Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Late Post: Thoughts on Mother's Day

My social media timelines were bursting with mom photos, mom tributes last Sunday. It felt wonderful going through each and like-clicking. Moms of all shapes and sizes I saw there. Some mothers remarkably resemble their sons. Others were so different that you'd think "he must have gotten his looks from his dad." Some moms looked so young they looked like siblings beside their children.

Last Sunday, it turns out, is also the Feast of the Lady of the Abandoned. The elderly home nearby celebrates the feast, for the home was named after her. The irony is that this home houses elderly women, mostly mothers who have been left by their families to fend for themselves. I wonder how their children feel when Mothers' Day comes around.

But who am I to judge? I have been very lucky to have a mother, actually parents, who are so sweet and lovable. They are so easy to take care of. And up to now, they would rather not be a burden to any of us, their children. But I also know of the strained relationships some of my friends have with their mothers.

One girl friend shares her pain as she take care of a 'difficult' mother - one who always complains, never grateful, very demanding. Luckily, her mom does not stay with her but with her brother and his family. That family is being stressed out by her presence. My girl friend, much as she wants to take care of her mom, fears letting her inside her home. They might kill each other, she says in jest.

Is it a child's responsibility to take care of his or her folks? Should parents demand that of their children?

I don't think so. Parents should not be raising children as insurance for their old age. They have a responsibility to rear their children properly, to become fully functioning, well-adjusted adults who might eventually have their own families. Then those adults become parents themselves. And the cycle moves forward, ever forward.

What becomes of parents when they become empty nesters? In a perfect world, the society and its infrastructure are designed to allow the elderly to live with dignity independently. They have access to health care, recreation, entertainment until the very end. Senior citizens are supposed to ensure that they have provided for this retirement during their productive years.

But it is not a perfect world. Some elderly parents can't even retire as their families continue to depend on them. And for those who have provided for themselves, infrastructure is still not senior-citizen friendly. What happens to them?

Could it be that this is the role for those children who remain single or without children to take care of? I can't help but sometimes feel that this is my special role as the gay son, the one without a family and kids to support. It is my unique privilege to be able to honor and serve my parents within the context of an imperfect society that cannot allow them to be independent.

I call it a privilege because as I honor them through serving them in their twilight years, I obey a commandment, the only one among the Ten, that comes with a promise of a blessed long life.

Perhaps in His wisdom, though God designed it that children do not have the responsibility to care for their parents, but they would be rewarded for doing so.

I see many of my gay friends, especially on social media, taking on that role. Even as they pursue their careers, even as they have their boyfriends, they put their parents as top priority. May God continue to bless them as they take on this privileged role. And when it sometimes feel like a burden, may He lighten their load so they continue to honor and serve their parents in the best manner possible.




- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Exercise and the Mysteries

I enjoy running. I enjoy it alone. I enjoy it outdoors. I enjoy it in the afternoon, specially around sundown. I usually run using Nike's running app. I have my set playlists to run to. This spans anywhere from the 80's to Madonna to EDM.

One time, I forgot to bring the waistband to hold my iPhone. (I don't like the armband holder. It bruises my arms.) I was forced to run without music. I prayed the rosary instead, using my fingers to keep count. One and a half laps around the UP oval usually completes the mystery.

From time to time, I have started to incorporate praying with running. I would still start with the music in the background. Then I turn that off to pray the rosary.

In my previous post, I mentioned the morning absercize I would do everyday. Part of the routine was to play music in the background, of course. I would crunch and plank to my playlists, coming from the gadgets or from the sound system I had installed in the room. One time, I had to have the amplifier repaired. In the absence of music, I substituted praying the rosary yet again.

Discovering that I could pray and exercise at the same time is a major feat for me. I stopped praying the rosary regularly decades ago. I can never finish a five-decade rosary alone before bedtime. I would doze off. And this is despite having grown up in a family that prayed together the Rosary every night. We would huddle around inside my folks' bedroom and pray. My Nanay would always lead. But eventually, that fizzled out as our schedules became more erratic.

I don't feel pressured to pray the rosary regularly. But it is something I would like to bring back, without committing to make it a habit. Being able to pray again, even as I exercise

Practically, the exercise could be achieved on auto-mode so I am able to meditate on the mysteries. But I also found out that the particularly strenuous exercise also makes me focus on the recitation of the Hail Mary's, and the other prayers. And when I get to reciting the Sorrowful Mysteries, I mega-relate! I love it that I can contemplate on His Suffering even as I endure the plank or the leg raises. I remind myself that this 'pain' is nothing compared to what He suffered.

Sometimes, though, I think about the irony of it. I pray as I exercise. I pray as I pursue an activity intended for selfish or even vanity reasons. But I also reason that He'd want us to weave praying into our daily lives anyway. So I think He'd still appreciate hearing my prayers as I sweat and huff and puff.



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, April 13, 2015

Apps for abscercize

I do my abs exercises everyday in the morning at home. I try to do them everyday, mostly in the mornings.

The app that got me started was this one called "7". I found it while looking for resources on HIIT - high intensity interval training. It was designed that way, alternating high intensity, short-duration bursts with rest. I liked that the timer could work even as iTunes or Spotify is playing in the background. It was meant to push Type A types like me who work on goals. You are pushed to do the 7-minute routine (at least) everyday. It actively tracks your progress. It 'punishes' you when you miss a day. It sets mini-rewards along the way. The ultimate reward will come from completing it for 7 months (210 days roughly). And it syncs with all your iOS devices.


So I got into it, happily tracking the days I have successfully completed early last year. It is also customizable. You can change the duration of the burst, the rest, the number of cycles. But it can be maddeningly frustrating if, for whatever reason, your exercise of the day does not log. It happened to me first time mid-last year. Somehow, because I had spotty internet access, my exercise was not logged. I got so frustrated I almost gave up on it. But I forgave it and gave it another shot in the last quarter of 2014.

And up until February 2015, I was on track. Then disaster struck. An entire week of exercises didn't register! After 182 f*@%#king days, suddenly it was saying that I didn't work out for a week. WTF?! I was so angry and frustrated. I gave up on that stupid app.

I stopped abs-ing it for a day, or two. Until I discovered this other training app. Technically, it really is just a customizable timer app based on HIIT. And after a few tweaks, I was able to replicate the routines I had been doing on 7. It doesn't track or log my workouts daily. I like it because it doesn't. No pressure anymore for the oc-oc.



(Lately I found out that it does. But it doesn't synch across all my devices. So I still feel less pressured to do it everyday).



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, April 11, 2015

That Sweet Spot 3

Lorenzo was very prompt. He obviously was in dire need, Luke thought to himself.

"Remember your promise. No more texts after this."

"Yes po. No more texts."

"Don't text me. I'll text you."

"Yes, Sir" he mumbled as he took of his shirt and jeans. Luke took off all his clothes and laid down on his bed, on his belly. Lorenzo immediately got started with the Shiatsu part, the dry-pressing and kneading and the stretches. Luke liked the way he placed all his weight on his hands as he pressed the lower back. That has always been causing some problem.

As he would do this, Luke would feel Lorenzo's crotch gently brushing against his buttocks. That excited him, though there wasn't much of a bulge to feel at that point. He allowed himself to feel each and every touch and stroke. He already knew what to expect anyway in the end - the jerk-off. And he was doing this as a favor.

Yes, as a favor. He wasn't in much mood. And he really wanted to space his massages. A massage ain't exactly cheap. But if this would stop Lorenzo from insistent texting, then this is what he must do.

He wasn't falling asleep. So he decided to talk to Lorenzo during the massage.

"You know, you shouldn't be so insistent. That turns clients off."

"I'm sorry po."

"I want to refer you to my friends. But if you're going to pester them the way you do to me, I will lose my friends."

"You start out with 'How are you?', as if you are really asking how I am. When all you want to ask is if I want a massage. Insincere and misleading."

"I'm not being insincere, Sir. I am asking how you are."

"But you still end with your punchline - Massage tonight, Sir?"

"Well, just in case you might consider having one."

"Everyday? And so soon after we've had a session?"

"Sorry po."

"Anyway, keep that in mind for your other clients. No one wants 'makulit.' We have other things to do than be bothered by text messages."

"Yes, Sir."

"Besides, you promised that this is the last, ok?"

"Yes, Sir. I promise."

The massage was the same. The routine is pretty standard. The kneading is fast but firm. Soon, Luke was drifting on and off sleep. Lorenzo woke him up to turn him over.

He got the towel and wiped Luke's chest and groin area. He looked at him before proceeding to licking his nipples. The slow, wet darting tongue has not worked its wonders on his cock. Lorenzo cupped his genitals and started to massage his limp penis. The blood started to pump into his member as Lorenzo licked down to his navel, alternating light kisses, warm blows and licks.

Then the unexpected. Lorenzo started licking his now-erect cock on the shaft. Luke opened his eyes to check if this was really happening. Lorenzo had his eyes closed as he licked the length of his dick. Then Luke felt the warm, wet mouth on the head. He started sucking his cock at the head first. Before trying to swallow more of the dick. In between he would stop and wipe the saliva off the penis with the towel. He must feel icky if it gets too wet.

Luke closed his eyes and enjoyed the blowjob. He loved blowjobs. He loved the way the mouth slides along his shaft, the tighter the better. He enjoyed the vacuum of an expert mouth sucking on the head. And in between, an agile tongue swirling underneath.

Lorenzo wasn't so good. But he didn't expect him to be. He was already pleasantly surprised that he even went down on him. A thought distracted him "Hmm. Would he expect a bonus for giving head? He shouldn't. It wasn't discussed. No, I won't give him extra. A deal's a deal."

Lorenzo pulled back and was kneeling by his side, jerking off Luke's cock. He stopped and took of his boxer briefs. Luke started to play with the cock, still flaccid. That was fine for Luke. Lorenzo moved his hips closer to Luke's lips. Then he started to give him a blowjob. With some effort, the cock started to respond. And Luke felt the dick fill up his mouth to capacity. Ah yes, that grower tool of Lorenzo. He looked up to see Lorenzo with eyes closed, still giving him the hand job.

Then Lorenzo moved to the 69. Another unexpected move. Luke was careful not to gag on the now fully erect cock that could be blocking his airways.

He was always reminded of the Yin and Yang symbol when he was in this position. He even gets philosophical. The closed circle of pleasure going from his body to the other. Big head to little head. Round and round the sensation goes.

Lorenzo then straightened up and then lied down beside him. He looked at him, looked at him intently. Luke opened his eyes and met his gaze. His gentle eyes were telling him something. It was a sweet 'thank you'. He then started kissing Luke, first gently with light kisses. Then it became passionate, with their tongues twisting and turning.

Luke pulled him closer, feeling the shared intimacy beyond the transaction. Meanwhile, Lorenzo was still jacking him off. And he was getting too close to climax. He would pull Lorenzo's hand away. Lorenzo jerked himself off as he continued to kiss Luke.

He straightened up, on his knees beside Luke.

"Where do you want me to come?"

"On my chest"

Luke looked at Lorenzo furiously masturbating, eyes closed this time, with one hand on pressing his balls Luke's hand started to feel the smooth butt and thighs, before exploring his asshole. Lorenzo didn't flinch.

Without any sound, just massive convulsions of his body, Lorenzo poured thick cum on Luke's chest. He squeezed his cock before laying beside Luke to finish him off.

He dripped saliva on Luke's cock and jacked him off. He looked at his eyes. That intimacy, that tenderness passed between them again as he was masturbating him. Luke looked at him and held his body close to his body, tight. Lorenzo closed his eyes as he began kissing him, with an open mouth, a darting tongue.

In no time, Luke was squirting his man-juice all over his torso. Waves of pleasure washed over him. He opened his eyes to see where he cum went to. Lorenzo was still holding his cock as he met his gaze.

"You look like you haven't done this in a while." He smiled.

Well, maybe.

He got the towel and wiped the semen off his chest. Luke got up and asked permission to take a shower. He left him there, heart still beating fast, a towel on his torso, wet and sticky. He suddenly felt the cold air.

After a while, Lorenzo came back and put on his boxer briefs. Luke sat up.

"No more texts, ok?"

"Yes, Sir. Didn't you enjoy?"

"I did, Lorenzo. But I can't have you bothering me all the time."

"I'm sorry, Sir. I was just really needing cash."

"You're ok. Your massage is good. And you have a good package altogether. Which is why you are the only therapist I recommend."

Lorenzo just looked at him.

"But I need variety, ok? I'll text you, don't text me."

"Yes, Sir." Lorenzo finished dressing up. Luke handed him the payment as he left. Lorenzo had that look on his face, a sad, dejected look.

After a few minutes, a text message from Lorenzo.

"This is the last, Sir. Salamat for this. Big help. You're really nice. Sorry if I was too makulit. But you're really different from the rest of my clients."

Luke read the message and dismissed it as just another grateful message. At last the texts will stop. He put the phone on silent mode and went to sleep.

A final message came as he slept.

"Thanks again. You are special to me. I don't say this to other clients. Take care."



Sunday, April 5, 2015

Resurrection Reflection



I get that Jesus had to die as a sacrificial lamb. As explained clearly enough, the high priests then would usually consecrate a lamb as an offering, primarily for the atonement of sins of the Jewish people. Rather than offer any animal as holocaust, it was his own body that was offered up in the most gruesome and horrific manner. His life for our lives. Ransom payment so that we have a chance at eternal happiness. At the rate we have been 'trespassing' since we started to exercise our free will, we'd probably have to sacrifice entire herds of lambs, and other animals just to be able to cleanse our dirtied souls.



But why resurrect from that horrible death?



Perhaps it was to show that he was no ordinary prophet. He was Son of God. It certainly set Christianity apart, to have our prophet/God die then live again for eternity. Are there other religions that could claim as much? Talk about bragging rights.



I dare reason something else. Jesus' resurrection from the death not only shows his power over death. It is actually showing that He will always live. He cannot die. He cannot be killed or murdered. He will live again.



And this means much more to me. More than two thousand years ago, I looked at His Death as the sacrifice needed to forgive the sins of His people at that moment in time. But what about the sins they are about to be commit (or omit)? And the sins of those who are still be born and baptized, including us? My answer: His Resurrection was the supreme solution. By showing us that though he died, he would rise again, he showed that he could never really be 'killed by our sins, past, present and future.' Sin after sin will still be committed, maybe much more than during his time. But because He resurrected, all those sins will still be forgiven.



To dramatize the point, I imagine that He didn't ascend soon after. He continued to preach as a resurrected human being. He would gain even more converts. That would not just threaten the Pharisees but even Rome itself. They would plot to kill him again, just to silence him.



Meanwhile, despite the beauty of his message of love, his Gospel of love, there would still be hate. There would still be violence, some done by his own followers. Sins start accumulating again. So the meek lamb that He is would subject himself again to his tormentors so that sins are forgiven again. Then he dies in a different yet even more cruel way, to extinguish his person and his memory.



And yet again, more dramatically perhaps, He would be resurrected. He would live again. Again. and Again.



It is that duality of His Death and Resurrection that conquered sin once and for all. Jesus tells me that the ritualistic offering has been done. And unlike in times past when people would go back to their old ways once the ritual sacrifice has been done, Jesus tells me to focus not on the ritual but on his Message of Love and living that message.



For me, when He asked us to "do this in memory of me", it is to remind me of Jesus and his life, death and resurrection. So I am reminded to keep on pondering on his Word and seeking to live a life with 'less sin'. And being so human, I forget. Celebrating the Eucharist every week reminds me constantly.



Jesus tells me. "My sins are forgiven. Go and sin no more."



For me to sin no more, in a world where motives and intentions could still lead to evil, he tells me to listen to him and his words, to study his life and his ways.




As I look for how to "sin no more" in my day-to-day life, I just have to look at his teachings and even his life, his own day-to-day and be guided. "I am the Way."




And sometimes, when I don't know what is real anymore, I don't have to look anywhere else. "I am the Truth." "I am the Way."




And as I yearn to live a more fulfilling life, I turn to him again and I am assured. "I am the Life."



A Blessed Easter to you all.













Saturday, April 4, 2015

Thank you, Anonymous Reader!

Thank you for back-reading, even to those posts in 2008! You can never be 'late' in the online multiverse. If you read through the posts of the years, it would feel like those lives are all unfolding at the same time, current and real. I think virtual reality manifests the essense of parallel lives in parallel universes.

Your comment on my waking up post in 2008 made me smile. I read it again and realized that yes, I am laughing about it now. No, not laughing. Smiling, really.

The beautiful post-script post is that I may have found 'that perfect man.' Haha. No, nobody is ever that perfect man. And I would be just foolish to put that label on my partner. I have been in this relationship for two years and counting. Something about our chemistry makes this work. I am hopeful again.

I became quite emotional reading that part in the post about shaping up and wanting to be a better person to 'deserve' someone like him. To a certain extent, I have wrestled with those devils and have pinned some of them down. But they never truly die, methinks. But for now, I am in this relationship that works. I am grateful.

Tell me more about that paradigm shift in viewing single-blessedness, dear Anonymous one. :)