A Reminder for This #PrideMonth2017 –


Let people be people. Let their identities be theirs to define and express; let them who they’d like to be; let them be happy. 
Let everybody be free. 

Perhaps it’s only apt for me to include the recent name change of internationally famous Filipino singer (then-called) Charice Pempengco to Jake Zyrus. It was met with outrage and an overwhelming amount of transphobia; people insisting on the name Charice and telling him that biologically, he was female and nothing else. There was also an Esquire article that mocked his chosen name – though they have since apologized and owned up to their shortcomings. 

Former Chairman of PinoyFTM the first trans man organization in the Philippines Nick Fernandez says:

“Name changes are one of the most significant points in a transgender person’s life. Unlike haircuts or change of clothing style, name changes often mean that the transition is taking a deeper and more personal level. It is one of the moments when the person is exposing their vulnerability, just like when a child is born to the world. When you combine the words ‘celebrity’ and ‘LGBT,’ it is bound to get some significant attention and reaction. In the Philippines, the concept of ‘girl, boy, bakla, tomboy‘ is tightly latched to the culture and Jake’s move challenged that again, similar to BB Gandang Hari, Angie King, and Aiza Seguerra.

However, the concept of being a transgender person is still a very misunderstood concept with people ending up seeing the person either as bakla or tomboy, especially if they have identified as either one for some time. We hope that Jake can use his voice to speak for all us and effectively help in educating people that transgender people exist because celebrities are very influential. We are hoping that Jake can stand his ground and become one of the platforms for all those who cannot speak for themselves.”

Please – let Jake be Jake. It is his choice, and one we must respect.

confession: confessions


Art is the extension
of a human being’s soul.
Colors and paint,
words and ink,
graphite and portraits,
brushes and pens and charcoal
in a clutter, on a desk
or in a corner of the room:
they tell you more
of who a person is
than what they themselves

With that, I have a confession:
in between the lines and verses written
are secrets taken to the grave
memories that have long faded
and tears quietly shed.
That realization is how my vulnerability grew
with the knowledge of others who read what I do.
If you knew where to look,
If you knew what to see,
you could gather all of my weaknesses
and find
the easiest way to break me.

Writing is supposed to be selfish,
and reading is, too.
so I beg you
not to divulge
what you might discover
hidden in between
rhymes and rhythms
and figurative speech.
I beg you –
interpret me selfishly,
shroud my emotions,
fit my words into your world, and
listen to what resonates within;
and not the confessions hidden
in every verse. 
For art is the extension of the soul,
and art is my soul’s absolution.



The sky is calling; telling me to find a way
to come and sail to the heavens; to come and belong with the stars.
“Stay,” the earth says. “Stay.”

Midnight had fallen; it is in the dark I lay
quiet, still, eyes wide open, mind wide awake –
the sky is calling; telling me to find a way.

“It is within me you belong; it is me you cannot keep at bay,”
the darkness whispers – am I standing on a rail?
“Stay,” the earth says. “Stay.”

“Look at you,” it murmurs, and I sway
on my feet, “the galaxies run through your veins.”
The sky is calling, telling me to find a way.

I am suspended in midair, my arms in splay,
like a marionette, caught in the act.
I am of magnificence, of stars, of cosmos, of constellations unfathomed.
The sky is calling me; telling me to find a way.
“Stay,” the earth says. “Stay.”