Thursday, October 20, 2005


The middle-age doctor was telling his young patient how different it was in Manila when he was his age. With the influence of the church at its height and the pervasive sexual mores averse to change, people were imbued with feelings of guilt, inhibition and restricted beliefs about what normal sexual thoughts and behaviors were.

Many were not allowed to express themselves in sexually healthy ways; a rare sight it was for unmarried couples to hold hands in public, let alone display a more intimate act such as kissing or hugging. It was an era of repressed sexuality that even single girls who went beyond kissing with their boyfriends were instantly regarded a puta, the doctor claimed

As he wiped his eyeglasses, he confided it wasn’t until he was in college when he first made out with a girl -- almost two hours of passionate kissing and groping up in the lodge section of the dark Avenue theater in Avenida Rizal. He added it was only on his wedding night that he finally experienced his first sexual intercourse. And that was already the 70s.

With a somber tone, he commented how kids nowadays barely into puberty are indiscriminately having sex. Throwing all caution to the wind, they go at it unprotected. He added that just the other day he had for a patient a 14-year old girl who contracted gonorrhea by having sex with two boys consecutively after she got drunk at a friend’s birthday party. Most of these sexually liberated girls, he noted, were from single parent households or whose both parents work long hours. Without any adult supervision, these latchkey kids were left to fend for themselves.

Fredo listened quietly; somewhat embarrassed by the doctor’s explicit monologue. He has known him for a year now. He once treated his minor cuts and bruises from a motorcycle accident. Now it was for the clap he contracted from a woman he met at a club last weekend.

After removing his gloves, the doctor, gave Fredo a final closer inspection, he advised him to abstain from alcohol and sex while on medication. This time, Fredo was not as uncomfortable as the last visit; he allowed the doctor to fondle it until he was asked to put his clothes back on. He was to return for a check up after two weeks. Before he walked out the door, the doctor handed him an ample supply of antibiotics and slipped him some money for a snack or something.

While waiting for a jeepney that would take him home, he promised himself that he would never again have sex with women from the clubs in Malate. He’ll just stick with the girls from the neighborhood; although much younger, they are more likely disease-free. Also, he didn’t have to waste any of his hard-earned money.

He drives a tricycle for a living. A high school dropout without any promising prospect he took a job as a tricycle driver. He has been doing it for two years now and has developed a steady clientele of neighborhood kids that he drives between their homes and schools. With most parents paying a month in advance for his services, he’s able to budget and save part of his earnings accordingly.

Some of his young passengers develop intense infatuation with older boys, and more often it is 19-year old Fredo they have their eyes on. These girls are intrigued by his handsome dark features combined with a slightly dangerous but sexy quality. Wearing mostly shorts and over-sized basketball jerseys that reveal most of his boyishly smooth brown skin and manly well-toned body, the school girls, as well as the gay men who work the neighborhood beauty parlors swoon over him.

As for girlfriends, Fredo has sixteen-year old Tricia who is madly in love with him; they’ve been together for more than a year now. He also has another girl he fools around with, Marita who recently turned fifteen. Due to her young age, Fredo limits their after school romps to oral sex. Between these two, it is Marita he has developed very strong feelings for. He uses her as an inspiration to save for the future; he dreams of one day buying his own tricycle.

Even though Fredo receives discreet propositions from regular passengers – gay men and middle-age housewives whose husbands work abroad -- it is the young girls he strictly prefers to accommodate, except for one instance, in which he allowed himself to take on Ronnie, a strikingly handsome young boy who hero worships him. In spite of their trysts though sporadic, Ronnie wouldn‘t admit to himself that he’s gay; after all, he has a girlfriend to show for it. Ronnie shares with Fredo his hefty allowance received from both parents working abroad. Such incentive justifies Fredo’s willingness to carry on this covert relationship with the junior high school student.

A couple of weeks later, back at the clinic, Fredo was relieved when issued a clean bill of health by the doctor. Only God knows how frustrating it was for this young man to abstain from sex for an extended period of time. As the doctor washed his hands after having examined the young man, he once again reminded Fredo to always use a condom. He cited the recent growing cases of venereal diseases among young people. However, the doctor knew his advice will fall on deaf ears; kids, in spite of various public awareness programs, choose to ignore the merits of safe sex.

Fredo, already dressed but still seated on the edge of the examination table, was surprised when the doctor suddenly leaned against him and whispered something. He was taken aback but immediately with his head gestured a no. As his patient left the office and closed the door behind him, a hunch suggested this young man might never return.


Venereal Diseases Explained

Teen Sexual Behaviors: Issues and Concerns

Gay Teens Resources

Does Single Parenthood Increase the Probability of Teenage Promiscuity, Drug Use, and Crime?


posted by Señor Enrique at 6:48 AM


Blogger The Itinerant said...

sad story for a young... Im fascinated...but what did the doctor say to him? Im wondering what was that...

January 01, 2007 8:31 AM  

Blogger palma tayona said...

... quite obviously, the doctor's propositioning sex with fredo. :-)

April 22, 2007 12:01 PM  

Blogger  gmirage said...

true, and all the time fredo was going there, the doctor was taking advantage din pala...

August 23, 2007 6:27 PM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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