Posted by: Jae | June 23, 2008

Love, Flowers, Antibiotics and Furniture Exporters from Cebu and How “Everything Changes”

One rainy Friday morning, stricken with Upper Respiratory Tract Infection, I was shaken out of my slumber by Golda’s text message: “Sabi ng Multiply, Gus is your friend Jae’s Boyfriend!!!”

Jae, half-asleep, texted (or thinks she texted): “Kadiri.”

Because, like EVERYBODY except the brilliant lead counsel of Magkaisa Junk JPEPA knows by now, Gus is gay.  Loud and Proud. And if we are to end up together, it would only be after the realization that there are no more good men around and we might as well be little old knitting lesbians together.

Several months ago, on February 14, 2008 to be specific, Arlene and I were drinking beer together in Treehouse.  We bemoaned the fact that we haven’t received flowers in a long, long time from the guys we dated. Oh, we dated wonderful men, but they just didn’t give us flowers. I think it’s entirely possible that they thought that we weren’t the type of girls who wanted to receive flowers, that we were more practical, more level-headed than that. That flowers were for dainty princesses that giggle and faint. I’ve gotten a lot of presents over the last half a decade, most notably a huge marble table that now holds the coffee maker and airpot in our dining room, but not one single rose. Not one santan. Not one limp strand of sampaguita.

So a month after that Treehouse night with Arlene, or sometime around March, I was telling all this to Gus. Let me tell you about Gus. There was a period in our friendship when Gus didn’t talk to me for a lengthy period of time because I stopped seeing the guy he wanted for me, but not before screeching “what’s your fucking trip?!?!”. So when he told me that he had the perfect solution to my love life crisis (which wasn’t so much a crisis as it was a funk), I was both doubtful and curious.

And here it goes: According to him, I need to look for (be prepared for this) A FLOWER-GIVING CEBU-BASED FURNITURE DESIGNER/EXPORTER.

The explanation follows shortly:

A furniture exporter would be wealthy enough to support our family and would allow me to continue my alternative lawyering practice. Cebu-based, para daw malayo, para pwede pa daw ako rumampa sa Bondoc Pen and other conflict zones with minimum supervision and censure, but near enough to meet my wanton-female needs at least bi-monthly (again, I’m quoting Gus here). Furniture designer para may creative streak. Thanks to my zealous lobbying, Gus reluctantly agreed to add another criterion: that the furniture business empowers local rural communities. Basta no leftists. And when i timidly suggested that our house in Mandaue could be used for meetings with community organizers, Gus drew the line. No, Jae.

Of course, much to Gus’s disappointment, I have zero intention of traipsing around in the Megatrade Halls or checking in on PICC every so often for their OTOP (one town, one product) events for my hunky Cebu-based furniture exporter. Not only because I’m with someone right now and there’s no room in my life for imaginary cut-out dolls with or without cute Cebuano accents, but because it’s scary to put so much stock in formulas.

This is a really long-winded and meandering post, but really, I’m writing this because right now, I’m particularly scared of how uncertain and nebulous relationships are. One of my closest, closest friends just ended a relationship with her boyfriend of eight years. We were so sure that they’d end up together — the guy had been so much a part of our lives in many ways. That was jarring news, indeed. Earlier this year,  Claudette and her boyfriend of ten years broke up as well. Her boyfriend was with us all time, practically saw us through law school. Drank with us through our shit. If you asked me last year what I thought forever looked like, I would point to their apartment in Bliss. Mori my College best friend broke up with his boyfriend,  the one he called “The One”, the one who called him “The One”. And even though he will always be a catch with his gorgeous smile and buff body, a breakup is still a breakup.

Emman sent me a link to this song recently, he told me I should listen to it. Emman, with whom I have the craziest and most violent of fights, but who is always around whenever I need him and who comforts in a way that is as incoherent and silly as it is genuine.

The song is by Staind. “Everything Changes.” The lyrics, which Emman also sent, are here. Basta my favorite part is: “I am the mess you chose, the closet you cannot close, the devil in you I suppose, ’cause the wounds never heal”.

p.s. thanks for reading up to here. hehe. I know it doesn’t make much sense, top to bottom. If I can blame it on the antibiotics for the upper respiratory tract infection, why can’t you? 😀



  1. uhhmmm, wala akong masabing profound or anything…

    jae, case to case basis lagi ang relationships, there are no formulas so don’t worry about it, don’t be scared 🙂

    life is short!

    (I know I don’t make sense right now, I just got off a plane a few hours ago, and I’m feeling groggy, not jet-lagged, kasi local trip lang, just groggy hehe)

  2. oo nga, life is short, seize the day, hakuna matata! cliches are cliches for a reason. 🙂

  3. hoy jae, question mark ang nasa dulo ng text ko.sabi ko: gus is your friend jae’s boyfriend?question mark question mark!waah di ko pa kilala si gus pero nahihiya na ako sa knya.haha.

  4. orgeous smile and buff body? That’s the best you can come up with? Hahahaha! Love you, Jae. Mabuhay ang mga single.

  5. Golda – hahaha. e inaantok pa ako. ang aga kaya nun. hindi ko napansin yung question mark.

    Mori- mabuhay ang mga single indeed! here’s to more sing-a-long nights. love you too, even though you lie to me a lot… hehe.

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