Tuesday, December 31, 2002

2002: The Year that Was

Since it is the new year, many journals have chosen to take stock of what has occurred in the previous year, in the hope that it will give them perspective on where to go in the coming one. As much as I delight in moving in the opposite direction of everyone else, just ths once, I will move with the herd and reflect on what happened to my life in two-oh-oh-two.

And the Band played on. This was the year that Where's Joe?, after more than a year of practicing and keeping holed up in the studio on purpose, finally felt confident enough to take a few steps onto the stage. The first time was in Mayrics for No Tarugo nite. Since then we have played in 70's Bistro (Aia de Leon's birthday) K.A.F.E (T@#$^%^ it's Monday) Freedom Bar (Last Full Show), Focal Cafe and Powerbooks (Stripped Down unplugged session and open mic, which I organized).

It's been an uneven start to say the least; We've learned things about the key differences between performance in the studio and onstage that all bands have to learn: Stage Presence, Connecting with the audience, Keeping up the energy in between songs, Adjusitng to unwieldy equipment. But we have been improving. Our last gig at Freedom bar for the Last Full Show was one of the best we've ever had, sound-wise.

We also have 5 original songs in the can, and I've been busily living life and getting plenty of experience that will hopefully provide insipration for more. Our long delayed EP will finally be recorded after Adam & Charmaine's wedding, sometime around February. Nelz has had a fire lit under him creatively, and really wants to accomplish a lot this year. I plan on matching his drive. The Nu-Metal movement is winding down and the new music paradigm is being formed. This will be a pivotal year for Where's Joe? So here's to my partners-in-crime: Adam, Charmaine, Cedric and of course the man without whom we would have no name, Joe. Let's kick ass this year!

Keeping the boat steady. This was one area of my life that I let slide. The little resto which I started has gotten to a smooth point of equilibrium where it can run pretty much without me, and that feeling of redundancy has dimmed my fire somewhat. With he economic crunch, this was not the year to try expanding any business, so the key here was just to try and maintain our current level. There are some sites I have my eyes on in the new year that will hopefully pan out (won't say it here, don't wanna jinx it).

There have also been, near the end of the year, some problems with Hotstix that long story short, we are paying dues on because of mistakes we made when we started this business. I can choose to look at it as a source of anguish and headache, or I can look at it as a learning experience that will keep me from repeating an even costlier mistake. I take consolation in the fact that for once, none of this was really my fault, thus keeping my stress level to a minimum.

Getting off the ground The Ice Cream Barrel, my other baby business, is something I want to seriously work on for this year as well. I used to say last year that I was surprised nobody else was catering to the ice cream market in the Philippines save for a few players on two extremes of the market (Selecta and Magnolia on one end, Baskin Robbins and Haagen Daz on the other). I displayed natural prescience for now it seems everyone is trying to get into it: New players like Pazzo, Fruits and Ice Cream, French Gelato are all offering new and innovative flavors to the public, who are eagerly gobbling them up.

Fuck, even my cousin has started to make his own ice cream. I know this is a little egotistical to say it, but damn, I was making and selling ice cream before all these yahoos came onto the scene. I do NOT want to be left behind by a business that I pioneered. This was the year my trusty ice cream churn finally died on me, precipitating the need for me to go and look for a new one with a larger capacity. Chalk that up to serendipity and let's see where we go this year.

The People in my Neighborhood. People drifted out of my life, as people often do. My Business Administration friends, a.k.a. the Deadcards are thankfully still there. Even though we don't see each other for months at a stretch (more accurately, I don't see them), the times when we finally meet, we welcome each other with open arms and talk as if it was college again. These are bonds that with luck, will last me a lifetime. My Fine Arts friends, with he exception of a handful I keep in touch with, have slowly faded from my circle. It's not borne from any conflict, but just from each of us finding our own circles to move in. It's kinda sad, but there it is.

But as old friendships fade, new ones come in to take their place. This was the year I met a greater variety of people than ever before. From the Powerpoets I befriended Eroica, Carl, Kince, Yce, Bren, Rex, Tom, Alain and of course Nikka and Paul; all of them cool, creative amazing individuals who understand what it's like to have passions buring inside of you. I also met a wide circle of gay friends, some who broke the stereotype, some reveling in them: Fitz, Dondon, Jagard, Boccelli, Karlo DJ, Wata, Sourlean & Wawi. This diverse group of wonderful fags showed me that in truth there is no actual gay stereotype, just people who come in all shapes and sizes and walks of life. Just like regular people.

My own Personal Grace One of the great unspoken perks of being gay (apart from fabulousness, fashion sense and an active sex life hehehe) are Fag Hags. Straight men have no idea the amount of trust that women have towards us gay guys. Sometimes even I'm amazed by what women confide in me. And it seems that being a Fag Hag is the turn of the century's new status symbol for women. No self-respecting modern girl should be without one. As such, we become very much in demand for women more than ever before. So here's to my personal bevy of fag hags I've complied this year: Ene, Nix, Nikka, Kat, and of course, the first and the greatest, Diwa. Your fabulousness matches my own. *MWAH!*

My Life. All the constant upheavals in my world was the main reason my music and my career took a back stage this year. In January, I was still under the influence of ******, who I was still trying to win over under the guise of friendship. I endured unspeakable amounts of neglect (no fault of his own, as he was pretty much a loner to begin with). March was the breaking point where he told me that he was going after a girl --the ultimate insult from my perspective; I come out, I sacrifice the very foundations of my life for you, and you leave me for a girl?? That was the lowest point for me.

I had gotten stinking drunk on purpose several times. I cried. I mourned. No other time since then have I understood so intimately the allure of physical pain dulling the emotional. I clung to friends in a pathetic display of neediness. To their credit they were all there for me: Adam, Charmaine, Diwa & Myles. No matter where our individual lives may take us, because they were there for me in that crucial time of my life, they inhabit a special place in my heart that is reserved just for them, and I love them fiercely.

But things got better. They always do. That's one thing I take away from that ordeal. The coming out, the conflict, the tears, the lingering wounds that I still deal with to this day, all of it was vital to my growth, which was long delayed and repressed. Even now I find myself struggling to catch up, living and learning things that I should experienced when I was 20 instead of 27. But I have a very patient teacher who loves me.

And finally..... even if everything else in my life had gone to hell, 2002 would still have been a good year for me, because that was the year that I went on an EB in a little Starbucks in Araneta, to meet a man who was all at once funny, outgoing, beautiful, wise, kind and patient. What I had in common with him; -- his intellect, love for music and the arts-- fostered a connection between us, and what I didn't -- His fierce independence, and sheer exhuberance to enjoy life and ignore anyone who thought otherwise-- were things that I wished I had.

I am thankful that it took us this long to meet, for it was only after that crucial experience with ****** that I gained the wisdom and maturity to be worthy of him. I firmly believe that had we met any time before then -- even if I had already been out-- my immaturity and petulance would have ended up having him dismiss me with a raised eyebrow. And as much as I hate cliches, it was love at first sight. We've had our bumps on the road as all lovers do, but it's been remarkable just how blasted good it's been so far. Do all couples have it this great?

Nelz Agustin, I love you. Let's make this year ours. Together.

I feel much better now

More so than the all the angst that's been strewn around here lately. Chalk it up to the recuperative powers of Tagaytay, food, and snuggling.

And: I have seen the infamous Naked Nelz Photo. Hell, I'm the one that took it. And the negatives are with me.

Hee hee

Thursday, December 26, 2002

Bouncing from one mood to another

I just want to disappear. To not have to think about all the problems currently plaguing me. To not have to deal with all the shit that is at the same time beyond my control and affecting me adversely. To not have these hateful, resentful emotions running through my veins, emotions that I know aren't right to feel. To not have to look at the ones who trigger these feelings.

Can we disappear together? Please?

I want my part to be played by John Cusack

On a whim I was checking out the old Powerpoets Archive. I found the email of my friend Diwa. The email was dated Tuesday May 8, 2001, and it was asking permission for us to perform. That means the Poerty reading gig happened on May 12, 2001.

I was mistaken in my earlier post by about a year. Knowing the exact date now, I realize that, without going into details, Nelz was going through some rough shit during that time. If I was out then and actually tried anything, I would have earned a rejection and perhaps even his contempt for poor timing.

Our paths cross, but we were both at a point in our lives where romance was the last thing on our minds. Almost a year to that day, we meet again. Two different people. The outcome is much different this time around.

There's a script in here somewhere.

Crossing Paths

Summer of 1992 - Nelz and I both enroll in UP Diliman the same year. I enter Business Administration (a decision I never really had my heart in) He enrolls in Fine Arts, eventually befriending people who I would get to know later on. Our paths never cross, as the 2 colleges are as far apart from each other as they can get. I am far, far from understanding my sexuality as I was only then just beginning to interact with girls at all. Needless to say I was an ass for much of my stay there.

Sometime in 2000 - I had graduated from Business Administration and entered (and also earned a degree from) Fine Arts. My band Where's Joe? is invited to perform at this curious little poetry reading for some group called the "Powerpoets". While I am much more confident about myself and a nicer person overall, I am still in in denial about my orientation. At the reading, I find myself strangely drawn to this attractive, swarthy gentleman with a dark air about him who is one of the aforementioned Powerpoets. I keep stealing glances at him but am too much in denial to do much else. Plus, it was clear that this person had a lot on his mind, so I didn't say anything to him pretty much. After our performance, the band left and I went on with my life. So did Nelz.

May of 2002 - I had finally come out of the closet last year, to my mother, my friends, and most importantly to myself, for the sake of a relationship with someone who ultimately had his own issues to deal with. The multiple trauma of coming out of the closet, my first falling in love and my first true rejection took me nearly 5 months to recover from. By then I decided not to repeat my first mistake, which was to put all my emotions in the first option I saw. I decided to try and learn as much as I could about being gay, by talking to as many different homosexuals from all walks of life.

I chatted. I had a few EBs. I reconnected with an officemate who was out already. And there was this old high school classmate who, although we were never close, I always got along with. I learned through another former officemate that he was gay. I meticuloulsly tracked him down through a search of old high school friends and finally get his cel number. Through a series of texts, I ask him to meet with me under the guise of renewing old high school friendships (which in retrospect I am thankful he agreed to do. We were never close and had every right in the world to decline. One more for serendipity).

I meet him in Starbucks Greenbelt where after some catching up I finally Come Out to him. He commends me for doing so, and accedes to my request of telling me of his own experiences. I tell him of my disaster of a relationship and my desire to hook up with someone -- anyone -- for the sake of 'getting it out of my system'. To be honest, I had always found him attractive and was secretly hoping he was available. But I knew that he had been in a very stable relationship with someone for more than a year now, so I wasn't surprised to learn that was still the case.

I asked him flat out if he could fix me with anyone. He thought about it a bit and told me that he didn't really know anyone. "What about your twin?" I ask; this person who apparently shared many similarities with him, both physical and otherwise. I figured if I couldn't get over my crush with him, I might as well get the next best thing. He tells me he'll see what he can do. Of course, I didn't really expect anything and kept my hopes to a minimum., I hug him goodbye and continue on with my life.

A few days later - I am in Greenhills Music Studio teaching summer art class to a couple of wealthy chinese children. I receive a txt from my friend in the afternoon telling me that he has contacted his twin, and to expect a text from him soon. His name? "Nelz". Interesting name, I thought.

That night, after exchanging couple of texts I call "Nelson" on the phone. When I hear his voice I feel a twinge of disappointment. You see, at the time, I was an extremely stupid person who had the idea in his head that the person I was going to be with had to be "Straight-acting", like myself. (taking a glance at a Gay chatroom will reveal that this is still the case with many gay people looking for love or otherwise). I hear his voice, and while not screamingly effeminate, is rich with the soft nuances of someone unmistakeably gay.

I immediately think "Okay, so this guy's not my type". If this was a chatroom and I was a shallower person, I would have ended the conversation right there and then (as has been done to me when chatters learned that I described myself as 'a gay'; believing me to be a limp-wristed nelly. Heh.). But ending the conversation just because I thought nothing would come of it would have been extremely rude and lacking in grace. Even if I didn't think him to be my type, I knew that what I needed even more than a lover was a friend who understood what I was going through. So I continued talking with him.

The funny thing is, the more we spoke, the easier it got. I found myself connecting with him on an intellectual level as well as an emotional one. And we discovered some key things in common: We had both gone to UP Fine Arts, and even had some mutual friends. He told me a little bit about his family as did myself. I enjoyed talking to him so much I knew that I had to see him, if nothing else just to see if he really did look like my former classmate. He was reluctant, saying that he wasn't dressed for it, and besides, it was late. I told him to name the time and place at his convenience, and he named Starbucks (again!) Araneta as the meeting place. I tell him 'okay' and that I'll see him in thirty minutes.

I dress up, telling myself over and over again not to get my hopes up. I even remeber what I wore: My brown 'painter' polo shirt, denim shorts and black sneakers. I arrive in my car and, cautiously excited, enter the premises looking for a person who resembles my classmate and looks like he is looking for someone. No one there fits either criteria, so I get myself a hot tea and situate myself at a small table by the door.

After about 5 minutes a tall, stocky individual with fair skin and longish hair, dressed in black shorts and hooded shirt briskly enters the Starbucks. He glances over the customers inside, clearly searching for someone. I, in all my evilness, remain still and watch him out of the corner of my eye, enjoying this brief position of power (Nelz should have so left my evil ass right there *grin*). He goes to the counter to order something, and finally I saunter over and say to him:

"You know, maybe it's the hair, but I don't see it!"

The ice broken, he smiles. We sit down by the couches where we talk, and I spend the rest of the night falling in love with him. One week later, we were together.

Although people say it's a small world, the truth is that you will only get to encounter a certain number of people in your lifetime. There are too many faces, too many random occurences that can happen to keep you from a crucial chance encounter: Nelz and I have narrowly missed meeting each other 2 times; perhaps more, as we both haunted the Greenhills Shopping Center at roughly the same time. The third time, more than 6 years after we both enrolled in UP, we finally met. And it only took a week for us to get together.

Maybe it's because I'm viewing events through eyes awash in love; in the early stages of a relationship I believe every couple goes through the "It was fate" stage, where occurences had to happen just so for them to meet, when in truth if you think about it pretty much any event in your life had to have happened "just so" for it to have occurred. But for Nelz and I, it's like we kept missing each other by just "that much", and fate just kept nudging us together other until we finally did meet. The rest was easy.

The idea that this amazing, wonderful thing that we have is something granted by destiny, serendipity, the grace of God, whatever, is a comforting one. Although it may be a bit egotistical & unrealistic (not to mention tempting fate) to think that this relationship was somehow 'meant' to happen; it's nice to think so, isn't it?

I love you, Nelz.


One of the saddest feelings in the world is saying "I love you" to your mother and feeling nothing as you do.

For the sake of our relationship, we may have to separate just to survive.

Hi, can I have your number?

take free enneagram test

The questions and results are more elaborate than your typical personality quiz. And I think it got me right. I mean, I didn't really see myself that way, but on reflection, it does make sense.

What do you guys think?

The Breaking Point

I am THIS close to moving out on my own, permanently.

How I spent my Xmas Vacation

I don't want to bore any of you, my loyal readers (yes, both of you!) with the details on what made this particular Christmas crappier than most and got me close to joining Nelz's Church of the Poisoned Mind (where Xmas is a holiday to be reviled). I'll just leave it at this: It's very, very, very ironic that the very person who lectures me on the "Spirit of Giving" computes the monetary value of a gift (vis-a-vis to the value of what they got for you) to judge how 'good' it is. Spirit of giving my Gay Ass. But enough bitching. In the spirit of the holidays, I'm just going to concentrate on the good stuff that has occurred.

The 24th was a source of much stress, as I had to decide between spending the Noche Buena at home, which is traditionally a family affair, or spending it with Nelz, who if you've been reading his blog, has feelings on the season that are downright acid. Without getting into specifics, let me just say that he has very good reason to feel this way. As such, the last thing I wanted him to do was experience another Christmas Eve alone amid a sea of festivities (via the other apartments around his own). As much as he claims it doesn't bother him, I suspect the sight and sound of revelers celebrating while being alone does not do wonders for his holiday spirit.

I didn't want to give him yet another reason to hate Christmas, so I really wanted to spend time with him on Christmas Eve, even if it meant possibly disappointing my mother. Nelz was adamant about me spending it at home; he did not want to be the source of yet more turmoil between me and my mom. He was almost willing to get mad at me just so I wouldn't stay with him that night.

But my decision had already been made to spend it with him since, I reasoned, mom had 3 other kids to spend time with -- But this was before we had a confrontation where, long story short; mom broke down in tears and told me that she really wanted some time with me, to the point of adjusting her own plans. Hokay, that huge helping of guilt recomplicated matters into a decision worthy of a telenovela: Spend Christmas with my family and leave my lover out in the cold, or spend it with my lover and end up hurting my mother? Either way, someone would get hurt.

Solution? Do both. Come the 24th, I pick up Nelz at 8 pm and take him to the apartment where a nice candlelit dinner featuring mushroom soup, white wine, coleslaw, mashed potatoes and our Favorite Food in the Whole Wide World, Kentucky Fried Chicken. I even put on Norah Jones on the CD player for the right mood. We exchanged gifts; I gave Nelz all all-star version of The Emperor's New Clothes, he gave me the Beauty and the Beast DVD which I had been wanting for the longet time but never had the money to get (Thank you so much, love!).

At around 10 pm, I bid him goodbye and motor off home, where I go straight to the church and catch up for midnight (in this case, 10 pm) mass. We walk home and where some holiday celebrating occurs, and I partake a second Noche Buena at midnight with my family and kiss my relatively fit figure goodbye forever. Exchange presents with the family, with the requisite thank yous, kiss everyone goodbye and it's back to the apartment to make sure that when Nelz wakes the following day, the first thing he sees will be me sleeping next to him.

It's a bit exhausting, I must admit, and my waistline may never be the same again. But at least this way I get to be with everyone I love this Christmas Season. I sincerely hope that my family comes to accept my relationship with Nelz someday, if for no other reason that I'll just have to eat one Christmas Dinner on the 24th. *looks down at protruding stomach*

As for the morning, we wake up and we get to use another gift that was given to us from a friend: Nicole Nicholas' fat-free whipped cream.


Wednesday, December 25, 2002

That is because you are crazy, ya!

If you are sick of sentimentality and/or considering getting new furniture, I highly urge you to check out this ad. It's for Ikea, a furnishing Store directed by Spike Jonze (the guy behind Weezer's Buddy Holly video and the ultra-quirky film Being John Malkovich.)

Click here to go to the site; right-click and save lamp.mov. Then come back and tell me what you think.

Nelz, I think you in particular will enjoy this. The timing is great with all the current sentiment of the season which you hate so much. *grins*

Quiz Result

Who is your Ideal Lord of the Rings (male) Mate?

brought to you by Quizilla

Was there any doubt? *sighs*

Monday, December 23, 2002

Well, I had to do this sometime

I have. Experienced something so traumatic that It's taken me this long to gather up the strength to write about it. In a perfect world, I could have kept silent about it forever and no one would have known. But nothing remains a secret for long, and eventually, the story would have come out. So it's better that you hear it from me, than from someone else.

*deep breath*

I have watched the Powerboys. Live.




Yes. I know.

Where do I begin? A little background on how I feel about those purveyors of deodorant-cum-'music stars'. I freely admit, they make me feel unattractive about myself; their perfect skin and washboard abs make me all the more aware of my own acne problems and flabby body. But feeling bad about the success (or in this case, inherent qualities) of others says more about my own insecurities than it does about them.

Besides, this is just what women have been going through for the longest time. Everywhere you look, you are inundated with advertising filled with beautiful, "perfectly" proportioned women of a specific body type with perfect smiles, radiant skin, lustrous hair and ample busoms. To be a woman in this day and age is to either develop a very strong sense of self, or to end up spending a large amount of time, energy and money to become a template of something your body was not meant to be. It is only a fairly recent phenomenon for himbos to begin taking their equal share of the limelight in commercials (e.g. Diether Ocampo in Pizza Hut, The Powerboys , et al) so on a purely pro-feminist point of view, I support the idea of the Powerboys existence. It balances the scales so that both sexes end up feeling bad about their apperarance; a sort of inadequacy equilibrium.

Anyway. Nelz and I are in Megamall last sunday afternoon, and lo and behold, I spy a poster announcing The POWERBOYS MALL TOUR today at 4 pm, at this very mall! This means, of course, that things will begin at 5. Taking into consideration front-act fluff and incessant host blather, they wouldn't be onstage and 'perfroming' until at least 5:30.

I won't even bother mentioning anything about the front act except that it featured another generic pretty spunky girl from the ABS CBS 'talent' circle singing generic techno-pop, in a generic voice dressed in generic diva Chirstina Aguilera (pre-'Dirrty' version) fashions, doing generic dance moves. As you can probably tell, I wasn't too impressed. But as you'll see below, there are worse things to be than generic.

Looking at the crowd: Filled primarily with a lot of women who, If I were to classify them into advertising demographics, would be described as 'C-D'. There was also a large amount of guys; presumably dragged here by their girlfriends/female companions/fag hags who no doubt got the same payoff I did later on. Not surprisingly, there was a large amount of gay people here at well ( "The main market of the Powerboys" according to Nelz)

After much delaying and plugging -- Sketchers, KFC, Rexona (of course) -- the Powerboys finally approach the stage, amid much jologita screaming and wailing. I was expecting the worst, and damned if they didn't deliver that, and more!

They went into a rendition of R & B Boyband Blue's All Rise . Now where do I begin: Well, I think it's a given that they wouldn't be able to sing. It was clear that they were lip synching, and even then it was a lip-synch of their very limited voices. But I expected that, so I observed their moves instead. I mean, they were coordinated enough in that now-infamous Rexona commercial, so maybe it would be here that they would earn their undoubtedly high payoffs.

They were simple enough 'white guy dancing' steps; shifting their weight from left to right, shimmying their shoulders, nothing too difficult, no? Well, theh couldnt even get that right. Each of them was moving at his own pace, and in varying degrees of 'swaying'. Usually, in cases where a 'performer' is lacking in a certain area, say voice, they make up for it by working really hard at another, say dance or stage presence. Madonna is classic example of average talent buoyed by exceptional perfomance ability.

As an artist, I know how much works goes into perfroming and rehearsal, and say what you will about Backstreet Boys and N*Sync, but when those guys can move. It was obvious these jokers didn't put any effort whatsoever into learning the already rudmentary steps. They could coast by on their good looks and they knew it. It was clear that they didn't take it seriously at all and are just in it for the money. Or whatever their bosses tell them what to do; it's the same thing, really. As a performer, they offend me.

Their stage presence was nonexistent once it became clear to the audience that their best talent was smiling and looking good. The crowd was indifferent except for when they stopped to take off their shirts and did that thing that EVERY SINGLE POP STAR DOES IN CONCERT, both local AND foreign, which is pick a girl from the audience to go onstage with them and 'sing' to, which I imagine is supposed to make it look like they're really connected with their fans and have a rapport with them. Whatever.

And of course, their songs. Like their voices, it was also expected that they would do primarily covers (we only stayed for 2 songs, Nelz would have dumped me if I insisted on listening further) but they were ALL Blue songs. The second one was 'Too Close', which was incidentally, a cover by Blue from R&B trio Next. It wasn't even a medley of hits from various artists, just a boyband wannabe rehashing the hits of ANOTHER boyband. Think about it: you have a band, doing songs of another band, doing songs of another band. (Powerboys -> Blue -> Next) If yet another band were to mimic the Powerboys, this would lead to a a cosmic paradox, causing the walls of reality to break down and the universe collapsing upon itself.

Considering the gargantuan marketing push they're getting, with ABS-CBN all but shoving them down our throats, it's interesting that they didn't even warrant hiring a professional composer to come up with at least ONE original song for them to butcher. If they're going to be Channel 2's answer to the Sexbomb dancers, they're going need their own music to be identified with. Hell, even the SB Dancers had 'Bakit Papa' and that stupid, stupid theme from the Laban or Bawi that, like some evil kind of airborne virus, gets stuck in your head all day if you are unfortunate enough to hear it.

Since the front act fluff was from EMI, as are Blue, I suspect that the inevitable Powerboys album will also be an EMI release. I believe this mall tour was a gauge of both their abilites and audience reaction to see if they warrant the investment it required for a full album. I hope that after this debacle, whoever's in charge wises up and pulls the plug on the whole thing, thus saving listeners from further anguish. But I wouldnt hold my breath.

(Cynical prediction: Powerboys: The Album gets ten times the promotional budget of Sugar Free's debut. I sincerely hope I'm wrong.)

Basically all they did was smile, dance badly and lip-sync (which was really apprent in the second song) It was a boy band lite performance from start to finish (or in this case, from start to Nelz dragging me away). Final verdict: No voice. No rhythm. No stage prescence. No Talent. No ability. Their biggest response from the audience was when they took their tops off. The payoff for watching these guys is seeing them strip to their upper torsos. So basically, the Powerboys are a sanitized Gay strip show, albeit with worse music. Nelz was right!

Just as seeing someone prettier than you can make you feel bad about your own looks, likewise seeing said individual being so pathetically deficient in just about every OTHER department makes you genuinely appreciate your own array of gifts (in my case, it's musical and artistic talent, cooking skills, charm, sex appeal, intelligence, a quick wit, and of course, humility. *grins* ) These guys' only asset is looks. If a genie appeared to me and right now and offered me the chance to trade places with any one of them, I would give them a big fat NO without any hesistation.

You see, I finally get it; what women have understood for the longest time. The Powerboys aren't there to make us guys feel bad about ourselves, on the contrary, they make us feel better! Their complete and utter lack of talent, ability, and add to that intelligence and dignity for agreeing to participate in this travesty; teaches us a priceless lesson: That there are MUCH better things to be than pretty. Clearly, looks aren't everything.

I feel Great!!!

Saturday, December 21, 2002

This is sooooooo funny

I dunno, maybe it's because I'm a gamer, so it really got to me, but the future references are really hilarious. (the music stars in particular. The last one had me laugh out loud)

Check this out and see for yourself.

And: I love Christmas.

Thursday, December 19, 2002

What Leftovers?

Just bade goodbye to the last guests of what was a very successful Christmas party dinner. Not everyone I invited attended, but I think that was for the best because I was pretty frazzled as it was. I dunno if it's just me, but because I invite a lot of people and they tend to keep to their own circles, I end up running around a lot from one group to another, inbetween fielding requests for food/ashtrays/bottle openers/etc, greeting the newest guest who came in, to saying goodbye to the one who has to leave early because they had work. The party was divided into 5 distinct groups:

1) the Business Admin table (aka the Deadcard Society) my largest and most dependable group; the one I've been with the longest. Also the one I've shamefully neglected the past few parties in favor of the newer groups.

2) The Fine Arts Table a bit smaller this time around, which can be attributed to how few long-term friends I've kept from that stage in my life. Don't get me wrong; the friends I came away with from that time in my life are definite keepers, but I can't help wondering what it means that I don't really keep in touch with most of them.

3) The Musician Table also a little smaller this year. But that's what happens when your friends are entertainers. When everyone else is relaxing and celebrating, they have work to do; if they are lucky. That's the way it is, and I'm not bitter about it. :) The ones that did come were wonderful and have become true friends even if the music thing were to disappear.

4) The Where's Joe? Table My band; complete at last! Funny thing: My bassist Joe, although he's been there for every gig and practice, for some reason has always managed to miss every party I've ever invited him to at my house. This was the first time since I've known him I think that he finally came to one of them. (Does this mean he's gonna start no-showing gigs now? ;p) Adam & Charmaine were there as always, as was our newest member Cedric. It was nice; having a feeling of "us". A completeness of a unit.

5) The Fag Table the newest one, headed of course by Nelz, and also featuring his twin Eddy, (the wonderful guy who fixed us up) and his other half Ipe. Also there was Fag Hag supreme Nicole, who gave Nelz and me a very very wicked present. (I'll give you a hint: it involes dairy. HAHAHAHAHAHAA!) The only one out of place there was poor Jazz (Nicole's husband), I felt sorry for him in a funny way because he clearly couldn't relate. I knew exactly how he felt when I hung around a bunch of straight guys; I liked them fine; it's just that I didn't know what they heck to say to contribute to the conversation.

As expected, I don't think I spent more than 5 minutes at one table, zipping back and forth doing this and that. It's the big irony that at my own party, which is by definition an opportuinity to socialize with old friends, I'm the one who barely gets to talk to anyone. Ah well...

The food was a huge success. The food I made, anyway. I had roasted a beautiful 23-pound turkey complete with Country Rice Stuffing with bacon and mushrooms. I basted it with butter and when it was done, brushed it with a honey glaze. From the sheer size of it, I was banking on plenty of leftovers to keep me happy until the new year. BOY was I wrong. After about an hour, the turkey was GONE. Vin even took some of it home for Kris, who couldn't be there because she had a gig in Lipa. As for the stuffing, which I also made, the only bit of it I was able to eat was the stuff I sampled as I was cooking it, because by the time I went to get some turkey, it too was cleaned out by the hungry guests.

It's one of those 'I'm so happy I could cry' moments: I'm ecstatic that the dish I made was a huge hit and absolutely DEVOURED by everyone in record time. On the other hand, there's barely enough for one meal of leftovers. (waaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!)

Oh well.

Also, for some reason, unlike my previous parties, I did manage to spend some quality time with a lot of different people. I watched the Amazing Race finale with Nikka and Paul and savored with perverse pleasure the look on Nikka's face when Uberwhineyquitterbitch Flo won. Charmaine and Joe both took off their shoes and dipped their feet into the pool. I talked to Eddy and Ipe about work, and exercise activities. We agreed that we would go wall-climbing in Rockwell one of these days.

Diwa and I exchanged presents that both, by sheer coincidence, employed a 'Will & Grace' theme to the greeting. I love that girl. I talked to Annette about her new tattoo and tonguestud (ew). That girl is hardcore. I missed a conversation on the Powerpoets infamous member Tobey, but we shared a great laugh about stealing Katrice's DNA and injecting it into out bone marrow (ala Die Another Day) so we could get her Bumblebee On Speed metabolism (and her requisite bitchiness).

Vin had a talk with Cedric and Joe; asking them what our status was and encouraging them to continue with the band. Adam and Charmaine were also there, listening to Vin. I walked in on it and saw them: my band, as a whole unit. Together. I know it was a bit of coincidence and all, but I think that first time I saw us as not just a group of friends playing, but as a band. I dunno if I'm making sense here, maybe it's the wine talking. :) We agreed to finally, finally record our demo sometime in February, after Adam & Charmaine's wedding. With our connections, we would make In the Raw easily, and I think unlike a free-rider type of band, we'd deserve it naman. This next year will be a big one for Where's Joe?. I promise.

I even got to spend a few good laughs with the Deadcards; something I haven't done in a long time. I admit I sort of neglected them in favor of my newer groups. But guess what? A lot of those groups have come and gone, but they're still here, every year, every party. We may not always have the same interests, but there's something to be said about dependability and consistency. I dunno; it's a kind of bond that's not unlike family in many ways. We may not often see eye to eye, but when it's time to get together; we invariably appear. That's powerful.

All in all, it was a great party. I'm glad on how it all turned out. I just wish I stayed still longer so I could have enjoyed more of it. :)

Tuesday, December 17, 2002


Yes, I know I promised to go to bed early. I didn't expect to be up this late either. What can I say? It was a 2-hour season finale, and a damned good one to boot. I'll catch up on my hours tomorrow, I promise.



Just caught the 2-hour season finale of Six Feet Under on HBO. One of the pivotal storylines of the episodes were of David Fisher, a painfully repressed gay person, finally coming to terms with his own homosexuality through their latest customer, a victim of a horrible gay-bashing. There is a delightful scene between him and his equally repressed mother -- who knows, but David doesn't know she knows -- trying to get David to come out to him. His self loathing is evident when he tells her: "You love the part of me that's your son." and she replies: "You're ALL my son! I don't love pieces of you, like a chicken!"

David was haunted* throughout the episodes by said deceased person (as is the formula of the show) as a self-loathing homosexual. As he debated with the battered spectre, he gave himself the impetus to make that final realization that all gay men must make to be complete: That it's okay. When David finally came to terms with who he was, the ghost, healed and whole, appeared to him a final time and said one word to him: "Thanks".

Many interesting points were raised in the ep, among them:
- The curious notion that how homosexuals, via a quirk in their DNA, must be denied happiness.
- That saying being gay is something to be 'overcome' is said only by people who have 'overcome' it themselves.
- A gay man who chooses to soldier on and have a wife and kids hurts them as much as he does himself.
- It is NOT a decision. It is NOT a 'choice' we make. Why is it so hard for some people to get that?

All in all, it was a great episode, and very validating. I'm thankful to live in a time when homosexual characters beyond the limp-wristed hairdresser stereotype are gaining more visibility in mainstream fare. Our biggest enemy is ignorance, and insightful, well-written portrayals like this show is one of the best ways to get people to understand what it's really like for gays today. Case in point: After watching, I go upstairs to bed. I pass by my mom's room, and I pop in to ask her something about tomorrow. I see her in bed, with the TV on.

She had just seen the same show.

Will this be the beginning of a change? Will she finally get to understand, even a little bit, that I'm not doing this to hurt her, that this ISN'T a phase, that this IS normal, and that, by God, I AM happy? Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if she forgets it all by tomorrow. If Denial was an olympic event, my mom have been in Sydney last year.

But things have to start somewhere.

* Note to non-fans of Six Feet Under: 'haunted' is not a totally accurate term. The characters openly converse with the dead individual on their own, in an Ally McBeal-ish internal monologue. Whether it is the ACTUAL ghost or their own neuroses in the form of the dead person is unclear, but the show has featured ghosts watching events unfold without conversing with anyone else. Better still, just watch it yourselves and draw your own conclusions. It's a damn good show.

Monday, December 16, 2002


My computer fricking died on me, which explains my long absence. I'm doing this from my brother's computer, as I have yet to hook up my own PC after it was reformatted. (from experience, there will be at least one thing wrong with the computer necessitating a return to the shop, something which I am not looking forward to. Hence my procrastination.

I was able to retrieve most of my files, but undoubtedly the biggest loss were the emails Nelz sent me, dating back to the beginning of the relationship. They were in a folder in Outlook Express, which was apparently impossible to access given the state of the hard disk.

Letters exchanged, feelings expressed. Not to say that they aren't there now, but I would feel the same had I lost some precious memento from him at the start of our relationship, which in a sense they were. Records of an exciting wonderful time when we first met, and it was all new. That can never be regained.

That's what hurts the most.

Monday, December 09, 2002


Why is it getting easier to stay up late? This does NOT bode well for my complexion....

Sunday, December 08, 2002

Puyat puyat puyat

You can stay awake to try putting off tomorrow from happening, but it's gonna happen anyway. And you're gonna be wasted.


Thursday, December 05, 2002


John Vito and Jill, my favorite team from Amazing Race 3 got eliminated last night. They were physically powerful, mentally tough (Jill kicks ass!!) and cursed with a string of absolutely HORRENDOUS luck when it came to transportation and getting directions. One wonders what they did in a previous life to deserve what happened.

Unlike such teams as the utterly horrible Flo & Zach, they supported one another when things got tough, never yelled at each other, and their genuine love showed through without being exhibitionistic. They were a wonderful team, one of the all-time best in the series in my opinion, and they will be missed.

Of cousre, Nelz's favorite team the wonder twins stayed in the running, finishing strong in the latest leg of the race, and are at this point the favorites to win it all. I don't want them to win simply because the previous two Races have been won by a similarly-themed team of two young strong, white alpha males. John and Jill were the only team that could possibly match up to them physically, and with them gone, their chances of winning just got a whole lot better.

I'm proud of the fact that I got Nelz, who was initially indifferent about the whole thing, interested in AMAZING RACE. He picked the twins as his favorite team because of their hunkiness (they just don't do anything for me). And up until tonight, we had a friendly rivalry as we rooted for our respective teams. With John Vito & Jill out, I can look forward to a couple more weeks of gloating from Nelz indulging in twin sex fantasies as Derek & Drew remain in the running. Heaven forbid what will happen if they actually WIN....

I guess this is what sports fans must feel like.

Monday, December 02, 2002

These are the songs that go through my head

Get your feet wet / Feel the sunset / Night and day / we're like night and day / you're so far away / far away / Ano pa ba ang kailangan kong gawin? / Labo naman ako'y nabibitin / 'Lam mo naman may gusto ako sa iyo / ano pa ba / ano pa ba / ano pa ba / nasasawa na ako / Unlock yourself but all you see's / a thousand shells of ennui / looking for a reason / looking for a reason / It's not the end of the world now baby / I know that things'll get better and maybe / Into every life some rain must fall and / Soon the sun will come calling / Sino ba / Sino ba / Sino bang magkakagusto sa inyo? Kung lagi ka / Kung lagi ka / kang ganito whoa-oh / I hear the voices of the chorus in my mind / say 'Welcome to your life' / Landslide / Landslide / Ayoko pang mamatay / sa landslide / Landslide / ayoko pang mamatay / You got to put your best foot forward / Ito bang ating katapusan / aking kinakatakutan?/ Ewan ko / I've got to get comfortable with the distance / stop following the path of least resistance / You let me down easy and did everything right / But why didn't you touch me even just for one night? / I can't believe you're here with me / I'm so grateful that you are / Of this there is no doubt / I'm coming out / There I am.

Snippets. Hooks. Fragments of songs that lie in the back of my mind. Ranging from entire choruses to just a single line. Some inspired from experience, some from a request from others, but all of them unbidden from that mysterious place where all ideas come from. Like an archaelogist on a dig, these lyrical rosetta stones hold the promise to songs wonderful and new, if I ever get around to unearthing and polishing them.

One of these days, I swear I'm gonna sit down and do just that.

Quote from another blog

"you will be able to appreciate the prince after going through all the frogs"

Anyone who knows my romantic past will know how.............. appropriate this statement is. It's so mean, I know, but also apt.

The Saddest thing I've ever seen

Why is it that the only time you get to see a lot of your old friends in one place is at a funeral?

Went to Chico B.'s wake tonight. He committed suicide, by drinking a bottle of ammonia. From the sketchy details I've been able to gather, he had been at a crossroads; concerned with the lack of direction with his life. When I entered UP Fine Arts he was a big man on campus. You know the type: Too cool for school, knew all the cool kids, hung outside and smoked, and apparently never attended a single class.

He was like that when I entered UP CFA, and he was like that when I graduated UP CFA. It was quite obvious that this was a guy with no real desire to go out and make something of himself, I just thought that it didn't really bother him. I talked to him, just two months ago, at Freedom Bar. I hadn't seen him in over a year, and he had finally shorn off the long hair that he had maintained during my entire stay at college. He seemed all right then, and apparently that was the charade he maintained with everyone.

He was not in control of himself when he drank that bottle of ammonia. Whether it was a psychosis brought on by his years of substance abuse, or from a chronic mental illness, I do not know. But he purposefully maintained the facade of wellness up until the very last moment before that fatal draught. He lingered for several days, actually. He was conscious, was able to smile and listen to visitors. However his internal organs were destroyed. His stomach was completely gone, and had he survived, would be eating out of an IV tube for the rest of his life.

Then two days ago, he died.

The details aren't clear yet, but his body lies in state now at Arlington Funeral homes along Araneta avenue. Tonight I went and saw many old Fine Arts friends there; some I hadn't seen since I graduated. It was nice to see old faces, a little more weathered than I remembered, as I'm sure I in turn appeared to them. I went up to his casket and paid my respects. His peaceful expression belied the turmoil that drove him to end his life.

I'm not going to pretend I knew him. We were nothing more than acquaintances at best, and his circles always travelled at a different orbit from mine. And quite frankly, he was never someone I could comfortably hang out with due to an absolute lack of common interests.

When I heard of his suicide attempt, I felt not sympathy, but anger, over this act of selfishness -- and yes, suicide is selfish. You leave behind friends and family who will agonize as long as the live over whether or not there was something they could have done to prevent this. The will always wonder until they die. That's a terrible burden to shoulder on anyone. -- and when I heard of his demise last saturday, I was saddened. But no more so than hearing of a stranger's death via CNN. I mourned the senseless loss of life, but there was no emotional pain.

I'm not going to say that I knew the torment that he was going through, but I'd like to believe that even at your lowest, there's an option. There's always an option. Anything's better than that. The sheer finality of that solution makes it senseless. Because now he'll never know if things could have turned around. What he leaves behind are tears from his friends and family. And the lingering doubt. Of what one might have done. If there's anything at all about this whole situation that truly saddens me, this is it: The Legacy of Suicide.

He didn't end his pain, he just spread it to the people closest to him.

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