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)

Friday, February 27, 2009


After staying away from the site for a few days, I was surprised when suddenly I found an email notification that a “Corazon Aquino” was following me on Twitter. WTF?! I took a peek at that particular Twitter account and, well, it obviously ain’t Tita Cory.

I hit the “block” button without hesitation.

Good Morning

‘Doy, uuwi kaming Bilar sa Tuesday,” my mom greeted me yesterday morning. In an instant I knew something was wrong. From her relaxed demeanor I concluded it has nothing to do with her or any one in the immediate family. I then thought of two aunts, both sick—one was in Tagbilaran recovering from a massive stroke, the other in the U.S. dying of colon cancer.

Balik kami sa Thursday,” she said, then kept quiet. She was obviously waiting for me to react. I guess she wanted to know if I already knew. I guess I had to fess up.

Ano? Bakit?” I mumbled in my half-asleep state.

Libing ni Tiya S,” she said. Oh. So it’s Tiya S. who picked the lottery ticket. She’s my mom’s cousin, the one with the colon cancer. I only met her a couple of times before she migrated to the U.S.; I don’t think I was more than 10 then. It was my sister who got pretty close to her when she and my parents visited them in the States several years ago. My mom and her cousins were pretty close because they grew up as a barkada.

It was late last year when she was first diagnosed. The cancer launched a very vicious attack. By early January she was already confined in a hospital. Last month the doctors notified her family that they were just counting days.

Still, to hear that she’s finally left was quite a shock, especially if sleep hadn’t entirely left my eyes. I sat down to digest the news.

Feeling I had to say something, I decided to tell her the only piece of news I could think of: “Balik ninyo sa Thursday? Sa Friday naman ang alis ko. Boracay,” I said, rubbing my eyes awake.

It was my mom’s turn to be surprised: “O! Boracay?” she paused. Then she smiled, “Wow.”

“It’s just work,” I shrugged it aside, and fell silent.

I tried to remember what Tiya S looked like, but couldn’t.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tres Rosa Hermanas

Okay, let me make the introductions: jamiedavinci, meet pisceantears.

So far, we’re the only ones I know who are SSB (single since birth). So we can actually create a subset and call it PLU-SSBs. Not only that, but take note of the following: pisceantears’ real name is JC. So say hello to the 3Js who are PLU-SSBs.

Good lord, what an unwieldy name: 3J-PLU-SSBs.

We ought to make a podcast or something. (Dios ko, kahit hanggang dito sa blog ko, I’m connecting people.)

Anybody else out there who’s a pink SSB? Now put your hands up!

Worse Than LSS

Yesterday I was bored stuck in traffic, so I kept switching radio stations in the car (it’s the pre-iPod equivalent of “shuffle”). I ended up listening to RJ100 (go, rakenrol!) and decided to take in some golden oldies. When they played a 1979 tune by the band Orleans, I found myself singing to it. I especially remember the chorus—it’s the kind of sing-along type that’s quite repetitive and easy to remember. While singing along, I couldn’t help but feel a little pinch in my heart.

When I woke up this morning, the song was already playing in my head.

I saw a twinkle in her eye
It lit a fire deep inside
But it burned so wild and strong
I knew it wouldn’t last for long

‘Cause love takes time
And it’s hard to find
You gotta take some time
To let love grow

I saw a shooting star go by
It blazed a path across the sky
But the beauty did not last, no
some things just happen all too fast

But love takes time
And it’s hard to find
You gotta take some time
To let love grow

—“Love Takes Time” by Orleans

SMS Exchange

A friend who will remain anonymous (dude, I’m keeping silent about your identity, so please do not comment or react in a way that will give yourself away!) SMS’d me out of the blue:

Him: This is one of those times I hate having to say “We’d be better off as friends” and the guy I said that to cried. Damn, it leaves a bitter taste on the tongue

Me: A bitter-tasting tongue is still much better than a broken-down heart. But that’s just me, often on the receiving end. ☺ Peace!

Him: I hate the feeling of guilt more than the thought that I’m not enough. At least when I’m rejected I can have pride to prop me up. Guilt is always distasteful. Good night.

Me: Oh, he’ll get over it. Besides, better break his heart now than lead him on further, making it worse. And guilt can be shoved off by pride too.Good night!

I have this mantra which, when I first mentioned it to Leigh, she laughed her ass off: A little hope is a dangerous thing.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Queer As Folk, Part 2

A few days after Queeriosity opened, whispers and murmurs spread lightning-quick through the pink grapevine: The police raided it! Twice! The owners of CB were the ones who tipped the police for the raid!

For me that was the biggest deterrent to trying out Q. What if the police raids it again? Luckily LT got the real story straight from the police themselves.

* * * * *

Before it became Q, the place was known as El Barako, one of the most popular and most notorious KTV joints in the city. Apparently K didn’t stand for “karaoke” but ka-kipay-an. They had private rooms where the girls could “sing” into the “microphone” the whole night. Because of that notoriety, the police had marked it as a hot spot for prostitution and closed it down several times.

When the former owners of Q opened the place, the police thought that it was still El Barako, but with a name change (despite the huge “queer” on the sign outside, our police had no idea what was inside—how come that doesn’t surprise me?). So they raided the place thinking they’ll catch some girls in the act. Lo and behold, Manila’s Finest found themselves facing men in towels—not a woman in sight.

Now they could have backed off right there and then. But because nagkahiyaan na, they decided to round them up and bring them to the precinct. They didn’t press charges and released them shortly after.

“Kung alam naming na baklaan pala yun, hindi na naming pinasok yun,” one of the policemen had admitted to LT. And the reason is fairly simple. Currently there are no laws against such kinds of establishments as a bathhouse. There is no prostitution happening inside because no payment is given in return for sex. There’s no “public indecency” because it’s a for-members private club. No law, no touch. Fascinating.

* * * * *

One of the main differences between the two is that CB offers both lockers and rooms, whereas Q offers just lockers, and the rooms are free-for-all, first cum (pun intended!) first served. The advantage of having a client book a room is that when he’s done, he surrenders the key to the reception; that allows the staff to clean the room and get it ready for the next client.

With a free-for-all system, after a couple (or more—hey, that happens too!) finishes using the room, they just leave all their, uhm, mess behind. It is a good idea to use beds covered with easy-to-clean material (leatherette? not sure). All that’s needed to get the room ready is to spray alcohol, wipe clean, let dry—done! But the problem is in making sure that a room is quickly cleaned up after use. Sure, there are clients who do not wait for the room to be cleaned up—either they’re the not-so-picky ones or they’re too horny to care. But if the mess left is, uhm, sizeable and cannot be ignored, then it will certainly screech things to a halt. That’s a major dampener to the proceedings.

When I was in Q, I saw a couple leave a room. I waited for the staff doing the rounds to arrive, look inside the room, and clean up. It took a long time for him to arrive, and when he did, it looked like he was going to skip the room and check out the others first. So I had to tap him in the shoulder and tell him to clean up the room. He cheerfully did so.

* * * * *

Mugen asked my opinion as to which bathhouse is better, Q or CB. My answer is, it depends on what one looks for in a bathhouse. Is it location, easily accessible? Is it the ambiance? Is it the crowd?

I’ve only been to Q once, so I cannot say for sure what the crowd is like there. But from what I saw, it seems slightly younger compared to the CB crowd. But I bet, since the two are quite near each other (they’re on the same street!), there are people who go to both.

In the end, it really is a question of which bathhouse are you more comfortable visiting. Prefer the crowd on this one? Like the amenities of the other one? Feel more at home here? Then again, you can always choose to be a member of both, and just go to wherever you feel like going to, depending on your mood.

Queer As Folk, Part 1

One evening I received a text message from a friend na itago na lang natin sa initials na LT (Lorna T, istatchu?!): “I’ll be at Queeriosity tonight, behind the counter. You might want to drop by, try out the place, give me feedback.” You see, a while back LT bought the place (na itago na lang natin sa initial na Q from now on, para lang mas madaling i-type, nakakatamad din eh!) from the original owners. He had asked me before if I could help him improve the place by giving him honest feedback from a customer’s point of view. Or in marketing terms:

Pakshet, store check ito!

So that same evening I trooped to Q. It’s my first time to go there, and LT’s directions were fairly easy to follow. On Gil Puyat Ave. aka Buendia heading towards Roxas Blvd, you turn right at FB Harrison Street (landmark is the 7-11 on the corner). Go on until you see the Uni Oil gas station to your right. The building before the gas station is where Q is. Don’t worry, there’s a huge sign outside. Which of course is one of the first things I noticed.

The former owner of Q is also the owner of Fahrenheit along E. Rodriguez, where there is similarly a huge lighted sign at the entrance. But you see, the word Fahrenheit is quite innocuous. In Q, however, having a huge “queer” on a sign in front screams, “Pink place!” Plus, the entrance is so open; everyone can see you go in. Across the street diagonally in front of Q is a pawnshop; good thing that place closes before Q opens. But there are sari-sari stores all around, plus there’s the gas station where lots of jeepneys park there for the night. The openness might deter those discreet men who cannot bear to be seen entering such a place. If there was a way of making the entrance more discreet and perhaps changing the signage to something innocuous, like “Q”?

But then again, I suspect that a lot of Q’s regular clientele won’t be bothered being seen entering the place. These are the people who do not have riches to safeguard, an image to uphold, and status to protect—like yours truly.

So I nonchalantly walked into the place.

Good thing LT was busy behind the counter, because I wanted to experience firsthand how well the staff handles their clients. I found it a little weird that there were women who attended to me at the counter. I don’t mind having female staff, but I guess if you’re running a bathhouse targeted to gay men, then I think the frontliners should be men too. No big deal, but it does add to the excitement (especially if your frontliner is pupuwede na, teh!).

The sandals provided were comfy and not your cheap, typical tsinelas. The towels were of a decent size (unless you have a size 90+ waist, in which case, they ought to give you a blanket instead). The amenities in the vanity area are amply stocked, but not too high-end nor too generous—you know that people will really take advantage of free stuff if it’s plentiful and, most especially, if it’s the more expensive kind.

The layout is simple and well thought out. It looks like the previous owner learned from F, because here there’s lots of space on the ground floor (only the locker area where people change is crowded and cramped, but then it discourages clients from hanging out in that area and checking out others while they’re dressing up). The flooring consists of pebbles, giving it a beach-y feel. Amenities-wise, there’s a steam room and a Jacuzzi. (A caveat: LT is still working on getting a heater for the Jacuzzi, so for now the water’s cold. Good thing your Free Willy will be underwater, so no one will see the shrinkage that happens. But when stepping out of the tub, be ready to cover your unflattering size with your hands or your towel!) The shower area on the ground floor is interesting because it encourages exhibitionism; for the more prudish, there’s the second floor shower area where there are dividers between shower stalls.

The second floor is where all the cubicles are located. Again learning from F, the former owners made the cubicles more spacious. The walls are also higher, so you avoid those desperate clients who have a Peeping Tom fetish from clambering over the wall to peer at the cubicle beside (I really hated that in F). The corridors are spacious and easy to navigate, thanks to the red LED lights on the floor. At first I really appreciated having those red lights because they made sure you won’t be groping (wa-poise!) along the corridors. But when I glanced at a strategically-placed mirror, I immediately noticed the disadvantage of having those lights on the floor—lighting from below becomes really unflattering if it’s not aided by another light source from above. They throw ugly shadows on your face and—ick!—your torso. I suggest that there be a rug or linoleum thrown over a portion of those lights so as to lessen their unflattering shine—keep the lights nearest the walls exposed, so they still serve their original purpose. And add ambient lights at eye-level (how about putting lights behind the mirrors?) so that the lighting is more flattering.

Back at the bar area on the ground floor, I told LT about my observations. My only other reservation was the fact that the police raided Q before, when it had just opened. No arrests were made nor charges filed. But because of that, there’s this lingering fear hovering around the place—what if it gets raided again?

LT told me the real story behind it.

(to be continued)

(Interested in visiting Queeriosity but want to know more? Log on to for more details, including a map to the place.)

Regal Shocker

The office messenger handed me an envelope, fat and ready to burst. A familiar swirl-logo was on it, but my mind was too lazy to figure out whose logo it was. Three names were on the envelope, mine and two other officemates from creatives. Eh? What’s this for?

The envelope flap wasn’t sealed so I quickly took out the contents. There were two booking confirmations—one for Boracay Regency and one Seair e-ticket. OMG! OMG! It’s confeeeeeermmmmmed! I looked again at the logo on the envelope: Creative Guild. Yay, I’m off to Boracay for the Kidlat Awards 2009!

I quickly scanned the e-ticket. Aside from my co-delegates from the office there were two other names, one of which stood out: Rustom Padilla.

And I couldn’t believe my incredulous reaction when I read the name: “Isn’t he dead already?”

Other thoughts followed in quick succession: “I see dead faggots.” “Oh my god, I’m flying with a dead man.” “Wait a minute, who’s the other guy flying with us?” “Dead man flying! Dead man flying!”

Cue in Hitchcockian music. Iii! Iii! Iii! Iii! Iii!

Wow, isn’t it amazing what happens when one fully buys into an illusion, any illusion—whether it’s a persona, an alter ego, media hype, a love affair, self-image, a sense of entitlement, or even one’s place in the larger scheme of things?

(Okay, okay, for the record: by the time I was thinking “dead faggots,” everything had already clicked into place in my head. No sex change, no legal name change, official documents, yada-yada-yada. Just so you know, hm’kay?)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


“Oh well I’m the type of guy who will never settle down...”

While catching my breath in between sets, I noticed my trainer Ken looking thoughtfully at me, so I stared back at him, puzzled.

“You do 15 minutes on the treadmill, right?” he asked.

“Pant, pant—yup—pant, pant,” I replied.

“So how many kilometers is that?”

I frowned. “I have no idea. I only look at the number of calories.”

Ken laughed heartily then said, “I’m gonna sign you up for one of those Sunday runs.”

“I kiss ‘em and I love ‘em ‘cause to me they’re all the same
I hug ‘em and I squeeze ‘em, they don’t even know my name
They call me the wanderer—yeah—the wanderer”

I like Ken. As a trainer he’s cheerful by default, easy to get along with, knows how to encourage me, and laughs at almost any and every joke I crack. Sure, he has his off days; during those times, he’s just quiet and pensive. But then I didn’t hire him to be my clown.

He likes to spring surprises on me. One time he asked me if I could bring my swimming trunks for our next session. I ended up doing aqua calisthenics for several sessions. Another time he just appeared with a pair of gloves and boxing wraps. But he and I were both surprised when I actually enjoyed boxing!

But the one suggestion from him that I’ve always resisted is running. He first approached me with the idea three years ago, and every time I resisted. I was never a big fan of running simply because, well, it seemed boring. I’ve ran once or twice when I was in high school, and though the Ateneo campus is a great place to jog around, I got bored. But I was a high school student then.

“Well, I roam from town to town
I go through life without a care
I’m as happy as a clown
With my two fists of iron, but I’m going nowhere”

So back to Ken, who was trying to describe to me what 5 kilometers meant: “Start from Paseo de Roxas, go down Ayala then turn right to Buendia, then go all the way to Paseo. That’s about two and a half kilometers. So just double back, and you’ve done five.”

For some reason, I didn’t feel like resisting the idea this time. I imagined the route. Heck, I can achieve that by walking, I told myself.

Ken could see the gears in my mind whirling. “Sige, one day I’ll just sign you up for one of those Sunday runs at the Fort.”

I raised one eyebrow at him but kept my mouth shut. Hmmm, a five kilometer run. Can I do it?

“And when I find myself fallin’ for some girl
Yeah, I hop right into that car of mine, I drive around the world
Yeah I’m a wanderer, yeah I’m a wanderer—
I roam around, around, around, around, around, around….”

— “The Wanderer” by Dion

Monday, February 23, 2009

Epi-funny (Delos Santos Avenue)

“So I shouldn’t tell him?” I asked my friend Leigh.

“No,” she quickly replied. And to drive home the point, she hacked away at the beef belly on her plate. Considering that Dome Café’s grilled beef belly is juicy and tender (I tried it, it’s heavenly), her knife easily bit into the plate.

“And why not?” I asked.

When I discuss things, I’d like to go over every thing methodically. I try to enumerate step-by-step the way in which I arrive at a conclusion, no matter how intricately complex or obviously simple those steps are. I can be quite thorough in my obviousness.

But this time, I was genuinely stumped. “So why not?” I asked again.

Leigh was busy cutting her meat. “Because…” and she paused, but continued slicing away. “Because…” she started again, her cutting more frantic. She was groping for the accurate thing to say, and she was taking out her frustration on the poor meat.

The suspense was killing me. “Because it’s bad timing?” I prodded her. “Because it’s too much information?” Impatient me was taking over. “Because…” but she cut me off.

“… it’s selfish!” she finished my sentence while triumphantly raising her knife. “You’re being selfish! Yes, that’s it. Selfish.” She pointed her knife at me one last time before returning to slicing her beef belly.

Meanwhile I felt queasy in my belly.

Sometimes the danger of asking your friends what they think is that their knowledge of you can actually be a baggage that blindsides them. But the moment those words left her lips, I knew she bull’s-eyed it. My head felt light all of a sudden. Then my eyes grew wide and my jaw dropped as realization sank in.

“Leigh! You slapped me!” I practically yelled at her.

She dropped her knife and fork and started laughing out loud.

“You just slapped me and stabbed me in the front!” I didn’t care anymore if the people walking past our table outside Dome in Shangri-La Mall could hear me.

“Imsorryimsorry…” she grasped my hands while giggling in between apologies.

“No!” I said. “It’s great. This is great! This is good. I really needed that. Thanks. I really needed that,” I assured her, even though my head was spinning and my neck felt whip-lashed.

And we both laughed our ass off.

Don’t you just hate it and love it when your closest friends tell you exactly what you need to hear?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Nuclear Reaction (Or, Things That Make You Go Boom)

In nuclear fission two atoms collide, resulting in a release of particles and energy. This starts a chain reaction of events that releases more and more energy. If the release of this energy is at a controlled rate, the energy can be harnessed productively. Uncontrolled and rapid, the result is an explosion of enormous destructive powers.

Then again, sometimes things—or people—implode.

So the best thing to do is go for peace. I do hope you find it too.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The God, Not The Bag & Belt

Over excellent white wine, my friends and I discussed the different archetypes and they pegged me as “Hermes.” Which was all Greek to me, although their more detailed explanation helped me realized that the description kinda fit me.

So I turned to Wikipedia and here’s what I got:

Hermes is the messenger of the gods in Greek mythology. An Olympian god, he is also the patron of boundaries and of the travelers who cross them… of thieves and road travelers, of orators and wit, of literature and poets, of athletics, of weights and measures, of invention, of general commerce, and of the cunning of thieves and liars.

His symbols include the tortoise, the rooster, the winged sandals, and the caduceus. The analogous Roman deity is Mercury.

He is the messenger of the gods. He is athletic and is always looking out for runners, or any athletes with injuries who need his help. Hermes is a messenger from the gods to humans. Hermes gives us our word “hermeneutics” for the art of interpreting hidden meaning.

Hermes was believed to have invented many types of racing and the sport of wrestling, and therefore was a patron of athletes.

Hermes is a deified trickster. Hermes also served as a psychopomp, or an escort for the dead to help them find their way to the afterlife (the Underworld in the Greek myths). In many Greek myths, Hermes was (one of the few gods) who could enter and leave the Underworld without hindrance.

Hm’kay. In my weird Piscean way of seeing things, I am amazed at how multifaceted this god is—he’s not some pristine goody-two-shoes (or winged feet). I especially liked the part about helping people find their way to the afterlife. I believe my third eye is blind, and my sixth sense is undeveloped. Yet I feel that I have a gift of helping people get over their deaths (“When we broke up, I just died!”) and make them see that there’s an afterlife.

But I’m also a trickster, so beware. (Cue in sound effects of thunder and evil laftir!)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Wilde, Wilde Wit

An online article reminded me of Oscar Wilde’s wicked wit. So I Googled “Oscar Wilde quotes” and was blown away by what I read. I love him! And I envy the kind of sharp humor and insight he has. He distills the truth it into a biting yet incisive sentence—damn it, he’s the Strunk & White of barbed insights. Below are some of my favorites, in no particular order.

“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.” Loves it! Frustrate your enemies by taking that label off them.

“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.” Perfect for times of recession. But imagination without taste is a fashion wreck, like early Jolina.

“I am not young enough to know everything.” Only the young are sure that they know everything. The older you get, the more you know that you don’t know.

“If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” Even as a child I was afraid of death, thus I learned early on the value of comedy and putting on a show.

“I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself.” Apropo, as the sage singer/songwriter Joe Jackson so aptly put it, “Though it’s oh so nice to get advice, it’s oh so hard to do.”

“A true friend stabs you in the front.” Guilty.

“A man’s face is his autobiography. A woman’s face is her work of fiction.” I actually don’t mind the lines on my face. It’s the ones on my neck that are a bitch.

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” Ouch! Touché.

McVie Presents: Songs To Slash Your Wrists By

If you think Ate Vi’s “Hu-where’s Da Par-tay?” was hilarious then the following is, well, transcendental. She recorded it when she was a child star (it’s just an audio clip, by the way). Oh, and you HAVE to finish the whole thing; it’s only two-and-a-half excruciating minutes of lost time for you. You MUSN’T miss the ending!

Di ba?! It’s f**king amazing! Walang binatbat ang mga emo-emo-han! With matching sound of breaking glass in the end.

My former officemate who insisted I check out the YouTube clip was adamant: “It must be a talent! It has to be a talent! Yung wala siyang tinamaang nota!

To which I replied, “Proof na hindi siya bakla—walang tinamaang nota? Heller?!

Online Is Not For The Broken-Hearted

In this age of 24/7 communications, it’s difficult to forget the one who broke your heart. He cannot be your Friendster anymore. His Tweets ain’t so sweet now. You can’t go forth and Multiply. You don’t want to go Plurking around his online accounts. And you can’t stand his Facebook.

In this day and age, your best friend is the “delete contact” button.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

If You Really Think About It

When someone says to you, “I love you but I don’t expect anything in return. I just wanted you to know that,” look him straight in the eye, or clear your throat (if it’s over the phone), or crack your fingers (in case it was via email or SMS), and say the following:


Okay, okay, maybe not that harsh. You could say, “Owwws?” or “C’mon, really?!” or “C’mon, shi-yowww meh! Hu-where’s da—” oops! Sorry, hehehe. (Got carried away with Ate Vi there.) But you get what I mean.

Because if someone loves you but genuinely doesn’t expect you to love them back in return, then that person will shut the hell up and, like Nike, just do it. Action speaks louder than words.

(The exception, of course, is if he has a proven track record of unselfish giving and wanton generosity that rivals the late Mother Teresa. In which case, dump him—he’s due for sainthood, and the Lord’s just itching to get him up there with His team.)

But those who bother to go out of their way to say “I don’t expect anything in return” are expecting something, all right: a reaction from you. They are forcing you to acknowledge their feelings. Because then you’re forced to think about it and make a decision: either you reciprocate or you put your foot down and say, “Sorry, no.” Either way, they get an answer and can move on.

However, there is a third option: you can opt to not say anything at all. By keeping things hanging, you prolong his agony while enjoying the attention he’s giving you.

“Hu-where’s Da Par-tay?!”

My gulay! Either I was too busy to notice, or I never really thought it was a big deal in the first place. Last January 20, The McVie Show turned five years old. My god, has it been five years already? My show’s anniversary came and went, and I didn’t even notice it. Which, I guess, is a good sign. That means I’m still having fun.

“Belated happy birthday to my show!”

Now back to regular programming.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Ladies And Gentlemen, Here’s McEmily Post

Excuse me, but as part of my duty as McNokia, a.k.a. connecting people, it’s now time for me to trot out the following article below. I found it a couple of years ago while surfing over the Internet looking for answers to an animated discussion my friends and I had over rounds of beer: Is there proper etiquette for couples (especially newly-minted ones) to behave around their friends (especially the single ones)?

Read on and see if you agree or disagree.

In the following article, Bob Morris of the New York Times says he was single for the longest time. But then he found the love of his life, Ira. So now he feels awkward dealing with couples in love. As he puts it so clearly: “So now that I’m coupled, I’m racked with single survivor guilt.”

Read the rest of his article below: THE AGE OF DISSONANCE; My Single Valentines.

* * * * *

Last spring, a friend was coming over to meet Ira, my demonstrative beau, for the first time. I asked Ira to avoid any public display of affection. He thought I was being neurotic. I thought I was being polite. But it made me wonder, are there proper ways for couples to behave around singles? Or should the two groups avoid each other entirely?

“Anyone in a new relationship should not be allowed out in public,” said Liz Tuccillo, a co-author of He’s Just Not That Into You, a best-selling dating advice book. “They should just stay home and not inflict themselves on their single friends until they’ve become slightly bored with each other.” As the single friend, she has had to endure lunches with those whose boyfriends keep calling on the cellphone and evenings where they have brought dates along, making her feel like a third wheel.

“Sometimes people in couples don’t think,” she said.

On the other hand, sometimes they think too much and end up overcompensating.

“I think that it’s the job of a friend in a couple,” said Genevieve Field, the married editor of Sex and Sensibility, a new anthology of essays by single women, “to make single friends see how fantastic they are and not let them think they have to settle for the wrong man.” She ends up arguing with them to the death that they won’t end up old maids. Cindi Leive, the editor in chief of Glamour, finds herself feeling apologetic when a single friend ends up at one of her parties of mostly couples. Then she goes overboard to engage them, ignoring the rest of her guests—to make sure they don’t feel they’re standing out.

In Nerve’s Guide to Sex Etiquette, several pages are devoted to the sticky issues of newly coupled friends. Thinking of bringing the new squeeze along to a drinks date with old friends? Ask them first. Thinking of blowing off your pals because your loved one suddenly needs you? Think again. And by all means, make sure that the first words out of your mouth when greeting a friend you haven’t seen in a while are not, “So are you seeing anybody?” That immediately conveys the message that you think they’re lonely. They may not be. Let them bring it up first. Also, take care not to gloat about how happy you are now that you’re hitched. That isn’t just alienating. It’s boring.

“Try to limit altering your behavior when in a new relationship,” advised Emma Taylor, who is a co-author of Nerve’s sex etiquette guide with Lorelei Sharkey under the names Em and Lo. “So that when you go out with old friends you’re the same person you always were.”

* * * * *

I wonder. Does this include online as well?

For the full article, click here.

Music To My Ears

I now have a new message alert and ringtone, and it’s making me giggle every time someone calls or sends me a text message. Which is great, because we all need laughter and joy every day.

This is my ringtone:

And this is my message alert:

Thank you, Ate Vi!

P.S. – If you want a copy of the ringtone and/or message alert, go to my podcast a.k.a. The McVie Show In Stereo (link on the right side column). Unfortunately you need to edit out the mandatory spiel that’s automatically added by (“This podast is part of mypodcast-dot-com…”). Sorry about that. =)

* * * * *

And another great, great news for us kasuys: Dan and Rye are back in The Dan & Rye Show! Hooray! Missed you, guyz.

Go to or click here. Now na, as in now na!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Some Kind Of A Love Letter

My dad was never the demonstrative type. Growing up, I resented him because he wasn’t like the ideal dads I watched on TV. But years later when I realized that he grew up without a father figure, I forgave him for something that technically isn’t his fault. The moment I let go of that resentment, I saw my dad in a kinder light. That’s why the day he tossed the car keys to me and said, “You drive the car,” I realized that he was actually saying, “I love you, and I trust your mother’s life and mine in your hands.” Or he was just tired of driving and wanted to sleep on the way home, but what the heck.

My mom was more hands-on with us. She was the one who knew it all, who helped us with our homework (especially math). Growing up I thought she had all the answers. But when my older brother and I were placed in the honors class starting when I was in grade five, I started becoming less dependent on what she knew, and slowly I heard the words, “We were never taught that” from her. I remember one day at the dinner table; all of us kids who were there had already graduated and were working. We got into a discussion about religion, and she was insisting on some teaching that was pre-Vatican II. I remember us reasoning out with her, that the Church had already changed its views on that particular issue. I remember her grudgingly ending the discussion with, “Oh?” and keeping her peace after that. From then on, she’d treat us not just as adults but also as equals. And when my dad died, she’d always ask me what I think and would sometimes defer to me for decisions. But my mom is still my mom, and I’ll always defer to her.

When my older brother and I were kids, our mom loved buying identical clothes for us since we were just a year-and-a-half apart. But we were as opposites as a Virgo and a Piscean can be. We shared a room for several years while growing up; his side was neat and orderly, while my stuff kept moving around. He was Mr. Popular in his class and was elected student body president when he was in grade 7; I was often one of the last to be picked for a team in any intramural sport. He excelled in school and was always top one in class; I had to struggle to scratch the top ten. I kept hearing my parents say, “Why can’t you be more like your brother?” So when he joined the grade school student council, I joined the theater group. I thought I had escaped his shadow. But in high school, he also joined the theater group. And we’d ride the jeepney going home after rehearsals ended late in the afternoon. During weekends when we had Saturday evening performances, we wouldn’t join the rest of the family for the 8am mass because we didn’t want to wake up early. So we’d both walk to the church for the 10am mass, and I’d always let my older brother walk slightly ahead of me. Soon people began to notice that he and I had the same gait. By college he pursued helping others by joining a catechetical instruction group, while I went full-tilt into theater. Today he still teaches high school kids, while I try to entertain folks.

My younger sister and I once had a major fight. But our parents raised us such that if we siblings would fight with one another, both parties were punished regardless of who started the fight. So we ended up not talking or minding one another. After several days my mom got so worried that she tried to talk us both into making peace with one another; neither of us budged. I think the silent treatment lasted for a week and a half. I don’t remember now how or who broke the ice first. All I remember was I got tired of ignoring someone who hitched with me in the car everyday going to work.

Our youngest sister ended up the most problematic. Funny, because when she was born she was the darling of all the adults in our clan. She was the prettiest, with the fairest skin among us siblings. Yet she turned out to be the most insecure. When her boyfriend got her pregnant, my very Catholic parents were even willing for her to be an unwed mother, just to prevent solving a mistake with a bigger one. But even after her miscarriage she insisted on marrying a guy that she knew her parents and her siblings didn’t quite approve of, because: [1] she felt our parents would be more disappointed if she remain unmarried; [2] she didn’t think she’ll meet another guy who would love her. When they said their vows in church I told myself, “I give them six months.” Eight years later they’re still married, even if my sister is in Singapore trying to earn a living while her husband works here.

My mom was especially worried that our younger brother would become a secular, drug-addicted socialist when he chose to study in UP Los Baños. But he ended up doing well in several bands. Unfortunately the band bubble burst when the acoustic craze took over. Plus with a baby to feed, he decided to settle down. The one who used seem so worry-free and happy-go-lucky turned out to be a responsible though unconventional dad who’s managed to retain his generally unflappable self.

Brian was four years old when he died. Our uncles and aunts all agree that among us siblings he was the most handsome with the sweetest disposition. My mom rationalized his early departure from this world: perhaps God needed another angel in heaven. And with a tearful farewell on his burial day, she let her lovely baby go to his Creator. (Which actually works out for me, because then no one would go, “You’re Brian’s brother?! How come he’s good-looking and you’re— oops, er, I think my phone’s ringing, excuse me!” Thank God for that. Literally.)

Our youngest was two when his older bother died on Dec. 26, so he got all of Brian’s Christmas gifts that year. After losing a child of their own, my parents raised him spoiled. But he had five older siblings putting him in his place, and he grew up fairly well adjusted. Except that he does have a stubborn streak and a temper that flares up once in a while. And I’m worried for him. He left his teaching job because he didn’t like how the school was running things. It’s been several years now and he still doesn’t have a job yet.

* * * * *

I’ve not officially come out to anyone in my family. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have an idea, especially my brothers and sisters since we have common friends. And you know the saying: “Mothers know.” As for my late dad, well, I’m sure he knows.

I wish them all my love this Valentine’s Day.

Friday, February 13, 2009

BB Does Boracay!

Talk about making a splash!

Her super shush-yal photos are all spreading like wildfire on the Internet (see them here in MGG). And on March, she’ll be in front of Phil. Advertising’s crème de la crème in Boracay. We’re so excited to see her, we’re so excited for her!

(And best of all, I’m going to put words in her mouth. Wheee!)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Love Spelled Backwards Is EVOL!

All you single ladies, now put your hands up!

…in the air, and wave them like you just don’t Kier.


Okay, so let’s tackle this head-on, no beating around the bush. So you think the whole world is conspiring to make you feel bad for this weekend? You can’t escape it, huh? Yeah, I’ve seen them too: the restaurant staff cutting heart-shaped cartolinas; all those ads for the concerts of Peter Cetera (who called us Filipinos karaoke kings or something like that—eek!) and all those musicians wanting to make a buck from all those romantic suckers; and the sky-rocketing prices of flowers, chocolates and short-time rates in motels.

If you are in panic, panic not. If you are in despair, despair not. If you are in searching desperately for a date this Saturday, search not. Do not fall for all these commercial trappings of Valentine’s Day. Remember, its initials are VD, so that should give you pause.

Instead, think about it this way. It is a celebration of love, and so you should celebrate the love you already have, and believe me, there is love all around you.

You want a supreme example of unconditional love? Hug your mom and dad. (Oh, so you and your parents don’t get along? Well… nyeh-nye-nye-nye-nyehhh! May jowa ka nga, pero ako naman, may happy family life! Belat! Bawi-bawian lang yan.)

Do you love your friends, especially the single ones? Then show them your love on Saturday. Go out on a group date. Or better yet (since traffic will definitely be horrendous), stay in someone’s house and have an impromptu sleep-over/pajama party.

Remind the people you already love and who already love you why they’re important in your life.

Love yourself. Treat yourself to something special. Demolish a Baconator and not feel guilty after. Indulge at a spa. Go to Hilom—happiness is extra service. Watch the sunset along Manila Bay. Read a book you’ve always wanted to but never had the time. Jog around the park. Jack off, or make a sleazy video of you jacking off (send me the mpeg, hm’kay?).

Valentine’s isn’t for couples only. So all the single ladies, put your hands up in the air and PAR-TAY like you just don’t Kier!

And if all else fails, watch the following. If by the first minute you’re not giggling uncontrollably, you need a huge dose of slap-in-the-face.

My most favorite moment: “C’mon, phleez… shy-ow me… where’s da par-tay?! I wanna PAR-TAY! C’mon, shyow mey! Hu-where’s DA PAR-TAY?!”

Every Story Has A Beginning And An End

May I just say—since I can only dream of owning a set—I envy to death my friend Leigh, who is now the proud owner of this:

OMG! OMFG! It’s Dream a.k.a. Morpheus and his older sister Death! And they’re bookends, which is so fitting because Neil Gaiman’s creation has generated enough books to make Lucien reserve a whole section in his library.

Gorgeous, just gorgeous.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

10 Not-So-Random Things About The McVie Show

1. All of the episodes here are self-indulgent. This whole blogging thing is self-indulgent.

2. I write and edit every episode on Word. Then I cut-and-paste it in Blogger. Before I press “publish” I preview it; almost always I will discover a typo error, or a grammatical mistake. Or I’d reread a certain word, phrase, sentence or paragraph and decide it’s better written in another way. And after I publish it online, I still reread it at least twice. Almost all of the episodes here had reedits after I published it.

3. Just because a person reads, follows or links my blog does not mean that I read, follow or link his or her blog. Conversely, I may be interested in what someone has to say, but my thoughts may not necessarily interest him.

4. Ask me nicely and I’ll consider including your blog in my blogroll. My reason for including you in my blogroll can be quite arbitrary. So think of it this way: It’s. No. Big. Deal.

5. A non-inclusion in my blogroll does not in any way diminish the value of your blog. If I didn’t include you in my blogroll, it’s my loss, not yours.

6. I prefer a white background versus a dark background. Cleaner to look at and easier on the eyes.

7. One time I saw that there were 55 people following The McVie Show. A few days later the number dropped to 54. At first it bothered me. But when I realized that I too am guilty of failing to read other people’s blogs religiously, I got over it quickly.

8. I only follow around 6-7 blogs on a daily basis. The rest, whenever I have the time or I remember to check out their blog. Or if they’d post a lot more regularly.

9. This should be the last of this list shit.

10. I’m never tagging anyone.

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Search For The Next Fabcaster

Last Saturday evening the Fabcasters hosted a Pre-Valentine’s Day (or as I called it, “Pre-VD”) Get-Together. Early in the evening, five of us (Gibbs came in late due to work) decided to have fun and instantly mounted an “online reality contest”. We were going to have a lot of our guests go through our “audition process” but unfortunately the party turned so much fun we ended up dropping the “audition” after a few guests.

But still, what was captured was silliness galore. Listen (12 minutes 44 seconds):

Download the MP3 (right click and save)

Friday, February 06, 2009

Tag-Tuyot Sa Blog? Magpa-Tag!

The following “25 random things about me” is brought to you by writers’ block.

1. My favorite fruit is mango.
2. I like orange as a color and as a fruit. I don’t have a favorite color though.
3. My SUV used to be named “Rupert”. Then it was changed to “Orlando”.
4. Only recently have I started trimming and shaving my pubes. It was unheard of when I was growing up.
5. I like cats because they’re not as attention-needy like dogs.
6. I can make my ears move at the same time and one at a time.
7. I used to collect X-Men comics, but that was because my major crush then was into them.
8. I used anti-pimple creams when I was a teenager. But after college I never bothered to put anything on my face, not even soap; I just washed it with water. It was only last year that I started using product on my face.
9. I spit, not swallow. I only swallow for love.
10. I used to pluck my eyebrows too cleanly. Now I only pluck strays.
11. Pizza and burgers are my comfort food and my culinary guilt pleasures.
12. I try and appreciate the unexpected. Survival chances are higher if you learn to roll with the punches.
13. A major reason why I stopped attending mass is the homilies.
14. I’m very open to the idea of ghosts and other supernatural beings; yet, I’ll be the first one to insist on finding the most rational, natural explanation when faced with something unusual.
15. I love corn and malunggay clear soup.
16. My room is the messiest, with stuff all over the place. I know where most of the newer stuff and the ones I often use are, but for the older ones and the ones I rarely use, I’m not sure now where I placed them.
17. I love my family, though I don’t make it obvious to them because I find that cheesy.
18. I am SSB (Single Since Birth).
19. I can freeze melting ice cream faster than one can say “Japan”. (Only one person will get this one. Well, maybe two.)
20. I have a crush on someone who most probably will have reached this part.
21. It took me about a week to fill this list up.
22. This list shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
23. I hate long lists like this.
24. I hate being tagged.
25. I refuse to tag anyone. As far as I’m concerned, this ends here.

Got Milk

Sean Penn’s compelling, Oscar-worthy performance alone is enough reason to watch Milk, although happily the whole movie deserves the nominations it garnered. There were times when I was aware that I was watching the actor Sean Penn execute such a delicate tightrope act; if other Academy members felt the same as me, it may cost him some votes come Oscar night.

But Penn’s transformation as Milk was relentless, and in a couple of scenes his performance was truly moving and totally engaging. The multitude of mixed emotions that flashes through Milk’s face as he sees the gun and realizes he’s about to die was truly a sight to behold, in turn mesmerizing, frightening and most of all, saddening. And in a gripping scene much earlier, Milk and company were agonizing over the ballot returns; they thought they were losing the fight against Proposition 6 (which would mandate the firing of the state’s openly gay teachers). But then they received a phone call that, contrary to what they feared, they had actually won by a wide margin. In that scene, Penn’s Milk is reduced to a giddy, shrieking queer, a vision of joy and euphoria in pure gay abandon. And for that moment I was instantly there in California, 1978.

The triumph of those scenes wasn’t just Penn’s acting, of course. Director Gus Van Sant’s films can be challenging to watch at times, but in Milk he decides to tell his story in a more, pardon the phrase, straight-forward fashion (although he does jump back and forth in time quite effectively). His appropriate use of actual photos and footage as inter-cuts works effectively to ground the film in its milieu while making the portrayed events urgent, compelling and current. I thought he went a little too obvious and heavy-handed with the opera motif, with its tragic ending and larger-than-life drama; but then again, that is opera. Still, it might also cost him and his film some votes on Oscar night.

The obvious-intolerant moviegoer may not fully enjoy taking in Milk, but the rest can just lap it all up.

On Push-Button Publishing

One of the reasons why I fell in love with blogging is that nothing is carved in stone. Welcome to the digital age, folks! Before, if a published author discovered a typo or a mistake that needed revising, he’d have to wait for the second printing—that is, if his publishers decide his book is work reprinting. But with blogging, you can publish now, spot a mistake later, correct it, and viola! Your blog just keeps getting better.

In the digital age, even works of art are not spared of such revisions. Take for example George Lucas’ Star Wars movies. (Okay, okay, except for Episodes Four and Five—the first two that were filmed—the rest of the installments in that saga may not qualify for the label of “works of art”. Anything with Ewoks and Jar Jar Binks will send critics and film historians into an apoplectic fit.) Nowadays Lucas has the technology that allows him to revisit a movie he shot, post-produced and released a long, long time ago and revise shots, replace characters and alter anything onscreen. Easiest to alter are the first three episodes since they were shot digitally.

With almost every episode here in The McVie Show, I’ve noticed a mistake or two, or realized that a word, phrase, sentence or paragraph would read better if rewritten in another way after I’ve pressed the “publish” button. I have no hesitation to click the “edit” button and revise, even if many have already commented on that particular episode. I’ve even added sentences or whole paragraphs in previously posted episodes of the Show.

That’s why if someone were to point out mistakes here in my blog, my first reaction would be embarrassment of course (unless the mistake is quite minor or easily overlooked). But I don’t mind correcting that mistake.

What may get my goat, however, is the manner in which the mistakes are pointed out. If the tone used is arrogant or condescending, I may not even bother correcting the mistake but just let it exist—a reminder that no one is perfect, not even the one pointing out my mistake.

And in the end, how you act towards such criticisms is still very much your choice.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Christian Bale goes ballistic on the set of Terminator: Salvation against director of photography Shane Hurlbert. The audio recording was sent to the movie’s insurance agency but somehow it leaked out. Below is the almost 4-minute tirade on tape:

Bale’s temper has already gotten him in trouble before. In fact, just recently he allegedly assaulted his mom and sister, though eventually no charges were made.

But of course, what interested me more were the subsequent obligatory remixes on YouTube and MySpace. Here’s one:

But I think the following is a bitchin’ club remix—I can’t help bob my head to the music, and I can imagine it playing in Bed, hahaha!

Moral of the story: If you’re going to freak out, don’t do it is on a TV or movie set, with all the cameras and microphones recording every single f**king thing. But if you do, go all the way to give DJs more f**king sound bites!

MySpace MyOhMy

This morning I read the following message in my MySpace account:

MyReply? Huh? Am I “in particular”… what?

Now, who wants to bet if I’ll ever hear from this person in particular ever again?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Taking A Bed Rest

After more than a month, I stepped back into Bed.

By December my weekend schedule was quite hectic, so I didn’t go to Malate anymore. After coming back from our family vacation in Bohol last Christmas, I purposely resisted going there for weeks. I was busy during the first weekends of 2009, so it was easy to beg off. But by the end of January, my weekend schedule was back to normal. I decided to check out the scene again.

I planted myself in one spot and surveyed the scene. Most of the usual suspects were all there, and then some. There was this barkada of straight-acting, straight-looking guys with several chinoy-ish types—my inner rice queen immediately rose to the surface. And they decided to stay in an area beside me. OMG. One of them, whom I was crushing that evening, kept bumping my arm. I thought of three possibilities: [1] he’s interested in me; [2] he’s oblivious to the skin-on-skin contact; [3] he’s subtly trying to make me give up my position. Before the end of the night it was clearly 2.

So I gave up my position. I ended up not staying in one place, moving from the first floor to the second and back. Walking to and fro, looking at the faces in front of me both familiar and different blurring into sameness, I remembered how just before Christmas I thought to myself: I don’t get lucky in Bed anymore.

And then it hit me: I was going to Bed for the wrong reasons.

After the Epiphany comes the epiphany.