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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Guilt Always Lingers

Just another payday and what do I got? Nothing. Right now, I still have to dream about the next payday to come. Still haven't paid my liabilities for squandering my boss' money. That means I need to work my ass out for another month and hopefully by then, I have something to spend just in time for my birhtday come September.

Good thing, I have quit gambling before I could have committed suicide. Yes, I have some suicidal tendencies and I am doing my best to hold firm to my decisions. No more gambling.

Ah, the thought! Do I really have to spend for my birthday? Or do I really have to celebrate my birthday? The idea of it makes me sick but knowing a lot of my friends are anticipating it just leaves the pressure. Last week, my sister sent me a text message. "Damdamagen ni Mama nu katnu ka nga agpaw-it ti kwarta ta awan ti igatang na ti agas."("Mom is asking if you could send some money, she is sick and she really needs to buy medicine.") I didn't even bother to reply. Why? Where would I get the money?

Guilt, guilt, and guilt. So much of it has been accumulated. I am intact. Thanks it doesn't make me explode. But this emotional feeling belittles my persona, myself and me.

A few months back, I promised my brother I would send him to school. My parents are jobless. When the schoolyear began, I never kept in touch again with my brother. I broke my promise and I just felt so little for hurting him. It has been two years. How eager he wanted to go to school and on my second promise, the more I crushed his expectations. If I were him, I would have rebelled. I am glad I heard from my sister that he is at home helping with the housechores and helping my dad raising some three pigs. Oh, that doesn't make my dad jobless at all.

My sister again. I think she always looks up to me as a brother who is always ready to help her when she needs help with the things she needs. Like school supplies. My parents can't give her everything and she somehow depends a lot on me. She always proudly tells her friends and classmates about my job being a teacher. One thing should make her angry though, I never bought her the eight notebooks as promised.

And I have nothing to send my family this payday. I don't know how they survive, I just hope my other brothers are earning some good living to continually support our family. Close family ties-this is what binds us together after all these adversaries in life. My boss once told me, "Why do you have to carry the burden of supporting your parents and your younger siblings. Teach them to look for their own jobs and to support themselves. The reason there is no development in your country is because you all depend too much on each other's support." He certainly hit a mark on my head.

Do you think I am a bad son? Do you think I am a bad brother?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Goal In! For the Blogger Challenge

A good friend at blogcatalog: came up with the idea of sponsoring his contest, "The Blogger Challenge": Just like me, he is new into blogging but he has been a long, long way. He seems so excited about blogging and his blogging progress has been tremendous I guess.

The goal is to challenge everyone to better their blog within one month beginning August 1, 2007. Judging will be based on the percentage increase in each of 3 categories… Technorati Favorites, Technorati Authority, and Alexa Ranking.

I had doubts joining the contest but my impulse tells me-I should give it a shot. Not only do I keep myself busy but offer myself a motivation to better my blogging. Besides, I owe a lot to blogging and the blogging communities I am in that somehow, I have deviated from my addiction to gambling and am on my way to proving everyone that there is something worth blogging for. What do you think?

My Bicycle In An Envelope

Sigmund Freud says that dreams are the interpretation of our sexual desires and I like to think so. We have fantasies and anxieties we cannot express during our waking hours but we see them come to life in our REM (Rapid Eye Movement). According to psychologists, this is the stage of sleep where we dream.

I was once told that he was a cousin of mine though in the farthest degree. His name is Joel, he once passed by the pathway in the backyard of our house. I was thirteen years old then and was excitedly awaiting the opening of classes for freshmen students in a nearby highschool. I was on a hill not far from the house plowing the garden plots where I would be planting some sitting beans.

He was one of the few people in the neighborhood who caught my eyes. Wearing a folded jeans smeared with mud splashes upto his knees and shirtless walking barefoot, his view from atop the hill where I was tending my garden seemed thrilling. I followed him with my eyes 'til he vanished in my sight.

Long story short, we became classmates and the rest was just a dream. Please check My Dreamzzz World: to see what the dream is all about.

Friday, July 27, 2007

I Just Love Blogcatalog

As a new blogger, I started wondering how to attract people to see my little sites. Getting two or three readers in a day would complete it. Then somebody told me about Blogcatalog. I actually posted an online help on Yahoo Answers and that is where I got the reply. He gave me a list of more than 20 blog communities and directories, but there must be something with blogcatalog that makes it one of my favorites. Gosh, like I spend more than ten hours online Blogcatalog. Funny, that I always make sure I am logged into it while teaching my students online. You can here me clicking all the time.

Why do I like Blogcatalog?

I like its user interface if I may call it right. Blogcatalog as compared to other blogging communities is very user friendly. I mean, as a member you can make yourself at home. I remember on my first day and in less than hour, I easily got my way around. Like the profile page reminds me of the living room where you entertain your visitors and friends. And if you are hungry for a good talk and just want to share your ideas, you can go to the "Kitchen" or I mean the discussion area. You have to find out the other rooms yourself and I know it's gonna be facile.

This community is where your blogs can be noticed and get more people visit your site. It is indeed a community where people can respond to each other, communicate and reciprocate each other. There are several neighborhoods to join and discover.

The Good News

Now, more people have known my sites and my traffic seems to be increasing as the time goes by.

I Just Love Blogcatalog.^^

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hiding in my own little castle

Currently, I live with my boyfriend's family. It's a small place but compared to my previous dwellings, I found some peace here. That could have been 100% if everyone in the home knows the real me. Yes, sad to say that not everyone in the family knows about my queer personality. Perhaps they all know but they just don't want to tell it straight to my face. I think, this is the reality. In as much as we don't want to hurt someone's feelings, we tend to conceal our real intention through display of pretensions.

As of yet, I still have to suck up to everybody's expectations. It's hard but I have to live with that and I know it is temporary.

My boyfriend has somehow planned to go back abroad and would have gone earlier had I not always discouraged him. We are still together and we both share the ups and downs of living in a society where people like us always have to struggle with. I used to live in his family's house even before he went abroad but I left because I felt so scared of being alone. Now I am back to the place which I once turned my back on.

Somehow, I found a castle where I can't totally enjoy the bliss of freedom. It is a castle where my actions and words have to conform to the standards of a manly society. If not for my boyfriend, I would have shown who I really am in the first place. But things aren't just easy. There are people especially our loved ones that we don't want to hurt and we have to protect.

I once told him to tell about our secret but he didn't want to. When the time came that he was ready for the revelation, then it was I who changed his mind. Until now, everything is just a show. I always try to pretend who I am but I know I am not a bad guy. (I mean gay, lol.)

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Rescue

After two months of destitution in my new found place, my prince in his shining armor came to the rescue. I call it destitution because I lived more poorly than a mouse. There were days and weekends I would just lie in bed and let go of my hunger. Ironic as it may seem, I would gladly lend a helping hand to neighbors borrowing money and kitchen utensils from me but when I am in need, I just feel timorous. My boyfriend would tell me it is my pride but I just don't really have the guts especially when I am not so familiar with the person's character yet.

One Saturday evening in the rainy month of September last year. I was so penniless and had not eaten for lunch and dinner that I just confined myself in the room lying in bed with the electric fan on. I was damn hungry. (I had just resigned earlier from my job and still waiting for the payday at my newly found one.) I couldn't hold out the hunger that as it was getting late I stealthily left the place to avoid the bystanders including Jonathan and his group mess me up.

I hurried to the bowling place on foot though it was drizzling, hoping that some of my friends were playing at that time. I had just joined a bowling club a few months ago then and I met some interesting and good people. I chanced to see them there that night and fortunately, I felt relieved at their presence in there enjoying some beer. They were just done playing the last round of their bowling games.

Without hesitation, I told my gay friend Fred, that I had skipped two of my meals and was hoping he could lend me a hundred pesos to get me through the weekend while waiting for my payday. He did give me some money and asked me to go to the nearest cafeteria and reminded me that I would rather spend the night at his home after.

At his home, we continued drinking some rounds of beer. After a while, he told me that my boyfriend had just sent him a message asking about my whereabouts and my condition. I had not kept in touch with my boyfriend for quite a long time at that time since I lost my phone and had no money for a replacement. He never knew about my new boarding house and I had to keep it secret so as not to make him worry.

We went drinking until daybreak until Fred offered me his phone. "Why don't you call him at his house?" I asked, "Who?" He said, "Your boyfriend!""You're kidding!" I replied. Him again, "I am serious, he just sent me a message that he is coming here to see you. He has been here a few days ago!" With that confirmation, I sat down at the corner of the sofa and started getting so emotional. I felt so relieved and tears just started rolling down eyes. "You go and give yourself a bath before he comes!" It was Fred again handing me a towel.

When my prince arrived, I started crying. We hugged each other and he started caressing my back for the solace. I seemed like a child who has not seen his mother for a long time. Fred and his roommate who also happens to be a close friend of mine left laughing at the sight.

FLASHBACK:Though it pained us both, I recall him leaving a few months earlier to look for a greener pasture abroad. Five months later, he came back home because of some terrible working situations in a foreign country.

A few days later, I had to move out again.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

He would offer sex then ask money after

Being emotionally attached to someone or other people is basically the only consideration I have when leaving a place. I have been moving around Manila since I got here three years ago trying to fit myself to a place I always have trouble coping with.

I had just resigned from my call center job when I left Tita Pearly's house. It was hard for me to provide for myself and several times, I would have to lay down and sleep to compensate for my hunger. I don't recall the times my stomach was empty. I had to sell my small tv set and dvd player to an acquaintance just so I could pay for my next rental at a nearby village.

Just found the real me recently. I got sick and tired of pretensions and when I am in a new neighborhood, I want to give everybody the impression that I am indeed gay. I don't want to give them doubts. When I moved to the new neighborhood, most of the guys thought I was a man because my actions were manly. I right away met a guy named Jonathan, he volunteered to transport my luggage and stuff because we had to cross a bridge connecting to my new found room. The rental was much cheaper than at Tita Pearly's and I found the place free of roaches though there were mice on the ceiling frantically going to and fro particularly at night.

Inside the room, was a wide bed attached to the post. The height was about three and a half feet. I got surprised to hear from Jonathan that the place always gets flooded everytime it rains, thus the bed had to be elevated to free you from flood waters. I never knew that in the first place but there was no more chance for backing up. I had to face my new dwelling.


I and Jonathan became good friends. He didn't have a job. He's not really that good- looking guy on the block nor a plain looking guy. He had a certain appeal though. On my days off, he would often invite me to go to his place and friends' place to drink. Then, he would gladly take me back home to ensure my safety since I was new in the neighborhood. It was a squatters area and everybody had to be careful because there were a lot of gangsters and bums lurking around preying on neophyte residents.

Things got more scary in the next few days and in the next few weeks. All the guys I met there, most of whom were bums and jobless youngsters always waited and expected my arrival after work. They would gather in groups and everytime they see me coming, would ask me to buy some beers and liquor. I admit I had to heed to their calls and requests. I just wanted no one to begrudge me so I tried not to turn them down. What if one of them suddenly stabbed me to death. What if one of them just ransacked my room since I had to spend my time at work. I was so paranoid and in a dillema.

One time, at around 2:00 a.m, I heard a knock at the door. I asked who it was and it was Jonathan. He was drunk and when I opened the door, he got inside right away. I had no choice but to open the door anyway because its lock was broken and my landlady has not had it fixed yet. I went to bed straigt and turned my back on Jonathan, I knew what he wanted. I knew what he needed. He started bumping his dick on my back and asked that I could do anything I wanted. I wasn't in the mood because I was so tired from work. I told him to just leave the place because of fear that we might awaken the people in the other rooms and the people upstairs. Since the bed was attached to the post, it produced a squeaking sound everytime he moved and motioned forward.

Then, he just took off his shorts and pulled my head onto his crotch. He wanted me to give him a blowjob. I desisted but he insisted. He gave up and started masturbating. I got so worried about the squeaking sounds and the shaking. When he was done, he asked me to give him money. I said I didn't have money but he didn't believe me. He went on to look for my wallet and search all my pants and my clothings and my bags. He even threatened me that he would make a scandal and wake up all the neigbors if I didn't give him money. At last he found my wallet, and took the only coins in there, maybe around eight pesos. He put on his shorts then left.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Afternoon Delights and Night Goodbyes

For two months more or less, I could describe my stay at Tita Pearly's(I actually had to change the real name) house as a torture. Too many times, I would run out of budget and would often skip meals because I also had to worry about Tita Pearly's needs. In my first few days, the give and take relationship we had was really fair. He would buy the provisions one time and I would the other time.

Eventually, I noticed myself doing the shopping and the spending alone. He became too dependent on me, and I did not have the guts to tell him straight to his face. To be honest, I got scared of him being the house owner and I did not want to stir a fight. All the people in the compound are his relatives and I had to be careful of my moves.

Another thing that ignited and triggered my dissatisfaction and disappointment with the place was that his relatives would often get their own shares from whatever I take out from the grocery store. From sugar, to coffee, to cooking oil, dried fish and stuff. I felt like I was a charitable institution. Being bitten by roaches at least three times also worsened the situation. I had bulges on my skin because of roach bites.

There were also incidents, I would be asked to wash the dishes and prepare for lunch while he was having sex with his boyfriend in his room. His room is somewhat a poor man's mezzanine made of rusty galvanized iron and scraps of wood. The kitchen is just below it and I would hear the squeaking sound of the floor. Tita Pearly would soon tell me he had the "hellicopter ride."

Then I decided to leave the place. I wasn't sure where I was going, a friend of mine recommended me a place to move to but I had doubts.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Just before I decided to go to sleep last night, I decided to at least post the title of my next article. I never realized that the title actually matched Friday the 13th. My intention was to describe the restroom at Tita Pearly's house. Of course, It had nothing to do with ghosts nor monsters but monster roaches. Read on.

Though I was unsatisfied of the sights in Tita Pearly's house. I told my self I could adjust. Maybe, I just needed enough time to find comfort in the place. But, yeah, I had adapted myself with my dark room with its very low ceiling. At times, it would be very very hot because there was no ceiling at all but the galvanized iron which directly radiates the heat inside the room. I felt like I needed not just one but two electric fans. It was very very hot during the day and whenever it rained it was very very wet. Can you imagine sleeping on the floor with at least three basins beside you trying to filter water penetrating through the roof? I even had to spread my dirty clothings to absorb water that may sieve through my sheet. So many sleepless nights and sweaty days!


One thing which I really hated at Tita Pearly's house was his restroom. The restroom was located under the kitchen. It was like a cellar. It's door was a wooden square about 2-square yards fixated on the kitchen floor. Upon opening the door, you have to move your feet commodiously to start groping for a couple of concrete stairs going down the restroom. It was a very congested place. There were three plastic crudded drums used for storing water and the ceiling were a bunch of decripit slabs of wood intertwined which also braces the kitchen above. The toilet bowl was very low that you really have to kneel down to take a pee and sit with your legs strained when taking a crap. You could hardly stand inside because the height of the room is really low as well. There are short clotheslines attached to the ceiling and most of the time you see wet clothes hung. On top of that, you see big cockroaches crawling upon them. I never hung my clothes there for God's sake. Once inside, you have to cover your nose because the pozo negro stinks to the max and plunging after is harder to imagine.

Going to the restroom when I needed to was a nightmare. Most of the time, I would ask a neighbor's permission to use their better looking restroom. Whenever I used Tita Pearly's restroom as to when I needed to take a shit, I had to move my head and eyes around trying to spot roaches that might just get onto me. Sometimes, there were drippings coming from the ceiling, might be their urine, eeek. That's where you could find different kinds of roaches, from the big ones to the small ones, from the shiny colored one's to the dark-browned colored,and for the first time in my life, that's where I saw a medium-sized white cockroach. Strange.

The restroom also had poor illumination. One of the reasons roaches found it their sanctuary. The moment you turn on the light, then you will be scared to hear thousands of small feet and roaches running away to their hideouts. Ironically, Tita Pearly always wanted the light off after use. Sometimes, I would see him take a bath there with the lights off because there were also holes on the walls and neighbor's might peep inside.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Of Mice Again and Roaches This Time-The Final Episode

Early last week, I checked my e-mail and an e-mail from Ranting Willow greeted me with the 'The Thinking Blogger Award.' I was very much honored and delighted to have received such an award. I am new to blogging and that was really unexpected. Right now, I actually want to go to sleep but I just feel so uneasy. (Perhaps, I am worried about the possible disconnection of our dsl and electricity tomorrow.)

Earlier, I was trying to figure out how to get the "Thinking Blogger Award" logo or badge and post it on my site but I just couldn't. I am not really that techy. I think I am left behind. I was blankly staring at Willow's Tree and I just couldn't get started. I have started choosing some of the blogsites though, I would be passing the award onto. Hopefully, you could see them here in the next few days. For the meantime, I have decided to continue writing about my experiences with roaches and mice.

If you are somewhat lost, you can refer to my older post with the title "Of mice again and roaches this time" and then read on.


Just before I finished my last bottle of beer on the table. I affirmed my plan of moving in to his apartment. I think I was delighted with the short talk that we had that I never haggled over the rental fee. Apparently, he charged me with the same rental fee I was paying in my old boarding house. As I went to the counter to order more bottles of beer, a middle-aged lady, whispered something into my ears. "You should have turned down his offer." "You will regret your decision soon", she added.

Let's call my soon-to-be gay landlord 'Pearly'. As I sat back at the table, Pearly's smile was immeasurable. He was so happy that he won my decision. We agreed that I would start giving my advance payment the next day and start moving in my stuff and some furniture little by little.


"One thing!", I reminded him as we were moving my furniture and baggage into his house. "Please let everyone in the neighborhood know I am gay, I won't be comfortable moving around here if there are any suspicions of my gender. Though I act manly, I want the people around to know who I am. No pretensions as I want to consider this my second home." While we here headed towards his gate as he promised (it wasn't actually a gate, it was a door just below the waist poorly fixated at the doorway, its sound was very irritating everytime people and Pearly's dog would do their in and out of the house), he made a special announcement to all the neighbors kibitzing my entrance. I was a new face so everybody waited and wondered about my presence. He started, "Introducing, boarder,------and my sister. Please be kind to him, if I see anyone cause him trouble or lay a hand on him and his things, they won't be able to pass by my pathway. Do you understand?" Everybody said,"Yes, Tita." (Tita, is a Filipino term for 'aunt' and is punningly used to refer to old homosexuals.

Once inside, I easily felt uncomfortable. I actually felt disgusted that my expectations were not what greeted me. The floor was squeaking everytime I made a step, and there were lots of holes on the walls. I saw lots of roaches when I glanced at the kitchen on my left which was next to the living room. That was my first time to see really different species of roaches frantically crawling on the kitchen utensils like on the sugar and salt containers, etc. On the right of the living room, was a dark room with its door left open. The door seemed dilapidated as it wouldn't close and fit into the door frame when I tried to push it. Tita Pearly entered the room and took with him some of my things. "This will be your room," was his eager reply to my hidden disgust. The room was really dark and the only incandescent bulb it had was even busted. It was small and it had unevened floor covered with filthy floormats of mixed colors and cuts put on top of each other. The floormat covered what seemed to me were slabs of wood and pieces of plywood patched to comprise the floor. I lay down the things in my hands and so he did. He moved a little bit further and he touched the mounted cabinet in one corner. I heard some small rumbling sounds. If I was not mistaken, we just disturbed what seemed like a big rat and it just ran away. I went out of the room pretending that I was alright. He followed me to the living room and he asked, "What do you think?" I lied when I told him, "It's ok, you can leave me here so I can fix my stuff." He left me in the living room seated in a small wooden bench. His dog which seemed flea-ful kept scratching himself under the bench. He went out of the house to call a neighbor fix the light in my room. READ MY POST: "THE CREEPY REST ROOM" to learn what happened next.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Part II-The Awakening (I hope it is, finally...)

When my boyfriend came to the office as he had been looking for me for several hours, I was having a cup of coffee at the cafeteria on the fourth floor. I deemed I needed a cup of coffee since I had not slept in the last twenty four hours. I also had no choice but to teach my remaining students If I wanted to stay in the job and not upset my boss. Though feeling sleepy, I had to log in to Messenger and contact my students. I had to apologize repeatedly to some for keeping them wait.

While having a class, my boyfriend waited for me in my sleeping quarter located just beside my station. I hurried to my quarter right away during my five-minute break. "What happened to you?" he asked with some conviction in his voice. "Didn't you know that I got so worried about you?" I had to call all our contacts to ask about your whereabouts? You did not even bother to text me nor call me? I haven't eaten anything the whole day because I was so worried about you. I went to the park and tried to search for you there? What if you committed suicide as you planned last week?" Words continue to float in the quarter and then he burst into tears. He was sobbing and I was emotionally carried away. Tears also rolled down my eyes but I had to control it. I was thinking about my next class.

I told him, that I had gone to the Casino last night and I just got back to work. "I told you not to go there anymore, you are worsening the problem. You have a very nice job but you don't seem to care," he added. I gave him a hug and I told him that that would be the last time I would go the gambling place. "But you promised the same thing before and nothing happened," he questioned. I hugged him tightier and told him I would be firm with my decision.

As I left him in the quarter for my next class, I looked up the ceiling and realized how so much indebted I am. I have gambled even the money my boss sent me to pay our maintenance for the company. Then I remembered God.

In our lives, we often question the existence of God. When we are in prosperity, we don't even take the time to thank him. Ironically, the first thing that crosses our mind when things are going rough is his name and his power to intercede in our problems.

The Awakening ( I hope it is, finally..)

Whenever I have plans for myself, procrastination is my worst enemy.

Sometimes, I hate talking about New Year's resolutions knowing that I won't be able to keep them anyway. I feel sorry for myself for constantly asking other people's advice but not taking the heed. Most of the time, I feel like I want the whole world to hate me and condemn me for being such an addict-a person hooked to gambling. I think I have always considered life as a game that most of the time I don't take it seriously. Whenever I lose huge amount of money, I have the proclivity to end my life or just wander in the streets and live like the the tramps full of cruds on the streets. I deeply apologize to all the people, my friends who have constantly discouraged and warned me about my gambling addiction but to no avail. Your words of encouragement and enlightening were enough to keep me going despite my being embattled these days.

The other day passed and I was in hot water. I still am until now. The problem has not yet been solved. Despite the persistent warning given by my boyfriend, I still braved the heavy rains and made my way to the Casino. I bet, I stayed there for more than twelve hours, and as usual I lost. The only consolation I got was that I was able to take back the phone which I pawned again three days ago.

I came to the office late and I missed two of my classes. My boss really got mad and my fellow teachers were so worried that they started texting and calling all possible contacts of mine to learn about my whereabouts. I did not bother to text them nor call them since my phone had been dead for several hours. At the office, upon turning on my computer, my boss sent me an instant message right of the bat and I had to make an alibi. I wonder if he knew it was a lie. I didn't tell him what really happened. Somehow, I feared losing my job. Things popped in my mind and I was taken to a scene where I saw myself begging on the streets and all my friends and relatives turned their back on me. They got fed up helping and giving me advice.

Though groggy and sleepy as I was, I started my first class and told myself, "I made my way out now, I won't ever go to the Casino anymore." Moments later, my boyfriend arrived and he was panicky.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Of mice again and roaches this time

I know what you are thinking? You might have guessed that I will share with you my attempts at eating roaches in the past. Of course not, hehehe.

I have always observed that Koreans show a very distinct repugnance to roaches. They abhor them a lot. That make me think that Koreans must have decent and spick and span homes always free from bugs and the like. I am not saying that I live in an untidy environment, but the sight of cockroaches and other bugs is common place. When I was teaching in my hometown, I have witnessed several times how Koreans displayed their disgust and fear for roaches. There was one instance when I was having a class at the ground floor of our school building. While teaching a university student, I happened to side-glance at one chubby, tall and good lucking Korean guy approaching the kitchen nearby the cubicle where I was stationed for my class. He was frantically walking and when he saw a cockroach crossing the floor he jumped like a wrestler on an adjacent desk and he almost fell because of his heavy built. I could have almost laughed had my student not warned me that he was one of the bosses in school.

I myself certainly hate cockroaches but I don't give silly reactions when I see one of their kind. It's ok for me to see them but when they start crawling with the intention to touch any of my extensions unguarded, I freak out like an epilleptic. Sometimes, I have horrible pictures of roaches flashing in my head. When I eat something, I feel so paranoid, that several feet of roaches might have landed on my meal earlier. I am person who loves eating out mostly at cheap cafeterias which we commonly see along the roads.

Here in Manila, while working at a call center, I decided to rent a small room which I thought at first was a good place to stay at. My first priority then was the rental fee. It was really cheap so I grabbed the offer. I was drinking a few bottles of beer at a bar near a famous mall when an old man in his late 50's approached me. I did not sense right away that he was gay. When we started talking, he thought I was straight too. Upon learning that we belong to the same gender specification, I felt comfortable telling him a lot about me. "I am looking for a place to stay nearby." I confessed. "I have a mansion around here you know, I have my own gate, my own living room, my own restroom, and I have a lot of handsome boarders and neighbors." He added, "I am sure you will like it in my place. Besides the price is a little cheaper than the amount you pay for your current boarding house." He was very confident telling me the biography of his apartment and I was starting to imagine a paradise. "If you have no TV set then that is not a problem, I have a twenty-one inch color TV and you can watch anytime you want," he added. His good sales talk actually enticed me and I was instantly convinced.CONTINUED

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Mouse Hunting for Food-Anyone?

People eat at least three times a day. Some people though particularly those who can afford eat more than that? I don't call that gluttony. I just call that fortune. I mean most people who fare sumptuous meals deserve it. They worked hard for that and they have the budget to satisfy their cravings.

My family was just not that fortunate then or, perhaps my dad should have worked harder to have provided us our meals. I couldn't blame my dad though for some of the horrible experiences I had. I knew he only finished elementary school and there was no way he could somehow find a good job.

When I was younger, there were several times I experienced skipping meals. My mom and dad had a hard time making both ends meet for the family. As a carpenter, whenever my dad was offered some projects, he would gladly grab the opportunity. Many times though, he would remit less than half of his salary to my mom because more than half of it would be intended for buying some liquors. My mom had to end up doing some of our neighbors' laundry. She would get paid some meager amount, just enough for us to buy some kilos of rice and some homely dishes. Everytime I would see my mom washing our neighbors' clothes and see her hands with blisters, I would always tell myself that I would be a good child and student to give my family a wonderful future. (I think I failed in that area. I am getting older and I haven't learned from my lessons.)At a young age, I learned how to do the laundry because I couldn't bear seeing my mom doing it alone upto past midnight in some ocassions.

Unlike in Western countries, Filipinos consider rice as their main dish. Some well-to do people can prepare good dishes to pair with rice. As a child, I have experienced, eating rice with salt and water, rice with salt and used cooking oil, sometimes, rice with sugar or sometimes none at all. Sleep-all-day would be the remedy.

One time, I remember myself holding a barbecue stick and a piece of rubber band. It was like my bow and arrow. My dad on the other hand was holding a sling shot and we were stealthily waiting for some mice running in the kitchen. That was my dad's idea, we had no food at that time and he suggested that we catch some mice for our meal. The idea of it was really disgusting. At the end of the day, we did not catch any mouse. Can you imagine eating a house mouse? Some people in the Philippines do, but they eat rats from rice fields not from residential areas.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Can God Forgive Me? I did not send money for my dad's birthday because I went gambling and I lost.

A few weeks ago, was my dad's birthday. I think he just turned 57 or in his late 50's. Prior to that, I promised myself that I would send him money so he could somehow celebrate his birthday at home with our family members and some of his friends.

You have learned in some of my posts that I used to hate my dad a lot. When I was younger, he projected an evil face which I always got scared off. Everytime the idea of him coming home drunk would catch my attention, I would tremble in fear and so with my brothers. I hated him for spending all his money on his friends and thus my mom would always end-up problematic of what to feed us for our meals. My brothers and I were malnourished and thin then. I hated my father for physically and verbally abusing my mother hundreds of times. I hated him for he almost killed my mom twice as far as I remember.


The first attempt to end my mom's life happened one afternoon. My mom was babysitting my youngest brother then while cooking some rice in the dirty kitchen. We were readying for dinner. When my dad arrived home, he was so drunken that he started shouting at my mom. I don't remember the cause of the trouble but I can vividly remember the scene where my mom was running down a slope with my baby brother on her back supported by a blanket around her body. My dad hurled a knife in her direction and she almost got stabbed. Luckily, the knife just got into a piece of her clothing. My mom, had to spend the night at a relative's house at that time. I forgot if we ever had dinner then but my brothers and I stayed with our uncles and aunts.

The second attempt happened when I was a university student. He came home drunk and he started arguing with my mom. I was already lying in bed at that time. I heard that his argument with my mom heated up and I got out of bed. To my surprise, my other brothers also got out of their beds. My dad just hit my mom on her head with a mug and she was bleeding profusely. Carried away by the sight and the situation, I and my brothers started taking it on our dad in chorus. I remember beating him a piece of hanger I grabbed around and my brothers throwing away their jabs and punches.

When I went home a couple of months ago, I realized that my dad has indeed changed a lot. He doesn't drink that much as he used to. Though he is jobless at the moment. He is no longer a headache to my mom. I felt delighted knowing the fact that the evil-faced dad, I used to hate is now a renewed man, so on my way back to Manila, I told myself, that I would make my dad happy by sending him money for his birthday. I know he is penniless most of the time being a jobless person. Whenever he celebrates his birthday, I know it is the happiest moment of his life. This is his chance to show his singing prowess, the chance to meet his friends, and the chance to have a taste of his favorite meat-Dog Meat. I am wondering how his birthday went by.

From Religious to Oblivious

My Boyfriend asked me to go to church but I refused.

There was a time in my life when everyday would not go by if I had not prayed the rosary. Yes, at the age of 13, I started getting more aware of what religion was all about, of Jesus Christ, of Blessed Virgin Mary, and of The Roman Catholic Church.

All my family members and I were baptized under the Catholic Church. Though there were ocassions that only my mom and I would attend the Sunday mass at a nearby church, we would often go to church as one family all together on Sundays. The church was my refuge especially during the time my dad was a habitual drinker and would come home creating an atmosphere of war and hatred at home. I used to hate my dad a lot. These days though, I have somehow realized his importance to me and to my family. The last time I went home. I saw that he was a renewed man. My mom told me that he rarely drinks nowadays. That was one of the good news I have heard on my way back home then.

When things were getting rough for my family, there was also a time I gave up on my religion. I learned not to trust nor believe in God anymore. Then I became a more sociable person. There were people of course teasing me about my gender but that did not pave the way for me to live alone. I made a lot of friends in the neighborhood and I became a somebody. I was seen as a good example to my fellow children and citizens in the village. People would often see me as the best helper of my mom. I would do the laundry, clean the house, wash the dishes, sell ornamental plants so we could buy our provisions. One time when my mom just gave birth to my youngest brother, I had to carry the burden of doing all the household work. Despite people calling me gay, I became the apple of the eyes of most of the mothers in the village.

Then I learned to join a certain youth club. Eventually, I became one of its leaders. One of the founders of the club was a retired teacher who devoted her time in teaching us the word of God and Jesus Christ and Mama Mary. She soon became a nun. I really liked her and her devotion to serving the lord. That's when I learned the power of praying the rosary. I taught my brothers and my mother how to pray the rosary. My dad was not that religious so I did not bother to invite him because of fear of being turned down. It's ironic though because my dad always whispers some prayer before meals though he is not so vocal about it and he would find it uncomfortable inviting us in union of prayer.

Later, I started leading rosary crusades, joining Bible studies, recollections, and church-related activities. I learned a lot of miracles not only from the history, from the Bible but also from my neighbors. My faith in God grew and got deeper.

Sometimes, there are things in life, turns of incidents, circumstances that test our faith in God. I think I was a victim of it as my beginnings were gone to waste. I dropped out of school, my family remained one of the poorest in the neighborhood, and I had just no directions. I felt like the world was against me. My impatience consumed the whole me. At the end of the day, I just turned away from God.

I am writing this not because I want to express my disbelief in God. Though I have not been going to church, I believe in the existence of God. And that we are his ancillaries.

What's causing me pain is that I feel totally away from God because of gambling. My boyfriend is a very religious one and I really thank God for giving me someone like him who stands as my angel all the time. He always invites me to go to church but I always refuse him. He always prays for me. He goes to church every Wednesday and Friday on a regular basis. One time, when I lost at the Casino, my boyfriend asked me if we could drop by the church nearby. I was so bad that I refused him. May God forgive me for my doings. For now, I think I am not yet ready to bring back my inveterate belief in God. I am not yet ready to turn my back on gambling. For now, let my mental belief in God play my responsibility. I will always think of what my boyfriend told me. "You know, you give more time to gambling than to God and your friends!"