Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Calling All Sisters!!

Instructor: "The sixth dimension of wellness is sexuality. Males should act like males, females should act like females. Males who act and dress like females, or males who feel like females are more on the illness side."
Thad (almost having a coronary, after a fever spike): What?! Saang reference naman nakuha 'to?
Ok, that didn't happen. Instead I just sat there furious at myself for not speaking up. But aside from upholding my beauty queen poise and composure, I wanted a thorough research to back up my statements. Which is why I am writing this.
I know for a fact that homosexuality has long been struck off the list of deviant behavior, but do any of you guys know specific sources I could use (preferably available online)?
I will be using my pen, of course to subtly express my point (you won't see me walking down the halls with a bolo ala Gabriela Silang ; ) So please, please my sisters in arms- if you have any material that would be useful, I'd be extremely grateful. Leave a comment here or email me at thadhinunangan@gmail.com
Thanks in advance!
xx Thad

Fool's Gold

January 1993

Dear Tatay,

I hope you are doing ok. It has only been a week since you left for Saudi again, but we miss you already!
Bunso had started crawling, and Nanay is having a hard time watching over him. But don’t worry because I help out too. Tay, I got a perfect score in our Araling Panlipunan and Science and Technology periodical tests. Diba you said you will give me extra baon if I have a lot of high scores? I gave my papers to Nanay so you can see them when you come home again next year.


PS. Tay, buy us lego toys and matchbox cars when you go home again.


July 1997

Dear Tatay,

How are you? Did Mama tell you already? I passed the UPCAT! I’ll be going to Diliman with a few schoolmates from Leyte High.

Tay, I just want to say thanks for the sacrifices that you’ve made for us. I know its not easy working in Saudi for almost 10 years now, just so you could send us to school and that we’ll have our own house.

Don’t worry Tay, when I finish my schooling I’ll get a job and will help out. Dodong will be graduating this school year and will probably enroll here too. Bunso is quite an artist. He draws very well and his teachers took notice.

They haven’t put up the walls yet in our new house, but its great since this is our own. Nanay went back to work in EVRMC and she takes me with her to work sometimes.

Hope to see you soon Tay! We are excited that you are coming home. Tay, why don’t you work here in Tacloban? I’m sure there are openings here for Med Techs. At least you wont have to be far from us.

Take care always.



September 2003
Dear Tatay,

What happened with you and Dodong? Pinagpasensyahan mo sana muna yun because he’s not mature enough and I don’t think he meant those words. He respects you, I know it, but he tells me nasasakal lang sya minsan. I don’t think the boys are used to having two authority figures because before when you were in Saudi, it was only Nanay they turned to.

Please don’t think na pinagkakaisahan ka nila. I hate to see you and Nanay fighting all the time. Lalo na ngayon nasa ibang bansa kayo. The decision for you to migrate to the US was supposed to be for the future of our family.

Please call me soon. My shift at work ends at 7am, so you can call me at my apartment anytime during the day. I’ll text Nanay and Dodong as well so I could talk to them. Wag na kayong mag-away.


November 2007

Dear Tatay,

It’s fall here in New York, and it’s very lovely. They say the coming winter is going to be very cold and even more so for me because it’s my first time here. I'm getting along fine with my workmates here (two of them are Filipino-Americans). Ok naman ako dito.

I miss you guys. I know we cannot remain as kids for the rest of our lives, but I really miss those times when we would all get together during the holidays. Remember the time when I would take the bus from Manila to Tacloban just so I could get home, since all the flights were always booked? I would bring presents for Dodong and Bunso, and I always laugh seeing the thrill in their eyes as they open their presents. Of course, we have all grown up now. It’s just that it has been a very long time since we got together as a family.

Does Bunso call often? I think he’s still very busy trying to get his promotion. I bet his ads will be all over Japan when they launch his ideas. I doubt if Dodong will have the time off from his job in Manila to go home this Christmas.

Have you spoken to Nanay at all? It really saddens me that you would give up on your marriage after 30 years. I know you guys had fights but I don’t think it should be something that you would allow to ruin your relationship. I always imagined you and Nanay growing old together, in a farm where I’ll build you the dream house I promised.

I’m starting to think we would have been better off if you guys haven’t migrated to the US. Or that you have not gone to Saudi for all those years in order to support our education and get a house of our own. Or that I haven’t gone to Diliman so I could have stayed with you in Tacloban. I could think of a thousand what-ifs, but they can do little to change reality. The truth is we pursued one thing alone: the quest for a more comfortable life- money in the bank, property, and luxury. We were so caught up that we failed to see those little snags and tears in our relationship. I always wondered why you acted so distant the last time you went home when I was still in Tacloban. My own father was a stranger to me; so unlike the man I looked up to- kind, laughter-loving, and wise.

I would trade everything I have now to have us back the way we were when I was little. But of course, that is not possible. Tay, we still have the capacity to make changes in ourselves now. If there’s anything Nanay did to anger you, or if there’s anything I did that you deemed disrespectful, please forgive me. Let us start over if we have to.

I’ll be home by New Year’s. It will only be a week’s vacation- that was all the time off I could get. I will see you and Nanay soon.



Sunday, July 29, 2007


Naghihintay sa Airport Tatat
Vitruvian Women
Noodle at 6750
Christian ; )
Cloud 9
Philippines the Beautiful

Friday, July 27, 2007

Blogging at 30,000 ft

I was pleasantly surprised with the smoothness of my PAL flight to Manila. The weather was great (sun streaming through the windows with hardly a cloud in sight), the new airbus plane extremely comfy (palibhasa mga bago; the video screens provided for every three rows every aisle was also a good addition), and most importantly- the male flight attendant had a cute, perky butt.
I didn't bring my laptop, so instead I'm presently writing in my geeky little notebook I carry around where I jot down ideas and other mad notions that happen by my head. Well, at least that's a few kilos off my luggage.
I went over my itinerary for the day. First, meet office friends at Starbucks 6750, lunch at Eastwood with my favorite ho's, dinner with high school friends, then off to F with my partner in crime. Tomorrow, I'd have to speed up everything otherwise I won't be able to accomplish everything on my list.
The 50 minute flight seems shorter, I noticed. Barely minutes after I started writing, an announcement was made that the plane will be preparing for its final descent. Oh, I better stop writing, Cute Tushie is heading my way. This will require my full attention ;-)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Blossoming (Part 2- Nathan)

November 1994

I had known Nathan since I was eight. We went to the same Catholic Elementary School. He was a cute chubby kid who happened to have the same interests as I did- we both collected comic books and trading cards, we were both in the children’s choir, and we were both into drawing.

He was my best friend, up until the first year of High School, right before he left for the states. I remember a particular time, it was during the second grading period, when he started hanging out with other kids.

I had no idea, whether it was because I missed him or that I was jealous that he was keeping others company instead of me, but I made a dramatic outburst in Homeroom. We were gathered in a circle (consisting of students in our row, he was at the far end of the room with another group); I started telling my mates that I noticed Nathan and I hardly spent time together anymore, unlike before when we were inseparable. Midway through my story I had begun sobbing, Maricel Soriano style. Our teacher made her way to our group, and patted my back gently to comfort me.

Towards the end of our first year in Divine Word University HS, he told me that his family will be moving to the US. As a goodbye token, he gave me this sort of shiny master key to remember him by.

I threw away the key and I never spoke about him again.

The Blossoming (Part 3- Chris)

A Conversation With an Angel (Part 2)

I had just finished showering and I was putting on my boxers when someone tapped me on the shoulder.

“Eeeeek!” I jumped.

“You still scream like a little girl. Hardly anything changed since you were twelve.” Amiel, my angel said.

“Oh Geez, would you please announce yourself and not jump on me like that? It’s weird because you’re an angel and I’m not dressed properly.” I lectured.

“Relax, I’ve seen you in practically every setting since you came out of your Mom’s womb. Nothing about you surprises me anymore.” He sits on my bed.

“He was here, you know.”

“D?” (A nickname we gave the fallen angel.)


“How was he?”

“Very cute. He looked Brazilian- like Rafael Verga or Leandro Okabe.”

“He probably read your mind and appeared in the most pleasing appearance he could muster.

“He should have come in the person of my hubby.”

Amiel chuckles. “Don’t start with the Mrs. Mullaly bit. You rely too much on appearances to tell you what’s good and what’s bad. Your eyes are rarely correct.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“The best things in life can’t be seen by the eyes. Love, freedom, friendships.. What does your favorite song say about lasting happiness?”

“Which song? Freedom 90 by George Michael?”

“No, Thad, your real favorite song.”

“In your eyes?” I racked my brains, I had a lot of favorites.

“Come on, Dorina, say it.”

“Ah, Bituing Walang Ningning.” I smiled. “Guilty!”

“Why do you love it so much?”
“She gives up fame and its temporary happiness to be at his side.

“Ugh, you really are a hopeless romantic. Nevertheless, you got the point.”

“I have a question.” I said.

“This is not gonna be another one of those sex questions, right? He said.

“No, I was feeling a bit lonely earlier. I was thinking again of where I could be now if I didn’t quit. Would have I gotten the ACCM job by now?”

“I’m not a fortune teller, but it would not be far-fetched to say you might have made it by this time.”

“Would I have been happy?”

“I can’t answer that for you.” He said.

“I have a question for you,” Amiel said, turning to me.

“What were the most significant things you have done after you quit your job?”

“I was there for my nephew’s birth, I help around the household, I take care of my grandmother, I went back to school.”

“Not bad.” He says. “So why are you doubtful?”

“You think I’ve made the right decisions this time around?” I asked seriously.

But he didn’t answer my question; he just smiled at me and disappeared.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


July 1993

I was sent off one morning, when I was twelve years old, to run an errand. Our helper was busy cooking food for our pack lunch for school, so she asked me to buy a can of sardines and eggs for our breakfast.

It was still dark when I got out of our gate. I closed the latch silently as I slowly walked to Mana Paz’s store. I passed by this big house and I was greeted by a sight that made my heart pound. Through the window, I saw our hunky neighbor, wearing white briefs, looking at himself in the mirror. The feeling was by no means sexual, but it jolted me just as well.

His name was Larry. A junior at the University of the Philippines in Tacloban at that time. He was tall and well-muscled, but he had a boyish face. He was my ate’s crush as well. How did I know? She wrote it in her diary, and that was where I found out his name as well.

Larry would often come to our house, because he was friends with my uncle. Every afternoon, close to sundown, they would play basketball on the court on our street corner. His cheeks were always flushed after the game. They would sit on the porch after the game and talk about guy stuff.

One night, I finally got to see him up close. There was a city-wide brownout at that time and they decided to stay on the porch in candlelight.

“What sort of books do you read?” I asked, with my tiny frame leaning against the screen door.

“Jack Higgins, spy novels..” He replies. The light of the cancle illuminated the planes of his face. His bow-shaped lips moved softly.

“I write comic books with my best friend.” I said.

“I’d like to see them sometime.” He looks at me, amused.

I was not the type of kid who would shy away from a conversation with an older person. We ended up talking a little bit more, even when my uncle and ate went to buy barbeque at the corner, and we were left alone on the porch.

In the soft light of the night, I enjoyed my first indulgence reveling in the company of my first crush. If I’m not mistaken, I think he enjoyed it too.

A Conversation With a Fallen Angel


Oh great, another voice to join the symphony in my head. I was watching DaVinci Code in my room.

“Who is it?”

“It’s me, the fallen angel.”

“My angel? Na-demote ka?”

“Gagah, fallen angel nga. I don’t want to refer to myself using the “D” word.”

“What do you want?” I asked. I saw a good looking guy in a black suit sitting on the chair at the far end of my room. “And where’s your pitchfork?”

“I don’t really carry a pitchfork, but that’s how Universal Studios would portray me. You seem surprised at what you see.”

“Well, you look really cute. I was expecting a hideous monster.”

“I can turn myself into a hideous monster. And don’t you forget I was once the brightest star. His favorite among the bunch.”

“Yeah, I heard about that.” I said. “I was expecting that you look like Sadako from The Ring.”

“You watch too many movies.” A cigarette appears on his fingertips and he uses his fingertip to light it.

“No smoking in the room. Aircon kasi.” I say.

“The nerve!” He gives me a look. The cigarette vanishes.

“Aren’t you afraid of me?” He asks.

“No, I’m afraid of God. I bet he could fry your ass in an instant if he wanted to.”

“I could hurt you now.” He said.

“I doubt that. Nothing in this world happens by accident. He sees everything, and its all part of His grand plan. Besides if you could, you would have done it already. My theory is that you can coach people to do bad stuff and that’s about it.”

“That’s partly true. I’ve coached you a lot of times before, and you loved it.”

“Yeah, but now I know better. I have as much capacity to do good as well as evil. I know what to choose.” I said.

“Care to test that?” He grins.

“Not tonight. I’m tired. Hey, can I ask a question?”

“Am I gay?” He says.

“I was about to ask that, how did you know?”

“You are so predictable. You asked your angel about gay stuff before.” He pointed out.

“I’m just curious. That’s hardly a crime.”

“I am neither straight nor gay.”

“Bisexual?” I wondered.

“Tanga! Neither nga e.”

“What about Succubus and stuff?”

“Those horny creatures are not my design.”

“Ah, ok. Well, it was nice to see you. May I get back to the movie? I have to make a blog entry after this.”

“You and your blogging. Hmph, you don’t really do anything interesting now. I’ll just see you when we get someplace where you can get jiggy again.” Dark smoke that smelled sweetly like tobacco filled the room, and then he disappears.

“Well, I’ve changed already-” I called out after him. But I was alone in my room now.

A Conversation With an Angel

I was about to say my evening prayer, when a sudden radiance filled the room. I squinted my eyes.

“God?” I asked.


“The devil?”

“Eww no, he’s stalking someone else at the moment. I’m your angel.”

I sat up. “Really? Are you sure I’m not simply going crazy?”

“Pinch yourself.” The voice said.

“So why have you come?” I wondered.

“I was checking on you. The Big Boss says hi.”

“I was just about to tell Him I did well in school this week. I studied my lessons-“

“Liar”, he interrupted. “You study the last minute every time.”

“I still get good marks-“

“Don’t count on it. Your GWA is slipping.”

“No it’s not. I’ve got a few aces left.”


“PH, Lit, Physics-“

(Snorts) “How did Physics become your ace?”

“I get the answers correctly.”

“But your solutions are out-of-this-world. I remember the last time, you changed the sign of the gravitational acceleration constant.”

“Well, the object was going upward, so it had to be positive.”

“Constants are constants, Thad. Physics is a science, not creative writing.”
“Well, speaking of which, I did finish my short story ahead of time. That should give me some points.”
“I guess I can give you that.”

“Plus”, I added, “I haven’t slept with a guy in a long time.”

He raises an eyebrow. “But if you meet Jon Mullaly and he asks you, you’d say yes.”

“Not before marriage.” I demurred.
Angel: “Charing!”

I tucked my legs inside the comforter. “Can I ask a question?” I said.

“What is it?”

“What does God think about gay people?”

He pauses for a moment. “He never really told us.”

“Can I ask another question?”

“Do angels have sex organs? I’m just curious if the movie Dogma was correct.”

“Bastos ka talaga.”

“No really, tell me.”

I hardly was able to finish my sentence when the radiance burst and dissipated. All that was left was a single white feather on my pillow.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Emancipation Celebrates its Second Month

Two queers were lying on a white sand beach sipping ice-cold Margaritas.
Q1: "Bakla, two months na daw ang Emancipation of Thadie."
Q2: "Yes, mother! At ang chika daw, malapit nang mag 10,000 hits ang blog na itetch."
Q1 takes a demure sip, and licks the salt on the rim.
Q1: "At least may nagbabasa sa blog nya."
Q2: "Korek! Kahit papano diba. Nakita mo yung Globetracker? Ava, read in over 34 countries daw."
Q1: "Hmmph, baka naman isang beses lang na-view sa isang bansa. Tingnan mo naman yung ibang countries 0.07% sa distribution diba?"
Q2: "Pero in fairness, marami ang nagbabasa dito sa 'Pinas, US, UAE, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, India, at Canada. And it looks like perennial visitors yung iba."
Q1 and Q2 turns to the side (para even yung tan! in 15 minutes, yung kabila naman).
Q1: "Bongga kung ganon. Totoo ba yung chika na i-publish daw yung ibang articles?"
Q2: "Rumor has it, that 4 articles might make it to a local publication."
Q1: "Sana nga, para naman may boses yung gay and lesbian community this side of the country. Siguro maganda at fearless yung ed in chief dun ano? (hehe, Hi Steph!)"
Q2: "Mismo."
Jon Mullaly, wearing a white speedo, walks by.
Jon: "Hi ladies." He smiles.
The two queers melt, form a puddle, and suddenly a large scallop shell emerges. The shell opens, and out comes Thad (the Birth of Venus ang drama).
Jon: "Will you marry me?"
Thad: "Yes!!" He leaps into Jon's arms and he carries him away.
Narrator: And they lived happily ever after.
Jon: "Happy Anniversay, baby."


The quiet slumber

gets pierced as her wings emerge.

The butterfly comes..

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Long Weekend (Chapter 4)

I was starting to get confused with the way Eric was acting. It was about 8:30 in the evening and I was washing the dirt and dust off me from the day’s trip. I thought aloud.

We were pretty close, yes. He shares his personal matters with me, we have lunch together at work all the time, and we share a lot of passions.. He even persuaded me to apply for promotions. Earlier, I could have sworn he was giving me signals. Is there a possibility there could be more?..

I rinse off quickly as the warm water began to cool. I enter our room and Eric is lying on the bed wearing only his boxers. Uh-oh. I pick up my clothes from my bag and put my shorts on. Then my t-shirt.

His wet clothes from the trek earlier hung at the back of a chair.
“Gab?” He asks.
“Yup?” My eyes squint as I try to see him through the dim light of the lampshade.
“Let's have a drink tomorrow.” He smiles.

“Sure.” I said. I haven’t had the chance to fill in Tatat of the recent incidents. Earlier at the Yoghurt House restaurant, we only talked about the caving trip that they missed. I turn off the light.

The moonlight filtered through the curtains. I could still see the silhouette of his lean body. I turn in my bed, and closed my eyes.

We spent the following day trekking to the waterfalls. I was feeling good, and Eric was in high spirits. The girls on the other hand, didn’t share the same sentiments. The treks were exhausting, often off the road. We made it home just in time for dinner.

“So, do you think you nailed the interview with MAD?” I ask.

“Pretty much. My stats speak for itself.” He says, taking a swig of beer.

Ang yabang nito!” I laugh. I was feeling a little tipsy already. We were in the middle of our fifth bottles of San Mig Light.

“Can I ask a personal question?”


“Would you consider dating a guy?”

Eric laughed. “What a question. Why do you ask?”

“I'm in love with you, Eric.”

He just looks at me silently.

“Just kidding. Forget what I said.” I was trying to make the light of it, but my eyes said it all. He really was the impossible dreamboat, and I never could have him.

I took another swig. We became silent. Eric turns his eyes toward the window, his face unmoving.

We made our way back to our room. Eric was so hammered he just fell on his bed. I watched him for a while as he slept, and then I lay beside him, lost in my thoughts, until I drifted off to sleep.


We were silent inside the crowded bus that took us back to Manila. Eric and I hardly spoke to each other since we left St. Joseph hours ago. I glace to my side, Tatat was asleep, with earphones stuck to her ear. I decided I’ll just tell her about it when we get to Manila.

We finally arrived at about 4:00 am. We got off the bus, exhausted from the trip. Tatat hails a cab, and we say our goodbyes to Jen and Eric. I meet Eric’s eyes as the taxi moved away, I had the feeling it was the last time I'll ever see him.

The night I returned to work, I went to see my ACCM.

“What?” Karen exclaimed.

“Are you sure about this Gabby? You have a good chance of getting the promotion, you know.” She looks at me disbelievingly.

“It’s personal Karen.” I said.

“I’m saddened, but it’s your decision.”

I take a deep breath as I sign the document. I walked slowly towards my station and pick up my things. I had one more thing to do- I pick up a pen and a piece of paper and wrote:

Hi Eric,

I guess I should probably start with an apology or an explanation, but something tells me you already know so I won’t. Like what Tatat said, all anyone had to do was see the way I look at you to know that I have feelings for you. Hey, you didn't tell me at the start of the Sagada trip that Jen was your high school girlfriend, so that makes us even.

I regret doing this, but I feel like this is the only way. Unlike some people who can just move on from such an episode and dismiss it as some interesting anecdote later on, I obviously cannot. I’m still in love with you, actually. That’s so hilarious to hear, even to me. But I guess I couldn’t help it.

I’ve decided it was really time for me to go. If I remain here I'd probably get sent to AeroMed every night for recurring heartaches. I’ll never forget that you’ve always been nice to me from the start, and sorry if I caused you a headache.

“The only true paradises are the ones we’ve lost.” Now I know what that line means. Thanks for the four years of great friendship and company, I’ll always remember that. Those memories are like secret beach coves I alone know about- and they’d always be beautiful.

Congratulations on your promotion. Malou told me about it. I’ll bet you’d make a great ACCM. Take care!


I fold the paper and tuck it under the keyboard on his station. I walk towards the elevators and take a last look. Beep! The glass door opens, and I step out.

“Are you ok?” Tatat steps out of the elevator.
I shook my head and I felt my eyes blur.

She squeezes my hand and takes my paperbag. “Ikaw talagang bakla ka.” She makes a face. We both burst out laughing as the elevator closes.

The Long Weekend (Chapter 3)

The bus made its way through unpaved winding roads, but the bumpy road was no trouble at all. Eric was right- the views were spectacular. We stopped at a roadside store, and we all hopped off to stretch.

“How was your interview yesterday?” Tatat asked.

“With Ravi? It was ok, I think. I held my composure all throughout. I felt like a beauty contestant!” I joked.

“When is your interview with the Call Center Director? I had mine with her and she’ll really grill you over hot coals.” Eric adds.

“As soon as we get back. Hey Jen, how are you doing?”

Jen smiles at me. “A little exhausted, but enjoying the trip so far. Let's buy food!”

We boarded the bus for the final leg of the trip. At 2:00pm, we finally arrive at the quaint village perched on top of a mountain. It was beautiful.

“Whew! Finally!” Tatat exclaims.

“Let’s get our things to the resthouse and start exploring.” Eric says.

“Yes, captain.” I called after him.

Eric and I ended up sharing a room, while the girls stayed at the adjacent room amidst my protestations to Tatat.

“What do you want, for them to share the room?” She hissed.

“You have a point there.” I said. And so I finally agreed.

I set my bag on the small bed. “The rooms are small.. But I guess its cozy, and the receiving area looked really nice.” I said.

“Did you see the fireplace? Hurry, let’s go to Echo Valley, then to the hanging coffins and then Sumaguing Caves.” He could hardly contain his enthusiasm.

We trekked the entire time because there were no means of transport- no tricycles or pedicabs in sight. It looked like people walked here all the time. The girls and I trudged along as Eric, the most athletic was in the lead. He was wearing shorts and rubber shoes, with his camera strapped on his shoulder.

“Eric where to next?” I called out from way behind him. I was panting and so were the girls.

“Sumaguing Caves. We'll get a guide.” He says.

It was almost sundown when we arrived at the mouth of the cave. It was huge, the mouth seemingly eating up all the light that passed through it.

“Oh dear, it's getting dark. I think I'll just stay outside.” Jen says.

“Yeah, it looks creepy as it is.” Tatat nudges me.

“Eric, can we just go in tomorrow? I'm not familiar with the place.”
“Relax Gab, Ive done this before. The girls can go ahead, come on, let's go! I'll take care of you.” There he was again, being charming to get his way.

“Fine, but let’s make it quick.” I say as I hand my backpack to Tatat.

The guide lead us further down to the mouth of the cave. I heard flapping of wings, and I realized there were bats on the cave. Eric was animated, humming to himself, walking with ease.

The ground turned to jagged white stones. Water flowed in the crevices and I struggle to keep my balance. I turn my back and saw nothing but blackness; the only light now came from the kerosene lamp the guide had brought.

“Eric, wait.” I said nervously.

He laughs. “Are you afraid Gab?” I grab his arm and pretend to box him. I was starting to enjoy it actually. The guide’s face was just impassive as we went further down. He has done this a thousand times, I thought, and he couldn’t care less.

“What happened to your friends who were supposed to come with us?” I asked.

“Something came up at the office and they couldn’t make it, except for Jen.” I realized I’ve been holding on to his shoulders for a few minutes now, as the ground began to slope downwards. And then there was just shadow in front of us. As the guide drew closer, I saw that the ground dropped several feet and there was a thick piece of rope hanging.

I walked too far down, and there was no turning back now. I swallowed as Eric made his way down.

“This is called rappelling.” He says.

“It doesn’t look like fun. How deep is the drop?”

“Around 8 feet sir.” The guide says. Great, and below it is solid rock. I just hope I don’t go “splat!”

Shakily, I made my way down. I had taken off my sandals for more traction on the rock, which was wet. It was getting cold, and I imagine we were about three stories below ground level, deep in the earth’s bowels.

“Pretty cool, huh?” He grins.

“I’m wet!” I say, examining the camera. Luckily the case was waterproof. We take a few pictures of the rock formations. The guide points to a pond-like structure. We wade to the point where the icy waters reached our knees.

“It's cold out here. Let's go back up.” Steam came out of my mouth as I exhaled. Gosh, the temperature must have been really low. And I realized it was already nighttime.

“One last thing.” Eric says, he takes off his shirt and hands it to me. He walks over to the deep part and immersed himself in the water.

“Are you crazy?” I was panicking already. I imagined some sort of crazy cave monster lurking somewhere.

His laughter echoes through the cave as he grabs his shirt and puts it on. He was shivering.

“You're really losing it.” I said. He wraps his arms around me. “Whooo! The water is ice! Good thing you’re warm.”

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Long Weekend (Chapter 2)

“Guys, I have some very exciting news!” Karen, our diminutive Assistant Call Center Manager, was practically jumping up in her seat. She always gets like that when she’s about to make some grand announcement, I thought. I had an idea on what it was about.

“The higher management has opened a new post for the ACCM position. Excited murmurs filled the room. I turned to my seatmate Iona, who also handled a team, “Let's apply!”

“Hmm, I would decline for now. My team has been stuck in the early morning shift for a long time now, I still have a lot of improvements to make... You on the other hand, is a contender. Go!"

“Are you kidding me? Perhaps Eric, he seems like the ACCM type.” I whispered.

Eric was seated at the far end of the table, looking sharp in his crisp white long-sleeved shirt and grey dress pants. His satin tie was the same shade as his pants. He was chatting with Jet, one of his buddies in the evening shift.

“So Gabby, any plans?” Karen turns to me.
“Uhm, I’ll have to think about it Karen.” I say. “I’m really happy with my team’s performance. At this point it’s almost effortless for us to get good stats.”

“Which makes it the perfect time for you to move up. Don’t you want to challenge yourself and apply your brand of leadership on a larger scale?”

“Give me a day or two to decide.” I smiled.

The meeting ended at around 7am. My shift was already done. I gathered my things and made my way to the elevator.

“Gab! Let's have breakfast at Delifrance.” Eric catches up to me.

“Who's going?” I ask. Eric places his hand on my shoulder. I felt a tingle in my spine. Shit, that happens every time!! Why am I so affected? I wondered.

“Jen, Jet, Mavic.. I dunno the rest. So are you coming?” He smiles.

Aww I wish I could just freeze this moment. If I tell you how I feel Eric, would you still treat me the same way and be nice to me? I smiled a sad smile.

“I'll just drop by on the 14th, it might be Tatat's break already. I'll see you on the 12th floor.”

“Okidoki.” He hops off the elevator, upbeat and without a care in the world. The elevator closes as it ascends to the 14th floor.

“Tatat!!” I exclaimed as I approached Tatat on a transfer station.

She waves her arm, signaling that she is still on the phone.

“You will never guess what happened. When is your break?” I ask.

She presses the mute button. “I'm already on break actually, but this caller won't end the call. Grrr!”

“Relax, you'll have a coronary. Just have your break adjusted.” I pat her arm.

“Thank you, and have a great day!” She says sarcastically on the phone, with her eyes rolling. Like any call center veteran, she knew how to be sarcastic while sounding pleasant over the phone.

“You are really a good actress.” I laugh. "The others are going to have breakfast at Delifrance, wanna go?"

“Nah, I'll just go down and have a smoke. So what's the big news? Is this about Jon, your cute CSR?” She waves a finger at me.

“No! Eric asked me earlier if I wanted to have breakfast. He touched me on the shoulder, it was so kilig!”

“Hmph, if I'm not mistaken, he already has a girlfriend. Why don't you go out with Alexis' CSR?”

“Are you kidding me? That queen is a lot more effeminate than me. Tat, I'm not a lesbian ok? Come on, let's go to my station. I need to get my things.”

We make our way to the 12th floor. The CSRs have already transferred to the 11th floor, and there were only a handful of busybodies left- a few TMs and some maintenance people.

“Gab!” It was Eric, walking from his station. “Let's go. Hello Miss Tatat!” He says to my bestfriend.

“I like your tie.” Tatat says.

“That's Hermes.” I whispered.

“Gab, are you applying for the ACCM post?” He asks as he sits on my chair.

I open my pedestal and took out my phone and my mug. “I'm not sure. Seems like a stressful job to me.” I reply, hardly looking at him.

“I know just what you need- a fun weekend. I’m planning to go to Sagada with a few old friends.” Eric said.

“In Mountain Province?” Tatat says.

“It’s a great place, Gab can make up his mind up there.”

“Are you applying for the post?” I ask him.

“I already submitted my application form and resume.” He winks.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Long Weekend (Chapter 1)

The Long Weekend
By Thad Hinunangan

The styrofoam cup felt warm on my hand, but the coffee was still scalding hot. I stirred it some more, careful not to spill its contents on my lap.

“What time is the bus leaving?” My bestfriend was smoking her third cigarette for the day.

“Probably at 7am. Ugh! Why did we arrive so early!” She scoffs.

I was with three friends- Tatat, my bestfriend, Eric, a fellow Team Manager and my long time crush, and Jen, who I just met weeks ago. We all worked in the same office, except for Jen. We were headed to Sagada, Mountain Province for a three-day stay. Presently, we were huddled together in a corner in Dangwa Bus Station in Baguio, as we wait for the first bus to Sagada.

“Gab, do you already have your QA scores for the week?” Eric asks. I took a sip of my coffee. “I don't have them yet. I'll phone Malou of Queue desk tomorrow and ask.”

“Wasn't your team the highest last week? Your team has been consistent with high marks. The Quarterly Evals are coming up, and it looks like a big bonus is coming your way.” Eric smiles as he sits on the bench opposite to mine.

“I hope you're right on that one.” I reply. Eric and I were batchmates- we were among the pioneer reps in the company, who at that time merely had forty employees. In a span of four years the number of employees had grown exponentially, with its present count almost reaching a thousand. Both of us now held higher positions, and are both up for evaluation.

Eric was tall, mestizo, and well educated- a combination rare among guys. He graduated Cum Laude from Ateneo, and if that wasn’t enough he also happens to be well off and incredibly nice. He became known as “the office heart throb”, who elicited stares from girls and gay guys alike at work.

I call him “the impossible dreamboat”, for I was among those who secretly had a crush on him. It was such an irrational infatuation, that I always get mad at myself whenever I think of him. Every time I have lunch with him at the pantry, I would silently curse myself for enjoying his company. Let me explain: First of all, Eric is a straight guy, and that alone should be enough to deter me. A straight- gay relationship is a paradox; it will always be one way since he can’t return the feeling. Second, let us say, if in a parallel universe I was a girl, he would still be way out of my league. He is well bred, well off, and sophisticated. And me, well, all the schooling at UP Diliman will never change my provincial ways. Third, he is my friend, and in that respect should be off limits. It would be such a waste to throw that friendship out the window.

“Here comes the bus.” Says Jen.

Tatat turns to me and whispers. “I didn't know she could speak.” I made a face. “Hey, be nice to her. She's Eric's friend.”
With our luggage in hand, we board the bus. I take a seat next to the window, and my friend Tatat sits on the adjacent seat. Jen and Eric took the seats on the next row. There were hardly any passengers except for an old woman who brought with her baskets of vegetables, a boy with a stack of newspapers, and an old man in the back.

The rickety bus finally moves as its engine sputtered to life. I ready my camera as I lean out the window, enjoying the cool morning breeze. Tatat lit another cigarette.

“How many hours was it again to Sagada?” I nudge her.

“Seven years.” She replies, waving her hand for emphasis.

“Aww C'mon Gab, just enjoy the sights. The views are spectacular, and the last time I was here, I took a lot of great photos.” Eric chimes in.

“The ones posted on Friendster?” Tatat asks.

“Yeah, I think I saw those. Where are we staying again?” I ask Eric, who had been to the place before. Gosh, he looked so cute in his navy sweater.

“St. Joseph Resthouse. It’s a really cool place, and their common area has a fireplace. Plus, its really cheap. The amount you spend for a three day stay in Bora can last a month here.” Eric said.

“Sounds good!” I look out the window again. I could only see mountains, as far as my eyes could see. It was such a different experience for me, since I’m a beach person. Puerto Galera was my favorite holiday getaway, perhaps because it reminded me of the beach in our province that was only about three blocks from our house.

I remember the scene that happened a week ago in the office..
Stick around for the continuation.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Struggles of a Schemer (Part 2)

I was weak in the knees, and tendrils of excitement worked their way up. Good thing I had my jacket, or else the tent situation would have been visible through my slacks. Ok, before you judge me, I’ll just explain what happened as I finish my story.

The sensor beeped as the magnetic strip of Jon’s ID touched the surface. He opens the glass doors as I wait for him with folders and papers in my arms. He opens the door to the conference room for me.

Thad 1: “Ah, such a gentleman.”

Thad 2: “Girl, pagkakataon mo na!!”

Thad 1: “Shhhhh..You are here for a coaching session. Behave!”

The room was dark, with only a few lights from the opposite building and Makati Med filtering through the drapes. My fingers feel for the light switch. Click! The room brightens as the fluorescent lights bounce off the glass-and-steel interior.

“Have a seat”, I said, indicating to the comfortable swivel chair. I close the door and pause for a moment to inspect him. He was even cuter up close. He needed a haircut, his hair was a little unruly, but it only served to enhance his chinito eyes. He wore a black polo top which hugged close to his body, and the front of his tan slacks showed promise as it draped nicely over his lean legs.

I pull a chair close to him and I place the folders on the glass table. For a moment, our thighs touch.

Thad 2: “Ayyyy! Sarap naman. Shit, kinikilig talaga ako, as in!”

Thad 1: “Gagah, ingat ka. You might get fired for this. Say goodbye to your apartment, your vacations, your gimiks, and your credit cards.”

Thad 2: “Hmmph!”

“Jon, you are nearing your three month mark, and as you know, we have to evaluate the performance of each CSR prior to regularization.” I was suddenly shy. I found it difficult to look into those eyes, baka matunaw ako. Ching!

“I’m very happy with your performance (in bed! Squeals Thad 2, giddy with his nearness); in fact, you have one of the best stats in the team, even compared with tenured CSRs.” I open the folder and take out some trackers.

“Talaga Boss?” He smiles with those teasing lips, and his chinito eyes get even chinkier.

Thad 2: “Sheeeet ate, ‘di ko na kaya to! Love ko na sya! I love you, Jon!”

I try to focus my thoughts. Talk about his performance; stop looking at his crotch, you fool!

“Yes, I really think you have potential to be one of the leaders in the group. With consistent good performance, I bet a promotion is just around the corner.” I blabber some more as I sit there drinking the sights. With his ego pumped up, he sat straighter. Nice shoulders, I thought.

Thad 1: “Stop looking at him like he’s meat, perv.”

Thad 2: “Girl, hawakan mo ang kamay!!”

“I’m really impressed.” I say, and then I softly pat his arm. “How did you find the experience finally taking live calls on the floor?” I asked, blinking my eyes flirtatiously.

Thad 2: “Eeeeee! I bet he likes me. Didn’t he just give me signals?”

Thad 1: “You are imagining things. He is straight and he has a girlfriend.”

Thad 2: “Still, make a pass. Malay natin diba? Maka-homerun tayo dito!

My internal struggle continues as my conversation with Jon progresses.

“I encounter some difficult calls, but I try hard to handle them before transferring it to a supervisor. Other than that, I enjoy my time since we actually have a good schedule.” Jon said. He unconsciously runs his fingers through his hair.

Thad 2: “Aw cute! Cute sya talaga, ate!

“And the only way we can keep a good schedule is if we improve our performance as a team- and that always comes with each individual’s efforts.” Should pat him again? I asked myself.

Thad 1: “No!”

Thad 2: “Ate, go na!”

I glance at my watch. 1:47- the exception time was about to end. Damn! “Jon, I think that’s all the time we have. Obviously, I’ll be recommending your regularization, given your excellent performance.” I stand and collect the papers.

Jon, happy with what he heard, puts his arm on my shoulder (I’m melting!). “Boss, thank you ha!. I hope you spend more time doing side-by-side y-cording with me so I can do better with my calls.”

Sigh. He towers over me, I glance up to him and smile. “Sure thing.” I switch the lights off as we leave the conference room. Thad the goody-goody won this round (or maybe it was the fear of having my credit cards taken away?), and I didn’t make a pass. But with his arm still on my shoulder, I still felt the warmth of his closeness.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros

I've searched the net for a video clip of my favorite character Maxie, but I could only find a copy of the movie poster. I realize now what made this film so unforgettable for me- I remember my own blossoming way back in high school, and mind you, our hunky neighbor who was my crush looked like JR Valentin (who plays the cop, Maxie's love interest).
So as Maxie steals a glace at JR, who puts on his briefs after his shower, I am reminded of the kilig feeling I had when I accidentally, passing by their house, see him in his room through the window wearing only white briefs. I was about first year or second year high school, and he was in college I believe. Haaay.
Maxie lives in the slums with his two brothers and his father (who are all petty criminals). With the absence of his mother, Maxie takes on the role of the female of the family, taking care of the men and doing the household chores. Victor, a handsome rookie cop, rescues Maxie like a knight in shining armor as he is teased by neighborhood bullies. The two soon became friends.
Trouble starts when one of Maxie's brothers accidentally kills a man during a hold-up incident that went ugly. Victor suspects one of Maxie's brothers as the killer and pressures Maxie to spill the beans. Maxie's brothers are fiercely protective of Maxie, and they decide to beat up Victor amidst Maxie's protests. Maxie goes to Victor's house and attend to him, mending his wounds. The next morning, the shower incident I mentioned earlier happens. Maxie prepares breakfast for Victor and then kisses him on the cheek (kilig!). I always laugh at the next scene, where Maxie does a cartwheel, seeing that look of being in love plastered on his sweet young face.
Maxie writes a love letter and confesses his feelings to Victor. Sadly, the letter is not well received and Victor dismisses it as nonsense. The hunt for his brother intensifies, and Maxie's loyalty is torn between his beloved family and Victor. In the climax of the movie, Maxie's father gets shot and dies, in an encounter with the cops (which included Victor), with Maxie looking on.
The final scene shows Maxie, preparing for school, while his older brothers do the chores he once did. He walks to school, and suddenly Victor cruises by in his jeep. He stops the vehicle, and steps out, with a look in his face like he wants to speak with Maxie and console him. But Maxie just walks on, without looking back.
Ah, the pain of lost love. Nathan Lopez is brilliant as the 12 year old Maxie, in this film about lost innocence.

Struggles of a Schemer

I was fixing my tie, going over the things I had to do for the day. Meeting with MAD (our director) and the managers, call monitoring for five CSRs, submission of QA analysis, and coaching with a really cute new CSR I had, whom we will call Jon (after my hubby Jon Mullaly haha!). My heart skipped a beat. The first time I laid eyes on him was when the new batch of CSRs were introduced by the Trainers to their respective Team Managers, and damn, he was fine. He was taller than me (which I like), with a boyish face, and chinito eyes. He had a great accent and was a Thomasian student at that time. There was only one problem: he had a girlfriend, also a CSR who was going to be assigned to another team.

“Bakla!”, a female friend (who was also managing a team) tells me, “Ang swerte mo, sa’yo napunta yung guy!.”

“Korek, Mother! Kanino napunta yung girlalu?” I asked.

“Kay Mavic ata.”

“Kausapin, ko kaya si bakla, dapat maging harsh sya para mag-disappear si girl.” I added wickedly.

“Kaw ha, for more conspiracy theory kayo. Ma-HR ka pa nyan. Be good ha, Thad.”

I welcomed the three new additions to my team: Jon and two other girls I barely noticed. I put on my most charming smile. “Hi guys, so you passed training! Congratulations! You can call me Thad; I’ve been handling this team for a year now.” I went on with my spiel, explaining how it works on the floor, my expectations, rules, and answered their queries.

That was about two months ago, and as I made my way to the silver elevators of RCBC Tower 2, I smile to myself- it was going to be an interesting day. I proceeded with my usual tasks with automation, but at the back of my mind was the anticipation of my coaching session with Jon.

My watch read 1:25. I call the Queue Desk. “Hi, this is Thad. Can you arrange for time off for my CSR Jon, probably 20 minutes for coaching? I’ll be using the conference room at the 11th floor, call me there if you need me.”

“Done Thad.” Said the metallic voice on the other end of the line. I run to the male restroom to fix my hair and put on cologne (hehe!). I take a deep breath, and with a smile fixed on my face, I approach his station. “Jon, log out at 1:30, for coaching. Meet me at the 11th floor.” He smiles and nods his head, and then proceeded to close his call.

To be continued..

Romance ala Brokeback Mountain

One of the redeeming scenes in the rather disappointing Scary Movie 4 is a spoof of the famous lovescene between Jack and Ennis in Brokeback Mountain. Enjoy! ; ) "Hey man, I'm not on the down low or anything."
"Hey, what are you doing?"
"Just grabbing some nuts."
"Just wanna eat some 'penuus'. See? Peanuts."
"I’ve been alone with you in my mind. In my dreams I’ve kissed your lips a thousand times.."
"..I sometimes see you pass outside my door. Hello, is it me your looking for.."
(the duo sing Lionel Richie's Hello)
Oh dear, I feel sorry for the small guy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Blog Review by Rocky of The Geeky Guide to Nearly Everything

This is an exerpt from the article. Click on this link to see the entire post on Rocky's blog.

"My general rule of waiting for a blog to hit three months of consistent posting tends to limit what can be reviewed on Pinoy Gay Blogs, mainly because many of the blogs are fairly young. It's great that the site seems to inspire members of the LGBT group to "pick up the pen" as it were to start blogging, I try to feature blogs that appear to be ready to go the long haul in the blogosphere. I'm not always right, but I try.I've been watching this particular blog for a while and while technically "new" based on the aforementioned standards, in less than three months he's generated more posts than most around here - a significant feat in itself. So as he has crossed the three-month mark, let's celebrate the writing behind The Emancipation of Thadie.

The Emancipation of Thadie may not seem much at first glance, depending on the latest entry. Just looking at the screenshot above, you might not see much to draw your attention - it's a sea of white, few images of interest and a whole lot of text. Then again, perhaps that's the point.

As diverse as the blogging medium is these days, at its core it's still all about writing. Videos, images and all these other things support and help enhance the words we choose to post but still at the core of the blogging experience is writing. This blog is a prime example of great writing, something a friend of mine would call performance writing at its best.

I think what strikes one most about this blog is the honesty behind it - the tone is amazingly candid and Thad Hinunangan has chosen to free himself of inhibitions by being very honest in his writing. In fact, he chose to create this blog to help him come out of the closet - you can't get more honest than that.."

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Bullfrog Battles

It was a bad day from the start. I arrived three minutes before the time, breathless from running three flights of stairs, and lacking the most important thing: my live specimen. This was our 8th dissection (we dissect a live toad every meeting, as each system is tackled), and I frantically asked my mates if any of them brought an extra specimen. The dreary lab was smelly because of the toads in plastic containers, the shelves filled with jars of preserved body parts, embryos, cats, birds, and snakes did little to brighten up the place.

“Kuya, I have one, but it’s a bullfrog,” one of my mates said. She held up the plastic bag, and peering though the translucent plastic was an ugly frog the size of a small cat.

“Prepare your materials now. You will only be given 20 minutes to finish the dissection. Move!” We all scrambled in our seats and make the preparations.


I put on my lab gown. Students rushed out faster than Hurricane Katrina as they went out to borrow dissecting pans and dissecting sets. Thankfully, I had my own as I’ve realized weeks ago this saved precious minutes. I placed the smelly plastic on the pan. Some students had time to wash their specimen prior to the start of the class, but with the time constraints I had no choice but grit my teeth and get to work, with the frog reeking from his excrements.


The frog struggled violently as I removed him from the plastic. He probably knew what would happen next, as the long pithing needle glinted menacingly in the fluorescent lights. No time to put on surgical gloves either, and I was a little worried seeing his poison glands starting to secrete the milky fluid on his back.


Pinning his head with my index finger, I use the pithing needle to paralyze him. His heart still has to be pumping as we expose the organs as instructed; a dead toad would be good as zero points. My hand shakes as his powerful legs kick vigorously. “Ok buddy”, I muttered under my breath, “It’s either you or me. And I’m not getting a zero for this dissection.”

I angle the needle slightly as I located the position of his atlas. I saw the grove just before his skull and I slid the needle inside. Pop! I heard the bone snap as the needle pierced his skull, I move it the opposite direction as I work on his spinal cord. I watched his limbs suddenly stretch, and finally go limp.


The board read:

Pith the toad completely -------------------------------------- 30 points
Expose fully the muscles of the left leg----------------------- --20 points
Expose the abdominal muscles, cut a millimeter
From the Linea Alba and expose the visceral organs------------30 points
Cut the mandibles to expose the glottis-------------------------20 points

Profuse bleeding: Minus 30 points

Something was wrong. I was cutting the skin on the abdominal area when the frog’s left leg twitched ever so slightly. It only meant one thing: I was not successful in paralyzing him. I decided against pithing him again for two reasons: 1. time constraint 2. with my fingers slick from the cocktail of poison and blood, I couldn’t hold him properly.

I continued to remove the skin and proceeded to cut his abdominal muscles, careful not to hit the artery that ran through the Linea Alba. I can say goodbye to 30 points if he bleeds profusely.

07:00 minutes left

I look around, and some of my mates were still struggling to pith their toad. Some, however, were already working on the mandibles. I must hurry.

I begin to expose the left leg by carefully cutting the skin. This will take forever, I thought. I grip the peeled skin and pulled as hard as I could. Riiip! Riip! The skin of the entire leg comes off, exposing the muscles and bones of the left leg. Time to work on the mandibles.

03:00 minutes left

I cut laterally, very carefully, but I must have accidentally hit a blood vessel because blood spurted from where I made the cut. Shit! I watched helplessly as the buccal cavity fill with blood. I stopped for a moment to wipe the sweat off my brow.

What to do now? I decided I had no time, so I’ll just continue. I cut the other side, finally able to expose the glottis. I touch the blood with my finger. It had begun to clot. I was lucky! The bleeding had stopped on its own, and I was able to remove the clotted blood. Relieved, I step back to look at my work.

00:00 Judging time

“Put your instruments down, and everybody move to the side.” The instructor started to inspect the specimens, collecting sheets of paper where he jotted down grades. A few minutes later, he gets to the pedestal and announced:

“Three of you got a perfect score. Sheryda Dumduma, Zoe Ann Villacorte, and Thad Hinunangan.”

Yes!! I grinned, clasping my dirty hands, it was a good day, after all.

Jack and Cher

Cher guest stars in Will & Grace- this is one of the funniest scenes when Jack (Sean Hayes) meets his idol Cher for the first time (and gets slapped!). Click here for more antics.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Post-Modern Men

I have a new hobby. Due to the scarcity of cute PLUs in town, I have resorted to the next best thing: straight men-watching. I set down my drink beside me on my usual bench near the Study Hall (a hall rarely used for studying, by the way). I had a few more minutes before a class and I was enjoying the peace and quiet, later on, a throng of loud adolescents will completely fill my consciousness.

My eyes sweep the area, like a falcon looking for prey. A group of girls were chatting a few meters away, some students were playing the guitar, a car is pulling up in the parking area, and a group of guys were walking some distance away. Krrrr! My retinas focus precisely, like a pair of high-tech SLR binoculars. Target identified: a couple of alpha males. I continue to observe as they chatted distractedly, with their books in tow.

I pick up a notebook and start scribbling. “Characteristics of Post-Modern Men”, I wrote, and below it:

1. They don’t like being corrected. Maybe it’s an ego thing; if you correct a guy’s grammar, critique his clothing style, or perhaps simply disagree with his opinion, he immediately gets defensive. He gives you the “back off look” in his eyes.

2. The Pogi Syndrome. A straight guy, no matter how homely the face, is always confident that he’s pogi. Kinda cute actually, but could get annoying.

3. Competitive. They’ll try to lift the heaviest weights, drink the most beer, throw the farthest stone, and do other menial things in the spirit of competition. In fairness, this can be constructive if directed properly; otherwise they would just waste their time trying to see who can pee the farthest.

4. Ma “L”. But not as much as gay men. Hahaha! I remember a line from QAF: if straight men think about sex every 20 minutes, a gay man thinks about sex every five minutes!

I was shook out of my reverie as a bell rings from inside the building. 1:00 pm classes are about to start, so I hurriedly collected my things and rushed towards the stairs. Upon reaching the classroom, I realized I hadn’t finished the exercises due that day. Great, I thought, I was able to fathom the mysteries of the male psyche, at the price of one requirement. I sat down, turn to my seatmate and ask, “Are you guys done with the Chapter 3 exercises? Pa-kopya naman!.”

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Return (Part 1)

Jokla! Pupunta ako manila 27,28 , & 29, make sure off ka! Labas tayo!

Yes sat mon off namin nila jojo rakel. Yes! Kaka excite. Cya!

Sure!! Missya!

28 ako sure, sat yan diba?

Just text me.

Hi thad! Is this 4 real? Cge, off kmi ng 28 para mit tau!

Vake! Am not sure f am off d entire 3 days, coz I jst strd with production. Bt of corz u cn stay w me! Yey!

Cno to?
(Oops, probably forgot to inform her when I changed my number)

My reply: Si Dorina, and bituing walang ningning!!

My thumb was numb from pressing the tiny keypad of my cell. It was almost 10pm when the task was done. My plane ticket is on the night stand and my clothes neatly pressed on top of my backpack. Ready to depart in about … 21 days! I know, I know, but I’m just that obsessive.

It’s almost been a year and a half since my shift in career, and I doubt if Makati changed at all. I certainly have. I’m going back to do one last task before I completely close this chapter- I’ll have my tattoos removed. I considered what people close to me have said- some say it should remain, and some, its time to for it to go.

It was almost dawn, and the incandescent glow of the streetlight filtered through my curtains. I was lying on my back, rationalizing and thinking a mile a minute. And finally it came to me: what makes me, is not on the outside; and although this ink on my skin was indeed an expression of my personality, erasing it won’t mean I’d be erasing my past. Finally content, I drifted off to sleep.

My cell buzzed all morning as I made plans with my old friends, my former team, and old dates. Just thinking about them brought a flood of memories, especially of my twin sister aka hag. Tatat and I, we have been room mates way back in the days. She was one of my favorite Galera companions (remember the Look of Love?), and always a hoot to be with. It was a weekly ritual for us to buy something outrageous from YRYS, and as I fold my shirts I pick up my pasalubong for her and slid it inside the bag.

With a mixture of anticipation and nostalgia, I wait.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The "X Factor"

Ever wonder why you unsuspectingly get attracted to straight guys? I have a theory. The other day, I was silently watching a male schoolmate from a distance (stalker-style, only less sinister). He was with a few friends, both male and female. He wasn’t particularly good looking- just a regular Moreno guy with a nice smile, but he did have a certain appeal. An appeal most straight guys share. Determined to decode that charm, I looked on.

He leaned to his side, and proceeded to tell a joke to his female companions. The girls laugh, and demurely cover their mouth with their hands. Ah, the male-female mechanics in action. My subject exuded subtle masculine mannerisms- like his slightly rigid posture, his constant eye contact with the girls, and that grin that was half a smile. He conversed and flirted at the same time.

A male companion taps his shoulders to get his attention. The guy does a pantomime and the group bowls over with laughter. I had begun to grasp it- aside from the lack of waving arms (and other over-the-top facial expressions that PLUs have when telling an anecdote), his appeal centered on his ease at the way he handles himself. He’s confident; flirting with girls without hesitation, while joking with his male friends.

He reminds me of the guys who play basketball on our corner. I see them deeply engrossed in the game, having a good time and without a care in the world. That I can never have, except probably when I’m snorkeling while on a scheduled vacation- that’s the only time I get that look on my face. I worry about a zillion things all the time- my skin (is that a new pimple? A spot? A wrinkle!), my grades, my plans, my schedule, my skin, my hair and that’s just half of it.

Straight guys simply just have an assumption that they are “pogi” regardless of how they actually look. Yes it’s stupid, but true. And it works- on girls and even on us. I doubt if they have self-esteem issues like females do. And maybe that’s what girls look for- a guy who can take care of them, who is sure of himself and one who lacks insecurities. For our people, I’m pretty sure they are looking for someone who is less fussy than they are. How do I know? Reliable sources told me some PLUs in school had a crush on me prior to my coming out. As soon as my “straight image” faded, so did the glances. I thought: I can never tell for sure if my theory is correct, so I’ll test it.

Enter Thad, walking nonchalantly, hair tousled, as if I just ran my fingers through it (but it really took half an hour to blowdry and style), and minus the wavy movement of my arms. My lips in a thin line, I glance briefly at a group of girls heading my way. I look one of the girls in the eye. She gives me a coy look, and then smiles and whispers something to her companions. The girls turn to look at me, as I walk straight past and into the building.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

I'm Your Baby

He gazes at me with those eyes, and his lips twist in a mischievous grin. Then he grabs a few strands of my hair and pulls with all his might. “Ouch!!” I wince. My nephew claps his tiny hands with glee, seemingly amused by my reaction.

Everyday he starts to look more and more like my brother. I’m not just talking about his chinky eyes, or his bow shaped lips, or his curly hair- he has these subtle mannerisms that never cease to amaze me. The kid is a carbon copy of Ty.

He has put everyone in our household in a spell. We are at his constant beck and call. Milk to warm? Waaaaaahhh! He screams. Milk too cold? He cries some more. Cerelac not to his liking today? He grabs the spoon and hurls it to the floor.

After his bout with UTI, we were not allowed to use diapers anymore. He finishes about a thousand lampins a day, and still manages to pee on your lap. He loves it, especially if you are wearing your uniform, or your best shirt. Once, before his bath, he pooped on his yaya’s hand. Lovely. He giggles angelically, and after a few blinks of his eye, he is forgiven.

Gavin loves to sing. He also likes to cry for no reason. Last semester, nearing our finals, he found it a hoot to scream like someone’s after him with a guillotine from 2:30 to about 4:00 early morning. During the day, he slept like an angel, while I also slept during my exams.

Screaming and tantrums aside, I love my nephew. He is always happy to see me, and after a long day of Anatomy and Physics, a little hair-pulling sounds like relief. He relishes the attention we give him. As far as he’s concerned, he is the center of the Universe. Well, he is, actually.

Monday, July 2, 2007

From Squeaky Clean to Wild child, and Back Again

I just had a consultation with our Dean. I was afraid she was going to kick me out straightaway, after explaining why I visited her today, but thankfully that was not the case.

“I have mellowed down considerably through the years”, I said. “And whatever my motivations were in the past that made me get them doesn’t matter now. I’m definitely considering having them removed.” Referring to my tattoos- I had three on my right arm, which I got from way back in my college days in UP.

The nun sat back quietly as she listened to me. She had thick eyebrows on a kind face, and she rested her chin on her clasped hands. “I see that you have changed, from your independent, willful ways. Now that you are on this path, maybe it is time that you consider the other people in your life.” I had told her that I was living with my 81 year-old grandmother here in Tacloban, while the rest of my family are in the states.

I never thought I would really pursue the shift in career. Having a tattoo was certainly no big deal before, but it is now that I’m seeking to be in the health care profession. I guess I had reached the point where either the tattoos go or I do, albeit my 1.72 GWA. It would be so easy for me to just pack my bags again, get a job, and have my old life back- but like what she said; I have other people to consider now other than myself. Besides, it seemed like a good plan also.

I don’t know why I feel sad about it. I guess removing them is like removing part of me. I’ll miss that guy who stole dates, potentially wrecked havoc on the highway, climbed mountains, swam oceans, went all out (almost burning down an entire boarding house!) in the quest for beauty, looked up to crazy Miriam, who came out to the school via email and blog, who quit his job without a guarantee of a better offer, and who hated and loved men with all his heart.

Ah, maybe I still have a little bit of him still hidden somewhere. Beneath the freshly scrubbed, squeaky-clean student dressed in immaculate white.


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