It’s always nerve-wracking when you’re coming into an event that has a full and rich history. The Metro Manila Pride March has been around for decades and it’s easy to get intimated by the camaraderie and long-established bonds.

But don’t fear! Whether you’re a march newbie or a veteran, this year’s Metro Manila Pride March and Festival will be a first for everyone involved since it’ll be the first one held at Marikina City. So, we’re all newbies.

Whether you’re a gayby pride marcher or an oldie pride marcher, here’s how enjoy a seamless experience at the Metro Manila Pride March.

 

Before Pride

An online pre-registration sheet was published earlier this month to help get an accurate headcount of how many people are going to be there to march. This helped the organizers prepare everything from security to those cool rainbow bands they give to attendees. If you haven’t registered or if you didn’t get an email reply, that’s okay! Just show up at the Festival!

Individuals who are coming alone or friends also get a chance to meet up with other individuals that the organizers have gathered into one group called the Pridekada! You also get the chance to be part of a really cool part of the program. If you want to march with the Pridekada, join the Facebook group here: MMPF Pridekada Facebook Group.

 

Prepping for Pride

 

The rainy season is upon us so remember to bring a hat an umbrella or even your own tiny portable electric fan.

 

What to Bring to Pride 2017

 

Here’s a handy list to be Pride prepared:

  • Your loved ones! This year’s celebrations revolves around the importance of solidarity within the LGBTQ+ community and between LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ people. So please bring along your family, friends, workmates, schoolmates, or absolutely anyone who has supported you as an LGBTQ+ person. So, yes! Straight people can march at Pride! As long as you center the voices of LGBTQ+ people and you’re respectful of this space and the cause, you are more than welcome at Pride!
  • Tumblers. It’s important to stay hydrated. This is one of those times where tiis ganda doesn’t apply.
  • Extra clothes in case you get soaked either by rain or sweat.
  • Umbrella/raincoat. Stylish and useful!
  • A blanket or banig. There won’t be any grass in the event area this year, so if you want to enjoy the program, best to bring something to sit/lay down on!
  • A fully charged phone with Spotify. That way you can play the Official #HereTogether Playlist! You should also check out the playlists put together by DJ Julianna Force, TheSunManager, and Love Yourself!
  • A personal first aid kit. But the first aid station will also be there to assist, of course.
  • Money! Because why would you want to miss out on all that amazing Pride merch and goodies?
  • A reusable bag! The better it is to store all the Pride swag you’re going to be hauling, my dear.

 

Getting to Pride 

It’s a new venue! So it’s important everyone familiarizes themselves with the route to the event proper. For those who are map-literate you can find the map with landmarks here. Rainbow drop pin marks the spot!

 

Directions to Plaza de los Alcaldes

 

 

For those who need a little more assistance Sakay.ph provides friendly and easy-to-understand directions.

 

Sakay PH HereTogether

 

If you’re bringing a car remember that there will be limited parking slots so better to arrive early and carpool if you can to save the environment.

 

The Festival Grounds

 

With the help of the Marikina City Government and Police, the security for the Festival has been increased this year. There will be only two entrances for foot traffic. At both entrances, there will be security checks conducted by Marikina Police. All items deemed dangerous will be confiscated.

 

2017 Pride Festival Map

 

Upon entering the festival area, our volunteers will attach rainbow bands to your wrist. These will serve as your “ticket” for the festival. Please do not take these off at any time during the event!

Go straight for the information boot,  grab a printed Pride Guide or familiarize yourself with the venue map tarp on the booth! Make a mental note of the First Aid and Security Station just in case.

If you pre-ordered merchandise or if you’re a Pride Fund Donor, go to the MMP Merchandise booth to claim your merch between 12 NN – 2:20 PM and 5:20 PM onwards. If you didn’t pre-order but want to get your hands on official Pride Merch, be sure you come early before they get sold out!

We’re also setting up a Freedom/Photo Wall! Be sure to tag @mmprideorg in your pictures, always use the hashtag #HereTogether, and set your geotag to Marikina City!

 

The Program Flow

 

It’ll be a full afternoon of activities starting with the assembly and kick-off at 12 noon followed by solidarity messages and performers from the LGBTQ+ community.

 

Festival-Program

 

Start off with inspiring solidarity speeches from community organizations. These will remind you that even when life as an LGBTQ+ person seems bleak, there are all these amazing people working to make sure it gets better. As if that wasn’t inspiration enough, we’re also going to have a welcome address from the Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro, who is a huge education advocate, and the keynote speech will be delivered by Senator Risa Hontiveros, the principal author of the Senate SOGIE Equality Bill and a long-time LGBTQ+ ally.

 

Enjoy the myriad of talents that will be showcased – from dancing, to singing to poetry reading. Pride 2016 favorites Lady Gagita and Words Anonymous will again be performing. But we’re also seeing new faces this year like garage punk rock band Flying Ipis, spoken word duo Ampalaya Monologues, indie-folk singer TheSunManager, and The Voice PH Contestant Rita Martinez.

 

Pride Performers Poster

 

While you’re waiting for the march proper to start, go and make new friends and buy exciting Pride related merchandise at the Proud Street Fair. Some booths to watch out for

  • Metro Manila Pride Merchandise: The most popular booth at any Pride Festival! If you pre-ordered you can claim your merch between 12NN to 2:20 PM and from 5:20 onwards. If you didn’t pre-order, make sure you come early because last year they ran out of goodies within an hour of opening!
  • Sebastian’s Ice Cream: Another crowd favorite! They have these really cool rainbow popsicles. These run out really fast, too! It really pays to be early.
  • Karnepunan: HELLA good food. Just sayin’.
  • Sip Purified Water: Free water!
  • Rainbow Rights Philippines: We’re doing a research project with them and each respondent gets a free pride sticker! So when someone with a researcher ID approaches you, say yes!
  • Lagablab: The folks steering the #PassADB work! Learn more about how you can be involved in the campaign towards equality.
  • Temperamental Brats Marawi Donation Drive: Intersectionality is key in our work. If you have clothes or goods to donate, please drop them off at this booth!
  • All the Sponsor and Partner booths! Just give a little thank you for their support and also to get some of the free giveaways they have for those who visit their booths!

Not only that, this year features a secret something happening right after Senator Hontiveros’ speech that’s sure to be one for the books. Tip: Stay close to the middle of the venue to get a chance to be part of it!

All of these will culminate with the first ever Metro Manila Pride March in Marikina City. The march is supposed to take around 45 minutes to complete. So make sure you wear comfortable shoes or bring a pair that you can change into when your feet start killing you! This part is really fun because you can join the chants of the different groups, dance alongside the party floats, or chant and dance alongside new friends you’ll make at the Pridekada contingent up front!

And to cap off the night will be the always epic Evening Program which will end with a cool DJ set featuring the songs from all the Kweens! Be sure to stick around for that!

Things to keep in mind!

2017 Metro Manila Pride and Festival Reminders/House Rules for Marikina

 

Keep in mind that you’re guests of the good city of Marikina so be polite, follow the rules and remember:

  • No littering
    • Always clean up after yourself which includes any mess your furbabies might leave behind. You will be fined from Php 500-2,000 if you litter.
  • No pets without a leash or carrier
    • Just so we can keep everyone, including our furbabies safe, please make sure they’re on leashes all the time.
  • No plastic bags
    • Reusable bags and paper bags are your friends.
  • No smoking
    • It may seem like a bummer but remember that Marikina has a No Smoking In Public Places policy so it’s literally against the law.
  • No jaywalking
    • Another thing that is technically against the law everywhere but is more strictly enforced in Marikina.
  • No alcohol and illegal drugs
    • The Pride March is a family-friendly event after all.
  • Yes to having FUN
    • Because no matter who we love or where we’re from the fact that we’re all #HereTogether promises a day of love, laughter and loads of fun.

 

Download our Pride Guides

If you’re thinking “OMG INFORMATION OVERLOAD,” I get you and I got you! You can do one of two things to help you navigate Pride and consume the information at your own pace:

  • Download the #HereTogether App:
    1. Download the free app from the Apple Store or from the Google Play Store.
    2. Sign up for an account by connecting either Facebook, Twitter, or email.
    3. Search for the event #HereTogether: 2017 Metro Manila Pride March and Festival. Open the event and click register.
    4. Browse all the sections from the venue map, to the exhibitors, and to the FAQs!
  • Download the Pride Guide PDF:
    1. Download the guide here: #HereTogether: The 2017 Pride Guide
    2. Save it on your phone or print it out!

I hope that helps you navigate your way through Pride. See you later, mga mahal! Enjoy and happy Pride!

Fats Roxas

Fats Roxas

Fats is an out and proud lesbian and an outspoken advocate of LGBT and women rights. A self-proclaimed corporate barbie who spends her free time discussing and deconstructing pop culture, she is part of a large community of unpublished and independent writers focusing on transformative works.
Fats Roxas
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