DISCLAIMER: This is a piece of literary fiction, any similarity to anyone living, or dead, or somewhere in between, is purely coincidental and unintentional.
Once upon a time, there was a wide-eyed young twink called Goldilocks, not because he had golden blonde hair, but because his name was Godofredo Oro. Goldilocks also had an unnatural affinity for trouble, and his curious wanderings oftentimes led him to less than savory situations which his parents did not exactly approve of: Daddy and Mommy Oro (Businesspeople with contracts with government, both) were more than a little concerned that their bright, gay boy has been getting himself into trouble by frequenting places of ill repute. More than once, he was busted by his parents (and accordingly grounded) because he would get involved with the “fast and loose” set who partied in “Celsius” or “Consulate” or whatever hip little bar was during the vibrant, hedonistic late 1990s/early 2000s. He even had his face splashed all over the metro’s newspapers at one point, when he was one of the many people arrested and held for lewd behavior when “Group Showers”, a “Gentleman’s” bath house, was raided by the police.
Owing to their child’s wild streak, Daddy and Mommy Oro sent him off to some obscure retreat in the United States of America (Being former polestars of the Marcos era, and one of the very few “power couples” to ever survive the cultural upheaval that followed the EDSA Revolution, this is not at all difficult to do). Being appropriately well-to-do, young Goldilocks was safely (and discreetly) ensconced in the delightfully toney borough called Sta. Monica, in Southern California; far from the rest of his countrymen somewhere out there in places with names like Covina… City of Industry… Fullerton… Where there were growing Filipino communities which raise the risk of him being identified as an Oro.
Daddy and Mommy Oro rationalized that little Goldilocks couldn’t do much damage being so far away, even when they realized later on that they placed him in such close proximity to Gay Central: West Hollywood. But they figured this would be a more acceptable solution than letting Goldilocks stay in Manila and stand to bring more shame and humiliation to the family.
For our twinkish hero, however, he was in heaven! Here he was, just barely legal, and living within minutes from WeHo! It was almost too good to be true! He immediately got to work, and work he did, earning himself a great amount of notoriety along Santa Monica Blvd. (And sometimes hopping over to the Silverlake neighborhood along Melrose) He was on fire. All the bartenders at Mickey’s knew him by name and always welcomed him with open arms, and a fair number of them with open flies. Yes, our little Goldilocks have gained THAT kind of a reputation, but it didn’t matter much: he was young, he was well-liked, and above all: he was rich. Never mind the fact that the money Daddy and Mommy Oro sent over were from less than legal means (As is always the case in the Philippines). So Goldilocks went his merry way, making new friends and living the Filipino-American dream, that of a well-heeled bachelor with a loft in Sta. Monica.
This all changed when Daddy Oro suddenly suffered a stroke and died. Which in itself wouldn’t be too bad… But this being the Philippines, of course it was subsequently leaked that good ol’ Daddy Oro, was playing Daddy to a young, up and coming matinee idol, who made a name for himself as an expert in mining for, well… Oro. In fact, it was later leaked to the gay grapevine that Daddy Oro suffered the stroke and died while playing “Hide the Sausage” with said matinee idol in the company fitness center. Thus, Goldilocks finds himself on the plane bound for Manila. At a loss of what to do after being away from the country for so long, he now pushes these thoughts to the back of his mind as he tried to endure the long-haul flight in the national flag carrier’s first class cabin, sipping a glass of bubbly. Mommy Oro insisted, no, demanded that young Goldilocks return to the Philippines immediately, her voice was so full of authority that Goldilocks had to stop blowing this built quarterback and listen to his mother’s shrill voice as he screened her call in his loft. He called her back the next day to tell her that he will be on the next plane bound for Manila after the quarterback finished his breakfast and went back to his dorm at UCLA.
His mother did tell him about the less than kosher conditions of his Father’s death, about which he wasn’t really surprised at all. He had always wondered why his Father kept such attractive bodyguards about him, and the same has not gone unnoticed by the very staff in his office. He would walk from one place to the next with a veritable Roman phalanx of well-built, ruggedly handsome men he all bought gym memberships for… Using the corporate credit card. He also remembered that time when he caught his Father red-handed, handling something rather red in the men’s restroom at “The Quad”. He got himself a new car for his silence.
Goldilocks didn’t hate Daddy Oro, he in fact loved him dearly, but the conditions of his death presented a problem: This could very well end his wonderful days in the US with the never-ending stream of men he has grown accustomed to entertaining. This meant going back to a repressive society, where his name alone guarantees that he will never have a moment’s peace should he continue being gayer than sunshine. Before he knew it, the heat of Manila greeted him as he exited the doors of the plane where two of his Father’s bodyguards stood, patiently waiting for him. He lazily handed his cabin bag to one of them and walked ahead through the tube towards the airport.
Goldilocks couldn’t remember much about the wake, only that it was bizarre seeing Daddy Oro lying inside his coffin, and a certain matinee idol who was conspicuously absent. He marveled at how Manila society turned up for Daddy Oro’s funeral when they had almost nothing to do with their old “Blue Lady” friends during their Cambridge Circle days in Forbes Park. The stream of people lining up to pay their respects to Daddy Oro seemed endless, and so was his Mommy (viuda de) Oro’s energy. She was far from hysterical; in fact, she handled herself with impeccable composure. Goldilocks recognized none of them, even their professed relatives and other “close friends” of his father who shook his hand, offered their condolences, and gave him a naughty wink.
Everybody knows, he thinks, not without a hint of amusement.
To be continued…