Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Re-lay-shun-ships’

How to fall in love with anyone in 36 questions

January 15, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Psychology, Re-lay-shun-ships No Comments →

Illustration by Brian Rea for the New York Times

In a lab experiment, the psychologist Arthur Aron succeeded in making two strangers fall in love. Yeah there are variables that were not considered, and we don’t like to think that humans are so easy, but let’s say it worked. Basically the subjects sit face to face in a quiet place and answer 36 increasingly personal questions. Then they stare into each other’s eyes for 4 minutes.

Disclaimer: Embark on this experiment at your own risk. We are not responsible for any foolishness that ensues.

Here’s the first set of questions.

1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?

3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?

4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?

7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?

8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.

9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?

11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.

12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

Read To Fall In Love With Anyone, Do This in the New York Times.

Psychiatrist and human sexuality expert Dr. Agnes Bueno to hold Love Workshops

April 01, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Announcements, Re-lay-shun-ships, Sex 1 Comment →

love workshop
This is serious, not an April Fool’s Day prank.

Love is the paramount concern of most people, especially Filipinos. Everywhere we go we are reminded of it: in love songs blaring at the malls, in movies about “soulmates”, in ads that promise you will find true love…after you try their products.

But what exactly do we mean by “love”? Infatuation, companionship, sexual attraction, sacrifice, obsession…we might not be talking about the same thing. The result is confusion, disappointment, bitterness, rage, or worse.

Before we can love or be loved, we have to know what it is. Our personal concepts of love are shaped by our earliest interactions with parents, families, friends–relationships that, if we’re not self-aware, can end up defining who we are, or defeating what we want to become.

For something that’s supposed to be in the air, love is hard to pin down.

Professor of Psychiatry and Human Sexuality Agnes Bueno, M.D. invites you to delve into the meaning of love in your life, to understand your desires and expectations, and free yourself from the burdens of the past.

The Love Workshop is a combination of classroom discussion and group therapy. It consists of two intensive three-hour sessions. Each class consists of only five students, with writer Jessica Zafra as facilitator and Dr. Bueno as therapist.

The Love Workshop will be held at #13 Osmena St. Xavierville 3, Loyola Heights Quezon City. The course fee is Php5,000 per person. Schedules will be arranged according to the participants’ availability. To enroll, call (02) 723 0101 local 6501 or 2217 or visit Dr. Bueno’s office at:

Suite 1217 South Tower
St. Luke’s Medical Center
Cathedral Heights Bldg. Complex
279 E. Rodriguez Sr., Blvd., Quezon City

You can’t be loved till you know how to love.

IM Instant Mommy contest: Send us your online dating stories.

August 19, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Contest, Movies, Re-lay-shun-ships No Comments →

Image: Eugene Domingo as Bechay. Screencaps from Leo Abaya.

Bechay works as a wardrobe mistress on advertising shoots. On a trip to Boracay, she meets the charming Kaoru, a Japanese businessman. They quickly fall in like and she gets knocked up. Kaoru is married, but he is in the process of divorcing his wife Hana—as soon as she gives her consent, because getting a divorce in Japan is complicated. In the meantime the now-pregnant Bechay and Kaoru make plans and keep in touch with regular video chats. Will Bechay’s dreams of domestic bliss become reality, or does that only happen on television ads?

Image: Yuki Matsuzaki as Kaoru. Yuki is our next guest on the podcast.

Instant Mommy, written and directed by Leo Abaya and starring Eugene Domingo, Yuki Matsuzaki and Luis Alandy, opens in theatres on August 28. While we’re counting down to opening day, send us your own (or your friends’, with their permission or they’ll never speak to you again) online dating/long distance relationship stories.

In the eternal words of schmaltzy slumbooks, “How did you met?” When did you start dating online? How did you “meet”? What were they like? What did you like about them? How far did it get? Did you actually meet, like in person? We want details! The ickier the better (Use a pseudonym).

postal notebooks
Postal notebooks by Moleskine: envelope-shaped stitched notebooks, ready to mail (or more likely, keep). If people wrote letters instead of chatting online, they’d have time to think about what they’re doing. More thinking, less trouble.

Post your stories in Comments. Three winners will receive Moleskine postal notebooks from National Bookstore; the first 20 contestants get Instant Mommy posters. Winners will be announced on IM opening day, August 28. See you in Comments!

How to ham it up like a professional

July 31, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Movies, Re-lay-shun-ships No Comments →

Yesterday we took a break from Cinemalaya to attend to our chores. Besides, our friends were also busy and we didn’t want to watch the movies alone. One of the things we enjoy the most about Cinemalaya is the discussion/debate that follows the screenings, usually over a very late dinner. We’re resuming our viewing this afternoon with Instant Mommy (We’ve only seen the offline edit) and Sana Dati.

After the aggravation of having the bathroom drain de-clogged (Probably the cats’ fault because they keep kicking kitty litter out of the box), we compiled all the questions you sent in for Tom Rodriguez and added some of our own (You’re a graphic artist. What would be the sigil of House Mott?).

Then we watched My Husband’s Lover. Is it just us, or have they been crying for the last two or three weeks? We did enjoy seeing Kuh Ledesma and Roi Vinzons as the gay husband’s parents. Kuh Ledesma’s character sounds like a lot of moms in denial about their gay sons (“They’re just confused, they need help.”). Roi Vinzons’s character is always holding a drink, which accounts for his constant good cheer, interrupted only by homophobic statements. “You’re lucky your son is very straight,” his brother-in-law declares. Oof.

We hope Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing gets shown in local theatres; while we wait there’s Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation from 20 years ago. Everyone looks tanned and fabulous: Emma Thompson, Kate Beckinsale, Robert Sean Leonard, Ken. Denzel Washington is insanely hot, and Keanu Reeves is beautiful. Fine, he’s terrible in it, and putting him next to excellent actors doesn’t help, but we’ll always be fond of Keanu.

Much Ado is a hoot—it’s the classic ligawan-tampuhan (courtship-hateship) scenario with gorgeous language. Evil Keanu tries to break up the young lovers, and once again someone comes up with the dopey solution: “Let’s tell the guy the girl has died so he’ll be sorry and they’ll get back together.” Yeah, tell that to Romeo and Juliet.

The best lines go to Benedick and Beatrice, played by Ken and Emma. Every time they’re in the same room they start sniping at each other. So their friends conclude that they really have a thing for each other: as they say in high school, “Uuyyyy, the more you hate, the more you love.” (Fine, sometimes the hatred may be sexual tension, but sometimes it’s just hatred.)

Denzel and co. hatch a plan: they tell Benedick that Beatrice is dying of love for him, and then they tell Beatrice that Benedick is madly in love with her. It works! Watch how classically-trained actors do slapstick, mug shamelessly, and overact intentionally.

“Love me! Why?”

If wireless fidelity is Wi-Fi, then the infidelity phone is In-Fi.

January 14, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Re-lay-shun-ships, Technology 1 Comment →


TOKYO—Over the past few years, as many people rushed to trade in their old phones for smartphones, Japan’s philanderers have remained faithful to one particular brand: Fujitsu Ltd.’s older “F-Series” phones, which feature some attractive stealth privacy features.

The aging flip-phone—nicknamed the “uwaki keitai” or “infidelity phone”—owes its enduring popularity to customers who don’t believe newer smartphones are as discreet at hiding their illicit romances.

Read Japan’s Philanderers Stay Faithful to Their “Infidelity Phones” in WSJ

Here comes your Wi-Fe! If we spot someone with this flip-phone we’ll just assume he’s a cheater.

Research says men and women can’t be “just friends”. What do you think?

January 03, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Re-lay-shun-ships 4 Comments →

There’s a whole movie about the issue.

Men and Women Can’t Be “Just Friends”
By Adrian F. Ward

Can heterosexual men and women ever be “just friends”? Few other questions have provoked debates as intense, family dinners as awkward, literature as lurid, or movies as memorable. Still, the question remains unanswered. Daily experience suggests that non-romantic friendships between males and females are not only possible, but common—men and women live, work, and play side-by-side, and generally seem to be able to avoid spontaneously sleeping together. However, the possibility remains that this apparently platonic coexistence is merely a façade, an elaborate dance covering up countless sexual impulses bubbling just beneath the surface.

Read the full article at Scientific American.

Hmmm. Interesting, but not very scientific. Then again 98 percent of our friends are gay men so we don’t have a problem being just friends. (Isn’t the term “just friends” is an insult to friendship?)

What do you think? We want stories! (You know you want to tell them.)