Tuesday, December 31, 2013

my Man of the Year

Time magazine released their POY issue with Pope Francis on the cover. Nancy Gibbs wrote the essay detailing (justifying?) the choice. I couldn’t agree more with her.

“And yet in less than a year, he has done something remarkable: he has not changed the words, but he’s changed the music.”

Image lifted from: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/pope-francis-person-year-2013-time-magazine-529353

My priest-friend kept on emphasizing that. He has not contradicted what the Church has said in all its doctrinal sermons. And when it comes to gay marriage, he still tows the line. But he has kept on putting the spotlight away from these issues to the ‘real issues’ of poverty, inequality.

So what I hear him saying is: It’s not so much about finger-wagging and being ‘holier’. Let’s focus first on compassion, on giving, on healing. Too much energy has been spent on ‘fighting’ for traditional issues. Yet, people, millions of people are dying of hunger and disease because of income inequality, because of tyranny of a capitalism gone wild.

And when he says something like, who am I to judge a homosexual who does good, I am instantly inspired and gratified. If the Jesus Christ-appointed shepherd himself refuses to ‘classify’ me either as ‘goat’ or ‘sheep’, who could?

On that very personal note, my journey of faith has taken on a different dimension. I should have enough of my angst and guilt over what I do or whom I sleep with. If I truly believe, then go out and just shower love. If need be, let this ever-present conflict spur me to be humble and be generous.

I am sinful. That is a given. But I have to move on and help, and contribute, and love. And forgive. Myself and others. And as much as I am a wallower, I will have to put an end to all that ‘woe is me’ wailing. I will just chalk it up to ‘experience’. I will move forward and see that there is still so much to be done. And I am raring to do it.

All that wailing ends today, this last day of 2013.

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

a brooding afternoon on christmas eve

I swear the heavens are commisserating with me this aftrnoon. The clouds are all over the metro as I drink my coffee in a mall.

I just came from a trip to Bohol. As my christmas gift to the family, I sponsored their accommodations as long as they take care of the airfare and their meals. Three of my siblings and their families are home for the holidays. This is the first time we would be going on a trip that required flying.

I booked the tickets early part of the year. By July, I finalized the resort details. Then in August, twin 'calamities' struck. First, it was my mom's stroke. Then it was my dad's gastrointestinal surgery. The family was having second thoughts of pushing through. I told them to postpone deciding till November. I was confident my parents would be recovering in time.

By November, my dad had not fully recovered. Much hesitation to continue with the journey. And on a personal note, work became much more toxic. We were facing insurmountable challenges.

As December rolled in, my dad became stronger. And everyone finlly agreed to push through with the plans. So I felt relieved. And also pressured to make sure I didn't mess up, as plans also shifted a bit.

A day before our departure, one of my sisters, and her family, sent me a frantic text message. They were in Bohol and there was no one to fetch them from the airport. Fetch them? Weren't we supposed to fly together? Then I back-checked my messages from her. I got it all wrong. Luckily, I was still able to arrange transfers and a room for them. Good grief.

We all woke up early for that 530am flight. I arranged for three vehicles to bring us to the airport, to Terminal 3. No matter if that was such an early flight, there were long queues just going inside the terminal. Never mind. We have plenty of time.

Finally, we got inside and proceeded to PAL counters. My face became white as the guard told us that Bohol flights were in Terminal 2. "Please read the ticket, po." Oh Shit. I had brought all 14 of us, with two senior citizens and a toddler. WTF was I thinking?!? Frantically, we had to just get cabs to take us to Terminal 2. And as my sister got a wheelchair for my dad, the wheelchair assistant told us that PAL might just be able to bring us to Terminal 2 using the transfer shuttle. And luck prevailed. We were able to transfer for free and with enough time due to plane delay.

We made it safe and sound to Bohol. And all of them had a really grand time, they tell me. Well, I did, too. Partner was with me throughout, keeping me cool even as I was panicking. But I still really feel lousy for failing yet again in arranging the trip. I made such stupid, careless mistakes. Despite all my OC-ness, I missed those details that somehow ruined what would have been a perfect vacation.

I blame all the stress I've been under. But really, all that is still my fault. 2013 has become a year that exposed all my weak points, in so many levels. I need to work on so many things. Yet, I need to stop multitasking and focus. So I won't miss anything.

It's the night before Christmas. And all I could think about is how much I have failed this year. And the clouds seem to agree.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Dona M. Hemady Avenue,Quezon City,Philippines

Friday, December 13, 2013

mirror. mirror.

I watched this movie, What's Your Number? starring Chris Evans and Anna Faris. Partner pointed out how Anna kept on mirroring whomever she was dating.

I realized how much of a mirror I am with my partners, too.

I am such a pleaser. I would quickly learn what makes him laugh, or tickle his fancy. And I would just go and learn it, copy it. So we will have something in common. When an ex was into badminton, I got into it, too. He liked Bocelli and Brightman. I got to appreciate them. And he was into watching figure-skating and tennis, well, I got interested in that, too.

Then I have another ex who was into classical music and opera. So I started to learn that and even took classical voice lessons. He loved gadgets and gizmos and cameras. I started buying more of those things. Even on impulse. He was all Downton Abbey, wood panelling, and I got into the lifestyle, too!

Ah. The pattern stares at me in the face. And it's not my partner's fault. It's mine. I just want to make sure we have common ground. We enjoy the same things. But sometimes, I end up not knowing when the "we" ends and the "me" begins?

I have been drinking hard drinks lately. Previously, my alcohol of choice was just wine, red wine more specifically. I could drink a glass or two everyday. And I could drink and just feel light. But I got introduced to hard drinks. Because partner enjoys it. He enjoys the night life in general. I have started to like it again. And on a few occasions, I have actually gotten drunk. Really drunk. Embarrassingly drunk.

And I trace it to me being both a mirror and getting competitive! I am challenged to outdrink partner. Parang mga lalaki lang. Palakasan uminom. Unahan matumba. But I never do, anyway. He ends up taking care of me, making sure I get to go home or to the hotel room, safe. I am not happy with myself.

All because I am mirroring again. In my effort to please, I lose sight of self.

This has got to stop.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:F. Blumentritt,San Juan City,Philippines

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

They did it for love.

I have finally witnessed a sweet, moving commitment ceremony between two men. It was the first I have ever witnessed. Though I recall now that my partner was invited to one a few years back. He brought me to the event but we arrived during the reception. I had written about the proposal previously. Even then, we were already getting kilig over the prospect of the ceremony. Canmaker, one of the grooms and a high school classmate, made us swear to help him organize the event. And so we did. But for weeks after that, nothing was happening much.

Canmaker knew he wanted something simple yet memorable. And it would have to be at the beach resort they frequently visit for vacations. He made us, his high school group, take care of the ceremony and act as over-all organizers. Then he fanned out venue set and decor to his production designer friends, the food to his chef friend and finally all the other details to his partner’s friends. They had a very select group of witnesses to the event. We were about 30 in all. And half of us was involved in the event.

It was fun just putting things together. We had a couple of meetings to discuss concepts and align ideas. And lots of email exchanges. There was a slight setback when Canmaker, his fiancee and production friends, made an ocular visit a week before the event. He was dismayed to see the condition of the resort, which he would politely describe as “rustic”. So much work had to be done to make the areas beautiful for the photo ops! (Yes, that was always the concern!) So, he told us not to expect much by way of amenities and accommodations and just focus on helping them make something memorable.

No matter, we all thought. We were all fired up anyway. And so the production people arrived early, even two days before the event, to get the place in order. By the time we arrived at the resort a day before, the place had started to show much promise. It was cleaned up and painted. And when they started putting the touches, voila, the area just came to life!

The program at 3pm started with cocktails at the verandah overlooking the beach. The place had magically transformed into Santorini, replete with white arches and linen swags There was even a photowall for the obligatory poses. We played some lounge-y music as the guests started arriving, all in the prescribed white top. By 415pm, the couple joined the guests to socialize. We served wine, fruit juice and splendid pica-pica.

At 430pm, the couple did their french exit to change into the ceremony clothes. Cocktails and chitchat continued. Shortly after, the emcees requested the guests to go down to the beach area and form two lines. They grabbed handfuls of rose petals from a basket.

All were lined up as they waited for the couple to make their entrance. The first bars of their theme song played in the background (“Sana Nga Ay Ikaw Na” by The Company) as soon as the couple appeared at the top of the short flights of steps. Canmaker was already welling up as they went down the steps, with their 'kids", two shitzu's, and marched between the lines formed by the guests. As they passed, the guests threw the rose petals at them.

When they got to the top of the line, the ceremony officer was waiting for them. And we, the guests, enclosed them in a circle. The sun was rightly timed as sunset was due soon.

In front of all of us, Canmaker and his partner made their vows. They came up with their own touching scripts. And as each was reciting his lines, each was choking up with tears. And so were we.

From then, they got the rings, tied in a bow around their two dogs. They put the ring on each other’s hand. Then solemnly, they were pronounced partners. Then they kissed. I watched this with sun in my eye. Which was just as well because I was tearing up. It looked so right. It looked so real. Because it is right. And it is real. No matter if the Church or the Government says it is not so.

We all went nearer the shoreline to catch the glorious sunset and have our pictures with the couple taken with it. Everyone was just giddy and happy for the couple.

And as darkness approached, we gave everyone their paper lanterns to light. Those darn lanterns took forever to catch fire. The technique, I realized, is to light it up with a candle on one corner of that square 'puck'. Then as the flame grows, set the lantern down on the ground so the air heats up faster. And that allows you to hold the paper sides up. One by one, the lanterns ascended in the dark blue sky, with the sea below it. It was quite a sight! With the lanterns, we made wishes for the couple.

From there, we enjoyed the cocktails until dinner was ready. It was on the balcony of the hotel building. When we got there, everyone was just amazed at how the area transformed into a stylish, intimate reception with the most heavenly dishes served. Canmaker was just blown away. All their friends pulled through for them! Read how one of the guests experienced the event.

The merriment continued into the night. And everyone was just drunk with joy for the couple who were doing this for no other reason but love.

I look back at that event, two weeks after, and I am still in awe that it all transpired, exactly as Canmaker wanted it. But beyond that, it was an affirmation that something like this was possible. It gave me hope. But not just for me. But for every other beki out there who dreams of a time when one can be proud about professing gay love to the whole world, with or without the legal trimmings.

*photo credits: Pics 1-3 by the blogger. Pics 4-6 by various photographers who will remain unnamed. But they own the rights to the use of the photos.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, December 6, 2013

Wala lang (nothing, really)

I met up with raider-friend one Friday night. It was great catching up with him. It was a follow-up to an initial meeting that felt bitin (lacking somehow). We had more time to talk and chat this time. And one of the things I asked him was how his impression of ceecee changed, if it did at all, upon meeting me in person. He said that it did change.

He said that I looked 'normal'. LOL Upon further prodding, he mentioned that he was thinking I would look like a 'manyac' (maniac). That sent me laughing really loud.

Ano ba itsura ng manyac?

Anyway, that conversation turned out to be more of a psychiatric session for me than anything. I have to hand it to him for asking the right questions, for his probing skills. But at the same time, it also made me quite uncomfortable.

I bear my tarnished soul here in the blog. I introspect and analyze. And I post. The process has helped me sort some issues. Actually, sometimes, I introspect with the idea of posting it at the back of my mind. That maybe, what I discover about myself would resonate with raiders as they do their own introspection and self-discovery.

Yet, as he asks certain questions, as he interrogates, I squirmed in my seat. Because part of me is not just ready to confront issues right then and there. I don't think fast, not fast enough, anyway. So some questions just left me silent and ponderous.

In the end, he clarified that there was no judgment in the questions. Just clarifications that were needed. On hindsight, he clarified because I seem to be conflicting myself, I suppose. And I did feel that I wasn't judged. Unlike some other people who interrogate because they already know what they want to hear.

Recently, he begged indulgence for such a behavior. It was probably the alcohol talking. But no apologies needed actually. That conversation was cathartic.

Thank you, dear raider.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Broken Men

One is tall and sexy. American-Oriental mix. A polyglot. Diver, environmentalist.

One is short but lean and atheltic. Filipino but often mistaken as Latino. Madison Avenue hotshot.

Two men. Mid-40's. Fulfilling careers. Financially independent and very comfortable. Despite their age, they remain very hot and attractive. They go to a bar and they would have no problem getting laid. And I have seen this happen.

I know them separately. I am more than acquaintances with each of them, maybe even friends. Except we don't keep in touch as often. But I treasure whatever 'friendship' we have, built through the years.

Lately, I chatted them up. One happened months ago. The other was more recent. But when I got down to thinking about the conversations, I realized a common, parallel thread.

Despite both of them being attractive men in the peak of their careers, they are both single and uncommitted. And they both refer to themselves as 'broken'. They cannot and would not stay in relationships, though they are never wanting of guys professing their love for them. They both feel that they are too broken to even be capable of anything remotely committal. They have littered their history with shattered hearts. Yet you could sense the loneliness. And they tell you that they feel incomplete. They want to relate to another human being in a deeper way.

I initiated conversations to probe the reason behind that 'brokenness'. Again, some similarities arose, with family playing a central role in how they have become. There is some bitterness, coated with longing, as they talk about it. I wish I had more time and the space, to be the friend they need.

Who would have thought that with all the 'blessings' of good looks, stable careers, these two men would be wanting of love and intimacy.

There is a third man. But unlike them, he is in a relationship. He has found what he has been looking for. But his partner caught him being a flirt quite a few times, especially while in different states of inebriation. Thankfully, his partner was understanding. The incorrigible flirt that he is stems from a broken, insecure soul, ever needing affirmation. And I despise myself for it.

Broken men who need fixing. But how?

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Joby and Will 7

The next few days were quite a challenge for both of them. Will remained icy cold even as Joby moved back in. Joby made it a point to be home early and to cook for him. Will would still remain unmoved, sometimes even going home late at night, with no explanations . Joby knew that was his way of getting back at him. And though it would upset it, he would not express it. He was just going to roll with the punches.

"I'm having some of boys over this Friday." Will casually mentioned.

"Ah yeah? Ok. What do you want me to prepare?"

"Just your Pasta Putanesca. They love that. I'll pick up some roasted chicken and dessert along the way."

"Who's coming?"

"Just three of them - George, Steve and Allan."

Joby recalled that George and Steve are Will's friends from college, and Allan is Steve's partner.

"Ok. Great." He was happy that there would be this dinner. It was a way of thawing the ice between them. This only meant that Will was starting to 'normalize' relations.

The dinner was turning out well. When George, Steve and Will get together, one could expect lots of animated discussions, and laughter. And the range of topics they cover was so broad. Allan was his usual quiet self, being a decade younger than the three. Though he would find it hard to relate to all topics, whenever he would be familiar with a subject, he would contribute. And Will has way of making him feel part of the group, by bringing him in the conversation.

That same facility worked in reverse, too. Will was still quite cold with Joby, and not even bothering to acknowledge the food, the preparations, or even during conversation. But he knew it was part of the healing process. So he just stayed in the background and made sure they were all comfortable, and the wine was free flowing.

Maybe wine was too free flowing. Joby was shocked when Will suddenly injected a new topic.

"What would you do if you caught your lover cheating?"

"As in 'caught in the act' kind of cheating?"

"Well, not necessarily with dick in mouth! But you caught them dating. Or having this sweet, cheesy chat."

"Oh my! Those cybersex things?"

"hahaha no, just maintaining an online and offline affair."

Joby started to feel very uncomfortable. He wanted to stand up and grab something, but everything they need was all there. He just sat there and listened.

Allan spoke first. "If I caught you having an affair.." looking straight at Steve's eye. "I cut your dick off!"

Uproarious laughter followed. "How harsh, Allan! Can't you just maim it a bit?" countered George.

Steve teased the boyfriend "Well you'll never catch me. I'm just too smart for that."

"That's what you think!" Will butt in and winked at Allan. "Nobody's ever THAT smart he can't be found out." And his eyes darted towards Joby. Joby felt his face turning red.

"Seriously, would you break up with him, Allan?" asked George.

"Wait, let me clarify. Is there solid evidence of cheating?" asked Allan.

Will answered quite calmly. "Is admission evidence enough?"

There was this loud reaction of all the guests saying "Oh my God."

George replied. "That's so stupid. I would never admit to anything. Even if I am caught with his dick up my ass!"

Joby wanted to jump in and defend himself. But he knew better. So he bit his lip and just kept quiet.

Steve countered. "I would appreciate the honesty. At least he stopped lying." Joby felt relieved that someone was on his side, without meaning to be.

Will asked "So you wouldn't break up with him? You'd just forgive and forget?"

"If I love him enough, of course."

"That's BS." Allan interjected.

"Whoa!' George reacted. "Why would that be bullshit?"

"I mean, look, the guy just cheated and lied. You will just accept it like that??"

Steve replied "What else would you do? By nature, we are still men, still polygamous. So the sooner you accept, the better it would be for you." Joby wanted to hug Steve.

"And that's the reason we continue to perpetuate the stereotype that we can't hold on to relationships. That we justify our promiscuity with 'being biologically male'!"

"OMG the idealism of youth!" remarked Steve.

Will quickly butt in, before the discussion goes to another direction. "So I take it, Allan, that you would break up with a cheating boyfriend."

"Breaking up would be letting him off easy! I'd cut his dick first." Allan proudly answered.

"How about you, George? What would you do if you caught your boyfriend cheating on you?"

"I haven't had a boyfriend in so long! (laughs) I wouldn't even complain anymore! Just give me a boyfriend!"

"Come on. Just consider the situation."

"Ok, fine. I'd get the facts first. I'd want to know how deep the affair has gotten. For all I know, it's just an extended one night stand."

Will asked "You mean there would be levels of cheating?"

"Well, yes. Now that you put it that way. I would distinguish a full-blown covert affair from a repeating sexual thing. And everything else in between. Because if my boyfriend tells me and assures me that it is just something casual, I'd probably ask him to just stop it. But a full-blown affair threatens my relationship. And that is what I can't live with. I might as well be the one to go."

"How about you?" George asked Will. Joby began squirming in his seat.

"I wouldn't have thought twice and just break up." Joby looked at Will dejectedly.

"I would be imagining the betrayal over and over again. And I wouldn't know how to trust again." Joby was wondering if Will was trying to tell him something at this point. Is it over?

"But then again, I would not be so quick anymore. If I had time to weigh things."

"Like what things?" asked Steve.

"Well, just like George, I guess. And I need to be re-assured again and again and again." Joby got it. Will was telling him something. And it would be up to him to make sure that Will is reassured again and again and again.

"How about you, Joby?" George suddenly turned around to face Joby. "You've been too quiet there."

He felt his face turn red. But he could always blame the wine for it. He cleared his throat "Uhmm, I believe everybody deserves a second chance. If he sincerely tells me that the affair is over, I would have to believe him. I would think that the relationship is worth saving."

"Really?" Will answered with a tone of sarcasm.

Joby could feel the sting of that remark, just like a million little arrows hitting his heart bullseye. "Yes. People make mistakes. We should be forgiving."

Allan butt in. "But how do you trust him again? How could you?"

Joby paused before answering. "I know it would be very very hard to earn trust back once broken. But I don't think it's impossible. And maybe, that's up to the person to make sure he could be worth that trust." He felt like he was being grilled.

"I don't know. Honesty. Trust. These are big things for me. Deal breakers." Allan opined.

Will countered. "Allan, I used to be like that, too. But maybe, reality would just force you to not be brash and to think things through. Maybe the relationship is worth saving."

Joby almost jumped up with that response. He wanted to hug and kiss Will for saying that. And luckily, a new topic emerged and that issue on infidelity was closed.

When the guests all left, Joby was clearing up the table, his heart a bit lighter now. Will entered the dining area, bringing some of the wine glasses left from the living room.

"You will have to work very hard to make me trust you again."

Joby stopped what he was doing and went up to Will. He looked straight into his eyes and just said

"Yes, Babe. I'll do whatever it takes. I can never take away the pain you felt. But I know I can convince you that I am worth keeping, Babe. What we have is worth it all. I was so stupid to have laid it on the line. But never again, Babe. Never again." He kissed Will on the lips. At first, Will's lips wouldn't part. But slowly, it opened again. And he felt the warm moistness of his tongue.

The passion well up inside of him, of them. And he knew, slowly, that everything would be getting back to normal. To routine.

And he loved it.

Monday, November 4, 2013


WOW! I finally reached 400. Ang babaw, no? LOL  It's just that I never thought it would get to this point.  I have been at 300+ for the longest time.  And when it got to the 390+, I became excited.  And that was two years ago.  LOL But I am really grateful!  And to that 400th raider, you have a special treat from cc! :)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Joby and Will 6

He realized he only had two days worth of clothes. He took a leave to try to sneak in the unit in the morning, while Will would be at the office. He was not able to get much sleep, despite all the drinking the night before.

The images of Will and Benedict continued to haunt him. His memories, and all the feelings that came with them, were all jumbled up. He knew Ben was just a call away, just waiting for him. Yet he couldn't bring himself to make that decision. What was stopping him?

Wasn't this what he had been planning all along? Wasn't the plan to leave Will and go back to Manila and be with Ben? Benedict represented what was new and exciting in his life, something that contrasted with his life with Will. He was young, and still full of fun, even silliness. Oh, he could make Joby laugh. But he also knew that a life with an up and coming doctor would be a challenge. He would still need to study for the next few years. His career would just be starting, and with it the sense of security, including financial security. How would he manage? Or the irregular hours he would be keeping once he starts his hospital duty. The emergency calls in the middle of the night, or of a movie or dinner.

His youth and all the sexiness is one thing. Now he realized that these wouldn't be the foundation of relationship. There would be so much uncertainty in a future with Ben. And that contrasted again, sharply with the certainty that he had always had with Will.

Certainty, security and that sense of being home. Their home life has become routine, yes. And even boring. But curiously, that was what he loved about it. He loved the everyday-ness of life with Will, even if there were fights, and shouting matches. He loved that Will had always known what he wanted for them. And he made sure to achieve that. He was never selfish about anything. He was actually generous to a fault.

And now, had all that been just thrown to waste because of his stupid indiscretion? Has he just ruined what could be the perfect future? What was he thinking? How could he have been so stupid, so insensitive and so short-sighted?

Looking around the place just strengthened his resolve to fix his broken relationship with Will. He was going to win him back, no matter what. He was going to show him that he was still worth it. And that he is so full of remorse over the hurt, the pain, the infidelity.

He needed to plan how to do it. But it had to start with making one final call. To Ben.

He sent a message first. "Is it a good time to talk?"

In a few seconds, his phone was already ringing, with Ben on the other line.

"Hey. How have you been?"

"I'm ok. I'm back in the apartment."

"Oh. He took you back?"

"Ah no, not really. I sneaked back in. How's your school?"

"It's ok. Taking a break from reading."

"Ben, I need to tell you something."

"It's going to be that kind of call." Benedict replied slowly, sadly.

"Ben... I need to fix what I have with Will."

"Yeah, fix that and break up with me, right?"

Joby paused a bit, his own heart was breaking as he had to deliver the good bye line.

"Ben, you will always be special to me. I just don't think it will work out in the end, you know, the two of us."

He heard quiet sobbing on the other line. "That's so different from what we used to talk about. What changed?"

"I don't know, Ben. I never realized how deeply I would get into this with you. And that pain that I have caused Will." He also felt tears rolling down his eyes.

"You know, I didn't realize this was going to be the outcome. I thought with what happened..."

"I'm sorry, Ben. I really am."

"Me, too." Ben sniffs a bit. "Fuck. And exams are coming up."

"Oh shit, Ben. I'm sorry."

"I better hang up now." And Ben did. Just like that. He got out of Joby's life.

Joby could still feel the tears rolling. He hated goodbyes. He hated breaking up. He was never really good at it. He hated having to break Ben's heart. That young heart. He hated himself.

But he had made a choice. And as he looked around, he reminded himself of what needed to be done. He needed to win Will back.

He left the unit to go back to the hotel. He picked up his stuff and checked out. He was going to be back in the unit. And when Will comes home, he will be waiting for him.

Will arrived from work, a bit earlier than usual. He was still in zombie mode, just going through the motions. So he decided to forego working out that night. He was just in no mood. He was still so angry and so hurt.

The betrayal was the worst thing. He kept on replaying what he read. And imagining all sorts of rendezvous scenes behind his back. He started recalling the alleged business trips he took. Maybe they weren't business trips at all. They were really illicit encounters with this medical student.

Yeah, he had gathered as much. It was easy to find his social media profiles. He was able to piece together the profile of Benedict. He saw pictures. Yes, he was attractive, even hot. He had loads of bare-chested pictures, displaying the pecs and abs. Fuck. No wonder Joby fell all over the guy. He was a picture-perfect profile of a mistress. Young, sexy. Will just became more depressed as he compared his own aging body, his never-going-away flabby midsection.

He was pouring through the pictures, thinking he would see a picture of Joby and him together. The kid was careful. He never saw any picture. He covered his tracks.

Lies. All the lies. All the cover-ups. All the while, he was looking stupid. No, he WAS stupid for just believing all of it. He fell for each and every excuse. They must have been laughing themselves silly thinking they were getting away with it. He hated them. He hated Joby. He hated him for destroying their home. And their dreams. And all the memories they have built together.

And here he was again, in the unit they have called their home. And the memories will rush back in.

He opened the door to see white roses and petals artfully scattered on the floor, making some sort of path.

"Job? What are you doing here?" He wanted to be angry. But at that moment, he was more curious than furious. He followed the path of petals and roses to the bedroom. He noticed that the linens have been changed. And on the glistening silky duvet cover, the petals spelled "I AM SORRY"

He didn't know how to react. "Job, are you here?"

Joby stepped out of the bathroom, carrying another bouquet, white roses.

"Yes, Babe. Please, please forgive me, Will." Joby pleaded and offered the bouquet.

Suddenly, Will remembered his anger. But with less ferocity this time "Your theatrics won't erase the pain."

"I know that, Babe. I just wanted to show you how sincerely sorry I am. I have no excuses. But please, Babe, please take me back."

Will left the bedroom and got himself a beer. He deliberately stepped on the petals and roses.

"How could you do this? I trusted you. I gave you all."

"Babe, I am just so sorry..."

"I want to just hit you, to make you feel the pain!"

"Then hit me, Babe. I deserve it."

Will just shouted. "Arrgh! I HATE YOU!"

"But I love you, Babe. I love you still."

Will turned to him. "So, where is this hot young intern now?"

"Babe, he is out of our lives. Totally out of it. I ended that. I want you, Babe. Take me back, please."

"How sure am I that it's all over? How will I ever trust you again? YOU MADE ME FEEL STUPID!"

"No, Babe. I didn't mean to. There really is nothing anymore between us. Honest!"

"Oh fuck, you even dare say "Honest?" Are you fucking kidding me?"

"No, Babe. You have to believe me."

Joby approached Will to hug him. Will did not resist anymore. He was still crying as Joby hugged him. "I'm so sorry, Babe. So sorry." He whispered in his ear.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Joby and Will 5

He was trembling as he put down the phone. So many thoughts flashed through his mind. But over that, it was the horrible shouting from Will, from the other end of the phone.

“You fucking whore! You just couldn’t control yourself! How could you do this to me? After all that I’ve fucking given you!” shouted Will.

“What the fuck are you talking about?” Joby countered, trying to sound indignant. But in the back of his mind, he was searching through the many communications and correspondences with Benedict, checking if he might have missed something. He knew that this was it.

“Fuck you! You and the slut! Who is he? Who the hell is he?”

“What on earth are you talking about?”

“Don’t play innocent with me. I saw your chats. Shit you! I read each and every fucking conversation!” the shouting came with tears now.

“What conversation? With whom?” His mind raced to the skype activities with Benedict. How could Will have accessed that? He deleted each one!

“Still playing the game?! Your fucking doctor!”

That confirmed everything. Will somehow managed to see all the chat threads. Cold sweat came over him. And he sat down.

“Babe, I’m sorry.” This was, suddenly all he could say.

“Fuck you, Job! Fuck you!” There was intense crying on the other side. And his heart sank deeper.

“It’s nothing serious, Babe.”

“DON’T GIVE ME THAT! Don’t tell me it’s not serious! You have been planning to leave me! Fuck you!”

He couldn’t reply. He remembered the conversation with Benedict. They have been talking about escaping, of going back to Manila. But it was just chat. At least for him. The thought had crossed his mind. But he would never leave William.

“I.. I was just playing with him.”

“So you were screwing him as you were screwing me?! What kind of monster are you?”

“Babe, I can’t talk now. I have a meeting. Let’s talk later, Babe. Please.”

“Get out of my life.” And Will put down the phone.

Joby was still trembling as he chat on his chair. All he had in front of him was the stupid corkboard and the post-its. He thought about Benedict. He remembered the wonderful time. The image of his face, his body. Then, image of Will would intrude. Their apartment. Their life together. All competing for his attention. Benedict and Will. He was hoping the day would never come when his two lives would intersect. He thought he could have both indefinitely.

He had to focus on office matters now. The meeting would start in 15 minutes. He needed to put these problems in the back of his mind. Please give me the focus.

Thank God the meeting was routine. It didn’t need to compete for his attention. He turned his attention to his cellphone. There were messages from Benedict. He didn’t know whether he should tell him what happened.

He didn’t reply.

He came home to the apartment. Will wasn’t there yet. He didn’t even have the appetite for a workout. He went to his laptop and tried to check how to access conversations. He tried to google that. But he didn’t have the patience.

He picked up a beer in the fridge. It seemed like the perfect thing to do. Then his phone started ringing. He checked and saw that Benedict was calling him. And there were twenty plus messages from him.

He just let the phone ring. And didn’t even bother to read the messages. He looked around the place. He knew he couldn’t leave. He started to cry. He couldn’t imagine living in another unit, in another life away from Will. Yes, he was so settled in this. But it is also what he ultimately wanted. This security. And it wasn’t just the apartment. It was really Will.

Tears kept on falling as he realized the pain he had caused. How he could have hurt him so bad.

“Babe, come home.” he texted Will.

There was no response. “Please Babe. I’m so sorry.”

He didn’t have to wait long. In a few minutes, he heard the door open and Will walked in. All he could read was this stern look on his face. No smile.

“What the fuck are you still doing here?” Will asked coldly.

“Babe, I’m so sorry.” he got up and approached Will.

“Don’t come near me. I swear I’ll hit you.”

But Joby ignored the warning and still approached him.

Will slapped him, a stinging slap that sent him reeling. He fought the instinct to fight back and just stood there.

“I trusted you. All these years, Jonathan. And you just threw all the trust in the trash. Just like that.”

He didn’t reply and just looked down.

Will slapped him again. This time was even harder. But he didn't retaliate. He knew he deserved it. Maybe even worse than that. Will just slumped on the floor and started sobbing. The pain of betrayal weighed him down.

Joby looked at his lover. And he wanted to hit himself for having caused such pain. How could he had done this. He didn't even realize that tears were already flowing down his cheeks as he slowly tried to approach him.

"Babe, I am so sorry." Joby sobbed as he reached out to try to hug him.

Will suddenly uncoiled and pushed Joby to the floor. He was on top of him, with one hand clutching his shirt and the other fist ready to hit him. Joby raised his arms to fend him off as he shouted "DON'T!" Will was so poised to strike him, but he backed down. He released Joby and sat on the floor.

"Get out of here. Now! Just get out."

Joby got up and backed away from Will, scared speechless. He knew he couldn't say anything, less he provoked him again. He went to the bedroom and hurriedly grabbed his gym bag, some clothes. He didn't even care what he grabbed anymore. He knew he just had to get out of the unit, if only to let Will cool down.

He went out onto the living room and saw Will still sitting on the floor. He had his face buried in his arms, sobbing. He didn't bother him and just walked out the door.

The impulse was to check himself him in a cheap hotel nearby. He noticed the stares from the commuters. Only then did he realize that his shirt was partly torn, he was in tatters. He became self conscious but that quickly dissipated. He had to choose a hotel that wouldn't be depressing. Yet he really didn't know how long he was going to stay there. That might be strain his resources if this stretches. How long would it take before he could go back to the unit? Suddenly he thought about his office clothes, his laptop. When could he sneak back in to get them?

He settled for the business hotel the office frequents for meetings. He was going to use his corporate rate anyway. Entering the lobby made him feel better. They were always quite welcoming there. He realized how late it was when he was escorted to the room and he had the view of the Marina.

He sat on the lounging chair beside the bed and remained immobile. His mind just became blank. And even the tears that seemed to be flowing just stopped. He was not even hungry, considering that he hadn't had dinner. Slowly he drifted to slumber.

His ringing cellphone woke him up. He got up and searched for the phone. It was stuffed inside his bag. He didn't get to it on time. On top of many missed calls were a dozen messages, all from Benedict. He hesitated but finally returned the call.


"Hello? Joby? What happened? I've been trying to reach you."

"Ah yeah. Uhmm. Many things happened. I'm sorry."

"I was just really worried. Where are you?"

"Somewhere. We had a fight. Big one." He felt thirsty as he said this. Thirsty for a shot of scotch. Yeah, something really strong.

"What? Oh God. I'm sorry. Where are you?"

"I checked in at the hotel. He kicked me out of the place."

"Oh wow! Are you ok?'

"Honestly, Ben, I'm a wreck. But there really is nothing I can do. He caught us."

"How? We were being so careful."

"I still don't know. I thought I was careful. I thought I covered all my tracks."

"Oh my God. So he knows me?"

"I don't know how much he knows about you. It just happened so fast. I.. " His voice trailed off. He found his tears again.

"I wish I could fly there to comfort you."

"Yeah... But maybe it is better this way, Ben. I need to sort this out by myself."

"What are you saying?"

"Look, Ben, let's just cool off for a while. I can't think straight if you're still part of the equation."

"Oh." A long pause followed. A hurtful pause.

"Ben, please, try to understand, I need.."

Benedict cut him off. "I know. I know you need space. And time. I get it."

"Do you really? Ben, please, just bear with me."

"Haven't I always, Job? Haven't I been just waiting for the crumbs?" He stifled a sob welling up inside.

"I know, Ben. And I appreciate it. So much. I'll be getting in touch with you soon. I promise."

"Wow. So this is goodbye, too?"

"Yes.. I mean, not really. I'll be the one to call you."

"Fine." Benedict put down the phone. That selfish bastard took it out on him, as if he was the villain. The culprit. The snake. He wanted to call back just to shout at him and curse him. But that just wasn't his style. He had to just let Ben sort it out himself.

He knew he hurt Ben. He had hurt another person he loved. In a span of 24 hours, he went from being in a triangle to being just a solo act. Nobody won. Not even him. A zero sum game. He grabbed a clean shirt and washed his face. He had to get a drink. He wouldn't be able to sleep without that drink.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, October 31, 2013

cc quickie: acceptance?

Maybe there is no resolution to the conflicts deep inside your tortured soul. You are broken. And you can never be what you were before.

You can focus on the broken parts, on the gaps and uneven surfaces. And be forever imprisoned by that sense of what could have been.

Or you can choose to look at what remains, or zoom out and see that the big picture remains unchanged. Or even slightly better.

It may or may not be there. But you'll never know until you actually take that step of stepping outside your zone of brokenness.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

BUI: Boracay waxes nostalgic

Its halloween in Boracay, first time to spend it here and with c3.

I have longed for true downtime, with no planned tours or trips. And i finally got it. With no drive to walk from end to end, I am just here on the shore, listening to my fave piano music, with c3 beside me doing his own thing.

We watch the sunset together. And I just turn all soft and mushy. Memories mix with fears and hopes rise to the surface as I slowly inebriate myself. Dusk turns to dark, seawind becomes colder. And I just soak it all in. People and eye candy crisscross before me. I am not oblivious. But i am unaffected. There is serenity. There is calm.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lucas Chronicles: Pagwawakas

Maluwag ang bus. Kakaunti lang ang tao. May tatlong bag siyang dala-dala. Malalaki man ay naisakay niya sa loob ang lahat. Marami pa siyang gamit na naiwan. Ngunit nailagay na niya sa kahon at naidala kay Rene. Dun na lang niya kukunin pag naka tiyempo siya.

Walang tao sa bus. Weekday kasi. Nasa trabaho ang mga tao. Mabuti pa sila. Talaga naman ang malas, pag dumating, tatlo-tatlo lagi. Iniwan siya ni Dante. Pinalayas na ni Joey. At tinanggal pa sa trabaho ni Claude.

Malungkot man siya ay wala na siyang luhang mailalabas. Naiiyak na niya ang lahat, lalo na nung huling araw nila magkasama ni Joey. At nanumbalik na naman ang mga ala-ala.

"Walang kibo, Babe." Kinalabit niya si Joey habang nasa loob sila ng jeepney pauwi mula Antipolo. Hindi pa rin siya kinibo at pinansin ni Joey. Hanggang umabot na sila sa bahay.

Dumiretso sa kwarto si Joey, sumusunod si Lucas. At sa kwarto, hinarap na rin ni Joey si Lucas.

"Ako dapat ang lalayas, Luc. Handa na akong umuwi sa probinsiya."

"Huh? Bakit?"

"Putang-ina naman, Luc. May gana ka pang magtanong kung bakit?"

"Babe, di mo dapat pakinggan si Dante. Walang nangyari sa amin. Honest"

"Nasa hotel kayo nagcheck in, walang nangyari? Ganun ba katanga ang tingin mo sa akin?"

"No, Joey. It's true. Walang naganap. Please, Babe. Maniwala ka naman sa akin."

"Tanga talaga tingin mo sa akin. At talagang naging tanga akong umibig sa iyo!"

"Bakit hindi ko pinakinggan ang mga suway sa akin ng mga kaibigan ko tungkol sa iyo?" Nagumpisa ng tumulo ang luha ni Joey.

"Wala ka na talagang ipagbabago, Lucas. Hopeless ka na. At tangang martir na lang ang pwedeng magmahal sa iyo."

"Wag kang ganyan, Babe. I've shaped up. Hindi ko pinatulan si Dante. Siya mismo magsasabi sa iyo."

"Shut up. Tama na ang kasinungalingan. Pagod na pagod na ako."

"Wag mo akong iwan, Babe. We have a life together. Di ba, marami tayong plano?"

"Walang kwenta lahat ng pagpapaplano natin. Sa isang makating ahas tulad mo. Athi ndi kita iiwan. Hindi ako aalis dito."

Biglang tinignan ni Joey si Lucas, gamit ang matalim na mga mata.

"Ikaw ang lumiyas. I hate you, Lucas. Get out of here."

Hindi niya malimutanan ang galit na nakita niya sa mga mata ni Joey. Nanlilisik na mga mata. At naalala niya ng huli niyang makita ang mga matang ganun. Kay Carlos. Kaya rin hindi na siya lumaban at nagpumilit na magstay. Hindi na niya pinaglaban ang kanilang samahan. Baka saan pa mauwi ang usapan. Baka magkasakitan pa sila.

Mula nun ay sumunod-sunod na ang malas. Hanggang nandito na siya, pauwi ng probinsiya. Kakaunting pera na lang ang natira sa kanyang pitaka.

Parang kailan lang ng maganda pa ang takbo ng buhay niya. Pasikat siya sa kumpanya dati. Maganda ang samahan nila ni Carlos. Napunta pa siya sa Cebu. At nakilala niya si Emily. Nagkagulo-gulo ang buhay niya dahil sa mga komplikasyon na pinasok niya. Oo, siya mismo ang pumasok sa mga gulo ng buhay niya nun.

Akala niya ay hindi na siya makakabangon mula nung natanggal siya sa trabaho. Ngunit dahil kay Joey ay naiangat niya muli ang kanyang buhay. Si Joey na tahimik na nagmahal sa kanya. At inalay ang lahat para sa kanilang dalawa. Ngunit kahit iyon ay hindi niya pala kayang matagalan. Mangyayari at mangyayari na siya mismo ang hahanap ng gulo sa buhay niya. Siguro talagang kakambal niya ang komplikasyon. Hindi niya kaya ang maayos na buhay?

Hopeless na nga ba siya? Ano nga ba ang puno't-dulo ng ganitong pagiisip niya? Kalibugan lang ba na hindi niya mapigilan? Hindi niya alam ang kasagutan. Ngunit naisip lang niya sana na mapatawad siya ng mga nasaktan niya. Ni Carlos, ni Joey, at yung mga iba pang umasa, nagtiwala.

Sa kabila ng lahat, nandun pa rin ang blessings niya. Nagka-ayos na sila ni Inay. At si anak niyang si Matthew. Wala man sa piling niya ay alam niyang nasa mabuting kalagayan.

Paano niya kaya uumpisahan ang buhay niya? Makakatagal kaya siya sa probinsiya? Ang maganda lang, maalagaan niya si inay, na marami na ring nirereklamo na mga sakit.

Malamig ang aircon sa bus. Nagbalot siya ng jacket. Nakatulog siya.

Nagising siya ng tumigil ang bus sa isang istayon ng sandali. Nagpick up ng mga sasakay. Bumaba siya upang umihi. Paglabas niya, nakasabay niya ang isang matipunong lalaki, bata pa siguro. Malaki ang kaha. Kahit ang biceps, mapapansin sa laki.

Pumasok sila sa bus. Tumabi siya sa mga gamit niya. At napansin niya ang lalaki naupo sa may bandang likod. Mag-isa. Walang katabi. Umandar na ang bus. May isang oras pa bago siya makarating.

Lumingon siya sa likod. Nakatingin sa kanya ang lalaki. Tumungo.

Inayos niya ang kanyang mga gamit. Ang mga ilang sandali ay tumayo si Lucas, bitbit ang tatlong bag, at lumipat ng mauupuan.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, October 24, 2013


My dad seems to feel better now, and so do I. I hope he sustains this, with minimal complaints. But I know we are certainly not out of the woods yet. But seeing him with more energy, smiling a bit more and even laughing a bit just lifts my spirits.

I've been sleeping at 1130pm and waking up at 6am. This is still not the same as before. So I blame jetlag. But I am not complaining. I think this is the best kind of jetlag. And I don't even feel sleepy during the day. I give myself a pat on the back for this.

I was traumatized the last time I travelled to North America about 2 years back. It was an extremely short trip - 3 nights there in Toronto, and quite anxiety-ridden. That took me 2 weeks to normalize. I would be awake until 3 or 4am. There was a time I hardly slept and ended up running in UP at 5am!

But someone kept me company then. And I have to admit that I miss his company.

He has been a raider for quite a while now. And he bravely sent me an email to initiate contact. He is based in Europe, a young, hot Pinoy white collar! After some months, we became chatmates. And because of the time difference, that would mean waking up early to chat with him.

At first he was so secretive about his identity, and that was wearing me down. But I could understand. He was still exploring the different facets of his self, discovering new interests and expanding preferences. So slowly, he let his guard down with me, and started to reveal more of himself.

He is certainly smart and even argumentative at times. And that was enough to wake me up at 530am. And when we finally started to videochat, there was a very attractive guy behind the brains, and the ambition. And mind you, the first instances of video had me talking to a torso! Yes, he was that Praning! But it was a lean and sexy torso, so I enjoyed it for a while.

These chats would happen maybe once or twice a month. Only during Friday mornings, when I would wake up early. And we covered a range of topics. But mostly, I was interested in the awakening process that was unfolding right before my eyes. However, because I still had a full Friday ahead, those chats wouldn't be very long.

So the nights of jetlag two years back gave us a chance for longer chats, uninhibited conversations that stimulated me. It was easy to like the guy, despite the paranoia that he would insert, from time to time.

His one visit to the Philippines allowed us to finally meet in person. But it had to be a breakfast meeting, because of our tight schedules. And true enough, in front of me was this smart, young and sexy chap. (I have learned not to trust online photos and personas.)

We would still manage to chat sometimes after that meet up. But gradually, it just faded. I would, from time to time, check to see if he would be online. Or even leave a message. But all I got was silence.

So, Jerkboy (I tease him), this jetlag state of mine reminded me of you. And made me wonder how you are. Have you started to realize those dreams of yours? Has that heart of yours started to beat for someone special? I sense you don't read the blog anymore. So this post about you would be too late. ( I promised to write about him then.). But know that you are fondly remembered.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A little unwell

Just a tad feeling down. Dad's recovery is taking very long. And it's taxing everybody. And you can help but also be concerned about the finances. It's not a bottomless well where it comes from. And I feel so guilty having to even think about it. Like it should be the least of my concerns. But I can't help it.

Dad seems to be caught in this vicious cycle of not eating enough, yet eating causes so much problems for him. And I can't seem to do anything about it. Not even the doctors.

Very trying times indeed.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Joey at Dante 5

Hindi nakatulog si Joey. Umuulit sa kanyang isipan ang magiging confrontation nila. Iniisip niya kung anong oras siya darating. Dapat ba sa umagang-umaga? Kakatok ba siya sa kwarto? Makukuha ba niya ang numero ng kwarto? Kung sa may dining area kaya, habang nag-aalmusal sila? Naku, ayaw naman niya ng iskandalo. Alam rin niyang nagdaan na sa ganun si Lucas. Paano niya haharapin sila? Anong una niyang sasabihin? Paano kung umalis sila agad? Paano kung hindi pala si Lucas ang kasama ni Dante? Ang daming katanungan, nguni kahit ano pa, desedido siyang ituloy ang confrontation. Kaya maaga pa lang ay naghanda na siya. Ala cinco pa lang, gising na siya at inisip na kung ano ang dapat sakyan para makapunta sa Antipolo.

Nagising si Dante ng maaga rin. At nang tinignan niya ang kanyang katabi, nakita niyang mahimbing na natutulog si Lucas, nakatalikod sa kanya. Tinignan niya ang relo. 530am pa lang. Naalala niya ang naganap kagabi.

Pinahiga niya si Lucas sa kama at pumatong. Patuloy ang kanilang halikan. At sa kanyang tiyan naramdam niya ang bukol ni Lucas. At hindi niya naramdaman na tumitigas ang nota. Tinuloy niya ang paghalik sa matipunong dibdib ni Lucas, na napakasarap namang halikan. Napunta siya sa mga utong na dinilaan niya ng husto, at kinagat-kagat pa. Narinig niyang umungol si Lucas. Naisip niyang tunay ngang nasasarapan si Lucas.

Kinapa niya uli ang nota. Hindi pa rin gaanong katagas. Iniwanan niya at nagconcentrate siya uli sa pusod. Eto naman ang kanyang dinilaan at hinalikan. Nakakakilit sa kanyang mga labi ang mga buhok-buhok ni Lucas sa bandang pusod. Umungol na naman si Lucas. Pinisil niya ng nota na parang tumitigas na rin.

Binuksan at hinubad na niya ang pantalon ni Lucas. Lumitaw ang puting underwear, na napakaseksi sa kanya. Napansin niya ang bukol. At eto na ang dinila-dilaan niya, mula sa brief. Mukha nga patigas na. At hindi na niya napigil at hinila pababa ang brief para lumabas ang nota ni Lucas. At dahan-dahan ng dinilaan ang natutulog pa ring nota. Walang kibo si Lucas. Sinubo na niya ang nota. Tinuloy-tuloy ang pagchupa. Ang paghigop, pagdila. Nilabas niya ang kanyang galing. Nagawa niyang dilaan ang ulo sa loob ng kanyang bibig. Ilang sandali ay unti-unti ng tumitigas ang nota. At parang narinig na niyang humahalinghing si lucas. Kaya lalo niyang hinusayan ang pagsubo.

Ngunit ilang sandali pa ay nawala ang katigasan at dahan-dahang lumambot uli. Napapagod na siya at nagngangawit. Naramdaman na lamang niya ang mga kamay ni Lucas sa kanyang balikat, at inaangat siya. Nilapit siya sa mukha at hinalikan. Lumayo si Dante at tinignan si Lucas.

"May problema ba, love?"

"Pagod lang ako, Dante. Wala namang problema. Relax lang tayo."

Ngunit hindi naman talaga siya pagod. Sa totoo ay hindi pa nga siya inaantok. At totoong nararamdaman niya ang pagkawala ng kanyang erection. At nahiya siya. At nainis sa sarili.

"Baka yung wine?" Tanong ni Dante habang pumatong sa kanyang dibdib.

"Baka nga." Ngunti alam niyang hindi rin yung alak.

"Mamaya na lang natin ituloy." Tumayo muna si Dante. "Sleep ka muna, love."

"Sige, I'll take a nap lang." At nahiga ng husto si Lucas.

Lumabas muna sa kwarto si Dante, patungong balkonahe. Tinuloy ang pag-inom ng wine. Nang bumalik siya ay mahimbing na ang tulog ni Lucas. At humihilik pa.

Nasuya si Dante at kinuha na lang ang mga toiletries niya upang maghandang matulog na rin.

At ngayong umaga na, tinignan niya si Lucas na nasa ilalim na ng comforter. May kaunting hilik pa rin. Yumakap siya mula sa likod. At hindi naman pumalag si Lucas. Kinapa ang nota. Matigas na. At dahan-dahan na niyang hinimas ang nota. Na-excite na siya muli.

Humiga na si Lucas sa kanyang likod. Nakapikit pa rin. Umilalim sa comforter si Dante at dumiretso at pagsubo ng matigas ng nota. At muli niyang pinaghusayan ang pagchupa. Ilang sandali pa lang at tinanggal na ni Lucas ang comforter para lalong makagalaw si Dante. Binuksan ni Lucas ang kanyang mata at nakita niyang si Dante ang sumusubo sa nota niya, habang nagsasalsal ng sarili.

Mga ilang sandali na lang ay lumambot na muli ang nota niya. At kahit ano pang pagsubo ni Dante ay walang nangyayari. At naramdaman na naman niyang inaangat siya ni Lucas. Tinuloy na nila ng halikan, habang nagsasalsal sila pareho. Ngunit wala pa ring nangyayari kay Lucas. Hindi pa rin siya tinitigasan.

Ilang minuto ang nagdaan. Wala pa rin.

"Palabas ka na lang" bulong ni Lucas kay Dante.

At tinuloy na ni Dante ang pagjajakol hanggang labasan siya. At kahit masarap ng panandalian, walang satisfaction si Dante sa nangyari. Tumayo siya.

"Magshower na ako, Luc." Tumungo lang si Lucas sa pagsang-ayon.

Hindi nahirapan si Joey na hanapin ang mga sakayan papuntang Antipolo. Mabuti na lang at maaga siya bumyahe. Hindi pa matraffic. Ngunit habang mabilis nagpapatakbo ang sasakyan ay lumalakas rin ng tibok ng kanyang puso. Naisip nga niya na sana ay ma-traffic na lang para hindi niya kailangan harapin agad ang dalawa.

Nakagawa naman siya ng plano. Itatanong niya sa reception kung naka-check in si Sir Dante. Palalabasin niyang may mahalaga siyang papeles para sa negosyo. Aalamin niya kung nandun pa sila. At kung nandun pa nga, ay maghihintay siya sa may kainan ng almusal. Maghihintay siya hanggang bumaba sila para kumain. At kung sakali mang hindi sila mag-almusal, ay sasasabihan siya ng Front Desk upang may salubungin sila habang sila ay nagche-check-out.

Haharapin lang niya sila. Ipapakita lang niya kay Lucas na alam na niya. Hindi siya mag-iiskandalo. Pagnakita na siya ni Lucas ay aalis na siya. Ay, ibibigay niya pala kay Dante ang envelope, nakunwari ay may dokumento para sa kanya. Iiwan lang niya ang envelope na walang laman. O lalagyan lang niya ng isang maikling sulat. "Goodbye Lucas at Dante. Mga manloloko." At aalis na siya. At uuwi muna siya sa probinsiya. Bahala na kung gaano katagal.

Oo, hihiwalayan na niya si Lucas. Hayop talaga ang kanyang boyfriend. Minahal niya ng tapat. Tinulungan niya nung walang-wala siya, nung panahon na wala mang gustong tumulong. Naluha siya habang iniisip niya ang gagawin niya. Halong galit at awa sa sarili. Sa kanyang katangahan. Sa kanyang pagtitiwalang wala namang sukli kungdi panloloko at kasinungalingan.

Handa na siya. Kailangan lang niya makumpirma sa sarili niyang mga mata ang pagtataksil.

"May problema ba, Luc? Kagabi pa yan." Nagbibihis na si Dante habang nagsasalita. Nasa kama pa rin si Lucas.

"Ang bata-bata mo pa, may erectile dysfunction ka na."

"Wala akong impotence." Ang galit na sagot ni Lucas.

"Eh anong tawag mo diyan?"

"I'm just not into the mood."

"Mood? May nalalaman ka pang mood?" Sarcastic na ang tono ni Dante.

"I don't know. Parang wala lang akong libog."

"Obvious ba?"

"Look, I'm just tired maybe. Or..." Naiirita na rin si Lucas.

"Or what?"

"Hindi ko alam, ok? Ewan ko"

"Are you trying to tell me something?"

"Basta... parang wala akong libog pag tayo..."

Parang sinampal si Dante. "Ah ganun. Fuck you."

"Look. You want the truth, right?"

"Tang-ina mo, Lucas. Handang-handa akong gawin kitang partner! Alam mo ba yun? Partner! Hindi lang empleyado!" Nararamdaman ni Dante na tumutulo na ang kanyang luha.

"Dante, I'm sorry. But I want to make this work, too."

"How could this work? We can't even have sex!"

"Baka matutunan ko rin.."

"Huh? Kailangan pag-aralan? Anong tingin mo sa akin?"

"I know I like you."

"What do you like about me, Lucas? Ano nga ba?"

"What I know is that hindi ko malimutan ang nangyari sa atin. Nung bata pa ako."

"Eh anong nagbago? Nandito na ako. Nagkita na tayo muli. What changed?"

"Di ko alam. Basta, alam kong nagugustuhan na kita."

"Gusto mo nga, pero wala ka namang libog na nararamdaman. Oh God. I feel so old and ugly." Umiyak na ng husto si Dante. "Aminin mo na, Lucas, wala kang ibang nararamdaman for me, nothing special, right?"

"No, that's not true. Handa na nga akong iwan si Joey for you."

"Kay Joey ba, ganyan ka rin? Hindi ka tinitigasan?"

Hindi umimik si Lucas. Dahil ang katotohanan ay masarap pa rin ang sex nila ni Joey. May excitement pa rin.

"Fuck. Di ka man makapagsinungaling sa akin."

"I'm sorry."

Mga ilang sandali na lang ay nahimasmasan na si Dante. "I get it. Di naman ako tanga. Alam kong nadala ka lang."

"What do you mean?"

"You thought I was still the same guy, yung taong nakasama mo sa bus nung bata ka pa. Yung naging fantasy mo for the longest time. But reality is, hindi na ako yun. Tumatanda ang tao, Lucas. Yung sa fantasy mo, hindi. You thought you could bring it all back. The same feeling. With all the pluses."


"Oo, pluses. Plus the job, plus the lifestyle, di ba? Oo, guilty ako of showing it off. Kasi nahulog ako sa iyo. Alam kong mai-impress ka. So stupid of me."

"Ang sakit mo magsalita."

"Diyos ko, Lucas. Mag-aminan na tayo."

Sinundan eto ng katahimikan. Walang imikan, maliban lang sa pagsinghot paminsan-minsan ni Dante.

"But I still want to make this work." Eto na lang ang nasabi ni Lucas.

"This? Anong 'this'? May jowa ka. Iiwan mo na lang ba si Joey?"

"Pinag-iisipan ko na nga yun. I told you that."

"For what? To devote time to me... To learning to love me? Eh yung libog mo, matuturuan mo rin ba yan?"

"I'm sorry about that. Hindi lang ako handa, siguro."

"Handa? Lucas, wag na nating ipilit. Hindi ako nanlilimos ng pag-ibig mo. I may be old and ugly but I am just too proud to beg for your love."

"Don't say that."

"Eh yun ang pinadadama mo sa akin!"

Tahimik muli. Nag-aayos ng gamit si Dante.

"Mag-shower ka na. Magbreakfast na tayo at maka-alis na."

Umikot muna sa paligid si Joey. Maganda nga ang lugar na eto. At malamig pa ang simoy ng hangin, dahil may kataasan na rin ang lugar. Bumalik sa siya sa restaurant at naupo. Naghintay. Naka-check in pa nga sila. Halos alas siete na rin. Pababa na rin siguro yun para mag-almusal. Naghihintay na siya.

Tahimik na silang pareho. Nakaayos na ang mga gamit ng matapos na si Lucas sa pagligo at pagbihis.

"Tara, baba na tayo."

Kukunin na sana ni Lucas ang mga bag. "Iwan mo na muna. Pakukuha ko na lang pagkakain."

Bumaba sila sa reception area at dumiretso sa restaurant. Buffet breakfast ang kasama sa kanilang binayaran. Ngunit kapwa sila walang ganang kumain.

Nakita ni Joey ang kanilang pagdating sa loob. Nakatago siya sa likod ng isang poste kaya hindi siya napansin ng dalawa. Kumakabog ang kanyang dibidb. Lalapitan na ba niya? Hindi muna. Hihintayin niyang nakaupo sila. Pagnakakuha ng pagkain. Dun siya lalapit.

Pinagmasdan niya si Dante. Ngayon pa lang niya nakita. Maaaninag mo pa ang tipo bagamat may edad na. Mukhang fit naman. Si Lucas, mukhang may bagong damit. Hindi niya nakilala ang shirt na gamit. Sa malayo, parang tumaba na nga ang mahal niya. Mahal pa nga ba niya? Natawa siya sa sarili. Makakarating ba siya ng Antipolo kung di man niya mahal ang gagong iyon?

Nakaupo na sila, dala-dala ang mga plato at kakainin. Timutiyempo siya. Tahimik ang pagkain. Hindi gaanong nag-uusap. Tumayo na siya at lumapit. Hindi man siya napansin hanggang malapit na siya sa mesa. Ngunit ang lakas na ng kabog ng kanyan puso. Eto na ang sandali. Habang palapit siya ay nanumbalik ang galit, ang awa sa sarili. Naramdaman niya ang pag-akyat ng dugo sa kanyang ulo.

Tumigil siya at tinawag si Lucas.


Parehong napatingin si Lucas at Dante sa kanya. At namutla si Lucas.

"Babe! Anong ginagawa mo dito?"

Dahan-dahan at malumanay siyang nagsalita. "Tang-ina mo, Lucas. Puro ka pagsisinungaling."

Biglang tumayo si Lucas. "Babe! Relax ka lang. Don't make a scene." Nilapitan niya si Joey. At naramdaman niya ang panginginig nito. "Please Babe." Hinawakan niya sa braso. Pumiglas si Joey.

Biglang sumingit si Dante. "Aren't you going to introduce us?" Tumayo na rin si Dante.

Pareho silang nagulat kay Dante. At napatigil. "Joey, si Sir Dante." Inalok ni Dante ang kanyang kamay. Hindi siya kinamayan ni Joey.

"Joey, join us for breakfast."

Parang nalito si Joey. Hindi eto ang nasa isip niyang mangyayari.

"Babe, maupo ka na. Cool lang tayo."

Hindi umiimik si Joey ng umupo. Galit pa rin ang nasa puso niya. Ngunit hindi siya kumikibo. Nag-umpisang magsalita si Dante.

"Joey, wala ka dapat ipangamba. We are not having an affair ng jowa mo."

Napatingin si Joey kay Dante.

At nakapagsalita na si Joey. "Sir, hindi ako tanga. Please, wag niyo akong tratuhin na tanga."

"Ok. You might as well know everything." Nagulat si Lucas kay Dante. "Dante! Ano ba yan? What are you talking about?"

Hindi pinansin ni Dante si Lucas.

"Oo, I fell for him. After working with him, sinuyo ko siya. I wanted him to work with me. And be my boyfriend."

"Fuck you..." Biglang sumingit si Joey.

"Wait. Patapusin mo ako. I wanted that then. But not anymore. Hindi ko na siya gusto. He's all yours."

Nagulat si Lucas. Gulat na gulat na nangyayari ang lahat na eto. "What the hell are you talking about?!?"

"Oh come on, Lucas. Itatago mo pa ba kay Joey? Enough na. You and me. It's not going to work out. Kaya wag mo na siyang iwan."

"Tang-ina mo!"

"Lower your voice, Lucas. Aalis na ako. Iiwan ko na kayo dito. Mag-usap kayo. Alam mo, Joey, maraming issues yan si Lucas. Is that what you really want?"

"Fuck you, Dante! You don't know me! Wala kang karapatan husgahan ako."

Natawa si Dante. "I just did. And you know I am right. Anyway.." Tumayo na si Dante. "Mag-usap na kayo. I'll leave your things at the concierge. Joey, nice meeting you."

Tuliro si Joey. Hindi maka-react. Hindi niya alam kung anong magiging reaction niya. Iniwan na sila ni Dante sa mesa.

Tahimik muna sila. Walang masabi pareho. "Kuha ka muna ng breakfast, Babe?" Yun lang ang nasabi ni Lucas.

Tinignan ni Joey si Lucas. Tinitigan. Wala na rin ang mga luhang naguumpisa na sanang tumulo.

"Tang-ina mo, Lucas. Tang-ina mo." Tumayo na rin siya mula sa mesa at umalis.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, October 13, 2013

cc quickie: Done with SF

So that's San Francisco. Friends and family told me I came at a great time, when the climate is just about cooling down for autumn. It's nice to be back in the mainland again. Last time was 6 years ago! And that was east coast.

I enjoyed SF. Sites I have always wanted to see, sites i have seen in pictures and movies like forever. The highlights of course, are the bonding moments with family and friends, specially those I haven't seen in ages, or haven't met at all in person. I thought I'd be laboring through the family reunions. But I totally enjoyed them all. Maybe I am at that age where these things really matter now.

Castro on a Thursday night was a lot better than Monday. (Of course!) And though largely I felt like I was unnoticed, There were still some locals who paid some attention. And some harrassment. LOL But it was all in good fun.

Now I will see what LA has to offer.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, October 12, 2013

It Scares me

I love you so much.
It scares me.
I don't know what i would do
If one breath of you was not mine.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Cross-dressing classics

The latest string of old movies I have watched have great actors and an actress cross-dressing in the starring role.

I started with Tootsie (1982), followed this with Mrs. Doubtfire (2003). And finally ending with Yentl (1983). (Ok. I see how your eyebrows raised with that last one. I'll never forget the scene in "In & Out" where Kevin Kline vioilently disagrees with his buddy's statement "Barbra was too old for Yentl!").

The movies span quite a number of years. One is a period film musical.

I love the attention to feminine detail in Tootsie and Mrs.Doubtfire. The prosthesis was quite extensive for Robin Williams! However, that was a nuance sorely lacking in Yentl. She still looked like a woman. Her beautiful voice could not be disguised to sound even remotely masculine. (Well it IS a period film. They didn't have prosthetics then?!?.)

All three presented plausible reasons for such an audacious change. Being a serious musical, Yentl's reason was also quite compelling and even philosophical. The reason for a Mrs. Doubtfire transformation is weakest though. The movies repeatedly emphasized the awkward situations that are inherent in such situations. I find Tootsie superior to the other two. Again, it seemed so hard for me to believe that Mandy Pantinkin couldn't see through Barbra's disguise!

Inevitably, their gender needs in the romance department reassert themselves, a lot less in Mrs. Doubtfire. Again, Dustin handled the development of the romance most adeptly. Barbra was quite crude. (But Mandy was just plain gorgeous then. With a butt shot at that! So hard to reconcile this Mandy with Homeland!

Yentl and Tootsie voluntarily out themselves, with Tootsie in such a big way! Mrs Doubtfire is outed due to inebriation, which made for great comedy. I find Mandy's shift from outrage to possibly, affection, was just too brief to br believable.

In the end, all three movies were roles that played up on their strengths as performers. And for Barbra, that meant singing Bergman/Bergman lyrics to Michel Legrand's immensely beautiful music.

I end this with a less popular song but something that moves me everytime. The song "The Way He Makes Me Feel" can easily be about a young man as he starts to feel the stirrings of his homosexual heart towards a best buddy. It is conflicted, tortured yet wonderful and sensuous. I am going to perform this someday. :)


The Way He Makes Me Feel

There's no chill and yet I shiver
There's no flame and yet I burn
I'm not sure what I'm afraid of
And yet I'm trembling

There's no storm yet I hear thunder
And I'm breathless why I wonder
Weak one moment
Then the next I'm fine

I feel as if I'm falling every time I close my eyes
And flowing through my body is a river of surprise
Feelings are awakening
I hardly recognize as mine

What are all these new sensations?
What's the secret they reveal?
I'm not sure I understand
But I like the way I feel

Oh why, why, why, why, oh
Why is it that every time I close my eyes he's there?
The water shining on his skin the sunlight in his hair
And all the while I'm thinking things
That I can't wait to share with him

I'm a bundle of confusion
Yet it has a strange appeal
Did it all begin with him
And the way he makes me feel?

I like the way he makes me feel, he makes me feel
I like the way, I like the way he makes me feel


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:The Embarcadero,San Francisco,United States

Friday, October 11, 2013

Joey at Dante 4

"Napag-isipan mo na ba ang offer ko?" Sabay kinuha ni Dante ang kamay ni Lucas habang nasa kotse sila.

"I've been thinking about it. Kaso, hindi siguro makakapayag si Joey. Sa ngayong pa lang, alam kong nagsusupetcha na siya tungkol sa atin."

Hinila ni Dante si Lucas at niyakap. Hinalikan ang likod ng tenga. "Mahal na kita,Luc."

Hindi siya sumagot. Humarap siya kay Dante at hinalikan lang niya. At iniba ang usapan.

"Saan tayo pupunta tonight?"

"I got us tickets for the opera."

"Opera? Yung musical?"

"Hahaha magagalit sa iyo ang mga purists! Opera, my dear! At CCP."

"Ay sorry naman, wala niyan sa bundok. Haha"

"I want you to experience that, kahit once lang. See if you like it or not."

Na-excite si Lucas. Hindi pa niya naranasan ang manuod ng isang opera. Sana hindi siya antukin. Nakakahiya kung makatulog siya at humilik pa. Natawa siya sa kanyang iniisip.

Samantala, si Joey naman ay aburido na. Nagpaalam uli si Dante na makikipagkita siya kay Dante upang pag-usapan ang kanilang 'project'. Hindi siya mapakali. Kailangan niyang malaman kung saan sila nagpupunta. Naglakas loob siya at tinawagan niya si Sir Claude.

"Hello po, Sir Claude? Si Joey po, yung partner ni Luc."

"Oh,Joey! Napatawag ka."

"Sir, sorry po sa istorbo. May tatanung lang po ako."

"Ok lang, Joey. Ano yun?"

"May number at address po ba kayo ni Sir Dante?"

"Huh?Bakit kailangan mo yung info na yun?"

"Sorry, Sir. Alam kong kaibigan niyo siya. Kaso..."

"What, Joey?"

"Kaso, parang may relasyon sila ni Lucas. At kailangan kong malaman."

"What? Seryoso ka ba?"

"Opo. Pero hindi ako sigurado. Kuto lang. Matagal ko ng nakukutuban. Ngayon, nagpapaalam na naman si Lucas."

"Ayokong makialam sa nangyayari sa inyo, Joey."

"Hindi naman po pakikialam. At alam ko, parang inaalukan rin ni Dante si Lucas ng trabaho."

Dun tumaas ang kilay ni Claude. "Pina-pirate ni Dante si Lucas?"

"Parang ganun na nga. Pinag-iisipan na nga ni Lucas."

"Ah... Ganun ba?" Tumahimik si Claude at nag-isip.

"Eh siguro yun lang naman ang pinaguusapan nila, Joey. It doesn't mean that they are having an affair."

"Hindi, Sir. May kutob talaga ako. Baka dahilan na lang yung trabahong iyon."

Nagbuntonghininga si Claude. "Eh anong binabalak mo bang gawin pag nakuha mo yung number ni Dante?"

Hindi agad nakasagot si Joey. Ano nga ba ang gagawin niya? "Ah.. Tatawagan ko po. Tatanungin kung magkasama sila." Eto lang ang naisip niyang gawin.

"At sasagutin ka ng matino? Joey, isipin mo muna."

"Sir, kailangan ko ng may magawa." Nawawalan na siya ng pag-asa. Kailangan niyang malaman ng tunay kung niloloko na siya ni Lucas. Ayaw niyang mabigla na lang na iniwan na siya. Gusto niyang ipaglaban ang kanilang samahan.

"Hmm. Tutulungan kita. Gusto ko rin malaman kung pinipirata ni Dante ang tao ko."

Biglang nabuhayan si Joey. "Paano, Sir?"

"Ako ang tatawag kay Dante. Bahala na ako. Sige, tutulungan kitang hulihin yang jowa mo, kung totoo nga ang suspecha mo."

"Anong gagawin ko po?"

"Maghintay ka lang. Tatawagan kita uli."

Bumilis ang tibok ng puso ni Joey. Nakahanap siya ng katulong sa kanyang problema.

"Uuuy. Hindi siya nakatulog!" Kiniliti ni Dante si Lucas ng palakad na sila patungong labas. Ang daming tao sa lobby. Maraming naka-postura. Nagagandahan ang mga dresses. May ibang mga bumati kay Dante, marahil ay mga kliyente niya. Ang mga lalaki, naka-coat, naka-neck tie. Ang gara talaga ng gala.

Habang hinihintay nila ang kotse, nagdadatingan rin ang ibang mga sundo ng mga nanuod. Parang parada ng luxury cars ang dumaan. May BMW, Benz, Audi. May Porsche pa. Nagulat na lang si Lucas ng ang dumating ay isang BMW Z4, at lumabas ang driver ni Dante.

"Salamat, Gilbert." Inabot ni Gilbert ang susi kay Dante, at binuksan ang pinto ng driver's side. "O, sakay na!"

Nagtataka pa rin si Lucas habang nasa loob ng isang sports car. At si Dante ang nagmamaneho. "Maganda ba?", tanong ni Dante.

"Super! Hindi ko alam may Z4 ka pala."

"Si Papa ang mahilig si kotse. Pinahiram sa akin. Minsan masarap i-drive."

"Wow, I can imagine! Ang bilis nito!"

"Haha. Mabilis nga. Kaya minsan, sa expressway, nakakatakas ako at hinahataw ko ng 150-160. Ayaw ko rin naman lumampas dun"

Umiiling pa rin si Lucas sa paghanga. "Hanep!"

"I-topdown ko sana kaso baka maulan. At minsan, ang fear ko yung may makatabi kang bus at tatapunan ka ng basura o duduraan ka! Hahaha"

"Yuck! Hahaha Oo nga. Maraming naiinggit sa ganito."

Kinabit ni Dante ang iphone niya sa kotse. At nagpatugtog ng magandang music, pang-driving.

"Saan tayo pupunta?"

"Joy ride lang tayo."

Ang sarap ng pakiramdam. Ang pogi. Alam niyang lahat ng mga dinaraan nila ay napapatingin sa kotse, at sa mga nasa loob. Feeling pogi siya talaga. Biglang nagring ang telepono ni Dante.

"Aba? Ang boss mo tumatawag?" Sinagot ni Dante sa handsfree system ng kotse. At nagsenyales kay Lucas na tumahimik.

"Yes, kapatid?"

"Teh! Kamusta ka? San ka ngayon?"

"Ok naman. Just came from watching Puccini at CCP. Napatawag ka."

"Ay wala lang. Papunta sa condo ang mga bading. Impromptu chika moment. Punta ka."

"Ay ang saya! Naku sorry, teh. Not tonight. I'm off to Antipolo."

"Mayo ba? Or naglilihi ka lang sa kasoy? Haha"

"Gaga! No, just planning to spend overnight sa 7 suites." Sabay tingin kay Lucas at kumindat.

"Ay! May booking ang aking kapatid!"

"Oh siya! Mas mahalaga ang booking. Bye!"

Nagtawanan sila ni Lucas. At bigla siyang tinanong "Magche-check in tayo tonight?"

"Yes, love!"

"Wala akong gamit."

"I have a bag in the trunk. All you need is there. And the bag is yours."

"What? ahh hindi ako nakapagsabi kay Joey." Biglang nag-alinlangan si Lucas

"Can't you call now? Come on. It's nice there. Once lang naman."

"Eh anong excuse ko?"

"Work, as always. May kailangan tapusin for a client."

"Eh yun na nga ang dahilan ko tonight."

"Oh de i-extend mo lang. Sige na, love."

Nagdadalawang isip si Lucas. Alam niyang away na naman eto pag nagpaalam siya. Ngunit nahiya naman siya kay Dante. Mukhang pinagplanuhan eto. Kinuha ang cellphone at tatawagan na si Joey. Ngunit nagbago ng isip.

"I'll call him when we are in the hotel na."

"Thanks, Love." Kinuha ni Dante ang kamay niya at hinalikan.

"Hello Joey?"

"Sir Claude?"

"Mago-overnight sila sa Antipolo tonight."

"Huh? Hindi po nagpaalam si Lucas. Shit!"

"I'm sure tatawagan ka niyan. I suggest you go over there. Hulihin mo sila."

"Huh? Ahh, opo. Sige, sir. Gagawa ako ng paraan."

"That's the most I can do for you, Joey."

"Sir, maraming salamat."

Ang ganda ng kwarto nila. Maayos. Lumabas muna sa balkonahe si Lucas upang tawagan si Joey. Hindi siya nahirapan kumuha ng paalam. Mukhang tanggap na ni Joey ang rason niya. Lumabas si Dante.

"Everything good, love?"

"Yeah. Ok naman kay Joey. Nakakagulat nga."

"That's great. You don’t need to worry. And nagpaakyat ako ng wine." sabay ngiti si Dante.

“Ok.” Yung lang ang naisagot ni Lucas habang tumitingin sa mga kumikislap na ilaw sa kalakhang Marikina. Maya-maya pa lang ay nilapitan na siya ni Dante, dala ang isang kupita ng alak.

“Thanks, Dante.”

“Oh, bakit parang malayo ang ini-isip mo?”

“Wala naman.” Niyakap siya mula sa likod ni Dante at hinalikan sa batok.

“Drink up.”

Uminom si Lucas. At ilang sandali na lang ay iniharap na siya ni Dante at hinalikan sa labi. Bumitaw siya.

“Huy. Baka may makakita.”

Parang na-inis si Dante. “Ha? Eh Marikina Valley ang kaharap natin? Sinong makakakita mula dun?” Lumayo si Dante at pumasok na sa kwarto. Hinabol ni Lucas at niyakap.

“Eto naman, tampo agad. Gusto ko lang private.” Niyakap at hinalikan na niya si Dante sa labi, sa loob ng malamig na kwarto. Hindi na rin lumaban si Dante at hinalikan na rin si Lucas.

Matindi ang halikan. At unti-unti ng tinanggal ni Dante ang shirt ni Lucas. Hinalikan siya sa leeg, sa dibdib. At ng mapunta na sa utong niya, dinila-dilaan niya ng dahan-dahan. Napa-ungol siLucas. Dumiin ang pagdidila. At nanggigil na si Dante. kinagat ang utong.


"Sorry." Tumigil si Dante at hinila na si Lucas sa kama. Tinulak niya at napahiga. At pinatay na ni Dante ang ilaw.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, October 10, 2013

At the Epicenter

I ventured into Castro district on my own. It was very easy, using the Muni system (subway this time), a couple of stops from Powell (Union Square). I was told that the area was practically dead or "gentrified". But walking along the streets at 530pm, I still saw many, many pink establishments, mainly restos, bars and shops catering to our distinguished tastes. And of course, our ates were all around. You get this sense that though it has mainstreamed, it is still haven and heaven for LGBT from wherever.

I choose a resto to eat and decided on something that seemed airy and non-intimidating. I walk in and happen to have chosen the resto dedicated to Harvey Milk, so politically appropriate. this is at the corner of 18th and Castro. And further up the 18th is Badlands, the only bar i have heard mentioned.

It just feels good to do some kind of pilgrimage to this gay mecca.

I also feel invisible. I am this small gay Asian tourist wandering their streets. And nobody minds me. I guess I haven't discovered the rice bars yet

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Learned Helplessness

It's the first of October. Time just flew passed me but slapped me along the way. This is probably the most 'challenging' period in my recent history. The company continues to hobble along. The enemies are unrelenting, their resources are endless. And the battle continues to chip away the fortress foundations. I am forced to consider drastic measures. Yet for now, these will not be enough. The pressure to just keep afloat is tremendous.

The ghost month, August, came and my folks started to become ill, very ill. First it was my mom's massive stroke. Now, it is my dad's gastrointestinal surgery that is taking too long to heal and normalize. I haven't started to feel the weight until now. As I take stock of these things, the song 'Wake me up when September ends" suddenly feels relevant.

These events have conspired to tell me that there are just things beyond my control, beyond my feeble power. I try to think, could I have done something to avoid them? So typical of corporate people to think that way. The risks were mounting. What was my risk management plan?

But somehow, I feel I could only have done so much. Like for my folks' health, I can never really control their eating habits, their lifestyle. And even if I was able to, would that have guaranteed that none of this would happen?

There are things so much bigger than me. And maybe, for once, I can just accept that I am powerless against them. And I have to tap into something beyond me, too - my faith and my religion.

I emphasize my religion because I now call on Him within the context of my Catholicism. The prayers, the supplications I intone are from the rites and rituals. And I take great comfort in them.

But my faith is not just a source of strength, not some abstract form of support that psychology could explain away. Through my fervent prayer, the solutions, the answers and the healing come to me! The wisdom to solve my company's problems came during the Mass. My mom's massive stroke did not leave any trace at all. Not one slur. Not one limp. And she was out of the hospital in 2 days.

Now, the healing is focused on my father. And that is quite a struggle. But I know He will come through for him, may be not as spectacularly miraculous as my mom's. But all will be well.

As helpless I may have been, I was not entirely powerless. I am blessed with access to the limitless resource that is Him who matters, Him who cares, Him who loves.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

cc quickie: I fear for his life

Making the headlines in all media last week were Papa Francis' (Pope Francis) quotable quotes on the Catholic Church and homosexuality, women, and even abortion! There are ongoing analyses of the ramifications of such pronouncements. And even our dear CBCP are probably huddled together trying to make sense of it all, in the midst of their archaic positions on many issues.
I embrace him and send him all my love. But I fear for his life. Seriously. There are major, major (yes, Venus) interests that are riding on preserving the conservative status quo. And as Dan Brown-ish as this may sound, those organizations are not above anything to protect their interests.
I feel that all of this he is aware of. And it may even be some sort of suicide mission of his, if only to prove a point. Morbid? Conspiracy theory much? I hope am being just too praning.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, September 23, 2013

cc quickie: Hey Raiders! Crowdthink!

I received an email seeking some advice. Mr A is a foreigner, late 30's, who has visited the Philippines regularly for the past 5 years. He fell in love with a Pinoy and discovered how much "more fun" it is in the Republic of Filipinas. (I still feel uncomfortable with that as our official name!). Sadly, that Pinoy broke his heart. And as he has moved on, he would still love to meet, and fall in love, with a Pinoy. He is still based abroad though. But he is open to possibilities "with the right person".

What advice would you give to him on how to meet 'proper' Pinoys online? I emphasize 'proper' because Planet Romeo seems to offer up to him only Pinoys interested in some financial relationship. That was truly sad to hear.

So guys, crowdthink! What do you think?

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

cc quickie: 4 hours in a hospital room

I am playing Carediva role to my father, as he recovers from his major operation. He has been wheeled in from the recovery room 4 hours back. And I haven't left the room since.

It's difficult seeing him wince in pain, a pain he registers at the top of the scale. The anesthesia and analgesics have worn off. But I show a brave face, I brush his hair as he moves a bit in pain.

The male nurse looks cute. But protocol dictates that he wears his facemask the entire time. It makes me wonder how he really looks. And how I could get him to remove it. Yes, I am that bored.

I tried reading his book to him, my dad, I mean. LOL. But a few pages into it made me tired. Age, I suppose.

My mom will relieve me in a while. And I probably wont get to see cutie male nurse anymore. And I also wont care.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Me and Me2 Post script

C3 (partner) surprised me last weekend. He barely touched his phone the entire two nights and three days we spent together. He was sincerely apologetic for his phone behavior, after reading the blogpost. And he quickly mended his ways, making sure that his attention was focused on me the entire time. It got uncomfortable, for a while. Hahaha. I have to admit that I also felt I wanted to check my online life from time to time. But I welcomed the effort. Can't help lovin' the guy.

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cc quickie: Diet Discipline

I'm on Day 10 of the diet. I think this is the most consistent I have ever been sticking to this 1,550 cal/day regimen. I actually went back to using the diet prescribed by the Fitness First nutritionist two years ago. And though she is no longer with FF, I have asked her to monitor my intake. I send her my food intake journal, and she translates that into calories consumed. I know there is this app that does the same thing. But I have yet to download that.

It is very harrrd to stick to the diet. I do experience hunger pangs from time to time. I ingest plenty of water during those times. The trick really is to be conscious of serving sizes everytime one eats. And to limit choices of viands. All this falls apart in the face of buffet binges. Lol.

I don't feel weak. I feel lighter. Visually, I am convincing myself that some of those abs are starting to be visible again. Maybe I will be successful this time.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Me and Me2: Conversations with my conscience

CC: There he goes again.

CC2: Who? What?

Cc: He's on his phone again.

Cc2: Leave him be. Watch the movie.

Cc: He's been at it since the movie started. Just reading his social networks.

Cc2: And that's a problem because...?

Cc: Well, because we are together! This is supposed to be time spent with me.

Cc2: And you are together. Aren't you in bed together watching?

Cc: Yeah, but look at where his attention is. On his phone.

Cc2: He's just checking his messages.

Cc: For 30 minutes?

Cc2: And just being updated. Remember, this is HIS generation. They are so wired. They need to be connected 24/7.

Cc: Good grief.

Cc2: Relax. Enjoy the movie.

Cc: Ok. I'll try.

After a few days...

Cc: It's still bothering me.

Cc2: Whaaaa? Seriously, what is bothering you.

Cc: The amount of time he spends on his phone, even when we are together.

Cc2: Oh that. Again, that's his generation.

Cc: But isn't that rude?

Cc2: That generation doesn't see it that way. They consider it natural to be checking on their phones even when they're with company. But I have to admit that it isn't polite. But is he really excessively on his phone when you are together?

Cc: Not always. But a lot of times. And I found it particularly 'noying that last time. Because we were apart for days. And he said he missed me. But when we are together, he misses his phone more.

Cc2: Maybe for him, being together means doing these things together, beside each other.

Cc: I'd agree if we were talking about watching movies, or enjoying a show. Or even if we need to do work. We could do that together. But for this time, we were already trying to watch the movie together.

Cc2: Maybe the movie bores him. Or, you know how these kids are, they are multi-taskers.

Cc: Sigh. Yeah, I am just one of those tasks.

Cc2: Nothing personal, dear. They just have a lot of things happening at the same time.

Cc: Yeah, like checking out those hunks. That's what he does.

Cc2: That's not the only thing he does. He does tell you about those things he reads, right? They become topics for conversation, right?

Cc: Well, yeah. He shares them with me. He becomes my source of information.

Cc2: You see! All that has value.

Cc: But in between that, he checks up on those hunks.

Cc2: Nothing wrong with that, dear. You do that, too.

Cc: I do not! I don't follow them.

Cc2: But you enjoy looking at their pics, too. He follows them. That's his trip.

Cc: Ok. But what if one of them starts to chat with him?

Cc2: Ahhhh. You are jealous.

Cc: (silence)

Cc2: Look, those are just faces and bodies. Hahaha.

Cc: But that's how it starts. One chat.

Cc2: Because that's how you guys started, right?

Cc: (silence)

Cc2: You've got to trust him on this. He did that then because he was single. And even if those guys tried to hit on him, you have to trust him that he wouldn't flirt back.

Cc: Really? He wouldn't? Oh come on! With those bodies... Those biceps!?

Cc2: Because you would, right?

Cc: (silence)

Cc2: He's not you. Just because you can't trust yourself doesn't mean he couldn't be trusted.

Cc: Ok. Yeah, you have a point. Well, I go back to that thing about being on the phone even when you're together.

Cc2: Well, tell him.

Cc: I don't know... I think he already has this phobia of our "talks".

Cc2: haha What do you mean?

Cc: He already knows when I am about to start a conversation like that. Or I am about to scold him or something. His face contorts into this sad little puppy.

Cc2: That's so cute. But I hope he's not just mocking you.

Cc: No, he's serious. And he apologizes sincerely.

Cc2: Wow. Not often do you see guys like that.

Cc: I know, right? That's why I don't want to keep on scolding him or even telling him these things. He might just put his arms up and give up and say that he can't do anything right.

Cc2: Is he the type?

Cc: I don't know. I hope not. He says he's not.

Cc2: You've got to take his word on it.

Cc: Yeah. But during lighter times, he'll bring these things up and make light of it. And it looks like he is seriously keeping track of each and every altercation.

Cc2: And that pisses you off?

Cc: Well, just a bit. But he really is the best when we have these talks. He listens and doesn't do it again. Well except for this one.

Cc2: Which one?

Cc: This thing about being on the phone too much. I subtly alluded to it when we were on a vacation. I asked that we should have some time together when we don't check our phones at all.

Cc2: And?

Cc: And he did. He stopped checking his phone. We both did. An entire night.

Cc2: Good for you, too! So you shouldn't have any problem about telling him again. Or you should have actually told him that night when you were together. That was no-phone-check time.

Cc: Yeah. Maybe. I was hoping he was sensitive enough.

Cc2: Oh no. You shouldn't expect these things. He doesn't think like you.

Cc: Ok. Fine. I'll tell him about this thing that's been bothering me.

Cc2: Good for you. Finally. Be honest. How?

Cc: I'll blog about it.

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