There’s this indie film that I recently watched at the Cinemalaya 2012 Film Festival. It’s called Bwakaw. The story revolves around the life of an old homosexual man who lives in an old decrepit house with no one but his dog named Bwakaw. He named the dog as such because it was voracious, gluttonous, or ravenous, which is what the word “bwakaw” means. Rene, the protagonist in the story, is a cranky old man. He has friends but he doesn’t treat them as friends. He keeps to himself and doesn’t like being disturbed for anything. He’s irritable and prone to yelling, arguing, quarreling and even hurting people. Rene lived his life as if everything is in preparation for his death. All his things are already packed in boxes and carefully labeled to whom they’d be bequeathed. And he already has a handwritten last will and testament, which he entrusts to the parish priest. He even has a coffin in his living room, which he bought a long time ago and had to keep it in the house because the funeral parlor had already closed down. He believes this is the best way to live his lonely life. A childhood friend asked him why he doesn’t think of things that would make him happy instead of preparing for his death. His answer was, “Nothing could make me happy anymore.” Both he and his dog, whom he says his best friend, were sick. Bwakaw was dying with cancer. Such was his sad life.
Towards the end of the film, I remembered someone and I suddenly had a vision of him ending up like Rene. Old, alone, and lonely. Rene did not accept his homosexuality until he was already 60 years old. He even forced himself to keep a relationship with a woman for 15 long years. The woman, having loved no one else but him, also grew old alone, sick with Alzheimer’s disease and ended up in a home for the aged. Rene blames himself for the woman’s sad life and he blames God for his own loneliness. He argued with the priest that if it is a sin to be gay, why did God make him gay? And worst, God made him a cowardly gay because he couldn’t accept what he was and live as a homosexual. Like Rene, this man I know hasn’t accepted his homosexuality yet. He’s still in the denial stage, but his wife saw some tell-tale signs of homosexuality and in her unhappiness and unrequited affection, already left him.
I know I am not in the position to say for sure that this man is completely and undoubtedly gay, especially if he’s denying it. He may or may not be gay but his choices, his dependence on his parents and family for decisions, beliefs and even opinions - cast a dark shadow of doubt on his manhood. And living his life with no circle of friends to go out with, keeping to himself at work, lacking social graces and having no sense of humor, I believe he has the makings of Rene in the movie. He was lucky to get a wife but was not man enough to keep her.