Oct 26, 2008

Were the World Mine


Just a quickie post: watch this trailer of Were the World Mine, a new independent musical film that’s won several awards at various (mostly gay) film festivals. The movie is about this gay guy in a conservative small town who manages to create a love-pansy, inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which is also prominently featured in the film. This purple love-pansy (of course it had to be purple!) turns practically everyone in town queer. As expected, campy gay hilarity ensues.

Viewing the trailer, I can see that it’s pretty gay alright, but I can definitely feel that it would be such a great fun film to watch. I hope that it would be shown in the Philippines soon (maybe early next year in Robinsons IndieSine?). It’ll be a great respite from all the exploitative local gay indie films of late. I’m also sure it’ll be loads more fun than Manay Po and I’m already predicting that many of the songs in the movie will be LSS-worthy (though not necessarily sing-able if the tons of falsetto in the trailer is to be believed). :-)

Oct 23, 2008

Playing the pronoun game


According to Wikipedia, the pronoun game is “the act of concealing sexual orientation in conversation by not using a gender-specific pronoun for a partner or a lover, which would reveal the sexual orientation of the person speaking.” It’s essentially deceiving the people you are talking with into assuming you are straight but without technically lying.

An example of playing the pronoun game is saying “my significant other and I” instead of “he and I” or by using gender-neutral names for occupations such as “firefighter” rather than “fireman”. Using the passive voice is also an option (e.g., “The dinner was prepared for me” instead of “He cooked dinner for me”). If your partner’s name is unisex, such as Tracy, Chris, or Aubrey, then playing the game is even easier since you can use the name itself without being stressed out being careful with what you say.

One big problem with playing the pronoun game is that sometimes the act of playing the game makes the player’s sexual orientation quite obvious. This is particularly true if the circumlocution used doesn’t sound natural or if the listener is not straight himself (gaydar can easily pick up signs like this). See this example passage from the blog of a guy for an excellent example:

someone cute from the gym came up to say hi to me today -- after an hour of shy glances and walking around the rows of equipment -- but nobody got anybody’s phone number and in the end i was like....hmmm, sayang.

A straight guy wouldn’t hesitate to use “this cute girl from the gym” (wow, an aggressive chick!) instead of “someone cute from the gym”, right? And look at that phrase: “nobody got anybody’s phone number”. It’s circumlocution at its most convoluted!

Fortunately for us Filipinos, Tagalog’s third person pronouns are gender-neutral (“siya”, “niya” and “kanya” instead of “he”, “him” and “his”) so playing the pronoun game in the vernacular sounds natural. It also helps that common terms for one’s partner, such as “syota” and “asawa”, are also gender-neutral, unlike “boyfriend” and “husband” (using “spouse” for “husband” sounds too formal).

Since I currently have no partner, I rarely have had to play the pronoun game. How about you guys? I’m sure you’ve had or you’ve been playing the game without knowing that there’s a term for it, right? :-)

Oct 20, 2008

Stories from behind the locker room door


To whet your appetite as to the possibilities that can happen inside the gym, especially the locker room and wet areas, here are some stories, blog posts, and anecdotes from others that I’ve read. Most of them come from blogs I follow and all of them occur (if they're true) in gyms in the Philippines. I’m sure some of you have already read some of these, but for the rest of you readers, enjoy! :-)

I have also briefly shared one of my own encounters in a previous post. Anyway, such gym happenings are by no means isolated events. I’m quite sure majority of all PLU gym-goers have had encounters in their gyms. After all, gym is the gay church. Hehehe. :-)

Got your own encounters to tell? Tell us all about it in the comments section or give us a URL if you've blogged about it.

Oct 18, 2008

Fitness First vs. Gold’s Gym


If you’re thinking of enrolling in a high-end gym with many branches, then your choices would have to between Fitness First and Gold’s Gym. Fitness First has sixteen branches in Metro Manila (including the two Platinum branches of TriNoma and RCBC Plaza) while Gold’s Gym has six. Both feature group classes, cycle rooms, lots of machines for both cardio and bodybuilding as well as a free weights area. The two franchises also offer a good locker room amenities and a wet area with shower cubicles, a sauna, and a steam room. Among the perks that FF offers are free coffee, iced tea, soda; backpacks, a water bottle, and a towel upon sign-up; and one of the most extensive sets of group classes anywhere. GG, on the other hand, provides you with two towels each time you visit (so there’s no need to bring home bulky wet towels) and their branches close at 12 midnight every workday—a boon for those who do OT.

If your goal is to become lean and fit, or to become a buffed-up muscular guy, I would recommend either one. In fact, you can go to any gym at all—even your friendly neighborhood gym down the corner. It’s the gym-goer himself, not the gym, that determines whether the he reaches his fitness goal or not. But since this blog is Discreet Manila, the ultimate deciding factor is the cruising opportunities. After all, gym is the gay church. :-) And between FF and GG, the clear winner in cruisiness is Fitness First, no contest. Most people would agree on that.

I mentioned before that I’m a member of Gold’s Gym. The reason is simply that Gold’s is more affordable for me, having gotten a really good membership deal. I’ve gone to Fitness First a few times using complimentary passes and my personal experience is that Fitness First branches are the ultimate cruising grounds. In all the times I worked out in FF, I’ve been hit on every time. This is in big contrast to Gold’s Gym where it took me a full year before I had my first sexual encounter there (but there were a few instances during that year where guys sent out feelers).

I hear at lot of stories coming from FF and some I even find outrageous and hard to believe. Gold’s Gym is by no means a strait-laced gym (I’ve had a lot of encounters in that franchise and a couple of the hottest experiences I’ve ever had happened in their locker rooms), but Fitness First is in a whole different level altogether.

I have a couple of evidences to prove my assertion. First is the very telling advisory posted late last year at Fitness First branches, a photo of which is shown below (picture stolen from Corporate Closet). No equivalent advisory exists for Gold’s Gym.

For SEO purposes, the advisory reads as follows:

Important Advisory

Protect the Member Experience

Sexual advances of any kind towards fellow members or staff are strictly prohibited.

Please report any untoward conduct to the Club General Manager.

To know more about club rules and regulations, please read the back of your Membership Form, particularly Section 10 (Expulsion of Member).

The second evidence is the fact that somebody did get himself expelled from Fitness First for such “untoward conduct.” Early this year, a (stupid) guy made sexual advances on teen actor Mico Aytona and was then reported to the management and kicked out of the gym as a result. Read all about it in PEP. I might just be clueless, but I’ve never heard of such a thing happening in Gold’s Gym.

Despite these things, “miraculous” things still occur in Fitness First—people just became more discreet with their illicit activities. I really have no idea why Fitness became such a PLU magnet, but I think the big reason is that it just has a lot of branches making it the ideal franchise for gym-hopping. Anyway, the apt advice is to try to avoid doing it in the gym and do it elsewhere instead. Barring that, just try not to get caught. This goes for both Fitness First and Gold’s Gym.

Oct 5, 2008

Discreetionary: B · G · F · E


B · G · F · E

B · abbreviation Bed Club + Bar.
G · abbreviation Club Government.
F · abbreviation Fahrenheit Cafe and Fitness Center.
E · abbreviation Epitome Club.

In order to be discreet, PLU people have this habit of using code words for “incriminating” terms. One simple way to do this is to use abbreviations and acronyms like “PLU” and I've seen this technique used to refer to the popular gay hangouts. Even in the presence of other green-blooded men, using the initial letters of these places to refer to them is still done, especially through SMS. For instance, an out officemate of mine used to talk about going to “F” a few years ago.

Aside from the places mentioned above, we also have “CB” for Club Bath Philippines, “QP” or “Q” for Queeriosity Palace, “P1”, “P2” and “P3” for the various Palawan bars in Cubao, and “S” for the now-closed Sanctum. (Which reminds me to make a couple of blog posts about that place. Update: posts now created.) I'm not sure if this practice of using initials extended way back (did people use “M” to refer to Mint before?). I'd appreciate some confirmation. :-)

Got any Discreetionary terms you'd like to share? Send them my way at discreetmanila at gmail.com.

Oct 3, 2008

Check out Mr. Cebu 2008


To lighten up the mood after that very serious previous post (which is still important—go read it!), I'd like to share with you Mr. Cebu 2008, something I stumbled onto while blog surfing. This is apparently the first ever male pageant in Cebu and the awarding night will be on October 10 at the Waterfront Hotel. The program will be hosted by Ms. Angel Aquino. It seems that Cebu is envious of their neighbor's Hari ng Negros pageant. Hehehe. :-)

Well, I must say that the official website is very crappy. And the contestants? Ho-hum for the most part. In comparison, there are a lot more eye candy in this year's Hari ng Negros competition. Nevertheless, one contestant in Mr. Cebu 2008 stood out for me in particular and he is Bassanio Causin, Jr. He is a 20-year-old student/farmer from Ronda, Cebu, and a couple of his pictures taken from the website are shown below. He's a real hottie and a cutie to boot, don't you agree? (I really have this thing for semikal dudes.) Another guy that I like among the contestants is Joseph Christian Hornido. Joseph's swimwear pics are quite nice.

Of course, we all have our own particular tastes in men. So I'd like for you to scope out the contestants and tell us which of the Mr. Cebu aspirants do you like best. (And why. Hehehe.) :-)

Oct 2, 2008

I condemn Senate Bill No. 2464!


You should know by now that there's a bill filed by Senate President Manny Villar titled the “Anti-Obscenity and Pornography Act of 2008” (Senate Bill No. 2464). As if the Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code and Republic Act No. 9208 (“Anti-trafficking in Persons Act of 2003”) are not enough (the bill is actually a proposed amendment of the aforementioned Article 201 [see my previous blog post discussing those two pieces of law]), our dear Senate President decided he wants to bring the Philippines back to the conservative Spanish period.

I urge you to download a copy of the bill from the Senate website to see for yourself what utter crap this proposed legislation is. For starters, look at these two definitions in the Senate Bill:

“Obscene” refers to anything that is indecent or offensive or contrary to good customs or religious beliefs, principles or doctrines, or tends to corrupt or deprave the human mind, or is calculated to excite impure thoughts or arouse prurient interest, or violates the proprieties of language and human behavior, regardless of the motive of the producer, printer, publisher, writer, importer, seller, distributor or exhibitor such as, but not limited to:

  1. showing, depicting or describing sexual acts;
  2. showing, depicting or describing human sexual organs or the female breasts;
  3. showing, depicting or describing completely nude human bodies;
  4. describing erotic reactions, feelings or experiences on sexual acts or;
  5. performing live sexual acts of whatever form.

“Pornographic or pornography” refers to objects or subjects of film, television shows, photography, illustrations, music, games, paintings, drawings, illustrations, advertisements, writings, literature or narratives, contained in any format, whether audio or visual, still or moving pictures, in all forms of film, print, electronic, outdoor or broadcast mass media, or whatever future technologies to be developed, which are calculated to excite, stimulate or arouse impure thoughts and prurient interest, regardless of the motive of the author thereof.

Wow. Simply “describing" erotic reactions is illegal? I guess the Bible should be banned as one commenter noted since the book Song of Songs describes the consummation of love between a man and a woman, although in very flowery words. And take note that the motives of the “obscenity” or “pornography” producer does not matter—one cannot claim that it's just for art's sake anymore.

What makes this piece of legislation particularly egregious are the penalties. Take this one for example:

For writing any obscene or pornographic article in any print or electronic medium, the penalty of imprisonment of not less than three (3) years nor more than six (6) years and a fine of not less than Two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000) nor more than Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000) shall be imposed.

So that means that practically every author of every story in the popular website Kuwentong Kalibugan (if they can be identified) can be jailed for at least three years! Imagine that.

It is not the job of the state to police its citizens on matters of morality. That's the parents' job and the task of various religious institutions. There's a reason why the Philippines is a secular nation and why the separation of the church and state is enshrined in the Constitution. The only related thing that the government should concern itself with is matters of ethics, and it's doing a poor job of it if the widespread perception of corruption is to be believed. Hey, I like the lofty goals of the bill to “give special value to the dignity of every human person” but the bill as it stands now will just have too much collateral damage especially to the fine and literary arts.

Please, spread the word about Senate Bill No. 2464. It's a backward and draconian piece of legislation.

A few other bloggers' articles about this bill:

And there's plenty more.