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, April 26, 2011

A Letter To Jack

Dear Jack,

Emotions are a tricky lot. Because of them, you have the sensitivity of an artist. But along with that, they make you feel like a raw wound. Jack, your emotions are integral to who you are. You need to embrace that fact and be at peace with that side of you.

There was a time when, like you, I thought that the only way to control my emotions was to bottle them up. Be stoic, act like a robot. I wished I could be a Vulcan like Spock, a triumphant example of the rational over the emotional.

It took a while for me to realize that being in control of my emotions is different from not feeling them. And that breakthrough happened when I realized that emotions are neither right nor wrong. Emotions are just that; you’re supposed to feel them, and that’s that. But what you do afterwards is something that is well within your control. The trick here is to not let your emotions determine your actions, and to do that you need to rely on your brain.

Before you act, think first. But before you can think properly, you need to let your emotions ebb first (thus the saying, never decide at the heat of intense emotion). This applies also to happy and positive emotions; euphoria may lead you to not think properly and make hasty decisions.

What you need to learn is how to manage your emotions.

Remember, intense emotions need an outlet. Often the outlet is something quite physical. So shout or hit something (preferably not someone). Find a room or a cliffside and yell it all out. Buy a boxing bag. Go to the gym and lift weights. Run. Pour your emotions out into that physical activity; eventually you will get tired physically and emotionally.

But after releasing those emotions, you will need to make sense of it all. That’s when your friends come in. Learn to pick out friends whom you can trust but who can also cut through your bullshit and speak truthfully to you.

Learning how to live and to be at peace with oneself takes a lifetime. You have your whole life ahead. Don’t be too much in a hurry, Jack. Things really do happen in their own good time. And even when things are cut short, we can always take comfort in the idea that they are as they should be.

Strangely, that’s not being fatalistic. That’s just being real.



The Easter Sunday Reunion

For Filipinos Easter is also know as Araw ng Pagkabuhay, and for the Fabcasters it’s now known as a celebration of life, family, friendship, faith and the bucolic beauty of Pililia, Rizal. It was such a special and happy occasion that we decided to make a short but sweet Fabcast to mark the occasion.

Download this fabcast (right click and save)

Music Credits:
“Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba
“Il Mio Cuore Va” by Sarah Brightman
“Together Forever” by Rick Astley

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wanted: Bayag Ni ___________

Several days ago, I received the following SMS message:

“Pres. Noynoy has asked VP Binay to help resolve the issue of burying former Pres. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. As part of his consultation with all Filipinos, VP Binay would like to get your opinion on whether you are in favor or not to have former Pres. Marcos buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Text 09267468212 for Globe or 09496295575 for Smart or send to email Thank you for your support.”


My first reaction was, is this a new mobile con job? Some form of raket?

Then my next reaction was one of indignation. Dear Nognog, you mean to tell me that your decision of whether Marcos belongs in the Libingan or not will be affected via our text votes? Ano ito, American Idol?! Ay hindi, Philippine Idol-atry pala. Dear Vice, might and numbers do not make it right. You decide not because it’s popular but because it’s right. And Mister President, you can’t decide on this issue? What will your father say?

My gosh, is ours a country of cowards? We need people with balls. Kaya Noynoy and Nognog, sana naman tubuan na kayo.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Becky Nights Podcast!

I first heard about the Becky Nights podcast from someone’s tweet, but it didn’t have a link. Then I read Felipe’s blog entry about it, so I decided to look up the podcast in iTunes. So now, you can just click on this link. (Felipe, ang tamad mo kasi! Hahaha.)

Now I’ve downloaded their episodes and am going through them one by one. Super funny sila! They tackle issues that tickle the interest of gay listeners, like beauty contests, cyber sex, dealing with exes, and boys, boys, boys! They even guested a callboy in their latest podcast. And they’re more technologically savvy than the Fabcasters (we’ve talked about Skype-ing with Migs when he was in the U.S. but we never got around to using it). I also like how they feature classic Pinoy TV commercials as breakers in their later podcasts.

I am so glad that there are more becky voices out there. It doesn’t matter if the voices are effem or straight-sounding, basta proudly becky! Let our multi-colorful voices be heard.

Monday, April 18, 2011

For An Uber Make Over...

...go to Baguio! That was where we shot the following short video:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dear Willie

Wake up. Snap out of it. Stop your delusions of grandeur.

You told off your fellow celebrities who were critical of you on Twitter, saying, (in Filipino): “We belong to the same industry. Instead of passing judgment prematurely, you should be helping me help other people.... Are you helping the poor? You should first look in the mirror and ask yourself this question: What good have you done for your country?” (from

There you go again.

Honey, the money you hand out are prize monies. They come from the sponsors of the contests. And why do big companies sponsor such contests? Because they know there’s a return on their investment. Yes, that’s right. The poor people who line up outside your studio to join the contest spend their meager pesos for a proof of purchase that will allow them to join such contests and win the prize money that the sponsors can afford to give because of the sales from proof of purchases; see how the money just goes around? Sponsors don’t give away money just for the heck of it, dear. They’re not being charitable; they’re just sales-minded.

So unless the money you give away really comes from your own pocket, don’t say that you’re helping the poor. Put your own money where your mouth is and sell off your yacht; donate the money to charitable institutions. Sell off most your cars, you don’t really need all of them. After all, you are the one with the millions of pesos to spare, unlike Lea Salonga, Jim Paredes, Aiza Seguerra, Tuesday Vargas, Agot Isidro, Mylene Dizon and Bianca Gonzalez. They don’t get paid in six-figures, nor do they receive cars as gifts from your equally rich showbiz friends.

Oh, and giving dole outs is helping the poor on a very short-term basis. If you really want to be an agent of change for the poor, why not just reformat “Willing Willie” into something like “Negosyo ATBP” or “Ating Alamin”? I can imagine your female dancers dressed in barrio-lass outfits and dancing to the song “Sa Kabukiran” as you explain, ala-contest mechanics, how to best raise hogs. Think of it as Gerry Geronimo meets Armida Siguion-Reyna.

“What good have you done for your country?” you asked. Maybe we should challenge you and your program staff instead: “Can you do better?”

Okay, that’s it. That’s the last time I’ll blog about you. Your 15 minutes here are up.

Monday, April 11, 2011


I will not even attempt to make a decent review of the PETA musical. By now I’m sure most of you have heard of it, and a lot of you may have even seen the play. It won’t even surprise me that some of you have seen it more than once. Yes, it is that good. So when they do a re-run a few months(?) from now, please, please, PLEASE, if you haven’t seen it and you’re gay, GOW FER EET, GURL!

(In case you’re wondering, yes, the musical can appeal to straight guys as well [or rather, let me qualify: straight guys with not-so-narrow minds]. So for you discreet gay guys who don’t want to out themselves, bring along your fave fag hag or your femme mustache and make a show of holding hands with them while in the lobby! You’ll thank them for keeping up your discreet image while they’ll thank you for bringing them to the show.)

Instead let me just gush. Osh Kosh, by gush!

The performances. Ensemble acting was never this much fun to watch. But what’s even more heartening is the fact that when it’s time for their solos, they’re all star performers individually. Melvin Lee gives a heartfelt and exquisitely nuanced performance as Chelsea, and his final solo is the wrenching heart of the play. As Kayla, Ricci Chan cements his status as the diva-negra of the stage (he can give Motown a pink run for their money). His alternate, Jerald Napoles, happens to be the only straight guy in a leading gay role, and yet you completely forget it as he pulls the role off with as much verve, panache, pizzazz and razzmatazz as any drag queen can; now that’s fierce! (In fact, my straight officemate who watched the play thought it was another cast member who was the straight guy.) Vincent de Jesus does cynical old maid to perfection; his Shai has a sharp wit and tongue that is both his strength as well as his undoing. The punchline-perfect performances by quick-witted fellow divas Buddy Caramat as Jonee, Dudz Terana and Jason Barcial alternating as Thalia round off this excellent ensemble of queens. Plus they have equally talented royal subjects supporting them in various roles.

The music. Sheer genius. The music by Vincent de Jesus is at once emotional and show-stopping, grand yet intimate, intense and flippant. When Vince asked me what my favorite song was, I couldn’t stick to just one. I especially prefer “Good Gurlz” and “The Stars Are Here Tonight” because they’re hilarious show-stoppers (as Vince aptly put it, “Good Gurlz” is “ang pekpek pero ansaya.”) And I also have to single out “Subukan Mong Alalahanin” (translated from Yehuda Amichai’s “Try To Remember Some Details”) for its bittersweet tenderness.

But I absolutely fell head-over-stilettos in love with “Pinili Niyang Maging Tanga” even on first watch. I love the juxtaposition of the dramatic, almost classic, musical arrangement and the harsh, almost crass, lyrics. There’s something instantly funny yet fatalistic about the song (and scene), the combination of sadness and mockery making it even more poignant.

Hindi mo naman matatawag na martir;
wala namang dugong bayani.
Hindi siya nilasing ng puso niya.

Pinili niya’ng maging tanga!
Pinili niya’ng maging tanga!
Sa ngalan ng pag-ibig,
Pinili niya’ng maging tanga!

Kung tutuusin, siya ang pinakamatalino;
naging sabaw ang utak ng nahalikan.
Hindi siya tinangay ng puso niya.

Pinili niya’ng maging tanga!
Pinili niya’ng maging tanga!
Sa ngalan ng pag-ibig,
Pinili niya... maging tanga!
Pinili niya’ng maging tanga!
Sa ngalan ng pag-ibig,
Pinili niya--


By the time the shiny disco ball glitters in the end, you would have been moved to tears of joy and sadness by the CareDivas. It’s a musical guaranteed to tickle you pink.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Musings After Watching A Volleyball Game Last Night

I never really liked competition.

That’s one of the main reasons why I stay away from UAAP championships between my alma mater and our fiercest (and I mean it not in a Tyra Banks way) rival. I get too emotionally involved in the game, and the stress just gets to me.

I remember when I first watched a live basketball game in full; it was our team versus another university (not our rival), held at our gym. Our team was often ahead, but once in a while the other team would rally, and they’d inch dangerously close to tying the score. For me, it was so nerve-wracking watching the game and screaming myself hoarse as I, and the rest of my schoolmates, would goad our team on, as if our collective noise could help win the game. We did win that day, but while I was leaving the gymnasium, I swore to myself that it would be the last time I’d watch a game live.

Actually that was the last time I really watched a full game, whether live or televised.

So whenever it’s a championship game between the two rival schools, I learned to detach myself emotionally, so that I won’t be too stressed. I would walk away from the TV, preoccupy myself with something else, and just wait for the game to end before asking someone, “So who won?”

When I also started playing volleyball again with the MGGFF members, I noticed that so long as the competition is friendly, I’m okay with it. But the moment the game becomes too serious and competitive, that’s when I have the urge to just walk off the court.

Recently I’ve been asking myself why I need to detach myself when watching a game, and why I’m wary of competition. And what I realized was simple: I hated losing. I grew up thinking that being a loser was the worst thing that can happen to anyone. It was always drummed into our heads: to whom much is given, much is expected. But no one taught us how to lose gracefully.

And I guess that’s also one explanation as to why I was single for the longest time. I didn’t want to be a failure in my relationships.

What was so bad about losing? More than anything, it’s the sense of napahiya (shamed) that I was most conscious of. D himself observed that I have difficulty admitting that I may be wrong, or that I never want to appear mistaken, especially if it is someone else who points out my fault or flaw. (I don’t seem to have a problem admitting my mistakes, so long as it is I who brought it to people’s attention first, and not the other way around.)

So this is still part of me trying to be The Perfect Son in the eyes of my parents and of the world. You see, I thought that being The Perfect Son would somehow compensate for me being queer.

At age 45, I am still learning and growing up.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

The Chona Fabcast, Part 2

This is the second and last part of the Chona Fabcast. Here, Chona takes center stage as she talks about her 6-yr old son (whose name we all agreed to bleep out just for his privacy’s sake) who’s exhibiting signs that he may be a future member of the Fabcasters’ peanut gallery. (Or who knows, he might end up replacing the Fabcasters!)

Get to know Chona and her son in this very hilarious Fabcast that has all of us laughing out loud as we see parts of ourselves in her six-year old. Click on the link and listen in on the fun! (And maybe see if you also fit in the “gay checklist,” hahaha!)


Download this Fabcast (right click and save)

Music credits:
[1] "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga
[2] "Baby Elephant Walk" by Rene Touzet
[3] "Careless Whispers" by George Michael
[4] "Frenesi - Twist" by Les Elgart & His Orchestra
[5] "Sa Ugoy Ng Duyan" by Basil Valdez with The San Miguel Philharmonic Orchestra
[6] "Mama" by Spice Girls

Monday, April 04, 2011

Poverty Pornography

Willie Revillame couldn’t leave things well enough alone. Fighting back at his accusers regarding the March 12 Jan-Jan episode, Willie threatened that if advertisers pull out of his show, then his millions of fans and followers will boycott their products. He also lambasted fellow celebrities who tweeted against him, saying they should just shut up; after all, they never helped the poor, unlike his show.

Repeatedly he said that his show aims to give joy and hope to the viewers, that they have helped a lot of poor people by giving away prizes and providing entertainment. This line was repeated several times in the apology statement of TV5 regarding the incident: Willing Willie is there to provide joy and hope. Kasiyahan at pag-asa, lalo na para sa mga mahihirap.

Okay, hold it right there.

Games on TV have been around for a long time. There are games shows, reality competitions (like “Survivor” or “The Biggest Loser”), and noontime shows that have several contests within their program. Undoubtedly, seeing people compete has its intrinsic entertainment value; we like the vicariously thrill of watching people try their hand at either luck or skill (or both), in an attempt to win. And it is entertaining to see contestants lose as well as seeing them walk away happy and triumphant.

But I can’t recall any game show I watched growing up that identified itself as public service. I think that twisted logic has gotten into the heads of the people behind this show (and some others before it) that I sometimes fear these people actually believe in their own press release. Even scarier is the thought that a huge chunk of their audience agrees with them. C’mon folks, get real. Willing Willie is sooo not Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko.

And what is this penchant for trotting out the “poor underdog” card? Yes, times are hard, and yes, there are many poor people. But do we have to revel in all this poverty and use it as entertainment? Worse, the show encourages the easy-money way out. Dangle money in front of the needy, and there will always be those who will do somersaults (or make their children do macho dancing) in front of a clapping crowd.

Whatever happened to having pride in hard, decent work? The sad thing is, the easy way out is, well, easier. And it is more entertaining to watch. As much as there are those like Jan-Jan and his parents who see nothing wrong with what they’re doing, there is a crowd cheering and laughing and lapping it all up.

It’s the pornography of poverty.