Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Decade After (I)


The Marrying Kind

"Hey, so how was last night?" Vackie asked me.

"Honey… I kissed someone. And it was electrifying. That one kiss… changed me."

24 hours earlier

Neil was in town for a vacation and we were dining in one of my favorite restaurants in the city. A thunderstorm had suddenly appeared, heralding the last days of summer and Manila was drenched. The place was empty except for us.

"So… how long has it been?" Neil asked me.

I was looking at him, noticing the changes in him. The years have taken its toll on both of us.

"Three years and five wrinkles ago," I said, and we both laughed.

"That long huh," he said.

I remember that day clearly. It was winter in San Francisco and since we were both in the city, we agreed to meet by the giant Christmas tree in Union Square. It was my first time to travel to the U.S. and I was giddy with the thrill of seeing a place for the first time, but I was excited to see Neil more than anything else.

It was cold and the winds in San Francisco are gusty. I was running around the park, looking for him, but there were too many holiday shoppers and families out that night and I couldn't find him. I called him.

"Where are you?" I said.

"I'm here waiting for you, beside the tree," he said.

"Where? I can't see you."

I looked around, my eyes peering intently, and suddenly the crowds parted. And there he was… smiling at me. He looked even better than I remembered.

But that was then. At that time, he was married to David in Canada. I was with Manuel then, and those were some of the happiest times in both our lives. I remember how our faces glowed in the dusk.

This was a photo of their honeymoon in Cuba. They looked so happy.

The years have passed. Neil and David eventually divorced. Manuel and I broke up. We are older now, and sometimes I wonder how much of that boy I first met remains in him.

We were both 19, in the throes of youth, when I fell madly in love with him. He spoke my language and understood my stories. He and I would read each other our favorites books and poems for hours. But alas, he had a boyfriend, and we quietly decided it was best that we remain friends.

Neil and I had gone through many changes in our lives. I left for Europe after college, and we would write each other letters when I was away. He was here when I came back. A few years later, it was his turn. He left for Canada. He did not come back.

We have had numerous lovers and we would tell each other about the current men in our lives. But deep down I always thought Neil and I would end up together one day. Perhaps, when we were both ready. I fondly call him my Mr. Big.

"So are you with someone right now?" Neil asked me during the dinner.

"Ahhhh Neil. I fear I am always the date, never the groom," I replied, smiling at him. "You?"

"There's this guy I'm going out with," he answered..

"I'm glad you have someone," I said. "Tell me about him. How are you?"

Neil proceeded to tell stories of his life in Toronto, the work that he does, the house he is designing for his parents, his travels in South America, the men he dated. When he asked me about the men I dated, I told him about Chris the concubine, Denver the boy from Denmark, and Dwayne who I met in the street. Our eyes were animated and we laughed so much, never mind the rain pounding the windows of the winery.

"Grabe, I've missed you," Neil said. "It has been awhile."

"I know. But sometimes, you know, I feel like it's as if we never said goodbye," I told him. "It's like the years and months and days just melt away."

"So you and I are okay like this, right?" he suddenly asked me. "As friends?"

The question caught me by surprise. What did he mean? "It's just that you're so far away," I answered tentatively.

"But how will you know? How will you ever know?" he said.

How indeed, I wondered.

We were both a little tipsy and that night we kissed for the first time in 11 years. Baby, you're a firework, the words rang in my head.  That kiss contained all the yearning and desire I have felt for him all these years. It was magical.

And it was then that it hit me. I am in love with him.

I have searched far and wide and I have fallen in love and out of love many times, but life does indeed come full circle. Neil is the man I want to be with, I realized. It has always been him. That no matter the changes in us, despite the ocean that separates us, we are still inexplicably drawn to each other.

That kiss forced me to confront who Neil really is to me, no more hiding behind half-truths and veiled words like we always have before.

This was the first poem we both loved.

by Ronald Baytan

This is our fate.
You are a waterfall,
and I, a stream;
You will forever flow through me,
but I shall never contain you,
and you will never wash me away.

Who knew how prophetic those words would turn out to be.
Neil is going back to Toronto this Saturday. He left Manila today for an island getaway. I realized I don't have a lot of time left. Do I dare tell him how I feel? Or do I wait again?
Suddenly, I realized I want to be brave. I don't want to wait another decade. So tomorrow, I am skipping work to catch a plane to go to an island to tell a boy that I love him.

My thoughts right now are muddled. I am worried, scared of how he will react. What if he doesn't feel the same way? How can I compare to the beautiful and sophisticated men he meets in Canada? His ex-husband David is a dashing, handsome Eastern European I feel so ordinary. Plain.

And even if he does feel something for me, so what? We live so far away from each other. I can't ask him to move here and I don't want to give up my life and move there.

So I fear, we will be as what we have always been. Somewhere in between, skirting the shadow and the light. Never really together, never quite apart.

No matter, at least, he would know who he really is to me. After all these years.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sade & Masoch (S&M) (For Adults Only)



DISCLAIMER: Although some things were borne out of the writer's imagination, certain events may have transpired and resemblances to actual events, people, and places can exist.

There was a knock on the door. "Come in," I said. Eva slowly entered the room. She was dressed in a black dress, with stockings and high-heeled shoes, just liked I said. We had met at a party weeks ago. She was beautiful; a lawyer with a loving husband and two kids, but she was here today because she wanted something only I could give.

"Sit," I said, gesturing to the sofa.

I finished signing the papers on my desk and let the silence fill the room. When I was done, I approached her. She's sitting very straight, with her knees together. Very slowly, I unbuttoned her shirt. It was her first time and I was going to break her in.

Training a new pet is always entertaining. There is nothing like the first time, as they say. You have to exert absolute control over them; they speak only if you allow it. There is always the thrill of seeing how far they will go, how much they will give up... for you. You are God, and your every wish is their command.

I took Eva's hand and our skins touched. I knew she was nervous and excited and afraid. I squeeze her fingers. I know she wants to kiss me but she wouldn't dare. I know she wants me to kiss her but I won't. I reach out and touch the back of her neck. I let my hand glide down her throat and over her breast, and along the curve of her hip down to her legs.

I lifted her dress above her stockings. I take a step back and I see that Eva was sitting very still, rigid, and her knees were still together.


She was startled by my voice.

"Open your legs," I said, my voice getting harder. "Obey now. Or leave."

She finally obeyed. I stared at her for awhile before I finally walked up to her. I knelt down before her spread legs, reached out and touched the black lace covering her swelling cunt. I stroke the fabric with precision.

I stopped, and pulled her up to stand. I turned her around, and instinctively she arched her back.

"Good," I said. "You look beautiful that way."

I removed my tie and placed it over her eyes. "Nobody has ever treated you as I'm going to treat you."

Eva tried to touch me inside my pants. I slapped her hand away. "If you prove youself to be a good pet, then I may perhaps one day let you touch me and suck me. And if I am pleased with you, I may fuck you."

I stepped out and left her standing, instructing her not to move.

When I came back, she was still standing, not moving. Eva heard me come in and stretched out her hand to me.

"No. Hands behind your back." She obeyed. "Now, concentrate on what I'm going to do to you. I am going to drive you crazy."

"You will forever look for this. You will wait for me to call you; you'll pray for me to call you, you'll come right away and do everything I say," I continued. "You'll need me. You'll never again have an orgasm without thinking of me."

I turned her around to face the table and pressed her face against the wood. I opened a tube of lubricant and poured it into her anus. I inserted a toy that I like to use inside her.

"Don't move." I lifted her so she can face me. I forced her to sit on the table, with the toy still inside her ass. "You're a bit narrow. I need to make you wider."

Eva was trying not to put her weight on the table and instead, was supporting her body with her hands and thighs.

"Open your legs." I pulled some chairs and put them in front oh her. "Now, put your feet on these chairs." With her thighs as far apart as they can go, she is forced to shift her weight backward. The toy sinks into her.

"That's good, you need widening. Lean on it. Butt-fuck yourself."

Eva clutched the edge of the table and I could see she was trying to shift some of her weight into her hands.

"Hands behind your back." She put her hands behind her back, but I could see she was still trying to lean on them. I grab her hair and pushed her down, and the toy went in her completely.

I tied her wrists with a piece of cloth, so that she was handcuffed, blindfolded while spread eagled on a table with a toy inside her. I push her panties aside and lightly touch her cunt. I stick my forefinger inside, take it out, then raise it to her mouth. "You're soaking wet," I said."Suck it."

She sucks my damp finger. I began to suck on her clitoris, my tongue tender and rough, burrowing inside her, and my fingers move with increasing force together with small then bigger flicks on my tongue.

I suck, tease, finger, stop and start again. Her moans were getting louder and louder. Her back arched, and her body went rigid and I knew she was near. Her cunt reaches the point of ecstacy and explodes and she convulses and collapses on the table, drenched in sweat and her juices.

"I'll see you soon. Don't call me. I'll send for you when I want to see you again."

Sadism refers to the pleasure derived from inflicting pain and humiliation on others. It comes from the name of Marquis de Sade, an 18th-century French nobleman, dramatist and philosopher famous for his sexual experimentations.

Masochism refers to the pleasure derived from receiving pain and humiliation. It comes from the name of Leopold Ritter von Sacher-Masoch, an Austrian writer and journalist famous for his fantasies of dominant women wearing fur.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Gossip Girl: Prêt-à-Poor A


Previously on Gossip Girl:
While You Were Sleeping
"I was stunned. My mind was reeling. OMG. Chris???? And Mark???? And Arlan???? WTF. I was gripping the wine glass in my hand so hard it almost broke."

When K Met J
"...I was surprised when I saw him. Wow, he is cute. Hmmmm... make that really cute. I found myself drawn to Jim and his stories."

Click here to meet the cast.

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. Seems Dickens knew something about life on the Upper East Side. Where the only thing you can count on is that what goes around... comes around.

Sunday night

"I can't believe it," Arlan confronted me. He had discovered what happened the night before and was upset.

"What do you mean?" I replied. "You, of all people, should know how the game works. I mean, you slept with Chris remember?"

"It's not the same. I can't believe you're comparing that to this," A rebutted.

This just in: We hear there's a cold war brewing between our favorite girls. Wonder what or who lit the fuse.

48 hours earlier

My friends and I were excited to see each other and catch up after weeks of being apart. We had decided to spend our summers separately and we were eager to hear each other's adventures.

Carlo went traipsing all over the Great Wall of China.

Vackie and Arlan tested their resolves on Temptation Island.

Edward lazed by the white sand beaches of Amanpulo.

And I went on an Eat Pray Love pilgrimage in India.

Friday night

It was my friend's despedida party and I invited Arlan and Jim along. Jim was someone I went out with a couple of years ago and we decided to see each other and catch up.

Jim and Arlan, apparently, were a huge hit with the guests at the party.

"Guapo siya (He's hot)," Gary told me, motioning to Jim. "Are you guys dating?"

"No… I mean, we did… before," I said. I looked at Jim and realized Gary was right. Jim looked especially good tonight. His shirt showed off his lean body and tight muscles. Sometimes, when you're so used to seeing someone, you forget how beautiful they are.

"Eh si Arlan? (What about Arlan?)"

"Oh, we're best friends," I answered. "We went out before but that was ages ago."

"Mahilig ka talaga sa guapo (You really have a thing for goodlooking guys)," Gary said. "Tingnan mo (Look), everyone's crowded around them."

After we got tipsy, we hit the club to meet with our other friends. The crowd was raucous… and wild. When the club closed, we continued partying at my friend's place. We ended at two in the afternoon, the next day.

Saturday night

"What time is it?" Vackie groaned. We had just woken up and the sky outside was dark.

I checked my phone. My head was still throbbing, and my tummy was churning with hunger.

"It's past midnight. Come on, let's fix up and get something to eat before we go out."

"Where's Arlan?" Leo cried out for the forty seventh time that night.

Leo was the latest of a long series of men who had fallen for the charms of my friend. Arlan, apparently ditched him (and us) that night, and he was upset.

"Alam mo ba (Do you know) this is the second time he did this to me," Leo said. "The last time, he made me wait for him at the metro station for an hour!!"

"Come on… relax," Carlo said. "Just try to enjoy the night. He probably fell asleep."

"Do you know I was supposed to visit my mom this weekend? I didn't go because of him!" Leo said, continuing his rant.

"Hay naku Leo… mag move on ka na (You'd better move on)," V told him.

"Ayoko. Gagawin ko ang lahat. (I don't want to. I'll do everything to win him.)"

Oh well, I thought to myself. Another one bites the dust. Sigh. Ang pasaway talaga nitong si Arlan. He ditched the guy and left us to deal with him.

Leo was so upset he didn't notice the tons of gazes men were throwing at him. Three of my friends had asked to be introduced to him. He was tall, with beautiful eyes and thick eyebrows. He was clearly a looker.

When dawn arrived, I accompanied him to get a cab to bring him home. Ten minutes later, I was surprised to see Leo back and approaching us.

"I don't want to go home yet. Gaganti ako (I want revenge)," he said. "May cute ba diyan? Kunin natin. (Is there anyone cute? Let's get him.)"

"Leo… relax, come on. You're drunk and tired," I said. "You should go home. It's morning already."

"Ayoko! (I don't want to!)" He was adamant. "Gusto kong gumanti! (I want to get even!)"

V and I looked at each other and looked back at Leo.

"Well… if you really want to get even, then why look for someone else?" V said. "Don't you know… the best revenge is for you to sleep with his friend."

"Or... friends," I said.

And he did.

Sunday night

"I can't believe it," Arlan confronted me. He had discovered what happened the night before and was upset.

"What do you mean?" I replied. "You, of all people, should know how the game works. I mean, you slept with Chris remember?"

"It's not the same. I can't believe you're comparing that to this," A rebutted.

"How is it different? Look Arlan, the world doesn't work that way. The same rules apply to you too."

Spotted: A learning that when it comes to life's bitterest pills, the hardest to swallow is a taste of your own medicine.

Hours later

Arlan took out his phone and dialled a number. After a few rings, the person picked up.

"Hey Jim, kamusta (how are you)? Listen, I was wondering... do you want to go out sometime?"

Oh girls, you tried to play dirty at the dance. But you should know, nobody puts A in the corner. Gossip Girl's hardly a war buff, but I did cram for a quiz or two on the French Revolution. Heads up, ladies. Looks like a cannonball's coming your way.

But before everything falls apart, let me show you a glimpse of what life was like during the good old times. For it will surely be missed.

Every summer, vacationers traverse the globe in search of new sights and experiences. But when it comes to a scandal, I'll take Manila every time.

Welcome home, Upper East Siders. You know you missed me.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Attack of the Nineteen-Year Olds


My friends and I noticed a couple of cute guys inside the club and after a few drinks, we began flirting with them. I found out they were both from Davao and that …

"Honey, they're nineteen," I told Vackie, pulling him away from them as we retreated to a corner.

"What????" V said, shaking his head in disbelief. "Nineteen??? Fuck. Ang bata naman. (They're too young.) That's like almost a decade younger than us."

"Now now, let us not be too specific," I replied laughing.

"OMG! Don't tell me they're still in school?"

"Well, apparently... they're out of school. Drop outs."


We stared at them again and I suddenly noticed the glowing skin, the bright eager eyes. Ahhhh, the telltale signs of youth.

"Honey, why is it so difficult to meet guys our age?" V asked the next day during lunch. "I mean, a girl like you should be at the hands of a designer at a ball one day and skiing in the Alps the next. Not getting drunk at parties and making out with these teenagers!"

"Hahahaha. Gaga ka talaga," I said. "But I have been thinking about that. We keep meeting these really young boys no? Where are the 30-something men with bank accounts and titles?"

We both gave a big sigh and munched on in silence.

"But come to think of it honey, you have been going out since you were what… eighteen? You're bound to have met everyone already," V continued. "I mean, you've probably dated half of Manila's most eligible gay bachelors."

"Well… what about the other half?"

"Well… I guess we, your friends have dated them," V replied and we burst out laughing.

"Fucker," I said. "Honey, Manila is soooo tiny."

"Is it? Or are we just making it smaller?"

"Maybe we need to move to another city," I ventured.

"No. Maybe you need to move to another city and give us poor girls more room to breathe!" V said pointing a forkful of chicken at me.

The world is becoming smaller. It is not uncommon for my friends to date or hook up with someone I went out with before, and vice versa. In fact, it has almost become de rigueur. Someone's old boy can be your new toy. Why waste a pretty face? Or ... a hot body?

But the pool of attractive and out gay men in Manila is modest to begin with, and all these interactions and cross breeding is further shrinking it.

It should therefore, be no surprise, that most of the new people we are meeting belong to the latest generation of gay men in Manila exploring the scene. These are the young men eager to see the world, and find their place in it, much like my friends and I did once upon a time. It is their time now.
And of course, we are always there at the gates, to welcome them.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Terror of Religion


It was past midnight when the plane landed at the airport in Delhi. Bleary eyed and sleepy, I trudged to the counter to get a visa. The Philippines was recently granted the visa-upon-arrival facility by India to encourage more travel and trade between the two nations.

Aside from the usual questions such as how long do you plan to stay in the country, which places are you visiting, I was jolted awake when the immigration officer suddenly asked something strange.

"Do you have any family members or relatives living in Pakistan?" the burly dark skinned man interrogating me said.

I shook my head.

Ten young Pakistanis stormed two luxury hotels, a Jewish centre, and a train station in Mumbai, India's fiinancial capital, in November 2008. The attack killed 166 people, and highlighted the decades-long conflict between the two nuclear-armed rivals that began more than sixty years ago.
When the British left, their former colony British India was partitioned based on religious demographics that led to the creation of the two separate states of India and Pakistan on August 15, 1947.

That prompted what probably was the greatest migration in human history. On that day, more than 12 million people packed up and left their homes. Muslims in India headed for Pakistan, while Hindus and Sikhs living in newly created Pakistan journeyed to India.

Religious hatred was viciously unleashed and over a million people were slaughtered in the massacres and riots that followed.

In his book the Age of Khali, historian and travel writer William Dalrymple wrote about the experience of one of the survivors of that day, Khawajah Bilal, who was the train station master of Lahore at that time. The city of Lahore went to Pakistan, just fifteen miles from the Indian border, and the train station became witness to the religious war.

Here is an excerpt of Bilal's account from the book:

"We heard an announcement that Partition had taken place. Soon after that the killing started, the slaughter began… One morning, I think it was August 30, the Bombay Express came in from Delhi. We found dead bodies in the lavatories, on the seats, under the seats. There had been around 2,000 people on this train. We checked the whole train, but nobody was alive except for one person...

Only one man out of two thousand. After that, every train that came from India was attacked. We used to receive one hundred trains a day. Each one was full of corpses."
The years have passed since then. But for some, the horrors of the Partition still live with them; unhealed wounds that to this day continue to poison relations between Hindus and Muslims, India and Pakistan.
Today, the border between the two nations is fortified, covered with razor wire and guarded by soldiers in sandbagged bunkers. Since the Partition, the two have fought three wars, two of them over the disputed region of Kashmir.

In February, India and Pakistan said they will resume formal peace talks before July for the first time in more than two years after it was derailed by the Mumbai terror attacks. While little may be achieved, it is still better than nothing.

Religious bigotry has caused numerous wars and extreme acts of cruelty in human history. It is heavily tainted with self righteousness, sustained by the belief that it is God's will.

I was inside the Jama Masjid mosque in Old Delhi, the largest mosque in India. The courtyard can hold up to 20,000 worshippers. India, though predominantly a Hindu country, is home to the third-biggest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia and Pakistan.

I watched as the faithful washed their hands and feet before praying. It seemed so peaceful; so removed from the violence that had happened to this country.

I wondered what they were praying for.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Kiss of Surrender


Martin always had a small crush on Vackie. Martin would casually ask him out for dinner and movie dates and Tagaytay food trips. Unfortunately, Vackie didn't like him that way but he was a good guy and eventually they became friends.

He celebrated his birthday one weekend. He was getting drunk, and the alcohol made him bolder than he really was, more reckless.

"Can I have a kiss?" Martin asked Vackie suddenly during the party. "Sige na. Birthday ko naman. (Come on. It's my birthday, anyway)."

Vackie thought about it for a while and agreed. Martin kissed him eagerly. A little too eagerly. He shoved his tongue inside Vackie's mouth, pouncing like a lioness on its prey. Vackie was taken aback. He was sloppy and greedy and clearly didn't know how to kiss.

"Okay, okay. Okay na. I gotta go. Kane is looking for me," Vackie said.

"One more please. Sige na. (Come on.) It's the last."

"Okay… fine," Vackie said, taking a deep breath.

Martin did it again, but this time the kiss was forceful, more insistent.

"Okay na. I really have to go," Vackie said, stopping Martin after a few seconds.

"One last. Ten seconds, please?" Martin asked again.

Vackie was about to say no but then he saw the quiet pleading look in his eyes.

"Okay," Vackie acquiesced. When the kiss ended, Martin still wasn't satisfied. He begged for one final kiss.

"Okay Martin, one final kiss," Vackie said slowly. "But this time I will take the lead. I am going to do this for you, and for all the boys you will kiss after me."

Vackie held Martin's face in his hands and closed his eyes. He leaned forward slowly and kissed him the way we would kiss our lovers; quiet and strong and gentle and forceful at the same time. He surrendered himself, and in that kiss lay all his yearning for love.

The kiss ended. For a moment, they were both still. Vackie stepped back and quietly started walking away.

At his back, Martin slowly collapsed on the couch with a dazed, or perhaps it was a dazzled look on his face.