And Pride surfaces within Iligan City.
A barangay of some 17,000 people hosted the first Pride-related event in Iligan City in Mindanao in southern Philippines. Co-helmed by barangay captain Jimmy Sale, the Barangay Tambacan Pride was seen as an effort not only to showcase the LGBT community members, but also have an avenue to discuss issues affecting them.
“Iligan City is still very conservative,” Sale said in the vernacular to Outrage Magazine. “And so this event was a source of happiness as it showed that LGBT community members in Iligan can be free to express themselves.”
An orientation on SOGIE 101 was conducted for the barangay, followed by a parade. And for Sale, “dako gyud sya katabang sa mga bayot og tomboy (this really helped gays and lesbians a lot),” he said, though more particularly “sa moral sa mga bayot og tomboy (in boosting the moral of gays and lesbians).” This is because, as Sale said, “naa gyud gihapon cases sa hate crimes diri; gipatay ang mga bayot apan wala gyud na-tagae og pagtagad sa atong government (we have cases of LGBT hate crimes here; some gay guys are killed, but the government does not really give these cases the attention they deserve).”
This Pride event also allowed the LGBT community in the barangay to show that “we can somehow unite the Christians and Muslims in Iligan,” Sale added.
The city’s local government unit did not support the event, and no local politician expressed their support of it; instead, “we spent for the Pride using the money from the barangay.”
Metro Manila-based Faustino L. Sabarez III and Dindi Tan of LGBT Pilipinas helped conceptualize the Pride event, so that Sale had to be asked about whether this effort was local or not – i.e. a Pride that’s not even locally hatched but imposed upon Barangay Tambacan by the so-called “imperial Manila”.
Sale recognized this, yet he also stressed that “mao na mangita ta paagi diri sa Iligan na mangayo ako supporta sa mga local leader sa Iligan para wala masulti ang tao na gipugos lang ang taga-Mindanao (this is now why we’re looking for the support of local leaders here so no one can say that this was just forced upon the people of Mindanao).”
Already, there are plans to link with other barangays, and perhaps even the local government of Iligan City, in an effort to make the Pride event Iligan City-wide next time.