31 March, 2009

Die Vampire Die!!! [when they're not Edward Cullen]

Here's a song from the musical TITLE OF SHOW -a show about two guys writing a musical about two guys writing a musical- already it's confusing... I have yet to see anyone who did not laugh at or love this musical.

Found this video of James Lombardino, Andrea Rouch, and Tommy Wallace; Belmont University Musical Theatre students performing "Die Vampire, Die" from TITLE OF SHOW as a part of James Lombardino's Senior Recital last January 23, 2009.

I am also posting the lyrics to the song for you to fully enjoy it as I do...


There are some people in the world who say that writing stories,
or composing music or dancing sparkly dances is easy for them.
Nothing interferes with their ability to create.
While I celebrate their creative freedom,
a little part of me just wants to punch those motherfuckers in the teeth.
This song, I sing this song for you guys and for all the rest of us. Help me out y’all
We’ll sing backup
You have a story to tell, a novel you keep in a drawer.
Old sock drawer!
You have a painting to paint, but you lazy like an old French whore
Je suis whore
You have a movie to make, Shrinky Dinks you can bake
but you best grab a stake, cause,
in sweep the vampires, in creep the vampires, knee deep in vampires,
Filling you with doubt. Insecurity, ‘bout what you art should be
in sweep the vampires
Die vampire
You sketched that turtle you saw in an ad on late-night cable TV
Tippy Turtle!
But your fourth grade teacher said
Female Backup:
You can’t draw
Aww, those vampires just won’t let you be
Fuck you Ms. Johnson, Word!
And when they come run like hell, see those bats in your belfry, then call on Van Helsing.
In swoosh
Ooh, the vampires
in a whoosh
ooh, the vampires,
ooh, all the vampires
Filling you with thoughts of
Self consciousness
Feelings of
They’ll make you
Second guess
Die vam-
There are so many vampires, inside, outside, and nationwide,
it helps to recognize them with this vampire hunting guide!
Listen closely,
a vampire is any person or thought or feeling
that stands between you and your creative self expression,
but they can assume many seductive forms.
Here’s a few of them!
Tell us Susan!
First up are you pigmy vampires.
They’ll swarm around you head like gnats and say things like:
Male Backup:
Your teeth need whitening
Female Backup:
You went to state school?
Male Backup:
You sound weird
Shakespeare, Sondheim, Sedaris
Did it before you and better than you, or they might say that you cannot
sing good enough to be in a musical, or they might say:
Ooh, your song’s derivative,
Ooh, your song’s derivative,
Ooh, your song’s derivative,

To keep that song from you! Just tell them:
Die vampire, die!
Brothers and sisters, next up is the air freshener vampire,
she might look like you mama, or your old fat-ass, fat aunt Fanny.
She smells something unpleasant in what you’re creating.
She’ll urge you to:
(Spraying sound)
It with some pine fresh smell ’em ups.
The air freshener vampire doesn’t want you to write about
bad language, blood, or blow jobs
She wants you to clean it up and clean it out.
Which will leave your work toothless, gutless, and crotchless
but, you’ll be left with two tight paragraphs,
All kittens that your grandma would be so proud of.
You look at that air freshener vampire in her fat ass, fat old fuckin’ face and you say
The last vampire is the mother of all vampires and that is the vampire of despair.
It’ll wake you up at 4am to say things like:
Who do you think you’re kidding?
You look like a fool.
No matter how hard you try, you’ll never be good enough
Why is it that if some dude walked up to me on the subway platform
and said these things, I’d think he was a mentally ill asshole,
but if the vampire inside my head says it,
It’s the voice of reason.
You have a story to tell, pull your novel out of that sock drawer!
You have a painting to paint, you best paint it and then paint some more!

Oh baby, you must escape and grab it by the nape of its neck, by the trachea
fuckin’ break it, go on drive a stake in,
Yeah there’s no mistaking, now you’re shake and bakin’
Die, vampire
I said, “Die, vampire”
I said, “Now die vam-pi-re, die!”
In fly the vampires, oh my the vampires, then die the vampires,
filling you with life, creativity, all that you heart should be, out go the vampires
Die vampire, die vampire, die vampire, die!

thus spake the Barefoot Baklesa

30 March, 2009

Having Some Korean Hotties at 5:00am

It's been a busy few days lately, add to that, my sleeping hours got messed-up by the frequent production meetings at megamall during the peak hours of the day... If you have not figured it out yet, the Barefoot Baklesa is not allowed to be exposed to the sun due to his current skin condition. Ergo, of recent vintage, he has been sleeping the day away and is awake for the most part of the night; sleep comes calling come 5:00am.

But I couldn't seem to be getting any nearer to sleeping come 5:00am Saturday, so I decided to watch the Korean version of "Antique Bakery" which stars Joo Ji Hoon [popularly known as Prince Gian once they dubbed the Korean drama "The Princess Hours" in Filipino] and Kim Jae Wook [from "The Coffee Prince"].

But I think I''m crushing on this guy now, Yoo Ah In, who plays the former boxer turned pastry chef apprentice who loves cake above all things.

Darn it! At this rate, I might just move to Korea or Japan soon with my current chinky-eyed boy obsessions. Whahahahaha!!!

For you BL, Yaoi, and Asian Gay Cinema lovers out there, this movie is one you should not miss. Ikemen [Hottie] Paradise, Man!!!I shall post a proper review soon. I just have to share this for now... Oh yeah, down below, there's a pretty funny interview of the cast.

thus spake the Barefoot Baklesa

29 March, 2009

The Niki de los Reyes-Torres Carroza Challenge 2009 [part 3 of something]

Looking at the Barefoot Baklesa’s Updated Toolbox

For the longest time, I have been placing my tools and art supplies inside a box that used to contain a jade [more like nephrite] dragon boat sculpture we got from Hong-Kong some years ago. It’s a wooden box that was wrapped in red imitation silk which I fondly called the “Mano Po Box” -in reference to the many movies of the ‘Mano Po’ franchise of movies about the Filipino-Chinese played by non-Chinese actors. So, the “Mano Po Box” has made it to many a panic-stricken set-ups and late-night prop and costume constructions. I had decided to retire it when I got myself a great tool belt to fulfill my carpenter porn character fantasy -WAIT!!!- what I meant was to place my tools in.

But as the jobs got more complicated, I had decided to purchase myself a tool box big enough to put all my tools and some useful supplies that I could bring [more like, my assistants could carry] when we went to do production design jobs. It was a big Black & Decker Tool Box with a second level tray and two detachable boxes with really useful compartments for knick-knacks and whatever. As per the tool belt, I still wore for the love of it… I know, right?

Since I don't really sleep at night, I decided to clean out my tool box and update the contents specifically for this year’s Carroza Challenge. At around 1:00am, I went out back to where I stored my supplies and went through the pearls, beads, rhinestones, and assorted trims to pick out what I needed. I never knew there was that much stuff back there; and to think I had cleaned that place up just last September.

After sorting through what I thought I might need and what I could bring, I went ahead and cleaned the tool box and organized it for the present need. My friend Brian, mentioned in the first Carroza challenge blog for this year, couldn’t sleep as well; and sent out a generic text message to see if anyone’s still awake. I was exchanging text messages with him while fixing up the tool box. He wanted to know if I could make it to his birthday slash graduation party this weekend. I told him I’d try, that’s going to be a pretty busy weekend with two set-ups at two venues with the flight to Ilo-Ilo as my only time of rest.

When I brought that tool box with me for last year’s Carroza Challenge, it had more tools than it does now. Casualties of production, I guess. I have been thinking of buying another one just for the Carroza Challenge to be left at the ancestral house so I won’t have to bring this one back and forth. But you know what, I love the thought of bringing this tool box this time of year; it’s starting to turn into some kind of a ritual for me…

More next time…

Thus spake the Barefoot Baklesa

28 March, 2009

the niki de los reyes-torres carroza challenge 2009 [part 2 of something]

I was supposed to upload this scan of the watercolor rendering I did of the designs for the processional robes for the family's image of Santa Maria de Betania [Saint Mary of Bethany] a few days ago, but the week's activities has kept me quite busy.

This year, I opted for a more softer and sedate look for her robes; the cut is less complicated than last year's.

For her Maundy Thursday robe, I decided to dress her in the way the Byzantines represented their Saints. The long flowing silhouette is contrasted with the neck-piece and the band running vertically at the front and back of the robe. While the Good Friday robe is based on the patterns from the Spanish Loose Gown -the prescribed clothing of mourning for the female Saints on that processional day. I guess my obsession for window sleeves has not died down since the one on the right runs all the way down to the floor.

For Easter Sunday, i did a variation on the Byzantine robe but did it in a shade of egg yellow and antique gold. I want to see this particular robe catch the light of the sun when she's lined-up at the church courtyard come dawn of Easter Sunday.

There's still so much to do...

thus spake the barefoot baklesa

27 March, 2009

Deconstructing My Life Thus Far [or To Hell With It!] Part 1 of 2

“God’s truth is out: It’s murder here

What life’s about is so unclear.

I want to break!

And when it feels like I’ve had all I can take…

In walks you

And you make me feel like everything’s okay

Like everything’s gonna work out…”

-‘In Walks You’ by Tim James

Something’s been at the back of my head lately, and I think the events in the last few days have put them to the fore. As I type this, the live action drama of Honey & Clover is playing once again on my DVD player. Trust me, it’s not because I want to watch Ikuta Toma play Takemoto Yuta for the nth time, more like I need to hear a language I know few words of to concentrate. Also, because watching Honey & Clover has made me long for something I have not really done in it’s genuine form.

Here’s my first thought:

It’s easy to get comfortable at a certain place once you feel you’re needed there. But are you really where you ought to be? Aren’t you supposed to be in a journey? Isn’t the point of leaving one place getting to your destination? I reckon people get lost because they leave but they don’t know where to go.

It’s been three nearly three years now since I left CSB [if it were not for my papers required for an application abroad, I really would not want to set foot in that campus again]. Truth be told, I was very unhappy in that place. The happiest moment I had there was perhaps when I got-up, still stoned, went to school and back home, without even remembering all eight hours of it. My experiences there have left me quite jaded by the time I had decided to leave. My only regret was not having done it sooner. This is nothing against anyone whom I have met or come to know from that place who I still hold genuine affection for, it’s just something I had to say; and by no means do I think of some of you any less. That place, it changes people… and it wasn’t for me.

Ever since then, I have been practicing production design full time until recently when circumstances came to be and I had decided to rest for a while -as a friend had pointed out, he wouldn’t actually call what I was doing “resting“.

Lately I have been thinking, I had settled into the pace of a career designer -that’s it- I had settled. I look at the people who I went to school with in the Ateneo some years back, and I see the things their doing now and I can’t help but think if there’s something else out there for me.

Last December while I was looking around at Rustan’s I saw an old friend who said to me, “I’m happy for you, you get to live the dream.” Actually, there are companions to that one I heard from someone else, “Out of all of us, you’re the only one who pursued a theater career full-time and didn’t sell out.” And my most favorite of all, “Wow, you’re still doing that, huh?”

Wait a minute, are these people implying something? Are they expecting anything else of me? Am I not where they had thought I would be? Alan would always tell me, “It’s got nothing to do with other people.” Well, at the time, he didn’t take his own advise as well. Seeing him lately kind of made me look at what else I could do, where else could I go, and what else could I learn.

I still have these notebooks where I have written down my ideas, drew some things, wrote things that I want to remember like that movie from the 1980s called ‘Sing’ where the song ‘We’ll Never Say Goodbye’ comes from or that the first Bioman action figure my mother ever bought me was Pink Five.

I have been reading them again… I hate youthful idealism.

Do you know what those things are? They are plans, they are a map to that future we had once seen so bright. They represent some destination that reflects a genuine desire to be somewhere else from where you are.

We are where we are because God has a perfectly good reason why we are there. My dear friend Sandro and I have been saying that to ourselves lately. I’m at a crossroads, that’s what I think. Someone has conveniently called this a ‘Quarter Life Crisis’ -there’s even a television series about this in the late 90s; the title was ‘Wasteland’ [the quote above is the song in the show’s opening credits].

So, Should one just move on without a clear destination? Well, I used to have what I call a ‘ten year-plan’ -trust me, my current reality is far from that I conceived. The best laid plans and their clichés…

In a few weeks, Alan will be starting his training to be a flight steward. A far cry from being an Electronics and Communications Engineering graduate and the related jobs he has held before. I wonder how that will go for him? There must be some tear in the space-time continuum when the most precise and decisive person I know throws all that out of the window.

I wonder if I should do that as well...

We’ll continue this next time

Thus spake the Barefoot Baklesa -who refuses to succumb to a quarter life crisis.

26 March, 2009

the song in my head: Goodbe Days by Yui

There are songs, and there's this one...

In the movie Taiyou No Uta [A Song to the Sun or Midnight Sun in some territories] Amane Kaoru's magnum opus is this one song she leaves the world with. I just love this, it just hits home for me -it's been playing in my head for a few hours now...here's sharing it with you.

Just click on the title link to be directed to my review of the film.

thus spake the Barefoot Baklesa

24 March, 2009

Mew and Tong Embrace Once Again!!!

The Barefoot Baklesa shall take a break from the serious tone that governed his previous post for a bit of lighthearted fan service from my beloved Mew [Witwisit 'Pchy' Hiranyawongkul] and Tong [Mario Maurer]. I'd like to thank Man of the Rose for letting us know of this recent event.

During August Band's "Let's Swing Aha-Aha" Concert just recently, Mario Maurer comes up to the stage to greet Pchy and they share a hug for the audience. Some speculate that it's Mario's attempt to soften his current bad boy image after the messy media circus surrounding a court case involving him and his former manager. Mario, whom the Thai public recently sees as the ingrate with the angelic face, has seen his star descend a bit. Mario, If I were you, move to the Philippines, and your fans will make you a star here beyond your wildest imaginings!!!

I think these guys will forever be remembered as Mew and Tong and will surely be asked to do this bit of fan service over and over...

I wouldn't mind.

thus spake the Barefoot Baklesa

23 March, 2009

Between You and Your God [the barefoot baklesa responds]

this is a post I composed in response to The Catholic Ordination of the Filipino from The Coconuter's Blog [just click on the title to read it]. The photo of the sliced tomatoes are for emphasis...

First, I would like to point out that I refuse to draw lines between other people's beliefs and mine. At this point in my life, I do not see anyone's God and/or gods any less than mine.

I am gay, and a Roman Catholic. If that's not fucked-up enough to some, then heap the pyre if you have to and burn me. I'm not looking down on anyone, but you see, I was educated by the Jesuits and raised in a purely Roman Catholic family with two priests for uncles. I guess that afforded me the insight I have now, as mentioned above.

The days of the gods of old are gone, Bulalakao, Saragnayan, Idianale, Makaptan, Si-Dapa, Kasaray-sarayan-sa-silgan, Lakampati, and these hosts of immortals have long since left the minds of the Filipinos. They are but mere anecdotes and mentions in rare literature books as but mythology and legend -that still, tragically are less recognized by the Filipino youth as part of their heritage. Animistic in nature, the Spaniards found out that the best way to evangelize the 16th century Filipino was to use the Church's first weapon during the age of the Counter-Reformation: ART. They began bringing religious images that replaced the wooden idols of old, the unearthly pallor of ivory in rich robes decorated in gold replaced the 'larauan' and the 'tawu-tawu' [literally, 'parang tao']. The suffering hero who rose above his trials told in the epics of olde was replaced by the suffering Christ who died and resurrected in the gospels. These have contributed to what I call "Folk Catholicism". And the Filipinos have embraced these for generations to come.

In my early 20s I suddenly saw all this organized religion as a pointless waste of time and I began to explore the many other things out there that peaked my curiosity. The Jesuits taught me that every human being has the right to doubt and discover for himself the worth of any truth. With this, I began studying other people's truths, religions, Buddhism, Zen philosophy, the occult, and I even learned how to read Tarot Cards in their many disciplines: modesty aside, I was so good at it, people from UP were visiting me at the Ateneo where I hung out to have their cards read.

My family never gave me flack for it. What did my family think of it? They thought being gay was enough a burden to hurdle in my maturity and to throw religion into the pot would be unwise. They let me be...In respect to the faith that my family had held on to, I became nominally-Catholic, and did my best for the sake of appearances. Yet all the experiences, knowledge, and insight I have acquired, it was all waxing emptiness.

But then, one day, for a brief moment in time, I felt genuinely that God actually walked the earth. There was this silence that I felt down from my skin to my very soul, an unexplainable yet somewhat eerie silence that had struck me so, that I knew it was time to go home.

So I went into Quaipo church, and I just sat there for hours, asking God to take me as I am where I knew him best. I am not chaste nor do I claim to be entirely pure, and I'm sure the Pope has a lot to say about me if he had the chance. But that's between me and my God, I chose to stay Roman Catholic because that is where I found him -As much as any man, can find Allah, Vishnu, Kami, Asaka, and Nirvana where they can find them.

True, the Roman Catholic Church can seem to be stuck in the middle ages when it comes to certain things. But what most of us fail to realize is that it was one of the first to admit that it must change with the times -too slow at certain times. It apologized for the trials of Galileo, it apologized for the mistakes of the Holy Inquisition, and is continually studying its mistakes in the line of history. It has corrected many an issue with dogma and doctrine which some Filipinos chose to ignore not because they are blind but because they often see that as secondary to the relationship they find with God. Then there's that issue with birth control that's really got my wand in a knot as well as many things that require a second look but I keep my hope for the better.

If you claim to have had a personal connection with Jesus Christ but still are quick to judge those who have none with him, then you may have lost the point that to practice any faith is a continued learning experience. Let them learn their mistakes and misconceptions and let them decide for themselves. Who are we to tell them their faith is less when they have seen its power in their lives.

If you judge my Church as like any business, then you must have met the LaSallian brothers and studied at a LaSallian school for a while like I have, and got jaded. Hahahaha!!! But you see, that's another cliché within myself I have to hurdle and no one else's business. Yet seriously, then I would be so gay to point out 'in taray' how Born Again Pastors also live off on the tithes from their congregation, or how some families of friends from Christian sects follow that 10% to the point of financial imbalance, or maybe I should pick-on the defined rules for giving money to the service of Allah, or the money we spend on ourselves for pointless things when children in Africa are starving -No one wins in arguments like these.

A lot of people think they are entitled to the pedestal to speak ill of society's ill yet would not lift a finger for they think they have done their part in helping the plight of the poor by voicing out. I don't want to sound like that self-righteous Pharisee from the parable, but have you actually gone out there and taught English and Math to underprivileged kids during the summer? Have you volunteered in a provincial hospital for a Medical and Surgical Missions? Have you ever deprived yourself of something so that someone else could have it? And we're not talking about sandwiches or you half-finished soft drink here... People who have an opinion of what's wrong in this world are often those who do it much damage.

Right now, the table I share, I share with some Christian Friends, some Roman Catholic friends, an Eclectic Believer, a full blooded Muslim Prince, and even an Atheist...And you don't see us brewing another world war or modern crusades. Respect begets respect.

While some of you are off to Puerto Galera, Boracay, or Bali this Holy Week, some of us choose to be of service to our Faith. You're more than welcome in my home or maybe I'll see you in the processional line.

thus spake the Barefoot Baklesa
Niki de los Reyes-Torres

22 March, 2009

engaging the Niki de los Reyes-Torres Carroza Challenge 2009 [part 1 of some number]

This post goes out to one of my dearest friends, Brian Maestro, who sent me this message around two Fridays ago: "Are you ready for the Niki de los Reyes-Torres Carroza Challenge?"

It does say much about the company you keep when they, in their own ways, look out for you. That message kind of prompted me to actually get started with the preparations for this year's Holy Week activities. Yeah, I know what you're thinking: "Only now?

Well, I refuse to panic on this one. Because maybe I'll be panicking plenty come this Holy Week when I actually am at the ancestral house orchestrating all this. Hahahahaha!!! But putting it out there, there's the Carroza and its maintenance, the flowers, the three robes for the three days the Santa is to wear, food for the helpers and those following the procession, and the unexpected things that pop-up at the last minute.

Oh Saint Mary of Bethany, what panic will you be witness to this time? Nothing is more entertaining than an entire household of de los Reyeses trying to get something done. And by the word 'entertaining', there will be stories to regale.

thus spake the Barefoot Baklesa

21 March, 2009

crushing on: Kazunari Ninomiya [i love 'em innocent looking]

I was watching the JPop variety show called Music Station not long ago when I chanced upon Kazunari Ninomiya being interviewed for having been part of the movie 'Letters from Iwojima' -oddly enough, I have yet to see that film. But back then, i already found him really cute.

So, last week, I was able to acquire a copy of Yamada Tarou Monogatari [The Story of Yamada Tarou] which had a Taiwanese counterpart called The Poor Prince from years ago which starred Taiwanese F4 member, Vic Zhou -never bothered to watch that one- and thank goodness I didn't.

I learned that his nickname is Nino, which suits him superbly. Aside from being the cutie that he is, he's such a good actor. Now, there is much to be said about how animated the Japenese actors are when they do, but Nino displayed quite an understanding of nuance in his performance which earns him a place in my heart.

Oh yes, one needs to mention, I love those lips...

What I love about these Japanese boys is their ability to be triple threats; defined by being able to sing, dance, and act. Not like these Filipino actors who do horribly in our local variety shows. I mean, guys like Ikuta Toma and Nino has me wondering why me make tv stars of non-talent commoners too quickly back here.

I can't wait to watch him in Ryusei No Kizuna.

Oh, wouldn't it be nice to have someone sitting and looking like that waiting for me? Oh well...

thus spake the Barefoot Baklesa

20 March, 2009

what makes a movie gay [part 2 of 3]

and so, we continue from where we left off, on how I'm over-thinking what makes a gay movie...

Fourth: Gay Icons and Camp

-these films aren't really gay but are more about the impact the stars and the movies had on gay culture. it features accepted gay icons like judy garland, barbara streisand, rock hudson etcetera. or at other instances, these films feature famous lines that every queen/queer will move themselves to quote like "as god as my witness, i will never go hungry again"

All About Eve, The Wizard of Oz, Now Voyager, and the many judy garland and bette davis movies comes to mind...and let's not forget barbara...we must not forget barbara [although i'm not a fan].

"Fasten you seatbelts... it's going to be a bumpy night." from All About Eve

Fifth: The Unspoken

-these movies are best described as movies wherein you are led to believe that there are gay undertones in the story...such stories are of friendships between boys/men that only the two of them can understand...oftentimes, the characters are as i could coin it, 'too pretty to be straight". but there is a deep human emotional quality to these stories. stories that transcend the basest/simplest of the things we seem to neglect/make ordinary in the dynamics of human connections.

a scene from NAPOLA or in other releases "Before The Fall"

NAPOLA (before the fall) -about two teenage boys sent to a Nazi elite high school at the end of the 2nd world war. one a poor German boy from the city and the other, the son of a high ranking Nazi official. a moving story of how the idealism of youth is shattered as the very belief systems they foster crumble before them. moving is the attempt of one to reclaim his friend's soul. note, there's boxing here and has a lot of good looking German teenage boys (if that's your thing)

Sixth: I Can't Stop Dancin' I Can't Stop Singin' [add acting...]

-if you're a show tune queen/queer, if you love the rap-a-tap-tap, and all that jazz -then you are very familiar with this category. far be it for me to generalize that the film musicals are gay, they indeed have a following in the gay community. Whether it be musicals that deal with life in the theatre or the performance arts -whether there be the 'token gay guy' or not; these movies have held a special place in out hearts. they're the reliable pick-me-up when you're down. they can also be plays adapted to film...

-CAMP, made famous by the line, "oh my god, a straight boy!!! an honest to god straight boy!!!" - Vlad,a straight boy battling his demons of fitting-in and teenage angst decides to enroll in a summer camp for musical theatre called camp ovation. and right off the bat, everybody falls in love with him: gay or straight. as he becomes the object of affection of the many -which he enjoyed tremendously, the whole camp is turned over as they move from show to show performing songs like 'i'm still here' (from Company), 'and i am telling you' (dream girls), trukey-lurkey time (promises, promises), and the anthem to many a drag queen's 'ladies who lunch' -add to that a great song composed by ahrens and flaherty(the people behind 'once on this island') entitled 'i sing for you'

-TRICK, the story of a struggling musical theatre writer named gabriel (played by a loveable christian campbell) who meets a go-go by named mark on the new york subway; and their misadventures overnight ass they try to find a place to be 'private' -in full compliment, tori spelling as a fag-hag, a drag queen, a n on the rocks gay couple, and lots of opportunities to be musical...

Seventh: Eye Candy

-the title says it all; shallow but true, there are movies that fill up the screen with many a goodlooking people. and be it beauty or sex appeal they try to sell, we just cant forget them. this varies upon preference...

-She's The Man: a modern deconstruction of Shakespeare's gender-bender play on appearance versus desire called Twelfth Night. I love Channing Tatum in this movie; so let the photos speak for themselves...

this has been rather enjoyable, and we shall continue this next post...

thus spake the barefoot baklesa

19 March, 2009

The History Boys: Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered

i just love this song...

The lyrics to "Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered" are originally by Lorenz Hart, with music by Richard Rodgers. The song debuted in 1940's theatrical production of Pal Joey

Bewithced, Bothered, and Bewildered

He's a fool and don't I know it
But a fool can have his charms
I'm in love, and don't I show it?
Like a babe in arms

Love's the same old sad sensation
Lately I've not slept a wink
Since this half-pint imitation
Put me on the blink

I'm wild again, beguiled again
A simpering, whimpering child again
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered am I

I'll sing to him, each spring to him
And worship the trousers that cling to him
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered am I

Couldn't sleep and wouldn't sleep
When love came and told me, I shouldn't sleep
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered am I

Lost my heart, but what of it
He is cold, I agree
He can laugh, but I love it
Although the laugh's on me

I'll sing to him, each spring to him
And long for the day when I'll cling to him
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered am I

After one whole quart of brandy
Like a daisy, I'm awake
With no Bromo-Seltzer handy
I don't even shake

Men are not a new sensation
I've done pretty well I think
But this half-pint imitation
Put me on the blink

I've sinned a lot, I'm mean a lot
But I'm like sweet seventeen a lot
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered am I

I'll sing to him, each spring to him
And worship the trousers that cling to him
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered am I

When he talks, he is seeking
Words to get off his chest
Horizontally speaking, he's at his very best

Vexed again, perplexed again
Thank God, I can be oversexed again
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered am I

17 March, 2009

what makes a movie gay? [part 1 of 3]

before I post part 3, let us revisit these, shall we...

okay, as much as Eric Cartman from the cartoon series South Park is somewhat right about Brokeback Mountain -it being a western "about two cowboys eatin' pudding" -there's much more to gay cinema than the many second rate indie digitals the many young directors are churning out...

But first what is Gay Cinema? Well, i really can't define that genre singularly. But rather, Gay Cinema as defined by these things i have commonly observed through my collections.

First: That's Soooo Gay

-in short, by the sheer gayness of it, it qualifies. whether it be a love story between two men and/or women, a coming-of-age story,and a coming out story. these films have no pretenses in presenting gay culture and 'the scene' to which the film has framed itself...

for example:

In & Out -comedy, starring kevin kline; about a teacher who is outed by his former and currently famous student after winnning the Oscar for best actor just days before his wedding to a longtime friend and fellow faculty at the high school where he teaches

Latter Days -romance, here a gay LA party boy takes a bet to seduce one of their mormon missionary neighbors (a very hot mormon missionary) who turns out to be gay!!! Famous for this line, "you want revelations engraved in gold and angels trumpeting down from heaven. what if this is it instead; me, telling you 'i love you' right here in the snow." the romance spirals in the midst of a rather beautiful sountrack.

Imagine Me & You -romantic comedy, the premise here is that the bride discovers the soon to be love of her life (their lesbian florist) on the day of their wedding...one of the two lesbian love films i made an effort to collect.

Dorian Blues -teen coming out/of age movie, about a guy named Dorian who realizes that he is gay at the age of 17 and tries to avoid it at first with the help of a loving brother named Nick and not so much from his 'nazi' father and passive mother.

Second: Borderline Gay

-this is where that rather vague concept of 'bisexuality' comes into play [for me, that's vague, okay]. these movies are defined by the temporary experimentation into the gay and lesbian world.

Y tu Mama Tambien -coming of age, two friends go on a road trip with a very attractive lady whom they both sleep with and then at a defining moment near the end of the movie makes them experiment on each other -kinda like her take at getting even after learning that the boys were just in it to boink her...

Kissing Jessica Stein -romantic comedy, about a woman whose failed attempts at heterosexual romance leads her to consider a lesbian relationship...i'm sure the girls at saint scholastica's can relate to this (biro lang!). but seriously, i love the emotional journey the characters in this movie take; and the music, and new york...need i say more?

Third: The Historical Gay

-movies about real people (including historical figures) who are gay and real events related to gay issues. and in some cases people going through unexplained gay issues...

Stephen Fry and Jude Law as Oscar Wilde and his beloved Lord Alfred Douglas

Wilde -period piece, stars Stephen Fry as Oscar Wilde and Jude Law as Lord Bossey. this details the hidden gay life of famous victorian writer Oscar Wilde and his lover (Bossey). very victorian in many sensibilities and nuances; and tragic...

i'm going to continue this next blog...

continuing the mario maurer drool mode [episode something-something]

Here we go again... I came upon this video from youtube last night. Truth be told, i was a little agitated when i went online [it doesn't take much to get me so these past few days]. But there is nothing like Mario Maurer to bring a smile to my face... Oh well... He is just so cute here.

To those of you who have been living under a rock and have no idea who this cutie is, just click on these to learn more about Mario Maurer through The Love of Siam, and Friendship.

thus spake the Barefoot Baklesa

16 March, 2009

Theater Down South's 2009 Summer Acting Workshops

Attend to me, all of you: parents, kids, and teens...my home company, Theater Down South, launches:

Workshop Logo Large


This Summer, Theater Down South once again invites you or your kids to
Theater Workshop Down South

There will be 3 venues for Theater Down South workshops this summer! Take note... 3 VENUES!

Insular Life Alabang

The Insular Life workshop will begin on April 13 until May 29!
The Academy One culminating activity will be held at the Insular Life Theater to further the actual theatrical experience!
Tuition fee is P6,500.00 inclusive of recital fees.

Academy One

The Academy One workshop is MWF 9-12 beginning April 13 until May 29!
The Academy One culminating activity will be held at the Insular Life Theater to further the actual theatrical experience!
Tuition fee is P6,500.00 inclusive of recital fees.


The De La Salle Zobel workshop is MWF 1:30-4:30 beginning April 13 until May 29!
Culminating activity will be at the Debbie Decena Auditorium of DLSZ and will feature ALL the students of the workshops!

The De La Salle Zobel Tuition Fee is P6,500.00 inclusive of recital fees.

For inquiries, please contact Joms Ortega through 09285036944 or iramojo@gmail.com or by replying in this post.



thus spake the Barefoot Baklesa

The Barefoot Baklesa Reviews: Friendship

I'm re-posting this review...I'm feeling a little sentimental these past few days; and the unusually cold wind that's been blowing during the late afternoon these few days isn't helping either. I decided to watch this film again, it does stir the heart a bit...

Do you remember the time when you were in high school? When, for the most part, as much as you were on the verge of burgeoning maturity, you would easily cast it away for some happy time with your friends? Too often you walk around with this sense of invulnerability that goes with youth; bearing your then unscathed heart and your unbound dreams. This is where the Thai film FRIENDSHIP takes me back to. [It’s been a bit timely to have seen it lately considering it has been ten years since I graduated from high school]

FRIENDSHIP is the story of a teenage boy named Singha and the love he had for a girl named Mituna; the new girl, who transferred at the start of their senior year in high school. Singha, played by Mario Maurer [who shot to instant fame after his debut as a teenager coming to terms with his homosexuality in the film The Love of Siam -click on the link to read my review], was as typical as a teenage boy could be: a bit of a smart-aleck who hangs out with a boisterous set of friends, sexually curious, and often flirtatious with the girls. While Mituna, played by a lovely Thai actress named Apinya Sakuljaroensuk [there’s something about this girl that reminds me of a crush I had back in high school], was a girl that kept to herself and did not say much. It would have been a perfect boy meets girl scenario but instead Singha picks on Mituna due to her chosen silence, and as each act of teasing moves into the next, Singha pushes the envelope further until Mituna can’t take it anymore and could do nothing else but hit Singha in the face which somehow snaps him into a realization that he may have gone too far this time.

I love the way the film portrays that haze of infatuation often acted out as something else before a guy realizes that he actually likes the girl but the damage is done. I don’t know if it’s my love for Mario Maurer or the way his character is written [or maybe a combination of both], that can’t make me hate him and what he did. I mean, the first time we see Singha is when he helps out this lady with a cane at the bus stop who got knocked over by a passing commuter rushing for the bus. He then hands her a marigold which he has in his shirt pocket before he leaves to ride the next bus. He’s not that bad a guy; he just gets it wrong sometimes. Moving on…

It’s not until Singha secretly follows Mituna around that he realizes how mean he has been to her; he follows her to a social welfare facility and learns that her mother is deaf and mute. The apology that follows is a montage of a boy that has fallen in love with the girl who fought back. I’m not that versed with Thai pop culture so I have no idea if the song in the montage, which had this two-decades-ago-cheesy-quality to it, was actually a vintage tune; but it works.

Now, the movie itself is full of those teen situations of underage drinking, getting wasted on weed for the first time, misadventures into haunted houses, the generic out-of-town trip [thank god, no one broke into a song and dance by the beach, or rather the pool on this one like those really horrible Filipino movies], and the dynamics of the relationships with the people they share these with. After all, don’t they say that the friends one makes in school are the friends you have for life? I think the movie does well in establishing these within the plot elements in the sentimentality of it all. [I don’t want to focus too much on the other characters and how they figure in to the storyline in this review because they are best appreciated when seen]

I guess when you’re young and in love, there’s so much energy you can spare. For when things got a little better between them, the boy finds a way to understand her and to be understood. Just like what Singha said about words not being enough, he finds a way to learn how to do sign language. Now, it takes a certain kind of filmmaker to understand the difference between acceptable and revolting sentimentality. The sign language thing would not have worked if some generic Filipino director took a shot at it, I think. There is a pace that the film takes which makes it rather lighthearted and feeling like you were reminiscing on a lazy Sunday afternoon even if there’s a visually established flashback in the plot.

And as the end of senior year fast approaches with teenagers wanting to squeeze in so much before it does, a tragedy comes upon them. Lam, one of their friends, gets stabbed by a former schoolmate who joins up a gang that is hunted down by the police. Lam transferred in the same time as Mituna and was responsible in making Singha realize his true feelings for Mituna.
You know that feeling when things are happening all at once and you don’t seem to have the chance to slow it down and you have no chance but to bear with it? It’s excruciating to watch Singha and Mituna’s lives take the direction that will start to bring them apart. Singha’s father, a police officer, gets assigned to another district and they have to move out; while Mituna’s absentee father decides to sell the house they are living in and tells them to live in the country convinced that it will be better for Mituna’s mother. But both of them have no idea that this was happening to the other.

I don’t know what a “friendship book” is exactly, but the way I understand it from the movie is that it’s some form of scrapbook or memento that your friends pass around to write stuff on. Singha hands Mituna his pages for her to write on. Mituna promises to return it on the day they release the final exam results.

This reminds me of something my friend Sandro told me about last Friday; that we are where we are because God has a perfectly good reason for letting it be so. Watching it unfold before my eyes, I felt as if God was a little too harsh on Singha and Mituna. By mere moments they would miss each other; one turning left, the other tuning right. In the place where they promised to meet, in the places where each thought the other would be, and in the place where a desperate hearts clings to the hope of seeing one’s love, would they learn that they were not to see each other that day.
Singha would spend years carrying this love for Mituna wondering why she did not at least keep her promise. Even during their class reunion, Singha was kind of hoping to at least see her there and be happy for her if she had a family of her own. One day, while doing work with the indigenous communities in the mountains, Singha chances upon Mituna’s mother. Singha learns that Mituna is gravely ill. Okay, remember when I said that God was a bit harsh on Singha and Mituna a paragraph ago? Take that as an understatement.

That fateful day when they had promised to meet each other, something happened to Mituna; something that I commend the writer for not showing and just merely suggesting. I don’t think I have the heart to see that.

When Singha finally gets to see her, he realizes how gravely ill she really is. By this time, the movie hits you with a realization why it chose Friendship as a title. As much as we know there is a story of youthful romantic love, what moves one’s heart is the enduring power a deeper love has in their lives; and that is their Friendship. Don’t get confused on that one. You have to see the movie to really appreciate that amidst all that falling in love they built a great relationship between themselves for simply being genuine. I think some writers lose that kind of dynamic in order to come out with commercially viable romances. I don’t know if I’m communicating this properly, or if I’m speaking in tongues by this point. But maybe I’ll get back to this post sometime later and find my words.

There’s beauty in sadness as one friend of mine articulated. And I have a penchant for watching movies that portray this not just because I’m Asian [not many Filipinos would want to admit they are Asian though] and that is expected of me to understand but also because the barefoot baklesa is such a sap and he’d much rather have a good cry. Hahahaha!!!

Go and watch it if you want to have a good cry.

15 March, 2009

That Last Piece of Your Broken Heart [believing in a deeper love]

This is for you, you know who you are…

It started out with this, “Hey, are you still awake?”

The reply came sometime in the late afternoon of the next day, “Hi Niki, sorry for the late reply. I donated blood yesterday kaya medyo lutang me since last night… What’s up? Please text back.”

To which I responded, “I just want to know if you’re okay. When you left the seminary, it was never clear to me why. I couldn’t ask you the first few times since we have been in contact again.”

The response was rather complicated.

We had agreed to meet the Friday next, to finally see each other. All this time, we seem to have been just reading each other’s blogs and sending each other these ubiquitous obligatory greetings during Christmas for the last five years. Has it been that long since we saw each other last? One thing’s for sure, we just drifted apart. The sun had set and the shadows have fallen on each day of those last five years. Days too many to count, faces and places changing, yet what is true and lasting did certainly endure.

But Friday next seemed too far away, and I took a stab in the dark. “Tomorrow,” I said. “If you can make it, I’m just at home. I can make you some lunch.” I really did not hold-out much hope for that one for that tomorrow was Friday the 13th.

13 still is my lucky number. It’s the number of my house after all…

And there you were in front my gate today, wearing a smile on your face, yet it was not the smile I used to know. As I held you once again, ever so tightly, I realized that we are not as we once were; and that the pain of the years I have held seem to drift with the unusually cool breeze that blew on today, disregarding the summer that had begun.

It was nice to hear your voice again. I had not told you that a few years ago, I woke up one morning trying to remember what your voice sounds like; it seemed insignificant to tell that afternoon. It was nice to see the wonder in your eyes when I was mixing up the wasabi paste with the mayonnaise. It was nice to see you laugh at the fuss I made getting the food ready. I really had thought none of it, fussing over the details of that meal.

What mattered was there you were again, sitting across me, trying to squeeze in as much of the five years we’ve missed while certain sentiments had to be said. It’s funny how the usual drama haunts us again.

You’ve always been the good boy, with a fixed set of life goals and a certain set of rules to live by. I have always admired that about you. But I felt as if that has held you back from truly living for yourself, from doing things the way you wanted, and from enjoying your life. You were surprised how I came up with this conclusion even way before you got to the complications of your -dare we call it- ‘quarter-life’ crisis? Yet I was also surprised to find out how you’ve been moving around the country trying to find yourself these past few months. It was quite amusing when you regaled opting to be a farming laborer; you would have looked so out of place there.

We had decided to watch a movie to let the time pass. ‘Taiyou No Uta’’ had been playing for a few minutes when you asked we should watch ‘The Love of Siam’ instead. “Really now, you know that movie?” I asked with such curious surprise. “I’ve heard about it,” you said. Because I don’t remember mentioning it to you at all. Of all the movies you would have chosen from, I thought to myself, you had to pick the one movie that has taught me to let you go.

Just like old times, there we were picking-on and musing over things we found interesting about the movie. I could read your laughter when Mew sang the lyrics, “You can’t write a love song when you’re not in love.” Funny how a few days ago, I was holding a copy of the script of a movie I had written for you.

“Is it possible that we can love someone, and never be afraid of losing them?” the movie asks.

I think it is… I believe it is.

And as much as reunions bring back waves of emotions within a person, I guard my thoughts. My first duty towards you is as your friend. I’ll take as much of your friendship as it comes for there is a part of me that knows you could go away again one day with nary a word, like you did once. Training to be a flight steward does not really assure anyone that you’re going to stick around. There’s a Japanese expression that if translated goes, “It can’t be helped.”

Indeed, it can’t be helped. You have asked me twice that day if I thought you really were that callous and insensitive in the past. I already knew you were, it just couldn’t be helped. That’s the tragedy with some good actors is that they go up on stage and they can bring your heart to places where it never knew existed, yet in real life, they can be so clueless. Knowing you as I do, every now and then, you’re capable of a deeper love. So, you’re not what you think you are…

The time came for you to make your way back to the metropolis, after seeing you off on the bus going to the metro, I went back home. I saw the garden hose and I thought I had to be a bit domestic and give the plants a little watering. “Water is good,” I thought to myself, “It washes away many things…” Then a neighbor’s jeep passes by playing that song by the Indigo Girls that goes, “So we’re okay, we’re fine. Baby I’m here to stop your crying. Chase all the ghosts from your head…”

What are the chances that the song I have associated with you would be blasting off some speaker at that exact time? Now isn’t that something?

So here I am, picking up that last shard of my broken heart… settling… not afraid of losing you another time. It’s not such a bad thing.

11 March, 2009

cute guys need to get their hearts broken every once in a while...

A few years ago, If I remember correctly, it was on the ride going to the old Malate district after a gala event at the Cultural Center of the Philippines when I uttered these words:

"Cute guys need to get their hearts broken every once in a while..."

And somebody at the back of the car went, "Ouch!"
As much as I wanted to hit him at the time, it was just physically impossible and it would not be proper to do so to someone you have known only two days. I shant name names, but he was one of those 69 Bachelors from Cosmopolitan Magazine that year who had a 'published age' and a 'real age'. Bluntly, this has nothing to do with the video above except for the title.

Moving on... Here's the latest installment to the Mario Maurer Drool Mode. The boy with the angelic face but a devilish reputation appears in the music video for this Thai band called Potato [the name baffles me as well...]. The song is entitled Share and here's the Barefoot Baklesa sharing it with you...

No english subtitles yet though, but isn't it nice to see Mario Maurer's heart get broken? That's a bit twisted, I know... [insert evil laugh here]

...thus spake the barefoot baklesa

the barefoot baklesa ponders: casting the Pinoy F4

From what I gather, the local adaptation will be based on the Taiwanese Meteor Garden rather than the Japanese Hana Yori Dango. My instinct tells me that the network may have been unable to purchase the television rights to the Japanese one like what happened to the other network that tried to do a local remake of Shaider but were not granted so as the Toei Company insisted that the original Shaider version was best left alone. Ergo, they settled for a spin-off which led to the disappointment that was Zaido -complete with seal copied or rather bastardized from the Starfleet seal of Star Trek- funny what the blatant ignoramus always get away with. I reckon the Japanese have not found their adaptation skills sufficient. Whatever legal loophole they’ve found, it seems like Meteor Garden was the one they’ve got.

There is talk going around that Sarah Geronimo shall be cast as the local version of San Cai or Makino… I have nothing against the young-lady-who-screeches, but isn’t she a little old to be cast as a high school junior? Then there’s that option of Maja Salvador, which seems ample but I was expecting someone fresh -a new face with that fire that we have grown to love in the previous versions would be really nice.

Then there’s the infamous F4... A lot of names have been rolling around, and I can do nothin but speculate at this point. Hereunder listed with my own opinions about them.

Rayver Cruz: awkward, acting skills like that of a “one-trick-pony” lacking any variation in his performances as far as I have seen.

Jake Cuenca: shows some promise, if his current performance at the drama Tayong Dalawa [The Two of Us] is any indication of how he will take on the character, I reckon he’d make a good Dao Ming Ze/Domyouji.

Gerald Anderson: improving, however I feel as if he’s a bit overexposed; maybe he’ll give others a chance.

Enchong Dee: would do well if cast as one of the F4, oozing with that juvenile-twinky brand of sex appeal

Robi Domingo: I don’t know how he would fare as an actor, but he’d make an excellent Hua Ze Lei/Hanazawa Rui [personally, I’d die to see him there]

David Chua: cute and very promising as well, find him lovable so he has my vote for the role Vaness Wu played.

Marvin Raymundo [Wyjangco]: would do well if cast beside Jake Cuenca as one of the F4, he has that certain yumminess…

Dino Imperial: this is a face I have not seen in a while, he reminds me of Toma Ikuta ergo he’s going to make a good addition to the four, no idea how they’ll be able to tone down the animated way he acts, cute nonetheless

Xian Lim: new face, love his features, don’t know how well he does in the acting department though

JC De Vera: surprisingly, he’d make a great candidate as one of the F4, as soon as they settle the current mess between his management and his current network.

So there we are, those are my fantasy picks for the Pinoy F4. Not that it would have any weight on who they choose, but I can dream, can’t I?