Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Cock Fight

At 430 AM this early morning, I was awakened suddenly. Too early for the crowing rooster. I heard the ringing of my cellphone. I looked at who was calling me up at that time. Booty call perhaps?

It was Phoenix*. Three missed calls from him. I looked at my other cellphone. There were two missed calls from him in that phone.

What was so urgent that he needed to call at that hour? I answered.

GBG, in a groggy tone, but still hoping for a booty call: O, tumawag ka? Ang aga-aga. (You called? It's too early).
Who's the bigger cock now?

PHOENIX, in a worried, panicky tone: Nagkagulo kanina sa bar. Si Luigi* mo, nakipag-suntukan kay Bimby*. Napa-away nga rin ako, pero kay Derek* naman. (There was a commotion in the bar earlier. Your Luigi had a fist fight with Bimby. I was also involved, but with Derek).

GBG, in a surprised, but nonchalant tone: Ah talaga? Anong nangyari? (Really? What happened?)

PHOENIX, in a calmer tone, as he tried to explain after minutes of trying to reach me: Ganito yan... (It's like this...)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

It's Raining Cocks and Dongs

Everyone living in Manila knows that it's been raining cats and dogs in the city for the past weeks. Call it typhoon season, or monsoon season, or rainy season. Everyone is inclined to stay at home or rush home when outside, to avoid getting wet by the heavy rains, which cause heavy flooding, which cause the heavy traffic.

Not for me, though. The rains didn't stop me to explore the streets and gay bars of Manila.

Ang swerte ni 'teh!
Like rain water flowing from one canal to another, I was lead to the narrow alleys and dark streets with gay bar locations I haven't visited yet. I've read a lot about these bars -- small, street-side gay bars littered across Quezon City -- and I guess it was time for me to baptize myself with a visit. I brought with me a gay friend from high school, "Mike", who got curious of the gay bar scene, being a gay bar virgin himself. Fantastic, I thought. A trip to the gay bar with a friend on a rainy night!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pamahiin Ng Mga Bangkay

Tinanong ko kay "Rocco"* sa text kung papasok siya sa bar noong isang gabi. Isa siyang macho dancer na katrabaho ni "Russell" sa "Answer for The Emotionally Needy" gay bar. Nakita ko siyang sumayaw noong isa sa mga punta ko, at dahil napansin ni Russell ang pagtitig ko, tinanong niya kung gusto kong makilala ang lalaki. Nahiya naman ako kaya tumanggi. Ngunit pag-uwi ko, nakita ko na lang sa cellphone ko na finorward ni Russell yung number ni Rocco sa akin. Kaya ayan, tinext ko kung ano ang plano niya noong gabing yun. 

Sinagot ni Rocco sa akin, "hindi."

"Sigurado ka?" sagot ko agad. Syempre, una kong naisip na may booking siya nung gabing yun, na itinatago niya lang sakin. Siyempre, bakit naman kasi aaminin ng isang macho dancer sa isang customer na may kikitain siyang ibang customer sa labas ng bar. Pero inusisa ko pa rin kung bakit.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Stabbed At The Back

"Actor-turned-director Ricardo 'Ricky' Rivero was stabbed 17 times in his Quezon City apartment yesterday morning, June 13, reports ABS-CBN News. The 39-year-old director survived the incident and confirmed that Hans Ivan Ruiz, 22, attacked him after he refused to give Ruiz money. 
According to the report, Ruiz has known Rivero for five months after meeting him through Facebook. Last Sunday, June 12, Rivero brought the suspect home after meeting him at around 11 p.m. along Timog Avenue, Quezon City. A fight between the two started after Ruiz claimed that his father was sick and asked the director for money...
"...'From the circumstances, the stabbing came first at the back. 'Yung taking could have come before or after, when there was no violence or intimidation on the person,' Mingao said in the report. Police also suspect that robbery was a primary motive." (Taken from spot.ph dated 2011-06-14 and 06-15, as reported by Dharel Placido and Gus Abelgas from abscbn-news.com)

I first got to know "Air"* last September 2010. He was a hosto model working in the then-hosto bar in the Malate, "Neighborhood." He was 21, about my height of 5'9, mestizo, and most of all, chinito. He was the shy-type, not too brash, introverted, and not the loud, out-spoken kanto boys that are typical of hostos or macho dancers his age. But he reminded me of a little boy who had child-like innocence - a true boy-next-door. Among all the guys I've met in these bars, "Air" was the most ideal. "Champion 'to, Slam dunk!" kumbaga.

The first time I tabled him couldn't have been more memorable. It was on the bar's big night, and because the guy I used to table was busy (remember "Ruiz" alyas Boy Torrid?), I had the opportunity to request for Air. When he sat with me, he told me he was surprised that I got him. He added that he'd been noticing me from afar for some time now, and he was just too glad to finally get to know me. Of course, kinilig yung bakla, as I too had my eyes on him for weeks already but never got the opportunity to talk to him.

At the end of that night's event, as we were leaving the bar around 530 AM, a rambol / fight ensued among the drunken hostos and the MD companions of my friend Ringo. After all the punches and broken bottles thrown, and my pang-awat in the middle of Manila's streets, what left an impression on me was not the memory of the crazy street-rumble itself, but the little phone call afterwards. Among the guys there, it was only Air who called to ask me how I was. He was obviously worried about me.

That sealed it for me.

More on my personal story:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Songs in a Gay Bar: OPM Male Love Songs

Oh, to fall in love, and sing a ballad about it. Oh, to fall in love, and weep in the rain while hearing a ballad about it. Oh, to fall in love... and lust on a macho dancer at the same time. Sigh.

I've written two posts previously about the songs that are typically played in the macho dancing gay bars. The first was about the Power Ballads of foreign rock bands popular in the 90s, while the second was about the R&B slow songs whose ultimate goal is to seduce [that post now updated with a song I forgot to add]. This is now the third of such series of posts. 

This time, it's all about OPM: Original Pilipino/Pinoy Music. And senti love songs at that.

I've noticed that the OPM songs these men dance to is sung by male artists. But no, these are not the songs of Yoyoy Villame, Freddie Aguilar, or Diomedes Maturan (Duh, he's only THE "Perry Como of the Philippines"). These are by contemporary male singers, whose love songs have ranked high in the local masa airwaves the past years.  

Because the macho dance is a slow routine whose primary objective is really to seduce, a love song or romantic ballad is fit to dance along to. And as mentioned in previous posts, these macho dancers usually choose songs they are familiar with. Since they are mostly surrounded by local radio stations, local TV stations, and local music video shows (like myx), of course, top song choices would also be local. Good thing all the local record companies packaged their male singers (most of whom won talent searches) as balladeers and released romantic ballads from these young men. Without their songs, can you imagine a hunky male stripper dancing along "Sayaw Kikay" by the Viva Hotbabes (La la la la laahhh.... Ay, kikay!) ?

So here are the most frequently heard OPM Love Songs from contemporary male solo artists that's heard inside a gay bar. Imagine being serenaded by the hunky dancer with a smooth manly voice singing a heartfelt song of undying love and devotion. I also noticed a common theme among them, which I will mention after the list below. Click "play" to listen to the song, and be reminded of its message.     

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Alias, "Boy..."

You'll hear it in the streets of Manila, among kanto boys drinking their beer bottles. In high schools, among barkada of boys teasing one another. In men's locker rooms, amidst sniggering of name-callers. In shady drug lord dens, among whispering policemen for a crime bust to report to media.

And much more popular, in Philippine movies, as part of action film dialogues and comedy film posters, all featuring male leads.

All these are aliases that start with "Boy", like Boy Tondo ("Lumabas ka na diyan, wala ka nang takas!"), Boy Dako ("Padaplis nga sa iyong malaking..."), and Boy Bawang ("Pabili po").

Remember these films? So who played the roles of Boy Ahas,
Boy Recto, Boy Pana, Boy Tigas, and Boy/Kanto?
It has been part of our pop culture and society, to attach this short tagline at the end of a feared, respected, or ridiculed guy's name. Usually used for males, the nickname signifies what the person is known for, like a certain trait, characteristic, physical feature, a previous deed, or recurring action. It's given by their male peers, during kantyawan or jeering sessions, and the men may be branded for life, whether they like the nickname or not.

But what's so unique in Pinoy slang is how these monickers start with an "alyas" (or "also known as"), then followed by "boy" with the unique descriptor after it.

So to hear someone called "Juan Dela Cruz, Alyas Boy Tigas" may make you go run for your life ("tigas" = hard, strong man) or make you curious about his assets ("tigas" = hard, erect thingy).

Now, in Manila's Gay Bar scene.

Given that these macho dancers are all men, name-calling among these young guys won't be that far. The names are usually hush-hushed among them, used as private jokes. But when the monickers start to spread among the bar employees, he's dead! Just listen to the DJ when he introduces some of the guys, as he'll use the ridiculed nickname as part of the spiel. ("Please wel-kem... Boy Vienna Sausage")

Two such monickers got me intrigued. The stories of Boy Torrid and Boy Kant*t

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Oh My, Enrollment Time!

The first week of June signals the end of the summer season for the Philippines. The sunny days are over, replaced by the cloudy weather that casts a state of gloom across the country.

While this quite-depressing atmosphere is felt by everyone, I think the most anxious and worried people during this season are the Pinoy parents. Why? It's back-to-school once again. Enrollment time!

It's a common feeling of stress for parents during these last two weeks. Registering the kids at school. Paying for their tuition. Buying the school uniforms. Lining up at bookstores to get school supplies. Thinking what their kids will bring for their meals or baon. Budgeting again for allowance. Etcetera.

If the middle to upper class parents find this season a bit stressful financially, how do you think the lower income brackets with children in public schools would survive?

Being a gay guy, I initially thought, great, I've escaped this ordeal by having no kids (yeah, pro-creating with a woman sooo turns me on). Life was pretty sunny for me despite the season, as everyone else was scrambling to procure all requirements the past few weeks before June starts.

Well, until I got involved with a few macho dancers. Nothing serious though, like involvement through a relationship. Just by-products of friendship (with benefits?).

So how does being a gay bar patron get affected by this back-to-school season? Let me share.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Inter Gay Bar Competition: Part 3

(Conclusion from Part 1 and Part 2)

As I couldn't take pics in the bar, let me help you
visualize what the dancers may have looked like.
I think the host bar deliberately placed the best performances at the end. They were both from Planet Xanadu, the bar from faraway Quezon City. Apparently, the bar is known for their grand production numbers, and they were expected to do well in this competition.

True enough, they didn't disappoint. The first performance had a lot of dancers: two tranny impersonators at the front, and five male dancers -- the macho dancer contestant in the middle (the tallest and most handsome), plus four back-up dancers. What impressed the crowd was their stage presence. Costume + props, check: They were dressed in loin cloths ala Machete outfits, with spears and bamboo props. Choreography, check: All were coordinated in their upbeat African-Ifugao inspired moves. It was so impressive that I didn't even notice if there was some "note"-worthy exposure, particularly at the time when the middle dancer had his seductive routine amidst the dancing back-up tribesmen. Siguro naman meron, for them to be well-applauded and cheered.

In contrast, the second representative from the bar, and the last among the contestants, had a slower, more dramatic performance. It involved a semi-nude jungle king, who was the macho dancer of course, and his supposed semi-nude queen, who was a drag queen performer, if you may. They were the only performance with set-props on-stage -- tall columns decorated with leafy vines. The couple's dance routine was similar to a lyrical performance from "So You Think You Can Dance". Or for more jologs-essence, the interpretative dance by a balleting couple to the romantic duet, sung in "That's Entertainment."

Past 4 AM, while waiting for the results of the competition, the host bar, Solution Gay Bar, had a surprise performance of their own. With the use of salakots as props hanging from the ceiling, with their own impersonators and the top tattooed macho dancers dressed in glitter g-strings, the bar made sure to outshine the production numbers from the other competing bars. In fairness, as the host bar, they gave a performance that was sure to impress even non-regulars of that bar.

When the substitute host gave a run-down of the competing bars, he mentioned in a sarcastic tone that other bars declined to send a representative, without naming specifics. Boys Next Door turned Adonis II turned back to Boys Next Door in Malate didn't send a contestant. Nor did Big Papa (BP) Gay Bar, which the host was referring to. According to "Russell", who was a former dancer in the said bar, Big Papa sent a contestant in Solution's previous competitions. However, a video of the representative, taken from a hidden camera, was uploaded online without consent of the bar (sorry, I couldn't find it). As the bar's owner discovered this, he refused to send anymore contestants to their rival bar's competitions after this incident.

After a few more modeling from the host bar's hunky men, they revealed the winners of the competition. Best in Costume went to the lackluster, tribal-caped Machette Bar. 1st runner up went to the bird-shower White Bird. Top prize, with P8,000 and bragging rights to be called the Jungle King 2011, went to the as-expected, obviously-prepared Planet Xanadu.


As it was my first inter-gay bar macho dancing competition, "Russell", who's had 6 bottles of MD drinks already, gave me a little debrief of what happened.

He said, for the P300 entrance fee, the show wasn't worth it. Most performances earlier can be regularly seen in an ordinary "prime time" special of any gay bar. There were no spectacular performances from the usual great show-stoppers of before, like Big Papa or Valentino Gay Bar, who would really take weeks, money and effort to prepare. The only performances that stood out came from Planet Xanadu, as expected because, according to him, one of Planet Xanadu's managers was a former Big Papa manager, trained from its school of macho dancing production numbers. Even the surprise performance of Solution  Gay Bar was also a product of Big Papa, as one of Solution's managers also came from that bar.

Well, this is not the only inter-gay bar macho competition to be held in Manila. Gay bars do sponsor their own annual competitions, as part of their big night events, inviting their so-called rival bars to participate. I wonder when and where the next competition would be?

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
email: char.affairs@gmail.com

Photocredits: http://www.123rf.com, http://www.thebaglady.tv/2009/03/topshop_tribal.html

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Inter Gay Bar Competition: Part 2

(Continued from Part 1)

After the host's 30 minute blabbering on stage, at 2 AM, the DJ announced the names of the bars who were competing for the title of "Jungle King 2011." I remember hearing Machette Bar, Club Mansion, White Bird, Mankind, Hunks and Planet Xanadu. A total of 11 dancers were vying for the title, with some bars sending two contestants.

As I can't take pictures inside the bar, let me
help you visualize what the dancers wore...
The first representative, the one sent by Machette Bar, had two gay impersonators and three macho men as back-up dancers, all in animal print. Despite the amount of performers on-stage, the props used, the voracious dancing of the back-ups, the contestant failed to wow the crowd. He was just lackluster, standing there at the center, doing a very routine macho dancing. Fine, he had a leopard-print full cape on, kudos to his costume. But other than that, nothing spectacular. 

More so the second contestant, from Club Mansion. I couldn't even remember what he did. He wasn't even applauded after his performance (he even exited the stage before the slow song ended). But for sure I  briefly saw some cock.

The first representative of White Bird was a revelation. The dancer they sent, who was a newbie recruit all-the-way stripper, surprised the crowd when he revealed his "talent", right from the beginning of his first upbeat song until his second one. After a minute of vigorous dancing, he removed his loin cloth, leaving on him a tribal head gear, a few wooden necklaces, and feathered arm bands. He had the longest bird exposure (the exposure was the longest ha, and not the bird). He even had the only asshole exposure of the night... twice siyang tumuwad. He captivated the audience so much that he even got some sabit from a customer.

What shocked me was that I've been to their bar countless times, and never had I seen this kind of dance there. I even heard a few women from the audience wondering where the White Bird bar was, curious  to check out if this kind of dance was really performed there. I guess they might get disappointed if they knew how really "conservative" WB is.

Jungle King 2011?
After this performance, the following performers from Club Mansion, Mankind and White Bird were ordinary. Yes, they might have shown some "treasures", here and there. But for me, yawn, seen that before. According to "Russell", the dancer seated with me, the performances didn't look spectacular; any regular gay bar had these performances on a regular night. Dressed in as simple as a g-strip with skirt fashioned from cut-outs of white crepe paper or as elaborate as Aljur Abrenica's Machete costume, all of them were the same -- same type of solo macho dancer, same type of dancing, same expression on their faces. Good thing there was a 30 minute break after the 6th dance, or else, the crowd would've fallen asleep. It was already past 3 AM.

The last remaining performances were group dances.

The first nota-ble one was from Hunks, the supposed "revived" gay bar. Entertaining was how best to describe the performance that literally depicted "Jungle King". Their tranny impersonators dressed up in jungle animals: a Mulawin-like eagle, a white-horse-slash-donkey-slash-tikbalang-on-all-fours, and a lost, out-of-water mermaid-like-butete. They had a forest nymph, a diwata, who seemed to be the star of the show, prancing around the stage in an Enya-like song, together with all the un-tamed and un-coordinated animals. And where was the macho dancer? At the background, hidden underneath a large cloth, only to be revealed as their King at the second half of the song. But, again, nothing fantastic about his macho dancing. Oh, and yes, I forgot the most important animal: the King's pet cock... or was it snake?

(to be concluded)

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
email: char.affairs@gmail.com