June 28, 29, and 30 of every year is the famous “fiesta” of “Apung Iro” / San Pedro / Saint Peter in Apalit, Pampanga.

As always during the “Visperas,” I was there with a small group of relatives and friends and we visited every single family which invited us.  That meant eating in every single house that we visited, which wasn’t a bad deal at all, because the tables of all Apalitenos, humble or prosperous, all have good food.

It brought back a funny memory…

In one of those “fiestas,” my group included a good friend — a particularly pedigreed, affluent, elegant, gracious, and witty gentleman with impeccable taste in Everything — who just happened to be gay.  He spoke with a fashionable contralto and had the poise of a Parisian princess in a Cristobal Balenciaga gown.  Indeed, we friends referred to him as “The Duchess of Windsor.”    

In one prosperous house that we visited, a six year old boy, clad in a tank top, shorts, and slippers, came up to us, pointed to him repeatedly, and squealed excitedly:  “Bakla!!!  Bakla!!!  Bakla!!!”  [ “Fag!!!  Fag!!!  Fag!!!” ]

Good Friend looked at him askance and lifted one eyebrow.  Then He continued fanning himself [ most elegantly ] with his antique ivory Spanish fan and chatting graciously with the other guests.

The little boy kept up his politically-incorrect catcalls:  “Bakla!!!  Bakla!!!  Bakla!!!”

Good Friend breathed deeply and glared at the little boy briefly.  He resumed fanning himself and chatting.

As we were leaving, the little boy squealed even more at Good Friend:  “Bakla!!!  Bakla!!!  Bakla!!!” 

Good Friend decided to give “as good as it gets” and with his arms akimbo, squealed back at the little boy:  “CHE!!!  BAKLA KA RIN PAGLAKI MO!!!”  [ “SHUSH!!!  YOU’LL BE A FAG TOO WHEN YOU GROW UP!!! ]

The little boy was shocked and cried out loud, loud, loud!!!

Everybody Laughed.



  1. November 13, 2007 at 7:07 pm

    Tito Toto,

    That’s what I told to my classmate when I was still in 6th grade… LOL!!!…


  2. zippo said,

    July 1, 2007 at 12:20 pm

    I have always taught my children to respect other people notwithstanding their beliefs and orientations. As long as my child grows up to be respectful, trustworthy, and honorable, I will be happy no matter what his or her choice of sexual orientation.

    What use is it to have a straight child who grows up to be a thief, liar, cheat, or murderer?

    Z 🙂

  3. chong mo said,

    July 1, 2007 at 10:15 am

    Kids really have to guided when it comes to these things. When my kids saw a poster of a certain candidate for the Senate, they said they wouldn’t vote for him because he looks like a “bayot” (bakla in bisaya). I thought it was just an isolated incident till I heard another 9 year old say the same thing.

    Either the make up artist got carried away during the photo shoot or the software guys overused the airbrush on the poster.

  4. July 1, 2007 at 5:11 am


    Your comment reminded me of one of Good Friend’s classic quips:

    “He used to be into Barbies… Now, he’s into Ken.”


    Toto Gonzalez

  5. Meggy said,

    June 30, 2007 at 4:04 pm

    That is sad. When my son was in the 5th grade, there were name callings. One girl followed him home, he never reacted. It was like a Tag call. He told me and his Dad, that he’s not gay. it’s because he’s well-mannered and had avoided those kind of people, he was perceived as BAKLA too.

    He told me “Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me.”

    He turned out to be a fine gentleman, now on his 2nd year at Princeton University.

  6. gino said,

    June 30, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    a classmate of mine was in a similar situation way back in grade school. a naughty little boy would yell “Bakla, bakla!” at him all the time. this would happen at the corridor leading to the cafeteria every lunch break…

    Several years after, that little boy is no longer a boy… he now likes boys.

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