Sunday, December 30, 2007

About A Boy And A Stranger

9am. They awake, lying naked in bed.

Stranger: Bakit ang daming bote ng lube? [Why are there so many bottles of lube?]

Boy: You drank them because you said you were parched

Stranger: No, really. What happened?

Boy: (dismayed) You don't know?

Stranger: (smiles uncomfortably)

Boy: How much of what transpired do you actually remember?

Stranger: Uhmm... none?

Boy: (sighs then turns his back from the stranger)

Stranger: (hugs the boy, kisses his neck and says:) I'm kidding. I remember every word you said. Every moan. Every groan. And everything about you.


*may be fictional.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Now And Then

Last Christmas, this was our gift to our Lion King family:

Our friends and colleagues are asking what we are up to this year, now that there's only three of us left. Of course we can't let them down.

...will be continued.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Series 1

Dan and Rye with other non-Disney OFWs in Hong Kong share what they miss and what they don't during Christmas away from home. The usually-noisy Chris shares a more serious Christmas sentiment.

Don’t forget to email us your comments, shout-outs, suggestions, etc. You can now leave your comments in our page too! and also, please join our yahoo group. Enjoy the show, mga kasuy!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Unbearable Lights Of Christmas

I walked over to the other theater from ours at half past 6 tonight. Halfway through, the lights all over the park went dim and a male voice came booming from the speakers. "Ladies and gentlemen, Maestro Mickey!", he said. Or something to that effect. Then his announcement was quickly followed by the Putonghua translation.

It was time for the lighting of the castle. The music faded in and went up and Mickey sliced the air with his baton. Fireworks. They shot up and lit the black evening sky and sprinkled like gold, shining confettis way up in the air --- like pixie dust --- and disappeared quickly, one confetti after the other, as if they had been swallowed by the mysterious blackness of the sky.

The music segued to a full-orchestra arrangement of Carol of the Bells and went to an overpowering crescendo. The tower of the castle was briefly covered with bright lights. When its lights died, another part's lit. And it went on and on and the lights seemed to be dancing to the music. Catching every poignant note, and keeping silent in the rests of the music.

I remembered our family Christmases during my childhood. My cousins, who grew up in the middle of the ancestral rice fields from Nueva Ecija, would come to Manila every year to celebrate the holidays there. We'd bring them around Cubao. They'd be so mesmerized with the lights that hung in every building and every tree in Araneta Center, and we'd just spend hours walking and walking, stopping every 5 minutes to take pictures of almost anything and everything there was --- SM Cubao, Ali Mall, the giant Araneta Christmas tree, Fiesta Carnival, Araneta Coliseum, the street vendors, the food, the streets themselves... Then we'd wrap up our little holiday trip by buying fried dried squid and park ourselves in front of C.O.D. to watch their annual Christmas mannequin show.

photo credit: larawan

Once, on our way home from Cubao, as we were all packed in my uncle's red Ford Fierra, one of my cousins exclaimed, "Ang ganda-ganda ng mga ilaw! (The lights are very beautiful!)".

Then my mom said, "Para ka na ring nasa Disneyland, no? (Almost feels likes your in Disneyland, doesn't it?)"

My dad, sitting in front, beside my uncle who was driving protested. "Hindi ah! Mas maganda ang Disneyland. Pag nagtatrabaho na yung mga anak ko, pupunta tayo dun! (Of course not. This doesn't compare to Disneyland. When the time comes that my sons are already working, we will all go there."

It must have been 20 years ago. I don't exactly know when this happened. But I do remember that episode so well until now because that night, I promised myself I will someday bring them to Disneyland. I kept quiet and didn't tell a soul about it, because I wasn't sure I could ever fulfill my promise.

As we grew older, Cubao somehow lost its charm to us. Eventually, our family reunions were moved to Baguio. Though those Christmas trips weren't the slightest bit less fun, none of them compared to our Christmases in Cubao. In August of 2002, dad passed away and our family reunions became more meaningful. It was the time of the year when mom would see her brothers and sisters and reconnect with them, alleviating her sadness and depression. But still, none of those compared to our Christmases in Cubao.

This will be my third Christmas away from family. My brother's second. Our family's 6th Christmas without Oca. While Remi has enjoyed so many times (and will continue to do so) my Disneyland promise to them, Oca wasn't able to wait 3 more years. He would've loved to be walking around the "happiest place on earth" with Remi. And I would've loved performing, knowing that he and she and Mai were in the audience. He passed away without ever seeing me or Mai perform professionally. His diabetes was already in a bad stage when we started doing professional work. He'd always have wounds in his feet and could not wear shoes. He was afraid of being refused admission because of his footwear so he never dared. But here, in Disney, he could come in wearing anything in his feet. He could see my show in flip-flops with Mai and Remi, and no one would mind.

photo credit: jacky

I stood there in the middle of the crowd tonight, my senses totally oblivious of the people around me. Slowly, the sound coming from the crowd faded as if they were all very, very distant from where I was standing. All I could hear was the melodious sound of Carol of the Bells. All I could see was the castle and how, little by little, it got totally covered in what seemed to be millions of tiny, bright lights. All I could smell was the crispness of the winter air. And all I could feel was my family, standing with me in front of the majestic castle they once dreamed to see.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Days Of Our Lies

There are mornings coming to work when I'd be just compelled to examine the world around me and everything in it--- both natural and man-made--- would feel new, fresh and pleasantly unfamiliar. I'd see a tree I had never noticed before, or the cracks on the pavement, or how high the water is at Sunny Bay, and begin to wonder how high it was the previous day and how high it will be in the days to come.

There are mornings, too, when I'd just sit on the train and watch people. How they sit in relation to what they wear, what books they read, how they manage to keep sitting upright while sleeping in transit. Sometimes, I'd close my eyes and just listen to them. Then I'd single out the most distinct of the voices and build a picture of him in my imagination, before I open my eyes to look. Sometimes, I'd try to catch familiar words in Cantonese and guess their subject of conversation, or make up my own narrative.

There are mornings when I'd put on my dark sunglasses (even with the winter overcast), set my Ipod to play Ryan Cayabyab's "Dancing In The Rain" album and start reading a book as soon as I get out of the house. I'd shut out the world around me and contain myself in my own little bubble where nobody is welcome. Not strangers, not friends, not even the lady that announces "Please stand back from the yellow line." at every stop of the train. Only me, and the sometimes funny, sometimes miserable, sometimes triumphant characters in my book. These days, they're Izumi, Hajime and Shimamoto from South Of The Border, West Of The Sun.

a novel by Haruki Murakami

There are mornings when everything just seems pale and gritty and sad. When everything and everybody and every activity, including breathing and smiling, seems superficial and mundane. Some days, I so desire to be the hero that would show the world that there's one thing we could make a reality: love --- and it would make a huge difference. Some days, I just don't care at all.

There are mornings when you'd ask me, "How are you?", and I'd say "I'm fine." with a smile. Mornings like this, are the days of our lies. Yours. And mine.


Monday, December 17, 2007

What's Cooking?

Owing it to Mamu's electronics and hardware knowledge, our conventional oven is now back to commission. (He is the straightest in our apartment in this area. There was a time when Dan & I were both panicking because our floor lamp wasn't working. He fixed the problem in less than 3 minutes. It turned out, all that was needed was a change of bulb.)

Tonight, as we --- Dan, Verna and I --- decided to stay up late to work on the Christmas video for our show, I thought of utilizing the oven by making Dan & Verna's favorite pick from my "healthy options" menu: roasted whole chicken.

While having dinner, Verna and I somehow got to talk about this certain guy I sort of had an affair with. I asked him once when he first felt he was attracted to me, and he said confidently that he liked me the very first time he saw me; but it was not until he tasted the roasted chicken that he compared me (to my advantage) with his then-boyfriend. That was very flattering.

I'm not sure now how Verna reacted to that story. I sort of drifted after telling her the story and remembered a certain conversation I had with a girl back in 2001. The girl was Lea, a batchmate in PETA (the theater company, not the animal rights advocate), and we were at home that night, having angel hair pasta on pesto with tuyo flakes (the budget version of pesto with anchovies I had put together because I couldn't afford anchovies then). It was her first time to try my cooking.

At her very first bite, she already paid me a compliment. "Rye, nakakaloka sa sarap! (Rye, this is deliriously delicious!)", she exclaimed.

I gave her a broad smile.

"Maswerte ka. (You're lucky.)", she said without looking at me. She was concentrating on her plate. Then after a beat, she added, "Di ka mahihirapan maghanap ng partner. Kasi nga diba... (You won't have difficulty finding a partner. You know what they say...) The way to a man's heart is through his stomach."

"Hindi rin. (I don't think so)", I protested.

"Bakit? (Why?)"

"Because I'm too proud to take the easy way. But I'm also too proud to take the hard way and end up unsuccessful. I will go about my life and wait for his heart to find its way to me."

That was 6 years and dozens of cookbooks ago. I'm not sure I can still say that now without squirming.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Absolut-ly Not

Late last month, I opened up myself to the possibility of dating again, and made the announcement through my blog and on Multiply. Until now, I haven't received any invitation. I surmise three possible reasons:

  1. My potential dates don't read my blog and people who do read my blog are not potential dates;

  2. Potential dates who've read my blog are having a hard time fulfilling my requirement;

  3. Nobody's just interested at all.

It doesn't matter now. The search is over. For I now have in my collection:

Absolut Disco --- for the dancer, the partyphile and the vodka drinker in me

Thanks to my good friend, Lawrence (he whom I have introduced to my readers long ago as my ever-reliable shopping buddy; now also an ever-available drinking buddy, my ever-compatible bashing buddy, my ever-accommodating sleepover buddy [some of my entries were written at his place in the middle of the night, both of us slurring] and an ever-loving something buddy. Note: "something" is not tantamount to "fuck".) for saving me from the agony of rounds and rounds of bad dates that I would've been obliged to sit through, eat through, strip naked through, and spend the night through in exchange of this limited edition collector's item. I need not do that. Absolut-ly not.

Love you, Kuya Law!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

8 In Chinese Is Lucky

...And today, Can't You Read? reached the 8888 mark in page views starting from June of this year. Of course, that doesn't mean I have 8888 readers. But I reached the lucky mark. Same lucky mark China aimed for and won in bidding for the 2008 Olympics. 8/8/08

To all my regular readers, thank you for always insipiring me to inspire you.

To everyone who has left at least one comment, thank you for reaffirming that people indeed read my posts.

To Khalel and Empress Maruja, thank you for the very flattering nomination in your respective blog awards.

To the Berate my Blog ladies, thank you for the kind words in the first ever review this blog ever received.

Lastly, to all my colleagues, to my ex, to my friends, to the people of HK, to my crushes, to the men I dated, to the I wanted to date, to the men who wanted to date me, to the guys I've slept with, to Remi, to Mai, to the boy at the gym, to my flatmates, to the many artists all over the world, to every sentient being who's caught my attention, to every bag, shoe & belt I've desired and to myself, thank you so much for providing me with such interesting material.

I love you all!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Ballet Les Femmes Journal: Gowda

Gowda- (adj) [Etymology: Pagod- Pagoda- Gowda] tired; exhausted; spent

Today was Day 1 of Rehearsals for Mamu's Ballet Les Femmes. Err... not the actual day 1.

Mamu's 3-minute neo-classical piece was originally choreographed for strong female dancers with solid technique and fluid lines who could drink coffee and read the papers (and even take cigarette breaks) en pointe. There were 8 (or 10?) of them. And they've been learning and rehearsing over the last two weeks. Tonight was more like cleaning.

Not for me and Chris. The two of us -- Mamu's trockadero-ish guinea pigs --- were just starting to learn the piece tonight. What's worse, Chris has already had some side coaching and came to rehearsal somewhat knowing the choreographic structure and the sequence of the steps already. Just enough reason for me to feel a bit more pressured.

About 15 minutes into the rehearsal, Mamu asked the girls to take a break and called Chris and me to show what we've learned so far in the course of 5 full-cast runs. Disaster! The stubborn, determined me surfaced right after that run, so I pushed myself to at least know the piece well enough to be able to anticipate the steps by taking visual cues from Chris. Not perfect. But not bad either. IN fact, I would say, good enough for a first rehearsal.

Now that I look back to the events of 3 hours ago, I think I can say, with utmost conviction, that I have matured as a performer. Steps, no matter how complicated or unfamiliar they are, don't intimidate me as easily anymore like they used to. I know better my strengths and limitations and that makes me work with my body wiser and drives my brain to pick up faster.

But the stamina? Ohhh.... That's another story altogether.

I am just so gowda right now, I didn't bother making Dan and myself a decent meal. Nor did I have the patience to wait for Dan to make one for ourselves. I turned to the ever-reliable IndoMie (the Indonesian version of Lucky Me Pancit Canton. Very, very famous here in HK) despite the strict restricitons of my diet. 5 minutes and voila! A little bit of protein and a huge dose of sodium, MSG and carbs for dinner. And I mixed it right in the pot where I bolied the noodles; and ate it right from the very same stainless steel cookware. (If my uber arte gay brother, Mai, was here, he would roll his eyes on me upon seeing me do that. I remember how he hated it everytime I did the cooking, mixing and eating using only Remi's super durable porcelain saucepan. He also ate Lucky Me Pancit Canton, and he loved them. But he religiously went through the ceremony everytime he had them. Cook in that same porcelain saucepan; drain with the proper colander; mix the oil, soy sauce and seasoning in a separate bowl while cooking the noodles, and stir them exhaustingly so that all lumps are dissolved; mix the noodles and the sauce; wipe off the sides of the bowl before serving it on himself; devour on the pancit canton using a fresh fork. He would never use the fork he used to stir the boiling noodles.)

Gowda- (adj) [Etymology: Pagod- Pagoda- Gowda] what one feels after catching up on Mamu's choreography, trying to learn an entire piece in 15 minutes just by watching the run-throughs. Oh, did I mention I also did two shows today, a 45-minute salsa/rumba warm-up class, 2 other rehearsals for the chachacha number, an official rehearsal for our show, and a video shoot in the morning? Throw all these in, plus some gossiping during breaks. That's gowda.

Hell, I don't even know whether I'm still coherent with this post. I don't have the energy to re-read and edit anymore.

Good night! (at 11:40PM)

Rye to conscience: Okay, okay! I will shower! Can't a gowda guy miss shower just one night? Dammit!

S2 Ep22, The "Kung Anik-Anik" Ep. of TD&RS, Out Now!

Rye: "OMG, Dan! I think I overdid my crash diet!"



konting pagbu-blush ni dan.

pride march.



kung ano na lang ang mapag-usapan, makapag-podcast lang dahil alam naming nami-miss nyo na kami.

Don’t forget to email us your comments, shout-outs, suggestions, etc. You can leave your comments in our page too! and also, please join our yahoo group. and add us up on your ym: thedanandryeshow

Enjoy the show, mga kasuy!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The "Silent Love" Diaries 1 & Ballet Les Femmes Sneak Peek

The results of the internal Christmas show audition were posted up last week. "Silent Love Runs Deep" didn't make it; which was quite a relief for me because as much as I love the choreography, I just didn't think I would be ready to essay the pas de deux in front of that big a crowd. We decided to continue working on the piece anyway and show it in the Lion King Christmas party instead.

My original partner, Kitty, had to back out because she has an engagement on the night of the party. She was replaced by my very good friend, a very, very soulful dancer, Belle.

Kitty, the girl with legs and arms and back other female dancers would kill for.

Belle --- the extensions, the strength, the soul and the heart
photo credit: Jojo Mamangun

Belle and I have known each other since our days with Ballet Philippines. As contemporaries in the company, we've done numerous shows together but I've never really partnered her. Our stint here in HK, which came about 2 years after I've left the company, has made us very, very close. We've learned a lot about each other's temperaments and this familiarity makes our partnering in this dance project even more exciting for me.

Rehearsals with Belle start tomorrow.


Mamu (my flatmate and my choreographer for "Silent Love Runs Deep"), is up for another dance project, Ballet Les Femmes, which we will also perform in the Lion King Christmas Party. Another great piece to be really excited about.

Here is a sneak peek:

for the love of God, please ignore the turned-in tendu leg.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Hope For The Flower

Wednesday, exactly a week ago, a week after my Asian friend decided to start his personal battle against drugs.


White boy: Why do you keep rubbing your nose?

Asian boy: Because my nose is not used to too much cold. I'm from a tropical country, for crying out loud.

White boy: Oh ok. I thought you snorted something. (smiles slyly)

Asian boy: I did not, silly!

White boy: But do you want some?

Asian boy: Do you have some?

White boy: (grabs Asian boy's hand and discreetly passes him a bag of coke) Why do you always have to ask that?

Asian boy: (smiles, then gives back the bag after a beat) No. I can't do that tonight. I'm working tomorrow.

White boy: (teasing) Working? When did that ever stop you from doing it?

Asian boy: (adamantly) Tonight. Excuse me. I need to go check on my friends. (leaves)


Saturday, December 08, 2007

Putting Off For Today What I Could Have Done Last Week

First off, many thanks to those who voted --- whether by will or by force --- for Can't You Read? in the G*Spot Weblog Awards. A total of 110 votes were earned by this blog. I am truly, truly flattered.

Special thanks go to Khalel, of course, for the nomination and the generous words:

"Allow me... This Month's G* Spot Weblog of the Month is no other than the ever popular - Can't You read of Rye!Hooray! [...] Can't You Read is a blog I personally read whenever I got the chance. Its witty writings have kept me addicted to it!"

to my dear friend, Steve, for urging (more like coercing) his friends who didn't know of my blog, to visit it and vote for me;

and to Dan, for monitoring the votes every single day. I love y'all!


Next up... a meme from joyjoy ---

1. Two names I go by: Rye, Ryeness (yes, believe me, people call me by this name)
2. Two things I am wearing right now: pj's and Paris Hilton cologne
3. Two things I have in a relationship: no answer. pwede ba yun?
4. Two things I like to do: dancing and cooking
5. Two things I want very badly in this moment: lomi and a vacation
6. Two things I did last night: Happy Hour at F.I.N.D.S, bonding with Jethro
7. Two things I ate today: bananas, tuna
8. Two persons I last spoke to: Ryan Lee, Mamu
9. Two things I am going to do tomorrow: report to work, bitch about it
10. Two favorite days of the week: Mondays & Tuesdays (the new Friday and Saturday)
11. Two favorite holidays: Christmas & Chinese New Year (they give out money here in HK!)
12. Two favorite beverages: chardonnay and OJ
13. Two things about me that you may not have known: I was an altarboy when I was 8 (until I was 14); I don't eat cake
14. Two jobs that I have had in my life: researcher/p.a. (Best Frends & S-Files, GMA-7), performer
15. Two movies I would watch over and over: Bridges Of Madison County; Broken Hearts Club (I still do.)
16. Two places I have lived: (outside of my parents' home) Don Antonio Heights, Commonwealth; Tung Chung, HK
17. Two of my favorite food: greek salad, foie gras
18. Two places I would rather be right now: Ibiza, Canary Island

And here is another question: What are the 5 gifts you would buy for yourself this christmas, if you had unlimited income?
1. the whole of Lane Crawford (for myself, not to continue the business)
2. a private jet
3. the MTR Corpoation of HK

I tag Kiks and Ron.


One more meme, this time from mrs. j
What to do:
1. Mention the person who tagged you and create a link back to them.
2. Copy-paste the traits for all the twelve months (see below).
3. Pick your month of birth.
4. Highlight the traits that apply to you.
5. Tag 12 people and let them know by visiting their blogs and leaving a comment for them.
6. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve done it!

JANUARY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Ambitious and serious. Loves to teach and be taught. Always looking at people’s flaws and weaknesses. Likes to criticize. Hardworking and productive. Smart, neat and organized. Sensitive and has deep thoughts. Knows how to make others happy. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Rather reserved. Highly attentive. Resistant to illnesses but prone to colds. Romantic but has difficulties expressing love. Loves children. Loyal. Has great social abilities yet easily jealous. Very stubborn and money cautious.

FEBRUARY: Abstract thoughts. Loves reality and abstract. Intelligent and clever. Changing personality. Attractive. Sexy. Temperamental. Quiet, shy and humble. Honest and loyal. Determined to reach goals. Loves freedom. Rebellious when restricted. Loves aggressiveness. Too sensitive and easily hurt. Gets angry really easily but does not show it. Dislikes unnecessary things. Loves making friends but rarely shows it. Daring and stubborn. Ambitious. Realizes dreams and hopes. Sharp. Loves entertainment and leisure. Romantic on the inside not outside. Superstitious and ludicrous. Spendthrift. Tries to learn to show emotions.

MARCH: Attractive personality. Sexy. Affectionate. Shy and reserved. Secretive. Naturally honest, generous and sympathetic. Loves peace and serenity. Sensitive to others. Loves to serve others. Easily angered. Trustworthy. Appreciative and returns kindness. Observant and assesses others. Revengeful. Loves to dream and fantasize. Loves traveling. Loves attention. Hasty decisions in choosing partners. Loves home decors. Musically talented. Loves special things. Moody.

APRIL: Active and dynamic. Decisive and hasty but tends to regret. Attractive and affectionate to oneself. Strong mentality. Loves attention. Diplomatic. Consoling, friendly and solves people’s problems. Brave and fearless. Adventurous. Loving and caring. Suave and generous. Emotional. Aggressive. Hasty. Good memory. Moving. Motivates oneself and others. Sickness usually of the head and chest. Sexy in a way that only their lover can see.

MAY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Strong-willed and highly motivated. Sharp thoughts. Easily angered. Attracts others and loves attention. Deep feelings. Beautiful physically and mentally. Firm Standpoint. Needs no motivation. Easily consoled. Systematic (left brain). Loves to dream. Strong clairvoyance. Understanding. Sickness usually in the ear and neck. Good imagination. Good physical. Weak breathing. Loves literature and the arts. Loves traveling. Dislike being at home. Restless. Not having many children. Hardworking. High spirited. Spendthrift.

JUNE: Thinks far with vision. Easily influenced by kindness. Polite and soft-spoken. Having ideas. Sensitive. Active mind. Hesitating, tends to delay. Choosy and always wants the best. Temperamental. Funny and humorous. Loves to joke. Good debating skills. Talkative. Daydreamer. Friendly. Knows how to make friends. Able to show character. Easily hurt. Prone to getting colds. Loves to dress up. Easily bored. Fussy. Seldom shows emotions. Takes time to recover when hurt. Brand conscious. Executive. Stubborn.

JULY: Fun to be with. Secretive. Difficult to fathom and to be understood. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Takes pride in oneself. Has reputation. Easily consoled. Honest. Concerned about people’s feelings. Tactful. Friendly. Approachable. Emotional temperamental and unpredictable. Moody and easily hurt. Witty and sparkly. Not revengeful. Forgiving but never forgets. Dislikes nonsensical and unnecessary things. Guides others physically and mentally. Sensitive and forms impressions carefully. Caring and loving. Treats others equally. Strong sense of sympathy. Wary and sharp. Judges people through observations. Hardworking. No difficulties in studying. Loves to be alone. Always broods about the past and the old friends. Likes to be quiet. Homely person. Waits for friends. Never looks for friends. Not aggressive unless provoked. Prone to having stomach and dieting problems. Loves to be loved. Easily hurt but takes long to recover.

AUGUST: Loves to joke. Attractive. Suave and caring. Brave and fearless. Firm and has leadership qualities. Knows how to console others. Too generous and egoistic. Takes high pride in oneself. Thirsty for praises. Extraordinary spirit. Easily angered. Angry when provoked. Easily jealous. Observant. Careful and cautious. Thinks quickly. Independent thoughts. Loves to lead and to be led. Loves to dream. Talented in the arts, music and defense. Sensitive but not petty. Poor resistance against illnesses. Learns to relax. Hasty and trusty. Romantic. Loving and caring. Loves to make friends.

SEPTEMBER: Suave (that's what they say) and compromising (to keep the peace). Careful (not always), cautious (not always) and organized (in some areas). Likes to point out people’s mistakes (guilty!). Likes to criticize (guilty! But I try to be very, very objective about it). Stubborn (so what?!?). Quiet but able to talk well (quiet? so not!). Calm and cool (I try to be. Wrong. I always try to appear calm and cool). Kind and sympathetic (I would like to believe that). Concerned and detailed (concerned, only to a selected few; detailed, only in very few areas). Loyal but not always honest (AGREE!). Does work well (patronizing na to ha!). Very confident (confident. not very.). Sensitive (if i choose to be). Good memory (selective. not in dance. damn!). Clever and knowledgeable (clever siguro, not knowledgeable. tamad ako mag-absorb ng info). Loves to look for information (hindi nga diba?! ang kulit!). Must control oneself when criticizing (I always do. I always do try.). Able to motivate oneself (yes.). Understanding (to people I love and care about). Fun to be around (I hope so.). Secretive (not me.). Loves leisure and traveling (yes.). Hardly shows emotions (I try. But I'm very very transparent). Tends to bottle up feelings (when I was younger. I have learned to process them at once in their early stages). Very choosy, especially in relationships (don't we all have to be?). Systematic (yes. but not in an obsessive-compulsive way).

OCTOBER: Loves to chat. Loves those who loves them. Loves to take things at the center. Inner and physical beauty. Lies but doesn’t pretend. Gets angry often. Treats friends importantly. Always making friends. Easily hurt but recovers easily. Daydreamer. Opinionated. Does not care of what others think. Emotional. Decisive. Strong clairvoyance. Loves to travel, the arts and literature. Touchy and easily jealous. Concerned. Loves outdoors. Just and fair. Spendthrift. Easily influenced. Easily loses confidence. Loves children.

NOVEMBER: Has a lot of ideas. Difficult to fathom. Thinks forward. Unique and brilliant. Extraordinary ideas. Sharp thinking. Fine and strong clairvoyance. Can become good doctors. Dynamic in personality. Secretive. Inquisitive. Knows how to dig secrets. Always thinking. Less talkative but amiable. Brave and generous. Patient. Stubborn and hard-hearted. If there is a will, there is a way. Determined. Never give up. Hardly becomes angry unless provoked. Loves to be alone. Thinks differently from others. Sharp-minded. Motivates oneself. Does not appreciate praises. High-spirited. Well-built and tough. Deep love and emotions. Romantic. Uncertain in relationships. Homely. Hardworking. High abilities. Trustworthy. Honest and keeps secrets. Not able to control emotions. Unpredictable.

DECEMBER: Loyal and generous. Sexy. Patriotic. Active in games and interactions. Impatient and hasty. Ambitious. Influential in organizations. Fun to be with. Loves to socialize. Loves praises. Loves attention. Loves to be loved. Honest and trustworthy. Not pretending. Short tempered. Changing personality. Not egotistic. Take high pride in oneself. Hates restrictions. Loves to joke. Good sense of humor. Logical.

Who to tag? It looks like there's no one to tag anymore. Everybody's commissioned everybody else to answer the meme.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The 46-Dollar Story

I witnessed an episode at the HK International Airport that I just can't get over until now, roughly two hours after it happened.

My best friend Dan was checking in for his 9:50pm flight to Manila. The queue before him was quite long so I told him I was gonna sit for a while. Where I sat was a group of Filipina domestic helpers. I could see one of them acting antsy, from my peripheral, that her energy almost annoyed me. I looked at their group (there were probably 6 of them) and the first thing that caught my ear was this woman, a friend of the antsy woman's, asking, "E magkano daw ba ang [How much did she say was the] excess baggage penalty, Maita?"

"Twenty-three [Hong Kong] dollars per kilo.", Maita said worryingly. "2 kilos lang naman ang excess ko. Kaya lang $20. na lang pera ko eh. [I only have 2 kilos excess. But I only have $23. left]"

None of her friends replied to what she said. None of them offered to carry the 2-kilo excess or to loan her money so that she could pay for the penalty. She opened her luggage and took out the toys that she was bringing home for her kids and the bars of bath soap she was gonna give her sister. She couldn't come up with a plan to solve her predicament. Until eventually, she started to consider throwing away some of her clothes so she could still bring home the presents. I was crushed. The scene was just too heart-wrenching. It was too much for me that I had to leave.

Few minutes later, my phone rang. It was Dan, calling to tell me he had already checked in and that he would wait for me at the ATM. I followed him there then we headed to Popeye's for dinner. While eating, I was filling him in with gossips that I heard at work today, trying so hard to shut the memory of Maita and her baggage out of my mind. I couldn't. I opened it up to him by starting the story with, "Sana kagaya ako ni Jojo. Alam mo ba yung 'pay it forward' na kwento nya? [I wish I was like Jojo. Have you heard of her 'pay it forward story?]"

Jojo, a friend of ours, is a Filipina who has been working with Cathay Pacific as a cabin crew for 12 years now. In one of her departures from Manila, she met an old lady at the NAIA, who was going somewhere to visit her daughter. That trip being the old lady's first time to go out of the country, she didn't know she had to pay the terminal fee to be allowed to leave. She had no money. Jojo gave her 550pesos. The lady later asked how she would be able to pay Jojo back. Jojo replied, "Wag na po [Never mind]. Just pay it forward."

After hearing my story, Dan agreed the domestic helpers that we see in the airports have the saddest stories. Just the way they are degradingly dealt with sometimes by the ground staff kills him.

As we were smoking Dan's last cigarette before he goes through immigration, I called Remi. After asking about her day and how her check-ups went, I told her, "Rems, ang sama ng loob ko. [Rems, I feel bad.]", then went on with the story.

She said she understood why I felt bad. And that it was ok to feel that way. Then she reassured me that there will be other chances to help, and that she hopes that next time, before I turn my back from a fellow human being in need, I would remember this night. And that I would remember always why she and my dad were able to send me and my brother to school even as we were experiencing a major family crisis that spanned for 4 years --- because of the people who helped us. Because of the people who willingly shared even if they only had enough for themselves. I thanked my mom for sermon and we said our "I love you"'s then hung up.

After a few more puffs, it was time for Dan to go. He went on his way to the immigration while I headed for the bus stop. Halfway there, I decided to take a cab so I could get home quicker. While in transit, that Maita episode just kept playing in my mind. I could still hear her voice. And her face, as she was looking at the presents she was excited to bring home but couldn't find a way to, was still vivid in my imagination. My heart felt so heavy. I could help had I chosen to. But I did not. I wish I had the heart to be more giving. Like Remi. And Oca. And everyone that helped put us to school.

"Pin dow ar? [Where?]", the driver, asking where to pull over, broke me from thought. We were already at my village.

"Go dow, m goi. [Right there, please.]", I pointed to him where to stop. He quickly did. I looked at the meter and it registered $48.00 --- that's the fare I had to pay for the driver to bring me home from the airport. That's two dollars more than what Maita needed to bring her Christmas presents to her family in Manila.


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Tuesday Is The New Saturday

...for me, at least (and Marah too). From today until six weeks hence.

I was so dreading this shift cycle change. I realized today it's not that bad after all. For starters, I went to bed quite early last night without taking anything to induce sleep. Nothing at all. Not even the herbal over-the-counter sleeping gels quite famous here in HK. In effect, I woke up this morning without hangover of any sort.

I had my Centrum, detox caps, yogurt, bread and soya milk and started milling around the house, thinking what to do to keep myself busy (and keep myself away from the mall).

Three hours and a few calories spent later, I was amazed at the work I had done. I have transformed my room from this:

to this:

I moved the bed (by myself) from its former blocking with the head against the northwest wall of my room to the southeast wall. The closet, from northeast to southwest. (Again, by myself) The floor, I vacuumed and scrubbed. My northeast wall (where the closet used to stand against), I left blank for the project I have been wanting to do: the Mamangun wall.

I took out all my scarves (I didn't know I had so many) and jackets (these, I don't have that many. Maybe two or three additions would not hurt) from the vacuum bag where they remained hidden since the first hint of spring this year.

By 5 pm, I was done with all the room makeover work and it was time to go and find an electrical shop to get a fuse. It's the party season and we have to get our oven in commission again. Roast chicken, baked mac, baked zucchini and brownies had been our (me & Dan's) staple potluck contribution and people will be expecting them.

I wasn't racing against time today, so I decided to walk a good 800 meters from our place to the town center. Ahhh! The feel of Lantau winter air! Refreshing would be inadequate to describe it.

I got to Fu Tung Market and accomplished what I needed to accomplish in less than 5 minutes. I was at Taste, the only first-world-ish grocery store (in terms of the items they sell) on Lantau Island to get a tray of eggs when I saw an ad by the kitchenware section that said "Cooking is joy." I decided to make dinner. I considered making beef stroganoff. Marvin, a fellow dancer has been requesting that since last month. But Nigel, the gorgeous husband (yes, legal husband) of my very good friend, Julius, will be here next week and I'm hosting dinner for him. I wanted to reserve stroganoff till next week. Instead, Dan and I had for dinner:

Lettuce medley salad (with lots of feta cheese) and garlic pomodoro with anchovies, capers and olives on 4-cheese fresh tortelloni. Yum! And we had them, using my 2-year-old-but-used-just-once white Italian pasta plates.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is how I productively spent my Tuesday off. How I loved it. (I hope I will never get tired loving it, because I have 6 friggin weeks to deal with it!)


[Repost] VLOG: Silent Love Runs Deep (the sneak peek)

..hoping the video plays this time around. let me know if it doens't still.


I honestly don't know why, but I was urged by a friend to register.

Technorati Profile

Monday, December 03, 2007

Monday Is The New Friday.

for me, at least. From today until six weeks hence.

What to do on a Monday night? Uhmm...

Moving on...

To celebrate my new Friday, I went to the mall on the way home to check if there was anything interesting playing the cinema. Nada. As I was on my way to the taxi stand where I was to meet up with Dan, I passed by Esprit and my attention was called by this little baby.

He was lonely and abandoned. He needed someone.

So I took him home with me, to be with others who will love him the way he should be loved.

Now, that's family.

This Christmas will be a merry one for him, his foster family and friends. :-)

For my new baby and his foster family, this song is for you, this Christmas:

"...We are a family/ Like a giant tree/ Branching up towards the sky..."

(I'm guessing Steve would either be shaking his head profusely in disapproval or flashing an I-told-you-so smile when he reads this. But Steve, you have to understand. It's the Christmas season. We should be spreading some love and goodwill. I just did my share in making this world a better place to live in. And besides, I've been a good boy the past 4 days. I deserve to reward myself. Reward. I said reward. My Christmas gift [for myself] is still in IFC, waiting to be picked up. We'll start saving up after Christmas, I promise.)

Better Late Than Never

The world (the socially aware class, at least) celebrated World AIDS Day on Dec. 1. Here is Dan & Rye's humble contribution to the World AIDS Day Comemmoration---

Don’t forget to email us your comments, shout-outs, suggestions, etc. You can leave your comments in our page too! and also, please join our yahoo group.

Enjoy the show, mga kasuy!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

That's What We Call "Bayanihan Spirit"

Bayanihan (pronounced as IPA:[bajanihan]) is a Filipino term taken from the word bayan, referring to a nation, town or community. The whole term bayanihan refers to a spirit of communal unity or effort to achieve a particular objective.

The origin of the term bayanihan can be traced from a common tradition in
Philippine towns where community members volunteer to help a family move to a new place. The process involves literally carrying the house to its new location. This is done by putting bamboo poles forming a strong frame to lift the stilts from the ground and carrying the whole house with the men positioned at the ends of each pole.*


The "bayanihan" is not a proverbial myth.


Regardless of the thousands of performances we've done in the 2 years and 4 months that our show has been running, and in spite of the sophistication of the fully-automated mechanism our show runs on, it is still not an exemption from technical challenges that live performances are subjected to, every now and then.

Today was no different. Forty minutes to our first show, we were advised that the tech run (which they do every morning to make sure all technical components of the show work fine) went smoothly and that the shows would go normally. Normal --- meaning all cues (light, sound, automation, pyro, hydraulics, etc.) would be called as originally planned. At 12noon though, the time when the first show was scheduled to start, we were surprised to see in the backstage monitors that the house hadn't opened yet and that "places" hadn't been called. Apparently, there were some technical issues that came up at the last minute, and the option that had the bigger probability was a show suspension.

It wasn't that ominous, really. We've been through worse cases before. Lots of them. But it was the first time this challenge came up and it was too unexpected. And no one seemed to know how to remedy it. Even though it wasn't that major, still, it posed enough difficulty to ruin the morning of some of our colleagues.

According to reports, there were 800 guests lined up outside the theater waiting for the gates to open. 800 guests, expecting to see a performance at 12noon. The million-dollar question at the moment was: "Should we disappoint people by telling them there wasn't gonna be a 12noon show, but they can come back later; or should we make do of the given and give them a show despite the limitations?" Any performing artist who is passionate about his craft, I think, will say "The show must go on." And it did.

The house opened 15 minutes past the scheduled showtime. Half of the cast on standby sat in the audience to give us moral support. Those who remained in the backstage volunteered (ok, not all of those who remained, but there were a handful and that was enough) to hold flashlights to illuminate the pitch-black cross-overs. Thirty minutes and some confusion later, our first show of the day was over, and somehow, me managed to pull through. We made it through the show without any injury or accidents, and with lots of fun. The audience -- the real reason why we do what we do -- left the theater smiling and satisfied with the show they saw.

It doesn't take a genius to know that booboos and technical glitches are part and parcel of any live show. Any live performance, no matter how big or small, has its own share of these. And any live performance, no matter how big or small, will not survive if it doens't have people who are willing to take action and be part of the solution. If it's true that every cast, staff, and crew member of any production plays an integral part to move it forward, then each one of them can also play a part in solving the problem. Or making it less difficult to bear. IF they choose to.

After that 12noon show, we were all called to the rehearsal hall to be congratulated by one of our bosses for a job well done. And to be thanked for being professional enough to adapt accordingly. They also announced that the succeding shows for the day would be back to normal.

The story ended there. After that meeting, the 12noon show became history and was written down as just another show report. Well, maybe for some.

For others, it will be something they will look back to in the days to come. Or maybe months. Or maybe long after our show stops to run. It will be remembered as either one of those days that one lost his temper and bickered nonstop about the technical failure that was nobody's doing; or a day when he took action and played a part in the bayanihan, whether as one of those who cheered his comrades on, or one of those who wrapped himself in the black curtain, lighting the corridor for his fellow performers.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

How Well Do We Know Each Other?

Dan and Rye answer a survey to test how well they know each other... plus chikahan on the current events in the Philippines.

Don’t forget to email us your comments, shout-outs, suggestions, etc. You can now leave your comments in our page too! and also, please join our yahoo group.
Enjoy the show, mga kasuy!

Friday, November 30, 2007


Hours after I sent out the email to my friends, I got a call from Steve and he asked me whether I wanted to talk about it. I said neither yes nor no. There was nothing I didn't want to talk about. I just didn't see anything to talk about.

After dinner, Dan, sitting by the dining table said to me while I was in the kitchen, "Nabasa ko na yung email. [I read your email already.]" He wasn't stating a fact. He was waiting for a story. I didn't say anything.

Later on, my phone rang. The number was unregistered in my phonebook, but I sure knew who it was. I picked up my phone and pressed Silence. Then I got his voicemail and his message on msn. I chose to ignore. Not because I was trying to be mean or anything. I just didn't know what to say.

As I was going through the blogs in my links, I got a message from Verna on MSN.

Verna says (1:42 AM): i have read your email. how are you feeling right now? will reply to it maybe by tomorrow.
Rye says (1:42 AM): wala.
Rye says (1:43 AM): i'm devoid of any feeling right now e

That's it. That says everything right now. Devoid. Empty. Neither sad nor happy. Neither imprisoned nor free. Neither satisfied nor regretful. Just wanting some sleep.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bedtime Thoughts

Long day.

11:15am call time, 10:30pm last show

Warm-up class

two performances


Christmas Cabaret auditions

some not-so-good news from Manila

It feels like it's been forever since I was last this busy. It feels almost new to me. I'm glad I'm more spiritually- and emotionally-stable, wiser with how I work with my body, and less temperamental now than before that I am able to cope very well.


One would think that for people who earn a living by performing, like me, auditions would be a piece of cake. Not true. I've been auditioning my whole life and it hasn't gotten any easier, no matter how big or small the part is, no matter how big or small the production is.

Tonight, I auditioned for the Christmas Cabaret, an internal Christmas show for our department. Two numbers: a corps neo-classical piece and a contemporary pas de deux. Jitters, jitters, jitters! But they were the good kind. They kept me on my toes and pushed me to perform better. And for the first time, since day one of the pas de deux's choreographic process, I was able to do the overhead dead-weight lift that opens the piece. It's all over now. They passed by so quickly I barely had time to really enjoy the numbers. We're now just waiting for their judgement. Do we get to show them off or not?

Me, As A Dancer

Yesterday, while rehearsing the corps neo-classical piece I am cast in, my partner, Terasa (an Aussie girl, formerly principal dancer of the HK Ballet) asked me after the penchee promenade if I was comfortable doing it. I honestly told her I was scared. Hello! The girl was en pointe, on a vertical split and I was turning her around. I had all the reasons to be scared! She rubbed my chest and assured me I was dong fine. After the second time we did it, she said, "Rye, that was perfect. I was centered the whole bit."

this is penchee. imagine me standing beside her, hip-to-hip, holding her by her arms and going around her as if the toes she is standing on is the pivotal point by which I bring myself and her whole body around. that is penchee promenade.

Today, before I and my partner were called to the audition room for the pas de deux, I said to Verna (my wife, a seasoned dancer, and then- principal of the CCP Dance School and soloist of Ballte Philippines), "I'm not really sure I can do this."

"Why?", she asked me.

"This is a principal dancer's piece. Di ako principal dancer. [I am not a pricipal dancer.] Never was. Never will be."

"Anukaba! Isipin mo, recital lang. [Just think of it as a recital]", she said encouragingly.

"Kahit recital, pang-advanced students to. Intermediate lang ako. [But even for a recital, this pice would be for advanced students. I'm just intermediate.]"

"Professional ka [You're a professional]", she punctuated our conversation.

Coming home tonight, I felt silly. These were the kind of roles I dreamt of doing when I was with Ballet Philippines 4 years ago, but was never given the chance to do. This time, I was personally hand-picked by the choreographers themselves to do them because they think I'm fit for the role. And I am doubting myself? Where is that coming from, that fear?

Lion King

I grunted when I first heard that I was part of the cast hat would have to stay until midnight tonight to do a special buy-out show for a major cosmetics line.

The show was slated at 11pm, but fortunately, we started thirty minutes earlier. Even then, I was cranky that I had to stay that long and do that show.

When the curtain opened, we were greeted with a thunderous applause from the audience --- something so poignant that I've never heard for so long. I smiled wholeheartedly. Because right then and there, I felt the high that made me remember why I decided I was gonna be a performer.


As soon as I got out of work, I received an sms from Cielo, La Remi's bestfriend: "Hi Rye! Just informing you that your mom is in the hospital because of hypertension. She's in better condition but we decided to let her stay so she can rest. Your prayers can make her even better. Be well."

I was worried. Instant reaction. I am not anymore. I know she'll be fine and kicking like a horse by tomorrow. I just know.


When I felt the first panicky heartbeat in my system, the first person I wanted to call was Mai, my brother in Dubai. But I thought he'd get more panicky so I decided to call Ricky and have him check on Remi. We picked up and I told him the sms I got.

Thirty minutes later, he asked me to call him. He said everything was under control and that he would call Cielo again tomorrow morning. He promised to keep me posted.

Just before we hung up, he said he hit a post in the parking area of SM Megamall, while driving out of it. He was totally fine but the damage in the passenger's side was huge. I reminded him to be careful of his driving. There's too much stress landing on his lap right now and I told him that I hope that Remi's condition didn't add to it.

He sms'ed me when he got home and I replied: "Good night! Rest well and thank you sooo much for still being family."

In less than two months, we will be commemorating our first year of being separated.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Night

It's Thanksgiving Day.

While other people are gathered with friends and family around the dining table, feasting on sumptuous dishes and that slow-roasted turkey, piling up everything they could in their plates, I am by myself lamenting on my excessively full plate. There's just too much in it right now --- work issues, frustration on people, lovelife drama, finances... Name it, I have it in my plate.

I slept last night with the aid of a pill. That was the only way I could doze off despite the heaviness of my heart and the aberration of my mind. But although it seemed to have worked, it didn't completely overpower the emotional and mental battles I was trying to put off till the morning. I would wake up every hour and my mind would still be running. It was like a never-ending movie that I flaked out on, and forgot to pause. And I'd find still running everytime I open my eyes.

This morning, I woke up way before my alarm went off. I was feeling forlorn. And my mind, like the never-ending movie, was still running like crazy. I got to work and, despite my efforts to put on a happy face, people around me felt something was wrong. A lot of them asked. But it was Thanksgiving and I didn't want to poop on anybody's Thanksgiving spirit. A couple of times, I was aksed whether I was coming to Thanksgiving dinner tonight. I made up excuses. Lots of them. Truth is, I just wasn't in a thanksgiving mood today. I thought there was a lot of resolving to do first before giving thanks. At some point, I asked myself, "What's there to be thankful for?" And as soon as I did, I felt ashamed of myself. It is so not me to dwell in pain, just for the sake of dwelling in pain. The Ryan that I know of, sees the good in any kind of adversity. ANY. Even when everybody else's hopes have failed. The Ryan that I know of is strong and resilient enough to face any scourge and come out a better, wiser, more loving person. The Ryan that I know of knows that every grief, like all else in this world, shall pass; but the lessons he has learned from them will forever be his guiding force.

And this, in itself is big enough to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Some more thanks:
  • Verna (my wife) and Miro - for not giving up on convincing me to go out with them tonight so I can unwind.
  • Rush - my new favorite straight guy; for his unexpected offer to listen
  • Belle - for being my impromptu shock absorber
  • Jesse - for still caring, after all that's been said and done.
  • Adi - for his messages on that never fail to make me smile (and blush.)
  • Kuya Law - for offering a listening ear and a prayer

Good Night, Compromise!

I still believe that in ANY kind of human relationship, compromise is be the most important component to make it work. I don't believe in the "this is me, you've got to accept me for what I am" principle. Of course, it would be preposterous to ask somebody to change for you --- to conform to your values and fit your prototype of a friend. Or parent. Or sibling. Or significant other. Or whatever. And it would be equally ridiculous to overhaul yourself to be accepted by other people.

We all have different values. And moods. And quirks. That's a given. Blame it on upbringing, or education, or ethnic background, or astrology. The only way to reconcile these differences is by compromising. Every human relationship grows upon that foundation.

So.. how does one deal when the other party seems to be refusing to compromise? When he feels that it's unfair that the other person isn't putting as much energy to make their association work? How?

I say, blog it out and sleep on it. And hope that tomorrow, things will be better.

Good night, Hong Kong!


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Something To Ponder On

photo credit: Entheos

Rainbow Connection
written by Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher
originally performed by Kermit the Frog in The Muppet Movie in 1979

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
and what's on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
and rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we've been told and some choose to believe it.
I know they're wrong, wait and see.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Who said that every wish would be heard
and answered when wished on the morning star?
Somebody thought of that and someone believed it.
Look what it's done so far.
What's so amazing that keeps us star gazing
and what do we think we might see?
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

All of us under its spell.
We know that it's probably magic.
Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices?
I've heard them calling my name.
Is this the sweet sound that called the young sailors.
The voice might be one and the same.
I've heard it too many times to ignore it.
It's something that I'm supposed to be.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Bonne Vacance (Podcasting In Manila)


The Dan & Rye Show Pinas Podcast/ Grand EB

  • June 29 2007
  • 8pm
  • Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Bonifacio High Street

With Joel McVie, the ever-reliable (more proof on his reliability on the next parts of the Bonne Vacance series) TD&RS friend-slash-future-EP, in his car on the way to Bonifacio High Street

With Dan's sponsors, our good friends Gilbert, DJ Toy Armada of Bed, and hairstylist extraordinaire Ney

With Baklang AJ, Tony (I felt being haunted by HK everytime I looked at hi. But he was cute, nonetheless), Chris and Gibbs. The troikasters would've been complete had the mysterious Migs decided to join.

Smiles of Relief. After our pinaka-nakaka-conscious na pagpo-podcast ever! Joel thinks it was an exercise to prepare us for TV. Hello! Online advertisers nga wala pa kami noh!

The people who made that evening a very special one for us. Certified kasuys! (ang cheap nung "certified") Sayang... Philip, who suggested Bonifacio High Street to be the venue couldn't make it. Many, many thanks to all of you!

Our most heartfelt gratitude to Joel McVie for organizing this gathering and for picking up our bill! Hehehe!

And while we're at it, here is Part 3 of the Pinas Podcast:

...will be continued.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Winter Na!

S2 Ep18 "Winter Na!" of TD& RS, Out Now!

In the tradition of the "Summer Na!" ep of Season 1, dan and rye bring you their welcome to winter episode.

Plus very, very special announcements towards the end of the show.

Don’t forget to email us your comments, shout-outs, suggestions, etc. You can now leave your comments in our page too! and also, please join our yahoo group.

Enjoy the show, mga kasuy!


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Accidental Lesson On Frankness

One of the things my friends love about me is my courage to speak my mind and deliver cold facts the way they are and not the way they want them to hear. I can be brutally frank when the need to be arises. I can give it hard and strong when I'm asked for it, and I make no excuses. The underlying principle being, I want my friends to be harshly honest to me as well.

Yesterday at lunch, I overheard my friends from work talking about some family matters. One of them, wanting to vent, opened up to the group an sms that he received in the morning that made him upset. And of course, when one opens up a predicament to a group of highly-opiniated and loquacious people, he consequently opens himself up to a plethora of thoughts and sentiments --- some useful, others just an utter waste of time.

What caught my attention was how our friend, Julie, before delivering her piece, said "I know this is mean, but come to think of it..."

Come to think of it, brutal frakness and harsh honesty are good when they serve their purpose (which often do, so long as the recipient has a broad understanding and mature sensibility); but given the proper prologue, it can be less painful --- less harsh and less brutal, without diminishing its meaning. It's like having your dentist tell you before he extracts that rotting molar, "This will hurt. But it will do you good." He prepares you for the pain. Then it doesn't hurt as much as you'd expected it to.

Simon Cowell, the lord of brutal frakness

And come to think of it, I never did that. I was never that considerate dentist. Come to think of it even further, I never really considered until now that brutal isn't the only adjective apt to modify frankness.

Come to think of it, I came to think of it.


Friday, November 16, 2007

This Is The Day That The Lord Has Made start my diet.

I'm still carrying all that fat, sodium and extra carbs from my trip back home. I have 7 days to lose all that. I can do it. I could lose all the extra pounds I wanted to lose in 3 days, back when I was still dancing with Ballte Philippines. 7 days = piece of cake.

Today, the 7-day diet program begins.

Bonne Vacances (Manila Part1)


October 26 07.

As soon as I got my luggage from the antiquated carousel, I received an sms from Ricky saying he was gonna be a few minutes late because he got stuck in traffic at The Fort area. I quite expected that. It was a Sunday and I was in Manila. So I excused myself from Rems and decided to move to a less crowded place to have a ciggy. There were no No Smoking signs around and people there were a few men in sight smoking. I thought it was ok. Towards my last three puffs, I saw a security person and politley asked, "Manong, san pwede magtapon nito (Sir, where can I throw this)?" referring to my cigarette butt.

"Dyan. (Right there.)" He pointed to the ground.

It made me smile. Haaaaaaaaaaay! Manila! With the utmost conviction and the biggest smile, I dropped the cigarette butt to the ground. I was home.

Few minutes later, Ricky arrived. It felt a little bit odd that he and my mom were having more conversation in the car than he and I. It felt wonderful that they were able to preserve the admirable in-law relationship I had always wanted them to have, despite the break-up. Along EDSA, Ricky instructed Rems to reach for a paper bag that was hidden under the backseat.

"San ko to ilalagay (Where will I put this)?", Rems asked.

"Buksan mo. Para sa yo yan. (Open it. It's for you.)"

Rems obliged gigglingly. It was a box that contained a 6-inch Buddha icon, a book on Buddhism, and some incense sticks. She was ecstatic when she thanked Ricky. Ricky only replied with a smile that beamed with contentment.

The drive to Cubao from the Domestic Airport wasn't as exhausting as I had expected. When we got there, I just dropped off my luggage, said my hellos to my cousins and to my Siamese cat, Petipa, and started heading to Tita Mike & Tito Augie's cozy antique- and wooden furniture-adorned apartment for the homecoming dinner that they threw for me.


Quarter to 8, Ricky and I were by their gate, buzzing them when Tito Eric (Ex Ed-in-Chief of FHM, Pump and Maxim, and is currently working on the Philippine franchise of an international magazine) arrived with a box of kakanin for dessert.

Tito Augie (Palanca Awardee and one of QTV's most in-demand writers) opened the gate and greeted me with a very warm "Kumusta? (How are you?)" I replied with a one-liner and ran to the house to see Tita Mike ( Caronia's Marketing Direcor, who is responsible for its new brand image). Tita Mike's gentle voice (that I always thought never matched her wicked humor) almost shrieked when she saw me as I entered the kitchen where she was making her specialty: Kalderetang Tisay. I never left the dining table after our besos. I sat there, salivating, impatiently waiting for the rest of the group to arrive. Few minutes later, Tito Chito (probably QTV's busiest Segment Producer) arrived, followed by Tito Elmer (playwright and Tito Augie's QTV sparring partner). A few sighs of impatience later, Tita Mike laid on the table a bowl or Portebello mushrooms --- the last addition to the evening's menu and dinner began.

Later on, Tito Blaise (ex Ed-in-Chief of Star Studio magazine, currently finishing his M.A.) arrived with a gallon of caramel ice cream. I joined him at the dining table where we talked about my career goals and my life in HK. Just as he was about to finish eating, Tita Ge (stage-slash-soap opera actress-slash-stage manager-slash accounts executive-slash-kumare-slash-slash) arrived from an event with two other good friends Mira and Cara (stage managers extraordinaire-slash-drinking buddies) and Cara's uber charming kid, Dex.

It was an evening filled with good (good is such an understatement) food, corpulent laughters, witty remarks, intelligent discussions, hilarious anecdotes, stories of disturbing curses, and lots of catching up. None of them ever asked about the Ricky and me story.

I was in that apartment for more than 4 hours with successful, intelligent people who cared not the slightest about my politics (or the lack thereof) --- people who had strong opinions to say but never were too busy talking to listen to mine. They are Ricky's friends --- the people whom I've come to love as my own friends and who have accepted me as one of theirs, no matter what has become of Ricky and me. It felt tremendously good to be with them once again.

I was home.

At around 1am, the party was over.

Sitting at the passenger's seat, I was asked by Ricky what I wanted to do. Where I wanted to go. I was too shy to say "Take me home." And I didn't have the heart to lie and say "Bring me home."

"Nagdala kang gamit? (Did you bring any of your stuff?)", he asked.

"Hindi. (No.)"

Then he started driving towards the direction of Rems' place in Murphy. The heavy rain poured down all of a sudden. In my head, I was thinking with all my might how I could manipulate him into inviting me to sleep over in Monte Vista. We were two blocks away from Remi's and there was nothing I could think of.

He stopped in front of Remi's gate and asked whether I brought the keys. I didn't. I took out my mobile and started calling Rems so that she could open the gate for me. I hadn't gotten off the car because the rain was heavy. I was counting the rings. Five rings and I would hang up. That would already be an excuse to sleep over. But Rems picked up on the fourth. "Nandito na ko, ma. Pabukas ng pintuan. (I'm here already, mom. Please open the door.)"

"Anong gagawin mo bukas? (What are you doing tomorrow?)" he asked.

"Wala. Yung podcast lang sa gabi. (Nothing. We only have the podcast planned in the evening.)", I said still hoping for an invitation.

That's how it all started almost three years ago. It was around 2am, we
just left a bar in Timog and he was driving me home. Somewhere along C5, he
asked, "Mag-mo-morning show ka bukas? (Are you doing a show tomorrow

"Hindi. (No.)", I answered excitedly.

He unfastened his seatbelt and reached for me on the passenger's side.
He kissed me. I reciprocated. Then he pulled back and made a u-turn.

After a moment of waiting, and hoping, he said "Bye. Good night."

I said my goodbye without turning to look at him. I was afraid it might be difficult to resist kissing him.

...will be continued.