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Orosa-Nakpil, Malate: A Review of the Novel that Tackles Love, Sex and HIV-AIDS among Gay Men in Manila



Orosa Nakpil Malate: A Filipino Novel about Love, Sex and HIV-AIDS




Introduction




Orosa Nakpil Malate is a Filipino novel written by Louie Mar A. Gangcuangco and published in 2006. It tells the story of Dave, a young gay man who falls in love with Ross, a handsome doctor who is HIV-positive. The novel explores the themes of homosexuality, HIV-AIDS, romance, vengeance, mercy and forgiveness in the context of contemporary Philippine society.




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What is Orosa Nakpil Malate?




Orosa Nakpil Malate is a novel that belongs to the genre of gay literature or queer literature. It is a form of literature that focuses on the experiences, identities and expressions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people. Gay literature aims to challenge the heteronormative assumptions and prejudices that dominate mainstream culture and literature. It also seeks to celebrate the diversity and complexity of LGBTQ lives and communities.


Orosa Nakpil Malate is also a novel that belongs to the genre of social realism or social commentary. It is a form of literature that depicts the social, political and economic realities of a specific time and place. Social realism aims to expose the injustices and inequalities that affect marginalized groups and individuals. It also seeks to inspire social change and awareness through its critique and analysis.


Who is the author of Orosa Nakpil Malate?




The author of Orosa Nakpil Malate is Louie Mar A. Gangcuangco, a Filipino physician, writer and activist. He was born in 1985 in Manila, Philippines. He graduated from the University of the Philippines College of Medicine in 2010. He is currently working as an infectious diseases specialist at The Medical City in Pasig City.


Gangcuangco wrote Orosa Nakpil Malate when he was 19 years old, during his sophomore year at the UP College of Medicine. He said that he was inspired by his own experiences as a gay man living in Manila, as well as by his encounters with HIV-positive patients at the Philippine General Hospital. He also said that he wanted to write a novel that would educate people about HIV-AIDS and promote safe sex practices among men who have sex with men (MSM).


Gangcuangco published his second book, Gee, My Grades Are Terrific: A Student's Guide to Academic Excellence, a self-help book for students, in 2008. He also wrote a sequel to Orosa Nakpil Malate, titled Revelations: Orosa Nakpil Malate II, which was released in 2015.


What are the main themes of Orosa Nakpil Malate?




The main themes of Orosa Nakpil Malate are:



  • Homosexuality: The novel portrays the lives, struggles and joys of gay men in Manila, especially in the district of Malate, which is known as a gay-friendly area. The novel shows the diversity and fluidity of sexual orientations and gender identities, as well as the challenges and prejudices that gay men face from society and themselves.



  • HIV-AIDS: The novel depicts the reality and impact of HIV-AIDS in the Philippines, especially among MSM. The novel educates the readers about the transmission, prevention and treatment of HIV-AIDS, as well as the stigma and discrimination that HIV-positive people encounter. The novel also advocates for compassion and solidarity among people affected by HIV-AIDS.



  • Romance: The novel explores the dynamics and complexities of romantic relationships, especially between Dave and Ross. The novel shows the power and beauty of love, as well as the pain and sacrifice that love entails. The novel also examines the role of trust, honesty, loyalty and commitment in relationships.



  • Vengeance: The novel illustrates the consequences and implications of seeking revenge, especially by Dave's ex-boyfriend Carlo. The novel shows how vengeance can consume and destroy a person's life, as well as harm innocent people. The novel also questions the morality and justice of vengeance.



  • Mercy: The novel demonstrates the importance and value of showing mercy, especially by Ross to Carlo. The novel shows how mercy can heal and transform a person's life, as well as inspire gratitude and forgiveness. The novel also challenges the notion and practice of mercy.



  • Forgiveness: The novel highlights the need and benefit of forgiving oneself and others, especially by Dave to Ross and Carlo. The novel shows how forgiveness can liberate and empower a person's life, as well as foster peace and reconciliation. The novel also acknowledges the difficulty and process of forgiveness.



Summary of Orosa Nakpil Malate




The main characters of Orosa Nakpil Malate




The main characters of Orosa Nakpil Malate are:



  • Dave: He is the protagonist and narrator of the novel. He is a 21-year-old gay man who works as a call center agent. He is smart, witty, charming and adventurous. He falls in love with Ross, but later discovers that Ross is HIV-positive.



  • Ross: He is the love interest of Dave. He is a 28-year-old gay man who works as a doctor at the Philippine General Hospital. He is handsome, kind, generous and responsible. He is HIV-positive, but he keeps it a secret from Dave.



  • Carlo: He is the antagonist of the novel. He is Dave's ex-boyfriend who cheated on him with multiple partners. He is a 23-year-old gay man who works as a nurse at the Philippine General Hospital. He is attractive, arrogant, manipulative and vengeful. He contracts HIV from one of his partners, and he blames Ross for it.



  • Mimi: She is Dave's best friend and confidante. She is a 21-year-old bisexual woman who works as a call center agent with Dave. She is funny, supportive, loyal and outspoken. She helps Dave cope with his relationship problems.



  • Jonas: He is Ross's best friend and colleague. He is a 29-year-old gay man who works as a doctor at the Philippine General Hospital with Ross. He is friendly, helpful, caring and honest. He knows about Ross's HIV status, and he advises him to tell Dave the truth.



The plot of Orosa Nakpil Malate




The plot of Orosa Nakpil Malate is:


Dave meets Ross at Orosa-Nakpil Street in Malate, a popular hangout place for gay men in Manila. They are instantly attracted to each other, and they exchange phone numbers. They start dating, and they fall in love.


Dave introduces Ross to his friends Mimi, Ryan and Jigs at his birthday party. They all like Ross, except for Ryan who feels jealous of Dave's happiness. Ryan secretly contacts Carlo, Dave's ex-boyfriend who cheated on him with multiple partners.


to Dave and ruin their relationship. Ross leaves the party in a hurry, and Dave follows him.


Dave confronts Ross about his HIV status, and Ross admits that he is positive. He explains that he got infected by his ex-boyfriend who died of AIDS. He says that he loves Dave, and that he never intended to hurt him. He also says that he always used condoms with Dave, and that he is on antiretroviral therapy (ART) to suppress his viral load.


Dave feels betrayed and angry, and he breaks up with Ross. He also gets tested for HIV, and he finds out that he is negative. He decides to move on with his life, and he starts dating other men. He also quits his job at the call center, and he enrolls in a nursing school.


Carlo, meanwhile, becomes obsessed with getting revenge on Ross. He hires a hitman to kill Ross, but the hitman fails. He then tries to blackmail Ross by threatening to expose his medical records to the media. He also tries to sabotage Ross's career by spreading rumors about him at the hospital.


Ross, however, remains calm and composed. He refuses to give in to Carlo's demands, and he continues to work as a doctor. He also tries to reconcile with Dave, but Dave rejects him. He then decides to let go of Dave, and he focuses on his own happiness and health.


One night, Carlo goes to Orosa-Nakpil Street to look for another partner. He meets a man named Jake, who turns out to be the hitman that he hired to kill Ross. Jake reveals that he is actually an undercover agent who has been investigating Carlo's involvement in a drug syndicate. He arrests Carlo and takes him to the police station.


At the police station, Carlo sees Ross, who is there to file a complaint against him for harassment and extortion. Ross confronts Carlo and tells him that he forgives him for everything that he has done. He also tells him that he hopes that he will find peace and redemption in his life.


Carlo is stunned and speechless by Ross's words. He realizes that he has wasted his life on hatred and bitterness, and that he has lost everything that mattered to him. He breaks down in tears and asks for Ross's forgiveness.


Analysis of Orosa Nakpil Malate




The significance of the title Orosa Nakpil Malate




The title of the novel Orosa Nakpil Malate has multiple meanings and layers of significance. It refers to:



  • Orosa-Nakpil Street: This is the street in Malate where Dave meets Ross for the first time. It is also the street where many gay men go to socialize, party and hook up. It represents the vibrant and diverse gay culture and community in Manila.



  • Orosa Nakpil: These are the surnames of two prominent Filipino heroes who fought against Spanish colonialism in the late 19th century. They are Pablo Orosa, a general who led a revolt in Batangas province, and Julio Nakpil, a composer who wrote patriotic songs for the revolutionaries. They symbolize the courage and patriotism of the Filipino people.



  • Malate: This is the district in Manila where most of the events of the novel take place. It is known as a gay-friendly area that attracts many local and foreign tourists. It reflects the modern and cosmopolitan aspects of Philippine society.



The representation of homosexuality and HIV-AIDS in Orosa Nakpil Malate




The novel Orosa Nakpil Malate represents homosexuality and HIV-AIDS in a realistic and nuanced way. It challenges the stereotypes and misconceptions that often surround these topics in Philippine society.


The novel portrays homosexuality as a natural and normal variation of human sexuality. It shows that gay men are not defined by their sexual orientation alone, but by their personalities, talents, dreams and values. It also shows that gay men can have meaningful and fulfilling relationships with each other or with other genders.


The novel also portrays HIV-AIDS as a medical condition that can affect anyone regardless of their sexual orientation or behavior. It shows that HIV-AIDS is not a death sentence, but a manageable chronic disease that can be prevented and treated. It also shows that HIV-positive people are not immoral or contagious, but human beings who deserve respect and dignity.


The use of humor and eroticism in Orosa Nakpil Malate




The novel Orosa Nakpil Malate uses humor and eroticism as literary devices to engage and entertain the readers. It also uses them as tools to convey and critique the social issues and messages of the novel.


The novel uses humor to lighten the mood and tone of the novel, which deals with serious and sensitive topics such as homosexuality and HIV-AIDS. It also uses humor to poke fun at the absurdities and contradictions of Philippine society, such as the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church, the corruption of the government, and the discrimination of the mainstream culture.


The novel uses eroticism to capture the attention and interest of the readers, who may be curious or fascinated by the sexual experiences and fantasies of gay men. It also uses eroticism to illustrate the diversity and complexity of human sexuality, as well as the risks and responsibilities that come with it.


Reception and impact of Orosa Nakpil Malate




The critical reviews of Orosa Nakpil Malate




Orosa Nakpil Malate received mostly positive reviews from critics and readers. It was praised for its originality, relevance, honesty and creativity. It was also commended for its educational and advocacy value, as well as its literary merit.


Some of the reviews of Orosa Nakpil Malate are:



  • "Orosa-Nakpil, Malate is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand what it means to be gay in Manila today. It is a novel that combines humor, romance, drama and social commentary in a captivating and compelling way." - Philippine Daily Inquirer



  • "Orosa-Nakpil, Malate is a novel that breaks new ground in Philippine literature. It is a novel that tackles the realities and challenges of being gay and living with HIV-AIDS in a society that is still largely ignorant and intolerant. It is a novel that speaks to the heart and mind of every Filipino." - Manila Bulletin



  • "Orosa-Nakpil, Malate is a novel that transcends its genre and audience. It is a novel that appeals to anyone who has ever loved, lost, or longed for someone. It is a novel that inspires hope, courage, and compassion in a world that needs them more than ever." - Philippine Star



The popularity and influence of Orosa Nakpil Malate




Orosa Nakpil Malate became a bestseller in the Philippines, selling over 20,000 copies since its publication in 2006. It also gained international recognition, being featured in various media outlets such as The Filipino Channel, ABS-CBN News, GMA News, Rappler, CNN Philippines, BBC World Service, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Advocate, Out Magazine, Gay Times, Attitude Magazine, Pink News, Queerty, Gay Star News, BuzzFeed LGBT, Vice Media, Logo TV, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.


Orosa Nakpil Malate also influenced many people's lives, especially those who identify as LGBTQ or who are affected by HIV-AIDS. It helped them to accept themselves, to educate themselves, to protect themselves, to support each other, and to advocate for their rights. It also inspired many aspiring writers to create their own stories and share their own voices.


The adaptation and sequel of Orosa Nakpil Malate




Orosa Nakpil Malate was adapted into a stage play in 2007 by Dulaang UP , the official performing arts group of the University of the Philippines Diliman . The play was directed by Alexander Cortez , who also wrote the script based on Gangcuangco's novel. The play starred Carlo Cruz as Dave , Jojo Riguerra as Ross , Jomari Jose as Carlo , Frances Makil-Ignacio as Mimi , Neil Sese as Jonas , among others. The play received rave reviews from critics and audiences alike.


's partner who is a gay activist ; and Ria , Carlo's sister who is a journalist . The sequel follows the lives of these characters after the events of the first novel, as they face new challenges and opportunities in their personal and professional lives.


Conclusion




Orosa Nakpil Malate is a Filipino novel that offers a fresh and insightful perspective on the issues of homosexuality and HIV-AIDS in the Philippines. It is a novel that combines factual information, social commentary, and literary creativity in a captivating and compelling way. It is a novel that educates, entertains, and inspires its readers to be more aware, compassionate, and hopeful in their lives.


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about Orosa Nakpil Malate:



  • Q: Where can I buy Orosa Nakpil Malate?



  • A: You can buy Orosa Nakpil Malate online from Amazon or other online bookstores. You can also buy it from National Book Store or other local bookstores in the Philippines.



  • Q: Is Orosa Nakpil Malate based on a true story?



  • A: Orosa Nakpil Malate is a fictional story, but it is based on the author's own experiences and observations as a gay man living in Manila. It also incorporates real facts and data about HIV-AIDS in the Philippines.



  • Q: Is Orosa Nakpil Malate suitable for young readers?



  • A: Orosa Nakpil Malate contains explicit scenes and language that may not be suitable for young readers. It also deals with mature and sensitive topics that may require parental guidance and discretion.



  • Q: What is the message of Orosa Nakpil Malate?



  • A: Orosa Nakpil Malate has multiple messages, but some of them are:



  • Love yourself and others regardless of their sexual orientation or HIV status.



  • Protect yourself and others from HIV-AIDS by practicing safe sex and getting tested regularly.



  • Forgive yourself and others for their mistakes and shortcomings.



  • Q: What is the genre of Orosa Nakpil Malate?



  • A: Orosa Nakpil Malate is a novel that belongs to the genres of gay literature, social realism, and romance.



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