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STRAP girl enters the Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) house

Rica_Paras

10 October 2009

Dear Friends, Allies & Supporters,

We, the Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP), a transgender rights advocacy organization and support group for girls and women of transsexual experience, are very proud to announce that one of our very own, Ms Rica Paras, is now a Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) housemate. Housemate Rica, the Math Goddess of Bacolod (although she is really from Iloilo, entered the PBB house tonight, 10 October 2009, Saturday, and we believe that given the dearth of positive and empowering media images of transgender Filipinas or transpinays, her addition to the cast of PBB housemates marks a significant milestone both in the history of Philippine TV but as well as in the local transgender liberation movement. Rica is the first out and proud transpinay who will ever enter the PBB house and be watched by millions on national TV.

This is perhaps just rightly so as Rica’s story, indeed, is one that needs to be told. Growing up in a lower middle-class household in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo, Rica at a young age displayed an affinity for science and mathematics. This led her to attend the prestigious Western Visayas campus of the Philippine Science High School where she was a consistent A-student. Later, Rica won a scholarship to study Mathematics at Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU) where she graduated with honors. The last six years, Rica has been working as a globally certified IT consultant for a multi-national company training people in sales, product distribution and finance.

That Rica’s story may serve as an inspiration to people who are dealing with difficult gender and identity issues at a young age is not lost on us. Many of us, her sisters in STRAP, know all too well how it is like to grow up with no one to look up to, deprived of role models on TV who look like us and are going through the same things in life. We would therefore like to invite you to watch Rica on PBB so that she can tell you her story in her own words. There is so much more to know so watch and see the amazing person that we have all come to love and cherish. More importantly we hope that you will join us in supporting our dear sister and ensuring that she emerges the Big Winner of this season’s PBB.

Add Rica Paras on Facebook, Multiply and Friendster. Do not forget to text in your vote for her also so that she can stay in the PBB house until the Final Four. Help us bring Rica’s story of succeeding against all odds and breaking stereotypes and barriers to the millions of Filipino households that watch PBB every day and every night. Remember that a vote for Rica is a vote for our desire for change—change in the kind of people we see on TV and change in the way people will see people like us. A vote for Rica is a vote for the dreamer in us—that anyone, regardless of gender, religion, social status, ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc. can dream big and work hard for a better life. A vote for Rica is a vote for self-determination—that ultimately we are the masters of our fate and the captains of our souls. Only we can decide for ourselves who we want to be and who we really are!

In love and peace,
Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP)
www.tsphilippines.com

Comments

Cam said…
So the Philippines finally has a "Big Brother Concept", called what else... Pinoy Big Brother (PBBP house and the assorted and prequisite cast and characters. Normally I don't usually watch the original version on American TV; oh, did I forget to mention something?

I'm so sori how rude of me not to mention that I'm also a Pinay, but don't speak Tagalog; however, as they say we Bisayans can speak Tagalog, but Tagalog speakers can't speak Bisayan.

Anyway as I was digressing; being born here in the US gives me an interesting point of view on Philippine Television and its effect on the general population.

So imagine my surprise to find that PBB besides having its usual cast members of young and old Filipino contestants, with the usual group of handsome men in various stages of maturity, trying to impress the women in the group and to the general television popultion at large. Plus the PInay Drama Queens (DQ) is also interesting as they talk about each other in front of television.

Now I wonder what their Nanays or Lola's would say if they had said the same thing to their face.....

Oh let's not forget that the majority of these contestants if it weren't for the cash prize of
P500,000 pesos or rounded to around $11,000.00 USD, which isn't that bad for work on reality TV.

But for the most part, the cast of PBB does seem to fit together and now, drum roll please. WE now have a new wrinkle in the mix. For the first time a woman of mystery has now entered the mix and I'm willing to bet you dollars to do-nuts that this gal is going to make it a point to show that stereotypes do not apply, much to the chagrin of the young testosteroned young males and the Delaga Pilipina's in the group.

For you see, that one gal is a friend of mine and she is a Transgendered Woman and a fellow Bisayan. I"m sure everyone is going to find out that their ideas on Gender and what makes us tick is going to be shot down and shredded.

For once, Philippine television is going to find out and so will the people that their ideas on Transgendered women is not what it's cracked up to be.

Now why should this gal make such a big deal, when we all know that as soon as she steps into the front door; she's going to be the target of everyone. Well for one very good reason. She is a contestant and a human being and a person with a lot of "Balls". Yes folks, she has a lot of balls or is a ballsy woman.

You see, for all of you guys here reading this blog, wearing a dress, putting on makeup, and all of those things we girls do to look good is fine for one evening and i"m sure they'll all look very good in a Barong Sayaot; but you know something?

It takes a lot of balls to go out into the world as a Transgendered woman and put up with a lot of inconveniences people throw out at us and it takes a certain Ballsy woman to pull this off.

Oh I forgot to mention something else about me. Besides being an American born Bisayan woman, I"m also an older Transgendered female and at 59 years of age, married for over 35 years and have had three children, not to mention I retired as a Police Officer, I can tell you thatyour concept of what is a female is nice; but antiquated in its application.

So let's all cheer Rica as she enters PBB and let's all remember that we are not Transvestites, but Pinay woman.
BUHAY BAYOT said…
Congrats, rica! Stay fabulous!

Pls, let us all remind and correct abs cbn that rica is not a transvestites but a transsexual.

Let us give rica all our support!
Mac Callister said…
yeah i was surprised one transgender will be entering,well maybe PBB did that kasi nauna na ang survivor?

but im also kiligg to their fake relationship sa loob ang cute kaya nun guy!haha
line of flight said…
@Cam:

"Anyway as I was digressing; being born here in the US gives me an interesting point of view on Philippine Television and its effect on the general population."

Are you referring to American paternalism as the interesting point of view?

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