MANILA - "Hindi ako straight. Bisexual ako."
This was the confession of 22-year-old Fifth Pagotan to fellow "Pinoy Big Brother" housemate Manolo Pedrosa, as seen in a preview of an upcoming episode of the reality TV series.
In the preview shown during the July 16 telecast of "Pinoy Big Brother," Fifth appeared to be bothered by an anonymous comment about the sexuality of one housemate, which was read to them earlier in the episode by host Robi Domingo.
"Ayan na naman si ****, parang bakla kung magreklamo kaya siguro 'di sila magkasundo ni ****," the comment read.
The Wednesday episode was dedicated to the housemates' reactions to negative comments from "the outside world," as relayed to them by Robi.
Along with co-host John Prats, Robi stayed for two days as a guest housemate.
Although the comments did not identify anyone, they pertained to situations familiar to the housemates, such as Daniel Matsunaga and Vickie Rushton's growing closeness, and Jane Oineza's supposed "fake" personality.
The comment mentioning a housemate's sexuality got concerned reaction from Fifth, who admitted he felt that the statement pertained to him. He noted that last week, he was complaining a lot about complications in their tasks.
'I don't need to explain myself'
Fifth said he is used to getting comments about his sexuality, and shared that he was teased a lot as a kid that he is gay.
"Nakaka-apekto pa rin. Ayokong aminin na hindi. Nakakaapekto siya, masakit siya, pero minsan, titiisin mo na lang. I don't need to explain myself to them. Lagi ko na lang bang ipapaliwanag sarili ko? Hindi, kasi kilala ko ang sarili ko.
"As long na totoo ako sa sarili ko, at totoo ako sa pinapakita ko sa mga tao sa paligid ko, masaya na ako doon. I don't need to explain myself to them," Fifth said.
The conversation about his sexuality, as seen in the preview of the July 17 episode, triggered Fifth to clarify the issue with Big Brother -- a decision he sought consult with twin brother, Fourth.
Fifth also openly admitted his sexual preference to Manolo, saying he is bisexual. He expressed concern, however, about how people would react to his being open about his sexuality.
In the confession room, an emotional Fourth was asked by Big Brother whether he accepts his brother's sexuality.
As the scenes aired on Wednesday, "Pinoy Big Brother" viewers took to Twitter to express their support for Fifth. While some were surprised with the admission, others praised Fifth for being brave in confronting the issue, especially on television.
Even before the episode ended, its official hashtag "#PBBAcceptOrDeny" already zoomed up as the No. 1 trending topic locally and worldwide on Twitter.
Minutes after Fifth's conversation with Manolo was shown, "#RespectFifth" became a top trend among Filipino netizens. As of writing, "Fourth" also ranked among local trends on the micro-blogging site.
Fifth's confession is not the first time a housemate talked about his sexuality on "Pinoy Big Brother."
In March 2006, former actor Rustom Padilla made headlines when he admitted on national TV that he is gay.
Now, he identifies himself as a woman and goes by the name BB Gandanghari.