Thursday, May 31, 2007

For A Friend We Would Call "Cynical"

the following entry was written and published on my Multiply site on April 10, '07.

It might happen again. But then again, it might not.

If you go on being cynical about love and people, you could lose your chance at a wonderful relationship. What’s the worst thing that could happen anyway if you gave it a try and it didn’t work out? A broken heart, shattered fantasies and a bruised ego. Hey, that’s not bad at all! Remember that these three things are exactly what made you a stronger person in such a short period of time. If you find yourself dealing with them again, so what? One can never be too strong. Or resilient.

One more point. Just because one person wasn’t the right one for you doesn’t mean nobody else can be. Especially, I don’t think it is right to measure a “potential future” against a “failed past” based on how they differ or are alike in areas such as hair length, body art, physique and geographic origin. They could very much differ in 3 major aspects: wisdom, maturity and values --- the only aspects that really matter when it comes to human relationships. (Objections, anyone? None? Good!)

Bottomline is this: The trail of broken hearts that we would find when we look back on the path we have walked upon should, I think, serve as lessons as we venture in the future. They are our guide. They should make us stronger. They should not limit us or bind us from trying again.

When a dancer makes his first failed pirouette, no teacher will tell him to not do pirouettes EVER in his life because trying another pirouette will just frustrate him. Instead, a sound teacher will point out to him why his center was off right from the plie. And a sound dancer will keep practicing his pirouettes keeping in mind how to do it right. And as he keeps progressing, he will make more mistakes, and discover more lessons, thus making his pirouettes cleaner, more centered and musical. There could never be a perfect pirouette. But somehow, he will find a way to do his pirouettes the way his body is comfortable with it. Eventually, there will be no more crash landings, but swift, clean, stable and graceful finish, be it in fourth, fifth, or segueing to a temps levee, with a well-coordinated epaulee and the perfect “Main Theater” smile.

So, Cynical.. Instead of trying to elude romance, like a student who’d feign dizziness when it’s centerwork for pirouettes, why not take the risk again till you learn to finish gracefully?

Love, I believe, is a wonderful experience, no matter what. Why proceed with too much caution? And more importantly, why not consider proceeding even?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

(Ep15) "Hey Dude, Pa-Kiss" of TD&RS, Out Now!

Ep.15, “hey dude, pa-kiss”, of TD&RS is out now!

Rye relates Eternal Summer, opening film of last year’s Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, to an episode of Dan’s life.

“Subaybayan” ang exciting new segment… Huyaganakolshet!

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!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Not At All.

It's how you use it that matters to me.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

It's Been A Hard Day's Night

Dan, Chris and I went out (after a long while) last night. It was fun and (as Keith Mitchell would put it..) retarded. With slurred speech and supermodel-walk, we got home just a few minutes before the first rays of sun hit HK. As expected, I went to work with a big hang over. So did Chirs. Lucky Dan slept in until 6pm.

After doing 2 shows, 2 dance classes, 2 full-out runs of Julie's "Lately" choreography, and spending a whole trip home with talkative Ayi, all I wanted to do was sleep as soon as I open my bedroom door. Just not in the mood anymore for anything. Well, unitl I went online and saw three wonderful responses to my blog entires from three equally wonderful people. Here they are:

peej said... (on "Just A Little Dose of Patriotism", Blogspot)
i fell silent too...
the eloquence and truth is very rye.
happiness despite adversity... very filipino
beautiful insight!

m a i (on "Sina Mai, Chris at Julie: AMAZING!", thru Friendster)
Posted 27/05/2007
the metal nuggets, the gadgets, the outfits, and the shopping spree may all be new and exciting to me, but what you and mom have been thinking about me now is what thrills me the most. i love you and i love the way i am now. thanks for inspiring me to leave my comfortable but not affluent life in manila. i have now come in good terms with the universe and myself.

dtsalvanajr wrote today at 7:10 AM (on "A Reflection On Julius Ebreo's Blog, Et Al.", Multiply)
Rye keeps his recipe for his menudo a secret - he even closes the door of our kitchen when he cooks menudo. I tried several times to ask him what's his secret, but he never told me until that day when he had to ask me to cook his recipe because he did not have the luxury of time to prepare his menudo for his "special friend's" farewell party... and so he didn't have any choice but to reveal the secret to me and made me promise not to tell anyone. Upon knowing, I realized Rye's secret was so simple, yet it creates a very delicious version of menudo. Just like Rye - a flamboyant, expressive and colorful individual who brightens the day of many people around him, be it at work or on a yacht full of strangers. And his creative juices just keeps on flowing! Just like his menudo, beneath Rye's dynamic persona is a simple secret - a recipe I can not tell anyone, but I'm sure anyone can tell.

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayy! Sarap ng buhay!

Saturday, May 26, 2007


I got my name in lights with

Count Me In!

It's been a while since I joined a group that really got me excited about. is "a way to encourage more gay bloggers to actively participate in the blogging world". I would love to participate.

Please count me in!

*check out my "other ryeness-owned and ryeness-favorite sites for links to Pinoy Gay Blogs and other sites related to it.

A Reflection On Julius Ebreo's Blog, Et Al.

In his recent blog entry entitled “Chris’s Binagoongan, Rye’s Menudo & Dan’s Bistik” (, Julius hardly ever mentioned anything about our cooking but definitely said a lot about the way people perceive all 3 of us as individuals.

It seems to me that despite the wide variety of dishes we three (four, including Julius) are capable of making, these three stand out to be our own trademark recipes. The reason is not that these are what we make most often, but that these are what people equate our personalities with.

Chris’s Binagoongan, for example, has the balanced qualities of extreme saltiness and extreme sweetness. He keeps his culinary interpretation of Pork Binagoongan minimalist. Unlike the elaborate versions one could find in Filipino specialty restaurants, the only non-pork ingredient he includes are subtlely-flavored, separately-fried eggplants. So there are basically just 4 flavors one can experience in his binagoongan: that of the shrimp paste, of the pork, of the eggplant, and of the sugar. Only four, but in a heightened, emphatic fashion. The same is true with Chris’s personality. He has very few moods – fun, child-like, artistic and bitchy. What you see is what you get. No hidden agenda, no pretensions. Only four, but in a heightened, emphatic fashion.

Dan’s Bistik is characterized by a heady tug-o-war between citrusy sourness and soy saltiness and a sweet-piquant hint of white onions. Much like his Bistik, Dan is a typical Gemini: interestingly bi-polar. He can be the wildest, craziest person in the room one minute and be an uptight prude the next. He can sing “Someone Like You” to his heart’s content at 7:00pm and be talking to me about the pitfalls of falling in love again at 9. Very few people know that beneath Dan’s cynical, jaded fa├žade is a sweet, loyal person who’d go the extra mile and sacrifice his own comforts for a friend.

My Menudo is just delicious. Period. Very much like me. Dare to cotradict?!?


Last night, Jason celebrated his birthday at a rest-house by Pui O Beach. We had good food, an overflowing supply of alcohol, good company, good music, and a venue to be artistically free and look like idiots (photos: It couldn’t have gotten any better.

At one point, everybody started picking up his own percussive instrument and our musician friends started improvising words. Chris and I started a dance impro and Dan (well, as always...) started taking pictures.

Free dinner was all i wanted to take advantage of. Then we all got high --- a natural one caused by the best and most effective narcotic: music. Intense!

When I was 14, I used to listen to Alanis Morrisette a lot. One of the most indelible lines she ever sang was, “There’s a black fly in your Chardonnay…”, which I didn’t really understand back then. Hell, I didn’t even know what Chardonnay was.

Just tonight, I realized how bad she might have felt singing those words. Coz there’s a black fly in my Chardonnay. Literally.
Isn't it ironic? Don't you think?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Just A Little Dose of Patriotism

The other night, Kelly, one of my ex-pat friends in HK, hosted cocktails at his place for Buddha's birthday. I was the third guest to arrive at 8:30. Half an hour later, his apartment was packed with 19 gay men talking about the HK public transport system, economics, tax, politics, shoes, arts, etc. I was the youngest in the group --- and the only Asian.

Later that evening, Kelly announced that he and his friend Philip (yeah.. I think that was his friend's name. I'm not so sure though), who was visiting from Canada, were going to Borneo the following day and would be vacationing there for a week. That announcement initiated a very interesting general conversation about travel. I wouldn't consider myself a well-travelled person. I share the same interest that they have on travel and culture but I am not so immersed as any of them are. The only places I've been to, outside the Philippines are France, Malaysia, Singapore and HK. So I found the conversation very engaging. In fact, too engaging that I didn't realize I was drinking faster than I normally would.

I asked the room, "Has anyone of you ever been to the Philippines?" Only two, out of 18, answered affirmatively. Hugh, an Aussie international school teacher said, "But I really, really wanna go and see the Philippines soon. What are your recommendations?"

I said that if anyone of them was going to the Philippines for the first time, they should see Boracay, Palawan or Bohol first before Manila. I shamelessly said that they need to fall in love with the Philippines first before they see its capital. I was asked why I thought they wouldn't fall in love with the Philippines if they saw Manila first. I said that's not what I meant. I just thought that in doing so, they'd fall deeper in love with the people. I said sometihng like, "First, you have to see how beautiful the Philippines is at its finest. Then you go and see the city and you feel like you're in a totally different world. Manila is dirty and crowded and noisy and polluted. You can practically smell, taste, hear, see and feel poverty everywhere. But all that is part of Manila's charm." The room laughed and asked why. Then I said, "Because that's what makes you realize how poor a nation we really are. And yet, we are among the happiest peoples in the world. And then you ask yourself why and how we are able to do that. But there are no answers. We just are."

The room fell silent.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sina Mai, Chris at Julie: AMAZING!

Rye to Chris (via sms) : "Tapos na ni Julie yung "Lately". Ang susunod daw nyang project, Chris & Rye duet :-)"

Chris to Rye (via sms) : "I love it! Looking forward with matching excitement on the side."

Thank you, Julie. Life with you is a never-ending downpour of creative rain from the heavens.

The way my brother, Mai, has matured over the past 6 months truly amazes me. He CHOSE to leave his not-affluent-but-already-comfortable life in Manila hoping to find means to make our mom's life even more comfortable. But he didn't find what he was looking for at once. He went through extreme poverty and danger. There were times when I didn't know which to ask God to bless him with first: a job, or enough strength so that he may not be defeated by self-pity.

If the past six months was a test of his faith and determination, he deserves an exemption from the next tests Life has to offer. If it was his own way to prove us wrong when we didn't want him to go and we thought he might come back home a big failure with an enormous load of debts on our shoulders, we humbly but delightfully admit now that we were wrong.

I remember when we were kids, all Mai really wished for was to have little metal nuggets attached to his teeth. He found it posh and cute. Our family dentist thought he was too young to have those. In high school, he discovered they were called "braces" and he just wanted them even more. But that time, our family wasn't doing well financially anymore and we couldn't afford it.

Now, he has them. And they came from his hard-earned (super hard-earned, I must say) first paycheck that was 5 months in the making. 5 months, god-knows-how-many buckets of tears, never-ending prayers, and tremendous amounts of faith, hope, determination, courage and strength. I saw the picture that he posted on Friendster (which can be found on the right) that he captioned "John Robert Powers smile". I'm still thinking of a cuter, wittier caption I could suggest to him to replace that with. I'm sure Remi would suggest "Smile of Success". And she'd be proud that Mai was able to afford his braces without bugging her for a cent. He deserves that reward more than he thinks. And thank heavens for his braces, he has finally him lose some weight.


Chris has arrived.

Just before I started writing this entry, I saw his comments on "Rainy Day As It Should Be" and "On Being Busy (Or Otherwise)" on Multiply. His comment on "Rainy.." was touching. It was a delight for me to receive and read it.
His comment on "Being Busy.." was cute! Copied-and-apsted from my Multiply account:

"on being busy" ...... im coming over right now w/a bottle of vodka..... see u in 30mins.
And so here he is now, in less than 30 minutes, right after I talked to Dan about how amazed I am at how more coherent Chris's wiritng is than mine and yet he remains inferior about that skill of his, fixing our drinks for the night.
Julie wrote her "Ode To My Bunion" Beautiful is such an understatement for her written composition. She is just something else! She dances, teaches, choreographs, cooks, sings and writes. And she does everything with so much passion and panache.
I am experiencing a scarcity of adjectives as I write this entry. Amazing seems to be my word for the day.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Rainy Day As It Should Be

Today, just like the two days that passed, it rained. Today, unlike the two days that passed, I was able to feed my artistic hunger and nourish that part of me that needed to be nourished.

I took Chris's contemporain classe which I enjoyed so much because this genre is something out of Chris's comfort zone. He is just beginning to transcend his fascination on contemporary dance and transform it to love. And I am very happy to be part of his exploration on contemporary dance. I love it that he is now able to translate his ideas into a movement vocabulary that's totally different from that which he grew up with. I admire him for his drive that never wanes. He has progressed amazingly fast and there's just a lot more to learn out there. And he knows it. And he's very eager to learn more. Bravo, Crith!

Later in the afternoon, I joined Julie's lyircal jazz class. She continued the class combination from where we left off yesterday, which truly challenged everything in me: stamina, athleticism, center, flexibility, speed, pick-up, artistry. Just about everything I have learned and developed in my years of training as a dancer. In short, she challenged my "being" a dancer.

Doing Julie's combination (which was practically the whole of Stevie Wonder's "Lately") made me recollect on my days with Enrico Labayen as his student. Rico used to call me "Balance Queen" because, modesty aside, staying sur les demi-pointe (for my non-dancer friends, sur les demi-pointe means "tippy-toe", as shown in the image on the right) in any position on either leg is, for me, a piece of cake. And he referred to that as my "sacred place". In his classes and choreographies, he even gave me the license to stay in my sacred place however long I wish and just catch up on my steps whenever I decide to come down.

I smiled in class today when I remembered the summer when I learned a solo piece that he created for himself which was supposed to be his swan song (image on the left shows Rico doing this piece). It didn't turn out to be such because it won him another choreographic award and he was asked to do it in various festivals and major dance concerts all over the world. There was a moment in the piece where I was supposed to go on attitude derriere sur les demi-pointe (image shown on the right shows the attitude derriere position; of course my line isn't as beautiful as that, but that's how it's done). In one of our rehearsals, I stayed in that position thrice as long as I should. I was just there, unmovable, in a meditative state, loving every second of it. That run ended in an emotional breakdown --- something I've never experienced before that moment, and something I've never experienced again since then.

I sort of reconnected with my "sacred Place" again after a long while in Julie's "Lately" combination. Towards the end of the chorus, where Stevie sings "...Coz this time could mean good-bye..", we were asked to stay in this almost-grotesque position (attitude front on a lay-back) for one whole bar while swaying subtely right and left.. almost like this picture below but on a straight supporting leg.

Was it easy? No, not like before, I must admit. But I did it somehow. And Teacher Julie commended me for that! :-)

Tomorrow, it will be raining again. And Julie will be finishing the last few bars left unchoreographed. I might be needing another one whole day to learn the whole dance by heart. By Wednesday, whether by the artistic juices that will come out of me if God decides to send us some rain, or by the stored artistic drive I gathered from yesterday's downpour, I will dance it the way I did Enrico Labayen's "Butterfly". From the silence of my soul.

Ep.13, “Fab Vocab”, of TD&RS is out now!

Ep.13, “Fab Vocab”, of TD&RS is out now!

dan and rye educate us on Gay Terms and Their Hidden Meanings. Fun!

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!

on being busy (or otherwise)

these are chris, julius and dan.

chris is the youngest of us four. he is often bored and is always trying to find ways to make his life more exciting. he is now the only non-chinese dance program scholar of the City Contemporary Dance Company (CCDC) here in HK. besides his weekly dance classes at CCDC, he manages to squeeze in latin dance classes 2-3 times a week in his already-busy schedule. he wants to enrol in a crash course on hairstyling and make-up at toni ang guy.

julius flew to london 2 weeks ago to be with his boyfriend, nigel. they will marry on may 31. julius spends his days in london taking dance classes and auditioning for different dance projects while working as a bar-tender in a posh gay bar there.

dan is the oldest of us four. his days off are something he looks forward to. he works his ass off and downloads films and tv series during the week then finishes them all on his days off. ALL of them. on top of that, he still finds time to jog and make dinner during those days. he records our podcast with me on wednesday and saturday nights. tonight, we barely talked since i got home because he is busy doing his thing. but we will attend to our podcast as soon as i finish writing this entry. he is also my flatmate.

we call ourselves nutmeg, almond, walnut and coco. our friends (and detractors) call us the swarovskis.

this is verna. she is an honorary swarovski. she just recently fell in love again and she spends most of her time with her lucky boyfriend --- cooking, chatting, being cute and all that. we haven't had the chance to hang out since she changed her friendstr and myspace status to "in a relationship".

they are all busy. they all have something worthwhile to do with their lives. and they all agree that i have an addictive personality.

i call that passionate.

it just feels weird right now that i seem to have lost all my passions. i need one, pronto! maybe a new hobby, a new project or a new love interest. i just need something to direct my extra energies to.

lord, please give me one. AMEN.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

31 Hours and 15 Minutes Of Melancholia

A few hours before lunch yesterday, the summer rain started to trickle down on Lantau Island, which, in a few minutes was drenched by the heavy downpour that became of the drizzle. I love the rain. I find it very poetic. And it brings back so many memories from my happy childhood. When it rains, I feel a plethora of potent emotions that just propel me to write, or dance or just create something that at least I would consider artistic. The heavier the rain, the more varied and intense the emotions that I feel.

The rain that started around 10am yesterday continued until it lulled me to a deep slumber, and continued even more until I woke up at 6 this morning to see a friend off at the airport. Even more until after my second show for the day. It could've been an opportune time to finish a few projects I have started --- or start a new one. But it has been a very busy month for me, with all the friends that come to HK to visit and the friends that leave us for another city, whom we've been exhausting all means to spend each possible second with.

Today's departure will be the last for this month. After 6 visits to airport this month (arrival and departure together), I am just exhausted right now. So today, despite the calling of the Universe to create, I just laid low. I chose to focus on melancholia, among all the other emotions that I've been feeling since yesterday, because it is that which requires the least amount of physical energy. I may not have been able to create something today, but I relished every moment of my wallowing in melancholia. It will be my inspiration to do what I postponed to do today when I am more physically capable.

I just need to rest for now. But with all the inspiration I have gathered and stored from the rain yesterday and today, I will be ready to challenge myself artistically again in a few days. Rain or shine.

Ok, kid.. You might find this weird. Coz I did.
My melancholic episode ended abruptly when you called. Your 1 min. 44 sec.-call made me smile and I just couldn't stop smiling until now.
weird, huh? it's ok, though. I love this certain kind of weirdness. :-)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Tony Bennett and Barbra Streisand Revive "Smile"

…and at some point, they said “Smile, what’s the use of crying?”

Well, as far as I know, there are published scientific evidences that crying is beneficial. I just never researched on them that’s why I can’t enumerate them, or at least name one. On a more personal perspective, I think that it is sound to cry every once in a while. If smiling is the yin, crying is the yang. And it is unhealthy to not have that balance.

Also, as an artist, it is important for me to feel pain, or sorrow, or despair, or any emotion for that matter that can trigger tears. I can’t speak for other “artists” but for me, it is experiences like this that keep my creative juices flowing continuously. They serve as my inspiration and guide in nourishing the “babies” I birthed.

I believe too, that allowing tears to flow gives way to re-examining of values and ultimately, self-empowerment. The more one cries, the more he questions. Then, the more lessons he will gain out of the experience.

But what happens when, the mind knows that crying is the right thing to do, but the eyes just won’t cooperate?

I need to cry. I’ve been masturbating my tears over the past 3 days. I should be crying, but nothing is happening.

--written and published on on April 9, 2007

One Carnival Experience

the following entry was written and published on April 8, 2007 and came out in the "letters" section of HK Magazine on APril 13.

In terms of Carnival Culture, our generation can well be defined by one of our favorite rides --- the bumper cars. I’ve just recently been to the AIA World Carnival and, true enough, the bumper cars were one of the favorites because the attraction catered to almost everybody. It was neither too daring for the frail-hearted who couldn’t do the near-death-experience rides nor too boring for the thrill-seekers. After a little over an hour of waiting, I found myself immersed in the chaos, that was one of the bumper cars’ most inviting features. Everyone was just having a blast slamming his car into other people’s and it seemed that the bumping arena was the only place in the carnival where solidarity was present. Strangers just kept screaming and laughing at each other to add fun to what may seem to be a bit of danger. It was amazing how much of a ball people could get from free-for-all chaos. Having witnessed and experienced all this, I just couldn’t help but ask myself: “Are we a generation of closet anarchists?”


After a little over two years of not even signing in to my Blogger account, someone -- a very dear friend, Dan -- has finally persuaded to me continue writing my blogs. Well, I have been writing them, but he pointed out that it would be better if I had all of them contained in one "legitimate" blogging site, as opposed to publishing some on my Multiply account, some on Myspace and some on Friendster.

So this entry marks the resurrection of the "can't you read?" blog. And just so I fulfill the purpose of centralizing all my blog entries, I am posting here the blogs that I've written elsewhere over the past couple of weeks.

To my old readers, if you're still there and interested, welcome back to my blogs. To my new ones (if there is any...) welcome! :-)