From the Publisher
People say that a man can dream. “Libre lang mangarap” is the Filipino equivalent, meaning dreaming is absolutely free. But when you're growing up gay, you know very well that it's not quite true. It's supposed to be a gay-friendly country– that's what they say in the press. We know it isn't. It can cost you a lot. Here, dreams are often limited because of a society that dictates the distance we can reach. As the world around us changes, there are still places where progress moves at a glacial pace, some even taking ten steps back from where they’re supposed to go.The Philippines is one of them.
Phillip Valdez knows the limits the people back home put on people like him. It's something he's been fighting all his life. Finally a successful businessman, he aims to acquire majority stocks of one of the Philippines’ leading television networks. He agrees to an interview from the country’s leading lifestyle and features magazine in the hopes of drumming up some good PR, but is shocked to be interviewed by the intimidating Grace Potenciano, who seems to stop at nothing in order to dig deep into the sordid details of his past.
The story takes its readers through the life of a young boy called Pip, whose life in the lower middle class suburbs of Third World Philippines is encumbered by the repressive treatment he endures in his own household. Burdened by his growing realization of his own sexuality, he escapes through school until his world is shaken senseless with the arrival of Lemuel Rodriguez.
Through Lemuel, Pip is taken down a path of self-discovery, heartbreak and drugs, until it seems nothing in his life is left worth redeeming. He begins to weave his way through an assorted group of characters, finding friendship, acceptance and love.
He meets Chareaux, a drag queen in the seedy underbelly of the Philippines’ red light district.
Pocholo, an aging businessman who takes to the disenfranchised Pip while jetting in and out of the Philippines.
Michael, who seems hell-bent on undermining Pip to breaking point.
We follow Phillip's from the suburbs to the city, from the Philippines to the US and back again, in a journey that everyone will find something of themselves in.