Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Marami akong kinarir nang nakaraang linggo.

Nangarir ako ng pagiging tibak.

Buong linggo halos na hindi namin tinantanan ang isyu ng pag-suspinde ng levy. Eh kasi naman, kabuhayan ng mga DHs ang nakataya dahil kung hindi kasama ang ongoing contracts sa suspension, tiyak na magiging sunod-sunod ang termination dahil gugustuhin ng employer na ma-exempt na sa pagbabayad ngayon pa lang.

August 1 ang proposal na magsimula ang suspension. Para na kaming maiihi kung ano ang magiging pinal na desisyon.

At syempre, kasabay pa ito ng SONA na kabit sa bituka ng mga Pinoy sa labas ng bansa. Ayoko nang magpahaba sa kung ano ang tingin ko sa SONA. Marami na akong nai-post tungkol kay Gloria.

Kaya noong Linggo, dalawang magkasunod na rally ang naganap. Sa gitna ng kainitan ng araw eh nag-martsa kami papuntang konsulado at nag-programa ng maigsi. Tapos, bumalik para hintayin ang mga migrante ng iba pang lahi para naman pumunta sa Central Government Office ng Hong Kong.

Nangarir din ako ng pelikula.

Pinanood ko ang The Dark Knight pero saka na ang review. Basta nag-enjoy ako sa kanya. Ayoko munang pag-isipan kung bakit.

Sa gitna ng muni-muni sa mga kailangang sulatin eh kinarir ko rin ang mga pelikula ni John Lloyd at Bea. Mga mushy pero disente naman. Pinatos ko rin pala ang My Best Friend’s Girlfriend ni Richard at Marian. Marami pa akong kinulimbat na pelikulang Pilipino kasama na ang Dear Heart at PS I Love You ni Sharon at Gabby pero hindi ko pa pinapanood.

Halos puro love story pala ang pinanood ko. Pelikula lang talaga ang love life ko.

In between, may iba pa akong mga kinarir.

Nangarir ako ng librong nabasa ko na. Kinarir ko rin ang aming aso na si Banci. Pinatulog ko sya sa kama ko pero, I swear, wala kaming ginawang masama. Kinarir ko rin ang pag-setup at pag-operationalize ng bagong computer dahil sumusuko na ang 3-year old laptop ko. Kinarir ko ang pagle-layout. Kinarir ko rin ang gym.

Kinarir ko rin pala ang pagtawag sa nanay ko. Miss ko na sya.

Kaya Gibo, hindi pa ako magsasara ng blog.

Naging busy lang sa aking karir.

PS. Tingin ko ay walang sense ang sinulat kong ito. Pero ang alam ko, may sense naman para sa akin ang mga kinarir ko kahit paano.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Bending over

To live life without compromise.

Beneath the comedy and punchlines of Legally Blonde the Musical and The Curiosity of Chance is the question of how far one should compromise ones self to be accepted in a particular social setup.

Everyone who has a gay bone in his body knows the story of Elle Woods. So there is no need to repeat how Elle was dumped by Warner, how she went to Harvard law School to get him back, how she met Emmet, how she tried to remake herself to be the typical law student, and how she came back – all pink, all blonde, all smiles – with a vengeance ... Ooops.

The musical version did not depart from the story line. Only gayer.

Meanwhile, The Curiosity of Chance, tells about the story of Chance Marquis and how he asserted who he really is among schoolmates, colleagues and his family. He was trashed, bullied, and even made to feel unaccepted by his own dad.

Still in the end he made his mark.

Elle Woods and Chance Marquis showed how a sore thumb could turn into a beacon.

As the theme of the two as I perceive it hits me, I have to remind myself that it’s a musical and a movie. Anything is possible. Even to be THAT blonde or THAT flamboyant.

To live a life with no compromise is good on a shirt. But we are basically social beings and bound by our social relations and societal norms. Thus we often find ourselves either conforming or conceeding. How many times have we found ourselves in a compromising position? Not THAT kind of compromising position.

But what Elle and Chance did also show is that compromises have limits. It is not worth it to compromise what defines ones self for the sake of acceptance or sometimes even love. Neither will be lasting. Neither will be true.

I myself have made numerous compromises. There are even ocassions when I do conform if the situation calls for it.

Still, there are matters that I , for the life of me, cannot presently imagine compromising. The politics I uphold, the choices I have made and views on a number of social practices. There were times I did waver and put all of these into question. To continue to hold on to them is a lifetime question.

However, if he is the one who will talk me into something I am not really willing to do, I am not sure how far I can take it until I bend over.

Then I may not be able to sing: “See, dreams really do come true, you never have to compromise. Omigod!”

Friday, July 18, 2008

Kumusta naman Je?

Nearly everyone who have been there mark it as memorable.

It's that time of our life when we start spending more time away than at home, when going out means hanging out with barkadas doing nothing but talk, when hormones start to rage and you start noticing the opposite - and the same - sex.

Of course what I'm talking about is: High School! Those sweet, fun, dramatic, rowdy and sentimental four years.

This is us when we were in our first year that I found in the photo section of our yahoogroup. You can laugh. I did.

It's been years since I last saw most of these guys and gals. I saw some of them on a wedding and a funeral - the former my brother's, the latter my father's.

Most of us were together for the whole high school years as part of the Laboratory School of the Pablo Borbon Memorial Institute of Technology for there were only around 80 of us divided into two sections. PBMIT is now Batangas State University but it shall always be PBMIT for me.

I have lost the detailed memories of my HS life. I do remember the Saturdays that we still go to school just so we can see each other, go to church on Sundays but actually just stay outside and talk at the same time as the priest, do academic stuff together, do extra-curricular activities, and, unobserved, do extra extra-curricular activities.

Soon, I'll get to relive these memories again. Some of my HS buddies are cooking up a reunion of sorts in the next few months.

It'll be interesting to see how we have fared for the past 14 years. I know that many of them are now married and have kids. About 25% of our class are abroad. And more than true to the tradition of one in 10 is gay, I think that four of us out of 20 guys are homos. Ok, it's just my speculation.

I'm excited to meet them all again. I wonder if I should be all out and proud on the reunion?

For sure, they don't have any HS memory of that sort about me.


(Another picture of us I found in the e-group's baul... hahaha)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

V is for


Not yet full but still a success. Just a while ago, the Hong Kong government has announced the suspension of the HK$9,600 levy it collects from employers of foreign domestic workers. After two years, the decision shall again be reviewed.

Though it is not the same as abolition, the two-year suspension is still a cause for celebration.

In broad strokes, the levy was implemented in 2003 by the HK government supposedly to finance efforts to retrain local workers for domestic work to face the unemployment issue of HK that time.

The levy was introduced at the same time as the monthly salary of foreign maids was cut by HK$400. It doesn't take a mathematician to see that the total amount cut from the wage of FDWs for a two-year contract is exactly the same amount as the levy. Thus, it has always been the position of FDW groups that the levy is an indirect taxation to them.

For years, FDW groups have campaigned for its abolition. Rightly so for their experience has also shown that as long as the levy is in place, their wage is also held hostage. Despite HK's economic boom, FDWs have only received mere pittance for a wage hike.

Early last week, the monthly wage of FDWs was increased by HK$100. At first glance, it may look like another victory. But if one can see that it is actually only HK$4 per day or 25 cents per hour, one shall be bound to agree with FDWs who say that it is too little.

Besides, the cumulative wage hikes for the past four years are not even enough to recover the amount slashed in 2003 and 1999. FDW wage now stands at HK$3580 per month. Nine years ago, it was HK$3860.

Developments like these are what reaffirm my belief in the movement and the people's militant collective action. They are not merely slogans nor dreams nor merely a 13-year old agitation borne by the idealism and impetuousness of the youth.

They may be small in the larger scheme of things - given the whole gamut of other issues that migrant workers have to confront - but considering the situation, any victory, however small, is a step forward.

V may take long in coming. When it comes, it fuels the people for more.


Darn it. It seems like this government is still dilly-dallying as to the details of the suspension.

While it appears that the suspension is in the offing (by September), it is still isn't clear when in September, what to do about the unused HK$4.4 BILLION fund collected, and whether it will only apply to new contracts and to existing ones.

When it comes to cutting the wage, the HK government has a one-track mind. When it comes to giving relief to migrants ... mas makunat pa sa dilang makunat.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

From Jollibee to ...

Pigged out at Jollibee; harassed an innocent-looking crew; took postcard-perfect pictures; walked at Central's footbridges like tourists; smoked like there was no tomorrow; talked about tuition fee increase, rice crisis, call centers, and men; passed around a cup of coffee from McCafe; wondered about the past, present and future; practiced the famed "peripheral vision"; thought how choi sam can be worn; slept; worked; ate caldereta; drank the winningest coffee; read the Virgo part of Gay Astrology; ... "at bakit ka may hickey?"

But that is another story.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Banci (ban-chi)

Sya si Banci. Ang aming collective aso.

Ilang buwan pa lang sya nang ibigay sa amin ng isang Intsik na may mareklamong kapitbahay. Hindi ko alam ang breed nya pero who cares. Obviously she doesn’t.

Malambing sya. Nang minsang mawala kami ng lampas isang linggo sa bahay at naiwan sya sa ibang kamay, sumabog ihi nya pagkakita nya sa amin.

Hindi sya mahilig sa kanin. Yan ang kaibahan ko sa kanya. Matakaw sya sa dog food. Yan ang kaibahan nya sa akin.

Nang ibinigay sya sa amin, maraming habilin ang huling may-ari sa kanya:
  1. Huwag pakainin ng buto ng manok. Busugin sa gulay at prutas.
  2. Paliguan minsan isang linggo at putulan ng kuko minsan isang buwan.
  3. Bigyan ng gamot para sa puso at para sa tapeworm. Wag kalimutang dalhin sa beterinaryo.
  4. Gamitan ng dog shampoo at dog powder.
  5. Gupitan ng buhok laluna kapag summer.
  6. May kasama syang kulungan pero wag nyo syang ikukulong.
Parang last will and testament.

Ibinigay din nya sa amin ang bag na ito:

Ito ang gamit namin para maisakay sya sa bus, MTR at taxi. Dinadala namin sya sa beach, sa office at sa rally. Ang bakla-bakla ko pag bitbit ko sya dito.

Maraming batas dito patungkol sa mga alaga. Kailangan mo pa ngang palagyan ng chip na nakalagay ang detalye nya at kung sino ang may-ari. Andami ding mga grupo ng lokal na pangunahin eh animal welfare ang programa.

Pansin ng isa kong kaibigan na ex-Hong Kong, mas pinahahalagahan daw ang aso dito kesa sa tao. Naalala ko tuloy yung isang kliyente na syang unang nagpaiyak sa akin. Yung kumakain kasama ng aso. Pag tumae ang aso, kailangan nya munang linisin bago sya bumalik sa pagkain.

Meron din akong nakitang aso na nakasuot ng winter clothes na galing Burberry at worth HK$2,000 daw ang isa.

May punto nga siguro ang kaibigan ko.


Kanina eh sumama ako sa rally dahil pagbobotohan sa Legislative Council ang proposed Race Discrimination Bill. Sobrang walang-kwenta ang proposal na kahit sa papel pa lang eh wala ka ng makikitang tunay na proteksyon laluna sa mga DH na syang pinakarami kung usapin ng ibang lahi sa HK.

May punto nga siguro ang kaibigan ko.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Still for M

We've been informed that M was again taken to the hospital recently. If you wish to give help, please see Kik's blog for details.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Last R

When it comes to men and romance, I am no expert. In fact, I am such a greenhorn that my romance for 20+ years was with my work, my loot and my books.

I am usually boisterous and sometimes even loud. But when a guy I really like is around, I tend to be shy and unsure. I am a classic ligaw-tingin, palipad-hangin. Until someone else gets the guy.

For the past 12 months though, I dared to break the pattern. Not only once but thrice.

Exactly a year ago, I met B at a wrong place and definitely at a wrong time. Still we attempted to build something. For the next three months, I was contented to chat, text and talk to him over the phone.

I met him again when I went back to the Philippines for some work in October. At the end of my 10-day stay, we found ourselves ending it. It started when I failed to show up in a show he invited me to watch with him. But work had to come first and it went downhill from there.

Though I tried to reestablish communication, he refused to answer. So I moved on.

In February, another one came along. But it was so short-lived – in fact it didn’t even really take off – that I think two sentences are enough to end this story.

Then April came with A. It was something unexpected. It was unreal yet it did not feel to be so. It was with so little hope but I didn’t care. It was just there, it happened.

For a couple of months, everything was great. I was happy and again contented. Happy with the way things were going and contented to wait. Still, it ended.

I don’t want to say I failed. I don’t believe there’s such a thing as failure in romance. Only experiences gained and lessons learned. Because at the end of it, I still get to smile at what had been. Albeit, with a twinge of regret sometimes.

But now I am closed for repair.

I am not broken. Rather, I am chipped and scratched.

Yeah, I do still ogle guys – both in the virtual and real world. I said I’ll be closed, not blind. But right now, I shall take a rest from the serious stuff. Things have gotten way out of hand that I almost lost my grasp of what my objective condition is and its limitations are.

I am retreating to the comforts of my old flames. There’s work to be done now. There are tons more waiting to be planned out and executed.

There are stacks of films that I have to watch. Books to finish reading, books to start reading, books to reread and books to watch out for.

It’s a tactical retreat until I regain my balance.

How long the repair will take, I am not sure. Good thing hearts have a lifetime warranty.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Power struggle

Disasters after disasters have struck different parts of the world in recent years. In the face of these forces of nature, we tend to see how small we are as compared to the titans of the earth that are the elements.

In the BBC series, Earth: the Power of the Planet, that I saw recently, it showed the different environmental factors that have created the world and continuously shape it.

The series is composed of five parts: Volcano, Atmosphere, Ice, Ocean and Rare Earth. Through vivid images, computer simulations and scientific evidences, the series showed how the first four elements work together and at the same time fight each other to give birth to the Earth and later on maintain its stability for life forms to start and then flourish. Until humans came along.

On the last part of the series, it explained the uniqueness of the Earth and postulated that it is probably the only one of its kind given the “lucky” phenomena that led to its formation and its position in the solar system.

This is no Popular Science so I won’t repeat what Dr. Iain Stewart has explained. But what he said is probably true, the Earth has met its greatest challenge with the arrival of humans.

While the Earth has its natural processes to heal itself and restore balance, humans tend to, well, fuck them up.

Enviromental activism has never been my strong point so I will leave it to those who know more to show how the earth and its environment is being destroyed by human activities, and in particular for the past centuries, the relentless drive for capital accumulation. What the series has in terms of giving information into the earth’s working, I think it has fallen short in accounting for the social relationships – the class contradictions – that exist among humans and make life miserable for Mother Earth.

But if a certain friend of mine hears me complain about this, he’ll just say that we cannot expect anything less from the mainstream media which is itself driven by capital. Fine.

The show ultimately concluded that humans will be eventually wiped out

But I believe in the resilience of humans. If only the basic contradictions can be resolved that shall, in theoretical possibility, free humans to reach their potential and even resolve its standing struggle with nature, then “I Will Survive” shall not be an athem for gays alone.

I am a reader of sci-fi novels and the usual setting is an inter-planetary or inter-galactic one. With no known limit yet of human capacity to adapt, the sci-fi can probably be facts in the distant future.

Non-humans may exist in the far reaches of the universe. Other planets may be discovered that can approximate the characteristics of the earth.

But for now, we only have this one to live in. Millions or billions of years from now it may not be habitable anymore either due to the earth’s core dying down or the sun running out of fuel to burn.

But humans will survive. If only we can find a way to not, well, really fuck things up.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

R & R & R

A friend of mine recently pointed out that my recent posts were a bit morose. For sure it was not intentional but they were what struck my mind on the events of the past few days.

Pardon me if I gave the impression of being depressed. I was not. Tired, yes. Off the weather maybe. But generally still me.

Yesterday was a new day and boy was it good. It started with a rally and ended up so gay.

July 1st - the anniversary of the territory's hand over to mother China - is traditionally the time for HK activists to go out on the streets. Notwithstanding the tradition part, the issues presented to the HK government were concrete and urgent.

For the foreign domestic workers, it was the time to ask the HKSAR government: "where's our wage increase?"

Halfway through the year, there is still no clear indication that a even a little wage hike is in the offing. While businesses have already benefited from the showers of incentives from the HK$100 billion budget surplus, FDWs are still waiting for the economic rebound to ... err, rebound to them.

The searing heat did not stop the people from calling for a genuine racial discrimination bill, a legislated minimum wage for all HK workers, as well as a break from cuts on social services. Though the weather did not help at all, a dose of direct action is always an uplifting experience.

From the rally, I took a bit of rest. Just surfed around and took a chance to chat with someone who did not want to chat with me. But that's another topic altogether.

Anyway, I then had a great night with my gay friends. Alright, also with the straight guys. Fine, also with the women who were there.

It was the birthday party of a friends' mom (who, by the way, can be the PFLAG prexy in the RP if ever there shall be one) and little bro. The place was great, the food was greater, and the company was the best.

I missed these bunch.

They all have their eccentricities but it's always a riot when they come together. Maybe it's a thing with us gays.We usually accept people as they are, warts and all. Unless you are a bigot and, at least in my case, GMA and her ilk.

After a couple of rounds of vodka and any chaser at hand, talks just flow from the mundane to the ... well, less mundane. Peace beckies! It was fun, relaxing and very very gay!

I started off this month somewhat reinvigorated. Rally, rest and recreation.

There's another R that I can write about: Romance. But it sucks. And if I do write about it as of this time, the tone of the post will be much different. Morose may not even be enough.