light up the sky

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Manila, 25 October—Where did October go, no? I wonder myself. Looking back, we spent this month glued mostly to the screen, enjoying good LGBTQ+ content, both local and foreign.

What a delight, right? I still remember dreaming ten years ago about a local Autostraddle for Filipina sapphics (a term I love for encompassing all women who love women—may they be lesbians, bisexuals or transgender women) and thinking, Eh ano naman ilalagay natin dun?

Ten years later, here we are.

I say this because we’ve been truly enjoying Juan Miguel Severo’s YouTube series Gaya sa Pelikula, which is a love story between two men. (READ: With Boys' Love, a generation of gay boys get a second coming of age via CNN Philippines)

I’m a sucker for well-done tropes—this one is a fake dating AU that’s a roommate AU that’s a strangers-to-enemies-to-friends-to-lovers AU (I think) and it’s certainly a grower. I love how it leans into some pandering (this morning, we watched them play-fight while hanging laundry—haha) but at the same time, it is unafraid to take itself seriously and talk about community-specific issues (“Akala mo ba complement yung hindi ako halatang bakla?”)

It’s already on Episode 5—its Wikipedia entry says it’s only 8 episodes long (which made me sad). It’s been well-written so far, and I expect a strong ending to this carefully constructed series.

I’m just glad there are gay kids today logging onto YouTube and seeing content that can truthfully reflect them (and in their language, too!). And I’m extra glad that there’s finally some (good) content for wlw (and I emphasize good because good lord there was content, and it was… anyway.)

Enter Pearl Next Door—a spinoff of Gameboys, which we haven’t watched yet but will hopefully catch up with soon. The pilot ep is just about 20 minutes long and features lead character Pearl, who falls for her lesbian quarantine Zoom bestie Karleen. I know, right. Talk about being a true product of its time.

We got worried a bit for some biphobic bits (“Tapos na akong mag-date ng mga straight at bi”—yikes) but after seeing some familiar names in the credits (+1 on a SOGIE consultant!), we’re hopeful that this is just a setup for some character development.

Anyway, we’re excited to see where it goes! I’m guessing it won’t be quite as dynamic as Gaya, which has the characters actually living together and interacting together, but I do hope Pearl would be more engaging than Hello Stranger, which was also hugely Zoom-based/Window-based.

Speaking of things we watched—have you caught the BLACKPINK documentary BLACKPINK: Light up the Sky on Netflix yet? It was so good! I have so much respect for how Korean idols really put in the time to be good at what they do—years of training! Utterly exhausting worldwide tours! That level of skincare! So amazing.

(But do you know what really blew my mind? The fact that Blackpink debuted in August 2016—the same month that this administration’s attacks on Sen. Leila de Lima began. In essence, Blackpink’s career and Sen. de Lima’s term as senator are practically as long as each other. It’s so odd thinking about this haha.)

Anyway, I thought of sharing the trailer, but here’s something better: A deleted scene of them practicing Kill This Love. I can’t believe I’m coming full circle from initially discovering Kill This Love via a Thanos dancing meme, I swear to god I’m the worst.

C and I talked about whether we had our Blackpink biases already, and I was like, there’s only four of them! we can handle them all at the same time!

O loko, kaya pa?!? Hahaha.

Thanks for making it this far, happy weekend!



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