The men of my family were known to be serial womanizers- some were notorious and some were subtle in keeping their mistresses. And just like any other male species, they are proud of this trait, or sometimes they conceal their pleasure of being notoriously known for their despicable behaviour.
It was said that my grandfather started it. He was tall, dark and handsome. Many girls secretly desired him and aspired to be his wife. With tenacious faith and fervent prayers in the church, my grandma succeeded in stealing away his heart. She thought that she was lucky because she married somebody who was handsome, and above all, somebody who had a land and a big house. Here’s the catch when one marries a handsome and clever guy- he may be fond of forbidden liaisons. And that was the case.
Wits and suave moves were definitely irresistible at the time. And possessing these made my grandfather a shrewd playboy. But grandma wasn’t a drama queen. Whenever she suspects him to have flirted with a woman, she would invite my grandfather in our basement so she could confront him calmly.
I think it was during the Marcos years when my grandmother found out my grandfather’s secret. She found out, through her cousin who worked for the government, that my grandfather sired a child with a young woman who lived in the woods, one of those peasant farmers who worked for tenants like my grandfather. This woman came to the Municipio to register the birth of her son. The woman named my grandfather as the father of the child. I think my grandfather never took responsibility of the boy. When my grandmother confronted him, he was outraged and went away. He took his shot-gun and when to the woods to hunt. Perhaps he thought of shooting the one who spilled the beans. But thank God, when he returned, he wasn’t carrying a human head, but a deer.
After that, my grandmother, like any other pious and subservient Filipina, rest her case and never brought up the issue again, until now, because his man is now buried six feet under.
Then there’s my grandfather’s younger brother. He was the classic pilyo, with his fair skin, wavy hair, and a charismatic smile. He’s the adventurous kind- adventurous in gambling, in local politics, and a classic adventurer in every woman’s cave. He married a woman who gave him three sons and two daughters. And later on in his life he had a young mistress who bore him, I think, two other children. When the secret was found out, it was the most devastating storm that hit his household.
And then there’s my father and my uncle. These two were bestfriends when they were young. My father, being the eldest was the big brother who taught my uncle many things, especially about women.
I used to think that my father was just like any average guy- many girlfriends but would eventually settle with one woman. He did. But I was kind of surprised when my mother told me that she believes my father has a child with another woman before they got married.
Now I believe now why my uncle said that in their generation of the family, it was my father who started it, the way my grandfather paved the way for the men of the family to become douchebags. He said that my father taught him the ways of a ladies’ man.
When my father reached a certain age and maturity, maybe in his thirties, he became a loving and faithful husband. As for his disciple, my uncle, he’s an asshole until now.
Every time I visit my relatives in
, he would be
there and he would tease me and the other folks that I am such a loser, having
no girlfriend at my marriageable age. “Or maybe you’re gay?”, followed by a
roaring laughter. He would boast of his conquests and my father’s prowess on
being a bolero with the ladies. Milan
I hated those moments when they were scrutinizing my private life. Because nothing should be private in our big family. Our personal conquests must add to whatever reputation my family has. But now I look at him and see how pathetic he has become- bragging of being a habulin ng babae while his children and wife are slowly distancing themselves from this padre de familia. The only thing positive about his infidelity is that he hasn’t yet fathered a child with one of his many ugly mistresses nor caught any venereal disease.
And this is just my father’s side of the family. You still haven’t heard about my hedonistic uncles in my mother’s side of the family. All three uncles- guilty of infidelity.
In the past they may have bragged about it or carried the reputation as badge of honor. Now, as the whole family has converted to Protestantism, they have all changed their lives and thinking, except for one uncle who is now separated from his wife and childred.
And this made me think, is it possible that God destined me to be gay because there should be someone who would atone for the sins of our forefathers?
I am the eldest on both sides- the apple of the eyes of the family, the great hope who would carry on the thriving name as the legitimate heir apparent, the pride of our fathers. As of now, there are only two of us who are going to carry the family’s name, and I happen to be gay. As much as I want to carry on the legacy, I cannot procreate through natural means with a woman. And the thing is, there are great expectations from the first-born, especially to the Prime First-Born, the legitimate one (yes, this is self-aggrandizement. I speak as if were the royal family of Laguna, or one of the remaining old patrician families of the country).
The alpha-males are all producing girls- virtuous, smart, and the most distinctive attribute of the clan- gallantly proud. But no boy, except for my father and his disciple.
My cousin is showing the symptoms of a chronic babaero. Perhaps there’s hope for our fathers. He may sire ten first-born males. But with me, nada.
It occurred to me this thought of being the sacrificial lamb one day when I was reading the Bible (unbelievable right?). I read a passage about the death of Solomon’s first born as the result of his adultery, and how God punished sinners up to the third and fourth generations.
Am I the one to atone the adultery of my forefathers? Why is it that these padres de familia, in all their gloriously divinely appointed power and authority over the family, could not redeem themselves? And why should I be the one responsible in cleaning up all their shit? Why am I to become the sore blight that was inflicted upon the family’s pride?
My dear readers (if you actually read this entry) these are just some of the questions I have reserved for God, but if you have the answers, please help me clear my thoughts, because a therapist is too costly, and the Holy Scripture has made me nauseous.