test. If upon reading the italicized lines from the lyrics above you were able to identify which song it was before reading my next paragraph, you’re gay.

Of course, any test involving song lyrics should take in to consideration the era in which the song became popular—the older the song, the more likely you’ll just detect old gay folks. The young gay set will most likely be oblivious to the songs of such older gay icons like Judy Garland, Liza Minelli, Cher in her prehistoric pre-“Believe” days (but she still looks the same then and now), and even—gasp!—Madonna in her “Burning Up” days.

Wonder just how gay (or maybe how old) you are? See if you can identify the title and performers of the songs from the following lyrics:

[1] Work, turn to the left
Work, now turn to the right
Work, sashay shante!


[2] Meeting Mr. Right, the man of my dreams,
The one who shows me true love (or at least it seems).
With brown cocoa skin and curly black hair,
It’s just the way he looks at me, that gentle loving stare.


[3] So when the night falls
My lonely heart calls


[4] God bless Mother Nature, she’s a single woman too.
She took off to heaven and she did what she had to do.


[5] You can dance, you can jive,
Having the time of your life!


[6] It’s one life and there’s no return and no deposit.
One life, so it’s time to open up your closet!


[7] Some day I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me.


[8] But after all is said and done,
You’re going to be the lonely one, oh!


[9] I should have changed my stupid lock,
I should have made you leave your key.


[10] I’m coming out!
I want the world to know,
Got to let it show.


BONUS:

[11] Smiling, dancing, everything is free—
All you need is positivity!


[12] ‘Cause if you run your mouth and brag
about this secret rendezvous—
I will hunt you down.


*(NOTE: This G-Detector Test is inaccurate, inconclusive, and in the spirit of fun.)

Friday, April 04, 2008

You Only Got 4 Minutes To Watch The Video

Okay, so the lyrics become secondary to the visuals. For me, the sheer chutzpah performance of Madonna and Justin Timberlake saves this video—and makes the song listenable. (Or should I say watchable?) The energy of the two’s performance more than surpasses the energy of the song. Which makes Madonna truly an artist of the music video era.

(Okay, so your four minutes are up. Warner Brothers had YouTube pull it out. Awww.)



Like the song, the video isn’t groundbreaking. At least the two were successful in making it appear like they’re enjoying themselves.

(Thanks to Misterhubs for the Tweet.)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Ploning The Movie

I’ve ragged on here in The McVie Show about how indie films have this handheld, haphazard look that’s often due to a lack of budget (ergo, less materials and equipment to work on). However, here’s an indie film that refuses to be lumped into the term “indie film”.


The producers of Ploning want it to be called an “independently produced” film. Film, mind you, not digital tape. As in, 35mm film was used to shoot this movie. And how did they do that? One of the film’s producers—and incidentally the star of the movie—is none other than Judy Ann Santos. And while this is the first film venture of the group Panoramanila, the folks behind this fledgling group aren’t newbies to showbiz. In fact, I personally know three of them, and they’ve worked for several years for a major network and commercial film company. In fact, what got me really interested is this portion of their company vision: “We hope to do this by marrying the creative spirit of independent filmmaking and the sound business structure of commercial cinema….”

That’s one thing I’ve always wanted to see, a film produced outside the studio system yet has the production qualities of a studio-produced film. Then it’s not a matter of “we don’t have the budget for that kind of equipment”. What will make these independently produced films different from their studio counterparts will be the quality of content. I dearly hope that these independent films succeed because the more people flock to them, the less reason for studios to hold on to their “it-must-be-a-blockbuster-or-not-at-all” mentality. And maybe we’ll see another resurgence of quality Philippine movies.

Meanwhile there’s Ploning. And while the official trailer is intriguing, it also reminds me of an earlier film—grand vistas, a powerful love, native music. Hello, Batanes. But that one had a Ken Zhu “wait-is-he-from-F4-fame?!” surprise factor. This one has Juday and Crispin Pineda and Mylene Dizon and really great actors and… a lot of looking out into the sea. Thank god the synopsis reveals a more active plotline. Well, most movie trailers are just supposed to intrigue and bait, right? (Unlike commercial movie trailers that often show all the best parts in one go.)

I’m really intrigued and interested to see what the marriage “of the creative spirit of independent filmmaking and the sound business structure of commercial cinema” will spawn. I hope it succeeds, and other independent filmmakers follow suit. Then we can say that Ploning is truly worth cloning. (Pa-thump-tump!)

Here’s the official trailer:

video

For more info, log on to the official website.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April 1

While most people go through April 1 playing pranks and making fools of others, the McVies gather to remember our late father. Four years ago he decided to pull the ultimate prank and quietly had a fatal heart attack while seated in our living room sofa. My mom thought he just fell asleep. When I called my boss to tell her I wasn’t coming to work that day, I had to preface my phone call with, “This isn’t an April Fool’s joke, ma’am, promise.”

It’s supposed to be the height of summer, and as I’m typing this it’s pouring cats and dogs outside. I still have to rush home to make it to a short prayer and dinner.

Daddy, you really know how to pull a prank of peculiar proportions.

Check out my April 08, 2004 entry here. (You will need to scroll down to the very end, then read upwards.)

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10:43pm

P.S. – I actually made in time despite the heavy traffic. And my sister who’s in Singapore was with us oncam via Skype, so we were all complete once again. Thanks, Daddy.