La Cage aux Folles: a theater review

If my spirit animal1 came in musical form, this would be it. La Cage aux Folles. The cage of mad women.

It guarantees a night perfect for both kicking shoes off and throwing high heels on – this 9 Works Theatrical production is anything but a drag. Knowing absolutely zilch about theater, I came to the press preview expecting nothing. Zero awareness about the multiple Tony Awards it swept, the Robin Williams movie it produced, even the iconic Inday Bote performance it spawned. Yup, for the barrage of belly laughs and mascara-tinged tears that commenced as soon as the curtains were drawn, I was magnificently unprepared.

Here are 10 reasons why I think this glitzier-than-thou musical extravaganza was made specifically for me.

In no particular order:

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On Drawing the Line (and Having It Glitter Like Mariah)

As a kid in the 90s1 and an only child at that2, I grew up partial to non-messy artwork: paper crafts, friendship bracelets, Barbie dresses, even my yaya’s hair3&4.  Drawing, however, was never that appealing.  I hated crayons – the 64 Crayola box was way too expensive, and non-crayons were simply too dirty5.

Hyperlapse (relevant!) on to the present day.  I now work in the arts (debatable), and I find myself engaged to an artist / hobby-enabler6 who gets me every school supply I squeal about.  I still hate crayons, but I do own every rainbow-glittery coloring knickknack our thirdworldly bookstores carry.  I have a range of drawing equipment at my fingertips7, and I’m quickly running out of excuses not to create something worth writing about8.

So last week’s National Bookstore run had Apol buying me a Paintastics brush pen set9.  This was followed by a stroke (heh) of inspiration.  It was 2am on a Sunday morning, and I asked Twitter friends for suggestions regarding what to draw.  Most of the responses were portraits of themselves10.  And I did just that.

The Tools: 

The Portraits:

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“No rest for the wicked,” some would say.

That is incorrect, never use that again, you’re tacky and I hate you.

I got tons of rest last weekend, and the days after that.  Rest… and fluids and clinic visits and syringes and antibiotics.  Rest – even if ordered jointly by both my doctor and my mother – is still in essence, rest.


Yes that shirt design exists and I love it to bits

It was nothing serious, just an infection cured after a couple of days with antibiotics.  Coughs + colds treated by over-the-counter medicine, throat aches treated by warm kalamansi juice, and spine-tingling chills treated by sponge baths from both my fiancé and mother1.  It had been a good 5 days filled with constant fluid intake, followed each time, obviously, by a torrential downpour of pee.

That’s rest – lots of bed rest – in a home without neither Internet access or cable television2.  Consequently, I had to divert my attention to other things:


A. The Church of Kalamansi Juice

Train of thought went like this: doctor said I need fluids, Gatorade replenishes fluids – and comes in this spectacular shade of blue.  If I was going to be downing something non-stop for the next twenty-or-so hours, might as well make it pretty.

But alas, as with most pretty things in the world, this proved to be a wrong WRONG choice.  I woke up soon after midnight with an excruciatingly sore throat, presumably from all the sugar.  I already had a two-day fever, but the Gatorade had me lose my sense of taste3, my desire to speak4 and all hope and happiness for the world I love so dearly.

… UNTIL I met my beloved warm kalamansi juice.  It was one of Apol’s Advice Texts which I usually ignore5, but this time, out of desperation, I followed everything to the letter.

TASTE: not bad, given of course that my tastebuds were functioning on around 3%.  PAIN: none, surprisingly.  RESULT6: the vitamin C in the kalamansi (Kalaman-C?) went all apeshit over the chaos the sugarspecks created.  The bad pain-causing stuff let go, dying a poetic antibacterial death, leaving my throat as glorious and majestic as the final Fern Gully scenes.  Kitchen Messiah Scoreboard: Kalamansi Juice = 1, old-fashioned Salt Gargles = 0.

B. Pocket Trains

Larry got me into this, and I’m afraid it’s going to be a while ‘til I get out.  I’m a NimbleBitch7 who loves trains and basically everything with dots for eyes and I’ve already monopolized Europe and I’ll soon do the same for North America.

Chugga chugga chugga

C. My Fair Lady

I cannot stand Eliza Doolitle.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved Audrey / the whole cast, the production, the songs – but I couldn’t stand the lead character.  Whiny, greedy, selfish, loud, ungrateful.  Lesbihonest, kung naging panget yan matagal na yang sinuntok sa loverly face niya.

“Ha?????” #1 of wambilyon.  Boplax.


D. Parks & Rec 5

Every character here, on the other hand, is perfection.  I’m choosing Alan, the Mouse Rat bassist, as my favorite.  He’s a brilliant writer-director-cute guy and he never gets enough airtime!

E. Louie 3

Damn that Afghanistan episode.  Damn that Robin Williams scene.  Damn that bit where Louie tries to talk to inane radio DJs who conduct interviews interspersed with mindless pre-recorded sound effects, mirroring exactly how I feel about people who use #hashtaggy #comments #alammoyannnn in every single conversation.

Dan made this for me as a get-well-soon gift!


F. Boardwalk Empire 3

Revisted a few of my favorite episodes because Gyp Rosetti8  is the shit!!!  I was more a Harrow fan for season 2, but Gyp was simply gripping. For more comments / spoilery ramblings, see this thread.

G. Monte Carlo

Selena needs to put a limit to these small-town-girl-saving-enough-for-a-dream-vacay movies.  Amazing boobs, though.

H. Please Be Careful With My Heart

I want to grab Sir Chief by the shoulders and shake him ‘till he grows a personality.

I. Basically everything on ETC

Tang ina tama na sa sandamakmak na vampire series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

J. Book Wrapping

I don’t have that many hard copy books, so I take fantastic care of the ones I do own.

How very Dark Angel


I’ve since fully recovered and am back to debauchery and youth wastage and it is fabulous and go visit JP Cuison’s Misplaced exhibit at Saguijo tonight if you can!  Seeya!





1  Ah, to be an independent adult, all tough and grown up

2  I don’t even have a TV set in my room, which is where I spent every rare non-peeing moment in

3  I don’t have a huge appetite as is, so the little food I took in now tasted like pre-chewed cardboard and it sucked ballz

4  IKR, simultaneously terrible and unbelievable

5  “Wag ka masyadong malalim mag-cotton buds!” / “Wag ka magshampoo sa gabi!” / “Use a real glass, not the adorbz new tumbler you got free with the Green Cross hand sanitizer promo pack you don’t use anyway!”

6  Based purely on imagination and acquired logic, as I work in Creatives and not Medicine

7  Finished all the Pocket series so far, as well as Tiny Tower

8  Known to Will & Grace enthusiasts as Will’s boyfriend Vince

“To Create Is To Destroy.” – Why I Made Art for Rob and Apol

This-journal-wreckers would be familiar with the above quote.  You speak the truth, Keri Smith.

Rob Cham and Apol Sta. Maria are having an exhibit on August 15.

THE DESTRUCTION: I spilled beer all over their posters.

The originals, post-aircon assault. Looks much worse in person (paper?)

And since I couldn’t pin the blame on neither Apol (too obvious, too likely) or Rob (and face his legions of Tumblr fans!?), I chose another route.

THE CREATION: I had to man up and make them new ones.

Rob Cham and Apol Sta. Maria Selling Out! 1000 Drawings!
August 15, 2013, Thursday, 7pm
Pocket Universe Art Gallery, 2nd Floor SaGuijo, Makati

Additional promises from Rob:
There will be bands, music, art, friends, people, philosophical debates, otherworldly encounters,
food, SaGuijo regulars, SaGuijo irregulars, Lions and Tigers, Love, Pare, and many more!


August 15 also happens to be my birthday. And since I’ve never ever held my own celebration, this year I’m still not going to.  So come everyone, there’s free-flowing beer (someone else has a birthday that night, SWERTE KO!!!!!) and ~fun-loving friends and fantastic artwork for sale.  Be there!


SURPRICE Facebook page
Rob Cham on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Apol Sta. Maria on Facebook / Twitter (don’t bother, he’s never here) / Instagram


Musique électronique ala Modulogeek

A moment of silence as I allow you all to Google Joon Guillen, aka Modulogeek, aka the guy who shows up to gigs carrying musical apparatuses1 I’d never in a million years learn to play.  Google him slowly and Google him well, because chances are – if you don’t know him personally through the Attraction! Reaction! / Number Line circuit2 – you’ve probably never heard of him.  And that’s a crying, bawling, ~caterwauling shame.

Modulogeek’s who3 I consider the other Chemical Brother, or the unsung Aphex Triplet Adopted From The Philippines.  Armed with a Monome controller4 and movie samples in lieu of lead vocals, he creates electronic music to which robot children are conceived5.  So here are ten reasons why I consider Modulogeek my favorite musical act for 2013:


  • Apol should’ve been my favorite, but I didn’t exactly get his album.

A bunch of music authorities – Diego Mapa included – genuinely liked it.  But parang hindi pa ako ganun ka-art6?  I’m sorry???

  • The people you ride the shuttle with wouldn’t know him.

You won’t hear his songs played ad nauseam by all these phone-speaker music aficionados populating our local commute.  Let them have their Titanium + mutant baby remixes thereof.  You don’t need them7.

  • No lyrics, no forced memorizations.

His gigs are ones you can comfortably chug beer to without missing the birit parts.  You can still sing along to the samples, anyway.  Check out An Android’s Lament,  and chant “I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered” to your robotic heart’s content.

  • He’s easy to draw.

People I can caricature, I generally like better than those I can’t8.  I especially prefer those I can doodle and caption “(Doodlee Name) x Pilar Collab” for, yknow, art scene involvement.  Baybeats even says he looks like Craft Spells’ Justin Vallesteros – AND I DISAGREE.  Baka Justin Vallesteros looks like Modulogeek!???!!!  Joon was born first, giving him first dibs on his face.

  • His music’s free!

Never believe those who stick it to the man9and “aren’t in it for the money” unless they actually refrain from monetary demands. That said, with Modulogeek being an independently-managed geek, donations are always welcome!

  • He has a day job while at it.

A full-time nerd, this one.  Joon handles IT duties for a Hong Kong company, has a family10 based here in Manila, commits to a coupla international gigs from time to time, and consider me very very interested in how you’d define your “busy life.”

Aside from his obviously impressive taste in music, apparently he has remarkable taste in art as well.

  • According to this article I’ve sorta committed to creating his next album artwork

How does a Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band-inspired cover sound?  Featuring Nsync and other 90s-00s greats?  If yes: ignore this blog post, if no: Instagram-video yourself twerking and tag me.

  • He thrives on doing things live.

No, friends, he’s as far from Angel Locsin on ASAP as possible.  I dareya to catch him fingersyncing11.  I doubledareya.  He’s such a nerd12 that he even hesitates to perform my personal favorite, No Laughing Matter13, since he feels he “isn’t doing anything.”  See this video for an utterly complicated take on nothing-doing:

  • And finally, he took us to Singapore for Baybeats!

Yes, friends. This is both a Modulogeek appreciation post and my maiden SG2013 entry.  Mabuhay si Modulogeek, lah!



1   “Instruments” is too common a word for their complex nature.
2   If you do know him personally through the Attraction! Reaction! / Number Line circuit, I’ve a good chance at knowing you as well.  Hello and seeya at Apol & Rob’s Secret Exhibit (shhhh) which doubles as my birthday celebration!
3   Whom?  Grrr I hate grammar.
4    Copy-pasted this one, I’ve no idea what I’m talking about.
5    Don’t tell me you can’t sniff the trampy digital innuendos off each Bleep.
6    Although, I do provide vocals for track 12 – May Ligayang Pasko (Christmas)
7   Can you even imagine the all the Pitchforky cool points you score when you say “Modulogeek” instead of “David Guetta” to anyone who asks????????
8   Diba, mas maganda ang karakter inside and out?????
9   With emboldened panipi for extra emphasis.
10   Inclusive of an adorable Modulokid named after a Joss Whedon character.
11   Ano ba ang Monome counterpart ng lipsync, care to share?
12   Sorry, O Captain Our Captain of Team Bahopants
13   Second favorite’s The Tail of Mr. Fox!

[HK Day 6] Avenue of Stars / HK Space Museum / Airport

May 8, 2013

It’s been two months since these events transpired, and I’ll admit: this Hong Kong series is a bitch to complete.  Nakakatamad with a capital ZZZ.  But alas, a Lifehack-approved life demands I finish what I start so I begrudgingly attempt to get this over with.

Day 6, our final day.  Went back to the Olympian Mall for more iPhone panties only to discover they’ve sold out1.  Settled for Tim Ho Wan lunch instead2, getting more of those dumplings and magnificently baked buns.


“You are what you eat,“ they say.


He was making fun of my “Leg Triangle of Insecurity” pose so I just cropped his off.


Followed multi-HK visitor Apol on foot, and (SUPPLIES!) got lost doing so.  Had to take a cab back to civilization: aptly, an express trip to Chungking.3


A. Apol got me an apple
C. Iba na ba timezone dito? Bat may natutulog?
D. Photo op: backseat monitors that actually work


Made our way to the Avenue of Stars, recognized absolutely no one on the floor, then had our pictures taken by a professional photographer for HK$20 a session.


A. One last duckface for my last Rubber Duck encounter
B. Me imitating things 1
C. Me imitating things 2
D. Ewan ko rin, moving on


We had, uh, a reel good time po


A. See how game I am with floor-touching????? I can totes be an artista??????
B. Kahit anong pa basa ko, parang bastos pa rin


These people move around fast VS. I’m losing my 360-capturing mojo


Pirate ships are always photo ops


A. Added a trippy filter since the fog provided no view whatsoever
B. Professional poses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
C. See? Legit!


With better resolution for future blackmailing, y’welcome.


My mom’s the youngest of 8 kids, and she waited a very long time4 to start a family.  That said, I was born a tita and I reserve my right to act like a tita every chance I get.

Today’s unsolicited Tita Advice tackles research.  I can’t stress enough the importance of this, especially when it concerns travel.  Because spontaneity you can feign.  Konting pa-jump shot lang with your 1-pc. angle in place, or at the very least, end your fake-random Instagram caption with a “LOL!”5 or something.  But for proper research – there very rarely is a substitute.

And you may ask: “Why’s this girl all high and mighty, channeling James and the Giant Preach?”

Interesting question, kind sir.  This girl, Daenerys Tita-born, simply had the good Google fortune of discovering Hong Kong’s free museum day.  It’s Wednesday.


A. Cultured poses at the Hong Kong Space Museum
B. This whole contraption looks tons cooler than it actually is
C. @taongfisheye yehey!
D. Why-yi-yi-yippie-yi-yay-yippie-yi-yo-yippie-yi-yay6


Watch me suck at intergalactigames

A. Some spacedude
B. The Hindu version of Earth
C. Mars Attacks!


“Hova” sana but Google says we did it wrong, so “Triangle” nalang


Ground control to Major Tom!


Got to try a simulated moonwalk, too.  People go one at a time, however, with fact-feeding VO blaring around as you attempt to literally gain a foothold.  So no, I didn’t get to perform any MJ hee-hee’s.

Quick tip for the girlies: If you plan on going moonwalking with a harness consuming your ladyparts with a vengeance, skip the short shorts.  Or invest in a long-sleeved panty, whatever.  Just learn from my mistake:


I didn’t even bother turning around. A crotch-eater, that contraption.


Here’s Apol’s video, because mine has me all panty-grabbing and stuff.

More spacethings:

A. Space ice cream!
B. Dinosaur food!
C. Uuyyy ~oriental ~oxymoron
D. Baka kulang pa yan? 29 ayaw niyo? 35?


Headed back to the hotel afterwards, gloomy over our departures, yet cheered up by the fact that our place provided free shuttle service to the airport.


We like trains.


B. Olympic!
C. Kowloon!


A. Mirror selfies are mandatory
B. Pa-sunset na pa-deep photo


A. My packable duffel’s bigger than my actual luggage
B. This Airport Express trains are awesome
C. 20kg limit each, so BOOYAHHH
D. Naw we don’t really pose thattaway, pang last hurrah lang ‘yan


And so we were off to Manila.  Joke lang.  This delay kept us stranded at the airport until the next day.


A. At least we got to eat Saboten!!!!!!!
B. This stamp collection is a nice collection
C. Mirror selfies, again, are mandatory
D. A PiPol collab!







1  Honestly, Hong Kong, bat ang lakas ng benta ng iPhone panty sa inyo?
2  Mental reprimanding ongoing: one does not simply settle for Tim Ho Wan.
3  Wong Kar why, you ask?  Sobrang layo na namin mehn, mas okay nang gumastos.
4  I have a nephew who’s a full month older than I am, that long.
5  Something like, “Bought a new Macbook Pro, LOL!” or even better, “Just proposed to my longtime girlfriend LOL!”
6  I will never run out of Nsync references, I promise