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)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Rejection—It Can Go Both Ways

Let’s call my friend “Mac”. Recently I saw the following status on his Facebook: “Mac is pulling back.”

I immediately IM’ed him with, “Maybe you need to tell someone to push harder.” He replied with, “Nah, I was rejected.” Then he told me how this person considered Mac as more than just a friend; Mac was his “special friend.”

Special friend?” I fired back. “What are you to him, retarded?

* * * * *

Imagine falling for someone: not only is he good-looking, but more importantly you and he clicked! just like that. Best of all, he’s available. After weeks of getting to know each other, you conclude that you and he stand a chance. After all, from all indications he seems just as into you as you are into him.

So you pop the question: I’m interested, can I pursue this further with you? He turns you down. Not only is your conclusion wrong, but also adding insult to injury is his well-meaning statement: “Let’s just be friends.”

Let’s just be friends. It’s an olive branch handed out as a peace offering, usually uttered after a flat-out rejection. Sometimes the “let’s just be friends” offer is genuine; at times it’s actually just scrap thrown to a staving dog, to avoid having the dog come up and bite them instead. But assuming for a minute that the motive behind it is genuine, the line “Let’s just be friends” is one of the most insensitive statements you can ever utter to someone who’s fallen for you but whom you have to turn down. I can accept “Maybe we can be friends?” At least that gives both parties the leeway to disengage with dignity.

The truth is, friendship is not possible while one of you still harbors romantic feelings for the other. Friendship is a meeting of equals, usually with no hidden agenda, and a genuine sharing of interests. But when one is infatuated, there is always an agenda; and if the other one doesn’t reciprocate the feelings, there is an imbalance in the relationship. So it is impossible for friendship to blossom given that situation. Once the infatuation is eliminated can a friendship stand a chance to develop.

But exorcizing an infatuation is not the easiest thing in the world. That is the one thing that Rejectors should always bear in mind whenever they crush a Lovelorn’s crush towards them. If you genuinely want to be friends with someone who has a crush on you, leave them be.

Often the Rejected will grasp at straws and cling to that statement. “At least he’ll still be in my life” is the common justification for holding on to him. But what happens is this: He gets the full benefits—and more—of your friendship (“more” is often the case; you may be consciously or unconsciously trying to win him over, so you go beyond what you usually do for your friends); meanwhile, you get the raw end of the deal. He enjoys your friendship, but you don’t get to enjoy his because—face it!—you want more. Sadly you’re just a “special friend” to him; in so many ways, you are like a retard.

* * * * *

“Be good to yourself. Get out while you still can,” I IM’ed Mac.

“Yeah I know,” he replied.

“Okay, repeat after me: ‘If you cannot be my boyfriend, then I cannot be your friend.’”


“He should just leave you be. And only you can determine if you’re ready to face him again, this time as equals.”

“If you cannot be my boyfriend, then I cannot be your friend! If you cannot be my boyfriend, then I cannot be your friend!”

“Hahaha! That should be your mantra for the next few weeks.”

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Talk Tee-Vie

Yesterday afternoon I was a guest at ANC’s Shop Talk with Pia Hontiveros-Pagkalinawan as host. The topic was about reconnecting with schoolmates, and Pia had invited her high school batchmates (pictured above) and her college batchmates (that’s where I fall under) to be her guests.

This isn’t the first time I’ve gone before television cameras. Back in the 90s I represented my former ad agency in this game show hosted by the Rick Astley of the Philippines, Roderick Paulate, and Panjee Tapales Lopez (yes, go ahead and name the title of the show). For that particular episode the producers chose to pit ad agency folks against each other in several games. I was chosen to play in the “Name That Tune”-like portion. Despite my fairly extensive knowledge of pop songs, I lost because the tunes were played by a solo pianist; I was more familiar with the recorded version of the songs.

Too bad yesterday’s show aired live. Our cable provider does not carry ANC, so I didn’t bother the folks at home about my guesting. Besides, we were four in our group, so each of us had only about several seconds to say something worthy of a soundbite.

Afterwards I though, “Wouldn’t it be great if the Fabcasters graduate to doing a videocast?” But unfortunately Mr. De Mille, not all of us are ready for our close-ups.

Pia (rightmost, seated) and her guests after the show

Pia and her batch mates

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Cluelessness Of Straights (3rd of a series)

Dear ‘Pre,

I know that you do not think the way that I will be describing in a while, but since there are quite a number of straight guys who think this way, I’ll just ask you to pass on the message to them.

Many times I’ve experienced something like this: straight guy finds out he’ll have a gay roommate, and he’ll balk. His reason? Laughingly he’ll say, “He might sneak a peek at me, or worse, do something while I’m asleep.”

There are many unspoken assumptions in that simple sentence, but for me the one thing that really gets my goat is this: Straight Guy assumes that Gay Guy will find him attractive, simply because he’s straight.

Dude, I know that there are guys who think they’re God’s gift to women. And it seems there also those of you who think that they’re catnip to fags. Ugh. Just because you’re straight doesn’t mean you’re immediately attractive to all gay men. Duh.

The thinking is really very male: if a straight guy gets a hot chick for a roommate, he’ll take any and every opportunity he has to sneak a peek at her. And that’s where the fear comes from: just replace genders and sexual preference, and voila! Straight guy is now in the role of ogled object of lascivious desire. Manyakis becomes the victim of kamanyakan.

‘Pre, not all straights are hot for us gay guys. Next time you exhibit such hubris, just think: there are gay men out there who see you as your equivalent of a 150-pound woman with bad skin and dental flaws.

Yours truly,


Friday, August 22, 2008

Sauna Soundbite (“Saunanaman?!”)

(a.k.a. If Only We Can Say Out Loud What We Think, Part 4)

Remember CB, a.k.a. Call Center Boy, a.k.a. the semikal-with-tattoos guy? The Mr. “This never happened” Dude in a couple of gym sauna encounters here and here? He provided me another memorable morning worthy of an episode in this Show.

When I entered the sauna, CB and another guy (because his haircut looked like a Mohawk, let’s call him that) were already in the middle of silent eye-to-eye negotiations. CB knew I was game for some hot sauna action, so he didn’t bother to hide his growing erection under his towel. Mohawk, on the other hand, seemed interested only in just fondling himself; he didn’t bother to come any closer to CB. Unfortunately Mohawk only had eyes for CB—methinks he was enamored with the tattoos and the close-cropped hair. Damn! Bad news for me, because Mohawk’s manhood had an impressive girth and length, easily dwarfing CB’s decent yet increasingly ho-hum proportions.

Apparently CB also realized he won’t be able to get Mohawk to go down on him, which is why he decided to let me in on their action. CB gestured with his hands for me to come closer to him. Then he parted his towel.

Okay, take two! I told myself.

Having Mohawk watching us seemed to turn CB on even further. He was moaning and fondling my hair, trying to push himself deeper in my mouth. I could sense (don’t ask me how, I just know!) that CB was looking at Mohawk while I was blowing him. Pretty soon I heard CB tell Mohawk, “Sit here if you want to join in.” Mohawk sat beside us.

Wheeee! It’s going to be a three-way morning again!

But Mohawk didn’t make any more moves towards CB or me. Instead at the corner of my eye I saw him whip out his impressive sequoia tree while I was busy trying to make CB’s shrub spew sap. And that’s when CB, with a naughty smile in his voice, uttered his quotable quote for the morning:

“My, my, my! This boy wants his suck cocked!”

Ang OA na, verbal dyslexic pa!

And despite CB’s less-than-notable “note”, I almost gagged.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Four Fabcasters And An Outing

The Fabcasters (from left to right): Gibbs, McVie, Tony (standing), and Migs, the Manila Gay Clown. There, I just outed Migs. And the background is so appropriate: Parang karinderya, bukas beinte-kuwatro oras!


Now my Facebook, YM and other online sites and accounts are sporting a new “look”, thanks to a new set of peek-chures taken by the talented David Fabros. Please check out his website VisionCapture. At mamatay na sa inggit ang mga inggit.

(Obviously I’m uber-busy at work, which is why I’ve not posted any significantly substantial episodes here in the Show. Kelangan muna maghanapbuhay eh.

The photos are a triumph of Dave’s photographic skills and trained eye, more than anything else. And yes Virginia, that’s not Photoshop; I really do have a Madonna-esque gap between my two front teeth. So sue me.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Another Quote For The Week

When asked, “What is it that you most deplore in yourself?”:

Whenever I’m lazy enough to assume people think like me. It’s a kind of vanity that gets me in trouble a lot. Also, I tend to project a purity of heart into people who impress me, which is very child-like.

– John Cusak, in a Vanity Fair interview, June 2008

That Made Me Pout This Morning

This morning I saw a billboard along EDSA announcing the 2008 Philippine Anti-Ageing Medical Convention. Their headline reads: “I love my age!”

I think it’s the height (pun intended) of irony that a convention’s billboard should scream “I love my age!” while the participants call themselves “anti-ageing”. (Yeah right, they love their young age so much, they’ll try to hold on to it for the longest time.)

Meanwhile below that billboard is another one advertising Journey’s latest album featuring their new Pinoy lead singer, Arnel Pineda. An ageing rock group tries to jumpstart their dying career by getting a new lead singer who sounds exactly like their old lead singer—and they even re-recorded some of their old songs with Arnel doing vocals.

That is so meta-postmodern-ironic-wink-wink, my nose is bleeding.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Quote Of The Week

“I found the ability to enjoy being by myself and not fearing aloneness very useful for my eventual gay life. Too many people are too afraid of being alone! Which leads them to bad choices in relationships.”

– Pang Khee Teik, Malaysian photographer, actor, writer, arts critic and Arts Programme Director of The Annexe, Kuala Lumpur

(from; read the full article here)

Have You Heard Of HoffSpace?

If you guessed it has something to do with David Hasselhoff, not only are you right, you also need to get a life.

The former star of Knight Rider and current judge in America’s Got Talent meets MySpace. With members from all over the world (remember, Baywatch was an international phenomena), the site is literally a Hoff Around The World. If you need a minute or two to wrap your mind around that idea, go ahead.

Take your time.

Got it? Nope? I can still give you a minute more.


There! Let’s proceed.

An intro in the homepage explains the existence of HoffSpace, supposedly from the Hoff himself: “In my travels round the world I have always been surprised that no matter where I go people recognize and know me, from Europe, Australia and India to the Philippines and the Zulu Nation in South Africa. This got me thinking... I realized that while two people from two entirely different countries and backgrounds may seem to have nothing in common, the only thing they might have in common is me…. So I decided to start a network where people from across the world might come together and get a conversation started over me. Where it will lead, I don’t know but the world would be a better place if everyone talked a little more to each other...”

(Wow, he even mentions the Philippines!)

In that homepage you can also find fascinating links such as HoffBlog, HoffShop, a pre-order form for Anaconda 3 The Offspring (methinks this Hasselhoff-starrer is direct-to-DVD; a note says the German version will be released in November), and such diverse groups like “David Hasselhoff UK”, “Planet Hasselhoff” and the “David Hasselhoff’s Hair Appreciation Society”.

You don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself here. And weep for joy or sorrow, you decide.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Relax See A Movie

One surefire way for me to de-stress or to get out of a funk is to watch a movie, especially one that’s simple, fun-filled and not emotionally draining. Viola! Times like these, I need a Disney!

That’s why a few weeks ago I found myself browsing through a DVD sale and, as if compelled by inner forces beyond my control, I just grabbed a copy of Disney’s Enchanted, Freaky Friday (I’ve not yet watched this Jamie Lee Curtis/Lindsay Lohan flick) and The Princess Diaries (I watched the sequel in the theaters without bothering to check out the first movie). I remember going home with a silly smile plastered on my face.

Maybe the thought of curling up in bed and slipping these movies one after the other into my laptop was already enough. Or maybe I’ve gotten better at snapping out of a funk and moving on. Perhaps Life just happened. Whatever. The three movies are still on my bedside table, their plastic covers still unwrapped.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Cluelessness Of Straights (2nd of a series)

Dear ‘Pre,

“So who’s the man and who’s the woman?”

How many times have I heard you guys ask that question? Usually some straight guy floats this question after he is told that Guy A and Guy B are lovers. In my experience the question is usually asked out of ignorance and curiosity, although I have heard it asked in a tone that’s malicious or with disdain.

That question is a loaded one. It is also a load of crap.

It’s loaded with a lot of assumptions and notions regarding gender roles, mostly from the Jurassic era. Worse, it insists on trying to understand the dynamics of homosexual relationships through the heterosexual prism. As I said, it’s a load of crap.

With people who ask out of genuine curiosity, I appreciate their desire to know and understand. With people who want to know who’s wearing the trousers, I just ask in return, “So who earns more, you or Oprah?”

When it comes to sex, the traditional assumption (again, based on antiquated notions of gender roles) is that the top is aggressive-male while the bottom is passive-female. But even at pre-Basic Instinct Sharon Stone era, more and more women have been taking on a much aggressive role in and out of the bedroom. With gay men a top guy may not always be the aggressive one; a bottom can be just as in control. And wait ‘til you see what two versas can do as a couple; you may wonder what can happen if your wife or girlfriend straps on a dildo the next time you guys do the nasty.

Each partner’s role in a gay relationship is something that is mutually agreed upon (assuming they are individually mature enough). Two guys in a relationship can swap roles as much as a man today can wash dishes while his wife can change a flat tire.

So ‘Pre, the next time someone asks me that question, I’ll retort with another one: How can there be a woman in the relationship when both are men?

Yours truly,


*(Thank you to Harry V. for bringing up the topic.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Winner Musical

In the Heights is the Tony winner for 2008 Best Musical.

It also won the following:
Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre Music & Lyrics: Lin-Manuel Miranda
Best Choreography Andy Blankenbuehler
Best Orchestrations Alex Lacamoire & Bill Sherman

I first saw the following clips at a friend’s Facebook and I was immediately taken in by the music. “I have to have a copy of the album!” was my first reaction. When something as urban as rap is made accessible to the upscale ears of Broadway, then there’s something special happening here.

Watch and be wowed.

Here they perform the song “96,000” at the 62nd Tony Awards (2008):

And here are clips of “In The Heights”, “The Club”, and “96,000”:

For more info, check out their official website: click here.

Sex And The Sauna

Dear ‘Pre,

As a straight guy who goes to the gym, you may have been surprised by my revelations of sex in the sauna in my recent episodes here. You wrote and I quote: “And as for the gym sex. Wow. Does this go on, really? How, when there are so many people about? Or have I just been oblivious?? But ang galing din the way the ‘human interest’ aspect is filtered in your stories. Funny/interesting.”

Your email reinforces a long-standing theory my gay friends and I have regarding most straight men: straight guys are clueless as to most gay activities, even when these happen right under your nose. I think Mother Nature in her infinite wisdom placed a “gay-bi-clueless” gene among straight people as a form of protection, and ignorance truly is bliss (that also pertains to us gay folks who get away with it).

But the cluelessness of straights may not be enough to make you feel safe the next time you step inside the sauna. Well, here’s a more powerful mantra for you to chant softly to yourself before going in: Nothing will happen to you if you don’t allow it.

Seriously. Because in most high-end gyms (which is where you go anyway), the membership fee alone is enough to weed out folks—gay and straight alike—who are, uhm, how do we put this in a politically-correct way? jologs in their behavior. (Shit, there is no politically-correct way.) So expect that they won’t act in a very palengkera way. Yes, some of them may act really offensively troll-like (not surprisingly, they tend to be physically unattractive and older—“desperation is a tender trap, it gets you every time,” as Bono sings), but they act offensively troll-like to fellow gay men, not to straight men.

(At this point let me sneak in a caveat: I speak in the most general of terms. An exception or two may find their way inside the gym, into the sauna and manage to startle and irritate you, if you’re cosmically unlucky. But given the odds against it, if indeed that happens then God—or Fate, or the cosmos—willed it so.)

If a gay man spots you inside the sauna and is attracted to you, he’ll send out little clues to show that he’s interested, like little unspoken signals of “Psst! Aren’t you a dish!” thrown your way. The fact that you never noticed any of these clues can mean two things:
[1] No signals were sent at all because: (a) specifically, you are not his type; or (b) generally, you are not physically attractive enough for most gay men (which may or may not be a blow—pardon the pun; what pun?—to your ego, you choose);
[2] There were signals sent your way in the past, but you never picked them up.

“How long are we going to pretend we’re not minding each other when in fact we’re just waiting for the other one to make his move?! I’m getting dizzy with the heat!”

In the case of [1], you don’t need to worry because he’s not interested in you. In the case of [2], if you don’t pick up the signs, nothing will happen. Because he’ll immediately get that you’re not interested, raising the likelihood that you’re straight; so it’ll be useless for him to pursue.

Now that you’re more aware, if one day someone inside the sauna starts showing you signals (staring at you; looking at your crotch area; lifting up his towel by “accident” so as to allow you to take a peek at his family jewels…etc.) that he’s interested in you, you only need to ignore him. Sex is like drugs: just say no.

The worst I can imagine is that you entering the sauna and interrupting two (or more, you’ll be surprised!) guys going at it in some way or form. If that happens, you have several options:
[1] Leave and go to the steam room instead. C’est la vie.
[2] Stay, but show them in no uncertain terms that: (a) you are not going to join in the fun; (b) you do not appreciate being a spectator. You may think, “Heck! I paid for the right to use the gym’s facilities in the way they’re supposed to be used! Go get a room, dudes!” I for one agree that it’s your right to use the sauna and expect the others to behave (well, at least while you’re there). In fact, there was a time when they put up signs at the gym warning members from engaging in inappropriate acts while inside the sauna and steam room.
[3] Step out and report them to the floor staff. You have the right to do that, of course. But it is a bit problematic, especially if you cannot prove to the staff that something inappropriate was happening. May I recommend that you refrain from this drastic action unless necessary.
[4] Because you’re straight, it is unlikely that you will either: (a) stay and sit quietly in one corner with your eyes closed while allowing them to continue; or (b) join in the fun. So I will not bother to elaborate on them.

‘Pre, don’t be surprised that gay men seem to be able to get off even in unlikely places. Given that for the longest time society looked down on us, we developed methods of going around the straight world’s restrictions. Our attitude is similar to a local bank’s tagline: We find ways.

Yours truly,


“Are you one of us?”

P.S. – In the interest of greater understanding between straight and gay men, I am coming up with a series on The Cluelessness of Straight Men in a “Dear ‘Pre” format. Brothers, if you have any questions, feel free to ask. Sisters, if you have any suggestions on topics, just let me know. Coming soon, here on The McVie Show.

So Where’s The Torrent?

What perfect timing, coming after our podcast on homosexuality and religion. Watch the trailer:

(Thanks to EL for the heads-up.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Chi-chi-rit Chat

I had an enjoyable chat with a Friendster of mine on online hook-ups, SEBs and bathhouses:

* * * * *

Friendster: eh ano ba talaga type mo?

mcvie: iba-iba eh… at iba talaga when I only have pictures to go by

Friendster: naku may mga hanggang photogenic lang diyan

mcvie: oo naman! iba rin talaga pag face-to-face

Friendster: of course

mcvie: but so far i've never had an experience
mcvie: wherein
mcvie: the disparity between picture and actual person is sooo glaring
mcvie: na parang “teeeka, ikaw nga ba yung sa picture?!”
mcvie: lahat pa naman ng meet-ups ko so far, even if the real person looks a notch lower versus his photos, yung “notch lower” na yun is still within tolerable levels

Friendster: eh how about the body, kelangan ba buffed or gym toned?

mcvie: hindi naman kailangan buff
mcvie: although i must admit na i have a weakness for muscled guys

Friendster: me too

mcvie: para sa akin may tolerable level din pagdating sa katawan
mcvie: kung nakita mo ang pics ng isang tao, may idea ka na on how he looks like
mcvie: and so you’ll have certain minimum expectations
mcvie: but you should also be ready for disappointment

Friendster: i get you

mcvie: iba ang dynamics sa bathhouse
mcvie: kung marami ang iyong options at medyo madali kang makakapili, puwede kang super-demanding sa iyong standards. pero pag wala kang masyadong options…

Friendster: mas lalo na pag late na at panic buying na

mcvie: iba yang “panic buying” scenario sa bathhouse... doon naman, it's a deliberate lowering of standards, hahahaha

Friendster: hahahahaha
Friendster: so far naman sa twice kong pagpunta sa bathhouse di pa ako umabot sa panic buying
Friendster: although di naman masyado mataas ang standards ko
Friendster: hindi na ako naga-attempt sa mga buffed, nag-iilusyon na lang ako sa ganoon
Friendster: ini-imagine ko na lang sila kung nakadamit; kasi some guys are better looking with their clothes on

mcvie: sa tagal ko na sa eksena, naka-ilang panic buying din ako
mcvie: kaya after a while, i said to myself, “hindi na ito maganda for my self-esteem”
mcvie: so what i did was... pag zero talaga ako sa bathhouse, hindi ko na ina-attempt na mag panic buy
mcvie: i just walk out, cut my losses early... and just treat myself to a nice meal
mcvie: at least yung meal, talagang sigurado ang kain ko! hahaha

Friendster: buti ka pa. ako kasi nanghihinayang sa entrance fee eh. hahahaha ang cheap

mcvie: noon ako rin nanghihinayan sa entrance fees
mcvie: pero when i weighed the amount of the entrance fee versus the loss of self-esteem
mcvie: i decided mas importante sa akin ang self-esteem ko :-)

Friendster: kunsabagay

At Isa Pang (tunay na) Commercial

Tatlong Kuwento tungkol sa Kakaibang Pag-iral ng Pag-ibig

A fundraising project for FA 198 (Seniors’ Creative Project), thesis class of Theatre Arts Majors under Glenn Sevilla Mas at the Ateneo. Pag-Haya will feature the plays Bahay-bahayan by Jacky delos Reyes, Tagay by Jo-Anne Quiros, and Isang Libong Tula para sa Dibdib ni Dulce by Layeta Bucoy.

Directed by Rayna Reyes, senior Theatre Arts major. The show will run from August 13, 15, 16, 20, 22, 23 (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) at 7:00 pm with 3:00 pm shows on August 16 and 23 at the Fine Arts Theatre, Gonzaga Hall, Ateneo de Manila University.

Tickets are at P120 each. For inquiries please contact Mik Hirang at 09175220905 or at


Monday, August 11, 2008

At Isa Pang Commercial! (Something To “Wake” You Up)

From the makers of “Hollabaklaan” comes another bentahan moment!

* * * * *

(To be read out loud like the voice-over in one of those home shopping networks on TV)

Tired of attending a wake and seeing them use the college graduation photo of the deceased, when clearly the dearly departed died at the ripe old age of 78?

Don’t you think that the recently deceased, while clearly deserving of a photo wherein she is at her most flattering, should also have a picture that’s closer to her age when she died?

Never fear. R.I.P. is here!

R.I.P. is for Rest In Photo. We tie-up with the leading life insurance companies to give each and every Filipino a chance to look good and true-to-life, even in death. Every year upon payment of your premium, you are entitled to a photoshoot at the R.I.P. Studio. R.I.P. promises that you will be photographed at your most flattering best every year—until you die!

So why wait? Sign up now before it’s too late!

R.I.P. – Eternal pose grant unto you; and let perpetual light flash upon you

* * * * *

As usual, we had a field day thinking up of taglines (or straplines) for R.I.P. The following are the others we thought of (in no particular order):
• An eternal pose for the eternal repose of his soul.
• Your last shot at a good picture.
• It’s shoot to death.
• It’s shoot to kill!
• Death, be not proud (but you will be with your photo!).
• What a killer smile!
• Your digital best at your eternal rest.

And we also thought of spin-off companies. If R.I.P. is high-end like Belo, then the following are for the low-end market, like Ellen’s:

• Porma Linya – Buhay na buhay ang beauty mo.
• Pose Mortem – Put the rigor in your mortis.

Thank you Harry, Dave F., Marrise, Dave A. and Ariel for an uber-bentahan Saturday evening.

Commercial Muna



Music may soothe a savage beast, but in Tanghalang Ateneo’s production of Shakespeare’s Othello: Ang Moro ng Venecia, rendered in Filipino by Rogelio Sicat and Luna Sicat-Cleto, music will incite a savage beast and devastate people’s lives. The play runs from August 21 to September 6 at the Rizal Mini-Theater , Loyola Schools , Ateneo de Manila University.

Tanghalang Ateneo’s second of three 30th season productions, Othello features a guitar-toting Iago who, like a wicked Pied Piper, uses his music to help lure and lead his enemies to destruction. By the play’s end, Iago rakes in five victims, but his prize catch is the mighty Othello, a foreign military general whom Iago despises for bypassing him as lieutenant; for marrying Desdemona, a fellow Venetian; and in his mind at least, for having a torrid affair with his wife. His plot: to make Othello believe that Desdemona sleeps around with a young lieutenant. Othello eventually succumbs to Iago’s insinuations, grows raving mad, strangles Desedmona to death, and then kills himself. Iago’s destruction of the Other is complete: the mighty warrior has fallen.

Iago’s destruction of the Other echoes the violence spawned today by religious and ethnic strife. Othello reminds modern audiences that those who seek out to destroy others only destroy themselves. The play is a plea for tolerance, acceptance, and the embracing of difference.

Theater stalwarts Nonie Buencamino and Teroy Guzman alternate as Othello, the Moor caught between the angel of a Desdemona, alternately played by Irma Adlawan and Missy Maramara, and the devil of an Iago, played by Ron Capinding and Rody Vera. Supporting them are the talents of Neil Ryan Sese and Randy Villarama who portray Cassio, the handsome lieutenant; Rachel Quong as Emilia; Exzell Macomb and Jaru Hermano as Roderigo, Joseph dela Cruz as Brabantio/Ludovico; Regina de Vera and Lara Agay as Bianca; Glen Mas and John Aguas as the Duke.

Ricky Abad, who once played Iago in a World Theater Project production of this Shakespeare classic, directs the play assisted by B.J. Crisostomo. National Artist Salvador Bernal designs the set and costumes, Jonjon Villaruel oversees the lights design, Reamur David carries out the sound design, while Ruben Reyes executes several variations of a Shakespearean song as the play’s musical theme.

Othello runs at the Rizal Mini Theatre in the Ateneo de Manila University starting from 21th - 23rd and the 27th - 30th of August, and the 4th and 6th of September, at 7 in the evening. There will be Saturday matinee shows on the 23rd and 30th of August, at 2 in the afternoon. This production is made possible by Intermatrix Document Solutions, The Perfect White Shirt, Casa Ilongga and For ticket inquiries and reservations, please contact Jeselyn Jagong at 0916-521-5154.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Let The Pageantry Begin!

My favorite Beijing Olympic opening moments, aside from all the fireworks of course? In no particular order:

• The drummers with their lighted drums in the countdown;
• The human printing press pegs;
• The bulb-clad men in white who formed the small bird’s nest;
• The men holding up the gigantic oars that formed a painting and mimicked fan-like movements;
• The revealing of the huge Olympic torch on top of the Bird’s Nest;
• The lighting of the torch; it was a very Chinese martial arts movie moment.

It was clear that the producers had a simple mandate: do not use the same Chinese citizen twice. At least each person will need to memorize the steps to only one production number. Given China’s billions of citizens, I wonder if the participants to the Olympic opening was just a tenth of the whole Chinese population. (And if so, I wonder if it’s the gay population—just a random thought.)

Brokeback Mountain Out Of A Molehill

Dear You,

Thank you for opening up to me your story. In a way, it confirmed what I had suspected before but decided to give you the benefit of the doubt. I even pushed it out of my mind when we finally met in person in Makati. You sat so stiffly beside me in the car; I attributed it to “I didn’t expect you to be serious” awkwardness and left it at that. I should have done something to loosen you up more, but my usual bag of trick might just have made you stiffer in other areas.

I read your suggestive online entries before but I never thought of them as circumstantial evidence; I just thought they were well written. One even gave me a hard-on after I read it. That seems to be a recurring theme with you.

When you first SMS’ed me about your reaction to one of my episodes here on the Show, I still did not think anything of it. Until you mentioned that you also fell in love with your male best friend. My first reaction was, what about your wife and kid? My second thought was, what about your best friend’s wife and kids?

Your story actually saddened me. Straight guys bond closer than usual, homoerotic banter—not unusual between straight males (“Pare, pa-kiss naman o!” “Oo ba p’re, basta wala lang malisya.”)—becomes sexually charged, dreams about each other become wet, admissions of sexual attraction are shared, and an unfortunate incident drives a wedge between the two of you. Were the two of you subconsciously using this incident to move away from each other? Did you guys sense that if the two of you got any closer, the fusion would be nuclear enough to rip two families apart?

You told me that your best friend’s actions these days are inconsistent, ping-ponging between affection and animosity. But what about your behavior? Have you been consistent? Or are you as baffling to him as he is to you these days?

You asked me if that made you gay. I think that was a genuine gay episode in your life. But for a person to be gay, I believe that person should be predisposed to emotional and physical bonding with the same gender versus the opposite. Your experience could be a one-time-big-time and may never happen again. Or maybe you’ll experience another one, who knows? I think that in the spectrum of sexuality, you still fall under the “straight with a homosexual episode or two in his lifetime” category. If there are flamboyant gay men who genuinely fall in love and lust with a female or two (and even get married), why can’t a similar thing happen on the other side of the spectrum?

You used to be such an enigmatic person for me. Wading through your online entries is like seeing you through funhouse mirrors. After our almost four hour telephone conversation, I admit you became less mysterious. But paradoxically you’ve become more intriguing. Especially now that you seemed to have abruptly decided to not reply to any of my text messages. Maybe you just wanted to catch my attention. Well, here’s your episode with you in the starring role—may it be Oscar-award winning, like the Ang Lee film. But still I’m bothered.

Just as I’m bothered that I thought of you when I was in the shower and my hand went south. Your image though was as fuzzy as your online pictures, and it’s been years since we last met face to face.

Or maybe you just like being the grouch. =)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby

In our latest Fabcast we talked about religion a lot, but we also touched on (well actually, “sideswiped” is more like it) people’s views on sex.

I find it interesting that there are people who view sex outside the confines (yes Virginia, I used that word on purpose) of marriage—preferably by the Church—to be “wrong”, thus justifying labeling it a “sin”. What makes it wrong? The basic idea is that sex should and must be: [1] coupled with love; and [2] done within the confines (there’s that word again) of monogamy.

Let’s tackle the first part. The sex act in and of itself, devoid of that transcendental ingredient called love—funny, some people call it a crazy little thing—is on the same level as animals going at it. So to engage in sex that is purely for passion or recreation means that one treats the other person as less than human. Or to simplify the Catholic equation: sex sans love equals doggie style.

This is where I beg to differ with the Catholic Church, and not purely out of my predilection for the doggie style. When I have recreational, passionate sex with another person in the bathhouse, motel or gym, I don’t see them as less than human nor do I treat them inhumanely. (Even if someone pleads with me, “Babuyin mo ako!” I will treat is as sexual play-acting; it’s not as if I truly consider him Porky Pig.) And while the sex act consists of a lot of self-gratification, what turns me on and further satisfies me is to see the other guy really, truly enjoy himself too. Is that a less-than-human treatment?

Let’s tackle the second part. Monogamy is defined in Wikipedia as “the custom or condition of having only one mate in a relationship, thus forming a couple. The word monogamy comes from the Greek word monos, which means one or alone, and the Greek word gamos, which means marriage or union.” So does this mean that sex is only for those in relationships? This discriminates against singles. But the Church goes one step further—premarital sex is also not allowed.

I believe that two cognizant and consenting adults can engage in sex without love as a necessary condition (isn’t it ironic that a lot of immature people fall head-over-heels in love after they had sex?) and while they are still single or not yet married. What is important is to recognize the other person’s dignity and treat him accordingly with the respect of another fellow human being. Do not wish him ill will or harm. And to always take responsibility for your sexual activities.

Why so scared of sex? Thank Catholic guilt for that. As Frankie said (while going to Hollywood, one presumes): “Relax… when you wanna come.”

I Shake My Tush On The Catwalk

This morning at the gym a really obese man, with flesh folds enough to smother a 2-month old kitten, stepped out from the showers with the club’s standard-sized towel stretched to straining point around his waist. Upon reaching his locker, he took out his gym bag and proceeded to dress up. And he did what I thought was a massively courageous thing to do: he dropped his towel on the floor.

I’ve always loved seeing other men’s asses while in the locker room, whether accidentally or surreptitiously. Part of it is my appreciation of a fine-shaped piece of ass—the more muscular, the merrier. And part of me is massively curious as to the different shapes and sizes of a man’s behind. But this morning I got my quota of ass sighting to last me ‘til 2020.

On the one hand, I really admire his “What do I care?” attitude, his nonchalance at exposing his naked tush—enough for two J.Lo’s with some more to spare—for everyone to see (and there was quite a number of people in the locker area at that time). But on the other hand I want to accuse him of crimes against humanity. Oh the humanity! Especially when he put his boxer tent—er, shorts—on; what should have been cute little teddy bear prints now looked like grizzlies, their smiling faces stretched to Joker lengths.

(An aside thought: if my fellow gym mates ever find out about this Show, the next time they see me there they’ll scamper and hide.)

Falling In Love Is A Headache, Not A Heartache

It’s rare that I actually like a local act’s music video and song. Thanks legally-bald for this!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

When We Say Out Loud What We Think, The Conclusion

I took my time in the shower. By the time I stepped out, it was just MF dressing up; CB had already left. Our lockers were on the same row, so MF turned to me and gave me a polite smile; I politely smiled back.

MF asked me how long I’ve been working out. I answered him as civil as I can; there were still other guys in the dressing room. He asked me if it was bad to hit the showers right after a strenuous workout. It was small talk, sure; but no reason for me to be impolite, right?

We properly introduced ourselves. He told me about enrolling at the gym because the call center where he works in had a corporate discount. He mentioned he was a teacher before. Of what? I asked. Music and Fine Arts, he replied. And now you want a higher-paying job, I teased him.

“No, I stopped teaching because I had a friend, a co-teacher, who died, and every time I teach I am reminded of him too much. So I had to stop teaching first.” And so unfolded his fascinating personal story.

He and his best friend were in a jeepney when the robbers struck. His friend, who was into taekwando, tried to put up a fight; he was stabbed on side with an ice pick. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, but by that time it was too late. Unfortunately the family of his best friend blamed him for his death. Why didn’t he put up a fight too? Why was he able to get off unscathed, while his best friend was bruised and stabbed? His best friend’s wife stopped talking to him, and her children—his godchildren—blamed him for their father’s death. “That’s why it’s still too painful for me to teach,” he said. “I’m always reminded of him.”

Something about his story nagged me. But he continued, “It’s a good thing the investigators released the information that my best friend was stabbed by another accomplice using an ice pick, not the guy who pointed the knife at us. His family always thought that I could have stopped the stabbing because I was in between him and the guy pointing the knife. What they didn’t know was that he was stabbed by the guy right beside him. His mother had to tell the wife to stop blaming me.”

“Why don’t you write about it?” I suggested. “Like a blog or something. Not really to set the record straight, but just so you’ll have an outlet.”

He sighed. “I did. It was in my Friendster blog. That’s where his mother read what really happened. But when I learned that after she read it she was crying and crying, I deleted it.”

I couldn’t help myself anymore. I stepped closer to him and asked in a soft voice, “Your best friend, he wasn’t just your friend, right? He was your partner, right?”

He lowered his voice—and gaze—too. “Uhm, kinda. Well, yes in a way. He was married, I was also for a while; separated now.” Then he looked me straight in the eye. “But, yeah. We were partners. But we never had, you know… I mean, we would hug and kiss and… you know… but we were both top kasi eh.”

“Really?” I most curiously asked.

He nodded. “But sometimes we’d have a bottom with us, and… we’d…” his voice trailed off into a silent smile.

He told me how he always had feelings for his best friend. “Pero galit yun sa mga bading noon eh,” he told me. But when he separated from his wife, he came out to his best friend. “Natanggap naman niya. Tapos… ayun, yun na.”

“But just hug and kiss? Were you guys ever naked in front of each other?” I asked.

“Oh yes.”

My eyebrows shot up. “But… sex…?”

“We’d jack off together,” he said.

Back down went my eyebrows. Hmmmm. “Does his family… know?” I was cautious in asking.

He shook his head. “I don’t know. I really don’t know.”

My phone beeped a warning. “I really have to go now,” I apologized. By that time I was all ready to leave. I shook his hand. “It was fascinating meeting you,” I said. He smiled and nodded.

I turned and left.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Write Copy; Wrong Copy

Someone got too trigger-happy applying the product name.

If Only We Can Say Out Loud What We Think, Part 3

Let’s call the latest member of the cast MF. Apparently CB knows MF. Did something happen to them before? Were they officemates? And more importantly, is this a threesome waiting to happen? Things that made me go, hmmm.

CB was seated diagonally from me; MF sat beside me, so he too could easily glance at CB. CB never bothered to hide his throbbing erection from the two of us.

Aha! Confeeeermed!

So I decided to test MF—is he okay for a three-way, or no way? I loosened up my towel. Nothing. Meanwhile CB was getting restless; he stood up and stepped out. Through the window I saw him enter a shower stall; then the sound of running water followed.

MF used the opportunity to switch places and take over where CB was seated. Now he was diagonally in front of me; this time he sat with his towel carelessly draped over his crotch area.

One-on-one pala gusto mo, ha? O na-get mo na before si CB? No matter.

He made the first move by rubbing himself. I followed. Things escalated and soon he had his towel off and was jacking off in front of me. Then he stood up, approached me, and started rubbing his manhood against mine.

Huuuy, aggressive! Not afraid to take risks. Go, girl!

I noticed he was trying his best to slip his cock between my legs and pushing it lower.

Additional proof to my ever-growing hypothesis: the shorter and less muscular the guy, the more likely he’s a top.

I stood up to prevent him from going any further. He took it as a sign that I was going to kiss him, so he leaned closer to my face. Soon we were kissing. Then we heard the running water stop; CB had finished showering. We broke off our embrace and returned to our places. CB came in, dripping wet and clutching his towel loosely. MF took that opportunity to step out and cool off with a shower. When he was gone, CB laughed and said, “Hope I didn’t interrupt your party.”

I smiled, “Naaaah.”

CB arranged his towel so that it was barely covering his manhood. Pretty soon MF came back in. “Hope I didn’t interrupt your party,” CB repeated, this time to MF. But I answered, “You can join the party if you like.” CB leaned back, closed his eyes and spread his legs.

I stood up and placed myself in between the two. MF allowed me to touch him. CB, on the other hand, had another thing in mind.

“You can suck me now,” he said.

I bet you’re a group supervisor and all your subordinates think you’re too bossy!

But I follow instructions nonetheless. Soon he was moaning. Then in the midst of that, he stopped me and asked, “Are you sure there’s no videocam in here?”

Helleeeeer?! Ano akala mo dito, Pinoy Big Brother?

“It’s too dark in here,” I said, hoping that’ll be enough for him. But CB covered himself up with his towel just the same. So I turned to MF. We finished each other off, with CB watching us. MF stepped out of the sauna ahead of me. Then CB turned to me and said, “Wanna finish me off here?”

I’m finished here.

I just sat there and smiled at him. Then I said, “Excuse me, I need to wash up and cool off. So hot here!” and walked out.

Maybe no more next time. Maybe.

(to be concluded)

Holy Fabcast! (parts 1 & 2)

Good lord, DINUGO ako sa pag-edit ng aming latest Fabcast! It took me the whole weekend to “almost” finish it (I could only start editing last Friday evening; I finished it just this Monday morning; thank god it was raining so hard the whole weekend, so I didn’t feel bad not going out at all).

The first part is 20 minutes long; the second is almost 30 minutes long. This is the longest Fabcast so far. And it’s because the Fabcasters tackled a thorny topic: religion.

Why madugo? The topic in and of itself is something most people would rather not tackle head-on. Also, a lot of what we talked about were conceptual in nature, so I couldn’t just recklessly shortcut what each Fabcaster said. Plus we kept ricocheting from topic to topic so rapidly that it was necessary for me to edit more carefully. Also, most of the Fabcasters would repeat themselves as they tried to think of what to say next.

I think this is going to be a very divisive Fabcast. Only those who think that religion as a topic is relevant to them will take to the Fabcast. The rest will just roll their eyes and tune out. I just hope more regular Fabcast listeners will pleasantly surprise us by actually sticking to this particular Fabcast from beginning to end.

Again, music credits:

“Losing My Religion (acoustic)” by REM
“Beat Goes On” by Madonna.

“Ave Maria Guarani” by Ennio Morricone
“Like A Prayer” by Madonna
“I’ve Never Been To Me” by Charlene

Again, just click on “The McVie Show In Stereo” link found on the left column. You know the drill.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Trailer Park

It’s dark and gloomy and haylaveth! Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Favorite line from the trailer? From Dumbledore: “I’m different.” (Gay subtext?! Dumbledore comes out?! Hahaha.)

Friday, August 01, 2008

If Only We Can Say Out Loud What We Think, Part 2

Remember Call Center Boy? The semikal, tattooed guy whom “nothing really happened” between the two of us in the gym sauna?

Well, he (let’s call him CB) was waiting for me at the gym sauna this morning. I knew CB was waiting because when he saw me at my locker right after my workout, he then ducked into the sauna. And I knew he was waiting because his towel was already tenting when I stepped into the dark, heated room.

Hindi ka naman excited, ano?

CB went through the motions, closing his eyes as if soaking in the heat, putting his small towel over his head so as to hide his face, refusing to look my way.

Arte mo—ha. Baduy—ha. O sha, sige na nga. If that’ll put you to ease, then go ahead.

He spread his legs wider, to allow me a peek. So I shifted my weight to move closer to him, and reached out my hand.

He shifted his leg away. “Just look,” he said.

My gawsh?! After all that we’ve been through the last time, ngayon ka pa mag-iinarte?! Ay sus, di gaanong kahabaan ang hair mo, ‘teh.

He smiled at me. “Remember, last time didn’t happen.”

And if you keep this kabaduyan up, this time will not happen!

But I was Miss Congeniality this morning. “Of course, it never happened,” I returned his smile.

Then came CB’s killer question: “Are you sure you didn’t tell anyone, huh?”


I whispered, “Naaaah,” like I was letting him in on a secret.

Extrapolating from Google Analytics, I think more than 300-plus people know about you by now. And now you’ve just given me a great follow-up to your previous episode in The McVie Show.

But then we heard sounds of shuffling feet outside, and we pretended we were minding our own business in our own personal spaces. The sauna door opened, and in came this guy. He looks like the less-handsome younger brother of Michael Flores (of the defunct TV show “TGIS”), scrunched to around 5’4” and with a belly that’s a little bit out of control. He glanced at me then at CB. And I swear I saw CB nod “Hi” and I heard him grunt a greeting.

OMG. Ladies and gentlemen, change script! Change episode ito!

(to be continued)