Hi! I’m John Pucay (pronounced Jaan Poo-kuhy).

I’m an indigenous person (Kankanaey-Ibaloi) from the Philippines. And I mostly write about relationships, dating, polyamory, and running. But since PSILY in Medium is closing (and 80% of my relationships articles are published there), I may focus more on other topics I’m interested in, like: career, work, and mindfulness. And continue the running and polyamory stuff.

I quit my corporate job in 2019 to pursue writing full-time. I moved back in with my parents in early 2020 to “stabilize” my writing career and finances. Then the pandemic happened. So far:

  • I’m still writing my first novel, which is now on its 4th draft after I threw away the other three.
  • I moved out to my own apartment in March 2021.
  • Then I started publishing seriously on Medium this April 2021.
  • Medium pays my internet bill and coffee shop expenses while my writing client pays my food and rent money.
  • I provide writing and research services for bloggers, authors, and companies.
Mornings in Baguio City. Image by NgJi3Qi

My short stories, published in literary magazines.

Ghost In Quarantine

A story I wrote after my (now ex) girlfriend flew back to her home country and ghosted me, just as the lockdowns were beginning in March 2020. It’s the first short story I ever published.

It first appeared in print in Brittle Star Literary Magazine (based in the UK). And it’s available online here on Medium. It’s also the first Medium story I ever published.

The Weight Of Freedom

A short story about the burden of familial obligations and trying to rise above one’s place in the food chain of life and success. First published in Anomaly International Journal of Literature (based in Boston, MA).

I first wrote it in May 2020. But it only came out this April 2021. It’s my 2nd traditionally published story. And I’m quite proud (and embarrassed too) that as I read my work now, a year from when I first wrote it, I somehow cringe at the clunkiness of my prose.

But hey, we all make art that isn’t so good, don’t we?

This story holds a special place in my heart though, clunky as it is. It contains my deepest feelings about being born poor and seeing all my peers get the things I have to work five times harder for just because they have the means and I don’t.

I also wrote a couple of op-eds. One kept me from being homeless. Another got me dates with 2 gorgeous women:

Summer Job

I wrote this when I was about to get kicked out of my apartment. I was recently fired from my tech startup job and I became too broke to pay my rent. Feeling low, I wrote about my predicament and submitted it to The Philippine Daily Inquirer. Then I forgot about it.

A few days later, I started receiving emails from good-hearted people who wanted to give me a job. I eventually got 2 website marketing clients and a full-time job at a large conglomerate. I didn’t get the corporate job through the article. But thanks to my 2 other clients who paid me a good advance rate, I was able to pay my rent and continue my job search. It’s mainly thanks to them that I didn’t go back to my hometown (I worked in Metro Manila then) with my tail between my legs.

Polyamory and the Nuances of Having Multiple Partners

Since I live in a Catholic country, I decided to provide a perspective on my relationship orientation. Rappler, the Philippines’ top online news agency, published it this March 2021.

Amazingly, poly people from all over the country reached out to me. And I even had 2 dates from some amazing women who read it and reached out!

When You Keep Failing: How to Recover and Boost Your Confidence

Published in Tiny Buddha, this talks about the lessons I’ve learned from getting fired from my first job in Metro Manila and how I coped with it.

There’s also some descriptive imagery about that time I went for a run in the mountains. If you’re feeling down, or you’ve been having one failure after another, this is something I’d offer: From me to you:)

Me, running a mountain race. Image provided by Active Pinas.

Medium Stuff

Here are my most popular articles on Medium so far. I’m pretty much a Medium newbie (started publishing seriously just this April 2021) so they’re not that popular. But if you find them helpful, then I’m happy:

Happy Endings
A long-term couple goes on their last date.psiloveyou.xyz

When To “Give Up” On Any Relationship
Friends, siblings, parents, partners. Relationships aren’t obligations or investments. They’re gifts.psiloveyou.xyz

How Ethical Non-Monogamy Makes It Easier to Be Nice
An ENM Facebook group reminded me how good it feels to be respectedmedium.com

When “The One” Isn’t Enough
There are always risks, monogamous, or not. It’s up to us to take it, and see if we can make it work.medium.com

4 Reasons Dating Isn’t Working for You
Tired of all those mediocre dates? Me too.psiloveyou.xyz

How To Genuinely Connect With Anyone On A Date
How many “sparks” have you missed because you thought you were incompatible?psiloveyou.xyz

A 10-Kilometer Epiphany
I learned exactly what was holding me back in life by running my first 10-kilometer race.medium.com

Join my email list to get more tips and stories on relationships, life, love, polyamory, and running. I only send emails when a new story is out. Roughly 5–7 times a month.

Whether it’s personal or professional (I provide writing and research services for blogs, companies, and individuals), feel free to reach out to me at:


@JPucay (Twitter)

johnpucay.com (Website)

johnpucay.medium.com (Medium site)

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View from my window. Image by Author.

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