A Travellerspoint blog

The trio adventures: how are we?


I have not written anything about the trio for quite some time. We've all been busy doing our own stuff.

Bratty's wife gave birth months ago to a beautiful baby girl. I haven't seen her yet, but i would love to.

Madam is... Hmmm... She's on a roll. She has a new boyfriend, who's really hot. Last night, we talked about him. And well, we talked about un-Christian stuff. *blushing* Let's just say, i have my Mr. Big and she has Mr. Bigger... During our convo, i mentioned that i will be going on a retreat, and she said that sounded fun. So i quipped, "You don't need to go on a retreat, you have a sexlife!" Oh well.

Me? I'm the last single adventurer. Sigh.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 06:17 Archived in Philippines Tagged trio_adventures Comments (0)


pasasalamat sa Up Dharma Down


"Di mo lang alam/ Naiiisip kita/ Baka sakali lang maisip mo ako/ Di mo lang alam/ Hanggang sa gabi inaasam makita kang muli"

It has been months since I saw Rich. Rich and I have been friends for a long time. We met when I was still in college, at the State University. It was during the latter part of the first sem. It was raining hard that afternoon, and most of my morning classes were already cancelled. Instead of going home right away, i decided to go to my last class for the day, NatSci 1, which was at 1:00pm. I didn't have anything planned for that day anyway, I just might hang out with Ivy for dinner along Katipunan. 

1:05pm, the professor was still MIA. He usually comes in on the dot, much to our dismay. After the tenth time looking at my watch, wishing it was already 1:15pm so i can leave, Rich came in. He went in with his head bent, as I had seen him do at least thrice since the sem started. He made the wrong decision signing up for a class in NCPAG right before our NatSci 1 class, which has held in the CS Lib. NCPAG is like, on the other side of the world, and it's really difficult to take the Ikot, because the jeeps are already full by the time they pass by that area. 

His tardiness has made him a class favorite because everytime he would come in, Mr. Reyes, our professor would say, "Thanks for coming to class on time Mr. Marquez." Exactly like that.

That day was different, for there was no professor to tell him that. When he raised his face to look at the board, he immediately smiled when he realized the prof was not there. Oh, that smile. If I were the professor, I would forgive him for being tardy in exchange of that smile. The thing with Rich is that, when he smiles, his eyes also smile with him. Smize, i think is what it's called now? Those droopy/puppy eyes. I die.

he might have caught me staring at him because he started walking towards my direction. We've been seat mates for a couple of times and I found out that he did not like Chemistry. Ehem, Chemistry major here. As soon as he sat down to my right he said, "I hope he doesn't come."

"I'll pray for that," I said. "Wow, that's very Jamie Sullivan," said he.

"You read the book?" I asked, to which he replied with "You watched the movie?"


That was the start of our story. Since that day, we've been very good friends. At some point, people thought we were together, but no. He dropped hints a couple of times, but I deferred. 

"Andrew?" he asked while we were reviewing at Fruit Magic in Katips.

"Yeah Rich?"

"Have you ever felt so strongly about anyone, but you find yourself pulling back because you think having a relationship with that person will ruin the friendship?"

Yes. But i didn't say that. Hanging out with him was the best part of my day, week, month, sem! At the time, I was wary because it was just a few months ago when he broke up with his high school boyfriend who attended a different school. His ex thought UP was, well, so public.

"Hmmm..." I said, "No. I always put friends in the friend zone. Alam mo naman yan di ba?" I saw a slight frown in his face.

"Even if you really like that person?"

"Yeah. Friends are friends. Who are we talking about anyway?"

"Oh, no one. I just thought about it. Well, err, i have a high school friend who asked. Anyway, it's not important. I'm hungry. You want sandwiches?" The topic came up once in a while, but i was more focused on my exams. Each time he brought it up, i would say, "Sino ba nagugustuhan mo?" He would say, "Curious lang." 

I wished then that he would be more forward about it. I didn't want hints. Maybe I was assuming too much, but I somehow felt he was talking about us. One day, I got my wish.

"Drew, if I told you I liked you, maniniwala ka ba?" 

"Rich, we're friends, how can you say that?" As i puffed on my cigarette.

"Nothing. I'm just kidding. I just wanted to see your reaction if I told you I liked you, hypothetically."

I clammed up. We were quiet for a few minutes. There were a lot of questions that i wanted to ask. He was getting shifty too. I couldn't bear asking him to repeat the question. If i said yes, will he ask if we could be together? I realized he hasn't told me about anyone he was dating. Well, me too. I haven't been going out with anybody. 

But that was the last time he asked  me that. Unfortunately for me, I kept wishing he would ask me again. Even years after we finished school, I knew my love for him was getting stronger.  

I never dated anyone. I kept on waiting for him to ask  me again. When we're out with friends, I never drink. I just let him. I did that in the hopes of him getting really drunk that he would ask me out again. But he never did. In one of our nights out, he met Vince.

They hit it off quite fast. I must admit that Vince was adorable. He was like me, only skinny. We all listened to the same songs, watched the same movies, went to the same bars, memorized the right Spice Girls songs, etc. He was perfectly like me. A few weeks later, i received a call from Rich.

"Drew? I have something to tell you."


"I asked Vince if we could go steady."

"Wow.." and in my award winning performance for my whole life I said, "I am sooooo happy to hear that! Congratulations my friend! I knew you would end up together. He's perfect for you!..." and I rambled on and on. I stopped when i realized he was quiet.

"Rich, I'm happy for you, really, " I said. 

"Paano ka? Gusto ko masaya ka rin?" "Rich, we've been friends for a long time! You know i'll be happy soon. I'll find someone too..."

"But when?" "Soon Rich. My time will come." 

It never did. I have been working and working for the past years. Rich and Vince have been together for almost half a decade. Sometimes, we go out as a group. I never went out with them where I'm the third wheel. I always  come up with excuses, or I call our other friends and ask them if they would  go. If they won't, I tell him I'm sick or busy prepping for a presentation. 

"Nagtapos ang lahat sa di inaasahang pahanon/ At ngayon ako'y iyong iniwan/ Luhaan, sugatan, 'di mapakinabangan/ Sana'y nagtanong ka lang/ Kung 'di mo lang alam/ Sana'y nagtanong ka lang/ Kung 'di mo lang alam"

That  charade went on for a long time. The more their relationship  blossomed, the more I became miserable. I started writing poems for him. I kept a blog and posted all my entries there. One time, he saw them while using my laptop. 

"Dude, Drew, you're a really good writer! Is that what you learned from talking to Americans all day?"

"What do you mean? What are you doing with my laptop?"

He stood up and held my laptop into my face. "These poems! These are really good! Are you in love my friend???" He was extra eager with all the questions. 

"No, just got inspired with the movies I've been watching lately. Julia Roberts moment. You know that."

"Oh... I thought..." "No. Not in love."

"Drew, aren't you sad? It's been a long time... Since college, you haven't had a boyfriend since then..."

"I was busy remember? And I spent almost all my years in college with you..." I stopped. "...and our other friends..."

"Oh yeah... Speaking of... That might have to stop... Vince and I are moving to Cebu."

I was shocked. He never travels. He's a Manila boy all the way. What was happening???

"Vince's dad is letting him manage their business in Cebu. He wants to put what he learned in college into good use. Drew, he wants me to help him there. I'll be the store manager for one of their grocery stores in the city..."

"Wow, looks like you got it all figured out... Do you love him that much..." I trailed off on the last word.

"Drew, you know I love Vince. If there's anything else that would be greater than that love then i'd stay..." Then the bastard looked me straight in the eye. 

Oh, those eyes. I wanted to tell him don't go. Stay. Stay with me. Stay here. But I didn't. 

"If you love Vince that much, then go..." 

That was our last  conversation. They were set to leave days after that last talk. I pretended to be really busy, and didn't see them go. 

"Ako'y iyong nasaktan/ Baka sakali lang maisip mo naman/ Hindi mo lang alam/ Kay tagal na panahon/ Ako'y nandirito pa rin hanggang ngayon para sa'yo"

11 months have passed since they moved. Surprisingly, he looked the same. Business was good. He was treated well by Vince's family. It was like he never left.

"How have you been? What's wrong with you? You don't log on to Facebook anymore!"

I didn't know how to answer. I missed him. I wanted to hug him. But that would be wrong. Vince was there. 

"I got really  bored with FB. And busy at work."

"I heard you're some sort of a loner now, friend, what's up?" That was Vince. Yes, we talk too.

"I don't know, after  you... guys left, I just never found the time to go out."

"Is it work? Maybe you're overworked!" said Rich.

"Or you have a boyfriend? That's it! Do you have a boyfriend now?" "Vince, no! I don't have time for that!"

Rich looked at me with questioning eyes. 

"No Rich. There's no one. I want to save myself for someone who won't leave me. Someone who understands  me. Respects my job. My time."

"And you haven't found that Drew?"

"No. I'm still waiting for the right time Rich."

"Maybe you're just waiting for someone. That's my guess. Is it alright for you to wait? Oh shoot, I have to meet my Tita at Mega. I missed you Drew. Rich and I talk about you a lot. See you soon! Babe, see you at the hotel. Love you!"

And Vince left, without waiting for my answer. My answer was "Yes."

"Lumipas mga araw na ubod ng saya/ 'Di pa rin nagbabago ang aking pagsinta/ Kung ako'y nagkasala patawad na sana/ Puso kong pagal ngayon lang nagmahal"

"Aren't you sad?" "Ako? No." 

"Drew, do you remember that day... Oh, never mind."



"Okay. I remember you asking me once about falling for a friend." I was getting aggressive.

"Oh, that. Yeah."

"I lied. I was falling for someone that time. I was falling for you."

"Are you effing kidding me?"

"No. I have loved you all these years Rich. I have always wanted to be with you, I was just afraid. You were right! I didn't want to ruin the friendship. I kept it all inside. Hindi ko kasi masabi sayo. Nahihiya ako. Natatakot ako na baka hindi ako ang laman nyang puso mo."

"Pero ikaw ang laman ng puso ko!" He shouted. 

I sat there like a rock as I looked at him getting all red and teary eyed.

"I loved you Drew! I did! I kept on trying to tell you! I thought you didn't feel anything for me! I just thought you were really busy. And a perfectionist. Why didn't tou tell me then? Why are you telling me now?"

I shut up. I was crying. I didn't know what else to say.

"'Di mo lang alam/ Ako'y iyong nasaktan/ Baka sakali lang maisip mo naman/ Puro s'ya na lang/ Sana'y ako naman/ 'Di mo lang alam/ Ika'y minamasdan/ Sana'y iyong mamalayang hindi mo lang pala alam"

"Why Drew? Didn't you see how happy I am with Vince? I wanted to move away because I kept comparing him to you! My God Andrew! Anong nakain mo!"

"Wag mo ko sigawan Rich. I didn't want to tell you then. But i knew i had to tell you now!"

"For what? Para maguluhan ako? Masaya na ko with Vince, Drew... Kahit sometimes i feel like calling you up at night just to check up on you. Our friends are concerned . You've been avoiding them. Ano nangyari sayo?"

"I wanted to forget about you. Remember my poems? They're all for you!"

"You're a good liar pala Drew. I didn't think you'd make me believe you never had feelings for me."

"'Di mo lang alam/ Kahit tayo'y magkaibigan lang/ Bumabalik ang lahat sa tuwing nagkukulitan/ Baka sakali lang maisip mo naman/ Ako'y nandito lang/ Hindi mo lang alam/ Matalino ka naman"

"I fell in love with you the moment you quoted A Walk to Remember. That was  my favorite book at the time."

"I know. Salamat at hindi pumasok si prof that day."

"Drew, bakit ngayon lang."

"Again, I don't know..."

"Sabihin mo na..."

"I just wanted you to know."

"Kaya siguro the night na nakilala ko si Vince nagsabi ka na uuwi ka ng maaga no? Mahal mo pa ba ko nun?"

Oo. Hanggang ngayon. "Haha. Grabe din. Stop that!"

"Kung ikaw at ako/ Ay tunay na bigo sa laro na ito/ Ay dapat bang sumuko/ Sana hindi ka na lang pala aking nakilala/ Kung alam ko lang ako'y masasaktan ng ganito/ Sana'y nakinig na lang ako sa nanay ko"

"What would have happened if we ended up together?"

"I don't know Rich. Why do you wanna know?"

"'Di mo lang alam/ Ako'y iyong nasaktan/ Baka sakali lang maisip mo naman/ Puro s'ya na lang/ Sana'y ako naman/ 'Di mo lang alam/ O, ika'y minamasdan/ Sana iyo'y mamalayang hindi mo lang pala alam/ Oooooooo"

"Vince makes me happy Drew. Baka siguro nasanay lang ako na magkaibigan tayo kaya hindi na ko nakapagfocus on what i felt for you." 

"Sorry Rich. We shouldn't be talking about this." 

Ang sakit kasi. Kakasabi ko lang na mahal ko siya. Tapos sasabihin nyang Vince makes him happy.

"Malas mo/ Ikaw ang natipuhan ko/ Di mo lang alam/ Ako'y iyong nasaktan"

 "Drew, hypothetical question. If somewhere along the way, Vince and I broke up, will you be waiting for me? Oh, no, don't answer that. That's so insensitive of me. I'm sorry. Why don't we go somewhere and eat?"



"Oo. Gutom na rin ako, kain na tayo."

"Okay... I'm glad we met and talked about this Drew. I wish there was something I could do."

Oo. Pwede mo ko pasayahin by telling me you still love me. Na pipiliin mo ko over Vince dahil mas nauna mo kong minahal sa kanya. I'm saving myself for you Rich. I know you too well. Not everything is hypothetical to you Rich. So here's my answer.

Oo. Maghihintay ako.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 03:58 Archived in Philippines Tagged up_dharma_down personal_projects Comments (0)

Project 365


I'm sleepless. I just offended another person. See previous post. Anyway. Sunday night is always a struggle because i say that i will sleep early, and then i remember that i'll be working the night shift the next day.

I've been staring at my room's ceiling for a few minutes, just after almost doing something i promised not to do anymore, when i had an idea. With all this transformation stuff that i'm going through, i thought it would be neat to make a list. Instead of the usual "things i would do" list, i will be listing down things i should not do for 365 days.

I will create a list today, mark it August 13, 2012 and next year, i should be assured that i did not do these things. As the year passes by, if i thought of anything else, then i will add it to the list, and mark it with the day of its addition.

If i fail to keep my promise, under any circumstance, i will (thinking of good punishment). However, if i end up following my list, i get to (thinking of a reward). This entry will always be a work in progress. This shall serve as my un-bucket list.

1. I will not smoke. Real or electronic. -August 13, 2012
2. I will not drink beer or vodka. Or any other liquor. Soda is acceptable only when there is no other choice, but water is more preferred. -August 13, 2012
3. I will not overspend. If by next year, i don't have savings in the 6-digit range, i will give 10% of what i have in the bank to church. -August 13, 2012
4. I will not have sex with anybody other than my partner. Will not get drunk anyway so that's no excuse. If i was promised a relationship but ended up being left after sex, then this means i was foolish again. No excuses. (Confirm church's beliefs on LGBT issues.) -May 27, 2012 (this has been a running item for the past few months)
5. I will not cheat on my partner, when i have one. A public apology is warranted if i broke this rule. -date of first day in a committed relationship
6. I will not run after men who are taken. If i did, i will apologize to the sugnifant other if my paramour. -August 13, 2012
7. I will not miss one Sunday at church except for family affairs, for they take a whole day. Or catastrophes. -August 13, 2012
8. I will not let one month pass without talking to/chatting with/texting my parents. No excuses. There's iMessage, Viber, Magic Jack and FB! -August 13, 2012
9. I will not let the year pass by without visiting at least 2 provinces except for Bulacan, Marikina or Galera. Be reminded of savings challenge. -August 13, 2012

List stops here. I will write this on a piece of paper, sign it and let people co-sign as witnesses.

Why am i doing this? They say it takes doing an act 21 times to become a habit. I have spent recent years getting wasted. I guess it's time to start fresh again. Let the challenges begin!

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 02:20 Archived in Philippines Tagged personal_projects Comments (0)

For Derrick


I'm sorry. I didn't mean anything by it. I went too far. Sorry.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 01:12 Archived in Philippines Comments (0)

My soul's travels: PDL Days 3 and 4


For today i'll be focusing on days 3 and 4.

Day 3 was about what's driving my life. What are the things that guide/control/direct my life? Here are the examples given by the book: guilt, resentment/anger, fear, materialism and need for approval. I'm guilty of a few. I fear being unable to provide for myself. I fear being left by my family and friends. I want a lot of stuff. I want to be seen as somebody who can afford to do and have a lot of things. I want people to approve of me. I want to please everybody. These are things that i thought were okay, because they're basic human impulses. But i guess i was wrong.

The things that drive me should be my purpose, my purpose in life. It's not my purpose to appear intelligent with what i say. It's not my purpose to amass wealth that will go away anyway. It's not my purpose to be with the coolest people because cool is not always beneficial.

What i like about this book is that i don't know what my purpose is yet, but in just the first few chapters, it has made me feel excited about what they are. This book is in itself a journey for me. In today's service i almost cried. But i held back my tears. Because i didn't want to be seen as weak. I didn't want to be consoled because that meant i needed another person's strength. Holding back my tears made me realize all the more that i was wrong. And this book, this book that i never even thought was something that i'd like, is making me feel more wring about myself.

The question for day 3 was: what would my family and friends say is the driving force in my life? I don't know what they would say. But it definitely will not be pretty. I have shown them how shallow and materialistic i am.

Day 4 was a bit shorter, focusing on our lives being set for eternity. The question was: what are the things that i need to stop and start doing? Wow, this feels like a coaching session. Hmmm... I have to stop obsessing about my status. I have to stop judging people. I need to act with more thought. Being blatant is not always right. I need to make God as the center of my life. My friends might shiver hearing me say that. But i'd rather be ridiculed than die without believing in something.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 22:31 Archived in Philippines Tagged soul_travels Comments (0)

The case of the lovelife forgotten


I think, exactly two years ago, i broke up with Tom. Or he broke up with me. And i've never had a relationship since.

Old blog posts have reminded me of how i was after that break up. I was jaded, cynical with a wall around me, according to a good friend. I had sexual encounters that made more damage than satisfaction. It sounds fun kidding about it. It does. But i'm tired.

I have made several attempts to find love, or chase after guys. Mr. Big, and some other guys. Nothing happened. Maybe i should stop waiting. Maybe this move to improve my faith is a good step. Maybe the relationship i need is with God. But at the back of my mind, i still crave for that human touch.

Two years. Two years of running around, becoming a slut for some time, what have i gotten myself into?

I need to fix myself. Detox. Get cleansed of dirt that cling to my soul.

I am still hopeful, though my brain is telling me to focus my energy somewhere else.

If God decides that i'm ready, then that's awesome. I just hope He'll find someone who can fill this void and never go away. Again.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 21:15 Archived in Philippines Tagged the_case_of Comments (0)

The cray-cray adventures: with the soon-to-be newlyweds


This morning was exciting because i was scheduled to meet my good friend Bry, who will be marrying long-time boyfriend Jason. We agreed to meet at Victory Regis Ctr since they attend the church too. On my way to church, i was lucky enough to see Derrick just about to ride a cab so he rode in my cab instead. Bry texted that they would be late so Derrick and i proceeded to our seats last week.

As usual, praise and worship was good. I heard new songs that sounded great! I wonder if there are more. I've heard of Gospel singers gone mainstream like Ben Folds Five and Stacie Orrico and Sarah Sadler so i'm curious about others. The sermon was about prayers. There was this awkward moment where we had to group ourselves and pray for eah others' prayers. I was grouped with Derrick of course. I don't know, i'm still new to this. I hope next time i will be sharing more.

After being dismissed, i learned that Bry arrived just a bit late so they didn't go to GT anymore. We then headed to Peanut Butter Co for lunch, my treat, since i haven't seen Bry for a long time. I was just glad that they liked what we ate, and Bry and Jason were able to warm up to Derrick. I was never good at introducing friends to other friends. After eating, Derrick had to join the group meeting at church, while the three of us decided to have coffee. I tried the matcha green tea of CBTL and it was good, not too sweet, but okay. Bry and i also went upstairs to buy cupcakes from Mom and Tina's. We got butter, mandarin orange and prune cupcakes. Butter was good. Mandarin orange reminded me of dayap cake from Chocolate Kiss. Prune? No comment. Okay, it reminded us of Almond Joy. That we don't enjoy. Coconut and chocolate just don't mix. There.

Derrick followed after their session was done. We spent the rest of the hour talking about our lives in college and poking fun at Derrick's age. Well, that should be the last of it. I've made fun of him so much.

After the delightful coffee session, Bry and Jason had to visit her gramps so Derrick and i stayed at Moonleaf. I tried the jasmine milk tea. It was okay. Again. Derrick and i talked about their meeting. I hope he gets more comfortable with the group. It's fun watching him talk about the people in the group, like it's his first day in school and he's telling me about new friends he met.

When we finished our drinks, we walked around Katips looking for a Smart Wireless Ctr but there was none so we went home. I dropped him off Maginhawa, which made me miss the area. I want my own apartment again. :(

When we both got home, he opened the card that i gave along with the bookmark and the notebook. I guess even with this faith up for renewal, i still hold on to my Fish Philosophies. Make their Day. Be there. Derrick's a really great friend. And i want to be a great friend for him too.

I staye downstairs for a bit, waiting for Marcus to smile so i can take pictures. I think i captured half-smiles.

Next week, i will not be able to make it to the 10am service, so i'll be attending GT alone. We'll be attending the christening of my niece Fria, and the family will be there.

This Sunday has been very good to me. Had a bit of time with the baby, spent time with an old friend and a new friend. I never felt tired. Next week, i'll try to use my stepper again. I hafta be busy or else i might think about food or yosi. Big no no.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 20:17 Archived in Philippines Tagged cray_cray_adventures Comments (2)

Quickie post


Since i needed to wake up early for church this morning, i didn't have anything planned for yesterday. Normally, i'd be out drinking on a Saturday night, but i've given up that part of me now. When i woke up on Saturday afternoon, i just hung out downstairs and played with bugoy. Later on, i had a convo with Burn about his sitch with the guy he's dating. It was refreshing. I haven't seen him for a while so we ended up talking for hours. We talked briefly about my own sitch too, and the friends we used to have. I guess we've resolved not to dwell in the past and move on.

At around 4pm, i needed to go to SM San Lazaro to get my pants. When i got there, i saw that the seamstress only patched the left side, so she had to do it again for the right side, and i had to wait for an hour. I roamed around te mall an ended up buying cologne, roasted chicken, a jelly case for my phone and new earphones. I also dropped by National Bookstore to buy another pen (!), a notebook for Derrick and bookmarks for me and him. I bought him a notebook so he can write down his thoughts or the things that he forgets. The bookmark was for his new Bible. Note to self: get new Bible or install one on phone. I know that Derrick's gonna get a kidle whatever anyway, but bookmarking is part of the fun in reading. Hopefully he gets to use it.

When i got home, i ate downstairs and read Day 3 of The Purpose Driven Life, that i have to blog about as soon as i finish Day 4 later. :)I staye up until 2am because i just had to watch Suits on streaming. Lol. Will blog again later!

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 17:56 Archived in Philippines Comments (0)

The case of the old blog posts


Gay-ness does not translate to happiness

i had a conversation with a co-worker yesterday about having gay children, which kind of went to the "nature vs nurture" route, and i found myself replying with "it's a difficult situation." i was a bit vague with my answer because there are two ways to see it: difficult for the parents or difficult for the child.

i have been "out" for a couple of years, to a certain number of friends and acquaintances. heck, i can't even tell my dad that i am, and i wonder if he knows, or accepts me for that matter. i think that it took my mom quite a period of time to digest the long email i sent her years ago, because it took her three months to finally get to talk about the information i volunteered. i don't have a gauge on how hard it was for her to take. i could imagine her dreams of me being married and having children getting flushed down the drain. i felt like shit that time. i constantly checked my email to see if there was an answer to my unannounced question: would she take me for what i am?

knowing my mom, i kinda knew what the answer was. i just needed confirmation of what she felt about the topic. i guess i am lucky that i have a mother with a very open mind. this may be true: accepting that your kid is gay will take a lot of strength and willpower; but has anyone ever thought how it is for the child?

i'm always asked about this perpetual question: when did you ever know that you were gay? at this point, i wouldn't even remember the actual time i knew i was gay. but i know that in college, that was when i accepted what i was. when you are a child and people are teasing you because of the way that you talk and you behave, IT'S NOT EASY. processing all the taunting and negative comments is considered a burden for a gay child. i commend all those who realized what they are at a very early age. that means that for the long run, whatever they hear is quite normal for them already. it's more difficult for those who took a very long time before openly saying "yes, i am gay." i had to consider a lot of things: what would my parents say, what my family would say, who will take care of me when i grow old, etc. i saw myself as an abnormal person. like i didn't deserve to be happy. or i'm ashamed of what i've become.

the culture that we have here in the philippines still reverts back to the "oh-so-macho" era. and that's what i tried to follow. i had a moustache like everyone else had. i acted like a guy and hung out with mostly guy friends. but it eventually became tiring. to prove that you're a man in a daily basis is difficult.

the time that i came out was kind of good for me. being in UP was perfect, too. people say being liberal has a negative connotation. i say nay. the environment at school helped me little by little to accept myself and who i was going to become. i had that privilege, some others didn't. my friends were quick to respond about what i admitted. even my high school guy friends didn't say much. all the paranoia about how people regarded me was gone. although at times, even in the present, acquaintances still throw unconscious, insensitive comments and jokes about my sexuality. i take them lightly.

they don't know what i went through. they say they understand, but they could only sympathize. even dating in my world is very difficult. we don't adhere to the men are from mars thingy. gay people are more difficult to please nowadays. if you don't have a six pack, consider yourself as a bottom feeder, no pun intended.

i guess this is sort of my coming out piece. i must say thanks to Joan for making me think about this topic. parents are quick to think: would i be able to accept my gay child? consider the child and the hell he/ she goes through everyday. in a world where gays are viewed as handicapped citizens, the best thing that parents could do is to support the child. do not batter yourself if it was your fault or whatever. people are still debating about the "nature vs nurture" shit that's going on. unless you have a definitive answer for that, then don't make life more complicated as it is. they say life isn't easy. ask any gay man or woman, they might just give you a snap or two.

Random babbles: the sex talk

last year was a lull. i only had sex with one guy and i slept with him twice. okay, okay. this seems shallow. but i thought that i was losing my groove. i used to have sex at least once a month. that was way back in 2006. what the hell was happening to me?

and then i tried to dig deep. no pardon for the pun.

i realized that my current job has something to do with it. you see, i'm a trainer. i don't only train new hires but i also train agents and non agents. when i saw how my colleagues were always at their best behavior, i knew i had to follow suit. i couldn't risk seeing someone i had rough sex with in my class. the horror that must have been. gossip is something that i don't feel comfortable with. especially when it's about me. (i heard people raised eyebrows when i applied as a trainer, but that's a different story.)

i even turned down some guys i have been communicating with thinking that someday they'll be my trainees. before, after talking to guys online, i usually meet them in a week or so, and then have them bang me. like crazy. now, i've began assuring myself that the person i'm flirting with is or will not be in nco. most of the guys i text end up thinking i'm boring and a bad lay. wtf? coz after all the teasing, i usually cancel at the last minute. teehee.

one more thing is location. i promised myself that i would only bring home a guy once we are committed to each other. and i've held my end of the bargain. i guess it's coincidental that a lot of guys don't have a place for effing. great.

hmm... what a sad story right? how can i fulfill my hierarchy of needs? my f*ck buddies are not around. i'm gaining more weight (read: unattractive). the happiest place in the world (my room) isn't anymore. my credibility is at stake. if there's any left.

i can honestly say that i need sex to feel good. i need to feel wanted. or to be lusted after. not that i'm a slut. (prudes stay out of this.) we all need something to make ourselves feel better. something to justify the smiles on our faces. relationships don't do it for me. gratifying sex does. people may judge me after this. i'm just saying what they can't.

so eff off. read someone else's notes. i miss five words i haven't heard for a while. "wham bam, thank you ma'am." i should hear that soon. referring to me.

Random babbles: outside looking in

Outside Looking In

So I met up with an old friend this afternoon for early dinner. As a backgrounder, we used to have feelings for each other; but we never got around to being in a relationship. I can’t say that he’s the one that got away, because up to now we’re still good friends. He’s in a relationship with a guy who made him do things he used to view as unconventional, and that makes me happy for him.

After just a few minutes of talking, he dropped a bomb on me. “I think you’ve changed. You don’t have the same passion for life you used to have. You compartmentalize your life.” Okay, so I’m still riddled by the last sentence, but while we continued chatting, I found myself floating away from our conversation. I tried to recall how I was when he first met me. So carefree, so young, so fresh. I know, the old me sounds like a napkin commercial. But I realized that what he said was true.

Now, I’m just all about work. When I go home, I only spend ample time bonding with my family. With the fitness craze we have at the office, my officemates and I even met one weekend to play badminton, which means less time to spend for my other friends. And my “through the years” friends bring out the old me.

My Sex and the City days trying to be Carrie are done. I feel like a Miranda Hobbes who just met Steve. Content with one night stands, trying to surround myself with a wall. My friend, let’s call him Elmo, said this like trying to hit the bull’s eye only two feet away: “You like being good at your job, that you build a wall around you to save yourself from being vulnerable to love.” I almost cried, I just kept looking away from him. “I just don’t want you to become jaded.” Again, I looked away.

Am I on my way to being jaded and cynical? These are two adjectives I tried to shy away from. Another good friend, Olive, can attest how much I celebrated love. February was a favorite month of mine because I could see around partners doing cheesy things for each other. I have just compiled a collection of my poems about, guess what, love.

Am I just writing for the sake of writing? Will I be able to carry out the emotions I express through my poetry? When will all be real?

Just a couple of months ago I resolved to push myself into the dating world again. But I found myself holding back, always saying “I’m too busy.” Even sex was out of the question. In one post here, I mentioned how much I wanted to be lusted after, no luck there when I’m holed up in my room when I should be out meeting guys. My gay bro Ali has been dragging me to bars, but I just don’t have the courage to go around flirt, and the energy to do so.
They say the truth hurts; I guess that’s why I’m hurting. I admit that I’m the fat guy that boys run away from. What’s worse is that I don’t exert effort in running after them.

I need a man. Someone who will wake me up from hibernation. A man who will say: “It’s okay” when I say I’ll be working the whole day, won’t be texting as much but will still have him on my mind. But as Elmo put it, albeit right to my face: “Learn to compromise.” Work hard but don’t let that take time away from other important things. I’m dating someone right now, but I want to know that person fully well before I can say I “love” him.

Valentine’s Day is coming. It’s corny to think that I came out with this when my former favorite holiday is near. But I think that conversation with Elmo couldn’t have come in a better time.

Priorities set the way I live in different times. I can honestly say a relationship is not on top of my list, but I’ll try to put it up there. Hopefully I can meet someone who can be the match that lights up the fireworks inside me. By then, maybe I don’t have to be on he outside looking in.

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 12:02 Archived in Philippines Tagged the_case_of Comments (0)

my soul's travels: PDL Days 1 and 2


surviving the recent nameless catastrophe cemented my grasp of how good the Lord is. others lost lives, properties and what not, but my family made it through. on our trip to SM, i finally got a copy of The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren as suggested by Derrick.

i immediately opened the book as i got back to work. honestly, i am still unsure how all this would work out. i am in alien territory. this feels a lot different from my childhood because then, religion was part my education. at my age now, i have seen a lot and have been through enough experience to suddenly change my point of view about God.

Day 1 was simple. it was about "it all starts with God." (i can not share that much yet because i'm just at the start. imagine how the 40th day will look like.) all i can say about the first day is that, it is about removing the focus from myself, and ensuring that my thoughts should be about the purpose of my life, as planned by God. success in different aspects of my life are my successes, but do not measure up to the fulfillment of achieving my life's purpose. this is the point where it gets blurry to me, and that is because i am unsure yet what that purpose is. i am tempted to read the next few chapters ahead, but the author wanted it to be a slow, daily experience.

there was a question to consider: in spite of all the advertising around me, how can i remind myself that life is really about living for God, not myself? hmm. tricky. if i looked for commercials or plain print ads, all of them are about what we classify as our "needs" and "wants." with that, these advertisements really target our attention to buy these products. it somehow links to the fact that we should be able to satisfy our needs as per Maslow's Hierarchy to ensure that we are motivated to live. there is a thin line between wants and needs; and most folks interchange the two. so with the help of advertising, we all try to get what they're trying to sell, hence, satisfying our wants/needs. this is where living for one's self comes in. it's always about "me." what do i want? what do i need?

have you, reader, ever asked what would God want/need? i remember those baller bracelet thingies that bear the initials WWJD (what would Jesus do?) clever, but true. in this scenario, WWJW? WWJN? He wants us to live with a purpose, His purpose, whatever he designed for us.

this last bit brings us to Day 2. "You are not an accident." it has been said that eons before i was born, God had already planned my life. i am not an accident. a year before i was born, my mom gave birth to twins, James Caesar and Jerome Caesar. alas, they had weak hearts and died days after being born. a year later, i was out. i have always been thinking, wouldn't it be cool to have older twin brothers? but i also realized, my parents would have decided then not to have another child. or maybe if they did decide to have another one, i could have been a girl. i am not an accident. wherever i am right now, God planned this. He thought of me way before i was born.

the question to consider for Day 2 was: knowing that God uniquely created me, what areas of my personality, background and physical appearance am i struggling to accept?

hmm, my weight? no, because that's my fault. my broken family? no, because i wouldn't have been this independent-minded if i had my mom and dad around me. my personality? no, because i am pleased with how i am. no matter how many people hate me or love me, this is me. if i had the chance to change, i would but with reason. but if i can't accept myself, who else would?

with that, i am now excited to see what my purpose is. what aspect of my life is geared towards fulfilling that purpose? how will my personality, background and appearance play parts in fulfilling my life's purpose?

i will look back after i close my 40th day, and hope that i will be able to answer these questions.

P.S. i am planning to go on a retreat. where in the Philippines should i go? i need a place that's quiet and really easy to access, and does not require that much planning. please help, thanks! :)

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 01:54 Archived in Philippines Tagged soul_travels Comments (0)

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