Saturday, March 18, 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.

"Kamusta!  I bisitahin ang Amerika."

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


"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.

"It must be nice to live in America, where you can be gay all the time.  I would like to have a boyfriend, but I will get married and have a lot of kids.  It is inasaahan,.  It is as Mama and Papa hope."

We ended on a tour of Manila -- Marco had a very nice car, for a teenager.  I asked to go to a bookstore -- disappointly, its name was "Books 4 Less," but they had some titles in Tagalog or half Tagalog, half English.  Marco pressed one into my hands -- "The best teen idol magazine in the Philippines."

Marco was cruised constantly, and several people came up and started talking to us.  I figured he was just attractive.  Only later did I realize that he was famous.

Then we went back to my hotel

Marco had a slim, smooth chest and a Bratwurst, uncut but with the head peaking out.  He wasn't into kissing, but he let me go down on him and finish with interfemoral.

He wouldn't spend the night afterwards.  "I have to go back to my real life.  But maybe I will see you again, if I come to America to be in a movie.  I think I could cross-over well, don't you think?"

I didn't know what he meant, but I said "Sure."

The next morning, on my flight to Los Angeles, I started thumbing through the Filipino teen idol magazine Marco gave me.

There was a picture of him!

I had hooked up with a Filipino teen idol.

I didn't add Marco to my stories of dating celebrities, since no one in the U.S. has heard of him.  He's not out -- last time I checked, he was married with several children.  But here are some Filipino actors who have been the subject of gay rumors:

Richard Gomez (top photo)
Dennis Trillo (left)

Piolo Pascual

Sam Milby

See also: The Philippines

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