Manila Gay Guy
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Dear Migs,

I just want to share this with you.

I never did something sexually before. Though I am on the right age (I think), I choose not to because.. reasons. (I am still in the closet. I think my friends and family may have an idea… but I am not out yet.)

But today, I did it with someone I did not imagine that I will do it with. I can’t even write this down because of regret… You know those young boys on the streets that offers you “massage?” He is one of them. He keeps bugging me every time he sees me. I never thought that I will entertain him but I REALLY DON’T KNOW why I did this time.

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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.

Palma

UP Film Institute screens for a week-long full run Joven Tan’s Paupahan and Patrick McGuinn’s Sun Kissed beginning this Monday, 6 October 2008.

Produced by ATD Entertainment of star Allen Dizon, Paupahan is one of the recent films from one of the few truly active auteurs of current cinema in the country. Photographed by “National Artist material” Romy Vitug and written by Dennis Evangelista, the dramatic film (Graded B by the Cinema Evaluation Board) interweaves three unrelated plots involving inhabitants of a slum area next to a cemetery. With Allen in the powerhouse cast are movie queen Gloria Romero, German “Kuya Germs” Moreno, Jay Manalo, Snooky Serna, Angelu de Leon, Krista Ranillo, Joseph Bitangcol, Kirby de Jesus.

Sun Kissed (A Daven Productions Release) is the intriguing gay indie hit from the United States.

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Our very first podcast that talks about S-E-X. Join Fabcasters Tony, McVie, Gibbs, and I as we discuss this topic and its many facets. For Part 1: How much is too much? How much are you getting these days? Are you promiscuous? Straights say that gays are promiscuous — do you agree? What makes one promiscuous? Is sex on the first date a good idea? These, a revelation, and more in this first part of the SEX fabcast.

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Here’s a PR from UP Film Institute — for those who want to catch two gay-themed indie films — Daybreak and Imoral.

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Packing audiences in with the intimate setting of the UP Film Institute’s Videotheque is the back-to-back exhibition of a twinbill of digital features from director Adolfo Alix Jr. Daybreak and Imoral—two of the year’s most intriguing and much-talked about releases both no less about intimacy—continue their screen run till this Saturday, 4 October 2008.

Written by Charliebebs Gohetia, Daybreak stars Coco Martin (he of Masahista fame) and Paolo Rivera (he of Live Show). Written by Gerry Gracio, Imoral is topbilled by Katherine Luna with ramp model-turned-actor Paolo Paraiso and stage mainstay Arnold Reyes.

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Gibbs, McVie, and AJ have all written about it, and I am writing about it too, so you dear MGG readers can share your intelligent opinions here.

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“Real issue in video is gay sex.” – Cebu Priest

default.jpg The article (excerpt only, copied from McVie): For an official of the Roman Catholic Church, the commission of a homosexual act is the real issue behind the rectal surgery in Cebu City that exploded into a scandal on YouTube.

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Gay life is not all fun and twinkling glitters. And when one reaches some kind of brick wall, it is best he has someone to confide with. Are you gay? Please tell someone.

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Bruce traveled from Florida to the Grand Canyon where, at No Name Point, a 450-foot jump put an end to his life. A short note identified the reason for his death:

Dear Family and Friends,

I’m sorry it had to end this way but it was my fate. I couldn’t handle life anymore. You see, the reason I ran away before to commit suicide is the same reason I did again. I’m gay. I never wanted to be and I always wished it would change, but it didn’t.

I wanted to live a normal life but God created me this way for some reason and there was nothing I could do to change it. I was born this way. Believe me, I would not choose this way of life for I know how hard and unaccepted it is.

I’m painfully sorry you all had to deal with this, but I couldn’t deal with it. This way, I could live a peaceful afterlife instead of a life of fear, agony, and manic depressiveness.

Please realize, I did not want to hurt anyone. I just wanted to end my own pain. I love you all dearly and will someday see you all again hopefully with your understanding hearts and souls. I just hope God will bring me to heaven.

Love always and eternally,
Bruce

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After Bruce’s body was discovered, his mom wrote the following letter:

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There’s this saying, don’t look for love, it will just come. We Pinoys say, huwag ng hanapin, darating din yan. Yet inspite of this, we do seek for it, we search for it, we really do. In fact this is what Google tells us too, in very objective even mathematical terms, through their nifty tool, Google Trends. Google Trends measure the propensity for a term to be searched, and this can be trended over time, and over geographies.

In previous entries, I highlighted that Pinoys are notorious for being number 1 in Google Trends for having the highest propensity for searching the terms gay sex, masturbation, and cybersex. This time I tried the term love. Here’s what I found.

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(This post is part of the Tiburcio Series. Below is part of a letter from Tibs, a reader of this blog.)

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My girlfriend’s guy friend’s name was Al. He had just arrived from the US that time, a new officemate of my girlfriend; he’s Filipino, studied there in the US but decided he wanted to try out coming back here. He was not very tall, maybe 5’7″ (I’m 5’9″) but he looked mestizo with aquiline nose, a real good looking profile, and wore eyeglasses that made him look more serious than he actually was.

I met Al when I accompanied my girlfriend during a night out in Street Life (that was across TGI Fridays and Hard Rock Cafe at the 2nd floor of Glorietta that time.) At first he was silent, at I was okay with that. The night out was a non-event. The next day, I was surprised to get a text message from him.

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A recent study of more than 4,000 New York City men found that nearly 10 percent of participants who identified as straight admitted to having gay sex in the past year. The study, conducted by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, was titled “Discordance Between Sexual Behavior and Self-reported Sexual Identity: A Population-based Survey of New York City Men.” (Straight men admit to gay sex | Headlines | News | Gay.com UK)

This is interesting.  How about in the Philippines? Had the survey been done here in Manila, would you think it would be higher than 10%, lower, or just about the same?  What do you think?