The city of Iloilo held its first LGBT Pride march, organized by the Amnesty International Philippines with the Iloilo Pride Team, Bahaghari National LGBT Organization and UP Visayas LIPAD. Themed “Be yourself, change the world. #BeProud”, it was an opportunity “for the Ilonggo LGBT community and our allies to show exactly how proud we were,” said Justin Francis Bionat, vice chairperson for the Visayas of the Bahaghari National LGBT Organization.
This year’s Pride also served as an opportunity for the local LGBT community to press the local government unit to pass the anti-discrimination ordinance, authored by councilor Inday Lee Zulueta.
The Pride march’s lead marshal, Faustine Tupas Angeles – who was wearing John Herrera’s rainbow gown – is the proud Ilonggo founder of Pedal for HIV.
Also in attendance were Gabriela Party List, Kabataan Partylist, Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP), and the United Church of Christ in the Philippines Iloilo Chapter, among others.
On December 5, in partnership with Youth First Initiative and Produkto Lokal, the organizers brought the LGBT Pride celebration to the Iloilo Convention Center for the “Pride Night”, which showcased performances by local artists, including Seraphim Choir and Miss Tweetie Salas. There was also a fashion show by local designers Cirillo Lapascua, Michaelangelo Ferrer and Ram Silva with the contestants of the upcoming Mr. and Ms. HIV Ambassador and Ambassadress of the FPOP and Department of Health Region 6 wearing the designs.