Sunday, December 8, 2013

Manila Pride March 2013

7th December 2013
I think i can say that on this date that it was the best time that i had here in the Philippines. Its the 19th Manila Pride March 2013. I was just cameback from a long trip up north to Ilocos (Navarcan & Gregorio Del Pilar). And apparently i heard they organize this last minute. Quezon City initially where its original location was cancelled by the mayor in remembrance of the typhoon Yolanda but last minute the organizers trying to contact all other LGBTQ organizations for the new location in Malate before 2-3 days and the turn up was really amazing. Many organizations ive known and some new to me was there. I tag along ATP group members Dindi, Krizia again. Went to Dindi's house early in the morning, the to Krizia's house, pick up ATP banner, fetch Aryan from the LRT which she came all the way from Ilocos to Quezon City, took a cab and straight for Malate.

Reach the shopping center where we met, and i forgot that it was part of ATP x TMP christmas meet up where they brought alogn presents exchange between the members. I bought last minute a fluffy rabbit doll and join in the program. Minimum cost for present is 300 pesos. Had a big lunch, took photos, then walk to the location of the parade. There i get excite to see so many people carrying rainbow flags, not just that but people are all out expressing themselves. Full spectrum of rainbow beings walking around and getting ready for the march.

Naomi was invited to be the host or president of the event. She was volunteering for the registration of the march. I took some photos with the FilipinoFreetinkers as they have the most amazing banners. "We march for those who can't". When i saw the signs with all other countries that are against LGBT and saw Malaysian flag, without a second thoughts that i introduce myself with the founder or member of the group and start taking photos. It was like a Eureka moment. Then i realize how lucky i am to be there. To march with the family. People who can relate to each other, same struggle within the diversity group. Then we started to walk.

As we walk, there were many people from both sides of the road mostly cheering, and then there are also few individuals who are are coming from the religious group who's holding the their signages saying 'Jesus can save you', 'Repent' and some other churchy and negative slogans. There are also some kids who were shouting 'Bakla', a derogatory or stigmatized term for transpeople here. It was meant for the heterosexual society to call names for who doesn't belong to their group. It has a long history attached to it.

It was a long walk and i felt my back aching until we reach the destination, a place called 'Heaven'. It was quite an apt name, like reclaiming it from the religious people and call it our own. Heaven is what you make it here on earth. Its all up to your interpretation, what you want your life to be.
Then Naomi who's hosting the event that night ask each group/organization they going to call to come up on stage to give a short and sweet speech. One by one. Then the last program of the event was a few group performances by the community themselves. I left earlier with ATP and back to Dindi's house. by this time, my back was really aching, after taking the LRT1 to North Ave, near Dindi's house, i lied down flat and slept for awhile before before woke up and continue chatting with Dindi's anak. She cook some food for us, after we ate, i left, stop a taxi and back home. As usual i was quite hesitant to take the taxi but the because of the tired and aching, i force myself, and as usual the taxi driver turn around a couple of times looking at me, maybe to reaffirm himself there's a transwoman or maybe someone not local. I try to brave myself and as soon as i reach hostel, it was so relief. Talking to the guard for awhile to show the taxi driver that i know people here. Yea, if you're here and heard all the not so good things about the taxy driver, you'll be thinking more than 100 times to take the cab. The last news i heard form a friend here, latest incident, they wet the clothe with chloroform and put it near the aircond so the passengers will be dizzy and so on. Until today if possible i try to avoid taking taxi unless it was late and i'm too tired, which happens to be most of the time i go out when i meet friends XD But it was a beautiful day indeed and i walk in solidarity with my rainbow family from malaisea. <3 <3 <3

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