Monday, March 31, 2008

44 Years in the Closet

Lorraine Barr's essay in the "My Turn" section of Newsweek is called "The Love that Will Finally Speak Its Name." Lorraine writes about how growing up she always knew she was different, and how she met the love of her life, only to have to keep it hidden:

"Now I write this after living for 44 years with the most loved and loving, giving, understanding and delightful partner imaginable. For all our time together, we were 'in the closet,'"

Lorraine and her partner, Mary Frances Piercey, lived in California together where they kept up the charade of being roommates, even when Mary Frances was on her deathbed in 1999.

For Lorraine to feel lucky that she had this time with the woman she loved, despite them being in the closet for years and never feeling comfortable enough to acknowledge their relationship, it seems so difficult. Most of the time we hear about people coming out it’s to their loved ones as they are coming of age; in fact, many gay films are based on this sometimes-difficult task alone. Lorraine’s story makes me feel so grateful and lucky that in this time we live in, where our rights are still being acknowledged as less than, and "coming out" is still a task at hand, the most important thing is that you know for yourself what and who is right for you and your happiness.

Lorraine ended the essay saying she hopes people might congratulate her in her accomplishment that is a long time coming. There are some that might think at 88, why bother? But at 88, living in her Orange County retirement community, Lorraine Barr is finally feeling free and that’s all that matters. If only Mary Frances were here to join in the celebration.

A big Congratulations to Lorraine!

Quotable Quotes

”The secret of life is to have a task, something you devote your entire life to, something you bring everything to, every minute of the day for the rest of your life. And the most important thing is, it must be something you cannot possibly do.”

- Henry Moore
internationally acclaimed sculptor

Sunday, March 30, 2008

It Could Happen to You

Pick a movie. Any movie. Well, any movie that constitutes one person meeting another person and they fall in love with each other at the perfect time, perfect place, saying the perfect words and living the perfect life happily ever after. Perfect huh? I guess that's why its called a movie. Some romantic fool, living in his or her fairytale land sat in front of the computer one rainy night, with the full moon shining and the stars twinkling above and just decided on a whim to write that wonderful story. I bet the writer is single.

And same shit goes with fairytales. I mean what are we teaching our children. It could be a sense of being hopeful that the world is indeed perfect. But clearly it isn't. Aren't we just setting them up with a whole bunch of pain and suffering since they are expecting some perfect setting as soon as they leave the house and fend for themselves? It's right what Carrie Bradshaw did in the trailer of Sex in the City trailer, when she was reading to the little kid. She wanted the little kid to know that "happily ever after" doesn't really happen everyday. It might. I'll give you that. But not to everyone.

Definitely not to me.

A couple of times, I've heard music playing. I saw amazing fireworks. I even heard the philharmonic orchestra bust out their awesome rendition of one of Mozart's work. But where did it lead to? Nothing. I am still moping around watching cheesy romantic flicks that never fails to make me cry at the end of the movie when they finally share their one magical kiss and say..."you had me at hello!"


Kids, it's not true what you read. The movies are all figment of some lunatic writer's imagination. Julia Roberts won't be coming into your small bookstore one day and fall in love with you. Jerry Maguire isn't real. Proposals made on top of the Empire State Building could mess up your hair and it's just really cold up there in the winter and overly hot and humid in the summer. No one would exert an effort to learn your language so that he can ask your dad for your hand in marriage in your native tongue.

Amidst all these angst. Maybe, just maybe, who knows, it could happen to you.


Friday, March 28, 2008

Damn...Gerald Santos!

NYC's National Chorale & Leo Leal

The National Chorale is New York's premier professional choral company. The Chorale was founded in 1967 as a company of solo-quality singers. 2007-2008 is the Chorale's 40th Anniversary Season in Avery Fisher Hall, where it brings a unique repertory of choral masterworks, including well-known, seldom-performed, and new music to New York concert audiences.

Tonight would mark Leo's second concert with the National Chorale. His second time as well to perform at the Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center. It is amazing how far Leo has gone. From the solo performances at the Don Bosco Makati Gymnasium, to touring Europe with the De La Salle University and then winning the Grand Prix with the Philippine Madrigal Singers! There's just no stopping someone with such an overwhelming talent! Break a leg Leo!

West Goes East

I forgot how or where I first saw John Peter West's video of "Loved You Tonight". I just remembered that I was hooked instantly and I just have to buy his album right away. And I did. After going on iTunes and purchasing the entire album, I posted the video on my blog and my friends instantly fell in love with him as well and bought his album. In a way, I was a bit possessive. I wanted to keep him as my little secret. But I guess someone as talented as him would never be kept a secret. It will just be a matter of time where he would be filling up ginormous concert venues all over the world!

So, as soon as I found out that he's going to New York City, i acted like some crazy fan and purchased tickets to his show. He'll be performing at the Canal Room on April 7 to open for Tyrone Wells. A bit disappointed that it aint his show, nevertheless Im thankful that I'll have the chance to see him perform.

Check him out on his Myspace Page!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

John Mayer on being Beautifully Unspectacular

A Re-post from John Mayer's Blog

"But what I want to do is to shed a little light on why we're all in the same boat, no matter the shape of the life we lead: because every one of us were told since birth that we were special. We were spoken to by name through a television. We were promised we could be anything that we wanted to be, if only we believed it and then, faster than we saw coming, we were set loose into the world to shake hands with the millions of other people who were told the exact same thing.

And really? Really? It turns out we're just not all that special, when you break it down. Beautifully unspectacular, actually. And that truth is going to catch up with us whether we want to run from it or not. The paparazzo following me to the gym ain't gonna be Herb Ritts and the guy he's following ain't gonna be Bob Dylan. It's just a matter of how old you are once you embrace that fact. And for me, 30 sounds about right.

What now, then? I can only really say for myself: Enjoy who I am, the talents and the liabilities. Stop acting careless. In fact, care more. Be vulnerable but stay away from where it hurts. Read. See more shows. Of any kind. Rock shows, art shows, boat shows. Create more art. Wear hoodies to dinner. Carry a notebook and hand it to people when they passionately recommend something and ask them to write it down for me.

Root for others.

Give more and expect the same in return, but over time.

Act nervous when I'm nervous, puzzled when I don't know what the hell to do, and smile when it all goes my way. And never in any other order than that.

And when it's all over, whether at the end of this fabulous career or of this life, which I hope takes place at the same time, I should look back and say that I had it good and I made the most of it while I was able. And so should you."



I have been feeling restless (as defined: characterized by or manifesting unrest especially of mind). Although there are a lot of good things that are happening in my life right now, I still have that feeling of emptiness. I don't want to sound corny or baduy, but its definitely not because I'm single. No really.

I recently got promoted to head our Creative Department. I no longer have to go through all the samples and make sure that the style numbers of all 800 million styles and cartons match the excel spreadsheet that we send to the customs department of Moscow. I will now focus on making sure that all the designs that we order are in line with our company's look for all the seasons. Hopefully Fall/Winter 2008 will be awesome!

My parents and my brother back home are doing great. My Dad is actually turning 60 this April. He's feeling much better and my Mom is just ecstatic with the amount of clothes I send her. My brother has a new job at the Intercontinental Hotel in Makati City.

I have an awesome apartment, shared with my best friend of over 18 years. I have great friends in New York and Los Angeles. I have a super sweet cat named Pumpkin.

Lots of things to be excited about, and be thankful for.

Still restless.

Maya Angelou Turns 80!

In celebration of Maya Angelou's 80th Birthday, I am reposting a favorite quote from her. Happy Birthday!

"Have the courage to trust love
one more time,
always, one more time."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Check out JOHN WEST...

I am officially addicted to John West's music!

I'd make a great Boyfriend!

Fuck yeah! Like a gazillion percent true! Fact of the matter is, I'd make an AWESOME boyfriend! Let me enumerate some (just some) reasons why I would fuckin make an awesome boyfriend. First lets cover the basics. I'm good looking. There I said it. I take care of myself. I work out 4-5 times a week. I watch what I eat. I make sure I eat organic healthy food. I go to the dermatologist regularly to take care of my skin. Next, I am very fashionable. I keep up with the trends. I shop regularly for new clothes. Thats why you'd never be ashamed of being with me when you are out. Next, I have a decent job that pays good money. That just means, I can take care of my own tab when we go out. You don't have to worry about taking me to some fancy place coz I'd be able to afford it. Also, I have good social etiquette as well. In terms of intellect and conversation skills, damn I'm great! We could talk about politics, religion, worldwide current affairs or I could also name all of Brad Pitt and Angeline Jolie's children (Maddox, Pax, Zahara and Shiloh with twins coming!). In terms of attitude in a relationship, I take care of my partner. I know how to cook, bake, clean. In terms of personal traits, I bet I can fill up a pad with good traits you are looking for in a boyfriend (well, ill cross out "humble" in that list now...)

Yet, I'm still single.

Monday, March 24, 2008

What is This I'm Feeling...

I just can't explain.



Anyways, seriously now. The past few months has been tough on me. As all my friends know, whenever I deal with matters of the heart, it just stirs up my entire system. I could be hyper and positive one moment and then totally depressed the next day. Hence, I've tried baking and cooking. Jun sent me his recipe for his Vegan Chocolate Cake and I also tried the sinfully delicious Peaches and Cream Pie recipe from Mikee's aunt! So it has been a couple of months now. I've tried to tell myself over and over again, that i should really stop feeling this way. I've even written post-it notes all over my office and my room that states "enough!" just to remind me that its never going to lead to anything. I guess I should change the color of my post-it notes now coz it doesn't do me any good now.


Para Sa Iyo (For You...)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Fever!

Technically this is my second Spring in New York. Last year, I was so caught up with settling down, starting my new job and basically getting acquainted with the city, I never really got to enjoy the season or the proverbial phrase -- "stop and smell the flowers."

That is why I am excited to welcome Spring this year. As much I loved Winter, which may be a surprise to my friends as they know me to be bad with the cold weather, I really did enjoy Winter. Aside from the fact that I can dress up in my numerous winter coats and accesorize with scarves, gloves and other winter garments, winter depicts life in the United States. As I analyze it, when I was back in the Philippines, we usually connect snow, cold weather and winter garment with the United States. When I lived in Los Angeles, there isn't really a chance to wear the winter garments or even see snow falling. So when I moved to New York City, winter was an exciting season for me.

Today, as we welcome the official start of Spring, I see this time as a chance to come out of hibernation, recharge our batteries and welcome another chapter of our lives with enthusiasm!

Dennis Ferrer in New York City!

Vegan Chocolate Cake

Last Friday, I was feeling a bit depressed. I thought it might be a good time to try out Jun's Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe. Jun is the most amazing pastry chef in Los Angeles. He makes kick ass cakes and pastries. So I am a little bit scared to try his recipe as I might not be able to give it justice. But i did.



2 cups brown sugar (dark is better)
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt


1 cup soy milk
1/2 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
2 teaspoon vanilla extract



1 cup boiling water




VOILA! I think I scored an "F" for presentation, but I would give myself a B+ for taste!


Back when I was still living in Los Angeles, whenever I'm on the freeway and i see a police car on my rear view mirror or maybe even just hearing the sound of the police siren from far away, I often feel nervous or guilty of some driving violation. I swear, my ass cheeks would just clench because of that unexplainable fear. Even if I'm 99% sure that I haven't done anything wrong and I've followed every single rule on the driving manual, I still feel a wee bit scared.

I felt the same way when a doctor friend of mine brought an HIV testing kit to our apartment a couple of nights ago. It was just a random thing that he thought of doing. Another friend of mine excitedly started doing the test. I hesitated. I was thinking this is something very personal and I wouldn't want to do it on front of my friends. At the end, I still took the test. But I wanted to do it by myself, inside the privacy of my own room and wait for the result by myself as well. I didn't want it to be some lottery show where everyone is watching for the winning combination. In this case, being positive or negative.

As my friend took the test, a couple of high fives flew in the air and some congratulatory cheers were mandated as he tested negative. On a personal note, i think the celebration was appropriate indeed, but as I ponder on it, being negative means you've been responsible enough to follow the strict instructions on the manual. Which should ALWAYS be the case. There is no other way but to ALWAYS be safe. I am glad that my friend tested negative. The cheers and celebration could pass, I would rather think of it as a celebration for the sense of responsibility and maturity for taking good care of oneself.

I tested negative as well.

The Last Lecture

Randy Pausch is a 47 year-old Professor of Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction, and Design at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In September 2006, he was diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer. He pursued a very aggressive cancer treatment that included major surgery and experimental chemotherapy; however in August of 2007 he was told that the cancer had escalated to his liver and spleen. He then started chemotherapy intended to extend his life as long as possible, which was then estimated to be three to six months.

He delivered his so called "Last Lecture in September 2007. His talk was modeled after an ongoing series of lectures where top academics are asked to think deeply about what matters to them, and then give a hypothetical "final talk," i.e., "what wisdom would you try to impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance?"

I've watched this video before and clearly made an impact on my life. Just recently i came across a blog that talked about him againg giving a shortened version of his talk on oprah.

I urge you to watch the entire video as it would definitely inspire you.

Friday, March 14, 2008

My Failed Ski Trip

Over the weekend, I was so excited to go on my very first ski trip. My good friend Ben and his friends were going skiing that weekend and I joined in. I went to Paragon Sports and grabbed a couple of basic ski gear and of course my ski outfit. Damn! I didnt know ski outfits could be very expensive. I even booked a personal instructor for that day so I can learn the basics of snow skiing the right way. So off we go to Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort. It was a three hour drive, passing through Connecticut and Massachusetts. It was drizzling that morning. And yeah, it escalated to a full blown storm the rest of the day. Yup, they closed down the slopes by 4pm. So much for my first ski trip.

Next best thing to do. We drove to the nearest outlet shops. The trip wasn't a total waste!

Im worth $1,010 per hour in Bed!

This is crazy. People come up with the zaniest ideas. You can virtually put up anything on the web. The possibilities are endless. This website How Much Are You Worth? computes how much you are worth per hour in bed. You'd have to answer a dozen (or so) questions before they can assume your worth. Check it out!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Blog Power

It has been a while since I last posted a personal entry on my blog. I have been consumed by some issues at work, issues with life and also this very interesting blog that I stumbled upon.

I've read this blog a few days ago and decided not to write about it. But it bugged me so much and I really wanted everyone to know, not in the form of gossip but for information purposes. Its really very embarrassing and quite sad for every gay Filipino to read about things like this. Brian Gorrell hails from Australia and met DJ Montano, a member of the "Gucci Gang" apparently one of the high society groups in the Philippines.

To cut the long story short, DJ swindled Brian a whopping $70,000.00 through the course of their 8 month relationship. DJ convinced Brian to send him money regularly for a restaurant business that they are trying to invest on with the help of Celine Lopez. Since the "Lopez" clan is involved (one of the most affluent families in the Philippines), this is where everything becomes really juicy. Brian then moved to the Philippines, setting house in Boracay, he found out that there was no restaurant business, his money gone because it was just spent mostly for drug use and partying, and that DJ was cheating on him. He asked for his money back. Of course there was no money. So the entire high society gang made sure that Brian was deported back to Australia. Brian now has no money, aside from sending most of it to DJ, he also spent a considerable amount of money relocating to the Philippines. Oh and he's HIV positive.

Now, he started a blog. And he started spilling all the juicy, nasty and scandalous details of the high society life in the Philippines. Starting off with DJ, Celine Lopez down to all the members of the Gucci Gang. He then moved on to the families of DJ and Celine. In an effort to collect his $70k. He said he will keep on blogging and spilling more information until he gets his money back.

The blog has been threading on very dangerous waters since he included the Lopez clan. He's been getting death threats, Philippine consulate went to his house in Australia, confiscated his computer and jailed him for a day.

I hate to think how the world sees homosexuals and the kind of relationship that we have. As it is, the general notion of being gay is still tainted with a lot of negative factors. As we fight for our rights and equality, as we try to convince the universe that we are normal human beings capable of having a relationship based on true love and moreso worthy of respect from everyone, a story like Brian and DJ would come out. And we all know how the world reacts to stories like this. Its like wild fire going through a dry forest on a hot summer day. Hasty generalizations would come up and we could never change the way they think anymore.

So there. Read up on it on DJ Montano.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

We Need to Change the Message...

On February 12th, an openly gay 15-year-old boy named Larry who was an eighth-grader in Oxnard, California was murdered by a fellow eighth-grader named Brandon. Larry was killed because he...was gay. Days before he was murdered, Larry asked his killer to be his Valentine...And somewhere along the line the killer Brandon got the message that it's so threatening and so awful and so horrific that Larry would want to be his Valentine that killing Larry seemed to be the right thing to do. And when the message out there is so horrible that to be gay you can be killed for it, we need to change the message.