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Join us at This is Me: Brave and Free – the first multi-site HIV testing day launching on May 26, 2018. Get to know your status with the fast, free, and confidential community-based HIV screening process.

Go to https://bitly.com/ThisIsMe2018 to sign up and you’ll receive a confirmation notice in a few days!

Testing sites: Mabalacat (Pampanga), Mandaluyong, Taguig, Quezon City, Pasay, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Puerto Princesa

Are you a single guy? And you kinda wanna meet other single guys?

“Dating Dudes” is an event co-organized by LoveYourself. Its goal is to have meaningful conversations on topics that are interesting, fun, and engaging, with other guys. It is a by-invitation event on May 12, Saturday, at an undisclosed venue in Cebu City. If you are interested to join, please register at http://go.loveyourself.ph/ddcebu to receive an invite

You are not alone.

Discreet men, you are not alone. There are others like you. Would you like to meet some of them in a safe and affirming space? Register now for there are only a few slots left: http://go.loveyourself.ph/dm1111

November 11, 2017 — would you like to meet other guys who are also discreet?
A one-of-a-kind wholesome group meet-up for discreet men. On Saturday evening, discreet venue in Mandaluyong. P300 door fee, includes food and drinks. Selected participants shall be sent invites and venue details. Limited slots.

Register to get an invite: https://goo.gl/forms/6Q6DM4AJwQSNu3hb2

BJ Pascual

Fourteen (14) gorgeous bachelors, including celebrity photographer BJ Pascual and TV chef Jeremy Favia, will be auctioned off for a date at the LoveYourself’s “Cherry Poppin’: The 3rd Party” to be held on 25 February at the One Canvas Events Place, 2235 Don Chino Roces Ave., San Lorenzo, Makati City.

Cherry Poppin’ is an annual fundraising activity through a betting-dating game party, which is on its third year now.

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caredivas peta

CARE DIVAS is back!

For inquiries and reservations, please contact:
0917-840-0943 • 0917-795-3398
0915-127-5931 • 0977-386-1781
caredivas@loveyourself.ph

AREA — TICKET PRICE
VIP (Elevated seats) — 1,800.00
Orchestra Center — 1,500.00
Orchestra Sides — 1,200.00
Balcony Center — 1,500.00
Balcony Sides — 800.00

“Care Divas” is a disarmingly funny and candid musical drama about five transgender women, all overseas Filipino workers in Israel, who work as care givers in the morning and transform into glamorous drag queen performers come night fall. While desperate to make ends meet in another country, they also struggle to search for freedom and acceptance in a foreign land.

The play’s theatrical and wickedly funny text, written by award-winning playwright, Liza Magtoto cradles lovely, gentle moments that mull over the lives of the main characters: the kind and loving Chelsea, the often-sarcastic group leader Shai, the ditsy Thalia, the bubbly Kayla and the ill-tempered Jonee.

Through the telling of the individual characters’ stories, as well as their narrative as a group, the audience learns about the humanity of transgender women, their hopes and dreams, their weaknesses and strengths, their struggles and victories. Through “Care Divas” it is hoped that we are able to advocate acceptance and support of LGBTs, by non-LGBTs, by those from within the community, and most especially that acceptance and self-respect that can only come from the self.

“Care Divas” gathered six major awards in the 2011 PHILSTAGE Gawad Buhay awards: Outstanding Musical Production

Outstanding Ensemble Performance for a Musical
Outstanding Original Libretto
Outstanding Musical Direction
Outstanding Choreography
Outstanding Male Lead Performance in a Musical

LoveYourself will be staging the musical play both as an educational intervention and a fundraising charity show on February 5, 2017 at 3:00 PM, PETA Theater in Quezon City. 100% of the profits will support LoveYourself’s HIV education, testing and treatment services, all given for free.

For inquiries and reservations, please contact:
0917-840-0943 • 0917-795-3398
0915-127-5931 • 0977-386-1781
caredivas@loveyourself.ph

AREA — TICKET PRICE
VIP (Elevated seats) — 1,800.00
Orchestra Center — 1,500.00
Orchestra Sides — 1,200.00
Balcony Center — 1,500.00
Balcony Sides — 800.00

MensRetreat

Much has changed and we now see better acceptance of gay, bisexual, and questioning men in the Philippine urban society. Despite this, many of us still feel the need to hide parts of who we truly are. With a great (but many times unconscious) desire to conform to what we think others expect of us, we follow paths that inadvertently disconnect us from the authentic yearnings of our core. This oftentimes translates to inexplicable feelings of emptiness or being stuck, perennial thoughts of being in the wrong job or wrong career path, or recurring experiences of failed relationships.

The Men’s Retreat, through a set of non-religious activities and lecturettes done within a weekend, will use the power of self-awareness and community to enable you to appreciate where you are in your current life, identify limiting beliefs and behaviors, and chart a new and more core-connected way forward.

Enjoy the weekend at a hilltop retreat house just half-an-hour away from Ortigas, in a safe and affirming space designed for insightful introspection. Join the Men’s Retreat and start your journey to authentic and wholehearted living.

Workshop fee (inclusive of overnight board and lodging) – P3,500

Early-bird discount of P500 for those who register and pay on or before May 2.

Register here – go.loveyourself.ph/mensretreat

For questions, you may email mensretreat@loveyourself.ph

It starts like a painless prick in the mind — HIV? Me? Nah.

Then after a while, you remember those crazy times in the past. Yeah, you think, crazy but not too crazy as to put me at risk. Besides, the probability of getting it is too low. Malinis naman sila, I’m sure. You continue to attempt convincing yourself.

Time pass and you’re mostly successful in keeping those HIV thoughts at bay. Yet there were times, admit it, that the prick in the mind becomes a bit more intense. Did I really do it bareback? Can’t remember na. May condom naman yata. Yata? Shit, can’t remember na talaga.

Now it’s selective memory lapse. You think you were safe naman, most of the time, at the least. But you can’t seem to get the doubt off your mind. Suddenly, you don’t know, it is not clear if you really were safe.

Everytime you see those three letters HIV, there’s a slight skip in your heartbeat, a little lump in your throat forming. I think I have it. Maybe I have it. What if I have it?

It’s a creepy little bastard, because like a thief in the night, it blindsides you: you have started to trim your life plans and water down your dreams to accommodate the assumption that, maybe, you think, you feel, you have it. It’s a painless thought at first, a dull feeling after a while, but the longer you stay in the dark, the heavier it feels.

You busy yourself with stuff, with work, with parties, with anything that can fill your mind and keep it from focusing on HIV. Fuck that blog, now the only thing it talks about is HIV. You distract yourself to the hilt only to find a big white snorting elephant stuck in the meandering grooves of your brain. HIV, HIV, HIV, fuck.

You search online for symptoms. Fever, flu-like symptoms, rashes, diarrhea, but not for all, sometimes none at all. Symptoms only when it has advanced to AIDS, when the body has given up, when the virus has totally taken over. Scary shit. You slam a closed fist on the table, why wasn’t I careful kasi.

You consider getting yourself tested. You’re scared like a little kid about to get spanked, closing your eyes before you hear the leather belt whip and welt your skin.

You realize there is really no way out but through. If I don’t have HIV and I’m suffering this way, fuck, I’m such a worry wart punishing myself for nothing. If I do have HIV and I’m standing here doing nothing about it, then I’m really just letting this foul-smelling fear immobilize me. Like committing the most gradual suicide by slicing myself up part-by-little-part.

Part of you triumphs saying, it’s time. It’s time to unload the baggage. It’s time to use this energy, now in the form of fear, to propel myself forward. It’s time that I face that fear, ready to battle it tooth and nail.

* * *

Have you been thinking of getting tested? Perhaps you are not ready yet for testing but you want to talk to someone about it? Here’s the event for you. First, you will find here friendly, professional, and well-trained HIV educators and counselors. And, secondly, the event is scheduled on a Sunday! And very importantly, it will be held in a private (not in a government clinic) and discreet location, for your own privacy and convenience.

What: HIV Confidential Counseling and Testing – it’s FREE! No charge!
When: Sunday, 11 December 2011 (10am to 4pm)
Where: Playroom – 35 West Avenue, Quezon City

I came back from my what-seemed-like-an-eternity business trip on Monday, 3.30 AM. One of the things that I was so looking forward to was my first-ever “Synchronicity and Serendipity” meet up with a randomly chosen group of MGG readers. I emailed them this letter:

Hey guys! I am back in Manila, from my European-North American business trip. Whew. So glad to be back. And, so excited and looking forward to Saturday. I will send you a text message on your phone on the exact venue. For now, I’d like you to start thinking about how you think this serendipitous meeting will be like, how you are feeling now, how you want others to be when we all meet up… let me know your thoughts. Migs

Let’s eavesdrop on their anonymized responses.

handshake

* * *

Hello, Migs.

I opened your email in the office, but since i wanted to give my reply some serious thought, i decided to wait till i got home to do it.

I’ve kept the words synchronicity and serendipity (which hereon shall be referred to as S&S) on minimize in my head ever since i got your first email, hoping to come to some brilliant revelation that i could share with the group.

I’ve got nothing so far. Hahaha

But it has forced me to examine my belief system. In Filipino, most people would welcome S&S moments with “Buti na lang!,” implying that luck had something to do with it. But i feel that attributing such a beautifully designed orchestration of events to mere chance takes away from the elegance of Fate. That everything happens for a reason. And, maybe, when we don’t see that reason sometimes, we just didn’t look hard enough.

Then I start challenging that thesis. Maybe Chance is Fate, and that it’s that randomness, in fact, that makes life so interesting! And even if things don’t need to happen for a reason, it is up to us to find a gem of growth from any experience–the very essence of the Life experience! In fact, taking a religious perspective–which i so rarely do–Chance seems more consistent with the concept of having free will.

So, I’m torn. And no epiphanies so far. But it is pretty heavy shit to think about.

Sorry for sharing before the meeting, but i was afraid i would never have been able to verbally phrase my thoughts as eloquently. I at least wanted you to know what i was thinking.

Actually, my thoughts have been off-topic. They’re not S&S, but chance and fate. Kasi i’ve never really distinguished between the two before. So i’m still trying to look back and see how they’ve played in my life.

As regards your questions:

“how are you feeling now?”

“could you repeat the question, please?”

“how are you feeling now?”

“I don’t feel any pressure right now.”

“how [do] you want others to be when we all meet up?”

“not sure what kind of reply you want for this one. it’s open to a lot of funny comebacks, but i just want everyone to be himself. as i will be, as i hope you will, too.”

Tapos na interview portion.

Can we go to some place that offers something wider than just coffee? Para mas random naman ang choice ko of beverage…but I’m aiming for beer. If no drinking allowed, no prob.

Time to go. See you soon.

– N.

* * *

migs, i couldnt agree more..

i am excited too, its like the gifts we have under the tree.. which we cant open till christmas day. you keep on staring at it.. shake it a bit.. thinking about it the whole day.. the agony. the excitement.. but you know deep inside its worth the wait..

iv always been the kind of person who would do anything just to be ahead of whats to come.. be in the know of the ending of a movie before i would even sit infront of it. yeah it kills the surprise, or the thrill.. but at least iv come prepared of wat to expect.. but this time.. id like to change that part of me. just try to have an open mind.. go with the flow thing.. make it as random of a meet up as possible. for once id like to try surprise a chance.. or maybe.. give chance a chance.

im excited.. half of me is in manila already.

– B. (flying in from USA a day before the meet up)

* * *

pasalubong!, hope for the flowers would do.

i’m really excited, i don’t find the meeting serendipitous but the way the 5 people were chosen was just amazing (thank you randomizer.org or “universe”)

i really hope i could contribute some insights in the meeting (baka may super trouper eager beaver, hahahaha)

i don’t have any idea how the meeting would go, probably because this is my first time to meet up with five complete strangers (and i hope these people are really strangers to me)

all i hope is that as we travel to the meeting place, we could set aside our own prejudices, prejudgments, stereotypes and have an open mind on the discussion, i don’t want it to be a war/debate kind of thing but more of collaboration of ideas of anything under the sun

we are to meet to make acquaintances or probably friends but definitely not enemies

i really really excited! actually, im still going even though i have a long exam on monday! its because the universe has randomly chosen these five people (myself included) to meet, sana wala pang nagbaback-out dun sa five.

and please, don’t let my excitement go to waste, sana lang hindi boring yung meeting!

p/s how long would the meeting last? or it actually depends on us?
will you voice record the meeting (just like your podcasts)?

p/s/s
belated happy anniversary to your blog !!!
and advance happy birthday to us !!!

– W.

* * *

cool,hope you had a great trip. well i just think it’s a very intellectualized discussion about facts, ideals, philosophies, principles and perspectives not on just being gay but being gay in a modern world. and of course some etceteras.hehe…

– P.

* * *

Hi!!

First of, welcome back to PI Migs!

I AM K. and I ain’t Janina San Miguel, who “doesn’t feel any pressure right now”. I am so freakin nervous and immediately felt the pressure the moment I received your first ever email confirming that I will be one of the five guys.

This is very exciting, yet alarming (for me). Exciting, because I’m about to meet 5 unknown guys and MGG. I’m so happy that I’m about to meet people whom “somehow” shares the same sentiments, problems, ideas, preferences and dreams. Alarming, because I really don’t know what to expect. Afraid, because of a possible rejection. I just hope that all of them (including Migs) will be my friends after this meet-up. And since MGG (which stands for Manila Gay Guy) is the one responsible in making this meet up a possible one, I’ll call this group as MGG as well, with different meaning though, its “Manila Gay Gang” (kaso parang masyadong gayish??)! Lol… Parang Gucci Gang lang.

Wait lang, pwede ba mag tagalog, I’m bleeding all through out! haha.. Sana yung flow ng conversation eh parang matatagal na na magkakakilala, wag naman masyado seryoso (baka kase mamatay ako), sana mejo masaya, may mga kulitan, jokes, at kunting sapakan to add some spice (joke lang)… At first syempre lahat kinakabahan, pero sana after some minutes, comfortable na lahat. At sana, wala masyado mag expect na GWAPO lahat ang pupunta sa meet up na to. Kase I’m not. Alam mo naman sa mundo natin, we all look at the looks kaagad. And I hope that all of the participants’ main objective is to gain friends. Ganun naman kase dapat talaga.

Thanks!

– K.

* * *

There you have it, responses from our S&S participants. I am so excited to meet them and see what the Universe is up to this time. What do you think?

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