Jan 29, 2012

Next Fall: well worth seeing


Thanks to Migs’ blog post, I learned that Repertory Philippines is staging an interesting play named Next Fall at OnStage in Greenbelt 1. The play, which runs until February 5, is about these two gay men living in New York City who are in a 5-year relationship. What’s interesting about the plot is that the two men have differing opinions on religion: Luke is a young devout Christian who prays after sex and whose family doesn’t know that he is gay, while Adam is a middle-aged atheist who struggles with various mid-life problems. As expected, these two people’s differing outlooks in life is cause for one of the play’s main tensions.

I’m admittedly not a theater-going person not because I don’t like them but because watching plays is an expensive pastime. But if I were presented with the occasional but really interesting play, I’d consider seeing it. And Next Fall definitely fits the bill. It’s not often that a play is staged locally that tackles gay themes and is not an all-out comedy like Zsazsa Zaturnnah or Care Divas. So as soon as I read Migs’ article, I resolved to go and see it dragging a friend along as well. (The fact that Bart Guingona portrays one half of the gay couple was also instrumental in my decision. Hehehe.)

So how was it? While my friend and I agreed that the ending seemed a bit too abrupt, I thought that the play as a whole is well worth watching. I was particularly impressed by the set and technical details—who knew that a simple hospital waiting room table could also function as a living room coffee table, a park bench, and a prayer room pew? I also really liked the roll-on-roll-off apartment foyer.

As for the acting, it was superb! The small cast of 6 were all very good and their portrayals made it really easy to relate and empathize with their characters. Michael Faustmann, who plays Luke’s homophobic father Butch, was especially excellent.

I also loved the script and dialogue. Many of the lines were very witty and it all felt very natural. A few scenes also had me laughing like the one funny-because-it’s-awkward moment when Butch meets Adam for the first time.

As for the play’s story and themes, it was all quite relatable. I’m a practicing Catholic and just like Migs and CC (who wrote a favorable review of the play), I’ve also gone through the struggles of trying to reconcile what I know and experienced in my homosexual side with my Catholic upbringing. While I won’t discuss my personal stance regarding religion (maybe a topic for a future blog post?), I will just have to say that I consider myself more spiritual rather than religious.

That said, I felt that the religion aspect was a weak point of the play, at least with respect to the generally Catholic Filipino audience. The Christianity portrayed in Next Fall was decidedly of the American Protestant flavor making it hard for Filipino Catholics to comprehend. Among the concepts mentioned were the Rapture (something unknown to many Catholics) and sola fide (“by faith alone”) where to be saved you just have to believe in Jesus’ saving power instead of the faith-together-with-good-works that Catholics espouse. The latter concept was the reason why Luke justified his “sinful” gay lifestyle when Adam questioned him about it.

(Apologies for the religion tangent. ;-p)

Going back to the play, I highly recommend that you watch it if you can. While it’s no Phantom of the Opera, it is quite fun to watch yet tackles the serious stuff. It’s definitely time better spent than watching yet another crappy local gay indie film.

Next Fall is produced by Repertory Philippines and runs until February 5 at OnStage, Greenbelt 1. You can buy tickets at Ticketworld. ABS-CBN News also has a review of the play if you’re interested.

Jan 24, 2012

The phone-in-between trick


I’ve already shared two discreet (but maybe inconvenient) ways of exchanging phone numbers with another guy. One is leaving a card or a piece of paper in sight of the other guy, and the other is doing hand signals. I’ll share another way and that is what I call the phone-in-between trick.

Basically, you sit beside each other and one of you will place his phone between the two of you while both of you are doing some other thing. The other guy will then pick up the phone and key in his number (and optionally the name) then place it back down for the other guy get. That’s all there is to it.

I learned of this trick when I was in the locker room of spa that shall remain unnamed. I had been exchanging glances with this stocky hunky chinito in the wet area, when I decided to sit down at a bench in the locker room to cool off for a bit. After a while, the guy went to the locker room to get dressed and leave the spa. After going to his locker, he then sat beside me while drying his feet and then placed his cellphone on the bench between us. I glanced at his phone and saw that it was unlocked and I took that as a hint, especially when I realized that he could have placed his phone on the other side. So I then discreetly entered my phone number and then my name into his phone. After a bit, he picked up the phone, looked at it, gave me a small smile, and stood up to get dressed. Easy as pie!

It’s definitely easier to just ask for a guy’s number straight out, but in places where you need to be discreet and to not attract attention, tricks like these are better and, frankly, much more fun! :-)

Jan 9, 2012

Vangie: The Pinoy Virtual Assistant (that outs you)


I guess most of you have already seen the hilarious Vangie video on YouTube which spoofs the Siri software found currently in the iPhone 4S. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out below.

My most favorite scene of the video is the following dialogue:

Guy: Vangie, call my girlfriend.

Vangie: Girlfriend? Weh?!

Guy: Yes.


While I don’t condone outing people, whether done by people or virtual assistants, I can look at the light side and find the hilarity in the situation. Plus, the guy is cute! Hehehe. :-)

Jan 6, 2012

On family reunions


Happy New Year, everyone! How were your holidays? Did you have a jolly good time?

For many of us, we had a nice Christmas break: a much deserved time away from school or work. This was a time for attending to religious duties, meeting old friends, opening presents, having dinner outs, and partying the night away. The holidays are also a time to head to our provinces to attend family reunions.

Ah, family reunions. It’s probably one of those things eligible gay bachelors who are still in the closet dread every year. Cousins, aunts and uncles whom you haven’t seen for quite some time will be curious and ask how you are. And they will always throw you a variation of one of the following questions:

  • “Don’t you still have a girlfriend?”

  • ”When are you getting married?”

  • “When can we have nieces/nephews to play with?”

You try to deflect the questions and give one of the following canned replies:

  • “I’m too busy with my career to have a relationship.”

  • “I still haven’t found the right person.”

  • “We broke up a while ago.”

And then quickly change the topic and ask them questions.

I’ve had my share of such questions. But fortunately for me, I have an older sibling who is still single so the attention is not fully centered on me. Hehehe. But if the questions would become too persistent, I might joke that I need to move to Canada, the Netherlands, or New York before I can get married. ;-)

How about you? How do you handle curious relatives during family reunions?