Saturday, June 30, 2007

Fun, Fearless, Female: Cha Cabrera

She insists she’s 19. Taller than most girls, you won’t miss her in a crowd. But you’ll surely notice her one way or another- she’s loud and has a personality that pops. Cha speaks her mind, and is never apologetic. “Never explain yourself”, she says, “because people who like you don’t need explanations, and people who dislike you won’t believe it.”

The question isn’t who she’s dated, instead who she hasn’t dated. This feisty girl certainly won’t wait for a fairy godmother to help her in the romance department. We could hardly sit in a party or a club without bumping into one of her exes. As with any sensible woman, Cha does have her boundaries. If anything, I admire her for being honest. She might not be a demure debutante, but she remains true to herself at all times.

A Hodgepodge of Memories

I was recently tagged by Misterhubs, and I’m supposed to do an article on my funniest childhood memory. I couldn't quite decide on writing about a particular incident, so I just listed a jumble of memories that I thought showed my personality as a kid.

How I thought some phrases meant when I was a child:

Dressed chicken- a chicken with clothes.

True-to-life story- the actor dies for real, but how come Lorna Tolentino is still alive, promoting the movie? I wondered.

Legal dictionary- I thought that all other dictionaries were “illegally printed”.

Not for Hire- akala ko Not for Here, e kung hindi yun para dito, para saan?

Reg. Phil. Pat. Off
on Coca Cola bottles- I thought was someone’s name.

I learned the words Mystique, invulnerable, and sinister quite early- I collected trading cards. I would save my P5 baon by walking to school, not taking my snack, and later savoring the moment as I ripped the plastic cover of assorted trading cards. Totally worth it!

Prayed really hard so I could win the school supplies raffle (a watercolor set), and was mad at God for a week because He let somebody else win.

I thought Lilet was pretty and would watch That’s Entertainment to see fans put flowers on their favorite stars. I pitied her because her braces looked like a torture device; I swear I saw her mouth bleed once.

At around 8 years old, I lectured our 9 yr old neighbor's kid on proper manners, because she always annoys me when she comes over our house and eats our food. I put matters to my own hands, much to my mom’s dismay. I pulled the kid aside one afternoon, and in our front yard, I dramatically revealed all my grievances, Cherie Gil-style.

I thought eating balot was cruel. I pitied the tiny chick so I only ate the yolk

I would cover my eyes when there were kissing scenes on tv, but in my teens, I actually snuck inside a movie theater showing an R18 movie.

There was a fire near our house in Proj 6 when I was 7 years old and Nanay pulled my brother and me to safety. A block from our house, I trudged reluctantly because I was mad at Nanay for not giving me time to look for my slippers. I thought: how embarrassing to be walking around with no slippers!

I was afraid of Bella Flores.

I cried at this pic of mama with a sea on the background because I thought she was leaving, and I was sad.

I cried at an open forum during homeroom when I told my classmates that my bestfriend Nathan had started hanging out with other kids and he was “slipping away”.

Hmm quite the drama queen from way back when, haha! I see most bloggers have been tagged already.. I'm gonna choose Mink, Joel, and Mark, my friend & online crush hehe ; )

Friday, June 29, 2007

Pintados 2007

The faint thump of the drums grew louder as the "Painted Ones" or the Pintados made their approach. In the blistering heat of the noonday sun, thousands of people filled the now-pedestrianized Tacloban downtown area. The roads have been closed starting around 11:30, and I found myself hurrying towards the center of the city near Sto. Niño Church to meet my friends at our usual hangout. I wiped my brow, which was nearly dripping with sweat. After walking roughly the distance of a walk from the Mantrade building to Rustans via Ayala Ave, my feet were killing me, and the screaming crowd was no help. I finally arrived at the coffee shop, and barely five minutes after I arrived, loud drums signaled the start of the parade. My friends and I hurried to RTR plaza, hoping to find a good spot.
It is a rule that if you attend the Pintados parade, you don't wear your best clothes. Makes sense, since you're likely to sweat a lot, plus someone is likely to grab you and smear paint at you. But you are not supposed to get mad, but rather join in the fun. As an initiative, my friends and I had our faces and arms painted to discourage rowdy people from slathering us with a bright yellow tint. Right across the face.
Face and body painting prior to the parade.
Colorful costumes and great performances from dancers from all
over Leyte and Samar.

Abuyog turns up the competition with their "Buyogan" (Bee) festival. Flower girl daw ba? ; )
An entry from Hilongos, Leyte. She is at a Mardi Gras, she insists, hence the beaded bra.
Cute kids performing. They were the champions last year.
The current Bb. Pilipinas World visits Tacloban.
Viva Señor Sto. Niño!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Look of Love (Part 2)

The wind was cold on my cheeks as we walked towards the beach. I had taken my shirt off in the bar, but I was too drunk to care about going back and retrieving it.
Yuri's hand was warm and I locked my fingers and leaned close to him. We were silent, and I could only hear the music faintly thumping from the bars a distance away.
He gestures and we sit on the sand. I could only see the light of the moon reflecting in those eyes. My thoughts were wrapped in a cloud that floated lazily in my mind. It seemed things moved in slow motion to me. I turned to look at his face as I placed my hand on the buckle of his belt.
He hasn't uttered a word since we separated from the crowd, but I felt his warm breath on my neck. I put my hands under his shirt and felt his stomach and those little hairs that tickled my fingers. I moved my face close to his, but I didn't kiss him. Maybe I wanted him to make the move. My hands went south again.
I touch the front of his jeans, but I didn't unzip him. Through the haze, my thoughts couldn't seem to form coherently. I wanted him to make the move. I was sending out all the signals, and my hands were telling him eloquently what I wanted, but apart from his excitement, he remained silent.
A few drunk girls pass by noisily, laughing at some anecdote they shared amongst themselves. "I need to go get my shirt from our room." I said, "Go with me."
We get up and start to walk towards our hotel. Some of the bars were closing up. The moon was still bright, illuminating the bancas moored near the shore. I saw the light coming from our window.. my friends must have headed home already. In the dark path shaded by a canopy of bouggainvilea shrubs, I turned to face him. "Let's spend the night together." I can only see his silhouette, but not his eyes. He was trying to tell me something, but I didn't know what it was, so I just stood there, holding his hand.
The next morning, I saw him again, just a glimpse as our boat start to head to Batangas. The waters looked so much like the color of his eyes. He was walking on the shore, and beside him, the guy he was with on his date last night.

Latex Ain't That Kinky

“Do you have allergies to latex?” I asked.

(sounds like a question I would ask at the end of a very good date )

“To ensure the sterility of the procedure, I am going to don sterile gloves.” I continued to explain the whole procedure perfectly, verbatim as it is written in the Fundamentals of Nursing. My hands however, betrayed my nervousness as they shook uncontrollably as I proceeded to wear the glove on my dominant hand. Thankfully, I managed to finish the procedure without any major boo-boos.

The verdict? A minus point for accidentally contaminating the sterile part of the glove as I nervously maneuvered it to fit my hand.

Thankfully I’m quite adept at “boka-boka” (as my esteemed Thesis adviser back in Peyups would say, of my skill to convince people using words), and I can almost always talk my way in and out of things. I certainly can put my patients at ease (you won’t hear me bluntly say before a rectal exam, “Pull your pants down, and turn over.” - although this does sound like something I might hear from a date).

It is strange trading a T-square to a Stethoscope. I’m still unable to decipher the Korotkoff sound of a systolic pressure, and the Stet seems to stick permanently to my ears. Damn, kung ako lang I’d invent a new device that will play Whitney’s “I’m Every Woman” and swiftly changes to Madonna’s “Fever” as a mark of the diastolic pressure reading. ‘Di ba bongga? ; )

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Look of Love (Part 1)

The waves crashed lazily on the white sand as the chill of the morning gets pierced by the rays of the sun. I sat on my sarong which I spread on the sand and looked around. In a distance, I see a diving boat with several people preparing to leave.

One of the divers was a shirtless blond guy, who seemed too skinny for his height. As he turns in my direction I saw his face, reddened by the sun, and he looked young and boyish. As I lowered my gaze, I had my first real-life encounter with a guy with six-pack abs. Even from a distance, every line, every curve of his abdomen was perfectly sculpted.

“Tatat!” I nudged my best friend who was lying face down, enjoying the sun’s rays. “Ano?” I pointed in the direction of the boat. “Ay, panalo!” She says, finally sitting up. I’ve always enjoyed people-watching on the beach. There were a lot of interesting sights, especially here in Puerto Galera. “I hope we see him tonight at the bar.” I smiled at my friend.

There is an adage that says if by some freak of nature, a tsunami, typhoon, and a hurricane would hit Puerto Galera at the same time during summertime, 90% of the gay population in the Philippines would perish. I believe it. We found ourselves in a sea of people that night at the bars- about three fourths were male, and a few sprinklings of females. Music blared and drinks flowed as we chatted away merrily, checking people out.

The crowds parted and there he was, sitting with a Filipino guy at the bar. I nudged my friends, “Dun tayo,” I pleaded. Gracious as they were, my buddies accompanied me to the bar and we pretended to chat as we settled down on the chair, with mine next to the blond guy. He turns to look at me. “Hi!” I said. “What are you having?” gesturing to his drink. “Tequila,” he says. “My name is Yuri.”

He was quite nice, and we made small talk about diving spots in the Philippines. He was training to be in the police force in the Netherlands. Given the noise and his accent, and the fact that I was slightly tipsy already, I had quite a struggle keeping the conversation going. Luckily one of my girlfriends was familiar with European languages, so she quickly came to my rescue. His date turned his attention elsewhere while we continue chatting with him. He excused himself as he went to the restroom.

His date comes up to me and asks, “Are you going home with him?” I look him in the eye, and quite honestly said “I don’t know.” When Yuri gets back, his date says something to his ear and disappears into the crowd. “Would you like to take a walk on the beach?” I asked. “Yes.” He finishes his drink and I hold his hand as we leave together. My friends cheer as I walked away with him.

To be continued here

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Now Showing: Political Divas

With reverence akin to watching a Claudine Baretto-Piolo Pascual soap opera, people hungrily tune in the evening news to hear the latest in Philippine politics. Only in the Philippines will you find politicians who entertain (they are a lot of showbiz personalities who are put into power, after all) better than they legislate. I personally handpicked my favorite political divas who never fail to catch my attention.

Imelda Marcos

Who doesn’t know Madame and her Manolos? A documentary about Imelda showed everything from her and Ferdinand Marcos’ rise to power (they were considered a “love team” then, an image the public adored), their eventual downfall, and of course, a showcase of her extravagance. The funniest parts were when she discussed her philosophical mumbo-jumbo, scribbling away on a sketchpad with a marker. It was so incoherent and out-of-this-world that I couldn’t stop giggling.

I haven’t seen her much lately though, any news?

Loren Legarda

No non-sense from this one. She is an excellent journalist (and was a cum laude graduate of UP) who once anchored The World Tonight and hosted the acclaimed The Inside Story. Loren has always been active in office with her Anti-Domestic Violence Act, Ecological Solid Waste Management Law, Humanitarian and Peace Commission, and the Luntiang Pilipinas program.

Human rights advocate, environmentalist, senator, journalist, and mother. What doesn’t she bring to the table?

Tessie Aquino-Oreta

On the opposite side of the spectrum, we have the notorious Dancing Queen. She earned the nickname after doing a disgraceful “cheerleader routine” during Estrada’s impeachment trial. An act that would immortalize her, as the videos were shown over and over, and later became an essential part of every skit on TV that time.

She tried unsuccessfully to redeem herself by doing a 30-second waste-of-time political ad where she did a Gloria, and apologized for her behavior. Mind you, it was unlike Madam President’s flat “I am sorry”, but a rather lengthy one, complete with emotions, teary eyes, and a quivering voice. ..”Nasaktan ko kayo..” she says, with the intensity of Meryl Streep.

And the Oscar goes to..

Miriam Defensor-Santiago

Miriam is my favorite. She’s kooky and outspoken and never fails to make me grin from ear to ear. My favorite line from Ma’am is “I will jump headfirst from a helicopter in Luneta if Estrada gets removed from power.” Days later, Estrada gets the boot via People Power 2 (hah! I will never forget going to Edsa with friends chanting “Erap Resign!” on top of our lungs) and she recants with “I lied.”, then laughs maniacally at the camera.

Always the spitfire, she has something to say about everything and about everyone. I’ll certainly be waiting here like a devoted Flordeluna fan for new episodes starring these ladies.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Ishmael Bernal's Himala (1982)

Nora Aunor shines as Elsa, in one of the most important Filipino films of all time. Aunor's most remarkable quality is her ability to express a myriad of emotions through her eyes, without even saying a word. This quality is scarce, even more so at present, where new actors and actresses are born out of reality shows and thrust into the limelight by sheer looks alone.

Himala tells the story of religious fanaticism, faithlessness, and how people rediscover real faith.

Set in the desolate town of Cupang, where poverty-stricken residents await a miracle. Hope comes in the person of Elsa, who claims to have seen the Virgin Mary. With mysterious healing powers, she starts to cure the residents of their ailments. Her fame quickly spreads, and soon, an avalanche of tourists from all over the country visit the town to see Elsa. People quickly succumb to greed as they build businesses for the tourist's money. Trouble escalates as a cholera epidemic takes the lives of children, while Elsa herself experience loss in the death of her friend Chayong, who hung herself after she was raped. Because of the deaths, the tourists leave town.

In her final act, Elsa gathers the people in the desert-like dunes where she had her visions. Before the crowd she finally confesses, .."Walang himala!.. ang himala ay nasa puso ng tao.." A shot is heard, and Elsa falls to the floor, clutching her bloody chest. All hell breaks loose as a stampede ensues and many people perish.

With the loss of Elsa and the others, the people of Cupang finally pray and discover the true meaning of their faith.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Seres nuevamente descubiertos!!

After a grueling seven day deliberation, taxonomists from all over the world have agreed that they found five new species endemic to the Philippines, believed to have evolved from Homo sapiens. They will be revealing this to the public for the first time, so prepare yourself!!

Placentus regia. A creature believed to produce cosmetic products from her loins. Pandaca acutifolia. Now considered the smallest creature on earth.
Uragona hadhada. Mysteriously able to mate with both sexes, including with other species.
Luffa cylindrica. Gave new meaning to the words "body scrub".
Matronus maximus. Believed to have been extinct but reappeared with a vengeance. Highly venomous; please shoot immediately or otherwise hit on the head with a heavy blunt object. Clink on this link for more Madam Auring misadventures.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


“Kei, I’m leaving.”
“What?! Are you serious?”
“I’m about to go to the 11th floor to submit my resignation letter, my badge, and my keys.” I said. I replaced the receiver and stared for a moment at my PC. My desk was clean and starkly devoid of mementos. I had placed them earlier in a paper bag- the mug that Jigger gave, my plaques, and pictures of me and my team. I was ready.

I informed my team of my decision the day before. I took them off the phones by fives, and inside the conference room, I informed them. “Boss, shocking naman. What’s wrong?” A few of the girls started crying and I was trying to control myself. “This is a great place to work”, I began, “but I feel that it’s time for me to move on.” Gosh, I never thought those clowns really cared that much about me.

My team and I have been through a lot. There were forty teams in the US Market, my team was the 39th team to be formed. After a year and a half of training and mentoring, bad shifts, and firing 32 people along the way- we finally reached top six, beating much more tenured teams. I was proud of what we have accomplished, but despite of that I had started to feel the monotony of the job. I applied for Assistant Call Center Manager, but like the 11 other applicants we were turned down. It’s either I move up or move out, I thought.

I’ve thought about it a hundred times, on whether I should leave or stick around (in fact, it was the favorite topic of my fellow managers). I was sure, I was on the right track, but as I rose from my seat and walked towards my colleagues to say my goodbyes, I felt a twinge of doubt and a tear forming in the corner of my eye.

I sent my final email to the management group, before proceeding to HR. After surrendering my badge and keys, I was free. I turned as I approached the glass doors, and looked for the last time. The entire floor was buzzing; CSRs were clapping for assistance while supervisors hurried to assist. I saw one of my friends coaching her CSR and I felt a tug at my heart- I’m going to miss all that. Coaching sessions, team buildings, breakfast with friends at Deli France.. I saw myself as a CSR, years before being promoted, and remembered the time I almost got fired. I saw my first American boss who pushed for my promotion to Team Manager, and I saw the faces of my CSRs..

With my things in hand, I took a deep breath, walked into the waiting elevator, and watched as the doors slowly closed.

Monday, June 18, 2007

What it Feels Like for a Girl

My friend CT was a thesis mate in college. Before we met in Diliman as batchmates, she already earned a Bachelor's Degree in UST. She was instantly among my favorites in our batch (I have no idea, but I rarely hung out with people my age- I guess I wanted to learn from the older ones); when we were not working on some design project we spent hours and hours talking and debating.
I was always curious about lesbians. Like most people, the picture that comes to mind is a butch lady with hair cut like a man's, masculine clothes and masculine mannerisms. But looks aside, I've always wondered if they experienced the same ridicule as gay men. I decided to phone CT and told her I wanted to interview her on the topic of gay issues. The questions explored her experiences as a young girl, her romantic relationships, gay role models, thoughts on marriage and having kids, and what she thought was the biggest misconception about gay people.
She is quite a spitfire (that's partly how we won Best Thesis!) so I was expecting a lot. Instead, when I opened my mail today I got this e-mail from her:

i guess you already know most of the things about me. and like you, i have not told my family about my sexual orientation. i know they could very well see it and i don’t need to burden them with the truth. You very well know the steep price of truth and with my parents getting sickly, i'd keep it to myself na lang. besides, i am not like other gays because i don't hang out with them nor do i have role models to speak of. on top of that, my built in "self regulatory board" would not allow me to just do it with anybody just because i feel it or because a girl's flirting with me or because i could not get them pregnant anyway. after my first relationship - which you knew, i haven't dated yet. its weird because i embraced my being catholic and being gay at the same time kaya siguro mahihirapan ako maghanap ng partner. so i think i am not a good source of information. i mean, i'll tell you my thoughts about this being gay when i have collected my thoughts on life, God, being human and being gay. email you later ma'am. i enjoyed your blogsite.

“Soup dish” atbp.

I asked a rather nice sales lady, “Miss, hain an mga soap dish niyo?” (Miss, where can I find the soap dishes?)

“Didi, Sir.” (Right here, Sir) She says, as she leads me toward the Kitchenwares section. She stops upon racks of bowls (seeing the puzzled look plastered on my face), “An ano an iyo Sir, an durudako?” (Were you looking for the bigger ones, Sir?)

I had to smile. She thought I was looking for “soup dish”.


I placed a 1.5 L bottle of 7up in the fridge (which still had half a liter content), intending on guzzling it down over lunch. I was shocked, hours later, to see the bottle full. Apparently our over-enthusiastic household help, thinking it was water, placed it under the sink and filled it up. #@%!!

Mag-iodized salt tayo

My uncle had a kumpadre over, and he asks the boy (a male helper) to prepare coffee. He takes the cups, fills them both with coffee powder and iodized salt (thinking probably that it was sugar), and adds water.

I peered through the door just in time to see both men, with indescribable facial expressions, spray their coffee after taking a sip.

On the bright side, they will reduce the chance of dementia in old age, thanks to that dose of Iodine! Diba the boy had good intentions?!

Professor X

“Sa Palarong Pambansa, rain or shine the events must go on.” He continues, “Lalaki ang gastos pag na-delay ng na delay ang mga games. Time is very essence.”

Ano daw?

Dubious don

I was worried I was supposed do my shoulders again the following day at the gym, so I ask the trainer. He says, “Ang wi-nork out natin ngayon ay abs (pointing to biceps), kaya pwede tayong mag-shoulders bukas.”

I surely won’t hire the guy as my Anatomy tutor.

Sinister cosmetic

For those of you who still are not acquainted, you can click this. Rhaulynmae, in her quest for beauty and the elusive Chinese-girl look, buys some Chin Chun Su. She naturally parades this in Gaisano (a local department store), making sure everyone notices her in her short-shorts, t-shirt, and headband outfit.

Aside from containing Zinc Oxide, apparently this cosmetic may cause severe reactions in some people, before (daw) turning you into a beauty. About a week after applying the sickeningly sweet-smelling cream, large meteoric zits appeared all over Rhaulyn’s face. It was so severe that Mike Enriquez would have looked flawless beside her. They only subsided after she stopped applying.

She swore off Chin Chun Su, and said hello to Ate Vi’s Eskinol (the one with those white crystals at the bottom of the bottle). “Isa pa Direk, please?” ; )

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Beauty Must-have: Olay Total Effects

Olay joins my beauty arsenal as I’ve started using the product days ago. I’ve been a fan of Olay moisturizer (remember the pink fluid?) before they came up with Total Effects.

Let us peer into the microscope as we examine a drop of Total Effects. What is in it? There are pretty common ingredients (like water and the usual emulsifiers), but what I’m going to be discussing are the key ingredients. You may review Beauty IQ articles prior to reading this as a supplement.

Glycerin: A humectant. It draws moisture from the air into your skin.

Tocopheryl Acetate: Or Vitamin E, which is a very good anti-oxidant.

Cetyl Alcohol: An emollient or skin softener.

Titanium Dioxide & Zinc Oxide
: These are usually ingredients in sunblocks. I was expecting a rather opaque cast since there is the presence of Titanium Dioxide, but Olay’s formula was actually translucent ie. no kabuki effect.

Panthenol: Is a non-irritating form of Vitamin B. It is readily absorbed by the skin and has a “plumping effect”.

Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract: Green Tea extract in this product brings anti-oxidant and soothing effects.

What I really think:

By convention, the top culprit for skin aging is photodamage (smoking is second, so stop puffing!!). UVA and UVB rays damage the collagen fibers underneath the skin, causing it to thin out, leaving the dermis or top layer wrinkled. Imagine a fresh grape (full of liquid), and after continued exposure to the sun, the moisture is zapped and all you get is a wrinkly raisin.

Sunblocks have been available to us for quite a long time already. But the problem is that most of these formulas are heavy (think Chin Chun Su- which incidentally contains Zinc Oxide. Old Chinese folks certainly hit the mark on this one). These are fine for the beach, but not for everyday use. It was only a matter of time till someone made a moisturizer which had SPF (Sun Protection Factor) and was wearable on a daily basis.

In the market today, several companies have products similar to the Total Effects formula: moisture + sun protection + anti oxidants. The difference mainly is in the consistency, preparation, and price. Overall, what makes me happy about Olay’s product is that it goes on smooth, I don’t break out when I use it, and there is only one formula for both day and night application so it’s convenient. I have yet to see the long term effects (I give it 2-3 months) but I’ve got a feeling the results will be favorable.
Retail price: Php 575 in drugstores and department stores.

Most Popular Reactions to my Coming Out, Documented

Shock. Primarily because not only did I come out, but I showed all the dimensions of gay life in this blog. I guess for conservative people that may be a little too much information to digest in one day. Nevertheless, it was surely effective having elicited a lot of reactions like this. I understand it takes time for everything to sink in. Dismay. For some people who "looked up to me" (or the "straight" me), their faces somewhat looked dismayed. As if my orientation in one way or another has crushed the squeaky-clean image of me. All I have to say is that way before becoming "Kuya Thad" I was already the Thad who went out on dates with interesting guys. I merely revealed this side of me to finally put a stop to why-don't-you-have-a-girlfriend questions, it doesn't change the fact that I'm still me. All other facets of my personality remained the same, for those who wished I should've just kept this part of me hidden, try being in my shoes and you'll see.
Disgust. Holier-than-thou people had this reaction. Their saintly personas must not be tarnished with the likes of me. Not a problem for me..
Deadma. Well, I've got to hand it to them. Maybe sexual orientation was just never an issue, or perhaps they simply knew already.
"It's OK." I'm glad a lot of people are mature and empathic- I'm certainly grateful. This makes the whole process a lot easier ; )
Applause. I would do the same for anyone who comes out or overcomes a difficult task.. Heck, it's not easy and you definitely need to be commended!
Lastly, I would like to share a message sent to me by one of my schoolmates (actually a former lab-partner in Inorganic Chem):

grabe ka!!! i almost cried... i'm in total shock! idol talaga kita,it takes a lot of courage to do what you did!!!!haaaaaa!!!!nalurong talaga aq!!!nice kuya itaas mo ang bandera niyo! mapa member aq ha iyo! ipapabasa ko ha akon mga friends especially ha may makikitid na pagiisip! kuya cool blog site!!!ever!!!!

Regardless of the reactions.. I'm happy- it was certainly a relief to finally be just myself. Thanks guys!

Strange Customs

A friend sent this to me, these practices certainly brings "crazy" to a new level. The ones in red font are my comments..

In Lebanon, men are legally allowed to have sex with animals, but the animals must be female. Having sexual relations with a male animal is punishable by death.
(Right. Because sex with a male animal, that's crazy.)
In Bahrain, a male doctor may legally examine a woman's genitals, but is prohibited from looking directly at them during the examination. He may only see their reflection in a mirror.(Reminds me of Perseus and Medusa)

Muslims are banned from looking at the genitals of a corpse. This also applies to undertakers; the sex organs of the deceased must be covered with a brick or piece of wood at all times.
(So, only construction materials are allowed to cover the area?)

The penalty for masturbation in Indonesia is decapitation.
(Wonder which head?)
There are men in Guam whose full-time job is to travel the countryside and deflower young virgins, who pay them for the privilege of having sex for the first time. Reason: under Guam law, it is expressly forbidden for virgins to marry.
(Dream job for straight men)

In Hong Kong, a betrayed wife is legally allowed to kill her adulterous husband, but may only do so with her bare hands. The husband's lover, on the other hand, may be killed in any manner desired.
(Monogamy must be pretty popular in HK)
Topless saleswomen are legal in Liverpool, England -but only in tropical fish stores.
(But of course..)

In Cali, Colombia, a woman may only have sex with her husband, and the first time this happens, her mother must be in the room to witness the act.
In Maryland, it is illegal to sell condoms from vending machines with one exception: prophylactics may be dispensed from a vending machine only "in places where alcoholic beverages are sold for consumption on the premises."
(Now this makes sense hahaha!)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Blog Review by BeratemyBlog

Graphics -- Nudity seems an absolute in any presentation by gays. Could be the testosterone reacting to repression, because straight guys aren't this obsessive. Well, if a blog expresses you, express.

Content -- He's in the season of life for kalandian, but here and there are flashes of intellect and the fact that he didn't go to diploma mill schools. Hey, he reads Neruda!

Style -- Effusive as gays come, but honest. We'll say this for Thadie, he has a raw talent for narrative and seeing drama in everyday events. Mass communication could be in his future, with some ironing out of rough edges.

Recommend -- Less layout clutter, please.

Overall rating -- 8.5

Should I Come Out To Mom? Comments on my Favorite MGG Post

The stories of gay people are quite similar regardless of nationality or culture. I'm about to share a post from Migs' blog on coming out to one's mother- the post has generated quite a buzz and there were a lot of interesting responses. I was about to leave a comment on MGG but my browser always encounters a problem when I'm trying to submit, so I decided to write it here instead.
Note: The original post is in blue font, the selected comments in red.

So Gibbs texted me one day, inviting me to join a dinner date with 2 other bloggers. One was Anthony, a closeted gay guy (majority of his blog readers do not know he’s as fairy as the Fairy Godmother), and the other was Mira, a fine lady of regal bearing, and belonging to the senior citizenry. At first I thought it was such an awkward mix, but boy was I wrong!
Like a diesel engine, the dinner conversation started cold and for the first several minutes, I was just listening to the three bloggers talk about many varied things. Until I felt the need to spruce the conversation up a bit. I focused on Mira, and asked, “Since you’re from a different generation, I am very interested to hear your thoughts on gay people.”
Then she most carefully said, “One of my sons is gay.”I knew from then on that the conversation just shifted to high emotional gear. And it was not just for her, but for me as well.
After an almost apologetic confession about her feeling of disappointment when she learned that his son was gay, she followed it up with the explanation that the source of such disappointment was her motherly concern for his well-being. She said that the world, however liberated it has become, is still cruel to gay people. She cited one concrete incident where her son was discriminated on in the university where he studied. It became a formal discrimination case in the university; fortunately, Mira and her son’s side won. “I really worry for his happiness.”
Not without excited prodding from Gibbs and myself, Mira continued to share how she learned that her son was gay. “When he was in high school, I asked him point-blank, ‘Anak, are you gay?’ to which he replied, ‘I don’t know, Ma.’ Had he denied it, I would have been more suspicious; but his ‘I don’t know’ gave me some hope that maybe it was really just a phase.”
But was it? “During his college years, he introduced me to a friend of his. They were very close, too close in my opinion. Then I saw among his things a letter from this friend — too sweet for being ‘just friends’ so I thought that it may not be just a phase after all.”
“Since he was young, I would repeatedly tell him, ‘Anak, you are my best product.’ So when he finally came out to me, confirming my long-time suspicion, he asked me: ‘Ma, am I still your best product?’”
This is where I, after listening very intently to Mira, finally was not able to hold back my tears. I remembered my mom whom I love so very dearly. She, like Mira to his son, told me since I was young, that I was her best product. I get embarrassed whenever she tells everyone, relatives and her friends, how I took on from her my natural smarts, confident bearing, and amiable attitude. As Mira continued talking, I saw my Mom in her person, and thought to myself, she may be going through the same internal struggles and unnecessary worry. (I am not out to Mommy and to the rest of our family, but I am sure they know.) I emphatically told Mira, as I would imagine telling my mom, she shouldn’t be worrying too much. Mom’s done a hell of a great job in raising me up as a good and able person — that I am confident I can hack whatever discrimination or cruelty comes my way. What is important to me is to relieve my mom of her unnecessary worry.
And as the evening of insightful conversation with my fellow bloggers came to a close, it left me with a lingering question. Should I come out to Mommy? Would it actually help in relieving her of her worries about me?

eponine Says:
My mom has been through a lot. My eldest straight brother is into drugs; my second closeted brother has come out to me and my sister. Now this puts on a lot of pressure to me not to come out. The last thing I want to do in this world is to break Mama’s heart (only the cruelest man will do that). I know she has sensed it in me. But I have decided not to come out to her. I don’t want her thinking where she’d gone wrong, because she is a very great mom.

my yellow shirt mended Says:
I wish I could say something positive. I came out but its all about tolerance with my mom and I.
Yes she knows.
but you know what? It was my dad and still my dad that plays my heart when I told him, ” Nakipag sex na ako.”
“Babae ba?”
” Ok sana yun, pero di eh.”
” anak ingat ka. Marami dyan pera lang ang habol sa mga katulad mo.”
” Opo dad. Di kayo galit?”
” Di eh, kasi mahal kita.”
And until now, even if things are bad all over. I remember, my dad loves me.
What I have to say:
I love my Mom. She has been more like a ka-barkada to me (we talk about her hair, shoes, interior design, cooking, etc.), I've always been independent and made my own decisions and she has always stood by me. I remember the time after college when I "ran away" from home (long story), my father was quite stern and he cut off his financial support. I was, of course, stubborn and I was determined to get a job and make it on my own. My Mom gently persuaded me to go home to Tacloban but I told her firmly that I had to do this to prove something to myself. I never would have been coerced anyway, but I did appreciate my Mom's respecting my decision. Months later, I did get decent employment; I fixed things up with my old man and proudly told my Mom about my new job, much to her delight.
I can totally understand eponine's (1st comment) sentiments. Not that my siblings had issues or anything, but I just don't want to add anymore worries or problems for her. Whatever difficulties or struggles I go through, I think I can handle them on my own. I prefer to leave things the way they are.. Like Mira, I bet she would be burdened with worry- whether I'd be happy or if someone will be with me when I grow old.. I do not have the answers to these questions, but I certainly would not want her to spend her time searching the answers for me.
What my yellow mended shirt's dad said was touching: .."Di eh, kasi mahal kita." I doubt if this is what my dad would say- he'd probably kick my ass or something. Being the eldest son, I bet he had high expectations, and it's going to take a looong time before he accepts this. I never bothered to come clean- it would just bring trouble. I still continue to hope though, that one day, I see it in his eyes- a look that says "I know, and it's ok."

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Infonxx Men

I was feeling nostalgic again as I arrived home. One of the things that I liked way back when I was working at Info was the constant, fresh supply of cuties. Join me as I relive those moments ; )
I was part of the third batch of pioneer CSRs while he was batch 4. Up close, he was one of the most good looking guys I've ever laid eyes on. Pale skin, gorgeous nose, those cupid lips- he was a typical mestizo guy. I can only remember those times when the 12th floor just opened- there was a comfy recreation room slash sleeping area (it had a foozeball table and billiard table and comfortable couches which became beds for the evening people) my shift had an hour long break and I usually spend it napping. I think he knew I had a crush on him because I usually did not look him in the eye when we were talking and he caught me several times stealing glances at him at the Queue desk. I could swear he was teasing me sometimes- several times, when we had the same break, I would somehow wake up and notice that he was sitting beside me in that stuffed couch. He wasn't napping like I was (my head resting on the arm rest and my jacket wrapped around me), but he would just sit quietly beside me. I was quite timid back then so I never really acted on it ; ) but the electricity was definitely palpable. Kilig! hehe
I was already managing a team when he became a supervisor. Also straight, but man, look at that body ; ) He was tall and quite great with clothes. It was certainly fun going to work looking forward to seeing him patrol the floor. I was a bit saddened when he resigned but I guess he was given a better offer and position elsewhere.. Aww

He was one of my TM friend's CSR. This guy was certainly fun to be with and he maintained a cheerful disposition which attracted neurotic people like myself ; )

Guys, when it doesn't work out with your gf's, call me ; ) Haha

Saturday, June 9, 2007


Craziness aside, I’m actually quite pleased of what this blog has accomplished so far. I came out (which was the primary purpose), I met a lot of interesting blog buddies (you guys know who you are ; ) I was able to say what I had to say, had good site traffic (3,876 views in 23 days), and was able to interact with other gay bloggers (Legends in my book- I've always browsed MGG and Misterhubs way before I started blogging). After my friend Mark published a letter I wrote in his blog, I thought, why not create mine?

I’m almost at my 100th post (wonder why that is significant for me?) and I have to say I’ve had a blast! Some of my posts were a bit serious, some catty, some silly, some sad, some paying tribute to the people I admire, and some with typos (yikes!). I’ve had good and bad feedback, compliments and insults thrown my way- and I’m still here.

When I started this, I’ve always envisioned it to be a tool that would give a perspective of the life of a typical gay person (I know there are a lot of us, and we are all different, but this will be a start for them). I think one of the reasons why most people fail to give the respect gay people are entitled to, is because they have very limited knowledge. They fail to see that there are a lot more sides to us than our sexual orientation. I bet few of them are aware of the difficulty of coming out, the weariness of being the subject of ridicule for being effeminate, or the frustration of not being able to experience the regular things in life like getting married or having a kid.

From my experience, here in the province, if you are 14 and gay, even if you have the best grades or even if you are a good son, all they will see is a Bayot. (Visayan term for a gay man) That’s how they will identify you, and that’s how they will think of you till you prove that you are more than that.

I recently invited some straight teenagers to view my blog (you’ve got to hand it to me to be that tenacious), and the responses I got were similar- First they were surprised I was gay, second, they said it was a gutsy thing to do to come out, and third, that they learned new things about gay people. Who knew there were Parloristas and Pamintas? These are certainly not taught in the classroom.

School starts in a few days for me, and the number of entries I publish will definitely lessen. I’m happy with my new-found freedom and I hope that you (whoever is reading this) will also have the courage to be your most authentic self. I still have a lot to learn, but it sure is fun being able to share my experiences with a lot of you. Till my next post! ; )

Friday, June 8, 2007

Dear Crazy

Location: Makati

Nicknames: Zuleyka, Mariangel, Mikey, Lee Bang, Anti-Zuleyka, BlueE97, DOTA101

Yup, all the same person. I tried not to get my irritation get the best of me (or this post might sound too catty again), but I let one slip and couldn’t resist the “Dear Crazy” title. (Letter to a Schizophrenic might have been a good choice too ; )

I am all for free speech (as what I have always preached); hey, everyone has a right to be heard. When I received criticism for my blog (“it is all crappy haughtiness”), I was quite ready to check my posts and somewhat make changes, if indeed the person had a point. I always appreciate feedback (good and bad), because they are usually the basis of any improvements that I have to make.

Crazy started with a semi-legitimate comment (although I always wondered why people would be so rude to someone they don’t know), apparently he/she found this blog not to his/her liking. Soon this escalated to a word-war with Crazy and his/her demon voices (This I found out after checking the IP). I knew then that he/she was not there to give constructive feedback but just to simply make a mess of my Cbox. I mentioned this to a blogger buddy, who simply said “Welcome to blogging.” So I guess this is not at all uncommon.

Though I may never understand what Crazy’s motives are, I have a few points to make:

1. When I mentioned that I went to UP, that my family was planning to get a beach property- it was not my intention to brag. Those are facts. My blog is an online journal for me and I usually write about my experiences, my plans, and my opinions.

2. When I write, I don’t usually censor my feelings. When I’m angry, sad, happy, haughty- it shows through the tone of my writing. That is just the way it is.

3. I started this blog for myself. That is the bottom line. I did not write this to please people or have people like me (otherwise I might have titled the blog “Please like me”). I am happy that there are people who genuinely like my writing, and I am aware that not everyone is a fan. Regardless of the feedback, this will remain my blog, and therefore I have the right to post whatever it is that I fancy.

With that said, I wish you all the best and I’m sure you will find the right Mental Institution for you. Thank you for giving me something to write about, and do get a life.

20 Greatest Songs (Part 2)

Chaka Khan: Through the Fire & I’m Every Woman

We all know Through the Fire- it’s practically an anthem in bars, karaoke places, and singing contests. Khan was one a member of the funk band Rufus (circa the 70’s) before she became a solo artist. “I’m every Woman” was her huge disco hit at that time- it also became a hit a decade later for Whitney. These hits will definitely remain on playlists as they are regarded the “templates” of modern day R & B.

Janet Jackson: Let’s Wait a While & Where are you Now

Who hasn’t bumped and grinded to any of Janet’s songs? I was in high school when the hits Again and That’s the Way Love Goes came out (I believed she also performed in Manila). My all-time favorite Janet song has to be the mushy Let’s Wait a While (for its message) and Where are you Now (ka-relate daw ba? ; )

Madonna: Material Girl & Fever

Madonna hits are a staple of the gay community. Since she first stepped out in her Marilyn Monroe pink satin gown (in the Material Girl music video), I was hooked. The critics described her voice as “Minnie mouse on helium”, but hey, Material Girl certainly became one of my favorites. She had a more “disco/ electronica” sound in the albums Bedtime Stories and Erotica, and I picked Fever as my choice. Very danceable ; )

Beach Hunting

Just got back from Guiuan.. Whew!! My ass hurts- not from what you think, but from
sitting for three hours travelling in a van. At least the task is done..

Walking towards the clearing..

Some french guy setting up his mansion by the sea..

My favorite one. I like that bent coconut tree..

Modern day Eden.

Another shot..

A long day requires a mandatory soak in the Jacuzzi ; )

The camera almost dunks into the water..

Ahh! Nice ; )

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Di ta Guae Yong Khee

A friend e-mailed this to me. I guess we may need to learn a new language to avoid this ; )

Nag-aaral ako sa La Salle . Ang dami kong kaklaseng Intsik. Apelyidong Uy, Lim, Tan, Co, Go, Chua, Chi, Sy, Wy, at kung anu-ano pa. Pero sa kanilang lahat kay Gilbert Go ako naging malapit. Mayaman si Gilbert kaya mangyari pa, madalas siya ang taya sa tuwing gigimik ang barkada. Isang araw na-ospital ang kanyang ama. Sinamahan ko siya sa pagdalaw. Nasa ICU na noon ang kanyang ama dahil sa stroke. Naron din ang ilan sa kanyang malalapit na kamag-anak. Nag-usap sila. Intsik ang kanilang usapan.... hindi ko maintindihan. Pagkatapos ng ilang minutong usap-usap, nagkayayaan nang umuwi. Maiwan daw muna ako at pakibantayan ang kanyang ama habang inihahatid nya ang kanyang mga kamag-anak palabas ng ospital. Lumipat ako sa gawing kaliwa ng kama ng kanyang ama para ilapag ang mga iniwan nilang mga gamit na kakailanganin ng magbabantay sa ospital. Nang akmang ilalapag ko na ay biglang nangisay ang matanda. Hinahabol nya ang kanyang hininga... Kinuyom nya ang kanyang palad at paulit-ulit siyang nagsalita ng wikang intsik na hindi ko maintindihan. "Di ta guae yong khee"..... "Di ta guae yong khee"... "Di ta guae yong khee".. paulit-ulit nya itong binigkas bago siya malagutan ng hininga. Pagbalik ni Gilbert ay patay na ang kanyang ama. Ikinagulat nya ang pangyayari ngunit marahil ay tanggap na rin nya na papanaw na ang kanyang ama. Walang tinig na namutawi sa kanyang bibig. Ngunit iyon na yata ang pinakamasidhing pagluha na nasaksihan ko. Nagpa-alam muna ako, dahil siguradong magdadatingin uli ang kanyang mga kamag-anak. Sumakay ako ng taksi pauwi. Habang nasa taksi.. tinawagan ko ang iba pa naming kabarkada. Una kong tinawagan si Noel Chua. Dahil marunong si Noel mag-intsik, tinanong ko muna kung ano ang ibig sabihin ng "Di ta guae yong khee". "Huwag mong apakan ang oxygen. "...
"Bakit saan mo ba narinig 'yan?".

How Homophobic Are You?

When a rainbow-garbed trannie sits beside you, you think:
a. Ay! We are the world! Miss Kenya and drama nya!
b. It’s ok, it doesn’t bother me.
c. Shit, I gotta move elsewhere.

You hear Madonna’s catchy new hit on the radio, you:
a. Dance like there’s no tomorrow, and worry about what the perfect outfit to go with the theme of the song.
b. Bop your head to the beat!
c. Turn it off, too girly.

One of your schoolmates just came out, you think:
a. Bongga!
b. Pat the person on the back- hey, that takes courage to do.
c. Stay away from this guy, he might infect you with it.

An openly gay athlete wins a match at basketball, you:
a. Cheer loudly!
b. Congratulate him.
c. Curse and spit, how come that faggot won?

An effeminate schoolmate moves in your dorm. You:
a. Make room for him.
b. Welcome him.
c. Dress inside the bathroom, hey he is probably checking your butt out everytime.

You observe a slight effeminate quality in an old friend from high school, you:

a. Catch up on all the gossip.
b. Don’t really mind.
c. Tell him, “magpaka-lalaki ka nga”

An openly gay, bitchy, brilliant officemate becomes your supervisor, you think:
a. Keri! This is gonna be fun!
b. I think we’ll get along.
c. If he gives me extra work, I’ll beat his sissy ass. How did he get that job? I do a lot better work than that fag.

If you answered mostly A's: Honey, welcome to the club!! You'll get your kit in two to three weeks ; ) Have fun with it and don't let people get you down!
If you answered mostly B's: Bravo! One doesn't need to be gay to understand the plight of gay people. You are empathic; you also know every person deserves respect and you give it to them. We need more people like you = )
If you answered mostly C's: Go back to the jungle, Tarzan. What you are doing is wrong, and you know it. Get some education.

Romeo and Juliet, TV Style

Falling in love.. first kiss..
The Break-up.
Ross gets married.. and says Rachel's name
"I'm still in love with you, Ross."
Drunken couple elopes in Vegas..
.. and then gets divorced.
Have a baby together by a drunken mistake..
And in the end.
Final scene in Friends shows an empty apartment.
This was one of my all time favorite sitcoms. The final scene never fails to tug at my heart- it reminds me of the time when I moved out and moved on (hmm probably the biggest change I've made in my life.. basta ; ). Like that sitcom, I guess it is a closed chapter already, and I'm quite ready to make new memories ; )


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