18 May 2010

up in the air...down on the street

So finally, the elections are over. More than a week after the Philippines cast our votes in our first-ever automated elections, we see the results immediately like you're just checking your balance on your ATM account (na hindi offline). After a day or two, local candidates already know where they're going to be for the next few years. Just yesterday, the final 12 of the senate line-up were declared. And in a few more days, we'll know who the partylist groups are who got enough votes to garner seats.

Sadly, AngLadlad is not one of them.

sunrise outside my condo window

But that's cool. As a colleague said, the fact that we were able to officially make it in this elections is a miracle enough. With barely a month to go to campaign, it's still a happy thought that AngLadlad got around 106,000 votes. That's not bad given the circumstances and the controversies, not to mention the religious bigots getting in the way of progress.

Not bad, not bad at all.

Imagine if we were given an earlier time to campaign. That must have been cool. We could have reached more people, LGBTs and straights alike. I'm actually happy that a lot of my straight colleagues and friends voted for us, even those whom I thought were not that progressive when it comes to LGBT issues. I'm glad I was proven wrong in this department.

So that's over and done with now. What happens next? Well, let's see where the new leaders will steer our economy, our culture and our human rights in the coming six years. I hope this batch knows how to drive better than the last ones.

Let's wish.


On a more personal note, I'm happy that you guys are reading my posts. Thanks for the support. I'm also happy to announce that I'll be writing more LGBT-related stuff in a more formal environment outside my blog. I'm actually happy about that development. I think I'm in the throes of this thing called burnout in one of my professional engagements, so beginning new engagements really spikes up my enthusiasm for life. I'll also be starting two new projects which are not LGBT-related and I'm happy about those, too.

Life is full of surprises when you least expect it. I'm glad these surprises have some kind of monetary tags on them. Hey, better be ready for anything, right? With a new government out there, who knows what our economy would look like in the next few years. I won't actually mind if the dollar dips again, and maybe reach the 30s once again (it's currently at 45 pesos to one dollar). Let's see.

My girlfriend and I are also embarking on new thing
s this coming school year. She will finally finish what her father denied her -- an education. We're actually both excited about this. As for me, I'm not sure about my own continuing education, but I'll just keep that on the side for now, perhaps. I'm not in the mood to be a full-time academic student again. Maybe next year. Being in an academic set-up via teaching is enough for me at this time.

my writing nook

What I'm actually interested more to do these days is to write some more. At least with blogging, I get to keep that exercise going. I'm actually thinking of going somewhere where there are few distractions. Yes, few, because let's face it, everywhere I go, there will always be distractions, so best to choose the ones with minimal "evil stuff," di ba?

The last time I did some "serious no distraction" writing was way back in 2007 pa pala, when I decided to arrive days early for a film conference I attended in India, and decided to stay inside a 13th century fort-turned-hotel for days. And what do you know -- I was able to finish my very first novel. That one I want to just polish again so I could finally submit it to a publishing house. A fellow LGBT writer friend has been asking me for lesbian material for this publishing house, and I think I'll deliver that by the end of the year. It's just that with so many fast advancements in technology, I have to update some parts of that novel that discusses technologies. Imagine there was no facebook yet then, only friendster, so I have to change that, right?

I guess this will be a good decade for Filipino writers in general, thanks mostly to the hoopla surrounding Chuck's internationally-acclaimed novel, the one that won in the Man Asia prize. Yes, that's Miguel Syjuco to the world but to us who were once his colleagues and co-workers, it's Chuck. He
was once my editor in the defunct Localvibe.Com lifestyle-culture website he created with his Atenean writer friends ages ago. The Ateneans were happy to pick me up and give me my own weekly film review column when their rival UPians dropped me unceremoniously because... well, I'll just leave that story in the annals of "the stupidest conflict of interest reason ever." Long story hard to tell. Next time.

So that's Chuck for us. That guy can write, and I like his style, so I can't wait to get a hold of his novel and read it. I could certainly use a good Filipino novel read these days. The one I'm currently reading is... bleh.
I don't even know why it won the Palanca (well, yes, I know why but I ain't telling! Saka na.) Too bad I missed his guestings when he was in the country. I'm not sure if he would still remember me, given the decade-plus absence, but it would be cool just to say hello again.

Good, I'm reading, I'm reading, again. I hope I could also write more, again.

Have you had the chance to check out the other Leaflens horcruxes? It's all listed there at the navigational bar to your left. The ones that I've recently updated is the film review site, the others have to wait. I swear, I have so many ideas, concepts and storylines in my head right now tha
t I don't know how to let them all out and jot them down. I'm still trying to digest my two-month US trip as we speak, and that alone would take a lot of effort in terms of writing the experiences down.

with Frankenstein at Universal Studios LA

Plus it's hard to write in this heat. We're having an average of about 34-37 degrees Celsius on a daily basis here since I arrived. Man, the day I arrived, that was the hottest day tallied, ever! Talk about a warm Manila welcome, huh. Well, warm is right. I have to say sorry to mother nature for not lessening my carbon imprint, but in order not to get asthma again and to be able to write, we decided to get a small AC unit for the bedroom. Now that it's up and running, I don't have to walk down to the nearest Starbucks (yes, it reopened finally, after Ondoy) to write. It's noisy there already and not conducive to writing anymore, so I just decided to make my own iced coffee here at home and do my writing here. Let's just hope Meralco loves us better this coming billing period.

Oh well, Manila, my Manila. I hate you, I love you, I wanna leave you, I wanna stay here with you. Dichotomies. Ironies. Welcome to the Philippines.

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