The Association of Transgender People in the Philippines (ATP) recently conducted a community service at Agham Road, Barangay Pag-asa in Quezon City. The activities included: feeding program, giving of toys to children, free medical consultation, and conducting of games and giving of prizes.
This is actually the project of the Transwomen Guild of the Philippines (TGP) and TransMan Pilipinas (TMP) of the ATP. TMP donated the toys for the children; TGP offered food and drinks including the coordination of the people involved; Bea Tamura Pascua, supporter of transgender rights and education, who resides in Japan and sent blouses to be given to less fortunate transwomen; Aloha Filipina from Germany donated P3,000; while Dr. Mel Bato offered his medical expertise by providing free consultation to the children of Barangay Pag Asa. Members of ATP as far as Cavite City and Bulacan also showed their support by coming and embracing the event.
“This is to show society that transgender people are not just people of ostentations, but these individuals are also instrumental to social progress and development,” said Kate Montecarlo Cordova, founder of ATP. “Often times, media portray people with non-conforming gender expressions as a laughingstock. Worst, transgender people are viewed as sexual predators, boisterous, promiscuous, vain, lewd and indifferent to social and political undertakings which make people treat transgender people as forlorn marginalized community. Beyond this perception, most of the time, society fails to consider that we too are people who have hearts for social reforms, political progress, altruism and philanthropy. There are a lot of people in our community who want to share their blessings and help others who are impoverished. However, society does not give them the chance to prove their worth to humanity. Community service is an activity that strengthens our advocacy by inculcating to our members the significance of generosity and kindness to others, as the highest virtue of mankind.”
For Cordova, “we lead by example. This is not just helping the community but also a personality development activity for our members and a way for other transgender people abroad to help our impoverished citizens.”
ATP is already eyeing to strengthen the ecopolitical and biopsychosocial aspect of transgender life in the Philippines.
“We are planning to cover other facets of our community like doing community service to the prisons, reaching out to sex workers and entertainers, work with the Deaf community and with other minority groups in our community like transgender farmers, fishermen and women in the province, et cetera,” Cordova said.