Sunday, August 21, 2016

AQAG#10



Eh di kung sino ang unang nagkagusto.

In the old-fashioned world, straights would struggle to force-fit LGBT relationships into the neat and tidy dichotomies of Male, the hunter, and Female, the hunted. A lot of them fail to realize that the norms of dating have changed since the 60's.

A question like this would probably come from the Titas and Titos of Manila. They don't even realize that perhaps, their own sons and daughters, nephews and nieces have not been following those norms either.

But let me reply to this at a personal level.

I've always been the pursuer rather than the pursuee (?). I am predator not by choice but by circumstance.

In the gay world I grew up in, the beautiful ones, the gods of our age, were almost always the one being pursued. If you were such a beauty, all you had to do was show up in the dance club or the bar and the lesser mortals would be gravitating towards you.

I wanted to be one of them. I craved for the attention they got. But alas, my physical circumstances were not at that level. I have a buddy who was one: handsome, fair, tall.  We'd go to the clubs then and he'd get the stares and even the flirty chitchat. I realized then that my role was 'manliligaw' more than 'nililigawan'.

With that acceptance, I grew more confident and went after people I liked. It has worked for me immensely. I like that I have more 'control'. I also didn't take the situation as an excuse not to work on being a bit more attractive. On the contrary, I really worked on maximizing whatever potential I had. Even as the 'hunter', I had to make sure that the 'hunted' would willingly fall.

Looking back, it all seems so juvenile and immature. But those things got me started on my path towards physical fitness.

So yeah, ako ang nanliligaw. Pero kasi ako yung may gusto at ayokong maghintay lang.

Friday, August 19, 2016

MMJ3

The year and a half of being single about 6 years ago had me indulging in my masahe past time, both spas and home service. I would frequent this "legit" spa along Quezon Ave. usually after a Sunday afternoon run in UP. I call it 'legit' because that establishment explicitly bars their therapists from providing ES. And for the most part, the therapists do comply.

But still, their style of massage would always include a sensual groin or anal 'pass' or lingering touch. That would always excite me but leave me high and dry. Eventually, I encountered one who was 'creative' and courageous enough to provide an almost hand job. Sorry, I cannot describe it in words. Though still wanting, he was good looking enough for me to come back for seconds.

There was this spa near the airport, South Bay City Spa, which was also 'legit'. But their boys were a lot more 'non-compliant'. Even in common rooms, they manage to give their guests hand jobs. But if you get the exclusive treatment rooms, it becomes free-for-all.

I recall Jobert specifically. He was quite 'malambing' with a nice smile. There were even light kisses on your lips as he massaged your head. He was quite participatory, giving and receiving head to clients he likes. I liked that I felt he was attracted to me. That feeling always adds to the pleasure. And those kisses still linger in my mind.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Many-faced God

I'm a Game of Thrones fan. One of the side stories in the wildly popular series involves a mysterious cult led by this figure imbued with power to assume different faces. It seems that his followers eventually exhibit this power, too.

I am reminded of how Jesus himself seems to have this power to be unrecognizable. I get a glimpse of this from the Transfiguration. But after the Resurrection, it seems that this has become a 'regular' feature, starting with the way Mary of Magdala did not recognize him at first. Then there was the story of the Road to Emmaus, with two disciples chatting with him the entire time and not knowing till the last minute. Even Peter and the other disciples did not recognize him while at the shore. His 'identity' had to be 'revealed'. I wonder why this power to assume 'many faces'.

At a very superficial level, perhaps this was to keep him from being discovered by the Jews and taken into custody again. But that speaks of cowardice, and that is not how I know Jesus. Googling this, I encounter this thought: Perhaps Jesus “veiled” His identity so the two disciples would truly think through the things Jesus was saying, rather than accepting the teaching blindly, as they likely would have if they had known it was Jesus.

This explanation appeals to me. And it is consistent with the way Jesus also delivers his messages, i.e. in parables. I have come to believe that our Christian life is meant to be lived in constant reflection of His Word. Just like having many faces that have to be 'peeled off' to reveal the true identity, His Words need to be read and re-read, reviewed and reflected to discover the rich layers of meaning and interpretation. I believe that is how He has designed it to be.

Unfortunately, the many possible interpretations of His Words and His Life would lead to conflicting translations even among the learned. We know of the way some devout Christians interpret His Words to sow even more divisiveness and even hatred. Did He intend this to happen, too?

Reflecting on yesterday's Gospel, it may seem so:

"Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division. "

Our differing interpretations can, and will, lead to conflict if we become stuck in just one interpretation and label everything else as false or illogical. Part of my learning here now is that my interpretation can never be the ONLY interpretation of His Words. His Words have many layers, as he can assume many faces. I become argumentative and combative if I hold on to my interpretation and assume it as law. And I use it to justify hate and divisiveness. All of us are students of His Word and His Life. Yes, some may have spent more of their lives in deep study. But even they will not have the monopoly of interpretation. It is in humbly recognizing that 'The Life' of a Christian, is a Journey or 'The Way' of learning the 'The Truth' do I stop myself from being 'holier than thou' and imposing my interpretation on others. We will remain divided, as Jesus predicts, if we choose to hold on too tightly to our interpretations rather than allow ourselves to listen and learn from each other.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, July 10, 2016

MMJ2

Despite lacking the wet floor scene, and the amenities, I just love getting home service massage. The convenience makes up for everything. I usually have massages weekday evenings, after my workouts. This becomes even more satisfying after a run. My achy feet and legs are treated to kneading that is both painful and pleasurable.

I have special linens for the purpose. These are laid on top of the beddings so these don't get stained with oil (and other body fluids LOL). Sometimes I am considering buying that portable massage cot in S&R, but it won't fit inside my itsy-bitsy bedroom. I recreate the spa ambience with the diffuser (mist humidifier) from Muji, which has its own mood light.

After the massage, I can easily take a quick hot shower and go straight to bed. I am just so relaxed after a great massage.

I know of the horror stories, though. I have heard of gruesome reports on media of 'single guys stabbed repeatedly by an assailant who must have been familiar to the victim.' I am thankful that none of that has happened ever. I have also put up some precautionary steps to minimize the risk.

I would prefer referrals though lately, I have taken chances with some who were not. I ask the household help (yes, they know that I have regular massages) to always open the door for them. This way, the therapist knows there are other people in house. And they have been seen and 'monitored'.

I definitely hide the valuables from sight and just put the payment somewhere else for easy access. The rubbers and lube are also at the bedside table. But that's another story. :-)


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Memories of a Masahe Junkie 1 (MMJ1)

Yes. *stands up. I am a Masahe Junkie. And no one is surprised. LOL

My earliest memories of massage would go back to the 90's. I wasn't earning much so I couldn't go to spas as often as I would have wanted. Back then/, there was The Spa along C5, SM Kenko, The Ritz in Malate. My partner then and I would visit these places more for the action in the wet floors, though. But the massage itself was always a welcome 'ending', usually performed by female therapists.

We didn't go to the 'spakols' of that time. I always found those too expensive, unsanitary. Though the idea of being massaged with happy ending or extra service in the hands of a hunky therapist has always been a fantasy. It was just too expensive. And in those days, those spas were hole-in-the-wall types, with little cots separated by plywood walls. You can literally hear the moans and groans of everyone else.

I would, from time to time, have this lady therapist, a bit old, who would come to give me a good massage. She was quite a talker, Aling Helen, but she did give a good massage. The funny thing is that she would always burp during the massage. She said that was part of 'imbibing' the client's 'energy.' In the comforts of my home, on my bed, a good massage was a welcome treat.

Then by the start of the millennium, with a new partner, I started frequenting spas that had male therapists, and very active wet floor action. The best example would be City Lifestyle on the corner of Morato and Timog. It had a huge wet floor, three hot pools and a shower stalls tucked-in one corner, all perfect for cruising. But beyond the cruising, some of the male therapists offered extra service, at a negotiated add-on cost, of course. The guys were average-looking but they were trained in good massage. I recall a must-try therapist, Edward. He was a bit better-looking than the others and also a lot more aggressive*wink wink. Would you believe I have a friend who actually was de-virginized by him? Good grief. Na-carry away ang bading at nagpabottom.

There was also the more upscale Basilica. It started in Malate then had a branch in QC. That place in Malate was a converted old house. It even had a cafe. It had a maze for a steam room, patterned after Bangkok's bath houses. The adventures you could have in that maze! The guys looked fine, too. Hehe

Both spas are closed now. One that is still around is New York Spa also on the corner of Timog and Morato. It's been ages since I visited. It didn't seem as well maintained even then.

And after a while, I soon got referrals for home service therapists that incorporate massage with extra service in the comforts of home. I slowly shifted away from the spas to home service.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A milestone recalled

I celebrated my golden year of life in February. Turning 50 is a milestone that certain cultures feel it is worth celebrating. But supposedly for Chinese, they do not celebrate at 50 but at 49. A colleague reminded me of this days before my birthday. This is supposedly related to the good 'feng shui' of ages that end with the number "9". According to him, one should be extra careful at those ages. He knows of different people who passed away at 59, 69, etc. It wasn't a very good thing to be reminded of! LOL

Nevertheless, I considered it a milestone. And rather than just have the usual party, I decided to checked of one on my bucket list - hold a personal concert.

I had to have a platform to show off all that voice training. I needed to build my confidence in singing. No, I do not have a fantastic voice. I can carry a tune. I also wanted to challenge myself to learn how to sing classically. After about 4 years (?) of voice lessons, I just had to do this.

What better time than during my 50th birthday? I am going to have a party anyway. I might as well subject my guests to torture first before receiving the reward of food. LOL

The plan was hatched in November 2015. I wanted to sing with a sunset as a backdrop. I was able to find a function room that had just that. I wanted February 27 but it was booked. So it had to be on the birthday itself, which fell on a Sunday.

I engaged my voice teacher for more lessons than usual, starting December. I started working on my set list. But it needed a theme. I'm glad to have thought of the theme - 5milest0nes, cleverly embedding "50" while also thinking of the different milestones of my life that made me smile. (Of course some people would continue to read it as 5 milestones. Sigh.)

I ended with the following segments as 5milest0nes of my life: My faith, Work, Failed relationships (Lost Loves), Current Relationship (Love Found, hehe), Family and Friends, Aspiration. I put in songs that reflected the theme and pushed me to have that 'tenor' voice range, yes, birit as tenors would do it.

By the numbers - 3 prayers, 3 cross-overs (2 Grobans and 1 Bocelli), 2 kundimans, 2 Broadway musical numbers, 3 oldies/classic Arias and 50 guests. LOL

The rehearsals were grueling. Although I have been singing some of those songs, trying to sing them as faithful as the way the music sheets were written proved to be more difficult. A few of those songs I had to learn from scratch.

Then I had to get a pianist even as I started finalizing the details of the menu, the program. I had to set the rehearsal schedules with both pianist and voice coach. Then the technical details had to be layered in. Sound system? Lights? The digital piano? OMG

And my voice wasn't consistently cooperating either. There were times I felt I sounded fine and I hit those notes effortlessly. Then there were the other times. Or if it's not the notes, it's the lyrics, or the beat.

Then I had to time all this in for the sunset. Ultimately, I had to drop the sunset-backdrop, as a one-hour program would include a time when the sun's glare would still be too much.

A week before, I was having fever. Two nights before, I had insomnia. And I felt I was developing sore throat. All doubts started setting in. Why am I even doing this? Why am I the type to always have to push myself out of my comfort zone?

On the day itself, it was all cloudy. Then it started to rain. And even when the set-up was being done, it was obvious that there wouldn't be any sunset. But the 'show must go on'. The rehearsals before the program started as a disaster. My voice was cracking. I was missing them notes. Well, if I make a fool of myself, it would be to family and friends who would (or should) continue to love me anyway. Hahaha. All they had to do was endure the program and they'll get their reward.

But as I started to forcibly relax myself (that sounds wrong, right?), I got to be a bit more comfortable. And I realized now that the most important lesson I learned from my voice teacher is the control of my 'instrument', my voice box, my diaphragm and all other support systems so that despite whatever stress or circumstances, I could still perform. That was what I had to learn.

Then I got on that stage and started singing. The more I sang, the more relaxed I got. Making the audience smile and laugh helped me, too. I felt I did fine. Not perfect but not grossly out of tune or out of beat, methinks. I was able to relax even as I was singing, even when I have sung quite a number of songs already.

I remember the quote "They may say that I can't sing. But they cannot say I didn't sing." This was from this American heiress, Florence Foster Jenkins, who similarly staged a personal concert. Incidentally, that movie came out in May, starring no less than Meryl Streep.

And when the concert finished, I was just on cloud nine! Yes, the weather did not cooperate. I did not end up 'singing to the sunset' but it was fine. The venue came out nice, the program flowed smoothly, and the food was served well. C3, my fag hag, my family all helped me pull it off.

The lessons here:

Only you know what your comfort zones are. So only you would know what will push you away from those zones. And from time to time, you just have to do it. Some people run marathons. Some people make career changes midlife. You do it because your 'self' needs to be stretched to a new form. The world is changing. Your new form will allow you to adapt to those changes.

Sometimes, it is the unlearning more than the learning. I have picked up some singing habits that do not allow me to tap into my voice. I have adaptation mechanisms that make singing actually more effortful and stressful.

There is this three-dimensional axis of talent, training with performance as the dependent variable. Some people, by sheer talent, will perform well, but these are outliers. Some people will Not be able to perform, no matter what training is given. These are also outliers. But most of us, with some measure of talent, and lots of training and hard work, will be able to perform, perhaps even perform well. So it is the combination that allows for peak performance.

And finally, it matters less what people will say and feel about it but what you feel about it. You may receive mixed reviews but that doesn't matter as much as how you felt during and after.

After singing that last note, I was on a high. I did it. I survived. I saw happy faces greeting me, even congratulating me. I was just giddy after, drinking and eating with all my family and friends. It just felt so wonderful.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad