adobo, adobo

March 5, 2005 at 9:38 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

we were at the reception dinner for our swedish friends last thursday night, and rocketman was boozing the night away when he got a phone call. the place was at the rooftop of fersal near sulo hotel, and the air was thick with the banter of drunk people, so i wasn’t really paying attention to rocketman’s conversation. but i distinctly noticed him chiding the person on the other end of the line, at one point using the phrase ‘adobo, adobo na naman’.

i didn’t really pay much attention to what the heck he was saying until he put the phone down and turned to me and asked me if i knew what ‘adobo, adobo’ meant. i said no, and he told me it was all about the familiarity of staying with the same thing. or, apparently in gayspeak, the same person.

i figured it out just now. adobo is the easiest pinoy meal to cook, a staple in most households with a need for quick meals and an easy dish. i remember that my mom makes adobo at least twice a week, in fact, almost everytime she cooks, it’s always adobo.

rocketman says it’s gayspeak for exclusivity, to connnote the boredom and the familiarity of sticking to one.

what really got to me was the subsequent, albeit brief exchange we had about it. ‘do you go for exclusivity?’ the tipsy, gabby rocketman asked me.

looking down and not wanting to really confront him, i said yes. of course. i want my guy to stay with me. i want loyalty, faithfulness, and monogamy.

‘that’s what i used to say,’ said rocketman. the declaration was jaded, resigned. i ignored it.

but it got me thinking again. enteng always tells me that my standards are too far-fetched, idealistic or worse, intellectualized. is my position therefore unrealistic? is it really impossible to find a committed relationship in which you can expect your partner to stay with you?

for a single gay guy like me in his late 20s, does that mean i have to give up some in order to get some? is my ideal of a faithful, monogamous relationship a non-negotiable position? or, does it mean i have to give that up just so i can get out of the ‘meet market’? is it the only way i can stop people from thinking i’m too uptight and conservative? do i have to say ‘yeah, cheating is okay’ just so i can convince people i’m not a member of the right-wing homo club?

on the other hand it got me to think. are gay guys naturally polygamous just like their straight counterpart? to be gay and committed to an open partnership (or more likely, one in which you look the other way when your partner cheats) — is that necessarily better than having no one at all?

it looks to me like consenting to that attitude plays into the machismo of straight men who justify their cheating by saying ‘boys will be boys’. derisively calling a monogamous relationship between two gay guys as an ‘adobo’ relationship — boring and familiar — seems to imply that one almost expects gay lovers to cheat on each other like it’s the most natural thing in the world. that’s precisely the mindset that allows for straight men to get away with asserting their hegemony in our social structures and the power relationship between the sexes. i can’t believe there are gay people who think that attitude is correct, or at least even tolerable.

and i have to admit i am scared of nothing worse than catching my imaginary lover in bed with someone else. especially if it’s with someone i know. because i know i would do everything i could to make sure i never cheat.

so does it mean i’m single because i haven’t grounded my expectations of how gay relationships should be? if a relationship between two gay guys necessarily includes tolerating cheating, then does it mean i’m doomed to fight windmills for a very long time until i give up this notion that cheating is okay as long as i know he loves me at the end of the day?

i’m not ready nor am i willing to believe that now. so what if i not only expect, but demand loyalty? so what if what i want looks boring and trite and unexciting? so what if what i want seems so routine and dreadfully familiar? i believe every gay guy i know secretly wants the same thing, but they just let the jaded voice take over to hide the hidden yearning inside.

but my voice is out there. it’s in the vibe i give out. it’s the vibe that hopefully says i’m good enough. i’m a good catch. don’t fuck with me because i’m not your five-minute guy. i can put out and get out in the blink of an eye, but don’t ever think that’s all what i’m about.

perci once said in a conversation a few months back how he’d never tolerate it if his boyfriend were to cheat on him. and then he quickly adds how it would be okay if he cheated, just as long as he isn’t found. so is that how it goes for all other gay guys as well? i am yet to meet any gay guy in a stable, committed long-term relationship, so any proof to the contrary would be nice.

as i’ve said before, i think my natural dispensation against infidelity is borne out of the fact that my own dad used to cheat on my mom a lot. i don’t want my man doing the same thing to me. i know what it’s like to wait for someone who’s not coming back because he’s found someone else. it’s not a wall i consciously set up, but it’s just there.

if a guy can’t climb over that wall, that barier, meet that standard — keep his eyes away from wandering and his pants from dropping in front of someone else — then that’s just too bad. he wouldn’t know what he’ll be missing with me.

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  1. for me, the beauty of gay relationships is that we don’t have any concrete models to which we could base our relationships on. this way, we could start what we have from the ground up. intellectual essays such as “adobo, adobo” provides the opportunity to look at relationships in different angles. kudos and keep it coming.–>


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