Monday, September 28, 2009

Feeling Guilty Being Safe

I feel very guilty right now. I am quite safe here in Adelaide and I cannot help my family in Pasig, Metro Manila--one of the most devastated cities of typhoon Ondoy or Ketsana in the Philippines.

Flood water was waist-deep inside my family's house. They were able to save most of our electrical appliances but the tuktuk and the tricycle are not working.

Some of my cousins were still perched on roofs yesterday and they are currently asking for clothes and food from friends and family.

My immediate family has electricity and a dial tone but there is no water from the tap. Fortunately, the local government is rationing water to every family but then there are tons of families in my neighborhood.

I just do not feel alright.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hail in Adelaide

I have experienced one hail storm in the Philippines but the ice particles were too tiny and the ground too warm that it melted too fast. I think it is just amazing to see ice fall from the sky.

Of course, here in South Australia, it is not uncommon to have hailstorm. Here I am taking a video and tasting the hail behind the camera. This was taken at our apartment block. My fingers are frozen!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

District 9 (movie)

Back to the squeaking curtains, Steven and I went. I just cannot stop myself from laughing everytime the projectionist adjusts the curtains.

I was blown away by this movie because of the very original concept. It is about a group of aliens that are stranded in Johannesburg and these creatures suffer from ghastly living conditions and prejudice from humans. The reaction of the humans are very realistic and it mirrors what happens to refugees.

The visual and sound effects are very effective in instilling fear and excitement. It can be very violent though but it is not overwhelming.

New talents Neill Blomkamp as the director and Sharlto Copley as the main actor are perfect for the movie. I am certain we are going to hear from this pair again. Kudos to Peter Jackson for discovering Blomkamp and producing this movie.
I cannot wait to get a copy of this DVD.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The National Motor Museum and The Toy Factory

I have been spending countless of hours in the library lately as I have to complete tons of essays. Last Sunday, Steven drove me and a couple of our friends to Birdwood.

I won't deny that this getaway is more for Steven and not for me as I am not really interested in cars. We went to the National Motor Museum where a hundred cars are crammed inside a very small facility. It was very hard to appreciate the vehicles as there was no room to move around them.

Afterwards, we went to The Rocking Horse where we saw some animals. The kangaroos looked bored as kids and adults pet and poked them. The birds refused to approach anyone who did not have food with them. The goat ate almost everything I waved in front of its mouth. The cockatoos demanded attention and mumbled when we started walking away.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I grew up going to Jollibee. My parents used to take me there whenever I get very high grades in school. There were some Sunday mornings we spent having lunch there as well. For many years, it has been the leading fastfood chain in the Philippines.

I downloaded these ads from a Filipino website. Of course, it is only a hoax but it is a very clever and funny one.

Please notice the tagline "Bida Ang Sarap" (Good Taste Takes The Lead Role) changed to a slurred version and the tipsy image of Jollibee himself.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Heteronomativity of the English Language

I saw one ribbed condom dispenser in a male public toilet yesterday and the tag line says "For her pleasure". Someone scribbled a note saying "What about mine?" I do not want to be a vandal but I wanted to write "What makes you think that I am going to use it with a woman?"

Why do people assume that I want to date a woman just because I am a man? I am not a Marlboro Man and yet when I meet new people, they always ask me if I have a girlfriend.

Maybe, they know that I am gay and they are just asking me that question to be polite? Why? Asking someone if one is gay does not mean you are being impolite. What is wrong about assuming that someone is gay?

But then I realized that this is the culture of the language I am using. In English-speaking communities, one has to assume that everyone is straight unless the person in question declares otherwise. It is like assuming that a bus driver is male unless someone says "female bus driver".

This is also why you usually see heterosexual couples hugging and kissing each other in Jetstar TV commercials or Australian straight morning TV hosts talking about their opposite-sex spouses and then the gay TV hosts just keeping their silence. Or how about the commercial with the grain who wants to be a crunchy chip--he has opposite-sex parents! Why can't grains be gay?

I hope that there will come a time when assuming straightness becomes a form of discrimination.