Manila Gay Guy
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Hi Migs!
I am Randall (not my real name though), 20 years of age, studying in one of the best universities in the Philippines. I accidentally saw your site when Wanda Ilusyunada was featured on Y Speak. It was 2007 if my memory serves me right. I one by one checked his Pink Mafia (his friends) and there you were. The green-ish and glittering Manila Gay Guide site I saw that time. Hehe. Of all the sites I visited in the list, indeed, you have the most sensible topics and I must say very updated. From then on, there was no day that I will not click a new tab to browse your site every time I am online. I love everything on your site. The best part? The true-to-life letters and the candid comments of the people.

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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

[Here’s a letter / contribution of Coffee Boy]

“Hey, just wanted to ask, are you gay, bisexual or something?” then I replied, “that… I’m not particularly sure of… I have a gf, but to be honest, I enjoy ‘it’ with men. No labels. Ikaw?” – then I got cold silence as a reply.

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It was the 30th day of my birthday month, though still in the middle of the week, the following day was the end of Ramadan and thus was declared a holiday. I got nothing to do that payday afternoon and so I decided to just hang around. Walking along Timog / Tomas Morato area with no one and with literally nothing to do, I decided to go to one of my favorite spa places and pamper myself with an hour and a half long massage.

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Late bloomer – that’s the term we usually use to describe those people who explored their homosexuality a little later than usual. This is the case of JC, our letter sender for today. JC is set to get married to his girlfriend of 4 years early next year, when he recently met the to-be-wife’s gorgeous hunky cousin Daryl. In short, Daryl turned JC’s world upside down, and the to-be-husband is naturally confused. The question: should he risk his wedding plans to give himself a chance to explore his dormant homosexual tendencies? Or should he shut the feelings up, and go straight on with his heterosexual plans?

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Hi Migs,

I chance upon your site while surfing today. Wonderful site for gay people. I feel so comfortable with your site. I was able to read the letter of fatboyslim and some of the advices that were given to him by your readers (some are rude) that I decided to share to you my problem and hopefully I will be able to get some advice from you and your readers.

I am John, friends call me JC, 29 years old and currently connected with a call center here in Ortigas. I have a girlfriend for 4 years now, and we’re planning to get married early next year. I love her for God knows how long, (we’ve been together since high school) and I know she will be the one I want to spend the rest of my life with.

The problem started last December.

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Reader Kiko who has just recently come to terms with his homosexuality writes Migs, asking for possible people whom he can “share views and find some kind of support, (…) those who have maintained this kind of lifestyle in the closet.” You may want to play Ate Charo or Mel Tiangco to our dear reader, ka-MGG, Kiko.

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Hi Migs,

Happy new year to you! Thanks for doing podcasts and enlightening us on different issues. I was moved by your podcast on coming into terms with the fact that one isn’t straight – that one is gay. I recently turned 25 and also recently ‘came in’…

I’m very discreet and I keep people guessing about my true colors. I have a close gay friend who is comfortable touching my body and attests to his friends that I don’t have a single gay bone in my body (quoting “HE’s sooo straight” – akala lang niya). I chose not to come out to him; due to my personal preference of non-scene people and trust issues.

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I have asked permission from Elmer, our letter sender, to publish his letter here. Let me ask you dear readers, as usual, to share your opinion regarding his “homo-emo” situation.

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Dear Migs,

I’ve long been looking for someone sensible to talk to regarding my situation. When I chanced upon your site, and after listening to some of your podcasts and reading your posts, I thought that maybe you are someone who I could listen to regarding my issue. It’s really simple if you think about it, but since it’s my issue, in my opinion, it’s infinitely complex. The question that boggles my mind is this: Am I gay?

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