Drew Haya and Rorie Ann first met each other at one of the branches of Bo’s Coffee Shop. That was on March 26, 2012.
That wasn’t the first time they chatted, though.
“I love morning walks at Valero in Makati City,” Drew recalled. “I (was at that time) staying with a family friend in one hotel there for a month. I posted on She Planet’s Facebook page that I will go for a walk, and she commented. Magkikita sana kami (We were supposed to see each other), but I can’t remember why hindi natuloy (it didn’t push through). Malapit lang ang building kung saan siya na nag-wo-work sa tinutuluyan namin (The place where she worked was near where I stayed at).”
“I just saw one of her posts on Facebook, that she was in Valero walking along the street, and so I commented that my office is just around the area. I said maybe we could meet,” Rorie recalled.
And then one day, “nag-meet kami sa isang coffee shop sa Ayala. I (talk a lot), and I do love to share my life and lessons in life to other people. I am not sure kung ano nasa isip niya (I don’t know what she was thinking of me then). Promise, ang daldal ko (I swear, I was so talkative that time),” Drew shared.
“She was sharing all stories about her life and I was like, ‘Okay, so why is she sharing all these?’,” Rorie laughed.
At that time, however, they were both in relationships with others. “I can say ‘unhappy relationships’,” Drew admitted.
And then they saw each other again on April 14 of that year, when Drew invited Rorie to her place in Laguna. Then, “we both gave each other time para ayusin ang dapat ayusin (to fix what we had to fix).” By April 26, they became an item.
“I never wanted to be in an unhappy relationship again. Rorie makes me happy when she smiles and laughs… kahit simpleng bagay lang na sinabi ko, tumatawa siya (even if I say the simplest things, she already laughs). She is a very honest person. I love everything she hates about herself. And I’m in love because she’s always there when I need her the most. My family loves her and I love her so much.”
Rorie does not know when, exactly, she knew she was in love with Drew. But “I just found myself happy with her company. She is the reason I fell in love again for the right reason. Before her, I was in a complicated lesbian relationship, where I was the other woman. She was there to comfort me, made me laugh, and made me feel that I’m worthy to be loved.”
There are challenges to be faced, of course.
“I grew up in a religious family. Most of them are priests and nuns in Canada and here in the Philippines. It’s pretty hard because I know no one will accept our relationship, particularly in my family,” Drew said. Apparently, it is also like this with Rorie’s family.
For Rorie, “the biggest challenge in our society being a lesbian is being in a closet. Other people still don’t accept us for who we are, and for who we love. Specially for my family, it is hard to open up this kind of topic and admit that the one I love is also a girl. I’m afraid that they will hate me or reject me,” she said. “But as for me, as long as I’m still there for them to help and I don’t do any harm to others, then I am still being a good person.”
Nonetheless, “I think the key to have a happy life and happy relationship is to be true. No one will accept you except ‘you’. Just live a life that you love and be with the person who loves you and accepts you for who you are,” Drew said.
For Drew, “the best thing for me in this relationship is you can be whoever you want to be. Just be you and be happy with the person who makes you really happy. Just love whatever life has to offer. My girlfriend is with me in this journey.”
“I’m just happy to be with someone that I love and I’m comfortable with,” Rorie ended.