Everyone who’s familiar (are we all?) with the powerful use of the Internet to spread information wherever people are in this planet and the potency of BLOGGING to generate various kinds of reaction from bloggers and blog readers must have heard about Brian Gorrell’s story. http://delfindjmontano.blogspot.com/
Like many, I also got curious about Brian. I mean, who wouldn’t when even the most elite circle is talking about him? The “Talented Mr. Montano” became popular on blogspot.com all of a sudden. If I remember it correctly, it was early in February when I first heard about the controversy that was generated by his personal blog. I looked it up on the Internet, read it a couple of minutes, that’s all. I was distant, not because I didn’t want to know what his cause was, I was just really busy. Besides, reading articles about what people in high society do are boring for me no matter who wrote them.
Fashion shows, my-lips-are-sealed sorta thingy, Embassy night outs discussing the latest in plastic surgery, so on and so forth, like they’re the biggest of all world problems, are you kidding me? I’d rather read the cartoon sections of national dailies.
Brian’s story got to some of my friends here in Puerto Princesa too. Ruth, my very good friend who’s a radio entertainment program anchor at DYPR, sent me a text message one night last week, inquiring how she can go to his web site. I had to wait for some moment for her question to sink in as I was busy minding a proposal for the Jaycees. Then I recalled that I had actually bookmarked Brian’s Blogspot URL. Why? I don’t know. Maybe for future reference? When I gave it to Ruth was also the first time I read its whole extent.
So who is Brian Gorrell? And what is the-now-famous “The Gucci Gang?”
According to wikipedia.com, Brian is an “Australian blogger who published his accusation against his former boyfriend of swindling him of money totaling to $70,000.”
Brian’s first blog about his boyfriend, a guy who goes by the name DJ Montano, was published on March 4, 2008 (what a coincidence, this is Puerto Princesa’s foundation day). In this blog, he also accused DJ’s high-society friends called “The Gucci Gang” of ganging up on him and allegedly attempting to cover up what he did. Since it went up on Blogspot, it has become the hottest gossip (if it’s true, do you still call it gossip?) ever to hit Manila. Read excerpt below from wikipedia.com
After he was forced to flee the Philippines to Australia, Gorrell (a landscape designer) published his blog on March 4, 2008, using Blogger.com. He claimed that he had been sending money to his former boyfriend as a “silent investment” for a restaurant called Bonza in Makati City as well as a tour booking company in Boracay. He soon realized that the money was used to pay the ex’s own debt and that the companies were non-existent. Gorrell then narrated that he confronted the former flame about the money at a hotel room in Makati, which resulted in a public altercation. He said he was charged with assault through the help of the ex’s friends, but was later dismissed. The blogger then posted entries involving the “Gucci Gang”—consisting of prominent young Manila socialites who are close to Gorrell’s former boyfriend including scions of political families and media personalities—accusing them of infidelity, cocaine abuse, cover-up, and crassness.
He stated that the blog was put up when he was told by Philippine lawyers that the soonest Gorrell could recover the money, totaling to US$70,000, is three years. The blogger also wrote that it also aimed to shame his former lover (as well as the Gucci Gang) into paying him back, and would erase the blog from the Internet once the debt is paid. Gorrell said he plans to use the money as treatment for his HIV. As of March 14, 2008, the blog has received 270,000 visits, amounting to 36,600 visits a day and each lasting an average of 52 minutes. Gorrell wrote that he has received over 3,000 e-mails since the blog opened, apart from hundreds of comments.
It’s not just Gorrell who had been duped by devious, deceitful, unprincipled, corrupt, crooked, dodgy, immoral, devious, ruthless (and other synonymous terms) Pinoys and Pinays in the Philippines. His was just one of the many stories I’ve both read and heard. Even here in Puerto Princesa, I know one or two ex-pats who have been tricked by their Filipina girlfriends.
It was embarrassing for me as a Filipina to hear them speak about their bad experiences before. My thought was “how can they be so gullible?” This is already the age that we send men on the moon; the century that we can already hide our life secrets inside microchips the size of rice grains for implants in human bodies; that we can play with virtual pets in place of real ones so we don’t get rabies or other diseases they can communicate; that we can communicate with our families even if we’re on the other side of the planet, why?
Love? Hmmm… I’d hate to argue.
What made Brian’s case special to me was he’s the first foreigner I know who brought his bad experience in the Philippines out in the open. True or not, it’s his guts I’m talking about. I must say using the blogs to get back at his Filipino boyfriend, or take back the money that he lost, is totally CLEVER. The legal aspect of that, I am not sure how to deal with. There are other people debating about it, I’m not interested to join the fray, right at the moment.
Another thing that’s notable about this was the fact that a foreigner, an admitted HIV-carrier, was able to shock and upset the elite of the Philippines. The names he mentioned in his blog are known to be sons and daughters of high class parents — those who only move in affluent, fashionable and rich groups of people. The rest of the victims, those I know, they just remained quiet; embarrassed to speak about their awful encounters except to those whom they trust.
Libelous? I’m not going there. What I want to point out is that Brian was offended. If he wasn’t, why would he raise hell in his blogs? He had to start somewhere, right? What’s a foreigner’s business to criticize some people spitefully, the richer ones of the poorer lot, if nothing was done to him? Pray tell.