Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ang Laro ng Buhay ni Juan

Recently, I have had the opportunity to view gay-themed indie movies and it all started with getting an invite from Lex Bonife for Little Boy, Big Boy. Since then, I have watched both Pipo and Bayaw (which I will both review in the next weeks).

Just this week, I was able to attend a special screening of the latest
film from Jay Altarejos, Ang Laro ng Buhay ni Juan, at Mogwai Cafe in Cubao. It is not a usual venue for premieres and screenings but the ambiance of the screening room was very intimate. For an indie film, it allows the filmmakers to have a closer interaction with their audience.

Not being picky, I was a bit confused with Juan traveling from his rented room to where he was working as a performer. He stopped over in Manila to buy a can of biscuits. Normally, these biscuits are purchased on the bus station itself prior to boarding the bus especially since it is a bit cumbersome to carry around the city. I did found the song that accompanied Juan while contemplated by the bridge in Manila truly appropriate. Lex Bonife is credited for that song.

The story had revolved around Juan who had decided to return to Masbate after struggling in Manila for three years only to have ended up as a masseur / sex performer for lack of an easy way to earn money. It shows how the lead character interacts with his neighbors and partner as he says his goodbyes. Then leads to his trip to what is supposedly his last day of work as a performer in a private gay club.

For me, it was not a struggle of deciding whether to push through with returning home to his province or not. It was acceptance of his decision and pushing through with it. You know he is struggling however his life in Manila brought him a lot of friends including a partner. His decision is rooted on the family he left behind. Ironically in the end, the situation he allowed himself to be in takes the decision out of his hands. A reflection of life, sometimes we plan too much only to have the decision made by others or by circumstances.

Jay Altajeros definitely is not your run of the mill director. He uses long one-camera shots that is difficult to orchestrate and works well with the narrative. He does not rest on his laurels and experiments on how to bring their story to the screen. Considering financial limitations, he makes sure that each of his films feel like it's something new, not a rehash of his previous films.

Angeli Bayani (
2008 Cinemanila’s Asian Best Actress), for me stole the show with her performance. Unforgettable is the scene when the rice she bought using the money she borrowed from Juan spilled onto the wet sidewalk. For me, it depicts the Filipino's resilience. Down to our last resources, we will use them to the last drop. It also superimposed how pushed to the wall her character was which leads to her her fateful decision at the end of the movie.

Nico Antonio, of the singing group VOIZboys, is the partner of the lead character. He struggled with letting Juan go and pursuading him to stay. I am unfamiliar with his acting credentials, but he does the character justice for what limited time he is given on screen.

The lead character, Juan, is played by indie veteran, Ray-An Dulay. He made an impact on his first film, Bathhouse, and has a Altarejos movie under his belt, Kambyo. Onscreen he appears a bit lanky but in person, he makes an impression on you that he is Juan. It did not create that illusion on film. Then again, maybe I am prejudiced on what I look for in a guy. BUT. He, however, does a good turn as Juan.
I got to meet a lot of the people who lent their talents to the completion of this movie including Ace Ricafort and Tony Lapeña who were daring in their roles as the Tupada Boys. May-I Fabros and Fabillar, who had short roles in the film, were truly accomodating and truly friendly.

Take the time and add this film to be one of the films you are watching this week. Ang Laro ng Buhay ni Juan will be shown in selected Robinsons cinemas starting, tomorrow, October 21.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Life on Hold

It has been a while since I was able to blog.

A lot has happened since I last made an entry which I blame as the reason why I failed to update this blog of mine. My relationship ended and now, my house is flooded. Life has its ups and downs but sometimes it just feels like when you are down, it kicks you in the groin just to make you felt worse than you already do.

I thought that my relationship has been set on stone. We were 5 years. We seemed to have weathered a lot of problems and it seemed to be smooth sailing.

I thought that the area that I lived in was safe. In the 3 years that I lived there, I was far from any calamity or crime. It seemed to be a suitable haven from the pressures at work, a place I can retreat to so I can recharge and relax.

When life makes changes for you sometimes you are never prepared but one should always be prepared for the worse. One should always have something ready to catch him when the unexpected comes.

When these trials come, it may freeze you to inaction or it may fuel your drive. When I broke up with my partner, it made me a zombie. Each day passes and goes but all I do seem just to fill up time - in order not to think about him or our relationship. I was stagnating and it did not matter to me. When the flood struck my home, it forced me into action. Partly out of necessity, but mostly it pushed me and gave me a direction.

I haven't spoken to my ex ever since the break up. I did not know how I really felt - if I would welcome him back or if I had closed the door one last time. My life was on hold and there was no clear path to where I would be heading.

The flood brought to the surface what allowed to settle under water - other people in my life. I was needed by others and I needed others. The desire to be creative and to express myself surfaced. Hence, the return to my blog.

When my relationship ended, a part of me died. It took a flood for me to reclaim my life and feel alive again. Thank you Ondoy. Thank you people who man the dams and do not give proper notice that they would be releasing water.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

You Know You're Getting Older When...

You know you're getting older when you use more facial wash and less shampoo because you're hairline is receding

You know you're getting older when people think your date is your son.

You know you're getting older when the places you recommend having dinner in have long been transferred or demolished.

You know you're getting older when you need to wear glasses to be able to read (unlike before when you wear glasses just to loook cool)

You know you're getting older when prospective dates like you because you are a father figure

You know you're getting older when establishments are asking if you have a senior citizen card to get a discount

You know you're getting older when the doctor gives you a list of food you are not supposed to eat, and it is longer than those that you can eat

You know you're getting older when people are now getting you as "ninong" of their wedding, unlike before when people are asking you to be "ninong" of their children

You know you're getting older when people refer to you as obese, when before they call it "baby fat"

You know you're getting older when your partner thinks you're impotent just because you could not get it up immediately

You know you're getting older when you relate to more than one startement on this list :D

Friday, July 31, 2009

Little Boy, Big Boy

I usually get the chance to watch indie films on video. I had an opportunity for an invite for the premiere of the new film by the creative team that brought Ang Lihim ni Antonio and Ang Lalake sa Parola to the public. This invite was courtesy of Lex Bonife himself through his blog. Thank you Lex for this unique experience!

The movie is Little Boy, Big Boy. It revolves around the character, Raymund (played by Paolo Rivero), as he deals with his nephew, Zack (played by Renz Valerio) and a new partner, Tim (played by Douglas Robinson). In their pursuit for happiness, each individual finds each other and in the short time together, gains appreciation of what they have. It is a simple thoughtful film that despite it being gay-centered, each viewer may take from it something to think about - be it about family, love, acceptance or respect.

The production itself has improved especially the sound. In many scenes, it helped bring the emotion being presented but there were a few scenes where it was too loud that it overpowers the visuals. The orgy scene was a little too long and parts were unnecessary to the story. The plot was straightforward and allows the audience to relate with the use of Facebook as part of how they deliver the story. The actors were effective in their roles as they brought to life the characters they portray. Rivero is not new to acting and he performs well, allowing the audience to feel what his character is feeling and carrying the movie through the ups and downs of being a gay man. Valerio, does a good job particularly towards the end of the movie but at the start, it only felt like he was merely playing along with the scenes. A revelation is Robinson who showed a variety of emotions throughout the film and is able to relay it to the audience. Truthfully, it is the first time I have heard and seen him on film or TV. I may have been able to watch him then, but he makes an impact here in this movie. Using his natural accent allowed his acting to be more realistic.

Was it a simple story? Yes, but the simplicity is what made it make an impact because we were not sidetracked by unnecessary backstory or twists. For me the story was simple but solid. Were they able to impart a message? Yes. Even the little conversations about being out or accepting what we cannot change give the bigger picture color. Is it worth watching? Definitely. Production-wise, one would feel that every one in the production had their heart into their work. FYI. It is presented in High Definition. Beat that.

My favorite line: "Thank you for making me stay in your house." Why? I am going through something difficult, which I can relate to what transpired in the film sans the character of the nephew. The night before the screening, I had a similar scene happening in my own house. My favorite scene: The shot at Timezone where the camera zooms out to include the typical family playing at the back. Why? For me it delivers the message that what constitutes a family is no longer just the typical father, mother and children and that it may include the set up of the characters in the film. I apologize for being nitpicky but I also have a favorite boo-boo: When Zack is dropped off, Raymund had to send away an SEB who was scheduled to arrive that night. He closes the door upon shooing the SEB. After he lies to his sister who it was at the door, the camera pans back to the living room showing a very open door.

Regrettably, I was not able to mingle with Lex or Jay or his partner Mark or with any other blogger who was present. I recognized the blogger of the The Crazy Life of TL. Having no picture of myself here helps keep anonymity for the moment especially since I am not really out. My inate shyness lends to a laid back dispostion. I went to the screening alone. Didn't know anyone except of course those I know by face. There was a meet and greet prior to the actual screening and not much posters were available. I wasn't able to get one. Once the screening was on it's way, the long wait paid off.

August 5 is the start of the regular run of Little boy, Big Boy in Robonson's Movieworld Galleria, Malate and Metro East. Mark it in your calendars. If you enjoyed the previous collaborations of screenwriter Lex Bonife and director Jay Altarejos, then this movie won't disappoint you. It stars Paolo Rivero (Live Show, Daybreak, M2M 3: Versus, Bayaw), Douglas Robinson (Bridal Shower, So... Happy Together) and child actor, Renz Valerio (My Bestfriend's Girlfriend).

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Relationships (The Other Man)

In a recent post by one of my blogmates, he talked about being the other man - meaning being the third party to a relationship. Though in that post he does not really become involved in a relationship, he did have sexual encounters with a commited individual.

Usual story, boy meets boy. Boy likes boy. Boy has sex with boy. Boy finds out other boy is already commited. Not something new to many. Not even heterosexuals. (In their case, kindly replace one of the "boy"s with girl.)

Why bother with committment then, if we are all going to fall under the trap? For now, I will focus on being the person we call the third wheel.

For us gay men, I am sure at one time or another we have been attracted to, have fallen in love with, or have had sex with committed men - whether commited to a woman or another man. We've heard people say "How come all the good men are taken?" Are they? If they really are good men, then why do they cheat? If you know they are married or committed, why hook up with them?

To allow ourselves to get in that position where we knowingly hook up with peopel who are in relationships themselves shows we have issues. We probably are desperate for affection that whoever comes, we take the opportunity. We may have a phobia with commitment that a hook up will do. We could have a thing for objects we shouldn't have or objects we want that others have. For others, it just fell into their laps and they are just enjoying the situation.

I, myself, fell into that trap. I didn't know he was married. We met and things progressed to the point where we were sharing the same bed. He was married with children. Like my fellow blogger, I was into the thinking I was merely having fun. He didn't promise anything. He was interested in me. I guess I was flattered that someone was pursuing me, nevermind if he was married. In the long run I felt guilty, since we were meeting on the second floor of their business. It came to a point that I was offering my place to stay every time he had problems with his wife. Our situation neccesitates that I don't text him unless he texts first or else the wife may know of our situation. We meet either after hours or when he has a valid excuse to be out of the house. In the end, he went abroad and we lost touch. Thinking about it now, most likely the reason why my other partners were lying cheaters because of what I did back then. I am tasting the same medicine I was giving out then.

Face it. We lose our minds when we are in love, and even in lust. Common sense and our good values are thrown out the window. We live for the moment. We don't see or we refuse to see how it effects others or how would we feel if we were the person our partner is currently commited to. I am not saying that I won't make the same mistake again. I guess with age, or with restrospect, I realize things I could have handled better. Hopefully in the future, I would have a level head when faced with a similar situation.

Karma. I am sure you have, at one point in your life, have been backstabbed or cheated on. You know how it feels when your partner strays. You know the feeling is so great you would want to feel it again and again. Not! My rule for myself is if I don't want it to happen to me, then I should not do it to others. I believe I just rephrased the golden rule - Do not do unto others what you don't want others to do unto you. I know it is better said than done. We are too used to thinking of what gives us pleasure, what satisfies us but rarely do we consider consequences. We may fall at one time or another, but what makes the journey worth it is learning from mistakes and avoid doing them again. If we keep falling for the same mistakes then it only means we are not learning.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Family Issues (Acceptance)

Ambivelence. Everyone seems to think you are gay but never addresses it. When you reach a certain age and they have not seen you settle down or have a girlfriend, people assume that you are homosexual. In my case, you know they are thinking it because of a careless word thrown into conversation but no one sits you down and asks. That's my family.

On the other hand, fellow gays seem to relish the idea of outing others. Is it necessary? One doesn't have to be out to be gay. Once you are out, then what? Does it uplift one's life or the people who knows? Would outing Piolo improve how he acts or sings? Would knowing whether he is gay or not make an impact on your life?

I guess my family feels it is a phase and I will get over it. I had a partner for some years and my mother, who had come from abroad was going to be staying with me for an extended period of time. She finally met my partner and she was quite civil at the start. After a few days, she confronted him and afterwards, me. She told him to break up with me, telling him that it will give me the opportunity to fix my life. When it was my turn, she asked me if I could live without him. For me, of course my answer would be yes. I can live without him. And that was it. Did she ask me if I loved him? Did she ask if he loved me?

With that confrontation out of the way, I allowed her to have some semlance of control of my life being that she was living with me temporarily and that obviously she had an issue with me being with him. How would you have reacted if you were faced with the same situation?

Finding acceptance in society is a struggle by itself but finding acceptance in one's family is harder. How I envy those who are out and out gay and yet their family loves them just the same way. I am repressed though I have accepted myself but deep down, I am yearning to feel that regardless of my life choices my family is there supporting me.

To those who clamor for people to out themselves, what does it gain me to go in public declare to everyone that I am gay? Others say it frees you; that it relieves you of baggages. I say it does free you to a point but not totally. I say we all have baggages, and problems are a fact of life. The day we stop having problems is the day we die.

Being gay, for me, is a choice. I don't believe we are born into it. It is a personal choice. It is a choice that we make for ourselves. Not our family. Not the people around us. Not society itself. And yes, it is a need for us to be accepted. That's a fact. But the most important person who needs to accept you're gay is yourself. All else is secondary, if not tertiary.

I know my mother would most likely remain adamant with not accepting the life I choose to live. She has been disappointed and would remain disappointed with me having relationships with other men. I apologize for that. I have hurt her and have not met her expectations. I have not fulfilled her dream for me to have a wife and have a family of my own. It is her dream, her hopes that were crushed. Is it up to me to fulfill her dreams? Is it up to me to live a life she believes I should live?

Why do gays congregate? We long for people who understand the way we feel, who are undergoing similar struggles, who we can be as ourselves. We long for people who accept us as we are.

At the end of the day, we live with our decisions. Regardless if you have parents who accept you, or if people demand you to out yourself, or if you have friends you don't think will understand, the most important thing is you accept yourself. Love yourself and live with your decision.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Comfort Room Cruising

Cruising is a common activity by most of us bis/gays. We have the act of hooking up in the most opportune places - dressing rooms, shower rooms, parks, theaters - an art. We have our own way of gauging if the other guy is interested, our way of looking to signify our desire, our way of striking up a conversation. Some are way blatant, others are more discreet. There are no guartees that each will work the same way every time but we have established our own habits.

The cruisiest place for us is usually the comfort room. Straight guys fear being in the nearby urinal thinking gay guys live to take a peek (or more) at their genitals. Gay men thrive on having the opportunity to gauge their fellow men.

I remember a few cruisiest comfort rooms in my day - not that my day is over, mind you. To name a few - Greenbelt, Metropolis, SM North Edsa, Megamall, Shangri La Edsa. Thinking about it, any mall probably.

As I mentioned in my previous entry, my first experience really was in a theater but it happened in the theater's comfort room. Someone followed me and while peeing he made the moves. Being naive and he being older, I let him lead the way.

My other memories of hook ups in the rest room include one who became a steady partner. We wouldn't be classified as partners in the real sense but we meet, we do the deed nut remain unattached. He entered the seminary and that was the end of it. When we hooked up at the mall's CR, we had transferred to the roof a nearby parking facility. It was the middle of the day, no one was parked on that level, however, if someone was checked in at a nearby hotel, all they had to do was look out and see a couple making out.

Inside the comfort room, you can get touched and even have someone perform fellatio to. There were even instances that actual sex occurred. Of course, all this happens behind the back of the roving guards and maintenance people. I guess that adds to the excitement - the thrill of being caught, the immediacy of the situation, the itch that needs to be scratched right away.

Have you had encounters in the rest room? I think for me the time has passed when I get a kick out of these tyrsts. Not that my libido has ebbed through the years, I guess now the fear of being caught gets the best of me.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Theater Cruising

Have you visited a moviehouse not to check out the movie being shown but to pick up or be picked up? Have you had encounters in a dingy cinema which features movies out of current circulation?

I would admit, my very first encounter has been in a moviehouse in Quiapo. I was a late bloomer. I was strictly guarded by my parents and I would just be travelling from the house to the school and vice versa. It would not be until I got to college that I got to explore. I have heard of the old moviehouses in Quiapo and after a long period of mere curiousity, I got to experience it myself.

Back then, there were a lot of these moviehouses near Quiapo Church that show "bomba" films. Two were along Quezon Avenue at the same side as the church while another two were on the other side of the street. Three were nearer Isetan, along Recto while there were another two along Rizal Avenue. Many of these have already been closed or demolished but back then in the 80's, you can take your pick.

For the uninitiated, what would expect if you do take the excursion. Guys will normally be in the foyer area or near the comfort rooms. When you enter the cinema proper, it would normally be very dark, with hardly any track lighting so you really have to grope your way when finding a seat. The best seats for me is near the electric fans. The place can get hot and unless you have a spare shirt with you, you can get drenched with sweat.

If encounters in movie houses is not your peice of cake, various motels are located nearby but there is not assurance that they are any less dingy than the moviehouse you came from. Back when I was young and naive, I let others lead the way and take me where they wanted me to be but now older, and maybe wiser, I would rather be in a comfortable place. I have heard some modus operani that people get cornered by their hook ups because the owner of the motel conspire with the conmen.

It is a gamble when meeting people in these kind of places so always be careful. You don't have anything to hold against them - no picture, no identification. It might be safer to chat and start with a date then progress from there. However, if anonymity and the possibility of danger is what brings you thrill, then these encounters will probably give you a boost.

Though there are still moviehouses like those, even in Cubao, many have opted to cruise in more upscale cinemas like SM North Edsa or Megamall where staying in the backrow now would probably yield a hook up.

If you plan for an adventure, take care of your belongings. If possible, don't bring a watch or a cellphone. Don't bring a large amount of money and always be mindful where you drop your clothes because the floors can get sticky. Be happy but safe guys.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

ManJam / Downelink / Tagged

Friendster and Facebook are the most common social networking websites people use worldwide. Even during the reign of Guys4Men (G4M), other such websites were available that allow PLUs to meet and connect with others of the same sexual orientation.

Some websites are used as a means to share pictures - Facepic, Pic-Link, Picturetrail; while others serve a similar, if not an exact function as G4M - that of acting as a personal ad to get acquaintances, friends, lovers, and/or partners. At one point it was so confusing maintaining a lot of accounts that does the same thing. From those that I have used, three websites still remain on my list - ManJam, Downelink and Tagged.

Manjam is nearly similar to G4M where you can post one's pictures and provide information including appearance and likes and dislikes. A search function is available to filter out what you desire. One can advertise services, businesses and properties in their website, similar to what PlanetRomeo now has. It has the usual messaging and chat but is limited when one is not a paying member of the site. A friends and favorites list can be set up and one can choose now to share it to people who will be viewing your page.

Downelink is the friendster for gay men and women. It contains options for blogs, bulletins, videos, pictures, messages and chat. Like G4M, it has forums that allows for various discussions on entertainment, arts, sports, health, travel and business. Similar to what yahoo and friendster, even PlanetRomeo, it provides the option to join groups where one can search for others who may have common interests. Unlike most gay social networking websites, this does not center on finding the next lay.

Tagged is one of the more famous sites to meet and hook up. Unlike Manjam and Downelink, Tagged is not exclusively for gay men and women. Similar to friendster, an individual can personalize their profile with music, backgrounds and other widgets. Recently, they have added features that maximize on the networking aspect of the site, infusing games that have been well accepted in Facebook and MySpace.

Whatever website you use, it is with the maximization of the tools for you to get the results you want. The tool only works if you use it properly. The tool is just a tool. If you are looking for a serious relationship, these websites are only a means to be introduced to people of the same interests; it is still up to you make the relationship work.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Part of why I was out of commission was I was on a week-long vacation in Boracay. It had been planned well in advance and despite the weather not cooperating the previous weeks, we had to push through. We had reservations for our accomodations, had our vacation leaves filed and had booked our flight so all we needed to do was pack our bags and go to the airport.

The trip from Manila to Boracay was uneventful except for the 3 hour delay of our flight to Aklan. We arrived via the last trip of the ferry from Caticlan to Boracay so it was already dark and we were all hungry. I admit it was my first time in Boracay so I have no memories to compare it to how it was before and how it was now. It is similar to Puerto Galera in some ways and different in others. The beach itself is as highly commercialized but Boracay takes it a notch higher.

Even during the weekdays, the island seem to be on a weekend mood. The weekends felt like being in Malate except you're by the beach. If you thought that one week is too long a stay, I beg to disagree. There are a lot of things to enjoy and activities to do. No night is the same. It's fun, fun, fun from dawn to the next dawn.
Again, spending your vacation with friends would definitely make the entire trip fantastic. But if your looking for some peace and quiet or are taking a romantic vacation, make sure to get a hotel farther from the beach so you are forced to stay indoors or near the vicinity of the hotel. With more people in your entourage, it would be easier to get discounts. Was it worth it? To a degree yes. If you are on a budget, Boracay may not be the place for you because besides the accomodations, airfare is another consideration. To save on costs, plan a vacation during their off peak (usually May to December) and if you are getting a hotel room, get one with complimentary breakfasts. Food along the beach are not too pricey but if you can cook your own food, may save you on costs. If having a hard time to decide what to eat, there are several Eat-All-You-Can's that allows you to have more food choices.

If you are a camera whore, Boracay is a great place to build up your portfolio. The sun and the beach go well together here, bringing out the best lighting and angles. It might be best to go to Boracay around December since at this time green moss covers most of the shores. If you want to go to a moss-free location, take a boat ride to a nearby island. If moss is your thing, then Boracay is the place for you. Towards the end of our stay, it was raining hard but Boracay being Boracay, it was no hindrance for parties.

The beach in Boracay is a very long stretch of resorts and bars, allowing for a lot of choices. Whether you stay on Station 1, have dinner in Station 3 and party hard in Station 2, everything is accessible. Just bring an umbrella. The sand feels good under your feet though so walking along the shore can be pleasant. Building your own sand castle can be one leisurely afternoon activity that you can enjoy with friends while waiting for the nightlife. Besides getting a tan, you can get your hair braided and your skin tattooed, so that whenb you get back to the city you have some proof that you just came from a vacation.

Cruising in Boracay? Fortunately it exists. A lot of gay guys were still vacationing. You can meet fascinating people in the bars or even just sitting by the beach. Amazingly, I found out I am still attractive to straight women. Having your own room is a plus. The beach itself was a little lit to have any sort of private time together. Compared to Puerto Galera in Holy Week, this was a subdued weekend.

It was a fun adventure. I would recommend taking a trip to Boracay at least once in your life. Remember though that it is you who makes the trip memorable not the places you visit.

Have a great day everyone.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Careless Whispers (aka Hayden Cameras and the Internet)

I inadvertedly went on a blog holiday without notice and I for that, I apologize. My computer was on the fritz and I went on vacation. I have drafts of blogs but was not able to publish them. So, in the next weeks, I would release them one at a time.

A lot has happened in the past month, to me (been to Boracay), to the people around me (lay-offs and resignations), to fellow bloggers (break ups and people leaving the country) and to society (American Idol, ConAss). Nothing can surpass though the controversy that grips everyone's attention than the talk about Hayden Kho's personal videos.

Hayden and his hidden camera. What's the big fuss? People have kept diaries of their exploits, black books. Some have naked pictures of themselves or of people they have slept with. What's the difference? These are private, for one's own consumption. Hayden never meant for it to be public. He did not have those videos in order the public to see his private parts and its performance. Yes, there are those who would find it a thrill to have their nakedness all over the net or bluetoothed from phone to phone. Some are paid to perform in front of the camera. In this case, the videos taken were for his own library, maybe view them once in a while when he is all alone with no one to help him with his libido. Maybe to him it is also some sort of trophy room of the conquests he had. Is it a crime to keep such? I don't think so. Is it a sickness? I don't think so. We all have our own idiosyncricies, things we do or collect that others may find weird. In Hayden's case, what made it a scandal is it involves a familiar personality and that media is blowing it out of proportion.

With the senate joining the band wagon, media mileage for the people involved is assured. What's the point why they have these hearings? Obviously not to prosecute. They claim that it aids legislation. From what they are saying, it would be a criminal act taking pictures or videos of people without their consent. Really? That would be the day. So, we won't be seeing news reports and pictures in our magazines, newspapers and on television now. Surveillance cameras should also be prohibited unless everyone being filmed consents to being monitored. For me, these senators are merely grandstanding, exploiting the limelight so that they shine and are fresh on everyone's mind when the 2010 election rolls in. Tell me. What legislation has the senate pass with all the high profile hearings they have done? And if ever they did pass such legislation, did these hearings make an impact on the law and are we seeing and feeling these laws changing society?

Why are we making a bigger fuss than we should? Just because these are known individuals. Are we alarmed because our sisters, cousins, children, friends or others we may know may be placed in a similar position? I believe what we should be angry with is not Hayden taking personal videos but the people who spread it. These people are heartless. Would they be spreading these if their own family were put to shame with their distribution? If these were criminal acts, why not? Expose them for the world to see but these are private moments and not some pornographic material. One can sympathize with Katrina Halili in this area since these are unguarded moments. And as she stated on her opening statement in the Senate, these videos will live on beyond her acting career and her existence.

Unfortunately, the fault of Katrina's compromising position is her own. I agree there wouldn't be an issue if there wasn't any video but there wouldn't be a video that people would be curious about if there weren't any people involved that were in the video. If they were unknowns, if they were Inday and Dodong, the neighbor's maid and driver, this would not be a hot topic. It would not be news-worthy. Hayden and Dr. Vicky Belo's relationship is a public relationship. You mean, everyone else knew they were an item all except poor little Katrina? She knew what she was getting into. He may not be married but it was public knowledge that he and Vicky were an item. Whether there was drugs involved or not, I believe that is a moot point. She had consented on being on video on her underwear with Hayden singing the now immortal "Careless Whisper." What an appropriate song.

To parrot Boy Abunda, what learnings do we get from the scandal? For me, the primary lesson is: if you know that a person has a partner, don't get involved. Second, ensure private files are stored where no one can retrieve it but yourself.

That's my two cents. Til next time.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Puerto Galera

Greetings from Puerto Galera!

What a way to spend the Holy Week! It is my last day here. I can't wait to go home. Who said that we go on vacations to rest? It has been exhausting. I don't think I am refreshed. I am dreading the long trip home. Do I regret coming here? Not in the least.

It has been years since I was in Puerto Galera. I was with my parents and sisters then - a family outing. I did had a chance to explore the place but I was not free to stay away from the family too much.

This year I was invited by some PLU friends and I don't regret saying yes. It wouldn't have been a truly fun experience without them here. I guess happy memories lack meaning if not made with people to share it with.

Luckily for us, this was planned ahead and we were able to reserve our room prior to getting to Mindoro. I am definitely sure that the fact that the room was air conditioned provided me great comfort. Being in the beach reminded me how I hate heat. I thank God for allowing air conditioners to be invented.

It is my last day here and as I recall our activities these past days, they seem to be a blur. a blur of alcoholic drinks, parties, men. It was like, since Malate was closed for Holy Week, the gay men all moved to Puerto Galera temporarily. Like Malate, my friends seem to know a lot of people here - an ex, an SEB, a clanmate, a FUBU, a classmate, a neighbor, a schoolmate, an officemate, a friend - like everyone was here, but of course they were not. One would also think that in this corner of the Philippines Holy week was put on hold. The island seemed to be having one big party and everyone was invited. Everyone seemed to be in a flirtatious mood - some staring, some striking conversation, some groping. Holy Week in Puerto Galera is one vacation every gay man should have at least once in their lives. It's not one that I would crave for EVERY year but experience it at least once, then you will have your fill.

You may ask, what do you do in the mean time while you are waiting for the night parties? Many sleep through the hangover or the exhausting if they only return to their accommodations by 5am. Me, I find it best to tour around White Beach and enjoy the beauty of the island. One nice destination is the Aninuan Falls.

Holy Week is the peak season of Puerto Galera's peak season so expect to spend a bit more not just for your room but especially for food and drinks. Make sure you are prepared wallet-wise. Definitely, this is not one vacation you can do on a limited budget. If you want to go to Puerto Galera, you need not do so during the Holy Week. It is a place you can enjoy during the summer or anytime during the year (except when there's rain or storm because I would not like to be enroute between the Batangas Pier and Puerto Galera drenched and battling big waves). By the way, if you are expecting White Beach to really have white sand then you would be disappointed. Maybe it should be called Dirty White Beach or Mocha Beach.

Why not plan a Puerto Galera weekend soon? Bring a friend or two. Bring your partner. Bring your family. I am sure you will find the people warm and the place fun.

How was your Holy Week?

Happy Easter every one!

Friday, April 10, 2009

M2M 4: EXXXXTREME - The ULTIMATE Guide to Sensational Sex (Review)

When I was at Astrovision, I was in the mood to purchase some videos and one of them was one that was recently released by Videoflick Productions. The name of the DVD was M2M 4: EXXXXTREME - The ULTIMATE Guide to Sensational Sex and it was the latest from a series of direct-to-video M2M films.

Since the release of M2M Masahe, the Pinoy gay man's video collection have never been the same. It was among the videos that started a slew of videos sold directly in video stores without having the need to have a showing through cinemas. Obviously, these producers have found it financially beneficial to continue spewing new ones every few months or so. M2M 4: EXXXXTREME - The ULTIMATE Guide to Sensational Sex comes to the video market as a pseudo instructional video for male-to-male love making.

The video starts the lesson by telling us to "awaken the senses." It walks the viewer through the five senses, setting up the sexy actors in the scenario where the use of a particular sense enhances the encounter. The narrator summarizes by the end of the film that "the art of complete and ultimate love making is based on how well you can satisfy your and your partner's sexual needs and hidden desires." The video, however, does not teach kama sutra. It's urges us to use our sense of sight, smell, hearing, touch and smell to spice up our sexual relationships.

What did I like about the video? I am sorry to say that the only the segments that featured Kristofer King and Joseff Young makes the whole film worth watching. They sizzled on the screen on every scene they were in. During their vignette regarding the senses of smell, touch and taste, you can sense a chemistry between the actors that translates to the screen, a tension that leave the viewers wanting more. You know they weren't actually doing it but somehow they made it so hot that it was believable. It was the first time I was exposed to the two actors and I have not seen any of their previous films (Kristofer King was featured in Showboyz, Serbis, and Ang Babae sa Breakwater while Joseff Young had roles in M2M2 - The Art of Strip Tease and Sensual Dancing, and Showboyz ) but it made me look forward to check out their previous projects.

On the other hand, those segments that featured John Miller (supposedly part of Provoq but I don't remember him from the video Men of Provoq) and Cedric Javier (Pinoy Kama Sutra, Co Ed Scandal and Viva Hot Men - I don't remember him from the video as well) lacked heat. Their vignettes that focused on the sense of sight, hearing and touch seemed mere fillers so we can await the next segments where Kristofer King and Joseff Young were the focus. The way the two actors were going about in their segments mechanically and as a viewer, I felt detached from what they were doing on the screen. The final scene, where Paolo Rivero joins in the action and the 5 actors simulate a five-some, seem disjointed - like it did not really belong in the film. The message that the video wanted to impart seemed lost to what they set up as the climax, plus the actors seem to be just there on screen waiting for the film to end.

For me, the video was worth it primarily because of Kristofer King and Joseff Young. If the reason for buying it is actor Paolo Rivero then you are better off sticking to Daybreak or M2M3:Versus. In this video he is merely a narrator. He does show up at the start and the forgettable end of the film but his appearance here doesn't help the video any. I admire the concept of the filmmaker, which is trying to recapture what made M2M Masahe work - a pseudo-instructional video that capitalizes on gay men's libido. Unfortunately, the first film remains the best work so far in the M2M series. Kudos to those that made this video and the rest of the M2M series. It goes to show that they made this with a concept in mind and a script in hand rather than put together a string of unrelated shots that focuses on tickling the gay man's libido. The M2M series treats gay men more than just as sexual beings but mental beings as well.

Much like most Filipino DVDs, this doesn't really have anything that would make it worth the money to buy. Though it does have a few special features, they really do not lend to the viewing pleasure of the film. Maybe one that guides us on how they made the video from conceptualization, storyboard, auditioning for the parts, filming, and including post-production. The photo gallery here is so limited that there were more interesting shots that they used for the video's publicity. Their "the making of feature" is merely the same shots in the movie using a camera that shoots the same scene but includes the camera man and the boom mike set to a different music. So, there basically is no big reason to opt for a DVD when a VCD would suffice.

M2M 4: EXXXXTREME - The ULTIMATE Guide to Sensational Sex may not be a real manual on how to get and do sex that would blow you and your partner's mind but it would surely open one to the idea of maximizing the utilization of all the senses in making sex to a heightened level. Then again, if you would like to see simulated sex by local actors, then this is also the video for you..

Thursday, April 9, 2009

UnkoverdBoyz (Review)

I recently visited Astrovision and checked out what new videos are out and see if there were anything interesting to purchase. One of the videos I bought was UnkoverdBoyz. It is a direct-to-video QUEERiosity Video Project, distributed by Paragon Home Video.

UnkoverdBoyz was never shown in any cinema, not even at the U.P. Film Institute, considering that what they have allowed to screen there have been referred to as "gay porno" by writer Mario Bautista. The film was sold direct to retail, with little or no publicity or advertisement, hoping to get good word-of-mouth based on the feedback from their first video project, Koverboyz.

The video offers no pretense that this is a reflection of the social quagmire that is pulling innocents to offer themselves for their family's survival nor do they legitimize the sex scenes as a means to dig deeper into the emotional struggles of the protagonists when they really are an exploitation of the actors' nubile bodies. It does not call itself an indie movie. It is a mere collection of vignettes of men in unguarded moments doing what most of us do when we are horny and alone (*wink, wink*).

What did I like about the video? I enjoyed the first scene with Topher Baretto and the innuendo about playing with his "fish." The third scene featuring a guy named Echo was also interesting. The fifth vignette, which was the only one with dialogue was not as effective with
Topher doing a little acting (the key word is little). If not for the actor's innate sexiness, the action in this portion felt awkward. In the back of my mind, I wanted to push the person with Topher and take over, telling him, "Move over, I can do a better job than you." This is the same person with the line, "Sige sa iyo na lang yan, tutal iluluha ko lang yan e" (It's all yours, anyway I will be able to refill it with my tears.) What the? Where did that come from? Anyway, I digress - and so did the film. It inserted a little drama that was just a distraction. I was also pleasantly entertained by the seventh scene that I believe was titled "Ayaw mo ba? Sayang naman" (Don't you want it? That's too bad.) where a gay guy was idolizing a sexy model's picture. His fantasy comes alive and they share a moment in the back room. For me, the highlight of the entire video is the final scene - with Andro Morgan giving a show on the webcam. This is reminiscent of what he did in Koverboyz. It was hot then; it still works the second time around.
As much as I enjoyed most scenes, there were some that failed to spark my interest. (Note that this is just my opinion. Another person may not agree with my observations.) The second scene, with Paolo Moreno reading a gay magazine and doing the deed, lacked heat for lack of a better term. One can tell that he was just going through the motions from the start that he pulled down his pants to his supposed climax. His face wasn't one who was reaching the peak of his libido - it was like he was in an epilectic attack with his face twitching. Another one that did not work for me was the fourth vignette with a guy introduced as "jolog guy" supposedly waiting for an SEB. He didn't seem comfortable such that his acting did not come out as natural. It seems he was just doing what he was told and his expressions were bland. The least interesting portion of the video was the sixth scene where the object of the gay man's fantasy was doing the deed at the same time as he albeit with a wall separating them. This scenario worked on the Koverboyz video but not here. The gay guy looked like he was constipated when he reached his climax while the guy with a mosquito net on his face disturbed me rather than excite me. There was no spark, no sexual tension.

All in all, it was ok. Unlike Koverboyz, as a whole, it felt disjointed. It was trying to recapture what worked for the first film but was not really able to. The segway from one segment to another was still ok but the thought bubbles of the men seemed overdone at this point especially on the part where the guy was waiting for his SEB. Topher's scene where he was looking for water broke the momentum of the whole video especially with the unnecessary quips from the gay men he asked water from. That seem to be out of place with the whole concept of the video. Most of the men seem to be those that did not make the cut from the previous film but Topher and Andro makes up for it. Chris Pablo, who is not only writer, director but also cinematographer, did a satisfactory job. He knows his audience and is able to capitalize on this, using these projects as a means to hone his skills in cinematography. He definitely found his niche in Philippine indie gay films. I, myself, hope he gets to do more films.

If you are into videos that aim to titillate then this one is for you. This will not burden you with a convoluted plot line. It's just here for your pleasure. It does not distract you with frills since it is straightforward with what it offers you - eye and libido candy.

You need not get the DVD though, as there really are no special features. The VCD will do if you are cost conscious.

Monday, April 6, 2009

John Matthews Salon

It was another Saturday. I wanted to get a massage especially since I have been so stressed at work and all. And I was not in any mood for a so-so massage. I have tried other spas, both legitimate and those that have masseurs that offer extra. One that I have been coming back to is the John Matthews Salon located near the corner of New York Street and E. Rodriguez in Cubao.

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It is accessible from Cubao and lies within what I term as the Cubao gay men's triangle of sin (which I will discuss on a later post). John Matthews Salon, as the name implies, is basically a salon. Get your hair done, get a manicure or pedicure, puff up your face with make up kind of salon. A few such salons have integrated spa services to allow consumers a sort of one-stop shop for beauty services but they usually have it as a secondary service. Most spas focus on their services and rarely diversify to other offerings. It is rare that one could find a place that would focus on both services (salon and spa) and be good at both.

I am not one to put much airs in fixing myself up. I don't have lotions or creams. I rarely put anything on my hair to sculpt it. I usually trim my own nails. Mind you. I do get facials once in a while, but that's it. Getting a massage, now that's something else all together. I have tried out a lot of different places and have rarely found satisfaction with their services. Most legitimate massage places have small women stretching you, kneading your skin, trying to provide the right pressure but to no avail. Massage parlors, whether it is one where you select a masseur or masseuse from behind a (supposedly) one-way mirror, seldom are venues to experience a relaxing massage as these are venues that facilitate "extra services." In other words, it is not often to find one that satisfy your needs. Sorry, I am looking for one that offers hard massage, bordering on deep tissue massages so a light hand is not what I would look for in a therapist.

That is where the John Matthews Salon comes in. They do have female therapists but their male therapists are worth coming back for. There have been times where I have been lulled to sleep by their massages.

When I do have the time, which was last Saturday for me, I go out of my way and visit them. There have been times that they could not accommodate me because their masseurs are already booked for the night so calling in for a reservation or coming on afternoons would be better. They also have a combination of spa services that may provide for a more relaxing, satisfying time. These offerings include detoxifying, foot spas, hair and scalp treatments, facial masks and body scrubs.

The offering I availed was one that had a body scrub, a hair and scalp treatment and, of course, a body massage. It was worth it. Time-wise, it was two and a half hours well spent on pampering yourself. In terms of cost, I felt it wasn't a waste. For others who would like to try it, there are other treatment combinations that you could avail, depending on what you need.

I got there around 9:30pm. Their spa services are available until 1pm.
There was only one available cubicle left when got in. And luckily enough as well, my usual masseur was the only one available. If he was not available, I was comfortable with trying out the others. I then proceeded to the locker area where I was to get my towel, slippers and shorts/robe, leaving my valuables, clothes and shoes inside the locker. I had a shower. The therapist led me towards a chair where he applied some concoction on my hair and scalp. He fastened some sort of towelette to make sure it does not drip and covered it up by a shower cap. We walked to our assigned cubicle to begin the body scrub. Similar to the massage, he start from the back of my legs then up to my back before scrubbing the back of my arms. Turning me over, he kept scrubbing up my legs to the groin area before the chest and arms. Covering me up and resting for around 10 minutes, I was then asked to return to the shower and make sure that I had removed all of the coarse material that helped rid of my body's dead skin cells. After I am all dried up, the masseur led me back to the massage table and with his magical hands explored my entire body. Using a firm hand and a strong pressure, he made an effort to sooth my swollen muscles. After doing some stretching, I was allowed to rest awhile. It was time for me to go.

I felt both relaxed and invigorated as I left their premises. It also seemed i was so clean and smooth because of the body scrub. That was time well spent. Quality time for myself. Quality pampering from John Matthews Salon.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Boyet Fajardo Scandal (Opinion)

You have probably seen the news reports, on TV and on youtube. You most likely read about it in the newspapers and on blogs. If you were not familiar about a certain Boyet Fajardo or if you are Boyet Fajardo and is delusional that he was famous, then NOW both you and Mr. Fajardo know that he is not just famous but infamous. If you need a refresher, below is what had transpired:

My blog today is really a reaction to a topic in one of the yahoogroups I belong to. It started when a contribution of one of the members were censored and the author was disappointed with what happened. The article was a harsh reaction to what Boyet Fajardo did while shopping in Duty Free. Below is my reaction (slightly edited since I am publishing it as my opinion rather than as a reaction to the author's original message because both the author and the moderator may not be appreciative that I posted their discussion on my blog) and just to give you a disclaimer - this is just my opinion. I know it seems to veer away from how my previous blog entries have been but I believe it is about time to talk about something less superficial.

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Let me set up the scenario. The moderator had changed the title of the article from "Bakla Wag Tularan" to "Designer Rants at Duty Free, Union Urges to Boycott his Products." The contents of the article were deleted and was was only retained was the video. The writer reacted because he felt slighted and hurt because the moderator was not allowing him to air his opinion and thereby disassociates himself from the group as a whole. Another member of the group reacted stating that we should not be picking on Mr. Fajardo just because he is homosexual. Now, that is where I came in with my opinion.

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I don't think he is being picked on because he is homosexual. He is being picked on because of the way he handled himself. Supposedly he is famous (Supposedly because I ONLY heard of him when this incident happened.) NO PERSON, gay or otherwise, should treat others the way he treated those working in Duty Free. No one gave him that right and no one should. The way he handled the situation was and is despicable. Even the most famous individual doesn't have the right or priviledge to do the same to his or her fellow man. If that is the way he treats people he meets then he should not be allowed out of his house. He should not be allowed to interact with anyone.

The public's first impression matters when they recall certain events. We do the same on our own conversations. ("Yung kulot," "Si mataba," "Yung kamukha ni Zoraida," "Si Amoy Old Spice," "Yung naka pink na micromini," "Si blondie") We tend to focus on that characteristic that made the lasting impression whether good or bad. But most of the time, bad. Since this person was not famous (well, only in his twisted mind), what everyone first notices is that he was gay. Bakla. Gender insensitivity? I don't think so. It doesn't mean anything derogatory by itself.

The article (daw) gave a negative feedback on homosexuality as a whole. I don't think so. It was Mr. Boyet Fajardo who reflects a negative association to Filipino homosexuality as a whole. The more you are recognized (even if it is just your impression of yourself), the more you should be a better example, a better image for all other gay men especially in the Philippines. Why? We have been struggling acceptance, tolerance in our society. What he did, how he acted in public is a step back for the rest of us. What we should be doing instead is not flip-flopping whether the article had nice, flowery words to say so that homosexuals will not be looked upon with contempt because of a crass individual let loose in the Duty Free shop, but instead, we should be united in condemning how a human being, regardless of sexual preference, treats his fellow man. We can show the nation / the world that we are not making excuses for him by showing we do not tolerate his actions. I, for one, do not find it offensive how the title was phrased. Negative content, we wouldn't really know if it was really negative because it was censored. It is objective. One would think it is while another, it does not. Censoring deprives the reader how to think for themselves. Now, if there was an established agreement what can and cannot be used in an article submitted in the website that is a different story. Maybe that needs to be established and agreed upon.

There are ways to get the reader's attention to what you have to say or what you want your readers to feel. I believe the writer wanted to incite the anger, the disbelief to his readers. He wanted them to be riled up to make an action. To stand up and say this should not be tolerated. This is not how a person should be treating his fellow man. Probably he used the words he used not just to catch attention to read the article but to motivate them into action. It was mentioned that the reason it was "edited" was he wanted to lighten the post and not show anger and hostility. I believe that by doing so shows tolerance of unacceptable behaviour. We want society to respect us but we treat this incident lightly. Instead of telling society that Mr. Fajardo does not represent the rest of the Filipino gays and that we treat others as an equal and as a human being, we show society that we should just let it pass and the issue will just die down in time. If we want others to respect us as gay people in society, we should show them that we are respectable and that, we, like the rest of society, know how to treat others the way they should and we condemn those that abuse.

If I was the one censored I believe I would react the same as the writer. If, as an editor, you have issues with what I wrote and would suggest a different approach, it should be done prior to posting the article in its edited form. My humble opinion is the editor should have conferred with the writer and they should get into an agreement prior to publishing the article. From what I understood is that the title was totally changed and the rest of the article taken out, so the only thing that remains of the article is a video. That is not editing. In fact none of what the writer remained.

I would commend the moderator though since he was able to apologize to the writer. I salute you for your humility. I feel that you are sincere and concerned with the group and with gay rights.

To the writer, if you are still reading the comments, stand your ground. Don't act like a child and leave just because of an incident. Talk. Find a common ground. How can you affect change if you leave? The moderator did not do what he did out of spite or vendetta. Talking it out, you may have found a compromise.

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In the end, the article was taken down. All that is left is a discussion of what transpired.

If you subscribe to our yahoogroup, please note that I made slight edit that has no impact on the message of the article.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Dreamboy Gay Bar

Another Saturday, another adventure. This time around my curiousity brought me to the Dreamboys Gay Bar located near the Betty Go Belmonte station. With its proximity to Cubao and being along Aurora Boulevard, it was quite easy to locate.

View Larger Map

Why did I decide to visit this particular gay bar? I got an email through one of the yahoogroups I am subscribed to that they have a big night. It will be the Grand Finals of the Search for Mr. Dreamboy 2009. I almost did not go as I met some friends and it was difficult to get away from them and explain where I was headed. Luckily, I was able to escape and be at the bar by 12 midnight. As I mentioned on my blog about the Sir June Gay Bar, midnight is when their dancers start losing all their clothing. And in this case, I was expecting that the competition would be starting at that time.

Similar to my experience two weeks ago, I was early again. At least, this time around there were a number of patrons already in the venue. More than half the number of tables were occupied. It seems it was a big night indeed. The competition did not start yet but dancers were gyrating on the stage in trunks and they were either titillating the audience with the promise that a big one is lying erect under the thin cloth they are wearing or they leave nothing to the imagination. One after the another they strutted and teased up until half past 1 when the contest proper was on the way.

While waiting for the Search for Mr. Dreamboy 2009 to begin, I was approached by their floor manager to be a judge. Of course I accepted. I felt so priviledged to be asked but as I was not really on the out and out, I did not really provide my full name. There I was not only ready to enjoy the spectacle of seeing the gay bar's best of the best but also all set to objectively judge the candidates based on what the floor manager explained to me.

Once the pseudo-contest was on the way, my eye feasted on the eye candy parading in front of me. I half-expected to see more seasoned performers here especially since that was the impression from what I heard about this bar. Pleasantly surprised. As it turns out for 2009, they have rolled out invitations to newer macho dancers. They had their new wards compete for this year's Search for Mr. Dreamboy. They had an interesting array of participants - some on the muscular side, some almost twinky, a few a little chubby, some moreno, some fair - but all well-endowed and sexy. They were more than willing to up the ante as they tried to out-perform each other.

They started out with what they called as the national costume portion but I would hardly call these national costumes. The talent portion followed. That took quite some time since the dancers really made an effort in their performances. They had more costumes and back up dancers. I enjoyed each individual's efforts. Unlike my last gay bar trip,definitely all the macho dancers knew how to dance and none of them were stiff nor were they just going through their paces. All well-endowed, all flexible, all graceful. Since the talent portion took almost two hours, they rushed through the casual wear, swim wear and sports wear.

Around that time I realized that the competion was rigged. Because it tookso long, a few of the judges already left. We were also asked to contribute some money. From one of the dancers I got to talk to (and these were the ones not involved in the competition), the amout one contributes influences who wins. It discouraged me a bit but I just continued rating the dancers based on the criteria they supposedly set. They still did the interview portion but one would notice that the people they want to win were asked additional questions unlike the other dancers. Anyway, I did stay to the end - I believe I was the only judge left in the bar and just a few tables were still occupied. And as expected, (It was revealed by the dancers I was able to talk to during the night) the one they said was going to win did win. 

All in all, a different experience. I enjoyed it though and if I was going back to the same gay bar, this would be it. They had a higher entrance fee but it was worth it especially with their big night. The place was well ventilated, even if the place got full. The guys were more than your average joes. They were not just picked up from the streets. They knew how to dance and they gave their all when they were on the stage. For me it was time and money well spent.

With this particlar bar, when they say it is a big night, they do deliver. Hoping when they do hold a different kind of big night, I am able to visit them. 

How was your Saturday?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Pinoy Gay Blogs

This past week I have researched on Pinoy gay blogs. I am telling you. There are a lot. Navigating through the numerous blogs that are available and then reading them thouroughly took most of my week. I was so distracted not only because there are so many but there were a number which really amused and entertained me.

I won't be discussing each blog in detail. Most likely I would allocate a singular blog entry for specific blogs that really made an impact on later posts. For now, let this be a primer or an overview.

In cyberspace, there are a lot of blogs one can keep a track of, depending on your interests. What I have focused on are Pinoy gay blogs. How do we define what we mean by Pinoy gay blogs? Based on the article "What Makes a Gay Blogger?" of the blog, The Geeky Guide to Nearly Everything," it is not about the contents of the blog itself that make the it a Pinoy gay blog but the orientation of the blogger himself. Being gay or bisexual doesn't mean that all you are going to be talking about are gorgeous guys, showbiz news, Malate, etc. Like our straight counterparts, our interests cover a broad spectrum.

Of the blogs I have taken interest in, some talk about movies (The Bakla Review), some compile sexy pictures (Hot Men in the Philippines, Ultimate Pinoy Hunks, Gwapong Pinoy), some talk about showbiz news (The Bashhh!, Showbiz News Now), some talk about being a vegan (The Vegan Prince), some share their sexcapades (Bert Baltazar), some give insight about being HIV positive (Back in the Closet), some do podcasts (The Dan and Rye Show Revived), some compile erotic stories (Kwentong Kalibugan, Mga Kwento ni Big Boy ), some share masseurs for hire and escort contacts (Pinoy Masseurs for Hire, My Boytoy, Hottest Boys in Town) while others share their day to day lives and insights (Turismoboi's Escapades, Pulsar, Tristan Tales, Sekretong Malupet ni Jay Vee, Cruisin' of a Fallen Angel, Trench, Fabricated Late Night Blues, XanFactor), and news reports that interests the blogger and his readers (Bakla Ako, May Reklamo?), as others share a compilation of contributions of other bloggers (Rainbow Bloggers Philippines). Others are harder to classify because of the eclectic articles they post, and these are the more famous Pinoy gay bloggers (Miong21 at Blogspot, Manila Gay Guy).

The bloggers themselves come from different backgrounds: a writer (The Spy in the Sanwich), a call boy (Confessions of a Dirty Good Boy), a call center trainer (Call Center Confidential), a call center team leader (The Crazy Life of TL), a CEO (Corporate Closet), Filipinos based abroad (Tiggah's Life in Random, The Misadventures of the Adventurous Bottom, Kawadjan), a film maker (BEYONDtheBOX), a screenwriter (Lexuality), a writer / editor (Gibbs Cadiz), and a lawyer (MisterHuege) among others.

Altogether, a majority of the blogs I got to view allows the reader a peek at the thoughts, interests and feelings of the bloggers as they go about their lives. Maybe you have similar interests or that you see yourself in their shoes. Maybe you just find it amusing. Maybe your a voyeur that relishes the opportunity to glimpse at others lives. Maybe you want an escape from your own life and a short trip to someone else's is a welcome respite. Regardless of the reasons for liking a particular blog, there are quite a number to choose from and scanning all the blogs to look for those that interest you may be overwhelming.

I suggest take some time to browse a few then at a later time expand what other blogs to follow and if you have a Blogger account, you can track them through a Reading List. Maybe you used to write a diary (Better yet, you may still be writing one up to this day), blogging would be an alternative way to express oneself. It allows you a level of anonymity and at the same time permits you to find kindred spirits. There are a lot of available websites that allow you to set up your own blog like Blogger, WordPress and LiveJournal. Even our usual social networking sites (Friendster and Facebook) have an option for blogging which those on your friends list has an access to read and react to.

I recently started this blog myself - sharing my interests, some thoughts. I aim to slowly share a bit more of myself in the future once I get more at ease.

Maybe one of these days I get to read your blog too.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

PlanetRomeo (Goodbye Guys4Men)

Reading various blogs, I came upon the news that Guys4Men and PlanetRomeo were joining forces. It was a surprise for me moreso because obviously I haven't been accessing my account in Guys4Men. The G4M user profiles will be integrated to PlanetRomeo's web applications. So, out with the old website and in with the new.

I would expect many reactions to this development as many, like me, were so used to the look and feel (and navigation) of the G4M website. I wasn't there when this was announced in the website but I am sure that it did raise a furor. The forums would have been filled with protests and complaints. As we all know, change is inevitable and no matter how much ranting is done the change was going to push through and it did.

I have had an account with G4M for a long time. It was one way of getting seen and seeing other PLUs. A lot of other websites provided the same function - Tagged, Downelink, gay.com, Manjam, etc - but for Filipinos, G4M holds a distinction. I, myself, was already so adept maneouvering the website - the user search, the chatroom, the forums. When I got around to read the news of the merging, the deed was done. So, instead of checking my G4M account, I typed the PlanetRomeo website on my address bar and checked if indeed they have carried over my account. I typed in my User Name and Password. Indeed, I was able to log in and my profile from G4M was now in PlanetRomeo.

What are the changes I have observed? The biggest one is that that forums only existed within an established group. Meaning, a group had to be created first and from there, one can access the group's forum. As mentioned, the new website allows people to establish groups. So, depending on your interests, a group can be created, much like those in Yahoo, Friendster and Facebook. Instead of messages sent to email addresses as done in Yahoo, the groups in PlanetRomeo are similar to Friendster and Facebook where in it can hold forums and share pictures. The user profiles now read as one page instead of having a tab and passwords are not needed for private pictures. Any pictures set to be shown on the profile are public. If one has pictures they would only like to show to selected individuals, manage those in a folder and only attach them to messages. When one logs in, he can set his status as - Chat, Friends, Nothing, Relationship, Date, Sex, Busy, Away, and Invisible. When using Search or viewing user profiles, the status will set the expectation of those viewing on what you are looking for. The most noticeable change for G4M users will be that of the presence of color. The website is primarily in blue and then user profiles are now customizeable, with over 40 profile design templates to choose from.

There are still a lot of things to familiarize myself with in PlanetRomeo. Why don't you give it a try and see what it can do for you? You will find as useful as what G4M has been and maybe more. Maybe through this new website you will find your next FUBU, partner or friend. Check it out.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sir June Gay Bar

Last Saturday, I was in an adventurous mood that I took the time to visit a gay bar in the heart of Pasig called Sir June.

I have heard that there was a gay bar along Ortigas Extension but never got around to find and visit it. It lies along Ortigas Extension and one can say it is discreetly located that you cannot distinguish it from the videoke bars in the area. The night I went to this establishment they had a special show called "Hamog sa Tag-Init" (which roughly translates to Dew of Summer) so I was revved up with the promise of a special show.

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I got there at 10:30pm. Well, it did say on the banner outside that the show will start at 10pm so I was fashionably late. Guess what? It did not. As it turns out, there was only one other group who got there before and the show has not yet started. I was thinking it was a slow night or this was how it was in this bar. The show did start at 11pm with 12 guys wearing black undershirt and maong shorts in their bare feet gyrating on the stage one after the other in sleezy music. After 12midnight, when most gay bars start to have their dancers start stripping off all their clothes, I was expecting the expected. Their second set costume consisted of their underwear and boots. Their special show for the night was a sort-of competition between 3 of their younger models.

All in all, the place was clean enough with the comfort room, though a bit rustic, was properly maintained. The air conditioner was not enough to fully ventilate the bar that they need ceiling fans to assist in cooling their patrons. Prices are reasonable considering it was a Saturday and they supposedly have a special show. There was no actual menu but they do offer some finger food, just inquire with the waiters. The bar tolerates smokers and provides an ash tray upon settling down in your table. Their floor manager was accomodating, much as their dancers who strike a conversation towards enticing you to purchase a macho drink. My expectations were quite high since I have been to other gay bars and expected an exciting show. Of the limited number of macho dancers that they featured, only two were good looking. From the two, only one stood out because he had equally sexy body and was more than happy to display it. It was a let down that when they were gyrating on the stage some were wearing underwear that were loose. Usually, macho dancers will wear the skimpiest outfits, if not, nothing at all to thrill their audience. In this case, they were neither flattering to the dancer nor enticing to those who were watching them. I guess because of my expectations of gay bars, I had a heightened expectation of a lot of flesh exposures. I left by 3am and at that time only 2 of their macho dancers had shown their wares.

It was not such a bad field trip. Maybe I'll drop by again one of these days.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Welcome to my Blog

I don't know what came over me. From out of the blue I decided to do a blog about being gay, being an older gay guy. Maybe it is just a release of ideas - ideas i am not really at liberty to share or am afraid to share to others around me. And it is through this blog, I am deciding to express them.

I will not bore you with just my thoughts. It will be more of - what is it like to be an older gay guy in the Philippines. Hope it works out.