October 20, 2008
Morbid thoughts keep running on my mind; feels like the end is near, at least for me.
Part of mid-life crisis? mid-life blues perhaps, but a crisis? hmmmm.... ???
I don't know, I find it a bit funny in a way, but I kinda look forward actually.
No one can ever be ready for this but I guess, yeah I'm ready in a way.
This morning I got a text message from my brother informing me of an aunt's passing, she's almost 90, I think. Shortly, I received a call from my Tatay telling me the same. He then handed the phone to Nanay who repeatedly asked in a worried tone if I'm okay. She started babbling that she's been having recurring dreams of me. She was about to describe in details about her dreams but I cut her short by changing topic and just assured her I'm okay...
I recently moved into this new office that people claim has bad vibes, bad luck for all the previous occupants. The room used to be the office of all the previous company's CEOs; in the 6 year history of the company already numbering nine (9) I think. The last occupant was the most tragic, he only lasted for about 6 months, having been diagnosed with a late stage cancer on his 3rd month in office. He died soon after. In almost a month of occupying this office, I have gotten sick twice already, just the usual cough and cold type of illness, nothing serious but more than the usual that I get in a year's time, which is usually once a year or none at all. Creepy thought, but will I be another statistics to be added as another previous office occupant??? Time will tell.
All Saint's day and All Soul's day are just a week's away!
October 18, 2008
My stint in the seminary as a young lad in search of identity has been one of the most memorable and fulfilling for the sense I felt that I was not so much different at all. The kinship and brotherhood with the rest of the community has given me immense feeling of being one with the others more than the reality of my being different. As part of that community then and now, I know and I would like to believe I have made a difference.
As a young adult with awareness of the political, family and personal issues I have made it a point to act not with impunity but with care to make a difference. In my own way I took part in the change that was EDSA I and II. In my own way I have been a responsive and responsible classmate, leader and friend in and out of school. In my own way I have been a dutiful son, brother and uncle. Have I made a difference in that respect? I know and I believe I did.
One compelling reason why I chose medicine as my vocation was the fact that it provides me the means and responsibility to make a difference. In my practice as a doctor I always strive to bring into focus my end to make a difference more than the material gain that the profession brings. I'm no hypocrite, but the perks of being a doctor can be so tempting and rewarding that at times I lose focus; I just hope I still made a difference in those instances.
I'm already patting my own back too much; I just wish someone would tell me that indeed I made a difference. I am but just human, needing affirmation that indeed I am good and have made a difference.
May 13, 2008
A momentous day, totally not unexpected obviously inevitable but nevertheless something that still brought mix and harried thoughts and emotions.
Bizarre as it may seem as others would have looked at it; I choose to spend my day in solitude, my annual personal retreat and recollection; time to reflect on the time passed, where I stand and where I may possibly be heading. It's not really that peculiar for it has been my tradition to spend my birthday this way even when I was in grade school. Whereas before, seclusion meant getting lost in Quiapo, Luneta, Sampaloc Lake, malls, beach or whatever parks, sometimes unknown and unfamiliar places that my wandering feet happen to chance upon. Uncanny as it may be, but I look forward being alone this time of the year, for my senses become more acute, more expansive that I see and appreciate things differently. This time, my 40th got to be more memorable and the solitude more pronounced for I am in a foreign land, Stockholm, Sweden.
I stepped out of the hotel with no particular destination in mind. The sky is clear and the clime just fine. It's a good day to wander on foot; and tread on I did as I explore the city; charming with the union of the old world and the comfort and convenience of the modern chutzpah. I simply love the charm it brings, but not the expense of living in it; it is certainly the most expensive city even by European standard. My wandering feet brought me to these beautiful parks where I got to spend some time people watching, soaking in its beauty, simply sitting in rumination, enjoying that for a moment I must have been one of the locals basking in the soothing calm that the park brings.
Introspection has made me aware of my mortality. Forty (40) is a milestone for anyone; others would have been simply lucky to even have reached it, Jose Rizal, despite and in spite of his greatness was even a couple of years short of reaching it; others, like my mother who just turned 80 would probably be looking back at it now as their turning point, their halfway to where they probably are now.
As I stand proudly at 40, I have so much to thank for; I look back with so much pride for the path I have walked on. I have indeed come a long way in my journey.
More than 30 years ago, I was in a small, bucolic town at the foot of Mt. Banahaw enjoying the simple pleasure of being one of the martial law kids: playing patintero, piko, siyato, luksong baka, taguan, and other sorts of games our imaginary mind can only dream up and with toys our bare hands can only hammer, shape and built. And I have so much to thank for those early years: I thank our lack of television for my sense of wonder in written words and the boundless expanse it brings. I thank my worn out slippers I used to go to school for I got to appreciate the comfort of the shoes, more than the beauty of the style it brings. I thank that we were wanting in luxury for I got to experience at a very young age the thrill of caring for chicken and pigs not as pet but as livestock that feed us. I thank our lack of household help for the discipline it instilled in me and my full appreciation of the joy of doing simple household chores including whipping out simple but delectable dishes. I have so much, much more to thank for, but most of all I thank those times for the chance of living in that age when simple life is indeed simple.
More than 20 years ago, I was ironically free in the confine of the seminary. Free to explore the limits of reason, sexuality and ties of friendship. I simply thank those unforgettable 4 years for the kinship I have forged with friends and for the great significance of the person that I have become. I thank the years that follow for the time it has allowed me to bond with my siblings, though very short for they got set on with their own married lives one after the other. I thank those years for allowing me the experience of caring for a child, albeit a surrogate father to my nieces and nephews. Though I’m not a father and may not even be a father in this lifetime I thank my nephew and nieces for they have allowed me to experience the sense of fulfilment and unfathomable wonder of cradling a child; feeding and lulling them to sleep; sharing in the glee of their first step, first word, and other firsts of a child of wonders. I may not be a hero to them, but still my heart bursts with pride and joy every time they reminisce of even the simplest things that I got to do with them when they were kids.
More than 10 years ago I was struggling to be a doctor. It was with great pride that I was able to somehow pay back my parents with the joy and pride of walking me up the stage on graduation day having finished with the honor of being among the top 10 of the class. I thank those struggling years of having been trained by the best in the field of medicine in the Philippines. Thankful for the friends I have gained, for the mentors that inspire, and for the wealth of experience I have achieved, that in a way paved the way for opportunities way beyond I have actually studied and trained for.
The last decade has been a whirlwind of experience: spiral tests of wisdom and my fortitude as son and brother; as friend and lover; as doctor and administrator; or simply as a man enduring of all the frailties and triumphs.
I am now 40: I live on my own, in a place of my own but not in a time that I own. I stand proud and happy because of those years and decades of experience of pain and conquest. I am thankful simply for the life I have lived; still standing ready to embrace the opportunities and challenges that life would bring.
February 05, 2008
In the old days, cinema theatres are the only, if not just the usual cruising place for gay men. A convenient place for anonymous opportunity of quick orgasmic release; heightened by the thrill of the risqué itself. I've heard of stories of diverse places becoming hunting grounds throughout the years: public parks, vacant and busy parking lots; every imaginable corners of the malls of any malls including the fitting rooms of department stores; and of course the gym, be it in the floor, locker rooms and the steam or sauna rooms.
Gym stories abound and my keen sense for reading body language certainly made me more acutely aware of goings on for more than a year now that I have been regularly going to FF. With this in mind, I have resolved early on that gym shall be a legitimate and wholesome exercise for me literally and figuratively. I exercise because I want to be fit to enable me to eat what I want and not because I crave to be fit and buffed.
Despite my nonchalant behaviour in the gym, I still have been cruised a lot of times, and a lot of times I have passed the chance except for one time several months back, when my groin gets the horny part of me; wham, cum, thank you man. I'm also human after all. But for the most part I have learned to control my groin; the risqué does not seem to be of worth anymore; only a fool would ever risk being caught taking shit in his own backyard so to speak.
But the past couple of days have been more than the usual. I don't know if I have the word "horny" written all over me that I have been cruised almost every day that I was in the gym. Five days in a row and who wouldn't succumb, especially if a buffed and scantily clad young man goes down on his knees; I am no saint. The encounter did not reach the orgasmic proportion, thanks to the intruder and door that cannot be locked, but somehow the narcissistic in me brought forth a consoling thought that perhaps, I'm still desirable after all, despite my age and that pestering mound of a belly. LOL!!!
February 04, 2008
I am single and that is a fact that I would probably have to live with for the rest of my life. A very cynical view one might say but a very realistic possibility nonetheless, especially for a gay man.
But being single does not mean I am lonely or that I am alone. Being single speaks only of the societal definition of my status and not my state of being. Notwithstanding the reality of what I have; I choose to be happy and that is more important than weeping for the reality of what I don't have.
Is it really a truth or is it just my contemptible dispute to justify and bring sense to my single hood? Arguably I have deemed my being gay, is not a choice, but an innate truth. It is my very being and as such I have no choice but to accept it.
In the same way, it can be argued that being gay and single is not a choice but a fact of reality; for being gay has the fine distinction of apparent freedom to choose and be not constrained by any form of bond; affirming gay as synonymous with polygamy.
I say it's just a convenient choice of pretext for polygamy, to which I don't necessarily subscribe. An excuse for apparent sexual behaviour of no distinction except for the pleasure it brings. I still believe and choose the transparency of a committed relationship for it leaves no room for ambiguities in terms of love; only a romantic fool that I am would like to understand.
That is another one of my views that makes me a pariah, an ironic twist of being a recluse amongst the recluse. Oh well, that is me just being true to the word non-conformist.
January 26, 2008
My reflection for the day is to focus on one person and offer my act of forgiveness.
This is going to be more difficult and painful than I have imagined; this is too personal, but somehow the net also provide certain veil anonymity and so I'm posting it just the same.
Forgiveness is one word that would be very difficult to define and understand. I know that this simply is not just a word that I have to say in order to cleanse the iniquities; for the scar will be there, an infinite reminder of the wound inflicted. Will the word be enough to take away the pain, resentment and anger for the offense made? Somehow the voice of that word has the power to soothe but I really do not know; what I know is that my mind will always have that imprint of scar despite knowing in my heart that I have forgiven. What I have come to realize is that, forgiveness is a process; saying the words "I forgive..." is a sacred act, that is why there is the sacrament of confession and absolution in the Christian world. This is my act of forgiveness.
There is one person I offer this act of forgiveness, not so much for her but for me to exorcise the demons that clouds the core of my being.
I cannot fully understand why for so many years and for as long as I can remember; I have been so distant with my parents, my mother in particular. I have condemned myself with guilt for this for as long as I can remember. I have tried to search for the answer and my introspection always lead me back to the time I was in 3rd grade school.
I spent my primary education in public school in a small, bucolic town. Each batch of class is composed of 3-4 sections per level; divided into section 1: the honor class; and sections 2-3 and 4; the other class. I am no genius but not dim-witted either, as attested by some awards I have gotten when I was in the first 2 grades. But this was put into question when I reached the third grade; when I was put in the honor class, upon the recommendation of my grade 2 teacher, who happened to be my mother. The torments, anguish and shame started when my grade 3 teacher repeatedly put in no uncertain terms, that the only reason I was with the class was because of my mother; that I do not deserve to be in the honor class; that I was a dim-wit worthy of the last section and not her class. I don't think the humiliation it has brought me can be measured in any terms and sphere. My young spirit just took it all in; I never told anyone of the pain I was suffering; it felt the whole world crashed on me. I have completely lost my confidence; for each failure and mistakes I made was magnified in my thoughts that perhaps, I must really be a dim-wit. I became angry with my mother for putting me in that class; but my anger cannot overcome my fear of her and my fear of what she might do if she finds out; she's one feisty lady who'll never flinched on a fight for she is a mother first and foremost. It was a long agonizing year for me but it must have been a miracle for me to have survived that class; unfortunately not the scar it has created which, will be forever etched in my heart and mind.
It has been a struggle for me since and all these years to regain my confidence. In a way it has helped me in my struggle to be better, to achieve more, and to prove her wrong. In so many ways and in so many times I have already proven her wrong with each triumph I achieved. But my tribulation remains for I cannot seem to erase the distant wall I have with my mother and that is my greatest frustration more than anything else.
How do I tell my mother, she who has love and protected me, overprotected me at times only a mother would do and know how; she who is now on her twilight years; she who has suffered as well in her own struggle for life and family; how do I tell her that I forgive her for the wrong of long ago that is not of her choosing. It could crush her heart, for I know she meant only the good things for me when she did what she did. It might be cruel for me to say all these now, for time has already proven that she was right after all in putting me in that class. I'm still afraid to tell her and I don't think I would ever have the courage to tell her. And so this is my process, this is my act for her. I have forgiven as much as I ask for her forgiveness for the times that I have not been a good son.
In a way I also offer this forgiveness to the very person instrumental in the distant wall I have ut up with my parents; she who has put in doubt the very core of my being; she who has caused me agony of innumerable pain for the loss of confidence in myself. May she now rest in peace for I have found, albeit painfully, the consolation that my struggle to prove her wrong has in a way, steeled me to strive and achieved much, much more than what she might have taken me for. The experience of it all has, in a way exalted my being and the values that I hold. It has reinforced my pride and my integrity that can never be compromised.
I am human; a flawed and frail human being. I humble myself for forgiveness for the frailties only a human heart can endure.
January 24, 2008
Another tale dredged from the bin. I wrote this way back when I was livid with rage. I reworked and tone it down, but the rage is still there for the sake of the story. It's now just a story to be told, nothing more.
It was just a day after Christmas and work in the hospital was slow as usual during this time of year. I spent most the day in the office cleaning my year's clutters. A message popped in my G4M inbox; a message of invitation coming from someone who is alone and wanting company that night for a chat over what is supposedly leftover Christmas feasts and drinks. I agreed, despite the anonymity. Instinct told me he could be a good guy based on the exchange of messages we had; the way he phrased those messages and the way he answered my queries. Phone number was exchanged and we had a brief talk; he gave me direction to his place and we finally set the time. I agreed not expecting on anything except to have someone to talk to and satisfy as well my curiosity on who could be this guy who would invite a complete stranger to his home.
I rang his doorbell on the appointed time, way ahead of the supposedly dinner time. The door opened to a portly, Chinese-looking, bald guy; not exactly my type of guy. I could sense that I'm not his type either. I did not have any expectation and his demeanor on how he received me in his home so far did not alarm me of anything that would make me think otherwise. We had an engaging talk that extended to dinner, which turned out to be heated canned foods, as opposed to what he mentioned as Christmas feast leftovers and non-alcoholic wine for drinks; as it turned out he does not take alcoholic drinks. He doesn't smoke either but he let me smoke in his veranda; though weeks later he would make a big deal about smoking and how he really hated it and so on that from then on I really made sure not to smoke when we were together.
As the night wore on, he asked me at some point what I think of him so far. I told him, he seemed to be a nice guy, generous to have invited me in his home for dinner but I also told him I found him "mayabang" for the incessant talk about himself, bragging about how "made" he is that he can afford to retire and not work anymore; although, he won't divulge what he used to do for a living. He showed me his collection of paintings which included paintings of known Filipino masters the size of which could run to hundreds of thousands pesos and so I believed him; yes maybe he's "made" as he claimed. He also talked about how tired he is of guys taking advantage of him; he paying for this and that. I can only mutter to myself, I'm not one of those guys; I'll never be one of those guys; I have my own money, it may not be much, but I don't think I have taken advantage of anyone and would never take advantage of anyone. After telling him of my impression, I asked him the same and his comments were the usual comments I get, that I'm quiet, reserved etc. I cannot recall any more details of what he mentioned coz as he repeatedly mention that he invited me for chat dinner, drinks and nothing more; something more happened that night.
We continued seeing each other after that night. I have come to know the stories about his past (no. 1) and present (no. 2); the present who apparently caused the break-up of his past, with whom he is supposedly still in constant contact and still not completely over with. Apparently he's having problem with the present and in fact their situation is in sort of limbo-land. Those details did not surfaced during our first meeting, the only thing he mentioned was that he was in between relationship; this certainly is big time news to me. I jokingly asked "...that makes me no. 3 man?"
He casually replied "no, you're not even no. 3; in fact you're not even in the list yet."
Ouch! What a big slap on my face, I assumed wrongly that there could be something more between us. We started on the no expectation basis and so it was not really that hard for me to continue the communication more for friendship as we get along that line just fine; no other sexual encounter happened between us after that first night; and certainly one thing is clear on my mind; getting involve with someone who is still with someone is not my cup of tea.
A couple of weeks after that first meeting he told me that he finally called it quits with no. 2, apparently over money matters. Is this a sign for a possible chance? And so I asked him casually, "does it mean I'm moving up the list?"
He replied, nonchalantly "I'll think about it, if you can fill the slot. Besides, how can we be together when you have not even courted me?" Ouch again!
I really don't know what has gotten into me but I persisted and made an effort to make good impression. I have included him in my sphere; invited him to dinner dates with my friends. I was just disappointed when he left early; I have invited him to the pre-valentine's dinner party of the hospital, first time I have invited and allowed someone a glimpse of my other world; we had a post-valentine dinner as well, as he did not want to go out on valentine's day apparently because of the onslaught of people also having dinner date, but as it turned out he had valentine's dinner with no. 2. He refused another dinner date with my friends, as he claimed he does not really like the company; no big deal for me, for I know I can never force anyone to be friend with my friends.
Another slap on my face came when he told me about a week or so later that Valentine's week that he reconciled with no. 2. I did not made any comments, but he must have sensed my disappointment for he reminded me that he had told me not to fall for him; that in the first place we have agreed that we're just going to be friends; that from the very start he made it clear that he doesn't want to get involve with me. I really don't know what has become of me to be so blinded to have succumbed to a false hope. And so, from that time on I really tried to bring myself to be just friends with him and have erased any more notions that there could be something more.
We still continued our friendship. Somehow I became comfortable with him as a friend. That is one thing I like about him, we argue but still I feel comfortable with him; we converse simply but sensibly. He does not have a regular circle of friends, as he claimed most of them have migrated someplace else, and that I'm now one of the few friends that he can regularly hang out with. Our meet up became infrequent when I began my study review for specialty board examination. I promised him that should I pass the specialty board, I will bring him with me in my planned trip to Bali. I passed the Board and I did bring him to Bali as I promised.
It was already night time when we arrived in Bali. We went out for a walk in the beach as soon as we have unpacked our luggage. As we were walking back to the hotel I playfully jumped on his back and gave him a bear hug. I really don't know if he was serious or was just joking but nevertheless, I got offended when he told me not to come too close, that I'm already making a pass on him, that we have agreed to be just friends and that the only reason his no. 1 and no. 2 agreed for him to come with me was because he promised that nothing would happen between us. I was taken aback, but just the same I said sorry, that there was nothing really to it but deep inside, I really felt like shit. I felt so low with his insinuation that my reason on why I have brought him with me was for me to have a hand on him, and that the trip was sort of a bribe for me to have my way with him. I never told him how I felt, I just remained quiet during the remainder of our walk back to the hotel; he commented that he seemed like talking to no one, that I'm not paying attention to him. I said to myself, okay that's what you'll get from me and so I walked ahead of him, went directly to our room, took a shower and slept. The following morning, sensing that he won't even make the first move to speak, I gave in and said sorry again. In my mind I just don't want to ruin the rest of the trip. The rest of the trip went on with no more spats, we slept on separate beds. Did something happen during the trip? Yes, I playfully teased him and he succumbed each time. A horny bitch was what he thought of me, and so I played the horny bitch part to the hilt.
When we got back from the trip I have resolved to keep a certain distance. But then I think the expectation turned around; he expected more from me, he'd text and quizzed me on why I was not telling him my whereabouts; he'd ask if I miss him, before I usually said yes, but this time I said no, not anymore. I can go on for a couple of days without any communications with him, but when that happens, he'd initiate for us to meet, have dinner or just go out. I started seeking out again; I met a couple of guys from G4M. I mentioned this to him and he bugged me to tell him who these guys are. I gave him their aliases and he must have checked them out for he commented about these guys with disdain. I told him, I'm just meeting them not sleeping with them; I was trying to explore again. I really don't know what to think but he's giving me mixed signals. When he talks, he now talks of "us" and "our" he now plans with "us" and "our."
He promised to set me up with a guy he knows; someone he says is way better than those guys I am dating. He made true his promise, he introduced me to this guy over dinner; but then I was amused, he claimed he wanted to pair me up with this guy and yet he was the one who completely took over the dinner conversation. And after the dinner, he readily offered this guy to stay over at his place for the night, which he never, not even once offered me. In my mind, hello!!! You're paring me up with this guy and you're the one who gets to bring him home. Whoa! I really don't know what to make of this.
He started doing things with me which he did not want to do before. Out of the blue he wanted to come with me in the mass, which he never did before; he's a Buddhist as he claimed. Out of the blue he wanted to come and play badminton with my group. Out of the blue he wanted to invite my friends for dinner. He knows I regularly had dinner with my friends after the badminton games. Where on earth are all these coming from and where is this going to. Okay, maybe he really just would like to be one of the guys. So I acceded and agreed with what he wanted, I thought this would also be a good way for him to widen his circle of friends.
He planned to host an after badminton dinner treat for my friends. He made his dinner plan the day before, it was his first time to cook for a group and he's not too confident about his cooking, so he requested that I do not make the invitation yet. He said he'll give the invitation himself when he's sure that what he prepared would be good enough. That was perfectly fine with me; it's his place and he has all the right to extend the invitation. On that day, on our way to the badminton game, he mentioned that something was not right with what he prepared. He did not elaborate; I did not probed him either and just presumed that he did not want to proceed with his planned dinner. I just enjoyed my games and I saw him playing and enjoying the games with some other newbie's as well. But apparently during the course of the games he mentioned the plan to one of my friends and had actually given the invitation; he never told me that he did.
On our way back to his place, I was waiting for him to make the invitation for my friends who are riding with us in the car but again I didn't hear him extend any invitation. As I dropped him off in his place, he did extend an invitation but only for me to come back after I dropped off my other friends in the mall. I begged off that I will be heading home soon after a quick dinner in the mall. It was only when we were at the mall that my friend whom he had mention about the dinner told me about the supposed earlier invitation. At that point I expected that he would be mad at me for this and so it was not a surprise anymore when I got an angry txt message from him; but still I was surprised with the message "sorry, can't help it, but would like to know if you're still interested to keep me as your friend. Or do you prefer we go our separate ways?"
I did not reply at once, I was driving; as soon as I reached home I called his number, but he wouldn't take any of my calls. I texted him "of course, we're friends. What seems to be the problem?" I purposely did not mention that I have already known his earlier invitation to my friends; in my mind I just wanted for him to tell me so I can pounce on him for not telling me; but he did not reply either. Finally I texted him again this time with a long message "I just found out from my friend that you have actually extended the invitation for dinner (which you never told me). It was your instruction for me not to tell them as you would like to be the one to extend the invitation depending on the outcome of what you have prepared (to which I have complied and never told any of my friends about it). When you mentioned before the start of the games that something went wrong with what you have prepared, I assumed that you did not want to proceed with the dinner anymore. My assumption was further bolstered when I did not hear you mention this the whole time we were in the badminton center neither when we were in the car on our way back. I'm sorry for that wrong assumption, I should have asked, but you also led me to second guessing as you did not mention anything either. Again, I'm sorry!"
He replied after some time with a message: "It has nothing to do with the invitation or dinner. My problem with you is your insensitivity. I'm trying to cheer up every moment we were together but to no avail. I feel I'm out of place in your life. The whole time we were in badminton center you did not speak to me; I felt so stupid; I wanted to play with you but you did not put any effort to do so." He followed it up with: "You're so good at taking care of your friends. I give up on you. I'm tired. Anyway, thanks for the moments. Take care."
I was stunned; I didn't know how to react. Was I really that so bad and insensitive. Why these seemingly sudden expectations? I just texted him back: "I'm sorry if that's how you feel; to be honest yes, I'm consciously trying to keep distance coz we've decided to remain friends and yet I'm getting these mixed signals; it's confusing. Again I'm sorry, though I really would want to continue our friendship, I respect whatever it is that you decide"
He replied "what mixed signal? We have talked about this; I'm taking care of you coz you're my friend. That's why I introduced you to this guy, but look at what you did? I hope you two would get along well, coz I don't want you to be taken advantage of. I value you as a friend since I don't have any more friends here." He followed up "I have told you this before. This goes back to our first night in Bali, you've been like this. I've been so patient with you out of gratitude to you."
I never replied anymore, I think I have said enough.
I have made a fool of myself enough.
I really must move on.
I have moved on...
January 23, 2008
This happened not too long ago, written long ago as well, but languishing in the draft bin; might as well rehash, finish and post it for the sake of the story...
G4M is one of those internet dating services that proliferate the cyberworld. I discovered the site or was rather referred to the site on the prodding of a friend that this is a good venue to meet other guys anonymously. Indeed, in the short time that I have been a member, I must have flirted online with a dozen of anonymous guys; anonymous saved for what is written in their profiles; actually met and dated more than a couple and yes in a handful of cases have mated as well.
Whenever I go online to check my inbox, I also make it a point to search and see who the other guys are online. It's a fun way to while away time, reading catchy and sometimes bitchy aliases; reading profiles that can range from the mundane to the dramatic and overly dramatic; funny to downright ridiculous and so many other lengths guys err gays would write in order to make an interesting profile, to catch attention and in the hope catch someone who would dare.
A profile caught my attention; it simply reads "my life like my blurb is a work in progress."
I sent him a message: "… and looking at you (referring to his pictures posted in his profile) I can see what a beautiful progress it has been."
I did not get a reply until a week later, it simply reads: "thanks" signed with his name. I took it as a sign of interest even if it's just a one word response; most guys would never bother to even make any form of response if there is not even a pinch of interest in their bone. I never got to make a follow up reply until few days later. I boldly invited him for "a chat over a cup or a bottle of something." He responded "sure" and wasting no time I sent him my cellphone number at once.
About an hour later from the time I sent my last message, I got a text message from an unlisted number, the message reads "hey pj! here's my cp no. – (his name)" Hmmm... I thought I was fast, but he could be faster in this game or probably he was just leveling my swiftness. And so, the succeeding txt messages exchanged skipped anymore pleasantries as we directly set a meeting later that night, which was just a couple of hours away from that time on. I promptly cleared and finished whatever needs to be finished at work but a little snag prevented me from leaving workplace as planned. I was apologetic, what an impression I would make coming in late on a first date which I have actually initiated; in my book, that is one of the "Don'ts in a first date" tardiness. I texted him I'll be late; he agreed to wait and reset the time. As soon as I finished giving my order to an emergency patient referral; I speed on and took the skyway just to make sure I'll be there on the reset time. Although traffic was really bad, as it was drizzling that whole afternoon, familiarity with driving in Manila helped me made it on time. I parked on the first available space in the basement and raced up on foot to the floor of the mall where he was waiting: Powerbooks. I was about to enter the bookstore when I thought I caught sight of him in a section near the window. I retreated back as I was not sure if indeed it was him for neither of us gave any description, relying just on the pictures we both have seen of each other in our respective profiles, which are not deliberately that clear. I was about to call his number to confirm when I saw him walked towards my direction, he must have also seen me. We briefly held each other's hands for a handshake as we say each other's names in not so much of a question but more of confirmatory statement; I really don't know but that brief touch of hand was sort of electrifying for me. I must have looked goofy as I tried hard to keep my smile on check while my heartbeat raced a hundred-fold during that time. As I regained my composure I invited him to look for a place for us to have a dinner and chat. As we walked and as I make way for him in the escalator, the naughty me, got to admire a good view of his inviting asset. We settled for a brightly lit restaurant not far from where we started. I really don't know if our talk was that engaging that we barely finish the food we ordered or we're just both nervous of the whole meeting. There were not much people and the restaurant was not that busy but somehow it became uncomfortable that people seemed to be looking at us. I offered for us to leave and have coffee in another place.
I was not really familiar with the place and so I let him decide for us, this being his territory; but we were going nowhere so I took over and drove us to the Baywalk. We settled in one of the cafe cum bar with a live band just setting up to play for the night. We chose the far end corner, away from blaring speakers as we continue our talk, sitting side by side just an inch of a touching distance. We talked mostly about each other's lives; his life abroad when he went there for further study, his current works, his family and the things he would still like to pursue in the days coming. I must have told him stories of almost the same vein. I was already happy and contented with the way the date has progressed so far. I think the band has finished 3 sets already when I noticed him quickly glancing at his watch; it was already close to midnight. I thought this has been a long and engaging night. As much as I wanted to stay longer and spend more time with him, the lateness of the hour and the prospect of work in the morning, not to mention that I still have to drive to the other side of the metro for home, made me rather consider just setting another date. I was about to blurt this out when he said he wanted to ask me a question, but then he hesitated. After a little coaxing on my part he leaned closer and in an almost whisper voice asked "Don't you want for us to go to a more intimate place?"
I feigned ignorance and suppressed a growing smile as I simply asked him in return "why?" In my mind the train of thoughts was already racing; there goes my resolved on a first date.
He answered after a while "I've been wanting to hug and kiss you, that's why..." He followed it up with "... can't you see I've been trying to be content just to have a sniff of your scent here on your side?"
That did it: I have restrained myself at that point from holding him but I cannot suppress the wide smile on my face as I asked him if he was really sure about it; all this while my hand was already up in the air, frantically signaling the waiter to bring us our bill. I cannot suppress a nervous giggle when it took some time for the waiter to notice my raised and waving hand. The short walk to the car was spent in silence peppered with suppressed laugh and giggle as we look at each other with shy silliness. I held his hand as soon as we settled in the car; he leaned forward on my side for a brief hug. We continued holding hands as we sped off to the night to some intimate place, where the sun never shine; we spent the rest of the night, or rather the first part of that beautiful morning in a blissful embrace in each other's arms.
As we parted and went our way to work sleepily late that morning we exchanged text message:
Him: "mood: happy. soundtrack: "I got u under my skin"
Me: "Heaven… I'm in heaven…"
January 21, 2008
There is nothing more difficult to deal with in any office setting than politics. Hospital, a place for caring the sick, where art and science gets to be practiced in the realm of medicine is where one would probably least expect politics to be displayed as part of its existence is definitely not exempted from this and could even be a glaring example of how one defines politics; the power and ability to impose one's will even in the face of opposition. Politics per se is not a detestable display of human behaviour for it is an accepted process for important decisions to be made and concluded.
What is difficult is being caught in the middle of it all. And that is the shaky ground my precarious position and person has sometimes been put into. Inner conflict arises to satisfy and uphold the rationality and sensibility of my boss's decisions but at the same time I'm also caught off guard for the decisions ultimately affect the very people I'm working with, people who are my colleagues, my mentors and my friends. It's not so much a question of defensibility for I know the decisions can very well stand the scrutiny of reason and fairness. But to my mind this is just one part of the bigger equation. Somehow, the soft side in me also put more weight on the decision that is made with equanimity and compassion.
That is one thing I get to admire my boss; no matter how unpopular his decisions are, he will stand by it for they are approached and made with logic and reasons; always with the end to uphold the rule of law and what to him is fair and equal. I may never completely agree with him all the time, but I get to respect him as well for recognizing and taking into considerations the other dimension I get to bring to his thinking process; somehow, I get to let him see as well the more tempered and compassionate part of the equation.
Conflicts are already brewing and the tug war starting. I just hope people do not get to tug on me too much as to compromise the decency of my work and position.
January 20, 2008
A friend recently related the importance for him to have a crush on another person for him to possibly consider something more serious like love and relationship.
Crush can be defined as an overwhelming sense of attraction and admiration, mostly physical but it can be some other attributes that one so idolizes and or idealizes in another person. My other definition of crush is that the attraction should be instantaneous; to me that is the ultimate crush. Chances are, one may mistake it for love and or in other instance, the basis for love and relationship.
I really do not know if there is such a thing as rightness or wrongness of acting out on one's crush. It is true, that in a way this is the impetus that makes one act to lead it into possible romance and relationship. But sometimes if not most of the times, relationships that start this way can get stuck in this level and never goes past beyond what is supposedly idealized and move on to what is practical, more sensible and enduring part of relationship.
I started having crush way back when I was just in grade school. Most of my childhood crushes were of the opposite sex. Some of them I can still vividly remember: There is S1, a childhood playmate, a beauty with her long wavy hair, thick brows, curly lashes, fair skin and she smells so good that I would always sidled up to her whenever I had chance; I must have been one hell of a horny boy to even had those desire at that age, but my young mind was not even aware of those. What I knew then was that I must be near her whenever possible. Then there is S2, a campus sweetheart; a bit chubby but a combination of beauty and brains; she's a consistent honor student. There is M1, shy, unassuming, fragile looking girl; what really caught me were her seemingly soulful eyes. I still had my crush on her even when I was in High School. The others were really just passing fancy: M2 who was my first kiss; V because she had crush on me first; A, B, C and some other girls, I cannot remember the names anymore.
Confused as I was, I never had doubts even during those times that I was also attracted to the same sex. It's just that I didn't pay too much attention for somehow I know, it's not supposed to be. I can only remember 2 guys from way back in grade school. One is T, really cute the perennial partner of S2, but he is also a jerk. He typifies the popular but villainous jock of typical juvenile movies. And then there is E, also cute and popular guy, but down to earth and the hero type of guy, he became my best friend during that time. (The subject of Ulan Story No. 2)
My high school life was also peppered with crushes but being in the seminary I even tried to suppress it for these were not just innocent crush anymore but were already mixed with sexual malice. There is K, our own crush ng bayan, almost the whole community had a crush on her. She's one of the anticipated attractions of our Sunday activities, family day. And then there was V, one of the granddaughters of the seminary's benefactors. Let me just call her that, I just can't recall her name, my other mates would rather go for her more voluptuous sister but I cannot forget her, to me her sultry looks, her curvaceous body, mounds of a cleavage and those rounded buns that would instantly give me a hard-on whenever I see her in tight-fitting jeans; I almost creamed my pants one time she bent over with those buns just inches in front of me; but those buns I tell you have really brought me several wet dreams, I think those were the first time I had wet dreams. And what would one expect in an all boys school, not just any ordinary all boys school but a seminary. I had several crushes on my co-seminarians all of them in non-sexual way except one that really stood out, A. He is the class bully, rough, good looking and charming in his own way that made him too confident and cocky as well. I cannot forget him coz he was the very first guy who ever did touch me, sexually. I was so scared the first time he teased and played mine; he was pinning me down in bed with his big bulk (he was much bigger than I was) as I struggled to resist him; in reality I was unbelieving that this macho type of a guy was actually touching me sexually, doing it to me and in my mind I was scarily enjoying as well the jerk off he was giving me. It was more of a willing resistant that I gave him the second time he did it to me. Sexual urge and pleasure became the basis of my crush on him.
Another huge crush I had, happened when I was in College. A, named Goddess of Love, Goddess of my desire. But one problem whenever I have a huge crush is that, I instantly become a bumbling idiot, no words would come out and my mind would be blank. It was happy contentment just looking at her especially her big, sparkling eyes. She has this sweet image, very unassuming, looks that is a dead-ringer for Sharon Cuneta, I just don't know if she can sing as well. My mind told me she could be interested too, but then she could have been just accommodating to a bumbling idiot like me. I never got the chance to tell her I like her or even pursue any possibility as I transferred school after 2 years. Through all the years since, I had this nagging sense of 'what if' and 'what could have been.'
I searched: asked around people I encountered to have been connected with her one way or another. I even went back several times to that school in the hope that I would encounter people who might still be in the know about her. My luck came 6 or 7 years ago when I typed her name in one of the search engines in the net and there she was; still using her old name that means she's not married, that put my hopes up. She had several photos in her profile. She looked so different, she looked sexy and naughty in her pictures, and some were actually beguiling. Her photos showed the opposite persona I knew her to be. I took the courage and sent her an e-mail, this lead eventually to chat in the net and exchange of numbers. I got to know her on a very different light. I told her, she was completely different from the person I knew from College. She was married with 3 grown up kids and she recently just got back using her maiden name, having been legally separated for several years. She admitted being completely different, she had to, as she reasoned she had to survive a very bad marriage and she's raising 3 kids on her own. She has come a long way from her own pit of depression and lowest low. She really was a completely new person when I met her, no longer the Athena I had crush in College. I no longer have to wonder on what if and what could have been; the answer had long been buried somewhere in the past. We became friends after that and have remained friends.
I still get to have crushes. I have acted on some of them, but others remained at that, just a crush. And definitely this is one spice of life that will always be welcome in my life. I have learned my lessons: crush is my impulse of attraction but I have to see pass that for me to really say that I have love.
January 18, 2008
I stayed in bed this morning, finished a movie and came in late for work as a consequence. I usually wake up to my alarm, the TV set to go on every 6:00 AM; and this morning it happened to be tuned to a movie channel. A movie was just starting, "Lord of Thieves" I think was the title. A movie set in Venice about a bunch of orphaned kids each with their own little stories and their adventures together to survive the city doing thievery; intertwined with another plot, the adults and their search for supposedly mythical 'merry go round' of youth. The movie ended with both of them getting what they wished for: one of the kids to go fast forward and be an adult and the adults getting back their youth. Enough said, I like juvenile and cheesy movie lol!
As I slowly took my sweet time preparing for work, I was already late anyway. I opened a page of my daily reflection booklet and the day's reflection is on Hope. What a way to start my day, serendipitously. I got to ponder on the words of PJP2 "Hope is not an empty optimism... rather a premise of responsibile activity..."
Flashback to my youthful days: 5th grade was about to end, I and two other friends (Islaw and Simeon, gosh I suddenly remember them - I wonder where they are now?) were watching the practice 'march' of the graduating class. We excitedly watched and pointed out that the following year; we would be the ones marching to the beat, getting up the stage and do all those ritual of graduation ceremonies. We stayed in that open grounds even after the practice has finished. We playfully did our own march as we hum along the beat. We daydreamed on that day; youthful bashing on dreams and ambitions, what we want to be, what we would do, what we could be doing in the years and decades far; family we would want to have, kids we would want to raise; the possible vices that we might even acquire throughout the years including the possible sickness, old age scenarios and death that can befall us in the twilight.
I can still remember some of the things I have bragged on that day: I would be doctor someday, not just a doctor but a successful one at that with all the knowledge and power to heal and help, not to mention all the trappings of wealth it brings; I bragged that I would someday have my own family, a wife and kids and that I would want to start my own family at my early age of 20's; I bragged that someday, the school would invite me to the very same graduation ceremonies for me to give inspirational talk to the would be generation; I bragged of success and triumphs only my young minds could imagine. I even bragged my possible would be vice, smoking but definitely not gambling or alcohol.
Those were the things that I have hoped for. Looking back, I may have eschewed a lot of roads, even got to tread completely different roads but here I am now back to the road my young minds have initially laid out for me. I have gone astray a lot of times, but still the things that I have hoped, somehow always helped me back. I'm now a doctor, successful in my own way and by the standards of what my friends would like to measure me. I now live independently, with the wealth and opportunities that my profession has given me. Yes, I have smoked since the age of 15 but has stopped for almost 2 years now for the fear of what my young mind has also foretold my possible exit mode would be, a painful lung problem (I don't know how I came to that thinking during that time, but my idea that it would be a painful existence and death because of smoking actually stemmed from that time on).
I don't know if my hope to have my own family shall ever pass; having long ago passed that age I have set it in my mind; also having long ago accepted the fact that I am gay. Against the odds, my hope is still there and I have long ago also resolved that whomever I would want to start a family, would be on the premise of that person's complete acceptance of my being and that my utmost responsibility in turn would be my complete trust and devotion.
I'm a hopeless, romantic fool in that way. The pessimist in me would say that this could be happening only in an ideal world and not in this imperfect world. But then I also realize, hope is what I live for.
January 10, 2008
Is my past catching up with me?
Last night as I was logged in ym, a message popped: "hello" from someone of long ago, okay 4 or was it 5 years was not too long ago. He asked, if I still remember him? Yes, of course; I don't easily forget people I have slept with. At least those I have slept more than once.
We were sort of weekend lovers then, we only got to see each other during weekends. And come to think of it, he was at least one of those that I have not had sex on a first date. In fact it must have been on the 4th or 5th weekend that we have been going out that we hit the sack. And to think, we met in ym with a lot of sexual innuendos as a prelude to our initial meeting. But he was relatively young at that time 24 or 26 (I think); still confused, having or just broke with her girlfriend at that time and claimed to be still a straight guy even after repeated sexual encounters with another guy. He did, initiate our first sexual encounter and still claimed to be straight even after several more of that encounters.
Come to think of it, I don't think I'll ever forget him for the hilarity of one of our encounters, the last of our encounter to be precise; we were in the middle of it all, when I got a call from a frantic patient who is bleeding to death. It was so bad of me, giving out instructions to a patient over the phone while doing it still, well, actually trying to sustain the momentum for my mind (or was it my groin) was also telling me that I have to perfunctory release the built-up sexual tension after the call. I hastily calculated in my mind the travel time I have to make to the hospital. It was all haste after that call; it was just after midnight when I proceeded to the hospital. It was indeed a toxic call, I had to stay bedside to closely monitor and manage my critically ill patient; I only got to take a short nap for 2 hours when my patient was brought to the operating room for an emergency surgery procedure to control the bleeding. I got home very late that following afternoon when everything turned stable.
I got a call from him just as I was heading home. He was unbelieving that I was and still in the hospital from the time we parted. He had his speculations; I have a very tired mind and body; my exhaustion got the better part of my judgement and so I ended the call promptly with a goodbye, alas that turned out to be the final goodbye. We never got to see or talk after that, until last night.
We did not talk about 5 years ago. I got to see him, at least on webcam. He still looks good. Nothing serious was talked about. The naughty I of course tried flirting with him, but he is with someone now, just few months old as he claimed. That's already my signal; that is one rule I would like to keep, never get involve with someone who's already with someone. Nevertheless, it was nice catching up with him again, even if it's just in the web.
January 09, 2008
This blog has been inspired in part by F and it's almost 2 years since. It was almost the same time I had my romance with him. Although, ours was very much a short-lived affair, I have learned a lot and come to realize things about myself, what I'm capable of in terms of love and relationship; that I'm not as inured as I had let myself believed; and that in fact I am perfectly capable of loving and committing to anothe person. I have tried to continue a friendly relation with him after we broke up, but have since almost lost communication save for occasional hi and hello electronically.
I'm a hopeless romantic and a sentimental fool that it's not atypical of me that at times I think and reminisce on good memories I had with people I have come to love or even those who I have come to be at odds. Still, I find it uniquely strange to wake up one early morning, just the other day, with a very vivid dream of F. The dream was about us meeting on a trip; sharing a wonderful time together and eventually reconnecting this chance.
I had a lot of things running in mind since that morning. One realization was that he was the last person I had sexually consummated a first date. Not that it's de rigueur for me to have sex on a date; I usually go out on a date with intention to meet a person and possibly know that person on a deeper plane and possibly explore the possibility of a relationship; if sex happen on the date, it was because of the moment and certainly not forced upon. In a sort of foolish way, this has become my gauge as well of possible relationship in the offing, if the date would be sexually consummated on the first date. As a result of failed relationships that started this way I had since resolved to avoid sex on a first date, with the thinking that sex, probably is not a good way to start a relationship. And I had since then, consciously avoided sex on a first date; but just the same the result was more dismal than encouraging.
And so on that morning, oh well, that is me, over-analyzing and superstitiously connecting chance and events again; have taken it that perhaps it is a sign that I should go back to my old ways with regard to my self-imposed rules on dates and just let the moment take me wherever the date would lead to. There's no use tempting the fate to go against what's supposed to happen; if sex is part of it so be it.
The superstitious in me, left my mind wondering on what could also be happening to him. That afternoon, I sent an e-mail message to him; that I have dreamt of him and that I hope he's okay in a way. He responded with surprise to my message, that he's okay and that he recently moved residence, giving out his new place. The place he gave was in the same area I had recently moved. This thought got me so excited that I sent him a txt message that we have become almost neighbours. He responded in a positive way, though neither of us exactly knows how near or far each of us is. It got me so riled up that my mind just went into possible modes. I asked myself repeatedly, do I still love him? Do I still have feelings for him? The question put a stop to my train of thoughts. The answer from the time we parted has not changed since, yes I still do have feelings for him, and my love for him is still there. I have to rein myself, and be reminded of my initial resolved when we parted: Painful as it may have been to let him go and painful as it may be still, I have to let him be. Yes, there is no question, I still do love him, but as I have let him flown away, I cannot win him back, I can only hope for him to come back. I can sense he is not coming back. I can only hope...
Serendipitously, as I have come to that resolved and as I was about to retire for the night I received a forwarded text message, the end of which reads... "learn how to let go and move on..."
Uncanny signs indeed... :)
January 04, 2008
Along the journey, I may have wronged a lot of people; and given this opportunity I would like to make peace with:
For the times I have doubted him and his infinite goodness
For the cynicism and lost of faith in my religion
For my selfish pride and all the sins of my own accord and omission
- My Parents, siblings and family
For I could have been a far better son and brother
For the times I was not even a son or a brother
For the thought that I should have been another's son or brother
- All my friends
For the times not spent
For the trust broken
For the pain in words said and left unsaid
- All my mentors, patients and their love ones
For the words "thank you," which I never got to say
For the compassion and care which I have failed to completely give
For the times I failed my oath
- All the Men and Women I have loved
For the hurt and pain I have caused in love
For the words unsaid, time not spent and the love not felt
For the loss and doubt in love and trust
To all thee, I make peace for the pain of loving me.
January 03, 2008
An exercise for today, list the 10 things that I am happy about:
- My being
- The journey of life itself
- People who have shared and walked with my journey
- Profession that provides opportunities
- All the gains that opportunities have provided
- Opportunities to provide in return
- The power to give and share
- The burden and hurt that makes me strive for betterment
- The experience of goodness
- The wisdom I have gained through it all
January 02, 2008
I really do not know what has gotten into me, but I have been so morbidly thinking of my mortality these past few days. Is it sign of mid-life crisis? I do not know. I just know that I am now aware of my mortality, that anytime my being shall pass. This got me into thinking that most people work so hard to be remembered for the life they live, they are aware of their mortality that is why they work so hard to do deeds that will immortalize them. I am no exception; and to this I have intimated to a friend that should I be gone, he should get hold of this blog and print it for my family and friends to read and know the other side me, the whole of me. This shall be my memoir.
As I have written in Ulan Story No. 2, a very significant part of my life was spent in the minor seminary. Unfortunately, not so pleasant circumstances brought my leaving the seminary in 1985 that unconsciously I have completely severed ties since. It took more than a decade for me to reconnect the ties that bind a significant part of my life with the very people that I have shared those happiest four years of my life.
I was not alone in my search as I have come to know. One by one we were able to re-establish the link and this culminated in a reunion that was held in 2002, in the very grounds where the tie was made. I have written an account of that event...
Our homage to the place and time we call home.
Home we will always treasure & embrace to come back to.
The Seminary was established in the late 1960's catering to the needs of educating minor seminarians in the Diocese. It closed its doors in the mid 70's after graduating its 1st generation of minores. It opened its door again to minor seminarians in 1979 producing its 2nd and last generation of minores before it permanently stopped accepting minor seminarians in 1985.
Minores group was formed, at least loosely and unofficially from the desire of these former minor seminarians specifically the second generation, to reconnect, rekindle and re-establish old ties, friendship and brotherhood that was nurtured and forged during those youthful years of their lives.
For some if not all of us, that desire has been lingering for so long it was but a matter of time before someone begins the search. Well, let me be a little bit more wistful and recount to you how it came about, at least from my vantage point.
The wonders of modern technology certainly helped. My search started in 1999 with the Internet when I registered Seminary in Alumni.net. And from there the ball started rolling, at least for me so to speak. The first time I ever got to meet again a minores was during the birthday celebration of Mats in Los Banos, year 2000. It was then that the thought of having a grand reunion was conceived. However, no subsequent follow up and planning were made. E-mail and text messages helped us stay connected, as phonebook keeps adding up more names. It took another birthday celebration, this time of Manok's in Antipolo last week of November 2002, when the idea resurfaced. Taking cue from the last time, we never left Antipolo without setting a date and place. And so it was at that spur of the moment that it came about for minores to come back home on December 28, 2002. A simple call the following day to confirm the date and venue with the current Fr. Rector of the now Major Seminary.
Initial target of 15-20 people attendance steadily grew as everyday new contacts were made i.e. through e-mails, text, phone calls and personal rounds. More than anything else, one cannot dismiss the big influence and inspiration the 'Mounty boys' (term I have used for minores overseas as majority of them are based in Canada) have given us, you just have to read the constant flow of e-mails to understand. Everyone really did his part.
There was no turning back now, with barely a month to prepare the self-appointed initial steering committee composed of Vince, Jun, Mike, Mario and myself, met for the first time with Fr. Jerry last December 7 to set goals and define tasks. Weekly meetings were held from then on aside from the almost daily exchanges of text and e-mail messages. It was about this time that Minores was born and everything that follows are posted at the yahoogroup created.
A total of 77 people were contacted from a master list of 140. Contacts were made either through phone, e-mails and personal rounds. Of these 77 people 17 did not make it due to geographic reason (US, Canada, Mindanao etc.) A total of 42 Minores came on that day listed here alphabetically, but if we can give distinction to the one who came first, that would be Gilbert who traveled by sea and land for more than 24-hours and arrived on the eve of the fellowship. Also in attendance were our formators during those times, including all of our lay teachers which we have painstakingly located.
A short friendly game was supposed to follow the registration, but no one seem interested to play, so everyone just milled around the grounds and the endless kumustahan and banters started until or even continued during the batch meeting and well beyond dinner time.
A thanksgiving Mass was celebrated by Fr. Jerry with Rey and Nestor as server. Domeng served as the lector. Gilbert and Felmor lead the singing. Everyone sang his hearts out, especially Nestor who unknowingly was given a solo part. To be honest, I had goose bumps. It was a very solemn moment that I cannot seem to describe it here. Fr. Jerry commented also on this during his homily when he reminisced some more on those days. The following are also the excerpt of the prayers of the batches and their symbolic offering.
Batch 82 offered their class picture with them garbed/posing as the twelve apostles, the batch being composed of only 12 people. And as they offer their class picture Gilbert read:
" The first batch of the new Seminary signifies the importance of what Christ's 12 apostles did in the beginning of the church. Since Peter the rock first martyred, mankind's salvation was facilitated through the blood of the 12 apostles."
Batch 83 offered an image of Sto. Nino Bambino de Aracoeli. And as they offer the image Felmor read: "Sto. Nino Bambino de Aracoeli. Represents our batch as a sign of being young and united. As a sign of child-like attitude and deep concern with the son of God." A prayer was also offered for peace in the middle-east, that being the time of turmoil, and with some members of minores currently working in the middle east during that time.
Batch 84 (where I belong) offered a 'leaf' and Philip read the offering:
"Batch 84 offers as its symbol a leaf. This icon was taken from the song 'The Last Leaf' which was very much affiliated with our batch, not only because it became a favorite during batch jamming, but also because it's content was relevant to the many events in our lives together during our seminary days. Many of these events affected us so much that it seemed already hopeless but we were able to survived and live because of hope, which the last leaf symbolizes. Our batch offer this leaf as a symbol of hope for all of us.'
Fr. Evan read the batch 84's prayer that goes:
Nagpapasalamat kami sa biyaya ng panahon
Sa panahon ng pagkalagas.
Sa panahon ng pag usbong at pag sibol.
Sa panahon ng pananatiling tapat sa pagkakaibigan
Sa panahon ng pagputi at pangingitim
Sa panahon ng pagkikita, pagtatagpo, pagtatanong, pagtataka
Na syang nagpalago at nagpayabong ng aming malay at kamalayan.
Pagyamanin mo ang panahon ng pananalangin namin
lalong-lalo na sa mga taong nakipaglakabay sa amin
ang aming mga magulang, mga kamag-anak
ang aming mga taga-hubog, mga guro, kusinero, labandera,
kapitbahay na makikisig at maririkit,
mga kamagaaral, ka-seminaryo
Sa mga naririto at di nakaparito
Sa mga naroroon at nasa dako pa roon.
At sa natatanging paraan nais naming ipanalangin si Fr. Jack
na nagbukas ng mga yugto-yugto at bolta-boltaheng karanasan.
Patuloy na pagbibiyaya ang dalangin namin para sa kanya.
Lahat ng ito'y nangyari sa iyong panahon.
At muli naming iaasa sa'yo na siyang may tadhana sa di nagmamaliw na panahon.
Batch 85 offered 'walis tingting' I just can't seem to find their text.
Fr. Albert read their prayer:
'We pray for our brothers and sisters who are gathered here today to celebrate life. May this gathering bring us closer together as the year pass by. As we pray for the living, we also remember our beloved brothers and sisters who have gone to their rest, enumerating the name of Minores, teachers, priests, katiwalas and friends who have gone to their rest.
A short program ensued, hosted by Gil. During the program, Batch 82 was honored on their 15th year anniversary. Those present, Domeng, Gilbert, Roger and Vincent, were given a token, a simple wooden picture frame with message that reads:
Minores Fellowship 2002
Our simnple token of appreciation for the time you have spent and shared with us.
We will always remember with fondness the camaraderie, Friendship and brotherhood that we have forged. Mabuhay ka Kapatid!!!
Next to be honored were the Formators and teachers present. They also received the same token of wooden picture frame with the message that reads:
Minores Fellowship 2002
Our simple token of appreciation for time you have spent with us during our early journey in life.
What we are now and what we have become is the best gift that we can give you in return.
Salamat Po !!!
During the presentation of tokens to the teachers each of them were given the chance to give a short talk. Mostly reminiscing about the old days, with some repartee on the side, especially on who were the teacher's pet and pests.
A sumptuous dinner and drinks followed in the newly constructed recreational bar and hall which used to be the first year classroom of old days. What followed is spirited reminiscing and discussions, which lasted till early Sunday morning.
We held another reunion the following year, much bigger in scope having more time to prepare. We have continued to be in touch since. I'm going to meet later some of them who have gone home for the holidays; time to reminisce again on good old days.
January 01, 2008
I thank God for the gift of the years behind.
I pray with renewed hope for the journey on...
Let me find the surprises in life;
Let me live the surprises of life;
Let me be one of the surprises of life;
Let me surprise life this time;
Let the surprise be mine;