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Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Look: Taliban on the Beach

Warning: Do no read this piece if you feel queasy about reading a description of the male body. Otherwise, move on.
I am now designing board shorts, as most of my clients would come to me and say. “Tony, please do board shorts for me so I can use it in Boracay.” Ok, no problem, but inside of me, I would always say, “But why?”. You, a young, virile, supple, obviously very sexy 19-year old model need not hide all “that” in what my mother would wear to a beach. Sadly, the reality is, if my business has to have some sales, I will have to sell myself out on this, BUT, I have to say my piece first on this awful beach wear which has transformed the beaches of Boracay into some kind of Talibanized-beach resort.

I went to Boracay for the first time in 2007 and I discovered this anomaly, rather belatedly. In other non-Americanized beaches of the world, you will see men, real men, in skimpy, very sexy “Speedo-like” swimwear. And it’s such a sight to behold, and it makes the beach experience much more fun, not only for us, but I believe, for women as well, with so much eye candy to see. And so I thought in Boracay, it would be the same way. So there I was, donned in my tightly snug D&G’s, and slightly overweight, but who cares, it’s a beach anyway, and to my dismay, unless you were a foreigner, all the local guys were wearing “basketball shorts” – on the beach!! So why bother to go to Boracay when you get to see NOTHING! The women are fabulous in their sexy swimsuits and two-piece bikinis, but the men, ahhh, total bores. Yes, yes, some have nice chests and shoulders and 6-pack abs, but what do you do with a six-pack abs during sex? Unless there’s a string of hair from the belly button to heaven, what do you do with it, it’s just flat tight skin. I was also shocked when I read in a leading men’s magazine (local), that it was “uncool” to be wearing “Speedo-like” bathing trunks to Boracay. (Do these writer-stylists ever travel so they can find out how “Medieval Ages” they are? Oh yes, they just go to the States. Not to Europe, Australia or Brazil.)

Oh well, I was dismayed that with the invasion of the board shorts on the beach, we, gay men, and lots of beautiful women don’t get to sample anything - no tight asses to check on, no outline to ascertain length and heft, no sexy thighs to see - maybe just some chicken legs protruding from those awfully long shorts. I pity the women. There they are in their total sexiness, enjoying the attention, and what do they get in return from the guys, NADA! I got nada too, so I said, fuck Boracay, even in the beaches in Hong Kong, there’s a lot of eye candy to see, so why bother to lounge here.

I discovered later on that the board shorts look was inspired by Michael Jordan, who wore these really baggy basketball shorts which unfortunately found its way into the beach. Not the fault of the very talented Jordan. He is an icon and people will follow his sense of style - and it was a personal sports “superstition” of his that drove him to do that – a practice which is not uncommon in many superstar athletes. (I-google mo na lang if you want to find out why.) Also, the obesity-zation of America has made it imperative for them to hide what has to be hidden. That’s fine, but why include even those which have the K – (karapatan in Tagalog – no English translation, it’s too nuanced)? But that’s America and the world is not America, unless you are in the Philippines – so there lies my answer.

Anyhow, I will still do a board shorts line to please my handsome clients, but along with it, is a sexy, snug and eye-catching FABE line of swimwear with the mantra for the ladies, “You show me yours, I’ll show you mine, baby”. Don’t be total bores guys, especially on the beautiful beaches of Boracay!
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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Book Review: Goldie Hawn's Autobiography - A Lotus Grows In the Mud

I have always been a big fan of Goldie Hawn, ever since I saw her in Private Benjamin.  I was still a kid when I saw that movie, but it stuck in my memory, since Goldie's character there was so tenacious and determined, that it taught me, at that young age, that if you just work hard at what you want, no one and nothing can really stop you!  Even if people around you think you're not really a fit to that dream that you want!

Well, I got a copy of her autobiography months ago in a bargain bookstore in SM Fairview.  I got it at a bargain price of P125 instead of the usual one thousand pesos for a hardbound book.  Unfortunately, I never got around to reading it till a few weeks back.

Fortunately, since I started reading it, I've been posting quotes of hers on my Facebook account since they really are enlightening and inspiring. I also got to learn that Goldie first trained as a dancer, and that her becoming a comedic actress just came accidentally!  Imagine that!  She thought she would build a career on being a professional dancer and eventually became famous for being a comedic actress!  And an Oscar-winning actress, at that!

I am going to post here some quotes that I like from her book and my thoughts on them -

1.  'Success isn't a bad thing but sometimes we put too much emphasis on the things that appear to be the outward signs of success.  The real success is how you handle your success. How generous you are with it.  I believe that success only enhances who you are.  It confronts you with the truth about yourself.  People who are nasty become nastier.  People who are happy become happier.  People who are mean hoard their money and live in fear for the rest of their life that they will lose it.  People who are generous use their gifts to help people and try to make the world a better place.'

-  Probably my most favorite part of the book.  It's a beautiful reflection and something that has influenced me and made me reassess how I've been living my life.  Yes, success has also come to me and I've realized that there's more to it that I can do.  That I have to be more generous with my gifts.

2.  'Change is the key.  Whatever our choices are, good or bad, we must learn from them, we must change and we must move on.'

-  I have already learned the art of moving on, even at an earlier age.  I guess when many of my relatives died when I was still in Grade 3, I realized then that nothing is permanent in this world and those that you love will pass on to the other side.  That was in 1980 and those deaths imprinted so much in my life that I try not to attach myself to material things, or to just stand up again when I fail at something, and take note why I failed in the first place.  What I learned here is that even in my successes, I also have to take note at why I succeeded so I could use that in my next project in life!

3.  'The choices we make can change the course of our lives.  It is not the course of our lives that changes us.  The road doesn't come to you; you go to the road'

-  I love this quote very much.  Yes, I have to go to the road.  I have to make things happen in my life.  If I just stay and stand like a bystander, nada will happen.  I have to go to the road!

4.  'When we strip away the things that seem important and go back to the basics we discover that all we really have is each other.'

- Another beautiful quote from the book.  I realized this when Typhoon Ondoy hit our house and virtually flooded the first floor of the house, and we lost most of the stuff there.  That stripping away of material things, and even the stripping of all the memories of my previous life, I discovered that the family that was with me everyday, was the one that really mattered.  Ondoy was a blessing in a way, since it weaned me from my attachment to material things and branded logos and symbols of status and success.  Really, just a deluge of rain and water can humble even the most snooty spirit.

5. 'The key is to look at our gifts, understand their power and modulate them realistically.  Understand how important it is to honor them.  Accept responsibility for them.'

-  I love this quote since it puts into perspective my responsibilities with the gifts God has given me.  Our individual gifts are indeed powerful, and so we owe it to Him, to use it wisely and be responsible for it.  By honoring these gifts, we get to contribute to the growth of society and to the greatness of mankind!
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Reading Le Clezio's Desert Day 1 - September 29

I have been studying French since 2008 and I am now in the stage where I can read books and newspapers.  To help me retain some of the vocabulary, I am now reading a novel by Nobel Prize winner, J.M.G. Le Clezio, entitled 'Desert, and everyday, as I read two pages of it, I will take note of some of the vocabulary I've learned. 

Here are three words I've chosen today -

1.  grommeler - to grumble, to snort

 From the book -   ' Les chameaux grommelaient, éternuaient.'

My own sentence:  'Les gens grommelaient mais ils pouvaient fait rien à cause de peur des représailles.'

2. éternuer - to sneeze

My own sentence: 'Jéternue quand il y a des allergènes dans l'environnement.'

3.  durcir - to harden

From the book - 'La  sécheresse avait durci leurs lèvres et leur langue.'

My own sentence: 'La terre a durci à cause du sécheresse.'
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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sharing My Daily Prayer

Everytime I get up in the morning, the first thing I do is to pray the rosary.  After that, I recite this prayer and the funny thing is, I don't remember now how I found it. All I remember was that, soon as I found it, I immediately had it printed out and kept it in my prayer book.  I have since been praying it everytime!  I love its theme wherein we give complete surrender to God in all our endeavors and allow Him to work his love for us.  I am proud to share with you this prayer, and I hope you can use it in your daily meditations -

O Lord God!  I did what You asked me to do
I just opened windows
And You did all the rest!
You poured into my heart
A blessed, blissful contentment
You saturated my mind
With gigantic thoughts of You
You struck an artesian well within me
Until sheer joy sprang forth
You led me out of the valley
Into a succession of incredible happenings
Problems which seemed insurmountable
Melted like wax before my eyes
Fears faded away like threatening clouds.

You startled me.  You amazed me
With the glory of Your revelation
It is true
Gloriously true
I have literally walked and breathed with God
I just opened windows
God, You did all the rest!


Dear God, thank You for reminding me that without You I can do nothing.  Every perfect gift comes from You.  If I open wide my palm to manifest my total dependence on You, miracles do happen.  And so, Lord, though many things about tomorrow I don't seem to understand, remind me that it is You who holds my hand.  Tell me that I can only do so much, and all the rest is in Your hand
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Thank You Lord for Good Friends

My classmates in French class have become one important group of friends for me.  When I came back to the Philippines, after jetsetting between Hong Kong in Manila for four years, I was praying that I could find a set of friends very much like the cosmopolitan and sophisticated friends I had in HK.  It was a bit difficult to find some at first, but soon as I enrolled in basic French at the Alliance Francaise in Makati, I soon befriended these guys who have now become good friends of mine. 

I think one thing that links as together is that we are like-minded in so many ways, and we respect each other's opinions, whether they be abrasive or not.  They also rejoice at each of our accomplishments and we encourage each other whenever we have new projects.  Of course, one thing that really bonds us together is our love for the French language! For some of them, we started as early as Module 5, and now, we are already in Francais Superieur!  So we've really plowed through all the intermediate modules of French!

We also love to eat out and check out new places, and analyze the movies that we watch together.  Every day I thank God for giving me friends like them since it makes living in Manila much easier.