Monday, March 10, 2014


If you save a man's life, you become responsible for him
- ancient Chinese proverb

If you love a man, you become responsible for him.
- Ternie's proverb

Monday, March 3, 2014

A Brief Epistle to HIM

Dearest Him,

I cannot even come close in imagining the grief you are undergoing right now. Death is loss that is profound and devastating as cuts through the most intrinsic part of your being: your own very heart.

To say that the grief you carry is understandable would only but trivialize the emotional burden of the moment. No one can truly understand it, no one can comprehend the monumental blow his departure has dealt on you.

Therefore, you have every right to weep for his loss. So cry, HIM. Do not let the sense of propriety stop the tears from streaming down your eyes that are already swollen and reddened. Let it all out. In doing so, may it alleviate the storm of feelings that is surging within you.

Dealing with your grief would be a personal path that you will have to tread. It would not be smooth trek; rather, it would be an arduous one that you will have to face, one day at a time. You would have to struggle just to stay in place and not flounder amidst the pain and misery.

However, do not let fear and apprehension overcome you. I am with you, HIM. I may not be able to fight your own battle for you, but I will hold your hand as you face the challenges that lie ahead. Though you may trip and fall, here is what I will assure you: I commit myself to prop and steady you up, without any pause or hesitation whatsoever.

Allow me to end this letter by leaving you with my favorite quote from St. Therese of Avila. These are the words that give a sense of hope and comfort whenever I face difficult moments in my own life:

"Nada te turbe...Todo que pasa"

Let nothing disturb you...Everything passes.

No matter how dark and disconsolate this period may now seem, trust that there is going to be light at the end of the tunnel.

And trust I that I am here to take that journey with you.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Disorganized Patterns of Thoughts 4

4. No matter how you put it, yes, he is still in a relationship. That has never been equivocal to me, and has always been clear from the very start. That's why I never make a fuss when he says he's going to the hospital to visit the boyfriend. There are no assurances, perhaps only borrowed time.


Save for weekends, we have been going out almost on a nightly basis. We usually have dinner, then hangout and talk. He seldom brings up the topic of his boyfriend's condition, but when he does, I make it point to lend an empathetic ear to the situation. I myself never broach the topic out of a twisted sense of delicadeza.

I may have stolen kiss from his back shoulders once or twice. A kiss on his nape, once. Even a kiss on his cheek. Yet, no physical intimacy has happened between us. I won't be a hypocrite and say I don't want to. There are times I have to call on my will of steel and self-discipline so I wouldn't end up grabbing him to get it over with. He's handsome, my physical type, and a hottie, to boot. But I am not ready to agitate the status quo yet. And I feel, neither is he, too.

In the meantime, all I want to do is to create that safe space whenever he is with me. No dramas, no complications, no worries. If for nothing else, I want to build his memory of me as someone who gave him genuine happiness at that point in his life.


Spoken like a true querido.

Does that leave me then in the precarious position of being the kept man?
Truth be told, I don't know.

What I do know is that in trying to make him happy, I create my own happiness as well.

What I do know is that he also likes me. That is something I hold on to, no matter how flimsy it is.

And what I know is that I that I will lay out the naked truth, right here, right now: I am truly and honestly starting to love him.



Monday, February 17, 2014

Disorganized Patterns of Thoughts 3

3. He is all but 21 yrs. old. Allow me to categorically state that I am not fond of kids, and never have been. In fact, it I consider myself downright allergic to them.


From a phone conversation with my best friend:

Me: Should I tell him I'm gay, too?

Best Friend: Why not? He obviously trusts you.

Me: But should I trust him?

Best Friend: Hunny, if you won't trust him now, you never will. Don't complicate things. Just keep it simple and happy.

Ah, my best friend. What shall I do without him?


Ext. Night time. Establishing shot of Ternie and HIM having dinner in a small eatery. Slow dissolve into a medium shot of Ternie and HIM walking along a side stret of Ortigas.

HIM: Alam mo, I'm getting used to this routine. Bahay, then office, then Ternie after...

Ternie lights up a cigarette. He tries to say something, stops, and tries to say it again.

Ternie: Can I tell you something. I dunno...You know...I...I never told anyone at work about it.

Ternie takes a deeps breath and exhales slowly.

Ternie: You know I'm gay right?

HIM takes a moment before he answers.

HIM: Oo naman. I was just waiting for you to tell me.

 Ternie: Really? Oh shit....How did you know?

HIM starts to chuckle.

HIM: I read kasi your blog.

Ternie: Fuck you! Puta ka! I knew it!

HIM chuckles even more.

Ternie: Taena, it was a huge mistake to show it to you briefly! Ugh. You're such a stalker! Sabi ko na nga ba, that was what you were referring to when I saw your tweet.

HIM stops chuckling.

HIM: Wait, what tweet? Binabasa mo ba Twitter ko?!

Ternie now starts laughing.

Ternie: Ahmmm. Ok! Fine! You stalk my blog, and I stalk your twitter. So quits tayo!

There is a comfortable silence as Ternie's laughter dwindles away. Ternie takes a drag from his cigarette before starting to say something. Slow pan shot to Ternie.

Ternie: I also hope you know that...that I...I like you, right?

Slow pan to HIM. HIM starts to smile as the shot fades out to black.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Disorganized Patterns of Thoughts 2

In the interim weeks following that dinner, I would often catch him hanging out on the floor past his shift. When asked why he was still at the office, he'd often times reply that he'd prefer to do internet rather than wade through the traffic. Sometimes, I'd invite him to have dinner at the pantry. Other times, he'd approach my station to do the invitation himself.

After a period of not having dinner with HIM due to conflicting schedules, I found myself having lunch with him, along with a straight guy and another straight girl.

Out of the blue, HIM suddenly blurted out, "Uy, miss ko na ang mga dinner dates natin."

I almost choked on the food. Better yet, I wanted to choke HIM.

Straight guy cracked a joked to the effect that HIM and I were dating all this time. Straight girl added a chortle of her own.

"Date agad-agad," I hastily answered back, perhaps a little too self-defensively. "Hindi ba pwede kumakain lang muna ng sabay sa pantry?"

That double whammy of being closeted at work and, looking back, being a tad guilty as well. No, I don't remotely consider those dinners as dates. What I'll admit to is that I found his company pleasant and congenial, if nothing else.


2. He is a subordinate of mine at the office. Not a direct report, but still, I have tried to keep a strict ethic of not shitting in my own backyard. Needlessly said, I am also not out at work.


Fast forward two or three months down the road. By that time, we already started to have dinners outside the office setting as well. I'd like to think I was getting to know him better and better. The opposite wasn't true though. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't fish it out from me that I'm gay. I myself wasn't prepared to share that part of me to to him. Not in that way.


It's ironic how an epiphany can arrive at any given time, without much of a fanfare whatsoever. Mine happened to happen, in all the places, at Chowking.

HIM broke down while we were having dinner past 10 of the hour. He was particularly stressed out that he had to spend the nights at the hospital. In between sobs, he said that he hadn't gone home in days, and that he didn't expect that it would come down to that situation. I just listened and let him cry it all out. I let it be a catharsis for him. After he calmed down and wiped his tears, I stood up, hugged him, and kissed him on the head.

That's when the epiphany struck me.

Oh, fuck.

I do care for him.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Disorganized Patterns of Thoughts 1

From a recent conversation over beer at a bar somewhere in Ortigas.

Me: I have a question.

Him: What is it?

Me: Do you like me?

Him: Yes, I do.

Me: Ok.


I started noticing HIM on the floor when he came in as a new hire. Tall and cute, one really can't miss out on him. Eye candy, so to speak.

Then he started to talk.

"Ay puta, babakla-bakla," I said to myself. I thought that was the end of it as I focused my attention back to the reports on hand.


"Hi, can I join you?"

I was planning to have a quiet dinner at the office pantry as I went up the 8th floor. It was a particularly long and tiresome day, and I was looking forward to some downtime before heading home. As I looked up from the food that I was about to eat, there he was, standing right by the table and holding the tray of his own dinner.

"Sure," I replied in a indifferent manner.

"I'm HIM, by the way.


"Ay. Were you the one who evaluated me? I got kasi an email."

"No. You're not on my list. Someone else did, I guess. They just used my credentials to generate the evaluation."

He chirped away animatedly all throughout dinner. To be fair about it, I was polite all throughout the interaction, even interested and conversant. In the span of probably 40 minutes or so, I learned a lot about him. I did ask all the right questions for him to latch on to. Not that he needed coaxing, of course. He's a natural conversationalist, picking off at any topic on hand.

And here I was, hoping for some peace and downtime.

Oh, well.


1. He is out. He's also soft and effeminate enough that he won't be mistaken for a straight guy (unless he stands still and keeps quiet). I always tease him that if it's the last thing I'll ever do, I'll make a man out of him. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

An Ode to Hate

I hate how the twinkle in your eye and that bedimpled smile always disarm me. How can I stay mad at you for long?

I hate how you set my heart afluttering whenever I see you across the room.

I hate how you leave me exposed and vulnerable to my feelings.

I hate that I feel relaxed, centered, and happy when we are together after a long and frazzling day.

I hate that you have dismantled, brick by brick, the walls I meticulously built around me. 

I hate that you make me strive, one day at a time, to better myself as a person.

I hate how you make the sun in my life shine bright.

I hate how you are perfect in your imperfectness.

I hate that whenever you cry, all I want to do is just to wrap you in my arms, wipe away the glistening tears, and shield you from all the hurts and pains in your life. 

Last, but not the least, I hate that I have to find reasons to hate you.

Because it is something my heart can never truly do.