Sunday, August 27, 2006

Suspension Of Disbelief

I actually think this object is impractical, even inconvenient. However, whenever people see it, the first reaction it consistently elicits is delight. “Ooh, cool!” “Wow!” It gets them every time; the impress-factor surpasses any initial negative reaction.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Yes, that is a four-sided picture frame “floating” on air, thanks to (tah-dah!) magnets. See the circular globe on top and the three pinlights below? When the picture frame is placed in the right distance between them, the negation of the magnetic pulls on opposite ends results in the frame being “suspended” on thin air. You can even tap the frame lightly and it will spin for several minutes.

I gave Nelz & Norman a two-sided picture frame as a wedding gift. This one we’re giving to my uncle and aunt who’s celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary.

I discovered these magnetic picture frames and other magnet-related devices (a floating globe! a floating UFO!) in this shop in Eastwood appropriately called Magneato!

Better Translate Than Never

Vhaklur-speak isn’t an exact science; no living “language” is. It’s always evolving at a rate faster than formal languages. It’s really a form of slang—a lot of it is connotation more than denotation.

Having said all that crap, let me try to translate as best as I can the phrase from the previous episode “Chuvah!” Maybe aspiring actors who want to use the monologue can use the following so that they can give meaning and “color” to the lines.

Again, this translation isn’t exact so feel free to adjust it according to your tastes.

Here goes:

“Sometimes we are eklabu (in love) with the chenelyn (idea) of falling in love; having the kemedu (excitement) of having or missing echoz (somebody). It’s alright to feel chorva (wanted) through other shomabels (people), but don’t get dependent on achieving tsimili ekek (happiness) by being with burirot (a boy/girlfriend). Chenelyn (Love) yourself first before making chorva (sharing) your life with somebody, because if you don’t, you will always eklabumbum (be searching) for the chinabels (others) that you think can make you chenez (happy). And in the end it will only make you chenez (love) yourself more. Charot by charot, keme by keme*. Haaay, very touching, ‘no?”

*Since the sentence structure is “X by X, Y by Y”, then mathematically speaking “X” can be anything and “Y” can be anything too. So feel free to just replace “charot” and “keme” with anything, to wit: “Moment by moment, day by day.” Or: “Inch by inch, throb by throb.” Or: “Suck by suck, dick by dick.” Or… oh, you get the point.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Outing Pluto

In a dramatic turn of Galileic proportions, the International Astronomical Union (a “union”? are they the type who can go on strike?) has voted Pluto out of the solar system. Sorry, I don’t mean that they kicked Pluto out of orbit. The scientists have created a new set of criteria that further defines what is a planet. Now our solar system is officially composed of eight planets instead of nine because the IAU voted that Pluto isn’t a planet.

Scientists call it reclassification; I call it the American Idol effect. Somewhere in Disneyland, Mickey Mouse’s dog goes into deep depression.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Imagine a movie scene: a couple is sitting at a park bench, holding hands and looking at each other’s eyes. The guy leans closer to kiss the girl on the lips. The girl at first closes her eyes and purses her lips, ready to receive his, when suddenly she opens her eyes and quickly turns her head, moving her lips away from him. Sheepishly she looks up and sees the puzzled expression on his face. Then she says:

“Sometimes we are eklabu with the chenelyn of falling in love; having the kemedu of having or missing echoz. It’s alright to feel chorva through other shomabels, but don’t get dependent on achieving tsimili ekek by being with burirot. Chenelyn yourself first before making chorva your life with somebody, because if you don’t, you will always eklabumbum for the chinabels that you think can make you chenez. And in the end it will only make you chenez yourself more. Charot by charot, keme by keme. Haaay, very touching, ‘no?”

* * * * *

Now try saying that out loud in a serious, sincere manner. Better yet, use it as an audition piece.

(P.S. – Thanks to nikolaiparis for texting me the line.)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Monday, Aug. 21, past 10pm, Greenbelt 3. My friend Katski and I were walking past People’s Palace. Earlier that evening we had several celebrity sightings already—Borgy M. and his model girlfriend, Ilac Diaz and Sam Oh, uhm… well, that’s it. Anyway, as I glanced into the window of People’s Palace, I saw the ultimate in celebrity sighting. As in, the ultimate. I pointed her out to Katski. Inside the oh-so-chi-chi restaurant, with her signature bouffant and all, was none other than the Former First Lady Imelda Marcos, holding court to a table full of, oh, I have no idea who they were.

Katski turned to me and said: “Dare. Go in and get her autograph.”

I snapped back: “Double-dare. Go in, walk straight up to her, point an upturned finger at her, then say, in a very Nora Aunor My brother is not a peeeg! sort of way, ‘Do you know what day it is today, huh? Do you remember why we are on holiday, huuuh?!’”

Katski balked: “Ay. I can’t, no way.”

I insisted: “Okay, how about I accompany you inside? Hindi ka nag-iisa. How appropriate. How very Ninoy.”

Unfortunately neither she nor I had the guts to pull it off. So we left the former Iron Butterfly and went for coffee instead.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Evil Laftir!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
“Remember Harry! ‘Love’ spelled backwards is ‘evol’!” – Harry Boyle’s vigilante neighbor Ralph

And “live” spelled backwards is “evil”.

At a party last Saturday my friends introduced me to the people I didn’t know as “an evil person.” I wasn’t quite sure whether they were joking or not, but we all know jokes are half-meant. It doesn’t really bother me if I am evil; mwhahahaha! What is really more bothersome is the fact that I’ve been unaware of this before. I guess being evil never really bothered me. Or perhaps I’ve always deluded myself into thinking that I am a morally normal person (“morally normal” meaning I am neither more moral or less moral than the average Jose).

But let’s pause for a while and examine myself. In general I do entertain lots of evil thoughts and have also said lots of things that, to put it kindly, are unkind to fellow human beings. I do delight in pointing out mistakes, foibles and stupid acts. And I have let loose words both written and spoken that are nasty and unkind; I revel in scathing humor that skewers the weak and the slow-witted.

I will fess up to all of the above. Does that make me evil? As defined by our catholic religion, yes. Evil intention (thinking) plus evil deed (talking) equals bingo! a one-way ticket to hell.

But I also noticed that I often stop short of doing an evil act that goes beyond talk. I’ve never plunged a knife into someone, nor have I ever put a bullet into someone’s head. I’ve never shoplifted nor stolen anything. I am evil but more with words than with action. If action speaks louder than words, then my kind of evil is… uhm, quieter? Duh.

Now I’m asking myself, why do I allow myself to think and talk evil? Maybe because it’s still a whole lot better to just think or talk evil but not act evil. Because if I did, there’d be a string of dead stupid drivers along EDSA today and I’d probably end up either in jail or dead on the road too. As it is, there are tens of “dead” stupid drivers with their cars “smashed” to pieces still running around the metro today, all blissfully unaware that I’d “murdered” them all in my mind. Or made fun of them here in The McVie Show.

Which reminds me, in fairness there’s not been a candidate for the Shonga Awards lately. Either stupid people have slowly been killing themselves or I’ve been lucky enough to have avoided them for the past month.

But maybe you guys have been unlucky. Do send in your entries to the Shonga Awards!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

This Crucifixion Is Brought To You By The Letter A

“I said ‘Jesus A. Christ,’ not ‘Jesus H. Christ’! Christ!” – Herod to Pilate

Eep! So there’s more than one public figure named Isagani Cruz, distinguishable by just their middle initials. So let’s get our Isaganis straight, cuz it’s gonna be queer for queers to crucify the wrong straight.

So repeat after me: it’s Isagani A. the ex-justice not Isagani R. the critic who wrote that anti-gay article in the Inquirer.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Isa Granny

I’ve kept silent about this issue for some time now simply because I’ve been gathering my thoughts on how to address it here in The McVie Show. Now I’m ready for my close-up, direk.

Okay, rolling na ba? “Rolling. Sound! Action!”

Ahem. For a playwright, critic and former undersecretary of education, Isagani Cruz is terribly uneducated with regards to homosexuals and homosexuality. His article published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer entitled “Don We Now Our Gay Apparel” has the pink community up in arms and eyebrows over such statements like the following:

Walking along the University belt one day, I passed by a group of boys chattering among themselves, with one of them exclaiming seriously, “Aalis na ako. Magpapasuso pa ako!” [“I’m leaving. I still have to breastfeed!”] That pansy would have been mauled in the school where my five sons (all machos) studied during the ’70s when all the students were certifiably masculine.


Let us be warned against the gay population, which is per se a compromise between the strong and the weak and therefore only somewhat and not the absolute of either of the two qualities. Be alert lest the Philippine flag be made of delicate lace and adorned with embroidered frills.

I will not add to the growing clamor to give Mr. Cruz an enema, literally and figuratively. After all, there are people more eloquent than I am who’ve already articulated my feelings on the matter far better than what I can come up with. I will, however, say that attitudes such as those he espouses should firmly and vigorously be opposed.

I’m not sure if he’s too old to change attitudes, so I don’t know if it’s worth the bother to try and enlighten him. But my dream scenario is for him to one day come home and find one of his macho sons sinususo his equally macho close male friend. And why does he need to qualify that all of his sons are macho? Methinks the lady doth defend too much.

Haaay naku. Where there’s smoke, there’s tinapa. You know, something fishy.

“Cut! Good take. Pack up!”

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


More Japanese silliness from

This is a series of short English lessons for Japanese. At 3-5 minutes long, it’s like a Sesame Street segment. They just focus on one sentence at a time.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Again, it starts off in a normal manner. The instructress even reminds the viewers to bring out a memo pad for notes.

My eyebrow shot up when she introduced the English sentence for that lesson:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
“You’re so good.”

Then she proceeded to demonstrate the use of the sentence. That’s when my hunch was confirmed.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
This is practical English for the very practical Japanese—prostitutes!

The next lesson was even more specific.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
“I give good head.”

With matching explanation of the English slang.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
“I do it well with my mouth.”

She even gives several examples featuring first, second and third person, singular or plural: I give good head. You give good head. My parents give good head. My grandmother gives good head. My relatives give good head too.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Surreal. I had stumbled on a family of prostitutes.

The third lesson was clearly aimed at pleasing the customer.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
“First-rate cunt lapping!”

Every time she demonstrated the use of a sentence, she always called on Toshi. “C’mon, Toshi! C’mon, Toshi!” Toshi must either be one hunk of a Japanese guy, or he’s a sad dweeb of Dilbert proportions, wasting his money on beer and prostitutes to get good head.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The lessons end the same way, with her reminding her audience about the English sentence they’ve just learned from her:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
“Let’s use it constructively.”

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Zuiikin Gals

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Meet the Zuiikin Gals. As far as I can tell, they’re trying to teach their fellow Japanese to speak English, but with a twist—literally. By combining aerobic steps with their repeat-after-me English phrases, the Zuiikin Gals hope that the English phrases and the aero steps will stick in the viewers’ minds.

Ingenious, right? Talk about exercising your mind and body.

But what makes this clip sooo fucking hilarious are the particular English phrases they are teaching to what apparently is their prime audience—hapless Japanese tourists going abroad.

This particular clip features the Zuiikin Gals teaching the viewers some helpful English phrases they can use when taking a cab in, say, New York. The lesson starts innocuously enough.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Then things take a turn for the bizarre.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Talk about real lessons for real-life use! And to the tune of brain-numbing aero music!

To get the full audio-video effect, log on now:

Pramis, it’s a blast.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Bohemia Rhapsody

Saturday was our mom’s birthday. Friday evening at around 10:30 I got a text from my younger brother, asking us if we were game to go to this Czechoslovakian restaurant in Angeles, Pampanga. He had eaten there before and was excited for the rest of us to try it out. It was so spur-of-the-moment that I said: Sure, game! I’m really that kaladkarin.

Saturday morning we were at the North Expressway, where they have this strict anti-overloading campaign: cars that are overloaded are forcibly stopped and the excess passengers are made to ride a separate bus which will take them to whatever exit toll gate they’re supposed to go. We saw two of these buses, and what really cracked us up was the huge sign on its side: ANTI-OVERWEIGHT MOBILE UNIT. Good thing the people riding in it were not fat. Too bad I wasn’t able to take a picture of that bus.

We arrived at the restaurant at close to 1pm. There was only one other customer—an American eating at the al-fresco area. We chose to stay in the air-conditioned area.

They served bread and cheese while we waited. We ordered two kinds of appetizers, smoked ham and herring, both served with crackers. My mom loved the fish; “Parang kinilaw,” she declared. That is, if kinilaw were served with mayo instead of vinegar. My nephew, being more carnivorous, attacked and finished the smoked ham.

The sausages were terrific. I would have preferred spicier ones, but I guess not too many people share my spicy taste. The roasted potatoes though were the killer—with just the right amount of burnt sides, I couldn’t help shoveling them into my mouth even as my mind was screaming, “Death to carbs!” The sauerkraut was also excellent. The schnitzels were well done with just the right amount of breading, not too thick or too thin.

The prices are actually quite reasonable; I could imagine them opening a branch in Makati in the future. But in the meantime, one has to drive all the way to Angeles, near the entrance to Clark. It’s a relaxed drive, given the improved NLEX highway.

Remake nAPO Siya

(I was too excited last night to post this episode immediately. This morning I had a change of mind regarding certain interpretations I had of the songs “Doo Bidoo” and “Batang-Bata Ka Pa.” So now I’ve revised this episode accordingly. If you can spot the difference, I’ll give you a prize. – McVie, 15 Aug. 2006)

I grew up with the music of the APO Hiking Society. With their earlier songs I wasn’t really a big fan; I was merely aware of them (they were big hits on the radio at the time). It also helped that I knew we shared the same alma mater; it made their songs easier to like. Still, I was never really compelled to go out of my way to listen to their songs. When Ninoy Aquino was assassinated they reinvented themselves as a very vocal anti-Marcos group. But that never changed the way I saw them; for me it was music first. It took me a while to really appreciate their well-crafted Pinoy pop gems. That’s why, a few years ago, when I saw their two-volume greatest hits in the record store I immediately bought them.

Yesterday while browsing at the record store for the first time in quite a while, I saw this new release: Kami nAPO Muna. It’s a tribute album with current acts like Parokya Ni Edgar, Sponge Cola, Orange and Lemons, Sugarfree, Barbie Almalbis, Kitchie Nadal, Sandwich, Moonstar88, and more doing covers of APO’s greatest hits.

So I did what a nerdy music lover would do: I made a playlist in my iTunes/iPod called “APO/OPA” wherein the original version is placed side-by-side with its cover version. It’s what I’m listening to now. I must say it makes for quite an interesting listening experience.

Some of the covers hew very closely to the original. But they still sound good, which means the original sounds good even nowadays.

The more adventurous arrangements are far more interesting. The most exciting for me so far is the Kamikazee version of the song “Doo Bidoo” and Sugarfree’s reworking of “Batang-Bata Ka Pa”. With the former, Kamikazee’s irreverent approach transformed APO’s simple, playful ode to the joys of singing into a roaring, all-too-obvious dig at drug use. It’s hilarious to hear the Kamikazee guys going “O, doobee! Doobee!” with the guitars slashing in the background—go, jutes, go! And while the APO’s “Eto na, eto na, eto na, haaaaaaa…!” sounds positively giddy and almost innocent, the new one is a scream that’s a sonic equivalent of a drug rush.

Sugarfree takes the song “Batang-Bata Ka Pa” and makes it theirs. While APO’s version is a gentle lullaby, Suagrfree amps it up and not just in terms of added guitars and drums. APO’s version is a child while Sugarfree’s is a teenager; this is the first time I actually heard a song literally “grow up.” While the original addresses a child’s loss of innocence, the latter is more world-weary and knowing—as if they were talking to teenagers grappling over unwanted pregnancies and STDs. Even Sugarfree’s more intricate and sophisticated arrangement echoes the growth of the song. Plus lead singer Ebe Dancel channels his best Ely Buendia-“haaaaaaaa!” in this song.

I still have to listen closely to the others, but so far I like what I’m hearing. It’s great that these songs are being rediscovered and presented anew to the younger generation.

They’ve done a tribute album for Hotdog (which I also have, but I don’t have the originals). I wonder which artist from the 70s will next be given this distinction. VST and Company? Hagibis? Mike Hanopol? Sampaguita? Coritha?

Friday, August 11, 2006

The King Of Comedy

Maybe it’s because I grew up with drama queens in grade school. Maybe it’s because I had my fill of unrequited loves in college and after. Maybe it’s because several years ago I re-read Desiderata and at that point the sentences “Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence” and “Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit” suddenly made perfect sense.

That’s why I’m singing Mary J. Blige nowadays.

So tired
Tired of all this drama
You go your way...
I go my way
I need to be free
So tired, tired, tired of all this drama

Broken heart again,
Another lesson learned.
Better know your friends
Or else you will get burned.
Gotta count on me,
Cause I can guarantee
That I’ll be fine.

No more pain
No drama
No more drama in my life
No one’s gonna make me hurt again

Why’d I play the fool
Go through ups and downs;
Knowing all the time
You wouldn’t be around.
Or maybe I like the stress
Cause I was young and restless.
But that was long ago.
I don’t wanna cry no more.

Oh, it feels so good!
When you let go
Of all the drama in your life.
Now you’re free from all the pain,
Free from all the games,
Free from all the stress,
To find your happiness...

I don’t know...
Only God knows where the story ends
For me.
But I know where the story begins.
It's up to us to choose
Whether we win or lose—
And I choose to win.

Go ahead, go ahead
You demons, get on out my face!
Go on out of my life—
I’m about to lose my mind!

Lord, help me sing!
Oh, help me sing!
I need peace of mind, peace of mind, peace of mind

I’m so tired,
I’m so tired,
So tired…
Tired of all this drama.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A Series of Baguio Events – Episode 5

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Maybe I was a pyromaniac (as well as a truck driver ‘cuz I love long drives, but that’s another story) in my previous life, because I really enjoy building a fire. In past Baguio trips with the family I always end up building a fire by the fireplace. I find it the whole building-a-fire process fascinating—the way wood catches fire, how fire needs air space to create a bigger blaze, how to position the wood efficiently, etc. I never read up on it; I just applied what little I know about starting a fire for barbequing then winged it from there.

Today I learned how to best position the wood at the start and how to prevent smoke from spilling out of the fireplace. The wood should be placed leaning against the back of the fireplace. It seems the more vertical the wood is placed, the more surface area of the wood catches fire, the bigger the blaze. Placing the wood to the back of the fireplace also ensures that all of the smoke is immediately sucked out into the chimney by the draft.

Burn, baby, burn.

* * * * *

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
While everyone else is freezing and wearing two layers of clothing, I still manage to go around Baguio in t-shirt, shorts and sandals—in other words, summer wear. No wonder even Baguio folks stare at me when I walk by on the street.

I seem to have no problem adjusting to the cold weather. I remember reading an article in Reader’s Digest back when I was very young; it was some Drama In Real Life bit about a man who had a car accident and had to trudge back through several miles of snow in the dead of winter. He survived the cold because he remembered what an American Indian told him: Don’t fight the cold, be one with it. So whenever I’m in Baguio, I embrace the cold climate and become one with it.

Funny thing is that in the office I get cold easily and need to wear a jacket. I think it has something to do with the artificial cold of the air condition. I think my mind refuses to be one with artificial cold because one can easily “escape” it by either stepping out of the room or switching the air con off; but with cold weather, my mind is resigned to the fact that there is no escaping the cold, so it embraces it instead. Weird, huh?

Personally I’d like to think it’s simply because I’m actually a cold-blooded, cold-hearted creature.

Insert evil laughter here.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A Series of Baguio Events – Interlude

McVie does flowers… sort of.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

What in heave’s name is this?
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

(Alternative title for this episode: “Two Flowers and a Scrotum”)

A Series of Baguio Events – Episode 4

Second day in Baguio: waking up to my first Baguio morning for the weekend, and it’s freezing. Good thing I adjust easily to the cold; yesterday while the others were wearing layered clothes I was in t-shirt, shorts and sandals.

The sun provided much wanted warmth as we went through the tourist places: cathedral, botanical garden and Good Shepherd. Then it was ukay-ukay part one, because I’m pretty sure there’ll be another shopping trip before we leave.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
This is part of the billboard in Good Shepherd promoting their Cordillera Youth Program.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
He brings out the native pedophile in me.

Lunch was at a tourist-y Barrio Fiesta. Outside it is the Baguio Staircase, where originally it showcased giant wooden carvings of Igorots, the original dwellers of Baguio. But through the years they added other smaller wooden carvings of ordinary and not-so-ordinary Filipinos, including Cory Aquino & Cardinal Sin, a very relaxed Ninoy Aquino, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Fidel Ramos. What a weird idea.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

A Series of Baguio Events – Episode 3

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
While waiting for Leigh to finish shopping, I decided to buy the People magazine issue with ex-‘NSync Lance Bass and a huge “I’m Gay” headline on the cover. At the cashier, the assisting girl at the counter read the headline and said, more to herself really, “Ay, I’m a gay!”

Mentally I imagined bitch-slapping her then saying, “I’m a gay? Are you a blind? You’re a silly.”

Yes, it’s another pet peeve of mine—people adding the article “a” before the word “gay” when the latter is used as a noun, not an adjective.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

A Series of Baguio Events – Episode 2

First time I saw the renovated Baguio Country Club years ago, I remember seeing new cottages being built in front of their main gate. At that time I thought to myself, “I wonder what it’s like to stay in a cottage like that?” but immediately dropped the idea because, well heck, I’m not aiming to be a member of high society.

(Pause to take a deep breath.)

Well, now I know what it’s like, mwhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! (much evil laftir!)

Okay, I’ve not become noveau rich. It’s just that, thanks to friends in high places (uh, si Lord?) Leigh and family were able to rent a cottage for this trip. And it so happened to be the one right in front of the main gate!
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
The view of the main gate from the cottage porch…
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
…and the cottage, with Rogue parked in front.


Since I’m the only guy apart from Lucien, they gave me a room to myself.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
And I immediately set up shop so that I can make new episodes and upload photos.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Coolness galore!

Actually, coldness galore too—Baguio weather is sooo cold, especially at night. Check out the photos I took of the Country Club.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Okay, that’s it. Thank you for allowing me to gloat a little while I’m here in Baguio. By Tuesday I’ll be back in Manila, back to reality.

Ang sarap maging social climber, hahaha!

A Series of Baguio Events – Episode 1

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
We were supposed to leave a little after 4am Saturday. We left 4:45am.

The drive was very relaxed. In fact, a little too relaxing for me—at the very uneventful North Luzon Expressway, I found myself yawning at the monotony of the drive. I looked forward to the zigzagging Kennon Road because that will surely keep me awake and interested.

First bathroom break was at Jollibee in Hacienda Luicita, Tarlac. We just stopped so I can use the bathroom. But the moment I entered, everyone from the security guard to all of the staff behind the counter greeted me with a loud, “Welcome to Jollibee, sir!” Yikes. So I was pressured to buy a burger and drink. Thank god no one said something like, “May I take your order, phfl-eeh-ahzh” or else I would have scooted out of there.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Second bathroom break at a Shell station and stretch Lucien’s legs.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Third stop at the Caltex station, just before the climb to Kennon Road.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
That damn lion used to be black, then was painted bright orange (duh?!) Now it’s black and faded gold.

And then, by 11:00am we were in Baguio.

Friday, August 04, 2006

To Baguio, Please

Leigh has always wanted to bring her mom, sister and son to Baguio. The last time her mom was in Baguio, Ferdinand Marcos was alive, healthy, and a popular president of RP. And her son really loves long drives. So this weekend they’re all going up to Baguio—and I’m the family driver! Yes, I’ll be driving Rogue, Leigh’s Ford Explorer Sportrac. I’ve driven it to Baguio and back years ago, when we attended the Ad Congress in 2003. Three years later it’s a repeat performance, but this time the vehicle will be crowded. Plus we were told that certain portions of Marcos highway (I guess the low-lying ones) are still flooded, thanks to the last typhoon. So this is the first time I’ll be doing Kennon Road in a truck. At least Rogue is automatic, so that makes driving a little easier.

We’re so excited!

I’m bringing my laptop along so I can download photos immediately, and maybe do a comic or two. Or do an episode of The McVie Show, “live” from Baguio! Bahala na si Batman.

* * * * *

A minor peeve of mine is the way most staff at fastfood counters mispronounce the word “please.” Just today during lunch, after I gave my order the girl shouted, “One Champ, ple-ah-z!


Another variation is, “One burger and fries, fles.” Or “One Chicken Joy meal, pleh-z.

Oh, puh-leez.

I don’t expect counter staff to be mouthing off in call-center-like English, but please, please, please, how difficult is it to pronounce “please” properly?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The McJuke Box: What’s Playing

Last night I heard Justin Timberlake’s latest solo single on the radio. I was never a big fan of his or his former boy band’s songs, so it was good that I didn’t know who the artist was until after the song ended and the DJ spoke.

Suddenly I was downloading it and this morning on my way to work I put my iPod on “repeat song” and played it ad nauseam until I reached the office.

So now it’s fuck that morose, feeling-sorry-for-myself Broadway song, and let’s get our sexy on!

I’m bringin’ sexy back (yeah!)
Them other fuckers don’t know how to act (yeah!)

(take it to the chorus!)

Come here girl (go ‘head be gone with it)
Come to the back (go ‘head be gone with it)
VIP (go ‘head be gone with it)
Drinks on me (go ‘head be gone with it)
Lemme see what you’re twerking with (go ‘head be gone with it)
Look at those hips (go ‘head be gone with it)
You make me smile (go ‘head be gone with it)
Go ‘head child (go ‘head be gone with it)
And get your sexy on (go ‘head be gone with it)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The McJuke Box: What’s Playing

In the musical Wicked, the green-skinned Elphaba (who later on turns into the Wicked Witch of the West) realizes that the guy she likes is attracted to the popular and pretty Glinda (who later on becomes “Glinda The Good Witch”). She then sings the song “I’m Not That Girl”:

Hands touch, eyes meet,
Sudden silence, sudden heat,
Hearts leap in a giddy whirl—
He could be that boy,
But I’m not that girl.

Don’t dream too far,
Don’t lose sight of who you are,
Don’t remember that rush of joy—
He could be that boy,
I’m not that girl.

Ev’ry so often we long to steal
To the land of what-might-have-been.
But that doesn’t soften the ache we feel
When reality sets back in.

Blithe smile, lithe limb,
She who’s winsome, she wins him.
Gold hair with a gentle curl—
That’s the girl he chose,
And Heaven knows
I’m not that girl.

Don’t wish, don’t start,
Wishing only wounds the heart.
I wasn’t born for the rose and the pearl.
There’s a girl I know,
He loves her so—
I’m not that girl.


Finally met Eon a.k.a. Hasty Devil in the flesh. His company is our client, and they were in our office for a pre-production meeting. It’s nice to meet the viewers of The McVie Show in the flesh—it assures me that they really exist and are not just a figment of my active imagination, hahaha!

* * * * *

My latest batch:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A Curse, An Anarchist and A Gay Romp

Two movies and one play—all in a weekend.

Saturday I watched Sukob, the star-and-director tandem of Kris Aquino and Chito Roño’s follow-up to the box-office hit, Feng Shui. Normally one would expect more from a second outing of a successful act. So yes, I will admit that I was expecting more from this movie.

Chito Roño proves he can set-up scares well, even if said scares are a trifle cliché. The script suffers from a big red herring that turns out to be an irrelevant distraction. A good amount of screen time is spent on a dead neighbor that, as it turns out, has nothing whatsoever to do with the main plot! The only reason why the neighbor was inserted in the movie was to explain the concept of the sukob sa kasal, sukob sa patay curse.

Kris Aquino’s acting was still terrible. From the first moment she enters the screen, you can see that she is A-C-T-I-N-G. And she still has that insipid expression of pain perennially plastered on her face, as if she has constant constipation. Because of her bad acting, I couldn’t understand why her character did what she did at the end of the movie. But I will agree with the filmmakers that Kris has got to be thrown out of a movie—the earlier in the script, the better.

When placed beside Kris’s histrionics, Claudine Barretto’s under-acting appears positively Streepian. Okay, okay, I exaggerate. Claudine comes off better here, even though she plays a character that she’s played a hundred times before in her soaps. That’s because of her decision to underplay the part. So despite her second-in-billing status, she emerges as the better actress.

Acting is the main strength behind Tanghalang Ateneo’s production of “Ang Aksidenteng Kamatayan ng Isang Anarkista”. The play is a comedy involving public officials and their attempt to cover up the death—which may or may not be accidental—of an anarchist in their custody. Ron Capinding essays the lead role, and he is one of the better actors of TA. In the role Ron proves he’s quite adept at comic timing; physically he also acquits himself, although he’s not as nimble as he used to be. But sadly his acting skills alone are not enough. While he acts up a storm, my main discomfort is that his character isn’t exactly clear. Is he really a crazy person, or someone acting crazy? And why does he like impersonating other people? What are his character’s motivations? Nothing in the script or in Ron’s acting suggest reasons why. Thus the whole second act suffers because Ron’s tour de force turns out to be all bluster but no meaning, so there’s no sympathy for his character. Plus the main joke becomes repetitive.

Speaking of tour de force, Nathan Lane does a show-stopping number in The Producers, the movie musical based on the stage musical based on the movie. In one terrific song-and-dance number in the movie’s last act, Nathan neatly summarizes in a musical medley the whole movie that preceded it. When the song ended, I sensed everyone in the theater was just dying to give him a standing ovation, but because we were only a few watching, everyone was embarrassed to start the clapping.

The movie musical suffers in the move from stage to screen—the stage-y set-up shows the director’s weakness in the filmic language. And some of the shtick that play well onstage only look staged when placed on the big screen. But the bigness of the musical numbers benefit from being blown up onscreen.

Other stand-outs include the hilariously gay duo of Roger DeBris and Carmen Ghia played by Gary Beach and Roger Bart respectively, who have some of the best lines (“If your intention was to shoot an arrow through my heart... Bull’s-eye!”) and moments in the movie; and Uma Thurman who acquits herself by not being afraid to make a fool of herself (too bad though that it was obvious she had a dance-double for some of the trickier choreography).

Watching a play onstage and onscreen made me want to act again. Sigh. Well, that day will come.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?