I am a very transparent person. You don't have to know me very well in order to understand how I'm feeling. When I'm happy, I'm infectious, all my friends will know the source of my glee. When I'm sad, I'm the biggest drama queen in the world. My friends will know the blow-by-blow account and nitty-gritty of my despair.
Ok, I might be sounding a bit crazy already. But to balance it out, I share in my friends' life moments the same way I share mine with them. (my good friend Jonas once told me that i have a deep sense of empathy, I didn't realize that before).
Some well-meaning friends cautioned me on my openness (especially about my sexuality during the past year). I understand their concerns. However, it still comes out naturally. I have been empowered so much that to continue to hide in the closet is becoming more and more unbearable.
The same openness has extended to my heart. The moment someone I like gives me a glimmer of hope, all my defenses go down. I'll be all out with my sweet gestures. I will be literally prancing on air.
Friends tell me to hold back a little. Keep the other guy guessing. "Make him miss you." But as I am brutally frank with my opinions, I am also brutally honest with my feelings. I don't see the point with pretending, with playing a game. "It's better he knows how I feel upfront."
Listening to Fabcasts recorded over the past year, I've noticed a common theme in my comments. It started as a simple joke, a form of self-flagellation. A recognition of a state of being. Little did I notice that bit by bit it was eating me up. And as Mcvie has pointed out to me, I was desperate. "Guys can smell your desperation from miles away." Brutal words that I must admit made me feel defensive. I was shaken. Tony said I lost my groove, I lost my confidence. In the middle of a massage last night, my head was swirling with thoughts, the warm hands of my masseur felt like nothing, I was numb. I was stripped naked. I was exposed.
I've been asking myself a lot of times, "Why am I still single? I'm a nice guy, I'm not ugly, why can't I have a boyfriend?" And each time I say it, a piece of my dignity, my self-respect is stripped off me.
I don't want someone to love me out of pity. I don't want someone to "complete" me.
But I recognize, I am broken. A brutal reality that I need to accept. I need to fix myself. Not anyone else.
Yup, it's been five months since my last entry. I have been so busy at work, doing 12-15 hours a day. In the rare times that I don't work overtime, I take the opportunity to sleep. Yup, sleep has been a very scarce commodity for me.
It's still crazy at work, but I really have to pause for a bit and write this post. Last weekend was a blast and it needs to be immortalized for its randomness. It was a tiring 3 days, yet I felt so refreshed this morning. Yey to randomness and good times with friends!!!
3:55 pm - Feeling sleepy and tired, I decided I won't report to work the following day. My weekend starts a day early :)
10:00 pm - Left the office to meet MGG, Tony, Mcvie and D at Tomas Morato. MGG shared the story of letter sender who he met recently.
12:00 am - Moved to Coffee Bean to peek at someone's study date.
3:oo pm - Movie marathon with Tony. We watched "Red Riding Hood" and "Sucker Punch". 2 cutie guys in "Red Riding Hood". No hunks in "Sucker Punch". Fell asleep in the latter ;)
8:30 pm - Went home early as Tony was meeting the "kid".
12:00 am - Got a text from Dalumat, they're having a movie night at his place.
1:30 am - Arrived in Dalumat's condo with "refreshments."
2:00 am - Watched "Dorian Gray". Ben Barnes is hot! Topless scenes and bisexual sex ;)
3:45 am - Went to the rooftop with Dalumat and Kayadudes, chit chatting while drinking more "refreshments".
5:00 am - Sleeping time.
12:30 pm - Woke up. Got news from Mom that car was just repaired and needs a road test. Agreed with Tony to have a road trip to Tagaytay.
1:30 pm - Went home.
4:30 pm - On the road to Mandaluyong to pick-up Tony and the kid. It's my first time to drive alone. Took me two hours to get to Mandaluyong, wahahaha.
6:30 pm - Arrived in Mandaluyong, an hour and a half late ;) Sorry naman.
7:00 pm - Group decides to go to Enchanted Kingdom instead. Back on the road. It's my first time to drive on the SLEX. Weeeee!!!! 100 kph!!!!
Playlist: Cast recording of Zsa Zsa Zaturnah, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Mamma Mia! 8:00 pm - Stop-over at Mcdo for quick dinner.
8:30 pm - Enchanted Kingdom is closed for a Company event. Group decides to proceed to Tagaytay. Tony takes over the wheel.
9:20 pm - Arrived at a candle-lit Bag of Beans Tagaytay. Last 10 mins of Earth Hour. Had hot choco and chicken & mushroom pie. Group played "Hot, Cute or Not".
10:30 pm - Moved to the Ridge to savor more of the cool breeze.
11:20 pm - To Manila! Tony drives again.
12:00 am - Quick wiwi break at Shell SLEX. Got back on the driver's seat.
1:00 am - Arrived back in Mandaluyong after running over a dead dog in C5, and dangerously making a left turn and not slowing down in a round-about. All passengers are still alive, shaken, but alive ;)
1:30 am - Private scene. I see a different side of a friend. To borrow MGG's word, I saw his "humanity".
2:00 am - Went to the rooftop again to chat and drink with Tony and the kid. Another tenant having a drinking spree there. Tall guy in a striped white polo shirt looks cute. Flirt mode on. Tony and the kid moves to the other side of the rooftop. I stay in place, 5 meters away from the other tenant's group. Tenant invites me to join in. Group asks if I have a girlfriend (see? nakakaloko pa rin ako ;) ) I flirt with the tall guy. Random chit-chat with the girls. Tenant tells me that tall guy is his bf, but they are open to threesomes ;) Weeee!!!
Another tenant re-joins the group. I move away from the group to talk to one of the drunken girls. Other tenant comes up to me and shouts "Do you even live here?". Apparently he was jealous that tenant with BF was talking to me. Mujerista in the group takes me to the elevator to escape. We hear glass doors shattering as we run.
3:30 am - We regroup in tenant with BF's unit. Freak suddenly appears and is still looking for me. Security is called. I hide in the closet. Fuck, back in the closet!!!
4:00 am - Freak leaves and is escorted to his unit. I finally come out of the closet ;) Tony and the kid arrives to save me ;) I decide to stay, the freak has left anyway, and there's another cute guy in the group.
5:00 am - I say goodbye to other cute guy in the hallway ;)
I take public transportation going to work. It takes me 1.5 hours to reach Makati in the morning. That's a 30-minute jeepney ride, then an hour FX taxi ride to Ayala Ave.
This is usually the most unpleasant part of my day. The jeepney passes through the most dusty roads in Manila. And for some strange reason, jeepney drivers go berserk at a certain street in my route, all hell breaks loose. Now the FX taxi ride is more unpredictable, the comfort of your ride depends on how well the airconditioning works and which seat you get. I just think it's so cruel to fit 4 people in one row in a van (especially if there's an alpha-male wannabe who spreads his legs as if his balls are the size of melons). My only comfort is having my Iphone and shutting off the rest of the world till I reach Makati.
About 2 months ago, respite came in the form of a 6-foot tall hunky, friendly guy. I was seated at the back row of a van, and he was on the other side facing my direction.
I was mesmerized. I was stealing glances of him most of the ride, and he would catch me each time ;) but he would just smile back.
For about 2 weeks, I'd see him in the terminal waiting in line, we would ride the same van at times (though on different rows). I continued to steal glances, and still get caught. Until one morning, we were seated at the back of an FX taxi, just the two of us, one on each side. I do my usual glance and smile, and he would still smile back. I said to myself "this is my chance." So I mustered all the courage I had, typed a message in my Iphone and showed it to him.
He smiles back again, raises his thumb, and hands me back my phone.
Ay shit, straight pala, wehehe. (friendly lang si kuya ;) )
Every Sunday noon after going to church, my older brother's family would go to our house to have lunch (I live with my mom and younger brother). It is our opportunity to catch up with what's going on with each other's lives. I also get to see my hyper-active, maldita niece (nagmana sa tita, wehehe).
After lunch, most of us would either watch the noontime variety shows or movies on DVD. My younger brother would usually continue playing with RPGs on his PC. This is lazy time with the family, we would just do whatever pops into mind, no planned activities whatsoever.
Just a few Sundays ago, my older brother bought some peach mango pie from Jollibee, which comes with a free newspaper. So aside from the TV and movie, we were also busy reading and passing around the newspaper.
A few days before that, I remember a friend retweeting Adel Tamano's post that he was coming out with an article on homophobia. I thought it would be an interesting read, so I was browsing through the different sections of the papers looking for Adel's column (syempre, pasimple pa, kasi baka mabasa ng la familia yung title ng article).
So I finally found Adel's article and was casually reading it (kahit napapangiti ako sa 1st paragraph nung article). And then my kuya suddenly stands up and passes by my side looking at what I was reading, and then he blurts out "O bakit mo yan binabasa? Baka ma-offend ka." ("Why are you reading that? You might get offended).
All gay men have a coming out story. For some, it is a joyful occasion. For others, a drama-filled and traumatic experience. But no matter which route you went through, the feeling of victory and freedom is shared.
But we all know that coming out is only the beginning. The struggles we had while staying in the closet is initially replaced by the struggles of adjusting to your new identity as an openly gay man. This is especially true for people who have done "selective coming out". One of these struggles is what I call "being pushed back into the closet."
I first experienced this April last year. I was on holiday in California with a girl friend who I recently came out to. We were meeting former officemates from the Philippines, most of whom I haven't seen for 3 years. It was our second day there, we spent the whole day going around Monterey. It was a tiring yet fun day. We came back to our friends' house early evening to freshen up before hitting the San Francisco club scene. We were in the guest room changing clothes when my girl friend suddenly told me (in an irritated tone)
"Baklang-bakla ka naman." (You've been acting so gay).
I was caught off-guard so I ended up getting defensive.
"E bakla naman talaga ako e." (I'm acting gay cause I AM GAY) "I am a grown man, I can take care of myself."
That time, I wasn't sure if she was concerned that I was outing myself to people who can't handle it, or was she just embarrassed of me. I immediately left the room in order to avoid further confrontation. Instead, I just tweeted my anger and upset feelings. I resented so much what my friend said. Because of this and other things she did during the trip, we didn't speak to each other for 2 months.
It all started innocently, I was having merienda with my co-managers at work, then 2 of my bosses decided to share our table.
Small talk, small talk, yada yada yada.
Topic suddenly shifts to co-manager and why she doesn't have a boyfriend. Oh, I love this kind of conversations, I love roasting people, one question after another, don't let the roastee recover, hihihi.
"And how about you London Boy?" asks Boss #1.
"Ah, hmmm, aahhh...." (what the fuck!)
"Oh my, are you interested in another species?" asks Boss #2. (Translation: You like men?!?)
London Boy - smiling, blushing (damn London! I was incapable of blushing when I left Manila 2 years ago!)
"I don't need someone permanent in my life."
"What???" - Boss #1 and 2 and co-manager.
"No plans of getting married? How about kids? Marriage is such a blessing" - Boss #1
"I have a niece, boss. And I can get a different blessing each week. Why settle for one?"
Auditors are known for working long crazy hours especially during the dreaded busy season (12-15 hours a day). For the benefit of non-accountants, busy season is from January to April 15 (the BIR's deadline for filing of tax returns) of each year.
Now you ask, why would a sane person sign up to something like this? Well, people in Finance acknowledge that an audit firm is the best training ground if you want to move forward in this field. Being in audit gives you many opportunities: technical training and continuing education, quick career progression, competitive compensation and development of your social skills.
Along with the opportunities, this profession also brings some downside: lack of sleep (leading to lack of beauty ;) ), stress, missing important life events, inability to plan vacations.
Another thing I dread about this job is resignation season as about 30-40% of our employees resign on an annual basis. It was most difficult a few years ago when all but 1 of my batchmates resigned from the firm. It was depressing even for a very cheerful guy like me.
This year, resignation season culminated on June 1, the deadline for submission of resignation letters. After 7.5 years in this job, this day doesn't pass by without me being emotional. The realization that in 30 days, people you consider dear friends won't be around anymore makes me really, really sad. Sometimes, I wish I could stretch the time so I can spend more time with them. Sometimes, I wish time was on fast-forward so that all of this would be over and done with.
Resignation season was the first blow. June 1 also marked the end of summer. The realization that summer has passed by without me being able to take a proper vacation pisses me off big time. I also had 2 summer projects in mind, now both unfulfilled. My unhappiness grows every single day that I am unable to take my well-deserved vacation. And this is breaking my spirit. I've been an asshole to friends and family, I've been whining so much and have become a burden to be with. I've been having dizzy spells and severe headaches all week.
"Puts the Glory into Gloria and the Gay into Gaynor.”
Michael Coveney - The Independent
I love musicals.
During my two-year stint in London, the West End was my playground. It was a fabulous piece of gay heaven. I only watched one non-musical, but Josh Hartnett's half naked body (about 2 meters away from where I was seated) was more than enough to compensate for the lack of songs.
Out of all the musicals I've seen, there is only one that I watched 4 times, it's the gayest musical in the West End, "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert". (the stage version of the camp classic movie "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert")
With songs such as "Downtown, I've Never Been To Me, Venus, Go West, I Say a Little Prayer, and I Will Survive", how gayer can it get? See this for the complete list of musical numbers.
I first watched the show with a gay friend I met in London, I can still remember how ecstatic I felt after, I exclaimed "Ang sarap maging bakla". The musical was set in the mid-90s, a time when homosexuality was not as socially acceptable as it is now, so it was empowering to see 3 drag queens motoring their way throughout Australia (from Sydney to Alice Springs), facing discrimination, racism and bigotry, and overcoming them. I distinctly remember what Bernadette said to Tick and Felicia after seeing their vandalized bus: "Never apologize for our choices my friends." (I later found out that this line was updated to reflect current sentiments, the line used to be "Never forget the cost of our choices my friends", good thing the creators decided to do this as the original line would have been too depressing)
Another reason (well, the bigger reason =) ) why I watched the show over and over was the actor who played Felicia, Oliver Thornton. Felicia Jollygoodfellow is the most flambouyant one out of the 3 drag queens, and the hottest one as well (Guy Pearce, another hottie, played the part in the film). See for yourselves.
Too bad I can't find a photo of him doing the "Hot Stuff" number where he was just wearing a red thong ;)
On my 4th time, I was finally able to see him up-close at the stage door, kilig!
Here are my favorite scenes in the musical:
Felicia singing an aria on top of Priscilla
"MacArthur's Park" with the human cupcakes
"I Will Survive"
"I Love the Nightlife" with Jason Donovan (right) wearing the Oscar award winning "flip-flop" costume
The funniest funeral scene ever ("Don't Leave Me This Way")
Where can you find a disco ball inside a theater? Yup, Priscilla has one!
And this is the fabulous shirt I bought from the gift shop, can't wait to wear it!
So to every gay guy out there who's visiting London, don't forget to watch and enjoy Priscilla! - "Colour your world!"
You'll never see a dark cloud hanging round me. Now there is only blue skies to surround me. There's never been a gray day since you found me. Everything I touch is turning to gold. Oh, you can colour my world with sunshine yellow each day! Oh, you can colour my world with happiness all the way! Just take the green from the grass and the blue from the sky up above! And if you colour my world just paint it with your love! Just colour my world. Just as long as I know you're thinking of me, there'll be a rainbow always up above me. Since I found the one who really loves me, everything I touch is turning to gold. So you can colour my world with sunshine yellow each day! Oh, you can colour my world with happiness all the way! Just take the green from the grass and the blue from the sky up above! And if you colour my world just paint it with your love! Just colour my world. Um. Sunshine yellow. Orange blossums. Laughing faces everywhere! Yeah! Oh, you can colour my world with sunshine yellow each day! Oh, you can colour my world with happiness all the way! Just take the green from the grass and the blue from the sky up above! And if you colour my world just paint it with your love. Just colour my world. Colour my world. Oh, colour my world. Colour my world!
These are just two of the comments I get whenever I take potshots at them.
Don't get me wrong, I loved them, and both of them still hold a special place in my heart.
I don't have even one bit of bitterness towards both of them. I can never hate them because they've taught me so much.
I must admit though that one of them may misconstrue my remarks to be an attack on his person (I sent him an apology this morning). But I'm sure that the other one knows in his heart that I mean no harm and that I harbor no ill feelings towards him.
Thank you for being part of my life my dear power of two :)
I was 26 (still discreet) and was dating a guy for the first time (I met him through g4m, he turned out to be an office mate).
I was 26 when I almost had my first boyfriend.
I was 26 when I decided to accept the international assignment to London.
I was 26 and was living independently for the first time.
I was 26 and was finally secure about who I was (and so I thought).
Fast-forward to age 29, a few months after finally embracing my queerness, old feelings of insecurity, inadequacy and wanting social acceptance are resurfacing.
Yeah, I know I've been trying too hard at times. Forgive me.
I tried to be a "mean girl" to feel accepted. Sorry.
I'm not that girl.
I might fall for the same trap again, but I'll climb back out.
I will be true to my spirit.
I am what I am.
I am what I am. I am my own special creation. So, come take a look, give me the hook or the ovation. It's my world, that I want to take a little pride in. My world, and It's not a place I have to hide in. Life's not worth, a damn Till you can say, Hey world, I am what I am.
I am what I am I don't want praise, I don't want pity. I bang my own drum, something gets noise, I think It's pretty. And so what if I love each feather and each bangle. Why not try to see thing from a different angle Your life is a shame, til you can shout out loud, I am what I am.
I am what I am And what I am, needs no excuses. I deal my own deck, Sometimes the ace, sometimes the duces. There's one life, and there's no return and no deposit. One life, so It's time to open up your closet.
Life's not worth a damn till you can say. Hey world, I am What I am.