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Sep 11

A personal reflection

It’s not my practice to be particularly personal in this blog, but since the main subjects I cover are politics and history, the personal must necessarily inform the political and historical thoughts (and positions) of a person.

I am a writer. To write is my primary calling in life; I write different things. I write speeches and manifestos, which are varieties of propaganda. I write essays, which, if not necessarily achieving the level of art, aspire to be artful while avoiding excessive artifice. On the whole, however, the write pursues his craft -requiring perpetual honing, and constant learning, and most of all, means and vehicles for publication- only when the writer is free to write what he truly believes, in his own voice, while also earning his daily bread, which requires assuming the voices of others. What does this mean? To write my column and this blog, other essays and pieces in various publications, I must be free to say what I want, in the manner I prefer. At the same time, there are times I write in order to help express the views of others, for example in speeches commissioned by others, in manifestos expressing the consensus arrived at by groups, in editorials defining an institutional position. If there is no freedom, none of these things is possible, particularly when it comes to the kind of writing in which I specialize; if there is a price to be paid, for writing either what I believe or others want to express, I will be among the first to pay that price, either due to attempts at censorship, restricting expression, or silencing those upon whom I depend to earn a living. To write requires the ability to inspire, provoke, offend, denounce, praise, vilify and question. Anything that attempts to impede the reason for being of the writer -to put pen to paper, to create- is the enemy of the writer.

I am adopted. This means my identity has been given me not by accident, but deliberate choice, which means in a sense, a stronger, but also more fragile, identity. I am who -and what- I am, but I am more and often less, than who others think that I am. If I were patient enough for philosophy, the many questions of being -as defined by myself, as defined by my family, as defined by others who would impose their views as to the insufficiency, even improbability, at times, in their views, the unsuitability, of the identity defined by my family and myself, would make for a fascinating exercise. But I am not philosophical by nature. My primary experience has been the nurturing of family, the supportive identification made by my family, my own personal search for meaning and heritage that has been more questioning and at times, more complicated, than the experiences of my family members. The cocoon of family nurturing has been punctured time and again by the harsh judgments of outsiders, who would not grant to me, what is only my family’s to give. It has been a constant, and at times painful, though as I grow older increasingly less painful, lesson how fleeting and transitional people’s identifications can be, how superficial they often are, and how one person’s, and even a family’s, reality is so easily either accepted or denounced by others. Anything, anyone, who would deny someone adopted what is only their adoptive family’s to define, and give -is the enemy of the adopted child.

I am Gay. This makes me a member of a minority judged, vilified, misunderstood, and persecuted by those who claim to possess the right to judge others and impose their judgments on others. To live and love as a Gay person is to resist, fight, and denounce those who would deny you the ability to pursue your own ways and means of finding affection. In the realm of religion, this requires the defense of a secular society that accords me the rights and protection religion would deny me; and yet, having experienced both the good and bad that religion can inspire in others, it requires of me a healthy respect and desire for dialogue. Anything and anyone who would restrict the human and political rights of a Gay person, is the enemy of the Gay person.

I am a former drug addict. The preeminent lesson this teaches someone is that weaknesses and cravings are monumental aspects not only of the human condition, but of individual experience. To experience addiction is to realize there are false and true friends; that in the end, one’s best friend and enemy is one’s self; that one is neither a basket case nor superhuman, and that life is sometimes best lived out one day at a time, and at other times, lived with a conscious effort made to neither flee the past, or shrink from the future, and that embracing the present is only a good thing when one’s judgment is not impaired. Those who would judge, rather than assist, who on the other hand, condone but do not strive to correct, are unworthy to be called people.

I am a burn survivor. I have been near death; I have suffered injuries; I bear the scars of that experience. I must carry through life both physical and mental traumas, but also the experience of having received compassionate help from people: friends, family, even strangers; much more so, the knowledge that pain will pass, suffering will abate, but also that there are life-defining moments for each one of us. This means a healthy appreciation of the role both human science and inscrutable fate plays in the lives of individuals and whole societies. Anything, or anyone, who does not promote compassion, and who thinks this shouldn’t be one of the most cherished and creative forces in society, is someone I cannot fully respect.

All these things make it clear to me that there are certain things I hate: I hate, most of all, the tyranny of the majority, the dictatorship of ideology and religion, most especially when its dogma is aided by force of arms and the mob mentality. History teaches me that neither fascism nor communism has ever made room for my kind; experience has demonstrated to me, that those who do not think, or who think they have the answers to everything, as every bit as cruel -and crueler still, in many cases- than those they claim to dislike as either morally, politically, or socially inferior. While I admire the powerful force for good that organizations, parties, religions and states can be, I loathe the force for oppression, persecution, destruction and exploitation that by nature, they also tend to be. I have seen the best and worst all walks of life have to offer, and do not trust those who would impose change by force -but I recognize that change is not only inevitable, it is healthy, it is necessary, it must be encouraged, for to thwart change is to begin its mutation into a force for evil and not good. I recognize there is good and evil, that the evil may become good, and the good often fail to realize when they have become evil. To me, debate, discussion, an abiding curiosity and a discomfort with certainties, are what, in the end, help to achieve the only real goal we should have in life: a society where compassion between individuals rules, and in which certainties, that lead to inflexible moral and political hierarchies, do not.

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  1. X.

    Manolo, God loves each one of us more than it is apparent. All we need to do is to claim that love now more than ever.

  2. Major Tom

    This is such a brave step towards genuineness and honesty Mr. Quezon and I bow to this pureness of thought. The sharpness of reason and the fluidity of thought reminds me of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s “Notes From The Underground”, which circumstances by the way, continue to remind us readers that you are one of the major stalwart of literature in our country nowadays. More power to you.

  3. mingoy2005

    sleeping with…

    but a phone call by no less than the highest official of the land to a comelec official hand picked by her, inquiring about “pagpapataas” during the counting of votes, will cast great doubts on the honesty of teh electoral process. Let say she really did win, but can you blame people for doubting the authenticity of the result with what was revealed by the Garci tapes.

  4. gari

    whoah! wala lang.
    kakaiba. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. fencesitter

    just like the rest, i found my eyes with mist while reading this post.How i wish i can be as brave as you are.

    God Bless!

  6. ab.

    Manolo, everyone is bisexual anyway! So it’s no big deal.

  7. The Antagonist

    A public non-issue as i believe it shouldn’t be a point of discussion afterall, but it is a very admirable task of sharing your true self to many people who read your blog, sans hesitation of the setbacks it may cause. I will not brand the action as a courageous stance. I believe you were never afraid of the truth. Writers indeed should be agents of truth that reflects from within. Your truthfulness leads you to more creative ways of expressing and inspiring other people who believes in you and the things you write about.

    Aja!

  8. kofranks

    Mabuhay ka Manolo!

  9. Red Blooded Pinoy Male

    Hey ab. (message # 56) I disagree. Either you’re gay or you’re straight. But you wouldn’t understand that now would you? Coz you’re gay.

  10. zerline

    hi mlq3!

    for the record, i look up to you not because of your name but because of the insights i get, so honest and so original.
    now, i think i understand where all that comes from.

    your being an adopted child is a non-issue.
    but having said that, your parents raised you well.

    as for critics, here’s what theodore roosevelt has to say about them-
    it is not the critic who counts;
    not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better.
    the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena;
    whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
    who strives valiantly;
    who errs and comes short again and again;
    who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause;
    who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement;
    and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly;
    so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

    you are a good man mlq3 and you shall always have my respect.
    God bless you.

  11. pinaywriter

    I am glad you have a voice and that you exercise constantly and consistently.

    Stay with it, we need your voice, for those of us who can not articulate what we feel, or need from your gov’t. You are our voice.

    You have our thanks and gratitude. Remain true to this.

    Gay? Adopted? These are labels, what is important is the person underneath.

  12. Choy

    hi mlq3!i may not agree with some of your opinions, but i keep coming back here because you run a good, tight ship of ideas, outlooks and punditry. you express your thoughts with clarity, wisdom and authority. you are much younger than i, but i must confess i am one of your many admirers.

    mabuhay ka! and i hope you stay clear of politics. you’re much too valuable to us where you are. god bless!

  13. smooth

    idol kita. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. zero sum

    Wow. Man, this is powerful stuff. That’s really putting it out there. We’re grateful for this rare glimpse of the rich, complex human being behind the keen political analyst we’ve grown to respect. I salute you, sir, and I wish you well.

  15. roy

    bravo.

  16. har

    Manolo:

    here’s one for those critics –

    “The world is full of people who establish their worth by degrading others. They have pockets & purses full of put-downs — and they’ll hand them to anyone. If the end will bring me out all right, what is said against me will not amount to anything.”

  17. chac

    You are blooming where you are planted. God loves you and that’s what matter most. Your articles continue to touch my life and that’s why i visit your blogs as often as i can. I thank God for creating you unique and different from me because i learn from you. Thank you for living to the very purpose why God have created you ๐Ÿ™‚ and that’s making this life a little better.

  18. charles

    MLQ3,

    I really admire your bravery and honesty not to mention your intellect and wisdom.

    Saludo ako sa yo.

  19. ikong

    ito lamang ang masasabi ko: mabuhay ka!

  20. nina

    i admire your honesty…if you can be honest, you can also be brave…
    maybe you had been asked one too many times as to when are you gonna get married or why aren’t you married…

    i wish i could do the same…NOT!

  21. dennis

    i was a classmate from a history class at diliman and have been reading your columns and listening to your commentaries. this is the best i have read/heard so far. continue to soar to greater heights!

  22. Arbet

    Being honest, being true to oneself, these are signs of courage. Be strong.

    Bravo, MLQ3!More power.

  23. acidboy

    only idiots, the worst kind, judge people by their preferences and appearances. consider yourself lucky that you are somewhat spared a bit from dealing with more of these kind of people than us “normal” ones who finds it hard to distinguish these neanderthals.

  24. Rank Merida

    I am not a writer, neither am I adopted. But finally Manolo and I have something in common – being member of a minority. I am an atheist.

  25. Sidney

    You are courageous and honest !
    Be strong! People like you are needed in the Philippines.
    God bless you !

  26. Rocky

    Every time ideas and convictions like yours find their way into someone’s computer and chips away at his biases and prejudices, the world becomes a little bit brighter. Thank you.

  27. domokun

    MLQ for president!

  28. Gigi

    Just like Carlos (above in comments), I’ve just read your post and am sitting here absolutely stunned, floored, amazed, stupefied, and in absolute awe. Of your courage, honesty, brilliance, insight, strength, and will to live (to truly live, not merely exist). I’m also certain I’m missing a gazillion adjectives here.

    All I can really say is: thank you. The only way we can ever try to rid this world of ignorance, fear, hypocrisy, and prejudice is to educate and enlighten; you do that each time you write.

  29. Christopher Sundita

    Congrats, man. ๐Ÿ™‚

    –Chris

  30. Jonathan Balsamo

    congratulations!
    Finally you came out in print – on-line pa!!!
    Gud luck!

  31. EAgoncillo

    my former boss (boss ko parin ba?)
    and my barkada (naku siniksik ba naman ang sarili, feeling no!)

    first time kitang makita, eh birthday mo sa Peking Garden, (circa 2000 C.E.) siempre dinala ako ng aking BOIPS na si Tiger!

    naku mag sesentimyento sana ako pero, pero wag nalang! basta, you had me at hello my friend! siempre na istar-struck ako noh! heheheeh!

    love your column!

    yung reese’s pieces ko?

  32. ab.

    red-blooded pinoy male (kuno)

    apparently you live inside a cave that you haven’t met any bisexuals. you want me to out all the bisexuals in the philippines, huh? you would be surprised. idiot.

  33. Vida

    Your truthfulness, sense of self, and passion is something I admire and applaud. You are an inspiration!

  34. Tets

    such honesty inspires all the others to speak up and be true to themselves as well. i applaud you. continue opening more doors. ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. miya

    REAL HAPPINESS CAN ONLY BE ATTAINED IF YOU FREE YOURSELF FROM FEAR, WANT, AND HATE. AS LONG AS THERE HATERS, HATRED WILL EVOLVE, SPREAD, AND RUIN.

    THOSE WHO HATE PARLORISTAS SHOULD REALLY THINK AGAIN- YOU GUYS ARE WORSE THAN HOMOPHOBES FOR YOU MALIGN AND MARGINALIZE THE ALREADY MALIGNED, MARGINALIZED INDIVIDUALS.

    THE ENEMY OF YOUR ENEMY SHOULD BE YOUR FRIEND. YOUR EXPERIENCES AS HOMOSEXUALS, IF YOU GUYS ARE, ARE NO DIFFERENT TO PARLORISTAS’- HOMOPHOBIA IS ON YOUR FACES AND THEIRS.

  36. miya

    REAL HAPPINESS CAN ONLY BE ATTAINED IF YOU FREE YOURSELF FROM FEAR, WANT, AND HATE. AS LONG AS THERE ARE HATERS, HATRED WILL EVOLVE, SPREAD, AND RUIN.

    THOSE WHO HATE PARLORISTAS SHOULD REALLY THINK AGAIN- YOU GUYS ARE WORSE THAN HOMOPHOBES FOR YOU MALIGN AND MARGINALIZE THE ALREADY MALIGNED, MARGINALIZED INDIVIDUALS.

    THE ENEMY OF YOUR ENEMY SHOULD BE YOUR FRIEND. YOUR EXPERIENCES AS HOMOSEXUALS, IF YOU GUYS ARE, ARE NO DIFFERENT TO PARLORISTAS’- HOMOPHOBIA IS ON YOUR FACES AND THEIRS.

  37. ALWYN CRUZ

    ANG GALING! Matagal na akong tagahanga mo. Sabi ko nga sa mga kaibigan ko – kung tatakbo ka for public office…iboboto kita!

  38. Dexter | Techathand.net

    What an honest blog of yourself… For sure that If you will run for Senator .. I will support you. God Bless

  39. irma

    Sucks the line of Quezons ended… haha

Fetch more comments

  1. manila gay guy is your manila gay guide » Blog Archive » Gay Idol: Manuel L. Quezon III

    […] One of the more prominent intellectuals of our time, with a name everybody recognizes, is gay. Manuel L. Quezon III, Manolo for some, or MLQ3 as he is popularly referred to, reveals it himself in his blog. He mentions this alongside being adopted, a former drug addict, and a burn victim. More from his blog: […]

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