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, September 30, 2011

My Top 25 In Sept. 2011

Sometimes I surprise even myself. (Well, the Johari Window does have a pane for that.)

This afternoon I casually glanced at my iTunes’ “Top 25 Most Played” and I was surprised at the top 10 results:

Ever since I acquired this particular laptop (and started playing music using its iTunes) early this year, I’ve played J-Lo’s “On The Floor” the most number of times?! Jeez, I liked that tune, but not that much. And here is where the flaw of that listing lies; I remember one day I left my desk with my iTunes playing “On The Floor” on a loop. I attended what I thought was going to be a short meeting; instead, it turned into a mega-meeting that lasted for hours. And after that I was dragged into another meeting. So when I returned to my desk it was already very dark outside, and J-Lo was still “On The Floor” dancing the night away.

Nicki was also a surprise, though I’m sure I listened to her 104 times. A surprise because it didn’t feel like 104 times. Her “boom, badoom, boom” boomed so smoothly, it was a delight to listen to again and again.

Solo female acts dominate my top 25. Of my top ten, 8 are occupied by them (some with featured guest stars). Of all the female solo acts, Robyn has the most number of songs in my top 25, with 5 of her songs from her excellent Body Talk album in my list. The only other act to have more than one song in my top 25 is Rihanna, with two of her hits making the list.

Only two bands entered my top 10, one from the 80s (Tears For Fears) and one from 2011 (Foster The People). There are three other multiple-member acts in my top 25: Fleetwood Mac (at #14 with “Storms”), Maroon 5 (at #22 with “Moves Like Jagger”) and the power-bonded mega-boy band NKOTBSB (at #23 with “Don’t Turn Out The Lights”).

And I only have two male solo acts in my top 25, Enrique Iglesias (at #12 with “Escape”) and Brandon Flowers (at #21 with “Crossfire”).

Most of the songs I listened to are fairly current hits. The oldest song is Fleetwood Mac’s “Storms,” which was released in 1979. The next oldest is Tears For Fears’ “Suffer The Children” which was in their 1983 album The Hurting. Madonna’s “Thief Of Hearts” in 1992 rounds up the pre-2000 songs.

So how does your top 25 list look?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Play Ball

Sex is like playing tennis.

You need a partner to play tennis. You play with balls. You get all sweaty and worked out. And in the end you either enjoyed it or you’re disappointed by your performance.

One can choose to put meaning to sex or not. And when you do (or not), it changes the complexion of the sex act. Just like in tennis. Maybe you’re training to be the next Rafael Nadal, and you treat every game as an important training session; if you sucked at a game, you’d be very disappointed. But if you’re just playing for fun with friends, then win or lose it wouldn’t matter so much, so long as you had fun.

You might call out “Love!” more than once during tennis, but if you keep your head on, you know better than to take it seriously. Unless you are taking the game very seriously, in which case every call out will mean more.

Yes, sex with feelings/meaning/love feels wonderful, but so is playful, recreational sex between two consenting and aware adults. Besides, it’s apples and oranges; not everyone will attach the same intensity and the same meaning to sex.

So when people say, “I’d rather have sex with meaning or not have sex at all,” I want to ask them, “Have you ever played a friendly game of tennis?”

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Sex Workers Fabcast, Part Two

And now, here is part two! Here you'll hear more.

[1] Find out more about Victor (he with the very soft voice).
[2] Know Kenneth aka Boy Shiatsu's story, his values and his world view.
[3] Both of them open up about having relationships given their line of work.
[4] Discover if sex workers do get to have relationships (sexual or romantic) with other sex workers.
[5] And listen to Victor talk about a downside to that line of work--the exposure to drugs.

In this part we also go back to our previous Fabcast wherein we discussed Boy Shiatsu's question, "Will you have a relationship with a sex worker?" Back then Migs was very insistent that he will not consider a relationship with a sex worker.

And Migs drops a bomb regarding a previous client of Boy Shiatsu.

Intrigued? Then click and listen! (Again, please forgive how at times the voices are so soft. This Fabcast is best heard using headphones or earphones.)

Download this fabcast (right click and save)

Music credits:
"Sexy And I Know It" by LMFAO
"Heto Na Naman" by the San Miguel Master Chorale and Philharmonic Orchestra
"Would You...?" by Touch & Go
"Miss Clare Remembers" by Enya
"The Drugs Don't Work" by The Verve

La Drag Diva!

So there is life after podcasting, hahaha!

After The Dan & Rye Show ended, Rye went the RuPaul route, donned wigs, falsies and dresses, and transformed into La Chiquitta. Now Hong Kong’s number one drag diva has a single and a video out! Check out “Tranny In The House!” (I so looove the beat.)

Cosmo Goes Cosmic

“Ang imba ng mga Scorpio!” D exclaimed out of the blue.

“What?” I glanced at him before turing my attention back to the road in front of me. He was leafing through a copy of the Cosmo 69 Bachelors.

“There’s a lot of water signs in this year’s bachelors list,” he said after a while. “I guess there really must be something about water signs.”

D and I share a skeptical interest in astrological signs. When I was younger I really took to it, thinking that perhaps the planetary pull have an effect on us at the time we were born. Of course as I read more and more about astrology, the more I became skeptical towards it. Sure, it’s not as simple as knowing your sun, or primary, sign. Take a sign, say Leo, then start going through all the Leos you know. You’d see how the description falls short for most of the Leos you know. So now it’s just something that is interesting to know but too incredulous to totally believe in.

Still, it makes for an interesting conversation.

“Really?” I asked. “What are the water signs again?”

“Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces,” D replied.

“Sige nga. Let’s count the number of water signs,” I said. “Or better yet, let’s tally all the signs of this year’s Cosmo bachelors batch.”

So we stopped over at a fastfood place, and on an Excel spreadsheet we tallied the sun signs of the 69 cosmo bachelors (we excluded the centerfolds), and the following below are the results.

* * * * *

The Top Signs In The 2011 Cosmo Bachelors’ List:

Scorpio (10)
Libra (8)
Aries (7)
Taurus (6)
Virgo (6)
Sagittarius (6)
Cancer (5)
Leo (5)
Capricorn (5)
Gemini (4)
Pisces (4)
Aquarius (3)

Top Elements In The 2011 Cosmo Bachelors’ List:

Water signs (total = 19)
Cancer (5)
Scorpio (10)
Pisces (4)

Fire signs (total = 18)
Aries (7)
Leo (5)
Sagittarius (6)

Earth signs (total = 17)
Taurus (6)
Virgo (6)
Capricorn (5)

Air signs (total = 15)
Gemini (4)
Libra (8)
Aquarius (3)

* * * * *

“It’s interesting that Libra only came in second,” I said. “Libra is known as the sign of handsome guys and beautiful girls.”

“But Scorpios have that sensual something,” D said. “Also, they are often focused on themselves, so maybe that’s why there are more Scorpio bachelors.”

“Or they just don’t mind being called a bachelor,” I added. “It seems sad that there are only four Pisceans.” D and I are both March-born.

“Maybe because Pisces don’t stay bachelors for long,” D laughed. I smiled back, and decided not to point out my 44-year wait in Singlehoodville.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Sexworkers Fabcast, Part 1

(The following Fabcast was recorded the weekend before AJ passed away.)

Sex workers. For many of us, we look down on guys who get paid for sex. Why do sex work when one can earn money in a decent job? 

Remember the Fabcast when we recorded phone-in questions? Boy Shiatsu was first introduced there, and it was his question that sparked a spirited discussion amongst us. Well, 25-yr old Kenneth, aka Boy Shiatsu, is back for this Fabcast.

And this time he’s joined by Victor, a 21-year old from Olongapo who was introduced to the sex trade when he came to Manila.

A former sex worker and a current one; what stories will they tell? Listen.

(Oh, and sorry but you really have to listen in close, because Victor is so soft-spoken. I have tried all that is electronically possible with the available software I have to boost his voice, but it could only go so far. So this Fabcast is best heard using earphones or headphones.)

Download this fabcast (right click and save)

Music credits:
“Left To My Own Devices” by the Pet Shop Boys
“The Sodom And Gomorrah Show” by the Pet Shop Boys
“Suffer The Children” by Tears For Fears

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What If?

Scenario: You find out that this person is HIV positive. Also, you find out that this person is bent on infecting others; he feels his life has already ended, so might as well drag others down with him in the process. You’ve tried to reason with him, but he refuses to listen to reason.

What would you do? What can you do?

I asked those questions because it is not the first time that I’ve heard of stories, whispered mostly, of HIV-positive people who willfully do not disclose their status and engage in unsafe sex with different partners. Why they do it, one can only guess. Some say it’s a form of revenge. Others posit that they are on a self-destruct mission and are bent on bringing people down with them. Whatever their reasons are, the only thing you’re sure of is that they are committed to spreading the virus via unprotected sex.

I know that it is against the law to disclose someone else’s HIV-positive status without that person’s consent. So if you report him to the police, can you be sued even if your intention is to stop them from spreading the virus?

And then there’s the question of the “victims” of this guy. If they agreed to engage in unsafe sex, aren’t they also partially responsible for not protecting themselves? Even if they were told an outright lie (“I’m safe, I’m HIV-negative”), they should know better than to just accept at face-value a claim made by someone whom they’ve met for the first time.

So, what would you do? What can you do?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Que Horror!

So there’s this new movie from Regal Films entitled Aswang starring Paulo Avelino and Lovi Poe.

But take a look at one of the co-stars, Albie Casiño.

Doesn’t he resemble Rocco Nacino (below) in the screenshot from the trailer (above)?

It’s Ang Sayaw Ng Dalawang Kaliwang Aswang!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Planet D’uh!

I decided to check out my oh-so-neglected Planet Romeo account. I was just curious how things were on that planet.

So I logged in and saw two messages. I clicked open the first one. It was really just a “Hi!” from someone. Hmmm looks decent, although the colored hair in one of his photos turned me off. Then I read his profile: dating pagirl ako but now im pround 2 be bisexual tnx 


 I clicked him away. Then I checked out the other message. Here’s what greeted me:

I actually managed to type the following: “I don’t think you’re capable of giving yourself my number, but feel free to try!” But before I could click “send,” I changed my mind and deleted it.

I left both messages unanswered.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Body Image

I was struck by Corporate Closet’s latest blog entry (click on the link here) on his battle against age. I loved the honesty of his post, and in keeping with that honesty, I will now make a clarification regarding what he wrote about me.

He wrote, “i contrast myself with fellowfab & age-range mcvie who recently posted something about age and accepting himself and his body as it is. there is some resignation, perhaps, in the tone. but it is really more of acceptance and even joy in the realization.”

In my particular case, accepting my age and body started primarily with resignation, AHAHAHA! I think this is really needed, that rather rude wake-up call. It’s easier to wake up to reality if you are bitten by it.

Acceptance and, one hopes, joy will follow. Acceptance can take a long time to come, especially if one isn’t ready to embrace the facts seen in front of the mirror. Never underestimate the power of denial, LOL.

Joy happens last. In my case, that joy is still quite elusive; what I have is more like a quick pat on the back rather than a full-blown embrace. I suspect there are people who accept things but never reach that joyful state. I really don’t get it why it takes quite a while for some people (including yours truly) to be contented with the joys they have; call it the joyful mystery.

This change in attitude didn’t happen overnight, and there still are times when I’d slip back into my former attitude of wanting a perfect magazine-cover-ready body. There are days when I am envious of CC and his discipline. There are days when it’s easier for me to gloss over my reflection in the mirror. Then there are days when focusing on my one-pack abdominal doesn’t bother me at all; it’s like the “as is where is” acting style as per Eugene Domingo.

But I guess CC’s point was more the “joy in the realization,” and with that, he is right. I may not always be happy with what I see in front of the mirror, but I choose not to let my body image, whether it’s to impress others or to satisfy myself, determine my over-all contentment.

And with that, I am happy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Goodbye, AJ

As requested by Migs for the memorial held last night (Sept. 13), I produced a short audio tribute to AJ, culled from selected soundbites from various Fabcasts. As a final farewell to our dear friend and fellow Fabcaster, here is the same tribute, now with photos of AJ taken from his Facebook.

Final Note

Monday last week AJ was rushed back into ICU. Tuesday evening we got that fateful message: Come to the hospital to see him one last time. We agreed to go at 5pm the following day.

Wednesday afternoon found Migs, Gibbs, Tony and I at the Intensive Management Unit of Medical Center Manila. As per hospital policy, we could visit AJ one at a time. His mom accompanied us one by one. We were told that AJ couldn’t talk because of the respirator, and because he was heavily sedated, he would just drift in and out of sleep.

The first to go in was Gibbs. While they were inside, he and Mommy had a fright when the machine hooked up to AJ suddenly sounded an alarm. The nurse immediately assured them that it was a regular alarm that was set to go off at intervals.

Tony was the next to visit. His was very uneventful; AJ was asleep the whole time.

It was Migs’ turn. We noted that he took a longer time inside than usual. When he stepped out, I immediately went inside.

AJ was in the furthest room. His breathing was labored. I could see the struggle he was putting up. His will power is absolutely amazing; I have never seen anyone cling on to life as tenaciously as he did. I’ve seen him drag himself away from the jaws of death twice, but perhaps, after almost a year of being in and out of the hospital, it was time for him to finally rest and be at peace.

Then his eyes opened. He lifted his left hand, while his right hand moved as if gesturing that he wanted to write something.

Gusto mong magsulat?” Mommy asked him.

But apparently he just wanted to take the monitor clip on his left hand finger off. We told him to stop struggling. “Just rest and sleep, AJ,” I whispered to him. His eyes closed once more. And that was the last time I saw him alive.

When I stepped out of the room, the others were crowded around Migs. He was holding a one-fourth sheet of paper. Apparently when he was inside, AJ woke up and gestured for paper and pencil.

He had written a note to Migs. But perhaps because of the sedatives plus his weakened state, we could not understand what AJ, with whatever was left of his waning strength, had hastily written down.

AJ suffered a cardiac arrest Thursday evening; earlier, the Fabcasters had held a benefit dinner to help raise funds to defray the mounting hospital expenses. We finished the dinner at 11pm, relieved that we didn’t hear word from the family. It was around 11:30pm that AJ had the cardiac arrest. AJ managed to make it past midnight. He died a day away from his 29th birthday.

Friends and relatives have taken a look at the note, trying to decipher AJ’s last message. Five days after he died, he was buried this afternoon at a cemetery in Pasig.

Until now we still have no idea what his note meant.

We Fabcasters already have a running joke. In our next Fabcast, we will conduct a seance to contact AJ. So don’t be surprised if in our next recording, you would hear the Fabcasters and the peanut gallery chant: “Charoterang isprikitik, umappear ka vahkler. Magpa-feel, magpasense, ditey sa mga Fabcaster. Witiz intindey ng udangchi ditey ang notrabelles mo, marz, na super kalerkey!

Be even more surprised if you hear AJ’s voice say, “Hellooow!” after that chant, and the rest of us screaming and running away.


Friday, September 09, 2011


Ariel James Matela (September 10, 1982 - September 8, 2011)

He was one of the pioneering Filipino bloggers, a fellow Fabcaster and a dear friend. After a long and hard battle, AJ now can finally find rest and peace. He died on Mama Mary’s birthday, and two days before he was to turn 29.

The sky tonight shines a little brighter with his star adding glitter to the heavens. AJ, you’re off to your next and greatest adventure. Bon voyage, teh.

* * * * *

A call for help, from AJ's older sister Jinggay:

The prospect of AJ joining our creator is a happy occasion no matter how painful it would be for the family. 
One obstacle that the family needs to hurdle now are the hospital bills. The family of AJ implores the help of 1,000 volunteers to donate Php500.00 each to help defray the cost of hospitalization expenses. We hope you can be one of them. 
You may contact our mom thru her mobile 0908 570 1555/0927 984 8142 or deposit it at BPI (Kidapawan) SA#8669-0851-93 of Eric John Matela. 
Thanks so much.

Dear readers and fans of the Fabcasters, I hope you find it in your hearts to help out AJ's family in their time of need.

(Photo by Teresa Barrozo)

Tuesday, September 06, 2011


I rent a room in this two-storey house in QC. It’s a fairly old house, built sometime in either the late 50s or early 60s. It’s the kind of old house that has a lot of knick-knacks and bric-a-brac on both floors. In the room I’m renting alone are several antique religious figures as well as one huge Christ-on-the-cross hanging on the wall. There are only two of us humans in the house, my housemate (and landlord) and I; we occupy two of the three bedrooms upstairs. In the living room are our non-human companions, my landlord’s Shih Tzu named Princess plus her 4 pups (only a few weeks old, the pups stay in a pen near the foot of the wooden stairs).

One night last week I found myself alone in the house with Princess and her puppies. My landlord was confined to the hospital the day before to undergo an appendectomy; he was to stay there for at least 3 more days.

It was already 1:30 in the morning, and I was about to fall asleep when I heard footfalls going up the stairs. Now, a couple of weeks ago we discovered that Princess had figured out how to climb up and down the stairs; we were particularly miffed about this, since she’s not house-trained at the second floor, and one time she left several of her “land mines” on the second floor receiving area. But the footsteps sounded too heavy for a 10-lbs dog; still, I decided I was too sleepy to think about it--or get scared by it.

Then I heard a light thump on my door. It’s a kind of thump that a dog can make when it plops itself down beside the door and hits it. But by that time I had switched off the light and had one foot in dreamland. I didn’t want to get up, open the door and find Princess--or something else--outside my door. So I pushed any thoughts aside and promptly fell asleep.

I woke up around 8 o’clock the next morning because I heard a door open and footsteps going to the bathroom. I lay rigid on the bed, listening intently. I heard the bathroom door close. That’s it, I said to myself, it can’t be the dog. So those noises are either made by ghosts or worse--burglars, perhaps? But what behaved burglars they are! So I texted my landlord: “Is anybody staying in the vacant room?” I was thinking maybe he asked a relative of his to take over while he was in the hospital.

Then I heard them once more, footsteps coming closer, then a door closing.

My cellphone beeped. My landlord’s text message said: “Ay sorry hindi kita nasabihan. May bagong housemates tayo, mag-asawa. Bihira lang sila diyan kasi, mga twice a week lang, because of work.”

True enough, after a few minutes I heard two voices, one female and one male. They were talking as they left their room and walked down the stairs. A few seconds later I heard our gate open and close.


So I got myself ready to go to work. When I was about to leave the front door, the curtain on the window beside the door suddenly fell. I went to check it. Apparently the wooden rod holding up the curtain was slightly too short; I guess it was just waiting to fall. I got a wooden stool, stepped on it and proceeded to try and hang the curtain rod when all of a sudden, the ceiling fan which was just in my line of vision suddenly twirled into action.

I froze, curtain rod held above my head. I first looked at the fan then at its switch located on the wall just in front of me. It was switched “on.” No one could have switched it on without me seeing him. I looked back up at the ceiling fan, then back at the switch, then to Princess at the foot of the wooden stool. She was just looking up at me the whole time.

In my mind I told myself, dogs should sense if there’s something else in the room. She’s not looking in the direction of either the fan or the fan switch. She’s not acting weird at all.

Still, I decided I’d put up the curtains some other time. I picked up my bag and laptop and left for the office.

Monday, September 05, 2011

2 Events Versus HIV On 9/11

[A] Free HIV Test on 9/11 by MGG

Friends, this is Migs, the Manila Gay Guy.

It’s my birthday on September 11. I thought that it’ll be a more meaningful birthday for me if I can help more people manage their health and life -- so may I ask you a favor?

Go for your HIV test. Or if you’re done, get a friend to go for his test. Spread the word that there is an HIV testing event we’re organizing on Sunday, 9/11. It’s free, convenient, and confidential. Remember that when one knows of his HIV status early, he can manage his health more appropriately. It need not be a death sentence. In fact, it can be a start to a happier life!

Details here:


[B] Groupon Philippines Lends Online Platform To Support HIV Awareness

Inaugural G-Team "Deal" signed with The Love Yourself Project ( and Frenzy condoms

MANILA -- Groupon Philippines ( will feature an unprecedented online deal on September 11, 2011 to support The Love Yourself Project, which aims to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in the Philippines through education and counseling.

The deal, which will go live on 9/11, will raise the ‘9-1-1’ emergency signal on the staggering rise of HIV cases in the Philippines. According to a July report from the Department of Health -National Epidemiology Center, the Philippines is in the brink of an epidemic-level spread of HIV. July 2011 registered 204 newly-diagnosed HIV cases, the highest logged in a single month, and a 56% increase compared to the same period last year. The Philippines is 1 of only 7 countries worldwide where HIV cases are increasing.

The deal will allow anyone with internet access to donate to the cause either through a P100 cash donation, a P400 donation which comes with a free Love Yourself t-shirt, and a P1000 donation that entitles Groupon holders to the Love Yourself photoshoot on September 24, complete with a pre-shoot styling session and a free Love Yourself t-shirt. The deal will run from September 11 and end on September 13.

Frenzy condoms also agreed to match each Groupon sold with an in-kind donation of condoms, which will be distributed during The Love Yourself Project’s various outreach, testing and counseling sessions.

The deal is Groupon’s inaugural G-Team deal outside North America. Groupon was born out of collective action and fundraising platform The Point in 2008, and later channeled its philanthropic roots into the launch of G-Team. While Groupon enables shoppers to discover the best their city has to offer, G-Team further connects consumers to their cities by spotlighting local organizations. Facilitating support through the collective action-by-tipping point model that Groupon pioneered, G-Team campaigns are designed around an organization’s specific need, like fundraising to create school supply kits, but only ‘go live’ if a certain number of people agree to participate. There is no cost for mission-driven organizations to participate in G-Team and all proceeds directly benefit the featured cause. This innovative approach to fundraising has raised more than PhP12M for various organizations.

"We are excited to employ the ‘people power’ model of Groupon’s G-Team to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS in the Philippines," said Ronivin Garcia Pagtakhan, CEO/President of The Love Yourself Project. "We are honored to be the first organization featured by The G-Team in the Philippines."

To avail of this deal, just log on to at 12 noon on September 11, 20011, and follow the instructions. While there is no cap for the P100 donation, quantities are limited for the t-shirts and photoshoot sessions.

About Groupon

Groupon, launched in November 2008 in Chicago, features a daily deal on the best stuff to do, eat, see and buy in 45 countries around the world. Groupon uses collective buying power to offer huge discounts and provide a win-win for business and consumers, delivering more than 1,000 daily deals globally. To subscribe for the best deals in your city, visit

About The Love Yourself Project

The Love Yourself Project aims to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS among the youth and key affected population in the Philippines, primarily through education and counseling. It is the first project by the VINN Advocacy group, which was founded by Twitter Shorty Awards Nurse of The Year Awardee Ronivin (Vinn) Garcia Pagtakhan. The Love Yourself Project is supported by popular TV personality Boy Abunda (United Nations Population Fund spokesperson), Rep. Rissa Hontiveros (Akbayan), and actors Paulo Avelino and Rocco Nacino.


Groupon Philippines
Richmond Ezer Escolar, Chief Marketing Officer

The Love Yourself Project
Chris Lagman, External Affairs Officer

The MGG Anniversary ATBP Fabcast

We trooped to Los Baños for an early despedida for someone who was leaving the country to work in Malaysia truly Asia. Little did I know that we’d end up recording a Fabcast, to celebrate the birthday of Joms, one of our more regular peanut gallery member, as well as to celebrate the 5th anniversary of Migs’ blog, MGG.

We started recording late at night, after we went night swimming. For some reason, the waters of Los Baños seemed to have an effect on Gibbs. Listen in and learn why Gibbs’ use of GPRS made him think that Valenzuela is Antipolo.

Download this fabcast (right click and save)

Music credits:
“Hello There” by The Freshmen
“Wipeout” by The Surfaris
“The Beginning of The Partnership,” “Greenwich,” “The Missing Scene,” “A New World,” “The Arrival of Wessex,” “Love and The Rehearsal,” “The Play and The Marriage,” “The Play, Part 1,” “The Play, Part 2,” and “The End” by Stephen Warbeck, from the soundtrack of the movie Shakespeare In Love