So your girlfriend is a pole dancer.

•April 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment


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I’ve always had a hard time explaining what I do for a living. You see, I have a very nuanced set of skills, to paraphrase Liam Neeson’s character in “Taken”. I am a Security Consultant. Now before your mind runs through thoughts of Bond and Paul Blart: Mall cop, I am neither; but in my head and especially during job highs and lows I am somewhere in between. If this seems vague; wait till you hear what my girlfriend does. My girlfriend is a Pole-fitness instructor. Her name is Kayleen and she’s the company manager of Polecats Manila, the true blue no-hype, see for yourself, finest pole school in the country. Now, usually I would avoid using the term pole dancer. The work she and the other girls put into the school is astounding and as much as I would like to say otherwise, the label “pole dancer” doesn’t do the girls justice. The connotation of what a pole dancer and the thoughts you can read in a guy’s mind is just not worth the hypothetical tussle and real world fistfights. But I’m confident that at the blink of an eye me and the other boyfriends would jump in a riot if any of our girls felt harassed. When Kayleen first started taking classes under CD, their founder, I think she only owned 2 pairs of shorts that she used sparingly. Now, it’s almost the only thing that makes her feel comfortable at all. Not that shifting to a predominantly short-pants based wardrobe was of concern to me. But the emergence of unexplained nasty bruises on her thighs, legs, arms and shoulders probably caused people to speculate if I was beating her up on a regular basis, Chris Brown style. It didn’t help that she never offered clarifications to curious people back then. I’m pretty sure other pole boyfriends and husbands went through the same phase. New pole students go through the stages of being worried at first then transitioning to being proud of their bruises as if they were battle scars. In the meantime, partners just hope they don’t get arrested on battery suspicions.

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When the Polecats were formed, things got to get more intense as rehearsals and training went from a casual twice a week session to almost daily. And when I say daily, I mean it with the odd mix of tiny annoyance but 100% support. We literally saw everyone every single day. But truthfully, I was happy that she found a strong group of girls in the Polecats. Even without a dance background, Kayleen took to it like fish to water. Little did we know the girls would explode into the fitness scene the way they did. As it is now, boyfriends and husbands aren’t allowed inside the studio, so it was only after class that I’d get to hear how her session went and what new things she learned. In my head, I tried my best to understand the names of constellations and contorted mythical references she was describing: Gemini, Scorpio, Cupid, Twisted skater, Bow and arrow. They were all so foreign to me, but I was developing an interest since Kayleen seemed so engrossed in what she was learning. But until you see the girls perform, all these names won’t make sense to you. It’s like describing food; you will never get it until you’re able to taste it. After class, we’d eat at nearby places in Wilson St where the old studio used to be. Using a straw and her fingers, she would mimic the moves she learned every night. The idea of a person supporting her body weight using her armpit and knees is beyond my comprehension. To be honest, after hundreds of training nights, so many events, a couple of titles and international recognition for the members, I’m still not sure how they do it exactly. One of the things I appreciated about CD’s school of thought at the time, was how the girls were against the idea of the traditional pole-dance connotation of gyrating on the pole to look sexy, or as we would call it, “giling-giling”. This was the school of thought that the Polecats believed in. If this was the premise, then this was also a mission. Slowly, I was becoming indoctrinated into a renegade group who wanted to take back what sexy being meant. There’s nothing like a nice good cause to rile up support. One by one, I would get to meet the other men in what eventually would become the Polecats Family. Lester, Bennett, AJ, King, Niki & Chot all come from different backgrounds, a C-Level Executive, a business man, a Banker, a Med Rep, a Radio Jock & a multi awarded director. All different as different can be with very little in common, but somehow working well together and getting along even better than the girls expected.

We are the girl’s protectors first and foremost, and even when our partner isn’t in an event, the protection is shared to all. To some degree, we became consultants and collaborators, applying our different specializations in life and some of our inane skills for the Polecats Family. For example, I take the photos while AJ drives the pickup truck and CD distracts the city traffic enforcer on a busy Makati road. I talk to the mall security, set up a barricade while Chot stays in front of the stage ready to throw out anyone who crosses the line. King shoots the video while Niki does the smooth voice over and the occasional smoothing over of a jack-ass in the audience. Bennett digests the business model and spits out the soundest advice, as he is one of the most supportive of us and the harshest of their critics. Lester, well he does everything else that matters, most of the time. It’s different when you just bring your girl to and from the studio than to spend your nights and weekends watching them rehearse and train to become stronger. It’s different when you hear about the training and actually attend trainings with them, watch them become better students and better teachers for the benefit of the other girls who train under the Polecats School. It’s different when you buy your girlfriend a pole as opposed to actually helping her set it up and take it down countless times in a month. It’s different when you just come to a show than actually carry the stages and the poles to a venue, wipe the poles and take a million photos and edit videos for the girls. That feeling is something I can only share with the other Police, as the men are fondly called. Having to worry about the safety of your girlfriend does not go away. But it helps to know that these girls do things in the safest possible environment and care for each other. They let students progress towards a technique instead of just showing them how to do tricks. They don’t let the student misjudge her own skill level when she hasn’t even gotten the fundamentals down. The way I see it, you earn each move and technique because you work hard for it. You don’t jump a building on your first day of parkour and neither do you bench press two times your weight on your first gym session. If you want to be good at what you do and grow old doing what you love, you build up to it. Method is what sets them apart, and trust me, it shows during gigs and performance. When the stage is lit and the girls are mid-air, just stand in awe of your woman’s lines and figure. That there is real sexiness, that there is your girlfriend the pole dancer. Despite your fears, you just have to trust in the training as well as the strength of your girlfriend or wife. Prayer doesn’t hurt either. At the end of the day, you will come to learn that these ladies are tough little things. Have you ever tried getting a jujitsu arm-bar from a pole dancer? Can you imagine if all that core, back and leg strength were used against you? That experience was not fun. But that story is for a different time. My girlfriend is a pole dancer and she can kick your ass.

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Bleached!

•March 6, 2012 • 1 Comment

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This was one of my first projects with Kayleen

Sometimes I’m lucky enough to win  little contests here and there.Small things like the other year I needed a phone and won one from Motorola. Last year when I got the car I wanted to hook up my iPod to the stereo but didn’t have enough spare cash to buy a new head unit.So I joined pimp my ride and won a car stereo from MTV and Blaupunkt that let me do just that. One time, Erick encouraged me to join this mini contest and so I solicited the help of Kayleen. My idea was simple enough, but I lacked the art skills to  pull it off.

Here’s how we did it.

Print out photos or select old prints you wanna spruce up. If you’re about to head on out to have some printed, try using glossy paper and matt paper which react differently to strokes of your brush.

Gather the following: a bottle cap full of bleach, old news papers, a thin paint brush and some tissue paper to absorb excess bleach.
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Dip your paint brush in the bleach and make sure to wipe off the excess liquid on the side. Be sure to try different strokes for various effects you may wanna get. Long strokes, short strokes and quick successive dabs will allow you to control the intensity of the bleach burn on your photos. You can outline details of the photo to make them stand out better or you can introduce new elements instead. Fancy a dinosaur behind a building? Why not! It doesn’t matter if you can draw well or if your skills are as crappy as mine. Just go at it and share your masterpiece when you’re done!

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So with this idea,  we won a Diana Hong Meow from Photo Jojo!

I also turned this into a submission for piggie points a couple of years back.

Creative Defibrillator

•March 2, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Earlier this year, Kayleen had this idea of producing collaborations and little projects throughout the year. She reasoned that since we’re together most of the time, we should come up with things as collaborators. Kinda like John or Yoko but me taking on the Yoko part since she loves Lennon more. I have to admit I have been remiss with my analog cameras, shooting but rarely developing and posting stuff online. This year one of the goals of the project is to get our stuff out there maybe come up with a solo exhibit if the concept and output is strong enough.

The first project started out as a gift of sorts to kayleen. She relayed how maybe she should bring her records over so we can listen to them together. I thought the idea was really nice, since I have always heard of how she talks of her love of LP’s but never got to experience listening to old records for enjoyment.

turntable rack sketch
The drawing above, is a sketch of a rack I wanted to build to house her turntable and records.That’s three years worth of drafting assignments in highschool down the drain.Penmanship is still crapola.

Cabinet
This massive computer cabinet we used at the old office was torn apart last year to make a TV rack and there was enough left over pieces that I initially wanted to make into a podium for TDC but lately, they haven’t my favorite bunch of coconuts.

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The result is a three level rack with space for a record crate,a turntable and some of my oldest Cameras, The Yashica D, The Yashica Half 17 and the Lubitel 2.

I used the circular saw we have at the warehouse and had some little help with putting it together. I varnished the rack in a deep Walnut brown to match most of our house furniture. If you’ve ever been to our house you’ll see the Polly pocket yellow walls are diffused by an an old asian theme for decor and furniture.

The project isn’t complete yet but it’s looking pretty spiffy.While I write about the turntable rack, the real creative project is turning me to learning all about old records. Which I really must say, like my love for film is a completely different dish once you taste it. On the weekend we are going on a day trip to hunt for more records. Welcome me back, my analog world.

Bacolod Food trip updated

•August 25, 2011 • Comments Off

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For my Thirtieth birthday, Kayleen and I decided to go way down south. Bacolod nights were mostly windy. There isn’t very much to see in the city, but what the city lacks in sights, it more than makes up for experiences. The people seem really nice when you speak to them and ask them directions. One guy even got off the jeep with us to show which way we should take. Normally, my spidey-senses would be all tingly but truly this was a laid back and non-threatening city. The only bone I have to pick with Bacolod folk is the way they drive. They drive like a blind and angry grandmother on crack. I lost count of how many times people tried to run us over, honked at us while crossing on a pedestrian lane or on the side walk. Crazy.

Our hotel was really nice, the infinity pool always beckoned us to her waters, The gym was basic and I’m proud to say we actually used it for the days we stayed there . The plated breakfast choices were crispy danggit, chorizo, tapa and tocino. Personally we liked the danggit and tocino better than the chorizo which was just well skinless longganisa.

The city’s best food is peppered on Lacson Avenue. You can’t go wrong with L’fisher in terms of being close to all things yummy.We  fell in love with the city when we first bit off the piece of ravioli at 21, a really nice restaurant recommended by our local friend. But the real treat of the day was their signature swiss cheeseburger.

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When it was placed on our table we just stared at it for a while not knowing where to begin.

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I could review the burger but really all you have to do is look at the swirl marks on my plate.I could not get enough of it.Good thing we ordered two or else Kayleen would have had to fight me off. In terms of ranking I would really put it up there with Lusso’s Foie Gras Burger.

tea and cake
The hotel we stayed at was selected primarily because of its proximity to Calea, the famed cake house in Bacolod. Between the two of us we must have consumed almost two whole cakes at a pace of two to three slices a day. We were so pleased, we even brought home three boxes for our friends and family.We also visited Felicia’s on our last night, and tried their cakes while washing away the pain of an overly full belly with soothing peppermint tea.

manukan
. Indeed no Trip to Bacolod would be complete without a visit or two to the awesome Manukan country where fresh oysters abound and the chicken ain’t half bad too. I once heard a claim that this inasal place over at San Juan served the best inasal, and that this was accomplished by finding the best recipe in Bacolod and bringing the best cook to Manila.I believed in that story until that fateful night. When the paa and petso were ordered up and we bit into the juicy juicy chicken;we knew that the legend was wrong. In our mouths was now the best inasal ever.We actually found Aida’s by luck and a bit of strategy. We sought out the best lit and the most packed eatery on the street and made one of the best decisions of our trip.

bacolod sunsets

We ventured off to Lakawon island after the second day. Not the best beach weather but it was quite an adventure riding waves with a gung-ho banka captain. At the quiet moon shaped island we thought we’d be served so-so food. But luckily enough,  awesome cooking is embedded with the Negrense DNA. Our roasted pork was absolutely delicious.

I love Bacolod. People would go out of their way to help strangers, just as much as they are willing to cause you bodily harm using a motor vehicle. I would go back there in a heartbeat.

ruins

Just right

•April 7, 2011 • Leave a Comment

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Lola Letty

•April 3, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Lola Letty

dip

•March 13, 2011 • Comments Off

dip

Bacolod nights were mostly windy. There isn’t very much to see in the city, but what the city lacks in sights, it more than makes up for experiences. The people seem really nice when you speak to them and ask them directions. One guy even got off the jeep with us to show which way we should take. Normally, my spidey-senses would be all tingly but truly this was a laid back and non-threatening city. The only bone I have to pick with Bacolod folk is the way they drive. They drive like a blind and angry grandmother on crack. I lost count of how many times people tried to run us over, honked at us while crossing on a pedestrian lane or on the side walk. Crazy.

Our hotel was really nice, the infinity pool always beckoned us to her waters, The gym was basic and I’m proud to say we actually used it for the days we stayed there . The plated breakfast choices were crispy danggit, chorizo, tapa and tocino. Personally we liked the danggit and tocino better than the chorizo which was just well skinless longganisa.

The city’s best food is peppered on Lacson Avenue. You can’t go wrong with L’fisher in terms of being close to all things yummy.We  fell in love with the city when we first bit off the piece of ravioli at 21, a really nice restaurant recommended by our local friend. But the real treat of the day was their signature swiss cheeseburger.

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When it was placed on our table we just stared at it for a while not knowing where to begin.

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I could review the burger but really all you have to do is look at the swirl marks on my plate.I could not get enough of it.Good thing we ordered two or else Kayleen would have had to fight me off

bacolod sunsets

I love Bacolod, People would go out of their way to help strangers, just as much as they are willing to cause you bodily harm using a motor vehicle. I would go back there in a heartbeat.

 
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