Bern first “met” Waldy in December 2012, via a dating site, where they started as chatmates. At that time, “I actually challenged myself to check if… love (existed) in this dating site,” Bern said.
“At first we just exchanged messages,” Waldy recalled. Then “later on, we decided to get each others’ number and then much later decided to meet.”
Even early on, even while they were just texting, Bern said he already knew that what they had was something special. “Ever since we texted each other more often, I really felt that he was the one already.”
Bern, however, wanted to be more certain; he wanted to “feel more.” This eventually happened “when we decided to meet personally a month after we ‘met’ on that dating site. I didn’t even leave his place for three days,” he laughed.
As an LGBT couple, Bern said there are challenges, with one of the biggest the “need to come out to our own families. They had their own doubts that we might neglect our responsibilities as the breadwinners of our families. They also had this stereotypical impression of ‘peperahan ka lang nyan (he’ll just use you for financial gains)’.”
Waldy agreed. “Bern was the only guy I introduced to my family and it was the first time that I finally revealed to them my sexuality. It was not easy for them to accept it. I even remember my Mom telling me that she and my father had never thought that I would enter a gay relationship. It got even harder on my side because my family has that old, stereotypical impression about such relationships.”
But Bern is glad to be able to say that “I am so proud to tell you that we proved them wrong. We have extended our responsibilities by helping each other, especially with family responsibilities and, at the same time, we are living life to the fullest.”
In Waldy’s case, “what I did was I gave them time to consider it and waited to talk with them about my decision. I was grateful that they finally accepted me and Bern.”
Both Bern and Waldy admit that what they have isn’t necessarily perfect.
“It is not a perfect relationship; we argue and sometimes even hurt each other’s feelings,” Waldy said. But “despite that, after all the fights, we learn from it, and that brings the best out of ourselves. We forgive each other and realize the deeper meaning of unconditional love.”
“This relationship gives me someone that I can always count on when I feel down, which is something that I can’t often do with my siblings (or family). Someone who can really understand what I need. Someone who knows how to comfort me. Someone who knows how to motivate me. And someone who will always be there when nobody will,” Bern added.
The two are looking forward to getting married; and, as Waldy said, hopefully in the Philippines where they are hopeful that in the future, “we get the same civil rights as straight, married couple.”
For now, it’s the every day that matters, particularly when they’re spent together…