30 June 2018 (Marikina City) – With an estimated number of more than 25,000 attendees at Saturday’s Metro Manila Pride March and Festival, the oldest Pride demonstration in Southeast Asia is now the largest as well. Under the call to #RiseUpTogether, the LGBTQIA+ community gathered at the Marikina Sports Center to appeal for the passage of crucial legislation for the community and to advocate for social justice for all.
Staged since 1994, the “Pride March and Festival is not only a safe space for LGBTQIA+ people to celebrate themselves. At its core, it’s a platform to protest and bring attention to the issues that matter to the community,” says Mikhail Quijano, co-head of the organization’s Communications and Campaigns Committee.
The event opened with the Proud Street Fair, an open marketplace for LGBTQIA-owned businesses. It featured booths that carried everything from rainbow popsicles and grilled cheese sandwiches, to LGBTQIA-themed stickers, literature, clothing, and accessories. One of the highlights was a marriage booth where couples could declare their love for each other.
— 🌈Metro Manila Pride (@mmprideorg) June 30, 2018
Shortly after, the pre-march afternoon program commenced. An acapella group, The Bearytones, wooed the crowd with their renditions of songs like “Akin Ka Nalang” and “Forget You,” while Dee Dee Marie Holliday empowered the audience with her lip sync of “This Is Me.” Indie pop band, Presh, also made their Pride debut.
Before performing her original song “Bahaghari,” ethnic-jazz singer Ja Quintana said “We do not have complete acceptance because we don’t have equal rights. The fight doesn’t stop until we have achieved equality.”
In between acts, speeches were delivered by the arts and culture, religion and faith, peer support, human rights, and workplace diversity community organizations. The afternoon program ended with a welcome speech from Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro, and a keynote speech from LGBTQ rights lobbying group, Lagablab Network, delivered by Vince Liban.
Signalling the start of the 24th Annual Metro Manila Pride March, Pride flags of different SOGIE identities within the community were raised on stage.
Despite a brief downpour, marchers and floats took to the roads of Marikina City. Led by Pridekada, the official Metro Manila Pride contingent, and Lagablab Network, rainbow flags, kisses, smiles, dancing, and feel-good music drowned out the cries from Pride protesters who were carrying signs of bible verses on large posters. Unfazed, the LGBTQIA+ community completed the historic march hand in hand with their partners, families, school mates, colleagues, and allies.
After the march winded down, participants settled in and got ready for the evening program. To open the night, the organizing team talked about the two focuses of this year’s Pride: the passage of the SOGIE Equality Bill and encouraging intersectional activism.
“Your very presence here amidst a society riddled with misogyny, bigotry, sexism, and ‘macho-feudal’ culture is a protest,” added Quijano. “We’re here to tell everyone that we’re not any different from them, but the same as everyone.”
The organization also called for the passage of the SOGIE Equality Bill, which the community has been fighting for since it was first filed almost 20 years ago.
“That’s 20 years of LGBTQIA+ people being rejected from jobs, denied access to education, blocked from health care, and struggling against discrimination simply because of who they are, who they love, and how they look,” says Nicky H. Castillo, one of the co-coordinators of Metro Manila Pride.
The bill passed in the House of Representatives last year but faces tough opposition in the Senate. In March of this year, Senator Tito Sotto said that the bill had no chance of passing in the 17th Congress. The Senate President then reversed himself earlier last month by saying that the bill could pass with the “removal of dress codes, encroachment into religious and academic practices, the use of women’s restrooms, etc. etc. etc.”
In the face of opposition to this bill and as “inequalities and human rights violations persist,” Castillo reminded the audience that “Pride is for everyone. Every year we march for those who came before us, those who cannot march with us, those who are no longer with us, and those who are yet to come.“ She also urged the community to support other vulnerable sectors like the poor, indigenous persons, workers, and persons with disabilities.
“Pride must not end today. Your voices need to carry past today,” continued Castillo. “Let us stand up for and uplift the voices of the most silenced among the silenced. Let us push for acceptance, equality, human rights, and solidarity in our homes, in our workplaces, in our schools, and up to the hallowed halls of the Senate.”
After the speech, the evening Pride program went into full swing, with a series of both performances and solidarity speeches from various HIV advocacy groups and student organizations.
Highlights of the night include theater actor and singer Phi Palmos singing “Seasons of Love,” and the world premiere of musician Nar Cabico’s “GaGa” music video from the film “The One That Got Away.”
Tawag ng Tanghalan finalist John Saga gave us a heart-melting performance of Sam Smith’s “Lay Me Down”–which an audience member used as the perfect time to propose to their partner!
AHHHH OMG OMG OMG!!! May nag propose habang nag peperform ako!!! AHHHHHH!!! Sana may video!!! 😭😭😭❤❤❤🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈https://t.co/EUaXEsa1Z5
— John Saga (@IAmJohnSaga) July 3, 2018
Drag performances also made the evening memorable. The first drag king to ever perform at Pride, Sky Teotico channelled legendary Queen frontman, Freddie Mercury, in their rousing lip sync of “Break Free.” Lady Gagita brought the house down as they performed “Born This Way” and “The Cure.” Later in their set, Filipino Sign Language interpreter Bayani Generoso, Jr.–a rockstar in their own right–accompanied Gagita in an incredible performance of Gaga hit “John Wayne.”
As a nod to the popular TV show Sens8, singer-songwriter and Words Anonymous member Juan Miguel Severo sang “What’s Up” by the 4 Non Blondes, and followed it up with an emotional new piece – “Parada ng Mga Makasalanan: Kahambugan.”
Punk band The Male Gaze gave the crowd at treat with their originals: “Surf Son” and “Eyes Peeled,” while YouTube sensation and Sebastian Castro debuted his new song “Rainbow.”
Closing the evening’s roster of performers, Flying Ipis performed their hits “Lundagin mo, Beybi” and their rendition of “I Touch Myself” to a jumping, dancing crowd.
Other performers of the evening included soul and hip-hop band, The Metro Fantastic; Andy Crocker, Viñas, and Jona Kween of the Nectarines; Henri Igna and Louise Meets of spoken word group Words Anonymous; dance group TFX; and international house of voguing, House of Mizrahi.
The evening show ended with DJ sets from Mike Lavet and Everyday People–with attendees taking to the stage or leading dance-offs and conga lines in the crowd.
The 24th Pride March and Festival concluded with a fireworks display to Katy Perry’s “Firework” and The Squareheads’ hit song “Happy.”
— 🌈Metro Manila Pride (@mmprideorg) June 30, 2018
As the last of the fireworks faded from the midnight sky, the crowd joined the hosts in shouting one last ‘Happy pride!’ and chanting ‘Pirmahan na ‘yan! (Sign it!)’ reiterating the community’s call for lawmakers to pass the SOGIE Equality Bill.
OUR HEARTFELT THANKS GOES OUT TO
235 Participating Organizations:
#MentalHealthPH; #TransBrotherhood powered by #fvckboys; 3M GSC Philippines; Accenture; Action for Health Initiatives (ACHIEVE), Inc.; Adobo Connection; ADP (Philippines), Inc.; AIG Shared Services PA; Akbayan! Youth; Alakeros; Alexander Mann Solutions; Alyansang TAPAT sa Lasallista (TAPAT); American Express; Amnesty International Philippines; Andres Clothing PH; Ang Pahayagang Plaridel; ANZ; Art Rally MNL; Artiaga Fuentes Familia; ASEAN Youth Forum; Association of the Transgender Men of the Philippines (Transman Pilipinas); Asurion; Atheist Republic Metro Manila Consulate; Atos Philippines Inc.; AVES Love and Light; B&M; Global Services Manila Inc.; Babaylanes, Inc.; Bahaghari – Metro Manila; BAON Collective; Bayer Business Services Philippines Inc.; Bell Beauties; Benildean Press Corps; BHP Shared Services Philippines Inc.; Bi Kingdom Society; Bi Landulot Family; BI PILIPINAS; Bi-Pride Society; Bifem Exclusive Society; BifemmePH; BiggerManila; Bisexual Confession Files; BisexualSOUTH; Blued; Brgy. San Jose Q.C. Pride Council; BUKLOD CSSP; Buklod-UP College of Nursing ; Cae Lemon; Capital One Phil. Support SVCS Corp; Cat Lovers Co.; Cavite Smart Guys Global; Cimpress Philippines Inc.; Cofficina Cowork; COGNIZANT; College of Political Science and Public Administration Student Council; Commission on Human Rights; Concentrix; Conduent; COURAGEOUS AGUAS FAMILIA; CSSP Student Council; Cute Pinoy Bi-Couple; D’ROYAL PRIDE ( DE CARPIO FAMILIA ); dela vega familia (aces of queens); Department of Social Welfare and Development-NCR; Deus Sex Machina; Development Innovation Insider; DTCC Manila; E*TRADE Info Services; Edukasyon.ph; ELEPHANT; Elite Ultimate Alliance; Embassy of Sweden in Manila; Experience Philippines; FEU Sexuality and Gender Alliance; Filipino Freethinkers; Fringe Manila; Fuckbi; GALANG Philippines, Inc.; Gender and Development Advocates (GANDA) Filipinas; GoDaddy United; Goodyear Business Services; Grande Familia; Grrrl Gang Manila; Guam LGBT Pride; HERO; Herspace; HIG; Hinduja Global Solutions; HSBC; Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI); I Am Me LGBT; IBM; IFI Obispado Maximo; IGNITE NCPAG (UP); Iloilo Pride Team; Ingram Micro Global Business Services Manila; Initiative for Genuine Involvement, Transparency, and Empowerment (IGNITE-NCPAG); Inter-Embassy Delegation (UK, US, Canada, Dutch etc); Isanliyan Servant Leaders’ Union (ISLU); ITAG.MANILA; Jenner’s Family; JP Morgan Chase Bank NA PGSC; Kababae Mong Tao; Kabataang Lakas ay alay sa Bayan; Kadiwa Student Coalition; Kaduwa Movement Equality through Compassion; Kaisa UP; Kapuwa Bistro + Urban Pub; La Vega Rodriguez Familia; Laban PUP; Ladlad LGBT Party; Lady Gaga Philippines; Lagablab Network ; League of Filipino Transmen; Lesbian Alliance Movement; Lakas ng Kababaihan Para sa Karapatan (LAM); Lesbian Organization Against Violence and InEquality (LOVE) ; Lesbian Organization for Unity and Diversity (LOUD);Lesbians For Rights (LFR); Lespinay Confessions; LezWorld; lgbtBUS; LGBTS CHRISTIAN CHURCH INC.; LizardBear Tasking Inc. (TaskUs); Maginoong Tomboy Group; Manila Vegan; Manila Wrestling Federation; Marcelina Adarna Biles Comm.; Mariah Carey Philippines; Metro Bachelors Society; Metropolitan Community Church of Marikina City; Millennials PH; MINT MLA; Metro Manila Pride March and Festival Pridekada; Montecristro Familia; Montenegro Familia; My Prince Charming Is A Princess; Nasdaq, Inc.; National Youth Commission; NATURES BI-MEN SOCIETY (LEETONGCO FAMILIA); Northern Trust; One Spectrum – Canon Group Philippines; One’s True Nature Society; Open Table MCC; Partner Ikaw at Ako of the Office of Vice Mayor Pia Schuck-Velasco, Cainta, Rizal; Pearson Management Services Philippines Inc.; Pedal for HIV; PFIP; Philippine Commission on Women (PCW); Philippine Debate Union; Pilipinas Chubs X Chasers; Pineapple Lab; Pinoy Deaf Rainbow Inc; Pioneer Filipino Transgender Men Movement (PFTM); PLM UNESCO Club; PNU Katalonan; Positibong Pasigueño; Power Rangers; Pride Lit; PRIDE Philippines (J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. – Philippine Global Service Center); Procter & Gamble; Proud Bisexual; Proud Campaign Philippines; PUP College of Political Science and Public Administration; PUP Kasarianlan; Queers of Bula; Rainbow Rights Philippines; Reckitt Benckiser / Durex via ADGARLIC INC.; RED Pride; Respect lgbt organization; Retro Rainbow Project Ph; RingCentral; Round Up; ROYAL BLOOD CHUA ; Royal Rainbow Empire – Monte Cristo Familia; SAGALA ( ST.ANTHONY GAY’s AND LESBIAN’s ALLIANCE ); San Beda University Senior High School Student Council; Sandigan sa Silangan; Sandrealee Salon; Sanggunian ng mga Paaralang Loyola ng Ateneo de Manila; SAP Philippines; Shell; SHETELEZ GROUP…LESBIFEMM; Side B Philippines; Standard Chartered; Synchrony; TAGUG JAMMA PINK-TATALON; Task Force on Youth Development- Pasig; Task Us; Team Christopher Ken Orais Cortes Yamagami (MISTER AND MISS LGBTQI UNIVERSE); Team fresh; Teledirect; TELUS International Philippines; The Addlib Divas; The Addlib Inc.; The Empire Manila; The Gang Bang; The GUIDON; The Project Red Ribbon Care Management Foundation Inc.; The Qrown Philippines; The Rainbow Collective, Inc.; The Rainbow Creation; The Red Whistle; Thomson Reuters; Tiger Committee; TREC Pacific LGBT; Trippers Philippines; True Colors Coalition (TCC); UberPride Manila; Ubiquity Global Services; UNIFIED FILIPINO LESBIANS ONLINE (UFLO); Unilever (PFIP); Unitarian Universalist Church of the Philippines; United Diwata Familia; University of the Philippines Academic League of Chemical Engineering Students (UP ALCHEMES); UP ALYANSA; UP ARISE; UP Babaylan; UP Center for Women’s and Gender Studies; UP Engineering Student Council (UP ESC); UP Manila Bahagsari; UP OUTLaws; UPLB Babaylan; UST Hiraya; VISA; White Wall Poetry; Willis Towers Watson (PFIP); Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau (WLB); Words Anonymous; Yoga for Life Foundation; Young FIlipino Advocates of Critical Thinking; Young Filipino Advocates of Critical Thinking – LPU Chapter; Youth Against Sexual Harassment (YASH); Youth for Human Rights and Democracy (Y4HRD); Youth for Mental Health Coalition; and Zendesk.
Mela Habijan; SUPER STARLET; Queen Brigitte Olga; Berty Camp; Kit Ramos
Filipino Sign Language Interpreters
Bayani Generoso, Jr.; Roni Abat; John Baliza
Mayor Marcelino Teodoro
Arts and Culture Organizations
Art Rally; BAON Collective
Faith and Religion Organizations
IFI Obispado Maxim; Kaduwa Movement Equality through Compassion; Metropolitan Community Church of Marikina City; Open Table MCC; Unitarian Universalist Church of the Philippines
GALANG Philippines, Inc.; Lesbian Alliance Movement: Lakas ng Kababaihan Para sa Karapatan; Lesbian Organization Against Violence and InEquality (LOVE); Lesbian Organization for Unity and Diversity (LOUD); Lesbians For Rights (LFR); lgbtBUS
HIV and AIDS Organizations
AVES Love and Light; Pedal for HIV; Positibong Pasigueño
Human Rights Organizations
ASEAN SOGIE Caucus; DAKILA; Filipino Freethinkers
Peer Support Organizations
Bifem Exclusive Society; LGBTQI ng Pilipinas (KULAY); Metro Bachelors Society; Pilipinas Chubs X Chasers; Pioneer Filipino Transgendermen Movement (PFTM); TAGUG JAMMA PINK-TATALON; The LGBTQ Collective; The Rainbow Collective; True Colors Coalition (TCC); United Diwata Familia
Student and Youth Organizations
2030 Youth Force in the Philippines; Buklod CSSP; CSSP Student Council; FEU Saga; PUP College of Political Science and Public Administration Student Council; Kadiwa Student Coalition; Laban PUP; Millennials PH; One’s True Nature Society; PNU Katalonan; PUP Kasarianlan; San Beda University Manila Senior High School Batch 2018; UP ALYANSA; UP Babaylan; UPLB Babaylan; UST Hiraya; Young FIlipino Advocates of Critical Thinking; Youth for Human Rights and Democracy (Y4HRD)
Alexander Mann Solutions; 3M
Words Anonymous; Asurion; Anonymous001; BJ Pascual; Coco Quizon; Clare and Cristina del Rosario; Mami T; rachel; Noriel Calaguas & Paolo Maria Consunji; Vincent Yu.
GIRLNATION; Edukasyon.ph; Gabe Ongkiko; Van Liao; MJ and Ira of Chibundle; Hermes + Dionysos; Kate Sarabia; Gio F. Cortes; Chynna Callanta; Josh Bautista; Anonymous002; @gigilbear; Cleo; Lyca Balita; Lakan Garcia; EXO and iskERIs; Hubert Acan Amor (@acantsleep).
A&J; Stefan Garcia; Claire de Leon; Black Books; Mnemonics & Readers; Anonymous003; Apa Agbayani; Anonymous004; Charm Sing; RabbitHole Creatives; JVChris; @sarcasmnspice; Dave De Vera.
Clarissa Isabelle Delgado; Zachary Deocadiz-Smith; Betsey Reyes and Christine Ong; Pocoy Calvento; Lorenzo Magnaye and Snow; Anonymous005; John Bandiola and Lester Lizardo; Rabin Canuzo & Golan Canuzo; Ysabelle Soriano; Rowi Aquino; Coco Chandelier; Franco Aligaen; Kevin John “KJ” Lino; A.V. Lee; Leonelle Erich Dumlao; Philip Cheang; Bean; Jeremz Nate; Betina Continuado; Gee Ann Rodolfo; Nashr; Jeiel Aranal; Ansela Corsino; Anonymous006; Thea Lou; Khlarizza Mae; Mimi Sandigan; vienoellis; Anonymous007; Aldwin Castro; Anonymous008; Anonymous009; Mai Porras; Anonymous010; Meia Godoy; Jam and Echo; Zen Taplac; SIM; Rye Quizon; Aya&Kiyo; Trix; Anonymous011; Aby; Hope; Donna; Anonymous012; Tricia Del Rosario; Mikhail Bulatao; Jomshim; Kevin Garcia; Herlynn Fabros; The Gay Agenda; Joshua Balgos; Javier Daang and Maria McGee; Anonymous013; Araw; Meghan R. Kam; Patrick Roy; Ginny Palma; Nix De Pano; Alyeskas; Aby & J; Anonymous014; Anonymous015; Angelica Alejandro; Jaz Torregoza; Anonymous016; Juhi Vaswani; Noorie Vaswani; Vinayka Vaswani; Gabee Nisperos; Manu Gaspar; vananaQ; Jade Zen; The Lemon; Badger; Anonymous017; KE!!!!!; Maria Czarina Medina-Guce.
Lex Quijano; JC; Anna Bautista; Ella Dela Cruz; KarenMD + LesleyPhD; Jhillian Escuro; Fidel Arantxa; Nicole Ysra; Kevin John Porteno; Allysa Catuira; Anonymous018; Manang Bidang; Cameron Gabriel; Petty O’s; Arani Villa.
SAP, TaskUs, Teletech, Rainbow Rights Philippines; William Hill, Black Box Collab Inc.; Concentrix, Film Development Council of the Philippines, Ingram Micro, Nasdaq, Telus, Willis Towers Watson
Blued, Grab Ph, Sip Purified Drinking Water, Lazada, Frontrow International; Durex, Anytime Fitness Cherry Antipolo; Sakay.ph, 3M, Cebuana Lhuillier, Adobo Connection
INQPop!; MB Life; BusinessWorld Spark Up; Rappler