Duds is part of our apprentice program and a loyal student of our TomCat, AJ Bautista. Thank you for such kind words Duds! Do visit Blog Ni Blueboy so that you can get to know this great guy more
the first time i heard of polecats was through a friend, who invited me to watch their second anniversary show. i was amazed at the moment i saw their pictures hanging on the gallery at philamlife theater doing their splits and tricks on the pole. i was more amazed when i got to see them perform during the show, as in literally teary-eyed at the awesomeness that my eyes were witnessing. seeing the polecats perform while manila philharmonic orchestra was playing was sheer delight. at the end of the show, i told myself jokingly that next year i will be performing in a stage, doing tricks in the pole.
it is pretty funny how the heavens listen to your secret desires and how they grant them to you.
november 2011 was when i signed up for the men’s pole classes, led by tomcat aj bautista. i had very little expectations during that class. all i wanted to experience is how it feels to do the tricks, if it’s going to be easy or difficult. aj is very supportive and flexible in terms of catering to the capabilities of each of his students. he would always encourage you to do more while improving on the very fundamental matters such as pointing your toes. he makes the tricks look easy (of course he’s a tomcat!). day 1 ended and i was hooked! i get a feeling of accomplishment every time i finish a class, even though most of the time i am exhausted and feeling a lot of body pains even two days after the class. but i keep on coming back because i am having a great time. i also enjoy the company of my classmates (also known as the tigers) because i feel a deep sense of empathy whenever i am having difficulty in doing a particular trick, and a shared sense of victory when we get to perfect the tricks. each of the tigers have their strengths and weaknesses, but we do not compete against each other. we always encourage each other to keep on trying until we get it right. i even have a classmate who has his own pole at home, so he invites us over to practice and try different stuff (such as doing the female tricks behind our polecats teachers).
there’s a lot of camwhoring after the class, because we take pride in what we have learned and accomplished during class. we see ourselves evolving little by little as we take a level higher in terms of tricks learned.
december 2011 came and the polecats are planning to have their christmas party. without batting an eyelash, the tigers growled, “magpeperform kami!” we never felt the pressure, we just wanted to represent. while our female counterparts are practicing their choreography with their respective teachers, the tigers are coming up with our own choreography, leveraging on the tricks we can do so far. the teachers and students have their full support in our project and boy did we perform! we were instant celebrities within the pole community.
polecats manila has opened doors to spread pole love even more by teaching men’s class. but it opened a much bigger door for me when i got a message from teacher aj last march 2012. it read:
“Dearest XXX, in behalf of Polecats Manila I have nominated you as a candidate to be a future Tomcat. We will be having our first briefing on Monday,March 5, 2012 at 7pm, in Mister Kebab, Pearl Plaza. Please send me a text or message me here to confirm your attendance. I wish you the best of luck.”
i was speechless for a brief moment. at first i could not believe it. i am not exactly the most skilled student in class as i could not perform most of the tricks that involved inverting. but i saw it as an opportunity to improve. i said yes and attended the briefing.
it has been a month since then and i enjoy every moment of being an apprentice. i get to help out with the administrative tasks in the studio. i get to assist in actual polecats manila gigs. i also get to help out in setting up their new studio. what i enjoy is that i get to bond with the members of the polecats and know them on a personal level. they are such hardworking people but really fun people as well. the polecats members have treated each other like family, always looking after each other, setting aside personal issues for the greater good, which is the growth of the company. polecats manila was established through hardwork and passion and it truly gives me great joy and pride being a part of it as their apprentice.
i still do not know what my fate will be after the apprentice program, but whether i make the cut or not, it will not end my love for pole and polecats manila. polecats have treated me as if i am already a part of their group and with that i am forever grateful.