Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Fractions and Foundations

Sometimes you find yourself wondering if you truly deserve the happiness you feel.
Sometimes you wonder if things are more a matter of luck, than a matter of fate.

Beneath every relationship is a foundation - for some it was the great sex, the intense flirtation, the wild weekend, for us it was the inner gay geek that wanted to find someone who "got us".

I know I was a horrible person.
I used to have a devil-may-care attitude towards things.  I used to be demanding, and vengeful and very very manipulative.  I used to think only my happiness mattered.

In fact, for a long time, that's what I believed was the right mature way to view love:  Your Own Happiness Is Paramount.

Thank the gods I have discovered how wrong I was.  And thank you so much Rocky for helping me realize that love can be selfless and yet very fulfilling.  Love can be nurturing and caring without suffocating.  Love can be trusting and risking and dangerous, but when faced alone, all obstacles and trials become surmountable.

We found each other and build foundations that we never thought of as things that could be the frame work of a long and lasting love.  We found ways to mix our lives together, stay individual, yet cherish and celebrate each and every single day.

I love you, Rocky.
I know I should post more frequently here in Baduy Pride, and I know I used to find time to do so.  My juggling so many things has knocked me silly sometimes, but I definitely have not lost sight of us.

The foundations are strong.
Stronger even.

I love you Rocky.
Happy One Year and One Month!


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Thanks to Those Who Marched!

Many thanks to everyone who participated in the LGBTQ Pride March 2013 at Malate yesterday! It was a rather arduous road to get to this point and I'm just glad that we had a chance to march at all.

We managed to get a few friends to try marching for the first time and we hope that this makes the beginning of a new tradition for them. And in the long run I hope that more friends are similarly inspired to march with us next year or in the years to come. We have a very long way to go before true equality of the LGBT community is achieved here in the Philippines. And every new voice added to the cause will go a very long way.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

If You Support LGBT Rights, Then MARCH!

This Saturday, December 7, 2013, is this year's annual Metro Manila Pride March. Despite some confusing cancellations, the Pride March is still pushing through, and this is definitely a good thing.

Tobie and I will definitely be marching again this year given how important this one activity is. Beyond any internal politics or differences in opinion, the Pride March has always represented the importance of the LGBT struggle for equal rights in the country. And we still have a long way to go.

So once again, this is a call to friends and like-minded citizens who believe in the LGBT cause. Whether you're straight or gay or somewhere in-between, the Pride March is open to everyone who wants equal rights for the LGBT community. The Pride March is a way to truly show support for your LGBT friends. And you definitely don't need to be LGBT to participate.

And I sincerely hope to see more of my straight friends join us on Saturday. It would mean so much to Tobie and me if you'd take some time out to show support. It's the least you folks could do. ;-)

See you all on Saturday!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The First Year (Redux)

Today is November 17, or as we like to call it November 2 cubed + 3 squared. This marks our first year back together as a couple and it has been quite a grand ride.

It's hard to really celebrate anything these days given the recent devastation brought about by Typhoon Yolanda and so I figured that the best thing to do is to put that splurge money to good use. So instead of buying some crazy geeky gift for Tobie this year, I opted to donate that money to some of the relief groups who are trying to help out.

Now I first met Tobie in person on February 12, 2009 - an "event" that we know to be NetRunner Night. That means that Tobie and I have "truly" known each other for about 1,740 days (not counting online interactions prior to that first meet-up.

So while it may not seem like much, but there are only so many ways one can make a donation seem even a little romantic. Thus I've donated P1,740 (more or less) to both the Philippine Red Cross and the UN World Food Programme as a way of celebrating our love and also doing our part.

I love you, Tobie. I hope more people get to celebrate their love as geekily as we do. And I do hope that our modest donation helps to folks affected by the storm.

You too can donate to aid in relief efforts in the Philippines. Here are a few organization that accept online donations, so it's ridiculously easy from the comfort of your computer:

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Be A Superhero By Donating To The Red Cross!

Re-sharing this clever graphic by Carlo Vergara, the creator of the gender-bending superhero Zsazsa Zaturnnah. At the end of the day it stresses just how easy it is to donate to the Red Cross, especially in light of recent natural disasters that have primarily hit the Visayas region including the Bohol earthquake and Typhoon Yolanda that has practically decimated the province of Leyte.

Apart from SMS donations, there are many ways to donate to the Philippine Red Cross including direct bank deposits, wire transfers or even PayPal.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Don't Sweat The Small Stuff

Tobie is with his family in Singapore this weekend, so it's just me and Yoshi until Sunday evening. It's funny how during such times when Tobie and I are apart, I seem to continue to see things that I want to share with him and such - that's life for you I suppose.

He's not feeling quite well though - I guess his busy week is catching up with him. So I figured it would be nice to get him a little something as a welcome home gift. I ended up getting a pair of the new Coke glasses from McDonald's since the whole bottlecap design is rather cute. :Plus we had also gotten ourselves matching Coke glasses a few years ago when another of these glass promos ran shortly after we had moved into the Sietch.

The little things matter, you know. ;-)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Come Out Baduy!

October 11 is celebrated as National Coming Out Day around the world by LGBT groups everywhere. It's a great day to remember the importance of one's coming out. Plus it's also an opportunity to encourage others to celebrate who they are and stand up to be proud. This is not about forcing people out of the closet or anything puritanical like that, but more to send a message of love and support to others in the LGBT community who continue to struggle with their identity.

I've written a number of pieces on the importance of coming out and quite frankly it's an amazing relief for anyone who has played the closet game for any length of time. No more lies to friends and family and no more need to think up elaborate excuses for everything you do. There's no more need to juggle pronouns or to watch your every move in case you do something that might "give you away".

So celebrate the joy of coming out. It may be a traumatic experience for most more often than not, but it is truly a moment of rebirth when our lives as LGBT truly begins.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Finding Worlds that Mesh Well

Part of the secret is finding someone whose world meshes well with your own.
You shouldn't have to sacrifice who you are or what you love to be with the person,
and that should go vice versa, as well.

That's what we found when we got to know each other more.
And eventually, that meshed ball of baduyness and geekdom was exactly what we wanted to celebrate every single day.

Live Long and Totoro.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

One Day...

I admit that watching this marriage proposal video got me all weepy. It doesn't matter what you believe in, you have to admit that this was just beautiful. And the fact that they were supported by their friends and family in this special moment?

One day, we'll live in a country that supports the freedom to love the person that we want to be with for the rest of our lives regardless of gender. Hopefully that country will actually be the Philippines, but I'm not holding my breath just yet.

But yes, I will get married to the man that I love before I die. And it will be a marriage that matters and has full recognition of the law.

One day.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Enjoying Relish

This is Mexican Relish. I'm not sure if it's a "real" dish to be found in other cookbooks nor am I sure if it's actually Mexican in origin. But it does have tomato sauce and corn, so that does make it seem rather Mexican, right? At the end of the day, it's a recipe that has been floating around among my family and we all love the dish.

I am not a chef by any means, but in the years that Tobie and I have been living together, I've learned to decently navigate my way around the kitchen. I know a few decent base pasta sauces and I have some soups always in mind for rainy days. And there are the few other odd dishes that I can either prepare with the aid of various recipe mixes from the grocery. And then you have specific recipes like this that I learned from my mom or more likely my sister.

More importantly, Tobie loves it and would probably be even happier if I cooked it more often. But I try to space it out given it's a very meaty dish and we really ought to be careful about that much red meat.

So today I just want to talk about the process of preparing this dish - but this is not quite an official recipe just yet. I think the dish changes just a little bit every time I prepare it.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Finding the one who makes things work

Relationships are about finding the person who makes things work.  And that means for both of those involved.   Too many people keep obsessing over who is looking for the one who is perfect for them, or looking for the one who fulfills their checklist of what the perfect partner should be... when what they really should be doing is finding someone who is willing to give as much as they get.

Love is a two-way street when it works best.

Both communicate their happiness and sadness.  Both share their joys and passions.  Both whisper their anxieties and fears.   And through such communication, any obstacles that need to be surmounted can be tackled together.  Any trials that need to be overcome can be triumphed over as one.

Today is August, and in a few more days, Rocky will soon be celebrating his Birthday.  Admittedly, I haven't planned out anything yet since I still am waiting to hear as well from Rocky on what he would want to do to celebrate it.  There's always O bar, where we can invite our friends to join us as we geek out and enjoy the fantastic music and fabulous drag queens.  There's also having a tiny gathering at the house, perhaps maybe even cooking for guests to join us for some meals.  Lastly, there's the choice of renting a place perhaps - may a room or a restaurant private room - to be able to accommodate even more guests.    The options are many, and ultimately its up to Rocky what he feels he'd want to do.  And from there, I can work out something that would be fun.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Strength of Holdings Hands

Well, it's already July and this year's LGBT Pride Month is already over. It's been a crazy busy time for us both on the social front and the work front and I'll admit that I had planned to write this post right after our Singapore trip. But one thing led to another and I just never got around to it until this morning.

One thing that I've really come to appreciate about being in a relationship is the amazing gift of having someone's hand to hold. Whether it's while wading through Metro Manila traffic or in a dark movie theater, there's something amazingly powerful about the reassurance of having your partner's hand in your own. And I particularly thought about this while on the flight to Singapore, during that always slightly tense moment when the plane begins to pick up speed as it leaves the runway and finally takes to the air or when you first feel the landing gear make contact with the ground and start to skid a bit as the plane tries to slow down.

Landing and take-off are typically rather dangerous times for planes since that's when they make that big transition from land to air. And considering recent news stories about airline accidents and such, there's plenty of fuel for our imaginations about what might go wrong. And so as I close my eyes to wait for the plane to take-off, I instinctively reach out to Tobie and take his hand into mine and hold on well past take-off. It's just something that I've become very accustomed to doing and thus it makes it hard to imagine flying without him.

Holding hands isn't about showing off or bragging about the fact that you're in a relationship (or a special friendship) with someone else. Yes, it is a rather public display of affection. But at the same time it's really something that you do for one another - the magic of physical contact acting as an additional reminder that the two of you are connected. And while you can always say that true love is intangible and is not measured by hands being held, you can't argue that it's entirely a bad thing either.

I hold Tobie's hand all the time - while walking in the mall or just when we're driving around the Metro together. It's a silent bond that we get to share - a chance to show support for one another and sort of say, "I'm here for you!" or something like that. It may seem like such a simple thing, but it can speak volumes between the two of you.

So don't be afraid to hold someone's hand if you love them. You have nothing to be ashamed of after all. Holding hands is a sign of strength, a show of support and most of all a sign of love. And love should never be hidden or found to be embarrassing by anyone.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Best Bring Out The Best In You

I was once terribly terrified by dogs.
I could barely move the moment I saw a dog.

And now, I cannot imagine living a life without having a dog.

And that's the sort of thing that happens when you allow the love of another to transform you.

Some people talk about love as being all about "total acceptance" when deep down we all know there's no such thing as total acceptance.

Everyone has good sides and bad sides, wonderful sides and terrible sides, and to be honest it is the fact that we as human beings are so multi-faceted that makes finding that someone else who connects with you so important.

People connect in different degrees, and from such connections such miracles can occur.

I love dogs now.
I'm not totally unafraid of dogs, that's for sure, but I definitely don't feel the urge to flee the very moment I see a dog now.

And that's another truth about change.  It takes time.
Learning to stop trusting in the fears.
Learning to start listening to your heart.

There's so much love in the world that people sometimes think they should demand for the one true perfect love.

But by doing that, they actually set themselves in little boxes that say I want you to deserve me, rather than say I deserve someone who gets me the way I get him.

And that's the true kind of love that I think people need to relearn and embrace.

A love much like that of a dog's.
It isn't unconditional.  It isn't without its demands.
The conditions are that you do your part in caring and nurturing it.
The demands are that you respect it and know its worth.

Sometimes, it might require you to make a fool of yourself.
To step outside your own shoes and see things in their perspective.

Other times, it requires you to be the braver one. Be the source of strength.
Be the foundation of courage.

It digs deep in and tell you that you are loved.
That you are beautiful.
And you realize those are the same things you want to say in return.

It teaches you to communicate both with words
and with silence.

With hugs.


With just being close by.

Ultimately, the best love brings out the best in you.
It makes you want to spend each day trying to be even more of a better man than you were before.
And reminds you that yes, sometimes you fail, sometimes things don't work out perfectly, but life goes on and happiness is always within you in the memories you share and with every new shared experience you now create each day.

I guess that's why I don't think I ever want a cat.
At least, that I can say for certain for now, right Rocky?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Tobie and Bruno

Sharing a quick moment between Tobie and my sister's dog, Bruno. For a man who was once terrified of dogs (including tiny toy dogs), Tobie has really come a long way. And I'm not just talking about the fact that we're in Singapore now.

I'm so proud.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Mind Museum Anniversary Treat

Back in 2011, Tobie and I sponsored The Mind Museum by "buying" a galaxy - although in our case it was actually two spiral galaxies known as the Mice Galaxies (NGC 4676A and NGC 4676B). One of the initial perks of being a sponsor was being able to experience some of the exhibits before the grand opening and of course free tickets to the opening as well.

Ironically, Tobie and I haven't had a chance to visit the Museum yet - not even for the opening. Things were pretty busy last year plus we figured that a LOT of people would end up going in the first few months.

This week Tobie received an email from the Museum folks announcing a little thank you gift for all of us sponsors. And it's not just one or two tickets - apparently we're allowed up to five tickets, given they're aiming for folks to bring families and such.

So it looks like a perfect time to finally organize a trip to the Mind Museum - the bigger question is figuring out who to bring with us! Maybe we should make it some sort of a blog contest or something, hehe...

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Ghibli Surprise for Tobie

So yesterday while at Greenhills to pick up MP-16, I was surprised to see these Studio Ghibli figures sitting at the very top of the shelf, well out of reach. Once I had completed my original Transformers transaction, I started examining the figures in detail and weighing whether or not they were worth the list price.

Long story short, I bought the figures as a set and brought them home as a surprise for Tobie. And as you can see in the photo, he's one happy doggie. *grins*

Yeah, these little moments are what help keep things nearly magical here at the Sietch.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Happy Six Months, My Love

This song will always resonate in our hearts.
I love you, Rocky.
Happy Six Months.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Happy Birthday Tobie!

Happy birthday to my dearest Tobie!

You're always SUPER to me. =)


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Word From RuPaul...

In celebration of Tobie and me being together for 5 months now, a special message from RuPaul...

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Family Moment at the Sietch

Just a nice little moment at Sietch Creare. Me, Yoshi and Tobie.

And yeah, Yoshi jumps onto the bed all the time these days. Our little growing dog!

Good morning!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Adventure Time Style Baduy Pride

For those who know Tobie and me well enough, you'll know that we're big time fans of the Cartoon Network cartoon Adventure Time. It's one of the craziest, geekiest shows that we've encountered with a surprisingly gripping meta-plot tying the whole universe together.

Treetrunks holds a special place in my heart, as strange as she is. Beyond the fact that she is one of the sexiest adventurers in existence (as demonstrated in the image above), she also had one of the quirkier romantic angles on the show.

But you know what - she captures Baduy Pride perfectly.

Allow me to illustrate:

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Someday. A Chance.

I still get shocked when some friends (gay or straight) tell me "I am against gay marriage, but I have nothing against you and Rocky."  I will not deny I find myself overwhelmed with a need to explain how wrong their statement is.  And for some of us friends, their reasons ranged from "I just don't think it is right given how the Bible is against it," to "I just don't see the need to.  Why get married? I don't want to get married.  It is just not for me."

Then this post appeared, which very succinctly captured what I had wanted to say:
"What makes you a bigot is that you are trying to deny my family the legal protections that you claim for your own. Period. It really is that simple. You don't have to agree with homosexuality. You don't have to like it. I don't like lasagna, and I don't agree with eating pork and shellfish. But I don't try to outlaw lasagna, or pork or shellfish. See how this works?"
(Read the full post here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jessica-gerson/dear-opponents-of-marriage-equality-heres-why-i-call-you-a-bigot_b_2981744.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false)

God knows I still want the day I can legally and proudly marry Rocky.

I want him to have the full rights that go with such a legally recognized union.  I want him to be part of my life,  and I do believe marriage is a huge step further in embracing that commitment.  Maybe even after, have a child to raise and instill with our values and morals.  Become an even larger family than we already are with our friends and loved ones.

So when we were watching the season ender to The New Normal, there was no denying how I felt a tad envious of their happiness.  It was a fictional show, yes, but it touched on true dreams, desires and reminded me that we can't give up hoping.  We can't give up fighting.  We can't give up educating people on how we deserve our rights. 

We are people, just like everyone else.
We deserve the right to celebrate our happiness.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Marriage Equality for ALL

Today in the US, the Supreme Court heard arguments regarding California's Proposition 8 and potentially a legal means to open the door for same-sex marriage across the entire United States. And while I personally feel that the court may side-step the issue entirely based on the tone of their questions, I'm still hopeful that a chance at achieving true marriage equality remains there.

Meanwhile on Facebook, lots of people started to change their profile photos to the image above in line with a social media blitz launched by the Human Rights Campaign in support of marriage equality. Tobie and I followed suit some time in the night (or in the middle of the day with respect to US time) to show our support from across the ocean.

I have previously blogged about why I feel gay marriage is important on a number of occasions, and it only makes to repeat that message here on Baduy Pride. This is about our right to have our love for our partners to be recognized by society as a whole after all and to attain the legal protections that come with the title of marriage.

I'm most touched by my straight friends who also took part in the social media activity. It's one thing to have members of the LGBT community discussing the importance of gay rights on social media, but to have straight friends doing the same is always a good. As we constantly state, LGBT rights are human rights after all. It's not about gender but about being afforded equal protections as fellow human beings. I can only hope that more friends join in supporting our fight for greater legal protections and rights as time passes or perhaps even join in a pride march some time.

The fight for LGBT rights cannot be won by the pink community alone. We are a minority group after all. That means that the greater majority of people out there need to practice that aspect of democracy that helps us look out for the minorities and marginalized groups out there and ensure their rights are protected. That's how the system is supposed to work.

Marriage Equality for ALL!!!
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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Four Months!

Four: The symbolic meaning of number Four deals with stability and invokes the grounded nature of all things. Consider the four seasons, four directions, four elements all these amazingly powerful essences wrapped up in the nice square package of Four. Fours represent solidity, calmness, and home. A recurrence of Four in your life may signify the need to get back to your roots, center yourself, or even "plant" yourself. Fours also indicate a need for persistence and endurance.

Four months.
And each day keeps getting more awesome.
More geekier.  More fulfilling.

I love you, Rocky.
Happy Four Months!

Four Months...of THEATER!

Marina Bay Sands Theater (Jan 2012)
I've always been rather big on theater - especially musical theater. Jokingly one could say that it's one of my obviously gay traits, if you get the movie reference. And thankfully over the years that I've known Tobie, he's been more than happy to share my enthusiasm for watching plays.

And it's not exactly a cheap endeavor, as you all may well know. So instead of a heck of a lot of travel to remote beaches, foreign shopping destinations and the like, we end up investing a lot in this little theater hobby.

And there's a heck of a lot of theater to be enjoyed - in fact it has become one of the main reasons that we travel to Singapore so much, apart from the desire to visit my sister and such. Yes, we travel to another country just to catch great shows like the recent stagings of The Lion King, Wicked and Jersey Boys.

I know I'm really lucky that Tobie is so supportive of this particular passion of mine - but that's how good relationships work of course. You find ways to celebrate what each of you love and to do so in a manner that is genuinely enjoyable for both of you.

Today is also our fourth month of being back together - a rekindling of our relationship that ironically began with a trip to Singapore last November to watch Jersey Boys. And this year we've already indulged in a few shows with another one scheduled this afternoon!

Pseudo-slideshow time!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Happiness Grows

Everything happens for a Reason.
Friendships are tested.  Relations are tried.
In the end, we write our stories with each passing day.

And we can choose to be happy
without regretting the past.

Reconnected with Prince this month.  After quite some time of allowing fear, uncertainty and anger to cloud the channels of friendship, we all found ourselves learning to trust in happiness again.

Cheers to a renewed friendship.

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