“what if all i have to give are explorations of self loathing?”

What I love about being queer is that we are able to question so much of what it means to be human and what it’s like to be different. We push boundaries of culture, religion and empowerment and are able to taste the different forms of love like not everyone can. And I love how being queer allows me to explore the many questions left unexplored!

I remember the moment one of my colleagues knew that I’m queer, she couldn’t help but repeat over and over, “but you’re so beautiful..”, and although it sounds a bit harsh, I understand that it’s her way of expressing her disbelief. There are so many stereotypes that lock us up into neat little boxes and over the years, the LGBTQ community have tried to show the world that our very existence has freed us from being put inside society’s hetero-normative boxes and that our struggle, no matter how dark or slow, has allowed us to be agents of change in an age where narrow minded people dominate.

Thank you Tegan and Sara for leading me to this brilliant book, and thank you Vivek Shraya and the rest of the contributors for teaching us so much. 😀

whatilove

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the unstoppable force and the immovable object

“What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?”

I’ve always been fascinated with Imagine Me and You’s use of physics to connect with the audience. And I have to admit, I have watched it more than once. It’s cliche, but I enjoy it. I even named a playlist after it. But the question’s been playing in my head ever since I first saw the film.

So.

Over the holidays, I was convinced that I would tell her.

One day we met up and I sat there with my notebooks filled with cheesy vulnerability, conscious of the time when our time alone would come to an end and waiting, as always, waiting for that one moment I’d finally be naked before her. I waited it out and let her talk, stealing glimpses, all the while listening to her updates and concerns.

A moment came. And then passed. Another opportunity came up as the silence urged me on to speak up, but I let it slip.

I just couldn’t bring myself to tell her all the years I’ve kept inside. Whatever was holding me back might have been a manifestation of the truth I’ve suspected all along: that maybe what we have has always been, is and will be enough.

Well I tried. Hey, maybe one sided love affairs is all I’ll ever be good at and maybe it’s all that i’ll be capable of. It’s not self-pity, it’s just an acknowledgement of that potential one way street that I’m prepared to tread throughout my lifetime, is all I’m saying.

The confession never took place. I thought I was ready but alas, no amount of preparation could ever compare to the actual experience.

I won’t be attempting to tell her anymore. This is enough. The notebooks and the playlists will be enough.

what’s in a name?

japanese name

The calligraphy is authentic and was made by a friend who was also a volunteer at the clinic in Thailand.

In Japanese, my name means “True Blessing”. Gee whiz, no pressure there. Just because my name means I have to be good doesn’t mean I have to deprive myself right? Then again, maybe there’s a reason why we were given our names. I observed how some people live up to their names, literally. If it’s not true, then where do you think nicknames originated? What do you think?

someday

cecilia forbes Photo by Cecilia Forbes

Last night, Tegan and Sara (T&S), the Indie pop-rock band fronted by the talented twins, invaded Manila and took the city by storm with their infectious songs and their famous banters.

I was planning to go. I already bought the tickets, reserved some merch from T&S PH, made arrangements with a friend who lived close to the venue, and switched shifts just to clear November 25.

Unfortunately, certain circumstances held me back and a week before the event, I had to cancel and accept the fact that I wasn’t going to see the twins perform live. 😦

I would miss seeing them. And I wouldn’t be seeing Up Dharma Down as the opening act too.  I guess Chris Martin was right when he sang about how things don’t always turn out as you plan.

So I decided to spend the evening with a friend, trying hard not to think about the concert in BGC, but I still ended up telling my friend I was grieving that night and I couldn’t help thinking about it. I scoured the websites and interacted with fellow fans once I got home that evening. You can check pictures and videos of the concert night here:

I was constantly checking in with T&S posts on instagram or twitter as well as with the T&S PH fb group. I felt their sorrow as they coped with the twins’ departure and post-concert depression (PCD), an acute state of sadness and extra sensitivity that fans go through after every concert, but I carried an additional weight as I browsed through the pictures, videos and read through their anecdotes, feeling bad for the things I missed.

The opportunity may have passed me by but it didn’t leave me empty handed, however. I discovered that T&S enjoyed their stay mostly because of the fans’ enthusiasm and creativity, and I got to meet–even if it was just through virtual discussions–the same amazing people in the T&S PH . We went crazy together for our favorite twins, and although we each held different levels of fangirling, I hope in the future, when T&S returns, I would meet them someday.

Allow me to share some of the awesomeness of the good people of T&S PH:

1469960_643596002329484_291620321_n

T&S cookies carefully made with much love and determination by Kasey Albano and Karen Ramos. So detailed even the tattoos matched the real life heartthrobs!

T&S cookies by kasey and karen of T&S PH

T&S were so impressed, they put it up on twitter!

teks pabuayon with T&S

Teks Pabuayon (the brains behind the design of the t-shirt which Tegan wore during the concert) with Sara while Tegan takes their picture using her phone. Photo by Grace Candano

tegan with sara made me do it photo by maita elica

The legendary shirt designed by Teks and worn by the beautiful Tegan. Photo by Maita Elica

the Quins with miwa of T&S PH

miwa's signed cds

An avid Miwa Gabutero posing with the twins and her signed T&S CDs

Self made cookies, a t-shirt designed by a fan (which Tegan wore onstage), unique fan arts and out of this world poses with the Quins–talk about creativity and unrivaled devotion!

Before I finally gave in to sleep, I watched some of the uploaded videos (here’s T&S: We Were like the Backstreet Boys for one minuteWalking with a Ghost, Sara Introduces the band prior to encore and the Encore, all from Wendy Woo, as well as Where Does the Good Go and Back In Your Head, both from Niki Francisco) from the concert. People were singing everything like thunder but with so much ardor, as if they were singing the stories of their lives! No wonder Tegan and Sara put the Philippines on their top 5 shows and wanted to move to Manila. :p

It made me realize how wonderful it is to be part of the T&S PH community. A fan used to be a name I associated with a bunch of screaming crowds and a throng of people going gaga over the artists they loved and looked up to, but after what I saw, heard and read, I have to say, my respect for the people making up the T&S PH fanbase mutiplied and I don’t think there will ever be better fans than them. Fangirling wasn’t some common activity anyone could take part in anytime and anywhere when the inspiration struck too, no sir, because they set the bar higher, I tell you. If there’s anything I learned from the group, it is that being creative, polite and generous to Tegan & Sara, as well as to the fellow fans and organizers, is the best and only way to show your love and appreciation for musical icons as huge as the Quins. When you show people how good you’ve grown because of your idols, people begin to take notice of them and in the process, you’ve partially recruited them through curiosity. That can make ripples in increasing the band’s popularity.

I’m also grateful for them because in the midst of the many calamities and political issues our country faces day to day, T&S PH was able to show how heartwarming and sincere Filipinos can be once they’re passionate about something or in this case, when they’re genuinely rooting for a versatile band such as T&S.

It’s no surprise that I’ll be forever grateful for Tegan and Sara because for me, they are proof that talent and good manners, once nurtured and practiced well, will take you far; so far you don’t even have to try for anyone to respect and adore you.

So thank you T&S PH. Although I wasn’t there to witness the mall tour or the concert, you’ve given me more than my fair share just by sharing yourselves.

And of course, thank you so much for coming to the Philippines Tegan and Sara, and for caring enough to raise funds for the victims of Yolanda. We greatly value the gesture.

I hope and pray that you come back someday. Until then, I’ll be waiting. 🙂

playlist

The twins after they shared their personal playlist online. ❤

I think it’s going to take a while before I get over this one.

whatever wherever whenever whoever

so much
of us are broken into bits
always
a tragedy waiting to unfold
and yet
undeniable bliss when alone

i’ll be
whatever wherever whenever whoever
you need
together apart brightness or the dark
whatever wherever whenever whoever
you need

so much
deny neglect ignore the itch
always
a miracle waiting to unfold
and yet
unforgiving sadness when alone