Saturday, December 31, 2011

Game Over



I'm moving to a new blog.

If it's not too much, please follow me at http://garppp.blogspot.com

Happy new year, everyone!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friends



In the middle of answering the question, "How was 2011 for you?", I realized that I had quite a number of crises this year. During our annual Christmas dinner, my three office friends were eagerly listening to my response to the question, and like always, while sharing my answer, my train of thought was changing lanes: thoughts of what I learned about friendship this year manifested and I shared what was in my head.

I realized that my closest friends in the office are not really the people I hang out with outside workplace. I mean, we really spend majority of our lives with each other and we had an unbreakable bond already so that's why we don't tambay in the weekends like we used to.

I realized I needed my friends outside the work area.

I had a female friend whom I thought was my soulmate. She resented that I called her my fag hag before. But after years of dealing with her immaturity and angst, I realize she's nothing but a fucking hag. That sounds cruel but there's no other way to call her but that after what she has been doing to me. That deserves another blog entry, I guess.

Majority of my friends outside work are the PLUs I met in so many groups. I used to be part of a lot of factions of guys who claim to be straight-acting. The consensus of these groups was that we hung out with people who didn't seem to be obviously gay, fashion-wise, looks-wise, and behavior-wise. Of course, I was naive back then and I needed affirmation that I was okay despite my sexual orientation. Time came when I got sick of these people because the groups transformed into fishing ponds for flings and relationships. That was back in 2001-02.

Around the same time, I founded another group when I felt that my first group was beginning to get shallow. This is where I met Mugen and Rocco who have become my closest friends ever since. We were part of this group who's more accepting than the previous one and the bonding times were memorable because everyone was acting who they really were.

At one point, I asked myself: am I friends with these people because of our sexual orientation?

Before I thought of it as a big deal since I lived most of my life in the shadow, suppressing my opinions and ideas because of the fear of rejection and other people finding out that I am gay. So it was really a big, big deal that I became a part of a group who knew the real me.

Another side question: is my sexual orientation all there is to me?

Apparently not. I realized that the people whom I really could relate to and call friends are the ones whom share with a special kind of belief, lifestyle, principles. I could be 100% honest with them and we trust each other completely.

Among more than three to four dozens of people within the group, I could think of only five people whom I would trust with my life--whom I would be able to share everything there is about me; whom I would never tire of hanging out with and bonding with.

Good thing is that, at the latter part of 2011, I resolved to hang out with two of these five people more often. And I am glad that in the last three months, we were together for quite a number of weekends, probably more than the number of times we hung out in the previous five years.

To Mugen and Rocco, you are my Christmas gifts this year. Thank you for the gift of friendship and brotherhood. Merry Christmas to both of you and see you guys, soon!


Image Source:
http://clouisehaden.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/friends.jpg

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Music Shuffle Memory Game




It's semestral break once more; finally, I have a lot of time to blog. To get me started, I'll start with a writing exercise. I hope that some of my blogger readers will do this exercise/game with me. :)

Rules of the Music Shuffle Memory Game:
1. Play a playlist on your iTunes or any music software that you always listen to. If you don't have a playlist, play the entire song list on shuffle.
2. Play any song then hit forward to reveal your first shuffle song.
3. Write any memory associated with the song. If there's nothing special about the song, just list it down as well.
4. Continue doing so until you have played 5-20 songs. Or when your  blog entry is too long already.
5. No cheating. Whatever the song is, write about it. Write anything as long as you have to stop writing when the song ends. You can press forward anytime as long as you feel that the your memoir about the song is already sufficient.

Here's mine. I have about 6,000 songs on my iTunes Library but I listen to a playlist I named "Faves" which has 1,438 songs in it. Here we go.



***

Song #1:
All I Wanna Do - Sheryl Crow

This reminds me a lot of high school. I remember a classmate who told me that he hates Sheryl Crow because she is like the DJ Alvaro ("Ang Tipo Kong Lalake" singer) of the US music scene. I like this song because it's an upper. I like happy songs in general.

"All I wanna do is have some fun until the sun comes up in Santa Monica Boulevard."



Song #2
7 Days - Craig David

Perfect. This song reminds me of college days. There's this guy, Mac, who was a crush. Unfortunately he was very straight. I remember he went to my place one time and we were playing scrabble. It was particularly hot in my place and he took off his shirt while this song was playing in the background. Gulp. He didn't have any idea that I swing his way. Nothing happened, of course. I think I lost in the game; the sweat on his torso was distracting. Haha.

"I met this girl on Monday, took her for a drink on Tuesday
we were making love by Wednesday, and Thursday, Friday..."



Song #3
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John

Remember Camille Velasco? Hahaha! She was a Pinoy finalist on American Idol with Jasmine Trias. She sang this song on the show and the performance was just ok. I was with my ex back then and he looooved Camille Velasco's husky voice. I wonder where she is right now. She could be my relative, by the way because I'm related to Velascos in the Philippine province where she's from. No, we don't look alike.

"So goodbye, yellow brick road, where the dogs of society howl..."



Song #4
I Want to Hold Your Hand - The Beatles

In high school, there was The Beatles craze when I was in my first year. The seniors back then, out of the blue, started listening to The Beatles in the campus. And everyone was infected by the Beatlemania. I remember a crush I had singing this song in our bus transpo service.

"And when I touch I feel happy... inside.
It's such a feeling that my love I can't hide."



Song #5
Sharp Dressed Man - ZZ Top

Another song I downloaded because of American Idol. I think David Cook sang this in the finale. Never had an idea of the existence of this band until the song was performed in the show. That's what I liked about American Idol before--I get to hear classic American songs which I never heard of  before.

"Clean shirt, new shoes, and I don't know what I am gonna do."



Song #6
I Love New York - Madonna

Finally, a gay song. LOL. This is my favorite song from her dance album, "Confessions on a Dance Floor". The song reminds me of the time when I frequented Malate years ago. Had a lot of fond memories on the streets of Nakpil and Bocobo. Nah, Orosa was too gay for my gay friends so we were hanging out elsewhere. But of course, we were looking at people who were passing by and going to the gay, gay O street. I love Madonna, by the way. And NY is my most fave place in the US. I haven't been there. But I would love to see NY first if I do.

"New York is not for little pussies who scream
If you can't stand the heat, then get off my street."



Song #7
All You Need is Love - The Beatles

This is not really my most fave song from them but it is an anthem to all lovers out there. Oh yeah, I have the entire The Beatles catalogue in my iTunes library, all remastered.

"Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time.
It's easy. All you need is love."



Song #8
She's Out of My Life - Josh Groban

I like this version, but not as much as I love the original. I was listening to this song when I broke up with my ex. Ack. Next.

"She's out of my life. And I don't know whether to laugh or cry."



Song #9
If I Fell - The Beatles

Cute song which I love. I told you I have their entire discography on my iTunes library. LOL. No particular memory about this song.

"Don't hurt my pride like her. 'Cause I couldn't stand the pain."



Song #10
Sing A Song - Earth, Wind & Fire

Not really a fan of song before I was able to download a best of EWF about three years ago. There was a time that my music library was 150 Gb! I had 60,000 songs on my iTunes library. It was fun until my photos started to need more space. So I deleted 90% of the songs I had. Most of them were downloaded because of "1,000 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die". Well, I'm not dead yet. I can redownload them anytime. Thanks to the wonderful world of torrents.

"When you feel down and out, sing a song, it'll make you day."



Song #11
I Knew I Loved You - Savage Garden

This was, for a time, my and Luigi's song. Haha. We had a whirlwind kind of romance. I'll write about that in another blog entry. Anyway, I fell in love with this song when I saw the music video back in my college days. It even inspired a poem which was published somewhere after experiencing riding the MRT for the first time, you know, the time when you can actually still sit down and get a lot of space between you and the other passengers. The music video features a love-at-first-sight experience on a train. The first time I rode MRT, there was this really beautiful guy in front of me. I sort of fell for him and this song was playing in my head.


"I think I dreamed you into life."



Song #12
Maalaala Mo Kaya - Ryan Cayabyab

Yeah, I have a wide range of musical preference. I was a choir member before (surprise!) in a very popular group in the university. That probably made me like Ryan Cayabyab's One album so much. He recorded all of the vocal parts of the song himself. In a nutshell, he did the soprano, alto, bass, and tenor parts and recorded them separately, blended them in single records. Awesome. This song reminds me of the local tv show and I sort of used this song when I made a compilation album for my ex.

"Ligaya sa puso ay di na mapaparam."



Song #13
Wall-E theme - Thomas Newman

I love this movie and the OST rocks. I'm fond of soundtracks ever since I bought the OST of Disney movies in the 90s.

No lyrics, sorry.


Song #14
It Ain't Over Til It's Over - Lenny Kravitz

Kravitz must be a vampire. He's a music icon in the 80s and he still looks damn sexy today. Looking forward to his gay-ish role in The Hunger Games movie. Did I say I think that he's really fuckin' sexy?

"So many tears I've cried, so much pain inside
But baby it ain't over till it's over."



Song #15
Nessun Dorma - Lani Misalucha (live)

This is probably my most listened to classical song. And I think Lani Misalucha pulled it off. If I remember it right, the song is about a princess who has suitors who must answer a riddle before given the chance to wed her; if they fail, they will be beheaded. Aside from the weird fact, the song is very uplifting.

"Nessun dorma! Tu pure, o Principesa, nella tua fredda stanze, guardi le stelle."
Translation: "None shall sleep! None shall sleep! Even you, O Princess, in your cold bedroom, watch the stars"




Ok, that's about it for today. I'm a bit frustrated that Eraserheads and other local pinoy bands didn't make it into the shuffle. Anyway, gotta grab dinner. Will blog a lot soon.



Image source:
http://www.fredmckinnon.com/myblog/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/shuffle-logo-curves.png

Monday, December 5, 2011

Teenage Nightmare




I was probably depressed all my high school life. It didn't help that I studied in a Catholic school for boys (and gays) and that my parents' house was far from the rest of my classmates. And definitely, it didn't help that I was figuring out for myself that I was not like my classmates: unlike them, I liked them much more than the girls whose photos were in their wallets. My family was also in shambles: my straight brother hated me, being an overachiever that I was, and my sister was discovering that she fancied girls as well. And my parents were splitting up and fighting like crazy.

I drowned myself in television soap operas and nonsense local shows, listening to my cassette tapes, watching Laser Discs(!) and, I feel embarrassed to admit this but it's the plain truth, I was doing some cross-stitching. Seriously. Of course, nobody but my family knew I was doing it. My mother sponsored me and bought the DMC threads I needed. I think I was able to finish at least eight separate cross stitch work and I felt proud of those things. They were framed and are still hanging on our house walls in the province.

Picture the typical nerd/geek in a high school: chubby, with glasses, brooding. That was me. Except I didn't dig comic books and science fiction stuff--I was not really into reading until college. My classmates knew me as the math genius (not really, and UP Diliman proved this later on) and they teased me and my prominent forehead endlessly.

I was drifting--in senior year, I didn't even know what course to take. Heck, I didn't even know what to do with my life. I ticked the box that said Computer Engineering in the UPCAT application form because I didn't know what to do. I passed the exam and, as if fate intruded, UP Diliman didn't accept me for engineering but for any non-quota course. Great, I thought, even the university didn't know where to place me.

I contemplated committing suicide many times. I thought that there was no hope for me: I didn't have close friends at home, I was crushing on a lot of my classmates, and I thought I would die a virgin. The idea of getting a crush drunk and raping him crossed my confused mind. In my head, I was fucked.

You know the proliferation of "It gets better" video after the LGBT community joined forces to stop or help prevent teenage gay suicides? I needed that the most in the mid-90s. Only the Internet was not yet popular back then, and a lot of people like me were still hiding in their safe, warm closets.

I remember feeling like a complete shit, that my life was worthless, and that being gay was the worst thing in life.

I remember crying alone in the dark where no one could see my sad fucked-up face. I remember covering my loneliness and forgetting my problems with every cross-stitch pattern I finished. I remember jerking off nightly, and even doing it in public areas: in the library, school transport service, school toilet, and even in the classroom (while the teacher was teaching). Maybe, unconsciously, I wanted to get caught, get noticed. Too bad I was too good at hiding things and jerking off inconspicuously.

So how did I survive and leave this hell?

I held on. I didn't do any thing stupid. I just let life do its thing.

The biggest turning point in my life was the time I spent a year in the seminary. And this probably deserves another blog entry. It was all good after that. I went away from my family, went out of the seminary to go to UP Diliman, where I felt free from the past, and finally, as cliche as it can get, I found love. But the road wasn't smooth, of course; I was heartbroken many times, had my share of flings, and a couple of serious relationships before I realized that I'm finally settled and happy with my Luigi.

It's the first time that I wrote something about my high school infernal life. Maybe this is the reason why I'm very optimistic now in my adult life. It's true, that damn cliche: what doesn't kill you can only make you stronger.



Image Source:
http://susan-scheff.info/images/teen-depression.jpg

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Psychoaddict



Not a lot of my friends know this: Luigi experimented with drugs before. He tried a lot, he told me when we were still dating. Back then, I was really squeamish when somebody talked about illegal substances--I wasn't being too prude, but I did try marijuana before, and it didn't really hook me or anything. So when Luigi told me about his old drug problem, I told him that I would probably stop seeing him if he tried drugs again. That was about four years ago.

Somewhat related fact: he admitted before that he was clinically diagnosed as a bipolar. At first, I didn't want to believe him, but I did notice that his mood swings were really crazy. I began seeing his mood too clearly: I know when he's happy and he laughs at the silliest things and I also can smell his depression from a mile away.

Two years ago, he underwent about two months of depression. He wasn't happy with his work and he had a colleague who was flirting with him. He told me that the guy was taken so I shouldn't be worried. But one day, I came home and found him staring at the laptop with all of the lights in the apartment turned off. His eyes were glued to the screen. I didn't mind him at first. But minutes later, when I asked him about dinner, I saw that he had this strange look in his eyes. His pupils were dilated. I didn't have to guess, but I knew that he was high.

It was extremely hard for me to swallow my pride and my principles/values and told myself that I should help him rather than break up with him for this troubling mishap. I asked him for the truth and he did tell me. I told him that he should talk to me rather than resort to using drugs. I went out of the house and walked and prayed for him. I reflected on how much I loved Luigi and I realized that my love for him was powerful enough not to be swayed by this weakness. I love him not just for his strengths but also for all his weaknesses and strange idiosyncracies.

We pulled through that crisis and we promised each other that we would be honest about our problems. He promised to be clean from then on. I prayed for that promise not to be broken. And I prayed for strength if the promise goes to the dogs.

All was well until the past few days... he's been telling me that he's getting depressed again. Good thing was that he told me about his situation and that he's looking for a psychiatrist and that he really does want to get help. He seemed brutally honest, so I trusted him and just agreed to what he planned to do.

Last night, after dinner, near midnight, I was slightly annoyed that we had to go look for an open Mercury drugstore to buy his Prozac or something like that, an anti-depressant. I asked him if he could wait until Sunday to buy his meds. He told me he wouldn't feel right until he knew he bought them. We found three closed Mercury drugstores in Cubao and found the one near EDSA-Aurora intersection open past midnight. He bought 30 tablets and after purchasing them, I saw his face looking relieved.

We went home, and I was happy that he was happy and felt calm. He fell asleep instantly without drinking his prized capsules and tablets. Better with legal ones than getting high with you-know-what.

This might sound strange but this complication in Luigi never fails to make me fall for him. I think I can use a cliche and pull a Ke$ha and say that his love is really my drug. Maybe I need a shrink, too.




Image source:
http://www.classicalmed.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/alternative-medicine-for-your-health.jpg

Thursday, November 17, 2011

WTF



I just woke up from an awful nightmare. In my dream, I found myself going back home with a deaf student. My parents were there but I was really not surprised by their presence. You see, in reality I live with Luigi and our pets, but in the nightmare, my mom and my stepdad were both there when me and the deaf student arrived. I just remembered also that in the dream, I was speaking to the deaf student and he understood everything I said--maybe he was lip reading because his interpreter wasn't there. He even spoke back to me in broken English. And in some weird logic, we went home together because I had to get something from home and he just happened to live nearby.

It was unusually quiet when I arrived. My parents welcomed me and strange enough, I also saw former students in my house. They were preparing to leave. One just got out of the bathroom and was starting to wear his uniform. I said hi, and both did the same. Then, my eyes found my pets. They seemed happy from a distance but something was off. I realized that they were fettered. Luigi and I almost never tie our dogs to a post, so I was dismayed that my parents did that. I was almost sure my stepdad did it because he's the type of guy who would tie a dog or put a dog in a cage.

My dogs are typically malambing whenever I arrive at home so it was also surprising to me that the dogs were quiet in my dream. My cat was also conspicuously absent. So I went to the dogs and saw one of them with a new haircut and he seemed wet. So I went to him and traced the knot and the lining of the leash. As I was feeling the length of the leash, I was dumbstruck when I found out that the metal chain passed through the head and into the eyeball socket of the dog. I yanked it out. And suddenly I heard or rather felt the dog gave a cry--but it was a silent cry. I discovered that as I yanked out the end of the hook of the leash, I accidentally removed the eyeball. It plopped out and fell into my hands. I screamed in terror and in anger at what my stepdad had done! And then when I tried to comfort the dog, it was crying but it was strangely mute, I couldn't hear it crying.

And when I looked at the other eyeball, I realized that the other socket was a freaking white niche of emptiness.




Image source:
http://static.tvfanatic.com/images/gallery/a-bad-dream.png

Monday, November 7, 2011

Of Money and Ice Cream




I hate money. I hate how it screws up one's daily disposition, social relationships, and personal welfare.

I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. In fact, I could honestly say that we were very, very poor. My parents got married when they were still teenagers; my grandparents hated them both for following their hearts and committing way too early. I remember that my parents rented a very small house--it could probably be called a bahay kubo with today's standards. I remember vividly when I was a kid, about five or six, when my mother told me that we wouldn't be able to eat anything except rice, mantika, and toyo for an entire week. I didn't have any idea then that we were damn poor because Mama worked so hard just to support me and my siblings. A decade later, my parents got separated because of money as well; my mother's business skyrocketed and she ended up being able to buy house and car for us; my father hated himself for earning less and found his ego when he found another woman who appreciated him.

As a college student, I lived on hefty weekly allowance; I was able to indulge in my guilty pleasures: I bought a lot of stuff, dined with friends in good restos. As a graduation gift, my mother told me that she would shoulder my monthly condo rent. Life was a beach. 

Mid-2000s, the momentum of Mama's business started dwindling. New business competitors arose, and she told me she wouldn't be able to support my condo rent. That time, Luigi suggested that we move in to a small apartment so that we could share expenses and spend less. It was hard for me to swallow my pride because I wasn't used to living a simple lifestyle.

Eventually, when my expenses couldn't keep up despite the ascetic lifestyle we imposed for ourselves, Luigi had an idea that would change our lives: he told me that I could do a sideline that could earn a lot of money. Nothing illegal, but doing it would mean I would work even on weekends. A few months later,  Luigi and I found ourselves moving into a big condo unit which we still call home to this point.

We both have regular jobs, but we rely so much on my sideline that it's probably the source of more than 50% of our monthly expenses. Luigi eventually became comfortable with the arrangement that I spend more money than he does. It was not really an issue to me because I believe that our love is unconditional. I give what I can give.

In the past few months, my sideline started to regress. I found myself struggling to keep our finances stable. The issue was that I had been keeping these financial problems to myself. And so today, Ifind myself feeling stressed out, worrying about funding a check that needs to clear soon and about the upcoming expenses this week.

And when I get stressed out, I find myself eating. I told Luigi a while ago that I want to eat ice cream. He was watching TV, so he was quite nonchalant. I needed some air so I went out to get the ice cream. I got an 800 mL Reese-flavored Ice Cream. I started digging into the ice cream tumbler and thank God, he noticed that something was wrong. I told him that we might have some financial trouble in the next few days. He asked for the details, so I told him. He told me that he's also quite broke and that his salary will come in mid-November. I told him I might need the money before that. The conversation was awkward that I just went to our room and played with my iPad as he continued watching his TV show.

He went upstairs also and apologized for not being able to help. I wanted to tell him that it's just me. I hate anticipating the time when money will just run out. I grew up seeing how my parents worked hard for money and how money shattered their relationship. I'm afraid to have the same kind of failure so I don't really like discussing financial matters with Luigi.

I told him before he went to sleep, Don't worry. We'll find a way.

I went back to kitchen and continued eating the fucking ice cream.




Image source:
http://lolmart.com/files/2011/06/ice-cream-money.jpg

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Steve




It has been a month since he died. And this might sound exaggerated, but I still mourn for him.

Yeah, you might call me an Apple fanboy. Since 2006, I've already owned an iBook, 2 Macbook Pros, at least 6 iPod models,  2 Airport Expresses, 3 iPhones, 2 iPads, and an AppleTV. The first thing I read in the morning on my RSS feeds are Mac news. I get giddy like a kid when new products are announced in WWDC and other Apple events. And through the years when I was listening to Jobs delivering his legendary keynote presentations, I've been one of those under the spell of Steve's distortion field--watching him speak always felt like a religious experience.

We're not even related; I didn't know shit about his life (though I already purchased Walter Isaacson's biography Steve Jobs and I'm excited to know him more), but I still saw him as an artist, a visionary, an idol. He made gadgets look beautiful, he made technology look accessible yet still feel futuristic, and he made me believe that the crazy ones are indeed the ones who make a difference.

Thank you and we all miss you, Steve.




Image source:
http://www.2dayblog.com/images/2010/december/550x-steve-jobs-blackwhite.jpg

Friday, November 4, 2011

Bad Luck Comes in Threes or Fours or Fives



It was a rainy morning today so I wasn't able to jog. No biggie. Not feeling any pressure to get up, I just reached for my tablet and checked stuff online. Then, I did my usual morning stuff: emptied the kitty litter, picked up dog poo, took a bath, cooked breakfast, and planned what to do today. I resolved to have my PRC license renewed and to follow up my readmission status of my MA studies in the university. Very simple plans, eh? Too bad they didn't work out.

Around 10AM, I changed clothes: picked up a shirt, underwear, a comfy walking shorts and flip-flops. I was debating with myself if I would bring my tablet--I thought that if I did, I would have to bring a bag. I don't trust Manila area at all. So the idea of just casually carrying the gadget to be seen by people on the streets was out of the question. I thought I would carry an umbrella since it's drizzling anyway, so a bag indeed would be good to bring to Morayta. But then, I wanted to just travel light; so I brought a book and an umbrella and hailed a cab.

Along Aurora Boulevard, the traffic started becoming worse. The trip which could be taken in less than 30 minutes took more than an hour long because of the awful traffic near Morayta. I tried to ignore the traffic by reading the novel I brought with me, but I began to feel impatient seeing how slow the flow of traffic was. By the time the cab reached PRC, I was already tired; I paid the P160 fare and dodged the fixers and those who were forcing me to avail of their photography services. I was planning to get the Express ID option, which means that my photo would be taken in the PRC offices.

When I reached the end of the queue outside the gate, I was happy that the line at the entrance wasn't long. I thought, whew, at least this process wouldn't take long.  Suddenly, I noticed that the lady guard was smiling sheepishly at me. What the hell, I thought. Is my fly open? I checked. Fly's closed. Couldn't be it. Then, she started tapping the sign beside her: (paraphrasing the sign) Pinagbabawal ang pumasok sa loob ng PRC ang mga taong naka: sando, shorts, slippers.

Oh Fuck. I thought, I violated two of the three things in the dress code. What the hell was I thinking? Going to a government office in tsinelas and shorts... Argh.

Good thing I quickly found another cab. I told him where I live. He didn't say anything. The red light was on and I was just amused at how thoughtless my plan was. I didn't even research about the requirements for the license renewal. I fished my 3G enabled phone from my pocket and hoped that at least I could check-in the event through foursquare app... and eventually research what I should do to prepare better the next time I go to PRC. And just when I needed it the most, the 3G was down. Damn you, SMART. I tried going Airplane Mode, resetting my phone, turning on and off the 3G, but the damn 3G wouldn't work. Downtime, I surmised. Fine, universe, have it your way.

I went home and took a nap. It was noon. I set the alarm to ring at 1PM so that I could go straight to the UP Diliman and hopefully finish my readmission process. And still Lady Luck wasn't on my side, my alarm didn't activate because my phone battery drained. It was already 2PM. Pffft.

I wore the casual clothes I wore in the morning. Surely, UP people didn't need to see me dressed up, did they? I brought again the novel I was reading, an umbrella, and 30 minutes later, I was already at the Graduate Studies Office. There were about ten people all having their own business with the staff. The office had only three staff members, and so I waited for about 10 minutes before I was entertained.

The secretary (or the main person to talk to) gave me my documents and I was able to smile the first time the entire day. The college is welcoming me back. Yay. Then she instructed me to go to the Registrar's office to pay for the AWOL fee at the third floor. I apologized and told her that since I left for more than three years, I'm not sure where the Registrar now is currently located. She told me. So I walked to the newly constructed Registrar Building (not really sure when that building became operational).

Third floor, I was greeted by two long lines: one is shorter, about half the length of the entire floor, while the other queue was long enough to reach the other staircase at the end of the floor. I was happy to be directed to the shorter queue. Good thing there were chairs in the queue. I got my book and started reading again.

Five minutes, ten minutes, fifteen minutes. Hey, wait a minute. How come the long queue moved really quickly while I and the people on my line were stuck where we were for a quarter of an hour? When I complained, the RA (Registration Assistant) told me that the other line was for tuition fee payers. My line was for the "other" fee payers. And they only had one cashier who's doing the "other" fees. Fuckettyfuck.

I had to wait for an hour just to pay for the stupid P225 AWOL fee. Really?

The best part was when I went back to the Graduate Studies Office with the receipt. I fell in line again for about fifteen minutes. And when the secretary browsed my papers and the OR of AWOL fee, she told me, "Ay naku, kailangan mo pang kumuha ng Admission Slip bago kita mabibigyan ng Enrollment Form."

No shit. "Saan po kukuha noon?"

"Doon sa Registrar."

What the hell? I was just there! I told her.

"Nagbayad ka sa third floor, 'di ba? Sa first floor mo makukuha 'yung admission slip. Tapos balik ka sa akin."

Putangina naman... sana sinabi mo sa akin kanina yan, no? I was keeping my calm and instead replied, "Sige po. Last na po yun ha, tapos pwede na akong mag-enroll?"

"Oo."


Suddenly I felt grateful for the weather that I didn't jog in the morning; otherwise it would be too tiring for me to go back and forth to two buildings about 300-500 meters apart.


When I reached the Registrar's Building, first floor, I went to another Registration Assistant. I asked, "Dito ba kumukuha ng admission slip?"

"Opo. Dito po. Kaso po, mahaba na ang pila at pinagsabihan na kami na hindi na kami mag-i-issue ng number for waiting list. Hanggang 5PM lang kasi sila nag-i-issue ng admission slip e."

Putangina. I looked at the people on the floor waiting for their turn to be called. There were at least a hundred people anxiously waiting for their turn.

"Bukas ba kayo bukas?"

"Ay sarado po kami pag weekend. Sa Tuesday pa po kami magre-resume kasi holiday on Monday."

Pffft. Fine. Whatever.

No cab was available since there was a lot of passengers waiting for one. I bought some turon and ate merienda. I realized I haven't had lunch. I remembered fishing for my phone to at least connect to 3G and read online stuff in order to feel better about this awful day. My phone's not in my pocket! I was suddenly worried whether my phone was snatched or fell unfortunately from my shorts. Alas, I remembered that I left my phone in my room because I left it charging because it drained on me when I was taking a nap.

Oh well. When I reached home, I took a bath in order to wash away all the bad vibes. I donned sando, boxers and slippers and started to prepare stuff for cooking. I started slicing onions and garlic cloves. And just like that, the day's negative energy finally slipped away.

Until I cut my left hand's little finger off and blood gushed out like crazy. I fainted at the sight of the blood and woke up in the hospital an hour later. Naaah, I'm just fucking with you. Luigi arrived when I was about to finish my meal and we ate together. Then, we cuddled. And peace was restored again. And hopefully luck as well.




Image source:
http://www.footballqs.com/photos/o/8066-bad_luck.jpg

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Home-cooking/Dining in



Home-cooking and dining in have always been destressing to me. The entire process is very therapeutic.

From researching of a good recipe,
to going to the grocery store or wet market,
to inspecting the freshness of the ingredients,
to telling the butcher how much meat you needed and watching him/her slice and dice and weigh the meat,
to going home and separating the ones which go to the ref and the ones which will be prepared for cooking,
to washing carefully the veggies and bringing out the condiments and measuring cups and spoons,
to heating the skillet or pan and pouring of oil and sauteing the garlic cloves and onions,
to the pouring of ingredients one by one with the spices and seasonings,
to letting the food simmer and cooking the rice,
to setting the plates, knives and fork to the table,
to trying to make the food look appetizing on the serving dish,
to serving the lunch/dinner to entire family or your loved one or a friend or a guest,
to seeing them eat what you prepared with satisfied smiles,
to hearing compliments about how this dish compares with the previous ones you prepared,
to drinking soda or cold water or wine,
to eating fruits or anything sweet for dessert,
to enjoying learning new things in conversations over food,
to belching out loud and the occasional farting for some,
to cleaning the table and clearing away the plates,
to setting aside the left-overs,
and to washing the dishes and restoring their cleanliness for the next meal...

the entire routine/cycle is beautiful, life-affirming, almost religious.



Image source:
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-M2poadQ1_PA/TXkWaorqIyI/AAAAAAAAAFk/C1RyueM0MzI/alg_man_cooking.jpg

Mga Gagong Tanong Lang Tungkol sa mga Pribadong Parte ng Katawan

Don't read this post if:
1. you don't have a sense of humor;
2. you're squeamish whenever you read/hear Filipino sexual terms;
3. you're fucking prude.






Kumuha ng papel o gamitin ang inyong mga kwaderno, at sagutin ang mga sumusunod na 'di lalagpas ng isang libong pangungusap. Maaring gumamit ng anumang teorya (chorya) at pananaliksik mula sa Internet or mamilosopo na lang kung wala ka talagang alam at gusto mo lang magpa-cute. Bawal mangopya sa mga kaklase, kung hindi, kukurutin ko ang singit mo.





1. Bakit masarap magkamot ng bayag at singit?



2. Bakit amoy clorox ang tamod?



3. Bakit masarap ang pakiramdam natin tuwing tayo'y tumatae o umiihi?



4. Bakit amoy isdang malansa ang pekpek?



5. Bakit mas maitim palagi ang titi kaysa normal na balat kung lagi naman syang nakatago at hindi nasisilayan ng araw?



6. Bakit nanghihina ang katawan pagkatapos labasan ng tamod?



7. Bakit lasang papaitan ang puwet?



8. Paano ka makakasiguro na walang masasamang tae kapag nag-aanal sex?



9. Bakit masarap patagalin ang pagtatalik o ang pag-urong ng semilya habang nagtatalik?



10. Totoo ba o alamat lang na kaya matitigas ang mga titi ng mga Asyano ay dahit madalas tayong kumakain ng kanin?



Image source:
http://www.maruism.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/dikomatanggap.jpg

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Time Machine




If I could talk to my twenty-year old self, this is what I would tell him:

1. Do not worry too much about love. You have nothing to worry about because you're okay.

2. Read more books. You'll hardly have time to read when you start working.

3. Start saving up. It's never too early to save up for your dream trip and house and car.

4. Hold on to your college friends. It's hard to find real friends at work. And you'll need them to get different perspectives in life. Your work colleagues know you too well or too little--they're not going to be your best friends.

5. Enjoy college. Taking up Masters degree is not as fun as finishing your undergrad degree. 

6. Drink less coffee and beer.

7. Never, ever fall in love with a straight guy or any guy who could be gay but would not admit it. That's going to cause you too much heartache.

8. Stop making mp3 copies on blank CDs. They'll be outdated. You will end up deleting half of your music library when you realize that you really just want to listen to songs that you immediately liked. Don't buy too many pirated DVDs. You'll be able to download them all soon.

9. Play more video games. Stay young at heart.

10. Don't stop blogging.



Image source:
http://atlantajones.com/wordpress-content/uploads/2007/08/backtothefuture.jpg

Turn On List



1. Facial hair - especially the ones that surround the jaw lines. It screams masculinity to me. I love some facial coarseness, but not the kind that's as thick as on one's scalp. However, I kinda dislike if the facial hair left is just the mustache. I don't dig Tom Selleck or Adolf Hitler look. I like normal eyebrows as well. Not too bushy, not singular eyebrow, and hell no to shaved, feminine eyebrows. And please, no nose hair.



2. Clean hairstyle - I dig semi-kalbo or kalbo (as long as it looks proportional and suitable). Also, soldier's cut, barber's cut, any haircut that looks clean and manly. Guys will long girly hair or wild haircut turn me off.



3. Big round eyes / Eyeglasses - I like eyes which are serious but not emotional. Not too into chinito eyes. Though Jap eyes are hot. I dig glasses-sporting, nerdy-looking geeks and jocks.  For some reason, I always give guys who are bald and have glasses a second look.



4. Shoulders, chest, torso, and arms - Broad but not too muscular. At least the kind which tells me that the person makes an effort to lift heavy things or weights. Hugging skinny guys hurt--their pointy, sharp bones bother me. Stocky body's okay as long as it's not too much. Some tattoo can look wholesome, but it depends on the tattoo as well. Religious and colorful tattoos are turn-offs. I don't really like kissing a Jesus or crucifix tattoo when I smother one with saliva. I like 'em tattoos black and mysterious. I like word tattoos, but it again depends on what word it is. If it's a name of an ex, oh boy, good luck finding another person with that name and say, "Hey, we're destined to meet! I met this fortune-teller before..."



5. Nipples - I like 'em small. Not the kind which will pull off a baktong (bakat ang utong). Feminine nipples look funny and cute. And sheesh, no nipple rings. A bit of hair's okay as long as it's not forest-like.



6. Other body hair - a few strands of chest hair and karug (the hair strands from belly button to pubes) make me sweat. Some armpit hair's yumyum. Hell no to carpets and shaved, ivory-like armpits. Trimmed pubes are a must.



7. Butt, dick, legs, feet - just normal-sized. Not flat nor chickenlike nor ginormous nor miscroscopic. And no smell, please. Ick.



8. Brains - the sexiest human organ. Sometimes I do tend overlook all of the above if this one is exceptional. However, I do get shallow at times and still look at something physical for my hormones to hold on to.   



9. Swagger - or maybe just self-confidence. Someone with decent fashion sense. Not the kind who knows what showed on the runway in Summer 2011. Awkward and timid guys are cute for some time, but after a while, it's so tiring to have to always boost their self-confidence.



10. Manliness - Similar to #8, very masculine guys can make me overlook a lot of the listed things above. Or maybe as normal as the word normal gets. As how some gay guys make fun of the other gay guys, "Bakla na nga, naka-pink pa. So redundant."



11. Good communication skills - speaks and writes really well. I'm a grammar police--it's a fucking curse that I easily get turned off if a date or someone texts me with horrible grammatical errors. But I seriously get turned on when a guy's a great speaker and/or writer.



12. Good cultural taste and breeding - someone who reads a lot of books, listen to great music, and watch decent films. Or any guy who can hold a great conversation over coffee or beer.



But hey, boys will be boys. We can't fight the urge to notice these things which turn us on in all of the people we meet. Even the most faithful person I guess will still find people who still turn him on. Much more for us guys who are just cursed with this insatiable sexual urge and eye for things that arouse us.

This entry is partially inspired by what Louis C.K.'s character says in the show, Louie. To paraphrase his character loosely:  it's just impossible for guys to have really romantic thoughts on one that he likes/loves without a really disgusting thought that comes immediately after. "God, I think you look so great... and I just want to bathe you with my cum."



Image source:
http://imeanwhat.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/pho_facialhair.jpg

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Justifying Going Back to Blogging



I took a break from blogging about a year before Luigi and I met. I just felt tired of airing out my thoughts and opinions. And worse, my ex was using my blog posts against me. So I resolved that I would just settle for the microblogging that twitter and facebook offers. Everything was going well until I realized that I miss the anonymity of being a blogger. Yeah, I could create fake twitter and facebook accounts, but there's utterly no point in doing that. That's when I realized that I wanted to try out blogging again.

I've been blog-hopping in the past twenty-four hours. I found a handful of familiar people and a lot of changes. Here are some realizations I gathered:

a. Blogging has become more interactive. The following option makes it easy to keep track of new blog entries. I thought that this is pretty cool. Last time I blogged, I had to manually make links to all of the blogs I was following.

b. A lot of the subscribers to active blogs are either inactive or missing. This made me wonder whether those bloggers got tired of blogging, the way it happened to me.

c. Nothing much has changed. People still write about the same stuff. There are those who:
write about their opinions and experiences,
write poems,
write fiction,
write about their sexual encounters,
post song lyrics,
post a lot of photos,
post movies or animated gifs,
write about nothing special,
don't write anything at all.

To date, this blog is probably my sixth blog. Or seventh. Or eighth.

But I realized that every blog I have created and also those I browsed through in the past 24 hours--they all have a certain, justifiable identity or reason for existence.

I wonder if that's the same way how journalists in the past centuries felt after reviewing their old diaries and travelogues and journals. I wonder if they even named their journals or if they let other people read their private thoughts.

I realize the main reason why I felt like blogging again yesterday was because I really just wanted an outlet, a personalized niche where:
the space or number of characters is not limited,
I can just stop being paranoid about every single word I type,
I get unbiased comments or violent reactions about my shit,
and most importantly,
I feel fucking free.

And to say the word fuck whenever I want to.



Image Source:
http://bornstoryteller.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/blogging.jpg

Rumor



"Mario, someone among the bosses is spreading a rumor about you... that you live in with a guy."

I got this text message from a good friend in the office a few weeks ago while I was out doing my groceries with Luigi. At first, I tried not to feel bothered by this; however, that night, I woke up from a nightmare--I've never had a single nightmare in years.

In these times, when gay guys have sprouted like mushrooms everywhere in the media and where local indie films almost always mean gay-themed films, I still work in an environment where being a homosexual would be seen as a threat to the morale of the community. No kidding. In a way, I have already accepted this for the longest time because I love my job. I work in a very, very Catholic workplace with a lot of kids.

So when this nasty rumor message hit my phone, I was somewhat rattled. In the office, very, very few people know about my sexuality. I am pretty confident about who I am--in fact, my parents know about me and Luigi. If I may use a really stupid term from the 2000s, I am what people might label as 'straight-acting' or 'bi-curious'. I think I'm very masculine and it has been easy for me to rely on the power of denial--people brushing off the idea that I could be gay.

The funny thing is that I am surrounded by gays at work. I'm pretty confident that 7 out of 10 guys in the office are screaming fags in the closet. And maybe 1 of the 3 out of 10 may be extremely masculine that they could be elusive of my gaydar.

Even my boss is probably one of the gayest persons on the planet; I might as well add that he's probably still a virgin. Not to sound judgmental, but he's not much of a looker--he's very obese, dark-skinned, and sings a lot of Regine and diva songs in public whenever he feels like it. Trouble is that he's fucking tone-deaf and his singing voice always make me reach out for my noise-cancelling headphones. But the most annoying this about him is that he is a hypocrite: whenever I hear him screaming an effeminate voice, "Eeeww, bakla pala siya! Eeeww! Eeeww!" I always feel like spitting at his face and call him a pathetic, frigid closet queen.

I know I could've quit a long time ago, but I really do love my job.

This has not been the first time that someone circulated a rumor about me. There was another boss who knew from a friend who knew another guy who knew about me. Good thing was that he really did hate me way before he found out about my sexuality. So when he started spreading the gay rumor about me, people didn't really believe him because he had been hating me in the first place. Karma got his ass and he was forced to leave the company for being a stuck-up biatch.

Why am I shaken by the rumor? Because it came from my current boss. Yeah, Mr.Tonedeaf-Diva-Singing-Precious-based-on-the-novel-Push-by-Sapphire himself.

How did he find out about the rumor? I'm suspecting that he got it from a colleague whom I had the unfortunate of inviting to my place with other colleagues in a bonding session. We ate dinner one time in August, drank a few, and shared secrets. I never divulged anything about my sexuality, and I told them that I have a housemate who works night shift. And the sad little fucker/rumor-mongerer, who I think is in the closet himself probably assumed that my housemate and I are live-in partners. I mean, who the hell would dare bite the ass of a generous host and spread nasty words to other people, especially his boss?

The night I received the text message, I had a dream where I was running away from someone chasing me. I couldn't remember and figure out exactly what was chasing me, but I remember looking back and seeing a mass of dark entity. I woke up sweating profusely with my heart thumping like crazy.

I went to the office and I tried to act very casually. I tried looking at the eyes of my boss and at the fucker whom I suspected the one who spread the rumors about me. They couldn't look at me straight in the eye.

Weeks passed and the rumor died. I found myself laughing with my boss again. However, I couldn't feel that I could trust the other guy anymore. I find myself harboring ill-thoughts of spreading nasty rumors about him. But I figured I wouldn't go that low. He once told me, out of the blue, that his dad would kill him if he were to see him donning a drag queen's outfit. So his dad is an extreme homophobe--I think that explains a lot. And so I let the Fates decide on whatever sort of karma befits him.

And so yesterday, Luigi and I were strolling in a mall and we found an interesting condo which we could invest on. If we push through with it, it's probably going to be quite the most binding kind of commitment that we would ever do.

And so to the sad closet fags spreading rumor against me, no matter how true the rumor is: Yes, I'm living in with a guy, and we're fucking loving every moment of it. Sana kayo din.



Image Source:
http://www.curvehouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/rumors15.jpg

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sex and Love



I haven't had sex in a very long time. I'm happily living a domestic partnership with a boyfriend of almost four years, and I think we're happy with the way things are going. Maybe our relationship has progressed into something non-sexual. Which actually might seem weird to some. Yeah, I get the casual question from friends if there's something wrong in our relationship; they tell me, when sex is absent, then there must be something wrong. I tell them, says who? Who the fuck wrote the rules on making love when you're in a relationship?

 I've been into quite a number of relationships before this current one. My previous ones had TONS of sexual experiences which bordered on being nasty to being merely casual. I've probably tried everything there is about homosexual sex, and by this, I mean with just one partner only. No thanks, but I really cannot fathom why people go to threesomes or orgies. Maybe because it's just that sex for me has always been linked to love and romance and pleasure. And being an introvert, I feel that if I had sex with a crowd, I would feel lost.

From hereon, I'll call my boyfriend, Luigi. Makes sense eh?

Luigi is a great guy. I think one of the things why we fell in love with each other is that because we came from similar backgrounds. We both had our wild past--those pathetic flings, one-night stands, clubbing, having-sex-with-strangers kind of thing. And I guess we found ourselves equal on a lot of levels.

We had a freakingly awesome wild sex the day after we met. You know, the kind with loads of cum-swapping. And that was followed by a few more sexual routines until we found ourselves becoming more familiar with each other's bodies and minds that we went to just feel really at ease and happy when we just cuddle in bed.

The comfort level flew to the roof when we both started gaining weight. We saw our bodies looking from single-and-looking-for-fuck kind of body to hey-I'm-married-with-kids-so-what-gym-are-you-talking-about kind of torso. Eventually we found ourselves laughing at each other when we see each other naked. And instead of feeling hurt, being trampled on one's sense of vanity and all, we both felt just overwhelmingly at ease with each other's imperfect bodies.

And so, the sex dwindled down and we found ourselves feeling tired when we go to sleep. We have different work shifts; while I'm awake and horny, he's usually about to sleep and feel so tired. And vice-versa.

And that's really just okay. It FEELS okay. And I'm happy about it.

Sometimes, we often laugh at the times when we catch each other jerking off to some porn. It just happens that our sexual stirrings have different time zones.

Strange realization about this situation: I finally understood how sex and love are two totally different entities. While for some, sex and love are like entree and dessert, I feel that at one point, one will just overpower the other. While some might say they cannot live without sex, I am most definitely the opposite of that. I feel love makes more sense to me.

Strange also to be saying this, but out of all the times I had sex in the past, there's always that part of me which feels that sex is just sex for homosexuals. I could understand how straight people would say that sex is sacred and all those yadadada social constructs about sex, but hey, with homos, sex is ultimately, merely fucking. It's an act of pleasure and an act of love.

And being an act of love, sex is just a facet of what love is all about.

It feels slightly funny to be saying these things when homosexuals are usually regarded as extremely sexually active. And yeah, homos have more sex than straight guys. But this doesn't mean we can't live without it.



Image Source:
http://14.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_krxqj3rqPH1qzztzbo1_500.jpg

World 1-1






I've always been fond of Super Mario. When I was a kid, the first time I saw the classic NES game, I immediately fell in love with this Italian plumber's cuteness; I've always been one of the shorter guys, and seeing a short game character growing up suddenly after getting the fancy mushroom definitely made an impact on me--it made me believe that I could power-up myself if I found my own mushroom in my world. I felt that Mario was a kindred spirit: I was young when I realized that I was gay and I felt like a lot of what was in my World 1-1 were obstacles to my flagpole: I would imagine myself stamping on the ugly goombas who blocked my way, and, oh boy, with fire flower, burn all those stupid turtle-looking koopa(l)s, who were too sheltered in their heads. I found myself feeling free when I played Super Mario.

Fast-forward to more than two decades of learning symbols in books and media, I find myself laughing at how the imageries in Super Mario could be viewed with homosexual undertones. For starters, what's up with the phallic mushrooms?

     
And don't get me started with the collecting of Flowers.

Notice also that Super Mario got more handsome through the years?


I remember I had a classmate in a computer class who strangely enough looked a lot like Mario. I remember wishing he were gay. Too bad there was a time I invited him and another classmate to watch the Oscar-winning musical, Chicago, which screams gay if you know what I mean. Seeing that he and the other guy classmate were really bored with the show, I accepted the fact that he was just too damn straight. Even before that, I knew that he was also married, but hey, I was naive and foolishly hoping that maybe there's a gay bone lurking somewhere in him.

I stopped playing Super Mario during high school, and it was only when the Wii came out with New Super Mario Bros. Wii that I felt nostalgic about how much I loved Super Mario.

Maybe he's the reason why I love Italian food so much and why I love men in uniform. Maybe he's the reason why I usually feel horny when I see random "Tubero" signs in the streets. Maybe he's the reason why I love guy's mushrooms (and I remember feeling giddy when some of my exes gave me flowers). Maybe he's the reason why I love collecting gadgets and traveling to new worlds. And maybe, he's the reason why I still go on even though there are no princesses in the castles of my world.

To hell with the oblivious princess. I'm happy with my mushrooms.



Images' Sources:
http://www.auntiepixelante.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/supermariobrosbeginning.png
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c2/Amanita_muscaria_%28fly_agaric%29.JPG/200px-Amanita_muscaria_%28fly_agaric%29.JPG
http://29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ltk4zkH4Qx1r3dxg4o1_500.gif