Pag pinagmamasdan kita, parang nagmamalikmata

(play this tune while reading this post for full effect)

I’ve been here in the Philippines since Thursday, so five days now. Most of that time and all my mental energy has been going into learning this slab of Filipino text which I’m going to try and use to get on to Foreignoy, the GMA Network’s reality tv show for foreignors with the ‘heart of a Pinoy’.


What is Foreignoy?

It’s a reality TV show / game show on Eat Bulaga, which is the GMA Network’s long-time noontime show and a bastion of Filipino daytime TV culture. And they have a special segment just for foreignors, or at least, foreignors who have some relationship to the Philippines, where they have to sing, improvise a skit in Filipino, and then face each other down in a popularity contest of some kind.

Why do you want to get on Foreignoy?

I don’t know, except that I want it more than I can ever remember wanting anything ever before in my life. Do you think the albatross knows what it’s doing when it starts flying halfway across the world to its winter feasting grounds? I don’t think so. I think it just knows that it needs to go, and it starts to fly, and that is that.


What will happen if you get on Foreignoy?


Actually I won’t win (except I will), but the real point is, get on the show, and then see what happens. In this life I guess the finish line is always moving.

How will you get on Foreignoy?


My current plan is to put together an audition video showcasing my skills and hoping someone from GMA sees it and is duly moved by it. But I mean, if you have a better idea, let me know. If you know someone from GMA, give them my email address. If you ARE from GMA, get at me let’s talk.


But Finig, you can’t sing, you can’t dance, you can’t really speak Tagalog, you’re not that pretty and you have a stupid beard, what do you have to offer the audience of Eat Bulaga?

All of these things are true, but I want this more than any other Foreignoy competitor has wanted it in the history of the show. If raw unfiltered urgent passion counts for anything, I outstrip everyone in the history of the show.

How’s the rehearsing going?

Maraming hirap. I spent 90 minutes last night pacing around the living room repeating the line ‘pag pinagmamasdankita, parang namamalikmata’ over and over, because my wretched English-speaking mouth can’t hack it. My voice is going, my throat is sore, I’m having weird lucid dreams about fumbling lines, and I’m not even halfway through.

I have listened to this timestretched loop of Abra’s Diwata over 2000 times today and it’s not helping.

Photo on 24-11-2015 at 7.15 pm #2

But I will get there. Magiging okay lang ang lahat. Because Donnalyn Bartholme. Because Abra. Because Sarah Geronimo. Because Salbakuta. Because AlDub. Because Asin & Freddie Aguilar. Because Ryzza Mae, because Ryzza Mae, because Ryzza Mae, because Ryzza Mae, because we have 84 years left of this century and it’s up to determine what it looks like, and I don’t want to live in a future where I didn’t win Foreignoy

Because I AM a kakaibabe

Singapore interlude


It’s mid-November and I’m sitting in Singapore on Circular Road watching all the pretty office workers go by looking fancy and sharp as razors. I’m on my way to Manila, where my challenge is going to be (a) having a bullet planted in my baggage, (b) sitting on EDSA for 5+ hours because of APEC, and (c) my pabebe wave is rubbish. Still though, I think the technical term is CANNOT WAIT.

I’ve spent the last few weeks in between Sydney and Canberra. It was all prep work – prep for the new Finnigan and Brother EP, prep for Best Festival Ever travelling to Sweden next year, prep for Kill Climate Deniers coming up in 2016. And of course that kind of prep feels sometimes really positive, and sometimes like you’re standing totally still getting nothing done.

Maybe I’ve been getting nothing done. It doesn’t feel like it, but there’s nothing that’s quite ready to share, nothing that I’m happy to break out and put across the wires. So for now, I think I’ll just leave it and say I’m gonna be in Manila in that headspace very, very soon. And the future’s frightening, same as always.

lioness evil eye