I was at BED Malate with a group of friends, who also had a group of friends, last Saturday night. It was actually the most fun I had in this bar EVARRR. And in all this intermingling, socializing and mild flirting, my crush was there, who I knew I’d like the moment I laid eyes on him. He’s as tall as me, big, fit, although he says he’s obese type-1 (lol), very exotic-looking and manly. HE IS MY TYPE. Need I say more.

As I am typing now I don’t even know what to say… I have a BIG crush on him. And as we danced and held hands and hugged for quite some time, we didn’t say so much of a word. Like what is up with that? Here is the scenario:

  • This is our first meeting
  • I have a group of friends. He has a group of friends.
  • My group of friends is trying to get to know his group of friends.
  • My friends introduced me to his group of friends before (he wasn’t there).
  • They introduced us.
  • We danced together shirtless for quite a long while, without saying a word…we just hugged and held hands.
  • One of his friends is saying that we look good together (lit. trans. “Bagay kayo”). He even was teasing us to kiss only my crush was preoccupied with someone else at that time dammit.
  • My friend said that he did not take that other guy’s number… (implications?)
  • He forgot my name! But he asked it for it when our groups parted ways.

Aaarggghhhhh…

I HAVE NEVER LIKED ANYONE LIKE THIS IN A LONG TIME. What is he thinking? What did he think about me? Does he even like me at all or know that I exist? What should I do? Wait it out? Do I add him on Facebook since two of his friends already added me? If I add him what will that mean?  Or do I wait to see him again next time since our groups are well, slowly converging?

Why didn’t we talk that much, was he analyzing this as much as I was analyzing it? Where we confused at what this meant? Us being in a group of friends trying to get to know each other… Do we socialize with the intent of say, being friends or something more? Was he thinking of this as well?

I’ve been so single so long that I am at a loss. My heart beats faster when I think about him, and that happens quite frequently now… Oh my God. Is this what I think this is?

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Q&A: A Supplement

Posted: January 12, 2011 in HIV/AIDS

So, I’m sure, to those who have chosen to read my entry I’m Positive, I’m Negative, I am damn sure you’ve got questions. This entry will attempt to answer most of them. So here we go:

Q:  Why did you want to get tested?

A:  Well I get tested every year. Starting from 2007 I have been retesting every end of the year. Last year was no exception.

Q:  Do you get tested because you engage in risky behavior, ie. bareback sex?

A:  No. I have been advocate for safe sex. Even for my first encounter, I had used a condom. I get tested because there’s always what you call theoretical risk. Only this year, if you have been reading my blog, I had a high risk encounter with my latino papi… There was also one encounter when I was the insertive partner and my partner removed the condom and wanted me to fuck (for a while) bare. However, I sort of trust this person so… well yeah, the risk was there. And lastly there was one incident when I felt really… violated. I was the receptive partner for a couple. Don’t ask me how I got into that situation but I did. I thought I was just meeting up with one person only to find out he has a partner and this was a Buy One, Take One kind of deal. Although they claimed to be clean, I had my doubts. Especially when they would deliberately remove the condom every now and then. We used a lot of condoms this way. And I regret ever subjecting myself to this. Although they did not cum inside me, this has actually been the source of my worry, hence, the test.

Q:  When you thought you were positive did you engage in sex?

A:  Well yes. But I made sure that it was safe. When it was inevitable that I had to have sex, I made sure we had protection. I always brought condoms with me. A lot of guys, and I’ll say again, A LOT of guys wanted to have sex with me bare. I was like Jesus. Are these guys so uninformed, oblivious to the existence and threat of HIV? Or are they positive already? If I had been positive, I could’ve infected them if I had succumbed to what one would like to call ‘thrill’. And there is also such a thing as re-infection. Even when I thought I was positive, I didn’t want to spread the virus. I wanted it to end with me. I guess I was brought up that way.

Q:  How did the news of being positive make you feel?

A:  I was disappointed with myself. I wished I could turn back time. Words cannot express what I felt back then. I knew that having HIV was not the end of the world, but the life changes I knew were going to be significant. I was afraid. And depressed.

Q:  Did you ever think of trying to kill yourself?

A:  No. Although suicide did come to mind as a question rather than as something I can do. In my head, it was always, “Should I kill myself?” not “I should kill myself.” And “No”, was always the answer to the former.

Q:  Were you vengeful to the point of wanting to spread the virus?

A:  Again no. I am hardwired this way. Instead, I wanted to be an advocate, be a volunteer or a counselor for HIV/AIDS.

Q:  How did you feel when you found out that you were actually NEGATIVE?

A:  I said, “Thank you, Jesus for another chance”. I felt free. My guilt disappeared. I wanted the whole world to know that I am OK.

Q:  Will you take the test again?

A:  Yes. It takes a lot of courage to take the test. No one, I say, NO ONE IS READY TO FIND OUT HIS STATUS. You just aren’t. I have been taking the test for 4 years and the anxiety is always there. Although I may be clear now since I am beyond the window period, I’ll do it again. FYI, the window period is the time by which the body is certain to have produced antibodies against HIV. In some countries, it is 6 months (like the Philippines) to some countries, 3 months. The body is known to have produced the antibodies to HIV (which HIV tests detect) as early as 6 weeks, or even less. It is very rare for the body to react to the virus late, say after 6 months. Internationally, 3 months is the accepted window period. If you test Negative after a risky encounter after 3 Months, you are most likely negative. My risky encounter with my Latino Papi was last June 2010, and that stupid couple encounter was September 11, 2010 (I took note of the date). So its been roughly 4 months since my latest risky encounter so I am most likely clean. Unless of course I am another rare case or my immune system hasn’t detected HIV yet which is highly unlikely.

Q:  What can you say about your false-positive result?

A:  I now believe in miracles. What happened is something out of this world. I lifted it all up to Him and said, “I let go, you take control. Do whatever you think is best for me”. I never expected to come back from this. As I’ve said I am so happy that I get to be this kind of exception. But yeah why did my ELISA turn out positive initially. Here are possible explanations:

  • I may have had the flu when I got tested or other viral infection. Some say this happens.
  • Human Error. My blood sample may have been contaminated.
  • I was just starting to seroconvert which is why it was INDETERMINATE. My body has just realized the existence of HIV. I thought this was my case
  • I was positive and my body has somehow killed the Virus. Highly Unlikely. LOL

So to those who read my stuff any comments are welcome. If any of you want to get tested, I could probably accompany you, or forward you to the NGO that helped me during my test at the Manila Social Hygiene Clinic. Oh and there should be pre-counseling for anyone who wants to take the test. It is required by law. Post-counseling as well, no matter what the result.

So guys, please be safe. Respect yourselves. Love your partners. Spread the love. Not the Virus.

So… It looks like I get to keep this blog after all.

It actually seems like some of my readers understood all the euphemisms in my recent blog entry, and you were all correct. All of my blogging activities stopped on one fateful day on the last week of October. And now I am going to say why.

I tested positive for HIV last October. Well, not exactly. See, when the nurse told me that my specimen had to be sent to San Lazaro for a confirmatory test (Western-Blot), I assumed I was.  To someone who is not familiar with HIV-testing, a positive ELISA is usually re-tested using the Western Blot method. And if this turns positive then you are really positive. I cannot begin to express the whirlwind of emotions I experienced back then. My mouth suddenly went dry and it was as if I couldn’t speak. She had to let me fill-up some forms with pertinent information such as travel history, sexual preference, sexual activity etc. I was not even sure if I filled them up correctly. While thinking about what’s going to happen to my life now, I was thinking, “Shit, I am going to be a demographic… how can this be?”

I went to get my results from the private clinic in the morning and had planned to go to work in the afternoon on a half-day. I didn’t. I went straight home and of course my Mom found it weird for me to be back home, and as Mother’s intuition instinctively picked up, she said: “What’s wrong?” I told her. She cried. I wanted to cry with her but I couldn’t. Somehow at that very moment, I wanted to show her that I will be strong… That we will be strong, that somehow I will be OK. I hated myself, for letting it happen, for bringing pain into our house. I had vowed to bring happiness to my Mother’s life for the rest of her days and now I disappoint her with this? I was more pissed with what I made my Mom feel, more than what I was feeling for myself, which wasn’t necessarily good either.

So, I researched and researched. That was all I could do. I found out that PLWHIV (People Living With HIV) can now live longer lives as much as a normal person. Well some even live longer because they have a tendency to take care of themselves better. With the help of ARTs (Anti-Retroviral Therapy) which are drugs that must be taken faithfully, HIV+ individuals can keep the virus at bay, even to undetectable levels. It doesn’t kill the virus, but it prevents it from replicating, and so it allows CD4 cells, the antibody cells that HIV kills, to gain momentum and reproduce. So HIV+ individuals can still be healthy. Living with HIV will definitely be a lifetime and lifestyle change, because being immunocompromised, you need to have enough sleep, cannot eat raw foods (like sushi) which may contain bacteria that the immune system has to deal with etc. But all of this is nothing compared to the emotional turmoil one has to go through.

There is a stigma associated with HIV. And that is not easily overcome. I worried about how am I going to live my life, socially, spiritually, sexually. Do I tell my friends? What if Irony slaps me back and I fall in love? What do I tell my partner to be? Will he accept me? I’ve always wanted to have a son, can I still? In all this confusion, I used the internet to find help. I came in contact with an HIV+ individual and I told him my case. He listened. He urged me to wait for my confirmatory test results before anything. I had questions, and though I didn’t ask them all, he tried to answer them as they came.

I had to leave the country for a 2-week assignment. And after researching the odds of a false-positive result (an initial positive result which turns out to be negative) the odds were not in my favor. I thought and lived like I was dying. During my stay in some European-country, I knew I could not escape my fate. I asked my Mom to get my confirmatory test results and send me a message on Facebook. And so, after a month of waiting the results came: INDETERMINATE.

Oh my God. An indeterminate result on a Western-Blot happens rarely. A false-positive happens in like 1 out of 200,000. At that point, I cannot be considered positive nor negative. Somewhat in between. In the crossroads. And what a splendid position I have found myself into. I had to re-take the test after 4 weeks for a more conclusive result. So after throwing in the towel, a sliver of hope. But is hope what I am supposed to feel?

I let the holiday season pass by. My Mom also agreed to the idea. I didn’t want a positive result to be a detriment to our holiday celebration. January 7, I decided to take the test again. With the help of my HIV+ contact, I was accompanied by someone from an NGO to the Manila Social Hygiene Clinic. Here, HIV and other STD tests are free. They also have the RAPID HIV test which is like a pregnancy test, where you get the results in 15 minutes, as opposed to a week using the classic test. I had to choose a codename. After 3 changes to my alias, it finally became Piolo… And after 15minutes Piolo’s results came back… Result: NON-REACTIVE.

Again I was in shock, after two months of living, thinking i was HIV+, I am NEGATIVE.

The Beginning of the End

Posted: December 14, 2010 in Uncategorized

I have actually sworn not to blog anymore. In this blog at least. This may be my 2nd to the last or last blog entry. If I do blog at all, it will be on a different blog site or under a different name. Why? I will not even attempt to explain. Let’s just say that I am at a crossroads, at a point in my life where there is no turning back… Something in my life has happened… that is threatening to change the way I live my life, or what’s left of it,  forever. The kind of change is of the paradigm-altering, negative type, so I am actually surprised that I haven’t killed myself, and instead, have tried to live each day as normally as I can. The next few weeks will dictate how I will live my life, and presented with such a drastic change, I feel like I want to either hide myself in a cave and hibernate like a bear, go on a vacation, or ironically, just party. Unfortunately, I will have to go through this alone. As this overpowers any aspect of my life right now, all my life’s ‘trivialities’ have paled in comparison. Forgive me if my words seem somewhat incoherent, it just shows how rattled I am. On the outside, I may still look the same. Maybe I have mastered the art of hiding one’s emotions, a truly remarkable skill to have during these times.

Although I have been partying for almost every weekend since I came back from a 2-week stay abroad, things haven’t changed about my love life. Today, when I woke up, I almost wanted to scream at the world and declare that my heart is dead. I realized that all the guys I have an eye for, or maybe even have feelings for, are usually complicated sons of bitches. In the past 2 weeks my heart has beat 3 times: First to a guy that I now realize is an immature asshole. Second, to a cute guy that is focused on his studies and therefore has no time for love. And third, to someone I’ve had a crush on since I saw his account online, and now that I’ve met him in person, I don’t even know what to make of it. But my sixth sense is telling me that if I become his boyfriend, I will be loyal and head-over-heels in love, not that this fact is gonna bring me any closer to him though. This will again be the classic case of ‘guys I like but don’t like me’. Haha, this is so cliche in my life.

Given my situation, I should actually cease all attempts at a relationship. I’ve actually begun to think if I even deserve one. As much as I would like to commit to someone I love and care about, the universe seems averse to the idea. Which sucks. I was just wondering, why is it that now that I’ve tried to put myself out there, try to date people, that I’ve actually found it harder to get into a relationship? Three/Four years ago, I was actually content with meeting people for sex, and I found myself with a boyfriend. Oh how I would like to slap Irony in the face.

Anyway Silversplinter may cease to exist soon. I’ve always said that my life was never boring. And true enough, God may have given me the cross I asked him never to give me… to spice up my life, make it more colorful… It amazes me that He has always believed in my strength. That I, a mere human being, who makes mistakes (obviously) can get through this. Although nothing is final yet, I am preparing myself for the worst…  I will change yes, that much is certain. And it would take time to get used to this, but I promise, with all that I am that I will be strong. I will be the best person that I can be; I will be the very best friend you can always count on, I will be the most loving son, I will be the most eligible bachelor people cant get enough of. And to you, although I haven’t found you, I will be your man. I will love you like there is no tomorrow and no yesterday. All that I am, and will have become, I offer to you.

It’s You, It’s Me

Posted: September 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

So I’ve been riding the dating bandwagon lately. And besides the fact that I am currently seeing someone with relative frequency, there is no spark… no butterflies, no rainbows etc. But really, I know that I am into someone when I wake up in the morning and he’s the first thing that comes to mind or when I want to be a better person overall, when I wanna be a better man… so I guess Ill just have to wait for these to happen.. which is hopefully soon.

Anyway, last weekend I had your cliche dinner-movie date. The guy liked me enough to invite me to his place… which I politely declined. He was not my type and I did not make any remark as to this fact. I just declined his offer and said maybe next time. This guy, was a really nice guy; I felt the good in him. It was as if I had wanted to like him out of appreciation for this fact or I knew that eventually I would turn him down that I already am feeling guilty. I hated myself for being choosy because the guy liked me and I was the one that had fucked up standards.

On my way home, I felt really bad. Because I may have hurt the guy. Although I did not say anything or shown any ill feelings, there are things that hurt, even when left unsaid. I wanted to curse my own standards that prevented me from entertaining a future him. I am also now questioning the validity of the whole date concept. How successful are dates anyway? We all have our own ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ even before the date even starts. So what is the chance of anything moving forward?

Honestly, this is all getting tiringly exhausting.

The Proposal

Posted: September 6, 2010 in Uncategorized

Last Saturday, I decided to hangout with one guy I had met at romeo. We live 5 mins away from each other, and he just wants to have some new friends in the area, ‘tropa’ as he would like to put it. I thought that it was just going to be me and his 2 friends that’ll hangout. After an hour, at Starbucks, there was already eight of us.

At first glance, we were all coming from different backgrounds, having different personalities, and given the amount of time all of us spent together, some of us didn’t even get to mingle at all. After Starbucks we decided to go to a bar frequented by the likes of us. One didn’t want to go because he doesn’t want to be seen in such a place (oh don’t we all know what’s that like) but in the end gave-in to peer pressure. We didn’t even get to order drinks. The group was so disconnected that the instigator (my new acquaintance), who called up and invited these people, was busy playing with his phone and the pictures stored in them while showing them to one particular guy. I felt out of place yeah, but not so much. I mean, I tried to talk to them yes. But a real conversation, an exchange of thoughts and experiences didn’t at all happen. Not to underestimate my new acquaintance’s people skills but he should’ve been the one to facilitate this group of people somehow, but I guess he ‘trusted’ us so much (?) that we will all get along just fine. One of the guys there was really cute, but he chose to raise his psychological barrier up while I was trying to lower mine… so basically nothing happened and we didn’t get to talk much. Sometimes people play hard-to-get at the wrong instances. Which is why I love my two social circles. I mean I can introduce any friend to them and after that they become close. Or maybe I really am just a good judge of character? Well it would be really hard to predict the group dynamic of eight people, I’d have to give him that.

So two of the guys went ahead after the show was over (without saying a word), followed by the initiator and his friend (who didn’t want to go in but enjoyed the show anyway LOL). I decided to stay, because the cute guy was there haha, and they didn’t even make an effort to talk to me! I asked them if they’d like to get drinks but they didn’t seem too excited with the idea… So I said I’ll just go down, but I got bored… So I decided to leave.

I was a few paces out of the bar when a guy who was changing his shirt from the back of his car trunk gestured for me to come to him. I gestured by pointing to myself (as in who me?) he said yes, so I approached. He said if I go to the bar, I said I was already on my way home. He insisted I stay and have a few drinks with him. So as not to be rude I did. He got my name and my number although I hesitated to give it (damn I’m too nice). Little did this guy know that I already know who he is. He’s the bar’s part owner. My friend’s partner told me about him. And back inside the bar he got me drinks for free. After an hour or so, he said let’s go and he’d take me home. But I knew it was not at all going to end this way.

So, I pleaded nicely for him to take me home. Because I knew we were heading straight to a motel. I didn’t want to have sex with him. Yeah he looks so clean and nice, not bad-looking, very tall, in his early 30’s, but no. I told him I’m really sleepy, he said we’ll just sleep… so at the back of my head, “Like the hell we are! We are in a freaking motel!” Of course something did happen, I tried to stop him but he said, please. He said he was top but I adamantly countered all his attempts at penetration. So he ended up servicing me  LOL. And by the way his weener is like half of mine, like what’s up with that? LOL. I like my tops humongous. Kidding aside, what is up with this rich, young entrepreneur. Besides the fact that he was down with ecstasy, which would explain how his extremities felt real cold to the touch and he was sweating profusely at the bar, I wasn’t sure if he was thinking straight. He said, “From now on, ikaw na ang baby ko…”I was like WTF? We just met!”

Anyway he did take me home after that (and I’m not even sure if he came) and he said that he hopes that we keep in touch and that I will reply to his texts etc. And he said he’s had his eye on me before only he was shy because he thought I was this guy’s partner bla bla. This got me all thinking. Am I just choosy as hell? Here’s  a nice guy with a good family background, rich, not bad-looking, but the spark, the excitement, the attraction is not there. Am I looking/waiting for something that will never come? Why can’t I ever hit the target? Why is there always something missing?

Will I have to settle for something, dare I say it, less?

Family

Posted: August 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

My family really isn’t what you may call close. Since my Dad is not Filipino and is overseas, what I may call my family would be the one on my mother’s side, and since God has made sure my life would never be boring, it too has its quirks.

My grandfather has three families; the first is where we belong, my mother and her 4 siblings. The second he has 4 children. The third he has another 4. So all in all they are 13 siblings by virtue of my grandfather. As you may imagine, it all comes with complications I cannot even begin to tell.

The last 2 weeks has been an ordeal for all of us, probably more significantly to the third family because it is with them that he has finally settled down. He was rushed to the hospital because of a heart attack. It was his third, and it would be his last. For the past two heart attacks, it was mostly us, the first who was there for him, since most of his children in his 3rd family were in Dubai. But this time, my Aunt knew that this would be his last, so she contacted them and they flew in. Tears were shed of course and most of  his children were summoned to come and see his remaining days on earth. We, the grandchildren also visited. After all, I am probably one of the first grandchildren he has carried in his arms, so I wanted to pay my respects.

The first and the third family are probably the closest, because at some point we tried to co-exist. I can freely call my grandfather’s current wife “Lola” and their children, “Tita” or “Tito”. They’ve never shown any  ill feelings towards us, well not that they should because really, if there was anyone that was hurt the most, it’d be our side of the family, my Mom’s mom, my real Lola, who my Lolo is legally married to. My mother and her siblings had the bad experience of being with 2 stepmoms, being treated unfairly, and becoming household helpers of their “madrastas” the stepmoms. But now its all in the past. The children realize that the sins of the father should not be suffered by the children. Or so the first and third family believe because the second has vehemently denied reconciliation.

I don’t know why some cling desperately to pain. My Tita in the second family has always tried to bring up all the pain she had growing up; how she was robbed of her childhood, how my Lola in the third family thrust her face in mud once upon a time… But in the defense of my Lola(3rd) she deserved to be with my Lolo. She raised 4 good children and I had always felt her love whenever I visited, probably even greater than my blood-related Lola. And she had suffered the most in these past few months with my Lolo almost dying last January and then recovering, while she battled breast cancer herself. My Lolo flatlined twice in the hospital, and I can’t imagine what it must’ve been like for her and her children. Whatever evil she may have inflicted before, my Lola(3rd) has probably redeemed herself. And it doesn’t go without saying that the 2nd family was faultless. They actually made my mother and her siblings suffer the most, where they were deprived of food, education etc., even if they were the legal children.

Yesterday was my grandfather’s funeral and after the whole ordeal, I feel that we may have all become closer. With the exception of the 2nd, I felt we were actually FAMILY. It was comforting to see that we cried in each others’ arms. There was no 1st or 3rd family: we were all one family mourning the loss of one man, who was not at all perfect, but in the end reunited his children, his family. We are now going to have a reunion on Saturday, for my Lolo’s pa-siyam(9 days), taking advantage of the fact that my Tito and Titas in Dubai are here. Maybe this was his last act, to try to blur, if not erase the lines that divide the three families. And he may have actually succeeded.

Goodbye Lolo. May you Rest in Peace.