Monday, May 24, 2004
The McVie Show, now on its second season. Check it out now.
The funk soul brother.
Right about now...
Click link on the right --->
In this season of changes, it's time to change seasons.
Thursday, May 20, 2004
Cebu Pacific Airlines, to differentiate themselves from the national carrier PAL, has taken to playing games on board their flights—presumably, of course, to alleviate the tedium of plane travel.
So they decided to play Supply The Missing Lyric game. They started with a Tagalog song (automatically disenfranchising the foreigners onboard, but I bet they didn’t feel sorry for it). My seatmate, a Visayan boy who seemed no more than 19-yrs old, was so into the game—he’s the type who’d scream “No Whammies! No Whammies!” until hoarse. Unfortunately the people up front kept getting called first. Plus he kept glancing back at his companion (could be his sister) behind him to supply him the right lyric.
The next song was another OPM, but this time the lyrics were in English. 19-yr old again raised his hand but was not called. I thought, “Man, he must really, really need the Cebu Pacific tote bag they’re offering as reward. Must have lots of hand carry stuff.”
Third and last song—the stewardess started singing: “Just when I thought I was over you…”
Oh great, I thought, how come I’m not surprised that they picked an Air Supply song?
“…And just when I thought I could stand on my own…”
All right, all right, I thought, just stop now, girl. Don’t go where I think you’ll…
“…Oh baby, those memories come—”
Oh shit! She stopped where I thought she would!
19-yr old had his hand up in the air. The flight steward, who obviously was gay (he had plucked eyebrows and a high-pitched voice—think Michael Jackson, and you have a clear idea how he sounds like), came sashaying down the aisle towards him. 19-yr old turned around to his sister, who was mouthing the answer.
Gay flight steward(ess) was at his side. 19-yr old gave his answer: “Cashing.”
Gay flight steward(ess) looked as his co-worker up front, and said, “‘Cashing’ daw.”
JEEZ! I was screaming in my head.
“Sorry,” said the flight stewardess. “The correct word is crashing.”
HAHAHAHA!!! I thought. And we’re on a plane flying at more than 15 hundred feet off the ground.
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Aaargh! Entertainment Weekly, my one and only bible, just beat me to the punch! They were able to use the phrase “Sex Balm” as a title! (It was an article about this former porno actress-turned-doctor has been helping the US porn industry after the most recent HIV scare among straight-porn actors and actresses.)
Ever since I heard the Sex Bomb girls singing their infernal song, I’ve always wanted to use that pun somehow, some way. Now I can’t. Sigh.
At least it was EW that beat me to it.
Monday, May 17, 2004
All I ever wanted
Had to get away
Meant to be spent alone
– “Vacation” by The GoGo’s
The night before my mom had to be rushed to the hospital at 4:30am because of vertigo. The doctor ordered a full ECG and blood test. Turned out she had higher cholesterol levels than usual (all that roasted pig) plus fatigue caused by age and non-stop traveling to and fro the different spots in Bohol (the others had 5 days to enjoy Bohol, so our trip was action-packed to say the least.)
Now that everyone has left for Manila except for my mom and I, I decided to bring her to Bohol Beach Club to just chill out.
The sea was particularly turbulent today, owing to the tropical storm that skirted Visayas. So there was no one swimming in the beach. The day was mostly cloudy, with the sun peeping through the clouds for just the briefest moment before winking out again.
I walked around for a bit, just enjoying the ocean breeze and the rhythmic crashing of the waves. We had most of the beachfront to ourselves for there were few guests (I guess cuz it’s a Monday). Those who were there were mostly the richer Pinoys (their kids all have this English twang that screams US-schooled) and a number of foreigners married to Filipinas. The latter is a very interesting sight to behold: the man, usually a towering Caucasian, with a woman, usually short, dark-brown and voluptuous, and their half-breed (who often retains the fair color of the man but whose skin is a mixture of light and dark.) My mom commented that these mixed marriages is changing the face of Boholanos. Hmmm….
Anyway, I left my mom on a lounge chair as I surveyed the whole resort. There were three Japanese guys (at least, I think they are) who took up one beachfront suite. One was medium-built and had a video camera: he was shooting the whole time. The other two were stocky-fat and always following the one with the camera around. They’d point at several locations, and cameraman would point the camera there. They looked like they were on a location scout for a cheap porno flick; later on they’ll hook up with two dusky Filipina hookers and bring them to their suite and… viola! Instant porno quickie.
I got on one of the hammocks that are scattered all over the beachfront. Soon I was snoozing.
Of the seven days that I’ve been here, this day is by far the most relaxing. This for me is vacation.
“Suck the marrow off Life.” Drink deep, live Life to the fullest. For most people this means live fast, die young.
“Go placidly amid the noise and haste.” There’s virtue in detachment. In fact, the older we are the more we appreciate the value of letting go.
So where do we place ourselves? Do we go eyeball-to-eyeball with Life while we’re young, then as we grow older we stand back and see Life not as a blinking eye but a full face?
But can one let go of something that even in his youth he was never able to have in the first place?
Some dreams do come true, and some dreams just drift away from you until you sleep the sleep that ends all your dreams.
So here I am looking for pasalubongs (gifts) for my officemates. I don’t really know why I even bother. It’s ironic considering I don’t bring pasalubongs for my friends, and here I am taking time to give something for people who I’m friendly to but not friends with.
WE INTERUPT THIS EPISODE FOR A COMMERCIAL BREAK:
The radio in this internet café is playing this VISAYAN RAP song! I have no idea what the song is about but part of the lyrics went, “Something-something Mama Mary at Papa Jesus.” This is oh so surreal.
It’s only this particular office that insists that employees who go to the provinces or abroad (whether on vacation or sent by the office on business) must bring home pasalubong. I’ve never felt that official social pressure from the other workplaces I’ve been. Here, they tell you t your face, “Hey don’t forget our pasalubongs!” even before you leave. Some even ask for specific stuff: “Oh, you’re headed for Bohol? Bring me back a tarsier.” Like I could.
So now I’m forced to look for stuff that’s native only to Bohol and at the same time will be most appreciated by everyone in the office. So usually one ends up buying local delicacies.
I wonder why they’ve imposed this “leave-tariff” on their co-employees. They behave as if it’s their divine right to receive something. Their attitude is something like, “Well, if you’re going away on vacation, you shouldn’t have all the fun. Bring back some of the fun for the rest of us.”
Given our very stressful work environment (I work in a major network, you see; Marlon calls it “The Evil Empire” or “The Snake Pit”, so I must be a charmer then), vacation breaks are rarely more than a week or two, if you’re lucky. The longer you’re gone, the more angstsy the others get. So to get back to their good graces, the person coming back from vacation “offers” these pasalubongs as offerings to appease those who were left behind in the daily grind.
I believe it’s called leave-envy.
Saturday, May 15, 2004
May 15 is the feast day of St. Isidore the Farmer, the patron saint of our hometown Bilar, Bohol. Fiesta for the Bilarnons consists of mainly of the following: attend mass, eat food, food, and more food.
It is customary to visit relatives during fiestas. It is also custom for everyone to offer guests food and, in turn, guests may not refuse.
The night before, all the houses are already bursting with food. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor—there’s lots and lots of food. There’s no difference in quantity, only quality. Thus, the rich have lots of rich food while the poor have lots of poor food.
So my mom decided on the day of the fiesta to go house-to-house after the morning mass to give our thank-you cards to our relatives. Naturally each and every one of them offered us food. We started with a heavy breakfast—as in heavy. I mean, this is the first time I’ve seen pork barbeque and roasted pork served for breakfast. Then on to the next house, where they offered us, among others, crispy pork strips, five different kinds of cakes, extra creamy fruit salad with lots of cheddar cheese cubes… and roasted pork.
By the third house, my mom promised us we’d just deliver the card and leave. So us children stayed outside and waited for her. But then she called us in to introduce us one by one, and when I saw them bringing out the plates and all the food and the—you guessed it—roasted pork, I scowled at my mom, said, “I haven’t taken a bath yet” and made a hasty retreat before she could stop me.
Did I just say I’ve turned into a father figure? More like my father’s figure! Can’t wait to hit the gym when I get back.
My first cousin on my dad’s side married a guy who reminds me so much of Oscar Orbos… same always-ready-to-smile face, crinkly eyes, even the hair. Plus he’s got this uber-pleasant disposition to boot. Papa-liciously cute, in other words.
We visited them yesterday. My mom was introducing us, her children, and when she got to me, Papa Licious took one look and said, “Kamukha ‘to ni Dodie!” This is not the first time on this trip that someone said I looked like my dad. Two days earlier, another distant relative took a look at me and said, “You are a McVie* indeed.” *(Of course, “McVie” isn’t really my last name, but since it’s my policy not to post my family name, I’ll just use “McVie” for this episode’s purposes.)
I’m not used to being identified with my dad. Usually my relatives’ comments are more on the “Hey, you’ve grown! I remember when you were this high…” and “So are you already married?” kind.
But now with my dad gone, I think his relatives are now beginning to see him in his children. But I never thought I looked like my dad.
My mom said my dad was called “Baby Face” by his former officemates because he looked younger than he was. I never saw him as baby-faced, but I guess that’s the perspective of a child growing up with an authority figure. But I do know that whenever people find out my age, they always say, “Really? But you only look 30-something” wherein “something” is always at least 3 years less.
Lately as I look at myself in the mirror I see my dad’s cheekbones in mine. (I have cheekbones?) We have the same kinda deep-set eyes, and bushy eyebrows. The difference with the latter though is that I have perfectly plucked ones. (Hey, my dad’s the straight one, okay?)
I share his love of driving. I also am the one who takes care of the electrical and mechanical stuff around the house. Well, excluding plumbing—I think that’s too butch for my taste. And more and more my mom and younger siblings turn to me regarding family decisions. (Of course, my older brother still has his say, but he now lives with his own family away from us.)
And Kervs now calls me “Papa.”
Am I turning into a father figure? Oh well, as they say, like father, like son.
Yes, I like my dad more and more… even now when I miss him.
Thursday, May 13, 2004
My two most favorite portions of a plane ride is the take off and landing. I love the mounting tension as the jets go full blast, and the plane is pushed, pushed, pushed until enough air pressure is created under the wings to give it lift and... whoopee!!! We disconnect from the ground.
I also like the moment during landing when you feel the drag of the plane as the wheels are dropped, then you see the ground approaching nearer and nearer, faster and faster until... touchdown! And then the brakes are applied... swooooooosh! And you feel your body pushed forward as the plane slows down. Once again we are connected to the ground.
I like the excitement and the adrenalin rush. Even after I read somewhere that the most dangerous moments in a plane ride is during take offs and landings, I still looked forward to them. Is it my butch streak? Is it a need for speed?
Or is it a dramatic example of connecting and disconnecting?
I'm forcing connections that aren't necessary. I'm just too full from the feast we had for dinner.
Time to disconnect.
I am typing this from an internet cafe at a beach in Panglao Island, Bohol. A few minutes earlier I had given up trying to log on to Blogger, but fortunately the only terminal that could access it was suddenly free.
I am enjoying my disconnection, both from the Matrix (aka, online) and the Real World. Connecting with the Primary Source (my family), I realize that I'm mostly a silent but reliable member. Whenever a decision has to be made, they immediately seek my opinion as well as my mom's and my older brother Mark (and his wife Giselle too, by virtue of marriage). Our youngest Andre seems to like assisting and accompanying me.
Meanwhile my almost weekly Los Banos trips proved to be great training for what I'm doing now: I'm the designated driver for the whole trip, and I'm loving it. I think I was a driver in my past life; I find driving actually relaxing even if it's tiring after driving for a whole day. Plus I'm the one who's most familiar with the roads in Bohol.
It is evening, and the beach front is quiet. Tomorrow we wake up really early to go whale-and-dolphin watching. Then we go to Balicasag Island for some snorkeling.
Now more than ever I realize I need this time off. I need to connect with myself too. At least with family members they allow me my space.
Connect and disconnect. Yin and yang. Push and pull. Upstream and downstream. The two fishes of Pisces are forever in opposition, and it is this dynamic tension which fuels our Piscean lives.
Monday, May 10, 2004
Falling in Love
(from the book "Letters to my Son", by Kent Nerburn)
It is a mystery why we fall in love.
It is a mystery how it happens.
It is a mystery when it comes.
It is a mystery why some love grows and it is a mystery why some love fails.
You will never do anymore than take the life out of the experience. Just as life itself is more than the sum of the bones and muscles and electrical impulses in the body, love is more than the sum of the interests and attractions and commonalties that two people share. And just as life itself is a gift that comes and goes in its own time, so too, the coming and going of love must be taken as an unfathomable gift that cannot be questioned in its ways. Sometimes, hopefully at least once in your life - the gift of love will come to you in full flower, and you will take hold of it and celebrate it in all inexpressible beauty. This is a dream we all share. More often,it will come and take hold of you, celebrate you for a brief moment, then move on.
When this happens to young people, they too often try to grasp the love and hold it to them, refusing to see that it is a gift that is freely given and a gift that just as freely, moves away. When they fall out of love, or the person they love feels the spirit of love leaving,they try desperately to reclaim the love that is lost rather than accepting the gift for what it was, then moving on. They want answers where there are no answers. They want to know what is wrong in them that makes the other person no longer love them, or they try to get their lover to change, thinking that if some small things were different, love would bloom again. They blame their circumstances and say that if they go far away and start a new life together, their love will grow. They try anything to give meaning to what has happened. But there is no meaning beyond the love itself, and until they accept its own mysterious ways, they live in a sea of misery.
You need to know this about love, and to accept it. You need to treat what it brings you with kindness. If you find yourself in love with someone who does not love you, be gentle with yourself. There is nothing wrong with you. Love just didn't choose to rest in the other person's heart.
If you find someone else in love with you and you don't love him, feel honoured that love came and called at your door, but gently refuse the gift you cannot return. Do not take advantage; do not cause pain. How you deal with love is how you deal with you, and all our hearts feel the same pains and joys, even if our lives and ways are different.
If you fall in love with another, and he falls in love with you, and then love chooses to leave, do not try to reclaim it or to assess blame. Let it go. There is a reason and there is a meaning. You will know in time.
Remember that you don't choose love. Love chooses you. All you can really do is accept it for all its mystery when it comes into your life. Feel the way it fills you to overflowing, then reach out and give it away.
Give it back to the person who brought it alive in you.
Give it to others who deem poor in spirit.
Give it to the world around you in anyway you can.
This is where many lovers go wrong. Having been so long without love, they understand love only as a need. They see their hearts as empty places that will be filled by love, and they begin to look at love as something that flows to them rather than from them. The first blush of new love is filled to overflowing, but as their love cools, they revert to seeing their love as a need. They cease to be someone who generates love and instead become someone who seeks love. hey forget that the secret of love is that it is a gift, and that it can be made to grow only by giving it away. Remember this, and keep it to your heart....
Love has its own time, its own seasons, and its own reason for coming and going. You cannot bribe it or coerce it, or reason it into staying. You can only embrace it when it arrives and give it away when it comes to you. But if it chooses to leave from your heart or from the heart of your lover, there is nothing you can do and there is nothing you should do. Love always had been and always will be a mystery. Be glad that it came to live for a moment in your life. If you keep your heart open it will come again.
Sunday, May 09, 2004
Today being Mother’s Day, we treated our mom out for lunch. I asked permission to sneak out of the workshop we were conducting so I could join the family for lunch.
“Maximum big surprise your smile is something new…
I pull my shirt off and pray,
We're sacred and bound to suffer the heatwave,
Pull my shirt off and pray
We're coming up on re-election day”
Tomorrow is Election Day. I know more or less who I don’t want to vote for. That’s what’s sad about this particular elections—one arrives at a vote via process of elimination.
Tomorrow is also my dad’s 40th day.
Then Tuesday we fly, fly, fly to Bohol. Our schedule there is turning out to be more hectic than I thought because there are so many things we want to do.
But I’ll try to continue churning out episodes of The McVie Show while we’re there.
Thursday, May 06, 2004
Next week the McVie Family minus one (sounds like an album, much like the Partridge Family or the Osmonds) will fly to Bohol. My mom wants to be in our hometown of Bilar for its town fiesta this May 15. Furthermore, she wants the whole family to be together this summer. Suddenly, pressure. My brothers, sisters and I had to get our vacation leaves approved one way or another.
Bohol is a wonderful province. Aside from the world-famous Chocolate Hills, it has Panglao Island, with its white sand beaches. It has Balikasag Island, a mushroom-shaped island with one of the best diving and snorkeling spots. There’s Pamilakan Island, where you can go whale-and-dolphin sightseeing. There’s the Loboc River boat cruise. There’s the Tarsier Sanctuary. There are many old churches all over the island. Plus the succulent mangoes, fresh seafood, and other delicacies beckon for a gastronomic delight. The island is pushing itself as a prime eco-tourism destination, and they’re aggressive in making foreign and local tourists feel right at home.
While we’re there it won’t be all-vacation though. There’s a brewing conflict on my dad’s side of the family regarding land which we want to nip in the bud. Then there’s the issue of what my mom wants to do now that she’s a widow. Does she want to stay in Marikina, or does she want to move back to Bohol with her sister?
Meanwhile I’m using this time out to properly mourn. Ever since my dad died I’ve never had the time to mourn in my own way. Maybe in Bohol I’ll be able to go through the mourning process and emerge from it, ready to move on. Right now I feel constricted, like I’m emotionally on-hold.
Besides, my Holy Week vacation was rudely aborted. While everyone else was off getting a tan somewhere or just relaxing in the city, I was arranging a burial, entertaining guests, buying food and flowers, running errands and sleeping just 3 hrs a day.
So bring out the suntan lotion, the shades, and the Speedos! I’m off to mourn!
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
Gay sex being what it is, anal-related topics usually crop up during discussions.
For instance, Kervs and I were discussing toilet rituals related to Number Two. His family is a tabo-at-tubig household. For them a thorough ass-wash is cleaner than ass-wipe.
I come from a toilet paper and wash-with-water household. Double the toil but double the clean. Although when I was younger and more impatient, I’d skip the water part. Yuuuuuck-eeeeeeeeee!!! I can already hear your reactions. Well, I made sure that I was clean using only toilet paper… so I’d wipe and wipe and scrape until I’m clean. Of course that irritates the skin and can lead to external hemorrhoids.
Is this too much information for you, hmmm?
Despite its “dirty” function, our anal zone is also quite the pleasure zone. Notice how pleasurable a good dump is? Our prostate—so susceptible to cancer—is responsible for that pleasurable feeling. Well that plus the empty and relaxed feeling after taking a dump.
And if you’re straight and you don’t know what rimming is… well, ignorance is bliss. (Actually straights can enjoy the pleasures of rimming, but since they’re not as anal-fixated as gays, I’m sure the thought of rimming doesn’t enter their minds immediately as compared to, say, cunnilingus.)
It would be a waste of that area below the waist if it is not thoroughly but gently cleaned of human waste. It’s not fun to fiddle around that area and come up with mud pie.
To give and receive pleasure, therefore, don’t be an asshole! Have a clean and healthy asshole.
(Now, wasn’t that a shitty topic?)
Last night I was gripped by a sudden, uncharacteristic bout of loneliness… or mild depression, perhaps? It happens to Comic Me sometimes. Anyway, the usual suspects I run to were unavailable, so I decided on a remedy that’s increasingly effective for me.
I went home a little earlier than usual (which means before midnight) and after the usual rituals went straight to bed.
Because my nephew and niece are vacationing at our place, they sleep with their lola at my parent’s (hmmm… not parents’, unlike before) room, the only bedroom with aircon. And since every night they use the aircon, me and my brothers and sister would grab our pillows and blankets and sleep in the same room. That’s seven people all in all.
I always thought I sleep light. In the past whenever there was a strong quake at night, I was often the first person awake and out of his bed. I ended up waking everyone up just in case the quake took a turn for the worse.
Early this morning at around 3, my sister woke up my nephew and niece to view the lunar eclipse. She and my niece had to drag my nephew up because he refused to wake up. My mom even helped wake him up.
I slept throughout all that commotion. Again, how uncharacteristic of me.
The Dream King and I must have had a blast last night. Too bad I rarely remember my dreams the next day. Must have been one helluva party Morpheus and I had together.
Was I dreamin’
Or were you really there?
Was I dreamin’
Or do you really care?
Did I hear you whisper I love you?
Or was that a dream,
Or was that a dream too?
(“Was I Dreamin’?” by The Cascades)
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
Bad luck will befall our country if we elect officials who will misuse government funds for their personal gain.
Bad luck? Is that what governing is… luck?
This FPJ TV ad is so insulting. It, unfortunately, also zooms in on the fear buttons of our fellow countrymen. Will they fall for it, or are they discerning enough to see through the emotional bullshit?
Oh my God, save the babies.
Otherwise… good luck na lang to us!
Monday, May 03, 2004
The weekend was a relaxing respite from last week’s hectic work mess that, sigh, seems to continue on to this week.
Saturday I met some of my TA friends, together with the Good Doctor himself. We had to prepare for an acting workshop to be held next weekend. It was great seeing them after a long time. These TA kids (most of them are still in college) keep me young at heart.
Next I met up with Kervs, his LB friends (including his tai-chi coach) and their Korean guests in Greenhills. We separated with them to meet up with Nelz. We had a lovely dinner in KKK, a restaurant along West Ave. that serves sumptuous Filipino dishes. I don’t really like laing but I go gaga over KKK’s concoction. They also have kamias shake and delicious boneless catfish with mango-tomato salsa. And they have this tuna sashimi on crispy wanton wrapper that’s heavenly.
Later in the evening I got to talk to Kerv’s friend Carlo. He showed us the three stitches he got from an accidental cut and the wound he got from an “attacking jeepney.” He also proudly showed us the shoes one of the Koreans bought for him.
The whole of Sunday was spent with Kervs. But we managed to meet Zeki in the evening. This is the first time I’ve met him though I already know of him thru Kerv’s and Nelz’s respective blogs… and Zeki’s own. Lovely chap, relaxed and easy-going, with a ready smile and laugh. I think he’s the type of person who’s more at home with a small group of friends rather than being in a big crowd. Well, that’s my impression.
Friday I was invited to dinner with Daniel and Jake. Jake’s a friend since grade 5; he and his wife and kid have been living in the States for several years now, but he’s here on a short vacation. Unfortunately our workload is heaviest on a Friday evening. In fact none of us here in the office ever schedule any gimmick on a Friday evening; we know better.
So I’m just hoping Jake and I can meet up another time before he leaves for the States this week. But seeing he’s got a hectic sked himself… oh well, next time.
Old and new friends—I realize I have several distinct circles of friends. Some people like to mash these circles together, forcing them to intersect. I prefer to keep them apart. That’s why during my dad’s wake it was quite stressful for me when two or more sets of friends visited at the same time. It was very schizophrenic.
I still have my mother and five other siblings. If I’m lucky I’ll have 6 more chances to get used to handling two or more sets of friends intersecting at a wake.