Thursday, December 27, 2007

Random Updates: MMFF, American Idol, etc

It seems that I have forgotten that I actually have a blog to maintain, but whether you believe it or not, I have tried to update you almost every time I sit in front and open my computer. I was thinking of posting a Christmas greeting post or something to that effect. But apparently, my brain cells gave up on me. How could I tell you something nice and new when all that I could see and hear every single day is the sight and sound of a usual call center?

Of course, no one’s gonna be interested to know that most of my customers doesn’t know what an email address is, that most of them doesn’t have an idea how VOiP works, that most of them were just calling because they’re bored or something, that one of them who provided me all his information was only flirting around and thought I was just around the corner, that receiving a call from Hawaii, Guam or Alaska is a one in a million possibility, and more outrageous bits and pieces you’ll never think will happen in a day.

Every Christmas, Filipinos have a lot of reasons why they should enjoy – foods, gifts, lengthy holidays, reunions, endless parties, shopping, et cetera. But moviegoers also enjoy the best of Filipino movies every Christmas through the Metro Manila Film Festival. Hollywood movies dominate the local movie scene but local movie theatres are mandated to give way to MMFF in a specific period of time – this year, from 25 December 2007 to 7 January 2008. So if you wanna go out to watch some Hollywood flicks, you better stay in your crib and watch television.

Nine entries are competing in the box office this year – 3 of them are sequels (Enteng Kabisote 4, Shake, Rattle & Roll 9 and Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo), 2 are Hollywood imitations (Desperadas from the TV series Desperate Housewives, and Resiklo from the movie Transformers, 1 is a quasi-sequel (Bahay Kubo from the Mano Po series), and the so-so others (Anak ng Kumander, Katas ng Saudi and Banal). Star Cinema’s Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo was a success last year so I hope Sakal followed suit this year. Desperadas is probably the gayest entry this year – it’s full of bikini-clad hunks and gay satires.

Before Christmas, Taylor Hicks visited Manila and was the first American Idol winner to visit the country. He performed at the Ayala malls (Glorietta, Greenbelt and TriNoma) on 18 - 20 December 2007. The other Idols who have visited the country before were Jasmine Trias, Camile Velasco, Constantine Maroulis and Elliot Yamin. Now, there’s only one thing left to say, Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Promiscuous Gay Guy

I went down from the mountains early this morning with a lot of good memories in mind. I met new friends and with them, felt like I was in the old days again, when I was still in college and where drinking sessions and out of town trips are usual. I felt like I was really rejuvenated. In contrary, thousands of words are running inside my head at this very moment, but not one of them I could simply put out loud in this entry. I am too bothered.

I knew I have been a little promiscuous when I was still in the early years of being gay. I used to have multiple partners. I have engaged in different sexual experimentations. I searched for love. But somehow I felt like I greatly failed in this department. I did not care. I was a little aggressive. I was a little innocent. But that was then, and today is different.

I may sound like I am always sure when I say things, but the flip side always lies within. While we were traveling down to Manila from the city of the sky (Antipolo City) early this morning, I suddenly felt that something is going wrong again. I felt revived by the cool ambience of the city when we stayed there late yesterday until early this morning. But whether I like it or not, I have to return to the usual sound of Manila to come home. That alone may explain why I was feeling something odd today. But no matter how I convince or dissuade myself, I know, in my heart, that the strange feeling is pretty more than that.

It was on our way home when I got to appreciate the beauty of the city even more. Its tranquil ambience reminds me of Baguio City (though honestly, I have never been there my entire life) and the same cozy environment gives them an edge over any city in the provinces of Cavite, Laguna or Bulacan, though Antipolo doesn’t have enough interesting icons to boast. (You know, most tourists prefer those.)

It was freezing up there in the morning and as we go through the seemingly fine road, I got so cheerless while thinking about leaving the place this quick. Then my mind started to wander somewhere else again. What could have gone possibly wrong? I started thinking about love again, but like a hazy mosaic, I saw a lot of faces fading one after another. I was staring at the road blankly. Surprisingly, I discovered a funny logic in there. That love has always been there like a road. There are too many of them, I know. But make sure you’re traveling the right one. I failed in the love department many times already. I searched for it, that’s why I found some. But I took all those roads at once, so there was no clear direction, and they died a natural death.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Bonbon Series: Diether Ocampo

Our new bonbon isn’t just a talented actor and luscious hunk, but he’s also a philanthropist at heart. Diether Ocampo, born 19 July 1976, is an ABS-CBN talent, member of The Hunks, founder of KIDS Foundation (Kabataang Inyong Dapat Suportahan or Children You Should Help), PETA supporter, co-owner of UNO magazine, and a lot more. KIDS Foundation reaches out to the less privileged children of the countryside and has launched several projects including the sports-oriented Out of the Streets, Into the Courts, the book drive campaign Isang Milyong Aklat, Isang Milyong Pangarap and RED (Reduced, Eliminate and Decrease undernutrition). Wow, I didn’t know he’s this generous.

Diether also posed naked in a photo shoot to promote PETA’s anti-zoo campaign. The print ad aims to raise awareness about the bad effects of captivity on zoo animals. PETA’s demanding for Manila Zoo’s closure. Not bad, right? That big area there could help more people if it will be converted into a business center or something that could generate more income for the city. Hmmm, I believe PETA should be more aggressive and recruit more generous people to pose nude for their campaigns. HaHaHa.

Despite his busy schedule, Diether has apparently gone far already when it comes to helping others and to helping his business and career flourish, but his personal life is a totally different story. His relationship with Kristine Hermosa didn’t go well and their marriage is nearing its final destination. But life doesn’t end there, of course. Soon, a new search will begin … for Diet’s Next Top Woman? *LOL*

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

When We Rebel

No matter how hopeless, boring and tough life may well be, always keep a positive attitude when you wake up in the morning and forget what may seem to be a life ruiner. Each day is always a start of something new and each new day gives us the power to continue with life and get what we always wanted to get. But be realistic, of course, for sleeping with Jake Cuenca is something we should never aspire in this lifetime. Only Cinderella (and company) lives in fantasy, not us.

It might have a diminutive relevance with what’s really going on with my own life now. But I live in a vibrant city where everybody wanted to talk, to get noticed, to brag, to be recognized, to be the center of attention, to be accepted, to be significant and, perhaps, to rule. The list never ends there, because people just can’t stop. We always wanted to do things in our own little ways, and brag about the difference they might achieve. Too much freedom caused us to collide with the righteous ones, and too little achievement caused us to blame them. Guess what, we never made a difference.

Look at Senator Antonio Trillanes, what difference he made? Nothing. He was given all the chance to make one, but he was looking at it from a very, very different way. For the record, I voted for him and that’s one thing I regret I ever did. I still stick with the status quo, for at least I could see a promising economy and a sustainable development over the horizon.

* * * * * *

I apologize for the long delay of this follow-up post. I have to go to places almost simultaneously to attend a birthday bash, to fix some papers, to meet an old friend, to meet Aso … add work on top of those and you’ll understand why I have to go directly to bed once I get home. This post was meant for the people who couldn’t see fit to behave; people who added stress to me whenever I travel back home. This is also dedicated to those who are trying to live in peace and free from opportunistic, arrogant and insecure individuals who love to spend all their energies talking about their own lives.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Amazing Race Asia is my current fave show

If someone’s gonna ask me what I never wanna miss on television right now, I would probably say The Amazing Race Asia 2. I wonder how the show got me excessively addicted so let me try to investigate why. The first time I got hooked to The Amazing Race was few years ago when they visited the Philippines. The show gives me a matchless kind of excitement, as if I am also one of the racers. I always wanted to win, and be on the mat first in each leg of the race. This is why I always bet for the most competitive teams every season.

Having a favorite team is a different story. Rob and Amber (both appeared on TAR 7 and TAR: All-Stars as a team) is my all-time favorite team in the race’s history. Their sometimes dirty tricks always fascinate me, but there is no doubt that this team is incredibly competitive.

It was only last year when the Asian version of the race was introduced, and the Philippines had two teams: (1) Aubrey Miles and best friend Jacqueline Yu and (2) the couple Ernie and Jeena Lopez. The Aubrey-Jac tandem was the only interesting team last year. Too bad they got eliminated early in the competition, eventually pushing me to quit watching the show. But aside from the fact that no more interesting team was left in the show when the girls were eliminated, a couple of things also triggered me to ignore the show completely: poor editing, poor hosting, poor cinematography, poor sound mixing, etc. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it, right?

In this new season, however, there are a number of interesting teams that TARA fans should watch out for. My current favorites are: (1) Rovilson and Marc from the Philippines and (2) Brett and Kinaryosih from Indonesia. The other teams are equally interesting and entertaining to watch. It is also worth mentioning that they’ve visited the Philippines during the first and second legs of the race. Though the carabao (water buffalo) task was already done in the original series, it was still a good idea to have this season’s racers get on with these beasts and plough the muddy rice field. They were also tasked to eat the hearty baluts, assemble a bicycle, pair up 250 shoes and visit an orphanage. The first pit stop was in FortSantiago in Intramuros, Manila and the second was in Paco Park in Paco, Manila.

So far, the Rovilson-Marc team is in good standing. They were the second team to arrive at the pit stop during the first leg of the race and first during the second leg. Will they win? We can only hope. After all, it is not just physical fitness or mental knack that truly matters, most of the time, the race is also about luck.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

10 people I'd like to thank before I sleep tonight

When I looked into the mirror this morning, I noticed big physical changes – my mustache and goatee have grown, my hair turned messy again, my body dropped, my eyes deepened, my skin roughened, and my overall aura was just plain terrible. It scared the hell out of me but this terribleness is transitory and less relevant than other things. In the past few days, I’ve seen a lot of small things that I should be thankful of, and these happened because of these few people who truly touched my humble life...

First, the readers of Simply Manila, for their continuous support and page views they have contributed. For November alone, SiteMeter has registered 10,140 visits and 44,359 page views for this blog. Statistically, that has been the best month for Simply Manila.

Second, THANKS to Empress Maruja, for citing a paragraph from my entry entitled The Sweet Escape, and for nominating Simply Manila to the November edition of Pinoy Blog Superstar. Third, my deepest gratitude also goes out to Khalel, for also nominating this account to The G* Spot Weblog Award. (Congratulations to Rye for winning that poll. I have no objections.) Fourth, to Portable Bitch, for the early Christmas present you’ve given me earlier. That’s a lovely note, and I still owe you something.

Fifth, to my Team Leader, for the warm welcome I received yesterday. I was informed that all agents are expected to maintain a 25% conversion rate. I started my first day on the floor yesterday with 27.8% (with 5 sales out of 18 calls) but today, I got 13% (with 3 sales out of 22 calls). It was my first time to do sales so I understand that the first few days are going to be an inconsistent, tough ride. But if we sell more, we get more. It is always something for something. That is why all agents are always hoping that all customers calling in will not only inquire about the services we offer but will hopefully sign up to avail the services.

Sixth, to my new and old friends, for making my days less burdensome despite the stress I always felt inside. (Wow, I am so starting to scare myself right now. Stress was never a good thing. Plus, it’s one of the reasons why I gave up my previous job.) But hanging out with friends from time to time is quite an addictive diversion, and one that I should not miss.

Seventh, to God, for always giving me a valid reason why I should always take the right way and make wise decisions. Eighth, to God’s counterpart, for always reminding me that the world is such an evil place and full of evil inhabitants. No, I did not say Trillanes.

Ninth, to my Mom, for the meals, for the washed or ironed clothes I wear, for being my alarm clock when the real one failed to rouse me, for the cable television, for the DSL, for the shampoo, for the words of wisdom (and impatience), for the company, and for everything. She has been the best person I have ever met.

Lastly, to my one and only ASO, I will always love you. *LOL*