out and about

American Idol Clay Aiken admitted he's gay, to which the world replied, "We know!". Lindsay Lohan implied being gay by confirming that she's been going out with Sam for a long time now.

I didn’t realize that September is the coming out month. I would have joined had I grown the balls to actually do it. From what I've read online, there's this new definition of out. Where you do all the things that make people think you're gay except verbally confirm it yourself.

Lindsay Lohan Confirms Romantic Relationship with Samantha Ronson

In an editorial on AfterEllen.com last week called "Lindsay Lohan and the New Definition of 'Out'", we profiled Lohan and Ronson as an example of a new wave of same-sex couples who are re-defining the notion of what being "out" means.

Lohan and Ronson have accompanied each other almost everywhere for over two years now, attend public events together, wear matching rings, kiss in public, and have had their relationship captured in countless photographs. They have even spoken out together against Gov. Sarah Palin's anti-gay stance. They have done everything but verbally confirm their relationship — until now.

For me, the outing process is one glaring inferiority of being gay. Why does one have to officially announce to people about one's sexuality? Will the whispered gossip behind our back stop once we're out? Will the people be more accepting of us and our lifestyle/culture? Will we be treated equally if it's known that we're gay?

I doubt it. So why the elaborate effort to come out? Straights don’t do it. But then I realized, maybe because coming out is not meant for others to understand us, but mainly for us. Us acknowledging/accepting what we really are and sharing that new found acceptance with the people who matter to us. More of an FYI to them and if they understand/accept us/love us still, then that's a plus.

Verbally saying it to someone close to you liberates us somehow. You know how taboo being a homosexual is to most families (like mine). So to admit you’re actually one and affirm that with your family (with all the prejudices, responsibility, etc that go with being one) must truly be a defining moment. Hayy.

There's so much fear attached to being gay that you need more than balls to keep your stance. You'll need guts, heart, mind, soul, voice, all your body parts and more! Why? Because it is already challenging to blend in, much more go against the flow, deviate from the norm.

But does acknowledging the relationship with words still matter in an era in which the grocery-shopping, event-attending, ring-wearing and hand-holding behavior of same-sex couples is now reported on almost as often as heterosexual couples?

While saying it out loud is arguably no longer a requirement to being out, words still have power — especially to the vast majority of straight Americans for whom the presumption of heterosexuality is so great they simply won't believe a same-same relationship is true unless it is openly declared.

Pasted from http://www.afterellen.com/people/2008/9/lohan-confirms-relationship-with-ronson

People, specially the straights are the ones clamoring for us to come out. They either want to be proven right that so and so is gay, exclaiming, "I knew it!". Or they just want to see for themselves who the gays are, that they're real and not just some hush hush creation of their imagination or to know what they really look like beyond what the media/arts pictured gays to be.

Philippine lesbians are not just the masculine crooner Aiza Sequerra, there's also the vavavoom Sharmaine Suarez (used to be a sexy star), the athletic looker Laila Kuzma (did I get her name right? The used to be host in Eat Bulaga), there's the skillful only daughter chef of Gloria Romero, Marites Gutierrez, there's me, a feminine looking IT professional in a corporate multinational company. There's really a throng of looks, sizes, professions, and whathaveyous, almost close to saying we're not that different from everyone. :)



do drop by if you have time.
note that there's a P100 mandatory donation ;)


In Lehman's term

World market crashed yesterday. Big deal.

A month ago, I was nearing bankruptcy myself. Tough.

Six months ago I invested in a mutual fund from one of the affected local companies by Lehman's demise. Conservative annual interest rate is supposed be around 8-10%. I still have half of the year to see if it'll pay off. Ultra conservative earning for now will do.

One year ago, I invested in a time deposit from a rural bank which per my research offers the highest interest rate in Manila . After six months though, earning 5%, I withdrew everything to pay some family obligations. Sad. I vowed to replenish that this year. I just have 3 months left to fulfill that vow. Tick tock. Pressure.

One year and a half ago, I invested in pure volatile stocks from a broker who is the broker of my friend whom I learned later on is not only a financial broker but also her heart broker (okay, that was a stretch I admit. Hehe.) This self-made friend of mine didn’t finish college, is a single mom of two kids, doesn’t have a regular job, yet drives her own savvy car, has her own house, kids studying in privy school and can afford to have vice and some other luxuries. I was convinced she's doing something right and I'm missing out. So I tried it out. Gave 50k to the broker. I think I'm his smallest client in terms of shell out. My 50k investment has lost 50% since then. You do the math. Major ouch!

Two years ago I read a book, Cashflow Quadrant (by Robert Kiyosaki). From then on my investor self was born.

Having somehow tried diverse 'investments', I am now unfazed with the market changes. I've learned to accept that it's part of the many risks that go with investing.

Lehman's term might have ended, but it just opens a wide door for more opportunities. Call it glass half full. :)

For when the market is down, that's the best opportunity to BUY. It's the equivalent of shopping discount/sale in trading. And buy I will do, from no less than AIG itself. Bold move. High risk. Scary shit. But totally exciting! ;)


en route to diversion

I was supposed to meet with two g2g doc friends tonight to watch UP Film Institute's screening of Manila by Night. I know, I know, I just declared bankruptcy an entry ago, but hear me out first.

Manila by Night is the film where Cherie Gil won the coveted best acting award for a lesbian role in the highly prestigious QTV show, Pinaka. Dahil may kabataan pa ko nung pinalabas ito sa sinehan (and I'm sure chinop-chop na to sa cuts nung pinalabas), ngayon ko pa lang ito mapapanood if ever.

I excitedly came to work an hour earlier so I can leave 5ish in time for the 7pm screening. It's like waiting for the minute by minute progress of time. The day dragged on ever so slowly (because I've been monitoring the passing of the desktop clock) until 5:30pm finally came. I quickly left the office, withdrew from the bank my last money and texted the grrls. No reply. Agitated, I gave TQ (my doc friend) a call. No answer. Excitement was replaced with tension and worry. 6pm, still nothing. Defeated, I called gf to tell her my sob story. I decided with a heavy heart to just head home and catch the film another time.

In the bus going home (opposite to UP), TQ finally replied around 6:30pm. They're already there at UP. And I'm 2.5hrs away from them. Darn network connection for delayed messages! They were convincing me to still go even just for dinner. I asked if it's their treat and said silly no. No treat means no go. :)

At the LRT, I'm still feeling lost because of planned gimmick gone awry. Standing in the throng of masses, I distracted myself by observing three kolehiyalas still in their uniforms, proudly wearing their St. Paul University Manila necklace IDs. *Paumanhin kung may maapektuhan* I mused to myself:

Ang chackie (meaning chaka) ng mga taga-St. Paul Manila. Kung ganito magiging itsura ng mga g2g, magpapakastraight na lang ako!

I tried to not look at them anymore, but their loud voices scream of attention (maybe to compensate for their lack in beauty).

St. Paul MNL kolehiyala1: Si X hindi naman tumutulong sa 'tin.

St. Paul MNL kolehiyala2: Onga. Kaya naman natin e. kung gagalingan natin, maganda kakalabasan (kung anumang topic yun, I hope it's not an attempt to beauitify their faces, kasi galing na lang ng syensya ang makakagawa nun)

St. Paul MNL kolehiyala3: (eto na pamatay!) Kung talagang determinated ka, magagawa mo !

O di ba, ang sarap tumumbling?

Maya maya, nagsibabaan na ang mga determinated. Hay salamat. Next batch please. Marunong naman bumawi si God kasi bumulaga na lang sa harapan ko (as in halos dumunggol) and isang maputing babaeng pretty and sexy (siguro 1 month na Ponds whitening pa tisay na sya), naka-plunging neckline na green blouse, naka-mini skirts, wearing clunky green bracelet and ring. (I'm sure intentional na hindi sya nagnecklace). I definitely feel green with her.

Alam nyo naman sa lrt pag rush hour di ba? Siksikan na, maalog pa. Shempre, pati yung nasa ilalim ng green blouse umalog-alog na rin na para bang gustong dumungaw sa labas (I wish! Hehe). Buti na lang femme ako kaya kahit I kept staring at her neck below, hindi malisyosa ang dating, baka nga flattered pa sya. So ang lowlah nyo, pangisi-ngisi, este, pangiti-ngiti lang at feeling nakajackpot kahit pano. Eto na ang catch.

Chackie nyang kasama: medyo sumasakit ang balakang ko
Green girl: bakit naman?
Chackie nyang kasama: PMS e.
Green girl: (pabulong kay chackie) PMS? Pre-masturbation syndrome?
Sexy femme na eavesdropper: (ako yun! Wehehe. Isingit talaga sarili e) napalunok, nanlaki mata at naloka sa narinig
Chackie nyang kasama: nyeh. Pre-menstual syndrome.

Beauty can only take you so far. Sa case ko with the chackies, they took me to a determinated path. With green girl, well atleast umabot man lang kami sa masturbation, pwede na yun! ;)


Poor the meantime

I have a confession. I'm short of money. I'm negative by P100 pesoses to be exact as of this afternoon. Based from my accounting spreadsheet, my last payroll's salary lacks P100pesoses for my bills and expected expenses till Sept15. Ugh.

Two hours later when I reached home, and my helper handed me our electric and water bills, I am now poorer by P2,300pesoses! Tangenangsyeet! Ganito pala pakiramdam ng mahirap. Nakakaiyak, nakakadepress, nakakainsecure at ang pinakamasaklap sa lahat, nakakapanget. :(

I never realized I'd reach this point of financial worry. I always thought I earn a lot and I am even able to do my regular share of charities and philanthropy. I used to kid gf that I have scholars whom I provide for to support their studies. I also have numerous relatives who seem to be always in need *there's always that kind of relative in every clan* whom I always help out.

But now, in a cruel reversal of fortune (I'm so in Jeremy Irons' shoes), gulping my high-rise pride I'm actually the one in need. There I said it. It's out and I don’t feel any tad better.

This tragedy started when my tax deduction from two payrolls ago doubled than before. It's a BIG tax I tell you. 33% of my earning I surrender to the government. So imagine my ultraelectromagnetic shock when I was deducted 66% of my salary! The katipunera in me suddenly awoke from its dormancy. I wanted to replace gabriela silang on her monument at makati. Gusto kong mag-aklas at sibakin ng itak (figuratively and literally) ang mga tao sa accounting department namin. There is definitely a grave error committed here your honor. And I won't stop until that criminal is in jail!

Kung gaanong nagrerebolusyon ang damdamin ko ganon naman ako ka-helpless sa situation ko. The escalation process in our big multinational corporate company is to email the erring department, which I did. After 5 days as part of their SLA (service level agreement), I got an email with an attached spreadsheet showing the details of my payroll, not really explaining why my tax deduction doubled this time. After reading the spreadsheet and not understanding it one bit, another email was sent to me by the department indicating that the issue I raised has been resolved.

Langya di ba? Nagsend lang ng spreadsheet without any explanation, resolved na daw!

Dahil BS Math si gf, I printed the spreadsheet including my recent payslips. My Math 14 and Stat 1 were not enough to unravel the mystery of the darn spreadsheet. I know kung fu, I know Math. And I know there's a missing variable somewhere because I can't extrapolate how they arrived with my tax deduction value.

So instead of the usual TGIF super fun/steamy gimmick with gf, we settled in a coffee shop analyzing the numbers. *Totally uncool* Turns out, even gf can’t decipher where the double tax deduction was derived. The actual factor that caused it to double was not provided. Ha! Tangenang accounting yan. Kala yata nila mauutakan nila ako.

I sent them another email demanding I talk to an accounting rep. One week later, dedma ang mga pucha! Sent them another email following up my email from last week.

Two and a half weeks since, the shit I'm buried in is getting deeper. My insurance contribution, my credit card, my rent, my utility bills, my Globe line, practically my life, all due this week.

Pag ganito palang gipit ka biglang tumatalas ang memory mo at lahat nang may utang sa yo bigla mo maaalala. My two previous employers still owe me my last pay checks. I thought I won't need them then so I never bothered getting my last pays. Ganyan ako kayabang noon! Na isang malaking kahangalan at kabobohan now that I think about it in retrospect.

What are my options while I await for the true resolution of my tax deduction?

1. Magtipid. No more cabs for now.
2. Magbaon ng lunch and meryenda instead of dining out
3. I still have a $100 bill in my wallet. That's an instant P4.500. But due to sentimental reasons, I hope to preserve that bill
4. I can pull out my P50k stocks investment (that is now 50% lower due to the oil crisis)
5. Maghanap ng sponsors (read: mamalimos) from friends (ayoko sa family ko, another towering pride issue)
6. magGRO temporarily? Pde ba yung customers ko puro babae lang?

Ansakit sa ulo sa totoo lang. Specially if I so want to watch a film in UPFI's (UP Film Institue) filmfest, attend the g2g e(girl-to-girl) exclusive party at Ratsky's (aiza sequerra's going to be there!), watch Avril Lavigne's concert, have my Olympus waterproof digicam repaired -- all to happen in the first two weeks of September.

The first Ber month brought forth a Bery challenging situation to me. Ofcourse, alam kong wagi pa rin ako sa huli. But until then, tuloy ang gyera ko with our company and pagsisintir ko about it.

*im sorry kung walang life altering realization in the end, at bitter and war freak mode pa rin ako*