December 28, 2007

Musing III: Closet

Am I still in the closet...???

This I have come to ask myself when confronted by the fact that I have been going out with PLU for quiet sometime now; specifically that I have been regularly playing badminton with a gay group, some of them are actually loud, in a good fun of way. One of the usual closet case mind-set is the fear, the cringe on the mere thought of being seen, caught would actually be the better word, in the company of gay people, especially the out and loud ones. I'm no different in this aspect, but somehow I have also been comfortable in the company that being seen with them is no longer a big issue, though I would like to admit it is still somehow an issue. So what does that make me? Halfway out of the closet?

There's still fear in me of being found. The only difference is that this time, I'm prepared to be found. I have even made it a point that I play my part in the act of being found, for I know, surprises comes not only with the one who is found but more so to other end of one who found. As I mentioned in previous post, I don't feel the need to proclaim to the whole world my being different, for I do not owe anyone an explanation of who I am. But I have also come to realize that I don't need to perpetuate a life of lie when confronted by the reality of being found. Does this make me still hidden and thus halfway out of the closet?

Have I really come to accept my being different? Is there still fear in me of being different?
Yes, I would say that definitely, I have accepted my being different; the realization that I would never ever come to subscribe to the usual norms and that really makes me different. Certainly, the fear is still in me, that it would never go away, that fear is no longer in the realm of being different but in the thought of being boxed in a label, which would never go away as well for as long as bigotry remains a word in the dictionary.

What constitute a closet for a gay man, anyway?
Certainly it does not confine anyone to a single known and defined imaginary four-walls but rather it is a cacophony of endless fears of unknown possibilities, foremost of which could be fear of rejection and being labelled as different from the usual norms. I know that acceptance and rejection is an integral part of one's existence and this I have come to resolve when I accepted that I am different; but certainly I still cringe at the thought of being labelled as one. Endless possibilities of fear would continue to come my way; I just have to deal with them one at a time, or in some cases I really don't have to deal with them for reason that there's actually no reason for me to fear them.

I don't think being out of the closet means parading in town wearing one's badge of gayness. Being Out of the closet means freeing one's self of the shackles of one's own prejudice and fear of being gay more than the superficiality of freedom to shout to the world of one's gayness. In that definition, yes, I think I'm still halfway out of the closet.

Ulan Story No. 3: A Walk in the Rain

This one's been long in coming. Finally the urge to write this came when I woke up on a rainy morning a day after Christmas, a day after I hosted for the first time our family's Christmas lunch.

This story happened in the not too recent past, Christmas 2004.
Christmas 2004 is just one of the highlights in the long overdrawn drama in the family. But this one I think would be the overly dramatic highlight, picture this: Christmas eve of 2004, few hours before the stroke of midnight, amidst the festive cool air of Christmas, I was walking stretches of desolate road , soaking wet in thunderous rain, searching vainly for my lost sister who has gone astray of home and this world, literally and figuratively. I can no longer imagine and I do not want to recall anymore the thoughts, morbid and other gruesome scenarios, running through my head during that time as I continued walking that desolate road.

Backtrack more than a year before that. I got a frantic call from my elder sister telling me to come quickly for something bad has happened to my other sister, a suicide attempt: wrist slashing and drinking poisonous concoction nobody knows what. An attempt, as I came to know and realized only at that time, a result of a long battered-wife existence. As I get caught of her sorry state in that small clinic/hospital where she was brought; the doctor in me tells me that she will definitely survive the physical problem of slashed wrist and poisoning; but definitely not the emotional/psychological scar that I know and I'm afraid to admit is just starting to unfold.

And it was, as I have predicted just the start of our long battle with her major clinical depression; not to mention the various legal, financial and emotional toil it has exacted to the rest of us, family members. I have to go through with her with several confinement in the hospital, including the dreaded ECT treatments and weeks of isolation and heavy sedations. It was already taxing for me to deal with her medical condition and it was made doubly hard for I have to deal as well with the rest of the family who cannot seemed to comprehend the ongoing turmoil or as I have surmised probably refuse to accept that fact. I have become a referee, mediating on my sister's needs and the need to satisfy as well the rest of the family who in their stage of denial have also felt the need to be assuaged of the situation. Most of the time I'm caught in the middle, made more difficult by the fact that the family have relegated to me the responsibility of making all sorts of decisions; I am the youngest in the family and this I cannot really fathom. One part of me shouts with pride for the trust and responsibility my family has given to me being a son, a brother, a doctor and to the wisdom of my being; but another part of me was crying out foul for the burden put upon me. I dutifully did my part, despite all the pain and difficulties.

And so on that stormy Christmas Eve, I got a frantic call from my parents who were extremely anxious when my sister was nowhere to be found shortly after she had an altercation with her son. It was almost close to midnight when I got a call to proceed to her house. I found her already towelled dried and warming in bed, sobbing still and would only allow me to be near her. Somehow, she must have found her way back home on her own. I spent the rest of the night beside her in bed as she sobbed and waited in vain for sleep to find her, amidst all her fears and my reassurance to her every pleas. I woke up on that morning feeling more exhausted and oblivious that it was Christmas Day. I can't recall anymore how the rest of that Christmas day went.

Thankfully, she was able to pick up her shattered life, it was a slow and exasperating recovery for her and the rest of the family. She was put off her medications the following year. It was a hard climb out of the pit. I felt sorry for my parents for having been put into the ordeal despite their advancing age. At the same time I felt relief that my parents are still around to help us see this thing through. They have shown an overwhelming resilience and I feel remorseful at the same time for I know they have been robbed of the chance to enjoy their retirement and that I could have done more to lighten up their burden, I just have been selfish at times.

She left for the prospect of a renewed life in another country in 2006. This Christmas of 2007, her son finally joined her and hopefully the pit of nightmare will just be but part of dustbin of memory.

December 10, 2007

My First Christmas Dinner at Home

This year I hosted for the first time our annual Christmas dinner with my doctor-friends. It has been a tadition that started way back when we were still residents-in-training, that was 10 years ago. We started out with just the 12 of us having dinner and exchanging gifts and through the years, we have seen the evolution of including whoever one's dating at the time, then one's girlfriend or boyfriend, then as they got married the husbands and wives and then the kids and hopefully not too soon the would-be daughters or sons-in-law as we jokingly relished the thought when one related the travails that they (as parents) have to go through when they got to discover that one of their daughters already has a boyfriend. There's still room for wives and/or boyfriends for the 4 of us still single in the group.

Dinner's have always been potluck, my usual assignment have always been either dessert or drinks or some other stuff needing no preparation, I, being the consistently single in the group. This year I, aside from hosting the venue, have promised to cook and prepare the whole dinner that most of them were unbelieving that I can cook; I even got calls at the last minute checking if indeed there's no need to bring food.

For a week I have been preparing the menu in my mind. I started the actual preparation with a trip to the supermarket right after work on Friday night. First item done on friday night: Chicken Macaroni salad which is already cooling perfectly in the refrigerator as I made a trip to the Baclaran Seaside market on early Saturday morning. Item on the list: Whole chicken, Galunggong, Lapu-Lapu, Pork Pata, Swahe, veggies and the ever elusive kamias for my galunggong dish, which I is still failed to procure; I picked up some fresh flowers as well on my way out of the market

I spent almost the whole of that Saturday morning preparing the food to be cooked: simmering the pork, marinating the chicken, making pinangat na galunggong in palayok; chopping, slicing, grating, cleaning.... I went out for a couple of hours just to make my hospital rounds and as soon as I get back home started the actual cooking.

(Dinner Menu)

Chicken Macaroni Salad
Roasted Chicken in Lemon and Herbs
Crispy Galunggong in Garlic- Olive Oil
Crispy Pata ala Lechon Kawali
Vegetables (Okra and Kangkong) in Butter garlic sauce
Lapu-Lapu in Oyster- Ginger Sauce
Freshly steamed Sugpo ( though I forgot to make the lemon-butter sauce)
Pancit Canton (a soggy disaster; first time I used that kind of egg noodle)

My first guests arrived just as I was finishing my last dish; and as one by one they arrived I was still tidying up the kitchen and myself as I was a complete mess of smell as well. It was a good cacophony of endless chatter of compliments as they admire and scrutinized every corners of my new home. First on the table were all the kids who went mostly for the salad, chicken and the bilao of pansit malabon brought by Ray and pork barbeque brought by edwin. Dessert was ice cream and chocolate cake courtesy of joel and dondo. I herded all the kids into my room after they have eaten and let them frolic in my bed as they watch disney movie in the big TV screen. That freed the table for the rest of us to enjoy the dinner: almost every dish was a hit, completely consumed as a gauge, except for the pancit which was a disaster, blame it on the noodles that I used. They are incredulous that I can whip out those dishes. The rest of the evening was spent on endless chatter on goings on with each one of us. It was way past midnight when we exchanged gifts, the usual finale for the night's end. I did not have anything to exchanged, they have all eaten it, a delectable dinner I lovingly and single-handedly prepared, and it was well appreciated.


My First Christmas Decor...

my first attempt at christmas decor.... :)
Merry Christmas

November 08, 2007

Life begins at 40...???

Age is but a number in the hands of time.
Just the same, I still got the jolt when I received a text message invitation to celebrate the 40th birthday of a childhood friend. The number 40 suddenly brought flashback of memories and what have been where at now and the foreboding realization of what could be from hereon...

Where I'm at now is something I'm proud about; knowing that where I'm at now has been shaped by what have been, whether it was pain or joy; they are all now sweet memories to be reminisced.

What could be from hereon is the story yet to be told.
Life they say begins at 40, I'm about to live it and hopefully the stories would be as sweet as what have been.

November 06, 2007

PinoyGay Blog Roll

Someone has inspired me to create this blog ;
that someone has long been gone and here I am still struggling to blog...

I've been following this blog - manilagayguy for quite sometime now and here I am now trying to link up with pinoygayblog hoping somehow to also inspire or even just make one think of this life.

September 10, 2007

Walking down the "Avenue Q"

Disappointment was all over me when someone I've been asking out for a date, cancelled out, again, at the last minute. We were supposed to see Avenue Q on that date and serendipitously just as he called to cancel I was listening to this piece of song...

How poignant quirks can be...???

There’s A Fine, Fine Line
(by Katie Monster, Avenue Q)

There’s a fine, fine line between a lover and a friend;
There’s a fine, fine line between reality and pretend;
And you never know ’til you reach the top if it was worth the uphill climb.
There’s a fine, fine line between love
And a waste of time.
There’s a fine, fine line between a fairy tale and a lie;
And there’s a fine, fine line between “You’re wonderful” and “Goodbye.”
I guess if someone doesn’t love you back it isn’t such a crime,
But there’s a fine, fine line between love
And a waste of your time.
And I don’t have the time to waste on you anymore.
I don’t think that you even know what you’re looking for.
For my own sanity, I’ve got to close the door
And walk away…
There’s a fine, fine line between together and not
And there’s a fine, fine line between what you wanted and what you got.
You gotta go after the things you want while you’re still in your prime…
There’s a fine, fine line between love
And a waste of time.

September 08, 2007


I am gay; whatever kind of label one puts at it, I would always be defined as someone, a man who likes/loves another man. I have already come to accept that part of me and I don't think of any other thing happening could ever change that. This fact, I have intimidated to someone who apparently got so infatuated with me. But despite this pronouncement, she persists; it's almost nine months now.

What did she see/find in me? I really do not know: I'm no swashbuckling, macho type of guy; I'm no flamboyantly debonair type of guy either. I don't have millions as she has. I don't have fame as she has. I'm no sugary sweet for I have actually been so abrasive to the point of being too snob and a slob type of guy yet, she still sees me differently as saccharine? I have done most of the imaginable things that could turn off anyone and yet...

It's flattering to be pursued; even more flattering that the pursuer is someone of name; but I don't know what to take of all this anymore; perhaps it's all about the thrill of pursuit. A friend suggested for me to take the bait, let her have me for a while, and perhaps this way the thrill would be gone; and that by then she could also be gone in a jiffy. Perhaps I would, I could, if I am a straight guy; but the problem is I'm too straight of a gay guy to get my self romantically involve with a woman. It really takes substantive amount of attraction for me to really get romantically involve with anyone, much more to a woman, an older woman at that. How appropriate her signature song could be "sayang...."

Dilemma: The whole workplace is getting buzzed on the supposed romance between us; I'm getting too uncomfortable. I can allow my self to be swallowed in the lie or I could get my self out. Hopefully, things would quietly die down. I don't need to explain my self anyway.

September 07, 2007

Night and Day...

I let him be...
the light that shone on yonder night....
As I move on...
I live life both of love and pain...
hopefully to be embraced in the warmth of new day as the sun shines...

May 02, 2007

Moving in

Life's been good to me...

A new home to call my own....

May, 2, 2007

April 02, 2007

Another Postscript to my Coming Out...

A trip that provided me with a glimpse of life as he lives his own;

and a realization that I too, am already living a life of my own...

Excitement would be an understatement as I prepared and anticipate my trip to the US; excitement for it would be my first time to travel abroad alone, my first time to the US; my first time to really have a vacation in so many years; and beneath my broadcasted reason for the month-long vacation is the anticipated reunion with my best friend, 2 years after that Epilogue.

My trip alone is a story in itself. I spent my first week alone in San Diego to attend a medical convention. I spent my free time walking alone, wandering aimlessly, exploring and simply be an innocent bystander, observing another culture and way of life; it was an experience that I would remember and appreciate more than anything else. On my first night, I found this beautiful spot, a quaint park at the far end of Orange Road in the city of Coronado, overlooking San Diego Bay; and every night for the week that I stayed there, I would quietly spend an hour or two sitting in the wooden bench looking at Downtown San Diego reminiscing on my life and times passed or simply sitting there, contemplating on nothingness as the cool breeze of wind endlessly kissed my cheeks.

view from where I sit

He called the minute he knew I have set foot in the US, checking on me, where I'm at and how I've been doing. He seemed to be incredulous that I was travelling alone, worried on what might be as I wandered on my own in a totally unfamiliar territory; I was just as surprised with how simple and enjoyable my trip has gone so far.

At the end of the week, I flew to San Francisco to have the rest of my three weeks with him as planned, much to the chagrin of several friends who came to know of my (to them) a very much welcome but unexpected arrival. I was expecting him to meet me at the airport but, much to my disappointment, it was his live-in partner who met me, for he's still at work where we briefly met on our way to his home. A room was already reserved for me in his home, his pride, a nice quiet place in the foggy side of Pacifica a short drive from Daly City where he works. I was settling down when lady, one of his friends staying with them, arrived home and as if it was already a laid-out plan, she took me for a ride, giving me my glimpse of San Francisco. Somehow, I have sensed, this would be the tone of my stay as well; his friends, alternating to bring me places; this is typical of him, not really surprising for he always rely on friends to do his bidding for him. Who am I to complain, I have completely left up to him the rest of my itinerary as I had hope he would make one, with him significantly part of it. I was wrong, that was not to be; he's working on a possible promotion and cannot possibly afford to be off work at that point. I was uncomfortable with the set up; I'm not comfortable imposing myself on anyone more so to people I do not personally know.

Nevertheless, I did enjoy myself doing nothing; it was certainly a very much welcome change doing mostly household chores: cooking, cleaning, letting out his dogs, and whatever other chores he asked me to do. I did get to see San Francisco as far as Sta. Cruz and Monterey on one end and Vacaville and Napa Valley on the other end. But I did enjoy more the times I went to downtown San Francisco on my own, commuting by train and bus; wandering on foot in the city, I even got to see Jersey Boys playing in Currant Theater. Again, he was incredulous that I insisted on exploring the city alone.

Living with him for three weeks afforded me time to know him again; which include getting to know his live-in partner and friends; his work and his boss; and his life as he lives it. We never really got the time to be alone together, except at night when we were left alone in the living room drinking as we watched pinoy series on cable; imagine me glued to pinoy telenovelas just so I can spend times with him alone; those were the only times that we were able to catch up on each other's lives. I have observed how untenable his relationship with his live-in partner is and I told him so; he confirmed that indeed theirs is on the verge of breaking up; that his partner already wanted out and that the only thing holding them together is his promise to him to support his schooling until he can make it on his own. Although it's presumptuous of me to make any opinion, I just told him that it does not look healthy for both of them. On the surface it seemed so noble, but the deeper truth is, they're both hurting in the process; for he's already loosing himself as a person; and that I cannot seem to understand on why he seemed to be holding on to a relationship that seemed to be getting nowhere. At the back of my mind, I know the answer, as I know him; he does not want to let go because he's afraid to be alone and for that, I know, he will hold on foolishly. It would be unfair of me to ask him to give up on something that to him is an anchor. It's just so unfortunate that this anchor seemed to be pulling him down to drown.

My three weeks stay with him confirmed my love for him; but I have also come to realization that he is already living a life of his own, just as I am already living a life of my own. And to say again, my love for him is now just a wish for him to find all the happiness in whatever form and whomever he will find it.

January 10, 2007

"Closing Cycle" Borrowing lines of Paulo Coelho...

I got this from a thread in one of my yahoogroups, a very appropriate article on my current state; and coming from one of my favorite authors at that....

Closing Cycles
By Paulo Coelho

One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through.

Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished. Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents' house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of sudden?

You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened. You can tell yourself you won't take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that. But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister, everyone will be finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill.

None of us can be in the present and the past at the same time, not even when we try to understand the things that happen to us. What has passed will not return: we cannot for ever be children, late adolescents, sons that feel guilt or rancor towards our parents, lovers who day and night relive an affair with someone who has gone away and has not the least intention of coming back.

Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away. That is why it is so important (however painful it maybe!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home.

Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts and getting rid of certain memories also means taking some room for other memories to take their place.

Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them. Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood. Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else. Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the ideal moment. Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back. Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person. Nothing is irreplaceable. A habit is not a need. This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important.

Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life. Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust. Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.

January 01, 2007

A new leaf...

A new leaf just turned...

T'was a good year; thank God!

I pray, let this be as good as if not better as last...