Friday, September 15, 2017

I'm Writing Again. This Is Not A Test

.:Guess Who's Back? Back Again?:.

Well, yes. I'm back to blogging, although probably with far less photos and captions for the moment, as I try to get my footing back.

Or maybe, I'll just not blog for a year again afterwards or something. I don't know, really.

There's been a lot going on since I last blogged, and though one could just point in the direction of social media as an easy way to get people caught up, it's not like anyone who didn't already care would at this point. This blog is really more for me than for any perceived readership at this point.

From developments in my life to where our country has been headed lately, there's so much going on my mind in recent weeks, especially when the bloggers went old school and started hanging out with each other again.

Ultimately, while I don't know what I have to say in the long-term, all I want to say right now is that there is a whole f*ckton wrong with this world lately, and it's disturbing how we feel compelled to sit through it and just mostly talk about it in the comfort of our own echo chambers.

It's scary, because people far wiser, far better than I could ever  hope to be are all doing this, and not without reason. To see them pretty much clam up instead of fight on, knowing full well that fighting on and on won't yield them much in today's climate is indeed disheartening. But can you blame them?

But I guess I'm just dumber than I normally look, so here I am, perhaps not as brave as some of the bravest I know, but still blatantly fighting front and center with my name attached to it. That's really how it is, I guess.

Because y'know what? I know all too well that what I'm fighting for is absolutely right.

"Compromise where you can. Where you can't, don't. Even if everyone is telling you that something wrong is something right. Even if the whole world is telling you to move, it is your duty to plant yourself like a tree, look them in the eye, and say, 'No, *you* move'." 

- Sharon Carter, Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Friday, January 06, 2017

The 2016 Year In Review!

.:The 2016 Year-In-Review:.

Good riddance, 2016. Here's your exit review.

1. What did you do in 2016 that you'd never done before?

Cooking? I mean, I sorta did that before, but not to this extent. Of course, there's also multiple relationship milestones in 2016 that I have never, ever done before.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn't make any last year, and I don't plan to make any this year. As it has always been. This hasn't really changed, huh?

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Doesn't seem like it.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Why do you think we all hate 2016? 

5. What countries did you visit?

Nowhere. So much for traveling in 2016.

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?

Travel! Thankfully, I'm taking a trip to Cebu this late January, so we're pretty sure this will be corrected. Would also love to have more shows, considering how good 2016 was on that front. And, oh. An article for Cracked, finally?

7. What date from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

October 22. 10 years of mind reading and comedy!

The Tito of Mentalism!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

The October 22 show, From Khan To 10, was definitely it, aside from domestic achievements and relationship milestones I would rather keep to myself.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Letting other people get in my way for way too long, and caring what people think instead of just doing what I should be doing for myself.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Had to get a CPAP machine this year. Sleep apnea is a thing.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

The Christmas/Birthday/Anniversary present I got for Patricia The Hun. It was a Nintendo 3DS. ;)

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Patricia The Hun. No explanations needed.

13. Whose behavior appalled you and made you depressed?

Oh, you know. The guys who thought that comedy should be a Mean Girls clubhouse.

14. Where did most of your money go?

MTG, Food and Uber, it seems.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The fact that Patricia The Hun went back from the States instead of staying there indefinitely. 

16. What song will always remind you of 2016?

"Closer," by the Chainsmokers. So many great people died in 2016. I wish this song went with them, too, even if it's anything but a great song.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder? – happier
ii. thinner or fatter? – fatter
iii. richer or poorer? – richer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Travel, gigs, and actually writing for Cracked. This has been going on for how many years already?

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Wasting my time on lost causes.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

Spent in Tagaytay.

21. Did you fall in love in 2016?

Stayed in love? Absolutely.

22. How many one-night stands?


23. What was your favorite TV program?

Elementary,without a doubt. I like Sherlock Holmes when he's not being an insufferable twit.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

I would have, but I decided to let it go. 

25. What was the best book you read?

None, unfortunately.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

The fact that the guy who sang Pen Pineapple Apple Pen looks just like my old friend and teammate, Osmond Go.

27. What did you want and not get?

To bring in more people under the MFT umbrella. It was a quiet part of my life that I can't help but appreciate.

28. Favorite film of this year?

Civil War. Because it wasn't easy. Civil War ang tunay na mahirap.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 33 with minimal fanfare.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Selling my condo off, and maybe headlining a show I didn't produce myself.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?

In transition.

32. What kept you sane?

Patricia The Hun, Street Fighter V.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Still Harriet Sugarcookie.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

All of them.

35. Who did you miss?

Old friends I cut off because of my own stupidity. And Switch Improv.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Robert Rubin would be my guess.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.

Songs about Pens and Pineapples and Apples could make you ridiculously rich in 2016.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

"Ugh!" - PPAP

That's really all I can muster for 2016.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

I Think You Ought To Know...

.:Kel Fabie: From Khan To 10:.
Allow me to spare you so many words. I will be performing on my 10th anniversary as a mentalist this coming October 22, and I hope to see you there.
All the info you need is right there in the poster, and if you wanted to see a trailer for the show, knock yerselves out by clicking here!

ee y'all this October 22! Tickets are available at Ticket World by next week, at the latest!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

"You And Me Against The World?" What's This? High School?!?

.:"You And Me Against The World?" What's This? High School?!?:.

When you love someone, you will fight for them, and you will do anything for them. Yet in the middle of doing just that, sometimes you wonder how insane the people around you can actually be.

And that's what I'm contending with right now, among other things.

Sometimes, people want to see nothing but the worst in you, and the doctrine of charity gets tossed away in favor of the worst possible interpretation of your actions. Unfortunately for them, that says a lot more about them than it does about you. Even then, if it keeps happening often enough to you, it does leave a mark, and it really can ruin your day.

I'm at a point in my life where I should be okay and I shouldn't be bothered by these issues anymore. Unfortunately, they still do, and it never ends, really. From bullies to antagonists, we all have these people in our lives who only ever seem to show up to make life unpleasant and ingratiate themselves towards us.

I've been happy for months with Hun, and yet looking at things now, it seems like there are forces at work that refuse to let that happiness remain. And it drives me insane when I think about it, because I don't even know why there's a bee in their bonnet yet again, and why I have to put up with it when they certainly weren't what I signed up for in the first place.

And in between a major hurdle like that, you are then reminded of people who assume the worst of you, who think you're capable of things you wouldn't dream of doing, all the while oblivious to the fact that they really don't even deserve the time of day but you're just too polite to just tell them to bugger right off. It's exhausting. It's depressing. And yeah, maybe this whole post is indeed becoming a cry for help.

There is something that is patently ridiculous about having to deal with soap opera shenanigans in this day and age, and to have to play along with it. It boggles the mind why I have to put up with it, and why I have to be subjected to it from these people.

And here's the most amazing thing about it: much as I want to be all "woe is me" and think I'm some kind of victim the universe is crapping on at this very moment, I can't help but realize that none of these people who are really stressing me out right now are actively victimizing anyone. They're assholes, yes, but they're oblivious about being assholes, and think that whatever the hell they are doing is perfectly just and normal, even if it is decidedly not so.

And that's why here I am, still having to fight for the love of my life like it's a page taken out of a high school romance pocketbook. This is why I still have to deal with stupid people who don't get it when you want to just let sleeping dogs lie, and are oh so vain, they probably think this post is about them.

This is why here I am, dealing with issues in the most creative of ways: writing obtusely about it, and then attempting to sleep it off.

This is why here I am, still wondering when the peace of mind I thought I'd finally earned from just walking away instead of putting up a fight would ever actually come.

C'mon, guys: you already won. Just leave me be, will ya?

Friday, June 24, 2016

Galing At Peugeot

.:Galing At Peugeot:.

So I was supposed to talk about the French Film Festival, because, you know, film. Awesome. But here's the funny thing: I didn't get to catch a single movie from the festival, and instead hung out with the fine people from Peugeot, because they were talking to me about the Festival so much, it almost felt like I was there. Almost. But with more cars and fun anecdotes. And less of the plodding navel-gazing most French films are known and loved for. You don't criticize a French film for being plodding and navel-gazing and all thinkpiece-y: you applaud them for it.

Pictured: more excitement than most French films. Again, not a knock against French films.

The funny thing is, I don't even drive. If I did, I'd have been doing it while by now. And I always had a soft spot for European cars. The problem with European cars I was mostly aware of, though, was that maintenance would be a bit more difficult than the usual Japanese cars whose parts and spare parts are readily available, and boy, do European cars cost a world more money than their Japanese and even American counterparts.

And then next thing I knew, I was introduced to Peugeot by my relatively new friend, Nikki. And what I discovered about this French brand floored me, because while I'm not a gear freak and I can't tell you the first thing about cars, I definitely share a lot in common with the average pedestrian who can't help but gawk when a beautiful car drives past them, because chances are, I am that average pedestrian gawking when a beautiful car drives past me.

So beautiful, I insisted on holding the camera at all times, so no, you won't see me by the car.

For starters, a trip to their showroom immediately killed the impression that European cars were all super pricey and hard to maintain, with price ranges that are shockingly competitive with the popular Japanese and American brands here, Peugeot not only boasts of the same kind of quality we've come to expect from European cars, but even the touted best diesel engine in the world. So not only do you get great quality, but the gas and mileage are pretty high up there, too.

I was really enamored by their sports car, although given that I don't drive, it would probably look awkward if I hired a driver to drive me around in it. Not that there's anything wrong with it, but I'm inclined to guess people would assume we're dating, because that's normally how it works when you're driving around in a sports car with two people in it.

"Pare, open-minded ka ba?" Meet the Peugeot RCZ.

The fact that they discontinued the RCZ and what I saw in the showroom was perhaps the last of its kind just made me realize that this was indeed a collector's item, and one of the sleekest, most elegant cars I have ever seen. I know what I like when I see it, and the experts have told me enough about what goes on under that hood for me to appreciate that indeed, this is definitely a fine specimen of automotive technology.

Overall, I've been amazed and impressed, and while I'm no gearhead, I knew what the right questions to ask were when it came to what I needed in the event I ever needed to purchase a car. After all, with all other things being equal, including price, apparently, why wouldn't I go for arguably the number 1 diesel engine in the world, and all the prestige that comes with the name of Peugeot?

And that's really the main selling point of Peugeot to me: you are buying into an honored French automobile tradition, and you are doing it at a downright steal for what that brand means to the general public. And as if that weren't enough, they're currently offering promotions if you act now and get one of their rides, so don't tell me I didn't warn you that there are tickets to Valuetown to be had.

Speaking of "value," Nikki swears she fits into the trunk of this car, and another person like her! Mmmmmm! Okay, maybe we shouldn't give John Wayne Gacy's fans any ideas.

Again, I don't drive yet, and I'm anything but an opinion leader when it comes to cars. What people who know me can attest to, though, is that I have a huge love affair with European cars, and Peugeot may be currently the apple of my eye with its sleek style, multiple offerings for all walks of life, prestigious name, and unbeatable price point, considering said prestigious name. To me, that's more than good enough, and once I inevitably purchase my first car (by then, I hope I know how to drive because I would, as I earlier stated, hate to ride in the passenger seat of an RCZ), I'm inclined to make it a Peugeot.

And if you are, too, feel free to get in touch with Ms. Nikki Cheng Peugeot's Business Development Officer, via her mobile, 09175646119. You just might get a special discount if you act now and drop this blog's name! 

I don't really do this much, so yeah, I find it a big deal to be writing about a particular brand, and no, I definitely wasn't paid for this. I wish I were, but that's not really how I've worked as a blogger these past 14 years, so why change now?

And, oh, here's one more thing: the piece de resistance - the Expert Tepee, which is a 9-seater MPV, and the very ride that Ms. Jaclyn Jose experienced as she cruised her win to a Cannes Best Actress plum recently. It's a thing of beauty - as long as John Wayne Gacy's fans stay far, far away from it.

Squint hard enough, and you'll see my reflection there.

So yeah, that was how I spent my time a couple of weeks ago: enjoying cars like a normal male person, which isn't typical of me. The thing is, though, with how crazy life has been for me these past few months, what constitutes "normal" at this point for me, really? I might never know, but as far as I'm concerned, I can keep going as long as I have faith in myself. Much in the same way Peugeot has faith in its time-honored tradition of excellence.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Via Negativa, Or Why I'm Abstaining

.:Via Negativa, Or Why I'm Abstaining:.

I was supposed to write about something else, but on the eve of the elections, this seemed very important to talk about.

I am abstaining for president this coming elections. This was not a simple conclusion I came to. In fact, throughout the campaign period, I was trying to find a candidate who can sway me otherwise.

Unfortunately, none of them have managed to do that.

I have a Vice President (Leni Robredo), and I have two senators I will fight for (Susan Ople, TG Guingona). Anyone else, I am ambivalent about at best.

But I'm sure, given how many people have decided that they respect anyone's opinion unless it's "I abstain for president," that a lot of people are wondering how I arrived at that conclusion, and why I'm sticking by it after a couple of months that I could have changed my mind.

If we wanted to find the perfect candidate from a pool of candidates, how do we find them? Well, one can do it by looking at their merits, and then adding up the one with most merits, but that doesn't really settle the question of perfection, right? To find perfection, you had to find someone who lacked imperfection. It is the concept of via negativa: a process of elimination in order to find the best. After all, if something has an imperfection, how can it be perfect at all? Only through a process of elimination can we find what we are willing to put up with.

Obviously, we cannot expect perfection from our candidates. That is why we instead need to look at our own personal deal breakers, and see what is the worst that we can accept. From there, and only from there, can we proceed to look at the merits, if any. I recognize other people may do it backwards, but for me, I have to start with what I cannot accept, before I go with things I actually like about the candidates.

For example, I cannot accept a candidate who would cite scripture as an excuse for persecuting homosexuals, especially when they would say that they should be put to death. I do not care if they brought us international pride by winning boxing championships or if they pushed for the abolition of the pork barrel.

Not pictured: Senator material.

On the other hand, while I don't like political dynasties, I am willing to give a guy who believes they're okay a pass so long as they're Dick f'n Gordon. Officially, there's a lot more nuance to that, but you get my point.

Or his *point,* for that matter, if you know what I mean? #IpasokSiDick

And that leads us to our five presidentiables.

1. Mar Roxas

The Tito joke, personified.

I could not overlook Mar's apathy and his inability to relate to people. If a president does not know where I am coming from, how can I be sure that he will understand me when I want to be heard? The past six years has been a painful exercise of tolerating the Aquino administration in its own echo chamber where they can do no wrong. Despite the good they have done, I cannot, in good conscience, allow that to have "continuity." There is insensitivity here, and it does us no good to just call the people who feel shortchanged or are suffering as merely "haters," when we should at least listen to their plight first.

I also cannot tolerate cronyism, especially the kind that gives people like Abaya or Purisima the ability to keep carrying on as if they have done nothing wrong, or at least haven't been particularly competent at their jobs.

He's not helping, either.

2. Jejomar Binay

The only thing transparent about him is his barong.

Binay's allegations of corruption are so glaring and so difficult to ignore, and his attitude of impunity towards it is what I find unconscionable. This is a man who will ignore any criticism far worse than the Aquino administration ever did, and that is alarming. I don't think I need to explain my stand on him much, do I?

Jejomar Binay will not be beholden to you once he wins. Let's leave it at that.

Nor his kids.

3. Grace Poe

Needs more denim jackets.

There are only three oh-so-basic requirements for president: you are of age (40), you are literate, and you are a Filipino.

I don't care about Grace Poe being adopted. I care that at some point in her life, she actively renounced being Filipino. You might think this is shallow, but this is not, because how much lower can the requirements for president be, in the first place We don't ask them to have completed any form of education, we don't ask about their health and well-being, or their financial status. These three are as basic as they get, yet Grace Poe can hardly meet them, and purely in principle, could never meet them.

That she is also likely to just continue being Danding Cojuangco's puppet is something I simply cannot stand by, either.

4. Rody Duterte

I can almost imagine how something as innocuous as this 
photo would make diehards scream, "Bayaran! Bias ka!"

I don't care about his cussing, much less if it were directed to the Pope. I'm a bit worried, but I can even understand why he is sympathetic towards the NPA, so even that, I can sort of handwave. I do care about what he says, though, because it encourages some of his followers to demean women, gay people, and people with disabilities. I cannot just handwave that away. You can say that he has done so much in terms of laws to protect these people, but is that enough of an excuse to actively break that protection when it's him doing the talking?

But even that is debatable. We all have some nasty opinions that we might shake off when the going gets tough, but the fact remains that he has actively promised a lot of killing in the effort of cleaning up this country. I am not a criminal. I am not a pusher. But in Duterte's promised land, nothing prevents a cop to one day think I looked at them wrong and insist I am a criminal or a pusher, giving him more than enough reason shoot me dead on the spot.

Or were we all going to magically assume that there are no crooked cops in this country at all?

The fact is, I value our civil liberties and our rights too much to want to give them up on the altar of peace and order.

The altar of Mystica, on the other hand...

5. Miriam Santiago

Was she in the same library as Binay was?

Oh, what could have been! I didn't care about the cancer. And then she backed Bongbong Marcos. That, my friends, was a betrayal of principle that I couldn't stand. Oh, sure, she backed Erap. And then Gloria. But the Marcoses? I can't even.

If the word "sayang" ever made its way to the dictionary, this picture would accompany it.

.:And So, We Come Down To This...:.

And with all that in mind, none of the candidates could ever hope to convince me to vote for them, because they hit dealbreakers I wasn't willing to compromise. I am but one vote, but on May 16, that #abstain (technically, a #Seneres2016 vote) will be heard because if I want change, it starts by not lowering my standards. Because ultimately, change comes from within, and all our leaders can do is to facilitate that change.

To everyone else who feels compelled to abstain, I remind you that there is no shame in doing so. Some people might say that we are abstaining because we do not have any principles to stand upon. I am saying right now that the opposite is true: I  am abstaining precisely because the principles I stand upon are more important to me than a single candidate.

There is nothing wrong with you having different principles from me. I fully accept that to some, Duterte's willingness to "do what is necessary" is a good thing, and not a bad thing. Or that Mar's being out of touch cannot overshadow the great stuff he has done. Or that Poe's citizenship is a non-issue compared to what she brings to the table. Or Miriam's intellect and need for funds for a national campaign outweighs her unholy alliance with BBM. Or that everyone is corrupt anyways, but Binay showed he can do well, thanks to (wait for it...) Makati.

Unfortunately, there would be all sorts of things wrong if I am willing to give up my principles just so I have something to shade this Monday. I refuse to, and that is my right. Abstaining is a choice, and it is not the same as not having voted at all.The sooner people can respect that, the sooner we could stop thinking that every person who is abstaining is simply undecided. You are wrong. I am decidedly not undecided. In fact, I am very sure that we, the Filipino people, deserved better. And just because we aren't getting that this 2016 doesn't mean I will cede my right to say so just so I can vote for a sub-par candidate in my mind and heart.

If one is unwilling to settle just to find their one true love, why would we settle just to find the next person to lead this country for the coming six years? I believe we deserved better, and I make no pretenses that such a position is loftier or more enlightened than anyone who has decided we have a worthy candidate among the five. It is simply one that I have arrived at after lengthy, careful consideration, as most of you reading this right now surely have with your own positions.

We have been thrust by the people running for power into a climate of fear: fear of continuing the ills that this government has demonstrated in the past six years. Fears of the change to come that it might undo the democracy we have fought so hard to win back in 1986. Fears of a seemingly ever-rising crime rate that belies real numbers and magnifies only the worst among us. Fears of an economy crashing down with the prospect of uncertain territories with a president the international community is derisive of. Fears of cheating. Of thievery. Of lies. Of death.

"There is nothing to fear but fear itself." - Marvel Comics

Nation, the real enemy has always been fear. Because in giving in to the fears manufactured by the political machinery, we have ended up fearing our neighbors, thinking them to be monsters or morons. They are not. They are our countrymen. And our countrymen should never have been our enemy in the first place.

Tomorrow, vote as your mind, heart, and conscience tells you. Not the surveys. Not the pressure. And by Great Caesar's Ghost, not the fear. Fear is the enemy. Not ourselves.

And that is why, in the face of all manner of opposition, I choose to abstain from voting for a president in 2016. Because I have more faith in the Filipino people than I do in these five individuals.

I am most certain that my faith was not misplaced.

"Compromise where you can. Where you can't, don't. Even if everyone is telling you that something wrong is something right. Even if the world is telling you to move, it is your duty to plant yourself like a tree, look them in the eye, and say, 'no, you move.'"

- Sharon Carter, Civil War (2016)

Friday, April 01, 2016

Caught In A Bad Place...

.:Caught In A Bad Place...:.

Do you ever find yourself thinking about the worst possible person at the worst possible time?

I just did.

I'll spare you the details, but it was a mortifying experience, and I'm still experiencing the fallout to this very moment. But like some stupid clickbait post, the reason why I was thinking of said person at said moment might surprise you. Immensely.

There was once a point in my life when someone did a number on my self-esteem. Every single amount of hubris I had was turned into crow, and I ate it. Hard. It was fine, at first, because it grounded me. But then, it seemed like it became sport. I was being knocked down a few pegs with regularity and with motivation behind it. Needless to say, it wasn't fun, at the very least, and it started to eat away at me and how I saw myself.

I hardly ever spoke about it because the source of this was someone who meant a lot to me. I simply didn't want this person to be put in a bad light, and I figured that it was on me to regain the self-esteem I lost, since I shouldn't have allowed this person to take it from me in the first place. But it never quite came back. And there are days I still feel inadequate or lacking in some shape or form.

Fast forward to the present,

This person was weighing heavily on my mind, and the name came up at a most inopportune moment. And it's not an excuse for that kind of horrid timing, mind you. But it's just a confirmation that indeed, the self-esteem has never come back. Because quite sadly, that has been the only context for the longest time when my thoughts would dwell on this person.

And it sucks, because it gets in the way of the present. It sucks, because it affects everything in so many ways, and you can't help but feel doubly bad because you: 1. dwelled on the past, and 2. you let the present get adversely affected.

But what can you do? What can you do except to admit that you are having difficulties at present because of what happened, and now, it has caused damage in more ways than one? What can you do except to accept the plain and simple fact that you need to exert more effort than what you have to prove that you are worthy of where you are today?

I could apologize. I could grovel. I could break down into tears. But if I don't move forward, then what is it all for?