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)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

And The Forcast For Today Is Sunshine!

You know McVie is very busy at work when he resorts to posting test results in The McVie Show. (I tell you, it’s a lot faster to answer an online test and blog about it versus coming up with a new episode from scratch! Oh, and thanks to Tristan Tales, I saw the following test on his blog.)

You are The Sun

Happiness, Content, Joy.

The meanings for the Sun are fairly simple and consistent.

Young, healthy, new, fresh. The brain is working, things that were muddled come clear, everything falls into place, and everything seems to go your way.

The Sun is ruled by the Sun, of course. This is the light that comes after the long dark night, Apollo to the Moon’s Diana. A positive card, it promises you your day in the sun. Glory, gain, triumph, pleasure, truth, success. As the moon symbolized inspiration from the unconscious, from dreams, this card symbolizes discoveries made fully consciousness and wide awake. You have an understanding and enjoyment of science and math, beautifully constructed music, carefully reasoned philosophy. It is a card of intellect, clarity of mind, and feelings of youthful energy.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.


This card is too positive, too happy, too… sunny. Then again, maybe I do have the sun in me all this time; I just preferred the drama of hiding it behind storm clouds.

Pause for effect.

Etchosera! Hahaha!

What’s New With Astrology?

I was curious what the “New Astrology” thingy was on Facebook, so I plugged in my birthday and I got the following results:

Aaah, sooo! It actually combined Western astrology (Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, you know the drill) with Eastern astrology (monkey, horse, rat, ox, squid… oops, Fabcast inside joke there). Hu-well, hu-well, hu-well, that’s nothing new, I’ve seen that done before. Still, I was curious what my results were.

The Pisces/Horse
Talents of all types swim about in the heads and bodies of these lithe and spirited people. Unlike most Horses, these people are not stubborn. They bend to the whims of others. In love and business, the Pisces/Horse procrastinates and often marries late.

“Often marries late.” AHA! Ayun na. I’m doomed, my stars in both the western and eastern hemisphere say. Then again, I was never a big fan of marriages.

Detailed Description: THE BEGUILING ARTISTE
The apparent peacefulness of this combination of Fish and Horse is but a fine shell surrounding a highly fragile and spiritual nature. Pisces/Horse people are both clairvoyant and humanistic. They give of themselves without expecting more than a pat on the head in return. In this double sign, the Horse’s ordinarily selfish push for autonomy is quieted. Pisces keeps the Horse’s dander down, teaches him to be self-effacing, and shows him the wonders of clairvoyance. The Pisces/Horse is well-advised to find a real passion (music, dance, art, building or even business) while still young and follow his or her star throughout his entire life. If he waits too long to find his path, he may become distracted and fritter away his energies looking for just the right profession. In love the Pisces born Horse has the capacity for undying devotion. He or she may be slightly on the shy side in bed. But the intuitive mate will know how to turn this charming creature on with tons of reassurance and smooches. In turn, he will admire and applaud his mate for bringing him pleasure.

Hmmm, “beguiling artiste”? Sounds promising, hahaha!

That thing about finding a real passion and following it throughout my life? I really think I kinda missed the boat on this one. Another astrology book also said the exact same thing. So now my interests are spread out in music, theater, movies, art and, uhm, sex? Speaking of sex….

“He or she may be slightly on the shy side in bed.”

Okay, this whole “new astrology” thingy? Bogus!


Monday, March 30, 2009

A Petty Beyonce

I’ve always appreciated a great mash-up.

What is a mash-up? It’s when the vocal track of one song is superimposed onto the music track of another song. The better mash-ups are those that offer more than just, “Hey, the melody of this song can fit another song!” The better ones bring an added value, of one song informing the other with added weight or meaning.

For instance, exhibit A below:

“If I Were a Free Fallin’ Boy (Beyonce vs. Tom Petty)”

I particularly love how they juxtapose Tom Petty singing, “She’s a good girl” while Beyonce muses, “If I were a boy.” Wicked!

Hu-where’s Da Aratilis?

Met up with the Narnian Sunday afternoon for some frozen yogurt and lots of chikahan. And just like that, we remembered something from our youth (take note, the Narnian is only in his early 20s) that made us pause.

Who here remembers aratilis?

I remember running around our neighborhood and climbing the aratilis tree and eating the fruit. It was easy to pick, easy to eat. Our moms warned us not to eat too much of it, otherwise we’d get a stomachache. I remember also picking kamias and duhat off trees, but the lowly aratilis had a special place in our memory because, even in our suburban setting, they seemed to be everywhere.

But now, where’s the aratilis? I don’t see any trees around our village anymore. And even around the metro, I can’t seem to find any more aratilis trees. Have they become extinct?!

If you see any aratilis tree, get your cellphone, take a photo, post it online and tell me about it. And help the Narnian and I relive our childhood once again.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Speaking Of Age Gap

Yesterday I met up with Brian, a current member of Tanghalang Ateneo; I think he’s in his second year in college. For the 30th anniversary, our theater group is holding its Pearl Ball this Friday. Brian was tasked to ask me for songs that were hits during TA parties of yesteryears. You see, I was the resident DJ for TA parties for almost the whole decade of the 90s, so I had a good idea of which songs to include for the Pearl Ball playlist.

As I was transferring mp3 files onto Brian’s laptop, he asked me, “Do you think we should include more 80s songs?”

I paused and considered it. “Maybe let’s not put too many 80s songs,” I replied. “I’m not sure how many from my generation are going. If we’re only a few, let’s not put a lot of 80s. I don’t want to alienate the younger kids.”

Brian’s face lit up. “Oh no, I like the 80s!” he exclaimed. “A lot of us in our generation love 80s music.”

I smiled at him and said, “Hahaha, I guess you heard those songs from your kuyas and ates, huh?”

Beaming a guileless smile, Brian replied, “Oh no, I heard them from my parents.”


I actually heard mental tires squealing to a halt. “Your parents?” I weakly asked.

To his credit Brian got it. And we both laughed.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Here’s an interesting “creative outburst” on YouTube, this time on the side of Boyet Fajardo.

The May-December Fabcast, Part One

It was obvious that the Fabcasters missed each other—we were quite all over the place while recording this particular Fabcast. This is just part one, featuring the story of Tony and Gibbs, as well as Migs and Marco. All in all, we recorded more than an hour and a half’s worth of blah-blah. And yet, part one was one of the easiest to edit for me because of my very loquacious yet eloquent fellow Fabcasters.

Music credits:
“Shut Up And Let Me Go” by the Ting Tings
“Life In Technicolor” by Coldplay

Listen to PART 1: (30 mins 35 sec)

Download (right-click and save) - 14MB

A Rare McRant

Argh, I’m so tired and harassed today! And since I’m in creatives, excuse me while I do some “creative outbursts” while quoting the news story “Fajardo sorry for ‘creative outburst’ at Duty Free”.

* * * * *

Fashion designer Boyet Fajardo’s abusive behavior against two Duty Free Philippines employees last March 13 at the Duty Free Fiesta Mall outlet in Parañaque City was a result of “creative outburst,” his spokesman said Tuesday.

“Figure of speech ang kanyang ginawa eh. Bilang fashion designer, artist nga, ay minsan ay nagkakaroon ng mga creative outburst dahil na rin siguro sa pagod na nafi-feel niya ng mga panahon na iyon,” Ricky Rivera, the designer’s spokesman, told ABS-CBN’s morning show, “Umagang Kay Ganda.”

Aaahhh, I see! So creative people like artists are allowed to have “creative outbursts” and use “figures of speech” when they’re tired. Also, tired and harassed creative people are allowed to insist that employees go down on their knees so they can be slapped. Meanwhile, ordinary citizens and those who are not creative cannot have that kind of luxury.

Nunca! Nyet! You are just an ordinary mortal, while I, Boyet Fajardo, can use, misuse and abuse all forms of figures of speech because I am an artist and a creative fashion designer!

Jeez, if Fajardo’s such a creative person, how come the figures of speech that he used (“letche”, “putang inang babaeng ito”, “ang baklang ito”, “yung matabang baboy na yan”) are so pedestrian and, excuse me for my “creative outburst” here, cheeeeeeeap?! For an example of a truly creative outburst, read “the nose speech” from Edmund Rostand’s “Cyrano de Bergerac”.

* * * * *

(Rivera) said everything could have been better understood if the video had audio so that the conversations could have been heard.

Sige na nga! Let’s ask the two Duty Free employees to recount word-for-word what Fajardo said to them. Then we’d understand better what transpired.

* * * * *

(Rivera) said the online petitioners should consider Fajardo’s rising international status before pursuing the boycott. “It’s sad because this happened when there are foreigners interested in bringing a Filipino brand abroad, in Switzerland, and United Arab Emirates, because his [Fajardo’s] creations are unique,” Rivera said.

Ay yes! Let us never, ever sanction someone’s bad behavior if that someone has a “rising international status.”

And again, if Rivera claims that Fajardo’s “creations are unique”, then I beg to disagree. His creative outbursts sure as hell ain’t unique.

* * * * *

(Rivera) said the fashion designer has already prepared an apology, but he has not been able to face the media since “he was truly affected” by the “traumatic experience.”

Yeah, I bet it was as traumatic for him as it was for those two Duty Free employees.

* * * * *

Hey, having creative outbursts is fun! Why don’t you guys have your own creative outbursts regarding the Boyet Fajardo incident?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


One of the technological innovations that is changing the landscape of celebrity behavior is the easy accessibility of recorded images—both still and moving—to be captured and then instantly spread to a huge number of viewers. Thanks to cellphones with cameras plus instant broad(band)casting, the awful behavior of celebrities (and those who put it in their minds that they are celebrities) can now see the light of day faster than one could say, “YouTube scandal!”

At first we only had the meltdown of Hollywood celebs to entertain us (the most recent being Christian Bale’s sound-bite worthy hissy fit). But I had faith in our local talent; true enough, they were able to rise to the occasion and catch up to their foreign counterparts.

Here an admittedly drunk Bayani Agbayani decides to taunt someone by calling him “Bakla ka!”

No sound-bite from Boyet Fajardo, the fashion designer who got insulted because the poor cashier had no idea who he is. Since I have never heard of him, most probably I’ll tick him off too if our paths ever meet. Sadly, more people will know about him—and not his designs—thanks to security cameras that actually work.

Actually anybody’s bad behavior can land on YouTube; it’s how spectacular the meltdown is that will determine if it’ll be passed around or not. But celebrity-hood has its own privileges and pitfalls. Too bad for Bayani and Boyet, there were cameras aimed at them when they behaved badly.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Latest Trend In The Blogsphere?

Uso ba ngayon ang blogging hiatus? Makiki-uso din kaya ako?


Nah. ☺

The SSB/NBSB Special Podcast, part one

This special podcast features:
Jamiedavinci of The Wandering Polar Bear (,
JB of Coming Out Of Narnia (,
JC of Pieces of a Piscean (,
and Joel McVie of The McVie Show (

This is the first part of the podcast on SSB (single since birth) or NBSB (no boyfriend since birth). It seems that all four of us have been single since birth; furthermore, all of our names start with the letter J! In the grand scheme of things, I smell a conspiracy theory somewhere. Try to not mind the music in the background; we were at Rockwell during a sale weekend. You can listen to it here or download it from The McVie Show In Stereo (see link along the right-hand column).

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bring On The Fail!

I read Budjette’s The Babbling Point Multiply entry entitled, “Failure: The Secret of Success” (click here to read the whole thing).

The entry narrates how in high school, one of the regular classes always ended up second place to the honors class in a yearly theater contest. By their fourth and final year, they thought they would finally win over the A-students. Instead, they tied for first place.

Afterwards Mr. Pagsi, the teacher who moderated the contest (and who was the class advisor of section A during their first year), approached the director/writer of the perennial second-placer. Mr. Pagsi congratulated the director and said, “My A-boys are good, yes? My A-boys do not know defeat. They are champions.”

Then he put his hands on the director and said, “You and your boys know defeat and you know it well. You are more.”

* * * * *

That entry brought back so many memories for me.

I was placed in the honors section starting grade 5. In high school I was in the A-section for four years and was even a student of Mr. Pagsi during first year (I even joined his theater group). In college I was placed in the English honors class. In all those years, with all those different teachers, they all said basically the same thing to us: To whom much is given, much is expected.

Like all those who’ve gone through a rebellious stage, I once considered mediocrity as a life philosophy and stance, just to get away from all this “excellence and high standards” hammered into our heads. But eventually I settled on what I think is a healthy attitude towards failure, especially in my profession. Usually agency people don’t want to look silly or stupid in front of others, especially during brainstorming. Lord knows how my boss appreciates my fearlessness when it comes to throwing my ideas on the table, no matter how silly or stupid some of them may sound. What can I say? I’m shameless, hahaha!

Still the yearly hammering had taken its toll. Though nowadays I can actually shrug my shoulders and be philosophical about mistakes and failure, I still have some personal sore spots. And they can really be irrational at times. I would “compete” with stupid, reckless drivers on the street to be the first at a particular stoplight. In the gym, I hate the idea of doing repetitions “to failure” (you do enough repetitions such that your muscles are so tired you almost “fail” to complete the number of reps on the last set). When I fixate on a particular CD or DVD that I want to get, I don’t care if I have to jump from mall to mall just to find it.

If the secret of success is failure, I wonder if the secret to appreciation is rejection.

I’m 43 years old and single since birth. I know Rejection; we’re practically conjoined twins. I should be used to His nasty sense of humor, but still He manages once in a while to pull a fast one; sometimes He’d even pull the rug—nay, the floor—from under me. I’ve learned that it’s not the falling for someone that’s important; it’s how I pick myself up after I had my face shoved into the dirt.

I am not a champion. I am more.

I am more single.

Yeah! ☺

Friday, March 20, 2009

Get Down On Your Knees And Prey!

Early in the morning I received the following text message from a friend who will remain anonymous.

AF: I feel like the devil incarnate. I was with a Mormon last night. We had sex. It was fun. The annoying part was, he was so full of innocence and guilt. If I didn’t make light of things, we would have had a pray over. Come to think of it, I think I’ll stick to screwing Catholics. At least with Catholics, the burden on having gay sex is lighter—condemn the sin, not the sinner. There’s an institutional excuse.

McVIE: Ay, no. I’d go for ecumenism. Let’s encourage more inter-faith intercourse. Pass him on to me, HAHAHA!

AF: Ever had anyone cry on you while you’re screwing him?

McVIE: In pain, in confusion or in ecstasy? How about all of the above? ☺

AF: Lahat!

McVIE: Been there, done that.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Three Snaps For McVie

“Well I’m glad you’re taking it well,” my friend told me.

I sighed, “As well as I can, yeah.”

But my friend had his Optimistic Hat on, and wouldn’t be deterred. “At least you’re not like ____________!”

“Eh? What do you mean?” I asked.

“At least you don’t have as much emotional baggage as he does!” my friend said. “He has tons of emotional baggage!”

Time for me to snap. “Dude! I just carry my Louis Vuitton emotional baggage really well!” With matching Snap! Snap! Snap!

* * * * *

All work (busy kami, okey, buuuuuuusy!) plus three podcasts to edit equals dead air. Jeez, I hate dead air as much as you do. I’ll try my best to get rid of dead air, okay?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Ladies’ Choice

I believe that emotions are best embraced not repressed. Emotions, after all, are neither good nor bad; they just are. So it’s good to feel those emotions—they’re proof that you’re still human, that you’re still alive. Feeling joy, sadness or anger towards someone are emotions. Feelings of infatuation—having a crush on someone—are also emotions.

I’ve also often heard the sentiment, best encapsulated in a song title: I can’t help falling in love with you. Is falling in love an emotion? We all like to say that we can’t help it. Sometimes we cannot even tell who we’re going to fall for. So falling in love appears to be an emotion that’s often outside of our control.

We’ve also heard the phrase “to control one’s emotions” which I believe is misleading. Controlling emotions can be problematic because what it entails is either repression or transference. I still believe that an honest acceptance of one’s emotions is the best way to deal with them. But what we do have control over are our decisions and actions, and how much we allow our emotions to affect our decisions and actions.

Let’s cite an example to clearly illustrate my point. When a stupid driver suddenly cuts into my lane while hurtling down EDSA, I often feel a sudden surge of road rage; that is the emotion generated by the situation. But what I do afterwards is something that’s totally within my control. When I was younger, I’d let my emotions affect me, and I’d honk angrily at the culprit while flooring the gas pedal to overtake the shmuck. But nowadays I’ve learned to just accept the anger and let it pass, without necessarily altering my driving. You cannot imagine the number of erring drivers that I have killed in my mind but who’ve escaped unscathed in real life. I’ve also learned to not retaliate but instead just allowed karma to take care of the road injustice done to me.

And that is why I personally am wary of falling in love without thinking; to me, it implies choosing to ignore self-awareness of one’s actions and their possible consequences. And an unexamined life is a sad thing in my book.

Of course, it’s possible that there are people whose emotional strength and fortitude are so formidable that they can survive a massive fall—they definitely are no emotional Humpty Dumpties. I know I’m not one of them.

And that is why I try to play my cards as wisely as I can. I do allow for making my own mistakes; in such instances, the line “without the hurt, the heart is hollow” comes to mind. But I’m through with recklessly throwing myself into it or playing things too safely to the point of being boring. When it comes to falling in love, I prefer the defensive driving approach.

(Then again, maybe I have yet to meet the other one who will have me driving in circles. Who knows?)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Star Struck Out

My first job was at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, where I was exposed to world-class talents and artists left and right. I’d literally pass by them along the corridors of the CCP, not knowing that they were the Whoshisface and the Whatshername. Eventually I found out who they were and fancied myself lucky that I saw up close and personal such luminaries of the world stage. These were some of the brightest stars of Philippine performance arts that command such awe and respect in other countries but go virtually unknown to most Filipinos. But because I didn’t know who they were when I first saw them, my first impression of them was formed without the benefit of the prerequisite hype that almost always preceded them.

When I started working in advertising back in 1990, I started hobnobbing with a different kind of celebrity—the showbiz kind. Celebrity endorsers were common even back then, so I got to work with the likes of Maricel Soriano, Sharon Cuneta, Aga Muhlach and the like. I even got to meet stars who, back then, were just on their way up—or were still to be discovered. I worked with Bayani Agbayani and Serena Darwimple when they were still on their way up the popularity ladder. And I was lucky enough to chat, for several times in very informal opportunities, the late Rico Yan back when he was not yet the Rico Yan. He had just finished shooting the Masters Facial Astringent, and was waiting for a second project to come his way. Little did he know that the Masters commercial would catapult him into the public arena and would launch his showbiz career. His break-up with Claudine and his shocking, mysterious death on Good Friday in Palawan was still a decade away.

And then I moved to ABS-CBN. There I was dealing with celebrities almost on a daily basis. And since I was in charge of promoting the comedy shows, I got to work again with Maricel, Aga, Bayani and Serena, as well as Gloria Romero, Edu Manzano and the comedy king himself, Dolphy. And I got to work again with Rico, now with the to his name. And as much as I had the privilege to get to interact with him at the start of his career, I was also tasked to whip up within Black Saturday the first network-produced plug announcing the end of his life, to immediately air the following day. But I digress.

At first I stayed clear of the artistas, feeling so in awe and star-struck. I only viewed them from afar. But after a while I realized they were really just working people, with individual flaws as well as strengths. It’s just that their job requires them to look great in front of the camera.

Now whenever we have to deal with big-time actors and actresses, the people around me—agency and client—go gaga and want to have their pictures taken with the stars. I, on the other hand, have this “been there, done that” attitude; I just look at all the fuss from afar with a bemused look, a knowing smile and, at times, a mental eye-roll.

Funny, but my exposure to famous talents of both highbrow and popular art has made me immune to their shiny, shimmering splendidness. Only the up-and-coming artists are the ones who can make me kilig and star-struck. Maybe it’s because they haven’t been over-exposed much, so that they still have this image of accessibility. Give me Joem Bascon or Coco Martin any day, and watch me regress into a giggly girl.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Back To You

We Filipinos got it backwards.

I used to wonder why people would rib the birthday celebrant, “Oy, libre naman diyan!” or “Ano merienda natin ha?” Nowadays I’m irked. But yesterday whenever someone would ask or rib me gently, I’d calmly throw back at them the following: “No, I’m the celebrant, it’s my special day, you’re supposed to treat me.” That always stops them in their tracks.

Sigh. Backward people.

* * * * *

Thank you to all who commented in my birthday episode. It was refreshing to be quiet for a change and have you guys yammering away. It was fun. We should do this more often.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Para Naman Maiba

Pahinga muna ako’t kayo naman ang magsulat dito. I-clik lang ang “comments” at mag-iwan ng mensahe para sa isang 43-anyos na mukhang, uhm, 39-anyos lang. Choz.

Salamat. =)

Rachel Ann Goooooooo!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Single Gaydies

Our country’s future lies in our children.

Now put your hands up!

A Crush Course?

Of all places, it was in the restaurant where we met once that the following epiphany struck me.

Maybe the reason why we call them “crushes” is because we allow them to have power over us; just a word or a phrase, or maybe even none at all, and they can crush our egos into insignificant shards.

So how does one blunt the power our crushes have over us? I realized that the reason why our crushes can crush us is because we’re expecting something specific from them—a response of reciprocation. Lose that selfish need from us, and we end up giving without asking for anything in return.

Easier said than done. Then again, I was always a sucker for taking the road less traveled.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Miss U Meets Text Jokes

I rarely find forwarded text jokes funny, but the following I received had us laughing in stitches here in the office. (Tip: you have to read the following out loud and with matching feeling!)

* * * * *

Miss Universe intros:

• Malay mo, malay ko, malay niya, malay nating lahat… MALAYSIA!
• Gutom ako, gutom kayo, gutom tayong lahat… HUNGARY!
• Olah, viola, kaserola, tinola, saranggola, arinola ni Lola… VENEZUELA!
• Boom, ka-boom, ka-blam… AFGHANISTAN!
• Baha doon, baha dito, baha sa buong mundo… BAHAMAS!
• Hindi sa akin, hindi sa ‘yo, kanino s’ya? KENYA!
• One way, two way, there’s no other way… NORWAY!
• Sing ka na, sing ka pa, ilabas ang Magic Sing… SINGAPORE!
• Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh…! CHILE!

Ang saya-saya, ‘noh?!

A Million Pardons To The Bard

To tell or not to tell, that is the question.
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous Cupid,
Or to take arms against the sea of Love,
And by opposing, end it? To die, to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache and the thousand natural longings
That flesh is heir to, ‘tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this romantic coil,
Must give us pause.
The pangs of despised love.

A little hope is a dangerous thing; and a loss of hope leading to despair, even more.

Waiting For A Tsunami To Take Me

Posing for Leigh at Boracay.

Being born under a water sign (Pisces) might explain why I love the beach. I like it for the sheer spectacle that the Lord has created for us, especially the sunset extravaganza. Sometimes I just want to wander off into the sunset. Boracay is wonderful but I still prefer Bohol though—I like my beaches to be a little less hectic and a lot more serene.

I guess that’s what bothered me with Bora. On the one hand, I actually like having the creature comforts that I’m used to right there on the beach too—wifi, familiar fastfood restos, ATMs, a freakin’ mall at the beach, a very lively nightlife that jams Quezon City, Makati and Malate in one long strip of sand.

But on the other hand I see the beach as a reminder that there is a Higher Power, and whenever I stand at the shore with the waves lapping at my feet, I feel so insignificant yet so connected to the cosmos and to Him. And having all these commercial establishments crowding the beach is like Man trying to assert himself with such hubris.

Still carrying a torch for someone?

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Post-Show Post

They were supposed to give the results to me by 4pm so that I have enough time to hammer out a winners’ script for the 7:30pm show. They gave the list almost an hour late, with new instructions and—gasp!—some inconsistencies that luckily I spotted before they burned the video onto DVD for the playback. Bottomline, I was to be on my toes beside the live voice over talent all throughout the show. (And I naively thought I would sit through the show as a spectator only.)

So what does a McVie do when faced with such pressure?

(“No, I don’t feel any preyshure. Rayt. Naw. Ahahahahaha!”)

He decides to write without bothering to double-check or assess what he just wrote. He changes the final lines of BB and adds an English word that’s a little difficult to read out loud if one’s not quite adept with the language. He adds the word “extraordinaire” to the last line.

Cut to the show.

Aside from a few technical glitches (nothing major), the show ran smoothly. Our host was a BBig hit from her first entrance. Because the theme of the awards is “Change is good”, we had her do several costume changes throughout the show, and each time she came out, the crowd let out an appreciative “Whoa!” She even flirted with the president of the Creative Guild and some of the cute boys in the audience.

But hearing her adlibs during her second entrance, I knew BB wouldn’t be spared of advertising folks’ more critical tongues. “Do you miss me?” she cooed to the audience. “Di ba dapat ‘Did you miss me’, hindi ‘do’?!” yelled someone from the back.

And finally she ends the show with a spiel thanking everyone for attending. She then launches into her segue to the after-show party spiel: “And now ladies and gentlemen, here’s Hit Production’s resident DJ extraorr… ay… extrodiiiex-tra-or-di-naire… DJ Brian Cua!”


But despite that, BB was a hit not only during the show but also throughout the whole island. The usually celebrity-blasé advertising folks would crowd around wherever she went, asking that their pictures be taken with her. She was a bigger hit with the regular folks. They came in droves to catch a glimpse of her, and perhaps have their photos taken with her. Given the crowds she was generating, I thought she should be renamed “Elsa Gandanghari… walang himala!” Maybe it’s the freak show mentality. But I do remember one tricycle driver who, upon seeing BB alight from the boat at the pier, yelled out, “Ayan na si mista!” Yes, Pinoys are celebrity obsessed.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Night Fall

It felt like I was in Malate or along Tomas Morato, except that I was walking on sand. The music they played, the dancing lights, the crowd—well, in one bar where most of the advertising agency people converged, it looked like Greenbelt for a night.

My officemates decided to get drunk and dance. For a while I was grooving along with them, my movements familiar and reassuring. But after a while I grew tired. Eventually I excused myself to walk along the beach.

The half-moon was blazing brightly, and the stars were out. The water gently caressed the shore. The sand felt hard under my feet.

This was about as emo as I can get in such a place.

I wanted to clear my mind. I wanted to just be at peace. But Lady Gaga was blaring in the background, asking people to fuck her face.

Eventually I went back and danced some more.

Friday, March 06, 2009

More BB’d Humor

The Seair plane was a twin-prop that seats 19 passengers, two crew (the pilot and his female co-pilot) and no one else. BB was seated at the special solo seat at the back; I was immediately in front of her, while beside me sat her very young, very gay, uhm, companion? Assistant? Whatever.

That BB sure has a wicked sense of humor.

As the start-struck ground crew (he insisted his photo be taken beside BB before he shut the plane doors) was getting ready to close the door, BB turned to him and asked, “What kind of plane is this?”

The crew named the model of the plane.

Without missing a beat, BB exclaimed in a loud voice for the other passengers to hear, “Oh my! This is exactly the kind of plane that crashed and killed Rustom!”

Her companion started giggling uncontrollably while BB continued, “Oops! Wala lang. I just thought you guys would wanna know….”

But Before I Wander Off…

I just wonder who unfollowed me here in The McVie Show? Hmmm…. ☺


And suddenly, just like that, the cloud lifted. Work seemed more bearable, making fun of it was a lot easier, and my steps became much lighter. When one unburdens, the load lightens. But even then, your weight is one I would happily bear.

Ahhh! It’s so nice to step into a plane and go off somewhere feeling all light and breezy. Don’t mind me, I’m just enjoying the calm before the storm in Boracay—I think the whole of Saturday will find me frazzled and frayed. So see you all after that.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

What’s In A Name?

An SMS exchange this afternoon between McVie and MisterHeuge

McVie: Pssst! I need to tell you something.

MisterHeuge: Are you gonna confide to us you’re actually BB Gandanghari? Hehe. Ok lang, tanggap ka pa rin namin. ☺

MV: Hindi. Ako si the late Rustom Padilla. ☺

MH: Sabi na nga ba. ☺

MV: Ako si CC Bonggangreyna. ☺

MH: Haha. Nakaka intimidate ang name ha.

MV: Naku don’t be. It’s just a few steps off from DD Wagingdatu.

MH: Kawawa naman si TT Kaayaayangemperatriz.

MV: O si RR Tangumpayraha. Good lord, this could go on and on. ☺

And we mercifully cut it short.

Chris Brown Vs Rihanna Via Nigahiga

“You want the truth? You want the truth?! You can’t handle the truth!”

Subscribe to Nigahiga, he’s hilarious!

The Music In My Mind

I willed myself to fall asleep as fast as I could at around one o’clock in the morning. Orlando was coding the next day, so I had to wake up at around 5:15am. Which gave me around 4 hours of sleep—not enough, since I had a session with my trainer in the morning.

I bought you drinks, I brought you flowers
I read you books and talked for hours
Every day, so many drinks
Such pretty flowers, so tell me
What have I, what have I, what have I done to deserve this?

I woke up with that Pet Shop Boys song playing in the iTunes of my mind. Looped. I tossed and turned in bed, but couldn’t turn off the tune.

Since you went away I’ve been hanging around
I’ve been wondering why I’m feeling down
You went away, it should make me feel better
But I don’t know, oh
How I’m gonna get through?

Something was bothering me. A mosquito buzzed around my right ear and I furiously waved it off.

You always wanted me to be something I wasn’t
You always wanted too much, oh, oh
Now I can do what I want to—forever
How am I gonna get through?

Bathroom, that’s it! Was it dinner, or something I ate earlier? It didn’t matter. Groggy with lack of sleep, I went to the bathroom anyway. Well, well, well, what do you know? Success! Grateful, I washed up and hurriedly went back to bed to catch as many winks as I could.

At night, the people come and go
They talk too fast, and walk too slow
Chasing time from hour to hour
I pour the drinks and crush the flowers
What have I, what have I done to deserve this?

Neil Tennant continued to drone in my head. Good lord, please let me sleep, Neil. I tried clearing my mind, but the song kept coming back. So I gave up and instead allowed the tune to play.

Soon the repeated looping in my head slowly faded and I could tell I was off to La-La Land. Ah, at last.

I never thought that I’d fall in love, love, love, love
But it grew from a simple crush, crush, crush, crush

What… the… f*ck?!

Feels like insomnia ah ah, Feels like insomnia ah ah
Feels like insomnia ah ah, Feels like insomnia ah ah

Now it was Craig David’s turn.

And I continued to toss and turn.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Mother Silly

They say the great Mother Lily Monteverde could carry on multiple conversations while seated at her office desk with two landlines, a cellphone or two, and people right in front of her. (The great Irma Adlawan portrayed this brilliant talent of hers to hilarious effect in a play written and directed by her husband, Dennis Marasigan, for Tanghalang Pilipino—I just forget now the title of the play.)

But sometimes Mother Lily slips.

* * * * *

I was tweeting with R when he called me on my cellphone. As I flipped my SEZ610i open, the phone at my desk rang. I knew it was our office secretary calling because she had texted me earlier to clarify something. Because I knew her call was more urgent, I decided I’d take it first.

At this point, an art director approached me at my desk to discuss something.

Leaning into my cellphone on my left ear, I loudly told R: “Sorry I have to call you back, I have another call on the other line.” Meanwhile, I didn’t realize that I had already placed the receiver of my landline close to my right ear, so the mouthpiece picked up what I just said to R.

“Oh, okay,” said R, then click! “Ay sorry!” the secretary said, and then click!

“Wait—no! Not you!” I yelled into the landline, but too late. I was left with two phones humming dial tones on both ears, and my art director laughing his head off beside me.

Laughter First

I was at the gym reception area with my nutritionist to avail of a new package. After I signed the form, she gave it to the cashier. As he was inputting data into their computer, the cashier asked her, “For how many sessions?”

She replied, “Six.”

“…thousand sessions,” I joked. We both laughed; she even cracked, “Oh no, we’d have to meet every day!” When the laughter subsided I thought that was the end of it.

As the cashier was printing out the receipt, my nutritionist suddenly blurted out, “Uy! That would be 18 years.”

Anubahnamanyano! I-compute mo bah, gagah?!

I swear, our gym is actually a comedy bar disguised as a fitness club.

(Okay, so she was off by a couple of years: 6,000 days is equal to around 16.5 years. She’s a nutritionist, not a mathematician.)

Monday, March 02, 2009

Screech To A Halt (A Non-Sequel)

(The parentheses in the title refers to another episode of The McVie Show that is similarly titled but with very different screech-to-a-halt circumstances.)

* * * * *

Just this Saturday morning I was driving down this very narrow one-way street in Marikina. It’s the kind of street where the sidewalk is practically non-existent, with eskenitas that are hidden from view from the main road by walls of houses. I wasn’t going fast since the road was narrow. But my phone’s SMS alert chimed in with, “Hu-wears da par-tey? I wanna par-tey!” so I reached out to get my phone (which was just on the dashboard in front).

From one of the small side streets a toddler darted out, around 1 to 1-and-a-half years old, and I knew he was just starting to walk unaided because his arms were flailing about and his pace was wobbly. And without hesitation he stepped off the sidewalk and careened into the middle of the street.

Here’s where the Matrix moment started.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw the toddler’s father run out after him. I knew he knew I was barreling towards his son because his movements quickened and he flung himself forward to grab his out-of-control kid. In fairness, that was his paternal instinct kicking in; I knew from the way he was moving his body that he was putting himself in between my car and his child. But in his haste, he tripped. He was able to grab hold of his kid, but the momentum of him tripping had him falling on top of his child. Both hit the pavement, but a second later the dad was able to twist around so that he was able to lift his kid out of the road and, in one fluid movement, he pressed his child into his bosom. But the shock of having a huge weight fall on him and meeting the pavement face-to-face had taken its toll—the child started wailing and crying, albeit I guess more out of shock than physical pain.

Meanwhile my thoughts went something like this: phone, wait—a kid, not stopping, dad, trip, shield child—wow!—oh no, he fell, crying, safe.

And somewhere between “kid” and “not stopping” my brain made an almost unconscious decision that my body acted out of instinct. My right foot shifted from accelerator and floored the brake pedal, while my left foot slammed on the clutch.

Screeeeeeech! Orlando screamed in protest but obeyed. And with barely ten feet between him and the father and son, Orlando halted. The sudden stop was so hard that my bag, which was on the passenger’s seat beside me, flew to the floor, spilling its contents. The screech was so loud, people from several houses down the street stepped out of their houses, searching for a commotion.

Meanwhile my breathing, which momentarily stopped, resumed its normal state. My heart, which may have missed a beat, immediately relaxed its quickened pace. My facial expression didn’t even have time to change. I stared blankly at the dad, who by this time had stood up and was carrying his crying child back into their house. He couldn’t even bear to look me in the eye; instead, with a sheepish yet grateful smile on his face, he waved a gesture towards me, something like, “Excuse us for what just happened.” I just waved them off to the side, and continued my way. I could see the curious neighbors craning their heads to see what they had missed.

It’s not driving skills but years of experience that helped prevent me running over the kid. In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers: The Story Of Success, he points out that in success stories we forget that it’s not genius or talent alone that helped someone become successful; often we forget the hours of experience needed to hone skills. In driving, it is experience that really teaches you and makes every movement and decision you make almost second nature. My driving skills will not land me in the European Grand Prix, but years of driving every day have helped me stop my car just in time, with a few feet to spare.

And yet I realized just how arbitrarily close that incident could have become tragic. Had the SMS alert rung earlier, had I been reading the message, had the kid walked towards Orlando and not away from us—just change a few circumstances and I would know precisely what the mother who sandwiched a student in between vehicles in a freakish accident at the Ateneo grade school must be going through right now.

Just a simple twist of the fates and several people’s lives would have screeched to a halt in that instant.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Sunday Morning After Dancing My Ass Off

Having only four hours of sleep shortens my attention span. Thus, some random posts.

* * * * *

We shot the following commercial just right before Christmas 2008, on three different locations: a park in Luneta, at the steps of the National Museum, and in Quezon Institute. The shoot was marked by several spirit encounters (thanks to the fairly old locations), as well as our producer and yours truly trying to run on high heels (we wanted to test how dangerous the pair of shoes that our talent was going to wear). Damn, it’s hard to run in heels, but our talent made it look so freakin’ easy.

* * * * *

I saw the following* posted on someone’s Facebook. Haylaveth!

Can you say, “I give it three snaps and a twirl!”?!

*Thanks to Billy, I replaced the original video posted (which apparently is a shortened version) with the full version of the TV commercial.

* * * * *

Several of my friends told me variations of the same thing: “You know, if they cannot be sensitive to the feelings of others, then they should be ready for others not being sensitive to theirs.”

Okay, fine. Got it.