As so many of you must know by now, for the past year I have been romantically attached to Sam Villasencio, also known as Samantha Nicole Mendez. It’s not always been the easiest of relationships but we found, through our adversities, the real strength of our love. I know that proposing was the right thing to do but I put it off for a few months even after my mind was made up. There were many reasons for this, not all good, but not all bad either. But in the end I realised that it was something I wanted to do and that my motives were sound.
Although I am not really superstitious I wanted the most propitious circumstances. After all, this is Asia and Sam is Two-Spirited, with much power in the unseen world. So I wanted to give her a ring and do it properly.
So on St Valentines’s Day, we had a party for some friends and then I got on my knees and asked her. She said ‘yes’. Fortunately.
We don’t know quite when or how the actual marriage ceremony will take place. Sam’s a Catholic, I’m Church of Scotland — and perhaps more to the point, she’s a transwoman. I will keep you all posted but meantime keep an eye on my YouTube Channel
‘LGB’ culture in the West, from its beginning in the 1950s, was strongly transgressive, after the ideals of men like Harry Hay, one of the founders. He was a card-carrying Communist Party member who finally realised that Communists hated homosexuals even more than mainstream society did; so his solution to destroying the culture he lived in was to use homosexuality as a battering-ram.
Peter Tatchell, a ‘gay rights’ activist, first noted for the deliberate exposure of other people’s private lives said, in a 1996 polemic:
‘Those who advocate gay rights alone, without any deeper commitment to the transformation of sexua1ity, are concerned only with removing homophobic discrimination. They want to reform society, not fundamentally change it. Their insistence on nothing more than equal rights for queers, and their typical view of lesbians and gay men as a distinct class of people who are destined to remain forever a sexual minority separate from the straight majority, have the effect of reinforcing the divisions between hetero and homo. It encourages the false essentialist idea that gay and straight are two preordained, irreconcilable sexual orientations characteristic of two totally different types of people. Such attitudes preserve society as it is’
The underlying intention of Western LGB could not be more clearly stated. Those struggling for ‘gay rights alone’ are to be condemned because they only ‘want to reform society, not fundamentally change it.’ To ‘preserve society as it is’ becomes an epithet. But from whence does the idea that ‘fundamental change’ is either a desirable or an achievable thing come, or that society should not be preserved as it is? How do we improve, fundamentally, a free, democratic society in which the rights of the individual are respected? Certes, modification and improvement may be desirable, but ‘fundamental change?’ How so and in what direction? What is the nature of Tatchell’s ‘fundamental change’?
First, an excerpt from Travels with a Ladyboy, for your entertainment. We’ll get to the hairy down the page.
It’s Christmas Eve and we have come to a friend’s party in Ipil-Ipil. Much against my desire and better judgement I have funded the videoke machine, which lurks in the corner like a castrated Dalek — and is the more malevolent for its fate. This is blasting out at deafening volume, which is, I suppose, justified. It has to be that loud to drown out the neighbours on either side, whose own machines are threatening to trigger tsunamis.
There are eight adults in the company and I reflect that we make an interesting cross-section. Renz and Joanna are our hosts. He is a tricycle pilot and she is a housewife, but, technically, she’s actually his mistress, although they live as a couple. He already has a wife and three children that he supports. Occasionally Joanna works in a bar for extra money, but she has just had a baby — her first with Renz — and is fully occupied as a mother. Joanna is genuinely beautiful and is doing a remarkably sexy Filipina-Earth-Mother thing, her body still a little plump and luxurious from carrying her child.
Anti-clockwise next, me and Sam. I’m a natal man, heterosexual; Sam is a transwoman, though she calls herself a ladyboy. I get a bit annoyed at uppity Western mouthpiece SJWs saying ladyboys can’t call themselves that, by the way. Funny that it always seems to be the USican SJW types who engage in this particular cultural imperialism. They’ll be bombing us for it next; which would be funny were it not the standard USican response to any disagreement with their edicts, never mind the sheer irony.
Here’s the first of our video diaries from the Philippines to be uploaded here. Future videos from all of my channels and playlists will be backed up here because I no longer trust YouTube! Crazy world we live in.
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Ladyboys are like hobbits; they have big feet. Although, and fortunately, not usually hairy.
My dearest and truest friend, my distant confidante and beloved adopted sister, Andie, is sitting on the brown vinyl sofa in my rented condo in Pasig. She has delicately hoisted the hem of her long floral skirt with one hand and with the other she is holding one of her slippers — flipflops in Filipino — against her leg.
‘Ugh,’ she says. ‘You see? My feet are longer than half the length of my shin.’
She drops the slipper and the hem and takes to regarding her feet with evident distaste, elbow on knee, chin cupped in her hand. She wiggles her toes.
‘I could possibly cut them off,’ she muses. ‘I should cut them off.’
On the 25th of February, we went to Malolos, the capital of Bulacan, to see a ladyboy parade; but it never appeared. Ladyboy levels of disorganisation are, of course, legendary, in addition to which, they were probably working on Filipino time, which makes ‘manana’ sound urgent. Still, a couple of nice cold Red Horses and some good pictures.
All Pix: Rod Fleming
Street photography, long established as an art and a specialist form of photojournalism, requires very similar techniques to those needed to photograph field sports, notably football (soccer, not that American nonsense). You need sharp reactions, complete confidence in technique and total reliance on reflex. As soon as you see an image, it’s gone, so you just have to go with it.
Markets everywhere are wonderful for this sort of thing. They’re very colourful and people are concentrating on selling, not watching the photographer. I was using a DSLR for most of these, with no issues. As usual with digital, you have to watch the exposure. I find using the old tranny technique of underexposing by 2/3 of a stop is useful in holding highlight detail.
Gallery 1: Malolos
Gallery 2: Malolos Palenke
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The ‘wet market’ or palenke in Pasig City is really huge and spectacular. You can buy anything there, believe me. it’s a fun place too, literally open 24/7/365. Keep your wallet in your pocket and you’ll have no problems.
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This was my fifth visit to the Philippines and again, I arrived before Christmas, on the 8th of December. I had rented an apartment in Plaridel, Bulacan, which was to be my base for the next four months.
Plaridel is a market and manufacturing town about 30 miles north of Manila. In 2015 it had a population of 107,000. It has an airport.
I’ll let the pictures and captions speak for themselves in this photo diary of the trip. This section goes from my arrival up to New Year. I’ll do another section for the latter part.
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I am not ashamed to say that I love the Philippines. Nowhere else that I have ever visited manages to capture so much of humanity’s amazing variety. It’s an incredible place and I am so lucky to have found it. This is a selection of pictures from that trip. I’ll let them speak for themselves.
As always, please feel free to download and use the images for your personal, non-commercial projects. Please do not remove either the visual copyright notice in the bottom right corner or the embedded details in the EXIF data. If they are useful to you, please leave a donation by clicking the big yellow button.
Licensing for commercial projects, as well as larger images for print or other use, are available, Please contact me using the Contact Form Below.
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