The Wheel and Axle

Drag and Dance

by on Jun.26, 2016, under My Life, Queer

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My friends and I haven’t gone clubbing in years. At the risk of sounding ancient, yes, it’s because nowadays we’ve decided we prefer a quiet night-out over coffee or a chatty night-in watching movies while drinking. This is not to say we never went clubbing; we were practically rooted to the concrete streets of Orosa back in the glory days of the now-dead Malate scene.

(Aaah, yes, New York Cafe… and Bed… and Mint… and Piggy’s… oooh-la-la… that very dark second floor dance area… mmm…)

Where was I?

Oh, yes. Talking about how we Titas of Manila now prefer the joys of not letting our ears bleed.

Pre-clubbing drinks at Moonshine

Pre-clubbing drinks at Moonshine

Of course, I’m not averse to ever going, so when a visitor from Indonesia flew in looking for the “scene,” I tagged along with some friends to bring him to O Bar in Ortigas.

I hadn’t been to the new O Bar, so it was nice to see it’s more spacious than the old ones in Ortigas and in Malate. Then again, how can you really tell when it became so jampacked that I wanted to summon a swarm of locusts on my way to the bathroom?

But that’s a good thing.

It means the gay scene is still alive and well and that, despite the proliferation of Grindr and the like, we still find ways to go out and have some fun as a community.

And besides, who could resist a fabulous and acrobatic drag show?

Or a classic Janet Jackson homage?

Guess who's Indonesian?

Guess who’s Indonesian?

Much has been said about how unfortunate and sad it is that the current generation of Filipino LGBTs never experienced Malate.

It’s true. There was an overwhelming sense of oneness in that scene because, despite the accusations of those who have no ounce of fun in their bones that such a scene was supposedly shallowness, being able to see that there were hundreds of others like you helped you realize that you were not alone, no matter which way you swung.

And it’s nice to know that somehow, somewhere, there still exist places in Manila that will allow the young ones – if they so choose – to mingle and socialize and see that there are many others in our community.

So yes, all things considered, it was definitely worth it to have my ears bleed again just to be reassured that there is still another haven for the community out here.

Now, Imma just gonna leave this one right here. Enjoy!


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The Sound of Pride

by on Jun.25, 2016, under Music & Theater, Queer, Society

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It’s that month of the year again where we raise our lovely voices and bring out the sequins and feather boas. Or the white boxer briefs, depending on where you are in the spectrum.

Today, Metro Manila proudly cries out: “Let Love In! Kahit Kanino, Kahit Kailan!” Because love is love, no matter with who and no matter when. Everyday is love. Everyday is pride. As with IDAHOT, everyday should be a celebration of our diversity and our power.

Particularly this year, after the Orlando attacks, more than ever we must raise the rainbow flag and proclaim that we will not be afraid and that we will be fabulous!

In celebration of pride, here are some of my favorite sounds of pride, celebration, and just plain gayness. Here’s to another Year of Queer! Cheers!

Metro Manila Pride 2016 (from the Official FB Page)

Metro Manila Pride 2016 (from the Official FB Page)

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Extraordinary Angels

by on Jun.24, 2016, under Music & Theater

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Frente-MarvinTheAlbumRecently, I’ve been revisiting my music collection and came upon my digital copy of the 1994 release of Marvin the Album, which brought back such laidback memories of me listening to the cassette tape (yes, kids, from the Stone Age) in the car on the way to school in the 90s.

Marvin the Album was the debut album of Australian alternative rock indie group Frente! (Exclamation mark required. This was the 90s.) It was originally released in 1992 then had an international release in 1994. With lovely, quirky vocals from Angie Hart, the sometimes-emo, sometimes-psychedelic, and always-playful acoustic music was a sharp contrast to the typically-loud garage/grunge sound of other rock bands of the time. Even the album cover seemed to be a challenge to their usually dark and angsty contemporaries.

frenteWith such tracks as Ordinary Angels (my personal favorite), Labour of Love (yes, there is a “u” because: the Queen’s English), Accidently Kelly Street (that’s a typo they just decided wasn’t a typo; also, this is just such a wonderfully-infectious earworm of a song), No Time (a darker mood in the mostly-bright collection) and Bizarre Love Triangle (a brilliant stripped-down cover of an already brilliant new wave hit)…

… Marvin the Album gave Frente! their rightful place in rock history.

Listening to the album now, it still feels fresh and unique, a standout album in a sea of sameness across almost three decades where only select musicians actually sound different. Frente! was extraordinary back then, and they still remain extraordinary now.

If you don’t have their album, find a copy now: not sure if CDs are still available, and good luck finding a cassette. However, the 21st remastered deluxe version is very much available on iTunes at only frickin’ USD5.99 as of today! That’s about PHP278 only, which costs less than two Starbucks frappuccinos.

The original 1992 album had 13 tracks, with the 1994 international version adding Bizarre Love Triangle as a 14th. The remastered version has 33 tracks. If 33 tracks for USD5.99 isn’t a friggin’ steal, I don’t know what is.

Do yourself a favor. Or rather, favour. Get yourself a copy of this gem.

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The Dominatrix has a bookshelf sale.

by on Jun.23, 2016, under Geeky, My Life

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The dominatrix of the universe has a bookshelf sale this Saturday.

If you want to own a piece of her, okay, so maybe not exactly her, drop by and give it a go!

I may even try to get that ornate crucifix. I so need to summon my inner Buffy. It’s been a while.



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The Princess and the League

by on Jun.22, 2016, under Film & TV, Geeky

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2017 cannot come fast enough.

Not only did a glorious new Wonder Woman image appear…

… but the Justice League movie logo has also been released. Well, two versions at that.

Moreover, lots of new information has been spilled, including what will be a highly-anticipated scene (which we hope becomes a teaser soon).

I cannot wait.

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War, Luck, and Some Curry

by on Jun.21, 2016, under Film & TV, Music & Theater

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Just because it’s been a busy week for me (and damn, it’s not even halfway through), I’m just going to leave a couple of music videos for your pleasure.

First up is one from Culture Club’s concert in Manila last Saturday night. I’ll review the event soon (spoiler alert: it was awesome!), but for now, enjoy this great song which they themselves aren’t fond of but which I love. Also, it’s still pretty relevant for the times.

Then of course, here’s the always fabulous Kylie Minogue in concert. Seriously, the woman isn’t aging. Someone clone her.

And here’s a bonus. Yeah, really not music-related, but any excuse to show Stephen Curry. Besides, he and I could create some beautiful harmony together.

There, there, Stephen. I'm here to comfort you.

There, there, Stephen. I’m here to comfort you.

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by on Jun.20, 2016, under Film & TV

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Peter Vincent: How did you get in here?

Charley Brewster: Well security is a little lax since everybody got their throat torn out.

– Fright Night (2011)

RIP, Ensign Chekov.

Anton Yelchin

11 March 1989 – 19 June 2016

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Bet Your Bottom Dollar

by on Jun.19, 2016, under Film & TV, Music & Theater

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Oh, my God, Bamboo. Marry me!

Video from the official Facebook page of The Voice of the Philippines.

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A Moment For The Men

by on Jun.19, 2016, under My Life, Society

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Le Famille.

Le Famille.

Father’s Day is hopefully a time when the culture says, “This is our moment to look at who our men and boys are.”

– Michael Gurian

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there!

Meanwhile, here’s a 2012 tribute that I made for the fathers in my own life.

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Today in 1815…

by on Jun.18, 2016, under Music & Theater, Society

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Yes, because Bonaparte would actually celebrate Waterloo.

Yes, because Bonaparte would actually celebrate Waterloo.

… was apparently the Battle of Waterloo, where the Brits and Prussians handed Napoleon his ass. This also led to an unfortunate new meaning for the name of the village near where it all happened.

It was apparently timely, then, that I coincidentally wrote about ABBA yesterday.

In honor of this historical event, I present to you this special commemorative song that no one else but ABBA can really do justice to.

Or even actually attempt.

Because ABBA.

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Since June 2016