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, May 30, 2012

Gays Under Attack? Fabcast, Part 3

The third part of the discussion on gays under attack. We also welcome two members of the peanut gallery who came in late: Mark and newbie Jason (this is the latter’s first Fabcast recording).

Here we tackle the question raised by Inye: “How do we know that society is ready to accept gay marriage and equal rights for gay guys?” We also discuss how gays react to people’s seeming attack against homosexuals.

Listen in and enjoy the third of four parts.

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Music credits:

“Girls Gone Wild” by Madonna
“Theme from Beauty And The Beast” by Lee Holdrige and Don Davis
“Smokers Outside The Hospital Door” by Editors

Monday, May 28, 2012

Gays Under Attack? Fabcast, Part 2

The continuation of the discussion on gays under attack. We hear from Londonboy and Londonboyfriend, Dan, Corporate Closet, and Migs talk about their personal experiences.

A question was asked to Lawstchu, “What does ad hominem mean?” He wasn’t able to answer it though, because Gibbs asked another question instead. So for the interest of those who may want to know, here is what Wikipedia says:

Argumentum ad hominem is an attempt to negate the truth of a claim by pointing out a negative characteristic or belief of the person supporting it. Ad hominem reasoning is normally described as a logical fallacy, more precisely an informal fallacy and an irrelevance.”

And now, here’s part two:

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Music credits:

“It’s Not Right But It’s Okay (Thunderpuss Mix)” by Whitney Houston
“Bailero” by Sarah Brightman
“Un Jour Il Viendra” by Sarah Brightman
“Solo Con Te” by Sarah Brightman
“Tu” by Sarah Brightman
“Promise Of A New Day” by Paula Abdul

Friday, May 25, 2012

Gays Under Attack? Fabcast, Part 1

The recent brouhaha of Manny Pacquiao’s supposed quoting from the Bible condemning gays to death is the trigger for this Fabcast’s topic. Thanks to Manny, Miriam Quiambao, the anti-gay sentiments attached to the RH Bill, and raids against gay establishments, there seems to have been an increase in homophobic activities and sentiment. Or have they always been there?

The Fabcasters and the peanut gallery tackle this issue in our usual rowdy-switch-to-serious manner. Here is the first part of our discussion.

Download this episode (right click and save)

Music credits:
“Children” by Grooveaholics
“Baby Did A Bad, Bad Thing” by Chris Isaak
“Miss Clare Remembers” by Enya
“Mad World” by Tears For Fears

AI-Wan Ko Ba

I waited until the dust settled on the results of American Idol. Regardless of whether it was a win for Jessica Sanchez or Phillip Phillips, one thing is clear: I am not a fan of the show. And I found it silly when people asked me to vote for Jessica out of Filipino pride. Excuse me? The title of the show says it clearly. I may prefer Barack Obama to win over Mitt Romney, but I still won’t vote; heck, I have no right to vote.

Also, I have one major beef against Jessica. She is fantastic to hear, but boring to watch. She lacks stage presence and the ability to engage the television and on-set audience. She is best enjoyed on record or with eyes closed. I’ve always maintained that Jessica would have benefitted more had she joined The Voice instead. What she needs is serious performance coaching. (And perhaps a make-over.)

So that’s done. Given the track record of past Idol winners, Jessica stands a bigger chance of having a post-AI career versus Phillips. So don’t cry for her, Pilipinas. The truth is, she was never ours. That so many of us scrambled to appropriate her still puzzles me.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kerygma, Kerygma, No You Kerygma Poker Face!

Despite my being a fan of several of her songs from her first album, I was not willing to shell out 5,000 pesos for a ticket to Lady Gaga’s concert at the MOA Arena. So when my boss decided to give her two 10,000+ peso tickets to me because she can’t go to the second night of the concert, I ditched all my Tuesday evening plans and called D. I knew he was still asleep, but this was worth waking him up.

“Yes?” From his voice I can see him rubbing the sleep off his eyes.

“Let’s go. Gaga. MOA. Free tickets. Lower box. Mamahaling tiket!” I think it’s the last one that convinced him, hahaha! But hey, at least we get bragging rights.

I was hoping to see protesters with their holier-than-thou placards and children-as-frontliners, but I guess the downpour the previous night discouraged them. Nothing like a wet blanket from heaven to cut their protest short.

The Mall of Asia Arena is SM’s answer to Araneta’s Big Dome. Like with most of SM properties, the place looks impressive outside, but inside it’s clear that they put more emphasis on function over form. The seat space is so small, my female officemate complained that when the guy behind her stood up, his crotch was touching the back of her head. (I told her we should have exchanged seats instead.) Still, the place was packed, even on her second night. So many devil-worshipers! So many sinners! Condemnation is more fun in the Philippines.

The concert started promptly at 8pm with the opening act DJ. Afterwards, there was a 30 minute lull until around 9pm, when the lights dimmed once more and the curtain dropped to reveal a castle. Ooh, nobody told me her theme was Enchanted Kingdom! After the prerequisite dramatic opening music, billowing smoke, and impressive light display, Lady Gaga comes out from stage right, chained and riding a mechanical horse, with her dancers marching in front and beside her. They cross the stage before disappearing behind another gate on stage left. Okay, so her peg isn’t EK but the C.O.D. Christmas pageant.

So she wore a Gaga-fied terno. And she took a Philippine flag, slid it on her crotch, before draping it on the sole of her shoe while her leg was raised up in the air. No cries of protest were heard, not even from the National Historical Institute. Only roars of approval were made, especially when she defiantly declared, “I’m not a creature of your government, Manila.” I guess everyone was waiting for the Devil himself to make an appearance onstage. No wait, isn’t she the Devil personified?

So She-Devil pauses from her frenetic dancing and gyrating to talk about freedom, respect, tolerance, and her intolerance for homophobia. Ah yes, the irony of it all; let’s be tolerant except for the intolerant. She turned emotional, building up to a plea on behalf of the gay community. And all the closeted gays in the crowd roared in approval, for the lights were dim. But her bombastic speech turned out to be a spiel to segue to “Hair,” a song apparently about freedom and loving yourself and not about split ends. At least she didn’t walk out after her dramatic speech, unlike other creatures of our government.

She sang, danced, and changed costumes for two hours. She showed her human side, leading the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday” to two of her dancers. And while her spiels and songs spoke of freedom and being yourself, her staging was a theatrical act about an alien creature that escaped. I don’t really buy her theatrics, not even for a minute. I bet even her die-hard fans know deep down inside that they’re not really “little monsters” any more than Gaga is a lie of the Devil. I don’t know why she bothers with the elaborate act, especially since Madonna seems to have the concert-as-theater act down pat. Oh well. At least she’s learning from the lola herself.

The gigantic speakers blared and pounded sound so loud, by the time D and I stepped out of the Arena, we were partially deaf. The first and only thing D asked me about the concert was, “What was your favorite costume of Gaga?”

Dear bishops and guardians of Catholic morality, you really have nothing to fear from Lady Gaga.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

“Sitting On A Cock ‘Cuz I’m Gay”

Thank god I stumbled upon this video. I always get a kick out of smart comedians when they talk of serious stuff. They have great insights but they’re interspersed with even sharper wit. Here Rick Gervais, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, and Louis CK try to have a coherent discussion on what makes people laugh, and the difference between “laughing at” and “laughing with.” The operative word here is “try.” When one of them asks, “Does he do the whistle?” I just lose it, along with the rest of them.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012


While watching the climactic battle towards the end of the movie Avengers, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Why is Manhattan/New York a favorite stomping ground for movie mass destruction?”

I would like to start a campaign addressed to Hollywood bigwigs (too bad Dolly Parton’s based in Nashville). Please, please, please! Let’s stop destroying Manhattan and other iconic cities of the world in your next movie of mass destruction.  I know that you’ve also wiped out San Francisco and Los Angeles, and have also taken aim at cities all over the world, like Tokyo, Paris, Hong Kong, London, and the like. Yes, they’re some of the most well-known cities of the world, icons of man’s civilized world. But they’re over-exposed. Or rather, the rest of the world feel under-exposed. I like that you guys have prominently featured Moscow and Dubai in the latest Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, but we should really go for the more obscure ones.

Let the aliens hover over the cliffs of Dover. Not only does the previous thought rhyme, there’s a reason for it too. The cliffs look spectacular and cinematic.

Godzilla’s next visit should be in Venice. The waterways are a natural for this seafaring monster. And ooh, the sights of Venice are a picturesque foreground while the green monster spews fire in the background. Pretty!

Avengers assemble... in Turkey! There Tony Stark can invite the others to eat shawarma in the place where it originated. And Istanbul in particular has beautiful landmarks that the Hulk can smash, Thor can strike lightning upon, and where Hawkeye can, uhm, perch. Yeah.

Let natural disasters rain down on Ibiza. The great thing with this location is that directors and producers have a great excuse to show much skin and sexy bodies prior to the mayhem that ensues (all disaster movies have a “preambulatory” first part). And then, when the viewers are invested in the characters, BAM! Tidal waves, hurricane-force winds, and destructive lightning galore. Nothing breaks an audience’s heart more than seeing Paradise become Para-dies.

Too bad Manila can never be The Metropolis That Gets Demolished. It’s already too messy, the camera can’t tell the difference.

Monday, May 07, 2012

No Sympathies

Much has been said and will still be said about the Claudine Barretto/Raymart Santiago versus Mon Tulfo airport incident. I have no sympathy for the two parties, and for a third party involved that not too many people point out.

I have no sympathy for Mon Tulfo. Though I believe that he shouldn’t have been roughed up, given his past behavior and track record, I wouldn’t be surprised if his attitude had goaded Raymart and his posse. Given the different eyewitness stories coming out, more and more it looks like he’s not completely fault-free.

I have no sympathy for Raymart and Claudine. If you act so scandalous in public, you reap the consequences. In a public area, everyone is fair game when people whip out their cameras and phones and start taking pictures and videos. One should think twice about not being in their best civilized behavior when in public; if you’re a celebrity or public figure, the expectations are higher. It’s understandable that certain events can make us go off our handle, but just because it’s understandable doesn’t mean we should condone bad public behavior. Whatever happened to proper, civilized behavior? Claudine could have complained firmly but politely. Raymart, upon seeing that his wife’s behavior is causing a public scandal, should have worked towards diffusing the tension. And although he had the right to request Tulfo or any other cam-wielding bystander to stop taking photos or videos, Raymart cannot force them to do so.

I have no sympathy for Cebu Pacific. Complaints have been piling up regarding their services. A budget airline means you take out the luxuries but stick to the basics. Customers should still expect excellent basic services. It’s a minimum expectation for airlines that your luggage should join you in your flight. Shouldn’t bumping off luggage be a no-no? But if that happens, they should have a plan on how to handle the affected customers in such situations.

In the end, it’s bad behavior on all fronts.

P.S. - After Monday evening’s “performance” on TV5, I also have no sympathy for the Tulfo brothers. It’s not just bad behavior, but bad acting all around.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

I Wonder What A “Bottom” Vibe Is Like

Meet my friend Bottom Cruise (obviously not his baptized name). Out of the blue he just chatted me up on YM with an unexpected question. (Below is our conversation, cleaned up for easier reading.)

* * * * *

Bottom Cruise
Question: can you tell if a guy is top or bottom through gut feel?

Ako, no. I really have to ask. Wala sa looks yan, unless laging tumutuwad siya sa harap mo ahahaha! But seriously, because wala nga sa looks, hindi naman nakakahiyang magtanong eh. Besides, a lot of guys ask anyway. Usually they phrase their question this way: “Are you top, bottom or versa?” so that they don’t sound presumptuous. Kasi pag magtanong ka ng, “Are you a bottom?” baka taasan ka pa ng kilay at tarayan ka ng, “Assumerang froglette ka!”

Bottom Cruise
Well, I’ve consistently  attracted tops. Sabi nila there’s something about me daw that give off the word “bottom.”

Oh, let them say that. A lot of gay guys assume that that the bottom guy is the more submissive one. Pa-demure ka ba when meeting someone for the first time?

Bottom Cruise
Yes, I can look very demure (prim and proper) to someone I will meet for the first time. That’s the thing that attracted my ex to me. But of course, I am anything but submissive.

Korek! The demure and proper behavior can throw people off. May mga top na demure and proper rin. Luckily for the tops who met you, you turned out to be a bottom.

Bottom Cruise
Good for them. I remember reading somewhere that there are bars in the US where guys wear hankies behind their pockets to signify if they are a top or bottom. Something like hankie on left means bottom and hankie on right means top.

Yes, pero di naman yan sinunod dito eh.

* * * * *

I remember in the early part of the first decade of the 2000s there were attempts by some Malate gay folks to try and institute that hankie code. I personally never saw any, but some of my friends and gay acquaintances swore that guys were using it. But after our short chat, I now wonder, is there still a need for codes? In the age of hook-ups via internet sites and mobile apps, our sexual roles can already be part of our profile. That’s why I suspect it’s a lot easier for people who meet face to face (say, in a bar) to ask outright. Because unless we brand “top” “bottom” or “versa” on our foreheads, there really is no gaydar good enough to pinpoint our role preference with 100% accuracy.