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Archive for May, 2010

I am an illegitimate son. Of both my father and mother.
I had only known that I am illegitimate in my third grade when my classmates asked me how come my brother and my sister’s last name (who went to the same school as I did) is different my mine. They said that probably I have a different father and that I am an ‘anak sa labas’.
I did not know that being illegitimate was something our society frowns upon. I never felt any difference in how our mother treated us. My mother separated from her first husband while her second child, my sister, was barely a year old. After almost two years, she met my father and they eloped to Baguio and due to laws of nature and attraction, I was formed. Everything seems normal except that my father has his first family in Manila. My father would later on leave us for his first family.
My illegitimacy was only made obvious when report cards were handed out in school and my mother would have to sign a different surname every time she signs mine. As I said, I was never treated any differently by everyone in the family. Except by my brother.
Yes, my brother is gay, too. But he remained in the closet until this day.
There is an almost five-year gap between me and my brother. We used to play dolls while we were kids. But one day, everything changed. He looked on me with disgust. He would always take the opportunity to slam me with insults. With me having crooked, misaligned teeth (his teeth are perfect). With me having ugly drawings (he has the best creative juice in the family). With me having frail body and ugly face (he can pass as a matinee idol). But in fairness to myself, I performed better, far better in school. But that’s the only field where I get to beat him.
This has been our relationship ever since I was in grade school until I passed the Board Exams. After I got my professional license, the tirades just stopped. Was it because he knows I can now fight back? Was it because I am no longer the wimpy kid he used to bully? Was it because my looks have changed?
My brother’s face reminds me of my shortcomings. Of the repulsive beast that hides inside me. Of the person I want to be but can never become.
My brother is the reason for all my insecurities. For all my pain.
I never had a father. But my father never hurt me as much my ever-present brother had.
Last night, my brother was rushed to the hospital. I do not want to let my guards down but I am feeling sick inside. I am worrying for him but one part is saying that he deserves it. That he is a bad person.
But I have kept that awful part of me in the dungeon. I am praying for my brother’s speedy recovery. Inside the unknown room of my heart, a room whose key was lost long ago, I kept a secret hidden from everyone – that I still love my brother just like when we were still kids playing dolls.
I still dream of the love of the two brothers in Bart Yates’ The Brothers Bishop.
I am still dreaming of the day that my brother would be there to comfort me when my heart aches, when my confidence is below sea level, when I just need a man by my side.

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Prince, anyone?

Yesterday was the day I lost all creativity on the day I needed it most. My ‘advertising email’ was long due and our working group should have been reaping the accolades for our projects. After staring at my screen for the longest time, I called if off. Yesterday was not the day.
But yesternight was the night Lucy and I grabbed the opportunity to watch Prince of Persia at the Greenbelt 3 cinema. We miss our girl-bestfriend/movie date Carmina Villaroel as she is working in the land of milk, honey, sands and beaches.
The movie is good, considering we went there for the action and special effects, not really for something to make you think. I was a bit uncomfortable with the lessons on brotherly love as it is something so foreign yet so needed in my life. Anyway, I reminded myself of our reasons for watching – action and special effects plus Jake Gyllenhaal.
What we noticed, though, but were not surprised, was the number of gay men who went out to watch the movie. Some were effeminate, some were straight-acting, but sisters, we can tell by ourselves, right? The first time we observed this was when we watched 300 and believe me, I, for one quick moment, thought, I was in Sparta, for my goodness, almost everyone in the theatre were gay men (I believe there were only three girls then) and their bodies were sculpted.
I felt uneasy not because of temptation but because my body was more of Madagascar the Animated Movie than 300! But anyway, I went there for the action and special effects.
Seriously, I believe gay men are changing the way the cruel world views us. That we are also capable of appreciating hardcore action flicks like straight men. That our bodies are sometimes better (mind note: gotta do the reps tonight) than straight men, not to mention more good-looking.
Anyway, we enjoyed the night (and will suffer soon after eating burgers from Burger King, yum!) and I think most of the movie patrons did as well.
Now I’m wondering, how many gay men will troop to the cinemas for Sex and the City 2? For sure, we will!

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Pick Up Sticks

After I dropped a document at my colleague’s desk this morning for one of our projects, I walked along a hallway I do not usually pass. And there I saw a piece of paper on the floor which fell from the wall. I struggled with a decision: pick it up and put it back, or ignore it?
I picked it up.
Then it all came back to me. How many times have I been picked up?
Fell in love with The Publisher back in high school. Should have realized it would never have worked out as he is straight as a ruler. But he allowed me to fall just the same. When I learned that he was serious with Joyce Jimenez of our batch, I was devastated (I used to feel that girls and I were on the same league!). I went away, weeping, yes, weeping. I found myself in front of my Lolo’s grave and there I wept even more. Tried to look from left to right, trying to find someone to comfort me, or a director to shout ‘Cut!’ so I can stop my theatre act, but there was no one. No sounds other than the wind touching the trees and its leaves. Then I felt numb. Then relief. Someone, something, touched me. I do not know but the voice said ‘Stand up, pick up the pieces and go live’.
I look back at that moment and tells myself, the pieces now are safely back in place (Humpy Dumpy will give me a call soon). Lucy Liu is still here to ensure I won’t fall and break again.
I may no longer be able to pick up my pieces just like before. The paper did not have the means to get back to the wall. In the hallways of our lives, how many have we seen on the floor? How many have we ignored? Picked up? What happens to those who fell in hallways no one ever walked through?

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Preface

Ever bought a book on impulse and never have gotten to finish it because it was something you would never have read after all? Was it because there was no summary at the back? Or the summary was too enticing but failed to deliver?
To avoid similar frustration from readers of this blog (the numbers of which I hope to grow overtime), let me summarize its possible contents:
1. Personal stories of how the stepford boy became what he is now and what could be – check!
2. Professional stories of success and failure, in and out of the corporate arena – check!
3. Articles on animals, plants, household chores, spring cleaning and the ever ephemeral mildew– check!
4. Intimate details of stepford boy’s life – how intimate do you want it to be? Nah, probably not.
My fear that since this blog will not deal with linen stories of some individuals (including yours), it will not reach a global status. Anyhow, I would like to keep it as true to my upbringing as a stepford boy. Or was I really brought up well? That will be continuously answered in the succeeding posts.
So if you happen to rest reading in between the juicier blogs, allow me to welcome you a respite that is the life of a stepford boy. Caveat : mostly bitter, sad truths, this is no candy store.

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The Pageant

This morning, on our way to work, I was listening to TMR and they were announcing the results of their search for Monster scholars. I was teary-eyed when I heard the stories of the applicants and of their cries of joy when they heard of the good news. It made me remember the days back in 2000 when I myself was applying for a college scholarship in the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. Yeah I know it’s already a state university and having been qualified as a student meant having the scholarship given by the taxpayers’ money. But back then, I still needed support for the books and allowance from the possible stipend. Double taxation? No, just double scholarship – one essential, the other technical.
There were a good number of applicants then, from all walks of life, from all the 7,107 islands. I was big in high school, after graduating with the second highest honor. But I felt small in that room. You can literally feel the intellectual energy emanating from all those people. I just wished my English was better than theirs. It’s my only chance.
We were interviewed one after the other, our credentials were analyzed and soon, the room full of aspirants was cut in half. I made the cut. But that was no assurance.
The final interview came and I was targeting a scholarship grant from a group of Chinese businessmen, not only because the spokesperson for the group was handsomely intelligent, but because of the grant package – covering tuition and miscellaneous fees with stipend. His final question to me was: “You are already one of the three we are eyeing for the grant, given the chance to be chosen, how can you repay us?” My answer (after the lights focused on the Ms Universe candidate) was: “I can never repay you, sir. Moreover, I do not believe you are really expecting any payment from us, but one thing I can tell you, given the chance to chosen, I will continue to uphold your organization’s mission of helping students by doing the same when I am able, to offer scholarship to deserving individuals. I cannot pay back but I can pay forward.” He just smiled at me.
During the application period, I made friends in the person of Lucy Torres (a young gay with big hair) and Marilyn Monroe (a bright gay who just topped the PUPCET). Soon, we will become bosom friends.
The announcement was made. Only three would be chosen for my target grant. Marilyn Monroe was called first. We applauded for Ms International. Then it was Lucy Torres’ turn to be called. We applauded for Ms World. The two of them held hands in front of everyone, looked at me, prayed that I’d be next.
The Chairman of the Scholarship Office announced that the next person was the last for the grant and the others may want to apply to other opportunities.
And then, my name was called. We applauded for the Ms Universe.
For the next four years, with the addition of Lucy Liu as Ms Earth (who is currently my life partner), we would show the University that intelligence does not know sexuality, only perseverance.
In memory of Marilyn Monroe, we would always be indebted to your friendship.

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Advocacy

This is my first time to write an entry in a blog that was created for the purpose of having a digital chest of thoughts, musings, events and anything. I was thinking of launching a piece on an auspicious day, or when a Venusian occultation would be seen. But I decided to start with something befitting a stepford boy – my chosen charity.
Ever since I was young, I have always loved animals. My lola (may the Lord bless her soul) would always scold me after bringing home kittens after kittens. Soon, our ancestral home in San Juan would be teeming with cats of all shapes and sizes. I’ve always felt a kinship with homeless, hapless animals. And told myself, when I grow up, I would bring my cause to a higher level.
Fast forward to today’s time, I am currently working for a bank and taking care of two dogs and three fish in a tank and a good number of plants. I decided to help even more by sponsoring a charity and PAWS was the quick choice. The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (www.paws.org.ph) was organized to provide temporary shelter for abused, homeless animals, particularly cats and dogs. As a non-profit organization, PAWS can only provide for their wards through donations from generous individuals. And looking at their wishlist, I think I can help.
With several cans of dog food in good condition stored in the cupboard left when my first dog passed away last year (I would have to tell Mitos’ story in another post) and with gallons of liquid dishwashing and hand soap, I called up PAWS if they can pick the items from our home.
Today, PAWS’ representative picked up the items and I am very happy that the lives of the shelter dogs and cats would be made better with the donation though only for a short time.
I would continue to help in whatever way possible, perhaps inviting some of my families and friends to adopt PAWS as their charity.
As one fellow said ‘If we can not even take care of our animals, how can we expect to take care of humanity’.

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