I thought I've changed pero di pa pala. The other day, I met someone I thought is best for me but last night, I met someone better! Magkikita kami ni "best" in a while at si "better" flight Nya kanina umaga going to Cebu. Magkasama kami buong gabi before the flight without "better" knowing na di na kami magkikita pagbalik Nya dito Manila. Isn't it frustrating, isn't it sad?
- A Facebook Wall Message
Sometime in late 2002.
Barely a year into my new sexual preference and I was already a denizen of Malate. I didn't miss a single Saturday. I made it a point to be there to enjoy what little freedom I had out of the closet. My family does not know. The people who worked for my father had no idea, and the boys and girls I've seated with in the university would get the press release a year after these upheavals. Those were the days I'd dread being spotted at the corner of Nakpil and Orosa. And yet, the pulse from within would still draw me into the belly of the dance floors. Those were exciting times. I could still afford getting into troubles. In fact, one would find me kissing strangers, or letting some guy whose name I don't even know suck me in one of the unlit spots in the neighborhood.
I was young.
In one of those nights, I met Raizen. We were at Mint. The precursor of O-Bar, Bed, and all the gay havens we know today. I was leaning on the balcony and watching the Gogo Dancers grind their hips. Raizen was standing against the wall with a companion. After being pushed around and avoiding those guys I didn't fancy, I ended up next to him.
A quick glance of his face and I was smitten.
I wish I could still recall what happened. Who locked his index finger first, and who groped in response for us to pair for the night. All I remember was his mestizo features and his manly appeal.
I liked him.
I liked him.
And he liked back.
Our mutual attraction led us to become dance partners. We were inseparable. From time to time, we would lock lips in full view of everyone - even in front of the guy he's with. I would learn from Raizen later that night that he was a date, and because they didn't click, he was happy to let him go.
They never spoke to each other again.
We left the dance club before daybreak, and instead of parting ways at Taft Avenue, he asked me to stay. When two men - one, who's eight years younger than the other, and the other, preferring to dominate someone he regards as his junior resign themselves in a private quarter - a motel to be exact, we know what happens next.
Raizen would become my first boyfriend, and unfortunately, the guy who lifted the veil to show me the ugly side of a man-to-man relationship.