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, November 30, 2008


Watched a French film, Moliere, with my friend at his office. In the DVD cover it was billed as “the French Shakespeare In Love” and it’s a very convenient marketing one-liner. French historians and biographers have long noted that the celebrated playwright Moliere “disappeared” for almost a year; no records can be found of what he did or where he was during that time. This movie imagines what happened in Moliere’s missing years. And much like the Oscar winner film starring Gwyneth Paltrow, this one also asks, “What events could have inspired this great playwright to come up great characters, plots and themes?” Or as the director noted in the behind-the-scenes, they were intrigued by the idea of having the playwright interact with characters from his plays.

The movie is quite entertaining and engaging even if one isn’t familiar with Moliere’s works (most notably “Tartuffe”). But for the artists, students and fans of the theater, watching the film is an even richer treat. I will not bore you with a review; instead, let me share my reaction to a couple of points raised.

The film portrays Moliere as instinctively adept at comedy but amusingly inept at tragedy; his theater group has earned a reputation for their farces that audiences have come to expect. Yet ironically he views comedy as a lower form of theater, a study of mechanical mannerisms unlike tragedy, which mines the depths of the human condition. In one scene Mme. Jourdain insists that Moliere’s comic abilities touched her more than his skills in drama that, alas, are tragic to watch; when he complains that there are no comedies that explore the human condition, she rebukes him, “Then invent one!”

Much later on she requests Moliere to make her laugh during a time of grave sadness. When he complains that her condition was no laughing matter, she utters my most favorite line in the movie: “Unhappiness has comic aspects one should never underestimate.”

I have often heard the following sentiment uttered regarding some of the greatest comedians: They who can make us the laugh the most often have had the saddest of lives. To an extent I agree with it, for often it is laughter that saves them from utter despair. It is said that comedy is an indication of a sharp mind; comedy helps the mind make sense of senselessness.

Which makes the laughing/crying mask of the theater a great symbol for comedians—behind every laughing façade is a face filled with tears.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


He was chinky-eyed, wearing glasses that made him look nerdy and more appealing. While we were cuddling afterwards, I found out he loved kissing—long, deep, passionate. In between he kept tracing his finger over my eyebrows and the bridge of my nose—I couldn’t help but smile when he did that.

“I like your eyes sir,” he said.

What did he just call me? I pretended I didn’t understand what he said and went, “Huh?”

“I like your eyes sir,” he repeated. Yup, he actually called me ‘sir’. I should have recognized red flag number one.

He kept insisting, “You have very handsome eyes. They’re kinda chinky.”

“Wha—? Of course not,” I retorted with a laugh. He had taken off his glasses and placed it on top of the bedside locker before we went at it, so he had to be pulling my leg. But what for? Unfortunately red flag number two also went unnoticed.

A while later he said, “You look like you’re in a good line of work.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“You look like you have a decent job,” he clarified. “You know? You don’t look like someone who is tambay sa kanto, hahaha.”

That was the third red flag that I didn’t recognize.

After chatting for a while I said, “Okay, time to wash up.” It was already past 12:30am, and I had work in a few hours. As he was arranging his towel around his waist, he suddenly looked up as if an important thought struck him. “What?” I asked. He was wrestling with himself; in the end, he said it anyway: “Hey, maybe you have some extra income and you want to invest or something,” his words tumbling over each other in a rush before he could lose his nerve.

Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech to a halt.




“I’m sorry…?” I pretended once again.

And he asked me once more, this time with less stammering. I don’t remember much the full details because they sounded irrelevant to me, but I heard stuff like: “not some pyramid scheme,” “added income” and “only if you’re interested.”

Good lord, I was being given an honest-to-goodness sales pitch inside a bathhouse right after hot and heavy sex. A sales pitch, for cryin’ out loud! Are times really that hard? It took all of my will power to keep a smile plastered on my face, but I folded my hands in front of me. “Ahhh… nah,” I said and stood up to usher him out of my room.

He tried one last attempt. “Okay, so you’re not interested,” he conceded. “But maybe you have friends whom you can refer?”

I wanted to end this as quickly as possible. “Okay, I’ll ask them.”

“But it’s going to be awkward if I get in touch with them without your endorsement,” he said. Oh boy, he wasn’t going to fade out quietly.

“Look,” I said, more firmly, “I’m not interested, even to recommend.” And I took his arm and led him to the door. If he still insists, I’m going to take off the gloves.

“Oh, okay. Thank you sir,” he said on the way out. Sir, he said again. That should have tipped me off from the start.

* * * * *

On my way home I wondered, do I look like the Mother Teresa of the Bathhouses? Which gave me an idea: what if I actually come up with an Order of The Bathhouse Acolytes, or OBA? Our mission: to bring comfort to the sexually needy. And instead of Spiritual Exercises like the Jesuits, we’ll have the Sexual Exercises—an updated, M2M version of the Kama Sutra.

Who will want to join?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

New Trailers

Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince



She’s A-Live!

Kairita lola mo ha. Hataw kung hataw—with matching ramp on the side pa!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Fare Thee Well, MGG

Manila Gay Guy Dot Com is now formally closed. But Migs is still very much alive—he’s in the U.S. reinventing himself. Up to now I still don’t know his reasons for closing down one of the more popular Pinoy GLBT blogs, but whatever they may be, I support him in whatever future plans he’s cooking up.

Leave when you’re on top, Migs.

“Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.” – Lazurus Long

‘Tis The Season To Beyonce

I wonder how many groups of three gay guys or three girls or any permutation in between will attempt to perform “Single Ladies” for their company/barkada/organization Christmas party this year? Let the rehearsals begin!

Will they pull off this move?

How about this one?

Can they go as low as Beyonce?

Or will they be slapping themselves silly afterwards and asking themselves, “What were we thinking?!”

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Okay, okay, it’s a chick flick. So sue me. But there is something primal about seeing two talented actresses go on an all-out comedic catfight. And I really love movies that make fun of weddings—there really is such a thin line between sincere and schmaltzy.

Mmm Whatcha Say?

I find the following absurdly giggle-worthy. From Saturday Night Live, as posted in

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Can someone please tell me the title and artist of the song used?

I Want You To Burn

The Coen Brothers’ Burn After Reading is like the funny jokester cousin of their Oscar-winner No Country For Old Men. While Country is more linear and Burn more convoluted, the two movies mirror a lot of what the Coens often touch on: crimes are committed, bodies pile up, bad things happen to good people, people may or may not get away with murder, not everything or everyone always makes sense, and life is random. In Country a suitcase full of money fuels the narrative; in Burn a disk of a CIA analyst’s memoirs is what triggers a web of mayhem. Half a dozen people are sucked into this mess, and almost all of them end up in varying levels of loss.

Part of the fun in watching this black comedy is seeing a top-notch cast having fun. Brad Pitt in particular has perfected the act of dumb; methinks he has embraced the fact that no matter how hard he tries to downplay or even disfigure his pretty mug, Brad Pitt is still Brad Pitt. George Clooney, on the other hand, has those irritating facial and head ticks that get in the way. It’s as if he’s still trying very hard to convince the viewers to look past his handsome face: “Look peeps! This is my funny face!” Relax George, and take it from your pal Brad—you look good, now forget about it. Frances McDormand’s single woman neediness is so palpable; she makes her character so pathetic yet sympathetic. Tilda Swinton can literally freeze the screen whenever she’s in it; she’s a lot sharper and colder here than as the Ice Queen in The Chronicles of Narnia, and this one’s sans CG. (I wonder if she can pull off a ditsy blonde role.) And John Malkovich keeps his acting ticks mostly in check as the CIA analyst who thinks he’s control but is actually in way over his head; he’s got the puzzled stare of a loser who doesn’t know he is one.

The Coens have always had this bleak view of life in all of their films, even the comedies. It’s interesting that in Country the movie ends abruptly (in a much discussed and debated ending that was only edged by The Sopranos’ similar cut-to-black finale). Burn begins with the camera zooming into Earth from space, and ends with a zoom out from the ground back to the heavens. Life’s randomness is puzzling and abrupt if you’re in it; but if you have a detached view of life, maybe you’ll even find it amusing. God must be ROTFL right now.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Give Me A Brake

A few years after college, I was with a straight friend in the old Greenbelt 1 parking lot. (Back then Greenbelt 1 had no “1” to its name; it was the only Greenbelt around. The parking lot is where Greenbelt 2 is now located.) It was an open parking lot, and we were driving out under the cruel heat of the afternoon sun when suddenly a car from the left came barreling towards our path. My friend, who had been driving a lot longer than me, screamed, “Aaaaaaaaaah!” In fairness, it was a full-bodied, full-throttle man-scream, not some girly screech or shriek. I, on the other hand, stepped on the brakes. The other car hurtled past in front of us, not even slowing down. What an asshole driver.

My friend looked at me calmly holding on to the wheel and, after a few seconds, remarked, “Wow, how could you have been so cool just now?”

Truth is I wasn’t even trying to be cool. Even now I remember what happened very well. As soon as I saw the car coming, I figured out in a split second that: [a] the driver wasn’t even looking at our direction; [b] he wouldn’t slow down; [c] if I immediately slammed on the brakes really hard, we’d prevent an impact. So I did.

Was I afraid? I don’t think I had time to even allow myself to feel fear. It happened so fast it was over just like that. And the danger disappeared just as quickly so I didn’t find the time—or even the necessity—to experience post-traumatic syndrome.

But what I had was a perfect cinematic moment. So I looked at my friend and nonchalantly asked, “Do you think my car would’ve stopped had I just screamed too?”

To my straight friend I looked so cool behind the wheel that day.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

If You Could Travel Back In Time

One night I received this text message from Chronicles of E: “If you had a chance to go back in the past and talk to yourself when you were 8 years old, then 16 years old, what will you tell yourself?”

To my 8-year-old me: Relax. Stop comparing yourself to your older brother. You are not him; you are you. Take up theater earlier. And sexual orientation is not a choice.

To my 16-year-old me: Relax. So what if you’re gay? You don’t have to tell your parents if you feel you can’t. Oh, and stop falling for those straights, okay? Get over them—now. The earlier you start seeing other gay men like you, the better.

There! The shorter the message, the less said, the better—if only to prevent a major disruption in the space/time continuum.

So what will you say to you?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I was pleasantly surprised one evening to discover that The Link, the building beside Landmark in Makati, was lit up like the Beijing National Aquatic Center, aka the Water Cube.



During one photoshoot with Dave Fabros, I decided to play with a sculpture of a man drinking from a mug. Dave bought that piece in New York, if I’m not mistaken.

And this particular billboard for GlutaMax shows comedienne Jinky Oda in before/after photos with the headline: “From ebony to ivory.” I find the change from fat, dark and curly hair to thin, light-skinned and straight hair particularly unsettling.

Walang Kawala Ang Walang Kawala

“Walang Kawala” (No Way Out) is a gay-themed movie by multi-awarded director Joel Lamangan and could be the Philippine’s answer to the Oscar-winning “Brokeback Mountain” and “Pulp Fiction.” “Walang Kawala” features Polo Ravales and Joseph Bitangcol playing the most daring role in their career so far. Produced by Manny Valera with screenplay by Eric Ramos, Walang Kawala is a very promising movie that could reap various awards abroad. Also starring in “Walang Kawala” are Jean Garcia and Emilio Garcia. Introducing in the movie are newbies Althea Vega and Marco Morales.

The paragraph above (which I’ve copied-and-pasted from is obviously a press release. To place this movie alongside Ang Lee’s masterpiece and Quentin Tarantino’s groundbreaking film is the work of someone who is, to paraphrase the title, walang kaalam-alam.

Okay, let’s start with the positives. Polo Ravales (who is a co-producer of this digital flick) musters a relatively decent portrayal of an unassuming fisherman named Joaquin. He tries his best to maintain a level of truth to his portrayal, even if the script and director forces him to wail out loud “Putang ina mo, Rufo!” in a apoplectic fit full of sound and furious melodrama, signifying nothing. Joseph Bitangcol, playing Joaquin’s neighbor Waldo, has grown by leaps and bounds as a body, not as an actor. He seems to have benefited most from his gym coach, not his acting coach. Still he is a sight to behold, a barely legal jailbait in skimpy briefs with pubic hair peeking out from the sides. (Yes, the director deemed it necessary to show us that for dramatic purposes. But more of that later.) And the kid can gyrate his way to the top of the macho dancing food chain (where aspiring bold actors who want a quick shot up the celebrity ladder usually land). Okay, let’s congratulate Bitangcol’s dance coach too. My major beef with him is his hair; maybe he was being Method about it and asked a third-rate hairdresser to do his hair. Given that his character comes from a poor provincial town, hmmm, on second thought what a brilliant acting choice!

The veteran actors fare slightly better. The Garcias (Emilio and Jean, not related of course) bring to their roles experience, skill and the ability to make much with so little. Unfortunately it’s just much of the same. A scowl here, a pensive glance or two there, and lots of crying or grimacing when needed—sure, we’ve all seen them before, but at least you can see some effort. Emilio succeeds in certain scenes in portraying the conflicted love-hate relationship he has with his wife—and himself. Okay, okay, I may have over-read his performance, but at least he made me feel his character was unhinged and could go off anytime. Sure, he skirts the boundaries of “okay” and “OA”, but in this movie that kind of over-the-top acting is relatively bearable. That’s what age and experience can bring to the table. Too bad that can’t be said of the direction.

Where oh where is the Joel Lamangan of before? Early in his movie directing career he was positioning himself to follow the late great Lino Brocka in coming up with compelling melodramas that were also biting social commentaries. So where is he now? In one extended scene designed more to titillate than illuminate, Polo watches a strip show with Marco Morales gyrating; suddenly Polo “sees” Joseph in Marco’s place (he found out earlier that Joseph used to work in the same gay bar). Joseph dances, and dances, and dances. And dances some more, in a bid to win Best Performance by An Actor Gyrating Angrily. I’m there in my seat going, “I got it, I got the point of this scene two seconds into it” when suddenly Joseph disappears and it’s back to Marco again and he ends the scene with a flourish and a full frontal of his sizable talent. Bravo! In another scene, a gay friend gazes longingly over Joseph’s briefs-clad sleeping body. The camera pans oh so lovingly slowly from head-to-foot, evoking that classic top-to-bottom reveal of Barbra Streisand after her make-over in The Mirror Has Two Faces—two scenes truly gasp-inducing on several levels.

The movie starts as “Where in the world is Waldo?” then moves on into “What in the world is happening?” and “Where in the world is the director?” territories. Unfortunately I have no idea how to answer those questions because I didn’t stay ‘til the end of Walang Kawala to find out the fate of Joaquin and Waldo. Because there was a way out of the movie house, unlike here, where I don’t know how to end this episode of The McVie Sh—


What Twilight? Duh. Next to Harry Potter next year, this is what I’m breathlessly waiting for come May 2008:

The opening sequence of the trailer is so Mission: Impossible 3, hahaha. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tom Cruise is the police officer in a cameo role.

Burn, Baby, Burn

Now that Southern California is going up in flames, I’m half-expecting Sharon Stone to say something like, that’s their karma for passing Proposition 8. Hmmmm.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hair Cut

Recently I was told that, given my numerous stories of sexual encounters here in The McVie Show, some readers think that I am any of the following: [1] lucky with sex; [2] skilled at snaring guys for sex; or [3] drop-dead gorgeous and fucklicious.

Let’s get number three out of the way first. My photo is present here in The McVie Show, and I’ve also posted other photos of me here. Brad Pitt will definitely not feel threatened at all by me. Heck, not even Brod. Pete will be perturbed. In the Male Physical Beauty Bell Curve, I am lost somewhere in the mass middle. So to those who think that “ang haba-haba ng hair ni McVie!”, I say to thee: Kulot po buhok ko; at maraming puting buhok na.

As for number one, I can count the number of times I got to hook up with an Adonis-like hunk: a grand total of zero, ziltch, zip. I must say that I do get “lucky” in a sense that I get to have some action in places or at times when it seems least expected. But I do not consider that as all-luck. Rather, it’s a combination of luck and that quality mentioned in number two: skill. It’s skill that’s honed by experience (yes, I admit I’m old). It’s really more about reading signs and seizing opportunities rather than forcing events and people to conform to what you want. Remember, the universe will not bend to your will, “The Secret” be damned. Rather, you ride with the waves of the Fates, and always be on the sharp lookout—a glance held a second too long, a double-take, a towel slung dangerously low, a lifting of an eyebrow.

And most important of all is this: For every one successful sex story in The McVie Show, there are four (or more) unsuccessful attempts that go unmentioned. Of course I don’t write about them; there’s nothing to write about! (And there’s nothing funny about rejection. Well, maybe there is, and one day I’ll be mature enough to not only laugh about it but also blog about it.) It’s knowing what to cut.

So, don’t think I’m a larger-than-life sex machine when I tell you that I hooked up with a hot daddy yesterday afternoon at the bathhouse, and that he silently closed his eyes and moaned in quiet ecstasy while I slowly pushed my cock into his willing ass. Because before that, there was this sizzling hot young Chinoy stud (possibly in his early 20s), all lean yet ripped, with the smoothest, lick-able skin, wearing a red cap that slyly covered his eyes—I saw him look at me and ignore me and, in quick succession, hooked and dragged into his room (which was right beside mine) three of the hottest men in the crowd at that time. And I could hear every creak and squeak, every moan and groan bouncing off the walls and ceiling and torturing me as I listened from behind a thin wooden wall. And much later, when he actually stood beside me along the corridor, and I looked straight into his eyes and moved inches closer to him and then reached out and caressed his right nipple, he just looked bored at my hand, turned and walked away.

Last I checked my hair is close-cropped, not long and flowing.

Death Becomes Her

Our latest Fabcast is an interview with our special guest, writer-director-producer Chris Martinez. Because I already talked about his triumphant indie film 100 here, I will instead talk about some behind-the-scenes moments during the recording.

We recorded at the second floor of Bo’s Café along Katipunan Avenue (in front of Miriam College). After mentioning that the film won the Audience’s Choice Award in Pusan Film Festival in Korea, we were making flippant jokes about the Korean audience when Gibbs pointed out that there were two Korean students at the table across ours, still within hearing distance. Good thing they were too busy talking to each other—they’re the noisy ones talking in the background throughout most of the podcast—that they did not hear us.

We recorded more than an hour’s worth of chitchat, but afterwards Chris requested that the Fabcast focus more on the film rather than his other works. That made it easier for me to keep the final material within a manageable length.

At first I had several songs already lined up as interjections throughout the podcast, but when I heard “Love Montage” from the Dying Young soundtrack, I ditched the songs. Final credits: “Zaturnnah Transformation Music” by Vincent de Jesus, “Love Montage from Dying Young OST” by James Newton Howard, and a recorded recital of the poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas (from the album A Century of Recorded Poetry).

So now here’s our latest Fabcast. There are two ways to listen to it.

[1] Listen to it here on the embedded media player:

[2] Or click on “The McVie Show In Stereo!” link on the left side.

Missed it during Cinemalaya? Or want to watch it again? Now you can watch 100 in SM and Glorietta cinemas starting December 3 (distributed by Star Cinema). Don’t miss this funny and touching film. Go watch and see why people have been raving about this film.

Cinemalaya 2008’s Best Actress Mylene Dizon, Best Supporting Actress Eugene Domingo, and Best Director Chris Martinez, holding their trophies.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

We’re Not That Kind

If I were kind, I’d assume they were talking about many past wedding experiences. Or, there were several wedding shops and services that had moved from the ground floor to some undisclosed location within the mall.

But I’m not. I’m pretty sure they misplaced an apostrophe.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Finding Our Roles

(The following episode was triggered by an SMS message from Ricky Abad which I received last night: Tanghalang Ateneo garnered two 2008 Aliw Awards: best production for “The Death Of Memory” by Glenn Mas, and best director for Ricky Abad [for the same production]. Yay, go TA!)

(photos from the official TA website)

* * * * *

Growing up, I needed to step out from under my older brother’s very long and successful shadow. But he always got the higher grades, and he was the more popular one (he was voted student council president when we were in grade school; teachers and fellow students always referred to me as, “Oh, you’re the brother of!”). Theater became my refuge and differentiating point.

During my time (1985-88), TA was still a struggling theater company. We weren’t that organized at marketing and promoting our plays, and I remember one opening night wherein the cast outnumbered the audience. As performers and stagehands we weren’t professional either. Stage managers didn’t even know how to properly mark their scripts with stage directions. And during TA cast parties we’d regale ourselves with hilarious on-set boo-boos: panels that shouldn’t have been onstage; two monks instead of just one monk; lights switching on at the wrong time, catching the stagehands in the middle of setting-up; a supposed “corpse” that farted during the mourning scene. The joke was that no TA production was gaffe-less. But things improved thanks to my friend and batchmate Alice Mendoza. She insisted that I stage-manage a TA production; when I complained that I had no idea what SM-ing was all about, she forced me to borrow a book on stage management in the library.

The first production I stage managed was Antigone. Ricky Abad played Creon and he got mad at us after a particular performance because he saw us giggling at the light booth during his monologue (we were actually laughing at what someone said in the booth). The late Doreen Fernandez, after watching another performance, actually praised us: “This is the very first TA play I saw that had professional polish.” The next production I stage managed was The Importance Of Being Earnest. Marlon Rivera (now the president and executive creative director of Publicis Manila), who was a batch ahead of us, remarked that this was the first TA performance he ever watched that had zero boo-boos.

I actually preferred to be onstage than backstage and left the SM-ing to more junior members. I was often cast as support or a member of the chorus, aka extra. But while we were in TA a couple of us felt disappointed that the lead roles always went to the better looking ones. This is unfair typecasting! we fumed. It was only when I was in advertising and doing casting calls that I realized the value of appropriate casting, and that it also relies a lot on the looks. Nowadays I wouldn’t even cast myself in a romantic lead role (unless the character’s quite quirky and the producer isn’t interested in earning his money back).

When I finally got a chance during fourth year college to essay a co-lead role, it was for Tony Perez’s dramatic two-character weeper, Gabun. And it was directed by no less than former Rep actor Junix Innocian (who later on would join in the grand exodus that was Miss Saigon). As scripted, my character was to break down and cry at the end; I, who had perfected the “boys-don’t-cry” façade (I was resisting my being gay back then), was terrified. I never was able to genuinely summon my tears in any of my performances; in every curtain call I felt like a fake, bowing to the audience’s applause when I knew I failed again.

After graduation I limited my interaction with TA to parties and watching gala night performances. I would become the resident DJ for TA parties for several years. I would attend a party lugging a big suitcase full of CDs. While everyone was enjoying the party, dancing, getting drunk, and falling in or out of love, I was busy making sure everyone had a good time. I loved and resented the role I ended up in. A couple of times I relinquished my throne and ended up getting impatient (along with the others) at the one in charge of the music during the party. So I embraced my being Mister DJ and moved on from CDs to MP3s. Good thing that these days TA parties have enough budget so that they either bring a videoke or hire a professional party DJ.

All this time I would drop by Katipunan area on my way home and catch up with Ricky and the TA kids. In the mid-90s I got antsy and angst-sy, and resigned from advertising to scratch my theater itch. I organized the tour of TA’s Ang Kambal in Janiuay, Iloilo and Roxas City. I was in the cast and crew when Marlon directed Makbet. And I found the courage to direct my first play ever, fearlessly tackling the Bard’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Years later I accepted Ron Capinding’s invitation to join the cast of Bayan-bayanan which he directed for TA. He remembered my stories about my Gabun debacle, and he insisted that I would have a crying scene in the play. I guess the added years have been helpful; I had enough experience with loss and disappointment—not to mention a “what the heck, might as well just do it” attitude—to help me turn on the waterworks even during rehearsals.

Recently a blog reader asked me if I could direct a play again, and I realized how much I miss theater. I have difficulty finding the time even just to watch plays. Recently we worked with the Silly People’s Improv Theater (or SPIT); working with them has made me missed acting and the theater even more.

I wonder how my next role will evolve. I realize I work best in a support role with an occasional upstaging here and there, whether in theater or in the corporate world. I’m like Star Trek: Next Generation’s No. 2 without the constant pa-cute head tilt. I’m the Bayani Agbayani beside Cesar Montano or Aga Muhlach. Or the Chris Tucker beside Jackie Chan. Or Tina Fey beside Sarah Palin; no wait, maybe it’s the other way around. Oh what the heck.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Nicole Doesn’t Have Her Period!

It was Leigh who pointed it out to me.

“Notice that Clear billboard with Nicole?” she asked.

“Yup,” I replied.

“It doesn’t have a period after the word ‘convinced’,” she declared, laughter rising beneath her words. “So it reads, “‘I’m convinced my name is Nicole’. Well, good for her!”

I laughed out loud. “At least she is pretty clear what her name is.”

Friday, November 07, 2008

And Now For Some Poetry

I’m really a prose guy. But once in a while, I do come across a poem or two, and bam! Often my reaction is an “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh…”, delayed. But when a poem creeps under my skin, my initial reaction is followed by “wow”.

And suddenly all is right in the world.

The first one is a poem that Leigh read out loud during her talk “Approaching advertising through poetry” for Raw School last night (it’s really just her excuse to turn on young creatives of ad agencies into poetry). I dedicate it to all those holier-than-thou’s who look down on me whenever I mention that sex without love is fun.

“Sex Without Love” by Sharon Olds

How do they do it, the ones who make love
without love? Beautiful as dancers,
gliding over each other like ice-skaters
over the ice, fingers hooked
inside each other’s bodies, faces
red as steak, wine, wet as the
children at birth whose mothers are going to
give them away. How do they come to the
come to the come to the God come to the
still waters, and not love
the one who came there with them, light
rising slowly as steam off their joined
skin? These are the true religious,
the purists, the pros, the ones who will not
accept a false Messiah, love the
priest instead of the God. They do not
mistake the lover for their own pleasure,
they are like great runners: they know they are alone
with the road surface, the cold, the wind,
the fit of their shoes, their over-all cardio-
vascular health—just factors, like the partner
in the bed, and not the truth, which is the
single body alone in the universe
against its own best time.

Then again, there are times (more often than not) when I just don’t get it on first and second reading; that’s when I turn to Leigh for help. The following poem I stumbled upon while flipping through one of Leigh’s hefty poetry anthology books. It was short, so I read it. And I didn’t get it.

“Luck” by Langston Hughes

Sometimes a crumb falls
From the tables of joy,
Sometimes a bone
Is flung.

To some people
Love is given,
To others
Only heaven.

I had to ask Leigh what it meant before I could grasp—feebly, if I may add—what the poet was trying to say. (Sigh. How embarrassing.)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

All The World’s A Stage

Back in the mid-nineties I took almost a year off from the rat race and went back to my theater roots. I managed a tour in the Visayas, appeared onstage in several plays, and finally directed my first Shakespearean play: A Midsummer Night’s Dream. We used the excellent Filipino translation by the late National Artist for Theater Rolando Tinio, and I had the honor of having the National Artist for Production Design Salvador “Badong” Bernal as the stage designer and costume consultant for that particular production.

I had just watched Bas Luhrmann’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire “Manila is a cockroach den!” Danes) then, so I was pretty pumped up to turn the play topsy-turvy (it also helped that the play lent itself well to being flipped around by flips like me). My staging conceit was live-theater-meets-MTV, and I placed the play-within-a-play inside a dance club, aka Forest Disco. The fairy king and queen (Oberon and Titania) were costumed to look like Elvis and Diana Ross respectively. For the role of the mischievous fairy Puck, I cast a male and a female to alternate in that role—the change in gender made for an interesting interpretation of the character every other performance. I used canned pop and dance music liberally (to hell with copyright issues!) and opened the play with the whole cast dancing to All Saints’ “I Know Where It’s At” underneath pulsating lights and a spinning disco ball. We had a ball rehearsing and performing the play.

That production still remains as one of the scenes that will flash before my eyes right before I kick the proverbial bucket.

So when I saw the following trailer, I felt somewhat nostalgic and wistful—now why didn’t I think of putting on a much gay-er twist to the play? But that was then.

This is now. It’s not really Shakespeare, but still.

I hope they show this in Manila theaters.

Of Elections And Erections

Americans chose an African-Amercian to be their next president. Californians voted to pass Prop 8, which bans gay marriages in that state. I guess the emancipation of race had a head start over the emancipation of sexuality.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

And Now A Word From The Losing Side

Palintology – the study of a prehistoric mind that is susceptible to prank calls by a fake French president. Palintology focuses on a particular creature capable of burying herself in her own grave and dragging presidential candidate John McCain along with her.

It’s An Obama-nation!

While watching Obama’s speech at our office conference room, I suddenly had that “I-am-a-speck-in-the-universe” moment/feeling. And I thought, how good it feels to be alive and witness a historic moment: the first African-American President of the United States.

Historic moments; I’ve witnessed a few (and even participated in one). John Lennon meets a deranged fan who imagines himself as Jodie Foster’s lover and does the unimaginable. Michael Jackson catapults the moonwalk into pop stratosphere at the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever television special. Ferdinand Marcos mishears “Hawaii” as “Paoay”, leading to EDSA 1986. Bob Geldof mounts two simultaneous concerts across the Atlantic with Live Aid—and unleashing an unforgettable performance by Freddie Mercury and Queen. President Ronald Reagan meets a bullet outside a Washington hotel. Princess Diana gets intimate with a Parisian tunnel wall. The World Trade Center says hello to two airplanes and goodbye to the world.

So will we live to see the first openly gay President of the United States?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Hot Sex

If you were kind you’d call him “plump”, but if you’re feeling high and mighty you can use “corpulent” to sound highfalutin. Still I think the latter wouldn’t bother him a bit. He’s one of those who have accepted their girth and now sport an “I-don’t-care-if-you-don’t-like-me” attitude. It’s that attitude that gives them the confidence and daring to approach whoever they like and make the moves on them. But if they were rejected they’d just move on to their next target. No rejection could halt them from their hunt.

I’ve noticed him hunting in the gym sauna before, but I never paid him any attention until recently, when it was just the two of us left inside. It was past peak hours, and no one else was in the shower area. He was particularly aggressive, and dived immediately to suck me off while I kept watch on the door. He was skilled, devouring the whole length of my shaft and flicking his tongue to lick my balls. But then another gym member hit the showers, and we had to disengage before I could get any release. The other guy entered the sauna and cut short our fun activity.

The next morning he was there again. Immediately we picked up where we left off. He had me rock hard and gasping for breath. And then he turned around, dropped his towel, and sat down on me. Woah! His enormous ass cheeks enveloped my still slick cock in a tight embrace. That drove me insane. I immediately arched my back, pushing my hips up to bury myself deeper in between his butt cheeks. He reached behind him, grabbed my ass and pushed them up. Argh! I couldn’t stand it anymore. I stood up and started pounding away. I put my arm around his ample chest and held tight, all the while pumping furiously. I was panting hard and fast, but I couldn’t breath. My throat and lungs were on fire. What the—?! And then it hit me. It was the hot, dry air inside the sauna. I was desperately out of breath. Oh what the hell. I pushed off, patted his shoulders and gasped, “Hold on—shower—init—wait—!” and practically jumped out the door, my towel grasped loosely around my waist.

I could see steam rising from my arms and shoulders as I stumbled into the nearest shower stall and turned on the water full blast. Good lord, was I just burning up inside?

In a few seconds my body sufficiently cooled down. But then two other members entered the shower area. Good enough excuse for me to abort again.

Mentally I berated myself. Memo to me: Never, ever engage in highly strenuous activity—even frottage—while inside a very hot confined space.

The following morning I turned the thermostat down several notches before I entered the sauna.

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Singing Be(yonce)

I was playing the new Beyonce single, “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” in my car while we were driving to the cemetery:

“All the single ladies! (All the single ladies.)
All the single ladies! (All the single ladies.)
Now put your hands up!”

I was quietly humming it to myself when my sister piped in from the back: “Kuya, ano daw? ‘Oh, lasing na ladies’?”

Wa-ah-oh, a-a-oh!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Have Some Kimchi

Sometimes when you watch something on YouTube, you end up asking questions.

What for?
Was it “tots my bad-eh” or “torch my body”?
Was he breastfed by his mom when he was a baby?
And finally: Did he actually sing, “Tots my body, don’t you love my cock”?

I was never really a fan of the song, but I actually watched this video until the end. It’s his falsetto that’s a killer.