A few weeks after I became a chaddict, I began writing about Charice in an effort to keep my chaddiction at bay. My first article was posted here in Charicemania last July 15, 2009 (Charice: Proud to be Filipina) and that started my involvement in this website. Since then, I have been reading every article immediately after it gets posted, even trying to be the first to comment (without openly disclosing it, to prevent retaliation from avid pole chasers). Not until after a few weeks, in my fourth posted article, did I have the courage to finally admit to being a “chaster” (Love, Hate, and Indifference: Confessions of a Convert, Aug. 16, 2009). Little did I know that my declaration also meant something more…
I became a member of a community bound together by the love for Charice. Exemplified here in Charicemania is a community of chasters who voluntarily (and within each one’s comfort level) carry on various roles, either as moderators, chatters, commentators, article finders, youtube link sharers, or simply lurkers. Regardless of role, young or old, newbie or veteran, all are united to support and defend Charice. In the process, aside for getting familiar with various usernames, I am also beginning to have a sense of people’s temperament and points of view.
Recent events, moreover, proved that this community is also an exemplar of a family. The passing of Anciano Uno, a well-loved Charice fan, was a testament of how our ties run quite deep. The man has evidently touched many people. And regardless of the level of affiliation to him, many mourned the loss and showed support.
Overall, the process of sharing thoughts and unifying for a cause, have been means for some to cross the virtual divide. I remember telling a recently established chaster friend how all these signify a lot of “firsts” for me – yet, it erased many of my misconceptions about internet sites, fan-based groups, chatrooms, etc. This community is not merely a group of virtual participants, but rather a community of real people; and involvement is definitely a prelude for friendships.
I wrote this piece as a tribute to four entities: (1) to Charice, for sharing her voice that initiated the love; for the inspiration to succeed against all odds; and for being the spirit that unified diverse individuals across the globe; (2) to Charicemania, for providing a venue for shared experiences and shared meanings that allowed us to establish one shared identity; (3) to Chasters, for pulling together in times of need and for sharing thoughts, videos, and news that make me feel that chaddiction is not a rare and unusual condition; and finally, (4) to Uno, who epitomized a true chaster, for being a true member of a community, for treating co-chasters like family, and for crossing that virtual divide and becoming a friend to many. In his passing, he ignited the flame that made me realize the true value of my declaration of being a chaster. May we keep that light shining.
To date, this has been my sixth article submission to Charicemania. Whether it has helped me contain my chaddiction- uhmmm, I’m not sure yet. But regardless, it allowed me to gain entry into this wonderful community, feeling a true sense of family, with newly established friends.
At this point, I will try to follow Uno’s lead and slightly step beyond the virtual divide. Contrary to what some have assumed in posted comments, although I am involved in health care, I am not a physician. Aside for being a Charice follower, my other major pre-occupation is teaching. So, to end, I give you a glimpse of what I do by leaving you a multiple choice question:
Written By DrTp