Mar 19, 2017

A Hookup with a Filipino Teen Idol

Manila, March 1988

In the spring of 1988, I flew to Thailand to visit Alan, who had moved there to start a gay Pentecostal church.  The travel agent said I would have to have a five-hour layover in the Philippines.

I thought of the Philippines as a "good place" ever since I first saw the orange-colored archipelago in the world atlas my uncle got for me when I was four or five years old.

So I made it overnight, from 11:00 am Saturday to 6:00 am Sunday.

Enough time to go to Rizal Park, the National Museum, and the Manila Cathedral, eat Filipino food, buy some books, and, I hoped, go to the Club Baths for some cruising.

I didn't make it to the Baths.

Who would have thought that the Cathedral was a prime cruising ground?

I saw a very cute guy lighting a candle before the Pieta in the Cathedral -- late teens or twenties, nearly my height, slim, black hair, flawless brown skin.  I am always attracted to religious guys, and I thought he might be a priest or seminarian, so I tried to strike up a conversation in the few words of Tagalog I had memorized on the plain.

"Kamusta!  I bisitahin ang Amerika."

He smiled.  "In the Philippines we all speak English."

"Sorry."

"That's ok.  It's nice that you tried."

We ended up having "real Filipino food," ukoy (shrimp fritters), chicken adobo,  and some kind of purple ice cream.

Marco (not his real name) was impressed that I lived in "Hollywood," and asked me if I knew Rob Lowe.  Of course, I said I did.

"He's gay.  I know some guys he's dated."

"I always thought so!" Marco said.  "He's so pambabae, like a girl.  We call them bakla, lady-boy.  I'll take you to see them later -- I know a bar."

"I only like guys who are masculine," I said, coming out to him.

"Me, too."  He brushed my knee under the table.  "Who else is gay in America?"

I told him about my Celebrity Boyfriend.  He was impressed.

The full post, with nude photos and sexual content, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

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