Sunday, February 02, 2020

Unboxing the Cherry Poppin’: Perfect 4 You Auctionees

By Jay Fernando

There is something dubious yet exciting with that thought of bidding for a date auction. Speculating the possibilities of what would happen just tickles one’s curiosity, and participating in one just makes it feel more real. It somewhat brings you back to highschool cafeteria games like Boink Marry Kill where one’s standing is determined by a single trait.

Nonetheless brave souls have entered the game as this year’s auctionees for Cherry Poppin’ - the most popular, if not the only auction of its kind in the country. Now on its 4th iteration, the event aims to raise much needed funds for LoveYourself’s various programs for HIV awareness, testing and treatment, among others.


Putting yourself out there is certainly risky. While there’s a possibility of frustration - especially when you lose the bid - there’s also the possibility of having your happily ever after. But one has to wonder - why? For the auctionees, it’s also a gamble, banking on their appeal to help the organization.



For Marvelous Pascual, an events organizer, it doesn’t need much thought. It is for a good cause after all. He believes and supports the organization. Being a member himself of a charitable group of gay and bisexual men in Metro Manila, Marvelous is not new to fundraisers and has been very active in community service. For him, helping out in any way he can is an important aspect of his endeavor to change how people see the LGBT community – that they are not just about fun and parties.



Because of social media, looking at twitter feeds or instagram posts that, it has been so easy to judge people nowadays as either empty or overbearing. This sentiment is shared by another auctionee Aldwin Amolat, a student who sidelines as a barista. Despite being the youngest of this year’s auctionees, he has been volunteering for LoveYourself for years now. One may not expect this from Aldwin who may easily fall under that “twink” category, or from Marvelous whom people see as the “party guy.”


When you look at Arlan Dizon, he may seem like your typical athletic guy who goes to the gym, and watches sports on livestream. But this  mechanical engineer, is interested in much more than that. He loves suspense movies! The looming possibility of a surprise just invigorates his soul.



Apparently, boxes are  lazy categories we use to classify people, and the more I get to know them, the easier they are to refute or discredit. For example: Janlee Dunca may appear to be the token trans woman of the group. But she’s not defined only by her gender identity. Opening up about her dating history, she shared how she has dated both men and women, and prefers to keep her options open when it comes to love.

More than anything, time with these people can make you realize that making snap judgments about a person or fantasizing wildly about them are normal, but may not be helpful in your happily forever after. What’s important is  that you enjoy the experience of getting to know each other. That’s how you’ll know if you’re the perfect match.


Be part of LoveYourself’s Cherry Poppin’ – Perfect 4 You and get to know cool people and have a chance to date an auctionee this May 23, 2020 at One Canvas Events Place. Visit https://ticket2me.net/e/4599 for tickets! Together let’s take down some more boxes.