the difference is crystal

by Evans Yonson

Barcelona – I’m back in the real world, for the meantime that is. It means that I am back to being celibate again. Being somewhere at some point in our lives can be a good thing and a bad thing at the same time, especially when it comes to sexual matters.

What differentiates permanent home from temporary home? Is there a clear cut difference between being in bed with a local and with a foreign national?

I spent summer 2009 in the Philippines. During my two-month stay, I really didn’t expect anyone to come along as it was more business than pleasure summer vacation. I was learning to be a sustainable farmer for four weeks. I was also teaching during the seven weekends that I was there. Sex was one of the last things in my mind as I plowed a farm lot barefooted with a water buffalo infront of me. But as destiny would have it, I met MJ. If Ferdinand Marcos and Imelda only had 11 days for their romance to blossom. Ours was less than that. It took me a little over 3 days and 2 nights to finally say that I’ve been plowed true and through.

When I came back to Barcelona after that, I downloaded an iPod application called Grindr. It’s a dating service application for those who have iPod, iPhone and Blackberrys. It’s almost like your online dating and chatting service except for its portability. When I started using this application, I have had several encounters thanks to my free internet connection at the university. After a few exchanges of personal stats and information, you get to choose: his court or yours.

In the Philippines, money talks when it comes to dating and mating guys. If you like one guy you have to go out of your way to spend for his food, drinking, and probably his apparel too. If the guy is the highly sociable type and very well connected then you have to spend for his friends too. If the guy sees that you have enough savings, he would prolong your agony and ask you to spend more. This is the guy’s way of measuring how determined you are in your pursuit for his love and affection. Love for most of the time is measured by the financial and material things that you shower and bestow upon the guy. It is simply too barbaric in this day and age.

In summer 2009, I “fell” in love with a younger Filipino guy during my summer visit. He was half my age but old enough to go for someone older like me. I mean no more parental consent needed. It was more than a whirlwind romance as I met him two weeks before flying back to Mother Spain. He was 21 years old then. Tall, well-built, and with a face that would make me the darling of Cagayan de Oro’s gaydom. My fanny pack was still full of euro that saving those never entered my mind that time. I just wanted to waste everything on this guy. When I flew back to Barcelona, I nearly promised him the moon and the stars but I only went for the monthly euro remittance. One time I missed sending him the promised amount and he went berserk online. Cussing and swearing. But he came to his senses and reasoned out with me.

“Hon, please send me some amount this week,” he sweetly said.

“I’m sorry but I only have enough for myself to last this weekend,” I replied.

“Oh, but the euro exchange rate now is very high,” he declared.

I was surprised and asked him, “how did you know?”

I waited for his reply to appear on my monitor. It took awhile then something popped up.

A website link.

“That’s the link where I got the exchange rate,” he typed.

This caught me by surprise that I went offline immediately.

Beyond the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the outlook is totally different. Well for those who are not into Philippine nationals in foreign shores, this is a welcome remark. Encounters are entirely different. I like you and you like me. Let’s burn my/your bed tonight. I like you but you don’t like me then life goes on without you. I don’t like you but you like me then that makes the crème de la crème. Kidding aside, most foreigners are candid and direct about their feelings. This is what most Filipino gays find quite discomforting because they couldn’t directly tell the other guy what they are feeling. In the same manner that they couldn’t fathom the idea of rejection. Rejection is all natural beyond the Philippine shores. It’s like changing underwear. Easy come. Easy go. They still act as if they never left the brown land.

Surely there is a big difference between being home with a guy in your homeland and being in bed with a foreigner overseas. There are many success stories of my friends who have met their match and happiness with a nonnative. Although I have respects for my friends in the Philippines who still shell out for anything that his partner wants and needs, but what I couldn’t understand is that the Filipino gay psyche has never exalted itself into a non-financial entity.

It is still the economics issue. I have money and I can buy you. The guy would think, “I have the goods and you must spend for it.” With the ever increasing gay population in the Philippines, prices of men (food, drinks, clothes and what-have-you) have steadily increased.

Selling to the highest bidder now. Whatever it takes.