Both Rocky Cruz and Redeemer Muralla were members of a clan (that is, an informal organization of predominantly men who have sex with men) called One Bacardi. And it was through that group that the two met.
“I was me who texted him just to say hi and hello,” Rocky recalled. “And then ayun, nagtuloy-tuloy ang usapan hanggang umabot sa tawagan at telebabad na (And so, the chats continued until we started calling each other, spending a lot of time talking with each other on the phone).”
And then, “when we met again for some dates, and I realized na siya na ‘yun (he’s the one for me),” Rocky said. “He’s good and nice kasi…”
Redeemer said that he always found Rocky attractive, fortunately leading to “us falling in love.”
A big challenge for the couple is facing temptations. Both Rocky and Redeemer recognize some truth in one of the stereotypes pertaining gay relationships – that is, that considering that it involves two biological males, they are bound to stray. As Redeemer said: “In a relationship like ours, it’s very common to… naturally flirt and be (sexually) aggressive.”
But according to Rocky: “Tiwala ang puhunan namin sa isa’t isa (Trust is the foundation of what we have).” He added: “Sabi nga nila (As they say), there’s always allowance for mistakes.”
“What we do is just focus and be contented with what we have. Ignore them and just love each other,” Redeemer said.
The best thing for Rocky in their relationship is that “kahit bihira kami magkasama, alam namin sa isa’t isa na mahal na mahal namin isa’t isa (Even if we’re not together often, we both know we love each other),” he said, adding that it also helps that they “help each other and care for each other.”
As for Redeemer, “we’ve grown up as partners, and so we understand each other’s feelings and respect each other. We compromise by solving conflicts in a fair and rational way. We were able to accept each other’s flaws, and now support and respect each other’s privacy and create boundaries.”
An immediate plan of the two is to find time to be together. But should that not be possible (at least for now), “basta hangga’t hindi nawawala ang pagmamahal naming, hindi kami maghihiwalay (as long as we love each other, we won’t part ways),” Rocky said. “Ang future namin ay nakasalalay lang sa amin. Basta nagtutulungan at magmahalan kami, okay na sa amin (Our future together depends on us. As long as we help each other, and love each other, that’s okay for us).”
As for Redeemer, “for now, we just enjoy each other’s company and see what lies in the future for both of us. The good thing is that even if we have busy schedules, we still find time to be together. And so the more we love each other as days go by.”