Level 26

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Indeed, I have leveled up. Officially, I'm at level 26! Wuhoo! Last year, I spent the first day of my twenty-sixth year at the highest peak in the Philippines, and today I closed the year quietly here at our house.

This past year has been very memorable for me. A lot of things have happened that have made me stronger and wiser. New places conquered. New profession. New learning. Strengthened bonds.Love found and lost. New friendships. Truly, a lot to be thankful for.

All I can do now is cherish all that happened to me this past year and still be hopeful for the coming year. Here's to success and surprises! :)




*dear, there's always two sides of the story.
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Unknown

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It was a missed call.
I didn't know the number but it looked familiar.
I wasn't sure who the number belongs to so I sent a message.
~Sori I missed your call. Who's this?
My phone rang. It was the unknown number. I answered.
~Hello. Sino to?
>Sino to? Bakit ka nagtetext sa akin?!
~Huh? Sorry, di nakaregister number mo sa phone ko. Anong message?
>Nagse-send ka ng text sa akin e.
Sensing the conversation was senseless, I hung up.
The voice wasn't familiar. It was deep.
I don't think it's someone I know.
But his mobile number rings a bell.
Maybe it was him, I thought -the number I deleted from my contacts list months ago.
Feeling guilty for hanging up and somewhat wishing it was him, I sent a message.
~Sori dude binabaan kita. baka hindi ako yung nagtext. check mo na lang yung number.
My phone rang again. This time another unknown number.
~Hello! sino to?
>Sino ka? bakit ka nagtetext sa kapatid ko?
~Ano bang text yun?
>Baka nagkamali ka lang ng text?
~BAKA NGA!
It was his sister? But person I used to know didn't have a sister.
So it definitely wasn't him.
I looked at the number again, wondered why it was very familiar.
Searched for my own number in my contacts list.
Lo and behold, the first 9 digits of our mobile numbers are the same.
That's why it was familiar.
So much for wishing it was him - trying to reconnect or something.
Oh, hang-ups.
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Closet: In here, we are safe

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While browsing through YouTube's full length animated Marvel movies, I stumbled upon a short film entitled 'Closet.' By just looking at the title and thumbnail, I instantly knew what the story was all about. And I was right. It was a story of boy living the life of a closeted gay. Quite ordinary, actually. A lot of movies have already portrayed this kind of story line. But this film had a different way of attacking it. The boy was literally hiding his secret life in his closet.

"In here, we are safe..."

It was one of the subtitles in the movie. It stuck in my mind because personally, it think it is the main reason why gaymen stay inside their closets - they feel safe. And for me, it holds true. I feel that living in the closet guards me from ridicule, embarrassment, prejudice, and other ill feelings. In my closet, I am safe.

I love how the movie portrayed the closet as the character's sanctum. Inside his closet, he was free. He can be whoever he wants to be. And of course, his closet became witness to his hardships, problems, and worries of living a double life.

I remember how when I was a kid, I would usually hide inside my (walk-in) closet [pangarap lang.] whenever I wanted to be alone or when I wanted to just cry. It served as my venue to let out steam and to escape from all the bad people, and the bad things that came my way. My closet became my me-time-me-place for so long until I was grew big enough not to fit inside it.

I believe that hiding inside the closet is not a show of cowardice. There is no harm in having your own place of retreat, your own corner of the world. But there would be a time where you should find a way to release yourself from the comfort of your sanctuary and express out loud and proud who you really are.

But as for now, I'm comfortable in my own little corner, in my own closet. 
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Awestruck

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Ang saya lang ng experience ko tonight. Humanga at namangha talaga ako sa talk ni CorpCloset kanina sa Loveyourself hub. Though I am not in the corporate scene marami pa rin akong nakuhang insights on being inside the closet in the workplace. Gusto ko sana mag-takedown notes kaso baka magmukhang eng-eng na. baka may quiz sa huli e. haha. Anyway, sarap lang ng discussion kanina at ang crowd active sa pag-participate. Syempre, since nag-iisa lang ako pumunta, may certain hiya pa ko. Tsaka first time ko rin kasi sa lugar kaya reserved lang kunwari.  Ang pinakahinangaan ko kay CC ay kung paano niya dalhin yung sarili niya. Parang may certain aura ng authority. Siyempre, maging CEO ka ba naman di mo pa ba makukuha yung ganun. Tsaka kung ide-describe ko siya para siyang prof ko dati na doctor, tingnan mo pa lang alam mo na'ng mabango, malinis, at alaga ang katawan. He's someone I would like to be when I reach his age. May nakita na kong bagong role model. Noong natapos na yung talk, gusto ko makipagkamay man lang bago ko umalis. Yun lang naman talaga purpose ko ng pagpunta eh. joke. Feeling ko tuloy fanboy na fanboy ang dating ko. Yung mga blogs  kasi nila ang mga una kong binabasa noong nagsisimula palang ako mag-blog din. Nanginginig tuhod ko at kinakabahan noong nagpakilala ako kela Mcvie at kay CC. hehe. Sayang lang at di ko natodo ang pagka-fanboy dahil nakalimutan kong magpapicture kasama ng mga Fabcasters. pang-scrapbook sana. tapos lalagyan ko ng ribbons, burloloy like petals. ganyan. hehe. pramis. chinarge ko pa talaga yung camera ko bago ako umalis ng bahay. kaya sayang din. I hope may iba pang chance na makasama ko sila. 

Ang saya at sarap talaga ng feeling na makilala yung mga tao sa likod ng mga twitter at blog na sinusundan mo. Ang sarap lang malagyan ng mukha yung bawat idea, kwento, at buhay na noon ay nababasa mo lang. Katulad noong nangyari noong Biyernes naman nang makilala ko sina Babit, Aaron, Nikki, Nate, at Garbeej. Salamat nga pala sa pag-welcome kahit sabit lang ako. Sayang lang at di ko daw naabutan sina Leo, Nimmy, Jap, BS, at Ryan. Sana may iba pang pagkakataon sa susunod para makasama ko ulit sila.

Sa mga pagkikitang ito, napapatunayan kong ilan ang twitter at blog (in general) sa mga magagandang venues to meet interesting people - people you won't usually get to know especially if your're living inside the closet.
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Moved on

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It started with Jap Nishi posting a link in twitter. Well, he was talking to Miss Chuni and I happened to be observing my timeline. Since I didn't have much to do, I clicked the link which led me to Jap's old blog. The entry that opened was about his take on the beauty of goodbyes.

Since I'm in a goodbye-phase myself, I got hooked. I decided to read through his blog from his last entry. But what caught my eye almost instantly was his entry about why he started blogging. The final push in starting his blog, as he mentioned, was his breakup. And so, I was like 'what break-up? what happened?' So on to his first blog entry I hopped to find the answer.

Word for word I read intently. I could relate in some if not in most of the things he was saying. Cheating. Facebook. Emotional. Distraction. Then I turn to their last day (Jap and Ex). Different characters, different setting, but it was just like my last day with my ex.

We were happy on our last day. I took him to a somewhat fancy restaurant where he never ate before. I finally told my decision. He was caught off guard. After walking around the mall, we became ok. We decided to be friends. That it was for the best. But I ended up unfriend-ing him in FB, erasing his number. For months I couldn't understand why. Until I read this:

"How can we be friends if I’m still in love with you?"

I then realize, I still do. I am still in love with him. Though I grew tired of the repeated nights we fought. The many instances I turned into someone I was not. The number of times I felt things I shouldn't. The bottomline is I am still in love with him. The difference is, I wasn't brave enough to tell him that. And just recently, as I stalked him in facebook, I found out he's already in a relationship. Just roughly two weeks after we broke up. (funny how he suddenly had his posts set as viewable by the public). So I guess he already moved on.
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