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Confessions of a Bookie...

all seasons in one day


I was in Grade Four when I learned the technical term for what I am: homosexual.

My classmate, Edwin, whispered to me that his mom had fired the family driver because they found out he was a homosexual. Edwin, who was a geeky little kid with dark skin, whispered the word "homosexual" in a way that made it sound both negative and yet sacred at the same time. He used the same voice whenever he narrated the episodes of "Palibhasa Lalake". He then said in his broken tagalog "Bakla pala driver namin. Buti na lang Mom made him go away."

I nodded, trying to look as if I understood what the term meant, when in fact, I didn't. I thought back then it might have something to do with animal husbandry.

Later on, I went to the library to research the word, and I had a lot of trouble trying to find reading materials that would enlighten me. It was a grade school library, after all. Nagkalat ang mga Hans Christian Andersen stories and Chronicles of Narnia, pero walang books on sexual preferences. I felt rather frustrated that the library, which then to me was my second home, would yield such little information on what seemed to me then was such an interesting topic.

However, I did find some data in good old Encyclopedia Britannica. When I read the meaning, I had a vague epiphany.

"Eh ganun ako ah," was what I thought to myself. So yun pala ang tawag sa akin. Homosexual. Bakla. Uso rin noon ang term na Badaf. There was even a serial killer back then called the "Badaf Killer" in Manila.

So, I started doing some more research. Back then, I already realized that I was different, that I found the same sex more... interesting. I enjoyed watching the athletes in the soccer field not because I was fond of the sport, but because I was admiring how short their uniforms were, and how simply admirable the sweat would glisten from their young nubile bodies. In short, bata palang, baklang-bakla na ako, mga kaibigan.

When I graduated from grade school, a family secret was brought out into the open. My uncle, a respected teacher in our little town in Batangas, was caught having "private lessons" with a student of his; a young boy of eighteen.

You can imagine the outrage, the scandal, this brouhaha caused. The whole Besares-Buquir generation in Batangas is pretty well known, not to sound arrogant or anything. And here was evidence that our bloodline was just like everyone else's: tainted.

My lola, Agapita Besares, or Lola Pitang to many (truly a terrifying figure of feminine power who always seemed to smell of Vicks Vapor Rub), put down her foot and sent my uncle away. "Sa Estados Unidos," she proclaimed, "doon ka gumawa ng kababuyan mo, huwag dito, Carding (my uncle's name). Habang buhay ako, hindi ka pwedeng bumalik." Very soap opera, di ba?

My lola died the year after of a massive stroke, throwing up blood all over her immaculately white bedspread. The whole town of Rosario came to her funeral. My uncle never did come back. He met a guy who ran a deli in San Francisco. He sent us postcards filled with cheerful messages (with only the barest hint of irony in them). He even sent me tons of books which I devoured like crazy. I was his favorite nephew; maybe he saw that I was just like him.

When I went to high school, I had a hard time concealing my secret. There were several bullies in class but most of them left me alone, owing to the fact that I was bigger than them, not to mention smarter. But then, it was the girls who were a problem. Some of them noticed how effeminate I was, and how I wasn't like the other boys, not eager to join in sports and all that shit.

A girl, whom I think was named either Criselda or Lucinda, asked me flat out during sophomore year, "Bakla ka ba, Ryan?"

She asked me this in front of the whole class, with one contravida eyebrow raised, while we were hanging out sa cafeteria.

I turned red with shame I think. I was trying to think of a witty retort but nothing came to mind.

Criselda/Lucinda laughed at my blushing face, and stalked away, to whisper with her other girlfriends, probably about how shameful it was for such a big boy like myself to be gay.

I gathered all my books and walked away. I wish I could write here that I had a cute straight bestfriend who defended me back then and restored my dignity, but I had no one back then. I only had my books.

I've been called fat, I've been called ugly, but thankfully, I've never been called stupid by anyone during my years in school.

Everything changed during college, when my family and I moved to Manila. I got to make more friends. I became more sociable. I met other people who were bookworms like me. In short, I "blossomed".

I came out to my barkada during junior year. Apparently, they already knew about it. They were just waiting for me to come out and say it.

My mother found out about my secret around the same time. Not because I told her, but because she found my secret stash of gay erotica books.

I still remember the day clearly. When I got home, she was waiting for me in the dining room, and I immediately saw all my gay books on the table, stacked neatly. My mother had her "Bella Flores" face on. I saw my ever-loyal yaya, Inday, skulking in a corner, worried sick about me.

Uh-oh, I've been found out. A thousand thoughts ran in my head. Should I lie and pretend they aren't mine but my bestfriend's who asked me to keep if for safety? Should I feign innocence and pretend I had no idea whose books those were (kaso hindi pwede kasi I write my name on all my books, yes, even in the gay ones). Should I just pretend to faint or have an epileptic seizure?

Finally, one thought came out clearly: I might as well come out clean. Wala nang kawala eh.

So, I did.

"So, bading ka?" asked my mother.

"Opo," sagot ko.

She got a little teary-eyed but still did not lose her stern face. I guess she was remembering my Uncle Carding, who was still somewhere in SanFo, frolicking with his lover.

"Pwede mo pa yan pigilan!" sabi niya, a bit louder.

"Hindi siya sakit, Ma," sagot ko. You know what, at that time, I felt some sort of relief. Kasi, finally, after years and years of hiding my secret from her, of dodging her growing suspicions, it's finally out. It was kind of euphoric. But that didn't mean that I still wasn't scared shitless. I was.

Inday was sobbing into her apron, worried about what my mother might do to me.

"Doon ka sa kusina!" my mother barked at her and Inday scuttled away.

My mom faced me again, but no words seemed fit for what she had to say. She was just so angry. So disappointed.

I felt pain in my heart because I understood then that she would never be able to accept what I was. What I am.

We never spoke properly to each other since that day. Not even on the day that I decided to pack up my things and leave. I left because we were arguing almost everyday. I felt that she lost all respect for me.

It's been almost six years since we've passed words. I broke my mom's heart back then, but she broke mine also, when she couldn't accept who I am. Six years since I've seen my home, my family.

Sabi nila, walang magulang ang may kayang tiisin ang sariling anak. I wish that were true.

You may be wondering, my dear readers, bakit ang drama ni Callboi ngayon?

Ganito kasi, I just had one of the worst weekends ever. My heart got broken again. And this time, it's because of my own doing. My own foolishness.

For a smart boy, I sure do make monumental mistakes.

So, to that person, you know who you are, I'm sorry. I'm an idiot. If I weren't an idiot, I'd be running home to my Mom, apologizing for disappointing her, for not being the son she wants me to be. But you see, ma-pride ako eh. I got that from my mother. I guess I learned from the best.

So to you, Peter, all I can say again is: I'm an idiot (ask any of my friends). But I'm your idiot. With you, I can forget my stupid pride. I really am sorry.

Posted by callboi 09:30 Archived in Philippines Tagged gay_travel

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Table of contents


cnu si Peter sa buhay mo Buquir?

by missindia

by callboi

Such a beautiful sadness, bookie. Inspired writing. I really hope you get over this.

by spiceboi

Bookie, na-sad ako. And na-entertain pa rin. Iba ka. Nag-iwan ako ng chocolates sa station mo. Hope it makes you smile.

by callgirl

Life's a bitch, callboi, you'll just have to learn to deal with it. You're a survivor. Hey, if ever you want to go out, I sent a private message to you with my cellphone number. I'll make you forget what's-his-name. :)

Seriously, keep your chin up. You're Callboi! Be strong!

by john_lloyd

Lalake lang yan, Books! Kaya mo yan! Inuman na! Waaaaah! Labs yu!

by wapaks

Just started reading your blog last week Bukee(?). Have to say, am loving it. Like this entry, for instance, wow. I'm starting to love you. Its obvious you draw inspiration from the pain and emotional turmoil you feel inside. Thats the curse of being a good writer I guess. You have to bleed so you can write beautiful sad words.

by simon_says

A writer is born! Galing nito Buqui!

by BWaldorf

u continue to inspire me.. hehe

somehow, i could feel so much emotions in this entry. yeah, its not that easy being gay. were a combination of both sexes, which is of corz makes us a very remarkable individual....someones a bitch, so we cant help being pathetic hre. we jz have to stand up and fight for what makes us complete. we are the captain of our own soul anyways.. lol!!!

Im out and proud and happy. pero if my Mom would ask me if Im gay..its something i cannot answer with a Clear Yes and YES.. hehe

by umbre

In short, I "blossomed". -- whatabout blossomed... taray!

stash of gay erotica books. -- perv! aheheh... i kinda relate gurl... but noone busted them, well, i think.

OMG! It seems like I'm reading a novel gurl... pag may book ka na, I will be the first one to buy a copy...



by parteeboi

eto pala ang sinasabi mong mahabang entry mo...

na-touch ako bookie. alam mo, totoong walang magulang na kayang tiisin ang anak. you just have to make the first move. I know depp inside you, you miss your mom, your family. You can choose to let your pride rule over you and not see them again ever, but in the end, its always your family who would be there for you.

by GingerFerrer

first, though you don't owe it to us readers, thanks for the honesty Buquir.
This is one of your finest, most touching pieces I've read. I guess when you've become accepting and comfortable about who you are, you're able to courageously just let yourself out in the open--without fear of getting questioned or rejected.
i hope you get better. :)

by mike_test

I agree with you, Mike_test. It's an inspiring story of humility and being true to one's self. There is nothing wrong in asking forgiveness; we are only human, we falter, we stumble but we have to rise again. That's life, it's a roller coaster ride.

It's been almost a year since my last comment. This entry deserves the loudest applause there is; standing ovation if I may suggest.

I would like to WELCOME my self again. Callboi, help me in welcoming my self.



by hot-speedo

hot-speedo, what is this welcoming-myself-again fuss?

mishu beke...

by parteeboi

bookie, that's life.. i hope you enjoy your trip..
i love it "i'm your idiot".. parang line lang sa movie.
you take care..

by bitchyme

Buqui you were to survive the first hell that you've been into, with your strong personality you can make it back girl...Rock on...

by akosidiosa

that's sad... dont worry callboi... i have this belief that when one is good, one will surely be blessed... you might not have the family with you but i know you can make it... YOU CAN! ur strong ...very strong... the fact that u made it without your family is a proof...

by Siruj_OWW

Haaaaay, pano ba magout sa parents? I think my parents have an about my sexuality pero di ko talaga maiopen nsa kanila. Parang di ko talaga kaya. I don't wanna be asked too much questions.... Even some of my friends don't know. Mahirap pero ganun talaga....

by kulutero

you know i read your blog a lot. nakakatanggal ng stress. for me, it's like taking a mental vacation. alam mo ba ryan? base sa mga panulat mo, i can sense na maganda yung pinagmulan mo. sa tingin ko mahal na mahal mo mommy mo. at base sa naisulat mo dito na naging reaction niya upon knowing kung ano ka. sa tingin ko mahal na mahal ka niya. kasi ganyan talaga ang mga taong ma-awtoridad e. kapag natatakot sila o nag-aalala. itatago nila yun sayo. kung hindi mo sila kilala ang makikita mo lang sa kanila, sobra-sobrang galit. sana mong tong masamain itong sinulat ko. sa tingin ko sobrang nag-aalala siya kung anong mangyayari sayo sa pagtanda mo. sa tingin ko din tanggap naman niya kung ano ka talaga e. ang gusto niya lang talaga sa tingin ko, yung makita ka niyang magkaron ng sarili mong family. gusto niyang masigurado na mapanuto ka lang.ahihi...
alam mo ryan? even if you have the air ng pagiging mataray na bakla, sa tingin ko pa din mabuti ka.

wag mo sanang mamasamain yung mga comments ko ha...pero alam mo ang mama mo mahal na mahal ka niya kaya ganung na lang siya mag-alala...sabi nga diba?! " sa mundong to walang tama o mali, it's just the things that you do and you don't do".

hindi pa lang siguro ready ang mama mo na tanggapin yung naging desisyon mo...pero in time...ire-raise natin kay God na sana makita nang mama mo na yan ang mas higit na makakapagpaligaya sayo.

Tatandaan mo lang ryan na kahit ano pa ang naging pagkakamali mo sa mata ng tao. iba ang pagtingin sayo ni God. He will not condemn nor forsake you just because you chose to be gay.Hindi naman niya tayo sinusukat na tulad ng panukat satin ng mga tao e.

Kahit yan pa ang sekswalidad mo. Basta wag kang bibitaw sa faith mo kay God. =) Goodluck...

by mychelai

Hello, i'm not usually a fan of blog but your' definately caught my attantion. i enjoyed reading it especially this one. looking forward to reading more of your slogs.

by elly1216

hi bookie.. i really enjoyEd reading ur blogs, pang-tanggal ng antok at boredness while mahaba ang avail tym hehe.. well about u n ur mom, i hope sna magkaayos na kyo.. i understand na masakit pra sau na ganun ung reaksyon nya about sa pagiging gay mo, but eventually cguro marerealize din nya na ur still her son and 4 sure miss ka na rin nun.. sana magkaayos na kayo, kasi mas masarap mabuhay pag may pamilya kang kasama d b.. god bless!

by bulilit

part three ng one stormy night..

by illdie4him

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