Manila Gay Guy
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hi there miggs!

happy easter!! i read in some comment here that you’re in quezon province (or wherever you are). just want to say na… inggit ako. am stuck here in manila working.. on this long holiday. dang! amf (amfotah)! o.m.g.! s.n.m.! lol.

i spent an entire good friday listening to all these podcasts while i was slumped in front of my canvas painting (i tried to paint without interruption but there were moments i’d be laughing my head off aside from the ones where i’d have to stop to listen to some quotable quote). it is interesting to note that as you progressed with your podcasts, there is more levity while you and the other fabcasters discussed relevant and quite interesting topics that are universal to all plu’s.

what piqued my interest in these ten podcasts though was the one with the most number of listeners, that of your “interview” with dencio. his short talk about cruising spots hits the bulls’ eye amongst many gay men. i read through the comments and tony said it aptly, “Most gay men cruise”. sift through all the moral posturings in the comments and one reality comes out – most gay men really do cruise. it is a right of passage for many who are trying to discover what makes them “different” in the eyes of the moral majority.

i remember when i was a young lad in my teen years when there was yet no internet and trying to discover what it was to be gay, we had the dark cinemas of recto and quiapo like pearl and ginto, ali mall, sandra’s along recto, joy, blue cafe, cocobanana (i was 13 years old when i actually got dragged to it by a disco-hopping older cousin and i got to dance with the american-indian of the Village People), ugarte field (which was manila’s response to central park, new york), the bakahan at the ccp grounds, adam’s apple, cloud nine, quezon circle, maharlika(?) in caloocan, blue palm etc…

it brought back some memories of people i met through these brief encounters, the crazy moments that would either make me laugh or sad when i remember them. i remember the time when i met a then fledgling provincial politician in one of these dalliances. we discovered each other in a biblical sense and years later he’ll be on tv sitting as a young member of an institution beside the highest office of our country. i have shared secrets with some people who in their public lives can never reveal that they have or are still indulging in such activities – priests, executives, lawyers, fathers, professors, actors. but one person still stood out amongst these brief “encounters”. he was, like dencio, a young man full of the ways of the world named eric.

i met eric in the u-belt area one hot late afternoon, in a grimy double-feature cinema. i was 21 back then. i saw him slumped in the dark, “servicing” a faceless man. he looked up and smiled. after he was through with his companion, he stood up and sat beside me. he introduced himself, in the dark, as if he’s doing it in a party. we fell into conversation while several other faceless men would, one after the other, sit beside him. i found out that he’s a male prostitute selling his “services” inside that cinema and these faceless men are his ‘customers’. we talked further until he had to excuse himself to do his ‘job’. i stood up to leave, but he grabbed my hand and asked me to wait for him outside. i obliged.

we met outside after a few minutes and in the fading light of the day i saw that he was a young man like me and he was in his school uniform – white shirt and green pants. we went to sandra’s. we talked. shared a couple of bottles of coke and i listened to his story. Animatedly, he talked about himself. i found out that he had a pattern of sexual abuse when he was a child. i vividly remember his story of being repeatedly molested by his uncle and older cousins – a pattern which began when he was 9. he narrated how at 15 he learned how ‘to turn tricks’ with men (prostitute) so he could buy his first nike. he also told me of how he avoided spending a night in jail after a police raid by providing service to the arresting officer. there were other stories he regaled me with through the years that he was exploring and in one statement he summed up himself, “I am a sex addict.” That statement of his drilled into my brain.

we kept on talking until late at night and parted ways. we exchanged numbers and in the next few weeks, we talked for hours on the phone. We talked about everything. We talked of his family, my family; the people he knew and the people I know; we talked of everything we can think of. I even remember him telling about his family tree! until one day, he stopped calling. i called back at his number and a lady answered saying that he’s already left.

a few years passed and every now and then i would remember bits of our long conversations on the phone and i would wonder how and what eric was doing. in that brief moment i met him, i knew he became a friend.

sometime in 1995, i was volunteering for the world youth day for the pope’s arrival in our country. i have met some doctor volunteers and become good friends with them. one of them was doing his residency in a government hospital. we were in a prayer group and i would fetch him (back when i used to drive) so we can go together to the once-a-week meetings.

one night, he asked me to come up while he was finishing a round in one of the wards. i went up and saw him at the end of a long hallway talking to a nurse. i walked slowly and was reading the names tacked on the doors of the wards. as i passed by an open door of one ward with a lone strip of paper on it with one name, I stopped dead in my tracks. Written there was a familiar name. The door was slightly open and I quietly peeked in. Propped up on the bed was the familiar face of my long lost friend – Eric. I said hello. He turned his face and I saw the same familiar smile flash across it. “Kamusta ka na? Nandito ka pala tsong?” was what I greeted his smile with.

I remember he didn’t answer, he just sat there on the bed smiling at me and there was an awkward silence. I told him that I was there to pick up a friend. He just nodded. i looked out and saw my friend still talking to the nurse. I hastily told Eric that I will come back again and visit him.

On the drive towards the prayer meeting I asked my companion what ward it was that Eric was in. What he told me sent a cold shiver up my body. It was the new ward for Aids patients. He was the lone occupant that night.

For several days I grappled with the thought that I know someone with that disease. I fought within me whether to see him again or not. Perhaps it’s my own prejudices or it was my own fear of facing someone who has that sword hanging upon him. At 25, I had to face someone with aids.

I delayed for a few days from going to the hospital and arranging to visit him. Almost a week passed when I decided to call and asked for him. He has already moved out the day before I called. I never had the chance to see him again.

After hearing Dencio talk, it reminded me of Eric’s bravado with the ways of the world, how the latter nonchalantly talked of his adventures, his abused past and the admonition of his own addiction. I wonder if Eric is still out there or if he has become a number in a long and growing list of statistics. Wherever he is, I only wish my friend Godspeed. And only if I can talk to him again, perhaps this time, I can ask him… why.

to Dencio, whoever you are, thank you too for putting your worldly insights into something that the moral majority will always and consistently deny. God speed.

Palma

Comments (30)

  1. kevin ryan said on 14-11-2010

    Thanks for that! You write well and you get to the heart of what it is to be gay. The focus on sex and not on the dignity of ourselves and each other, is very harmful.
    We all suffer and many like your friend die.
    Love is what matters most.

  2. wannabe said on 26-10-2009

    ang masasabi ko lang mga kapatid, kapag mababa abg tingin mo sa sarili mo, di mo alam na may dignity ka bilang tao, di mo alam ang tunay na meaning freedom at di mo alam na mas maganda pa ang buhay kung walang sakit na ganito: mahuhulog talaga sa ganitong ‘slavery’. slave sa sex kasi ang slave hindi makatanggi kasi alipin nga! hindi makatanggi sa tawag ng laman. Kaya kung kailan nakaramdam ng tawag ng laman kahit kanino na lang upang matugunan ang sexual desires. May psychological problem ang taong yan. I bet you pagkatapos ma satisfy sa sexual act, deep inside them may guilt feeling. May feeling ng dirtiness sa sarili. lalong bababa ang tingin sa sarili. at paulit ulit gagawin yon. Hindi condom ang sagot sa hiv virus. self worth-love of self.

  3. amino_uae said on 17-06-2009

    its a sad story, but indeed its a story worthy to tell…
    i hate you Palma because you ignored him in the sense that you considered him as your long lost friend.just because he was hiv victims? if you really are a friend to him, regardless of what happend to him, you should be there, because he needs you, your companion, your stories, your presence. and that you only realized to see him again after he was gone, even if you’d never knew he was already gone… dont you think that maybe he had no one that time but you? at least for his short-live, you were there making him laugh and feel the essence of being a true friend to him.
    maiba tayo: manong migs san ba pinopost ang mga stories? please informed me thru argeewai@live.com thanks

  4. Kiko said on 29-05-2009

    Thanks for the story Palma. It is heart-warming. In the light of the present sex video scandals, it made me think that morality is going down these days. But the thing is: every decision has its consequences. To Eric, God bless.

  5. markie said on 26-05-2009

    whoa!tragic. it’s like orosa-nakpil malate.. 🙁

  6. Asher said on 17-05-2009

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  7. gabriel said on 20-04-2009

    isn’t he eric of the-chronicles-of-e.blogspot.com?

  8. tyrone_binan said on 18-04-2009

    Nasa nature na rin siguro naten ang maging ganun.. But then our minds should still prevail and think that there is always a risk to acquire a disease tuwing makikipag “do” sa iba.

    And also, there will come a time in our lives na titigil tayo sa ganung bagay. Especially when we found our true love.

    I was cruising before. A lot. But when I met my partner, everything changed. I learned how to be monogamous and think. Love will help us be on the right track. Which is the way it should be…

  9. Adan said on 16-04-2009

    Ano ba ang stigmang kaakibat ng pagkakaroon ng AIDS of pagiging HIV+?

    Pareho lang naman itong sakit na tulad ng Cancer, pero ang nakakadagdag sa stigma e yung fact na ang AIDS at HIV ay pwedeng iwasan kung lahat ay gumamit ng utak at hindi libido…

  10. fratboi02 said on 15-04-2009

    I have a friend who has aids. she got it from her bisexual husband…its one thing that i’m really careful about…praise jesus for a long term commitment, i do not need to look for sex elsewhere…

  11. pura said on 14-04-2009

    well written, yet such a sad encounter… it should be stressed that HIV/AIDS chooses no one. with or without fault, a person must not be discriminated by having this incurable ailment…

  12. Dennis said on 14-04-2009

    another case of parent’s negligence to their child. 🙁

  13. drake said on 14-04-2009

    umm..twas in 1995…and if a guy has aids…sad to even think about it but i guess Eric may have already met his maker…

    yup being with one person u really trust is the answer to combat this..but nowadays, it is really hard to find anyone that is faithful…

  14. palma tayona said on 14-04-2009

    yay! miggs, i am surprised you decided to put this as a separate post when i wrote it merely as a comment under “the top ten podcasts” that easter sunday. i sometimes write too long, even for a simple comment, when the words are just flowing. hehehe…

    these are mere memories from my own youthful past and they simply surfaced when i heard dencio’s podcast. what struck me (and i failed to mention it) was his self-assuredness about the ins and outs of gay cruising. it was the same sort of world-weariness i remember in eric’s stories about his own adventures.

    i apologize to those who felt saddened by what i narrated. i didn’t mean to put a damper on your own self-discoveries. neither have i meant it to “teach a lesson” if there ever is one to get in what i wrote. i merely remembered and told. 🙂

  15. migs (din) said on 13-04-2009

    that was sad….makes you realize stuff huh? how life is so short and yet so precious.

    tnx for sharing…

  16. sam said on 13-04-2009

    aids ain’t no party!

    what a sad story!i have to thank you migs and palma for sharing this story with all of us.

    isa lang dapat tandaan, wag basta basta papatol sa mga hindi kilala, tama, mas ok yung kilatisin muna..

  17. KHROMWELL said on 12-04-2009

    Hi there!! ang sad naman… Dapat talaga bigyan pansing ang sex education ngayon… AIDS is not a sin but getting it is not a joke.

  18. Courage Philippines said on 12-04-2009

    A tragic story.

    I know a brother in our community who works with Remedios AIDS Foundation. If I can be of help to Eric, please look for my email in my blog.

  19. carl said on 12-04-2009

    that’s why I’m faithful whenever I’m in a relationship, lots of diseases out there, however, being faithful does not guarantee that you’ll be safe from these diseases… I had an ex whom I thought was faithful, but cheated me behind my back pala, he was I guess, a sex addict, and because of his promiscuity, he got a sexually transmittable disease that he passed on to me. thank God it was only mild and I’m now 100% cured of it… but looking back, it could have been worse… and its sad cause most pinoys would laugh at someone being loyal, most does not see the real value of loyalty or faithfulness in a relationship, its not only meant to solidify a relationship, but it could also prevent the spread of these diseases… but anyway, if one can’t be loyal, then one should be careful and responsible instead…

  20. blueboy said on 12-04-2009

    id stay a virgin n lang… hehe… but well… if si brent javier naman ung makikipag sex sa akin, y not? kahit hawaan pa nya ako ng lahat ng maraming virus ok lang… but its just so sad one time na nagbasa ako ng newsweek ba un o time magazine about aids. survey says kasi na homosexuals are prone to aids than the straight ones…tsk tsk…

  21. curious said on 12-04-2009

    Hi Palma and all:
    Thank you for this post. I have been battling my demons recently and finding myself drawn to the “dark side.” It is a struggle and thanks for the story, I see hope and courage to continue the fight to resist the temptation. I have big dreams and I am just starting to realizing those dreams and I know everyone can relate. I want to fall in love and share that love physically and emotionally but afraid to because of my fear of the unknown. I am sorry to hear about Eric and I hope he finds peace. I guess we are all on this…finding where we belong and what is in store for us in the whole scheme of things. Ayoko ng madrama trust me! I am not that kind of a person but this post really hits home and makes me face my mortality. Thanks for pointing this out to me…
    Curious

  22. Mr. Unpredictable said on 12-04-2009

    I was touched by the story….

    And I was kinda bit confounded for Eric’s situation…

    That was really painful…I just hope that Eric is still alive!(don’t get me wrong!)

    May God bless him…always….

    -my ego-

  23. pj☺ said on 12-04-2009

    Be faithful to your partner that’s the secret☺

  24. gay_palaboy said on 12-04-2009

    sad nman ng story…

    hopefully…,,maraming guys at gays ang matuto sa kwewnto…

    pati na rin ako…

    wag na ksi tayong mkipag-Do sa mga di kakilala,,,

    kilatisin muna bago tikman..lol..

    apeeeeeeee easter

  25. anthony said on 12-04-2009

    ayun magrereact ako sana.
    pero nakaka awa ang story.

    pag sino sino lang kasi, malaki yun risk. 200% chance na ma infected ka.

    para safe, dapat sa one you love and one you trusted.
    para may balikan ka. hehehehehehe

  26. maccallister said on 12-04-2009

    hi there miggs,

    happy easter! and im a porn addict! LOL

    gayahin ba daw haha

  27. Adrammelech said on 12-04-2009

    That was a sad story.

    It made me sad.

    It’s a fact of life that everyone goes away in the end.

    Only the pain and regret brought about by our memories remain…

    They say memories are what makes us smile…

    But how can we smile when what we really want is to go back to a time when those memories are real?…

  28. Coffee Pls said on 12-04-2009

    True enough that many of us engage in this kind of activities. The risk at stake is very high but we can’t also deny that it makes us happy somehow.

    There will come a time that everyone will have his/er own story to tell.

    I’m just happy that I found this blog full of stories to think about. Stories that inspires us to be a better man.

  29. alvin said on 12-04-2009

    WOW.

  30. kevynetsky said on 12-04-2009

    naalala ko tuloy yung orosa-nakpil malate..tragic..
    anyways..i’ve already met dencio, though i haven’t realized siya na pala yun ka-jamming ko..npaka HOT!! =] hihi peaze!!

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