Thursday, May 29, 2008

i was in the middle of nowhere off the cost of zambales in the middle of a tropical cyclone trying to enjoy nature and the great company of friends

now, wasnt that a mouthful for a title :) was incommunicado for a good 3 days as me and 11 other brave souls trekked out to the middle of nowhere to face the elements and enjoy nature in its most glorious form.

the trip was organized by my client as a team building session for her new company, a wellness center. i have been preparing myself for the trip for at least a week by hitting the gym more diligently since most, if not all of her team would be gym trainers. i certainly did not want to be the flabbiest of the bunch when it came to shirts-off time :)

the journey was long since the resort was quite remote, on the edge of the the country to the east. upon reaching the bay, we had to haul our stuff to bancas that would take us eventually to the cove on the other side of the shoreline, around 30 mins. away. the boat ride was particularly nerve wracking since im rather aquaphobic and we were also riding into a cyclone, the skies were dreary and the winds strong and the waves, not as quiet as i wanted it to be. but since everyone seemed calm about it, i really could not protest.

anawangin cove sits in between the granite rock face of two hills, hiding it from plain view. quite a good reason actually since as your banca turns in to the cove, your breath is taken away by the sheer beauty of what lies before you. in sharp contrast to the dark cliffs, u have a burst of green as anawangin is covered in trees, pine trees of all things. the forest drapes the entire camp grounds and all the way up the mountains that form the backdrop of what is probably the most beautiful scene i have ever seen. a friend described it quite aptly... like it was taken from the lord of the rings.

after disembarking on the beach and unloading our gear, we started assembling our tents. this is my first time actually to go camping so every single bit i do is new to me. pitching tents, building a bonfire, cooking on the bonfire, looking for firewood and tending the flames. we also went hiking in the forest in search for the source of this river that had the sweetest tasting water. we ended somewhere up in the mountains in front of this waterfall. the trek was quite a feat as i got gashes and bruises from tripping, slipping and falling a few times. the route we followed was mostly dried river bed that we presumed would be fully submerged when the rainy season arrives. our way back to camp was rather interesting. instead of taking the same route we took (where i got injured at almost every stage) my client, a 50 something swiss lady decided to let nature show us the way, she started following a trail of carabao dung. true enough, we were back in camp faster and not as badly bruised :)

our private hut with my client busying herself to prepare dinner

my tent

there wasn't that many things to do in a deserted cove really. we had a few team games and taught our swiss host how to play patintero :) it was fun seeing a european play a pinoy kids game really :) a friend of mine also got me playing ultimate frisbee again. the last time i played was way back in high school so it took me a while and a couple of bruised fingers to get the hang of it again. i managed to get an even tan on my arms. unfortunately, to do so, i needed to bake my entire top and back in the process. im a bit burnt right now so moving is a bit painful :)

on our last night, we had a BBQ around the bonfire and had a gung-ho receptionist perform rihanna's umbrella for entertainment. things were fine and was ending at a high note until so had a little bit of a situation. the weather was rather erratic all throughout our stay so there wud be times when it would rain and then a few minutes later, the sun would be shining. that night, our clear night sky soon started to show rain clouds. while we were all huddled around our bonfire, a stranger out of nowhere popped out. he was shirtless and obviously intoxicated. slurring and incoherent, he kept pestering us to sleep in our camp and that he wont go away until he gets what he wants. he wasn't really a threatening figure, besides, we were a bunch of big fitness trained men and he was just one drunk. still though, the idea of him lurking about at camp was rather unsettling. making things even worse i guess was that someone allegedly saw him having a companion. that night, all the guys were on the lookout. someone made booby traps and had perimeter lights around camp. a bit of an exaggeration really but the guys too were a bit intoxicated and overly paranoid i guess. later that early morning, we had the strongest downpour and gale like winds. it was quite scary actually especially with the sound of the roaring sea. despite the fright, i found myself thinking where that drunk spent the night.

the following morning, i found him nearby, under a hut, sober and well, quite apologetic.

overall, the trip was quite a great experience. i made a lot of new friends and had a fun time as well. i have braved the elements and have proven that i can at least stick it out in the wilderness, even for a short while :) i however don't have plans of doing it again anytime soon. i don't think my sunburt skin would agree anymore :)

a bithday patry, cha-nis style!

i was "man-handled" by my mom to attend the 80th birthday celebration of her cousin last saturday. i wasn't really feeling it since i barely know the celebrant, more so, mostly all the people attending. added to that, i was also trying to cut down on the food intake since i had a camping trip coming (more on that later) and everyone knows what not eating while on a chinese dinner means, right? however, my mom obviously knew how to play me. a pout and a sigh later and she used the strongest weapon a mother can wield on a child... guilt. cunning.... simply cunning.

i tried to make the best of the evening. good thing i was seated beside a kooky cousin and i had a textmate who kept me company :)

here are some of the pics i took while trying to entertain myself. :)

notice the sea of blood... and the cheesy decor? :)

the wedding singer.... not really the best but bearable. at one point he referred to the party as a wedding, a slip of the tongue that EVERYONE noticed.

my grey ensemble. i stood out like a sore thumb but was commented as being artistic :) i guess ppl also grow tired of wearing red on these occasions and just wished they thought of wearing grey as well! :)

Thursday, May 22, 2008


david archuleta, consistent boy american idol aspirant lost to david cook, avant guard, steadily getting cuter due to his hard working stylist, rocker.

im not too sad with the turn out of the contest. i did like david cook as well so if america decided he was more deserving, then he was more deserving. i honestly though last night while i was posting my entry about what simon cowell said about david archulets's performance. when he said it was a "knockout", it almost felt like the kiss of death for me. counting chickens before they hatch simon....
o well. america obviously doesnt like being told what to think, more so what to do.

if there is anything im sure that will happen, is that both davids will come out with albums and it will be another battle. i just hope david a.'s maniacal stage dad doesn't beat him up into a pulp first for loosing.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

is there any question?

tonight airs the finale of season 7 of american idol. though i used to follow it before when it started, i kinda lost interest midway after missing a few episodes. however, despite not being able to watch it as much as i used to, i still kept my eye on my favorites and how they faired. tonight, i watch my "manok" slug it out with another singer bearing the same name. the two davids on idol's last night... who would have thought this would happen?

anyway, ever since the kid (david archuleta, that is) opened that beautiful mouth of his and released his siren voice, i was hooked. never would i have expected such beautiful sounds to come out of such a young person, and with so much conviction in his singing.. almost like an old soul. i have to be honest, for very obvious reasons, that i was also supporting ramielle to win. but she just got irritatingly, well, irritating. though she started impressive, she gradually slid down the forgettable road of just being another singer. david a, as i call him (yeah, we're close) on the other hand has been consistent ever since day one. his performance tonight sealed the deal with yet another beautiful number, capping it off with the song that made me fall in love.

here is the clip that basically handed him the prize.

Monday, May 19, 2008

God is in everything

was having a conversation with a friend yesterday and as how all things go with me, our topic slowly veered its way to life and God.

i don't really consider myself a very religious person, neither am i that spiritual. i guess since i grew up in a christian family with my grandparents being very devout, the topic of God and how He is represented in my life always comes up. unlike other people, God to me is almost like taking about what i had for breakfast. i can talk about Him in almost palpable detail without sounding like i'm preaching... well, i hope i dont that is. having a very christian upbringing has made the topic and the person of God quite normal and "un"intimidating to me, and talking about it, i found was something that i especially enjoyed quite well.

now don't get me wrong. talking about God for me is quite different from preaching. i have had my fair experience of doing that and blame it probably in the frustrated teacher in me, i always end up sounding like i'm on a lecture. conversations often end up dry and dead and the progression to such dismal states happen at very rapid speeds. probably the reason why i dont preach so much anymore. cerebral that i am, i have found that i become more eloquent, more comfortable when i just talk about God like He is a subject that is familiar with everyone, with no pressure really of saving another's soul. jobs like that need enlightened people... not those like me who lug their baggage around.

so there we were, my friend and i, exchanging views on life and love when, as expected, i asked him about God and how he was able to reconcile his identity with his faith. since accepting my true identity, part of the acceptance process for me was to make peace with God. though not always a necessary process to some people, i felt being a christian, it should be the first thing on my list of things to do. this being the case, finding out how other ppl deal fascinated me as well.

" i don't do harm to myself and harm to other's" is usually the answer i get whenever i throw this question out. though i now feel that being gay is not really so much a moral issue as the lifestyle usually connoted to it, a lot of people still feel that the mere fact that you are means you are automatically damned. but if you really are immoral, is that really so wrong? wasn't rahab an integral part of how the israelites conquered jericho? didn't Jesus go out of his way just to see the samaritan woman? wasn't it mary magdalene the first mortal that Jesus revealed himself to, even before He ascended to the Father? i feel, moral or immoral, in the eyes of God, we are all the same, we are all in need and unlike people, God has no biases.

how i made peace was to believe that i did not choose who i am but was rather born the way i am. can you really fault me if i like blue more that red? or t-shirts more that polos, guys more than girls? God made me who i am for a reason and that is what i intend to find out. my upbringing, my experiences, my struggles, all were part of this master scheme for me to reach this point, to this realization and i am happy that i did. now i can do nothing but move forward with steps of anticipation. i believe my portion is different, and though it may seem that this will mean a more difficult path, what is God but not my eternal portion. right now, i still feel like i'm not whole. i told my friend that though i can honestly say i am now comfortable in my own skin, i still feel like there is a gap that i need to fill. my relationships with self, family and friends are all taken care of now, but that with God, well, is still in the works. a deeper consciousness tells me there is a rough patch somewhere between us and i feel it is my duty to mend the divide. God has given me so much, its the least i could do.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

pick me ups!

i was having a rather sour saturday afternoon. i just thank my lucky stars i had friends who cheered me up by barraging me with videos to lift up my spirits. here are some of them...

first, another teresa teng classic!! i just love her, and this video is just too cute!

macveen lead me to the following videos, this one by jason mraz called "i'm your's". fun video.

here's another by duffy, the "new" amy winehouse daw. i like thisone coz i reminded me of them old black numbers. you know back in the days when tina turner of diana ross were just starting. very retro!!

finally, Feist withthe song "1 2 3 4" just a fun video. a pile of none sense but just really fun!

thanks you guys!!!! thanks for making my day!

Friday, May 16, 2008

chinoy senti

a friend's hilarious blog got me all sentimental all of a sudden. meet teresa teng, by far one of the most famous chinese balladeers EVAH!!! her songs are timeless and known by almost every chink the world over, bridging generations and countries even!!

though her songs used to flood the airways back in the 70's and 80's, now you mostly just get to hear her in chinese restaurants over dinner or dimsum. there are also the occasions wherein chinese wedding singers or half drunk relatives hitting the karaoke machines attempt at her graceful voice but only manage to do a really cheesy number...

i found this video of one of her more famous songs "the moon represents my heart". just to show you that her songs transcend age and culture, my mom was looking over my shoulder as the song played and WE started singing together!!!! ahahahaha....


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

the plot thickens....

love is one tricky business that one can only really get a grips of by just diving in. no rule books to guide you with, no tried and tested theories. all one needs is just gut instinct and a fortified belly to brave the fates and the elements as you allow yourself to be the subject of the ebbs and flows of this ever shifting cosmic brew.

in just a span of a few days, i have been battered, beaten and built up again. i have professed my intentions and have been accepted, denied, ignored, played upon, falsely accused of and betrayed. talk about a roller coaster ride. needless to say, i am still alive and well and optimistic that the one who is for me is still waiting somewhere out there. hopefully not as bruised as i and still hanging in there for me to finally show my face.

i find it so amusing how gay ppl handle relationships. it seems like everything is on fast forward and no one wants to slow down. your first meet ups almost feel like its the date that will make or break the deal. being surrounded by my straight friends i guess made me appreciate the importance, as well as the joy of the pursuit. call me old fashioned but courtship for me is as significant as the the actual relationship itself. if animals themselves do it, and with strict attention to routine, then i don't see any reason why humans shouldn't. wooing plays a vital role i believe as it exposes one of their true desires, much more, what they can offer to the plate. gay or straight, i don't believe the dynamics of the hunt are any different. men or women, all long to value someone and to be valued by someone in return. the more time and effort you invest, the more you will gain.

so the game continues and i set my eyes into the horizon and the rising sun. the trek will be arduous i'm sure, but deep down in me, i know in the end, all will be worth it.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

then God created eve...

the hug i gave you this morning said it all. the hug you returned told me all as well.
thank you for being my mom.

i know your fears. i understand your worries.
thank you for caring beyond what is your person.
for your selflessness, your unlimited compassion.
for letting me be who i think i should be, even if i know you do not fully understand.

i am who i am, because i am your son.
i try to be upright, God-fearing, compassionate,
wise, kind, funny, caring, loving, honest, because that is who you are.
i live life to make you proud, to validate all that you have done to make me a good son.

you are the joy of my existence.
your love is my blood, your words are my inspiration.
your wishes my food, your prayers my air.
God is good to have given you to me.
God is great to have made you my mom.

Friday, May 9, 2008

isa pa!!!

i got sooooo happy uploading my fave song "breath" and finding so many versions of it that i decided to upload another!

i first heard of this song from one of my brother's CD's. i got hooked to it by its beat and mix of vocals. since its a bad habit of mine to not really research as to who the artists are, i never really got to know who sang the song or even what the song was called. that was, until i went to dubai. my flatmates wake up to watching GAY.TV, an italian gay network that shows music video in the morning. note, none of them are gay, it was just that GAY.TV had a better selection than MTV Middle East or MTV Europe.... it's GAY.TV! should we really be that surprised? anyway, was watching it one morning when this video came up. immediately i recognized the song and was dumbfounded by how awesome and even better the original tract was (my brother's CD has the remix version).

"What else is there" by royskopp. the video is one creepy piece of shit but nonetheless enchanting. i LOVE IT!!!!!


I brought you something close to me,
Left for something you to see though your head.
You haunt my dreams
There's nothing to do but believe,
Just Believe.
Just Breathe.

Another day, just believe,
Another day, just breathe
Another day, just believe,
Another day. Just breathe.

I'm used to it by now.
Another day, just believe.
Just breathe. Just believe.
Just breathe.
Lying in my bed,
Another day, staring at the ceiling.

Just breathe. Another day.
Another day, just believe.
Another day.
I'm used to it by now.
I'm used to it by now.
Just breathe. Just believe.
Just breathe. Just believe.
Just believe. Just breathe.
Just believe.
Another day, just believe.
Another day.
Another day, just believe,
Another day, just breathe,
Another day (I do believe).
Another day(so hard to breathe)
Another day(not so hard to believe)
Another day. Another day.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

go speed racer, go speed racer, GO!

went to see the newest wachowski brothers creation speed racer today with a friend. can't really say i have been looking forward to seeing this movie when i first saw the trailer. it looked like it was dominated by CG, the characters looked corny, the lines cornier and well, quite boring actually. considering that this is another wachowski film didn't add points for me either. i remember thinking, what the hell got into them to take such a project. i mean THIS is what u guys do after doing the matrix and v for vendetta? needless to say, i was greatly disappointed.

i was on a date (? again) and part of the agenda was to watch a movie. since the friend i was with had already seen iron man, the movie i was waiting for to see, we had to choose one that neither of us have seen before. my last movie was "forbidden kingdom" so i had more choices to pick, him on the other hand, well, just "speed racer". i obviously wasn't excited but being the martyr that i am, went to watch it anyway.... i am so glad i did!

the movie was great!!! i swear i will never doubt the genius of the brothers wachowski ever again!!!! true i won't lie, the story is pretty basic and straightforward, but man, the graphics was phenomenal!!! the intensity was constant and the visuals was just captivating! the entire movie felt like a ride! like ur trapped in this cyber pinball machine and you're the ball. of course being the manga obsessed dudes the brothers are, they were faithful to the original japanese version of speed racer. the car, the characters (i enjoyed how they characterized spritle and chimchim, they were equally annoying in both the animation and the film.... as i said, very faithful), even the pose speed racer is famous for after he dismounts his car. set design and animation was also superb. parts of the film felt like u were reading japanese manga back in the 70's, when speed racer i think came out. the mix of retro with uber hi-tech was excellently done, something i actually enjoyed the most. so much so, i think i totally ignored my date during the movie (well, his fault!).

capping it all up, the brothers definitely did it again. the movie is action packed for the guys and has enough story and character evolution in it to satisfy the girls (add to that the serious man candy in the form of rex racer and mattew wolf... woof!). manga aficionados would appreciate the movie's homage to the original and those who have no memory of speed racer, well, they would be happy to know that us oldies had such cartoons that was definitely cool!.

the game....

in sequel to my previous post, allow me to give an update on what has been happening since i officially dove into the dating game. first and foremost, i never really realized i was already dating until one of the guys i met told me that we were. as far as i was concerned, i was just meeting them to give a face to the name. casual chit chat, hi's and hello's over coffee or a meal and that was it. guess i knew wrong. funny. i guess it was a good thing that i didn't really considered them as dates. for sure if i did, i would have been a bundle of nerves, knowing how good i am blowing things out of proportion! :)

so since the time i started contacting these ppl, i have gone out on 4 "dates" with 2 different ppl. one about my age, the other someone who turned out to be only 19 (my explanation on that later). there are still a few ppl whom i would like to meet but its either the circumstances would not allow us to see each other or there is a conscious effort to actually prevent such meet-ups from happening, either from one or both parties involved i might add.

the first guy i met was ok. nice, clean, intelligent and quite conversant. a flight attendant so he was not lacking on the looks department. not really drop dead gorgeous but definitely above average. personality wise, he seemed sweet and caring, though from experience in meeting so many ppl in my line of work, i can tell there is a level of immaturity in him that still needs to be worked on. not really holding it against him since he is younger than me by a few years and has yet to explore the world and learn from it ( ah, youth). despite having past relationships, i can safely say hes not really the commitment type, for now at least. he's fun to be with and a possible great companion for gimmicks but don't think he's the guy who would want to get tied down with only 1 particular person for long. a wandering jew who also happens to like going shopping :) my kind of friend indeed, hehehehe.

bachelor number 2 is a boy. GOD! though he never really hid from me how much younger he is compared to me, i distinctly remember that he said he was 21. not that i'm into children mind u. i am a person who likes to get mentally stimulated by good conversation, and on chat, this kid can talk! so it was rather fun to catch him online since theres no dull moment with him. there was also an energy to him that i guess i fed on, him being the boy with unlimited stamina, and me being the old cow left out to pasture. it was rather exhilarating to try to match up to his energy, something that i am proud to say i have done over and over again. but then i always knew i could out-chat anyone. his online character was definitely fun, in person though, well.... he's totally different.

we met at tomas morato. well, i picked him up near his house since our rendezvous was quite clandestine. hiding from the mom was his reason. me naman felt even more awkward, like a pedophile!!! note to all, HE WAS THE ONE WHO WANTED TO MEET ME. i just gave in cause he was very persistent. in person he's not as chatty, though i could tell he tried his best to make conversation. unfortunately he was just too young to know enough things to talk about i guess, more so about the topics that catch my fancy like the arts and philosophy. we had lunch (my treat) and got to know each other better. tried to pick topics i know he can be more open about like the travails of having a "fairy" as an identity. by the end of our meal, he was warmer and got, well, more amorous. i tried to keep distance from him by sitting a good 2 feet away, something he noticed :) i apologized and said i have trust issues. well, dunno how he did it but by the end, i found him holding my hand already. (man, this guy's is suave... corny, but good). i can deduce that he definitely is a romantic, like all boys at his age are. but i don't think it will work between us. in the end, the age gap is just too much and i really don't want to weigh him down with all the hang ups of a soon-to-be-30 soul. i think i can be a kuya. not that i have experience to impart but more for support. i just hope he can figure it out and not think that i'm being pakipot!!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

prada wishes... and vuitton dreams!!!!

i just got back from what would have been the most exhilarating, exhausting and practically bankrupting trip of my life! a 5 day 4 night vacation en-grande from asia's shopping mecca, hong kong.

the trip was supposed to be a simple get away from the monotony of manila. a brief breather just to refresh and recharge my batteries and also spend some QT with my brother. what should have been a peaceful escape turned into a hedonistic blood bath of shopping, eating and more shopping. so much so that i found my feet blistered and sore from 5 straight days of walking from sun up till sun down.

i never would have expected i could walk or even shop at such an intensity. i guess thats what HK does to you. it gives you this fever to spend as you get all caught up in the frenzy of people FIGHTING to get into stores in order to get first dibs at the latest products. case in point, the luxe good stores scattered all over in HK. gigantic flagship stores almost in every block. i have never seen so much in such a small area before in my life, more so the worship of such hi end brands. i had to point it out that despite working in dubai where money flows like oil, the arabs feel more tamed in their spending when compared to the almost ravenous attitude hongkies have with their shopping. i mean, never in my life have i seen people actually queue outside an LV store in my life, but here, ppl actually do, and it was a really long queue!

if i had a dollar for every person i saw carrying a labeled item, i would have enough to buy myself my very own. walking along HK's streets felt like watching a fashion show in NY or paris. clothes and shoes and bags and accessories and pants, enough to send any serious fashionista into anaphylactic shock! HK is also becoming a mecca for anything that deals with design. from its cutting edge uber hi-tech airport to the boutique hotels and local home stores that line up along its once peddler filled streets, HK design is fastly setting its mark in the world! i especially enjoyed how they do commercial interiors and their ingenious use of limited space. corners and dead areas are never wasted and function seems to be infused at every available piece of real estate. we naturally tend to do that as well, but in HK, aesthetics is never sacrificed. i guess we too can do that, if ppl here are more adventurous and have money to invest in such edgy concepts. there is a boldness in HK design, something far different that the other places i have been or seen. the attitude of pushing the boundaries and striving to dream is intoxicating. im actually considering trying to find a job there, just so that i can be immersed in such a strong vibration to create and be creative.