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For the rest of the stash, proceed to Miong’s.

It was June of 2011, a friend invited me to a birthday dinner somewhere in Greenhills, in a nice Thai restaurant owned and operated by a gay couple named James and James. There I met several interesting people, mostly gay men, mostly members of the alta gays, as in alta sociedad (spoken with the obligatory lisp). But in the middle of all the chi-chi stuff going on, I noticed a very different species floating around, beckling beki of bekilandia proportions. His name, I would later find out, was Vinn Pagtakhan.

More than a birthday dinner, it was actually some sort of a meeting to discuss a new, emerging group that wanted to organize a community of volunteers to arrest the silent yet mind-blowing growth of HIV prevalence among young, gay and bisexual men in the country. I was there because I was personally very concerned. Earlier that month I had my very first HIV test, and while the result was negative (surprisingly!) I regardlessly broke down in front of my nurse-counselor. Why? Earlier that year, I’ve had 4 friends mysteriously and suddenly dying one after the other, dropping like flies. One day they were partying with me, the next I was in black attending their funeral. By the end of 2011, I had a total of 8 friends who died in much the same mysterious way. The whole thing was gradually but surely shaking me to the core.

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Here’s an article by Justin Huang, who in his blog describes himself this way: “I am 25, Asian, male, gay, overly cocky, popular, insecure, shy, gassy, loudmouthed, promiscuous, guilt-ridden, nonjudgmental, hardworking, goofy, dead serious… I’m a film editor and a personal fitness trainer in Los Angeles, both of which mean I sit in coffeeshops and gyms a lot trying to look cute.

* * *

“You’re ugly.”

Those words have been said directly to me many times in my life.

I won’t specify the times I’ve heard others use it, but I hear it on a common basis, especially in the gay community. I used to run with a couple of WeHo boys who regularly tossed it out like daggers to describe complete strangers. When I called them out, when I said that it was unnecessary, that it didn’t make us any prettier, they’d scoff at me. “You were thinking it, too,” they’d always say.

That doesn’t even begin to describe what goes on in my head when I hear that word.

And when I came out, there was no parade celebrating my diverseness. Instead, I entered a subculture that strove even harder to fit in. When a group of individuals grows up with a perpetual reinforcement that we are subhuman, that our emotions are inferior, that our love is dirty, how can you blame us for this? The Adonis factor is not narcissism. It’s self-defense.

I worked so hard to hear that I was attractive. I had something to prove, that I was no longer that sad, effeminate boy doggy-paddling at the shallow end of the pool. So I hit the gym and sculpted my body from obesity to lean muscle. So I built a persona of hypersexual confidence and took an obscene pleasure in breaking hearts. So I went through long periods of promiscuity and drug use when I used my sexuality as validation: “If you fuck me, I exist.”

And I was miserable.

(Read the full article here.)

Thanks to the boys of Bay Leaf Spa for providing a titillating and super-daring sensual massage demo at the Love Yourself Hub last Sunday! Everyone was dumbfounded with the demo!

The 3 cutest guys in the pic above are Joko, Louie, and Ivan. Hihihi.

For inquiries about Bay Leaf Spa’s services (including their famous “Signature Massage” or “Sigma”) please call (02) 624-9716, 0917-844-0488. For home/hotel service, call 0915-420-8752.

Featuring one of the most successful CEOs in the country today (Mr. Corporate Closet), here’s an event discussing how to succeed in the corporate world, exclusively for “People Like Us” — register here:

More on Paulo Avelino: click here.

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Hello, Mr. M146. Minus 3, yun ang message ko sa iyo. 1-4-3! Nagmamahal, Migs the Manila Gay Guy (nangangatal sa pagmamahal – charot.)

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UP NEXT at the Love Yourself Hub (Malate, Manila): “Massage for Pleasure” — learn the art of sensual massage, featuring live massage demonstration by masseurs of Bay Leaf Spa. Sunday, July 29, 2012, 6 PM, donation of P200 will be used for the upkeep of the venue and in support of the Love Yourself Project.

For priority slots, register at