Saturday, December 31, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
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!
Posted by Super Mario P. at 10:05 AM
Thursday, December 22, 2011
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.
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."
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..."
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..."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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.
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."
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.
Posted by Super Mario P. at 7:03 PM
Monday, December 5, 2011
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.
Posted by Super Mario P. at 6:28 PM