Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Project 52 2014 (52/52): Kwarto

.:Project 52 2014 (52/52): Kwarto:.


'Di ko na kayang mabuhay sa kahapon. Kaya mula ngayon, mula ngayon...

Magpapaalam na sa iyo ang aking kwarto. Magpapaalam na sa iyo ang aking kwarto. Magpapaalam na sa iyo ang aking kwarto. Magpapaalam na sa iyo ang aking kwarto.

Magpapaalam na sa iyo. Magpapaalam na sa iyo. Magpapaalam na sa iyo.

Magpapaalam na sa iyo ang aking kwarto...

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The 2014 Year-In-Review Survey

.:The 2014 Year-In-Review:.

Hush. This is important.

1. What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before?

Host a quiz night. And now, I do it every Wednesday, starting next year! I also headlined a comedy show for the first time ever.

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.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Isabel Lacson, I suppose, seeing as she was my housemate until last June or so.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My Lola Tita passed away last April 2, Tado Jimenez, Vic Palileo, and Coy Caballes. Yeah, this was a terrible year for me when it came to that.

5. What countries did you visit?

Thailand, and in a few days, Macau.

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

A chance to re-establish myself as the comedy mentalist. I know I left my entertainment career by the wayside since 2009, but after quitting my office job, now's a good time to re-establish myself.

7. What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

September 20. Not only was that my brother's birthday, that was also the day I got together with C-. That's her rapper name, you see.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Headlined for the first time in my standup comedy "career," with much thanks to the 20-minute set GB let me have near the end of our run in Tomato Kick. I also got a quiz night going this year!

9. What was your biggest failure?

Did I really have to lose a friend just because I'm no longer pining for her? There's also the infamous Tinder mishap. And the fact that I could have done so much more this year, but I was terrible at finding the time for them all. And, oh. The fact that I'm no longer in radio now. Any chance I could change this next year? We'll see.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Still a lot of sore throats.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

A PS4.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

I would have to say Switch Improv, seeing how far we've come as a group. Also, my brother, as he really carved out a good thing with Burger Company. There's also the earlier half of my year, mostly spent enjoying the company of Marco and Mike, playing board games.

13. Whose behavior appalled you and made you depressed?

The Tinder Mistake. Yeah, the one who thought she should have the power to tell me what to say or not to say on my blog, even if I never once named her. There's also that other person who decided that we didn't need to be friends anymore. So much for "always a part of each other's lives," huh?

14. Where did most of your money go?

Those WWE and NBA Card Battle apps, and yeah, video games in general. Especially NBA 2K15.

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

Working from home, and finally having someone I could safely say I'm happily in love with! My Thailand trip was pretty awesome, too.

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?

"Fancy," by Iggy Azalea. We can debate about whether or not she's in the right for co-opting the rap image, but I'll be damned if that song isn't so catchy it doesn't override everything else this year, including a really good Adam Lavine song and "Anaconda."

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

i. happier or sadder? – happier during the last quarter of the year, muuuuch sadder prior
ii. thinner or fatter? – thinner (I think)
iii. richer or poorer? – richer(-ish)

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

Gigs, and writing.

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

Reaching out to people who simply don't deserve it.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

Quietly spent at home.

21. Did you fall in love in 2014?

Finally, yes.

22. How many one-night stands?

Well, not quite any.

23. What was your favorite TV program?

The Flash. I ended up watching Arrow just by extension. Also, Agents of SHIELD and Hannibal.

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

Yeah, but I didn't know this person before this year, either, so meh.

25. What was the best book you read?

Well, damn. I haven't really read a book this year, have I? Need to change that next year.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

The NBA 2K15 soundtrack. Damn, Pharell, you know how to pick 'em.

27. What did you want and not get?

A published article in Cracked. But that's really on me now, isn't it? I feel like I underachieved this year.

28. Favorite film of this year?

Interstellar.

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

I was in Thailand. Shopping and stuffing myself in duck.

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

Good health for both me and C-

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

Outside of that so-called makeover I had with Uniqlo? Meh.

32. What kept you sane?

Cracked.com, the 8List, Switch Improv, Comedy Manila, Comedy Cartel, DC Deckbuilding, and video games.

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

Would you believe? Ming Na Wen!

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

#Gamergate, if only because of the gender politics involved. And the PDAF scam, still.

35. Who did you miss?

That friend who decided we didn't need to be friends anymore. Not cool. Not cool at all.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

C-. End of story.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

Life and love doesn't have to be as f*cked up as it's always been for you in the past.

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

"First things first, I'm the riles." - Iggy Azalea


And, oh, try this one on for size...


"There's a maniac out in front of me.
Got an angel on my shoulder, and Mephistopheles.
My momma raised me good, momma raised me right.
Momma said "do what you want, say prayers at night",
And I'm saying them, cause I'm so devout.
'Til the love runs out, 'til the love runs out, yeah.

I got my mind made up and I can't let go.
I'm killing every second 'til it sees my soul.
I'll be running, I'll be running,
'Til the love runs out, 'til the love runs out.
And we'll start a fire, and we'll shut it down,
'Til the love runs out, 'til the love runs out."

- One Republic, Love Runs Out

Monday, December 22, 2014

Project 52 (51/52): A Perfect Christmas

.:Project 52 (51/52): A Perfect Christmas:.


Looking through some old photographs, faces and friends, we'll always remember. Watching busy shoppers rushing about in the cool breeze of December...

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Comedy Mission: Accomplished!

.:Comedy Mission Accomplished:.

A few weeks ago, I had my first ever headliner set in standup comedy. I hit the stage for about three quarters of an hour, and somehow managed to hold the crowd's attention for that long, peppering the night with a lot of laughs along the way.

And it wasn't easy, I have to admit. I came in with a lot of mental and actual preparation. Unlike a lot of the veterans out there, I don't see myself just hitting the stage and randomly delivering a twenty-minute set or more without some serious prep time. None of this comedy ever came naturally to me, because I'm not a naturally funny guy.

But seeing a room full of people with different sensibilities, different things that they think is funny, all laughing in unison does instill a sense of accomplishment in a comedian. Top it off with a bunch of people who were just outside Barley that night, yet apparently still paying close attention to my set, and I realized the reason why entertainers do what they do, and why they have a place in the world, even while other people pursue more seemingly worthwhile things, like landing a spacecraft on a comet while wearing a tacky shirt.

It doesn't matter if what we do doesn't revolutionize the world as we know it. If I were selling taho, I'd probably be selling the best damned taho of all time. Or something. I don't know, really, but I'd just want to think that even the most menial of things can be made meaningful somehow. And maybe we don't see it as we feel stuck, but we owe it to ourselves to see it through.

It was a genuine surprise to me that I managed to pull it off, in all honesty. Almost a half-hour of standup comedy, punctuated by 15 minutes of my magic and mentalism. It was something

So another day another dollar for this comedy mentalist. Tonight, I'm performing again, and someone else will be headlining it. It doesn't matter. I will keep on keeping on, because after doing standup comedy for five years, I realize all too well that I really, really enjoy entertaining people, and that's a noble endeavor in and by itself, no doubt.

Thank you to every single person that night who went to support me. From my fellow magicians to my improv groupmates to the fine people of the Comedy Cartel to my friends from Geekfight to even one of my M:TG teammates, it was a night where I really felt that the five years I put into standup comedy were more than worth it. I felt a kind of affirmation that spurs me to push it forward. And so I will.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Comedy: Serious Business

.:The Serious World Of Comedy:.

First, let me get the shameless self-promotion out of the way: this coming Monday, I'm headlining at Barley Gastropub in Sct. Bayoran corner Sgt. Esguerra, in Quezon City. I would really appreciate if you guys could catch me perform there around 9-ish, because it's the first time I'm headlining a comedy show, and I'm both nervous and stoked about it at the same time.

I never thought about it until recently, but I've actually already spent half a decade as a standup comedian. While magic and mentalism is really my primary competency, I have to admit that I really am glad to be doing what I do in standup, and the opportunities I've been given over the years.

Don't call it a comeback. We never left.


Nonetheless, the Philippine standup comedy scene is definitely a growing scene, and the Herculean task of establishing the scene set up by the Alan Manalo's and Tim Tayag's and Mike Unson's of the country has paved the way for many comics to really thrive. Whether it's Alex Calleja or GB Labrador of Comedy Manila, or the newly-crowned Komikazee winner Chip Balbuena of the Comedy Cartel, there's room for everyone to be better and to grow, and healthy competition certainly makes for better comedians.

They're not marching to Malacanang.


And while all this is happening, growing with it side by side has been improv comedy. From Bacolod's Kinenkoy to SPIT and now Switch Improv, there's something to be said about how much the improv scene continues to thrive as well, despite the apparent lack of marketing drive it has in contrast to the standup comedy scene. Why is that, though?

Loud noises!


I don't want to speculate, but I think the answer is that improv answers a completely different demand from standup, even if both of them usually end up in comedy, one way or another. Standup comedy is an entirely different skillset from improv, and it's hard to succeed in one or the other while carrying exactly the same attitude towards both crafts.

I've only been actively doing improv since 2012, which is three years after I started with standup. I've always had a healthy fear of improv, because while I could memorize jokes, there was something about being challenged to be funny at the drop of a hat in improv that frightened me.

Except the more I looked into improv, the more I realized it's not about trying to be funny that makes it funny. And the reason it's funny to people is also the reason it gets raised eyebrows from pure standup comics: the laughter comes from the truth, not from the punchline. We always say “it's funny because it's true,” but it's never been truer anywhere else than it is in improv. People laugh their heads off and give applause breaks for improv performances that did not contain a single punchline because reasons, and that's the magic of it all.

Yet, to say that it's better or inferior to standup comedy, to even compare the two on that level, is to do an injustice to both art forms. True, both have the same goal: to entertain people. However, the way they take it can be ridiculously different from each other, more often than not. Standup has a rhythm and method all its own that makes it work for what it is. Improv has a rhythm and method all its own that makes it work for what it is. And as vague as it may seem, those two are as different as can be when you pick up on all the nuances and small things they choose differently. For starters, one is a showcase of an individual's humor and point of view. The other is a group effort of people who build on the concept of “yes, and” with fanatical devotion. If you tried coming into an improv scene with a bunch of pre-planned jokes, you might be thrown for a looop when your partner decides to do something else.


Which one you prefer may very well be a matter of taste. But to say which one is better is ultimately a fool's errand. And to the practitioners of these art forms, there's absolutely no doubt that comedy is serious business.

So yeah. See you Monday, y'all!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Project 52 2014 (48/52):Sa Wakas

.:Project 52 2014 (48/52):Sa Wakas:.


Hindi niyo inakala na mananalo rin ako. Pero salamat na rin sa inyo sa wakas...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Project 52 2014 (47/52): 'Til The Love Runs Out

.:Project 52 2014 (47/52): 'Til The Love Runs Out:.


I got my mind made up, man, I can't let go. I'm killing every second 'til it saves my soul. (Ooh) I'll be running, (Ooh) I'll be running, 'til the love runs out, 'til the love runs out....

Monday, November 10, 2014

Let's Talk About Boris. But Secretly, Let's Not.

.:I'm Not A Cat Person, But...:.

Meow.

Ever since my mom got injured, I've had to let her cat live in my room. Boris is a Russian Blue cat and probably one of the nicest cats I've ever met, never having scratched me even once. Okay, maybe once, just as I was about to upload this pre-written post, but whatever.

I must say, it's been nice having Boris around, even if I'm not really a cat person. It reminds me of George, the cat we had in Makati when I was still staying there.

There's a lot of randomness in this post right now, and I don't even know where I'm going with this, but I miss writing actual posts in my blog, and I can write what I want if I'm not hurting anyone in the process, so here we go.

I guess when I try to think about it, not being a cat person hasn't hindered me from treating this kickass cat well. Not being a cat person hasn't given me any excuse to be mean to the cat, or to insist that I don't keep it in my room, because why would I want to do that if I'm not a cat person, right? I guess in that regard, it makes a bit of sense. I mean, it was either keeping him in my room or letting him sit in a cage for a loooong while, which I just couldn't bear to see.

Obviously, I'm really not a cat person. But I've learned to like them, and despite being a self-professed dog person, it isn't our two dogs sleeping in my room now, is it? At some point, you have to accept that unlike dogs, cats are just friendlier to have in rooms, especially since they're almost automatically housebroken. But you never think about that when you think about the dog. All you think about is how affectionate they are and how passionate they can be, but you tend to forget all about the shit you have to put up with – until you get what you want, and you have to deal with just that.

So when I try to think about that, and when I look at life and love, I realize that it works much in the same way. We all have our ideas who we are and who we want to be with. We all have notions of how it should work, and we all think that hey, this is the ideal, and this is what I'm sticking to.

But in doing so, we miss out on the little things. And if we continue to do it, we even miss out on the bigger things, too. Because our ideals never capture the entirety of a person, and we never know what we might really want until we open up our horizons. And we really forget about the shit we have to put up with until we do get that person, and we realize that maybe, just maybe, there's a healthier relationship to be had elsewhere.

So yeah, much in the same way that a dog person like me will always have a soft spot in my heart for a dog, when it comes to pets and love, there is nothing wrong about going against type so long as you realize you aren't just settling for the best you can get at the moment. There's a lot of things to love about cats. There's a lot of things to love about someone who comes into your life unexpectedly. And that's the beauty of it. Being aware of this doesn't compromise how you felt about dogs. Being aware of this doesn't diminish how special this cat is to you now.

Because by jove, you may not be a cat person, but this cat is totally rocking your world. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with acknowledging that, appreciating that, and ultimately, reciprocating cat.


I may not be a cat person, but surprise surprise. I love this cat. And somewhere down the road, I may have muddled up the metaphor,   

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Project 52 2014 (46/52): Mirrors

.:Project 52 2014 (46/52): Mirrors:.


And I tell you baby, it was easy coming back to you once I fingered an owl...

Friday, October 31, 2014

Project 52 2014 (45/52): What's Up

.:Project 52 2014 (45/52): What's Up:.


And I try, oh, my God, do I try. I try all the time, in this institution.

And I pray, oh, my God, do I pray. I pray every single day for a revolution.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Project 52 2014 (44/52): Big Yellow Taxi

.:Project 52 2014 (44/52): Big Yellow Taxi:.


Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you got 'til it's gone?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Project 52 2014 (43/52): Out Of Reach

.:Project 52 2014 (43/52): Out Of Reach:.


I really was stupid for a while. It was so easy to get caught up in the rapture, that you forget that things aren't actually anywhere nearly as good as you think it is. And that's how it went on for so long. I fooled myself into thinking the world of you, so thank you for pulling the plug on me and revealing exactly why I deserved better than you.

Was I ever loved by you? Probably not. You probably don't even know what the word means up to this very moment. I never had your heart. And the moment you got what you needed from me you just lay in wait for the first excuse to cut and run.

Don't say I never did right by you. Don't go around painting me as the bad guy in all of this, when after all has been said and done, you bailed on me when you found that I have outlived my usefulness. 

Now, you are indeed out of reach. And I'm done stretching.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Project 52 2014 (42/52): The More You Ignore Me (The Closer I Get)

.:Project 52 2014 (42/52): The More You Ignore Me (The Closer I Get):.


Need I say anything more? Happy birthday, dearest!

Friday, October 03, 2014

Project 52 2014 (41/52): Bad Romance

.:Project 52 2014 (41/52): Bad Romance:.


I want your love and I want your revenge, you and me could write a bad romance...

Friday, September 26, 2014

Project 52 2014 (40/52): Easy

.:Project 52 2014 (40/52): Easy:.


I wanna be high, so high. I wanna be free to know the things I do are right. I wanna be free, just free...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Before I Fly Off...

.:All My Bags Are Packed, I'm Ready To Go...:.

So yeah, I'm headed out to Thailand in a couple of days, and won't be back 'til I'm 31. And already, there are a lot of changes. Great changes.

Pictured: Love at first sight.

Well, yes, that's a PS4. And yeah, that's a bit of treat I had for myself after the windfall I finally got because of all the work I've been doing since I quit my job.

But that isn't really the biggest change, obviously. This would probably be the biggest change...

It isn't with the PS4.

And I have to say, I'm happy. It came at the right time. It came at a time where I knew I was ready for it, rather than at a time where I just needed a distraction. In fact, things came together so quickly I haven't even figured out a code name for her yet. But needless to say, it was a long time coming, and even if she changes her mind tomorrow or the day after, I can safely say that this was a relationship I was prepared for.

It's refreshing to find someone who regards you as an equal instead of a subservient. It's a good change of pace to be appreciated for who you are, and not just remembered when there's nobody else to turn to. Ultimately, it's great to realize you are far more than just somebody's last resort. But it didn't happen overnight, because you built yourself over time to become that kind of person. And it's when someone realizes that about you that you begin to understand that the changes weren't because you just wanted to be with someone, anyone.

The changes were because you want to be a better person, period.

So I don't know where the next coming days will take me, but it's an exciting journey I'm rushing headlong into with eyes wide open. Because I don't wanna miss a thing.

But for now, even if this post isn't part of my Project 52, allow me to share a song with y'all...





Project 52 2014 (39/52): Another Used To Be

.:Project 52 2014 (39/52): Another Used To Be:.


I used to think relationships were a lot of stress, I used to think that pain was a part of happiness. Now all that's changed, since you've come my way. I don't want us to become another used to be...

Friday, September 19, 2014

Project 52 2014 (38/52): Stay

.:Project 52 2014 (38/52): Stay:.


Some of us hover while we're waiting for the other who was dying since the day they were born, well, this is not that: I think that I'm throwing, but I'm thrown. 

And I thought of it forever, now I'm not so sure, you try to tell me that I'm clever, but that won't take me anyhow, or anywhere, with you.

You said that I was naive and, I thought that I was strong. I thought, "hey I could leave, I could leave," but now I know that I was wrong. 'Cause I missed you.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Why The Word "Gamer" Is Slowly Losing All Meaning

.:Why The Word "Gamer" Is Slowly Losing All Meaning:.

Last month showed that even with all our so-called progress, it's still hard to be a woman. Not only did Cee Lo Green try to redefine the word “rape” by saying you can only rape someone who's conscious, you even had one of the largest scale hacks in history that exposed nude pictures of almost solely female celebrities for the internet to salivate on. This may not be the crux of this entire blog entry, but it certainly helps to emphasize the point I'm trying to make.

On the same month, a female (ah, there we are!) game developer named Zoe Quinn was doxxed and harrassed because of allegations made by a jilted ex-boyfriend via his blog, and Feminist Frequency videomaker Anita Sarkeesian was sent serious threats that forced her to leave her house, all because she bothered releasing a bunch of videos about tropes versus women in video games.

Funny how that works: the people denying that there's any mistreatment of women in video games end up making their voices heard precisely by mistreating women involved with video games. And funny how suddenly, gamers are all about fighting for journalistic integrity in their video game sites when the idea of "objective" video game "journalism" is laughable at best. Where were these guys when a low review for Kane and Lynch got a journalist fired? Oh, right. They didn't care because it didn't involve the wimmenz. They only raise a stink when it suits their misogynistic agenda.

But I'm not here to go on a feminist tirade about the ills of some gamers, and the complicity the rest of us have by not condemning it. What I'm doing is merely pointing at several events connected by only one apparent thing: misogyny, and how this has, directly or indirectly, led to the call by some game writers for the “death” of the term “gamer.”

I agree with them. But the whole issue of misogyny is only one of the issues why I do. I have several ideas why I feel that the term "gamer" is really becoming less and less relevant as time goes by.

.:The Term "Gamer" Is Getting Too Toxic:.

The people who most loudly proclaim they are gamers are often also the people who sneer at “fake” girl gamers, noobs, and Anita Sarkeesian. When one has to admit out loud they are also a gamer, they unfairly end up carrying the baggage of all these fringe lunatics (or are they really just fringes?) who give gamers a band name, and because of that, they end up saying “I play games, but I'm not really what you would call a gamer instead.”

If the term is now coming with more bad connotations than it ever has since it was first used pejoratively by the popular jocks at school, then it stands to reason that more people would stop labeling themselves as one. The word "gamer" is fast approaching a scorched earth status, and it's a little too loaded for the average person to want to let the term be associated with them.

.:There Are All Sorts Of Distinctions Nobody Cares About:.

Hardcores. Casuals. Console gamers. Portable gamers. Mobile gamers (yep, there's a difference.). PC gamers. What constitutes a video game has expanded to far beyond what we used to attribute to it, and it's bogging down the word. Suddenly, something like “Heavy Rain” is now a video game, despite the fact that it's more like an interactive movie with next to negligible gameplay. If you want to be even more crude, how do most H-games even count as games, when it's essentially just a “Choose Your Own (Sexy) Adventure” playing out on your computer screen?

We've heard people say that “just because you've got a camera doesn't mean you're now a photographer.” But that clearly doesn't apply to gamers, if we're willing to label some of them “casuals” just because. So just like calling someone a hipster, what exactly does it really mean to call someone a gamer now?

.:Everyone Is A Gamer:.

Remember Syndrome in “The Incredibles” when he said that if everybody is a super, then nobody is? That's exactly how the term gamer has become as gaming has become more ubiquitous than ever. You have people playing board games with other strangers in a cafe. You have people playing Angry Birds on their mobiles, and what right do we have to insist they're not gamers, too?

There was a time being called a gamer was some kind of insult. But now, it isn't an insult when nearly every single person on this planet is a gamer in some shape or form. When you see poor kids who spend what little they have on some DOTA matches, then you know gaming is far more all-encompassing than it's ever been.

Let's face it: everyone is now a gamer, and that word has lost all meaning. That's exactly why the most elitist of gamers loathe the “filthy casuals” and revel in how hardcore they play games, all the while losing the point of games.

.:The Point Of Gaming:.

Gaming isn't about who sleeps with who or who exploited whom. Games are about having fun. Does it really keep you from having fun if there's a wider variety of women characters in a game? Does it really keep you from having fun if someone else is having fun playing Candy Crush instead of Skyrim? If we all focused on making games more fun for everyone by listening to their valid issues instead of forcing them to shut up about issues we supposedly don't care about, then maybe gaming would get even better than it already is.

There is no feminist or social justice agenda ruining gaming for everyone else. Feminists and social justice warriors just want to have fun with video games, too, the way every other straight, racially acceptable male already is. Is that really too much to ask? I don't think so. If you don't want to listen to feminists analyze your video games, then don't. You don't need to put all of your effort into destroying their lives, because if the issue is so "insignificant" to you, then why are you making this concerted effort to shut her up?


Ultimately, if everyone's a gamer, then using “gamer” as a mark of distinction no longer holds any value whatsoever. We're all just fun-seekers on a digital platform, and that's good enough for most of the world. Only those people who are asinine enough to want to own the rights to the term "gamer" feel otherwise, and as their whiny voices gets drowned out by the wave of people who have better things to do than to humor their petulant ways, things will march on. With or without them.

The "gamer" is dead. But long live gaming.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Project 52 2014 (37/52): All Cried Out

.:Project 52 2014 (37/52): All Cried Out:.


I, I gave you all of me. How was I to know that you would weaken so easily?

Friday, September 05, 2014

Project 52 2014 (36/52): When There Was Me And You

.:Project 52 2014 (36/52): When There Was Me And You:.


Now I know you're not a fairy tale, and dreams are meant for sleeping, and wishes on a star just don't come true...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Here Be A Decent Update

.:Sorry, Project 52...:.

Well, I really have no desire in me to fill out the lyrics and analysis for my Project 52 entries. Somewhere down the road, it just got to being more trouble than it's worth to write them down. Having said that, though, I figured it's time I started writing in my blog again. There's been so many things going on with me ever since I left the day job, and it's been pretty exciting lately.

Beloved has been back in town for a while already, so there's that, but it's been nothing doing for the most part. I guess I'm at a point with her where there really are no remaining game-changers to be had. It simply is what it is, and while I'm mostly comfortable with that notion, a small part of me still wishes there was even just a little more than meets the eye to all of this.

That being said, where we are is good. And I can't really complain about "good" now, can I?

.:Thursday Night Fun:.

Yeah, no pictures for now. I like the pictures and captions business and all that, but I need to get back into the rhythm of banging out entries quickly before I sprinkle back in funny captions again.

That being said, I will be performing with Mike Unson and new comic Hugh Vincent this Thursday night in Burger Company for Thursday Night Fun. Switch Improv has been there before, and so has Jona Paculan of the Akafellas. Not only do they have great burgers and even awesomer bacon, they also have a pretty substantial collection of board games, to boot! Obviously, they're not trying to beat Ludo at its own game, what with the fine gentlemen from Ludo owning about 400 going on 500 board games last I checked, but hey, Burger Company definitely has its own approach to mixing good food and fun together.

I've gotten back into the thick of my patented comedy mentalist act, and I hope you get to catch it. If you've never seen the Shanghai Shackles before, or if you've never heard about my mind-reading bit, then you're in for a treat, because I will be featuring that and more on Thursday night, then you get treated to an hour of Mike Unson's excellent standup comedy.

Burger Company is located in 72B Scout Reyes Street, corner Mother Ignacia Avenue, right in the heart of Quezon City. Please drop on by and catch us in action this Thursday! It's absolutely free!

P.S. They're doing International Bacon weekend at Burger Company! Order anything with bacon, and get extra bacon on top of it! Mmmmmm. Did I mention yet how life-changing their bacon dippers are?

.:Saturday Night Comedy:.

I also do improv comedy with the newest improv comedy group in town, Switch Improv, and we're hitting Relik in The Fort this Saturday night as well. It would be really nice if we could see you guys there. :)

.:In Defense Of Ramon Bautista:.

Let's make one thing clear: if you consider yourself a feminist, I absolutely welcome any critique you might have about Monra's humor, if you feel it is not to your liking. That is a valid criticism of what he does.

However, sexism was never the issue why he was declared persona non grata from the city of Davao recently. It simply wasn't.

As a comedian, Ramon was asked to go to Davao and host and entertain the people during the Kadayawan festival. He clearly didn't read his audience right when they responded violently against his quip that there's a lot of "hipon" in Davao.

Possibly offensive? Of course. Comedy doesn't prioritize being politically correct. Sexist? How, pray tell?

I don't know about you, but "hipon" is a gender-neutral term. It isn't referring to women exclusively, and goes for men and women. Otherwise, we'd call it she-pon, right? Haha, I kill me. Well, no. That isn't really funny, either. But the point stands: you might say that Monra insulted the Davao people, but you certainly can't say he was insulting only the women. Make your objection clear: you were offended by his insult on all of you, not just on your women. Otherwise, you are pretty much saying only women can be "hipon," when that is clearly not the case, as a lot of people call male gym rats "hipon," too.

And fine, people have every right to not find that joke to their liking. This was a public gathering, after all, and unlike a comedy bar, people weren't expecting to be roasted on their special day. Boo him if you want, that's how free speech works! He was free to insult you, you are free to show your disapproval right back.

It was when the government decided to directly interfere with the affair by slapping Ramon with a persona non grata sanction where I feel things went too far. Hell, I'd even let all the cursing by the former Davao mayor slide, even if that isn't exactly a great example of "proper conduct," either, especially if any equivalent of "p***** ina's" was hurled during her tirade, which is definitely a gendered slur.

But okay. Let's assume on good faith that the Davao city council did want to protect the women of Davao from the insult. Let's assume on good faith that they were not singling out Ramon Bautista just because they can, and the welfare of women was foremost among the priorities of the city council and the local government of Davao. Let's assume all of that right now.

Well, how do you explain the fact that Mayor Duterte is now defending the Davao police chief, who was caught on video beating his wife? Please explain to me how come calling people in general "hipon": is totally not okay, but a video of a police chief beating his wife just has to be "a setup." What? He was so agitated, he had no choice but to beat her up? Sure, sure, sure.

In the end, the petty vindictiveness of the people involved in declaring Ramon Bautista "persona non grata" exposes them to be far from perched on the moral high ground they profess to have. For a bunch of people who claim to want to "defend" women from Bautista's non-gendered insult (I cannot emphasize that enough.), they are clearly not doing that job when it comes to dealing with one of their own.

And you hope Duterte becomes president someday because he "takes action?" I'm not willing to surrender my personal liberties for that, thank you very much.

If you felt compelled to declare Ramon Bautista "persona non grata" because he "insulted" your women with his words, then I think it's more than fair that an even stronger sanction be issued against your police chief who hit a woman right on video. Otherwise, your double standard exposes your actions as less of an act of justice and more an act of hypocrisy.

.:And As A Footnote...:.

Five years in comedy, and I can safely say that it isn't easy to make people laugh. People might think what Vice Ganda does is easy, or that Dolphy worked with lower standards, but that just isn't the case. Eliciting laughter is an art form, whether it be Vice's insult comedy, or Dolphy's slapstick, or TVJ's wordplay, or Rex Navarrete's point of view style, or SPIT's improv, or anything else beyond and in between.

Then you see people like Robin Williams, who took his own life, and a guy I know personally, Kuya Jobert, almost take his, and you wonder how these people could be so sad despite making so many people happy.

I'm not going to say that behind every funny person is a tortured soul. That's too hackneyed and cliche for me to tout. What I'm going to say though is that whatever goes on behind the laughter, there's still a lot of hard work going on to get that laughter going. And whether or not Ramon Bautista's comedic stylings is to your liking, he certainly works hard at what he does.

So maybe it's a good idea to, every now and then, think about the people who draw all sorts of emotions from us aside from love (we obviously think about the people we love often enough, after all.). People who make us cry. People who make us angry. People who make us laugh. Let's not care if they're depressed or they're happy. We wouldn't know for sure now, would we? Let's just give them a moment. It won't hurt us at all.

And now, let's give ourselves a moment. Remind ourselves why we're here and what we're doing on this planet. And once we remember, let's go back to life as usual, hopefully with that small reminder well in hand. It just took a couple of moments. But those moments could make all the difference.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Project 52 2014 (32/52): All Of Me

.:Project 52 2014 (32/52): All Of Me:.



What would I do without your smart mouth? Drawing me in, and you kicking me out.

There are some things in life you just appreciate all the more when it's no longer there, even if it seemed like the worst thing ever while it was happening. And then at some point, it just ceases, and you begin to miss it, slowly but surely. It all just strikes you while you're deep in thought at your most lucid.

You've got my head spinning, no kidding, I can't pin you down.

Unpredictable. A hair trigger for just about anything. Tsundere. One moment you have me at the highest of highs, the next, you have me at the lowest of lows. But that's really the kind of power you have over me. And that's what really sets you apart: you have a way of carrying yourself that really just makes you special.

What's going on in that beautiful mind? I'm on your magical mystery mind.

I never know what you're thinking. Here I am, reading minds for a living, yet I can't seem to read you. I don't have the faintest idea how to read you. Everything about you is a mystery. Beautiful, catastrophic. Uplifting, disturbing. It's all there, and it's all drawing me more and more to you. I want to be there every second. To see each twist and turn. To appreciate you for you, in all the glory and horror.

And I'm so dizzy, don't know what hit me, but I'll be all right.

I can take it. I know I can. It's worth it all just to be here. By your side. To see everything as it should be.

My head's underwater, but I'm feeling fine.

I can't quit you. I can't give you up. Through the ups and downs, I know I would still stay on, because that's the only thing I've ever known to be certain in my life. This is my bedrock of certitude, and it doesn't matter how hopeless or futile it might seem to anyone else.

You're crazy and I'm out of my mind.

Story of our lives, isn't it?

'Cause all of me loves all of you.

This won't change. Time hasn't changed it. Circumstances won't change it. Nothing will. It's something you can count on from the moment you wake up to the moment you slumber, and every moment captured by it as well. You're special because you're you. There's no reason to look for beyond that.

Love your curves and all your edges. All your perfect imperfections.

If you think for one moment that I would turn my back on you just because things aren't oh-so-perfect, then you would be sorely mistaken. I knew what I was in for when I signed up for this. And I know better than to balk when the going gets tough, because it's all worth it in the end. You're worth it.

Give your all to me, I'll give my all to you.

I never held anything back from you since day 1, and that will be how it is until the very last day.

You're my end and my beginning. Even when I lose, I'm winning.

There has always been a void in my life that only you have managed to fill back then. But now that I am in a better state, where I know that I need you, but I can survive with or without you, I know far better than ever that you have been nothing but a positive force in my life. If your love is water, then I never want to go thirsty again.

'Cause I give you all of me...