The Wheel and Axle

Travel & Culture

Understanding BL

by on Apr.27, 2020, under Film & TV, Literature, My Life, Queer, Society, Travel & Culture

As is obvious from the last prior post I published, it’s been a long time since I’ve updated my blog. I’ve been busy at work, but the current quarantine situation has basically told me: no more excuses.

I’ve been meaning to post reviews about the massive number of Thai BL series I’ve been following as well as travel blogs about BL-related places I’ve been to from SOTUS, My Dear Loser: Edge of 17, TayNew Meal Date, and others in the last couple of years. Another overdue post would be about the Our Skyy: Fan Meeting in Taipei which I went to in July 2019. Watch out for those!

In the meantime, while I gear up to get into all of that, I wrote another article for Esquire PH, this time to talk about Thai BL: what its literary roots are, what its cultural context is, and how it has evolved.

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Farewell, Mr. Bourdain.

by on Jun.09, 2018, under Film & TV, Society, Travel & Culture

As you finally depart for parts unknown, know that you have made a powerful impact on how the world can better understand the values of culture and acceptance.

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Silver Belles

by on Dec.30, 2017, under My Life, Queer, Society, Travel & Culture

The beauty of silver shone through UP Babaylan as it celebrated its 25th year anniversary.

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Mr. and Ms. BPO

by on Nov.22, 2017, under Film & TV, My Life, Queer, Travel & Culture

Congratulations to the first ever Mr. and Ms. BPO! They are Lee Bueno and Micca Rosal, both from Teletech. Full review soon.

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Transit, Take Three

by on Oct.31, 2017, under My Life, Travel & Culture

It seems Malaysia is my transit destination this year. First was on the way to Myanmar in February, then en route to Persia less than two months ago. Now, for the third time, I find myself in Kuala Lumpur for about 18 hours, this time on the way to Maldives.

We chose to stay at the Capsule by Container Hotel right in the airport. It’s a transit accommodation option that allows up to 12 hours of stay. We’ve long wanted to try these capsule-type places if only for the experience, and generally we were not disappointed. The price was reasonable, the facilities sufficient, and the location convenient. My only minor complaint was that you can’t adjust the temp inside your “capsule,” and I prefer sleeping in a colder environment; however, other folks would find it just right.

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Persia 2017 Post-Script: Friendly Faces

by on Oct.15, 2017, under My Life, Travel & Culture

As I’d mentioned before, I love meeting new people when traveling abroad. Ultimately, what makes a place warm and exciting are the people you encounter as well.

Iran, of course, is no exception.

In fact, contrary to what some people might perceive about Persians, they are actually some of the friendliest and most hospitable people I have met. They will show you a lot of interest when they realize you’re a foreigner, and by that I mean a sincere interest in getting to know you. They would even ask to take pictures with you, and if they find out you speak English, a number of them would even practice speaking it with you.

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Persia 2017: Because we had to eat and sleep.

by on Oct.14, 2017, under My Life, Travel & Culture

And it was all so glorious!


We stayed in Seven Hostels, a cheap yet very clean hostel. There were a lot of foreigners staying here, and the service and helpfulness of the staff were top-notch.

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Persia 2017: The Armenian Quarter

by on Oct.13, 2017, under My Life, Travel & Culture

New Julfa
Isfahan, Iran
27 September 2017

New Julfa is the Armenian quarter of Isfahan. Established over four hundred years ago, it is located near the Zayande River and is one of the largest Armenian quarters globally. Although the Armenian residents need to adhere to Iranian laws on clothing, they freely enjoy their distinct Armenian culture – including language and cuisine – and are in fact government-protected. In New Julfa, there are a lot of sites – mostly churches and museums, including the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Holy Savior Cathedral (a.k.a. The Vank).

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Persia 2017: Bazaars and Bridges

by on Oct.12, 2017, under My Life, Travel & Culture

Naqsh-e Jahan Square
Isfahan, Iran
26 September 2017

About four centuries old and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Naqsh-e Jahan Square is a highlight of the city of Isfahan, situated right at the center of the busy city. It is surrounded by the Ali Qapu Palace, two mosques, and the Isfahan Grand Bazaar. Historic and grand, the Square has been a haven for tradesmen as well as ceremonies for hundreds of years.

The Square was commissioned by Shah Abbas as a show of power after the capital of Persia was moved to Isfahan in 1598. Designed by chief architect Bahā’ al-dīn al-‘Āmilī, the Square consolidates the three symbols of power of Persia into his own domain: the clergy, as represented by the mosque; the merchants, as represented by the bazaar; and his own power, represented by the palace.

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Persia 2017: Incredible Isfahan

by on Oct.11, 2017, under My Life, Travel & Culture

Incredible Isfahan
Isfahan, Iran
26-27 September 2017

The centuries-old City of Isfahan (also known as Esfahan and Sepahan) is so beautiful that the Iranians we spoke to in Tehran and Shiraz, whenever we mentioned we would be going to this city, would always exclaim in amazement and praise its grandeur.

They are not wrong.

Isfahan is not only a green city, full of tree-lined streets, but it is also a center of art, history, and architecture. It is a fabulous amalgalm of ancient Persia and modern Iran, a city of absolute beauty.

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