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Preview: Baduy Pride

Baduy Pride

A celebration of gay geek love.

Updated: 2018-04-11T22:43:48.586+08:00


Pamilya Egg 2018


I really like this photo from the weekend. Pamilya Egg still going strong, in a manner of speaking. We've all continued to grow in our respective ways and we're not quite the same people we were when this "family" started. But I love who we are and anak will always be a very important friend.

You don't let go of people like him.

Because You Dance With Me


My first foray into the "gay world", in a manner of speaking, involved Malate and the different clubs there. And much like the then newly popular Queer as Folk TV series, the Malate of the time tried to capture the club lifestyle that stressed the need for dance floors and all that fun stuff. And despite my lack of coordination and my relatively bigger (read: fatter) size, I also got into dancing. Dancing is always be fun to me as it's a way to cut loose a bit or just celebrate a really good song or even a really good feeling born of a great evening with friends.

When Tobie and I got together, our early excursions while we were dating already involved the cramped dance floor of O Bar in Malate. It sort of reminded me of my early days of dancing at Bed when it (1) still existed as a bar and (2) was much smaller than its final incarnations. But there was one big difference.

Every time Tobie and I would dance, and this is true until today, he'd be dancing with me. Or let me add some additional stress there: he'd be dancing with me. And I say this as some weird revelation as in the past dancing was just something fun to do in itself. I tend to dance with my eyes close since (1) I like to focus on the music and (2) I'd often be dancing alone. Sure my boyfriend was just around the corner or dancing on the ledge but it didn't always feel like he was dancing for me.

Tobie always makes sure to dance with me at the bar. Sometimes it may even appear that he's isolating me a bit or pushing other people away but in the end it's more that when we dance we only have eyes for one another and the rest of the bar no longer really matters. And while we both still dance with other friends we're hanging out with at the bar from time to time, I never feel alone and I know (and I'm sure he also knows in turn) that he's there for me and I'm there for him. And sooner or later he's going to make his way to where I am and dance with me.

And after so many years it still makes me smile and feel a little giddy even. And that's a feeling that I hope never goes away and I honestly doubt it ever will.  It's just another little thing that is worth celebrating. That's what Baduy Pride is all about after all - gushing over every little thing that makes me fall in love with Tobie all over again.

9 Years of Wheelie Days


Today is Wheelie Day, the odd anniversary of the day that Tobie and I finally admitted that we had feelings for one another. Tobie used to be very public about celebrating it every month and over time we sort of just let it sit there between us - like a joke between us that we get to justify with a knowing wink or a wry smile.

But beyond the many monthsaries, the big one is still the annual timing and that deserves some sort of commemoration.

So here are some music tracks that we often think about on Wheelie Day:

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Heaven's What I Feel【Dance Remix】 Gloria Estefan

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Ne-Yo - Closer

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Duffy - Mercy

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Starz on 54 - If you could read my mind (1998)

9 Years After NetRunner Night


It has been 9 years since the first NetRunner Night, the little anniversary of the first time Tobie and I "officially" met. It was also the first time we had played a tabletop game together, in this case the original NetRunner C.C.G.

It's a funny coincidence that this special day is just two days before Valentine's Day, the traditional day for celebrating love. But in all honesty, NetRunner night will always be more important and more romantic to us than February 14.

We could have celebrated this evening with a fancy date somewhere or by catching a movie or any other traditional celebration. But in truth the most appropriate way to celebrate NetRunner Night is stay home and order Shakey's Pizza Bianca, as it was the pizza we had ordered during that first time we hung out together.

It's just a bonus that Shakey's have shaped all large and party size pizzas as hearts for the month of February.

I love you Tobie. The Run continues.

Little Reminders of Love


While enjoying some ice cream after a light sushi dinner, Tobie and I had one of those quirky moments of thinking of the same thing at the same time. Just as I was going to mention it, he was already expressing the same thought it in his own words and that just got me laughing.

We've always had these moments since we started chatting with one another online and the fact that this still happens just reassures me that we're still perfectly right for one another.

I love you Tobie. Don't ever change.

Opt Is Romanian For Eight?



Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my longest relationship EVER.

I love you Tobie. Thank you for helping me the man I've always wanted to be.

Eating Alone


I hate eating alone.

I've come to accept meals to be a very social activity even though Tobie and I tend to eat in silence when we're together. But I feel at peace when we're at the same table whether we're at home at the Sietch or at a nice restaurant. But of course we can't be together for every meal and work requirements can have us in different places.

Going home I thought it might be fun to eat out since it was just me - a way to make it more amusing or something. I initially thought of getting food at Mercato since it's not too far off my route home and then I considered going to Jollibee since I have free meals to claim thanks to my credit card. But the thought of eating out alone without Tobie just bogged me down and so I went home and reheated leftovers together with some Quorn nuggets to change things up a bit. When stuff like this happens I typically eat something light to stave my usual dinner hunger and then eat again later on once Tobie gets home. I don't have that option today since I need to get some sleep so just made the most of things for now.

This is just one of the many things that define our daily lives as a couple. It's just one of the little reminders that our lives are so deeply intertwined with one another's the slightest change in routine makes everything feel somehow wrong and out of sorts. But even the momentary bits of absence are more than balanced out by the elation you feel  once you're back in the same space again.

The Best Gift Every Year


With my birthday just around the corner, I remain thankful for the best "gift" to enter my life 8 years ago. No amount of Transformers, books or LEGO Dimensions figures comes anywhere close to all that Tobie has given to me in terms of love, support, and sheer time each and every day of our lives together.

So more than thinking about turning another year older, I'd like to take a moment to be thankful that Tobie is the man I may likely be in love with for the rest of my life.

Yoshi Echoes


Social media celebrates a lot of things including friendship anniversaries, birthdays, and old posts. And so randomly throughout the week Google or Facebook take turns digging up old photos of Yoshi.

Bittersweet is the perfect description for such moments. They still make us feel a little sad to see him since that reminds us that he's gone and that we miss him so much. But then it also gets us into retelling old stories of his quirks and the little things that made him such a lovable, adorable dog.

There will always be a gap in our hearts where Yoshi lives on and we will forever treasure that.

We Wear Matching Shirts


"What are you wearing?" is a common question we ask while at the Sietch although neither of us has any real interest in the more superfluous aspects of what most consider to be fashion. We don't ask out of a genuine interest in how we look but more to check what shirt the other person plans to wear.One of our first matching shirts were a gift.Over the years of being together with Tobie, we've somehow become the sort of couple wear matching shirts a lot. While it's not like our entire wardrobe consists of matching outfits or anything crazy like that. But we do have a dedicated drawer of shirts that we can wear in order to match.At minimum we match colors.Or shirts of the same fandom like our Night Vale election shirts.Or we literally have the same shirts.Or quirky Star Wars shirtsAnd we have fun matching.Oh you can't see Totoro well here.And we attend weddings this wayJust another baduy way of celebrating being together.[...]

When You Live Together


So I wrote a thing on my personal blog about the ups and downs of living together. The post had long been meant for this blog, but then I could never find the time to write it as separate update on top of keeping pace with my need for daily updates over there.

So it's a cross-posted blog post for now! Here's an excerpt:
It's easy to dismiss this as something about the obvious economic benefits of living together such as being able to pool resources or having an extra pair of hands to help with chores. But there are also challenges like really learning about all the little habits and quirks of your partner or needing to redefine your concept of privacy to factor in someone else in your daily life. The benefits definitely outweigh the risks as long as you're in a good relationship and I know I'm terribly lucky with Tobie. 
Click through to read it in full...

We Stumble Forward


I'm hardly perfect. We can argue that no one is as it's a human thing, but that's not the point. We all make mistakes and sometimes we regret them and sometimes we don't. Sometimes we understand why things ended up the way they did and other times you're at a loss to provide a logical explanation for your actions.

In all the times I've stumbled in our relationship, I count myself extremely lucky that Tobie sticks it out with me. Yes, I regret the mistakes I've made and I do what I can to make amends. I'm not proud of my failings and my shortcomings and I hate myself when I fall into such pitfalls and traps of my own making.

But Tobie and I have always managed to work things out thus are and I count myself terribly lucky for that. We find our path forward and we remind ourselves of our commitment to one another and why we love one another and thus continue forward.

We've been together for over 7 years now and I considered myself quite blessed for every moment we've shared. And like any other relationship, it needs a lot of work to keep things going and Tobie and I both do our best to make things work. There's always the love, the fun, and the romance. But there's also the work.

I love Tobie so much. I can't imagine being with anyone else for the rest of my life.

Seven Years and more


Today, Rocky and I celebrate 7 years of being together.  Seven years of loving each other unconditionally.  Seven years of enjoying the games we love, watching the shows we enjoy and celebrating our successes and surviving our challenges together.

In the seven years that we have shared together, we have had a lot of twists and surprises, laughs and discoveries, stories and inside jokes.  In very many ways, I know I've become selfish about a bunch of them, wanting them to be special moments that we keep just between us. And of course there are the tears and the painful moments we have to survive together.  But at the same time, there's a lot of happiness and joy that we would like to share.  A lot of things we wish others can learn to appreciate as well.  To believe in.

Seven years today.
And the rest of our lives, onwards.

I love you, Rocky.
And Yoshi will continue to live in our years, along with everyone else we love and have lost.

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Yoshi's Fifth Birthday


Had things turned out differently, today would have been Yoshi's fifth birthday.

Happy Birthday, Yoshi! We miss you so much and we love you. Hope you're having lots of bananas.

The Wooden Spoon


As with any couple or even any two people who have been living together for some time, day-to-day life leads to a near-infinite number of stories. For me and Tobie, there's the many stories associated with this silly little wooden spoon.

We first got this spoon as a freebie with some Pure Foods product - I think it was a box of chicken nuggets but it might have been hotdogs. But that doesn't matter - just remember it came free with some grocery purchase in 2009, the year we started living together. Back then we barely knew how to cook and contented ourselves with frying stuff or trying to cook things in our rice cooker.

Since then we've both learned to get around the kitchen better and we're a lot more confident. We've also purchased many different cooking implements including better knives and various wooden spoons and flippers. And yet amid all the kitchen gear is still this skinny little wooden spoon.

Tobie tends to use it a lot - it reflects his relative with some of the larger spoons or something like that. I always use it whenever I make flavored variants of rice like curry rice or pseudo rice pilaf. I guess it's because we always used that same spoon back in the rice cooker meal days and in my head it still feels like the "right" thing to do due to sheer repetition and habit.

Whenever I see the spoon I remember how far we've come as home cooks and how we are able to create much more than just canned tuna heated over white rice in the rice cooker. And thinking about such moments just makes me smile.

A Month Without Yoshi


It has been a month since Yoshi passed away and the Sietch is a very quiet place without him. Tobie still lights a candle for him whenever we're home as his way of remembering him while also making it feel like he's still there. His dog bed still rests in the middle of the living room with his favorite stuffed toy Baboy still resting on it. The bed is pretty much where he passed away as well.You don't ever fully "move on" from the loss of a loved one including beloved family pets. My heart still aches a bit when I think of close friends lost in recent years like Jayson and PJ, and now Yoshi is a part of that circle of departed loved ones now. It's easy to fall into the trap of second-guessing ourselves and wondering if we really did everything that we could have possibly done to help him. So instead Tobie and I do our best to support one another and focus on the good memories instead of the pain of his loss.The last blog post that I wrote here talked about our treating our last days with Yoshi as gifts, and I still believe that. We got a good six months with him after he was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure and we were all the better for it. Yoshi taught me and Tobie many thing about ourselves through our care for him and those are lessons we'll carry with us for the rest our lives.I still wish he was still with us, that goes without saying. I miss our happy little guy who'd help make any stressful day that much easier to deal with because of his unconditional love and affection. He really did something to change the way the Sietch felt like really added something that made us feel like even more of a family.We miss you, Yoshi, and we love you so much. Hope you're having a good time wherever you are. Eat plenty of bananas and explore all the perfectly dry grass that you can find. I think you have Baboy with you, too, along with our love.[...]

Each Day With Yoshi Is A Gift


A little while back, Yoshi's doctors said he about two weeks left to live. While we had long accepted that his kidney disease was going to be a life-long condition that we'd need to manage, it was still quite jarring for the doctors to already make that sort of a pronouncement.

Since then, we've been doing our best to support him and hopefully find a way to extend his life as much as possible without adding too much discomfort either. Thus our efforts exploring Traditional Chinese Medicine and trying to make him happier with better food.

We're already past that two week mark and we now try to remind ourselves that each new day is yet another gift of added time with Yoshi. If we're lucky, we'll get a few more months with him, maybe even finishing up 2016 or something. But for now we're just making the most of the time that we have and we continue to hope for the best. It's far better to celebrate each day instead of dwelling on the inevitability of thing end. All things must end eventually, after all. It's only a question of when. Given that, it feels like a lot more sense to take a positive view of things instead of giving up and expecting the worst all time.

We love you, Yoshi. We love you so, so much. And we're facing this together as a family.

Birthday Moments


It's already after midnight, so it's officially Tobie's birthday! Happy Birthday love love!

Our thanks to Erich for making the effort to bring him a cake during yesterday's G&G RPG Mini-convention at Ludo. It really helped make the day feel more birthday related.

Thanks as well to Aina for preparing that awesome aligue pasta with prawns for our game night last Saturday! I know we traditionally have pasta on birthdays for long life, but the rich flavors of that sauce probably look away a few years of our lives but was totally worth it.

And thanks to everyone who have already taken the time to greet Tobie and contributed to making this weekend that much happier. You know who you are. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Now let's make this birthday properly awesome by showering him with greetings and all that good stuff!

It's The Little Moments


I love these two doggies. 
With all my heart.

Yoshi's Battle So Far


This is Yoshi's needle jar.

As part of his maintenance treatment for his kidney disease, we have to administer saline solution subcutaneously via IV every other day. Initially we'd have to bring him to the vet to get this done. In time they taught us how to handle it ourselves.

This jar represents all the needles we've used in the course of keeping Yoshi as healthy as can be manged despite his condition. After three months of treatment at home plus another just at the clinic, it looks like the jar is almost full. And we don't even get to handle every single treatment in the week. There are the one or so times that we have to go to the clinic since our schedule is too tight and we get worried we'll get home too late to keep Yoshi on schedule.

It doesn't get any easier to bring the needle to Yoshi's skin but we persevere because it is what's best for him. More than the money we've spent and all the medicines we've administered, this jar is, for me, the greatest reminder that Yoshi's life changed after his diagnosis last December.

But it's already April and we continue on and we couldn't be prouder of our little dog - even though he doesn't seem to think he's a dog. We do our best to manage things as best as we can despite his moods and his fickle appetite and all the other struggles.

We do all this because we love Yoshi dearly and for as long as he continues to fight, we'll fight right alongside him as well. It's all worth it in the end, even if we're only buying a few more weeks, months or years with him. Every moment is precious and we're fortunate that we can even afford to keep up with his treatments and his medications and all that stuff. But it's not like we're going to have kids anytime soon. We might as well invest in this little white dog who is much bigger than he seems.

Distance and Challenges


2016 has been a year filled with challenges.  We learned Yoshi has some kidney issues and our lives have now somewhat been altered to keep him closer to our daily schedules.  The importance of our baby getting proper food, exercise, and medication, has made certain activities less viable and certain duties more vital.  Despite this, however, we see no reason to give up on him because even with the kidney disease, Yoshi is still a loving and wonderful dog who always helps bring a smile to our faces.

Life is like that.  Certain challenges are inevitable.  Life will always have its moments of throwing you under the bus or spinning you in a cyclone of unexpected events.  But in the end, whether its the uncertainty of finding a house to call our home, or the distance of being in another country, if one works on it together as a couple, one can find even unbeatable things... surmountable.

(Not certain that's an actual word, but yeah.)

Rocky is all the way at Singapore today for a business trip.  I'm here with our dog, Yoshi, at the BGC unit where his office is to watch the fort.  But despite the many miles of distance between us, I know we are connected and still anchored to each other - certain that no matter how challenging the trials the world will throw at us, we will be facing it together and there to support each other.

And that's what love it.

One Night At The Disco


So last November 20, O Bar went back in time and celebrated the music of the 70's and the 80's with their Loco Over Retro theme night. And given our support for O Bar events in general, Tobie and I made sure to allocate some time for this night in particular and we had a great time. And I did promise I'd write a bit more about this night over on my personal blog.To recap, the night was sort of divided into three main parts. At first it was all about disco music and both the DJ's songs and the drag queen performances for the first set all celebrated this particular era. I actually found myself trying to remember how to dance the swing with friends given they had rearranged the normally cramped bar to have a nice little dance area right in the middle of everything. We certainly had a lot of fun with all the music - and it was nice that they were songs that we were all generally familiar with to one degree or another.Then the second part of the night was all about the 80's and the rest of the night was closer to the usual sort of O Bar fare that we hear night after night. But it was the 80's period that really got me.A lot of people remark that I'm a bit of an old soul, hence my own love for disco music ties to things I learned to appreciate because of my mom and things of that nature. And even my love and respect for 80's music perhaps ties more to my dad than me being born in 1982. Put that all together and we end up with a quirky little version of a person my age. And maybe that's helped me get along with Tobie, who is biologically older but more often than not acts younger (read: crazier) than I do. Our differences bring us closer together when we meet somewhere in the middle of our ages.The night was sort of a celebration of that and the 80's music had me feeling all mushy and nostalgic. Eventually I actually pulled Tobie out to the dance floor to enjoy the music with me. Sure, we're not exactly opposed to dancing together and we've done that more than a few times at O Bar. But there' was something about the need to travel to a distinct dance area for a chance instead of just dancing in whatever corner of the bar we find ourselves in.Tobie quipped that it was like the prom that we never had. And as much as I initially wanted to object that I had actually gone to my prom with a friend as a date, I did recognize what he meant. That night felt like a chance for us to go back in time and imagine a life where the two of us could have maybe met as much younger men. It was a chance to imagine what things might have been like had we had a chance to go out to a prom together, as unthinkable as that still is in this in this country. And just having that in mind made me smile all the more and made things more enjoyable.And this is yet another reason why I love Tobie so much. He knows just what to say to make any special moment even more amazing and memorable.[...]

All of Three or Six Years


Boracay 2010

When you're in a relationship with someone, friends will inevitably ask, "How long have you been together"and the first answer that comes to mind is, "It's kinda complicated." And that's because Tobie and had a bit of a break-up in 2012, which a lot of people like to make fun of whenever it comes up. Real friends get to tease you about moments in your life that people find kinda silly. We love you all dear friends.

The official answer is that as of today, Tobie and I have been back together for three years now. Another way to look at this is that Tobie and I have been living together since 2009, so that's six years of "being together". And while we did have a gap of a few months in 2012 when we were all single and such, a lot of people tend to ignore this fact and just take it that we've been together this long.

Our original anniversary was in April and now it's in November and the gap is almost the same as the gap when we were single. So maybe we should stop counting from 2012 and just count back to 2009, but still retain the November date and abandon the older April date? For all intents and purposes, we have been together six years after all.

But hey, counting only matters when you think about how long things will last. And I don't see an end to this "count" anytime soon. So maybe none of these dates even matter.

Happy Anniversary, Tobie. I love you.

Yoshi vs Thunder


Yoshi really doesn't like the sound of thunder.

To be fair, it doesn't make him bark or whine. He doesn't hide off in a corner nor does he run around. Instead he huddles as close as possible to any humans he knows, which is an interesting situation here at the office. This afternoon's thunderstorm had Yoshi going from person to person, huddling under desks right next to people's legs.

I even hoisted him up into my lap and he was perfectly content staying there while I worked. Of course this isn't exactly an easy position to balance and so working became a bit more difficult as Yoshi made himself all comfortable.

Eventually I just got him a chair and kept him beside me and for the most part he's been there, except to say goodbye to folks as they left the office.

Yet another reason we love this dog so much.

Rice Cooker Cooking


When Tobie and I first started out living together here at the Sietch in 2009, neither of us really knew how to cook. Both of us had at least fried stuff here or there and I knew how to cook rice both via a rice cooker or on the stove but that was it. But instead of just resigning ourselves to potentially years of ordering take-out, we both committed to learning to cook instead.

In that first year, the rice cooker was our primary cooking appliance. Beyond just making rice, we started a lot of experiments with what we could do with the rice cooker ranging from steaming items or actually mixing other things into the pot. Thus we had a lot of topped rice sort of meals like canned tuna over rice or some veggies mixed in. It was rather simple fare, but we were proud of what came out and we celebrated each mile like an extravagant feast.

Over the years, we've both learned a lot about cooking. I went back to my childhood and tried to explore the various dishes I grew up with. Thus a lot of classic Filipino soups like sinigang, nilaga and tinola and little home innovations like what my grandmother always called Mexican Relish. Tobie was a bit more daring and looked for interesting recipes online. Thus he's pretty handy now with baking fish and he can cook things like eggplant parmigiana and my favorite cilantro salad.

Together we come up with some pretty eccentric meals but at the end of the day we're really happy. We've long since retired the rice cooker since I prefer to cook rice on the stove, but it's nice to look back at our "history" of meals at the Sietch and appreciate just how far we've come.