Tegan and Sara concert

Back in May 2013, B and I went to Singapore to catch Tegan and Sara Quin perform live at Esplanade Hall.

B and I

B and I

On November 25, 2013, we joined young and seasoned fans of the duo at NBC Tent for a first ever concert here in Manila.

Of course, S-siders stayed near Sara's side

Of course, S-siders stayed near Sara’s side

It was a crazy night. I was squished in between B and a fat guy who was with his girlfriend. This fat guy had on a preppy outfit. He was sweating profusely despite the air conditioning. Even as I was jostled from time to time (and elbowed back I did) by this sweaty creep, I stood my ground. I was close to the stage as possible with a fleet of fans in front of me. I danced, I shouted, and I grew quiet with the crowd. The opening act led by Up Dharma Down was a mini concert in itself, and of course, Armi Millare was hot and roared her way to a dazzling finish.

Fans of Tegan and Sara were waiting for the banter. We wanted to hear their stories, we wanted to know where they went and what they ate during their Manila visit. We wanted them to rib each other and spill stories about the other. But they sang on and on, tracks from the latest album interspersed with tracks from previous brilliant albums. At one point, Tegan explained that it took them a long time – 14 years – to drop by and so they were giving us song after song to make up for lost time.

Sara dearest

Sara dearest

I saw lots of fans from a Tegan and Sara fan group that I am part of. I saw familiar faces in the crowd. We all had one purpose: We were there for the twins and for their songs; we were a community of fans and friends.

A day before the concert, I was given the once in a lifetime chance to be part of a mini press conference to interview the twins. I found myself seated two feet away from Sara. I found myself losing it from within when Tegan flashed her familiar smirk. I was able to form a coherent string of words for me to fire a question at them. When they answered, I felt dorky. I knew I had my dorky face on, but I remained calm outside. Inside, I was a quivering mess; that facet had since wet her pants the minute the twins walked into the press con venue.

Tegan's to-die-for smirk

Tegan’s to-die-for smirk

With Sara (insert silent scream here)

With Sara (insert silent scream here)

Like it's a normal event that happens all the time: a hug from Tegan with her squeezing me CLOSER

Like it’s a normal event that happens all the time: a hug from Tegan with her squeezing me CLOSER

What a lovely blur

What a lovely blur

Quin twins sandwiching Mendoza siblings

Quin twins sandwiching Mendoza siblings

DSCN2288

Here was what I wrote about that press con on my Google+ account (apologies for my quoting myself but this is very meta, don’t you think, tee-hee):

I was lucky enough to be given a spot in the mini press con with Tegan and Sara. I was able to fire one question to them, all the while feeling dorky and overwhelmed. I gifted them with something, and I had my ukulele signed by them. The twins were very gracious and very humble. At one point, I asked Tegan to sign my tiny notebook. I forgot to ask Sara to sign the same page, but I saw Tegan reminding Sara to sign my notebook! What a sweetheart. And that hug and squeeze from Tegan made my week. And Sara, oh Sara, who was just two feet away from me. They were just mesmerizing.

My Sara Bean sporting her latest tattoos

It was not only me who had special encounters with the twins. There were those who had VIP passes at the concert. There were those who were part of the meet and greet gathering in Greenbelt. Special shout-out to Miwa who staged a mini story with her photo shoot with the twins. My gifts for the twins consisting of mug holders and story books paled in comparison with the ultra artistic creations of other fans ranging from illustrated cookies to a rendition of the twins as mermaid-birds.

Up to this day, our fan group is still nursing a post-concert depression. There was one fan that opted not to remove her concert wrist band for more than a week. I, up to this very day, can’t play my ukulele because I now see it as priceless. We continue to post comments on videos other resourceful fans would share.

:)

🙂

With Urbandub's Lalay Lim (my date! Haha, I wish!) (Also, ignore my oily face)

With Urbandub’s Lalay Lim (my date! Haha, I wish!) (Also, ignore my oily face)

The twins have played in other cities and countries by then. They have toured the Great Wall of China and consequently have been seen from space. We are still here where they left us, drowning in the echoes of their voices.

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weird

I always find myself in situations where people tell me that I am weird.

By now, I am immune to it. Being described that way since Grade School years can make one immune.

Last Halloween, I dressed up as a black cat. Not a Catwoman, but a black cat.

I love my tail so much that today, I have decided to wear it inside the house while I putter about.

Is this weird? I think this act is awfully normal for a cat person like me.

purrr

purrr

fear

Just in case you didn’t notice, I haven’t blogged for a long time. A lot and nothing have happened.

People know that I thrive in secrecy. The personal life that you know about me is just the tip of the iceberg. However, I want to share with you this part of my life because it is about my “person,” Timon.

Timon has been in the animal clinic for a week and a day. She had a miscarriage (this was weeks after her four-day old kitten died from Timon’s previous pregnancy), and she almost died because of massive bleeding. I am grateful to V for rushing Timon to the clinic the moment V saw her unconscious on the living room floor. Now, Timon is less fragile yet still not out of the woods yet. Every night, I fear that I would receive a call from her doctor telling me that she’s gone ahead of me. The first night that she was confined, I talked to her like I would a dear friend confined in a hospital. And then I whispered to Timon something I never told anyone, something that was part plea and part prayer.

The first night she was confined, the doctor discussed her condition with me, and I just couldn’t stop myself from crying. Her friend and constant fuck mate, Wonton, seems sad and depressed since Timon’s confinement. He’s stopped eating with gusto, and he’s been sluggish. Because of this, I’ve allowed him to sleep in my bed. He is my snuggle buddy, and he thrives in cuddles. Both of us have this deep ache in our hearts, and our purring has not been of contentment but something carved out of desperate fear.

for you, this october

I’ve written that October for me spells sadness. October is sadness, just as September is sunshine, just as April is madness and jest.

This is the death month of my stepmother.

Every year, I write about October and about her being dead as ever, since 2000.

The movie version of Harry Potter portrayed Luna Lovegood as being able to see thestrals that are only seen by those who have seen death (my reference is the movie, not the book; I am not a Harry Potter book whiz). When I saw this bit, I teared up and instantly liked Luna Lovegood. Incidentally, Luna is the maiden surname of my maternal grandmother whom I adored fiercely.

I am able to see thestrals since I saw my stepmom die. I am able to see other things because of her death like seeing her smile on a stranger’s face or sensing her touch a fraction of a second from the merest physical contact. I was by her side when she died. I was the one who brought the news to people. This is the first time I admitted that here, to you. Every year, there is no salve that can cover the wound. The wound just dries up a bit, forms a scab, but beneath a hole gapes.

This year, I offer the songs Winter Never Comes by Paper Aeroplanes and Dream a Little Dream of Me by Ozzie Nelson. This has been my ritual since 2000: to offer songs to her on her death anniversary. People say the last sense to die is the sense of hearing. I’d like to think she can still hear me. I’d like to think songs can still reach her.

September 19

Today is Tegan and Sara Quin’s birthday. The universe did a good thing in creating them. They have inspired countless people, and their music over the years have elicited different reactions.

Outtakes from their "Body Work" music video

Outtakes from their “Body Work” music video

It’s not only because they’re artists, and they’re creative, and they’re genuinely good people. It’s also because they’re practical people. Tegan and Sara create jobs for their staff. They pay their taxes, they sell merchandise, and they encourage complimentary businesses to grow with their brand. It’s so admirable and sexy the way they embody practicality. Whenever I watch videos of them, I look at their hands. Their hands are longish and have a brute force beneath their softness. I judge people by three things: 1) their voices; 2) their respect (or lack) toward animals; 3) the weight and sense of utility of their hands. Tegan and Sara have long aced these standards.

Advocacy is part of the work of their hands.

Advocacy is part of the work of their hands.

I am getting teary recalling my trip to Singapore to see them. They are a part of me, and I am glad I know and I know of kindred souls who get me and my obsession with them. I plan to buy a box or a truckload of cake tonight or cans of beer to celebrate. I need to stop; I do not wish to get more teary and wobbly. This fan might start to gush, and you won’t like it when I start to gush.

(copyrights belong to the respective owners of the photos uploaded here. i do not claim ownership for the photos.)

truths

freefall is a section in weight of words for masturbatory, practice writing, random quotes and pieces of poetry. similar to a tattoo where an artist sketches an outline first before the very illustration, freefall is an outline of either beautiful or monstrous sets of words to come.

“You hold me in the dark when storms arrive.” – Ellie Goulding

No, you don’t hold me in the dark or in the light. I don’t hold you either. Why hold each other when we are the storms themselves? My country is a sea and water country, and every other day, the skies are committed to fall and fall. We are committed to retain our roles, and we make mad love with our eyes.

Anything and nothing may happen, and you and I let it. That boat, this bed, that jar of stories, that canister of silver water, the real and the inevitable fictions. I let my eyes scan this room, that cubicle, that auditorium, and while you tell me Let’s forget About This while This is happening and while your hands are all over me, I smirk and let you know, why of course, not a problem, suit yourself.

There’s a paper boat or a paper plane that you have to catch, and there’s a magic carpet ride I have to catch.

Once, you told me about your long walks with your pets. Once, I saw you looking at my wall filled with mad scribbling. I wanted to tell you that you did not have the right to read those words on that wall, but I saw your hand mindlessly miming writing on an imaginary piece of paper. Were you copying my words? Were you rendering them in shapes?

*****
She doesn’t know why she is mad at you. Maybe because you only have words, and words contain mayhem and the occasional lullabies. She is tired of words. She wants nothing to do with these one-dimensional lies and liars. She wants to commit to the parade behind closed doors, she wants the lines on your palms to dissolve and become thunderstorms.

*****

When he proposed to her, she thought, that’s the best non-proposal I have ever received. He said, let’s be together without emotions, let’s just pleasure each other every day, and hunt down each other’s bodies in time, when we find ourselves singular, without any hangers-on, without partners. She asked, are you sure? and Are you crazy? and Are you sober? And he said, yes, yes, yes, and she danced on top of the table while he looked outside his window, regions away, and played a song on his aging guitar. The characters here are talking about years and years into the far future; a lot can happen, she may even be long dead by then, but it was nice and sweet to receive a non-proposal, to be treated like what she really is: an animal only committed to writing verses.

*****
He showed her his kittens. His female cat gave birth to two sickly kittens, and now he is invested. She is happy to meet his kittens. Inside his house, the bed is warmed with anticipation, and the sheets are conditioned to receive a delicious beating. But before the madness starts, they stand a foot apart committed to watching a family forming before their eyes. Their eyes glow with startled tenderness, and their lips form riddles and rhymes. Tomorrow, he will bring the kittens to the veterinarian. He is worried about them. She looks at the kittens, and the day slides back and back.

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Water everywhere

There are interests and hobbies that stay and there are some that (I let) go. Just like people.:) Being an ardent monster of recycling, I find myself recycling a person or two in terms of ties (more on this in a future WordPress blog entry and its link with my fascination toward GGM’s theme in his book, One Hundred Years of Solitude) and recycling interests.

When I was in college, my sister and I would go to Rizal Complex for our weekly swim. We hired a coach to coax out the inner Phelps and Franklin just bobbing within us. I learned the backstroke, breaststroke, and the butterfly kick but never the freestyle. My body is not aligned for swimming, but I kicked and treaded water as if I had been born in it.

This I wrote in a letter to a friend: “When I swim, I keep my eyes open, but sometimes, I end up closing my eyes. The silence is very palpable, and the sensation of moving without impediments (or the illusion of their absence) like gravity, objects, pollution, is freeing.”

There is a painting of Ophelia done by British artist John Everett Millais that has a special place within me. That painting reveals myriad meanings to me, and it is never flat and finished for me. Like a spectre just swimming in the periphery, that painting continues to arrest with its absent answers.

When I swim, the voices in me grow calm and silent. I think they follow the flow and speech of water or they realize that they are home.

Recently, I have swum in a well-maintained pool in Makati. I would do laps of breaststroke and backstroke and let my head stay underwater for as long as I can for the dolphin kick. Once, I tried the arm stroke of the butterfly stroke, and I landed on the surface flat and hard. Jolted, I felt the suspension of pain, but there was water and silence swirling everywhere salving the impact.

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Music yet again

[Yes, I am still alive, folks. Crazy, right? :>]
[This entry was drafted weeks back.]

I almost always leave the ones who show me tenderness. I am allergic to people exhibiting tenderness toward me. I feel it is a put-on, a show, something insincere and transitory. While most people are excited about relationships, I always ready myself for the end. That’s how I am. However and whenever we part, know that I have exhausted mental energy plotting, choreographing, and directing the versions of the characters in my head way ahead of the actual parting.

It’s not a good way to live a life — preparing for the end of all things and ties. Top this with a faulty memory, and there lies the tragedy. Top this further with my drive to prioritize convenience over emotional ties, and there lies the grain of the matter: All for my benefit, all for my convenience, comfort, and welfare.

The worst that people said to me or about me are the following: “You’re a bitch.” “You’re vicious.” “Wow, walang puso [i.e., heartless].” My perpetual response: “I love animals.”

But nature/life/universe/playful gods made sure that I don’t go scot-free.

They have given me deep obsession for music — well-crafted, well-arranged music.

When a person leaves a mark in my life (which is quite rare, to be blunt about this), I tend to associate him or her with a song. Mind you, I never recycle a song (key persons, I tend to ‘recycle,’ but that’s altogether a different story and adventure). I pride myself in an eclectic taste and a wide swathe of songs in my collection inversely proportional with the depth I feel toward people.

So sometimes when I listen to a song, a wave or a flick of memory washes over me, hits me, and then leaves me full of questions. The best part about this? It’s so quick and so transitory that I let go of it in the blink of an eye, and everything is light and bright once again. It’s as if I paid a visit to Lacuna, Inc. years back and had my memories erased. Only in rare times does the procedure fail and reveal its errors, but for the most part, the procedure is a success.

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the day the yellow creatures came or ba-na-na!

(pasintabi at pasasalamat, Bienvenido N. Santos, for the title)

I love yellow except when it was used as a banner color for a political party. That was when I hid my fascination under a rock like hiding a bright ball of sun underneath a chunk of meteorite.

I love animated aliens and TV show aliens such as Vicki/VICI of the TV show, Small Wonder, and the three-eyed alien in the Toy Story trilogy.

Three-eyed aliens! <3 (from www.iposters.co.uk)

Three-eyed aliens! ❤ (from iposters.co.uk)

So when the minions came to town through Despicable Me 1, imagine my utter giddiness. Yellow and capsule-like, they loved playing pranks on one another and talking dorky and adorable — just my kind of people. Couple that with the siblings, Margo, Edith, and Agnes (“It’s so fluffy, I’m gonna die!!!”), and everyone (even those who hate fluffy things!) fell in affection and tenderness for them.

Fast forward to 2013, the year of Despicable Me 2’s showing. Imagine my happiness when I found out that McDonald’s bundled their Happy Meals with minion collectibles! As of this writing, nine minions have been up for grabs once you happy-binge on Happy Meals. And I did three times in a row two Mondays ago to claim three minions. The fourth minion came from V, and I am awaiting one more from a dear friend.

My fascination doesn’t stop there. On July 1, 2013, I went to Lucky Chinatown Mall, Binondo, to take part in Despicable Me 2 Meet and Greet with Stuart and Jerry. If it were not for the meet and greet, I wouldn’t have bothered going to Lucky Chinatown Mall since it’s way out of my route back to my place.

Lennon & the minions

Lennon & the minions

We went there with V’s friend and her son, Lennon (a darling angel and a sweet, sweet boy), and waited to meet and greet my yellow friends. We were the first to spot them emerging from a cinema and led by the bosses of Lucky Chinatown. I couldn’t stop myself from squealing with joy, and in a blink of an eye, people started crowd around and taking photos. Believe me, if there were alien royalty, Jerry and Stuart would be serious contenders.

Giddy me!
Heehee, even their hair strands tickle me pink

Heehee, even their hair strands tickle me pink

I immediately staked a place in line and waited for my turn. When my turn came, it was a dream reunion come true. I was so giddy I felt I was going over the moon and over satellites and back!

Yellow creatures!

Yellow creatures!

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label(ed)

(Note: This entry was written after the historic event cited here.)

The repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 has made America and the world joyous.

Now American members and their partners (either Americans or immigrants) belonging to the LGBT community can now claim what have been theirs to begin with: right to joint property and to other benefits once vested in heterosexual married individuals.

With this landmark repeal, I wonder how my reactions inward look in color: yellowish orange for pride, red for triumph, and dark green for wistfulness. The last one weighs heavy because the last one reminds me that I am not an American citizen, and I don’t have a landmark case to support me if I choose to marry another individual.

A lot has been said about the inequality of it all and the backward and bigoted thinking ruling the big and small events of our days here in the Philippines. Despite my (not so impressive) background in LGBT activism and my bitchiness, I remain a scared LGBT member. Why? Because I am scared of what heterosexual and closet homosexuals will do to me if they find out I serve the LGBT cause. I wonder how many times people have talked about me when I am not around and how many times they’ve colored my actions and words. I am scared and tired of living in Manila where hate slur can be heard in the very same institution I work for and in the very same apartment I live in with three other individuals.

I would like to have a choice if ever I decide to have a life partner. If that happens, it would be great to have a co-parent once I adopt a child. I can’t raise a child by myself what with my condition and alongside my family members whose emotional quotient development have been arrested since the 80s. I hate the fact that institutions from schools down to the church pulpit lambast “my kind” and portray us as outsiders, errors, stereotypes, moral scum, and sinners. More so, I hate those “friends” and acquaintances who feign acceptance yet whose very words and actions carry sinister discrimination. Even more so, I hate those nameless individuals who pick on LGBT members and use bullying, rape, blackmail, arranged marriages, and other threats that arrest safety and rights.

In a nutshell, gays are biologically male who love and desire other males of their choice; lesbians are biologically female who love and desire other females of their choice; transfemales are born male yet feel trapped inside their bodies and so wish to become a woman; transmales are born female yet feel trapped inside their bodies and so wish to become a man. Gays are still men; lesbians are still women. (Oh, and there are more “labels” where these came from and what the marginalized does is claim these labels as tools that empower and not stifle) Do not accuse the LGBT members so easily as predatory; just because we are branded different doesn’t mean we prey on others in the wink of an eye. In the heterosexual sphere, there are also predatory individuals but we choose to see the good side, we choose to wield understanding. These are all just labels, and we can survive without labels. What is everything but only a performance of a farce? (Judith Butler’s performativity anyone?)

We’re just like you and countless others seeking to have better and more meaningful lives, but you don’t wish to treat us as equals. What does that make you? Superior? No. But a tyrant? Oh, yes.

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