erap pa rin

did you read the headline of the pdi today?

i told you so, more than a month ago, that erap would run again as president of the country in 2010. and what would the supreme court say? they will just let erap run. if he wins, the people have spoken. if he loses, the people have spoken. this is the same supreme court that allowed gma to sit, in 2001. the least they can do, maybe from their point of view, is to let things and events run their course.

Like a fever running its course.

I ran under the Genuine Opposition in the last elections, but I should have trumpeted this to the max. I was well-bred, and polite, and took no potshots at my enemies. Imagine, a fertilizer scam in QC? The Defensors running the district like a fiefdom? Quirino Labor Hospital being turned into a semi-private hospital, with a nice facade and no medicines inside? As Ate Vi, now Governor Vi, would put it, this hullabaloo thing!

I am running again, as a senator this time, and I hope under the Genuine Opposition. Woe to those who would be at the receiveing end of our potshots, wicked one-liners, jokes, puns.

Did you go and check out the website of Erap? It said, "Ang Pagbabalik."

As Jose Garcia Villa, National Artist would have put it: I,told,you,so.

And for those in the upper and middle classes who kept screaming at me in the last month when I told them my hula, read my lips: "You are so few. Many of you do not even vote. All you do is talk."

90 percent of the voters are poor. They will decide who the next leaders would be.

So if I were you and you want to run in 2010, go on a "massification" campaign. Now. As in, ready, get set, go!

from cubao to rawalpindi

i just got my phone, finally virus-free. i am in netopia and saw my friend jay espinosa.

i will get anti virus later, installed in my phone.

i saw up all night watching bbc and cnn reports on the death of benazir bhutto. the poor woman refused to wear a bullet-proof vest. but even if she did, the determined assassin shot her in the neck, then detonated himself near her van.

i remember raul roco many years ago, saying he also did not wear a bullet-proof vest because it was cumbersome. he also refused a bodyguard. he only had a driver with him all the time.

jay said there is a seeming parallelism between benazir and ninoy aquino. two asian leaders who came home from exile. ninoy was shot dead on the tarmac, in white, like a bird with a broken wing. bhutto was shot wearing her shawls and headgear. the first female prime minister rankled the islamic militants, the anti-democrats, the whole kontrabida gang.

my fearless forecast: administration bet musharaff will lose this election.

Ladlad 3 and the plot to kill me

Oh yes, we launched Ladlad 3 like three weeks ago and I was surfing when I saw blog entries about it. That is nice. One that made me laugh was when this group of badinglets (young badings, budding gays, etc) went to get my autograph.

They were so polite so I said, "Ang babait naman ninyo!" Then suddenly, the standee for the tarpaulin behind me was knocked over by somebody, hitting me smack in the face.

With poise intact, I looked at the boys and said, "Syet, mga La Sallista kayo, ano?"

The boylets laughed their heads off, then had their picture taken with the super-fabulous GCF, Gilda Cordero Fernando.

BTW, Ladlad 3 is selling for P495. Anvil wanted it P550 but I vetoed it, saying nobody would buy. It is P495 because paper and ink and etc have become expensive. Blame it on the E-VAT.

And of course on your sitting President. Not mine.

Mwah.

Post Christmas

Dec 23 and 24 I cooked and cooked -- roast chicken and paella and etcetera. I cooked because there were no columns to write and students to shock.

Then night of Dec 24 I went home to my parents' house in Fairview and my yaya gave me a great back massage, using the best of them all: Vick's Vapor rub. My eyes fluttered, I fell asleep, and woke up the next day -- already Dec 25. It was as if all the irritation of the year, the lumps and the knots and the bumps caused by some super-mega-hyper idiotic people at Comelec and the bribe-givers from some unnamed, big political party have vanished.

And so today I am here, trying to write again. I am going to the phone company to ask them to reformat my cellphone because some bug has embedded itself in it. Then I might go to the wake of satirical writer par excellence Adrian Cristobal, dead of cancer at 75.

Or do that tomorrow and attend the party given by one of my lesbian friends, a cook who looks at the world the way it should be -- one eye skeptical, the other one hopeful.

Do not eat a lot of meat.

tabloid, radio, film, tv

I just talked to Raimund Agapito, my former co-teacher and editor in chief of Pinoy Parazzi, the newest and hottest tabloid in town. Their thrice-weekly tabloid has everybody -- from Boy Abunda to Lolit Solis, and pretty soon, Joey de Leon. I am joining them beginning next week.

I am also finalizing talks with a big AM radio station for a show that would reach the whole country, from Batanes to Basilan.

In February, we might begin shooting a film where I play the role of a teacher.

And just the other day, in Jessica Zafra's launch for Manila Envelope, I teased director Urro dela Cruz about appearing in Bubble Gang. His counter offer: "If you want, I have another show, with a higher rating! You can appear."


Mama mia.


When all those presidentiables tell you they are not running in 2010 and it is still three years away, do not believe them. All of us are preparing. Now. Those running for president, vice, and senators.

But I am the only one who is up front about it, publicizing my every move, gaining points as the days pass.

Wait, wait when the surveys appear in the first quarter of 2008. And then, we will know who will have the early laugh.

perception vs reality

hello, my blog called masaya prompted one of my friends to say he liked it because it is one of my few happy entries. ay. i checked all the entries and they are just that, i guess. mirrors of current reality which, sad to say, is not happy.

pan de sal is P3 a piece.
lpg is P650 per tank.
gas is P44 per liter.
jeepney fare is P7.50 and will rise to P9 in January.
taxi flag down rate will rise to P50 in January.
My income tax is 32 percent, which collected yearly is enough to buy a small car.

all my cousins and relatives are in the us and canada. why am i staying? because i am happy here. if you remember, the point of all philosophy is to change the world. that is why i am here.

i was in the senate yesterday and saw chiz in action during the hearing on the harassment of media. he was good, with his sharp questions. maria ressa of abs, too, very articulate as usual, the military and police officers and cabinet people were not there. afraid siguro. that is what you get when you handcuff media, who should be your friends. and you have to face an array of people brighter than you. hahaha.

i met one of chinese-filipino friends yesterday for lunch and we laughed and laughed. he also does not want to leave. he will raise campaign funds for me in 2009. what do you want in return?

nothing, he said, just good governance.

it's a deal.

masaya

pride march 2007 was a success because people worked hard for it for free. the negative vibes are not there. everybody's eyes were focused in one direction.

you should just look at the photos taken by our own ladlad member, jasper espejo. pls check them out at www.ilokano.multiply.com

jasper also designed the cover of my latest book, ladlad 3, co-edited with neil garcia. one call center said half of their 200 agents -- and only a few of them are gay -- have already bought the book.

no wonder ladlad 3 is flying off the shelves.

my website is finally under construction. and i finalizing discussions for a radio show, a tabloid column, and a column in a popular magazine.

who told you 2010 is so far away? not when those running say they are not yet thinking of it, yet are already planning everything, down to the barangay level.

you take care. and enjoy those photos.

Successful Pride March

We have come, we are here, and we marched up and down the street in our colorful clothes and vividest words.

Pls see the images that Jasper Espejo captured of the LGBT Pride March 2007. You can find them at www.ilokano.multiply.com

Ang Ladlad won as best delegation -- a heady mixture of oldies (me and I will not say who else), young people from our Caloocan-Malabon-Navotas chapter, and the Boys' Legion, which has an alliance with Ang Ladlad.

Tri-media and the foreign press also covered us. And media behaved. When I told them not to force people to pose as kissing boyfriends, they obliged. How did I do it?

I said, "Mga kuya, pag ginawa n'yo yan, hindi ako mananalong senador sa 2010."

And media being kind to me, they just smiled, and obeyed.

Uh oh

I was typing and typing my blog entry and finished it and sent it and voila! It was under notphantomvoters, my old blog which you can find somewhere here (under profile). So just go there and read. Super sorry...

See you tomorrow at the Pride March, 3 pm, Malate, beside Aristocrats Resto.

deaths

This week alone, three people I knew died.

The first was my student, Joey Carlos, who was the brightest boy in my Lit 13 class last semester. He was quiet, but would always give the wisest answers in class. He also wrote well, dissecting every story with scalpel-like sharpness.

The second was my writer-friend, Rene Villanueva. I saw him last a month ago, when we were watching ENDO at the UP Film Center. He was thin and did not look too well. I sat beside him and told him he was my favorite writer in Filipino, and his eyes lit up. But in my bones I knew that Rene -- who had survived a heart bypass, a stabbing, the shocks flesh is heir to -- would not stay too long with us.

The third was a man I met only briefly, Monico Atienza, whose book won a National Book Award from us in the Manila Critics Circle. He survived Marcos's dictatorship but not the debilitating effects of sickness.

Krip Yuson texted me to ask if I want to join PLAC to go and visit Adrian Cristobal. I remember Adrian as jovial. He would pinch me on the arms, the waistline, every time he saw me. The rest were scandalized, but I just smiled and told him, If you pinch the right waistline, you should also pinch the left.

When Joey's father asked me why was that his son, all of 18 and kind and extremely bright, left us early, I told him, Sir, I am sorry I do not know what to say. In spite of the tons of books I have read, I have no answer.

But I wished that those who have stolen from us -- whether of elections or of our taxpayers' money -- would be the ones dead. But I am sure the gods of karma have something in store for them, in their own time.

Abangan.

Mar Roxas and the Liberal Party

Today Mar Roxas was elected President of the Liberal Party. He promised to bring the LP to victory in 2010.

This signals officially the start of the 2010 presidential election. Everybody is saying it is still three years away. But hello!? It is only less than 900 days away!

Mar will run under LP. Manny Villar will run under the Nacionalista Party. Loren Legarda will run under the Nationalist People's Coalition. Lakas-Kampi (or is it Lakas OR Kampi) has no candidate so far. Noli de Castro ran as independent senator in 2001 and under Lakas-CMD-NUCD in 2004, but still has not gotten the complete trust of the coalition, a trust strong enough for him to be its official standard-bearer.

Will one of the opposition presidentiables move to Lakas and run under its party?

As I have said, I think Erap Estrada will run as President in 2010. His intention seems to be to "united" the opposition. So the opposition better unite, as one, or else Tatay Erap will run again.

By the way, I attended the LP event at Club Filipino today and saw my friend Atty. Adel Tamano, spokesman of the Genuine Opposition. He texted me later to thank me for our brief chat after the LP event. He said we might even run under one party in 2010.

I have made no secret of my intention of running as a senator in 2010, under a big political party. As for which party, I have made no decision yet. Maybe Adel and I will run under one party? Which party kaya?

Abangan...

Ladlad 3 Book Launching

I am inviting all of you to the book launching of Ladlad 3: An Anthology of Philippine Gay Writing (Anvil Publishing).

The launch will be held on December 1, Saturday, 5 pm at Bestseller's Bookstore, 4th floor, Robinson's Galleria, Ortigas, Pasig City. There will be a book signing, singing, dancing, food, and drinks.

Please come to the launching of the book series that helped kick open the door of the LGBT movement in the Philippines.

See you there -- and spread the word.

Raining

It is raining, and then the sun is shining, and everything is hilong-talilong (higgledy-piggledy?) I have a column in today's Philippine Star, the Young Star section. You may go to www.philstar.com

I write for the Arts and Culture section every Monday, but since they said my readers are young (like my kumare Jessica Zafra's), I should also write for Friday. Well and good. Because 70 percent of the voters are young, it is good to have a headstart with the young and the literate.

Woe to the candidate who disses the so-called youth vote. I talked to one of them, a presidential wanna-be, who said the youth does not vote but only stays in Starbucks. I said, excuse me, more like Jollibee than Starbucks. He also said the youth do not read. Of course they do, but shorter books, thinner volumes, words scrawled in cell phones, in the Internet, in the blogs.

Those who ignore the youth do so at their own peril.

Erap pa rin

I said it a month ago and I am saying it again: Erap might run as President of the Philippines in 2010. Again. If not him, then his proxy, his son Jinggoy, would do it.

Erap might run to unify the opposition, since they say there are so many people who want to run as president. I do not think there is something wrong in announcing your plans to run for a position in an election to be held three years from now. The campaign for the next elections begins a day AFTER the last election. And why do you have to be coy about your plans?

Be coy only if you have an IQ below sea level, or have dirty hands, or lack fabulousness and poise.

Done

This week, I will finish checking my students' final exams and papers. Also, I will finish writing my final two papers for my Ph.D. Then everything is done.

I can now review my Spanish for the language exams. And review, as well, for the comprehensive exams in Literature.

But more enjoyable, for me, is the return to writing. Ladlad 3 will be launched late November in Bestsellers, 4th floor, Robinsons Galleria. I have proofread the pages of Rampa: Gay Essays. I have made a final draft of Philippine Gay Dict: The Uncut Version. And the cover for The Best Philippine Love Stories anthology is now being done.

These are backlogs.

Future projects: to compile all my Tagalog prose (stories and essays) into a book, and then all my English short stories into another book. Then defend my novel, which is my creative-writing dissertation, so Anvil can go ahead and publish it. They have accepted it for publication last year.

Why am I doing this? Because we need more Philippine books to fill those shelves. Because we need good, readable books that many people can read. Because National Bookstore has 75 branches nationwide and this deluge of books will give me free publicity for the elections of 2010.

Yun na.

From not phantom voters

I am moving my blog from www.notphantomvoters.blogspot.com to this new name. People told me I should put my name and that year when I would be running again for elections. 2010. It seems so far, but it is less than 900 days away.

And as we speak, or as you read these words in cyberspace, alignments are moving. Standing shakily on soggy soil, political alliances in this country have never been firm, to begin with.

When I finally ran as an Independent Congressman in the elections for District 3 of QC, I got lots of offers: to run under this or that party, or to accept this or that set of "incentives" (read: bribes) for me not to run anymore, since I was the front runner in the surveys.

Like flakes of dandruff on my shoulders, I just brushed them away, ran, and lost. I thought I could return to my old life as a teacher, but no! As we speak now, or as you read this blog entry, I am getting calls and emails and text messages from this or that politician, asking for a meeting, an endorsement (the barangay elections next week), whatever.

For those running in 2010, the most important thing to remember is this: the campaigning has begun last may 15, one day after the elections.

Karla Maquiling has a good, blunt interview of me in www.pinoycentric.com regarding Philippine elections. Read it and pee -- with laughter.