Sunday, January 6, 2008


18" x 23"
pen and ink on paper


In a bar, down south near the gallery where I would go in some days of the week, I found myself sitting alone holding a bottle of red horse while waiting for my friend who’s always late.

“Hi man. Sorry if I mistook you for a bouncer a while back,” the guy said as he took the empty seat beside me at the bar.

“It’s okay. I am used to that. That wasn’t the first time,” I said.

“By the way, I’m Stephen” he introduced himself and raised his hand.

“Nice to meet you,” I acknowledged and shook it.

“So what do you do?” he asked.

“I paint. On canvas. I’m a painter.”

“Really?? Wow. A big, tough guy like you? A painter, hanep man, first time I meet a painter that’s big like you, hey, you work out? I like your chest,” he said these with hardly making a pause as if I’m some sort of oddity a child discovered.

“Uhm, thanks,” I quipped, as I was becoming uncomfortable with his questions.

“By the way, lemme show you something pare,” He stood up from his seat and with one fluid motion, he lifted his shirt and stood there exposing his upper torso while I was sat there dumbfounded.

“I have a nice chest and set of abs no?” he asked me with a note of pride.

“These are not really wholly mine. A little nip below the chest here and a little lipo and lot of hours in the gym and you can have this great look.”

“Cool,” was the only thing I can say.

Then from across the bar a man called out his name.

“Hey man, have to go. Nice talking to you. Maybe next time, we meet again ha,” he took a last sip from his beer, tucked his shirt and sped off.

“Do you have any idea who that guy you were talking to?” said my companion as he came in from behind me.

“Nope, I don't,” I told him as he took the seat left by Stephen.

“He’s one of those guys in that all-male sexy group P…..! You hardly go out eh. You’re like a hermit.” he exclaimed.

A few weeks later, while I was flipping through some showbiz sites, there was Stephen -in all his naked glory with a little piece of cloth they call “swimming trunks”. Up to now, I still wonder why he bragged about his chest to a complete stranger in a bar.



“That is SO GROSS!” shrieked Andre. “Why do you have to draw little cherubs flying in and out of the groin of some headless torso? Are you depressed? Do you want to chop your head off or something like that?” he badgered me while he rummaged through his bag for his toiletries.

“Of course NOT. Though I’ve thought about it before, but I’m not too depressed yet to do that,” I hollered at him. “It’s based on some foreign news I’ve read before. It’s about this male model who had plastic surgery to enhance his chin (or was it ear?). He wasn’t too happy with the result because of a little nip that left a tiny scar. So, he killed himself.”

“Wow, the vanity of some people. Imagine? Going all the way to doing that for mere physical beauty?” he pondered. “Anyway, I’ll have to take a bath before I go to my shift tonight. You still have water in your shower no?”

“Yeah, it’s enough even for an elephant,” I answered. As he turned towards the bathroom, I saw a couple of packets fall out of his toiletry bag. I picked them up and asked, “What are these?”

“Oh, they’re my whitening cream and moisturizer. I put that on every time I take a bath,” he said as he took the packets from my hand.

“But aren’t those for women?”

“So? It’s not only women who need to be beautiful.”

With aplomb, he took his towel and went into the bathroom.


DatuPanot said...


i love the humor , the surrealistic feel of your art packaged in your essay!


marga rodriguez said...

you know what daniel, it's about time you look for a publisher, and print all of your daily blogs and pictures. Sobrang funny sha!

palma tayona said...

@ datupanot : my works have been characterized as both surreal and naive. i don't exactly knw which one would come first. although, when i saw your blog with the tinikling performance in an american high school gym... hmm, being a filipino in manila, methinks that is more surreal.

thank you for the visit.

@ margaret : humor is a good release. i find it, cathartic. it releases, in a positive way, many of the negative feelings that has been in abundance these days.

Mari said...

So true. Nowadays, not only women do nips and tucks.