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On Catholic Church and Sexual Pleasures

I always wondered why the church has always frowned upon humans enjoying their sexuality. Is this because sexual pleasure could potentially be an overwhelming distraction for people? Could sexual pleasure weaken the need to seek god?

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On Faith and Evolution

Faith in a supreme being binds multitude of people. And the more united people are, the better will it be for our survival.

Could this be faith’s evolutionary value?

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.

Antonio’s Secret in New York

Our film Antonio’s Secret (directed by Joselito Altarejos) will have its international premiere in Rochester, New York on October 13, 2008. Here’s a statement from one of the reviewers at the Image Out Festival.

 

“Join us for the International Premiere of a controversial film that proves once again that not all gay films from the Philippines are about hustlers and macho dancers. Antonio’s Secret tackles the taboo topic of incest and its tragic consequences.”

“Antonio’s Secret takes a raw and honest look at the not-so-secret, and sometimes downright depraved, sex life of teenage boys. Director Joselito Altarejos adds a layer of depth by telling a rich story of a confused young man, growing up with few available positive role models, who makes crucial choices and is forced to face their tragic consequences. Using a, sometimes wobbly, handheld camera without employing much of a musical soundtrack, except for the occasional tunes from the acoustic guitar of a neighborhood musician, Altarejos pulls his audiences in and makes it a highly voyeuristic and intimate affair.

 

Our ImageOut There! Series brings you the type of film that rarely gets made in politically correct Hollywood, and is definitely not coming to your neighborhood multiplex anytime soon. Antonio’s Secret confronts the taboo topic of incest head on while giving an authentic portrait of middle-class life in Manila, far from the squalor of urban squatters typical of Filipino films with international distribution. Be warned that this film contains nudity, sensitive mature themes, and one graphic scene of violence.

 

With the advent of digital filmmaking, Philippine Cinema is enjoying a boost from young and edgy filmmakers. ImageOut is proud to provide a forum for these undiscovered gems.

 

~ Michael Gamilla (Imageout, Rochester Lesbian and Gay Film Festival)

 

NO to the “Anti-Obscenity and Pornography Act of 2008”!

This law passed by the lower house and is now pending at the Senate is a glaring violation our human rights. I’d like to share my perspective  on this.

With regards to this law, I definitely share the vision of its proponents.

* I am against unguided children being exposed to sexually explicit materials. Adult content and materials should be distributed properly to its intended audience and this must be strictly implemented by the government.

* I am clearly against the use of children in any pornographic materials and the exploitations of innocent adults in performing pornographic situations whether for private or public consumption that may be against their will.

* I am against the distribution of pornography peddled on the streets for everyone to see. (This is illegal, as these are all pirated copies)

But some provisions of this law clearly violate the Human Rights.

SEC. 4. Punishable Acts. – The following acts are declared illegal andpunishable:(a) Producing, printing, showing, exhibiting, importing, selling,advertising or distributing obscene or pornographic materials in allforms of mass media;

Obscene being defined as:

“Obscene” refers to anything that is indecent or offensive orcontrary to good customs or religious beliefs, principles or doctrines,or tends to corrupt or deprave the human mind, or is calculated toexcite impure thoughts or arouse prurient interest, or violates theproprieties of language and human behavior, regardless of the motive ofthe producer, printer, publisher, writer, importer,seller, distributoror exhibitor such as, but not limited to:(1) showing, depicting or describing sexual acts;(2) showing, depicting or describing human sexual organs or the femalebreasts;(3) showing, depicting or describing completely nude human bodies(4) describing erotic reactions, feelings or experiences on sexual actsor;(5) performing live sexual acts of whatever form.

The law clearly prohibits the expression of sex in ALL ITS FORMS. Hence, nude human bodies, human genitalia and EVEN erotic feelings and reactions should never be conveyed in a message whether through visual or through text.

“Impure thoughts”

What is an “impure thought”? Where does the concept of purity and impurity come from? Does this come from the religious belief that “sex is impure” and must only be shared between married people? Following this religious imposition, does that mean that all forms of sexual expression outside marriage is “impure”?

With this phrase, this law begins to sound like a “silly” phrase from a religious material.

Is it rightful for anyone to have the right to prohibit us in how we perceive visual and auditory messages?

And what is wrong with a material whose intention is to stimulate prurient interests from an educated and a responsible adult? Every adult person has the right to enjoy their sexuality, as long as they do not force anyone or entice a minor into consuming the sexual act with them. The enjoyment of one’s sexuality is a birthright of every person and that includes the consumption of “adult oriented” materials.

The basis of this provision obviously comes from religious principles that “sex is sacred” and “sex should only be consumed between two married people”.

This “lawful version” of a “biblical imposition” is questionable because no religious principle should ever be imposed on anyone.

 

This could be a clear violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 18 — Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Section 4 (c) Showing, exhibiting, selling, or distributing obscene orpornographic movies in whatever format, whether produced in thePhilippines or abroad, in any restaurant, club or other places open tothe public, including private buildings, places or houses where theviewers are not limited to them owners thereof and the members of his family;

Why should a group of adults with their full consent be prohibited from viewing OBSCENE and PORNOGRAPHIC materials even in their own private residence?

Section 4 (d)
Writing any obscene or pornographic article in any print orelectronic medium;

 

Why should anyone be prohibited to write anything about sexual expression, when Sex is an integral part of our physiological, psychological and sociological expression?

 


Is this not a clear violation of Article 19, Universal Declaration of Human Rights? “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

 

I wonder, why do we taxpayers pay for the services of these imbecile lawmakers?

Obscenity

I was asked to be one of the guest speakers by an organization of Philosophy students in UP Diliman a few days ago regarding censorship.

A question was asked. As media practitioners, how do we actually delineate what is artful and what is obscene.

My reponse was, as a consumer, I take offense in the concept of the word obscene. Personally, the concept of “obscenity” makes me feel sorry for consuming materials exclusivel for my own sexual gratification. I have the right to enjoy my sexuality. This is my own body. And as long as I do not step on the rights of any other people, I can purchase materials for my own sexual pleasure.

As a media practitioner, I find it too inconvenient and at a certain extent pretentious to classify your work as obscene or artistic. One’s message should be clearly expressed whether some people find it obscene or not. Anyway, no is forced to consume my message. Why should I bother to please everyone else?

I was a Stupid Television Writer

For about in year in my life, I joined a team launching a new television station in the Philippines targeting the middle to the lower class segment as our audience.

And I admit that having done these shows, I have significantly contributed to the media garbage of Philippine television. And here are some of my accomplishments:

  • Successful makeover sessions for women who could barely feed their family and themselves (come on, they don’t need the makeovers, they need income opportunities in this damn world!)
  • Barely funny gag situations for pre-teens obsessed with their crushes, pink bracelets and diaries.
  • Informational segments that threaten its viewers, that if they don’t take a particular food supplement, their very lives could be in imminent danger
  • Mushy and life probing questions on forgotten celebrities such as “Kung buhay pa ang nanay mo, ano ang sasabihin mo sa kanya?” (If your mother were alive today, what would you tell her?)
  • Opening line of “magandang umaga sa mga milyun milyon naming tagapanood!” (we barely hit two percent of the ratings, where did we get those “million” figures?)

For the network management, loudness and inanity are the key to grab and maintain audience share. Just like in the musical Chicago, all we had to do was to “razzle and dazzle” them.

Go on, throw my share of tomatoes at me! I was one of them…

But not anymore.