Thursday, July 29, 2004

Hmmm. Where Did My Hair Go?

This was taken by Leigh in Tagaytay.

It was a toss-up between this and the current me-smiling-at-the-world photo (also taken by Leigh, but this time in Baguio.) In the end, I'm more of a smiley-face person, not a pensive or a doom-and-gloom guy.

Gosh, I can now put pics in The McVie Show! Wheee!

I’m Back-la!

I have a picture again in The McVie Show! Thanks to Felipe/Phillip for recommending Photobucket. It was so idiot-friendly; no wonder I’m best friends with it already.

Playing With Myself

Err, with my hair, I mean. The way Ipe cut my hair, I now can play around with it. I can scrunch it to bring out the natural curls, tease it up for that Emilio Aguinaldo look, or brush it flat forward for some bangs. For 38 years I never really played around with my hair. Oh sure, back in the 80s I tried to achieve that curlicue look perfected by El Debarge, Prince in Purple Rain and Wacko Jacko circa Bad. but unfortunately I got too obsessive-compulsive and impatient, so I’d cut my hair before it could grow an appropriate length. But now with my new hair, I’m having fun playing with it.

Just when I’m about to hit 40, I’m suddenly hair-conscious. Thank god I don’t have falling hair. My officemate was right—this is midlife crisis: What will I do to my hair today?


Today I spent the whole day at a seminar. Tomorrow will be the same. The company is spending a lot training their middle managers. On the one hand it’s great to be able to go to these things: aside from learning a lot, I get free breakfast, lunch and merienda to boot. On the other hand, I’m finding out more and more the reason why I’m hesitant to wear the cap of manager: it means I should start to care. Care calls for commitment. Commitment calls for attachment. Attachment makes it harder to detach.


Finally, a reminder to myself:

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

And The Jukebox Plays...

My mama says
You can’t hurry love
No, you’ll just have to wait
She said love don’t come easy
But it’s a game of give and take


Ain’t nothing gonna break my stride,
Nobody’s gonna slow me down,
Oh no! I’ve got to keep on movin’


‘Cause we were never being boring,
We had too much time to find for ourselves.
And we were never being boring,
We dressed up and fought, then thought: make amends.
And we were never holding back or worried that
Time would come to an end.
We were always hoping that, looking back
You could always rely on a friend.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

The Mystery Of The Mysterious Missing McVie

Maybe some of you have already noticed it and are wondering.

My pic has gone into hiding, much like the Fat Lady in the Painting guarding Griffindor’s dorm when she was attacked by someone she thought was Sirius Black. Nope, no one tried to attack me. For reasons too dull to recount here, my picture is linked to Leigh’s blog, which is currently down (also for reasons too dull to mention here.) Thus you can’t see me. If I were more blog-savvy, I’d find a way to put up a different picture every month or so. Sigh. Oh well.

There. Mystery solved.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Buhok Talk

Winner hair reaction for the day:

My officemate Clyde (from afar): “Hoy Joel! Walanghiya ka, hindi talaga ako sanay sa iyong buhok!”
Me (pa-innocent effect): “Bakit?”
Clyde: “Eh nung nakita kita sabi ko sa sarili ko, ‘Sino ba yung binatang yun?’
Everyone within earshot: “Binata?!”
Me (mas pa-innocent effect): “Ikaw naman!” (sabay hawi ng hair)

Monday, July 26, 2004

A Touch Of Eros

I remember reading about how conservative the people were during Rizal’s time. Any slight skin exposure, like the ankle peeking from underneath a dress or seeing a girl’s nape, would excite the men. In the movie The Piano, one of the most erotically-charged scenes was when Harvey Keitel found a small tear in Holly Hunter’s stockings, he placed his finger there and the skin-on-skin contact sent Holly into ecstasy.

Nowadays I find this kind of sexual restraint more erotic than an all-out fuck-fest. A touch, a squeeze, a gentle running of fingers on the inner thigh, or the tip of your tongue gently touching the nipple; those excite because they’re in the grey area between possibility and actuality. There’s power in titillating and tantalizing without the certainty of all-out consummation.

Conquest is an eat-all-you-can; restraint is fine dining. Here’s to erotica!

Hair Ye! Hair Ye!

Thanks to Ipe (check out his blog; see link on the right), I now have a fab hairstyle. Well, fab is a relative term of course, but for someone who hasn’t changed his hairstyle in more than a decade, fab is fab. I’m reminded of my 80s hair, with a current twist. The reactions from the people in the office:
• Ganda!
• Very 80s!
• I like your hair!
• Ano ginawa mo sa buhok mo?
• Okey buhok mo, ha. (This came from a male editor who last week said, “Ang haba na ng buhok mo. May tikwas na.” When a straight male tells me na may tikwas na buhok ko, it’s time to do something!)
• Ano ba yan, mid-life crisis?

Since I’m not too techno-savvy on putting photos on The McVie Show, you’ll just have to see me personally! Hehehe.

Killer Ballads: Songs That Can’t Be Killed

What IS it about Air Supply’s song Just As I Am?

“You say you love me
Just as I am
You always treat me
The best that you can
You say you want me, need me,
Love me, baby
Just as I am,
Just as I am.”

Remember it now?

Last Sunday while driving home, I heard it on the radio. Then just this morning while station-surfing, I heard it twice within an hour. And this isn’t the first time I’ve heard it played; every week I’d hear it on-air at least once.

It’s an old song; if I remember it correctly, it didn’t even scratch the American Top 40 (Daniel/la, pls. help me out on this one.) But it obviously had more success in this country, especially among jukeboxes and karaoke bars.

It’s a zombie kind of song; it refuses to die. It’s on par with The Bangle’s Eternal Flame, REO Speedwagon’s I Can’t Fight This Feeling Any Longer, Roxette’s It Must Have Been Love (But It’s Over Now) and almost all power ballads of Bon Jovi.

(Come to think of it, almost all Air Supply songs are still played once in a while on mellow radio stations. Bon Jovi, on the other hand, is a staple among gay bars; his hard-hitting, drum-heavy ballads with masculine guitar riffs are a favorite among gyrating men in g-strings. And once I saw a guy writhing erotically to the tune of Joan Osborne’s “What If God Was One Of Us.” Very surreal.)

I wonder what current hit will eventually attain that kind of jukebox/mellow touch/strip show status? Will it be Hoobastank’s The Reason? Nominate your own song.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Dance And Sing (Get Up And Do Your Thing)

After several trips to Bed, I realized that my “market” isn’t really there. In my earlier trips I’d go there solo and try to make eye contact and all that but I’d end up going home solo anyway. So I made a resolution to go to Bed not to score but to just enjoy the music. And dance like a dervish.

Tonight was slightly different. I dirty danced with a guy who looked like Onyok Velasco: short-cropped hair and a muscular though slightly pudgy body; you know he doesn’t go to the gym, but he is physically active so his body developed muscle bulk. He was shirtless and sweating like a prizefighter during round three. Our crotches were joined together; every thrust I felt his cock and mine getting harder and harder.

Later on we had another guy sandwiched between us. Our hands were all over each other’s bodies—chest, legs, crotch, ass. It was pretty hot.

But much later on I got tired of all that and I excused myself to go to the bathroom. After taking a piss, I headed straight for the exit without hesitation.

On my way home I switched on the radio: “Lonely, I’m Mister Lonely, I have nobody to call my own, ah-hawwwww!”

Aba leche! Nananadya pa ang putah!

So I sang out loud along with the song so that I could take control over the situation. And pretty soon I was laughing and singing as I was driving: “I wish that I could go baaack hooooooome!”

Friday, July 23, 2004

Ok Pines, What If Ever!

Funny how my what-ifs come back to haunt me when I least expect them to. I bumped into He-Who-Busted-Me last week and he said he kinda misses me. Now I’m inviting him to watch a play this weekend. Kervs and I talked before about going to the beach or Baguio together, but now he and his new honey are going up North (where I’m sure they’ll be going down south with each other too, hehehe!)

Am I jealous? Heck yeah, that’s Baguio! I’m dying to go back there and see… SM Baguio! No, seriously. I think SM Baguio is the classiest, best-designed SM I’ve seen. It deviated from the usual shoebox design of their earlier malls. And it’s naturally air-cooled too! The wide verandas on all sides allow a breathtaking (and saddening) view of the former City of Pines (now it’s the City of Corrugated Steel and Bricks; you see only patches of green). And of course I want to go back to Café By The Ruins and enjoy their tofu, mushroom salad, strawberry soda and camote bread.

That city holds many great memories for me, especially with friends. I’ve been there with Leigh and Marlon the most number of times. I’m sure Marlon remembers me running down Session Road in slippers, shouting at Alice in Gelzon’s car. Or the time we all stayed in the FOIC’s cabin (Richard’s dad was in the Navy) and Marlon was the envy of all the straight guys because he got to sleep with the girls in their room. Remember how Ethel slept wrapped in blankets like a mummy? How about the time we went to Spirits Disco and watched a beauty contest wherein a candidate, for his talent portion, killed a live chicken in front of the audience?

Leigh and I stayed in Baguio by our twosome in the townhouse unit owned by Basic Advertising. It was supposedly haunted, so we both ended up sleeping in the sofa instead of the upstairs bedroom. We purposely ditched our watches; we ate when we wanted, slept whenever we felt like it, and shot frames and frames of each other with our cameras (Leigh, where are those series of pics—you smoking, you dancing outside in the fog?) Remember the night we stayed at this bar in Session Road (what was the name of that bar again?) and someone came in bleeding, with the police hot on his trail? The trips to the ukay-ukay, market and Mines View Park?

How about the Baguio Ad Congresses? The first one I went to, I remember dancing the Macarena on the ledge at Spirits Disco; a camera crew from a major network was there getting footage, and someone said they saw me in on the TV news the following morning. In the second Baguio Ad Congress, I was there as part of the said network’s contingent; I purposely avoided our camera crew. Unfortunately, Spirits was no more.

Haaay, Baguio. When our family first went there, my dad drove our old Ford Futura (bet you never heard of that one, huh?) all the way from our house in Marikina to Teacher’s Camp. We stayed in this quaint wooden house; I remember feeling cold the whole time. The next time we went up, it was me and my brothers driving three cars in convoy. We stayed in the house of Jim Paredes (yes, of the APO Hiking Society fame.) That was the last time my dad saw Baguio; at least he got to see Mines View Park, Burnham Park, Camp John Hay, the tourist spots.

I don’t know when I can go to Baguio again. Hey, have car, can travel up there for a weekend—Marlon and I have done it before. But not in the next two weekends; I’m watching a play and I’m going to join Leigh and Marlon for a weekend at Marlon’s farm in Pampanga.

As for the McVie family, my mom and my brothers want to go to Batanes next. Oooooh! That one must push through.

So I’ll let the what-ifs stay in their alternate universes, and enjoy the current universe I’m in.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Happiness Is…

In the latest issue of Newsweek, a special report stated that in a World Value Survey, the happiest people in the world live in Nigeria, a volatile, poverty-stricken country. It explained that there are two major factors which influence happiness: satisfying relationships and community trust. Thus, there are cases wherein disasters, natural or man-made, can help promote good feelings in a people—a crisis forces “potential relationships” to develop. Thus Nigerians may “live in harsh circumstances (but they) nonetheless experience joie de vivre.”


Well, I am in several satisfying relationships. Chief of them are with my family who, despite me not coming out to them, I know they love me and I love them in return. They actually are my main source of stability and sanity. I also have my different circle of friends whom I can count on: friends from way back grade and high school, college and after-college friends, and friends from work. They say variety is the spice of life; my different sets of friends help keep my snap, crackle and pop. And in my work community, I enjoy the relative trust and respect of my colleagues. (Relative because you’re only as good as your last work.)

So I should be happy, right? Truthfully I am and not. I am because I’m in a good place right now; and because I choose to be happy. I’m not because there’s always something more to aspire for. Today equals happiness; tomorrow equals discontent with today.

Maybe I should change my attitude: be happy for today, and be excited about the future. Accept today, embrace tomorrow.

Or maybe I should just migrate to Nigeria.

Happiness is… (in no particular order):
• playing Zuma! Wheee! It’s my latest computer game fixation!
• Big Brothers Burger with cream cheese and garlic, onions and mushrooms
• Yellow Cab roasted garlic and shrimp pizza
• a full tank of gas and the day just wide open in front of me
• dancing; just giving in to the groove
• soft, fluffy marshmallows
Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys
• the scent of frying garlic
• nonsensical giggle-fest with friends
• “Who’s our teacher nga? You wanna sign up? Is this the way to the lib?” guy in the Rexona tvc
• going out with my mom, brothers and sister
• Zsazsa Zaturnah!
• seeing the latest Entertainment Weekly magazine issue on the newsstand
• the sight of gorgeous male bodies (tight abs, defined pecs, muscular shoulders, etc); fondling them would catapult me from happiness into joy, or better yet, ecstacy
This Is Spinal Tap, The Princess Bride, Clueless and most recently, Zoolander

I will add more as I remember them.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Wazzup, Wazzup?

So, Kervs is happily in love and planning for a partnered future, Nelz is ping-ponging between patience and pain, Leigh is on pregnant pause from her life as a verb, Marlon has just come from an adventure of epic proportions, Dexter is hanging on to a possible job and a conked-out computer, Daniel/la is in the U.S. visiting a priest and a would-have-been priest, Felipe has rediscovered his heroes, Randy is on mute…

…and I’m having a bad hair week. Argh!

Last night I had dinner with high school friends at this tres, tres chic resto, Kai, in Greenbelt 2. Everything there is so tasteful, from the muy guwapo décor to the food—makes me feel like doing a Maurice Arcache, my palanggas. Their menu is attached to a slab of thick, heavy glass; I told my friends, “Ang menu nila, talagang mabigat sa bulsa.” I ended up enjoying sake, raw fish, good conversation, and flattery from a Vietnamese girl, the fiancée of one of my friends. “You look so much younger than your age,” she said. “I know,” I replied.

Today Miss O’s Danish Cookie is back. He’s supposed to be with a different set of people in Tagaytay, but he ditched them to be with her. How sweet. He’s maximizing his last few days in Manila with her before he goes back to Denmark. Then it’ll be months before she sees her Danish delight. Oh well, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

Today Angelo dela Cruz was finally set free. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo looked like she was gloating. The media frenzy was embarrassing; even more so was his family—and extended family—grabbing the mike and having their 15 minutes in front of the camera. Enjoy the attention, folks; after GMA parades Angelo in the Senate during her State Of The Nation address, the dela Cruzes will fade away to obscurity again.

This weekend I’m going to watch the alternates perform in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. And maybe one day I’ll be on stage again.

And life marches on off-line.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

The Lovers, The Dreamers And Me

Saturday, 6:30pm. My phone rings; it’s Ariel. “What’s your schedule tonight? Are you free?”


“The Met has allowed us to invite guests for tonight’s performance. You wanna watch?”

The Met is the new professional theater company run by mostly Tanghalang Ateneo alumni. Their first production is Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, where Ariel is part of the cast. The cheaper tickets are priced at Php2,500. Who am I to pass this up?

A day of rest and a 2,500-peso treat can do wonders for my health. Suddenly I’m well enough to go to RCBC Theater.


The play starts with a flurry of Dexterian movement (nope, not Dexter with the laboratory, but Dexter the choreographer.) The set by Salvador Bernal is gorgeous; it’s the set he wanted when I directed the same play for TA back in ’93 or ’94 (gosh, I forget now.) The production is gorgeous to look at; most of the actors are exceptional. The players (headed by Sweet Lapus) are hilarious. They would have stolen the show from the leads if it weren’t for Paolo Fabregas and Miren Alvarez; as Oberon and Titania, king and queen of the fairies respectively, they exude grace, confidence, and a sure command of the Bard’s poetry. They and the players give the play a lift, figuratively and literally (Oberon and Titania gracefully fly through the air on cables.)

Ironically it’s the lovers who drag the play down. And they’re supposed to be in the throes of lunatic love! Instead, none of them could muster the heights of giddiness of young love.

And the actress playing Puck was sadly miscast. That’s the danger of getting a TV/movie actress to do theater; if they haven’t done theater before, they’ll most likely flounder. And flounder she did, despite her best efforts. No amount of flying and somersaulting on air could lift her performance. Her name may bring in people, but her performance may make them want to leave.

Good thing Ricky Abad’s direction more than makes up for the inadequacies of his actors. As a director of college plays, Ricky has mastered the art of using all the directorial tools available to compensate for what the actors cannot achieve. So he used blocking, lighting, sound effects, and other tricks up his director’s sleeve to pull of the lovers’ scenes in the forest (which occupied the first half of part 2 after the intermission.)

The player’s performance of the play-within-a-play is the ultimate punchline. It’s also a hilarious testament to Shakespeare’s statement regarding the magic of love and theater: while you’re in it, the hours will seemingly pass unnoticed. Enjoy the illusion, for it is the illusion itself that’s the point. And if your lover or actor (or actress) is inadequate, let them make amends.

And if the play-within-the-play is not enough, there’s a grand Bollywood song-and-dance number in the end that’ll drive away the specter of inadequate lovers and actors. It’s the same in love and in showbiz: razzle-dazzle ‘em, and they’ll love you even more!

Unfortunately, as great a director as Ricky is with his sleight-of-hand tricks, in the end it’s his actress that fails him and exposes his bag of tricks: just as Puck was about to breeze through her closing soliloquy without a hitch, she buckled in the final few sentences.



When I directed Midsummer back in the 90s, I was trying to channel Baz Luhrman’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet by way of the stage. I used pop/dance songs and set the whole play in a disco.

So I thought it fitting that after the show I drop by Bed in Malate. There various fairies from the Metro were spinning and grinding to the music. As usual shirtless muscle-queens strutted their stuff on the ledge to the envious and hungry stares of the crowd below. It was heady, intoxicating. It was illusionary.

I went in alone and left the bar alone. It’s a nice, entertaining distraction, I thought to myself, but it’s not really the place for me.

And now I’m at home resting, preparing for another work week. I like it when everyone’s all here. There’s a comfort that’s reassuring. Last night in Bed just seems like a dream.

Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection—the lovers, the dreamers and me.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Nida, Phone Home

The previous episode about Rico Yan reminded me of a past office incident.
This was during the time when cellphone snatching was rampant in the office. Our officemate, let’s call him Joe, had a nasty habit of leaving his phone unattended on his table. We always warned him; he kept forgetting. So one day we decided to teach him a lesson.
When he left his table, another officemate, let’s call him Frank, took Joe’s phone, accessed its address book and changed his name to “Nida Blanca” (the famous actress was just recently discovered murdered; her story was all over the news during this time.)
When Joe went back to his table, Frank sent him a text message. A few seconds later, Joe’s phone beeped.
We saw Joe turn pale as he read the message. “Oh my god. I got a text from Nida Blanca!” he said out loud.
We played along. “Owwws?!” “What?” “Nida Blanca? As in?” “C’mon, really?!”
“Look, look, look!” Joe was waving his phone at our faces. “It’s Nida Blanca!”
Doing our best to keep a straight face, we asked him, “What did she say?” Joe read the message: “Please help me. Can someone help me please?”
At this point some of us were already visibly tittering. Joe saw this, and it dawned on him.
“Ay, mga pooon-yea-taaah kayo!!!”
After that, Joe never left his cellphone unattended.
(A few days later Joe’s phone got snatched, ironically while he was with the hundreds of people who lined the streets to gawk at Nida’s funeral entourage when she was about to be laid to rest. He wanted to freak out the snatcher into returning his phone. He had Frank text this message: “Please return this phone to my friend Joe. Have mercy on him. Or else I’ll visit you in your dreams.” But there was no reply, and Joe never got his phone back.)

(Text) Message From Beyond

This just in. On the late-night news program, a report: the family of the late Rico Yan has made peace with his ex, Claudine Barretto. “I’ve waited a long, long time for this,” she said.
In the hallway on my way to the basement parking, I chanced upon the achors of the said news program walking out of the studio. They were talking about the abovementioned report. KD, one of the news anchors, was telling the story to her companions. 
“...his family received a text message—it came from Rico’s number! Yes! It was his old number, it even registered on their cellphone. It said something like, ‘Make peace with Claudine. I cannot rest in peace if you don’t.’” 
I looked at her while she was talking. She looked like someone who obviously relished telling the story, but it didn’t mean she believed it (I don’t think she does.) 
Unfortunately they turned a corner while I continued ahead. Damn, I wish Rico had texted me. I had several questions I was dying to ask the dead: 
[1] So, was it really bangungot or were there drugs involved?
[2] Was it a Talk 'N Text number Rico was using?
[3] Maybe he wanted to endorse it from the grave? As in, pasa-load for those who passed away.
[4] Does this mean Magpakailanman, the rival of Maalaala Mo Kaya, can now push through with “The Rico Yan Story”? 
Oh well. Let sleeping stars lie. 

Friday, July 16, 2004

Bedridden This Weekend

And I thought I can go to Bed tonight and Saturday night.

Yesterday morning I woke up with a clogged nose. Last night my throat was already itchy and I was sniffing and dry-coughing. This morning I had a runny nose. When I was a kid I thought it was “running” nose; images of sprinting noses filled my head. (When I was a kid the line “There’s a shadow hanging over me” from The Beatles song Yesterday frightened me because I actually imagined a huge shadow looking over me.) But even though I felt lousy I dragged myself out of bed. “You lack sleep,” my mom told me at the breakfast table. “Mmmmmm,” I mumbled then promptly fell asleep in front of bacon and eggs.

Today I had a print ad to churn out. In my place of work, having a print ad approved means running around after clients who are in meetings, seminars and shoots. Sheesh, today’s a perfect day to be a running nose.

My immediate client wanted to put additional visual elements in the print ad to make it more “understandable to the masses.” Actually they don’t look at the masses as mindless people: “Their sensibilities are just different,” they’d point out. Oh I see. Then her boss looked at the print ad and said, “Can we re-arrange the layout?” “But that will change the visual idea,” I pointed out. I was careful to use the word “change” instead of what I really wanted to say: “ruin.” But she insisted anyway. I wanted to turn my nose up at her, but it was busy being runny.

So this weekend I’ll skip two birthday parties and two nights of Bed-lam. Instead I’ll force myself to stay home, relax, stop and, uhm, smell the roses, but my nose is so clogged I can’t smell a thing.

(Yeah, right. And at the slightest hint of boredom, I’m off to Smegma-mall.)

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Write And Wrong

So last Saturday I bought 36 tablets of Daflon 500mg, as per doctor’s prescription. 36! Jeez. Sunday I started taking them. I’m supposed to drink three times a day for the first four days then twice a day for the next three days.

Wednesday evening as I was taking my third pill for the day, I told myself that tomorrow I’ll be cutting down my tablet intake. Then I looked at my remaining pills. Why are there still so many of them?

I looked at the doctor’s prescription again; I had to read it thrice because it was written in typical doctor’s lazy scribble. It said: “3 tablets twice a day for the first four days. Then 2 tablets twice a day for the next three days.”

Boink! Ay, is-tee-yuuu-fid!

When It Rains, It Bores (Enough Is Enough)

It’s raining, it’s pouring, my love life is boring me to tears, after all these years.

Outside the rain is pouring and that song is playing in my head. But my love life is actually not boring; it’s non-existent. Romantic love, that is. All the other forms of love (familial, agape, fraternal, etc.) are in full swing, thank you very much. As for the greatest love of all—well, I jack off almost every morning at the gym shower, does that count?

There are days when I wonder if my heart still functions. Not the supplying-blood-to-the-brain kind of function; I mean the falling-in-love function.

Recent events proved to me that I am still capable of falling head-over-heels. Actually it’s easy to be attracted to guys; it’s more difficult to be attractive to other guys. In the past it was always me falling for someone. Only once did someone fall for me; it was a heady experience.

But more and more I realize that this sort of sudden attraction, whether from me or from another, is often a fatal attraction. If one or both parties are intensely attracted to the other, then their actions would be of a heightened, unnatural kind. With attraction a person will put his best foot forward; or will pretend to be dedma to his object of desire. It would be near impossible to act normally in front of him; how can you, when the mere sight of him turns your knees to jelly? Thus instead of him getting to know the real you, you’ve placed another layer for him to peel off.

I always dreamed I’d find the perfect lover. But he turned out to be like every other man that I loved.

So now I’m more wary of instant attraction. But how do I proceed then? More and more I’ve been using the line: “Let’s be friends first.” But that line is so loaded with other meanings, like “Oh, he’s not interested in me” or “I’m not good enough for him!” that it becomes a turn off. Maybe I should use the line: “Let’s just get to know each other more.” But that is so slum-bookish. Maybe I should not look for romance and let it just hit me on the head one day. But heck, I’ve been doing that since, heck I forget already. And when he did hit me on the head, I realized I did not necessarily want to hit him back.

No sunshine, no moonlight, no stardust, no sign of romance; we don't stand a chance.

The rain is steadily increasing. Traffic in front of the office is getting heavier. As the water rises, traffic crawls to a halt and tempers shorten. It’s going to be one wet hell out there. But here I am safely inside an artificial environment, slaving away to entertain the masses.

Meanwhile around me people continue to make a mess of their lives falling in and out of love. And I’m here blogging away merrily at The McVie Show.

And we won’t waste another tear.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Getting A Head Of Myself

I think it’s sad what has happened regarding Angelo de la Cruz. I think the government should not pull out our humanitarian contingent and give in to terrorists. I hate how many different sectors are using this incident for their selfish motives. They’re not really concerned with Angelo, they’re more concerned with their “causes.” I hate how certain people are blaming GMA and the government for the plight of Angelo and other OFWs; as if things were just that simple. I agree with the news blackout; only his immediate family should be given info, and even then they should not talk to the local media. I hate how the local media is sensationalizing the issue.

And I know it’s a mean thought, but is it also possible that Angelo was just stupid enough to be abducted?


What a pa-relevant episode! I should just stick to mindless fun.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

A Traumatext Experience

Driving home from work I got a text message: Got my phone stolen last Wednesday. (I know, I know. Like with love, I’m careless with cellphones.) I'm using this number now. rsvp Evert Gandarosa. (Actually it read: got my fone stolen last wed [i knw i knw. lyk w lov, m careles w celfnes] m usin dis num nw. rsvp. Evert Gandarosa. But I hate text lingo.)

“Give me an opening and I'll—” I muttered to myself.

So I text back: Is this number temporary, like your love affairs?

Evert replied: ayyy! ang ganda ng reply! kung walang magsamantala, forever na ito.

So eager was I to think of a second whip-smart rejoinder that I barely noticed a bicycle rider had suddenly stopped in the middle of the road 30+ feet in front of me. I was hurtling towards him at nearly 70kph. We were on the Quezon Circle rotonda, in front of the City Hall.

Instantly, my heart froze, my mind kicked into high gear, my motor memory took over. My legs stepped on the brakes while my hands gripped the wheel steady, ready to turn at the slightest instant in case the car skidded. Luckily it didn’t. A noisy, painful squeal of rubber as the brakes locked. The bicycle rider heard it and, with survival-quick reflexes, bolted off his bike, dropping it on the road as he tried to jump out of my path.

I swerved away from the bicycle in time. A few inches more to my left and that bike would have been a total wreck. A few feet more to the left and I’d be charged with manslaughter.

I didn’t let my car come to a complete stop; as soon as my mind registered that I missed both rider and bike, I continued my forward momentum to prevent the vehicle at my back from smashing into me. I saw the cyclist hurriedly pick up his fallen bike and rush towards the sidewalk, away from me. I didn’t bother to go after him or curse him in public.

Only when I was driving away did I realize my heart was beating faster than usual and my legs felt weak. But I never let out a shriek or scream. I just kept quiet.

A minute later I was back to texting Evert again. But this time I was just doing 50kph.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Mister Lonely Meets His Match

Though I disagree with the message of this song, I love its over-the-top desperation (especially when sung by Sarah Brightman in shrill Christine-of-Phantom-of-the-Opera mode.) It’s a belt-out, to-hell-with-what-people-will-say song that’s perfect for a drama-queen moment.

Anything But Lonely

Anything but lonely,
Anything but empty rooms.
There’s so much in life to share—
What’s the sense when no one else is there?

Anything but lonely,
Anything but only me.
Quiet years in too much space:
That’s the thing that’s hard to face,

You have a right to go,
But you should also know
That I won't be alone for long.
Long days with nothing said
Are not what lie ahead—
I’m sorry, but I’m not that strong.

Anything but lonely,
Anything but passing time.
Lonely’s what I’ll never be,
While there’s still some life in me,

I’m still young, don’t forget,
It isn’t over yet—
So many hearts for me to thrill.
If you’re not here to say
How good I look each day,
I’ll have to find someone who will.

Anything but lonely,
Anything but empty rooms.
There’s so much in life to share—
What’s the sense when no one else is there...?
What’s the sense when no one else is there...?

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid

After Marlon pointed out the plug for this new reality show, Born Diva, I decided to pay attention to it the next time it aired. It says, “More than just talent, more than just confidence, more than ambition, it takes a complete transformation to be a Born Diva.”

Huh?! You need to transform to be a “born” something?!

That’s a blatant contradiction.

So I asked the promo specialist about his copy. Did he realize he wrote something contradictory? He admitted that he found it really difficult to craft his copy because as per clients’ instructions, they need to introduce the concept of the show and the title all in one sentence. The concept of the show is this: divahood means perfection. If a contestant needs a boob-job or a face-lift to become a certified diva, then the show will foot the bill.

“That’s not born diva,” I said. “That’s manufactured diva; that’s created diva.” Imagine Franken-diva, with matching lightning and thunder.

“Yeah,” he said. “But that’s the title of the show.”

“Then the title’s a misnomer,” I said.

“Okay, I’ll mention your concerns with Production,” he said. “But let’s face it—I’m sure more than half of our audience wouldn’t know something’s wrong.”

Still, that doesn’t make it right. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Lyrics To Live By

I noticed that a lot of the words I live by, my “mottos in life” so to speak, are lyrics from songs. So I decided to write them down (some paraphrased, of course.)

• Happiness is always an option. (Pet Shop Boys)
• He didn’t decide to love. You did. (Pet Shop Boys)
• If someone cried, you’d sympathize. It’s just a boy or a girl; it’s not the end of the world. (Pet Shop Boys)
• Let me down easy, no big song-and-dance. No long faces, no long looks, no deep conversations. I know how I want you to say goodbye. Tell me on a Sunday, please. (Andrew Lloyd Webber)
• However, there’s just no easy way to break somebody’s heart. (James Ingram)
• You live, you learn. (Alanis Morissette)
• And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. (The Beatles)

What are your song lyrics to live by?

A Fairy Tale

Finally saw the movie Eating Out at the Pink Film Festival in SM Manila.

Eating Out is truly a fairy tale, with “fairy” raised to the second power. It is a gay fantasy, complete with “and they lived happily ever after.”

Gay Guy A and Straight Guy are roommates. Gay Guy A has the hots for Gay Guy B, who has a roommate, Straight Girl. She also happens to be the ex-girlfriend of Gay Guy B; she has a thing for gay guys. Straight Guy falls for Straight Girl; to get her attention he pretends to be gay. Unfortunately Gay Guy B falls for Straight Guy-who’s-pretending-to-be-gay.

Confused? Don’t worry, it’s actually very clear in the movie. It is written and directed by the nephew of the late Lino Brocka, but it seems his lineage is more James Burrows than Brocka. The movie feels like an episode in Frasier or Friends, two sitcoms shepherded by Burrows.

To complicate things further, Straight Girl chastises Gay Guy A for running after Gay Guy B when he knows that Gay Guy B will never go for him. “You’re way out of his league,” Straight Girl tells Gay Guy A. She of course is referring to the looks department.

Of course in the end the gays end up with each other as do the straights. Gay Guy B decides to give Gay Guy A a chance. The movie ends with the two pairs both in liplock. Sigh. Only in the movies!

Truth is the movie isn’t really great. The plot is too sitcom-ish, the set-up too coincidental. But the two lead actors are gorgeous hunks! They both have flawless skin, muscular torsos and washboard abs, and have no qualms about doing frontal nudity. They’re like porn stars who have better acting skills than their contemporaries. Or maybe not. Maybe that’s just my bias: put drool-inducing hunks on screen and I get involved in whatever it is they’re portraying on screen. Hello eye candy, goodbye critical eye!

So Lino’s nephew knows how to direct. Or at least he knows how to cast great-looking male leads. (The female lead is best described as “quirky.”) And he showed directorial flair in staging a scene where Straight Girl is on the phone with Straight Guy, coaxing him while Gay Guy B gives him his first gay blow job.

His movie is miles away from Maynila: Sa Kuko Ng Liwanag; his is right smack down Sunset Boulevard. His movie is pure Hollywood fantasy.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Last Song Syndrome

Mahilig magpa-cute (awww!)
Mahilig magpa-sweet (awww!)
La-la-la-la-la! La-la-la-la-la!
Sorta, kinda, like a, parang, medyo, may pagka!
Sayaw, kikay! Sayaw, kikay!
La-la-la-la-la! La-la-la-la-la!

It is the latest song from the Viva Hot Babes. It not only sticks into your brain, it bores a hole and stays in there. It makes Vhong Navarro’s Pamela sound Shakespearean.

Pray you don’t catch it while you can!

Ass If!

I’m a top who’s a wannabe-versatile. The only reason why I remain a wannabe-versatile is simple: hemorrhoids. That’s really a pain in the ass.

Today it’s been acting up again; I think I ate too much spicy food this week. Argh! I really looove eating spicy food.

So I went to see the doctor, and he gave me a prescription. He said I should take the tablets for one whole week. One week?! I was also told to put anti-hemorrhoidal cream where the sun don’t shine. One week?! That means seven days of no rimming or finger-up-the-ass sexual play.

Oh well. I’m a top, remember? Versatile goes back in the closet for the meantime.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Choose Your Own Adventure: The TV (Part 2)

So the Ara-Christian tandem won in the text votes. The fans of Kristine and Jericho couldn’t bear to see her marry her real-life sweetheart Diether. There’s something to be said about those who feel that Kristine and Jericho were meant to be even if in real life they’ve split and moved on. Is that our notion of romance? Is that our romantic ideal? First love never dies?

Of course the Ara-Leo camp will vehemently disagree: No, Kristine and Jericho had their chance, and it’s over. It’s Diether’s turn. Besides, Kristine and Diether look good together. They’re so sweet. It’s a great match.

Too bad they lost by 82,000 text votes. The Ara-Christian fans have more load on their cellphones.

Still, all is not lost. The production team shot two alternate endings, remember? Why let all that video and production costs go to waste? On Saturday, the day after the finale of Sana’y Wala Nang Wakas, they’ll air the Sana’y Wala Nang Wakas Special: The Ara-Leo Wedding.

After Saturday, sana’y magwakas na nga!

Choose Your Own Adventure: The TV

For the first time in the history of Philippine television, the ending of a soap opera will be determined by the viewers thru SMS voting. The show Sana’y Wala Nang Wakas (Wishing There Won’t Be An End) will end with a wedding, but whose? Let the viewers decide.

First choice: Ara and Christian. The soap started with Ara (Kristine Hermosa) and Christian (Jerico Rosales) falling for one another. Unfortunately the two actors, who were reel- and real-life lovers, broke up just weeks after the soap started airing; this fact was kept from the public. Still the viewers found out, so the production team faced a problem: a dip in ratings because the fans turned cold to the Ara-Christian tandem. So they introduced a new love interest for Ara.

Second choice: Ara and Leo. The soap’s story arch was rewritten so that Ara and Christian were forced to split up. Ara met Leo (Diether Ocampo) and the two fell in love. And, not surprisingly, the actors Kristine and Diether also fell in love with each other. (Or so says the media hype.)

But a funny thing happened a few months into the Ara-Leo pairing: the Ara-Christian tandem started heating up again. It seemed the fans just needed time to miss the original pair (their love team was a major reason why their previous soap, Pangako Sa Iyo [My Promise To You] became a monster hit.) Now the show’s leading lady has two leading men. Who will she choose?

Eager to cash in on the quandary, the producers chose to let the fans decide. They’ve actually shot two endings; cut-off time for voting is a few minutes before the finale. SMS votes are still coming in by the thousands (and at one peso per text going to the company, the promo is a most profitable one, indeed.)

In our office the people are split as to who should end up with whom. The gays in the office have raised our objection: why is there no choice for a Christian-Leo tandem, huh?!

In the second-to-the-last episode shown this evening, Ara, Christian and Leo were escaping from bandits (don’t ask, just accept). A gunfight followed, and Ara was hit by a bullet. That gave us gays in the office hope for a Christian-Leo ending if Ara would die. But true to soap tradition, the lead character always survives any injury no matter how grave.

So tomorrow a boring heterosexual wedding will end Sana’y Wala Nang Wakas. Sigh.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

70s Disco Ball

Time to show your age. Supply the missing line. Then identify the title of song and name of artist:

[1] Everywhere you go
Lights flash
All you gotta hold
Is the cash
While you think you’re able
It’s time to have a label

[2] Instinctively you give to me
The love that I need
I cherish the moments with you
I’m aware that you’re cheating
When no one makes me feel like you do

[3] The night is young and full of possibilities
Well come on and let yourself be free
Tonight was made for me and you

[4] Lookin’ for a lover who needs another
Wanna share my love with a warm blooded lover
Wanna bring a wild man back home

[5] Can’t let go and it doesn’t matter how I try
To dreams that never will come true
Am I strong enough to see it through
Go crazy is what I will do

[6] Now you and me, we’re both the same
But you call yourself by different names
Now your mama won’t like it when she finds out

Bright And Light

This morning while opening our gate so I could back my car out of our garage, I suddenly noticed how bright the day was. The sky was a cheerful color; only a few tufts of white dotted the blue. And for a moment, I felt lightness burst from inside me.

I told myself: “What a wonderful morning.”

Then my brain automatically kicked in. What a blue sky. Cheerful blue. Looks like summer all over again. Great day to ride a bike along the neighborhood, just like when we were kids. Can I just drive around? What is my load for today? And that magical moment, that feeling of lightness faded. Try as I might to recapture it, the feeling was gone.

But oh for that magical moment, when I felt connected to something greater! I felt alive, happy, at peace.

Two blocks from our house, I encountered a slow-moving driver. It was exasperating. I overtook him, muttering, “Sunday driver!”

*Poof!* Back to life, back to reality.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Her Danish Cookie

A few weeks ago it was Nelz and his Canadian bear, Norman. Now it’s my officemate’s turn with her foreigner boyfriend.

Let’s call her Miss O. Only in her early thirties, she’s been working in television for seven years. She has striking features, a curvaceous body that escapes flat-chestedness by a few centimeters and, true to most people in our industry, has a non-existent love life. She has an iMac full of sappy love songs. When she’s stressed she likes hugging gay officemates. That never fails to unsettle me.

She used to not go home earlier that 12:30 am. She falls asleep at the most inappropriate times: during meetings, while previewing, while editing, once in the bathroom while brushing her teeth. Twice she has fallen asleep behind the wheel but bumped her car only once, on their gate while backing out one morning. She now goes home before midnight and laughs at all our narcolepsy jokes.

Last Christmas Miss O was introduced to a visitor from Denmark. He has blue eyes and blonde hair; she used up all the English words in her vocabulary. They were both mesmerized. By the time he returned to Denmark after spending the New Year here, he promised to visit her again this July.

The days prior to his arrival were filled with Danish cookie jokes. She took a one week leave from work so that they can go to Boracay. This must be the love trend of 2004: invite a Caucasian, bring them to Boracay and fall madly in love. Cupid is a beach bum. No wonder his arrows never reach me.

Tonight she brought him to the office so she can show him what she does for a living. It’s important for someone planning to marry a broadcaster to know exactly what he’s up against: the lower the ratings, the longer the work hours. She introduced him to everyone; everyone wisely avoided asking him for Danish cookies as pasalubong the next time he visits.

He is going back to Denmark this weekend, but he has already promised Miss O he will be back again this Christmas. Her Danish prince is seriously considering staying in the Philippines for good. His business is based in Denmark, but he can run it from here. He earns in Danish cookies, he spends in uraro.

Now, can someone tell me where the nearest expat pub is here in Quezon City?

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Walk Like A Man

Every Monday to Friday after parking at basement 2, I walk up two flights of stairs to the ground floor where I punch in. (Actually we have a finger-scan unit instead of a bundy-clock, so would “finger in” be a more appropriate term?) Then I take the elevator to the 14th floor gym for my morning workout.

Yesterday all 12 elevators were shut down. Yes, twelve of them all at the same time. Seems at around 6a.m. the fire sprinklers on the 16th floor went off by accident, causing an electrical short-circuit that stalled all the cars.

So yesterday morning I saw all these early morning working stiffs taking the stairs. The lucky ones only had to climb three or four floors; the call center kids had to climb five floors. The unlucky ones on the fifteenth floor include our company president and our CEO. Their so-called ivory tower became a tower of torture for them. There is justice in the world.

There are two gyms in our building. On the fifth floor is Fitness First while on the fourteenth is Fitness Advantage; yesterday we fellow clients dubbed it Fitness Disadvantage. By the time I arrived at the gym I had climbed a total of sixteen floors non-stop and on a steady pace. I overtook everyone who had gone ahead of me; most would stop at a landing to catch their breath. I broke out in a light sweat and I was breathing heavily, but I wasn’t panting so hard. Still, I decided that’ll be my cardio for the day.

The elevators were still not working by the time I finished my work out. So I walk another sixteen floors, but this time going down. On my way down I met several managers on their way to work; they can afford to be that late. One of them was shouting at the top of his voice, “Putang ina! Leche!” but of course he had no choice but climb—all the way to the 15th floor. Mwhahahahahaha!

Most people don’t really like walking much. There are many restaurants near my place of work; most of my officemates would insist on bringing a car or taking a taxi. I prefer to walk. It’s a habit I developed when I started working at the Cultural Center of the Philippines; I would walk one block from the jeepney route to the CCP complex. Working in Makati also forced me to walk. It’s so difficult to find parking that the moment you arrive there you park and leave your car in one place until it’s time to go home.

Most people would also prefer to take the elevator rather than walk up or down a flight of stairs, even if it’s just for one floor. (That’s one of my biggest pet peeves, in fact.) Yesterday all those one-floor-elevator-riders had their major comeuppance.

*evil laughter*

(This morning five out of twelve elevators were working. There were long lines as the five tried to cope with the volume of employees, gym members and call-boys and call-girls. This time I didn’t take the stairs. Nakakapagod noh?!)

Vice Pizza

At around two this afternoon several boxes of pizza and liters of soda were delivered to our office. What’s the occasion? It’s the birthday of our newly-elected vice president Kabayan himself. There were enough pizzas to feed all 65 of us in our department alone. When I went out I saw that there were more boxes and bottles being delivered to other departments.

If you can afford to run for the second-highest office in the land, then you can afford to buy Pizza Hut for a whole network.

His Last Name Isn’t Bates

Had a wonderful time shooting the breeze with Nelz (see The Dyowza Chronicles) last night. Talked about Norman, immature exes, what-ifs, Norman, childish feuding among close friends, sex and love, Norman, imaginary confrontation scenes in Bed, Sarah Geronimo, going to Canada in stages, Norman, long-distance friendships, bad timing, penis size, money, and Norman. When I got up to go to the toilet I was about to say, “Excuse me, Norman” when I realized I was addressing the chair beside us. His presence is as palpable as the glow on Nelz’s face.

Okay, okay, maybe I exaggerate. Sorry Nelz, must be just the new haircut by Ipe.


Monday, July 05, 2004

Bed Ridden

Last Saturday evening for the first time in a looong time I went to Bed, still the most popular bar among Manila urban gays. They’re the account-executive, med-rep, call-center kind of gays—they can blend in with their straight male co-workers but are still detectable on gaydar.

At the stroke of midnight I entered the place, only to find more waiters than customers. What’s this? I panicked. Has Bed become a has-been place? But I already paid the Php200 consumable cover charge so might as well have my drink.

Bed is a two-storey place but I chose to hang out at the ground floor bar because the video monitor there was showing So Close on Star Movies. The pounding techno dance music complemented the slam-bang fight sequences of that Hong Kong action flick, and soon I was engrossed in it. When I glanced back after a particularly wicked gunfight scene, there were more people in the bar. By the time the movie ended, the first floor was getting crowded with guppies (gay yuppies) in their tight tees, labeled shirts and designer jeans. Their clothes scream: I’m hot and ready to take them off for the right face or bod. Wow, all these pretty zombies in just 30 minutes past midnight. It’s the dawn of the drop-dead fabulous.

I went upstairs where it was less crowded and there I ordered another bottle. After a while I went back down again. I saw two officemates by the bar so I hung out with them. Then another friend, an ex-officemate from advertising, came in with his group of friends, so I ended up shooting the breeze with him.

Three bottles afterwards I was already dancing to the music. We inched closer to the half-naked guys dancing on the “ledge” (actually a set of boxes). There I spent the whole time dancing. The others were eyeing possible prey; I was oblivious (though I’ll admit I was open to the possibility of someone eyeing me as their prey). I wanted to dance non-stop, but the crush of the crowd made it impossible. A quick trip to the bathroom turned into fifteen minutes of jostling and squeezing in between hot, gorgeous men. So I went four times even though I only needed to pee twice.

By the time my companions bade their goodbyes it was already past four but I was still grooving to the beat. It was just like my college and post-college parties with TA; I was reliving the past.

But I knew the present would catch up with me. Walking back to my car at 4:40am my legs were weak and my feet heavy. I thought: Bed-ridden tonight, bed-ridden tomorrow.

When they woke me up Sunday for lunch, I was surprised that my body had recovered admirably from the previous night’s abuse. And although I drank three bottles of beer, my stomach was fine.

Hmmm. I just might go back this weekend.

Temptation Lessons

Much has been said about the movie Temptation Island. This classic camp-de-force by Joey Gosiengfiao is a tale of four finalists in the Miss Manila Sunshine beauty contest. Their pleasure cruise turns tragic as an explosion rips the ship apart. The four, along with a maid, a waiter, a gay socialite and his bourgeois boyfriend, and an admirer of one of the contestants are shipwrecked on a deserted dessert island.

The ever-witty Jessica Zafra wrote an excellent article about this movie. Since she did an exceptional job I will not even try to top her efforts. Instead, I will borrow Marlon’s idea and list down the lessons one can get from watching the movie:

[1] Bring your own set of “wheels” when attending a party for more impact. To quote Suzanne: “Late entrance, early exit. Yan ang dramatic!” Use a charcoal-grey Mercedes.

[2] The more expensive and bigger the cake, the more likely it’ll be dropped. And the ones who tripped and dropped the cake will end up with icing on their faces.

[3] If you dance to Giorgio Moroder’s song What A Night!, bad luck will follow. They were dancing to that song when the ship caught fire and exploded. They were dancing to that song when the women engaged in a slap-fest. That song is cursed.

[4] One can use pantyhose to catch fish.

[5] Straight men will hook up with a gay person in case of dire need, usually economic. But when faced with death, straight guys will choose a woman over a gay person.

[6] Gays save the day. The gay Joshua died in order to provide food for the others.

[7] You cannot escape your lot in life. When the waiter cooked the remains of Joshua and served them to the others, the irrepressible Suzanne quipped, “Once a waiter, always a waiter.”

[8] To make cannibalism palatable, one should sing “Somewhere” from West Side Story after eating. “There’s a place for us, somewhere a place for us….”

[9] Lack of food and water will make sexy women hallucinate a giant ice cream, a giant fried chicken and a clearing full of umbrellas and electric fans. In all those hallucinations the women remain sexy and poised as always.

[10] Corollary to the previous lesson, shipwrecked beauty contestants always look sexy and daring, even when dying of hunger, thirst and exhaustion.

If you want to spend 2 hours of mind-numbing fun with a smattering of bitchy dialogue, watch Temptation Island. Available in VCD. (The VCD cover inaccurately credits Al Tantay as a cast member but he’s nowhere to be found. Maybe he was wiser than the rest of the cast and skipped the shoot.)

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Don Of The Dead

Couldn’t fall asleep immediately last night so I surfed channels on cable and came across the movie The Godfather (Part 1). It was at the part when James Caan’s character was gunned down at a toll booth. Succeeding scenes showed Marlon Brando in Oscar-winning mode as Don Vito Corleone, mourning the death of his son.

I knew the movie’s ending was still a long ways off, so I decided to turn in. Before I switched the TV off, I switched it to CNN where they were mourning the death of Marlon Brando at age 80.

What a jarring coincidence.

The Don is dead. Long live the Don!

Friday, July 02, 2004

Hay Naku!

For the first time I got irritated with my officemate. She is assigned to another format. But unfortunately my client has this irritating way of calling her up instead of me whenever my client is in panic mode. And today my client was panicking over a print ad.

Yes, I admit that I had my share to blame. I started working on the print ad quite late. But for my officemate to just swoop in and take over things just because in her judgment the print ad doesn’t work, is arrogant. When she saw it, it was still a work in progress. But she declared, “It doesn’t work!” even before the artist could finish.

Yes, she has won more creative awards than I have. Yes, her revised print ad looks good. But she never gave my original idea a chance.

But what really gets my goat is the fact that she didn’t like what she saw, pulled the project off from under my feet and proceeded to revise it while blurting out loud for everyone to hear, “Oh my god, this is so unfair! We’re conceptualizing last-minute! How can we do that with the deadline so near?! I’m getting a headache! I don’t need this stress!”

When she stepped out of the room the other artists went up to me and said, “She’s the one making her own problems! She’s the one creating her own stress. If she had allowed your original idea to be finished, we would have met the deadline.”

At the end of the day I don’t care if her final layout is award-winning or not. I’d rather make my own mistakes and learn from them. And she chose to take on the additional work of revising the print ad to her standards so she should stop complaining.

What an arrogant bitch.

(In the end several changes she made, both in execution and in direction, were rejected by the client. I knew that she was stepping out of bounds but I just kept quiet and let my client do the dirty work. When she found out about it she declared out loud, “Really! Your client has no creative judgment whatsoever!”)

Now I'm wondering: am I also being arrogant when I insist that I make my own mistakes?

Warm Memories

I remember yesterday, the world was so young.

And I remember two TV commercials by La Germania stoves. One features an Italian chef, a lechon de leche and a huge Italian woman (the italicized lines are an exchange between him and his son, and a line by his wife):

As a chef, I wear two hats—
One at work, where I deal with gourmet,
And one at mi casa mia, where I cook for my loved ones;
In both places I have to do my best.
Papa! Si, I know.
At work or at home I use only the best.
I use La Germania.
Because only La Germania gives me the best.
And for you Mama Mia, the best!
With my La Germania, no problema!

The other one is a jingle-based TVC. I do not remember the visuals anymore, but I cannot get the jingle out of my head:

La Germania generates love,
Generates cooking that generates love.
La Germania generates joy,
Generates cooking that generates love.
La Germania generates love!

Incidentally our stove is an old La Germania model. It still has the “Generates Love” heart-shaped sticker on the oven door.

Another TV commercial I remember is the one for Technogas stoves. It is a jingle-based commercial which features prominent female celebrities, including a very young Isabel Granada in thick-eyebrow glory, dancing and posing amidst gas stoves while holding tacky cardboard stars wrapped in cheap tinfoil.

All the women love the Technogas technique!
You name it, we have it,
The Technogas technique!
You cook it, you’ll love it,
The Technogas technique!
You bump* it, it can take it,
The Technogas technique!
All the women love the Technogas technique!
(*At this point you see the sexy ass of a model “bump” the side of the stove in a very provocative manner.)

One gets the full range of Technogas ranges, its usage and its durability all in a span of 30 seconds. It also repeats the product USP and bandwagon endorsement again and again.

Later on they made a Taglish version. I think it featured Rod Navarro, but I’m not sure now. I only remember one line from that jingle: “O ang Technogas ay techno-fantastic!”

Thursday, July 01, 2004

I'm Your Handyman

Two days ago I noticed the faucet in our bathroom was leaking. The drip-dropping wasn’t alarming though, so I immediately forgot about it.

Late last night when I got home, amidst the sound of howling winds rose a more worrisome sound: drip-drip-drip-drip-drip-drip. It was faster, louder and more urgent-sounding than when I first heard it.

That sound made me miss my Dad. He was the handyman in the house. My mom might ask me to take care of this plumbing problem. I might have to bring out the plumber in me.

This morning I told my mom about the faucet. “Oh, your brother’s taking care of it already,” she said.

Whew! Butch McVie is back in the closet for now.