A Take On: Manny Pacquiao on Same-Sex Marriage

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I know it’s a bit late to post about this, but it sure is dragging and I’m getting frustrated.

There’s nothing wrong with having your own stand on same-sex marriage, supported by your beliefs or not.

But it is not wise to use what you believe in to remove others of their own; to impose your beliefs on them; to dehumanize them.

Especially as a politician, as you are deciding for the good of all. It is not about religion. It is not about your beliefs. It’s civil marriage in the first place. To get married is a right, regardless of gender, for it is not just about the ceremony, or building a family; it’s for the civil rights that come along with it.

To go into the murky waters of religion and personal beliefs is beyond me. It is not the time to take his beliefs against him, beliefs that are believed by a million others, beliefs which of conviction varies from perspective – no, this is not the time to be a hypocrite and say things against him of the same nature that he had uttered. It also isn’t the time to drag entertainment into politics, or to compare Jose Rizal and Pacquiao, when patriotism, and even more so, literature (the line, “Ang hindi magmahal sa sariling wika ay mas masahol pa sa malansang isda” – or “One who does not love his own language is worse than a stinking fish” is from the poem, “Sa Aking Mga Kabata”, compared to Pacquiao’s remark, “Kung lalaki sa lalaki, babae sa babae, mas masahol pa sa hayop ang tao”, or “If man approves of male on male or female on female, then man is worse than animals.”) is different from homophobia.

Each to their own, with respect, objectiveness, and a mind to your own role and obligations to draw the boundaries.

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Love Letters

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Love letters were one thing I never saw myself writing. Cliche. Overdone. Count in the fact that I didn’t have a spectrum of emotions to begin with. That, of course, was before you came into the picture.

The first time I wrote you one, the letter was gibberish. It had all the marks of infatuation. I rambled and told you that I loved you over and over. I had scribbled our initials – tied together with a heart – at the borders. It was carefully printed by hand.

I never sent you that one. For that matter, I never sent you most of them. In fact, you might be surprised if you knew how many letters I saved. It felt too much, anyway. It felt too cheesy. And, also… it made me feel… too vulnerable.

Maybe I should have sent all of them from the very start. Maybe I should have faced the fear of being genuine, being real, head-on.

Maybe then you’d still be here with me.

When I first gave you a love letter, a year and a half after the first time that I wrote the very first, you didn’t know how to respond. I told you, in spirals and swirls of ink, that I chose you. Of all other people, of all other options: I chose you. We’re all messed up, and this could be temporary and the odds are against us – but I chose you. You saw it as surprising, and as we were not exactly okay at that time, and seeing how I was, I could tell why. You appreciated it, at least – or so you said – so I breathed a sigh of relief and sent you more and more.

The final wall I’d put up came down.

I soon found out it was a bad mistake to.

You knew that when it came to relationships in general, with anyone, even family and friends, I was inexperienced. You knew I was always at a loss on how I could say that I loved you. You knew I hardly spoke. You knew I was withdrawn. You knew I wrote to say everything. And okay, you knew I grew up and was always short on money, so giving material things was hard for me, and I never had anyone to give anything to in the first place.

You loved me nevertheless.

But that night, you took it all against me. I still remember what you said, word-for-word. What, after all, did you get in return? Just a bunch of letters of my love that I wrote and never showed.

 I understood, and I still do. You gave much, and I so little – but being the way I was, being the way I am; I was hoping that you’d remember that it was all I’ve got.

We ended not long after.

There were many reasons. If I go over them right now, if I explained the whole thing, how each one interconnected and led to our downfall, I would never end.

I heard and read a lot of things after. I kept my head down, maintained what we were to myself, while you did the exact opposite. And what was that that you told them?

It was never enough for me. Everything you did, was never enough for me. I never gave anything back.

You knew there was more to it than that. I gave you everything I could, love letters or no.

After, I wrote you letters. Too many to count. I was shocked and in grief, and the only other way to deal with the pain besides crying the angst out was to write it all down.

I know you’ve read them. It all seems like a waste now.

But here’s a last one, in light of the month of love.

Dearest, 

I still choose you. 

Aside

A Pyrrhic victory: a victory that inflicts such a devastating toll of loss it negates all sense of achievement. It’s one term I would like my life not to embrace.

Because I can see it, a path taken many times before – graduating, a career, a house, a family; a life filled with all the common goals achieved. If I take this road – live for it, even – I will lose whatever higher purpose laid out. I will lose a risk worth the failure for the experience due to a victory that will give me bragging rights and nothing else. A Pyrrhic victory, indeed: what does a higher education bring without compassion? What are medals and trophies and a high salary without happiness? There is a mindset impressing itself upon me to strive for success, and it makes life a conquest to undergo; to get over with rather than a collection of misadventures and tragedies to live through and learn from. I change the thought inside my head, hoping it would manifest in some way or another: strive not to win but to experience.