Louie and Gary met in June 2010 via a gay social networking site, MANJAM. But not – mind you – because one attempted to straight out pick up the other. Instead, as Louie recalled, “I posted pictures of the properties that I used to sell in my MANJAM account. (Gary) sent me an inquiry regarding those condo properties in the said Website.”
“The original purpose for us chatting was regarding me wanting to have information on properties there, to live there,” Gary said. But “soon I think we both felt a strong attraction for each other. We exchanged messages many times, did cam chat (Skype and Yahoo chat), and got to know each other pretty good that way.”
In May 2011, Gary came to the Philippines to see Louie. And for him, “to fully say when we knew we were in love was when we first met in person at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).” At least for him, “as soon as I hugged him I knew this guy was for me.”
For Louie, though, “I got attracted to him when we started talking about things (outside of the condo properties). He used to call me on my mobile for almost 10 minutes almost everyday!”
Being together is not always a bed of roses for Louie and Gary.
A challenge, said Louie, is facing his family. “My father is just cool about our relationship. However, my mother is not. But Gary and I always believe that her attitude towards our relationship would eventually change sooner or later.”
“Of course having acceptance from our families is… always on our mind,” Gary said.
Aside from the family’s acceptance, Gary said that another challenge is “pursuing my professional career while, at the same time, concentrating on building a relationship. It takes serious dedication.”
Gary added: “Some people ask me if the long distance relationship between the two of us is a big problem. I can say because Louie and I love each other so much, that has not been a bad challenge. It’s certainly something only a serious couple can do and maintain.”
Asked what, for him, is the best thing about their being together, Louie said it’s the reciprocity.
“Gary loves trains, airplanes, and traveling; while I am into saving and investing, healthy lifestyle. So we don’t run out of topics when we are together,” Louie said. Also, “most of the time, he thinks about me. I can see and feel that through the things that he does to me. And I also reciprocate what he does to me. I feel that he is my soulmate. He is surprised when I do things that are good for him. I feel happy when he is happy. He also feels the same.”
“The best thing in this relationship? Easy to say for me, is finally having the guy in my life who loves me more than I can say. Having a guy that I love equally as much. I can truly say that when you have the person in your life that you love and are loved like this, that you can feel complete. It’s taken a long time, and taken a lot of boyfriends to date and go through to get to the guy I have now,” Gary said.
Their future plans are “actually underway as we speak,” Gary said. Louie’s fiancé visa was approved by the US government on January 9, and “in two months, Gary will again visit him here in the Philippines before they fly to the US to get married.
And as they celebrate what they have, they also look forward to what they can still have together.
“I look forward to living a married life with him,” Louie ended, beaming.