Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Snap Shots

Say hello to my new toy, Ollie. It’s my Olympus digital camera. Wheee!

Ang Hits!

I am not a gay, gay-gay-gay-gay-gay!
I am not a homo, mo-mo-mo-mo-mo!

Tuesday Vargas, “Babae Po Ako”

Diosa sa tuktok ng bundok—
Nagliliyab na pinilakang apoy,
Ang rurok ng ganda’t pag-ibig,
Benus ang pangalan niya.
May regla!
O sanggol, may regla!

Bananarama, “Venus”

(Umikot ka, kislap-mata!) Bawat sandali nakakalas!
(Umikot ka, kislap-mata!) Bawat sandali nakakalas!

Bonnie Tyler, “Total Eclipse of the Heart”

Holy Man Hunt!

I’m looking for a Methodist priest.

You see, my brother wants to marry his girlfriend, who’s a Methodist. Neither wants to convert to the other’s religion. Will both churches allow the two to marry? Will there be two weddings and two receptions? Is it possible for a concelebrated wedding and one reception to save on expenses?

My mom, older brother and my two sisters went with my brother to his girlfriend’s for the traditional pamamanhikan last Saturday evening (I was enjoying the mountain breeze at Arayat during that time). My brother and his girlfriend have decided on a civil wedding first while they’re still figuring out the church wedding/s. My mom and older brother want to dissuade them from that plan; for them, it’s better if they have a church wedding.

So now my mom’s asking me to help my brother out by asking around how a Roman Catholic and a Methodist can be bound in the sacrament of marriage.


Monday, August 30, 2004

My Quiet Weekend

Wonder why I was quiet for the past four days? Well, last weekend was one of the most relaxing ones I’ve had ever.

It started with me taking a leave of absence on Friday to pick up my mom at the airport. Even though her flight was in the late afternoon, I took the whole day off. Went to the gym first then met up with Matt for lunch in Makati. He was scheduled to go back to Singapore at 5pm that day and wanted to see me one last time. It was so relaxing to have lunch without worrying about going back to work afterwards. Then I visited my former officemates at Publicis Manila. Tot, my former art director, forced me to accompany him to pick up a check at the recording studio Adfarm. There I bumped into another blast-from-the-past person, Lindy Magnaye. She’s one of those rare ones—a genuinely nice person. We had a hilarious time catching up and joking about then and now. Then it was back to Publicis to finalize with Marlon plans for staying at his farm for the weekend.

Saturday and Sunday I spent with Marlon, Leigh and Leigh’s mom at Marlon’s farm at the slopes of Mt. Arayat. The farm he fondly calls Villa Pretenciosa has undergone further construction—Marlon added several rooms and a quaint tower to his original four-alcove house. Leigh and her mom wanted to see the house because they’re planning to build a new house on their lot in Cavite; I wanted to see the new extension. So off we went Saturday morning to the farm.

Because of the heavy rains, the already rough road leading to the farm was further washed away, leaving huge rocks and boulders. I though Orlando could pick his way through those rocks—sadly, with 3 other people plus luggage on board, my 4x4 was too heavy and the boulders scraped his underbelly. We had to leave Orlando and walk the rest of the way to the farmhouse.

When we arrived there, Villa Pretenciosa was a sight to behold. There was still a lot of finishing to be done outside, but inside the new extension was tastefully furnished. I wasted no time in exploring the new sections of the house. I fell in love with the small room atop the “tower”—you had a magnificent view of the mountain and the windows allowed the breeze to waft in and out.

The mountain breeze was so fresh and relaxing it made me sleepy immediately; while seated at a garden chair, I actually dozed off. So after a sumptuous lunch, Leigh and I immediately headed for a nap. When I woke up, it was already tea time. After that, more lounging around—I decided to start reading The Fire In The Equations. Pretty soon it was dinner time. We had dinner via candlelight because the electrical wires leading to the house were knocked down during the recent typhoon. Luckily the weather had cleared up and we were treated to a magnificent sight—an almost-full moon bathing the mountainside with its otherworldly glow. In the dark it was also easy to spot fireflies. But then the electrician dropped by after dinner and fixed the problem. We had lights before 8pm. But for me it didn’t matter—we had no TV or radio there. We actually went to bed at an unnatural hour of 9pm.

The next morning I woke up early, took a cold but refreshing shower (pure mountain spring water, no less!) and headed up the tower so I can read in peace and solitude. There I found out that the workers staying at the farm had their own radio/CD player. Amidst the sound of tweeting birds, rustling leaves and the gentle whistling of the wind, I could hear Bayani Agbayani’s garalgal voice going, “Tayo’y mag-otso-osto! Otso-osto! Otso-otso! Otso-otso na!” He was followed by Pamela by Vhong Navarro, then the Otso-Otso/Pamela medley. I also heard Bulaklak by Viva Hot Babes, Jumbo Hotdog by Masculados, Babae Po Ako by Tuesday Vargas, and other novelty-pop hits that currently poison our airwaves these days. But the breeze was just too relaxing—and the book too involving—that no amount of vocally-challenged exertions and dumb-and-dumber lyrics could spoil my morning. And all that before breakfast!

For the three meals we had there, I decided to drop my careful diet and just loaded myself with carbo (rice) and sweets (macapuno candies and marshmallows). I ate buttered bread. I drank regular cola. It was great!

Just before lunch we went down. I brought everyone home, including Leigh’s mom who lives all the way in Cavite. Orlando certainly had a good workout last weekend.

The past three days were some of the most relaxing days I’ve ever had in 2004. I hope there’ll be more to come. So the next time The McVie Show suddenly goes quiet, most probably yours truly is somewhere up in a mountain or near the ocean, just chilling out.

(P.S. Above pic courtesy of Marlon. Wanna see more? Click on the link to Marlon's Hotel.)

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Wet Wednesday

Went to work after lunch. The streets in Marikina are muddy and with litter scattered all over, but at least they’re flood-free. The river however is swollen beyond its banks. I’m sure the floating shoes are stuck among the trees along the banks; the cement carabaos will remain totally submerged for a few days.

The traffic in Quezon City is light tonight; I’m half-tempted to go and watch the last full show of Thunderbirds or Princess Diaries 2. But I still have a plug to produce, and the editors who were able to wade through to the office are drowning with the work load; I might do some editing myself. At least the rains have stopped for the moment. They say there’s a typhoon coming so here’s to more wet days and nights.

I look forward to spending a wet and cold weekend in Marlon’s farm, though. Somehow the idea sounds really cozy and enticing.

Movie One-liners

“Get away from her, you bitch!”

That is the classic one-liner in Aliens, directed by James Cameron before he discovered he was the king of the world. He also directed Terminator, which gave moviedom another classic one-liner delivered by Ahnold: “I’ll be back.”

Big action summer flicks in the late 80s and early 90s had to have a memorable one-liner. Some samples:
“Yipee-ka-yay, motherfucker!” (Die Hard)
“ET, phone home.” (E.T. The Extra-terrestial)
“Stay out of trouble.” (Robocop)
“This town needs an enema!” (Batman)
“I am your father!” (The Empire Strikes Back)
“Wax on, wax off.” (The Karate Kid)
“You are one ugly motherf**ker!” (Predator)
“Snakes—why did it have to be snakes?” (Raiders Of The Lost Ark)
“I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen.” (Say Anything)

But my favorite one-liner is still the quote mentioned above, spoken by Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley. With the alien queen threatening the child Newt, Ripley ducks into a loading dock. Then the bay doors open to reveal Ripley on a mechanical loader, ready to take on the creature mano-a-monster. Camera tilts up, then zoom in on Ripley’s face, and she utters that priceless line. I remember cheering in the moviehouse when I saw that scene for the first time.

What are your favorite movie one-liners?

Rainy Days And Wednesdays

I think I will have time to watch those DVDs after all. It is pouring outside and our street has turned into a river. Even if I wanted to I cannot leave our house. The streets leading out of our village are flooded; Orlando does not swim.


Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Bullet Points

Finally bought Back To The Future I & II, plus Aliens (the one directed by James Cameron) for good measure. The next on my purchase list: a more than decent digital camera.

Funny thing is, I have all these new DVDs but I don’t have time to watch them yet. Sigh.


My mom is coming back from Bohol this Friday, and I’m taking a leave from work to pick her up at the airport. Since my boss allowed me to take the whole day off, I’m going to Bed Thursday evening to check out the scene. Mwhehehehe!


One of my teammates was hospitalized today for appendicitis. He’s scheduled for operation at 9 in the evening. That means he’ll be out for the rest of the week, so I’ll have to take on his load. But I don’t mind, though. I prefer previewing and editing over meeting with clients.

Stepford? Step Yes!

I remember seeing parts of the original The Stepford Wives on television years ago. I recall it had a creepy tone, with the lead character discovering the secret and being “converted” into a robotic housewife in the end. It was billed as a sci-fi mystery thriller during its time (1975).

The new movie starring Nicole Kidman, Matthew Broderick, Bette Midler and Glen Close is more of a gay comedy romp rather than a cautionary tale, and rightly so since the gender issue of having “perfect” mates is so Jurassic. Screenwriter Paul Rudnick (Addams Family Values, Jeffrey) ups the already considerable pink quotient by adding a gay couple into the story.

The movie explores gender issues and perfection among partners while making bitchy stabs at fashion, reality shows, Manhattan bitches in black, rural Americana, politics, modern technology, Orlando Bloom and Viggo Mortensen. And while the witticisms and pop culture references fly fast and furious, in the end the movie is all fluffy and light, like the cupcakes Nicole’s character bakes in the movie.

If you want to just leave your brain at the door and have a gay time, then this movie fits the bill.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Q and A Portion

I was asked to answer one of those “get to know your friends” questionnaires. I decided to answer it in another way:

I would like to build a house in Baguio or on a beach in Bohol. My favorite article of clothing is my Levi’s Type1 jeans. My favorite physical feature on men is a muscular upper body (especially strong, wide shoulders). The last movie I saw at a theater is Alien vs. Predator. My favorite place to be is in our home in Bohol. My least favorite place to be is in my client’s office. My favorite body part to be massaged is my lower back. For me it is more important to be strong in mind than strong in body. I wake up between 7-8 o’clock in the morning. My favorite kitchen appliance is the refrigerator. Very stupid drivers make me really angry. I would like to play the guitar. My favorite colors are blue and orange (not necessarily together). I prefer an SUV over a car. I’m not sure if I believe in an afterlife: I want to know if there is, but there's no proof positive. And anyway, if there is, I'll be pleasantly surprised; if none, there's no way for me to find out, right? My favorite children’s books are Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the A Series of Unfortunate Events series and the Artemis Fowl series. I don’t have a favorite household chore because we have a maid. If I could have one superpower, I would like it to be the power of flight. I wish I could go back to the past—that’ll be high school—and talk to my second love of my life. In my car’s trunk are three pairs of shoes, a bag of cassette tapes and a flashlight. I’ll choose hamburger over sushi anytime. I don’t care who is most likely or least likely to respond to this questionnaire. If I could pick what I can do for a living, I’d like to be a stage and screen actor. And I am happy ng O!

Smiles Away, You’re So Many Smiles Away From Me

I’ve been given feedback—gosh, don’t you just looove HR-approved terms? After all, “give feedback” sounds so much better than the blunt “tell me to my face”—that I project an Attitude with a capital A. I was told that my default facial expression is an aloof, “don’t-disturb-me” look; to look friendlier I should smile more.

Honestly that feedback came initially as a surprise. But upon reflection it does make sense. I noticed that with my brothers their default facial expression is also an aloof, “don’t-mind-me” one. My dad’s was even fiercer; his eyebrows would be furrowed, like he was mad or worried or bothered or constipated. My older brother has this “I’m thinking” look; I guess it works for him as head of academics at an Opus Dei high school. My younger brother, though, is the family clown; he’s often laughing or smiling. But I’ve seen him in his quiet moments; he too has this “don’t-disturb” expression.

I suppose it’s really genetics; our facial structure is built that way. I suppose that sort of explains why not a lot of guys approach me in the bath house or in Bed. Of course, it could also mean not a lot of guys find me to be their “type.” Whatever. Still, I want to try a little experiment—I’ll smile more often. Let’s see what happens.

Weekend In Shangri-la

Saturday I went over to Ipe’s after lunch so he can trim my bush, este, hair. Then afterwards I had to drive back to Makati to meet up with Matthew. Matt is this Singaporean I met almost a year ago. He works for a multi-national company and is in charge of operations in Southeast Asia. Annually he drops by here to check on things; I promised him I’d keep him company on his visit this year. Earlier he had asked me to bring him to a “dance bar that’s PLU*-friendly,” so I told him I’d take him to Bed. *(PLU stands for “people like us” which is another term for “gay”)

We met for dinner in Greenbelt 3 then we crashed at his hotel room at Makati Shangri-la to while away the time until midnight. But when we were preparing to leave, we noticed a flash of light outside the window. When we looked out, it was raining hard, with matching lightning and thunder. He didn’t feeling like leaving his comfortable hotel room anymore, so he invited me to stay over.

Truth to tell, that was the first time I ever entered a hotel room at the Makati Shang. I must say, it’s more posh than EDSA Shangri-la. I like the fact that the bedroom’s layout tries to be different from the usual hotel room layout. For one, the bed is not perpendicular to the wall; instead, it is angled so that you get a partial view of the window. The TV is angled appropriately too. The floor area is bigger; there’s room for a small sofa and table near the window. And in the bathroom, the shower is separate from the bathtub. Then again, maybe this is one of the more expensive rooms in the hotel; after all, his company is paying for this trip. Given the chance to stay over a swanky hotel room for the first time, how could I say no? So we decided to skip Bed and go to bed instead.

(fade to black; then fade in)

The next morning, we had breakfast at the Lobby. Back when I was still working in Makati, the Shangri-la lobby was one of our favorite hang-outs. Leigh and I would go there after work for a drink and friendly chit-chat. Their sofas were so relaxing, and despite the hugeness of the lobby, the atmosphere there was friendly and comforting. But that Sunday morning the lobby was a busy beehive of activity. Families and other guests were enjoying the breakfast buffet that included—gasp!—sushi and sashimi. I miss the old lobby; but I think it’s only temporary while their hotel café is undergoing renovation.

After breakfast Matt and I decided to roam around Glorietta. He read and saw in the papers the Bench Underwear Fashion Show (with all the beefcake in display) so I brought him over to the nearest Bench shop. He ended up buying a couple of tight tees.

By 5pm I had to part with Matt because I was picking my sister up at the airport (she went to Bohol with my mom). We’ll both be busy during the week, so we might not see each other before he leaves. But I have a standing invitation to visit him in Singapore, and boy I’m so tempted to take him up on his offer. And who knows, maybe I can stay there longer if I can find work there. I love my country despite everything, but I wouldn’t mind getting a higher-paying job outside the country. Besides I do want to experience what it’s like to work in another country.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Friday Musings

On a Friday evening while waiting for the editors to finish, my mind starts whirling at a hundred miles an hour. So take your Bonamine against blog-hilo and fasten your mental seatbelts.

• It’s ironic that one needs an Other to push one towards independence and self-realization. But it’s sad if one will depend on an Other to be “independent.”
• With enough logic and intelligence one can rationalize any and everything one does.
• Just because it makes sense doesn’t mean it’s sensible.
• We want what we cannot have.
• Not choosing is in itself a choice.
• People who say they are complete unto themselves are delusional. No one is ever complete nor will be completed in this lifetime. Cameron Crowe should be shot for writing Jerry Maguire’s “You complete me” line. The Buddhists believe that souls go through several lifetimes before they can reach the state of nirvana. There’s an excellent poster I once read: “Be patient. God isn’t finished with me yet.” (And the owner of that poster was 60+ years old at that time.)
• People who insist they are fabulous need reassurance more than praise.
• Youth is mostly wasted on the young. At least, that’s the norm in Bed.
• Straight people must lead very boring lives. That’s why they need the gay guy for entertainment and speculation.
• And this above all: Do not forget that this is a Show.

Enjoy your weekend. I certainly will enjoy mine, mwhahaha!



I am a fan of the creatures in the Alien series. From the very first solo monster in Ridley Scott’s Alien to the swimming species in Alien Resurrection, I’ve always found those single-minded creatures to be one of the best villains ever. Their motivation is singular and unwavering—they’re there to kill and to multiply.

I also liked the Predator because their motivation is simple: to hunt. And they’ve got cool gadgets and fighting gear to boot!

Pitting the two iconic creatures in recent cinema history is actually quite a treat. However, the movie was a bit of a disappointment for me.

[1] It took quite a while for the match-up to happen. The set-up was too darn long. It gave time for the audience to get to know the human characters—hey, they’re just food! Okay, so maybe you need to establish the lead actress’ character: an African-American Ripley. But at the end of the day, it’s the match-up that I was looking forward to. In fact, the set-up of finding the pyramid and the explorers reaching it could have been collapsed into the opening credits. But that’s just me.

[2] In this kind of match-up, the natural “villains” would be the aliens while the predators would be the “heroes” because the aliens are merely intelligent killing machines; the predators, on the other hand, have more motivation. Naturally, who would the human hook up with? Too obvious.

[3] Major loopholes in the premise. If Earth was a training ground and civilizations were wiped out as a form of intergalactic pest control, why are there no clues or remains of either alien species on the other monuments (Incan, Egyptian and Cambodian)?

[4] However, the fate of the mother alien plus the “twist” at the end of the movie are promising. Do I smell a sequel?

I Look Like A Look-alike

Yesterday at MusicOne in Greenbelt, I bumped into an ex-boyfriend of an officemate of mine. He hasn’t seen me since they broke up more than two months ago. He looked shocked at first then blurted out: “Why, you have hair.” (Gee, obvious ba?) And then he said, “Now you really look like Billy Crystal.”

Hmmm. If it’s short hair, it’s Usher. If it’s long, it’s Billy Crystal. I’m so celeb!

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Que Sira Sira

Today is Quezon City Day.

Wala kaming pasok!
Wala kaming pasok!
Wala kaming pasok!

Hurray for the president, the city, the circle, the memorial, the avenue, the boulevard (ay, same thing), the theater (ay, wala na pala siya), the province (huh?) and all things Quezon!

I think I’ll go to Makati today, hahaha!

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

The Step-In Wife

The thought hit me just now: I think Imelda Marcos is the ultimate Stepford Wife.

Think about it. Ferdinand Marcos was able to create the perfect partner for him: a picturesque dalagang Pilipina with impecable manners, able to charm even the most hardened and suspicious politicians, not too intelligent to be threatening, not too self-aware to develop a conscience, but politically-savvy enough to know how to get her way in the political arena.

Creepy, isn't it?

My First Gaynimation

Someone in the office lent me all 13 episodes of this anime called Gravitation. It’s the very first gay anime I’ve ever seen. It’s about Shuichi, the boyish lead singer of the band Bad Luck, and his love affair with Yuki, a handsome and famous writer with a major attitude problem. I’m already at episode 6 and will continue with the rest tomorrow.

Gravitation is a soap opera, drawn. No anime nudity, just a lot of man-to-man kissing, and breaking up and making up and all that. Because it’s a VCD copy, I cannot scan ahead so I’ve heard the theme song again and again and again ad nauseam. Still I will see this whole series through. There’s something about seeing my very first gay anime.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Southern Belles

Maybe I just don’t surf enough, but is it just me or are there really more gay people from the South that are on-line?

Let me clarify. I didn’t say there are more gays south of Metro Manila; I meant there seems to be more of them who are on-line—in blogs, in chat rooms, in on-line forums.

Which begs the next question: why are the other gays from the other points of the compass not on-line? More follow-up questions: Why do they seem fewer from North, East and West? Are there really more gays down South—ergo, gay presence on the net is indicative of this ratio-and-proportion? Or is the inequality on connectivity, not presence? Maybe the Southern gays are just more wired than the others? Why are they more wired? Do they live that far that they have to rely on the internet to be connected?

And now I’m also wondering: where are the gays in the East? St. Lucia East Grand Mall’s tagline is “The East is where it’s at.” So where the hell are they? Are they not wired because they are too busy cruising the banks of Marikina River?

Yoo-hoo, hello?! Come out, come out wherever you are!

All Boxed Out

Last night I was faced with a difficult choice: do I buy The Godfather Trilogy Box Set, or Back To The Future Trilogy Box Set, or both?

The Godfather and The Godfather II both won best picture in their respective years; furthermore, the former has edged out Citizen Kane as “the greatest movie of all time.” Part III, while universally vilified by critics, occupies a special place in my heart. It was the very first Godfather movie I saw in its entirety and, Sophia Coppola aside, the movie blew me away, especially the last 45 minutes. (Little did I know that Francis Ford Coppola employed the same cutting-back-and-forth technique in the first movie.)

Back To The Future and Back To The Future II are a terrific example of how to create a sequel—make it much, much more than its predecessor. Part II was loopier, more fun, more hectic—it revisits the first movie and then builds on it. That’s why for me Part III is a redundant movie. Only an obsessive-compulsive completist would insist on including Part III in his collection; if I had a choice I’d just get I and II. But that’s a box set; should I fall for this marketing ploy?

Or do I just get both box sets and spare myself the decision-making? (Both would amount to several thousand pesos, not exactly spare change.)

In the end the Corleones won over the McFlys. Maybe I’ll get Marty and company next payday.

I See Village People

I decided to watch M. Night Shyamalan’s latest, The Village last night instead of going straight home. I was surprised to finish work at around 8pm, so I took advantage of this rare treat.

I agree with most of the reviews so far. The director is really skilled at setting up scares—his mastery of the medium means he can conjure up suspense and dread without showing anything explicit.

And he found another Haley Joel Osment; this time it’s Bryce Dallas Howard, daughter of director Ron Howard. She gives a terrific performance as Ivy Walker, the blind girl who can see more than most people (nope, she does not “see dead people,” but she sees people’s “colors”). Her performance grounds the film and keeps it believable even when the twist—or should I say, twists—threaten to reduce the film to mere fluff. Come to think of it, the main twist in the movie is actually quite a stretch, but Bryce’s fearless and focused performance forces you to believe in her and forget for several minutes the implausibility of the surprise twist. Now that’s a sleight-of-hand trick worthy of an M. Night Shyamalan film.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Birthday Girl

It's lola Madonna's birthday today. Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it. Vogue!

(Thanks to Nelz for the reminder.)

Zombie Monday

It’s a Monday and boy, am I sleepy!

Nope, it’s not because of my Friday and Saturday outings, but I’m sure they contributed to this. Last night while coming home from Makati, my brother sent me a text message saying that our street was flooded thanks to torrential rains which poured down around 10pm. Since I was at the Libis area, I decided to have a late dinner first. After I ate the rain was still pouring down hard. So I stayed at a 24-hr internet café to blog (see previous episode) and while away the time. When I finished posting, I looked up at the time and to my surprise, it was already 1:30am! Going home I still had to take a longer but drier route, so by the time my head hit my pillow, it was past 2am already.

Today my energy level is on “standby” mode. I’m cruising on back-up power. Tonight I will go straight to bed, with a lower case “b”.

One Becomes A Ledge End

Because Nelz had a crappy week, I thought it was my friendly duty to figure out a way to distract him. So I invited him to go to Bed with me on a Saturday night. Mind you, I was also there the night before, but a promise is a promise. Besides, poor guy was in such a funk. (Yeah right, justify my back-to-back Bed visits with Nelz’s predicament. Haha.)

But even then I wasn’t sure if Nelz was coming because it was raining meow and bow-wow the whole night. A last minute exchange of text messages assured me he was.

To prepare for a second night of midnight-to-dawn revelry, I dropped by Leigh’s. I had promised her earlier I’d check on her Saturday evening; she had been hospitalized due to amoebiasis, but now she’s back home resting. After I saw she was all right, I asked her if I could take a power nap at her place before proceeding to Malate. So I had an hour or so of rest (actually I’m not sure if I dozed off, but the rest helped me conserve my energy.)

30 minutes before midnight, I picked up Nelz at his place in Cubao. He was wearing a long-sleeved shirt that was shiny shivering splendid—it looked rainproof. When he saw me in a sleeveless shirt he remarked, “My, you’re all dressed up for dancing and sweating. Me I’m wearing this because it’s raining.”

“You’re the one dressed more appropriately then,” I said. He just laughed.

“Let me make one thing clear first,” I told Nelz, smiling. “This night out in Bed will not in any way solve your I’m-pining-for-Norman funk. This will not bring you closer to each another; it will not bridge the distance between Canada and Manila. At best it’ll just be a welcome distraction.”

Nelz was just laughing the whole time. “No, no, no, of course, I know that!” he said.

When we got to Malate we stopped by Komiks Café first. He had tea; I had coffee laced with liquor. That way I can stay awake and have a buzz already.

At 1am we went to Bed. The usual Saturday night crowd, though this time it took a little longer for the place to be filled wall-to-wall with Bed ‘dings because of the rain. I positioned Nelz at the ledge near the DJ’s booth (a strategic place where one can ogle and be ogled at.) Pretty soon we were dancing (or in my case, bobbing my head when the crush of homoanity on the dance floor got too crowded.)

There’s this guy who’s a Bed regular—I’ve seen him there all the time. He flirts a lot but that’s it; mostly he goes to Bed to dance. He and I have flirted before, but we realized we were more interested in dancing than sex (besides, I don’t think he’s interested in me that way.) So every time we see each other we just nod a greeting, an acknowledgement of a brotherhood between us, a brotherhood devoted to the beat. Then we’d dance the night away. Sometimes we’d end up dancing with one another; he’d lean against me and rub his body against mine while swaying to the beat. But it’s harmless, meaningless flirting.

More and more people were pouring into the dance floor. Pretty soon I couldn’t dance properly because of the tight space. I inched closer to the main “ledge,” which is actually several big boxes placed near the stairs. That’s where Bed’s go-go boys danced shirtless, daring the crowd to ogle their muscular bodies, their killer abs. This “ledge” is a privileged spot. Before, I thought only the “official” go-go boys and friends of the owners were allowed to climb up there. Before I thought one had to have a gorgeous body to be allowed to dance up there, because most of them took their shirts off. Or if one had a less-than-perfect upper body, then one must make up for it with great dance moves. But even though I’m not a Mr. Universe nor am I a Denny Terrio, I’ve always wanted to get up on that ledge simply because one can dance there without being pushed by the shoving crowd.

Maybe it was because I was with Nelz. Maybe it was because I saw two gay officemates of mine who were there too; safety in numbers, so to speak. Maybe it was the vodka-laced coffee and two bottles of San Mig Light. But whatever it was, I mustered enough courage that night to jump up on the ledge when there was an opening.

And there I was, on one end of the Bed ledge, dancing like there was no tomorrow. Wheee! My officemates were cheering me on. Nelz was grooving in one corner of the dance floor. Finally I’m dancing on the Bed ledge! I’m dancing on the Bed ledge!

Ang babaw talaga ng kaligayahan ko.

Nope, I didn’t flirt with anybody that night, even with the cute guy dancing in front of me (Nelz also noticed him.) Nope, no one flirted with me either. And nope, I didn’t see Ben-from-Friday-night there.

At a certain point, I remembered what Ms. Pattie Pecache, a former advertising officemate, declared over the microphone in one of our corplan parties. In a giddy tone, she told the crowd: “I am the dancing queen!”

I just danced and danced. You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life….

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Friday the 13th

At 11:15pm Friday night, the different promo heads met and assessed the situation. It was close to midnight and a gazillion plugs were still to be produced. I offered to drop my load from the list and instead work on it Saturday afternoon.

So I headed for Bed immediately. After all, the stars said my Friday the 13th will be a gorgeous date with winking and Uranus involved. I know, I know, when I got to Bed it was already Saturday, Aug. 14, but what the heck, right? Minor quibbles as far as I’m concerned.

So how did last night go? Well, at around 3am I locked lips with a guy named Ben while he shoved his hand inside my pants and fondled me. We went at it for several minutes while everyone else around us danced wildly to the beat. Once in a while a third party would join in the fun, and Ben and I would oblige. But then he’d move on, and we’d go back to exploring each other with our tongues.

At around 4:30am I told him, “I have to be going.” Will I be back in Bed next week, he asked. “Oh, tomorrow night I’ll be here,” I said. Perhaps so will he, he said.

We’ll see.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Waiting For Godot

(I’m writing this to pass away the time while waiting for my editor to start working on a project. I’ve been on stand-by since 11 o’clock this morning. That’s how bad our work load on a Friday can get.)


“The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.” – Henry Miller

Okay, I’m aware. Of what?

Be aware that I’m alive? Isn’t that redundant? Or more exactly, isn’t it a question that repeats unto itself, like a snake eating its own tail, like a Möbius strip going on and on ad infinitum?

Or be aware that I’m aware? Then does that make me doubly alive? Or if I’m not aware that I’m aware, does that mean I’m missing half of my life?

If “to be aware” actually means “to be” or “being,” then to live is to be. But is “to be or not to be” better that “to live or not to live”?

Or is it better to say “Be and let die” instead of “Live and let die”? Or its inverse: “We were never living boring” instead of “we were never being boring”?

Is it better to say “Watch Hoobastank be!” instead of “Watch Hoobastank live!”?

Okay, I’m aware that this is getting nowhere. Gosh, I’m so alive on a Friday night!

What Comes Around

Suweldo weekend today. People will be out and about despite the rain, to have fun, unwind and for the footloose and fancy-free, maybe get lucky. Me? I’m not feeling lucky—I just want to have fun and enjoy the weekend; plus Nelz is coming along this time.

Funny thing is, last week I was asking some of my 20+ year old friends if we can meet up for a late dinner or after-dinner chit-chats during the workweek. I was surprised to learn that most of them would rather go home and, to use their term, hibernate. Huh? I should be the one doing that but instead here I am, out and about every Saturday evening while they’d rather catch up on sleep or just stay home during weekends.

Then I remembered: when I was 28 years old, I was always out on weekends. I had no idea what my room looked like on a Friday and Saturday evening. Now that I’m turning 40, I think I’m going back to my pre-30s days.

Am I trying to recapture something? Or am I trying to keep the specter of the big four-oh at bay? Last weekend I outlasted a younger guy who was dancing on the ledge; he gave up after an hour, while I kept on dancing. Cardio exercise aside, I felt good being able to dance almost non-stop for about three hours. Am I trying to prove to myself that not only do I look younger than I am, I also act younger for my age?

Then again, maybe I should just stop thinking about it and just enjoy myself during my weekends. A little flirting, a lot of dancing, two bottles of San Mig light—doesn’t take much, does it?

And one day I’ll get bored with all this, just like a decade ago. And when that happens, I’ll move on. But for this weekend I’ll move my body to Nina Sky’s “Move Your Body”!

Thursday, August 12, 2004

A Pat Lock Story

It’s my mom’s birthday today.

When I got home last night, I saw the door to my mom’s room was open. I could see her asleep with my sister beside her (five months after my dad died my mom still can’t sleep alone in their marital bed.)

I asked my brother why her door was open. He said the lock was stuck in the “locked” position; it could only be opened from inside, or by using the key. So I tried to jiggle the lock (sometimes the mechanism just needs jiggling) but it was too noisy. I decided I’ll just try again in the morning.

I woke up this morning I checked the lock. It was working fine now. At the breakfast table, I saw my mom reading the newspaper. “Happy birthday, Mommy!” I kissed her on the cheek. “Who fixed the lock?”

She answered with a smile, “Si Daddy.”

“Huh?” I blurted.

She said this morning she instructed my sister to just lock the door while she attended morning mass; she had the key with her anyway. When she got back from mass, she used the key to open the door. Lo and behold, the lock was now working fine.

“Last night I jiggled it. Maybe that helped unstuck the lock,” I said.

She shrugged her shoulders. “Well, I didn’t fix it. Your daddy knows I have no idea how to fix those things.”

I gave in to her. “Or maybe that is Daddy’s birthday gift to you.”

“Or you could be right too,” she conceded. But I could tell she preferred her explanation better.

Happy birthday, Mom. I love you.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Oh Focker!

Did you see the movie Meet The Parents with Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller? Well, I didn’t but I just saw on Apple.com/trailers its sequel, and I had an oh-my-god moment watching it.

After the Universal logo, you hear the plink-plink of a piano intro, then the golden voice of Barbra Streisand comes in: Memories light the corners of my mind…

And you see a series of flashbacks from the disastrous first meeting: the dinner fiasco, the oh-so-tight Speedos, the volleyball-smack-in-the-face incident, the burning of the yard, the lie detector test.

…misty water color memories…

Then you see De Niro and wife Blythe Danner in bed, and he says, “Just gotta do one more thing. Meet his parents.”

…of the way we were.

Screen fades to black, and you read the words: It’s time to Meet The Fockers.

What I saw next made me go, “Oh. My. God!” It was Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand at the dinner table, and she tells Dustin, “Honey, get the photo album.”

De Niro, Hoffman and Streisand, with Stiller! Wow. Hanep sa budget, hahaha!

The Stars Have Spoken

From Susan Miller’s AstrologyZone:

Pisces is known to be a sign that gets along exceptionally well with others, and this month this trait will work in your favor. Your diplomatic style should go over well, even with critics.

Romantically, if you are single (or if you're happily attached), you have a gorgeous date night on the way on Friday, August 13, when Venus in Cancer will wink at surprising Uranus. The outcome is likely to be sensational. This is one night you definitely want to be out and about!

What?! “Venus will wink at Uranus”?! Malate, here I come, hahaha!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Quota Of Quotes

Boy, can Morrissey still deliver the goods! Here are three samples from his latest album:

She told me she loved me / which means / she must be insane

I have forgiven Jesus / for all the desire / He placed in me when there’s nothing I can do / about desire

I’ve heard that you’ll try anything twice / Close your eyes / and think of someone / you physically admire / and let me kiss you / let me kiss you / But then you open your eyes / and you see someone you physically despise / but my heart is open / my heart is open to you

I’m in a quoting mood today because the latest Entertainment Weekly has an article by Stephen King listing the most memorable movie lines (as compiled by EW and from those sent in by the readers).

The movie with the most number of quotes mentioned is the Rob Reiner classic, The Princess Bride. It is considered The Wizard Of Oz of this generation. The lines that made it:

“Hello. My name is Iñigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

“Inconceivable!” “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

“Have fun storming the castle!”

“As you wish.” (obviously)

Surprisingly, the line that most romantic Filipinos latch on to in Jerry Maguire didn’t make the cut: “You had me at ‘hello.’” I’ve made a variation of that line, and I’m just waiting for the day I can use it. It’ll be one hell of a zinger:

“You lost me at ‘hello.’”

My Namesis

Along Examiner Street, Quezon City:

I’m reminded of a taxi cab Leigh and I saw. The taxi name was Felix D’ Cab.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Usher In Morrissey

Today I bought Usher’s Confessions and Morrissey’s You Are The Quarry.

I decided to buy Usher’s latest because, despite my lack of fondness for R-&-B in general, I liked all the singles released so far. It also helps that Daniel/la insists I look like him (though not anymore now that I’m wearing my hair thicker these days.)

I’ve always liked Morrissey’s warped world-view, and with song titles like America Is Not The World, I Have Forgiven Jesus, The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores and All The Lazy Dykes, I hope his latest outing won’t disappoint.

The McVie Weekend News

Friday evening is our most hectic day of the week, because we have to finish all those plugs that have to air over the weekend. My friends already know better than to invite me for dinner or a night out on a Friday. Last week was no different from the rest, but because the editing was taking longer than usual, I decided to step out at 1am and headed for Bed. I had time to down two bottles of San Mig light, dance on the ledge for more than two hours straight—flirting all the while with a sexy guy by dirty dancing with him—and drive back to the office and still they were not finished editing. So I played Zuma until 5am. And then they come up to me and tell me that the machine crashed and they have to start from scratch. So I ended up coming to work Saturday afternoon. Pakshet!

So Saturday evening I was back in Bed, but this time dancing for more than three hours straight, dirty danced with the same guy again, had tongue-to-tongue action with a kid who barely reached 5’2” and was a few months shy of his 20th birthday, while his a-whole-lot-taller-and-older friend grabbed my right hand and placed it on his crotch. Gosh! He was already semi-hard; by the feel of it though, he is more blessed vertically than horizontally. He was also not cute at all.

The sun was up Sunday morning when I got home, but that was the last time I saw the sun that day. When they woke me up for lunch, it was raining hard. Our maid was on her day off, so my mom decided for us to just drive out to Antipolo for lunch, at a restaurant named Nipa Hut. The rains brought in heavy cloud cover along the mountainside of Antipolo; it reminded me of past Baguio trips. It was great; my mom, brother, sister and I pretended we were on vacation.

After lunch we went home and slipped in my latest DVD purchase: Sunset Boulevard. What a classic! They don’t write scripts like that anymore. (For scriptwriting excellence though, I think All About Eve is better.)

In the evening we all trooped to Galleria to watch Imelda (I wanted to watch it again and see the other’s reactions.) They laughed out loud to Imelda’s circle and ones and other doodles, and to her complaint that, in an assassination attempt at her, the assassin used an ugly bolo knife (“Couldn’t he have tied a yellow ribbon on it or something?” she wondered out loud.)

Ah, another weekend past, and another workweek begins. Sigh. Five more days, five more days....

Friday, August 06, 2004

Vroom! Vroom! Vroom!

Orlando’s richer cousin. Cars bring out the butch in me.

Like this Jeep Renegade.

Ooh, I’m really in an SUV mode. While I appreciate speed, I like the idea that I can go off-road anytime. Plus I love the porma of this SUV.

But for pogi points, I like a Beamer.

I know of this cinematographer: he’s such a cutie-pie, very papa-ble. Plus he’s such a nice guy, with a very pleasant disposition. He was able to save enough to buy a BMW. When he bought one, there was a promo at BMW; he ended up winning a brand new BMW Z3. Guwapo na siya, mayaman pa, at may dalawang BMW pa!

Sigh. Life can be unfair at times.

Guessing Game

(SFX: applause from studio audience)

Ola, mga cheeeeeekos y chikaaaaaaas! Ang aking mga palanggas, muy dearest Daniel/la, Jake at Dr. No, at sa mga kung sinetch-sinetch pang mga former classmates of mine na nanonood ng The McVie Show! Ito po ang onyong lingkod, Joella McVee! Ask-to-death po kayo sa akin kung sinetch ang mga crushes ko daw nung estudyante blues pa kami. Crushes ko daw o! Puwes, mag-blind items tayo, okey?

Talasan ang mga memories all alone in the moonlight ninyo, at tingnan natin kung ma-gets niyo ang mga papa-bols ng ating beloved alma-Moreno-Concepcion-mater natin. Umpisahan sa grade school!

(switch to ingglesera mode)

[1] He was a batch ahead of us, a varsity volleyball player. He had the most gorgeous dark brown skin, a well-developed chest (even at grade six), and tree-trunk thighs. Swoon-fest on the volleyball court! He has a younger brother who’s our batchmate. Clue: and the walls come crumbling down.

[2] Okay, this one was a classmate; I only remembered now because he was with our class for only a number of years. He was one of the first guys I know who worked out on a regular basis. He took pride in the number of push-ups he could do. And he had one of the tightest butts of the batch! Clue: think church.

O, let’s do high school! (sings: High school! High school! Bo bigh school, banana-fana-fo figh school….)

Surprisingly, I didn’t really find many Sibolistas “crush-able” because when I get too close to them, they become “off-limits.” Of all of them, I only had a crush on three.

[3] The first one is no surprise to you guys. As they say, bite the bullet.

[4] The next one is also a Sibolista and a batch lower than ours. But here’s the thing—he’s not a hunk at all. In fact, he’s a nerd and gentle in demeanor. You know, with eyeglasses and all. Clue: think flute.

[5] The third one is a bit complicated: his appeal to me is purely physical, almost animalistic. But I was very wary of him to the point of being terrified. Maybe because if he paid much attention to me, he’ll find out I was sexually attracted to him. Clue: think armpits.

(switches back to showbiz reporter mode)

O ayan, mga friendsters! Divah gusto n’yo na mag-ispiyuk akesh? Puwes, ispiyuk-to-death akesh tungkol sa aking crushes-sez! Sige nga, tingnan natin kung sharp ang inyong mga TV! Hula na!

Per DTI-NCR Permit number 69, series of 2004!

McVie’s Must See TVCs

Two current television commercials that are fun to watch:

[1] Maggi Sinigang sa Miso TVC—the one where the kid raps ecstatic about the delicious taste of the soup. This is the kind of TVC which lends well to spoofs and imitations. Hook line: “Suspetsa ko mundo’y magiging mapayapa / at masaya!” Why it lodges in my mind: Aside from the excellent performance of the kid, he’s just sooo f**king adorable! His voice, his facial expression, his attitude—he brings out my inner pedophile.

[2] Fita Sandwich TVC—the one where a sergeant barks a bedtime story to lull his platoon to sleep. Hook line: “…andtheylivehappilyeveraftertheend! Sweet dreams!” Why it lodges in my mind: Excellent combination of great casting and performance from the sergeant. His spitting out a fairy tale in drill-sergeant fashion was hilarious. His licking of the sandwich filling in the end shot plus the barracks setting added homoerotic touches to the TVC. Ooh-la-la!

On Regrets

I have few regrets in life at this point. I used to feel bad that I took my time going to the living room the morning my dad died; we could have taken him to the clinic earlier. But all that is water under the bridge; my dad’s in a better place now.

Looking back at the past eight months, I do not regret anything. I am blessed to have met wonderful people; I am grateful for the gifts I’ve been given; I appreciate the loved ones around me even more.

Ironically, being able to detach has allowed me to appreciate people, things and events even more.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Dead Na Dead Sa Iyo!

Aside from Gentle Ben and Flipper, I also remember watching The Mod Squad and Mission: Impossible. Plus there’s this lesser-known cop-tandem series (in black-and-white): Adam 12. I remember having a crush on one of them, the blonde and blue-eyed one. I think that was the first inkling I had that I was gay. But I didn’t always fall for the blond one: I had a crush on Starsky, not Hutch. In CHiPs, I had eyes only for Hispanic brunette Eric Estrada, not Aryan blond Larry Wilcox (liked the last name of the latter, though.) Only with Miami Vice did I go back to blondes with Don Johnson.

Television opened my eyes to handsome, strong leading men who talked the talk and walked the walk. They were gruff yet heroic, beautiful in their maleness. Television also ingrained in me the notion of unrequited love. These men could never show their affections for their male partners. Only when their partner is in danger of dying do they drop their defenses and show a bit of caring. If a lead male character in a cop show is shot, I get an emotional rush when his partner goes berserk and avenges him. I looked forward to hospital scenes because that’s where a man can express his concern for his male partner without looking weak and un-manly.

Death scenes for me were dramatic highlights. The death of a leading man was often portrayed as a heroic, selfless act. One of my crushes when I was young was Charlton Heston. In most of his movies he always ended up dead. Moses died at the end of The Ten Commandments. In Earthquake, he jumped in the water in a heroic act to save one of them; he drowned after that. In a little-known movie Call Of The Wild, his character froze under ice. In Soylent Green and The Omega Man I think he ended up dead in both movies. Charlton Heston was my Patron Saint of Death Scenes. (I suspect my mom had a crush on him too; she was the one who kept dragging us into watching his oeuvre.)

Growing up having secret crushes with my handsome, hunky male classmates, I often fantasized taking a bullet to save my crush, or pushing him away from an oncoming vehicle and getting hit instead. And when I’m lying on the ground, bloody but still conscious, he’d rush to my side, look at me teary-eyed, and say, “You did that for me? Why did you do that?” And I’d place my bloodied hand on his wet cheek, mixing his tears with my blood, gasp… and die without telling him why.

Man, I had several variations on numerous death scenes. Death by gunshot, vehicular accident, stabbing, fatal disease—name it, I died in it. But in all those death scenes I was never able to tell my crush how I felt.

Hahaha! I was a bizarre pre-teenage drama queen!

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Memories Of Cubao—Bow!

(In a previous episode I reminisced about Cubao the place. Now I remember our life there in the 60s.)

We first lived in a two-storey apartment in Cambridge Street, Cubao, QC. They say we remember sounds better; my earliest memory was liking the song Obla-di, Obla-da by The Beatles. I also remember playing with the walis-tingting on puddles of rainwater.

I vaguely remember waking up in the middle of one night to the sound of thunder and a raging storm. As a kid I was scared of thunder, lightning and strong winds. I was sure of one thing: the brighter the flash, the louder the ka-boom. So to block out both, I crawled under the bed. The next day everyone went into a panic looking for me.

As a kid I swallowed a hairpin; I was pretending I was smoking a cigarette in bed. My mom panicked and gave me lots and lots to drink. Then she forced me to take a dump. Sure enough, the hairpin came out; my mom told me the pin could have punctured my appendix. After that I never played with hairpins again.

We had a neighbor, a woman who lived by her lonesome. She was cranky to everyone. We were afraid of her and hid when she was around. We dubbed her “Karakatoa” after the volcano which erupted in East Java.

I always asked Santa for Matchbox cars and Tonka trucks; I’d always get toy airplanes with blinking engines and folding wings, or robots with blinking eyes. My older brother and I would always get similar gifts; everything had to be equal between us. But I often thought my brother’s toy was cooler than mine.

There were days when my dad would be away on a business trip in the provinces. Once we accompanied him to Iloilo. To while away the time while my dad worked, my mom took us to watch Dracula starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing in a downtown movie house. I don’t know why two under-aged children were allowed to watch a horror movie, but that was in the province. I don’t really remember watching it, but I remember being scared of vampires.

Another time my dad came home with live crabs from Davao. One time several of them got loose and crawled all over the living room; my younger sister was so scared she refused to leave her chair until all the crabs were caught. One of them crawled under the bed; maybe it was afraid of lightning and thunder too.

I grew up afraid of vampires, my sister of crabs. Ironically, today she loves eating crab much more than anyone of us in the family; meanwhile, I’m now the one who loves to suck.

I remember watching the TV show Gentle Ben, a story about a kid and his friend, a grizzly bear. We were also fans of Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Tang Tarang-Tang, starring Pugo and Patsy. I remember an old commercial for Frigidaire (a refrigerator brand) featured Pugo saying his trademark line from that sitcom: “Datsa latsa nansens!” (That’s a lot of nonsense!)

Sundays after mass we’d go to Farmer’s Market. Farmer’s mall-like shopping center was color-coded—the floors were blue, red, yellow and green. There were maps all over the place; we’d check each and every one of them to see if the “You are here” sign was correct. There we’d eat lunch at Elly’s Panciteria—it used to be along Aurora Blvd but moved to the third floor of Farmer’s. I always ordered my favorite: lumpiang hubad and pancit bihon. I’d put lots of patis (fish sauce) and kalamansi on the pancit. Afterwards we’d troop to buy soft ice cream at a stall under one of the stairs.

In 1970 the family moved to SSS Village, Marikina, but we’d still go to Cubao for Sunday mass and lunch at Elly’s. This went on until they put up a church in SSS Village a few years later. But the Marikina memories are for another episode.

Be Careful What I Wish For

Someone Up There must have switched on to The McVie Show and saw my “boring life” episode. So He decided to spice things up.

A Singaporean guy whom I met in an interesting manner (it involved horizontal movements) is coming to town this month and wants to see me for a weekend. He asked me if I could stay the night at his hotel room; who am I to turn down such a request?

He’s a nice guy, a sweet guy really. But it’s been a year since we first hooked up. We’ve kept in touch with an occasional email or so, but that’s about it.

It may turn out to be an interesting weekend.


Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind has obviously opened in the theaters. Nelz asks in his blog: “If there's a memory you want to erase from your mind, what will it be?”

I’ve been searching my memory banks but I’ve come up blank. Either I don’t regret anything or my mind has an auto-erase function.

Bore Doom Sets In

Man, I lead a boring life.

Don’t get me wrong, things are stable—my work is, well, hectic as always, but manageable; at home things are okay. Work takes up the bulk of my time so I only “get a life” during weekends.

Weekdays when I wake up, my mom is still at mass, my brother and sister have already left (they’re in the academic sector, so they have to come in early like their students.) At the gym it’s mostly me vs. the machines. At work I’m friendly with the people there; they are fun to be with in between work. But none of them are really my friends, so I don’t really hang out with them on gimmicks. The moment I step out of the office, it’s just me and Lord. And when I get home everyone is asleep.

I should hang out with my friends more after work if I have the time. Or better yet I should start hanging out with my officemates. I need new friends! I don’t want to be working for the weekends.

Worse, nothing's happening in The McVie Show! Aaargh! Pakshet!

Monday, August 02, 2004

I Had A Farm In...

It’s not difficult to fall in love with Marlon’s farm. Situated at the slopes of Mount Arayat, Marlon created a relaxing getaway from the maddening city. The following were taken by Leigh when we went there on a weekend more than a year ago.

The proud farmer himself

The living room (with fireplace)

Talk show chika

Two vases by the window

Relax to death ako

Marlon, when can Leigh and I spend another weekend there?

iPod, Therefore iCovet

On the cover of Newsweek is Steve Jobs and his latest Apple masterpiece; the headline reads “iPod, therefore iAm.” I’ve long admired this visionary of a man. I think he’s a master at determining not just what the consumers want, but what’s best for the consumer.

So imagine my surprise when I found out that Steve Jobs is (insert drumroll here) a Piscean! He’s a fellow fish!

Sigh. Now iWant an iPod. Waaah! Ah, iWan!

The Iron Butterfly Flies Again

Saw Imelda, the “controversial” documentary by Ramona Diaz. The former first lady is a fascinating study. I fully agree with her children’s assessment of her towards the end of the film.

Imelda is a naïve, earnest and ambitious woman from the province who, thanks to the shrewdness of her brilliant husband, was transformed into a creature of politics of the most insidious kind: she is an instinctive creature, devoid of the pressures and hesitations of self-awareness. Her husband early on knew he had an instrument of mass destruction in his hands, molded her, and unleashed her to an unsuspecting Kadafi, various US presidents and government officials, and onto the Filipino people. Marcos knew that these male leaders would underestimate her being a woman and all, and she’d charm them to bend to her will.

That’s why her children stated in an interview that they find her the smartest woman in politics right now. This may sound ironic after hearing Imelda’s theories on the true, the good and the beautiful, but her children are spot-on. Honed by years and years in the political limelight, Imelda is a force who shouldn’t be underestimated. Because her motives are in her assessment good and noble, it makes her all the more dangerous.

Pic Ko!

Taken by Leigh, Nov. 2003. I was trying-out for Catwoman, but they gave it to Halle Berry instead. What an Oscar can do!

Another one by Leigh, Nov. 2003. My ode to classic maid’s pose, with matching flower to boot.

Le Free C’est Chic!

It’s amazing, this thing called freedom.

Thanks to Ipe, I have more freedom to play around with my hair. After 38 years of seeing my hair done the same way over and over again, I’m now beginning to embrace my curls and discovering the joys of hair products.

After a hectic work-week, the weekend looms like a welcome respite. So I guard my weekends jealously because that’s my free time: I’m free to do what I want any old time.

Friday work didn’t end until Saturday morning at around 3, so I swore I was going to enjoy my weekend. Woke up in time for lunch; afterwards we watched Whale Rider on DVD (Daniel/la let it to me weeks ago but I completely forgot I had it. Now I can return it.) Then I went to the gym. Dinnertime I picked up Leigh and off we went to Café Britton in The Podium where we had our favorite crepe, the Vesuve (extra spicy!) After dropping her off, I proceeded to the RCBC Theater to watch A Midsummer Night’s Dream again—I promised the alternate cast I’d catch their performance. I was all alone on the second row from the stage; I made sure I wore a shirt with loud prints so that they can immediately spot me. Afterwards backstage they were telling me how the cast found it a bit unnerving seeing me in the audience. Hahaha!

By the time the play ended it was past midnight; time for me to go to Bed. In the past few weeks I’ve been Bed-ding I re-discovered my love for electronic and dance music. In Bed I also re-discovered the joys of dancing. Surrendering to the rhythm and the beat, you let go and set your spirit free. It’s exhilarating and burns calories to boot. And with men grinding around you (and sometimes grinding your behind!) it’s more fun than any aerobics class.

But my Bed-time this weekend was extra eventful: a female officemate of mine who decided to join us that night bumped into her ex-boyfriend (also an officemate of ours but in another division.) They have not spoken to each other ever since he broke up with her a few months ago. In the middle of the dance floor he looked at her in shock and said, “Yes, I’m gay.” Then he hugged her and cried. Afterwards outside Bed he was seen crying and berating our other officemate (who’s gay) for bringing his ex there. He was heard shouting, “Do I have to choose between her and being gay?!” and “But I loved her!” What an excuse to become a drama queen for the night.

Sunday lunch time found me at home. My family is what keeps me grounded and sane; I especially like it when we’re complete at the table. They’re my spiritual charger.

But enough spiritual charging; there’s still sexual charging to be done. So in the afternoon I charged to the bath house. That’s a place where one is free to just have safe sex (a must!) without emotional complications. This afternoon I met a guy who’s a rarity in a place like that; he preferred to cuddle and kiss instead of doing the nasty. Awww, how sweet. And as any advertising guy will tell you, he who stands out sticks into your head. So I stuck it in him after he gave me head. Ooh! Afterwards he asked for my number; he wanted to see me again. Normally I don’t give it, or I give a false one. But because he was extra sweet and extra hunky and stood out, I fell into the advertising trap. Then I hurriedly left so that I can catch the 9pm screening of Imelda in Greenbelt.

While having dinner at Chili’s Greenbelt, I received a text message from Mr. Cuddle Hunk: Asan u? Immediately, warning lights flashed before my eyes. I replied: On my way to watch Imelda. And you? His reply: Andto me sa labas. San ka watch. Sama ako. “Andto me?!” Code red! Code red! I replied: I’m not sure where in Makati it’s showing. I’ll just text you when I find out. He texted back: Next time nalang pauwi na me kc. Take care. Kaya answer na me in full Tupperware glory: Awww. That’s okay. Found out last full show at 9pm so late na rin. Sige next time. Smiley face.

Oh yes, before I forget—I also just received my variable pay. It’s basically a bonus, but with so many variables that factor into determining the amount (depends on individual and divisional performance ratings, budget savings, etc.) the company refuses to call it a “bonus.” The var-pay gave me the financial freedom to do something I’ve not done in months: impulse buy! (A mantra I recently embraced: “When in doubt, shop.”)

So before watching the excellent documentary (recommended viewing for all Filipinos; watch out for her surreal explanation involving the true, good and beautiful, binary ones-and-zeroes, and Apple computers), I swung by MusicOne where, without thinking twice, I snapped up the DVD of the classic Sunset Boulevard and two electronica/dance albums, Underworld’s 1992-2002 and The Crystal Method’s Legion of Boom.

And ending the weekend on a very happy note, I just received my cellphone billing. My jaw dropped when I saw the amount: Php950.85! Wow. For the first time in more than a year my bill was less than a thousand pesos.

Let freedom ring!