the gapanese invasion is nigh!

"pinakamaganda ka nga sa buong kapuluan, pero latina na naman ang magwawagi ng korona at sash sa miss world! racism ba ito? lupasay!"

Thursday, March 30, 2006

siren's song (for y***)

"to the sirens first shalt thou come, who bewitch all men."--homer, odyssey

i hear him chant
the fluid notes
that wash the atmosphere blue
and for the life of me,
i let the color vegetate
with the softness of his singing.
where are the avian wings,
the dreaded fangs that suit
shipwrecked sailors' tales of destruction?
his human fullness
with his gift of voice
spells a stormy sadness
in its gravest form.
how is it that beyond wise men's comprehension,
the pleasure of demise is an unfounded truth?
it serves me right for i am seduced;
my landing home
necessitates his siren's song.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

a perfect boyfriend material

the paralysis by having to standardize the characteristics of a perfect boyfriend material is out of the question. the most basic thing about this is that the ideal bf's features may include but are not limited to being attractive, trustworthy, understanding, humorous, sensitive, companionable, chivalrous, and so on and so forth short of assigning the guy the traits of a schizophrenic. why not, when not only perceived good attributes are looked for in the man in question, but also perceived bad ones like pa-macho can oddly figure. blame human craziness.
speaking for myself, my perfect boyfriend material is someone virtuous, brainy, beauteous. now, why should an ideological mutant wish for a guy as grand as that? i could retort, "kanya-kanyang trip lang," but i never want to be known for antipathy, so i'd tell that i hope to have someone i'm not. then again, the word perfect is forever associated for anything that's always farther away. therefore, i have to learn to contend with the optimum manifestation of virtues, brains and beauty in the prospects that happen along.
as a matter of fact, twice in the very recent past did i get to call two different gay men as perfect boyfriend materials. both friends (with benefits) are so fabulous that they landed modeling stints. on one hand, boyish-looking dreamboy has appeared in telecommunication and fast food television advertisements. on the other hand, the more gym-built hotqt models for an underwear line. here comes the problem: while dreamboy is admirably smart, he often displays hotheadedness whenever i refuse to fulfill his fetish for homoerotic real stories that i cannibalize my sex life for. meanwhile, the more gentle-natured hotqt has disappointed me when once i praised him for being a perfect boyfriend material over a midnight snack of double cheeseburger and hot chocolate. "boyfriend material?" hotqt munched on his sandwich before adding, "i am not materialistic." end of conversation.
of the two boyfriends i had, preyoverknight has the upper hand over his fellow bacolodnon hansam. while tisoy hansam (notice the pun on handsome?) is as gentle-natured, carinoso and soft-spoken (aren't all ilonggos?) but admittedly more physically attractive than preyoverknight, the latter is far more brilliant and is in no way ideologically ugly, what with a gym-built body and manly facial features. financial status should not come in the picture, but for everyone's information, hansam is my fellow struggling relation of production while preyoverknight is a legitimate part of the elite (and a capitalist at that). why on earth i eventually broke up with both, and what specialty does their regional affiliation play in my preference, i have to discuss in length in some other blogs. what's important is that both bacolod lads (or ladlads, if you want, regardless of their paminta mode of outedness) are somewhat material manifestations of a perfect boyfriend.
for the curious who yearn to know whether my crush gorgeous is a perfect boyfriend material himself, the guy indeed possesses my three standards. first, he has looks that even unsuspecting women can fall for. second, he is so good to me, i could fly for joy whenever we engage in a chat, in which case i grow oblivious of the universe swirling around my feet. third, he has brains--have you ever heard of a dumb accountant working for an international company? plus the guy has a singing talent to boot--i hope that his artistry complements my literary inclinations. however, houston, we have a problem: he seems unattracted not only to me but also to anyone else (save for...?). maybe he's a perfect boyfriend material for me or any other smitten moth, yet boy, i'm sorry, he appears unavailable. you may forever lust after him, but will he oblige to your long-term desire?

Monday, March 27, 2006

postcolonial latina in the pearl of the orient seas

i found myself obsessing for any latin american marvelous realist literature the moment i browsed the content of the world anthology i brought along as gift for my kumare leaving for bicol. she thought it would serve her best to read while in magayon country tending her daughter that's my godchild, and i couldn't agree more, hence the choice of multicultural gift. however, i discovered that the book's claim to be a "world" anthology was false, since not one piece of latin american (not even african or middle eastern) prose or poetry was represented in it. by way of literary hegemony, the collection is euroamerican-centered. staples like william shakespeare, william wordsworth, emily dickinson, and john milton had at least two masterpieces each, but the absence of such heavyweights like argentinian jorge luis borges, peruvian mario vargas llosa, chileans pablo neruda and isabel allende, brazilian paolo coelho and colombian gabriel garcia marquez seemed to me that south america along with africa and the near east is incapable of producing canonical literature or an outworld territory altogether. i heaved a sigh of relief when an entry each by philippine national artists jose garcia villa and nick joaquin conveniently appeared along the pages.
my partyphile friend zazu would probably dismiss my longing for latin american text as a homage to postcolonialism. i could hear him accusing the provincial--dare i say nativist--me of partiality against anything western, and of sympathizing with the violent colonial experience of south america. perhaps, with swishy middle-aged fingers, he would point out that my country is already an anguishing third world economy--why the need to look for poverty condition further across the vast pacific? the lambasting would probably reach fever pitch when he would suspect that i'm truly a latina disguised as an oriental, and that in the event a filipina penetrates the finals in an international beauty quest, i would cheer more for the venezuelan or mexican or porto ricano finalist. in that case, it's as terrible as loathing my national identity but falling nonetheless to exoticism when i wish to become a hispaniola. to all these unfounded theories, i would just flip my hair as i succintly say, "the new miss international is you, miss philippines, precious lara quigaman."
it is downright revolting that non-euroamerican ethnicities are labeled exotic, defined as "alluringly different." the modifier "alluringly" makes me want to toss my head side to side till i receive praises like "ang soft! ang dulas!", but the word "different" makes me want to grow medusa hair and turn exoticists into lifeless slabs of stones with my evil eyes. realize being juxtaposed against the euroamerican standard of beauty: you are enticing, only foreign, too strange. it's as repulsive as being told that you still do not fit to a t, no matter what allure you possess. so does this mean having to customize one's exceptional looks under the civilizing western hands? come on, i attract you potato guys, i with the sun-kissed body made strong by golden rice. bring with you your whitening lotion, your hair dyes and your colored contact lenses. in no sooner time, when you're done raping my body, i will be no different from you--western-fashioned hair, eyes and all. plus your homegrown gay ideology has fueled me my dominant craving for caucasian-hybridized pinoys, they with the light skin tone and huge torso patterned after the greek gods. you want us exoticas to obssess you at the expense of our increasingly fragmented identity. away with your self-serving worldview.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

hidden beauty in the beast

i missed out on blogging for three consecutive nights since i was cramming to finish editing a ten-page critique on a comparative study of poverty in canada and the united states of america. it might occur to you why on earth would i dissect a subject that's suprisingly dislocated in the two north american superpowers. it might also be a wonder why i'm doing so whereas i'm not a citizen of either, in the first place. my reply to both queries is, i was asked to do such an enjoyable job, for an honorarium that's adequate to augment my finances. nothing comes close to the joy of performing what i love and being compensated in the process. now, my turn to question: isn't it disturbing that two of the world's most industrially-developed nations should also harbor an impoverished sector despite these countries' filthy richness? modernism indeed doesn't quite deliver its promised social justice; it even exacerbated social dichotomies, as in the outraging case of widened ideological divide between the poor and non-poor. hmmm, i must have sounded too intellectually posturing that my fabulous crush perceived this as an extra-sensory transmission, so he sent me, whoa, a half-naked multimedia picture.
so in spite of the uninterrupted wakefullness, i did not respond to my need to go horizontal (to catch on sleep and not to..., okay?) and just relished in exhilaration. i sensed the avalanche of my IQ points as i surveyed the beautiful bone structures of my crush's lovely face and broad shoulders. why, receiving an mms from gorgeous is more than winning a million-peso jackpot from gay ka na ba?, i mean game ka na ba?. call me moronic, but how can i not stand this zealous devotion when most other gays at the bar did not get his proper attention, even as they're hunky and aggressive and smart-looking? all i can say is, poetry can make my otherwise spiked hair longer than edsa and curlier than dna helix (dahil may diyosa bang hindi mahaba ang buhok?). alright, if you want it less metaphorical, poetry can delight my crush such that he'll present me his calling card.
i can never be sure whether or not the world has tilted a little in favor of the underprivileged, but i am sure about feeling like a beauty queen since i start to become a hunk magnet even for guys who appear merely on my dreams. i used to give myself a pat in the back whenever i grow a fascination over a delicious genetic accident, believing that the most i can approximate this beauty is to be his alalay or something like that. this became especially pragmatic when only straight guys befuddled my world. hell, when i became friends with a heavenly pair of heterosexual couple, i walked along with them at the paved avenues of the university despite people's pointing out that i looked like a sore thumb against my straight male best friend, a campus king, and his erstwhile girlfriend, a local beauty titlist. the ugly remarks whatsoever, i disregarded the monkey feeling because at the moment, i bask in pride and popularity since i came fresh from winning in a regional competition (not a personality contest, much to your relief). when i finally decided to shed my nerdy image in favor of other ideologies, that's when i discovered that there's a gem in all of us waiting to be polished by any or all of the gays in the queer eye show.
some of my surprised friends postulated that i lure men (to their destruction--what, a siren?) on the basis of my good nature, while some theorized that it must be the wit that worked wonders. new acquaintances are outright skeptical if indeed, i get to entice the men i have had passionate trysts with sans the color of money. these people make me laugh: i am not rich and it is not my policy to resort to monetary influences should desperate measures arise. i would like to believe that some of the guys have increased enlightenment and with a dizzying mass of clones parading before them, it is likely that they chose someone different but not too different as to incite their repulsion. if unlike me they don't harbor a disturbing admiration that causes them to drop dead, then it's the way of mother nature--some other genetic makeup can give them epileptic seizures. finally, i want to rest my case by telling everyone that the degree of confidence one carries in his sleeve is directly proportional to the likeliness that the guy he's eyeing will somehow take notice. but then, remember that confidence should not be mistaken for delusion because if you nurture the illusion that you're a frenzy-whisking goddess, chances are that you attract attention only as everybody's object of wrath and ridicule.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

tuesdays with y***

in my previous blog, i mentioned of trembling in wait when last tuesday meant being not with morrie nor with mitch albom's five heavenly people, but in the company of my sexy fitness instructor. something in the essay, according to asian, seemed to picture him as "sobrang guwapo" whereas my description of him, upon review, appeared rather innocuous. i thought that the exuberance of the blog must have made him feel like an adonis incarnate, although that is not untrue and more--the guy is even filially pious and immensely adorable, the last trait complementing well his marketing prowess. quite a catch, you must say, but the guy's blissfully taken (not by me, of course; i'm unattached but not looking, but not spectacularly living out gabo marquez' one hundred years of solitude, either).
i also thought, if i acted like this guy's personal umalohokan, how much more with the guy whom i write poems for and about? i can't claim with dead certainty that i'm lucid and unbiased whenever my faculty for discernment spells four letters that read Y***. I feel like rhapsodizing atop the Himalayas whenever the smoldering-smothering-scorching hot hot hot y*** crosses in my simpleton mind. label me profane, but the nearest analogy for the fever this marc nelson deadringer has unknowingly infected me with comes no less than the speaking-in-tongues phenomenon that transpired among the apostles. for good measure, dear reader; the guy is lovable to the nth power, so much that i'd manually wash his laundry if he requested me to.
that is how self-annihilating the mere mirage of y*** renders me; just imagine how his actual apparition makes my heart dance the endless conga in a latin american mardi gras. it is just apt that my most anticipated day of the week is currently tuesday, when i get to see him in the blue bar where we first met. you might ask, what is a blue bar? is it a bar painted predominantly by the color blue? why blue, to begin with? will it make any difference if the bar was painted in any other color and name it, say, magenta bar, turquoise bar, or fuchsia pink bar? the resounding answer is, i don't know for sure. i can only offer my theory that the bar is so-called in order to contrast it from a gay bar where go-go boys seductively dance before patrons, conceiling the eight wonder of the world in skimpy trunks. if i must be literary, it may be named so to parallelize the symbolic color of sadness in gay men's lives. what i observed is, the blue bar serves as a convergence site for us gay people, a place where we can unapologetically show who we really are. it may be deplorable in some aspects like its promotion of imported homosexual, modern-collective, ageist and lookist ideologies, but this discreet society attests that gays can repopulate the mainstream.
it's a tuesday, yes, but i accepted an editing appointment. i shrugged, well, i can always visit the bar later in the night, but the final philosophy paper required intricate editing touches for it to merit an A. in beautifying the critique, i jeopardized the opportunity of seeing y***'s beauty. the clock's striking midnight, but the cinderella in me has not yet changed my gym attire. i look at my feet, and in them were grey adidas, not crystal stilettos. i conjured in my increasingly deoxygenated brain y***'s prince charming looks--the spiked hair, china eyes, rosy cheeks, cherry lips, ivory teeth, muscular body, honey-colored skin--and i began to salivate like the experimental canine of pavlov. the party's in full swing at the blue bar, and y***'s gorgeous torso must be exposed like all the other guys' around, but i am also half-naked and hobnobbing with y***, even if i were galaxies away on this particular tuesday.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

devirginized at the gym

i got up four hours ahead of my 9 a.m. waking time in order to join my fitness instructor asian at the gym. this, despite not being able to lose consciousness around midnight as i preferred, right after greeting my friend dylan a happy birthday. i know what--rather, who--was sabotaging my pursuit for forty winks way past 1 a.m., but my masochism assured me that i'd love it when the guy unwittingly uses his wizardry on me. more on this charming sorcerer in the future blogs.
the prospect of getting my baptism of fire at the workout station kept me quivering in anticipation since the previous day. okay, i reveal: it's more like, getting my baptism by a gym instructor. i have no idea who among the buff nurses, accountants, adpersons, ad infinitum i've had intimacy with in the past were also fitness teachers (last i heard from hotqt, he showcases his greek god torso to be able to land a job at any fitness center), but to be sure, asian is. then again, his calling card read to the effect of graphic designer-marketing hand. talk about double exposure of postmodernism: these guys i mention are not only multi-hyphenates, but also queers of varying sorts. some of the supermanly gay guys even take queerness to a liberating degree by fragmentizing the myth that gays follow no more than the swishy, transvestite, faggoty template.
the visit to the gym, as i correctly guessed, was not the proverbial walk in the park. what does one expect with a grossly uncoordinated human like me? it was just an accident of nature that i was blest (or cursed, depending on whose perspective) with an actively metabolic body that never requires slimming. anyway, my hunky instructor, after a short stint of narcissism, had me perform a warm-up (in more ways than just the usual, hahahaha). i was made to struggle against a machine, sitting on it in different positions, twisting my legs and arms, stretching my back (if those acrobatic styles sound sensual, pardon my homoeroticism). finally, when asian inquired which bodily part i would like to enlarge, i cupped both hands on my chest, and half-expected him to laugh at my reference to silicon-type breast augmentation. he didn't get the joke, but he did make me pick up the five smallest pairs of dumb bells to flex my muscles with. i struggled with my first set of twelve counts, thrusting the equipment from my ribcage forward. my biceps were sorely trembling when i managed to finish all five sets. i complained of difficulty when my personal trainer (hahaha, an allusion to the bel-ami m2m's) asked me to repeat the chest exercise, only lying down this time instead of upright position. my horror became consummate when i learned that the horizontal position also required five sets, twelve counts using the same dumb, dumb bells.

Monday, March 20, 2006

bulaklak ringtone vs. orapronobis

when i turned in my resignation letter saturday evening, there was no fanfare unlike what i expected. i could imagine my colleagues twisting at their seats home, raring to know whether there was much keening or smeared mascara, at least on my boss' part. being the paminta (straight-acting, fyi) that i am, i never wear makeup, but that didn't stop my boss from scolding me one morning when her temper yet again got the better of her, alluding to my female co-teachers who had the habit of checking their face powder and eyeliners immediately after punching in their time cards. back to the resignation episode, it took me an hour to have an audience with my boss, since a very inquisitive parent was anguishing over whether or not to send her boy to a study tour in beijing, or have him spend summer reviewing for college entrance tests. when the mother complained about how more than an hour passed without her noticing the boy almost deranged in eternal wait, i slipped into my boss' office and brandished my letter. in what i anticipated as a longish talk, she asked if i signed the paper and when i was positive, she let me go. i thought of fiona and wondered how my boss could whip this colleague into frenzy whenever the topic of leaving the company rent the office air with what seemed to me as verbal (and quasi-invective?) matches. after four years, i'm free to return to graduate school full-time or search for another employer or go freelance full-blast. let me discuss at length my stay at the office some other time, because the fanfare i was looking for appeared before me when i went to the rare screening of lino brocka's orapronobis at gateway cinema. i just can't tarry to confess what happened.
absurdities are my lot as a storyteller. whenever i'm with friends, i don't let them down by giving them the ironies or whatever they expect to hear. be it the old woman whose snores dominated the daybreak jeep or the strange mythological creatures that populated the philippine folklore or the pinay who would get a fantastic beating from latinas in global beauty competitions, i regal to them, complete with colors, textures, sounds, the imagery that must be invoked if only to cross the double removal of my folk realism-infused stories toward the philosophical reality. this time, i have to thank my date yuppie for providing the zest in what was otherwise an uneventful weekend. as it was, we were silently seated through the screening of brocka's bizarre film when one, two, three phones erupted with terrible ringtones. the first ringing pushed yuppie into scouring the owner to give him/her a rightful scolding. why not, the massacre of nine civilians by the vigilante cult was being shown onscreen; for the life of him, my date could not miss the gore of the shrieks and the angry armalites. the second ringing had him shouting across the room, telling no one in particular to "answer that phone, please?" that brief moment made yuppie miss the scampering of the village people toward the capital, if only to escape the sadistic ire of bembol roco's character, komander kontra. just when the screen showed komander kontra persuading gina alajar's ex-amazon character to join the orapronobis in order to control the wind, become bulletproof, acquire invisibility and other cult-associated peculiarities, the third ringing sent yuppie toward the erring owner to lecture on him/her phone etiquette inside the theater. the film was already disturbing in its nightmarish truth about post-edsa philippines (which calls to mind the present political plight of the country, virtual martial law state and all), but my date made me want to buy popcorn and use the bag to hide my head in.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

littlegapanese' descent into the void of weblogging

this is littlegapanese (b)logging in. not many of you have been told the reason for such a quaint name, so let us throw an acquaintance party with me as the shameless center of attraction, if only for a trifling moment. little gapanese has been my pseudonym right after joining the university of man, specifically when i started harboring a crush on the cute, recently crowned campus king at the agricultural university i first taught in. on a side note, the guy's heterosexual, and much as i was yet enlightened, the furtive gay-to-straight passion was a disaster waiting to unravel. he was the original little gapanese. the campus king four years before him was the first person i called gapanese, although this straight batchmate--manly physique and all--never turned into my object of desire. it was another straight, equally hunky batchmate that became the pitiful first love of my achy-breaky heart. now what's the point of this rambling introduction? all three straight guys hail from gapan, the southernmost town-city of nueva ecija. should any of you want to discover whether or not the guys from nueva ecija south (also check jaen, san isidro, penaranda, cabiao, cabanatuan, santa rosa, general tinio, san leonardo, san antonio) are indeed sizzling hot, book a bus ticket; the ride takes no more than three hours barring atrocious bulacan traffic. returning to the moniker, i found it fitting, dare i say post-colonial, to use little gapanese as a representation of my own self. most of my life i lived in that palay-rich province in the colorful central luzon plains, so it was high time i link my identity with my native land (can't claim it for my land of birth, since it was in neighboring tarlac province, my mother's native land, where i first saw light). it was the working of the literary person in me that i played on the word "japanese" and substituted "j" with "g"--a pun, if one insists on not having to consult the dictionary. the precedent "little" generates some kind of controversy. some believe it was my 5'5" height (that's relative, baby; although i admit i want 5'8"-up boylets to pamper this little gapanese) while others scandalously allude to a diminutive part of my body. sorry, "little" is a word i associate with endearment, as when poet robert browning has his darling elizabeth for his "little portuguese." a few gay guys have earned my corny adoration the second they referred to me as their little gapanese, but it's not just them who may attest that the anatomical smallness is but a conveniently false notion.
so the inevitable day when i have to create my e-journal has come. yes, i do maintain a blog at friendster, but i use it to post in the lousy products of my epileptic fits, i.e. literary works, mostly in english. before some nativists start honing their verbal knives to splice up my colonial trappings, i am a legitimate english major, and i write in a language i am comfortable with (besides, uncles, i am reared in philippine english, so you can't hear me frothing at the mouth in american-iloko-hiligaynon accent and grammar). i also keep a manual diary, but i am exhausting the modern resource that is internet in order to save others the difficulty of having to master hieroglyphics should they accidentally chance upon my journal notes. i agree that even this modernity cannot be fully relied upon, even catastrophic when i remember the few instances my web account was hacked and my profile was maliciously advertised in sex gaysites (like, "this sexpert's looking for a quick fix," for crying out loud; hindi ba sapat ang ganda ko bilang puhunan?), yet i still leap in the void of cyberspace, hoping my faith was worth it, after all.