Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Courage Didn't Desert Me

* a timely repost, originally published on May 23 07. I love you, Mai! And I am so proud of you. So proud, you can't even begin to imagine.

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

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

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

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

Yes, you will be fine. You always have been.

Fab Vocab Part 2

In keeping with the tradition of Fab Vocab Ep 13 0f S1, Dan & Rye are expanding our gay lingo dictionary.

Thanks to Reign Loleng of Rainbow Bloggers for the list.

*to listen to the first Fab Vocab, follow this link:

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Courage, Don't Desert Me

Rye Bautista

is physically exhausted and morally battered, but is keeping his head high. He will NOT lose this battle. He will NEVER lose any battle.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

6th Deadly Sin: Invidia

Invidia. Envy.

This post is in no way related to Miro's intelligently-written Deadly Sins series. This is about me, and my own sin of envy.

Because I was envious of Aaron's dinner menu for tonight, I made my own version of it.

Pumpkin and string beans, sauteed in coconut milk with shrimp, paired with lechon kawali, pork belly deep fried to golden brown crispiness. Served with piping hot steamed white rice and spicy soy sauce-vinegar dip. Perfect for a lazy, rainy Saturday night.

And because I want to make my friends (those who are away from the Philippines and don't have the time, the energy or the skill to cook, especially) envious too, I am posting this entry.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bothered About The Swine Flu News

Just before hitting the shower tonight, a good friend, Pao, posted this on his Facebook status:

It's confirmed: First Case of H1N1 in the Philippines -

I was alarmed. I instantly followed the link, and this is what I saw (copy-pasted from

RP confirms first case of A(H1N1) flu virus infection
05/21/2009 | 10:22 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Department of Health (DOH) confirmed on Thursday night that the country already has a case of the dreaded Influenza A(H1N1) virus.

“The Department of Health is officially announcing this evening the first confirmed case of influenza A(H1N1) in the Philippines," Secretary Francisco Duque III said via the World Health Organization (WHO) teleconference.

Duque assured that there “is no community level outbreak" and asked the public to be vigilant.

He said the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) where the throat specimen was examined has confirmed that the sample tested positive for novel influenza A(H1N1) on PCR using the primers sent by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on May 20.

The patient, who is now quarantined, is a 10-year-old girl who arrived in the Philippines last May 18 after a trip to the US and Canada, according to the DOH.

She no longer has fever and cough, but still suffering from sore throat, said Dr. Eric Tayag, chief of the DOH Epidemiology Center. The DOH did not disclose where the girl is confined.

The girl only showed symptoms of the disease a day after her arrival, according to a report by radio dzBB quoting Tayag.

The patient's parents haven't showed symptoms of the disease but were nevertheless given oseltamivir, an anti-viral drug, the report said.

The government will conduct contact tracing to identify and diagnose individuals who might have come into contact with the infected girl. Health authorities will also check the plane boarded by the girl for traces of the disease.

The DOH urged the public to remain calm following the discovery of the country's first A(H1N1) case. They were also told to observe proper hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus.

Duque said the discovery of the case is something that the government had been preparing for and a result of the collective efforts of both public and private sectors.

Taiwan was the last country near the Philippines that reported a case of the disease, on Wednesday. Struck by the disease was a 52-year-old man, the country's first.

The World Health Organization raised its tally of swine flu cases around the world to 11,034 and 85 deaths.

WHO says most of the new 791 cases have been reported in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Mexico confirmed three more deaths linked to swine flu, while the United States confirmed two since Wednesday's tally.

At least 38 other countries have also reported cases since the outbreak began last month. - Aie Balagtas See, GMANews.TV, with an AP report

This is bothersome. The news, I meant. That and the first sentence of the 8th paragraph which read:
"The patient's parents haven't showed symptoms of the disease but were nevertheless given oseltamivir, an anti-viral drug, the report said."

Uhmmm... proofreaders? Yes, we need one for GMA, please.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Can You Blame Me?

I tried. I failed. The worldly desires of my human-self overpowered my willpower and I gave in. I lost the battle. But I'm not regretful. Or ashamed. If I had the chance to do it all again, I'd do it exactly as I did tonight.

I overate. How could I not?

Chicken Tinola with siling pansigang and sayote, paired with tuyo. Served with sinamak with crushed siling labuyo to dip the crispy tuyo in. That's how our dinner table looked tonight.

And, to top it all, how could one not get carried away and forget the rudiments of healthy eating when he is sharing this schemingly sinful homemade dinner with a fellow gourmand?

Dan, being Padre Damaso.

Now tell me, can you blame me? Ask Julius and he too, will testify, tinola & tuyo festivals are difficult to overcome. Inggit ka no?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Love In The Time Of Swine Flu

Dan & Rye discuss Bob Ong's insightful
Philosophy Of Love in this week's episode of

The Dan & Rye Show.

We are so sorry that we are half a day late again, kasuys.
Somehow, mypodcast just decided to stop their systems
at the time that TD&RS was scheduled to publish Ep 12.

Revived Ep 12,
"Love In The Time Of Swine Flu"

Kids Are Supposed To Be Seen

...but when they have a message a strong as this, they deserve to be heard. This is Ethan, 9 years old.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Kind Of Journey To The Past

Alex, my new-found hairstylist, brushed the bleaching solution onto my hair, wrapped it in aluminum foil, and put my head under a heating device. He set the timer. 10 minutes.

Immediately after, my phone gave out an alert: an incoming text message. I took it out of my pocket and saw the following message on the default display: "Inbox full. Delete some messages." After perusing the message (it was from Rems) and quickly replying to it, I followed my pink gadget's instructions. One by one, I skimmed through the messages before deciding which ones to delete.

Like a history book, the messages that my Inbox contained opened a huge window that looked out to a vast space of memoirs. Some of them chronicled an ongoing romance--- how it started, and how it blossomed into the most wonderful thing I hold dearest in my heart right now. Some of them answered why some relationships had to end. Some said goodbye. Some inspired. Some showed frustrations. Some were of hope. Some were of promises that didn't hold true. Some were I love you's that meant so much back then, but which, now seem empty and meaningless. Some were funny. Some were reassuring. Some were outright provoking. Some were just imbecilic. And some, worth keeping.

Some made me smile. Some kept me baffled. Some made me giggle in the inside. Some raise my eyebrows. Some made me want to cry.

Each one of them held a particular memory that I went over in my mind with much fondness.

Just instantly, and as if from nowhere, Alex's assistant came and peeped into the foil wrapping to check whether the desired hue has already been achieved. "10 more minutes," he said with a smile, then went on to check another client.

As I deleted quite a number of messages--- some more than willingly, others quite hesitantly--- I reflected on the lessons that had to be learned from my recent past. What do these strings of events say about who I was yesterday and who I've become today? What do they say about the human associations that I have forgotten, which I shouldn't have? And what do they foretell about those that I chose to keep? How can I, with these experiences as the foundation, become a better person?

The timer went off and Alex promptly came to my station. He removed the foil and ushered me to the shampoo area. When he finished a few minutes later, he removed my gown and said, "You're done." My journey to the past was done. I was back to the here and now. The memories became just that. Memories. Fragments of the past. Pieces that cannot be repeated nor undone; but pieces that make up for the here and now, nonetheless.

Five minutes later, I walked out of the salon sporting a fresh haircut and a refreshed Inbox. Not to mention, and a fresher understanding of myself. My then, my now, and what I want my future to be.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Of Full Moons, Fellatio & Moving On

Dan & Rye are not your typical party animals. They party and they reflect on their experiences.

Over the last weekend, they attended two different parties separately. Dan to a full moon celebration, and Rye to a party that jump-started a new beginning.

Revived Ep 11, "Of Full Moons, Fellatio & Moving On", Out Now!

Here, they talk about their thoughts on the full moon and on moving on. Where does fellatio come in? Listen up to find out.

With an interview with Mike Tupas by Dan.

Don't forget to leave your comments and share your stories.

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Mother Is A Faghag

an sms exchange
Yesterday, Mother's Day 09
few minutes after Mai's call from Dubai, about 2 hours after mine.

Remi: I was sad kanina, i thought you've forgotten me. Fone was busy with greetings from people who know me but no word from you. What a relief it was to hear from you both, one after the other. Love you!

Rye: The thing is, Rems... We don't need a day as superficial as this to celebrate your motherhood. We commemmorate that everyday. Everyday is Mother Remi's Day! Love you!

Remi: Hehehe! KSP lang talaga si maderhood! Afraid talaga ko na iwan nyo ko. Waaaah! Di ko carry! Kahit matanda na ko, wag nyo ko iiwan ha?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Shall We Count Sheep?

A good friend of mine, Ryan Carreon, posted this on his FB links, and all I got to say was, "tang ina hayuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup! ang huhusay!"

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


Halo-halo. Nilagang saging.
7th Heaven marathon. Santacruzan.
Flying House. Superbook. PPCRV.
Tanning Oil. Floatilla. Puerto Galera. Pabasa.
Barbecue. Bible Study.

Dan & Rye revisit summers past, to discover what about them had contributed to the kasuys that they are now.

Revived Ep 10, Summertime, Out Now!