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)

Thursday, December 31, 2009

All The Single Ladies…

…now put your hands up! In despair and fear as the following movie rolls towards the theaters in the coming months.

Hindi siya “Shake, Rattle & Roll” pero matakot na tayong lahat. LOL

The movie doesn’t have too many actors, eh?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


What would you do if Friend One of yours confides in you that he’s interested in your Friend Two (they just met that night), but thinks Friend Two is not interested in him? Then you have a chat with Friend Two and you find out that Friend Two is actually interested in Friend One, except that he assumes Friend One wasn’t into guys like him?

Two friends both interested in each other but both with the mistaken notion that the one isn’t interested in the other. So what would you do?

Me? Play Stupid Cupid and give each of them the other’s phone number.

* * * * *

But I’ve also learned my lesson well. After playing Nokia (“connecting people”), I’m going to get the hell out of the way and stand back. Way, waaaaaay back.

Malamig Ang Pasko Fabcast, Part 2

Here’s the second and last part of our Christmas Fabcast, in which the Fabcasters and the peanut gallery articulate their hopes and wishes for 2010.

Listen: (22 min 57 sec)

Download this episode (right click and save - 22 MB)

Music credits:

Ryan Cayabyab and the San Miguel Philharmonic Orchestra and the San Miguel Master Chorale

"Tuloy Na Tuloy Pa Rin Ang Pasko"
"Paskong Walang Hanggan"

Monday, December 28, 2009

Malamig Ang Pasko Fabcast, Part 1

Migs is back from the U.S., and that occasion calls for a Fabcast or two—or more. We met up for dinner and attempted to record a podcast at the open-air area of the UCC Garden Café near Glorietta. The venue isn’t the most conducive to podcasting, so as producer I resorted to passing the mike around. Thus you will hear voices coming in and out. But still, we had so much fun despite the very public nature of the venue.

Oh, and someone from the peanut gallery of a previous Fabcast (and who was a big hit then) now makes his spectacular comeback.

Listen: (16 min 16 sec)
Download this fabcast (right click and save - 15.6 MB)

Music credits:

Ryan Cayabyab and the San Miguel Philharmonic Orchestra and the San Miguel Master Chorale

"Kampana Ng Simbahan"
"Pasko Na Sinta Ko"
"Heto Na Naman"

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Gay Pride Fabcast, Part 2

Here’s the second and last part of the Gay Pride Fabcast. Listen and enjoy!

Download this fabcast (right click and save)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wrap Speed!

I’d like to nominate the following in the 2010 Oscars as Best in DVD Packaging: Star Trek Enterprise Limited Edition.

It is a toy and a display…

…as well as a DVD container…

…holding the 2 discs.

To boldly go where no DVD packaging has gone before!

Make The Yuletide Gay

Because I am a huge fan of irony, here’s my YouTube video for Christmas, the one original song written specifically for the movie version of “Phantom Of The Opera”. It was sung by Minnie Driver in the movie’s end credits, but for the Oscars it was (over)performed by Beyonce.

Child of the wilderness,
Born into emptiness—
Learn to be lonely,
Learn to find your way in darkness.

Who will be there for you?
Comfort and care for you?
Learn to be lonely,
Learn to be your one companion.

Never dreamed out in the world
There are arms to hold you—
You’ve always known your heart was on its own.

So laugh in your loneliness,
Child of the wilderness!
Learn to be lonely,
Learn how to love life that is lived alone.

Learn to be lonely.
Learn to be your one companion.

Never dreamed out in the world
There are arms to hold you—
You’ve always known your heart was on its own.

So laugh in your loneliness,
Child of the wilderness!
Learn to be lonely.
Learn how to love life that is lived alone.

Learn to be lonely,
Life can be lived, life can be loved alone.

* * * * *

I actually view the song not as a pathetic attempt at justifying one’s loneliness. Instead, it’s embracing loneliness, not denying its existence but instead accepting it and, in the process, transcending it.

Happiness, as well as loneliness, is still a choice.

Let’s all choose a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Day In The Metro

It’s something I’m not used to anymore, given that for the past several years the Family McVie would troop to either Bohol or Baguio to spend the holidays there. Still, it’s a welcome change. Whenever we’d go to Bohol it’ll just be my mom and aunt plus the unmarried ones. My two married brothers have their wives and children to think about—and to shoulder their airfare. Meanwhile the unmarried ones can pay for our mom’s plane ticket. So we end up physically apart as a family.

But this year since everyone’s in the metro, we’ll be spending Christmas lunch together. And that is something to be thankful for.

(Our Christmas tree at home.)

(I chose and bought the parol that now brightens up our garage at night.)

Tonight I’ll spend it sleeping on my old bed in my old room, clutching my old pillow. My mom and sister will be in the room beside mine, while my brother will be in his room across the hall.

*My mom’s pride and joy, our belen. It occupies a big part of the living room. My mom loves to make it sprawling, with toy animals and other figurines included in it. It’s kitschy stuff, but it’s home.)

There’s something to be said about people and places that anchor you. For me, it’s my family and our house in Marikina—and recently, my mom’s ancestral house in Bohol. Friends will come and go, but family stays until death do you part. As for the houses, they are spaces of comfort for me; pockets of memories lie in all nooks and corners.

(Tonight I noticed that my mom and I both have similar reading glasses.)

May we all be anchored in this season of hope and joy!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Gay Pride Fabcast, Part 1

This Fabcast was recorded a few days after the Pride March in Malate, but workload got in the way of producing it. My bad, I’m sorry.

Gibbs and I, along with our ever-kaladkarin peanut gallery, chat about gay pride.

Listen: (23 min 53 sec)
Download this fabcast (right click and save - 22.9 MB)

Monday, December 21, 2009

The 10 Gayest Pinoy Commercials Of The Decade

Two or so weeks ago The Bakla Review (TBR) approached me with a decent proposal: can I help him come up with the top 10 gay Pinoy commercials from 2000 to 2009?

First we had to agree: what is a “gay commercial”? Here’s what TBR and I came up with, in our own non-scientific way:

• An ad is gay if its sensibilities—whether deliberately or accidentally—are gay. Mas madaling intindihin sa Tagalog eh: pag napanood mo, andaling sabihin na, “Shet, ambakla ng commercial!” at walang kokontra.
• An ad is gay if, by the looks of it and to our best assessment, it’s aimed at pleasing/titillating/appealing primarily to a gay audience.
• An ad is gay if its theme/big idea is anchored on a gay concern, issue or insight.

Notice that we used bullet points instead of numbering them? It’s because those reasons couldn’t be ranked according to which one is gayer than the others.

Of course, a list will always be contentious; TBR and I emailed back-and-forth several times before we agreed on one. But that’s really part of the game. So feel free to react, to agree or disagree.

(The list below can also be seen in The Bakla Review’s blog. It is part of his series called “The Bakla Review’s 2000’s Decade in Review.” Check out his site!)

* * * * *

10. Lucky Me! Pancit Canton "Almost Kiss"

McVie: Two guys, seemingly straight (or just straight-acting closeted ones?), are drawn together by their love of, uhm, noodles. This commercial gives new embodiment to the naughty phrase, “Pa-canton ka naman!”
TBR: I think it’s really sweet. I hear the longer version ends in bed, with less guilt.

9. Penshoppe "Cogie"

McVie: The ad is for a body cologne, yet while watching the young Cogie Domingo in his jailbait days, one forgets the cologne and just focuses on the body. Subtlety? Time to throw in the towel.
TBR: The 30-second definition of a cocktease. I hear girls swooning, or maybe they’re old men.

8. Bench "20 years"

McVie: Kris Aquino, sexy guys romping around the woods in skimpy underwear, Richard Gomez in his heyday—what is gay? Repeat from the top.
TBR: And they’re sprinkled with fairy dust! Or feathers. Or birds. It’s a testament to how gay the Bench ads have been through the years.

7. KFC "Shrimp"

McVie: Wonderful casting, wonderful acting, wonderful timing. Nothing’s overtly stated, and it’s not meant to be taken seriously.
TBR: They want to out their officemate so they can have an excuse to group hug.
(The clip above includes a spoof after the original ad.)

6. PLDT "Billy"

McVie: The success of this commercial lies in the gay punchline in the end, when the male mannequin is revealed. The commercial doesn’t make fun of being gay; rather, it shows the gay condition as is. It’s funny without being condescending.
TBR: Always the best man, never the bride.

5. Nesvita "Trio"

McVie: Guaranteed to give gay viewers a nosebleed thrice over, with Derek Ramsey, Chris Tiu and Will Devaughn. Towards the end, the camera lingers at the backside of Derek before panning up to him and he asks, “Want some?” Do we!
TBR: Okay guys, you win. You may seduce me now.

4. Sunkist "Basketball"

McVie: Audaciously funny. It is a gay man’s fantasy-come-true in full orange color—hot, cute basketball player with other hot, cute basketball players.
TBR: Sunkist should replace Gatorade during practice.

3. Ponds “Holding Hands”

McVie: The first time this came out, people were a-buzz the next day: “Did you see that Ponds commercial?” What made it even more impactful for me is the portrayal of the gay couple as something very ordinary and matter-of-fact. (Plus points for making them a gorgeous-looking one, but hey! This is advertising.) Now if only they had cast Hayden Kho instead of Maricar Reyes, this would have leapt to the top spot of this list.
TBR: Who hasn't fallen in love with this—or them? I want to be in that kind of relationship, too. I don't care if some girl thinks she can steal my boyfriend away with her soft skin.

2. Ad Congress "Kiss"

McVie: Not only does the commercial flip over the hot-dude-meets-hot-chick set-up, it also subverts the old-fashion image of a gay man as a mujerista but instead shows him as straight-looking and straight-acting as any other guy. It misses being audaciously subversive by not showing a full-blown kiss, but hey.
TBR: A tear just ran down my cheek. Thank you for recognizing us.

1. Rexona "Everybody"

McVie: This commercial out-gays ‘em all because, not only does it show a gay man’s fantasy (hot men in towels), it shows them in abundance! And it’s a musical! Using a Backstreet Boys song! And it has Jordan Herrera at his hottest! Despite—or precisely because of—the guys’ macho posturing, this commercial goes way over the top and onto rainbow land. In the end when Jordan asks, “Wala ba kayong mga kamay?” we all feel like giving them a standing ovation, in more ways than one.
TBR: Yeah, it couldn’t get any gayer unless the towels came off. We were hypnotized by it, and we'll never recover.

Didn't Make The Cut:
Aside from the gamut of Bench spots that could easily fill its own top ten (see #8), we considered some hotdog commercials, just because they’re about hotdogs, and endorsements from personalities trailed by gay rumours – sometimes, they're also about hotdogs. Any commercial with hot guys was up to scrutiny, passing through the straight/gay litmus test. But it was hardest to say goodbye to these two undeniably gay creations: an uber-campy shampoo musical with perky ingenue Sandara Park, and a refreshingly sincere double entedre from macho symbol Robin Padilla.

Did we miss any of your favorites?

First There Are Kisses, Then There Are Sighs

First, an apology to my viewers. Last week was uber-hectic both at work and after-office; ‘tis truly is the season for parties and reunions. I’m sorry for subjecting you all to re-runs.

So meanwhile, may I just share with you (especially to the kiddies out there) this wicked gem of a song that I’m rediscovering all over again. It’s the glittering pink collaboration of Boy George and the Pet Shop Boys (he sang, they produced) for the movie of the same title. The Crying Game holds the distinction as the movie with one of the most-talked about cinematic surprises that no one really dared to talk about.

Enjoy the techno-torch song.

I know all there is to know
about the crying game.
I’ve had my share of the crying game.
First there are kisses.
Then there are sighs.
And then before you know where you are,
you’re saying goodbye.

One day soon, I’m gonna tell the moon
about the crying game.
And if he knows, maybe he’ll explain.
Why there are heartaches?
Why there are tears?
And what to do, to stop feeling blue
when love disappears.

First there are kisses.
Then there are sighs.
And then before you know where you are,
you’re saying goodbye.

Don’t want no more, of the crying game.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Er, Cum Again?

And I thought I was over telling stories about the bathhouse.

* * * * *

Afterwards, we lay next to each other. He cuddled next to me, so I placed my arm over him. We both breathed a sigh of contentment.

I turned to him and asked, “Tapos ka na rin ba?”

He looked at me and answered, “Di ako nagpapalabas dito, sa bahay ako nagpapalabas. Bottom kasi ako eh.”


Can someone please explain how being bottom affects where one ejaculates. Thanks.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My Alma Matters

Sesquicentennial: 150 years. That comes but once in a lifetime. And my high school batch is the host of this year’s grand alumni homecoming. So even though I only attended one grand alumni homecoming before, I knew I had to be in this one.

* * * * *

I decided to come in late because I wasn’t interested in hearing mass nor was I looking forward to most of the presentations. I was more interested in seeing my other batchmates. You see, on Thursday evening our class held a mini-reunion and I enjoyed myself immensely. Ours was always a contentious class with several factions pulling it in several directions, but 25 years is a lot of water under the bridge and now we’ve learned not only to shrug off our youthful stubbornness and righteousness, we’ve also appreciated the others’ value. In fact, one of the ironies in life is that classmates often switch roles after graduation: the grade-conscious achievers tend to relax more in life, while the lazy coasting-along class bums end up more driven out in the real world.

* * * * *

Seeing the high school at night was at once surprising and nostalgic; the former because there were so many changes to the place, the latter because despite those changes, many of the original structures remained. It was a welcome sight to see the improvements of the new side by side with the stability of the old.

(We never had those hanging lights when we were students.)

* * * * *

I only saw the tail end of “One Big Night” directed by Floy Quintos and featuring various performing arts groups from the grade school, high school and college, as well as alumni who are prominent in the performance arts or media. I was happy to note that I’ve already worked with several of them already.

(Hello, curtain call!)

* * * * *

The program promised an all-Atenean slate of performers. I wasn’t surprised that Ramon “RJ” Jacinto trotted out his band and belted out rock-and-roll hits from the 50s-60s; it’s as white-and-blue as the cheer “Halikinu”. But the man can still rock—when he played the opening bars of the Beatles’ “Twist and Shout” and the Rolling Stones’ “(Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, the oldies in the audience roared their approval.

Can’t say the same though for Jose Mari Chan. I mean, sure, the guy is a successful hit maker. But to sing “Beautiful Girl” in a homecoming? And in his trademark “through-the-nose” style of singing? Thank god he sang only two songs; his set was a pace-stopper.

* * * * *

There were young batches in the crowd, so for them (as well as for the leery older guys who have the money to be DOMs) they trotted out Karylle. She was in a sexy strapless outfit that had boys-who-will-always-be-boys ogling at her every time she raised her arm over her head in a sultry pose.

And then there was Rico Blanco. I swear, the last time I saw him was in Subic at the Marlboro party for the Ad Congress, and boy was he hot. He wasn’t the lanky thin rocker we knew when he was with Rivermaya; he had filled out thanks to hours at the gym. So when he took to the stage, I left our table to go near the stage and watch him perform up close. He and his band played a blistering three-song set that had the young ones stabbing their fists in the air, the not-so-young ones watching in fascination, and the oldies retreating to the back of the covered courts. The guy knew how to work the crowd though; at one point he went down into the audience area and shook hands with adoring fans. And in the middle of “Liwanag Sa Bitwin” he segued into “Down From The Hill” before swinging into a rocked-out “Hinahanap-Hanap Kita.”

Of course I only saw just one more from my batch watching him in earnest—he’s Patrick Reidenbach, former owner of Club Dredd where the Eraserheads and Rivermaya honed their chops.

* * * * *

Walking out of the high school on our way home (we didn’t finish the concert), my former classmates and I were just shooting the breeze on a cool December evening. From changes in the campus to “Where are they now?” to the kinds of vehicles we’re driving, we jumped from topic to topic without pause or hesitation, like old friends do. This, despite the fact that some of us have not seen each other for years and in fact were never close when we were students. We may still not become close friends after this homecoming, but we certainly have left the past behind.

There’s nothing like the healing test of Time.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Star Wars Revisited

(In case you’ve never seen any of the Star Wars films, WARNING: SPOILER ALERT!)

* * * * *

Most of us grew up watching Star Wars from episode 4 to 6 (those are the ones with Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford and a muppet Yoda) before watching episodes 1 to 3 (the ones with Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman and a digital Yoda).

So when I found out that DocMike had not seen any of the Star Wars films, I decided to make a little experiment. I lent him the DVDs of all six Star Wars films but I asked him to watch them in order (from episodes 1-6) instead of watching them the way most of us did. You see, my nephew Migo, who’s a very sharp nerd, once commented that he found it weird that the older the Galactic Empire became, the more technologically-backward looking their ships became (meaning, the ships of episodes 1-3 looked technologically spiffier than the ships of episodes 4-6). But he too saw episodes 4-6 before 1-3; he just realized the production design “discrepancy” on hindsight. (Another discrepancy he noted was how physically more adept the Jedis were at lightsaber duels in episodes 1-3, but got a lot slower in episodes 4-6.)

So I wanted to find out what the over-all effect will be if someone went on a Star Wars movie marathon in proper sequential order.

After watching all six, DocMike’s assessment was this: he liked episodes 1-3 more because 4-6 moved a lot slower and had a much simpler plot (Will Darth Vader get Luke Skywalker and turn him to the Dark Side of the Force?) driving the three movies. But what bowled me over was the more interesting observation DocMike had: if one watches 1-3 first, then the surprise twists and revelations of episodes 4-6 are rendered useless and unsurprising.

Toink! D’uh.

I remember how shocked we were in the movie house when, in episode 5, Darth Vader held out his hand to a defeated, one-hand-less Luke Skywalker and declared, “I am your father!” So if one watches the whole saga from the beginning, that surprise revelation is spoiled (also with the revelation that Leia is Luke’s sister).

So, memo to me: to maximize the enjoyment of the Star Wars saga for future generations, it’s best to preserve the effects of the narrative devices of episodes 4-6 by showing them first before episodes 1-3. After all, the latter was made as a grand flashback to support and further enhance the experience of watching 4-6. Also, what makes watching 1-3 fun is in the referencing of certain characters from 4-6; for example, Bobba Fett’s story becomes more interesting when one sees his origin in a flashback.

Yeah, the return of the movie nerd in me strikes back.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Trick Or Tree!

At home in Marikina I’m the one who always puts up the Christmas tree and hangs the lights. Then my mom and sister would take over and put the rest of the decorations.

My housemate T has never had a Christmas tree for the past 20 years; her previous pads never had enough space. So when we moved into our current pad, she vowed we must have a Christmas tree.

Yesterday we trooped to SM to get ourselves a tree. After several minutes and gawking at several kinds of trees (Ooh the color! Ooh the leaves! Ooh the height!), we saw one that T immediately liked. It was a pine tree with subtle gold highlights at the tips of the leaves. And at 7 feet tall, it was the perfect height for our place. Then we saw the sign hanging on one of its branches: “50% off.”

Suddenly it was the most beautiful tree in the whole universe.

Excited, we immediately looked around to see what kinds of décor we’d like to hang on that tree. While going around, I noticed a lady with a salesman approaching our chosen tree and pointing to it. Uh-oh, we’ve got competition! I grabbed T and whispered to her, “Someone’s trying to get our tree!” So we moved closer in an attempt to find out what’s going on, and to possibly thwart a hostile take-over. We accosted another salesman and asked if they still had stocks of that tree. He left us to check the inventory, and I moved in closer to try and eavesdrop in on the conversation. My eyes suddenly widened when I recognized who the lady was.

I whispered to my housemate. “T, the lady who wants to get our tree is Tessie Tomas!”

She took a closer look. “Oh my god, it is her!”

And then I swear I saw the former Ms. Amanda Pineda look at me for the briefest moment. Then she turned to her salesman and said, “Wait, I think this tree’s too small.” She then whipped out her cellphone and called someone. I heard her asking the person on the other line something about height, then she moved away from our tree.

T and I swooped in and blocked the tree from other customers.

When our salesman returned, he told us that the tree we were looking at was the last of their stock.

“SOLD!” T and I said in unison.

So now the tree’s in our living room. I just placed the lights first; the rest of the décor will follow.

(That’s Max admiring his very first Christmas tree ever. He’s also quite the attention-whore, but don’t tell him that.)

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Pride March 2009

I was 45 minutes late for the 3pm call-time, but when I got to Remedios Circle, there weren’t as many people as compared to last year. Oh no! I feared the Pride March this year would be a sad affair.

I should have known better.

I decided to hang out with DJ Brian Cua who was with the Bed contingency. He was excited to experience his very first gay pride march.

Different LGBT groups gathered around for photo ops galore.

Of course mujeristas are as much a mainstay with these kinds of events.

Another mainstay would be the hunky men with their shirts off. It’s also great publicity for the establishments that cater to the pink peso.

Mainstays would be the protesting lesbians as well.

And of course, we should never forget them: the religious protesters who scream at us to repent or else we burn in hell.

And the march was on. This year’s march started much later, which we suspect was on purpose so that the march would end just in time for the street party—thus the participants would be more predisposed to stay rather than go home. And the route was a lot longer this year compared to last year.

As usual the religious protesters would follow us and scream at us to repent at almost every turn. “Walang bakla sa langit!” this pastor-sounding foreigner (the same one last year) spoke into his megaphone. The marchers would answer back with cheers, jeers and, for one limber mujerista, an effortless twist-then-split in front of the protesters. Others would drown out the shouts of “Repent!” with taunts of “Adik! Adik! Adik! Adik!”

Brian and I were enjoying ourselves immensely for we found ourselves just in front of the group Ikatlo who had 5-7 “muses” in ati-atihan outfit (black leotards, headdress and all). While the other groups had the usual chants like, “We’re here, we’re queer, we won’t disappear!” and “Walang masama sa pagiging bakla!”, this group had the chutzpa to go for funnier, sassier chants like, “Ibaba ang presyo ng chupa!” which had Brian and I wondering out loud, “Aba?! How much does one pay for a blow-job, hah?!” I guess they realized it too, for later on they were chanting, “Wala nang bayad ang chupa!”

One of them had the fortune (or misfortune, whichever you wanna call it) to look like Mommy Dionesia Pacquiao. So at intervals the group would spontaneously chant, “Madir! Madir! Madir ni Pacquiao!” and one of them would lift him up. Classic camp.

As the march wound its way from Roxas Blvd to Taft Ave. and from late afternoon to early evening, the number of participants swelled. I guess there must be something in the DNA of a homosexual to prefer the cover of darkness.

The protesters disappeared as well. The march then turned a little, well, less fun. It’s funny how we need opposition to make our position more urgent and interesting.

The march ended in Orosa Street, where a program and a street party were to be held afterwards. The whole march was fun, but I decided not to stay any more. Trust the fabulous to transform a demonstration for human rights into a festive event of pink proportions. It was both serious and fun. The ironic hope is this: one day being gay is so ordinary that it’s blasé and taken-for-granted boring. And marches for LGBT rights are necessary no longer.

P.S. – I walked back to the gas station along Quirino Ave. where I parked Orlando. I went inside the convenience store to buy a bottle of water. As I stepped out, a young guy wearing a nice pair of glasses and a nicer (though shy) smile approached me and asked, “Aren’t you McVie?”

Turned out he and his friend saw me break off from the march and followed me, thinking I was headed for the after-march party. Instead I had lead them three city blocks away! Embarrassed for them, I brought them back to Orosa Street. Guys, sorry but senior moment has attacked me once again and I accidentally deleted the text that contained your names! But I’m glad to have met you and heard your feedback. (Please email me your names again, and put me out of my further embarrassment. Hehehe.)

It’s Showtime! Part 2

It’s Showtime!

This December, the Ateneo Fine Arts Program presents There Is No Show—a series of original one-woman shows featuring the graduating students of the Ateneo Theater Arts Program.

In And So She Plays Her Part, a series of world-renowned monologues written for men, Regina De Vera transcends the limitations of women in Shakespearean classics. In Singkit, Laura Cabochan challenges the stereotypes of Asian women through a devised play that draws from musical theatre, media and pop culture. In Hilom, Mitzi Ong delves into socio-political commentaries on marginalized women in Philippine society by conducting improvisational dialogues with the audience.

There Is No Show will run from December 9 to 12, 7pm and December 12, 2pm at the Fine Arts Theatre, 3/F Gonzaga Hall of the Ateneo de Manila University. For inquiries and ticket reservations, contact Mattheo Manlangit at 09065825136 or

This event is sponsored by Megacopy Business Systems Corp.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Maid In Makati

A couple of days ago while on my way to the office I found myself walking behind a maid. Now how did I know she was a maid, and that I wasn't being a judgmental, class-conscious snob? She was wearing her uniform.

She was also carrying an umbrella. Now while the day was a very beautiful December morning, it was too early for the morning sun to be labelled "blazing". In fact, the many buildings along Leviste Street provided more than ample shade. But carry an umbrella she proudly did.

And she was talking out loud. In fact, I heard her running down a list of what I concluded were stuff she needed to buy at a convenience store. That she spoke a smattering of Bisaya was also not lost on me.

So my mind concluded, most likely rightly so, she was a maid.

Except that she was talking to herself. Hmmm, perhaps she's a maid who flew over the cuckoo's nest? Then I noticed the earplug and the wire dangling from the plug going down into her uniform.

Oh good lord, she's using a hands-free phone.

And I looked at my nearly four-year old Sony Ericsson Z610i, with its many scratches and dents, that I was holding in my left hand. And I stuffed it into my pants pocket.

And I said to myself, welcome to my new neighborhood.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Show Me The McVie

Many may not realize that my persona online is not who I am offline. But what some people who've met me, even those who consider me their friend, do not realize (and I don't blame them for this) is that my offline persona is also not exactly who I am.

No, I'm not schizophrenic. Just review your Johari window (Google it, for chrissakes) and you'll get what I mean.

What you see are only facets of me. But more importantly, there are things about me on and offline that are for show. Thus, the title of my blog.

Why put on a show? I have my reasons, and I don't need to explain them all to everyone.

But take my cynicism for example. I am actually a hopeful person by nature, and a realist by nurture. However, hopeful isn't exactly as entertaining as despair. Face it, happy endings are precisely at the end because if they were at the start, then there'd be no movie; if they were in the middle, then the movie would be cut short and the audience will leave the moviehouse screaming, "Harang! Bitin!"

I also realize that a surplus of despair and loathing is ultimately tiresome and unbelievable. A series of unfortunate events can make for great children's literature (and a so-so movie adaptation, despite the great Meryl Streep's presence). But a blogful of unfortunate entries is like a blogful of successful sexual conquests; there's a "Yeah, riiiight" quality inherent in them.

So while I often take the cynic route online, it's really to entertain myself and to give voice to that nagging question in my head, "Am I sure?" And that cynical stance is something I make a show of offline as well. Because really, how sure am I?

If you ask me if I'm the kind of person whose glass is half-empty or half-full, I'd reply that I'm in the middle. It's kinda neither here nor there, but then again that's life.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Star Warla!

(This episode is inspired by Leigh and is dedicated to Badinggerzie who made the original gay Star Wars.)

* * * * *

A long, long time ago in a pink galaxy far, far away….

Inside the Death Megastar, a cloaked dark figure pauses in front of a window.

“I sense a disturbance in the Fhworce,” Darth Gayder says. He wore a becoming cape and a helmet that most people will refer to, kindly, as phallic. Or German cut.

“What do you sense, Lord Gayder?” asked Empress Shuck Papatine.

"My junakiz," replied Darth Gayder, with a swish of his cape.

"You have a son?" Empress Shuck, shocked, gasped. "How did that happen?"

"Drunken night, aggressive woman, lonely me... don't ask," Darth Gayder muttered.

"K fine," humphed Empress Shuck, shook his head, and swished away.

Darth Gayder glanced out the window. From afar, a spaceship floated towards the Death Megastar.

"I have you now," he declared.

* * * * *

Inside the Millennium Falcon Videos, captain Handsome Solo was worried. "I have a bad feeling about this," he said, and turned to his co-pilot, a Wookie named Chewbakla. A Wookie is nothing but a bear with a bad hair day. But since it's Chewbakla, its hair is oh-so-flowing, like a hair talent's at a shampoo commercial.

"Aooowwwrrr! Aooowwwrrr!" growled Chewbakla.

"Fucking can't understand a growl you said," muttered Handsome.

He turned to his two passengers, Luke Biwalker and Princess Labia. Luke was weilding a light saber; the Princess was weilding a hair blower, trying to dry the buns on her head. What she didn't know, Chewbakla was inwardly chuckling at her efforts.

"What did I get myself into?" wondered Handsome.

Suddenly the ship shuddered and lurched forward. "We're caught in a tractor beam!" Handsome yelled. "It's sucking us towards the Death Megastar!"

"Oooh, 'sucking'!" Luke said, all excited.

* * * * *

Inside the Death Megastar, Handsome, Chewbakla, Luke and Labia were ushered into the chambers of Darth Gayder.

"At last I have you now," declared Darth Gayder.

"How did you manage to find us with all that space?" asked Labia.

Darth Gayder chuckled. "It was easy, Princess." And a door opened at his gesture. Into the room entered a bounty hunter that looked like Ru Paul, except he had a bizarre helmet that looked more like a carnivale del Rio headgear.

"Lady Gaga?!" said Luke and Labia in unison.

"Who's Lady Gaga?" whispered Handsome to Chewbakla. The Wookie looked sadly at its master and shook its head.

"Hindi ako si Lady Gaga, mga gaga!" yelled the bounty hunter. "I am Fete de la Bobba! THE?!" But he pronounced the last word like "D'uh." And he waved his glittering neon-lined laser gun at them.

"Ay, boba talaga," muttered Labia.

"Ay, Lady Bongga!" exclaimed Luke.

Darth Gayder moved closer to him. "I sense a disturbance in your Fhworce," he said to Luke. "You are not a Biwalker. You are a Gaywalker!"

"Noooooo!" Luke yelled in shock. "I'm straight-actiiiiing!"

Labia turned to her brother. "No, you're in denial, bro."

"What?!" Handsome yelled in shock.

"I should know," Labia continued. "Luke pretended he had a crush on me."

"HU-WHAAAAT?!" yelled everyone in shock. "Aooowwwrrr?!" aooowwwrrred Chewbakla in shock.

Labia raised her hand. "Relax, that was before he found out I was his sister," she explained. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

"Luke has had a crush on Handsome for the longest time," Labia continued. "That's why he got really jealous when he saw Handsome kiss me while repairing the Millennium Falcon Videos."

"But how did you know I was gay, sister?" Luke asked. "For all you know, I was jealous of Handsome, not of you!"

"Because it takes one to know one," replied Labia with a smile.

"What?" yelled Darth Gayder in shock.

"I'm gay too," said Princess Labia. "I'm a lesbian. I'm a labia-loving Labia."

"Ewwww!" yelled Fete de la Bobba in disgust.

Handsome shook his head. "No wonder you had no reaction when I kissed you. Damn."

Darth Gayder raised his hand towards Luke. "Luke, I am... NOT... your father."

Luke looked puzzled at Darth Gayder. "Uhm, and...?" he said, eyebrows raised.

"I am your mudrakels!"

Luke's eyes widened in surprise. "WEH?!"

"Weh," said Darth Gayder.

"Obi Wan Kerokerokeropi never told me about you before he croaked!" said Luke.

And father and son hugged.

"Like father, like son," muttered Fete de la Bobba.

"Correction!" Labia butted in. "Like fudra, like junakiz."

"Correction number two!" Luke butted in also. "Like mudra, like junakiz."

Just then Empress Shuck Papatine entered the room. "You betrayed me!" he screamed at Darth Gayder. And pink lightning flew from his fingers. Darth Gayder blocked the surge of force wtih his pink light saber, but the lightning hit the nuclear reactor of the Death Megastar.

And the Death Megastar exploded in a burst of golden glitter.

* * * * *

(And unlike George Lucas, I promise not to make any sequels nor prequels to this. One is enough.)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Talented Mr. Ripley, Part Three

Here’s the third and last part of the Fabcast. Listen to the conclusion of CC’s sad experience with online romance. Enjoy!

Download this fabcast (right click and save)

Music credits:
“Crazy In Love” by Beyonce
“Why” by Annie Lennox
“Promises, Promises” by Naked Eyes
“Weekend In New England” by Barry Manilow
“Kung Ako Na Lang Sana” by Bituin Escalante
“Get Lost” by Patrick Wolf

Monday, November 23, 2009

Scenes From Subic

Corporate Closet took the Mazda MX5 for a test drive. He chose to drive the yellow one, even though it wasn’t the kind of yellow he wanted. He’s this close to really buying one. If he does, his moving on would be complete. Bwhahaha! (evil laftir)

The Macallan. Single malt scotch whiskey. 12 years old. It was really f**king great sh*t. My current officemates saw me for the first time in my “dance party Energizer bunny” mode during the first night chill-out party hosted by us. The Macallan (and several shots of tequila) fueled my dance-cardio routine that continued way after the others stopped dancing. Afterwards P, our resident tri-athlete, turned to me and exclaimed: “You should join a triathlon!”

The next night I was again in my “dance party Energizer bunny” mode for the Marlboro Party (so far most people have said that it was the best of all the parties during the Ad Congress). And they spared no expense for it: gigantic LED screens spanning the length of the stage, world-class DJs, Rico Blanco on guitars, live singers, costumed dancers, fireworks, balloons. And the most important element to a successful party? Free-flowing booze, from beer to vodka to whiskey and back! I ended up dancing onstage in front of the DJ’s booth. Hey, it was a Friday evening; I had to make up for my absence in Bed!

Whatsup! Whatsup! “Bugnaw” is Bisaya for “cold” (why there’s Bisaya in Subic is anybody’s guess). No wonder the sodas were also in Bisaya.

Where else can you find a pine tree co-existing with a coconut tree?

To attract the crowds to our booth, we showed the pilot episode of Glee and the Pacquiao-Cotto fight. We attracted maybe two Gleeks. But when we played the fight, there was sudden queue of people wanting to get freebies at our booth.

Chilling out at the beach front with Corporate Closet. If you look closely, you could see our reflection on CC’s shades.

* * * * *

We were in Subic for five days, but by the third night we felt like we were there for a week. I wonder how the Congress would have fared had it pushed through in Baguio.

And no, I didn’t get lucky at this Congress, unlike the last one and the one before—but let’s not get into that.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

House About It?

Because our bosses heard our horror stories about our former bold-star-turned-hostess Ms. AP, they decided to pull us out of there and place us in a house that our admin people rented. The good news? The admin peeps were leaving Friday morning, so we could take over the house they were vacating. The bad news? The house is old, as in creepy old. Last night one of our officemates saw someone carrying a fairly large shoulder bag go down the stairs; she decided to follow her downstairs. When she got to the ground floor, no one was there.

“From Kooky House to Spooky House” should be the title of this weekend.

The Talented Mr. Ripley, Part Two

Here is the second of three parts, the continuation of CC's Mr. Ripley encounter:

Download this fabcast (right click and save)

Music credits:
“Live To Tell” by Madonna
“Right Here Waiting” by Richard Marx
“Already Gone” by Kelly Clarkson

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Subic Adventure

We needed to set up our booth and event venue for the Ad Congress, so we left for Subic a day earlier.

We arrive around dinnertime and proceeded to our rented house. It turns out to be the house owned by a former bold star in the 80s(?), Ms. AP. We decided to just drop our luggage off and proceed to eat dinner out. But while waiting for the others to finish settling in their stuff, our hostess arrived to greet us.

In just a t-shirt and shorts. With her nipples obviously making their mark.

And her daughter accompanied her; she looks like she’s not more than 10 years old. And she is a special child.

After a few minutes of chatting with the hostess (and attempts to chat with her daughter), we left for dinner. In our shuttle, we raised the weird vibes we got from our hostess and her daughter.

“Did you hear how she talks to her child?”

“Did you notice she was bra-less?!”

“Did you notice how perky she was? Or rather, they were?”

“Was she high, or on something?”

“Was she all there?”

So a couple of us flipped open their laptop and Google’d our host. And it turns out our host figured in a vehicular incident here in Subic—she ran over and killed two people while under the influence of alcohol.

Cue in Psycho music.

When we came back to the house, AP was there waiting for us. She knew we were going to be drinking that night at her patio area, so she decided to join us.

After a few shots she was already drunk and started telling her sob stories. Then she asked two of our boys to accompany her because she needed to pee. While walking her towards the bathroom, the boys were shocked when she suddenly pulled her shorts down, squatted and pee’d. They just looked away as she calmly finished her business.

Eventually they were able to convince her to go to sleep. The guys finished drinking at around 3am, but managed to clean up the patio area before retiring.

The next morning we woke up to the sound of rustling and furtive movement in the patio area. When one of us came out to smoke, lo and behold, he saw four huge-ass monkeys rummaging through our stuff and trash. Two of them had already opened a bag of chips and was on their way to finishing it off. He and the monkeys looked at each other for a second. Then all bolted in the opposite direction, our guy back to his room and the monkeys towards the trees in the backyard.

It’s going to be a memorable Ad Congress for us.

Monday, November 16, 2009

At The Big Dome, In Pics

Cross at the South Gate, the players’ entrance.

Excitement palpable, the crowd lets out its first gigantic roar when they announced the main event up next.

I found it silly and ironic that Ever Bilena would advertise in a bloody sport. It’s tagline? “Beauty in you.” D’uh.

The champ on top of his game…

…and on top of the world.

The roaring, stomping, cheering crowd.

From Araneta to MGM Grand, the crowd cheers for Pacquiao.

The big screens go down in less than an hour, to make way for the PBA.