The CuriousPages Sketchbook

Seeing my supposed doppelganger on TV

The idea that an actor would be playing me in a TV show amused me greatly. In fact, it seemed so fantastic, when I heard about it, I couldn’t stop laughing for hours.

The whole thing began the previous day when Rhyan received a phone call at about 5.30am. He was asleep and I lay listening to his phone. After the second missed call, I got out of bed to get his phone for him, in case it was his family trying to contact him from the Philippines (they are seven hours ahead of us). His phone rang again and it was a researcher from a Philippine TV company (GMA Channel7, which is the Philippine equivalent of the BBC here in the UK). They were doing a feature on Filipinos who use the internet to find love abroad and they wanted to feature our story. It was a Monday morning and the show was due to be screened on the Friday evening. There followed a few frantic days of phone interviews, of us sending them whatever videos and pics we had, and of two local Filipino’s (from the Bristol Philippine Society) filming us on an extended walk in the park. The show was broadcast that Friday, 8 October:

English translation of the show:

(Voiceover) You can find everything on the internet, news, information, long lost friends, even love. Even finding love is not a hard thing on the internet. The “third sex” (gays) often use the internet to find their prince charming, and most of them end up getting a foreign partner.

Here in the United Kingdom, Rhyan has been happily living for five months, and Rhyan is a gay. According to Rhyan he feels lucky to be living in England with his partner. It’s a beautiful love story that all started in just one click after he entered the world of online gay dating.

Rhyan used to be a teacher in Cebu, and like any other people who love to talk and to be understood, he submersed himself into chatting. [2:05] In one gay dating website, he met Fletch, a British man. Because Fletch is a writer and Rhyan loves literature, they found they had lots in common.

(Rhyan) “Fletch and I then decided to meet in Tagaytay to spend our Christmas vacation.”


 (Voiceover) After five months of chatting, Fletch decided to meet Rhyan in the Philippines. Rhyan was so excited about the meeting but he had mixed emotions about the meeting.

[2:38] (Rhyan) “He is finally the one that I have been looking for, blue eyed, and everything else that I’ve been looking for is in him. Of course, I was quivering with excitement.”

[2:48] (Voiceover) In a very romantic place in Tagaytay, they planned to meet each other. The very first time they saw each other, their eyes knew that it was love at first sight.

[3:05] (Rhyan) “When we met, the first time we held each other’s hand, there was an immediate connection; there was an instant spark between us, and I thought ‘This is it’”

(Fletch) “When I first set eyes on Rhyan, I couldn’t believe my luck.”

[3:23] (Voiceover) On this holiday, Fletch confessed he had fallen in love with Rhyan. But the two of them had to separate again. Fletch had to go back to the United Kingdom. Because of this, Fletch made a promise to Rhyan that he would arrange for Rhyan to join him in Europe where they could get married.

[3:48] (Rhyan) “This is our flat and it’s number 15, which is a lucky number for me, and this was yet another sign that we should be together. Wait a minute; let’s check if there’s someone home.” (knocks on door).

(Fletch) “Rhyan, welcome home!”

[4:08] (Voiceover) In February of this year, with the help of Fletch, Rhyan easily joined Fletch in the United Kingdom. Rhyan abandoned his teaching career in Cebu to live with his partner.

[4:21] (Rhyan) “The fist time I arrived here, everything was different in the UK. I knew it was going to be a life-changing experience.”

(Voiceover) Nature tripping is what the couple spend a lot of time on in Bristol. After five months of living together, they decided to open a new chapter in their lives. [4:56] And because same sex marriage is legal in the United Kingdom, just last month they were married. The wedding was simple but for the two of them it was beyond compare.

[5:39] (Rhyan) “I have never felt happier in my life. Of course I love my family, but then Fletch is the one with whom I found true love and care.”

[5:26] (Voiceover) And now they are happily living together as legal partners. Despite the big difference in culture they are living together in harmony.

[5:38] (Rhyan) “Welcome to our simple flat, our simple life. He really likes classical music, and everyday we have classical music because that’s his hobby.”

(Voiceover) Like any heterosexual couple, they each take turn to complete the domestic tasks. If we are talking about love, Rhyan and Fletch prove that it is not impossible to find the perfect partner on the internet.

If their story is a happy one, the following one is a bit different…


And once the show was over

We were both impressed with the show. For the reconstruction, they went to the same hotel in Tagaytay where we stayed and filmed their sequences there, and the whole show was edited and put together on the Friday morning before the transmission.

On the Thursday evening, they had not managed to read the video files sent from the Filipinos in England, so as a backup, they asked us to film our interview shots ourselves. The shots that were featured of both Rhyan and myself talking to camera, were filmed by us in my living room, on a 4 megapixel stills camera, which had a video option (not even a real video camera) a few hours before the final editing was done.

The researcher who coordinated the whole effort did not seem to sleep at all for about three days in a row.


I will post some of our most amusing outtakes here once I’ve figured out how to do it.


18 October 2010



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