•April 3, 2010 • 12 Comments

Men are expected to behave a certain way, mostly through display of toughness, virility, financial independence, control and violence, thus creating a sheer disregard for the “Other,” which comprises traits that fall under or relate to passivity, dependence and the usual warm, fuzzy feelings.

However, these rigid structures on “how to be a man” all seems too good to be true. In Hollywood cinema, movies like Dirty Harry (1972), The Godfather (1972), Scarface (1983), and Die Hard (1988) all have an archetypal “guy’s guy” as main characters, who are, one way or another, involved in some kind of assault, violence and a sheer display of macho aggression.

Manhood in contemporary society really takes a lot of work and I think it is somehow in need of a rescue. At least, from a huge potential of manslaughter (pun intended) due to people’s obsessive, exaggerated and ridiculous expectations.

Fortunately though, there are some men who believe that they can actually enjoy a much deeper relationship with fellow men without any fear of judgment and trepidation. Victor Seidler of The Achilles Heel Reader: Men, Sexual Politics and Socialism said that it is possible for men to change, to develop different kinds of relationships (especially with themselves), while seeking an alternative to “the shoulds” that they are constantly putting upon themselves.

But since I do not want to bore with you with the whole scholastic schmuck, I would like to prove how men can still enjoy the warm, fuzzy feelings with each other, without appearing too queer and homoerotic, with my top 8 bromances in TV, sports and movies over the years.

8. Ryan Atwood and Seth Cohen (The O.C.)

Playing videogames, what else?

Seth: You know what I mean?
Ryan: Hardly ever.

The OC would not be as popular and successful during its heydays without the two main protagonists in Ryan Atwood (played by Benjamin McKenzie) and Seth Cohen (Adam Brody) who were distinctly different from each other but who got along very well. Their relationship was borne out of a stereotypical relationship between two bros in most media portrayals, where one is an alpha brooding male who’s got the macho and mystery vibe that works best with the ladies; and the other, a more laid-back, usually smarter and funnier guy who is more content with being the wingman in the relationship (and who often gets a hot girl or two in the process.)

Bromance power trademark: A healthy mixture of brains and brawn.

Continue reading ‘CAUGHT IN A RAD BROMANCE’



•March 28, 2010 • 2 Comments

It was the fresh air of dawn that gave me the first tingles of the day. The sun has yet to rise. All the streetlamps are on but sadly, not enough light. It is always a dark, scary, almost impossible path towards you.

But it’s okay. So far, I have not lost my way.

In fact, I think I know it very well. The numbered flight of stairs and your strong but refined footsteps, they seem to tackle me like “a dredging bucket with hinges like the shell of a clam.” The crooked lines and concrete floors breathe with them, effortlessly disentangling this endless chasm.

Even if blindfolded, with my hands tied behind me, I would still find my way to you.

I knew it by heart. How the chilly breeze passes by when I’m almost there. It’s quite cold, with a whiff of mist. But I’m not expecting rain. Not yet, anyway.

And when we meet, there is nothing but silence. Beautiful, unadulterated, spellbinding silence. There was the synchronized movement of the sheets and the occasional stamps of our feet as our fresh dose of music. A few seconds of awkward glances and lazy yawns and heavy breathings, while the clock strikes to signal the morning.

People began to fill them buses and trains. The cars honked and screeched. The doting husband is off to work and the loving wife stays at home.

It’s a brand new day. It’s the same old day.

But not for me. There was always our moments that never got old. But who cares? It’s over now.

I kept thinking about the big, black parade. It’s all about the big, black parade.

Have you seen it before? Was it there all along? It’s unyielding.

And now, for the first time, I’m lost.

Find me again?


•December 3, 2009 • 2 Comments

We know of many things. But we know about very little.

I know that the tragic end of the life of Filipino-Canadian film critic Alexis Tioseco happened months ago. You’ve probably read every tribute written about him, which accounted his amazing passion for film, his love for his girlfriend Nika Bohinc (who was killed with him), and the wonderful things he did for Philippine cinema.

But it’s never too late to pay respect to someone so worthy of it.

It’s unfortunate that I have to know you in death more than in life, Mr. Tioseco. You’re my second Kurt Cobain (I mourn for him later in life, as I never really got to know him when he’s alive too.) Sadly, I’ll never get to know you more.

But you have stirred in me something that doesn’t stop with your death. I hope my great esteem for you reaches you in heaven.

The first impulse of any good film critic, and to this I think you would agree, must be of love. To be moved enough to want to share their affection for a particular work or to relate their experience so that others may be curious. – Alexis Tioseco

I pay tribute to you now by reposting some of your wishes and sentiments, which you first posted in Rogue along with the heartfelt letter you wrote for your beloved Nika.

⊲ I hope they support filmmakers with finished work to go abroad to festivals for the pride they bring their country—I wish instead they would support their films locally, and help them get seen by larger Filipino audiences.

⊲ I pray for a Senator or Congressman to take the courageous step of drafting a bill to help establish a National Film and Sound archive.

⊲ I pray a city government or even enterprising and concerned theater owners will consider setting aside 50 centavos or a peso of a ticket to go toward the preservation of our national audiovisual heritage. There have been flood taxes siphoned from movie tickets. For crying out loud, this should be easy!

⊲ I wish Cinemalaya which, thanks to the media and government mileage behind it has a great festive excitement, would actually put their efforts in service of Philippine cinema, and not in their own self-involved attempt to start a micro-industry.

⊲ I wish filmmakers would stop listening to Robbie Tan. Continue reading ‘I WISH I KNEW ALEXIS TIOSECO’


•December 2, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Inspired by my friend and colleague Van, I realized just how much U2’s song Sunday Bloody Sunday speaks volumes on our current situation. The Ampatuan massacre is just one of the many horrifying evils caused by a rotten political system that has spawned equally putrescent offsprings.

It’s severely depressing. And what some of us can do is just hope that there’s still justice and some goodness left in this country for us to actually live every day without fear and dread.

Hope. How we cling to it now more than ever.

I can’t believe the news today
Oh, I can’t close my eyes and make it go away

How long, how long must we sing this song?
How long? How long?
‘Cause tonight we can be as one, tonight

Broken bottles under children’s feet
Bodies strewn across the dead end streets
But I won’t heed the battle call
It puts my back up, puts my back up against the wall

Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Sunday, Bloody Sunday

And the battle’s just begun
There’s many lost but tell me who has won
The trench is dug within our hearts
And mothers, children, brothers, sisters torn apart

Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Sunday, Bloody Sunday

How long, how long must we sing this song?
How long? How long?
‘Cause tonight we can be as one
Tonight, tonight

Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Sunday, Bloody Sunday

Wipe the tears from your eyes
Wipe your tears away

Oh, wipe your tears away
Oh, wipe your tears away
Oh, wipe your blood shot eyes

Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Sunday, Bloody Sunday

And it’s true we are immune when fact is fiction and TV reality
And today the millions cry
We eat and drink while tomorrow they die
The real battle just begun to claim the victory Jesus won on

Sunday Bloody Sunday
Sunday Bloody Sunday

There are things that you will never forget. And what happened in Maguindanao is one of those things that will be forever etched in our memories.

Exactly how do we move on from this?


•November 8, 2009 • 1 Comment

I think there’s nothing more agonizing than having to say goodbye.


Au revoir, sayonara, good riddance. Whether you’re the one doing the dirty work or you’re at the receiving end, the level of sucky-ness doesn’t change one bit. With 24 years of rollercoaster rides, I’ve been and done both, and there was never a time that I liked being in either situation.

Over the years, breaking down after a send-off has become overrated. If I had a nickel for every farewell-inspired tear I’ve shed, I’ll probably be richer than him.

It’s hard to be in this situation. The next day, you’ve also got to deal with the world’s worst hangover, because as saying goodbye sucks, it’s the day after that sucks even more.

Because last night is just the beginning



•October 11, 2009 • 2 Comments

It’s a revolution, a transformation, a metamorphosis. But it doesn’t happen overnight. It is driven by some important episodes in your life, to be ignited by one crucial moment that would finally lead you to something bigger than all of us.

That need for change.

Change – a name we’re all familiar with, but we’re not exactly fond of.

Just like shit. Piss.

And Mikey Arroyo.

I’ll get ahead of you in saying this is not Obama-inspired. Give him a break. He just won a Nobel Peace Prize. He’s got enough attention to last until his term ends.

Nope, not it.

Nope, not it.

Our dislike for change is due to the fear of not knowing for sure how it’s going to affect our lives, how big its impact on everything we believed in and worked hard for. That’s why we don’t like it very much.

Me, I’m not exactly “friends” with change. I like some things to stay the way they are. I like how some things are mapped out according to how I want them to happen. That even if I close my eyes, I won’t lose my way or trip over because I know exactly where things are.

It’s like learning the alphabet. You mess with the letters, you get dumber by the second.

But there’s that big pivotal moment when you know that it’s important to embrace change. Or the thought of it, at the very least.

I know. This is getting way over your head. You’re probably beating yourself up for choosing to check out the url that links to this site, expecting something a little bit more sensible. But maybe there’s a point to this, which I haven’t reached yet, unfortunately. Let’s see what happens later.

I believe these mushy sentiments have something to do with someone I’ve met a few weeks ago. He’s, um, alright.

Nope, not really. He’s far from alright. He’s a total, first-rate asshole who wrecked lives and destroyed everything that meant to a lot of Filipino people.


He's not in the picture. Or maybe he is. (From:

His name was Ondoy.

Continue reading ‘PARADIGM SHIFT?’


•July 24, 2009 • 12 Comments


I woke up today and decided to listen to Nirvana. It was an impulse decision but it also went great with my unpredictable, inconsistent rush of emotions the past few days.

As I was laughing in my head over the funny lyrics in the song, Moist Vagina (no kidding), I thought about what’s going through Kurt Cobain’s head while he was writing and singing this. He seemed totally out of control, emotionally, in this particular song. In the middle of his signature rockstar singing prowess, I felt a sense of intense depression and desperation in his voice that I couldn’t shake off. For me, it was more than just a junkie national anthem that reverberated along with the many “Marijuana” mentions.kurt-toking

Next thing I know, I was googling Kurt Cobain as I was more inspired to learn more about the man behind the voice. Truth be told, I only know snippets of his life, mostly through his music, but I never really got to know him outside the confines of his revered artistry and musicality. My good friend Karlo lent me a copy of his Journals but I never really had that much interest to go over its pages until now. (Well, later actually.)

But more than his life, which I haven’t really read that much further, I was more drawn towards his death. Everyone knows that he took his own life by blowing his head off and “and with three times the lethal amount of heroin in his system.” For those who are too sad to lose a rock god, they were even hinting about foul play, that what happened to the legendary Cobain was either homicide or murder. However, his loved ones claimed that he was sick prior to his death, physically and emotionally, and suicidal tendencies actually ran in their family. Continue reading ‘A SUICIDE NOTE THAT LIVES ON.’