Hot Men in the Philippines

Sexagenarian said…

Jericho Cuevas, gay bar dancer.

The post on gay bars elicited various comments, but the most appreciated one came from a guy “nearing 70s”, who regaled us with the gay life then and now. Here’s more from Anonymous reader, who calls himself “Sexagenarian”. I am posting his comment in full, and I sure hope he will continue to share with us more about the gay life then. Much appreciated, Sexagenarian.

Sexagenarian said: The late movie director and Regal “fixture” Joey Gosiengfiao said two years before his death that in the heyday of the gay bar here, dancers and GROs earned a lot, really A LOT, thanks to big-spending guests who lavished the boys with attention and cash. Fact is, some of these star dancers’ careers ended when they agreed to be the kept partners of their patrons. Others lost their careers for various reasons like wrong attitude, lack of discipline, drugs, etc. This is all well-depicted in the movies of Lino Brocka and Mel Chionglo. Joey went on to say that the gay bar lost its luster when the men who used to frequent them lost interest, stayed home and went elsewhere. Exactly what happened to old bloke: I lost interest, stayed home and went elsewhere. Joey went on to say that the younger gays, being more open, self-confident, and not self-tormented, not to say, loaded with cash, have no need for the dark, cloistered world of the gay bar, with all the wonderful options available outside it. Joey knew what he was talking about. He owned the gay bar called Chicos right in front of GMA Network Center on Timog which had a very long life span. But even before Joey’s death, the place had lost its crowd and so had to close shop and be torn apart. Joey also directed the local production of the hit off-Broadway play “Boys in the Band” which had a long, successful run at Ayala Ave. in Makati in maybe 1970, watched by Manila’s so-called beautiful people, the upscale gays, artists, students, and theater buffs. The play is about a group of gay friends who throw a birthday party for one of them, and guess where they decide to hold the party? A gay bar? Nope, in an apartment, just like where today’s young gay guys would hold theirs.
Comments 17
  1. Di nagji-gym si Jericho Cuevas, no? Pero I like his face and his nota. Ka-tease talaga. RD, binabalance mo yata ang laman ng blog. Merong para sa mata na pampa-elya at merong para sa what they would call gray matter, with that “little history” ng gay scene sa Metro Manila. Give us more of both. TY.

  2. Strange that nobody has revived Mart Crowley’s hit play “The Boys in the Band,” or that the video isn’t mentioned anywhere. The movie version was directed by no less than William Friedkin of “The Exorcist” and “The French Connection” fame) and shown only at the Lyric theater at Escolta. Maybe because the drama was good only during its time. It’s too mild now. The gay barkada is much different in this era. But the play is full of timeless one-liners I can remember to this day, like: “One thing about masturbation. You don’t have to look your best.” “I’m having difficulties with my pronouns!” “You are a sad and pathetic man. You are a homosexual and you don’t wanna be.” Anybody add more?

  3. Thanks for the dick-a-day and the stories. Can you give us a pre-Christmas gift? That of Dick-A-Day but with a celebrity? O, challenge yan. Sige na, pleeease.

  4. TODATE, the post on gaybars solicited 23 comments. they all make good reading materials. however, not even 1, i repeat, not even 1, mentioned the dreaded 4 letter word AIDS and the morbid fear it generates. when the disease tragically peaked in the mid 80s, people started to change their flamboyant (including sexual)lifestyles. some abstained, became monogamous, rigorously selective and some simply explored other avenues to spend their free time. definitely gaybars suffered. alcohol sales was dwindling. many closed or tone down. bathouses advocated safer sex. backrooms became history and the once busy streets were deserted of street tricks.
    Today, AIDS is on the move again. this time it is targetting asia. bangkok has seen a rise of cases.
    india, china & even the phil. have all reported steady if not increased infections. could this be another reason for the deminishing gaybars in manila?

    this saturday is world AIDS day. if someone comes up to you with a milkcan collecting for AIDS, please give generously. drop a dollar or some pesos. they go a long way to research and helping our friends who fell victims to this tragedy. always think that : AIDS CAN’T WAIT …..

  5. In my opinion informed by almost three decades of getting updates on AIDS, the diminishing importance of gay bars has nothing to do with the rise and fall and renewed threat of AIDS. The gay bar is just a place to have fun, maybe socialize, flirt with dancers and GROs. But it is not really a place to perform the actual sex act, unless you get one of those so-called VIP rooms and the waiters and managers complicitly leave you there undisturbed in the dark with your chosen partner to do anything you want. But otherwise, it is still smart to take precautions to avoid AIDS: safe sex, use a condom, get education on the subject, know the misconceptions and dangers, avoid contact with bruises and wounds. I understand that saliva and or sperm is not a potent transmitter of HIV, or has this information been superseded by new research? In any case, the Philippine gay scene is a lot different from that in the US, Europe and some Asian cities. I do not want my fellow gays to be careless and complacent but I don’t want them to avoid good sex altogether and indulge in panic and hysteria, either. Among the places where AIDS is spreading like the plague are some African countries and I don’t think they have many gay bars there.

  6. I remember watching “Boys in the Band” on television as a teenager when I was growing up in Brazil in the late 1970s. It was a milestone in gay films, and I’m sure many younger gay men should watch it if just to see how difficult it was to be gay and out of the closet then.

  7. @anonymous November 28, 2007 1:50 AM

    Get your facts right please. Homosexuality is still taboo in Africa (ergo, no gay bars). The AIDS virus is passed on to wives and girlfriends via husbands and boyfriends acquired from female prostitutes. In North America, Europe and Asia it is still mostly gays who are affected and on the rise again.

  8. i haven’t seen “the boys in the band” as an entire film (if this was shown in mid-70s, i may have been in elementary or deep in the closet as a high school freshman in a seminary). it’s a classic film, and there may be commercial value in either reissue of the film in gay friendly theaters like robinson, or as a VCD/ DVD collector’s item. if you haven’t seen some episodes in youtube, here’s the URL:

  9. to say that sex acts do not rampantly happen in gaybars is not true. dig deeper in manila gaybar history (maybe we need to bring back Mr. Nearly 70 for his input). ask around people who had used the “facilities” of the now recently defunct bars with upstair rooms or backrooms. ask around people who had most recent encounters with mamasans in macho bars re house sweet deals. sexual activities were there and still happening as we speak… thanks for the rundown of precautions for safe sex… but let me say a final word…whatever happens in the west the winds of tide will definitely drift to the east… this is not fear mongering. my message is pure enlightenment and caution. there is nothing wrong with having a fun weekend in town with your friends and love ones, but be sensible, responsible and

  10. AIDS prevention is all about self-discipline. Stick to a single partner. Avoid promiscuity, and this applies to your partner (easier said than done, hehehe). And when we come across attractive guys we don’t know so much or with promiscuous background, let’s recite this line from alexander 3x: “when in doubt, don’t.”

  11. That’s my point, Mr. Anonymous (November 28, 2007 1:50 AM). If the spread of AIDS in Africa is caused by heterosexual contact, then AIDS is not the exclusive scourge of homosexuals. As I said, repeat, I do not want my fellow gays to be careless and complacent but I don’t want them to avoid good sex altogether and indulge in panic and hysteria, either. I can understand why some guys gay or straight are concerned. But don’t panic. Take precautions. AIDS fanned the fire of homophobia in the ’80s and mercifully, the connection (or blame) between AIDS and homosexuality has somewhat loosened up. Let’s not fan the flame again.

  12. BOYS IN THE BAND?…i have to nit pick my brain to try to remember that film. this goes way back to my salad days. but alas there is a gentlemen here in my city who runs a rep review of old movies, like the one mentioned, rocky horror, dracula, etc etc, for serious film fanatics. he gives a gratuitous commentary then shows the chosen film de nuit in his little home screen. what a delight!… there is a recent similar(?) play – LOVE VALOUR & COMPASSION which i saw in broadway and made into a movie (starring seinfeld’s jason alexander). almost the same plot but updated to the 2000s. if you haven’t seen the movie, rent it. it makes a good saturday nite fling, especially on a stormy weather. see it with a friend over a bottle of beaujolais noveau, perhaps …..

  13. More quotes….from Ian

    Emory: Who do you have to fuck to get a drink around here?

    Harold: Who is she? Who was she? Who does she hope to be?

    Michael: [sings] “Forget your troubles, c’mon get happy! You better chase all your cares away!” What’s more boring than a queen doing a Judy Garland imitation?
    Donald: A queen doing a Bette Davis imitation.

    Cowboy: I lost my grip doing my chin ups and fell on my heels and twisted my back.
    Emory: You shouldn’t wear heels when you do chin ups!

    Michael: You’re stoned and you’re late. You were supposed to arrive at this location at eight thirty dash nine o’clock.
    Harold: What I am Michael is a 32 year-old, ugly, pock marked Jew fairy, and if it takes me a little while to pull myself together, and if I smoke a little grass before I get up the nerve to show my face to the world, it’s nobody’s god damned business but my own. And how are you this evening?

    Harold: You’re lips are turning blue. You look like you’ve been rimming a snowman.

  14. Thanks, Anonymous (November 29, 2007 4:23 AM), for those additional quotes. Now that you recited them, I remember them. They show wit and cynicism and the bitchiness of the characters in the play. And sorry, Anonymous (November 29, 2007 7:00 AM), all of us sisters love to see and savor a nice dick, but unlike you, we also enjoy so many other things in life, the finer things and more sophisticated stuff. Kawawa naman yung mga taong monomaniacal ang interests. Que babaw, pobresito, huhuhu.

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