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Baguio holds first Pride for 2024 in Ph, highlights legacy of Pride to ‘remind young to continue the fight’

Baguio City held the first Pride event in the Philippines for 2024. Themed Pride & Legacy, this year’s gathering aimed to highlight “the struggles and small victories of those who have come before us,” said Gregory Rugay, acting pastor of the Northern Sanctuary MCC, which is part of Amianan Pride Council.

PHOTO BY JHOED SATURDAY CUANSING II

Pride rises in Baguio City.

Baguio City held the first Pride event in the Philippines for 2024. Themed Pride & Legacy, this year’s gathering aimed to highlight “the struggles and small victories of those who have come before us,” said Gregory Rugay, acting pastor of the Northern Sanctuary MCC, which is part of Amianan Pride Council (APC) that organizes the annual event. Hopefully, he added, this will “remind the young people especially that Pride still is a continuing fight for equality and our rights.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF BOOTZ YABUT
PHOTO COURTESY OF BOOTZ YABUT
PHOTO COURTESY OF BOOTZ YABUT
PHOTO COURTESY OF BOOTZ YABUT

Baguio Pride 2024 also marks many firsts.

This is the country’s Pride march done as a tribute to a particular person. “We are honoring the late Rev. Myke Sotero, a champion of LGBTQIA causes, which – I hope – would send a message that there is glory and honor in a life spent serving this community,” Rugay said.

Sotero was the former head of the Northern Sanctuary MCC, and helped in the formation of APC.

This was also the first time that APC marched as a legal entity, and not an informal, unstructured alliance of different LGBTQIA and ally organizations. This development happened after another Pride-related organization was established in Baguio City for more commercial appeal.

And this was the first time that the city’s mayor attended a Pride event, “perhaps stressing the strengthening relationship formed through the years,” Rugay said.

PHOTO COURTESY OF JHOED SATURDAY CUANSING II
PHOTO COURTESY OF JHOED SATURDAY CUANSING II
PHOTO COURTESY OF JHOED SATURDAY CUANSING II

Pride continues to be necessary because “there is still no national law that assures our community of equality, no national law that protects us from discrimination based on our SOGIESC,” Rugay said. 

Baguio City is actually among the first cities to pass an Anti-Discrimination Ordinance (in 2017), but even this is plagued with issues, added Rugay.

With Rugay stepping down as head of APC, John Raspado, as the vice chair, succeeds to lead the Baguio-based LGBTQIA organization.

“I think the only way to move forward is for a new generation of leaders to emerge. I believe the youth must succeed now.  I will always be here to support and guide, but it will be them who will steer us to new directions, and I pray greater heights,” Rugay ended.

PHOTO BY KIM SAMPAYAN
PHOTO BY KIM SAMPAYAN
PHOTO BY KIM SAMPAYAN
PHOTO BY KIM SAMPAYAN
PHOTO BY KIM SAMPAYAN
PHOTO BY KIM SAMPAYAN
PHOTO BY KIM SAMPAYAN
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"If someone asked you about me, about what I do for a living, it's to 'weave words'," says Kiki Tan, who has been a writer "for as long as I care to remember." With this, this one writes about... anything and everything.

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