Gay Problems

gay relationships, same-sex relationships, relationship advice

Being gay and in a relationship isn’t easy in this city, where, in spire of the fact that segments of the larger population are accepting  of same-sex partnerships as part of the norm, some of us  prefer to “grow together” as couples in relative privacy. As in: locked away in a room or a lodging house, afraid to be found out.

My partner and I are discreet. We don’t ever talk about “us” to our friends. We pretend to lead separate, single lives, and we meet occasionally in secret–once, or twice every other week at home or somewhere chary. We bond, fight, laugh, gorge on gossip rags, and dissect our friends’ Facebook status updates like ladies who tea.

I understand same-sex relationships collapse largely because one partner prefers to keep the arrangement hush hush (in the closet). But we survive–we cope. Or we try to. We cook and we clean after ourselves but I worry all the same. I do not want to stay discreet forever, it’s not healthy and it’s not a lifestyle I espouse; I’ve been open about relationships, and my sexuality in particular, for as long as I can remember.

I just want to kiss and cuddle him in public I guess, wave him around like a flag, and the throng can stare for as long as they’d like. There is nothing strange or unbecoming when two men (two consulting adults mind you) elect to express their love for each other publicly.

Please make no distinction between heterosexual and homosexual relationships. Love is love.




Sex Scandal


“Can you believe it? They did it in their uniform”

Said the lady. Her friend, halfway through his cigarette, coifed like men his age, offered an alternative, something more elaborate…a video of two (presumed) college students, naked, frolicking in a bed, rolling around like circus animals, panties and boxer shorts sprawled on the cheap linoleum. The room, according to the man, looked like an altar after a ritual. Messy and post-coital.

It was a sex scandal.

Plenty of them. Hordes of barely there millennials eager to record every passing conquest. Uploaded every second, every hour, on sites like RedTube, fed to an audience of impressionable adolescents. And when did sex  ever lose its sacredness, its mystique? When did we become voyeurs, privy to a party we have no business  being in… when did we become witless animals reduced to satisfy a singular craving: our concupiscence.

I don’t mean to proselytize, but news of a new scandal is never good (and I run into these conversations all the time, in alleyways at night, in red-tinged hallways). The “fuck of the week” is not something I enjoy talking about, not only because it represents an obvious moral decay, rather the consequences that beset these kids are far too great, far too painful to fathom, some of them are irreversible in fact. Careers  are ruined, someone’s hopes dashed, obliterated. But what’s troubling me is that most of them cluelessly consent to this.

I don’t know if they’re stupid, or misguided. Maybe misguided.

–Artwork by Arthel Tagnipez, Private Collection

Dyck Cediño


“We seek and we find; merely to find and then seek. For every beginning there’s an end, but what end brings is a new beginning. We are the essence of creation and the embodiment of destruction: this is the duality of our existence. We create in order to make sense of our own destruction. We constantly seek to find meaning; only to discover that we are meaning itself; mirror images of the vast infinity found within every single being. And the only consolation we get for this life is our own death. This is mainly the reason why I create art, cuz I believe that as much as we are representatives of destruction (physical or ideological), we must also create to make amends with this duality of existence. And this is how I move forward.”–Dyck Cediño


Prints by Dyck Dedino.

Facebook Detox: Day 3 of 100


I’m reading The Optimist by Laurence Shorter. It’s a book about hope and optimism. It’s autobiographical; an author’s quest  for meaning; hoping that true optimism (and the pseudoscientific psychobabble he espoused) can cure the social malaise that plague society today. it’s silly and  (appears to be) satirical, it was deftly written, but it also took its subject seriously at some point

He interviewed numerous people, among them Richard Branson and Desmond Tutu. Branson believed that optimism was about “loving what you were doing”, and that caring about others and giving back would propel us forward as a species—it’s something to do with karma, something karmic. Unfortunately, his is a philosophy that wasn’t easily understood. But it was Desmond Tutu’s words that hit me (all because of its timeliness) here’s a quote: “you’re cynical because you think that external things can make you happy…you know, a smart car, a nice house, a beautiful wife, but it was discovered long ago…[that] you don’t have to be a Christian to realize that…all of these material things, wealth, success, sex…they don’t actually have the capacity to satisfy.”

And then there was the interview with a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, an author, Imaculee Ilibagiza. She believed people, despite their capacity to commit evil, were innately good. This I found touching and a bit hopeful, and I made  a quick note of this in my journal. She said even the most hardened criminal could change for the better; all must be forgiven, she said. My dear why aren’t you a saint yet?

The book is not self-help. Like I said, it’s largely autobiographical. I’m about three quarters into the book. Among my best books of 2016 so far. You should read it


Photography by Teegee Villanueva.

Follow me on Instagram: @teegeev


No. 6: BenCab


The National Museum of the Philippines is hosting a retrospective on Philippine artist Benedicto Cabrera. This is the last in a series of exhibits celebrating the artist’s career, and his contributions to Philippine culture.  The exhibit (“BenCab: Appropriated Souls”) runs throughout May, and you all really have to see it. It’s one masterpiece after another. I went to see his Sabels last week and I wasn’t disappointed.

The exhibit’s very well curated.