Manila Gay Guy
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Mario Boytoy I was talking to a guy tonight, a friend of a friend, and just through 2 cigarette sticks he related his lifestory. A sob story. Mario never knew his parents, who died before he could even be conscious of having them; he grew up in Mindanao, in his sister’s care, under whom carino brutal took a slightly different flavor — she accounted all his growing up expenses every chance she got, and for a while that drove Mario to always do well in his studies. “Balang araw,” he thought, “magiging malaking tao rin ako, babayaran ko lahat ng ginastos niya sa akin.” The psychology worked for a while, earning Mario top honors when he graduated Salutatorian from grade school. The same psychology backlashed though, and before Mario could earn his high school diploma, his motivation flipped and he ran away from his sister’s care.

He found himself in the busy, chilly streets of Baguio. “Alam mo yung Slumdog? Ganun. Taong kalye ako, madungis, pagala-gala. Pero hindi ako ni minsan namalimos.” At 15, he survived by finding odd jobs anywhere he could. One day, a knight in shining armor came. He introduced Mario to a friend who operated a restobar. There, he became a waiter, then assistant cook, then cook, and at one point, because the resto owner once heard him sing while cooking, became the restobar’s singer-entertainer. This was the time he started to gain confidence about his abilities. Great things were happening to him. But at the background, something was nagging at him. The knight in shining armor has, from day one, been his abode partner, and from then grew more possessive each day that passed. “Hanggang sa nasakal ako. Maayos na ako dun, pero di ko nakayanan ang paghihigpit nya.” He escaped his knight’s grip and once again tried his luck elsewhere. This time, in Manila.

In the country’s capital, he stayed with relatives. He was welcomed and treated well by his city relatives, but only because he brought home money. “May ipon ako nun, galing Baguio. Pero nararamdaman ko, unti-unting nagiging dependent mga kapamilya ko sa akin.” He was happy helping, but it didn’t take long for him to realize it was only because he brought home food to eat, not just for himself but for everyone in the house.

“Sa mga pinagdaanan ko sa buhay, tumatak sa isip ko, lahat ng bagay may kapalit. Yung ate ko, pinalaki niya ako, pero gusto niya bayaran ko lahat ng nagastos niya sa akin. Yung tumulong sa akin sa Baguio, lahat ng tulong niya may kapalit. Kinse pa lang ako, ginagamit na niya katawan ko. Kahit mga kapamilya ko, pinatira nila ako sa bahay nila, pero meron ding kapalit.”

Mario continued on telling his story, up to how he has become a boytoy of sorts to the rich, famous, and fabulous, Manila’s gay glitterati. He was almost apologetic when he told me he earns up to 12k a day, just “accompanying” his clients. “Malayo na ang narating ko. Dati ang dungis-dungis ko. Ngayon, kita mo, Migs — ang kinis at amputi ko na di ba? Atsaka marunong na rin akong mag-ayos at magbihis.” He was smiling a naughty smile while he was saying this, and that was when I felt Mario actually had charisma, not just looks. “Kapag umuuwi nga ako ng probinsiya, pakiramdam ko, artista ako. Yung mga kapitbahay ko dati, nagpapakuha sila ng litrato sa akin. Basta maputi, basta taga-Maynila, para sa kanila, importante. Ang hindi nila alam, yung totoong trabaho ko dito. Mga ignorante.”

I sat there, in deep thought, almost hypnotized. His second cigarette was finished, and with the dancing smoke that tapered out of the spent butt, my mind meandered too, pondering on those powerful words, “lahat ng bagay may kapalit.”

Comments (40)

  1. Rommel Mendoze said on 15-11-2012

    😀 😮 😆

  2. hayato said on 22-07-2009

    wow! it is simply true!

  3. macariel said on 27-06-2009

    You know what guys, I agree everything in this world has “kapalit”. But that depneds on what you invest, as they say what sow is what you reap.

  4. Dzien said on 09-06-2009

    Hey Mr. Pilgrim nice story you’ve got.. Full of twist and turns but in the end eh Happy ending, pwedeng pang movie life story mo hehe! If your interested in friendship you can email me at

    Sa panahon ngayon eh wala ng libre.. and kung meron man.. eh I hate free lunch.. kasi gaya ng sabi nga ng ilang commentors eh “Utang na loob” lalo na sa Pinoy culture usong uso yan.

    Im lucky kasi di ko na experience mga ganyang circumstances in life, though nung college I’m away from my parents kasi nasa province sila, so sometimes medyo gipit at times and mahirap ang buhay so naisip ko din mga ganyang bagay.. Actually di naman kami ganun kahirapan, actually napag aral pa nga ko ng parents ko sa Manila sa isang sikat na University pa, yun nga lang di sapat and madalas ay kulang sa allowance. Hirap na hirap ako nun, lagi ako may utang sa mayayaman kung classmates, pati pang date ko eh inuutang ko..

    Gaya din ni Mr. Pilgrim.. madami din nagkaka gusto saken that time kasi may dating daw ako, may mga indecent proposal din akong natanggap usually galing sa mga baklang proffesor like pass na daw nila ko sa subject nila so on and so fourth.. Me being vulnerable eh I sometimes gave in sa temptations…meaning pumapayag ako lumabas minsan and I had a lover na Dr. Now na maganda na estado ng buhay ko ngayon eh never ko yun pinag sisihan. That was my choice and I accepted it. Nakatapos ako ng college and naka pass ng board, naka kuha ako maganda work sa malalaking company sa pinas and now eh Im working abroad. Im happy with my life now.. but there’s no regret.

    To answer the Question kelangan ba lagi may kapalit? then my answer is “yes” Its a give and take relationship yun nga lang in his case and sa maraming nakaka relate eh sad kasi katawan nila kapalit. Kung maganda na buhay mo eh there’s nothing to look back..

    Maganda sana tpoic to sa blog ko kaso.. di pwede haha!

  5. d'pilgrim said on 07-06-2009

    Hey guys this is my first time to drop by here…Im just intrigued by this story and the exchange of opinions…so let me share my bit…when I did my Masters in Europe I had a big argument with my Health economics professor when he proposed that one of the basic truths in economics is that “there is no free lunch”. I was totally flabbergasted for this simply contradicts the basic beliefs I have in life. I believe in charity, in kindness, for being a person for others (Jesuit’s?)….in giving til it hurts. The reason why I opted to work in the slums of Manila for years despite other rosy opportunities dangled in front of me is that I want to give back and practice what I believe in. I experienced so much kindness and I ate a lot of free lunches my whole life that I simply can’t accept it in terms of opportunity cost. I answered my final test arguing this point in an essay turning my economics finals to a philosophy thesis but stil I got the highest mark…again thanks to the kindness of that professor.
    Going back to the story, I dont want to be judgemental but I don’t totally agree with how Mario is living his life. Like him I was born in one of the remotest villages in Mindanao and orphaned at the age of seven. I grew up with my grandparents working in the rice farm since I could remember. I went through a lot of hardships, physical and emotional. I was even molested by an uncle when I was nine. I suffered injustice and discrimination in school for being a poor but proud intillegent student. All these never broke my spirit. Although I did not graduate as valedictorian I got a lot of scholarship offers . Although I passed the scholarship in the most prestigious state university in the country I opted to study in a university run by a liberal order I really admired. In that school I experienced a lot of kindness not only from my teachers and priests but even from strangers….until I finished medical school. AGAIN EVERYTHING WAS GRATIS! I became a doctor without a penny from my family.
    Like Mario I have my share of temptations of trading my soul for a cup of silver. People say I have the looks and charm that makes me lovable..or desirable. I had offers from gays and older women who were willing to pay for everything I need. I have a number of them who scandalized me with suicide attempts and rumors… I am not without stain though…I succumbed twice or thrice but I always get out of the trap in time. I think its my righting reflex. I always look back on what I have been through and tell myself that the journey is much meaningful when you walk honorably. I have been through a lot…I was a skinny filthy boy planting rice in the middle of nowhere who was given the chance to get the best education in the world, shared tables with presidents and dignitaries, admitted in the most prestigious university in the US, ate the most expensive lunch in Paris (also slept in one of the most expensive hotels there)and perhaps travelled halfway the globe for free…but I have never been happier than when I spent years of my life caring for kids with AIDS in Africa. It’s in giving my time and life that I find the greatest pleasure. Compared to my life now in the US with its comforts and utilitarian decadence I feel empty. I am already decided that after my training Im going back to where I shall be needed most.

    Im now halfway in my pilgrimage and I believe I know myself better. I don’t wallow on the pains I went thru. I am a closeted gay who sometimes wonder what would have become of me had I been straight.
    (Maybe I could have been a near perfect specie or maybe a lesser human too)
    But “what ifs” are just vexations to the soul and are
    are useless, they just make us sad. My homosexuality is only part of me I can never change but it’s not the essence or the end of my humanity. we are bigger that our orientations and we can always choose to change the paths we take.
    I strongly believe that it’s very important that we find our passions and hopes whatever we are. as for me my greatest spiritual hope is that when I get to that GREAT SOMEWHERE I will be able to tell my CREATOR that I’ve done my best and gave without asking in return… nagbigay ako na walang kapalit
    …..for I strongly believe that at the end of this journey…it’s between YOU and YOUR GOD!

    • Arthur Gomez said on 17-01-2012

      Ganda naman ng lifestory mo tol…nakaka inspire… sana matupad mo yung pangarap mong magbalik dito… madami kang matutulungang tao tulad ni Mario at patunayan na hindi lahat ng bagay me kapalit.

  6. Echoserita said on 06-06-2009

    hindi naman lahat ng bagay may kapalit. nasa sa tao din yun kung ibibigay niya ang kapalit. at hindi lahat ng tao nanghihingi ng kapalit. gaya ko!


    • Rommel Mendoze said on 15-11-2012

      It’s not kapalit at all it’s so happened na yun lang ang mayrun ka na kaya mung maibigay sa kanya na gusto naman niya………..

  7. Ferdinand Cipriaso said on 04-06-2009

    share ko lng opinion kho. uu tama lahat ng bagay may kapalit pero may ibang tao na nakukuha ito sa mahirap na paraan. ung parang phrase na “hard knock”. ung sa kakaunting effort mas maganda ang nakukuha ung iba kahit todo bigay na kakaramput pa lng ung nakukuha. sa tingin ko malungkot ang story niya at masaya din in the end kac mukhang pumogi siya.hehe.

  8. carl said on 03-06-2009

    Napaka-pessimistic naman ng outlook niya, I totally disagree, coz I believe that the best things in life are free… at least the ones that can truly make you happy, like peace of mind, the thought na wala kang naapakang tao, just to live with a clean conscience is more valuable than anything that money can buy. its sad for him to think na lahat ng bagay may kapalit, material things siguro, but remember, di lang material ang makakapagpaligaya sa tao… If ganun ang outlook niya, I think its gonna be hard for him to find someone who will truly care for him, kasi, kapag may pinakitang maganda sa kanya ang isang tao, he’ll probably think na mayroon ding hinihinging kapalit yun.

  9. dan said on 02-06-2009

    @pinong cruz

    “In reality, yung “walang kapalit” na pagsasama ng 2 lalaki ay one in a million na lang yata”

    if this were the case, i must be very lucky. none of my past relationships [and my current affair] were parasitic nor commensal in nature. each had respect with our own priorities and money was of no issue. if you had read the book The Secret, you may want to try ‘attracting’ the right type of guy and not the one that sucks you financially dry [no pun].

    or you might actually be after straight men. most straight-queer relationships are geared towards gratuitous trades [yes, this includes your indiscretions].

  10. ram said on 02-06-2009

    poignant story. can’t help to ponder: if “lahat ay may kapalit”, ano kaya kapalit ng natatamasa niya ngayon? God has strange ways of teaching us where to go and what to do. just hope destiny is good to him, otherwise…

  11. pinong cruz said on 02-06-2009

    These are words that i hate most kasi yung mga nakasama ko, ito na yata ang motto sa buhay nila. Hanggang kaya mo ibigay ang mga material needs nila, kaya nila palitan ito ng kunwaring pagmamahal at active sex na kailangan nating mga poor gay. In the contrary, pag feeling ko na ayaw ko pagbigyan ang mga hiling ng partner ko, di ko sila ginagalaw o ise-sex. They themselves will not demand for anything. But like a vicious cycle, pagkatapos na magalaw o makasex ko sila, ang dami na nila ulit hinihingi at sinasabing kailangan nila. Nanunumbat pa pag di napagbigyan.

    Sa tingin ko, dahil sa masyado ng materyalistik ang buhay sa mundo, ganito ang tendency ng buhay ng mga taong nagmamahal ng same sex and vise versa. Ang poor gay guy na ang kasalanan lang ay ang magmahal sa same sex ay nagiging taga bigay ng mga bagay na materyal kapalit ng sinasabing mapagkunwaring pagmamahal o pagpapahalaga ng partner nila. Sa kabilang banda, ang partner naman ay tumatanggap ng mga bagay ayun sa mga hiling nya at pangangailangan nyang materyal. Ang irony ng “lahat may kapalit” na pagsasama, ang poor gay ay nag iilusyon na mahal sya ng kanyang partner. The feeling of being loved by the partner is very intense while he is still capable of providing the needs of his partner. The drama continues while the partner reciprocates base on the material things and emotional concerns that the poor gay guy are providing to the partner. The sad moment is – when time comes that the poor gay is not anymore capable of providing the material needs of the partner, the expected love and concerns from the guy partner is diminished or gone. The poor gay guy is only left with sweet memories while the guy partner is busy with his own concerns or busy with another new partner na makapagbibigay ng material needs nya.

    In reality, yung “walang kapalit” na pagsasama ng 2 lalaki ay one in a million na lang yata. Swerte ang mga magpartners na ganito ang sitwasyon. As for me, sorry for myself coz I am still longing for someone na hindi hihingi ng kapalit sa lahat ng pagmamahal at suporta na kaya ko ibigay. Yung mamahalin ka nya dahil hindi dahil sa mga pera at material na bagay na kaya ko ibigay. Yung ise-sex ka dahil bibigyan mo sya ng pera. Sana, makita ko na yung guy na sasamahan ka at pakikisamahan ka dahil the feelings are mutual. Dahil sa mahal namin ang isa’ isa.

    Kudos sa yo Migz…. Wishing you good life,, God Bless.

  12. dan said on 01-06-2009

    its a sad reality in our country. people leech their way through life. given any family, you will see at least 1 working member and the rest are empty cadavers waiting for the next meal to arrive.

  13. binoj said on 01-06-2009

    lahat naman nang ginagaw natin dahil sa pag asam na guminhawa ang buhay natin, kahit sa anong paraan basta lang marating o makuha natin ang ninanais natin, pero nakukuha ba natin talaga ang gusto natin? Anu man ang ginagawa natin sana piliin natin yung talagang nakakapasaya di lang ating katawan at isipan kundi nang buong pagkatao natin! Ang kahirapan naman talagang anjan nayan, anu pa ang buhay kung wala nyan!

  14. jed said on 01-06-2009

    exactly…i do believe on that same idea…

    anyways, does anyone here visit F regularly? please contact me at this number 09212975843…let’s meet there!

  15. dan said on 01-06-2009

    react lang ako sa first comment.

    para sakin, hango sa pagmamahal at responsibilidad ng mga magulang ang pagpapalaki sa mga anak. masayang makita ang mga anak mo na may napag aralan at balang araw ay kayang tumayo at mabuhay ng kanya. kung naging magulang ka na, sapat na dahilan na yon para palakihin at pag aralin mo ang anak mo at alam mong nagawa mo ang lahat ng makakaya mo para mabigyan sya ng magandang buhay.

    bilang isang matinong mamamayan, magbibigay buhay ka sa anak mo hindi dahil hihingin mo sa kanila ang iyong mga nagastos sa pagpapalaki o dahil maioobliga mo ang mga anak mo upang maiahon ang pamilya nyo sa kahirapan kungdi dahil isa kang responsable at mapagmahal na magulang. magaalaga at mag aaruga ka ng iyong mga anak nang walang hinihinging kapalit. iyon ang tunay na pagmamahal.

  16. Paul de la Cruz said on 01-06-2009

    i agree. can’t wait to get off this train of life.

  17. Little Fish said on 30-05-2009

    ms u guys…..
    polarity of things…..
    best thing to do, pay it forward(movie pa un?)

    basta, life is beautiful and amazingly awesome kc daming men katulad mo….maputi at makinis, hoping mabango ka rin.

  18. psycho said on 29-05-2009

    Ako po hindi talaga bilib sa kanya. He’s smart Oo. As if he is saying he looks good so sabihin na nating pogi sya, pero it’s not enough to end up hustling.

    Actually, bahag ang buntot niya. Pasensya po a pero ang tingin ko sa kanya is katulad nung ibang ang lalake naman ng katawan pero ginagamit ang kahinaan ng iba para kumita — in short, not honorable…

    Sorry talaga, I’m disgusted with the way this guy thinks. Kagaya ng una kong post, ang agree lang ako dito is that you can never trust somebody enough to give your life, kahit kapamilya/kapuso/kabarkada mo.

    maccallister wrote on 28. May 2009
    this is sad but true…

    bilib ako sa diskarte nya sa buhay ha,pero di pa din masasabi na sucessful siya sa buhay kasi nga,anung klase ba yun work nya…pero kelangan nya gawin to survive and easy money to e…

  19. Leo said on 29-05-2009

    as they say, “it is only in giving where you receive.” but you shouldn’t be expecting when you give out. you just have to realize when to stop. sad to say our culture dictates that children, once they earn money, should help their parents or siblings. if you live with relatives, you should do the same. which actually proves the point – lahat ng bagay, may kapalit. but when we think about that always, the more that we end up being selfish because you expect something in return all the time.

  20. Echosera said on 28-05-2009

    Knight in shining armor? Hindi knight in shining armor ang maitatawag dun…kung mahal mo at concern ka sa isang tao na gusto mong tulungan dapat walang kapalit. Ang pagmamahal ay hindi nabibili or dapat may kapalit. Ito ay kusang binibigay sa taong mahal mo at concern ka talaga dahil gusto mong tumulong. Yan ang kulang sa mundong ito. ang tunay na pagmamahal. chos!

    Ngunit trulili kaya pag isipang mabuti.

  21. maccallister said on 28-05-2009

    this is sad but true…

    bilib ako sa diskarte nya sa buhay ha,pero di pa din masasabi na sucessful siya sa buhay kasi nga,anung klase ba yun work nya…pero kelangan nya gawin to survive and easy money to e…

  22. Denx said on 28-05-2009

    yup in this frigid world, everyone asks for security and they hypothesize that money can give them that. It’s all about what you gain in return. But no matter how much you’ve gained at your last breathe you lost em all… all those magnificent things money can give. gone. so then again “What did you gain in return?”

  23. psyched awt said on 27-05-2009

    mapapaisip ka talaga sa mga salitang yan… lahat ng ba? pero its good news na din… siguro yan na ang sasagot sa unreciprocated love… sana nga lahat ng bagay magkaroon ng kapalit…

  24. pj said on 27-05-2009

    totoo lahat ng bagay ay may kapalit…..
    kung ako sa kanya magtayo xia ng negosyo nya…….
    mayaman na xia kamo sabi nya…….
    world peace☺………

  25. Cindychen said on 27-05-2009

    Wala ng libre dito sa mundöng ito…

  26. ian said on 27-05-2009

    para mo na ring sinabi na “walang libre sa mundo” lahat dapat mong paghirapan……

    materyal na bagay man o katawan, o pagmamahal…..

    nararapat lamang na suklian….

  27. Curious said on 27-05-2009

    Something stirred in me while reading this post. It is a story of compromise, sacrifice, loss, and triumph. This is no different than the lives that we live everyday, though in a different context. The human spirit is very resilient but scars do form. These scars remind us that life is really a struggle…one needs to survive. This story also challenges my conceptions of kindness and love. How do you expect someone to love after living through this hell? There is a Mario in all of us…

  28. Rapidfire said on 27-05-2009

    Karma ky katrina un lng. .anywayz. .kpatid b ni aling dionezia ung nanay ni hayden camera kho?parang mgkmukha n kc cla. .lolz. .todo sa botockz. .

  29. no_b_llsh_t said on 26-05-2009

    Ano number ni Mario? =P

    so lumalabas ayaw nyang mag share ng kinikita nya.. gusto nya tinutulungan sya o nakikitira sya sa bahay ng iba ng wala syang inaabot na tulong.. ganon ba? hmm.. baka naman masyado extreme yung sinabi ko .. pero the way i see it, in a way, isang psychological effect sa kanya would be the “every man for himself” attitude.. siguro nga kasi from a young age ganon na ang naranasan nya.. so he may be a victim but he’s not necessarily a hero either

    haba naman ng sinulat ko

  30. teeguzzin said on 26-05-2009

    I can understand his cynicism, but I pity him for not allowing himself of love (esp.from his sister). Ganoon naman diba, kung tinulungan ka ng ate mo, mano na rin yung tumulong ka rin. Pero siyempre, di naman kailang sentimo por sentimo ibabalik mo sa kanya.

    Anyhow, wish ko pa rin sa kanya na makatagpo siya ng talagang magmamahal at magpapahalaga sa kanya. Good luck.

  31. weng said on 26-05-2009

    what I believe is this, we don’t expect that the same person we helped will pay us back, but in many ways and time we received favors from others. this i think is the truth of gift and love

  32. anthony said on 26-05-2009

    hapy ako hindi ganun sister ko.

    ni minsan hindi ko naisip yan, lahat ng bagay may kapalit… siguro i was raised, full of loved..
    at the end of the day, swerte ang iba saatin…

    TIT for that. 🙂

  33. butterflyrhai said on 26-05-2009

    good for him, the sad part is he felt used and abused, lahat ng bagay me kapalit, so true, but on the other side, at this point in his life, wuld he also be for free or just for love and friendship? what has been broken can never be whole again…it can be mended but still broken…

  34. ric said on 26-05-2009

    I do believe in it. Lahat ay may kapalit. whether we like it or not. Sometimes it is money or utang na loob or love and even our own salvation. Hindi ba dapat lang ganoon? Actually putting it positively, it is the law of karma and the golden rule.We make our choices and we harvest what we plant. This is justice. What comes after this is already charity – the reason why we do good things more that we are expected to give. In my experiences sa relatives or in any other relationships, yes, sometimes PLAK (pera lang ang kapalit) ang kalakaran but there are other good things out there. In spite of this very negative aspect of life, I hope Mario sees the other way around. We cannot have everything in this world – including true and everlasting love. No such thing in this world, whether straight or gay ( especially gay! ) for the very world we live in, does not give us this opportunity. What we can do is just to have PEACE in ourselves and this can give us enough happiness as we trod the paths we travel.

  35. Psycho said on 26-05-2009

    It’s a fact na kung sino pa yung kapamilya mo o kabansa mo, sila pa maglulugmok sayo sa kamalasan.

    Madiskarte s’ya though, good for him…

    Ang hindi ko lang maisip, karamihan ba talaga sa mga pinoy tamad?

    kasi karamihan imbes na magbanat ng buto at humanap ng tunay na trabaho, they tend to look for an easy way out. Pagkatapos sisisihin ang iba sa kamalasan nila o kaya kahirapan (which is somehow a b*** s*** reason). Kagaya nito, pwede niya naman tinapos muna yung high school bago umalis sa puder ng ate n’ya. Napagtiisan nga n’ya ng ilang taon e, what’s two or three more years? Matalino naman siya…

    Nasasabi ko ‘to kasi I’ve experienced the same thing. Hindi nga lang ako kasing hina ng luob ng lalakeng ‘to. I’m now happy being a lawyer, with my own house and my own car.

    Kaya hindi ako naaawa sa kanya e… sorry if you guys don’t buy my opinion… 🙂

  36. InnocentB said on 26-05-2009

    I believe that “lahat ng bagay ay may kapalit” but sorry to digagree with “lahat ng bagay na binigay, dapat palitan”. Well, I’m just glad I have sisters that love me unconditionally. If he really have such money, why do not just stop and have a business instead. I think he’s intelligent naman. I wish him happiness na lang siguro pero bago sya umalis sa trabaho nya, wait for me muna.hehehe

  37. dennis said on 26-05-2009

    tawa nmn ako dun.. makinis at maputi it means yumaman at umunlad na…
    sad to say minsan mga kapamilya natin at kamaganak pera pera na lang.. mas mataas ang tingin nila pagmaypera ka pag wala edi wala.

  38. bC said on 26-05-2009

    too dark, too cynical. and the story’s not fleshed out for me to understand the cynicism and jaded tone. i mean, just because the sister accounted all the expenses doesn’t mean he had to return all she was doing. and isn’t that just a fair expectation?

    parents invest in their children fully expecting their children to lift them out of poverty or help them retire in their golden years.

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