Thursday, August 28, 2008
Today I start my 31st year. Just now, I have come to realize that it’s easier to do a make-believe eulogy post than a real birthday writeup. Anyway, I don’t really want to start this day writing long posts.
I just came from a bar with friends who met August 28 with me – Kiks, Steve, Dan, Rye, Enan, Ryan, Jethro, Liz, Val, Abby, Loven, Ricci and a host of other gay guys I don’t know and who don’t know me but I don’t really care. It was a gay bar anyway. So thanks guys!
It was my first time to greet my birthday in a bar. Honestly. The nearest that I came to having it was when my former colleagues back in 2001, I think, took me to a straight bar days after my birthday and got me so drunk that I was even able to take six shots of my birthday shooters. Also, this was my first time to have a birthday with gays other than Kiks.
I’m tempted to stand by my previous press release that I’m turning 29. I did that just so I can tell these 20-something gay guys na “papunta pa lang kayo, pabalik na ako".
But then, that won't be completely true. I've never believed in having things the way it used to be. There's only the prospect of turning 32, 33, 34 and so on until finally someone can read my eulogy and really cry.
So how is it to be 31? It feels the same when I turned 30. Just another year gayer maybe.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Went inside a bookshop. Stopped at the entrance for a while and looked. A nod and a hint of smile. Hot.
Browsed through the racks of books. Not really wanting to buy anything. Took some off the shelf in random and read the jackets: James Patterson, Patricia Cornwell, David Baldacci and oh, a Harry Potter in paperback. Biography of god knows who, an autobiography of one the devil only cares.
Another look. A few seconds more and then …. A meeting to preside and a seminar to give.
Went back. Stopped at the entrance for a while and looked. Another nod, another smile. Hot
Walked straight to the sci-fi/fantasy section. Robert Jordan, David Eddings, Peter Hamilton. Started to read Trudi Canavan’s Age of Five series. No money to buy. Glimpses from time to time. Hot.
Another look. A few seconds more. A nod. A smile.
Lessons for the day:
- Knowledge is power, visit your nearest bookstore
- Dymocks Booksellers: Where it's easy to find, hard to find bookings!
Monday, August 18, 2008
In the larger scheme of things, 0.30 centavos out of 200 is no big deal. Such an amount can hardly be missed.
In the larger scheme of things, 150 from P10,000 is also not that much. Of course it is not an amount that one can just leave lying on the floor. It's already equivalent to one meal at Jollibee or a couple kilos of rice.
But still in the larger scheme of things, it hardly matters.
In the larger scheme of things, the 0.15% documentary stamp tax on remittances may not even be noticeable. Probably that was why it did not get attention until it was implemented.
In the larger scheme of things, remittance charges are also small. Here in Hong Kong, it ranges from HK$20 to HK$30. But in other countries like those in the Middle East, it gets higher as the remittance increases.
In the larger scheme of things, at least according to GMA, the EVAT is necessary for her so-called brand of progress. For an OFW who sends 10k, for example, for the basic needs of the family, that is P1,200 that goes EVAT.
Considering the economic conditions back home, it is safe to say that families of Filipinos abroad are probably the bulk of the population who still have purchasing capacity. Thus, the evident drive of businesses to expand to the OFW market.
In the larger scheme of things, if we believe La Gloria, it again does not matter for everyone shall benefit in the end.
In July last year, the first Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) was convened in Belgium. Some of its most telling conclusions include:
- That remittances to developing countries are one of the largest sources of external finance for developing countries, and can represent a large share of GDP for some of them. The World Bank estimates that recorded remittances to developing countries (i.e., excluding informal flows) reached $206 billion in 2006, almost two-thirds of foreign direct investment ($325 billion), and almost twice as large as official aid ($104 billion) received by these countries. Remittances are also considered to be more stable and evenly spread than other financial flows such as ODA or FDI, and are also considered to be countercyclical.
- That remittances cannot be appropriated by governments, but their positive impact on development can be increased through options, incentives and tools designed and implemented by governments in partnership with other relevant actors.
Not much different with other goods for trade. Only migrants can be traded again and again as long as we are good.
But then again, in the larger scheme of things...Oh, wait. There's probably nothing larger than this scheme.
Friday, August 15, 2008
It comes in the form of movies. I swore last Saturday to layoff flicks for a while and so far I’m succeeding. The likes of Eternal Summer, Testosterone (Antonio Sabato, Jr. playing gay?), Love of Siam, Bilog and Oro, Plata, Mata are comfortably stored on my hard disk unwatched.
It comes in the form of books. I recently acquired audio books of the Twilight series that many people have been raging about and other books like the Man Booker Prize Winner in 2002, Life of Pi. So far I haven’t started on either.
It comes in the form of computer games. Not the ones kids play for they all sound Greek to one as ancient as I am. I’m speaking more of Hearts, Free Cell, Literati and Bookworm.
It also comes in the form of blogging. (Evil laugh in the background). Thus the recent neglect of this blog or visiting most of the blogs I usually read.
So no, I am not sick. I am not gone. I am just trying to see how far I can go before I give in to temptations … er, distractions.
Since I'm posting this now and I watched Hellboy 2 this morning,I obviously lasted only a week. Pathetic.
(PS: I did not include men and friends. They are not distractions. They are life support systems.)
Friday, August 8, 2008
For the past couple of days, I’ve been sitting hours after hours in front of the PC stringing words that should sound professional, broad, and appealing for those who hold the purse. Honestly, I feel like I did a mediocre job of it. Anyway, I did my best and it should be freakin’ good enough at least for now.
In between bouts of inspiration for what I was writing and staring blankly at the screen, I had sex. Kidding! I watched movies after movies.
The line-up: Boy Culture, Phoenix, Coffee Date, Hancock and The Seeker. Oh, I also re-watched episodes of my four fave TV shows. This may give you an idea of how frequent the ‘in between work’ moments have been.
(To digress a wee bit, my weird work ethics include working while dialogues of something I’ve watched before play in the background.)
Anyway, it was a good thing that my movie marathon ranged from entertaining to quite good ones that raise questions we usually ask and topics that we usually talk about. The former describes the sci-fi/fantasy flicks while the latter are on the gay-themed ones.
Boy Culture asks about: A. sex, B. love, C. relationship – the three favorite themes for many of us. All the permutations of the drama and fun of gay romance come from mixing one with the other/s. A plus or minus B plus or minus C can equal one-night stands, fuck buddies, open relationships, platonic relationships, platonic and lustful relationships, virtual, long-distance, etc.
We add and subtract as we play the field hoping to finally get that explosive equation. Sometimes we do.
Phoenix, meanwhile, deals with betrayal and how broken one can be if he experiences that breakdown of trust. The film has some dragging moments wherein you feel like you’re just waiting for the two betrayed guys to just jump into bed and devour each other. (Which they did eventually.)
Finally it just says that one can deal with a relationship betrayal in two ways: either be burned by it and get miserable or look at it as a time to learn and realize that he’s not worth it and someone better will come along.
Coffee Date is a bit different. We are used to topics of gays asserting to live as one. But this film put a twist: what happens when a straight guy finds himself defending his sexuality tooth and nails. Interestingly, the very same stereotypes about gays are the same stereotypes this straight guy has to face to prove he’s a hetero.
While it is funny, it also shows how the macho culture impacts males – gay or straight. A little off-tangent is the homophobic brother turning out to be gay and transforming overnight from this macho I’ll-barf-if-you-say-gay into an in-your-face homo who wears a tight pink shirt, speaks in high-pitched voice, and sees every guy who looks at him as a potential trick. It just doesn’t work that way.
Anyway, for this week so far, the activist in me is a tad disturbed and distracted while the gay in me is quite contended.
God, if only I can string these two into a cohesive proposal that can make money, the sore ass will be much more worth it!
Monday, August 4, 2008
What you are supposed to do...and please don't spoil the fun...
Click copy/paste, type in your answers and tag four people in your lists!
Don't forget to change my answers to the questions with that of your own
(A) Four places I go over and over: bahay, opis, bahay, opis
(B) Four people who e-mail me regularly: ate, director ng opis, pinsang makulit, opismeyts
(C) Four of my favorite places to eat? kolorum na nepali resto, satay king, jollibee, bahay
(D) Four places you'd rather be? pinas, RP, perlas ng silangan, las islas Filipinas
(E) Four people I think will respond: Kiks, Lyka, Gibo, Red (Pag hindi kayo sumagot, maglimutan na tayo.)
(F) Four TV shows I could watch over and over: Grey's Anatomy, Brothers and Sisters, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Heroes
Hoy Kiks, Lyka, Gibo and Red .. sumagot kayo! Apat dapat, dapat apat. chos!
Saturday, August 2, 2008
The plot was thin and the acting was mediocre. There were lots of one-liners that were delivered as if just really reading from a script and came out more as disjointed dialogues. While the effects were pretty decent, the sheer mediocrity of it all didn't really make me riveted to what was unfolding before the big screen.
The story was simple ... and is not worth retelling. Whoever said that simplicity is beauty haven't really seen this film.
Though Brendan Fraser was still an eye-candy, my friends and I watched the film because of Jet Li. We are big fans of kung-fu and we were expecting fight scenes reminiscent of his Wong Fei-Hung stunts. Add Michelle Yeoh to the mix and it doubled our excitement.
But darn it, their presence did not lift the film even an inch from the quagmire it was in.
Aside from the fight with assassins stupid enough to try and kill him without stealth and the sword fight between Li and Yeoh, there was not much martial arts done.
Jet Li's magical mastery of elements could have been interesting to see in a fantastic showcase of elemental powers like in the cartoons Avatar: The Last Airbender. But after a few fire and ice, I didn't also get to see much of it.
All in all, we've had better mornings. I could not stop thinking that the past hours could have been spent in more fruitful work such as oversleeping.
I may have to watch The Warlords again just to redeem Jet Li's reputation before my eyes.
At the end of it, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor should have applied to itself its basic theme: better leave something horrible buried for thousands of years - undisturbed, untouched, unwatched.