Robbie recalls first seeing Timmy’s picture in 2007 (“I think,” he smiled) when the two first met online “first via Friendster and then through Multiply, and finally through Facebook. We started ‘poking’ one another on Facebook, and that went on almost every day for two months,” Robbie said.
Finally, Robbie asked Timmy on private message if they could meet soon. “We both agreed to meet on November 3, 2008. I didn’t want to appear excited so I made him wait since I knew he was with his colleagues from a Catholic university at the old Magnolia House along Aurora Blvd. in Quezon City. We eventually met and drove to a watering hole closer to my area of San Juan.”
“He picked me up at the old Magnolia House… after we agreed to meet for drinks. I remember being so amused, so happy with Robbie at Moksha as I gulped one mojito after another. It was a happy Happy Hour!” Timmy smiled.
At the end of that first date, “I asked my driver to take him home afterwards because I didn’t want to appear too eager beaver to be with him,” Robbie recalled.
For Robbie, the feelings they had for each other grew in time, so that eventually, “we started to travel the country, and then the world in the years that followed after that first meeting at the old Magnolia House.”
Both their “love and passion for travel helps our relationship grow since we go through the highs and lows of seeing different places, tasting different food, and meeting all kinds of people as a couple,” Robbie said. The two even bungee jumped together in Whistler, BC Canada – an experience Robbie said was “an exhilarating rush that we both shared that even cemented our relationship that only a death defying jump could.”
Having been together for years now, Robbie considers as the best thing in their relationship how “we work well together professionally and as a couple. Of course we have our arguments, but I guess that’s part and parcel of having a partner or being in a relationship,” he said. “He makes me feel grounded while I help him become more of an extrovert since he isn’t as gregarious as my personality is,” he added, laughing. “I am his Yin and he is my Yang.”
And the best thing about the relationship for Timmy? “(It is) easy to pack for trips and wander because we can easily borrow each other’s clothes,” he laughed.
Being in a gay relationship poses no different challenges than other relationships, said Robbie. “Our biggest challenge is no different from straight relationships. Nothing out of the ordinary,” he said.
Timmy, nonetheless, is cognizant of the disadvantaged situation of LGBT couples. “Unlike straight couples who can file for tax exemptions in their income tax returns (ITR), Robbie and I can’t. We can’t even enjoy each other’s medical benefits because our pro-creative society is just not kind to us hardworking, taxpaying ‘single’ men and women,” he said.
“Single”, of course, remains the classification of LGBT Filipinos even if they are in relationships because these relationships are not legally recognized.
Robbie and Timmy have numerous plans, though – in the words of Robbie – they want to focus on what are realistic. “We are trying to focus on the realistic ones like putting up a business together, as well as continue traveling the world together,” he said.
“And cook a feast for our friends who are always there to celebrate with us,” Timmy added.
And with that, there’s the constant celebration of what started five years ago at the old Magnolia House along Aurora Blvd. in Quezon City.