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)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Chona Fabcast, Part 1B

Here is the second half of part one, where the Fabcasters and several members of the peanut gallery share their “turning pink” growing up memories.

In this episode, we have Corporate Closet reliving his days as a student in “a school na itago na natin sa initials na U.P.;” LondonBoy screaming, “Tingnan mo kung ano ang ginahwoah mwoah!;” PC (CC’s Prince Charming) recounting his first sexual experience with the captain of the basketball team; Gibbs revealing that he was the banderitas queen of his school; Mark sharing how he would make kandirit like Little Red Riding Hood; Aleph admitting his celebrity crush; and Vince talking about how he found out that a male classmate had a crush on him.

And thanks to Gibbs, listeners will get to know who the original Pokwang is.

Click and join in the fun!

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

And The Show Continues

And so Willie Revillame trots out Jan-Jan, his sister and his parents, to explain their side on the issue.

Here is the longer clip found on YouTube. Sadly, the quality of the clip isn’t so crisp and clear, but the parents’ message still ring out loud:

If you want to view a clearer and shorter version, here it is:

As you can see, Jan-Jan cried because he got scared of the tall comedian. It is also clear that Jan-Jan cries easily, or in Filipino, mababaw ang luha.

The parents’ defense is simple. Jan-Jan wants to dance, so as parents they are supporting him in what he likes to do. For them, Jan-Jan’s talent is something laudable, something they are proud of. They see nothing wrong with a kid macho-dancing, and they aren’t the only ones who think that way. As the father proudly shares on air, even their relatives and a lot of commenters on YouTube have said, “Magaling ang anak mo!” And the studio audience claps; whether in agreement or in blind obedience to the floor director, I am not sure.

Jan-Jan learned the dance from his cousin. His cousin claims that Jan-Jan liked that dance. Apparently the adults also don’t see anything wrong with teaching that kind of dancing to kids. They made the younger sister dance, and her moves aren’t your typical “Pearly Shells” choreography:

It’s clear that there are people out there who do not see anything wrong with a 6-year old doing the giling dance, just as there are those who find it deplorable. The same clip of Jan-Jan dancing was posted on YouTube, and the description said, “Jan-Jan na IMBA sumayaw sa Willing Willie Mar.12, 2011.” (“IMBA” is a term which, in this case, meant “astig.”)

Let’s go ahead and ask the difficult question: what is so wrong with macho dancing anyway? A related, and more difficult question: what is so wrong with a 6-year old doing macho dancing anyway? After all, samba was considered vulgar and obscene at the start.

What’s also quite telling for me is that the parents and Jan-Jan himself see appearing on Willing Willie as a way out of poverty. They themselves admitted that on-air. And Willie repeats this message towards the end, when he said: “Nandito po kami para magbigay ng saya at tulong at pag-asa sa mga, kamukha nitong mga bata’ng ‘to, hindi pa nangangarap eh, sa hirap ng buhay. Poverty ang pinag-uusapan dito.

So the more difficult question to ask (and answer) is this: what can be done when people see nothing wrong with joining noontime shows as a way to improve their lives from poverty? How far removed is Willing Willie from Wheel Of Fortune?

Monday, March 28, 2011

What Is Really Wrong With This Picture?

Much has been said online about poor little 6-yr old Jan-Jan Estrada who appeared in Willing Willie on March 12. Many have decried how Jan-Jan was made to perform a macho dancer’s sexy moves. Some people pointed out how cruel it was to make Jon-Jon perform when he was clearly in tears. All the while Willie Revillame and the audience laughed at the incongruity of a 6-yr old gyrating like an adult macho dancer, plus with tears in his eyes.

When I first heard about it, I decided to watch the long version of the clip. Here it is, and I hope you take time to watch it first:

What I found particularly interesting is that Jan-Jan was already in tears even before he danced.

For those who aren’t regular viewers of the show, it should be noted that contestants have to showcase some form of “talent” during their introduction portion. Jan-Jan knew beforehand that he was to do macho-dancing as his “talent.” Clearly the cause of his tears isn’t the dance; he was already crying when he was talking about his parents, and when he was thanking his tita for bringing him to the studio.

This is important because, when you shorten the clip, it looks as if he was dancing against his will:

The fact that Jan-Jan was crying is beside the point. Sure, it makes him look more pitiful and pathetic. But let’s play a “what-if” game: what if Jan-Jan’s talent was to sing, “On My Own”? Suddenly those tears won’t look out of place. In fact, they actually will enhance his performance without him meaning to.

View the long clip again. Towards the end of his dance, Jan-Jan had already stopped crying. And when Willie had him dance again (with the host dancing along), Jan-Jan had already dried his eyes and had a determined look on his face. Without prodding, he gripped the edge of the set to highlight a giling move (at that point, even Willie had had enough, and abruptly had the music cut). Obviously Jan-Jan was behaving like a monkey trained to dance, and that training happened outside of the studio, way before Jan-Jan appeared on our television sets on March 12.

Let’s play another “what-if” game: what if Jan-Jan never cried? What if he was a gregarious child, laughing and giggling the whole time? What if he danced the same macho-dancer routine, but this time smiling and laughing and seeking to please all the adults watching him? Would it be something similar to this?

(Unfortunately the owner of the clip already removed it so you can’t view it anymore. But what’s interesting is that the video shows an adult teaching two young kids to gyrate. And get this: the clip description actually said, “inspired by Jan-Jan.”)

I am reminded of ABS-CBN’s Goin’ Bulilit, wherein the main conceit of the show is simple: children are funnier when they’re made to do adult things. In that show, children have portrayed philandering husbands and cheating wives as a joke. Let’s go even further back in time, back when Claudine Barretto and Patrick Garcia cut their teeth in the show Ang TV!, which was predated by Kaluskos Musmos, which was patterned after The Mickey Mouse Club.

You might say, “Wait, hold on McVie! Sure, those shows may have shown kids dressing up like adults and play-acting adult scenes, but they never crossed the lines of propriety!” That may be true of the older shows, in a different era with different sets of values.

But during these times when macho-dancing and giling moves are honed to perfection by such groups as the Sexbomb Dancers daily, the lines of propriety get confusingly blurred. Another “what-if” game: what if Jan-Jan’s aunt actually said on air that she doesn’t see anything wrong with him dancing like that, that it was all in the spirit of fun? When uncles and aunts, heck, even parents themselves see nothing wrong with teaching their own children to gyrate like there’s no tomorrow, who’s to say if that’s a case of impropriety, or just a case of “De gustibus non est disputandum” (in taste there’s no dispute)?

Willing-Willie is already a glaring example of there’s no accounting for taste; a kid macho-dancing actually feels intrinsic to that kind of a television show. Maybe it’s time we stop kidding ourselves. How far removed is a dancing Jan-Jan from the Little Miss Philippines contestants? Perhaps Jan-Jan gyrating with tears in his eyes isn’t the saddest sight; rather, it is the mostly adult studio audience that kept laughing, clapping and cheering him on.

Ping Gives Good Head... line

When I saw the headline, my immediate reaction was, “Maldita talaga itong Inquirer na ‘to, hahaha!” I’m sure an editor at Inquirer had been DYING to use this headline for the longest time.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Quid Pro Quo

In his speech at the anti-RH Bill rally last Friday, Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales stressed: “What they (the government) should teach is the purity of conscience, cleanliness of the heart, discipline and self-restraint and respect for money that is not theirs.”

In that case, we should ask the Roman Catholic Church to stop hiding her priests who have been accused of sexual crimes and bring them to court. And while they’re at it, the Church should also start paying taxes.

Practice what you preach, Father.

Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun!

And cutie-pie Nigahiga does his version of “Friday” towards the end of this video post. For me it’s the best version of the song, ever! Check it out:

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Back when I was still SSB (single since birth), I went through a phase when I swore off falling in love. This was after another episode of unrequited love (don’t ask anymore). At that time I toyed with the concept of detachment, reasoning that by divesting myself of the desire to have a romantic partner, I’d be spared of heartache and disappointment. I was in my mid-twenties when I first thought of that idea, and I tried to perfect the art of indifference.

Cut to several years--and a more sheepish me--later, I realize now that having a sense of detachment does not mean indifference. It isn’t about not caring or refusing to be close to anyone.

It is actually second nature for us to be attached; even at the womb, we were umbilically connected to our mothers. For someone to really know how to be detach, he should first know what it’s like to be be attached.

But attachment bring with it a fear of separation and, when it finally does happen, hurt and pain. Detachment is not a means to avoid the hurt and pain that comes with separation.

Rather, I believe that having a sense of detachment means one has an appreciation of the bigger picture. Our hurts are but tiny specks in the vastness of the universe; our love is but a minute fraction of God’s infiniteness goodness. When one realizes that, then even the most painful heartache is placed in its proper perspective.

With every beginning, there is an ending. Happiness exists because there is sadness. There is good and there is bad in everyone. In the end, life is nothing but striking a balance between two opposite ends, both valid in particular, specific contexts.

I think when I embraced the idea of falling in love as an individual choice and yet dependent on an Other who will also fall for you, that’s when I became more receptive of love coming my way.

Or heck, I just got lucky.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Chona Fabcast, Part 1A

The Fabcasters and the peanut gallery spent two hours holed up in a function room in uberchic-resto Romulo’s in QC for another hilarious discussion. Migs had invited his fag-hag friend Chona as a special guest for this particular Fabcast. What was her role? Well, it won’t be made obvious just yet in part one, hahaha. Pa-suspense kasi. Anyway, in Part 1 you will hear the Fabcasters and peanut members share their childhood memories of incidents and inklings that gave them a hint (or more) that they were gay.

You may have noticed the “Part 1A” and are wondering, “What’s the A for?” Well, I had to split Part 1 in two because its total running time is 40+ minutes long. That makes it more difficult for listeners to download the file.

So sit back, relax and stroll down memory lane with the Fabcasters as we reminisce about the time when television had manual rotary dial, Caronia and Kokuryu were popular nail polish brands, and sexy male bomba stars in cheap showbiz magazines were our “porn” back then.

Download this Fabcast (right click and save)

The Chona Fabcast, Part 1A
Music credits:
“Por Una Cabeza” by Carlos Gardel
“Memory” by Sarah Brightman
“You’re In My Heart, You’re In My Soul” by Rod Stewart

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Gettin’ Down On “Friday”

Who is the songwriter? Barney the Dinosaur? Lyrics such as “Kickin’ in the front seat, sittin’ in the back seat. Gotta make my mind up, which seat can I take?” and “Partyin’, partyin’ (yeah!) Partyin’, partyin’ (yeah!) Fun, fun, fun, fun, looking forward to the weekend” should be declared instant classics.

The highly literal video (yes, let’s show her by the bus stop!) is perfectly in synch with the lyrics’ careful enumeration of the days of the weekend. Talk about audio-video lock.

So is this girl seriously clueless? Or is she in on the joke? Past the 8th million mark and counting, the tsunami of views is proof that Rebecca is indeed a certified YouTube sensation for all the wrong reasons. But if she’s laughing all the way to the bank, maybe she is really just having fun, fun, fun, fun.

Perhaps there’s a clue in the flat look in her eyes throughout the video. Devoid of fun as she ironically sings “fun, fun, fun,” she may actually realize that everyone’s having fun at her expense. Then again, she could be just clueless.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Generations Fabcast, Part 3

And here is the third and last installment of our Fabcast, talking about how different generations adjust to one another. The young ‘uns also show how waiz-waiz they are, proving that “they are not just kids lang.”

There is much wisdom and laughter here, especially with all the side comments, as well as--watch for it--a plethora of hifalutin’ words like sanguine, choleric and cadaverous.

So sit back, relax and enjoy.

Download this fabcast (right click and save)

Music credits:
"My Generation" by The Who
"We Can Work It Out" by The Beatles
"Love Generation" by Bob Sinclair

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


Sometimes, please be patient with me.

For someone who takes his time to understand,
I too have my moments of weakness.
And I become the impatient old man
who thinks he knows better.
Because I’ve been there,
and I think that I know a bit more than you.

But experience is still
the far better teacher than I am.
And I should allow you
to be who you are
and to find your own voice.

But don’t think it’s easy for me
to just sit back and watch you find your way.
I must learn to strike a balance
between holding you tight and letting you fly,
between holding you back and pulling you back up.

If you think you still have a lot to learn,
so have I.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

With A License To Dress

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2011.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

The Generations Fabcast, Part 2

The Fabcasters talk about generation gaps and bridging generations. On this next part, Gibbs talks about why his attitude towards younger men changed, while Migs examines his past relationships, all with younger guys. Meanwhile Tony muses about his experiences with very young (as in, as young as 19 years old) guys, while Corporate Closet (CC) reminisces about the time when he was the young guy going out with an older guy. All throughout, the others do what they do best: make side comments.

Take a seat, relax and enjoy. (Oh by the way, there is a part three. Pramis, last part na yun.)

Music credits:
"Bless The Beast And The Children" by The Carpenters
"S&M" by Rihanna
(Sabi nga ni Migs, pati ang music may generation gap. Sadya po yun, mga folks.)


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Tuesday, March 01, 2011


After hearing Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and reading about the subsequent brouhaha (brou-gaga?) about how the song is so “Express Yourself,” I said, “The only way for this song to be beloved is to have a kick-ass video.

Well, here’s the video.

I’m sure bytes and bytes will be consumed by Gaga’s Monsters dissecting the music video, listing down all video references to Madonna, Michael Jackson and, uhm, Alien? Metropolis? If the song owes a lot to “Express Yourself,” then the music video has the same DNA as “Vogue.” Baby, it was shot this way.

The opening set-up is pretentious, but for me what keeps it from tipping into seriously unwatchable territory is the fact that Lady Gaga herself doesn’t take it too seriously. It is a funny, campy video, exquisitely shot. It also provides bekis and bekimonsters everywhere a dance routine to copy and perform during summer outings.

So the important question: does it kick ass? In terms of arresting visuals, Gaga’s best is still “Bad Romance;” meanwhile, “Telephone” out-chutzpa’d all her other videos. Pitted against those, “BTW” just an okay slap to the buttocks.