Episode, Quotes

Your whole world changes because you met someone special and you already have that feeling that you want to build a life with this person tapos biglang aalis siya, your world is not the same anymore, everything is out of place, at nawawalan ng value lahat ng natira sa iyo. 


You have to really be creative to keep the fire going.


Imagine that your entire relationship relies on technology. Kung wala kang signal o load, or you have poor internet connection, parang nasisira yung buong relasyon ninyo. Hindi mo siya matawagan o nag-away kayo tapos hindi mo siya ma-contact, sobrang napaka-stressful. And just the stress of communication and technology, it’s enough to pile up at magkaroon ng tampuhan just because you can’t get in touch with each other.


It’s not just how you communicate or how frequently, but WHAT you communicate. Establish first what are the terms of your relationship? Are you even exclusive? Maybe you agreed to an LDR and didn’t establish exclusivity and then you’re shocked that the other person is dating while you’re apart. How about sex? Are you allowed to have sex with other people while you’re apart? 


What’s your plan? Hindi puedeng bahala na. Ang hirap ng walang usapan e. Ano ba, we’ll see how it goes for 3 months? Or this is my plan, I’ll get a job and you can try to come in 6 months. It’s hard to play it by ear because there’s no assurance about what is going to happen para alam mo naman kung ano yung papasukin mo and there’s no false expectations on either end.


What’s the communication schedule? Hindi puedeng kung kailan lang free dun lang mag-uusap. Kailangan may set na time, after work, 7 to 8 or whatever, and then  you treat those scheduled conversations as sacred. Hindi puedeng tinatamad ka or idi-disregard mo yung schedule because that’s the only thing you have and kung babalewalain mo yun, magiging cause talaga yun ng tampuhan.


Define your next meeting date. It can’t be dependent on how you feel or you’ll see how it goes. It’s healthy to have a set time and target, which can be flexible when the time comes, but it gives both partners something to look forward to.


Talk about everything. Expectations, how to communicate, what to communicate. There should always be an end goal. It can’t be an LDR for life, unless that’s what you both want and it’s clear to both parties. 

Everything revolves around communication. Life and death talaga yung feeling ng biglang nawala yung kausap mo kasi kung kunyare may nangyari nga, mapupuntahan mo ba siya? May magagawa ka ba? Hindi naman right there and then andyan ka. 


Usually fights are caused by failure to be present when you have a scheduled time. Not just physically present but also mentally present. 


So much depends on communication and even if you’re not in the mood to talk, you have to realize that on the other end the other person will feel invalidated or unimportant. To you it may just be that you’re sleepy, but on the other end of the line that person may have a lot of expectations for your conversation. Akala niya tinatamad ka to speak with her and not that you’re just exhausted.


When you’re together, your reality is the same. You’re moving in the same world. Even if you are apart during the day, the weather is the same, your reality is the same, your meals are the same. But when you’re apart, literally you’re worlds apart. Magkaiba kayo ng mundo. The stresses of one partner’s day is different from the other’s. 


Ang hirap maiwan but also try to empathize with the other person and their pressures, homesickness, work, financial matters, or may naghihintay ng padala na kamaganak, tapos dadagdagan mo pa as jowa. 


If you’re in an LDR, you have to establish the fighting rules. It’s inevitable na mag-aaway kayo, and since magkalayo kayo, before you have your first fight, pag-usapan niyo na  yung rules ninyo. Like for example, bawal magbagsakan ng phone, or bawal mag-walk out. Sudden moves like hanging up or disconnecting then ghosting. It’s so hard for the other person who’s so far away. Establish from the beginning that if you don’t want to talk anymore because you’re fighting, just say, “I don’t want to talk right now. I will be back. Don’t worry.”


Don’t release your relationship drama on social media. Huwag niyong ilabas ang away niyo. Andaming nadadamay na tao. And you can’t recover from it because ang couples parating nag-aaway pero nagbabati ulit, pero pag dinamay mo yung buong sambayanan, hindi kayo magre-recover after that because andami nang mag-i-input about what you said in the past. Please do not discuss your fight on social media. No dirty laundry. It’s not a good look. 


Sex is the number one reason for divorce. The lack of sexual intimacy is a huge factor in long distance relationships. Everybody has their sexual needs. Huwag nating sabihing kung mahal ninyo ang isa’t isa hindi niyo na kailangan ng sex. Ano ka, robot? 


You have to be creative because lahat tayo may needs. You have to be open-minded and less inhibited. Kung meron kang inhibitions pag face-to-face, kailangan alisin mo yan pag LDR because you really have to satisfy those needs kahit magkalayo kayo kasi pag nako-corny-han ka sa ginagawa ninyo, but that’s all you have so you have to make it exciting, or else what is the

LDR Tips From Episode 6

Shakira Sison


In Episode 5 (Usapang LDR) I mentioned my article Fanning The Flames Of Your Long-Distance Love where I discussed some tips couples can use to keep their LDR alive:


1) Establish the ground rules

Are you monogamous or is either partner allowed to date while you are apart? If you are dating others, do you discuss them with each other or is there a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy? Is dating just companionship or are partners allowed to have sex outside the relationship? These are difficult questions that need to be asked if you are to establish common ground. If they are not discussed, it doesn’t mean that exclusivity is a given. It’s more likely that one or both parties will assume it’s a free-for-all. Speak up if you’re not okay with that.

2) Have a plan

“Let’s just see how it goes.” is a recipe for disaster if either party is serious about the relationship. Not having a plan for the future makes misunderstandings likely and leads one or both parties to disappointment. What is your plan? Does either party plan to move to be with the other, or do both parties plan to move to a new location to start their life? If so, what is the timetable? If you’re not sure what the plan is, when is the deadline to make a decision? It is unfair to leave your partner hanging about your future unless it’s a clearly stated agreement that this relationship is just for now, in which case one shouldn’t put too much weight on it and treat it as just for fun.

2) Always have the next meeting date defined

For many long-distance couples, having a date when they’ll be together again is always a great reassurance. Having something to look forward to also prevents each interaction from being open-ended and ending with sad goodbyes. Whether the next meeting is next month or next year, a future date makes it known to both that there is a next time for your love, and that your longing for each other will end at some point in time.

3) Have a communication schedule

Relationships that do not have the benefit of physical contact rely heavily on communication. If there is a misunderstanding, one cannot just run to the other for a hug, so this makes all those conversations very important. Set aside at least a few minutes a day to catch up. Schedule online dates. Respect each other’s independence with “alone time” days, but treat scheduled chats as sacred ground, especially since it’s all you have.

4) Be creative

Watch movies together. Tell stories. Eat meals together, read books to each other, have drinks and chat. Involve each other in your lives. Face Time while you’re with your friends to introduce them to your partner and include her virtually in your hangouts. Take your LDR lover on a telephone or webcam tour of your daily commute, a party you’re attending, or your house. Get sexy. Use technology. There are more tools now to keep in touch than there ever was. Take advantage of the fact that you’re not just relying on snail mail like only a few decades past. These days you can pretty much be present 24/7 to each other, except for the senses of smell, taste, and touch.

5) If you have never physically met, you have never met

No matter how intensely you feel about someone you have never physically been with, it’s best to take purely online relationships with a grain of salt until you are able to confirm your connection physically. There is a great deal to be learned compatibility-wise by standing in front of each other and being subject to one’s immediate physical response. Try not to commit to someone you have never met. If a significant amount of time passes and it still only takes the shutdown of a computer or logging out of an email account to end your involvement, unfortunately that may be all your relationship is until proven otherwise.

6) Cut yourself some slack

Relationships are hard work as it is, what more if you can’t console your partner with a hug? Realize that you will have bad days, cranky days, and days where the distance will cause either partner to doubt what you have. Agree to never end a phone call or chat while in the middle of a disagreement. Promise to never use your communication channels to send each other angry messages or to fight. Focus on your goal, your future plan, or the next time you’ll be together. Pretty soon one day will turn to the next and you’ll once more be in each other’s arms.

Read the full article here.


Quotes from Episode 4: Kuwentong Abroad (Our Stories as Filipinos Abroad)

Episode, Quotes

Every time in the new country you go through difficult thing, you just want to say, “Uwi na lang ako. Ang hirap dito e. Sa Plipinas hindi ganito kahirap.” You always think, I’ll just go home. That was not an option for me so I had to stick it out. So it became a dream and a fantasy in your head na mas madali ang buhay back home, mas kumportable ka. You can’t really start to accept kung nasaan ka kasi parati mong iniisip na uuwi ka na lang. (38:20)


Nakauwi ako finally tapos na-realize ko na lahat ng pinantasya ko about things being easier, o mas kumportable ako, it all changed or I changed. Hindi na ako yung the same person that left the Philippines at hindi ko na kayang ibalik yung taong yon. That’s the only time that I accepted that the Philippines was no longer my home and I really need to start building my life in the states and yun na yung buhay ko at yun na ako at hindi na yung kung ano ako dati. That’s when I stopped the fantasy and saying na uuwin na lang ako. (39:18)


You will say, “I want to go home” because that is your home. Andun ang pamilya mo. Ano’t ano man ang mangyari, magdildil kayo ng asin, balwarte mo yun e.” (41:23)


Minsan kailangan para kang robot. Just focus on work. Pasok tulog, pasok tulog. Otherwise mag-iisip ka masyado. (42:34)


For the first few years it’s a lot of pressure pag bago ka sa isang country. You always have to prove yourself. Kailangan kong patunayan sa tao na magaling naman ako, matalino naman ako, yung education ko is the same as their education, I can speak the language. Andaming kailangan patunayan before you get to the point na ma-recognize ka nila as someone to be valued. Nakakapagod and you always keep thinking na “Uwi na lang ako” kasi at least dun even if I don’t try, I will be recognized for my value. (42:50)


Mahirap yung feeling na para kang lutang sa ibang bansa. You don’t feel that you belong. Kakasabi kong gusto kong umuwi, nagkaroon ako ng chance to go home to the Philippines to try for a year, but it was different. I realized that I was different already. My ways, what I learned here, I was different. You’ll only realize that when you’ve been away because now you have a point of comparison. (43:51)


Iba ka na e. Even if you try to be the same person when you left, iba ka na e. There’s a lot of changes in you, yung exposure mo sa mundo, your outlook about the country, about being abroad, the toughness na na-develop and the changes in you. (45:38)


My mom said, “I’m afraid you’re going to become so tough just like everyone else who leaves.” Pero hindi mo naman maiiwasan yon. Kasi pag umalis ka, you get so shocked and then used to the idea na you’re on your own. Walang sasalo sa iyo. Kung magkasakit ka, ikaw bahala sa sarili mo. Kung hindi ka kumain, mangayayat ka, problema mo yan. If you eat unhealthy at magkasakit ka, wala kang tatakbuhan. Walang magsasabi sa iyo na ayusin mo naman yung diet mo o mag-vitamins ka naman. Talagang you’re on your own at kung pabaayaan mo yung sarili mo, you will really suffer. So with that and all the challenges, mental toughness, maturity, and being forced to be independent because you have no choice, and having to prioritize constantly, you have to make a decision, what’s more important? This or this? You’re used to constantly having to make decisions and choices so that all builds your own character. (46:04)


Before when I was in the Philippines, I wasn’t sure what my future holds. When I got here, naging solid yung plano. Sabi ko nga (sa misis ko), alam mo dati hindi ko alam kung makakaupa ba ako ng isang apartment kung kakayanin ko yun on my own or with someone. I’m proud na I’m living comfortably, na binubuhay na namin yung sarili namin. (48:40)


Tapos nakatira ka sa ibang bansa at dun ka naka-establish ng sarili mong buhay. You’re living comfortably, kahit papano nakaka-travel ka. You eat out more than three times a day. May maayos kang apartment, may sasakyan ka. Yung ganon, mga material things but you’re proud of yourself dahil nagawa mo. Plus bonus na bonus pa na nakahanap ka ng asawa na equally pareho niyong binubuo yung buhay niyo. (49:20)


You’ve built something on your own. Walang makakapagsabi na dahil sa kanila. Ikaw lang talaga. (50:23)


It humbles me. It’s a very humbling experience but at the same time I am so proud  because kaya ko. Lumabas yung skills ko, yung survival mode ko. Alam kong hindi na ako magugutom (51:20)


Nung nag-move ako dito, hindi ko talaga ine-expect na mahihirapan ako. Kasi ang proud ko, feeling ko kaya ko naman yan, nakapag-aralan ko, matalino naman ako, hindi naman ako tanga. So akala ko I’ll fit right in, kasi I speak English, Americanized naman yung culture, food or culture was familiar. So I thought that I would integrate very quickly. Tapos to discover na may language barrier rin pala pag hindi mo siya first language. Or yung accent mo hindi maintindihan. O hindi mo maintindihan ang American English. Nag-struggle talaga ako. Sabi ko wait, it’s harder than I thought. (54:57)


Being away from everything I know, I didn’t expect that I loved things so much in the Philippines. You don’t realize just how much until wala ka na don. Then you realize na, really, you lost everything. Ang layo-layo mo from everything you know. Hindi mo siya maiintindihan until you leave. HIndi mo maiintindihan ang loneliness, being away from friends and family. Hindi mo talaga maiintindihan hanggang tanggalin mo ang sarili mo from home. (55:56)


Kasi wala kang choice. Pag nasa PIlipinas ka you can choose to distance yourself from your social circle, but you will always drift back. Pag nasa ibang bansa ka, kahit ano pang i-drift mo, magdi-drift away ka lang sa ocean. You cannot get back to your social circle. (56:30)


Namimiss mo talaga siya, yung sarili mong wika. Dati sa subway pag may naririnig akong nagtatagalog, tatabihan ko talaga sila para lang makarinig lang ako ng Tagalog na parang part of the discussion ako. Minsan may chance ako na puede akong humirit, tapos magta-Tagalog kami, and it feels like home because it’s so familiar, the feeling of the words coming out of your mouth. Hindi mo mare-realize how natural it is to you to speak your own language. (58:36)


It wasn’t always easy, there were really tough times and a lot of years. But after almost 20 years here, OK naman ang buhay, I really feel blessed, I can’t complain. It’s a really big surprise. (65:10)


You don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Hindi mo malalaman kung ano yung meron ka hanggang mawala siya sa iyo. You just take everything for granted kasi until mawala sa iyo yun, you won’t really feel it hanggang malayo ka na. Culture, friends, family, food, mga nakasanayan mong bagay, everything in your comfort zone, you don’t realize that until you leave. (66:16)


Yung matutunan mong asahan lang yung sarili mo, kung patay, patay talaga. No one is going to encourage you. Sa Pilipinas kung malungkot ka o hindi ka kumakain, kahit isolated ka, someone is going to ask you kung OK ka ba, tara labas tayo. Someone is going to take care of you. Pero pag nasa ibang bansa ka, you’re on your own. Alam mo mamamatay ka talaga kung ayaw mo talagang alagaan yung sarili mo. No one is going to rescue you. And that is a difficult but very important lesson na hindi mo mararamdaman pag andun ka sa comfort zone, surrounded by your family, by your friends. (67:35)


Yung pagiging minority mo. You can’t explain it kung hind mo naranasan yung to ba a minority and being a person of color in a predominantly white society. The things that you have to prove or explain all the time. These are just a few discoveries when you leave the country. (68:27)


You have to recognize so that you can correct it. If you just keep saying that you’re not racist, I don’t behave this way, you cannot correct your behavior if you don’t recognize that there is something wrong. (74:20)


Pag umalis ka daw, you don’t love the Philiippines as much as those who didn’t leave. I really understand where that’s coming from kasi ganyan din ako mag-isip dati. I was one of those people who really vowed na hindi talaga ako aalis sa Pilipinas. I really believed na pag umalis ka, you’re deserting your country, dapat pagpasensiyahan mo, dapat yung talent mo ibigay mo sa Pilipinas, huwag mong ibibigay sa ibang bansa. Sabi ko talaga hinding hinding hinding hindi talaga ako aalis sa Pilipinas. Pero sabi nga nila, “Never say never.” (81:05)


I learned so much about myself, my two countries, and I had to reevaluate my values and ideas. Now that I’ve been living away, I never thought that I loved my country less. It’s not a contest kung sinong mas mahal ang Pilipinas. You can continue loving the Philippines even from afar. (81:55)


Actually I feel I love the Philippines more now than when I was there. Kasi pag andun ka, you take everything for granted. Hindi mo talaga na-appreciate everything around you. But now, talagang kinasasabikan ko lahat, everything about the Philippines, the culture, lahat. I know for a fact that you don’t have to be in the Philippines to love the Philippines. (82:30)


Kung hindi mo kini-criticize ang bansa mo, hindi mo mahal ang bansa mo because you always want your country to improve. Magagalit ka pagka yung country na mahal na mahal mo, mini-mismanage o ang sama ng nangyayari. Hindi mo mahal yung bansa mo kung hinahayaan mo lang na nasa masama itong sitwasyon. (84:13)


Kahit sino naman ang aalis at magma-migrate, kahit hindi dito sa Toronto, you just have to be prepared and strong. Sa adjustments, struggles, and hardships that may happen no matter what. Unang-una pag-alis mo sa Pilipinas at feeling mo magkakaroon ka kaagad ng magandang trabaho, don’t expect muna na kung anong meron ka na sa bansang pupuntahan mo. (86:18)

We’re F*in’ Global!


We at KTalk Podcast are thrilled to discover our international reach, with the geographic locations of our listeners spread out all over the world. While the majority of listeners are in the Philippines, United States, and Canada, we were excited to learn that we are also entertaining folks in Australia, Singapore, UAE, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Japan, Italy, UK, Germany, Taiwan, Austria and Denmark. 

If you are tuning in from any of these countries, we’d like to give you a big wave hello! Thank you for giving our show a chance and we hope you’ll continue listening to our episodes.

Quotes From Episode 3: Our Married Lives

Episode, Quotes


It’s not that we didn’t want to get married, it’s just that it wasn’t available to us. So we lived our lives as if this was the permanent lifetime commitment we had with each other. So when it was legalized, yeah, you could say that it was only a formality because we already had a foundation, but one thing that you realize in the legal sense, there are so many benefits and rights provided by marriage equality. So even in a personal sense, that feeling that your marriage is equal to any other marriage, and to be able to call your wife your wife, which is universally recognized, and by law people now have to recognize and accept whether they like it or not, it legitimizes your relationship for the first time. It’s very empowering because you’re no longer afraid because it’s now the law of the land and you can no longer be harmed. It changes the mindset of the relationship when people have to respect it regardless of how they feel about it. In that sense you also feel the gravity and seriousness of that marriage because the respect that is given to other marriages is now given to you, and that feeling is empowering. (29:56)


Regarding the difference in their lives before and after getting married:

Sa aspeto ng kung sino kami, at sa aspeto ng pagsasama namin, actually wala talagang pagbabago. Ang na-realize ko lang ay more on security and stability namin in a relationship, kasi now we are one. We can set more goals, and we have more focus for the future. Kasi may kasama ka na sa buhay. I felt that I have a family. Hindi pala na kung pamilya e may anak ka, o babae at lalake. Sa kultura natin when you’re helping your family and you’re a breadwinner, hindi nila maintindihan ang relasyon ninyo kaya nasa iyo ang responsibility dahil wala kang pamilya, wala kang anak, wala kang asawa. Now I have ground to stand on, may pamilya na ako. May asawa na ako. Nung nagpakasal kami, siya na ang pamilya ko. At naiintindihan ng pamilya ko yon. (32:40)


Before getting married, ang hirap gumawa ng plans for the future. It’s hard to make people realize what exactly your relationship is without the actual legality. Now that you’re legally married, it’s automatic na next of kin mo na siya. Pag may nangyari sa iyo, kailangan siya ang magde-desisyon. You can own property together now. Hindi puedeng kukunin ng kamag-anak mo kung meron kayong pinundar. That in itself it changes the relationship kasi you’re more confident in building a life with this person kasi alam mo may protection of the law na hindi yun mawawala nang basta-basta. (35:30)


When all your life you’ve been indoctrinated that there will not be an option for you to get married, you learn to accept that. But you also learn to detest the institution of marriage. It’s hard to respect it and I didn’t want to respect all the people who were keeping this from me. When I finally I had the right to marry, I realized that I can believe in marriage, and it’s something that is meaningful to me, and that I had what it takes to see it through, to be able to get through the deepest and most painful parts of me just to be able to make it work with someone. We can’t overstate the importance of legalizing same-sex marriage. I’m not saying that you can’t have a legitimate relationship or build a life with someone without legal protections, but for me it really helped deepen our commitment to each other. (37:06)


Anong masasabi mo sa mga taong nagsasabing hindi naman kailangan ng same-sex couples magpakasal? Balik ko sa kanila yung tanong. Papano kung ikaw yung bawalan ko? Papano kong sabihin ko sa iyo na hindi mo kailangan? How would that make you feel? Kung sabihin ko sa iyo na hindi mo kailangan i-protect yung property niyo? Or ilagay siya sa insurance mo? Kung sabihin kong hindi niyo kailangan yan at magmahalan na lang kayo? Di ba masasaktan sila? Give us the option and ako magdedecide na ayoko, just like you have the option to decide na ayaw mo. It’s not for you to say to me na wag na lang, kasi wala naman kaming option.(39:05)


People who say that same-sex couples don’t need to get married do not have any concept of what marriage is. 


A man and a woman who meet today can get married tomorrow and they can petition someone for immigration, they can pass on property, they can decide life or death decisions for each other even if they just met, but same-sex couples who have been together for 10, 20, 30 years, who have children and grandchildren together, if they don’t have the right to marry, they don’t have rights to keep their family together and keep their properties together. How can that be fair? As taxpaying citizens nagbabayad tayo ng buwis sa gobyerno tapos in the end kukunin lang yung properties natin or pagbabayarin tayo ng tax kasi hindi tayo considered as family members? It’s absurd. It really doesn’t make sense. (44:55)


What do couples need to consider before getting married? You have to think of what exactly marriage is. Marriage is a contract. Before you sign a contract, you need to read it and be clear on the terms of the contract. Any business does that, they have lawyers that study each aspect of the contract. It’s the same with marriage. What’s your plan? Mag-aanak ba kayo? Saan kayo titira? Anong religion ninyo? Money matters, sex, family, you need to define all those things. Sobrang ni-romanticize ng society ang marriage into wedding proposals and romance, but marriage is such a serious lifetime commitment. Andaming kailangang pag-usapan and to decide what kind of life you’ll be living with each other.  (52:20)


Marriage is such a huge responsibility. If you’re not going to make it your top priority in your life, don’t even bother. That’s the only chance you have and even if it’s your top priority, even if this person is the most important person for you, it will still be the most difficult thing and challenge that you will go through if you do it right. But the rewards of a good marriage are priceless. It’s great for your health, it’s great for your mood, your personality, your personal development, for your family, it’s priceless. (54:00)


Our relationships are only as good as the people in it. If you don’t know or you’re not willing to communicate, you’ll bring that into the relationship and then you’ll have an uncommunicative or non-communicative relationship. Kung ayaw mong i-resolve yung personal issues mo, yung mga trauma mo sa buhay, you will bring that into the relationship. However it was you were brought up, kung ano yung mga hangups mo, dadalin mo talaga yan. Hindi mo yan maiiwasan. (58:29)


That’s the beauty of being in a marriage. Kasi napaka-intimate ng union ninyong dalawa. Hindi mo talaga maiiwasan na may nag-o-observe sa iyo, to hold you accountable. Na parang ike-question mo kasi you can’t just be on your own judgment kasi may may nagtatanong sa iyo na someone who loves and cares about you. Tatanungin ka ng bakit ganon, bakit ganun yung sinabi mo? Wala ka talagang kawala. And so you have to learn and you have to be willing to break yourself down and i-process mo talaga yung mga issues mo, or else you won’t stand a chance. Talagang hindi kayo magkakaroon nga proper communication, hindi niyo mare-resolve yung mga conflicts if you’re not willing to go deep down into your own self, resolve your weaknesses, your insecurities, all your traumas to become a good partner and to keep your marriage healthy. Kailangan you have to make yourself a good person and process all of these things in order to bring into your marriage or your relationship a better partner to make it work. (59:05)



Quotes From Episode 2: Lesbian Dating

Episode, Quotes

I think about my attraction to butches and it’s not the fact that I’m attracted to the male form. What’s attractive about a butch lesbian is that as a woman they claim that power to redefine femininity. Parang, “Babae ako, pero magbibihis ako kung anong gusto ko. Kikilos ako kung anong gusto ko. And every day na nabubuhay sila, that’s a statement. Lumalabas ka na sinasabi mo sa mundo, “Ay hindi ako susunod sa standards ninyo. Magbibihis ako the way I want, magsasalita ako, bubukaka ako kung gusto kong bumukaka, hindi ako magpapa-intimidate sa lalake.” I think that’s the part that’s very attractive. Kasi gusto ko maging ganon ako. I want to be a strong woman too. (31:05)


I thought gusto ng mga lesbians maging lalake. So nung tinanong ko (yung asawa ko), akala ko, feeling niya, lalake siya. Kasi kahit nga soft butch siya, mukha siyang lalake. So in-explain niya sa akin yun, na “No, babae ako. Mahal ko yung pagiging babae ko. Kahit na ganito yung itsura ko, kahit na magdamit ako na panlalaki, bumukaka ako, o maglaro ako ng basketball, or lahat ng galaw ng lalake, babae ako. Mahal ko yung pagkababae ko.” (32:45)


It gets better, and when you get a job, mas independent ka na, mas malakas na yung loob mo, mas mapapinindigan mo na lahat. (53:03) 


Once you realize the difference in how one woman touches another woman, and how that woman receives the touch of another woman, then maybe you’ll understand. To me, it’s always been really magical. It’s so special and so rare and so beautiful. (56:06)


If you’re a woman dating another woman, it’s not for the faint of heart. You’re two complex creatures trying to be with each other. There’s so much non-verbal communication, there’s so much verbal communication, there’s so many things to unpack, to unravel, hindi mo maiiwasan in a way that you can in traditional relationships where you can just fall back into gender roles. (57:40)


It’s inevitable na kailangan mong ungkatin yung sarili mong issues and to resolve so many things.


If you’re going to start dating a woman and just start comparing her to a guy, and then sasabihin mo lang na dapat magpakalalake ka, or treat me like you’re a guy, mag-date ka na lang ng guy. Because that woman, kahit ano pa yung bihis niya, kahit ano pa yung asta niya, hindi siya magiging lalake, and hopefully she doesn’t want to be if she identifies as a woman, di ba? So don’t expect that of her. Kasi andaming lalakeng andyan na nakapila sa iyo. Pumili ka ng lalake. If you’re just going to force this woman to be a man, just date a man. Don’t waste that woman’s time. Kahit na sabihin niya na no, I’m willing to do this, I’m willing to take the place, it’s not gonna happen. Please, just let that person go kung pipilitin mo lang siyang maging guy. (58:33)


You have no business na makipagrelasyon ka sa kapwa mo babae if you don’t understand or want to understand how unique the love between two women is. It’s so special, it’s a gift and a blessing to both of you, you will learn so much from each other about yourselves, it’s going to change your life, and also it will completely break you. It will completely devastate you, you will hurt each other. Don’t underestimate the change that a woman can make in your life. (59:30)


When you’re in a relationship, andun naman yung love. Pero natutunan ko that love is really not enough. For me ang pinaka-importante ay ang honesty…and don’t forget to thank each other every day kahit na sa maliliit na bagay. Communication is key. 

My Selfish Reasons For Starting A Podcast

Shakira Sison



“When are you going to start a podcast?” They asked.

“Never.” I thought. I always thought sounded horrible and didn’t have enough personality, energy, or anything interesting to say to be in a podcast. So I completely dismissed the possibility. Until…



  1.  To conquer my fear.
  2.  To stop beating myself up.
  3.  To stop cringing when I hear my own voice.
  4.  To have a creative outlet in a time of stagnation and complacency.
  5.  To be kind to myself. 


I received an invitation to guest in a podcast series about overseas Filipinos. I had spent years declining pretty much all invitations from the Philippines for virtually anything: speeches, awards, judging contest, guest speakers, special interest resources, and the like. When I received the unsolicited email from a new podcasting company, I thought, let me hear what they had to say. The topic seemed timely and relevant. I’d spent over a year of pandemic lock down in a creative black hole, with lots of ideas but no concrete output. I thought, why not give it a shot?


I was nervous and scared but I ended up having so much fun that I actually entertained the possibility of starting my own podcast.  

Of course the objective of creating a show that is entertaining and educational was there, but my primary goal was entirely selfish. I wanted to get over myself. I wanted to stop beating myself up about my voice, about being shy, about not having anything to say. 

Basically I started this podcast to learn how to be kinder to myself. Now four episodes in, I am convinced it is working. 


The High School “Best Friend” Concept

Shakira Sison


In Episode 2, I discussed the occurrence of possible primordial lesbian relationships in high school, particularly in all-girls high schools in the Philippines. These friendships were often intense, exclusive, and very emotional. There were many jealous rages, fights, and unmistakable affection between two adolescent girls. 

I was in a number of those friendships in high school, though I never even considered myself a lesbian until I was 22. To me then, they were just really close friendships, but they were often obsessive and “best friends” often behaved like romantic partners.

Of course, most of these friendships don’t progress to actual committed relationships or anything physical or sexual (mine didn’t). Most high school best friends later go on to lead heterosexual lives and simply look at that time as one of intense feelings. Or they may maintain those friendships throughout their lives. It’s a widely known fact that teenage girls have intense relationships with one another, and that’s just a part of normal female development.

I’m only speaking for myself who later on developed feelings for women way past the friendship level. Looking back I realize that I had practice lesbian relationships in high school with my best friends, particularly with one who was a little more affectionate than normal, hugging and kissing my face often, holding my hand when we would walk, and cuddling during sleepovers. I definitely didn’t have a relationship with that one, but now as an adult I definitely recognize that attachment and intensity as a little more than regular friendship.

I have an actual best friend from college who is still my friend now. We were close but never physical. In fact, I don’t even think we’ve held hands or shared a bed. That’s how I knew that my high school “best friends” were a little more than just friends.

Anyway, if you’re an all-girls school administrator reading this, don’t go banning best friends in your school. They’re just a part of growing up and are as unavoidable as the actual same-sex relationships that actually go on in your school. So relax.

I’m just an old lesbian reflecting on the past, and being a bit of a late bloomer in my lesbian development, I had to look back to my roots and figure out when I first felt so strongly about another woman. It was for a “best friend.”

Anyway, if you want to hear more about the best friend concept, listen to our second episode:

I Am Woman: A Butch Lesbian’s Love For Herself

Lia Roque

I Am Woman

By Lia Roque

This article was written by the author for her company’s Women’s Month celebration with the theme #ChoosetoChallenge. 

I felt very connected to this theme because as part of the LGBTQ+ community, we constantly challenge society even without intending to. Our presence as queer people questions lifelong views and ideas that those outside of our community grew up with. As I celebrate Pride Month, I would like to continue the Women’s month theme by challenging you to open your mind to the definition of Woman. In this day and age, we know women come in different forms, shapes, sizes, character and attitudes. We are finally breaking away from stereotypes and emerging into how we want to be individually defined. One type of woman I’m sure you see around but cannot figure out yet is the Butch Woman. The dictionary meaning of “butch” is “notably or deliberately masculine in appearance or manner.” 

I would simply describe the word butch as me

When you open my closet you will see pants, slacks, my bow ties, caps, hats and mostly button-down shirts. My shoes are mostly sneakers, oxfords, and boots. In short: not your typical women’s wardrobe. I enjoy the outdoors, playing sports, and I take care of assembling and fixing things at home. After reading this short description of myself one might think that I want to be a man, but the answer would definitely be NO. Although butch women present themselves as “masculine” the one thing they don’t want to be is to be a man. 

Growing up, I enjoyed my Barbies and tea sets but I was envious of my male cousins playing with their remote control cars. I was always given dresses by my grandmother but I always preferred wearing pants and sneakers. Never did I own any ribbons because I always had my hair short. What I enjoyed and how I presented myself was not typical of a young lady, but luckily this was not an issue with my family so I didn’t think I was different. Growing up I slowly observed and realized that I was not like my other classmates or friends, and this got me started in questioning myself. 

What I saw around me and how society defined gender roles I thought I wanted to be a boy. Then when I discovered I liked girls, and knowing that girls liked boys, I thought I had to be a boy so girls would like me too. With all of these in my head I just said to myself I should act like a boy but it still didn’t feel right because inside I knew I was a girl. 

Things changed when I got older and went to university. I joined organizations where I was able to express my authentic self and I was able to understand and define who I was. That’s where I discovered the term “butch”. During those years I just defined myself as a soft butch (yes, there are different types) because I wanted to make sure that people still felt that I didn’t want to be a man hence putting “soft” beside the word butch. Then slowly I got to meet other butch women and they were like me, masculine presenting but never wanting to be male. This made me feel comfortable with who I was. 

Now that I am older I have fully embraced myself and now define myself as just Butch. Being butch is my identity. Some may see me as wanting to be a man but I love everything that is woman about me. I love my curves, my hips, soft features, extra fat and even my estrogen-filled system. Most especially, I love women’s strength and resilience. I may not be able to feel sexy in stilettos but I feel sexy and hot wearing my bow tie with my leather oxfords. You’ll never see me in a dress but you’ll see me in a bikini on the beach. I just love being a woman! 

Now I challenge you to keep an open mind and see every woman individually because the definition of woman has no boundaries. With this being said, hopefully it’s now clearer that there’s no man in a lesbian relationship as well. 

My name is Lia. I’m butch, but above everything else, I am Woman.

Here is one of my favorite articles which features butch women, because visibility is important. 

The Butches and Studs, In Their Own Words

Happy Pride everyone! 

Quotes from Episode 1: Happy Pride

Episode, Quotes

As long as you’re a woman (no matter how you express your femininity and even if you dress a little masculine) and you love another woman, “lesbian” na ang tawag dun. When I claimed the word “lesbian,”everything fell into place. Wala nang nag-iimpose sakin na dapat ganito ang itsura ko o itsura ng mamahalin ko. Nawalan na rin yung limitation hindi mo na kini-question na “Bakit ganon yung dini-date niya, pareho silang boyish, o pareho silang feminine. Kasi you’re breaking free from the heterosexual roles, heteronormativity of a same-sex relationship. (20:30)


Hindi ko siya ma-deny. To me (meeting my first female love) felt so beautiful. I never thought na itago siya. Ang lakas-lakas ng nararamdaman ko. There was no way I was going to lie about this or hide the truth about myself. I’m going to be proud. Because that’s what this feeling and this love deserves. There was no turning back for me. (26:20)


It’s important to be true to yourself and to accept yourself. It’s very hard to convince anyone that you’re okay, that you’re happy being gay or bisexual or trans, kung hindi mo tanggap yung sarili mo, kung ashamed ka, feeling mo something is wrong with you. It’s hard for people to be happy for you. So the first step really is to come out to yourself. To realize, ano ba itong nararamdaman mo, do you accept it? What do you have to do? What’s your process para ma-accept mo yung sarili mo? (29:50)


The first time you came out, when you said those words out loud, it gives you the freedom, right? It removes the fear of being outed. Kasi wala na akong tinatago so ano pang sasabihin mo sa akin? Sinabi ko na sa iyo e. That moment na sinabi mo na lesbiyana ako, o bakla ako, o bisexual ako, sobrang ma-e-empower ka na kasi hindi na nila magamit yang term na yan sa iyo. Kasi ni-reclaim mo na yung salitang yan at identity na yan so hindi na nila magagamit yan against you. (30:30)


If you’re really serious about being an ally, it doesn’t stop by just saying, “I’m an ally and I support you.” Andaling sabihin non, diba….you need to understand the struggle that we go through. You can be an ally, but when was the last time that you really sat down with a gay person and asked them how they feel, what their fears are? Why don’t you ask that person if they’re afraid? Nakaranas ka ba ng violence? You really need to understand and really live life in the shoes of the oppressed minority na gusto mong i-support, because otherwise hindi mo mararamdaman yung nangyayari sa kanila. Iba kasi yung experience ng someone is fighting for you versus someone is fighting alongside you. (52:04)


If you don’t live life in other people’s shoes, hindi mo nararanasan yung na-e-experience nila or hindi mo sila kinakausap to find out what pains them, what scares them, what makes them sad, it’s so easy for you to say, “Ok naman kayo e. Accepted naman kayo e.” Kasi hindi mo nakikita yung paghihirap nila e. Why would you fight for somebody kung hindi mo alam na naghihirap sila? Why would you want them to have more rights if you don’t know na wala pala silang rights? (53:25)


If you’re gonna be an ally, you have to be willing to be uncomfortable. You have to realize that you will feel guilty. And you will have to admit that you have done people wrong. (54:40)


If you don’t admit that you are at fault, you are not going to learn how to correct yourself and how to treat people better. (54:58)


If you’re privileged and you’re straight, hindi mo na-re-realize kung ano bang nawawala sa lgbtq community kung hindi ma-legalize yung union nila with their partner? If you don’t sit down and ask (same-sex couples) what the benefits are of having these (marriage) protections under law, you’re not going to fight for it. (54:02)


If you have a child who is questioning his sexuality, na baka bading pala siya o tibam pala siya, tapos sinasabi mo na tanggap kita at mahal pa rin kita, pero itong anak mo hindi naman nakakita na may friends ka na gay, wala ring dumadalaw as bahay ninyo, or puro homophobic yung sinasabi mo, puro masama yung sinasabi mo tungkol so gay community, so bakit maniniwala sa iyo yung anak mo? Even if you say, tanggap kita, I will still love you, magtatago pa rin siya. We have to remind parents na if you really feel na OK lang sa iyo na maging ganon sila, show it. Teach your child that a marriage between same-gender partners is the same as your marriage to your husband or to your wife. Or have gay friends. Have them come over para makita nila how you treat gay people. Because otherwise it’s all just talk. At hindi maniniwala yung anak ninyo, and they will always be afraid and still be closeted and that’s going to lead to bad behavior. (55:08)