Saturday, December 20, 2008

Remembering My LK Family This Christmas*

*originally published on Facebook
The 2007 LK Christmas Video

---a tradition that i, together with my friends verna & dan,
are proud to have been part of---

i know some of you will not believe this, because over the years, i've somehow earned the reputation of being a bitch without a cause, but i miss you immensely, my LK family! and this one's for all of you this christmas.

**as we all know, FB has a limit as to how many people can be tagged in one entry. as much as i would like to tag each and every person that has been part of LK since day 1 to this very moment, it is impossible. the tagged persons here were picked following a certain criteria:

  • is he/she talkative enough to spread the word? if yes, tag.
  • is he/she romantically involved with another LK cast member? if yes, tag, so that the partner doesn't have to be tagged.
  • is he close to rye, who uploaded the video? if yes, tag. self-explanatory.

so please don't feel bad if u weren't tagged. it was a difficult process just tagging people. and to those who've been tagged, please share.

merry christmas again and love y'all! (well, not all. but most of you. and what, just because it's christmas i can't be honest? people already think i'm a bitch anyway. might as well live up to expectations. *insert evil laughter here*)

Friday, December 19, 2008

And I Ejaculated

Ok, so I was catching up on 3 weeks' worth of internet task backlogs while listening to the OST of Il Postino (deciding which track I will use for my performance engagement on Sunday), when, from my headphones, I started hearing short, faint beeps. About four of them. I got a bit panicky, because I knew for sure they weren't from Julia Roberts's reading of "Poor Fellows". I then clicked on all the 8 tabs that I had opened to check where the peculiar (but awfully familiar) beeps were coming from.

I found out that a good friend of mine, whom we will refer to as "VF", had started a chat session with me. Reading what she had written almost felt like hearing her say the actual words spoken three octaves higher than her normal speaking voice. Kilig. Wotir wotir. Nagtutubig.

Then she shared the e-love letter that she recently received from a gentleman she's been spending a little of her time with. After reading it, all I could type was---

Tomorrow na reaction ko dyan.

Because I was fucking lost for words! And how would I not be? As soon as my sight landed on the first word of the letter, my Itunes started playing "The Postman (Guitar and Bandoneon Version)". And, just a beat after the word "key", I ejaculated.

Without asking her for permission, I decided to post the letter on my blog---

I went to a wedding today. Many guys from Disneyland. My friend J was getting married.
And if you were there, I could have easily sneaked you out for a drink on the veranda,
it was in Gold Coast, the picturesque harbor, light breeze,
and palm trees (yes, palm trees), were all so readily at hand,
creating the perfect, or should I say,
it was not heaven, but you could see it from there...
and I would have looked into your eyes,
seen my own soul in them,
and devour your flesh like bees devour a flower,
and our love-making would have been sweeter than honey,
for we would have found paradise in a few precious moments.
But you didn't come.
You failed to know a mutual friend, or neglected his invitation.
And now look at you... still the same girl, always looking,
always one step to heaven's gate, but never having the key.

The Postman/Il Postino [Guitar and Bandoneon Version] - Original Score

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Today Is December 18

Let's do it.
Let's fall in love.
Lord knows how long I've waited to sing this song.

Tonight I Give In - angela

Somebody walked into my life
And he's right on time
Somebody looked into my eyes
And he read my mind
And its true
I only need to tell you
that it's you
You're every thing
I ever dreamed would come to me

Somebody walked into my heart
And to my surprise
Somebody tearing me apart
And it feels just fine
And it's you
I've waited oh so long to say
it's you
You're every thing
I ever dreamed

And tonight I give in to the feelings
Tonight I give in to the thrill of loving you
And tonight I give in to believing
I'd hear you say
You'd always stay

Somebody turned my life around
And I'm not the same
Suddenly I don't hear a sound
Only your name
And I really need you

And tonight I give in to the feelings
Yes tonight I give in to the thrill of loving you
And tonight I give in to believing
You'll always stay in love this way

Oh, tonight I give in to the feelings
Yes tonight I give in to them all so hold me
And tonight I give in to believing, darling
You're every thing
I ever dreamed would come to me

-Tonight I Give In
Angela Bofill

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

By Piez

Originally uploaded by Piez

Ok, so here's another Pride photo that I stumbled upon. The photo is not grab-able so I just blogged it instead.

Thanks to Piez for the photo.


Monday, December 15, 2008

With Pride & Feathers

It was the 13th of December. With clear skies and a thousand participants, the first-ever Pride March of Hong Kong was realized. And with much pride and some feathers, I was there, taking part as the gay men and women of Hong Kong marched their way from Causeway Bay to Wan Chai and made history.

Everybody, genuflect. It's the Pride flag.

Dan said, "If you wanna attract attention,
which really is the point of Pride march,
wear the follies headdress that we used for Halloween last year."
And boy, was he right!
The attention whore that I am could never wish
for so much attention in the streets, in broad daylight!

Crowd was too thick, it was difficult to find me at certain times.

A Pride card for La Rems. On it, I wrote --
"I am proud to be gay because my momma loves me!"

Birds of a feather
With Glenn and OutinHK's Antonio Licon

The silk rainbow flags prepared by Eric of Fruits in Suits

photos courtesy of Ad Takumi, Rey Asis, Prash Prashoun, Bhisan Rai

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Sat -Through Day

The past month and a half can probably be chronicled as my busiest 6-weekends-in-a-row for 2008.

November 1
was the day Dan, I and a couple of other friends brought our beloved ex-flat mate to the airport. Mamu was flying back to Manila after his stint here in Hong Kong --- another landmark in my HK lifeline, since it was the end of our 3 and a half years of bahay-bahayan. It was the final "Bye! I love you, Dan & Rye!" that he exclaimed as he was getting in the immigration, that marked that finality. It was, however, that finality that marked the beginning of yet another long, rocking night. As soon as Mamu disappeared from our sight, Dan and I wiped the miss-you-already tears off our eyes and took the bus to the city. Lugging our weekend getaway bags and looking forward to a very promising evening, we showed up at Law's doorstep where the rest of the guys were waiting for us. Forty minutes later, we were already being frisked by the bouncers that guarded the door of Cliq. Another Saturday night that went by unnoticed, because we were busy dancing our butts off to the music of DJ Chris and DJ Thomas C of Party Demon.

November 8
started rather early. Even before the clock went past the thin red midnight line, Enan, Steve, Law & I were already painting the town pink. Around 3am, all four of us headed to Law's for some sinigang then we evacuated to Steve's to continue on with our intimate bonding. We couldn't abuse Law's hospitality because we didn't want to wake his parents (whom we were to have lunch with that day) who were visiting from Manila and were dead-tired after spending a whole day at Disney. After a while, Enan got tired and slept. So did Steve about three hours later. I tried to keep my eyes shut so I could eventually succumb to sleep, but it never came. It was 10 in the morning when I got a surprise sms from a good friend, Christy. She wanted to meet up for coffee. Wasting no time, I hurriedly put on the same clothes I wore the previous night and hailed a cab that brought me to Central. Later that afternoon, I got a call from James and he invited me over to his. "I have company though," I warned him.

"Huh?!" He seemed to be disappointed. He probably thought it would be an afternoon spent exclusively for us two.


"Whaaaa?!?! Get that bitch over to my place!" He sounded more excited that he was two minutes back.

By sunset, I had to leave and meet up with T. I spent that next few hours at his place, trying to catch up on sleep but excitement won me over. We'd been invited for dinner at his Italian neighbor's place. Who wouldn't be excited? Italian. That meant a splendid full-set meal. And boy, was I not disappointed!

November 15 started with me and my anak, Jethro running around my flat like goats trying to flee castration. It was Volume's 2-year anniversary, and we were putting together the perfect outfit for the night. The three perfect outfits for the night: the cocktails ensemble, the costume, and the after-party attire. After cutting the low-turtleneck of one of my most antiquated articles of clothing into a low-V, he laced the boots that he wanted me to wear after the show and packed them in my bag. Then I set off for Central, trying to get there before my 4pm-call time. The last run for the release of DJ Stonedog's Rainbows finished a few minutes earlier than scheduled. That meant that drinking started earlier than anticipated as well. By midnight, as we were going up the stairs to the dressing room to change into our Rainbows costume, I was already a few kilometers ahead of tipsy. Lucky, we got through the whole number blunder-free.

November 22 was when, for a few hours I thought I didn't want to be a rockstar anymore. That time, being a groupie started to seem more appealing to me. It was the night of the Party that a good friend, Brad Schofield, had organized for a quaint but sophisticated restaurant on Gough Street called Palate. It was also the night I had been too excited about for many days --- Hed Kandi night at Club JJ's. I almost decided not to go to either party for so many reasons. But that's another post altogether, so allow me to digress. The Palate party was fun, because it gave me (and the rest of the familiar guests) a chance to interact in a totally different atmosphere. It wasn't too late in the evening and people were sharply dressed, so there was very little drunken talk, if there ever was any. The crowd was neither too big that people were encouraged to shove one another to get to the bar or to the john; nor too little that people were encouraged to talk things less sensible than rumors. By midnight, T and I walked up the hill to Dragon-I to catch the Hed Kandi shuttle that would take us to the Grand Hyatt. But after two minutes of looking around, the impatient Virgos that we were just decided to take a cab. As soon as the Club JJ's lift opened, I was just shot with extreme gladness that I didn't give in to my bratinella attack. I would've regretted it for months had I decided to snub the Hed Kandi party. Duh! I was a fucking groupie for the night, for Chrissakes! I (and T) drank from the Hed Kandi Moet bottle and partook in their refreshments. Thanks to the graciousness of our dear friends, James and Noel who led the team to make that event possible and oh-so-fucking-successful!

The November 29
gaiety started on November 27, the KylieX night. It was Law's birthday weekend. Enough said. (P.s. I didn't like KylieX. But, again, that's another entry altogether. So moving on…)

December 6
was the day I sat Saturday through, for a change. An excerpt:

(Around 2AM)

Rye: Chardonnay?

T: Sure.

Rye: What time is it anyway?

T (teasingly): It's the time you normally would only be starting to have fun on a Saturday night.

Rye: Oh! By now, I would guess, the guys are drunk already.

T: You would be too if you were out tonight.

I would be too if I was out that night. But I wasn't. I had no internet connection and my phone was disconnected. I was neither dressed in my clubber outfit nor in my champagne-and-strawberries smarts. I was in faraway Tung Chung, totally disjointed from the islands that lie beneath the boundaries of Lantau. I was in my boxers and robe. All I had was a half-empty bottle of shiraz, a fresh bottle of chardonnay, a can of beer, some crisps, the complete first season of Lipstick Jungle and T, whose arms kept me warm all night. I was having more fun than I thought I would, sitting my Saturday through than dancing it away on oblivion. There was no party I'd rather be than were I was.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Two More Celebrations Pre-Christmas

December 1 is World AIDS Day.
What have you done to show you care?
Wear a shirt?

"Please post this image on your super walls.
Help me circulate my advocacy posters."
Love Brian Gorell

This year marks the first-ever official gay pride celebrations in HK.
Let's stand up and be heard.

"Hong Kong is a cosmopolitan city, so it’s not hard to notice LGBTs more openly on the streets, and occasionally you will see them display their affections by publicly holding hands. Do you admire them? Or does that trigger conflicts within you?

Everyone loves their partners with a sense of pride. It’s the love between us that makes us proud. Our sexual orientation is not as important as our love.

Every person is born equal and free. If we truly believe that we all have the same human rights to live proudly under the same sun, we can live honestly as our real selves.

Will you live in the shadows of the closet feeling sorry for yourself, or will you march proudly together with us under the rainbow?

Rainbow colors represent accepting diversity and respecting differences. We encourage lesbians, gays, bisexuals, pansexuals, the transgendered, cross dressers, transsexuals, BDSM, queers, peoples of any sexual orientation or gender identification, and straights who respect sexual orientation and gender diversity, regardless of age, race, religion, or physical capability to join us to march on the street for love.

Don't miss the chance to shine, and join us in our Pride Parade.

December 13 Tongzhi March for Love at Causeway Bay at 2 pm. See you there!"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's All A Matter Of Perspective

*inspired by the insightful la vite e bella-themed blog entry written by Pau

Friday night. Volume.
The boy sees an old acquaintance, the Entrepreneur, and playfully pokes him on the shoulder.

Entrepreneur: Hey! It's been so long. What do you do now?

Boy: I'm a fitness instructor now. I teach group exercise classes. And a few technique dance classes on the side.

Entrepreneur: You enjoy your new career?

Boy: Immensely.

Entrepreneur: Nice to hear that. Looks like you're the only person in Hong Kong that life's been treating kindly.

Boy: I'm just thankful that, in this time of recession, I am caught in a city where people invest a lot on health and vanity. They may cut down on other things, but there will always be enough budget set aside for an-hour-a-day fitness classes.


"Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact.
Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth."
-Marcus Aurelius

"...So I guess it won't hurt
to form our own opinion
and see things from our own perspective,
if only to make life less difficult to bear."

Monday, November 24, 2008

Something To Smile About

"Friend, thank you for a great weekend
and for spending your time with me."

-via sms
24 Nov 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tita Mike Is Female

Winter has begun.

Melty Kiss is out again.

Tita Mike, they have a new flavor: Dark Rum. Yummmmmmmmm!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Listen as your day unfolds Challenge what the future holds Try and keep your head up to the sky Lovers, they may cause you tears Go ahead release your fears Stand up and be counted Don't be ashamed to cry You gotta be You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold You gotta be wiser, you gotta be hard You gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm You gotta stay together All I know, all I know, love will save the day Herald what your mother said Readin' the books your father read Try to solve the puzzles in your own sweet time Some may have more cash than you Others take a different view My oh my heh, hey You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold You gotta be wiser, you gotta be hard You gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm You gotta stay together All I know, all I know, love will save the day Don't ask no questions, it goes on without you Leaving you behind if you can't stand the pace The world keeps on spinning You can't stop it, if you try to This time it's danger staring you in the face Oh oh oh Remember Listen as your day unfolds Challenge what the future holds Try and keep your head up to the sky Lovers, they may cause you tears Go ahead release your fears My oh my heh, hey, hey You gotta be You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold You gotta be wiser, you gotta be hard You gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm You gotta stay together All I know, all I know, love will save the day You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold You gotta be wiser, you gotta be hard You gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm You gotta stay together All I know, all I know, love will save the day

-Des'ree, "You Gotta Be"

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Seeking Answers In Central One Friday Afternoon

Sometimes I just want to hate myself for always thinking I am privileged enough that I can get what I want at anytime that I want, in any way that I want it.

Like last Friday. I needed an emergency haircut and color touch-up badly for the Volume Anniversary show which I was gonna perform for. So I browsed through my phonebook and dialled Paul Gerrard. As soon as the guy on the other end of the line said, "Hello?", I inquired: "Hi! I was wondering whether you can accommodate my last-minute appointment booking for Brad?"

With Brad,
my post-Disney makeover hairstylist,
after my first ever session with him

The guy, trying to be polite, answered, "Well, you'll have to call the salon." It was Paul Gerrard himself.

My stupid ass dialled Paul Gerrard the person, instead of Paul Gerrard Salon. How humiliating is that?

Then he said, "And Brad won't be in until the 17th."

In an instant, my world shattered.

So I went to see another hairstylist. I told him what I wanted with my hair and what my problems with it were. I thought I had already told him everything when I asked him for suggestions. He spoke rather eloquently and described what would become of my hair, with utmost pride and confidence, as if he was one fine chef and I was his sumptuous 7-course dinner claim to fame. I got excited, and with sparkling, dreamy eyes and a million-dollar Hollywood diva smile, I commanded him to commence.

Two minutes into the session, I looked away from the mirror as he started to razor the sides of my head. Brad and I were growing my hair! He was supposed to make it thin, not short. But he's done the right side already so I just decided to keep my mouth shut. We all know that more often than not, I unintentionally piss people off when I go by the impulse of verbalizing the first words that come to my mind. He had a pair of scissors, a razor and huge hair clips in his hand. I wasn't gonna risk it. In my mind, I just told myself, I could always go back to the shaved head look (which my very good friend Christian Glassl insists to be the best look he's seen on me) if it didn't work.

Twenty minutes later, he was brushing hair off my neck and unhooking my salon gown. I looked in the mirror and realized it wasn't so bad as I had foreseen it would be. He looked at me in the mirror and with a satisfied smile, he said to me, "It frames your face." Then he asked his assistant to lead me to the wet area and have my hair rinsed.

He started applying the bleach solution to the roots of my hair and when he finished, he put me under the ring of heat and gave me some magazines to spend my idle time on, which I gracefully turned down. I had my own stash: "Me Talk Pretty One Day" by David Sedaris, which Steve gave me on the eve of my birthday as a prelude to the expensive main gift. I was roasted for 10 minutes. And another 10. And another 10.

With Steve,
a very dear friend who Me Talk Pretty One Day was from;
and my blonde lock with their black roots

The next part, that where he took off the foil and rinsed my hair, was when I realized the mistake of forgetting the most important problem with my hair that Brad and I learned the hard way. My hair strands are thick and they are way too black. They have too much melanin that they require long hours to be bleached, and even so, they could only be bleached so far. In other words, the roots of my hair didn't lighten so much as the ends. He wanted to reapply the bleach but if he did, I was gonna be late for work. So I said, "Never mind, we'll color it green anyway."

"It will probably take almost an hour for the color to settle," predicted Nostradamus' soul which had entered his mortal body at that particular moment.

"Oh? I don't have that much time. I'll be late for work." So I decided that, over the next two or three weeks, I will just pretend that the gradient in my hair was done deliberately and that I am happy about it.

I was quite content with my haircut. That, I had to admit as I was staring at myself in the mirror while settling my bill. That satisfaction would later be fueled by my students, colleagues and friends who think that the 'do actually framed my face and made my cheekbones more prominent, thereby highlighting my smile. (Although personally, I think it's my ever-reliable weight loss program that actually made my cheekbones more prominent. So I deserve the credit for that, not my new second-fiddle hairstylist.) BUT...

Looking at myself at the elevator mirror, I noticed something peculiar. I knew, deep in my heart of hearts that he more or less achieved what he wanted to do with my hair, but I knew too that I wasn't quite getting the overall look that the hairstyle promised. With the thickness of the top section and the thinness of the sides --- something that looks like a fusion of the conservative mohawk and the clean military cut --- I was supposed to look more butch. (I know... I know... High hopes, yeah! But I can try, dammit! And stop rolling your eyes, my beloved reader!)

So I walked the busy streets of Hong Kong Central, trying to seek answers to my questions, "Why not?" and "How?" Half an hour later, I still couldn't find the answer to the former. But to the latter, the answer stared at me directly in the eye. So how? Here's how ---

A dogtag.

For the butch in me.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Calling All HK-Based Gay Men!!

This group of students from the HK University is conducting a survey among gay men based here in HK. They're probably proving that tops and bottoms do differ in their taste of clothes. Wanna know why? Take this 15-item survey. It's easy and fun. And you don't have to give your real name, but don't leave that field blank or type in ANONYMOUS.

Come on, guys! Don't be such party-poopers... Please? He promised to take me out to dinner if he reaches his quota. Imagine how happy you will make me if you just took 3 minutes out of y0our time to answer this.

Here's the link---

Saturday, November 15, 2008

About The Man At The Bus Stop

He's probably in his mid-50's. About 5 feet 5 inches in height and a little bit plump. He has grey hair and wrinkled skin, and he walks with forced agility. His speech is still perceptible but his hearing seems to be impaired. His clothes are somewhat threadbare and his shoes are a bit worn. He sustains himself by begging for loose change. 6 dollars, to be exact. You'd pity him the first time you see him. Like me and Tim, the first time we saw him at the E31 bus stop in Tsuen Wan.

We got to the bus stop, unmindful of the world around us, busy ranting about our own jobs, then a man --- that man --- presented himself to us. He spoke in Cantonese and immediately, Tim reached for his wallet. Seeing that and how the man opened his palm which revealed $4.00, I was certain he was begging for alms. I felt a prick in my heart. How dare I complain about my job when there were people in need of one but doesn't have any? Then he walked away, limping. I'm telling you, you'd pity him the first time you see him.

But when everytime you are in that same bus stop, and, at any time of the day, he is there asking every single person for $6.00, then there's enough reason for you to feel cheated. Pissed. Betrayed, even. At times, the mere sight of him from 6 meters away would even bring out the bitch in you and make you come up with something mean to say to him in 5 seconds flat. Or at least something mean you wish you could say to him and to people like him who take advantage of the innate compassionate nature that we have as human beings. He lives in a first-world city, for God's sake, where opportunities are limitless; where the law prohibits age limit for service crew members in food chains; where people with disabilities keep themselves productive and employed by sitting at the doorstep of malls with counters in their hands keeping track of how many people come in from opening to closing; where, in Wan Chai, the barter system had been modernized and one can get money coupons for any kind of service rendered to the community and buy anything from rice to bags with them; where, in business districts, corporate employees get in the queue on their lunch breaks to have their shoes polished by shoeshine men and ladies on the sidewalk whose only tools are 2 stools, shoe brushes and 2 cans of Kiwi: black and brown; where the less-fortunate can carry a portable sound system in the subway and sing there and collect loose change without being bothered by the cops so long as they are not a nuisance to the pedestrians. Is there seriously nothing he can do but ask for $6.00 from people at that particular bus stop? Come on!

So tonight as I was walking to that bus stop, my eyes rolled instantly as I spotted him sitting at the bank entrance near his workplace. I got in the queue and, as expected, he began asking everyone for alms. Everybody must've have seen him more than once before tonight, because none even bothered to listen to what he was saying. The shrug everybody gave as he approached each one of us seemed perfunctory to me. Then came a man, much taller, much more plump and a bit younger-looking than him and stood at the end of the line. The beggar delivered his line in Cantonese, and the other man, after listening to him seemingly intently, declined to help. Mr. Beggar tried to push his luck a bit further, and a bit further still, and a bit even further, which got Mr. Taller to the end of his temper. He yelled at the beggar and shoved him away from the queue. He humiliated the beggar mercilessly and everyone seemed pleased about what he did. Everyone but me.

Shortly after, the E31 bus arrived and we got on it. As I took the window seat, I could see the flushed beggar sitting with his head down on the sidewalk and all I felt was anger. I was angry at his family. I was angry at his friends. Where were they? Why did he need to be a parasite to the whole community and not helped by his family and friends? What could he have done that brought him to the bus stop? And what was it that he needed to ask for too many six dollarses?

Turning my head away from the other passengers and concealing my face, I looked out the window and shed a tear. Someday, somewhere, I too will need help. It scares me that when that time comes, I will need more than six dollars. Or even more than hundreds or thousands of six dollars. I could only hope that, right now, while I still can, I am able to do enough good to the world to deserve to be treated better than the way they treated the man at the bus stop.

Hold me, like the river jordan
And I will then say to thee

You re my friend
Carry me, like you are my brother
Love me like a mother
Will you be there�
Weary, tell me will you hold me
When wrong, will you hold me
When lost will you find me?
But they told me a man should be faithful
And walk when not able
And fight till the end but I'm only human... our darkest hour in my deepest despair
Will you still care? will you be there?
In my trials and my tribulations
Through our doubts and frustrations
In my violence and my turbulence
Through my fear and my confessions
In my anguish and my pain
Through my joy and my sorrow
In the promise of another tomorrow...

-Free Willy Song
Michael Jackson

Monday, November 10, 2008

And The Stars Shall Guide Me Through

As exciting or tantalizing as they may seem, other people's dramas are going to do nothing but add trouble to your life right now, so steer clear! There is no need to get involved in anyone else's problems, even if you think you have a solution for them. They are different from you, so what worked for you might only make things worse for them. You can express your ideas, but do not offer advice and do not take anyone's side. Stay neutral right now.

-- Astrological Forecast for Virgo, for Nov. 10, 2008

How fitting! But what if it is I who's on the other side?

Friday, November 07, 2008

How To Lose A Ghost In 10 Minutes

For about 6 minutes, the ghost went on and on convincing the boy to go out to dinner or coffee or some drinks with him. And for about 6 minutes, the boy just kept declining. Finally, the ghost gave the boy a window to say what he really feels about the whole thing. He said, "Isn't there anything I can say to make you say yes to one harmless dinner? Or coffee? Or chardonnay?"

The boy frankly replied, "You know what, I'm a busy person. And I am so over you. Maybe I would say yes if I had so much free time in my hands, but I just don't. And I won't make an effort to make time for you."

Taken aback, the ghost asked, "That's it? You're gonna brush me off just like that without even an apology?"

"For what? For being busy or for being so over you?"

"You're mean," the ghost remarked after a breath.

"I know. I've been told many times," with an overflowing dose of self-assurance and self-esteem, the boy punctuated their conversation and hailed a cab. He didn't say goodbye. He was mean, after all.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

My Past Is Haunting Me

When I was little, I adamantly believed I was dumb. And I did, not because of my drama queen nature, but because I had valid reason to believe so.

I didn't play Scrabble because I was always kulelat; and in the worst possible way. Like, all my opponents would already be scoring hundreds and I'd be scoring 30. Or less.

I grew up not knowing how to play Monopoly or Millionaire's Game or Cluedo. I veered away from board games that required strategy and in effect, the only board game that I got to use on a regular basis was the only board game that nobody else was interested in: Snakes & Ladders. In fact, there was absolutely none that I knew of that was interested in it, I played it in on my own. ALWAYS. I had the dice to myself and I competed against myself. Not bad. That's how I learned the importance of introspection and also, I was always certain I would win. And I did.

But the worst of all my enemies were riddles. Ask Dan, my flatmate-slash-bestfriend-slash-podcast-partner, and he will attest to that. In the Kitschy Bugtungan Episode of our podcast, he threw a riddle which I confidently answered, and of course, I was predictably wrong. As a kid, I would always show disinterest whenever my teachers played the riddles game. And whenever my classmates traded riddles and puzzles books, I'd always obnoxiously remark, "You wanna borrow my Sweet Valley High, nerd?" That stage of my life, I would consider pivotal because looking back, that's probably when I started being seen by people as a mean, cold-hearted bitch. Even Nancy Drew didn't fascinate me. Or the Hardy Boys. They required too much brain cells from me. And I was dumb, for Chrissakes!

So two nights back from now, as I was saying good night to this boy we will call T, he replied, "I AUMULU". I asked him what it was, and he playfully replied, "You have to work that out." The only hint he gave me was that all U's stand for "you".

It's been two nights. And I still couldn't figure it out. He's been teasing me about my not being able to figure it out, and I though it was cute and funny. But it's not anymore. I'm starting to think I am dumb again.

Anybody out there willing to help a dumb 28-year old boy?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

For My Friend, Gem

"No gemstone is more creatively striped by Nature than agate,
chalcedony quartz that forms in concentric layers
in a wide variety of colours and textures.
[It] was highly valued as a talisman or amulet
in ancient times [and] was said to quench thirst
and protect against fever.
Persian magicians used agate to divert storms."
--- International Colored Gemstones Association

I don't wanna be the girl who laughs the loudest
Or the girl who never wants to be alone
I don't wanna be that call at four o'clock in the morning
'Cause I'm the only one you know in the world that won't be home

Aahh, the sun is blinding
I stayed up again
Oohh, I am finding
That's not the way I want my story to end

I'm safe
Up high
Nothing can touch me
But why do I feel this party's over?
No pain
You're my protection
But how do I feel this good sober?

I don't wanna be the girl who has to fill the silence...
The quiet scares me 'cause it screams the truth
Please don't tell me that we had that conversation
When I won't remember, save your breath, 'cause what's the use?

Aahh, the night is calling
And it whispers to me softly, "come and play"
Aahh, I am falling
And if I let myself go, I'm the only one to blame

I'm safe
Up high
Nothing can touch me
But why do I feel this party's over?
No pain
You're like perfection
But how do I feel this good sober?

I'm comin' down
Comin' down
Comin' down
Spinnin' round
Spinnin' round
Spinnin' round
Looking for myself.. Sober

Comin' down
Comin' down
Comin' down
Spinnin' round
Spinnin' round
Spinnin' round
Looking for myself.. Sober

When it's good, then it's good, it's so good, 'till it goes bad
Till you're trying to find the you that you once had
I have hurt myself, cried,
Never again
Broken down in agony
And just trying to find a friend

I'm safe
Up high
Nothing can touch me
But why do I feel this party's over?
No pain
You're like perfection
But how do I feel this good sober?

I'm safe
Up high
Nothing can touch me
But why do I feel this party's over?
No pain
You're like perfection
But how do I feel this good sober?

How do I feel this good sober?

Sober by Pink

Monday, November 03, 2008

A Dance Lesson

Back in my days as a dance scholar at Steps Dance Studio in Manila, my then-jazz teacher, Liezel Laforteza, once said that for us to be able to stand out, to be considered among the creme dela creme of our generation, and to be able to enjoy a fulfilling career in dance, we should be able to transcend the physical limitations of our own bodies and keep up with the ever-rising standards that generations before us have set. The demands of dance are tough enough. They are physically-demanding and morally-trying. They require one to never stop training --- never stop straining. What makes dance even tougher is the daunting competition in the real world, where there are thousands and thousands of other dancers (some more equipped--- morally and physically--- than the rest), all vying for very few opportunities.

Gone are the days when double pirouettes were enough. These days, when you can't do more than a triple, you're below average. Gone are the days when a grand jete was enough to wow an audience. These days, you have to be able to do an "and" count or a flip or a switch of legs in the air. Gone are the days when extensions were expected from a girl and jumps were expected from a boy. These days, what a girl can do, any boy should be able to do as well, and vice versa. This video reminded me of that ---

*lifted from a comment on Philip's entry without permission.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Some Good Things Never Last

On her first ever TV appearance---
what Diane Sawyer described as "the [TV] appearance that would change her life".

In one of her recent public performances.

Imagine if she was able to preserve that voice as long as her mother did.

"You can't get any better when you're the best" -Babyface in an interview about her

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


sequel to "The Stalker In The Rye" published on September 9, 2007

Here we are again: in the middle of the room where I once watched you, fascinated with your beauty; mesmerized with your charm; wondering what on earth I had to give to have you.

Here we are again: in the exact same time when outside, the clock continued to tick and the sun continued to rise to its peak, but where we were, there was only the now and the world was a tiny place of perennial night.

Here we are again: making our way to lands far off, to places we've never been to, and to places none but us knows exist.

Here we are again: amidst familiar faces and familiar music and sweaty bodies of men bobbing involuntary to the mechanical sound that envelopes us.

We've come full circle. Everything is back to where they were in the not-so-distant past. Everything seems comfortingly familiar. It almost is a deja vu. But it's not. Because in the past, you were just an ideal. An icon that represented my desires. A ghost, an apparition even. But this time you're real.

Briefly, I close my eyes. And in that fleeting moment of trance, you hold my hand and I know you are real. My body grows numb and all I could feel are your fingers between mine. Then I open my eyes and I see you --- needing me more than I need you, like you never did before. My heart rejoices that I'm no longer just your stalker.

It almost is a deja vu. But it's not. Because now, I am your safe place --- your refuge from the harm. Your comrade. Your brother.

It almost is a deja vu. But it's not. Because then, I was your audience who wished I could take the place of your prey for the night. Tonight, I still am not your prey. But I'd rather not. Where I am now is even more that I could ever ask for. And there's no other place in this room, or in your life I'd rather be.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

For F

It's funny how I would always tell you, "I can't. We're friends.", but never really knew you until I saw you that way for the first time.

For more than a year I'd constantly seen you in your various degrees of happiness and bliss that I forgot you were also capable of feeling pain. For countless of times, I'd reveled in your smile, that I never imagined you also cried. For a few other instances, I'd seen you stripped naked of your clothes, but never imagined you stripping your soul bare of the pretenses that you protected it with against the bile and bitterness human beings are innately capable of causing. Human beings --- I included.

With your tears, you acquiesced to the weakness you tried so hard to conceal all your life. But with your tears, you dauntlessly taught me a indispensable lesson I vow to never forget. Until this very moment, I vividly remember how, like a delicate snail robbed off of the shell he was born with to safeguard himself, you curled up in pain in wept. Until this very moment, I vividly remember the sound of your sob and how you fought to keep it from coming out. Until this very moment, I vividly remember those that I tried to keep you from seeing and hearing: how my heart bled and how it shattered to a million tiny pieces.

F, my friend, I am deeply sorry. This is for you ---

image credit: PR Starter Kit

You with the sad eyes
Don't be discouraged
Oh I realize
It's hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness, inside you
Can make you feel so small

But I see your true colors

Shining through

I see your true colors

And that's why I love you

So don't be afraid to let them show

Your true colors

True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow

Show me a smile then,

Don't be unhappy, can't remember

When I last saw you laughing

If this world makes you crazy

And you've taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I'll be there

And I'll see your true colors

Shining through
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you

So don't be afraid to let them show

Your true colors

True colors are beautiful,

Like a rainbow

So sad eyes
Discouraged now
When this world makes you crazy

And you've taken all you can bear

You call me up

Because you know
I'll be there

And I'll see your true colors
Shining through I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors, true colors
Cos there's a shining through
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you

So don't be afraid to let them show

Your true colors, true colors
True colors are beautiful,
Beautiful, like a rainbow

Sunday, October 05, 2008

About The Birthday Cake And The Mickey Hat (Pt.1)

Years and years from now --- long after I've retired from the party scene and all that's left of my hair are a few strands of grey --- I shall look back at my youth and remember the two weeks that had just passed with much fondness. It will be written in my personal chronicles as a milestone that culminated with a sudden debilitation of my immune system brought about by extreme physical fatigue and emotional exhaustion from too much fun, too much tears, too much physical activity, too much partying, too much drinking, too little sleep, too little eating. In other words, from trying too much to live la vida rockstar.

Because of the enormity of the energy I had to put in, in order to secure the life I was to start building outside the castle, there was virtually none left for my own birthday. It was gonna be the first time for me to not plan anything fabulous (or at least blog-worthy) for "big day". And there wasn't even enough energy left to feel bad about it. Nonetheless, I knew that whatever happened, there was no way I was gonna miss reflecting on my life and re-examining my values. That was one tradition I couldn't afford to break, no matter how difficult the circumstances got. With that to look forward to, I knew my birthday would be worthwhile, in spite of.

The eve of my birthday, I was invited to a dinner which would be hosted by a friend of a friend. There were only 6 of us (2 more came by after dinner and joined us for drinks) and I knew everyone except for the host. At midnight, they sang me a Happy Birthday song and a good friend whom I hadn't seen for so long, Corrine, popped the Veuve Clicquot Rose that Steve brought. Later that night, Steve remarked, "Friend, it is your birthday." And it was. An evening with friends, good food, champagne, strawberries, and a surprise visit from a dearly beloved friend whom I have missed so dearly. What more could I ask for?

The following day, September 21st, was of course, just as exhilarating. I woke up to a full SMS inbox of birthday messages on my mobile phone. And as if that wasn't enough to start my Sunday brightly, I logged on to my online accounts which revealed even more touching greetings. Then there was the community singing of the birthday song at work, and the heart-warming happy-birthday-hug from 2 people whom I knew didn't like me that much. By mid-afternoon, a lengthy sms-exchange with two of my exes took place. One of them commented, "We may not have worked as a couple, but that doesn't change the fact that you are a good person, Rye. You are a bitch, but you are a good person. That's why you are loved by many." In the evening, I went to FINDS where I was treated to on-the-house glasses of Mo√ęt et Chandon courtesy of Pink Taskmaster James. I was joined by Dan, Enan & Steve, who were still tired from the previous night but were loving enough to show up in their cargos and flipflops to spend my birthday with me, and my sai lo, Heihei, who missed dinner with family and traveled all the way from Sheung Shui to give his birthday present --- a white Starbucks mug.

captioned fittingly on the Pink Sundays at FINDS Facebook Group page as:
"The Pink Taskmaster with the aforementioned fabulous birthday gal,
both looking shockingly sober"

September 22 was the day the HK Government gave me its present. Still dressed in the floral shirt I wore to FINDS the previous night, I walked in to the IRD Building to settle my tax. After less than 15 minutes, I finished the whole process, which comprised of getting on the elevator 6 times in order to do business in 4 different floors with 5 different civil servants, and going for the loo twice. 15 minutes. That's all it took. The best part: I left the building with a cheque for tax refund.

Later that night, I went over to Victor & Vincent's, two of my favorite straight boys, for a couple of drinks. They tried to throw me a small surprise party for two nights, but because I was scared to sit still and get bored on my birthday weekend, it had been difficult to get a hold of me. SO when I finally showed up, the bottles of Chardonnay that Victor bought for me and the pasta that they made were already extinct.

Jethro slept over that night and when we woke up the following day, I found out that he had raped me. Kidding! Jethro slept over that night and when we woke up the following day, I asked him to make us lunch. He willingly obliged and even after we've consumed what he prepared, he made sure I wasn't going anywhere that day. The reason being, we were expecting another friend of ours to come at 3pm. I was sitting in front of my computer when Ryan arrived without me noticing. He came into my room and took advantage of me. Kidding again! He came into my room and said hi, at which point, Jethro went into the kitchen. Few minutes later, Ryan excused himself and I went back to my computer. And before Facebook even loaded, they went back to room and burst into a birthday song. I turned around and saw them marching in with a chocolate cake in their hands.
The chocolate cake and the Mickey hat aptly define the 2 weeks that passed.

In Oprah Winfrey's 50th birthday, her best friend Gail said that no birthday is complete without a cake. The cake that Ryan and Jethro surprised me with was my first birthday cake for this year. It marked the completion of my birthday, and the Mickey hat they made me wear for the photo opp marked the beginning of another story.

....Part 2 coming up

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Rockstar Is Only As Good As His Last Party

I didn't forget. I didn't try to forget; nor did I try to make my friends forget.

It's just that, with all my social activities over the last 3 months, and with the job-shift that will happen on the same week as my birthday, I couldn't muster enough energy, interest and resources to come up with something for my 28th birthday. And you know what they say, "A rockstar is only as good as his last party". If I can't top my weeklong 27th birthday festivities, I'd rather not do anything this year.

However, there are still personal tasks that need to be done. These are traditions that I have grown accustomed with over the years, and none of my birthdays is ever complete without them. They are, in no particular order, the following:

  • get hammered;
  • get laid;
  • be nice (at least once) to at least person I dislike;
  • sms Rems, Mai and any of my exes;
  • offer a minute of silence for Oca;
  • meditate;
  • reflect on where I was, where I am now and where I want & do not want to be;
  • and accept gifts (my wishlist this year is composed of, but not limited to--- "Oprah Winfrey: The 20th Anniversary DVD Collection"; books by David Sedaris; books by Haruki Murakami; orchestra seat tickets to October performances in HK of Nederlands Dans Theater l, Paul Taylor Dance Co., and Rodgers & Hammersteins' Cinderella starring Lea Salonga)

It normally takes me more than four days to accomplish all these. So if you're a friend or a drinking buddy who wants so badly to spend time with me on my birthday week and but can't because I need to complete my self-assigned birthday tasks, you can help speed up the process by sending a gift. That way, the last task on the list is finished quickly.

Moi as a debutante and a bartender
on Day 7 of my 27th birthday week.
Party at Volume, Music by DJ Stonedog, hair and make-up by Chris,
party coordination and documentation by Dan,
beauty courtesy of Rems & Oca

Thursday, September 18, 2008

It All Started On A CX Flight (Part 3)

dtsalvanajr wrote on May 27, '07, edited on May 27, '07
Rye keeps the 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 rev
eal 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.

--posted as a comment on the original Multiply entry.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It All Started On A CX Flight (Part 2)

The Swarovskis are currently accepting applications for Julius's replacement. As most of us know, our dear Julius aka Walnut Swarovski, is moving to London in a couple of days to settle down with his partner, Nige. As a result, we have one vacant spot in the Swarovski family.

Qualifications for "Swarovski #4" are as follows:

  • has to fit the physical sketch of a typical "Asian hottie" (i.e., is naturally tan; has full and solid pecs, rock-hard abs, tight butt, and fine, black hair; has strong black eyes and luscious lips; is not too tall and not too short; has well-developed lats, delts, biceps and triceps; has disproportionately long arms)
  • has to be fun-loving, energetic, dynamic and drama-free
  • has to be patient enough to deal with nutmeg's quirks and drama queen-ness especially when nutmeg is in love or is trying to fall in love
  • has to be humble enough to deal with coco's mood swings especially when they are left to share a room for more than 6 months
  • has to be mature enough to deal with almond's immaturity especially when he's bored and he turns on his ipod
  • has to be willing to share his last few dollars when his friends have absolutely nothing
  • has to be able to muster enough pride to be part of the Swarovski family
  • has to be willing to wear humiliatingly short cut-off jeans and perform "YMCA" in front of a multitude of people he works with
  • has to be able to articulate his dreams, regrets and passions and be willing share them to his Swarovski family
  • has to be capable of discounting coco's, almond's and nutmeg's flaws in order to let their bond grow and mature
  • has to have the heart to love selflessly, give whole-heartedly and accept people unconditionally
  • has to be tolerant enough to allow each individual Swarovski to make his own choices in life and learn from them
  • has to be appreciative of his friends without being cheesy
  • has to be able to know when to tell his friends to stop when his friends are being self-destructive
  • has to be loved and admired by our close friends: verna, the sea creatures, the fegis, etc.
  • has to be able to confidently, but not conceitedly, stand in a room full of people who fancy him
  • has to have mastered his own adobo and shrimp in butter and garlic recipes

If you think you have what it takes to take over the spot of Walnut, email us. Otherwise, don't waste your time and ours. We won't settle for anything less than Julius.

NOTE TO JULIUS: We love you, Julius. We hope you know that. We will miss you terribly. I doubt we will find anyone as good as you to replace you in our hearts.

P.s. Don't call us, we'll call you.

---originally published as "Casting Call: Swarovski #4" on April 27, 2007