Friday, April 29, 2005

Straight Talk

In grade school I was always attracted to straight guys. I suppose when I was young I saw effeminate gays as “wannabe girls” instead of guys. And I had no concept of straight-acting gays yet.

The first straight guy I ever had a serious crush with was back in high school. We were in the same theater company. He was a batch younger than me. He was like a little boy lost. He sought me out to talk about anything and everything: advice on acting, help with homework, frustrations with his family. I was his older brother, a mentor he can always run to for anything. Little did I realize he was running off with my heart until it was too late. I became more emotionally needy and wanted to always be with him. When he realized I was getting too close for comfort, he pulled back a bit. Worse, he became best friends with a classmate of his, and whenever they’d have a fight, he’d come to me for advice.

The next one was in college. When I first met him, we were homeroom classmates in first year. We were in the same course, we loved the same comic book titles, we were crazy about movies, we were fans of ELO. His best friend was also enrolled in the same school but took a different course. At first they were inseparable in campus; eventually I supplanted his best friend and we were never apart. I visited him at his house whenever I could. Any favor he asked from me, I did without hesitation; I was at his beck and call. I even helped him patch up with his girlfriend whenever they’d have a fight. Eventually he was the very first person I came out to; I also told him my feelings for him. Naturally that freaked him out. Years passed before we were able to comfortably face each other. Now he’s married with kids and living outside the country; I don’t miss him at all. I’ve sooo moved on.

Then there was this account executive in the advertising agency where I worked. He was not even my type; I was close to his girlfriend first. But she would always drag me around with them whenever they’d go out-of-town. (They used me as an excuse so that her parents will allow her to go out of town: “I’ll be with friends! As in plural!”) He became so comfortable in my presence he didn’t hesitate to share a hotel room with me when we three went to Hong Kong. He is actually skittish around gays, but according to him I’m one of the few gay guys he knew who behaved in a respectable manner. Hah. I eventually told him of my feelings for him; I asked his girlfriend for advice first before sitting down with him. In fairness to everyone concerned we behaved like mature adults. I got over him pretty quickly, he never had a chance to feel uncomfortable towards me, and his girlfriend didn’t stop dragging me around to out-of-town trips. When the two got married I was invited to the wedding; there I finally let go of the last remaining romantic feelings I had for him.

Did I learn my lesson after all that? No! In between them I had crushes with several other straight guys—schoolmates, officemates, theater mates.

I remember the last straight guy I ever fell in love with. He was very secure in his sexuality; he was very comfortable with greeting me in public with a hug and a wet one on my cheek. He even allowed me to cuddle up to him when I slept over at his place—but only once and never again.

Nowadays I see straight guys as a source of friendship… and some amount of amusement. The way they can really be clueless about gays is amazing. Gays have the “advantage” of having the straight lifestyle shoved in our faces 24 hours a day—be it in movies, books, TV and other media. The poor straights have to wade through pirated copies of Queer As Folk to get an idea of our lifestyle—and even then that’s a very inaccurate picture.

Once in a while I meet a straight who’s so secure he’s unfazed by gays and is quite comfortable in their company. And I silently give thanks that there are open-minded people in this world, no matter how few they are.

10 Signs That You’re Getting Old

1. You can’t stay up as late as you did before.
2. Your waistline is fast catching up with your age.
3. You start to appreciate your parents’ music.
4. You look back fondly at the TV shows you grew up with.
5. You can answer almost every question in those 80s pop trivia quizzes.
6. You look fondly at items of your youth which don’t exist anymore today—like TV Times, Daisy Milk and Jojo Candy.
7. You need a longer recovery period in between ejaculations.
8. The birthday parties you attend are for the children of your friends.
9. Almost all your favorite musical acts have released their greatest hits album.
10. You start attending weddings. You start attending baptisms. You start attending funerals. Then you start attending more and more of them. One day you’ll attend one last funeral.

Oh L’amour

All alone we go on day after day
All alone we suffer
Oh, steal your heart away….

(Fleetwood Mac, “Steal Your Heart Away”)

The trouble with unrequited love is this: does anyone know of an instance when the unrequited became requited? Please raise your hand… anyone? Well?

I thought so.

Pining for the stars and the moon and the sun will always be just that—pining. Unless the stars and moon and sun would one day come down from the sky... well! So either you choose to remain miserable pining or you move on. Only you can do that; the stars and moon and sun are too far away to even notice your suffering. It’s your choice whether to remain in an unrequited situation or not.

Ang harsh, ano?

Growing up I was (Drama) Queen of Unrequited Love. For the longest time I kept falling for straight guys; you can’t get more unrequited than that. I kept smashing my head against the wall with every straight guy I fell in love with.

After ten years of being a straight-chaser, I woke up one day and chose to stop this nonsense. So now I’ve concentrated solely on gays and you know what? The situation remains the same—unrequited is unrequited, whether straight or gay. At least now I’ve learned to swerve and not hit the wall anymore.

Now I insist that there should be some level of reciprocation of feelings. If only one is interested, then it’ll be unfair for both. Insisting on remaining in an unrequited position is not only masochistic, it’s also tiring.

There is a difference between unrequited love and selfless love. The former expects something in return; the latter is given freely, willingly, and without a heavy heart. If you want him to love you back, it’s unrequited and you’ll be unhappy. If you expect nothing in return, then there’s joy in giving.

Are you being selfless or are you really expecting something in return?

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Maid To Last

I recently found out that our domestic helper of 35 years, Yaya Nating, had upped and left us. She started working for us back in the late 60s when we were still living in Cubao. She saw all the McVie children grow up; she took care of all of us, cooking our meals, doing the laundry, cleaning the house. Now she’s 66 years old, going deaf in one ear, has failing eyesight and arthritis. She stopped doing the physically-demanding house chores years ago. Mostly she cooks, irons and cleans the house in a non-vigorous way.

Maybe my parents were more careful with raising their first two sons; my older brother and I never really considered her our personal yaya when we were growing up. So I never really felt close to her. But she was the one I’d run to whenever I needed something in the house. My younger sister and brothers were the ones who bonded more with her because when they were growing up my parents were busier at work and had ceded some of the responsibility for raising the kids to her.

In the 35 years Nating worked for us, almost every month of May my parents allowed her to go back home to our province of Bohol for vacation. Because of her loyal service to our family, my parents were never strict as to how long her vacation would last. Often she stayed away for a month; as she grew older and frailer, she’d extend it to a month and a half.

Two weeks ago she told my mom she was going home to Bohol for good. My mom was taken aback, but did not ask Nating to reconsider. At her age it’s about time she stopped working. When my mom asked when she was leaving, she said last week of April.

A few days later Nating surprised my mom before breakfast by declaring that she was leaving by the afternoon. Apparently throughout the past week she had been slowly transferring her stuff out of our house. Now with just a small bag in her hand, Nating showed my mom a photocopy of an amendment from the Department of Labor. It stated that household helpers are entitled to a retirement fee: half-a-month’s salary multiplied by the number of years of service. “I’m entitled to get something,” she told my mom.

Now I have nothing against giving maids a retirement fee. And with 35 years of loyal service, I feel that it’s just right that we give her something. But what got everyone’s goat was the way she asked for it. First she didn’t even give us an advance warning that she was leaving for good. Then she demanded for her retirement pay by going all technical and waving a piece of paper under my mom’s nose.

So now my mom—an accountant by training and profession until she was promoted to branch manager—decided to go all technical with her. She deducted, with an accountant’s accuracy, all the months Nating took for vacation. Plus she reminded her that technically Nating didn’t work for us for 35 years—there were two years when she didn’t come back to work for us because her mother wanted her to stay in Bohol. So that’s minus two years.

Still, the final amount is quite a sizable amount. Because my mom’s retired, she bargained with Nating that she’ll pay her five thousand pesos every month for the next year. Nating agreed.

My sister was livid. She went all over the house, making sure that Nating hadn’t swiped anything from us. My younger brother’s reaction is more laid-back; after all, she took care of him and is closest to him. He just offered to shoulder almost half of the amount. Maybe because my older brother lives away from us, he had a different take on the situation. He reminded us that technically Nating didn’t retire; by her very actions, she resigned. As per labor law, someone who resigns does not get any extra separation pay.

When he told me that, I immediately asked my mom if we could go back to Nating and tell her that. Obviously she refused.

So now I’m forced to do certain household chores now. Plus I promised my mom I’ll be the one who’ll shoulder our monthly household expenses from now on.

My mom decided to put a positive spin to all this. “It’s best that she’s not with us anymore,” she told us. “Imagine, what if something happens to her, if she’s taken ill or worse? Then we’ll have to be responsible for her.”

Meanwhile this is the last time I want us to have a live-in maid.

Resistance Is Futile

Especially when dealing with the Borg. As in, Borgy Manotoc.

Last night we went to Government Bar for the launch of the third issue of Icon Magazine. Huge mock-ups of the third issue’s cover were all over the place; the cover photo features Borgy wearing only a pair of skimpy briefs and a wide smile. Many of the guys already milling around the dance floor were excitedly waiting for the cover boy to make an appearance. Almost everyone was giddy with anticipation; all except me. I’m not really as gaga over him as I am over Brent Javier but that’s because I had no idea how gorgeous he was in person.

Until I bumped into him later that night.

He was with three model-thin girls by the bar. My friend Edsel (who’s also with Icon) was already drunk; when he saw Borgy he whipped out his camera and approached him.

“Hi, excuse me, Borgy. Can I take a picture with you and my friend here?” And he points at me.

Aba, gawin pa akong excuse?!

We posed. After Edsel snapped the photo, Borgy turned to me and said, “Now it’s my turn to take a picture of you.”


He pointed at my chest. “I just looove your t-shirt!” he said. “I noticed it immediately when I came in. I’ve been staring at it the whole night.”

Borgy, staring at me?! In a gay bar?! Okay, staring at my t-shirt, pero shet! Shet! SHEEEEET!

* swoon *

So he asks me to hold still while he took a picture of my shirt. Leigh gave me that t-shirt as a gift when she came back from her Bangkok trip. It says “It’s a Dog Eat Dog World” and there’s a picture of three dogs forming a chain, one dog eating the other’s rear end and so forth.

After Edsel took another picture of us, we said thanks and goodbye to him. “Ok dude, be cool,” he told me as he shook my hand. All I could do was give him a thumbs up (yaaak, how butch!) and say, “Thanks!”

Haaaayyy! What a gorgeous boy! Thank you very much for the t-shirt, Leigh. Next time I shop I should drag you along.

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Never trust a drunk to take your picture. Wow, pare, blurred!

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Borgy takes a shot.

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Stay cool daw, dude!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Re. Name the Title of that 70s/80s Show

I can’t believe no one remembered #11: This dune-buggy has supernatural powers. It’s Wonder Bug, and it’s the first of three shows under one title (which I now forget): the first show is Wonder Bug, followed by Dr. Shrinker, then ends with Electra Woman and Dyna Girl.

Wonder Bug follows the adventures of several teenagers and their dune buggy that has magical powers. sort of like Herbie the Love Bug, but for beach bums.

Who Is Caroline Marcil?

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Poor Caroline! I never heard of her before, but suddenly the Canadian singer was all over the international news. She was singing the “Star-Spangled Banner” before a hockey game in Canada when she stopped because she forgot the lyrics. She went out to get a copy of the lyrics, but when she came back to try again, she slipped on the ice. So now the headline “The Star-Mangled Banner” is everywhere.


But you know what will hurt more? After having her 15 minutes of embarrassing fame, she will most probably fade to anonymity outside of Canada.

Double ouch.

I’m A Fan!

I’m sorry, but Badinggerzie’s blog is so hilarious, I just had to plug it here in The McVie Show. Those who aren’t used to vhaklur-speak will no doubt be unable to read the entries—too bad there are no dictionaries to help you, my friend. But for those in the know, prepare to be dazzled. If funny can translate to ratings, Badinggerzie is the number one show evuuur!

Tele-bisyo, or Couch Potato Memoirs

I grew up in the 70s. I remember that day in 1972 when suddenly there was no TV. My older brother felt bad that he couldn’t watch his favorite shows, but me being very young I just accepted the fact. Martial Law was a foreign concept to me. The way my parents explained it to me, Martial Law meant curfew (no one should be out on the streets by 7pm) and that we should never, ever say anything bad about The Marcoses and the government. I think my parents feared that if we say anything derogatory, we’d be plucked out of our house in the middle of the night by soldiers, sent to Camp Crame, and disappear eventually. For my brother, Martial Law meant no more Funny Company and Gentle Ben on TV.

Back then television sets had tubes (de-tubo) and were encased in wooden sets with sliding doors. They often had two speakers (one on each side) even though the sound was mono. When we wanted to switch channels or raise the volume, one of us—usually it’s the youngest or the one nearest—had to get up, go to the TV set and turn a knob. Colored TV was a luxury only those in Forbes Park could afford; for the rest of us Filipinos we settled for a TV screen anti-radiation guard. These blue-tinted transparent plastic screens (supposedly) reduced glare and radiation; personally I think they just succeeded in making everyone on TV look sickly. And when we switched off the TV, we’d all wait for that white spot in the middle of the screen to disappear before we slid the doors closed; by waiting for the spot to disappear, we kids felt that we were prolonging our TV-watching experience.

When Marcos allowed the stations to start broadcasting again, most of the programs were canned shows. The local shows were tightly watched to make sure there were no incendiary comments made against the government. News broadcasts were controlled. Our parents must have felt it was safer for their kids to just watch canned shows rather than local shows.

So I grew up watching cop/detective shows like The Mod Squad, Mannix, Adam 12 (I had a crush on both cops!), Hawaii Five-O, Starsky and Hutch, (I watched the episode where David Soul sang his hit “Don’t Give Up On Us”!), CHiPs, Hillstreet Blues, 21 Jump Street (only the Johnny Depp years; I didn’t like Richard Grieco), Cop Rock, Cagney and Lacey, Remington Steele, and Moonlighting.

I was also a big sci-fi fan: Land Of The Lost, Time Tunnel, UFO, Stingray (in its full marionette glory!) Lost In Space, Star Trek, Space: 1999, Logan’s Run, Battlestar Galactica, Man From Atlantis (ooohhh, Patrick Duffy!), Six Million Dollar Man, Bionic Woman, Dr. No, Sapphire and Steel.

Of course there were the cartoons: Popeye, Banana Splitz, Mightor, Moby Dick, Herculoids, (my favorite was the laser-firing dragon), Wacky Races, (my favorite was Number 2, the one with the haunted castle and—hmmm—a dragon), Yogi Bear, Magilla Gorilla, Scoobie Doo, Josie and The Pussycats, Charlie Chan and the Chan Clan. Then came the robot series: Mekanda, Daimos, Mazinger Z, Balatak, Voltes V.

And my favorite educational shows: Sesame Street and The Electric Company.

Other favorite shows include Dance Fever, MV2 (I think this is the first local program which aired music videos regularly; MTV was not yet available locally), Rhythm of the City, Penthouse Live!, Student Canteen, and Lunch Date.

Now that I’m working on public TV, I really don’t have time to watch television. If I do have time to flip through channels, I’d much rather watch cable channels than free TV. Ah, the irony.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Name the Title of that 70s/80s Show

Oki doki, time for a game show! Taking off from Sky’s lead, I present to you another quiz. This time please identify the title of the television series refered to the clues below. Warning: there are shows here that only my batchmates can identify. Proceed!

1. Once upon a time, there were three little girls who went to the police academy. (Charlie's Angels)
2. Eric Estrada and Larry Wilcox on bikes. (CHiPs) Take note of the proper spelling!
3. Maggie Gioberti and the rest lived on this wine plantation. (Falcon Crest)
4. These bears sure can stare! (Care Bears)
5. The people in Moonbase Alpha flew Eagles. (Space: 1999) Too much of a giveaway if I mention Commander Koenig and Maya.
6. This doctor is a “madman with an evil mind” and thinks small. (Dr. Shrinker)
7. A talking car and a guy named Devon. (Knight Rider)
8. These girls had wristwatches that serve as communicator and weapon. (Electra Woman and Dyna Girl)
9. He’s a monster who has a Big Daddy, a Big Momma, brothers Blurp & Slurp, and a lobster for a family pet. (Sigmund and the Sea Monster) "and Johnny and Scott are friends" ika nga ni Leigh. Talagang may "and" yun, even though Sigmund IS a sea monster himself! Ewan ko ba.
10. Who’s the high school guy who “can’t lose”? (Parker Lewis Can’t Lose)
11. This dune-buggy has supernatural powers.
12. An alien life form living in with a human family. (Alf)
13. A little girl that’s actually a robot. (Small Wonder)
14. Only one blue female among many blue males. (The Smurfs)
15. This British sci-fi import features the covert group SHADO headed by Commander Ed Straker, tasked with defending Earth against the titular threat. (UFO)

Review And Greet

“One of the best posts I’ve read anywhere in quite a while. You have a way with words...”
– comment by Noprofit re. “Monks In The Key Of Zzz” episode

Shet. Palakpak naman pekpek ko. A-hihihihi. Geeteynkz! :-)

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I doubt if he watches The McVie Show, but here’s my shout-out anyway: HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Jagard! Sayang at natigil ang blog mo. Nang dahil sa isang headphone?

At birthday rin pala ni Addie, ang asawa ng kaibigan kong si Ron.

So to the viewers of this show, if you personally know either celebrants, go greet them on their special day. Go na! Now na!

Monday, April 25, 2005

Ooh, Super!

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Brandon Routh as Superman in the new movie directed by Bryan Singer (of the X-Men movies), assuming that this picture is legit and not an online hoax. Obviously reflecting the sensibilities of today, the new Superman isn’t muscle-heavy. In fact, I like the lean body look—Clark Kent should join the Bikini Bodies next year.

I’m a little bothered by the size of the “S” on his chest. I find it a little smaller than what I’m used to. And what is that smaller “s” doing on his belt-buckle? Capital “S” sa chest, lower-caps “s” sa buckle? I’m reminded of The Electric Company’s Letterman: Faster than a rolling O, more powerful than a silent E, able to leap tall T’s in a single bound…. It’s a word! It’s a plan! It’s Letterman! (“Hi, I’m Letterman.”)

I remember the day the movie Superman opened. We were high school kids waiting in line for the first screening in Ali Mall, Cubao. When we got in, they played the last reel of the movie. (This happens in the lagare system—two movie houses share one print of the movie, but since both opened at roughly the same time, say 11am, one of them will have to unspool the last reel while the other unspools the first reel.) So we saw how Superman saves Metropolis—and how he turned back Time by forcing the Earth to rotate in the opposite direction. It was mind-blowing for us high school kids, never mind the illogical movie physics. It was also infuriating to see the ending first, but since the concept of reserved seating was non-existent then, we couldn’t go out of the movie house; by the time we come back for the first reel, there’d be no more seats left.

That movie had images which stuck in my mind: the justice hall of Krypton, the spinning rings, the creation of the Fortress of Solitude, Marlon Brando in a white wig, Christopher Reeve’s package. And as the movie poster promised, when the movie first revealed Superman in costume and he flew out of the Fortress, I truly believed a man could fly.

I’m not exactly as excited to watch either this new Superman movie or the upcoming Batman Begins as I was with the first Superman movie and the first Tim Burton Batman movie. But I’ll watch them just the same. Superman is still Superman and Batman is Batman.

Let there be heroes.

Friday, April 22, 2005


In her blog Leigh described this Bermuda Triangle phenomenon in our brain wherein suddenly there’s a hole where a great idea used to be. I rarely experience that Bermuda Triangle because I often manage to reel in the idea immediately. What I often experience is the “Oh, it’s a shoe!” phenomenon—after reeling in what I thought was a big fish (or a big idea), it turns out to be just a shoe. Minsan flip-flops pa nga eh. Flopchina ng O.

Food For My Soul

The following Friendster testimonials are from my friends BJ and Ara respectively. He’s only 23 yrs old, she’s 24. They are just two from several batches in TA whom I had the honor and pleasure to work with through the years.

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tatango ka na lamang pag nagsalita si joel. oo ka na lang. mapapasabi ng true, korek at exactly. ganun siya katalino. hahalakhak ka na lamang pag nagbiro si joel. susubukang himirit ngunit tataubin pa ng mas mabenta pa niyang hirit. ganun siya kagaling. magpapasalamat ka na lamang pag nilibre ka ni joel. ngingiti muli sa dala niyang CD's at libreng hatid sa bahay. ganun siya kabait. mapalad ako't kasundo niya ako. ganun siya katinik.

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joel. cool DJ. great listener. mega-advice sa mga may prublema. super generous. OA sa talino. Sobrang nakakatawa. kaloka ang muscle shirts. sarap kasama. galing sumayaw. ayos sa style. sipag magdrive. mabuting kaibigan. hay, sobrang daming magagandang bagay tungkol sa kanya, isa siyang taong hinding-hindi malilimutan ng lahat. :D

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Back in the mid-90s, I was in my fifth year in advertising when I felt the need to leave the corporate rat race and do something I really liked, like theater and directing behind a camera. So I resigned, went back to TA, toured Iloilo with them, did two more plays, and generally whiled away my time hanging out with the kids in the TA tambayan in college. After almost a year of no income, I fully depleted my separation pay; I had less than a hundred pesos in my bank account. I went back to advertising with my tail between my legs.

But that experience taught and affected me a lot. I made a deal with my boss that she would allow me time off to do a play once in a while; it was my therapy and it helped me become a well-rounded creative person. And so I continued to be involved in several TA plays and tours even when I was back thinking up of how to sell hamburgers and instant noodles. Hobnobbing with younger people also made me feel and look younger. Whenever people tell me I look young for my age, I silently give thanks to my much-younger friends for that.

What I didn’t realize was that experience affected not just me but also the young people in TA. Without knowing it, I was a role model to them. I was an example they could emulate. I was a source of knowledge and experience. I was also a source of funds. Many times I’d pay for their dinner because they didn’t have enough baon with them. Or we’d go on a gimik that I’d partly funded. I know where most of them live because I’d bring them home when they had no ride.

Nowadays because I am in broadcasting, getting involved in something as time-consuming as a play is almost out of the question. Now I’m just reduced to meeting up with them after their rehearsals, if I’m lucky to catch them eating somewhere in Katipunan. And when I do, I notice another legacy of mine with my former “wards”—some of them have opted, upon graduation, to not jump into the rat race immediately. Instead they’ve devoted their time to give something back to TA. So now I just step aside and let them hog the “alumni limelight”. My time has come and gone; now it’s their turn to help teach the kids, spend for their dinner, and drive them home when they don’t have a ride.

Years later when they read their testimonials given to them by the kids, they’ll marvel at how much they affected these kids without them knowing it. And they’ll treasure these testimonials. And they’ll come back to them time and again, especially when they’re feeling a bit low and unpretty about themselves.

I fed them dinner; in turn they feed my soul.

Go To Bed

I’m sleepy the whole day today because I stayed up until 3am in Bed. I met up with some friends there, but I also accompanied my officemate and friend Edsel, who’s still trying to cope up with the end of his seven-year relationship with his boyfriend. The break-up happened a little less than a month ago, but given that their relationship lasted seven years and that it was the first for both of them, I’m giving Edsel just several more weeks before I start telling him, “Hoy bakla, OA ka na ha.”

In the meantime, I let him dance wildly last night, drink one-and-a-half glasses of Nightmare (the potent concoction that’s one-part cocktail and one-part airline fuel) and flirt with another guy who, I later found out, had a boyfriend waiting outside the bar. At one point Edsel sandwiched me between them while they were dancing; sayaw naman ako. Ang pootah.

Thank god I’ve no major workload scheduled today. I just need to preview the plugs produced by my team. It’s a Friday, we’ll end up late, maybe Edsel will invite me again to go to Bed. Or maybe Government. Anywhere is fine for him, so long as he gets home dead-tired, so that he doesn’t have time to think. About Roy. About his stuff still in the apartment. About seven years that ended in a whimper.

Me? I’m just sleepy.


Lahat nag-comment sa form. Walang nag-comment sa content.


I am such an attention-whore.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Season 3 ver.2

I decided that the look of the first version of The McVie Show Season 3 was too literary. I wanted the same neat look of Season 2 but with some color. Thus the second version of Season 3.

Hope you like it! No wait, hope I like it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Monks In The Key Of Zzz

In the different bathhouses I’ve been to within Metro Manila through the years, they often play background music in their public address system to help mask the moans and groans of the clients. In almost all the music of choice is some form of dance music, be it disco, house, electronica, or even trance. It’s like the default genre in most gays’ internal iPod, sort of a “gayPod” gene.

But only in F do they resist playing any form of dance music. Instead they play what is broadly called New Age music—the mostly moody instrumental kind. It’s bizarre to have “The Theme from Chariots of Fire” by Vangelis as your score as you score. Also heavily rotated in F’s playlist is one of my musical pet peeves: the Gregorian Monks’ Masters of Chant album. Yes, that’s the album of Gregorian monks singing pop songs in their monkish manner. Cruising the dim, red-lit corridors of F with the monks chanting R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” as the soundtrack can be quite a surreal experience.

Once while me and another guy were deep into heavy breathing action in one of the cubicles, I was startled out of it when I suddenly realized that the guy was moaning to the beat of the monks’ version of Duran Duran’s “Save A Prayer”! I didn’t know whether to be insulted or to snap my fingers in syncopation. Instead I slowed down my pumping so that it’ll go contrapelo to the music. He noticed my sudden shift; he stopped moaning and threw a puzzled look my way. “Oh, nothing,” I told him. “Go ahead, moan.”

I find it a little disturbing to hear the monks sing “Tears In Heaven” while I’m going down on someone, especially if I’ve been at it for quite some time and I am literally teary-eyed at the effort. Suddenly Eric Clapton’s ode to his dead daughter takes on a totally different meaning.

I must say there’s only one track in that album which doesn’t grate my ear. Well, to be honest it actually does, a bit. But I’m suitable impressed that they chose to cover Peter Gabriel’s duet with Kate Bush, “Don’t Give Up” that I can forgive them just this once and I listen passively to the music instead of tuning out completely. (Plus the song gains new meaning when it’s played near closing time and I still haven’t scored at all and my ego is at an all-time low.)

A morbid fascination of mine: I wonder how the monks will render Britney Spears’ “Oops!... I Did It Again” or Eminem’s “Stan” or Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head”. If I hear any one of these in F, I’d kinda freak out a bit.

Still I hope the monks will stop monk-eying around with other people’s music.

Random Thought for the Day

How about staging an Inner Beauty Pageant? Wonder how that’ll look like.

Achtung Papa!

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became the 265th pope, taking the name Benedict XVI. Our new Pope is German. The Popemobile should now be a Benz. Goldilocks will come out with a special Papa de Mercedez. German cut will become an even more popular choice of circumcision. Benedict Aquino will try to make a comeback. Seig heil!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Hold The McVie!

Today it feels like my life has reached a plateau. Just today ha, mind you. I’m neither moving forward nor slip-sliding back. I don’t know if I’m moving to the side or not; in fact, I seem to be directionless. I’m in a holding pattern, going nowhere but just moving. Just keep moving. Maybe moving is in itself a reason to be.
I move, therefore I am.
I worry, therefore I am.
I jest, therefore I am.
I’m bored, therefore I am.

Some friends I know get spells of loneliness. I get whiffs of ennui.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Fun With Homonyms

While having heavenly halo-halo in Razon’s in Pampanga, Dave was trying to convince the group to have one last photo session: “Sige na, maganda dito sa Pampanga. Habang pauwi tayo, pag may nakita akong magandang location, tigil tayo.”

It was 2:30 in the afternoon, the sun was blazing down the lahar-landia of Pampanga, and there were no clouds in sight. Heck, what were we in Razon’s eating halo-halo for?

Dave continued: “Magandang mag-shoot doon sa malaking dike sa may lahar area dito.”

“Malaking dyke?” I interrupted him. “I suddenly imagined this malaking konduktora ng bus na nakatayo sa gitna ng lahar. Nakapamewang.”

The others had to cover their mouths to stop saging and leche flan from spewing from their mouths. The side comments came fast and furious:

“What if it was Anne Heche in the middle of the lahar?! Ahahahahaha!”
“How about Melissa Etheridge?! Ahahahahahaha!”
“How about Aiza Seguerra for more local flavor?! Ahahahaha!”
“Nasa gitna siya ng lahar, may gitara, Pagdating ng panahon…. Ahahahahaha!”
I started singing: “Baka tibo ng puso ko’y maging tibo ng puso mo!

That did it. We were on the floor, rolling.

Needless to say, when we passed by the huge dike afterwards we didn’t bother to stop anymore.

Subic Sniffetz

No start at the start. The weekend started ominously with Orlando’s battery dying on me the night before. I had to call my brother to bring his car over to the office so we could jump-start Orlando and bring him home. So instead of leaving at 9:30am on Saturday, I bought Orlando a new battery in the morning. Xander and I left at 1:30pm for the three-hour trip.
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Malungkot ang Subic. When we got there at 4:30pm, there weren’t many people around. It’s a summer weekend so I thought there’ll be more people. Were they all at the beaches? Or maybe they’re in Ocean Adventure? When we visited the contest venue at around 5:10pm, they were still painting the stage. And the show was supposed to start at 6! We steeled ourselves for a really late start.

Nauwi sa pictorial ang mga pootah. My other TA friends went early so that they can swim at the beach—unfortunately the beaches were too crowded. So instead they had a pictorial session among the rocks at the beach beside the airport. Shet saying, hindi kami nakasali ni Xander. Hindi ako photogenic, and I don’t like how I look in 99.9% of my pictures. Maybe I’m just hoping that a professional photographer can do magic. (As if.)
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Dinner, interrupted. We all met up for dinner at Aresi’s at 5:30pm, thinking we’ll have time for dinner since these events never start on time. But by 6:15pm another friend of ours who went straight to the venue was texting us, insisting that we go in otherwise there’ll be no more seats available for us. We asked the waiter to hold our orders until after the show; thank god they granted our request.

Bikini open daw, pero walang nag-open ng kanyang bikini.
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The winners of the Slimmers World Bikini Bodies 2005
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Our friend Marisse with John Daryl, the winner in the men’s division.
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Would you believe the first runner up in the men’s division is just 16 years old?! At uuuyyy, excited si Vhaklhur sa tabi niya!

Paos, pero laos. We had three favorites among the male contestants, and two of them ended up the first and second-place winners. Among the women we were only cheering for our friend Marisse. Using our theatrically-trained voices, we screamed and cheered every time she came out. We were the loudest, rowdiest cheering squad that night. But all our vocal histrionics were for naught; despite entering the top 10 finalists, Marisse didn’t place at all. And we all ended up sounding like Bonnie Tyler sound-alikes.

Memorable signage. (at a beauty parlor) “Xxx’s Beauty Salon. For beautiful hair you’ve always wanted to be.”

Surreal morning. We had an agreement to wake up early at 8am so that we’ll have time to shop before leaving. Katski needed to be in Manila by 2pm for a wedding.

Ka-blag! At 8:06am, Tina and I were awakened by the sound of Katski slapping her hands on the bed. We turned to see her suddenly sit up straight in bed, look around and shout to no one in particular: “Hala, walang nagising!” Then she went back to sleep again.

Tina and I stared at her then at one another. Then we shrugged and went back to sleep.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Test Tickles

These tests from are fun! I took two more, and here are the results:

Do You Follow Your Heart or Your Head?

Joel, you follow your head when it comes to success

Between all your different activities and goals, you might not have time to stop and smell the dozen long-stemmed roses. It’s not that you don’t want to make room in your life for love, necessarily. It’s just you’re probably juggling a lot of different priorities, and matters of the heart might complicate things—or they have the potential to.

Between school, work, goals, and friends, racing off toward a fairy-tale ending probably just isn’t your thing. You’re more grounded than that, and take pride in being smart when it comes to balancing your real life and your relationships behind closed doors. But with smarts like yours, you’re sure to notice when love comes knocking. So don’t be afraid to answer. Success can be measured in all sorts of ways....

Ganoon? I’ll be “sure to notice when love comes knocking”? Feeling ko nga love has decided to skip my neighborhood altogether eh!

The next test is a more kikay one!

Who Catches Your Eye?

Joel, your crush is the Team Captain

An MVP is just the right kind of guy to qualify as your crush. Since you’re a VIP in your own adventurous way, you’ll need a guy who’s as fun and fearless as you are. From the playing field to the classroom to the dance floor, only an all-star will score all the right points with you.

So maybe he’s not actually the fastest sprinter or top scorer on the basketball team. It doesn’t matter as long as he’s a guy with goals, a good heart, and a winning attitude. It wouldn’t hurt if he’s in good shape and cute, too! And that’ll make for an award-winning school year! Go team!

With matching picture of a cute all-American team captain to boot! I knew it: I’m a cheerleader-wannabe.

That’s What Friends Are For

I took this on-line test in, What Are You Looking for in a Relationship? and here are the test results:

McVie, you’re looking for a Best Friend

There are many different ways to look at relationships, but for you, finding a best friend, the one person you share everything with, is the most important. Some people focus more on the romantic image of a soul mate to last the span of time, but you probably prefer the reality of making the most of every moment of every day. And who better to live those moments with than someone who’s true-blue through and through?

The ideal match for you is probably someone who can anticipate the next word out of your mouth and who laughs at the punch line before you even tell it. Chances are it’s important to you that they’d expand your circle of friends, introduce you to new places, faces and experiences too. Whether this relationship is here for the short- or the long-term, you’re a take-it-as-it-comes kind of person, with few expectations or fairytales to live up to. You’d take your constant companion and trusted secret-keeper over a fairy princess or Prince Charming, any day. Whether you realize it or not, there’s someone out there who feels the same way about you. Like you, that someone is looking for the one person to be their best friend—both in the bedroom and out.

* * * * *

In total fairness, tama ang pootah. I’d rather get to know someone first and be friends with him before even considering something more than friendship. Still, I’m not immune to being swept off my feet; tao lang po ako. All I need is to get over that initial rush of excitement and attraction.

But wouldn’t it be great to meet your ultimate crush who turns out to be your ultimate best friend?

Hay naku, McVie, tama na yang ultimate-ultimate na yan. Snap out of it.

Bitin Na Kuwento

Thursday evening in Bed: J gets lucky and hooks up with this tall, wiry guy in sleeveless shirt, arms and shoulders nicely muscled. Meanwhile I’m trying to hold myself up, thanks to a one-two punch of beer and this concoction called Nightmare. Despite my efforts no one is looking my way, so I just enjoy the sights and sounds. J asks me if I can drop them off at his place. Sure, why not? Plus points in good karma for me. But before we could leave, a snag—Mr. Sleeveless cannot join J for the night. At least he gives J his digits; he can give his body later.

In my car on our way home, J waves at security guards and street tambays—flirting while in the passenger’s seat. I drop him off at a convenience store near his place; he says he wants a hotdog before going to bed. Ganyan ang nangyayari pag bitin ang bading—nauuwi sa Purefoods Tender Juicy na lang.


Thursday, April 14, 2005


I don’t really remember how it started or developed, but one day I just realized I had an aversion for weepy scenes in television or in the movies. They made me very uncomfortable; in my mind I’d roll my eyes whenever the tears started flowing. “Ugh!” I’d say to myself. It’s like I refused to be moved by them. I think at an early age I realized I was a very sensitive lad and I found ways to harden my heart in order to keep it shielded from hurt, either fictional or real.

For the longest time whenever my friends would say, “Naiyak ako sa eksenang yun,” I’d just smile and keep silent. No movie was allowed to move me to tears. That attitude continued until one day I came to the realization that if I wanted to be a good, competent actor, I would need to feel, to be honest with my emotions, and be in touch with them. So I thought, well, why not start with the things I watch? Nothing dramatic is going on in my life anyway; no big drama that would merit tears.

So it was that at around 2 o’clock this afternoon, I found myself sprawled on our sofa, tears welling in my eyes over several scenes of Oh! Pil-seung, Boon Soon-young. In one particular episode, he had to face the workers in a particular supermarket and deliver the news that, despite their combined efforts, the store was to be closed. Then in a later scene, the same workers interrupted a meeting with the board of directors to present to Pil-seung their pledge to take pay-cuts in order to reverse the decision to close the store. Still in another scene, Soon-young tells Pil-seung that she won’t be seeing him ever again because she feels bad that she cannot reciprocate his feelings for her. After she leaves him, Pil-seung goes to his assistant/coach to pour his heart out to her; unknown to him, his assistant/coach has unrequited feelings for him! When she offered her lap for him to curl up on, my vision became blurry once more.

Ano ba yan? Korean soap opera, pinapatulan ko ng O! It was a good thing no one else was watching with me. I kept glancing around to see if anyone was around, especially our maid who has this nasty habit of creeping up right behind you without a sound. Anyway I think she was turned off with the subtitles.

I’m already in disc 5, with 3 more discs to go. I’ve actually watched the final episode (on cable), but I think the plot will still take several dramatic twists and turns. Time to turn on the tear-ducts.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Season Of Hollow Soul

I missed this song. This is my second-favorite song in k.d. lang’s magnificent song-cycle, Ingenue. Listening to it again after a long time (I just uploaded it in my iTunes today) stirred familiar feelings long buried in me. Ahhh, the innocent days of longing for love.

Keen to the shifting of wind
I bend to it blind
To rid these kisses of sin
That must stay behind

Sour the fruit of neglect
The core of my doubt
Deprived are my veins you infect
With or without

Fat must have a reason
Why else endure the season
Of hollow soul
The ground on which we leave on
How strangely fuels the season
Of hollow soul, hollow soul

Seed of uprooted chance
Are grains of goodbye
Waving boughs so slowly dance
Questioning why

Fate must have a reason
Why else endure the season
Of hollow soul
The ground on which we leave on
How strangely fuels the season
Of hollow soul, hollow soul

— k.d. lang, from the album Ingenue


Closer is a movie that defies easy summary, which is why I love it. It should also be watched by anyone who ever tells you: let’s be completely honest with one another. Ah, yes. Honesty is the best policy, but some things are better left unsaid. I’m reminded of a particular scene in the movie A Few Good Men. In a blistering cross-examination, Tom Cruise’s attorney screams at Jack Nicholson’s general: “I want the truth!” Nicholson spits back at him: “You can’t handle the truth!”

Two men, two women, and the truth and lies they wield against each other, all in the name of love. But what kind of love? The love that’s most sincere, innocent and idealistic is also the one founded on a lie. The most stable and unwavering is also mean and selfish. The movie’s blurb in its trailer and posters is very apt: “If you believe in love at first sight, you never stop looking.”

The closer one gets to the truth, the closer two people are in love: sometimes honesty and love can be too close for comfort.

See Closer before it closes.

Honestly, Abe

Ahahahahahahahahahaha!!! Me, an assassin’s target? I should be so lucky. Memo to me: stay away from civil wars and boxed seats in theaters. And if Zoolander is to be believed, I should stay away from male models-turned-assassins too.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Welcome to the Third Season!

Hu-whell, hu-whell, hu-whell! (said while swirling a glass of red wine… it has to be red wine)

I think it’s about time I changed seasons. I should have done it earlier, say around the first week of April, but I was quite busy then. New look, new episodes. There’s something about change, the only thing constant in this world. I hope there’ll be changes in content too. I hope all will be content with the changes.

We’ll see.