Dec 31, 2009

The top 10 most popular articles of 2009


Happy New Year, everyone! Before the year closes, let’s look back at the top 10 most widely viewed articles here in Discreet Manila for 2009. This list is derived from the raw number of page views and doesn’t take into account those people who read the articles from their feed readers or email. Also, later posts (like the ones in November and December) have a disadvantage in that they have not been exposed long enough. So take this list with a grain of salt. Anyway, I’m quite surprised by what you guys actually read the most.

  1. Featured website: Manila Gay Guide
  2. Guys4Men: the end of an era
  3. Would you wear an earring on the right ear?
  4. PinoyG4M is down
  5. Marc and Rovilson on Forbidden Questions
  6. What’s inside Club Bath?
  7. The raid at Sanctum (part 1)
  8. Trying out Hilom
  9. Epitome’s themed nights
  10. A gayer Puerto Galera this 2009 Holy Week

So what do you think of this list? What articles were you surprised to find on the list and what posts do you think are more popular but weren’t included? Also, what were your favorite posts of 2009 in Discreet Manila? Please tell me in the comments so that I will know what you guys like to see more in 2010. :-)

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you dear readers, subscribers, and followers for supporting this blog. It has been a great year and let’s all look forward to greater things in 2010. Happy New Year, guys!

Dec 27, 2009

How to get to Queeriosity Palace


If you visit the website of Queeriosity Palace, you can find a link there to the map showing the bathhouse’s location. The maps are actually screenshots of Google Maps and I guess I’m being redundant by embedding a Google Map here as well. Hehe. Anyway, the official address is 1946 F.B. Harrison St., Pasay City, and the bathhouse is actually on the same street as Club Bath except that Queeriosity is on the other side of Buendia. Among the three bathhouses I’ve featured so far, Queeriosity Palace is the easiest to find and reach.

View Queeriosity Palace in a larger map

Queeriosity is quite walkable from Buendia. The landmark to look out for along Buendia is the 7-11 store located at the intersection with F.B. Harrison. Remember that F.B. Harrison is the major street between Roxas Boulevard and Taft Avenue. From 7-11, QP is just a short distance away and the next landmark to look for is the Unioil gas station. The bathhouse is directly beside the station towards Buendia and it is the two-storey building with a glass door on the left side of the facade. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see the word “QUEERIOSITY” written in metal letters on the wall of the building.

If you’re commuting, you just need to hop on a bus or jeep that plies Buendia then get off near Harrison. From Ayala Avenue in Makati, the bus fare is only a mere 11 pesos one way (if I remember correctly). An alternative route is to get a jeep that traverses F.B. Harrison, and these are the same jeeps that pass by Club Bath.

If you’re driving a car, your choices for parking are a little bit iffy. As I’ve mentioned in my earlier blog post, Queeriosity’s location is really not good. The area is just a bit seedy and I would hesitate to tell you to park along the nearby side streets. There are 2 (maybe 3) parking slots right in front of Queeriosity Palace and you can ask the attendant manning the door to help you park your vehicle there. (There is a written “No Parking” sign in front but it’s meant to reserve parking for patrons.) However, you might not like how parking right in front is too conspicuous.

If you prefer a more discreet parking space and you don’t mind a bit more walking, you could park along the service road of Roxas Boulevard. There are plenty of parking slots here catering to the hotels and bars along Roxas and the whole stretch is brightly lit thanks to the garish diamond-gem-shaped street lights installed by the Pasay City government. Based on experience, I would definitely say that parking here is much more safer than parking nearer to Queeriosity Palace. From here, you can walk along one of the streets parallel to Buendia to get to Harrison. Dapitan Street and San Juan Street are good, safe roads to walk on.

I hope that this post helps you a lot! Wait for my article on Queeriosity Palace where I present to you the floor plan so that you won’t look lost the first time you get inside. :-)

Dec 25, 2009

Merry Christmas dear readers!

1 comment.

Hope you all have a great Christmas and a Gay New Year!

Dec 24, 2009

McVie and TBR’s gayest commercials, and the Commercial Closet


McVie and The Bakla Review posted their selection of the top 10 gayest Pinoy TV commercials of the decade. You can check either TBR’s post or McVie’s post (it’s mostly the same content). Looking at their list, I can’t find any obvious omissions. The funny KFC Shrimp Surfers is there, as is the Sunkist basketball ad. And my two favorites—the Pond’s and the Ad Congress Target:Market (shown below)—are in the top 3.

If I were to compile such a list, I wouldn’t rank highly the TVCs that merely display eye candy, like their #1 Rexona ad. I prefer those ads that have obvious gay themes and moreso if they show them in a positive light. So for me, the Ad Congress Target:Market commercial would be my #1, followed by the Pond’s. What do you think? Which would be your choices? Go to TBR’s or McVie’s post to comment. :-)

Since we’re talking about TV commercials anyway, I’d like to share this treasure trove of a website named Commercial Closet that I’ve known for several years now. It’s a directory of TV commercials, print ads, and other ad-related material from around the world that have LGBT themes or subjects. There’s plenty of good stuff in here and you can quickly see that other countries have commercials that are unlikely to see the light of day here in the Philippines. Enjoy!

Dec 20, 2009

Campus Crush: you’ll love and hate it


I really can’t say that I’m a big fan of the gay-oriented indie films of Cris Pablo. Well, I’ve seen his first film Duda/Doubt (which, I think, started this whole gay indie film market) and a few of his later movies. (I’ve noticed that he has a penchant for naming his lead characters after himself, making the audience wonder if his films are autobiographical in nature.) I can’t declare any of his films as a favorite, and his latest creation Campus Crush is no exception. But unlike his earlier films, which are somewhat forgettable, I have really strong conflicting feelings about Campus Crush. I can’t decide if I hate it or love it.

The movie is about this group of gay “loser” students that are the object of a bet among a clique of hunky male students (who are apparently “People Like Us”, as said early in the film). The winner of the bet is the guy who can make their target loser the happiest (by pretending to court them). The lead character, Cris, is a principled geeky gay guy with a really outrageous mother and a screaming gay friend, Chamyto. The best friend is a rich kid who gets his guys by showering them with expensive gifts, and his camp behavior steals every scene he is in. Through the aforementioned bet, Cris becomes the object of Edge’s affection (who is Cris’ long-time crush). Hilarity ensues as the bet takes its toll among those involved.

In terms of technical merit, the film is utter crap. The plot is incoherent and implausible. The setting is inappropriate since the students wear these expensive-looking and elaborate uniforms (suggesting an exclusive educational institution) but the school itself looks like a dilapidated public school lacking in funds. Almost all the characters are one-dimensional and seem to come straight out of Cris Pablo’s surreal fantasy world. Plus, we have all of these “stolen” dick shots, nude scenes, and fellatio encounters that serve no real purpose in advancing the plot but simply to appeal to the gay audience. For example, in one scene, Edge just suddenly strips off all of his clothing for no apparent reason and then proceeds to cry dramatically. It’s one of the most “WTF?!” scenes I’ve ever seen.

On the other hand, the fact that the film is so campy and outrageous makes it quite entertaining to watch. And I’ll be a hypocrite if I say that I didn’t appreciate the “stolen” dick shots, nude scenes, and fellatio encounters. I wish that the film was much more polished and didn’t have those things, but hey, since those treats are there, I might as well enjoy them, right? :-) (I was also quite surprised to see that the guy who won the recent November BED Bodies competition had a naughty bit role in the movie. Hehe.) In addition, there were some clever bits in the film such that it isn’t a total waste. Plus, Arjay Carreon, the new actor who played Edge, is incredibly cute. If I were in Cris’ shoes, I would be crushing on him too. And oh, you have got to see the banana scene—it is definitely one of the highlights of the film, and Cris’ mother would give Chamyto serious competition in the scene-stealing department.

Some other notable reviews of the film:

Dec 12, 2009

Sex Survey for Pinoy PLUs


I recently received an email from students of UP Manila asking for help in getting PLUs to answer an MSM sex survey. (A few other bloggers were sent the same email.) These students, from the Department of Epidemiology of UP Manila’s College of Public Health, are conducting a thesis on “HIV-related Risk Behaviours, Knowledge, Attitudes, and Health-seeking Behaviours of Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) in the Philippines.” Since majority of MSMs do their hook-ups discreetly, it is of course hard to get respondents for such a study and the Internet is really the most viable means of getting participants.

So, I encourage you to head on over to their website where you get briefed on how to respond and be directed to their online survey. You might recall that I asked you to answer a similar survey early this year (which still hasn’t published any results, grrr), but that survey targeted Asian men. This new one targets only Filipino males and I hope this can provide valuable data for developing programs to help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and other STDs.

Dec 5, 2009

Pride and the Internet

1 comment.

So today is the annual Pride March in Malate. I blogged about this event last year and I mentioned that I’m not proud to be gay but neither am I ashamed. I’ve learned long ago to accept that being gay is what I am but I don’t think that means that should I go around telling people I’m not straight. I choose not to be “out” and I hope other gay people respect that choice the same way that I respect others for choosing not to hide in the closet.

That said, I admire the people that participate in the Pride March. They have decided that fighting for recognition and rallying against homophobic discrimination is a worthy endeavor. I guess, gay and bisexual men everywhere, whether discreet or conspicuous, masculine or effeminate, closeted or out, owe these people who publicly fight for the rest of us, in a quite festive and colorful manner I might add. The fact that this March is a fight is manifested by the religious people who perennially do a counter-rally during the Pride March (it must be noted that they are within their right to do so, as long as violence is not employed).

There is a question though. Just because there are PLUs who chose not to participate in the Pride March and other similar events, does it mean that they are useless in this fight to make the world less homophobic? I don’t think so. While public rallies and demonstrations are effective in raising public awareness, those are not the only venues. One such avenue is the Internet. Its anonymous nature is heaven-sent for closeted and discreet PLUs. As I said in this blog’s very first post, the advent of the Internet is one of transformative events in the history of the LGBT sector. One reason is that cyberspace revolutionized the way we get to meet other gay and bisexual men. But more importantly, the Internet is fast becoming a battleground for ideas and I very much believe that blogs, social networks, forums, mailing lists, and other Internet technologies can help shape the gay discourse.

I hope that I’m doing my fair share in this online fight by putting up this blog and writing articles about issues that affect the PLU world. (In fact, the “issues” tag has the most number of articles among all the tags in Discreet Manila.) While it’s really not a substitute for participating in the Pride March, I’d like to think that it helps a lot.

Dec 1, 2009

World AIDS Day question: what is the best way to buy a condom?


You should know by now that December 1 is World AIDS Day and abstaining from sex is the best prevention. But if you must have sex, then play it safe and use condoms. (Yes, this applies even if you are both HIV+ since there are other sexually-transmitted diseases.) So the dilemma we face now is how to buy some.

This post’s question might be a little tongue-in-cheek, especially given the seriousness of AIDS, but I think that it is a worthy question especially for discreet PLUs in this country. Unless you are one who is thick-skinned, you can easily imagine that buying condoms would prove to be difficult especially if you are the self-conscious type and more so in this conservative country like ours. This is unfortunate since the use of condoms when having sex helps to prevent the spread of AIDS.

I will admit that I have never ever bought a condom since I’m quite self-conscious. I’m also not a fan of anal sex and would decline such unless my partner has a condom. The only condoms I’ve ever had in my possession were those that were given as freebies in a PLU event or two. So I guess that I can’t really share some proven tips on discreetly procuring condoms. I actually feel more ashamed to buy condoms than to buy gay magazines, and that sounds illogical since buying gay mags would label one gay while buying condoms would label one possibly as a horny straight guy. :-P

I do have one idea though. The tactic is to buy from 24-hour convenience stores late at night or very early in the morning when there are very few customers around. That way, the fact that you bought condoms is just between you and the cashier. (Try to ignore the cashier’s smirk if it appears. Or you can flirt back if he is cute. Hehe.) It also helps if you select a store that doesn’t have too much foot traffic. (I.e., stay away from 7-11s and Mini Stops near call centers!)

Alternatively, you can just learn to develop a thick skin while buying some. After all, you are a guy and a guy buying condoms is much more acceptable to Filipino society than a girl. (Ideally it shouldn’t matter but you know how the Philippines is.)

How about you? Got any tips on buying condoms for those of us who are shy? :-)