BAKLA AKO, MAY REKLAMO?! I remember the first time I browsed his website baklaako.com when I was still based in Dagupan City. He is considered as one of the real influential bloggers in the Philippine Blogosphere and he somewhat inspired a lot of people (men and women) to come out of the closet. He blogs about his interests and at the same time, write heartwarming stories about his own experiences and he actively participates in activities supporting the LGBT community.
I met him for the first time at the iBlog4. Cai, Maki and I had a crush on him and secretly wished that he was straight LOL. Later on, we would bump into each other in blog events and Plurkfiestas. He supported me too in some events I organized for the company I used to work with. He is a certified head turner as people would take a glance as he enters the room. He is also a fashionista and he carries his clothes with style.
He may be frank, but he is fun to be with. He is willing to do crazy things and he wants to live his life. We used to chat about random stuff. From showbiz to chismis to live in general. He truly lives up to the ‘Happy and Gay’ description.
I am lucky enough to be paired with him at the iBlog5 two years ago, where we were tasked to talk about Blogging 101 – the Basics of Blogging. We met up at CBTL at GB3 two days prior to the event and we didn’t really talk much about our slides. Instead, we discussed about my birthday and updated each other with what’s new in our lives. He even encouraged me to pursue my passion for filmmaking and even suggested that I make a different kind of LGBT-themed story. Being the workaholic that he is, he even shared some tips on multitasking and how to balance work and life. What an independent person this AJ is!
Clip from our intro talk found here
As expected, our not-so-prepared talk at the iBlog5 turned out to be a learning yet funny one. What a nice day to start a blogging summit! He did the slides a few hours before our talk as we chat via YM. To make the talk a bit more lively, we decided to put some funny lines while onstage. It has something to do with me having crush on gay gays (like him LOL) and him being firm saying that he will never be straight hehe =P
Ang Tunay na Lalaki ay hindi natutulog. Eh di straight ka? Laging kang puyat, eh!
Sorry, hindi talaga ‘teh
The next day, we attended the Enchanted Kingdom Olympics and he is really competitive LOL =P . He is the type of person who knows how to have fun but when he wants something, he will work hard to get it. Mas lalaki pa siya sa iba r’yan.
When we arrived in Manila, Winston, Van, Bryan, Jason and I had a ‘grown-up’ talk with AJ. You know, us still being idealistic individuals hehe He shared us stories about the difference of life being dependent to your parents and making ends meet as an independent individual. His statements lightened us and made us think about our own lives. I admire his personality like most bloggers who know him do. May prinsipyo.
The last saw him at the Wordcamp 2010. We managed to exchanged hi’s and hello’s, but we didn’t really get the chance to just sit down and talk. We would say greet each other on FB and on Twitter though. Hay… nakakamiss.
AJ Matela passed away last night. Two days before his 29th birthday. I know that he is happy wherever he is now and I am praying that his family will be able to surpass this.
To AJ a.k.a. Bakla -> You will always be remembered. I will always picture you as an image of a proud gay man who is optimistic towards life. May God bless you. Mahal na mahal kita.
A Facebook group called 1000 Volunteers for AJ Matela was created to help collate funds for AJ’s hospital expenses. You can donate via Paypal by sending it to fundsforAJ@gmail.com (thanks to Faith Salazar!). Rest assured that the donations will be given to AJ’s family. You can also contact Mrs. Matela at 0908 570 1555/0927 984 8142 or deposit it at BPI (Kidapawan) SA#8669-0851-93 of Eric John Matela.
AJ Needs Our Help Now by Migs
Adieu, AJ! by Faith Salazar
Five on Friday: AJ in Photos by Markku
Photo Credits: AJ, Ada, Drew, Nina and Van