Thursday, September 30, 2004

Ragnarok Na!

I’m not a fan of any current Japanese anime series (the last time I flipped over them was during the Voltes V / Mazinger Z / Daimos / Balatak / Mekanda Robot days). But I must say that I found the visuals of the Ragnarok animation series kick-ass! I was able to watch some of the episodes because our station will be airing the series soon. Of course, it’ll be in Filipino.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Love Is In The Air

Hey Red, since you’re in looove these days, why don’t we add a couple of songs more? I know you really loved No Diggity by Blackstreet and Chumbawumba’s Tubthumping, but they’re not really love songs, eh? So how about:

[1] Remember Des’ree’s Kissing You from Baz Luhrman’s movie, William Shakespeare’s Romeo+Juliet?

Pride can stand a thousand trials
The strong will never fall
But watching stars without you my soul cried
Heaving heart is full of pain
Oh, oh, the aching
Cause, I’m kissing you oh
I’m kissing you oh

Touch me deep, pure and true gift to me forever
Cause, I’m kissing you
Oh, I’m kissing you, oh

Where are you now?
Where are you now?
Cause, I’m kissing you
I’m kissing you, oh

(Gosh, yun pala ang lyrics?! When you listen to her, she’s not singing but just eating her words “andalotofzshuzshu… mumble-mumble I’m kissing you, mumble-mumble I’m kissing you”)

[2] How about Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time (which during your time was remade by INOJ)?

Lying in my bed I hear the clock tick,
and think of you
caught up in circles—
confusion is nothing new.
Flashback, warm nights,
almost left behind—
suitcases of memories,
time after

sometimes you picture me,
I'm walking too far ahead.
You’re calling to me, I can’t hear
what you’ve said.
Then you say, “go slow”
I fall behind—
the second hand unwinds.

If you’re lost you can look and you will find me
time after time
if you fall I will catch you, I will be waiting
time after time

After my picture fades and darkness has
turned to gray;
watching through windows, you’re wondering
if I’m OK.
Secrets stolen from deep inside—
the drum beats out of time

If you’re lost you can look and you will find me
time after time
if you fall I will catch you, I will be waiting
time after time
time after time
time after time
time after time


Condolences to Daniel/la. His grandfather passed away last night. He was 90 years old.

The wake is at the Holy Memorial Trinity Chapels in Sucat. I’ll be visiting this Thursday evening after work. I really should bring my officemate, Miss I-See-Dead-People along but I doubt if she’ll be free that evening. Besides, she doesn’t know Daniel or his grandfather at all. It would be interesting to know what she’ll see at the wake though.

Cool Times Ahead

For the past couple of weeks I noticed that the morning air has become chilly, heralding the approach of the most anticipated and dreaded of seasons, Christmas.

Before I thought it fashionable to be all humbug during that time of the year, and boy, did I feel entitled to be Scrooge-y! No lovelife, I was overweight, no lovelife, I felt ugly, no lovelife! Until I realized that it was all about attitude. To quote Charles Swindoll: “We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it” (although with a last name like that, I’m having doubts all of a sudden!)

So now I’m in complete denial and fooling myself just to feel better, mwhahahahaha!

Seriously now. I choose to feel good about Christmas. I choose to be thankful for my family, for the friends I have, for my health, for the job I have. I’m not turning a blind eye to the negative things in my life—like stupid clients—and instead accept them as part of the give-and-take of life.

They give me headaches, I take away their life.

So despite the dire predictions of a bleak Christmas due to our worsening economy, the chill still gives me a thrill.


Today my spirits are up. I don’t really know why, especially since Monday and yesterday were particularly depressing days (mostly due to work). Maybe I just need time to snap out of the doldrums. Maybe reading about other people’s good news, birthdays, kilig moments, etc. made me feel better. Or maybe it’s because when I checked The McVie Show, there were 7 new comments on my latest episodes. The more viewers participate, the more I feel good.

Gosh, I’m really so babaw, hahaha!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Another Suitcase In Another Hall

from the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical, Evita

I don’t expect my love affairs to last for long
Never fool myself that my dreams will come true
Being used to trouble I anticipate it
But all the same I hate it—wouldn’t you?

So what happens now? (Another suitcase in another hall)
So what happens now? (Take your picture off another wall)
Where am I going to? (You’ll get by, you always have before)
Where am I going to?

Time and time again I’ve said that I don’t care
That I’m immune to gloom, that I’m hard through and through
But every time it matters all my words desert me
So anyone can hurt me—and they do

So what happens now? (Another suitcase in another hall)
So what happens now? (Take your picture off another wall)
Where am I going to? (You’ll get by, you always have before)
Where am I going to?

Call in three months time and I’ll be fine I know
Well maybe not that fine, but I’ll survive anyhow
I won’t recall the names and places of each sad occasion
But that’s no consolation here and now

So what happens now? (Another suitcase in another hall)
So what happens now? (Take your picture off another wall)
Where am I going to? (You’ll get by, you always have before)
Where am I going to?
Don’t ask anymore

(This post has nothing to do with affairs of my heart. In fact, that’s the least of my worries right now.)

All You Need Is Positivity

There are many things to be happy about. Why, just even with the people around me, there are many things to be happy about:

Leigh’s belly is so far very normal, very healthy, and very kick ass.
Nelz is getting closer and closer to his Canadian dream.
Kervs was able to go to Roxas City to be with Marz.
Phillip is parent-free for a month.
Zeki has a new job.
And so forth and so on.

Yeah, happy things are happening.


Happy! Sha-la-la-la!
It’s so nice to be happy! Sha-la-la-la!
Everybody should be happy! Sha-la-la-la!

Monday, September 27, 2004

Road Trip

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

Because I finished my Friday workload at 5am the following day, I was asleep the whole of Saturday morning. My mom had to wake me up for lunch. So by the time I called Leigh, I was thinking of a more manageable trip to Tagaytay unlike, say, a longer trip to Paete or Subic.

We left her place at around 3pm. On the road I found out how difficult it is to drive and smile for the camera at the same time.

Catch a kitsch!

Leigh was aghast at the Casino Filipino structure. The monstrosity is already garish by day; by night it looks tackier.

Pit stop is the pits

Preggy had to pee-pee, but the bathroom is so yucky!

At Taal Vista Lodge, we enjoyed the view and the photo op. Leigh looks more like her mom with her new haircut.

And here's me: McVolcano.

“I’m flying!” (cue song: Near, far, wherever you are….)

Either that or I’m modeling for U.P. Tagaytay. Note the phallic dome behind me.

Dinner at Antonio’s Breakfast (Lunch and Dinner too!)

We wanted to stay outside and savor the fresh, cool breeze. But then it started to drizzle, so we ended up inside. Cozier, no hamog.

We saw this school on the way up, but we decided to take a picture of it only on the way down.

Harvard School of Laguna is actually a pre-school and elementary.

We got to Leigh’s just in time to catch Coupling and The Office.

Leigh wanted to take pictures of me that will show off my prowess in giving blow jobs. Hmmm. Maybe a Summit bottle isn’t exactly representative of Pinoy men’s, er, manhood, but heck that’ll do.

I was playing around with the flash, but instead of getting a cool effect what came out was how dirty my mirror was!

(Want to see more Tagaytay pics? Check them out at my phlog, The McView Point.)

Revise Squad

Leigh pointed out to me that in the episode entitled Car Envy, I misspelled “Porsche.” I forgot the letter “s” and spelled it “Porche” instead. Funny thing was everyone else who commented in that episode also spelled it sans “s” but I’m not sure if they also made a mistake or they deliberately misspelled it so as not to embarrass me. Anyway, the beauty of both Blogger and HaloScan is that you can edit and correct your entries. So I did me and everyone a favor and restored the “s” in “Porsche.”

Thanks to people like Leigh and Daniel/a, The McVie Show is one misspelled word less than before. For the others who may have spotted a mistake or two (or two hundred), you may point them out to me, but please, in a nice way, okay?

Friday, September 24, 2004

Kwir Ay Por Da Istreyt Gay

Two days ago, one of the guys in the TA egroups was feeling kulit during an insomniac fit. Early morning he started SMS-ing me and another friend for title studies for a Filipino-dubbed version of Queer Eye For The Straight Guy. (Of course there really are no plans of dubbing the show in Filipino. This is one of our classic “What if…?” running gags.) After we came up with several studies, he emailed them in our egroups, prompting others to contribute.

Here are the “title studies” so far. At dahil feeling David Letterman akesh, I’m counting them down!

Let us start with the runner-ups:

[20] Papa-Ayos Ka Na Ba?
[19] Meyk-Ober Da Bakod
[18] Kasya And Kerri
[17] Bading And Sol
[16] Tarugong Tarush
[15] Dating Chaka, Ngayon Ay Jowa
[14] Fashion Ayon Sa Federasyon
[13] Usapang Lalake... Charing!
[12] Kikay Si Mister, Kaya Ni Sis
[11] Bongga Ka, ‘Tol / Bongga Ka, Brad

And now we go to the Top 10 title studies:

[10] Tamang Sangkap Para Sa Lalaking Masarap
[9] Sa Likod Ng Lalaking Guwapo Ay Lalaking Mahilig Sa Tarugo
[8] Limang May Lawit, Kapalit Ay Damit
[7] Lalaking Naka-vest? Tipsy Kesh!
[6] Ang Macho Sa Mata Ng Manchuchupa
[5] Mama, Mama, Sa Mata Ng Bakla
[4] Pananaw Na Bakla Para Sa Lalaking Napariwara
[3] Kikayin Si Kuya, Kaya Kaya?
[2] Macho Pa Nga S’ya!

And the top title study (so far) is...

[1] Ok Na ‘Ko, Fairy Ko

Feel free to add to this madness.

Thursday, September 23, 2004


Got the following Q-&-A from Nelz’s blog. When I read the questions, I thought, “Hmmm, interesting!” So I decided to answer it too.

first real date that is not an eyeball meeting: I don’t remember his name, I don’t remember the exact circumstances behind it. I think it was a semi-date, meaning I think I considered it a date but the other guy didn’t.

first romantic kiss: Don’t remember his name. Again, I think it was just me who considered it romantic.

first boyfriend: None.

first item of clothing i insisted my mum bought me: The stuff my mom bought for me I wasn’t embarrassed to wear. Only a decade later did I look back and went, “Oh my, I wore those?”

first time i ever got drunk: Third year college. We stayed overnight in the college theater (G-306) drinking and smoking marijuana. The two janitors assigned to the building were with us, so when the roving guard came along, we just gave him a bottle or two and he let us stay there. I remember getting all woozy and barfing into a toilet bowl. Another barfed into the sink and clogged it. That’s how the others found out the next day that we got drunk.

first record bought: Oh my. I’m not really sure anymore, but I think it was Thompson Twins’ Into The Gap. It’s the one with Doctor, Doctor and Hold Me Now.

first cd bought: Three in one blow (it was my first paycheck ever!): December by George Winston, The Broadway Album by Barbra Streisand, and Fleetwood Mac’s Greatest Hits.

first idol: The Beatles, specifically Paul McCartney. Actually I had a crush on him, but I was also in awe of his prolific songwriting. His lyrics aren’t exactly Pulitzer-prize worthy, but he can create melodies that hook themselves in your ear upon first listening. Then it was the BeeGees, then Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra. And then… Madonna.

first proper haircut: Define proper. I think I had some great barbers go through my hair. But the first time I had my hair styled was with Ipe this year.

first job: I was a staff assistant at the Coordinating Center for Dramatic Arts in CCP.

first thing i bought when i made my own money: The three CDs listed above. Even then I had my priorities straight, hehehe!

first thing i do when i wake up in the morning: Shut off the alarm clock. Look at my tummy in the mirror. Then take a pee.

Bad Trip

It’s rare for me to get frustrated. As a Piscean I’m quite easy-going. Like the waters I dwell in, a disturbance may create waves, but the ripples smoothen out and the waters turn calm again.

So when I made an uncharacteristic outburst yesterday in our conference room in front of everyone in our creative division, many were quite surprised. A colleague commented, “Wow, tao ka rin pala.”

I vented out my frustration towards my clients. For the longest time they treated the promo group as the ones who will “fix” or “cure” their products when they should be doing their jobs properly in the first place. If the product does not deliver, no amount of advertising and promotions will change that fact. The best way to kill a bad product is to advertise it well. Not only that. They rarely give us proper time to promote! They don’t see us as promo specialists; they see us as miracle workers. Well, I’m sorry but I’m no Joan of Arc. I refuse to be burned at the stake for their sins. They should get themselves another Messiah.

Two things keep me from impulsively jumping ship. First, the division I belong to is a great one. The people are fun to work with, and they’re a very energetic lot. Second, I’ve done this before when I was still in advertising. I got so fed up with work plus I was itching to do other things I wanted to do in my life (like theater and directing). So I spent close to a year and a half of not earning a single peso (okay, okay, so I got paid honoraria in some of the plays I did, but they were a pittance.) When my savings disappeared, I started borrowing from my sister. When it reached an embarrassing point, I swallowed my pride and went back to advertising. Surprisingly, I fell in love with the work all over again. Well, maybe that was my way of convincing me to stay in advertising. Or maybe I found a way to like my job. Either way involved a change in mindset.

Right now I’m still figuring out a way to settle things in my mind, find my equilibrium. To do that, I need time and space to clear my mind.

Bad trip, eh? Puwes, I think I’ll go on a road trip.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Car Envy

Last Saturday this beautiful Porsche was parked beside Orlando. We’re not worthy, we’re not worthy! If the theory is correct, that Porsche’s owner must be one ugly motherf**cker. Thank god Orlando’s not that guwapo, hahaha!

Who Is Marshall Lo?

Today is the anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law.

My memories of that day are vague. For some time I wondered who Marshall was and why his law was so powerful. My older brother was angry because all TV stations were off-air for several days. All you could see on TV was snow.

However I remember the repercussions of Martial Law in the years that followed. I don’t remember a lot of fear from my parents, just caution, as if Big Brother was watching. Well, the police and military at that time were watching and listening.

My parents always whispered “martial law” as the reason why we cannot make a lot of noise, why we had to be home by six, why you cannot say anything bad about the Marcoses, why we had to obey. When Malacañang ordered people to place flags on their gates, we did. When they said, “Let’s go Green Revolution!” we planted petchay in our backyard. When they established a curfew, we were home by six p.m. When our cousins from the U.S. stayed with us for vacation, they brought along their Boston terrier named Imelda. Our parents made us promise not to address the dog by name in public.

Too bad Imelda the Boston terrier is long dead. I’d love to have her visit the Philippines again, and this time I’ll be calling her by name in public. “Imelda, sit!”

Meanwhile this country’s economy is going to the dogs. Hay naku.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Leigh’s World

Had dinner with Leigh Saturday evening. She had a craving for whipped cream and fruits for dessert; I wanted steak. She ended up eating steak as well. Afterwards we were so full we skipped dessert.

Leigh at her sanctuary. Here she is with her Apple, her turtles, and her stone frog.

And Belly makes three.

Soon Leigh and sister Bit will be joined by Belly. Good thing Leigh’s sister is also her doctor. Or maybe not; she gets to hound Leigh every morning and evening.

I hope Leigh doesn’t ask me to document the birth process.

Scenes From A Birthday

Happy birthday to my older brother who turns 40 today.

We celebrated it yesterday at Burgoo in The Podium. Today his life begins.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Jim Strain-man

Driving home on a Sunday evening while flipping stations on the car radio, I stumbled upon a station whose DJ did a perversely brave thing: play three Jim Steinman songs one after the other, with no commercial interruptions.

Who is Jim Steinman? Simply the songwriting culprit behind such laryngitis-friendly screech-fests like Air Supply’s Making Love Out Of Nothing At All, Celine Dion’s It’s All Coming Back To Me Now, Meatloaf’s I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) (the title is 29 letters longer than the artist’s name) and arguably the most popular of them all, Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse Of The Heart. (Surprisingly, a Steinman song that Barry Manilow covered, Read ‘Em And Weep, only became a minor hit in the late 80s. Which is a shame because I think his songs are tailor-made for Barry Manilow’s trademark style: go one octave higher towards the end. That song was originally sung by Meatloaf.)

To be fair, Daniel/la had beaten the DJ several months earlier when he burned a CD of several Steinman songs for a mutual friend of ours. But his was just a CD; this DJ had the chutzpa to broadcast this audio assault. First he opened with Bonnie. Then he segued to Air Supply. I couldn’t believe it; did he know these were Steinman songs? When the opening piano of Celine’s started playing, I figured the DJ knew what he was doing. I was transfixed; I couldn’t change stations. At least I had the smarts NOT to sing along lest I strain my vocal chords.

Listening to the songs back-to-back-to-back, I realized that Jim had his formula down pat for making a hit record. Start slow and quiet, preferable with a piano solo. Then build up to a climax. Make it operatic, make it bombastic, make it BIG! Go one octave higher towards the end. And write lyrics in a repeating parallel structure so as to make the song easy to memorize and sing-along to:
[1] Turn around, every now and then...
Turn around, every now and then... (Total Eclipse Of The Heart)
[2] I know just how to...
and I know just how to... (Making Love Out Of Nothing At All)
[3] Some days it don’t come...
Some days it don’t come... (I Would Do Anything For Love)
[4] If I could only find...
If I could only find... (Read ‘Em And Weep)

No wonder Jim didn’t sing his own songs but had others perform them instead. If he mounted a solo concert, I’m sure he won’t make it past the third song. I can imagine the billboards: Presenting Jim Steinman in Concert, brought to you by Strepsils.

Now if only he can answer my burning musical question: how does one make love out of nothing at all? (Maybe he is talking about masturbation. What do you think?)

Going Straight To Bed

Met a guy in Bed who, after rubbing elbows and putting his arm around me, invited me to the dance floor. There he held me tight, crotch rubbing against crotch. Then he grabbed my hand and shoved it to his crotch so I could feel his hardness. So I grabbed his hand and he returned my gesture. Then he kissed me deep, tongue sliding on tongue.

Later on we stepped outside so we could talk. He’s fairly well built; he obviously works out, but perhaps not regularly. He has a face which, while not universally handsome (meaning 8 out of 10 will declare him handsome—Brad Pitt being a prime example), is good-looking enough to interest a fair number of guys; and he is well aware of that.

He said he was straight but was cool doing the things we just did back in Bed. His reason: wala namang mawawala sa kanya, kaya okey lang.

Oh really now.

So I said, okay. (Sabay shrug my shoulders.)

We exchanged numbers; he wanted us to go out for coffee sometime this week. I invited him to watch a movie, but he insisted he didn’t want to enter a dark movie house. Just coffee, he said.

Somewhere inside my brain my “user-friendly” alert is going off.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Tragic Trojans

Sorry, but this episode is not about torn condoms.

Just came from watching “Trojan Women” at the CCP. The story is about those hapless women after their country was defeated—you know, Helen of Troy and all that. Unfortunately the play is minus the Brad Pitts and Eric Banas of this world. Instead it is almost two hours of non-stop (as in no intermission whatsoever) wailing and moaning in full Greek tragedy mode. Hinagpis extreme. Daing to the max.

If you’re depressed or suicidal, do not watch “Trojan Women.” It’s a play to slash your wrists by.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Shaken and Stirred Memories

I’m a light sleeper, so I easily woke up this morning when my bed started shaking. Earthquake, I thought. I’ve experienced enough of those so that my first thought was, “Let’s see if it’ll subside soon.” But the ground shook even more. So I did what they drilled to us back in grade school with all those fire and earthquake drills—I calmly stood up and went under the table beside my bed. Underneath, I felt another strong surge; I could hear my bedroom door go thump, thump. Finally the shaking subsided and I heard voices outside my room. Everyone was awake by that time. I checked the time: 3:15am.

I was reminded of the 1990 earthquake, the one which leveled Baguio. At that time I was already working at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Our office was on the third floor. It used to be the kitchen area of a restaurant during the Imelda years, so our office had tiles on the floor and walls. When the quake hit, it was late afternoon. I was inputting a document on (retro alert!) Wordstar 5 so I could print it out on a (more retro alert!) dot-matrix printer when the ground started shaking.

Our secretary and I stood up from our desks. She said, “Uy, lumilindol!” Funny how it’s so necessary to state what’s so obvious.

“Ang lakas, ha.” I said. The ground continued to shake. “At ang tagal pa!” I remembered my grade school drills and all those Drama In Real Life articles I read in Reader’s Digest. “Go under your table, quick!” I shouted at her. The ground continued shaking; it seemed it would never stop. “Grabe, tumatagal na talaga ito ha!” I remarked.

But soon the intensity subsided, though the shaking continued. She and I stepped out from under our desks and went to the huge windows where we could see Philsite nearby. “Ang daming tao, o!” she exclaimed, as we watched the employees at Philsite stream out of the doors.

Then a thought struck me. “I don’t think it’s safe to be near windows during an earthquake,” I said, nonchalantly. “They might shatter and hit us.” “Oh?” she asked, distracted. We continued to stay and watch the people outside.

Another thought hit me. “Hindi ba CCP nasa reclamation area? Eh kung lumubog na lang tayo?” I said out loud. “Naku wag naman,” our secretary replied.

Then our boss came in. Our boss was this quiet, unassuming, totally gay theater director and visual artist. His right eyebrow seemed to be perennially raised; regardless of whether he’s walking, striding or running, he always moved with a subtle hip sway. He sashayed into our office and calmly announced: “O. Lumindol. Fly na tayo dito.”

The secretary and I rushed out the door. “O. Dahan-dahan. Don’t panic,” he called to us with nary a trace of concern in his voice. It was a matter-of-fact statement, like, “Hair color: brown.”

We half-walked and half-ran down the stairs. Imagine walking down the grand staircase of the CCP Main Theater while the capiz-shell chandeliers swayed dangerously overhead; it was so dramatic and surreal. People were alternately screaming, “Mahuhulog ang chandelier!” and “Don’t panic!”

By the time we converged at the open space outside the Little Theater entrance the quake had stopped, but fear kept us all shaking still. The power and phone lines were down. But we were alive. And so we started swapping earthquake stories. A week after we were still swapping stories: “Where were you…?” “Did you know that…?” “Ay naku, I was….”

Baguio and Dagupan suffered greatly in that earthquake, increasing the number of ghost stories in those areas for years to come.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Sabi Ni Whitney

It’s not right, but it’s okay
I’m gonna make it anyway
Pack your bags up and leave
And don’t you dare come running back to me
It’s not right, but it’s okay
I’m gonna make it anyway
Close the door behind you, leave your key
I’d rather be alone than unhappy, yeah!

O, laban ka?

Houston, We Have A Soundtrack

Brought Whitney Houston’s Greatest Hits double CD to the office. Putah, ang saya-saya palang patugtugin yung disc two, the one with dance remixes! Napapaindak ako sa aking upuan! Great thing I can dance seated and my two officemates in the cubicles beside mine don’t mind it. In fact, they find it really funny.

As I’m typing this Lola Whitney is belting out “There’s no more tears left here for you to see!” and “You were making a foooool of meeeee-hiii-heeeee, oooooooohhhh-wwwwwwwooooooo-wwwwwoooooo-wwwwooohhhhh!” in the Thunderpuss Mix of It’s Not Right But It’s Okay. As in belt out ka diyan, Lola Whitney! Whoooo-hooo! Sundan mo pa ng My Love Is Your Love, Heartbreak Hotel at I’m Every Woman tapos paandaran mo ng Hex Hector Mix ng I Will Always Love You… ay grabeh na itooo!

I’m not a big fan of black belters. Make that African-American belters. Or for that matter even half-Latino belters (that’s you, Mariah!) and Pinoy belters (I’m sorry Regine, Sarah and the rest). When they start sustaining their screeches and scaling up and down the octaves, they and their ilk irk me. But for some strange reason, I can now tolerate some of Whitney’s vocal calisthenics, especially in songs that show her strong, palaban side. Maybe her difficult and rough relationship with Bobby Brown gave those songs some additional heft. Whatever.

Ay basta, ang bakla ng soundtrack ko today. Yun lang.

Monday, September 13, 2004


Dinner with old friends. Well maybe not that old, except for the good doctor, though. It’s different when the people bring into the conversation their years of experiences, learnings, hurts, triumphs and tragedies. People who live full lives are a joy to talk to, and if you’ve known them for a long time the conversation can veer from profound to juvenile and back to profound in a single quip. Talking with old friends is like slipping into an old, very comfortable pair of socks.

Play Ground

Watched the gala performance of Re-isyu, two one-act plays in TA. It was performed at the Fine Arts Studio, a fancy name for what used to be G-306.

At the corridor outside G-306

G-306 used to be a classroom but was transformed in the 70s into a mini-theater. Sure, the seats were classroom desks (the ones with a table), but at least they built a decent (during its time) control booth at the back, put up a cyclorama, built battens on the ceiling to hang the lights on, and hung up thick dark curtains on the windows and doors to keep the light out. Being a former classroom, the stage could only accommodate medium-sized productions—if there were castles and vast plains, they were left to the audiences’ imagination. “Brechtian” became a by-word.

For three years I made G-306 (and its bathroom-turned-dressing room) my second home. We’d hang out there in between classes. We ate, studied, smoked, argued, shot the breeze, philosophized, argued some more, gossiped, wrestled, painted the walls, grappled with angst, bitched, debated, had crushes, had our hearts crushed by our crushes. Best of all we learned about trust, commitment, excellence, thinking on one’s feet, dodging chairs thrown by an irate director, Shakespeare, Brecht, Ionesco and two monks that both squint.

They’ve refurbished G-306: gone are the control booth, the old aircon units, the cyclorama, the school desks, the tin can lights. They have better equipment, decent lights, monobloc chairs that now allow the venue to accommodate more people. The acoustics still aren’t great, but at least the actors learn how to properly throw their voice.

Smiling/crying mask outside the entrance

Ah, G-306. It used to be my “play” ground. It was also my second home, and in many ways a classroom as well. As the Fine Arts Studio these days, may it be a new playground, home and classroom as well to a new batch of TA members.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Morning Has Broken

Oops, still here. Sigh.
Just an hour or two more….

Office Scenes

This is a typical sight at 2:30 Saturday morning. We’re still hard at work. Editors still editing; that's Tina doing post prod. Those are two of my writers; the other one's still on sick leave.

This is what keeps me going—short soy white mocha. (The barrista could not decide if my name was Joey, Joan or Joen.) One of the perks (pun intended) of our workplace; Starbucks is just a 5 minute walk away. Also there’s a 24-hr convenience store for those who’d rather forego the lattes and fraps and just make do with instant Nescafe.

When two species converge: my cute cow mousepad. It was given to me by an officemate last Christmas. Unfortunately it is already warped, so I actually don’t use it as a pad anymore. It’s just cute to look at.

This is inside our boss’ office. Our resident Haley Joel “I see dead people” Osment claims she saw many hands trying to reach out, like there was a multitude trapped inside the dark room. Naturally I had to go in and take a picture. Doors are an exit. I hope in a few hours I’ll be done so that I can make my exit.

Friday, September 10, 2004

You Go, Girls!

I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man I keep his house. (Zsa Zsa Gabor)

I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and a career. (Gloria Steinem)

I look just like the girls next door—if you happen to live next door to an amusement park. (Dolly Parton)

I never married because there was no need. I have three pets at home which answer the same purpose as a husband. I have a dog which growls every morning, a parrot which swears all afternoon and a cat that comes home late at night. (Marie Corelli)

I think—therefore I’m single. (Lizz Winstead)

Old age ain’t no place for sissies. (Bette Davis)

You see a lot of smart guys with dumb women, but you hardly ever see a smart woman with a dumb guy. (Erica Jong)

Thursday, September 09, 2004

The Titular Title (of this episode)

You know the Pinoy’s predilection for titles?

First it was the “of the Philippines” variety: the Elvis Presley of the Philippines, the Karen Carpenter of the Philippines, the Philippines’ answer to The BeeGees. Then there was the “star” era: Superstar, Megastar, Diamond Star, Star For All Seasons, Star of the New Millennium (that is, until the millennium celebrations came and went.) After them were the “divas”: the Concert Diva, the Divine Diva, the Soul Diva. Then there’s the royalty route: the Comedy King, the Concert King and Queen, Comedy-Concert Queen, Prince of R&B, Emperor of Pop. Now they’ve become more creative: Idol, the Edge of R&B, the Soul Siren.

But let’s go back to one diva: the Inspirational Diva, a.k.a. Gospel Diva, a.k.a. Jaime Rivera. From being a run-of-the-mill pop singer, she shifted to inspirational songs and found her fifteen minutes of fame at the height of EDSA 2. Since then she concentrated solely on singing spiritually uplifting songs. (Apparently these albums sell extremely well, according to an industry insider. An inspirational album is an easy, anytime-and-any-occasion gift.)

Now she has a new album out: The Purpose-Driven Life, inspired by the bestselling book. (*roll my eyes*) And to further enhance her USP, her new moniker is Spiritual Minstrel with an Attitude. What a mouthful!

Hmmm! Now I’m thinking of making my own moniker. What will it be? The Cyber Jester? The On-line Comedy Upstart? The McMinion with an attitude... and a camera?

And what will your title be?

Seasons of Mist

It’s that time of the year again. And no, I don’t mean the impending Christmas season. It’s my yearly what-do-I-really-want-to-do-with-my-life period. It’s that time of year when I question why I’m in my particular job, weigh the pros and cons, consider leaving, ponder on other career options, fantasize running a beach house in Bohol.

In every job I’ve taken (including this one) there are always things that’ll drive me batty. There’s no perfect job, I’m sure. The big question I always grapple is: are the things that drive me batty in my current job enough to drive me away, or are the pluses enough to outweigh the minuses?

Actually I don’t know the answer just yet. I’m still grappling with it. Meanwhile, I look forward to taking pictures during the weekend.


It’s that time of year, when the carols are played way before the parols and the trees are put up. I think they only do that in deference to another money-making season—Halloween. But I think Christmas is the season people look forward to the most, whether out of anticipation or out of dread.

This year I dread and look forward to Christmas at the time of crisis. Local and global events have hit our economy pretty hard, and I’m sure prices will still go up. I’ve already decided to start my shopping early and limit it—severely. I don’t care if I out-Scrooge Scrooge.

At the same time I am looking forward to an austere Christmas. In fact, for the McVie Family I’m envisioning an “essential Christmas.” In the classic book The Little Prince the fox said, “What is essential is invisible to the eye.” No, I’m not thinking of giving invisible gifts; I’m thinking of revising the way we celebrate the season. After all, this is the first time we’ll have Christmas without my dad. And with my brother getting married before the year ends, he might set up house somewhere else. I think I’ll just focus on the essentials. Christmas isn’t really a celebration of the material things in life. So for this Christmas I’ll be an immaterial girl living in an immaterial world.

Meanwhile, I suspect that candles will make a comeback. There’ll be more cards sent, so Hallmark will be raking it in this year. There’ll be more fakes and knock-offs. And I think there’ll be more food given this year—fruitcakes will make another comeback (I know, I know, they never really left, but for the past few years they have been relegated to the “last-minute buys” section; now I think they’ll be upfront.)

Maybe I’ll take my mom, sister and brother on a road trip this year. We’ll see.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004


I think I have ADD, or Attention Diverted to Digicam. I wanna just go around and shoot and shoot. My fingers are trigger-happy. But I think I also developed a sudden severe case of Photoconsciousness; I find myself embarrassed to take pictures in public. Hmmm!

The McSurvey Says

Pop quiz, hotshot! I got the following question off a radio program I was listening to last night on my way home from Makati. I heard two callers give their answers before I got home.

And the survey question is this: “Do you need to be in a romantic relationship to be happy?”

To join, just click on “audience participation” and answer YES or NO. You also have the option to give a short explanation. Answer away!

Dinner At Makati

One of them in the picture is Daniel, the other Daniella. Figure out who’s who.

Monday, September 06, 2004


3% body fat, 1% brain activity

Saw Zoolander for the third time last Sunday evening. My brother bought a pirated copy but his officemates borrowed it almost immediately. The movie was so in demand it took my brother more than 3 months to get it back.

It’s a perfect no-brainer movie about a no-brainer. Will Ferrell is uber-hilarious as Jacobin Mugatu. His Derelicte campaign was priceless, and even more hilarious is the way he says “Derelicte!” But my all-time classic line from Mugatu is, “That Hansel, he’s sooo hot right now!”

My other favorite lines in the movie:
“Moisture is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty.” – Derek Zoolander as a merman, just before he swims off-camera
“Mer-MAN, Dad! Mer-MAN!” – Derek Zoolander correcting his dad for calling him a mermaid
“Sting would be another person who's a hero. The music he's created over the years, I don't really listen to it, but the fact that he's making it, I respect that.” – Owen Wilson as Hansel
“I can dere-lick my own balls, thank you very much!” – Derek Zoolander’s answer to Hansel’s taunt

Weekend Shots

For the first time in more than a month, I was in my room when the midnight hour struck last Saturday. Yes, I was already in bed with a lowercase “b”. We had dinner in Makati for my cousin who just got married to her American boyfriend of seven years. They spent their honeymoon in Bohol, and were here for three days before they fly back to Michigan.

At first my mom wanted to treat them to Friday’s, but I told her that TGIF is found in the US. Why not go Pinoy? So she chose Max’s (yes, there’s a Max’s Restaurant in the States, but it’s in California.) Because they were staying in Muntinglupa, we chose a midway point—Max’s in Greenbelt, Makati.

I also took the opportunity to test my Ollie’s night-shooting capabilities. Either I get a tripod, or I must learn to hold my breath longer.

Going home, we stopped by Marikina Riverbanks.

The river is alive again—or rather, the riverbank is alive. I don’t know about the waters though. But I have seen fishes moving in the water—or I think they’re fishes. What if they’re mutated cockroaches? Ewww!

And here’s one of the pair of floating shoes. The other pair is found in another part of the river, nearer the Bayan area.

We were home by 10pm. Actually if I wanted to I could still have gone out to Bed, but after watching the premiere telecast of Out! on television, I decided my bed was too inviting to resist. Besides, I wanted a change in my usual weekend activities.

Sunday found me at the gym and going to my alma mater to take photos of Camp Big Falcon (see The McView Point.) I wanted to proceed to CCP and the Manila Bay area to take photos of the sunset, but I remembered there was a grand fans day of a TV network at the Folk Arts Theater. Traffic will be hell for sure. The Manila Bay sunset will just have to wait.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Master DJ, Can I Make A Request

I’m part of this yahoogroups of my college theater company, TA. For the past three days the TA alumni from the different eras have been reminiscing about their wild parties during their time. Several have cited my DJ-ing during those parties as one of the best reasons why they enjoyed the parties.

Well. Flattery will get them everywhere, hahaha!

During my time there was no dancing during our cast parties. I had this notion that the people then didn’t want to dance, as if they looked at dancing with disdain, a frivolous activity “serious” artists don’t engage in. I think it’s only because the people then were dorks who had two left feet. I graduated from college without dancing at a TA party.

As an alumnus I was always invited to the cast parties. I remember one particular party held at Cuchie Alcuaz’s house—it’s the one on the corner of Balete Drive, the most popular “haunted” house in Philippine television—where the current members of TA had several dance numbers. The boys had their own number, the girls had theirs too. They danced to pop tunes with choreography popularized in shows like Eat Bulaga and ‘Sang Linggo n-APO Sila. I remember fellow alumnus Apa Ongpin standing up and declaring, “Well, I see that TA has become a noontime show!”

After that I noticed that during TA parties the members would bring their own CDs and dance. They would come up to me and ask if I could bring my CDs too. So I started bringing my CDs to the parties too.

At first I’d just play one song after the other, with a lull in between as I’d switch from disc to disc. Nobody seemed to mind. Then someone was brilliant enough to bring two players—allowing me to get rid of the lull in between songs. We didn’t have professional players and mixers; I had to figure out which song would best segue after a previous one.

My best stint as a DJ did not happen in a TA party. It was in Subic, where Basic Advertising had its Corplan. Saturday evening was set aside for party time, and they even hired a “professional” mobile from nearby Olongapo to provide the sounds. Unfortunately, their choice of music was, to put it bluntly, too pedestrian for the sossy Makati crowd. Good thing I brought my luggage full of CDs for the party. Finally I had both the music plus the mixer; the crowd lapped it up. The party was a huge hit; an AE ended up drunk and asleep inside the ladies room, another account supervisor immortalized the line “I am the dancing queen!” a media manager danced wearing leotards with leopard prints and a tear near her, er, “hole,” getting all the boys excited whenever she’d spread her legs. And I was able to play Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and people actually danced to it!

One of the biggest lessons I learned while DJ-ing: know your audience. If you know what songs will get them off their butts, then you’ll have the crowd at your fingertips. It’s amazing the kind of power trip one gets when the crowd is at your mercy. Another lesson is: don’t force your taste onto a crowd. If they don’t like what you like, move on as soon as possible. And don’t take it personally.

Nowadays I don’t DJ anymore. There was a time when I had this extreme love/hate relationship with my being the unofficial DJ of TA. Everyone expected me to provide the music and the life of the party. But that meant I couldn’t enjoy the party because I’d be hard at work. Plus I rebelled against the pressure of providing the life of the party and the expectations of people. And I felt like doing a different kind of power-tripping: “You want me to liven up your party? Grovel at my feet!”

In the end the kids started bringing their own music, I became more and more un-attuned to what was hip and cool with the kids, and I also started going less and less to TA parties. Or maybe they’ve stopped inviting me?

Ay Sus The Sign!

Saw this sign on my way to work:

Saw this bumper sticker on a taxi in front of me:

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Just Shoot Me!

Presenting the spin-off series to The McVie Show, Just Shoot Me este, The McView Point.

Do you see what I see? Well, now you do. It is the reason why I bought my new toy Ollie (mwhehehe!) And though I view with disdain the pictures taken by my Precious SE Z-600’s camera-phone, I think I’ll be using it more often. Maybe, maybe not, whatever, we’ll see.

Just click on the link on the right-hand side of The Show.

Kiss The Pandas

(Wala lang. For a change of pace.)

Morning Musings With Mama

This morning on my way to work, my mom hitched a ride with me. She was going to visit my dad’s grave. We got to talking about my brother’s impending wedding.

My mom said the girl’s mom had agreed to a Catholic wedding as well as a Protestant wedding. Our future in-law even suggested that the Methodist rites will be very simple; it’s okay for her to make the Catholic rites the more lavish one. My mom, of course, has another thing in mind—let the Methodist rites be the bongga one, ours will be austere. In my mind I was going, “Why not both be simple?”

My mom sighed. “Hay naku, what has your brother gotten himself into?”

That’s when I let loose my mouth with my thoughts on the whole thing:
• If they’re getting married to ensure the unborn baby’s rights, the law no protects the rights of both legitimate children and those born out of wedlock. So marriage isn’t a necessity.
• Just because they love each other doesn’t mean they have to end up married. Love is not enough reason to marry. There are many factors to consider first before two people decide to do the “‘til death do us part” vow.
• A big factor to consider the “marriageability” of a couple is if they share most, if not all, of their core values. A difference in core values doesn’t necessarily mean marriage is impossible; it just means there’s more work for the two. Religious beliefs are part of a person’s core values. The fact that neither is willing to convert to the other’s religion means that there is a difference in their core values.
• For a relationship to work, compromises will have to be made. For example, the two may not convert, but they have to agree as to how they’ll raise their children: Catholic? Methodist? Agnostic? Both? Is the last one possible?
• My brother and his girlfriend should be able to decide how they want their child to be raised. Their decision may not sit well with the grandparents of the child, but tough luck to the lolo and lolas. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Will my brother and his girl have the balls to go against their parents’ wishes? Will the grandparents allow their children to decide on the kind of upbringing their future grandchild will get?

All this time my mom kept quiet.

We were near the gates of Loyola cemetery. I was about to say in conclusion, “That’s why at 38 yrs old I’m not married yet” but I bit my tongue. (Yeah, right. Pretend to have marriage issues to mask the fact that I’m gay, hahaha.) My mom said, “Drop me off at the gate, I’m buying flowers first.”

Before she got out, she sighed. “Hay naku. Only your brother can answer those questions you raised.” Hay naku indeed.

But then I thought: two of us are already married—my older brother and our youngest sister. Both marriages seem to be working fine. At first I was skeptical that my sister’s wedding will last, but I guess our parents’ marriage proved to be the best example for my brother and sister.

Who knows, this marriage might just work? It’ll need hard work, luck and grace from above. But with God watching over them in two ways, one Roman Catholic, the other Methodist, then I hope the two will be twice blessed.

Otherwise there’ll be hell to pay, twice over!

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Spanish Eddie Cashed It In

Laura Branigan, 1957-2004.

I think they finally got her number (Gloria!); I think they got her alias (Gloria!) that she’s been living under. And so she lost her self control to aneurysm. Let’s do aneurysm! Aneurysm, aneurysm, bo baneurysm, banana-fana fo faneurysm, fi-fie moe maneurysm... aneurysm! Fans all over the world are now going: How am I supposed to live without you?

Think of Laura but laugh, don’t cry. I know she’d want it that way. (Oops, that was by Christopher Cross. Sorry!)