COLUMN: FRIENDSHIP, SEX AND OUR 'HIPPOCRITIC' OATH

MANILA,
February 28, 2004 (STAR) WRY BREAD By Philip Cu-Unjieng The Philippine STAR 02/22/2004

Making the rounds within the media and advertising industries for the last month or so is a VCD unofficially entitled Scandal or Sekreto ng Makati. In it, thereís a young female university student going all out in fulfilling her dreams of matching up to role models Marilyn Chambers and Linda Lovelace. Aided and abetted by a buzz-cut tonsured young "dude" who just may be her boyfriend, the first part of this reality based "home movie" is set within what looks like a motel roomÖ unless a mirrored ceiling is now a common feature of todayís residential interiors. Throughout the sequence, the girl talks, exhibiting a good command of Tagalog and English in an accent that bespeaks relative good breeding? (and yes, I realize thereís irony in my writing that).

At one point, she exclaims something which sounds like, "Shit! Kapag may nakakita niyan, papatayin kita!" And one almost wants to break out in applause, another one for the long list of "famous last words." The guy keeps his eyeglasses on during some parts of the "action" and enjoys looking at himself in the mirror (even shoots themselves in the ceiling mirror). If he mumbles in the affirmative to the girl when she talks about potential public disclosure, I certainly canít catch it and would it matter?

Part II of the CD has the same girl (fair skinned and on the thin side) now joined by a morena girlfriend. Same guy seems to be there, exhorting the girls to "get it on" for the camera. This time out, they seem to be in some private house. The girls basically tell him that if he locks himself in the bathroom, they will comply. Surprise, surprise, he dutifully leaves the camera on and disappears. Intermittently, throughout this sequence, we hear him shouting, asking if he can now come out, or calling them on his cel. In the meantime, the girls do their utmost to make us wish Mr. Director never comes out of the bathroom, as they go about their voyage of discovery and delectation. Suffice to say that nothing much is left for the imagination, although the performance level is amateurish at best.

Iím told that the girls come from one of the popular universities; or at least, this is what my straight arrow friends say (Hint!). I couldnít care less which university she comes from, what boggles the mind is how she really thought this kind of "adventure" could be a safe one, that she could trust her "friend" to really keep it entre nous.

Case Study #2 comes to us from a fair city in the South; and no, not Cebu or Davao. Here, we have the scion of a well-known personality making love to his girlfriend. Nothing much in that on its own, but what struck me as strange, was how what very likely was a "private act between consenting adults" has now ended up on the Internet. The story I heard (still to be confirmed by a second source) is that Mr. "Proud of his Equipment" wanted to transfer format of his recuerdo, entrusted it to a friend and, as the saying goes, the rest is historyÖ or in this case, "his and her" story on the Net.

In these two cases, friendship seems to be defined for the "New Hippocritical Age." Time and time again, we see people calling you "buddy" or "friend," while their motives, intent and actions are anything but. Really, with "friends" like this, the clichť of how one doesnít need enemies stare you in the face. I have had my share of these people, and the awful thing is, common decency and politeness dictate that until they do the utmost in damage, you still have to be civil to them, given the seeming innocent premise of how they became acquainted to you. Oh well!

The other sure sign of how this truly is the Age of Hypocrisy can be gleaned from the reactions I got from various people as I related the gist of this weekís column. Outrage, shock, disgust, condemnation of the individuals involved in the videos for their stupidity, all the way to feigned outright disinterest; and then, consistently, asking me if I can lend them a copy or know who they can ask. Truly, you can practically hear their brain ticking, going through the roster of friends from the ad agencies, or others in media; the likely candidates of who might be in possession of the CD and can burn one for them.

Hello! Last I heard, itís being retailed for a hundred pesos in most of your bootleg video stores. There is a cost to friendship of this sort and the sad fact is, itís become a commercial venture for which the participants arenít even getting their just talent fees. Despite what we may say about "common decency," morals and scruples, as thereís a market out there for this kind of merchandise, is it surprising to find ready "producers"?

Post-Valentine heartburn and the bitter pill

Itís about now that all the fallout from the hoopla surrounding Valentineís Day is felt. Talking to a number of "singles," it seems the significance attached to a date on the 14th can far outweigh the reality of whatís going on in the minds of the parties concerned. Why? Partially, itís thanks to the commercialism thatís attached excess weight to the occasion, and the inevitable paucity of the "meeting of minds." Well, come on, the guy can hardly invite someone out and preface it with so much flak about it being just an ordinary date and still expect a "yes," right? Similarly, the woman will always feel a "yes" can send the wrong signal to all the other guys she may be seeing on a casual basis, but may also feel the social pressure to not end up stuck at home that night. As a result, itís made the all-important calendar day also a signal to just run for the hills and resurface the following week.

Stay in town, and the affirmative decision one makes to a Valentine date can be rife with repercussions of a nature you may not have anticipated. Love, lust, the dreaded commitment and relationship Ė these are all the elements that make a gesture as simple as going out on a date loaded with "signifiers" that have to be understood. And thatís where the fallout comes in. Lo and behold, the next morning, the next week Ė and both parties are marked with anticipation, expectations and frustrations, or indifference, magnified to a different type of order. The "Iím sorry" gift, the "Can I see you every night" bouquet, the "Kiss off/piss off" card; theyíre what keep the gift companies and flower shops beaming beyond the 14th. Itís not just "the world" that love makes go round, bling bling!

(E-mail me at peopleasia@qinet.net)


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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