Sep 11, 2016

Gilbert was only eight months old when his mother, Ma. Christina “Elang” (14) left him to his grandfather, Ilong (41), so she could find a job and help Ilong nurture Gilbert. But Elang was not able to go back, as she got pregnant by another man. Thus, Ilong nurtures Gilbert alone while working as a handyman along his humble house in Barrio Obrero, Tondo, Manila. There, Ilong is known as a bruiser, gangster, and a tough man. Nobody dares to fight with Ilong, and even the kids in his hometown are afraid of him. As Gilbert grows up, Ilong gets older and feebler that he cannot work well and sustain their everyday needs. He usually borrows money from his neighbor so Gilbert can continue his studies and they could have food on their table. While growing up, Gilbert’s actions are becoming more effeminate. He softens his voice and he tightens his shirts to show his waist, while playing with his gay neighbor friend, Andoy. At first, Gilbert keeps this secret from his grandfather because he is afraid of his reaction. However, Ilong notices Gilbert’s effeminacy oftentimes, but he does not want to accept it. Up until Gilbert finishes his studies in grade school and high school. Ilong eventually accepts Gilbert’s effeminate nature. After Gilbert’s graduation from high school, Ilong (59) told Gilbert (17) with pain in his eyes that he could not afford to send him to college because of his frail health. Eager to finish his studies, Gilbert searches for ways to finance his studies. Fortunately, he was accepted in Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM), a public university, and he got financial assistance from his academic organizations and close friends in high school. After 4 years, he graduates with the degree Bachelor of Science in Accounting, and later he passed the CPA Board Exam.



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