Manila Gay Guy
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Hi migs! Happy 2010 nga pala! With that being said, I wish you, and your avid readers a prosperous 2010 ahead. Maraming beses kong pinag-isipan ang pagsulat ko sayo dahil baka isipin ng iba na wala namang kwenta ang problema ko. I know for one that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to answer my questions. Pero I also believe na sometimes we still ask the questions to the answers we already know, because I think in reality, those are the answers hard for us to bare in ourselves. Anyways, simple lang naman talaga ang problema ko. Gusto ko lang din malaman kung meron bang ibang mga gay o bisexual ang gumagawa ng ginagawa ko.. ( eto na yun! lol. )

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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.