(WRITER’S NOTE:  Two of my closest friends recently got married and asked me to be part of their wedding entourage not as a Best Man [because that would mean I am only on the Groom’s Side] nor as the Man of Honor [because that would make me only a part of the Bride’s] but as the Couple’s Gay Best Friend, or Couple’s GBF.  This was the speech I gave during the reception celebrating their union and wedded bliss.)

A lot of you are probably wondering, “Who is this super attractive, witty and sassy person wearing what seems to be a suit made out of aluminum foil?”  Wouldn’t it be super fun if I had a game where all of you would take a guess who I am?  I seriously thought about it but was afraid everyone would just shout in unison: YOU ARE RODNEY’S POOREST FRIEND!


Well, you’re wrong.  I am not only Rodney’s poorest friend but I am also probably, or most definitely, his gayest.  I mean, I don’t see anyone else here wearing something made by Reynolds Wrap.  But another superlative that you can throw my gay way is I also happen to be one of Rodney’s closest friends as he is mine.

Our friendship began in Ateneo when both of us were taking up our Master’s Degree.  Surprise! Rodney has a Master’s Degree!  I first encountered Rodney at a classmate’s house party wherein he just barged in, probably on the way to being drunk, and he grabbed a Magic Sing and proceeded to sing J.Lo’s and Ja Rule’s “I’m Real.”  Thankfully, he sang the Ja Rule part which mostly consisted of obnoxiously shouting “R-U-L-E!”

It goes without saying that my first impressions of Rodney were not positive.  I thought he was loud, obnoxious and wild.  Pretty much how someone else would describe me.  Except, he isn’t gay – or maybe who knows, I mean, this could just be like a front – I don’t know.

Anyway, I am forever grateful that my first impressions of Rodney did not deter me from getting to know the round-faced Chinese guy who is most probably drunk at Grams in Rockwell after class.  Had my initial take on his character been a hurdle, then I would not have discovered what a truly amazing person he is.

Just how amazing is Rodney?  Let me just quickly share three of his top qualities:

  1. Rodney is very funny – not in an “Oh my God, you are so witty and quick!” kind of way but more of like in the vein of “Oh my God, I can’t believe what is coming out of your mouth!” kind of way. ¼ of the time he is bound to say something offensive – and I find it super funny because I, too, am very offensive but I made sure that I won’t say anything THAT offensive tonight, don’t worry.
  2. Rodney is very loyal – he is the kind of person who will stick with me through thin and thinner because those are the only two states of my body that I will allow myself to have. I’m not into fat shaming anyone but I’m gay so I am pretty much required to have abs.  Anyway, my abs naman does not have anything to do with Rodney’s loyalty but I bet even if I didn’t have abs, he will still be my friend because he is super loyal.
  3. Rodney is generous and kind, sometimes to a fault – Rodney is thoughtful and kind and generous. He has never forgotten to give me a gift or a souvenir every time he would travel.  If he sees something made of ube, he will surely get it for me since he knows I am obsessed with ube.   Every year for my birthday, I would request my guests to give me boxer briefs as gifts.  (Imagine how many pairs of underwear I have – but that’s another story.)  Anyway, last year, Rodney went overboard with his gifts.  Knowing that I specifically said no Bench underwear – I support local brands – I mean, I buy from Bench.  But sorry, my testicles have colonial mentality.  So anyway, what did Rodney give me?  He gave me something like 10 pairs of undies which were so cute and amazing – and he bought them at Landmark probably from a sale bin.  See what I mean?  He is kind and generous, sometimes to a fault.  Lagi na lang siyang may fault.

These are just some of the qualities that made me and my friends and a lot of you here love Rodney.  He is funny.  He is loyal.  He is generous and kind, among other things.  He is hardworking.  He is passionate.  And he really has high self-esteem, I mean only a person with high self esteem would think he has enough vocal chops to sing the way he does back in the days when we were doing karaoke.

He is really the type of guy that any gay person would proud to introduce to his parents as a boyfriend.  And that was what I thought was gonna happen na.  I mean, he has been single for like 6 years before meeting his now-wife, and I thought, “Victor this is it.  This is your chance to be part of Mano Po.  I mean sure, Rodney doesn’t have abs, but wala rin namang abs si Winnie the Pooh so okay lang yan.  You have Winnie the Pe!

Everyone was okay na with the idea – am I right Barnaby?  Di ba you’re okay na with me and Rodney ending up together?  Even Tita Rose seems cool with the idea.

Then came HER.  That girl over there.  When Rodney introduced us to his now-wife, Debbie; in my head I thought, it will never last.  She is far too classy to be going out with a guy whose idea of smart casual is a Minion t-shirt.  But Rodney talked to me, practically begged me, “Babe, tanggapin mo naman na si Debbie.  Okay naman siya saka you will always have a better butt than her because you run 5K almost every day.

Photo courtesy of Rodney Ong

Okay that actually did not happen.  Madami lang yata akong napapak na MSG from North Park kagabi.  Anyway, to say that Rodney’s friends are super thankful that he has met Debbie is an understatement.  In the dictionary, if you look for the word “BEST”, you will see her photo there.  Because she simply is the best.  (But I do have the better butt so I’m okay with that.)

I have gotten to know Debbie not just as Rodney’s girlfriend/fiancé but really as a friend independent of Rodney.  And there are moments when Rodney would say or do something idiotic and I would turn to Debbie and say, “Qurl, I would totally get it if you would wanna break up with him.  And don’t worry, we will side with you.  I’ve talked to the rest already.” 

Earlier I was waxing poetic on how loyal and amazing and generous and kind Rodney is, right?  Well, guess what.  Debbie is like 10x more.  She makes Rodney (who is really super amazing) look like a war criminal or something.  Debbie is what you get when you mix the kindness of Mother Teresa, the compassion of the Dalai Lama and all the clothes from Harlan and Holden – all branches ha and not just the one in Rockwell.

Rodney has given me so many gifts in the 12 or so years we have been friends – but no gift of his would ever surpass giving me and our friends the gift of Debbie.  Our lives are made better because she is around.  Plus, we are always pressured to look and dress better than we always do for fear na we will look like her assistant.

To say that I am overjoyed that one of my best friends has found the best girl is a gross understatement.  I speak on behalf of all my friends when I say “Thank you, Debbie for accepting our dear friend Rodney, warts, toes without nails and all.  You made a very great man even better.”  And I speak on behalf of all our friends Rodney when I say “Thank you too for bringing Debbie into our lives.  She is a Godsend.”

I am truly honored that I have the special role of being named the Couple’s GBF: The Couple’s Gay Best Friend.  Please go check your invitations, ako po yan.  I was supposed to be one of the best men, but Debbie also wanted me to be on her side.  We thought of me being called Man of Honor (probably the only time I will be called honorable) but Rodney was like, “But he was my friend first.”

What a wonderful problem to have – two people who are some of the best people anyone here will ever meet are fighting over you.  And it made me think, Hmmmm… two of the best people are fighting over me, well I may the best person of all.

If some of you are still wondering, “Who is this super attractive, smart, funny and witty person dressed like a bangus?”  Now, you know who I am.  I am Rodney and Debbie’s Gay Best Friend and probably the best person of all.

Also, I would like to raise to toast to Rodney and Debbie – the second best people next to me.

Photo courtesy of Rodney Ong

© 2018 Victor John Platon
All Rights Reserved.

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