Love is Love: David and Adam Rocca

Love is Love: David and Adam Rocca

ROCKIN’ UP WITH THE ROCCAS — More than the fight for legal rights, acceptance, and equality, marriage for David Rocca (34; videographer/content creator ) and Adam Rocca (26; real estate agent) is nothing but a celebration of union and love. 

Hey Paolo: What were your individual “coming out” stories like?

David: I was a late bloomer. I didn’t come out until I was 23 years old. Before that, it was just one big secret. I had a big Italian and Catholic family. Back then, coming out is a scary thing to do.

Growing up, it wasn’t accepted at school. I saw a kid one day and he got extremely bullied when he came out. He had to leave school and I never saw him again. That set me back.

I was lucky though as everyone around me was very accepting of my sexuality. Even though in my head I thought they weren’t going to be…

Adam: Mine was pretty easy as I was very easy-going and I had a laidback family.

David Rocca Adelaide Videographer Photographer South Australia
David Rocca

Hey Paolo: How did you both meet?

David: We’ve always known each other for the longest time, but the timing was never right. We were both in a relationship with our ex-partners at that point when we first met and it never really worked out. He was based in Port Lincoln while I was living in Prospect. But eventually, it all just happened.

Adam: We first met through mutual friends. We decided to have coffee one day — and the rest was history.

We built a relationship based on coffee.” – David

Hey Paolo: How did you guys get engaged?

David: I proposed to Adam and I did it, as cheesy as it sounds, at the Eiffel Tower in Paris back in 2016. We were on a European holiday for about a month. We had a backpack then and I had the ring inside the backpack the whole time. He was carrying the backpack during the entire trip, but he didn’t even realise that there was a ring inside.

Adam: It was so funny to get engaged in Paris. You’ll think that you’re having this really unique, special moment, but when you look around, there are about 10 other people also doing their own engagements at the same time. It was nice sharing that moment with other engaged couples.

adam rocca real estate agent adelaide south australia
Adam Rocca

 

Hey Paolo: How did your families and friends react to your engagement?

David: My parents knew as I told them prior. When we first posted on social media about our engagement, some people got really shocked while the rest were really excited for us. Although same-sex marriage wasn’t legal yet here in Australia at that point, I still wanted to go ahead with our marriage anyway. I wouldn’t let anyone stop me from doing what I wanted to do.

Adam: We were really lucky as we have very supportive families and friends. I personally don’t know any other gay couples who have been engaged prior to ours. Five months before our wedding, same-sex officially became legal here in Australia and it got us really excited. We got married in April 2018.

Hey Paolo: What’s the importance of same-sex marriage?

David: For me, it’s about commitment, love, and building a family. I wouldn’t want to share my life with anybody else.

Adam: Marriage for me is about being able to go through life together and to have that recognition that you’re just one unit as a couple.

 

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Hey Paolo: What is LGBT PRIDE for you?

David: Being me, being loved, and equality in all forms. Having that freedom not to ever worry about where I go, what I do, and what would other people say. It’s about acceptance.

Adam: It’s about feeling safe and being truthful to who you are.

Hey Paolo: What’s the future for LGBTs here in South Australia?

David: It needs to be more openly celebrated. It needs to be more than just a gay club or some gay festivals. We need to have more gay-friendly places. We have to move more freely within the community without worries. I feel in certain places like Queenstown, New Zealand, everyone’s welcome. When we were there, I can hold Adam’s hand down the street without any hesitations, but here in Adelaide, I couldn’t really do that here…

Adam: Adelaide is always quite conservative — it will always be. I would like to see more diversity and LGBT faces in our government who will help form legislation so that everyone’s spoken and accounted for.

“I feel everyone’s more open-minded during the Adelaide Fringe festival in March, and when that’s over, everything’s back to the way it was.” – Adam

adam rocca and david rocca couple adelaide south australia

Hey Paolo: Recommendations for…

Brunch:

David: Cotto (112 Prospect Road) and Exchange Specialty Coffee (1-3/12-18 Vardon Ave).

Adam: FRED Eatery (220 Mount Barker).

Dinner:

David: Pizza e Mozarella Bar (33 Pirie Street) and Bangkok Boulevard (Tea Tree Plaza)

Adam: Madame Hanoi (Adelaide Casino, North Terrace) and Mrs. Q (1/128 Gouger St)

Nightlife:

David and Adam: Henessy Rooftop Bar (Mayfair Hotel) and any of the bars at Peel Street/Leigh Street.

ON INSTAGRAM: David Rocca (@davidvincentrocca) and Adam Rocca (@adamrocca_)

 

 

 

 

Hey Paolo Meets: Radio Producer and 5EBI 103.1 FM’s President Juan Paolo Legaspi

Hey Paolo Meets: Radio Producer and 5EBI 103.1 FM’s President Juan Paolo Legaspi

Radio, as a communication medium, has undeniably evolved over the years. With a new batch of talented and passionate people who constantly aspire to share their voices, knowledge, and stories to world, radio will always have a place among people. 5EBI 103.1 FM’s Juan Paolo Legaspi, 33, shares his radio journey story. 

Hey Paolo: How did you start a career in radio?

My mum is also a volunteer radio presenter at 5EBI 103.1 FM until now. When I was younger, I used to help her and the rest of those in the radio station do some online research for their new segments.

Hey Paolo: What is 5EBI 103.1 FM?

5EBI celebrates cultural/linguistic diversity and it’s a fulltime multi-cultural community radio station here in South Australia. It doesn’t rely on commercial advertising, but instead, it’s managed by the local community and is funded by various donations. We have radio programs in 44 different languages — and Filipino is one of them.

Juan paolo legaspi radyo pilipino 5ebi103.1 fm radio dj

Hey Paolo: Who is your target audience?

5EBI 103.1 has been around for more than 40 years now. Back then, it was primarily to present news and information coming from the motherland and we share it here to our South Australian audience. At present, our mission has somewhat changed. Now it’s also about sharing cultures, music, languages, ideas, etc.

Hey Paolo: What are the main challenges working in this field?

The biggest challenge is always finding the right, consistent talents who will be able to run the shows. Majority of our presenters at the momemnt come from an older demographic. A lot of them have been doing it for decades now and they still love doing it up to today. We constantly need younger talents.

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Hey Paolo: What’s the future of 5EBI?

We want to create a platform and a network of people who can potentially become radio professionals in this field. It’s a training ground and an opportunity to nurture talents.  Community radio can play a bridge between those who want to do it as a hobby and those who want to do it professionally in the long run too.

Hey Paolo: Recommendations for…

Breakfast: A Mother’s Milk (105 Unley Rd) makes really good baked eggs. My Kingdom for a Horse (191 Wright St) also creates good shakshuka.

Lunch: I wanted to keep this secret to myself, but my favourite is Contemporary Japanese Deli (22/68 Grenfell St) and they offer delicious $10 authentic Japanese bento boxes.

Dinner: For consistency, I like Wasai  (9/15 Field St). Their sushi bowls are always fresh. I also love Borsa Pasta Cucina (1/25 Grenfell), especially for their puttanescas.

 

Hey Paolo Meets: Entrepreneur and Entertainer Shania Twatt

Hey Paolo Meets: Entrepreneur and Entertainer Shania Twatt

They often say, “real queens fix each other’s crowns.” For Matthew Bruno, 35, he might have learned his lessons the hard way, but he is now ready to push himself once again to return to the scene and to bring his fab alter ego, Shania Twatt, back on track. 

Hey Paolo: What inspired you to become a Drag Queen?

When I was younger, I was very much into music, drama, and performing. I have always been good at making people laugh. I can easily mimick/perform different characters and I always feel comfortable being in front of people.

Here in Adelaide, I also grew up with all the drag queens at the old Mars Bar (a defunct gay nightclub) and I always loved how they perform. But at that point, I never really wanted to become a drag queen of my own.

Shania Twatt was really born in the Philippines. When I was working there managing a BPO company, I have visited a few gay clubs and made friends with people. One of the venue owners asked me to emcee for them for a night.

“What should we call you then in drag,” they asked. Shania Twain’s song was playing at that time and that inspired me to call myself Shania… (but as a Twatt.)

Shanai Twatt Pony Adelaide Drag Queen South Australia HIndley Street

I never called myself a drag queen. I classify myself more as an entertainer or as a character. If you see me in drag, it’s always for business; it means I’m working. It’s not like I go out wearing all these every night. 

When I came back to Adelaide, I kept asking myself: what does Adelaide need at the moment?

I created an agency called Man Netic Entertainment to manage a pool of talents (drag queens and adult entertainers) to serve and entertain different demographics, cultures, ages, and genders. We then initially started performing at Mars Bar, Madame Josephine’s, and a couple of other venues — and these all started successfully.

Hey Paolo: How has Shania evolved through the years?

I bought Mars Bar (which was later turned into OZ Nightclub) with a couple of others at that time but our club had to fold up as it was really difficult running it.

Shania got caught up with all the gossips, drama, and bright lights of the gay scene. Business-wise, I’ve made a lot of mistakes in the past. But I don’t regret anything now because I’ve learned a lot from it. As a drag queen, I’ve made a lot of friends and enemies too. I’ve made some enemies because of my own actions and wrong decisions in life. But you live and you learn.

With the closure of the club, I felt I was left in a really dark place. I stopped performing and hated doing drag shows. I got really depressed and I felt burnt out. I couldn’t find Shania anymore. I couldn’t even look at my costumes.

I took a time off, but I also felt I wasn’t done yet. I come from a family of entrepreneurs who run successful events and restaurants. With the support of my mum, I told myself, one day I’ll come back.

Now, I’m ready to come back. I’m ready to bring events again to Adelaide.

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Hey Paolo: Who is Shania Twatt?

Shania is #hookerrealness. She’s a lady of the night; a madame. She is big, bold, and beautiful. She’s courageous and she never holds back. She’s a big girl who loves to move. She supports big girls and she’s an advocate of body positivity.

I guess I was the Lizzo before there was fucking Lizzo!

Hey Paolo: How different is Shania Twatt from Matthew Bruno?

With Matt, there’s a sense of sensitivity and shyness still. Shania is a bit braver and she doesn’t care. Shania is my armour. I can be personally moody, while Shania is always happy and ready to party. I can be pretty private too, while Shania doesn’t really hold back.

Hey Paolo: How important is Shania Twatt for you?

It has been a tough past six months for me with COVID and the end of my relationship, which caught me off guard and I’m still healing from. So Shania has become more of an escape from the reality of disappointments and heartaches.

However, it was my ex who has also encouraged me to go back out there in the limelight. I still hope that one day though, my ex and I will be able to be friends again. For now Shania allows me to channel my emotions into a creative outlet.

Hey Paolo: What does Adelaide’s LGBTQ community need at present?

Adelaide needs a venue that will celebrate the diversity of the LGBTQ community while catering to a variety of cultures, curiosities, fetishes, and demographics. I just want to see everyone come back together and party like how they used to.

shania twatt drag queen adelaide pony hindley street 2

 

Hey Paolo: What’s next for you?

We opened up PONY (146 Hindley Street; male cabaret and drag show in Adelaide) last January 2020. At PONY, it’s a destination and a nonstop show featuring gorgeous men, drag queens, performances, visual effects, games, and lots of drinking & partying. Usually after our shows, the same venue turns into a nightclub.

I’m also planning to start a series of new gay events/parties in the near future (tentatively called “Bar Gaga”).

Hey Paolo: Where would Shania go for…

Lunch/Dinner: Of course, it’ll be at my mum’s restaurant, B Social (246 Foster Rd, Oakden). Shania likes drinking refreshing cocktails such as Aperol Spritz or Pineapple Malibu.

Weekend Spot: It’ll probably be at a random beach. She’s probably hangover or partying there.

Vacation: I would love to go back to a place where I have good memories of, like the Philippines. Or maybe Mykonos, Greece because I also have a drag queen friend there.

Shania Twatt’s Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/shania_twatt/

#HowTo: Make Argentinian Vegetarian Empanadas with Naomi Morandi

#HowTo: Make Argentinian Vegetarian Empanadas with Naomi Morandi

My Argentinian friend and Volleyball teammate, Naomi Morandi (@naomi.morandi), takes over my kitchen to make these delicious vegetarian Argentinian empanadas.

You read it right — they are vegetarian!

Empanadas are usually made with meat, but this healthy variation makes it more exciting: lots of cheese, onion, mushroom, and more cheese.

#ChooseYourCharacter: Australian States Edition (featuring Zachary Steele)

#ChooseYourCharacter: Australian States Edition (featuring Zachary Steele)

 

#ChooseYourCharacter: Australian States Edition

WAIT TILL THE END 🤣 Model: @zachary.steele13

If you could choose your preferred video game character based on these various #AustralianStates ~ who would you choose?

The preppy South Australian? #southaustralia
The cosmopolitan guy from #NewSouthWales?
The tropical lad from #NorthernTerritory?
The beach hunk from #Queensland?
The chill Tassy dude? #Tasmania
The serious bloke from ACT? #AustralianCapitalTerritory
Or the creative dude from #Victoria (before and during isolation?)

#YourThoughts: Is Radio Dead?

#YourThoughts: Is Radio Dead?

Guest: Juan Paolo Legaspi, President of 5EBI 103.1 FM in Australia (@jp.mabuhay)

Excerpts:
“No, absolutely not. And it’s outrageous and offensive for you to insist on that line of questioning. I think radio is not dead. It is truly well and alive… Radio can take many different forms now. I like listening to podcasts for example on the train. It’s a very fine line between podcasts and radio, but I think the form of audio storytelling, it’s still very well alive.

Future of radio: Very specialised form of content…”

#HowTo: Bouldering at Beyond Bouldering Adelaide

#HowTo: Bouldering at Beyond Bouldering Adelaide

Have you ever tried bouldering before?

It’s probably the most challenging sport I’ve done ever. It’s almost like wall climbing, but without any harnesses, ropes, or even helmets. The walls are a bit shorter compared to wall climbing, but it’s also steeper and more angular.

Spoke to Jasper of Beyond Bouldering Keswick to learn a few basic bouldering tricks:

Finding Your Personal Brand: Learnings from Asia’s King of Talk, Mr. Boy Abunda

Finding Your Personal Brand: Learnings from Asia’s King of Talk, Mr. Boy Abunda

Summary: Find your core and speak from your own truth.

Did you manage to listen to the Part 1 of my 5EBI103.1 FM radio interview with Tito Boy? Here are tidbits of some of the most amazing insights he has shared with me as a premiere TV Host (30+ years in the showbiz industry!), talent manager, book author, celebrity endorser, newspaper columnist, and public relations guru.

Here’s the link to the interview: LINK

Otherwise, look for Radyo Pilipino on Spotify. Title: Barkada Radyo: Hey Paolo with Boy Abunda (uploaded 03 July 2020)

Spotlight: Young Adelaide Visual Artist H. Fleming

Spotlight: Young Adelaide Visual Artist H. Fleming

Did you know that there’s an amazing yet somehow inconspicuous art display located at one of the back streets of Rundle Mall? H. Fleming’s paintings are on display and are on sale at @galleryflaneur, a small glass display art showcase attached to one of the red brick buildings at Fisher Place, a street adjacent to the Rundle Mall Plaza / H&M store.

H. Fleming’s arts are surreal, abstract, and imaginative.

Hey Paolo Meets: Mobile Massage Therapy from Luke Van Boekel

Hey Paolo Meets: Mobile Massage Therapy from Luke Van Boekel

Want to enjoy a luxurious and relaxing spa environment in the comfort of your own home? Luke Van Boekel, 24, of Odyssey Health Practices Adelaide provides mobile massage therapy services to help pamper and ease tensions in your tired bodies without you necessarily leaving your own bedroom. 

Hey Paolo: Why massage therapy?

I have always been interested in both fitness and health ever since I was young. It started in 2017 when I took up Certificates III & IV in fitness training and a course in massage therapy too. I have been doing freelance massage services since then.

I’ve always been keen to understand how the body works. I believe fitness and massage also work hand in hand. It’s about learning how the muscles work and how you can help with recovery and rehabilitation through massages.

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Hey Paolo: How different are your services?

I offer “mobile massages” and I do it in the comfort of my client’s homes. I bring my own mobile massage bed, towels, music, and oil. It’s basically almost like a “spa” in their own homes. I also specialise in relaxation and deep tissue massages.

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Hey Paolo: What are the benefits that you get from massages?

I’ve had clients who only go for one-off massages while some are returning clients.

Some of my clients have sleep problems and massages generally help them to relax, calm down, and be able to sleep. While for athletes and those who train at the gym, massages help release tensions from their strained muscles and it helps with quicker muscle recovery too. I also have a client who has some form of disability after getting into a car accident. Massages help create better blood flow throughout his legs.

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Hey Paolo: When to avoid getting a massage?

Generally, if you have broken bones, burns, scars, and pre-existing conditions such as high blood pressure.

Hey Paolo: Local recommendations for…

Brunch: I like going to Salem Cafe as it’s a completely vegan dining spot.

Weekend Spot: K-Pub also has vegan options and they have a killer vegan fried chicken.

Place to relax: I train both at Hangfit Street Workout and at PEAQ

TO BOOK LUKE FOR A MASSAGE THERAPY SESSION, CONTACT: @odyseeyhealthpractices