MANILA, Philippines – Award-winning television host Boy Abunda is never losing hope that one day, the Filipino community will be open to the idea of legalizing same-sex marriage in the country.
In a special episode of his own show “The Bottomline,” Abunda said he is aware that Philippine society is not yet open about gay marriage but vowed to continue to fight for this right.
Abunda believes it is not impossible that society will come to understand same-sex relationships just like how the father of his partner Bong Quintana came to understand their relationship.
“Napakahirap kasi I’ve been with Bong, we’ve lived together for 30 years. It was not an easy relationship. Noong umpisa hindi maunawaan ng Papa, the late father of Bong... In the beginning, he didn’t understand. In the beginning, he didn’t see the point why my gwapong son would actually live with somebody gay. And I totally totally understood him,” he said.
The TV host also shared that it even came to a point when Quintana would be handcuffed inside their house just so he could not go out to meet him.
But Abunda said he will forever love Quintana’s father, who later on turned out to be his No. 1 fan.
“May mga panahon, nakaposas si Bong sa kama para lang hindi makalabas kapag magkikita kami. And I understood him. But from that point to the point when Papa would call me and say ‘Hindi ko gustong may naisulat na hindi maganda tungkol sa ’yo,’ he was so protective,” he related.
Abunda said he and Quintana would sometimes talk about their situation.
“May mga panahon na nag-uusap kami ni Bong, hindi namin maintindihan kung bakit hindi kami maintindihan. Pero sabi ko sige lang. It came to a point when the discussion got to respeto, self-esteem, pagkatao, lahat. Pero sabi ko ganun pala 'yun – when si Papa passed away, he was on comatose for a number of days. Siyempre pumapasok kami sa ospital, wala akong masabi kundi salamat kasi kung sino pa ang hindi nakaunawa, siya 'yung sobrang nagmahal sa aming dalawa ni Bong,” he said.
Abunda said this is where he draws strength that one day, people would accept same-sex relationships.
“Ito ang isa sa mga dahilan kung bakit sa LGBT community, kahit gaano kahirap, hindi ako bibitaw. Kasi naniniwala ako sa puso ko na it’s just a matter of time that people will understand kung ano ang ibig sabihin ng equal opportunity, paggalang, pagkatao, respeto kasi naranasan ko iyon,” he said.
“Sa pagpapakasal, kahit 'yung paga-adopt, pinag-uusapan namin ni Bong. Naniniwala ako sa karapatan ng same sex marriage. It is a right that I will fight for. Ngayon kasi realistic ako. It is a battle that I know we’re not going to win in two, three, four, five years. I’m okay. But I will keep on fighting,” he said.
Abunda said he just wants to have that right which everyone else in a relationship enjoys.
“Ngayon, 30 years na kami ni Bong, anong nais kong ipaglaban? Is it civil union, is it domestic partnership para lamang mabigyan ng karapatan ang bawat isa sa amin sa aming naipundar, sa aming pagmamahalan? Gusto ko lang may katahimikan, mayroon kaming security dahil ang pagmamahalan namin is not less than the love and the relationship of anyone is this world,” he explained.