Monday, October 26, 2009

'Faggot' Encounters II

There was a recent encounter with an aunt whose husband my mother thinks to be homosexual. Jokingly, I observed my stance in a photograph she took to be “too gay.” I was coming from that humorous and familiar place shared by me and close friends in the city. Immediately, as kindly as she tried to put it, she reprimanded me for mentioning the word. It was as if she took offense, saying that she found the word demeaning.

I tried to explain that I was fine with it all, that the word was mine and it was who I was, but she insisted. She continued that such a word condescended people like me, that it was an unnecessary label; that I should love myself more, and be done with word.

Her eyes were dripping with concern and sincerity, and I felt her motherly warmth come through. I decided to back away from the topic. When I eventually told my mother about it, she responded with sentiments similar to what I felt early on. I also considered what she thought about that aunt’s husband’s sexuality. I’ve never met him, but it may be that she’s speaking out of her own trauma with the word. It’s fascinating how words take on a variety of meaning for other people, tinged with emotions and memory.

The other night, while hanging out with two of my high school classmates, I was put on the spot once again. Not only was it about my sexuality but of another whom I had an encounter with in one of our many school trips. Apparently, though it’s been almost ten years, they’ve all been wondering what exactly happened that night; and whether the object of my first kiss was actually gay.

I was grateful for the flowing alcohol, the bar shrouded in shadows, and the loud music. If it were not for these distractions, I imagined the conversation strewn with awkward and guarded moments and uncomfortable lies. I actually expected such a topic to come up, and ended up really pleased at how everything went. In a nutshell, they knew already since before of my being gay, never doubting it. It was better even to know that they were cool with it all, affirming their respect for me. It’s interesting though how the word “gay” always came from my lips that night, and they’d always refer to it with either with a point of the finger or a nod of the head.

Perhaps the province is still trying to come to terms with the idea of homosexuality. Fine, a lot of gay men here have been creeping out of the woodwork, but it seems they really haven’t been addressed accordingly. We either have become fodder for gossip, silently accepted, or seemingly ignored. The word always seems to be handled with care here, often perceived as a possible affront to sensibilities. Perhaps it’s some form of delicadeza, that genteel trait that always gives prime to tact and propriety. Perhaps the province continues to sleep as the world keeps turning, suspended in space and time.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

'Faggot' Encounters I

I remember hating the words “fag”, “gay”, “bakla”, “bading”, “agi”. I remember always cringing, my defensive ramparts raised mighty high, and my seething temper rear its ugly head whenever I’d hear them. Then I grew up a little more, loved myself a little more, and the vicious power of these words seemed to wane. Or so I thought.

The other night, at my childhood friend’s wedding reception, I found myself in some disconcerting circumstance. Glad to have met and reconnected with several friends of yore, I ate and drank the night away; noticing myself more confident and less conscious than ever before. It’s always this way. Each time I go home, I find myself gaining more strength, letting go of the baggage I used to lug around in my childhood and adolescence. But this night, I was just caught off-guard. I almost ignored what happened and thought nothing of it, till it clung to my memory, prying my eyes wide open when I wanted to sleep.

After all the activities during the wedding reception, the lights dimmed and the lounge act made its way on stage. People started dancing. Bottles of scotch, wine, and vodka made their rounds on every table. Many of us got even wilder after each cheap rendition of current pop tunes. I kept going in and out of the hall with friends, glass of poison in hand, socializing while smoking cigarettes by the hotel veranda.

By the nth glass of vodka and cigarette stick, I found myself tired and sitting by myself. Soon, several high school mates, a year older than me, made their way towards my space. They were in some inebriated romp, dancing like those drunken uncles we usually recoil at the sight of. I actually found the scene funny and silly, till they got closer and one started straddling me. Then the other joined in, rubbing my head. It was fine at first, I joining in the fun, until things got long-drawn. The fun of it all seemed to subside, and I found myself mocked; and ultimately, offended.

Not one to wear such feelings on my proud sleeve, I smiled away and pretended that I was cool amid it all. But I caught another school mate laughing and the rest of the people by the table in some unsure gaze, their smiles crumpled. I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed. As soon as they stopped dancing, I gave myself another glass of vodka and twenty minutes till I left the hotel.

On my way home, I felt like I was an awkward adolescent again, running away from taunts and cruel peers. That dance kept repeating itself in my head. Till I got to the shower, till I brushed my teeth, till I crept into soft shell of my sheets, the dance teased my thoughts like a mischievous imp.

I shared the incident the next day with my childhood playmates, and I found my gay friend’s quiet anger rise as he drove his car. Like me, though we’ve lost contact at some point in our adolescence, he’s had his own share of cruelty. He was surprised and vexed that such an asinine attitude towards homosexuality happened again, considering that we were all adults already. He shared a similar experience, adding that he had to say something acerbic to put the bastard in his place. Immediately, I hated that I found myself bashful and silenced last night. I hated doubting my courage and strength as a gay man, having always thought myself a rabid bitch when the situation called for it. I hated playing out the scene in my head, me berating them and putting them in their place. I hated that that was all I was left with, raw feelings from the night before.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Leviathan 3


Josef's hand was vigorous on Felix's shaft, rubbing hard but gently. Josef savored its firmness, while Felix let out short and quiet gasps, surprised at the tenderness of such seemingly inexperienced fingers.

Soon Felix thought it unfair to not return Josef's favors. He was curious and wanted to give too. His own fingers began searching for Josef's stiff member. A tinge of anxiety invaded his thoughts as he reached over. Did it make him different from the other boys, this pleasure of receiving and giving? And what of the girls, those moist crevices and perky breasts, he fantasized about while alone in the bath? Was it all a front? Was he changing his mind about his desires?

Both held each other in the tightest of embraces, hungry for the other's manhood. There was more stroking, kissing, and muffled moans. They had not a care that their heads pressed heavily on Paul's stomach. He was deep in sleep after all, his body quiet and still except for the grumble of his faint snore.

The excitement at the novelty of their familiar bodies did not wane. It was all the more delicious for it was clandestine. Their classmates and teachers were at a nearby hut, rowdy and drunken. It electrified them knowing the possibility that they could be found out. It thrilled them to be in on a secret, their semi-nude bodies covered only by the warm blanket of a dark night.

Soon, temperatures began to rise, their breaths more fiery with each succeeding touch. Their kisses grew unquenchable, their grasp on each other more voracious. The bestial dance was reaching its apex. They felt their spirits soar higher and higher, as familiar tremors grew even louder from within. They both knew what was next and held their breaths. Their senses began to implode. Closer and closer, they approached the molten core of each other's center. Finally...they erupted.

Spent, they both quivered in each other's arms. They turned towards the night sky and felt a calm begin to settle. They lay side by side, not moving, not speaking; their minds still raw from all that transpired. Slowly, they welcomed sleep.

Above them, there were countless stars in the dark firmament. They were like eyes, like a multitude of angels looking down upon the leviathan washed ashore.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Leviathan 2

I couldn't help but blush reading through the succeeding portions of this story. It's shocking for me how I've managed to write such sinful and lewd prose when I was just a teenager! Raging adolescent hormones and hyper-imagination maybe? Perhaps I've toned down as I've grown older. Perhaps sex has lost its novelty now that I am in my twenties, constantly bombarded by overt obscenities.


The feeling as both their mouths caressed one another was exhilarating. Lips met and parted, only to be joined by a fragile string of saliva. Their soft wetness was unbearable, sending an explosive arousal between the two. Tongues explored and tasted insatiably. Cheeks, lips, chin, gum, tongue.

As this communion drew faster, their hearts kept up in high tempo, the warmth of their breaths spreading onto each others' skin. The bullets of sweat that gave their limbs a malicious glow in the moonlight came with a sour odor that mingled with the sea's salty perfume. Josef relished this sensory assault, joining Felix in his muffled moaning.

Josef's right hand could not contain itself any longer, and soon it began to crawl like some spider to the lower reaches of Felix's body.

His fingers slowly unraveled Felix's shorts, revealing his underwear. The feel of the garter and cotton alone sent an electric current across Josef's arm. It was the fulfillment of a fantasy that had long been subjected to suppression, control, and frustrated self-touching.

Even more slowly, Josef's hand slid beneath the garter. The hair was a tangle yet it satisfied his curious touch, his fingers finding it perversely wonderful. Felix's penis was a surprise, too. It was now throbbing, erect to the fullest; its head immensely warm and firm.

The hand moved down towards the scrotum. The hairs were sparse but they were enough to send tingles down Josef's spine. It had tightened as Felix's shaft continued to throb, while Josef's fingers eagerly searched for more sensory pleasures.

to be continued...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Leviathan 1

Found this story among the loose sheets of paper inserted in one of my dusty journals. Found several drafts and poems alluding to this too, and picked out the better version that I wanted to share.

I wrote this just fresh out of high school. I studied in a strict, Catholic all-boy's school, so you can imagine all the stifled raging hormones that gushed on to these pages! It was inspired (fictionalized, if you like) from a senior class trip, one of the last ones till our graduation from secondary school.

I've changed the names (I actually used the real ones when I wrote this!) and tweaked some areas just a tad bit.


Like some leviathan washed ashore, their three bodies were sprawled on the cool, white sand. Paul was on his back with Josef's head resting on his stomach. Josef hugged Felix tightly with both his arms, his head nudged on Josef's neck.

The night was fervid. There was an accumulation of moist almost everywhere. What added to this wonderful hell was the drinking spree earlier that caused reality to steer off its tracks. Fantasy was creeping in, Josef and Felix falling slowly to its ecstasy.

As they lain on the beach, each enjoying their own private thoughts, a sheet of twinkling stars hovered quietly above them. The moon, as if ashamed, hid part of itself behind a patch of shredded clouds. Its remaining half gave an enigmatic glow to the surroundings as darkness waited in every corner for the clouds to disperse, waiting to eat the light into its different world.

There was a breeze that offered respite from the warm night, caressing the coconut trees till they bent gracefully. Animals hidden amongst the shadows crept about. It was not only a sight to see but a world of sounds as well. The waves gently splashed on the shore, making a lullaby against the symphony of crickets. All these gave life to a world seemingly dead.

Paul was in his own world. He was half asleep, his thoughts invaded by memories of high school life. Opening his eyelids from time to time, he caught glimpses of the glittering sky. He felt he was floating in space, amongst the billions of stars that seemed so nearby. Yes, he was drifting into the abyssal world of dreams.

As Josef and Felix lay entwined together, a fever began to rise between the two. Josef began putting gentle kisses upon Felix's forehead, his arms holding him even tighter and closer to his breast. His kisses were soft, Felix thought, as he felt Josef's tender lips discover his face. They touched his furry brows, warm forehead, eyelids, nose; and finally, Felix's wildly wet lips.

to be continued...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sa Aking Iniibig (To My Beloved)

Was going through my desk drawer earlier, and found old journals from when I was younger. Goodness! A lot of interesting stuff in them! Pages were dripping with insatiable, sexual, angry,and confused feelings. A lot were written in metaphors and poetry, and much of what they pertained to I've already forgotten.

It's amusing and hilarious, I found a Filipino poem I wrote for a freshman college assignment! I admit that it is awkward and pretentious (even using the pseudonym, "Eros"!), as I struggled with the language and its novelty. I wrote the poem in English first and brashly translated it word-for-word. I remember my left hand aching from the weight of the thick English-Tagalog Dictionary. I remember working till the wee hours of the morning. I remember that my brain nearly exploded.

The title is not mine as we were told to re-interpret some famous poet's work. If I recall correctly, the original poem was a paean to a loved one. Still raw from all my adolescent angst, I took it upon me to distort its veneration with a dose of unrequited love, bitterness, and sexuality. Masturbatus frustratus, if you will.


Sa Aking Iniibig

Ngayong gabi,
Sa aking malawak at malumbay na kama,
Ako'y nakahigang nag-iisa--
malamig at ulila.

Ang aking pagod na mga mata,
Walang humpas na naghahanap
ng 'sang anino, 'sang imaheng bumubuo
ng lunggating tamis ng iyong katawan.

Samakatwid, nadarama ko ang kumot,
Halumigmig sa pinapawisang likod ko.
Ang mga unan, kasing lambot
ng iyong makinis at maka-rosas na dibdib,
tila'y nilunok nila ang aking kabuuan.

O, ako'y nakahiga't nasusunog para sa'yo--
isang bulkang malapit nang sumabog!

Kay labis kong hinahangad muli,
ang gabing lumipad tayo patungong buwan--
tayong dalawa lamang, nag-iisa sa puting kapatagan.
Nakita kaya tayo ni Luna?
Binuhay ba natin muli si Adan at Eba?

Ngayong gabi,
Sa aking malawak at malumbay na kama,
Ako'y hindi na nakahigang nag-iisa--
mabanas at nasisiyahan.

Ang aking mga kasama?
Mga binhi ng aking kasalanan,
kalat na kalat sa aking paligiran.
Kagaya ng imahen mo--
kalat na kalat sa utak ko.


I've lost the English translation. At the present, here's what I could make of what was written.

To My Beloved

on my vast and lonely bed,
I lie alone--
cold and orphaned.

My tired eyes,
restlessly search
for a shadow, for a likeness
of your body's fervent sweetness.

Instead, I feel the sheets
clinging to my sweaty back.
The pillows, as soft
as your smooth and rosy chest,
seem to have swallowed me whole.

Oh, I lay burning for you--
a volcano close to erupting!

For I've longed once more,
for that night we flew to the moon--
only us two,
one in that white wilderness.
Did Luna perhaps see us?
Did we resurrect Adam and Eve?

on my vast and lonely bed,
I no longer lie alone--
torrid and happy.

My company?
The seeds of my sins,
scattered around me.
Just like your image--
dissipated in my head.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Fear

In a few hours, I fly home. A childhood friend is getting married; and as much I had offered to sing the “Lord’s Prayer” for the mass, she prefers that I simply be a guest. I’m quite relieved actually, considering that all the weddings I’ve been to had me singing, reading scripture, or being the host for the reception. But I digress. I’ll be flying home in a couple of days, and there is a tinge of anxiety hovering in the air.

It’s the thought of being confronted by my mother and father that makes me gnash my teeth and my stomach ache. I expect feelings of insignificance and being a disappointment coming my way. Even across the miles, I feel un-welcomed. My paranoia predicts a brewing storm, possibly coldness from my mother, or another huge argument with her and dad. I foresee my spirit being torn into pieces with each confrontation, while I, silent and seemingly stoic, implode amid all their accusations. Perhaps another bout of boils is on its way?

Dramatic and paranoid, yes. But it’s undeniable that such events do actually happen. Perhaps it’s my trauma speaking. It’s interesting how no amount of pragmatism and dissociation from family drama, meticulously prepared prior to coming home, can compete against the magnitude of my parents’ presence. Each time I go home, it never fails at some point that I revert to my angst-ridden adolescence. It saddens me how they can perceive me in a certain way, filtering everything I say and do unfairly. And what vexes me all the more is that I can’t seem to explain myself clearly; always in some disappointingly desultory manner. And I often end up emotional, frustrated, and feeling bad about myself right after.

I’m aware that much of this madness is all in my head; that my parents and I are merely reacting to each other’s ways. A lot of what is said and done is lost in translation. I am aware that these are just “stories” and justifications I’ve concocted to relinquish myself of any responsibility. I realize that if I continue dwelling in these thoughts, they shall stain the way I will be with my parents. It would be ironic and exasperating that I end up filtering them as well, causing even more drama.

I’ve to let go of the idea that I am worthless, pathetic, and insignificant; that I have lost their love. I have to let go of the expectation that they should pity me or that they should be more understanding. I have to forgive them (as cruel as their love can be). I cannot blame them entirely, especially when you think about it, issues are of our own doing. I shall take responsibility of my own ways in dealing with mom and dad. What I can do is forgive myself and love myself a little more.

I’ve decided to stay for more than a week, craving for calm from the city’s chaos. To save myself from idle time and unnecessary negativity, I’ve thought of activities to keep me creative and preoccupied. There are books to read, more writing to do, friends to see, and the return to sketching and drawing (which I’m excited about). I figure the quietude of the province will do me some good.

The anxiety seems to ebb already. In a few hours, I fly home. Like a thirsty gazelle, I look forward to the satiating waters of my home. But I too shall approach with caution, keeping an unflinching eye on the dangers that may lurk in the murky depths.