Monday, March 31, 2008
Before I tell you about how's my spiritual battle going on, which is to return my distorted sexuality to its original state as created by God, let me discuss to you my thoughts and the knowledge I have acquired from this book as well as the current situation of HIV/AIDS in the Philippines and a little on the global perspective.
Everyone is at risk most especially if there's lack of knowledge about HIV. This disease is considered to be sexually transmitted because more often than not, you can get it through sexual intercourse which is the most common mode of transmission. Blood to blood contact through transfusion or sharing of contaminated needles is also one way how a person can be infected. Another is the mother to child transfer of virus either in the womb, at childbirth or through breastfeeding. In my case, it was through sexual intercourse, having a promiscuous lifestyle and multiple partners. In some countries including the Philippines HIV has been mainly in the homosexual population, but worldwide, it is overwhelmingly a heterosexual disease.
The reality about HIV/AIDS that everyone should be aware of is that at the moment there is no cure for it and it is lethal. Though there is an anti retro-viral therapy available which gives the patients more years of active life, still it's not a cure. The other reality to be faced is that HIV does lead on into AIDS. The occasional patient who has not yet developed full-blown AIDS like me and most of the found cases right now is very much the exception not the rule. The fact is that if you are HIV positive you will at some stage die with AIDS. However, it is also true that if we will change our sexual behaviour, whether you're gay or straight, then AIDS can be stopped!
When a person is infected with the HIV virus, the body begins to produce the antibodies that are specific for that virus alone. However, it takes up to three months before there are enough specific anti bodies in the blood stream to show up in HIV tests. The time between the times of infection until such time that the blood will be positive for antibodies is called the window period. The time that we test for HIV antibodies is when this period is over. It was not applicable to my case because its part of the whole medical exam for my visa application but the result was positive already. So before I started taking ARV treatment 8 months after that, I got myself tested again to ensure that I am really positive because ARV has serious side effects and some of them are fatal that's why it has a trial period of 2 weeks and must be observed up to 18 months.
Normal reactions to a positive HIV are fear, anger, and guilt. There is also an issue of stigma and confidentiality. Fear can be of illness itself, fear of death, or even fear that a previously hidden sexual relationship may now be made known. There is also fear of loss, of health, job and earnings, home or family, relationship, future, and of death. All of these occurred to me before, especially when I lost my future that is the greener pasture in Australia. Now, I have overcome all of these fears somehow through Jesus Christ. Anger will come also, it could be anger to that person who infected you for the reason that it could be he or she knew already and he did not inform you. It could be anger to oneself for being unwary and irresponsible. I thought about it for a brief moment but in the end it was still me to blame, whether I was deliberately infected or not did not matter at all, besides I will never know and I should be responsible to the consequences of my actions. There is also guilt, in my case because of my promiscuity my family suffers emotionally and perhaps later financially coz we're not wealthy. Thank God for He had given me a very understanding and supportive family and not anyone could have that. The issue of stigma and confidentiality is also present. Due to lack of knowledge and correct information on HIV, people tend to reject those who are infected and this happens most of the time. That's why most patients keep it to themselves and hide it. This could be avoided only if the general level of education about HIV/AIDS was higher. This is also the reason why confidentiality is required to hospitals and to us, there's actually a law governing confidentiality on this matter and anyone who violates it commits a crime and is punishable by that law.
Counseling is imperative to HIV/AIDS patients. There should be pre-test counseling and it is necessary to explore the reason for the test and explain its implications. Knowledge on the disease can be checked as well as to what the test is through this. The reason for testing should be identified; the implications of the result and the medical care and social support available should be discussed also during the pre-test counseling. A post test counseling must take place as well especially if the result is positive, so medical appointments can be arranged, immediate concerns can be identified such as dealing with it and who they turn to for support, to whom and what the patient might tell, how to maintain a healthy lifestyle and not infecting others, questions must be encouraged, reactions of shock, disbelief, and anger must be reassured that they are very common, and most importantly is the follow-up. None of these took place in my experience coz the test was required, but it should be followed especially after the result. Receiving a positive HIV test result is like receiving a death sentence, however, far in the future that death may be. That's why availability of counseling is really important to avoid possible suicide attempt of the patient. I must confess that I thought about it several times, thinking on how am I gonna do it. Good thing that I have a friend who referred me to a social support that eventually lead me to my current Christian doctor and hospital who provides everything to me. So I was saved, and honestly I don't think I can do it actually.
According to Joy and Ray Thomas, HIV can be stopped and all these issues and problems can be avoided. Their solution has not been explored yet in my opinion because a lot of patients I knew still continue to engage in casual sex using condom but that is not the solution. Using a condom does not protect anyone coz it might break and the fluid from the body might leak putting the person in a perilous condition. So how can it be stopped? Through change in sexual behavior is an option but God's answer is Kingdom Living.
I'll talk about it on my next post.
Friday, March 28, 2008
I have just received an email with that title and here's the content of that letter.
Who is Jesus?
HE IS JESUS
WHO IS HE?
IN CHEMISTRY, HE TURNED WATER TO WINE.
IN BIOLOGY, HE WAS BORN WITHOUT THE NORMAL CONCEPTION;
IN PHYSICS, HE DISAPPROVED THE LAW OF GRAVITY WHEN HE ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN;
IN ECONOMICS, HE DISAPPROVED THE LAW OF DIMINISHING RETURN BY FEEDING 5000 MEN WITH
TWO FISHES & 5 LOAVES OF BREAD;
MEDICINE, HE CURED THE SICK AND THE BLIND WITHOUT ADMINISTERING A SINGLE DOSE OF DRUGS,
IN HISTORY, HE IS THE BEGINNING AND THE END;
IN GOVERNMENT, HE SAID THAT HE SHALL BE CALLED WONDERFUL COUNSELOR, PRINCE OF PEACE;
IN RELIGION, HE SAID NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH
SO. WHO IS HE?
HE IS JESUS!
JOIN ME AND LET'S CELEBRATE HIM; HE IS WORTHY.
THE EYES BEHOLDING THIS MESSAGE SHALL NOT BEHOLD EVIL, THE HAND THAT WILL SEND THIS MESSAGE TO EVERYBODY SHALL NOT LABOR IN VAIN, AND THE MOUTH SAYING AMEN TO THIS PRAYER SHALL SMILE FOREVER. REMAIN IN GOD AND SEEK HIS FACE ALWAYS. AMEN
IN GOD I'VE FOUND EVERYTHING!
The Greatest Man in History:
Jesus had no servants, yet they called Him Master.
Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher.
Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer.
He had no army, yet kings feared Him.
He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world.
He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him.
He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.
I feel honored to serve such a Leader who loves us! If you believe in God and in Jesus Christ His Son .. send this to all on your buddy list . if not just ignore it. If you ignore it, just remember that Jesus said ...
"If you deny me before man, I will deny you before my Father in Heaven.
First and foremost, I feel so free right now. I don't feel like perturbing anymore about my future, my career, especially my love life. Currently, I do not have a job or any financial resources but God has proven to me that He provides when there's a need. The Alpha Course entailed me to go to Manila for 12 consecutive Wednesdays, and it cost me more than I have set aside. The Lord worked on it through a Christian friend, he's like a spiritual father to me, who have shouldered some of my expenditures for more than half of the entire session. Now I still have a budget for the next few Sunday services too! God is really good.
Secondly, I began to love reading the Bible and I am guided by "Our Daily Bread". I have become hungry of God's words that I actually spend at least 10-15 minutes a day doing it. What's really amazing is that this time I understand it more than ever unlike before.
Next, my way of talking to God has changed. I learned now how to pray in a Godly manner. I call it "together time" with the Lord where I exalt Him, give thanks especially for my salvation and the free gift of eternal life, confess all my sins and ask forgiveness, ask God to take control of my entire life and surrender my heart, and humbly ask Him to reveal Himself and plans to me, consult the decisions I am about to make, and prayers for other people. It feels good talking to our God freely!
The crowd I want to associate myself with now has also changed. Every minute being with my fellow Christians is truly a blessing! It's not that I don't want to be with non-Christian people, but it's more of a putting myself in a situation with people with less temptations. It's like being in a less or none perilous situation. Sadly, temporarily leaving other friends, whom I think would not help to make this whole life change possible and hopefully permanent must be done, like my gay friends. Actually, I have changed my celfone number coz in a way it's a part of the new me.
Prior to my Christian life, I love reading self help books or anything that really interest me. Now, I am fascinated with the books written by Christians. It's really fun learning from other people's experiences. They are inspiring enough to convince myself that entrusting fully my life and having a personal relationship with God is the right and best thing to do more than anything else.
My Sundays are never the same again. Every time I do the church service, I can strongly feel God's presence most especially during the worship. The words shared by the pastors in our congregation are very inspiring and truly applicable to my daily walk with Jesus Christ.
Frankly speaking, I cannot say that my faith to God and to myself is 100 percent because sometimes I worry about on few things inevitably especially when the need is just right there. But I can say that my faith has tremendously increased that I have become more eager to know God in anyway possibly I can. Well I am aware that as a Christian, a 101 percent faith to God and self is a must but I guess it should be developed and cannot be done in an instant in my case. I will get used to it I know.
Lastly and the most important change for me, my self control when it comes to temptations has increased remarkably. As a physically attractive homosexual guy myself, it's really hard to resist most especially if they are just right in front of me and find them attractive as well and aware that they are interested to hook up with me.
Galatians 5:16. So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will nor gratify the desires of sinful nature.
James 4:7-9. Submit yourselves then to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Leviticus 20:13. If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.
These are some of God's word that I always remember whenever I am facing a temptation. Also it says in 1 Corinthians 6:9 that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God including the homosexual offenders along with other kind of sinners. Like I said, this is and will be my hardest spiritual battle as a Christian. I have fell short and tempted already more than twice as a Christian and the guilt feeling was far worse than before. That's why I also keep this kind of feeling to my mind when I am in a tempting situation or every time a sinful desire occurs to me mentally or physically. Mind is the hardest to control coz more often than not; I caught myself thinking sinfully and unaware. When I think about this awful feeling, as well as these bible verses, now I can simply walk away from gratifying my sinful desires. The Holy Spirit must be really dwelling in me. I may not be always victorious because still I am a human, but now I need to be more and more responsible for my actions. My spiritual counselors and advisers keep saying to me that when I fell short or were not able to fight a certain temptation and gave in, just come back to God and repent. Of course, I do not want to abuse God's love that's why I need to be on guard all the time. Besides, I just can't remember where, but I read that albeit God's unconditional love took that risk of forgiving us and not forsaking us every time we sincerely comes back to Him; it has a certain limitation and the punishment is severe. What I am saying is that though God always forgives us when we stumble, it does not waive the penalty that our actions have brought upon us. He doesn't want us to be offenders.
My first two months as a Christian was a bit different compared to the last one and a half month of it, and it was due to the Holy Spirit receiving week session happened on the 25th of February. Now, as the days goes by these positive changes is becoming a little bit more intense and I am so happy about it. Of course, some times I still worry about things but now I just pray and talk to God then I will be alright.
I am not saying that I am already the person that I should be but definitely I am not the person that I used to be. It's an everyday work for me to be that person.
When I think of what the Lord has for me in the future, I am excited! I don’t know exactly what the future holds, but I do know who holds my future! These are great times to be alive for Jesus! I have never known what was waiting around the next corner.
We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Now I have learned from Luke 12:15. A man's life does not consist of his possessions.
Before I thought these failures was my fate because I used to believe that we can't change what will happen to us during or lives. If it's destined to happen, definitely it will happen no matter what we do.
Hebrews 9:27-28. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear the second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.
Now I have learned that God controlled all things, not fate, and our lives were determined by Him and by the choices we make to obey or disobey His word. God has allowed these things to happen to me not to harm me but to teach me a lesson. It took me these failures to end my self-rule and to make this failure to be the launching pad to a new overcoming life. A life that is totally dependent on Him.
A truly Christ-centered life!
Ever since I was a kid, I believed in God. John 14:12-14 says, I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
I took this words literally, so my prayers to Him every night were consist of giving thanks, asking forgiveness, asking for what I want in my life like for instance; the fast and positive result of my visa application, and asking God to take care of me and every aspect of my life. I became so close to Him. Around this time when my homosexual activity toned down more than a little but what I forgot was I did not addressed it to the Lord. From the start, even though I have not read it from the bible yet just from heresy, I have no idea why I have this feeling that having sex with a man or men if you're a guy is simply not just right. It explains why I have a sudden feel of guilt every after encounter. Yes like I have said it was toned down but never stops. Still I have continued to search and look for men that will satisfy my sexual need until I got employed to this call center in early 2006. It was not as frequent as before because I have worked on a graveyard shift, and I know that deep down inside of me I really have wanted to cease. Actually, I thought my prayers were answered when the Australian Embassy asked me to complete my medical exam via mail that's why I have decide to get a job while waiting. Only to lead me to another predicament, this in turn will change my entire life and eventually lead me to Lord Jesus Christ.
Late 2007 when my visit to my Christian doctor became frequent and every time she asked me how I am doing, always I retorted I want to make something good out of my condition. I told her that I believed God has a reason and has a different plan for me why He did not allow my plans to succeed and let this tragic thing happened to me. I have started to look at the brighter side because that's the best thing that I can do in my present situation. I began to ask not only myself but her as well as to what is the purpose of my life, why am I here if God will only hurt me by not giving me all that I have wanted even though He witnessed that I worked so hard for all of it. Then my Christian doctor told me that I am a candidate to be a born again Christian. She told me that the Lord wants me to completely surrender my life to Him and leave the kind of life I used to have and I have dreamed of. She prayed over me and instructed to ask forgiveness with all my heart from God, and to accept Jesus Christ to be my personal Lord and Savior, while weeping. I was very emotional that time that I cried for like half an hour coz I have felt I have nowhere left to go but only to Him. It was December 2007.
She gave me a book as an early Christmas present written by Anne Graham-Lotz entitled Just Give Me Jesus, after I have finished, it was then I have truly understand all the sufferings on the cross by our Lord Jesus Christ. He did it for mankind's salvation. He wants us to live according to His words and accepts Him to be our personal Lord and Savior. He wants people to submit their lives and be totally dependent on Him and live a true Christian living. Follow God's word, and live in a godly way. The book was really nice and has truly pierced my heart the way the author described in details Jesus Christ's suffering that I wept while reading some chapters of it.
According to my new Christian friend, it was my spiritual birthday, the day when I was born again. After that prayer by my Christian doctor, nothing dramatic change took place in me. She invited me to attend to their church on Sundays and I started reading the bible guided by "Our Daily Bread". It was then I realized that if I want to follow the Lord and live the Kingdom living, I need to think and act in a Christ way. Meaning, I need to kill the old me since all my sinful ways has been washed away when I accepted the Lord. This was the start of my spiritual battle, and the hardest for me was avoiding and stop having sexual encounter with men and totally leave behind the homosexual life and be an ex-gay.
Monday, March 24, 2008
The first doctor I have talked to about my health condition told me that there's an organization consists of people living with HIV or PLWH who can relate to me and gives me moral support that I will need. She introduced me to the president of Pinoy Plus Association Inc. He helped me to get access for free medical check-up in this government hospital in Manila, where I met the Christian doctor who guided me on my search to the true meaning of life which will eventually lead to Lord Jesus Christ.
Our immune system is the ultimate target once the HIV virus entered into our body. You can never tell who is positive to the virus just by looking at person physically unless he or she will tell you. If you're going to look at me most probably you would not believe that I am positive simply because I look perfectly healthy. Like I said in my previous blog, I have nice body built due to regular work out, nice healthy skin, and I weighs exactly just right for my height and age. To determine my current health status, I was asked to do the CD4 test. This lab test will show the count of CD4 cells which composed the immune system and ascertains if it's time for me to the take anti-retroviral drugs or ARV. This medicine will prolong the life of an HIV patient for it diminishes the increase of virus in the body hopefully to the point that it can no longer be detected when a viral load test is done. That's the test which defines how much virus a person has in his body; it's quite expensive though and better be done after a year of taking ARV. By the world standard, a person with a CD4 count of 350 and below is required to take the ARV. It's still the patient's prerogative if he wants to start taking the medicine coz it has numerous side effects, but the higher the CD4 count like 200-350 the better coz the lesser side effect a person can get or sometimes nothing. Besides, a lot of counseling session from the doctor is required to discuss everything such as the real deal with HIV, ARV and its side effects, do's and don'ts, and other concerns. According to my CD4 test, I need to start taking the medicine coz the result of my lab test was 331 so I have decided already after weighing the pros and cons. It's a lifetime medication so the best judgment must be made. The reason why it took me 5 or 6 counseling session was, my doctor insisted me to tell my condition to my parents. At first, I was so firm with my decision to handle everything all by myself and not telling it to anyone especially to my family. Eventually, I was convinced by her and also I realized that they have all the right to know for the simple reason that they are my family no matter what so I told them. I told it to my sister first, of course she cried, and requested her to give my letter where I told everything to our parents. Sorry but I can't afford to see them hurting because of what happened to me that's why I opted to mention every details of it through a letter, in that way I will not miss out anything. It was 8 months after I was diagnosed when I have finally decided to break the bad news to my sister, then to my parents. I was in Manila coz I am still working that time when they got the letter so when I came home a week after, we never talked about it but I was surprised when they replied with a letter also. Well, we're not the type of family who are so blatant of what we feel or what we think. We all know that we really loved each other; it's just that we're not vocal and showy about it. The content of my parent's letter, well they wrote to me separately, was enough for me to face this dilemma dauntlessly. The line where my father told me that he's willing to take my place if that disease can only be transferred brought so much tears to my eyes and my mother reassured their love for me through that reply. Praise the Lord! I was blessed with a very understanding, caring, and loving family!
June 2007, I started the trial of ARV for 14 days and nothing has happened to me. No side effects have occurred, not until on the 20th day when I was home already. For the next 10 consecutive days, every morning and evening after eating my meal I just threw them up. Most of the time, I was nauseated and felt weak. After those 10 days, I felt better and my feeling went back to normal. Aside from my doctor's advice to quit my call center job with unhealthy working schedule, I was forced to resign due to my absences. Well, that was the worst side effect I have experienced so far after taking ARV for more than 9 months now. Currently, the side effect which occurring to me is the skin irritation and peeling around my finger nails on hands and feet. I thought it was syphilis but after the test, it was not.
August 2007 when I have started to bum around, I just stayed at home with my parents. My regular check up is once a month every Thursday to see if there are possible opportunistic infections and to get the ARV. So far, aside from that skin problem I mentioned I am very well ok. During this idle time of my life when I began to contemplate on everything I have been through ever since I became independent and took control of my life. I came to a realization that all my actions and decisions have been motivated by my stupid ambition to be wealthy, to be recognized, and to find a partner. But most of the time, I was driven by my desire to have more money! Well, I just want to give my parents somehow a luxurious life after all the sacrifices they have done for us children, travel and visit some parts of the world and the country with them, to have a condo unit of my own and a car, and probably my own business. There's nothing wrong with that I guess, but I was so consumed by all of these desires that somehow I forgot about God! Yes I have thanked Him and asked forgiveness every time I prayed to Him every night, but I guess it was not enough.
Every time I visit my Christian doctor for my check up and counseling, she always asked how I am. I told her that I believe there's a reason why this horrible thing happened to me and I was so determined to discern that reason.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
My first job was great when it comes to salary and benefits but most of the time my work itself sucks. So when the company had decided to cut the overhead cost, they offered an early separation package to those who will voluntarily resign. It was lucrative in a way plus I have savings, not to mention that I am still young and now with job experience for almost 4 years, so I thought it would be better for me to take this chance. Confident that there will be a lot of opportunity for me out there so I resigned. And now, I can try the things I have dreamed about like modeling and putting up my own business, or went abroad if things did not worked out. When I was out from that company, I realized that it was a big mistake and that would be the first of the series of these unfortunate events in my life. It happened in mid 2002.
Back in June 2001, my younger brother took his own life with a gun shot to his head leaving us without any reason why he did that awful thing. This was the first tragic event in the family and I saw how painful it was to my parents especially to my mother coz he's graduating that time in college and he's so young at 20. I even helped my mother to send him to college. Later on, the question why it was happened to us has been somehow answered.
The business I put up with a friend turned out to be futile and I lost almost less than 200,000 for that. I thought if you have the money, it would be easy to put up a business but I was so wrong. It's imperative that it should be your heart's desire and also it would be something that you will be proud of and I was not. Aside from the business technicalities, I also learned that there are people who are meant to be entrepreneurs and I am not one of them. Well, obviously, it cost me a lot to learn those lessons and it's the second in the series. This was in 2003.
In addition, I have learned as well that when you have lots of money time is really gold. So instead of putting most of what I've got in a conservative investment, with the help of trusted friends, I put more than half of it to a risky business deal and later we found out that it was a pyramiding scam. That's the next in the series, and I literally cried for what I've lost. This was in 2003 also.
Then before my first business venture ended, I enrolled myself in a modeling school and started to do some mall fashion shows, promotional tour in bars, go-sees, VTRs for commercial and corporate events. After 3 years of doing this, my modeling career did not take off as I expected so I have decided to give it up and became the fourth in the series. My modeling career started in late 2002 and ended up on the last quarter of 2005.
The reason why I opted to try these things was, I have always wanted to be a professional model and/or a businessman. If I will not try doing such things that time, when will I gonna do it? I don't want to end up asking myself in the future, "what if I tried this? What do I think would happen? Will I be successful? Famous or not?". So might as well try it then and find out the answers than wait for another opportunity, in which I am unsure if there will be another opportunity or that time still will come.
Like I mentioned on my previous blog, I have applied for an immigrant visa for Australia hoping to start a new life there and try to recover all the money I've lost for the past years. While waiting for the whole process to be completed I have decided to get myself employed in a call center which started in early 2006. In the last quarter of the same year, the immigration lawyers asked me to have my medical to be completed so that they can release my visa as soon as possible. Then the fifth unfortunate event in my life took place, according to my medical result, I am HIV positive!
For the next two months after that terrible medical result, I have felt like I am a dead-man walking because I opted to continue working and live my life normally as if nothing happened. After that grieving moment to God and accepted the fact that I am sick and I'll be dead in 12-18 years, I realized that I need to be responsible for the consequences of my actions. After all it's my fault; I became promiscuous and did not take the necessary precautions knowing all the risk. I have violated the biblical law so I guess I deserved this punishment, yes that's what I thought. But it was not, it became the way for me to search for the real meaning of life and it will be God's way of saying, "son we need to talk".
The last in the series of these misfortunes was, when my doctor asked me to resign from my call center job coz the working hours is now a threat to my health. For the reason that I want to live longer and make the most out of it and finally decided to look for the purpose of my life, I did resigned. Now it had given me so much time to contemplate on things and eventually decided to turn over a new leaf and make that big change in my life......to follow the Lord Jesus Christ.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
I also had relationships with men. My first one was the guy named Cesar and I met him at the National Bookstore when I transferred to Makati in late 2002. He's really my type physically, fair-skinned, tall, muscular, handsome, and 10 years older than me. I am more attracted to mature, older men who look younger than their real age, and with muscular or nice body. Everything on the gay world was still new then for me, that am why when he asked me to be his boyfriend I did not agreed at first coz I am just sexually attracted to him and I don't have any feelings for him but only as a friend. I hurt him so to speak but I am just being blunt so as not to hurt him that much and to avoid any confusion in the future. We became fuck buddies for 6 months though I discreetly seeing other men especially when he left for 6 months. That was the time when I realized that I missed him and fell in love with him so when he came back I told him about my feelings but he rejected me. Well, what goes around comes around so when he told me that we have to remain just fuck buddies and he don't have anymore feelings for me I accepted it. I am not the type who force on things that much, if the guy don't like me, it's just fine. For me it's either yes or no, end of conversation. Our relationship, if you can call it a relationship, continued for another 6 months until I have decided to put an end to it coz it just doesn't work anymore.
Modesty aside, it was not hard for me to get a guy coz I myself is quite attractive. I am tall enough like 5 feet 8 inches, having nice physique proportioned by regular work out, and according to many I've got a pretty face. I have continued to indulge into casual sex very actively for the next two years and tend to lie down a bit when I went back where I came from and left Manila in late 2004. I still visit manila from time to time when I have modeling assignments and it was late 2005 when I had my second relationship which lasted only for a month or less, partly my fault why we have decided to part ways. Then after that, I had my third and last relationship with a married man with a kid which lasted for only 6 months coz it's very complicated. Later on I have realized and learned that in the same sex relationship, there is no contentment on both parties. At first, the couple would enjoy each other's company but time will come that both of them will look for another especially if they are not satisfied with each other whether its on a physical, emotional, mental, especially on sexual basis. Well, it's just based on my experience and on the testimonies given to me by the couples I have met for sex. I asked them why a couple would look for a third party if they have decided to stay together, and most of them commit themselves to each other for companionship as lovers, friends, fuck buddies, with pleasure from other guys. They call it open relationship which I did not picture myself to be in that kind of commitment. That's why after my three relationships, I have decided to stay single coz in my own opinion and again based on my experience my quest for satisfaction, contentment or happiness with a guy is endless. Not to mention that it is morally wrong, also it is a sin according to the bible. Probably that was the reason why I feel guilty after every sexual encounter. I must admit that it feels good physically during the sexual act itself but after that, after all the heat was released and my partner or partners and I were separated I have a feeling of emptiness in addition to guilt. Most probably because I knew this was all wrong and it is a sin.
From 2003 up to 2005, I never had a regular job because I had given my self an opportunity to try things that I've dreamed about like putting a small business and modeling. Time frame has been set for these things which I thought only enough to determine if I can be successful or not and then move on if things did not happen the way I expected it. Unfortunately, things did not go well and I always have a back up plan for every step I make. So in 2005 I have applied for an immigrant visa for Australia hoping to start a new life there and try to recover the large sum of money I have lost for the past years. It took me two long years to complete the whole process. Last step for the application was the medical before the release of the visa so I have decided to get a regular job while waiting to save money for the visa fee and for my pocket money as well. In early 2006, I got employed in a call center and stayed there for 18 months.
My last two relationships happened in late 2005, and they are the only two guys I had sex with so you see I can still be faithful but it's hard on my part. I am the type who is most of the time gets horny every time I see a sexy guy, that's why its hard for me to stick into one guy but somehow I managed to do that especially to my last relationship because I really loved him. I have decided to leave him for three reasons. First, I began to ask more time from him even though I am very well aware that he has a wife, probably because I am jealous of her. Second, I know that these kinds of relationship will not going anywhere so before it gets deeper and deeper I have decided to put an end to it; perhaps to avoid too much pain on my part. Lastly, because I am aware that same sex relationship is a sin I don't want to become more of a sinner by sleeping with someone else's husband. Then after that, still I continued to meet guys for casual sex but not as frequent as before coz I am working. Probably, I had sex with more than a hundred guys if you will gonna ask me how many guys I had sex with. I had sex with these hundred guys but what about the guys they had sex with? It looks like indirectly I had sexually encountered with them as well. It's easy for me to do it because I used to stay alone in my apartment or room so a place was never become a problem for my SEBs or sex eye ball. Also I must admit that I have few unprotected sexual encounters, those were the times that it was inevitable. For instance, the guy was not into wearing condoms and I really like the guy so I agreed to do it bareback or simply the condom was not at hand and we're both very horny.
So, in late 2006, when I had my medical result as part of the application for my visa, my HIV result was positive!
Friday, March 21, 2008
Liza and I were seniors already in high school when I courted her and told her that I love her, but she said we need to prioritize our studies first then we'll see after. I agreed coz my priority also was to finish school and get a high paying job to be able to help my parents financially. By the way, just to give you a background I am the third child in the brood of five and our family was not wealthy so I felt obliged to help somehow. My mother and I were able to send my younger brother to college. I have an older brother and sister and younger brother and sister. It was also during this time when my father lost his job.
Going back to my sexual issues, it was also around this time, I have an uncle who loved to bring me along with him in his bike almost every early morning. I was in grade 6 then and it continued until when I was in second or third year high school, he gave this special attention to me and he's always making fun out of me and teasing me by touching my legs, my arms, and nipples in a sensual manner. I began to fantasize him and loved seeing him without his shirt on, well he just live across the street and he love to roam around half naked. Around this time also, when I noticed my cousin who lives next to our house. He's cute, very manly, and has a very nice body. So every time he chopped some woods at their backyard, I loved staring at his body full of sweat! Though they have a bathroom outside their house, I always caught him taking a bath at the water post beside their house wearing nothing except his brief! That's why it became a habit to me watching him everytime I had the chance at the hole I made from the bamboo window of my grandmother's house which was situated then at the back of our home, and masturbate while watching him from a distance. Then I had noticed that I get attracted to guys with nice built rather than guys with handsome face. This kind of feeling and fantasizing and self sexual excitation continued until when I graduated from college where I also have a crush on with more mature good looking guys in the school, and then eventually had my first job at 21. After a year of working, I have decided to contact Liza and opened up again my feelings for her coz candidly I still love her and I am very much willing to put aside and totally forget this other personality of mine just to be with her and raise a family with her. Unfortunately, when I told her about my feelings and plan of wooing her again Liza told me that she had a boyfriend already and said sorry. It was so painful and I was very hurt and devastated that I became workaholic and tried to be one of the best on my work. Honestly I am not blaming her but somehow, this heart brokenness triggered me to explore my other personality. I was 25 then, when I decided to have sex with a man. Let me continue this on my next post ok?
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
I hope and pray that a lot of people will gonna decide to receive Jesus Christ into their lives.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Another book that unexpectedly inspired me was the book by Franklin Graham: A Rebel With A Cause. Yes you've guessed it right; he's the son of the famous Billy Graham. It tells about how God worked in his life ever since he was young until the day he worked on his own ministry. I was amazed how God's plan really worked on his life; it simply tells us that our Heavenly Father has His own master plan for each and every one of us even before the day we're conceived in our mother's womb. That His plan will actually happens once we submit ourselves to Him and let Him take charge of everything through our intimate personal relationship with the Lord.
But the book which undoubtedly convinced me to turn my life over to God was the book by Anne Graham-Lotz entitled Just Give Me Jesus. She's the older sister of Franklin. When I read this book, that's the only time when I truly understand the meaning of Jesus Christ stories as well as its connection and importance to our daily lives. We should repent for all the sins we have committed, ask for God's forgiveness, thank Him, exalt Him, and surrender our lives to Him. Invite him to dwell in our hearts and always obey the Words of God. Only then we can really find the meaning of our life on this earth. Only then we can truly find peace and joy in our lives by having a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. I can testify to that because that's exactly what I am feeling right now!
For the past 10 years of my life, my quest for true happiness in life started from my first job, to my career as an entrepreneur, to my not so successful modeling career, to another corporate job, going to places I have never been to, having a relationship from one person to another, another corporate job, all of them were quite insatiable for me in the end. Well I've done most of those things coz I don't want to end up asking myself "what if I did that? What do you think would happen?" question. Perhaps there's nothing wrong trying to do things which I think would improve me as a person and see if I will succeed or not. So I have decided to do them while I have time so I won't have regrets in the future. Though in between those quest were shameful acts, well biblically they are unlawful, which led me to emptiness and total brokenness. Well, I just thought making my dreams into reality would bring me true happiness but I was dead wrong.
Finally, after all those years I asked myself "What on earth am I doing here?". This is not the kind of life I have dreamt of 10 years ago. I was in total control of my life but what went wrong? Why I am not happy? How about you? Are you really happy? If you are, what's making you happy and for how long? Have you ever wondered why are you living on this earth? Have you asked yourself what is the purpose of your life? These are heavy questions that only few are courageous enough to answer and find it.
When I learned about my health condition, that's the time when I asked myself all these questions. When I surrendered my life to God and have decided to walk my life with Him, all these questions have been answered and I have never felt this ethereal joy I am feeling right now before. I feel so secure now because I know that the Lord will not forsake me and He has given me a task to do. Though I am not quite sure yet but I have a feeling that my duty now is promoting the Christian living to everyone especially to people living with HIV. I have prayed for God to reveal me His plan and now He opened the door. Exactly what I have asked for, and this is this training for Channels of Hope by World Vision.
Perhaps you're wondering why I have come up to this decision, building a personal relationship with the Lord and totally submitting my life to Him. Aside from the reasons I mentioned here, I think it would be better if I tell you my story. You will read it on my next blogs.
Praise the Lord Jesus Christ!
Monday, March 10, 2008
I can still remember when the doctor was about to tell me about the result, He was obviously worried on how to break the bad news. So to end up his agony, I actually told the doctor that it's alright I can handle it for I am already prepared for it. He gave me all the information he knew about HIV and AIDS and what are the things I should expect in the coming years of my life. What lies ahead for me now? At first, I have no idea what now am I going to do with my life to make the most out of it. I have confessed this dilemma to some few trusted friend and I am so blessed that they still accepted me and did not judged me. I have decided to continue with my life as if nothing happened; I have felt like I am a dead-man walking for the next couple of months. Until one day, I woke up and told myself that it cannot be like this. I need to do something!
January 2007, through the help of a good friend I was able to find an institution that offers free check-up and counseling for people living with HIV or PLWH. That is in San Lazaro Hospital where I met the Christian doctor who eventually became a very good friend of mine, and a spiritual adviser at the same time. When I told her that I want to do something good out of my condition she saw an opportunity to share with me the gospel of Jesus Christ. That same year, it was December when I became a Christian; I have felt that God has a big plan for me. I have learned about Kingdom Living from a book written by a Christian doctor and this is the best tool to prevent the spread of this disease. Teaching people to have a Christ-centered life, and obeying God's word. Abstinence from sex before marriage and Being faithful in marriage. Actually, that is the A and B of the ABC way of living to promote HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. C stands for the use of Condom if the person is having a hard time doing the first two which I don't really encourage because it gives the impression of encouraging people that it is ok to engage in casual sex as long as you are protected in which it contradicts the teachings from the Bible.
This is what I want to promote, the Kingdom Living to prevent the spread of HIV and to make people aware how important it is to have a Christ-centered life. I have been praying for this to be my calling, to be my ministry and I surmised it was finally answered. A good friend of mine, who is by the way an HIV patient for more than 12 years, referred me to her friend from World Vision when she learned that this is what I want to do. Guess what! They sent me an invitation after giving them my testimony to be a part of the training for their project entitled Channels of Hope; it advocates HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention that involves Christian church to promote Kingdom Living. Just exactly what I have prayed for the last 4 months, the training is set to start this coming April.
Praise the Lord Jesus Christ. He's really working on my life now. Thanks are to God and to God be the glory.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
It was December 13, 2007 when my Christian doctor, also a close friend of mine, prayed over me and asked me to receive Jesus Christ in to my life by asking His forgiveness and submitting my life to the Lord. I am not sure then if I am ready to walk in light with God, but He's the only choice and the best choice left for me after all the series of predicament happened to me. I attended my very first church Sunday service at this Christian Church situated in Cubao on December 23, 2007; it was 10 days after being Born-again. I never thought that I would enjoy that moment because for the first time I have felt the strong presence of the Lord especially during the worship song. It was January 9, 2008 when I attended the 1st of 10 Wednesday Alpha Course at that Church in Cubao. It is the course of knowing God and why should we believe and entrust our life to Him, why do we need to walk our life with Him, why do we need to read the Bible, everything that has something to do with the spiritual life which everybody needs and living righteously. Honestly at first, I am not quite sure of myself if I really want to do this but I have decided to give it a shot. Unconsciously, I began to like it, became so drawn into it and I even became so excited that I always look forward to it every week! I have no idea that learning and knowing our God and the Lord Jesus Christ will be a very wonderful experience for me!