Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Taking Chances

I don't believe in three months rule. I don't believe in the one that got away. I believe in destiny.

Two months ago "love" and I broke up. When trust and honesty is compromised, you just have to let go.

And little did I know that cupid has another plan for me. He introduced me to a very nice and wonderful guy.

"Sir" as i fondly call him, and he refers to me as "Boss". I knew from the instant that I met him online that he is a nice guy. But we have been talking on and off thru viber. He would call me and we will be talking endlessly - about our life and dreams.

"Sir" is non-showbiz, that's how me and my friends refer a non-reactive guy. I started to like "Sir" - his sincerity, his kindness, and most of all, he knows what he wants in life and he knows what to do to get to where he wants to be. And so the big dilemma arises - to disclose or not.

We had dinner last night (October 29) and this is the first time that we will be meeting. I felt comfortable with him and I can say that he is too. And I knew that I have to make that one big decision - disclosure. And so I did. I told "Sir" everything. I laid my cards on the table, everything that he needs to know about me and my status. It wasn't easy. There is always that part of you that hesitates but you just have to be honest to someone that you like and to someone whom you want to share your life with.

And so I took the chance. I took that one big leap (not just a baby step). And he whole-heartedly accepted me, for who I am, for what I am and for what I am not. Every flaws and imperfection.

In life, we were given a lot of chances. The question is, are you willing to take it and how much risk can you take?

I took my chance. I am taking the risk. I know that it will not be easy, and I am willing to learn. Life is not about always being on the safe side. It is about taking a gamble. It is not about winning or loosing, it is who you are playing it with. And what's important is you are playing and getting along each other perfectly fine. It's standing beside that one person and both of you are looking at the same direction, looking forward on that journey. A long and bumpy one - and for as long as you are together, everything will be ok.

"Sir" will be leaving soon to pursue his dreams in a foreign land. It is part of the package. And I am willing to take it. That's another risk. And this is the first time I will be doing a long distance relationship. We will make it work. We will take this journey together.

This is another chance - on life and on love. And I gladly took the chance. Like what I have said in twitter before, say JUMP and I'll ask "How high?"

My dear brothers and imaginary readers, don't be afraid to take chances, don't be afraid to take risks, don't be afraid to get hurt. Learning and loving is not about being on the safe side. We grow by taking chances and learning from the experience.

Live. Laugh. Love. This is life.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hurray for 2day!

(Spare me, thoughts are incoherent probably due to Efav…)

May 21, 2013 exactly two years ago when I learned about my HIV status.  Today I celebrate my second “rebirth”-day.  I vaguely remember how scared I was when I learned about being HIV positive. All I can think of at that time was death.  Two years after, I proved myself wrong. Here I am, very much alive and kicking and in the pink of health.

Life has never been better. Left foot is now completely healed after the operation last June 2012.  In a month’s time, I will be done with the TB meds.  That would mean lesser pill to take.  A couple of months ago, I was able to disclose my status to my closest cousin.  Everything is falling into the right place.

It is not just my second rebirth, tomorrow Love and I will be celebrating our 3rd month of being together. And we are both looking forward to many more months and years of understanding, caring and loving each other.

But how do we really measure our life, regardless of our HIV status. I guess, nothing is more fitting than these lines from the theme song of one of my favorite movies:

How do we measure a year in a life?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.

Five Hundred Twenty Five Thousand journeys to plan.
How do you measure the life of a woman or man?
In truths that she learned,
Or in times that he cried.
In bridges he burned, or the way that she died.

Love is a gift from up above.
Share love, give love, spread love.
Measure your life in love.

Regardless of our HIV status, positive or negative.  Regardless if it is our rebirth or not, what’s important is how we treat others and how we live our lives.  I remembered saying this to a college friend: “I am not perfect, marami din sumama ang loob sa akin at nakatampuhan ko. Pero alam ko na mas marami ang iiyak pag nawala ako.”   We will only pass this earth once, whatever good we can do, we must do. However small our act is, we must try.  At the end of the day, at the end of it all, we will be judged not by what we have but what we have done and what we have become.  Let us strive to do more and give more.  

There’s only one gift that I would ask from our Creator now, to give me more healthy and fruitful years for me to be able to help and inspire others and to serve Him. 

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Love Actually

(Warning: Another long, boring read. Not for the weak of the heart.)

 When people ask me why am I still single (may itsura naman daw ako at mabait – ehem. Hahaha!) I would always smile and say, “Wala na akong puso, nalaglag kinain ng aso.”  Until one day during the love month I started tweeting and posting sweet nothings. People started asking if I have a partner already. This time I would give them a big smile and say, “May nakakita na ng asong kumain ng puso ko, naibalik na.”  Yes, dear friends and imaginary readers, Angel is officially taken and we have recently celebrated our second month together.

Here’s what happened how this Angel has found his new love:

One boring Saturday night during the love month, we met on Grindr (Yes, I have account in Grindr but we both deleted our account without even asking each other to).

It only took 5 days before we decided to be an “official’ couple. 

Since we met on a Sunday, until the wee hours of Friday, we start and end our day by hearing each other’s voice.

He gave me a surprise visit which led me to telling him all about myself and my HIV status.

Exact words: “Before we take our friendship any farther, I want to tell you something. And I want the basis of our friendship to be honesty and understanding. I don’t know how to start but I know that I have to tell you this to be fair with you.”

“In our lifetime, we commit mistakes that cannot be reversed. Sometimes it leaves a mark to constantly remind us of our wrong doing. Hindi ako perfect, I have something in me that you may or may not accept . I want you to know that I am HIV positive. I was diagnosed May 21, 2011 and has been on medication since July 30, 2011.”

And that moment of silence. He just held my hands and looked straight into my eyes.

“So what are you thinking? I want to know how you honestly feel about what I just told you.”

He held my hands tighter, looked into my eyes and said, “It’s ok. I like you and I don’t care about what you have in you. I know that I love you the moment I saw you.”

Tears started to fill my eyes. He just wiped it. 

“Ready ka na magkaroon ng pusit na partner?” He replied, “Hindi ka pusit, you are my love.”

And on Februaary 22, Angel is now officially partnered with a very sweet and understanding guy.

We see each other only on weekends.

We talk every day. I start the day by waking him up to prepare for work and he would end the day by calling me when we were both in bed already.

He has met my family – parents, sister and my cousin. 

I started to go to Alabang, usually on Friday to visit him. Especially if he can’t come home on a Friday because of work.

We both love to eat and have Milk Tea after.

We fondly call each other, Love.

He’s non-poz.

Yes, I am in a magnetic (positive-negative) relationship. Or some would say, Sero-discordant relationship.

The list could go on. What I am really trying to say is that, it is possible for an HIV positive guy to love and be loved. A lot of people now are more understanding of our situation.  When asked when is the right time to disclose about your status, you still have to weigh things and get to know your potential partner more. You’ll know when you are ready to tell and when he is ready to listen.

Remember that the key to any relationship is Honesty and Respect. You have to be Honest from the get go and Respect each other. If things will be on your favor then it would be nice. But if the potential partner is not ok and not yet ready to have an HIV positive partner, don’t be sad. Respect his decision. Don’t feel ill about him, maybe he is not just ready. And besides we all have our preferences. Do not pity yourself as well, in God’s perfect time the one meant for you will come. Meantime, you just have to enjoy and be at ease with yourself first.

Before going into any relationship, you have to ask yourself a lot of times if this is what you really want and if you really need one.  This is the common mistake not just for PLHIV but people in general. We exert effort to find our “one true love”, when we don’t actually need. We often mistake our longing for companion to longing for love. Remember, we were never love less. We maybe loverless but never loveless.

Being in a relationship or having a partner is not always the solution to the loneliness and depression. Sometimes we have to find a friend and who knows, the friendship will bloom into a more beautiful relationship.  Any good and lasting relationship starts with a good friendship.

I have waited for 9 loooong years. Yes, my last relationship was in 2004. I have dated a few guys once in a while but in went nowhere. I never lost hope and I never searched for one. And it came, unexpectedly. Just when I thought na tatanda akong dalaga (hahaha!) dumating si Love. 

I hope that my fellow poz, twitter friends and imaginary readers will never lose hope on love. And while waiting for the right one, enjoy time with yourself, your family and friends. 

Angel has found Love, actually. 

(Love is in the medical profession. Probably the reason why he understood my condition and has fully accepted me.)

A Quarter in the Year of the Snake

(Warning a long read.  You might get bored along the way.)

How are you my imaginary readers?  It’s been a while, I know I promised to write as much as I can but unfortunately, my new schedule at work eats up most of my time.  To those who know me personally, it’s no secret  that I have transferred and moved to a new unit/department in the company which requires me to move around the area.  Anyhow, after a long time of being quiet and a month long hiatus in twitter, I am glad to say that I am back.

A lot of things have happened during the first quarter of the year.  I remembered saying that 2013 is my year.  I claimed it and I think and I must say that so far, the odds are on my favor.

January – Natal Month:

A few days after we welcomed the New Year I turned 33. Before 2012 bid farewell, I said to myself that 33 on 2013 is my lucky year. And so I claimed it. I must say that I am in the pink of health and have never been to ER or visited my Doctor for any untoward incident other than my regular check up.

I have a post celebration of my birthday in Cebu and Bohol with my travel buddies – my Aunts.  Being away in the city for 4 days has helped me soul searched a bit and relaxed from the “hurly burly of the city life”. I remembered the first time I went to the Queen City of the South in 2007, I didn’t know my status yet.  And I must say, it doesn’t make any difference now. Except for the constant reminder of my phone to take my meds at 9am and 9pm.

While in Panglao, Bohol my aunt reminded me to secure my papers and work on my US Visa so we can plan our vacation. I was in awe, and didn’t know how to respond.  Part of me feels excited and a part of me feels sad because I am really half hearted about going to the Big Apple.  We have been talking about this US trip since our Beijing trip last year. And up to now, I have not worked on any single document that I need for the visa. Oh well, the big “American” vacation can wait.

On my birth month, I decided to be active in one of the advocacy groups that I am part of. I attended events and have met new friends.  It is also during one of the assemblies that I met someone who deeply expressed his feelings and showed affection for me.  Flowers, chocolates, cards, letters, regular visits.  What else can I ask for, all the while I thought that he is the one for me. But unfortunately, hindi pwedeng kilig at bait lang. You have to feel something special about the other person and you have to feel the “spark”.  Which unfortunately, I don’t have for the guy.

 February – Love Month

After countless years of celebrating Valentine’s Day alone, I get to spend it with someone this year.  Mr. Sweet Suitor paid me a visit and prepared dinner for me.  And not to mention the flowers and the chocolate that he gave me.  He even made a video of me with one of my favorite songs as the background. I am really speechless.

But, like what I’ve said earlier, hindi pwedeng puro bait at kilig lang. You have to feel something special for the other person. Yes he makes me smile, but I don’t think that it is enough for me to take our friendship to the next level.

A few days after telling Mr. Sweet Suitor that we’re better off as friends I accidentally met someone who has completely swept me off my feet and took my breath away ( I will be posting a different entry for this one).  And as of this writing, Angel and his hubby just celebrated their 2nd month together as a couple and we are working very hard to make it work and to make the relationship strong and to make it last .

After 9 loooong years of waiting and being single, I am proud to say that ANGEL is now officially partnered and very much happy with his hubby which he fondly calls, LOVE.

March – Dare. Care. Share.

As you all know, I am part of the advocacy group Love Yourself. On this month, TLY conducted mass testing for MSM (Men who have Sex with Men) in Victoria Court in Malate.  This is the first time that I have joined TLY’s  major event and to top it all, I was considered to head one of the committees for the said event.

Tiring and very fulfilling. I may not have done much of counseling or educating but I am happy that in my own little way, I was able to help the community through Love Yourself. 

Dare. Care. Share. Love Yourself.

So far, the first quarter of 2013 has been good to me. I was able to disclose to my closest cousin and she has fully accepted me without judgement and without question. And I am hoping and fervently praying that the good and wonderful blessings will continue throughout the year.  For now, I could not ask for more other than good health for me and my family and a significant increase in CD4 come May 7.