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.