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.