Help fly a Filipino artist to Belgium

Dear kind reader,
This summer, while many of us are planning our trips abroad for much-needed holidays, some of us are figuring out a way to fulfill a dream.
Our friend, Filipino visual artist, Mark Salvatus, has been invited to participate in Cosmopolitan Stranger, Hotel de Inmigrantes, a parallel event of Manifesta 9, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, which opens its doors in Genk, Province of Limburg, Belgium.


One of the ways for Philippine contemporary art to flourish is for its artists to be continually exposed to the developments in the global art scene. It allows them to expand their potential for collaboration and develop their sensitivity and criticality towards current discourse.
This project will also allow Mark to represent the Philippines in an esteemed art event.


However, Mark, a multi-disciplinary artist based in Lucban and Manila, is in need of financial assistance to be able to travel to Belgium from May 31 to June 7, 2012.

Here’s a breakdown of projected costs:
Return Airfare: Php 60,000++
Materials/Production: Php 10,000++
Others: Daily expenses & local travel: Php 10,000

If you would like to help fly Mark to Belgium, please click HERE.
You will be asked to fill out a form where collection arrangements can be made. You will also be asked to confirm your donation via email before your donation will be reflected on the site.
How do I know? I just did!

Mark Salvatus (b. 1980) graduated Cum Laude at the University of Santo Tomas College of Fine Arts and Design with a degree in Advertising Arts. His recent exhibitions include 3rd Singapore Biennale; 4th Guangzhou Triennale; Jakarata Biennale XIV 2011; UP Vargas Museum, The Drawing Room and Ateneo Art Gallery.
To know more about his work, go to or
To contact the artist, email

Remember Perry King?

One of the best things about being married to your best friend is, they’re almost always available (well, except for fashion events).
I love spontaneity. I love eating out or watching a movie on a whim, or going to the kitchen for a midnight snack.
One of my fondest memories is waking up jet lagged in Hong Kong (via Amsterdam) and ordering room service with Jeroen at 3 AM.
Midnight snacks are especially thrilling because you’re not supposed to be having freshly cooked hamburgers or yang chow fried rice at such an ungodly hour.

Last week I was on this diet pill that gave me “jet lag”. It would make me sleepy at 10:45 PM and wake me up at 3 AM.
My tossing and stirring and trips to bathroom and kitchen would wake up Jeroen.
Last Sunday in the middle of the night, I asked if we could watch one of the ’70s movies in my DVD stash.
A Different Story

A Different Story was a movie I enjoyed in the late ’70s. I was not supposed to because it had a controversial plot and a nude scene. Looking back I realize most of the movies that made a mark on me had nude scenes—because I’m not supposed to be watching them.
A Different Story is about a gay man and a lesbian who are forced to live together because of necessity (Perry King was kicked out by his gay lover). The two become friends, get married (out of necessity) fall in love, get pregnant, but will they live happily ever after?

A Different Story

A Different Story

A Different Story

From experience, I can tell you this is every fag hag’s fantasy. Some of us have a crush on our gay friend and imagine we could convert him and be together.
While it does happen sometimes, most of the time it doesn’t, we get over it and move on with our lives.

Watching the movie again after three decades I’m amazed how Perry King in the ’70s would still look hot in our present time.
Seeing him in my teens definitely shaped how I viewed men as an adult. In fact I made a wish at a very young age to marry a white guy—and I did!
I enjoyed watching with Jeroen who was only five when the movie was released. I loved seeing the old rattan furniture like they were made in the Philippines.

A Different Story

I loved swooning over Perry King and having teenager feelings again. Couldn’t help but wonder how he looks now, and here’s what Google found:

Perry King

Awww….mehn….He turns 64 this year. Can I just remember him like this?

Perry King

E. Coli: More fun in Boracay

The following comes from a cousin of mine who had just taken her son home from the hospital after falling ill from a trip to Boracay. The concerned mother wants parents to know what can happen to your child if you go out there, as well as let others know that something urgently needs to be done in Boracay if it wants to survive in the tourism industry.

boracy pics

After six long years, we had been looking forward to our family vacation in Boracay. It was time to introduce our youngest to the famous white beach, ranked regularly as one of the top 10 in the world.
Since we were a family of 8, we decided to rent a house straight on the beach in Station 1.
Shortly after arriving and taking a walk on the beach, we noticed thick layers of algae that were both on the beach as well as in the water.
In order to go swimming, you had to wade through several meters of this knee-deep mucky green hair that felt alive and warm. It looked disgusting. That’s not quite the crystal-clear waters of Bora I remember thinking.

boracy pics

However, the kids were excited to frolic in the water, particularly my son who is just learning how to swim, thereby swallowing plenty of seawater in the process.
Ignoring my intuition about the algae turned out to be a grave mistake.
The second day after returning to Manila, the school nurse calls me: my 5-year old has a high fever and needs to be sent home.
He complained about stomach pain. That evening he started to throw up and have severe cramps.
The following night while trying to sleep, we had to take him to the bathroom 12 times within a span of eight hours.
The next morning, we took him to the ER.


At first, the doctor thought it was a viral infection. “Going around at the moment,” he assured me.
After I told him we had just come back from Boracay, he changed his tune. “Oh, then we’d better take a stool sample, this could be something else.”
After the stool sample was taken, he came back and said, “Not so good news. There’s blood, so it’s definitely bacterial, not viral. Probably, E Coli. We get that all the time with people coming back from Boracay. We need to culture the sample and will find out in three days.”

Antiobiotics were prescribed and we are sent home.
At home, our son went to the bathroom 20 times, wincing and crying out in anguish until he had no more tears to shed. That’s 32 times in two days. Too much for any adult, what more a five-year-old boy?
We took him back to the doctor the following day and was told he had to be confined immediately.
Even though I had been trying to hydrate him round the clock, the constant diarrhea had dehydrated his little body, with dry lips, sunken eyes, and looking awfully pale.
At the ER, he was immediately hooked up to the IV for rehydration and antibiotic treatment.

After telling my friends, I am amazed how many of them had similar stories about the aftermath of their Boracay trips:
“We had a company outing and six of us ended up with E Coli infections.”
“The worst stomach pains I have ever had.”
”Must have eaten something really bad”.

But is it the really the food?
Three days later, the stool sample confirmed the positive result for E Coli O157.
My doctor said we were lucky to have my son hospitalized: “One day later, and he could have suffered potentially fatal kidney failure.” What parent would ever want to hear that?

I started researching and found only a few dated articles on E Coli infesting the sea water.
I remember back in 1997 the DENR declared the waters of Boracay unsafe for swimming due to the E Coli infestation. Well, apparently little has changed over the last 15 years.
Overdevelopment of Boracay is well-known; what is less well-known is that you and your kids are swimming in the fecal remains of past visitors.

boracy pics

How is the E Coli strain spread?
The website of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention explains you can get it from swallowing contaminated water, as when swimming in a lake.
Well, we didn’t swim in a lake. It was the troubled, infested waters of Boracay that made my little one sick.

Shouldn’t there be an official health warning so that at least our kids are protected from this?
Given that it seems to be a well-known fact in the medical community that Boracay makes people and especially young kids sick, why isn’t anything being done about this, when it is our No. 1 tourist destination?
We’re hoping that responsible parties can finally address the problem before Boracay literally goes down the drain.

Hunger games

Sorry I’m on a diet again. I’ve been trying out this diet pill from my friend, and since Monday I’ve lost 3 lbs. already.
I need to lose another 10-15 lbs. If it works and nothing bad happens, I’ll let you know where to get them.
Aside from losing appetite, I’ve lost desire to shop. Yesterday and today I’ve had writer’s block.
So you also lose zest for all the other things you love to do. At least I did.

Are there side effects?
For the first two days I felt like a truck ran over me. I was sweating buckets and felt so tired even without a workout. I was just strolling in the mall. I had to sit down and eat when I felt weak.
The next two days were better. I felt hungry but have had no cravings.
No Coke, no ice cream, and today no rice.
This morning I felt a bit of palpitations. Nothing scary, just a little bit. If it happens again, I’ll quit.

I feel no depression and I’m not cranky.
I do feel sleepy at odd hours and have been sleeping before midnight and waking up in the middle of the night.
I do not recommend this to working women and especially not to lactating women.
Since I work at home I can sweat and lie down whenever I need to.
At home I can always have something to eat whenever I feel hungry or weak. I basically eat because I have to even though I don’t enjoy food right now.
So I guess that’s it. I’ll be back to regular programming tomorrow and write more entries.
As for now, I’m already in bed.

Twinkle Ferraren x Freeway for Summer 2012

This Summer 2012, Freeway collaborates once again with swimwear designer Twinkle Ferraren, whose collection features handwoven strips of swimsuit fabric.
On her third collaboration with Freeway, Twinkle says, “It’s a fusion of different visions, aesthetics and styles. I describe this collection as ‘feminine in action’. It features handwoven braids, weave designs and appliqués in sporty, active silhouettes with feminine details.”

Freeway Swimwear 2012 Poster

Twinkle says she was inspired by our local weavers, the intricate patterns they create, and the passion that comes with it.
With a keen understanding of what women want, her collection doesn’t sacrifice style and femininity no matter how active or sporty their lifestyle.
“More and more women are getting into sports, being active and keeping healthy through dance, sports and water activities. It’s great to see some feminine details especially in swimwear,” she added.
“As a designer, it is both a task and an honor to bring to light a person’s inner beauty and unique personality whenever she wears my creations.”

Gold One-shoulder maillot with crochet detail (Php 1,295)

Top: White with crochet detail (Php 795) • Bottom: Black with crochet detail (Php 645) • White Cover up

Top: Mustard with crochet detail (Php 795) • Bottom: Blue with crochet detail (Php 645)

One-piece (Php 1,295)

To complement the sporty chic swimwear collection by Twinkle Ferraren, Freeway showcases wide array of cover-ups, hyper-bright summer dresses, flirty tops and flattering bottoms to make you stand out this summer season.

Connect with Freeway through Facebook and Twitter.

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