Thursday, June 30, 2005


(Thanks to James for the idea.)

I listed down the artists that had at least three or more songs in my iTunes. I was surprised at the list I came up with. I was surprised there weren’t as many 80s acts as I thought. The “youngest” act is Coldplay, while the “oldest” would be the 60s group The Cascades and the mega-groups The Beach Boys, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones (I guess it was a requirement in the 60s to have “The” in your name).

The McViTunes List:

Alanis Morissette
The B-52’s
Backstreet Boys
The Beach Boys
The Beatles
Bee Gees
The Cascades
Chris Isaak
Collective Soul
The Cure
Depeche Mode
Don Henley
Duran Duran
Electric Light Orchestra
Fatboy Slim
Fine Young Cannibals
Fleetwood Mac
George Winston
Gypsy Kings
Janet Jackson
Jeff Lynne
k.d. lang
Kate Bush
Kylie Minogue
Michael Jackson
New Order
No Doubt
Olivia Newton-John
Paul Simon
Pet Shop Boys
Peter Gabriel
Phil Collins
The Police
The Rolling Stones
Sarah Brightman
Sinead O’Connor
Stevie Nicks
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Traveling Wilburys
Whitney Houston

A total of 54 acts. I realize I still have many others. I just haven’t had time to burn them in my iTunes.

The World According to Tom and Steven

With the tirade of Susan Roces still ringing in my ears, I decided to escape the stupidity that is called “Philippine politics” and watched War of the Worlds in Megamall.

I will admit that I have been a long-time fan of Steven Spielberg. I literally was afraid to go into the water after watching Jaws. His Close Encounters of the Third Kind made me want to be a director. E.T. The Extra-terrestrial was for the longest time my all-time favorite movie, until I realized there was more to movies than just summer Hollywood fare (I was in high school when that movie came out; by college I was exposed to classic and foreign films). With the Jurassic Park movies, he cemented his blockbuster-director status. Schindler’s List was a shocking change for Spielberg. Sure, he had his attempts at “serious” films with The Color Purple and Empire of the Sun, but with the Holocaust movie he achieved a level of artistry and control over his cinematic excesses. He soon followed it up with Saving Private Ryan, another fine example of his skill at storytelling and his masterly command of the cinematic language.

His weakness has always been his tendency to be excessive, especially with children and with maudlin scenes. With War of the Worlds, I’m now convinced of another Spielberg weakness: he sets things up so well that the eventual denouement pales in comparison. A Spielberg movie often ends with a big let-down.

(*WARNING: Spoiler alert! The following paragraph reveals a major plot point. Proceed at your own risk. Or just jump to the next paragraph.) Yes, War of the Worlds’s ending feels like a big wet blanket. Sure, it may sound cleverly ironic on paper. But coming at the end of such an exciting roller-coaster ride, with scene after scene of awe-inspiring set-pieces mounted on a grand scale (the lightning storm! the alien ship appears! Tom’s family escapes! the ferry capsizes! the army goes to war! Tom destroys an alien ship single-handedly!), the final solution is so (literally) small it makes the ending anti-climactic, like a small, insignificant fart at the end of a gastronomic meal. Plus it opens up a major plot hole—if the aliens spent millions of years hatching up this elaborate extermination plan, why didn’t they have the foresight to wear their space suits when they fumigate?

(End of spoiler. You can continue reading in blissful ignorance.) Still, Spielberg is a genius at setting up the huge set-pieces. There’s grandeur to his images, and he does them seemingly so effortlessly, it’s almost infuriating. (Although there’s a scene where Ray Ferrier [Tom Cruise] and family are zooming down the highway; the camera kept weaving in and out and around the car so much, you could either view it as an example of virtuoso camerawork or just excessive showing-off.)

What’s more, Spielberg manages to shift effortlessly from huge scenes to small, intimate moments. After the Ferrier family loses their car to a mob, the intimacy of the following diner scene further emphasizes the personal and harrowing loss that Ray’s family just endured. And after all those huge scenes of destruction, the claustrophobic sequences with Tim Robbins in the basement are an appropriate small-scale echo of the massive break-down between people in the previous scenes.

Tom does his usual Tom Cruise-gives-his-all effort to his role. His Ray Ferrier is a less-than-perfect father who manages to discover his inner Papa when his children’s lives are placed in danger. This is the first time I’ve seen Tom play a character that’s weak and flawed. In the past Tom often played scrappy characters that triumph above all odds. His enemies are usually from outside, and they bring out the strength within him to defeat his foes. In War most of Ray’s challenges are internal, a fight within himself to find a father capable of protecting his children. Because it’s a Tom Cruise movie, he eventually plays the action hero in the end. But Ray Ferrier is a welcome change from the usual Tom Cruise dramatis personae. Perhaps when he reached his 40s, Tom realized he could not play Peter Perfect on- and off-screen all his life. So he got himself braces and Katie Holmes. Talk about tumatanda ng paurong.

War of the Worlds is not the best of this year’s summer blockbusters (Batman Returns is the leader so far), but it is diverting enough. Besides, it has Morgan Freeman as a God-like voiceover—hey, Morgan’s the new voice of God after James Earl Jones. How cool is that?

Game KNB?

On the front page of the Inquirer today: Noli says he’s prepared for the presidency. Yeah, right. Maybe he’s ready, but are we ready for a President Noli?

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Tickle Me More!

(In fairnezz, masaya pala mag-test sa! At andaming tests. Miss ko na yata maging estudyante, hahaha. At least ang mga tests dito, hindi right-minus-wrong, at walang bagsak.)

What Are You Looking for in a Relationship?
Joel, 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.

Rele-IQ Test Results (from a Test)

Joel, your Relationship IQ is 130

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Your test results tell us that your greatest relationship strength is resolving conflicts in your relationship while your weakest is accepting your partner's differences.

The first step to improving your Relationship IQ, so it can benefit you in your relationships, is to look at how you scored on four Relationship IQ dimensions: Acceptance, Communication, Conflict Resolution, and Intimacy and Sex.

ACCEPTANCE: On this scale, a score of 10 represents what the experts say is the right way to accept your partner's differences. You scored a 6.
COMMUNICATION: On this scale, a score of 10 represents what the experts say is the right way to communicate with your partner. You scored a 9.
CONFLICT RESOLUTION: On this scale, a score of 10 represents what the experts say is the right way to resolve conflict with your partner. You scored a 9.
INTIMACY & SEX: On this scale, a score of 10 represents what the experts say is the right way to express intimate feelings with your partner. You scored an 8.

Beyond your scores on the Relationship IQ dimensions, beyond your general knowledge about relationships, we can also infer from your answers on the test, the way you are in a relationship.

You, it turns out, are a Charmer in relationships.

You have a certain charisma and charm that is hard to resist, and a way of making people feel like they’re the only one in the room. In your relationships, you have an amazing amount of confidence that shows in your every move. From the way you talk to the way you carry yourself or the way you grab that certain someone’s hand—you give off an air of certainty. You sail smoothly through a multitude of situations, and your self-assurance is one of the qualities that people find especially attractive about you.

Your passion for life runs through every aspect of your relationships. You have strong opinions, and you want others to see things as you do. As such, it’s probably important that you partner round out your worldview, complementing the way you see things. You enjoy this “us against the world” feeling. That’s why it’s particularly important that you can count on your partner to be able to meet you where you stand, while also giving you enough space to do things on your own. You’re very consistent about your beliefs and practices, which is a trait your significant other appreciates about you.

Your playful nature comes across both in and outside the bedroom. Sex is an integral part of your relationship, and it’s one of the ways that makes you feel accepted by your lover. Sometimes, there are no words to describe how you feel, and only physical intimacy can communicate your emotions.

In your relationships, you’re looking for a certain level of stability. You want a peaceful relationship, not one that’s filled with emotional highs and lows. To you, relationships are meaningful, and because of that, you and your partner don’t play emotional games with one another. It’s important to you that you both feel you’re on the same page, so that you can form a steady and solid relationship foundation.

That foundation will carry through your feelings about sex as well. Sex is a way for you to connect with your partner, and it holds a lot of meaning for you. Lovemaking is a great way for you to express the strong emotions you have for your partner.

* * * * *

McVie’s conclusion: I’m very good at academic stuff. But I’ve yet to put my stock knowledge to practical use. Harharhar.

June 29, 2005

It’s a memorable day today.

First, a shout-out to someone who says he doesn’t celebrate his birthday. Happy birthday, Phillip! We’ll be happy for you. And we’ll celebrate your birthday for you, hehehe.

Next, Susan Roces just unleashed her first public salvo against PGMA days after the President’s public apology re “Hello Garci” scandal. While the former actress was careful not to incite people to do anything hasty and rash, her move means that the opposition can now rally behind her—or do they rally behind Ping Lacson?

Interesting and infuriating times are ahead. I guess I’ll just drink to Phillip’s health tonight and probably get properly slushed, hahaha!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The End?

I have been sort of “seeing” someone for several months now. The reason I’ve been quiet about it is that he’s with someone right now. Yes, he sees me on the side. At first I didn’t mind seeing him from time to time only. We’ve expressed our mutual attraction to each other, and twice we’ve gone beyond first base. But given the situation he’s in and the circumstances when we meet, often we just end up flirting and fondling, nothing more.

I’ve asked him point-blank, “Aren’t you bothered that you’re cheating on your boyfriend?” But he asked me back, “Are you bothered?” I said I wasn’t, because the attraction was purely physical. For his part he said, “So long as no one gets hurt, I’m okay with it.” So we kept our meetings light and bubbly, very relaxed with no expectations, no strings attached.

But then months passed. Last month I arranged to see him, he begged off at the last minute—family duties, he said. I was miffed, but I chalked it up to the last-minuteness of his cancellation. We rescheduled. Two days before our meeting, he cancelled again, because this time his boyfriend was going to take him out on a date the same day we were meeting. Strike two. This time I got into a funk. Suddenly I was asking myself, “Why can’t he make time for me?” and that caught me off-balance. Goodness gracious, was I developing deeper feelings for him? Was I getting too close? Was I going beyond the physical?

I’ve been spinning the problem round and round in my head. The most logical thing to do is for me to pull back and out. He gets to have his cake and eat it too; his boyfriend, so long as he remains ignorant, will be in bliss. Me? I am on the lousy end of the deal.

Next time I see him, I will tell him: sorry, but let’s just remain friends. And if being friends is still too painful for me, then it is best for me to stay away. It’s not an easy thing to do, but heck, I’ve been there, done that, bought the original cast recording soundtrack.

Some things are not meant to be at this time.

Good times for a change.
See, the luck I’ve had
Can make a good man turn bad.

So please, please, please,
Let me, let me, let me,
Let me get what I want this time.

Haven’t had a dream in a long time.
See, the life I’ve had
Can make a good man bad.

So for once in my life
Let me get what I want.
Lord knows, it would be the first time.

(The Smiths)

Scylla And Charybdis

President Arroyo has admitted she’s the one in the “Hello Garci” tape and has apologized for what she says was a “lapse in judgment” not cheating.

Sycophants of PGMA are now calling on the people to forgive her and move on. The opposition, on the other hand, is now calling for her to step down. Both camps are taking the “moral high ground” on this issue.

There are those who insist that we must set higher standards of conduct for those who hold the presidency. Yet if PGMA is taken out, the pragmatists counter, who will take her place? They’re now calling for a snap election—a solution that will use the same faulty electoral system which brought us to this mess in the first place.

To be academic or to be pragmatic? That is the question. The answer will propel our country to heights or new lows in the coming months.

Meanwhile, I’m getting tired of this whole circus. I wish the earth would open up and gobble everyone alive, from Malacañang to the Senate to the House and everyone in between, including opposition members and political pundits of all leanings.

Oh jeez.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Lyric Sheeyet!

(The following does not contain anything sexual at all. You have been forewarned. Hehehe.)

In my seven-plus years in advertising, I’ve never really written lyrics for a jingle. I’ve always felt that writing lyrics isn’t my forte. I don’t even attempt to write poems. If ever I wax poetic, it’s usually an effusive flurry of similes, rarely metaphors. I’m really an essay guy.

Last week our boss asked us copywriters for volunteers to write lyrics for a corporate campaign. We were all given the creative brief. The directions were fairly simple, although there were two particular “musts” needed to be incorporated that, at first glance, I found it difficult to reconcile the two. It’s like being asked to incorporate the concept of euthanasia into a lullaby. (That sentence, by the way, used a simile.)

Because I was struggling in my mind to reconcile the two concepts, I decided to volunteer to write. I thought, “The only way I can find a way to reconcile the two is if I force myself.” I volunteered not because I was challenged; I volunteered because I was stumped.

We were briefed on a Thursday evening; we were given until 6pm on Friday to submit the lyrics—sans identification, so that our creative director can choose without the bias of knowing the author (some of our writers here are known for their poetic copy). I started writing around two in the afternoon; within an hour I had one verse and two refrains down, plus the ending coda. I only needed one more verse. By six in the evening I submitted my lyrics on time.

Monday afternoon, our CD met with us to announce her choice. There were three who submitted last Friday, plus one more early Monday morning. She began her announcement by saying that she liked the idea that the authors were unidentified because she judged them purely by the content, although she couldn’t help guessing who wrote which. Then she said of the four, she chose one because the lyrics immediately spoke to her and, more importantly, the author was able to link the two ideas successfully. What’s more, it was crafted in such a way that structurally the ideas echoed from beginning to end.

Then she asked who the author was. When I raised my hand, she looked at me in surprise. “My gosh! You did this? I thought it was __________ (name of our officemate whom we all go to if we wanted lyrics to a song). I’m so proud of you.”

My other officemate said, partly in awe, “My god, Joel! I remember you said you were volunteering because you knew song-writing wasn’t your forte!”

Our CD: “I’m so happy for you! And I thought you didn’t know how to write lyrics.”

Me: “Ano ka ba? I thought I didn’t have it in me!”

What’s the moral of my story? I don’t want to moralize because I’m not a moral person. Seriously, I went into it simply because I wanted to make sense of the whole thing, not because I knew I could do a bang-up job of writing lyrics. In fact, I was more interested in the crafting of the jingle—keep the lyrics simple, repeat words and ideas as often as possible (“Acebedo Optical, Acebedo Optical!” “Boomerang, Boomerang, Boomerang! Booming in action, booming in style, booming all the way!”), make it structurally repetitive, and make sure to link the opening with the closing. The pressure of writing great lyrics wasn’t weighing heavily in my mind; instead, the pressure was for me to make sense of the “musts” in the requirements. I guess when the pressure’s off, I do better. In addition, I was driven to make sense of it all; making sense was personally important and relevant to me.

These insights may help me in the future, especially when I’m trying to solve personal problems that have been bugging me lately. The key is to “fool” myself and take the pressure off me. But how—that I still have to figure out.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Therapy Sex-sion

(The following content is explicit. You have been forewarned.)

We entered his room and the moment I closed the door he took off his towel and sat down naked on the bed. When I took off my towel, he pulled me closer and started licking my nipples. Then he stopped, leaned back and he spread his legs wide open, exposing his ass. Ah, a bottom. When I fingered him down there, he started moaning and grinding his hips. So I moved into position and entered him. He was very relaxed, and I slipped in easily. He started groaning as I licked his nipples and moved rhythmically on top of him.

Then he started talking. The following dialogue was actually in Filipino, but I’ll just write in English because I’m too lazy to italicize.

Him: “Oooh man! Why are you raping me?”

Hmmm… so he likes role-playing, huh? Me: “I like to. You’re sexy.”

Him: “Oooh, I can feel your cock’s head inside my ass! I don’t even know your name and now you have your cock inside my ass.”

Gosh, how can one respond to that? So I decided to concentrate on licking his nipples. He moaned even harder and gripped me tighter.

Him: “Oooh! You’re raping me. Just like the way my cousin does.”

Whoa, screech to a halt. What did he just say?

He continued to moan. “Rape me. Rape me like the way my cousin rapes me.”

Ooo-kay! At this point I think my nerdy self decided to step in. So I asked, “Really? Your cousin, eh?” while continuing to pump him good.

Him: “Yes! He always does that whenever his wife is away. He likes to rape me because he’s always horny.”

Me: “And you allow him?”

Him: “I don’t want him to, but he insists. He forces himself into me. He always does that when his wife is away.”

Then he pushed me back a bit, so I was almost kneeling up. Then he swung himself up while pushing me down on the bed, so that our positions were reversed, him straddling me. All this time I was inside him—boy, he’s good.

Him: “Oh yes, one time when my cousin was banging me, his brother caught us in the room. So his brother joined us and raped me too.”

What the f—?

Me: “His brother?”

Him: “Yes, his brother is as horny as he is.”

This was getting surreal so I decided to push it. I asked, “Is he good looking?”

Him: “They’re both good looking. They’re also both very horny.” (Maybe I should just ask to be introduced to these cousins of his, eh?) “Let’s do it dog-style!”

He pulled me up and over and he twisted around until we were in the bow-wow-wow position, and all this time I was still inside him. As I said, he’s good.

Him: “Fuck me! Fuck me like the way my cousins fuck me!”

My goodness, what is this? It seems he’s working out some issues every time he has sex with someone other than his cousin. Is this the very definition of “sex therapy”? He definitely sees me as his analyst. But I didn’t want to play Dr. Ruth anymore. Besides, he wasn’t lying down on the couch like a patient; he was on all fours, growling with pleasure—or is it pain? Anger perhaps? I decided to just pound away until I came.

On my way out, I stopped and turned to him. “Are you okay?” I asked. He said, “Yes, thanks,” and shook my hand. “You take care,” I told him and stepped out of his room.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Psych War: First Salvo

Dialogue near the desk of Miss X, within her earshot (we made sure we were talking loud enough for her to hear):

Female officemate: (pointing at my new Sony Ericsson K508i office phone) Bago yan? Naku, ingatan mo yan! You’ll never know, yan ang susunod na nanakawin!

Me: Ay, hindi yata, cheap lang ito eh. Dapat mamahalin.

Officemate: Walang konsensiya siya. Di bale, makakarma rin siya.

Me: Pakulam na natin kaya? May kilala akong magaling na mangkukulam, grabe, ang effective! Pero hindi siya ang papakulam natin. Pakulam natin yung isa sa mga mahal niya sa buhay, isa sa pamilya niya. Someone who can easily be affected. Siguro yung weakest or youngest sa pamilya nila.

(Miss X loves her 3-yr old niece to bits; she dotes on her and always calls her on the phone everyday just to check up on her. Anything her niece wants she gives in to her.)

Officemate: Eh sigurado ka ba diyan sa mangkukulam na yan?

Me: Magaling siyang mangkukulam! Kaya pa nga niya pumatay ng tao sa kulam lang.

Officemate: Sige, pag-usapan natin with the others.

Then we both went towards the cubicle of her most recent victim. There my officemate and I discussed Miss X’s behavior throughout our exchange. She never joined in our conversation nor make a side comment, something she always does (she’s the type who wants to always be in on the latest). She just stared intently into her computer screen.

End of round one.

Miss X Returns

Our office klepto has struck again. Once again, another cellphone has been stolen. Once again, our ghostly witness has pointed out the same suspect as the one before: Miss X. And unfortunately once again, Miss X gets to walk out of the office unhampered, because she was able to steal the phone early in the morning and had a two-hour window at the least to take it outside the office and hide it. So when the owner discovered the theft at around 11:30am, it was too late. No wonder Miss X confidently submitted herself to a thorough search when the investigators from the admin office arrived.

Last time only four of us plus our psychic officemate Lotta knew the identity of Miss X. But now we’ve told almost everyone near the vicinity of the crime (it was in the same area where the last stealing was done) Miss X’s real identity, in an attempt to make people on guard the next time she comes around.

Also, we’re planning to steal Miss X’s cellphone, hide it for one whole day then have it suddenly “found” by night time. When Miss X gets her phone back, there’ll be a mysterious text message on it from an unidentified number: Now you know how it feels. Everybody knows it was you.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Tickle Test Results

Why Are You Still Single?
Joel, you're single because you don't want to slow down

Whether you're working all hours, busy with school, or planning a cross-country move, it sounds like you just don't have time for anyone else in your life...right now, that is. Your timing may be off in other aspects, too. Chances are, you've met that perfect person who just so happens to be married or planning their own cross-country move. So take a step back for a moment. Is there something underlying this? Could it be you're afraid to get involved for some reason or another, and are therefore attracted to people who are simply unavailable?

Whether you're secretly sabotaging yourself or not, try a little exercise. Open your mind to those who are around you (and available!) right now. Then let up on your schedule to let that someone in. That is, unless you want to get married to your goals, and not Mr. or Mrs. Right.

I suspect that I am unconsciously sabotaging myself. But why? That I aim to find out.

Friends Indeed

I’ve noticed that the friends of mine who’ve lasted longer than most share the following characteristics: [1] they are low-maintenance; [2] we can take each other for granted; [3] the friendships were cemented because we saw each other almost everyday.

Constant exposure and proximity. I read in a book a study which showed that when it comes to friendship, proximity overpowers similarity. In other words, we’re more likely to be friends with people who are physically situated near us. It makes perfect sense; one is more likely to get to know the people whom he’ll likely bump into on a regular basis.

Most of my closest, long-time friends I met in school. There are a couple of friends from grade school, several from high school, a few from college—and two from college who also became my officemates for several years—and some officemates whom I worked with for 5 years or so. Constant exposure and proximity can jumpstart a friendship and propel it forward.

Low-maintenance. The older I get the more I realize that I prefer people who are independent and can take care of their own. I like to surround myself with sensible and self-sufficient individuals. In “The Little Prince,” the fox said we are responsible for the ones we love. Well, as much as I won’t back down from the responsibility of caring for my friends, I’d prefer that they also do their share of the work. Nothing can be burdensome than an emotionally dependent hanger-on.

I realize that the downside to this is that I too must be low-maintenance to them. At least I don’t want to be an unnecessary burden to anyone. But there are times when I feel like screaming, “Can someone just take care of me, please?” Luckily, without me even saying anything some of them just know that I need a little TLC now and then.

Low-maintenance is the condition that allows my friendships to have some breathing space.

Take each other for granted. At a retreat in high school, I remember one thing this priest said that stayed with me all these years: at his old age, he realized that the friends who lasted and who stayed with him through the years were the ones whom he described as “friends you take for granted.” There’s a level of trust, comfort, and kinship that distance and time will find hard to erode. They’re the type of friends whom you don’t see for months, but when you do it seems like you’ve just met the day before.

It’s this lack of possessiveness that ironically binds you two even closer. It’s like letting go of someone you love, and he or she comes back. When a friendship reaches this state, I believe it’ll be able to stand the test of time and distance.

* * * * *

My longest-lasting friendships started out unplanned. We met and we just clicked—no special preparation, no premeditated “investment” period (if you find yourself consciously “investing” on someone, chances are you’re motivated by a selfish need). The “clicking” may happen on first meeting, or it may develop over time.

Most of them were formed in school where we would see each other everyday. I have friends from as way back as grade school. My friends from high school and college are also some of my most reliable friends. After college the list dwindles down considerably. I noticed that my friendship with my officemates aren’t as deep as they go because I have learned to separate the personal from the professional—and most of these people I relate to more on a professional level. (It doesn’t mean that I’m all business in the office—in fact, I’m the type who dances in the office and crack jokes in meetings. But that’s the entertainer in me. I’m friendly but I don’t make friends easily.)

My really close friends I can count with the fingers on my hands (honestly I was surprised when I ended up using both hands—I thought I’d just have five or less). These are the people who I know will attend my funeral—if they’re in the country. If they’re not, they know I won’t take it against them for not attending and I won’t haunt them in their sleep.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The Smiths

Alright, enough of the moping!

Another movie I loved was Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I don’t give a damn whether Brad and Angelina actually hooked up behind the scenes. What they put on screen is entertaining enough.

The movie isn’t your usual summer action movie. Sure, it has explosions and spies and weapons of mass destruction. But the sparks that fly between the two impossibly gorgeous-to-look-at leads are more explosive than any guns or bombs detonated on-screen. The movie is actually an examination of what marriage is, but as seen through the perspective of two people who, by the very nature of their jobs, are forced to conceal huge chunks of themselves to their partner. It is a movie about marriage counseling disguised as a Hollywood summer blockbuster.

What’s interesting is that the movie shows how hiding many secrets between partners can erode a marriage. It also shows that it is possible for people to fall in love without completely knowing the other person. I suppose deep down a person cannot really fully hide his persona. Either that, or Brad’s and Angelina’s characters are just really in love with the other person’s looks—and who can blame them, they’re two of the most gorgeous people in the world. Had the movie cast Paul Giamatti (of Sideways) and Allison Janney (of The West Wing) in the title roles, would people have bought it?

The whole movie is about the discovery and rediscovery of a couple with one another. Love is a battlefield, but after inflicting damage to their own home, the two come out stronger and as one. And as a couple they are able to handle threats that come their way, especially the ones that come with enough firepower to level a whole building.

But again, would the movie have worked had they cast normal-looking people?

* * * * *

Hay naku, when one is sick, nothing much happens to one’s life. Thus I’m reduced to reviews. Sheesh. Siskel and Ebert must have been really sickly people.

Reco Very Soon

Getting sick is not good for my health—mental and emotional health, that is. While I’m resting my body, my mind continues to run at full-throttle. Which is why I preoccupy it with books and movies and stuff, otherwise I’d get antsy and bored staying in one place and I’d want to change my environment just to keep my mind stimulated.

So while on sick leave I finished a book, watched the classic film The Philadelphia Story and read the newspapers front and back. But that was not enough; I still got too antsy. So I snuck out and watched Batman Returns for good measure (besides, I had to watch it first before reading Badinggerzie’s version in his blog).

Still, it wasn’t very good for me to read a book about a kid with Asperger Syndrome and identify mightily with him. Reading about Christopher, how very logical and very matter of fact he is, and how emotionally disconnected too, and I thought, gee, how come I feel like him? Of course I don’t have Asperger Syndrome, and I can connect emotionally with people, but there are times when I feel like I can’t handle my emotions and I’d like to detach them from me otherwise I might go gaga or implode. At times I’d just like to rely on my mind and not my heart because at least with the mind I’m in control but with my heart I’m at a loss and I get hurt easily.

Then watching Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and James Stewart in The Philadelphia Story didn’t help me any because Katharine Hepburn plays this rich girl about to get married for the second time and her first husband Cary Grant and other characters in the movie point out to her that she’s this perfectionist who is has everything except an understanding heart and she tells her husband-to-be, “I don’t want to be worshiped, I want to be loved” and only James Stewart sees through her tough façade because he too is hiding under a tough mask.

And then watching a man run around Gotham City hiding under a mask didn’t help any. (But in fairness, it was a good Batman movie. Loved the Batmobile.)

So there I was tearing myself down again, alternating between feeling sorry for myself and feeling angry at myself for feeling sorry, and then feeling uncertain as to what I was feeling. If you’re confused, imagine how I feel. The only bright spot happened when my younger brother gave me a CD of three songs from the group Kiko Machine. They’re UP Fine Arts graduates who formed a band and have this outrageous live act. They all wear orange jumpsuits except for their bass guitarist who wears a Spiderman costume. I suspect they’re best appreciated live than on CD, which is why I heard they were a big hit at the Fete. Still, their song “MacGyver” makes me giggle:

“Suka’t toyo, nagagawang bomba.
Lumang tubo, kayang gawing bazooka.
Lumang bumbiliya, nagagawang granada.
Wala pa ring tatalo kay MacGyver, ultimate problem solver!”

I think I need an ultimate problem solver. Can anyone recommend a good MacGyver? I need one ASAP.

Bow-wow Wow

(ANNOUNCEMENT: The McVie Show has been off the air for two days now. Since Sunday I’ve been under the weather thanks to a particularly virulent cold virus. My throat still feels itchy and I still get headaches every now and then. But the forced downtime has allowed me to catch up on my reading. Thus the following episode.)

Asperger Syndrome is a neurobiological disorder which described a pattern of behaviors in several young boys who had normal intelligence and language development, but who also exhibited autistic-like behaviors and marked deficiencies in social and communication skills.

Persons with AS show marked deficiencies in social skills, have difficulties with transitions or changes and prefer sameness. They often have obsessive routines and may be preoccupied with a particular subject of interest. They have a great deal of difficulty reading nonverbal cues (body language) and very often the individual with AS has difficulty determining proper body space. Often overly sensitive to sounds, tastes, smells, and sights, the person with AS may prefer soft clothing, certain foods, and be bothered by sounds or lights no one else seems to hear or see. It's important to remember that the person with AS perceives the world very differently.

By definition, those with AS have a normal IQ and many individuals (although not all), exhibit exceptional skill or talent in a specific area. Vocabularies may be extraordinarily rich and some children sound like "little professors." However, persons with AS can be extremely literal and have difficulty using language in a social context.

(taken from the website

Christopher John Francis Boone is a 15-year old boy with Asperger Syndrome. He is excellent in math and sciences. He is extremely logical and extremely literal—he can comprehend what a similie is but not a metaphor. He cannot tell jokes, and doesn’t like it when people laugh at him. He can comprehend only two emotions, happy or sad; he cannot read mixed emotions on a person’s face.

He hates to be touched, even by his parents. If he is, he lashes out. Because he refuses to be hugged, his parents devised a way of physically showing their love: they hold up their right hand, spread their fingers out like a fan, and they make their thumbs and fingers touch one another.

Christopher, in other words, is no ordinary character. He is the extraordinary subject and “author”/narrator of the story told in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, a terrific page-turner by Mark Haddon. At the start of the book Christoper find his neighbor’s dog dead on the lawn, speared by a garden fork. He then starts an investigation to track down the killer and write a murder mystery about it. But a dog-killer isn’t the only thing he finds out in the course of investigation.

Because Haddon writes from Christopher’s point of view and voice, the whole book is written in a very logical, non-emotional way. Yet it is precisely this just-the-facts-ma’am style which makes the book so powerfully moving. The reader is forced to read between the facts and supply the emotion. This makes for an unbelievable engaging and interactive read.

When Christopher’s father finds out what he was up to and gets angry, the ensuing fight is made all the more terrible because of the simplicity and spareness of the language: So I was very surprised when he grabbed me. I don’t like it when people grab me. And I don’t like being surprised either. So I hit him.... But Father didn’t let go and he was shouting. And I hit him again. And then I didn’t know what I was doing anymore.

What’s more, a book such as this can easily veer towards Saccarine-ville, but Haddon deftly avoids such pitfalls. Instead he creates very memorable characters that, while described in black-and-white terms by Christopher, reveal themselves to be more complex and more human. Indeed his characters are of different shades of gray. Haddon also pulls off a great mystery novel wherein the case is as much about the investigator as is the investigated.

The book is a very easy read—I was able to finish it in about half a day. So in case you ever get bedridden and, like me, will look for anything to read just to keep my mind occupied and not get bored, you will do well to grab a copy of this extraordinary book. Heck, you should read this even if you are well.

(Available in Fully Booked, 3rd level, Gateway Mall, Cubao, Q.C. It is placed in the Young Adult section. At first I disagreed with the classification, but on further reflection I thought young adults shouldn’t be deprived of this wonderful book.)

Friday, June 17, 2005

Debut Review

(SPOILER ALERT! Important plot points will be revealed. If you haven’t watched the movie yet but are planning to, then skip this episode.)

My officemates and I watched Star Cinema’s Nasaan Ka Man last night in Gateway Mall. It is a laudable effort from a commercial studio to offer the audience something more than the usual. Plus it also marks the auspicious commercial film debut of its director, Cholo Laurel, whom I personally know. It is for these reasons that I will start with the positives first.

The cinematography is excellent, especially the camera work. Cholo shot scenes using relatively unusual angles. And the acting in general is excellent. Jericho proves he’s a very natural actor, while Claudine delivers a very efficient performance. Diet’s efforts are a bit uneven at the start, but towards the end he makes the best of his role. Gloria Diaz and Hilda Koronel are alternately hilarious and infuriating as bickering sisters. The rape scene was particularly impressive—movingly acted and shot with restraint.

There was a major editing snafu near the start of the film—Claudine sees Diet spying on them and runs away; the next shot shows Claudine running out of the woods with Echo behind her, but when the camera cuts back to Diet, Echo is still there with him.

But over-all the movie had stumbling blocks which made certain parts unintentionally funny, or at times abruptly jarring, breaking the mimetic flow of the film. When Claudine pushed Diet off the cliff, instead of being shocked the audience laughed out loud. When Echo stumbled out of the cliff to see Claudine on the ground, it elicited giggling and side comments. Certain lines of the dialogue came out funny and awkward. The sex scene between Echo and Claudine was unnecessarily long. Claudine’s outburst at Echo was not set-up properly and came out unwarranted. Gloria’s change of heart came too abruptly after just fingering her wedding gown (which made me wonder—how come she had a wedding gown made?)

But for me the biggest twists turned out to be red herrings after all. First, the set-up of two adopted kids falling in love, with the third adopted kid being jealous of the two, was very intriguing and ripe with possibility. But instead of exploring the implications of such a set-up, the filmmakers dropped the ball. In fact, there was no need for the ball in the first place—the characters of Echo, Diet and Claudine need not be adopted and with a bit of tweaking, the plot will still stand. Second, the fact that Claudine was actually the real daughter of Hilda is an unnecessary twist.

I think I’ve seen too many “I see dead people” movies already. The moment Echo climbed up the side of the cliff and approached Claudine, I had a sinking suspicion that it was a set-up for a “surprise twist”. In the next scene with Echo, Claudine, Hilda and Gloria, my suspicion was confirmed when the two old women did not acknowledge Echo’s presence. Way before the scene where Echo is at the top of the cliff and his bloody hand is seen in the foreground, I knew that Echo’s character was a ghost. To be fair, many of my officemates who watched it with me didn’t get it immediately until they saw the bloody hand.

What was interesting is that while the movie shifted genres quite suddenly and very often (sometimes in the middle of a scene it switched from romance to horror to comedy and back), the shifts weren’t too jarring—or if they were, they were justified. The director succeeded in establishing that kind of over-all atmosphere of the movie—anything and everything unexpected can happen.

Walking out of the movie house after, I told my officemates, “May funny factor ang pelikulang ito.” Nasaan Ka Man may not cohere 100%, but for a first movie, you could feel that direk Cholo gave it his 100% all. And it’s the effort that counts.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Gray Area

Lately I’ve been feeling gray. Not blue but gray. It’s that inexplicable feeling that resides somewhere between states, like depression that fell in between chairs, like discontent without a clear direction. I know it’s triggered by events last Saturday evening/Sunday morning, but exactly what I can’t pinpoint yet. My mind has been working overtime, trying to sort things out. But instead of getting answers I’ve been going around in circles. It’s getting tiring. Nowadays I’m just letting it run its course; one day this funk will lift.

Meanwhile I just enjoy the smallest things that can add cheer into my daily life, like getting my new office phone. It’s a Sony Ericsson K508i; my initial model of choice was out of stock. No matter—a new phone is still a new toy.

Hay naku.

Word Play

Been so busy the past few days. I’m so thankful to receive the following email from a friend. I’ll share it with you guys cuz I found it hilarious.

Once again, The Washington Post published its yearly contest in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for various words.

And the winners are...

1. Coffee (n.), a person who is coughed upon.

2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.

6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.

7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle (n.), an olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulence (n.) the emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified demeanor assumed by a proctologist immediately before he examines you.

13. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddish expressions.

14. Pokemon (n), A Jamaican proctologist.

15. Frisbeetarianism (n.), The belief that, when you die your Soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck there.

16. Circumvent (n.), the opening in the front of boxer shorts.

Can you think of your own?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Birthday Greeting

Tuesday, June 14 is the birthday of one of my dearest friends, Leigh.

When I first met here back in college, she struck me as someone weird. She wore mismatched socks and claimed she was a Nebraskan frog. She and her close male friend Josh played chess which degenerated into a wrestling match. In 1986 when I was a sophomore and she a freshman, we played the leads in a one-act play—I played the not-so-handsome prince while she played the not-so-ideal princess. Because of People Power we only had one performance of that play; the next day I joined the others in EDSA.

After college she went into advertising first while I was enjoying myself working in CCP. Almost three years later I joined her in selling soaps, shampoos, hamburgers and instant noodles to the Filipino public. At one time she was my creative director. Clearing my work with her, I found it easy to forget she was a Nebraskan frog with mismatched socks.

One of my best and most relaxing vacations was spent with her in Baguio. We brought our own CDs, books and cameras and left our watches behind. We took pictures of one another. We ate when we felt like it, drank when we wanted to, and went where we wanted to go. It was one of my most stress-free vacations ever.

She reads tarot cards and runes, drives a huge truck named Rogue, is addicted to all things Apple, and writes a hell of a lot better than me. She is my confidant, my counselor and shrink, my Miriam-Webster dictionary and my Strunk and White. We may not see each other regularly but I know we’re connected always.

I’ve seen her though good and bad times. I’ve seen her love all the wrong men. Now there’s just one man in her life and I’m quite sure that he’s the right one for her—her son Luc.

Happy birthday, my one and only Nebraskan Frog.

* (I actually started writing this Tuesday afternoon, but work got in the way; when I finished writing this, it was already Wednesday morning.)

Monday, June 13, 2005

Random Thoughts

I attended the fashion show in Greenbelt 4 (by the Ayala Museum) staged in connection with the visit of Thom Filicia and Kyan Douglas of Queer Eye For The Straight Guy. Pakshet, nakanampoootah! Ang guwapo ni Kyan! And with the absence of Carson Kressley, Thom played cute and funny. He kept thanking their road manager without whom, “we’d still be at the airport in LA asking people, ‘Excuse me, do you know how to get to Manila?’”

The fashion show was ho-hum (well, I’m not really a fan of fashion) and the make-over Kyan did to three Pinoys (two girls and a guy) wasn’t that impressive either (because the make-over was just on their looks; in the show, it’s an over-all overhaul). But seeing them up-close (Thom is taller and bulkier than Kyan, unlike on TV) was a treat.

* * * * *

Last Saturday evening while waiting for Edsel to arrive in Malate, I holed up in Komiks Bar beside Bed, nursing a vodka tonic (egads! I had three glasses of vodka tonic last night; no wonder I was tipsy while dancing). I watched the people outside lining up to go inside Bed. I remembered one Thursday evening when we were in Bed and there were so many not so well-dressed young boys in the crowd, Edsel overheard a guy crack this bitchy remark: “Naku, mukhang may field trip ang mga estudyante ng Mababang Paaralan ng Payatas dito sa Bed!”

When Edsel arrived, he sat down beside me, looked outside at the crowd, and asked, “Well? Mukha bang may field trip na naman ang mga estudyante ng Mababang Paaralan ng Payatas?”

I smiled. “Naku, hindi naman. Mas matanda’t mas maayos ng konte tingnan ang mga nandiyan ngayon. Mare, alumni homecoming ito ng Mababang Paaralan ng Payatas! Nagtatrabaho na kasi sila, kaya can-afford ng konte.”

And we both laughed.

* * * * *

I just bought me a pair of Folded & Hung’s Illegally Low Jeans. Pakshet. That pair really insists that the wearer must have zero love handles. Arrrgh. Now I must do more cardio workout and be stricter with what I eat. Hay naku, the price of vanity. In fairness, the Illegally Low Jeans print ad copy is true—“Twelve o’clock position not advisable” or something like that. But aye, here’s the rub—you know how sometimes a pair of pants or underwear just fits you so snugly, the feel on your skin and the “hug” is so sensual that you get a hard-on? That’s what happened when I put that pair of pants on for the first time. I had to wait ‘til McJunior settled down before I went out of my room.

* * * * *

To lift the Philippines from the rut we’re in, I propose that the government prioritize on saving the movie industry first. The goal is “no idle actor or actress.” That way, they’ll be too busy to move on to the other field of entertainment—politics.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Dance Away

Last night was Bed’s 2nd year anniversary. My friend Edsel and I went there to celebrate and to dance the night away. There were things I wanted to exorcise from me that night. There were things to put to an end, people to let go. It was time for me to move on. Wake up, McVie, and face the music.

Yes, face the music. That’s when I let go, let the music envelop me. I close my eyes, my body begins to move, and I lose myself. That’s when I feel most free, even for just a few seconds.

I downed two glasses of vodka tonic then positioned myself on the dance floor. After an hour or more of dancing (it got so crowded at one point it was difficult to really let loose) and ignoring the more-than-usual gorgeous shirtless guys, I was spent. Shirt heavy with sweat and heart heavy with resolve, I tied up certain loose ends right there and then. Done, I walked over to Edsel and said, “Time to go.”

The sun was already out when we stepped out of Bed. After dropping him off, I was quiet. The song “Dance Away” by Roxy Music played endlessly on my mind on my way home.

Loneliness is a crowded room
Full of open hearts turned to stone
All together, all alone.
All at once my whole world had changed,
Now I’m in the dark, off the wall,
Let the strobe light up them all,
I close my eyes and dance till dawn.

Dance away the heartache,
Dance away the tears.
Dance away….

Now I know I must walk the line
Until I find an open door.
There was I – many times a fool.
I hope and pray, but not too much.
Out of reach is out of touch,
All the way is far enough.

Dance away the heartache,
Dance away the tears.
Dance away….

Upon parking Orlando into the driveway, I switched off both my car and my internal radio. The morning was quiet, peaceful. I was home.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Blame It On The (Rhythm Of The) Rain

I remember one of the first full-length albums that I liked from beginning to end was The Cascades’ Rhythm of the Rain. I could listen to it from beginning to end without skipping tracks (it was also on vinyl, making it difficult to manually leap from track to track). As a kid of about 7 or 8 years old, I was fixated on the simple melodies and easy lyrics of their songs like “Rhythm of the Rain,” “Was I Dreamin’,” “The Last Leaf,” “Let Me Be.” These were songs I could easily comprehend and appreciate. It helped that the simplicity of their songs mimicked the early songs of The Beatles, my favorite band.

Tonight while idly surfing the net while waiting for my editor to finish, I had my iTunes on and the Cascades’ song “I Want To Be Your Lover” started playing. And while silently singing along to it, I was struck by an epiphany.

You don’t now the way I feel, oh no
Well, you think we’re just friends
So I go along like nothing’s wrong
But I know that is only pretense

I wanna be your lover
(I wanna be your lover)
I don’t wanna be your friend
(don’t wanna be your friend)

Oh my god. For so many years my major crushes were straight guys. First they became my friends then I would fall head-over-heels in love with them. You’d think that after a succession of crushes with my straight friends, I should have learned my lesson well and lived to tell the tale but no. Every time I fell for one, I always ignored the fact that a straight guy won’t be attracted to someone gay. I always held on thinking that maybe one day I’ll make him love me.

You don’t know just how much I love you
Though it’s easy to see
Cause if you knew how much I love you
And maybe someday, well, you might love me

I refused to see for myself that the whole situation was doomed from the start.

So I hope in time you’ll love me, oh yeah
Love me as I love you
But if this can’t be, I'd rather see
The whole thing come to an end

But then the inevitable end came as they always do, in my case several years later. Afterwards I always turned inward against myself in a combination of self-loathing and resignation: I’m not good enough for him. We weren’t meant for each other. He found someone else kasi eh. Excuses, justifications, defense mechanisms. It was self-flagellation time.

My gosh, The Cascades were to blame for my bloody love life growing up! Too bad they didn’t die in a plane crash as per urban myth. Instead they just grew up and grew out of the music business.

About a month or so ago they performed live in Manila. Thank god I had this epiphany only just now. Had it been months ago, I’d have crashed a plane into the concert venue: “See you survive this plane crash, f**kers!” Hahaha!


Image hosted by
Pres. Arroyo has been under fire the past few days due to the wiretapping controversy. This afternoon the alleged source of the wiretap, an ex-NBI official, has surfaced at a press conference. He’s claiming massive fraud in the last elections, which FPJ actually won. In the press conference held this afternoon in Makati, Rez Cortez was seated prominently beside the whistle-blower (part of his shoulder and head can be seen on the left side of the picture above).

Will there be a coup timed for Independence Day this Sunday? Will the current powers-that-be succeed in suppressing this explosive situation? Or will PGMA be booted out of office within two weeks? Who will replace her? Can the country’s economy take another beating? Was Rez Cortez the whistle-blower’s acting coach? And can someone please give Mr. Cortez a project so he has something to occupy his time instead of staging destabilization activities?

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Estudyante Blues

Thanks to Phillip’s blog entry, I’m reminded of my school days.

When I was applying for that blue school in Katipunan, I took their entrance exam calmly. I knew it was a test, I knew that it was important. But for some strange reason, I was more excited than scared. Maybe my mom wasn’t putting too much pressure on me. Maybe the proctor who administered the test made me feel at ease (even after ushering me in the room alone with my mom waiting outside). Maybe it was the playroom atmosphere of the testing area. I still remember how I easily drew a line through a maze—and that particular test was done on acetate paper, flashed on a screen via overhead projector. I remember how the proctor said, “Very good!” I remember being led out after the test, with the proctor telling my mom, “You have a very bright son there.”

I remember how happy and proud my parents were when they received the notice that I passed the test with very high scores.

A few years later a door-to-door salesman selling Encyclopedia Britannica came to the house and was doing his sales pitch to my parents when he called out to me, “Come over here.” He showed me a black-and-white picture—it looked like abstract patterns at first, but in a flash my eyes got it and it just clicked in my mind. “Can you tell me what it is?” he asked. “A moth,” I said. It was camouflaged seamlessly with the background. The salesman was incredulous, but he used that as an excuse to say to my parents, “See, you have a smart kid! You should get these books for him.” We had a full set of encyclopedias by that night.

When I was in grade 5 they created an honors class and I was placed in it. This continued until 4th year high school. And every start of each school year our homeroom teacher would always remind us of why we were in that particular class: “To whom much is given, much is expected.”

Many years after, my continuing struggle to this day is to strike a balance between the intellectual snobbery they inculcated in me and the spiritual humility that the Universe is bent on teaching me: “You may be a smarty-pants, McKiddo, but you’re still single, mwhahaha!”

Whoa. Now where did that come from?

Anyway, terror math teachers notwithstanding, I think I became less fearful of teachers and of school in general, and became more apprehensive of specifics—particular subjects, tasks to be performed, requirements. I embraced the learning process even though I was not particularly fond of it. It was something I was expected to do well in.

And that attitude carries on up to this day. I may be done with school but I’m still a student of life. And life continues to throw long tests and surprise quizzes my way. One thing I’ve learned is this: intellect is intimidating, but wit is winning.


Okay, theory is great. Now all I got to learn is how to apply it.

Sigh. Unlike school, life offers no vacation breaks.

Badinggerzie: The McVie Interview

McVIE: Bakla! Type mo bang magpa-interview sa The McVie Show?

BADINGGERZIE: Uy! Surelybelles!

Keri ko ang exenang yanchie!



Join lang ng join marce! send lang ng send for more!

Waitsiva kez yung mga shornong everlacks mey!

McV: Sige, let’s start. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome, the one, the only... BADINGGERZIE!!! Okay, you've mentioned that your name is really Bernard, although you call yourself Bernadette. So how do you want me to call you—Bernadette or Badinggerzie?

BADINGGERZIE: Mas keri siguro kung Bernz na lang ang ishorwag mo sa ‘ken.

McV: Any reason why you chose the name “Badinggerzie”? Were you a fan of Kojie Kabuto? I was expecting you to be more of an Aphrodite A fan.

BERNZ: Badinggerzie kase. Garcia ang apelyido kez. Ngayon sa angkan namen before. akez lang ang nag-iisang bakla. Ang nag-iisang BADING na GARCIA . . . BADINGGARCIA . . . BADINGGERZIE!

McV: TARUSH ka sister! By the way, okey lang ba na Inglesera ang lola mo sa mga tanong? Ay bahala na nga, English, Spanish, Japanese, Pilipino, Negro... basta nagkakaintindihan tayo. :-)

Teka, if I may be so bold as to ask a lady... how old are you na nga ba?

BERNZ: oi! i'm not that old pa ah. wa pa akez sa mid-life crisis. choz! seriously, i'm turning 25 this year. SCORPIO . . . .

McV: Scorpio? Pareho kayo ni Miss Canada Nelz Agustin! Do you believe in horoscopes, what they say about Scorpios? Swak ba sa iyo?

BERNZ: Well, hindi sa nananalig akez ng fatalle sa mga horoscope eclavu pero parang mahal ko ang pagiging scorpio ko at dahil swak sa banga ang mga eksena sa 'ken ng astrology. Siguro nagkakataon lang pero kakatuwa siya da 'vah? (e.g aggresive daw akez pero virginal! choz!)

McV: Hahaha! Scorpios are supposed to be passionate, and your encounter with Boy Next Door certainly proved that.

You said a while back that you're the one and only gay Garcia. But with your younger bruthra, not anymore, hehehe. How are you taking that fact nowadays?

BERNZ: Well about my bruderrete. As of the moment, nile-learn ko pang tanggapin. Pero ngayon, feeling ko eh nag-kakaintindihan naman na kame. Even though, na hindi kami nag-uusap tungkol sa mga bagay na yon (pa) . . . Pero I'm hoping na maging open kami sa isa't isa later in life. Para maging happier ang relationship namen.

McV: How old na ba is your bruderrete?

BERNZ: Nick (bruderrete) is 19. Third Year college sa FEU.

McV: Bata pa nga siya. He could be on an experimentation phase.

BERNZ: Well, yeah, bata pa nga si Nick, pero he is in the right age naman na para magdecide kung anez ang mas bet niya . . . kipay . . . o nota. Pero siya na ang bahala 'don.

McV: Bongga, bonggayshuz, bongdimayacyac! Let's go now to your uber-popular megablockbuster hit, Third Sex In The City. Congratulations sister, panalo ang blog mo. Tell us, when you first thought of putting up that blog, did you have any inkling of how popular it has become?

BERNZ: Well, nagsimula yang exenang blog na yan kay DEMENTIA, isang long-time friend. Natuwa ako dun sa concept ng blog-bloggan ever. Sabi ko bakit hindi ko kaya i-try. Kasi infairness ung DEMENTIA kase eh may pagka-writer talaga. Ako naman, najisip ko na journal itey da 'vah? Diary . . . so ang eksena ko lang eh isulat ang mga nangyayari sa life ko na walang pag-iimbot at buong katotohan.

Well, hindi ko alam kung pano mo masasabe na popular ba ang blog or not but then, yung mga "site administrator" ko, sila yung mga gumagawa ng mga chenes-chenes. Sila din yung nagchika na promising daw yung mga unang entries ko. Ako naman kiver.

Hanggang sa hayun na, napansin kong andaming nakakarelate, andaming natutuwa, and its music to my ears . . . or rather candy to my eyes . . . na makita kong may mga taong napapsaya or nahihipo kez kahit papaano.

McV: Sister, just to show you how wide-spread you've become: in our company electronic bulletin board (accessible via email), meron nag-post doon nung "1 gay + 1 gay = 2 gay" mo! At girl ang nag-post!

BERNZ: ganon ba? hmmmm. dapat bang ipa-copyright ko na itez. choz!

keri lang yun naman ang bet ko. ang makapagpatawa . . . .

McV: Okay, so you said “isulat ang mga nangyayari sa life ko na walang pag-iimbot at buong katotohan.” Now, I really love the way you write, both in form (the vhaklur-speak is just so hilarious) and in content (your exploits can be made into a sitcom). But trullilee, don't you take liberties with the facts and twist them a bit just to make for a better narrative flow? Or are the events really as true-to-life as you've written them down?

BERNZ: With regards to how the words are written . . . . they were written the way it happened . . . . pero heto na . . . . . feeling ko nagiging mabenta lang siya kasi nasusulat ko kung ano ang iniisip ko nung mga time na yon, or if not, kung what came to my mind after that event.

I do not twist the facts, yung facts eh still facts, what I do is put my "soliloquys" or "musings" in words and write them down. the thing is, kung ano talaga ng nasa isip ko, yun yung sinusulat ko. I guess that’s what makes everything so happy . . . walang keme. walang kaplastikan.

One example eh yung conversation ko with NICK. Yun talaga yung pinag-uusapan namin pero nasa isip ko, eh parang meron kaming subliminal conversation. But it does not necessarily mean that it happened that way. Yun lang ang naglaro sa utak ko. Hindi ko alam kung ano ang nasa utak ni Nick.

McV: True, your internal monologue is what's really hilarous clinton! Wow, kung ganoon you really have a very colorful life. So when did you first know that you are attracted to guys? How young were you?

BERNZ: Third year high school ako 'non 'nung na-felt ko yung tingly feeling sa kapwa ko menchus. Katulad nga ng sinabi ko sa "Bakla, Bakla, Paano ka Ginawa" entry (, mahabang proseso iyun. Pero feeling ko yung attraction ko kay Nikolai, yung first love ko, eh ang nag-udyok sa 'keng magladlad ng kapa at aminin sa sarili ko na bading ako.

McV: Your blog’s title is Third Sex In The City. Were you always a city girl, born and raised in Manila?

BERNZ: Actually no, nantuntong lang ako dito sa Maynila 'nung mag-kolehiyo akez. At wit akong balak shumonders diters.

McV: Where would you want to move on after Manila?

BERNZ: Siguro . . . . after dito . . pag mayamang-mayaman na akez (echoz) . . . . move na akez sa SUBIC, (may mga friends kasi akong taga-don) or KATIKLAN . . . somewhere remote . . . kung minsan super jisip ko pang flychu na langchie sa Basco, Batanes ever, more welcome sa bagyo and more join sa Taiwan radio stations.

McV: Ganda! Badinggerzie with the sheeps in Batanes! I know that your many fans are intrigued by who you are. Without stripping off the mask, let's get a glimpse of the manash behind the mask. Slum book time!

Favorite color? orange (mas neon mas maganda)
Favorite flavor? sweet and sour (sala sa tamis sala sa asim)
Favorite local actor? (as in magaling kasi sa acting) I would give credits to raymond bagatsing and pen medina
Local actress? maricel soriano
Foreign actor? dustin hoffman, russel crowe
Foreign actress? nicole kidman
Nora or Vilma? nora
Whitney or Mariah? whitney
Christina or Britney? cristina
Latest movie you've watched and actually liked? CLOSER
Latest book you've finished reading? Memoirs of a Geisha by arthur golden
If you can have a local celebrity as a jowa, who would it be and why? waaaaaaaaa. kelangan talaga may ganitez na shornong ever! shet! DREW ARELLANO, wala lang, nakaka-migraine kasi ang presensiya niya at siyempre mas masarap siya i-desplay!
Favorite vacation spot in the Philippines? VIGAN
Your dream vacation spot? CARRIBEAN, (basta sa maraming european na madaling ma-enlababo sa mga exotic people)
Favorite ticklish spot on your body? sa tagiliran
Favorite body part of a guy? nota! echos! of course given na yon! aside from that (virginal mode) the ABS.
The strangest place you've had sex? sa jilalim ng altar ng simbahan ng isang sectarian college.
Punyeta, hindi ko yun kinaya! Name three things which turn you on? the ABS, the WIT, the JAWLINE
Name three things which turn you off? the EGO, the tinnie-winnie SIZE, the TIYAN.

McV: Haaay, ang harsh! Okey, tama na yan, mag-graduate naman tayo.

Many readers find Third Sex In The City not just entertaining but more importantly, inspiring. How do you feel about being a source of inspiration—and maybe emulation—of other gays?

BERNZ: In fairnezz, nakakahipo talaga siya. az in. yung mga ganong messages, even in my email, I receive some. Yung feeling na ang gaan (parang ivory) . . . i mean, when i read these messages, i'll smile, then, the hairs on the back of my head would suddenly rise . . . then i'll let out a heavy sigh . . . tapos yon .. sobrang sarap. not to the extent na i feel great coz I am being admired, dahil promise, sa real world . . . . eh titiklup sa 'ken si Maria Clara sa pagkademure . . . . unlike other gays (majority ng kilala ko) eh may spotlight syndrome. ako hindi, masaya na ako sa isang sulok.

anyway, it feels great talaga. and besides, siguro i am just doing my share of responsibility as a part of the gay community, by sharing the story of my life to the first, second, third, fourth, to the nth sex out there . . . . and in that way, i feel na i contributed na. sinu-sino lang ba ang magtutulungan kundi tayez. di vez?

McV: Kung hindi tayo, sino? Kung hindi ngayon, kelan?! Ibagsak ang imperialismong HETERO! (Etchos.)

Pang Miss U at KMU ang answer mo, sister! Hahaha. Ahem, okey, moving on....

For you to attract a Varsity Captain, you must be a gorgeous guy. Aside from your mother, do you hear that a lot from others? :-)

BERNZ: no.

i'm not gorgeous.

when it comes to that department . . . ahahaha . . . . . parang tagilid akez. 'echoz.

varsity captain was attracted to my charm and irresistible charisma. LOL.

seriously, no . . . hindi po ako gorgeous . . .

keri lang . . . . pero wit AYYYY! KERIIII!

McV: Ok, you're not gorgeous, you're KERI, hahaha. Have you considered having kids in the future?

BERNZ: kids . . .? teka ha magto-throw up lang ako . . . . choz!

well ngayon, wala pa talaga akong plans . . . i mean wala talaga, i wouldn't if I'm within a 5 kilometer radius of a naked pukersia.

pero . . i'm optimistic about it, the having kids part not the making the kids part . . . pero ngayon hindi ko pa siya iniisip . . . .

meron na kong volunteers na surrogate mothers, just in case.

McV: Yeah, you seem to have a lot of female fans. Are you a fag-hag magnet, or do women just see them in you?

BERNZ: I have a lot of female friends. but most of them are not fag-hags . . . . most them have me as their only gay friend. And I'm not a fag-hag magnet . . . . trust me . . . . . hehehehe . . .

I do not know exactly what they see in me . . . my friends . . . . i think they just see in me the girl that they can never come to be.

McV: Speaking of friends, how do feel about fuck-buddies?

BERNZ: I am pro-fuck-buddies, though I never had one. More one-night-stands . . . more on casual sex, kasi I never had the courage to have sex with a person constantly, without having any special feelings for him. Kasi sa 'ken mas may variation mas maganda. Madali akong magsawa . . . . hindi pwedeng adobo at adobo na lang ang ulam.

McV: Pero paano yan kapag magka-boyfriend ka na? It'll be like adobo republic forever.

BERNZ: hahaha.

well yun nga lang dilemma 'dun. but the thing is. right now ang theory ko sa future jowaers ko eh less on sex. i mean. like my question before. how important ba yung sex sa isang relationship? through time, i found my answer, it is important but it is not "the" priority. Anyway, kung adobo republic forever eh kiver lang . . . as long as alam kong may isang luluking, nag-iisip sa 'ken . . . . sa bawat oras . . . . sa bawat sigundo. . . . at sasabihin sa buong mundo . . . . . na mahal niya ako . . . . . .(and now that's better than a good SEX!)

McV: I think you found something that's really "better than sex", and it's not a chocolate cake, it's adobo.

Okay, how about threesomes? Have you done it before? If not, are you open to the idea?

BERNZ: hahaha . we'r getting deeper ha . . . . .

well ... i was caught between two guys . . . once, a couple of years somewhere in pangasinan, sa beach ito . . . . may commercial shoot kame for DOLE (juice), there are a couple of local guys helping us for the errands. after ng shoot eh inuman ng slight . . . . together with the local guys . . . . hindi lang naman akez ang veklus . . . . but then, hindi ako nagpakabog. . ang funny ng story, i have to write this down.

hayun, ininvite nilang 2 ako for a walk. until we end up sa isang batuhan sa dulo ng beach. i had two holes in my body filled at one time. hahahaha

tapos, meron pa eh . . . . 'nung college pa lang ako . . .

trip lang namen. umatak kami dun sa tinatawag na "bakahan" sa CCP. well, nagpahada lang naman ako . . . pero ang ending eh konek na dots ang naging labanan . . .

should i still say kung ano ang take ko about the subject? Hehe

McV: Dios ko, hindi na sister. "Take it, take it" ko na, hahaha!

Going deeper still... If you HAD to choose one (or else not choosing one will mean the end of the world), who will you have sex with: Borgy Manotoc, pero laila-dee lang siya’t may halitosis pa; or Dagul, pero hayop siya mag-BJ at kumangks? (At bawal i-choose ang Death!)

BERNZ: maski mag ecsema pa si BORGY . . . . si BORGY! maski may jutok pa ang lolo mo. si BORGY pa ren!!!!


McV: Hahaha! Tip, sister: if you’re going to an event where he’s there, make sure you wear a t-shirt that says something cool. Like this:
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Maglagay ba daw ako ng picture ko, hahaha! Speaking of pictures, will you ever consider coming out on-line, meaning revealing your real name and showing your picture?

BERNZ: Well, siguro as of the moment, hindi ko pa sure kung kekerihin ko pang i-reveal ang sarili ko on-line . . . but in special cases . . . . in the real world . . . . meron namang tinatawag na lukso ng dugo . . . . makikilala at makikilala 'nyo rin naman ako.

Just remember, I may not be with you physical or mentally, i'm there spiritually in your hearts always reminding you, B.A.L.I.W.A.G - Beauty and Love I Will Always Give, P.A.R.A.N.A.Q.U.E - Please Always Remain Adorable, Nice And Quiet Under Ecstacy and finally, remember, P.H.I.L.I.P.P.I.N.E.S - Pumping Hot...I Love It! Please, Please...I Need Erotic Stimulation!

McV: How about CZECHOSLOVAKIA: Closed Zippers Entice Cunt Holes Of Sexy Lasses Offering Virginal And Kinky Instant Amusement?

BERNZ: aaay. hindi ko bet yan! pang-bilatsinabelles. allergic akez sa seafoods.

McV: Sige, ending na. Mag mala-Miss U tayo. If you had one inspiring thing to say to your many adoring gay fans, what would you tell them? (TRANSLATOR: "Kung meron kang nakaka-inspire evur na iispluk sa mga judinggerz na starstruck fans mesh, anitch ang iispluk mesh?")

BERNZ: (looks at the crowd. left side. right side. the center. bows the head a little lower. Smiles. makes hawi the ear behind the ears)

(checks if the mic is on)



First and foremost, I would like to greet everybody a good evening, or good morning or good afternoon, wherever you are. I would also like to thank the board of judges for choosing me.

Can I read the question again?

“Kung meron kang nakaka-inspire evur na iispluk sa mga judinggerz na starstruck fans mesh, anitch ang iispluk mesh?”

Because of this, isa lang po ang masasabi ko, hindi ispesyal ang buhay ko dahil bading ako. I am the same as everyone of you here tonight in Araneta. We are one. We are one. We are the same. Ito po ang buhay ko. At hindi lang po ito buhay ng isang bakla. Isa po itong buhay ng isang tao because I really do believe that pag ang palay binayo . . . . BIGAS!

I thank you.

McV: No, Bernz, we all thank you!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Goin’ Bananas

Actually I liked this song after I saw the music video which featured cheerleaders with pompoms. Nah, it wasn’t the cheerleaders which got me, it was the sight of Gwen hamming it up for the camera—plus the sight of that huge banana.

Few times I’ve been around that track
So it’s not just goin’ to happen like that
`Cause I ain’t no hollaback girl!
I ain’t no hollaback girl!

Let me hear you say,
This shit is bananas,
“This shit is bananas,

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Poster Girl

For those who are old enough, remember this?
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In the Philippines, you were not considered a beauty parlor if you didn’t have this poster hanging on your wall or on your window. At the height of her poster’s popularity Phoebe Cates was every Pinoy guy’s crush, even though she had no hit movie at that time (Gremlins wasn’t released then). She was “favorite actress” in many a slum-book despite no cinematic or televised evidence of her acting talent. Her visage of innocence, complete with virginal flowers and clunky earrings, was enough to fuel many a teenage girl’s fantasies and teenage boy’s wet dreams. She was a ubiquitous presence in every beauty parlor. It’s as if having her on the wall or window was a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval that certified, “Here, we know beauty.”

For those who are as old as me or even older, the precursor of Princess Caraboo is Farrah Faucett in her red one-piece bikini and flowing golden locks. Now that poster appeared not just in parlors but everywhere else—as in, everywhere. Sari-sari stores, restaurants, movie houses, department stores, locker rooms, security guard posts, you name it, it’s there. But at least she had the TV series Charlie’s Angels, and she was the most popular of the angels.

But why Phoebe? For her poster to reach that level of popularity one can only wonder what affected the collective consciousness of parloristas all over the Philippines. Maybe it’s the fact that she has a Filipina mother—that would explain why people developed an instant affinity with her. But perhaps more than affinity, her mixed race made her the beauty ideal at that time, the best of Pinoy and western features combined.

Maybe the explanation of her parlor popularity is simple. Beauty in the time of colonial mentality meant Phoebe. Beauty is Phoebe, Phoebe beauty—that is all they know, and all they need to know.

Music Soothes The Savage Beast

My soundtrack these days consists of two songs played over and over: “I Like to Move It” by Reel 2 Real featuring The Mad Stuntman, and “Speed of Sound” by Coldplay. The first one is my sanity-saver, while the second one is my “lift-my-spirits-up” song, especially the refrain:

All that noise, and all that sound,
All those places I got found.
And birds go flying at the speed of sound,
to show you how it all began.
Birds came flying from the underground—
if you could see it then you’d understand?

Actually I don’t understand what Chris Martin is saying with that song, but its catchy melody, the inescapable piano hook and his mournful-yet-hopeful falsetto all combine in a giddy display of what a well-crafted pop song can do: raise the spirits and make the day a little brighter.

And if that still doesn’t perk things up, then I do the Robot Dance!

I like to move it, move it!
I like to move it, move it!
I like to move it, move it!
You like to—move it!

Monday, June 06, 2005

A Tried-and-Tested Formula

I made sure that I got in 30 minutes early so that I can have a good seat for the screening of Formula 17. When I got to Gateway, the rain started to pour—as in, Noah’s Ark pour. So when I got to Cinema 5, there were only about 7 people forming a line. Oh great!

The screening was scheduled at 6:30pm, but the previous screening ended at 6:20pm. From the looks of the numerous kids coming out, the movie was Madagascar, and the theater had been full. That means a delay because they have to wait for the theater to empty, clean it up, then set-up for the next movie, etc. Oh great. Good thing I’m used to standing for a long time around movie houses. Years of practice, hehehe.

So there I was patiently waiting in line and I decided to survey the crowd. That’s when I noticed them. “Them” are also our sisters in pink but in public they keep their colors heterochromatic. They hide behind terms like PLU, Odders, and all that jazz. They have the AE-look down pat. They’re there to watch a gay film, but damn if they’ll get caught in public lining up for a gay film. For whatever reason they couldn’t line up and be counted as a pink sister. So they stand far away from the line, surveying it intently, hungrily, waiting for it to move. I didn’t know whether to feel sorry or to scoff at them as the line got longer and longer. I could see conflicting emotions in their eyes: stay away and not blow their cover, or line up to get good seats inside?

In the end it didn’t really matter because the moviehouse was huge. I think it’s the biggest in Gateway’s Cineplex. Even the latecomers got good enough seats. The theater was around 3/4 full, so I guess one could count it a success—had it been done in Megamall, the theater would have been full.

* * * * *

Formula 17 is really just a fluff piece, an easy-on-the-eyes, brain-lite feel-good movie that is simply out to entertain you. Sure, there are those who may be put off by the severely stereotypical support cast (three flamboyant gay types), but if they think those flamboyant portrayals push back advances in gay rights by a few years then they’re missing the point. The whole movie is stereotypical. It’s a formula movie with the guy falling for another guy.

Provincial teen goes to the big city during summer vacation for an EB and a search for true love. He meets the biggest playboy in Taipei and promptly falls head over heels. They bump cute, take a ride on a motorbike, eat ice cream, and skirt the issue. Then one evening provincial boy tells playboy, “Let’s stop pretending, I’m tired.” They finally kiss and have sex. But then playboy ups and leaves the next morning. What happened? Is this the end of true love? Are questions like “Is this the end of true love?” really necessary?

The audience of course lapped it all up. Hey, it’s a light comedy and a fairy (both meanings of the word) tale. And oh my god, there was absolutely NO WOMEN in every frame of film. Seriously.

And the leads are just too cute to look at. One’s got the F4 pretty city boy look down pat while the other fits the “cute simple lad from the province” mode perfectly; they are on opposite ends of the economic and social spectrum. In between them are queens and queers of varying degrees. There are scenes of man-to-man kissing, foreplay, various degrees of undress showing lean, toned Chinese bodies, and clear, full body shots of a guy swimming underwater (you can see the bubbles clinging near his bellybutton and at the waistline of his swimming trunks).

So if you want to have zero brain activity with maximum eye candy, watch Formula 17.

* * * * *

Speaking of Madagascar, the song “I Like To Move It” is so addicting, I dug up my Now 27 compilation and ripped the original song (sung by Reel 2 Real featuring The Mad Stuntman) into my iTunes in the office so I can play over and over while dancing the Robot Dance. Wheee!

It’s Time

Goodbye facial hair, hello clean-shaven look. Goodbye messy hair, hello neat look. I got antsy over the weekend and decided to chop all that hair off. Summer’s over, the rains are here. Change is constant. Besides, my hair will grow whether I like it or not. Thank god we’re not the balding kind.

Saturday, June 04, 2005


Broadcaster Reyster Langit, son of veteran broadcaster Rey Langit, died Friday due to malaria. Sumalangit na si Langit.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Turning Pink With Excitement

I like watching Chinese movies on cable whether they are subtitled or not. I like looking at cute Chinese guys. I also want to see the director’s storytelling skills; if I can follow the story without relying on the dialogue, then the director is good at visual storytelling. Okay, okay, okay, I just really like looking at cute Chinese guys.

A few months ago I saw this obviously recent gay Taiwanese movie (the hairstyles are of the F4-flipped kind, and the setting is clearly present-day) that featured drop-and-lock-jaw cute Chinese guys in a romantic, Sweet Dreams-type of story. And there were almost no females in sight in that movie! Since I wasn’t able to catch the movie from the start, I had to stay until the end credits to find out the title of the movie. Thank god the credits were in Chinese and English.

Today I saw in the papers that the Pink Film Festival 2005 will feature that particular Taiwanese film. On Saturday, June 4, I will be lining up hours in advance at Gateway to get a ticket for the 6:30pm screening of Formula 17. Yes it’s as glossy and light as a Viva Film romance, but what the heck. I’m there to gape at cute Chinese guys, with or without subtitles.
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A Free Fish

I jealously guard my freedom. The surest way to not make me do something is to force me to do it. Just give me a choice, or even an illusion of a choice; then you stand a chance that I’ll do what you want me to do.

The best way to capture this elusive Piscean is not with the right net or bait; just give me my freedom of choice. Hold me down and I’ll slip away easily and without regret. Let go of me, and I’ll freely swim to you.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Coming Soon

McVie meets Badinggerzie.

Star-studded itetch!

Stay tuned here only on The McVie Show.