Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Yellow House (Gay Pagsanjan Part 3)

A distinct, yellow house stands by one of the tree lined and uphill streets of Pagsanjan. A white staircase leads you to the main entrance of the house with a simple set of furniture, a laptop with internet connection and an iPod base.

A handful of gay men are busy serving drinks inside the house. While several men in their late teenage years spend their afternoon with a can of beer in one hand lazily sitting on the couch while the others are busy with computer games.

This is the yellow house rented by a group of gay friends from Manila for just about Php2500 (about USD56) pesos per month. This is their “not-so-secret” weekend getaway. And many boys of Pagsanjan just love to spend their time in here of course, with some free beer and gin.

Many of the boys were quite attractive. And many of them have their naked photos saved in the mobile phones of the house owners. The boys respectfully address each gay man as “sir”. And they would readily describe each “sir” as “nice and generous”.

The gay men from Manila proudly introduced their “boys” to us as if they were their prized collection. These young men are their assets, a breathing and highly enjoyable investment away from their daily lives in Manila.

As I made this Pagsanjan trip with a married gay couple from New York, I realized I am confronted by two contrasting images of the Filipino gay man. My friend from the US represents the gay man who thrives in a society where homosexuality is more properly integrated and enjoys a committed 10 year relationship with his partner. The gay owners of the yellow house represent the more prevalent setup of older gay men in the Philippines, which we all know is more constricted in the acceptance of homosexuals.

Looking at all these, I am just amazed at how homosexual expression would manifest itself in all kinds of ways within the uniqueness of every society.


Keith said...

Of course, there are lots of "yellow houses" in the US, too.

Anonymous said...

pwede ng mag-guest sa apartment na 'yun? maki-share sa mga teenage boys? hehehe.

- jon_roz19@yahoo.com