May 20, 2008

Boy Culture, coming to Manila


Wow, this seems to have flown completely under the radar, but if the entertainment and lifestyle news reports are correct (example), Boy Culture, a foreign gay film written and directed by Filipino-American Q. Allan Brocka (nephew of the great Lino Brocka), will start screening in “selected theaters” this Wednesday, May 21.

According to Wikipedia, Boy Culture is the story of how “a successful male escort describes in a series of confessions his tangled romantic relationships with his two roommates and an older, enigmatic male client.” Shown below is the official trailer of the film.

Q. Allan Brocka is famous in the local PLU scene for his first film shown in the Philippines, Eating Out. The film was premiered during the 2nd Manila Pink Film Festival and was the talk of the town for showing two full frontals, one being that of Ryan Carnes of subsequent Desperate Housewives fame. Brocka then created the sequel Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds with another majestic full frontal. :-)

I’ve seen Eating Out (though not the sequel) and really enjoyed it (despite the stupid plot resolution), so I’m looking forward to catching Boy Culture this time around. And I have high expectations: Boy Culture won the Grand Jury Award for Best Screenplay during the 2006 L.A. Outfest and the Jury Prize for Best Film in the 2006 Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, among other awards. Finally, looking at the trailer and pictures, I can definitely say that Derek Magyar, the leading actor, is smoking hot!

So who’s with me?

May 14, 2008

Know your PLU rights!


Well, well, well. As if as an answer to my previous post about the legal basis for raids and where I encouraged you to learn your rights, Ang Ladlad, the LGBT party list organization of Danton Remoto; Rainbow Rights Project, a group of queer lawyers and legal activists; and Radar Pridewear, a line of lesbian apparel, is holding a dialogue entitled "Know Your Rights!" with the lawyers of the Rainbow Rights Project. This will be held at the roofdeck of the FBR Building along Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City this Saturday, May 17 from 1 to 4 in the afternoon. (The FBR Building is in front of the Ateneo and is the one which has a Yellow Cab outlet.)

You’re in a bar and the police come in and announce a raid, what will you do?

On your way home late at night, police patrols stop you and charge you with vagrancy, how will you react?

After the movie house you went to has been suddenly raided, you’re brought to the police station and the cops start asking you for money, what should your response be?

Basing on the event's teaser questions above, the answers are exactly what many of us need to learn in order to best defend ourselves from police harrassment. The problem is, many discreet guys would likely shy away from attending such an "out" event. As I said in my very first post, the Internet is a boon for discreet gay people and the organizers of the event should have taken advantage of the technology to reach out to more discreet guys. They should do a live streaming of the event, open up a chat room to get questions from web surfers, and maybe even record the dialogue and publish it as a podcast or vlog (video log) so that others who missed the event can learn and review at their own pace.

Nevertheless, I think this event is very much worth attending if you have the guts to show up. Hehehe.

May 11, 2008

The legality of raids


IANAL (i.e., I'm no Misterhubs), but I guess it's still worth discussing the actual legal framework that law enforcers use when they conduct raids. This post is a follow-up to the Queeriosity Palace raid article that I did a few weeks ago. Let's delve into the details by looking at other similar incidents.

Bath, December 11, 2004

At around 4:00 a.m. on December 11, 2004, the Bath club along Ma. Orosa Street in Malate was raided by the police. The club's manager, its employees, as well as the customers, were arrested and brought to the detention center. The charge? Violating Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code. So what's Article 201? Here it is:

Art. 201. Immoral doctrines, obscene publications and exhibitions and indecent shows. — The penalty of prision mayor or a fine ranging from six thousand to twelve thousand pesos, or both such imprisonment and fine, shall be imposed upon:

(1) Those who shall publicly expound or proclaim doctrines openly contrary to public morals;

(2) (a) the authors of obscene literature, published with their knowledge in any form; the editors publishing such literature; and the owners/operators of the establishment selling the same;

(b) Those who, in theaters, fairs, cinematographs or any other place, exhibit, indecent or immoral plays, scenes, acts or shows, whether live or in film, which are prescribed by virtue hereof, shall include those which (1) glorify criminals or condone crimes; (2) serve no other purpose but to satisfy the market for violence, lust or pornography; (3) offend any race or religion; (4) tend to abet traffic in and use of prohibited drugs; and (5) are contrary to law, public order, morals, and good customs, established policies, lawful orders, decrees and edicts;

(3) Those who shall sell, give away or exhibit films, prints, engravings, sculpture or literature which are offensive to morals.

Verdict? It's a stupid law. Who the hell defines what's obscene and who dictates what is publicly moral? Oh, I guess the famous barrel man of Baguio should be banned because it's illegal according to provision 3 of the said Article.

Adonis, April 10, 2008

"QUEZON CITY, Philippines - More than 20 male models were rescued, and over 40 mostly female customers were held in an early morning raid at the Adonis Bar along Timog Avenue in Quezon City."—"Cops raid Adonis Bar in QC; over 20 male models rescued." GMA News

In this raid at a well-known gay bar (that's actually mostly patronized by women), the police officer in charge of the operation said that the owners of the bar and the customers can be charged under Republic Act No. 9208 otherwise known as the Anti-trafficking in Persons Act of 2003. You should read the whole law (it's only about 7 pages long), but to help you, I'll highlight the law's definition of some things relevant to us that are considered "trafficking in persons" and are illegal:

Prostitution — refers to any act, transaction, scheme or design involving the use of a person by another, for sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct in exchange for money, profit or any other consideration.

Pornography — refers to any representation, through publication, exhibition, cinematography, indecent shows, information technology, or by whatever means, of a person engaged in real or simulated explicit sexual activities or any representation of the sexual parts of a person for primarily sexual purposes.

Sexual Exploitation — refers to participation by a person in prostitution or the production of pornographic materials as a result of being subjected to a threat, deception, coercion, abduction, force, abuse of authority, debt bondage, fraud or through abuse of a victim's vulnerability

My personal belief is that paying person to have sex with him is a no-no. That's prostitution pure and simple, and it should not be the basis for sex since sex is something that should be enjoyed by both people without involving any money. But the laws definition of prostitution is way too broad. Sex for "other consideration"? I guess that a you-do-me-I-do-you is a consideration?

And yes, the pornography question. We've all gone through the anti-smut era of the last decade (remember Manoling Morato?) and pornography in its various forms is still illegal in this country. Gay bars is pornography ("indecent" shows), bathhouses that show blue films or put up sexy pictures engage in pornography, Ang Lihim ni Antonio is pornography, heck, even Hot Men in the Philippines is pornography, and therefore illegal. But note the operative phrase "for primarily sexual purposes." Well, the best defense for that is the "art" defense: make sure that it's plausible that the "porn" you're pushing is artistically done.


Sadly, the law provides ample ammunition for authorities to conduct raids on various places. Any tip about prostitution and pornography activities in any place is likely enough for any police unit to request a warrant from a judge and harrass the unlucky place even if ultimately there is no actual prostitution or pornography involved.

As I said before, you may not end up in jail but you might out yourself inadvertently to people you care about when you're caught in a raid. Ultimately, it's just a matter if going to a place that could be raided is a risk you're willing to take. But no matter what, it's best that you become familiar with the law and you learn your rights. This point is one thing that's always stressed by Lagablab (an LGBT lobby group) whenever incidents like these happen.

May 7, 2008

Hold your nose? Wet your lips?


Have you ever encountered the "Flirt Signs 101" protocol before? This seems to be a locally invented procedure that lets two strangers confirm their interest in each other in a public place discreetly, as well as exchange basic information about each other wordlessly. The "Flirt Signs 101" supposedly improves upon the frustrating uncertainties in just using The Look alone, which often leads to many sayangs and what-ifs. I first encountered this sign language (hehe) from someone's profile in Guys4Men.

Here's the protocol bit (heavily copyedited):

After catching each other's eye for a while, the following signs can be used:

  1. Holding your nose with one hand, like wiping out oil, shows your interest to a person. As a reply, holding your chin, as if checking your stubble, shows you are also interested.
  2. Pinching your left ear with one hand means you want to know if the person is bisexual or gay. As a reply, if you are bisexual, you answer by just licking or wetting your lips. Otherwise (you are gay), you reply by wiping your eyes as if you are wiping out dirt.
  3. Touching your head indicates that you are top. The other guy can do the same if he is top.
  4. Reaching your pants back pocket as if you're reaching for your wallet means that you are bottom. The other guy can do the same action if he is bottom.
  5. Rubbing your hands together as if you just put some lotion on them, signifies that you should meet outside. If the other person rubs his hands together too, thats it!

The tutorial then goes on to say that if the other person doesn't respond. Either he doesn't know the "language" or he's straight. To continue the tutorial, the writer then gives a hypothetical scenario (also heavily edited):

A guy takes the MRT to Ayala, Makati, and in the train he could see a good-looking hunk. The guy couldn't take his eyes off the hunk. The hunk happens to look at him for a while. Then Flirt Signs 101 takes place.

First, the guy looks at the hunky stud and slowly wipes his nose till the hunk notices it. The hunk sees it and then touches his chin telling the guy that he is interested. The guy, wanting to know if the hunk is bi or gay, then pinches his left ear. The hunk wets his lips very daringly and unexpectedly reaches for his pocket as if he was retrieving his wallet. The first guy is a bit shocked upon learning that the hunky stud is a bottom bisexual.

Not letting the opportunity pass, the guy, even though he is also bottom, touched his head signifying that he is supposedly top. He then rubs his hands together and the hunk responds by stepping outside the train. Voila! Nag-check-in ang dalawa sa Sogo! Sa'n ka pa?

Nothing like an almost too-good-to-be-true story to increase interest, right? Hehehe. :-)

I never bothered to memorize the steps and to try it out. I don't think this is one thing that will catch on that well. In my experience, The Look is quite enough for two guys to show and confirm interest in one another. Any other information can be obtained by approaching each other and doing the old-fashioned conversation. I'm therefore quite curious if anyone out there has tried this "Flirt Signs 101" protocol and has succeeded in getting a booking because of it.

What do you think?