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KUNTENTO: (COUNTER) NARRATIVES OF IDENTITIES OF LOLAS

AT HOME FOR THE GOLDEN GAYS

CLINTON CASTILLO RONQUILLO

SUBMITTED TO THE FACULTY OF THE


COLLEGE OF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNICATION
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES LOS BAOS
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE

DEGREE OF

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNICATION


(Community Broadcasting)

JUNE 2015

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ACKNOWLEDGMENT

This journey towards understanding the narratives of elderly gays would not have been
possible without the invaluable support from the people who constitute my story, the elderly
gays story, and our story as a society.

To the Almighty Father -- You gave me the opportunity to embark on this journey. Thank
you for this wonderful life; for without it, I would not have been able to uncover the beauty
and meaning of our stories of existence. Allow me to write the rest of the chapters of my life
story in Your glory.

To my Family You treated me like your own biological son; you accepted me for what I
am. Thank you Papa Junior for your unconditional love and unrelenting support. I just wish
you are still here. Mama Ces, I know how difficult life has been especially when papa left
us. But thank you for being such as strong woman; for being my strength in times I need it
the most. Ading Eping, thank you for the joy you always share with our family.

To Dr. Pam Custodio I am fortunate to have an adviser whose passion and expertise
served as my motivation in pursuing this research. Thank you very much, Maam for putting
up with me in this challenging yet truly worthwhile journey. Thank you for challenging me
to seek answers to questions which, at the onset, seemed unanswerable. I will forever
treasure the invaluable life lessons I have learned from working with you.

To my Devcom Professors Maam Melds, Maam Lynette, and Sir Wini, thank you for
opening your doors for consultation. The insightful discussions we had really helped me
understand the path I chose to take. Maam Tattie and sir Chico, thank you for listening to
my stories; for constantly telling me to never lose hope.
.

To my orgmates at The Parliament: UPLB Debate Society I am thankful for your support
in all my endeavors. Mary and Kelly, thank you for your sisterly support. I will surely
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miss our thesis moments at Moonleaf. Jacob and Brigette, thanks for keeping me sane
especially when I was writing the last two chapters. Joel,Albert,and kuya Alec, thanks for
responding positively to my requests and favors. Mama Joan, thank you for rescuing me
always even if youre miles away. Ninong Milky, Gino, Kuya Marq, Kuya Jake, Ate
Jestine, Kuya Luis, Kuya Josh, Ate Kim, and the other alumni and residents: Thank you
for always believing in me. Lodigario and Ian, thanks for patiently answering all my
questions despite your busy schedule.

To dearest Pamsters Getting through this wouldnt have been possible without your
companionship. Truly, we were all in this together. Kath, Ian, Telay, Nicu, and ate Pat:
your words of encouragement kept me going.

To my college friends Pao, Jara, Kaye, Charm, Nadya, Tal, Jums, Kenneth, Charles,
Aaron, and kuya Wowie: Thanks for staying with me through thick and thin. On to greater
heights!

And finally, to lolas Zen, Nancy, and Beth Its truly a privilege to have heard your stories
and share it with others through this research. Others may continue to discount your stories
but I assure you that I will never stop telling the world that these stories exist and that they
also matter.

Mabbalat!

CLINTON

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER
Title Page
Acceptance Sheet
Acknowledgment
Table of Contents
List of Figures
List of Appendices
Abstract

PAGE
i
ii
iii
v
vii
viii
ix

INTRODUCTION
The Research Interest
Situating the Study Under the Umbrella of Communication
Ontological and Epistemological Assumptions
Devcom and Issues of the Elderly
Research Questions
Research Objectives
Scope and Delimitations of the Study
Narrative Vulnerability

1
2
5
8
10
13
13
13
14

II

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE


Rise of Gay Movement
Gay Movement in the Philippines
Sexuality in Communication Studies
Gay Research in the Third World
Aging and Gay Aging Studies
LGBT Visibility in Research Field
Theoretical Underpinnings of the Study
On Narratives
Narratives and Identity
On Metanarratives and counter stories
Foundations of Queer Theory

17
17
17
21
24
26
29
30
30
34
35
36

III

METHODOLOGY
The Qualitative Lens
On Narrative Inquiry
The Research Instrument
As a bricoleur
As a Devcom student
As a young gay
On Qualitative and Narrative Interviewing

40
40
41
43
43
44
45
45

The Research Participants


Research Ethics
Before Conversations
During Conversations
After Conversations
Analysis and Interpretation of Stories
First Cycle Method
Second Cycle Method

47
49
50
55
57
57
58
59

IV

FINDINGS, ANALYSIS, AND INTERPRETATION


Bulaklak, Manika, at Pagbirit: Growing up as gay
Dalagang dalaga: As an adult gay
Golden gays: Golden years and beyond
Narrative Identities in different Narrative Episodes
Gustung gusto: As young gays
Malayang Malaya: As adult gays
Kuntento: As elderly gays
The Meanings of Being Old and Gay
Being madiskarte
Being compassionate
Being faithful to God
Being dependent
The Meanings in the Narrative Structure
Uncovering the Central Meaning of Being Old and Gay
Golden Gays Stories as Counternarratives

61
63
70
75
89
89
91
93
95
96
98
100
104
106
106
111

SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS


Summary
Conclusions
Recommendations

120
120
140
146

LIST OF LITERATURE CITED

150

APPENDICES

153

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LIST OF FIGURES

Figure

Page

Gustong gusto: Beginning, middle, aand temporary end of their


stories as young gays

91

Malayang malaya: Beginning, middle, aand temporary end of their


stories as adult gays

93

Kuntento: Beginning, middle, and temporary end of their stories as


elderly gays

95

Dominant story and counterstory on gay aging experience

116

Dominant narrative and counter story on religion and


homosexuality

119

Conceptual relations of the narrative of kuntento

138

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LIST OF APPENDICES

Appendix

Page

Interview Transcripts

153

Request Letter to HGG President

239

Consent form

241

ABSTRACT
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RONQUILLO, CLINTON C. University of the Philippines Los Baos. July 2015.


Kuntento: (Counter) Narratives of Identities of Lolas at Home for the Golden Gays

Adviser: Prof. Pamela A. Custodio

The experiences of the researcher as a homosexual alongside his gender identity


greatly contributed to the birth of this narrative study on the lives of elderly gays at Home for
the Golden Gays. Using the principles of narrative inquiry and the foundations of Queer
Theory, this study explored how identities of elderly gays were shaped and damaged by
narratives.
In an effort to uncover the meanings of the narrative identities of elderly gays, this
study generally aimed to represent narrative identities constituted in the narratives of selected
members of the Home for the Golden Gays. Its specific objectives were to: 1) narrate their
stories as they age as homosexuals; 2) surface identities constituted in their narratives of
gayness; and 3) find multiple counterstories, if any, in their narratives.
Through purposive sampling, three elderly gays from the Home for the Golden Gays,
Inc. aged 60-75, were chosen to participate in the narrative interview. The interviews were
transcribed and analysed in three levels namely In Vivo, axial, and theoretical coding.
The narrative identities of elderly gays include being madiskarte, compassionate,
faithful in God, and dependent. Furthermore, the participants stories of a happy elderly life

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and their relationship with God were found to be counter narratives to the dominant narrative
on aging.
In conclusion, their stories present a journey of self-discovery of their identities,
displacement, and free expression of their gender identitiesall leading to the core
meaning of their identities: being kuntento (contented). This central meaning is also the
counter narrative to the lonely narrative of gay aging.
Further studies may be conducted involving gays who do not belong to any aging
institution. Moreover, it is recommended that development communication should also
include the LGBT sector in its discourse on gender and development.

Key words: Queer Theory, narrative research, elderly gays, counter narrative, homosexuals

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

indeed, narrative starts with the very history of mankind; there is not,
there has never been anywhere, any people without narrative; all classes, all human groups,
have their stories, and very often those stories are enjoyed by men of different and opposite
cultural backgrounds. (Barthes, 1975)

I begin this first chapter with a quote above which succinctly describes the ubiquity of
narrative and its power to transcend borders and to permeate every aspect of human life. On a
daily basis, we report to others events that may be significant or not. This reporting of events
leads to the creation of stories of human experience and consequently of a variety of narratives.
The path to inquiry on human experience starts with people re-creating their stories. As
Clandinin and Huber (in press) put it, these lived and told stories and the talk about the stories
are one of that ways that we fill our world with meaning and enlist one anothers assistance in
building lives and communities. Stories of our identities, experiences, and the meanings of our
experiences are all embedded in narrative form. Narratives are who we are as individuals and as
a society. They are not just the means by which our identities are communicated; narratives serve
as the foundation of human societies. It is this foundation which development communication
attempts to strengthen so as to achieve the speedy transformation of a country (Quebral, 1971).
Narratives are indispensable tools of devcom in empowering marginalized groups as they reflect
and represent their identities and experiences which have been trivialized, if not, unheard.

It is through this research that I seek to let a specific group of people narrate their stories
of who they are and eventually create narratives from their accounts. In this undertaking, I
recognize the centrality of communication in surfacing and understanding elderly gay identities.

It echoes Coover and Murphys (2000) view of communication as integral to the on-going
negotiation of the self, a process during which individuals are defined by others as they, in turn,
define and redefine themselves (p.25).
In this chapter, I present first my research interest which includes my gay story so as to
establish a personal connection with people of the same gender as mine. I also explain the
practical and social justifications. Then, I lay out the assumptions and theoretical underpinnings
of this study, and the research questions and objectives.

My Research Interest
Clandinin & Huber (in press) enumerate several layers of justification in carrying out a
narrative inquiry namely: personal, practical and social justification. Personal justification
includes a discussion of my personal experiences, values, and curiosities that led me to this
research. The practical justification considers possibility of shifting or changing practice in the
field of aging research in the Philippines particularly on the inclusion of sexual minorities in
aging studies. Lastly, the social justification comes in two levels: theoretical and social action.
The former looks at the potential of generating a methodological and disciplinary knowledge
whereas the latter includes a justification on the social value of the research. Simply put, social
justification seeks to answer the questions of so what and who cares. The practical justification
can be included as part of the larger social justification. Hence, I combine practical and social
justifications because of the link between the two in terms of answering the so what and who
cares questions.

Personal Justification
In qualitative research, it is necessary for the researcher to discuss his or her justification
for pursuing the desired research as this provides a background of where the researcher is
coming from. At every point of the research process, my motivations and justification highly
shape the formulation of research questions and the analysis of the narrative data. As Malterud
(2001) note, a researchers background and position will affect what they choose to investigate,

the angle of investigation, the methods judged most adequate for this purpose, the findings
considered most appropriate, and the framing and communication of conclusions (p.483-484).
As such, I discuss below my personal reasons for conducting this research.

Several years ago, I realized that my identity is outside the gender categories that society
prescribes. As early as 6 years old, I already knew that I am a female trapped in males body. I
badly wanted to be like a woman. I imitated their actions, gestures, manner of speaking and
dressing. However, I only expressed my femininity in school, a public space distant from my
parents.

At home, I had to perform the other side of my identity. I was expected to be


masculine. As a child who grew up without the presence of my biological father, I was raised
and disciplined not only by my mother but my uncles who are bigots. I learned from them that
showing signs of femininity was tantamount to being weak and consequently, to being gay. I had
no choice but to follow them, else I might be condemned. And the fear remains.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of my story as a young gay. I have yet to enter a world
full of opportunities as well as threats to the expression of my gay identity. Clearly, only when I
grow old that I will be able to reflect upon my life story and experiences of being gay and
ultimately have a more complete picture of gay life. This brings us to the questions that most
gays are asked about: Who will take care of you when you grow old? Dont you fear about your
future? At some point in my gay life, I pondered on these questions. Honestly, I was afraid
growing up alone. Or there is this fear that I might be seen as sexual predator or a desperate gay
who pays boys in exchange for sexual gratification.

These what-ifs have to be validated by the gays who are aging. Their experiences can
somehow give us a glimpse of where we will be, three to four decades from now. This research
stemmed out from my inquisitiveness as well as my personal interest to study their experiences,
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to write their stories, and to expose realities which the golden gays confront every day. Behind
this task lies my assumptions that firstly, we might have common gay experiences and secondly,
their experiences are highly shaped by their gender identity and age. I consider our common
ground, having the same gender identity, as an advantage in terms of establishing rapport and
sustaining connections with them. This common ground was also one of the determining factors
why I chose to embark on this study.

Social and Practical Justification


Beyond my personal interest, I also considered the social justification of this study.
Clandinin and Huber (in press) emphasize the need to answer questions of so what and who
cares in a social justification. Thus, I consider this study as a form of responsibility and
commitment to the values that development communication espouses, specifically on individual
empowerment. I have always considered our group, LGBT sector, as one of the vulnerable and
marginalized sectors in our society. This means therefore that our bias towards the poor and the
marginalized should be expanded to the sector of sexual minorities as well. Through the lens of
development communicator, this research seeks to look at the plight of the elderly gay sector
specifically their communicative experiences and more importantly, to let their stories breath and
be visible in public discourse. This is in parallel with one of the Es of development
communication which is to empower the marginalized. I argue that letting them tell their stories
which have been ignored in devcom field is empowering in itself. The process of telling their
stories helps them reconstruct their identities. Their stories can provide us a better understanding
of their plight. It is through their stories where their needs and interests are revealed. This would
help us develop the most appropriate communicate initiative targeted towards their sector.

The first task then is to reach them out, listen to their stories, and let their stories be told.
Grand it may sound but I consider this research as the first step in this seemingly grand goal.
This can be add to our body of disciplinary knowledge particularly in the field of development
communication. Going back to the discipline of devcom, it has always been distinct in its thrust
on empowering the marginalized through communication. On the issue of gender equality, much
4

of the focus of devcom research centered on men and women only. This research then is an
attempt to make the LGBT sector, particularly the elderly gays, visible in the field of devcom.

So what and more importantly, who cares? Sexual minorities like the elderly gays also
deserve the same level of visibility in the sphere of knowledge creation. Their absence and
invisibility sustains the type of knowledge that privileges the hetero and excludes the homo. It is
then crucial for the elderly gays to to make their stories known and analyzed using a devcom
lens. It can be used as a basis in the formulation of policies and program for the elderly as well as
developing it so as to further our understanding on gay aging experience. It is no longer a
question of who cares but I argue that it should be why and how we should care. The latter
emphasizes how development communication can offer tools and means by which empowerment
can be made possible.

Situating the Study under the Umbrella of Communication


The realizations which pushed me to locate my interest on elderly gays posted various
challenges and tasks. Whose story of elderly gay experience should I listen to? Whose
experience is representative of the groups experience in general? Are they really marginalized?
How should I write their stories and maintain its authenticity? These questions allowed me to
reflect and find the angle that I should take. I consulted Baxter and Babbies (2003) book which
we consider as our bible in our DEVC 197 class. I felt that I cannot quantify their experiences
nor make generalizations about them. I am more enticed by the assumptions and premises of
qualitative research in that it matches my personal belief that life is a subjective experience; thus,
every dimension of it is experienced differently by individuals.

The study as a Narrative Inquiry


Given this task of exploring storied experiences of elderly gays, I considered narrative
inquiry as a tool in understanding their experiences. The epistemological assumption of narrative
inquiry lies on the idea that we as human beings make sense of random experience by the
5

imposition of the story structures. That is, we select those elements of experience to which we
will attend, and we patterns those chosen elements in ways that reflect the stories available to us
(Bell, 2002, p.207).

The experiences which I seek to understand can therefore be communicated in a narrative


form which has the power to capture experiences and identify meanings that are embedded in
them. Furthermore, it is crucial to understand that narrative inquiry lies on the epistemological
assumption that we as human beings make sense of random experience by the imposition of
story structures (Bell, 2002, p.207).

Narratives are structured texts such that events are selected, organized, connected, and
evaluated as meaningful for a particular audience (Riessman & Speedy, 2007, p.430). This
gives us two important implications. Firstly, this implies that the storyteller is active in the
process of selecting segments of story that should be told and kept. Individuals tend to tell stories
which support their identity and keep stories that undermine the identities they currently claim
(Duff, 2002, 139). Secondly, it also means that the way they structure and tell their stories also
gives us an idea of the events they consider meaningful or significant in the creation of their
identities. In a nutshell, meanings are not merely extracted from the words an individual uses but
they are also found in ways events in a story are structured and re-constructed. Meanings are not
just found in words but are also found in the way we tell stories of our experience.

Beyond the meanings we attach to our experiences, narratives also give us a broader
understanding of the narratives beyond the self---social, cultural, and institutional narratives
within which individuals experiences were constituted, shaped, expressed, and enacted
(Clandinin, 2009, p.42). This means that the texts created from this research represents both the
individuals story and societys story in general. The stories which I shall narrate later are also
stories of social groups and institutions that shaped and has been shaping elderly gay identities.

The study in the Critical Tradition


Furthermore, this narrative inquiry is grounded on the premises of the Critical tradition.
The stories of the lolas1 are not simply stories of human experience; they are also stories of
discrimination, oppression, and subjugation. It is within this sphere of power imbalance where
communication takes its role both as a tool of the oppressor and the oppressed. In this research,
stories and narratives are used as mechanisms to sustain the power structures which privilege
some and disenfranchises others. Moreover, narratives also have the power to liberate the
oppressed and exercise their moral agency through the act of storytelling where their stories can
be heard and be juxtaposed with the dominant narratives.

It is the critical nature of these narratives which posit this study under the critical
tradition. Among other traditions, Craig (1999) marks the distinction of critical tradition as it
challenges the naturalness of the social order and questions the rational validity, tradition, and
conventional belief, including traditional beliefs about the nature of reason itself, which, it
claims, have distorted reason in the service of capitalism, racism, and patriarchy (p.147). The
narratives in this study seek then to challenge the naturalness of the social order which in this
case, is heteronormativity or the ideology that only the hetero is normal and therefore should be
given privileges. This distortion of reason happens when we exclude other gender identities in
our tradition, conventional belief, and forms of knowledge. In this research, this exclusion is
apparent in the form of metanarratives.

Exlusion, marginalization, oppression, privilege, and power are some of the words
associated to the critical tradition. We all come to know and experience all of these through
communicative forces. It is within the realm of critical tradition, therefore, to expose these
experiences and let the oppressed be emancipated from the traps of modernist knowledge. This
goal is shared by different strands of critical tradition such as Marxism, Frankurt School of
Critical Theory, postmodernism, cultural studies, poststructuralism, postcolonialism, and

Gay speak which refers to old gays

feminist studies. These branches share three fundamental assumptions (Littlejohn & Foss, 2005)
that focus on power systems, exposing oppressive conditions; and theory and action.

Guided by these assumptions of the critical tradition, I am to focus then on the ideologies
embedded in dominant narratives which serve the interests of the hetero; on the conditions of the
elderly gays as manifested in their stories; and on the ways metanarratives are sustained and
normalized. All of these shall be done using the lens of communication which entails finding the
narrative of oppression and using narratives to liberate the oppressed. It re-echoes the nature of
communication as constitutive, going beyond the sender-and-receiver relationship but seeing its
ability to mold our understanding of the world and to construct identities and social relationships.
Our understanding alongside our beliefs, worldviews, principles, and identities are all made
known through narratives.

Ontological and epistemological assumptions


In a qualitative research, it is crucial for the researcher to identity philosophical
assumptions that hold the qualitative inquiry. The assumptions include ontology or the position
of the researcher with respect to the nature of reality; epistemology or the ways by which
knowledge is known; and worldviews or ones basic set of beliefs that guide action (Guba,
1990 as cited in Creswell, 2007), among others. These assumptions are all encapsulated in a
paradigm or an interpretive framework (Denzin & Lincoln, 2003).

In search for the elderly gay identity, I am guided by the social constructivism paradigm
which emphasizes the need for understanding of multiple meanings attached to individual
experiences. It assumes that these subjective meanings are negotiated socially and historically
(Creswell, 2014). Simply put, the meanings are products of social interaction alongside historical
and cultural influences. In this research, the multiple elderly gay identities are assumed to have
been constructed and re-constructed by the interaction and relationship of elderly gays with their
families, gay friends, and the larger society.

As cited in Creswell (2014), Crotty (1998) offers key aspects of social constructivism.
1. Human beings are constantly involved in the process of meaning-making as they
engage with the world they are interpreting. The use of open-ended questions
allows the participants to tell their stories and experiences.
2. Our understanding of the world and reality is largely shaped by historical and
cultural forces. Given this, the context where their stories operate and are grounded
should be understood by the researcher by interacting with the participants in the
field. The data gathered is then interpreted in a manner where the researchers
experiences are brought to the study.
3. Meanings are constructed not just within the self but in our daily interaction with
others. The process of qualitative research is largely inductive; the inquirer
generates meaning from the data collected in the field.

Further, this research shall take on the ontological stance which asserts that reality can
be understood, but only as constructed historically and connected to power (Guba & Lincoln,
1994, p.105). Further, it sees reality as apprehendable and is influenced by several factors
social, political, economic, and genderwhich make this reality natural and stable. It is this
assumed natural and stable reality which the critical tradition and Queer Theory seek to
destabilize.

This qualitative inquiry takes on the subjectivist epistemology which recognizes the
collaborative relationship of the researcher and the researched in the understanding the meanings
of experience. This implies that I can explore and understand these multiple realities by visiting
their places or sites where the stories are told. It is through this collaborative process in the
field where their stories are given context. This involves the process of being close with the
lolas. Visiting their tambayan and witnessing them compete in a beauty pageant gave me the
opportunity to know more about them. As Creswell (2007) put it, as the researcher stays longer
in the field, the more they know what they know from firsthand information.

Devcom and Issues of the Elderly Gays


Where are gays specifically elderly gays in the sphere of development communication?
Are they even being studied in the field of devcom? Who are the minorities and marginalized in
the eyes of a development communication researcher? Much of the studies have focused on
women, farmers, children, and persons with disabilities. This is a limited pool of the
marginalized and the minority which devcom research gives premium on.

As a discipline that seeks to empower every sector of the society, the scope of research
participants should be extended to sexual minorities too. In this study, gays are already
marginalized but they become even more marginalized when they grow old. This should also be
an area of concern in the field of devcom if we banner that we give voices to the marginalized
and the poor.

But how exactly are the elderly gays marginalized? The lack of survey data on the
number of elderly gays in the country hinders government agencies from crafting sensitive and
LGBT-inclusive policies. In the conduct of surveys, consultations, and representation of the
aging population in general, elderly gays are out of the picture. Consequently, the laws that the
country has specifically The Expanded Senior Citizens Act or R.A 9994 does not take into
account the special needs of elderly gays in terms of the provision of health care services and
conducive environment free from gay bashing and violence.

The limited analysis and understanding of their plight translates to state policies that are
not targetive of their needs. For instance, most of these gays lack social support structure that is
vital in the process of aging. The current social welfare system for elderly gays classify them in
groups of male and female, discounting their gender identities as gays. A study by Motilla
(2004) show that they instead form groups and circles like Home for the Golden Gays, the only
aging institution exclusive for elderly gays in the Philippines, for social support. Hence, a
devcom study is necessary to address their aging issues and concerns by giving them a voice and

10

letting them be heard through their narratives. Also, aging study still does not find it place in the
realm of devcom.

Furthermore, the elderly gays face the pang of discrimination every day. LGBTs in
general are still stereotyped, viewed with prejudice, and discriminated against in the country
(Austria, 2013). It is not just a matter of gay bashing or when gays are being called salot sa
lipunan (social malady). It becomes more harmful when homophobic attitudes and hatred
towards them translate into actions that abrogate their fundamental human rights. OFlaherty &
Fisher (2008) observe that homosexuals are vulnerable to human rights violation. They discussed
that:
These human rights violations take many forms, from denials of the rights to life,
freedom from torture, and security of the person, to discrimination in accessing
economic, social and cultural rights such as health, housing, education and the right
to work, from non-recognition of personal and family relationships to pervasive
interferences with personal dignity, suppression of diverse sexual identities, attempts
to impose heterosexual norms, and pressure to remain silent and invisible. (p.57)

These forms of human rights abuse should not be trivialized because these have
consequences in individual welfare. Human rights abuse towards gays impedes their ability to
achieve a quality and dignified life which every individual deserves regardless of ones gender.
Cases on this are usually not reported and if ever they are, the public and policymakers do not
bother to investigate about it and carry out appropriate measures. This can be attributed to the
strong influence of anti-gay religious forces in the decision-making process especially in a
Catholic nation like the Philippines (Bernstein, 2002).

We are always taught that development communication aims to empower the


marginalized but empowerment is indeed a grand term. It is imperative to crystallize how exactly
development communication research empowers them. This study seeks to re-echo devcoms
meaningful contribution to the efforts of a developing country in a struggle against the socioeconomic drawbacks (Habermann & Fontgalland, 1978).
11

Poverty, being multidimensional as Quebral (2012) describes in the revised definition of


development communication, is also experienced by the elderly gays. In the new definition,
Quebral (2012) defines development communication as the science of human communication
linked to the transitioning of communities from poverty in all its forms to a dynamic, overall
growth that fosters equity and the unfolding of individual potential.

It is not just about the lack of economic wealth but the denial of and inaccessibility to
socio-political and cultural rights that allow individuals to assert their identities. This form of
disempowerment can stem from the invisibility of elderly gays in aging studies in the Philippines
as well as in other forms of discourse. Poverty can also be interpreted as the lack of
communicative channels where stories of experiences can be relayed and exposed. Development
communication has always emphasized the importance of conducting needs analysis of the
audience before any form of intervention takes place. This research then can also be considered
as a type of needs analysis where the needs and wants can be extracted from their stories of
experience. Further, it is also an attempt to make their stories counteract narratives that trivialize
the gay experience which often results to lack of understanding or misrepresentation of gay aging
experience.

I embark on this study not for selfish interest but for the interest of the aging gay
community which has long been oppressed by heteronormative structures embedded in a
patriarchal society. Through the exploration of the unheard stories of elderly gays whose
identities witnessed significant events that transpired in the Philippine history, it is hoped that
this will contribute to our understanding of gay aging experience in the Philippine context.

12

EMERGENT RESEARCH QUESTIONS


Given the double marginalization of elderly gays in the Philippines, I wanted to ask this
main question: What are the narrative identities constituted in the narratives of selected members
of the Home for the Golden Gays, or simply, what does being old and gay mean?
Specifically, I sought to answer the following:
(1) what are their stories of gayness as they age through time?;
(2) what identities emerge out of their narratives of gayness?; and
(3) what are the counterstories found in their narratives?

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
Generally, my study sought to represent narrative identities constituted in the narratives of
selected members of the Home for the Golden Gays. Specifically, I aimed to:
1. narrate their stories as they age as homosexuals;
2. surface identities constituted in their narratives of gayness; and
3. find multiple counterstories, if any, in their narratives.

SCOPE AND DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY

This study delves into the storied experiences of selected elderly gays who are members
of the Home for the Golden Gays, Inc. I aim to explore their gay accounts across time and how
social, cultural, institutional, and other factors contributed to the creation of their identities.
These stories include how they realize (and felt) that they were gay, what the repercussions of
this self-realization were, how their social environment supports or constraints their expression
of their gender, and how these events affected their aging experience.

13

Further, the study also seeks to give a fresh perspective on LGBT research as it shares the
research process with the elderly gays who are the least studied group within the gay spectrum.
Although it also covers the coming out stories of the lolas, this study zeroes in on the link of
these stories to the re-creation of their narrative identities.

The stories that I shall present are accounts of selected elderly gays within an institution.
They are stories of Lola Zen, Lola Beth, and Lola Nancy from Home for the Golden Gays
(HGG). These three lolas are the most accessible in the course of gathering data. Other accounts
of lolas in HGG are not explored given their inaccessibility. They moved to different places
after being displaced from their house in Pasay. Thus, it was difficult to convene all of them.
I recognize that aside from the fact that these stories cannot be used to generalize the
elderly gay population, there can also be a different story of elderly gays who are not members of
Home for the Golden Gays. Also, I am aware that homosexuality lies in a spectrum which means
that there are also gays who are not as flamboyant as my participants. This study only covers the
stories of the lolas who identify themselves as gays and women and are also flamboyant.

Narrative Vulnerability
In conducting narrative research, narrative vulnerability is a primary consideration as the
extensive use of individuals storiesclearly renders participants more vulnerable to exposure
than qualitative studies do (Chase, 1996, as cited in Josselson, 1996, p.46). I recognize, as a
researcher, that the stories shared with me are highly personal and private. Hence, I took into
account the interests of my participants by giving them space where they can freely share their
experiences. I did not push them to discuss in detail some stories which they just foreshadowed.
For instance, I noticed that my participants would skip certain period in narrating their life
experiences. In as much as I wanted to delve deeper into those chapters, it was clear to me that
they might be either confidential or less significant. There were also instances that they freely
shared their sex experiences with me but they advised me not to include it in my research.
Further, since these are personal stories that will be for public consumption, I made sure that
their real names are not revealed as stated in the consent form.

Keeping their identities


14

anonymous helped in ensuring the safety of my participants. This is in line with research ethics
that forward balancing research interests and rights of the participants.
In dealing with narrative vulnerability, it was crucial for me take into account my
interpretive authority in the interpretation of the narrative texts. I again asked myself: Whose
story am I writing? As the research progressed, it became our story as my beliefs, emotions, and
life experiences as gays were brought to the study. Josselson (2007) further explains this
reflexive hermeneutic stance in narrative research:
When we listen to anothers story, our intention is to bring our own interpretation to
the material. Even if we ask our participants to corroborate our interpretation, it is
still our interpretive framework that structures understanding. As with any work, each
observer interprets from his or her own meaning-making horizon (xii).

In order to mitigate the danger of misrepresenting their lives in the interpretation process,
I provided my participants a copy of the summary of their life stories for validation. I asked them
to review their stories and notify me for events to be edited, deleted, or added. Moreover, prior
conducting every interview, we review their stories as told in the previous session. This allowed
them to correct and modify some episodes in their lives which I may have misconstrued. This is
the extent of their participation in the interpretation of the narrative texts.

The rest of the interpretive task was left to me. Having assumed the interpretive authority
and responsibility, the interpretation of stories I gathered and consequently, the meanings of
being old and gay were limited to my understanding and experiences as a young gay researcher.
In addition, the narrative identities surfaced are only reflective of the experiences of selected
elderly gays at a specific period in their lives. Because narratives are ever-changing and
dynamic, their narrative identities may change as they live through time in different social
contexts.

Furthermore, this research is created and interpreted by all-gay voice. My participants are
all gays; so am I. This then implies that the interpretation of their stories as well as the
knowledge created about elderly gays are highly shaped by our gender identities. For instance, in
15

the interpretation of their stories, my gay experiences are accounted for. A hetero voice, on the
other hand, would have a different interpretation of the stories primarily because they have a
different gender identity. Their experiences coupled with their gender identities would bring a
different perspective and understanding of the elderly gay narrative.

16

CHAPTER 2

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

In this chapter, I present literature relevant to this narrative inquiry. I divided this chapter
into two major sections. The first section covers discussion on the rise of gay movement, gay
research in the developing world, and aging studies in the Philippines. On the other hand, the
second section discusses the nature of narrative, postmodern theory, and the concept of counterstories.

Rise of Gay Movement


In every movement, there is always a struggle. For the Civil Rights Movement, racial and
ethnic minorities such as the African-Americans fought for equal access to rights that the
majority enjoyed (in this case, the whites). For the feminist movement, women across cultures
have been continuously fighting for gender equality in order to be at the same footing with men
in terms of job opportunities and access to fundamental rights. Following these movements is the
creation of LGBT organizations which was a response to the extreme discrimination and
violence experienced by sexual minorities in different societies.

In the developed world such as the United States, resistance to discrimination which
came in the form of protests and demonstration started as early as 1960s which signaled the birth
of Mattachine Society, the first national gay rights organization in the United States. The
Mattachine Society organized the first ever lesbian and gay protest that called for equal and fair
treatment for lesbians and gays (Kameny, 2012). The protest prompted the creation of
organizations for lesbians and transgender people such as Daughters of Bilitis and National
Transsexual Counseling Unit. Moreover, information dissemination on these forms of resistance
and its significance on the lives of LGBT people was seen as an effective strategy to make the
17

larger society aware of their concerns. Hence, the first public gay magazine, ONE, was created
(Bullough, 2005). There were also newspapers that forward gay and lesbian rights such as Gay
Power, Come Out, and Gay.

The number of gay advocates and supporters started to grew after the Stonewall Riot in
1969 took place. This event highlighted gay resistance to police raid that eventually ended in
series of riots and protests. Six years after homosexuality was removed from American
Psychological Associations list of mental disorders, the most-attended protest happened on
October 14, 1979 where almost a hundred thousand of gays and lesbians joined the march in
Washington. The march aimed to create a national identity or self-consciousness of the
movement (Ghaziani, 2005). As Ghaziani (2005) puts it,

the 1979 National March on

Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights and the three other such national marches---those in
1987, 1993, and 2000 have together left behind imprints that preserve lesbian and gay history
while bringing into focus the state of contemporary political organizing and cultural
development.

These protests, publications, and organizations are significant in forwarding and


mainstreaming LGBT issues which merit discourse that should be engaged with by the
lawmakers, media, and interest groups. More importantly, these efforts paved way for the
advancement and recognition of LGBT rights such as the passing of anti-discrimination laws and
allowing same sex couples to legally marry or in some states, to have civil unions.

Despite these successes, the LGBT movement still has to grapple with heteronormativity,
the assumption that everyone is heterosexual appropriately gendered as male or female,
corresponding to their physiological make-up (Warner, 2000). This ideology breeds hatred and
violence against members of LGBT whose sexual identities go beyond the prescribed norms. It
has been even complemented by the strength of the Christian Right, and the strong correlation
between religious fundamentalism, homophobia heterosexism, and anti-LGBT activism---forces
that make it impossible to have a total acceptance of gays in the society (Bernstein, 2002). These
18

are the same challenges being faced by LGBTs in developing nations like the Philippines.
However, the difference lies on extent of the discrimination against gays in the country.

Gay Movement in the Philippines


This subsection covers the summary of the evolution and development of gay movement
in the Philippines based on Michael Tans article entitled Surviving Through Pluralism:
Emerging Gay Communities in the Philippines.

The effeminate gays or in local terms, bakla, are considered as the forerunners of gay
movement in the Philippines. Even before the Stonewall Riots, the bakla formed groups and
community associations such as SKRF or Sining Kayumanggi Royal Family, HACAP or
Hairdressers and Cosmetologists Association of the Philippines, and Fil-Hair. These groups are
composed of parlorista gays which also organize gay beauty pageants and are geared towards
empowering young gays by offering vocational training classes in dressmaking and
cosmetology (Tan, 2001).

The Stonewall Riot propelled the public presence of elite and educated gays in print
media in the late 1960s. Elite gays comparatively lived in good conditions primarily because of
their association with the rich and beautiful and with authoritys approval (Tan, 2001). This
implies that class structure and the privileges it offers are present even within sexual minority
groups.

On the other hand, in the late 1970s, the middle-class gay men formed Kakasarian which
espoused gay activism but did not last long because of the claim from bakla that fighting for
gay rights is unnecessary. It seemed that the fight to end the manifestations of homophobia and
heterosexism such as verbal and physical forms of abuse inflicted upon the bakla was not
realized by the bakla themselves.

19

The 1990s saw the establishment of gay and lesbian organizations which Tan (2001)
described as significant, with different currents that compose distinct gay politics. These are
The Library Foundation, Katlo, Pro-Gay, LesBond, Lesbian Collective, Cant Live in the Closet,
Amaranth and Sulo Davao. Some of these organizations focused on programs for HIV
prevention. Student organizations were also formed such as UP Babaylan, Baklang Nag-iisa
Tungo sa Nasyonalismo or BANANA and Society of the Homosexual Encounter or SHE in
FEU, and Pro-Gay in PUP which organized the first lesbian and gay march in 1994 that marked
the 25th anniversary of Stonewall Riots. It should be noted that gay pride penetrated public
consciousness as the gay march made it to the front page of the newspapers and into the
evening primetime newscasts (Tan, 2001).

A host of other gay organizations and groups was also formed such as Lesbian and Gay
Legislative Advocacy Network Philippines (LAGABLAB-Pilipinas), Rainbow Rights Project,
Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines and LGBTs official political party, Ladlad.
The primary goal of these groups is to empower gays across the board by creating and
forwarding legal and social protection in schools, workplaces, and family units.

A concrete example would be the constant lobbying of gay rights groups for the passage
of Anti-Discrimination Bill which was first filed in 1998 by former Akbayan Party-list
Representative Loretta Rosales. Its newest version, House Bill 110, was filed in 2013 by
Akbayan Party-list Representative Kaka Bag-ao. The bill seeks to penalize all forms of
discrimination against LBGT in their workplaces, and in the provision of social services such as
health care. Moreover, the Philippine LGBT Hate Crime Watch considers the bill as a solution to
end hate crimes by having the legal mechanism to investigate, prosecute, and thereby give justice
to gay victims.

20

Similar in other parts of the world, the focus and trajectory of the fight of gay movement
in the Philippines have evolved. The fight is not just confined to fighting for freedom to express
ones sexuality and to be accepted by the larger society. It extends to provision of fundamental
human rights such as the right to life and right to dignified life of sexual minorities.

Moreover, the struggles of gays in the developed world pale in comparison with the gays
in the Philippines. While gays in the United States lobby for rights of same sex couples to marry
and be recognized as legitimate couples before the federal law, gays in the Philippines are still
fighting for anti-discrimination policies which have long been passed in US. The socio-cultural
context of the Philippines is crucial in the success of anti-discriminatory law passage since public
support is dependent on the values which are defined and reproduced within specific sociocultural contexts. Since the Philippines is predominantly Catholic nation with conservative
values, the LGBT movement struggles for mobilizing public and lawmakers support.

In this gay struggle, all possible avenues for resistance should be explored. Among
others, research undertakings are one of the most potent sources of knowledge about the nature
of homosexuality and the conditions of sexual minorities. These can help us dispel myths about
homosexuality as well as stereotypes that have grave consequences on the welfare of sexual
minorities.

Sexuality in Communication Studies


Sexuality and gender influence our communicative experience while communication
shapes our sexuality and gender identities. This mutual relationship between sexuality and
communication has been recently recognized in communication studies. The study on
homosexuality in the field of communication dates back to 1970s when the National
Communication Association published an essay on homosexuality through its Quarterly Journal
of Speech. This was followed by considerable number of communication studies on sexuality.

21

In his book titled Queer Theory and Communication: From Disciplining Queers to
Queering Discipline, Yep (2014) provided an outline of studies on sexuality in communication
parlance. Yep (2014) identified five research areas based on the Bibliography of Articles and
Books of Relevance to G/L/B/T Communication Studies by Corey, Smith, and Nakayama
(2001). The first wave of communication studies on sexuality focused on the communicative
practices and strategies of LGBT activists as well as on the discourse on LGBT activism. In the
1970s, researchers focused on functional and rhetorical characteristics of consciousness-raising
groups (Chesebro, Cragan & McCullough, 1973), on the language of the gay community (Hayes,
1976), and on the nalysis of ideologies in two gay rights controversies (Brummett, 1979).

On the other hand, research studies in the 80s delved into the views of homosexuality in
the rhetoric of social science (Chesebro, 1980), successful strategies for influencing content of
television programming (Montgomery, 1981),

and on the paradoxes of homosexuality in

Hollywood films (Nelson, 1985). In the next decade, researchers studied the evolution of gay
liberation rhetoric (Darsey, 1991), AIDS activism (Dow, 1994), and Progay/antigay rhetoric in
public discourse and policy debates (Smith & Windes, 1997).

The second wave of studies examined the representation of lesbians and gays in both
mainstream and alternative media. These studies re-echo the role of communication in
influencing collective understanding of homosexuality. Research studies on LGBT in media
covered topics on ethics and politics of outing closeted homosexuals (Gross, 1991), symbolic
annihilation of lesbian and gay youth in mainstream television (Kielwasser & Wolf, 1992),
paradoxes of homosexuality in Hollywood films (Nelson, 1985), gay widow advertisements
(Sender, 1999), gay media (Morton & Duck, 2000; Sender, 2001), homophobia reduction
programs on college campuses (Fuoss, Kistenberg & Rosefeld, 1992), and discursive tensions in
the graffiti texts (Rodriguez & Clair, 1999).

22

The third wave zeroed in on the role of interpersonal communication in dealing with
HIV/AIDS. Studies focused on information and learning about AIDS (Stiff, McCormack, Zook,
Stein, & Henry, 1990), communication of social support in an HIV/AIDS support group (Cawyer
& Smith-Dupre, 1995), attraction toward and nonverbal stigmatization of gay men and people
living with AIDS (Le Poire, 1994), reactions of verbal expression of affection in same-sex
interaction (Floyd & Morman, 2000), and the role of sexual orientation in predicting and
anticipating communication behaviors (Mottet, 2000).

The fourth wave of studies underscored the fluidity of gender identities by focusing on
how gender is performed. These studies were on performance of sexuality (Brouwer, 1998;
Corey, 1996; Corey & Nakayama, 1997), pleasure (Corey & Nakayama, 1997), gender and
sexuality in performance (Bell, 1995; Dillard, 2000; Galloway, 1997; Gingrich-Philbrook, 1994;
Miller, 1995; Reinelt, 1994; Taylor, 1995), performance of race, gender, and sexuality in public
culture (Brookey, 1998; Garrett, 1993; Johnson, 1995).

The most recent wave offers a new and different approach to interpreting media texts by
exposing heteronormativity in the media. Some of these studies were on photography (Asen,
1998), telephay (Cohen, 1991a, b Television Battles & Hilton-Morrow, 2002; Cooper & Pease,
2002; Dow, 2001; McLaughin, 1991; Shugart, 2001), mainstream and independent films
(Brookey, 1996; Brookey & Westerfelhaus, 2001, 2002; Cooper, 2002; Evans, 1998; Henderson,
1992; Nakayama, 1994), print and mixed media (Emi, 1998; Sloop, 2000a,b; Squires &
Brouwer, 2002).

In summary, it should be noted that the first three waves were premised on the idea that
gender is static and stable whereas the last two waves support the notion that gender is fluid and
unstable. It is in these last two waves where queer theory becomes apparent as it seeks to destroy
our normative understanding of gender identities.

23

Gay Research in the Third World


A quick survey of the literature makes apparent that among the sexual identities in the
LGBT spectrum, gays are the most-studied.

However, gay studies are more prevalent in

Western societies where the gay liberation started, than in non-Western societies. As
aforementioned earlier, gays in the developing world have unique experiences of being gay,
coupled with their different struggles. Hence, it is necessary to capture the lived experiences of
gays in the developing world which can offer a significant insight and understanding of their
conditions as shaped by socio-cultural contexts.

Through sensitivity to cultural differences, the harm of homogenizing the gay culture can
be minimized. It can be asserted that cultural and historical processes of every nation have
produced and sustained gay identities. As Garcia (2013) puts it, sexual orientation, gender, and
identity itself are not simple empirical categories, but rather the effects of cultural and historical
processes of naming, identification, and regulation. Given this, historicizing it is central to the
critical understanding of sexual and gender identities (Garcia, 2013).

One of the first published gay research studies in the Philippines were conducted by
Western researchers.

Sechrest & Flores (1968) comparative study looked at the attitudes

towards gays using graffiti in public toilets. Results showed that, as manifested by the
homosexual inscriptions that are more prevalent in the U.S., homosexual conflict was stronger
in the US than in the Philippines.

Some research studies conducted by Filipino researchers prove otherwise. A research


describing young Filipino lesbian and gay mens experiences of heterosexism (Gastardo-Conaco,
Jimenez, & Billedo, 2003) was validated by another study on Filipino attitudes towards lesbians
and gay men. Using the 1996 and 2001 national survey data, Manalastas and Del Pilars study
(2005) revealed that heterosexist attitudes were prevalent among Filipinos. These studies

24

provided a counter-narrative to the claim of the researchers from West that Filipinos are
tolerant of homosexuals.

Another common area being studied in gay research is on sexual identity development of
LGBTs predominantly gays and lesbians. Most of the studies focused on the coming out
process. Through the coming out stories of Waray Gay Adolescents, Docena (2013) found out
that participants identity management is more important than their identity development. More
importantly, the results showed the fluidity of the coming out process which practically
challenged the linear Western model of identity development. Similarly, a study conducted by
Kliatchko (2009) also found out that majority of the young gays did not come out to their
parents.

Beyond sexual identities, sexual behavior and practices of gays have been studied as
well. In Muyargass study (2013) of urban gay mens sexual roles and its influence on subjective
norms and attitudes towards risky sexual behavior, she found out that gay men identities do not
determine sexual roles engaged in during sexual intercourse and that these sexual roles may
influence subjective norms and attitudes towards safe sex. In addition, Wei & Fishers study
(2011) concluded that Filipino gays, who prefer the receptive role, are more vulnerable to STI
transmission than those who are top or who takes active role.

Most of the aforementioned gay research studies were conducted in the field of social
sciences particularly in Psychology. This explains why common themes usually revolve around
gay identities, behavior, and relationships. Moreover, homosexuality was seen as a matter of
deep-seated psychological being or identity (Garcia, 2008). Several decades ago, homosexuality
was classified under the list of mental illnesses of the American Psychological Association.
Hence, gay studies are predominantly viewed via the lens of Psychology or specifically LGBT
Psychology. It is a subfield of contemporary psychology that investigates the lives, experiences,
and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, families, and communities

25

in positive, affirming, and non-stigmatizing ways (Goldfried, 2001; Hancock and Greenspan,
2010; Sanfort, 2000 as cited in Manalastas, 2013).

On the other hand, a growing body of research has also focused on the interplay of
communication and sexual identities. A study on the effectiveness of the film Zsa Zsa Zaturna in
(Corpuz, 2010) defying homophobia and heteronormatvity, Corpuz (2010) showed that although
the film was successful in challenging gender norms, subtexts on dominant ideology
heteronormativityare still apparent. In a more recent pilot study on the impact of DZUPs
Psych OClock Habit program, Clemente, Billedo & David (2013) validated the effectiveness of
the program in educating students about experiences of gay men and suggested that it is
potentially effective in reducing prejudice.

In the sphere of development communication, Aranas (2013) study is the first and only
devcom research that looked at sexuality of men who have sex with men (MSM) vis--vis their
construction of identities and position in the HIV/AIDS discourse. His study found out that the
HIV/AIDS does not take a central position in their lives. This presented a counter-narrative to the
dominant discourse on HIV/AIDS.

While it is deemed necessary to look at the sexual experiences and behavior of


individuals who dont identify themselves as gays or the discreet men, there is also a need to
expand our understanding of the gay population in general. Hence, this study looks at the other
segment of the LGBT spectrum---elderly gays.

Aging and Gay Aging Studies


Aging has been defined as a persistent decline in the age-specific fitness components of
an organism due to internal physiological degeneration(Rose, 1991). As individuals age, they
also experience different physical, psychological and social changes. These changes have

26

ramifications to the over-all welfare of an elderly. Hence, aging studies provide a picture of
aging experience and identifies aspects and issues that should be addressed.

In the Philippines, most of the aging studies are just limited to explaining the general
situation of elderly in the country and the challenges that confront them. In his study on the
living arrangements of Filipino elderly using the 2000 Census Population as baseline data, Abejo
(2004) concluded that most of the Filipino elderly still live in a nuclear family with the husbands
as the head. Filipino elderly were also reported to still work for themselves and their families
survival (Cruz, 1999). On the other hand, Carlos (1999) identified crucial aspects of aging such
as health, security, and protection from abuse.

These studies and reports are highly founded on the data from the national census
conducted. Clearly, this mechanism does not represent the others---those who are outside the
normative genders of male and female. It homogenizes the elderly and does not take into account
how sexual orientation is also central to the aging experience. This research seeks to address this
gap so as to give a picture of the aging experience by involving and giving voice to the elderly
gays who also have equally-legitimate interests and rights that the state should protect.

In the West, there has been considerable number of research studies on gay aging.
Schopes (2005) study on gays perception of aging showed how elderly gays, comparatively,
hold more negative views of aging than lesbians do. On the other hand, pre-Stonewall gays were
found to be relatively psychologically healthy and well-adjusted group Morrow (2008).
Narratives on health care services for the aged were also explored by Hughes (2008) and
concluded that identity and community are intertwined, and contingent upon and constantly
negotiated in interactions with friends, groups, organizations, and neighborhoods. Furthermore,
life satisfaction and support structures are also crucial to gay aging as revealed by a case study of
an old gay in rural America (Rowan & Giunta, et.al., 2013).

27

Fredriksen-Goldsen & Muraco listed five domains of gay aging: psychosocial adjustment
to aging, identity development, social support, health, aging-related community needs and
services. These are the areas that should be underscored in the context of gay aging and should
serve as a guide to organizations and government agencies that provide services to them. Of
course, research findings in the Western world are not applicable to the local context. It is
therefore necessary to conduct a research in the local setting.

At this point, the trend of gay and aging researches in the Philippines should be further
examined in order to surface research gaps that this study seeks to address. It is observed that the
studies usually focused on coming out stories or the sexual behavior of young or adolescent
gays or gay representations in media. The gay researches are limited to the young group of the
gay population. Thus, this study aims to explore as well the complexities of lived experiences
and stories of gays who are on the end of the spectrum: the elderly. These are the individuals
who are least studied by gay researchers in the Philippines. It is then imperative to study their
plight as well in order to have holistic understanding of what being gay means across ages.

Unfortunately, there is a scarcity of research that looks at the conditions of elderly gays in
the Philippines. Motilla (2004) studied the romantic relationship satisfaction of elderly gays.
Beyond relationship satisfaction, Motilla (2005) enumerated factors that contribute to an
affirmative gay identity of older gay men such as having gay social circles where they can get
emotional support. In another qualitative study, Although it presents and describes a facet of
elderly gay life, the multiplicity and intricacies of aging experiences have yet to be explored.

In this respect, it can be argued that elderly gays from Home for the Golden Gays can
have different life experiences as gays, different aging stories since they are part of a social
network exclusive for elderly gays, and different past that has shaped their identities. Research
studies on aging in the Philippines only zeroed in on the heterosexual elderly. Therefore, a study
geared towards understanding the diverse experiences of elderly gays by letting them discuss and

28

describe not only their present condition but more importantly, their stories of the past, best lend
it to explaining the gay aging experience.

In addition, sensitive to societal changes and cultural transformations, this study aims to
understand how elderly gays assert their identities that were influenced by different historical
contexts. All these questions are sought to be answered by analyzing their narratives and stories
of being gay in the past and being older gay at present.

LGBT Visibility in Research Field


In the first section of this chapter, I mapped the beginnings of the gay movement
worldwide and in the Philippines. This is to draw the similarities and differences of the gay
struggle. I mentioned that, for instance, same-sex marriage is the battle cry of LGBT groups in
the developed world whereas anti-discrimination policies are being fought in developing nations.
All of them, however, are discriminated and oppressed based on their gay identity.

Studies on homosexuality in the Philippines are mostly LGBT studies on the young and
adult population (aged 16-45), their sexual practices, forms of gender expression, and media
representation. It can be gleaned from these studies that:

the elderly gays are invisible in the process of constructing the gay identity; thus, it
is compelling to listen to their stories as well;

most of the focus of the study lie on one aspect of their identitiestheir sexual
practices, gender expression, media representation; thus, we must also look at their
life as a whole in order to have a holistic understanding of the gay identity; and

the methods employed are usually quantitative in nature; thus, qualitative methods
such as the use of narrative inquiry offer a tool where their rich and diverse
experiences and lives can be understood better.

29

The same focus can be seen in the aging studies conducted in the Philippines. Most of the
studies included only the male and female, discounting other forms of gender identities. This
universalizing tendency of these studies make elderly gays absent in the discourse on aging.
Their unique experiences shaped by their gender identities are trivialized as a consequence. The
only study (Motilla, 2005) that talks about gay aging in the Philippines covered only its clinical
implications and employed quantitative method. I argue then that there is more to the clinical or
psychological aspect of gay aging, that communication practices oppress the elderly gays and at
the same time, it is also communication which can improve their lives as elderly gays. Unlike
Motillas study, this narrative inquiry does not attempt to break down an elderly gays life into
several dimensions that will be used for clinical practice. Instead, it looks at their story as a
whole, finds meaning in the structure of their stories, and uncovers stories of oppression.

This research offers a different perspective on gay aging as it is viewed in terms of


communication and uses a qualitative method of narrative inquiry so as to let their experiences
and stories be told in texts and not in numbers. It also expands the scope of our list of
marginalized sectors we study in the field of development communication as we include sexual
minorities. In summary, this review of related literature is also a story of events pertinent to the
gay struggle and of studies conducted on homosexuality and aging. More importantly, it is a
story of surfacing research gaps and a prelude to a greater understanding of the gay aging
experience.

THEORETICAL UNDERPINNINGS OF THE STUDY


In this second section of the second chapter, I discuss the theoretical assumptions of the
study particularly on the nature of narratives, foundations of Queer Theory, and the concept of
counter-stories.
On Narratives
Everyone has a story to tell. Narratives are the basic building block of humanity, of
society, and of our identities. We are a product of the stories we share and the stories told about
us. And just like stories, our identities are also evolving through time across places. Indeed,
30

narratives have become an integral part of our social life. But how do academicians define
narratives?

Like the nature of reality and experience, there is also no singular definition of a
narrative. However, there are common grounds about its description to which some scholars
agree. Hinchman & Hinchman (1997) describe narratives as the representation of our storied
ways of knowing and communicating. It is though narratives where our beliefs, aspirations,
goals, desires, and feelings are reflected. Simply put, these aspects of our identities are
narratively known. Beyond knowledge, meanings are also communicated in the form of
narratives (Mitchell, 2003). It is through narratives where events, characters, and plot are given
meanings. As Neisser & Fivush (1994) put it:
Particular events become important parts of our lives because they provide some
meaningful information about who we are, and the narrative forms for representing
and recounting these events provide a particular structure for understanding and
conveying this meaning. (p.136)

Narrative is distinct among other forms of texts due to its emphasis on sequence and
consequence. This simply means that events are selected, organized, connected, and evaluated,
as meaningful for a particular audience (Riesmann, 2003). Hazel (2007) elaborated the
emphasis on sequence and consequence by discussing two process involved in it event selection
and event sequencing.

Event selection. No matter what actually went on in reality only those events necessary
to the narrative should be included. The choice of eventswhat is actually deemed
necessaryrelates directly to the point of the narrative, what the message the narrator is
trying to express. The effectiveness of this choice can be measured against criteria such
as coherence and internal consistency.

Event sequencing. Events need not be narrated in the order they happened but can be
recombined in an infinite number of ways (many of which may be medium specific). As
Jean-Luc Godard has said, the narrative must have a beginning, a middle, and an end, but
not necessarily in that order (Chandler, 2002, p. 90).
31

This conceptualization of narrative as a product of events interwoven through time are


shared by several scholars (Abott, 2002; Polkinghore, 1988; Chatman, 1978). Dickinson &
Erben (1995) consider the meaningful framework of narrative and its organization of
temporality as the key features of a narrative. Without these two, a text cannot be
considered as a narrative.

This distinct features of narratives, among other any forms of data and phenomenon, has
piqued the interest of many scholars across disciplines. It has gained popularity especially in
the field of linguistics, sociology, history, psychology, and education. It was a response to the
positivistic tradition which limits human experience to numbers and statistical figures. As
Riessman (2003) put it, narratives are useful in research precisely because storytellers
interpret the past rather than reproduce as it was. This implies that it is not just a product of
memory but of conscious effort to interpret events in the past.

Many scholars have expounded on the power of narratives to describe human


experiences. Our experiences of the world or in this study, experiences as elderly gays, are
described in narratives (Connelly & Clandinin, 2000). In the field of education research,
Clandinin & Connelly (2000) asserts that educational experience happens in a narrative
manner; thus, it should be understood in the same way. Further, our moral choices are also
constructed in narrative structures (Sarbin,1986). Several scholars also discuss the
relationship of narratives with human life as described below:
Dyson & Genishi (1994) discussed the ability of stories to connect the past, present, and the
future.
Stories help to make sense of, evaluate, and integrate the tensions inherent in
experience: the past with the present, the fictional with the real, the official with the
unofficial, personal with the professional, the canonical with the different and
unexpected. Stories help us transform the present and shape the future for our

32

students and ourselves so that it will be richer or better than the past (Dyson and
Genishi, 1994, pp. 242-243).

Bruner (1994) and Webster & Mertova (2007) also put emphasis on the
interpretation of the experiences which are told in stories.
life as led is unseparable from life as told.life is not how it was but how it is
interpreted and reinterpreted, told and retold (Bruner, 1994, p.36)
Narrative is not an objective reconstruction of lifeit is a rendition of how life is
perceived (Webster & Mertova, 2007, p.3)

Language is also important in our understanding of narratives. Riessman (1993), as cited


in Mitchell (2002) discusses that language is seen more as deeply constitutive of reality not
merely a device for establishing meaning. Stories do not reflect the world out there but are
constructed, rhetorical, and interpreted. This also marks the distinction of narrative as a form of
data. It does not imply meanings but more importantly, it is also interpreted by the storyteller and
the researcher based on their subjective experiences.

In 1969, Todorov coined the term narratology as the study of narratives. It employed
the use of language models in analyzing literary elements and their function and relationships
within the narrative. This was seen as a response to the traditional cause and effect relationship
(Polkinghorne, 1988, as cited in Mitchell, 2002). Moreover, it has also paved way to the
recognition of communication model in the study of narratives where rather than focus only on
the structure of the text, the writer and the reader also function as a part of a communication
event as individuals understand narrative text (Mitchell, 2002).

Given these varied descriptions and assumptions on the nature of narrative, I argue that
narrative in itself is communicational. Not only because narratives allow for the exchange of
messages, but narratives constitute our understanding of the world and incessantly constructs
social relationships and identities. As Heilbrun, 1998 put it:

33

We can only retell and live by the stories we have read or heard. We live our lives
through texts. (p.37).

Narratives and Identity


Beyond the telling of events and experiences, narratives also mirror our identities. The
way we tell stories, order events, and even the stories we choose to share tell something about
who we are. Our identities can never be measured alone using numbers or personality tests. The
depth of our understanding of the self also entails narrating ones story.

One of the highlights of the narrative turn is the power of narratives to construct
identities. Several scholars have established links between identity formation and narratives. As
Cortazzi (2001) put it, through life stories, individuals and groups make sense of themselves;
they tell what they are, or what they wish to be, as they tell so they come, they are their stories.
In narrating our life stories, we are in the process of re-constructing our identities by revisiting
experiences and events which shaped our identities. We are recreating an edited description of
ourselves and others as we only select events that are significant to us (Georgakopoulou, 2002).

Narrative permits an individual to create his or her identity through performance and
interaction in a social environment ( Butler, 1990,1993; Connell, 1995; Hostein & Gubrium
(2004); Laz , 2003; Phoenix & Sparkes ,2008). Through narratives, our interaction and
relationship with others are highlighted. Most of the stories we tell include our encounters with
strangers and significant others, our relationships with our families and friends, our varying
identities in different social spheres. These are some of the elements integral to the creation of
our identities. Thus, I considered narrative inquiry as a method in searching for the elderly gay
identity as it best allows the lolas1 to construct their identities. By telling their stories, they also
perform their identities. As
(Benwell & Stoke, 2006) argue, the practice of narration involves the doing of identity, and
because we can tell different stories we can construct different versions of self.
1

Gay speak which refers to old gays

34

The stories that I shall retell may be a different version of the identities of the lolas. In
this research, however, I do not seek for consistency of identities primarily because the nature of
the self is not fixed, it is ever-changing.

Further, I adopt Jonassen (1997) view of research as the construction and


reconstruction of personal and social stories. This research then is a story of my participants and
my experiences of gathering their stories and making sense of their stories.

On metanarratives and counterstories


In this study, I am guided by the critical view on communication which recognizes the
power of communication to oppress and liberate the marginalized. The heteronormative
ideologies are being reinforced and maintained by metanarratives or master narratives. This form
of narrative seeks to discount other forms of narrative which are deemed as inferior and less
important. Consequently, our understanding of homosexuality and elderly gay in particular is
only limited to what grand narratives tell us. As Andrews (2004) put it,
One of the key functions of master narratives is that they offer people a way of
identifying what is assumed to be a normative experience. In this way, such storylines
serve as a blueprint for all stories; they become the vehicle through which we
comprehend not only the stories of others, but crucially of ourselves as well. For
ultimately, the power of master narratives derives from their internalisation. Wittingly
or unwittingly, we become the stories we know, and the master narrative is
reproduced. (p.185)

In response to these grand narratives, counterstories were considered by researchers as a


tool in emancipating the oppressed. It is in these counterstories where resistance is
communicated and the tyranny of meta narratives is exposed. Hence, counterstories were
considered as political tool as they challenge the dominant ideology and promote the interest of
outgroups or groups whose marginality defines the boundaries of the mainstream, whose voice
and perspectivewhose consciousnesshas been suppressed, devalued, and abnormalized
35

(Delgado, 1995, p.64). The creation of counterstories lead then to another version of reality
which Delgado names as counter-reality. It is hoped that towards the end of this research, a
counter-reality will be created.

More specifically, the conceptualization of Nelson (2001) on counterstories is used in this


research. Nelson (2001) suggests two ways by which counterstories are told. Firstly, there has to
be an identification of the elements of master narratives that silence and misrepresent the
oppressive identity. Secondly, the story of the oppressed group shall be retold in relation with the
dominant narrative. In Chapter 4, I retell the stories of the lolas and incorporate the dominant
narratives told about them. It is through this process where the oppressed regains his or her moral
agency.

Nelson (2001) identified three levels of resistance to dominant narrativesrefusal,


repudiation, contestation. Refusing a dominant narrative entails denial of the narrative and
tending ones own counter story. Repudiation, on the other hand, involves the application of
self-understanding arising from a counterstory to oppose others applying the narrative to
oneself in a gradual manner. Lastly, contestation requires a collective effort to publicly and
systematically resist dominant narrative.

Foundations of Queer Theory


The advent of LGBT movements and organizations that were formed in the 1950s and
1960s gave birth to gay and lesbian studies. These studies complement the role of LGBT
movements as they seek to promote the rights and interests of bisexual, gays, and lesbians. From
this, queer theory emerged and has been considered as a recent theoretical development dating
from the 1990s spurred on by Queer Nation (Lovaas, 2013). The SAGE Encyclopedia of
Qualitative Research Methods describe Queer theory as a response to ideologies that
disenfranchise homosexuals such as heterosexism, homophobia, and transphobia. More broadly,
Queer Theory is defined as:

36

a multifaceted theoretical and creative space for contestation and discoveryas it


contests, interrogates, and disrupts systemic and structural relationships of power
that are historically caught up in heteronormative attitudes, values, and practices, as
well as heteronormative ideological, linguistic, existential, and strategic conventions
and constructs.

In other words, it is a critique of the dominant ideology governing sexuality


heteronormativity. LGBT studies also share the same goal. Lovaas (2013) discusses other
common grounds of LGBT Studies and Queer Theory:
a. both interest lie on gender and sexuality
b. both are associated with and have been influenced by gay social movements
c. both have explored the construction of meanings through qualitative approaches
d. both consider research as political enterprise which can be used to empower sexual and
gender minorities
On the other hand, it is also important to note the difference between the two approaches so
as to have a clear understanding of the theory used in this study. Lovaas (2013) note the
differences as follows:
a. In terms of conception of sexual and gender identity. LGBT Studies consider sexual and
gender identities as stable and fixed whereas Queer Theory views identity as fluid and
unstable. Queer scholars would assert that sex, sexual and gender differences are always
in the state of becoming; being is never fixed and belonging is never a certainty (SAGE
Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods).
b. In terms of view on homosexuality. The former espouses a minoritizing view which sees
homosexuality as something relevant only to a specific or distinct minority while the
latter forwards a universalizing view which reads homosexuality as pervading, in one
way or another, the entire spectrum of sexualities in modern culture (Sedgwick, 1990: 12). The minoritizing view only reinforces and supports the homo/heterosexual binary
which queer scholars attempt to destroy.

Furthermore, several scholars have attempted to outline the foundations and tenets of Queer
Theory. Tierney & Dilley (1998) lay out the core functions of Queer Theory as stated below:
1.

It exposes the heteronormative nature of power.


37

2.

It works to empower queer voices in order to interrupt heteronormative power.

3.

It interrogates language in the intersection with knowledge, experience, and action.

4.

It deconstructs the heteronormative notion of natural as well as institutional processes of


legitimating and sanctioning certain ways of being in the world.

5. It engages power in intersections where sexual orientation and gender identity encounter
other relationships of power, including race and class.
6. It considers research itself to be a form of cultural politics and considers how the
researcher-writer is positioned and implicated in relation to knowledge production,
exchange, and distribution.
Yep (2014) further lists the core tenets of Queer Theory:
1. All categories are falsifications, especially if they are binary and descriptive of sexuality.
2. All assertions about reality are socially constructed.
3. All human behavior can be read as textual signification.
4. Texts form discourses that are exercises in power/knowledge and which, properly
analyzed, reveal relations of dominance within historically-situated systems of regulation
5. Deconstruction of all categories of normality and deviance can best be accomplished by
queer readings of performative texts ranging from literature (fictional, professional,
popular) to other cultural expressions (geographic distribution, body piercing, sit-coms,
sadomasochistic paraphernalia).

In the sphere of communication, Queer Theory has been particularly important in challenging
normative ideologies and practices reinforced and sustained by communication. As a critical
enterprise, Queer Theory employs a postmodernist critique of biological determinism, or
essentialism, and emphasizes a self-reflexive understanding of gender and sexuality (Yep,
2014). This implies that it is crucial to attend to the multiple and diverse gay identities existing.
Clearly, this is in stark contrast with the essentialist notion espoused by LGBT studies which
tend to discount sociocultural differences, historical change, and multiple identities.

In a nutshell, Queer Theory attempts to deconstruct heteronormativity in communicative


practices and consequently, to acknowledge and recognize the local voices of sexual minorities.
38

These communicative practices can come in the form of narratives or particularly meta
narratives or grand narratives. The fundamental strategy of Queer Theory is in parallel with
the principles of development communication as both of them highlights the importance of
recognizing the local voices or the grassroots and allowing them to determine the type of
development that best fits them. Further, devcom subscribes to the notion that our audience are
diverse and therefore have different needs. Similarly, Queer theory also forwards the idea that
gay identities are unique, multiple, and diverse and therefore have different stories of gayness.

Summary of second section


In this research, my conception of what identity is has been largely shaped by the
fundamental assumptions of Queer Theory. Narratives are useful in showing the fluidity of
sexuality as my participants revisit their experiences, which are highly situated in social contexts
and time, through storytelling. Moreover, their stories reflect the changes and transformation of
their identities. In their stories, other characters are presented, events unfold, time evolvesall
of which shape their identities. Thus, Queer Theory and narratives in this study are inextricably
linked. Without narratives, the fluidity of sexuality cannot be revealed. Also, counter narratives,
in particular, allow us to resist the dominant narrative and re-create our own stories. In achieving
the goal of Queer Theory, narratives are then extremely necessary.

39

CHAPTER III

METHODOLOGY

The Qualitative Lens


I demonstrate in this chapter the guide to answering the research questions I formulated
or simply the research strategy and methodology I employed in uncovering and understanding
the stories of elderly gays.

I attempted to address the research curiosity through a qualitative approach to explain


how social experience is created and given meaning (Denzin & Lincoln, 2003). Using this lens
allowed me to be reflexive and sensitive of the diversity and richness of human experience and
the different meanings attached to it.

Denzin and Lincoln (1994) note as cited in Clandinin (2006) that the emphasis of
qualitative research lies on the subjective experiences of human beings. Its goal therefore is not
to predict and control but to understand human experience. In the same vein, this study sought to
understand the experiences of elderly gays through the stories they share. Any attempt to
quantify their experiences or to assign numbers to them and consequently make generalizations
about the elderly gay population in the country is insensitive to the diversity of aging experience
especially when it intersects with ones gender identity. This precisely explains the influence of
interpretive paradigm in this qualitative study so as to search for an array of meanings attached to
their stories. It presupposes that the creation of meanings is inherent in any human action (Baxter
& Babbie, 2003).

Furthermore, the meanings generated from the accounts of elderly gays cannot be
classified as either right or wrong primarily because there are social and economic conditions
40

which make these accounts different from each other. In the same manner, we cannot generalize
experiences of mothers in a developing nation because their social class, for instance, produce
unique experiences of motherhood as well as different meanings they make. Hence, there can be
no single and absolute standard by which human experience can be judged upon.

This also implies that in interpretive paradigm, generalization takes no place because the
meanings that people make are context-specific. The task therefore of interpretive researchers is
to understand web of meanings by describing its component semantic relationships (Baxter &
Babbie, 2001).

On Narrative Inquiry
As aforementioned in the first chapter, humans are naturally storytellers. As such, our
stories give us an understanding of our experiences, of ourselves, and of others. Given this
assumption, social science researchers consider narrative inquiry as a potent tool in
understanding human experience and the meanings we ascribe to it. It has been widely used in
the field of nursing, teaching, and organizational studies, among others (Clandinin, 2007).

Narrative inquiry is a research methodology which seeks to understand dimensions of


human experience through collecting and listening to stories of people and representing these
stories by describing and interpreting narratives of experience (Clandinin, 1990). Connelly &
Clandinin (2006, ) gives a comprehensive definition of narrative inquiry which reads:
People shape their lives by stories of who they and others are and as they interpret
their past in terms of these stories. Story, in the current idiom, is a portal through
which a person enters the world and by which their experience of the world is
interpreted and made personally meaningful. Narrative inquiry, the study of
experience as a story, then, is the first and foremost way of thinking about experience.
Narrative inquiry as a methodology entails a view of the phenomenon. To use
narrative inquiry methodology is to adopt a particular view of experience as
phenomenon under study. (Connelly & Clandinin, 2006, p.375).
41

The experiences of the elderly gays can therefore be understood using narrative inquiry.
Narrative inquiry allows me to extract meanings of who they are from their storied experiences.
This is based on the assumption that human experiences which happen narratively can be best
understood in narrative inquiry.

In addition, Clandinin and Huber (in press) stress the importance of looking at
commonplaces which are dimensions which need to be simultaneously explored in undertaking
narrative inquiry. Narrative inquiry delineates itself from other methodologies through
understanding of experience guided by three commonplaces: temporality, sociality, and place.
1.

Temporality refers to the time element of stories we create which implies that stories

change over time. In the field of narrative inquiry, experience is viewed as inherently narrative
(Crites, 1971). The temporality of experience should not be confined merely to the inquirer and
the participants but it should also cover places, things, and events. The stories told by the lolas
are shaped by the period they are born and grew up in. The way they construct their stories is
also contingent on the available communication channels during that time. I assume then that the
stories they share with others when they were still young or adult are different from what I
listened to. Further, their stories are divided into different life stages so as to trace the evolution
of their stories as well as their identities. The time element in their stories refer to their past,
present, and future. Their identities are composed of these three time periods. In each time frame
are turning points in their lives to which time is emphasized. What was it like during their time
as gays? The temporality of narratives presents an avenue where we can look at the past and
analyze how it molded the now.

2.

Sociality, on the other hand, refers to the personal and social conditions with which the

narrative is constructed. Personal conditions pertain to the feelings, hopes, desires, aesthetic
reactions, and moral dispositions ( Connelly & Clandinin, 2006) whereas social conditions
simply means the social environment where events and experiences are constructed.

42

3.

Lastly, place refers to the specific, concrete, physical, and topological boundaries of

place or sequences of places where the inquiry and events take place (Connelly & Clandinin,
2006). The place where our stories are told also significantly frame the way we tell events and
how we make sense of it.

The Research Instrument


The stories that my participants told also reflect the stories I share with them. In the
process of narrative inquiry, narrative inquirers cannot subtract themselves from the inquiry
relationship (Clandinin & Huber). It is then important to lay out the various roles I took in this
research study.

As a bricoleur
In a qualitative research, the researcher acts as the research instrument or more
specifically, the interpretive bricoleur. As such, I see research as an interactive process shaped
by [my] history, biography, gender, social class, race, and ethnicity, and by those of the people in
the setting. I also took the role of a methodological bricoleur who performed large number of
diverse tasks, ranging from interviewing to intensive self-reflection and introspection (Denzin &
Lincoln, 2003). The result of this undertaking is a bricolage which is a confluence of
representations that are fitted to the specifics of a complex situation. The aim of this research
is to represent a portion of the elderly gay population and their stories. There may be other
identities and experiences which are not reflected in this study and are part and parcel of the
bigger elderly gay identity.

I started my task as a bricoleur by conducting first an initial visit or gaining entry to the
site. This was the first and crucial step of a bricoleur which allowed me to establish rapport and
relationship with my participants. I then used the narrative interview in eliciting stories of gay
aging experience from my participants. Conducting a narrative interview also required me to
43

have an interview schedule which includes general questions and will only serve as my guide. In
addition, Norton (1989) explains the use of interview schedule in encouraging people to talk
about their lives. She was successful in theorizing that people will easily tell their stories
primarily because listening and telling stories are part of everyday interaction.

As a Devcom student
The practice of development communication is always hinged on the assumption that
communication can facilitate development initiatives for the marginalized and disenfranchised
sectors. I chose to embark on this research because I want elderly gay stories to be heard and for
their plight to be better understood. In light of this goal, I bear in mind Devcoms rule of thumb:
Know your audience. As a Devcom student, I have been trained to immerse, sympathize, and
empathize with several marginalized sectors such as women, farmers, and indigenous tribes. In
gathering stories, I emphatically listened to the accounts of the elderly gays by making them feel
that I am with them. As their stories unfold, I also shared bits of my gay experiences with them.

Furthermore, I was taught that every endeavor we take should have a social value. I hope
that this research will help the lolas by communicating their experiences with other researchers,
government and non-government agencies alike so as to enrich our understanding of their
experiences. I am aware that it may be an impossible task to accomplish given how politicians
respond to LGBT issues. However, this research can be the first step in achieving this goal.

Since I am a Devcom student, the focus of this research goes beyond development but it
also problematizes communication in the re-creation of their identities. Most of the studies on
LGBT in the Philippines were conducted in the field of Psychology. I, as a Devcom student,
problematized the re-creation of their identities using the lens of communication. Thus, my
interest is on the meaning of their stories and the role of communication in the formation (and
repression) of their identities and not on the psychological processes which shape their identities.

44

As a young gay
I mentioned in the first chapter the relationship I have with my participants in terms of
our gender identity. Stories allow us to find common experiences as well as differences whereby
insights can be drawn. As Clandinin & Huber (in press) put it narrative inquirers seem
themselves and participants as each retelling their own stories, and as coming to changed
identities and practices throughout this inquiry process. In the course of our storytelling, I
shared my gay stories with my participants specifically on my identity expression and
performance. This research then is a product of our collective consciousness, diverse
experiences, and understanding of who we are as gays.

Who am I then to speak in their behalf? I am one of them. I am a young gay. Like them, I
also want to be a beauty queen. I have also experienced discrimination in different social
spheres. This common ground therefore gives me the authority to retell their stories. Further, my
gay identity and experiences shape the presentation of narratives and the interpretation of their
stories. Therefore, the meanings discussed in the analysis chapter were shaped and influenced by
my gay identity.

But I am not just gay, I am a young gay engaging in dialogue with elderly gays who
have richer gay experiences than me. Although we have common experiences, there are also
differences shaped by our age. I then humbly entered their world as a young gay, eager and
passionate to listen to their stories. In doing so, it allowed me to have a deeper understanding of
my gay identity in relation to their elderly gay identities. It also made it easier to establish
rapport with them and to earn their trust because they know that I am gay too. And I recognize
that they are my lolas.

On Qualitative and Narrative Interviewing


Although I prepared an interview schedule, I framed and formulated questions based on
the responses which I gathered during my first interview. This entailed digging deeper into
45

phrases or accounts that seem incomplete, vague, or inconsistent. I recognize therefore the
continuous nature of qualitative interviewing means that the questioning is redesigned
throughout the project (Rubin & Rubin, 1995).

Baxter & Babbie (2004) cite the importance of qualitative interviewing to understand in
a richly detailed manner what an interviewee thinks and feels about some phenomenon. This
brings us back to my aforementioned assumption that numbers would not suffice to represent and
to understand the experiences given its subjectivity. Hence, the use of qualitative interviewing.

Further, I also recognize that I cannot detach my own interpretations and experiences and
should not be removed from the research process (Potter, 1996 as cited in Baxter & Babbie,
2003). This is in parallel with Lindlofs (1995) view of communication as a constitutive
component of social action. Narrative inquiry is also a form of social action where my stories
and my participants are created through communication. In this communicative process, we are
doing social life particularly the creation of our stories and identities.

Specifically, in search for stories, I used narrative interviewing which often employs an
unstructured or a semitructured protocol to elicit informant stories about some phenomenon of
interest to the researcher (Baxter & Babbie, 2003). In conducting narrative interview, the
narrative inquirer can either explicitly or implicitly ask the participants to tell stories. In my
research, I explicitly ask the participants to recant their experiences from childhood to adulthood.
Field notes, reflexive journals, interview transcripts, among others shall constitute the data for
this narrative inquiry.
Whose Gay Story
In choosing a site for this research, I considered Pattons (1990) standard of having
information-rich cases. When the golden gays were first featured in Kapuso mo, Jessica Soho,1
I got interested in how their organization was formed and how they live in an aging institution. I
1

a popular weekly magazine program aired on primetime television

46

conducted internet research to know more about Home for the Golden Gays. I later found out
that the golden gays no longer live in their home after the demise of their founder. This has
made me more interested about their lives particularly their aging experiences. Having watched
documentaries that featured the golden gays, I came to realize how rich their experiences are
given that they come from different regions in the country.

Moreover, I considered this group as having information-rich stories to tell because


they are of different ages within the aging spectrum. The different time periods they are born in
highly shape their experiences and their identities. Thus, diverse stories and identities can be
elicited from them.

I chose my research participants using the following criteria: age (must be 60 years old
or above), gender identity (gay), and member of Home for the Golden Gays, Inc. I took into
account the last criterion primarily because I want to understand as well their stories with other
elderly gays in an aging group.

The Research Participants


All of the research participants are members of the Home for the Golden Gays. Their
stories are not representative of the experiences of other elderly gays but they also speak of
reality as this research recognizes multiple realities. Their stories are gathered through narrative
interviews where I asked the lolas to recall their experiences. Narrative interviews were
conducted separately in different dates depending on the availability of the participants.

To protect their identities, I decided to use alias even though they opted to reveal their
real names. This is done for safety purposes as stated in the consent form. These aliases are
common names taken on by male homosexuals.
Lola Zen
47

Lola Zen, 60 years old, is a native of Zamboanga City located in the southern island of
Mindanao. She grew up in a religious family who frowned upon her gender identity. In high
school, she was sent by her parents to study in Manila where she met bunch of gay friends.
When her mother confirmed through her sister that Lola Zen was gay, she was estranged and
abandoned.

She hesitantly entered Home for the Golden Gays after she was invited by their founder.
Lola Zen is one of the lolas with the highest number of beauty titles. She showed me all her
lucky gowns, sashes, and crowns. Like any gay, she is very jolly and is always energetic in
sharing her experiences. Lola Zen was the first elderly gay I interviewed.

Lola Beth
Lola Beth, 64 years old, is the acting president and the former secretary of Home for the
Golden Gays. He serves as the gatekeeper of the elderly gay community. All forms of requests
relevant to this study were coursed through him.

When I first visited them in one of their events, I was warmly welcomed by Lola Beth. I
saw how passionate he is in mobilizing resources and support for the lolas. In my succeeding
visits, he shared with me the challenges of re-establishing their group, problems faced by the
elderly gays, and their plans and upcoming activities.

Lola Beth currently stays at Home for the Special Elderly in Paraaque but he still
continues on organizing events, coordinating with their sponsors, and entertaining interviews for
film and research.

Lola Nancy

48

Like Lola Beth, Lola Nancy is also a late bloomer who just learned how to dress up and
look like a woman when she entered Home for the Golden Gays. Lola Nancy moved to Manila
so as to pursue high school education by himself. In contrast to most of the gay stories I heard,
his young gay story was characterized by acceptance and love by her family. He said that his
family accepted his identity primarily because he was a hardworking and persevering son.

One of the oldest members in the group, he is still working in a government agency as a
janitor. He shared that although he is already 78 years old, he still prefers to work than to rest
like other elderly. Aside from working, eating healthy food and frequent exercise contribute to
his positive gay identity.

Research Ethics
Given the relational aspect of a narrative inquiry, I consider it crucial to set our ethical
guidelines that shall be part of my qualitative tools in the process of narrative inquiry. As cited in
Clandinin & Huber (in press), Clandinin & Murphy (2007) notes the importance of emphatic
listening aside from the rules expected of the researcher. This was a challenge to me when I first
visited the lolas in December 2013. Although we have the same sexual orientation, I must admit
that they are still strangers to me. But when they started to share their stories, I felt that I was one
of and with them. This feeling of being one with them is a sign of empathy and not just
sympathy. I felt that their stories of struggle were quite similar with mine. I knew how it felt to
be stigmatized and discriminated by your very own family. It came to a point when one of my
participants broke down while sharing her story about her family. I was also affected. I felt the
pain and so I hugged her. This gesture and others such as laughing with them and kissing each
others cheek were indeed helpful in gaining their trust. Consequently, it made them share their
experiences in detailed manner as well as other personal stories which they would not otherwise
share.

49

As they note, the succeeding discussions are not just ethical considerations but are also
relational responsibilities as it is both my story and participants. Connelly & Clandinin (2006)
add:
In narrative inquiry, inquirers must deepen the sense of what it means to live in
relation in an ethical wayEthical considerations permeate narrative inquirers from
start to finish; at the outset as ends-in-view are imagined; as inquirer participant
relationships unfold, and as participants are represented in research texts.

At the onset, it was clear to me that my research is merely a re-construction of my


participants story. But as the research progressed, I realized that it was not their story, it was
ours. I came to know myself better through the experiences that my lolas shared. For instance, I
realized that my experiences of discrimination are less in magnitude compared to their
experiences. Their conception of faith as being personal, and of God as LGBT-friendly was
similar to mine. Further, I became involved in re-creating their story in the process of analyzing
the narrative texts. This is when I assumed my interpretive authority or the ability to interpret the
narrative texts based on my subjectivities and experiences as a young gay.

I then divided this narrative process into three stages where relational ethics must be
observed: before, during, and after conversations. Field notes are also integrated in each phase.

Before Conversations
In order to listen to and gather the stories I wanted to study, I first have to identity whose
story will be told, where it will be shared, and how it will be done. This first stage includes the
process of identifying participants, planning to contact them, and gaining entry to the site.
Whose elderly gay story
In narrative research, it is important for the researchers to undergo through the process of
focalization which requires the researcher to determine through which character, actor, or event
the story will be told (Holley & Colyar, 2011, p.682). This involves selecting characters whose
perspectives shall be highlighted in the narrative. However, Holley & Colyar (2011) note that
50

these choices do not necessarily affect the essence of the story but, rather, provide a structure
through which readers can comprehend the narrative events (p. 682). This task then led me to
answering this question: Whose elderly gay story should be told? It is deemed necessary
primarily because it allows me to address questions of voicemine and my participants.

Initially, I wanted to study the lives of all elderly gays at Home for the Golden Gays, Inc.
I was aware that there are many elderly gays in the country but undoubtedly, they are the most
accessible. I was so excited to hear their stories although I had a glimpse of them after watching
documentary films and write-ups about them. But the stories I watched were not enough. The
films and documentaries I watched were merely snippets of their life stories. I wanted to listen to
the whole story which has not been shown in mainstream media. The available documentaries
just tackled episodes which the public might consider as interesting. Thus, I felt the urge to go
beyond what is considered as interesting by mainstream media. Through this research, I seek to
show what has been missed and omitted in documentaries such as their stories as young gays and
how they got to Home for the Golden Gays. In contrast with these films, I am not limited with
the interview questions at hand since it will be a storytelling session. This means that in the
course of our storytelling, they have the liberty to share their stories and that my questions only
served as guide questions.

Further, I wanted to experience having a conversation with some of them. This may help
me delve deeper into their life stories as this encounter is not limited by time and pressure to find
the interesting angle of their stories.

My research also attempts to capture events which have not been included in
documentaries (i.e., events after the film was shot). I find this important because our stories are
ever-changing and thus, after they were interviewed, new stories were constructed and have been
constructed. For instance, I only found out that they no longer live at Home for the Golden Gays
after the death of their founder. This was another event which transpired after the filming of the
documentaries I watched.
51

Inasmuch as I wanted to hear all of their stories, I realized that it was not possible given
that some members cannot be reached. Therefore, focalization in this study was based on the
availability of members who are willing to share their stories with me. The stories told are then
limited to the stories of members who were available. This implies that it is only their
perspectives which are underscored in the narrative of gayness.
Gaining entry
December 12, 2013
Yesterday, I sent an e-mail to Ms. Beth, the president of Home for the Golden Gays. I
introduced my study to him and requested for his help in gathering narrative data for my thesis.
Fortunately, he immediately replied today and asked me to witness the lolas in a different
perspective. I was puzzled with the last two words in his e-maildifferent perspective. What
does he mean? What perspective do I hold about the elderly gays? Two days from now, I will be
on a journey towards studying a different perspective on the elderly gays at Home for the Golden
Gays. Two days from now, I shall face the challenge of establishing rapport and gaining their
trust which is the first step of this journey.

I hope everything will be fine. I wish they will be willing to share their stories with me
because I am so excited to listen to their stories. I am so excited to see my lolas! For now, I just
have to continue on reading articles and news about them.

December 14, 2013


My journey begins today. I brought with me my camera, notebook and pen, and a bunch
of excitement. After taking my lunch, I left Los Baos and headed to Pasay at 11:30. Thankfully,
I was not struck in traffic. I arrived at Andres Bonifacio Elementary School at 1:45 p.m. I was
welcomed by a security guard who asked for my appointment. I answered, Dun po sa Golden
Gays to which he answered in a gay manner, Ah! Dun sa mga bakla! My excitement suddenly
turned into anger. The way he responded was rude. Its the same with my experience of gay
52

bashing. Whats funny with being gay? How hard is it for them to take us seriously? Despite this
incident, I just gave the guard a smile.

When I entered the hall, I was surprised upon seeing all the lolas in their long gowns and
national costumes. They were all busy preparingputting up make up on their faces, fixing their
hair, and rehearsing their signature walks. They looked elegant in their long gowns. As I watched
them in awe, I was greeted by Ms. Beth. He also wore a red gown. He warmly welcomed me to
their event. I once again introduced myself and the scope of my undergraduate thesis. Lola Beth
gladly agreed with my requests. Then, he allowed me to take photos of the lolas who posed like
beauty queens. I shook their hands every after photo op. I had a chit chat with some of them. The
first one was lola Carla who also shared her happiness every time she wears gown. On the other
hand, another lola also approached me and asked for my name. I introduced myself to them
again. While I was taking photos and having short conversations with some of them, others were
busy preparing for the pageant. Karir na karir ang mga lola! They were really competitive!

I was so happy because they were happy too! I realized that after all, its fun growing old
as gay. It seemed that they dont have any problems anymore. I can see their excitement and
eagerness to walk the runway.

But it was already 3:30. The sponsors havent arrived yet. According to Lola Beth, their
sponsors were a group of transwomen who wanted to share their blessings with the elderly gays.
I was amazed by the sense of community experienced in the LGBT communitygays helping
other gays. I wished I could help the lolas too in the future. I just hoped Ill be rich enough so as
to give them a house.

Around 4pm, the sponsors finally arrived. Snacks were first distributed to them. Then, the
program followed. The transwomen served as the hosts and judges of the beauty pageant. The
pageant started with the introduction of the candidates. It was really a wonderful experience
53

seeing them wearing gowns. I imagined myself being like them somedaygrowing old and gay.
They were very enthusiastic and energetic despite their age.

Their sponsors agreed that the top five will just be drawn to which the lolas conceded.
They were fine with it so long as they were able to conquer the stage and show their beauty. A
dance party followed before the next part of the program. Then, packs of rice and canned goods
were distributed to the lolas. I was really moved upon seeing them receiving their gifts from the
transwomen.

It was already six in the evening. Inasmuch as I wanted to stay, I had to go back to LB
before 9pm for an org event. I approached Lola Beth to bid goodbye and thanked him for the
opportunity. He said he will just update me on the schedule of their events and the interviews.
They were very accommodating indeed! I was so fortunate to have met all of them especially
their president. I felt that I was not there merely for my thesis. I was there to find the other
dimension of my identity. The first encounter with the lolas gave me a glimpse of where I will be
in the future.

I presume that behind their happy faces are stories which may be different from mine;
stories which I shall retell in the process of doing this research. The first part of the journey was
fine and dandy. It superseded the awful experience I had with the security guard at the onset. But
I am aware that an array of challenges await me.

Obtaining informed consent


Although lola Beth already agreed during my first visit, I find it necessary to obtain the
consent of my participants. After all, the stories I shall gather are their personal stories; it is
theirs. Thus, they have to be fully aware of the scope, and purpose of my research as well as the
54

implications of signing the consent form. On my first visit, I gave them copies of the consent
form. It was translated in Tagalog so they can understand its content better. The consent form
includes the following:

scope, duration, and purpose of my research;

interview process (i.e., use of recorder, alias);and

acknowledgment of their right to decline at any point of the research process.

They were signed by the three participants before the chikahan or conversations started.
Prior to the actual interview, some lolas shared first their experiences with some groups who
have interviewed them already. They said that they are used to it. However, I explained to them
the difference of a research study. I further shared with them that it is also my personal interest
and goal to let their voices be heard and stories be written. They were also aware that they will
not be given a monetary compensation for the interviews. Before I left, Lola Beth suggested that
I should just give canned goods and food to which I agreed. But I planned to give my tokens
after our chikahan. This is done so as not to cloud the mindset of my participants. This is to
ensure that it will not be viewed as a form of bribery.

During Conversations
I consider our conversations as chikahan. It is simply a Filipino gay term for
conversations or dialogue. I label it as such because I want the lolas to be at ease with me during
our chikahan. I just started with questions such as Kamusta na po kayo? (How are you)
Kwentuhan po tayo.. (Lets talk about). I just let the lolas tell their story first and then asked
questions after pauses. Follow-up questions were just thrown for clarifications and deepening. I
also shared my short stories with them every time they say Diba? (Right?) I found common
stories between us such as their gay adventures when they were still young. We were even giving
each other high fives every time. We were boisterously laughing in almost every moment of our
chikahan and even until the end.

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This made me look forward to another chikahan with them. In one of my field notes, I
wrote:
I walked under the blazing sun this afternoon, enduring the heat, because I know I will be
meeting again one of the most interesting person I have ever met in my life. As I turned around
the curb to enter Lola Ricas street, I looked back to make sure that my companion is still with
me. I have a huge phobia towards dogs, and unfortunately, Lola Ricas neighborhood is filled
with them. To be honest, I have always been afraid of dogs, no matter how my friends picture
them as fluffy, cute and/or adorable; for me they are creatures that are so wild that are most of
the time contained in a tamed aura. This is one of the obstacles I have to face so I can talk to
Lola Rica, someone I consider a dear friend. I dragged Brigette, my companion, by her hand and
made sure that she walks in front of me, so that she could face those wild creatures first, because
lets face it, my thesis may have been very important to me but I love my life more.

The moment I saw Lola Rica by the end of the street, all my fears disappeared, I cannot
even contain my excitement as I walk down the street, with Brigette by my side protecting me
from any danger the dogs present. I waved at Lola Rica to call her attention, but I soon realize
that the attempt was futile, I just remembered that with her age her eyesight is also not that sharp
anymore. I called her name and her neighbors called her attention and pointed to us. As we go
nearer, her eyes registered recognition and waved at us like the beauty queen she is. I greeted her
with so much enthusiasm, I was smiling from ear to ear, bursting with excitement. She led us to
her humble abode, and we followed her immediately. She first apologized on the state of her
home and her current state. She was drinking before we got there so that very moment while we
were talking she feels a little bit dizzy from drinking. Talking to her I realized that she was sober
enough to give me more stories I can work on, so I settled myself comfortably and braced myself
for another laughter-filled and eye-opening afternoon with Lola Rica.

I had three sessions of interviews with my participants, ranging from 40 minutes to


approximately one hour. They were recorded using mobile recorder. The chikahan took place at

56

Lola Zens house at Pasay city. Some scheduled chikahan were postponed due to unforeseen
circumstances.

After Conversations
I then transcribed all of the recorded interviews. It took me almost a month to finish it.
Transcribing it by myself allowed me to reread the data and relive the narrative experience.
While transcribing the data, I also wrote memos or notes beside the chunk of texts.

Analysis and Interpretation of Stories


What do these texts mean? How do I make sense out of these data? How should I
juxtapose other qualitative data such as memo and field texts to the narrative texts? How do I
find the best answer to my research curiosity? These were some of the questions I asked myself
after gathering and collecting stories from the lolas. Theses consequently led me to the analysis
and interpretation aspect of the research.

In analyzing the texts, Juliet Corbin & Anselm Strauss (2008) suggest examining a
substance and its components in order to determine their properties and functions, then using the
acquired knowledge to make inferences about the whole. Analysis then entails labeling and
breaking down (or decontextualizing) raw data and reconstituting them into patterns, themes,
concepts, and propositions (Lindlof & Taylor, 2002). In this stage of the research, I familiarized
myself with the data by incessantly reading the transcripts until I was able to retell their stories. I
then coded the data in order to surface the emergent categories relevant to narrative identities of
elderly gays.

On the other hand, interpretation involves making a construal (Spiggle, 1994, as cited
in Lindlof & Taylor, 2002). In this process, it is crucial to reflect on what the text means besides

57

what it is. In coming up with an interpretive claim, I was influenced by my values, beliefs, and
personal experiences as a Devcom student and a young gay.

First Cycle Method


In the process of collecting stories, I recorded five interviews I had with the lolas. Then, I
transcribed the audio-recorded interviews which are 30 to 50 minutes long. I chose to transcribe
the data on my own so as to recapture the setting of our conversations and to relive the narrative
experience. Transcribing the data also pushed me to write memos or the ideas which describe my
perception and reaction to what I am reading. Further, it is likely that the interview might not be
properly transcribed, had I hired a transcriber. It is only I who is in the best position to write
what I heard because it was I who was there.

In analyzing the narrative texts collected, I first borrowed the principles of Grounded
Theory which seeks to explicate a theory grounded from the narrative texts (Saldaa, 2009).
The first cycle initial coding allowed me to break down the narrative texts and explore data with
significant meanings. This process requires me to remain open to all possible theoretical
directions indicated by your readings of the data (Charmaz, 2006). Specifically, I employed In
Vivo Coding which elicits codes that capture terms used by (participants) themselves (Strauss,
1987 as cited in Saldaa, 2009) rather than researcher-generated codes. This type of coding
aided me in maintaining the participants meanings of their views and actions in the coding
itself (Charmaz, 2006 as cited in Saldaa, 2009). I reread each transcript many times and start
writing memos on the right side of each page. Guided by the theoretical assumptions and
worldviews I stated earlier, I coded data by highlighting words, phrases and paragraphs using
different colors of highlighter. In this cycle, I generated 284 In Vivo codes.

58

Second Cycle Method


The second cycle was used to categorize data with common themes and concepts. I
moved on to Axial Coding which involves the process of comparing categories and
subcategories. It is in this process where I look for connections and relationships among
categories.

From 284 In Vivo codes, I winnow it down to 54 codes by grouping similar codes. In
each index card carrying the code, I wrote analytic memos which include my thoughts and
feelings about the narrative texts and the codes. Clarke (2005) as cited in (Saldaa, 2009) briefly
describes memos as sites of conversation with ourselves about our data. In analytic memo
writing, I took into account my relationship with my participants, the research questions, and
emerging patterns and categories. This helped me in finding links and connections between
categories formed after the data were split. I then came up with four emerging categories and
eventually a primary theme.
Thus, one of my memos read:
Lola Zen: Noong araw, noong kapanahunan namin, hindi ka pwedeng lumakad ng
pakendeng kendeng kahit alam ng mga magulang mo, kapatid mo na bakla ka. Kapag
sila kasama mo o lumabas ka ng bahay, kailangan kilos mo lalake.
(Back then, during our time, you werent allowed to be flamboyant in public spaces.
When you were with your parents, you had to act like a man)
Memo: This experience is no stranger to me. Like the lolas, I was also constrained to
fully express my gender identity. It has to be noted that in their narratives, lolas used
the phrase noong araw or noong kapanahunan namin to refer to time period that
gives us an idea of the social environment they lived in. This social environment
hindered their ability to express their gender identities.

Writing this memo helped me understand the context of their stories which, in turn, influenced
their behavior as characters in the story. This further established the context that served as
reference point to their present experiences. Their comparison of their experiences in different
social contexts and time periods allowed them to revisit their past and reconstruct their identities.

59

The central category which led to the primary theme of my research was generated
through Theoretical Coding. Further, as this is a reflexive process, I incorporated my field notes
and memos with the narrative texts so as to show the relationship I have with my participants. In
the end, I surfaced four emerging themes and a central meaning of being old and gay. This has
also aided me in identifying counterstories within the narratives of the lolas.

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CHAPTER IV

FINDINGS, ANALYIS, AND INTERPRETATION


The quest for the elderly gay identity started with the identity I hold. Personal questions
on where I will be in the future coupled with my reflections on the spirit of development
communication in the context of gay aging led to this quest. Before starting the quest, I
immersed myself with the nature of qualitative research, assumptions of narrative inquiry, and
the key assumptions of critical tradition and Queer Theory, and the concept of counter narratives.
All of these served as my tools in pursuing this journey of self-understanding and a greater
understanding of the elderly gay sector.

This narrative research employed narrative inquiry as I believe in power of stories and
narratives in describing our experiences, interaction with others, and our identities. Narratives
are transformative communication forces that seek both to sustain and reinforce dominant
ideologies and to liberate the voice of marginalized individuals. The review of related literature
alongside my personal experiences recounted represent the metanarratives or dominant stories
about aging and homosexuality.

In order to understand the meaning of being old and gay, I narratively inquired into the
experiences of the three lolas who belong to the Home for the Golden Gays. My chikahan with
the lolas

included sharing of their childhood experiences, turning points in their lives,


61

experiences of oppression, and events which led them to where they are now. Their stories, my
memos, field notes, and personal experiences form the narrative data. I coded the narrative data
in three cycles, with the goal of finding the meaning of being old and gay.

This chapter presents the stories of the lolas and my analysis and interpretation of their
stories. This research, as a form of narrative, is a story of others story. Thus, in the first part of
this chapter, I restory the stories told by the lolas in a narrative manner. Restorying involves the
process of reorganizing the stories into some general type of framework. In this research,
restorying involves collecting stories of the elderly gays, analyzing these stories for key
elements of the story, and then rewriting the stories to place them within a chronological
sequence (Ollerenshaw & Creswell, 2000 as cited in Creswell, 2007). In collecting narrative
data, I noticed different events and experiences that were not arranged in order. The re-creation
of their stories begin with listening and retelling the stories lived and told.

I then first present their stories in chronological order dividing them into stages; growing
up years, adolescent years, and life as an elderly gay. These are the significant stages in their
lives where most of the significant events in their lives happened

I also identified turning points in their lives which are embedded in the stories that
follow. These turning points are events and experiences that transformed their ways of living,
their beliefs, and even their identities. Exemplars are also included in italics and provided with
English translation. This is in line with my goal to humanize this research undertaking by letting
62

their stories breathe using their own words. It is also liberating primarily because these voices in
the context of aging are usually not honored.
The last portion of this chapter discusses the meanings I surfaced and the counterstories evident
from their narratives. This is where I intergrate the critical aspect of the research.

Bulaklak , Manika, at Pagbirit1: Growing up as gay


At a very young age, all of the lolas identified themselves as gay. Self-identification is central to
the concept of gender identity or our sense of who we are. It is only the individual who is in the
best position to define himself or herself based on her feelings, desires, and aspirations.

Z: ...lumabas ang totoo sa sarili ko nung ako'y nasa grade 3 na. Nung time kasi
noon, nahihiligan ko kasi na mamitas ng mga bulaklak .
(My true identity came out when I was in Grade 3. During that time, I was fond of
picking up flowers.)
B: ... 7 years old ako, alam ko na talaga na ako kasi gusting gusto ko talaga na
haharap sa salamin, mag-aano ako tutula ako ng tutula, kakanta ako ng kakanta
ganyan.
(When I was 7, I knew that I am gay because I really wanted to face the mirror
and recite a poem and sing a song.)
N: Babae ako, oo, ganun. Ako si reyna sa lahat. Tsaka maganda
daw! (I am a woman. I am the queen of all. And beautiful! )

This is the prelude of their young gay stories. Lola Zen, 60, grew up in a religious
family and was raised in a province of religious people. This social context has made it
difficult for young Zen to express her gender identity. She was taught that it was
1

Flower, Doll, and Singing

63

wrong to be gay and consequently, punished for being one.


Paminsan minsan, sasabihin niya, Oy, magpakalalake ka! (Oftentimes, she would say, Hey,
man up!)
..although sa amin sa probinsya, sa Zamboanga city, likas ang mga tao dun makaDiyos. Karamihan dun, mostly, may dugong Kastila. Talagang mga relihiyosa yan!
(..although in our province, in Zamboanga city, the people there are inherently religious. Most
of them have Spanish roots. They are really religious)
..kasi ang nanay ko tsaka lola, relihiyosa yan. Ayaw na ayaw niya na mayroong bakla sa
pamilya.
(...because my mother and grandmother are really religious. My mother really hates having a
gay child in the family)

Since she feared her mother, she would find ways to pretend that he was really straight. But she
knew that she cannot totally repress her chosen identity.
Ganun no, dumating yung Grade 4, nagsideline ako ng kargador. Oo nagkargador sa
palengke. Kumikita ako nun. Yung mga kinikita ko, pag-uwi ko sa bago magtanghali, 10 or 11,
bumibili na ako ng bigas tsaka isda. Dinadala ko yun sa bahay, sa nanay ko. Sa mAdaling
salita, ang nanay ko tuwang tuwa, ang akala niya lalaki talaga ako.
(Come Grade 4, I worked as a porter in the market. I earned money then. I used my money to
buy fish and rice. Then, I would bring it at home. In short, my mother was very happy. She
thought I was straight. )

In elementary school, she met gay friends who would later invite her to dance parties and teach
her how to look like a woman.
Nung nasa Grade 6 na ako, dun ako nag-umpisa. Kasi tong kaklase kong dalawa. Diyos ko.
Sabi nila Uy may sayawan dun sa amin. Sinusundo ako sa gabi. Tatakas kami yan kasi dun sa
kwarto namin, kahoy yan, yung table pwede mong itaas ng ganyan. Takas akong ganyan. Etong
mga kaklase ko, punta kami sa sayawan. Eh noong araw, uso pa yung sayaw na grind. Hala,
nakikisayaw din kami dun sa may sayawan. Hala!
(I started when I was in Grade 6. Because of my two classmates. My God! They would invite me
to dance parties. We would easily escape because in our room, you can easily lift the table. So
there. During that time, grinding was trending. Then we danced and joined others!)

64

She secretly practiced this at home by applying lipstick and wearing her sisters dress. It came to
a point, however, when her mother caught her in her sisters dress.
hanggang sa hindi ko na-control ang sarili ko. Isang beses, nakita ko yung lipstick ng
kapatid ko tsaka yung palda. Sinubukan ko ay hindi ko nai-lock yung pinto eh uutusan ako ng
nanay ko. Nakita niya ako. Naku! Sinampal ako ng nanay ko!
(..until I wasnt able to control myself. I once saw my sisters lipstick and skirt. I tried it but I
forgot to lock the door. My mother saw me. Oh! She spanked me! )
Naku, sabi ko sayo. Sinampal ako ng nanay ko. Pinagalitan ako. Pinagluhod ako sa altar.
(I tell you. She spanked me. She scolded me. She let me kneel before the altar.)

Her father also punished her when he heard Lola Zen singing like a woman.

Tapos may dumating ding pagkakataon na sa tatay ko naman nangyari yun. Nasa bintana ako
ganyan. Ano ba yung kinakanta ko nung araw? (sings) But a house is not a home, ganyan
ganyan ako! Naku narinig ko na hinampas ako ng upuan ng tatay ko.
(Then it also came to a point when my father did it to me. I looked through the window. What
was I singing that time? (sings) But a house is not a home, like that! Oh! I heard my father
scourging me using a chair.)
Oo! Hinampas ako ng upuan sa likod ko. Sabi ko sayo. Ang takbo ko palabas ng bahay.
Pumunta ako dun sa eskwelahan ng mga madre, sa Pilar College. Ano yun, nakaharap yun sa
dagat. Dun ako, iyak iyak. Tapos alam mo yun. Ano ba yung tinatawag nila sa sarili mo na
nangyayari sayong ganun, nasasaktan ka. Parang gusto mo na, parang tumitigas ka. Ano yung
ulo mo, yung matigas ang ulo mo. Parang nilalabanan mo, parang sinasabi mo, Bakit?
Kasalanan ko bang naging ganito ako? Kaya mula noon, medyo pinapakita ko na sakanila
yan.
(Yes! I was scourged with a chair. I tell you. I ran away from our house. I went to Pilar College,
school for nun. I faced the sea. I was there, crying. Then you know that. What do you call that
feeling when you are hurt. You feel being hardheaded. Youre fighting, as if youre saying,
Why? Is it my fault why I became like this? Thats why since then, I slightly showed them what
I want. )

The biggest punishment was when her parents did not accompany her in her graduation.

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Nagraduate ako ng Grade 6, ang suot ko kung ano yung suot ko pagpasok ko sa umaga, yun
din ang suot ko nung gagraduate ako. Walang sumama sa akin sa graduation ko. Ako lang
mag-isa.
(When I graduated from elementary, I wore the same clothes I wore in the morning. No one
accompanied me in my graduation. I was alone.)
Oo. Ay naka-t-shirt lang ako na puti nun tsaka wala pa akong tsinelas nun. (Yes. I just wore
T-shirt that time. I didnt even have slippers then.)
Talagang malungkot. Ayaw ko ng sad story ha. Ganito na, graduate ako nun mag-isa
(I was really sad. I hate sat story, huh? So, I marched alone. )

But these incidents did not stop her from expressing her true identity. In high school, she still
joined her gay friends in their gay adventures. This is when her parents concluded that their son
is indeed gay. Consequently, they transferred her to Manila where her sister works.

Sumulat ulit ang tatay ko na nagrequest yung nanay ko na kung pwede dito na ako pag-aralin.
Ang dahilan, kasi ayaw niya akong makita kasi nga nahalata niya na bading talaga ako. Ang
nanay ko galit sa bakla, tandaan mo yan.
(My father wrote again about the request of my mother to let me study here. The reason was
because she does not want to see me because she already had hints that I am gay. My mother
hated gays. Remember that.)

She had no choice but to follow her parents orders. In her first year in Manila, she acted discretely
because she had no friends yet until she reached third year.
Noong nag-aaral ako, nung nasa third year na, nagkaroon na ako ng friends kasi marunong
na akong mag-Tagalog.
(When I was in third year, I gained friends because I already learned how to speak in Tagalog.)

Learning the Tagalog language did not only expand her social circles but more importantly, it
further allowed her to explore opportunities by which she can communicate her gayness. Her gay
friends introduced her to a bigger world of gays where she can freely express her gay identity.
66

Oo, second year high school. Medyo tahimik pa ako, disente. Ang kilos ko nun lalake kasi
bago pa ako nun. Syempre, nahihiya ako eh.
(Yes, I was in second year high school then. I was silent, decent. I acted masculine because I
was new then. Of course, I was shy.)
Noong nag-aaral ako, nung nasa third year na, medyo nagkaroon na ako ng kasi marunong na
akong magtagalog. Nagkaroon ako ng maraming friends. Usually ang mga friends ko mga beki
rin eh, mga babae. So ganun na, meron akong isang kaibigan diyan. Nakalimutan ko lang yung
pangalan niya. Yun ang naging close ko talaga beki din siya. Kasi nahalata niya beki ako. Eh
ako naman, sama ako ng sama kasi alam ko sa sarili ko na beki ako eh. Pasyal kami sa Luneta,
nanunuod kami ng sine, ganun ganun. Basta naging close kaming dalawa.
(When I was studying, when I was in third year, I gained friends because I already
learned how to speak in Tagalog. I gained many friends. My friends were usually gays
and girls. So, I had a friend. I forgot his name. We became close friends because he was
also gay. He also thought I was gay. So I just joined him because I know that I am gay.
We would visit Luneta, watch in movie houses. The point is we became close friends.)

Although this helped her manage and construct her gay identity, it came at the expense of
being displaced from her sisters house.
Nalaman niya kasi minsan nakikita niya, kulang yung gown niya, mga damit niya. Kasi yung
ate ko kasi, sa club nagtatrabaho yun. Nung araw kasi, hindi ka pwedeng magtrabaho sa club
kung hindi ka nakagown. Yun ang mga gown na ginagamit ko. Hal aka! Sumulat sa nanay ko.
Tamang tama pa naman. Anong araw yun? Huwebes!Huwebes ng umaga. Ano yun,
vacation yun eh. Naku, nasa kusina ako, paglabas ko, nasalubong ko nanay ko. Pak pak!
Lumayas ka dito sa bahay, sabi niya. Ayoko na may anak akong bakla! Sabi niyang ganun,
kunin mo lahat ng damit niyan, ibaba mo. Olivia! Kunin mo lahat ng damit niyan, palabasin mo
yan. Tinapon niya. (sobs) Ayoko na ngang umiyak. Tapos, alam mo kung saan ako nagpunta?
Una sa Luneta, paikot ikot ako.
(My sister knew about it because she would notice that some of her gowns and dress were
missing. She worked in a club. During that time, you cant work in a club unless you wear
gown. Thats the gown I used. So, she wrote a letter to my mother. What day was that?
Thursday! Thursday morning. It was vacation time. So I was inside the kitchen when I came out,
I saw my mother. Pak pak! Leave this house, she said. I dont want to have a gay child! She
said. Get all your clothes. Olivia! Get all his clothes and let him leave the house. She threw all
my clothes. (sobs) I dont want to cry. Then, you where I went? First, I roamed around in
Luneta.)

67

This is one of the turning points of her life. She was again displaced and as a consequence, she
stopped going to school. On a brighter note, Lola Zen gained complete freedom when she lost
connections with her sister. She was thankful for no one will reprimand her anymore and will
suppress her gender identity.

Ganun nangyari, natuto na ako magmake-up make-up, sayaw sayaw, puro gown gown. Hala,
kung saan saang sayawan kami nagpupunta!Hanggang yun nga one time, nasa Cultural Center
kami. May nakilala kami isang lalake. Ako naman tinitignan tignan ko pero may naramdaman
ako. Eh ako kasi bata pa. Pero ang ugali ko kasi simple pero wild! (laughs) Tapos yun parang
masayang magkaboyfriend.
(So thats what happened, I learned how to wear make-up, to dance, gowns everywhere. Oh!
We would attend dance parties everywhere! Then one time, we were at Cultural Center. We met
a guy. I stared at him and felt something for him. I was still young then. But I was simple yet
wild (laughs) Having a boyfriend seemed an exciting idea.)

Lola Beths story as a young gay has similarities and differences with that of Lola Zens. They both
loved singing and acting flamboyant. The only difference in terms of the expression of their
identities is the type of support their parents give. In Lola Beths case, his identity was easily
accepted by her parents and consequently, he freely expressed his gay identity.

Kasi nga mgay tiyo ako na baklita rinkapatid ng mother ko. Kasi talagang sabi nga ng nanay ko, eh sabi
iya, Eh talagang ganyan talaga, Mon, dahil ang mga kamag-anak natin, lahat may mga bading na lumabas.
Maski na sa side ng mother ko, marami. Mga pinsan ng mother kolahat may mga bakla.
(Because some of my uncles are also gaysmy mothers siblings. Because my mother would say to my
father, Its natural, Mon because all our relatives have gay children too. Even the cousins of my mothers are
gays.)

His parents just considered Lola Beths identity as normal and intergenerational. Lola Beth
further adds that another reason why his parents approved of her identity was due to her excellent

68

performance in school. This made her parents even proud of her, far from how parents of gay
children respond to their childrens gay identity.
..Alam mo naman yung mga baklita, masipag mag-aral yan. Kaya laging kasama ako sa honor
roll, maski na elementary at high school. Kumbaga sa ano respected din nila ako maski na
baklita. Hinahayaan lang nila ako..
(You know that gays are very studious. Thats why I was always part of the honor roll
from elementary to high school. They just respected and tolerated me because of it. )

Although she was given the opportunity to explore her gay identity, Lola Beth had been a
closeted gay until he reached college. On the other hand, young Nancy was not subjected to any
form of discrimination within her family like what Lola Zen experienced. He shared how
hardworking he was as a child. Therefore, he was loved and respected by his family.
R: (Were you also discriminated by your family?)
N: Hindi talaga. Eh ako, marunong akong maghanap buhay. Maliit pa ako, naghanap buhay na
ako. Eh wala silang masasabi. Ang pagsabi nila ng Bakla ako, Oh, bakit? Di ba binibigyan
ko sila ng pera? Pag nag-aral man, tinutulungan kita. Kayo, meron bang naitulong sa akin?
Di ba, wala? Oh sabihin niyo nga ako sampalin ko kayo. Bakit? Di ba? Bayaran niyo ako
yung mga pagod ko noon. Kaya mahal na mahal nila ako. Iginalang nila ako.
(Not really. I was very hardworking then. I was still young but I already earned money. So they
cant say anything about me. Should they say Im gay. I would them: Why? I have provided you
everything so you can go to school. How about you? Did you help me in any way? You didnt.
So what now? Why? Right? Give back everything Ive given before. So thats it. Thats why they
really love me. They respect me. )
Oo! Mga kapatid ko, tawag nila sa akin Inday. Ibig-sabihin, mahal. (Yes! My sibilings
would call me Inday which means love.)

Like Lola Beth, Lola Nancy was paminta despite having the opportunity to be flamboyant. This
was attributed to how people in their province threatened her. She narrated her experience of
repressing her want to be like a woman because of the fear that he might be struck by lightning
as what the people would tell him. In school, he was also taught that masturbation is bad.
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Sa probinsya kasi ano sabi, Ay, wag kang gaganun-ganun, tatamaan ka ng kidlat. Eh takot
ako sa kidlat! Ayokong mamatay! Isipin mo mawalan na sila ng ganda. Gusto ko ang
pagganda ko, forever! Kaya hindi ko gumagawa ng ganun. Tatamaan daw ng kidlat. Tapos pag
ano ka sa iskul, sabi bawal daw mag-masturbate.
(In our province, people would say, Dont be feminine, else you will be stricken by lightning. I
was afraid of lightning then! I didnt want to die! Think of it..they will lose a beautiful lad. I
want my beauty to be forever! Thats why I didnt act feminine. Then even in school, I was
taught that masturbation is bad.)

In summary, Lola Zens young gay story is a collection of experiences on displacement,


discrimination, and exploration of gay identity whereas Lola Beths is characterized by tolerance
and expression of gay identity in spaces such as movie houses. Lola Nancys story, on one hand,
revolves around her desire to express her gayness but was repressed because of the influence of
the people in their province.

Dalagang dalaga: As an adult gay


The stories in this section highlight events and their experiences when they entered adulthood.
Across their stories, it is evident that it is in this stage of their lives where opportunities to fully
express their identities were available. Their transfer to different places and social setting set
these opportunities for identity expression.

One of the low points in her life story is when Lola Zen was displaced for the second time and
for the same reason. She had no idea where to go but she was sure about her decision not to go
back. Fortunately, she had a good friend named Dennis who let her stay in their house. Dennis

70

even invited Lola Zen to work in a chandelier shop. She would spend her weekend with Dennis
at Cultural Center where they met a lot of boys.
..Ikot ikot ako sa Luneta tapos naisipan kong pumunta dun kasi dito lang nakatira yung
nakilala ko eh. Punta kaya ako dun kina Dennis. Yun pinuntahan ko siya. Nung panahon na
yun, siya naman nagtatrabaho na sa Capi. Inampon niya ako..
(..I roamed around Luneta then I thought of going to Dennis place. So I went there. During
that time, he was working in Capi. So he adopted me )
Siya rin sumusuporta kasi siya may isip na. Bulag kasi ang nanay niya. Sa Capi siya
nagtatrabaho hanggang sa sinama niya ako, ipinasok niya ako doon sa Capi.
Pagkatapos ng Sabado Linggo, pagkatapos ng trabaho, naglalandi kami.
(He also supported his family. His mother was blind. So he invited me to work in Capi. On
weekends, we would flirt. )
Rampa! Rampa sa Cultural Center. Palibhasa, mas matanda sa akin yung kaibigan ko.
Lumalandi sa mga lalake.
(We would do it at Cultural Center. So since my friend was older than me, he would flirt with
boys.)

But it was too late. She was dropped from class after months of being absent. She then just
continued on working and took the opportunity to express her gayness.
Drop-out na ko. Dalawang buwan na lang gagraduate na ako ng high school so drop-out na.
Hindi na ako nagpapakita dun sa ate ko. Tapos nabalitaan ko nanay ko wala na, umuwi na.
Pero may bilin, wag na wag mong papauwiin si Frederico dito sa bahay. Nandito ako ngayon
sa kaibigan ko. Yan ngayon ng nagturo sa akon ng mga kalandian.
(I was dropped from school. It was just two months away from graduation. I didnt come back
at my sisters house. I just heard that my mother came back to our province. But she asked my
sister not to allow me stay in her house. So I was here in my friends house. Thats my gay
friend who taught me how to flirt.)
Hindi (ko na tinuloy) kasi dumating na kasi sa isip ko sa puso ko na parang binetray na ako
na, wala ako ng pagtingin sa mga pamilya ko, ate ko kasi andun n sap unto na sa isip ko. Puso
ko na yung gusto ko. Yung gusto kong masunod talaga. Tinuloy ko talaga yun kahit na kahit
saan-saan nasa kalye lang ako natutulog, at least nailalabas ko yun.
(I chose not to finish my studies because I felt betrayed by my family and my sister. It came to a
point where I followed what my heart said. I followed what I really wanted even when it meant
living along the streets. At least, I was able to express who really I am.)

71

Her friend taught her to maximize all avenues where she can express and perform her gay
identity. She emphasized the significance of her gay friends in the formation of her gay identity.
..kaya minsan eh hanggang ngayon, iniisip ko na di ko naman sila (gay friends) masisi na
sasabihin ko sa sarili ko na mga devil kasi sabi ko siguro kung hindi dahil sakanila, hindi
siguro ako magiging ganito. Pero one thing pa, malapit sila sa puso ko. Katulad nila ako, so
sino ba ang dapat sisihin? Walang dapat sisihin. Kasi kailangang ilabas kung sino ako. Hindi
pwedeng hindi kaya nga minsan nakakapagsalita ako kung ayaw ako ng mga kapatid ko at
magulang ko, so what?
(..thats why sometimes, I realized that I cannot blame my friends or call them devils because if
not because of them, I wouldnt be who I am now. More than that, they are close to my heart.
They are just like me. So who should I blame then? No one because I really have to show who I
am. It shouldnt be hidden. Thats why I would sometimes say that I really dont care if my
siblings and parents hate me.)

When she realized that she can be dependent, Lola Zen left her friend and lived under a tree at
Cultural Center.
umalis ako diyan sa kaibigan ko. Diyan ako tumira sa may Cultural Center, sa may star
city. Kasi nga naramdaman ko parang naghahanap ako, sabi ko marami dyang lalake. Ilang
taon akong tumira diyan sa ilalim ng puno.
(..so I left my friend. I stayed at Cultural Center near Star City because I was craving
for it. I told myself that there are lots of boys there. I stayed how many years under a
tree.)
Nagkaroon ako ng mga kaibigan diyan. Mga shoplifter, snatcher, holdaper, sila yung mga
sumusuporta sakin. Trabaho ko lang sakanila doon, bantayan yung mga gamit nila. Oh yun ang
trabaho ko.
(I had friends there. They are the shoplifters, hold-uppers who supported me. My only job then
was to guard their things. That was my only task.)

She just depended on her friends support at Cultural Center but she was able to surpass the daily
challenges of life through them.
Dun ko nga naranasan na kumain ng mga tira tirang inuuwi nila. Naranasan ko yan. (Thats
where Ive experienced eating leftovers. Ive experienced it.)

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Mahirap eh kasi umaasa lang ako sakanila, nag aantay ako. Wala akong magagawa kundi
antayin lang sila. Basta ang gagawin ko lang, bantayan yung mga gamit nila, mga damit nila.
(It was difficult because I just depended on them. I just waited. I cant do anything but to wait
for them. My only task was to guard their things, their clothes.)

On the other hand, Lola Beth never went through the hardships which Lola Rica
experienced. Unlike Lola Zen, he finished his college education in a private university in
Manila.
..Third year, kasi galing ako ng Columbian College sa Olongapo. Dun ako nag-first
two years eh. Tapos third year,sabi ko,gusto ko sa Maynila mag-aral. So, nagpa-enroll
ako sa UE. ..third year. May mga naging close friends din ako diyan. Tapos meron
akong isang parang naging kaibigan din. Kaklase ko rin dun sa dalawang subject.
Ngayon, pag anolagi akong tinatawag nun, Mon, tara! Meryenda tayo. Sige, share
share kami no. Chikahan lang kami pero siguro nararamdaman niyang baklita ako.
(..It was in third year

(where my gay adventures started) because I came from

Columbian College in Olongapo. Thats where I spent my first two years in college. Then in
third year, I told myself, I want to study in Manila. So, I got enrolled in UE in my third year. I
also gained close friends there. Then I had this friend who was also my classmate in two
subjecs. Oftentimes, he would invite me for snacks to which I would agree. So we just talked.
But I thought he already felt that I was gay.)

His college life marked the starting point of his gay adventures which include his sexual
encounters with men in different places such as Quiapo and Recto. This is where he became
more open to his gay identity.
Parang ang taas ng fever ko! Hindi ko maintinidihan. Oo, first time ko! Tapos nun,
ayun na. Alam ko na yung lugar nung mga..kasi ang mga call boy nun, maraming nakatayo sa
Quiapo. Dadalhin mo lang dun sa parang mot-mot nila Chito, sa loob ng Quiapo, sa gilid. May
mga bahay bahay dun eh. May mga call boy din na tambay nun? 20 pesos lang ata ano15.
Kaya dun ko dinadala kapag may natipuan ako.
(It seemed that I had I high fever! I cant understand the feeling. Yes, it was my first time! Then
it happened. I knew the place because during that time, call boys would station in Quiapo. You
just have to bring them in a room beside Quiapo. There are houses there. There are also places
where callboys would usually stay. It just costs 20 or 15. So I usually bring my boys there.)
73

Lola Beth was aware of the risks involved in engaging in sexual activities with a callboy.
He noticed, however, that the situation before was better compared with today. Although he did
not experience any form of abuse, he shared that even ones life can be at risk in those places.
Maraming istorya ng panghoholdap, pananaksak lalo na pag mag-eexam ka sa momot,
mamaya, aakyat na yung mga kagang. Yun pala contact na nila yun kaya mahirap. Hindi ka na
sigurado ngayon sa mga bata.
(There are lots of stories of instances of hold-up, stabbing especially during peak hours. They
have connections. So youre not sure of them nowadays.)
Oo paduduguin ka talaga dun. At tsaka nakakadyokot nga dun kasi marami ngang kwento na
minsan may binitbit yung bading sa napick-up niyang lalake sa Isettan. Eh kadalasan ang mga
pinagdadalhan ng lalake yung mga kilala nilang roomboys. Kaya kapag hinold-up ka nila,
hindi gagalaw yung mga roomboys na yun. Pag aalis na yung ombre, nalaman mo na lang na
wala na yung lalake pala, wala na yung gamit mo. Oh kaya dun sa isang lugar na pinagdalhan
sayo, eh tinutukan ka ng om, eh hindi ka makagalaw, ginawa ng om binalot ka ng kumot
para kang mummy. Hindi ka makagalaw. Maswerte na lang kapag sinilip ka ng roomboy.
Kasi pag binalot ka talaga, pati mukha mo nakabalot.
(Yes, you will really bleed in pain. And its also scary there because of the stories that
sometimes when gays are able to pick boys for hook-up, the boys would bring them to motels
where they know the roomboys. So when youre held-up, the roomboys wont
help you. When the boys leave, thats only when you realize that all of your things are gone. Or
when the callboy points a knife or gun at you, so you cant move. He then would wrap you up
with cloth like a mummy. So you cant really move. Youre just lucky should a roomboy notice
you. Because when you are wrapped, even your face is also wrapped. )

Unlike Lola Rica who was flamboyant, Lola Beth chose to act as a male or paminta. He shared
his gay adventures with the Henwa girls of Sta. Cruz, who are also paminta. They are named
after a restaurant in Sta. Cruz where they spend most of their leisure time.
..Paminta nga dating ko eh. Kaya ayun. Paminta talaga noon. Yung mga panahon namin
noon, mga 1980s, kasabayan namin yung mga bading na taga-Sta. Cruz nun kasi madami ang
mga beki nun eh.Nakasama namin. Nakasabayan namin yun. Mga Henwa girls kung tawagin,
mga Intsik. Yung mga baklita.

74

(..I was a closeted gay before. It was the trend during that time.In 1980s, we joined the gays of
Sta. Cruz because there are many gays there too. They were our acquaintances. They were
called Henwa girls, Chinese gays. )
Pero hindi sila nagbababae, damit lalake sila. Papogian din..Tambay rin kaming Sta. Cruz
nun. So bali diyan sa Sta. Cruz, sa tapat ng hall diyan, may restaurant diyan sa taaas, sa ibaba
nun may bakery. Andyan pa rin yung bakery. Yan yung Henwa restaurant kaya kung tawagin
kami nun Henwa girls. Kasi dun kami tumatambay, naupo. Kasi maraming dumadating na mga
lalake, umiinom.
(But they didnt cross-dress. They acted masculine. Its a battle of looks. We used to stay at Sta.
Cruz. In front of the hall is a restaurant on the second floor while the bakery is on the first floor.
The bakery is still there. Thats the Henwa restaurant. Thats why they call us Henwa girls
because it is where we used to stay. There are lots of boys there who would drink. )
Oo! Magagaling yung mga bading nun na paminta. Hindi mo mahahalata, ngayon lang. Pero
noong 1980, 79, 80s, talagang ma-aano ka, matatanso ka talaga.
(Yes! The gays are that time were good in concealing their identities. You cant notice it.
Todays different. But in 1980, 79, 80s, you cant really determine. )

Lola Nancy was one of these gays who were paminta in the early 80s. When he moved to Manila
to study, he was able to dispel the myth told to him by the people in their province. Manila, to
him, was a freer place. It is where he worked in order to finish his high school education and
eventually support his family as well. It is where he was free to have sexual encounter with boys.
Oo, uso noon. Tsaka noon, walang bayad-bayad noon. Libre noon eh. Tsaka noon, wala ano
wala yung yung pumunta, lumalakad ka, tapos pinapatay ka wala noon eh. Hindi danger
noon. Talagang ayos ka.
(Yes, it was the trend before. Also during that time, we didnt pay boys for sex. It was for free
then. It was even more safe before and less dangerous.)
Hindi Lalaking-lalaki talaga ako, oo. Pero ang puso ko, babae. Sa labas panglalaki.
Tsaka hindi ko ano hindi ko nagladlad ganun. Hindi ah. Talagang dun sa ano pag sa
ano pag private life na
(No..I was really masculine then. But my heart says Im a girl whereas the physical aspect says
otherwise. Also, I was not a drag queen. I just do in in private life.)

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The lives of the lolas as adults are marked by constant reconstruction of the self, presentation of
identity in selected social spheres, and movement to places which highly influenced their
identities as gays.

Golden gays: Golden years and beyond


This stage in their lives marked their entry into Home for the Golden Gays, their experiences
living with other elderly gays, as well as their shared vision for themselves and for their group.
Lola Zens suffering seemed came to an end when she incidentally met Justo Justo, the founder
of Home for the Golden Gays. At first she was skeptical but when she was treated well by
everyone, Lola Rica concluded that it is indeed a place where she truly belonged.
Until one time, naglalakad ako sa Harrison, nasalubong ko ngayon si JJ, yung founder ng
Golden Gays. Sabi niya, Huy bakla! Saan ka nakatira? Sabi ko wala. Sabi niya sumama ka
nalang sa akin. Dun ka nalang tumira dun sa bahay natin. Natin? May bahay ba ako? Wala nga
eh. Sabi niya meron, sumama ka.
(Until one time, while I was walking along Harrison, I chanced upon JJ, the founder of Golden
Gays. He told me, Hey gay! Where do you live? I answered, nowhere. He said, Come with
me. You can live in our house. Our house? Do I have a house? I dont have one. He said, You
have. Come with me. )
Tapos ganun ang nangyari hanggang sa unang beses naranasan ko. Dun ko naranasan
yung anong gusto ko para sa sarili ko kasi beki ako. First time nagkaroon
ng sponsor diyan. Nag-outreach program. Lahat ng members kailangan dapat nakagirlash.
Hala! Dun nag-umpisa yun at dun ko nakita kung gaano ako kaganda. Nung minake-upan ako
ng make-up artist. Unang gown hanggang sa nagustuhan ko. Gustong gusto ko talaga! Kasi
nung bata pa ako, elementary pa lang ako.
(Then it happened until I first experieces it. Thats where I experienced what I really
wanted for myself because I am gay. It was the first time then that a sponsor conducted an
outreach program. All of the members have to be in gowns. Thats when it started. Thats when
76

I realized how beautiful I was. When make-up was put on my face. I liked my first gown. I really
really like it! Thats what I liked even when I was still in elementary.)

Home for the Golden Gays served two purposes in her life. Firstly, it provided her basic
needs which she was deprived ofshelter to live in, food to eat, and clothes to wear. Secondly, it
served as her homenot the physical one, but a social group which she depended on for social
support.
Kumbaga sa ano, kahit papano, dahil nga sa tulong na ginagawa sa aming president, si Beth
Santos, talagang tinatrabaho niya lahat para kamiy may makakain katulad nga nito. Eto
itinabi muna ito.
(Despite everything, we are still able to eat because of the efforts of our president Beth Santos.
We kept some here.)
Mga rice yan. Andami niyan! Na-idistribute na namin sa 70 members. Tapos ito natira. Bali
ito ngayon, kapag may nagutom
(These are packs of rice, many packs. We already distributed it to 70 members. Then
this was what was left. The remaining packs are reserves whenever one needs this.)

It is in this group where she was able to share her stories with others and find common
ground for understanding. It gave her the family which she never had.
Namiss ko yung andun kami sa bahay. Napakasaya yun! As in one family kaming lahat.
Walang problema. Kung anong pinag-usapan, kalokohan, mga katatawanan, mga kagagahan.
Kinabukasan, yun pa rin. Pabalik balik ang saya!
(I missed the times when we were still at our home. We were happy then. We were like one
family, without problems. We talked about anything under the sun. We talked about it almost
everyday. Its the same level of happiness.)
Nandito na kami kasi dun sa pamilya ko kasi ibang klase. Hindi pwede yung kwentuhan,
katuwaan. Puro kung anu anong kalokohan ang pwedeng. Hindi pwede yun. Kahit mahirap
lang kami, iba ang ano ng magulang ko.

77

(I was here because my family was different. It was prohibited to converse and to be happy.
Even joking is prohibited. Though were poor, my parents are different.)

One of the low points in her life was the death of his mother in 2007. She had no idea that her
mother lived with her brother in Cavite.
Malungkot sa akin nung namatay ang nanay ko talaga. Pero hindi ko pinakita yun. Kaya nga
nung nailibing na, naglalakad ako pauwi. Hindi ko nagpaalam sakanila. Alis na ko. Naglalakad
na ako. Okay na pakiramdam ko. Di ako yung malungkot ako wala na yung nanay ko pero
andun yung sa puso ko yung gusto ko ibigay yung gusto ng sarili ko eh. Malaya ako kung anong
gusto kong gawin. Ayaw ko ng may sinasabi sakin, Oy bawal yan! Oy masama yan! Kung
masama yan eh bakit nangyayari sa tao? Hindi masama, diba?
(I was really sad when my mother passed away. But I didnt show it to them. Thats why
when she was buried, I didnt bid goodbye to the. I was feeling okay. I wasnt that sad
but theres something in my heart which dictates what I really want. I was free to do
whatever I want. I dont want people reprimanding me and imposing restrictions on
me.If its really bad, they why then homosexuality happens to people? Its not bad, right?)
Hanggang sa nailibing siya, nailibing na, hindi na ako nag-aano sakanila. Ano, umiyak lang
ako ng sandal. Tapos wala na kasi iniisip ko wala ng harang sa buhay ko ngayon kung anong
gusto kong gawin. So ganun na nga nangyari. Hanggang sa inumpisahan na ulit Beth. Eto
masaya kami. At the age of 60, 60 na ko ngayon. Masayang masaya ako!
(Until she was buried, I didnt keep in touch with them. I just cried momentarily. Then I just
thought that no ones gonna hinder me from achieving what I really want. So thats what
happened. Until Beth re-establish it again. Here we are, happy. At the age of 60, Im now 60.
Im extremely happy!)

Lola Zen loves her mother but she loves herself as well. All throughout her life, her mother has
been consistently against her gay identity. Harsh it may sound, the presence of her mother
hinders her from achieving her goal. Thus, when she learned about the death of her mother, she
considered it as a blessing in disguise.

Another low point in her life was the untimely demise of JJ. The death of their founder
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signaled their displacement from a place which they considered home. The family of JJ decided
to close its doors from the lolas, a statement which they consider as a euphemism for
displacement.
B: Kaya ayun, nung namatay si JJ, sinabi niya talaga nung inlibing, na isinasarado na namin
ang bahay ng Golden Gays sa mga bakla.
C: Pagkatapos po yun ng libing niya?
B: Oo, dun rin mismo. In-interview rin siya nung Channel 7. Dun, maliwanag niyang sinabi na
talagang kinlose nila.
C: Ay talaga?
B: Documented yan eh kaya hindi nila ma-deny na sinasabi nila hindi nila ginawa yun. Hindi.
Hindi lang namin talagang sinasabi talaga na pinaalis kam. Ginamit lang namin yung salitang
Isinasarado na ang pinto.
(B: Thats why when JJ died and after his burial, his wife said that they are closing their doors
for the elderly gays.
C: Right after his burial?
B: Yes, right after. She was also interviewed by Channel 7 where she disclosed that theyre
really closing it.
C: Really?
B: Its documented so they cant deny it. We didnt just say that theyre displacing us. We just
used the phrase were closing out doors.)

Consequently, Lola Zen had nowhere to go. She lived along street corners until a barangay
captain offered her a street sweeper job as well as a make-shift house. So, she accepted the
barangay captains offer and is now living in her simple house in Pasay.
So wala kaming ginawa kundi scramble. Naghiwahiwalay, kanya kanya. Eh ako lumabas din
ako, nagkanya kanya pero hindi ako umalis dito sa gabi. Natulog ako sa building na yan.
Nakikita na niya(barangay captain) ako pero dumating isang araw, naawa talaga siguro siay
sa akin.Kinuha niya ako. Sabi niya, Gagawin kitang sweeper. So kinuha niya akong
sweeper. Hanggang ngayon.

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(So we didnt have any choice but to scramble. We got separated and lived our own lives. I just
slept infront of that building. Then, the barangay captain noticed me. He pitied me perhaps. So
he hired me as the streetsweeper until now.)
Ganun nga yun, kinuha niya ako. Tapos kinausap niya yung may-ari nitong apartment na ito
kung pwede dito ako sisilong. And one thing pa yung mga, gamit ng barangay, lalagay dito, ako
tagabantay. So, ganun nga nangyari. So nung nandito na ako, nawala kaming lahat.
(So thats what happened. He employed me. Then he talked to the owner of this apartment and
asked for her permission to let me stay here. And one thing, I was also tasked to be the property
custodian for the barangay. So when I stayed here, I lost contact with other gays. )

Her life became better when Lola Beth contacted her and shared her plan to re-establish Home
for the Golden Gays. She knew that it would be an opportunity for her to express her identity by
wearing gowns and conquering the ramp. Besides, she also missed her bonding moments with
the other lolas.
So dumating naman ang time na ilang buwan, bumalik siya. Kasi nung panahon na yun siya
ang secretary namin eh. Kasi nung buhay pa si konsehal, siya na ang kinakausap ni konsehal.
Kapag siya nawala, ipagpatuloy niya yung legacy ni konsehal. Eh nung una medyo alanganin
pero napag-isip isip niya, bumalik siya hinanap niya kami. Ako unang una niyang nakita. Sabi
niya gusto niyang ituloy yung Golden Gays. Sabi ko, Sige, tuloy mo. Hahanapin ko pa yung
ibang kasama natin, sabi niya. Tinyaga niya. Hanggang sa nabuo kaming lahat. So sakanya ko
naramdaman, sakanya ko nakita yung sabi ko, Ay. Si Mon yung magbibigay ng kasiyahan sa
akin dahil matutuloy yung gustong gusto ko talaga. Yung rumampa sa entablado.Siya yung
gumagawa ng paraan na maghanap ng mga sponsors. Kaya ang ligaya saya ko kapag suot suot
ko yung gown ko at rumarampa. Feeling ko natupad ko nay ng pangarap ko. Wala na akong
pakialam!
(So after many months, he came back. Because back then, he was our secretary. Because when
JJ was still alive, he talked to Beth about continuing his legacy. Although at the onset, he was
quite hesistant, he eventually agreed. He came back and looked for us. I was the first one he
approached. He shared that he want to continue JJs legacy. I replied, Sure, go on. He told me
that he will look for other members. He persevered until we were united. It is Beth who would
give me happiness because of her efforts to re-establish our group. Beth gave me the chance to
conquer the ramp once again. It is Beth who found ways to look for sponsors. Thats why I
really feel ecstatic whenever I wear my gown. I feel like I already have achieved my dream. I
didnt care what others have to say.)

Lola Zen shared how contented she is because of the re-establishment of Home for the

80

Golden Gays. It seemed as if she reached the peak of her gay life. She has supportive neighbors
who can give her food in times of need; the golden gays who serve as her support group; and the
HGG which gives her the opportunity to express her gayness as well as support for her basic
needs.
Wala akong regrets kung anumang nangyari sa buhay ko. Just wait for the time. Kapag
natapos na ang hininga ko, hanggang doon na lang. Tanggap ko kung anong nangyari sa buhay
ko.
(I dont regret all the things that happened in my life. Just wait for the time. My last breath
would signal the end of my journey. I accept all of the things that transpired in
my life.)
Wala na akong wish. Maghahangad pa ako kung anong magandang buhay na mangyayari sa
akin? Hindi na ako naghahangad. Ang hinahangad ko nga eh gusto ko nga eh matapos na para
wala na ehKuntento na ko.
(I do not have anything to wish for. I no longer wish for a better life. In fact, what I wish is to
end this already Im already contented.)

However, in my second visit, she shared her last wish with me in tears.
Ang wish ko talaga diyan kasi 1969 pa ako umalis sa amin kasi nagtransfer na ako dito magaral. Zamboanga city. Maliliit pa ang mga pamangkin ko. Hanggang ngayon, hindi ko na sila
nakita. So, isang wish ko yan na kaya minsan humihinghi nga ako. Sakanya. Bigyan mo ako ng
chance makita ko yung mga pamangkin ko. Kahit once, one time lang.
(My wish really is, since 1969 when I moved to Manila, my nieces and nephews are still young.
Until now, I havent seen them. So, my wish is to see them thats why I ask Him to give me a
chance to see them just once. )

On the other hand, Lola Beths elderly gay story started with a transformation of his

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identityfrom a paminta to flamboyant gay. He considers herself as a late bloomer because he


only learned to apply make-up on his face and wear gowns when he became part of Home for the
Golden Gays.
Okay naman dahil kasi nga ako nung una, tuwang tuwa nga ako dahil sabi ko ay pwede pala
ako ma-girl. Tsaka lumabas na maganda nga. Kasi kapag nakamake-up ka na, nakahair do ka
na, iba na ang dating mo nun ano. Eh nung una nga, hindi pa ako sanay magheels nun kasi nga
first time.
(It felt good because when I wore gown for the first time, I realized that I looked good. It also
turned our to be good. Because when you wear make-up, and change your hairdo, you look
different. At first, I had difficulty in wearing heels because it was my first time.)
Practice din eh pero nung nasanay na ko ayan parang minamanay ko na lang kaya ayan tama
rin yung sinasabi ng mga matatanda, nakaka-energize talaga. Masaya nga, nadadagdagan
yung ano mo, yung parang contentment mo sa buhay dahil naging kumpleto na yung pagiging
babae mo nga. Ah kapag nakagirlalu ka, feeling mo talaga eh nabawasan ang edad mo ng ilang
taon.
(I really had to practice until I mastered it. The lolas were right when they said that it makes
you more energetic. Its really fun. It makes you feel contented because it seems that youre a
real woman. So when you cross-dress, you really feel young.)

As a former secretary of the organization, he shares this happiness with other elderly gays by
helping their founder mobilize support from groups to make their events or pageants possible.
The training he had a secretary helped him in re-organizing their group after the death of JJ. The
clamor from the lolas, his interest to unite the group, and the legacy transferred to him by JJ
prompted him to re-establish Home for the Golden Gays.
Oo, ako na yung nagco-coordinate noon. Kumbaga hindi na rin bago sa akin na trabahuhin
yung mga activities ng Golden Gays. Kaya nung namatay yung founder namin, parang hindi rin
nagbago. Kaya lang ni-reorganize ko lang para mabuo ulit yung communication nung mga
displaced members para pag may activities, lahat sila present. Tatawagin mo lang. Nagawan
namin ng Sistema kung paano sila kokontakin at naging effective naman. Kaya lahat sla kapag
tinawa, nandyan lahat sila.
(Yes, I used to be the coordinator even then. Its no longer new to me. Thats why when our
founder died, it was as if nothing changed. I just re-organized our group so we can
communicate with our displaced members so as for them to be present in our activities. You just

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call them. So we were able to devise a system on how to contact them and it was effective. Thus,
when you call them, they are all present. )
..nalulungkot ako kasi walang pupuntahan yung mga matatanda. Wala man lang silang lugar
para magkaron ng chikahan o kaya magkaron ng bonding, dahil nga kasi displaced eh. Walang
lugar talaga. So sige sabi ko, paminsan-minsan, magme-meet muna tayo.
(I was really saddened by the fact that they have nowhere to go. They have no place where they
can converse or bond with another because they were displaced. Theres no place. So I said
yes, lets meet oftentimes. )

However, the daunting task awaits him. He admitted that it was never easy to re-unite the lolas
because they were dispersed. Convening the lolas was the first step which entails
communicating his plan with them.
Ang masasabi kong challenging part diyan ay kung papano mo ipu-pull together yung mga
lolas nung panahon na yun kasi displaced nga lahat eh. Yung iba tulad ni Rollie, nasa
Bulacan, sa Bustos. May iba kaming kasama na nasa Paraaque. Although malapit dun ang
Las Pias. Mahirap yung communications, sila Gloria nasa Fairview. Pag may event,
kailangan talagang andito sila. So kailangang gumawa ng sistema na pag merong ganung
activity, maaga pa nama-manpower pulling mo na sila, nabubuo mo sila.
(Pulling the lolas together, I think, was the challenging part because they were all displaced.
For instance, Rollies in Bulacan. Others are in Paraaque although its near Las Las Pias.
Glorias in Fairview. It was difficult to reach out the lolas. When theres an event, they all have
to be here. So there has to be a system that will ensure that all lolas are present in our
activities.)

Cellphones aided him in communicating with the lolas. The lolas who were texted and called
would relay the message to other lolas who do not have cellphones. Another challenge for him is
to convince and assure them that they will get something in return as they still have to travel. All
these are made possible by their sponsors such as LGBT groups, student organizations,
companies, and international organizations.
Mabuti na lang nakatulong din yung mga cellphone cellphone. Maski na yung mura, total may
mga mura, mga 500. Ang importante, natatawagan kayo at nakakatawag. Kapag natext mon a
yung isa, word of mouth na lang, pasa-pasa na lang. Ngayon, yung ibang nasa malalayo,
syempre kailangang ilalayag mo rin yung mga pamasahe nila maski na papanoYun nga lang
syempre, talagang pagsisikapan mo rin na kontakin sila, kumbinishin mo na Pumunta kayo
83

dito. Pagdating niyo na lang, tsaka ko na lang isosoli pamasahe ninyo. Pag bago kayo babyahe
ulit, bibigyan ko na yung ng pamasahe eh. Ganun talaga eh. Lalo na syempre pag may konting
donation galing sa sponsor. Kaya tuwing uuwi, yung mga malalayo lang yung binibigyan pero
yung mga malalapit, hindi. Anyway, meron kayong bag of foodies, good to three days of
consumption.
(Cellphones are also helpful. Although cheap, what is important is at least Im able to contact
you. When you text one of them, the message is relayed to others. Now, those who are distant
from us, you have to assure them that you will reimburse their fareSo you really have to
contact and convince them that when they go here, you will reimburse their fare. When they go
home, I shall give them fare again especially when theres a donation from the sponsor. So,
those who live far are just given fare. Anyway, you have bag of foodies which is good for three
days of consumption

In order to sustain the support for the lolas, Lola Beth has to promote their group so as to
reach other groups who might be interested in helping them. Their website and Facebook page
played a crucial role in carrying out this goal. Through these avenues, the plight of the lolas
through their stories are exposed. Other sponsors would also relay this to other groups who might
help them.
Malaking bagay rin yung website namin kasi yung mga naghahanap rin ng mga association or
grouos na gustong tulungan, nakikita nila na Aba, nag-eexist pa pala ang Home for the Golden
Gays! Kaya unti unti kong inupdate yung website namin. Ganun din yung Facebook account
namin, na lahat ng activities nab ago, inu-upload ko lahat ng mga pictures, nilalagyan ko lang
ng konting write-up, na ito yung latest get-together namin, thank you sa sponsor namin,
binabanggit ko. Tapos thanks you sa mga gift items na iniwan nila. Tapos ang ending nun
please save my number para at least makita nang kung sinong makakabasa. Ayun, tatawagan
na. Kasi marami akong nabasa nun sa e-mail na Ang hirap niyong hanapin. Yung cellphone
number na nakalagay kasi nawalan ng cellphone eh. Na-snatch nga yun, nawala yung, kaya
natagalan.Kaya ngayon, binabalikan ko yung naging sponsors namin na nagbukas ng
kanilang mga website, total may space naman dun na leave a reply kapag nag-open ka. Ayun,
sabihin ko Please save my number kasi yung una nawala. No more parang ganun. Tapos yun,
lahat ng mga ganun, pinadadalhan ko sila ng simple message tska nag-aattach ako ng isa or
dalawa o tatlong pictueres ng mga golden gays naa family portrait. Hindi individual, buo
talaga
(Our website was really helpful in promoting our group since some associations who were
looking for beneficiaries were surprised that Golden Gays is still here. So, I usually update our
website. Also, our Facebook account also helped. Thats where I upload all our activities,
photos, and write-ups which include thank-you messages. Then I would also include my
number. So I would receive a phone call. Because I received an e-mail from someone who said
that we cannot be reached. Its because Im no longer using the phone number I initially
posted. My phone was snatched. So until now, I visit the website of our sponsors to inform them
84

about my new number. I would also send them simple messages alongside 1-3 family portraits
of golden gays. )
Maraming nakita nila yun ganun ngang contact number at pictures, kino-contact ako bale. So,
yung internet talaga, malaking bagay talaga yan sa promotion talaga
(Many have seen my number and pictures. So they contacted me. So, the internet helped us a lot
in promoting our group)
Bale yung mga datin naming sponsor, nauulit ulit yun every year. Bukod dun, kapag may mga
bagong LGBT group, nai-spread nila na Uy! Nandyan ang Home for the Golden Gays.
Tulungan niyo. Again, kapag may mga pride march, malaking bagay rin yan kasi lahat ng
LGBT community, andun. So nakikita rin nilaHindi naman kami pwedeng rumampa lang ng
ordinary kasi hindi kami mapapansin. Kailangang nakagown! Kumpleto! Yun ang pampansin
eh!
(So we also have sponsors who would go back every year. Aside from that, there are also LGBT
groups who would share our existence with others. Also, pride march is also an opportunity for
us to be more visible within the LGBT community. So they would notice us because of our
gowns. Thats how we are noticed!)

Up to date, Lola Beth continuously gathers support from different groups. He currently resides at
Home for the Special Elderly in Caloocan city. It is an aging institution exclusive for the elderly
gays. It was established by the Happy Christians, a group of gays from the religious sect Ang
Dating Daan. According to Lola Beth, some of the lolas are with him in Caloocan. On their free
days, they would convene at Lola Ricas house and plan for their events.
Ito (Lola Zens house) yung parang nagdudugtong dun sa mga pangangailagan namin.
Pagkain, hindi naman masyadong problema dahil nakakadiskarte. Bahay talaga. Para at least
magsama-sama, magkakwentuhan, o kaya planuhin kung ano yung mga susunod na gagawin
lalo na kapag may mga events na gagawin. Dito namin lahat binubuo yan, dito namin
binabalangkas. Pero kapag natapos na yung event, dito rin kami nagbabonding kaya inaabot
kami dito ng gabi. Kasi ang mga lolas mo drinkers yan.
(It is here (Lola Zens house) where all our needs are linked. Food, not a major problem
because at least were able to work out on that. We really need a house where at least we can
bond together or plan our next activities or prepare for events. This is where we all do it, this is
where we plan. Even after the even, this is where we bond until night. Because your lolas are
drinkers.)

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He is optimistic that the government will soon create programs and policies that will serve the
interest of the elderly gays in the country. Like other lolas, Lola Nancy still feels young despite
his age. He feels invigorated especially when he entered Home for the Golden Gays.
Well masaya. Parang hindi nagbago ang aking pakiramdam. Parangpag-ano bata pa
rin hanggang ngayon.
(Well, Im happyas if nothing changed. I feel so young until now.)
Kailangang mayroon kang exercise araw-araw, yung pagkain mo, iningatan mo, bawal mga
matataba, maaalat, maaasim - Ganun. Yun ang aking secret. Atsaka ano ang mahalaga sa
lahat sex.
(You have to exercise everyday and eat healthy food. Thats my secret. And also, sex is the most
important.)

He wanted to be famous and to be seen on national television. Thus, he joined the golden gays.
But eventually, he did not just become famous, he found a new family.
Paminsan, merong hindi makasundo Challenging din. Dun ka matututo ng paano
magpasensya, paano ka magalit ganun. Parang pamilya mo na rin Walang kaibahan. Yun
din.
(Sometimes, there are conflicts. Its also challenging. Thats how your learn to be patient and
control your anger. They are like your family.)

He is also a late bloomer like Lola Beth. In beauty pageants, he is also competitive. He found joy
in wearing gowns and sharing the stage with other lolas.
Naggo-gown ako din! Kung ano sila an okay kung ano sila, ganun din
akoPapahuli ba naman ako!
(I also wear gown. I am also one of them. I cant lose!)

When they were displaced, he had no choice but to accept it.

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Wala. Ang sabi ko talagang Ganun lang ang buhay. Ang mangyari sayo, accept. Gagawa
ka lang ng paraan. Wag mo namang basta ano kailangan ano buo talaga kung ano man
yun. Talagang wag kang magpa-ano wag kang mag-step in saano ngang tawag mo nito
yung mga problema. Wag mong pipigilan yung problema ang mahalaga mabuhayMove on.
Di ba, ganun? Lahat naman may problema hindi naman nawala yun eh Talagang ganun
Part of life.
(None. I just said, thats life. You should accept whatever happens to you. You just have
to deal with it. Dont be disheartened by problems. What is important is at least youre
able to live. Move on, right? Everyone has problems too. So thats really part of life.)

He currently rents a room in Pasay. As a janitor, he earns six thousand a month which he
considers enough for his daily needs. However, it was not enough for his medication. He has
kidney stones and was diagnosed with prostate disease. The increasing number of dosage and
medicines prescribed by his doctor disincentivized him from taking medicines. He would just
resort to Sera-Gym, a massage treatment which causes him to perspire.
Eh hindi naman ako magamot Pag gamot pagbaling mo sa doktor, dagdag na naman ng
gramo ng ano gamot. Tapos imbes na tatlong klase na, magiging apat. Maaring nasira kasi
yung internal organ eh. Nada-damage Kinuha ko na lang sa Sera-Gym.
(I cannot be cured by medicines. During consultations, another dosage or type of
medicine will be prescribed. It might damage your internal organ. So I just took. SeraGym.)

Despite his medical condition, he still works and gives financial support to his
grandchildren and nephews. He shared that after helping them, he would normally receive no
more updates.
Pag wala, Papa, wala na kaming pambigas. Oh, sige, halika O kunin mo, wala ka nang
bigas Magkano bang pera kailangan mo? Ganun. Pero ngayon, jusko hindi na magtetext.

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(When they are in need of rice, I would respond immediately. How much do you need? But now,
theyre not contacting me.)
Siguro Takot siguro baka sila utangan ko. Pero never naman ho hindi nangutang sa
kanila. Ni 100 pesos, hindi ako nangutang sa kanila Never.
(Perhaps, theyre afraid I might borrow money from them. But I dont do that, not even 100
pesos. Never!)

His generosity is even apparent in his wish as an elderly gayto win the jackpot prize in
lottery and share it to those who need it the most. While hoping for that wish to come true, he
makes himself busy in a public office where he works as a janitor. As he remarks, life goes on.
R: Ang wish ko Ang wish ko gusto kong manalo sa lotto.
(My wish really is to win the lotto jackpot prize.) C: Bakit?
(Why?)
R: Bakit? Para may pera.
(So as to have money)
C: Eh matanda ka na!
(But youre already old.)
R: Bakit? Pamigay ko!
(Why? I would share it)
Ay, anak ko, hindi. Pakiramdam ko gusto kong kumilos ng kilos. Pkiramdam ko pag ano
parang tumatanda ako kapag wala akong ginagawa. Gusto kong magkilos ng kilos kilos ng
kilos.
(No, my son. I always like doing anything. I feel like growing old when I dont do anything. I
really have to just work and work.)

I just presented here a portion of their life story. Undoubtedly, this is not yet the end of their
stories. As I write their stories, several events happen as another chapter in their lives unfold. It is
the nature of storiesever-changing and in temporal transition.

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Their life stories as young gays are summarized in Figure 1. It includes narrative episodes which
are composed of interwoven events that make up the story. In this study, I clustered related
events in three episodes namely: as a young gay, as an adult gay, as an elderly gay. Narratives
are means by which individuals articulate their experiences in temporally meaningful ways
(Richardson, 1995 as cited in Holley & Colyar, 2011, p.684). It is at these time periods where I
found events that have clear links and relationships.

NARRATIVE IDENTITIES IN DIFFERENT NARRATIVE EPISODES


Gustong gusto : As young gays
This episode highlights their coming out stories as well as realizations of their sexual orientation.
They began to identify their sexual orientation with the objects such as dolls and flowers, and
social circles they were associated like girls and gays. Their discovery of their gustong gusto
(wants) marks the beginning of their life episode as elderly gays. All of the lolas expressed and
practiced their gustong gusto by being effeminate and being like a girl. Lola Zen loved playing
with dolls, picking up flowers, and wearing gowns and make ups. Lola Beth, on the other hand,
enjoyed singing in front of a mirror and wearing short shorts. Lola Nancy considered herself as
the princess in their family.

However, these sequence of eventsdiscovery and expression of their gender identities


produced different consequences for the three lolas. In the case of Lola Zen, her gender identity
was opposed by her parents especially her mother. Upon discovery of her gender identity, her
parents punished her. They did not even accompany her on her graduation. But fortunately, the
89

two other lolas did not experience discrimination in their families. Lola Beth was accepted
because he excelled in class and some of his uncles are gay too. Likewise, Lola Nancy was also
loved by his family because he was a hardworking and diligent child. These consequences tell
me that acceptance of ones gender identity is dependent on our familys background (religion,
in Lola Zens case; perception on homosexuality, Lola Beths case) and our abilities as
individuals( honor student, diligent, and hardworking, in the case of Lola Beth and Nancy).
Using the narrative lens, it implies that the consequence of these events determined their abilities
to express their gender identities. This means that a positive response from their families meant a
favorable environment for gender expression. Their familys response helped them in performing
their gustong gusto. Their good qualities such as being hardworking and honor student were
rewarded with acceptance. But in the case of Lola Zen, despite being hardworking, she was still
discriminated by her parents and eventually, sent to Manilaa punishment she received for
being gay. The temporary ending of this life episode highlights the transfer and displacement of
the elderly gays to the city of Manila.

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ACCEPTANCE/OPPOSITION

SELF-DISCOVERY

DISPLACEMENT/TRANSFER

Figure 1. Gustong gusto: Beginning, middle, aand temporary end of their stories as young gays
Malayang malaya: As adult gays
The second episode in their stories cover events which introduced my participants to new
possibilities. Their lives as an adult gay was marked mainly by story of diaspora. Lola Zen was
forced to go to Manila because her parents did not want to see her growing as gay. On the other
hand, lola Nancy left his province to work as a janitor in Manila. It is in this episode of their
stories wherein they were positioned in an entirely different social environment that later gave
them more freedom.

The temporary ending of their story as young gays led to the beginning of another storytheir
lives as adult gays. When lola Zen was displaced, she met new gay friends who would invite her
to dance parties and teach her how to dress like a woman. When lola Beth transferred to Manila,
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he had his first sexual encounter. He chose to acted discreetly because it was the trend during
their time. Like lola Zen, he also met gay friends who are discreet or in gay speak, paminta. On
the other hand, lola Nancy transferred to Manila in order to support his family. He found Manila
a more favorable environment for gays.

In this episode, the lolas have different practices and performances of their gender
identities. Similarly, the consequences of these sequences also differ. In Lola Zens case, she was
displaced for the second time after her sister informed her parents of her homosexual practices
a punishment for acting as gay. However, it seemed as a reward for her as it means being away
from people who disapprove of her gender identity. Further, the two other lolas were not
punished but were able to explore opportunities where they can express their gender identities.
The temporary ending is marked by the freedom to express their gender identities. Thus,
the construct that defines their being adult gays would be malayang malaya (free). It is not a
claim of absolute freedom as in their later lives, other events would unfold that may hinder this
freedom. However, in this episode, they were adult gays who are malayang malaya (free) to
express their gender identities in a way they wanted it to be. Their transfer to Manila provided a
different social setting that allowed them to be malayang malaya.

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GAY PRACTICES (rampa)

DISPLACEMENT/TRANSFER

FREEDOM TO EXPRESS

Figure 2. Malayang malaya: Beginning, middle, aand temporary end of their stories as adult
gays

Kuntento: As elderly gays


As the lolas age, new events and sequences of events unfold. In the previous episode, the
setting (Manila) was their common ground whereas in this episode, it was their encounter with
Justo Justo, founder of Home for the Golden Gays. Out of coincidence, these lolas met Justo
Justo who would invite them to be part of Home for the Golden Gays. This marked the beginning
of another chapter in their lives not merely as gays but adult gays. In this episode, it
characterized the movement of the lolas from being malayang malaya in Manila to belonging to

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a community of elderly gays. It was their age and their gender identities that brought them
together at Home for the Golden Gays.

In this episode, their aim was to sustain their identities as malayang malaya and grow old
as happy gays. To them, entering Home for the Golden Gays made them achieve this goal. It is
where they find a sense of family which some of them never experienced. However, when their
founder died, this sense of contentment was ruptured. They were again displaced from a house
they consider as their home. Many of them lived in the corners of streets in Manila while others
lived with their friends. This plight has made lola Beth take the initiative to re-establish Home
for the Golden Gays. He contacted all of the lolas and consequently, the lolas were reunited.
They have lost a house but they regained their home. Through their events, they are able to
express their gender identities and gain strength from each other. All of these make the elderly
gays happy, feel young, and contented with their lives.

In Figure 3, the entry at HGG marked the beginning of their stories as elderly gays.
Conflict arose after the death of their founder, JJ. This resulted to their displacement and
eventually, the dissolution of their organization. It was later resolved when Lola Beth convened
the lolas and re-organized the HGG. The sequence involves re-organization of Home for the
Golden Gays which resulted to the feeling of kuntento as they were able to mingle with other
elderly gays and wear gowns and make up in their events.

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DISPLACEMENT
(Middle)

ENTRY AT HGG
(Beginning)

REORGANIZATION
(Temporary ending)

Figure 3. Kuntento: Beginning, middle, and temporary end of their stories as elderly gays

THE MEANINGS OF BEING OLD AND GAY

This section of the analysis covers my interpretation of their narratives as a result of my


journey of listening to their stories, reporting these stories, and surfacing the meaning of their
identities. This is a product of my incessant reflection on the meaning of the narrative texts as an
interpretive bricoleur, as well as my personal experiences and beliefs which are brought into this
research undertaking. Here, I present four emergent themes that were constructed out of their

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narratives. At the latter part, I locate each theme in the narrative structure.

Being old and gay means being madiskarte


The Tagalog word madiskarte refers a type of individual who is strategic in making decisions
and carrying out actions in order to address a problem, despite any constraints. It has no exact
English translation. In the course of their lives, the elderly gays have faced situations where they
have to be madiskarte in order for them to survive and express, sustain, and manage their
identities. It was brought out with my conversation with the lolas when they described how their
lives were as golden gays.
For Lola Zen, she worked hard even as a child in order to have something to eat in school. She
was also madiskarte in finding ways to access objects which affirm her gay identity.
Eh palibhasa kasi mahirap lang kami. Tuwing linggo, naghahanap ako nung mga kalakal,
yung mga boteng softdrinks at huhugasan ko yan. Tapos dadalhin ko sa tindahan. Mag-iipon
ako nun. Alam mo ba kung anong binibili ko? Manika!
(We were just poor. Every Sunday, I would look for bottles and wash them. Then, I would bring
it to the store. Do you know what Id buy? Doll!)
Ganun no, dumating yung Grade 4, nadsideline ako ng kargador. Oo nagkargador ako sa
palengke. Kumikita ako nun. Yung mga kinikita ko. Pag-uwi ko sa bago magtanghali, 10 or 11,
bumibili na ako ng bigas tsaka isda. Dinadala ko yun sa bahay, sa nanay ko.
(So, when I was in Grade 4, I became a porter in our market. I earned money then which I used
to buy rice and fish for our family.)

For both Lola Beth and Nancy, being madiskarte entails studying hard and excelling in school.
Through these efforts, they were able to gain their families respect.
Eh ako, marunong akong maghanap buhay. Maliit pa ako, naghanap buhay na ako. Eh wala
silang masasabi.
(I really know how to earn for a living. At a very young age, I was very hardworking. So they
cant say anything. )
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Ang sinasabi sa akin, Yung bambait na bata. Kahit na ganun, bambait siya Ang sarap
tularan.
(They would say, the child is very good. Others should follow him.)

Acceptance and respect are crucial points in communicating their gay identities. These enable
ones identity to be out of the open and be expressed freely. This means that is easier to be out in
the open if the social environment is favorable. The opposite of these values are forms of
discrimination from gay bashing, bullying, and workplace discrimination to hate crimes. It is
crucial therefore that one has to be madiskarte in order to project a positive image towards her
parents. There is no assurance, however, that it will be responded positively as in the case of
Lola Zen. It depends on the values and beliefs that families hold which may be more important
than their childrens gender identity.

This is a sad reality because gays still have to prove themselves worthy of respect which
they deserve regardless of their gender identity. It may be true that respect is earned but it is
evident in the stories of the elderly gays that there is a double standard in the process of earning
it. For heterosexual children, they are easily accepted precisely because they are not gays.
For homosexual children, they have to double their efforts in proving that they deserve to be
accepted and loved by their parents.

In a world where gays are stigmatized and discriminated even by their parents, we have to devise
mechanisms so as to be accepted and be integrated in the society. We have to be madiskarte as
the lolas would say. I remembered my foremost goal as a gayto graduate with honors and find
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a decent job. I hope that after achieving this goal, my mother would accept me for who I am. I
imagine a situation where my mother can no longer reprimand me for being gay because they are
dependent on me. Like the lolas, I hope that I will be accepted simply because I am human too
and I am her son.

Lola Beth also had to be madiskarte in order to successfully re-establish Home for the Golden
Gays. With limited resources, he had to find a way to convene the lolas who were displaced. It is
in doing so where lolas can actualize their identities to the fullest extent. On one
hand, Lola Nancy would not have finished high school and support his family if not for being
madiskarte.

Their stories describe how difficult life was which then necessitates for a diskarte or strategy.
Without being madiskarte, Lola Nancy would not have been accepted by his family. Without
being madiskarte, Lola Zen would have lived her life along Roxas Boulevard. Without being
madiskarte, Lola Beth would have failed to re-establish the Home for the Golden Gays. Without
it, their life would not have been better.

Being old and gay means being compassionate


In the Philippines where there are only two aging institutions exclusive for the elderly gays such
as Home for the Golden Gays and Home for the Special Elderly, social support is crucial aspect
of an affirmative gay identity. In Motillas study (2005) on elderly gays in the Philippines,
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elderly gays would turn to other elderly gays for social support as most of them are abandoned
by their families. Unlike other heterosexual elderly which are more secured about their lives
because of the support from their families, the elderly gays have no other choice but to be with
other gays. Such is the case in Home for the Golden Gays. They were displaced, abandoned, and
beleaguered by their families because of their homosexuality. Given that they share common
experiences of discrimination, it is more likely for them to be emphatic and sympathetic with
others. They are more compassionate with the other lolas given this common ground.
Masarap ang buhay kapag kasama mo puro bakla rin. Oo kasi nagseshare kayo ng mga
karanasan sa buhay. Pero hindi mo rin syempre maiaalis yung iba kahit na mabigat yung
pinagdaanan sa buhay pero ayaw pa rin sabihin ang totoo
(Life is easier when you are with other gays because you are able to share your experiences
with them. But you cant also discount the fact there are others who still conceal the truth about
their lives)

The needs of the lolas go beyond medical or physiological aspects. They are also in need of
strong social support structure so as to achieve an affirmative gay identity. Sharing their
experiences with others and having someone willing to listen to their stories ease the pain and
suffering they have experienced. In the case of the elderly gays, it is done through storytelling.
Their stories are shared with others and when combined constitute a narrative. Being old and gay
means being compassionate with other individuals especially other gays. This mutual
relationship of compassion enables them to survive despite the limitations on financial resources.
It is also one of the reasons why Lola Beth continued the legacy of JJ.
..nalulungkot ako kasi walang pupuntahan yung mga matatanda. Wala man lang silang lugar
para magkaron ng chikahan o kaya magkaron ng bonding, dahil nga kasi displaced eh. Walang
lugar talaga. So sige sabi ko, paminsan-minsan, magme-meet muna tayo.
(I was really saddened by the fact that they have nowhere to go. They have no place where they
can converse or bond with another because they were displaced. Theres no place. So I said
yes, lets meet oftentimes. )
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Lola Beth was gay too. He sympathized with other lolas who became part of his journey
as an elderly gay. Compassion goes beyond putting yourself in someone elses shoes. It involves
taking course of action in order to help others. Without his compassion, no one would have the
drive to re-establish their group. Without his compassion, Lola Zen and other lolas would not
have worn gowns and crowns. Without compassion, LGBT groups, NGOs, and student
organizations would not have extended their support to the lolas. Without it, the elderly gays
would not have gained a support group. And lastly, without compassion, this research would not
have been possible. It is one of the reasons why I decided to conduct this study. I mentioned in
the first chapter that having the same identity with them made me sympathize with the lolas.
Compassion is then central to the birth of this research. So is it in the lives of the elderly.

Being old and gay means being faithful to God


Religion plays a vital role in the creation, management, and reformation of identities. It is
communicated and sustained through various channels such as mass celebrations, schools, and
our interaction with others. The Philippines has always been branded as the lone Catholic nation
in Asia. As such, in every dimension of social life, religion projects a certain level of power and
control over people. In the family level, it has affected how families teach morality to their
children. Morality, to the Catholics, is based on the teachings of the Bible. This sacred book
alongside church doctrines determine what is morally right or wrong in society. Based on their
interpretation, homosexuality is unnatural and is considered as a sin. The Catholic Church
further notes,

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Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an


exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great
variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis
remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts
as acts of grave depravity tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically
disordered. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life.
They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no
circumstances can they be approved.

Homosexuals were not included in Gods story of creation. This has been the rhetoric of
conservative Catholics and even Christians which is used as a justification for the exclusion of
sexual minorities in their churches or even in society.

In order to be included and respected, one has to reform which entails being straight or
heterosexual. In the lives of the lolas, the power of religion in inculcating values and morals is
apparent. Lola Zen attributes the attitude of her mother towards homosexuality to her religion.
Her use of the word likas which means inherent symbolizes the conservative stance of their
family with respect to homosexuality. This attitude towards homosexuality led to the repression
of her identity, two instances of displacement, and deprivation of a family. It led to her
experiences of exclusion within family circle.
Siguro nasa paniniwala niya kasi may dugong Espanyol siya na ang bakla siguro hindi
nilalang ng Diyos. Siguro yun ang paniniwala niya. Tsaka one thing, pumapasok sa isip nila na
ang isang bakla nakikipagrelasyon sa kapwa lalake.
(Perhaps its in their belief because they have Spanish roots---that mayber, gays are not
creations of God. They also believe that of course, when youre gay, you enter into relationship
with the same sex.)
Oo dahil noong panahong bata pa ako, although dumating na ako sa puntong teenager na
ako, hindi ko kasi naramdaman yung pagsasabing pagmamahal kasi that time na lagi kaming
magkakasamang pamilya iba eh. Lagi akong dehado. Di ako pinapansin lagi ng mga kapatid ko
na babae o lalaki. Kaya hindi lagi wala ako sa bahay. Lumalabas ako sa bahay, naghahanap
ako ng kalaro o kaya yun nga naghahanap ako ng bote.

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(Yes because back then, I never felt the thing they called love because it really felt different
when I was with them. I was always at the losing end. My siblings didnt care about me. Thats
why I used to go out and look for playmates or bottles.)

Delving deeper into the story of Lola Zen, it showed ho religion is so influential in that it
changed the life course of Lola Zen. She would have lived a better life had her parents accepted
her.
Kung hinayaan lang ako, nakatapos na ako ng pag-aaral dun sa amin sa probinsya. Maganda
siguro ang trabaho ko.
(If my mother only accepted me, I would have finished my studies in the province. I would have
gotten a decent job.)

In her case, acceptance was hinged on the idea of religion. Who gets accepted and who does not?
Religion controls our decision-making calculus specifically in answering this question. It is
always determined by religion. In the greater scheme of things, religion also framed how society
should respond to homosexuality. It has highly shaped the operations of social institutions and
even the government. For instance, the Anti-Discrimination Bill which seeks to protect the rights
of sexual minorities have not been passed in Congress. Majority of the reasons of the politicians
lie on the fear that enacting it into a law would lead to clamor for same-sex marriage which they
consider as morally abhorrent. It is also religion which framed our understanding of what should
the proper behavior be in public spaces.
Noong araw, noong kapanahunan namin, hindi ka pwedeng lumakad ng pakendeng kendeng
kahit alam ng mga magulang mo, kapatid mo na bakla ka. Kapag sila kasama mo o lumabas ka
ng bahay, kailangan kilos mo lalake.
(Back then, during our time, you werent allowed to be flamboyant in public spaces. When you
were with your parents, you had to act like a man)

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Not unlike dito sa Pilipinas, sobra sobra. Sobra sobra ang pagtingin nila sa kapwa nila
Pilipino lalong lalo na sa aming mga golden gays..napakaliit ng mga tingin nila sa mga
bakla.
(Not unlike in the Philippines, its very grave. They looked at golden gays differently as if
were second class citizens.)

In the story of Lola Zen, a fine line exists between religion and faith. Faith refers to the personal
relationship with a Supreme Being while religion is the general concept which pertains to the
label assigned to a particular set of beliefs on spirituality. Lola Zen expressed a
counternarrative on how faith in God helps her survive amidst all obstacles. She first tried to
deconstruct homosexuality and claimed that it is not a sin. This is in response to the dominant
narrative of religious forces that homosexuality is a sin.

..kaya ang sabi ko ang buhay ng isang tao lalo na kung beki ka, hindi kasalanan kaya nga ang
sabi ng Diyos lahat ng gumagalaw sa mundo, nilalang ko yan. Ngayon, hindi mo pwedeng
sabihan hindi yan anak ng Diyos. Lahat anak ng Diyos
(Thats why if youre gay, its not a sin. God said that everything that moves here on Earth is
his creation. Now, you cant say that hes not son of God. Everyone is.)

She believes in a God who accepts and loves gay equally as others. She claims that God never
discriminates but instead uses other people as instruments in helping other disadvantaged
individuals like her.
Isang bagay na sinasabi ko, kami kami nag-uusap usap na kunsabagay pare pareho din ang
kwento namin na simulat sapul kasi nga ayaw samin ng mga magulang namin, ang mga tao.
Sino ang lalapitan mo? Eh di yung nasa taas. Siya ang gagabay sayo hanggang sa mamatay ka.
Pag namatay ka, hindi maaari na mamatay ka diyan sa tabi, walang papansin sayo. Meron.
Kasi sa Diyos, walang imposible. Kaya tignan niyo ang
buhay namin ngayon, kahit matanda na kami katulad ko, nandito nga ako. At least, malaki ang
pasasalamat ko dahil binigyan niya ako ng lugar. Ang pagkain ko, hindi ako nawawalan
(When we talk with the lolas, I would say that theres no one who they can ask for help except
the One above. He guides you until your death. When you die, its impossible that no one will
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care about you. There will be. Because in God, nothing is impossible. Thats why you look at
our loves now. I;m here. At least Im thankful that I was given a place. I dont have problems
with the food as well.)
So yun nga sa buhay ng isang tao, kailangan nauuna ang Diyos. Hinding hindi ka pwedeng
humingi ng tulong sa kapwa mo dahil unang una, ang kapwa moa ng manlalait sayo, manga
away sayo, aawayin ka. Hindi ka tinutulungan. Kaya lang tinutulungan ng Diyos kapag
humingi ka, ang Diyos ang nagtuturo sa isang tao para tulungan ka. Yan an katotohanan diyan.
Kaya nga sinasabi niya mahalin moa ng kapwa mo. So paano nangyayari sa buhay ng isang
bakla eh ayaw mo naman kaming mahalin. Bakit yung minamahal nila ay yung may suso at
bilas? Bakit? Diba?
(So in a persons life, we should never forget God. You can never ask help to others because it
is them who discriminate and ostracize you. They wont help you. Its only God who uses these
people as instruments to help you. Thats the truth. Thats why they would say love your
neighbors. How then is it possible in a gays life if others hate us? Why only love those who
have breasts? Why, right?)

Being old and gay then means clinging on to an omniscient being who makes everything
possible. The help she gets from elderly gays, Lola Beth, and their sponsors are all made possible
by God. To be an elderly gay means to have a trust and faith in someone the eye cannot see. It
means having the belief that someone can be with you in times of dire need. It is God who Lola
Zen consider as the reason for her continued existence.

In the Philippines, there is no study yet on the interplay of religion and sexuality. This
interpretive study provides a picture of how religion as a cultural force influences the creation of
gay identity and how it is a key aspect of gay identity. Using the lens of communication, the
identity is constructed by communicating religion in different spaces. This posits identity as a
product of social interaction and cultural forces .

Being old and gay means being dependent

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This theme brings me back to the fear which I stated in the first chapter. Dont you fear of
growing old alone? Society holds the notion that elderly gays are bound to live a miserable a life
when they age because of the absence of a partner or family who can support them. This pushed
some gays to marry and have children so as to have a support structure when they grow old. But
when you age without a family on your own, life was considered more miserable.

In the course of their lives, the lolas have been dependent on others for support. After she
was abandoned, she depended on her gay friends and peers in Cultural Center. All of them are
partly dependent on the programs and services of Home for the Golden Gays. This dependence is
a result of their displacement. For Lola Rica, since she was displaced twice, she had no choice
but to depend on others. If only she was not displaced, she could have graduated and earned
money for survival.

After being displaced, other lolas also depended on the efforts of Lola Beth to re-establish their
group which provides them support. They depend on one another for social support. Further, the
lolas rely on the altruism of groups who might at least better their condition. This goes without
saying that the lolas also exerted a considerable amount of effort to improve their conditions.
Lola Zen and Nancy worked while they were still young. For Lola Nancy, his siblings are
dependent on her for financial support. Lola Zen currently works as a streetsweeper whereas
Lola Nancy works as a janitor. Lola Beth manages their group and organizes events for the lolas.
But these are not enough and thus, they have to be complemented by other sources.

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..alam niyo naman ang buhay naming mga golden gays, kung walang tulong na nanggagaling
sa LGBT, wala talaga. Dahil sa mga edad namin ngayon, hindi na namin kayang magtrabaho
katulad nung sa opisina. Dahil alam niyo naman sa gubyerno natin, may age limit.
(You know our lives as golden gays, if no one helps us from the LGBT, we couldnt have
survived. Because of our age, we can no longer work in offices. You know our government,
theres an age limit.)

To some, age is just a number but to the lolas age is considered as a hindrance. It limits their
ability to access job opportunities which can offer them decent compensation. Across the
narratives of the lolas, it is evident that age should not hinder them from being economically
productive. Age is then one of the reasons why they consider themselves dependent on others.
Being unable to access the job opportunities they want disallows them from maximizing the
fullest extent of their potential. This results to the creation of a reality where they become
dependent on others.
The Meanings of Being Old and Gay in the Narrative Structure
The aforementioned themes that were surfaced manifested in two phases in the narrative
structure. Being madiskarte, compassionate, faithful in God all manifested in the resolution.
These meanings are central to the the resolution of their experiences of struggle as homosexuals.
These identitiesbeing madiskarte, compassionate, faithful in Godsignificantly helped them
re-construct their gay identities in such a way that free gender expression is achieved. Being
madiskarte made them survive everyday challenges. Being compassionate provided them social
support which was their alternative to the family who displaced them. Being faithful in God gave
them the determination and courage to face life adversities. On the other hand, being dependent
surfaced from the beginning of their narratives. It meant a life without a family beside them as
they grow old. It is the point when they started to age with other elderly gays and rely on them
for social support.
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UNCOVERING THE CENTRAL MEANING OF BEING OLD AND GAY


The main research question I posted in the first chapter points to the two aspects of the elderly
gay identity: age and gender. Ginn & Arber (1995) claimed that the study on the relationship
between aging and gender is underexplored. Thus, they suggest that it is necessary to explore the
influence of age and gender in power distribution in society and in the creation of identity,
values, social networks, and other affiliations. In searching for the relationship between age
and gender, I again read through the narrative datainterview transcripts, memos, and field
notes. I have also connected the dots by linking the emergent themes I discussed earlier and
come up with the core meaning of being old and gay.

From to be to being
While reflecting on my data, I noticed how my central question was phrased (to be old and
gay.) The words to be imply certain conditions before one gets considered as an elderly gay. I
reviewed the third chapter and came across this line: in interpretive paradigm, generalization
takes no place because the meanings that people make are context-specific. Therefore, to phrase
the question as such would mean searching for the prescribed identity as implied by the words
to be. To adopt this question is tantamount to subtle generalization of the gay aging experience.

This led to the rephrasing of the central question which entailed series of reflection. I finally
came up with a more apt question: What does being old and gay mean? The word being refers

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to the existence or the nature of someone. I find it more appropriate simply because it perfectly
describes an open identity without having prerequisites or suggesting an ideal one. To look for
the being means to describe and explain what is there and not what one should be (as in the
case of to be). I seek to explain and understand the meaning of being old and gay and not what it
means to be one. This bit of realization is manifestation of the nature of qualitative research
being fluid and ever-changing based on where the qualitative data can lead you.

Being old and gay means being kuntento


Having reformulated the question, I now proceed to answering the central question: What does
being old and gay mean? After series of reflection on the narrative data, I first came up with the
narrative identity of fulfillment. The stories told seemed to reflect a message on fulfilment as
their successes, which led to their fulfillment, were highlighted more than their struggles. But I
later realized that it was too ideal. Was there any tension to the notion of fulfillment? This was
the question which pushed me to go back to my data. After sifting through their stories, this
statement struck me:
Masarap ang buhay kapag kasama mo puro bakla rin. Oo kasi nagseshare kayo ng mga
karanasan sa buhay. Pero hindi mo rin syempre maiaalis yung iba kahit na mabigat yung
pinagdaanan sa buhay pero ayaw pa rin sabihin ang totoo
(Life is easier when you are with other gays because you are able to share your experiences
with them. But you cant also discount the fact there are others who still conceal the truth about
their lives)

This passage tells me that being an elderly gay does not mean being fulfilled. There are other stories of
suffering and struggle which might be concealed. At the onset, I thought it only meant that the lolas I
talked to are probably more vocal than the others. But after questioning the data further, I realized that it
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is also possible that my participants refer to themselves. It is possible that it is them who conceal their
pinagdadaanan (struggle) as elderly gays. Thus, the notion of fulfillment was not apt to represent the
meaning of being old and gay.

Reading across their stories for the nth time led me to this statementbeing old and gay means
being kuntento (contented). This aptly strikes a balance between the successes or happy stories of
the lolas and their stuggles or sad stories. The word kuntento does not mean absolute fulfillment.
Rather, it is a state where one is able to experience happiness but the situation could be better.

It is important to discuss then the reasons why they consider themselves as kuntento elderly
gays. Undoubtedly, their lives as gays are marked with several layers of struggle: struggle to
come out to their families and to others, struggle to survive after being displaced, and the
struggle to re-establish their group. In these struggles, kuntento serves as their goal in their lives
and as a result of their struggle. In the lolas terms, fulfilment means being free (malayang
malaya), being able to achieve their wants (gustong gusto), and being contented.

For lola Zen, being old and gay means being free from any form of discrimination especially
from her mother. She was hated and discriminated for being gay but her old age marked the
achievement of freedom to express what she really wanted. She did not bother to respond to
discrimination from other people; what is more important is to get rid of the discrimination from
her family which she considered as more painful.

The death of her mother coupled with her

association with the golden gays makes her elderly life a fulfilling one. It was a
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completelydifferent life free from the barriers and limitations imposed upon her when she was
still a young
gay. These barriers limited her freedom to express her gender identity. Hence, the struggle to
come out.

Further, it was not just a question of how to come out but more importantly, how to deal with the
consequences of coming out. She knew that asserting her identity would antagonize her mother
but still fought for it instead because it is what she really wants. For Lolas Beth and Nancy, they
were already free from the start but chose to be paminta and not as flamboyant as Lola Zen.
Being paminta is also a sign of freedom primarily because it permits the individual to explore all
possible forms of gay expression. It has to be noted that within the gay spectrum lies an array of
identity performances which vary across time and places. The other two lolas are also free from
any rigid imposition such as the idea that they should remain paminta. Their identities morphed
into being flamboyant when they entered Home for the Golden Gays. These key points in their
lives wherein freedom is experienced also means contentment. The desire to come out, to
manage successfully the consequences of coming out, and to move from one identity to another
are all fulfilled desires of the lolas in their journey.

Having the freedom (malayang malaya) leads to the achievement of their wants (gustong gusto).
The absence of barriers and limitations enabled them to dress like a woman, look like a woman,
and be crowned as a queen. It gave way to the fulfillment of the dreams, aspirations, and wants
for the self. The establishment and re-establishment of Home for the Golden Gays both gave
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them not only their physiological needs but also for the fullest actualization of their gay identity.
Being old and gay then means being fulfilled with the desire (that has been repressed).
Dun nga sinabi ko na kapag naka-girl ka talaga, ah kumbaga sa ano, nadedefeat mo yung
aging process. Hindi ka tumatanda. Bukod doon, mababawasan ka talaga, para kang
bumabata kapag nakagirlalu ka. Pangalawa, na-invigorate ka. Kumbaga nakakalakas ng
spirit. Pag mataas ang spirit mo, high spirit ka, parang malakas ang katawan mo. Masaya ka.
(When you cross-dress, it feelis like you are able to defeat the aging process. You feel like
youre still young. Secondly, ts invigorating. It gives you strength especially when your spirit is
high. Its really fun.)

After the fulfilment of the desires because of the freedom afforded to them , the lolas feel
contented with their lives. Despite the lack of material wealth, they are happy with what they
have. Clich it may sound but having the freedom to express themselves in public spaces
weighed more than any material wealth life can offer. As Lola Rica put it, eto masaya kami. At
the age of 60, 60 na ko ngayon. Masayang masaya ako! (So, were happy now. At the age of 60,
Im now 60. Im extremely happy!

GOLDEN GAYS STORIES AS COUNTERNARRATIVES


The critical tradition sees communication as the mechanism that sustains systems of power that
privileges others and disenfranchises the marginalized. It is done through the validation,
affirmation, and imposition of ideologies which seek to silence other voices. These oppressive
practices are also reflected in and sustained by narratives. It is through narratives where our
experiences as privileged or oppressed individuals are revealed.

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Furthermore, narratives are apparatus of power that aim to dominate and render the stories of the
oppressed invisible in the narrative space.

I then present

here

the

counterstories

conceptualized by Nelson (2001) as a response to the metanarratives found in the literature


coupled with my personal experiences as a gay whose identity was misrepresented by dominant
narratives. Stories are considered as counterstories if they show any level of resistancerefusal,
repudiation, contestationidentified by Nelson (2001).

Its not a lonely life after all: Counterstories on Aging


I again discuss here my fear of growing old alone as foreshadowed in the first chapter. I was
discouraged by my relatives and friends from choosing my gay identity because they claim that
the life of an elderly gay is a miserable one. Aging, in general, has been feared by some
individuals as it signals the end of life. But it was feared more by gays like me who might end up
growing up alone. The dominant narrative on gay aging as lonely comes in two levels: internal
and external. Literature on gay aging consist the external source of this master narrative while
my experiences as well as my fear constitute the internal source.
I first discuss the external level. Several studies on gay aging in the Philippines have listed fear
of growing old alone and loneliness as one of the common concerns of gays (Austria, Castillo &
Llave, 2001; Bungubung, Domingo & Tan, 1995). Motilla (2004) further explains:
For instance, since gay male culture appears to overvalue youth and good looks, many elderly
gay men may feel alienated and may not have meaningful relationships with the younger gay
population. Likewise, those who had been estranged from their own families because of their
homosexuality and sexual lifestyle may not have a place to stay during their retirement that
leads to further isolation and loneliness (p. 87).

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However, this research shed a beacon of hope for me and tried to dispel the dominant narrative
or the metanarrative on gay aging. As aforementioned, metanarratives are forms of narrative
that presuppose one meaning by reducing fragmented pieces of knowledge while simplifying
and suppressing other meanings (Lyotard, 1984 as cited in Field-Springer, 2012). In the
language of critical theory, it is the hegemony of narratives.

In the context of gay aging, the

metanarratives emanate from assumptions of people about gay aging and the lack of research
studies on it sustain these metanarratives. These forms of knowledge simplify the aging
phenomenon by concluding that it is just a matter of age (and not other factors such as gender);
and suppress other individuals who are also aging but do not belong to the norm of
heterosexuality. The exclusion of sexual minorities as shown in the review of literature as well as
in surveys conducted for the elderly further affirm these metanarratives. It discounts multiple
realities and experiences of others which I sought to expose in this study.

What then is this reality which has been dismissed by the metanarrative on aging? Its the core
meaning of being old and gay that was extracted from the narratives of the lolaskuntento. As
mentioned above, local studies on gay aging represent the fears of gays who grow up alone. This
leads to the portrayal of elderly gay life as a lonely journey. But the stories of the lolas show
otherwise. Their stories tell us that they can be masayang masaya (happy) and kuntento
(contented) despite the lack of family support as they age.
The other level points to the internalmy experiences as well as the stories told to me. Going
back to my experience, I was told that I will have to prepare myself for a lonely elderly life. It is
a metanarrative primarily because it is an assumption and imposition of our identities and on the
consequences of chosing the gay identity. This translates to tangible actions such as parents
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suppressing the gay identity of their children because of the same fear or gays planning to have a
traditional family in order for them to be supported in the the later life. All of these are products
of metanarratives which have been sustained by communicative force in the form of stories and
through storytelling. This specific metanarrative seeks to repress the gustong gusto (want) or the
gay identity in order to conform with the norm. The counterstories of the lolas in this study
include their experiences of growing old especially when they entered Home for the Golden
Gays.

Well masaya. Parang hindi nagbago ang aking pakiramdam. Parangpag-ano bata pa
rin hanggang ngayon.
(Well, Im happyas if nothing changed. I feel so young until now.)
Wala akong regrets kung anumang nangyari sa buhay ko. Just wait for the time. Kapag
natapos na ang hininga ko, hanggang doon na lang. Tanggap ko kung anong nangyari sa buhay
ko.
(I dont regret all the things that happened in my life. Just wait for the time. My last breath
would signal the end of my journey. I accept all of the things that transpired in my life.)
Masarap ang buhay kapag kasama mo puro bakla rin. Oo kasi nagseshare kayo ng mga
karanasan sa buhay. Pero hindi mo rin syempre maiaalis yung iba kahit na mabigat yung
pinagdaanan sa buhay pero ayaw pa rin sabihin ang totoo
(Life is easier when you are with other gays because you are able to share your experiences
with them. But you cant also discount the fact there are others who still conceal the truth about
their lives)

Their experiences of aging are a direct response to the metanarrative which has framed my
understanding on growing up as a gay. It may just be a facet of the gay aging experience but
these experiences are also representations of the aging phenomenon which has been
homogenized through metanarratives. The meaning of their identities and experiences tell us that
contentment is not an exlusive value for the heterosexual elderly. Their counterstories reframes

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our understanding of fulfillment, in the later stages of our lives, is only possible when we have
our traditional families as support structure.

As mentioned by the lolas, they live a happy as elderly gays despite not having their families
beside them. Their families are the individuals who are just like them and share common
experiences with them. These are their families who they can share their stories with and who
supported them so as to achieve the fullest extent of their gay expression.

Based on Nelsons conceptualization of counterstories (2001), the stories can be


considered as counterstories as they function to resist the dominant narrative on gay aging. These
stories go beyond the refusal level and extends to repudiation as these stories reflect their
self-understanding as elderly gays. These stories do not just deny the master narrative told about
themits a lonely lifebut more importantly, the stories are in stark contrast with the dominant
story. Their stories constitute their narrative identities as happy and contented gays who are able
to achieve their gusting gusto (interests).

Figure 4 shows the dominant story and counterstory on gay aging. The dominant
narrative is encapsulated in the bigger circle while the counterstory is inside the smaller circle.
The counterstory opposes the idea that the only source of social support, which is deemed crucial
in aging, is our traditional notion of family. Their stories suggests that based on their
experiences, their network of elderly gays serve as their support structure and thus, significantly
contribute to their happy lives as elderly gays.
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LONELY ELDERLY LIFE


-discrimination
-no family support
HAPPY
ELDERLY LIFE
-family redefined
-community
elderly gays

of

Figure 4. Dominant story and counterstory on gay aging experience


Anak ako ng Diyos: Counterstory on Homosexuality and Religion
As discussed in the first chapter, counterstories are emancipatory tools geared towards
reidentification and resistance. In this study, the counterstories of the lolas enabled them to
reevaluate their own views on oppression and to present a different story to oppose the dominant
narrative. It then involves repudiation as a level of resistance (Nelson, 2001). In Lola Zens
story, it is evident how religion shaped her life and identity as gay. Part of her life was
characterized by the resolution of the conflict between her homosexuality and religion.
Siguro nasa paniniwala niya kasi may dugong Espanyol siya na ang bakla siguro hindi
nilalang ng Diyos. Siguro yun ang paniniwala niya. Tsaka one thing, pumapasok sa isip nila na
ang isang bakla nakikipagrelasyon sa kapwa lalake.
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(Perhaps its in their belief because they have Spanish roots---that mayber, gays are not
creations of God. They also believe that of course, when youre gay, you enter into relationship
with the same sex.)

Reidentification is evident in Lola Zens self-reflection on the conflict between their personal
desires and their parents (that were highly influenced by their being relihiyosa and having
dugong Kastila). This has made her aware of the oppression of her identity by her mother. It has
led her into concluding that she needed to fight for her gay identity at all costs.
Oo! Hinampas ako ng upuan sa likod ko. Sabi ko sayo. Ang takbo ko palabas ng bahay.
Pumunta ako dun sa eskwelahan ng mga madre, sa Pilar College. Ano yun, nakaharap yun sa
dagat. Dun ako, iyak iyak. Tapos alam mo yun. Ano ba yung tinatawag nila sa sarili mo na
nangyayari sayong ganun, nasasaktan ka. Parang gusto mo na, parang tumitigas ka. Ano yung
ulo mo, yung matigas ang ulo mo. Parang nilalabanan mo, parang sinasabi mo, Bakit?
Kasalanan ko bang naging ganito ako? Kaya mula noon, medyo pinapakita ko na sakanila
yan.
(Yes! I was scourged with a chair. I tell you. I ran away from our house. I went to Pilar College,
school for nun. I faced the sea. I was there, crying. Then you know that. What do you call that
feeling when you are hurt. You feel being hardheaded. Youre fighting, as if youre saying,
Why? Is it my fault why I became like this? Thats why since then, I slightly showed them what
I want. )
Hindi (ko na tinuloy) kasi dumating na kasi sa isip ko sa puso ko na parang binetray na ako
na, wala ako ng pagtingin sa mga pamilya ko, ate ko kasi andun n sap unto na sa isip ko. Puso
ko na yung gusto ko. Yung gusto kong masunod talaga. Tinuloy ko talaga yun kahit na kahit
saan-saan nasa kalye lang ako natutulog, at least nailalabas ko yun.
(I chose not to finish my studies because I felt betrayed by my family and my sister. It came to a
point where I followed what my heart said. I followed what I really wanted even when it meant
living along the streets. At least, I was able to express who really I am.)

The metanarrative on homosexuality perpetuated by religion excludes homosexuals as creatures


of God. It is an interpretation of who gets to be called son or daughter of God. I have also
confronted the same reality. Others would based it on the story of Creation which only talks
about male and female and not gays or lesbians. Although the Catholic Church has declared that
homosexuals are accepted, they, however, consider homosexual acts as unacceptable. This is
seen as false acceptance as our homosexual acts are inevitably linked to our homosexual
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identities. Consequently, this metanarrative has guided the actions and response of individuals in
dealing with homosexuals. It is one of the reasons why we are discriminated. It was one the
reasons why Lola Zens parents didnt want to have a gay child in their family because she was
not a daughter of God.

Lola Zen, however, offered a counterstorya narrative of Anak ako ng Diyos.


..kaya ang sabi ko ang buhay ng isang tao lalo na kung beki ka, hindi kasalanan kaya nga ang
sabi ng Diyos lahat ng gumagalaw sa mundo, nilalang ko yan. Ngayon, hindi mo pwedeng
sabihan hindi yan anak ng Diyos. Lahat anak ng Diyos
(Thats why if youre gay, its not a sin. God said that everything that moves here on Earth is
his creation. Now, you cant say that hes not son of God. Everyone is.)

It is a response to the metanarrative on homosexuality and religion which excludes homosexuals.


For Lola Rica, the mere fact that she is still living despite all odds is a manifestation that God
also cares for homosexuals.
Isang bagay na sinasabi ko, kami kami nag-uusap usap na kunsabagay pare pareho din ang
kwento namin na simulat sapul kasi nga ayaw samin ng mga magulang namin, ang mga tao.
Sino ang lalapitan mo? Eh di yung nasa taas. Siya ang gagabay sayo hanggang sa mamatay ka.
Pag namatay ka, hindi maaari na mamatay ka diyan sa tabi, walang papansin sayo. Meron.
Kasi sa Diyos, walang imposible. Kaya tignan niyo ang buhay namin ngayon, kahit matanda na
kami katulad ko, nandito nga ako. At least, malaki ang pasasalamat ko dahil binigyan niya ako
ng lugar. Ang pagkain ko, hindi ako nawawalan
(When we talk with the lolas, I would say that theres no one who they can ask for help except
the One above. He guides you until your death. When you die, its impossible that no one will
care about you. There will be. Because in God, nothing is impossible. Thats why you look at
our loves now. Im here. At least Im thankful that I was given a place. I dont have problems
with the food as well.)
.Kaya lang tinutulungan ng Diyos kapag humingi ka, ang Diyos ang nagtuturo sa isang tao
para tulungan ka. Yan an katotohanan diyan. Kaya nga sinasabi niya mahalin moa ng kapwa
mo. So paano nangyayari sa buhay ng isang bakla eh ayaw mo naman kaming mahalin. Bakit
yung minamahal nila ay yung may suso at bilas? Bakit? Diba?

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(.Its only God who uses these people as instruments to help you. Thats the truth. Thats why
they would say love your neighbors. How then is it possible in a gays life if others hate us?
Why only love those who have breasts? Why, right?)

The figure in the next page represents the master narrative and a counterstory on on
homosexuality and religion. The master narrative is inside the bigger circle whereas the
counterstory is in the smaller circle. The counterstory opposes the premise that only males and
females are Gods creations and implies that everyone is Gods children.

HOMOSEXUALITY IS A SIN
ANAK RIN AKO
Creation: only male and female
NG DIYOS
LAHAT ANAK NG
DIYOS

Figure 5. Dominant narrative and counter story on religion and homosexuality


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CHAPTER V

SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS

The search for elderly gay stories was shaped by my inquisitiveness on the aging life of
gays in the Philippines. In other words, my story of who I am led to the quest for the story of
who I will be. This curiosity marks the prelude of our gay story. The ending of our stories are
only temporary. In the same vein, this chapter is not the end of their gay stories for we
continuously create and share stories of ourselves and others. In this chapter, I present the
summary of this research endeavor, the conclusions derived from the stories shared, and
recommendations on other ways the story can be interpreted and retold.

Summary
In an effort to let the voices of elderly gaysone of the underrepresented groups within
the LGBT sectorbe heard especially in the field of development communication, I embarked
on this research on aging gay stories of some members of Home for the Golden Gays, Inc.
Beyond my gender identity which established my proximity to my study, I also took into account
the social relevance of this research in line with the goals of development communication. The
sectors which are usually tackled in devcom research are limited to the agriculture, women,
children, and indigenous groups. This research, therefore, is an effort to expand the sector we

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study in devcom to LGBT groups. Specifically, I recognize that elderly gays are marginalized in
terms of their age and gender identity.
In a heteronormative society like ours, I argue that we are just tolerated but not accepted
by society in general. This might be a result of our belief and ideologies which are reinforced and
shared through communicative channels. In this case, if such narratives can be used to silence or
misrepresent LGBT voices, counter narratives then are necessary in order to dispel myths about
their elderly gay identities. The initial search for stories became an inquiry for counter stories. It
is a journey of understanding their stories in a critical manner. In addition, this research is not an
attempt to identify the beginning, middle, and end of their stories but more importantly, to reflect
on the meanings of their stories and their function in destroying the normality of gender
relations.

Furthermore, I also employed the assumptions of Queer Theory in search for their
counter stories. Queer Theorys conception of sexuality as fluid and dynamic concept is a
response to the dominant notion of sexuality as static and fixed. This perspective holds its
significance in this study as elderly gays are presumed to have a variety of life experiences that
shaped their gender identities. In order to show its fluidity and the diversity of gay stories, I
considered narrative inquiry as the appropriate method in achieving this goal. Narratives do not
merely function to mold our identities but they suppress other identities and privilege the hetero
identity.

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Given these assumptions, I asked this main question: What are the narrative identities
constituted in the narratives of selected members of the Home for the Golden Gays, or simply,
what does being old and gay mean? Specifically, I ask these questions: a.) what are their stories
of gayness as they age through time; b.) what identities emerge out of their narratives of
gayness?; and c.) what are the counterstories found in their narratives?

In order to explicate the meaning of being old and gay, I employed narrative inquiry
which is a tool in understanding dimensions of human experience. Given the assumption that
stories tell people who are, narrative inquiry is therefore apt in surfacing the meanings of their
gay identities.

In this study, three elderly gays from the Home for the Golden Gays, Inc. were chosen
through purposive sampling. The selection of the participants for this study was also based on the
availability and willingness of members to participate. In 2013, I visited the lolas during their
Christmas party. I spent three hours having a brief conversation with some of them. Succeeding
visits and interviews occurred and were scheduled based on their availability. The first meetings
were intended to establish rapport with my participants by sharing my stories with them. On the
other hand, detailed stories were shared with me in my succeeding visits. In order to keep track
of the data gathering phase, I prepared a journal for every visit. This has helped me reflect on my
research deeper and shaped questions that were later asked.

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After gathering stories, I started transcribing the recorded interviews. While transcribing,
I wrote memos or reflections on particular statements or phrases. In the analysis of the stories, I
used the principles of Ground Theory. In the first cycle, I employed In Vivo Coding which
generated 284 In Vivo Codes. I then moved on to the second cycle which involved comparing
categories and subcategories through Axial coding. In this cycle, 284 In Vivo codes were
trimmed to 54 codes. Lastly, I employed Theoretical coding in surfacing four emerging themes
and a central meaning of being old and gay. After reflecting on their stories, I answer each of the
research questions I posted.

Research Question 1: What are their stories of gayness as they age through time?
Lola Zens story
Lola Zen, 60, grew up in a religious family and was raised in a province of religious
people. This social context has made it difficult for young Zen to express her gender identity.
She was taught that it was wrong to be gay and consequently, punished for being one. Since she
feared her mother, she would find ways to pretend that he was really straight. But she knew that
she cannot totally repress her chosen identity.

In elementary school, she met gay friends who would later invite her to dance parties and
teach her how to look like a woman. She secretly practiced this at home by applying lipstick and
wearing her sisters dress. It came to a point, however, when her mother caught her in her sisters

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dress.Her father also punished her when he heard Lola Zen singing like a woman. The biggest
punishment was when her parents did not accompany her in her graduation.

But these incidents did not stop her from expressing her true identity. In high school, she
still joined her gay friends in their gay adventures. This is when her parents concluded that their
son is indeed gay. Consequently, they transferred her to Manila where her sister works. She had
no choice but to follow her parents orders. In her first year in Manila, she acted discretely
because she had no friends yet until she reached third year.

Learning the Tagalog language did not only expand her social circles but more
importantly, it further allowed her to explore opportunities by which she can communicate her
gayness. Her gay friends introduced her to a bigger world of gays where she can freely express
her gay identity.Although this helped her manage and construct her gay identity, it came at the
expense of being displaced from her sisters house.

This is one of the turning points of her life. She was again displaced and as a
consequence, she stopped going to school. On a brighter note, Lola Zen gained complete
freedom when she lost connections with her sister. She was thankful for no one will reprimand
her anymore and will suppress her gender identity.

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One of the low points in her life story is when Lola Zen was displaced for the second
time and for the same reason. She had no idea where to go but she was sure about her decision
not to go back. Fortunately, she had a good friend named Dennis who let her stay in their house.
Dennis even invited Lola Zen to work in a chandelier shop. She would spend her weekend with
Dennis at Cultural Center where they met a lot of boys. But it was too late. She was dropped
from class after months of being absent. She then just continued on working and took the
opportunity to express her gayness.

Her friend taught her to maximize all avenues where she can express and perform her gay
identity. She emphasized the significance of her gay friends in the formation of her gay identity.
When she realized that she can be dependent, Lola Zen left her friend and lived under a tree at
Cultural Center. She just depended on her friends support at Cultural Center but she was able to
surpass the daily challenges of life through them.

Lola Zens suffering seemed came to an end when she incidentally met Justo Justo, the
founder of Home for the Golden Gays. At first she was skeptical but when she was treated well
by everyone, Lola Rica concluded that it is indeed a place where she truly belonged.

Home for the Golden Gays served two purposes in her life. Firstly, it provided her basic
needs which she was deprived ofshelter to live in, food to eat, and clothes to wear. Secondly, it

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served as her homenot the physical one, but a social group which she depended on for social
support. It is in this group where she was able to share her stories with others and find common
ground for understanding. It gave her the family which she never had.

One of the low points in her life was the death of his mother in 2007. She had no idea that
her mother lived with her brother in Cavite. Lola Zen loves her mother but she loves herself as
well. All throughout her life, her mother has been consistently against her gay identity. Harsh it
may sound, the presence of her mother hinders her from achieving her goal. Thus, when she
learned about the death of her mother, she considered it as a blessing in disguise.

Another low point in her life was the untimely demise of JJ. The death of their founder
signaled their displacement from a place which they considered home. The family of JJ decided
to close its doors from the lolas, a statement which they consider as a euphemism for
displacement.

Consequently, Lola Zen had nowhere to go. She lived along street corners until a
barangay captain offered her a street sweeper job as well as a make-shift house. So, she accepted
the barangay captains offer and is now living in her simple house in Pasay.

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Her life became better when Lola Beth contacted her and shared her plan to re-establish
Home for the Golden Gays. She knew that it would be an opportunity for her to express her
identity by wearing gowns and conquering the ramp. Besides, she also missed her bonding
moments with the other lolas.

Lola Zen shared how contented she is because of the re-establishment of Home for the
Golden Gays. It seemed as if she reached the peak of her gay life. She has supportive neighbors
who can give her food in times of need; the golden gays who serve as her support group; and the
HGG which gives her the opportunity to express her gayness as well as support for her basic
needs.

Lola Beths story


Lola Beths story as a young gay has similarities and differences with that of Lola Zens.
They both loved singing and acting flamboyant. The only difference in terms of the expression of
their identities is the type of support their parents give. In Lola Beths case, his identity was
easily accepted by her parents and consequently, he freely expressed his gay identity.

His parents just considered Lola Beths identity as normal and intergenerational. Lola
Beth further adds that another reason why his parents approved of her identity was due to her
excellent performance in school. This made her parents even proud of her, far from how parents

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of gay children respond to their childrens gay identity. Although she was given the opportunity
to explore her gay identity, Lola Beth had been a closeted gay until he reached college.

Lola Beth never went through the hardships which Lola Rica experienced. Unlike
Lola Zen, he finished his college education in a private university in Manila. His college life
marked the starting point of his gay adventures which include his sexual encounters with men in
different places such as Quiapo and Recto. This is where he became more open to his gay
identity.

Lola Beth was aware of the risks involved in engaging in sexual activities with a callboy.
He noticed, however, that the situation before was better compared with today. Although he did
not experience any form of abuse, he shared that even ones life can be at risk in those places.
Unlike Lola Rica who was flamboyant, Lola Beth chose to act discreetly or paminta. He shared
his gay adventures with the Henwa girls of Sta. Cruz, who are also paminta. They are named
after a restaurant in Sta. Cruz where they spend most of their leisure time.

Lola Beths elderly gay story started with a transformation of his identityfrom a
paminta to flamboyant gay. He considers herself as a late bloomer because he only learned to
apply make-up on his face and wear gowns when he became part of Home for the Golden Gays.

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As a former secretary of the organization, he shares this happiness with other elderly gays
by helping their founder mobilize support from groups to make their events or pageants possible.
The training he had a secretary helped him in re-organizing their group after the death of JJ. The
clamor from the lolas, his interest to unite the group, and the legacy transferred to him by JJ
prompted him to re-establish Home for the Golden Gays. However, the daunting task awaits him.
He admitted that it was never easy to re-unite the lolas because they were dispersed. Convening
the lolas was the first step which entails communicating his plan with them.

Cellphones aided him in communicating with the lolas. The lolas who were texted and
called would relay the message to other lolas who do not have cellphones. Another challenge for
him is to convince and assure them that they will get something in return as they still have to
travel. All these are made possible by their sponsors such as LGBT groups, student
organizations, companies, and international organizations.

In order to sustain the support for the lolas, Lola Beth has to promote their group so as to
reach other groups who might be interested in helping them. Their website and Facebook page
played a crucial role in carrying out this goal. Through these avenues, the plight of the lolas
through their stories are exposed. Other sponsors would also relay this to other groups who might
help them.

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Up to date, Lola Beth continuously gathers support from different groups. He currently
resides at Home for the Special Elderly in Caloocan city. It is an aging institution exclusive for
the elderly gays. It was established by the Happy Christians, a group of gays from the religious
sect Ang Dating Daan. According to Lola Beth, some of the lolas are with him in Caloocan. On
their free days, they would convene at Lola Ricas house and plan for their events.

Lola Nancys story


Young Nancy was not subjected to any form of discrimination within her family like
what Lola Zen experienced. He shared how hardworking he was as a child. Therefore, he was
loved and respected by his family.

Like Lola Beth, Lola Nancy was paminta despite having the opportunity to be
flamboyant. This was attributed to how people in their province threatened her. She narrated her
experience of repressing her want to be like a woman because of the fear that he might be struck
by lightning as what the people would tell him. In school, he was also taught that masturbation is
bad.

Lola Nancy was one of these gays who were paminta in the early 80s. When he moved to
Manila to study, he was able to dispel the myth told to him by the people in their province.
Manila, to him, was a freer place. It is where he worked in order to finish his high school

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education and eventually support his family as well. It is where he was free to have sexual
encounter with boys.

Like other lolas, Lola Nancy still feels young despite his age. He feels invigorated
especially when he entered Home for the Golden Gays. He wanted to be famous and to be seen
on national television. Thus, he joined the golden gays. But eventually, he did not just become
famous, he found a new family.

He is also a late bloomer like Lola Beth. In beauty pageants, he is also competitive. He
found joy in wearing gowns and sharing the stage with other lolas. When they were displaced,
he had no choice but to accept it.

He currently rents a room in Pasay. As a janitor, he earns six thousand a month which he
considers enough for his daily needs. However, it was not enough for his medication. He has
kidney stones and was diagnosed with prostate disease. The increasing number of dosage and
medicines prescribed by his doctor disincentivized him from taking medicines. He would just
resort to Sera-Gym, a massage treatment which causes him to perspire.

Despite his medical condition, he still works and gives financial support to his

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grandchildren and nephews. He shared that after helping them, he would normally receive no
more updates.

His generosity is even apparent in his wish as an elderly gayto win the jackpot prize in
lottery and share it to those who need it the most. While hoping for that wish to come true, he
makes himself busy in a public office where he works as a janitor. As he remarks, life goes on.

Research Question 2: What identities emerge out of their narratives of gayness?


Being old and gay means being madiskarte
The gender identities of the lolas alongside their socio-economic status forced them to
find ways to surpass the challenges they faced. The two lolas had to be madiskarte so as to
survive in a poverty-stricken society. Their acting president had to be madiskarte in order to reestablish Home for the Golden Gays. Being madiskarte highlights their struggles as well as
their successes in life. This is an important aspect of their identities as elderly gays for it shows
how their stories of struggle shaped their identities. It shows the extent of their struggle in
claiming their identities.

Furthermore, it is also important as it allows them to negotiate their identities. They have
to work hard so as to be accepted by their families and friends.

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Being old and gay means being compassionate


Their experiences of oppression and discrimination set the common ground for the three
of them. It is also these experiences which made them compassionate between and among their
circles. The strong social support they receive from one another exceeds any financial support
given to them. It is compassion which keeps the lolas together in spirit. My interest for their
story created the passion and compassion to write their stories.

Moreover, since most of them are away with their families, they only rely on other
elderly gays for social support. It is compassion which created and strengthened the family
which they call Home for the Golden Gays.

Theme 3: Being old and gay means being faithful in God


Across the interviews, most of the lolas mentioned the importance of faith in their lives
as elderly gays. It is the abstract and intangible force which gives them a beacon of hope in the
face of adversities. It is God who punishes and rewards them for their actions. The lolas
emphasize the necessity to turn to God always. Having faith in God made them surpassed every
challenge they have faced in life.

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Interestingly, the lolas resisted the dominant narrative on homosexuality as a sin by


saying that everyone is Gods creature. This is in response to popular claims that gays are not
created by God and therefore do not deserve to be protected. These preconceptions significantly
shaped their gay identities. Cultural forces such as religion constitute our identities as well.

Theme 4: Being old and gay means being dependent


This last theme provides an answer to my question which I posted in the first chapter.
Will I live a miserable and lonely life when I get old? It may not be miserable and lonely but I
might be dependent on other lolas for social support. In addition, they are also financially
dependent on the support they receive from sponsors which make their organization thrive.
Aside from their gender identities, their age makes the lolas dependent on others for
support. Most of them just earn meager income. Other decent and high-paying jobs are not
available to them because of their age and gay identity. This is a consequence of the
heteronormative narrative that privileges the hetero in terms of opportunities.

Research Question 3: What are the counterstories found in their narratives?


In the context of gay aging, the metanarratives emanate from assumptions of people
about gay aging and the lack of research studies on it sustain these metanarratives. These forms
of knowledge simplify the aging phenomenon by concluding that it is just a matter of age (and
not other factors such as gender); and suppress other individuals who are also aging but do not
belong to the norm of heterosexuality. The exclusion of sexual minorities as shown in the review
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of literature as well as in surveys conducted for the elderly further affirm these metanarratives.
Several studies on gay aging in the Philippines have listed fear of growing old alone and
loneliness as one of the common concerns of gays (Austria, Castillo & Llave, 2001; Bungubung,
Domingo & Tan, 1995).

A masayang masaya (happy) elderly life


Their experiences of aging are a direct response to the metanarrative which has framed
my understanding on growing up as a gay. It may just be a facet of the gay aging experience but
these experiences are also representations of the aging phenomenon which has been
homogenized through metanarratives. The meaning of their identities and experiences tell us that
happiness is not an exlusive value for the heterosexual elderly.

Their counterstories reframes our understanding of happy elderly life that is, it is not only
possible when we have our traditional families as support structure. As mentioned by the lolas,
they live a happy as elderly gays despite not having their families beside them. Their families are
the individuals who are just like them and share common experiences with them. These are their
families who they can share their stories with and who supported them so as to achieve the
fullest extent of their gay expression.

Anak rin ako ng Diyos (I am also Gods child)

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The metanarrative on homosexuality perpetuated by religion excludes homosexuals as


creatures of God. It is an interpretation of who gets to be called son or daughter of God. I have
also confronted the same reality. Others would based it on the story of Creation which only talks
about male and female and not gays or lesbians. This metanarrative has guided the actions and
response of individuals when they treat homosexuals. It is one of the reasons why we are
discriminated. It was one the reasons why Lola Zens parents didnt want to have a gay child in
their family because she was not a daughter of God.
Lola Zen, however, offered a counterstorya narrative of Anak ako ng Diyos. It is a
response to the metanarrative on homosexuality and religion which excludes homosexuals. For
Lola Zen, the mere fact that she is still living despite all odds is a manifestation that God also
cares for homosexuals.

CONCEPTUAL PROPOSITION ON THE NARRATIVE OF BEING OLD AND GAY


Having surfaced the emerging narrative identities, key constructs in each life episode, the
central meaning of being old and gay, and the counterstories on gay aging, I then weave these
concepts into a cohesive role to represent the meaning of being old and gay. Figure 6
demonstrates the narrative identity of being old and gay. The four elements comprising the
bigger circle are the four meanings of being old and gay. Being madiskarte, compassionate,
faithful in God, and dependent constitute the central meaning of the elderly gay identity
kuntento. These are the elements which defined the core meaning of being old and gay. Without
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each element, the central meaning of the elderly gay identity would not have been complete.
These four themes are highlighted in the series of events (sequence) as discussed in the fourth
chapter which led to consequences, central of which is their narrative identity of kuntento.
Enclosed in parenthesis under kuntento are gustong gusto and malayang malaya.
These two encapsulate their journey towards the achievement of gustong gusto which is
to be malayang malaya. The elderly gay narrative identity points to the performance of the
gayness without limits (malayang malaya) which makes the lolas kuntento. Also, this
performance is a reflection of the lolas need to express what is desired (gustong gusto). The
fulfillment of these two leads to the state of contentment.

Further, it should be noted that the central meaning of being old and gay is also the
counternarrative to the dominant narrative on gay aging. The narrative of kuntento is a
counternarrative to the lonely elderly gay life as told by a heteronormative society and as
reflected in research studies. It implies that contentment is not an exclusive experience of the
heterosexual elderly. Instead, it can also be experienced and felt by elderly gays as shown in the
narratives of the lolas at Home for the Golden Gays.

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madiskarte

compassionate

KUNTENTO

faithful in God

(gustong gusto,
malayang malaya)

dependent

Figure 6. Conceptual relations of the narrative of kuntento

I summarize below the key points highlighted in the conceptual relations of the narrative
of kuntento.
a. The narrative identitybeing kuntentois never fixed and stable. This reverberates the
assumption of Queer Theory which posits identity as fluid and dynamic. When they
entered Home for the Golden Gays, they saw themselves as kuntento until the death of JJ
which disrupted their identity kuntento. The re-establishment of Home for the Golden
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Gays brought back this identity after being displaced from their house. However, as their
stories unfold, these identities might change. Thus, in this study, I propose that it just a
beginning of another story, the ending of which is unknown.
b. The meaning of the narrative identity is in the sequence and consequences of events. One
of the key features of a narrative is its emphasis on sequence and consequence. In
surfacing the core meaning of being old and gay, I search for life episodes in order to
show the sequence of events from their childhood to elderly life and the consequences of
these myriad of events to the construction of their narrative identities. In their life
episodes, I eventually got a picture of how they became who they are now. The narrative
of kuntento is surfaced from the series of events such as their struggles and reestablishment that led to their contentment (consequence).
c. Kuntento is the consequence of the sequence of events that transpired in their lives as
young, adult, and elderly gays. The connection of events contributed to their construction
of their identities as kuntento. For instance, when they were estranged from their families,
they felt more freedom to express their gender identities. This was further experienced
when they entered Home for the Golden Gays. It should be noted as well that kuntento
will also be the sequence that will lead to consequences in the future.
d. Kuntento, as the narrative identity, is a counterstory to the dominant narrative on aging.
This central meaning of being old and gay encapsulates the counterstories of Its not a
lonely life after all and Anak ako ng Diyos. Being kuntento opposes the dominant
narrative which portrays the gay aging process as a lonely journey. It asserts that gays can
also be happy and kuntento when they grow old. Their state of contentment is also a
testament that God cares for gays too and therefore, they are also Gods children. In a
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nutshell, kuntento is not only the central meaning of being old and gay but it is also a
counterstory to the master narrative on gay aging.

CONCLUSION
In the course of analyzing the narrative texts, I gradually understand the meaning of each
episodes in their life stories. This allowed me to reflect on my life as young gay and as a devcom
researcher with respect to my personal interest and devcoms agenda. Narrative inquiry has been
extremely beneficial in searching for their stories and allowing them to share their stories which
have been largely ignored.
In this section, I asked myself: What do these stories tell us? What can we do then? I
reflected on these questions, reread their stories, and review the principles of development
communication. This led me to writing the conclusion of their stories and our story.

Multiple, diverse stories and identities


In the first parts of this research, I pointed out the dearth of literature that deals on the gay
aging experiences of Filipinos. In the field of development communication, there is also a
scarcity of information on the plight of elderly gays. These facts established the necessity to
conduct this research especially in the field of development communication.

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At the onset, I thought that I would be hearing usual and common stories about elderly
gays. But their stories are full of nuances. They are stories of gayness contextualized in different
socio-economic settings. The presence or absence of financial resources shaped their gay
identities. It dictated the path of their lives but also pushed them to find the better path. The
reaction and behavior of their families towards their identities vary as well. Indeed, their stories
have different points of beginning, middle, and ending. This means then that there is no universal
gay story or specifically elderly gay story.

Further, although they label themselves as gays, they express their identities in different
ways depending on the available communication resources. This reverberates the conception of
Queer Theory on gender as fluid and dynamic. In different time and place settings, they
communicated their gayness differently.

Oppression is real
While writing the first chapter of this research, I was iffy to use the word oppressed or
marginalized primarily because they might be otherwise. I was taught that we should not label
people and consider their status as oppressed or marginalized. In gathering their stories, I was
immersed to the reality which I forced myself to deny. There is a really a necessity to label them
as such because it highlights their plight especially in our discourse on development. To say that
they are not oppressed is to conceal their stories of suffering and oppression. It is the ideological
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oppression which crippled their ability to fully express their gender identities. It is this dominant
ideology which highly influenced their parents view on homosexuality.

In relation to the discourse on development, recognition of their oppressed status is then


crucial. Although not explicitly stated in their stories, their experiences would point to
oppression and marginalization. The lack of institution that caters to their needs and interest as
members of an aging population implies that they our absent in our development agenda. Should
we continue to conveniently dismiss this reality, we become complicit to the oppression that they
experience.

The study as a site of resistance


The metanarratives silence and oppressed the elderly gays who are absent in aging
studies and discourse. Only the male and female genders are included in the metanarrative of
aging as shown in aging studies in the Philippines. This research then is a site of resistance where
narratives of elderly gays are used as counterstories.

Lola Nancys story of herself as a very enthusiastic and energetic lola seeks to change the
perception of society on gay aging as a lonely journey. His ability to work despite his age is a
counterstory to the metanarrative that the elderly especially the gay ones can no longer be
productive.

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The central theme of their storieskuntento is a counterstory to the metanarrative which


made me believe that the life of an elderly gay is miserable. It opposes the metanarrative that
successful aging can only be experienced by heterosexuals because they can have families on
their own. It is a manifestation that happiness, contentment, and fulfillment are and can also be
experienced by elderly gays. Their stories tell me that I do not have to force myself to build a
traditional family in order to feel secure and happy in the future. Happiness, fulfillment, and
contentment lie on the support we have from individuals who share with us our experiences.

In relation to the available literature, this study affirms the results of Motillas study
(2005) on elderly gays which revealed the importance of psychosocial support for elderly gays
who usually rely on their gay friends for support. While his study linked this perceived unstable
support to the fear of death among his participants, this research uncovered the possibility of
having a stable support from groups of elderly gays as in the case of Home for the Golden Gays.

Aging studies in the Philipines (Abejo, 2004; Cruz, 1999; Carlos, 1999) only tackled the
living arrangements of heterosexual elderly and identified the key factors of successful aging.
The needs of the elderly in the country are homogenized and classified exclusive for male and
female gender identities. Their living condition was found to make them feel secured because
they are typically supported and provided for through the integration of immediate families into
their households, or in special cases, the houses of their relatives (Domingo, Feranil &
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Associates, 1990 as cited in Motilla, 2005). This reality is different from the experiences of
elderly gays as shown in this study and in Motillas (2005). It challenges then our prevailing
understanding on aging as a totalizing experience disregarding the gender dimension.

Further, the research findings complement Motillas key factors in achieving an


affirmative gay identity particularly support structures. This study differs in that the narratives of
the lolas point to the significance of being able to rampa in beauty pageants in achieving
fulfillment, among other basic needs. It allows them to feel young, to fight the aging process, and
to feel happy and strong. Their stories are not just stories of gay aging experience. They are
stories of resistance and oppression. In broad strokes, they are counternarratives. Beside the use
of narratives to sustain power systems, narratives are also sites of resistance where the unheard
can be heard, their muted stories be written, and their status as oppressed be liberated. It is in
narratives, particularly this narrative project, where the elderly gays are able to exercise their
moral agency by telling their unheard stories.

Counterstories as emancipatory tools


Communication has played a significant role in the creation of gender identities. Our
social interaction through time, with different people constitute experiences that make us who we
are. These experiences are often told in narratives. While narratives shape our identities, they
also suppress other identities. Narratives on homosexuality as a form of sickness and a sin have
shaped publics perception on gays which have tangible implications. The stories of the lolas
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show the extent of these consequences. In this sense, narratives help us reveal how dominant
ideologies put the gay identity in bad light.

However, narratives can be used to demystify the naturalness of heteronormativity. It


starts by recognizing the local voice of people who are marginalized. This is where the role of
counter narratives come in. Counter narratives helped my participants assess their situation and
identify misrepresentations about them. It is empowering in a sense that it allows them to
reconstruct their stories which have been ignored and misrepresented. The variety of experiences
that they have invalidate dominant representations about them. Indeed, counter narratives are
significant in liberating ignored voices. In practice, development communicators can use
counterstories to empower the marginalized sectors they are serving. This is especially important
in dealing with groups whose voices have been largely ignored.

Gender expression is of paramount importance


Gender identity is an important aspect of ones individuality. In the case of my
participants, it made them who they are but at the same time, it was the reason of their
oppression. They were stigmatized simply because they are gays, they are others. But they did
not conceal their gay identities. They chose to show who they really are at the expense of losing
their parents. It means that gender and its expression is deemed significant by my participants in
terms of self-actualization.

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Moreover, it is important to note that gender expression is still a priority for the elderly
gays. A sense of fulfillment and happiness is felt every time they wear their gowns and make up.
To them, it is invigorating. It makes them feel young. This implies that aside from the basic
needs that should be provided to them, we should be able to give them a space where they can
fully express themselves.
RECOMMENDATIONS
Our story continues. The temporary ending leads us to other chapters that may be added
in this story. Thus, I offer recommendations for possible directions and further inquiry on gay
aging experience.
Why Devcom should care
I consider this study as a response to the scarcity of research studies on the LGBT sector.
It is an attempt to broaden the sector we put our research efforts into. As a distinct field that
tackles development through communication, devcom should recognize the issues faced by the
LBGT sector, which are equally-important. Development is multi-faceted; so is poverty. This
research goes beyond the economic aspect of poverty and development and extend it to our lack
of understanding of the plight of elderly gays. It is unfortunate that there is a dearth of literature
on queer studies in the field of devcom. This reality limits our understanding of the LGBT sector
which makes us apathetic of their needs.

Why then should devcom care? Roman (2005) emphasizes the need for a drive for
action beyond mere academic reflection. This re-echoes the nature of development
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communication as purposive; there is always an end-goal. In the first chapter, I presented layers
of research justification of which empowering the LGBT voices is one. This research project is
merely a prelude to achieving other forms of empowerment. There are more tasks to be done
and I argue that development communicators should also take a proactive role in empowering
elderly gays.

Looking back at the history of development communication, if firstly focused on the


agricultural aspect of development. Through time, we expanded our development targets as
development concerns and issues evolve through time in varying degrees and in different
contexts. It practically means that if we speak of development, it has to be inclusive. All our
initiatives should not be exclusively targeted towards heterosexuals but should include sexual
minorities as well. Through the years, our research efforts have been geared towards
empowering people who are discriminated based on their gender as woman, status as poor, or
ethnicity as member of an indigenous tribe. This research seeks to expose us to the reality that
some people are discriminated based on their sexual orientation and that they deserve equal
protection as well. This is when holistic and inclusive development materializes.

It is then imperative for development communication to include the LGBT sector in our
discourse on gender relations. Whenever we conduct needs assessment, we should also take into
account the sexual orientation of our audience. Arguably, they have different narratives of
experience too.

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As repeatedly mentioned in this research, narratives are mechanisms of power but also of
liberation. On this note, one of our tasks as devcom practitioners is to give them avenues where
their experiences can be told. Chief among these avenues is through a research study. Other
students should delve into other ignored concerns of the LGBT. It is hoped that this narrative
inquiry serves its purpose as a precursor to other LGBT studies in the field of development
communication.

Moroever, the stories told in this research may serve as guide for devcom students and
practicitioners in their development initiatives. In community broadcasting, this is my version of
giving voice to the unheard. This further invites us to broaden our understanding of who the
marginalized and oppressed sectors are and consequently, who we are biased to. Devcom
students may include the stories of elderly gays in radio drama, features, and documentaries
stories which have not been considered in the creation of development-oriented programs.

Other possibilities of the research


This research rests on the assumption that gays create different realities and identities
which are encapsulated in a narrative. In order to make our story more diverse, there are some
chapters which can be studied further. Firstly, other lolas from Home for the Golden Gays can be
part of the study. Time constraints and the location of some lolas limited the number of my
participants to three. It would then be more diverse if stories of other lolas can be explored.
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Secondly, elderly gays who do not belong to any institution may also be considered as
participants. This may provide a different angle to the story which makes our narrative more
reflective of the elderly gay population. It may include elderly gays who live with their relatives
or those who live alone. Stories of elderly gays in the provinces can also be included. In doing
so, researchers can compare the differences in terms of communicating their gayness.

Moreover, other quantitative studies can be undertaken on representation of elderly gays


in the media. There are available films which delve into gay aging as well as documentaries
which can be assessed. It would be interesting to note how gays create counter stories against
their representation in the media. Lastly, other research studies can also focus on the stories of
young and elderly gays and have a comparative analysis of their stories of gayness.

149

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APPENDIX A
(Interview Transcripts)

153

Interview with Lola Zen last May 4, 2014

C:: Simulan po natin sa growing up years, so, kwentuhan po tayo nung simula ng kayoy naging
beki.
Z: Actually, nag-umpisa ako sa, lumabas ang totoo sa sarili ko nung akoy nasa grade 3 na. Nung
time kasi noon, nahihiligan ko kasi na mamitas ng mga bulaklak. Eh sa tuwing papasok ako sa
umaga sa eskwela, may dinadaanan akong isang malaking bahay doon. Marami dun mga rosas,
mga orchids. Meron isang matanda diyan nakaupo sa umaga. Lihim ko talagang pinapasok yung
kamay ko. Namimitas ako ng mga bulaklak. At yang bulaklak na yan, binibigay ko dun sa
teacher ko nung Grade 3.
C:: Babae po yung teacher niyo?
Z: Oo babae pero yung teacher ko parang naintindihan niya na bading ako although sa amin sa
probinsya, sa Zamboanga city, likas ang mga tao dun maka-Diyos. Karamihan dun, mostly, may
dugong Kastila. Talagang mga rehilyosa yan. Then, nung dumating ako sa Grade 4, medyo ,
nararamdaman ko ng bakla ako. Hindi ako nakikibarkada sa mga kababata kong lalake kundi sa
mga babae. Eh palibhasa kasi mahirap lang kami. Tuwing linggo, naghahanap ako nung mga
kalakal, yung mga boteng softdrinks at huhugasan ko yan. Tapos dadalhin ko sa tindahan.
Magiipon ako nun. Alam mo ba kung anong binibili ko? Manika! Tapos takbo ako dun sa
downtown, dun yun sa tindahan ng instik. Tapos pag-uwi ko, yung mga pinsan ko, dun kami sa
ilalim ng bahay. Naku, gumagawa ako ng mga damit, gown gown. Mahilig ako diyan, gown
gown. So dumating sa punto na wala na ako diyan. Nasa Grade 5 na ako. Sa Grade 5 naman
palibhasa, masyadong binabantayan na ako ng nanay ko. Pero sa school,
C:: Rampa?
Z: Oo kasi meron akong kaklase dun dalawa. Si Nestor Lamare tsaka si Reynaldo Solis. Sila
talagang matapang. Talagang nilalabas ang kanilang kabaklaan. Ako hindi pwede kasi nga sa
pamilya ko. Ang pinakamahigpit talaga diyan, nanay ko.

154

C:: Kesa po sa tatay niyo?


Z: Kasi ang nanay ko tsaka lola, relihiyosa yan. Ayaw na ayaw niya na mayroong bakla sa
pamilya. Ganun no, dumating yung. Grade 4, nagsideline ako ng kargador. Oo nagkargador ako
sa palengke. Kumikita ako nun. Yung mga kinikita ko. Pag-uwi ko sa bago magtanghali, 10 or
11, bumibili na ako ng bigas tsaka isda. Dinadala ko yun sa bahay, sa nanay ko. Sa madaling
salita, ang nanay ko tuwang tuwa, ang akala niya lalaki talaga ako. Although paminsan minsan,
nakikita niya sa akin na medyo parang bading na ako. Paminsan minsan sasabihin niya, Oy,
magpakalalake ka. Sabi niya sa akin. Sinasabi ko naman noong araw kasi bata pa ako, Ay
lalaki naman ako. Oh diba? Edi ganun nga. Every Saturday and Sunday, nasa palengke ako.
Yung mga kinikita ko, yun yung ginagawa kong baon.
Dumating ang Grade 6. Nung Grade 6, pagkagaling ko sa eskwela, takbo ako sa radio station.
Nag-iiwan ako ng tatlong libro. Nagtitinda ako ng diyaryo. Pag naubos na yung diyaryo ko sa
gabi, may dala na kong ensaymada con mongo. Baon ko sakanya yan tuwing gabi. Ganun pa rin
ang ginagawa ko tuwing Saturday and Sunday nasa palengke ako. Nung nasa Grade 6 na ako,
dun ako nag-umpisa. Kasi tong kaklase kong dalawa. Diyos ko. Sabi nila, Uy may sayawan dun
samin. Sinusundo ako sa gabi. Tatakas kami yan kasi dun sa kwarto namin, kahoy yan, yung
table pwede mong itaas ng ganyan.
C:: May taguan pala.
Z: Takas akong ganyan. Etong mga kaklase ko, punta kami sa sayawan. Eh noong araw, uso pa
yung sayaw na grind. Hala, nakikisayaw din kami dun sa may sayawan. Hala! Kaming tatlo
hanggang sa hindi ko na-control ang sarili ko. Isang beses, nakita ko yung lipstick ng kapatid ko
tsaka yung palda. Sinubukan ko ay hindi ko nai-lock yung pinto. Eh uutusan ako nung nanay ko.
Nakita niya ako. Naku. Sinampal ako ng nanay ko.
C:: Nakita niya po sainyo?
Z: Oo, nakita niya. Nagalit siya talaga. Habang suot ko yung palda, ganyan ganyan ako. C::
Miss Universe ka na!
Z: (laughs) Naku, sabi ko sayo! Sinampal ako ng nanay ko! Pinagalitan ako. Pinagluhod ako sa
altar. Naku!
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C:: Kaloka!
Z: Oo! Yan ang parusa samin! Kahit anong kasalanan ko, pati yung mga kapatid ko, ganun din.
Luluhod ka talaga sa altar kasi may isang kwarto dun may altar.
C:: Ano pong ginawa? Pinagdasal ka?
Z: Oo! (laughs) Tapos may dumating ding pagkakataon na sa tatay ko naman nangyari yun. Nasa
bintana ako, ganyan. Ano ba yung kinakanta ko nung araw? (sings) But a house is not a home,
ganyan ganyan ako! Naku narinig ko na hinampas ako ng upuan ng tatay ko.
C:: Upuan po?
Z: Oo! Hinampas ako ng upuan sa likod. Sabi ko sayo. Ang takbo ko palabas ng bahay.
Pumunta ako dun sa sa eskwelehan ng mga madre, sa Pilar College. Ano yun, nakaharap yun sa
dagat. Dun ako, iyak, iyak. Tapos alam mo yun. Ano ba yung tinatawag nila sa sarili mo na
nangyayari sayong ganun, nasasaktan ka. Parang gusto mo na, parang tumitigas ka. Ano yung
ulo mo, yung matigas ang ulo mo. Parang nilalabanan mo, parang sinasabi mo, Bakit?
Kasalanan ko bang naging ganito ako? Kaya mula noon, medyo pinapakita ko na sakanila
yan. Nagraduate ako ng Grade 6, ang suot ko kung ano yung suot ko pagpasok ko sa umaga, yun
din ang suot ko nung gagraduate ako. Walang sumama sa akin sa graduation ko. Ako lang magisa.
C:: Ikaw lang mag-isa?
Z: Oo! Totoo. Ako lang mag-isa.
C:: Syempre malungkot yun.
Z: Oo. Ay naka-t-shirt lang ako na puti nun tsaka wala pa akong tsinelas nun. C:: Paano po yun?
Kayo lang mag-isa.

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Z: Talagang malungkot. Ayaw ko ng sad story ha. Ganito na, graduate ako nun mag-isa. Naalala
ko pa. Kasali ako nun sa choir. Ah yung isang section kakanta sa entablado eh kami yung napili
kasi nga mga girly kami dun. Magagaling kumanta!
C:: Biritera!
Z: Oo. Naalala ko pa minsan, nagcutting classes kami sa Music. Nako dumating next week,
music na naman, pinatawag kami. Alam mo kung anong pinakanta sa amin?
C:: Ano po?
Z: (sings) Oh! Talaga. Ang hilig ko ring kumanta noong araw. Nagalit sa amin yung teacher
namin. Mataba pa naman yun. So, nung graduate na ako ng Grade 6, sinulatan ng tatay ko yung
dalawa kong kapatid dito sa Maynila.
C:: Ilan po pala kayong magkakapatid?
Z: Dose!
C:: Pang-ilan po kayo?
Z: Ah! Pangatlo ako sa bunso. Namatay na silang lahat bali ako na lang C:: Survivor.
Z: Oo, survivor lang. Siguro madami ko pang dapat bayaran. (laughs) C:: Ilan po yung lalake sa
inyo?
Z: Pareho, anim.
C:: Anim anim?
Z: Anim. Pero ako binilang ko yung sarili ko sa babae, pito. C:: Pero ikaw lang po yung beki sa
inyo?
Z: Oo, ako lang.
C:: Kamusta naman po yung pakikitungo ng mga kapatid?
Z: Sa mga kapatid ko, usually, ang okay lang sa akin sa mga babae.

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C:: Alam na rin po ba nila bago nalaman ng parents niyo?


Z: Oo. Ganito yan. Sinulatan ng tatay ko yung mga kapatid ko rito na suportahan ako kasi magfirst year highschool na ako. Sa first year high school, okay pa ako although may mga barkada
din akong bading. Eh nung mga panahong iyon, hindi masyado pwede kumekerengkeng ka
sa kalye lalo na sa school. Di pwede, bawal. So, nagdecide ang mga magulang ko, nung
matapos na ako ng first year, magsesecond year na ako. Sumulat ulit ang tatay ko na nagrequest
yung nanay ko na kung pwede dito na ako pag-aralin. Ang dahilan, kasi ayaw niya akong makita
kasi nga nahalata niya na bading talaga ako. Ang nanay ko galit sa bakla, tandaan mo yan. So
ganun nangyari, lumipat ako dito sa Maynila. Dito ako nagtransfer. Nag-aral ako dito sa Arellano
University, Mabini High School.
C:: Ahh. Second year na.
Z: Oo, second year high school. Medyo tahimik pa ako, disente. Ang kilos ko nun lalake kasi
bago pa ako nun. Syempre, nahihiya ako eh.
C:: Pero tumira po kayo sa mga kapatid niyo?
Z: Oo dun ako sa mga kapatid ko nakatira. Noong nag-aaral ako, nung nasa third year na, medyo
nagkaroon na ako ng kasi marunong na akong magtagalog. Nagkaroon ako ng maraming friends.
Usually ang mga friends ko mga beki rin eh, mga babae. So ganun na, meron akong isang
kaibigan diyan. Nakalimutan ko lang yung pangalan niya. Yun ang naging close ko talaga beki
din siya. Kasi nahalata niya beki ako. Eh ako naman, sama ako ng sama kasi alam ko sa sarili ko
na beki ako eh. Pasyal kami sa Luneta, nanunuod kami ng sine, ganun ganun. Basta naging close
kaming dalawa.

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Pagkatapos nun sa third year, nasa fourth year high school, naging kaklase ko pa rin siya. At
doon na sa fourth eyar high school, naku! Dun ako natuto na nagkaroon ako ng maraming
kaibigan na nagyayang magparty party. Birthday party, disco disco, sumama na ako niyan.
Hanggang sa minsan, pumunta kaming sayawan. Sabi ko, Anong sayawan? Sabi niya, Mga
bakla, bihis tayo. Sabi ko, Ayaw ko. Magagalit sa akin ate ko. Sabi niya, Hindi. Takas tayo
sa gabi. Takas kami sa gabi. Hindi ko alam kung saan talaga banda yun basta dito lang yun.
Punta kami oh. Ang nang una ko pang sinuot nun, palda! (laughs)
C:: Ah, nagpalda po agad kayo? (laughs)
Z: Oo palda ako kaagad noon. Tapos stocking na itim. Tapos black shoes. Tapos blouse na puti
na long sleeves. Lobo lobo ganyan.
C:: Saan niyo po kinuha? Sa ate niyo?
Z: Sa ate ko rin! (laughs) Hala! Hindi ako nagtagal. Alas-diyes palang, iniwan ko yung kaibigan
ko. Tumakas ako pero bitbit ko yung damit ko pambahay. Takbo ako pauwi tapos yung ate ko
nasa kusina, akyat ako. Dun nag-umpisa natuto na ako magmake up make up. Tapos sa
kalalakwatsa kalalakwatsa namin, may nakilala naman akong dalawang bakla kasi kapag nasa
kalye na ako, malandi na ako eh, umaarte arte na! Meron dalawang baklang namamasyal. Tapos
sabi niya, Uy! Ang seksi mo naman kumilos! Hanggang sa nagpakilala, ganyan ganyan. Siya
si Romy, siya si Rey. Yun na yung naging barkada ko. Yung barkada kong dalawa lagi akong
sinasama sa sayawan. Sila ang nagmemake-up sakin. Takas ako. Hanggang sa nagalit yung
kapatid ko. Sumulat ngayon sa nanay ko.
C:: Ah, nalaman niya po?
Z: Nalaman niya kasi minsan nakikita niya, kulang yung gown niya, mga damit niya. Kasi yung
ate ko kasi, sa club nagtatrabaho yun. Nung araw kasi, hindi ka pwedeng magtrabaho sa club
kung hindi ka nakagown. Yun ang mga gown na ginagamit ko. Hal aka! Sumulat sa nanay ko.
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Tamang tama pa naman. Anong araw yun? Huwebes!Huwebes ng umaga. Ano yun, vacation yun
eh. Naku, nasa kusina ako, paglabas ko, nasalubong ko nanay ko. Pak pak! Lumayas ka dito sa
bahay, sabi niya. Ayoko na may anak akong bakla! Sabi niyang ganun, kunin mo lahat ng damit
niyan, ibaba mo. Olivia! Kunin mo lahat ng damit niyan, palabasin mo yan. Tinapon niya. (sobs)
Ayoko na ngang umiyak. Tapos, alam mo kung saan ako nagpunta? Una sa Luneta, paikot ikot
ako.
C:: Bitbit mo mga damit mo? As in hindi ka pinigilan?
Z: Hindi kasi ibang klase ang nanay ko.
C:: Ganun ka-ano. Kasi usually yung mga magulang kapag pinalayas, pag nawala na hahanapin.
Z: Hindi. Edi nangyari sa akin yun. Ikot ikot ako sa Luneta tapos naisipan kong pumunta dun
kasi dito lang nakatira yung nakilala ko eh. Punta kaya ako dun kina Romy. Yun pinuntahan ko
siya. Nung panahon na yun, siya naman nagtatrabaho na sa Capi. Inampon niya ako pero kahit..
C:: So siya lang po sa bahay?
Z: Hindi. Nanay niya, tiyahin niya, kapatid niya. Siya rin sumusuporta kasi siya may isip na.
Bulag kasi ang nanay niya. Sa Capi siya nagtatrabaho hanggang sa sinama niya ako, ipinasok
niya ako doon sa Capi. Pagkatapos ng Sabado Linggo, pagkatapos ng trabaho, naglalandi kami.
C:: Ano pong ginagawa sa Capi?
Z:Yung mga chandelier na mga shell.
C:: Ano pong trabaho niyo dun?
Z: Gold paint. Diba kapag natapos na, igogold mo na lang. Syempre bading magaling humawak
ng pencil eh. Gold paint eh!

160

C:: Pag weekends po, rampa rampa?


Z: Rampa! Rampa sa Cultural Center. Palibhasa, mas matanda sa akin yung kaibigan ko.
Lumalandin sa mga lalake. Hanggang one time, birthday ng kaibigan niya. Sinubukan kong
pumuntang school kung makakapasok pa ako.
C:: Ay, hindi pa kayo graduate nun?
Z: Drop-out na ko. Dalawang buwan na lang gagraduate na ako ng high school so drop-out na.
Hindi na ako nagpapakita dun sa ate ko. Tapos nabalitaan ko nanay ko wala na, umuwi na. Pero
may bilin, wag na wag mong papauwiin si Frederico dito sa bahay. Nandito ako ngayon sa
kaibigan ko. Yan ngayon ng nagturo sa akon ng mga kalandian.
C:: Pero balikan po natin, hindi niyo na po tinuloy ang pag-aaral?
Z: Hindi na kasi noong umalis ako sa bahay namin, nandito ako sa kaibigan ko kasi kaibigan ko
nagsabi sa akin. Pumunta ka
C:: So mas gusto niyong magtrabaho na lang?
Z: Oo. Pumunta ka sa eskwela baka kasi malapit na nga ang graduation. Kung kelan malapit ang
graduation, pumunta naman ako. Eh drop-out na pala.
C:: Ah kasi ilang absences na.
Z: Buwan na. Ilang buwan yun. Hindi na ako pumasok. Ganun nangyari, natuto na ako
magmake-up make-up, sayaw sayaw, puro gown gown. Hala, kung saan saang sayawan kami
nagpupunta!Hanggang yun nga one time, nasa Cultural Center kami. May nakilala kami isang
lalake. Ako naman tinitignan tignan ko pero may naramdaman ako. Eh ako kasi bata pa. Pero
ang ugali ko kasi simple pero wild! (laughs) Tapos yun parang masayang magkaboyfriend. Eto
na, minsan may birthday diyan sa kaibigan niya. Mayroon pala diyan isang lihim na lalake. Trip
niya ako. Ayan nag-iinuman. Nung araw kasi, umiinom naman ako. Hanggang sa pagpasok ko sa
cr, jumijingle ako. Biglang sumunod sakin yung lalake. Uy alam mo ba, talagang pinwersa nya
ako! Type na type niya ako! First time ko yun. Pero hindi ko na ieelaborate kasi nakakahiya na.

161

Pero ganun pala yun kapag nangyari sayo, paglipas ng ilang araw, hahanap hanapin mo yun!
Dun ako nag-umpisa. Simula nun, nakaya ko na mag-isa.
C:: Pero hindi po kayo nagkarelasyon nung lalake?
Z: Hindi kasi hindi pa naman ako.Nung nangyari na yun, umalis ako diyan sa kaibigan ko.
Diyan ako tumira sa may Cultural Center, sa may star city. Kasi nga naramdaman ko parang
naghahanap ako, sabi ko marami dyang lalake. Ilang taon akong tumira diyan sa ilalim ng puno.
C:: As in sa ilalim ng puno?
Z: Oo! Nagkaroon ako ng mga kaibigan diyan. Mga shoplifter, snatcher, holdaper, sila yung mga
sumusuporta sakin. Trabaho ko lang sakanila doon bantayan yung mga gamit nila. Oh yun ang
trabaho ko. Until one time, naglalakad ako sa Harrison, nasalubong ko ngayon yan si JJ, yung
founder ng Golden Gays. Sabi niya, Huy bakla! Saan ka nakatira? Sabi ko, Wala. Sabi niya,
Sumama ka nalang sa akin. Dun ka nalang tumira dun sa bahay natin. Natin? May bahay ba
ko? wala nga eh. Sabi niya, Meron. Sumama ka. Eh di sumama naman ako. Sinama niya ako
diyan sa bahay. Sabi niya, Pagkatapos magpahinga, maligo ka. Pagkatapos maligo, mayroong
mga damit diyan. Susuot sayo tapos kumain ka. Pagkatapos mamahinga, mamili tayo ng mga
damit mo sa Harrison Plaza. So ganun nga ang nangyari pero hindi ko alam kasi nung sinama
niya ako, bakit may mga baklang matatanda dito? Anong ginagawa nito rito?
C:: Ilang taon na po kayo nun?
Z: Ano na ko, mga 52 na.
C:: Aaaah.

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Z: Ay hindi! Bata pa ako nun. Wala pa, nasa 40 plus pa lang.


C:: Pero simula po nung high school hanggang nung mga 30s, 40s ganun, dun lang po kayo sa
CCP?
Z: Oo sa may Star City. May mga puno dun. Madami kayang nakatira diyan.
C:: So paano po kayo nabubuhay ng ilang taon halos mga 20 years?
Z: Yun nga yung mga naging kaibigan ko. (laughs)
C:: Truths!
Z: Truths! Sila yung mga sumusuporta sa akin. Yung mga kaibigan ko.
C:: Paano po yung?
Z: Ano kasi diyan sa Star City, naging maluwag ang mga Cultural Center personnel.
Tumatambay diyan. Nakatira diyan sa ano. Natutulog diyan sa mga punu puno. Lalo na yung
mga pulis diyan, walang problema, basta wala lang pangyayaring holdapan, may ano. Kasi ang
ginagawa naman nila,diyan na sila umuuwi pero hindi sila gumagawa ng ano. Tumagal ako
diyan, umabot ng mga 3 years.Dun ko nga naranasan na kumain ng mga tira tirang inuuwi nila.
Naranasan ko yan.
C:: Paano po ninyo madedescribe yung buhay niyo sa CCP?
Z: Mahirap eh kasi umaasa lang ako sakanila, nag aantay ako. Wala akong magagawa kundi
antayin lang sila. Basta ang gagawin ko lang, bantayan yung mga gamit nila, mga damit nila.
C:: So 3 years po kayong ganun ang ginagawa?
Z: Pero many times na inaatim nila akong sumama sa kanila. Ay hindi talaga ako kasi hindi
naman likas sa isipan ko, sa ugali ko yung ganon.
C:: Pero hindi niyo po ba namimiss yung ate niyo, yung parents niyo?
Z:Hindi kasi nung..

163

C:: Kaya ko na to, ganun?


Z: Oo. Dun na kasi lumabas yung tapang ko na gusto kong ilabas yung gusto ko. Kasi ayaw ko
ng may pagbabawalan ako eh. So ganun nga ang nangyari. Kaya nga yung gusto ko nangyayari
ngayon.
C:: Bali po nung tumanda na kayo, paano po yun mga 3 years kayong andun after high school?
Z: Oo pero hindi. Hindi ko na pinahaba yan. Shinorcut ko na lang para ano. So napunta na ako
dito. Sabi ko nakita ko yung Home for the Golden Gays. Pagpasok ko, kinakawayan ako. Sabi,
Hi! Sabi ko, Hi!
C:: Pero mga lola na yun?
Z: Oo mga lolas na. Tapos ganun ang nangyari hanggang sa unang beses naranasan ko. Dun ko
naranasan yung anong gusto ko para sa sarili ko kasi beki ako. First time nagkaroon ng sponsor
diyan. Nag-outreach program. Lahat ng members kailangan dapat naka-girlash. Hala! Dun nagumpisa yun at dun ko nakita ko nakita kung gaano ako kaganda. Nung minake-upan ako ng
make-up artist. Unang gown hanggang sa nagustuhan ko. Gustong gusto ko talaga! Kasi kahit
nung bata pa ako, elementary pa lang ako.
C:: Wish mo na yan.
Z: Pag nasa loob nga ng kwarto ako, yung kumot ginagawa kong gown gown tapos may kapa pa
ako. (laughs) Oo! Ganun ang ginagawa ko noon. So, ganun na nga nangyari. Hanggang sa
dumating yung time na nagksakit yung aming founder. Hindi siya makalakad kasi yng spinal
column niya nasira. So bedridden siya. So ang nangyari kami kaming mga members ang nagaalaga sa kanya. Lahat kami. Hanggang dumating ang araw na hindi na niya nakayanan, namatay
na siya. So, nung natapos siyang iburol, tinapos na muna yung 9 days. Pagkatapos ng 9 days,
sinabi ng asawa na sinasara na nila yung pinto ng Golden Gays. So wala kaming ginawa kundi
scramble. Naghiwahiwalay, kanya kanya. Eh ako lumabas din ako, nagkanya kanya pero hindi
164

ako umalis dito sa gabi. Natulog ako sa building na yan. Nakikita na niya ako pero dumating
isang araw, naawa talaga siguro siay sa akin.
C:: Sino po?
Z: Yung barangay captain. Kinuha niya ako. Sabi niya, Gagawin kitang sweeper. So kinuha
niya akong sweeper. Hanggang ngayon.
C:: Pero kamusta po yung paninirahan niyo sa Golden Gays? Yun na ba yung pinakamasayang
punto sa buhay niyo?
Z: Oo. Sasabihin ko yan sayo mamaya. Ganun nga yun, kinuha niya ako. Tapos kinausap niya
yung may-ari nitong apartment na ito kung pwede dito ako sisilong. And one thing pa yung mga,
gamit ng barangay, lalagay dito, ako tagabantay. So, ganun nga nangyari. So nung nandito na
ako, nawala kaming lahat. Nawala rin si Mon. Namiss ko yung andun kami sa bahay.
Napakasaya yun! As in one family kaming lahat. Walang problema. Kung anong pinag-usapan,
kalokohan, mga katatawanan, mga kagagahan. Kinabukasan, yun pa rin yun. Pabalik balik, ang
saya saya!
So dumating naman ang time na ilang buwan, bumalik siya. Kasi nung panahon na yun siya ang
secretary namin eh. Kasi nung buhay pa si konsehal, siya na ang kinakausap ni konsehal. Kapag
siya nawala, ipagpatuloy niya yung legacy ni konsehal. Eh nung una medyo alanganin pero
napag-isip isip niya, bumalik siya hinanap niya kami. Ako unang una niyang nakita. Sabi niya
gusto niyang ituloy yung Golden Gays. Sabi ko, Sige, tuloy mo. Hahanapin ko pa yung ibang
kasama natin, sabi niya. Tinyaga niya. Hanggang sa nabuo kaming lahat. So sakanya ko
naramdaman, sakanya ko nakita yung sabi ko, Ay. Si Mon yung magbibigay ng kasiyahan sa
akin dahil matutuloy yung gusting gusto ko talaga. Yung rumampa sa entablado.Siya yung
gumagawa ng paraan na maghanap ng mga sponsors. Kaya ang ligaya saya ko kapag suot suot
ko yung gown ko at rumarampa. Feeling ko natupad ko nay ng pangarap ko. Wala na akong
pakialam!

165

Balik tayo dun sa nanay ko. Nung 2007, may pumunta diyan sa bahay. Sabi niya namatay na ang
nanay ko. Pero hindi ko alam andito siya. Nandun siya sa kuya ko.
C:: Saan po kayo nun? Nasa Golden Gays na kayo nun?
Z: Oo nasa Golden Gays na ako nun.
C:: Paano po nalaman?
Z: Eh syempre alam nila pero ayaw lang nilang magpakita sa akin. Ang ano ko pa nga siguro
yung kaibigan ko yung nagsabi. So pumunta dito at nagsabi nasa Bacoor. Eh di alam ko yun
dahil ang kuya ko. Pumunta ako doon. Wala, wala naman akong naramdaman. Basta pagsilip ko
sakanya, sabi ko, Patawarin mo ako. Ayun ang sabi ko. Sabi ko, Gusto kong ilabas yung kung
sino ako. Hindi mo naman pwedeng hadlangin yan eh. Kaya lang sabi ko, Alam kong masakit
sayo na hindi ako nakatapos ng pag-aaral pero hindi ako nagsisisi. Patawarin mo ako. Ganun
lang. Hanggang sa nailibing siya, nailibing na, hindi na ko nag-aano sakanila. Ano, umiyak lang
ako ng sandali. Tapos wala na kasi iniisip ko wala ng harang sa buhay ko ngayon kung anong
gusto kong gawin. So ganun na nga nangyari. Hanggang sa inumpisahan na ulit ni Mon. Eto
masaya kami. At the age of 60, 60 na ko ngayon. Masayang masaya ako.
C:: Ano po yung mga ginagawa niyo sa Golder Gays dati bukod sa chika chikahan?
Z: Kung may sponsor or kung kami kami lang?
C:: Pag kayo kayo lang
Z: Pag kami kami lang, kanya kanya kami yan eh. Kanya kanyang diskarte. Ay ako sweeper,
may pinagkakakitaan kahit papano. Yung iba nagtitinda sa Baclaran ng sigarilyo. Yung iba ano.
Basta may mapagkakakitaan. May mga beautician diyan.
C:: Paano po yung dati? Nung nasa bahay kayo, yung daily routine?
Z: May kanya kanya. Ako tagalaba. Pagkatapos ng trabaho, yung iba, yung mga beautician
umaalis yan. Nagdidiskarte. Ilan kaming nanatili diyan. Yun ang naging buhay namin.
166

C:: So mayroong tagalinis ng bahay?


Z: Oo. Tagalinis. Ganun lang. At ngayon heto, maligayang maligaya ako dahil hindi ko akalain
na magkakaroon ako ng maraming maraming korona. (laughs)
C::So yung korona po yung ano niyo?
Z: Kahit na. Naging reynang reyna ako kahit na sabihin nila may reyna walang trono. Di bale na
at least, naging reyna. Oh diba? Yan ang feel na feel ko talaga! Pakiramdam ko kapag ako
naglalakad, isa akong napakagandang modelo. Hala, itsura! Ikot diyan!
C:: Iba po yung feeling no?
Z: Iba! Iba! Ay hindi mo talaga pwedeng hadlangan!
C:: Pero po ano since sinasabi niyo yun yung pinaka hindi niyo makakalimutan na punto ng
buhay niyo nung sumali kayo sa Golden Gays
Z: Nandito na kami kasi dun sa pamilya ko kasi ibang klase. Hindi pwede yung kwentuhan,
katuwaan. Puro kung anu anong kalokohan ang pwedeng. Hindi pwede yun. Kahit mahirap lang
kami, iba ang ano ng mga magulang ko.
C:: Pero since yun yung pinakamasayang punto ng buhay niyo, ano naman po yung
pinakamalungkot?
Z: Malungkot sa akin nung namatay ang nanay ko talaga. Pero hindi ko pinakita yun. Kaya nga
nung nailibing na, naglalakad ako pauwi. Hindi ako nagpaalam sakanila. Alis na ko. Naglalakad
ako. Okay na pakiramdam ko. Di ako yung. Malungkot ako wala na yung nanay ko pero andun
yung sa puso ko yung gusto ko ibigay yung gusto ng sarili ko eh. Malaya ako kung anong gusto
kong gawin. Ayaw ko ng may sinasabi sakin, Oy bawal yan! Oy masama yan! Kung masama
yan eh bakit nangyayari sa tao? Hindi masama, diba?
C:: Kamusta naman po nung mga nakarampa na kayo, 70s, 80s? Z: 80s, 90s.

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C:: Ah so tapos na pala yung Marcos period nun. Kamusta naman yung lipunan noon?
Z: Ah nung ano, di kami masyadong alert sa mga nangyayari kasi usually nasa loob lang kami
pero yung founder naming, siguro siya pero hindi siya nagkekwento kung anon a baa ng status
ng mga golden gays sa lipunan. Wala na kaming alam dun.
C:: Pero po yung sa mga bakla noong panahoong iyon? Mas maayos po ba (ang kalagayan) kesa
ngayon?
Z: Noong araw, noong kapanahunan namin, hindi ka pwedeng lumakad ng pakendeng kendeng
kahit alam ng mga magulang mo, kapatid mo na bakla ka. Kapag sila kasama mo o lumabas ka
ng bahay, kailangan ang kilos mo lalake. At may takot kami sa aming mga magulang, sa Diyos,
sa ibang tao.
C:: Yung ibang tao po noon?
Z: Ay iba! Iba ang pagtingin nila sayo. Nung araw, masama ang tingin nila sayo. Dahil ang
sabi nila masama ang pagiging bakla!
C:: So kung ikukumpara niyo po ngayon?
Z: Kasi ang sabi ko, nagpapasalamat ako dahil tama ang sinasabi nila. Tumatakbo ang panahon.
Umiikot ang mundo. So sabi ko nagpapasalamat ako ngayon sa pagtakbo, pag-ikot ng mundo,
nagbago isip ng mga tao. Oh kaya medyo tanggap nila kami actually pero hindi naman totally.
Pero kahit papano kung ikukumpara natin noon. At least ngayon, at ease kami kahit nakalipstick,
naka-eye liner, nakadamit babae sa labas. Wala naman silang pakialam. Ang problema nga lang,
kailangan kapag nag ayos ka, kailangang maganda ka talaga. Dahil kung panget ka, kakantyawan
ka. Eh ako wala akong problema dahil talagang aaminin ko sa sarili ko na. Kasalanan ko bang
isinilang akong magandang bakla? Hindi kasalanan yun.
C:: Bali po ano, nabanggit niyo nga na lagi kayong nasa sayawan, bar bar, yung mga nababasa
ko po usually, yung mga kunyari mga pulis o yung ibang lalake, parang ine-extort or
pinagkakakitaan yung mga bakla. Kunyari hinuhuli kasi ganyan, kinukunan ng pera.
Na-experience niyo po ba?
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Z: Ay hindi ko na-experience yan. Noon kasi kapag nanunuod kami, simple lang. Simple lang
talaga. At malalaman mo naman talaga kung may mga ganyan na pulis na nageextort. Katulad
ngayon, ginagawa nila yan. Ginagamit nila yung mga lalake sa loob ng mga sinehan para perahin
yung mga bakla.
C:: Pero noon free lang kayo?
Z: Oo free. Noong araw nga eh, ang maganda lang noon, hindi masyadong madaming tao sa
kalye pagdating gabi kaya pwede ka ng pumwesto sa dilim dilim. Not unlike ngayon, hindi na
natutulog ang tao, kailangang maghanap ka na ng pwesto.
C:: So mas madali dati.
Z: Oo. Mas madali noon. Masarap din noon. Masarap na mahirap kasi hindi mo maipakita yung
lahat lahat sayo pero dumating sa punto yung nagmemake-up na ako, nagmumukha kang babae
talaga, gugustuhin ka ng lalake. Yun yun. Pero ngayon iba na.
C:: May pagkakataon din po ba na syempre, lahat ng mga bakla, hindi mo maikakaila na
nadidiscriminate. Kunyari kapag naglalakad ka, paano po. May hindi po ba kayong
makakalimutan na pangyayaring ganun?
Z: Sa akin? Wala naman. Although ang discrimination na naramdaman ko sa family ko lalo na
sa nanay ko.
C:: So yun yung pinakatumatak?
Z: Para bang, mahirap bang intindihin yun lalo pat anak mo? What more kung ibang tao
gaganyan sa anak mo? Masasaktan ka ba o hindi? Sa tao wala kasi wala akong pakialam. Kahit
may narinig ako, wala akong narinig! Basta ako kung ano ang gusto ko, gagawin ko! Ganun
lang.
C:: Pero paano po in the future, paano niyo po nakikita yung sarili niyo?

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Z: Wala akong regrets kung anumang nangyari sa buhay ko. Just wait for the time. Kapag
natapos na ang hininga ko, hanggang doon na lang. Tanggap ko kung anong nanyari sa buhay ko.
C:: Wala na kayong wish?
Z: Wala na akong wish. Maghahangad pa ako kung anong magandang buhay na mangyayari sa
akin? Hindi na ako naghahangad. Ang hinahangad ko nga eh gusto ko nga eh matapos na. Para
wala na eh.
C:: So contented na kayo?
Z: Kuntento na ako.
C:: Paano po naman yung mga kasamahan natin sa Golden Gays, ano po yung dapat pang gawin,
aksyunan, intindihin para sakanila?
Z: Oo yun nga yung hinihiling naming. Nilalakad ni Mon yung recognition namin sa Pasay. And
then, yung mga pangangailangan ng mga matatandang bakla. Wala kasi kaming medical
facilities. Wala kaming funding. Wala kaming bahay. So, umaasa lang kami sa mga sponsors.
C:: Ano naman po yung wish niyo sa mga gays ukol sa pag-intindi sa sarili nila base na rin sa
naging experience niyo? Ano po yung pinakamensahe ng buhay ninyo?
Ang mensahe ko kasi diyan. Ang unang una sakin kasi dapat may takot ka sa Diyos. Lalo na sa
panahon ngayon, wala ng takot ang mga bata sa Diyos. Lalong lalo na sa mga magulang. Pero
unang una, kapag kayoy nag-aaral, tapusin niyo talaga ang pag-aaral niyo. Kahit nakatapos na
kayo ng pag-aaral, humantong man kayo katulad ng nangyari sa amin na pa-easy easy lang sa
buhay, at least may natapos na kayo. Meron kayong mapapasukan. May matatanggap kayong
trabaho. Makakapgtrabaho kayo kahit anong gusto niyong gawin, pwede. At least may
pupuntahan kayo. Eh kami? Nangyari sa amin nun, hindi naming inisip yan eh. Basta kung ano
yung pumasok sa katawan, karga.
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C:: Ano rin yung lesson na pinakanatutunan niyo rin sa buon buhay niyo bilang beki?
Z: Isang bagay, uulitin ko na naman, unang una kapag nakalimot ka sa taas, walang direksyon
ang buhay mo. Lalong lalo nakapag hindi mo iginalang ang magulang mo, wala ring direksyona
ng buhay mo. Unang una talaga, kailangan makatapos ka ng pag -aaral para may degree ka.
C:: So yun po yung narealize niyo na kailangang sundin yung magulang pero po yung nangyari
sa inyo, mas gusto niyong mas maging free para ma-express yung sarili niyo, parang hindi niyo
na sinunod yung mga magulang niyo.
Z: Ang nangyari sa akin kasi nun, ginanun ako ng nanay ko kaya nagrebelde na rin ako. Hindi ko
na inintindi yung eskwela. And supposed to be dapat tinuloy ko pa rin eh.
C:: So kung may pagkakataon, yun yung
Z: Oo kaso wala na. Konting oras na lang. (laughs)
C: So yun na po muna yung chikahan natin. Maraming salamat po!

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Interview with lola Zen last August 31

C: Tignan mo yung mga sash ni lola! Winner kasi siya lagi.


Z: Oo pero mostly kasi kapag may ano, walang sash. Dati kasi yung mga magaganda noon, nung
nandito pa kai. Nakita niyo yung bahay na malaki diyan? Yan ang bahay ng aming founder.
Tuwing nananalo ako, magaganda ang mga sash diyan. Eh dito na ako, hindi ko na naisip na ihanger. Ang ginagawa ko tinutupi ko. Nilalagay ko dito sa karton. Tapos noong namatay ang
founder namin, nung sinabi ni Mon Uy Rica, lahat ng mga sash mo isabit mo. Eh nung kinuha
ko lang nakabalukbaluktot na hindi diretso. Sa inis ko tinapon ko. So eto bali ito nangyari na
nung time ni Mon Busa. 2012 na yan.
C: Pero yung mga dati?
Z: Naitapon ko na, ang gaganda!
C: Pero diyan lang po yun? Yung dati niyong bahay?
Z: Oo yung bahay na yan. Alam mo naman ang bakla, gusto lagi may 3,7,10th story para di
makita ang lihim. Eching ang sabi buwisita, yun pala bisita! (laughs)
C: Winner!
Z: Diba?
C: Nakakaloka!
Z: (laughs) Okay, okay. Go na tayo!
C: Lola Rica, kamusta ka na ngayon?
Z: Eto ganun pa rin katulad nung dati, nung pinuntahan mo ko rito. Gaaaaaaah!
C: Maganda pa rin?

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Z: Hindi naman. Pero sa totoo lang, sa grupo naming maganda talaga ako. Chos! (laughs) Hindi.
Ganun pa rin. Kumbaga sa ano, kahit papano, dahil nga sa tulong sa ginagawa sa aming
presidente, si Ramon Busa, talagang tinatrabaho niya lahat para kamiy may makakain katulad
nga nito. Eto itinabi muna ito.
C: Mga rice po?
Z: Mga rice yan. Andami niyan! Na-idistribute na naming sa 70 members. Tapos ito natira. Bali
ito ngayon, kapag may nagutom, katulad kanina may sumulpot na dalawa. Sabi ko wala pang
abiso ang presidente. Lumayas muna kayo! (laughs) Ganun lang. So ganun nga nangyari, dahil
alam niyo naman ang buhay naming mga golden gays. Kung walang tulong na nanggagaling sa
LGBT, wala talaga. Dahil sa mga edad naming ngayon, hindi na naming kayang magtrabahi
katulad nung mga sa opisina. Dahil alam niyo naman sa gubyerno natin, may age limit. Kahit
siguro walang age limit, kung hindi ka maganda, kung hindi ka guwapo, at lalong lalo na, walang
mai-ooffer kung walang ilong. Oh! Hindi katulad sa ibang bansa. Sa ibang bansa kahit may
ketong ang mukha mo kung matalino ka, kaya mong magtrabaho, go! Tinatanggap yan. Not
unlike dito as Pilipinas, sobra sobra. Sobra sobra ang pagtingin nila sa kapwa nila sa kapwa nila
Pilipino lalong lalo na sa aming mga golden gays. Matatandang bakla, mga bakla nga. Ikaw
bakla ka rin. Oh ganun nga! Yun nga isang bagay na mahirap sa ating mga Pilipino. Napakaliit
ng mga tingin nila sa mga bakla. Kaya lang dumating ang panahon, habang tumatakbo ang
panahon, natuto din ang Pilipino na tanggapin ang katotohanan na wala rin naman silang
magagawa. Dumating din sa punto na iniisip nila na siguro Diyos na rin ang may gusto. Kaya
nangyayari ngayon hindi naman lahat tanggap ngayon ang mga bakla pero hindi lahat. Katulad
ng panahon naming, taghirap kaya, iiyak na naman ako. Dahil sa pamilya ko, alam mo ba. Sa
pamilya namin, mother ko kasi (INTERRUPTION).
So ganun na nga, katulad nung kapanahunan namin, kasi nauna kaming isinilang sa inyo. Ang
hirap eh kasi pag lumabas ka lalo na kapag nalaman nila! (INTERRUPTION) So ganun na nga,
nung kapanahunan namin, ang hirap eh, kasi pag sa pamilya kasi katulad ko. Ang mother ko
kasi, ayaw na ayaw niya sa bakla, may bakla sa pamilya. Nung nalaman lang niya, nung nasa
highschool na ko, first year high school na ko, ang ginawa niya, sinulatan niya yung dalawa kong
kapatid dito sa Manila tapos sabi niya dito na daw niya ako pag-aaralin kasi nakikita na niya

173

kung anong ano ko. Ayaw na ayaw niyang may bakla sa pamilya namin! Oo! Mother ko, ibang
klase!
C: Bakit ano daw ba yung tingin niya (sa mga bakla)?
Z: Siguro nasa paniniwala niya kasi may dugong Espanyol siya na ang bakla siguro hindi
nilalang ng Diyos. Siguro yun ang paniniwala niya tsaka one thing, pumapasok sa isip nila na
ang isang bakla nakikipagrelasyon sa kapwa lalake. Ganun siguro. So lumipat ako dito sa
Maynila. Second year, nandito ako. Shy pa ko syempre bago eh no. Tapos nung second year na
ko, nagkakaroon, marunong na kong mag-Tagalog although hindi masyado diretso pero mahilig
akong magbasa ng librong Filipino, Tagalog. So, sa madaling sabi, (INTERRUPTION). So
ganun na nga, nung nasa third year na ko, nagkakaroon na ako ng madaming kaibigan, and then,
one thing pa, nagkaroon ako ng mga classmate na mga bading din. Tatlo sila.
So, hindi ako masyadong nagpapahalata sa bahay namin dahil yung mga kapatid kong mga
babae, yun ang sumusuporta samin. One thing, may kapatid akong isang pulis. So ganun
nangyari, hindi ako nagpapahalata pagdating sa bahay.
C: So, kahit nasa Maynila ka na..
Z: Oo, nasa Maynila na ko. Then dumating sa punto, sa 4th year na ko. Nagkaroon na ko ng mga
barkada, lalake, babae. Yang mga barkada kong bakl, kumabaga sa ano, matured na sila. Marami
na silang nakikitang, nalalaman kung anong ginagawa ng mga kapwa nilang bakla.
C: Compared sayo?
Z: Oo sakin hindi pa sa iba which is sa tingin nila siguro. Uy gawin natin to. Sila nga kasi mga
bading yan. Nagpaparty yan sila, nagmemake up yan sila. Naglilipstick lipstick. So ang ginawa
ko, ang ginawa nila. Barkada ko sila. Lagi kaming naglalakwatsa. Hindi kami pumapasok sa
school. So ang nangyari one time, pupunta kami sa birthday party, nangyayari yan, mga bading
ganyan. Hala! Nagsusuot ng mga seksi seksi t-shirt tapos nakalipstick. Eh bawal pa nung araw
yung eye liner. Lipstick okay lang pero with matching windang ang mga kamay. Oh diba?
Ganun lang. Tapos hanggang sa nakasanayan ko yung ganun, party party, tapos maraming beses
kaming nagdidisco disco, 1970s.

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70s to 80s ako, nagdidisco disco kami. Nakasanayan kong ganyan. Puro barkada na lang. Hindi
na ako pumapasok sa eskwela. Alam mo kung saan ako pumupunta?
C: Saan?
Z: Sa Luneta.
C: Anong meron sa Luneta?
Z: At doon! At doon, nakilala akong maraming mga bading din, although kapag andun ako sa
Luneta hindi ako nagpapahalata pero gustong gusto ko talaga iladlad ang beauty ko! So eto na.
Nung nakilala ko yang si Romin bakla tsaka si Eddie. Romin Villeran tsaka si Eduardo Molina.
Mga bakla yan. So andun sila sa Luneta. Nakita nila ako nakaupo. Lumapit akala nila lalake ako.
Eh nung nagsalita na, nagpakilala tapos nung nagsalita na ako. Ay! Bakla pala. So dun na nag
umpisa. Hanggat sa naging kaibigan ko silang dalawa. Eh yun palang dalawang bakla na yun,
mahilig silang magdisco disco, tapos make-up make-up sila. Yang si Romy, nagpeperform siya
ng ano, ano bang tawag dito. Yun nga lip-sync sa gay bar noong araw.
C: Sa comedy bar.
Z: Hindi pa comedy bar ang tawag dun. Gay bar, gay bar lang. Hala sumama ako doon. Laging
nangyayari yun. Lihim sa kaalaman ng mga kapatid ko. Hindi nila alam hindi na ako pumapasok.
So dumating sa punto, nagpadala ng sulat ang principal. Pero that time kasi nagmemake-up make
up na ako. Never ko ineexpect na nasa bahay ako nung araw na yon dumating ang nanay ko
pumasok ang nanay ko pak-pak salitang Ibatan Putang Ina mo kinuha ng lahat ng damit ko
ang ginawa ko umalis ako.
C: Drama!
Z: Oo ang tapang ko rin, umalis ako naglalakad ako gawa na yang Cultural Center noon ay
ginagawa palang yan noong araw.
C: Ay. Ginagawa palang.
Z: Oo dyan ako. Umiiyak ako dyan ang pag-iyak ko hindi naman yung iyak na nagisisi ako
meron ang punto sa isip ko, sa puso ko, Bakit, Bakit ganun sabi ko anong dahilan hindi ko pa
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alam ang dahilan ay ayun pala kasi may nagsusumbong pala sa akin eh totoo naman talaga eh
ilang beses ako nag perform nun sa Beydyolup.
C: Ano po ulit?
Z: Beydolup sa Sta. Cruz noong araw ang building nun ay ano ito pader na tong ganyan pero
walang pa ano hanggang doon pa sa taas yan ang kaibigan ko si Romi performer yan.
C: Magkasama kayo?
Z: Oo. Ano yan sya nag pine-perform nya lagi si Celestia Legazpi dahil ako ay bakyang-bakya
One night lagi kami magkasama nyan gabi-gabi wala pa yan ah di pa ako pinapalayas. Isang gabi
absent ngayon yung Diana Rose.
C: May ganon?
Z: Bongga! Oo take note mo yan ah. First ko yan. Absent yung Diana Rose ngayon sabi nung
Manager doon kinausap si Robi. Robi sino ba yung kasama mo lagi? Ah Si Rica pwede yang
Diana Rose kasi wala si ano ewan kung sino yung bakla na yun yun yung nag pe-perform na
Diana and exactly paborito ko si Diana Rose alam na alam ko ang kanta nya noong araw
kinausap ako walang budget pero may mga gown so sabi ko pero sabi nya Ano bang mga alam
mo sa mga kanta ni Diana Rose? Kanta ko Do you know So ganon kinausap minake-up ako
binigyan ako ng wig na Diana Rose ng damit Diana Rose ang gown ko Blue kulay blue talaga
yan. Diana Rose talaga tas ang setting sa entablado kulay blue din pero nagkikispalan di sinara
yung kurtina Ladies and Gentlemen pero binaggit muna na wala yung ano bali ako ang kapalit.
Ladies and gentlemen, Ms. Diana Rose hala alam na alam ko yan ganyan ako Do you know
applauded ako dyan.
C: Palakpakan sila?
Z: Oo, Oh ito na nakarating ngayon sa mga ate ko sinulatan ang nanay ko, dumating ang nanay
ko never koi ne-expect na dumating ang nanay ko sabado yun Nako! Punyeta! pinagsasampal
ako Hala nagulat kaya ako nun.
C: Edi layas ka nun?

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Z: Ayoko na umiyak hindi kasi ganito yan eh di ko maitindihan kasi although alam ko kasi kahit
nung andun pa kami sa probinsya alam ko galit na sa bakla pero never ko inexpect na nandito na
ako sa Manila malalaman pa din ni mommy ko so expel ako sa eskwela layas ako punta ako
Luneta una hinanap yung kaibigan kong dalawa wala lakad-lakad ako sa Boulevard noong araw
boulevard pa yan eh di lakad lakad dyan ako isip ako nang isip nag-iisip bakit kaya? Anong
problema? Pinag-iisipan ko.
C: Tinatanong mo ang sarili mo?
Z: Tinatanong ko din ang sarili ko tapos lumilipas ako minsan walang kakain-kain
C: Oh my God naranasan mo yun?
Z: Pumupunta ako sa mga kaklase ko kasi dito lang eh.
C: Edi nagulat sila
Z: Oo nagulat sila Sis ano ba bat na expel ka? hayaan mo na yun eh baklang bakla na ako nun
C: Pero anoing pakiramdam nyo nun kasi Expelled kayo tas pinalayas pa kayo?
Z: Wala kasi ang nasa isip ko noon eh hindi ko alam sabi ko bakit.
C: Ah nnagtatanong ka na?
Z: Nagtatanong ako sa sarili kaya sabi ko Bakit ganun nangyrari eh nalaman ko ang nanay ko
pala galit na galit sa bakla although nasa probinsya na kami sinasabi nya talaga yun bata pa ako
di pa naman ako nagpapakita ng ano pero pag nasa labas na ako syempre natural kukemendeng
na ako at mahilig ako mamulot nang bulaklak pero patago yun.
C: Pero nung pinalayas po kayo hindi ka na sumagot? As in?
Z: Hindi na hindi na Oo kasi pumasok na agad sa isip ko na galit nga sya sa bakla.
C: So di mo na tinanong?

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Z: Yun na yun eh yung puntos nang dahilan alam ko na yun eh pero kung nasa Luneta ako tas
kinabukasan pa ako naglakad pa Cultural pag upo ko sa Cultural doon ako nag-iisip nagtatanong
sa sarili ko Bakit.. Well.
C: Yung mga friends mo sa Cultural.
Z: *Sali kami ng Beauty Contest
C: Talaga kahit saan?
Z: Oo yung kami kami lang yung katuwaan lang ba
C: Ano po meron sa ano syempre alam ko rin na yung feeling nang beauty contest ano po yung
nararamdaman nyo pag rumarampa na?
Z: One thing kasi sa akin hilig ko talaga yang magagandang damit lalong lalo na yang mga gown
kasi mahilig ako noon manood nang mga pelikulang about kings and queens gustong-gustong ko
yung mga suot ng mga reyna na talagang ano ba.
C: Ah yung mahaba ang kappa?
Z: Oo yung mahaba yung kapa yung mahaba yung buntot kaya tignan mo yung mga gown ko
puro mahahaba ang mga buntot nyan.
C: Ay bet ko.
Z: Kaya ano ako dyan tapos feeling ko ba pag nakasuot akong ganyan isa akong napaka-gandang
babae para akong si Venus, Sino pa ba?
C: Yung mga goddess.
Z: Oo mga goddess pag lumakad nga ako tulad ng kahapon sabi nga nila parang dyosa nga ako
lumakad narinig ko yun sabi ko ay win ito na nung tinawagan nya 2nd runner up parang ayoko
tanggapin.
C: Dapat sayo ang korona!
Z: Oo ang pinili Chaka ano ba naman yun sila yung katuwaan lang, So ganon na.
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C: Pero bakit ano po di nyo na po tinuloy ang pag-aaral? Bakit ayaw nyo na?
Z: Hindi na kasi dumating na kasi sa isip ko sa puso ko na parang binetray na ako na wala na ako
nang yung pagtingin sa mga pamilya ko, ate ko kasi andun na sa punto na sa isip ko, puso ko na
yung gusto ko yung gusto kong masunod talaga tinuloy ko talaga yun kahit na kahit saan-saan
nasa kalye lang ako natutulog at least nailalabas ko yun.
One time nag-perform pa ako nang Barbers *Thrice Evergreen kaya ko yun ang ganda nang
make-up nila nang Barbers Thrice.
C: Ah trinansform ka nila?
Z: Galing ng transformation. Alam mo naman ang mga bakla.
C: Basta mga bakla.
Z: Korek!
C: Kasi nung nabasa ko po nung sa dating nating chikahan ang dami mong natandaan na sobrang
natandaan mo yung mga friends mo na beki nun sa tingin mo po ano yung naging role nila sa
buhay mo?
Z: Ayun nga eh kaya minsan eh haggang ngayon iniisip ko na di ko naman sila masisi na
sasasbihin ko sa sarili ko na mga devil kasi sabi ko siguro kung di dahil sakanila hindi siguro ako
magiging ganito pero one thing pa malapit sila sa puso ko katulad nila ako so sino ba ang dapat
sisihin? Walang dapat sisishin. Kasi kailangan ilabas kung sino ako di pwedeng hindi kaya nga
sabi ko nga minsan nakakapagsalita ako kung ayaw ako nang mga kapatid ko at ng mga
magulang ko so what?
C: Keribels!
Z: Ay nako! Keber! Basta ako lakad ako nang lakad saan ako nakakarating ganyan ako nang
ganyan.c
C: Pero kung sa tingin nyo po pag di nyo po nilabas yung totoong kulay o gusto nyo?

179

Z: Isang bagay pa nga yan di ko naman sinisisi yung mga magulang ko kasi ang nanay ko talaga
ayaw nya na may bading sa pamilya kaya lang nya ako pina-transfer sa Manila kasi nakikita nga
daw nya na parang bading ako kahit sa bahay ganun so ganun nga ang nagyari na siguro kung
hinayaan lang ako ng nanay ko maganda siguro ang buhay ko kasi masipag ako mag-aral
although hindi ko naman pinagmamalaki kasi mula Elementary hanggang 1st year High School
kasi hindi naman tumataas ang grade ko sa 82 at that time na yan mataas na yan.
C: Ah. So ang ibig sabihin nyo po lola Rica kapag pinabayaan lang kayo na nung habang bata pa
kayo maging beki lang
Z: Oo kung hinayaan lang ako nakatapos na ako ng pag-aaral dun sa amin sa probinsya maganda
siguro ang trabaho ko.
C: Oo kasi free ka lang
Z: Oo pero minsan nag-iisip ako tinitignan ko ang tinitirahan ko no regrets kasi kung anong
gusto o nangyayari kasi yun ang gusto ko maswerte ako napunta ako sa home for golden gays
kasi nagagawa ko yung talagang gusto ko noon pa ayan pag rampa naka make-up naka long
gown ako diba! Kaya always winning ang lola mo! Kasi feel mo talaga nakikita nang audience
kapag lumakad wow humahanga sila tulad kahapon tinawag ang mga ano ako huli.
C: Ah last ka?
Z: Oo ako huli puro ingay lalo na yung nanalao kasi see-through sa harap see-through sa likod
parang kulambo see-through sa likod kulay puti kita naman ang brief tapos ang mukha parang
Alien! Aba yun pala ang gusto nang mga lintik.
C: Exotic!
Z: Oo tuwang tuwa sila eh nanalo pa yung ano yung crowd ano bay un?
C: Crowd favorite?
Z: Oo yung pag-pasok palang eh hiyawan na ayun naging crowd favorite nanalo pa yun! Nako
eto pa best in Gown akala ko ako na kung sino pa yung butas butas yung gown yun pa ang
nanalo.
180

C: Ah! So hindi pala seryosohan?


Z: Nako hindi ako kumikibo sabi ko ano ba namang klaseng to.
C: Hindi ka sanay?
Z: Eh ang lola mo naman seryoso!
C: Competitive?
Z: Oo! Dahil ako naman very beautiful ako tignan mo naman ang gown ko tapos ang hikaw ko
perlas!
C: Oo nga in fairness!
Z: Syempre ang poise ko talaga kahapon! Matindi!
C: Ano name mo kahapon?
Z: Ay di yung sponsor kahapon kung ano yung name mo yun lang talaga kaya ang tawag sa akin
Rica wala eh walang impact samantalang yung nanalo kahapon Maruja matanda! Samantala ako
Rica kung nilagay lang nila Celestia Rodriguez edi may Impact yun!
C: Ay bongga!
Z: Sabi ko kahapon sinisisi ko pa ang president naming noong andito pa kami bonding kaininan
sabi nung isang former member namin Ric, bat di ka kumatan kahapon? Eh biglang sumagot
si Mon. Ay kasi di ako pinasok ni Mon! Sabi ni Mon baka manalo na naman. Di na ako kumibo!
Ayun sabotahe luto talaga! Ganyan talaga sya sabi ko kahapon nako ha! Yung CD ko pineperform ko Amor bongga yun lagi ako nanalo bongga kasi yung lyrics pero bago mo kantahin
yung with matching model ka muna! Ang galing ko pa naman rumampa! Alam mo naman ang
lola!
C: Nagre-rehearse ka bago ano As in sabak agad?
Z: Oo feeling ko ang mga audience ay may ine-expect ipapakita ko yun pero di ko sinasabi yun
sa mga kasama ko kasi tahimik lang ako pinapabayaan ko sila kung ma- okray yung mga
kinikilos nila yung lakad nila! Ako hindi! Kasi alam ko ang gusto ng audience! Kaya laging win!
181

Eh kahapon di koi ine-expect yung ganun kasi dumating sila mga sosyal! Oo iba pala ang gusto!
Gusto yung katuwaan lang pala. Kung alam ko lang yung kahapon na ganon! Eh nagpalit ako ng
attire ko kulay dilaw ano yun eh Pag ganito-paganyan, paganyan tas ang sout ko T-back ko!
Habang rumarampa ako eh oh diba! Ikot-ikot pag tuwad kong ganyan diba lilipad yung ano? Eh
kita yung T-back! Sorry kayo!
C: Sayo na ang korona!
Z: Pero ang daming nanghihinayang sa akin kahapon!
C: Talaga?
Z: Pag natapos na puro bulong na, okay lang yun! After all kasama ko pa din yan.
C: Given na ganun po Lola Rica ano po tingin nyo sa entablado pag rumarama paraiso ba sya?
Z: Hindi once nasa entablado na First thing pag ako naka make-up na ba na ang tingin ko at
pakiramdam ko sa sarili ko there is something inside my body and mind na nagsasabi sa kin na
you are beautiful pag pumasok na yan sa isip ko na yan sabi ko at iba na ang anararamdaman ko
at lalo na pag suot ko na yung damit ko pag pinasok ko na yung high-heels ko ang iniisip ko si
Cindrella Nobody dance it like Cinderella oh diba! Pag kumakanta ako syempre hahangaan ko
nang mga inggitera silang magkakaptid diba inggitera. Im am Beautiful lalo na pag luamakad
ako feeling ko napaka-ganda ko talaga kasi ano talaga gusto ko talaga nung bata pa ako hilig ko
talaga yan gown mahahabang gown kasi mahilig nga ako manood nang kings and queens na
pelikula imaginine mo when I was on Grade 6 naghahanap ako nang boteng ibabalik sa tindihan
kunyari may deposito alam mo ano ang binibili ko? Yung manikang ganyan oh tapos gagawa
ako anng damit nya kinukuha ko yung sinulid at karayom nang nanay ko tinago nya Sabado
Linggo tinago ko damit nya. Totot yan! Kaloka. Kaya di mo ako masisi kung bakit na parang
hindi ko naman masasabi kung bakit na naring di ko naman masabi na parang tinakwil ko ang
mga magulang ko kasi kailangan ko ilabas ko yung sa sarili ko kung ano talaga ako. Ayoko
naman na mamatay ako na ang sakit sa dibdib. Susundin ko sila at diba ng damdamin ko eh
paano nalang pag namatay ako di na ako makakatikim ng Gloria! Eh di sana nag madre nalang
ako! Eh kung ang madre nga ngayon tumitikim pa din. Aray ko!

182

C: Pero lola Rica nabanggit nyo dati yung huling chikahan natin parang gusto nyo nalang madeads na parang ganun parang may nabangit kayo ganun. Kasi sabi nyo mas maganda na yung
buhay nyo ngayong matanda na kayo compared nung bata pa kayo? Ano pong meron kayo
ngayon na wala po nung bata kayo?
Z: Kasi ganiton yun noong bata pa ako meron pa akong mga kapatid, mga magulang ang hirap
kumilos eh ang hirap ilabas yung talagang nararamdan ko not unlike today na wala na sila sa
buhay ko feeling ko napakalaya ko masayang masaya ako sa buhay ko although minsan iniisip
ko sila pero di dumadating sa puso ko sa isip ko na pag naiisip ko sila nalulungot ako umiiyak
ako, Hindi. Parang nagpapasalasamat pa ako kasi sabi ko salamat kasi siguro yun talaga dapat
ang mangyari dahil kung di talaga mangyari na mawala sila sa buhay ko di ko maiilalabas ang
gusto kaya ang sabi ko ang buhay nang isang tao lalo na kung beki ka hindi kasalasanan kaya
nga ang sabi ng Dyos laaht nang gumagalaw sa mundo nilalang ko yan ngayon hindi mo
pwedeng sabihan hindi yan anak nang dyos lahat anak ng dyos pwede akong itakwil katulad
nang mga ibang ewan.
C: Bukod po sa sabi nyo na nailalabas ang gusto nyo ano po yung mga bang bagay o mga rason
na bakit nyo nasabi na masaya na kayo ngayon?
Oo dahil noong panahong bata pa ako although dumating na ako sa puntong teenager na ako
hindi ko kasi naramdamdaman yung pagsasasbing pagmamahal kasi that time na lagi kaming
magkakasamang pamilya iba eh lagi ako dehado di ako pianoansin lagi mga kapatid ko na babae
o lalaki kaya hindi lagi ako wala sa bahay lumalabas ako sa bahay naghahanap ako nang kalaro o
kaya yun nga naghahanap ako nang bot etas ayun nga dumating sa punto na pinalayas ako anng
annay ko gawa nga nang hndi ako nag-aaral. Hanggang one time naglalakad ako dyan sa
Harisson nakita ako ni Jj yung aming founder so niayaya nya ako dyan pero nung una alkanganin
ako sumama.
C: Bakit po kayo nag aalanganin?
Z: Kasi sabi nya bat di ka sumama sa bahay namin? Sabi ko may bahay pa akp? Meron! Ang
iniisip ko gagawin akong katulong. Pag bukas nang pinto ang sabi ko ang dami naming bakla
ditto!

183

C: Nakita mo na agad sila?


Z: Oo mamatandang bakla lahat sila nagkwe-kwentuhan sa labas, pag pasok ko na anamn may
mga matatanda nag susulsi, pagpasok ko naman sa kusina andun naman yung mga baklang nag
chichismisan, nagkakape, naninigarilyo, kasi open naman sa founder namin tapos ayun nga sabi
nya paliguan nyo muna ito pagkatapos paliguan ah sino ba yung inutusan nya?
Ah. Kay Fely! Fely, kuhaan mo to nang short at tsaka Tshirt sa taas tapos pakainin nyo yan tapos
pagkatapos kumain pa-ingayin nyo yan. Bukas pamimilhan ko yan ng mga damit. Parang ano
opa doin ako. Wala pa ako nararamdaman. Ayun nga ginawa nya sakin binilhan nya ako ng
damit so tumagal-tagal nagkaroon nang kumbaga sa ano na wala ako naiisp na ano ba tawag
dyan nung di na ako nag-iisip nang baka kung ano lang gagawin sa akin noong nagkaroon na
kami nang events.

Nung nagkaroon ng events, pinagbihis ako, pinagmake-up ako. Make-upan niyo yan si Rica kasi
maganda yan, sabi ng founder namin. Ay nung minake-upan ako bumalik na naman yung dati
sakin. Diyos ko! Ito na. Pero ang suot ko, ito. Pabalik balik kasi wala pa akong gown noon. Eto
(shows her gown).
C: Ayan yung pinaka
Z: Yan! Ito pa lang ang suot ko. Dati, ay hindi. Ito lagi kong sinusuot. Ay ito bigay lang sa akin.
C: Ang ganda!
Z: Hindi yan!
C: Hindi pa pala yun! (laughs)
Z: Ito kasi bigay lang sa akin.
C: Ang ganda niyan!
Z: Pinaayos ko lang. Galing ano yan sa Australia.
184

C: Bongga! Suotin mo sa Christmas!


Z: Ano yan hindi na maganda. Kinuha ko lang yanmalapit na ang zipper. Oh ayan! Lagi yan
ang terno. Yan ang terno lagi. At ang ano ko, unang sapatos ko diyan napulot ko pa sa basura.
C: Buti pares!
Z: Oo! Yan ang lagi kong sinusuot. Hanggang sa, hanggang sa, marami na kaming nagiging
sponsor.
C: Buti nakatago pa yung mga yan.
Z: Oo! Hindi ko tinatapon kasi memorable to sakin. Marami ring panalo yan!
C: Ah. Yung ganyang..
Z: Oo yang attire nay an. Kasi hindi pa uso samin yung gown, gown. Ang may gown lang samin
si Gloria. Si Gloria yung performer namin. Siya ang nagbigay sa akin ng gown. Sabi niya. Nung
binigyan niya ako ng gown.
C: Ay bongga!
Z: Eto!
C: Mahilig sa kislap kislap!
Z: (laughs) Kasi yan si Gloria performer yan. Dati yan siya. (shows another gown). Yan ang
unang unang gown na ginamit ko. Binigay lang sakin ni Gloria yan.
C: Taray! Ganda ng details.
Z: Binigay lang sakin ni Gloria yan. Marami ring panalo yan. Dito ko nakuha yung mga sash na
magaganda.
C: Dyan?
Z: Oo.
C: Ang ganda may mga kumikislap kislap!

185

Z: Tapos nung namatay na ang aming founder, ito pa rin sinusuot ko. Si Mon Busa na ang aming
president diba? Marami na kaming nagdaang, hindi ko alam kung ilan na yung naging sponsor
namin. One time, etong suot ko, marami yong sila. Hindi ko alam kung ano..mga babae. Nakita
nila ito, suot ko. Tapos sabi nila, eh hindi ako nanalo. Tapos nung natapos na, nandun pa rin sila,
lima sila. Nandun pa rin sila, lima. Tapos lumapit sakin. Sabi niya, Lola Rica, alam mo mukha
kang basura diyan sa gown mo. Sabado yun. Kinabukasan meron pa kaming event kasi noong,
noong si Mon humahawak sakin(INAUDIBLE) Sabi ko, uy mukha daw akong basura dito
sabi nila. Tapos kinabukasan, dala ko pa rin ito. Tapos nung ito na events namin Sunday kasi
kinabukasan, Sabado yun eh. So Sunday kinabukasan. Eto na andun na kami, nagmemake-up na
kami. Biglang may ganung, dumating yung lima. May bitbit na plastic! Ito yung dala nila.
C: Mga girls yun?
Z: Eto na yung..
C: Wow! Elegante!
Z: Always winning! Always winner yan. Yes!
C: Ang ganda! Mahilig ka talaga sa mahahaba.
Z: Tapos nung nakita nilang suot ko, ay palakpak silang lima! Pagkatapos nun, nanalo nga ako.
Hindi na sila nagpakita hanggang ngayon.
C: Ah. Sila yung nagbigay niyan.
Z: Oo pero lately lang dumating ito. Itong Filipinianang ito. Parang gusto kong itapon. 2nd
runner up!
C: Pero ito talaga yung ano mo?
Z: Oo laging winner ito! Akala mo ba? Kapag lumakad ako dito..
C: Winner!
Z: You can never tell!
C: Ay. Bongga! Tinatago mo talaga yung mga ano.
186

Z: Ay oo! Mga bagay na nagpapaligaya sa buhay ko kasi yan talaga ang gusto ko! Ayaw ko
kayang maging lalake, mag aasawa ng babae. Uy ayaw ko kumain ng sarili kong matris ano.
Pwede ba? Pipilitin mo akong kumain ng sarili kong matris eh ayaw ko nga.
C: Nakakaloka! Eh anong susuotin mo sa ano
Z: Sa 13? Dadalhin ko tong black. Pero pag napupuna ko na medyo iba na naman ang tingin
nila sa akin katulad kahapon. Bulung bulungan na naman. Kasi para daw akong si Imelda
Marcos. Ibig sabihin rich! Kaya siguro nilagay ako sa second runner up. Akala nila mayaman
siguro ako eh kung alam lang nila ang mansion ko. Ayan diba?
C: Nagmukha kang elegante!
Z: Oo. Elegante. Ang ganda kaya ng dating ko kahapon.
C: Tapos may mga korona din siya. Pinapahiram niya sa ano.
Z: Kaya kung makita mo sa Facebook, yun ang suot ko.
C: Ikaw din ang nagmemake-up sa sarili mo? Ikaw din or may make-up artist ka?
Z: Hindi. Hindi nga ako marunong eh. Kahapon lang kami natuto magmake-up.
C: Talaga?
Z: Oo.
C: Sinong nagmemake-up sa inyo?
Z: Meron kaming make-up artist talaga. Eh kaso late na dumating. Hala kahapon sige. (laughs)
Eh malabo pa mata ko. Kaya siguro kahapon hindi maganda dating ko kahapon, hindi ako
nagmake-up.
C: Diba ano poi to nung nakwento mo, nung kay Kapitan?
Z: Ah oo. Simula noong namatay ang founder namin tapos nag-usap usap yung pamilya, ang
sabi nung asawa, isasara nila ang pinto ng Home for the Golden Gays.
C: Ah so may asawa siya.
187

Z: Yes. Lagi kaya siyang nahuhuli ng asawa niya.


C: Paano yun? Pero alam ng asawa niya?
Z: Oo. Ang duda nga namin eh hindi mga tunay na anak yan kasi iba iba mukha naman eh. Kasi
yang babae dati yan sa beerhouse yan. Ayang founder namin, may pwesto yan siya diyan. Kaya
nung tumakbo siyang konsehal, parang pantakip lang.
C: Aaah.
Z: Alam mo na.
C: Pero alam ng mga tao na beki siya.
Z: Oo naman!
C: Nung tumakbo siya
Z: Oo. In the first place kilalang kilala siya dito, well-known siya dito. Well-loved siya dito sa
Pasay city.
C: Kaya po nagulat ako diba parang pag pulitikong bakla minsan hindi talaga binoboto, hindi
nananalo.
Z: No hindi. Iba ang diskarte niya. Lahat ng barangay kapag pumunta siya, nagpapainom siya.
C: Ah yun yung diskarte niya.
Z: Lahat ng kapitan kinakaibigan niya.
C: Aaaah.
Z: Yun lang. Diskarte mo yan para manalo ka.
C: Tapos edi anong nangyari po nun nung nag-usap usap?
Z: Edi scramble kami lahat. So nawala. Ang ginawa ko yang building na yan? Diyan ako
natutulog with matching paying ako diyan sa tabi. Yang building na yan diyan.
C: Basta may payong ka lang.
188

Z: Oo dun ako nakita tuloy ako ng kapitan. Kinabukasan yun sabi niya, Gusto mo bang
magwalis? Sabi niya sa kin. Nung una ayaw kong sagutin eh. Tapos sabi niya kasi isang libo
lang ang sahod dito. Eh inisip ko kasi baka umagat hapon isang libo lang. Sabi niya, ano gusto
mo ba? Sumagot na rin ako, oo! Ayun naging sweeper ako ng barangay. Unang una ang
barangay namin hanggang dito pa sa loob yan. Yung lote, malaki pa. Tapos dumating yung time
na nabili yung lote, nagiba na yung barangay namin. So lahat ng gamit, hinahanapan ngayon ng
kapitan namin kung saan ilalagay. So ito puro bakante, maraming bakante hindi pinapaupa.
C: Pero sino pong may-ari?
Z: Si Myrna Cinco. Well, pinag-iisipan namin although ako alam ko siguro tibo siya.
C: Pero paano naano ni kapitan ulit?
Z: Eto. Tapos ayun nga hindi malaman ni Kap kung saan ilalagay ang mga gamit. Yung mga
upuan, lamesa, lahat ayan oh. Puro sa barangay yan eh. Puro mga abubot na lang yan eh.
Kinausap niya ngayon si Myrna. Pumayag naman yung may-ari. Tapos sinabayan ni Kap na
maglalagay ako ng mga tagabantay ng gamit ng barangay, yung sweeper namin which is
pumayag naman siya.
C: Ah. Pumayag naman.
Z: Oo. So ganito nangyari. Kaya nung una pa nga dyan eh ito palang higaan ko diyan eh.
Tumagal tagal dumami ng dumami, gumanda. Nagkaroon na ko ng kama.
C: Ah sino nagbigay? Si Kapitan din?
Z: Mga kapitbahay. Puro mga kapitbahay lahat nagbibigay diyan.
C: Ah so mababait din pala ang inyong mga neighborhood.
Z: Naiintinidihan nila siguro.
C: Pero ano po yung naramdaman niyo nung pinag-isipan ng pamilya na umalis na yung mga
golden gays. Bahay ba nila yun?

189

Z: Oo. Kasi ang iniisip namin diyan gusto nilang kunin lahat ng kayamanan. Tsaka yung pera na.
Sa amin din. Kami din ang nagpasok ng mga pera na yan. Andami naming mga bisitang
foreigner. Mga dollars, anlaki!
C: Kinausap naman kayo nung paalis na?
Z: Basta ang sinabi isasara na.
C: Oh?
Z: Oh ganun lang.
C: Anong gagawin mo?
Z: Edi tsugi. So swerte na napunta ako dito dahil kinausap ko kapitan namin. So eto na nga,
andito na ako. Wala, masaya pa rin ako. Feeling ko napamalaya ko talaga. Wala akong naririnig
na.. (MURMUR) Wala.
C: Peace of mind.
Z: Peace of mind talaga!
C: Pero sabi mo dati lola Rica, diba tinanong kita kung may wish ka pa..
Z: Ang wish ko talaga diyan kasi 1969 pa ako umalis sa amin kasi nagtransfer na ako dito magaral. Zamboanga city. Maliliit pa ang mga pamangkin ko. Hanggang ngayon hindi ko na sila
nakita. So isang wish ko yan na kaya minsan humihingi nga ako Sakanya bigyan mo ako ng
chance makita ko yung mga pamangkin ko. Kahit once, one time lang (SOBS).
C: As in hindi mo na sila nakita ever?
Z: Hindi na talaga
C: Tingin mo malalaki na sila?
Z: Bago na matapos ang buhay ko, gusto ko talaga silang makita.
C: Wala ka ng contact sa mga kapatid mo?

190

Z: Wala patay na silang lahat pati magulang ko.


C: So yung mga pamangkin mo na lang.
Z: Umalis ako maliliit pa sila. Wala na akong kapatid. Sila sila na lang andun. Mga magulang ko
patay na rin. Hindi ko na nga alam baka marami na rin akong apo ngayon eh.
C: Saan na yun ulit?
Z: Zamboanga city.
C: Layo.
Z: Malayo. Nasa dulo kaya kami.
C: Malalaki na yun. Baka may mga..
Z: Mga apo na nga eh! Yun nga iniisip ko. Iiyak lang ako.
C: So yun yung wish mo.
Z: Hinihingi ko Sakanya yan. Malay mo, one day.
C: Pero alam niyo po yung lugar
Z: Oo naman.
C: Baka kasi kung san san na sila nagpunta.
Z: Dun pa rin sila. Kasi lupa ng mga magulang ko.
C: Pero alam niyo pa naman yung mga pangalan nila?
Z: Oo naman.
C: Tagal na rin no?
Z: 45 years na. Bago man lang ako mamatay, makita ko lang sila diba?
C: Oo nga kasi sobrang tagal na rin.

191

Z: Pero katulad nga ng sinabi ko kanina kung yung nanay ko tinanggap niya na lang sana kung
anuman ako edi siguro ang ganda pa ng buhay ko dun . Ang ganda pa ng trabaho ko. Edi nakikita
ko pa silang lahat. Eh hindi eh. Kaya masakit sa isang bakla. Pag ayaw sayo, eh good bye!
Masarap ang buhay kapag kasama mo puro mga bakla rin. Oo kasi nagseshare kayo nga mga
karanasan sa buhay. Pero hindi mo rin maiaalis syempre yung iba kahit na mabigat yung
pinagdaanan sa buhay pero ayaw pa rin sabihin ang totoo.
C: Ah may mga ganun
Z: Oo.
C: Pero ikaw open ka lang?
Z: Ay oo naman! Bakit kailangan mong itago? Eh di hindi ka totoo! Kailangan ang tunay na tao,
sinasabi ang katotohanan. Hindi kailangang itago. Ganun dapat. Kaya ako ano pa bang
kailangang itago? Eh kaya hindi nga ako umiyak nung namatay nanay ko. Nandito siya sa
Cavite. Kasi dun siya tumira sa kapatid ko. Hindi kami nagkikita. Nung namatay siya 2007, ano
pa yun, Valentines day.
C: Araw ng mga puso!
Z: Basta ako ang alam ko anak ako ng Diyos kung ayaw nila akong tanggapin.
Basta wala ka naming ginagawang masama.Wala naman akong ginagawang masama.
Kasalanan ko ba na isinilang akong isang bakla? Di ko yata kasalanan yun.
C: Nakakaloka!
Z: Eh wala pa nga si Hesus meron na diba? Nakita mo naman Sodom and Gomorrah Siguro
talagang panahon pa nung isinilang si Adan, bakit hindi ginawa si Eva na katulad nung
pinaggawa nung kay Adan? Talagang ginawa siya. Eh bakit si Eva hinugot sa tadyang? Oh isipin
mo ngayon. Kasi kalahati ng katawan ni Adan babae. Tayo yun! (laughs)
C: Yun pala yung history natin (laughs)

192

Z: Oo yun yun! Bakit hinugot sa tadyang? Kaya tignan mo naman kapag lumakad ang mga
bakla.
C: Pero lola rica hindi mo naisip (magkaroon) ng partner in life?
Z: Partner in life? Marami akong naranasan na buhay pag-ibig.
C: Nasawi ka rin ba? (laughs)
Z: Hindi. Kasi nung bata pa ako, marami kasing pangyayari sa buhay ko na ang hirap kasi
ikwento lahat kasi mahaba talaga. Dumating sa puntong, natuto na ako, bago pa ako nakarating
sa golden gays. Aba! Nung nakaalis na ako diyan sa kung saan saan ako natutulog, nagtrabaho
ako. Kinuha ako ng kaibigan ko. Yang si Romy. Nagtrabaho ako sa RPR. Handicrafts yan. So sa
makatuwid, naging maayos na ko kasi kumbaga sa ano tinulungan din ako ng kaibigan ko na
maging maayos. Siguro umabot ako diyan mga 7 years. Kumbaga sa ano, naging maayos ang
buhay ko. So palibhasa bakla yun. Yun nga yung nagturo sakin magmake-up make-up. Natuto na
ako. Sabado linggo wala kaming pasok. Nasa labas lang kami. Make-up lang. Ang mga boys. Oh
well, hindi mo ako masisisi dahil isinilang ako sa magandang bakla. Oh pagdating ng alas-siyete
ng gabi, nasa akin ang mga lalake. (laughs)
C: Sorry sila!
Z: Ay sorry sila! Kaya nga sabi ko kasalanan ko ba isinilang ako isang magandang bakla. Hindi
kaya! Kaya ayun. Meron talaga akong picture na kamukha ko si Sushmita Shen.
C: Ay si miss universe!
Z: Ang buhok ko kasi noong araw, maganda, black na black. Tsaka lagi akong nagrorollers.
C: Ah so long hair ka?
Z: Oo. Pag tinanggal ko na yung ano, yung rollers, ang ganda ng buhok ko talaga. Ang hilig ko
lang talaga eye liner. Konting lipstick, yun lang. Dun ko sila tinatalo. Simple lang. Tapos mahilig
ako sa mga loose na T-shirt. Hindi ako nagsusuot ng mga T-shirt naloose talaga.
C: Kaya kakaiba ka!

193

Z: Hanggang ngayon nga eh. Minsan nga nagtataka ako sabi ko, minsan nagtatanong ako sa
sarili ko. Ano bang meron ako hanggang ngayon meron pa rin? Siguro love ako ni Lord. Well,
imagining mo at my age nakita mo naman ang ebidensya diba?
C: Oo.
Z: Kaya nalasing, dito humiga. Pakaway kaway pa ang paa, siguro second time around.
(laughs) Ganun lang ang buhay ko. Eto maligaya ako. Kasama ko yung mga kapatid kong bading
na matatanda.
C: So kapag Christmas, kayo kayo din?
Z: Kami rin. Kaya lang hindi uso samin exchange gifts. Kainan lang. Kwentuhan. Kung anong
inumpisahan na kwento, palipas ang tatlong oras, yun na naman. Pabalik balik na yung tawanan
na ng tawanan. Never dull moments kasi ganun eh. Maghahanap ka ng kwento na talagang,
Diyos ko, mag-iisip ka pa. Wag na, yun na lang.
C: Ano naming pinagchichikahan niyo?
Z: Yung mga karanasahan na puro katarantaduhan. Minsan pa nga meron pa nga kaming
kwentuhan diyan na nako yung isa, ang unang karanasan niya sa lalake, nag-iinuman daw sila
noon tapos pumasok siya sa CR tapos sinundan daw siya ng lalake. Nako, dun daw siya inuring.
Hawak hawak niya daw yung drums. Sabi ko, aray ko, hindi ko naranasan yan. At least ako sa
damo. (laughs) Ang problema pagkatapos naglalakad na ko pakiramdam ko ang kati kati naman.
Diyos ko. Yun pala yung mga damo matutulis talagangDiyos ko. Maloloka ako!
C: Pero diba ano Lola Rica, may sinasabi sa atin na paano kapag tumanda ka na eh di kawawa ka
na kasi wala kang asawa.
Z: Ayun. Isang bagay nga na sinasabi ko, kami kami nag-uusap usap na kunsabagay paret
pareho din ang kwento namin na simulat sapul kasi nga ayaw sa amin ng mga magulang namin,
ang mga tao. Sino ang lalapitan mo? Eh di yung nasa taas. Siya ang mag gagabay sayo hanggang
sa mamatay ka. Pag namatay ka, hindi maaari na mamatay ka diyan sa tabi walang papansin
sayo. Meron. Kasi sa Diyos, walang imposible. Kaya tignan niyo ang buhay namin ngayon, kahit

194

matanda na kami katulad ko, nandito nga ako. At least, malaki ang pasasalamat ko dahil binigyan
niya ako ng lugar. Ang pagkain ko, hindi ako nawawalan although
C: Ibang pagkain!
Z: Akala ko long hair pa ako. Maiksi na pala. So yun nga sa buhay ng isang tao, kailangan
nauuna ang Diyos. Hinding hindi ka pwedeng humingi ng tulong sa kapwa mo dahil unang una,
ang kapwa mo ang manlalait sayo, mang-aaway sayo, aawayin ka. Hindi ka tinutulungan. Kaya
ka lang tinutulungan ng Diyos kapag humingi ka, ang Diyos ang nagtuturo sa isang tao para
tulungan ka. Yan ang katotohanan diyan. Kaya nga sinasabi Niya mahalin moa ng kapwa mo. So
paano nangyayari sa buhay ng isang bakla eh ayaw naman mo naman kaming mahalin. Bakit
yung minamahal nila ay yung may suso at may bilas? Bakit? Diba?
C: Oo nga naman.
Z: Kaya ayun.
C: Eh ano din po yung mga usual na parang sentiment ng mga kapwa mo, mga lola din ganyan?
Z: Ang karamihan lang puro sa pamilya lang talaga. Sa ibang tao, sabagay kahit ako mismo
hindi ko pinapansin kung anuman sinasabi nila sakin, kaya nung araw hindi ko pinapansin.
Although may time na nagagalit ako, nakikipag-away talaga ako pero ang pinakamalaking
problema talaga ay sa pamilya.
C: Ah sa pamilya. Kasi pag naririnig
Z: Ay oo! Iba, iba kapag
(INTERRUPTION)
C: Pero po diba masaya naman na po kayo?
Z: Ay oo naman! Kanina pa nga ako ngiti ng ngiti eh. Tawa nga ako ng tawa. Ano ka ba?
C: Pero sa tingin niyo po yung mga iba ding mga lola masaya din naman sila?
Z: Hindi lahat.

195

C: So iba yung pagtrato mo sa buhay?


Z: Dala pa rin nila yung kalungkutan na nasa dibdib pa rin nila especially sa pamilya nga. Ang
pinakamatindi nga diyan mga kapatid talaga. Lalake, lalake. Kasi noon, ang mga kapatid mong
lalake, kapag naging bakla ka iba tingin nila sayo. Eh what more kung sa akin eh nanay ko pala?
Oh ayaw ng bading. Di masaklap.
C: Nakakaloka.
Z: Saan ka pupunta? Pero lahat naman diyan nawawala sa isipan ko kase maraming
magagandang bagay na dumarating sa buhay ko kahit matanda na ko. Although nararanasan ko
pa rin katulad nung bata ako. Nakakalake pa ko. Kahit matanda na ako, nakita mo naman.
Huwag kang kumuha ng kasing edad mo baka maging mukha kang mangkukulam. Kailangang
kunin mo fountain of youth.
C: Sariwa pa!
Z: Sariwa pa! Masarap pa sa condensada. (laughs)
C: Winner!
Z: Oh diba? Ganun lang.
C: Ganun yung buhay natin! (laughs)
Z: Well, depende naman siguro. Siguro kung sinasabi nila malas yung iba katulad, ako kasi
pakiramdam ko magaan sakin ang kaginhawaan. Although hindi naman ako nakakahawak ng
pera,yung sa pang-araw araw ko. Although may time na tipid talaga ako. Hindi ko alam kung
saan kukuha ng ulam. Bigla na lang may dumarating. Basta ganun lang. Ang buhay ko talaga as
in, siguro dahil sa bago talaga ako matulog, nagdadasal ako. Or kaya pag naglalakad ako, may
nakita akong hindi maganda, dasal agad ako Our Father, Hail Mary. Kaya kung may tukso,
tawagin moa gad Angel of God, my guardian dear. Pero kapag nadaig ang tukso, sige na lang!
(laughs)
Oh sabi ni San Gabriel, oy teka muna. Basta bantayan mo lang ako. Oh diba? So ganun lang?
C: Pero yung maiba tayo, yung schedule niyo sa pagwawalis, Monday to Friday?
196

Z: Oh Monday to Sunday.
C: Ah dire diretso yun?
Z: Dire diretso yun pero pwede naming kahit ayaw mong magwalis ng Saturday or Sunday,
pwede.
C: Pero saan banda?
Z: Dito lang. Leveriza ganyan. Nakakapagod kaya. Katulad kanina, dami daming basura. Tapos
napagod ako, sumakit yung dito ko. Sumakit yung bewang ko.
C: Hindi ba mainit?
Z: Tapos pagpasok ko dito yun pala may nag aantay na. Ay masakit ang aking balakang. Hindi
ako makarolling stone. (laughs)
C: Eh bat ba siya nakahiga diyan?
Z: Nalasing nga eh! Sabi ko nga baka around the world in 80 days yung matitikman mo sakin,
kaninang umaga. Baka ngayon eh 60 days na lang. (laughs) Nawala yung 120! Naku naloloka
ako!
C: Nakahiga tuloy. Nagulat ako. (laughs)
Z: Dun yun nakahiga!
C: Nagulat ka rin?
Z: Hmmm. Siguro imbyerna kasi hindi ko siya pinapansin kasi tinatawag ako nung bestfriend
kong hindi ko malaman kung bading din or silahis ba.
C: Ay! Pero wala siyang asawa?
Z: Pero hindi naman siya, matagal na kaming magkaibigan, bestfriend kami. Hindi naman siya
nagpapahalata na parang gusto niya ako na hmmmm. Hindi! Ako wala din naman akong
nararamdaman din!
C: Wala na siyang pamilya?
197

Z: Wala pa. Bata pa yun! Ewan ko kasi ako pag ayaw ko kahit guwapo ka pa. Pag hindi ko feel
never! Sorry lang ang ganda ko kung pipilitin ko sayo. Di bali na sa pangit, at least may
nararamdaman ako. Pagktapos nun, masayang masaya ako! Walang pagsisisi, diba? Oh. Aanhin
mo naman ang guwapo, ayan nakatihaya! (laughs)

198

Interview with Lola Beth


B: Yung iba medyo, syempre, pag may religion, maraming restrictions eh sa mga bahayampunan eh. Nung una, nakita ko na nga yun eh. Kaya lang sabi ko sa kanila, Sige, laruin muna
natin para at least meron kayong lugar na siguradong matutulugan, may pagkain regularly.
C: Ano po yun, adoption house talaga?
B: Adoption house talaga yun. Talagang itinayohindi naman itinayoinupahan yung lupang
iyon para sa mga matatandang bading. So ang ipapangalan dun ay Home for the Special
Elderly kung tawagin.
C: Sino pong nag-aano [nagaasikaso] nun?
B: Ang nag-promote niyan ay yung grupo ng Happy Christians kung tawagin.
C: Ito po ba yung mga religious na gays?
B: Oo, mga religious gays, mga member ng Ang Dating Daan. Sila yun. Sila Larry Espinosa, sila
Ranielle (?) yung mga medyo maganda ang kabuhayan na mga bading. Tapos pinagsama-sama
nila, nagusap sila na magtatayo sila ng adoption house.
C: Pero mga batang beki [bading] lang po?
B: Hindi. Silang Happy Christians, mga 40 and above. Kaya ayun.
C: Tas nangupahan po sila?
B: Umupo sila ng isang magandang bahay dun nga sa may GSIS Hills Subdivision sa Caloocan.
Maganda yung bahay. Sosyal. Ang sala namin is siguro dalawa nito. Tapos meron kaming
tatlong kwarto. Dun kami nakatira. Provided lahat may kama, may home parent na
nagbabantay sa amin at tsaka nag-aasikaso. Yun ang chikka nila, drama. Habang naghihintay ng
approval galing sa sec kasi kailangang ipa-sec muna eh bago makakuha ng accreditation sa
DSWD. So ngayon nai-file na nila, nakabuo na sila ng officers nila, nag-file na sila ng Visions
and Missions nila, o kung ano man yung articles of incorporation atsaka by-laws, pinasok na
nila. Hindi ko lang alam kung anong set-up na ngayon, kung naaprubahan na ba. [Pero ang]
palagay ko naaprubahan na kasi four months na kami dun eh. Ay, thank you nga pala sa pizza.
199

Z: Ay, oo. Thanks!


B: Nako, ang dami naming naghati-hati!
C: Hindi na po ako nakapagantay! Sorry po.
B: Oo nga
Z: Kung ano ginawa kong 60.
B: Kasi nga ang dami namin!
C: Ay talaga po?
B: Pinulutan namin siya.
C: Akala ko po, as in, kayo lang nila ano
B: Hindi Kasi maraming umattend sa schools, sa mga bata.
C: Nakwento nga po ni Tito June ba yun na ito nga yung tambayan niyo.
B: Oo, oo.
Z: Ito yung parang meeting place namin, parang bahay na.
B: Tapos halimbawa, kapag may mga interviews, dito rin. Kaya useful naman, okay naman rin.
Ngayon, pag-uwi namin, may bonding-bonding kami kunyari. Kanina nga ay nangulit yung mga
bading nako, pass muna tayo diyan.
Z: Malaki rin yung tulong sa amin nitong bahay na to.
B: Oo, maraming activities na nabuo rito.
Z: Maraming activities, maraming sponsors
C: Mga planning, ganun
B: Oo, oo.
Z: Kaya, ako tuloy yung ginagawang front ni Monique.
200

B: Yes, kasi siya ang ano eh contact person dito eh dahil nandun ako sa Caloocan eh. Paganunganun lang ako kapag may importante lang.
C: Ay, Caloocan ka po?
B: Oo, dun ako natutulog sa ano adoption house. Kasama ako dun eh. Adopted din ako dun.
Kaya lang yung home parent namin dun, medyo makulit din. Hindi naman sa makulit, kaya lang
yung budget para sa amin, kumbaga kino-corner rin niya. Hindi ko pa naman ma-question dahil
hindi pa official lahat eh. Tsaka wala pa yung involvement ng DSWD. Kaya ang nagpapakain sa
amin, yun grupo ng Happy Christians na siyang nag-appoint naman sa kaniya na maging home
parent.
C: Beki rin po yun?
B: Beki lahat sila.
C: Pati po yung home parent?
B: Oo, si Jojo. Eh matagal na rin silang magkakasama sa Ang Dating Daan.
C: Ano po yun? As in, Dating Daan pa talaga sila hanggang ngayon?
B: Oo. Yun yung dating grupo ni Brother Ely Soriano.
C: So may mga openly gay din pala silang member?
B: Oo, meron. Ang dami nga eh.
C: Kasi ang alam ko lang ay yung sa Metropolitan Church.
B: Kay ano pa yun, kay Reverent Ceejay. Ayun, nagkakasal yun. Yung malaki yung mukha,
yung nakasalamin na mataba. Pari yun. Katoliko talaga rin yun. Hindi ko lang alam kung
nagbigyan siya ng authority pero talaga nagkakasal siya ng same sex marriage dito sa Makati
church nila sa may Casino Street, kanto ng Filmore Buendia.
C: Yung adoption house, Sir Mon, matagal na yun o bago pa lang?
B: Bago pa lang. Four months pa lang siya.
201

C: Pano po yun, yung mga lola po natin dito, kukunin rin nila?
B: Oo, kukunin rin nila. Kasi katulad ng nila Rica, 15 sila nung unang sinama ko dun. Out of 15,
lahat naman qualified kasi lahat may edad na, walang pupuntahan, may mga kamag-anak pero
malalayo, walang assured income para pagkain sila pangaraw-araw. So qualified sila lahat. Kaya
lang, sa ngayon, anim lang yung natira, kasi yung iba, katulad nila Rica, may trabaho sila, hindi
nila maiwanan. So sabi nila, sa susunod na lang in case talaga na, halimbawa, mawala yung
trabaho niya dito, tsaka walang titirahan. Maoobliga na siyang pumunta dun, sumama. Nakareserve na sila. Papasok na lang sila dun. Ilan sila? Anim ata sila o pito na qualified. Pati yung
lahat ng ibang mga lolas.
C: Ah, yung kanina.
B: Oo, yung kanina. Kaya lang, yun nga, may mga raket-raket pa sila. Eh ngayon, anim na lang
kami dun. So, kailangan nandun din ako para nakikita ko araw-araw kung ano yung nangyayari.
C: Sino yung mga kasama niyo doon?
B: Sila Leony.
C: Ah, kasama rin po siya dun?
B: Oo. Itong si Ree.
C: Ah, yung kanina dito.
B: Si Doctora, si Vichie
C: Bakit po Doctora?
B: Nakasanayan lang kasi. Kung umasta kasi yan parang doctora. Laging may bag, may payong,
ganyan diba. Pag lumakad sa kalye, taas ang noo. Sabi niya hawak niya yung cluctch bag niya.
Sabi niya akala nila mayaman ako. Basta hawak mo yung clutch bag mo, maski na walang
laman. Syempre yung mga bading diba, feeling na rich-y rinSi Caloy yung isa. Si Noel kaya
lang si Noel di mo nakita dito. Busy sa kalakal niya. Nangangalakal kasi.
(INTERRUPTION)
202

B: Oh, yun nga. Ilan na lang silang nandun ngayon. Pero ang sabi ko, sige, saka na, dahil kasi
kapag naayos na lahat yung second house, dun tayo. Minsan nakakainis din kapag masyadong
maraming restrictions, maraming bawal.
C: Bakit daw po?
B: Kasi nga under their supervisions, under their responsibility. Kaya kapag aalis ka,
magpapaalam ka. Kailangang bumalik ka before 10 oclock dahil may curfew. Ayaw nila ng
araw-araw lalabas ka, kaya nag-assign na sila ng three days na pwede kang lumabas o visitation.
Pwede mong gamitin yung three days na any day kung anong gusto mo. Kung Lunes, Martes,
Miyerkules Kaso sabi ko sa kanila, hindi, gamitin niyo yan tuwing Friday, Saturday, Sunday,
kasi ang event natin laging pumapalo sa Sabado at Linggo para walang away-away. Yung
pagkain namin dun, okay lang naman. Kaya lang, talagang hindi nasusunod talaga yung sinasabi
ng DSWD na kailangan may pattern, may dietician, kasi matatanda na nga. Itong ganitong
pagkain sa Lunes, ganitong pagkain sa Martes, ganitong pagkain sa Miyerkules. Parang may
planned menu for the next one week na ni-recommend ng dietician. So wala. Kung ano lang
ipakain, kung ano lang yung maisipang ipamalengke, yun lang yung iluluto. So ang nangyayari
ngayon, tinitipid kami masyado sa pagkain. Hindi ko naman muna pinapansin pa dahil personal
na pera pa nila yung ginagamit yung ginagamit ng mga Happy Christian. Pero may feeling ako
na itong home parent na to yung kumi-kill. Hindi ko lang muna inaano dahil hindi ko talaga alam
kung magkano talaga yung budget sa isang araw. Ako naman, ayoko naman munang magtanong
dahil wala pa ngang approval lahat ng documentations kaya hindi pa formal na adoption house
yun. Kasi yung mga grupo na yun, namumuhunan rin talaga dahil nga may mga pera. Dahil
pagdating oras, marami silang kilala na rich-y rin na lalapitan nila para sa donations. So lahat ng
ginastos nila, bawi rin yun. Isipin mo magkano yung upa sa bahay. 10 000 a month. Malaki yung
bahay! Dati yun kinse daw. Tapos ilaw, tubig. Sabagay ilaw, maliit lang naman. Dati nun, naging
1.6K. Ngayon naging 1.3K. So lumiliit na. Liliit pa rin yan maski na papano. Sabihin natin,
ilagay na natin sa 1 000. Yung tubig noon napabayaan kasi may gumagamit na iba sa kabilang
bahay. Yung unang billing namin nun, 3.6K, hanggang lumiit ng 2K. Tapos naging 1.5K na lang.
So ang laki ng ibinaba. Kasi yung matanda sa kabila, na kasali rin sa paggamit ng tubig, matanda
na, siguro nakakalimutang patayin yung tubig, gripo. Kaya ayun. Todo-todo! Eh kami naman

203

kung maligo, maski na maligo ka ng three times a day, sa anim na tao, hindi ka kukunsumo ng
ganun karaming cubic meter eh diba?
C: Masyado nang mahal yung naaksaya
B: Oo, 3 000. Maski na 2 000 pa.
C: Sa ano naman tayo, Sir Mon maiba naman tayo. Di ba po yung nakwento ni Lola Rica dati
na naisipan niyong buuin ulit yung Golden Gays. Ano po yung nagtulak sa inyo?
B: Marami kasing mga kasama namin na lumapit. Mon, papano na to? Totally displaced na tayo
lahat. Anong gagawin na natin? Eh ako naman, sabi ko nga, unang-unang napag-usapan na
namin ng dating founder na si Husto-husto na kung siya yung mawawala, itutuloy ko yung
kaniyang legacy. So isa yun. Pangalawa, nalulungkot ako kasi walang pupuntahan yung mga
matatanda. Wala man lang silang lugar para magkaron ng chikahan o kaya magkaron ng
bonding, dahil nga kasi displaced eh. Walang lugar talaga. So sige sabi ko, paminsan-minsan,
magme-meet muna tayo. Nagkaron kami ng pagkakatao na magkapera ng isang buwan, umupa
kami ng bahay. Pero syempre, hindi naman regular na may pera kami, kaya yung dating
tinitirahan namin sa Barredo, isang buwan lang yun dahil wala nang pambayad eh iiwanan na
naman. Nung nalipat kami sa may kabila, dun kanila Sem. Inupahan rin namin yung sa Leveriza.
Timing rin na election time. Nag-offer naman si Del Rosario na ipagpapatuloy niya, tutulungan
niya kami sa pagbabayad ng bahay on condition na tutulungan rin namin siya sa kaniyang
candidacy. So ganun nga ang nangyari. Nung sa bahay naman na yun, alam na naman ang mga
bading na pagdating sa pera, may politics rin. So nagkasulutan. Supposed to be, dapat ako yung
kausap nila Del Rosario para sa bahay na yun. Eh ang nangyari, sila yung umeksena, pinasok
nila yung trabaho ni Del Rosario sa loob kaya nagkaron sila ng ugnayan na wala kami sa picture
nila Rica, dahil ayaw rin ni Rica na sumama sa kanila. So umalis kami dun sa bahay na tinirahan
rin nila ng mga ilang buwan. Sabagay, nakatulong rin naman yun dahil yung mga bakla, mga
lolas, dumadaan rin dun, tumatambay sandal, kasi wala ngang mapuntahan eh at chika-chika.
Kung may konting pagkain pa rin dun, kumakain rin sila. Until dumating yung pagkakataon na
naging available itong lugar nila Rica dahil street sweeper nga siya, pinagkatiwala ni Kap sa
kaniya ito area, Sige, diyan ka muna. Bantayan mo yan. Although wala nama talagang
valuables na nandito kaya malaking bagay ito para sa amin. Ito yung parang nagdugtong-dugtong
204

dun sa mga pangangailangan namin. Pagkain, hindi naman masyadong problema dahil
nakakadiska-diskarte. Bahay talaga. Para at least magsama-sama, magkakwentuhan, o kaya
planuhin kung ano yung mga susunod na gagawin lalo na kapag may mga events na gagawin.
Dito namin lahat binubuo yan, binabalangkas. Pero kapag natapos na yung event, dito rin kami
nagbo-bonding kaya inaabot din kami dito ng gabi. Kasi ang mga lolas mo mga drinkers rin yan
eh.
C: Talaga?
B: Oo, puro Emp lights yan. Kailangan talagang may alcohol sila sa katawan.
Z: Matapos ang rampahan.
B: Ilan kaming nainom diyan. Siyam, sampu kami niyan. Ilan lang naman ang hindi nainom. Si
Leony, kasi may hika yun. Si Greg, may prostata nga siya kaya ayaw niyang uminom. Si Vic,
malakas uminom yan. Yung isa lang, yung maliit, si Al, dahil kasi hindi nasanay uminom yan.
Pero yung iba, okay lang. Kaya inaabot kami ng, hindi naman hating gabi, mga 11 minsan, mga
past 10.
Z: Nung galing nga tayo sa J. Martin, anong oras na kami nakauwi, umaga na. Bumabagyo pa
nun ha.]
B: Ano kami nun yung White Party of the Philippines. Gumawa sila ng activity, yung street
dance sa JNAC yun sa may Maria Orosa. Ngayon, ang daming dumating sa totoo lang.
Maganda sana yung presentation kasi sarado na yugn JNAC-Phil eh. Nandun na, naka-set up na
yung lights and sound system. Eh rainy season! Akala namin kakayanin ng mga tents. Nako!
Maya-maya, eto na, bumuhos na! Eh maraming pumapasok kasi ticket eh. Syempre kapag
pumasok, manunuod ng show, mga perfermors eh hindi matuloy-tuloy yung mga performance
kasi walang tigil-tigil yung ulan. Kaya ang nangyari noon, marami sana yung kumuha ng tickets
kaya lang nag-refund sila. Supposedly, part of the proceeds mapupunta sa amin. Talagang hindi
kakayanin kasi ginastusan ang stage, ginastusan ang sound system. Yung mga baranggay na inassign sa magkabilang kalye para walang dumaang sasakyan. So, in short, abonado pa sila, yung
organizers, sila Rocky Aquino. Kaya sabi niya, Nako Sir Mon! Sabi ko okay lang naman yun
dahil understandable naman kami, wala namang kinita. Binigyan lang kami ng pang-taxi kasi
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nga ang lakas ng ulan. So pagbaba namin rito, sabi ko, Sige, Rica, daan muna tayo sa restaurant
kasi nga andun na, paggabi na rin. Kaya uminom na muna kami ng Red Horse sa dun sa may
kanto nay un mag-uumaga na. At least kumbaga, kundi hindi mo ginanon, mararamdaman mo
yung pagod at puyat. So nung matapos nun, de uwian na rin. At least kalmado lahat. The next
week na ulit kami nagkita-kita. Sabi ko wala namang pinaabot si Rocky kundi pang-taxi lang.
Wala akong magagawa, sabi ko nga. Swerte naman kami, tuwing buwan, meron kaming isa o
dalawang nagi-sponsor.
C: Ano po yung pinaka-challenging sa pagre-revive ng Golden Gays?
B: Masasabi kong challenging part yan ay kung papano mo ipu-pull together yung mga lolas
nung panahon na yun kasi displaced nga lahat eh. Yung iba tulad nila Rollie, nasa Bulacan, sa
Bustos. May iba kaming kasama na nasa Paranaque. Although malapit din ang Las Pinas.
Mahirap yung unang communications, sila Gloria nasa Fairview. Pag may rent, kailangan
talagang nandito sila. So kailangang gumawa ng sistema na pag merong ganung activity, maaga
pa na nama-manpower pulling mo na sila, nabubuo mo sila. Yun ang isa sa mga challenge dun.
Mabuti na lang nakatulong din yung mga cellphone-cellphone. Maski na yung mga mura, tutal
may mga mura, mga 500. Ang importante natatawagan kayo at nakakatawag. Kapag na-text mo
yung isa, word of mouth na lang, pasa-pasa na lang. Ngayon, yung ibang nasa malalayo, syempre
kailangang ilalayag mo rin yun ng mga pamasahe nila maski na papano. Kaya pagdating dito,
ano lang, masaya ka lang dahil nakompleto rin yung mga lolas. Yun nga lang, syempre, talagang
pagsisikapan mo rin na kontakin sila, kumbinsihin mo na Pumunta kayo dito. Pagdating niyo na
lang, tsaka ko na lang isosoli pamasahe ninyo. Pag bago kayo bibiyahe ulit, bibigyan ko na yun
ng pamasahe eh. Ganun talaga eh. Lalo na syempre pag may konting donation galing sa sponsor.
Kaya tuwing uuwi yung mga malalayo lang naman ang binibigyan pero yung mga malalapit,
hindi. Anyway, meron kayong bag of foodies, good to three days of consumption. Kasama kayo
dun sa computation. Yung mga nanalo, hindi na inaabutan yan dahil kasi may mga prizes naman
yan. Kaya kadalasan kapag may mga beauty con, nire-request ko sa mga sponsor, na sana walang
umuwing luhaan. Maski na yung mga hindi nanalo, abutan ng 200. Okay na yung mga lolas mo,
masaya na. Tutal may pagkain naman at tsaka meron silang mga bag of goodies nga. Yung mga
taga-V Fresh non, sila Eubert Go na yan, eh pabuloso rin yung mga pinamigay nila mga gifts sa
mga lolas mo yung mga talagang nasa timba. Tsaka kumpleto! Siguro worth 1 000 ata isa nun,
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ang laman. Bukod pa sa pagkain na talaga daan nila. In exchange, pinasaya rin naman namin sila.
Tapos masaya sila at kasali kami sa Auto-Ops kasi gusto rin naman nila yun, kasi kapag may
mga projects, naipapakita rin nila sa mga kaibigan nila. Kasi mga bading rin naman sila eh.
Daming bading na Chinese eh. Nagkaron lang ng konting aksidente, kasi yung isang kasama
nila, hindi niya napansin yung kanto nung patungan ng parang TVwala ng TV dunmay
nakausli palang pako! Nako, tumama sa ganito niya. Mabuti kamo hindi sa mata. Pero kasi yung
parteng kilay na to tsaka sa taas, madugo eh. Tinakbo sa ospital. Kaya medyo nagkaron ng
kaunting stop ng event. Tapos bumalik rin naman agad. Syempre may mga pera sila at mga
sasakyan kaya naayos naman agad. Ang challenge naman talaga ay kung pano mo mabubuo
yung grupo. Kailangan kapag nabuo mo rin, kumpleto rin sa outfit para effective sa presentation.
Pangatlo, yung mga sound system, kailangang asikasuhin mo rin yan. Hindi tatakbo ang program
kapag walang sound system atska hindi makakarampa ang lola mo pag walang background
music. Kaya pag talaga natapos ang isang event, masaya ang sponsor, ang mga lolas mo, masaya
rin dahil parang compensated na naman sila kahit papano.
C: Pano po kayo nagaano ng mga sponsors? May mga nagvo-volunteer tapos may mga narereach out rin?
B: Oo, oo. Kadalas kasi yan, yung mga dating nag-sponsor ng mga previous years, sila rin yung
parang nagbibigay ng referral dun sa ibang LGBT community. Uy! Nandun yung mga Home
for Golden Gays. Tulungan ninyo, tutal mga LGBT community naman kayo, member din. Kaya
parang ganun. Malaking bagay rin yung website namin kasi yung mga naghahanap rin ng mga
association of groups na gustong tulungan, nakikita nila na Aba, nage-exist pa pala ang Home
for the Golden Gays! kaya unti-unti kong inu-update yugn website namin. Ganun din yung
Facebook account namin, na lahat ng activities na bago, inu-upload ko lahat nung mga pictures,
nilalagyan ko lang ng konting write up, na ito yung latest get together namin, thank you sa
sponsor namin, binabanggit ko. Tapos thank you sa mga gift items na iniwanan nila. Tapos ang
ending nun, Please save my number para at least makita nang kung sinong makabasa. Ayun,
tatawagan na. Kasi marami akong nabasa nun sa email na Ang hirap niyong hanapin. Yung
cellphone number na nakalagay kasi nawalan ako ng cellphone eh. Na-snatch nga yun, nawala
yun, kaya natagalan. Nawala naman sa loob ko na mag-upload ng picture pagkatapos gawin ko
yun. Eh hindi naman ako masyadong kaganun sa computer don. Kaya ayun nga, unti-unti naka207

recover naman din, nalaman rin nila yung bagong number. Kaya ngayon binabalikan ko yung
naging sponsors namin na nagbukas ng kanilang mga website, tutal may space naman dun na
Please leave a reply kapag nag-open ka. Ayun, sabihin ko Please save my number kasi yung
una nawala na No more parang ganun. Tapos yun, lahat ng mga ganun, pinadadalhan ko sila
ng simple message tsaka naga-attach ako ng isa o dalawa o tatlong pictures ng mga Golden Gays
na family portrait. Hindi individual, buo talaga. Medyo naging effective naman siya. Maraming
nakita nila yung ganun ngang contact number at pictures, kino-contact na ako bale. So, yung
internet talaga, malaking bagay talaga yan sa promotion talaga. Pero ganun pa man, marami pa
ring organization na hindi pa rin nakakaalam na nage-exist pala yung Golden Gays. Ay, akala
ko wala ito. Kaya marami last time, puro mga students org, ang nagkakaron ng charity
programs. Kaya ayun, masaya rin. Sabi ko nga dun sa mga bata, last year kako may isang
malaking-malaking grupo ng De La Salle na nag-conduct ng out reach dito sa amin. Mga 60
persons ata sila. 40 naman kami. So bale, mga isang daan. Hopefully, sana nga, dumami pa yung
mga sponsors kasi nga minsan yung mga corporate accounts, sinasbai nila: Mon, ano ha, next
year na lang ulit kasi gusto rin naming makatulong sa ibang foundations and organizations na
nangangailangan rin ng tulong. Oo naman, sabi ko. Syempre, alam ko namag hindi pwedeng
lahat na lang sa amin. Katwiran ko may iba namang dumarating. So kapag naubos na yung ibang
dumating, ito na naman sila. Bale yung mga dati naming sponsor, nauulit ulit yun every year.
Bukod dun, kapag may mga bagong LGBT group, nai-spread nila na Uy! Nandyan ang Home
for the Golden Gays. Tulungan niyo. Again, kapag may mga pride march, malaking bagay rin
yan kasi lahat ng lahat ng LGBT community, andun. So nakikita rin nila.
C: Ay, so sumasali rin po kayo?
B: Oo. Bale itong December 9 or 7 ata, a-attend kami kasi nga sabi nga namin, kung talagang
itutuloy ng JP Morgan yung promise nila na igagawa kaming float, bongga di ba! Kami ang front
line. Ang mga lolas mo lang ang naka-float. Lahat naglalakad! Sabi ko ang mga lolas niyo hindi
pwedeng maglakad.
C: Mga may rayuma!
B: Oo! Hindi naman kami pwedeng rumampa lang ng ordinary kasi hindi kami mapapansin.
Kailangang naka-gown! Kumpleto! Kasi yun ang pampansin eh. Sabi naman ni Lou, Sige,
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titingan natin. Pwede nating gawan ng request yan. Sila yung latest sa ABES. Last month.
September 17.
C: Lola Beth, nung meron pa yung Golden Gays, kamusta naman yung ano niyo dati? Maayos
naman yung bahay?
B: Yung bahay ng aming founder, yun talaga yung original na tahanan namin.
C: As in, dun na rin yung family nila? Or iba pa yung bahay ng Golden Gays?
B: Dun na rin. Malaki kasi yung bahay nila eh. May bahay sa unahan na two-storey floor. May
garahe sa harapan. Bahay sa likuran na two floors. Sa likod nun may four floors na itinayo si JJ.
Ngayon sa four floors, nandun lahat yung mga pamilya niya. Ang kasama lang naman niya diyan
ay yung nanay niya, yung asawa niya, atsaka yung apo niya na may dalawang anak, may asawa.
So dun sila nakatira sa likod. Ngayon nung maging imbalido na si JJ, dito na siya sa unahan para
hindi na siya nahihirapan pang gumalaw, at hindi na siya mahirapang magakyat-panaog pa, kasi
nasa fourth floor siya dati nung nakakalakad siya eh. Tuwing may activity kami, ginagamit
namin yung garahe kasi maluwang yung eh. Yung garahe pwedeng mag-accommodate ng 50-70
na katao. Yun lagi yung event hall namin. Nung isinarado yun, tsaka lang kami lumipat sa
ABES, sa Andres Bonifacio Elementary School. Yung bahay talaga, totoo niyan, maluwag talaga
yung first part kasi yung itaas nun, dun natutulog yung mga regular residents na mga lolas mo.
Noon kasi ang mga regular residents diyan mga walo, kasama na rin niyan sila Markova noon.
Tapos sila Ada, yung kuba na namatay na. Sila Leony dati rin diyang nakatira sa may taas,
bago lang siyang lumipat dito. Si Rika, nung hindi pa siya baranggay employee, dun din siya
tumira ng ilang taon. Kaya nung binigyan siya ng trabaho ni Kap, dito na siya pinatira. Kasi nga
nun, sickly na rin yung founder namin atsaka nagpapakita na ng hindi maganda yung apo. Kaya
yung iba umaalis na rin, hindi rin nagtatagal. Yung iba tumatambay na rin. Yung mga regular
residents kasi nga nangamatay na yung iba siguro apat na lang yung natira dun.
C: Dun ka rin tumira, Sir Mon?
B: Tumira rin ako dun ng ilang taon. On-off. Hindi ako regular na tumira roon. Pero kapag may
mga pagkakataon na may mga activity, diyan ako natutulog kasi maaga pa akong dumadating eh

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kasi ako ang nag-aayos ng lahat eh preparation ng damit, arrangement ng mga upuan at mga
ilaw, set-up ng mga tarpaulins, set-up ng sound system.
C: So, even before, ikaw na rin yung nagco-coordinate?
B: Oo, ako na yung nagco-coordinate noon. Kumbaga hindi na rin bago sa akin na trabahuhin
yung mga activities ng Golden Gays. Kaya nung mamatay yung founder namin, parang hindi rin
nagbago. Kaya lang ni-reorganize ko lang para mabuo yung ulit communication nung mga nadisplaced na members para pag may activities, lahat sila present. Tatawagin mo lang. Nagawan
naman namin ng sistema kung pano sila kokontakin at naging effective naman. Kaya lahat sila
kapag tinawag, nandyan lahat sila.Kaya yun ang ano pero sa Isettan huwag kang magkakamali at
duduguin ka talaga dun.
C: Natural na dugo.
B: Oo. Paduduguin ka talaga dun. At tsaka nakakadyokot nga dun kasi marami ngang kwento na
minsan may binitbit yung bading sa napick-up niyang lalake sa Isettan. Eh kadalasan ang mga
pinagdadalhan ng lalake yung mga kilala nilang roomboys. Kaya kapag hinold-up ka nila, hindi
gagalaw yung mga roomboys nay un.
C: Aaaaah.
B: Pag aalis na yung ombre, nalaman mo na lang na wala na yung lalake pala, wala na yung
gamit mo. Oh kaya dun sa isang lugar na pinagdalhan sayo, eh tinutukan ka ng om eh hindi ka
makagalaw, ginawa ng om binalot ka ng kumot para kang mummy. Hindi ka makagalaw.
Maswerte na lang kapag sinilip ka ng roomboy. Kasi kapag binalot ka talaga, pati mukha mo
nakabalot.
C: Minudmod. Na-Jennifer. Ano yun yung sa Olongapo?
B: Jennifer Laude ba yun?
C: Oo.
B: Kaya ayun.
C: Minudmod ka pala sa ano.
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B: Nilunod siya.
C: Oo. Sa inidoro. Bata pa pala yung nag-ano sakanya no?
B: Bata pa.
C: 19.
C: 19.
B: Hate crime yun talaga kasi nga nung madetect na bakla ito, eh..
C: Nagalit na.
B: Eh oo, naoperahan lang, nagpagawa lang ng pechay nga. Kaya siguro. Dati ng galit sa bakla
yun. Tinuluyan na si Jennifer Laude.
Eh syempre hindi mo aakalain baklita na sa una, pero yung mga ombre na marunong, syempre
makikita pa rin na may mga piyesa na andun pa rin yung pagiging lalaki nun. Yung, yung ano
niya, boses niya, sa leeg niya kaya.
C: Pero nung ano po, hindi kayo nagcocross dress nun nung college?
B: Ay hindi. Hindi pa! Hindi ko pa ginawa yan. Lately lang kasi late bloomer ako eh. Nung nasa
Golden Gays na ko saka lang ako nagsimulang magdress ng ganyan.
C: Aaah. So dati lang, as in boys boys lang talaga?
B: Boy boys lang. Paminta nga ang dating ko eh. Kaya ayun. Paminta talaga noon. Yung mga
panahon namin noon, mga 1980s, kasabayan namin yung mga bading na taga-Sta. Cruz nun kasi
madami ang mga beki beki nun eh.
C: Aaah.
B: Nakasama namin. Nakasabayan namin yun. Mga Henwa girls kung tawagin, mga Instik.
Yung mga baklita.
C: Ah. Yun yung ano nun?

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B: Pero hindi sila nagbababae, damit lalake sila. Papogian din.


C: Ah dati pa nun.
B: Oo. Matagal na rin yan. Mga 1980s yun. 77, 78, 79, 80s. Yan.
C: Aaaah.
B: Tambay rin kaming Sta. Cruz nun. So bali diyan sa Sta. Cruz, sa tapat ng hall diyan, may
restaurant diyan sa taas, sa ibaba nun may bakery. Andyan pa rin yung bakery. Yan yung Henwa
restaurant kaya kung tawagin kami nun, Henwa Girls. Kasi dun kami tumatambay, naupo. Kasi
maraming dumadating na mga lalake, umiinom.
C: Aaaah.
B: Sasama kapag inano mo. Eh yung mga panahon na yun, hindi mo madetect kung sino ang
paminta kasi marunong magtago ang mga bading nun.
C: Ah so dati pa pala?
B: Oo! Magagaling yung mga bading nun na paminta. Hindi mo mahahalata. Ngayon na lang.
Pero noong 19802, 79, 80s, talagang ma-aano ka, matatanso ka talaga. Kaya yun ang isa sa mga
naging kasama, sa mga naging ano ko experience ko sa pagiging bading pero dito na lang nung
sumama ako sa Golden Gays, dito na lang ako nagbihis babae. Kaya nung nag-umpisa ako, sabi
ko Ay, maganda pala ako kapag nakabihis babae.
C: (laughs)
B: Late bloomer din si Sen kaya ayun.
C: Anong feeling na nag-ga-gown ganun?
B: Okay naman dahil kasi nga ako nung una, tuwang tuwa nga ako dahil sabi ko ay pwede pala
ako ma-girl. Tsaka lumabas na maganda nga. Kasi kapag nakamake-up ka na, nakahair do ka na,
iba na ang dating mo nun ano. Eh nung una nga hindi pa ako sanay mag-heels nun kasi nga first
time.
C: Mahirap pala no?
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B: Oo. Practice din eh pero nung nasanay na ko ayan parang minamanay ko na lang kaya ayan
tama rin yung sinasabi ng mga matatanda, nakaka-energize talaga. Masaya nga, nadadagdagan
yung ano mo, yung parang contentment mo sa buhay dahil naging kumpleto na yung pagiging
babae mo nga. Ah kapag nakagirlalu ka, feeling mo talaga eh nabawasan ang edad mo ng ilang
taon.
C: (laughs)
B: Yan. Kasi iba na yung aura mo eh. Para kang bumata eh. Pag nakamake-up ka, nakadamit
babae ka, nakawig ka, at least ng mga 5 years old, nabawasan ka. Oh kaya malaking konsolasyon
yun sa mga lolas eh. Kaya ayun nga, kaya masaya. Tsaka syempre pag rampahan na, maraming
tao, nag-eenjoy kami kasi feeling mo laging nasa competition.
C: Miss Universe!
B: Yes! Oo. Kaya kailangan pagandahan talaga ng lakad, hindi ka pwedeng magkasapawan
talaga eh. Eh maliit ang stage.
C: Isa isa lang ganun?
B: Isa lang ang pwede.
Z: Yung iba diyan tatapakan ka talaga.
B: Yan sila Myla yun.
Z: Para mapansin ng mga judges. Kasalanan niya hindi siya nakakapasok sa 5 finalists.
B: Kaya masaya naman din. Kaya kailangang magbihis babae para at least, kumpleto ang
presentation ng lolas.
C: Bakit po yun yung naiisip niyo lagi kapag may activity? Diba laging yun ang highlight yung
pageant?
B: Ah oo oo. Yun nga pinarequest na rin yan ng mga lolas. Dun nga sa sinabi ko na kapag
nakagirl ka talaga, ah kumbaga sa ano nadedefeat mo yung aging process. Hindi ka tumatanda.
Bukod doon, mababawasan ka talaga, para kang bumabata kapag nakagirlalu ka. Pangalawa, na213

invigorate ka. Kumbaga nakakalakas ng spirit. Pag mataas ang spirit mo, high spirit ka, parang
malakas ang katawan mo. Masaya ka. So yun yung ilan sa mg kadahilanan kaya gusting gusto ng
mga lolas mo. Tsaka feeling nila hindi pa sila laos kaya kahit sa rampa. Ay, competition to no,
kesahoda. Maganda ang manalo lalo na si Leoni. Maski alam mo na talagang 87 na yan, parang
hindi magpapatalo yun. Talagang yun ang parang nagpapalakas ng aura niya pag nakagirl siya
lalo nap ag bago ang gown ng lola mo. Irapan ka talaga. (laughs)
C: (laughs)
B: Eh si Gloria Manila magandang mag-model yan dahil kasi sanay yan. Magmula 70s pa yan
nagpeperform na yan kaya pag nasa stage eh akala mo siya yung mga model noon. Ano ba yung
parang mga Muslim-inspired? Yung mga models nun na magagaling. Nakabalot tapos nakashawl na ganyan. Ang taas taas ng heels ni Gloria. Kaya lutang na lutang din siya samin kapag
ano. Eh maganda din siyang magmake-up. At tsaka black beauty siya kasi negra eh. Kaya lang
pagdating sa Q and A, bog. Bumabagsak! (laughs)
C: (laughs)
B: Tawanan yung mga audience na bata eh. Tawanan talaga.
C: Kasi diba po may mga ano n parang pag beki, parang finefavor yung mga bata pang beki.
Yung mga..
B: Ay hindi! Ako lagi kong sinasabi sa mga audience, sa mga sponsors namin, syempre golden
gays ang labanan, yung mga matatanda ang priority. Dati noon may mga kasama kaming bata
noon dito sa Avis. Pero yun lagi ang request ko na kailangan ang mananalo eh golden gays. Mga
bata marami kang makukuhang batang magaganda. No question. Ang pinag uusapan golden gays
eh so golden talaga. So yun naman ang sinusunod ng mga sponsors na kailangang sumaya talaga
ang mga golden kasi sa bandang ending, ang mga golden nasa harap, ang mga bata sa likod lang
yan. Hindi namin pinapasama sa harap yan. Sa likod kayo kasi nga bagets kayo eh. Frontline
talaga ang mga lolas.
C: Lolas, oo.

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B: Kaya sila kumbaga sa ano dagdag lang sila para at least pagrampa, mahaba. Kasi mga 22 yun
o 20, marami na ring ano yun. So may mga kasama na kaming silver dun.
C: Yun nga po nabasa ko yun yung mga parang silver gays.
B: Oo ayun. Yun yung mga young version namin. Pero ano yung mga barkada ni Ekek, sina
Michelle Obama, yung barkada ni Joy yung mga bata na nanggaling dito na naghahanap ng
bahay. Isa yun. Sila Ruby, sila Jovy Canonoy. Ayan mga silver namin yan. Si Joy hindi na nga
lang nagsasama kasi happily-married ang gaga.
C: (laughs)
B: Ayun kaya ayaw maiwanan ang jowa. Si Ruby laging kasama kapag talaga sinabi namin sige
Ruby sama ka sa rampa. Join siya sa rampa. Pero alam naman niya na ang labanan, golden.
Priority talaga ang golden kumbaga sa ano pamparami nalang sila. Magandang tignan kapag
marami. Lalo na kapag nasa stage na. Puno ang stage. Lahat ng lolas mo eh nakagown. Kaya
yung mga sponsors tuwang tuwa kapag sa photo-ops, marami talagang nakukunab, akala mo
andami talaga eh. Maski nga 20, pag tinignan mo sa stage, marami nay an eh. Kaya mas
maganda rin talaga kapag may mga bagong faces. Kaya ayun.
C: Ano yung mga usually niyong ano kapag may mga gimmick kayo sa labas bukod kapag may
mga events ganun, pumapasyal pasyal din ba kayo?
B: Sila Vic at sila Maruha, rumarampa yan dito sa Senate. Sa Macapagal Avenue kasi marami
kasi diyang mga maagang dumarating na gusto lang magpahada eh. Marami din diyang mga
nagjajogging kunyare, health and wellness pero nanghahada rin. So yun ang rampahan nila.
Kami naman nila Rica kasi iba naman ang forte namin, diyan kami sa videoke, kantahan,
inuman. Sila Gloria kasama namin yan. Sila Vic sumasama samin pag inuman pero medaling
araw dun sila sa ano. Si Sem, may harem yan ng mga lalake. Di na kailangang lumabas pa. Kaya
ang lola mo kinakatok talaga sa bahay. (laughs)
C: Ay bongga!

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B: So hindi na siya kailang lumabas pa. Anytime may kumakatok, oh. Kaya kita mo ang lola mo,
bloom na bloom! Ganun naman talaga. Kapag feel moa ng ombre, halika pasok ka. Lalo na kung
2 o.
C: So ganun yung mga bonding bonding moments niyo?
B: Kadalasan ganun. Kasi lately, nauso yung karaoke. Ayan paborito ng talagang pagandahan ng
boses.
C: Ay biritera!
B: Oo! Hindi rin paaawat. Eh mga drinker lahat yan lalo na ang lakas nila uminom.
C: Paano yung sila sa labas? Di nagulat sila yng mga lola pa as in energetic pa?
B: Oo! Diyan kami umiinom sa taas. Diyan oh! Mga kasabayan namin mga seaman.
C: Ay!
B: Pag medyo mga weng weng na yung mga seaman at nakitang parating na ang mga lolas diyan
nag iinom. Inom kami nung mga seaman talaga. Tapos itetable kami. Chika lang. Ayun natutuwa
ba kasi alam mong baklita eh, pag bumoka, hind iba? Tapos ang baklita, kailangang makaisang,
sige girl, best in Chika! Eh yung mga seaman talaga naghahanap lang talaga sila ng mga ganung
pupuntahan kasi minsan sa araw araw na sila sila nag iinuman nakakasawa din siguro no?
C: Uhmmm. Sila sila lang.
B: Oo kaya kapag may ibang nagkekwento o nakakasalamuha sila. Ayun tuwang tuwa sila. So
far naman wala naman kaming na-encounter na gulo diyan. Ah dun nagpunta kami minsan doon
sa Orio. Tapos si Maricel, si Myla, tsaka ako si Rica. May kasama pa kaming isa. Eh noong
pumasok kami un, inom kami ganyan may inabot na kaming dalawang lalake no. Kilala pala ni
Myla. So nung una hindi niya pinapansin. Nung nalasing na si Myla, inupuan niya at chinikahan
niya yung lalake. Yun pala kaaway niya. Dahil kumbaga sa ano, tinabla siya nung lalake. So
maya maya ito na nagmumura na. Ano sabi niya kaya ko naming magbayad ah! Kaya ko naming
gumastos kung inuman lang. Mga ganun na ano. Eh yung lalake hindi naman kumikibo. Eh
pinabayaan lang siya. Mamaya inom siya, kakanta, eh lasing na nakikita namin. Kasi iba na yung
216

dialogue. Eh nakikita namin yung lalake naiiirita na eh. Kasi tatayo na eh uupakan siya. Syempre
pag inupakan siya syempre magkakagulo talaga. Papaawat lang kami pero akalain tumutulong
diba? Sasapakin ka rin. Kaya bago mangyari yun sabi ko kay Maricel, Maricel halika na alis na
tayo. So binayaran ko yung chip. Umalis na kami. Sige lakad tayo ng konti dito tapos pauwi na
kami. Oh Myla umuwi ka na at lasing ka na, pauwi na rin kami. Mahirap na yung mga ganyan.
Imbes na nag-eenjoy tayo eh. Ayun nung nakita namin siyang umuwi, bumalik ulit kami sa Orio.
C: Kunyaring ano lang? (laughs)
Z: Oo kasi tambayan nga ng mga lalake talaga.
C: Ah talaga?
Z: Oo. Inuman talaga yun. Yang mga lalakeng yan tumatambay diyan at naghahanp ng bading
na magpapa-inom. Tapos booking din pagka, pagka nagkasundo kayo. Kaya masaya. Marami
kasing tumatambay lalo na kung gumagabi. May mga grupong dumarating galing sa Baclaran.
Yung mga waiters. Yung mga galing sa mga hotels. Yung mga galing sa MOA dumadaan total
malapit lang. Yung mga galing sa LRT. Yung mga trabahador dumadating din diyan. Kaya
maraming lalake. Kung saan saan galing. Eh marami ka talagang makakachikahan. Kaya ayun.
Pasay kasi. Alam mo hindi nagsasarado to, 24 hours yan bukas. Habang gumagabi yan lalo yang
. Kumabaga sa ilaw niyan lumalagablab habang gumagabi.
C: At sumasabay din ang mga lola!
Z: Oo. Kaya kumbaga sa ano, marami talagang ano dito.
C: Mga blessings!
B: Oo! Maraming delicious talaga hindi maaring hindi po papakin kapag inihanda sayo. Eh
sympre ang nakakajokot lang syempre, yung mga bata na kapag nakakarga, nakadroga. Kasi ang
droga kasi hindi mo alam kung pumutok na ang tama. Hindi katulad pag lasing, namumula,
gumigiwang, alam mong lasing. Okay lang. Pero kung nakadroga kasi hindi moa lam kung may
gagawin pa pala sayo. Pinagtitripan ka lang pala.
C: Mahirap na.

217

B: Oo. Kasi kami kahit dati ganun na ang ginagawa namin. Iwas pusoy na rin kami ngayon.
Dahil mahirap din na mabiktima ka ng mga grupo.
C: Ingat ingat na.
B: Pipili ka rin ng grupo na eentertainin mo rin. Ang syempre lalo na lately, rampant na naman
ang krimen. Pwede naman yun sa umaga kapag nakita mo sila diyan. Eh kaya lang pag nakita
mo sila sa umaga inabot ka ng 8 oclock.Nandyan lahat, nakabalandra eh wala ng gana yun. Ano
yun, lupaypay na yun. Hindi mon a kakayaning pa-apirin yun. Kaya ayun ang problema. Pero
Pasay talaga ang, Its more fun in Pasay. Hindi Philippines, Pasay lang. (laughs)

218

Interview with Lola Nancy

C: Pwede pong ikwento niyo kung like kamusta na kayo ngayon as elderly gay.
N: Well masaya. Parang hindi nagbago ang aking pakiramdam. Parangpag-ano bata pa
rin hanggang ngayon.
C: Bakit po feeling niyo hanggang ngayon bata pa rin kayo?
N: Well, it depends ano. Yun bang lifestyle.
C: Ah, lifestyle. Like pano pong lifestyle?
N: Mag-ingat sa mga Kailangang mayron kang exercise araw-araw, yung pagkain mo,
iningatan mo, bawal mga matataba, maaalat, maaasim Ganun. Yun ang aking secret. Atsaka
ano ang mahalaga sa lahat sex.
C: Simula nung bata pa kayo
N: Oo naman! Hanggang ngayon. I do it the same.
C: Ah, hindi kayo nanghihina?
N: Hindi! Lalo kong lumalakas!
C: Ay, talaga?! May mga herbal ba kayong iniinom?
N: Wala. Yun ang aking pinaka-herbal.
C: Ay, talaga?
N: human herbal.
C: Ay bongga ka diyan! Sige, medyo bumalik po tayo. Feeling ko naman mada
N: Sige, ibalik mo ang kahapon.
C: Ano po taga-saan po kayo?

219

N: Akoy taga-Mabini, Bohol.


C: Ay, ang layo!
N: Yes!
C: Yung friend ko, taga-ano naman siya Tagbilaran.
N: Bohol din yun
C: Malayo kayo dun?
N: Ah, malayo ako. Mga 100 kilometers.
C: Nung bata po kayo babae na talaga?
N: Well talagang ganun na ako. Hindi nagbago hanggang ngayon Babae pa rin ako.
C: As in, kinder pa lang, ganun?
N: Ganun din!
C: Eh kamusta naman ang mga magulang?
N: Ang magulang lagi sa akin dahil akoy mabait tsaka maganda daw!
C: Ay, talaga? Kebs sila keber?
N: Oo! Mga kapatid ko, tawag nila sa akin Inday. Ibig-sabihin, mahal.
C: Ahh. Ilan kayong magkakapatid?
N: Sampu. Sampu lang naman. Ako lang ang pinaka hmm. Reyna sa lahat.
C: Ilan yung lalaki?
N: Ano kami anim.
C: Tapos lima na lang dahil ano ka kasama ka na dun sa mga
N: Babae ako, oo, ganun. Ako si Reyna sa lahat. Tsaka maganda daw! Ano pa?

220

C: Ah, so wala po talagang as in hindi mo naramdaman yung katulad ng experiences ng iba


like pinapalo pinagbuhatan ng kamay dahil nalaman na bakla?
N: Baka sila papaluin ko! Ay, hindi.
C: Hindi talaga?
N: Hindi talaga. Eh ako, marunong akong maghanap buhay. Maliit pa ako, naghanap buhay na
ako. Eh wala silang masasabi. Ang pagsabi nila ng Bakla ako, Oh, bakit? Di ba binibigyan ko
sila ng pera? Pag nag-aral man, tinutulungan kita. Kayo, meron bang naitulong sa akin? Di ba,
wala? Oh sabihin niyo nga ako sampalin ko kayo. Bakit? Di ba? Bayaran niyo ako yung
mga pagod ko noon. Kaya mahal na mahal nila ako. Iginalang nila ako.
C: Ah, dahil dun?
N: Oo. Mga apo ko, sabi niyan, Lolo flower. Walang sabing ano Ay, lolo Nakita ka
telebisyon. Ang ganda-ganda mo. Ang ganda-ganda mo, sabing ganun. Talaga? Oo!
Maganda, lolo!
C: Ah, so tinutulungan mo sila non?
N: Oo hanggang ngayon. Pag ganun ang tulong, oh sige. Basta meron akong walang kwenta
sa akin. Basta tutulungan ko kayo, ganun.
C: Tas, anong taon po kayo pinanganak?
N: 1935 I am 78 years old.
C: Hala Sinong president nun?
N: Si Ewan ko. Baka si ano QuirinoHindi ko alam.
C: Kamusta naman lola, yung pagtrato nila sa mga bakla? Yung lipunan, ganun? Syempre, sa
pamilya, masasabi mong maayos.
N: Ano sa probinsya kasi, hindi ko halata until the la Dun kasi sa ano sa probinsya, hindi
ako naglalandi eh

221

C: Ah, talaga?
N: Hindi ko ano
C: Kendeng-kendeng lang?
N: Hindi rin Ganun Ganun-ganun lang. Walang pagbabago, ganun. Maraming lumalapit sa
akin. Yun bang yun bang parang liligawan ako pero pakipot ako.
C: Ang haba ng hair mo dun!
N: Hindi! Sa probinsya kasi ano sabi, Ay, wag kang gaganun-ganun, tatamaan ka ng kidlat.
Eh takot ako sa kidlat! Ayokong mamatay! Isipin mo mawalan na sila ng ganda. Gusto ko ang
pagganda ko, forever! Kaya hindi ko gumagawa ng ganun. Tatamaan daw ng kidlat. Tapos pag
ano ka sa iskul, sabi bawal daw mag-masturbate.
C: Hala
N: Hindi ko ginagawa yun, kasalan daw yun. Kaya ngayon, mayron akong prostata! Imbes na
yun yun bang wet dream? Pinipigilan ko yun dahil kasalanan, di ba? Kaya naipon yan,
naging prostata.
[Ganun pala yun?]
N: Oo, pag nagpipigil. Hindi nagpipigil.
[Tumitigas yung]
N: Oo. Na ano yun eh naiwan yung ano. Tapos pag ano na kakapitan na ng germ yun. Kaya
yun
C: Ah, so natakot kaya hindi mo na lang ginawa.
N: Natakot ako. Pagpunta kong Maynila, ay, masakit pala. Hindi pala pwedeng Walang bawal
pala! Lumandi na ako!
C: Ah, nung pumunta kang Maynila, dun ka na nag-ano
N: Dun na ako nag-umpisa.
222

C: Ah, as in. Kailan ka po pumunta? Dalaga ka na nun?


N: Ay, dalagang-dalaga na ako mga 20 years old.
C: Bat ka po napuntang Maynila?
N: Ano Sa probinsya kasi, mahirap pang mag-aral doon. Gusto kong makatapos naman ng
high school. Nag-ano ako sa People Think.
C: Ahh
N: Pumasok ako ng high school Oh, tapos pumasok ako ng janitorial, kanila Ding Sol.
C: Habang nag-aaral?
N: Oo.
C: Sa Manila na po yun?
N: Oo, Manila na siya.
C: Buti pinayagan
N: Nagpunta kaming Ilocos Sur dun akong nag-aral ng high school. Nakatanggap ako ng
among mabait doktor. Tsaka, nung ano pa nung nasa nag-aral ako doon, yung doktor,
nag-iisa lang yun. Tapos pag ano meron siyang parang sakit. Yung kaniya ano pina-ano sa
akin, yun bang nilagyan ng salicylic acid.
C: Ahh
N: Oo Yung kaniya. Sabi ko
C: Ah, lalaki si kuya.
N: Lalaki Hindi ko ginalaw hindi ko pa alam yun eh. Tsaka nahihiya pa ako eh. Nahiya lang
ako
C: Malaki?
N: Katamtaman lang. Pero doktor siya.
223

C: doktor siya?
N: Oo.
C: Ah, so naswertihan mo yung amo mo? Mabait
N: Oo, mabait
C: Ah, so Nakapagtapos ka dahil sa
N: Oo sariling sikap.
C: Ah, edi nagulat ngayon yung mga magulang mo? Pinamalita mo sa kanila.
N: Oo Ang sinasabi sa akin, Yung bambait na bata. Kahit na ganun, bambait siya Ang
sarap tularan.
C: Ah, so yun po yung parang rason nila kaya hinayaan ka lang nila na magladlad, ganun?
N: Ah, wala. Basta Kusa talaga ano ako ganun lang talaga.
C: Pero never ka nilang pinigilan?
N: Wala. Pinagmalaki nila ako!
C: Talaga?
N: Oo Dahil ano lang ang tatay ko, parang ganun din eh. Pero ano siya, may anak na sampu.
Sa probinsiya kasi, kahit na bading ka, pwede mag-asawa ganun
C: Ah, oo, kailangang magkapamilya
N: Kaya tatay ko, tsaka ako, pareho kami. Pero ano nung ma-ano pa ako nun sabi ng tatay
ko, Yun, ligawan mo. Eh ayaw ko! Ligawan mo? Ako ba sila ang manligaw para sa akin.
Ay, wag muna ngayon.
C: Yun ba yung gusto mo?
N: Iba ang gusto ko Pero hindi ko pa naiisip yung mga boys noon.

224

C: Ah, talaga?
N: Oo wala talaga.
C: Basta
N: Probinsiya pa eh. Talagang maraming lumalapit Tapos ako, ayaw ko Ipamalita yun ng
kapit-bahay, Ah si ganun ganun-ganun... nanghahalik. Mahirap, o di ba? Hindi ko kaya yung
kahihiyan kaya konting tiis lang.
C: Kailan lang nag-start?
N: Nung nandito na ako sa
C: Maynila?
N: Maynila. Oo
C: Nung pagka-grad niyo po ng high school, nagtrabaho na rin kayo?
N: Oo Pumasok ako ng janitorial.
C: Kamusta po yung buhay niyo nun?
N: Hindi ma-take
C: Talaga po? As in?
N: Hindi mo ako sa janitorial kanila Ding Sol.
C: As in, nagpapadala din kayo
N: Oo naman
C: Pang-ilan po ba kayo?
N: Pang-anim.
C: Ah, pang-anim kayo sa pamilya.. Edi, nung nasa Manila na kayo, edi dito na kayo ano
nagexplore-explore ng mga ano bagay-bagay.

225

N: Oo naman.
C: Mga lalaki
N: Lalaki doon lalaki dito
C: Ay, talaga?
N: Ay, oo!
C: Bongga
N: Puyat sa paglalaki ganun. Sa mga sinehan nuod ng porn.
C: Ay, yan ba yung mga uso-uso noon?
N: Oo, uso noon. Tsaka noon, walang bayad-bayad noon. Libre noon eh. Tsaka noon, wala
ano wala yung yung pumunta, lumalakad ka, tapos pinapatay ka wala noon eh. Hindi
danger noon. Talagang ayos ka.
C: Pero dapat tago, ganun? Sa mga sinehan
N: Oo naman. Dahil merong pulis, manghuhuli eh.
C: Ay, talaga? Huhulihin?
N: Oo, maraming manghuhuli. Pag light huli!
C: Pero ano po nun nagko-cross dress na kayo?
N: Ano?
C: Nagko-cross dress. As in, naggogown-gown nagshoshorts-shorts kayo, ganun.
N: Ay ganun lang. Casual lang Casual lang. Hindi ko na siya Di ba nagsusuot ng
pambabae? Hindi.
C: Ah, hindi po?

226

N: Hindi Lalaking-lalaki talaga ako, oo. Pero ang puso ko, babae. Sa labas panglalaki.
Tsaka hindi ko ano hindi ko nagladlad ganun. Hindi ah. Talagang dun sa ano pag sa
ano pag private life na
C: Ah, dun na
N: Oo Babaeng-babae ako
C: Pero hindi niyo po na-attempt mag-make up?
N: Hindi! Ayoko
C: Bakit po?
N: Ayoko hindi ko type mag-make up.
C: Hindi mo lang gusto?
N: Pagpulbo lang, nahirapan nako, hindi Ayoko talaga.
C: Kahit simula nung nasa probinsya pa kayo?
N: Ah, wala talaga.
C: Wala talaga
N: Oo, oo. Yun lang. Magaling akong mag yung talaga birhinita ko ganda-ganda. Kulot
kasi ako nun eh. Oo galing kong mag-ayos ng buhok. Birhinita talaga ako sa school nun.
C: Ay, talaga?
N: Tsaka maputi pa ako nung bata pa ako
C: Ay, flawless ang skin mo!
N: Flawless talaga!
C: Bongga Kamus Ano po yung So kung ikukumpara niyo po yung mula sa probinsya
tas yung nasa Maynila na kayo, parang mas na-express niyo ba yung kabaklaan niyo?

227

N: Oo! Lahat na ano nasusubok ko. Sa probin ano kasi non tsaka bata pa kasi eh. Pero
kung naging maayos yung paglalaki sa akin Yung nakaraan, maraming lumalapit sa akin
Malalaki pa naman eh Hihiga ka may gagapang sayo, ganun Ay, nako, sisigaw ako,
Hoy nandito si ano oh gumagapang ano, sisigaw ako
C: Ay bongga ka dun.
N: Eh ano sila, may experience. Pumunta sila sa Cebu. Alam mo sa Cebu, mga wildling. Paguwi nila sa probinsya, alam na nila pano Pagkwan sa akin, gagapang. Hay, nako! Ayoko
talaga nun! Oh dito si ano lumalapit yun.
C: Kunyari na-rape
N: Pero walang nangyari. Nahiya kasi akong pumatol eh baka may mangyari. Tsaka Huy,
marunong pala si ano Di ba? Ayoko ng ganon! Di ba?
C: Eh kailan po kayo bumalik kayo ng probinsya? After o kapag bakasyon-bakasyon lang?
N: Bumalik ako kapag ganun-ganun na lang, bakasyon-bakasyon balik ako..
C: Tapos buti di ka na-pressure ng tatay mo na mag-asawa ulit.
N: Hindi na
C: Hindi na? Na-ano na natanggap niya na rin
N: Oo
C: Buhay pa ba sila ngayon?
N: Wala na. Tanda ko na eh! 78 na ako eh pano pa kaya sila?
C: Baka mga 100 plus na sila ngayon.
N: Oo!
C: Tapos ano po Pano na po kayo na ano So, given na sabi niyo na medyo ano kayo at
least lalaki pa rin, so wala kayong na-experience na discrimination, ganyan sa college?

228

N: Wala.
C: Ah, wala
N: Sa umpisa naman, talagang lalaking-lalaki.
C: Ah, talaga?
N: Pero may pagkataon na china-challenge ako, ay, sikreto lang. Oo Walang nakakaalam. Sa
opisina, meron, meron din pero sikreto lang. Yung mahilig ba? Ayoko nga yung ako yung
lalapit dun, sabihing Gusto kita. Ay, hindi ah Gusto ko na ako yung china-challenge. Pag ako
china-challenge, okay!
C: Pag ikaw sinubukan
N: Oo! Pag ako sinubukan Hay, nako. 100% go! Oo ganun ako. Pag lalapit sila, lalo na
kapag lalaki di ba Oh, ganun. Alam nila. Yung marunong ka sa buhay marunong kang magano sa sarili mo. Mahirap na yung Uy, bakla, bakla! Ayoko nung ganun yung ginaganun ako.
C: Ah, talaga?
N: Oo Ayoko, ayoko
C: Bakit po na?
N: Eh ayokong magaganun ako Bakla! Bakla! Ayoko ayoko. Ngayon lang, sa trabaho ko,
Ate, tinanggap ko na. Sanay na silang tawag sa akin.
(INTERRUPTION / UNCLEAR AUDIO: 14:44 14:53)
C: Bakit po ngayon okay na?
N: Wala na Ayos na naman na. Nakisunod na lang ako sa uso.
C: Kasi ganun din naman yung ano nila
N: Eh yung mga kasama mo
C: Tas ano po, lola, pag pano po kayo nakapunta dito sa ano sa Golden Gays?

229

N: Alam mo, nung dumaan ako diyan maraming na ano


C: Dito sa?
N: Parang na ano parang mga artista.Suot sila ng puro blanket. Sabi ko, Pwede bang magapply? Oo, pwede.
C: Ah, napadaan ka lang talaga?
N: Oo, napadaan lang ako Accidental lang. Gusto ko din mag-artista. Gusto ko makita yung
sarili ko sa TV ganun. Oh, yun. Hanggang ngayon
C: Ah, so parang dun ka na
N: Nagumpisa Accidental lang talaga.
C: Nung mga ano lang nitong 2000?
N: Hindi, matagal na rin! Siguro
C: Ah, matagal na?
N: 6 years na siguro o baka 10 years na. Bata-bata ako nun
C: Eh kamusta naman yung buhay niyo nun nung meron pa yun?
N: Saan?
C: Dun sa Golden Yung Home for the Golden Gays.
N: Ayos lang, maganda, masaya challenging.
C: Hala, bakit challenging?
N: Ay, bakit? Minsan palabas ka sa TV, nandun ka, nakikita ka, di ba? Kilala ka sa buong
mundo! Yung mga yung mga pamangkin ko sa Bohol, Uy, papa, napanuod kita sa ano sa
TV. Saan? Sa ano sa Philippine channel. Ah, talaga? Oo, oo!
C: Winner

230

N: Oo, oo! Napanuod kita, papa. Ganun ako Oo naman!


C: Oh my God So natuwa ka naman na natuwa sila sayo
N: Syempre naman! Wala silang masabi. Aba, bakit? Saan ka ba noon? Saan ka ba nagumpisa?
Umasenso ka dahil sa akin din, oh di ba? Lahat yan... Bago sila nagkaron ng kanilang
magandang hanapbuhay, kapag wala silang hanapbuhay, sa akin sila dumadaan. Oh, yun, kaya...
kahit na ganito ako, maaari ko pa ring tulungan sila No regrets.
C: Tapos may ano po kayo Natatandaan niyo pa yung mga moments niyo nung nandun pa
kayo sa loob ng bahay? Ano, tahimik naman masaya maayos ba ganun?
N: Paminsan, merong hindi makasundo Challenging din. Dun ka matututo ng paano
magpasensya, paano ka magalit ganun. Parang pamilya mo na rin Walang kaibahan. Yun
din.
C: So parang sila yung naging pamilya mo?
N: Pamilya. Oo.
C: Eh nung bago po ba nun, may kasama kayong iba?
N: Oo. Noon, may kasama akong mga ano mga pamangkin sa bahay.
C: Dito sa Manila?
N: Oo, oo. Galing probinsya dahil sa akin sila dumarating. Tsaka sila naghahanap lang ng
trabaho. Kaya ayun nga. Sabi ko nga, asenso sila, nanggaling sa akin. Wala silang matrabaho
noon Ngayon, magaganda na yung ano nila hanapbuhay.
C: Kamusta naman sila ngayon? Tinutulungan ka naman?
N: Wala Wala. Kapag Pasko lang... magbibigay ng 1000, ganun. Pero noong wala pa silang
mga yan tawag ng tawag. Pero ngayong may mga trabaho na wala na.
C: Wala na
N: Wala nang text. Nako, nakalimutan na ako. Sabi ko, Di bale. Malakas pa naman ako.
231

C: Kaya pa
N: Pag wala, Papa, wala na kaming pambigas. Oh, sige, halika O kunin mo, wala ka nang
bigas Magkano bang pera kailangan mo? Ganun. Pero ngayon, jusko hindi na magte-text.
C: Kahit ano na lang, wala na.
N: Siguro Takot siguro baka sila utangan ko. Pero never naman ho hindi nangutang sa
kanila. Ni 100 pesos, hindi ako nangutang sa kanila Never.
C: Never talaga?
N: Pwera na lang kapag punta naming dun, punta ko sa kanila, may iaabot sa aking mga 1000.
C: Ah, so may contact ka pa sa kanila?
N: Oo naman. Pagpunta ko dun, may mga dala akong mga tinapay, mga worth 500 din.
C: Ikaw talaga yung nagdadala?
N: Oo, oo. Pasalubong yun mga apo.
C: Ah, so hanggang ngayon, tumutulong
N: Oo Walang problema. Hindi ako pumupunta ng walang dala.
C: Nasa Manila rin sila ngayon?
N: Nasa Antinpolo sa Bulacan Cavite San Juan.
C: So pumupunta ka talaga dun?
N: Oo. Lalo na kapag may birthday, ganun Birthday ng aking apo, ganun pamangkin
Tinatawag.
C: Ay, bongga.
N: Oo. Pupunta ako dun, may daang tinapay, worth 500.
C: So lolang-lola ka talaga sa kanila?

232

N: Lolang-lola Ama ng mga ama.


C: Pero pano po nung ano na nung di ba po pinalayas na kayo? Ano namang naramdaman
niyo nun? Nung namatay na si ano
N: Wala. Ang sabi ko talagang Ganun lang ang buhay. Ang mangyari sayo, accept. Gagawa
ka lang ng paraan. Wag mo namang basta ano kailangan ano buo talaga kung ano man yun.
Talagang wag kang magpa-ano wag kang mag-step in saano ngang tawag mo nitoyung
mga problema. Wag mong pipigilan yung problema ang mahalaga mabuhayMove on. Di ba,
ganun? Lahat naman may problema hindi naman nawala yun eh Talagang ganun Part of
life.
C: So nung umalis na kayo San na kayo tumi nakatira ngayon?
N: Ngayon? Merong kay ano kay Si Yung kanina Yung member Merong parte
doon, inupahan ko dun yung parte.
C: Ah, inupahan mo na?
N: Oo. 2.5K.
C: Ah. Tapos nagtatrabaho pa kayo?
N: Oo.
C: Talaga po?
N: Oo. Maglinis pa ng office half day lang. Eh kapag araw-araw nililinis ko yun. Mga
C: Office ng?
N: Office ng Public Relations. Pagnilinis yun konti lang lilinisin ko. Tapos nun, mga alas
alas-diyes, merong ginugupit lang na ano dinidikit lang na mga seatings. Dinikit ko tapos alis
na ako. Parang half day lang.
C: Okay lang yung sahod dun?
N: Okay lang. 6 thou lang.
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C: Ay
N: Pwede na din.
C: Oo, keribels na.
N: Hindi naman ako naglalaki Hindi na ako nagbabading ng lalaki. Edi save, di ba? Meron din
namang mahilig diyan. Edi dun ako sa mahilig rin. Ayoko nung ako yung nagbabayad. At least
kapag hindi ka nagbabayad sige diyan ka na lang.
C: So after po nun, nangupahan na lang kayo ng sarili niyong ano
N: Oo naman.
C: Tuloy pa rin ang buhay?
N: Tuloy pa rin ang buhay. Tuloy pa rin ang lovelife hanggang ngayon.
C: Talaga po? As in?
N: Oo naman!
C: So hindi ano hadlang yung ano edad.
N: Ah, hindi. Enjoy na enjoy ako.
C: Active na active!
N: Super active! Parang bagets na bagets!
C: Mga two years old Charot!
N: Hay nako
C: Ano po yung hindi niyo nagawa nung bata kayo na nagagawa niyo ngayon? Meron ba?
Wala naman?
N: Ang hindi ko lang nagagawa pag pagpayaman.
C: Yung as in yaman

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N: Oo yaman.
C: Bakit po? Anong meron?
N: Wala akong kapital.
C: Ah, so kahit po matanda na kayo bakit
N: Ah, pwede pa.
C: bakit kailangang bakit po nagtatrabaho pa kayo?
N: Atsaka, mahilig akong magnego-negosyo, tinda-tinda
C: So kahit na matanda nap o kayo dib a po dapat mga nagre-rest na?
N: Ay, anak ko, hindi. Pakiramdam ko gusto kong kumilos ng kilos. Pkiramdam ko pag ano
parang tumatanda ako kapag wala akong ginagawa. Gusto kong magkilos ng kilos kilos ng
kilos.
C: So dapat lagi kayong may ginagawa
N: Kaysa bahay, pagkanandun ka, pagdating mo dun, higa ka.... wala na. Samantalang diyan sa
opisina, ikot ka ng ikot, ikot ng ikot di ba? Exercise. Tsaka dun ako naglalaba sa office. Oo
Yung garden dun sa veranda... Binibilad ko tuwing umaga Oh.
C: Monday to Friday po kayo nun?
N: Oo!
C: Ay, bongga.
N: Happy ako kahit na papano. Parang sariling mong bahay yung opisina mo Dun na ako
nagluluto ng pagkain ko. Kumpleto naman sa opisina. Merong mga malalaking prigider, may
microwave lahat na ata nandun. Libre naman eh. Libreng kalan
C: Anong masasabi niyo sa mga kapwa lola natin? Yung mga kasama niyo

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N: Ang sabi ko sa mga. Golden Gays, Enjoy life! Gamitin niyo ang ang habang-buhay pa
kayo! Mag-enjoy!
C: Kamusta po ang ano niyo sa kanila like pakikitungo kamusta silang kasama?
N: Ayos lang naman Minsan nagbabanggaan, minsan naman bati na rin. Wala namang
mapapala kung magkokontra kayo Ganun ang life!
C: Bale 78 na po kayo
N: 78.
C: Ano pa pong ano niyo May mga wish pa ba kayo, ganyan?
N: Ang wish ko Ang wish ko gusto kong manalo sa lotto.
C: Bakit?
N: Bakit? Para may pera.
C: Eh matanda ka na!
N: Bakit? Pamigay ko!
C: Ah, papamigay mo
N: Oo before the end of time Maraming pagbibigyan, di ba. Marami akong ihabilin sa
kanila. Oh di ba?
C: Ay, bongga! Last will and testament.
N: Yes!
C: Kanino mo ibibigay?
(INTERRUPTION)
N: Araw-araw naman akong tumataya.
C: Ano po yung karamdaman niyo ngayon? Prosta

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N: Pros tate. Tsaka ano kidney stone. Ano kidney stone yung roaning pa. Yung
parang grabe na pero kaya naman.
C: Kailan po nag-start?
N: Tagal na to.
C: Ah, matagal na.
N: Oo.
C: Eh may mga gamot naman kayo?
N: Eh hindi naman ako magamot Pag gamot pagbaling mo sa doktor, dagdag na naman ng
gramo ng ano gamot. Tapos imbes na tatlong klase na, magiging apat. Maaring nasira kasi
yung internal organ eh. Nada-damage Kinuha ko na lang sa Sera-Gym.
C: Sa?
N: Sera-Gym. Massage kasi yung eh theraphy. Dati-rati, hindi ako pinapawisan Mahirap pa
talagang pawisan. Eh bad yan, kidney stone, mahirapan umihi. Pero ako malakas akong umihi.
C: So kaya pa naman?
N: Ay kayang-kaya!
C: Kaya pang rumampa, ganun?
N: Hindi lang rumampa Umiiskor pa!
C: Ay! Powerful ka dun!
N: Powerful! Super!
(INTERRUPTION)
C: Pano pag may mga gathering kayo hindi kayo naggo-gown?
N: Naggo-gown ako din! Kung ano sila an okay kung ano sila, ganun din ako.

237

C: Kasi sabi mo kanina


N: Papahuli ba naman ako?
C: Ah, so ngayong Golden Gay ka na, saka ka na nag-ano ng
N: Oo naman! Dun ako natutong magsuot ng ganun! Pero nagme-make up sila nagme-make
up sa akin dahil lalaki naman ako!

238

APPENDIX B
(Request Letter)

239

COLLEGE OF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNICATION


UNIVERSITY of the PHILIPPINES LOS BAOS
College, Laguna 4031, Philippines
Tels.: (63)(049) 5362446 (63)(049) 5362511 (63)(049) 5362433 (63)(049) 5363356
Fax: (63) (049) 5362429
Email: mail@devcom.edu.ph or inquire@devcom.edu.ph

URL: http://www.devcom.edu.ph

December 5 , 2013

MR. RAMON BUSA


President
Home for the Golden Gays, Inc

Dear MR. BUSA:


Greetings sir!
I am Clinton C. Ronquillo, a senior Development Communication student at the University of
the Philippines Los Baos. I am currently working on my thesis on the plight of elderly gays in
the country.
In this regard, I wish to conduct interviews with some of the members of the Home for the
Golden Gays. Your participation in this study will be highly appreciated.
Should you have any concerns, you may contact me at 09066525230. I hope for your positive
response.
Thank you.

Sincerely,
CLINTON C. RONQUILLO

240

APPENDIX C
(Consent Form)

241

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