Read below and tell us what you think —
Read below and tell us what you think —
First there were secrets — secrets just like yours. Now, it’s time for revelations — confessions. Watch, and feel the exhilaration of secrets confessed out in the open. Brave individuals, taking their brave step out of the shadows. Come listen to real people share their real stories.
Be part of the journey of this diverse group of individuals who dared to discover themselves â€“ reliving their past, facing their fears, and relishing the present. Share in their new-found freedom to express themselves in a night like no other. LoveYourself CafÃ© Confessions features real stories from real people â€“ Lui, Gimo, Ivy, Buboy, Ryan, Mark, Dex, JV & Niknok â€“ shared by themselves, no holds barred.
It has been an interesting few weeks under the guidance of Rep Philsâ€™ youngest director, Topper Fabregas, and LoveYourselfâ€™s own Kuya Law, that this odd bunch have shared the gift of being able to discover together and express themselves. Join them this Saturday as they pass on that gift to as they dare to care and share part of themselves with others.
Join us in a special public show performed by the workshop participants to be held on Saturday, Nov. 10 at the La Maison Rada Condominium Roofdeck, 115 Rada St., Legaspi Village, Makati City.
Event map here: http://bit.ly/RDz8RA
Organizers will be asking for a PhP500 donation at the door to help cover for the workshop expenses. Proceeds will support future projects of Love Yourself.
Strip and shed off your inhibitions. Top, bottom, or versa — whatever you are, you have a place here, you are welcome here. Come, a screening exclusively for boys (like us). Friday after office, on Nov. 23. Register to know the discreet details: http://tinyurl.com/makatiSEB
Free, discreet, and confidential HIV testing for People Like Us in Guadalupe, Cebu City. This Sunday, Nov. 4, 12 NN to 5 PM. This is being organized by Love Yourself Cebu. For details please text 0915-750-1000.
hi there Migs!
I’ve been an avid reader of your blog ever since you started writing about HIV Awareness. I’m a fan actually of how you made it into a personal advocacy of yours to ensure that PLUs are given the right information when it comes to this condition. I dont know if you’ll take interest in my story but I’d like to share it anyway, in the hope that maybe I would find a confidant or a support group that will help me through this ordeal, however trivial it maybe. And who knows, I might be an advocate myself.
Very recently, I was subject to my very first HIV scare, you see, I’ve always been reading your blog but I never really got the urge to do it myself. I was like an audience on the sidelines waiting for my turn on the spotlight, and just a week ago, I had to face the truth. It was through your blog that I found my way through one of the testing centers in Manila, RITM. If not for your blog, I wouldn’t have made it there. The group who accommodated me were very nice, I felt no judgement in that room although there were a couple of people who were having their tests done as well.
My peer counselor, Joseph, was kind enough to walk me through the process. I felt a sigh of relief being able to talk to someone about it without the unintended and unsolicited judgment that I didnt need at such a desolate time.
The test was quick and it was a breeze, it didnt feel like an hour of waiting because I had something to keep my mind preoccupied. But as the time came, I felt that sudden urge to break down. but as I said to my counselor, this is the first time I’m going to be tested for HIV, the first time I ever subjected myself to unprotected sex and the last time, if indeed the results come out positive that I will be having this moment.
Minsan nakapanlulumo rin. Well, choice ko naman kasi ito, but still, it doesn’t take away the fact that I feel like this right now. To regularly stay at the darker folds of the rainbow, it can wear you down, it wears me down.
Almost every weekend, I spend volunteer time sa isang HIV testing clinic. Halos walang mintis I get clients na who turn out to be positive sa HIV. It’s my job to ensure that at that moment they get to know about their status, they have someone to talk to, they are supported with the right information, the right next steps to take, etc. etc. There were quite a few times when my poz clients would instantly break down. Understandable naman. Bilang HIV is, ika nga, a lifetime achievement award. Tattoo sa dugo, walang erase-erase. Habambuhay nilang dala-dala ang katotohanang sila ay may HIV. On the one hand, it’s not all that bad, many of my poz friends lead normal, happy lives. On the other hand though, of course, it’s not the same as when you’re HIV-free. They got to deal with so much — the meds, its effects, the adjustments in lifestyle, the stigma, the major secret, the fear of being rejected, the guilt, etc. Sa madaling salita, mahirap talaga kapag may HIV.
One time, pagkatapos ng isang mahaba-habang conversation, matapos makauwi ng aking kliyente, nakatanggap ako ng text mula sa kanya.
“Salamat ha, Migs. I think this is going to be a tough battle pero kakayanin ko ito. I’m a strong person.”
“Yes, of course kaya iyan. Basta if you need someone to talk to, just let me know, ok?”
“Salamat. I really appreciate being able to talk to you. Salamat talaga. Kaya pramis kapag namatay ako, dadalawin kita.”
Yes, some of my clients have a demented sense of humor. But I guess okay na rin iyon. Ganyan naman talaga tayong mga bakla, one of our best armors is humor.
Another text conversation with another newly diagnosed PLHIV (person living with HIV) client:
“Hey Migs. Just got home from the treatment hub, had my baseline and TB tests.”
“Hey hey. Good good. O, kamusta?”
“Ayun, may TB pala ako. And since my CD4 is 148, safe to say I would have died next year had I not seen your blog. Lovely.”
So, yeah, this guy is kind of saying, “it’s tragic, but thanks.” At least that’s how I interpret it. May sarcasm na halong gratitude na halong ewan. But basically, as I always say, knowing your HIV status is still the best place to be. It may be tragic, dramatic, or whatever way you want to call it, but it still is where you have the best control of the situation. Those who have died too soon mostly knew their status too late, or never even.
Admittedly this being at the darker folds of the rainbow comes with sparks of light and bright. Andiyan ang realization na kahit papaano, nakakatulong ka. Kahit papaano, may kabuluhan ang presensiya mo sa mundong ibabaw, para nang sa gayon, kapag pumailalim ka na (sa mundong ibabaw), masasabi rin namang may nagawa kang kabutihan. Pero more than this, ang napansin ko lang ay ganito. Sa araw-araw na dumaraan, bagaman pagod at pagal sa trabaho at adbokasiya, maraming beses na hindi ko mawari kung bakit may nararamdaman akong kakaibang kaluwagan at kaginhawahan sa aking dibdib. Naisip ko, ito siguro yung tinatawag na grasya. Biyayang kahit narito ka pa man din sa lupa ay may katiting na langit nang nakasilid sa iyong kalooban.
At sa araw-araw na pa-slide-slide ko sa rainbow, sa panaka-nakang pagsiksik ko sa darker folds nito, halong maigting na pasasalamat at taimtim na panalangin ang bulong ko — sana, ikaw na nagbabasa nito, alagaan mo ang sarili mo. May nagmamahal sa iyo, at bagama’t hindi pa tayo magkakilala, asahan mong isa ako rito.
Love yourself dude,
Makati SEB (Screening Exclusively for Boys) — Free & confidential HIV screening at the heart of the Makati Business District, on Friday, Nov. 23, 2012, 5 PM to 2 AM. To pre-register and receive details on the discreet venue, pls go to http://tinyurl.com/makatiSEB (This event is part of Love Yourself’s HIV Triduum Event in preparation for the celebration of World AIDS Day 2012.)
Hello, MGG readers. Are you in Davao? Due to the delirious success of Love Yourself in Cebu, we are contemplating on expanding further, this time in DAVAO! Anyone here in Davao? Please message me. I will meet you guys in person soon and explore the possibility of expanding the great work we do in Davao. Message me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Magandang araw sa iyu Migs. Mag aapat na taon na mula ng matuklasan ko ang site mo. Magmula noon ay naging masugid mo na akong tagapagsubaybay. Excited ako sa tuwing may bago kang post. Lagi akong nag aabang.
Maswerte ako na minsan sa aking buhay nameet kita in person..Lamang ko iyun ikumpara sa mga avid followers mo na nghahangad ang makita ka at makilala ka personal.
Nung minsang ikay nagpunta ng Cebu..2010 siguru yun. Ulit, ako nga pala si Tata,mag 24 na ako this Nov..
Ang liham kong ito ay naiiba sa lahat. Ito ay liham pasasalamat. Pinasasalamatan kita sa dahilang may isang Migs lang na katulad mo sa mundo. Sa puntong ito nais kong puro kagalakan ang maghari at mangingibabaw sa iyung puso. Nais kong maging proud kah sa sarili mo at naging magandang ehemplo ka sa lahat ng mga katulad ko. Naging himpilan ang site mo sa mga katulad kong nagnanais magsumbong laban sa mga diskriminasyun at panlalait ng mapanghusgang media, lipunan at kilalang personalidad. Sa iyung bawat ipinapakitang pagpuna at pagkampi binibigyan mo ng bahaghari ang daigdig naming nababalutan at pinalilibutan ng alikabok at putik. Walang salita sa alinmang babasahin ang maaaring iakma sa isang katulad mo.
Naging takbuhan ang site mo sa tuwing kami ay naguguluhan. Sa bawat panghihina, pinalalakas mo ang aming sarili. Sana ay di kah maubusan ng powers at magsawa na mg shares sa amin.
Natatandaan ko pah nung nasa college ako. Yung nasa denial stage pa ako. Gulong-gulo ako noon. Dumating pa sa puntong nag confess ako sa priest. Tagpong pati sarili ko ay nahihirapang tanggapin ang katotohanan. Ang site mo ang nagbigay inspirasyon at daan upang yakapin ko kung sino talaga ako. Habang binabasa ko ang mga liham at mga payo mo. Doon ko napatunayan na wala palang masama at mali ang mabuhay na mapabilang sa daigdig ng sangkabaklaan.