3 Life Lessons LoveYourself Taught Me
Much has been said about volunteerism. And Filipinos as we are, we have seen volunteerism at its best. But I never saw a specific community, like the MSM group, to be so strong and intact in a noble cause that has affected the whole world: HIV. Thanks for LoveYourself Inc. for showing me what volunteerism is all about.
I started having sex when I was 18 years old. Now I am 23. And the only idea that I had before was sex is equivalent to heaven. It WAS true. Then I woke up one day seeing my friend list on Facebook like a pendulum. As Danton Remoto posted on his Facebook before that the MSM community is akin to a pendulum of love and death. Other die because of HIV while others are married. True enough, almost every month I see condolences from friends to an unlikely death of another. True enough, I’ve seen the message of congratulations for the full realization of same-sex marriage in the Philippines…to say the least. These are all TRUE and these must be ENOUGH.
I realized that there was more than reaching orgasm. And that is reaching out to the people in need through the organization.
Until I decided to join LoveYourself Movement with my boyfriend. We said that as partners, we must be role models for the MSM community and help them by whatever means we can. And now that LoveYourself is celebrating their 3 years of existence, I want to share 3 things that I have learned from it.
With Vinn Pagtakhan during the TLY Mid-Year Assembly.
3 life lessons LoveYourself taught me.
LoveYourself Inc. taught me to DARE.
LoveYourself dared me to be who I really am: GAY. The vehemence of the word gay turned out to be something positive rather than the otherwise. Before I was hesitant to tell the world of what I am. But now, together with the united volunteers of LoveYourself, I can proudly say that I am gay with a purpose for the common good. And in the process of knowing one’s self, I am able to love myself first and pay it forward to others especially for those who are in need.
Photo of Kraus Istanislao during the TLY Anglo Opening.
LoveYourself Inc. taught me to CARE
We don’t just take good care of ourselves. We also take care of other people. LoveYourself Inc. showed me that caring for one another pays the message forward. From a number of volunteers, LoveYourself exponentially grew making it as one of the biggest volunteerism-based advocacy group for MSM. Even though we know that a vision of an HIV-free Philippines is still so far-fetched, we still work and care.
LoveYourself Inc. taught me to SHARE
You cannot give what you don’t have. But you can definitely give a hundredfold of what you have for those who are in need. LoveYourself Inc. instills in me the good in sharing. Sharing not just of material things that but also skills, talents and especially time. We are not just here to share the joy. We are also here for you to have someone share you sorrows with. And LoveYourself will still catch more sorrows more than ever.
Even though my boyfriend (Andrae) and I are just 4 months in LoveYourself, we have indeed strengthened our relationship by following the core values that we’ve learned. And surely, for the next years to come, we will be able to encourage and even inspire young and vibrant gay men to join in the noble cause for the MSM. And maybe, just maybe, we can make this vision fully realized.
And by the way, you will get unlimited hugs from your fellow Lovers (that’s what we call members of LoveYourself} in every event that you attend. It’s so therapeutic, I must say.
The volunteers of LoveYourself.
Want to be a volunteer? Click here.
Want to be tested? Click here.
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3 Life Lessons LoveYourself Taught Me
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