And what, Danton, have you done?
Cynics, their noses up in the air and their eyebrows arching up their Botoxed foreheads, ask me. You do not have P100 million to run for senatorial elections in 2010, so, aver, what have you done?
1. I've answered all calls for radio and print interviews regarding the cases of Jan Jan (Cebu canister victim) and gay sagalas. I also appeared on TV from 6 am to 10 pm to answer all questions, from the serious to the impertinent.
I did not plan all these. Jan jan was drunk that New Year's night and the gay sagalas have been making rampa for 2,000 years before the priests noticed the sagalas were gay. In short, these events that threw me in the media spotlight the last four weeks are -- well -- they seem like acts of god.
2. I've smiled and talked to everyone who talked to me at the malls, the department stores, the airline ticketing counters, the bank reception counters, the taxis, the schools, the tiangge, the hospitals, the slum areas. I smiled and talked when, at times, I would rather do my shopping or my checking in of luggages at airports quietly and privately. Before politics, I was a shy and reticent person. Amen.
3. I've started a column online (www.abs-cbn.com) and should really start writing for a tabloid. They asked me months ago, but there is just no time to write another thrice-a-week column. I only have two hands and one brain.
4. I've been all around. When it's sem break or long weekends, I travel around the country. In the past year, I have been to Ilocos Norte, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, Camarines Sur, Albay, Capiz, Aklan and Iloilo. I have talked to governors, congressmen, mayors, vice-mayors, councilors, barangay captains, kagawads, teachers, students, drivers, farmers, fishermen, housewives, and laborers. Many of them are happy I am talking to them early. When I tell them I have no pasalubong for them, they just smile and say that is all right.
5. I'm trying to proofread all my books. I have published Ladlad 3 last December. I have just finished proofreading Rampa: Gay Essays. I will next proofread Modern Philippine Love Stories. I will then proofread Philippine Gay Dictionary. My assistant is busy typing my Selected Poems: English and Mga Piling Tula, as well as my book of short stories.
When a new mall opens, I am happy. That means there is a National Bookstore, a flagship store in all the malls. And that means my eight books still in print -- which occupy one whole shelf in the front part of National Book Store -- will give me the free publicity and buzz that I need.
I have turned down an appearance in two game shows. I argued, what if I lose against a Grade 5 student? Or what if I lose against 100 geniuses?
And I have just finished shooting an independent film where I play a wicked English teacher. It was the most difficult role of my life.