Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Good Morning!

I woke at 5am today and felt extra extraordinarily happy. I felt that this day is going to be a good one.

I took advantage of the optimistic energy I have and started the day washing my car. Then I had a small breakfast and send a good morning message to all my loving friends.

I feel so lucky that I am surrounded by so much love. It’s an overwhelming feeling that words are not enough to explain it.

If you get this sort of feeling when you wake up in the morning, take advantage of it because in a cynical world, days such as this one rarely come.

I love you all.

Good morning!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Friday night and revelations

It was a Friday night and Joshua invited me to go out and unwind. We went to Malate with another friend, Carlo. I seldom go out and go to places such as Malate but being someone of a friendly nature, I am not surprised to expect and see friends their.

Beside the table we were seated, outside this bar called “O”, I saw Didit, One of my very close friends in UP. Didit and I were dorm mates. He just arrived a few weeks back from UAE, Dubai, I suppose. He was a fashion designer there but was imprisoned for posting his design and promoting his company’s brand online. But he’s back and we’re both glad he’s safe. He is with his lifetime partner that night. I joked about how our circle of friends have “series of unfortunate events”. Then he asked what my unfortunate event. I told him I don’t see it as an unfortunate event, really. And then I told him I am two year old Poz. He was surprised to here my news but kept that “I-am-ok-you‘re-ok-it-doesn’t-matter-because-we’re-friends” smile in his face. Then we hugged and said good night.

I was reintroduced to Kana. He’s Joshua’s friend who work for the European Union (EU). EU is one of the entities represented in the Country Coordinating Mechanism of Global Fund to the Philippines. Global Fund funds the program fighting to eradicate Tuberculosis, Malaria and HIV. I first met Kana at a gathering where I was invited by a close friend also working in the same advocacy. Kana is a nice, smart guy with a beautiful smile. We talked about HIV/ AIDS issues in the Philippines, fundings and stuff about marriage. He stayed with us until we called it an evening.

Then after a while, I saw Yayo. Another good friend, a dorm mate and a classmate back in UP, again. He smile broadened when he saw me. We hugged asked how each other’s doing. I said I am working as full time advocate against HIV/ AIDS. He said that’s cool and told me that he got tested and was negative. I told him I got my self tested to… then he asked for my results. I said I tested positive. I knew he was shocked with my revelation but was very supportive. He hugged me again and commented that I look healthy. I responded saying I’ve always been healthy. And we laughed. We talked for a while about his plans and my plans. He then told me that he needed my help because he has a friend who was recently diagnosed to be positive. I said I am all willing to help. Then he introduced me to another friend.

Rendell is a nice guy. Based on the way he talk, the way he approached me, I got the impression that he’s more intelligent than an average guy. We chatted a while about how I am willing to help their newly diagnosed friend, what sort of set-up would be ideal on meeting his friend and the fact that Yayo is still single. Without censorship,, he told me that I have a yellow aura and that my numerology number is 5. I asked what’s that supposed to mean. He said he is not sure but that’s what he sees in me. He also said that he sees the color green, like a leaf. And he thinks it represents money. I joked and said that I hope what he’s saying is true as we need money to fund out upcoming projects in the advocacy. We chatted a little more and bid farewell.

I was curious about what Rendell told me so I searched the net for the meaning of auras and numerologies. I came to a website called: and this is what I found…

A yellow aura means joy, freedom, non-attachment, freeing or releasing vital forces. People who glow yellow are full of inner joy, very generous and not attached to anything. Yellow halo around the head: high spiritual development. A signature of a spiritual teacher. Do not accept spiritual teachings from anyone who does not have such a yellow halo. Buddha and Christ had yellow halos extending to their arms. Today it is rare on Earth to find a person with a halo larger than 1 inch. Yellow halo appears as a result of a highly active brow chakra (which can be seen glowing with violet by many people at my workshops). Highly spiritual people stimulate the brow chakra continuously for many years, because they always have intensive spiritual thoughts in their minds. When this chakra is observed when highly active, a yellow (Auric pair) halo appears around it, surrounding the entire head. Yellow thought indicates a moment of joy and contentment.

Then another website called defined some interesting facts about the characteristics of the numerology number 5. It says…

Number 5 is the most flexible of all numbers. You most likely have some of the following strengths and talents at your disposal if the number 5 appears in your numerology chart. You make friends easily, you are versatile and multi-talented, upbeat and inspirational and a good communicator and motivator. You have great verbal skills and you are very dynamic, persuasive, adaptable, versatile and curious, courageous, bright and quick-witted. You are an explorer and adventurer who want to experience all of life, you also like to perform in front of audiences and you like to do several things at the same time.

Some of the following weaknesses, which are associated with the number 5, could slow down or even prevent your progress. But don't worry; it's very unlikely that all of the listed characteristics are part of your personality. Most probably, only one or a few of them will belong to you. It is difficult for you to commit to one relationship and you have difficulties to finish projects. You lack discipline and order, you are impatient, restless, easily distracted and you can be very impulsive. You might also be susceptible to overindulgence in sensual pleasures. Discipline and focus are the keys to your success.

That night was a night filled with revelation and coincidental proof that there is a bigger plan for me. I don’t have any idea what it is, but I am hopeful that it’s for the best of everything.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Living Advocacy

Humphrey Gorriceta

Spokesperon, National Federation of Filipino Living with HIV and AIDS (NAFFWA)

Living Advocacy

By Mikee dela Cruz


A former partner involved in GLBTQIA/human rights advocacy introduced Humphrey Gorriceta to, yes, GLBTQIA/human rights advocacy – “I was able to see and become aware of the concerns faced by (GLBTQIAs, as I) joined out of town activities and mobilization, (and did) some volunteer work like production work and minor graphic designs (for the group),” he recalls.

"There are a lot of things I am proud of. But the one thing that tops my list (of achievements) is having been able to come out with my HIV status, and (starting to) work to help eliminate the stigma and discrimination experienced by the positive community through educational advocacies.” The “part-time participation” was, for a while, the extent of Humphrey’s participation in GLBTQIA advocacy. At least until after 2008.

“I was diagnosed to be infected with HIV back in 2008. It was after I started on anti-retroviral medication that my HIV related health situation started to sink in. I realized that since I will be HIV positive for the rest of my life, I might as well be productive with the remaining time I have,” Humphrey recalls. “I didn’t know exactly how… I want to believe it was because of divine intervention, but I woke up one morning and realized I feel fulfilled doing advocacy work against HIV/AIDS and help the GLBTQIA community (as) my line of work.”

And so an advocate was made. Humphrey is now the spokesperson of the National Federation of Filipino Living with HIV and AIDS (NaFFWA).


“Working and living as an advocate gave me a new purpose in life. I learned to be humble in all my dealings and it taught me to care even to those people not related to me. I learned to look at things objectively and see the goodness in every person and situation and find a way to magnify that goodness,” Humphrey says. Becoming an advocate “affected my life in ways I never imagined it would. I used to manage an art gallery and living a lucrative lifestyle. When I decided to became an advocate, I lost all that but gained something better. I learned a lot of things, I heard a lot of inspiring stories and, I’ve seen the different faces of life.”

Humphrey admits that “full-time advocacy/volunteer work don’t pay as much as a corporate job – that’s one of the challenges I faced when I decided to take on this responsibility,” he says. Adding that “I also have to get used to working outside of the regular corporate schedule and environment.”

Facing these challenges, nonetheless, was manageable “by redesigning my spending habit and prioritize only those basic and what is important. I also learned to live a healthy lifestyle that enabled me go through the fast paced, changing the schedule I have. In general, with the determination and renewed purpose at hand, I was able to manage these challenges.”

It helps, of course, that Humphrey has “a very loving family. My family has always been supportive with what I do, as long as it’s productive and does not do anything not good towards others. They are very vocal about their feelings towards what I do. They feel that what I am doing is good and that I am helping educate people about HIV and AIDS. They always encourage me to do well with my work and continue to be a good example towards others. They always remind me how proud they are of me that I did not resort to hiding my HIV status and I was able to manage to find a purpose on the adversity bestowed upon me.”

Humphrey adds: “However, like every concerned family, they never missed to remind me that I should still take care of my health, be mindful of what I say and how I treat other people, and that I have a big responsibility towards myself and others.”


“There are a lot of things that continue to be challenges for me. But the one I consider as most challenging is dealing with people who see my good and sincere intention as something deterrent to their own purpose. I work to help people but there are those who see me (and the people who I work with) as enemy/ies,” Humphrey says.

This is disappointing, true, ditto “the discrimination that exists within our community. If dealing with the stigma and discrimination from the society is difficult enough, imagine how challenging it is to manage the same concern within the HIV/AIDS and GLBTQIA community.”

As an advocate against HIV/AIDS, Humphrey believes “we have to focus on educating as many people as we can on the issues concerning the seropositive community and the GLBTQIA community. Doing this will help eliminate stigma and discrimination that most of our friends in the community are experiencing. Eradicating stigma and discrimination will help our community live a safer, healthier, and more productive life. And this will definitely have a ripple effect in the progress of our nation.”

Humphrey, nonetheless, remains positive. “It inspires me to see people in our community sharing, helping and working to reach the same goals. I’ve always believed that there is more love and hope in this world than we think there is. This thinking helps me continue to have the drive to keep going and do better with my advocacy work,” he says.


At 34 years of age, Humphrey, who says “I am half way through my life,” acknowledges that there are “a lot of things... I am proud of. But the one thing that tops my list (of achievements) is having been able to come out with my HIV status, and (starting to) work to help eliminate the stigma and discrimination experienced by the positive community through educational advocacies.”

Humphrey adds: “I plan to continue doing advocacy on HIV/AIDS. I aspire to be able to go around, travel here and abroad as an inspirational speaker, helping people realize how great they can be and the heights they will reach if they put their hearts and minds together.”

And after all is said and done, how does Humphrey want to be remembered? Simply, “as Humphrey Gorriceta, the Poz guy who believed that hope is never lost and did what he can to make this world a safe, healthy, and better place to live in for people living with HIV, the GLBTQI community, and their family and friends.”

And, yes, he has already started attaining this.

Article source:

Copyright © 2010 re:define Publishing

Monday, April 12, 2010

2010 AIDS Summit Closing Remarks from the Positive Community

HIV Summit 2010

Call to Action for Broad Based Response to HIV/ AIDS by Leaders

Closing remarks from the positive community
Presented By: Humphrey Gorriceta
Spokes person for The National Federation of Filipino
Living with HIV & AIDS (NaFFWA)

12 April 2010
Manila Diamond Hotel
Ermita Manila


Good afternoon everyone. I am Humphrey Gorriceta, spokes person for the National Federation of Filipino Living with HIV and AIDS. A national peak body representing PLHIV community-based groups in Philippines.

In behalf of the positive community, I would like to express my utmost gratitude to all of you for prioritizing this significant event.

(asked the audience to give themselves a round of applause for self-affirmation)

The fight against HIV/ AIDS is one of the greatest challenges our country is facing today. In the course of human history there has never been a greater threat than the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The epidemic is made worse by the unbearable stigma and discrimination that continues to exist in everyday life.

As a recall, first case of HIV infection in the Philippines was reported back in 1984 and since then the Filipino has suffered tremendously. Nevertheless, we have achieved a number of important breakthroughs and mile stones:
  • More than two decades ago, HIV was identified.
  • More than ten, the first therapies were discovered, saving thousands of lives and giving new hope to millions of people living with HIV.
  • Right now, we have the potential for mobilizing the necessary medical and financial resources to defeat the epidemic. What is lacking is the political will of our leaders and full support from the religious community to save lives.
  • And today we are all gathered here to unite and reach the same goal of putting a stop to the spread of HIV.
All of us will definitely be criticize ruthlessly if we do not respond with all the efforts and resources that we can mobilize in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We should stay focused and determined to put a stop to this disguised enemy. As we agree on the conclusion of this important gathering we should all ensure that the national response is sufficient to change the direction of the epidemic.

Before we come to a close, I would like to leave the following messages to:

As the people seated in the position, you hold the biggest bundle of our hope for our survival. I urge all the national and local leaders to push for the HIV/ AIDS treatment plan to a higher level and put it to action. I call to FORWARD A FILIPINO PEOPLE’S HIV/AIDS SUSTAINABLE TREATMENT PLAN! IT IS OUR CONSTITUTIONAL AND HUMAN RIGHT.

I know it is easier said than done. It would mean that we have to allocate more budgets to health. The health care infrastructure will need to be improved in many areas. The inequity between the private and the public health-care sector needs to be reduced. And there should be a stronger political will. But with the right attitude and a stronger political will, we will be able to achieve this. As the cliché goes: “If there’s a will, there’s a way.” Allow me translate that it Filipino…”Kung gusto may paraan, kung ayaw may dahlian.”

This is part of your responsibility and we trust you will not fail us on this.

In many ways, we are proud that the church has a strong influence on our values. The sanctity of life is fundamental to all of us. And we also believe in strong families consisting of committed individuals. For this reason, we would like to recommend the church leaders to please continue with your promotion to instil positive values to the community as we see this as equally important weapon in our fight to stop HIV infection. However, please do not be a hindrance to the government’s advocacy to impart the further information to the same community as to how they can protect themselves from the dreaded virus. For only in having a clear understanding of what we are up against can one efficiently exercise the same values we’ve acquired from you. What use are the values you gave us if we don’t know how to use it?

Media and academe is a powerful social agent of change. They have the widest coverage since every Filipino family, one way or another, has an access to any form of media source and most have access to education and some form of learning. For this reason, you play a very important role in the fight to stop HIV/ AIDS. I would like to take this opportunity to ask the media, to be more responsible in media coverage and continue to help us spread accurate information through your reporting. And the academe, please support sexuality education that is unbiased, informed and scientifically sound. And always search, research and teach what is true and what is needed.

We trust you will not fail us on this.

From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to express our sincerest gratitude for your unwavering support on our fight stop HIV/ AIDS, to eradicate the stigma and discrimination faced by PLHIV, their families and friends. Let us maintain our good partnership and build a stronger bond of friendship amongst ourselves. We hope that you continue to support us until we reach our goal and aspirations.

  • We would like to remind all PLHIV to:
  • Live positively and productively both towards yourself and to others.
  • Continue to strive to be full members of our community and society.
  • Continue to play an active role in education, advocacy, care and support in order to enhance our lives and the lives of others.
  • Bring the voice of those infected, affected and those stigmatized in our society to the multi-sectoral response to HIV/ AIDS.
  • Continue to strive for improvement of the quality of life of our infected and affected brothers and sisters.
  • We should work together to ensure better coordination and communication between stakeholders and key players.
We owe nothing less to our to young people and future generations. This is our obligation, to show a spirit of responsibility, a spirit of partnership, a spirit of solidarity, to finally put an end to the dreadful experiences caused by the fatal and irreversible disease.

Let us all work together to make this nation a safer, healthier and better place to live in.

This is the message you own and for which I hope for, on behalf of the positive community.

Thank you.

Ingat lagi.