Skip to main content

August highlights

Speaker at UP Babaylan's Alternative Classroom Learning Experience (ACLE) Forum

I just realized, based on my experience last month, that I am an overly-scheduled person. On top of work, I am also working on my Master's thesis at the University of the Philippines, attending Spanish classes every Saturday, running three times a week and going to the gym for the same number of days. Add to these doing advocacy work for the LGBT community. My life will probably look more hectic compared to the average person. No matter, I like it this way. I enjoy being busy and I hate being idle although I do feel sometimes that there are just too many things to do in so little time.

Last month alone I was in several activities involving the LGBT community. First I was a speaker at the Alternative Classroom Learning Experience (ACLE) forum on coming out (see pic above) of the University of the Philippines (UP) Babaylan, an LGBT students rights advocacy group in the UP system. I shared my coming out experience with the mainly student audience. I told them that in the past because I did not know any better and nobody told me otherwise, I identified and came out as gay to my family first. Later on as I tried to make sense of my experience however, I realized that even if I had a sexual preference for men, I saw myself largely as a woman. That's when I realized that I was not a gay man but a transsexual woman. Clarifying the difference required me to separate sexual orientation from gender identity and researching transgenderism and its attendant issues. At any rate, the experience required me to come out once again. This time, I proudly declared myself a Filipina of transgender experience.

Next I was invited to a meeting with the publisher and writers of Ketchup, the only remaining LGBT-oriented magazine on print in the Philippines. The people behind Ketchup wanted to meet with LGBT leaders to explore possible tie-ups in the future. They asked various organizations to attend a lunch at Dencio's Restaurant, located near the compound of a major TV network here, ABS-CBN to ask for support and any other kind of help we could extend them given the financial crisis and Ketchup's relative unfamiliarity in the community. I told them that I was willing to do my part and asked them to a meet-and-greet meeting with members of STRAP so that they could learn more about the experiences of trans-identified Filipino women. At the meeting was Hender Gercio, also a member of STRAP and the current chair of UP Babaylan (see pic below).

With Hender Gercio, UP Babaylan President, at the Ketchup  Mag meeting

Last weekend, I flew to Cagayan De Oro (CDO) City which is also known as the City of Golden Friendship. To the younger set though it is just CDO. I was there to meet with an exclusively lesbian organization called People Like Us (PLUS) CDO (see pic below). Members of PLUS CDO met me at the airport where I gave them a tarp for Ang Ladlad, the national organization of LGBT Filipinos. PLUS CDO individual members have signed up to become members of Ang Ladlad and they assured me that they would do their best to spread the word about Ang Ladlad in their city. Already they have reached out to gay and transgender residents of CDO to talk about Ang Ladlad. Before I left back for Manila, they proposed a possible joint project between Ang Ladlad and PLUS CDO involving the gay and transgender communities there which so far have no organized groups yet. I am very excited about this future prospect.

With members of People Like Us (PLUS) Cagayan De Oro (CDO)

That same day, members of the Gays, Bisexuals & Transgenders United for Peace & Solidarity (GUPS), an organized group in Iligan City, which is two hours away from CDO, picked me up to bring me to Iligan that night. GUPS founder, Bong Enriquez, a long-time member of Ang Ladlad, has been inviting Ang Ladlad officers to visit GUPS in Lanao Del Norte. GUPS members number close to a hundred and many of them are trans and so Bong was happy to have me in Iligan for the weekend. I went there to orient GUPS members on Ang Ladlad, give a Trans 101 lecture and talk about the Yogyakarta Principles (YyP). Before the day ended, all of the almost 20 members of GUPS who were there signed up to be part of Ang Ladlad (see pic below).

With members of the Gays, Bisexuals & Transgenders United for Peace & Solidarity (GUPS)

On Sunday, Bong and his partner JayR brought me back to CDO where they were having a staff training for their office. Members of PLUS CDO then fetched me at a mall to bring me to the house of their president, Norma Adecer, for lunch. It was a hearty meal of sweet and sour fish and shrimp. Over lunch the PLUS CDO members told me about their lives in CDO, their experience organizing in their city and their plans for the future. Like the people in Iligan, they touched my heart with their sincerity and their genuine desire for things to change for the better for them and for the generations to come. I hope that we will have a working relationship that will last a long time. After lunch, they graciously offered to take me back to the airport (see pic below) using Norma's amazing yellow jeep and I found it really sweet and touching. I will never forget the kindness, generosity and hospitality of the people in Iligan and CDO. They are truly a class of their own and I cannot wait to work with them and see them again soon.

On the way to the airport


Ming Meows said…
pumipikit ka rin ba pangminsan-minsan?


Popular posts from this blog

Mga parausang lumang sinehan

NAG DESISYON na ang Korte Suprema na labag sa Konstitusyon ang ordinansa na nagbabawal ng short time sa mga motel sa siyudad ng Maynila.

Wala na ring balak pa umanong maghain ng apela si mayor Alfredo Lim sa naturang desisyon.

Nagbabala naman si Lim na handa niyang ipasara ang anumang motel sa lungsod ng Maynila sakaling may makita sila na pinapayagan na magpapasok ng mga estudyante para magshort time.
Pero, teka, ito talaga ang pakay ko, ang mga lumang sinehan sa Metro Manila.

Taong 2005, balak ko na itong iparating sa dati kong boss na Kongresista, ang patuloy na pamamayagpag ng mga lumang sinehan sa Maynila. Subalit, may tila tinik sa aking lalamunan na nakabara. Tila, wala akong boses sa tuwing ako ay maghahanda sa aking mga sasabihin. Tila, nakagapos ang aking mga kamay para isulat ang mga hakbang na dapat kong irekomenda para masulosyunan na ito.

Alam ko, ikaw ay pamilyar ukol sa mga lumang sinehan sa buong Kamaynilaan.

Sa unang pasok ko sa ganitong sinehan, ako ay tuwang tuwa. Napan…


NGAYON ANG IKA 111st NA ANIBERSARYO NG ARAW NG KALAYAAN NG PILIPINAS. Ngunit, sa paglipas ng isang daan at labing isang taon, tunay nga ba tayong malaya na?

May mga pagkakataong gusto kong isipin na hindi na tayo nakagapos sa mga bansang banyaga dahil nagkaroon na tayo ng kalayaan sa pamamalakad ng gobyerno. Ngunit, ano ang kalagayan ng mga Pilipino ngayon? Mayroon na nga ba siyang dangal na matatawag? Taas noo na nga ba ang bawat Pilipino kahit kanino?

Sa mga nakalipas na araw, samu’t saring problema ang dinaranas ng ating bansa. Mga problemang lalong nagpapalugmok ng bawat mamamayan. Mga problemang animo’y walang katapusan. Paano babangon ang isang Juan dela Cruz kung mismong mga namumuno sa ating bayan ang nagbabangayan? Paano tayo makakalaya kong mismong mga halal ng bayan ang siyang nanguna upang itali ang bawat mahihirap na pinoy sa kanilang pamamahala?Paano na ang walang tigil na pagbulusok ng presyo ng mga pangunahing bilihin? Ang walang humpay na pagtaas ng gasolina. Paano pa m…

Join the Task Force Pride (TFP) Now!

Join now and be a part of TASK FORCE PRIDE (the official organizer of the annual Pride March in Manila and other related LGBT events)!

Membership Program Information

Task Force Pride is an ever-evolving member and community-based organization of volunteers. The membership is a body that meets monthly with the Coordinators to make decisions to further the mission of the organization. By becoming a member you will have a direct voice in shaping events that educates and gives back to the LGBT Community (i.e. the annual Pride March in Manila and other related LGBT events)

At our monthly meetings, the general membership can provide direct input to Coordinators and the Production Team/s as well as stay informed year round through monthly e-Newsletters and periodic e-mail updates.

Other benefits of membership include participation in the nomination and selection of key posts, choosing the yearly theme of the Celebration as w…