Monday, November 05, 2007

The Halloween Ball 2007

poster layout by me; photo credit: jojo mamangun

The Annual Halloween Ball is probably the most awaited event amongst our colleagues here in HK. First, because it's the only annual event where friends from different departments come together in one big party; second, because it's the only time of the year where everybody has an excuse to live their fantasies; and third, because it just keeps getting better every year.

In 2005, the first time we had such, everybody just came as someone. Or something. It didn't matter how simple or elaborate the costumes (or the make-ups) were. As long as one came in costume, he was in. Dan, Chris and I didn't get to discuss, even in passing, what to wear. Somehow, we found ourselves about an hour before midnight dressed as whores --- all three of us --- in different characters and personas. Dan was the sweet whore. If he were to do a number that night, the most apt for him would be "I'm seventeen and I'm new here today..." from Miss Saigon. Chris was classy; the type that only hotel magnates and business tycoons could afford. His song would be Madonna's "Material Girl". I was a hard sell --- very in-your-face and a little bit campy. The type who would give head in exchange of a pack of Marlboro reds. My song would be "I Work Hard For The Money". At one point, all three of us were pushed to the middle of the bar, posing for more than half an hour for the cameras. That's when we knew people were gonna expect something from us in the coming years.

i was skinny enough to fit in a woman's lingerie bought off-the-rack

i was told to put on my trousers because the red girl panty i was wearing was too scandalous

In 2006, we heard that the gorgeous muscle men from the other show were coming in drag. Most of them were caucasians --- they had gorgeous noses, amazing facial structure, and soft features. They'd be really beautiful women. Those of them who weren't caucasians were gorgeous, nonetheless. What's worse (for us): they were straight. They'd sell more. So we thought there was no better way to compete than to compete as a triumvirate with a concept. It didn't matter how profound or lame the concept was. We were pressed for time. We just had to have a concept that people will dig without having to think hard. That gave birth to the Filipinas Airlines --- Malena, Raymunda and Viveca --- in full gear, complete with pins and suitcases.

This year, we were expecting a bigger attendance since the Parade team decided not to have their own Halloween celebration and merge with us, like in 2005. As early as the third week of September, people were starting to ask me where and when exactly the party would be. We hadn't really closed a deal then but we were already telling people it would be either on October 31st, or November 1st; just to assure them that there would indeed be one. People were excited. Everybody was already talking about what to come as, when at that time, the hot flyer that was circulating was for my birthday party. People who never participated in the past were already having their costumes made and the rest were already starting to shop around for accessories and make up. Dan and I were scheduled leave for the Philippines on October 24th to attend Jing's wedding in Cebu, and weren't gonna be back until the 30th (Dan extended his vacation to the 31st). October 22rd, we still hadn't decided which of our 3 options was the best choice. There was only one thing we knew for sure: this year was gonna be all about flamboyance. The straight boys, led by Ralion Alonzo and styled by Desiree Guico-Alonzo, were gonna come as the Spartans from 300 while their girlfriends were gonna dress as greek goddesses. The caucasian muscle boys would be greek gods in tiny pieces of clothing that would reveal their mouth-watering bulges and cuts. Five of our fag friends grouped together to come as Earth, Fire, Water, Air and the Fifth Element. Our other friends who decided to come in drag were coming in drag with brilliant concepts. There were gonna be impersonations, parodies, angels and demons (of course), cartoon characters, and funny, sexy & whimsical themes. Wigs, feather boas, ostrich feathers, sequins, falsies, leather, tulle, satin, face paint, prosthetics, and almost every imaginable bling bling and accoutrements that was available in the market. Everybody was just willing to give extra effort (and money) to participate in the revelry. And there wasn't even an award for the best costume.

yes, i said prosthetics

one of them muscle men

the spartans on the train to the party caused quite a stir

hoku was dashing, dressed as goku but was sumptuous after taking off the shirt later in the evening, leaving only the yellow anime wig; car would've been perfect in her tutu if she only did away with the ballroom dancer projection; pui yi was very glamorous as nina wang

foxy brittany dressed as a belly dancer and greg, another one of them muscle men

(l-r) the BEAUTIFUL Elements: Benjie (air), Gil (water), Josh (fire), Rowell (the Fifth Element), Amon (earth)

uh-huh! prosthetics
Flying out of HK on the evening of the 23rd without coming to a final decision, we left Chris the burden of deciding for us, canvassing, shopping, designing and making the costumes.

Dan and I came back to HK from the Philippines days later, each with a sad story to tell, not quite feeling the party vibe. But seeing the final output of Chris's project just made us itch to get to Lan Kwai Fong the soonest we could on the night of the party. We both agreed that it was a smart decision to leave Chris to take charge.

uhmm... did i say flamboyance was the name of the game?

Rye: "Dan, ang lamig!"
Dan: "Oo nga, nakalimutan nating simula na ng winter."

Belle decided to cover her 6-pack abs and came as Nacho Libre

The Best Disguise Award goes to RM

It was 2am. Rye has decided to remove his 3-ton headdress that injured 148 people and killed 19. He took a moment to reflect on what has happened to his life. And the only thing he had the courage and strength to say was: "San Miguel, look what you've done to my tummy."