May 26, 2009

Pinoy PLU Signal: The Agency


Welcome to Pinoy PLU Signals! This is another series of posts, just like my Discreetionary series, but this time focusing on signals that may indicate whether a Pinoy guy is PLU. There have been many surveys and studies that aimed to measure the incidence of non-straight men in a general population and estimates range from as low as 1% to as high as 10%. Pinoy PLU Signals are signs that, I think, would give you a batting average of more than 10%. Take note that these signals are not scientific and are provided in the spirit of fun. Enjoy!

“Bading na nga, copywriter pa. How redundant.”—Eric Quizon’s gay character in Happy Together

Our first signal is The Agency, that is, guys who are in the advertising industry, whether they are employees of ad agencies, or are in the brand management team of the products being advertised. It has been frequently stereotyped that gay men are more creative than straight men and the glamorous Philippine advertising industry, being the way it is, would prove irresistible to gay creatives. The prime blogger example is, of course, the Fabcaster’s very own Joel McVie. There are a lot of other gay bloggers in the ad industry and I am aware of one such group on LiveJournal.

I actually laughed out loud when I heard the quoted line above while watching Happy Together, a local movie starring Kris Aquino and Eric Quizon as best friends. In the film, Quizon plays a gay man working as a copywriter in an ad agency and I found the line funny because I have a good PLU friend who was a copywriter himself (he’s now an account executive, or AE in industry parlance). The fact that I know quite a bit of PLU guys in the ad industry is for me a strong indicator that The Agency is a Pinoy PLU Signal. Agree or disagree?

May 14, 2009

Short update on the 2009 MSM Sex Survey


I blogged about the 2009 MSM Sex Survey back in March and the survey period has finally closed last April 30. While the summary and analysis is still not out (they expect to release it within 60 days), I’m pretty damn impressed with the turnout. Check out the following message they posted:

This survey is now closed. Over 15 thousand of you have filled out the survey, making this one of the largest surveys of its kind on record.

We would sincerely like to thank all participants, community and media partners for making this research project such an enormous success.

15,000 respondents? Wow! Even discounting bogus entries, I think that’s quite a lot. Hopefully the survey results will greatly benefit safe sex practices and help curtail the rise of HIV/AIDS and other sexually-transmitted infections and diseases.

So, were you able to answer the survey? What did you think about it?

May 13, 2009

The raid at Sanctum (part 3)


To conclude this series on the Sanctum raid (see the first part and the second part) let’s revisit a couple of posts I did one year ago. I know that these posts are not nearly as interesting as my cruising articles, but I consider spreading vital information quite important. If this means that this will be a yearly topic, then so be it.

The legality of raids

In this article, I discussed two of the three legal provisions behind all of the raids conducted against PLUs and the establishments that cater to us. These three provisions are:

  • Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code or the provision against "immoral doctrines, obscene publications and exhibitions and indecent shows"
  • Article 202 of the same Code, also known as the Anti-vagrancy Law
  • Republic Act No. 9208 otherwise known as the Anti-trafficking in Persons Act of 2003

The 2003 raid at Alta Theater in Cubao (instigated by ABS-CBN), the 2004 raid at Bath bar in Malate, and the 2008 raids on Queeriosity Palace, Adonis, and Sanctum (instigated by GMA) all stem from these three laws. I concluded in that article of mine that these laws are give law enforcers ample ammunition to conduct raids and harass PLUs due to unclear or too broad definitions (obscenity, pornography, indecency, etc.).

Know your PLU rights!

Fortunately for us, we can fight back! Ang Ladlad has this Pink Card program where they distribute pink cards containing succinct info that you can use to at least rebuff or slow down the efforts of law enforcers. They are able to prey on gay and bisexual men because of the lack of awareness, intimidation, and the threat of exposure. Well, exposure we can do little against, but we can at least be aware and not be intimidated, right?

So last May 2008, Ang Ladlad held a seminar called “Know Your Rights!” where they educated attendees about their rights should they be harassed by law enforcers and talked about the Pink Card.

When I promoted Ang Ladlad’s event, little did I know that the triggering incident that led to the need to conduct the seminar was the Sanctum raid (and partly by the Queeriosity raid too). Being the discreet guy that I am, I did not attend this seminar. (Well, it was also far from where I stay. Hehehe.) Fortunately, Lobster-Tony volunteered to attend in behalf of all of us :-) and he blogged about it. I encourage you read his post since it is chock full of information that can help you in case you’re caught in a tight spot.

Remember, the police and NBI are able to do this simply because they think we are easy prey. We shouldn’t continue to give them that impression and equipping ourselves with knowledge is simply the best defense we can have.

May 10, 2009

The raid at Sanctum (part 2)


To continue my earlier post about the raid at Sanctum last year, let me share with you a couple of very emotional and unedited responses posted to the Guys4Men forums (which are no more) within a week or two after the raid. These posts were made by people not directly involved with the incident but you can see the anger directer towards GMA and NBI. Good thing I was able to save these two messages before Guys4Men closed shop.

I wasn’t able to save the person who posted this first message. If you are the one who posted this or you know who it was, I'd appreciate some info so at least I can attribute this properly.

Sa mga baklang nasusuholan at nagmamalinis, isumbong niyo ko kasi in-expose ko 'tong pangingikil ng mga taga NBI na mga mukhang pera.

Para may fulfillment ulit ang pagkatao niyo dahil may nagagawa kayong kabutihan para bansa. Masaya na ba kayo sa pinaghati-hatian ninyong mga pera mula sa kinikil niyo sa mga customers ng Sanctum? Anung feeling na sa likod ng success niyo ay mga mga taong napahiya, natakot at nahirapan, nawalan ng pera at gamit? Di ba masaya?

Mga walanghiya kayo. At hindi ako natatakot sa mga kagaya niyon duwag na aatake ng patalikod at gagamit nga mga patibong. Kayo ang mga tunay na bakla. Mga takot sa katotohanan. Mga ipokritong nilalang. Mga santong malinis at busilak. Magbabalita at mag-eexpose ng katiwalian subalit aayusin sa pamamagitan ng isa pang katiwalian. Kayo ang mga tunay na pahamak at problema ng bansa. Kayong mga hayok at gahaman sa pera ng ibang tao, kayong mga nagkukubli sa ngalan ng batas at hustisya na pagkatpos ng lahat-lahat ay hihingi ng bayad sa ginawang trabaho sa pamamagitan ng pagkotong at pangingikil.

Kayo ang perwisyo sa ibang tao. Malasakit ba ang tawag sa ginawa ninyo sa mga customers ng Sanctum? Bakit niyo sila tinakot at tinratong parang mga kriminal kung kapakanan nga nila ang ipinaglaban niyo? Mga pahalang ang mga utak niyo.

Kayong mga sinungaling at mga inconsistent magpalakad ng sistema --- pera pera ang laro at usapan. Pag wala kang pera, wala kang karapatan!

Mahiya kayo sa mga pamilya niyo na pinapalamon niyo sa pamamagitan ng perang kinikil niyo at mga sinuhol sa inyo. Kung amg may-ari ng establishment ay mali, eh anung tawag niyo sa ginawa niyo? Karumaldumal kayo. Nautringang law enforcers at media eh mga lapastangan din naman!

The irony of it all ---- Dalawang organisasyon na dapat ay alalay ng bayan para sa tahimik at may hustisyang bansa ay siya palang ikasisira ng Pilipinas. Shame on you -- kayo ang mga totoong bakla. Kayo ang mga bading dahil hindi niyo kayang mabuhay kung hindi kayo kikikil sa pinaghirapan ng iba!

This second post is by Badong, a Mandaluyong guy who sidelines as a masseur.

Let me tell you something.

I have a friend from abroad who works as an IT consultant and he is being sent by his country every month here in the Philippines. We met though Guys4Men. And I mean, I am his only friend here. He's from another asian country and his English is not really that good. He's average looking, soft-spoken and discreet.

Wednesday afternoon, he visited my place and we watched American Idol. he had to leave around 7PM because a massage client is coming over. he was asking me to go with him to Sanctum around 10PM because he wanted to see the show that night so I told him I can't cuase I have another client late evening. I promised to text him the direction on how to get there and I suggested he take a cab.

Around 11PM while I was massaging a client in Shaw, Mandaluyong, this friend of mine called up for directions as he was on his way so I helped him out over the phone.

Few minutes after 1AM ( when I was home already chatting with friends at the condo's clubhouse area ) he called me again telling me that the bar got raided and that he is in NBI Taft. He gave the phone to someone whom he described as a police ( maybe an NBI Officer ) who further told me about what happened and this guy on the phone asked me to come over to NBI Taft cause my friend needs help. I was totally surprised and almost panicked. "Oh no! I can't beieve this!" I flew myself to NBI taft via cab feeling so concerned and scared for my foreigner-friend.

I got there around 1 30AM and tried to explain to the guards about the purpose of my entry, very seriously yet soft-spoken. The guards were not in their uniform and they were babbling "Anung kelangan mo boy?!" Then I saw this mug on a plastic chair filled with ice and rhum ( yes, lasing ang mga lecheng guwardiya!) So I explained myself again --- "Ah...Pupuntahan ko lang po sana yung friend ko na napasama sa raid.Foreigner kasi eh, hirap magsalita. May tumawag po sa akin na puntahan ko daw siya dito, nakausap ko isang taga NBI sa cellphone." The fatso and ugly guard said "Walang pumapasok dito kundi mga mayayamang may-ari at mga abogado. Hindi pwede!" A little scared now, I backed off and said "Ah, gaun po ba? Pasensya na."

When I was about to leave, a guy walking out towards the gate called my name "Badong? Remember me? Kasama ka ba dun?" He was talking to me as he pulled me to the dark area of NBI just beside the gate. He's one of the guys I had sex with just three weeks ago. This guy told me about the raid that happened. He admitted that he was one of the guys caught and he even tried to escape but still got caught anyway. The interesting part was when he told me that he used to work for Imbestigador. "Pinalabas lang ako agad kasi nakilala ako ng isang crew ng program. Tinawagan si Mike Enriquez so kinausap yung mga taga NBI na pakawalan ako. May kasal pa nga akong pupuntahan eh, ex-boyfriend ko. 10AM so kelangan ko talaga makauwi na." He told me further. While he was telling me all these, questions started to pop-out of my mind. I started to dount his involvement as a victim of the raid. It was turning out to me that he's the accomplice. Anyway, I told him about my friend and he just said "Don't worry. Documentation lang naman yun. Palalabasin din sila mamaya. I know what happens during things like this. But now I am not with Imbestigador. Malas ko lang kasi napsama ako ngayon sa raid. Bago na kasi mga crew and mga tao nila. Ayoko sana pumunta sa Sanctum kanina pero pinipilit kasi nila ako. Pag ako daw kasi ang nagpaususo, magugulat lahat ng tao sa laki ng titi ko ( this guys has one of the thickest dicks ever --- sobra). I jokingly asked "Pinilit ka ng mga kasama mo sa Imbestigador na sumama?" He laughed and said "Hindi ah, mga kaibigan ko." But then I got more confused about his involvement, really. This guy, regardless of what happened even asekd me to suck him right there in front of NBI ( nabitin daw kasi siya at cute daw yung nakatabi niya sa NBI ). I strongly refused so he went to adark spot beside the LRT Station and jerked-off, after which he took my number and left. Whew!

All the while I've been texting my friend to know about his condition. I got no reply so I was getting more worried.

I walked back to the NBI gate and this time, a new guard took-over but still fat and a little lazy, sleepy-looking one in his early fifties. I tried to talk to him but also wouldn't let me in. "Bukas na lang bumalik, mga ala otcho. Di pa makakalabas yung mga yun." I insisted by saying "Eh, kasi po, walang kasama yung kaibigan ko tsaka ako lang po ang kakilala nun dito, kawawa naman po." He just said the same statement. I was starting to feel tired and frustrated. I t was almost 3AM so I went to the nearest Chowking and took a cup of coffee --- thinking about my friend.

After thirty minutes, I went to NBI again. Hid myself on the right side and sat on the concrete sidewalk and watched some MMDAs checking the LRT walls and pillars. I gave my friend a short call and dropped it afraid that I will run-out of load soon and all he was saying was "I don't know what's going on now. Hey took my picture and my money and my finger print....". I kept on re-assuring him that I was gonna wait for him and he needs not to worry. A few minutes later, I fell asleep while sitting against the NBI front wall along Taft while jeepneys and motorbikes pass by. I waited and waited and it was already 4AM. I decided to go home and told my foreigner-friend to take a cab and go to my cono unit once he's released. I took a cab and while on my way back home, he texted me "Please, don't go. Wait for me. The police will free me soon." So I asked the cab-driver to drive me back to NBI. I waited for another 30-minutes while comforting my friend with my text messages. I even asked him to remind the NBI ( the one who promised to set him free ) about letting him go cause it was already 4:35AM and yet I don't see anyone waling out towards the gate.

A girl and a guy arrived. They started talking to guards ( this time another fat officer guy or whatever he is in red shirt joined the one in blue ). And wow, they let these two people get in. They even accompanied all the way inside the premise. I supposed they're family or relative of one of the guys who got caught. I reallized how unfair the guards were. I felt terrible but kept my cool and waited.

Around 5AM, I saw a group of six or seven guys waling out. A few meters more from my spot, I saw my friend walking slowly and sad. The moment he stepped right out of the gate, I called his name, ran towards him and held him so tight. And then I saw my ex-collegaue who was very pissed and ridiculed of what happened. The three of us took a cab heading home and my friend decided to spend the rest of the day with me at my condo while my ex-colleague kept on whining. he was whining about NBI asking money from the captives. Aside from the traumatic experience, NBI was blackmaling them about filing charges against them -- the captives / Sanctume customers if they don't give out cash. My friend also told me that he was isolated from the Pinoys when NBI learned he's from abroad ( from another asian country and he's chinoy looking ). Further they both told me that NBI was trying to identify or find out who amonst them is a doctor, lawyer, businessman etc. I mean, why?

See how ironic the situation is? Imbestigador exposing interesting and intriguing stories in collaboration with NBI --- where the accomplices of Imbetigador of course are all cocksucking hypocrite faggots! And NBI --- all they wanted was money and not really doing the job. This made me realize how beautiful it is to live in this country!

I used to work in the media industry and the reason why I left is because I cannot take the idea of exaggerating or sensationalizing a news or a story to make it more interesting to the audience. Ew!

So, what exactly are these people up to?

Can Imbestigador also feature NBI's acts of extortion or pangingikil? Can they talk about NBI blackmailing Sanctum's customers that they caught? What about that guy with a huge cock who was released immediately after spekaing to Mike Enriquez, huh? Was that even fair? And the girl and guy whom the guards allowed to get inside NBI premise while they refused entry for me?

What's going on with you cockhungry envious fags and money-eating law enforcers! You all suck!!!!

This country will never-ever succeed unless you guys die. You all die now!

Shame on you all!



Mas nakakahiya pa kayo sa mga baklang hinuli niyo! Kapal niyong magmaganda!

Continue to the final part.

May 7, 2009

The raid at Sanctum (part 1)


“Guys i was in sanctum two weeks ago and it was raided and 42 of us were arrested and brought to the NBI.”—a Sanctum patron, May 2008

A year ago tonight, Sanctum in Cubao was raided by the NBI. Unlike the earlier raid on Queeriosity Palace back in April 2008, the operation at Sanctum was instigated by Imbestigador, the late-night exposé show of Mike Enriquez of GMA.

For those of you who are not familiar with Sanctum, this was a “private residence that has been opened by a group of friends catering to discreet gays/bi’s looking for a relaxed and safe venue to explore their innermost social and sexual desires,” according to those in charge. Sanctum is apparently a “project” of the Manjobs group that organized various O parties before.

Sanctum was raided on the night of May 7, 2008, during Sanctum’s Wednesday Body Worship (live sex) show. Special operatives of the NBI as well as a TV crew from GMA descended at the intersection of Stanford and Columbia streets in Cubao, Quezon City, forced their way into the house, and apprehended everyone: patrons, performers, and the manager/owner. They were boarded into jeepneys and then taken into custody at NBI in Manila. The owner was charged with violating Republic Act No. 9208, otherwise known as the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003. In addition, Sanctum was operating like a business but it had no business permit. The owner, one Derek, was detained in a cell pending bail. I don’t know if he got out of jail by now.

Because GMA receives many complaints whenever they air these kinds of operations, they preempted the discussion by seeking the statement of Danton Remoto, the chair of Ang Ladlad. Danton basically agreed with the assertion that it is illegal to operate a commercial establishment without a business license and that the owner is basically just making a profit out of the whole enterprise. However in a later message to the And Ladlad mailing list, Danton claimed that GMA edited out his statements regarding the possibility that the law enforcers will ask kotong (extortion) from the apprehended patrons. These extortions were later confirmed by those apprehended through various messages left online, especially in the Guys4Men forums.

Following are the videos of Imbestigador’s segment featuring the raid. Thanks to Gay Xcandal for taping this.

Practically everyone involved in the mess was vilified by people who have heard of the story. The NBI as vilified for making this as another excuse to extort money from closeted gay people unwilling to be exposed. Mike Enriquez and GMA were vilified for exploiting gay people to jack up their ratings (and there were plenty of catcalls saying that Mike is gay himself and is being a hypocrite). The owners of Sanctum were vilified for operating without a business license. The customers were vilified for patronizing Sanctum and caving into their libido instead of doing other “worthwhile” pursuits. The “gay tipper” was vilified for bringing this misfortune on his fellow gay people (though some question whether there was any tipper at all, claiming that GMA pretended to have a tipper to deflect blame from them). And Danton Remoto himself was vilified for going along with the conclusion of the NBI and GMA instead of helping the victims. Well, this was a pretty sordid affair no matter how you look at it.

Continue to part 2.

May 5, 2009

Have you seen Shelter?


If the 2007 movie Shelter had screened here in the country, I definitely wouldn’t think twice about watching it in the cinema. But as it is, I had to resort to downloading the film and watching it last Christmas break. Anyway, Shelter is a gay-oriented movie about a young man named Zack who discovers he might be gay and develops a relationship with Shaun, his best friend’s older brother who came back home. Zack then struggles to balance his commitments to his family and his dreams of going to art school while contending with his feelings for Shaun.

The plot is actually pretty flat compared to other movies that tackle similar themes. I’m also actually surprised by the relative lack of homophobia displayed by characters in the film. Then again, the setting is coastal California, Prop 8 notwithstanding. So despite the simplistic storyline and the lack of any really deep conflicts, I still ended up liking the movie a lot. I guess I’m just accustomed to watching lots gay movies having sad or tragic endings (Brokeback Mountain being the classical popular example) that seeing a lighthearted feel-good film for a change was very much welcome.

Well, it also helps that the actors playing Zack (Trevor Wright) and Shaun (Brad Rowe) were both yummy, making the movie very likable. Hehe. The sex scenes are solidly R-13 but the passionate kisses are really sweet and just right.

The existence of foreign gay indie movies like Shelter and Boy Culture really makes me wonder why local indie filmmakers can hardly create films of similar quality. While there’s a place for sex, sex and even more sex, a good polished story with tight film-making can win audiences just the same and even garner awards in international film festivals. Out of the several Pinoy gay indie films I’ve seen in the past year, most haven’t been really satisfying at all.

May 1, 2009

Discreetionary: AWW



AWW · abbreviation. akbay while walking

Today’s Discreetionary entry was coined by a friend of mine as the discreet PLU version of HHWW-PSSP (holding hands while walking—pa-sway-sway-pa). If you’re discreet, you of course won’t show any overt signs of affection with your boyfriend or date in public. (You leave those signs inside darkened movie houses. Hehe.) So any physical touching should be minimized or at least be innocuous. For two straight guys, the most intimate touching that can be done while walking is possibly the akbay. (Is there any English word for this?) So in lieu of holding hands (or God forbid, wrapping your arm around his lower back), the “manly” buddy akbay is the way to go. Of course, gay people all around you will speculate upon seeing you two together in such a position, but that’s to be expected.

Now the question is, which type of akbay do you do? The near akbay, where you hang on to the shoulder of your partner nearest you, or the full akbay, wherein it is the other, farther shoulder you hold on to? I guess it depends on how discreet or paranoid you are and how much you like the guy. :-)