Pride is slated to happen in Metro Baguio come December 5, as the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community will observe the 9th Baguio LGBT Pride parade. Themed “Out and Proud. One Pride. One Celebration”, the parade will also coincide with World AIDS Day and the International Human Rights Day.
For the first time, the city’s Pride celebrations will be helmed by the Amianan Pride Council (APC), an advocacy network that now works as the alternative organizer for Pride-related events. Baguio’s Pride celebrations were – for the past seven years – handled by the Baguio Pride Network (BPN). The first Baguio Pride celebration, however, was headed by Progay Baguio an Lesbond in 2006; and there were no parade held in 2007; BPN only came into being in 2008.
According to Rev. Myke Sotero of the Metropolitan Community Church-Metro Baguio (MCC-MB), which is a co-convener of APC, the reason for APC’s establishment was “the dire need of the LGBT community for an active network to manage broad LGBT events (such as the Baguio Pride parade) that is responsive to the needs of the community. It needs to have an affirmative, inclusive, non-sectarian and non-political dynamic leadership that celebrates diversity in faith and non-faith, political, ethnicity, age, race and color.”
APC’s establishment also became a necessity because “this year, no LGBT network gathered to discuss any Pride parade in Baguio. And so with the initiative of some local independent organizations, APC was finally established.”
Behind the APC are: MCC-MB, Bi Nation, Bi-Baguio, Baguio Bakat, Kaisa-Ka, True Colors Coalition, Rainbow Barracks, Baguio Boys, Amnesty International, Ozark Diner, Dap-ay Bar, Providence Polytechnic Institute, AKMA-UP, UP Babaylan Baguio, Benguet’s Finest Lilies, Downlink Phils. and Baguio Bears.
APC is temporarily headed by a preparatory committee chaired by Gregory Rugay (MCC-MB), Willie Tiosejo (Rainbow Barracks), Albert Sotelo and Kaisa-Ka (Unity of Women for Freedom).
Any group from various SOGIE, political or non-political coalitions and business establishments in Metro Baguio, as well as anywhere in the Northern Luzon may join the APC. Non-Northern Luzon-based groups may not become members but are welcome to participate in Baguio Pride events. Membership is dependent on active participation in the council and voluntary enlisting.
Aside from local LGBT organizations and allies, various groups and individuals from Metro Manila and nearby provinces, as well as local government officials are expected to participate in this year’s festivities. Other groups expected to join the Baguio Pride celebrations include: Ang Ladlad, Bahaghari LGBT Organization, Freedom in Christ Ministry, MCCQC, MCC Makati, MCC Marikina, The Red Ribbon Project and Task Force Pride Philippines.
The 9th Baguio LGBT Pride parade on December 5 will start at 3:00PM at the Baguio Post Office, ending with a Baguio Pride party celebration at the Rainbow Barracks along Abanao Steet.