Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Brian Gorrell has been attracting a lot of attention lately. He wrote a blog denouncing an ex lover over debts he owed him. This blog has, as he rightly put it, became bigger than anything it was meant to be.
It was all simple really. Brian just wanted what was owed to him. That he had to revert to such extreme measures as to airing and venting everything against his ex was so unfortunate. I just hoped that it was resolved in a much more civil manner. I can only guess that he was so emotional and distraught about having literally lost his life savings in one instant. And who wouldn't be?
I have only been here in Melbourne for the past three weeks. I will be moving to Adelaide for a job by May. I must say that this is a rather expensive city to be in. And also, people here work hard to earn their keep. I can just imagine all the effort that Brian made to build up his career and save enough for his future.
The latest post from his website www.delfindjmontano.blogspot.com, says that he has decided close the blog. I like the fact that he seems to be moving on from it all. I just hope he gets paid by his ex. I truly feel sorry for him. I just hope he would be able to recover from it all soon enough.
I just hope that his ex would take it upon himself to reach out to him and to settle all his obligations. Stuff like this gives us Filipinos a really bad reputation. And more often than not, its Filipinos abroad who are suffering from all that.
To the foreigners who might be reading the blog, do keep in mind that not all Filipinos are like that. There are some bad eggs and good eggs anywhere you are in the world. Please keep that in mind. I would not want a repeat of my horrible dinner experience last Saturday when one Aussie guy made a rather rude and insensitive remark about Filipinos.
It's all about RESPECT, you guys.
Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin got it right decades ago.
It's about time for us to get on it.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
SYDNEY (AFP) - An Australian hotel popular with gay men has won the right to refuse entry to heterosexuals and lesbians, officials and the owner said Monday.
The Peel Hotel in Melbourne won an exemption from the Equal Opportunity Act to prevent insults and abuse directed toward gays in its bars and nightclubs, owner Tom McFeely told AFP
"The hotel predominantly markets itself towards homosexual males, towards gay men and we want to protect the integrity of the venue as well as continue to make the men feel comfortable," McFeely said
"When large numbers of heterosexuals or even lesbians are in the hotel that changes the atmosphere and many gay men can feel uncomfortable."
The landmark decision by a civil tribunal gives the establishment -- which does not offer accommodation -- the right to refuse entry to people considered a threat to the safety and comfort of its patrons.
Helen Szoke, the chief executive of the Victoria state government's Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, said the Peel Hotel's gay clientele had experienced harassment, hostility and violence.
"(They) also have felt as though they've been like a zoo exhibit with big groups of women on hens' parties coming to the club," she said.
McFeely said his aim was not to ban all straight patrons and lesbians but to limit their numbers so gay men could freely express their sexuality.
He said he expected a backlash from other patrons, but added: "I'm not worried about it because to be frank I don't really care what heterosexuals or lesbians think"
My main motivation is to protect my gay male customers and I realize heterosexuals and lesbians may be upset. but I don't care about that.
"We are open at 8.00 pm and we go all the way through till the morning. We have two dancefloors -- it is a nightclub environment."
McFeely said it would be easy to sort out desirable gays from undesirable straights and lesbians.
"It is particularly easy to implement with the females 'cause that is pretty obvious.
"With the heterosexual males, if they identify themselves as that at the door, or indeed we question their behavior in the venue and if they come across as being heterosexual, then we will simply ask them to leave if the behavior is unappropriate."
Human rights group Liberty Victoria supported the decision, vice-president Michael Pearce said.
"There are numerous places where heterosexual people can go," he said.
"I think what (the tribunal) has said is that there aren't that many places where gay people can
go and meet without the risk of being harassed or vilified, and that they are entitled to have their own spaces to do that in."
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Ban Kept for Gay Men Donating Blood
WASHINGTON - Gay men remain banned for life from donating blood, the government said Wednesday, leaving in place — for now — a 1983 prohibition meant to prevent the spread of HIV through transfusions.
The Food and Drug Administration reiterated its long-standing policy on its Web site Wednesday, more than a year after the Red Cross and two other blood groups criticized the policy as "medically and scientifically unwarranted."
"I am disappointed, I must confess," said Dr. Celso Bianco, executive vice president of America's Blood Centers, whose members provide nearly half the nation's blood supply.
Before giving blood, all men are asked if they have had sex, even once, with another man since 1977. Those who say they have are permanently banned from donating. The FDA said those men are at increased risk of infection by HIV that can be transmitted to others by blood transfusion.
In March 2006, the Red Cross, the international blood association AABB and America's Blood Centers proposed replacing the lifetime ban with a one-year deferral following male-to-male sexual contact. New and improved tests, which can detect HIV-positive donors within just 10 to 21 days of infection, make the lifetime ban unnecessary, the blood groups told the FDA.
In a document posted Wednesday, the FDA said it would change its policy if given data that show doing so wouldn't pose a "significant and preventable" risk to blood recipients.
"It is a way of saying, 'Whatever was presented to us was not sufficient to make us change our minds,'" Bianco said.
The FDA said HIV tests currently in use are highly accurate, but still cannot detect the virus 100 percent of the time. The estimated HIV risk from a unit of blood is currently about one per 2 million in the United States, according to the agency.
Critics of the exclusionary policy said it bars potential healthy donors, despite the increasing need for donated blood, and discriminates against gays. The FDA recognized the policy defers many healthy donors but rejected the suggestion it's discriminatory.
Anyone who's used intravenous drugs or been paid for sex also is permanently barred from donating blood.
I cant believe that this thing happens in the United States, supposedly the land of the free and the home of the brave.. This decision smacks of ignorance and discrimination.. This is so bigoted!!!! im sure the gay groups would be up in arms at the soonest possible time.. but its just so sad that things like this still happen in a rich country like the States.. just imagine how the situation is here in the Philippines.. goodness... i hope the Department of Health dont do a copycat on this one...
I dont know if i have readers or so.. but i just would like to share this article from icon magazine with you.. this really does make sense.. and this is so relevant to me right now.. :)
--Sugar Daddy Manqué
Well, I have been supporting a tall handsome and slender Ashanti in Ghana for six years, having started when he was beyond innocence and 19. I have periodically helped out a medical student in Manila and a legal student in Batangas, though both in very small doses. I have slept with all three, but not with the last two in several years. That's about it. My Ghanaian friend is a bit far for my support to be a good sexual investment, and I think the reader will know what I mean, sex with him is in fact physiologically dangerous. Since I didn't want to feel I was paying for sex on my illusion that I've never paid for sex--and since my marriage of 14 years was to one of the richest gals of America—and I have a weird insistence on this, I stopped sleeping with the two Filipinos when I started supporting their studies. Thus I could feel I certainly wasn't paying the Ghanaian or the Filipinos for sex.
But am I a sugar daddy? I certainly know a lot about the phenomenon. I know guys in Manila like 'Val' who sit around comparing the allowances they get from their European 'lovers,' and I laugh because I know it'll never last for very long. My sometime friend Ross Collado owns a condo he delights in telling how he 'swindled' out of a departing rich European 'boyfriend' seven years ago. My acquaintance Val seems to have had a four year string of allowance-paying regulars. I have friends who talk for months about their 'boyfriend' whom they are meeting up with in Bangkok, and I only finally realize they haven't actually yet met them. At my principal residence, in Bali, I endured the pleadings of a smart (yes, and stunning) graduate student in psychology from Aceh telling me how much he needed my support, but then I overheard him speaking on his cell phone to a Swiss admirer, telling him to 'add a zero' to the seven hundred euros that was to be transferred from Zurich to Yogyakarta. My friend knew well that, for a Swiss banker, the change really wasn't going to affect his standard of living, but it would certainly change the Indonesian's. The banker added a zero.
Money is involved in all relationships. When I was growing up in America, before women's liberation hit full, a marriage involved a contract where an income earning man turned over much or all of his salary to his wife in return for her housework, the sex, and a small allowance for him. Was he paying for sex? Female birds even look for good providers. It's inherent in the behavior of sensate creatures. Nowadays when there's a substantial imbalance in the property of two people going up the aisle there's likely to be a pre-nuptial agreement. So it's my view that money is always involved in sex and relationships. People who say it isn't are liars.
So what's the big fuss about, if a struggling Filipino student in Tondo asks for financial support from an older gentleman who has pensions or investments from a rich country? There can be plenty that's wrong and that can go wrong.
Let's look at it on a scale of one to ten, ten being simply purchase of flesh for sex. My then boyfriend and I in 1992 were motoring through Eastern France and at a market encountered a seventy-ish man with a twenty-four year old stud, a driver staying at discreet distance. The older man asked me if I knew where there were any bars—any bars for men, as if I were in any doubt. Especially then, I didn't think I looked very bakla, but the presence of my 23 year old boyfriend left little to his imagination I guess. We had lunch with them and while the older man bragged about his good time with the body of Michael, the younger Michael squirmed and talked about his own life—and more to the point used the occasion of the older man's pit stop to whisper that any time he spoke of a man he meant a woman. That was a ten.
Then in Boracay my boyfriend and I were sitting on a terrace and saw another older gwm and younger Filipino chatting, literally the most handsome guy I'd ever seen. Their conversation seemed not too amiable. Again the older, a fat-jawed and paunchy teacher from Detroit was animated and excited about the impending visit to Phuket. This two week annual trip to Asia was his only chance to be himself, away from his wife of forty years. The young one made clear that Phuket came only after the camera had been provided. That was an 8 or a 9. At least he was civil to the man taking him around, though when he followed me into the comfort room and proposed action there I was tempted to give him a ten. I was well advised when we subsequently had a short affair in Manila and he told me 'this time it's real love,'--but only if I provided a weekly subsidy. I thought a four instantly became a seven, but I know some readers will find this self-serving.
In Bali I know a man who seems like the pied piper he has so many boys around his neck—despite his girth and constant drinking. 'What,' I ventured to ask one of his attachments, was his attraction? I tried to pose it as if there were many of these and I wasn't at all jealous. 'He's so nice,' a beguiling young man said, who'd been living with him for a month, but wasn't to much longer. 'And he gives such nice presents.' I'd say this was about a five or six.
In the three or four category are those couples I've known where a sharp difference in age parallels that of income and however much love is present there is a division of roles that tends to follow the division of income: one drives a nicer car, buys good liquor for himself, and, in one case I know, expects his much younger boyfriend to tie his shoes. There isn't equality, but there certainly is love. Customarily, the younger doesn't ask for prebends, allowances, or doles. He works, can provide for his own basic needs, but expects his lover to pay for just about everything else.
One relationship I was involved in was with a successful professional half my age where the only
way we could take trips to Europe or even to neighboring countries was if I paid. High Filipino salaries for thirty-something guys won't cut it for international travel but I certainly didn't want to travel alone. He had the usual monthly transfers any young working Filipino from modest family has, to his mother, and all the usual expenses at home whether he was traveling with me or not. In four years he never asked me for a peso, which is one of the reasons I guess I tried to treat him with serious generosity.
On a spectrum of sugar-daddydom, I thought that was a 'one.' I believed he loved me, at least for the first four years we were together, and he plainly wasn't in it for the money. The only times I ever had even an inkling of doubt was when he reminded me he didn't want anything from me. He didn't need to say it.
At a crisis time—when my boyfriend had found a new boyfriend but after seven months wanted to come back to me, a medical professional age 27, who wanted to replace him, suggested that friend #1 was just in any case looking for a sugar daddy, to which friend #1 replied 'well, let him have your money, I just want you.' It would be hard to have found a more telling answer. Nonetheless, things had crashed and for the period of my absence he had used my car, house, and other possessions to entertain another man, (along with his many friends) an unemployed reputedly HIV-positive and chubby guy who is now an accused felon running international scams and whom I despised.
What happened subsequently invoked the 'Cromer of Cairo' principle. Perhaps apocryphally, lord Milner reported to his boss, the great Lord Cromer then the resident-general of Britain in Egypt, that a pasha was plotting to assassinate him. 'But pray what have I done for him lately?' was the famous reply. I think that this is what happens eventually in any financially unequal relationship. There is just an overwhelming desire to bite the hand that feeds you; in my case he clawed off the arm that had fed him. Filipino culture has strong strictures of utang na loob but these simply don't exist in gay culture here, in my experience. In Filipino gay culture, walanghiya is the war cry and operative symptom.
In my case my boyfriend I fear had taken my support for granted, (and I had taken him for granted.) When we went back together it had to be on a basis of equality: we no longer ate at Greenbelt II every night with me paying—we ate only at places that he could afford, and we alternated. I insisted that, since he had managed to pay for gas to go use my house on Lake Taal for all those months with his paramour, he could afford to share that with me too. Since he had managed for the first time in five years to scoop up guests by the dozen to show off his new love—at my house—I thought that in any future entertainment we should share that burden too. He agreed to pay a substantial amount over a period of years to cover the entire legal, monthly, car repair and house maintenance expenses that proceeded from and were occasioned by his steamy affair behind my back. I went to court to get back the damages all the others had caused—stealing from me, slandering me at my very house, etc. At the time of writing many subpoenas have been issued, and I think many of these guys have had second thoughts about the wisdom of ripping off an absent host, in this case one who had entertained all of them over the years one-sidedly. Walanghiya was proving expensive.
Obviously in the new stage I still paid the big-ticket item of our two houses in the Philippines and my villa in Bali, but now we shared the cash-flow. There could be no doubt that it worked much better. It meant my boyfriend had to value what we were buying, and I was learning about street food and a lot else in Filipino culture. I was pretty sure he'd never feel the need again to bite the hand feeding him, since he'd be biting his own this time.
In American gay culture, it is commonly said that, if an older man has a younger boyfriend, it isn't an 'if' question but a 'when' question of the younger's departure; his options are so much greater. Differences of wealth are overwhelmingly, in gay culture, differences in age. But age isn't such a discriminant in Asian gay culture. It really is possible for young men to love older men, and not solely—or not even much at all, in my own case, I believe—because of their greater financial options. But the lesson I've learned is, if you—the older and richer guy--really want it to work, don't insist on living at your customary standard of living. Live so your boyfriend feels comfortable, so it's not out of his own reach. Sure you'll save a lot of money you don't really need. But if you really love him, he'll inherit it anyway. Ask yourself: which will you enjoy more—his presence and love until you bop off, or the money that you 'can't take with you' in any case?
really nice article, isnt it? well for me, age really is not an issue.. the focus should be maturity.. being 60 doesnt always equate to being mature you know.. as does being 24 or so...
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
This is the only religion i have known and have come to embrace as my own.. I was born in it so i didnt have a choice.. but i must say that if i did, i would have chosen this one over all other religions.. no offense meant to other religions.. but this is the one that defined who i am for better or for worse.. this is the religion whose intricacies , traditions and rituals i have come to cherish...
but as familiar this religion is to me.. as beloved its traditions are.. i feel a sense of alienation as a catholic.. look up at the title of this blog and if you have been reading the papers, i guess you would know why...
i am gay.. and i am a catholic.. the church says something has to give.. if i were young when i was pondering all this, i would have been terribly confused.. but with age comes a sense of clarity.. and i dont know if the church authorities would agree with what i have to say.. ( i for one am not looking for any debate on this matter.. trust me.. ) but here is how i see it..
my rationale might be too simplistic.. but it works for me.. i believe that the Lord almighty has a plan for each and everyone of us.. and i believe that our Lord loves us.. After all, he embodies love.. and he doesnt discriminate.. so he loves everyone.. straight.. gays.. rich.. poor... people of all races.. men.. women.. children..
i feel so blessed.. i feel so fortunate.. i feel his love for me everyday.. i cant just turn my back on him just because of a newspaper article or an announcement from the church leadership ... i express my belief and love him through the catholic church.. and i will continue to do so.. i dont think the church would come to the point of ostracizing all of us.. but with the hatred going on around us, that scenario is starting to become plausible in the not so distant future..
even if it happens, ill hold on to my faith.. i may not be able to get inside a church.. but i can always talk to him.. anywhere.. anytime...
that is one constant im counting on...
Monday, May 21, 2007
nothing like a chat room to quash your self esteem.. yesterday i was chatting online and i happened to be chatting with this nice fellow from belgium.. sent him my pics.. then he just laughed and told me sorry he prefers slim guys.. now i know im not exactly fat.. but im well aware that i dont fall exactly to current society's definition of thin..i mean who knew being thin these days involves being similar to that of an ironing board? so that sort of really crushed my ego.. and i was beating myself up over it last night..
then i realized that there really is no use thinking much about it.. one man's fat guy maybe another man's perfect mate :) haha i cant believe i just said that.. what im driving at is that sexiness is relative.. so what if you fit the definition of sexy but you dont believe it yourself? you spend way too much time primping yourself in the mirror yet you have no idea whats going on in the world around you.. that for me makes you an empty shell.. lovely varnished, but still empty...
i guess im redefining how i perceive sexy.. im gonna place more importance in the person rather than on the outside appearance.. someone who is smart.. sensible.. and witty would certainly win over me anytime.. a 6 pack abs is not forever you know..
i still will go to the gym.. but this time im gonna focus more on getting healthy.. to hell with all that pressure to be sexy and thin.. ive had enough.. :)
what do you guys think? :)
i went on a two day hell trip to davao.. work related so i wasnt able to snake my way out of it.. goodness.. davao city is 7 hours away from butuan.. just imagine being stuck in an air conditioned bus and seating at its very end. Im for good vibrations and all but what I experienced was just horrific.
its a good thing my co worker lent me his mp3 player. its not an ipod.. just a run of the mill mp3 player.. i for one dont necessarily wanna jump in the ipod bandwagon.. sure the design is nice and its very user friendly but at times it can be really bulky..the mp3 player i borrowed fits at the palm of my hand.. it only has 512 mb capacity, which was good enough for 115 songs, and that in itself is good enough for me. That mp3 player was such a lifesaver: it literally saved me from boredom, which has been known to cause anxiety, anguish and in most cases, anorexia. Kidding! ( i love alliteration!)
i think if you really wanna know a person, you should take a look at his/her music playlist.. It says so much about a person's mood and temperament. Some would say it can tell how that person would be like as a friend and a lover... Now I have no scientific basis to back that up so if you dear readers can enlighten me on that one, id really appreciate it..
well it took me like an hour to come up with 115 songs to fit in the mp3 player... i guess im just faced with too much options.. i have 7 gb of songs to choose from.. they ran the gamut from aretha franklin to the vienna boys choir.. beyonce to paolo santos.. christina aguilera to coldplay..amy winehouse to alanis morrisette... you get the point..
out of the 115 songs i had in the mp3, let me share you my top 10 songs.. maybe that might help me know myself better.. who knows?
1) i try - macy gray
now this song is such a memorable one for me.. it came out when i was nursing a broken heart :) awww.. seeing macy gray holding flowers in a subway while wearing that shockingly blue jacket of a dress or whatever pining about her loved one in that smoky gravely voice of hers just killed me.. while im listening to it, i imagine that my ex would be trying to win me by filming an mtv of it with my friends acting it out and in the end, he would be the one to proclaim his love for me.. i know its positively icky but still :)
2) ordinary people - john legend
i just love this song.. i imagine myself singing it while john legend is playing the piano :) yes it would be positively karaoke if that imagination comes true and goodness knows what simon cowell would say.. but still.. its my imagination and i can sing anything if i want to!!!
3) will you still love me tomorrow - amy winehouse
this version by amy winehouse gives this song more passion and pleasant pain.. a conundrum right? :) but it is a contemporary version of an under-appreciated classic...
4) irreplaceable - beyonce
to the left to the left... to the left to the left... that phrase has been so etched in my mind right now its just silly.. but hearing this song is such a treat.. beyonce is at her element in it.. and she has fun with it.. which is strange considering what this song is all about.. :) but i guess taking control of the whole dumping situation makes it more optimisitic...
5) candyman - christina aguilera
this one makes me wanna boogie and swing!!! :) but christina aguilera just cant help but be raunchy... makes my cherry pop anyone?! :) still this is a step in the right direction for christina.. hopefully we would have more songs like this from her.. but im sure her next album would be just full of surprises...
6) this aint a love song - lakisha jones
okay, this is from american idol.. this is the one song all season that i truly loved.. ive played it 34 times and counting!!! lakisha has always been my favorite and this song justifies that.. she owns the song.. and she absolutely was fabulous singing it!!!! go diva!!!! go lakisha!!!! :)
7) love me or hate me - lady sovereign
I just cant help but bounce around while listening to this song!! "im english.. try and deport me!" hilarious and witty, this girl is someone to watch out for.. she hasnt made it big here in asia but that would soon change ...
8) im gonna make you love me - michael mcdonald
his version of this motown classic is just amazing.. i love his voice!!! its so rich.. so buttery even!!! (pardon me, im hankering for a snack right now!!) taylor hicks has got nothing on this guy!!! this is the real deal y'all!!! now if only i can find his album in record stores here in the philippines...
9) la tortura - shakira feat. alejandro sanz
i have no idea what they are singing about.. supposedly involves torture i guess.. yet another reason why i should have taken spanish as my language elective and not freaking japanese!!! shakira is great in the song but what i like about this song is alejandro sanz.. goodness.. ricky martin and enrique iglesias are hot guys, i know, but when alejandro sanz sings, he just takes the word sexy and sultry to a whole new level.. justin timberlake, you got a lot to learn!!!!
10) i am changing - jennifer hudson
between and i am telling you and this song, this is the one i like.. she puts her own stamp into this song and you can feel her emotions seeping through it.. its a much restrained performance compared to the other song.. much kinder to my ears i must say :)
props must also go out to the following songs who just barely made it to my favorites :)
carrie underwood - dont forget to remember me..
as i am about to go off to another country (hopefully within this year, fingers crossed!!!), this song resonates with me so well.. got nothing against carrie though :)
upgrade u - beyonce feat. jay z..
love this song.. jay'z rap doesnt really add anything to it though.. love their crazy in love collaboration.. that was really good :)
marc anthony - i need to know
i wonder where he is right now? is he busy being mr. lopez or so? marc anthony, we need you!!! make a new record damn it!!! :)
man on the moon - REM
this song is special to me.. michael stipe, if you are reading this, say hi to me will you? or you can email me or so.. goodness you are hot :)
hmmm.. judging from my top 10 favorites plus my runners up ( is that correct? or runner ups? :) grammanazis help me out pls), i can say that my taste in music leans towards soul r & b or so.. i have a bit of preference for old songs... but i still love pop.. ;)
what about you? what would be your top 10 songs? :) share it to me will you...