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Lex Bonife Lectures at La Salle

imagesThis writer has been invited by De La Salle University’s Mr. Ronald Gue of the Literature department to speak to their students regarding my written works for the gay community. It will be my first time to speak in front of students outside of my school UP Diliman, and I am honestly quite nervous.

It is an honor for me to be invited, hence, I have agreed to do my talk on February 19 in front of students from about four different Literature classes. What I have chosen to discuss is How Narratives Empower A Minority Group.

Having done this blog for almost a year and having written a few gay stories for film, I have received bulks of emails on how these “narratives” have made a difference in the lives of many gay men out there.

And it just illustrates that suffering among individuals coming from a minority group (in this case, the gay men) is relieved whenever their stories are re-told onscreen. The film narrative serves as an affirmation, that these gay men are not alone in their struggles with their personality and sexuality and that their most kept and “shameful” secrets are in fact shared by many other gay men.

Having witnessed this phenomenon first hand, I am just thankful that I am able to touch the lives of other gay men through the stories I wanted to share.

To you Mr. Gue, thank you for this invitation. I hope I could give justice as I represent the issues of “gay men” in front of presumably a majority of “straight” students at DLSU.

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“Lex Bonife: A Conversation”

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I was honored to be interviewed by Victor Hoff, an American writer on sex and culture. Victor has been a contributor to Unzipped, Flavalife Magazine, The Sword and The Huffington Post as well as a featured blogger for Treasure Island Media (under the nom de guerre “The Pornographist”) and Gawker Media’s Fleshbot. Mr. Hoff routinely interviews some of the brightest and most colorful personalities in the Sex Industry which have included Chi Chi LaRue, Bobby Blake, Audacia Ray and many others.

Here’s the opening paragraph on the article “Lex Bonife: A Conversation”

Despite our setbacks, it’s hard for most gay Americans to appreciate the societal taboo that is homosexuality in most of the world. Outside of Western Europe, homosexuality can be seen as anything from Satan himself requiring nothing short of prompt execution to a peculiarity that, while tolerated, certainly isn’t embraced. In the Philippines, an acutely Catholic nation, homosexuality is tolerated much more so than many other Asian nations but its citizens are granted few rights. In fact, this is the central paradigm about Filipino culture: homosexuals enjoy a degree of openness unheard of out side the Western Industrial base of Nations but they have the fewest rights. One right they do have – and seem to openly embrace it – is queer cinema.

And on the forefront of that movement is Lex Bonife, the screenwriter of the hits, “Ang Lalake sa parola” and “Ang Lihim ni Antonio” and “Kambyo.” His first two movies deal with repression and sexually awakening and push the boundaries of moviemaking in blunt and sometimes uncomfortable terms. He makes the seduction of a fifteen-year-old a complex issue by erasing some of the borders that put reality on one side and shock and revulsion on the other. He writes scenes with full-frontal nudity and including fellatio, barebacking and masturbation and both gay and straight sex with a degree of realism that is jolting. I had the pleasure of speaking with him tonight for two hours. He’s an unassuming, polite and puckish young man that is both confident and humble. We started off with a blast…

Read the full article at http://menofcolor.blogs.com/moc_blog/2008/12/lex-bonife-a-co.html

Truth is Over Rated

 

My usual conversation with gay friends is normally punctuated by exaggeration, fantasies, hyperboles, rumours and all variations of that much feared term – lies.

 

Then one of my friends posed a very confronting question, “Bakit puro tayo ka-echosan”(Why are we so fond of silly talk?)

 

And without thinking, I just blurted out, “That’s because truth is over-rated”.

 

I wasn’t sure if the statement made sense. But contemplating on truth, here are some things that I can say about it.

 

There is so much demand for truth. But the truth is bitter. It disregards our feelings. It could even trample on the very things that we value in life.

 

So we, humans regard many ideas as true even if it’s just a variation of the real, cold truth.

 

So is truth really over rated? We think about it. Sometimes, we write about it. We demand it all the time. But in reality, we just honor it whenever it is useful in our lives. Perhaps, it really is.

My First Year Teaching Yoga

It has been a year since I attended my Yoga Teacher Training. And looking back, my life has dramatically changed.
First, I now teach seven days a week. I grow with my students and they inspire me to have a deeper yoga practice.
Teaching 15 classes a week, have made me let go of several television and film projects. But It is a decision I would never regret.Because teaching yoga does not require me to go on late nights with killer script deadlines, kiss ass with entertainment executives and deal with tantrums from “wannabe stars”.
Teaching yoga simply requires to be myself – adventurous, appreciative and nurturing. It does not require me to wear nice fitting signature pants,expensive watches and other fashion statements shouting “look at me, I’m a creative person”. Everyday, I simply wear my most comfortable shorts andsneakers geared to face the harsh urban Manila.
And because I can simply leave my fashoin in my closet, I can now afford not to drive my car. With the onset of exorbitant gasoline prices, I’m just glad that most of the studios I teach in has a direct access to a train station. Now, I can pay for the food that I crave for without thinking of my gasoline and parking expenses for the next day.
For the most part of the week, I only teach in the evenings. For this reason, I have gained enough free time to write about things closest to my heart: yoga, my queer advocacies and the philosophies that I stand for. I have written scripts for films which have earned praises from critics and have grown three blogswith hundreds of readers a day. And for the first time in my life, I am publicly recognized as a writer.
Aside from the great wonders of a lifestyle change as a yoga teacher, my practice has deepened. I am now entering the realm of backbends, something for me was impossible for the past three years of my yoga practice. My meditation has become deep enough for me to have an overmhelming appreciation of my life and the world around me. Having attended the Asian Yoga Conference in Hongkong has taught me that there’s a huge world of yoga outside of Manila. And there’s a limitless direction into how I want to grow my practice.
Let me end this note with my most important lesson so far — I have learned that our lives are anchored on our mind and our body. The lifestyle of yoga leads us to a better body and a better mind. Hence, as I grow in yoga as a teacher and as a practitioner, I live a better life and so do my students.

Confessions of a War Freak

I have a confession to make. I am a chronic, combative verbal attacker (at least for now) and I love to pick up fights with strangers in a public place. All throughout my existence, I have several stories to tell on how I created a scene, verbally assaulting a stranger or a group of strangers who I deem to be abusive and have just stepped on my rights as an individual in a public place.

From private vehicle drivers who selfishly steal my much awaited parking space (when obviously I got there ahead of him) to inefficient and arrogant government employees, to noisy movie goers, I have become the day’s villain to so countless people I don’t know.

And what’s worse is that, I especially enjoy being combative especially when I’m alone.

This behavior of mine is contrary to my generally quiet, patient and friendly disposition at work. I am trying to analyze where I get all these mercurial temperaments. I know for a fact that I barely have any tolerance for abusive strangers. But what I don’t understand is why I secretly enjoy bursting into conflict with these insensitive people.

I do recognize that at anytime I could possibly get killed by someone armed and more violent than I am. But then, I don’t know why I don’t feel threatened by this fact at all.

There are certainly many things within one’s personality that’s not easy to explain. And I just console myself that everyone else has a chronic irrational behavior just like me (I hope so)

Graphic Gay Sex

I am an advocate of the complete integration of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transexuals (GLBT) in the society they live in. And I believe that by sincerely showing graphic gay sex in films as well as other materials, we hasten the process of this integration.
The visual representation of gay sex may be offensive to many people. But it is a visual message needed by this advocacy. My conjecture is that when people are exposed to such images, the idea that “gay sex” is a predominantly natural act for a significant segment of our population becomes easier to comprehend for most people.

There is this popular church who declared to “love the sinner. but hate their sins.” And this has led to society accepting gay men as productive individuals but reject the very idea of their sexual behavior and their sexual preferences.
Accepting us gay men as productive individuals is not enough. Society certainly benefits from our productivity. We are tax payers. And some gay men in the Philippines even controls some of the most powerful corporations in the country.
But I don’t think this so called “acceptance” or tolerance accorded to us gay men is not enough.
Society has to stop forwning on our sexual preferences and behavior. Gay sex is very much a part of animal behavior albeit it is not reproductive. And whether you reject evolutionism or not, animal behavior is at the core of human behavior. And more importantly, love among the same sexes is as genuine as its straight counterpart no matter what your bible say about it.
Gay sex is normal. Gay love is genuine. And society must begin to accept it.
For these very reasons, I shall continue to promote the representation of honest, sincere and sometimes graphic gay sex in media.

Isaac Asimov’s “The Threat of Creationism”

I came across this awesomely comprehensive article on evolution and creationism by one of the stellar figures of science fiction, Isaac Asimov. This is one of the best articles I have read on this topic.

Read it at: http://evolutionism.blogspot.com/2007/04/threat-of-creationism.html