it is always such a pleasure to meet raiders of the blog (ok, fine, it is inherently flattering!) truly, encountering you guys who spend time to actually read this is so meaningful. ive met a quite a few in the past 4 years this blog has been around. ill try to recall some of those meetings. and it might not be comprehensive. i might or will miss out on some. ipagpaumanhin po. malilimutin na.!
my earliest recollection will start with meeting the nyc-based raiders, both of whom i remember but i wont mention their names to protect them. one of them i have this eternal debt of gratitude for. he lent me his iphone during that time i had that unfortunate incident, losing my phone in a party. and ill always remember him as the guy who took me to cafe lalo where 'you got mail' was filmed. and that was such a nice walk in central park! he shared me with his life abroad, and what he left in the philippines. through him i caught a glimpse of the bittersweet life of filipinos working abroad. and if you are still reading the blog, thank you for everything!
the other raider represented one who knew the manhattan gay life well. and he was such a fun spirit to have around, young and spritely. we met up in a nice drinking hole, and he even tagged me along on a visit to a friend's place. with him, i got to know that nyc's meatpacking district is not about meat. hehe
sg-based raider started corresponding via email. and he was ultra-secretive about his identity. im thankful he trusted me enough to meet up with me during a trip to manila that first time. we met up in ucc podium, and for a while, i thought he wanted to change his mind. he walked past me as i waited for the guy in the red shirt. but he eventually decided to face me. and that started a correspondence that has spanned years. he was kind enough to also meet me during one of my trips to sg. he brought me to watering hole at the top floor of one of the tallest buildings. and updated me about his life. first time for me to see sg from that perspective!
then there was my visit to dubai. to see my sister and her family. i met up with dubai-based raider, who hails from the south. he was so gracious to treat me to dinner and a night cap. im happy he continues to be in touch, wherever he is at. i think he is back in the phils. welcome back! :)
fabcasts create a different audience
i always thought that those who follow the fabcasts from the blogposts were raiders. i discovered that there are fabcast listeners who dont follow the blog at all but are still familiar with the character cc as one of the fabcasters. if im not mistaken, i have met up with one or two. sadly though, i can't remember who among them..
the grindr connection
when i was active in grindr, i used my cc persona. i didnt bother creating a new one. for one thing, it would be such a hassle to create and maintain another identity. and besides, maybe the "cc" brand has some equity. LOL. i met up with two raider/grindrees. and contrary to what you will conclude, nothing intimate (and you know what i mean) transpired between us. perhaps it was more of lacking in opportunity. or their interest in me was not there. hehe. one of them recounted his coming to terms story. and i was touched that the blog was part of that story. the other one.
the cc twitter
twiitter gave raiders a new channel to access cc. and though i was a late starter in the twitterworld and im certainly not even profilifc, i loved the chance it gave me to interact on a more immediate level. almost instantaneous! so i started to have a more accessible personality online.
a tweeter follower needed to interview a "Senior guy" for his psychology class. so he messaged me. OUCH. lol. i went through with it anyway, always glad to help someone taking up the same major as i did. his questions provoked me to think and i appreciated that much. and he went super-out of his way to meet up. eventually blog. thank you for giving me fodder for the blog!
the generous ones
when i blogged about fellowfab aj's financial problems, i was touched to get responses from two raiders. they eventually contributed to the cause. and i am so touched by their generosity. i met one of them over coffee, and our professional lives had some intersection! i have yet to meet the other one. and i still owe him coffee. pramis!
and very recently, i had a chance to meet two raiders through tweeter. they are also tweeter friends but this was the first offline meeting for all three. and one common denominator is our failing eyesight. so we were three blind mice having nice sunday conversation. they are so different from one another, although born months apart. yet they have been online friends for a while now. it started at that site called plurk. (i didnt even know this network existed!) they have their colorful stories to tell, despite their young ages. and what should have been a jogging AND chatting session became pure chat. and im the better for it.
from just raiders or listeners or followers, from being just electronic avatars, these people have become real to me. real people with real lives. some simple. some quite dramatic. but all worth listening to. and i am happy that through this blog, i have heard their stories and have met them in real life.
when i hear them talk about the blog, i am tickled pink. i am amazed that they do know details, or at least remember those that stand out for them. my raunchy posts will always be part of that list of memorable ones! and sometimes, i still feel so naked as they tell me their recollections. blogging can be so passive. me just hammering away on a keyboard my stories, both sordid and saintly. and with no immediate responses or replies, the words remain words, devoid of meaning once written. but hearing raiders echo back my posts could still be quite uncomfortable, embarrassing, and at times, unnerving. maybe ill get used to it. lol
megablogger miggs (mega because of size? LOL) regularly organizes big meet ups. which really suits his big following. in contrast, im pretty happy with these small, intimate meetings with raiders. i get to know you more intimately (not in any lewd sense! LOL) and hopefully, i could give you a real dimension to the cc persona. do remember that the blog remains just a part of the cc persona. and it is not everything!
i know ill have my chance to get to know some of you in the future, if you so desire. if that happens, i will only request that you be as comfortable with me as you could be. prepare a question or two to set the ball rolling. and i will hope that the experience would be enriching for you as it has always been for me.