The Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI) is again taking up the torch to continue championing human rights, particularly that of the LGBTQIA+ community, by holding a series of comprehensive activities celebrating Pride Month this June.
With the theme “over•coming”, which basically pertains to gaining control over one’s body, freedom, rights, and destiny (among others), HAPI will be hosting an art exhibit and an eight-day series of nationwide talks both with an international lineup of artists and speakers, respectively.
Headed by lead organizer Roma Jane Hechanova (HAPI-Dumaguete) with co-organizer for art exhibit Shyndel May Sastrillo (HAPI-Dumaguete), co-organizer for nationwide series of talks Junius Dale Capus (HAPI-Bacolod) and HAPI Pride Team as co-facilitators, the activities aim to beckon members of the society to come together and discuss issues that remain significant to the lives of the queer community and humanity in general.
HAPI’s Pride Art Exhibit will feature 23 artists from all over the Philippines and one based in the US, showcasing various forms of mediums from photographs, to fabric, digital, oil on canvas, installation art, film, etc; they will be accompanied by poetry written by Hechanova.
The 12-day exhibit will officially be launched at Dakong Balay Art Gallery, Dumaguete on June 19 after the second day of the Negros-wide Pride Walk; it will culminate on June 30 with an Art Talk from some of the artists.
HAPI’s eight-day series of nationwide talks will feature various advocates and experts from all over the Philippines and one from Italy; it will be done via Zoom at 6PM from June 20-27, and is open to all interested participants nationwide and beyond.
HAPI-Bacolod deputy convenor/Federation of Negros LGBT founding member Rayd Espeja will talk about “Curating Prism: Leveling Our Understanding of SOGIE and Human Rights” on June 20 (Monday).
This will be followed by human rights defender Atty. Luke Espiritu’s discussion on “Debunking SOGIE Myths: Time to Acknowledge You’re Part of the Spectrum, Too” on June 21 (Tuesday).
Gender justice advocate Rev. Kakay Pamaran will focus on “The Insurrection, Resurrection, and the Afterlives of the Babaylan” on June 22 (Wednesday).
On June 23 (Thursday), Negrosanon Youth Leaders Institute Inc. (NYLI) co-founder Jomar Borromeo will shed light on the topic titled “We Don’t Sext; We SexTalk: Back to Basics and Basic Instincts”.
Civil rights activist Atty. Jesus Falcis will discuss “Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow: Prospects of Legislating Same-Sex Marriage in the Philippines” June 24 (Friday).
Members of the Unitarian Universalist LGBTIQA Fellowship will be facilitating a round-table discussion on “The Genders of God: Why Religion is No Hindrance to Queer Love” on June 25 (Friday); this will be moderated by Paula Maria Gregg, with Lui Sayre, May Gimang, Coriander Gunn, Rev. Leslie Minasalvas, and Bernadette Jumuad as panelists.
Young Humanists International European regional coordinator Andrea Ruggeri from Italy will talk about “Femme-Men-Isms: Locating Masculinity and Maleness in Our Liberation” on June 26 (Sunday).
To conclude the eight-day series of talks, Queer Safe Spaces co-founder Roanne Carreon will explore the topic on “Feminist Organizing for Gender Equality and Justice in the Neo-Generation” on June 27 (Monday).
As bonus, a special segment with a surprise guest speaker will happen on June 29; watch out for the details! Register at https://forms.gle/Za2BW9F3xFnrbsXv5.
HAPI and major partner-organization Unitarian Universalist (UU) LGBTIQA Fellowship recently conceived the Negros Island Pride Collective, an initiative to hold a two-day Negros-wide Pride Walk on June 18 to 19 at Pantawan 1 at the Boulevard, Dumaguete. This inclusive, intersectional and multisectoral group plans to highlight inclusivity and bring together members and allies of the queer community in recognition of their diversity and individual beauty.
The Pride Walks on both dates will commence at 4PM from Pantawan 2 going to Pantawan 1, followed by a short program and a picnic along the Boulevard; Negrosanons may pre-register via this link: bit.ly/NegrosPrideWalkRegistration.
HAPI aims that through these major events, the struggle for equality and equity that will grant people – regardless of sex and gender – the same respect, privileges, and rights would reach more audience and garner more allies until the cause effectively succeeds.
HAPI is partnering with local and national organizations like Unitarian Universalist (UU) LGBTIQA Fellowship, and Queer Safe Spaces (also a nonprofit organization committed to educating, empowering, and supporting the Filipino queer people and to advocating gender equality).
It is also supported by OceanClick Virtual Solutions Inc (Dumaguete-based BPO company with international clients), Art Moves PH, and Dumaguete Art Scene (both online collectives that support art), Shelter PH (a gallery-cafe in Dumaguete), Mugna Gallery, Coffee Collective, Alliance of Empowered Youth – Philippines, The DIM Company, D Salag Collective, Bahaghari-Dumaguete, Kabataan Para sa Karapatan (KPK), Sangguniang Kabataan: Pederasyon ng Dumaguete, SexZ Project, NYLI, and Consuelo Foundation.
The DIM Company will be performing an improv dance during the opening of the art exhibit (June 19), while D Salag Collective, a theater company, will be showcasing their talents on the culmination day (June 30).
Other chapters of HAPI will be conducting their own localized activities for Pride; in Dumaguete, HAPI’s partner-organizers Bahaghari-Dumaguete, and KPK will be facilitating a community kitchen on June 18 and 25 at Brgy. Tinago with the help of local purok leaders.
On June 28, UU LGBTIQA Fellowship will be offering the first ever Holy Union Ceremony for LGBT couples in Dumaguete and sponsoring a three-day honeymoon retreat for the participants; this will be officiated by Rev. Tet Gallardo. LGBTIQA couples may register via http://tiny.cc/PrideUnions2022.
On the same day, a live talk show called OceanClick TV will be live streaming its Pride Month Special via OceanClick Careers’ Facebook Page at 10AM, and via OceanClick Virtual Solutions’ Facebook page at 11:30PM (both in Philippine Standard Time).
On June 30, UU LGBTIQA Fellowship will be hosting a first-of-its-kind Affirmations Ceremony at Dakong Balay at 4PM, followed by the Art Talk at the same venue, and an After-Party at Shimmerspill.
For more information about the activities, visit https://www.facebook.com/HAPIkami.