Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Best Part Of Having A Brother

...a gay brother, that is.

...a gay brother who earns more than you, if I may add, is this ---

3 DKNY bags! What more could I ask for? Oh well, a pair of Ferragamo shades and a nice pair of powder blue moccasins would be nice too.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

What The Sunshine After The Rain Brings (Part 2)


About A Boy And A New Friend

The boy fondly watched his new friend, Neo, while he was on the phone. It hadn't been more than 3 minutes since Neo made the call but already, he was starting to sound agitated. Later, Neo explained to the boy why he was arguing with the person on the other end of the line.

Two days back, hours before Neo decided to show up at the boy's door in the middle of the night, Neo met up with his friends and revealed a secret over dinner--- their friend "John" was sleeping with another friend of theirs, "Jane". Trouble is, John is engaged to "Jill", another friend of theirs. Now, John called Neo to beg for him to retract what he said and to lie to everybody in order to cover up his infidelity. It was pointless. Even without Neo revealing it, everybody knew what was happening --- everyone, but Jill. None of them ever dared to talk about it, because they were afraid Jill might find out.

Neo could have not offered any explanation to the boy. Just by listening closely to what Neo was saying on the phone, anyone could easily piece the story together; but the boy wasn't listening. He was watching. He watched how Neo's lips moved as he spoke and he smiled everytime Neo opened his lips big enough to reveal his perfect teeth. He watched how Neo's eyebrows conveyed the sublest of emotions and how the colors of his eyes changed from green to brown to blue as the train they were on, ran through a backdrop of buildings and mountains and a small body of water. He watched Neo's hair and remembered how he played with it to on the beach in an attempt to annoy Neo; and how he tugged it when Neo ran his tongue through his nips later that evening. He watched Neo's chest peek through his button-up shirt and remembered how he dozed off with his head on it, hearing Neo's every heartbeat.

The boy was relieved that Neo offered to tell the story, even without him asking. That way, he wouldn't appear opinion-less in case Neo asked. Neo, he found out in their 2 days of close proximity, was like that. He liked hearing other people's opinions. And he liked it even more if they differed from his. He liked a healthy little debate. And for him, it didn't matter who won in the end. He valued the exchange of insights more.

This time though, Neo didn't ask for his opinion. He went on venting. "Come on! That's just wrong! And what would make it even more wrong is if I didn't tell Jill about it. If I allowed John to continue cheating on her by keeping quiet."

"My thoughts exactly," the boy agreed.

"Right?", he continued. "Imagine if I were sleeping with Ben [the boy's best friend] and all your friends knew about it but none of them told you. That's just unforgivable, isn't it?"

"No. It wouldn't matter. Because we are not in a relationship and it shouldn't matter to me who you sleep with. And it shouldn't matter to you who I sleep with. We're nothing more than fuck buddies, Neo. Nothing more than that. We can sleep with whoever we choose to and neither of us is allowed to take offense in that," the boy would've said under normal circumstances. But he didn't. Because right this very moment, for the boy, there was nothing normal with the circumstances. He was extraordinarily happy and scared at the same time because for the first time in so long, he felt hope. That, and a multitude of butterflies fluttering relentlessly in his stomach.

...will be continued

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Taking A Break From The Sun

Typhoon signal 3 was hoisted in HK at 5pm today. On that note, part 2 of What The Sunshine After The Rain Brings will be published on a later date. For now, here is a timely musical intermission.

The last time i felt like this - Various Artists

Hello, I don't even know your name, but I'm hopin' all the same
This is more than just a simple hello.
Hello, do I smile and look away?
No, I think I'll smile and stay
To see where this might go.
'Cause the last time I felt like this,
I was falling in love,
Falling and feeling, I'd never fall in love again.
Yes, the last time I felt like this, was long before I knew
What I'm feeling now with you.
Hello, I can't wait till we're alone, somewhere quiet on our own
So that we can fall the rest of the way.
I know that before the night is thru,
I'll be talking love to you,
Meaning every word I say.
'Cause the last time I felt like this
I was falling in love,
Falling and feeling, I'd never fall in love again.
Yes, the last time I felt like this, was long before I knew
What I'm feeling now with you.
Oh, the last time I felt like this I was falling in love,
Falling and feeling, I'd never fall in love again.
Yes, the last time I felt like this, was long before I knew
What I'm feeling now with you.

The Last Time I Felt Like This
Words by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman
Music by Marvin Hamlisch

Sunday, June 22, 2008

What The Sunshine After The Rain Brings



Promise of a new beginning.

A little bit of rain is cute. It's inspiring. It's dramatic. It's poetic. It's romantic, even. But when it continually rains -- when it continually pours -- for 2 weeks in a row like it did here in HK, it can get depressing. No one is spared from the inevitable sporadic attacks of melancholia and gloom it brings.

So when the sun finally decides to show her face and give us her maternal warmth again after the rain, we frolic. We celebrate the hope and the promise of a new beginning that coming out ---her rebirth --- brings.


About A Boy And A Friend

you know you can come over if you feel like it. this is a thing for our circle of friends and you're still part of it. unless of course you've already decided you're not anymore.

and besides, this is a party for joe and jan. they're you friends too as much as they are mine. don't worry, you don't have to be nice to me if you don't want to.

let me know what you think so i can reserve you some pinakbet, if ever.
Thanks for the gesture. I do appreciate it. It means a lot to me.

Unfortunately, I do have plans for tonight. You guys enjoy yourselves. Greet Joe and Jan for me.
you're welcome.

and since we're at it already, we're (well, not all but those who won't have to work) heading to the beach tomorrow, around 11am. do come if you have nothing to do.

i hope you understand that i'm doing this because i want you to not feel that you have to exclude yourself from the clique or from any of its activities. and i thought if there really is no way we can get to be friends again, we have to at least learn to co-exist.
For the sake of our common friends, learning to co-exist should be the least. For the sake of both of us, maybe even start over. I think it may never be the same again but then again I'm open to starting over, wiser about it this time around. IMHO, we've both crossed our personal thresholds, but at least maybe this time, we can see the line better.

Please accept my apologies for however I've hurt you.

Honestly, i don't know if I'm ready, and I'm a bit scared. These things for me take time. I'm just counting on the fact that 3 months could be long enough.

For the sake of my guest, Alvin, who I want you guys to meet also, I'm considering your offers for me to join. If ever, can I bring him along? I still need to ask him though if he'd rather go out to the bars tonight as we originally planned.

It's been a year since I met you. Also a week (I think) before Summer Splash. :)
i hate you for bringing tears to my eyes now.

having said that, i don't think starting over is an option. it is inevitable. and i am dauntlessly willing to embrace that next chapter.

apologies accepted. please accept mine too. and i'm sorry it took a while for me to do that.

and yes, bring alvin along. it will be fun! unless he is filipino food-phobic. u know what you can do.. i think you should bring him to The Bar then leave around midnight so u can catch the last train coming here. it leaves the city at 1230. i won't be back from my caterer until around 11 anyway.
Time heals everything. :)

Alvin's not a big fan of filipino food, but not filipino food-phobic either. He says he doesnt need to go to The Bar tonight. We can do that tomorrow. Plus he'll be here for more than a week.

You still have extra cash for tinapa for me? I'm so tinapa-starved. Was so missing it the whole time in Europe. A couple of them will do. If not, ok lang din.
i'll save a tinapa for you. let's jut hope some people won't show up so that we have extra for a second serving.

oh and BTW, you know how it goes when pinakbet dinner happens in at mine. we don't serve other dishes or expensive wime because nobody cares about them anyway. so u might wanna pick up a bottle of wine for alvini so that he has something to consume.

see you tonight?
Yup. :)

...will be continued.

A Breakthrough

I came.
I saw.
I conquered.

Mark this date.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Is The New Saturday

This weekend is gonna be the first that HK will get to see the clear skies again after about a month of nonstop downpour. Everyone I know is just excited. Some have even gotten their weekend all planned out --- party from tonight on till tomorrow morning. Then beach. Then party again tomorrow night until Sunday lunch time. Then beach again on Sunday. Then Happy Hour at FINDS on Sunday.

Sweet life!

To some of the people I know who are part of the demographics that would spend the weekend as described above, I wish you loads of fun. This video is for all of you!

Enjoy the party, rockstars! *wink*

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Allow Me To Be Self-Indulgent

And if you absolutely can't, just leave this page; because seriously, nothing can stop me from being so. Oh well, maybe an A. Testoni bribe will do. Other than that, forget it.

Dats, JVRothschild and Kiks --- sorry I have been a delinquent tag-target. But you know what they say.. better late than never.

10 Random Things About Me (from Dats & JVRothschild)
1. Each blogger starts with ten random facts/habits about themselves.
2. Bloggers tagged need to write on their on blog about their ten things and post the rules.
3. At the end of your blog you need to choose ten people you're going to tag and list their names.
4. Do not forget to comment on their site that they are tagged.

1. My sex- and lovelife are overrated. I am not a slut or a serial dater, contrary to what a lot of people who know me (or people who think who know me) believe. Although I think it'd be fun to be both sometimes.

2. I am not fond of sweets. I come from a diabetic pedigree (both sides) that my brother and I were trained to not like them. The training worked. Although.... (jump to #3)

3. (continued from #2) career as a dancer has given me opportunities to explore the benefits of chocolate. I am still not a big fan, but I don't run from it anymore. Chocolate helps me function at work especially on days following a big night-out or drinking spree (which is basically everyday). Ice cream, I've learned to like as well. No, I think "like" would be inadequate an adjective to describe my growing addiction to it. Dreyer's Chocolate cake & Movenpick Creme Brulee are currently my biggest guilty pleasures. Dan, Josh & Fly are to be blamed for this.

4. I suck at shopping for gifts. I'm a sucker for tulips.

5. I don't like eating hot food. My tongue gets singed easily and my taste buds are incapable of functioning under above-average heat.

6. I like surprises. Giving them and receiving them. But I am too nosy, I often bust surprises people brew for me. In giving them, I find being busted more fun than actually making them happen.

7. People think I'm a heartless bitch but I am very, very sentimental and sensitive. I find it easy to criticize people because it is also effortless for me to pay people compliments. And I expect the same from people, my closest friends especially.

8. When I say something, I mean it. And I expect the same from people. I hate it when people ask, "Are you sure?" after I've given my answer, because they make me feel that they think I am incapable of making a sound judgement. And I equally hate it when people answer, "Ok lang," "Wala lang," "Whatever," or "It's up to you", because they make me feel that they are too stupid to make a sound judgement.

9. I only say "Good morning." to a select few. I'd rather not say it to people whose mornings I don't really care about. And when people who ask "How are you?", I don't answer them unless they ask, looking me in the eye.

10. I am easily attracted to Leo men; I easily reach out to Cancerians; and am easily repulsed by Virgos. That's because my dad was a Leo and I idolized him to bits; my mom and my bro are Cancerians and through years of witnessing drama and theatrics from them, I've quite learned to love the sensitive Cancerian psyche; and I am a Virgo and I know I am always under scrutiny when I am in front of a Virgo.

Should there be really only 10?

Pardon me for being a party pooper but I am not tagging anyone. Everyone I know hates memes like this. Feel free to follow suit if you feel like it though.

Glitterfy! (from Kiks)
Instructions: Upon receiving a glitterfly "present" from a fellow blogger, glitterfly a picture of your own choice and offer it to 5 of your blogger friends.

Here's the gift Kiks sent me:

And since it's been a while since I last received flowers, I am glitterfly-ing a photo of my favorite blooms: tulips. But since this post is all about self-indulgence, I am offering the flowers to no one but myself.

Glitter Photos

Make one for yourself if you feel like it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

For Oca

Oscar Puntil Bautista
July 27, 1954- August 8, 2002

"...Sooner or later,
I'll be passing away.
So you have to be ready
to step in my shoes
without inheriting my
weaknesses and mistakes in life."
--an excerpt from the letter Oca wrote me for my 21st birthday;
the last birthday I spent with him around.
He passed away 10 months and 3 weeks later.

To where You are - Josh Groban

Who can say for certain
Maybe you’re still here
I feel you all around me
Your memories so clear

Deep in the stillness
I can hear you speak
You’re still an inspiration
Can it be
That you are mine
Forever love
And you are watching over me from up above

Fly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile to know you’re there
A breath away’s not far
To where you are

Are you gently sleeping
Here inside my dream
And isn’t faith believing
All power can’t be seen
As my heart holds you
Just one beat away
I cherish all you gave me everyday

’cause you are mine
Forever love
Watching me from up above
And I believe
That angels breathe
And that love will live on and never leave

Fly me up
To where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile
To know you’re there
A breath away’s not far
To where you are

I know you’re there
A breath away’s not far
To where you are
I could never ever thank you enough for the love that you gave Remi, Mai and me.

I love you. And how I miss you.
Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Of Seasons

Original Version from The Holy Bible, Ecclesiates III
Additional Verses from The Divine Ryeness

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

A time to say "It's ok, no worries!",
And a time to say "You know what, forget it.
It's a shame I even asked you to do this.
I mean, what the hell was I thinking?
If your boss wasn't on leave, the task should've been accomplished by now.
But have you accomplished anything?
Did you even act on your task?
I don't think so.
Because until now, you have no idea what I am talking about.
You know why?
I know why!
Because you are inefficient and incompetent."

Today is the season for the latter.

S3 Ep7 Series of Unfortunate Events in China

China has not been very lucky when this Year of the Rat started.
Dan and Rye discuss the recent tragic experiences of the Olympic host this year.
PLUS! The 1st ever "blogger of the month" of TD&RS! Listen up na mga friends!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

On Loving & Forgiving

Their counsellor strictly instructed them after their last session to not see, or speak to each other for two weeks. After that, they were to see each other at a place and time they both agreed on, if they both decided it was worth forgetting their bitter past and throwing away all the anger and vile, and move on from there.

On that day that would dictate their future (whether as individuals or as a couple starting anew), she threw away all logic that ruled her life in all ways, for always. She was scared that maybe the two weeks they were given to think things over would not turn out to her favor. But she faced her fears. Dauntlessly, she stripped herself bare of all her defenses. She was vulnerable. But her willingness to give it another shot, her willingness to take a chance at a possibly lovelier "second time around" empowered her.

She started to well up --- out of overwhelming hope that he'd show up too, and fear that he might not. In the midst of a plethora of strangers, her eyes caught a familiar face whose hope and fear were also written all over. And in one fleeting, but poignant moment, they kissed. Words were unnecessary. That kiss, that embrace, that meaningful stare --- were all they needed to seal the seven years of mistakes and assure that this time they would try to make it work. Those were all they needed for either of them to know that they'd both been forgiven. Those were all they needed to validate their love --- one so true, it was well worth the risk they both were taking.
On that poetic Brooklyn Bridge, Miranda Hobbes and Steve Brady signified their forgiveness and love for each other. And reaffirmed their vow of etenity.

At that very moment, the person on the next row of the moviehouse decided to try to figure out which of the two was giving out a more sissy sob --- Marah or I. Steve later said he was positive it was I.

partners-in-sissiness Marah & Rye with enviable lovebirds Tim & Mike

Monday, June 09, 2008

Come Rain, Come Shine

These photos are of the main thoroughfare that lies about 200 meters from our place. Taken by a friend Jojo around noon on June 7 (Saturday), while on his way to the MTR station to report to work after the typhoon warning signal was hoisted down from black rain to amber.

It started pouring in the morning of Friday, June 6. Late in the afternoon of the same day, the winds started to move radically and the rains started to fall more heavily, which carried on until the following day. This heavy downfall caused the soil from the mountains beside our village and those that can be found close to Discovery Bay to erode. Our village was flooded knee-high with muddy, murky water (from the mountains, not from the sewage system like which happens a lot in Manila every now and then) and the creek nearby started to overflow.

People panicked, and some braved the rain and the flood to evacuate to the town plaza even if only for half a day, until the inclement weather would start to show some positive progress.

The roads were blocked due to the minor landslide and bus and taxi operations were paralyzed.

It all happened here in Tung Chung. The first time ever since we moved here three years ago. Some were shocked by the sudden temperamental outburst of nature; others were amused at how fast HK government responded to the emergency. Some got scared for their dear lives; others went on to take advantage of the suspension of work, and never left their beds.

Dan and I, we didn't really get to experience all these. The stories we told our friends and our families were all but stories we heard from other people. Because since the typhoon started, until it has gone hundreds of miles away from the island that it damaged, we were out on another island partying like Paris and Nicole. The biggest damage we have accounted so far are a few hundreds of dollars from our back account. Oh, and a little bit on our livers too, from the many glasses of chardonnay, cosmopolitan, champagne and all thet shit that we rained down on us at Volume. But hey! No one can blame us. You only turn 30 once! (Not me. Dan.)

Friday, June 06, 2008

Thoughts On The 3rd Anniversary Of My Big Move To Hong Kong

I was 25 when I moved here to Hong Kong on June 5, 2005. I didn't know I was gonna stay long after my initial 18-month contract expired. Neither did I know I was going to want to stay longer or want to start building a life here. I had no idea that what I then thought as a transient gig would eventually turn out to be a kind of settling in. I had no idea where the book I was then starting to write would lead to. Had I known, I shoudn't have made excuses or feigned illness just to skip from Noordin Jumalon's Boys' Class and Ernest Malagkit's Variation Class.

I am almost 28 years old now. And I am only starting to learn how to do a freaking spagat*!

*spagat - means "split" in German. In classical ballet, spagat is a step that is almost like a grand jete (where one leaps from one leg, extends the other leg to the front and then kicks the leg which he jumped from, to the back before he lands so that he is doing a split on air), but only a lot more challenging.
At the peak of the grand jete, the dancer swings both legs so that they switch positions (i.e., the front leg swings to the back and the back leg to the front) before he lands.

Still don't get it? Here's how it's done ---

Angel Corella in Le Corsaire, doing the spagat (0:56 & 1:01)