Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Incredibly funny, terribly sad and simply alive. That's Juno - the movie and the character.

If Atonement is best seen in solitary confinement, have your friends around when you watch this one. Do not watch it in an iPod or Creative at 1:00 am while lying on your bed and your roommates are asleep. Trying not to laugh out loud can give you gas. Trust me.

The plot enough is simple. But I guess it is this simplicity that brings out the best in this film - the dialogue, the whip ass smart quips, the set, the music, and the actors.

Ellen Page is superb! Before this film, I've only known her as Kitty Pryde with the cool power of walking through walls (if I have this ability, I'll be the ultimate voyeur). She's just amazing as Juno MacGuff.

She is able to give justice to the character of an immature yet smart girl dealing with mature problems and in the process, "grow up" without losing that vibrancy, strength and spirit found generally in the young.

Jennifer Garner as the adoptive mother Vanessa Loring is a bit stiff. It's great because she's required to be this character who is reserved and holds back herself due to fear that her dream of becoming a mother will never come true. At the end though, in the scene where she finally holds her baby, she lets go, she glows and it is a sight to behold.

There is nothing heavy in Juno. It is not thought-provoking. It will not make you weep. It will not keep you staring at the screen after the credits.

It will only leave you with the feeling that you've just watched a good film. And sometimes, this is quite enough.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Random Ramblings and Grumblings

* I've been sick the past couple of days. Full-blown influenza. I went to the doctor last Wednesday and again yesterday. After the routine questions, she asked me if I smoke and of course I told her yes but (always a but) I've thought about quitting and just never got around to doing it. She said "think harder." Duh!? What will happen to my blog's name if I do that?

* I realized na kapag bangag ka sa gamot, you'll notice how Daniel Radcliffe's nips jut out in HPOtP. Just like someone I know who always appears to be in a permanent state of arousal.

* I had to turn down another invitation for a chat session from Steve. I did tell him the first time that come hell or high water, I'll accept his next invite. I should have learned my lesson by now. I should not make promises if I am not 100% sure of making it. It'll just leave a bad taste in my mouth. Then again, if I am 100% sure I'll keep it, it is not a promise anymore but an appointment. Right?

* POEA has banned direct hiring which basically means everyone looking for a job abroad has to go through recruitment agencies and get overcharged. Things do happen even if you are sick. Things that can make you sicker.

* He wrote back! Now in France and still single. Ho-hum. Dream on.

* A friend came to HK for a quick vacation with his family. I gave him some of my ill-begotten collection of TV shows and a movie. Talk about looting my loot! Still it's a fair trade for the yosi and kape putih he brought us.

* I was directed to this site by a friend. If I can doubt one, I can also doubt the other. This is one fight where I take no side. Pretty unusual for someone who believes neutrality is a glossed-over hypocrisy. It is just that I don't basically take hook, line and sinker whatever appears in any online interactive-whatever. I mean there are issues like globalization, hunger in the Third World, GMA and my lovelife or the lack of it. I mean, (with all the Izzie Stevensness I can muster) seriously?!

If this post doesn't make any sense at all, pardon me for I'm still sick and loaded with drugs.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

On Gay Relationships

Deciding on what to write about gay relationships is even harder than when I decided that I am gay.

When I think about the plethora of relationships gays have been into - casual, open, fuck buddy arrangement, queridas, sugar daddies, boy toys, live-ins, gay-on-gay, gay-on-straight, etc. - and even more inventive ones I've heard of, it gets to be even more confusing and tasking to pin down that SOB. If we are just into rainbows, why are we in relationships that seem to cover the whole color wheel and the seemingly endless combinations of colors?

Then I think of how society and its norms dictate relationships and it is either you conform or you defy.

Conformity means the whole gamut of a hetero relationship, minus the female side, that includes dating, the through thick and thin thingy, family and maybe divorce.

Defiance, on the other hand, takes one to different forks in the road that sometimes can even lead to cynical views on relationships and sometimes a destructive lifestyle.

In my view, because of how gays are generally treated and perceived, right or wrong, we usually take the latter path. Most societies can only let us conform too far anyway.

So we defy. We defy conventions. We defy norms. We sometimes even defy definitions or even descriptions. But I guess at the end of it, we must still ask, what do we ultimately defy and where do we want our defiance to lead us?

I have tried one or two strains of gay relationships. Still, I am all for a loving, mature, and lasting one. Something like conformity with defiance. Conform to what is good in principle and defy the truckload of bull that patriarchy, inequality, class oppression and homophobia brings.

I like the idea of dating. I love the prospect of marriage. I look forward to a family. I don't want, but recognize the reality of, divorce. If having these means changing society and its norms, then so be it.

(I've wracked my brain out for a clearer perception on the topic. This assignment is unbelievably hard! Pwede bang true-or-false na lang sa susunod?)

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Sya ang isa sa pinanghihinayangan ko.

Nakasama ko sa World Youth Forum sa Dakar, Senegal noong 2001. Smart, malambing at tingnan na lang sa picture. Isang Pranses.

Kainuman gabi-gabi. Kasamang tumatakas sa mga sessions para mag-yosi at mag-kwentuhan ng buhay nya sa France at India at ako naman ay sa Pilipinas at Hong Kong. Nagpapalitan ng kuro-kuro. Nag-e-espadahan ng ideya.

Niyaya nya akong mag-swimming pero hindi ako marunong lumangoy. Marunong naman daw syang sumagip.

Huling gabi ng forum ay niyaya nya akong matulog sa kwarto nya na nasa ibang hotel. Sa kwarto ko noon ay may kaibigan akong babae na galing US na doon ko pinatulog kahit bawal dahil wala syang perang pambayad sa accommodation. Iiwanan ko ba sya? Paano kung mahuli?

Sa huli, nanaig sa akin ang pangangailangan ng babae. Hanggang ngayon, nahihiwagahan pa rin ako kung ano ang nangyari.

(Natalisod ko ang mga huling pictures na ipinadala nya sa akin noong 2005. Huli naming sulatan ay 2006.)

Friday, January 18, 2008


Like many OFWs, I was not in EDSA. But like many OFWs, I was also a part of the movement to oust Estrada.

Back then, I was still working with the Asian Students Association. As a progressive platform of students in the Asia Pacific - with NUSP, CEGP and LFS as members in the Philippines - ASA disseminated information to our members and networks in the region and elsewhere of the events unfolding back home.

We were glued to our computers with the internet in overdrive as we watched videos, listened to radio reports and read breaking news.

We cheered. We applauded. We imagined our friends and comrades tirelessly exhorting the people to deliver the final flow to Erap's government.

Meanwhile, our phones - both mobile and landline - were inundated with calls from Filipino domestic workers who were hungry for news that we, in turn, shared with them gladly and with all agitation we could muster. We encouraged them to text their friends and relatives to join EDSA and the actions in other major cities across the nation.

Filipino migrant workers in Hong Kong were very much involved in the oust movement.

It started with the issue of Glenda Lorio, an OFW who died largely due to the neglect and ineptitude of the government in protecting Filipino migrants. It then built up to issues of the OWWA, government charges to OFWs, and the lack of concrete programs for OFWs and our families.

When the Erap Resign Network - Hong Kong was conceived, Filipino migrant workers were all too ready to do our part. ERN-HK was participated in by domestic workers, NGO workers, media practitioners, priests, nuns and pastors. We may not have been in EDSA, but we also celebrated its victory.

Seven years after, Filipino migrants are again doing our part in the brewing Oust GMA movement.

Objectively, we may not be in EDSA again when GMA's time comes. But definitely, we'll not miss out in removing a most corrupt, fascist, illegitimate, and puppet regime.

(Written in the middle of a meeting. Nakiki-Blog Action Week. Nakiki-Remember EDSA 2. Nakiki-baka rin.)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Back with McDreamy?

There is a petition circulating around Grey's Anatomy's fans asking for changes in the plot. More specifically, the petition asks for a reversal of the supposedly dark and depressing plot of the latest season.

Even more specific, they wanted the old McDreamy - cool, light and in love - back. They aren't happy with the moody and brooding Derek.

The romantic and the realist inside me are at odds over such a demand. On one hand, who can resist a McDreamy who is ... er, dreamy. But then again, after what he has gone through - meeting Meredith, trying to rebuild his marriage, divorce, getting back with Meredith, Meredith's near-death whatever, turning down the chief of surgery spot, breaking up with Meredith, getting back with Meredith, breaking up (yawn!) ... you get the drift - I'm wondering how he still manages to keep his hair in place.

Every viewer has a take on the show. Personally, I'm all for the twists and changes. Nothing or no one can really stay the same way. Whether in a blink or at a tremendously slow pace, change happens.

Honest and sometimes brutal, funny and achingly sad, romantic and crass, sexy and not - there are different angles in GA. Maybe it is what really strikes me with the show. It defies conventions when it comes to episode plots.

And of course, the music was and still is great!

Anyway, I'm not sure how the producers and the writers will react. Shonda Rhimes is still on strike (is she?).

If one asks me what change I'd like to see in GA, I'll say: Let George be gay! It looks hard for him kissing all those women and pretending to love blonde Izzie when he really plays for the other team. (McDreamy, McSteamy, Karev and all those empty on-call rooms ... ho-hum)

Some of the sad, sad songs in the last episode of season 4:

Monday, January 14, 2008


After 12 hours of meetings, I am too toxic to do anymore work. I know I'll regret not finishing something that should have been done last week, but I just have to write this ...

Birthday ng Tatay bukas. He'll be 64.

He may not have been the greatest father. But he was a father in the way he knew how and it was more than enough.

He used to call me "pingkot" to describe how my face used to become like a crumpled can whenever I didn't get my wishes (bunso eh!).

He used to let me lay down beside him in the sofa while we watched TV and pinched my earlobes softly until I fall asleep.

He was the one who taught me how to play Pusoy Dos, Lucky 9 and Mah Jong. He was my usual opponent in Scrabble and Boggles.

He threatened to hack me to death or shoot me if I continued my activism. He stayed up late at night to wait for me after every news of a rally and bragged to his friends that I met Joema Sison.

He gave unselfishly. Firm in his beliefs. Proud. Cooked the best kaldereta in the world.

He died in September 12, 2005.

Almost three years after, I still can not recall the last time we talked and what we talked about. Back then, I didn't know that it would be our last.

It pains me to remember that I was not there when he died. It saddens me to realize that I was the only one who was not there in his last birthday. It breaks me to think that I didn't get to have my planned long talk with him when I see him again.

There are many things unsaid and undone between us. I know I did not turn out to be the man he hoped for. But it still comforts me to know from my Mom that he was proud of the person I have become.

Happy Birthday Tatay!

Jordan Croaks

Disasters don't have to come in threes. It can hit once but at an epic fantasy proportion.

While surfing the internet with my nth cup of coffee and my nth stick of cigarette, I came across the news that James Oliver Rigney is dead.

Robert Jordan is dead. Dead. Dead? Dead!

After 12 books of The Wheel of Time series and other known works, Jordan died in September last year. (Late again to know. Still, better late than later.)

He died without finishing TWOT. Honestly, this is what pains and saddens me most. Bitin!

I can't do anything about this though. So I'll just thank him for introducing me to the world of Aes Sedais and Aiels. Of Rand, Mat and Perrin - the brave, the bold and the burly (in my own fantasy - the hottest, the hotter and the hot). Of Trollocs and Ogiers. Of Forsakens and Seanchans. Of weavings and steddings.

Brian Sanderson will be finishing the 13th book: A Memory of Light. Some have posed questions on his ability to do so.

I don't care. For the sake of closure, I'm getting that last book. I will not wait anymore for the Wheel of Time to churn out another Jordan.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Atonement II

If I did get anything from a recent EB, it was a free lunch and Atonement.

He gushed about the film so much I thought he'd wet his pants. Anyway, he did trigger my interest on the film so I got a copy as soon as we finished dessert.

It was worth the lousy meet up.

There was I, tucked in my bed, thinking I just need a 15-minute preview of this film while I wait for my hair to dry. I started watching at 12:30 am. Finished at 2:30 and finally fell asleep before 3:30.

I guess this is how one watches this movie. Alone, with the lights off, and in total silence. If you cannot avoid watching it with someone else, just make sure he's not the kind of guy who always asks "ano na ang nangyari?" every 10 minutes.

It is not a movie that grabs you by the balls and keeps you riveted to the screen. Rather, it is a movie that eases you to your seat, makes you grab an extra pillow to hug and just lets you feel the love, longing, hope and repentance of the characters.

It builds the drama in a sure way. All throughout, it makes you wonder what happened, what really happened, and what will happen. It is drama without the tears and suspense without the fears.

If you are a sucker for romance, this one is also for you. "Find you. Love you. Marry you. And live without shame." (sigh!)

I am usually a book-before-movie person. But regardless of how faithful it is to the book, this film by itself provokes emotions that can render you speechless for a couple of minutes more while they flash the credits. And long after your hair dries.

But even if I didn't enjoy the film, it was still worth seeing James McAvoy transformed from this

to this

A long way from his Children of Dune days. Oh, and by the way, the British accent sometimes gets in the way. Thank God for subtitles!

Thursday, January 10, 2008


A must-see! Will write more when I have time ...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


I do not usually get sentimental with places. Now, I permit myself to be a little bit so.

Narra Residence Hall is no more. I just got the news from an e-group na nasunog sya early this morning at surprisingly, sarado na pala sya since October last year pa dahil beyond repair na raw.

I was a bonafide Narehan from 1995 to 1998. Coming from the province and without much money to go back home every weekend (P12 per hour lang ang sweldo ng student assistant noon), Narra was my home.

I stayed at room 401 that I shared (at least on my last year) with three other guys. One was from CAL, one from Econ, and one from Eng. They were ok enough as roommates. Anyway, we had different set of friends and different set of beliefs, and the only thing that bound us was that square room.

Some of the things I remember of Narra and the years I stayed there:

1. The formidable Ma'am Asprec who ruled the rowdy men of Narra with a firm hand but, most often than not, could just be one of the boys.

2. Si Aling Lina ng Aristocart sa tapat, sa pavement beside Educ, selling rice for P2, mongo for P2, giniling for P3 at spaghetti na may isang slice ng hotdog for P3. If you can overlook the oil and the high-probability of arthritis, makaka-survive ka sa UP just with Aling Lina.

3. Si Mang Bogs kapag gabi at ang masarap na fishball, sandwiches at mountain dew. (Patay na raw sya?). Nakakautang pa minsan kay Mang Bogs at ganun din kay Aling Lina.

4. Ang Narra gauntlet kapag USC elections. One of the most-awaited event kapag panahon ng eleksyon kung saan napag-uusapan ang lahat ng bagay - mula sa mga seryosong isyu hanggang sa mga hindi. Sa isang gauntlet binuo ang Kapatiran ng mga Anak ni Diego - Youth o KAD-Youth.

5. Ang study hall sa lobby kung saan makakapag-aral ka lang in the wee hours of the morning dahil sa gulo ng mga tao. Better ang mga tables in the middle of each hall.

6. Political discussions with my activist friends laluna with Dondon (may he rest in peace) at Vince. Kasama na ang paglalagay ng election posters ng STAND UP at ang pagsisingit ng statements and other prop materials sa pintuan ng bawat kwarto.

7. Ang PA system ng Narra na nang tumagal ay parang laging may sipon ang nagsasalita. Many times, hindi gumagana yung sa hall namin.

8. The communal showers and toilets! (Enough said)

9. The annual Narra Open House when the residents are usually at their most behaved. At least hanggang umalis ang mga bisita.

10. The feel of UP and of college life.

I haven't seen UP, much less Narra, for many years now. Nareha may be no more but I'm still glad that, at least for three years, I was a Narehan and I lived as one.

Monday, January 7, 2008


Don't ask me how it's pronounced. Hindi ko rin alam.

I came across the term while re-reading Dune. As usual, nasa mood na naman akong basahin ang mga nabasa ko na at panoorin ang napanood ko na at pinagsawaan na ng iba.

Anyway, Herbert defined this as the "the self-imposed delay between desire for a thing and the act of reaching out to grasp that thing."

From the mundane issue of taking that last bit of chocolate at keber sa calories (ano yun?!) to taking life-changing decisions that only come by once in a while, laging may moment of consideration. May "spannungsbogen".

We always take a pause. We must always take a pause. Minutes, hours, days, months or years. Due to discipline, sense of morality, ingrained beliefs, principles or kung ano pa mang kunsiderasyon, we always take that pause. It is what makes us different from other beings.

Pero minsan, we are immobilized by indecision and the need for self-preservation. I've often been guilty of this. Recently nga lang, I really wanted to call this guy with whom I had something going on a couple of months ago. I wrestled with the idea for days. Finally, I didn't call.

Sometimes I think it's great to overcome something that I badly want but will probably hurt me more in the end. Other times, I just think I'm a cowardly prick.

Hay, nasa "spannungsbogen" pa rin yata ako. I need to get of out it real soon.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Ano ito?

Tinapay sya. Promise! The icky black color is just distracting. Hindi lang kita dito pero may green flaky matter din sya.

Anyway, this was on display in a bakeshop in Taipei. Hindi ko na matandaan ang pangalan ng bakeshop (it was something amusing). Hindi ko na rin matandaan ano pa ang ginawa ko doon except sleep, talk, write, and check my email every five minutes.

I just arrived at our venue when I saw this bread. Maybe it was why I didn't eat it. Ayokong mamatay sa Taiwan.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Gay and Beautiful

Maganda ang mga bakla.

The couple of nights I've been out with some friends, I was kinda struck by the sheer beauty of gay people.

Notwithstanding the hard bodies of many, the stylish hairs, fashionable clothes (who could ever carry a shimmering silver top to the hilt?) and some buns that are to die for, there is this life and beat that sweep you off your feet and plaster a smile to your face until your jaw aches.

Mikey calls it the thumpa thumpa. But maybe it defies a definition or brand. It's more of something you feel when you're around queers. It's the feeling of freedom when you let your hair down.

This may be a premature observation. I've been out of the closet for years but I never really went out of the room.

I may change my mind later. But for now, I will beg to disagree with Jack when he said that some gays are just "gay and average". Basta, maganda tayong lahat mga bakla!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


I'll see how this will go along the way.

I used to have a blog pero, like so many things I started, it somehow lost steam.

Since a couple of days ago, may mga bagay akong pinag-iisipan and some of those even cost me a couple of good night sleep. Like I'm 30 and I still feel 17 in so many ways. Or bakit talo ko pa yata si Mary sa pagiging virgin.

Basically, I think I just need to try something different. So I'm starting this blog the very first day of the new year.

Swear I'll write on it. Swear!