I miss


I need to come back to Baguio. There’s just something about the crowded city that comforts me.

I miss seeing the pine trees in Camp John Hay, eating strawberry taho in Mines View Park. I miss walking along Session Road, bumping into strangers, who like me, maybe lost in their own worlds as well.

I’ve been so busy with my life lately that when I pause and try to think of what has happened in my life so far, I can’t find the right words to answer. It’s like I’ve just made cluttered my ife with things, duties, adventures just to keep myself from feeling lonely. But that is what’s wrong with me. No matter how tired I am, I still manage to squeeze in a few minutes to reflect. A few minute to many for the sadness to kick in.

I miss Oh My Gulay, that despite having lackluster reviews from my parents and friends, still fills my sould with warmth and temporary joy. Because I feel like the whole place was made by someone inspired. I miss being inspired.

I miss Baguio’s run down charm, like the city can use a few refurbishing and updating here and there. But I like it just the way it is, because it shows all the history and the memories that the city holds dear.

I miss Chocolate de Batirol, its warm, think chocolate drink partnered with bibingka. I miss the joy we felt when we found the place and were warmly received by its owner, seated at the Kalayaan corner table.

But really, I miss Baguio because of all the memories I have in the city. I think I can say that I was the happiest guy alive when I first went there.

But I fucked up. I fucked up big time. And now, I’m trying to live my life and learn from my mistakes. I mean, what else should I do right?

I really want to go back to Baguio. If only to let myself relive the emotions, the happiness I felt back then. I miss being happy.

Tang ina, bakit ngayon pa ako nag-emo when I have a final paper to finish, two group reports to work on and a volunteer project happening on Sunday.

I miss you.



I’m just about ready to crash.

My body has been giving me signs that I really should take a few days off to recuperate and get back my strength byut I just cannot afford to.

Our office was mad busy last week for #APEC2015 and while the office is technically closed, there were some of us who were asked to go to work.

And then there’s graduate school. Two of my classes require a group integrated marketing campaigns and they are just really driving me nuts. It has been fun and I am really learning a lot, but the timing could have been better. I also have one last paper to submit in another class and I really do hope I get to finish it on time.

Lastly, I am one of the co-project head for a World AIDS Day event that the organization a volunteer for is holding on November 29. We are now on homestretch and unfortunately, a lot of things still need to be ironed out. I’m just lucky I have very hardworking committee heads who seem to have their calm, which I hope will rub off on me.

I haven’t been feeling well for almost two weeks now, what with all the cough and cold that I have but there’s just no room to rest for now. I just take comfort in the fact that in less than a month, I will be having a much-deserved two-week break from everything.

Here’s to hoping I make it alive by then.

Nearly 700 HIV and AIDS Cases Recorded in the Philippines in September 2015

As reported by Manila Bulletin, there were 692 reported cases of HIV incidences in September 2015, bringing the total number of cases to 6,000 for the year so far. The number is according to the HIV and AIDS Registry of the Philippines of the Department of Health.

Of the reported cases for the said month,  45 already progressed to AIDS. Majority (270) of the reported cases were from the National Capital Region. There were 128 reported cases from the Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon (CALABARZON) region, 60 in Central Luzon, and 38 in Davao Region.

Ninety six percent of the new cases were acquired through sexual transmission, with men who have sex with men (MSMs) accounted for 577 cases.

Non-profit organization LoveYourself offers FREE HIV testing in two of its clinics to all Filipinos with the aim of increasing awareness and education about HIV and AIDS. It also conducts programs to companies, schools and other organizations to further its cause. If you want to get tested, click here.

Halloween Masters Style

  Last night was my first time ever to dress up for Halloween. Our Integrated Marketing Communications professor gave us the theme “all black of your desired self.”

I decided to don the face of my lookalike James Reid complete with abs and wings, because you know, On the Wings of Love. Who wouldn’t want to be James Reid? My shallow reason was I wanted his abs. But really, my real reason was…nah, it really is just the abs.

Since starting my graduate education at the De La Salle University, I have gained more friends. To be honest, I didn’t expect ever gaining one during my stay. But they have been one of the major reasons why I am enjoying this adventure so far.

The night ended really badly but I’d rather not talk about it. Just enjoy our photos for now.


Photos courtesy of the Pharaoh and Ariana Grande aka Jordan Toledo and Nicole Rivera

Gay North Carolina high school football player was depressed despite ‘having it all’

Repost from OutSports

from Outsports

Student body president. Recruited football player. Loads of friends. Caring family.

Miserable. Coping with suicidal thoughts.

That was me in high school, the kid who appeared to have this life together, who seemed to have it all. Yet for most of it I was suffering through depression that robbed this seemingly happy kid of energy, productivity, and a quality of life I feel everyone deserves.

I was born and raised in a tiny town an hour west of Charlotte, N.C. My entire county has about 60,000 residents. Every fall is consumed by football, every spring by baseball and every Sunday by church. There’s only a handful of stop lights and you can almost guarantee you will run into someone you know just about every time you leave the house.

Having interests that didn’t include baseball or hunting in a farm town was at times difficult. I grew up competing in gymnastics, participating in my local theater and loving art class. I never quite fit the mold of every other guy my age around my home town, but with the encouragement of my parents I stuck with what I loved.

Eventually I literally grew out of gymnastics and took up club soccer. I played soccer competitively for several years before transitioning to high school varsity soccer as a freshmen. My eighth grade year I decided to play football with the intent of kicking, but didn’t make the cut as a kicker. I planned on not playing football in high school to focus more on soccer, but after hearing that a kicker was needed I reluctantly gave it another shot and made the cut. I kicked Junior Varsity my Freshmen year, and eventually was named Varsity Conference Kicker of the Year as a sophomore.

After realizing a lot of early success and talking to a few colleges about potential scholarships, I decided to focus on football my junior and senior years. While things couldn’t have been going better on the field, it was as an upper classman that I realized something wasn’t “clicking.”

While all my teammates were talking about girls in the locker room I couldn’t have been more uncomfortable. I had no interest in the topic whatsoever. As a high school boy, this was not the norm, and a few guys began to notice. Not knowing the answer myself, I denied many times having any interest in guys, but the denials weren’t enough to quiet the questions.

Harrison Wilkerson kick football

from Outsports

I dated girls as a way to further confirm my straight “cred” to the team… and frankly, to myself too. It worked for a while. At one point my sophomore season I had kicked game-winning field goals in two games, I had a girlfriend, and I had earned the respect of many teammates almost overnight. As things progressed in my relationships, unlike a lot of the guys who were bragging about who ‘had gone the furthest’ I once again couldn’t have been more uninterested. There was no emotional connection, much less a sexual connection, with my girlfriend. Through that season I slipped into the darkest time of my life: Deep down I knew I was gay, and there was nothing I could do about it. I wanted so badly to be straight, but I knew there was no more denying who I was.

Unknown to anyone at the time, I struggled daily with anxiety and severe depression. I wrestled privately with suicidal thoughts for months. Bullying and harassment increased at school. People in passing cars screamed homophobic slurs at me. At one point another vehicle literally ran me off the road. All of it was because I was coming out of my cocoon, finding the need to be my truth. Yet simply because I was different, life was becoming a living hell. Loneliness took hold.

Although all of those instances were scary, one of the darkest memories I have is sitting in my bedroom floor in the pitch black night crying out for God to please end my life. No one at school knew I was having these thoughts but they were all too real for me. The only way I can try and describe going through such a dark time is like being in a transparent box, under water. There are people on the surface but no one can here you scream for help as you sink deeper and deeper. On several occasions, I missed school, not because “I had a fever” but because the social anxiety was too much for me to take.

The days that I did go to school, I put on a smile and faked my happiness. On the inside I couldn’t have been more miserable. I would go home and lay in my bed from the time I walked through the door until the time I woke up the morning, simply because I was exhausted from faking who I really was all day. For whatever reason, I never felt like it was ok to be depressed. I saw it as almost taboo and for a long time refused to even call it depression. I felt alone because I was convinced no one felt like I did.

I found out later my very best friend was going through a similar battle with depression. At the time neither of us talked about it, but it just goes to show you are never alone.

This wasn’t in the Nineties. This wasn’t even four or five years ago. This was last year. In 2014, loneliness nearly took my life.

Before it was too late, my parents found out I was gay. They were shocked at first. Yet there was relief as well, to know why I was having such an obvious internal struggle. They showered me with love. Although at the time they didn’t completely understand it, I have never once questioned their love for me. I can’t thank them enough for this and will forever be grateful for the love and support they show me.

from Outsports

Eventually I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The day came when I was able to finally look myself in the mirror and say “I am gay.” I soon confided in one friend that I was in fact gay, like so many had suspected. From there my confidence grew. I began to tell my closest friends, then a few more. Eventually it became the worst-kept secret in town.

Without the help and love of my friends I know there is no way I would be here today. Being able to confide in a friend I trusted made the world of difference for me. The more people I told, the better I felt. The truth did set me free. I was finally able to live my life authentically. I discovered that being gay in no way at all defines me and is a very small part of my life. I am also a Christian, I am an athlete, I am a friend, I am a brother, I am a student. I am a list of other things that control my life so much more than being gay.

For a long time I have debated writing my story publicly. I don’t want to seem self-indulgent, or that I am sharing this for attention. However, I can’t live in fear any longer. I am willing to deal with people’s false assumptions if it means somewhere out there some kid knows it’s perfectly OK to not feel 100% all of the time. I am doing this piece because I can’t get another text, see another Facebook post, or read about another person in the news who ended their life because they had no one there for them.

We have to talk about mental health issues, the stigma that is associated with being depressed, or having anxiety, has to be eliminated. It is OK to be gay. This is literally a life or death issue. No you aren’t alone, and no you aren’t any different than the varsity football player who looks like he has it all together. We need to know that we are here for each other.

You are not alone.

“One More Chance” Sequel Hits Theaters November

As reported by ABS-CBN News, A Second Chance, the sequel to the ultimate Filipino hugot film One More Chance will be shown in theaters on November under Star Cinema.

The sequel follows the story of Popoy and Basha after they get married. In a teaser released a couple of months ago, Popoy and Basha were shown arguing about a range of issues, which even includes payment of an electric bill. That escalated quickly to Popoy opening up about his doubts of them getting back together.

A Second Chance stars John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo reprising their roles under the helm of director Cathy Garcia Molina, who also directed One More Chance.

Apple Watch Quick Review


I bought the 42mm Space Gray Aluminum watch with a black Sport Band (left) in the package. I bought the Midnight Blue (center) and Stone (right) Sport Bands separately at Php2,690 each.

The Philippines is a bit late in the Apple Watch game but I’m glad we finally have it here. I’ve had the Apple Watch Sport for two days now and while I’m still not used to all of its functions and gestures, I can say that I love it!

It sure packs a lot of functions for such a small size. I originally wanted to buy the 38mm one because it is cheaper but it proved to be too small for my liking. The 42mm Apple Watch Sport version is fits just right on my wrist.

What I was most afraid of was its battery life. Since it was launched, I’ve read a lot of reviews disappointed with its promised battery life and the need to recharge every night. While I was not concerned with the daily recharging, I wouldn’t want to wear a drained watch mid-day.

Thankfully, after two days of having it, the watch never drained out on me (not yet at least). And yesterday, after 16 hours since I last charged it, the battery still clocked in at 45%. I can say that I am very happy with it.

The Apple Watch is currently just available in the Philippines at Power Mac Center Greenbelt 3 and TriNoma. The 42mm Apple Watch Sport costs Php22,990.

Twitter Polls Now Available for All Users

I’ve only noticed this now but Twitter’s polling feature is now available for all its users. 

Clicking on the pie chart icon pops out the poll options, which takes up 14 from your 140 character-limit. 

You can put upto two choices with alotted 20 characters per choice.

It is interesting how users, especially brands and organizations, will take advantage of this new feature given that they are competing in a very fast-paced platform where your tweet can easily be buried in the timeline in a matter of seconds. 

Of course, there is the option of pinning it on the top of your page but honestly, I don’t know anyone who visits a specific Twitter profile page on a regular basis. 

How do you think users can effectively utilize Twitter’s new feature?

WATCH: Adele’s New Single “Hello”


Jennylyn Mercado may have very well found her niche in the movies. I have watched most of her films and before English Only, Please, I have recalled of her underutilized talent via Rosario, a Metro Manila Film Festival entry from a few years back.

She has won an award in English Only, Please. Now, I am no expert in the acting industry, but I felt like what sealed the deal for her was how natural she acted her character.

And that same thing happened in Regal Films’ latest romantic comedy film The PreNup, starring Mercado alongside Sam Milby and directed by Jun Robles Lana (who previously directed films such as Bwakaw and The Barber’s Tales).

The film showed a lot of promise in the first half of the movie and while its fast-paced plot may be faulted by some, but it was carried very well by the two lead actors.The PreNup

With the cinematic busy city of New York as the background, it actually felt natural how Mercado’s and Milby’s characters fell for each other.

Where the movie started feeling flat was when they went back to the Philippines for their wedding.

I got a feeling that the writers were so inspired writing the US part of the movie and came up with witty lines and banters between the two lead characters. And somehow, they left all that wit and creativity in the Big Apple. None of that snappy albeit cheesy lines were present in the latter part of the film. I even heard someone inside the cinema that the lines were baduy.

It also did not help that there were a lot of unnecessary comedic scenes. And unfortunately, most of them were not even funny. Jaclyn Jose as the stereotypical overprotective, rich mother of Milby and Melai Cantiveros as the jaded sister of Mercado were both over acting and it got annoying quite easily.

Mercado’s character was surrounded by gay characters, which could’ve been portrayed by more convincing actors. Most of the time, they were two stiff and “macho” (for the lack of a better term) for the supposedly type of gay men they portray that their acts came of as some sort of mockery.

The movie also fell to the formulaic ending of Filipino mainstream romcoms. And it felt like the director just wanted the film to end already, getting rid of at least the kilig a romcom movie is supposed to make its audience feel.

Indeed, the movies strongest trait is its lead actors, and thankfully, their performances were enough for the audience to enjoy the film overall.

Rating: ☆☆☆