Tag Archives: Philippines

I’m back from the Philippines. And I don’t like that.

tropical paradise philippines
Tropical paradise Philippines. Pic: Rod Fleming

I’m back from the Philippines again. As many of you will know, I’ve been going there every winter for the last few years.

I started in 2012, with a short 3-week stay; 2013 was longer, with a 6-week one. Then in 2014 I went for just under 4 months and in the next two years, just under 5 each, with this last being the longest. Although the last visit was not without its difficulties, I now know that I love the Phils. It seems like the place I always wanted to live but never knew where it was. Continue reading I’m back from the Philippines. And I don’t like that.

Baler: Pacific Paradise Escapade in Luzon

sabaing beach Baler
The Pacific at Sabang Beach, Baler. Magical. Pic: Rod Fleming

I had no idea what I’d find in Baler. I just knew I wanted to see the sea. After months in Plaridel, which, while nice, is neither favoured with mountains nor sea. I needed it. People like me, who grew up by the sea, pine away if we are too far from it. I’ll do another post about it later in the week, but for now I just want to say it is an unspoiled paradise. Beautiful.

Baler is on the Pacific coast of Luzon. The Pacific is magical and I was awestruck by the fact that I was literally standing on the edge of the Earth — or at least, the edge of the Sunda plate, which is advancing inexorably towards the distant and unseen America, subducting (lovely word) the Philippines Sea plate as it goes.

Anyway, this a wee taster. We’ll be going back to Baler and I’ll write more about it. Meantime thanks to our new friends Rich and Fely Cleaver, who run the Saltwater Lodge on Sabang Beach. Economical, comfortable, clean and good company, just like staying at home!

Photos

Continue reading Baler: Pacific Paradise Escapade in Luzon

Pageants: the key to understanding ladyboys

psageants ladyboy beauty
Contestants at the 2017 Mr Lady pageant in Malolos. Pic: Rod Fleming

On Sunday March 12th we went to watch the ‘Mr Lady’ beauty pageant at Robinson’s Place, Malalos, here in the Philippines. These pageants are a regular and important feature of life here.

During the event, an award was presented for Most Supportive Boyfriend. The winner took both his beloved and the crowd by surprise when he proposed to her on bended knee. The crowd went absolutely wild!

These events are very much family affairs and each of the contestants was supported by a strong turnout of highly partisan cousins, siblings and parents. It’s just good fun and everybody has a great time. Continue reading Pageants: the key to understanding ladyboys

Malolos: Street photography and ladyboys

sam malolos 2017
Sam doing her thing. Pic: Rod Fleming
elusive ladyboys Malolos
A few of the elusive ladyboys of Malolos. Pic: Rod Fleming

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. Continue reading Malolos: Street photography and ladyboys

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

wedding las casas de acuzar
Wedding photography at Las Casaas de Acuzar. Pic: Rod Fleming

Last week I visited Bataan, here in the Philippines, for the first time. I was amazed by the scenery, which is remarkable; beautiful mountains, beaches and sea views, amongst everything else. What a richness this country has! Anyway, the highlight of the tour was when an old friend suggested going to Las Casas de Acuzar at Bagac.

Bagac is south of Olongapo on Subic Bay and is accessible by bus. Once again, the scenery en route is spectacular.

I was expecting a beach and maybe a nice old village — my friend and guide, Belgie, said ‘There are old houses’. I wasn’t even slightly prepared for what I saw. Continue reading Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

2016: a bad year? No, a new beginning.

Trump-wins-2016
The Donald’s election as President of the USA was the defining moment of 2016. The alternative would have doomed us.

2016 began, for me, in the Philippines, where I now am. It had a less than auspicious beginning: I remember my shock at hearing about the death of David Bowie. But, while the toll of celebrities continued, this was not the most surprising thing about the year by any means.

That something was afoot became clear early on, in May, when Rodrigo Duterte, a fast talking populist, was elected as president of the Philippines. Most people in the West hardly noticed this, but it was a straw in the wind. It is true that Duterte’s route to power was laid open by the Philippines electoral system, which is single-stage, and the fact that the centrist vote was split between two popular candidates, Mar Roxas and Grace Poe. Duterte exploited this division expertly and won, on around 38% of the vote. Continue reading 2016: a bad year? No, a new beginning.

Happy New Year 2017 from the Philippines

Happy New Year
Pic: Rod Fleming

Well, a belated Happy New Year to everyone and my apologies for the long hiatus.

I came here to the Philippines in early December after three months of flat-out work, to the point of exhaustion. I achieved a lot but I think regular readers would have noticed that my focus was not on the blog here but on other things, notably my new books — of which, more later. Continue reading Happy New Year 2017 from the Philippines

The thought or image of oneself

5 agp 2 hsts pictureFew clinical definitions, established by obscure researchers in obscure institutions, referring to an obscure subject, can have caused more brouhaha than Ray Blanchard’s definition of autogynephilia as ‘a man’s paraphilic propensity to be sexually aroused at the thought or image of himself as a woman.’

But what does it actually mean?

‘Paraphilia is any intense and persistent sexual interest other than sexual interest in genital stimulation or preparatory fondling with phenotypically normal, physically mature, consenting human partners; if a paraphilia causes distress or impairment to the individual or if its satisfaction entails personal harm (or the risk of such harm) to others, it is considered a paraphilic disorder.’ Guy E Brannon, MD

A paraphilia is ‘sexual interest other than sexual interest in genital stimulation or preparatory fondling with phenotypically normal…partners.’ Ahm… Continue reading The thought or image of oneself

Autogynephilia: Sex as a woman

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Autogynephilic (R) and HSTS transsexuals in Thailand. Which do you think might ‘pass’?

Autogynephilia is a self-reinforcing, sexualised self-reward system. It is stimulated by a man’s desire to be, or appear to be, a woman. It is satisfied by achieving this. Although there are other rewards, the main one is by having sex as a woman.

Because it is self-reinforcing, the more often the satisfaction is achieved, the stronger it gets. It is narcissistic because it is focussed on the male self as a woman. Because sexualised reward is so strong, autogynephilia is extremely powerful and compelling. Sex as a woman turbo-charges it. Continue reading Autogynephilia: Sex as a woman