Saturday, January 31, 2004

Episode: Nights Of Serafina

”Wild flowers. Ganda!”

The moment Ms. Georgia Ortega uttered those lines we were irrevocably hooked.

The movie “Nights Of Serafina” actually opens strong and drags you immediately into its kitsch-y premise: On the windswept roads of Tagaytay, a man stops his car; he’s staring at a huge billboard with Georgia’s face on it. A newspaper, blown by the wind, slams onto the windshield and obscures his view. But no! On the newspaper, staring at him, is the same picture of Georgia, the print ad version of the billboard. Then a female hand pulls off the newspaper from the windshield—lo and behold! It's Georgia herself in the flesh. Apparently she and other female models are shooting a pictorial (presumably for the same product) in Tagaytay.

O di ba classic?!

Georgia Ortega cannot act to save herself. I have a sneaky evil suspicion the director cast her precisely because of that. It’s actually quite difficult for an actress to play vacuous. Why take a chance? Go for the genuine article; no acting needed. Kitsch becomes high camp if played seriously.

Take the “wild flower” scene: Georgia enters the living room, where a hunk gardener had just brought in, what else, wild flowers. She eyes the hunk. She slinks over, hips swaying like a runaway pendulum.

“Ano yan?” she asks. He answers, “Bulaklak.” She doesn’t stop walking. “Wild flowers. Ganda!”

I can imagine the director telling her right before the scene: Okay iha, think of it this way: You’re talking about the flowers, but you’re really admiring his big, strong body, okay? You’re saying flowers, but you’re thinking of running your hands all over his tight, manly chest. Think sexy body! Think wild abandon! But you cannot say it out loud! So you just say wild flowers.

That was too much for her. The opposing thoughts cancelled each other out. In the end, she delivered the line in a monotone, with a blank smile plastered on her face.

Nights Of Serafina. Ganda!

PS—to those who saw it, here’s another line: (SFX of bottle being smashed) “Good whiskey!”

Episode: Get A Life

My workload is getting more hectic these days. I keep telling me to get a life.

Before I’d go watch movies alone after work (partly so that I’m free to watch what I want when I want, partly to be ready for hada possibilities); I was always updated with the latest from Hollywood. And before I'd watch a movie at least 3 times if I liked it.

Now? I still have to see “Kill Bill” and watch “LOTR” for the second time.

But you know what? I don’t regret my loss of time for movies. I realized I watched movies partly to while away time. Now that I don’t have time, I need to spend it wisely.

Which is why nowadays I prefer to just interact with people after work. Chikahan with officemates or catching up with friends. Weekends I try to have lunch at home Saturdays and breakfast on Sundays—during those times, I touch base with my family.

Now more than ever I need to get me my life.

Episode: Hindi Gusto

(To the tune of Teri Desario’s “Ain’t Nothing Gonna Keep Me from You”): I admit it, I really admit it…

I bought Britney’s “In The Zone” album. I’m already tired of her duet with Lola Madonna, but I’m playing “Toxic” every day—upon waking up and arriving home. (So you know my next week’s number one song.)

The only other song I like is the re-mix of “Me Against The Music.” What that cut and “Toxic” have in common is this—they both incorporate Indian music touches in their arrangement. “Toxic” has Bollywood strings, while the re-mix has Indian beats. Cool! It’s “Hindi Sad Diamonds” from Moulin Rouge all over again.

Back at the height of the Chinovella craze, a local FM radio station tried to buck the Cantopop invasion by playing Indian pop songs. Weird. But it didn’t catch on though. I don’t think the Philippines is ready for Indian soaps and movies with elaborate dance numbers that remind you of soirees (girls first, boys next, then both come together to sing and dance in unison.)

Thank god for that.

Episode: To Will Or Not To Will

I wanted Shakespeare In Love to win over Spielberg’s Saving Ryan’s Privates. I loved the witty tweaking of Shakespeare. Those familiar with Shakespeare get an extra kick out of the in-jokes that are strewn all over the Oscar-winning screenplay.

I also liked the movie’s thematic linking of love and art. Art brought William and his Juliet together. Love fueled his art. And in the end, when the lovers part ways, it is a tale not of love lost but love transformed into art. Her departure became Shakespeare’s inspiration for Twelfth Night.

With all the heartbreaks I’ve gone through I should have a string of theatrical masterpieces by now. Alas, poor McVie, I knew me to be not as talented as Shakespeare.

All the world’s a stage, and I’m an actor fumbling my lines.

I’m sleepy. I’m mixing my metaphors. To sleep, perchance to dream… aye, there’s the rub.

Now I’m mixing lines. Good night, folks!

Episode: Boss McVie

Today my organizational skills were put to the test. I managed to squeeze through the eye of the needle. But after today, I vow to delegate the organizing to the more organized. Leave the thinking and the flights of fancy to me.

I’ve always worn my supervisor’s cap with unease. I prefer to be a “peer” than a “superior.” Also, I have no problem with being a mentor; it’s organizing my team that gets me.

I realized I’m at my best when I’m thinking things through. My thoughts aren’t always linear but I’m able to eventually put them all in order.

Organizing thoughts is easy and exciting. Organizing people’s schedules is tedious and dull. Managing people’s growth is a challenge; managing their daily workload is simply corny.



Friday, January 30, 2004


Time Management Lesson #1: The more one focuses on just one task at hand, the faster the work is done.

("McVie, get back to work!!!" Opo, opo....)








(Well! Let me see if I can go underground broadcast, ala-Wayne's World.)

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Episode: Which Came First, The Chicken or The Flu?

Damn this bird flu thing. I’ve limited my meat intake to mostly chicken to maintain my fig-yah, but with this disease, the chicken flu off my menu. Fowl news indeed.

So now I have to stick to fish. But it’s difficult to find food establishments that serve fish that’s reasonably priced and not fried. So lunch and dinner is always a search for good fish dish.

A Piscean looking for fish to eat. How very Alanis-isn’t-it-ironic-Morisette. Sigh.

Episode: He Sneaks Into The McVie Show Through the Backstage

Dramatis Personae:
Xander da Gander – please see below
Pagsi – a most beloved and respected teacher and living institution

Since Xander finds the show “so entertaining,” let’s shine the spotlight on him, shall we?

Xander is one of the few straight males whom I find interesting in a non-sexual way. Let me repeat it again for the second time in a row just to make sure both he and our audience get it right: in a NON-SEXUAL WAY. Clear? Whew.

He has a subtle sense of humor. His jokes are almost of the throwaway, “then again…” and “on second thought…” kind, and he tosses them off as if he’s not sure if they’re funny. They are.

He has a deceiving seriousness about him. He actually finds most things silly, but he addresses them with the seriousness worthy of an honor’s class student and Dulaang Sibol graduate.

Yes, he and I are both products of the Pagsi School For Young Boys Who Sing At A Drop Of A Hat, Play The Guitar Instinctively, and Act Up A Storm With Patented Arms-Raised-Ala-Christ-On-The-Cross Blocking (I failed in the guitar part). Rare is the Sibolista who joins Tanghalang Ateneo after 3 years of “theater as a tool, not as an end in itself.” It’s like leaving the Jesuit Society to join the Heretics. Thank god (or Pagsi?) we weren’t burned at the stake.

Xander now works for… wait, let’s protect the innocents, shall we? Instead, let me just say that I’ve rarely seen Xander blow his top, blow his own horn or just simply blow (cuz he’s straight, he doesn’t drink, and he excels in most everything he sets his mind to do.)

As I said in my Friendster testimonial, Xander is the Obliviously Sneaky One.

Episode: Stuff That Broken Vow!

Dramatis Personae:
Doe – biological son of a military man, spiritual daughter of Diana, the Amazon Also Known As Wonder Woman, or AAKAWW
Orlando – the SUV Formerly Known As Rupert Jr., or TSFKARJ (try saying that fast 5 times!)

When I first got Orlando, I vowed no stuffed banana or any of the Disney dwarves would hang from Orly’s windshield. Or hang me instead.

But my friend and fellow officemate Doe gave me a koala bear—the kind that hangs from a suction cup—as pasalubong from Sydney.

Now I’m not a stuffed toy guy. I bought a huge killer whale stuffed toy from Ocean Adventure so I can just toss it in the backseat whenever my nephew and niece would ride in Orlando; it shuts them up. I named him Willie so I can tell people to “Go ahead, fondle my Willie.”

But this koala’s just *sooooooooooooooooo cute!* He reminds me of the Disney character so I’m naming him Stitch.

“Vows are spoken to be broken.” So hang me.

Episode: Thunder Cats Are Go!

On March this year I turn 38.

Yes folks, I AM that old… and loving it. Mainly because when people see me, they go, "You don't look 37" and I ALWAYS say, "I know" with matching shit-eating grin.

The big FOUR-OH is staring me in the eye, and I'm staring back.

Epsiode: Song Sung Blue, Everybody Knows One

Here's a song for the coming VD, courtesy of my rock gods, The Beatles:

"Ah, look at all the lonely people

Eleanor Rigby picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been
Lives in a dream
Waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door
Who is it for?

All the lonely people
Where do they all come from ?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong ?

Father McKenzie writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear
No one comes near.
Look at him working. Darning his socks in the night when there’s nobody there
What does he care?

All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?

Eleanor Rigby died in the church and was buried along with her name
Nobody came
Father McKenzie wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave
No one was saved

All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?"

[Eleanor Rigby / The Beatles]

I ask myself, "Am I lonely?" But I realize, "How can I be lonely when I have me with me?" As another song goes, "If you can't be with the one you love, honey, love the one you're with." I'm always with me anyway, so might as well love myself.

*narcissistic me starts fondling myself to the tune of "I Touch Myself"*

Episode: An Alternative VD

In my theater group, what we used to do during Valentine's Day was to turn things around: make the couples envious of us singles.

The singles would host a Singles-Only event. It changes every year: a party or a picnic or a group date in Shakey's, etc. Since we were a fun and noisy lot, the couples in our group would be envious. Some would end their date early so they can join us. I know two couples who made our event their VD date!

We'd drink, tell jokes, gossip and make fun of the couples who aren't there. We made sure they found out the following day that we exposed their dirty little secrets in public.

In the battle between Indians ("individuals") versus Cowboys ("couples") on V-Day, the Indians always win.

Episode: The Good Life

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a pilot or an astronaut. My parents wanted me to be a good son.
When I was in grade school, I wanted to be an actor. My parents wanted me to get good grades.
When I was in high school, I wanted to be a rock star. My parents wanted me to have a good barkada.
When I was in college, I wanted to be a film director. My parents wanted me to choose a good job.

Now I have a good job and good friends. My ambition? To be a good person.

(I've a long way to go, but I'm in no hurry. Only the good die young; I wanna grow old, hehehe.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2004


Hay naku, gutom lang nga! What hunger can do.

And hearing Britney yet again! Next time I feel toxic, a dose of "Toxic" will do the trick!

Gosh, I'm sooo easy to please, HAHAHAHA!!!

Episode: Mid-Week Woes

It's just one of them days.

Two major plugs still to produce; I'm already past the deadline but I'm still procrastinating. I'm not excited at all to do them.

Gosh I need a hug.

I'm getting pensive. Gutom lang ito.

I think I'll have a fat, juicy Big Brothers burger with cream cheese and garlic, mushroom and onions. Or I'll have roasted garlic and shrimp pizza at Yellow Cab. Or maybe I'll have both. And then I'll really regret it and have to double my efforts at the gym tomorrow.

Between sex and food, food is more consistent and reliable.

Episode: Travails of the Heart

I'm friendly to most people but it takes a while before I can call someone a friend. That's because I usually see both good and bad traits. The former keeps me interested; the latter keeps me grounded.

Once in a while a person or two slips through and we instantly bond. In the excitement, I latch on to what we have in common. I’m blindsided to what makes us different. Only after some time do I see a more complete picture.

Then there are crushes. Attraction is a dangerous thing—it is a ballistic missile wrapped in giddy colors. It flies under the radar and strikes unexpectedly. It is so powerful it circumvents my brain and goes straight to my heart and/or my loins. And when that happens I’m lost.

After years of “losing my head” over numerous, mostly straight guys (my close friends suggested I should wear a pin that says: “Hi, I’m McVie. I chase straights!”) and taken or uninterested gays, I tried to numb myself. Be distant. Do a Sting and build “a fortress around my heart.” I went down the cynic route.

But I couldn’t do anti-social—I like being liked too much.

I became lonelier. But I also got tired of being lonely. So I learned how to be alone.

One day I fell in love—with my family. That did it. I wanted to feel again.

Until now, I have no idea how to protect myself from myself. But I’m not looking for a way. I’m just thankful I can still feel.

Episode: Switching Stations

Last night I heard “Toxic” twice, and once this morning. I really flip out whenever I hear it; I have to stop myself from dancing inside the car. (You should see me try to dance while at a stop light or worse, while the car’s moving!)

“With the taste of your lips
I'm on a ride
Your toxic tongue slippin' mine (Ohh Ohh)
With the taste of the poison paradise
I'm addicted to you
Don't you know that you're toxic?
And I love what you do
Don't you know that you're toxic?”

To quote Nelz, “Britney rulz!”


Michelle Branch’s “One of These Days” was just hovering below the top 5, but I think this week it’ll enter the charts. The song’s instrumentation was what first hooked me. Then it was this particular verse:

“Did I make you nervous?
Did I ask for too much?
Was I not deserving one second of your touch?”

I don’t know which is sadder, being too demanding or being too afraid. Either way it’s sad for both, a mismatch.


I don’t really like the song “Holidae Inn” by Chingy… but the video is just eye-candy. That’s a case of the video enhancing my appreciation of the song—if I hear it on the radio, I just kinda bop my head a bit then switch. But seeing and hearing it via the video, I feel like dancing to it. Weird ko, ‘noh?


Music to keep my spirits up: “Absolutely Not” by Deborah Cox (from Queer As Folk season 2 soundtrack). It has a chorus that channels the “I Will Survive” spirit. And one of the reasons why I enjoy Bed:

“Should I wear my hair in a ponytail?
Should I dress myself up in Chanel?
Do I measure me by what you think?
Absolutely not! Absolutely not!
If I go to work in a mini-skirt
Am I givin' you the right to flirt?
I won't compromise my point of view
Absolutely not! Absolutely not!”

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Episode: The Mc-Q&A Portion

(SFX: applause)

And we’re back with Kervs and his problem with his Best Friend, Common Friend and Ex! What a crash course on the tangled web that was woven!

Okay, let me see if I get this straight: your Best Friend is interested in someone who very much dislikes you.

This is what I say:

Tell your Best Friend the whole story. Give Best Friend the complete scenario so that he knows that complications will arise if he should pursue Ex.

You say Best Friend is analytical, nitpicky and “mental”? Well, better let him analyze, nitpick and go mental on the situation BEFORE he pursues Ex, not AFTER. (I just hope your Best Friend will analyze and not merely worry. There’s a difference.)

What Best Friend will choose to do afterwards is his choice; you are not responsible for your Best Friend’s choices and actions.

As for your fears:

[1] “my only fear is it'll affect his chances for common friend's ex”
That’s between Best Friend and Ex to work out. You should work on your fear. Do you have to worry for the two too?

[2] “topic of conversation might, more often than not shift towards me and MIGHT cause conflict”
Again, that’s their problem to work out. Don’t take on other people’s worries.

[3] “That would preclude me joining coz I know it'll be detrimental to common friend's ex's mental health”
It really depends on the agreements your Best Friend and Ex will strike with one another if they do become a couple. Maybe they’ll decide to just have dates by themselves. Maybe your Best Friend will choose to spend less time with you and more time with him; or maybe vice versa. Maybe Best Friend will ask you and Ex to exert extra effort and be friends with one another—can you handle that? Will Ex be willing to let bygones be bygones? But those things will only matter IF they hook up. That hasn’t happened yet.

So regarding your fears, you can choose to worry needlessly or not.

I hope I got your scenario right, cuz if I didn’t then slap me silly! And Kervs, check your email. I’ve a request I hope you can accommodate.

Episode: Wish List

There are days when I wish I can just drop everything, walk out of the office and lose myself in the city. Watch a movie. Ride the MRT. Walk around Luneta. Go to a museum. Watch planes take off and land. Watch rehearsals at the CCP. Catch the sunset at the bay. Eat 50-cloves chicken at Garlic Rose.

Go off to Laguna or Tagaytay. Walk around National Arts Center. Zone out at Taal’s majestic view. Sip coffee. Lie down on a beach. Hear the lapping of waves.

Eat a ripe mango. Feel the juice drip down the sides of my mouth.

Feel the breeze. Feel the soft grass. Be enveloped in a tight, warm hug.

This is one of those days.

Episode: On People Who Insist On Wearing Red Or Pink On Valentine's Day

There's a saying: If you have nothing good to say, don't say anything.


*smiles like a cheshire cat*

Episode: Make Up Blues

Remember the gay couple I told you guys about? The one who broke up after 6 years? My PS said, "Hay naku, knowing them they’ll be back in each other’s arms before the 14th of February."

Well, this morning I received a text message saying they're back in each other's arms. Ang bilis ng mga pangyayari, mga kaibigan!

Truly, the threat of being alone on the 14th looms large. Hahahahaha!!!

Episode: On The Radio

This morning I heard again the radio commercial for the Patty Austin/James Ingram (yes, it was him) Valentine’s Concert. I decided to just Be in the here-and-Now, and just listened.

“How do you keep the music playing…?” “Baby, come to me, let me put my arms around you, this was meant to be….” “Ask her to stay, find one hundred ways….” They actually have nice songs in their repertoire.

Then I realized—good songs sung by HAS-BEENS.

By the time the commercial ended, I was smiling. I don’t think I’ll be unnerved by another Valentine’s concert radio commercial from now on.

Episode: The Mc-Q&A Portion

Ladies and gentlemen, we have our first question from our studio audience. Thank you very much Kervs, for being brave enough to ask the first question. Let’s give Kervs a warm round of applause, ladies and gentlemen!

(SFX: appaluse)

Kerv’s question is this: “What do you do when your best gay friend is interested (making the moves) on a common friend's ex, with same ex knowing (somewhat) that you and common friend kinda, um, did something and you know somehow, this might complicate the moves of your best friend on the common friends ex. Confusing? Maybe not, yer sharp enough as I gather, and yes, this is not a joke peks-man”

Well Kervs, the beauty of doing a live show is that I can ask you some follow-up questions first so we can get a better idea of your situation.

[1] You said Ex knows that you and Common Friend (Ex’s ex) did something. Do you know how Ex feels about what happened between you and his ex? How does Ex feel? When did you and Common Friend do this something—before or after the break-up between Common Friend and Ex?

[2] Does Best Friend know something happened between you and Common Friend? If yes, do you know how Best Friend feels about it? If no (which I’m guessing is the case), are you worried that when Best Friend finds out about it (through Ex, perhaps?), the shit will hit the fan?

[3] Can you elaborate on how it "might complicate the moves of your best friend on the common friends ex"? What kind of complication are you talking about?

Ladies and gentlemen, we’ll pause for a commercial break as we give Kervs time to prepare his answers. We’ll be right back, promise!

Monday, January 26, 2004

Episode: Spokening Dollars

I have an inner snob.

It was cultivated back in grade school when I was placed in the honors class in grade 5. They hammered into our heads, “To whom much is given, much is expected” and our class made sure our teachers got more than they bargained for.

We were a highly demanding class.

Our class remained mostly intact when we transferred to high school—same batch, same set of nerds. Our first year teacher called our class the most pintasero (fault-finding) class he has ever taught (and coming from someone who’s been teaching for more than 35 years, that’s quite a class achievement). But that same teacher taught us to be highly competitive and to spot mistakes quickly and point them out in public. He helped create his own Frankenstein.

This continued in college, where I knew I could ace my first year math courses without studying (we took it up in high school so it was just pure review for me). I was also in freshman English honors. I made the dean’s list both semesters in first year.

By second year I decided I don’t need to prove anything to myself academically. I focused my energy to just learning instead of getting high grades. And I dove deep into theater.

In my first job at the Cultural Center of the Philippines my boss would rely on me to draft letters of agreement and contracts even though I was not a lawyer. She would write her memos in longhand, then expect me to improve her writing as I input it in the computer. I was Mirriam-Webster McVie. Working in the “real world” made me realize I had a particular pet peeve: the "p-and-f" and "b-and-v" frovlem. Pilifinos interchange the two letters opten.

In advertising I moved into a bigger pool with lots of bigger fish. I made Leigh my spell check, grammar check, anything-English-language-related check. I recognized my limitations in English. I still had my fet feebe.

Now I’m in a major broadcasting network where the "bakya" reigns supreme. I tend to blend with my surroundings (like Pisceans often do). I would catch myself making more and more errors in grammar and syntax; there’ll be an occasional subject-verb disagreement due to carelessness. My god, nabo-bobo na ako.

Now I have a blog that is written predominantly in English. If you spot any mistakes, you may point them out. I don’t mind. It’ll help me stay sharp.

And soften the snob in me.

Episode: The Power of Now

Could there be something in me, some self-sabotaging trait I have, that prevents me from being able to hook up with someone or sustain a stable relationship?

Or is thinking about me having a self-sabotaging trait (please see previous paragraph) already the self-sabotaging trait?

You know the saying, "Our mind is our worst enemy," and that we can will things to happen if we think they’ll happen?

I haven’t read the whole of Eckhart Tolle’s book yet, but it looks like “The Power of Now” is out to help people silence our worst enemy, our minds. It helps people find “grace, ease and lightness,” truly a de-stressed way to live life.

Eckhart skewers Descarte’s “I think therefore I am” which contributes to the idea that we are our minds, we are what we think. We’re not. In fact, he wants us to free ourselves from the self-imposed prisons our minds can create.

En Vogue told us to “free your mind.” Now Eckhart is saying, “Free yourself from your mind.” How? By “watching the thinker.” I’d like to phrase it in another way: Mind your mind.

Confusing? Never mind. I think I have to read the whole book first.

Did I just say, “I think”? I thought so.



Last night I was in a U2 kind of mode. The following song kept playing in my head the whole day today; a case of Last Song Syndrome (LSS).

See the stone set in your eyes
See the thorn twist in your side
I wait for you

Sleight of hand and twist of fate
On a bed of nails she makes me wait
And I wait without you
With or without you

Through the storm we reach the shore
You give it all but I want more
And I’m waiting for you
With or without you
I can’t live with or without you

And you give yourself away

My hands are tied
My body bruised, she’s got me with
Nothing to win and
Nothing left to lose

With or without you
I can’t live with or without you

[With Or Without You / U2]

Episode: Break Up Blues

It’s sad to hear that a gay couple breaking up a day after their sixth year anniversary. I’ve seen them together, and though I admit my exposure to them as a couple is limited, it really looked like their relationship is the type that will last for a long, long time. They even sound like an old couple, especially when they bicker and fight (they’re just in their early 20s).

But if nothing lasts forever, does this mean that we shouldn’t even bother to try? Or is there something intrinsically beautiful and enriching to build loving relationships in spite of the fact that it will end? Why live a “good life” when death awaits us in the end?

Or is this the more accurate question: What kind of a relationship should we aspire for?

Now I wish I was Patty Austin or Nina or whoever else is having a Valentine’s concert this February. I’d like to bombard the audience with those questions after every song and ruin their date. Let’s see how fun their Valentine’s dinner will turn out to be.

(SFX: thunder and lightning and evil laughter: “Mwhahahahahahahahaha!!!”)

PS – Hay naku, knowing them they’ll be back in each other’s arms before the 14th of February.

Episode: I Hada, Now I’m Back For More (Wanna Make Love To Ya, Baby….)

Dramatis Personae:
Hada -- 25 years old, works in a bank (something about loans, I don't remember now)

Back in Manila Sunday evening after a spiritually uplifting Sonya’s Garden, I received a text message from a former hada. He was feeling horny that night and “missed (my) sweet kisses” daw. Can we meet?

Now truth to tell I didn’t remember who this guy was; I just had his name in my phonebook. I guess I met him when I was too naïve and too nice to refuse to give my number to strangers. Anyway last night I thought, “Hmmm, if I gave him my number maybe he’s my type. Why would I give my number to someone who’s not?” So I agreed to meet him at a McDonald’s near his place.

I was finishing my quarter pounder (more energy for more pounding) and fries when a guy wearing a “Dao shall wear Bench” white shirt and blue pants came in. He had nerdy thick-rimmed glasses on and his hair was standing up. He had narrow shoulders, a no-shape torso, slim waist and thin legs.

This is gonna be a mercy fuck, I immediately thought. What the fuck was I thinking when I gave him my number?

He sat down in front of me. “You don’t remember me, do you?” he asked.

“To be honest I mistook you for someone else.”

“So that’s why you agreed to see me,” he smiled. Oh yes, I thought, use self-depreciation. Won’t work, boy; it doesn’t suit you.

“Nah, nah, nah I get people mixed up all the time.”

“Too many men in your life?” There he goes again.

Yup, I wanted to say but held my tongue. “Just getting old,” I said instead. “Where did we meet again?”

He looked like he was going to reprimand me. “At ____________,” he mentions a mall, with matching half-smile, half-pout. Must be really, really dark in the movie house, I thought.

We ended up having a decent and lively conversation. Then he asked me why I still don’t have a boyfriend. “Wala pa kasi,” I said.

“Baka naman pihikan ka.”

“Hindi naman. Wala pa lang.”

“Why don’t you want to be in a relationship?” he asked.

“It’s not that I don’t want to be in one. There’s just no one.” I was getting exasperated.

“It’s different if you have someone taking care of you, loving you.”

“I have friends. I have family. And I can take care of myself.”

He shook his head. “It’s still different.”

“Of course it’s different. But I refuse to be unhappy just because I don’t have a lover. It’ll be different if I had a gazillion dollars, but I don’t and I’m not unhappy.”

Now he looked exasperated.

I excused myself to go to the bathroom. I was thinking of a way to terminate the evening and maybe just go home, but part of me was saying, well, we’re both here anyway.

When I went back he was already standing up. “Let’s go,” he said. We ended up in a motel. It was mercifully over in less than an hour.

“Text me when you get home so I know you arrived safe,” he said when I dropped him off.

Usually after having great sex I’d reward myself with roasted garlic and shrimp pizza from Yellow Cab, or a fat, juicy burger at Brother’s. This time I decided to fast.

The next morning it was already around nine when I remembered that I didn’t text him the night before. Yes, even if on the outside I’m Miss Manners, I can still be very much in touch with my Inner B-I-T-C-H.

(This episode will result in karma striking me back. I just know it.)

PLUGGING: The Mc-Q&A Portion

Want advice? Want a comment? Want an opinion?

The McVie Show is now open to phone-in questions and questions from our studio audience! Bored ka na ba? Nalolongkot? Walang makausap? Questions, problems—real or hypothetical—yours truly will try his best to answer them on-line!

Can you take large doses of irony? Do you not take life too seriously? Then participate in The Mc-Q&A Portion! For brave studio audience members, just click “Audience Participation”. For the shy ones, just email me directly with your question and your name or your preferred codename (example: Lovesick Boy, Vagina Girl, Wille24, etc.) if you want to remain anonymous.

Tawag na!

*Per DTI-NCR Permit No. 69, Series of 2004. The producers of The McVie Show reserve the right to screen questions from the audience. Killjoys and prank callers will be ignored. Or then again, maybe not…. :-)

Episode: Contrary Me

Given Xander's admonition that my "blog isn't a blog" until I took some silly test, I decided to take the test he proposed I take.

Na-take n'yo ba yung previous statement ko?

Anyway, I refuse to make my blog the usual blog. So yes Xander I took the test and I know which lunatic I am. But I'm not publishing the results.

*grins silly*

Episode: Seeing Red

Oh my god. They’re already advertising a Valentine’s concert this early. My, my, my... it’s that time of the year again when it seems the whole world (actually the marketing people) connive to make single people feel less than whole.

I know I’ve handled this before, year in year out. Yet how come I still feel unnerved by the coming red-lettered day?

Relax. Now, now, now….


Sunday, January 25, 2004

Episode: Afro this yak!

Between food and sex, I choose food. Food is more consistently satisfying. There are many factors involved in having sex which can turn even a hard, hunky hada into a limp loss.

But between great food and great sex, I choose great sex any day.

Now great food after great sex? The bomb!

(Sex after great food is kinda difficult to get by, simply because if the food is so great, I'd pig out and then I'd be too lazy and full to have sex immediately after. I fear pelvic thrusts on a full stomach may lead to embarrassing moments or--hell, I don't know--appendicitis? I mean, what if I throw up? Ewww. I'll need a few hours after stuffing my face silly to stuff my mouth silly again.)

Having said that, between an invitation to fuck versus an invite to Yellow Cab (my favorite pizza place for the moment), do you really have any doubt as to which of the two I'd choose?

Kailangan pa bang i-memorize yan?!

Episode: The McVie Top 5 (week of 19-25 Jan 2004)

As I said, for my Top 5 I shall try and limit myself to the current pop hits on the radio. Why? Well, I'm patterning this after American Top 40 and the British charts, thus pop songs. I mean, hey, if I wanted to go esoteric, I can just place any obscure artist here and you guys'll go, "Oooh, pretty cool, esoteric guy!" But pop? That'll be more, uhm, iffy (hahahaha!!!) Let's face it, the more popular, the closer you are to baduy, which is more fun for me!

Here we go:

[5] God Is A DJ / Pink (new entry)
When I first heard it, I only liked the chorus ("If God is a DJ / Life is a dance floor / Love is the rhythm / You are the music / If God is a DJ / Life is a dance floor / You get what you're given / It's all how you use it"). But second time around I kinda dug the verses too, musically first. Lyrics are so-so, the usual angry-young-woman-empowerment thing. Ho-hum.

[4] Crazy In Love / Beyonce
This has been hovering at the top 5 in my charts for months now. If I had begun my chart when it first came out, it would have held on to the top spot for more than a month. Her music video is so fun to watch. Her ooops-I-slipped-oh-well-I'll-just-sing movement on the first line of the song is simply hilarious, teethering between panache and kitch.

[3] Hey Ya! / Outkast
I think this song would have kicked Beyonce off the top spot had I have charts back then. Giddy hand-clapping and infectuous sing-along chorus, this is one of the happiest dysfunctional love songs I've heard recently.

[2] Thoia Thoing / R Kelly
Another song that's been in my charts for quite some time now. Fell in love with the girl going "Thoia thoia thoia thoia thoing thoing" over and over. Then I flipped out when I saw the video. I'm not a fan of R Kelly; he loves to write shmaltzy ballads. But this one is bitchin'. A guilty pleasure I'm not ashamed of admitting.

[1] Toxic / Britney Spears
Sigh. What can I say except, "Guilty, your honor." It's the guitars. It's gotta be the guitars. (Okay, it's also the fits and stops, and the way her voice was processed so it sounds so slinky-fake (like her boobs perhaps?)

My gosh, they're all dance music. Well, I guess that's why despite the pressures and added work load at the office, I'm not climbing walls and flaking out. These songs--and driving--help cheer me up. They serve as a reminder for me: when your mind and heart are weary, dance. Pertty soon your body'll get so tired you won't have the energy to worry nor feel depressed.

Episode: Saturday and Sunday at Sonya’s

K – former stage-manager of my directed play, keeper of some deep dark secrets of the past
The Good Doctor – pops up in the most unexpected places

So K and I went to Tagaytay for some spontaneous R&R.

Saturday afternoon we met at the Alabang Town Center where I bought a DVD copy (original, mind you… I try not to buy pirated unless that’s the only copy available here; even then, if I have a chance to replace it with an original, I will) of “Hero,” that gorgeous color-coded textile movie with Jet Li, Maggie Chung and Tony Leung. She was having some problem finding Powerbooks (our meeting place), but I told her, “No hurry. Today is relax day.” We decided that’ll be our mantra for the day.

Since all the bed-and-breakfast rooms at Sonya’s Garden were booked, K made reservations for dinner and massage for two instead. When we got there, a wedding reception had just ended. K was about to take me on a tour around the place when she stopped. “Hey!” she said then checked herself. “Oh wait, no….”


“That lady looked like The Good Doctor’s wife.”

I looked. “That’s because she is. There’s The Good Doctor himself!”

Surprise, surprise! The reception was for a young teacher at the Ateneo; as usual, The Good Doctor was emcee at the reception. As they were leaving the place, the newly-weds congratulated him for a smashing hosting job. Given The Good Doctor’s penchant for witty but shocking pronouncements, I wondered what kind of verbal bombs he had unleashed at that occasion. The bride looked happy enough, so I guess The Good Doctor reined himself this time.

While touring the place, we had another even more pleasant surprise: several bookings for that night were cancelled. We immediately jumped at the chance.

What a place! Shabby chic, K describes the place. Soft billowing gauze everywhere, flowers, pebbles and stones, airy rooms, soft pillows and huge comfy beds… and the bathroom is so spacious, so airy and comfortable, it looks like one must not take a dump there (the sink and toilet bowl? From France, no less!) There were three beds in our room; I took the one that had a gauze canopy. I just HAD to.

Wide windows meant that the cold strong Tagaytay winds would freeze us to death if we did not use blankets. So K and I went to buy wine to help keep us warm that night.

Dinner: according to K, they never change their set menu. I guess this is aimed at discouraging people from going there too often. One must allow time before the next visit. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. The salad was excellent, everything fresh. The pasta was okay, nothing extra-spectacular but still good. By the time we got to dessert (turon and kamote), K and I were just happy to sip on fresh, delicious dalandan juice.

K and I just blabbed away, talking about anything and anyone, jumping from topic to topic without pause or segue. She admitted that when she first met me she found me a “cool and cold dude.” I admitted I wasn’t exactly close to her because of circumstances in the past. There were interesting revelations she made about the past, which were fascinating to hear in the light of the present day.

K and I were never really close before and we didn’t really bond even when we were working closely together over “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (she was my stage manager.) Partly the reason why I took this trip with her is to bond with her, because I realized that she’s a great friend to have: witty, stable, level-headed, clear thinker, self-aware, and—this is important—financially capable of spending Php3,000+ on a spur-of-the-moment (mwhahaha!!! Seriously, not many people of her age whom I know are earning that much.)

After an early dinner we had enough time to shower and relax before we went for our 9 pm massage appointment. This is the very first time I had an honest-to-goodness legit massage. Most of my massages before were from so-called massage parlors where the “masseurs” were more concerned with providing “extra service” than giving you an actual massage. (They were also relaxing in another kind of way.)

I had some trepidation dropping my pants, putting on the sarong, and submitting to a—yikes—masseuse. And when she pushed down my underwear a little further, I had to fight down the urge to say, “No! No! Stop! You’re a girl!” Instead, I made small talk with K (who was on the bed beside me), making sure that I dropped words like “chuva” and “chika na rin” and “bongga wagi” just to make sure.

Back in our room we chatted some more over wine before going to sleep. The wind was ice cold even with a blanket on; I had to shut the windows. Cool!

After a sumptuous breakfast and a schizophrenic shower (hot water plus cold winds equals kaloka-windang!), we were about to pay when we realized we didn’t have enough money with us. So I had to drive out to an ATM, withdraw and go back before we could leave Sonya’s Garden. But even that did not stress me at all. Thanks to Sonya and a book entitled “The Power of NOW”, my new mantra in life is, “Now, now…” and I’m now trying to learn how to “watch the thinker.”

But that’s for another episode.


(It's nice to hear someone coping with his problems by dancing.)

Yesterday… well it seemed so cool
When I walked you home, kissed goodnight
I said it´s love, you said all right
It´s funny how I could never cry
Until tonight and you pass by
Hand in hand with another guy
You´re dressed to kill and guess who´s dying?

Dance away the heartache
Dance away the tears… dance away

Loneliness is a crowded room
Full of open hearts turned to stone
All together all alone
All at once my whole world had changed
Now I´m in the dark, off the wall
Let the strobe light up them all
I close my eyes and dance till dawn

Now I know I must walk the line
Until I find an open door
There was I—many times a fool
I hope and pray, but not too much
Out of reach is out of touch
All the way is far enough

Dance away the heartache
Dance away the tears… dance away

[Dance Away / Roxy Music]

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Episode: Short People Got Short You-Know-What

I need to be able to write haiku-like prose. My entries have too many words. I can hear Prof. Eric Torres in my Freshman English screaming Strunk and White’s mantra: Omit needless words!

I’m quite verbose when I talk and write. I have this fear I don’t make myself clear. Miscommunication happens because people don’t express themselves clearly.

I’m being too defensive and I’m rambling.

(Actually I’m just a kid who’s having fun playing with his new toy, hehehe. Parang ibon na nakawala sa hawla. Blog, blog ‘to, blog, blog ‘to lambi, ‘to lambi, ‘to lambawikan….)


Come up to meet you, tell you I’m sorry
You don’t know how lovely you are
I had to find you, tell you I need you
Tell you I set you apart
Tell me your secrets, and ask me your questions
Oh lets go back to the start
Running in circles, coming up tails
Heads on a silence apart

Nobody said it was easy
Oh it’s such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said that it would be this hard
Oh take me back to the start

I was just guessing at numbers and figures
Pulling your puzzles apart
Questions of science, science and progress
Do not speak as loud as my heart
Tell me you love me, come back and haunt me
Oh and I rush to the start
Running in circles, chasing our tails
Coming back as we are

Nobody said it was easy
Oh it’s such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be so hard
I’m going back to the start

[The Scientist / Coldplay]

Friday, January 23, 2004

Episode: Driving Me Daisy

I remember my parents driving me to the Ateneo for my college entrance exam one fine Saturday morning. Daddy was driving, Mommy quiet in front, me in the passenger seat behind, smack in the middle between the two. As we entered the school gates, my parents asked me what course I wanted to take. "Communication arts," I replied. They asked, "Why? What do you want to be when you graduate?" I told them: I want to direct films.

My parents looked at each other and laughed.

I never felt so humiliated by both of them in my entire life.

When my dad ran after me with his slippers to spank me in front of my neighborhood friends because I wrote chalk marks on our wall, I wanted to die of embarrassment. Whenever I had low grades (usually in math) in grade school, my mom would point at my older, smarter brother and say, “Why can’t you be like your brother? He’s always Top 1 in his class!” I would only bow my head; inside I’d berate myself for failing to be a perfect son. I always try not to cry in front of them.

But that Saturday morning, I had to press my face against the car window and pretend to look at the football field so that I wouldn’t be seen in the rear-view mirror. I didn’t want my dad to see me teary-eyed.

I took the test and passed. In the application form, I checked “Communication Arts”. My parents did not do anything to stop me. Nor did they say anything against my choice ever again.

Cut to 20 years later. I’ve directed only two films—one in 4th year high school and one for my college thesis. I’ve directed a stage play. I’ve directed some simple television plugs. A few years ago I apprenticed as an assistant director for commercials, but after two projects stopped.

I’m not pursuing my dream of directing a film anymore. For now, it’s sitting on my shelf. Maybe one day I’ll dust it off and who knows? Or maybe it’ll remain up there, gathering dust.

My parents are very proud of what I’ve become. Whenever they see a TV commercial or print ad or TV plug that they know I had a hand in creating it, they’d say, “Hey, that’s Joel’s commercial.” But I rarely tell them which ones are mine… well, only the ones I’m proud of.

Nowadays I’m the one driving while my parents sit in the back. They usually fall asleep; that’s how much they trust me behind the wheel.

I look at my parents through the rear-view mirror and I’m proud of them for trusting me enough and not putting the brakes on my dreams… even the shelved ones.

COMMERCIAL BREAK: Words Are Flowing Out Like Endless Rain Inside A Paper Cup

Love those who love you. – Voltaire

It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. – E.B. White

I can resist everything except temptation. – Oscar Wilde

Life is a jest; and all things show it.
I thought so once; but now I know it. – John Gay

Episode: Friendly Random Thoughts

Dramatis Personae:
The Good Doctor – theater director, doctor of sociology and anthropology, actor, hypochondriac, slow driver, chair-thrower, teacher, the World Bank to some cash-strapped Tanghalang Ateneo members… and over-all wise man. Thank god for friends much, much older than me, hahahaha!!!

Andrew – lawyer, only two-termed TA company manager, perennial taong-bayan (daw) in TA plays… and revisionist of his personal history (particularly his love life)

Other friends

Last night I received a text from a friend. He sounded like he was having fun with others. Still, I remember feeling strange, though I quickly shrugged it off. Not wanting to probe any further, I just tossed off a throwaway reply. Today I found out he was feeling a bit off last night. Hmmm… I should listen to my inner voices more. I tend to underestimate my feelings and Piscean intuition and often rely on my ever-conscious logic.

This morning I got a text message from a very good friend of mine who told me he found my blog inspiring. Inspiring? I was aiming for just entertainment, hahaha! It’s nice to overshoot one’s own expectations once in a while.

This very good friend of mine: I never expected to one day be able to call him "a very good friend of mine". You see he's straight as an arrow with swoon-inducing height, great bod and good looks. And he's modest enough to genuinely cringe at reading my previous sentence. When we first met (we worked in the same office), I had the “prerequisite” crush on him. But the more I got to know him the more I lost the crush feeling. He was really the very definition of “a swell guy”! (I’m sure he’d disagree with me on this, and I’d have to agree with him on that.) And whatta fag stag! (a straight male version of a fag hag) That’s why I don’t think I’ll ever have lascivious thoughts about him ever again. (Hmmm. Weeeeeeell… mahirap nang magsalitang patapos, pero…. Ahahahaha!!!)

When I left that office, I never expected to maintain ties with him. But out of the blue he’d text me or I’d text him. And when I bumped into him in Greenbelt last Christmas, he was actually happy to see me and he even stood up from his table to spend time to chat with me. Na-touch naman daw ako, hahaha! He’s another friend of mine whom I can “take for granted” so to speak. They’re the friends who’ll last.

Yesterday I received an email from Andrew asking me for career advice. What do I know about law? But I remember he once commented how I’d often quote other people’s comments and use their very words to argue against them—so very lawyer-like. He’s accepted an offer to join a firm; this will be his first job. Andrew, you are entitled to make mistakes, everybody does. The important thing is that you learn from them. So go and kick legal ass!

Friends, friends, friends. I was talking to my life guru and friend, the Good Doctor himself, about how the over-all theme of my (non-existent) love life so far has been “Let’s just be friends” (see why it’s non-existing so far?) The Good Doctor turned to me and said, “Isn’t that funny? You have enough friends. You have lots of friends.” Hmmm, good point.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Episode: Inherit This!

I’m turning 38 this March, and yet I still live with my parents.

For some people that’s unthinkable. Get out of that house! Strike out on your own! Learn to be independent!


I live with my parents, two other brothers and a sister in Marikina. All of us siblings have stable jobs. If our parents suddenly kick the bucket tomorrow, between us kids we can maintain the house. My mom told us, “Who else are we gonna give the house to but you kids? We’re not taking it with us into our graves.” I’m angling to be the one to lord it over the house when my parents are gone.

More than once I imagined my dad dying and me inheriting his Honda Civic. That was back when I still didn’t have my Orlando. Now that my dad’s seventy-plus years old, wears a hearing aid, has more dentures than real teeth, and just sleeps, eats and watches Fox News (especially that stupid O’Reilly guy) the whole day, I have no need for his car anymore. We keep telling him to exercise. My sister watches like a hawk over what he eats; still, he insists on eating lechon every special occasion.

Last Christmas we went to Bohol, my parents’ home province. I never saw my dad so frail and tired-looking. He was an old man. One night over dinner he told us he just wants to take it easy, relax and let things be. If Death comes for him, so be it. So we suggested he and mom should just stay in Bohol. At least he’ll be in his beloved hometown during his final days. He refused, not giving us any reason.

Later on my mom whispered to us that Daddy doesn’t want to leave our house in Marikina while his children are still there. “So long as they’re under our roof, they’re our responsibility,” he told Mommy. I suspect that’s not his real reason. I’d like to think he just wants to be with us until my constant lunch companion takes him.

When I was growing up, I hated my dad for not being the ideal dad. Why can’t he be like Bill Cosby or like my classmate’s dads? Only when I realized that he grew up without a father (my grandfather left for America when my dad was a little boy; he was an OFW way before the term was invented) that I saw my father in a different light.

Today I’ll go home to the best father I ever have, the only father I’ll ever have. And I’ll be responsible for him so long as I’m under his roof.

Episode: Usapang Lasing

A friend of mine, a teacher in Ateneo High School, asked us this question years ago. Up to today this question never fails to elicit a lively discussion, especially during a drinking session.

“If you have to choose one, what will you choose—yam that tastes like shit or shit that tastes like yam?”

Sa totoo lang, mas masaya sa Pilipino: “Kung papipiliin ka, ano’ng pipiliin mo—ubeng lasang tae o taeng lasang ube?” Di ba mas okey?


Episode: Spontaneous Combustion

Well, there goes Sonia's Garden. The Garden of Eden has rejected Eve and me, the Snake. So I guess K. and I will just settle for a day-trip to Tagaytay on Saturday.

Spoke to her on the phone. We agreed to meet at Alabang at around 11-ish, then go to Tagaytay for lunch. Hang out, soak in the view, shoot the breeze. (If I had a shotgun, I'd shoot the couples cuddling in Picnic Grove, but that's too anti-social behavior.) Who knows, we might find a nice inn and decide to spend the night in Tagaytay.

Be spontaneous, play it by ear, plan-as-we-go. Sounds like life.

Episode: Blasphemous Rumors

Dramatis Personae:
God – a.k.a. Lord, The Divine Being, my constant lunch companion

I often take lunch alone. It started out as a necessity; now it’s a preference. When my officemates ask me, “Sino kasama mo mag-lunch?” I always answer, “Si Lord” and they’d get it. “Ah, nag-lunch ka mag-isa.”

Well, today He actually pulled up a chair beside me as I was trying to finish my Fried Chicken Yang Chow Rice.

God: Hello.
McVie: Oh my God!
God: Yup, that’s Me.
McVie: What are you doing here?
God: Well… first of all, Kung Hei Fat Choi. (smiles heavenly)
McVie: Hey! Speaking of that, I’ve always wondered: is it “choi” with an “i” or “choy” with a “y”?
God: (raises eyebrow) Do you really think I’d bother myself with that?
McVie: (chastised) Oh. Okay.
God: I’m here to tell you some news. Which one do you want first, good news or bad news?
McVie: Oh my. (pause) Um, okay… good news first.
God: Entertainment Weekly featured Sean Astin in an article in their Jan. 16 issue, the one with the dumb-birds Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey on the cover.
McVie: (excited) What?! Samwise?! I’m getting a copy now! (tries to stand up but thunder rumbles ominously)
God: Ahem. I’m not yet done.
McVie: (meekly) Oh yeah, right. Okay… what’s the bad news?
God: Sonia’s Garden is full this weekend. So you can’t stay overnight.
McVie: Goddam—
God: Don’t you dare. (thunder again)
McVie: —oops! Sorry.
God: Yeah. I know.
McVie: (whining under his breath) But I just announced it in my blog!
God: (shrugs His shoulder) Weeeeeeell! Ka-blog! (chuckles)
McVie: (starts singing) “I don’t want to start any blasphemous rumors, but I think that God’s got a sick sense of humor. And when I die, I expect to find him laughing.”
God: Hah! Look where Depeche Mode is now. Their careers are languishing in hell.
McVie: You’re quite a lunch date, you know that?
God: Of course. I won’t be God if I weren't, right?
McVie: (rolls eyes to heaven) Good lord!
God: (smiling) That’s the spirit!

Episode: Detox Me!

Dramatis Personae:
K -- she's one of the most even-tempered, sensible and self-aware woman I know in her age-bracket. She's just in her early 20s and already she's a successful television writer.

My god, I just agreed to go with K. to Sonia's Garden in Tagaytay this weekend! We'll be there Saturday afternoon until Sunday morning. She's bringing wine; I suppose I will too. We agreed to bring books and stuff. Even if we end up not talking to each other is fine by both of us.

I suppose I agreed to join her because I know I have to go to work this Sunday. I try my best to avoid work during weekends, but this Sunday is necessary. Sigh.

So I'm just gonna be good to myself first before that.

Episode: Station Switching

Mornings while driving to the gym I often listen to the radio. I tend to switch stations a lot, looking for a song I want to hear or a funny monologue/rant/conversation/argument from the DJ/s.

This morning Chico and Delamar (Alright, alright, I admit it! I listen to them, okay? Pakshet.) were discussing how it took a certain level of intelligence to be sarcastic, because one needs to be both nasty and witty. Chico remarked that it’s more entertaining to hear intelligence used for nasty purposes. (I swear, I really suspect he's.... *deep sigh* Ahem! Yun lang po.)

That’s the reason why one of my dream roles is to be the main villain in a Disney animation movie. They get all the great lines and they have the most fun.

Then I switched to K-Lite, where they had an on-air poll: whose version of the song “Waiting In Vain” did the listeners prefer—Bob Marley, Maxi Priest or Annie Lennox? Annie won hands down; I would have voted her too.

I mean, I like Bob; I have this thing for originals. But I have only one reaction when I hear his version: I should be high on marijuana and dancing. (I haven't heard Maxi Priest's version yet.) Annie’s version, on the other hand, is more complicated. Her voice has a sad and soulful tone while the musical arrangement is up-tempo. So there are two emotions going on—a sadness peering out from behind the beat. Like she's trying to cheer herself up even though her heart is losing hope.

And then… I chanced upon “Toxic” by Britney Spears! It’s her latest, and like, I swear, like, I’m not really, really a Britney fan, kindah, but this, like, song of hers? Oh man, it rocks! Totally! I swearrrrrr! I think it’s, like, the guitars? They sound so James Bond-ish or Hawaii Five-O-kindah... kewooolness!

By the way, I have to warn you, Dear Readers (Leigh in particular): my McVie Weekly Top 5 will mostly be a contemporary pop chart, meaning I’ll try and limit my songs to what’s currently being aired on the radio nowadays. Now sometimes there’ll be past songs that’ll have heavy airplay on my personal player, and those songs will have to be reflected on my charts. But I want this chart of mine to reflect my take on the current pop scene.

At first I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to find 5 songs to fill in my Top 5. But so far things are looking good. Can’t wait for Sunday.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Episode: Wag Kang Plastic!

I’ve been debating whether to come out here or not. From that opening sentence you obviously know what I decided.

The thing is, I’m out to mostly everybody except for my immediate family. Now Manila is really just a small town; I’m sure someone who knows about me knows one of my brothers or sisters or my parents. So it won’t surprise me if they’ve already heard something from someone about me.

The thing is none of them have asked me outright. (Denial? Fear? Embarrassment?) My stand is this: If you ask, I won’t lie. If you don’t, I won’t volunteer.

Not in the closet but not completely out either. I’m Kaha-de-Oro-ed.

Episode: Parking Makes Perfect

Several of my friends have complimented me on my driving skills, particularly on parking, especially parallel parking. Whereas some would have to go back-and-forth several times just to settle properly into a parking space, I usually get it in one take.

Of course I’m not Peter Perfect driving Car Number 9 in the Wacky Races. I’ve had to do the back-and-forth myself several times before. That usually happens when I’m concentrating too much on getting my parking perfect. It’s when I’m not too conscious that I’d get it in one move. In fact I often end up surprising myself: the moment I switch off the engine, I say “Gosh! I’m good!” to myself.

I realize it’s when I’m relaxed just right that I do my best. If I focus too much on my task I end up worrying too much, and I tighten up; too relaxed and I get sloppy. But if I get it just right I enjoy myself and lose myself in the task.

That also happens to me when I act. In acting one has to strike the right balance between relaxed and intense, ready to burst onstage. I may love being in front of an audience, but just before going out I’m gripped with fear backstage. If I don’t handle my stage fright well, I end up too conscious of “performing” for the audience (which is great if you’re hosting, say, an office Christmas party, but awful if you’re acting in a straight play). I remember only three (sheesh!) performances in my not-so stellar acting career when I lost myself in the moment, in the role.

In most of my client presentations, it’s when I’m not uptight that I make a wow performance. Too uptight or too relaxed always ends up with me not achieving what I set out to do.

When I was a lot younger I’d fall head over heels in love. Intense, focused… I’d often end up trying to control any and every situation. Now I’m slowly learning to strike a balance, knowing when to hold on and when to let go. Moderation, that's what the Desiderata says. Whereas before falling in love was an all-or-nothing, do-or-die situation, now I’m slowly learning to loosen up my grip.

I just have to make sure I don’t loosen my grip on the wheel while parallel parking.

Episode: Music makes the people come together, yeah!

Dramatis Personae:
Luis – a pseudonym; 30+ years old, single, self-employed
Rey – also a pseudonym; 30+ years old, married, now based abroad

I love lists. Maybe that’s why I love Entertainment Weekly (I call it my Bible)—they make lists all the time.

When I was in grade school I had a classmate-barkada Luis who was so into American Top 40 (with Casey Kasem in 99.5 RT) he would listen to the show every week and write the list down. That’s not all. He actually started listing down his very own Top 20.

Eventually he was able to convince me and another friend, Rey, to start our own charts. But that’s not all.

One day he proposed that the three of us would combine our charts. We’d compute based on points to determine which song was top of our collective charts.

The first week we had our combined charts, Luis was so into Kate Bush, so “Running Up That Hill” had a lock on his number 1. Rey was so enamoured with Olivia Newton-John at that time, so “Physical” was on top for more than a month. I was so into the Electric Light Orchestra, I kept playing “Twilight” over and over every day. Of the three, ONJ’s double-entendre of a song was the common hit, so she grabbed the number one spot.

But in the next few weeks, Luis kept Kate on top of his chart, Rey refused to budge with ONJ, and I wasn’t about to give up my favorite ELO song that easily. After one month of ONJ "Physical"-ly lording it over the charts, we called it quits.

(ELO would eventually record a song with ONJ the following year. Given the dance contest on Student Canteen, I doubt very much if we would allow “Xanadu” to top our charts, hahahaha!!!)

Which brings me to the reason why I’m posting this entry: I’m reviving my weekly charts. But this time, I’ll limit it to the top 5. And I’m NOT going to combine my charts with anyone else’s. I hate having to do the math.

Maybe like Casey Kasem I should end the week with the charts. So expect one by Sunday. Remind me if I forget.

Episode: My Co-Producer is a Goddess

Dramatis Personae:
Nelz Agustin – graphic designer, writer and photographer… and diosa extraordinaire.

I now have two people to thank for being html-savvy and fine-tuning my blog. First Leigh, now Nelz.

Nelz is my one and only Friendster friend, for now at least. And he’s more adept at web design than Leigh; in fact, that’s his job.

He’s going through an emotionally tough time. You can read how he’s been handling it in his blog. Please go browse through it: great pics, great writing, and shameless self-promotion in the guise of—yeah right, Nelz—a pictorial history of the evolution of his hairstyle. *rolls eyes*

Apparently his no-holds-barred, tell-all-ish style of writing has given his blog some sort of notoriety. Maybe people found it refreshingly shocking and frank; I found it relevant and entertaining. Ever since December 2003, I kept commenting on his blog; he found my comments entertaining. We’ve been entertaining each other on-line ever since. (Ayan Nelz, another shameless plug for your bugaw-of-a-blog. Hwe-hwe-hwe!)

I suspect by the way he’s been laughing at my nastiness, he’s a Cruella DeVille wannabe. More have you to learn, my young padawan.

But thanks for fixing my clock. And I have to credit you for thinking of “Audience Participation” instead of “Comment”.

Thank god for creative friends.

Episode: The Verbal Lass

Dramatis Personae:
Leigh Reyes – writer, creative director, artist, manghuhula, accessories-maker, emotional doormat, and Abba fan just like me

Many thanks to Leigh for helping me set-up my blog. Yes, that’s THE Leigh of “Leigh Reyes: My Life as a Verb” fame.

She’s such a great writer. Last night at her place I was raving about one of her blog entries; her prose was so poetic. She just smiled and shrugged as if to say, “Hey, no big deal.” I wanted to smash her face against her very expensive iBook, but she was smiling so sweetly. So instead I just said to her, “I’m gonna smash your face against your very expensive iBook.”

She laughed and hugged me, so I couldn’t reach over and push her head onto the computer screen. Damn.

She was the one who named my first car Rupert. He was a Toyota Corolla. Her reasons for naming him Rupert: [1] we were listening to Rupert Holmes when she named him; [2] my car looked like a “Rupert.”

When I replaced Rupert with an SUV, I named my new car Rupert Jr. I know, I know… tinamad ako. But last weekend a Friendster friend (a Friendster friend is someone who becomes your friend via Friendster) of Leigh suggested I name my SUV “Orlando.” Hmmm… I like the sound of that. So beginning Monday my car became Orlando. Goodbye, Junior.

But I digress.

Leigh also took most of the pictures that appear in my Friendster page. Ten years ago we were in Baguio, she with her camera and me with mine. At the end of the trip my camera had pictures and pictures of her, and vice versa.

She says she likes complicated relationships. At first I scoffed at her, until I realized that most of our relationships are complicated in some way. But I think she goes out of her way to complicate things while I love to keep things simple.

Wait a minute, this is The McVie Show. Why am I giving free plugging for Leigh? Go check her blog instead!

Thanks Leigh for being my co-producer of this show. Now, if you can only tell me how to fix the damn clock, I’ll be really grateful.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

I have this book entitled “Ten Poems To Change Your Life” which I’ve read last year before Christmas. My life hasn’t changed yet... though knowing me, seismic changes are happening subconsciously. (At least I think they are.)

Let me share with you one of them.

by Derek Walcott

The time will come
When, with elation
You will greet yourself arriving
At your own door, in your own mirror,
And each will smile at the other's welcome.

And say, sit here, Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
To itself, to the stranger who has loved you

All your life, whom you ignored
For another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookself,

The photographs, the desperate notes,
Peel your image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Gasp. I actually did it. I now have a blog.

I remember telling two of my friends: I'm not a blog person. I'm better off as an advice columnist, with lots of irony and raised eyebrows. Or a side-commentator, if there's such a thing (Mystery Science Theater 2004, anyone?)

It's useless for me to pretend no one is reading this. Heck, I'll even advertise this in my Friendster page. I want your attention and I want it now, hahahaha!

I'll try to keep you, dear reader, entertained with The McVie Show as I go through this thing called life.

Life's a bitch then you die. So let's have fun in the meantime!

Welcome to my show.

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