Hiccup from hell

It was the confirmation that I needed. All the emotions and possibilities and longing cramped inside of me for so long that when I actually found someone to whom I feel I can really pour myself into, the word and actions were so rusty and ugly and feeble and meaningless from all those years of isolation. Why was I even shocked?

Typical malady

It was a constant reminder that we are irrelevant, one minute piece of convoluted atoms. My ridiculously weak, uncoordinated body has taken its toll. The schizophrenic weather, so apt for Janus, the two faced creature to whom this month is named, affirmed my theory that I get sick when the all exams are set and all papers and pleadings are due.

The thing is, for eight years, I've been getting by on my own. If I hadn't called my mom when I was sophomore in college, I wouldn't have gone to the hospital to find out I had dengue. But it has always been a thing of mine. I get my semestral dose of coughs and colds without me caring anymore. Once the symptoms kick, the slow burn reaction seems fine. I take, with utter disgust, a combination of doctor-prescribed medicine and herbal dose courtesy of relatives' insistence on a natural way of living. A few blue days of rest on my own, with rolls of tissues not just for jerking off; gallons of water consumed. All the shit. It was inevitable, and it is in this predetermined fate, that made me prefer the burden alone.

Contra to my sister's case, who unfortunately acquired the remnants of the pesky viruses that once insulated my body. We were always taught, intricately raised by our parents, to survive without relying on others. But not last night. The lights were turned on at one in the morning, the uninvited sound of kettle brewing, and a few minutes after, of her girlfriend forcing her to take a dose of some medicine while patting her with warm towel to ease the burning temperature. A completely different picture. The cynicism in me will never leave, but there was relief in seeing the comfort, the affection despite the glim conditions of the room.

The sentimental dose was luckily interrupted by the my earphone, streaming Looking, the latest venture of HBO on gay-themed show (And yes, Sex and the City is gay.). It is, as the story progresses, to be a tale of being gay in the warm atmosphere of San Francisco, the psychotic circus of finding a significant other, the struggle of keeping one when found. The first episode was promising, probably because it was familiar. Or probably because I marvelled over the previous work of the director and producer. Or maybe because I think it's time to step away from the malady that is self-despair and over-thinking, the consciously inflicted isolation. Hopefully, tonight's dinner is step one.

Turn on the lights

It has been days of dreamless trance, of waking up without any hint of erratic make-believe worlds of my soulless state. The universe, echoing through my existence, calling for an escape from the living behind the dark curtain of the night, and condemning me to stream through conscious existence.

I turn the light's switch on. Waking up on a Monday morning has been easier for the past two weeks with the prospect of live-streaming Sherlock at four in the morning. It wasn't too much; most won't probably understand the ridiculous amount of time I spend on my fandoms and the gaiety they bring. But I am on my happiest, without the thrill of alcohol and the shrill tinsel joie de vivre of last night's party, I am alive for these moments.

The inevitable, today I went to San Sebastian College to enrol for their bar review classes. My parents, the consistent pressure they were, initially insisted I remain in UP, like I have not spent the past eight years in its embrace. But like any personal decision I have made prior, I have to soberly argue my case until they cave in to the obvious logic of my choices. This living has to be mine.

The day couldn't have been better: cold January breeze, the sun bashfully peeking behind the white sheet slits of the clouds . I equally gloat and suffer for this kind of days: cold breeze like a warm chocolate drink-topped with marshmallow I could not drink. Walking the dirty, crumbling on its own filth, streets of U-Belt, I thought I saw my life finally branching out before me, like the complicated and twisted pavements and mud I was traversing. But it was too early to say, the day almost too perfect to rationalize dispositions. Tough, the next few months will be.

The nauseating abundance of drama of the past weeks was luckily hyped by the season premiere of Girls. I refused to go to work today with the prospects of making some time for myself. It was a compelled triumph with the company of Lena Dunham's brilliant, erratic but most often than not's slap of reality. There is comfort in watching, whether it is a film or a television series, lives reflecting your dull own, lest with more poetic arguments and color-coded sequence.

I gave up doing my thesis a few minutes ago. For someone facing a deadline at the end of the month, this baneful attitude of self-doubt is killing me. Outside, the moon with less than its majestic full self compensates the black robe of the night with its crowning halo, something the scientific mind would see as a premonition of glim days ahead. But for tonight, I will let it shed light on whatever darkness that sleeps in me.


I have been a negative of a person lately. That unending feeling of hollowness, all black, silence. The effect of the past days of festivities had me jumping from being constantly active and broodingly sad, with no established point of origin or end, perpetually alternating driving me mad. At night sometimes, I just feel the need to have someone to pour myself into. But I have been burning a lot of bridges lately. A psychologist I worked with a few years ago suggested I should go talk to a doctor. But I am not wise and rich enough to take pleasure in the luxury of science. I have hopes that the end of the festivities will cure the old brag of my existence. Day six.

Breaking back: a review of 2013 gay films

Overall, 2013 was a good year for gay film. From Soderbergh's swan song to books-turned-movies to a change of tempo for more renowned directors, the past year saw peaks and heights and presented the world with handful of films to watch.

First, my favorite gay film of the year. I have to hand it down to Michael Mayer's middle-eastern drama Out in the Dark. Palestinian psychology student meets Israeli lawyer; typical boy meets boy right? No. With the current Israel-Palestinian conflict as its center, the film's appreciation of love amidst societal prejudice made Out in the Dark a compelling drama. 

Now, to the drill.

The year opened with Soderbergh's Behind the Candelabra. The award-winning made-for-television film tackled the life of famed Liberace; and with an all star cast lead by Douglas and Damon, the film was a worthy end to Soderbergh's lustrous career. With a great opener, the year was on firre.

The big three film festivals, as usual, gave mostly ground-breaking and more familiar avenues for the cinephiles. Cannes gave its highest honor to Kechiche's Blue is the Warmest Color. Yes, this may be a cheat since it is a lesbian film, but Blue is one of the best movies of last year. You have to stand 30 minutes of gratuitous girl-on-girl sex scene, but the emotional turmoil of identity confusion and heartache was easily universal. The other lauded feature was Guiraudie's Stranger by the Lake. Combining early remnants of the pure cinema movement and Hitchcockian psychology, the movie may be a test for those unfamiliar with the genre, but the result was a satisfying and perplexing mystery thriller. Berlin and Venice produced Szumowka's In the Name of and Kyu-Hwan's The Weight, respectively. I still have not seen both films but the general consensus has been favorable so far.

Independent film festivals also did not disappoint. Sundance showed Krokidas' Kill Your Darlings, one of the most anticipated film of the year. With Daniel Radcliffe as beat generation founder Allen Ginsberg, the film surrounding the murder by Lucien Carr was easily one of the audience's favorite this year. Interior: Leather Bar was James Franco's take on the missing clip of the 1980 ground breaking film, Cruising. Copolla's The Bling Ring, which started in Cannes, went on a well deserved film festival spree. Una NochePit Stop and Snails in the Rain also made some buzz from film festivals all across the globe. 

Though no Weekend(the best gay romantic film ever made), romance was also in the air. Lacant's Free Fall about a married policeman who found himself attracted to a man, was dubbed as Germany's answer to Lee's Brokeback Mountain. Though not as brilliant as the latter, Free Fall stood on its own as a tale of isolation and prejudice with a common yet engrossing relationship on its stand. This is the same premise of Wasilewski's Floating Skyscrapers, except in this one, the girl clung on the swimmer guy. Berger's Hawaii is one for the hopeless romantic.The Argentinian film was about two childhood friends who met again after many years and the rekindling that came thereafter. Fox's follow-up to Yossi and Jagger, Yossi, followed the titular protagonist years after the ending of the former film, coping with love lost and search for one in this age.

Gay in film cannot be discussed without mentioning Pedro Almodovar. In 2013, he gave us the funny, raunchy and fabulous I'm So Excited. For a fan of his works, his latest was a break from his usual dark and dramatic pieces. The flight attendants may just be a classic in Almodovar filmography.

One of the better emerging director (probably the hottest, too), Xavier Dolan went for double this year. Laurence Anyways was given a worldwide release establishing Dolan's name as a force with his two other films, I Killed My Mother and Heartbeats, on his back. His epic-length third feature film tackled a man on his way into becoming a transgendered woman. The other film, expected to have mainstream distribution this year, Tom at the Farm, will be Dolan's first venture into the psychological thriller and for a fan, I couldn't be more excited.

2013 also saw popular books turned into films. David Sedaris, one of the best essayist of today, had one of his essay turn to the silver screen. Alvarez' COG was adapted from Sedaris' experience when he worked in an apple orchard. Out actor Jonathan Groff was brilliant. Hartinger's Geography Club became Entin's in the cinemas. 

Unfortunately, 2013 saw the dearth of Asian queer films. A few years back, a lot of independent filmmakers in Thailand, South Korea and Taiwan pushed for more active worldwide release of films, showing a different perspective of gay culture. Now, except for The Weight, the only East Asian movie that made buzz was Chen's Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, which is not even a good film in my books.

Since we are talking about the negatives, let me say the bad films did not disappoint. Though I tend to stray from critically panned films, usually ignoring tla releases, I managed to squeeze a few, in case I disagree (note: The Rocky Horror Picture Show, now a classic, was then a lambasted film in the 70s). Porn actor Sean Lockhart's Triple Crossed, much like his previous attempts and contra his great performance in porn, was lazy and pathetic. Galea's Monster Pie and Orlean's Capitol Games seemed like a fan-made fictions taken from an internet forum. Evan's The Happy Sad was trite. I was ambiguous towards LeMay's Naked As We Came.

Queer scene in this country became visible, I will hand that positively. Vice Ganda on the peak of her career, the popularity of My Husband's Lover and probably an attempt to attract a new market, bigwigs produced several gay-oriented films. Now, I am not saying the films were good, because they are not. Girl Boy Bakla Tomboy and Bromance: My Brother's Romance, both by the Wenn Deramas (whose name is synonymous to garbage in my dictionary), were an attempt to milk out more cash, as with Tom Rodriguez's Gaydar. Low-budget, machine acted, and cheap films still continued to play in cinemas in Quiapo and Cubao. But on a bigger picture, I think it was good that there was more visibility. Don't get me wrong; I bet there are good films. Cinema One's 2013 winner, Bukas na lang sapagkat gabi na echoed more of Thailand's Weerasethakul's revolutionary plot, including homosexual practices in communist groups. There are possibly still more films there, but my interest in Filipino films this year has admittedly dwindled for valid reasons, so spare me any elitist comment. 

I still have a few films to watch. Vallee's Dallas Buyers Club, with all its Oscars Buzz, is still waiting release here in the Philippines. Plus, 2014 is here with a lot of prospects from the biopic of Alan Turing to Ira Sach's return to Sundance to HBO's adaptation of Larry Kramer's play The Normal Heart. So here's to another year! Cheers!

*Titles are linked to youtube trailers
** Writing this entry is like a breathe of fresh air for this blog. Haha.