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Cavite Smart Guys: Attempting to build a family, not just a clan

When Cavite Smart Guys was formed in 2006, it was but an attempt to somewhat formalize a group of textmates. As the membership grew, though, more than friendship, “we never thought that we’d find a ‘family’,” says Marcuz Villanueva Zaragosa, who co-founded the group and now heads it.

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Cavite Smart Guys6Cavite Smart Guys was formed on July 22, 2006, when 13 “textmates” (that is, friends whose initial and main connection started with the use of SMS) met at SM Dasmarinas in Cavite after being friends for some time, and then deciding to somewhat formalize their group. By formalizing their organization, Cavite Smart Guys thereby became the first MSM (men who have sex with men) clan established in Cavite.

The initial intention, said Marcuz Villanueva Zaragosa, who co-founded the group and now heads it, was just to “meet new friends.” But more than friendship, “we never thought that we’d find a ‘family’,” he said.

This is also why “we avoid calling our group the typical clan,” Zaragosa said. “Instead, we are a family because we promote brotherhood (among the members), thereby build strong family ties within the group.”

Like most clans, Cavite Smart Guys holds various activities for its members, including GEBs (grand eye balls – or the meeting of members), lectures on safer sex, et cetera; though it also holds various activities involving its members for them to reach out to the community, including outreach activities for the less fortunate members of society.

A feather in the clan’s cap is the recognition it received from other clans as the “No. 1 Provincial Clan”.

Zaragosa admitted that there remain challenges – e.g. growing the membership, and dealing with the needs of members such as providing psychosocial support for members. But “we remain optimistic,” he said, particularly since “we’ve been here nine years now.”

In fact, Cavite Smart Guys is planning big – i.e. to venture into microfinancing to help its members become self-sufficient.

All in due time, though, since – for now – Cavite Smart Guys is simply enjoying the concept of family it gives its members.

For more information, or to join Cavite Smart Guys, those interested may visit the clan’s Facebook page.

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